My Weblog

November 15, 2006

A Civilization in Crisis

Filed under: Asia, Global Jihad, Historie, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Lande, Mellemøsten, Terror, Tyrkiet — limewoody @ 5:58 pm

The Arab and Muslim worlds now confront a civilizational challenge unlike any they have faced since the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The terrorists attacks on New York and Washington cost thousands of innocent lives. Millions of other lives will be wasted or lost if Muslims and Arabs respond to September 11th by wallowing even more in their sense of victimhood.
“Anti-Americanism” in the hands of an Osama bin Laden is but the latest and most virulent form of an idea nurtured originally by secular, so-called progressive, nationalist Arab intellectuals under a variety of labels: anti-imperialism, anti-zionism, Arab socialism, pan-Arabism. These took as their point of departure genuine grievances, some more legitimate than others. Among the legitimate grievances, priority must be given to the injustice caused by the dispossession of millions of Palestinians that accompanied the birth of Israel in 1948.
In the hands of Arab nationalists and leftist “anti-imperialists” of my generation, however (of whom I was once one), this sense of grievance failed to get channeled into building civil societies based on any hard-won expansions of civil liberties wrested from tyrannical regimes (such as occurred in Latin America in the 1980s). Our failure to even pursue such goals left a vacuum that was soon filled by a conspiratorial view of history , reinforced by those tyrannies, which ascribed all the world’s ills to either the great Satan, America, or the little Satan, Israel.
The dangerous, unstated corollary of this view was the notion that “we Arabs” had no, or hardly any, power to change the unjust ways in which the world works. Arabs in particular, and Muslims more generally, began to see themselves as the “eternal” victims of the 20th century, consigned to a Sisyphean “struggle” against Satanic injustice. Lost was a sense of ourselves as authentic political agents aiming toward concrete and gradual political gains.
It is important to note that Arabs are not the only people who wrap themselves in victimhood; the modern Israeli sense of identity was, after all, forged on the foundations of the Holocaust just as surely as Palestinian national identity was forged by Israel’s treatment of Palestinians. Such symmetries (there are many) created a powerful complex of victimhood, applicable to one degree or another to all peoples of the Middle East (Palestinians, Israelis, Kurds, Armenians, Turkomans, Shi’is, and Sunnis).
In the Arab world, especially after Israel’s victory in the six day war of 1967, this complex turned into the driving force of politics and culture; it became the foundation upon which such murderous regimes as Saddam Husain’s Iraq and Hafez Assad’s Syria were built. From the hands of secular Arab nationalists, the murderous anti-American brew was passed on to (previously marginal) religious zealots. In 1979 it fused with anti-Shah sentiments to become one of the animating forces of the Iranian revolution. In the wake of that seminal event, it overwhelmed major sections of the Islamic movement from Algeria to Pakistan.
The Arab and Muslim worlds today comprise a basket case of collapsing economies and mass unemployment overseen by ever more repressive regimes. But in many ways the greatest failure in the Islamic world is intellectual, specifically a failure of the intelligentsia – writers, professors, artists, journalists, and so forth – who, with few exceptions, fail to challenge the region’s wildest and most paranoid fantasies. If anything they buttress them by refusing to break out of nationalist paradigms (for instance by not extending the hand of solidarity to counterparts in Israel).
Instead they act as “rejectionist” critics, excoriating their rulers for being insufficiently anti-zionist or anti-imperialist. Lost in all of this is the hard work of creating a modern, rights-based political order, one that could form the basis for general prosperity. Absent that alternative focus, in the thick of endlessly self-pitying victimizing rhetoric, is it any wonder that despairing middle class individuals gravitate toward radical and terrorist activities aimed at smiting the demonized other? Their horrific/suicidal actions call forth ever more summary and violent responses, which in turn reinforce that pervasive sense of victimhood, yielding other delusional martyrs. Here is the abyss facing the world’s Arab and Muslim communities today.
To pull back from the precipice, Muslims and Arabs, not Americans, must be on the frontlines of a new kind of war, one worth waging for our own salvation and our own souls . That, as out-of-fashion Muslim scholars will tell you, is the true meaning of “ jihad ,” a meaning hijacked by terrorists and suicide bombers and those who applaud or excuse them. To exorcise what they have done in our name is the civilizational challenge that Arabs and Muslims, within and without the Arab and Muslim worlds (Osama bin Laden has erased the significance of such distinctions) face at the dawn of the 21st century.

