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Archive for February, 2010

A Danish newspaper has apologized to Muslims for the offence caused by its decision to reprint a controversial cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban.

The Politiken daily says its apology Friday was part of a settlement with a Saudi lawyer representing Muslims in the Middle East and Australia.

The drawing was one of 12 caricatures that sparked angry protests in Muslim countries in 2006 after they were published by another Danish newspaper.

Politiken and other Danish newspapers reprinted it in 2008 after police revealed a plot to kill the cartoonist who created the drawing.

Politiken did not explicitly express regret for reprinting the cartoon but apologized “to anyone who was offended by our decision.”

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Libyan strongman Muammar Ghaddafi has ratcheted up his campaign against Switzerland by calling for jihad, or holy war, against the European nation.

The two nations have been engaged in tit-for-tat arrests and sanctions in a dispute dating back to 2008 that has become a concern across Europe. But this is the first time the Libyan has called for jihad, a substantial heightening of the rhetoric.

“Any Muslim in any part of the world who works with Switzerland is an apostate, is against [the Prophet] Mohammad, and God and the Koran,” he told a meeting in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi.

“The masses of Muslims must go to all airports in the Islamic world and prevent any Swiss plane landing, to all harbors and prevent any Swiss ships docking, inspect all shops and markets to stop any Swiss goods being sold.”

Later in his address, Ghaddafi distinguished his proposed holy struggle from Al-Qaeda-style terrorism, saying: “There is a big difference between terrorism and jihad which is a right to armed struggle.”

In his speech Ghaddafi also slammed Switzerland’s vote in November last year to ban minarets, or spires on Moslem mosques used for the call to prayer.

The unlikely spat between the two nations dates back to the 2008 arrest in Geneva of Ghaddafi’s son Hannibal and his wife, Aline Skaf, in Geneva. They were accused of assaulting two servants while staying at a luxury hotel, though the charges were later dropped.

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The mayor of the Dutch city Zaltbommel tells his story about the group of Moroccan youth terrorizing his town. “Intimidation, violence, serious inconvenience. A lot more happens then only shouting ‘whore’ to women,”says Albert van den Bosch (VVD).

“We also have a few loverboys, young pimps trying to look for girls to let them work as prostitutes. Almost all of them are from Moroccan descent. I heard rumours of them showing up at elementary schools now.”

The VVD-mayor pleads for special lawmaking to stop intimidation by Moroccan youth, he tells Internal Policy. “The people are fed up with it. Care about that as a government!” says the mayor, who received threats as well.

According to Van den Bosch there are over 1000 Moroccans in the city of Zaltbommel. About fifty of them cause trouble. “Twenty of them are the hardcore troublemakers. The other thirty hang on with them. With the rest of the 1000 Moroccans there are no problems. But this group of youth is making trouble all the time and it goes very far,”he tells on the website of Internal Policy.

“It annoys me how there have been talks for months now, about Iraq and Afghanistan, while we have much bigger problems and nothing is done about that. The people in my city lost faith in the government, they feel abandoned. I think it’s very important that people vote, but I can understand it if they no longer do that. The people are fed up with the intimidation of Moroccan youth,”says the mayor.

“I don’t understand that there’s been so many investment in the JSF jet-fighters when you can establish extra police officers for that same amount of money. Who is our enemy? Do we need an expensive air force for wars in far away countries, or is the enemy here in Holland?”

The group of young Moroccans terrorizes the city for months now. Things escalated last January, when a couple of female police officers tried to arrest two shoplifters, who hid themselves in the neighborhood centre ‘Philips school’. According to the mayor, the two women were treated with so much verbal violence, that the entire building had to be evacuated.

The incident resulted in riots. The mayor was so seriously threatened, that he needs security 24 hours a day now. “I will not hide myself, I won’t bow,”says Van den Bosch. “But I do have two little children.”

“Women are dragged out of their cars after a shopping night. Sometimes their clothes are torn,”one of the residents told last January. “Windows crash daily. The parking lot is unsafe. It is constant trouble here.”
A few shop owners don’t dare to open their shops in the evening out of fear.

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A Jeddah court sentenced an Asian maid to 200 lashes and a year in prison after being found guilty of mixing her urine into the food of the family she works for.

The maid’s sponsor complained and accused her of performing black magic. The maid reportedly claimed she was getting back at the family for bad treatment. The woman did not appeal the verdict.

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At the visa department of the Pakistani embassy in the Netherlands, there are election brochures of Khalid Ahmed Chaudry from the Dutch Muslim Party (NMP) and the number 4 on the list of Islam Democrats in The Hague.

Both candidates are from Pakistani descent. Especially the Dutch Muslim Party has a programme that is in contrast with the separation of church and state.

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Several young Muslims from the Holmlia district in  Oslo told NRK there’s active missionizing among young Muslim boys.

Young men with long beards and robes stop Muslim boys in the neighborhood or visit them at home and recruit them to the mosques.

“Some of the missionaries who have approached us, have had extreme attitudes towards Norwegians and also to other Muslim minorities like Shia and Ahmadiyya Muslims,” says one of the youth NRK spoke with.  None of them wished their name or image be published.

They say that many of those recruited into radical Muslim communities were petty criminals in the past, also in the gang community.

Nadeem Butt (Labor), head of the district committee of the Søndre Nordstrand district confirms the phenomenon.

“There’s some missionizing among Muslims,a nd we’ve had this type of missionizing here in the district in the past,” says Butt.

He says that the missionaries are mostly Muslim men who turn to other Muslim men.

“They also approach Muslim boys out on the town,” says Butt.

According to Butt the missionaries are linked to the local mosque in Holmlia, a mosque which belongs to the Tabliqi movement.  The movement belongs to the Wahabi denomination in Islam.

The Wahhabi denomination is the state religion in Saudi Arabia and is considered a radical Islamic movement.  Osama Bin-Laden and Al-Qaeda belong to this denomination.

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The West Bank city of Hebron, known for its strong religious traditionalism, is preparing the introduction of a phenomenon that has already been seen in other Muslim countries: the ‘women-only’ taxi.

Hazem at-Takwai, one of the inventors of the initiative, told press agency MAAN in Hebron that these taxis will be painted pink. According to polls, nearly all Palestinian women in Hebron appreciate the novelty.

At-Takrawi added that the project will guarantee a job to around a hundred women taxi drivers, most of them graduates, who had difficulties finding other types of work. Women-only taxis, MAAN added, are already in service in Cairo, Dubai and Tehran.

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