Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Guardian Unlimited | Online | Global is good, 21 Apr 05 "In his provocative new book, distinguished American commentator Thomas Friedman argues that digital technology and increasing globalisation have created a 'flat earth'. " the Dell supply chain comes under scrutiny, produced (in parts) in Malaysia
Deroy Murdock on Patriot Act on National Review Online opinion piece with IT element
USNews.com: In an unseen front in the war on terrorism, America is spending millions to counter the hate of radical Islamists, 25 Apr 05
mmorning.com, Hopes of peace deferred in post-election Iraq, 26 Apr 05: "The Al-Qaeda-linked group of Abu Musaab Zarkawi, in an Internet site it habitually uses to claim operations in Iraq, said it carried out the attack. "
SITE Institute: SITE Publications - Elegy for a Suicide Bomber from a Jihadist Message Board, 26 Apr 05: "A posting on an al-Qaeda affiliated message board illustrates the character of the members of some jihadist forums monitored by the SITE Institute, their dedication to jihad, and the reality that a member who posts in praise of suicide bombers, may soon become one. "
adnki.com, Iran: New Pope is a threat to dialogue says Iran's reformists, 26 Apr 05 refers to Mohammad Abi Abtahi's website: "On his website, followed everyday by tens of thousands of young Iranians, Abtahi accuses the new pope of "opposing new ideas and therefore alienating the Catholic church from the young and from the people.""
This is an interesting story (if verifiable). So, what was on the computer? Was it encrypted? etc. adnki.com, Iraq: al-Zarqawi escapes capture but computer is seized, 26 Apr 05: "American forces recently came close to capturing the Jordanian militant, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, but he escaped, and they only managed to seize his computer, a senior military official has told the American TV network ABC. Al-Zarqawi was on his way to a secret meeting in Ramadi, to the west of Fallujah, on February 20, the source said, when an informer deemed 'extremely credible' tipped off the Americans"
adnki.com, Iraq: al-Zarqawi's group launches new website in Kurdish, 26 Apr 05: "The al-Qaeda terrorist group, led by the notorious Jordanian leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, launched its first Kurdish website on Tuesday. The new website - known as Pegy Jehad or live Jihad - contains a Fatwah with up-to-date news on terrorist activities in Iraq. The homepage also contains anti-Shiite banners and a photograph of Baghdad's former governor Paul Bremer embracing a leading Shiite cleric while standing next to the American US secretary of State Colin Powell."

Monday, April 25, 2005

The Peninsula On-line, Lucknow bride says ‘I accept’ online, 25 Apr 05 "Shabnam, the 26-year-old bride, said Qubool hai (I accept) to groom Abdul Kalaam in front of a web camera on Friday. While Shabnam was sitting in a cybercafe in Lucknow’s walled city, Kalaam positioned himself before a webcam thousands of miles away in Makkah in Saudi Arabia. And it was not as if the two had struck a chord while accidentally browsing the Net."
BBC NEWS | Technology | Web server attacks 'growing fast', 25 Apr 05: "The figures [survey by Zone-H] show that the many incidents occur on the anniversaries of the start of the most recent war in Iraq when both pro-Muslim and pro-American groups defaced sites. "
The Daily Star - Politics - Two bombs kill 15 near mosque in Iraq, 25 Apr 05 "In an Internet statement, Al-Qaeda Organization for Holy War in Iraq said: "We warn all those who want to join the politics of infidels and apostates that the steel sword will be their only fate.""
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Clerics' choices clean up in Saudi election

Friday, April 22, 2005

Reuters/swissinfo, the Commercial Helicopter Shot Down in Iraq, 11 Dead, 22 Apr 05: "The group posted on its Web site a video of what appeared to be burning remains of the helicopter. A man in blue overalls was shown lying in a grassy area and reaching out for help. 'Give me a hand,' he was heard saying.""
BBC NEWS | Technology | Do Firefox browser bugs matter?, 22 Apr 05 linking browser of choice Firefox to Islamic (and Judaic) interpretation issues ...:

"One of the important aspects of open source outlined in the report, Wide Open, is that it is not really a new idea.

"Authors Geoff Mulgan and Tom Steinberg point out that 'for centuries the pursuit of knowledge has been undertaken in ways that involve widely dispersed groups commenting on each others' work.