Kanan Makiya was born in Baghdad, Iraq and now teaches at Brandeis University. His books include “Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq” (University of California Press, 1989 and 1995), “Cruelty and Silence: War, Tyranny, Uprising and the Arab World” (Penguin, 1993) and “The Rock: A Seventh Century Tale of Jerusalem” (Pantheon Books, 2001).


November 2, 2006

Prison is the only place where Muslims are over-represented

Filed under: Asia, India, Islam, Multi Kulti — limewoody @ 11:02 am

New Delhi: In sharp contrast to education and employment, where their share is way, way below their share of the population, Muslims have a disproportionately high representation when it comes to being in prison.

In fact, in many states, Muslims even make up a higher percentage of the population in jail than they do outside.

This statistic, a key finding of the Prime Minister-appointed Justice Rajinder Sachar committee which is looking into the status of Muslims nationwide has major social and political implications. Such a high figure of incarceration, experts say, means further marginalisation of the community, deepening prejudice and distrust.

While there is no break-up of the nature of the crime for which these inmates have been imprisoned, sources said the total number of inmates surveyed is 102,652 and a majority of them are not in for terrorism.

A dozen states with significant Muslim population shares were asked to furnish statistics on the number of Muslims in prison, convicted and under-trials. West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Andhra Pradesh have not reported back to the committee on this so the data available is only for eight states that did.

Incidentally, West Bengal, UP and Bihar, as was first reported in The Indian Express this week, rank at the bottom when it comes to representation of Muslims in Government employment, including state public sector undertakings and the lower judiciary.

Data accessed by The Sunday Express shows that when it comes to Muslims in the prison population, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Kerala are the most disproportionate.

• In Maharashtra, the percentage of Muslim jail inmates in all categories (see chart) is way above their share in the population (Muslim share in population is 10.6%, share in the total prison inmates is 32.4%.

• When it comes to those in prison for less than a year, Muslims contribute 40.6% of all prisoners in Maharashtra.

• In Gujarat, the percentage of Muslims in the state is just 9.06% but they make up over a quarter of all jail inmates.

• Assam, the second highest Muslim populated state in the country, after J&K, has 30.9% Muslims, and here, the percentage of Muslim jail inmates is 28.1.

• Even Karnataka, which did relatively better than other states in providing jobs to Muslims, shows the same trend: 17.5% of its jail inmates are Muslim as compared with 12.23% of its population.

The debate over these numbers is a complex one. Says Prakash Singh, the former Director General of the Border Security Force and whose PIL prompted the Supreme Court to press for police reforms last month: “There is unjust suspicion against the police. In cases of terror attacks or communal riots, if the police goes after the perpetrators of the violence, and they happen to be mostly Muslim, you cannot, in the name of secularism, expect the police to act in proportion to their population.”

Others say poverty is one main factor behind this trend. According to the Sachar committee findings, the poverty level in Muslims in urban areas is as high as 44% compared to the national figure of 28%.

Says former bureaucrat and now Chief Information Commissioner Wajahat Habibullah: “The higher numbers of Muslims in jails is also a reflection of the fact that Muslims are poorer generally and are more likely to get picked on by the police because they are easy prey due to fewer entitlements. Prejudice against them also exists but gets compounded because of their poverty.”

For former member of Parliament Syed Shahabuddin, who is also president of Muslim organisation Majlis-e-Mushawarat, there is a parallel here between Muslims in India and African Americans in the United States.

“Muslims are very well represented in marginal professions, like cinema and the media, and also in goonda-gardi, as they have no openings in formal jobs,” he says.

“What are they supposed to do? They, therefore, end up in police stations more frequently and get involved in things they should not be involved in. It’s like the African-Americans in the US. Their proportionate share in jails is much more than their population share. With less opportunities, crime is a vocation.”

Shahabuddin also attributes the high Muslim prison figures to what he calls bias in the police and the inaccessibility to legal aid. “The belief that Muslims are terrorists is only a product of the anti-Muslim bias the police have. If Muslims are involved, they pick up ten in place of one. Invariably, they make arrests when not necessary, and eventually, they cannot prove the cases.”

