Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Stopping Cyber Attacks

msnbc, Stopping a cyber attack before it begins, 29 Sep 08 "Instead of studying the signatures of software gone bad and released into the wild as computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses or other malware, a program called Korset has been designed to model the expected behavior of legitimate programs and immediately halt anything that veers into unexpected territory."

arabianbusiness.com, Al-Qaeda planning to bomb Atlantis - report, 29 Sep 08 "British spies are reportedly monitoring talk of an attack in internet chatrooms and have a number of suspects who pose a credible threat under surveillance."
Yusuf al-Qaradawi Interview

Asharq Alawsat, Al-Qaradawi Speaks to Asharq Al-Awsat, 29 Sep 08 "I do not like to raise controversies and I hate arguments. This is my principle in teaching and in fatwa. I have adopted the principle of innovation and facilitation and this does not suit everyone. My fatwa and writings in general disturb two kinds of people; those who are against any change whatsoever, and those who are ultra-liberal. I always tend to discipline myself, my thoughts and my fatwa with the Sharia rules and principles, in addition to sound logic which should be in conformity with sound reason. No religion can come up with anything that stands contrary to reason." Wide ranging (and lengthy) answers.
MI6 aQ

Reuters, Police probe eBay sale of MI6 camera, 30 Sep 08 Lost camera: "Media reports said the Nikon digital camera was put up for sale on Internet trading site eBay and sold for just 17 pounds.

"Its memory had names of al Qaeda members, fingerprints and suspects' academic records as well as pictures of rocket launchers and missiles, the Sun newspaper reported."

Also see The Sun, For sale: Second hand camera, good condition, contains top secret MI6 terrorist records and pics, 30 Sep 08

opinion piece: frontpagemagazine.com, Mainstream US Islamic Websites -- and Terror, 29 Sep 08 "In counterterrorism circles there is significant buzz about “Al-Qaeda 2.0”, warning of highly decentralized jihadist networks operating independently and driven by a highly toxic internet-inspired Islamic ideology. The sad reality is, however, that an increasing number of jihadist websites, especially those in the English language, are finding safe haven in the US – and the US government seems powerless, or unwilling, to stop them."

Asia Times, The tip of India's terror iceberg, 30 Sep 08 "Above all, "Its attacks carry the group's macabre signature - real-time e-mails to media outlets claiming responsibility for the blasts," an official of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) told Asia Times Online, adding that the e-mails are being sent through unsecured Wi-Fi internet connections.

"The IM has used e-mails not only to claim responsibility for blasts but also to lay out its manifesto. The e-mails reveal that while it is inspired by the rhetoric of pan-Islamic groups, its motives clearly stem from anger directed against the Indian state."

Independent, Arson attack on publisher of book on Prophet's wife, 29 Sep 08 "Police are holding three suspected terrorists after a weekend arson attack at the London home of the publisher of a novel about the Prophet Mohamed's child bride." Relates to Sherry Jones's controversial novel The Jewel of the Medina.

Friday, September 26, 2008


AKI, Iran: Singer may be punished for singing Koranic verses, 25 Sep 08

"Namjoo, a 32-year-old native of Torbate-Jam in northeastern Iran and a former Koranic reciter, said the song was a "simple experiment" and was not meant to be publicised. The song was uploaded on the Internet without his consent and knowledge."

Information on Mohsen Namjoo (official site) and through Wikipedia


The Daily Observer (Banjul)/allafrica.com, Gambia: Green Wifi Comes to the Gambia, 24 Sep 2008 "The worldwide professed $100 laptop project is on its way to The Gambia, thanks to a potential partnership between the Department of State for Communication, Information and Information Technology, and the founder and CEO of Green WiFi, Bruce Baikie." Also see Green WiFi

Following on from the so-called "Mickey Mouse fatwa" (previously blogged), the following article makes several extremely relevant points on how fatwas can be intrepreted out of proportion to their originators' status (and the intentions of their originators), and is worth reading for all consumers of online fatwas:

Caryle Murphy , The National, Saudi clerics’ outbursts hurt image of Islam, 26 Sep 08 "... But the press coverage, both in Saudi Arabia and abroad, often disregards some important aspects of religious discourse in the kingdom.

"First of all, the press almost always refers to any comment from a religious figure as a fatwa. But in most cases, their comments do not rise to the level of a fatwa, and are therefore not worthy of the deference normally accorded such religious opinions.
One only has to look at the YouTube video of Sheikh Munajid’s Mickey Mouse comment (youtube.com/watch? v=bnhQjk7T478) to see that it was an offhand remark, perhaps an attempt to make a joke. It was not a researched, carefully worded fatwa.

"Indeed, a more pertinent criticism of such comments is to ask why sheikhs do not spend their religious capital on more important moral concerns, such as demanding badly needed reforms to the Saudi court system, and urging kindness and justice for the poor, including the expatriate workers who do most of the manual labour in the kingdom.

"Also, the press rarely notes if the sheikh making the controversial comments is associated with the government or not. Sheikhs Barrak, Jibreen and Munajid, for example, do not hold government jobs.

"By contrast, Sheikh Lihedan does. And this was why his comments about television executives prompted a rapid government rebuttal."

Saleh Al-Naami, Al-Ahram Weekly, Gaza's useful mercenaries, 25 September - 5 October 2008, Issue No. 916 "There is no real presence of organisations that espouse the thought of Al-Qaeda in Gaza, as there is no gap for them to fill. Resistance to the Israeli occupation remains the most prominent challenge in Palestine, and thus the most important justification for forming organisations. The organisations that have adopted the thought of Al-Qaeda have nothing to offer that the other factions don't, and their failure to contribute to the resistance proves that it is not on their agenda. Given the problematic character of their members and the people's repulsion by them, it can be said safely that they have no real future in Gaza." Non-tech, but extremely relevant to online discourse.

marketwatch.com, American Islamic Congress Hails Release of Yemeni Journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani, Sept 25, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Weddady: "A Great Day for Free Expression in the Middle East." also see Protect Media Freedom in Yemen
Communications analysis

Northeast Intelligence Network/rightsidenews.com, Directives for Islamic Terrorist Attack in U.S. Appear on the Internet, 24 Sep 08

"A posting uncovered in an Arabic language Internet forum is currently raising a few eyebrows in the intelligence community. The single posting, which is presently being scrutinized by intelligence officials, appears to provide detailed instructions for Muslims living within the United States, giving them specific actions to take before, during and after an upcoming attack in the U.S. The communication was discovered by "Archangel," a well-known independent intelligence analyst active within the intelligence community."

