Reader’s links for march 29 – 2016

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Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

53 Replies to “Reader’s links for march 29 – 2016”

  1. Secrets and Lies: Turkey’s Covert Relationship With ISIS
    While Turkey has arrested ISIS fighters planning an attack on Jewish children, new documents reveal the extensive collaboration between Turkey and ISIS.

    A hot warning received by intelligence officials revealed that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) is planning an “imminent attack” on Jewish children in Turkey. Officials believe the most likely target is in the Beyoglu district of Istanbul, where a Jewish school is attached to a synagogue and community center.

    The information was obtained after Turkey arrested six ISIS operatives in the southern city of Gaziantep last week.

    “This is a more than credible threat. This is an active plot,” a Turkey source said.

    Less than 10 days ago, a suicide bomber stalked Israeli tourists in Istanbul before blowing himself up near them, killing five people (four of them Israelis) and wounding many more.

    “The so-called Islamic State is believed to be behind both sets of attacks and the organization continues in determined efforts to perpetrate further attacks in Turkey and elsewhere,” reported Sky News, quoting from an intelligence report seen by the news outlet.

    In addition to the six arrested, another three ISIS operatives were arrested last week. Turkey, it seems is scrambling to protect itself from attacks the terror group has threatened to execute all across Europe.

    After the Brussels attacks, Turkish President RecepTayyip Erdogan shocked the world by saying that Turkey had captured one of the perpetrators of the massacre last June and send him back to his country. Erdogan specifically said that Ibrahim El Bakraoui, one of the suicide bombers in the Brussels airport, was detained in Turkey and sent back to Belgium with a warning (that was ignored) that he was a militant.

    Yet, new documents obtained by Kurdish YPG fighters (People’s Protection Units) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) who are fighting together, refute the claim made by Erdogan that Turkey is preventing ISIS and Al-Nusra (Al Qaeda’s official affiliate in Syria) from travelling through Turkey to reach Syria.

  2. Report: Catholic Priest Crucified on Good Friday in Yemen
    Father Tom Uzhunnalil was kidnapped from a retirement home at the beginning of March and is reported to have been crucified by ISIS.

    A Catholic Priest was crucified on Good Friday by Islamist according to Arabic media reports.

    Father Tom Uzhunnalil, 56, was kidnapped from a retirement home by unidentified gunmen in the city of Aden, Yemen, at the beginning of March. 16 people were killed in that raid including four nuns.

    Sister Sally, the only nun who survived the assault by hiding in a refrigerator, reported that the gunmen were Islamic State in a chilling account of the attack. Authorities in Yemen also blamed ISIS for the attack.

    Prior to the reported execution Christian groups around the world received threats that Father Tom was being tortured and would be crucified on Good Friday.

    The Archbishop of Vienna announced Father Tom’s death during his address at Mass on Easter Sunday, according to The Express.

  3. You can’t make it up.
    UN names democratic Israel as world’s top human rights violator

    According to the United Nations, the most evil country in the world today is Israel.

    On March 24, 2016, the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) wrapped up its annual meeting in New York by condemning only one country for violating women’s rights anywhere on the planet – Israel, for violating the rights of Palestinian women.

    On the same day, the U.N. Human Rights Council concluded its month-long session in Geneva by condemning Israel five times more than any other of the 192 UN member states.

    There were five Council resolutions on Israel. One each on the likes of hellish countries like Syria, North Korea and Iran. Libya got an offer of “technical assistance.”

    No slander is deemed too vile for the U.N. human rights bodies that routinely listen to highly orchestrated Palestinian versions of the ancient blood libel against the Jews.[…]

  4. Arab Group Demands FBI Close New Counter-Terror Plan
    American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee has demanded the FBI shut down it’s “Shared Responsibility Committees” program.

    A prominent anti-discrimination organization in the US has demanded that the FBI cancel the launch of a new counter-extremism program.

    “The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee demands that the FBI cancel the launch of its controversial ‘Shared Responsibility Committee’ program,” the group said in a statement. “Since learning about the program last fall, ADC has frequently expressed serious concerns about the initiative, which is part of the government’s Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) program.”

    The new program works as follows, according to the ADC.

    When an individual is suspected of becoming radicalized and that information is sent to the authorities, the FBI will open an investigation.

    They then refer the individual to a “Shared Responsibility Committee” which will typically consist of:

    • Cancelling the program isn’t a good idea, anything that helps combat the terrorist actions of the Islamic invaders is good.

