Thursday, October 30, 2003

MEMRI, New Al-Qa'ida Online Magazine Features Interview with a 'Most-Wanted' Saudi Islamist, Calls for Killing of Americans and Non-Muslims, October 17 2003 Extracts from 'The Voice of Jihad'.
middle-east-online, Taraweeh in English live from Mecca, 30 Oct 03 "The Saudi Ministry For Islamic Affairs, Endowment, Dawa and Guidance has launched the first ever live English translation of Ramadan “Taraweeh” prayers from TV studios at the Sacred Mosque in Mecca.

"The project was launched under the directives of the Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Saleh Bin Abdel Aziz Al Sheikh and with the cooperation of team of Islamic scholars and translators led by Sheikh Wajdi Bin Hamza Al Ghazzawi who developed the translation system being used for this historic project."

Project for the Research of Islamist Movements, PRISM Occasional papers No. 8 -- Sawt al-Jihad: The New Indoctrination of Qa`idat al-Jihad click on the link for access to this paper, from The Project for the Research of Islamist Movements (PRISM) in Israel.
Study finds gaps in digital divide theory - News & Technology - CNETAsia: "Charting and Bridging Digital Divides" report on the so-called 'digital divide' paints a more complext picture. There are no references to 'Islamic' contexts in the report.
IHT: Brazil, the new hotbed for hackers, 28 Oct 03
GN Online: Hezbollah TV show on Zionism draws Washington's anger, 30 Oct 03
ic Wales - Website backs Islam awareness week: New government backed website for the annual awareness week. Site to be launched next week.
BBC NEWS, Photo Journal: Baghdad family, 30 Oct 03 Not quite Salam Pax, but an interesting insight nevertheless into daily life. I hope the BBC paid Mr Kadhim for his contribution.
Information production on rise: Study, 29 October 2003
" ... the worldwide production of information has increased by 30 per cent each year between 1999 and 2002, according to researchers at the University of California, Berkeley."
Seductive voice of political Islam - OCT 27, 2003: "After Dr Mahathir spoke, the Muslim heads of state gathered at the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference gave him a standing ovation for the speech, which ultimately criticised the Islamic world for failing to modernise.

"The acceptance of such conspiratorial views may strike Americans as despicable or even laughable, but they reflect the influence of Islamic radicals on the world views of millions of Muslims. Conveyed with ease and authority via the Internet and satellite television, anti-American and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories abound, not only in Muslim countries but across the world. "
Cybercast News Service, Australian Embassy Deals With Concerns About Religious Vilification Case -- 29 Oct 2003 "The Australian Embassy in Washington has been flooded with messages from Americans concerned to learn that two Christian pastors in Australia are facing accusations, brought under new hate laws, of vilifying Islam."

Saturday, October 25, 2003

Mercury News | 10/25/2003 | A hidden voice of Islam reference to Silicon Valley got this interesting profile of a Muslim community in America into the blog
Wired News: Plumbing Depths of Data Mining, 25 Oct 03
Times-Picaynne, Hallmark Cards greets Islam, 25 Oct 03: "Several Internet Muslim communities have built up commercial components that include Muslim artwork and books in addition to Ramadan gifts, greetings and decorations. Secular greeting card companies such as American Greetings have offered online Eid greetings for several years. "

Friday, October 24, 2003

UNDP - Arab States Here are the links to the Arab Human Development Report (linked article below), in English, Arabic and French. Some references to the net/IT access.
Middle East Online, Cheap Ramadan calls for Thuraya subscribers in Iraq (good photo!)

Middle East Online 50% of Arab satellite TVs are loss making
Middle East Online, Arabic-language radio to educate Arab girls 24 Oct 03
Middle East Online: "Dubbed by Time magazine as the most important study in 2002, this year's UN's Arab Human Development Report expands on the need for governments to reform economically, politically and socially as well as engage globally or else trail behind the rest of the world.

