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Left Shoe News       31 August, 2002

Prophet Muhammad said, "When one of you puts on sandals, he should first put on the right foot " (Hadith Sahih Muslim 877)

He also said, "He who does not obey Muhammad disobeys God." (Hadith Mishkat 144)

Philippines

22/8/02 Muslim rebels behead two Christians
Six Jehovah's Witnesses, two men and four women, from Zamboanga, Mindinao were seized in the town of Patikul, Jolo island trying to vend their religion under cover of being Avon salesmen.
The two men were beheaded by the Abu Sayyaf who left a note saying, “Those who do not believe in Allah will suffer the same fate”. Two Muslims driving the Christians were released by the rebels. The army has launched a search for the women.

Malaysia

Aug 1 Terengganu anti-Muslim laws come into force today.
The state's Syariah Criminal Offences Enactment passed by the PAS (Parti Islam se-Malaysia) government came into force today. But they only apply to Muslims and so are discriminatory.
These particular provisions criminalize failure to attend Friday prayers, consumption of alcohol, failure to fast during Ramadan, khalwat (proximity of sexes), propagating false doctrines, showing contempt of the Qur'an and religious authorities, trespass or illegal occupation of wakaf property and non-payment of zakat and fitrah.
The police, who act under federal law do not recognize these as federal offences and may not act on them. Also federal prisons cannot be used to jail offenders. PAS plans to build its own jails in Terengganu may also be banned by the Federal government.
4 Aug DAP supports Catholic Bishops' stand.
The Democratic Action Party, which has a large Chinese base supports the Catholic Conference statement that “Malaysians of all faiths should resist any attempt to change the secular nature of the Federal Constitution”. “All parties should not politicize Islam but respect the human right of religious freedom in Malaysia”.
13/8/02 The Federal government is tape-recording khutbah (sermons) in mosques by PAS leaders to expose their lies to the people. The PAS ulama abuses the sanctity of mosques to slander other political parties.
12/8/02
PAS opposes federal moves to teach primary school Mathematics and Science in English. The rationale is that English is better suited than Bahasa Malaysia for such education and leads to further secondary and tertiary Science and Mathematics. It may well be that PAS ideologues are not much interested in such secular (non-religious) subjects. The decision could jeopardize the academic achievements of Malay students in Terengganu and leave them behind in development.
4/8/02 Malaysian opposition MP held.
Twelve members and supporters of the DAP, includimg MP Fong Po Kuan have been arrested for distributing leaflets criticizing the PM Mahatir Mohamed. They could be tried for sedition. The DAP was demanding assurances that the rights of non-Muslim minorities would be safeguarded.
8/8/02 Ezam Mohamad Noor, former aide to DPM Anwar Ibrahim, has been sentenced to two years' jail for leaking corruption reports on members of the government. Amnesty International describes it as evidence of Malaysi's “chilling attitude to dissent”.

Pakistan
5/8/02 Christian school attacked in Pakistan
Six people were killed when Islamic gunmen fought their way into the Murree Christian School complex in the hills near Islamabad. Two Pakistani guards were killed along with a  receptionist, a cook, a carpenter and a bystander, but no pupils were among the casualties. The guards stopped the attackers reaching the children. Three attackers later blew themselves up with grenades when they were cornered by police.
9/8/02 Christian hospital attacked
Four nurses were killed and more than 20 missionary staff injured when Islamists attacked a chapel in the town of Taxila. An attacker Kamran Mir, member of a banned religious faction was left dead at the scene. 12/8/02 Police have arrested a number of Islamists in connection with the attack.
24/8/02 The trial has begun of three Islamists, Mohammed Imran, Mohammed Hanif and Mohammed Ashraf of the outlawed group, Harkat-ul-Mujahadeen al-Almi for the car bomb attack outside the US consulate in Karachi in June. Twelve Pakistanis were killed and 50 people injured.

