30/12/00 Explosions in Manila Kill Twelve
A series of bombs exploded in the Philippines capital around noon today. The most devastating was in a crowded suburban train where 9 people were killed and 40 wounded. A second explosion occurred near a fuel depot at Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Several people were injured but the fuel did not explode. A third blast exploded in a bus terminal killing one person. A fourth bomb was found near the Dusit Hotel and a policeman was killed trying to defuse it.
On Thursday, Police arrested Abu Sayyaf spokesman Hector Janjalani: he had several grenades in his possession and sketches showing potential targets in the city.
12/12/00 A grenade blast hit a Roman Catholic radio station (DXMS) in Cotabato, southern Philippines early Monday, wounding one employee. Five days ago, three people were injured in a grenade attack on its transmitter site. The station had been warned it would be bombed unless it stopped commentator Zam Ampatuan criticizing the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front). Last March he was ambushed by MILF. He survived but one of his bodyguards was killed.
22/12/00 Moderate Pakistanis Fear Islamization
Political parties have been banned in the 14 months of military rule and radical Islam is seeking to fill the political vacuum Dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf seems weak in not standing up to Islamic extremists. He has backed down on plans to modernize religious schools - many of the madrassahs merely teach recitation of the Koran, in Arabic which the students do not understand, and propagandize about Israel, Chechnya and Afghanistan. He has also backed down on plans to change the law to make it more difficult to accuse someone of blasphemy - merely criticizing Prophet Muhammad or Allah can lead to the death penalty and the killing of a judge who did not impose it. Now there is even talk of imposing Sharia, Islamic law which would turn the clock back centuries.
Last month when the Karachi bus service hired women bus conductors, there were protests from clerics. Said Imam Abdul Rehman Salafi, "Islam says women should stay home, under the veil, looking after their children". "If men and women are allowed to mix freely, it leads to crimes, and unmarried women become mothers. Islam gives full freedom to women, but only within four walls." "One day, with God's help, we hope that Islamic laws will be enforced in Pakistan in totality."
12/12/00 Nazia Mumtaz was allegedly killed by her husband, Munir, for nominating as a candidate in the local elections in Bhalwal, 72 miles NW of Lahore. In Pakistan's male-dominated society, many women, particularly in rural areas, are kept in purdah and not allowed out of the house. Human rights organizations say that the majority of women in Pakistan are subject to violence at home.
17/12/00 A radical Sunni group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, claimed responsibility for the killing of three policemen in Lahore on Saturday. Killed was Tariq Khambo, Lahore's deputy superintendent, who was in charge of investigating religiously motivated killings in Lahore. Small but heavily armed rival Sunni and Shiite groups continually target each other's members and mosques. It is haram to kill a fellow-Muslim but they regard each other as non-Muslims.
23/12/00 Pakistan-based guerilla group, Lashkar-e-Taiba, has claimed responsibility for an attack on the Red Fort, New Delhi. A barber, another civilian and a soldier were killed. PM Atal Behari Vajpayee is still suspending unilateral hostilities against guerillas in Kashmir for 4 more weeks beyond the Islamic holy month of Ramadan At least 65 people, including civilians, have been killed since India ordered the cease-fire on Nov.28.
11/12/00 Hundreds of supporters of the Revolutionary Afghan Women's Association staged a rally in Islamabad, Pakistan to protest human rights abuses and discrimination against women by the Taleban. Pakistani police fired tear gas and beat demonstrators, including women, with steel-tipped sticks. The RAWA website can be accessed from our Links page.
24/12/00 Ramadan death toll in Algeria reaches 250
About 2 dozen armed men stormed a disco at Berrahal killing a singer, Sihem Echaouiga.
Fundamentalists particularly dislike pop and romantic songs. See "Music" from "Reform_Islam". Twenty one other people were killed over the weekend.
19/12/00 GIA (Armed Islamic Group) rebels used machine guns, hatchets and knives at Ouled Mahedine. The victims included a 3 year-old baby with his throat cut and body disembowelled.
18/12/00 Nearly 50 people were killed over the weekend, including 15 students and a teacher in an attack on a boarding school on Saturday night. On Sunday night 18 civilians were killed in an attack on a bus near Tenes. An hour later, 5 civilians including 3 women were shot dead by Islamic rebels at Khemis Miliana. Early Monday morning, they slit the throats of 8 villagers, including 2 infants at Sudi N'hil.
20/12/00 Six members of a civilian security force were shot dead on Tuesday at El-Hassi. Rebels slit the throat of a teacher at Jijel. Also on Tuesday a bomb exploded in a crowded market in Laghouap.
4/12/00 Three young people playing dominoes were killed at Berrouaghia. In two other attacks a shepherd and a farmer were killed.
The USA and International Terrorism
7/12/00 Abdelmajid Dahoumane, a suspect in the planned millenium attack on Seattle has been arrested in Algeria. His accomplice, Ahmed Ressam, an Algerian was captured when he tried to drive a car with explosives across the border from Canada into Washington state.
Residents and citizens of the United States have been warned of supporting terrorist groups. Mazen al-Najjar, 43, of South Florida has been held for 3 years for money laundering funds for the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad.
Wadih el-Hage, 40, of Arlington, Texas, has had his phone monitored since 1996 when he was in Kenya working with al-Qaeda. El-Hage is among 17 men charged with conspiracy in the bombings of the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people, mostly Africans. The judge ruled that Al-Qaeda, run by Osama bin Laden, was a foreign power and so phone taps which would ordinarily be illegal could be used as evidence against him.
4/12/00 Raed Hijazi, a Muslim militant who holds US citizenship, has been handed over by Syria to Jordan where he is to be tried for his part in the foiled bombings in Amman.
23/12/00 Iran puts 17 on trial for killings of dissidents
Seventeen former agents of the Intelligence Ministry are being tried in a closed military court in Tehran and the media has been warned not to make any unauthorized statements. Earlier this month a lawyer for the victims' families was detained after he made a speech on the killings. The killings began Nov.22, 1998 with the stabbing of Dariush Forouhar and his wife Parvenah who ran a small opposition party. In December, writers Mohammed Jafar Pouyandeh and Mohammad Mokhtari disappeared and were later found strangled on the outskirts of Tehran.
21/12/00 Iran could test an intercontinental ballistic missile in 2001.Israel could be a target with conventional WMD, but nuclear warheads are not expected until 2015 (by which time we hope Iran will be more moderate.)
22/12/00 Iran is evacuating villages within a 10 km radius of the Bushehr nuclear plants. They are Russian-made and expected to be operational by 2004. Tehran discounts the view that they will be part of an infra-structure for Iran's nuclear weapons' program.
10/12/00 About 30 members of a messianic Shiite Muslim group, The Mahdiavat, go on trial in the Revolutionary Court on Saturday. They are charged with the attempted assassination of the Tehran judiciary chief and the theft of weapons from Islamic militia depots in 4 mosques.
The Mahdaviat is preparing the way for the return of the Mahdi, the 12th Iman who went into hiding in the year 874.
The group was later linked to attempts to kill President Khatami and former president Rafsanjani.
17/12/00 Veteran Iranian opposition leader, Ezzatollah Sahabi was jailed on Sunday after a Revolutionary Court charged him with insulting the Islamic system of government. It relates to a speech he made at Tehran Amir Kabir University of Technology. He was already on bail after an April trip he made to Berlin where participants criticized "undemocratic" aspects of the Islamic Republic.
Sahabi was the publisher of the magazine Iran-e-Farda, Iran of Tomorrow, one of some 30 publications backing pro-reform Pres. Khatami, which have been banned by religious hardliners.
4/12/00 The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on Tehran to end torture, particularly amputations. A report did note, however, a decrease in stonings. The resolution also criticized the suspension of newspapers and arresting journalists, political activists and intellectuals. It noted discrimination against religious minorities such as the Bahais and the high rate of executions. A report said that the non-elected, Muslim Guardian Council, set up to ensure legislation conforms with Islam, represents a "major obstacle to the advancement of Iranian democracy".
31/12/00 Bombs Rock Churches in Indonesia
Nineteen churches, including the Roman Catholic Cathedral in Jakarta, were bombed on Christmas Eve across the country. Seventeen people were killed and about 100 injured.
13/12/00 A radical Muslim group, the Islamic Defenders Front, has been attacking bars, discos, brothels and gambling centres across Indonesia. Dozens of people have been injured and tens of thousands of dollars worth of audio equipment, furniture and bottles of alcohol have been smashed.
13/12/00 Malaysia Acts against Anti-Islam Internet surfers
Muslim surfers who are deemed to have insulted Islam, Prophet Muhammad or the Koran face prison for three years and/or a fine of $1,300. If any Malaysians wish to post their religious interpretations on the Internet we shall do it for them. Email us at email@example.com
15/12/00 Terengganu state is gearing up to establish an Islamic state. Nine Syariah laws, including a hudud (decency) law are to be enacted. We regard many of these laws as contravening the rights of citizens of the 21st Century.
13/12/00 The inquiry by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) heard how women and children were screaming in pain when the FRU (Federal Reserve Unit) fired tear gas into an illegal gathering. A crowd of about 10,000 assembled near Kampung Batu Enam to hear opposition political speakers.
The FRU used water cannon and were beating and kicking people, including women. Police fired tear gas canisters at the car of Dr Wan Azizah. FRU men were breaking mirrors, windscreens and puncturing tyres of many parked cars.