"Unlike last year's version, which concluded the region faced freedom, gender inequality and knowledge deficits, the 210-page report published this week and compiled by Arab intellectuals and analysts covering the 22 Arab countries, stresses the untapped potential of knowledge."
TerraNet Portal Site, Ramadan dinners go online in Turkey, 24 Oct 03 Great headline! "Turkish people lacking time to prepare the traditionally lavish dinners served during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan can this year count on the services of a website which promises to deliver a movable feast at the exact time of fast-breaking."
SciScoop || Fuzzy Math And Fuzzy Thinking By The Numbers refers to "the latest volume of the Arab Human Development Report" including the following: "There are 18 computers per 1,000 people in Arab countries, compared with a global average of 78.3 per 1,000 ... Internet access is available to 1.6 percent of the population in Arab countries. Telephone line access in the countries is barely one-fifth that of developed countries." - NJ mosques unable to agree on exact start date of Ramadan Internet used to convey information on moon sightings.
Pravda, Who Trains Suicide Bombers? - 23 Oct 03: "In 2000, Chechen suicide bombers appeared on this black list for the first time. On July 2nd that year, four blasts perpetrated by suicide bombers in Argun, Gudermes and Urus-Martan left 33 people dead and over 80 wounded. The Internet site of the al-Qaeda cell operating in Chechnya hurried to declare the suicide bombers 'shahids' or martyrs. "

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

MSNBC, The plan behind the Saudi plan, 21 Oct 03
AP, Bin Laden Hiding but Striking With Words, 21 Oct 2003 " ... Saturday, an al-Qaida-style recording surfaced on the Internet featuring what is described as audio of militants launching a suicide bomb attack in Saudi Arabia in May, killing 26 people in a Western housing compound. A speaker dedicates the attack to bin Laden and the audio includes what appear to be old statements from him calling on Muslims to wage a holy war on the United States and its allies."
The Salt Lake Tribune -- FRIEDMAN: New social and economic forces shaking up the old Arab system, 21 Oct 03 Friedman's article refers to net access (also to be found in Islam in the Digital Age).

Monday, October 20, 2003

The Revival - Voice Of The Muslim Youth - 30 RAMADAN RADIO STATIONS THIS YEAR listing of Ramadan radio stations in UK contact details
MSNBC, New al-Qaida video threatens U.S., 20 Oct 03 "Continuing what analysts say is an al-Qaida propaganda offensive, a new videotape obtained by NBC News and broadcast for the first time on Monday contains previously unseen footage of Osama bin Laden as well as two terrorists who died in a bombing in May threatening to attack Americans — a chilling message delivered in English. NBC News also obtained an audiotape recording the deadly attack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this summer that claimed 35 lives, including those of the bombers."
MSNBC, Asian terrorists quickly regroup, 17 October 2003: "A leadership vacuum left by the arrest of al-Qaida-linked terrorists in Asia has been quickly filled with a new operations chief and top bomb makers who are plotting deadly attacks on international hotels and other Western targets in the region, intelligence officials tell the Associated Press."
Reuters Former Bosnia Muslim Leader Izetbegovic Dies at 78, 19 October 2003
Now, maulvis' fatwa spins out of control: This wasn't an electronic fatwa, but was circulated on the net (including in newspaper articles): "The fatwa, issued by Imam of Hazrat Khwaja Dana Saheb Mufti Mohammed Murtazakhan Razwi of the Sunni sect and Mufti Ismail Wadiwala of the Tablique sect, states: 'Idol worship is against Islam. Any Muslim found worshipping idols should be boycotted from the community. If he has to return to the community, he should remarry and apologise to the Almighty.' The similarity in both the fatwas is striking and they both do not name anyone. "
Times Online - Comment, How to be an Islamic reformer: blame the Jews, 17 October 2003
Independent, General promises to stop talking of Satan and Islam, 18 October 2003 "A Pentagon general criticised for portraying military conflicts as religious battles has said he will desist from his evangelical rhetoric in an attempt to keep his job."
Straits Times, Islam through the eyes of the Western media - OCT 20, 2003 Bin Laden urges Muslim youths to join jihad against US, 18 October 2003 that's an audio tape - although the article is accompanied by a tv picture of bin Laden.
Libraries revisit Islam - The Washington Times: Nation/Politics - Troop Magazine Offers Sex Tips For GIs in Muslim Countries, Muslim Scholars Call for Fairplay in Resolving Conflicts, 16 Oct 2003

Monday, October 13, 2003

Tallahassee Democrat | 10/10/2003 | Shedding tears for the gruesome sacrifice of Haifa refers to "The Trouble With Islam," Irshad Manji's new book, and her website
Straits Times, Islam as seen through the eyes of the Western media - OCT 11, 2003"All around the world, the Western media stimulates, corrupts, influences, shapes and challenges Muslims. Television, radio, the Internet and newspapers are inundated with negative images of Muslims, who are routinely portrayed as being fundamentalist, conservative, extremist, uncivilised or despotic."
Straits Times, Radical Islam still being taught in madrasahs - OCT 11, 2003 Refers to a study by the Institute of Policy Studies in Islamabad; "An IPS survey shows that students from such religious schools are hostile to other sects - 20 per cent said they had no tolerance for them.

