Thursday, April 30, 2009


Digital Journal, Internet Brings Some Moderate Tone to Big Three of Faith, 22 June 2009 "Religion has entered the digital world in major ways. Not only are there mega churches in Christianity, but now the Islamic and Jewish groups use the Internet widely. Some of these teach and convert, with moderate views."


CPJ, 10 Worst Countries to be a Blogger

"CPJ names the worst online oppressors. Booming online cultures in many Asian and Middle Eastern nations have led to aggressive government repression."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Qur'an Software, Review: Al-Mudarris Quran Software, 28 Apr 09, "A few months ago I got a copy of Al-Mudarris software. It’s essentially a software that incorporates ayaat with multiple translations and audio recitations of each individual ayah. That is nice, however, what really prompted me to utilize the software is the notes and tafsir features."

Details: Mudarris software. It looks like a useful piece of software. I like the repetition option for practising (shown on the demo), and might give a more thorough test sometime.

'Six Days in Fallujah' - Cancelled (Maybe)

AP, Company pulls plug on `Fallujah' war video game, 28 Apr 09 "The publisher behind a video game based on one of the Iraq war's fiercest battles has pulled the plug on the title, called "Six Days in Fallujah."

"A spokeswoman for Japanese game company Konami Corp. confirmed Tuesday the company is no longer publishing the game, which was set to go on sale early next year."

That's what they say. However, elsewhere ..., Six Days in Fallujah dev hasn't given up, 29 Apr 09 "Atomic Games has said that it was very much surprised by Konami's decision to withdraw from publishing Six Days in Fallujah, but that it is still very optimistic for the future of the project."

See Atomic Games for their other titles

Farewell Faith Fighter?

Metro, KO for 'holy hatred' fight game, 28 Apr 09 " ... the Saudi-based Organisation of the Islamic Conference labelled it offensive to Muslims - and have now successfully demanded it be removed from the internet."

Well, not that successfully, in that it can easily be found elsewhere ...

'Ahmed and Salim'

McClatchy Newspapers/, Israel cartoon 'Ahmed and Salim' paradies Islam, but some aren't laughing, 26 Apr 09, "Ahmed and Salim spend hours in front of their computer posting crude updates on Facebook and playing Wii. They jam with Guitar Hero and watch bad American sitcoms. They bicker and call each other names ...

"... The United Arab Emirates has banned Ahmed and Salim, and Palestinian bloggers have denounced it. YouTube removed one of the first six episodes and warned the creators that it could ban the series if new episodes are too offensive."

Swine Fever discussions on net

al-Bawaba, ”Muslims immuned from swine flu symptoms”…, 29 Apr 09, " ... the news about the symptoms and the infections from the current swine flu virus created a heated debate in the streets, the cafes and internet forums all across the Arab world - will the "scavenger pig" spread also among the Muslims?

"A review of some posts loaded in recent days to the internet exposes some kind of optimism among the Muslims. For instance: "Anonymous Coward" wrote: "Muslims are better immune. Did you ever hear of SARS cases in Muslim countries?" Other posts support this view, claiming Muslims will not be infected as they don't eat the "dirty" pork. This is of course a wrong suggestion as humans do not get swine flu from eating pork."

Also see AKI, Swine flu: Imam claims virus affirms Koran, 29 Apr 09 "The global spread of the deadly swine flu virus affirms Islam's teachings and its holy book, the Koran, according to imam Amadia Rachid based in the Italian city of Salerno. "We believe that what is happening shows the truth of our faith," said Algerian-born Rachid in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI)."

Abu Dhabi

Time, Abu Dhabi: Torture and the Sheikh, 28 Apr 09 "ABC News broke the story last week, and now Human Rights Watch is following up with demands that the sheikh in question, Issa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, be investigated and prosecuted for the 2004 incident." Tapes circulating widely on the net.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

iMuslims UK: update

Received first copy of iMuslims UK/British Commonwealth edition from Hurst & Co. Slightly different size to US edition, and it has a different cover - but the same content(!). It's available to pre-order at present through the usual channels - I don't have an official publication date as yet for this edition.

Roxana Saberi (update), American-Iranian journalist Roxana Saberi on hunger strike for past five days, 25 Apr 09 "Roxana Saberi, the young American-Iranian journalist who was sentenced to eight years in prison on a spying charge in Tehran on 18 April, has been on hunger strike for the past five days, her father has told Reporters Without Borders. He said she called him today from prison to tell him this. She is “determined and ready to go all the way,” Reza Saberi said, adding that he was “very worried.”"