30/12/00 The Democratic Action Party has opposed a decision of the Kemaman council to ban the sale of drinks which contain more than 2% alcohol. The Chinese, in particular, say that non-Muslims should not be penalized by laws intended for Muslims.
24/12/00 Three National Justice Party officials have been charged with illegal assembly and rioting for stopping busloads of pro-government supporters they claimed were being brought in to vote illegally in the Nov 29 local election. They claimed the government was seeking revenge because it lost the election.
17/12/00 The Mentri Besar in Selangor says ten mosques are spreading anti-government messages. Mullahs who continue can be fined $1,300 or two years in jail.
8/12/00 Three Dead in Russian Market Blasts
Three people have been killed and 15 others wounded after two explosions rocked Pyatigorsk. This town was also attacked in October when two people were killed and 20 injured.
Bomb attacks in September 1999, which killed a total of about 300 people resulted in Russian forces moving into Chechnya.
8/12/00 Links between Islamists and German neo-Nazis?
A Palestinian and a Moroccan-born German, Belal T.,19, and Khalid Z.,20, have confessed to firebombing a synagogue in Dusseldorf on October2. Searches of their apartments turned up anti-Semitic and extreme-right literature, a swastika carved into the doorjamb and a picture of Adolf Hitler.
4/12/00 Human Rights Abuses in Turkey, Iraq, Tunisia,
Amnesty International claims torture is common practice in Turkey both against common criminals and political detainees. "Incommunicado detention should be abolished and all detainees have immediate access to a lawyer". Also Human rights activists should be protected.
4/12/00 The UN General Assembly condemned the government of Iraqi Saddam Hussein for using "widespread terror", systematic torture, cruel and inhuman punishment. Iraq makes "frequent use of the death penalty, summary executions, political killings and disappearances, the resolution said.
30/12/00 Moncef Marzouki, 55, who is spokesman for the National Council for Liberty in Tunisia has been jailed for 12 months for "spreading false information" and maintaining an outlawed organization.
17/12/00 But there are positive signs in Syria, where new President Bashar Assad released 600 political prisoners and allowed parties to publish their own papers. The Committee for the Defense of Human Rights in Syria (CDHR) has come out to work openly after 10 years in hiding. All their committee have spent time in jail, for example spokesman Aktham Naesa from 1991 to 1998.
22/11/00 Ramadan Fears in Algeria
The GIA (Armed Islamic Group) is feared to step up its violence during the holy month of Ramadan. Hundreds of villagers are asking the authorities for arms with which to defend themselves .
On Monday night, rebels killed ten people, including children, near Bou Ismail in Tipaza province. Eight shepherds had their throats slit on Tuesday in the village of Dhamnia, in Chlef province. A hundred thousand Algerians, mainly civilians, have been killed since 1992 when GIA began its campaign.
30/11/00 India sticks to its Kashmir cease-fire despite violence
India has ordered its troops in Kashmir to fire only in self-defense during Ramadan. However Islamic militants have continued their attacks. On Tuesday, 13 soldiers, militants and civilians were killed near Srinagar. A civilian was killed at Pattan on Wednesday and police defused a bomb at a tourist guest house in Srinagar.
25/11/00 Five Hindus, including a conductor dragged from his bus, were killed by guerrillas. Six Sikh truck drivers were killed in attacks on Tuesday near Banihal.
4/11/00 A Shiite leader, Agha Syed Mehdi, who supported continued Indian control of Kashmir, his driver and 4 bodyguards were killed when their car was bombed. Hizb-ul-Momineen has claimed responsibility.
More than 30,000 people have been killed in 11 years of violence and 350,000 Hindus have been displaced from the Kashmir valley.
30/11/00 Suharto Must Not Get Away with Murder
Former Indonesian dictator Suharto must be made to face trial despite his alleged ill-health. The indictment alleges that Suharto stole $583 million in state funds and used this to build a business empire comprised of his family and cronies. (It is estimated that more like $45 billion was stolen in toto.)
Suharto must also be tried for his part in the 1965-66 killings of an estimated 500,000 "communists". Also for his 32 years where any opposition was met with murder, torture, disappearances, extra-judicial killings, suppression of trade unions and denial of a free press.
30/11/00 Indonesia's Restive Provinces
Tomorrow West Papua celebrates the raising of "The Morning Star", its flag of independence, 39 years ago in defiance of Dutch rule. Indonesia has arrested leaders Thaha Alhamid and Theys Aluay as an act of intimidation and has a heavy military presence in the capital Jayapura and other towns.
24/11/00 UN human rights investigators have called on Indonesia to probe the killings and torture of civilians in Aceh province. Mary Robinson, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has just concluded a two-day visit to the country.
HRAIC supports the independence of West Papua (Irian Jaya) as its people are Melanesians, not Malays; if they have any religion they are Christians, not Muslims; they have the mineral wealth for a viable future if independent.
However we do not support an independent Islamic state in Aceh. Nations should be secular and democratic, rather than theocratic with religious laws. We do agree, however, that the Acehnese people should have a greater share of their mineral wealth.
26/11/00 Police in Indonesia have arrested 22 people for the killing of 20 villagers accused of dabbling in black magic. The 20 victims were killed in attacks between July and October after locals accused them of practising witchcraft.
Although 90 percent of Indonesia's population are nominally Muslim, many pre-Islamic and Islamic traditions and superstitions co-exist.
In 1998, at least 150 people were killed in East Java in a similar series of slayings.
26/11/00 Eleven killed in Indonesian religious violence
Three people were killed on Saturday when Muslims attacked a Christian village in Kairatu district on the island of Seram. Four churches and more than a dozen houses were set alight. At least 15 people were injured.
Eight people, including a woman were killed on Friday when Muslims attacked Christian villages on the Watubela Islands in Maluku.
About 4000 people have died in religious violence in Maluku since January 1999.
18/11/00 UN urges Afghan neighbours to help refugees
Pakistan and Tajikistan have been urged to reopen their borders and accept new refugees. Islamabad banned the entry of new Afghan refugees last week, after accepting 30,000 people in two months. It is too impoverished itself to aid the drought-stricken Afghans; also it has security fears as it backs the ruling Taliban and many of the refugees are anti-Taliban. Pakistan already has at least 1.2 million Afghan refugees. There are about 11,400 refugees waiting for Tajikistan to let them in.
20/11/00 Pakistan's minorities call the electoral system "religious apartheid"
In Pakistan, where 95 per cent of the country's 140 million people are Muslims, members of minority religions vote not for candidates in their local district but for a list of minority candidates. Minorities have 10 seats in Pakistan's 211-seat parliament, which was suspended by the army when it seized power on Oct 12, 1999. A joint statement by the country's Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Zoroastrian and Bahai communities called the practice "religious apartheid". A quick poll of our members in Pakistan was of the opinion that the system did have the merit of giving minorities a voice in parliament which they may otherwise not have.
18/11/00 Uzbek court convicts 12 "Islamists"
On February 16, 1999, six car bombs exploded simultaneously outside government buildings in Tashkent, killing 16 and injuring more than 100. Nine of the men were tried in absentia, a dubious practice, and two were sentenced to death (HRAIC opposes capital punishment)
Human Rights Watch said the government had failed to provide convincing evidence of guilt and relied on confessions cast into doubt by the "practice of torture in Uzbek prisons".
27/11/00 Sudan bombs Christian towns
Planes of the Sudan Islamic Republic dropped 17 bombs on Ikotos, a liberated town in southern Sudan killing 4 people. Another 4 people were killed by bombs at Polit Abur on Saturday and nearby Mayen Abun was bombed on Friday. Large numbers of people collect relief food at both locations. On November 20, 18 people were killed at the market-place of Yei and more than 50 injured. In the second week in November, 7 people were killed in the town of Narus when it was bombed.
An estimated 2 million people have died due to fighting, diseases and hunger related to the conflict. The Islamic government does not distribute UN aid food to non-Muslims. Aid is supplied to the South by Western NGOs at their own risk. A link to "Frontline" helping the Christian Sudanese has been added to our list of "Links".
17/11/00 Demonstrators go on rampage in Niger
Seven Islamic organizations have been banned in Niger after bars, betting booths and the homes of prostitutes were smashed up. Thirty people are still being held 4 days after the event although 239 have been released.
The occasion for the riot was the International Festival of African Fashion which they branded as a "satanic show inciting people to debauchery".
28/11/00 Turkish court acquits 15 torture victims
Tuesday showed evidence that Turkey wants to join the European Union, which has doubts about its human rights record.
Fifteen teenagers arrested for hanging the political posters of a banned left-wing group in 1995, were acquitted of the "crime".
Two weeks ago ten police were jailed for up to ten years for torturing the boys then aged from 14 to 18. They had been beaten, given electric shocks, stripped naked and hosed down with cold, pressurised water. Eleven boys had been convicted and given jail terms from 9 months to twelve and a half years.
Selahattin Esmer, Secretary General of the Turkish Human Rights Association said, "This verdict should become an example, so that all confessions extracted through torture will be thrown out of the courts".
20/11/00 Sharia in northern Nigeria
Kano state plans to pass a law sentencing journalists who publish information which is considered offensive to Sharia, Islamic law, to 60 lashes with a cane.
30/11/00 Kebbi state plans to join the list of northern states implementing Sharia despite protests from Christians, who are supposedly exempt from Islamic law. But Christians showing the film "Jesus" in the state capital, Birnin Kebbi, have been warned not to continue showing the film.
