Karadzic: "Sarajevo will be a black cauldron where Muslims will die"

Karadzic: "Sarajevo will be a black cauldron where Muslims will die"

RADOVAN Karadzic led a genocidal campaign to make Bosnian Muslims "disappear from the face of the earth" and carve out a mono-ethnic state for Bosnian Serbs, war crimes prosecutors told a UN tribunal yesterday.

In opening statements, prosecutors painted a picture of the former Bosnian Serb leader as a supreme commander single-mindedly pursing a campaign of "ethnic cleansing" during the 1992-95 Bosnian war that killed an estimated 100,000 people.

They spo
to empty chairs on the defendant's side of the court as Karadzic, who denies all the charges, boycotted the trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague for a second day.

"The Supreme Commander explained in October 1991 what was coming: 'Sarajevo will be a black cauldron where Muslims will die. They will disappear … from the face of the earth'," the senior prosecutor, Alan Tieger, cited Karadzic as saying in an intercepted call. He was referring to the 43-month siege of Sarajevo that began in 1992 and killed an estimated 10,000 as the former Yugoslavia was torn apart by Serbs, Croats and Muslims fighting for land.

"The supreme commander had directed his forces in a campaign to carve out a mono-ethnic state within his multi-ethnic country," Mr Tieger said. "This case is about that supreme commander. A man who harnessed the forces of nationalism, hatred and fear to implement his vision of an ethnically separated Bosnia – Radovan Karadzic."

As prosecutors began their case yesterday, Biljana Plavsic, Karadzic's successor as Bosnian Serb president, left a Swedish prison and arrived in Belgrade after winning early release from her sentence for committing war crimes.

Karadzic, 64, has denied 11 war-crimes charges arising from the violent break-up of Yugoslavia, including two charges of genocide for the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica and for broader atrocities.


Source: The Scotsman (English)

Helsinki: A burka experiment

Helsinki: A burka experiment

Via Tundra Tabloids.  Katja Kuokkanen, a Finnish jouranlist, put on a burka to 'test' the Finns.  She gets various reactions, but it's not only the Finns who stop and stare.  Kuokkanen finds that some Muslims honor her more while she gets unwanted attention from others.


The black chiffon in my eyes causes a mishap. I bump into the shoulder of a black man as I turn away from the counter in an ethnic shop.

The man gives an apology - in the usual way. Then he really sees me: a dressed woman in a black abaya-niqab from head to ankle, a decorated black cape and veil that also covers the face.

The man nearly bows and renews the apology in an Arab dialect. I have never been honored in such a way.

When you visit the ethnic shops on Helsinki's Hämeenlinna road there are all kinds of covered women coming from the direction of Hakaniemi's subway corridor.

The aim is to try to understand what covering up feels like and how other people react to it. I go to the eastern center (of Helsinki), because it seems natural to: Islamic dressed women are often seen travelling east on the metro.

The first reaction on the orange car comes immediately.

"Hey, that is one hell of a sight," cries out a drunken man to his three druken buddies on the congested metro. Other people skillfully avoid my face.

"Hey, you left this." My hair was tied in a shiny donut under the veil, but it fell on the metro bench.

I didn't know whether I should say thank you to the considerate middle-aged woman, when I couldn't decide whether to speak Finnish in the experiment and reveal my cover.


Source: HS (Finnish), translated by Tundra Tabloids

Denmark: Imam leaves TV show set in middle of debate

Denmark: Imam leaves TV show set in middle of debate

Danish imam Abdul Wahid Pedersen left the set of the Deadline show, broadcast live, when he didn't like the line of questioning. (See here on YouTube, h/t Balder)

Kristina Abu-Khader Aamand, an activist on the issue of the requirement for Muslim girls to be virgin, had asked Pedersen to speak about the issue during Friday prayers. Pedersen said that he was already speaking about the gang wars, and did not appreciate being told what he should be speaking about.

When host Mads Brügger thanked him for his participation, he suddenly said that he feels attacked and conned.

Mads Brügger, on his part, says it was a lively and good debate. He doesn't understand why Pedersen got so upset, since he had been briefed about the topic before the show.

When Aamand said she deals with many Muslim girls who feel threatened, Pedersen answered that he's never heard about it. Aamand told him that he could now talk about the problem, and that it was strange that he's never heard about the requirement to see blood on the sheets among Muslims.

The imam got upset and left the studio.

Later Pedersen said that he got so upset that he decided to leave. He got tired of the way he was treated.

Pedersen said that he based on the pre-show briefing he got, he expected a serious and worthwhile debate on the issue, but he says that Aamand and Brügger weren't interested in a discussion at all.

"She was clearly out to blame the imams by saying that we don't take up the problem in our Friday prayers and therefore don't try to solve the problem. Brügger was on Aamand's side." At one point, Pedersen says, Brügger turned to Aamand and asked her why the imams don't bring up the issue.

Pedersen emphasizes that nobody had turned to him until now on this issue. "I speak daily with people for 2-3 hours about their problems. And in Nørrebro it's mostly about gangs, violence, divorces and such. I've never heard of the problem with young girls. And if just three, four or five people turned [to me] about it, I would gladly bring it up in Friday prayers."

Source: Ekstrabladet 1, 2 (Danish)

For more on Kristina Abu-Khader Aamand see:
* Denmark: Municipalities pay for virginity operations
* Denmark: New site against virginity operations
* Denmark: Honor used to silence sexually abused Muslim girls
* Denmark: Doctors told to stop virginity certificates

Germany: No integration

Germany: No integration

PBS has a new segment on Muslims in Germany.


DEBORAH POTTER, correspondent: Almost 90 percent of the students at Rainbow Elementary School in Berlin are from immigrant families, most of them Muslim. Fitting in can be tough, because a lot of them can't speak German—even though many of their families have been here for decades.

HEIDRUN BOEHMER (School Principal): When I started being a teacher more than thirty years ago I thought that problem we won't have in ten years. They all will speak German. But they don't.

POTTER: Heidrun Boehmer has watched her students struggle to succeed. About 75 percent never finish high school—more than double the national rate. In school and the outside world, their chances are limited by a complicated mix of social and economic issues, religion, and history.

Muslim immigrants, mainly from Turkey, first came here in large numbers in the 1960s, when Germany was facing a severe labor shortage. They were called "guest workers," but most of them never went home. Instead, they brought their families and settled in neighborhoods like Neukolln in Berlin, where shop signs are in Turkish and Arabic, and satellite dishes bring in programs from back home. Storefront mosques are tucked behind fruit stands. Until ten years ago, immigrants could not become German citizens, and they still don't have a chance at most government jobs. Integration just hasn't happened.

SPIELHAUS (Humboldt University): People who live here since forty, fifty years, were born here in the third generation, are understood as foreigners, are understood as immigrants while they are not. They just have a different faith. So this debate leads to people thinking about their neighbors as problematic because they do have a different faith.

POTTER: Today, Germany has about four million Muslims—five percent of the population, making Islam the second largest religion. Germany has more Muslims than Lebanon and twice as many mosques as the United States. Young Muslims here describe themselves as more religious than their parents, in a country where few Christians go to church. Berlin is sometimes called the atheist capital of Europe. But while religious freedom is enshrined in the German constitution, public schools are required to offer Christian religious instruction. Leaders of Muslim organizations are now demanding Islamic religious instruction as well, and tensions are growing.

SPIELHAUS: The number of people that don't want to live together with Muslims, that don't want to have a mosque in their neighborhood—this number is rising.

POTTER: According to public opinion polls, the vast majority of Germans associate Islam with violence and terrorism, and they resent what they see as too many Muslims sponging off the German welfare system. But the country's strong social safety net may be one reason why Germany has not seen the kind of violence that scorched Muslim neighborhoods in France a few years ago. Young Muslims there took to the streets, angry about unemployment and police brutality. Nothing like that has happened in Germany, even though the jobless rate in some Muslim neighborhoods hovers near 50 percent.

BARBARA JOHN (Office Against Discrimination): If there is no easy opportunity, or if they can't make as much money as they get from the state as welfare money, they don't work, of course. It's not that they don't want to work, it's just reasoning, and they are rational people.

POTTER: Barbara John has spent 30 years dealing with integration issues, a task complicated by the fact that Germany has never had a policy of limiting immigration.

JOHN: It's part of our history of Nazi times. We were guilty, and we still feel guilty, especially when it comes to minorities and to accepting people who are persecuted, and once we were, ourselves, able to give it, we could hardly say no, and now immigrants come, and they want to live in Germany, they want to be proud of this country, and the Germans themselves are not. So integration is difficult for these minorities.