  5. VICE NEWS – Syria’s Next Generation of Fighters: Families on the Front Line

    As Syria’s war enters its fifth year, VICE News filmmaker Medyan Dairieh travelled to the shattered northern city of Aleppo, where fighters from the US-backed moderate rebel group Jaish al-Mujahideen are still holding out against government forces in the city’s western half and Islamic State fighters in the eastern countryside.

    For these rebels and their families, local fighters from the northern countryside, Aleppo’s abandoned ruins have become home. More than 13,000 Syrian children have been killed in the war so far — for those who survive, a childhood lived under bombardment and the sound of gunfire casts a dark shadow across their future. From a young age they are trained how to handle weapons, with their parents aiming for them to become the next generation of rebel fighters.

  6. Amounts charged by human smugglers in Athens

    Truck and ship to Italy: €1,000 to €1,200
    Foot and car to Germany or Switzerland, via Balkans: €1,500 to €2,000
    Foot and car to Norway or Sweden, via Balkans: about €2,500
    Truck to Germany, via Balkans: about €2,500
    Plane to Germany, Norway or Sweden: €3,500 to €5,000
    PLANE TO CANADA: about €14,000

  7. Moroccan Homosexual Beaten, Stripped Naked, Sentenced to 2 Months in Prison

    RABAT – A Moroccan homosexual man was sentenced to two months in prison by a court in the central city of Beni Mellal, in accordance with article 489 of the Moroccan constitution, which criminalizes homosexuality.

    A spokesman for the Moroccan Association for Human Rights in Beni Mellal told EFE that the homosexual convict was beaten and was forced to strip naked last March 9.

    The human rights activist said that the trial started last March 15, however, the case did not gain attention until the circulation of a video clip showing two young men getting beaten up and forced to go naked into the streets as they received insults from the crowd.

    None of the attackers were prosecuted, while one of the men was arrested by the police, and was later sentenced to two months in prison and obliged to pay a fine of 45 euros ($50), while the other managed to escape.

    The video started circulating on social media last Friday, forcing the other man to turn himself in.

    Moroccan law punishes homosexual activities with sentences of up to three years in prison.

  8. Oxfam urges rich nations to take in more Syria refugees (BBC, Mar 29, 2016)

    “The UK and other wealthy nations should sharply increase the number of Syrian refugees they take in, Oxfam has said.

    The charity wants 10% of the 4.8 million Syrians displaced by civil war to be resettled by the end of the year.

    Ahead of UN talks in Geneva on the crisis, it highlighted figures showing only 1.4% had been helped so far.

    Oxfam said UK plans to resettle 20,000 Syrians by 2020 were “not good enough”, but Britain says it is also focused on providing aid to people in the region.

    The UK’s pledge of £2.3bn to help people affected by the humanitarian crisis caused by the civil war in Syria makes it the second largest bilateral donor in the world after the US.

    ‘Urgent solutions’

    Oxfam says while Britain has been generous in providing financial aid for those displaced by Syria’s civil war, it “can and should do more”.

    It argues that countries with strong economies and developed infrastructures need to shoulder a greater responsibility towards refugees than nations such as Lebanon and Jordan, where thousands of Syrians are now based…”

  9. Brussels attacks: ‘Months’ until airport fully reopens (BBC, Mar 29, 2016)

    “It will take months to reopen Brussels airport fully, its CEO has warned, as staff return to the site a week after it was targeted by Islamist bombers.

    Arnaud Feist said he hoped the airport would open at 20% capacity on Wednesday but “it’ll take months before we are running at full capacity”.

    Thirty-five people were killed and 96 more are still in hospital after bombs targeted the airport and a metro train.

    The airport is carrying out tests to assess whether it can resume flights…”

  10. Pakistan detained more than 5,000 after Easter bombing killed 72 (reuters, Mar 29, 2016)

    “Pakistan has rounded up more than 5,000 militant suspects, then released most of them, in the two days since a suicide bomber killed at least 72 people in a park in Lahore at Easter, a provincial minister said on Tuesday.

    Investigators were keeping 216 suspects in custody pending further investigation, said Rana Sanaullah, a state minister for Punjab province from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ruling party.

    Details of the sweeping raids aimed at anyone suspected of violent Islamist extremism came as the Taliban faction claiming responsibility for the attack issued a new threat on Tuesday, singling out the media.

