Friday, May 25, 2007

A daughter to take on the dictator

From Christopher Kremmer of The Sydney Morning Herald

Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto alleges Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence, sought the help of a then little-known Saudi millionaire militant, bin Laden, to help fund her overthrow in 1989 ... On the political comeback trail in 1993 she again attracted the unwelcome attention of al-Qaeda. Ramsi Yusuf, later convicted of participating in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing, was deputised by his uncle and the al-Qaeda kingpin Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to assassinate her. He tried twice and failed (she says at the behest of the intelligence agency), while Bhutto won the elections and embarked on a second term in office.

Lebanese militants cheered on al Qaeda Web sites

From Mark Trevelyan of Reuters

Rita Katz, head of the SITE institute, told Reuters that the jihadists' enthusiasm for Fatah al-Islam on the al Qaeda-linked Web sites reflected their desire to open a new Sunni militant front in Lebanon to challenge the dominant Shi'ite Hezbollah. Katz said the faction had received both moral and logistical support from the jihadist community, which exploits the Internet intensively as a propaganda tool. Several jihadists with media skills, including a Saudi Web master, had volunteered their services to the group.

Exclusive: The Ideological Challenge of the 21st Century

From James J.F. Forest, Ph.D. at The Family Security Foundation

Our challenge is thus to communicate and demonstrate a commitment to providing justice and human security to all mankind. An abstract “democratic freedom” – which we push for in some countries (like Russia and China) and not others (like Egypt or Saudi Arabia) – does not always mobilize people in the way that we may think it should ... Democratization should surely remain a pillar of our foreign policy, but we must also place greater emphasis on issues of responsible local governance and security, as well as common principles of justice – regardless of whether the providers of these are democratic or not. Overall, reducing the appeal and legitimacy of the Salafi-Jihad ideology of al Qaida requires a concerted effort beyond the military realm. We must shape the global environment in a manner that will constrain the resonance of al Qaida’s ideology.

How to End 'Islamophobia'

From Tawfik Hamid at Opinion Journal/The Wall Street Journal

It may seem bizarre, but Islamic reformers are not immune to the charge of "Islamophobia" either. For 20 years, I have preached a reformed interpretation of Islam that teaches peace and respects human rights. I have consistently spoken out--with dozens of other Muslim and Arab reformers--against the mistreatment of women, gays and religious minorities in the Islamic world. We have pointed out the violent teachings of Salafism and the imperative of Westerners to protect themselves against it. Yet according to CAIR's Michigan spokeswoman, Zeinab Chami, I am "the latest weapon in the Islamophobe arsenal." If standing against the violent edicts of Shariah law is "Islamophobic," then I will treat her accusation as a badge of honor.

Lebanon's new war?

From Lucy Fielder of Al-Ahram Weekly

Fatah Al-Islam's ideology is Al-Qaeda-style Salafism -- anti-Shia and anti-US. Experts say most militia members are northern Lebanese, joined by Palestinians, Syrians, Saudis and other Arab nationalities. A political split between the Sunni-dominated government of Prime Minister Fouad Al-Siniora and the Shia resistance group Hizbullah forms the backdrop to Fatah Al-Islam's growth, according to Ahmed Moussalli, an expert on Islamist movements at the American University of Beirut. " In Lebanon in the last few months it seems the Hariri group has been channelling funds and allowing weaponry to enter in order to create a Sunni militia... to bargain with Hizbullah."

U.S. Selling Out Bosnian Christians to Muslims, Serb Leader Says

From Kenneth R. Timmerman at NewsMax

In a meeting on Wednesday at the State Department, Bosnian Serb Prime Minister Milorad Dodik said that Assistant Secretary Daniel Fried insisted the Christian Bosnian Serb government agree to dissolve its independent police force and parliament, and merge them into Muslim-majority federal institutions ... Asked why he was coming to Washington if to be read the riot act, Dodik said it was "hard to refuse when you've been summoned." Nearly 1.4 million Serbian Christians live in the Republic of Srpska, the autonomous Serbian entity that Serbs say was "forced down [their] throats" under the 1995 Dayton agreement.

7/7 hate preacher deported to Jamaica

From From Times Online (UK)

Jamaican-born Abdullah el-Faisal, an Islamic cleric who had a strong influence over one of the July 7 bombers, was extradited back to his home country today, four years after being convicted for inciting racial hatred in the UK ... On leaving Jamaica in 1983, he travelled first to Guyana, where he took a course in Arabic, before studying at the Imam Mohammed Ibn Saud Mohammed University in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, where he first heard the teachings of Osama bin Laden and other practitioners of militant, Wahhabi Islam.