Information here on the perspective of Northeast Intelligence Network and Right-Side-News
Islamabad Bombing Update

longwarjournal.org, Al Qaeda-linked suspects emerge in Islamabad Marriott attacks, 25 Sep 08 "In recent press reports, Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, and Qari Mohammad Zafar, a leader of the Laskhar-e-Jhangvi, have both been implicated as being the mastermind of the Marriott bombing. Both men have extensive ties to al Qaeda and the Taliban, and have been in Pakistani custody until recently."

dw-world.de, German Terror Investigators Make Public Appeal, 25 Sep 08

"German federal police made a rare appeal to the public on Thursday to help them track down two suspected Islamic militants who they think could be in or heading to Germany.

"Eric Breininger, a 21-year-old German convert, and Houssain al-Malla, a 23-year-old Lebanese, were last seen in the zone along the Pakistan-Afghan border ...

" ... Police said, however, that Breininger, who is from the state of Saarland in western Germany, had recorded an internet video in August in which he spoke of carrying out a suicide attack and supported jihad or holy war."

Further details: Bundeskriminalamt

smh.com.au,Schools advocating child marriage shut down, 26 Sep 08 "Authorities in Morocco have shut down around 60 Koranic schools belonging to a Muslim theologian who argues that girls as young as nine can marry, officials said today.

"The authorities also plan to close down the Internet site on which Sheikh Mohamed Ben Abderrahman Al-Maghraoui decreed earlier this month that the marriage of nine-year-old girls is allowed by Islam." The website is still there at present: Maghrawi.net

Thursday, September 25, 2008


PA, Guide dog allowed to enter mosque, 24 Sep 08 "A blind Muslim student has become the first person to be allowed to take a guide dog into a UK mosque.

"Mahomed-Abraar Khatri, 18, can now enter his place of worship in Leicester with canine companion Vargo after the Muslim Law (Shari'ah) Council UK issued a historic fatwa in response to his request." Also see The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and the Shariah Council UK Website Non-tech.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


alarabiya.net, Moroccans use magic on Ramadan's holiest night, 23 Sep 08 non-tech,

"Sheikh Abdul-Bari al-Zamzami, member of the Moroccan Scholars Association, said the Laylat al-Qadr tradition was pernicious because vendors take advantage of women and deceive them into believing that magic is the answer to their problems."

NY Times, Young and Arab in Land of Mosques and Bars, 22 Sep 08 "In Egypt, and across much of the Arab world, there is an Islamic revival being driven by young people, where faith and ritual are increasingly the cornerstone of identity. But that is not true amid the ethnic mix that is Dubai, where 80 percent of the people are expatriates, with 200 nationalities."
aQ Video

John Ozimek, The Register, Has the war on terror scored a virtual victory?, 22 Sep 08 "Score one for the good guys – if, that is, you believe that some websites are just so wrong that they are fair game for a takedown. Alternatively, bemoan the demise of a voice that you may not agree with, but which at least gave you the opportunity to understand better what the other side in the “war on terror” are thinking." Commentary on al-Sahab/al-Ekhlaas 'release' of recent aQ video.
Marriott bombing

longwarjournal.org, Tough talk after the Marriott bombing, but can Pakistan deliver?, 23 Sep 08

gulfnews.com, Pakistan should reject foreign interference, 22 Sep 08 op-ed by Linda S. Heard

IHT, 60 die in attacks on Qaeda strongholds in Pakistan, 23 Sep 08
Abu Hamza

The Sun, Caged Hamza's new 'death' rant on net, 24 Sep 08 "A poem recited by jailed hate preacher Abu Hamza, in which he glorifies martyrdom, has suddenly appeared on YouTube."

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC), September 21, 2008, "Hamas security forces exerted massive military power to confront the Dugmush clan and operatives of the Army of Islam, a network affiliated with Al-Qaeda. It was another Hamas step to suppress opposition and tighten its control over the Gaza Strip." commentary

Canadian Jewish News, Anti-Israel Facebook groups infiltrated, 24 Sep 08 "A group calling itself the Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF) has taken control of an Arabic-language Facebook group which set a goal of finding one million people who hate Israel within 90 days. The JIDF deleted more than 55,000 group members.

"Another Facebook group, “Eliminate Israel from Being,” saw more than 5,000 members deleted after JIDF “took it over.” Facebook later returned control of the site to its administrators."

Aljazeera, An 'oasis' inside Iran's holy city, 24 Sep 08 "Situated 100km southwest from Tehran, the city is reknown for its seminaries, or hawzas, which are home to about 60,000 clerical students who come from across Iran and elsewhere to train in everything from religion and jurisprudence to modern political thought and the Greek Classics.

"While many of the female students attend the hawza solely to attain the status of Aalima (a senior preacher), some also choose to take courses as part of a 'gap year' before beginning university." Internet ref. in this interesting account of Jamia Tuz Zahra, Qom's largest women's hawza.
Saudi National Day

CNN, Change marks Saudi Arabia's National Day, 23 Sep 08, "Saudi Arabia's National Day -- traditionally a day for reflections on self, religion and faith -- was marked Tuesday by an unexplained change in the traditionally conservative Saudi kingdom.

"Perhaps it was the kingdom's increasing access to the Internet, King Abdullah's efforts to reform and moderate his kingdom, general fatigue with the bad name imposed on Saudis by terrorists and other radicals who claim to represent them, or any combination of reasons.

""Unfortunately, the image of Islam is being tarnished by none other than Muslims themselves," the monarch declared. He spoke clearly and repeated the word "unfortunately" several times. "If we want to be honest with ourselves, we have to accept this reality that the sons of Islam are the ones desecrating this pure religion," he said, adding, "Islam disowns them and disowns anyone who tries to give it a bad name.""

also see: arabnews.com, Young Saudis fail to understand what signifies National Day, 24 Sep 08

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

aQ video update

AP/msnbc.msn.com, Al-Qaida threatens more attacks in new video: Release comes more than a week after anniversary of 9-11 strikes, 20 Sep 08 "The video was issued Friday, more than a week after the seventh anniversary of the attacks. The delay in release, apparently due to problems in the militant Web sites where al-Qaida posts its videos, raised questions among counterterror specialists over whether the terror network's long-powerful propaganda machine was faltering."

Also see Reuters, Web problems hit release of al Qaeda 9/11 video, 22 Sep 08 "The delay of the much-touted 87-minute video, caused in part by the main Islamist websites crashing, has thwarted al Qaeda's yearly celebration of its attacks on U.S. cities in 2001."

counterterrorismblog.org, Al-Qaida's 9/11 Anniversary Video Release Delayed Due to Technical Problems, Human Errors, 17 Sep 08 "Today, As-Sahab finally seems to have recovered from its paralysis, and announced the belated distribution of packaged copies of the video "Results of 7 Years of the Crusades." Ironically, this time, the problem would not be technical, but rather the result of human error. Much to the chagrin of Al-Qaida's media gurus, the announcement from As-Sahab (care of the Al-Fajr Media Center) included the wrong password for the packaged video--meaning that users can download but not actually view the film. The solution is as simple as re-publishing the correct password--but nearly 12 hours after the announcement was first issued, As-Sahab still has yet to correct its error. Dozens of users, writing in Arabic, English, and other languages, have flooded extremist chat forums to discuss their frustrations over the password issue. After several hours passed and no response came from As-Sahab or the Al-Fajr Media Center, one user complained impatiently, "We are still waiting...""

