Tuesday, November 29, 2005

South Asian Media Net, Cyber law likely by January 2006, November 29, 2005: "Law minister Moudud Ahmed said Monday an Information Communication Technology Act has been drafted and awaits enactment in January 2006.

"... this law should cover e-transactions, e-payment, different forms of cyber crime, data protection, and intellectual property like copyrights, trademarks and patents, public key infrastructure and switched network for banks."
Asian Tribune, The Diversity of Cham Muslims: Where Indian, Chinese, Arabic, and Malaysian cultures meet article about Cham Muslims in Ratanakirir Province; they don't have internet access, it seems (a relatively minor point in the context of their relative poverty), but do have an amazing combination of cultural-religious-linguistic influences.
AP/ABC News: German Woman Believed Kidnapped in Iraq, 29 Nov 05
MEMRI, Special Dispatch Series - No. 1034, Al-Qaeda Presents Footage of Preparations for Triple Baghdad Hotel Suicide Bombings
BBC NEWS | UK | UK suicide bomber family cleared, 28 Nov 05 "The case had been built around a series of e-mails.

"Prior to the attack, Sharif [Omar Sharif, Tel Aviv 'bomber', 2003] wrote an e-mail to his brother in which he said: "Difficult times may lay ahead for you and the family.

""Plan now and get rid of any material you may consider problematic."

"In the same e-mail he sent a message to his wife: "We didn't spend a long time together in this world, but I hope through Allah's mercy...we can spend an eternity together."
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Iraq shooting claims third Briton, 29 November 2005 victims were affiliated to the Dawoodi Bohra Jamaat of London
About Islam, Hajj Manuals useful top 6 of Hajj Manuals (linking to publishers' sites)

Monday, November 28, 2005

Rafah Pundits, Rafah Crossing Reopens Officially Today, 25 Nov 05: "Rafah Border Crossing in the south of the Gaza Strip will officially reopen today. For the first time in about forty years and since the Israeli Forces withdrew from the Gaza Strip, Rafah Crossing will be run by Palestinian and Egyptian Authorities under direct supervision of International observers and less Israeli interference."
Islamicly Locked extremely interesting blog on dreadlocks and Islam, including scholarly opinions reproduced on the subject.
Indonesia Journal Blogger Indonesia: Who's the Moderate Muslim? just picked this up from A. Fatih Syuhud's Indonesia Journal (one of several blogs he produces). It makes some interesting points about identity issues.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Editor : Myself | Goodbye to America Hoder's blog (indirectly) gets him barred (temporarily) at the border between US and Canada. This is the 'problem' if your name is googled at the border ... also see Committee to Protect Bloggers, Hoder Barred from U.S. for Six Months, 24 Nov 05.
Asharq Alawsat, The New Generation of Terror: The Female Suicide Bomber, 25 November 2005: "Numan Ibn Uthman, a Libyan expert of Islamist affairs said that Al-Zarqawi sought to send a direct message to his supporters that women are also practicing Jihad. The Syrian Islamist and leader of Al-Muhajiroun, Sheikh Omar Bakri, who has not been allowed to return to his residence in Britain, told Asharq al-Awsat that Al-Zarqawi's aim was to inform the Muslims and Arabs that if men are reluctant in carrying out suicide operations, then women would replace them. According to Bakri, Al-Zarqawi also wanted to stress that Jihad is a religious duty for every Muslim whether male or female. However, he stated that Al-Qaeda must 'issue a statement confirming whether Sajida is part of the organization or not.' He added, 'This suspicious silence on Al-Qaeda's part about this woman is unaccepted.'"
Al-Ahram Weekly | Egypt | A different kind of fraternity, 24 Nov 05
BBC NEWS | Middle East | Four Westerners 'seized in Iraq', 27 Nov 05
This is London, Man in court on terror charges, 25 Nov 05: "Rauf Abdullah Mohammed, from London, is accused of making 'a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism'."
adkni.com, al-Qaeda talk show broadcast on the internet, 25 Nov 05a: "A prototype of television talk show, purportedly run by the al-Qaeda network, has appeared on the Internet. The seven-minute long programme, entitled 'The Argument Continues', was compiled by the Global Islamic Information Network, responsible for the al-Qaeda 'news bulletins', the first of which appeared in September."
Ulster TV, Al Qaeda suspect guilty of terror charges, 24 Nov 05: "Abbas Boutrab, 27, was found guilty of possessing articles for purposes connected with terrorism.

They included 25 computer disks of Islamic detail of instruction on how to blow up an aircraft."

Friday, November 25, 2005

MEMRI: Reformist Saudi Author: Religious Cassettes Advocate Jihad by Emphasizing Martyr's Sexual Rewards, 23 Nov 05 "In a November 15, 2005 article in the Saudi daily Al-Iqtisadiyya, Sa'ad Al-Sowayan, a reformist Saudi researcher and columnist, argued that religious cassettes, which are widely available in Saudi Arabia, advocate Jihad by emphasizing the sexual reward awaiting the martyr in Paradise. This is aimed at tempting teenagers who can find no sexual release in conservative Arab society. An English translation of the article was published in the Saudi Gazette on November 17."
Turkish Torque, The Owner of the Orchard is silent, 21 Nov 05 "Muslims are blowing up Muslims to smithereens in the name of... I?m not quite sure what."

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Open Bethlehem / Become a citizen of Bethlehem campaign website (obtain a Bethlehem Passport)
Sabbah?s Blog, Flickr Blocked in UAE, Again!, 23 Nov 05
Free-the-P hip-hop compilation - includes DAM
Global Voices Online ? Blog Archive ? Iranian Blogs: WSIS & Human Rights
Global Voices Online ? Blog Archive ? Don?t Bomb Us - A blog by Al Jazeera Staffers, 21 Nov 05
Mental mayhem notes music video for Ya Amman
MoorishGirl has a novel out, entitled Hope & Other Dangerous Pursuits. Look forward to reading it in due course (Moorish Girl has good blog).
Hostsearch/Arab Herald, Arab Web Hosting Community Launches Free Blog Service, 24 Nov 05 "Jeeran (http://www.jeeran.com), the first web hosting community geared towards Arabs, has launched a free ?Blog Service?. The service allows users to easily set up websites which act as online journals and allow comments and contributions to be posted by visitors. ?Jeeran Blogs? can incorporate images, videos and a variety of other media alongside normal text."
This story has run and run, so let's hope it is finally resolved: The Boston Globe, At last, Iraq finds a Web designation, 24 Nov 05 "It was a tiny electronic victory after years of frustration and defeat. Yesterday, Iraqi officials announced the launch of .iq, Iraq's identity on the World Wide Web.