22/11/00 Five dead in latest Kosovo violence
We supported the Muslim ethnic Albanians when Slobodan Milosevic was ethnically cleansing them. Now, however, some Kosovars are attacking the Serb minority in their country, for example with grenades and Molotov cocktails. Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica has said, "It is crystal clear that KFOR and UNMIK have failed to do their job properly". Also Kostunica has had to warn ethnic Albanians to stop incursions into Serbia. Fear of Serbian retaliation has caused several thousand minority ethnic Albanians to leave their homes in Serbia and cross into Kosovo.
Two Ways of Achieving Palestinian Independence?
Readers of our archives will know that we have long supported a Palestinian State and the original intifada.
However, we do not support an intafada under the present conditions. Stone-throwing, killing of Jewish settlers or attacking school buses will not help strengthen the Palestinian cause. It will only provoke Israeli military retaliation and help the hard-line Israelis who oppose the peace process. Ehud Barak is having a hard time with his Likud opposition and Ultra-Orthodox "allies" and to us the only way to go is in accord with Oslo and Camp David.
KASHMIR: WOMEN WITHOUT PURDAH UNDER THREAT OF FUNDAMENTALIST GUN-SQUADS
The command council of the Pakistan-based Islamic fundamentalist
Lakshar-e-Toiba (LeT) has issued a press statement to local papers in
Kashmir, in which they threaten to shoot women without warning in their
legs, if they leave their house without wearing purdah (veil).
Cable operators are warned to stop with immediate effect to forward BBC, the
Pakistan TV channel PTV and the National Geographic Channel. The 22,000
government employees, who have been recruited by the government for a census
operation in Kashmir, are threatened with execution if they try to do their
To put weight behind their threats, a gun-squad of the LeT attacked a
beauty parlor in Srinagar one day after issuing the statement. The owner and
two young employees of the parlor suffered bullet wounds.
Apologies to our readers for our late appearance this month. Our editor is
in hospital with Crohn's disease and complications.
Women's Olympics Events Banned
More than a dozen Muslim countries banned women's events from TV. We say that the human body is natural and that Islam is obsessed with sex. Far healthier is Nudism which does not regard a member of the opposite sex as a sexual object.
15/9/00 Taleban Afghanistan leads World in Opium Production
Despite a severe drought, Afghanistan is the world's biggest producer of heroin. Severe penalties exist under Shariah, Islamic law for making alcohol.
Neighbouring Pakistan has almost 3 million addicts and Iran about one million addicts.
20/9/00 Syrian Army should Quit Lebanon
The Maronite Christian Archbishops are calling on Syria to withdraw its 35,000 troops and relax its grip on Lebanese politics.
12/9/00 Al-Ma'unah Go on Trial in Malaysia
The cult seized government arms in July, tortured and killed two policemen. They also launched grenades against a brewery. Their aim was to overthrow the Malaysian government and establish an Islamic state.
24/9/00 Friday in Algeria
GIA (Armed Islamic Group) broke into a farmer's home at Chateau d'Eau and killed children aged nine months, one year and two years, two women, a man and an elderly man.
Near Beberessa GIA cut the throats of three men at a road block and nearby two brothers were killed when their car was set alight.
15/9/00 Caning for Pregnant Girl in Nigeria
A pregnant teenage girl will be publicly flogged with 180 strokes of the cane after delivery of her baby in a northern Muslim state. Non-Muslims are calling for an end to Sharia.
6/9/00 Women Barred from Jobs in Sudan.
Women have been barred from jobs at gas stations, hotels and restaurants in this Islamic republic.
25/9/00 Genocide Acknowledged in Turkey
The US House of Representative International Relations Subcommittee acknowledged that Turkey systematically killed 1.5 million Armenians in 1915.
For more see "Some Islamic History"
31 August, 2000
Rights of the Child in Muslim Countries
Here are just a few areas of concern. We agree that many Muslim countries are without blame but they should all try to set a good example.
4 Aug. '00 A baby girl, aged 23 days, died after experiencing FGM (Female Genital Mutilation) in the village of Dungass, Niger. She bled to death after her clitoris and vulva were removed. Niger is mainly Sunni Muslim. New laws are planned making FGM punishable by 3 years in prison and 20 years if the victim dies.
10 Aug. '00 Reformers in the Iranian parliament are seeking to raise the age of marriage for girls from 9 to 14 and boys from 15 to16. Currently the girl's age is determined by the A'isha/Muhammad marriage. She was six and he was fifty - he did "wait" until she was nine to consummate the marriage
Penetration of young girls can seriously damage their reproductive organs, let alone any psychological harm it can do. Also children need time to have a childhood and also study.
For more on paedophilia see"Prophet Muhammad and Paedophilia + Sayings of Khomeini" .
Warning the words of this "holy" man may cause you to vomit. Their authenticity has been verified. (See links on article.)
6 Aug. '00 A TV documentary showed a class of young boys in the Sudan reciting the Qur'an for long periods. (It seemed to be their main form of "education".) We do not know that such brainwashing occurs in other religions. Children should have the right to make up their own minds about religion without dogmas and doctrines forced upon them.. The practice can be harmful to society as there are hundreds of verses in the Qur'an which can adversely affect the boy in later life. See "Pathogenesis of Fundamentalism"
13/8/00 TV showed children as young as six making carpets in Pakistan. The
same is true, unfortunately, in India. Children should be at school to raise
the educational standards in these poor countries.
Eleven Children Killed by Algerian Islamists
5/8/00 Six children, aged 11 to 15, playing dominos at a wedding at Ouled Aiche were shot to death by GIA (Armed Islamic Group).
4/8/00 A father and 2 children were hacked to death near Medea.
12/8/00 GIA attempted to assassinate a 46 year-old professor at the University of Algiers. He received critical stomach wounds. His pregnant wife and 3 children, aged 18 months to 14 years were killed.
The GIA is fighting for an Islamic state where Allah reigns supreme.
8 Aug. '00 Death Penalty for Pakistani Prophet
Yousuf Kazab, 60, has been sentenced to death under the Blasphemy Law for claiming he was a prophet of Allah. According to Islam, Muhammad was God's final prophet.
2 Aug. '00 Islamists fighting the Indian government in Kashmir killed 27 pilgrims going from Pahalgam to the Hindu holy cave in Amarnath on Tuesday. On the same day 18 Hindu laborers at a brick factory in Qazigund were killed.
18/8/00 Six Hindus were killed when gunmen attacked the village of Kotahara on Thursday. Pakistan says it only provides "moral support" to the rebels.
8/8/00 Sudan Bombs Christian Towns
Eight people were killed and 200 injured when jets of the Islamic Republic of Sudan bombed Tonj and Mapel.
9/8/00 The UN World Food Program has accused the government of deliberately targeting relief facilities in Mapel. The SPLA (Sudanese People's Liberation Army) has called on the United Nations to impose a "no-fly" zone in the south.
22/8/00 Fifteen bombs were dropped at Ikotos, southern Sudan. Five buildings were destroyed. The teachers' training college and two Christian churches were narrowly missed.
31/8/00 MILF Bombings, Shootings in southern Philipines
Thirteen people were injured when five mortar shells wired to a timer exploded at a minibus terminal in Kabacan.
4 Aug '00 MILF (Moro Islamic Front) troops attacked a bus in North Catabato killing 16 civilians.
13/8/00 MILF are suspected of the bombing of a burger stall at Carmen, North Cotabato which killed 13 year-old boy and a soldier. The areas attacked are mainly Christian.
25/8/00 The Islamic militants, Abu Sayyaf, have threatened to behead US hostage Jeffrey Schilling unless the US government releases three Islamists convicted of the bombing of the New York World Trade Center in 1993.
31/8/00 The Abu Sayyaf have received $11 million in ransom from the Libyan government for the release of 7 Western hostages. Al Qaida, a terrorist group linked to Osama bin Laden, has helped Abu Sayyaf with arms and explosives training. Al-Qaida is held responsible for the 1998 bombings of US embassies in Africa which killed 200 people, mainly not Americans but Africans.
22/8/00 Three West Papuans Killed by Indonesian Troops
A clash broke out after 500 West Papuans raised their flag, the "Morning Star" in a church at Sorong on Tuesday. Police say they only used rubber bullets.
West Papua (Irian Jaya) was incorporated into Indonesia in 1963 and will not obtain independence easily because of its mineral resources.
2 Aug. '00 The Philippine ambassador was wounded, two killed and 17 others hurt when a bomb went off at the embassy in Jakarta. The MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) has denied any involvement although they did declare a jihad against the government last month.
14/8/00 Murder Trial of Islamists in Turkey
Seventeen alleged Islamic militants belonging to the Selam-Tevhid group have been charged with the murders of 22 secular journalists and liberals over the last 10 years. The victims include former Culture Minister Ahmet Taner Kislali in 1999, journalist Ugur Mumcu in 1993 both killed by car bombs, and in 1990 leftist law professor Muammer Aksoy and academic Bahriye Ucok.
The defendants are said to have links with Hizbullah, funded by Iran, which is trying to bring about an Islamic state. Earlier this year 60 bodies of Hizbullah victims were found in Turkey.
17/8/00 A year after the huge earthquake that killed 17,000 people in Izmit and surrounding areas, 26 000 survivors are still living in tents.
