Friday, December 24, 2004

New Straits Times - Malaysia, Ireland keen on IT research tie-ip "Jamaludin told Malaysian journalists here that Malaysia was impressed that Ireland, which two decades ago was a relatively underdeveloped country in the European Union, had transformed its economy into a global investment hub for IT and biotechnology. Ireland is now ranked as one of the global hubs in these two areas, essential for the development of a new economy."
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Jilted bride parties big day, then sues update on previously blogged story
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Freedom in Farsi blogs: "Tens of thousands of Iranians have embraced weblogs as a way to access the forbidden and challenge the sanctioned, writes N Alavi " basic overview
MSNBC - Hamas does well in Palestinian elections
MSNBC - Good News From the Arab World
Asia Times - The terror factor in Malaysia "Many suspected terrorists, from radical Muslim preacher Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, to elderly cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir, the alleged leader of extremist group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), have spent time in Malaysia. An alleged bomb maker for the JI is Malaysian. And the author of the book The Liberation of Pattani, which urges Malay-Muslims to rebel against the Thai government, calling it their religious duty, lived for a while in Kelantan."
Asia Times - Mosul attack 'an inside job' "Exactly what role more than 3 million members of the Iraqi Ba'ath Party are playing from Kirkuk to Basra is very hard to determine, but sources maintain that one particular aim of the resistance is very clear, and that is "recruiting new jihadis"." - Digital inheritance raises legal�questions - Dec 24, 2004 some ethical issues here, which might be addressed in cyber-Islamic contexts too.
New Straits Times - Malaysia News Online: OPINION: India, Malaysia tango to high techno music Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi tours Bangalore.
BBC NEWS | UK | 'I looked into the face of the gunman' Reporter Frank Gardner discusses his ordeal, and the slow road to recovery.
BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Blitz on Indian cyber-cafe porn
Yahoo! News - al-Qaida-Linked Group Denies Car Blasts, Web: Zarqawi's Group Says Not Behind Shi'ite Attacks: "'We, the Qaeda Organization for Holy War in Iraq, announce that we are not responsible for the explosions which happened in Kerbala and Najaf,' the statement said, adding that the group would continue to battle all 'those who support the Americans and the infidel camp.'", U.K. Freezes Assets of Group Linked With Saudi Exile Al-Faqih: "The U.K. government told its central bank to freeze the assets of an organization it suspects of having links with Saad al-Faqih, a Saudi Arabian dissident living in exile in Britain. ...

" ... Al-Faqih has used his London base to broadcast a message of dissent to Saudi Arabia using the Internet, satellite television and radio, the Washington Post reported in July.

"He is listed on the Web site of the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia as being the group's director and spokesman. The organization says on the site it seeks ``major reforms'' in Arabia, including freedom of expression and assembly and abolition of secret police units it accuses of ``subverting political movements and activity.'' The movement says it uses all peaceful, legitimate means to achieve its goals."

MIRA is discussed in my books, Videos promoting 'martyrdom' refers to the al-Dousri tape, widely circulated on the net.
All thanks to Islamophobes (by Abid Ullah Jan) - Media Monitors Network (MMN): "The lost Muslims see the Qur’an through the spectrum of individual needs and desires. In his book, Globalised Islam: The Search for a New Ummah, the French sociologist Oliver Roy rightly notes that cyberspace is full of people that could be “Mr Anybody” pronouncing on what “Islam means…” Even Muslims argue, everyone knows we are Muslims, so keep Islam aside and let’s discuss issues in the light of our own rationality. This is a telling sign of a lost people." - Our Patrol in Mosul Newsday reporters' blog (and photographs) - Kurds: Bombers are militant splinter group
"Ansar al-Sunna took credit for the apparent suicide bombing inside a dining tent on the U.S. base, which killed 22 people including 14 American service members. The group has absorbed members and leaders from Ansar al-Islam, a militant organization that fought a two-year civil war aimed at toppling secular parties that rule the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq."
Jerusalem Post | Dutch intelligence agency warns of radical Islam "Intelligence officials warned Thursday that radical Islamic ideology is spreading to thousands of young Dutch Muslims through Internet web sites and on line chat rooms.

"The Dutch intelligence agency, known by its acronym AIVD, identified the potential threat in an overview of domestic fundamentalist Islamic movements compiled for the Home Affairs Ministry."