"''Iraq has officially planted its flag on the Internet," the deputy assistant of the Iraqi National Communication and Media Commission said by telephone interview from Baghdad, before a news conference to announce the step. The deputy, who asked that her name be withheld because of frequent attacks on government workers, said e-mail addresses and websites ending in .iq would be up and running in a matter of days."
Asia Times Online, Faith on trial in Malaysia, 24 Nov 05: "Since September 11, 2001, the struggle between militantly radical and progressive or democratic tendencies - 'ungentle' and 'gentle' Islam - has become a matter of urgent importance not only among Muslims but to others beyond their faith community." article by Clive S Kessler (University of New South Wales, Sydney)
Asia Times Online, Myths and madrassas, 24 Nov 05article by William Dalrymple, which originally appeared in NY Review of Books. "Across Pakistan, the tenor of religious belief has been correspondingly radicalized: the tolerant Sufi-minded Barelvi form of Islam is now deeply out of fashion in Pakistan, overtaken by the sudden rise of the more hardline and politicized reformist Deobandi, Wahhabi and Salafi strains of the faith."
I hope there is an extensive consultation exercise for this project: tmcnet.com, Google Donates $3 Million To Help Scan More Rare Documents, 23 Nov 05: "Although nothing has been finalized, Billington initially envisions devoting large sections of the World Digital Library to material from China, India, and Islam.

"'Much of this will be one-of-a-kind material that you won't be able to find anywhere else,' Billington said during a Monday interview. 'Getting the material out there (online) is really important. 'We have already preserved a lot of material that might have perished in other hands.'"
Reuters.com, Iraq Qaeda denies Zarqawi killed, 23 Nov 05: "Al Qaeda in Iraq said reports that U.S. forces had killed its leader Abu Musab Al Zarqawi were a lie, according to an Internet statement posted on Wednesday."
Reuters.com, Iraq car blast kills at least 30, 24 Nov 05: "A car bomb blew up outside a hospital where Iraqi police were gathered in a town south of Baghdad on Thursday, killing 31 people and wounding more than 20 others, doctors, police and witnesses said."

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

...Or Does It Explode?: American Blogger Provokes Yemen's State Media, 21 Nov 05 refers to Jane Novak's Armies of Liberation
Pickled Politics - The Guardian (and me) on British Muslims after 7/7 discussion on the Guardian's focus group (below)
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Special report: Islam, race and British identity, 21 Nov 05 second forum + feedback
early days for a Yemeni blog from the Ambassador to India (via Global Voices) Mustapha
the olive ream: mad-rassa curriculum 2006 a much-needed satirical intervention from the Olive Ream [read disclaimer, etc.]
Kuna site, Kuwait-organized seminar on terrorism ends 20 Nov 2005: "Today's discussions have focussed on the ponetials to fight extremism and role of mass media and the internet in the instigation of terrorism. Participants stressed necessity to fight world media encouraging extremism.

"In remarks during the seminar, Bsairi warned against extremists and terrorists who exploit the internet in spreading fatal ideas. He stressed necessity to deliver the moderate message of Islam."
ashlandcitytimes.com, Bin Laden fascinates, repels scholars at VU - Monday, 21 Nov 05 refers to studies undertaken at Vanderbilt University.
Daily Mirror, Exclusive: Bush Plot To Bomb His Arab Ally - Madness Of War Memo, 22 Nov 05 report by Kevin Maguire And Andy Lines

also see: al-Jazeera, Memo: Bush wanted Aljazeera bombed, 22 Nov 05: "Speaking to Aljazeera from London on Monday, Abd al-Bari Atwan, chief editor of the London-based Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, said: "The issue of Bush's plan to bomb Aljazeera's headquarters in Doha will be widely discussed in Washington and London.

"Reporters in the US and Britain are enraged by reported US plans to use force against media organs."

Islam Online, Bush Planned to Bomb Al-Jazeera HQ: Mirror, 22 Nov 05 "US President George W. Bush planned to bomb pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera but he was talked out of the idea by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, according to a British daily report Tuesday, November 22, citing a Downing Street memo marked "Top Secret"."
United Press International - Intl. Intelligence - Al-Jazeera in fight for Web site name, 22 Nov 05: "Aljazeera.net is the official site of the Qatar-based television company: But there is also aljazeera.com, operated by the AJ Publishing of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, and London. In March, the Qatar channel filed a complaint at the World Intellectual Property Arbitration and Mediation Center in Geneva requesting that the Dubai/London-based site stop using the same domain name, and charging the other company with breach of copyright and 'bad faith.' "
Clandestine Radio Watch #194 Extra A, November 22, 2005 "A stream of leaks to the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post about covert allied counterterror operations is now playing a strategic role in al Qaeda's propaganda campaign. Following the November 9 triple bombings in Amman, the chief of al Qaeda in the Land of the Two Rivers, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, cited a Los Angeles Times report that disclosed covert relations between U.S. and Jordanian intelligence as justification for the attacks in an audio file posted on Jihadi Web forums on Friday."

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Religious Policeman comments on Muhammad Al Harbi's case (see post below).
Sunday Times - Times Online: Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama Bin Laden, November 20, 2005
more on Message to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden
Guardian/Taipei Times, Bin Laden in his own words, 20 Nov 05: "The problem, as Lawrence says, is that bin Laden has no vision of the society he would wish to create, apart from a few thin riffs on Mullah Omar's Afghanistan.

""He merely wants to blow the house down or up. His is a 'narrow, limited creed.' The lads who flock to his banner would soon grow restless if they had to live in Osamaland on 'scriptural dictates, poetic transports and binary prescriptions.'"
Telegraph | News | The world of bin Laden: no drinks, no gambling, no pictures of women, 17 Nov 05
Media Monitors Network, Zarqawi's message hitting home in Arab World, 21 Nov 05
Sunday Times - Times Online, Blair's ban fails to silence Muslim preachers of hate, November 20, 2005 update on online activities from al-Massari, al-Fagih et al
MEMRI, Now Online: Swear Loyalty to Al-Qaeda Leaders, MEMRI Special Dispatch Series - No. 1027: "Recently, an announcement of the beginning of a month-long campaign appeared on the Islamic Internet forums. During this campaign, an online opportunity is being offered to Muslims to sign a b'ayah, a Muslim's oath of loyalty to Muslim leaders. Until December 13, 2005, supporters can sign an oath of loyalty to Osama bin Laden, Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Mullah Muhammad Omar, and Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi online."
Middle East Online, Al-Qaeda, music videos vie for young Arab minds, 18 Nov 05 "An Iraqi female would-be suicide bomber is paraded on television showing her explosives-laden belt. New Lebanese pop sensation Dominique flaunts her bikini-clad body under a waterfall in her latest video.

"Two totally different images that have planted themselves in the minds of millions of Arabs after tumultuous weeks that saw the November 9 attacks in Jordan shatter the calm of one of the region's most stable states.