JOHN: We have to consider these people as our future, too. They are—their children, the children of the immigrants, are our children, are the children in Germany, they are the children of everybody, and we have to care for them and look after them and give them a better education, give them a good education, so why shouldn't they be successful? It's everything in human nature that can make them successful, and we are a country that has money, and we have educators, so we should improve our system.

POTTER: But there's a long way to go. Other Western democracies have similar problems, but a new study by an international economic group says Germany does about the worst job of providing equal opportunities for immigrants and their children.


Source: PBS (English)

See also: Norway: 'Our Youth'

Cambridge: Burkas allowed in graduation

Cambridge: Burkas allowed in graduation

Not that there are any students wearing a burka.

MUSLIM women will be allowed to don burkas under their mortar boards at Cambridge University graduation ceremonies.

The strict dress code for the end-ofterm events has been lifted by university dons, it emerged this week.

Muslim leaders have welcomed the rule change but BNP leader and Downing College law graduate Nick Griffin has criticised the move to allow the veil.

The university's website outlines the hard-line dress code which is "strictly enforced at ceremonies, and if you do not observe it, you may not be permitted to graduate on a particular occasion".

Ahsan Mohammed, a Newmarket Muslim leader, said: "I think it's a very sensible decision by the university. I think it's the right thing to do and I hope that others will follow."

But Nick Griffin told the News: "It is no surprise. There are a disproportionate number of Muslim students in our colleges and universities already.

"In 20 years time it will become compulsory for all women students to wear the burka."

The rules have been changed after Scottish students demanded they be allowed to wear kilts.


Source: Cambridge News

BREAKING: Bomb threat at Muhammad cartoonist's home (Update: Nothing)

BREAKING: Bomb threat at Muhammad cartoonist's home

Update: Package contained friendly letter (DA)

Police evacuated residents living in the vicinity of Kurt Westergaard's home in Århus after a suspicious package was discovered at the entrance to his house. (DA)

Paris: More on street prayers

Paris: More on street prayers

Secularist magazine Riposte Laïque continues its reports on Muslim prayers in the streets of Paris, around the mosques on the Rue Myrha and Rue Polonceau. The streets are closed off for about two hours during Friday prayers. This is not being reported by the mainstream French press.

In the maps below, the streets in red are completely closed off by the Muslims and the residents cannot enter or leave for about two hours. Streets in orange are blocked for vehicles, while streets in green are open for traffic but the sidewalks are taken over for prayer.

Video clips of Rue Léon and Rue Myrha.

Video clips of the Rue des Poissonniers (1, 2, 3) and Boulevard Barbès (1, 2).

(h/t Bivouac-ID)

See also: Paris: Prayer in the streets

Ukraine: Tatars face problems building mosque

Ukraine: Tatars face problems building mosque

Chunks of limestone, by the tens of thousands, are strewn in piles on a waterside lot here where one of Europe's largest mosques is scheduled to rise. But the only soul around is a wizened caretaker in a tent, watching over what seems like another grandiose project gone bust with the financial crisis.

The trouble with the project, though, has nothing to do with money.

It is hinted at in the pieces of limestone themselves, many of which have been brought to the lot in protest and etched with the names of people who once lived here on the Crimean Peninsula, were deported by Stalin and never returned.

The mosque was supposed to signify the revival of those expelled, the Crimean Tatars, a Turkic ethnic group that suffered as wretched a fate as any under Communism. But with work held up by local authorities, the plan has instead stirred up a dispute involving politics, communal grievances, international tensions and historic traumas.

And so for the Crimean Tatars, the lot has become a site not for construction but for pilgrimages — and another reminder that here, as elsewhere across the former Soviet Union, the sins of the past will not be easily addressed.

"From each Muslim, one stone," Refat Chubarov, a Tatar leader, said the other day as he offered an impromptu tour of the deserted lot.

Mr. Chubarov explained that for months, Tatars have been asked to deposit pieces of limestone on the lot, each costing less than a dollar, to demonstrate their displeasure. Thousands have done so, with many creating mini-memorials by embellishing the limestone with the names of long-dead relatives. The stones are generally 15 or 20 inches square and 7 inches deep.

The mosque, which is to have space for a few thousand worshipers, was approved in 2004 by local officials. They agreed on a prime location at 22 Yaltinskaya Street in Simferopol, the capital of Crimea, a peninsula in the Black Sea that is one of the most celebrated regions of the former Soviet Union.

The mosque project was to cost more than $10 million, most of which was to be paid by Turkish and other foreign donors, Mr. Chubarov said.

But in 2008, the Simferopol city council refused to grant final approval for the project, voicing concerns about its environmental impact because the site is near a reservoir. Officials said that traffic would overwhelm neighborhood streets and that noise from the mosque would bother patients at a nearby cancer hospital.

The city council, which is controlled by ethnic Russians, said its stance was not influenced by ethnic or religious hostility. It suggested other locations for the mosque.

"The mosque will be built, but only after taking into consideration the views of the public," said Simferopol's mayor, Gennady Babenko.

But Tatar leaders said they did not believe that the city would follow through on other sites. They said they doubted that the typical not-in-my-backyard complaints were genuine, asserting that local politicians simply did not want a prominent mosque in Simferopol.


Source: NY Times

France: 'National pride' measures to ensure integration

France: 'National pride' measures to ensure integration

France is to adopt a series of measures to 'reaffirm pride' in the country and combat Islamic fundamentalism.

They include everybody receiving lessons in the nation's Christian history and children singing the national anthem.

Using words which infuriated ethnic minority groups and Socialist opponents, immigration minister Eric Besson also said he wanted 'foreigners to speak better French'.

He called for all recent arrivals to be monitored by 'Republican godfathers', charged with helping immigrants to integrate better.

His proposed measures contrast sharply with the situation in Britain where 'citizenship education' centres on multicultural diversity.

M Besson, who was born in the former French protectorate of Morocco, suggested a debate on national identity' entitled 'What does it mean to be French?'

He also reignited the debate about face and body-covering Muslim veils, saying they should definitely be banned.


Making clear that radical Islam was a threat, Mr Besson said: 'In France, the nation and the republic remain the strongest ramparts against ... fundamentalist tendencies. France is diversity, and France is unity.'

Mr Besson defended a decision to send illegal Afghan immigrants - all of them Muslim - back to Kabul on charter flights organised in conjunction with the British government last week, saying there would be many more.  

More than 21,000 people have been deported from France this year - with 27,000 the ultimate target, said Mr Besson. 

He also reignited the debate about face and body-covering Muslim veils, saying they should definitely be banned.

'For me, there should be no burqas on the street,' said Mr Besson. 'The burqa is against national values - an affront to women's rights and equality.' 

Explaining the apparent shift to the extreme right by President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, Mr Besson evoked the legacy of Jean Marie Le Pen's anti-immigration National Front party, which is struggling massively with huge debts and low electoral support.

Mr Besson said: 'We should never have abandoned to the National Front a number of values which are part of the Republic's heritage. I think that the political death of the National Front would be the best news for all of us.'


Source: Daily Mail (English), h/t Weasel Zippers

Sweden: More positive towards immigrants, less towards Islam

Sweden: More positive towards immigrants, less towards Islam

The number of Swedes reporting positive experiences with immigrants is on the rise. The most positive reports come from women, young people and individuals with tertiary education. However, more people are critical of the wearing of the Muslim veil (or hijab) in schools and workplaces, according to a new study.

In this year's issue of Mångfaldsbarometern, a sociological study by Uppsala University, around 67 percent of the Swedish population indicated having had positive experiences of working or studying with immigrants. Three years ago, the number was only 65 percent, according to Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT).

Among those with a lower level of education, the trend was reversed, with only 43 percent reporting positive experiences of working or studying with immigrants. In 2006, the number was 55 percent.

Amongst the highly educated, the number of positive responses has increased to 79 percent. The younger Swedish population also characterised their contact with immigrants in a more positive light than older citizens, according to UNT.

While positive attitudes towards immigrants have increased, negative attitudes have diminished to around ten percent. Four percent of the population remains extremely hostile to the idea of cultural diversity.

At the same time, Swedes increasingly suggest that the hijab should be banned in schools and workplaces and admit to regarding Muslim women as oppressed.