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Associated Press/Jerusalem Post | Islamic Jihad: Pentagon blocked our Web sites: "Islamic Jihad said Tuesday the Pentagon had blocked its four Web sites because they contained news and pictures supporting the Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation." These sites were hosted by an Ukranian ISP.
The Star Online: Footballer who jilted bride misses training and also see:
BBC NEWS | World | Asia-Pacific | 'Red card' for Malaysia's footballing cad: "A Malaysian footballer looks set to be shown the red card by his team for jilting his bride at the altar via a mobile phone text message."
BBC NEWS | Technology | Speech takes on search engines Speegle is a cool tool - works on basic Islamic terminology too
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Attack on US troops is worst yet: "A statement attributed to the Ansar al-Sunna militant group on an Islamist website said one of its suicide bombers carried out the attack."
NY Times/Wilmington Star, On the Open Internet, a Web of Dark Alleys article discussing cyberplanning possibilities, encryption and surveillance issues: " ... the troubling truth is that terrorists rarely have to be technically savvy to cloak their conversations. Even simple, prearranged code words can do the job when the authorities do not know whose e-mail to monitor or which Web sites to watch."
The State | 12/20/2004 | Holding up Arab reform Thomas Friedman commentary (via NYT): "So there you have it: A group of serious Arab intellectuals — who are neither sellouts nor bomb throwers — have produced a powerful analysis, in Arabic, of the lagging state of governance in the Arab world. It is just the sort of independent report that could fuel the emerging debate on Arab reform. But the Bush team, along with Arab autocrats, are holding it up until it is modified to their liking — even if that means it won’t appear at all." Refers to the UN Arab Human Development reports
Telegraph | News | Charity grovels for lampooning murdered film-maker
ZNet |U.S. | Limits to American Power Eric Hobsbawm discusses the internet
Love in a chatroom - TV & Radio - "Internet relationships will often raise eyebrows. After all, commonsense dictates that a strong cyberspace connection can be cut dead when two people see each other, warts and all. When three very different cultures are linked this way, the risks multiply.

"So when a 25-year-old Indonesian university student started chatting online with an Ethiopian refugee living in Australia, her family was naturally concerned. The man whom she’d befriended grew up on a coffee plantation on the other side of the world."
Jihad Unspun - Osama Bin Laden’s December 16, 2004 Statement To The Saudi Rulers: Part 2
Islam Online - First Islamic Satellite to Go Into Orbit : "The first Islamic satellite to be used in crescent sighting will go into orbit in 15 months’ time, an Arab ad hoc committee said Tuesday, December 21."
Islam Online- Curiosity, Internet Lead Korman to Islam "After the 9/11 attacks, Brandy Korman became curious to know more about Islam.

"She started with tying the words “Islam” and “Quran” in the Google search engine but only few months later she embraced Islam and then married a Muslim."
Foreign Affairs - Whither Political Islam? - Mahmood Mamdani Kepel and Roy discussed (emphasis on the latter), Google fixes search engine security flaw
Chesnot and Malbrunot released: French hostages freed | "Two French journalists have been freed in Iraq, ending a four-month hostage ordeal at the hands of Islamic militants that had shocked France and embarrassed President Jacques Chirac's government."

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Islam Online- 44% of Americans Back Limits on Muslims' Rights: PollThe survey, conducted by the Cornell University and posted on its Web site, found that at least 44 percent of the respondents believed that American Muslims “are a threat and their civil liberties should be curtailed,” by the authorities.

Friday, December 17, 2004 - Does al Qaeda still have a hierarchy? - Dec 16, 2004
Muslim Artists rap + from a variety of performers.
Aljazeera.Net - The risks of the al-Zarqawi myth "In its attempts to use the al-Zarqawi myth to distract and defeat the US military and the interim government of Iyad Allawi, the Mukhabarat is engaged in a dangerous game. In embracing the al-Zarqawi myth, the Mukhabarat has engaged the forces of Islamist activism to a degree never before seen in modern-day Iraq." Article by Scott Ritter - doesn't include any net references, however ...
Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source for the Middle East: "If the voice on the tape is indeed bin Laden's, his timing is by no means coincidental, intended to fuel the undercurrent of discontent fast breeding in the kingdom. One such group of dissenters, the Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia (MIRA), an exiled London-based opposition group, had called for peaceful demonstrations on the streets of Riyadh and Jeddah on Thursday."
Asia Times - Jihadi Islamists play a skillful PR game "Greg Barton, senior lecturer at the School of Social and International Studies in Melbourne, Australia, and author of Indonesia's Struggle: Jemaah Islamiyah and the Soul of Islam, talked with Asia Times Online's Gary LaMoshi about his book, the role of religion in Indonesian politics and its impact on global terrorism."
Asia Times - Asia's most trusted news source for the Middle East: "Who are the couriers used by al-Qaeda for carrying the tapes of bin Laden and al-Zawahiri to al-Jazeera correspondents without being intercepted by the police or detected by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, which has its own surveillance on al-Jazeera ? What is so special about them that they are able to evade detection so successfully? "
Asia Times - Evildoers, here we come - Marblehead Reporter - Father of slain journalist urges Jew-Muslim bridge building information on the foundation set up by Daniel Pearl's father, including the sponsorship of journalists from Pakistan and Yemen.
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Rival rappers reflect Mid-East conflict: "Despite not having a formal recording contract, DAM's 2001 single Man Irhabi? - Who's the terrorist? - was downloaded more than a million times from an Arabic hip-hop website." Man Irhabi's track appears on the complilation Arabrap.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Egypt Today, Islam Online "Two groundbreaking books examine the web as a tool of Islam, Islamism and Islamist terrorism." review of Virtually Islamic and Islam in the Digital Age.
BBC NEWS | Technology | Halal site guides hungry Muslims: "A website called is helping Muslims find markets and restaurants with halal products, prepared according to Islamic dietary law.