ABC News, New al-Qaeda tape surfaces (and explanatory article) "Al Qaeda also showed a video it said was captured from a US bounty hunter, Keith "Jack" Idema, as he appeared to threaten to kill an Afghani citizen during an interrogation."

csmonitor.com, In Egypt, sexual harassment grows, 23 Sep 08

"According to a study released by the Egyptian Center for Women's Rights (ECWR) in July, 62 percent of Egyptian men admit to sexually harassing women, and 83 percent of Egyptian women reported being harassed. Half say it happens every day. It was the first study of its kind." Online influence cited. Details
المركز المصري لحقوق المرأ
and The Egyptian center for woman’s rights
Dawkins blocked

timesonline.co.uk, Dawkins website banned in Turkey, 19 Sep 08 "Internet users living in Turkey are now subject to a court order which prohibits them from accessing the popular site richarddawkins.net . The court in Istanbul issued its judgement after author Adnan Oktar claimed Atlas of Creation, a book he has written which contests arguments on evolution, had been defamed on Dawkins' website."

turkishdailynews.com.tr, E-Koran fails to attract customers, 23 Sep 08 "Even the ancient text of the Koran advances with modern technology, as sales of electronic versions of the holy book whither in heated competition with digital MP3 players and the Internet."

rttnews.com, Al-Qaida In North Africa Issues New Threats, 23 Sep 08 "In a 28-minute new video posting on the Internet, Wadud slammed a "new colonial offensive" by the West in North Africa and warned Muslims not to back the local "regimes of apostasy and treason." He decried governments in Mauritania, Algeria and other North African countries, claiming that Mauritania has become "a nest of foreign intelligence.""

This is a useful article: Jeffrey Fleishman, LA Times, Facebook reflects struggle over Islam's role, 19 Sep 08 ""This is not just a technical war, but a moral one. Facebook is reflecting what's happening in Muslim society," Korayem said. "I'm engaged in dialogue between Islamists and secularists. But there's too much tension. No one wants to revise his opinions. It's turned into a screaming war. Islamists speak to me as a disbeliever. They want to convert me. They quote verses of the Koran as if to awaken me.""

There's some discussion re. Facebook in my next book (out early 09).
YouTube Block

tgdaily.com, YouTube banned in Kuwait, 22 Sep 08 "Kuwait's Ministry of Communication has banned YouTube for hosting content that is offensive to Muslims. The ministry has sent a memo to all the country's Internet service providers asking them to take YouTube off-line. As of today, YouTube is still available because technical issues relating to the blockage are still being worked out."

Also see:

alarabiya.net, Kuwait to block YouTube over Islamic content, 22 Sep 08

"Since the website displays the Koran in the form of songs sung with the oud (stringed instrument) ... and publishes offensive pictures of the Prophet Mohammad ... please proceed with immediate effect in blocking the website www.youtube.com," read a copy of a memo from the Ministry of Communications published on websites and blogs Monday.

"The Ministry of Communications was not immediately available for a comment. The website could still be accessed in Kuwait on Monday. A search for the keyword “Kuwait” returned about 59,000 videos of all different kinds."

blogallalong.com, Further to the YouTube Blocking Story, 23 Sep 08 "The blocking was freezed yesterday for further discussions, which while good, pretty much surprises me even more. First of all, you don’t fire up an official letter to the ISPs and then reconsider. Secondly, if the letter was not signed by the minister, this letter has zero legal value, and belongs to the trash. The person who is on purpose, and still defending his ground, by passing all legal procedures, to block the third largest popular site in Kuwait, from an individual thinking (if that’s what you wanna call it), considering him self probably so smart with this crap, should be punished and blocked from his position, stripped out of all responsibilities, after showing such immature level in his management."
Muslim flashmobs

Sarfraz Manzoor, The Guardian, How Muslim flashmobs can feed homeless people, 22 Sep 08 ""During Ramadan we Muslims get a glimpse of what it is like to be hungry," says Asaria. "I thought, 'What better time to share our food with those who are hungry all year?' I wanted to make the point that Muslims shouldn't only be looking overseas when they think about problems - there are plenty of problems in this country." He set up a Facebook page and arranged the first flashmob iftar two weeks ago. A hundred young Muslims turned up. The following week, attendance was more than 150 and footage of the iftar was uploaded on to YouTube."

Also see:

Salaam, Muslim Flashmob - Iftaar With The Homeless - Tuesday 09 September

Friday, September 19, 2008

Fatwa update

AP/boston.com, Saudi cleric’s fatwa widely denounced, 18 Sep 08 "Many expressed worry the comments by Sheik Saleh al-Lihedan — chief of the kingdom’s highest tribunal, the Supreme Judiciary Council — would fuel terrorism, encouraging attacks on station employees and owners.

"The edict, or fatwa, has also focused the spotlight on Saudi Arabia’s legal system because of al-Lihedan’s senior position in the judiciary. The system is run by Islamic cleric-judges, many of them hard-liners, and has increasingly been criticized by some Saudis because of the wide discretion judges have in punishing criminals and the perception that many judges are out of touch with the realities of the world."

arabnews.com, Makkah to be turned into smart city, 19 Sep 08 "The transformation of Makkah into a world-class intelligent city will help address the needs of pilgrims from around the world, said Mohammed Maqazi, head of the conference’s scientific committee.

"“The pilgrims need accommodations, meals, information and communication channels, and various modes of transportation. A combination of the latest technologies that integrate fixed and wireless broadband networks, fixed and mobile GIS and GPS applications, and user-friendly information and communications points can greatly enhance the visitors experience, and the city's objective of quality services to the visitors of the holy sites,” he explained."

BTW my post data time is stuck at present - so will undo that a.s.a.p.

AFP/canada.com, Malaysian authorities arrest blogger, 17 Sep 08 "Malaysian authorities have arrested a second blogger, this time for displaying an upside down national flag on his website, according to a report Thursday.

"Syed Azidi Syed Aziz, better known as Sheih Kickdefella, was picked up by police late Wednesday under the Sedition Act from his home in opposition-held northern Kelantan state, the Star daily reported."


Al-Ahram Weekly, Break the habit, 18 - 24 September 2008, Issue No. 915

"Neither over-serious nor decidedly playful, the majority of young people today are overcoming numerous obstacles in order to fulfil promises they have made to themselves and which they intend to honour this Ramadan.