Source: The Local (English)

Netherlands: PVV targeting Islam children's songs on TV

Netherlands: PVV targeting Islam children's songs on TV

The PVV party is targeting songs on children's TV shows featuring Islam. The latest target is a song called "Baklava of Rijstevla". The song (here on Youtube) is about a kid who has to choose between his father in the Netherlands (his fatherland) and his mother in Morocco (his motherland). None of the songs are new - "Baklava of Rijstevla" was written for the Kinderen voor Kinderen show in 1993 - but they are still being shown on TV.

My song-analyzing skills are so-so, but it seems to me that "Allah Akbar" is used as a of saying "Netherlands or Morocco, only god knows". It also seems to me that the song portrays Morocco as better than the Netherlands, the kid wants to go to Morocco (he likes the food, he feels at home), but he currently lives in the Netherlands.


Spokesperson Martin Bosma wants Education Minister Plasterk to answer why the show is showing a song which repeats "Allah Akbar", the Jihad slogan, 27 times.

Bosma says this is the third time that the public broadcaster is broadcasting Islam-propaganda at children.

Bosma: "The Dutch are being humiliated in this way. We should accept Islamic imperialism and stand defenseless against it. That is the continuous message of the state broadcaster. Recently I asked the minister a parliamentary question about a children's program by Teleac where children were told by [show character] Koning Koos that on Eid ul-Adha everybody gets candy. There was recently also the Koekeloere program, also by Teleac, which explained what children should do on Ramadan. The multiculturalists don't have any shame anymore. The multicultural faith is almost dead in society, but on public television it's (subsidized) and still alive and well."

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

Ukraine: Terror arrests

Ukraine: Terror arrests

Ukrainian police and Security Service operatives on October 23 arrested men who are accused of Islamic extremism and terrorist plots, Interior Minister Yury Lutsenko said.

The suspects had planned to set up branches in the autonomous Crimea region and elsewhere in Ukraine of Egyptian Islamist organization Al-Takfir wa al-Hijra, to pass death sentences on Crimean Tatar movement leader Mustafa Jemilev and on others, and to carry put terrorist attacks in Ukraine, Lutsenko told a news conference in Simferopol, Crimea's administrative center.

They were arrested in Crimea.


Source: Interfax (English)

Copenhagen: Synagogue possible target

Copenhagen: Synagogue possible target

The 49 year old American Muslim David Coleman Headley told the FBI that when he visited Denmark he also filmed a synagogue in downtown Copenhagen.

Headley said that he filmed the synagogue on direct orders from the Pakistani terror group Laskar-e-Taiba.

Headley also said that Lashkar-e-Taiba thought that Jyllands-Posten's cultural editor Flemming Rose is Jewish, which is not the case.

When Headley was in Copenhagen in January and July he also filmed the central station and a a group of solders which he thought were a response force in case of a terror attack against Jyllands-Posten's office in the capital.

It's unclear where the soldiers were, or which synagogue he video-taped.

Source: Esktrabladet (Danish)

Antwerp: Faith healer arrested for girl's death

Antwerp: Faith healer arrested for girl's death

According to the newspaper rumors at the time, the girl died in a devil exorcism ceremony.


Belgian judicial authorities have arrested a Moroccan faith healer following the death of 18-year-old Layla Hachichi. The woman died as a result of burns. Her lifeless remains were recovered from her parents' home three weeks ago.

Lawyer Abderrahim Lahlali says that the faith healer was called in to deal with "psychological problems".

Newspaper reports suggest that the woman had a lesbian orientation.

The lawyer claims that the healer read from the Koran at the family's home on several occasions:" At no point did he perform any act of extortionism."  
[ed: should be 'exorcism']

Mr Lahlali says that the Koranic reader has nothing to hide and went to the police station of his own accord.

The dead woman's parents do not face any charges at the moment. Judicial police staged a short reconstruction at the home of the deceased on Monday.

Source: De Redactie (English)

Denmark: Terrorism incompatible with Islam, says Joint Council of Danish Muslims

Denmark: Terrorism incompatible with Islam, says Joint Council of Danish Muslims

Who said these two Chicago men charged with terrorism were Muslim? 

See here for more on this story.


The Joint Council of Danish Muslims says that terrorism runs contrary to Islam, its values and basic principles and has condemned plans by two men arrested in the United States on charges of preparing attacks in Denmark.

"An attack on any target is the same as an attack on an entire society and its people. We are therefore relieved that the imminent terrorist attack seems to have been averted," the Council says in a release.


"The Joint Council of Muslims stresses that an act of this type would be directly against Islam's basic principles and core values. Any act of terrorism is and will always be incompatible with Islam," the Council says.

Source: Politiken (English)

Netherlands: "In five years our women.. will all walk around with headscarves"

Netherlands: "In five years our women.. will all walk around with headscarves"

Coincidentally, Trots op Nederland (TON) has crashed in recent polls and will potentially lose its one seat in parliament.

Former Dutch minister of integration Rita Verdonk, head of the TON party in an interview (NL) in HP/De Tijd:

"If we go on this way in our country, in five years our women, daughters and granddaughters will all walk around with headscarves."

"Our values and norms, the freedom of expression, equal treatment of men and women, of gays and straights, those things are being threatened. We're letting [people] walk all over us in the Netherlands. I say: every burka is one too many. In England there's already a pool where women can't enter without a burkini. And then you hear women complaining that they were rejected by an employer because of their headscarf. That is not discrimination, that is the proper right of an employer."

Germany: Lingerie ad features niqab

Germany: Lingerie ad features niqab

The commercial 'sexiness for everyone. everywhere' (YouTube)


A new commercial by German lingerie producer "Liaison dangereuse" is being provoking by linking an almost 25 year old model Miriam Wimmer to the niqab, claims religion historian  Hanne Nabintu Herland.

Herland told  tv2nyhetene.no that she sees this as an expression of a European frustration, for not being allowed to point out what's wrong and lacking regarding non-Western Minorities.  Therefore they're now making such videos, where people want to pressure Muslims by showing them that 'we' have other values than 'you'.

The commercial has Wimmer, who previously appeared in commercials for Puma, Adidas and Ralph Lauren, coming out of the shower and drying herself before putting on a niqab.

Herland says the commercial links the Arab dress with sexuality - and not to morals and virtue.  She says that even if people want to raise European values such as freer sexuality, it is unncessariy to trample the cultural dress of Muslims.  Additionally, she says, there's no contrast between strengthening respect for European values and at the same time showing respect for other cultures.

Herland says that this film coincides with trends we see in Europe, a response to the so-called problem-free 'multicultural' society which many don't see as so simple.  In this film the extremes of both sides are used to make the conflicts more clear.

Source: TV2 Nyhetene (Norwegian)

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BREAKING: Chicago men arrested for Danish terror plans; UPDATE: Press Release; UPDATE: Indictments

BREAKING: Two men arrested in Chicago for planning to attack Jyllands-Posten

I'll update once there's more news.

Danish news reports that according to the American justice department, two men from Chicago were arrested for planning a terror attack against Jyllands-Posten (DR) Jyllands Posten is the Danish newspaper which published the Mohammed cartoons.

Update 6:

In a press conference, Jakob Scharf, the head of the Danish security service, says that he can't rule out further arrests in the case. (DA)

In addition to attacking the offices of Jyllands-Posten, the group also planned to kill Jyllands-Posten's cultural editor Flemming Rose and cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. (DA)

Update 5:

The indictments: Rana and Headley.

The attacks were planned, apparently, against the Jyllands-Posten offices in Copenhagen and Aarhus. During the summer, their Lashkar-e-Taiba contact wanted them to focus on a nattack in India, at which point they dropped him.

As far as I know, this is the first time that American terrorists planned an attack against a European target, and not vice versa. Does this mean that the US is not the prime target anymore?

Update 4:

Rana was arrested in his Chicago home Oct. 18th, the day of the Kinsman raid. Headley was arrested Oct. 3rd, as he was about to board a flight to Philadelphia on his way to Pakistan.

Update 3:

According to the indictment papers, Tahawwur Hussain Rana is the owner of a Kinsman, Illinois farm providing halal meat. This explains the mysterious FBI raid last week.

Update 2:

The two men are David Coleman Headley, originally Daood Gilani, a US citizen and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, a Pakistani Canadian. The plans involved Pakistani terror groups: Harakat-ul Jihad Islami and Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Update 1:

From the Justice Department press release:

Two Chicago men have been arrested on federal charges for their alleged roles in conspiracies to provide material support and/or to commit terrorist acts against overseas targets, including facilities and employees of a Danish newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005, federal law enforcement officials announced today. There was no imminent danger in the Chicago area, officials said, adding that the charges are unrelated to recent terror plot arrests in Boston, New York, Colorado, Texas and central Illinois.