October 22, 2006

RoB in Airport: Just Jihate by Hands(y)

Filed under: Asia, Eurabia, Frankrig, Global Jihad, Humor, Islam, Migration, Multi Kulti, Terror — limewoody @ 8:53 am

Apparently the only crime of these baggage handlers, who just happen to be Muslims, is that they have gone to learn in Islamic schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. There is no reason why this should be a security risk. After all, we all know that there are no terrorist training camps in those two countries and that all madras there teach to love humandkind.

Several Muslim workers have been barred from working at the Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris after police withdrew their access badges for security reasons, with suspended employees complaining that they were suspended because they were practicing Muslims.

The staff lost their security clearances — which allowed them to work in sensitive airport customs zones — because France’s Anti-terrorist Coordination Unit (UCLAT) said they posed “a risk to the airport’s security” or were simply deemed “dangerous,” Jacques Lebrot, the airport’s deputy chief of police, told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Friday, October 20.

The decision came from the Seine-Saint-Denis police district where the airport is located.

Lebrot said religion was not a criterion and their suspension had everything to do with security.

“When UCLAT concludes that a person presents a risk to the airport’s security, I have no reason not to remove his authorization to work in a reserved zone,” Lebrot said.

During the inquiry before a suspension, a worker may be asked about his behavior and religious practices, the official said.

He gave the example of airport workers who lost their badges because they had attended Islamic schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

October 20, 2006

Mob Religion: Jihate & JewHate in B´Desh

Filed under: Asia, Global Jihad, Islam, Terror — limewoody @ 2:29 pm

 A Muslim journalist facing charges of sedition for advocating ties with Israel was recently attacked and beaten by a crowd in Bangladesh that allegedly included leading officials of the country’s ruling party, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury, editor of the Weekly Blitz newspaper, an English-language publication based in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka, was working in his office on October 5 when nearly 40 people stormed the premises.

The mob beat Choudhury, leaving him with a fractured ankle, and looted cash that was kept in the company safe. Choudhury was briefly hospitalized.

According to a statement appearing on the Web site of the Weekly Blitz, the attackers were led by Helal Khan, international affairs secretary of Jasas, and included Babul Ahmed, Jasas’s secretary-general. Jasas is the cultural wing of the ruling Bangladeshi National Party (BNP).

During the assault, Ahmed is said to have shouted at Choudhury, labeling him an “agent of the Jews.”

In a photo taken shortly after the incident that was obtained exclusively by the Post, Choudhury can be seen hunched over a table wearing a torn shirt while a Bangladeshi policeman dressed in blue chats with two BNP officials. Both officials took part in the attack.

No arrests were made, and police refused to allow Choudhury to file charges against his attackers.

As the Post first reported last month, Bangladesh is moving forward with plans to try Choudhury on charges of blasphemy, sedition, treason and espionage in connection with his articles critical of Islamic extremism and favorable to Israel.

After several delays, his trial is due to start in Dhaka on Thursday. If convicted, Choudhury faces the death penalty.

The charges stem from November 2003, when Choudhury was arrested at Dhaka’s International Airport as he was preparing to board a flight on his way to Israel, where he was due to deliver a speech on promoting mutual understanding between Muslims and Jews.

Choudhury’s visit to Israel would have been the first by a Bangladeshi journalist. Bangladesh does not recognize Israel’s existence.

After being held in prison for 17 months, where he was reportedly tortured, Choudhury was released in April 2005. But authorities in Bangladesh, which is ruled by a coalition government that includes Islamic extremists, decided to pursue charges against him.

Dr. Richard Benkin, an American human rights activist leading the fight for Choudhury’s release, expressed grave concern about the current situation.

“Choudhury is unique because he has not fled to the West, but continues to oppose militant Islamists from inside the Muslim world,” Benkin told the Post. “He feels that if he can defeat the radicals in their own back yard it will be a victory for peace and justice unlike any other thus far.”

“More and more Muslims are looking at this case,” Benkin said. “They want to see if Shoaib will get the support and protection he needs from the West. If he is victorious, other Muslims will try the same; if we allow him to go down, they will remain silent.”

Both the American Jewish Committee and the Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN have protested Bangladesh’s treatment of Choudhury and called for the charges against him to be dropped.