"That is not to say, however, that young Egyptians are en masse espousing tradition. Their religious discourse, for one, breaks from the religious moulds their elders know. For young people it's not about memorising the Quran and hadith while seeking spiritual learning close to home, but rather about espousing an entirely new discourse, one which is very often transmitted via satellite television. Among the shows that have grown hugely popular among young Egyptians is that of young preacher Mustafa Hosni, who via TV and Internet uses cartoons, among other things, to reach out to Muslim youth."

Refers to Mustafa Hosni's website

itv.com, 'Schoolboy terrorist' faces jail, 19 Sep 08

"Munshi was desperate to go abroad and fight and had internet discussions with Khan about how to smuggle a sword past airport security."

Update: BBC News, Computer terror teenager jailed , 19 Sep 08

"In a statement, Munshi's grandfather Sheikh Yakub Munshi, who is a well-known Islamic scholar, said the family respected the court's judgment.

"But like any other family in this country, we are deeply upset by the situation in which Hammaad finds himself," he said.

"All of us feel there are lessons to be learnt, not only for us but also for the whole Muslim community in this country.

"This case demonstrates how a young, impressionable teenager can be groomed so easily through the internet to associate with those whose views run contrary to true Muslim beliefs and values."

Related comments on video in a BBC News interview with MP Shahid Malik, who describes the actions of 'internet jihadists' as "grooming" and "preying on young children".

sify.com, Canada's first terror plot video now online "A video of Canada's first terror plot, unearthed more than two years ago, has appeared on the internet, showing the alleged terrorists undergoing armed training to carry out the plot."

Refers to: NEFA Foundaton, NEFA Exclusive: Video of "Terror Training Camp" in Canada (September 16, 2008) "The NEFA Foundation has obtained exclusive footage of a would-be "terrorist training camp" that took place in a rural section of Canada in 2006. The camp, directed by CSIS confidential informant Mubin Shaikh, included members of the alleged “Toronto 18” terror cell, who are accused of conspiring to carry out a large-scale terrorist attack in southern Ontario, including plans for truck bombings and storming local buildings such as the Canadian Parliament and the headquarters of the CSIS. The video features footage of the men receiving instruction on the use of handguns, sniper tactics, and basic calisthenics. Crudely edited by its creators to include nasheed music, the video also shows the men practicing evasive driving maneuvers at night in an abandoned parking lot."
Fraud online

thesundaily.com, Islamic charity bosses jailed for fraud, 18 Sep 08 "Advertisements on the internet, in the press and on a Dutch-based television channel Euro 7 used images of human suffering in Turkey, Pakistan and other nations.

"Police closed down the scam last year. The trio were accused of 200 specimen counts of embezzlement."

alarabiya.net, Hackers shut down Shiite Websites in Iran, 18 Sep 08 "According to Iranian state TV the hackers are Sunni Muslims based outside of Iran, suggesting a possible sectarian motive, but it did not say how it had obtained this information."

nytimes.com, Saudi Women Find an Unlikely Role Model: Oprah, 19 Sep 08 has a web link
Monitoring Websites

Abdul Hameed Bakier, jamestown.org, Terrorism Focus, Watching the Watchers: A Jihadi View of Terrorism Analysis Websites, Volume 5, Issue 33 (September 18, 2008) "Once in a while jihadi internet forums draw their members’ attention to Western tracking of such websites by posting messages analyzing terrorism monitoring agencies, often with comments on some of the better-known terrorism analysts. A recent posting entitled “Know your enemy from monitoring and analysis websites” probes and categorizes some of these agencies (al-ekhlaas, September 5)."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


middle-east-online.com, Hate DVDs spread anti-Islam message in Florida, 17 Sep 08

"Millions of propaganda DVDs distributed with Florida newspapers promote Islamophobia ahead of US elections."

Daily Express, Mickey Mouse facing fatwa, 16 Sep 08, "Tom and Jerry have also incurred the wrath of Sheikh Muhammad Munajid who fears they are corrupting Islamic youth.

"The Saudi Arabian cleric also recently denounced the Beijing Games as the “bikini Olympics” because of the female athletes’ skimpy costumes which, he said, made Satan happy." The source of this 'story' is Middle East Media Research Institute. It actually came out in August, and the clip can be found here, together with the transcript

AFP, Al-Qaeda-linked group kills 12 Mauritanian soldiers: security source, 16 Sep 08

IslamCrunch have come up with a couple of pages on resources:

IslamCrunch, Quran Translations Online, 15 Sep 08, refers to alketab.com

IslamCrunch, 2008 Ramadan experiences, recipes, blogs refers to Ramadan 2008 which is a nice model of a community website
Qur'an TV

gulfnews.com, New LG TV allows Middle East Muslims to read, listen to Quran "Home appliance maker LG Electronics said on Tuesday it has released a new large-screen plasma television in the Middle East that allows users to read and listen to the Quran.

"The first of its kind in the world, the new TV, which comes in 42 inch and 50 inch versions, includes the Quran installed as a digital text.

"The television lets viewers read all 114 chapters of the Islamic holy book on screen by controlling its menu, LG said in a statement."

Also see ameinfo.com, LG honors Ramadan, offering TV with built in Holy Qur'an, 16 Sep 08 "This plasma TV allows viewers to read the Quran, search and bookmark passages and listen to scriptures. It also includes LG's Time Machine DVR technology for recording and playing back TV shows." Advertorial (nothing on LG Saudi site could be found)

AP, 16 dead in car bomb, ambush at US Embassy in Yemen , 17 Sep 08 "Yemeni security officials said a little-known group called Islamic Jihad, unrelated to the Palestinian group of the same name, claimed responsiblity for the attack. But Yemeni authorities have blamed the group in past attacks that have later been claimed by al-Qaida in postings on the Internet."

Monday, September 15, 2008


International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House (Toronto)/allafrica.com, Morocco: Blogger Recently Sentenced for Criticising King Released Pending Outcome of Appeal, 12 Sep 08 "Reporters Without Borders hails the 11 September 2008 decision by an Agadir court to provisionally release blogger Mohamed Erraji pending the outcome of his appeal against the two-year prison sentence he received on 8 September for criticising the king in an online article. Erraji had been held in Inzegane prison, near Agadir."
ATM Hacking

Wired, Turkish Police Arrest Alleged ATM Hacker-Kidnapper, 12 Sep 08 "A notorious Turkish ATM hacker Cha0, who has been accused of torturing a police informant, was arrested Friday by Turkish officials -- despite the hacker's claim that not even the FBI could catch him, Turkey's Haber 7 reports. "

Reuters.msnbc ,Australia finds 6 guilty of plotting 'violent jihad', 15 Sep 08 "The jury heard that Muslim cleric Abdul Benbrika, 48, and his followers planned the bomb attack on an Australian Football League grand final, but security raids on the homes of some members forced the group to change its target."