The defendants charged in separate criminal complaints unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Chicago are David Coleman Headley, 49, and Tahawwur Hussain Rana, 48, also known as Tahawar Rana, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the FBI. The complaints remained under seal temporarily after the defendants’ arrests, with court approval, so as not to compromise further investigative activity.


According to both complaints, since at least late 2008 until Oct. 3, 2009, as part of the conspiracy to murder and maim persons abroad, Headley allegedly identified and conducted surveillance of potential targets of a terrorist attack in Denmark on two separate trips to Denmark in January and July 2009, and reported and attempted to report on his efforts to other conspirators in Pakistan. As part of the conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism, Rana allegedly helped arrange Headley’s travels overseas and conceal their true nature and purpose to surveil potential terror targets overseas, and discussed potential targets for attack with Headley.


The Denmark Project

Beginning in late 2008, Headley corresponded extensively with Individual A and LeT Member A regarding what they referred to in coded communications as the "Mickey Mouse Project," "mmp," and "the northern project," according to the affidavit. The Mickey Mouse Project allegedly involved planning for one or more attacks at facilities and employees of Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper that in 2005 published cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed, to which many Muslims took great offense. In October 2008, Headley allegedly posted a message to the "abdalians" internet discussion group stating that "I feel disposed towards violence for the offending parties," referring to the Danish cartoonists and others who he identified "as making fun of Islam."

Using coded language, Rana, Headley, Individual A and LeT Member A allegedly have referred to this plot, as well as discussions of other targets, as "investments," "projects," "business," and "action," and have described their hopes for success both in terms of receiving religious awards, as well as getting "rich," "richer," and making "profit." Between August 2008 and Dec. 7, 2008, Headley sent multiple email messages from internet addresses located in Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan, the charges allege. On Dec. 7, 2008, just before traveling from Pakistan to the United States that same day, Headley alleged used one of multiple email accounts to store a detailed list of items for himself, which he titled "Mickey Mouse."


In January 2009, Headley traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark, and Rana allegedly arranged portions of his travel. During the trip, Headley allegedly visited two different offices of the Jyllands-Posten — in Copenhagen and Arhus, Denmark. The Copenhagen office is located in Kings Square near the French Embassy. Headley falsely told Jyllands-Posten employees that he was visiting on behalf of First World Immigration Services, which he said was considering opening offices in Denmark and might be interested in advertising the business in the newspaper. While in Denmark, Headley instructed Rana to be alert for an email from a Jyllands-Posten sales representative, and to ask First World’s Toronto and New York offices to "remember me," in case a newspaper representative called. According to the complaints, Rana corresponded from Chicago with a representative of the Jyllands-Posten by email in which he pretended to be Headley.

After visiting Denmark, Headley traveled to Pakistan to meet with Individual A. During this visit, Headley traveled with Individual A to Pakistan’s FATA region and met with Kashmiri. Before returning to Chicago in June 2009, Headley sent his will to Rana and Rana responded by sending a coded message establishing a new email account, the complaint alleges.

In July and August 2009, Headley exchanged a series of emails with LeT Member A, including an exchange in which Headley asked if the Denmark project was on hold, and whether a visit to India that LeT Member A had asked him to undertake was for the purpose of surveilling targets for a new terrorist attack. These emails reflect that LeT Member A was placing a higher priority on using Headley to assist in planning a new attack in India than on completing the planned attack in Denmark. After this time, Headley and Individual A allegedly continued focusing on the plan with Kashmiri to attack the newspaper, rather than working with LeT, the complaint alleges.

In late July 2009, Headley traveled again to Copenhagen and to other locations in Europe, and Rana again arranged portions of his travel. When Headley returned to the United States, he falsely told border inspectors that he was traveling on business as a representative of First World Immigration, although his luggage contained no papers or other documents relating to First World.

After returning to Chicago in August 2009, Headley allegedly used coded language to repeatedly inquire if Individual A had been in touch with Kashmiri regarding planning for the attack, and expressing concern that Individual A’s communications with Kashmiri had been cut off. In early September 2009, Headley and Rana took a lengthy car ride during which they discussed the activities of the other individuals, including past terrorist acts, and Headley discussed with Rana five actions involving targets that expressly included "Denmark." In conversations with Rana and Individual A in August and September 2009, Headley indicated that if the "doctor" (alleged to be a reference to Kashmiri) and his people were unable to assist, then Headley would perform the planned operation himself.


According to the affidavit, Headley stated in conversations last month that he intended to travel to Pakistan in early October to meet with Individual A and Kashmiri, and he was arrested on Oct. 3 as he prepared to board a flight from Chicago to Philadelphia, intending to travel on to Pakistan. During a search of Headley’s luggage, a memory stick was recovered that contained approximately 10 short videos of Copenhagen, including video focused on the Jyllands-Posten building in King’s Square taken both during the day and night, as well as a nearby Danish military barracks and the exterior and interior of Copenhagen’s central train station, consistent with the checklist he stored which mentioned "route design." In addition, Headley had an airline reservation, allegedly made by Rana, to fly from Atlanta to Copenhagen on Oct. 29, 2009.


Source: US Justice Department

Malmö: Immigrants fear H1N1 vaccine

Malmö: Immigrants fear H1N1 vaccine

Rumors of dangerous side affects are apparently preventing immigrant families from getting their children vaccinated against H1N1 in Malmø (Sweden). The vaccines are being sent back from the Rosengård district in Malmø.

According to Claudia Varga, one of the international health spokespeople, who is informing immigrants about the disease in their own language, there's a rumor being spread that it's dangerous to get vaccinated.

According to the rumors the vaccine can cause cancer, sterility and paralysis. The rumors apparently come from foreign TV channels.

Avisen City in Helsingborg reported earlier that remarkably few children are being vaccinated in areas with many immigrants.

Swedish authorities has doing a lot in order to publish information about the vaccine in 16 languages.

School vaccinations will start in Sweden next week. The Swedish government set aside a billion Swedish kroner for the vaccinations, which are being given for free.

Recent surveys have shows that 50-70% of Swedes intend to get vaccinated, but the health authorities say that at least 80% must be vaccinated in order to avoid another round of the epidemic.

Sweden bought 18 million doses of the vaccine from British medical company GlaxoSmithKline, which is sufficient to give 9.3 million people two doses.

Source: BT (Danish)

UK: Hizb ut-Tahrir receiving subsidies for schools

UK: Hizb ut-Tahrir receiving subsidies for schools

A militant Islamic group was given more than £113,000 of taxpayers money to run a nursery and two primary schools.

Members of Hizb ut-Tahrir used the cash to teach children as young as five about their beliefs.

The group - which Tony Blair promised to ban after the 7/7 attacks on London - were given £113,411 to provide the three educational centres in Tottenham and Slough.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is an international Sunni political party whose goal is to combine all Muslim countries in a unitary Islamic state or caliphate, ruled by Islamic law and with a caliph head of state elected by Muslims.


The three schools are run by the Islamic Shakhsiyah Foundation, a registered charity. At least three of the four trustees are Hizb ut-Tahrir members or activists.

A Department for Children, Schools and Families spokesman said local authorities were responsible for ensuring 'providers were appropriate'.


Source: Daily Mail, h/t NRP

Spain: Muslims launch independent body to train imams

Spain: Muslims launch independent body to train imams

 Spanish Muslims launched Saturday, October 26, an independent, self-regulatory body to train imams in the southern European country.

"The Islamic Union of Imams and Preachers in Spain is the fruit of strenuous efforts of Muslim imams over the past years," chairman Sheikh Alaa Said told IslamOnline.net.

The new body will be entrusted with training imams and preachers across the country.

"The growing Muslim community in Spain required the launch of an official Islamic body to unify efforts of imams and preachers nationwide," said Said.

The umbrella body will have three specialized committees on fatwa, research and training.

"It seeks to upgrade the level of all those working in the field of Da`wa in Spain," he said.

The Union was approved by the Spanish Interior Ministry last May.

"At first we encountered some obstacles with the Justice Ministry to register the Union," said Said.

"But we later moved to the Interior Ministry to get the official approval after presenting the necessary papers to launch the body."

A dignitary of Spanish officials and nearly 70 imams and preachers from across Spain took up in the launch of the Muslim Union.

Leading among attendees were Josep Maria Felipe, the general director of the immigration of the Valencian government, Sheikh Hussein Halawa, chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research and Sheikh Wanis Al-Mabrook, the head of the European Assembly of Muslim Imams and Spiritual Guides.