18/8/00 Turkish warplanes should also be made to observe the "no-fly" zone in northern Iraq! Thirty eight Kurdish civilians are alleged to have been killed in a raid on Tuesday.
10 Aug. '00 Kuwaiti Custody Dispute Resolved
After months of hiding in the Italian embassy in Kuwait, Stefanina Atzori, and her two daughters were allowed to return to Italy where, as she says, "women are protected by law and where we have the same rights as men". In June the Kuwaiti court did not think it "in the interest of Muslim girls to grow up in the West", but relented on Wednesday.
31/8/00 Khatami Unable to Protect Supporters in Iran
President Khatami is losing support due to his inability to protect reformers in Iran. Most of the liberal newspapers have been shut down and hardline thugs armed with knives and clubs attack student meetings. The non-elected religious leaders, led by Ayatollah Khameini, control the courts, police and mass media.
31 July, 2000
Welcome to our new correspondent in India
Muslim Attempt to Create Division in India
The bombing of Christian churches in Andhra Pradesh was hoped to be blamed on "Hindu extremists" but the real culprits have been apprehended. Police were alerted when a minivan laden with explosives blew up in Bangalore, injuring the Muslim driver C.M. Ibrahim and killing two passengers. At Ibrahim's home were provocative pamphlets, reading "Christian Missionaries, stop conversions or quit India", purporting to be linked to a Hindu group.
Nazamuddin and Syed Iqbal, both members of Deendar Anjuman, a Muslim religious organization, have confessed to bomb blasts on 21 May, 2000. Iqbal implicated Shaikh Khaja Moinuddin and Mohammed Humayun Khan who bombed a church in Ongole on 8 June. Also Syed Ahmed and Mohammed Nazamuddin who planted a bomb at a church in Tadepalligudem on June 8 and Maqbool who bombed a Ram temple in Vijawada. Syed Abdul Jeelani planted a bomb at a Christian church at Machilipatnam on May 21, Zakir and Farooq bombed churches at Medak and Vikarabad on May 28. To confuse the situation Khalique-uz-Zaman even bombed a mosque, the Markaz Masjid at Guntur on June 25. A special court is being convened at Hyderabad to hear the charges.
Syed Iqbal said he had received specific instructions on the bombings from religious leader, Zia-ul-Hasan of Pakistan.
11/7/00 Islamic guerillas killed 3 Buddhist monks near the Rangdum monastery in Leh, northern Kashmir, and captured a German tourist, Harfurth Rolf, today. In the past, western tourists have been murdered by the militants.
And from Algeria: 230 more Deaths
After we had thought President Bouteflika's peace initiative was starting to work, the month of July has seen 230 more deaths (including GIA (Armed Islamic Group), soldiers, police and civil defense corps).
9 July `00 Three people were killed in Keddara, 40 km E of Algiers when a bomb exploded. Two women and a twelve year-old boy had their throats cut while minding sheep in El-Marsa, W of the capital. Two 15-year-old shepherds had their throats cut near Sidi Bel Abbes, 420 km W of Algiers.
10 July `00 GIA opened fire on a car near Jijel, 260 km E of Algiers, killing two civilians and wounding 2 children. Eight farmers had their throats slashed near Tipaza, 70 km W of the capital. Two civilians had their throats cut in Oued El Abtal, 400 km W of Algiers. Three civilians were burned to death in their car near Ahmeur El-Ain, 80 km W of Algiers. Three shepherds with slit throats were found in the Tissemselt region, about 350 km W of Algiers.
15/7/00 Islamists attacked a home in Oran, 600 km W of Algiers, leaving 4 mutilated bodies.
18/7/00 Four men, three women and two children were killed at a false roadblock near Hadjout, 80 km W of the capital. Two people who went to their assistance were also killed.
The Armed Islamic Group is fighting for an Islamic state where Shariah (Islamic Law) will prevail.
And we thought the MILF had a cease-fire with the Philippines government.
18/7/00 Five hundred MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) rebels, led by Commanders Malika and Barak, attacked the Christian village of Lanau Del Sur, Mindinao. Nineteen men and one pregnant woman were rounded up and shot.
23/7/00 MILF attacked a truck at Balabagan killing 13 people, including three women and a 2-year-old boy.
26/7/00 Eighteen people were injured on Wednesday when an Abu Sayyaf rebel threw a grenade into a coffee shop in the town of Jolo, Jolo Island. On Monday a grenade was thrown by an Abu Sayyaf on a motorcycle at Jolo's Roman Catholic cathedral, injuring one of its workers.
Unfortunately, kidnapping by the Abu Sayyaf is being encouraged by payments of ransom to them (reportedly 100 million pesos ($US 2.25 million)) As a result they have taken more hostages including journalists covering the story and preachers wishing to help. The rebels burnt the religious pamphlets brought in by the evangelists. Twenty Sipadan hostages remain in captivity.
23/7/00 Pope Calls For an International Jerusalem.
One possible way out of the Jerusalem dilemma, where both Palestinians and Israelis want Jerusalem as their capital, the main stumbling block at Camp David, is to internationalize Jerusalem as a site holy to Jews, Muslims and Christians.
We see the Palestinian right as one of tenure which has existed for centuries, since the Arab invasion in 638 CE. However, we agree with Muslim modernists who see the Night Voyage from Mecca to Jerusalem by Prophet Muhammad, briefly mentioned in the Qur'an and his Ascension into Heaven, as a dream rather than actually happening. For more see "Why is Jerusalem Islam's third most holy city?"
14/7/00 Executions, Amputations in Saudi Arabia
Three Yemeni men were beheaded on Friday for "the extreme obscenity of homosexuality and imitating women". This brought the number of executions so far this year to over 70, The highest per capita rate in the world with the shameful exception of Singapore.
Three men, one a Nigerian and two Saudis had their right hands amputated for theft.
24/7/00 Television may be Legalised in Taliban Afghanistan
The religious dictators of Afghanistan may allow television in order to promote Islam. When they took over they smashed TV sets, video recorders, audio players and movie projectors.
In Kandahar, soccer players from neighboring Pakistan offended their hosts by playing in shorts and had their heads forcibly shaved.
Mary Mackmakin, a US aid worker (Goodness knows Afghanistan needs the aid!) and her Afghan women employees were freed on Wednesday. Her crime was to permit women to work. Now an exception has been made for these women, thanks to help from the United Nations. Other women still cannot work outside the home or play sport and girls' schools are still closed. Mackmakin was particularly assisting widows, of which there are 28,000 in Kabul alone. She also alienated her hosts by describing, on the Internet, the gruesome sight of amputated limbs tied to trees.
21/7/00 Women Pillion Passengers Banned in Northern Nigeria
Men and women have been segregated on public transport in Zamfara, where Shariah, Islamic law has been proclaimed. This applies to motorbike taxis ridden by men.
Lebanon Must Disarm Religious Groups
19/7/00 Five members of the Amal Movement have been charged with killing two men from Hezbollah, Party of God, in a shoot-out. The government must disarm both groups - particularly as they could fire rockets on northern Israel causing the deaths of south Lebanese civilians in retaliatory attacks.
A similar danger exists for the people of Iran, now that its army has successfully tested the Shahab-3 surface to surface missile. Any attempt to use it against Israel would be disastrous for Iran.
12 July 2000 Tajikistan Remembers Killed UN Observers
Two years ago today five UN observers were shot in the head by Islamic militants in Garm, Tajikistan. They included Maj. Ryszard Szcwcyk of Poland, Maj. Adolfo Sharpegue of Uruguay, Yutaka Akino of Japan and Jourajon Mahramov a Tajik.
17/7/00 A car bomb exploded near the mayor's office in Dushanbe, injuring three children playing nearby. The Islamic opposition is blamed.
21/7/00 Russian Towns in Danger from Islamists
One of the main reasons for punitive action against Chechen Islamists was the bombing of Russian towns with the death of over 300 people. In raids in a number of towns this week at least 8 Chechens were arrested and a large amount of explosives, detonators and remote-control devices seized..
4 July `00 Two Sunni Muslim Activists Receive Death Sentence in Pakistan
Ghulam Rasool and Abu Bakr members of the extremist Lashkar-e-Jangvhi group were found guilty in an anti-terrorist court in Rawalpindi of assassinating a senior police official and his driver. Lashkar-e-Janghvi is responsible for the deaths of scores of Shiite Muslims.
16/7/00 Newspaper Banned in Egypt
The latest voice to be silenced in this supposedly democratic country is that of journalist, Adel Hussein. His newspaper Al-Shaab was closed because of an article on an allegedly blasphemous novel.
20/7/00 The moderate grand sheik of Al-Azhar University, Mohammed Sayyed Tantawi, has publicly supported a new law which gives women equal rights to divorce. Previously Egyptian men could divorce their wives without court approval but women had to prove physical or psychological harm and perhaps wait for years for approval. Professor Yehia Ismail has been ordered to stand trial for libel for calling Tantawi "un-Islamic" and the law "American-made".
2 July `00 A liberal sociology professor at the American University' Saad Eddin Ibrahim and three assistants, Nadia Abdel-Nour, Osama Hammad and Khaled Fayyad have been arrested for championing human rights. He is being held in the Liman Tora prison. The Arab Organisation for Human Rights has called for his immediate release.