Jerusalem Post

Another Leftist Paradise: There are no people with physical defects in North Korea,” Ri said. Such babies were put to death by medical staff and buried quickly, he claimed.

Filed under: Asia — limewoody @ 7:12 am

‘Racially impure’ children killed

THE North Korean regime’s obsession with racial purity has led to the killing of disabled infants and forced abortions for women suspected of conceiving their babies by Chinese fathers, according to a growing body of testimony from defectors.

The latest description of Kim Jong-il’s policy of state eugenics came from a North Korean doctor, Ri Kwang-chol, who escaped last year and told a forum in Seoul that babies with deformities were killed soon after birth.

“There are no people with physical defects in North Korea,” Ri said. Such babies were put to death by medical staff and buried quickly, he claimed. He denied ever committing the act himself.

Exiles in Seoul said Ri was now keeping a low profile, fearing retaliation by North Korean agents, who have assassinated foes in the South Korean capital before. But his account added to the evidence that the Kim family dictatorship is founded on mystical notions of Korean racial superiority rather than Marxism — a reality that explains its deepening estrangement from China.

Along the 850-mile border, North Korean women refugees have emerged with stories that speak of the regime’s preoccupation with “deviant” sexual relations and its predisposition to violence in dealing with them.

One such account came from a 30-year-old woman who calls herself Han Myong-suk. She escaped twice and reached a safe haven in an undisclosed third country within the past year thanks to Helping Hands Korea, an American Christian group.

She said she was sold by traffickers to a Chinese farmer near the Great Wall, and was five months pregnant by him when she was caught by the Chinese police and deported back to North Korea.

There she was held in one of three female detention centres, which have been identified in the towns of Sinuju, Onsong and Chongin. Her account was taken down by Tim Peters, an American Christian activist who founded the group.

“I defied the order to abort the foetus the prison authorities contemptuously called a ‘Chinese Chink’ and was badly beaten and kicked in my belly by a guard. His name was Hwang Myong-dong,” she said.

One week later, said Han, she was led to a prison clinic “where in a most blunt manner they extracted the dead child from my body”.

Han survived the depraved conditions of a labour camp for several years before her release and eventual second escape. Her story represented important corroboration of a practice that was first detailed in a report in 2003 for the pressure group

US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea that was compiled by David Hawk, a human rights investigator.

Hawk found “extreme phenomena of repression . . . unique to North Korea” and concluded that its regime practised “ethnic infanticide”. He traced eight female witnesses who gave distressing accounts of child murder. One took place at the women’s detention centre in Sinuju, a border zone visible across the Yalu River from the Chinese city of Dandong.

Choi Yong-hwa, 28, described how she was made to accompany a heavily pregnant woman, who had also been returned across the bridge from China, to a clinic where doctors induced labour. After the infant was born, Choi said she and other women stood by in disbelief as it was suffocated with a wet towel. The mother passed out.

A 66-year-old grandmother also testified to witnessing the deaths of babies at Sinuiju, two of them healthy boys born at full term. The first belonged to a 28-year-old woman called Lim. The witness was holding the newborn in a blanket when a guard grabbed him by a leg and threw him into a large box lined with plastic.

A total of seven babies — five born prematurely after labour was induced — were left to die in the box. Two days later the premature babies were dead. The two full-term boys were still blinking, although their lips had turned blue. A guard battered them to death with forceps, the witness said.

At the Nongpo centre in Chongjin, witnesses saw the “children of betrayers” tossed into a wicker basket, covered in plastic sheeting and left to die. One woman watched the killing of seven babies, taken from their mothers and left face-down on the ground within their view.

After two days the guards smothered any that were still alive. “Guards would say the mothers had to see and hear their babies die because they were Chinese,” the report said.

The Korean Bar Association says that 58% of defectors interviewed by its lawyers have testified to seeing or hearing of coerced abortions in the North Korean prison system.

The aid group Médecins Sans Frontières left North Korea in 1998, citing among its reasons the regime’s refusal to grant access to so-called “9-27 camps”, where sick and disabled children were dumped.

The apparent contradiction between the humanitarian group’s statement and the recent claims by Ri may be explained by the time that elapsed between them. In the same period hardliners have come into the ascendant, throwing out almost all foreign aid workers, tightening up political controls and intensifying repression as the regime set out on its path of confrontation over nuclear weapons.