"For many reformists, the existence of such gaping cultural extremes in one region is an unhealthy sign that the Arab world's young and sometimes disaffected population has yet to find a moderate means of expression."

adkni.com, Iraq: White House Dismisses Reports Of Al-Zarqawi's Death, 21 Nov 05: "The White House has played down reports that the leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, may have been killed in a US military raid on a house in the northern city of Mosul over the weekend. The raid was carried out on Saturday following a tip-off that top al-Qaeda operatives, possibly including al-Zarqawi, were in the house. But a spokesman for the US president said reports of the terror leader's death were 'highly unlikely and not credible'. "
Campaigning website for Muhammad al-Harbi, in support of the campaign for his release. It contains details of accusations made against him, and his 'trial', alongside related links. The case has galvanised sectors of the Saudi media. High School Teacher Muhammad al-Harbi's Case: "After the Saudi authorities captured the terrorists who perpetrated the May 11, 2003 tragic terror bombing in a residential area in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Muhammad al-Harbi made a public announcement to his school's students praising the Saudi police and supporting anti terrorism actions waged by the Saudi government. He explained that that terror acts are against Islam and do not represent the faith nor its followers. This announcement was not received well by some of the other teachers in the school who adopted some extremist views and conservative ideologies that did not agree with Mohammed's thoughts. They started plotting against Mohammed for his sincere efforts in spreading the message of tolerance and support for anti terror acts."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

World Reuters.co.uk, Egypt cracks down on Islamists in elections, 20 Nov 05: "Police arrested 400 Muslim Brotherhood activists in a crackdown on the Islamist group which poses the strongest challenge to the ruling party in Egyptian legislative elections on Sunday."
ITP.net, Riyadh online for digital city status, 20 Nov 05: "The governor of the CITC, Dr Mohammed Al Suwaiyel, announced last week that the Saudi capital will become one of ten ?Digital Cities? that Intel is wor-king with globally to promote the usage of WiMax technology."
StrategyPage, Information Warfare, Journalism Versus Reality in Iraq, November 20, 2005: "American troops are developing a hate-hate relation with journalists. The basic problem is that soldiers and marines in Iraq have access, usually via the Internet, to what the mass media is saying about what they think is happening in Iraq."
GameShout.com, AIM Worm Virus Linked To Middle East Malware, 19 Nov 05: "FaceTime Security Labs has announced that the recently discovered worm that spreads through AOL's Instant Messenger is linked to a unidentified group in the Middle East. The AIM worm virus is known as Sdbot.add which includes a Lockx.exe rootkit.

"The AIM worm hides itself on a computer where hackers can also use the rootkit to cloak their own malware."
startribune.com, Inside the Muslim mind and the Qur'an, 13 Nov 05 hidden under the unfortunate headline is an interview with Michael Sells (Approaching the Qur'an author/translator), who has a new book on jihad on the horizon.
The Age, US hopes al-Zarqawi died in gunfight, 21 Nov 05"US forces have sealed off a house in the northern city of Mosul where eight suspected al-Qaeda members died in a gunfight - some by their own hand to avoid capture.

"A US official said that efforts were under way to determine if terror leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was among the dead."
The Register, WSIS: Secret police, hunger and booze, 20 Nov 05
Islam Online, Waiting for Pilots to Land in Tunis, 20 Nov 05 commentary on Tunis: "The Tunis Kram Centre, venue of WSIS, must have had the highest concentration of laptops and mobile phones in Africa for the week. It was also drowning in everything e- (electronic) from e-readiness studies to e-development plans, and from e-commerce strategies to e-waste management plans, there was a downpour of it everywhere.

"?Forever pilots? were lurking among all this, looking for landing pads. They would happily settle for a few sympathetic listeners, or some more funding to keep them going for as long as they can."
BBC NEWS | Technology | Controversy blights UN net summit, 18 Nov 05
BBC NEWS | Technology | CDs and comics offer digital aid, 18 Nov 05

Friday, November 18, 2005

Aljazeera.Net - 'Amman bombs did not target Muslims', 18 Nov 05
MSNBC.com, Zarqawi: Muslim wedding not bombing target, 18 Nov 05: "An audiotape attributed to al-Qaida in Iraq on Friday said that the group did not intend to target Muslim wedding parties in deadly bomb attacks in Jordan last week.

" ... The speaker, identified as Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi, also threatened to chop off King Abdullah II's head and vowed to bomb more hotels and tourist sites.

""Your star is fading. You will not escape your fate, you descendant of traitors. We will be able to reach your head and chop it off," al-Zarqawi said, referring to the king."
Cuba, Iran lash out at Internet freedom | CNET News.com, 18 Nov 05 "Too often, the Internet is used for the "propagation of falsehoods," said Mohammad Soleymani, Iran's minister of communication and information technology.

"Soleymani called for the elimination of the California-based Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)--which approves new top-level domain names--in favor of United Nations control."
Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Jordan and Iraq Explosions and Islam's Fate
: "Blowing oneself up in the lobby of a hotel or in the middle of a restaurant with no preservations because of the presence of just ordinary people is not considered a military operation and is not either a sign of power of any group."
BBC NEWS | Technology | Senegal calls for digital funds, 18 Nov 05: "Senegalese leader Abdoulaye Wade has called on the richer nations to do more to help developing countries buy technology hardware. "
BBC NEWS | Technology | Pocket answer to digital divide, 18 Nov 05 "Mobile technology has, for some time, been making a difference in remote, underdeveloped areas of the world where it is difficult and costly to build fixed-line infrastructure and net access."
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | The new commentariat, 17 Nov 05: "A new wave of political bloggers is challenging Britain's old media pundits. But who are they, and which ones matter? "
WRAL.com - AP World News - Bombers Kill 65 At Two Mosques In Iraq, 18 Nov 05
Islam Online, Danish Muslims "Internationalize" Anti-Prophet Cartoons, 18 Nov 05
Los Angeles Times, Family Relies on Values Even as Traditions Fade, 18 Nov 05 profile of a Muslim family in Leeds
ZNet |Mainstream Media | Chomsky Answers Guardian Noam Chomsky discusses The Guardian's interview with him of 31 October (now off line - at least on the main Guardian site). It's interesting to read his response and associated links.
opinion piece: Kavkaz Center, The Chechen Resistance became a nucleus of general struggle , 18 Nov 05: "We bring to an attention of readers the interview of president of CHRI Abdul-Khalim Sadulaev given to the Chechen Radio edition Freedom which was held in November, 14 this year. Interview is published in translation from Chechen into Russian."
The Jakarta Post - Working to discount the growing theology of terror, 18 Nov 05: "The khawarij-like-terrorists have used particular religious teachings for self-legitimatization, have read world events and legitimized their actions in such a way that they believe only they are genuine religious and only they go to paradise. Their interpretations of jihad, amar ma'ruf nahi munkar, and kufr are highly selective, literal and partial." Interesting opinion piece from Muhamad Ali of the State Islamic University, Syarif Hidayatullah, Jakarta/University of Hawaii.
Independent, Documentary reveals London bomber's westernised youth, 18 Nov 05 one for the profilers: I listened to part of this one last night, and it is still available online: Biography of a Bomber, Thursday 17 November 2005 20:00-20:30 (Radio 4 FM). This is part of the Koran and Country series. Good programme, lots of local detail from Leeds. There is another one in this series on tonight (UK time) on Radio Ramadan, Friday 18 November 2005 11:00-11:30 (Radio 4 FM). This charts the phenomena of Ramadan radio stations.

Independent, Site of most wanted criminals crashes on launch day
, 18 Nov 05
:discusses Crimestoppers Most Wanted website.
washingtonpost.com, Early Warning by William M. Arkin: Al Qaeda Transforms there's some interesting feedback to this article too (scroll down to see it). For example, this is what 'Pete the Sceptic' had to say:

"Listen, I don't want to burst anyone's bubble but there's quite a few of us out in the blogosphere who are a little skeptical of the big bad strawman who moves as mysteriously as a quantum particle, posts on websites, obligingly produces "chatter" for the NSA at opportune moments, and yet can never ever be caught, despite being seriously wounded (missing a leg) or mortally ill (on dialysis). Legendary bad man Zarqawi was reported killed in 2003 by numerous sources and no one has seen him since."