"'The evolution of the Talmud in Judaism is one example, and the tradition of interpretation in Islam is another.' "

Details of the book can be found here (includes PDF version - which I plan to read sometime):

Geoff Mulgan, Omar Salem, Tom Steinberg, Wide Open: Open source methods and their future potential (Demos)
Cultural Group Plans to Launch Programs on Prophet: "Muhammad A. Mateen Osmani, director of Al-Islam Group, said its website www.prophetmuhammadforall.org, which was launched last year, had attracted thousands of people worldwide. 'The purpose of this website is to help both Muslims and non-Muslims around the globe learn more about the Prophet of Islam,' he told Arab News."
Times/Khilafah.com - Top secret intelligence unit will quit Belfast for new role in Iraq, 19 Apr 05
AP, A traveling geek's gilded dream, 22 Apr 05: "The government-owned hotel, which has a separate floor reserved for Gulf Arab royalty, boasts an unbroken bubble of wireless Internet access on its 250-acre grounds. It works next to the two swimming pools, even on the private beach.

"Guest rooms are larded with so many techie amenities that the seven remote controls required to operate them have been distilled into a portable touch-screen panel."

I would be happy to review the Emirates Palace(please forward tickets!).
arabnews.com, Online Profiles Aim to Inspire Arab Women, 12 Apr 05 "The goal of Shaqa’iq is to introduce Arabic speaking girls, young women and the male influencers in their lives, to the potential they have as vital members of 21st century society by showcasing the role technology has in empowering individuals. Shaqa’iq (www.kidzonline.org/mepi) also provides an online forum for girls and young women to connect with and share issues and ideas to further propel the ideals and values of their culture as they enrich their personal experiences."

Thursday, April 21, 2005

AP/arabherald.com/Gadsen Times, Qatar to Use Robots As Camel Riders, 20 Apr 05 ""Improve the speed, the weight, the aerodynamics, to reach the ultimate goal of completely phasing out children used as jockeys," Sheik Abdullah said ....

"The result was a robot that receives commands from a remote control up to a half-mile away."
Jerusalem Post, Arab Bank funded Hamas, al-Qaida, 21 Apr 05 allegations: "The New York branch of the Arab Bank was instrumental in financing Hamas, Al-Qaida and dozens of other terrorist groups, and some of those transactions were also handled by banks in the United States and Israel, according to a report in Wednesday's Wall Street Journal."
latimes.com, Military Report on Guantanamo Highlights Danger of Al Qaeda, 18 Apr 05: "Still more detainees remain eager to break out of Guantanamo Bay, and have told guards 'all Americans should die.' One warned guards that one day he would 'come to their homes and cut their throats like sheep.' He said he would use the Internet to 'search for their names and faces.'"
Reuters AlertNet - Iraq's al Qaeda claims assassination bid on PM-Web, Apr 21 05 ""A lion from the martyrs' brigade launched a heroic attack on the headquarters of infidels ... and Jewish and Christian allies. Allawi escaped and the arrow missed, but there are many other arrows," said the statement, which could not be immediately authenticated."
Islam Online, Arabs Bear Brunt of French Police Racism: Report, 21 Apr 05: "The French Organization against Islamophobia (CCIF) said earlier this year that during the period from October 2003 to August 2004, 26 cases of verbal and physical assaults on Muslims, 28 cases of vandalism and attempted arson targeting mosques, and 11 cases of desecration of Muslim graves have been registered.

"The CCIF also listed a considerable number of internet sites spreading anti-Muslim propaganda."
Islam Online, US Invokes Cold-war Tactics to Defy Islam: Report, 21 Apr 05 'Big Bird' implicated
Middle East Online, Islamists survive bid to oust them from Saudi polls, Seven candidates endorsed by clerics survive bid to disqualify them from running in municipal polls, 21 Apr 05: "The seven are running separately in the seven constituencies of the Red Sea city, but they have been dubbed the 'golden list' after prominent religious clerics such as Sheikh Safar al-Hawali 'vouched for them' via Internet statements and other channels."
Newsday.com: Screening of Dutch Van Gogh Film Scrapped: "The European Parliament said Wednesday it had scrapped the screening of murdered Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh's short film criticizing the treatment of women under Islam because of legal concerns and security fears. "
"The Yale Library announced today that its proposal to develop A Middle East Electronic Library (AMEEL) has been funded at a level of $750,000 over four years." [from email press release]
Raed in the Middle, Third Batch Sent, Phase One Over OK, I know he is in the blogosphere (left-hand column, but thought I should mention the distribution of aid he has been undertaking (via donations). It's all listed and photographed on the site.
Bloomberg.com: U.S., Iraq's Talabani Says 50 Hostages Are Found Dead in Tigris, 20 Apr 05: "Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said the bodies of more than 50 people recovered from the Tigris River are those of hostages abducted from the town of al-Maidan on April 15. "
AlterNet: War on Iraq: The Girl Blogger from Iraq discussion of the book of the blog 'Baghdad Burning' by Riverbend. This blog-publication is an encouraging trend: I look forward to reading the book in due course.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