Source: IslamOnline (English)

London: Four protests planned for Saturday

London: Four protests planned for Saturday

Bartholomew's Notes on Religion has the breakdown: Islam4UK (pro-Sharia), English Defence League (anti-Sharia, anti-militant Islam), Muslims4UK (anti-Islam4UK, anti-EDL), and British Muslims for Secular Democracy (anti Islam4UK).

Switzerland: Green MPS say immigrants a threat to nature

Switzerland: Green MPS say immigrants a threat to nature

Ever-increasing immigration is putting pressure on areas of natural beauty in the country, according to two Green-party parliamentarians. They're calling on the government to limit immigration.

Bastien Girod and Yvonne Gilli argue that if Switzerland's population continues to grow at last year's pace, it will have doubled within 50 years. They say that would have a very negative impact on quality of life here.

The two Green party members also highlight that poorer sections of Switzerland's population in underprivileged residential areas are being marginalised, suffering from increased traffic problems, noise pollution and environmental degradation because natural retreats are being destroyed.

The head of the Green party, Ueli Leuenberger, has distanced himself from the comments, saying he finds it 'difficult' to make such a link between demographics and infrastructure.

Source: WRS (English)

Belgium: Anti-racism org accused of having radical Islamist on board

Belgium: Anti-racism org accused of having radical Islamist on board

Senator Alain Destexhe (MR) demanded on Sunday that all public support for MRAX (Movement against Racism, Antisemitism and Xenophobia) be stopped. He denounced the presence of Nordine Saidi in the association's office [ed: Saidi is on the board of directors], saying that he was an activist of radical Islam. Saidi headed the Egalite list [ed: equality without quotes] in the regional elections (June 7), a small, controversial party which included former activists of PTB (Belgian Workers' Party) as well as supporters of radical Islam.

Interviewed on May 17th on parlemento.com, Saidi refused to condemn Palestinian terror attacks or those committed on Sept. 11th.

"I understand suicide or terrorist attacks without necessarily justifying them. In any case, I refuse to condemn them if we can't speak about their causes. Yes, I refuse to condemn terrorist attacks! (...) To prevent these attacks, it's necessary to have dialog with all parties. If we want to prevent attacks, we'll have to one day accept talking with Bin Laden," he said.

MRAX is an association financed by the government, said Destexhe and journalist Claude Demelenne, co-authors of a book denouncing certain leftist circles of indulging radical Islam. According to them, it's unacceptable that this support benefits an association which has such a person in their office. They demand to suspend funding until Saidi resigns from MRAX.

During Sunday's debate, broadcast on both RTBF and RTL-TVi, there was a heated debate between Destexhe and Demelenne on the one hand, and the president of MRAX, Radouane Bouhlal, on the other.

According to the former, MRAX has became a plaything of radical Islam. "MRAX is undergoing a serious crisis now," they said, noting the protest movement by some of the association's staff.

Boulal answered that these are accusations without any proof. "We are a pluralist movement and proud of it," he added, regretting that his two detractors preferred to throw accusations at MRAX instead of engaging in substantive debate.

Boulal also defended Saidi, stressing his professional qualities and his commitment to the organization. However, he did distance himself from his declarations on terrorism.

Source: DH (French)

Cyprus: Criticism of bar constructed in mosque garden

Cyprus: Criticism of bar constructed in mosque garden

Turkish Republic or Northern Cyprus's (KKTC) Directorate of Religious Affairs has applied to state offices in Greek Cyprus to stop the construction of a bar in the garden of the Hala Mosque, which houses the tomb of Ümmü Haram, the aunt of the Prophet Muhammad, in South Cyprus, which has resulted in criticism from Muslims living on the island.

"Religious values should be respected in order for relations between the two sides to remain positive," said the director of religious affairs in the KKTC, Yusuf Suiçmez, adding that being respectful of religious values is a way to show respect to the people. He also recalled that the mosque was renovated with the help of the United Nations and underlined that the tomb is very important for Muslims.

The head of the Religious Worker's Union, Mehmet Dere, said the construction of a bar in the garden of an important mosque would be hurtful to the Muslims on the island. Dere stated that even in the bloodiest of wars, acts that would harm houses of worship were avoided. "The Greeks know in their territory there are some traces left from the Ottoman Empire. They should stop the construction," said Dere.

The imam of the Hala Mosque, Şakir Alemdar, complained that none of their applications have been answered by officials and categorized the construction of the bar unacceptable. "If the construction goes on and officials do not intervene to stop it, we would make this incident more public to the world. What they are trying to construct in the garden of the mosque is not in accordance with the values [of Islam]. It is not an issue related to the KKTC but to the entire Muslim world. Every Muslim should be paying attention to this," he noted.

Source: Today's Zaman (English), h/t IslamOnline

Switzerland: Next up, anti-burka initiative

Switzerland: Next up, anti-burka initiative

On November 27th Swiss citizens will be asked to vote on the anti-minaret initiative.  According to SonntagsZeitung, the occasion will be used to collect signatures for a future anti-burka initiative.

Action will take place November 2nd, with leaflets being distributed against the burqa.

Jann-Andrea Thöny, of the youth branch of the Swiss People's Party, said that they want to draw attention to Islamization and against the provocation of the burqa.

"These arguments make me laugh," replied Hisham Maizar, president of the Federation of Swiss Islamic Organizations.

Source: 20min (French)

See also:
* Switzerland: Survey shows 51% against minaret ban
* Switzerland: Anti-minaret posters accused of inciting hatred

News in short

News in short

A quick review of news stories from the last couple of weeks that I haven't gotten around to translating and posting. 

Antwerp (Belgium)

* Mosques and Muslim politicians joined the effort to convince voters to vote against the Lange Wapper bridge.  50,000 brochures in Arabic and Turkish were given out in mosques and Muslim organizations.  Many Muslims originally supported the initiative before the PR offensive, thinking it will help employment.  The initiative was voted down by almost 60% of Antwerp residents. (NL)

* Arm in Arm, a project dealing with immigrant poverty, claims that Moroccan families in the program have to manage with 1,476.2 euro a month, which forces them to live in sub-standard conditions.  The organization says that the minimum benefits should be above the EU poverty line. (NL)

* The Al-Fath mosque in Antwerp is opening up the first imam school in Flanders.  According to the school they're looking for people who feel comfortable in Belgian society and are familiar with Western culture. (NL)

* Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang demands action from the Dutch gov't against a Dutch Muslim site which threatened to kill him if he doesn't apologize. (NL)


* Oosterhout - Three Moroccan youth published a letter on behalf of a group of about 30 denouncing the misconduct by fellow Moroccan youth.  Youssef Elhadjoui (24), spokesperson for the group, says that they feel the media is talking about them, and wanted to show their point of view.  They also feel the ban on gathering together in groups in the street is too extreme.  The three who wrote the letter are active in the community. (NL)

* Utrecht - a PHD study by Remco Feskens says that telephone surveys do not reach immigrants, and that scientific studies would get better results with a more personal approach. (NL)


* Copenhagen - Ulrich Vogel, priest of the Tingbjerg parish, was chased away from his parish by threats and harassment of immigrant gangs.  The priest had gone into hiding.  There were rumors that the harassment was related to Vogel's homosexuality, a claim rejected by both Vogel and the police.  Vogel says that the district is run by a few youth who think might is right, and he feels that the harassment was simply malice.  Peter Skaarup of the Danish People's Party called the attacks a religious war.  The local bishop Peter Skov-Jakobsen, rejected the idea and said the district was suffering from social collapse, pointing out that schools and cars were also being attacked. (DA, DA, DA)

Netherlands: Muslim homosexuals face problems

Netherlands: Muslim homosexuals face problems

Many Muslims lead a double life. During the day they're married and are fathers, for example, and in the evenings, in a cafe, they show their homosexuality.  This according to Emir Belatoui, of Secret Garden, which stands for Muslim gays, bisexuals and transsexuals.

Many immigrant youth have problems if it's found out that they prefer people of their own sex.  "It happens that they're sent back to their land of origin, they may not go outside anymore, or are married off in order to solve the problem," says the founder of Secret Garden.

Muslim families should learn to speak about sexuality, he says.  "Homosexual youth should be able to speak about their inclinations with their parents."  The organization was founded last December.  They are organizing a debate-evening Thursday, October 29th in Amsterdam.

His organization supports the interests of gays, but also gives guidance about issues such as HIV and AIDS.  Addi tonally they have hours when people can come for help in practical problems.  The organization also organized discussion meetings several times a year.  Thursday the subject would be homosexuality and upbringing in immigrant families.