Thursday, November 17, 2005

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Q&A: White phosphorus, 16 Nov 05
BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Eyewitness: Quake victims still cut off
BBC NEWS | Technology | UN net summit diary, 17 Nov 05
The Register, Tunisian Internet control lambasted at opening of World Summit more from Kieren McCarthy in Tunis.

BBC NEWS | Technology | UN debut for $100 laptop for poor, 17 Nov 05 includes photo of Annan and Negroponte at the keyboard.

MIT, $100 Laptop more on the 'green machine'. Will it have an Arabic version? This is an exciting project, that Nicholas Negroponte has been working on for several years, so I am keen to see it 'in action'. It has some implications with regards to cyber Islamic environments too.
ABC News Online, Hand-cranked laptop launched for schoolkids. 17/11/2005. : "Researchers in Tunis have unveiled a $A137 hand-cranked laptop computer, saying they hoped to place them in the hands of millions of schoolchildren around the globe." Expect it to roll out next year.
geeskaafrika.com, Iran Anti-Zionist website Hosted in the United States, 17 Nov 05 article from Jeremy Reynalds: "An Iranian administered anti-Zionist website formerly hosted in the United States is now off line."
Radio Free Europe/payvand.com, Rights Group Lists 'Enemies Of Internet' At UN Summit, 17 Nov 05: "One NGO -- the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders -- has created a list of countries it considers 'enemies of the Internet.' Heading that list are China and Iran. Regimes in Belarus, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan also are singled out as repressive governments who are trying to control the Internet in order to silence the political opposition."
ABC News Online, Howard unmoved by militant's threat. 17/11/2005. : "Prime Minister John Howard says he will not be swayed by a videotaped warning that Australia faces more terrorism attacks unless it withdraws its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Indonesian police say the militant in the video is Bali bombings suspect Noordin Top." Links to the tape can be found (in various formats) through this ABC page.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Navhind Times on the Web: India, The new breed of terrorists is suave, urbane, 15 Nov 05: "As multinational company executive Tariq Ahmad Dar is interrogated over his alleged links with the New Delhi bomb blasts, intelligence agencies are drawing a frightening picture of the modern terror dispenser.

"Dar?s family and friends still cannot believe that this Net-savvy, science graduate from Srinagar is what the police say he is: a closet high-ranking Laskhar-e-Taiba operative.

""It is not unusual these days. The present-day militant is well educated. If he is adept at computers it only gives him that veneer of respectability," Mr Arun Bhagat, a former director of the Intelligence Bureau, told IANS."
PenLog English"We, the members of the Association of Iranian Blogwriters (Penlog), have started a serious movement towards securing the freedom of speech and free flow of information on the Internet. Our goal is to protect freedom of thought, speech and publishing in all aspects of personal and social life, without any exception. In this aspect, we defend the freedom of speech in the Internet and in particular the ?blogs?.

"We are writing this statement to inform you of the largest campaign of persecution, arrest, censorship and filtering of the Internet in the world, which is carried on in Iran right now." opinion piece
Friends of Democracy, The Internet, The Greatest Threat, 12 Oct 05 opinion piece from NDP blog/Diwaniya:

"The online activity in the Arab region is far more dangerous than Zarqawi's activities in Iraq or Bin Laden's activities worldwide. The threat of the latter can be contained as long as terrorist groups are restricted to one angle of society, but the former has an audience of hundreds of thousands of
our youth clearly divided into Sunnis or Shia, believers or infidels, right or wrong; how will they be saved? And most importantly, how will society be saved from their actions tomorrow?"
Protect Omid Sheikhan "Omid Sheikhan, an Iranian student, spent three months in jail last year - including a month of solitary confinement and torture."
IT 'expert' and alleged supporter of websites supporting terrorism, Babar Ahmad has been held for several months awaiting a decision on his extradition to the USA. BBC NEWS | UK | Clarke to extradite Ahmad to US, 16 Nov 05 "The Muslim Council of Britain said it was "very disappointed" in the extradition ruling.

"It questioned the fairness of the Extradition Treaty 2003 under which the US government does not have to prove to the UK that there is a prima facie case to answer.

""If our government has any evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Babar Ahmad then he should be charged in this country and put on trial here," spokesman Inayat Bunglawala said."

Babar Ahmad's family and suppoters have been maintaining a website campaign for several months, and have issued a press release.

It provides the following statement from Babar Ahmad:

"Babar, speaking from Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes, said today: "This decision should only come as a surprise to those who thought that there was still justice for Muslims in Britain. I entrust my affairs to Allah and His Words from the Quran, "And when the two armies saw one another, the companions of Moses said, "Indeed we are finished." Moses said: "No! Indeed, with me is my Lord and He will guide me."' ... O Allah, You have seen what they have done to me. O Allah, avenge my injustice. In Allah we put our trust.""

An appeal is now in progress.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mer’s Bites of Bytes � Portraying technology and ‘us’
USATODAY.com - Groups decry Tunisia hosting U.N. summit, 14 Nov 05
USATODAY.com - Internet use spreading throughout Iraq, 14 Nov 05: "Three months after the fall of Saddam, al-Rubei Internet Cafe became one of Baghdad's first private companies, and ever since business has been doing well, said manager Jarir Majid.

"'The idea came when we thought that we wanted to do something with this shop, something that people needed,' said Majid, speaking as most of the 50 computers in his shop were occupied. 'The Internet is great. It is sad that Iraqis were deprived of this technology.'"
U.N. control of Internet? An idea for the 'delete' file - USA TODAY/Yahoo! News, 15 Nov 05: "Now, though, governments are waking up to the reality that the Internet is a powerful tool that can change society and commerce in profound ways. They want to assert more control - and are set to try at a U.N.-run conference in the Northern African nation of Tunisia this week."
bernama.com, Terrorism Is Not Jihad, Perak Mufti Says, 15 Nov 05: "The Mufti of Perak Datuk Seri Harussani Zakaria Tuesday said acts of terror like setting off bombs to destroy innocent people out of hatred is not jihad (holy war)."
arabnews.com, Gaza Islamic University Gets Intel’s IT Center of Excellence Award, 15 Nov 05: "Last Wednesday, American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) and the Intel Corporation announced an agreement to build the Intel Information Technology Center of Excellence at the Islamic University of Gaza in the Gaza Strip. "
Le Monde.fr : Pourquoi une fatwa en France ?, par Alexandre Caeiro, 11 Nov 05"L'union des organisations islamiques de France (UOIF) a edicte, dimanche 6 novembre, une "fatwa concernant les troubles qui touchent la France". Comment comprendre ce texte et la visibilite accrue de la fatwa dans un pays non musulman?"
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | The ideas interview: Joe Trippi discusses the book The Revolution Will Not Be Televised: Democracy, the Internet, and the Overthrow of Everything by Joe Trippi. Soem interesting points made. Wonder if Trippi is citing Gil Scott-Heron on his front page (one of my favourite tracks)?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Jordan Times, Would-be female suicide bomber arrested, 14 Nov 05: "On Sunday, the King told police chiefs of the Arab world convening in Amman for a security conference that tactics used by terrorist groups and their extremist ideologies must be scrutinised in order to abort criminal plots.