“It’s vital to recognise that juche — the dogma of self- reliance — is not a theory but a cult and that Kim is worshipped as the leader of a religion,” said a veteran western diplomat who negotiated with the North Koreans on 19 visits. “These Koreans genuinely believe they are a master race and that the peninsula will be united under the rule of the Kim dynasty.”

Behind the facade of a Supreme People’s Assembly, a presidium, a cabinet and the Korean Workers’ party, North Korea operates as a one-man military dictatorship founded on clan rule, blood ties and deification of the leader. Kim is falsely said to have been born on the sacred slopes of Mount Paektu.

This is used to legitimise behaviour by agents of the state which human rights activists believe will one day form the basis of indictments for crimes against humanity.

Defectors have even told of human experiments to test Kim’s chemical weapons, one giving an account of prisoners tethered to a hillside and then gassed. Unlike the child killings, though, this story has never been verified by more than one witness.

A new study by three researchers at Seoul’s Korean Rehabilitation Center for Torture Victims surveyed the experience of 30 defectors among the 7,400 people who have since found refuge in the south.

All had been subjected to torture, both physical and psychological, at the hands of Kim’s military security agency. Again, one torture centre was identified at Sinuju. More than half were punished merely for having Chinese currency and more than half said they experienced sexual violence.

They reported beatings, electrocution, submersion in water and the “doghouse torture” in which the victim is contorted into an unnatural and agonising posture.

“This study strongly suggests the need for international organisations such as the United Nations to put an end to the return of defectors from China,” the researchers said. China has refused to allow the UN High Commissioner for Refugees any access to the border.

Norbert Vollertsen, a German doctor who helped with famine relief in North Korea in the 1990s and has since become a campaigner for regime change, said the nuclear crisis offered a chance to end Kim’s rule.

“Nobody cared,” Vollertsen said last week, “North Korea was not in the news. Then came 9/11 and the Iraq war and North Korea was called one member of the ‘axis of evil’ — it’s now been proved to belong there.”,,2089-2404345_3,00.html

October 13, 2006

Islam equals Racism

Filed under: Asia, Global Jihad, Islam, Terror — limewoody @ 3:28 pm

Kuala Lumpur:

The head of Malaysia’s Shariat Department has asked Muslims in the country not to greet Hindus a Happy Diwali, a directive the government distanced itself from saying it is a narrow interpretation of Islam.

Fauzi Mustaffar, head of Shariah department, in an email directive to office staff has said that Diwali was a religious festival in which Hindu deities were worshipped and greeting Hindus on the occasion was like practising polytheism to Muslims.

“So Muslims who have inadvertently wished Hindus a Happy Diwali, Happy Durga Pooja or Happy Lakshmi Pooja must immediately repent and not repeat it in the future,” Fauzi said in his e-mail, according to
The Star daily.

Courageous journalist Salah Choudhury may face death sentence

Filed under: AntiJihad, Asia — limewoody @ 3:14 pm

Those who have been with MidEastWeb for a while know the case of Salahuddin
Shoaib Choudhury only too well. Salah is the Bangladesh journalist who was
one of the first to warn about the rise of Islamist radicalism in
Bangladesh, explaining how it was carefully incubated in Madrassahs and
encouraged by corrupt authorities. The world was surprised when bombs began
going off all over Dhakka some time later, but Salah was not surprised at

Speaking out against radical Islamism and advocating dialogue and diplomatic
relations with Israel are apparently “crimes” punishable by death in
Bangladesh. Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is on trial for sedition, a capital
offence, because of those stands. His trial begins October 12. Believe it or
not, the story is even worse than that.
When the US pressed Bangladesh to recognize Israel, Salah supported the move
through his newspapers. He established contact with an Israeli dialogue
group, IFLAC, and attempted to come to Israel to talk about encouraging
dialogue through the media. He was arrested at the airport in November, 2003
as he was about to board a flight for Israel. He began living a Kafkaeseque
nightmare that has continued for three years. Salah wrote several letters
from jail describing the conditions and his failing health. He was charged
with sedition, and with a passport offence for attempted travel to Israel.

The Arab world press generated outrageous rumors insisting that Salah was an
agent of the Israeli Mossad intelligence organization. Pressure from US
officials and the House of Rrepresentatives ultimately obtained his release
on bail after he had served much longer jail time than the passport offence
penalty would have required.