Many religions have the tendency to ban homosexuality, says Belatoui.  "But nowhere, neither in the Koran, does it say that love between people of the same sex is forbidden.  That taboo is cultural, but should be changed."  He says he doesn't seek confrontation with imams, for example.  "We don't want to shock or provoke.  In this way we won't reach our goal, but we do enter into talks.  A first step should than be that we learn to accept each other."

Many councilors have already signed up to the debate evening, for example, from the Amsterdam districts.  "But also regular people.  And it's precisely them that we'd like to meet," says Belatoui.

Source: Telegraph (Dutch)

Odense: Teacher attacked for shaking hands with student

Odense: Teacher attacked for shaking hands with student

Note that both men are Muslim and speak Arabic. The father actually started by shouting in Arabic at the teacher.

According to Danish news it is the acceptable norm in the school for teachers to greet the students by shaking hands or giving a pat on the back. The student body at the school is almost all immigrants. According to the school principal 90% of the parents are immigrants and only a few refuse to shake hands.


Danish police said on Thursday that a Palestinian father had hit a primary school teacher and bitten his ear after he had shaken the hand of the man's daughter.

The 47-year-old Danish teacher of Moroccan origin had invited the father and daughter for a meeting at the school in the town of Vollsmose on Wednesday when he had been "repeatedly hit and bitten in the ear", the police said.

"The father, a Palestinian, apparently became furious that the teacher had greeted his daughter just before a meeting," said Joergen Andersen, the police superintendent in the nearby city of Odense.

The 33-year-old father, a Muslim, said the teacher had "gone too far and offended his honour", Andersen said.

"The man is apparently not a fundamentalist," Andersen said. But he "could not accept this handshake between the teacher and his daughter".

The father told the police he had "lost his cool" because of what he considered the teacher's "indecent" behaviour.


Source: IOL (English)

Switzerland: Tougher penalties for forced marriages

Switzerland: Tougher penalties for forced marriages

Campaigners have welcomed government plans to impose tougher penalties on those found guilty of imposing forced marriage.

But they’re unhappy the cabinet has stopped short of making the practice a criminal offence in its own right.

The charity Surgir (’Rise up’ in English) estimates that thousands of women in Switzerland are trapped in forced marriages, often suffering severe mental and physical abuse.

The justice ministry is expected to announce new measures to protect victims by the end of next year.

Source: WRS (English)

Sweden: Increased interest in fighting in conflict areas

Sweden: Increased interest in fighting in conflict areas

This is an extreme case of political correctness.  I would be very surprised if anybody reads this article and doesn't think 'Muslims' or 'Jihad'.  And so.. instead of 'protecting' Muslims, Swedish Radio actually goes out of its way to make sure that they set the equation "Muslims = War" in everybody's minds.  Does anybody really think they're preventing hatred against Muslims this way?


Over the last two years, there has been an increased interest among Swedes to go abroad to fight in conflict areas, according to the Swedish Security Police Säpo.

Swedish Radio News has interviewed Säpo's counterterrorism analyst Malena Rembe, who says that there is currently a handfull Swedes in Pakistan and Afghanistan taking part in fighting or in training to prepare them for fighting. In Somalia, there are another 10 Swedes for the same reason, according to Rembe.

As far as the Security police gathers, these people travel on their own initiative and with their own money, and not with the support from any "official mosque".

One way for Säpo to gather information is to hold what they call "voluntary talks" with people they think might be about to go. Säpo has been criticised for this, by people who feel singled out as guilty, since the talks are held with many more than actually go.


Source: SR (English)

Ramadan: "We respect the fears of the people.."

Ramadan: "We respect the fears of the people.."

".. but we resist instrumentalization of these fears by politicians".

An interview with Tariq Ramadan on WRS about the place of Islam in Switzerland.

Sadly, the interviewer doesn't ask him how he does intend to respect the fears of the people.

Ramadan says that the success of integration is to stop talking about integration.  He speaks of being legally integrated (following the law) and intellectual integration (succeeding in academics) yet not having the sense of belonging.  But for most people, integration doesn't mean being law-abiding or even being loyal to your country.  Those are things you expect from citizens.  Integration doesn't mean succeeding in your endeavors, either.  Economic self-fulfillment is the reason many immigrants come to Europe, after all.  Integrated means being loyal to the country's values - being culturally integrated.  And the only thing Ramadan has to say about this, repeating it in various ways throughout the interview, is that we must stop talking about it.

If he respects the fears of the people, isn't the first step acknowledging them?

Once again, the interviewer asks Ramadan about him saying different things to Muslims and non-Muslims and once again Ramadan demands that he be given an example of him doing so.  Indeed, why should Ramadan say different things to different people?  What he says is radical enough, and nobody seems to mind.

France: Graves of Muslim soldiers desecrated

France: Graves of Muslim soldiers desecrated

Eight graves of Muslim soldiers who died for France in World War II have been desecrated in a village cemetery, according to local officials.

Maurice Duhamel, mayor of Montjoie-Saint-Martin, said he would file suit after Nazi symbols were discovered Wednesday on the eight graves of Muslim soldiers in France's 2nd Armored Division.

President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday denounced the "particularly odious racist acts" and asked that those responsible be found and severely punished.

Last week, the French Council for the Muslim Faith complained that those responsible for the desecration in December of some 500 Muslim soldiers' graves in Arras, in the north, have yet to be identified. It was the third time Muslim graves there had been desecrated.

Source: JPost (English)

Hague: Student tries to pray in parliament, arrested for terrorism

Hague: Student tries to pray in parliament, arrested for terrorism

Last week Izz ad-Din Ruhulessin wanted to pray in the Dutch parliament building and was arrested for preparing a terrorist attack.

An intermission in the tour of Parliament, a good time to pray.  So thought the Arabic and political science student from Nijmegen Izz ad-Din Ruhulessin last week.  He put his scarf on the ground by the entrance to the main building (Ridderzaal) and began to pray. But an agent quickly intervened.  "He said that demonstrating was forbidden," says Ruhulessin.  "I had to identify myself and open my bag.  He said that he was never good in languages but was in chemistry.  A zero plus zero could give a big explosion.  He insinuated that I could have committed an attack.  He spoke with colleagues and when it turned out that I had a traffic fine open.  Therefore had to go with him to the police station."

After he paid the fine, he had to wait for a long time.  The Ruhulessin got to hear the charge: preparing a terrorist attack.  The laptop, voice recorder and mobile phone in his bag were the cause.  A while later the student was freed: nothing was found.  His picture was taken.  End of adventure.  Conclusion: the Hague cop was too enthusiastic.

But is Ruhulessin, of Moluccan/Dutch origin, who converted to Islam three years ago, really that innocent?  He turns out to be an active poster on various internet forums.  And those are far from reasonableness and moderation.  For example on Wij Blijven Hier: "Integration is an act of the kufr brother, therefore keep away from it inshallah.  Integration is namely to say that Dutch norms and values are better than those of Allah the only legitimate legislator."  And when somebody remarks that there's nothing funny when people who criticize Islam are killed or threatened: "They should not 'criticize' Islam.  They only have themselves to blame."

On the same site Ruhulessin writes: "I understand very well (though I don't think it's the preferable method) that western NGO'ers will be killed, seeing that most Western NGOs use their work as a front to force Western norms and values in our countries."

And there are more lectures, in which the student displays his not very subtle view of Dutch society.

Q: Izz ad-Din Ruhulessin, how is that?

A: Well, on such an internet forum it's always more un-nuanced than it is.  Some things I type provocatively on purpose.  Sometimes it's somewhat trivial.  It doesn't always make sense to argue, because the other people only see their own point of view.  I think that it's wasted trouble to dedicate three more pages to it.  But it's such that I sometimes let myself be provoked too quickly.  You know that people there are somewhat bad to listen to, so you take it out on them.  I never said that people should be killed or so.  That postings that I post on mailing lists are for that matter much more nuanced.

Q: you don't stand behind what you wrote any more?

A: Yes, but I'm studying.  Than I get sometimes new insights.  Something like that develops. Moreover, I've stopped with responding on internet forums.

Q: We read postings from a very short time ago

A: OK, I sometimes do it a bit.  But much less than in the past.

Source: HP/De Tijd (Dutch)

Norway: Somali-Norwegian charged with financing Somali terrorism

Norway: Somali-Norwegian charged with financing Somali terrorism

Apparently with help from Sweden and the UK.


A 40 year old Norwegian citizen has been charged with collecting at least 200,000 Norwegian kroner for terror groups in Somalia.