"King Abdullah also urged the Arab law enforcement officers to work to prevent the cultivation and brainwashing of youth by terrorists.

"He said extremist ideologies must be confronted and exposed for the falsehood their followers promote. He stressed that it is imperative that countries build a culture that renounces terrorism and fanaticism. "
BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | Film explores suicide bomb motives contains a photo montage by Seamus Murphy from the film 'Paradise Now'. Also see Seamus Murphy's website at Ashley Woods Promotion
adnki.com, Iraq: Seven Armed Groups Willing To Negotiate With U.S., 14 Nov 05: "Seven armed Iraqi groups, coming together under the name 'the United Islamic Front for the Liberation of Iraq' have announced that they are willing to start talks with the US command in the country, but only on certain conditions."
adnki.com, Jordan: Legitimacy Of Amman Attacks Questioned, 14 Nov 05: "Following an initial outpouring of support for the bombings from the members of several Jihadist forums, one well-known fundamentalist Sheikh, Abu Basir al-Tartousi, has issued an unexpected fatwa, condemning the operation. In the religious edict, the Salafist sheikh, who is of Syrian origin but has lived in exile in London for years, states that the attacks were a mistake. 'This operation contains more negative than positive elements. For this reason it is not allowed to attribute it to Islam, or even to the Jihad [holy war],' he said." It will be interesting to watch the responses to al-Tartousi's statements here.
I'm pleased to note that The Register has columnist Kieren McCarthy's commentary on the World Summit in Tunis: The Register, World Summit blog: Heat, taxis and cous-cous, 14 Nov 05; The Register, World Summit blog: internet, freedom of speech and the UN 14th November 2005. These stories also appear (with others) on Kieren McCarthy's own site
Asharq Alawsat, Extremist Bakri Plans to Return to Britain, 14 Nov 05: "In a telephone conversation with Asharq al Awsat on Saturday, the firebrand cleric indicated that his return depended on renewing his Lebanese passport and affording a plane ticket, which he expected to pay for by students' donations"
Sunday Times - Times Online, MI5 wants 800 more spies to take on Islamic threat, 13 Nov 05: "Hundreds of spies, surveillance and desk officers will be recruited. They will include many candidates from ethnic minorities. The agency wants to hire 'streetwise' young Muslim men who are capable of infiltrating groups of Islamic hardliners. "
BBC NEWS | Technology | Tunisia under fire over UN summit, 14 Nov 05: "This week, the North African nation of Tunisia hosts a UN summit on the internet. One big item on the agenda will be how to ensure freedom of expression online. But Tunisia's own record of censorship has led some critics to question its suitability to host such an event. "
opinion piece: Yemen Times, 'They are the enemy', 14 Nov 05 : "The horrific attack in Amman was carried by these kind of hooligans, which Islam is totally unattached to and which in fact regards them as the real 'enemy', as the Qur'an has rightfully labeled them."
The Times & The Sunday Times, Malta, 'Plot' to attack Queen, 14 Nov 05: "The British secret service had information that a Sudanese man now in Italy was plotting an attempt on Queen Elizabeth's life while in Malta for the Commonwealth heads of Government Meeting later this month, Italia Uno reported yesterday."
NEWS.com.au, Police tipped off by informer, 14 Nov 05: "ASIO decryption experts are examining computers confiscated in this week's raids.

"They are trying to decipher codes that will reveal the identity of foreign terrorists who may have visited Australia to meet the raid suspects."
Sunday Times - Times Online, Al-Qaeda calls Queen an 'enemy of Islam', 13 Nov 05: "The warning has been passed by MI5 to the Queen's protection team after it obtained the unexpurgated version of a video issued by Al-Qaeda after the 7/7 attacks. Parts of it were broadcast on Al-Jazeera, the Arabic satellite channel.

"In the video, Ayman al- Zawahiri, second-in-command to Osama Bin Laden, targets the Queen as ultimately responsible for Britain's 'crusader laws' and denounces her as an enemy of Muslims. "
Scotsman.com News - Failed suicide bomber admits Jordan plot, 14 Nov 05: "The authorities said they were tipped off that Rishawi was involved after al-Qaeda in Iraq posted an internet notice saying four Iraqi bombers - including a husband-and-wife team - carried out the attacks.

"The terrorist network appears to have believed she had been killed.

" ... A Jordanian official said the al-Qaeda internet message had played a crucial part in revealing her role."

Saturday, November 12, 2005

BBC NEWS | Technology | Malaysia gamers face night curfew, 10 Nov 05: "The authorities in Subang Jaya, near the capital Kuala Lumpur, say that from next year they will close down net cafes which allow patrons to play games late at night.

more on this previously blogged story of 'Rakan ben Williams': adkni.com, al-Qaeda mouthpiece warns of new jihadi weapon, 10 Nov 05: "As Jordan suffers the consequences of its friendship with the US and stance on Israel, intelligence experts have been dissecting a message from the al-Qaeda mouthpiece the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), unveiling its new secret weapon in the holy war. The warning comes in the form of a sarcastic and arrogant analysis of al-Qaeda's strategy, penned by an imaginary author calling himself Rakan ben Williams - or bin Wilyamz, as it is written in Arabic - published recently on Jihadi websites. "

Friday, November 11, 2005

24 Steps to Liberty, In Between!, 10 Nov 05: "What?s with this damned terrorism? We?ve been dealing with it for almost three years now. What is the point? Nothing. Why would they kill people having breakfast?" Commentary on current events in Iraq.
Guardian Unlimited Technology | Technology | Growing up with the wired generation, 10 Ov 05: "Being sent to your bedroom used to be a punishment: now it's a teen dream. Through personal computers, mobile phones and gaming consoles, teenagers are spurning antisocial angst for a culture of 'connected cocooning'." refers to MTV's Generations report

According to phonecontent.com, MTV Networks International and Jamster! to Jointly Invest in Mobile Entertainment Research Internationally, 14 Sept 05:
"MTV initiates more local, pan-regional and global youth research than any other media company worldwide. Studies in the past have included: Sources of Cool, a global initiative that identified trend developments among youth; Collections of Cool, a pan-European research report addressing key youth behaviors; MTV Generations, a nine-country European study defining the key mindsets of Generation X and Generation Y; and Switched On, an on-going youth trends monitor."
Guardian Unlimited | Arts special reports | Click your mouse, say yeah!, 11 Nov 05: "Myspace.com may well be the hottest website on the internet: its parent company, Intermix Media, was bought by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for a staggering $580m. It started out as an 'online community' where members could share their likes and dislikes by setting up homepages and linking them to those of 'friends' with similar interests."
Reuters.co.uk, Bali bombers made video before attacks, 11 Nov 05: "Three suicide bombers who killed 20 people in restaurants on Indonesia's Bali last month made videos in which they condemned the United States and said they were ready to die, the national police chief said on Friday.