23/8/02 Two members of the outlawed Sunni group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi have been arrested for bombing a Shiite mosque on 26 April in Bhakkar while people were inside. Twelve women and children were killed. Sunnis and Shiites regularly kill each other.
2/8/02
A militant, Abu Adnan who claimed responsibility for an attack which left 27 Kashmiri civilians dead last month, was killed in a fierce gun battle between police and the Lashkar-e-Toiba. A police officer also died.
8/8/02
Four members of a Hindu family, including a woman and children aged two and four, were shot dead in Rajoun district, Indian Kashmir.
6/8/02
Nine Hindu pilgrims were killed and 37 wounded when Islamists opened fire on a camp near Pahalgam, Indian Kashmir. One of the militants was killed.
7/8/02
Five militants trying to cross into Indian Kashmir from Pakistan were killed in a gun battle in the Poonch district. Two soldiers were also killed.
31/8/02
The home of a Muslim who worked for the Indian administration was attacked killing his 12 year-old daughter and 10 y-o son. Last Sunday the home of a police officer was attacked killing his father, brother and two other relatives.
13/8/02
A grenade thrown at a para-military patrol in Kalgam town, Indian Kashmir missed its intended target killing one civilian and wounding 21 others.

Bangladesh

27/8/02 Bangladesh bans third Taslima book.
Authorities have confiscated all copies of “Wild Wind” (in Bengali) by Taslima Nasreen saying it contains anti-islamic remarks which could destroy religious harmony. Ms Nasreen said, “It is a democratic country but there is no freedom of expression. The political parties use religion for their own interests and whenever they find any criticism about religion, they can't tolerate it, so they ban the book.”
She fled the country in 1993 because Muslim extremists put a price on her head and has spent most of her exile in Sweden and France.

Indonesia
10/8/02 Sharia rejected in Indonesia
A proposal by two Muslim parties to introduce Islamic law into Indonesia was rejected by the 700 member People's Consultative Assembly (MPR). This means Indonesia remains a democracy and not a theocracy.
The MPR backed direct election for president and vice-president. Another change was the abolition of 38 seats reserved for the military.
15/8/02 Outrage over East Timor verdicts
Today a special tribunal cleared Indonesia's last police chief in East Timor, Timbo Salaen and five other officials of any wrong-doing in the bloodshed of 1999. At least 1000 East Timorese died in militia violence at the time of the 30 August referendum on independence from Indonesia. Prosecutors had accused him of failing to prevent the storming of a church at Liquica killing 18 people, and attacks on UN and church offices and the homes of two pro-independence leaders. The others were acquitted of a massacre in the town of Suai which left more than 20 people dead, including 3 priests.
The tribunal had earlier been criticized for sentencing former governor, Abilio Soares, to only 3 years in jail. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, said not enough evidence was presented against Mr Soares. The UN may now launch its own international criminal tribunal for East Timor.
31/8/02 Five unidentified gunmen stopped two vehicles travelling to the Freeport Mine, West Papua, the world's largest goldmine, killing three people including two American teachers. There has been a separatist rebellion in the province since the 1960's. The Indonesians have allowed in over 1000 Islamists, the Lashkar Jihad to help try to Islamize West Papua.

Algeria
16/8/02 Dozens dead in Algerian massacre
Twenty six people were killed by the GIA (Armed Islamic Group) in Bokaat Laakakcha. The victims were members of three families and most of them were women and children.
Rachid Oukali, 28 y-o leader of the GIA, has threatened with death all Algerians who refuse to join the holy war against the government. “We will destroy their harvests, take their goods, rape their women and decapitate them in the cities, the villages and the deserts”.
4/8/02 Up to 40 Islamic militants from the Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat were killed during army operations in the Ouarsenis mountains.
6/8/02
The Algerian Human rights League has welcomed the release of dozens of ethnic Berber activists from prison. The league said they should not have faced repressive measures as they were only expressing rightful grievances about unemployment, corruption and poor local management. The Berbers were the original inhabitants of the region before Islamic Arabs invaded in the Seventh Century.

Egypt
15/8/02 US to withhold extra Egypt aid

The US Government is to withhold additional aid from Egypt in protest at the jailing of prominent Egyptian civil rights campaigner Saad Eddin Ibrahim (above left)and its poor treatment of pro-democracy activists. Mr Ibrahim has joint US-Egyptian nationality and received 7 years prison for receiving international aid for human rights activities and “falsely claiming” that the Christian Copts suffered discrimination in Egypt. President Mubarak (above right) has attempted to limit political debate in his country and the US government has been criticized for supporting undemocratic governments in the Arab world. Egypt is the second largest recipient of US aid with almost $2 billion US per year!
4/8/02 Three Britons, Reza Pankhurst, Ian Nisbett and Maajid Nawaz have been charged with membership of the banned Islamic Liberation Party along with 23 Egyptians.


Afghanistan
8/8/02 Thirteen armed men killed in a gun battle with government forces were high-ranking al-Qaeda members who had escaped from a prison in Kabul. Twelve of the gunmen were from Pakistan and the other from Kyrgystan. Two civilians were killed in the exchange.