American charity chief dies helping lost Iraqis - The Herald, 17 Apr 05 Refers to Marla Ruzicka's death whilst working for CIVIC (Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict). Ruzicka kept a detailed web diary of her travels.
Reuters.com, Taliban Return to Afghanistan's Air Waves, 18 Apr 05 no news yet about any webcasts - Voice of Shariat were discussed in 'Virtually Islamic' (the book).
arabnews.com, Militants Losing Ground in Saudi Arabia: Gardner, 19 Apr 05: "BBC security correspondent, Frank Gardner, who was seriously wounded in the Kingdom when he was attacked by militants 10 months ago, said insurgency in Saudi Arabia was on the back foot with the Saudi security services gaining in confidence and skill."
Knight Ridder Newspapers , Controversial Arab satellite channel al Jazeera tries to go global, 18 Apr 05
arabnews.com, GDC 2005 a Success; More to Come, 19 Apr 05 report on a Microsoft Arabia.Saudi Computer Society event.
gnn.TV/The Inquirer, Iraqi insurgents turn to net publishing, 18 Apr 05 includes a commentary/opinion piece
SITE Institute: - Al-Qaeda in Iraq Issues Threat Against Britain and Their Supporters, 18 aPR 05: "A statement posted today [18 aPR 05] to the internet by al-Qaeda in Iraq, threatens a new wave attacks against British forces stationed there, promising that "Britain and its' allies will not leave Iraq without punishment.""
Web Hosts Giving a Forum to Terrorists' Videos - 19 Apr 05 "In a news article published today Reuters declared that Islamic militants are increasingly turning to the internet and “well established and less sensational Islamist sites” to distribute their proclamations and videos of terrorist attacks including bombings and beheadings."
iran-press-service.com, Iran's Road to Democracy, 18 Apr 05
Scotsman.com News - Jemaah Islamiyah Network 'Plotting Large-Scale Attacks', 18 Apr 05
WorldNetDaily: Jihad comes to Small Town, USA written by Laura Mansfield from Northeast Intelligence Network, relaying her experience at a mosque meeting in the US, which she 'infiltrates'. There is an IT element running through this story, and it will be interesting to learn of any responses from organisations mentioned in the piece.
americandaily.com, Canadian Hosted Hamas Internet Site Advocates Killing Israeli Prime Minister allegations associated with a 'Hamas' website, linking into a story from the Jerusalem Post about an alleged 'vice and virtue commando' operated by Hamas, Jerusalem Post, Woman walking with fiance murdered, 12 Apr 05

Monday, April 18, 2005

businessweek.com, iPod Killers? this discussion on the possible impact of future generation mobile phones/services could be read in relation to my 'Rip.Burn.Pray' chaper in the Religion Online book, in terms of how quranic and other resources might be distributed.
Wired News: U.S. Military's Elite Hacker Crew: "The U.S. military has assembled the world's most formidable hacker posse: a super-secret, multimillion-dollar weapons program that may be ready to launch bloodless cyberwar against enemy networks -- from electric grids to telephone nets. "
GeekCoffee | IBM Provides Speed Trap Technology for the UAE, April 16, 2005 could this be interpreted as an issue of 'public interest', with 'Smart boxes' appearing in UAE vehicles? I await the first opinion on this from UAE scholars
Islam Online, Cairo Conference Reinforces Universality of Islam, 17 Apr 05 "Addressing the opening session, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Sheikh Mohammad Sayed Tantawi said Muslims should benefit from other civilizations and cultures.

""There is nothing called clash of civilizations since all civilizations deliver the message of peace, justice and welfare," he said."