Salah was convinced that the sedition charges would be dropped, but that was
not to be. The case has dragged on and on as the government sought to
fabricate a case for sedition. The office of his newspaper was recently
bombed and Salah was badly beaten by a mob. It seems that getting beaten up
and having your office trashed is also against the law in Bangladesh. Salah
now faces an addition “trial” for that “offence.”

This is how it happened, as Salah relates:

I was assaulted by a mob led by BNP’s Cultural Wing leader Helal Khan and
Babul Ahmed on 5th of October. Weekly Blitz Managing Editor M. A. Ahsan was
also seriously injured, which resulted in suspension of the publication of
Weekly Blitz for this week.

…Mr. Ahsan and I immediately rushed to the Shahbagh Police Station and met
the officer-in-charge, Rezaul Karim, to lodge a complaint against the
attackers and ask that they send police forces to our office to guard our
properties. However, the police officer, (who reportedly received TK.
200,000 as a bribe from the attackers) reluctantly asked us to go back to
homes, take a shower and meet him after several hours…

The attackers took unlawful possession of our office and looted a number of
computers, printers and other valuables from the office. Earlier, when they
attacked me, Babul Ahmed shouted, “He is an agent of Jews, kill him”. They
snatched my mobile phone, took TK. 42,000 cash from my pocket and forcibly
took away the key of the vault of the office and looted TK 350,000 cash. It
may be mentioned here that police protection was mysteriously withdrawn from
our office four days before the attack. Meanwhile, more surprisingly, the
government has also withdrawn police protection from my residebce, which has
definitely put my entire family in to a tremendous horror.

Now, supposedly being given legal protection by the police, we lodged a
formal case with the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate on Sunday, 8th of
October. The Metropolitan magistrate Mizanur Rahman sent the case to
criminal Investigation Department (CID) for investigation and necessary
actions. But, the influential people (the attackers) belonging to the ruling
party are now trying to press CID to send the matter to cold storage.

Hearing that we lodged the complaint, the attackers, under the direct
patronage of the officer-in-charge of Shahbagh Police Station, lodged a
false complaint with the police station in the evening of 8th October, where
Rezaul Karim (the OC) instructed his fellow officers to issue warrant of
arrest against us. On the following day (9th of October) another false
complaint was filed by the attackers with the Court of Metropolitan
Magistrate, which the court sent to Shahbagh Police Station for
investigation and action.

The court also accepted the petition of the attackers and instructed the
police to raid my office and residence. This incident forced me to go into
hiding on the dark hours of 9th October, as I was told by some journalists
that the officer in charge was ready to arrest me, assault me in custody and
kill me. The officer in charge is continuously conspiring to do everything
to ‘give me a proper lesson’. The attackers also held a press conference in
Dhaka on 10th of October, where attacker Babul Ahmed said, “Shoaib is an
agent of Israel and Jews”.

I appeared before the Court of Metropolitan Magistrate Mr. Shafiq Anwar on
the 11th of October 2006 through my lawyer Advocate Samarendra Nath Goswami
for bail. The magistrate in the bail order wrote, “the counsel appearing for
the state (that is a police officer) strongly opposed the bail petition.
But, the allegation is confusing. So, the bail is granted”….They want to
harrass us and want to see the complete death of Weekly Blitz, which is the
most outspoken newspaper in Bangladesh.

If we do not find a way to help him, Salah may be convicted of treason and
executed, or killed by the mob. In the best case, his life and health would
be ruined by a long jail sentence and a slanderous and violent campaign.

Please write or phone elected representatives, Bangladesh government
officials and human rights groups. Frankly, letters from Israel to
Bangladesh authorities may harm his case.

Letters to Bangladesh authorities should be polite and not abusive and
should emphasize the harm that this case is doing to the good image of
Bangladesh in your country and the need to pursue justice.