    Sanaullah said “5,221 people have initially been detained. 5,005 have been released after verifying their identities, and 216 people have been referred for further investigation.

    “If someone is found to be guilty, they will be charged,” told journalists in the Punjab province capital of Lahore.

    Army spokesman Gen. Asim Bajwa said the military and the paramilitary Rangers were conducting raids across Punjab, Pakistan’s richest and most populous province, in rapid response to the Easter bombing…”

  11. ‘Somalia-bound’ ship of weapons seized by French navy (BBC, Mar 29, 2016)

    “French naval forces patrolling the northern Indian Ocean have seized a ship full of weapons they say was heading towards Somalia.

    Hundreds of assault rifles, machine guns and anti-tank weapons were found.

    They seized the weapons under a UN embargo to prevent arms from getting to Somali Islamist militants.

    Earlier this month, the Australian navy intercepted a cache of arms on a fishing boat off Oman, also believed to be on its way to Somalia…”

  12. U.S. orders military families to leave parts of Turkey (reuters, Mar 29, 2016)

    “The U.S. military said on Tuesday it has ordered the families of its personnel to leave parts of southern Turkey over “continued security concerns in the region.”

    Families of personnel stationed in Adana – including at Incirlik air base, used heavily in the fight against Islamic State militants – Izmir, and Mugla have been ordered to leave, the statement from U.S. European Command said. The decision was authorized by U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter.

    “We understand this is disruptive to our military families, but we must keep them safe and ensure the combat effectiveness of our forces to support our strong ally Turkey in the fight against terrorism,” General Philip M. Breedlove, commander of U.S. European Command, said in the statement.

    The ordered departures do not indicate a decision to permanently end families’ presence at military facilities in southern Turkey, the statement said…”

  13. Facebook page celebrates over killing of peace-loving Muslim shopkeeper as murder suspect appears in court (dailymail, Mar 29, 2016)

    “A sectarian Facebook page which is against the peace-loving Islamic sect of Asad Shah posted a headline about his death with the message ‘Congratulations to all Muslims’.

    The Anti Qadianiat (Tahafuz Khatme Nubuwwat) group posted the comment along with a screenshot of a news story in the aftermath of the 40-year-old’s stabbing in Glasgow.

    Mr Shah was stabbed to death in his shop in what is feared to have been a sectarian attack against the peace-loving branch of Islam he followed….”

  14. Britain’s flashiest tourist: Saudi billionaire flies his £1m-plus fleet of GOLD supercars to London so he can get about while on holiday (dailymail, Mar 29, 2016)

    “For many people a trip abroad might mean a small hire car with the occasional luxury addition. But for one man desperate to maintain his reputation, a holiday in London means just another place he can show off his impressive vehicles.Britain’s flashiest tourist, from Saudi Arabia, arrived in the capital over the weekend with a fleet of gold cars worth more than £1million…”

  15. EU admits plot for FEDERAL superstate and describes Brussels attacks as an ‘opportunity’ (express, Mar 29, 2016)

    “A SENIOR MEP provoked anger last night by describing the recent terror outrages in Brussels as an “opportunity” to turn the EU into a “full political union”.

    Gianni Pitella, leader of the socialist group in the European Parliament, claimed the attack’s on the Belgian capital’s metro system and airport showed the need for even closer intergration of the 28 member nations of the bloc.

    He also called for a “European Intelligence Agency” to be set up to strengthen the EU’s defences against extremists.

    Critics warned that his outburst laid bare the ambitions for an European super-state held by many EU supporters and highlighted the long-term dangers of Britain staying tied to Brussels.

    Mr Pitella’s remarks came in an interview with the EU news website Euractiv….”

  16. ISIS plotting 25 terror attacks on Britain as MI5 says it’s ‘not a case of if but WHEN’ (expess, Mar 29, 2016)

    “MI5 and British counter-terror police are tracking as many as 25 serious ISIS terror attack plots threatening to cause carnage on Britain’s streets, it has been revealed.

    Security officials are tracking up to 50 British jihadists 24 hours a day with “intense scrutiny” amid fears they could be about to unleash a wave of terror in Britain.

    The terrifying claims by intelligence sources come as a former British intelligence officer admitted it was “a case of not if but when” ISIS terrorists strike at home.