Middle East Online, Saudi cleric: 'depraved' TV moguls may be killed, 13 Sep 08 "A Saudi cleric has issued a religious decree saying the owners of television networks broacasting "depravation and debauchery" may be killed, Al-Arabiya television reported on Friday.

""The owners of these channels propagate depravation and debauchery," said Saleh al-Luhaidan, chief justice of the supreme judicial council, the highest judicial authority in the ultra-conservative Saudi kingdom."

There's an update on this story, which is also circulating online (with video clips) at alarabiya.net, Saudi clerics want death penalty for TV owners, 14 Sep 08 "Another senior cleric, Sheikh Saleh al-Fozan, weighed in on Sunday in response to the furor ignited by his colleague and condemned horoscope and advice shows as equivalent to sorcery and therefore apostasy worthy of the death penalty.

""Sorcerers who appear on satellite channels who are proven to be sorcerers have committed a great crime ... and the Muslim consensus is that the apostate's punishment is death by the sword," Fozan told the daily al-Madina newspaper."

Mail on Sunday, Merchants of Hatred: On the anniversary of 9/11 this terrifying investigation reveals the hatred of Britain's enemies within, 14 Sep 08 " Gordon Brown and Communities Minister Hazel Blears welcomed Muslim worshippers from Regent's Park Mosque to a meeting in Downing Street to launch a huge Labour campaign to combat Islamic extremism at grassroots level following the London bombings of 2005.

"As part of this initiative-200 different organisations from 70 parts of Britain with large Muslim populations have received millions in public grants under what is officially called the Preventing Extremism Pathfinder Fund - a total of £15million a year." Sue Reid's piece also discusses Omar Bakri Mohammed, Anjem Choudary, Abu Qatada and Yasser Al-Sirri.

Also see communities.gov.uk, Preventing Extremism Pathfinder Fund (pdf)

Daily Mail, 'I cracked safes for Osama Bin Laden,' reveals Birmingham father-of-one, 14 Sep 08 non-tech

Middle East Online, Moroccan theologian: Muslim girls can wed at nine "A Moroccan Islamic theologian repeated his claims Sunday that Muslim girls could marry as early as nine years old, arguing it was sanctioned by the prophet Mohammed.

""The marriage of nine-year-old girls is not forbidden because according to the Hadith (the prophet Mohammed's sayings), Mohammed married Aisha when she was only seven-years-old and he consummated his union when she was nine," wrote Sheikh Mohamed Ben Abderrahman Al-Maghraoui on his website (Maghrawi.net)."

The website is here

slashdot.org, 10 Years of Translated Bin Laden Messages Leaked, 15 Sep 08 "DragonFire1024 lets us know that Wikileaks has obtained 10 years of messages and interviews by Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda. The documents were translated and the messages and interviews were authenticated by the US CIA."

khaleejtimes.com, Go-ahead to Block Sites Giving Access to
Pay TV Channels, 15 Sep 08 "The Ministry of Economy (MoE) has given the go-ahead to the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) to track down the web sites that allow users to view satellite television channels without subscription and block them as part of the ministry’s campaign against pay channel piracy.

"The phenomenal growth of Internet usage across the country has attracted several similar profiteering activities, which the MoE intends to control at the early stages. The latest MoE anti-piracy initiative, which commenced in the second week of June this year, parallel to the Euro 2008 football championship, immediately led to the identification and disruption of 10 Korean-based Internet addresses."

news.com.au, 20 years' jail for errors in Koran translation, 13 Sep 08 "An Afghan court has sentenced an ex-journalist and a mullah to 20 years in prison each for publishing a translation of the Koran alleged to contain errors, friends and media rights groups said today."

hindu.com, Wireless Internet comes in handy for terrorists, 15 Aug 08 "Breaching unsecured wireless Internet connections has become the modus operandi of the Indian Mujahideen to send e-mails."
Omar Bakri Muhammad

Express, Sir Paul: Terror Target, 14 Sep 08

"Bakri, who made his weekly internet broadcast to fellow extremists from his home in Lebanon, where he has lived in exile since being banned from returning to Britain, said Sir Paul [McCartney] was “making more enemies than friends”."

Friday, September 12, 2008

Commentary on Qur'an in Malayalam

thepeninsulaqatar.com Electronic edition of Tafheemul Quran in Malayalam set for launch in Ramadan, 12 Sep 08 "An electronic edition in Malayalam of Tafheemul Qur'an, the popular commentary of the Holy Quran by the renowned Islamic scholar Sayyid Abul Aala Moudoodi – the first winner of King Faisal International Prize for Islamic Service – will be launched during the holy month of Ramadan.

""The computer edition of Tafheemul Quran in Malayalam is the first of its kind, in terms of in-depth information and advanced user-friendly facilities," said Sheikh Muhammad Karakkunnu, director of the project and former director of Islamic Publishing House (IPH), the publisher of its print edition in Malayalam." Advertorial

mathaba.net, Google Insults Muslims, Arabs, Persians, Africans During Ramadan, 11 Sep 08 "During the month of Ramadan, which is followed by around one billion Muslims world wide - the main religion in Africa is Islam by population numbers - dating ads showing "sexy Arab singles", "African singles", "Black singles", "Muslim brides", "Thai brides", "Persian (Iranian) Singles" etc, are being shown to viewers in Australia and other places - giving lie to the claim by Google that it "contextualizes" its advertising by showing "relevant ads on web pages.""

Opinion piece. Mathaba.net seem to use GoogleAds too - they don't appear particularly contextual either...

LA Times/tennessean.com, Abandoned tapes record evolution of bin Laden, 12 Sep 08 "On the seventh anniversary of 9/11, Miller has pulled back the curtain on the more than 1,500 tapes, retrieved after bin Laden fled U.S. troops advancing on his residential compound in Afghanistan.

"They feature bin Laden talking off the cuff at weddings, delivering cajoling recruitment pitches, extolling true believers, dishing up poetry."

This sounds fascinating, and it will be interesting to see which form they are released in. Also see The Williams Afghan Media Project

earthtimes.org, Islam row in Germany: Theologian backed by Berlin scholar, 11 Sep 08 "An Islamic theology professor in Germany who doubts the existence of the Prophet Mohammed won partial backing Thursday from another German scholar. Professor Sven Muhammad Kalisch, who trains imams, had upset the Muslim community with publications in which he said there was no proof that the Prophet was a historical person or that the Koran originated as Islam teaches.

"Professor Gudrun Kraemer, who teaches Islamic studies at the Free University of Berlin, said Thursday on German public radio she agreed there was no indubitable historical evidence of the Prophet's existence."