Reuters, Bin Laden Alive, Releases Audio Tape -- Web Site

Iran's intriquing new weave of tradition and change |

United Press International, Analysis: Europe's immigration breakdown: "The other big recruiting center for radical Islamists in Europe is the Internet, says Gijs de Vries, the European Union's top anti-terrorism coordinator. He calls it 'a hot spot of recruitment.'

"With plenty of time on their hands, many spend hours on-line. 'Some of these young got to meet others more radical returning from Chechnya, or now Iraq. They hear stories of fighting the 'infidels' and become even more radicalized,' said Sfeir."

This is South Wales, Racists in Vicious Anti-Mosque Fight, News from Swansea: "Activists from the party found out about the plan to convert the old St Andrews United Reformed Church from a leading Islamic website." - E-mail 'worm' spreads holiday jeers - Dec 15, 2004 - General: Al-Zarqawi likely now in Baghdad - Dec 16, 2004 - U.S. to name Hezbollah TV a terrorist organization - Dec 15, 2004: "Terrorism expert Avi Jorisch, author of the recently published 'Beacon of Hatred,' which took a critical look at the television station, has a different view.

'Al-Manar makes Al-Jazeera look like a Girl Scout cookie infomercial,' said Jorisch, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a Washington-based nonpartisan anti-terrorism organization."
Asia Times - Odds are even in the 'information' war: "In this information age, the American occupying forces in Iraq have come face to face with a terrible reality: insurgents of that country have become at least as savvy in conducting information warfare - which includes 'perception management' through disinformation, propaganda, and even deception - as the US military in the ongoing battle for the hearts and minds of the Iraqis, Arabs and Muslims."
Muslim WakeUp! Blog What Would They Say About Sex & the Umma? comment on the recent publication (and related responses) from Russia of a book called 'Love and Sex in Islam'.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

"The Internet still "has a very long way to grow," says Leonard Kleinrock, one of the people who was around for its birth. "In some ways, we're still in the Stone Age." The tangled Internet: Is it time for a new one? | Internet2 profile, with some notes on access to the web.
'Podcast' your world | more on podcasting, for which I'm awaiting some Islamic podcasts...
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Abbas says intifada was mistake
Al Qaeda presses toward Israel - The Washington Times: World Briefings - December 15, 2004: "The consensus in Israel's intelligence establishment is that al Qaeda is intensifying its campaign against Arab states that have close ties to the United States. "
Politics, Egyptian Censors Ban 'Bush' Book on Islam Discussion of a biography of Muhammad written by one George Bush in the nineteenth century, who may or may not be an ancestor of George W.... this is not a source I'm familiar with.
AFP/, Malaysia's political princess a rare liberal gadfly : "In a country regularly ranked among the lowest in the world for press freedom, she wrote of the Internet: 'The beautiful thing about the Internet is that it is totally anarchic and nobody can control what's on it, not the West nor the East.' " Profile of Marina Mahathir.
spiked-politics | Article | Fundamentalism begins at home review of Olivier Roy's book "Globalised Islam" - which has some references to the internet in it.
FrontPage :: Syria and Tunisia: Enemies of the Web