    MI5 is tracking the plots by “hardcore jihadists” but are struggling with limited resources.

    The counter-terror officers are working around the clock to prevent an attack on the scale of Paris or Brussels taking place in Britain.

    Investigators fear “sleeper cells” could be awaiting orders at a moment’s notice to carry out plots.

    These cells are often small, tight-knit groups that can more easily evade MI5’s network of tipsters monitoring mosques and radical meetings.

    Militants in these cells are usually simply awaiting a green light to strike and could attack without any warning to security forces.

    Security experts fear in the wake of Paris and Brussels atrocities that London could now be next.

    A former British intelligence officer said: “Everyone in the counter-terrorism community believes an attack in Britain will take place.”

    There are about 450 extremists “of concern to counter-terror officials” throughout the UK.

    Some have returned from the conflict in Syria and others have been radicalised at home.

    The intelligence source added: “The pace of investigations to try and stop this happening is extremely dynamic and fast-moving….”

  17. Overprotective husband hides Muslim wife behind CURTAIN during date despite wearing a VEIL (express, Mar 29, 2016)

    “A SAUDI man has been the centre of online ridicule after his “overzealous” actions saw his wife draped in a curtain, burka and screen wall during a restaurant dinner.

    The bizarre behaviour sparked controversy across social media – although the restrictive move recieved a large backing among those in Saudi Arabia.

    Reportedly taken in the Arab state, the image shows a large red and white headscarf draped over a frosted restaurant booth window preventing the woman from being seen.

    The unusual move on the romantic date out comes despite the woman already wearing the traditional government-enforced abaya veil.

    The extreme measures taken to hide the woman from view while on their dinner date has split opinion in Saudi Arabia.

    More than 100,000 people commented on the picture within days.

    Many accused the man of being “overzealous”, “insecure” and “controlling”.

    Some tweeted that the husband was extremely jealous – although in fact several took this as a good sign.

    Others in defended and complimented the man, saying he was “protecting” his wife or “respecting her modesty”….”

  18. German prosecutor: Hard to convict ‘Islamic State’ returnees (DW, Mar 29, 2016)

    “Germany’s top state prosecutor says often nothing can be proven against members of terrorist groups returning from war zones. “Islamic State” returnees can rarely be convicted on murder charges…

    As if to make her point, Germany’s top federal prosecutor Peter Frank said on Tuesday that convicting former IS members of any crimes beyond being IS members was difficult. “We assume that some of these perpetrators have blood on their hands, but often we can’t prove it,” he told the “Süddeutsche Zeitung.” “Our problem is: What proof can we get from a war zone where all state structures have collapsed? Cooperation in terms of legal help doesn’t work either in Syria or Iraq.”

    “If we are able to determine they are returnees from the ranks of the ‘Islamic State’ or other groups, then mostly we can only prove their membership in a terrorist organization,” he added. “But we often get the impression that these people weren’t just put on guard duty or received weapons training in Syria, but were involved in bodily harm, killings and bombing attacks.”…”

  19. 25 attacks on refugee facilities last year in Austria (thelocal, Mar 29, 2016)

    “The number of attacks was revealed following a data request made to the Interior Ministry by the Green party justice spokesperson Albert Steinhauser.

    Incidents took place in all but one of the country’s provinces, with Burgenland witnessing no attacks and Carinthia seeing the most with seven.

    Some of the worst incidents involved refugees being shot at with an air rifle in Wiener Neustadt and Nazi propaganda being posted up in facilities in Hohenems and Wolfurt in Vorarlberg.

    Other attacks involved arson and firecrackers and fireworks being set off.

    In most cases the culprits are not found, something that Steinhauser says must change…”

  20. Report: Turkey summons German ambassador over satirical song (DW, Mar 29, 2016)

    “German public broadcaster NDR has broadcast a sardonic song criticizing the Turkish president. Despite a worrying crackdown on dissidents and dwindling press freedom, Berlin continues to support Ankara.

    Turkey’s Foreign Ministry summoned German Ambassador Martin Erdmann on March 22 over a satirical song aired on public broadcaster NDR’s “Extra 3” program, according to information obtained by widely-read German magazine “Spiegel Online.”

    The song’s music video, titled “Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan,” juxtaposes images of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with footage of police cracking down on protesters.

    The lyrics lash out at Turkey’s tight grip on the press, saying: “A journalist that writes something that doesn’t suit Erdogan is in jail tomorrow.”

