Friday, August 31, 2007

Telegraph, New Muslim cartoon protests in Pakistan and Iran, 31 Aug 07 "Fears grew of a new confrontation over images deemed blasphemous by Muslims as Pakistan joined Iran in protest over a sketch by a Swedish artist portraying the prophet Mohammed as a dog." The story is on the front page of the Nerikes Allehanda newspaper., Egyptian blogger first to win journalism award, 30 Aug 07

Ali Eteraz, Irshad Manji Shutting Down Refusenik Website, Egypt: Tourist Destinations the Latest Places to Join Hot-Spot Roll-Out, 30 Aug 07 "Under a USAID-sponsored project, "While in Egypt Stay Connected," tourist destinations in Sharm el-Sheikh and Luxor are serving as pilot cities for Wi-Fi deployments. In each city, sixteen Wi-Fi access points swathe tourist areas. Visitors purchase prepaid Internet access cards for about US$6.74 an hour."

Daily Trust, Nigeria: Kano to Get E-Passport This Week, 30 Aug 07 "Kano state will this week get the newly introduced electronic passport, the state comptroller of the Nigerian immigration service, Mr. O.C Ockiya has revealed. Speaking to Daily Trust in his office, the state comptroller said already Abuja and Lagos state have started issuing the e-passport in their respective areas."

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Star Online, Online halal certification on the way, 30 Aug 07, "The Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC) has teamed up with Microsoft Malaysia to come up with an online halal certification and processing application service called Remote Halal Certification."

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I watched Amir Khan's Angry Young Men documentary on Channel 4. It was a worthwhile programme, with some interesting insights (and boxing advice). Clips can be viewed here - scroll down to the link for the player. Some strong language.
AP/IHT, Deposed Hamas government launches official Internet Web site, 28 Aug 07 "Though the breakup was bloody and public more than two months ago, the Palestinian unity government with the Islamic Hamas and moderate Fatah is alive and well — at least on the Internet." The site is here: National Unity Government. Arabic pages only at present.

Profile on so-called 'Rage Boy':, Srinagar's Islamic rage boy, 28 Aug 07

Telegraph, Turkey's president must keep the army at bay, 29 Aug 07"Because Mr Gul is a conservative Islamist, his elevation to the top office has been resisted at every turn by the generals. As late as Monday, General Yasar Buyukanit, chief of the general staff, had a signed statement posted on its internet site vowing to resist "centres of evil" working to destroy the state's secular principles. It did not take a cryptologist to work out to whom the general was referring, but Turks were left wondering what tactics the military will employ to corral Mr Gul after his election."

Zeenews, Hyderabad blasts: Three detained for questioning, 27 Aug 07, "Throughout July and early August, [Abdul Sahil] Mohammad left dozens of Internet-chat messages for his Hyderabad operative, asking them to go ahead with the plans he had earlier authorised.

"Though neither the targets nor the identities of these operatives could be established but Saturday's Hyderabad blasts were said to be a part of his plans, the sources said."

Very interesting article by Turki Al-Saheil, containing interviews with Saudi men who became 'insurgents': Asharq Alawsat, Why I Joined the Insurgency in Iraq, 27 Aug 07, "They had a common goal of supporting the Iraqi cause, but differed in the methods. One of those young men traveled to Iraq and was used by Al-Qaeda there to carry out a suicide operation from which he survived by God's will only. The other two participated in media-related propaganda activities that encouraged joining the insurgency in Iraq, while one of them was haunted by the romanticized idea of the alleged Jihad.

"The sources of the fatwas on which they based their missions varied. Most of them relied on fatwas posted on the internet by unknown people such as Abu-Busayr al-Najdi, while some visual and audio footage contributed in attracting some of them to the misled thinking."

Ali Eteraz, Pakistani English Newspaper Daily Times Hacked By Pro-Democracy Hacker [With Message from hacker], 26 Aug 07

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Recommended listening: BBC Radio 4, Salaam Shalom, 27 August 2007, "Gerry Northam reports from Radio Salaam Shalom, a Muslim-Jewish online radio station launched in Bristol earlier this year. He explores the reasons behind the project and asks whether the volunteer presenters are changing their perceptions of each other's faith and culture." I have previously blogged about this station. Listen again for a limited time to the Radio Four broadcast here [Real Player required]. Through streaming media, you can listen to the station via the Salaam Shalom website.

Radio Netherlands, Dutch plan to combat youth radicalisation, 28 Aug 07 "The cabinet's plan to tackle radicalisation is a joint initiative by eight ministries, all of which cooperate closely in this area. At national level, the Interior Minister wants to see what can be done against websites that promote hatred and discrimination and against the increasing radicalisation in prisons. She has proposed setting up websites that provide alternative information to counterbalance the abundance of radical ideas on the Internet.", Israeli intelligence experts says UK providing Hamas sanctuary, 28 Aug 07 Allegations + net ref.

Guardian, The Ramadan countdown starts here ..., 28 Aug 07 sweet diversion

AP/IHT, Saudi government bans leading Arab paper, 28 Aug 07, "Saudi Arabia has indefinitely banned the distribution of a leading Arab newspaper, Al Hayat, just days after the paper disclosed that a Saudi extremist had played a key role in a violent Iraqi al-Qaida front group." No reference to whether the paper's online edition is blocked.