Expect discussions on this opinion to light up the discussion fora over the next few weeks.
Imam Warith Deen Mohammed

islamcrunch.com, A tribute to Imam Warith Deen Mohammed, 9 Sep 08 Contains a selection of related links. Also see Times, Imam W. D. Mohammed: influential US Sunni Muslim leader, 11 Sep 08
Computer Games II

Guardian, Should the internet game Muslim Massacre be banned?, 11 Sep 08 updates from yesterday's story, and readers' comments
aQ noTube

Salon.com, Sen. Joe Lieberman saves us all from al-Qaida on YouTube, 11 Sep 08 "In what surely can't be construed as scoring cheap political points on Sept. 11, Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., is claiming victory in a press release this morning: "Google Tightens Standards for YouTube Videos in Response to Lieberman's Pressure.""

There are, of course, plenty of other channels for this material to be presented on. Some interesting comments from Daniel Kimmage as well, worthy of further discussion.

There's also this in Wired, YouTube Draws Line on Vids 'Intended to Incite Violence or Encourage Dangerous, Illegal Activities', 11 Sep 08

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Computer game controversy

UPI, Muslim group decries computer game, 10 Sep 08 "Leaders of the Ramadhan Foundation said they were angered by the availability of the computer game, available since January, which they contend glorifies the killing of Muslims in the Middle East. In a statement Tuesday, they urged Internet service providers to remove the game's Web site from their services "as it incites violence toward Muslims and is trying to justify the killing of innocent Muslims.""

Also see Telegraph, 'Muslim Massacre' video game condemned for glamorising slaughter of Arabs, 10 Sep 08 "By slaughtering all the Arabs that appear on screen – some dressed as terrorists, some apparently civilians - players progress to later levels where they take on Osama bin Laden, Mohammed and finally Allah."

Here's a perspective on this: spong.com, Muslim Massacre 'Game' Gains Attention for Seeker. 'Satire' or 'Attention Seeking, 11 Sep 08'

The Ramadhan Foundation's comments started the ball rolling on this story: Ramadhan Foundation, Muslim massacre comupter game is tasteless and wrong, 10 Sep 08 "The Ramadhan Foundation expresses its deep condemnation and anger at the computer game released called Muslim massacre. This game is glorifying the killing of Muslims in the Middle East and we urge ISP providers to take action to remove this site from their services as it incites violence towards Muslims and is trying to justify the killing of innocent Muslims."

khaleejtimes.com, Audio Recording of Teneiji’s Quran Recitation Released, 9 Sep 08, "The audio recording of the recitation of the Holy Quran by UAE Qari, Engineer Shaikh Khalifa Al Teneiji, was released on Sunday by the Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA)." Information on the competition: Dubai International Holy Quran Award.

AFP, Syria blocks 160 websites: rights group, 10 Sep 08 "Security services have stopped access to "160 sites run by Kurdish political parties, opposition groups, newspapers -- particularly from Lebanon -- human rights, Islamic and civil society organisations," said the Syrian Centre for Media and Freedom of Expression."
KSA Arrests

AP/IHT, Saudis arrest 5 accused of Internet propaganda, 10 Sep 08, "The official Saudi Press Agency says authorities have arrested five people accused of encouraging youths to fight in conflict zones and spreading propaganda on the Internet."

Also see arabnews.com, 5 nabbed for generating terrorist hype online, 11 Sep 08, "“Each of the men used more than one username to persuade unsuspecting victims in a decisive dialogue,” said ministry spokesman Gen. Mansour Al-Turki. “One engages in a dialogue thinking it’s with a group of people sharing their opinions when it’s actually one person supporting one thought.”"

Long War Journal, Islamic Emirate of Somalia imminent as Shabaab races to consolidate power, 8 Sep 08 "Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, who is also known as Abu Mansur, and top leader Sheikh Fuad Mohamed Qalaf told a Paltalk forum organized by the radical al Qimmah Forum that fighters "are close to uniting their ranks" and would integrate under the rule of the Islamic Emirate of Somalia. They said that the formation of the emirate is "imminent" and that an announcement would be made "very soon.""

APT, Michael Foley's Walled City of Lahore, 8 Sep 08 for the photos
"Repentant Jihadists"

Hussam Tammam, Arab Reform Bulletin, Repentant Jihadists and the Changing Face of Islamism, Sep 08 "Repentant jihadists—former Islamic militants who won release from prison by explicitly renouncing violence and other extremist ideas—have become a topic of political debate in Egypt and provoke varying reactions, most of them negative."

Jonathan Steele, Guardian,Victims or Villans, 11 Sep 08 "In police footage that has gone around the world on YouTube, Rania Ibrahim is handcuffed to metal railings while male officers get her to remove her outer garments, then carefully defuse the device. Never mind the fact that the area is not cordoned off, and other policemen wander close to the girl to gawp. It took not only exceptional bravery but a degree of professionalism that many in Baghdad had not credited the Iraqi police with. The officer who disabled the device was given a 5m dinar (about £2,400) bonus."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Reuters, Cellphone helps Muslims ring in prayer during Ramadan, 8 Sept 08 "The green-and-white limited edition Hidayah phone, which means divine guidance in Arabic, sounds the "azan" call to prayer five times a day as well as the bang of the traditional bedug drum used at sunset to signal the end of the fast."

Also see Astaga.com, Bakrie Telecom Hadirkan Hape Esia Hidayah

Reuters, Moroccan blogger jailed for disparaging king, 9 Sep 08 "Mohamed Erraji, 29, wrote in online newspaper Hespress that the north African kingdom had been destroyed by the practice of handing out charity or gifts such as taxi licenses to a lucky few, which encouraged people to beg." Here's a link to the Mohamed Erraji's blog, which has now received substantial publicity outside of Morocco via this Reuters' story.
Ramadan Texting

The National, Text messaging spikes 84% first day of Ramadan, 8 Sep 08 "A flood of text messaging in the early days of Ramadan put the country’s newest mobile phone network to the test.

"Local text messaging was up nearly 85 per cent on the du network, which accounts for more than one-quarter of the UAE’s mobile subscribers."

gulfnews.com, Mideast web users could triple to 25m, 2 Sep 08 "Statistics show that regional internet use has grown by a phenomenal 1,176.8 per cent from 2000 to 2008, with users expected to further triple to 25 million by 2009, a top official said."
Student Visa Denied

Zohair M. Abu Shaban, Sabbah's Blog, Israel Turns Gaza Into Prison For UConn Fulbright Scholar, 8 Sep 08 "What carrot did an Israeli security official dangle before another Gazan’s eyes, or what torture tactics did he use to manufacture information he could use against me? However it happened, and for whatever reason, the outcome is the same. Despite my abhorrence of violence, I am being penalized." Non-tech.