"Only 11 per cent of the respondents believed in the equality of men and women while 44 per cent linked television and the Internet to indecency.

"Thirty per cent said they led to intellectual slavery to the West."

FrontPage, Who Bombed the Baghdad Hotel?
refers to Ansar el-Islam's jihad manual.
Islam Online, Jewish Websites Under U.S. “Terrorism” List, 13 October 2003 - Egyptians following twins surgery - Oct. 12, 2003: The separation of Ahmed and Mohamed Ibrahim has been followed on the net:

"Whether praying in local mosques or searching the Internet for the latest news, el-Homr's residents are following the fortunes of the 2-year-old conjoined twins as they undergo risky separation surgery in America after leaving this south Egyptian village more than a year ago. "

The article refers to the opinions of scholars as to whether such an operation is 'permitted', and presents conflicting ideas on this.
Brunei-Online, Muslim countries can have democracy: Nobel prize winner, 13 October 2003 refers to net

Friday, October 10, 2003

BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Rough ride for Pakistan's boy-mechanics, 10 October 2003
BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | The 'university of holy war', 10 October 2003: "Its students and principal call it the University of Jihad (Holy War).

"Last week the religious seminary of Darul Uloom Haqqania in Pakistan's North-West Frontier Province turned out another class of young Pakistanis and Afghans ready to wage holy war against the enemies of their religion."
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Despair of Palestinian children, 10 October 2003 Relevant to my discussion on the 'cyber-interfada' in Islam in the Digital Age.
BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | Mahathir calls for peaceful Islam, 10 October 2003

BBC NEWS | Technology | Asia plays with hi-tech visions, 10 October 2003, Really Creative Destruction: Economist Tyler Cowen argues for the cultural benefits of globalization Discussion of a new book: Creative Destruction: How Globalization Is Changing the World's Cultures
MPAC, Tablighi Jamaat, Political Jihad & the biggest Mosque in Europe???
MPAC, 'British' and 'Muslim'? article originally in Islam Online
Reuters, Nobel panel sends bold message with Ebadi prize, Fri 10 October, 2003

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

The Register "Warning: virus terrorism stories may contain nuts", 8 October 2003 "Deadly attacks on the Internet, as we're all aware, are almost entirely the work of isolated dysfunctionals, aided in no small part by woefully secured and supervised computer systems. High tech computer crime, as we're sure the NHTCU is well aware, is largely the work of insiders."
Gamla, A Muslim Reformation? transcript of a radio programme, with a reference by Daniel Pipes to the internet. Also refers to Irshad Manji's new book.
Yorkshire Today, Mosque chief 'beat boy, eight, for not learning lessons', 5 October 2003 whilst today's blog may be losing its technological bias, this relates to notions of religious authority - a key theme of my work to date.

Islam Online, Palestinian "Self-bombing" Not Suicidal: Israeli Expert, April 24 2003 - dated but relevant.

KRT Wire | 10/07/2003 | Muslims in Britain place sacred laws above the secular
AP?CBS 2: National Wire, Doll offers image of modesty and self-esteem for Muslim girls, 8 October 2003 Muslim 'Barbie', known as Razanne, has achieved most of its sales on the web. My detailed research on this - OK, I admit it, a Google search - revealed a Razanne site.

Friday, October 03, 2003

EXCLUSIVE: Al-Jazeera Buckles Under US Pressure, 2 October 2003 : "Al-Jazeera bowed to pressure from the United States government last month by immediately pulling two cartoons deemed 'inflammatory' by Washington from its websites, a senior source in the news organization has told Arab News." 'Censorship' online - Al-Jazeera's cartoon archive is well worth looking at (despite the absent images).
Spreading Saudi Fundamentalism in U.S. ( "On Aug. 20, 2001, Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen, a man who would soon be named a minister of the Saudi government and put in charge of its two holy mosques, arrived in the United States to meet with some of this country's most influential fundamentalist Sunni Muslim leaders ...