    NDR’s “Extra 3” has criticized the Turkish president in the past. In 2014, the program aired “A song for Erdogan” that interlaced footage of security forces beating demonstrators, rallies for Erdogan’s AKP party and protests against Turkey targeting journalists.

    Historically, Turkey and Germany have shared strong diplomatic relations. In the 1960s and 70s, the large-scale migration of Turks to Germany under a government agreement made them the largest ethnic minority group in the EU member state.

    Despite Turkey’s crackdown on dissidents and journalists, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in October that Germany supported restarting negotiations for Turkey’s accession to the EU during a visit to Ankara.

    Earlier this month, the EU and Ankara finalized an agreement to stem the migration flow from Turkey to the bloc via the Aegean Sea in exchange for opening a new chapter of the accession process, visa liberalization and three billion euros ($3.36 billion) in aid. The agreement was championed by several EU leaders, including Merkel.”

    • WATCH: The video Turkey wants banned from Germany (thelocal, Mar 29, 2016)

      “Germany’s top diplomat in Ankara has been summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry for a telling-off after public broadcaster NDR mocked President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a comic song.

      NDR’s satirical show extra3 broadcast the song “Erdowie, Erdowo, Erdogan” on March 17th.

      The song mocks Erdogan’s thousand-room presidential palace, famously built over a nature reserve bequeathed by modern Turkey’s founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

      It further wounds the Turkish President’s pride with footage of him speaking in a high voice.

      “A journalist who writes something that doesn’t please Erdogan will already be in prison tomorrow,” the singer intones.

      “The time is ripe for his great Ottoman Empire.”

      Further footage in the video shows Erdogan shaking hands with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

      “Be charming, because he holds you in his hand,” the lyrics continue.

      The story became public late on Monday. Ambassador Martin Erdmann had been called into the Turkish Foreign Ministry on March 22nd to justify the broadcast by the publicly-funded broadcaster, Spiegel Online reported.

      There was no comment from the German Foreign Ministry on the diplomatic spat on Tuesday morning, although Spiegel reported that Erdmann may be summoned to meet his Turkish opposite numbers again in the course of the day.

      But formally summoning an ambassador for a telling-off is one of the harshest ways countries can express their disapproval to one another without expelling diplomats altogether.

      DPA learned from Turkish government sources later on Tuesday that Ankara had demanded the film never be broadcast again….”

  21. Tony Blair says ‘many millions’ of Muslims hold views that are ‘fundamentally incompatible with the modern world’ (businessinsider, Mar 29, 2016)

    “Tony Blair has said that “many millions” of Muslims hold a viewpoint that is “fundamentally incompatible with the modern world.”

    Rejecting arguments that ISIS is simply “tens of thousands of brainwashed crazies,” he said ISIS, the militant group also known as the Islamic State, ISIL, or Daesh, “does not seek dialogue but dominance.”

    “It cannot therefore be contained,” he said. “It has to be defeated.”

    To mitigate against such attacks, the former British prime minister argued for “active on-the-ground military support” for Arab armies, saying ISIS militants “have to be crushed.”…”

  22. CANADA – MONTREAL -STM looking for intruders that explored forbidden areas in metro tunnels

    The STM is investigating several people who hid in metro tunnels, opened doors between metro cars, and sat in a train driver’s booth.

    They also set off fireworks and used sparklers inside metro tunnels.

    The events were all captured on a video the group posted online on Sunday.

    The video includes footage of the group lifting a manhole cover and descending a ladder that leads to STM service tunnels.

    On that video a woman spots the intruders while they are sitting in a train driver’s booth, and can be heard yelling at them to get out of the train.

    Transit officials said the events captured on camera are “dangerous and illegal” and they are seeking to identify the people in the video

    Authorities looking for metro intruders on viral film

    Montreal police and STM officials are looking for several people found on a viral video committing what are being called “dangerous and illegal” acts in metro tunnels and on metro cars.

    The three-minute video, called Lowest Point In Montreal, was posted on YouTube over the weekend, and has received thousands of views on both YouTube and Facebook.

    The video includes footage of one person lifting a man lifting a manhole cover and going down a ladder to enter the metro’s service tunnels.

    One person is also seen standing in the middle of the tracks in the tunnel, setting off sparklers, while another is seen walking through metro cars in mid-ride, and entering the train driver’s booth, to take more footage of a side of the metro system that regular riders never see.