CNN, CIA, FBI push 'Facebook for spies', 5 Sep 08 "The goal of A-Space, like intelligence analysis in general, is to protect the United States by assessing all the information available to the spy agencies. Missing crucial data can have enormous implications, such as an FBI agent who sent an e-mail before September 11, 2001, warning of people learning to fly airplanes but not learning to land them."

elkhabar.com, A new anti cyber-criminality bill to be examined by the Government "The Government is to examine an anti cyber-criminality bill before the end of the year, the general manager of state owned internet provider Eepad told El Khabar. Nouar Harzallah said the bill is to be set for examination during the upcoming weeks. It aims to set clear definitions to different informatics and internet crimes."

Speculation on Adam Gadahn:

Telegraph, Al-Qa'eda's American-born propaganda chief may have died in predator attack, 7 Sep 08, "Months of attacks by unmanned US predator aircraft have caused carnage among the middle ranks of terrorist leaders in the lawless lands along the border with Afghanistan, where al-Qa'eda remains dangerous despite suffering a serious defeat in Iraq.

"Their victims have included experienced Arab leaders and, it is now thought, Adam Gadahn, a former heavy-metal fan and so-called "killer computer nerd" originally from California. Nothing has been heard from him for months, leading intelligence experts to conclude that he may be dead."

View the related report by Nick Meo (which is well worth seeing) here:


Telegraph, Terrorist's brother posts YouTube 'bomb-making' video, 8 Sep 08 "In the short film, which has been posted on the video-sharing website YouTube, Musa Ahmet, 47 says: "Hi everybody. I'm going to show you how to make a deadly bomb in under two minutes.""
Israel Op-ed

Arutz Sheva/israelnationalnews.com, Rising Global Muslim Incitement: Jews 'Defiling' Jerusalem, 9 Sep 08 "On Tuesday, September 2, Raed Salah took his message that Jerusalem is under attack by the Jews to the Islamic Internet, answering questions during a live session on the English-language IslamOnline.net website.

"When asked by a reader what Muslims worldwide can do for the sake of Jerusalem, Salah replied, in part: "We are required to show to the world so that enemies of Al-Aksa would know that their attack on Al-Aksa means the attack on one billion and a half Muslim, Arab, and Palestinian in the same time. Surely, putting pressures of the decision-makers in the Arab and Muslim countries will make them take some courageous actions internally and internationally for the sake of defending the Holy Quds and the Aksa Mosque. We welcome any blessed action that would act to free Al-Quds and Al-Aksa Mosque.""

Here's the original 'Live Chat': Islam Online, Live chat with Al-Aqsa Guardian Sheikh Raed Salah
Wednesday Sept. 2, 2008
Review of 'The London Bombers'

Nick Cohen, Jerusalem Post, Essay: Self-censorship and the BBC, 4 Sep 08 "In one scene, Hasib Hussein hears a message ping on his mobile. He flips it open and finds a beheading video. He watches the snuff movie impassively, showing no emotion when the killer cuts a hostage's throat.

"Later Khan and Hussein learn how to make a bomb, not by infiltrating an army regiment, but by the simple expedient of going to an Internet cafe and logging on to an Arab jihadi site. "What did people do before Google?" the admiring Hussein asks." This review was originally in Standpoint
Indonesian Op-Ed

Tasa Nugraza Barley, thejakartapost.com, A wake-up call for the world's religions, 9 Sep 08

"To grab the attention of today's younger generation, religious clerics should understand how they think. This generation is not the same. Clerics should not expect that their old methods, successfully given to the parents of this generation, will always be useful.

"A tip for Indonesian clerics: They all should start using Internet and computers; if they have, then they should use them more."
Airline Bomb Plot

Telegraph, Airliner bomb trial: Three Muslim extremists face lengthy jail terms over plot, 9 Sep 08 "In his video Ali warned the British public to expect "floods of martyr operations" that would leave body parts scattered in the streets.

"Ali was watched as he used public phone boxes, mobile phones and anonymous email accounts to keep in touch with mystery terrorist godfathers in Pakistan." Expect updates on this today.

Bucks Free Press, Terror profile: Assad Sarwar, 8 Sep 08

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tehran International Qur'an Exhibition

iribnews.ir, Qur'an in 107 languages on show, 7 Sep 08 "Listing information about Qur'an translations worldwide, compiling linguistic encyclopedia as well as launching a website featuring Qur'an translations are among the measures taken by the section, Naqdi said, adding that promoting translation of the holy book in foreign languages tops the entity's agenda."
Marriage Sites and Misyar

arabnews.com, Online matchmaking gains ground, 8 Sep 08 "The recent proliferation of marriage sites on the Internet is proving not only a boon, but also a bane for many. Although Internet surfers are offered multiple choices of marriage sites in the Kingdom, they are also bombarded with advertisements of different types of marriages, especially “misyar” — a so-called “no obligation marriage of convenience where a woman forfeits rights (unless otherwise stipulated in the contract) and marries a man as a “no obligation” wife."
Muslim Arbitration Tribunal

sundaymercury.net, Muslim college in Midlands is running sharia law court, 7 Sep 08 "The Muslim Arbitration Tribunal has already used sharia law to decide the outcome of more than 100 civil disputes between Muslims across the UK since it opened its doors last December." The court is based at Hijaz College Islamic University in Nuneaton. Also see the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal website, for information on their Alternative Dispute Resolution and other processes.
Jordan e-currency

Deutsche Press-Agentur/ monstersandcritics.com, Jordan's mufti issues fatwa against electronic currency trading "Jordan's top religious official on Saturday issued a fatwa (judgement) that bans electronic trading of currencies owing to the 'financial risks' involved in such a type of business.

"'Trading of currencies is a taboo and illegal from a religious viewpoint, given the financial risks involved in such transactions,' Grand Mufti Nouh Salman said."

Daily Times, ‘State should provide sex education’, 5 Sep 08

"Zafarullah Shaheen, an Internet surfer working with a multinational company, said that a number of Internet surfers used the social networking sites for uploading vulgar messages and pictures instead of using it for constructive purposes. He said, “Such things malign the country’s image abroad. A recently conducted survey by Google has revealed that the most sex queries on Google are made from Pakistan. Earlier, most queries were made from Vietnam.”"

thepeninsulaqatar.com, Qtel launches Hadith portal, 7 Sep 08 "A selection of digital content, including readings from the Holy Quran, Hadith (oral traditions) and Anasheed (Islamic vocal music) are all being made available on the Mozaic MOB portal, along with a selection of Ramadan and Eid greetings. The site even includes video content, including extracts by the noted Islamic preacher, Amr Khaled." COmmercial product.

AFP, Student hacks into Bangladesh's elite force website "RAB intelligence officers traced computer science student Shahi Mirza, 21, after he hacked into their website and taunted the battalion with messages that he signed in his own name, Abul Kalam Azad said.