18/8/02 FAO (the UN Food and Agriculture Organization) says that the government has largely failed in its efforts to eradicate the opium poppy in Afghanistan. The food supply has been adversely affected as the area sown to irrigated wheat was reduced by about 10 percent.

Morocco
8/8/02 Islamists arrested in Morocco
Over 30 members of the radical Islamist groups, Salifiya Jihadia and Takfir Wal Hidjra have been arrested for cutting the throats of Muslims they consider as infidels. They preach holy war and the strict application of Sharia.

Russia

14/8/02 Islamists kidnap aid worker
The aid group MSF, Medecins Sans Frontičres, is suspending operations in Dagestan following the abduction of Dutch aid worker, Peter-Arjan Erkel by 3 gunmen in Makhachkala.
The organization which supplies $6 million worth of medicines to the region every year suspended work in Chechnya in July after the abduction of Nina Davidovich, the head of a local aid agency.

Italy
The Union of Italian Muslims has called for the destruction of a priceless 15th century fresco, The Last Judgment by Giovanni da Modena in Bologna Cathedral. The fresco shows clearly Prophet Muhammad being “thrown into hell, completely naked, with a snake wrapped around his body and a demon next to him about to torture him”.
On the other side, the Qur'an denies the divinity of Christ and his crucifixion. Could not Christians therefore reasonably claim that the Qur'an is an insult to Christianity and should be destroyed?

America
16/8/02 Massive claim for US terror attacks
More than 600 family members of victims of the September 11 attacks have filed a trillion dollar lawsuit against members of the Saudi royal family, and various Islamic charities, seven financial institutions and the Bin Laden's family construction firm. The suit is aimed at uncovering the complicated financial transactions which funded the September 11 attacks.
8/8/02 Saudis lash US “Christian extremism”
The Saudi press has launched a vitriolic attack on what it describes as Christian fundamentalism in the US. The newspapers were responding to reports of a Pentagon briefing during which Saudi Arabia was described as the “kernel of evil” in the Middle East and details were given of their financial support to terrorist groups. American people have reacted to the fact that 15 of the 19 September 11 hijackers were Saudis. The “Saudi Gazette” called on President Bush to “rein in” elements whose agenda was to initiate a clash of civilizations.

Syria
28/8/02 Three top dissidents jailed in Syria
Fawaz Tello, was sentenced to five years for undermining the constitution, inciting sedition and propagating lies. Kamal Labwani received three years and Hassan Saadun two years. They had been arrested for attending “political salons”, discussion groups in private homes. After initial restraint Assad is now following in his father's footsteps. In earlier trials economist Aref Dalila was given 10 years in jail and legislators Riyadh Seif and Mamoun Homsi five years each. None had advocated violence.

Somalia
110 dead in factional fighting in Somalia
Forces loyal to Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and Jama Ali Jama fought it out in the Puntland region of Somalia resulting in 110 deaths.

Turkey
2/8/02 Signs of liberalization in Turkey
The Turkish parliament has approved a package of democratic reforms including:
An end to the death penalty in peacetime
Kurdish TV, radio broadcasts and education
An end to penalties for criticism of state institutions
Demonstrations to be allowed with a 48-hour notification to the authorities
An easing on foreign and local NGO's working in the country
Greater freedom for non-Muslim minority religions
Revision of press laws and regulations
Turkey now stands a greater chanceof EU membership

Nigeria

12/8/02 Beauty queens face Muslim wrath
Twelve Muslim northern states of Nigeria have declared the Miss World pageant immoral, particularly the swimsuit competition, and vowed to prevent it from taking place. Under Sharia law, women who expose too much flesh can be whipped.

Palestine

4/8/02 Nine people were killed and more than 40 injured in a blast which ripped off the roof and sides of a bus near the town of Safad. Palestine terrorist group Hamas claims responsibility for the attack.
A Palestinian gunman opened fire on an Israeli lorry near the Damascus gate in Jerusalem's old city. One Israeli was killed, plus the gunman and an Arab bystander.
An armed Palestinian was shot dead as he tried to break into a Jewish settlement on the coast of the Gaza Strip. The man, who was wearing a wetsuit was seen emerging from the sea armed with grenades and a rifle.
Hamas claimed responsibility for the bombing at the Jerusalem Hebrew University last Wednesday that killed 7 people, five of them Americans.