"The videos were seized this week as part of raids in which one of Asia's top Islamic militants, Azahari Husin, was killed. It is the first time police have said Indonesian bombers have appeared on tapes ahead of blasts, a practice more common among suicide attackers in the Middle East."
CNN.com - Prewar CIA report questioned al Qaeda-Iraq ties - Nov 10, 2005: "A January 2003 CIA report raised doubts about claims that al Qaeda sent operatives to Iraq to acquire chemical and biological weapons -- dramatic assertions that were repeated weeks later by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell to the United Nations in making the case for the invasion of Iraq."

CNN.com, Al Qaeda claims 4 Iraqis behind Amman attacks, 11 Nov 05

"Four Iraqis -- including a husband and wife -- carried out the hotel bombings in Amman that killed 57 people, al Qaeda in Iraq claimed Friday on a Web site.

""A group of martyrdom-seekers carried out the planning and implementation. They comprised three men and a woman who decided to accompany her husband on the path to martyrdom," the statement said."
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Producer dies after Jordan blast, 11 Nov 05 Moustapha Akkad, director of The Message, was killed in the Jordan hotel bombings. This was a significant film, made in 1976, charting the early development of Islam (it is a film I have used frequently in lecturing on the subject).
leadingthecharge.com, UK Muslims to fight extremism on the road and Web, 11 Nov 05: "After years of watching radical Muslim groups teach violence in town meetings and on the Internet, British Muslim leaders announced plans on Thursday to fight back by taking the message of mainstream Islam onto the road and out into cyberspace."

Thursday, November 10, 2005

An Average Iraqi: Iraqi Bloggers: From Pax to Sanyora here's a history of Iraqi blogging that really should be in Wiki. I have been writing about this issue recently, so found it interesting to see An Average Iraqi's chronicle and estimates of current Iraqi bloggers. [located via Iraqi Bloggers Central, diolch]
Iraqi Bloggers Central, New Voices in the Iraqi Blogosphere:

"As many of you have already noticed, the Iraqi Blogosphere has started to hum again with new voices. Baghdad Treasure and 24 Steps to Liberty have joined the conversation and come to the debates as working journalists inside Iraq ...

" ... These two new Iraqi blogger/journalists have also attempted something that only Salam Pax himself has done in the past, offering detailed criticism of Riverbend's views on the situation in Iraq. Like many others, they respect Riverbend's ideas, but just the same they are willing to debate those areas where they think she is less than truthful."
WSIC: World Summit on the Information Society, "Digital Reach" - The Official WSIS Commemorative Publication for Tunis" "The book will focus on the key elements of building an inclusive, development-oriented Information Society, on implementation of the WSIS Plan of Action and follow-up beyond Tunis. Contributing authors will be invited from among all stakeholders of WSIS."

This book is priced at $125, although apparently it will be given away to select 'stakeholders' and delegates; one hopes the findings can be made more affordable to its target audience too, given one of the key issues is the 'digital divide'. BTW I am not attending the conference, unfortunately, but hope to catch some streaming content and blog commentaries.
BBC NEWS | Technology | UN slates online costs for poor: "The cost of fast net access and linking up to the net's global infrastructure hits poorer nations much harder than developed countries, says a UN body. " Prelude to the World Summit on the Information Society conference in Tunisia
BBC NEWS | Middle East | 'I walked into complete carnage', 10 Nov 05
Aljazeera.Net - Bali blasts mastermind believed dead, 10 Nov 05: "Indonesian police are certain that top terror suspect Azahari Husin is dead after he blew himself up when cornered, the country's president has said."
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Jihad videos left in mosques in tube bomber's town, November 10, 2005 "Detectives from the West Yorkshire force are examining a videotape handed in by worshippers in Dewsbury, who were concerned that young people were being targeted by the anonymous drop at two mosques in the Savile Town area.

"The tape is understood to show scenes of violence against Muslims, including footage of funeral processions and burials from Iraq overlaid by verses from the Qur'an. Along with others, it was left with genuine religious material at the mosque's reception area in sleeves allegedly disguised to suggest that the contents were celebratory sermons and texts." DVDs + tapes were left in a Dewsbury mosque (it would be interesting to see the proportion of net derived material on them).

Report: Saudi Arabia does not offer religious freedom, 9 Nov 05 "The US government just released a report on religious freedom, released by released by the US Department Of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor. The report singled some countries among which is Saudi Arabia for lack of religious freedom."
Yemen Times, Religious tolerance, n.d.: "Along my surfing I came across a web log that started with the phrase 'I certainly hope you haven't come here with your mind already made up.' And it was striking that it is actually a fact that most people, Muslims and non-Muslims, even as they attempt to listen, they are listening with their ears and not their hearts and minds." editorial
Islam Needs Radicals -- In These Times: "In the last two decades, a 'moderate' school of Islamist jurisprudence has in fact emerged (known as the wasatiya movement in Arabic). But its leaders have been variously co-opted or censored by their governments, or tend to be quite immoderate when it comes to Jews, homosexuality or full equality for women. The ones that are truly moderate strongly oppose U.S. foreign policy and much of our materialist, consumer culture. For doing so they are labeled 'radicals' by their governments, and ours." commentary by Mark LeVine, professor of modern Middle Eastern history, culture and Islamic studies, UC Irvine
Aljazeera.Net - Iraq's al-Qaida claims Jordan blasts, 10 Nov 05: "'A group of our best lions launched a new attack on some dens ... After casing the targets, some hotels were chosen which the Jordanian despot turned into a backyard for the enemies of the faith, the Jews and crusaders,' the statement on a website usually used by the group, said on Thursday.

"'Let the tyrant of Amman know that his protection...for the Jews has become a target for the mujahideen and their attacks, and let him expect the worst,' it added."
Times Online, Palestinian leaders among 56 dead in Jordan hotel bombs, 10 Nov 05: "Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the terror group led by Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, posted a statement on a website claiming responsibility for the three synchronised blasts which ripped through the Grand Hyatt, Radisson SAS and Days Inn in Amman, the capital of Jordan. "

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Oumma.com links to a series of articles on the present situation in France, including La 'fatwa' hallucinante de l'UOIF, La Fracture sociale : la France et l?Angleterre en miroir by Tariq Ramadan and De l'incendiair des esprits aux incendiaires des quartiers by the Collectif des Musulmans France.
Commentary and opinion from Riverbend: Baghdad Burning, Movies and Dreams..., 6 Nov 05: "Congratulations Americans- not only are the hardliner Iranian clerics running the show in Iran- they are also running the show in Iraq. This shift of power should have been obvious to the world when
My-Loyalty-to-the-Highest-Bidder-Chalabi sold his allegiance to Iran last year. American and British sons and daughters and husbands and wives are dying so that this coming December, Iraqis can go out and vote for Iran influenced clerics to knock us back a good four hundred years."
arabnews.com, Qaradawi Calls for Calm, 9 Nov 05 as discussed in previous entries
Haaretz, Six Israelis receive organs of Jenin boy shot in error by IDF, 8 Nov 05
Islam Online, Do not Put Islamic Spin on French Riots: Ramadan, 8 Nov 05: "'Above all, one must not Islamisize the question of the suburbs. The question that France must answer is absolutely not a question of religion,' Muslim thinker Tariq Ramadan told Agence France-Presse (AFP) Tuesday, November 8.