Sample letter (with additional contact information in the addresses)
Ms. Khaleda Zia,
Prime Minister,
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh,
PM’s Office,
Old Sangshad Bhaban,
Dhaka, Bangladesh
Fax: 880-2-8113244
(FAX number is supplied by PM office of Bangladesh. We are told it is not
Mr. Md. Lutfozzaman Babar,
State Minister,
Ministry of Home Affairs,
Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh,
Bangladesh Secretariat,
Topkhana Road,
Dhaka-1000, Bangladesh
Fax: 880-2-7171611
Ambassador Shamsher M. Chowdhury
Embassy of Bangladesh
3510 International Drive NW
Washington, DC 20008
Telephone : (202) – 244 – 0183.
Emergency number during evening hours: 202-244-4727
Fax: (202) – 244 – 7830/2771

Your excellencies,
I am gravely distressed to learn of the trial of award winning journalist
Salahuddin Shoaib Choudhury for sedition and other false charges. Mr.
Choudhury has done nothing more than pursue his job as a journalist and his
duty as a citizen. In addition to legal procedings, he has been beaten and
robbed and denied police protection. I request your urgent intervention to
stop this nightmare travesty of justice, which is ruining the image of
Bangladesh around the world.

Additional contact information for Bangladesh officials:
Bangladesh Consulate, New York, Fax: 212-682-9211 Email:
Sheikh Mohammed Belal, Counsellor-1 (Pol.), Embassy of Bangladesh,
Washington DC.
Tel: 202-244-4616 (W) 718-938-1271 (cell)
Canada – Ontario Consul: (not called an embassy):
High Commission for the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, Ottowa
275 Bank Street, Suite 302, Ottowa
Ontario K2P 2L6, Canada
Telephone : (613) 236-0138, (613) 236-0139
FAX : (613) 567-3213

Letters to elected officials in your country and human rights groups should
explain the case and ask for action to protect Mr. Choudhury.
Sample letter:
Dear XXX,
This is to request your urgent intervention to save the life of
award-winning Bangladesh journalist Salahuddin Shoaib Chourhury. He has
lived a three year nightmare of jailings, and beatings since he tried to
travel to Israel in November 2003, and is now being tried for sedition and
other false charges that are capital offences because of his outspoken
stands against Islamist extremism.
His case has been the subject of editorials in the New York Times and Wall
Street journal. A previous appeal by the US Congress helped bring him a
reprieve, but the Bangladesh government has continued to prosecute his case.
Without your help, Salahuddin Shoaib Choudhury may die.
US officials
US Embassy in Dhakka, Bangladesh –
US Senators: Go to
Click on “find your senators” in the top right corner.

US Congresspersons: Go to
Enter your zip code near the top in “find your representative”

Human rights groups
Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch:
350 Fifth Avenue, 34th floor New York, NY 10118-3299 USA Tel: 1-(212)
Fax: 1-(212) 736-1300
1630 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 500 Washington, DC 20009 USA
Tel:1-(202) 612-4321, Fax:1-(202) 612-4333
Ami Isseroff

October 11, 2006

Archbishop criticizes Pakistan’s religious ‘intolerance and violence’

Filed under: Asia, Global Jihad, Islam, Terror, Uncategorized — limewoody @ 6:44 am

By Catholic News Service

DENVER (CNS) — Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf calls on others not to discriminate against Muslims, but he discriminates against non-Muslims in his own country, said Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Denver.The archbishop, a member of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, co-wrote an opinion piece in The Denver Post with the commission’s vice chairwoman, Elizabeth H. Prodromou, after Musharraf delivered a speech at the United Nations calling for “enlightened moderation” to bridge a growing divide between Islamic and Western governments.

In the Sept. 19 speech Musharraf said that to build such bridges “it is imperative to end racial and religious discrimination against Muslims and to prohibit the defamation of Islam.”

“Musharraf’s action plan suggests it is Western countries that must change their behavior toward Muslims, and not the other way around,” Archbishop Chaput and Prodromou wrote in the Sept. 28 issue of the Post.

“Musharraf fails to address the urgent need to bring ‘enlightened moderation’ to his own country, where intolerance and violence is aimed at both Muslims and non-Muslims,” they said.

“Currently, sectarian and religiously motivated violence persists in Pakistan, particularly by Sunni Muslim militants, against Shiite Muslims, Ahmadis, Hindus and Christians,” they wrote. “Perpetrators of attacks on religious minorities are seldom brought to justice. Pakistan’s nearly 4 million Ahmadis are prevented by law from fully practicing their faith.”