""He hacked into our website, boasting on the home page that the site had been hacked by Shahi Mirza," he said.

"Azad said Mirza and his friends faced at least 10 years in prison under Internet crime laws enacted in 2006."

The Star, Jakim, Muslim bodies lodge report against RPK, 5 Sep 08 "The Department of Islamic Development (Jakim) and several Muslim bodies lodged a police report here on Friday against Malaysia Today website editor Raja Petra Kamarudin for allegedly insulting the Malays, Muslims and Islam."

Islam Online, Morocco Scholars Go Online, 7 Sep 08 ""Having a presence on the Internet has become a necessity in today's world," Mustapha Bin Hamza, a Professor in the University of Mohammed I and the head of a Shari`ah sciences in the eastern city of Oujda, told IslamOnline.net.

""The Internet has become a world culture.""

Interesting article, could have done with some links to the sites discussed.

Friday, September 05, 2008


asharqalawsat.com, Undated video shows Qaeda leader reported killed, 5 Sep 08

"Al Qaeda issued on Friday an Internet video featuring senior group leader Mustafa Abu al-Yazid who was reported to have been killed last month, but it was not immediately clear when the footage was made.

"The video profiled a suicide bomber who it said carried out the June 2 attack on the Danish embassy in Islamabad, which killed six people, as a retaliation for the publication of cartoons of Islam's Prophet Mohammad by Danish newspapers. "We have warned previously, and we warn once more, the Crusader states which insult, mock and defame our Prophet and the Koran in their media and occupy our lands, steal our treasure, and kill our brothers that we will exact revenge at the appropriate time and place," said Abu al-Yazid."
Saudi IT

arabnews.com, SR25bn spent on computers every year "More than 11 million people in Saudi Arabia spend SR25.13 billion ($6.7 billion) on computers each year according to a recently released study by the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC)."

chnpress.com, 250,000 Tourists Receive eVisa for Iran "Announcing this, caretaker of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization’s Planning Bureau noted that the plan became operational at the end of last Iranian year.

""Those interested in visiting Iran should refer to the Internet website (www.electronicvisa.ir) or international airports nationwide to have their eVisa issued," Mohammad Reza Pouyandeh said."

illawarramercury.com.au, Church website trashed by Islamic hackers, 2 Sep 08 "While the text on the www.wollongongmission.unitingchurch.org.au website was not in English, other websites on the internet hacked by the same group, AdReNaLin, identified those responsible as "sons of the Ottoman Empire which had ruled over the entire world for 700 years"."

Tehran Times, Judiciary chief: Ban on websites needs court ruling, 2 Sep 08 "Judiciary chief Ayatollah Seyed Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi said on Sunday that the Judiciary honors freedom of expression and that any case of banning a website needs a verdict from the court of justice.

"Shahrudi said that imposing ban on websites falls within jurisdiction of the court of justice and that the executive body is not authorized to ban their activities."

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC), "Terrorism and Internet: Charges have recently been filed against an Israeli Bedouin, suspected of forming contact with Al-Qaeda through the Internet. The suspect was planning to perpetrate terrorist attacks in Israel, mainly a suicide bombing attack at the Beersheba central bus station". August 31, 2008

abcnews.go.com, Iran Jails Four Women's Rights Activists, 3 Sep 08 ""The security strategy of this country is that where there is dissent -- workers, women, bloggers -- they crack down on it right away, because they are afraid of the domino effect," said one Iranian analyst, who asked not to be named." Also see change4equality.net
Film Review: 'Jihad for Love'

Philip Kennicott, washingtonpost.com, Gay Muslims, Victims of 'A Jihad for Love', 5 Sep 08 "You get a good sense of the challenges the director faced by visiting the film's Web site, which helps flesh out some of the detail left out of the 81-minute film. Anyone with even a glancing knowledge of the Muslim world will wonder: Where is the rest of the picture? Why is there nothing about the thriving subculture of sexual hookups -- not hard to find on the Internet -- in even some of the most repressive Islamic countries, including the Persian Gulf states? Or more discussion of countries such as Indonesia (with the world's largest Muslim population), where there is relative tolerance? And what about the history of sexual permissiveness that many Westerners (men such as André Gide, Oscar Wilde or Paul Bowles, who might well be labeled sex tourists today) discovered in Muslim North Africa?" Review by Philip Kennicott. Film site: ajihadforlove.com/ contains a blog and other resources. Haven't seen this film yet (it's on my ever-expanding list of things to see!). The internet angle is particularly relevant to this blog.

longwarjournal.org, Senior al Qaeda operative killed in Somalia, 1 Sep 08

"Al Qaeda has reported one of its senior operatives in eastern Africa was killed during fighting in Somalia more than one year ago. Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a senior al Qaeda operative in eastern Africa, announced the death of Abu Talha al Sudani while discussing the May 1 airstrike that killed Aden Hashi Ayro, the leader of Shabab in Somalia. "

ciol.com, Terror minds look for techie brainpower, 27 Aug 08 "A tech expert brings a lot to the table in a terrorist lair. Apart from the obvious IT and engineering competence related to executing terrorist events in a world of technology, handling equipments, planning creative ways of formulating and executing threats etc. there are other advantages too that terrorists may find relevant.

"Techies are lateral and different thinking tanks, excellent strategic planners, good field operatives, thorough network and system experts, meticulous organizers, and safely reticent by nature."

Interesting article by Pratima Harigunani. I have been writing about this myself for the next book...
Undercover Mosque: The Return

Channel 4, Undercover Mosque: The Return, 1 Sep 08 "A year-and-a-half after the critically-acclaimed film Undercover Mosque was first screened, Dispatches goes undercover again to see whether extremist beliefs continue to be promoted in certain key British Muslim institutions. The film also investigates the role of the Saudi Arabian religious establishment in spreading a hard-line, fundamentalist Islamic ideology in the UK - the very ideology the Government claims to be tackling." Haven't seen this yet, but (at least in the UK) it can be viewed online at present.
Ramadan Soaps

haaretz.com, This Ramadan, Arab TV seeks big ratings from captive audience, 5 Sep 08 "The biggest hit of this year's Ramadan, is the Syrian Soap Opera "Bab el-Hara" or neighborhood gate. The program focuses on a Syrian neighborhood during the time of the French occupation between the two world wars, and offers a nostalgic look at life in the Arab world. The series also depicts the rise of Arab nationalism, an issue that for many in the Arab world, is still relevant today."

The Star, Websites for 50 mosques, 5 Sep 08 "Dr Nurul Faisal said the website would feature daily activities and programmes held by the mosque as well as information sought by Muslims such as prayer time, names of mosque officials, history of the mosque and religious matters."