Duluth News Tribune | 04/18/2005 | Secret research raises questions in academic world: "The research offer was exciting -- program computers to study transit stations for signs of terrorist behavior. The client? The Department of Homeland Security, which had a $1.7 million contract ready for the University of Minnesota."
NYT/startribune.com, Dealing with a sky full of drones, 17 Apr 05 "In the skies over Iraq, the number of remotely piloted aircraft -- increasingly crucial tools in tracking insurgents, foiling roadside bombings, protecting convoys and launching missile attacks -- has shot up to more than 700 now from just a handful four years ago, military officials say."
South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Administration Deserves Credit, 17 Apr 05 refers to allegations associated with the indictment of 3 UK nationals last week on plans to hit New York financial institutions: "Evidence in the case was retrieved from computers in a separate investigation in Pakistan, which deserves great credit for its decision to stand with the United States against al-Qaida and related terror networks. The administration's success in securing Pakistan's cooperation is one of its most important achievements in the war against terrorism."
A couple of extremely useful articles in the Washington Post, firstly:

washingtonpost.com, Terrorism Tempers Shift to Openness, 18 Apr 05: "They have testified in community centers, schoolhouses and municipal halls, and on live television. They have been withered mothers, grieving grandchildren, scarred old men -- a diverse parade of ordinary Moroccans bound by a common experience of political terror. This year, they have become players in a national spectacle almost unheard of in the Arab world: an official investigation into past government abuses. "
washingtonpost.com, A New Power Rises Across Mideast, April 17, 2005 refers to the Lebanon and Egypt in particular: "But across the region, political reformers are benefiting from the unifying forces of technology and mass media. Digital channels outside the control of states are carrying anything from a Kuwaiti woman's call for voting rights in her country to a Lebanese Christian's demands to drive Syrian troops out from his. The foot soldiers are Islamic political activists in some cases, Bob Dylan disciples, communists or Arab secular nationalists in others. Many are united only in their common desire for fair elections, free speech and political rights."
DesMoinesRegister.com, Imam, his family find refuge in Des Moines mosque, 18 Apr 05 refers to Ibrahim Dremali and terrorist allegations. There are specific references in this article to allegations made by militantislammonitor.org and danielpipes.org. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is also cited: "Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which monitors anti-Islam and anti-American actions nationwide, said Web sites such as Rabinowitz's [militantislammonitor.org] have attacked almost all American Muslim groups and leaders at one time or another."
Islam Online, German Police Raid Mosques, Arrest Seven, 15 Apr 05 "Police said more than €50,000 (64,000 US dollars) in cash and about 60 computers, CDs and video cassettes were seized during the swoop operation." 'Terrorism financiers' crackdown in Munich, Berlin, Bremen, Hamburg, Lower Saxony and Baden-Wurttemberg.

Friday, April 15, 2005

kuwaittimes.net, Fatwas and extremism in the Islamic world, 15 Apr 05 opinion piece on fatwas
SudanTribune, Jailed Sudan Islamist Turabi in poor health - family, 15 Apr 05
NYC IMC: Dr. Ali al-Timimi Case by american-isalm.org "Quite and amiable, he is generous with his knowledge, having lectured throughout the area and around the world to mostly English speaking audiences. His CDs, tapes, and books are sold and freely distributed over the internet to thousands of people."

Thursday, April 14, 2005

USATODAY.com - Internet2 is higher-tech version of regular Internet
The 3D Kabah Website - Home This useful site (screenshot above) has been updated, to include a new screensaver and virtual perspectives on the Kabah. Well worth a visit.
Beware of toxic blogs | The Register, 14th April 2005 : "Toxic blogs are been used to distribute malware and keyloggers, censorware firm Websense warns. Websense Security Labs said it has discovered 'hundreds of instances' of blogs involved in the storage and delivery of harmful code this year." Nothing to do with Britney Spears, toxic blogs work on viral principles and social engineering.
Clarke calls for ID cards after imagining huge poison terror ring | The Register, 14 Apr 05 This useful piece by John Lettice (connecting to the Bourgass' case) expands on the point I previously made on this blog, about recipes for ricin available online. It also explores issues relating to the joys of ID cards.
Home / Headlines / Virtual people's virtual Islam - Media Monitors Network (MMN) opinion piece by Abid Ullah Jan, which states (about Islam and the Internet): "Why should one go there to learn about Islam? Islam of virtual people, without any name and address, will forever remain virtual without any link, whatsoever, to the real world of Islam." Obviously a subject open to discussion ...
Jerusalem Post, Druse dating goes on-line, 14 Apr 05: "In a culture distinguished by its privacy and closely guarded traditions, Web sites like DruzeDate.com are revolutionizing the Druse dating scene." It has a user-friendly interface, and members from many locations.
NRI from Gujarat faces US terror rap - Deccan Herald - Internet Edition refers to allegations associated with Abu Issa al Hindi (Dhiren Barot): "As 'Esa Al-Hindi' he published a book in English about some of the Kashmir operations in which he had been involved. UK sources claim he functioned under the code name Bilal and was allegedly in charge of a major training camp in Kashmir. "
AP/FOX23, Al-Qaida in Iraq claims responsibility for Baghdad bombings, 14 Apr 05: "Another militant group, Ansar al-Sunnah, is claiming responsibility for a gun attack in Kirkuk that killed five officers and a civilian. The Internet posting says 'knights of Islam' committed the attack. "
The Scotsman - UK - Terrorist's link to mosque run by notorious Abu Hamza, 14 Apr 2005 more on Kamel Bourgass and his connections with Abu Hamza, whose websites have been discussed in my publications.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