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

mi2g, Growing need for cyber terrorism vigilance warn ex-CIA directors "Mr Tenet, who left the CIA in July after serving as director for seven years, warned that Al-Qaeda - although its primary leadership had been largely destroyed - remained "a sophisticated, intelligent organization with enormous capability." The secondary leadership that was emerging, he added, envisioned "a global, decentralised movement" whose ability to multiply depended crucially on the internet, which enabled them to share information from explosives' recipes to the best ways to get into Iraq undetected. The group, he said, was "undoubtedly mapping vulnerabilities and weaknesses in our telecommunications networks."
Reporters sans frontieres - Iran: "Journalist Fereshteh Ghazi was released from prison on 7 December 2004 after paying bail of 500 million rials (about 50,000 euros). She was arrested on 28 October for having contributed to reformist Internet sites. " This issue was previously blogged.
Reporters sans frontieres - Tunisia, 14 December 2004: "Reporters Without Borders voiced outrage today at the Tunisian court of cassation's 8 December decision to uphold the heavy prison sentences passed on eight Internet users from the southern city of Zarzis and reiterated its condemnation of the mistreatment they have received in detention ...

" ...Reporters Without Borders said it hoped the organizers of the World Summit on the Information Society were aware of the "cruel irony" that the next summit's venue in November 2005 - Tunis - was in "a country where you can be imprisoned and tortured just for looking at a website."
This is a significant article, especially when seen in conjunction with my related chapter in Islam in the Digital Age: MSNBC - Taking holy war into cyberspace Imam Samudra's book (in Indonesian) includes a basic introduction to hacking, and also carding. There are going to be better sources than this one, of course, but its integration into Samudra's memoir (the instigator of the Bali bombs) is significant: " ...tucked into the back of the 280-page book is a chapter of an entirely different cast titled 'Hacking, Why Not?' There, Samudra urges his fellow Muslim radicals to take the holy war into cyberspace by attacking U.S. computers, with the particular aim of committing credit card fraud, called 'carding.' The chapter then provides an outline on how to get started." The article notes that Samudra used the net to obtain details on credit card fraud, and allegedly asked for 'religious permission' to undertake such activities.
AP/The Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News - 14-Dec-04 - Remains a Target: America not hit by terrorists in 2004: "On the Internet sites where extremists share anger and ideas, the U.S. invasion is portrayed as proof bin Laden is right in arguing the United States wants to control Muslim land and humiliate Muslims. Iraqi civilians caught in the crossfire are portrayed as victims of American brutality. Iraqi leaders cooperating with the United States in hopes of building a democracy are portrayed as traitors to Islam."
Xinhua - Moussa backs dialogue between Arab world, West "Egyptian Minister of Higher Education Amr Salama, also presentat the meeting, called for using modern means, including the Internet and CDs, to spread "right" concepts in school curricula.The Egyptian minister said new programs are needed to promote understanding among different civilizations and efforts should be made to enhance the so-called cultural tourism."
Google speaks volumes for huge internet library - Technology - in relation to Islamic Studies, it will be interesting to see what collections (and languages) will be represented when these libraries' contents are converted into digital files.

Monday, December 13, 2004 / Arts & Weekend - Dock of the bay nothing to do with Otis Redding, this is an article about prisoners in Guantanamo. It's a very revealing article, but as a subtext (in the context of this blog) there are also some internet references to it, including how the call to prayer was downloaded from the net.
ABC News: Zarqawi's Group Claims Green Zone Bombing: "A group led by al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Baghdad which killed at least seven people on Monday, according to an Internet statement.

"'On this blessed day, a lion from the martyrs battalion struck a group of apostates and Americans in the Green Zone,' Al Qaeda Organization for Holy War in Iraq said in a statement posted on a Web site used by Islamists." | news Van Gogh's last film screened at Hague refers to the film '06/05', available to download via Tiscali in the Netherlands.
The Daily Star, Visitors flock to computer exhibition gives an indication of the current market in Bangladesh
"Arian is the first ever officially sanctioned mixed gender pop group to come out of Iran." BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iran's first pop revolutionaries this refers to Arian, who have a website containing clips from their repertoire.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

The New York Times > Washington > Homeland Security Department Experiments With New Tool to Track Financial Crime
MSNBC - U.S. hunts for 'pen jihadist' "Mustafa Setmariam Nasar, also known as Abu Musab al-Suri, is an alleged al-Qaida member who ran training camps in Afghanistan.", PC combat simulator recreates Iraqi violence
Wired News: Troops Stay in Touch on Intranet
Bahrain Tribune Daily Newspaper, Bahrain, It is terrorism, not jihad discussion piece on the question of defining 'jihad': "What is happening in Iraq is not jihad or attempts by real Muslims to drive the occupiers out of their country, as some Islamists are calling them.