13/7/00 Al-Ma'unah Kills 2 non-Muslims in Malaysia
Prime Minister, Dr. Mahatir Mohamad says the killing of two non-Muslim hostages, Kpl. R. Sagadevan and commando Mathew ak Medan was intentional while the two Muslims were spared. On July 2, Al-Ma'unah, Brotherhood of Inner Power, which calls for Jihad (Holy War), disguised themselves as army officers and stole 100 assault rifles, grenade launchers, machine guns and ammunition from 2 armories. (One of the rocket launchers was fired against a brewery in Shah Alam but did little damage.) There is certain to be a new witch-hunt against "deviationist" Islamic cults. Already 11 such have been identified in Kedah.
20/7/00 PAS (Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party) has banned unisex hair salons in Terengganu state which they control. Henceforth there must be separate hair salons for men and women.
26/7/00 Rules of conduct for celebrities in Malaysia are to be drawn up following singer Ning Baizura's revelations in the FHM magazine of her sexual fantasies. The words, actions, pictures and dress of artistes must conform to set guidelines.
20/7/00 PAS has called on the government to ban a concert by pop group Vengaboys and a musical variety show by Indian movie stars. Among other things males and females could freely mingle and drugs and alcohol could be consumed. The posters for the shows showed women in sexy attire..MCA vice-president Chan Kong Choy said anyone feeling so strongly as PAS should just stay away. "Moderate Malaysians should be concerned with the increasing intolerance of certain groups."
16/7/00 Special prayers in mosques and suraus throughout Johor are to be conducted during the total eclipse of the moon. Surely everyone in the 21st century knows that natural phenomena are determined by mathematics and not by deities!
The Islamization of Malaysia must be halted, even if this means breaking strategic relationships with PAS (Parti Islam se-Malaysia).
Authoritarian laws dating from seventh century Medina are not appropriate for the 21 st Century. And why is PAS selective, for the time being, in which Shariah laws it adopts? Besides punishing gamblers and drinkers, Prophet Muhammad also cut off the hands of thieves, stoned lovers to death and executed apostates. PAS knows it cannot go the whole way with Shariah but just tries to put on a show of righteousness.
Attempts to force Muslim women to wear the tudung (veil) at work and the charging of 31 Muslims, not for drinking, but for being in a restaurant where alcohol was served, the banning of karaoke, etc. shows the authoritarian trends of those who support Shariah. It becomes laughable when proposals are made to segregate male and female shoppers at supermarket counters – we have never seen any "hanky-panky" in the shops. It’s all to put on a façade of morality.
UMNO is trying to show its Islamic credentials by requiring all Muslim civil servants to attend two religious classes a week and instituting caning and jail for offenses such as sodomy and lesbianism, pimping and prostitution, incest and premarital sex (what a terrible thing to do to young lovers!) in Johor with more states to follow?
Instead of increasing religious differences and discriminating against Muslims in a multi-ethnic country where Islam is followed by only 50 per cent of the population, secular humanism should be the norm.
16/6/00 The elite in Malaysia are cane-happy. Abuse of domestics by their employers, including caning, can be for such simple mistakes as dripping water on the floor or not responding quickly enough. Disrespect and racism towards Indonesian female employees must stop. Employers found mistreating helpers should be banned for life from hiring another one.
10 June, 2000 Death of the "Lion of Damascus".
Hafez Assad who ruled Syria for 3 decades died on Saturday. History will remember him as a secular leader who did much to improve the lot of women in his country. However his treatment of political prisoners and the destruction of Hama in 1982, with the deaths of 20,000 inhabitants, will also be remembered. See "Some Islamic History" We look forward to his son, Bashar Assad, pursuing the peace process with Israel and resolving the question of the Golan Heights.
13/6/00 Drought in Afghanistan
The United Nations World Food Organization is using more than 700 donkeys to supply aid over bad roads in Afghanistan. It is suffering its worst drought in 30 years.
6/6/00 Apparently the Afghan drought is not affecting the growing of opium poppies – large quantities of heroin, smuggled over the border from Afghanistan into Tajikistan were seized on Sunday.
29/6/00 UN to Protect Serbs in Kosovo
Violence against Serbs, including shootings and grenade attacks, must be stopped says UNO. Ethnic Albanians are seeking revenge for the Milosevic terror last year.
26/6/00 Bodies of civilians continue to be exhumed in Bosnia. Remains of 58 Bosnian Muslims and Croats who had been held in the Omarska prison camp have been found in a cave near the town of Prijedor.
25/6/00 Former Bosnian Serb General, Dusko Sikirica, was captured on Sunday and taken to the Netherlands to stand trial for genocide and crimes against humanity. He had been in charge of the Keraterm concentration camp at Prijedor, Bosnia where hundreds of prisoners were beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted and killed. About 30 indicted war crime suspects remain at large including Karadzic and Mladic.
23/6/00 SBS television showed a huge arms cache unearthed in Kosovo. The cache included mortars, mines, machine guns and ammunition. Documents at the site linked the weapons with the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army)
19/6/00 Mass graves in Brestovac, Kosovo, are being dug up. One contains 50 bodies more than half of them women and children, one as young as three months. On 24 March, 1999 the village was destroyed by Serb forces. There are at least 80 more grave sites to be dug up in the province.
9 June, 2000 Chechen Rebels fire on Ambulance.
Three epidemologists working in Grozny, which is threatened with typhoid and plague, were killed when Islamic rebels fired on an ambulance on Friday. Three other doctors were wounded.
16/6/00 Death Sentences in Turkey
Thirty three Islamists found guilty of burning to death 37 left-wing intellectuals in 1993 were sentenced to death on Friday. The group were commemorating, in a hotel in Siva, the hanging of a 16th Century poet by religious authorities. The Islamists set fire to the hotel and prevented firefighters from reaching the scene.
22/6/00 Cable Television Banned in NW Pakistan
Islamic clerics have persuaded the government to ban cable TV as "evil" in the Northwest Frontier Province. They are also calling on the government to ban Christian schools and Western aid organizations. Cable TV is relatively cheap in Pakistan at about $4 a month
30 June, 2000 Five Hundred Christians Die Trying to Flee Maluku Terror
Late news indicates that only 10 survivors have been picked up from the boat which sank in Indonesia. The victims were mainly Christians trying to escape the religious violence which has killed about 3,000 people in the past 18 months. The government is now preventing outside groups such as Laskar Jihad, which is calling for holy war against the Christians, from entering the province.
20/6/00 On Monday 108 Christians and 8 Muslims were killed in the town of Duma, eastern Indonesia. A church and 292 homes were destroyed.
6/6/00 A congress of 501 West Papuan activists has declared West Papua (Irian Jaya) independent from Indonesia and has called upon the world to recognize it. The United States pressured the Netherlands to hand its former colonial territory to Indonesia in 1962 although the people have more in common with PNG (Papua New Guinea) as well as sharing a border. West Papua could be viable as it is rich in minerals, which they don’t share at the moment.
14/6/00 Suharto’s children are negotiating to give back the fortune illegally acquired during the rule of their father. President Wahid says he is willing to pardon the ex-President if the money is returned, in the interests of "national reconciliation". Students have collected 4 million signatures calling for his trial. There is also the question of the killings in 1965-1966 and human rights abuses over the years.
6/6/00 The Central Jakarta District Court has rejected Suharto’s claim of $27 million against "Time". The magazine had said in May that he had accumulated $15 billion during his 32 years in office.
May 31, 2000
Editorial: Western Bias Shown in Philippines Drama Reports
Every night Western TV news programs have shown the progress (or lack thereof) in rescuing the hostages seized on Easter Sunday by Abu Sayyaf rebels based in the southern Philippines. Yet when the victims are indigenous Filipinos we usually hear nothing. Kidnappings and killings by the Islamic group have been rampant for nine years.
Abu Sayyaf (Arabic for "Bearer of the Sword") raided the Malaysian diving resort of Sipadan and kidnapped 21 hostages including 3 Germans, 2 French, 2 South Africans, 1 Lebanese, 9 Malaysians and 2 Filipinos.
Abu Sayyaf is armed and supported by international Islamic terrorists and the trauma is real for their victims as they endure privations and death threats.
May 5, 2000 Fifteen out of the 27 children and teachers kidnapped on March 20 were rescued after 6 weeks on Basilan Island. They say they were forced to walk barefoot on mountain trails and often only had one meal a day. Four of their number were shot in the head. The body of one, a priest Rev. Ruel Gallardo, showed that the nails of his two big toes had been pulled out two weeks before his death.
Abu Sayyaf says they are fighting for an Islamic state and so these terrible deeds are being done in the name of religion.
May 9, 2000 Jews and Palestinians Not All That Different
A preliminary study of the Y chromosomes of 1371 males shows that Jews and Palestinians were only about 1 per cent different and shared a common ancestry as recently as 4,000 years ago, closely followed by Syrians and Lebanese. Indeed, due to limited interbreeding with Europeans, Jews who had emigrated from Europe had a common ancestry with Europeans of about 30,000 years. It is quite likely that many of the "Tales of the Ancients" found in Genesis and the Qur’an had some basis in fact as stories passed down from generation to generation in legendary guise- -in this case Ibrahim = Abraham (not Arab legends: Muhammad got the story via local Jews)
"Eventually people will realize that they are not that different", said a geneticist who participated in the study.