"Asked by AFP where the roots of the malaise lie, Ramadan said the entire political class in France has been 'blind' to what has been happening in the suburbs, with their unemployed youth of Arab and African origin and bleak high-rises."
The Claremont Institute: Islam and Europe's Future reviews The War for Muslim Minds: Islam and the West by Gilles Kepel and Globalized Islam: the Search for a New Ummah by Olivier Roy. These books have been out a while, but it's interesting to get a fresh spin on them.
Asharq Alawsat, Al-Qaeda Reveals its Latest Threat: Rakan bin Williams, 8 Nov 05: "“Al Qaeda’s new soldiers were born in Europe of European and Christian parents. They studied in your schools. They prayed in your churches and attended Sunday mass. They drank alcohol, ate pork and oppressed Muslims, but al Qaeda has embraced them so they have converted to Islam in secret and absorbed the philosophy of al Qaeda and swore to take up arms after their brothers. They are currently roaming the streets of Europe and the United States planning and observing in preparation for upcoming attacks,” the group said in a threatening analysis." report cites The Sun and al-Farouq.com

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Reuters.com, Iraq Qaeda posts video of 'downed' US helicopter, 8 Nov 05
asiatimes/Arab HeraldA brand name called Syria, 8 Nov 05
Australia arrests 16 terror suspects - The Boston Globe, 8 Nov 05: "Stary said one of those arrested in Melbourne was the outspoken radical Muslim cleric Abu Bakr, an Algerian-Australian who has said he would be violating his faith if he warned his students not to join the jihad, or holy war, in Iraq.

"In an August interview with the ABC, Abu Bakr also said that although he is against the killing of innocents, he could also not discourage his students from traveling to Afghanistan or Pakistan to train in terrorist camps."

Monday, November 07, 2005

slate.com, Paris Under Siege By David Wallace-Wells links to a series of blogs and commentaries on the situation in Paris
opinion piece: Haaretz - Israel News - Strange bedfellows, 4 Nov 05 "Four months have passed since the terror attacks in London. It is now possible to begin to discern the contours of the British response, and the new forces which are assembling against one another in the political debate. Notable among the latter is the growing crystallization, coherence and visibility of an alliance of Islamist organizations and apologists with influential elements of the British left. This alliance has as its primary goal the emasculation and frustration of all attempts to build an effective response to the Islamist threat."
Reuters AlertNet - Al Qaeda hostages martyrs if killed-Morocco scholars, 6 Nov 05: "Al Qaeda members in Iraq will suffer the 'horrors of hell' if they kill two Moroccan hostages and the victims will die as martyrs, Morocco's influential organisation of Islamic scholars said on Saturday."
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Explosion in the suburbs
Guardian Unlimited Books | By genre | What goes round..., 5 Nov 05: "The popularity in the US of Rumi, a 13th-century Turkish poet, is a tragic irony, as the order of Sufi dervishes he founded is banned at home, writes William Dalrymple." Written in conjunction with Dalrymple's Channel 4 documentary 'Sufi Soul', which was broadcast on Sunday night. The documentary had clips from significant contemporary performers - shame it wasn't longer than an hour (a series would have worked), given the number of locations he managed to visit - some of which were familiar to me. The programme is backed up by a website.
Free And Equal Under The Qur'an - altmuslim.com, 7 Nov 05
uruknet.info, Chomsky: Internet is a Hideous Time-Waster (Kurt Nimmo, Another Day in the Empire), 6 Nov 05
Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Gun conviction is 'ruse' to silence blogger: "A blogger who criticised the Libyan government online has been imprisoned for 18 months, according to Human Rights Watch. A Tripoli court convicted Abdel Raziq al-Mansuri of illegal possession of a handgun, the New York-based rights group said."

Friday, November 04, 2005

E:M | 'We Are Iran': A book on blogs in Iran Hossein Derakhshan discusses Alavi's book (below)
The Periscope : We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs: Rageh Omaar seems to like Nasrin Alavi's book (see below).
FT.com - Persian chat, November 4 2005 article about Iranian blogging, written by Nasrin Alavi (pseudonym). She has a book on Iranian blogging (which came out in the past few weeks). Details and downloadable chapter Soft Skull: We Are Iran: The Persian Blogs by Nasrin Alavi
BBC NEWS | Have Your Say: How are you celebrating Eid? ...
BBC NEWS | World | South Asia | Laptop link-up: Quake aftermath
Reuters AlertNet - Qaeda in Iraq says shot down Ramadi helicopter, 3 Nov 05: "'Your brothers in the military wing of al Qaeda in Iraq brought down a Super Cobra helicopter in Ramadi with a missile,' said in a brief statement issued on a Web site often used by Iraqi insurgents."
Associated Press/The Manila Times/ABS-CBN Interactive, Scholar says this generation’s Muslims face a momentous choice, 4 Nov 05 discussion of Abou El Fadl's new book The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists (HarperSanFrancisco): "The professor reports that Saudi intermediaries made three offers to buy his silence and that Saudi pressure prevented publication of his books in Arabic, an essential step for gaining any permanent impact in the Muslim world - though some of his writings and interviews are available in Arabic on the Internet. 'I felt I probably would not have much use in my lifetime,' because of the censorship, he says." I haven't read this book yet.
Arab News/aljazeerah.info, Morocco Blasts Al-Qaeda Bid to Kill 2 Hostages, 4 Nov 05: "'I beg our mujahedeen brothers in Iraq, who are Muslims by the Islam'c law and justice they live by, to release my husband and his friend. They haven't done anything. I am Iraqi,' El Mouhafidim's blind and pregnant wife Liqaa Abbas Mirza told Al Jazeera by telephone from Baghdad before breaking off in tears. "
Hardly a headline, this, but I don't recall the Sun covering this before (albeit in somewhat limited detail): The Sun Online - News: Bin Laden wants whites: "Terror author Neil Doyle, who specialises in tracking Bin Laden on the net, said: 'These sites are trying to attract white converts to Islam. There are references to joining up for jihad, together with English language versions of al-Qaeda terrorist handbooks."
AP/The Star (Malaysia)/Egyptian blogger arrested, 4 Nov 05: "Egyptian police have detained a blogger for his anti-Islamic and anti-government writings and confiscated his books and copies of his articles, his family and other bloggers said Thursday. "
CNN.com - 3 charged with terrorism offenses - Nov 4, 2005: "According to details of the charges released by police, authorities found a DVD entitled 'Martyrdom Operations Vest' at Mughal's home, along with a piece of paper upon which was written in Arabic, 'Welcome to Jihad.'

"In addition, police found a piece of paper with the words 'hospital believe was a 'recipe for rocket propellant and guidance on causing an explosion.'