"Similarly, what happened in Jeddah was also not jihad and not Islamic at all. It is terrorism, sponsored and carried out by terrorists who have been carrying out their terrorism, inside and outside Saudi Arabia, in the name of Islam."
Guardian Unlimited | Online | Microsoft launch blogging software "MSN Spaces is not as easy to use as Blogger, but has features Blogger lacks." doesn't relate directly to the Islamic Blogosphere, although it will be interesting to see whether this new option is picked up in the next few months.
Guardian Unlimited | Guardian daily comment | It is essential to talk to the 'terrorists' opinion piece by Alastair Crooke, who also featured in the Sunday Times today. "For 20 years they produced guerrillas, in the tens of thousands, trained in irregular warfare techniques, in modules that allowed men with different linguistic and ethnic backgrounds to mesh as a single fighting unit. They were trained to fight an insurgency against western forces and against pro-western regimes in the region. We call these fighters terrorists, but this is not the way they see themselves."
The Guardian, The missing peace William Dalrymple's review of Gilles Kepel's book: "Kepel argues that al-Qaida is not some structured multi-national. Instead it barely exists: "al-Qaida was less a military base of operations than a database that connected jihadists around the world via the internet.""

Times Online - Sunday Times, Marines learn how to fight for Allah"In a prefabricated classroom former marine Walter Purdy of the Terrorism Research Center welcomes two dozen marines, military interrogators and a smattering of homeland security operatives to his intensive week-long “mirror-image” jihadist training course."

Times Online - Sunday Times, Iraq terror chief recruits Britons "The most wanted terrorist in Iraq is recruiting cell members in Britain and Europe. Terrorism experts believe Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is preparing his new recruits for attacks somewhere in Europe." News - Terror cells clone cash machine cards
BBC NEWS | South Asia | Muslims mourn loved ones online: "'Our graveyard is so pretty that it is to die for,' said Syed Mohammed Alam Zaidi, caretaker of the Wadi-a-Hussain cemetery near the southern Pakistani city of Karachi ...

"It also provides an interactive website - the first in Pakistan - enabling a mourner to attend the funeral of a loved one virtually. Live or recorded video streaming can be accessed using an internet terminal anywhere in the world."

This refers to the Wadi-a-Hussain graveyard website
World Peace Herald, Flood of fatwas inundates Egypt: "Today, fatwas in Egypt are issued just about daily to forbid anything from the internet and satellite dishes to mobile phones and yoga.

"'Most of the fatwas issued recently are stupid, silly and against any kind of modernity,' said Ahmed Shawki Al Fangari, an Islamic researcher and a writer at Rose El Youssef magazine. 'These fatwas are a strong indication of the ignorance and frivolity of their issuers who want to keep people away from other important issues like democracy and technology,' he added."
AME Info, Sheikha Lubna's challenge: "The first female government minister in the country's history long ago broke through the glass ceiling as CEO of, a rapidly expanding regional e-commerce exchange headquartered in Dubai.

"A popular speaker on women's issue, Islam and Internet commerce, Sheikha Lubna has spent the past few years growing her business while simultaneously building bridges between East and West. "

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

MSNBC - Foreigners enter Iraq for 'martyr' missions "After their deaths, names and photos of the so-called "martyrs" are sometimes memorialized on militant Web sites." As discussed in Islam in the Digital Age. This includes some edited video content from jihadi websites.
AlterNet: Rights and Liberties: White Muslim, Part II: "Multilingual and media savvy (he quoted Lancet's estimate of 100,000 war-related deaths in Iraq to me hours after it first surfaced on the Internet), al-Yaqoubi is optimistic about Islam's prospects in the West. He estimates that he gives shahada to approximately 100 Americans (of whom 20 will be white, the rest African-American, Hispanic and Asian) every Ramadan in New York, and has had quite a lot of success with whites in the San Francisco Bay area."
Gulf Daily News, Al Qaeda group 'killed 17 civilians' : "Ansar Al Sunna, a group linked to the Al Qaeda terror network, claimed responsibility in an Internet statement yesterday for an ambush in which 17 civilians working for a US company were killed in northern Iraq." - Saudi attackers 'studied compound' - Dec 7, 2004: "A group calling itself the Qaeda al Jihad in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the attack.
It said its fighters 'managed to enter one of the crusader's big castles in the Arabian peninsula.' The message was posted on several Web sites used by insurgents, although its authenticity could not be immediately confirmed."
Al-Qaeda's message: our fight isn't over - Global Terrorism - "Saudi police have been trumpeting successes, including the discovery of bomb-making equipment, weapons, cameras, computers and electronics.