tehrantimes.com, Banking system, backbone of economic reforms: Khatami, 13 Apr 05 Reports on Pres. Khatami's statement to a banking conference:

"He [Khatami] further said that the Islamic Republic, as an undeniable power, attaches importance to modern scientific activities including biotechnology, nanotechnology, IT and ICT.

"He said that due to the provided facilities, Iran could be turned to a center for information technology and communications in the East. "
CNN.com - The new telephony - Apr 13, 2005 Clearly VoIP will have an impact in terms of the subject area of this blog. Watch this space for further work on this area.
CNN.com - Afghan entrepreneurs find profit in technology - Mar 28, 2005 "Today, this country of 29 million has more than 662,500 people using mobile phones, reports the GSM Association, a cellular trade group. Afghanistan's Internet domain, .af, was awarded in March 2003 and Web cafes are springing up around Kabul. Microsoft is even inserting phrases of Afghanistan's two dominant languages, Dari and Pashto, into its software."
BBC NEWS | UK | Killer jailed over poison plot, 13 Apr 05 It could be that such a case was influenced by the availability of manuals on the net relating to ricin and other toxic substance production.
WNDU-TV: Story: LaPorte man held hostage in Iraq - April 13, 2005 "The Al-Jazeera network has aired videotape of a hostage who said he is the American who was kidnapped Monday while working on a water treatment plant near Baghdad.

"A US Embassy official said the video identifies the man as 47-year-old Jeffery Ake, a LaPorte man who works for a company out of Rolling Prairie, Indiana. Ake is president of Equipment Express of Rolling Prairie."
Khaleej Times Online, Islamic satellite by year-end, 13 Apr 05: "The first Islamic satellite, expected to be used in crescent sighting, environment pollution, movement of clouds and other areas, will be put in orbit by the end of this year, says Dr Ali Juma, Mufti of Egypt and Head of the Islamic Supreme Committee of the Islamic Satellite."
arabicnews.com, Convoys of Muslim scholars tour Europe to rectify image of Islam, 13 Apr 05 "Egypt's Ministry of Awkaf sets arrangements for sending a convoy to France to rectify the image of Islam. The convoy will comprise a constellation of Egyptian scholars for engaging the public about what Islam is."
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Saudi Arabia bans forced marriage: "Sheikh Abdul Aziz, who heads the Council of Senior Ulema (Scholars) said: 'Forcing a woman to marry someone she does not want and preventing her from wedding that whom she chooses... is not permissible' under Islamic law. "

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Monday, April 11, 2005

PR Web, “Mecca To Medina” Opening Gameplayers’ Eyes to Islamic and Muslim Traditions this is actually a reference to a new board game, produced by Muslim Games. It integrates card and dice elements (that raises some interesting issues). I look forward to seeing/playing this sometime. There is a related muslimgames.com website
Mindbleed, Wiring in Cairo
E:M | Iranian weblogs growing up, 26 Mar 05
AFP/The Daily Star - Arts & Culture - Young lovers in burqas snub Afghanistan's rules of attraction, 10 Apr 05 "Now, 80 percent of young people in Mazar have a mobile phone. It's like a fashion, and with it you can set up meetings without any problem." All that's left is to find a spot for a rendezvous. "In Mazar, there are several places where you can meet girls: hotels, some restaurants, shops, hospitals," says Ershad. "And pharmacies," he adds with a glance at Sabur.
Fatema Mernissi, Les Sindbads marocains: Voyage dans le Maroc civique details on Mernissi's book (in French and Italian) which has a strong internet element.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