Journal Chretien, Jesus Caricature Draws Flak in Malaysia, 27 Aug 07, "A local Tamil-language newspaper in Malaysia is in hot water for publishing a derogatory caricature of Jesus Christ on its front page." The offending cartoon was taken from the net., MSNBC's Abrams Hits CNN's Amanpour for Defending Islamic Fundamentalism, 28 Aug 07, "Abrams showed a clip of Amanpour speaking to Christian youth leader Ron Luce of Teen Mania Ministries during which she contended that campus rules prohibiting female students from wearing short skirts and prohibiting male students from using the Internet without supervision reminded her of "totalitarian regimes," and compared the female dress code to what the Taliban did. Amanpour: "But that's what the Taliban said. They kept women in their house because men couldn't be trusted around them.""

Friday, August 24, 2007

AFP, Malaysian minister likens bloggers to bad karaoke stars: report, 24 August 2007, "Malaysia's information minister Friday compared the nation's Internet bloggers, under fire for their outspoken views, to washed-up karaoke singers who have no influence, a report said."
A couple of YouTube related stories:, Hardline Islamic Group Hizb ut-Tahrir Posting Propaganda Videos on YouTube, 20 Aug 07 "Produced by the group's Malaysian branch, the clips call on Muslims to "arise and shake off the dust" of European colonialism and show members marching in support of Palestinians to the commentary "O armies of the Muslim world, we wait for your help."" The YouTube video is here. The video runs for 47 minutes.

Telegraph, Filipino Islamists seek funding on YouTube, 24 Aug 07 "For the first time, two video clips from the Abu Sayyaf group, which is allied to al-Qa'eda and responsible for some of the worst terror attacks in the Philippines, have been posted on the site.

"The clips, titled The Filipino Lions Are Coming, were taken from a one-hour video that was distributed throughout the Arabic-speaking jihadist community, a spokesman for the Phillipines military said." This was referred to by SITE Institute a few weeks ago: SITE Institute, The Filipino Lions are Coming” – A Video from Abu Sayyaf Group, the Islamic Movement in Southern Philippines, 15 Aug 07, although it seems to have been taken from YouTube (available elsewhere, of course).
miriam cooke has an interesting piece entitled 'The Muslimwoman' in the latest edition of Contemporary Islam, which includes several references to internet issues.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

This blog is back after a brief pause, so here's a summary of what you may have missed:

Sunday Times, Virtual jihad hits Second Life website, 5 Aug 07, "Police and the intelligence services are concerned that it may have been infiltrated by extremists to proselytise, communicate and transfer money to one another. Radicals may also be responsible for “virtual” terrorist attacks in which buildings depicted on the website are blown up." I'm waiting for a Facebook story...

Terror goes digital. With Canadian help, 18 Aug 07

ctvNews, CD-ROM tracks hatred and terrorism websites, 11 Aug 07

Fox News, Saudi Youth Enter Rehab to Overcome Their Terrorist Ways, 22 Aug 07 No connection with Amy Winehouse. "A new program in Saudi Arabia is offering young terrorists rehabilitation from a life of violence in the name of jihad. A Saudi government-sanctioned program to try to reverse the terrorist way of thinking has already begun to help some participants who have survived their own crimes."

Reuters, Saudis block liberal Internet forum, says activist, 9 Aug 07 "A Saudi political reform activist said on Thursday the authorities had blocked his Internet forum as part of a wider crackdown on freedom of expression in Saudi Arabia."

Mail & Guardian, Turkey bans Wordpress blogs over alleged libel, 20 Aug 07 "Turkish internet users have been blocked from accessing sites on the hosting service. A court in Istanbul ordered the website be blocked after lawyers complained that a number of blogs hosted by Wordpress were libellous of Islamic creationist author Adnan Oktar."

WSJ, A Plight in Tunisia, 23 Aug 07 re lawyer Mohammed Abbou and his recent release., A simcha to be celebrated -- Russian girl weds Hamas militant in Gaza, 2 Aug 07, "The young Hamas member, then 24, found his current wife with the help of a Russian sheik he met on an Islamic Internet forum. The girl, who had converted to Islam, was disillusioned with her country's secularism, Ynet reported."

AFP, New Singapore website aims to counter Islamic extremism , 8 Aug 07, "Islamic scholars and teachers in Singapore said Wednesday they had launched a website aimed at countering extremist ideology used to recruit militants and justify attacks like suicide bombings.

"The website,, was launched Tuesday by the Religious Rehabilitation Group, a volunteer organization comprised of about 30 Islamic scholars and teachers from the city-state's Muslim community."

Albawaba, Internet addiction and familial issues to be discussed at watani mind’s pleasure seminars, "Kalawi will show that while the internet is a practical tool, it can be easily misused as more and more internet users in the region show symptoms of internet addiction."

Monday, August 20, 2007

Asharq Alwsat, Inside the New Hezbollah Video Game: "Special Force 2", 20 Aug 07 "Encouraged by the success of "Special Force" several years ago, "Special Forces 2" sees players reliving last summer's war in Lebanon as they try to capture two Israeli soldiers, and then launch a successful missile attack on Israeli settlements." Screenshots and other information can be found through the developer's site, although the pages in Arabic and English still require some development.