"While Monday's daylight assault was undoubtedly al-Qaeda letting it be known "we're back", it was far from a success. Five local non-American consular staff and up to four Saudi security personnel died, plus four of the five attackers. The chances are that, again, the organisation killed more Muslims than "infidels". Also, the attempt to enter the US compound was contained.", Federal Register, Foreign Terrorists and Terrorist Organizations; Designation: Jam'at Tawhid al wa'al-Jihad, et al., 6 Dec 04
AP/Daily Comet, Islamic Charity Called a 'Clearinghouse': "A former FBI terrorism expert told a federal jury Monday that an Islamic institute served as 'a money-laundering clearinghouse' for the Palestinian militant group Hamas."
Yahoo! News - Bill Clinton Helps Launch Search Engine Bill Clinton launches, whose 'Islam' search results are here
AP/Yahoo! News - Minister Urges Imams to Speak French

Saturday, December 04, 2004, Internet Filtering in Saudi Arabia in 2004 "... Unlike filtering in states such as China, the policies, procedures, and philosophy for Saudi Arabia's filtering system are relatively transparent and documented on the Web site of its Internet Services Unit (ISU). Users who try to access forbidden sites see a Web page informing them that the site is prohibited. Despite this openness about filtering, the system inevitably errs, resulting in overblocking of unrelated content." The listing of filtered sites offers some fascinating results.
Guardian Unlimited | Online | Personal soundtracks the phenomenon of podcasting has been around for a short while now, so we can expect some Islamic podcasts some time soon.
AP/Wired News: Navy Probes New Iraq Photos, 4 Dec 04: "The U.S. military has launched a criminal investigation into photographs that appear to show Navy SEALs in Iraq sitting on hooded and handcuffed detainees, and photos of what appear to be bloodied prisoners, one with a gun to his head. Some of the photos have date stamps suggesting they were taken in May 2003, which could make them the earliest evidence of possible abuse of prisoners in Iraq. The far more brutal practices photographed in Abu Ghraib prison occurred months later."
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Russia: Book On 'Love And Sex In Islam' Causing Controversy, But Scholars Say Topic Is Nothing Unusual, 3 Dec 04 a dialogue that is also played out on the web... this is an informative article. The book contains material from a variety of sources, so it will be interesting to see if it becomes available in English or other languages.
Daily Times - Al Qaeda seen as clear and present danger to the world, 5 Dec 04"Marc Sagemen who worked for the CIA in Islamabad in the late 1980s, claimed that Al Qaeda is “operationally dead” and has no network any more. Its operations are uncoordinated and it has been using the Internet to create chat groups and give the impression that it is sill potent, but that is not true. It no longer has the ability to hurt the United States. However, “it is the next generation (of Muslims in the West) we should worry about,” he added. The threat, he explained, was from educated Muslims in Europe. He said there was no way the US could anticipate that the former Afghan mujahideen would eventually turn into al Qaeda ...

" ... Ms Ursula Mueller of the German embassy said the Al Qaeda ideology was alive in Europe and terrorist cells could be activated at short notice. Al Qaeda was also involved in long-term planning. The mosques were the breeding grounds of jihadis, she charged. Europe today was in greater danger of terrorism than America, she said and Germany remained a particular target. There were 27 jihadi websites in Europe, she added."

Not sure where that figure comes from or how it can be calculated.
Times Online - Lovelorn Muslims flirt with web: "Less than a year after inception, the ( website has already helped bring about 56 marriages with discreet coded profiles and advice on how to proceed cautiously in the dating game."
Times Online - Stoned to death... why Europe is starting to lose its faith in Islam
Times Online - Ideological gulf inflames Iran, December 3, 2004"Iranian bloggers at home and abroad orchestrated an eye-catching web action on the Google search engine. A search for the words “Arabian Gulf” triggers a spoof message: “The Gulf you are looking for does not exist. Try Persian Gulf.” In a parody of the text that usually appears when a webpage does not exist, it advises users to read “some history books”." National Geographic v. Iran