According to the Norwegian security service PST, the man was a central figure in sending money to the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab, which declared its loyalty to Osama bin-Laden in September.

According to the charges, the man sent about 135,000 kroner to al-Shabaab between August 2007 and February 2008. The prosecution say they can prove that he sent 10,000 dollars to Aden Hashi Farah Ayrow in January 2008. The al-Shabaab leader was killed in an American air-attack on May 1, 2008.

The suspect also sent a smaller sum, $500, to another central leader in al-Shabaab, Swedish citizen Fuad Khalaf.

According to the charges, the terror groups conducted a series of attacks against civil and military targets in the time-period that they've received the money.

This is the first time that the prosecution presses charges according to a new article in the penal code from June 2002. The charge carries a punishment of up to ten years in prison.

The 40 year old made the account available to Banadir Welfare Organisation, and came to the attention of the police in the fall of 2007.

The organization's stated goal was to help Somali refugees in South-Somalia and the organization was supposed to run collection drives and collect money from private persons and companies.

But the PST think that the organization was used to transfer money which went to financing terrorist against civilians in Somalia.

In August 2007 the PST started investigation the then 38 year old man. According to TV 2, in October 2007, the police economic crime unit (Økokrim ) got a report of money laundering.

A large Norwegian bank noted that the organization received cash payments and sent to the money to various recipients in Dubai. The bank reported to Økokrim that they thought they uncovered a completely new network for transferring money.

On Februrary 28, 2008, PST arrested the Norwegian-Somali on charges of terrorism financing, together with two other people. The arrests were conducted with aid from Økokrim, Kripos and the Oslo police department.

The Norwegian police also searched several internet cafes and seized computers and documents. The 40 year old was accused of having contacts and talks with central figures in al-Shabaab.

According to TV 2 sources, PST's investigation revealed that the 40 year old had contact with radical communities in Sweden and the UK.

The 40 year old had earlier admitted to supporting al-Shabaab, but claims that the militant Islamic group is a resistance movement that doesn't commit terror acts.

The charges point out that according to a UN security council decision on sanctions against Somalia, it is forbidden to deliver weapons and military equipment of any type to Somalia, as well as financing such supplies. It is also forbidden to render any technical or financial support to military activities.

The 40 year old Norwegian-Somali got his passport back from the PST and it was alleged that he was no longer in Norway.

Prosecutor Pål Lønseth did not wish to comment on whether the prosecution knows where the the 40 year old is now.

Source: TV 2 Nyhetene (Norwegian)

Italy: Christian/Muslim dialogue day

Italy: Christian/Muslim dialogue day

Members of the Christian and Muslim communities across Italy are organising a dialogue day on 27 October. The initiative is being spearheaded by a fortnightly online Christian magazine ildialogo.org, and is supported by dozens of groups and associations from both faiths.

A series of talks, concerts and debates aimed at improving inter-faith dialogue and mutual understanding will be held in various cities under the initiative, which is now in its eighth year.

Three events are being held in Italy's capital, Rome, to mark the interfaith dialogue day including one at the lower house of the
Italian parliament. Events are also taking place in the northern city of Milan and the southern cities of Naples, Caserta and Avellino.

Italian-born, Muslim journalist Sumaya Abdel Qader, and intellectuals Paolo Naso and Brunetto Salvarani will take part in a debate taking place at the Protestant Cultural Centre in Milan entitled ' Muslims and Italians too?'.

Azerbaijani musician Fakhradin Gafarov will also give a concert in Milan as part of the interfaith dialogue day.


Source: AKI (English)

Belgium: A letter to progressives who flirt with reactionary Islam

Belgium: A letter to progressives who flirt with reactionary Islam

Update: A few translation updates.

Alain Destexhe (Senator, MR) and Leftist journalist Claude Demelenne presented a book yesterday in which they warned of certain conservative forms of Islam. Leading to this letter to progressives who flirt with reactionary Islam (Lettre aux progressistes qui flirtent avec l'islam réac) is the response to an opinion piece that the two published in Le Soir in July. In it the liberal senator and the journalist with expressed leftist ideas, warned of Muslims who question the separation of chruch and state and the rights of women. The Vigilance Musulmane association lodged a complaint of inciting to hatred at the Center for equal opportunities and opposition to racism. "It is improbable that such a complaint would be taken seriously and that there's an official should should investigate it,' says Destexhe.

The authors say that ultraconservative Islam is growing in Belgium. "We are not Islamophobic, but regret that Leftist parties such as PS (Socialist), Ecolo and CDH are sensitive to pressure by the fundamentalist lobby out of electoral considerations."

According to the authors it's high time that somebody in Francophone Belgium would start up a democratic debate about it. "Flemish parliament member Luckas Vander Taelen (Groen!) took similar action recently on the Dutch side," says Destexhe. "On the Francophone side there's really no Vander Taelen who dares start the debate."

According to the authors the situation is serious, for sure in certain Brussels neighborhoods. "There is a banalization of antisemitism. "Dirty Jew" is as acceptable a curse-word there as 'damn'. Every day young women are called whores because they don't wear a headscarf or because their skirts are too short according to some. There are schools where girls systematically refuse to swim or exercise. Homosexuals are intimidated on the street. It's impossible."

Demelenne, who once worked for PS deputy chairman Philippe Moureaux, criticizes the intellectual terror that is conducted against anybody who dares express the slightest criticism of a certain type of Islam. "Recently I was even called by Moureaux in a debate a 'new fascist' and 'collaborator of the extreme right'".

"The socialism that Moureaux propagates is ready to go a bit with the demands of conservative Muslims," says the journalist. "The CDH is again proud that they have the first veiled parliament member in Europe. In Ecolo there are even people who see no problem with imams accompanying school excursions in order to supervise if everything goes off well."

The authors end their book with thirty demands that should not be yielded to: from the demand to wear a headscarf in school or in the administration to the question of planning vacation days based on the Ramadan.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

Malmö: Women with headscarves suffer abuse

Malmö: Women with headscarves suffer abuse

Shoving, spitting, and ethnic slurs are a daily fact of life facing women bearing headscarves in Malmö, according to a new report.

The study, entitled Hemma och främmande i staden - kvinnor med slöja berättar ('At home and estranged in the city: tales of women with headscarves') and published by the University of Malmö, examines the lives of 19 Malmö women who choose to wear headscarves.

The report is a compilation of stories detailing harassment and offensive remarks, such as a female cyclist in her fifties who slowed down and screamed "Muslim cunt" before pedaling off.

But the tales also relate how veiled women often try to avoid confrontation. They women included in the study remain stoic in the face of critical stares, avoid certain parts of the city, try to be overly friendly, or strike up conversations in which they attempt to explain the significance of their headscarves.

"Some see it as a sort of learning process. Almost like 'if I tell you how it works then you don't need to be afraid of me'," said Carina Listerborn, a researcher with the Institute for Sustainable Urban Development, told the TT news agency.

The report is part of a larger project about urban violence being carried out in cooperation with Lund and Stockholm universities.


Source: The Local (English)

Norway: King, Crown Prince visit mosque

Norway: King, Crown Prince visit mosque

King Harald and Crown Prince Haakon on Monday visited the Islamic Council of Norway, where they were informed about the Council's work, and for the first time they also visited a mosque in Norway.


- Through these visits we try to convey that they are Norwegians on level with the rest of us, even if they have a different religion. The most important thing is that they feel integrated and feel Norwegian. We believe that these visits bind us together, and will help all to feel at home in our country, King Harald said.

Source: Norway Post (English)

"I've heard much that I should have known, and that I didn't know," King Harald said after his visit.

- What is the most important think the King learned?

"How many Muslims there are in Norway, a little about how they they think and how they work in their own faith society, and that's helpful."

- Freedom of religion is highly valued in Norway for all except the royal family. Is that a paradox?

"No, I don't think so," laughed the king. "I think that the King in Norway, with our tradition, should be Christian."

Source: TV 2 Nyhetene (Norwegian)

See also:
* Oslo: Queen visits mosque
* Oslo: Mosque visited by Queen connected to Jamaat-e-Islami

France: "It's not a political problem; it is not growing, and in fact it does not exist"

France: "It's not a political problem; it is not growing, and in fact it does not exist"

Jacques Attali is fed up with talking about anti-Semitism in France. "There are more important things to discuss than my view on a nonexistent problem," he told me last week in an interview conducted in the headquarters of his consulting firm. Attali, an economist and a prolific writer who has a weekly column in a number of media outlets, was the most important adviser to perhaps the most important French president, Francois Mitterrand.


Is there no problem of anti-Semitism in France?