Ahmadis form two sects of Islam that emerged from the 19th-century reformist movement of an Indian Muslim, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. The larger sect regards Ahmad as a new prophet and both are regarded as heretical by other Muslims. Since 1974 Pakistan’s Constitution, which makes Islam the nation’s official religion, has declared Ahmadis non-Muslim by defining a Muslim as one who “believes in the finality of the prophet Mohammed.”

Prodromou is associate director of Boston University’s Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs.

She and the archbishop said violations of religious freedom in Pakistan include “fatal violence against Ahmadis, torture of Christians, attacks against Shiite clerics and vandalism and destruction of churches.”

They said that Pakistan’s strict anti-blasphemy laws, which criminalize any defamation of Islam, “result in extensive human rights abuses” because people will falsely accuse someone of blasphemy to settle a personal score.

Those laws “have resulted in the lengthy detention of Ahmadis, Christians, Hindus and members of other religious minority communities, as well as Muslims whose views are deemed offensive by religious extremists,” they wrote.

“Given the sway that Muslim extremists hold over Pakistan’s judiciary, judges’ findings and penalties for blasphemy reveal an arbitrariness intended to squelch fundamental freedoms of thought and expression,” they added.

They also sharply criticized the Hudood Ordinance, Pakistan’s Islamic law enacted in 1979 that criminalizes sexual relations outside marriage in such a way that a woman who is raped can be imprisoned for reporting it.

If the rapist denies the woman’s claim, to convict him the law requires testimony from four independent witnesses who saw the act of penetration — all witnesses must be Muslims if the accused is a Muslim; but by reporting a rape the woman has confessed to a sexual relationship outside marriage and is subject to penalties unless she can meet the four-witness requirement to prove it was forced.

“Women who have reported being raped are routinely imprisoned for the crime of adultery and face a potential sentence of death by stoning,” Prodromou and Archbishop Chaput wrote. “In 2003, the National Commission on the Status of Women in Pakistan found as many as 88 percent of female prisoners, many of them rape victims, were serving time for violating the (anti-adultery) decrees.”


September 19, 2006

Jihate on Women

Filed under: Asia, Global Jihad, Islam, Terror — limewoody @ 2:30 pm

ISLAMABAD: After Mukhtaran Mai, a case of Mumtaz Mai has come to light in rural Pakistan, where women become victims of tribal warfare, family feuds or quite simply, male violence.

The News International Saturday reported the case of one Mumtaz Mai and her daughter, Ghazala Shaheen Bathi, who were abducted, held in captivity and gang-raped for 12 days because daughter Ghazala dared to become educated.


Jihate on Infindels

Filed under: Asia, Global Jihad, India, Islam, Terror — limewoody @ 2:27 pm

June 12: Kashmir militants killed 14 people in attacks on pilgrims and migrant labourers today, continuing to target outsiders following the recent strikes on Bengal and Gujarat tourists.

An Amarnath pilgrim was killed and some 30 people, including many devotees bound for the cave shrine and Vaishnodevi temple, were injured by three grenades hurled at a bustling Jammu bus stand this morning.

Hours later, rebels gunned down eight labourers from Nepal and Bihar at Badroo village near Kulgam in south Kashmir’s Anantnag. Thousands of labourers from other states, mostly from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, are working in development projects across Kashmir, including the inland railway project.

Militant strikes have increased since the Prime Minister’s May 24 round-table in Srinagar, touted as a significant step towards normality, and intelligence agencies have warned of further escalation.

Sources said a lobby within Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence has resumed funding the Lashkar-e-Toiba and al-Badr, whose cash flow had reduced to a trickle amid the Indo-Pak peace moves and US pressure on Islamabad.

The bus station was teeming with people bound for Katra ? the base camp for the Vaishnodevi shrine ? or Srinagar on the way to Amarnath, when grenades hit the buses to Katra and Vaishnodevi around 7.30 am. Two of the injured are said to be critical.

Among the wounded were Amarnath pilgrims Rekha Devi from Ahmedabad and Babli Paswan from Bihar. Devi said she was waiting to board the bus to Srinagar when she heard a “deafening bang. Two other blasts took place in less than five seconds.”

Six buses, some of them empty, were damaged.

The authorities promised to increase security for the Amarnath yatra, suspended for the second day because of snowfall in the upper Himalayas.

Some 1,400 pilgrims stranded in freezing temperatures near the cave shrine, located at 3,880 metres, were evacuated to Baltel base camp.

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