Also see
Facebook: Free Roxana Saberi

Lashkar-e-Taiba: From 9/11 to Mumbai

Stephen Tankel, 'Lashkar-e-Taiba: From 9/11 to Mumbai', International Centre
for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR)
- pdf report. Also hear the podcast (via ICSR page. I haven't read this/heard this yet [I should have a classification system for such items that are in my 'In Tray']

Zardari on bin Laden

This is not a headline (file under 'big maybe'): AP, Pakistani leader: Bin Laden 'may be dead' — or not, 28 Apr 09, "Pakistan's president said Monday his intelligence agencies believe Osama bin Laden may be dead, but he added there is no proof. Other Pakistani officials and a U.S. counterterrorism official said they thought the al-Qaida chief is alive. U.S. officials said bin Laden is most likely hiding in the mountains along Pakistan's border with Afghanistan, in particular the lawless tribal regions."

Nida al-Jihad Video

CBS News, Video Shows Taliban Militants Downing U.S. Chinook, 27 Apr 09, "The video closed with shots of an attack on what the group called a “crusaders’ base” where the militants used RPGs and BK antiaircraft guns.

"The 37-minute video was released by the militant Islamist media house Nida al Jihad."

AQIM Video

CBS News, Child Seen Pledging To Wage War on “Worshippers of The Cross” In New AQIM Video, 27 Apr 09 "A new video released by al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) on the Internet shows three children who seem to be between six and 12 years in one of the militants’ camps. The children are identified as Abu Dujana Sufian, Muadz Abdel Salam and Osama and were born and raised in the camps according to the video. The eldest of the three Abdel Salam is seen making a speech before the camera pledging to fight the “worshippers of the cross.”"

Naqshabandiyah Army

CBS News, Naqshabandiya Army Release New Compilation Video, 27 Apr 09 "The Iraqi insurgent group Naqshabandiyah Army released a 27-minute video showing a compilation of attacks on U.S. army vehicles in Iraq using RKG3 anti-tank grenades. The video included shots showing a whole arsenal of these grenades at a group’s depot. It also showed a group of new fighters receiving lessons by an instructor on efficient ways to use this weapon."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Iran 'Net Crime' update

Tehran Times, Iran's police pursues crimes in cyberspace, 27 Apr 09, "Islamic Republic of Iran's Police on Sunday announced that 124,000 computer related crimes have been identified in the country.

"Deputy for Special and Computer Crimes at the Islamic Republic Police (IRIP) General Mehrdad Omidi said that some 124,000 internet and computer crimes were reported during the last Iranian year (ended 20 March), 26 percent more than the last year."


Mustafa Haji Abdinur, AFP, Foreign jihadists heed call for holy war in lawless Somalia, 13 Apr 09

"Abu Muslim, who prefers not to reveal his real name, said he was inspired to quit his university course and job at a bakery in England after browsing the Internet to learn about the so-called U.S.-led "war on terror." ...

" ... A recent Internet video showed a light-skinned American identified as Abu Mansur al-Amriki urging "all the brothers overseas, all the shebab (youth), wherever they are, to come and live the life of a mujahed (holy warrior)."

"The clip was interspersed with songs and rapping in what the Middle East Media Research Institute described as "a clear appeal to foreign youth, especially in English-speaking countries, to join the jihad in Somalia.""

Web 2.0

TodayOnline, Extremists on Web 2.0, 24 Apr 09 "Extremists are fast mastering Web 2.0 and learning new ways to reach out to a wider audience, especially the young. And this is a worry for South-east Asian countries, where radical websites in Bahasa Indonesia and Malay are proliferating."

Malaysian Media Commentary

Azly Rahman, Malaysia Today, Of 'badangs' and 'blogoticians': A Republic of Virtue, 27 Apr 09 "As campaigning in by-elections continue, I see the impact of digital communications technologies increasing. I see bloggers you have never met, running for political office. One that will be the prototype is perhaps Jeff Ooi, an interesting case study of Malaysia' first "blogo-tician".

"Broadcast media might be supreme as long as the rakyat is not yet fully digitally-literate. Government-owned and controlled television stations will be useful when the rakyat can be made to be stone-glued to their television sets. Hegemony of the ruling regime can continue to be maintained as long as the rakyat is given bread and circus (or roti canai and fun-fairs). This is the feature of the success of the previous 22-year old regime; one that began to crumble after the fall of the Thai Baht of 1997, after the Tom Yum Effect of 1997."

This was taken from Azly Rahman's blog.

Islamic Movement Uzbekistan (IBU), Islamist extremists threaten attacks on Germany "The video, created by the Islamic Movement Uzbekistan (IBU), has been released to mark the start of the trial of alleged terrorists in Düsseldorf."