24/5/00 Israel Ends Occupation of Lebanon
After 22 years occupation of southern Lebanon, Israeli troops have withdrawn, no doubt in part due to losses there but also in a desire to help the peace process. The Lebanese government must now disarm Hizbollah guerillas for we do not wish to see any more civilians killed on either side – Israel will certainly retaliate if Hizbollah continues to shell towns in northern Israel. For the time United Nations troops are manning the border but eventually relations must be normalized between Israel and Lebanon so that UN forces are not needed.
11 May, 2000 The Tel Aviv (Israeli) Court sentenced Jewish settler, Gui Hamel, 35, to life imprisonment for smashing the skull of Palestinian, Mohammed Zalout, 65, of Beit Fourik. Also the the Israeli Supreme Court refused the parole, after 7 years, of Yoram Skolnick, 31, convicted of shooting, in 1993, Moussa Abu Sabha as he lay on the ground with his hands tied behind his back. Abu Sabha had stabbed and wounded a Jewish settler. The Court stated, "We have no indication that the convicted man has abandoned his extremist views while in prison".
25/5/00 Rioting over Shariah in Nigeria
Christian anxiety over the introduction of Shariah, Islamic law in northern Nigeria led, as reported several issues ago, to riots in Kaduna. We have tried to point out to Nigerian Christians that it is more likely Muslims who will suffer from Islamic law – amputation for theft, stoning to death for adultery, death for apostasy, whipping for drinking, etc. but to no avail. The Islamic courts have already had the hand of a cow thief amputated and ordered a number of floggings. The Federal Government has the power to prevent such cruel laws from taking effect and must take action. Following the finding of the body of a Christian in the suburb of Narayi, rioting erupted again on Monday. The official death toll is 43 but Kaduna hospital reports over 200 bodies adding to the 2,000 deaths in February.
29/5/00 Putin to Investigate Claims of Excesses in Chechnya
Following meeting the EU delegation, Russian President said, "All violations of the law in Chechnya will be stamped out in the most severe fashion regardless of who committed them". About 100 investigators are looking into alleged human rights violations. We all knew that civilians would suffer, as they did in Serbia from NATO bombing, but at issue is whether they were deliberate.
Military action by Russian forces started after terrorist bombings of Russian cities resulting in about 300 deaths and Islamic incursions into Dagestan. The military says it has destroyed all major guerrilla forces and was cleaning up small rebel groups. Normalization and the rebuilding of Chechnya is urgent.
19/5/00 More Religious Violence in Pakistan
For years minority Shiite Muslims have been attacked by the more numerous Sunni Muslims. The former retaliated in turn. On Thursday in Karachi two gunmen on a motorcycle ambushed a car carrying 4 Sunni religious leaders, killing two, principal Maulana Mohammed Yusuf Luthyanyi and teacher Abdur Rehman, and wounding the others. The military government must crack down on religious sectarian violence. In the past innocent bystanders have been killed.
3 May, 2000 Civilians on both sides of the Kashmiri border have been killed by Indian and Pakistani shells. Eight civilians were killed on the Pakistani side over the weekend. Five school children and one civilian were killed in Chotali Uri (Indian side)_. In the latest shelling nine people including 3 women were killed and 11 injured in the Chakothi sector (Pakistani side.) About a dozen militant groups are fighting to separate Kashmir from India. Unfortunately India cracked down on a secular separatist group which had no religious agenda. We will curry no favor by suggesting that India, Pakistan and China give Kashmiris under their control a chance for self-determination.
14/5/00 Killers of Kislali and Mumcu Arrested in Turkey
Recently we reported the assassination of our kindred spirit, secular academic Ahmet Taner Kislali. He had aroused the anger of fundamentalists by explaining the Turkish earthquakes as natural phenomena rather than "the will of Allah". Police have made 4 arrests and seized a large quantity of explosives and automatic weapons belonging to an outlawed Islamic group backed by Iran, the Teyhid-Selam. One, Needet Yuksel has confessed to planting the bomb on the bonnet of Kislali’s car and that the mastermind was Ferhan Ozmen.
The same group was responsible for the assassination of Ugur Mumcu another critic of political Islam who also wrote for the paper Cumhuriyet.
May 3, 2000 Egypt Helps Return Baby to Parents
A 21 month old baby boy seized by its grandfather so he could be brought up as a Muslim has been returned, after nine months, to its parents Cirhan andYannis Diamantis in Greece. Cirhan broke an Islamic taboo by marrying a non-Muslim husband. The baby made headlines in Greece as the "Greek Elian".
20/5/00 Islamic Terror Continues in Algeria
Fourteen people have been killed in the last week by GIA (Armed Islamic Group). On Wednesday three people were stopped at a road-block, tied up and burned alive in their car. On the same day a father and three children had their throats slit while the mother and 17 year-old daughter were abducted. Usually female captives are killed after the GIA has had its way with them.
4 May, 2000 GIA attacked a bus on Wednesday and set it alight. Nineteen people were killed and 26 injured. The GIA is fighting for an Islamic state where Allah reigns supreme.
22/5/00 Freedom of Speech in Iran
Nineteen papers have been closed in Iran in the last month. The hardline Islamic Supreme Council and not the elected President and Majlis (Parliament) control the media, judiciary and armed forces. The final authority in Iran is Ayatollah Ali Khameini. A state where "God" (religion) rules is called a theocracy.
30/5/00 Religious Violence Renews in Indonesia
Muslim militants attacked a Christian village in North Maluku killing 44 people while they slept and injured dozens of others. Monday’s attack was similar to one on the same island last week which killed 34 civilians.
18/5/00 Islamic fighters, known as Laskar Jihad have arrived in Maluku from Surabaya, Java. On Wednesday ten Muslims were killed, mainly by security officers trying to disperse mobs. One Christian died and eight were injured in clashes at Mardika and Batu Merah. More than 2,500 people have died in sectarian violence in the last 16 months.
18/5/00 A human rights tribunal has found 24 Indonesian soldiers and one civilian guilty of murdering 56 students and a teacher from an Islamic boarding school in June 1999. (See story and photograph of the mass grave in our archives) Free Aceh leaders point out that the highest ranking officer convicted was Capt. Anton Yuliantoro who received 8 ½ years and say that General Wiranto and former President B.J. Habibie were responsible for the killings. The Free Aceh Movement has been fighting for 25 years for independence, a greater share of profits from its oil wells, and the right to impose Shariah on the Acehnese people. (HRAIC rejects the last demand.)
30/5/00 Ex-President Suharto is being questioned about billions of rupiahs he is alleged to have stolen from charitable foundations under his control and from corrupt business contracts. His children were also made rich with his help.
It is also time to examine his role in the "Communist coup" of 1965 which led to the downfall of President Sukarno, the killing of 500,000 progressives and the taking over of power by then General Suharto. Earlier this month, elected President Abdurrahman Wahid said he would support a judicial probe into the massacres and that he wants to lift the ban on the PKI, which was once the third largest in the world.
26/5/00 The UN has strongly condemned a series of attacks such as stone throwing on East Timor’s tiny (265 people) Muslim community by the Catholic majority. East Timorese accuse them of siding with the pro-Jakarta militia which caused so many deaths and so much destruction last year. But independence leader Jose "Xanana" Gusmao has urged his supporters to reconcile their differences with them.
26/5/00 The Indonesian government has asked a human rights commission to investigate claims that Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold were involved in abuses in West Papua (Irian Jaya). Until last year, the TNI, Indonesian Army, ran the province with an iron hand. Thousands of locals were killed and tortured in an attempt to crush the OPM (Free Papua Movement) Freeport is accused of providing vehicles and facilities to the oppressors.
May 10, 2000 Rioting over Books in Egypt
Thousands of students from Al-Azhar Islamic University in Cairo clashed with police on May 8 demanding the banning of certain books which the Culture Ministry is reprinting. At least 40 students and six policemen were injured. Some of the books include, "Season of Migration to the North" by Sudanese author Tayeb Salih published in 1970, "An Invitation for Dialogue" by philosopher Hassan Hanafi and "A Banquet for Seaweed" by Syrian author Haider Haider. In particular they want Haider to be declared an apostate, a Muslim who publicly deserts his religion and so deserves to die. They are seeking to use hisba, an ancient Islamic custom whereby any Muslim can go to court to seek "protection of God's Name".
Talking about books which can harm readers, some wonder whether the Qur'an should be published due to its cruelty to mankind, intolerance towards other religions, and its sadistic pictures of Hell. See "Pathogenesis of Fundamentalism".
May 2000 Legal Murder in Malaysia
Two young men, Mohammad Safarudin, 20, and Mohamed Endut, 19, were sentenced to death by the High Court in Kuala Lumpur for trafficking in over 1 kg of cannabis. While debate continues whether marihuana does any medical harm this was certainly a victimless crime and shows the low esteem in which life is held in some Muslim countries.
15/5/00 Civil servants who supported the opposition during the last election have been transferred or sacked or face "political re-education". Besides dropping doctors, a lawyer, a surveyor and 20 contractors from a government panel RM32 mil has been removed from two banks whose staff put up anti-government posters on their notice-boards. It is incredible that a government could act thus against the freedom of speech.
The Home Ministry will tighten conditions for printing permits to prevent the publishing of "negative" material, said the Deputy Minister. While we do not support PAS (Parti Islam se-Malaysia) we agree that attempts to limit publication and sale of its paper "Harakah" are politically motivated. We oppose such censorship and interference by the government.