    But while many of the viewers appeared to enjoy the visuals and daring stunts, authorities are now looking for those responsible.

    “We are concerned about what we see in this video, that’s for sure, and that’s why we asked for an investigation,” says Insp. Carole Lalonde, the head of the Montreal police metro division. “We are trying to identify witness and suspects.”

    Insp. Lalonde suggests they may face fines, and criminal prosecution.

    She also suggests the stunts — especially the ones in the tunnel and the tracks — were also risky.

    “They are exposing themselves to major injuries,” she says. “There is a lot of electricity down there.”

  23. Parents of murdered Syrian soldier sue French extremist in Paris

    PARIS: The parents of a Syrian soldier allegedly decapitated by a French militant extremist have taken their quest for justice to a Paris court where they gave evidence against their son’s suspected killer, their lawyer said Tuesday.

    The soldier, identified as Ghaisse M., was among a group of prisoners, including American aid worker Peter Kassig, decapitated by ISIS in November 2014.

    One of the killers was identified from a grisly ISIS video of the execution as Maxime Hauchard, a 24-year-old Frenchman from Normandy, and an international warrant was issued for his arrest.

    French authorities have opened a judicial inquiry into “murders linked to a terrorist act” over the executions.

    “The Syrian justice system cannot function in the current context. It is up to France to judge its citizens when they commit atrocious crimes in our country,” said Ghassan M., the father of the soldier, who has filed a civil lawsuit against Hauchard in France.

    On Friday, he and his wife gave evidence to a judge.

    “It is the first time that a Syrian family is a plaintiff in a case implicating a French jihadist who has gone to Syria,” lawyer Fabrice Delinde said.

    He said the soldier’s parents “were able to talk about the particularly atrocious circumstances surrounding the death of their child.”

    Ghassan said his 30-year-old son was kidnapped in 2013 by the Free Syrian Army, a loose coalition of opponents to Bashar Assad’s government.

    After six months he was handed over to the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front.

    “We paid a ransom to the Al-Nusra Front. But they tortured him and sold him to Daesh (ISIS) who decapitated him,” he said.

    Attempts by Ghaisse’s parents to bring the case to court in France were initially rejected, but the Paris appeals court later ruled it was admissible.

  24. GERMANY -BERLIN – MARCH 15 2016 – Egypt’s Top Muslim Cleric Addresses German Parliament

    The grand imam of al-Azhar, Egypt’s highest Islamic authority, said that it is up to individuals, in Islamic law, to decide to believe or disbelieve, in a speech he gave at the German parliament on Tuesday.

    Answering the questions of German lawmakers in the Bundestag, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb said there are Egyptian TV stations that discuss and preach atheism without being stopped.

    Tayeb’s speech at the Bundestag was broadcast on state Egyptian television.

    The Egyptian government has come under the scrutiny of human rights organisations in Egypt and internationally over alleged crackdown on freedom of belief. In April 2015, the Ministry of Endowments launched a series of intensive training to confront atheism, and in December 2014, Dar al-Ifta, another key state-affiliated religions institution, issued a report with a set of suggestions on how to “confront the spread of the phenomenon of atheism.”

    Tayeb is currently in Berlin where he visited Germany’s Roman Catholic Archdiocese and met with top Christian clerics and interfaith dialogue leaders.

    “Terrorists who commit their crimes in the name of religions do not represent those religions,” Azhar’s top imam said in his speech at the German parliament.

    “In fact, they are betrayers of the religions they claim to fight for,” he added.

    He called on Muslims and Christians to unite in the face of “extremism, terror, and injustice in all its forms.”

    Egypt is battling a wave of militancy which intensified in 2013 with the military ouster of then-President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood group following mass protests against his rule.

  25. Is Turkey Planning to Destabilize Lebanon?

    * Turkish leadership saw the uprising in Syria and Egypt as an opportunity to change the regimes opposed to Turkey’s policies in the Middle East. Turkey looked at two targets: Egypt and Syria. In both countries, the Islamic opposition was headed by the Muslim Brotherhood, natural allies of the Turkish President Erdogan.

    * Turkey saw the developments in Syria as an opportunity to intervene and topple the Alawite regime. Turkish military intelligence was instructed to assist rebel factions opposed to the Assad regime almost from the very first days of the civil war in Syria.