"On the hard drive of Tsouli's computer, police found a film demonstrating how to make a car bomb, the statement said. In addition, a film was found showing 'a number of places in Washington, D.C.'"
South Asia Analysis Group, From Internet to Islamnet: net-centric counter-terrorism, 4 Nov 05 "Paper presented at a conference jointly organised by the State Islamic University (UIN) of Jakarta and the Institute for Defence Analyses (IDA) of Washington DC at Bali, Indonesia, from October 19 to 21,2005." Author is B.Raman, "Director, Institute For Topical Studies, Chennai, and Distinguished Fellow, International Terrorism Watch Programme, Observer Research Foundation, (ORF), and Convenor of its Chennai Chapter" Overview of 'jihadi' issues online, from intelligence perspective.
pointer to an opinion piece, which looks interesting (haven't read it all yet) MEMRI, Liberal Tunisian Researcher Dr. Iqbal Al-Gharbi: Muslims Must Take Responsibility for Past Mistakes, 4 Nov 05: "In an article titled 'Whither the Arabs and Muslims in the Age of Forgiveness and Pardon?' liberal Tunisian author and researcher Dr. Iqbal Al-Gharbi wrote about the current worldwide proliferation of public apologies for the sins of the past, and the conspicuous absence of that phenomenon from the Arab and Muslim scene. Published in the new reform website http://arabiliberali.it/, Al-Gharbi stated that the Muslims must take responsibility for their past, must stop blaming others, and must be self-critical."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Asharq Alawsat, The BBC Arabic Channel: Welcome Back, 2 Nov 05 interesting article by Adel Darwish: "The BBC television service in Arabic - that will also be available via satellite dishes, the Internet, mobile telephones, and the I-Pods - will not replace the radio that has become an institution for true information from Juba to Al-Arish and from the hills of Amman to the Atlas Mountains. It will only complete the huge "bouquet" offered by the BBC. As Husam al-Sukkari, the Egyptian born and educated chief of the BBC Arabic division says, this bouquet consists of video on the Internet, information web sites, radio, and DVD discs. By the way, Al-Sukkari broke the tradition by being the first non-English chief of the radio service."
Reuters, Iraq al-Qaeda says to kill 2 Moroccan hostages -Web, 3 Nov 05: "Al Qaeda in Iraq said on Thursday it had decided to kill two Moroccan embassy employees it kidnapped last month, according to an Internet statement."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Qantara.de - Syncretism in Indonesia - Where Islam Mixes with Old Rituals: "Many Indonesian Muslims still practice a rather syncretistic mix of beliefs, combining Islam with other cultural and religious traditions. They are often criticized by Muslim purists for their eclecticism. "
Qantara.de - Jihadis in Kashmir - The Politics of an Earthquake: "The Kashmir earthquake exposed deep fractures in Pakistani politics. As the state was paralysed and unable to help, the efforts of radical Islamist groups – the Jihadis – won accolades from anguished survivors."
MEMRI: Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi in Two Languages: In a Der Spiegel Interview, and in a Denial on His Arabic-Language Website, November 3, 2005
CNN.com - Pentagon official: Top al Qaeda operative escaped - Nov 2, 2005
Asharq Alawsat Newspaper, Saudi Arabia: Host of Religious Program Considers including Women, 29 Oct 05: "Beginning with Ramadan this year, a number of Saudi preachers known for their grim faces and serious attitude tried to steer away from what some believe to be the grimness that characterizes religious discourse. One of them looked more tolerant and relaxed in his sermons and religious edicts on the television screen. Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat yesterday, Dr Al-Qarni said that he is trying to break the cycle of stagnation, routine, and stereotypes."
Wired 13.11: The Baghdad Bomb Squad, Nov 05: "Insurgent cells swap tactics on Web sites, and when American forces catch on, the terrorists move to newer tactics."
Sakhr’s 5th Generation of ArabDox, 1 Nov 2005: "Sakhr Software has launched the fifth generation of ArabDox, Sakhr’s advanced multilingual document management system and the only Arabic system to be approved by stringent testing at Intel’s laboratories, which assessed the software’s performance, behavior and capability to process millions of files and documents in record time." plenty of products in today's blog (but no commission for the blogger)
arabnews.com, I-Mate on Tour in Saudi Arabia, 1 Nov 05 another advertorial, but again it contains some interesting material: "“Even among Saudi women, high-tech devices are now of great interest,” said Jaddo. “I remember a few years back when the society here thought that computers and technology were things that should only be attractive to men. In the demonstrations I did during Ramadan, women were as active as men in asking questions and trying out the i-mates. They didn’t hesitate at all in commenting during the presentations. This is just one small way to see how Saudi Arabia is changing.”"
albawaba.com middle east news information::Intel launches multi-year “Intel Digital Transformation Initiative For The Middle East”, 31 Oct 05: "Intel Monday announced the launch of the “Intel Digital Transformation Initiative for the Middle East,” a comprehensive, multi-year program that will expand Intel’s economic, educational and technology-related support throughout the region. IntelUnder this program, Intel will increase its investment in four key areas – local entrepreneurship, education, digital accessibility and specialized technical competencies – to help promote technology skills, knowledge transfer and jobs creation in the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa." Advertorial, but interesting.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

BBC NEWS | UK | Tributes paid to bombing victims, 1 Nov 05
Telegraph | News | What's become of bin Laden since he gave us all the slip?, 1 Nov 05
adnki.com, India: Delhi Bombs Used Middle Eastern Style Triggers, 1 Nov 05: "A single strategy carried out by separate cells, with high potential explosives triggered by electronic devices similar to those used in the Middle East. These are the initial conclusions made by police and explosives experts analysing the three bombs - two in markets and one on a bus - that killed 62 people in New Delhi on Saturday. The Indian media reports that investigators consider the explosives used were RDX an extremely powerful and stable white powder, which is usually mixed with other substances and requires sophisticated technical know-how as well as precise triggering mechanisms. "
Reuters AlertNet - Iraqi Qaeda to put kidnapped Moroccans on trial-Web, 1 Nov 05: "The posting, on an Islamist Web site often used by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group, also showed the passports and identity cards of driver Abderrahim Boualam and assistant Abdelkrim El Mouhafidim, who were seized on their way from Jordan to Baghdad.

"'After ending the investigation with the detained Moroccan embassy workers, they were referred to the judicial authority that will rule in their case,' the statement said."
Project for the Research of Islamist Movements, PRISM Occasional Papers Vol. 3 No. 8 (1 November 2005) -- Rakan ben Williams: The New Generation of Jihadi Terrorists in Europe article by Reuben Paz from PRISM (Hertzliya, Israel) [PDF]
non-tech: albawaba.com 'The Simpsons' debuts in the Middle East, 30 Oct 05 more on 'The Simpsons' (al Shamshoon), Omar, Badr and their transition to Arabic. I haven't had a chance to see any of these edited episodes yet. I hope that they make it to one of the DVD boxed sets (probably 10 years down the line, if current production schedule is kept).
albawaba.com middle east news information::Omar El Sharif faces death threats from Al Qaeda, 1 Nov 05: "An Internet website that belongs to Al Qaeda terrorism group has posted a death threat to prominent Egyptian actor Omar El Sharif for playing the role of a priest in an Italian television movie. "
Islam Online, Common Grounds Lure Latinos to Islam, 31 Oct 05: "'On a daily basis, I hear Latinos coming into the fold of Islam,' Khadijah Rivera, founder of Piedad, an Internet group with nearly 300 members whose mission is to teach non-Muslims and give leadership training to women, told The Journal News on Sunday, October 30."