Friday, October 26, 2007

UN Human Rights Committee considers report of Algeria

from the United Nations Human Rights Committee

Explaining why activities leading to conversion from Islam to another religion had become criminal offences, the delegation said that Islam was the official religion of the Algeria. It was practised by more than 99% of the population. Having noted the exploitation of certain difficulties persons were facing to spread doubt in their faith and to seduce them into other religions, measures such as this one had been implemented to invite anyone preaching a religion to respect the law ... a UN official noted that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights allowed freedom of religion, but it was clear that the sharia law did not ... The Algerian delegation, which presented the report, included members of the Algerian Permanent Mission in Geneva; the Ministries of Justice, Communication, Health, National Solidarity, Foreign Affairs, and the Interior; the Gendarmerie Nationale; and the National Security Service.

Top Egyptian Islamist defends political platform

by Alaa Shahine and Jonathan Wright from Reuters

The Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's biggest opposition group, will not abandon its position that women and non-Muslims are ineligible to hold the presidency of the country, the group's deputy leader said on Thursday. That position has alarmed secular activists and even some Islamists, who say it contradicts the group's repeated statements in favour of equal rights for all Egyptians. The programme places a major emphasis on sharia, Islamic law, and tries to apply Islamic principles to all aspects of life, from politics to foreign investment and education ... Egypt is dominated by Sunni Muslims. The constitution has no restrictions on who can be president but it says sharia is the main source of legislation. The article sparked comparisons between the Brotherhood and the Islamic Republic of Iran, where Shi'ite religious leaders have the final say on state matters.

Giuliani Front-Runner Among GOP Jewish Donors

by Beth Young from The Jewish Telegraphic Agency

The former New York City mayor significantly outpaced fellow GOP hopefuls John McCain and Mitt Romney in raising money from the 60 board members of the Republican Jewish Coalition. "I think a lot of New Yorkers like his tough stand on terrorism and his tough stance with regard to Iran getting nukes," said Morrie Amitay, a former executive director of AIPAC and now a vice president at JINSA ... His tough talk on Iran also earned long applause. "I guarantee you," he said, "we will never find out what they will do with nuclear weapons because they’re not going to get them." One audience member, Jeremy Kohn, praised Giuliani for his role in returning a $10 million charitable donation to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Giuliani "was the most decisive and toughest. He’s not afraid to offend people. He’s not afraid to stand up to them," Kohn said.

The U.S. Dilemma Over Pakistan

by Joseph Puder from The Philadelphia Bulletin

Fair elections are one of the features of a functioning democracy but not the decisive factor in creating a democratic society. Building democratic institutions - a civil society and establishing the rule-of law - should precede any elections, especially in nations with a tradition of extremism and violence. The Palestinians are a case in point. The Bush administration encouraged the participation of Hamas in a fair election that resulted in bringing them to power and creating a terrorist entity. Hamas, originally the Gazan branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, openly seeks the destruction of Israel. Both Tehran's fanatical Shiite ayatollahs and Riyadh's Sunni Wahhabis are supporting and mentoring Hamas, and it is unlikely that Hamas government will develop into a democratic society or will allow open, free elections in the future.

Campus Double Standards

from The New York Sun

The professors of the Ad Hoc Committee to Defend the University say they are in favor of "the free exchange of ideas" and against "ideological and political tests," but among the signers of the petition are two scholars, Everett Mendelsohn and J. Lorand Matory of Harvard University, who led the fight to oust Harvard's president, Lawrence Summers, for his sins of speaking out in favor of America and Israel. They say they are against "outside groups seeking to influence what is taught," but they raise not a peep against the tens of millions of dollars pouring into American universities from Saudi princes and Persian Gulf governments that are hostile to Israel.

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week Day 2

by Nonie Darwish from Front Page Magazine

A Muslim woman in Florida insists on covering her face for a driver’s license, cab drivers in Minnesota refuse to take passengers carrying wine from the duty-free shop, the 6 flying Imams who scared everyone on the airplane and are now suing. And lately demands for special faucets at the level of the feet of for Muslim kids in American schools to Wada “wash” before praying. I have lived in the Middle East for 30 years and have never seen special faucets for Wada in schools or universities, except in mosques. This only exists in Saudi Arabia. The deception is phenomenal. Islamists are pushing Wahabi Saudi values in America; values that I have never even seen in Egypt. I have not come to America to become a Wahabi Saudi ... Religion, any religion, must adapt to the universal concept of Human Rights, freedom of choice of one’s religion, equal rights of women and minorities. As Arab Americans what are we going to do about it?

Saudi-Iranian Work Group To Discuss Security Cooperation

from Al-Riyadh via MEMRI

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abd Al-'Aziz said, following a meeting in Kuwait with the interior ministers of countries neighboring Iraq, that he had met with his Iranian counterpart Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi to discuss Saudi-Iranian security cooperation, particularly in fighting terrorism. He said that a Saudi-Iranian work group was expected to meet soon to further this cooperation.

Tehran hosts Int’l Conference on Islamic Finance

from The Tehran Times

Attended by a host of domestic and foreign officials and experts, the get-together aimed to explore avenues to use huge financial resources of Muslim states, to introduce policies on Islamic finance, to hold training courses for managers, and to share achievements and experiences of industrial organizations ... Hong Kong’s chief executive said on Oct. 10 the city would look to emulate Malaysia and Singapore as a center for Islamic finance, in an effort to grab a slice of the thriving market.