Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Time for Scholars to Stand Up

by Samar Fatany from Arab News

Imams and khatibs must play a greater role in the fight against terrorism and destructive thoughts and ideas. This was the message of Interior Minister Prince Naif to 600 imams and khatibs who deliver Friday sermons in mosques across Saudi Arabia. He urged them to expose the falsehood of deviant ideology that continues to dupe Saudi youths to go to Iraq and blow themselves up, slaughtering the innocent and serving the interests of our enemies by tarnishing the image of Islam and branding the Kingdom as a terrorist haven promoting a destructive ideology. It is the duty of every imam and every Muslim scholar to stop the spread of the deviant ideology that has hijacked Islam and threatens every Muslim in the world today.

Hardline Muslim clerics identified

by Richard Kerbaj from The Australian

National security sources told The Australian they were aware of at least 10 hardline clerics around Australia, including Sheik Bilal, who were propagating a Wahabi ideology espoused by al-Qa'ida leader Osama bin Laden. Other Wahabi clerics include Melbourne-based Mohammed Omran and Harun Mehicivic; Sydney's Abdul Salam Mohammed Zoud, Hatim Eissa, Khaled Eissa and Feiz Mohammed; and Canberra's Mohammed Swaiti. But Sheik Bilal denied proponents of the Wahabi branch of Islam promoted terror ... "These are people who follow the Koran and Sunnah - they follow the teachings of Islam," Sheik Bilal said. "And if following the teachings of Islam, following the way of the Prophet is called radical, then ... call us radicals."

Fighting at Nahr al-Bared splits Tripoli into two camps

by Rym Ghazal and Hani M. Bathish from The Daily Star

The polarization of Tripoli into moderate and extreme can best be viewed along the city's beaches, where one often sees female joggers in shorts passing other women wearing the niqab and strolling with their bearded husbands in traditional dress ... Extremists have gravitated toward the extremities of Tripoli, such as the suburb to the east of the city called Abu Samra, once a stronghold of Syrian intelligence operatives. Abu Samra is today a base for many Salafi religious leaders, both local and the occasional exile from distant shores. They find both a safe haven and an ideologically receptive environment in the conservative Muslim neighborhood.

Shoeless President Bush

By Daniel Pipes from The New York Sun

Worse, the speech drum-rolled the appointment of an American special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, directing this envoy to "listen to and learn from" his Muslim counterparts. But the OIC is a Saudi-sponsored organization promoting the Wahhabi agenda under the trappings of a Muslim-only United Nations. As counterterrorism specialist Steven Emerson noted June 28 in the National Review, Mr. Bush's dismal initiative stands in "complete ignorance of the rampant radicalism, pro-terrorist, and anti-American sentiments routinely found in statements by the OIC and its leaders." Adding to the event's accommodationist tone, some of the president's top female aides, including Frances Townsend and Karen Hughes, wore makeshift hijabs as they listened to him in the audience.

Cult of Contempt

from The Times (UK)

This perversion of Islam cannot be written off simply as Wahhabi fanaticism or a Muslim equivalent of liberation theology. It does indeed have its roots in narrow fundamentalism, as those who have been temporarily seized by its spurious religious message have bravely admitted. But it is better understood as a cult, and one that appeals especially to the frustrations and rage of young Muslim men. In earlier times, the social restrictions of conservative societies, especially on relations between men and women, would have been largely accepted by men who had little outlet for their emotions. But in the digital age, the contrast with more liberal societies is quickly apparent and often agonising. The result is a prurient interest in the tawdriest aspects of Western life and a subsequent self-loathing, confusion and misogyny that blames women and Western society for undermining Muslim “purity”. Their frustrations are exploited by the politically ambitious, using causes such as Iraq and the Palestinians as motivators.

Youth form radical creche

by Carly Crawford from the Herald Sun

Researcher Mustapha Kara-Ali says young people are being exposed to a warped view of Islam in mosques, Islamic centres and even in their living rooms. The former Howard government adviser on Islamic issues estimates up to 3000 Sydney youths are taking in dangerous Wahhabist thought, leaving them vulnerable to radical conversion. Focus group research and meetings suggested Melbourne and Sydney were fertile recruiting zones, Mr Kara-Ali said. "I am suspecting that Melbourne is the other hotspot with about 1000 to 2000 (at risk)," he said.

The Path to...?

by Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. from Townhall

My guess is that the single most important contributor to our vulnerability to future attacks, however, will prove to be the result of a systematic failure by our government to understand the nature of our enemies, and to deal with these foes appropriately. A case in point was President Bush’s visit to the Saudi-underwritten Washington Islamic Center last week. The occasion was the mosque’s 50th anniversary. It amounted to a celebration of Saudi Arabia’s effort to promote dawa in America: the inculcation of Islam in this country and the domination of the Muslim faith by the Saudis’ totalitarian Wahhabi cult. The President’s participation in the re-dedication of this facility is a perfect metaphor for his administration’s central failure in this War for the Free World.