"Zero! None whatsoever. It's a lie. It's a pure lie. Not true. There are some well-known anti-Semites, but it is not a problem at the national level."

There is a trend among French Jews to immigrate to Israel, and many of them say it's due to an anti-Semitic atmosphere.

"I think it is not true. I think it is propaganda, Israeli propaganda."

But don't the numbers prove it?

"There are some French Jews who take a two-week holiday in Tel Aviv and then they are back to Paris or elsewhere. There are French Jews who buy apartments in Israel the same way the British buy apartments in the south of France: for vacations. For the past decade, Israelis have engaged in some kind of wishful thinking that the situation in France is a disaster and that people are immigrating to Israel. It is very dangerous propaganda, to make people believe that the situation in France is terrible. It's ridiculous! I am an example of the fact that it is not true. I came from nothing and I advanced - worldwide but also in France. France has the most modern Jewish community and the most modern Arab and Muslim community. It is absolutely crucial for there to be success in relations between Jews and Arabs in France. It's crucial to Israel and to the whole world for the two communities to get along. These relations are of strategic importance: if they cannot live in harmony here, they cannot live in harmony anywhere."

But right now it doesn't look so promising.

"That is not true. There are a lot of discussions. Of course there are some disputes, but there are a lot of meetings and discussions."

That's at the political level, not the street level. You and I would not put on a skullcap and go wandering in certain Paris suburbs. I know people who take off their skullcap out of fear, even in the metro.

"Maybe that's true, but no one ever told me they do that."

Don't you think there is a problem of anti-Semitism among the Muslim community in France?

"Absolutely not. They are absolutely adamant to avoid it, wherever and whenever. Of course they are against the Israeli policy in the territories. Of course you can't say there is no problem at all. You can always find crazy people in every part of society. But it's not a political problem; it is not growing, and in fact it does not exist. If you look at the numbers you cannot prove it."

Of course you can. During Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, Molotov cocktails were thrown at synagogues and Jewish institutions in France and anti-Semitic graffiti was sprayed on walls. The number of anti-Semitic incidents leaped threefold, according to statistics of the European Jewish Congress. "Look," Attali interrupts, "I am not here to defend France. I am here to tell you my opinion: bullshit, peanuts, lies. This is not what you and I should be talking about. I am disappointed. We should talk about larger issues. There are more important things to discuss than my views on a nonexistent problem. You are an Israeli journalist and all your questions are about that."

These are only some of the questions.

"But it is a problem which does not exist. I say very bluntly: I am disappointed to be talking about a caricature of France. And I am not here to defend France."

Ilan Halimi's mother told me the reason her son was killed was because no one believed there is anti-Semitism in the suburbs.

"I respect her, and I do not want to comment on what she said in grief."


Source: Haaretz (English)

Netherlands: The day the last Moroccan leaves

Netherlands: The day the last Moroccan leaves

MUNT, a group of Dutch-Moroccans, prepared a short internet movie titled "Kop of Munt" (Heads or Tails) about the day the last Moroccan leaves the Netherlands. The movie is featured on their site and is intended to show that Moroccan-Dutch form an integral part of Dutch society and that most Dutch don't participate in the hysteria regarding 'Moroccans'.

The group says they think it's necessary to approach important social issues without hysterics or panic.

The movie is based mostly on visuals (bored social services agents, no buses) and newspaper headlines ('sharp drop in small businesses').

The site also polls visitors on whether they would like to see Moroccans leave the Netherlands. According to De Telegraaf, about 75% so far answered that they 'can't wait', and just 20% think that Moroccans belong in the Netherlands.

Denmark: Islam in preschool

Denmark: Islam in preschool

Preschool teacher Bushra Naseem (32) was interviewed by Børn&Unge earlier this year. Børn&Unge is the magazine of the Danish National Federation of Early Childhood Teachers and Youth Educators. The article is titled "Islam in preschool; I always knew I'll cover myself".

The main focus of the article is how Naseem's appearance affects her work - how it affects children to have a preschool teacher wearing a headscarf. However, there is no real discussion of more important points that Naseem brings up. Her view of the roles of men and women, for example, or the fact that she sees all children as Muslim (though she does serve them pork).

Additionally, in some ways Naseem is a convert. She became an orthodox Muslim in Denmark, not at home and not in her homeland. How does that affect the children she takes care of?

I bring here a summary:

Naseem works in Charlottenlund, one of Denmark's wealthiest areas. She works in a preschool with no Muslim children and all her colleagues are Danish. She came to Denmark from Pakistan when she was eight. Her father had lived in Denmark for a number of years and his family came over later - Naseem, her mother and two younger brothers. Since then two additional brothers have joined them.

Naseem herself is an orthodox Muslim - she wears a headscarf and clothing which cover all of her body, and prays five times a day. Her mother doesn't wear a headscarf and where she comes from in Pakistan it is not customary to wear the type of headscarf she wears. Naseem's parents were therefore surprised, but, she says "My father was proud. He thought it was good if that was what I wanted. But my mother was afraid that would make things harder for myself by wearing a headscarf. My parents have always wanted that I'll have an easy life as possible," she says.

Naseem started focusing on Islam after the Muhammed crisis and the debate on Islam that followed. She got in contact with some very strongly religious Muslim women and together she began to go to lectures on Islam.

"I always knew that I would cover myself, but it didn't concern me before. But after that so much happened with the Prophet, and after all the problems developed, I read a lot about Islam and clothing. And I knew well that it was the right thing to go with a headscarf," she says. A year earlier she started praying five times a day.

She feels her life has become easier since she started learning more about her religion.

"It's become much easier regarding what people should do and how people should conduct themselves in general," she says.

Three months ago she started wearing a jilbab, which covers her entire body.

Her colleagues were curious about her headscarf, and she has decided to be open and answer their questions. She says it's a choice she's made and people can understand that. "Maybe it would have been different if I had been very withdrawn, or didn't have good Danish. Or if I went with it because my family said I should, or because I got married."

Some of her colleagues had told her to take it off, that she looks better without it, or that it's old-fashioned, but they belong to a generation that fought for emancipation, so she can understand them. But, she says, she doesn't need that struggle anymore. She's assured of her faith and doesn't ask questions about the rules she lives by.

When Naseem was young she subscribed to feminist ideas, and wrote an essay for a book on feminism. But as she's followed Islam more and more, she's put her feminism aside. "As a religious person you can't be a feminist. Men and women have different roles in society, we can be equal, but not identical."

She says Danish women try to be men, but they can't be. And it can cause problems at home, since both spouses have a carries and don't have any time for the children. It's better to accept what one is, instead of trying to be somebody else. God knows which roles everybody has.

She feels she's become wiser with age, and that her lifestyle and attitudes today are right for her.

Two years ago Naseem married a Pakistani man she's known for five years. Currently he's studying to be an IT-engineer in Australia.

"He isn't strongly religious, but he was born and grew up in Pakistan, where people cover themselves more, so he's glad for my decision to go with a headscarf. He would probably have been irritated if I would have continued going as I did when I was younger," she says.

She wants to have children, and is considering to put her work on hold for the first two years, though she intends to continue learning during this time, since staying at home is too boring. In any case the family won't be dependent on her salary. "According to Islam it's the man who's the breadwinner."

Regarding the headscarf ban discussion she says: "Then I won't live in Denmark. If it becomes so hostile that people can't go with a headscarf publicly, then it would be a strong signal. And then I would have no desire to live here."

As for people who think she's oppressed she says that they don't know better. They don't want to accept that people can choose to wear such things here. It isn't something that bothers her, she's too old for that.

Naseem prays five times a day. At first she prayed at home, which was easier, but she says that the prayers should be said at specific times. She doesn't drop everything at a certain second, but rather prays at about a certain time. It takes her five minutes, and the prayer rug is in a nearby closet. Since the children sleep outside, she prays in the the empty preschool.

Working with the children can also be seen in a religious context, she says.

"According to Islam one become of full age when you're 12. So I think that all children are in principle Muslims, until they are 12. Afterward they make their own decision," she says.

She feels that her focus on Islam has made her more patient with the children, though she points out that her religion hasn't influenced the way in which she fulfills her tasks.

"But maybe I'll come to a point in my process that I'll stop as a nursery-school teacher and choose to do something else," she says. "Since it feels a little strange to give the children pork [sandwiches]..."

The article continues with a discussion on whether and how having a teacher with a headscarf affects the children later in life, as well as the debate on whether it should be banned in schools.

Source: Børn & Unge nr. 23 / 2009 h/t Snaphanen.