12 May, 2000 Not one woman was elected for the 25 Supreme Council seats. Surely the viewpoint and input from women should have been recognized. There are many areas in which Muslim women particularly are discriminated against.
Editorial: Sanctions Kill 500,000 Iraqi Children
Half a million children under 5 years of age have died as a direct result of sanctions imposed on Iraq following its invasion of Kuwait in 1990. Iraq, once relatively affluent has descended into massive poverty. Due to hyperinflation average incomes are about $4 a month. The infant mortality rate is among the highest in the world. According to UNICEF 250 people die each day as a result of the sanctions - malnutrition and disease. Children who do not die may suffer permanent damage to their growth. Public utilities are in disrepair - only 41 per cent of the population gets clean water, 83 per cent of all schools need repair, "the health care system is in a decrepit state" (ICRC) and the power sector needs $7 billion spending on it.
In 1989 Iraq imported $360 million of drugs. This was down to $13 million by 1996. Only 2 ambulances out of 50 in Bagdad are operational due to lack of tyres and spare parts.
The "oil-for-food" deal does not allow sufficient necessary imports. It is not Saddam Hussein and his army who are hurting. It was the USA and Great Britain who armed Saddam's military machine in the 80's. Now they oppose him but the people have a siege mentality and cannot revolt. Anyway the West did not support the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south. In 1991 they just let Saddam pick them off.
29/4/00 Church Bombed in Istanbul
A bomb was thrown at the Turkish Orthodox Ayayani Church on Friday. Some damage was done but there were no casualties. Police defused a second bomb at the scene and one at a school run by the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate.
In 1998 a priest was injured and a chapel caretaker killed in bomb attacks on church property.
31 March 2000
The Mistake of Mixed Marriages
One danger of a marriage with a Muslim man is that the mother may lose custody of her children. See "Kidnapping of Children"
"Saudi Arabia; A Secret State of Suffering"
This is how Amnesty International descibes human rights violations in Saudi Arabia that include torture, amputations, secret trials and public executions. It "spares no effort in keeping its appalling human rights record a secret by employing well-paid, foreign based public relations firms and lobbyists." In 1999, the oil-rich kingdom spent more than 1 million dollars for this purpose. A US citizen, Stanley Kissie, held in a Saudi prison for over five months last year without charge or trial, corroborates these charges."Political and religious opponents of the government, migrant workers, women and other powerless individuals are constant victims of discrimination".
Political parties and trade unions are banned, Women are not allowed to drive, must be covered from head to toe and can only travel abroad in the company of a male relative or with special government permission.
23/3/00 Saudi Arabia ranks second in the world in its rate of capital punishment. Singapore leads with 97 per ten million, Saudi Arabia next with 55.6, Iraq is next - over 50 counting political prisoners (communists and Shiites) Then Sierra Leone 50, Rwanda 34.8, Congo DR 21.5, Taiwan 14.9, Iran 10.2, China 8.9, Egypt 8.0, USA 2.5.
19/3/00 More than 637,000 sheep, cattle and camels were slaughtered as sacrifice to Allah during the Hajj (Pilgrimage to Mecca culminating in the Eid al-Adha, Feast of Sacrifice)
29/3/00 Mass Grave Found in Algeria
The bodies of about 50 victims of the GIA (Armed Islamic Group) were found in a forest in the Tiaret region, 250 km SW of the capital, Algiers. Six people were killed in a bomb attack on a tractor in Tissemsilt, 300 km W of Algiers. More than 100,000 have died in the violence since the Islamic insurgency began in 1992.
24/3/00 Headscarves Compulsory in Kelantan, Terengganu
These two Malaysian states dopminated by PAS (Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party) are trying to enforce the wearing of tudung by Muslim women. Recently the Kota Baru Municipal Council fined 23 Muslim women for not wearing headscarves while at work. Opposition parties and women's groups say that the wearing of tudung is a matter of personal choice and there should be no compulsion. A woman activist pointed out that women wearing Islamic dress are still being raped and harassed.
30/3/00 The pro-reform magazine, Detik has been banned ("its printing permit will not be renewed") Another anti-government publication, Al-Wasilah, has also been threatened - its permit expires in August. "Harakah", the PAS paper has been ordered to cut publication from twice a week to twice a month. PAS submitted an application to publish Suara more than 6 months ago but has not as yet even received an official acknowledgement.
Activists opposing the banning of the press are not permitted to hold steet rallies indefinitely. Public gatherings of more than 4 people in Malaysia require a police permit. Indoor speeches, which also require police permission, would be considered on a case-by-case basis Deputy Police Commissioner Kamaruddin Ali said.
15/3/00 The court has shown some independence by sentencing former police chief, Abdul Rahim Noor, to two months in prison for assaulting former deputy premier, Anwar Ibrahim. On the night of 20 Sept. 1998 police broke down Anwar's front door and treated him like a dangerous criminal rather than a "corrupt politician". The black eye and injuries doctors said could have been fatal were inflicted while Anwar was blindfolded and handcuffed to a bed in a jail cell.
14/3/00 "Ethnic Cleansing" in Srebrenica
Bosnian Serb Gen. Radislav Krstic is on trial at the Internatinal Criminal Tribunal in the Hague for war crimes in 1995. The prosecutor described it as Europe's worst atrocity since World War II. The victims were Bosnian Muslim civilians and soldiers who had laid down their arms. About 4,000 bodies have been uncovered and another 3,500 people are missing presumed dead. The crimes were carried out in the name of Christianity and ultimate responsibility is alleged to lie with General Ratko Mladic and politician Radovan Karadzic.
22/3/00 Palestinians Get Their Own Internet Suffix
While Palestine has yet to attain independent statehood, it has been allocated an internet designation, ps.
29 February 2000
Editorial: Our Field of Endeavour
We have been sent an email and attachment by a reader in India who suggests that we are one-sided in presenting only the bad side of Islam. Why do we not tell of terrorism in Northern Ireland, human rights abuses in Burma, etc.? He pointed out that 17th February 2000 is the 400th anniversary of the martyrdom of Giordano Bruno who was burned alive at the stake in Campo de’ Fiori square in Rome. See Giordano Bruno
We agree that many dastardly deeds have been done in the name of Christianity, but our field of expertise, including post-graduate qualifications, is in the field of Islam and we are doing our little bit to make Islam more tolerant, democratic and humane, in hopefully less than 400 years. Revulsion at the treatment of Galileo, Bruno, et al was one of the catalysts for the Reformation.
25/2/00 Hundreds Die in Sectarian Violence in Nigeria
As many as 1,000 people have been killed in riots between Muslims and Christians in Kaduna, Kachia and Kano in northern Nigeria. Dozens of homes and businesses have been burned.
The dissension is over the introduction in the north of Shariah, Islamic law which will prohibit drinking alcohol and introduce separate schools and public transport for males and females.
It may well be that the fighting was started by the Christians who are afraid of discrimination. (under strict Shariah non-Muslims may be killed for sex with a Muslim woman or trying to convert a Muslim away from Islam and certain jobs can be denied them) However, as we have pointed out, it is Muslims who have most to fear from Shariah. Also, as President Olusegun Obasanjo has declared, some of the nastier provisions of Shariah such as cutting off a thief’s hand or stoning an adulterer to death would be unconstitutional under Federal law.
26/2/00 Bus Bombings in Southern Philippines Kill 45
Two buses aboard the ferry from Kolumbugan to Ozamis City were bombed on Friday killing 39 civilians and wounding dozens. Six others were killed in a third bus which exploded simultaneously at Rizal. A mortar complete with timer was found on a fourth bus in Cagayan de Oro.
All four buses belonged to the "Super Five Express" which last year accidentally killed the son of the commander of the Muslim separatists in Lanao del Norte province.
7 Feb '00 Apart from donations of money and weapons from overseas Muslims, the Abu Sayyaf group in the southern Philippines raises money from kidnapping for ransom. On Saturday their latest victim was bank teller Patrick Viray who was cycling near Parang in Sulu province. This is in accordance with Sunnah.See ransom_and_prophet_muhammad.html
14/2/00 "Crimes of Honor" in Jordan
At least 20 Jordanian women are killed by their families each year in Jordan. Most are innocent of fornication and adultery and may just have been talking to a man. Even being raped can be seen as disgracing the family.
Current penalties for crimes of honor are lenient and a rally on Monday in Amman called on parliament to pass a law to stiffen them. One official said, "Changing the law allows the West to infiltrate into our society and make us forget our values and Muslim traditions."
18/2/00 Iraq Executes Political Prisoners
The Center for Human Rights in Iran says that twenty-six political prisoners were executed in a prison near Baghdad and 13 others died of torture or neglect and malnutrition in the Makaseb detention center. The group listed the 26 names of those executed. Last June the former minister of Labor and Social Affairs, Abdel-Aziz Mohammed Saleh al-Sayeh was sacked for saying that prison conditions were appalling.
3/2/00 Islamic Threat to Central Asia
Five people were killed and 22 injured when a bomb exploded on a bus in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Later on Monday a grenade launcher was used to attack a tax center and a department store fortunately with no casualties.
Tajikistan has become a major transit country for "international terrorists" and drugs and arms smugglers from Afghanistan.
20/2/00 Violence Continues in Algeria
The GIA (Armed Islamic Group) attacked and killed a family of six shepherds including two children aged 4 and 6, near Ammi Moussa 300 km west of Algiers. They also took a 22 year-old woman and sheep. Two villages near Chlef, 220 km W of Algiers were attacked and food and clothing taken but with no casualties.