" ... He met with the creators of Islamic Web sites that U.S. authorities contend promote the views of radical Saudi clerics tied to Osama bin Laden. And among the imams on his travel schedule was a leader of a small religious center tucked into a nondescript office building in Falls Church, the same site used for a time by the spiritual leader of a group of area men indicted in June as suspected jihadists."

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | A towering minaret, huge prayer halls ..., 3 October 2003 New Ahmadi mosque in Morden Surrey, costing £15m.
Telegraph | News | Hijackers in same hotel as Saudi minister, 3 October 2003

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Out and About: I'm giving a paper at SOAS on Qur'anic Interfaces Online, for the 'Qur'an: Text, Interpretation and Translation Conference' (16-17 October 2003). Also a paper on Islam, UK Muslim Communities and Cyberspace at the University of Göteborg's conference: 'The impact of information and communication technologies on religious, ethnic and cultural diaspora communities in the west' (27-29 October 2003)
Wired News: Pentagon Spy Office to Close, 25 September 2003
New York Post Online Edition: Gitmo 'Spy' linked to Al Qaeda, 26 September 2003: "Computer evidence indicates al-Halabi e-mailed or posted four of those documents on the Internet, Wega said. " News: More on allegations surrounding Ahmed Fathy Mehalba, a Guantanamo Bay translator, and allegations relating to the hiring of staff at the facility: "Describing the recruitment process in June 2002, a Titan official said some candidates for the translator jobs were found through the Internet, newspaper ads, language associations and word-of-mouth." Protests force curbs on tools of 'suspicionless surveillance', October 2 2003: "In Washington, Congress last week pulled the plug from the Pentagon's controversial Total Information Awareness programme, a pilot effort to mine commercial and other data on private individuals for patterns of terrorist behaviour. Congress has now restricted funding and barred its use for any domestic surveillance."
ic Wales - Islamic Net cafe aims to build bridges, 2 October 2003 An Islam and the net story from Wales. There's a new cafe in Cardiff (more info at
Internet Magazine, Viruses get faster and nastier, 2 October 2003
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Bali bombings 'planner' sentenced to death The reasons behind Pakistan large-scale military campaign against al Qaeda, 2 October 2003
Independent, Pakistan launches offensive against al-Qa'ida, 2 October 2003

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

Jerusalem Post Internet Edition, In the name of the Koran, 11 September 2003 Just located this article, which explores aspects of the interpretation of 'jihad'. [note: article requires registration to site - which is free] - 745 years after sacking of Baghdad, the Mongolians are back, 30 September 2003 reference to the application of electronic surveillance equipment by US in Mongolia.
BBC NEWS | Have Your Say | Ask Afghan President Hamid Karzai Send in your email to Hamid Karzai...
New York Times, U.S. Must Counteract Image in Muslim World, Panel Says, 1 October 2003: Findings of the United States Advisory Group on Public Diplomacy for the Arab and Muslim World., Edward Said Interview, by David Barsamian, 1 October 2003 Interview from February 2003 with the late Edward W. Said, whose comment about the net and its impact on his own writings was interesting (the whole interview is worth reading): "There's a form of censorship here in the U.S., which is that you're marginalized. You can't appear in the mainstream media. But my stuff is published in the Arab countries, and then it appears on the Internet. It's picked up and people read it. When I got a request to write an article for The New York Times Magazine about my idea of a solution, a binational state for Palestinians and Israelis, that was because an editor there had read me on the Internet."
The EastAfrican on the Web, Who's Reading My Mail?
Everybody, it Seems!, 1 October 2003
"[But] ... under the guise of tracking the bad guys, many self-serving African governments would love to develop a culture of "cyber-security", particularly if that UN summit gives them the excuse. It was only this month that Tanzanian police freed a Pakistani national whose intercepted e-mails to a friend in Pakistan were found suspect."
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Bin Laden disciple jailed for 10 years in Belgium, 1 October 2003
Independent Bangladesh, Muslims neglect science for too long: Musharraf, 1 October 2003: "The decades of neglect and inattention in the Islamic world to the development of research, scientific infrastructurend indigenous technological capacity has resulted in the Islamic community being marginalised and left behind"