Monday, June 11, 2007

Murder highlights death toll of Iraqi journalists

by Patrick Cockburn from the Independent

Iraq has become the most dangerous country in the world for journalists, with Sunni insurgents routinely targeting journalists, twelve of whom were killed in May alone. The great majority of those murdered or kidnapped are Iraqis, while non-Iraqi journalists find it increasingly difficult and dangerous to operate there. The Ansar al-Sunna fundamentalist group claimed responsibility for killing Mrs al-Haideri, saying she "distorted the reputation of the mujahedin [fighters]." They had put her name on a death list, that included nine journalists, issued by the Islamic State of Iraq, the umbrella organisation of extreme Jihadi and Salafi groups. The list was posted in several mosques in Mosul.

Iraq speaker ordered on leave after brawl

from Agence France-Presse

Iraq's parliament on Sunday sent its Sunni speaker Mahmud Mashhadani on indefinite leave after he allegedly ordered his bodyguards to beat up a fellow MP, a lawmaker said. Mashhadani, is known for his loud rhetoric in parliament ... Mashhadani is a religious fundamentalist of the Salafi school whose death sentence under Saddam Hussein's regime was commuted to a 15-year prison term in 2000 after he bribed the judge. A doctor by trade, the Baghdad native helped create the National Dialogue Front, one of the Sunni parties that belong to the 44-seat Sunni National Concord Front coalition.

Alexandria turns into conservatism bastion

from the Associated Press

The outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s largest Islamist group, has more lawmakers elected from Alexandria than from any other city. The city of 5 million people also has a large Salafi movement, a brand of Islam more extreme than the Brotherhood – its followers are recognized by their long beards and shorter than usual robes. They preach a ban on contacts between Muslims and Christians and residents blame them for violent clashes with Christians in recent years. The city’s move toward fundamentalism has driven away the wealthy and secular middle-class Egyptians who once flocked to Alexandria in the summer for its beaches and nightlife.

Militant group had rocky ties with Palestinian factions in Lebanon

from the Associated Press

Beirut-based Palestinian expert Majed Azzam said the offer to fight alongside Hezbollah was made by all the Palestinian factions in Lebanon, and rejected. "Hezbollah told them thank you very much, but we'd rather do this on our own," Azzam said. Al-Absi subscribes to the Salafi and takfiri ideology of Islam that urges Sunni Muslims to kill anyone they consider an infidel, even Shiite Muslims. But Azzam said despite that, al-Absi has never spoken against the Shiite Hezbollah because it is fighting Israel.

Turkey: America’s only Honorable Exit from Iraq

by Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis from the American Chronicle

Turkey can help establish Order, Freedom, Democracy and Justice in Iraq. With its centuries old know how, with its Ottoman experience, self-criticism and correct perception of the Wahhabi danger for the entire Mankind, with its Kemalist version of Secular Democracy for Muslims, with millions of Circassians, Turkmens, Turks and Azeris in Iraq and Iran as its natural allies, Turkey can: impose Peace in Mesopotamia, adjust the correct punishment on the Iraqi Sunni terrorists, help establish small cantons of ethnic-linguistic and religious character in Mesopotamia, and guarantee the safety of numerous small ethnic-linguistic and religious groups that are seriously threatened by the Sunni criminals, the Shia lunatics, and the pseudo-democratic, Kurdish proxies of France.

Man who has fought the fight, built the bridges

by Barney Zwartz from The Age

Sheikh Fehmi received a Centenary Medal in 2001, and the Order of Australia in the same year for services to multiculturalism by promoting tolerance and multifaith understanding ... he has also been an astute politician within Islamic community politics, and 15 years ago fought off an attempt by hard-line Wahhabi Muslims to take control of Preston mosque while he was on pilgrimage to Mecca. Tensions remain at the mosque to this day. At a time when Australian Muslims were reluctant to criticise other Muslims, Sheikh Fehmi spoke out against terrorism, and has also admonished Sheikh Hilali and radical Melbourne leader Sheikh Mohammed Omran.