This one is for those of you who have tried to access this blog, and had difficulties. Me too, both in UK and USA over the past week. Very frustrating, being unable to post, or finding stuff disappearing. I was toying with migrating somewhere else, but decided to hold with Blogger for the time being (how is that for loyalty?). Hope that they can iron out the bugs. Wired News: Bloggers Pitch Fits Over Glitches
Islam Online, Crusade Film Sparks Controversy on Muslims Portrayal, 9 Apr 05
The Intra-Religion Conflicts Within Muslims (by Syed B. Soharwardy) - Media Monitors Network, 10 Apr 05 opinion piece
Middle East Newsline, Unknown Islamic Group claims Cairo Bombng, 10 Apr 05 - : "The Islamic Brigades of Pride in Egypt posted an announcement on Islamic websites that claimed responsibility for the April 7 bombing in the outdoor market in Old Cairo. Egyptian officials and Islamic sources said they did not know of such a group and suspected it was a front for an insurgency organization linked to Al Qaida."
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Film | Crusades film 'will help Muslims' I'm curious about this one, having studied the Crusades extensively in the past (as an undergrad.). I can justify placing this in the blog, as 'Kingdom of Heaven' has a website (predictably with a Flash opening - be warned).
Sapa/APA/Mail & Guardian Online: Saudi Arabia may have al-Qaeda in a corner, 7 Apr 05: "On the internet on Wednesday, the Ansar website announced the deaths of al-Mojati and al-Otaibi and invited contributors to congratulate them on their 'martyrdom'. Statements purportedly from al-Qaeda have often been posted on the Ansar site. "
Issues relating to applications of the Internet and perceptions of campaigns apply in this report from The Observer by Rory Carroll: Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Fire and rage in the shadow of Abu Ghraib, 10 Apr 05: "An internet statement purportedly from the militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed it was the work of his group, al-Qaeda in Iraq, and depicted a heroic, slick engagement which lasted several hours and deployed seven suicide car bombers. 'Then the merciful brigades and Muslim soldiers clashed with the infidels.'

"This version, according to senior coalition commanders, was aimed at sympathisers in the Gulf who funded the insurgency and expected to see results before stumping up again.

"The Americans painted a less dramatic picture, saying mortar rounds and rockets were followed by attacks by gunmen on foot."
Hamas' decision to run fuels optimism - The Washington Times: World - April 06, 2005: "'From an Islamic view, the Internet is not something that is discussed in detail,' Mr. Shtat said. 'If it is abused and against Islamic morals, then that has to be stopped.' " Reports from Biddya in Palestine, which has a Hamas mayor.
Turkish Weekly, JTW Comment - The Future of Arab Fighters in Chechnya "The few Arab fighters in Chechnya are mostly followers of the salafi-jihadist tendency best exemplified by al-Qaeda. However this does not necessarily point toward any organizational connections between the two parties; it is simply an expression of the same ideology that espouses violence as a means to achieve political gains. Since 9/11 and the start of the war on terrorism, the salafi-jihadist movement in the Caucasus has been wracked by an internal crisis triggered by the assassination of its leaders and the loss of external funding due to the imposition of tighter controls over money transactions by many countries."

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Back from the US, this blog seamlessly continues to monitor the latest events from cyber Islamic environments:
Security Park, Thales technology protects Mecca pilgrims, 7 Apr 05: "During this year's Mecca Pilgrimage, Thales deployed an integrated crisis management system allowing the detection and optimization of crowd movements."
AFP/Khaleej Times Online, Arab news channels plan extensive coverage of papal funeral, 7 Apr 05: "Arab officials and Muslim clerics have paid tribute to the pontiff, hailing him as 'a man of peace.' But some Islamist extremists have used Internet sites to slam Arab TVs for reporting extensively on the demise of the head of the Roman Catholic Church, which they perceive as an enemy.