    * Testimony in Turkish courts alleges that rocket parts, ammunition and semi-finished mortar shells taken from Turkish intelligence depots were carried in trucks accompanied by state officials to parts of Syria under hardline Islamist rebel control.

    * Turkey may have chosen to take advantage of the already boiling situation in Lebanon between Hizbullah and its Sunni opponents and try to provoke a renewed civil war in Lebanon.

    * Greek authorities intercepted a ship recently, loaded with a Turkish shipment of weapons, supposedly destined to Muslim radicals in the northern part of Lebanon.

  26. Meanwhile, in India:

    Undeterred by strong opposition from influential Islamic bodies to judicial scrutiny of Muslim personal law practices, the Supreme Court on Monday decided to examine the legality of triple talaq by entertaining a Muslim woman’s petition that this mode of divorce be declared unconstitutional as it allowed Muslim men to treat women like “chattel”.

    Perhaps it will take India to lead the way against Islamic institutionalized misogyny, because it’s harder for the regressives to call them ‘racist’!

    • I looked into “Mideasteye”. They’re pretty much the Enemy, aren’t they?
      Some worthwhile stuff, though. Because there’s information about our presumptive “allies” – who also happen to be the Enemy. Complicated, isn’t it?

  27. Pakistan – Pro-Qadri protests fuel resurgence of Barelvi groups

    KARACHI: As the Islamabad stand-off between the pro-Qadri protesters and the authorities continued for a third consecutive day with charged crowds in Karachi and some other cities holding sit-ins on a daily basis to express solidarity with the protesters, there seems to be a resurgence of the religio-political parties belonging to the Barelvi sect, which had previously remained quiescent, according to political analysts.[…]
    Barelvi ( wikipedia )

    […]over 200 million followers in South Asia

    The movement was in existence (as is today) under the banner of Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jammat, but later started to refer to themselves as Barelvi’s to differentiate from the Deobandi movement, which was influenced by the Wahhabi movement in Arabia.

    […]Beliefs regarding Muhammad

    Barelvis have several beliefs regarding Muhammad’s nature that distinguish them from Deobandi, Salafi and Shi’i groups in South Asia:

    He is a human being but created from light.
    He is present in many places at the same time.
    He is still witnessing all that goes on in the world.
    He has knowledge of that which is unknown, including the future.

    […]the movement views a man who trims his beard to less than a fist-length as a sinner, and shaving the beard is considered abominable.

  28. This article makes some good points.
    When John Kerry says Daish, he thinks he’s cool – like when he reads the offerings on a French menu with decent pronunciation. Muslims think it’s “cultural appropriation”. These days that’s decidedly uncool. Probably the only case of my being in agreement with the monstrous Red Guards policing campus today.

    Theology in Foreign Policy: ISIS in Context

    ISIS is different from the other Islamic groups in its drive to create a global caliphate. Its claims to statehood and the caliphate are part of its propaganda. Its appeal to potential recruits lies principally in its distinct apocalyptic narrative and in its promise of a purist Salafi utopia. ISIS is driven first and foremost by theology rather than state-oriented priorities.

    It is also important to remember that ISIS’ statehood is an aspiration, not a reality. The West should try to halt ISIS’ progression toward statehood through physical stresses on its territorial project (cutting its access to resources and cash flows, stopping its expansion and its recruitment efforts), as well as bringing together a broad array of local and regional actors to not only fight ISIS, but to help in the rebuilding of their countries. By doing so, we not only stop the territorial expansion, but also invalidate the theological narrative ISIS promotes.

    From a foreign policy perspective, it is highly instructive to understand the theological literature on which ISIS draws, as this could guide policymakers in understanding the group’s territorial ambitions. The term “ideology” is a holdover from the Cold War and is not the same as “theology.”

    Theology has a clear spiritual aspect to it and it can exert influence beyond political and economic frameworks associated with ideology. Failure to appreciate the uniquely spiritual claims promoted by theologically-oriented groups like ISIS risks underestimating the religious hold that ISIS has over its recruits. It is much more than, say, the tenuous hold that the Communist ideology had over citizens of the Soviet Union.

    To stop ISIS from building a state, the West must stick to breaking its hold on swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria, areas central to the group’s apocalyptic narrative. To invalidate the group’s theological cause, the West must engage with a broad array of actors across the ethnic and religious spectrum to not only help them fight ISIS, but also reclaim and rebuild their land.

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