26/2/00 Six young shepherds aged from 15 to 21 were killed and mutilated near Ben Allel, 75 km west of Algiers. Three communal guards were killed at a roadblock near Chiffa, 45 km S of the capital.
26/2/00 Hardliners Routed in Iranian Elections
Reformists have had a sweeping success in elections for the Iranian parliament. Of the 290 seats reformists won 170, conservatives 45 and independents 10. Sixty-five seats will have to be decided in run-offs in April. Such a stunning victory for moderates should help them override the non-elected ayatollahs who have ultimate power in Iran, controlling the judiciary, police and armed forces.
24/2/00 A number of police officers who led an attack on a dormitory of Tehran University in July will go on trial. One person was killed and 20 injured, sparking massive student protests.
21/2/00 Ahmad Batebi, 22, convicted of being a "Mohareb", someone who makes war on Islam, was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. He had "endangered national security" by displaying, so the media could see, the bloody shirt of a fellow student in July.
31 January 2000
Editorial: Reject the Call for Jihad Against Christians
Abdurrahman Wahid, first democratically elected President of Indonesia, continues to show himself as a moderate Muslim by rejecting the call for a holy war against Christians.
To be fair, the blame for the killing of thousands of Muslims and Christians and the burning of dozens of churches and mosques, shops and homes seems to lie on both sides.
HRAIC sees the negative side of religion as sectarian, divisive, irrational and often intolerant. We call on all parties to cool their religious sentiments. Forget "an eye for an eye, an ear for an ear and a life for a life".
31/1/00 Islamists Retreat from Grozny
Russian troops have taken control of Grozny, saving the lives of thousands of civilians sheltering in basements. About 4,000 rebels have escaped to the southern mountains, where it is hoped to be able to contain them. Russia sent troops into Chechnya (recognized as part of the Russian Federation by everyone except Taliban Afghanistan) in September. This was to stop armed incursions into neighbouring Dagestan aiming to set up an Islamic state there. The Islamists were blamed for the apartment house bombings that killed over 300 people. The province was also a hotbed of criminal gangs involved in kidnapping for ransom. One group beheaded four workers of British Telecom.
6 Jan ’00 Nineteen Christians, Two Muslims Killed in Egypt
A number of Muslims have been charged with the killings at the village of el-Kusheh, 440 km south of Cairo. Four homes and 37 shops owned by Christians were looted, burned and destroyed as security forces stood by. Coptic Christians make up about 10 per cent of Egypt’s 68 million population.
13/1/00 Egyptian women may find it easier to get a divorce if parliament passes laws being debated. An Egyptian man can get a divorce simply by filling in a form at the marriage registrar; he does not even need to inform his wife. Women seeking divorce face up to 10 years in court. A new law could prevent a husband from traveling abroad on sex tours or to the Gulf to work. At present a husband’s permission is needed for a woman to obtain a passport.
31/1/00 Abuse of Women and Children in Bangladesh
The Bangladeshi Parliament has passed a new law to help women and children. There are stiff penalties for throwing acid and flammable liquids on them and for amputating limbs to make children better beggars. The Bangladeshi National Women Lawyers" Association says that at least 7,000 women and children are smuggled out of the country each year and many are sold to brothels. Women are often tortured to death for their dowries or by jealous husbands.
25/1/00 Violence Continues in Algeria
Twelve people were killed and three injured at a road-block when GIA (Armed Islamic Group) fired on an ambulance carrying handicapped children and a vehicle with their caregivers. The attack took place near Miliana, 120 km east of Algiers.
4 Jan ‘00 In the village of El Amaria, 200 km south of Algiers GIA rebels cut the tjhroats of a 45 year-old pregnant woman, her mother, her school-teacher husband Kadri, and 2 sons.
5/1/00Six civilians were shot dead and 14 others wounded by GIA on Monday night at Haouch Germain, 60 km west of Algiers.
25/1/00 Hezbollah Murders in Turkey
So far 33 bodies have been exhumed, mainly of Kurds tortured to death and buried by Hezbollah (Party of God) activists. The finds occurred after a shoot-out between rival factions in which Hezbollah leader Huseyn Velioglu was killed. A computer in his safe house gave a hit list of 1,500 names including journalists, artists and businessmen. Police also found videotapes of people being interrogated and tortured.
In Istanbul the army has regained control of a jail after radical Islamist prisoners rioted and started a fire.
14/1/00 A letter from Turkey shows how the heavy-handed military can alienate people. Yakup, a captain in the Army was given the sack because he could not get his wife to remove her Islamic head-dress in public. The campaign became so intolerable for her that she had to be hospitalized. So far we have been unable to help Yakup. HRAIC believes in secularism (the separation of church and state) which Turkey professes but would leave it up to individuals if they wish to wear jilbab, or otherwise observe their religion provided it does not hurt other people. Yet Turkey wishes to join the EUI?
31/1/00 Italian/Kuwaiti Girl Wants to Live with Mum and Sister
Erica X, a twelve year-old Kuwaiti girl has taken refuge at the Italian Embassy after a court had awarded custody to her father. Stephania X had divorced Abdul X because he had enforced an extremely strict Muslim code of behavior on his daughters. The Italian Foreign Affairs Department is trying to help resolve the matter.
25/1/00 Muslim Separatists Active in China
Police have charged Islamic activists with bombings and assassinations in Xinjiang province, north-west China. Authorities claim some of them have been trained abroad.
29/1/00 Four Killed in Pakistani Mosque Explosion
A Sunni Muslim mosque in Malir district, Karachi was bombed on Friday, killing four and injuring more than thirty. No one has claimed responsibility but it may have been in revenge for the bombing of a Shiite mosque last month.
5/1/00 Indian Soldiers Punished for Human Rights Violations in Kashmir
The Indian Army received 955 complaints of Human Rights violations in 1999. So far 24 have been found to be of substance and 56 soldiers have been punished for use of excessive force, rape and molestations. Some were demoted or sacked from the army.
7/1/00 "Half a Million Mujahideen" to Fight India
"We are organizing a force of 500,000 holy warriors to fight against the Indians" said Maulana Masood Azhar on Sunday. He is the Pakistani Muslim cleric freed by India to secure the release of 155 hostages, passengers in the hijacked Indian Airlines jet. One passenger, Rippan Katyal returning from his honeymoon with his bride, was stabbed to death by his captors.
14/1/00 Convictions by International War Crimes Court
Five Bosnian Croat militiamen have been sentenced for up to 25 years in prison for "ethnic cleansing" on April 16, 1993. At least 103 Muslims, including 33 women and children were killed at the village of Ahmici, central Bosnia. All 172 Muslim homes were destroyed. The Italian judge admitted they had "not tried the major culprits".
16/1/00 Ramsey Clark Brings Aid to Iraq
The former US Attorney General, on his third trip to Baghdad, brought $2 million dollars worth of medical supplies to help the people of Iraq.
5 Jan ’00 Human Rights Watch says that the UN Security Council should lift restrictions on non-military trade and investment with Iraq. "It should tighten Baghdad’s ability to import weapons-related goods. An international tribunal should be set up to try Saddam Hussein and other top leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity."
14/1/00 "Sedition" in Malaysia
The concept of sedition, "incitement to overthrow a government", has been broadened in Malaysia to include virtually any criticism of the government. Some prohibitions contained in the Sedition Ordnance are discussions, even in Parliament, of "the special rights of Malays, the status and powers of the Rulers, the privileged status of Islam, and the status of Bahasa Melayu as the sole National Language."
13/1/00 Karpal Singh, deputy chairman of DAP (Democratic Action Party) and Marina Yussof, vice-president of PKN (National Justice Party) have been arrested on charges of sedition. In our opinion the two lawyers were making fair comment. Karpal is alleged to have said in defense of former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, who is on trial for sodomy, "I suspect that people in high places are responsible for this situation." Wow! (Marina was commenting on who was responsible for the Race Riots of May 13, 1969.)
20/1/00 The Bar Council of Malaysia said, "Many lawyers are alarmed and disturbed that a lawyer can be charged for a statement made in court."
15/1/00 Also charged, but under the OSA (Official Secrets Act), is PKN youth leader Mohamed Ezam Nor, who is a friend of Anwar.
23/1/00 A Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr. Rais Yatim said those who claimed the government was prosecuting opposition leaders "could be charged for spreading lies."
29/1/00 While HRAIC does not favor religious political parties (e.g. also in Pakistan, Indonesia, Italy and Germany) the attempt to ban "Harakah" newspaper of PAS (Parti Islam se-Malaysia) is abhorrent. Similarly charges of sedition against its editor, Zulkifli Sulong, and its printer, Chia Lim Thye. UMNO (the party of the PM) chief in Penang, Datuk Omar Othman says of Harakah and the application to publish daily as "Purnama", "such a paper is unnecessary" and, "if PAS is allowed to produce its own daily newspaper, other opposition parties such as DAP will want to have their own as well". In how many countries must papers "be allowed"?
27/1/00 Gurumukh Singh must appear in the Penang High Court to make legal his renunciation of Islam and resumption of Sikhism. Surely one’s religion is a personal matter and no concern of the state!
27/1/00 A Letter from Pakistan
The official policy of HRAIC is that it supports democratically elected governments and opposes military dictatorships, but here is a letter to us from Pakistan.democracy_in_pakistan.html