"One Internet user assailed Al Jazeera for allegedly irritating its viewers with 'a flood of material ... hailing the pope, an old tyrant.'"
Stuff.nz, New Zealand's leading news and information website, 7 Apr 05: "Italy's leading news agency has denied reporting that al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden would attend Pope John Paul's funeral on Friday after a story attributed to it circulated widely on the internet. "
The Hindu : International : Saudi Al-Qaeda chief killed?, 7 Apr 05: "The Movement for Islamic Reform in Arabia, a Saudi Opposition group in exile, said in an Internet statement that Saleh Al-Oufi, commander of Al-Qaida was among the 14 wanted militants killed in Al-Ras. Al-Oufi, a former police officer and number four on Riyadh's most-wanted list, took over as Al-Qaeda commander in Saudi Arabia in June last year. "

Brudirect.com, Close Watch On Deviant Teachings, 5 Apr 05 "The advent of new deviant teachings such as the case of a Malay who recently claimed to be the Prophet, those who are against the Prophet's traditions (Hadith) and the spread of Christianity in Temburong are the external challenges faced by the Islamic Dakwah Centre in propagating Islamic teachings, both to Muslims and non-Muslims." Assumptions re. 'deviancy' aside, this raises some interesting perspectives on media in the Malaysian Federation.
Asia Pacific Media Network, Malaysian bloggers take a beating, 6 Apr 05 "Mack Zulkifli, who runs a new weblog called brandmalaysia, is the latest victim of harassment by Malaysian authorities, who certainly are not fans of this Internet medium, where ordinary people can comment on current events using personal or collective websites." More on this story (previously blogged)
East Valley Tribune | Daily Arizona news for Chandler, Gilbert, Tempe, Mesa, Scottsdale, 7 Apr 05: "A world history textbook used by seventh-graders at Scottsdale's Mohave Middle School was pulled from classrooms mid-semester amid growing criticism of the book's portrayal of Islam.

"The removal came on the heels of a slew of angry emails to Scottsdale Unified School District officials and entries on conservative Internet Web logs. "

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Daily Telegraph, Al-Qaeda claims Abu Ghraib raid, 5 Apr 05 "In a statement on an Islamist internet site, al-Qaeda said: "Your brothers in the al-Qaeda Organisation launched a well-planned attack on Abu Ghraib prison, where Muslim women and men are held.""

Monday, April 04, 2005

Islam Online, US Reaching Out to Muslim Brotherhood: Report, 3 Apr 05 "The US State Department has drawn up a memo calling for direct and permanent political dialogue with the banned Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, a leading Arabic newspaper reported on Sunday, April 3."
Islam Online, Muslims Pay Tribute to Deceased Pope, 3 Apr 05 "Prominent Muslim scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi hailed the deceased pontiff as a man who served his faith with utmost sincerity."
BBC News, Blogging from East to West, 1 Apr 2005 "Voices shrieking in the electronic wilderness" is how one columnist writing in the International Herald described these blogging witch-hunts.
LA Times, Europe's Boys of Jihad, April 2, 2005 refers to events in the NetherlandsThe trajectory is changing," said Marc Sageman, "a forensic psychiatrist at the University of Pennsylvania and a former CIA officer."
Radio Free Liberty, Iraq: Alleged Terrorist Leader To Be Deported From Norway, 2 Apr 05 this refers to alleged "Ansar Al-Islam leader Najm al-Din Faraj Ahmad, aka Mullah Krekar", and there is a distinct net thread to this story (elements of which have been previously blogged).

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Today's blog comes live from Atlanta, Georgia. Yesterday I gave a paper at Georgia State, for a conference on Muslims' Experiences of Globalization. There were some other papers relating to Islam and the net too, including material on blogging in Iranian contexts, Turkish cyber cafe culture, and references to various aspects of the 'phenomena' in various papers - including those by Dale Eickelman and Richard Martin. I understand a number of papers will be collected together for a future publication of proceedings.

Onto news:

IPS News, Authorities zero in on bloggers, 1 Apr 05 refers to Malaysian authorities' crackdown. "Mack Zulkifli who runs a new weblog called 'brandmalaysia' is the latest victim of harassment by Malaysian authorities who certainly are not fans of this Internet medium where ordinary people can comment on current events using personal or collective websites." Brandmalaysia can be found here. Also see IFEX, Bloggers harassed by authorities, 1 April 2005

CNN, Pilgrims block to West African city, 29 Mar 2005 account on the pilgrimage to Touba includes references to cyber cafes.

Asia Times, Jihad's latest 'rag' hits the Internet, 31 Mar 05 gives an account of Dhurwat al-Sanam (previously blogged)