Friday, December 03, 2004

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Iraq log: 3 December 2004 essential reading (this also can be found in the Islamic Blogosphere section -- see left hand column of this page)
Muslim WakeUp! Andy Warhol at Abu Ghraib: "Communication has become the new global currency as images are diffuse, fluid, and subject to intermittent reification and devaluation. As Prof. Buck-Morss correctly states, the image generates meaning without demanding contextual support, though it privileges a particular point in space. This paradox becomes a problematic one when Buck-Morss insists upon the 'democratic potential' of images. Could the Internet become the weapon of choice for the subaltern in the 21st century? Or does the audience's vantage point - a distinct space and time, to be sure - subsume the significance of the other actors - the subject, the photographer, the editor?" Discuss.
City of Brass: principled pragmatism the blog formerly known as Shia Pundit
FrontPage :: Islamic Television USA by Robert Spencer opinion piece follow-up on Bridges TV, Pakistan is real power in Muslim world: Sheikh Rashid "
Asia Times - Al-Jazeera to tone it down for Asia, 3 Dec 04: "Despite the Malaysian government's strict press regulations, the 'tell it like it is' Arab satellite station al-Jazeera's decision last week to make Kuala Lumpur its Asian headquarters for a new 24-hour English-language channel was welcome news here. "
Wired 12.12: They've Got Your Number
Guardian Unlimited | Guardian daily comment | You call this liberation, Laden contacted Indonesia's Bashir, court told, Violence in Baghdad Kills at Least 25 Iraqis: "In an Internet statement, the guerrilla group led by Jordanian al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed responsibility for the attack.

"'The lions of al Qaeda in Iraq attacked the headquarters of the apostates who sold their religion, honor and land ... and attacked the Seydiya police station, killing everyone inside except for two who fled,' the statement said. "
New York Times/RelishNow | Director of film on Muslim homosexuals frets over his subjects' safety more on this film, which used the internet to obtain interviewees:

"Sharma has conducted interviews throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, in such countries as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Egypt. Many of the people he interviewed were found through the Internet.

""I received thousands of e-mails shortly after word got out about the film," Sharma said. "One 17-year-old Egyptian is remarkably brave, quite open about his sexual orientation despite that country's crackdown on homosexuals.""

Thursday, December 02, 2004

BBC NEWS | Middle East | US to raise troop levels in Iraq: "... the Islamist group Ansar al-Islam claimed to have abducted and killed three Iraqis who 'collaborated' with the US, in a statement posted on the internet. "
Daily Times - Thinking Aloud: Too clever by half —Razi Azmi: "Like dynamite and nuclear power, the Internet can be used constructively or destructively, positively or negatively. It is an instrument, a massive force multiplier, which can be employed to proliferate and assimilate knowledge or to propagate ignorance, distortions and half-truths." Nice turn of phrase here.
WorldNetDaily: CAIR trains FBI in 'sensitivity' "Although it has been described by two former FBI counter-terrorism chiefs as a spin-off of a U.S. front for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, led the workshop on "Islam and the American Muslim community" at the FBI's Jacksonville Division All Employee Conference." - Miss Afghanistan has been liberated
Zenit News Agency - Pakistan Textbooks Don't Make the Grade on Plurality non-tech, but relevant to underlying blog themes
The Star Online: Captured by the Taliban, rescued by Islam profile of Yvonne Ridley - a former editor of al-Jazeera's English pages, and a newly prominent convert to Islam
Daily Times, BOOK REVIEW: What times demand by Yoginder Sikand:

Discussion of Barelvi sect, and the madrassa syllabus, in this review of Dini Madaris Aur Ahad-i Hazair Ke Taqazey (‘Islamic Religious Schools and Contemporary Demands’) (Urdu) by Ghulam Yahya Anjum:

"Recognising that the employment prospects of madrassa graduates are limited, Anjum suggests that madrassas introduce professional courses, such as computers, tailoring, calligraphy, motor repair, watch repair, hotel management and journalism. In this way graduates would be able to go in for a range of careers other than as imams of mosques and madrassa teachers. This would enable them to support themselves and relieve the community of a great burden on its meagre resources."
The phenomenon of removable lenses is discussed in depth here, including references to IT use (the reason why some end up having to use lenses in the first place). New technology and health - Are removable eye lenses just for flirts? - health - Yemen Times: "The girls we see today wearing the artificial colorful removable lenses in order to tempt others, especially the girls that are veiled, they use their eyes as a kind of magic to deceive others. Where does this happen?"
Seattle Post-Intelligencer: AP - High-Tech: 'Blog' most popular word on web dictionary
Europeans ditch TV for PC | The Register "The internet is causing people in Europe to spend less time watching TV, according to new market research. In a report entitled "Evolution of Media Use in Europe - Web Impacting Consumption", JupiterResearch said that 27 per cent of web users in Europe are spending less time in front of the telly and are instead surfing the web. In 2001, only 17 per cent of respondents to a similar survey admitted to watching fewer hours of TV in favour of the net."

Wednesday, December 01, 2004, Sign Petition to Punish Religious Leaders who Preach Violence and Justify Terrorism: Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism
MEMRI: An Open Letter from a Saudi Islamist to Those who Shirk Jihad transcripts of statement from "Abu 'Abd al-Rahman al-Athari Sultan Ibn Bijad".
Occupation Watch: Rash of killings creates climate of fear in northern Iraq: "In a statement posted on the Internet, the group, calling itself al-Qaeda Organisation of Holy War in Iraq, said it had killed 14 members of the Iraqi National Guard and three members of a specialist rapid reaction force since November 25.

"The authenticity of the statement, posted on Monday, could not immediately be verified. But the US military believes Zarqawi and many of his followers probably fled Fallujah, west of Baghdad, ahead of a US offensive there earlier this month and may now be hiding out in cities like Mosul."
FrontPage :: Saudi Arabia: An "Ally" We Could Do Without by Nir Boms "Al-Hawali has been linked to some of the September 11th hijackers. Currently he works with the Saudi regime to contain al-Qaeda militancy in Saudi Arabia. His radical website,, discusses the need for global jihad. Saudi militants, he writes, "should begin by propagating the message of Allah and end by fighting the infidels and conquering countries." In the perverse logic of Saudi officials, exporting insurgents to Iraq and Afghanistan may indeed alleviate the problem of militants within the Saudi kingdom." Opinion piece written by the vice president of the Center for Freedom in the Middle East
Cyberterror threat small but growing refers to the Canadian Office of Critical Infrastructure Protection and Emergency Preparedness:

""Our research shows that terrorist groups are definitely interested in attacking critical infrastructures," said Eric Byres, research director at the Internet Engineering Laboratory of the British Columbia Institute of Technology in Burnaby. "The good news is that we don't think they have the technical ability yet — in other words, the combined IT and control system skills needed to penetrate a utility network. The bad news is that they're beginning to acquire some of these skills.""
AAFATHIS News, The President calls for the full utilisation of available resources to promote cooperation, peace and harmony among Islamic countries, and to restore the past glory and might of the Islamic community, 1 Dec 04 News from the Maldives:

"The President noted that the world was at present experiencing an era of technology, the Internet and satellite communication, where mankind was being introduced to new discoveries, and that their mindsets were being changed continuously. He added that, as a result, Islamic scholars had to be academically and intellectually capable, in order to fulfil their duties to the utmost."
Asia Times - Anti-Semitism peddled in Southeast Asia: "The Internet, it has been written, is a massive, unregulated 'Wild West' technological frontier in which anything goes. Hatred and racism seem to go very well, and the Internet has indeed facilitated the dissemination of racist propaganda. For example,, a Sweden-based organization founded by Ahmed Rami, claims to reveal the truth of the Jewish conspiracy and carries the text of the Protocols in 11 languages. The Protocols has become so widespread that the Wiesenthal center has translated its 'Debunking the Big Lie' into Arabic and will soon make it available on its website. The Anti-Defamation League's website says that 'the Internet has given free access to the hatemongers in the US to cross-pollinate with anti-Semites globally to spread their venom of hate on a scale [like] never before possible'.
Daily Times - First American Muslim TV channel goes on air for image discussion of Bridges TV
Arutz Sheva - Israel National News, When Israeli Women Marry Arab Men: "Aliza met her Arab lover via the internet, and like most girls in her situation, she was promised the world in exchange for a Muslim conversion and a marriage license." Discussion of domestic violence issues and religious opinions (from Arutz Sheva perspective).
Daily Times - VIEW: How Van Gogh provoked Islamists —Farida Majid This is a review of the Van Gogh/Hirst Ali film (previously blogged) and the issues arising from it. Majid writes:

"I watched the Theo van Gogh film on the Internet, and, like many viewers, found it troubling. Formally and visually it is nicely done, as one would expect from the bearer of one of the greatest names in European art. Even the flashing of the Quranic verses on the flesh was filmed artistically — though the very idea offended many Muslims.

"For me, the objectionable element was the content in its abstract obtuseness. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the writer and co-producer of the film, could have been more upfront and situated the script honestly in the context of her own background of contemporary Somalian society...."

This review should be read in conjunction with the following news:

Faith Freedom International - Ayaan Hirsi Ali plans "Submission: part 2"