Jihadi Media Support Battalion

Abdul Hameed Bakier, Islamic State of Iraq Brings Internet Propaganda to the Streets, Terrorism Monitor Volume: 7 Issue: 10, April 24, 2009 "The Jihadi Media Support Battalion (JMSB), an internet-based jihadi propaganda group, has announced the launch of a new propaganda campaign entitled “ISI: The Gate to Liberate Extorted Palestine.” The goal is to acquaint as many Muslims as possible with the so-called Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) and the Salafi-Jihadi creed (, March 13). The campaign has attracted many positive responses from jihadi forum members."

Also see the pdf edition of Terrorism Monitor

Faith FIghter

Metro, Calls to ban online game of Holy hatred, 26 Apr 09 "Religious groups are calling for a ban on an online game where holy figures such as Jesus and the prophet Muhammad fight to the death.

"Critics say the free Faith Fighter game is 'deeply provocative' and 'disrespectful' towards all world religions."

Taliban report

Channel 4 ran this on the Taliban (which I picked up via The Lede)


AFP/asharq alawsat, Al-Qaeda Threatens to Kill British Hostage, 26 Apr 09, "Al-Qaeda's North African branch has threatened to execute a captive Briton if the British government does not release a Muslim cleric within 20 days, SITE Intelligence Group reported on Sunday."

Malika el-Aroud

I happened to catch this on CNN the other day, having missed it first time around:

The above is the link to part 1 of 3. It's based on the events surrounding Malika el-Aroud, and is of interest in this blog because of her work on various jihadi web sites (some of which is discussed in my writing).

More info: CNN, One Woman's War, 10 Feb 09

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Abu Omar al Baghdadi

Times Online, Iraq Al-Qaeda boss Abu Omar al-Baghdadi 'is captured', 24 Apr 09 "Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, a leader of the so-called Islamic State of Iraq, was held in the capital after a tip-off, said Major General Qasim Atta, Baghdad’s security spokesman. "

Pakistan Taliban

CBS News, Taliban Behead Two Pakistani Spies In New Video, 24 Apr 09, "Taliban Pakistan released an eight-minute video showing gruesome pictures of the beheading of two men accused of collaborating with “crusader forces.”"

Thursday, April 23, 2009

iMuslims: India and Pakistan edition

iMuslims is being published this week in India and Pakistan by Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, under the Hurst/Foundation Books imprint. Their website is here (no direct link at present).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

'Jihad Recollections' - discussion and analysis (so far)

Telegraph, Workout tips for jihad offered by al-Qaeda supporting magazine, 21 Apr 09 "The advice is contained in Jihad Recollections, an English language online magazine believed to be published in the United States which openly supports al-Qaeda and contains an article purporting to be written by Osama bin Laden."

Not the first time there has been advice of this nature. I haven't read the magazine fully yet, and will be writing about it in due course. Inevitably it has generated considerable coverage on jihadi fora, opinion blogs, and elsewhere.

The original announcement surfaced a few weeks ago on The Ignored Puzzle Pieces of Knowlege (a site which is discussed in iMuslims).

It was previously blogged in Jihadica, Jihad Recollections. No surprises regarding alleged authorship... It has been on related fora during the past few weeks, and can still be found as a download. There's been opinion and commentary on Jawa Report and Internet Haganah (the latter has screen shots if you don't want to go to download sites). Also see the comments on Closer, Studying Jihadism - The Jihad Recollections I, 14 Apr 09

Also see Jarret Brachman, Al-Fursan Media Part 1 "This is the first post in what will be a 71-part series on the new English-language jihadist magazine: “Jihad Recollections”", which looks like it will be a useful, comprehensive (and time-consuming) analysis.

I should also give a mention to Brachman's book, which I plan to read shortly: ...

Google optimisation, Google Set To Change Ranking Algorithm, 22 Apr 09 "Google is set to make changes to its search ranking algorithm to combat the spate of links leading to malicious web pages appearing at the top of Google’s search results, according to an inside source." This will have some interesting implications in relation to the core subjects of this blog...

Iran: Delara Darabi

RFE/RL, Iranian Woman's Execution Imminent For Crime Committed At Age 17, 17 Apr 09

Also see Amnesty International, Delara Darabi's execution postponed for two months, 20 Apr 09 and MySpace: Help Delara. There is an online campaign:

Click here to make your own banner

World Digital Library

RFE/RL, World Digital Library Aims To Promote Global Understanding , 21 Apr 09, "The UN's cultural agency, UNESCO, the U.S. Library of Congress, and other partner institutions are launching a World Digital Library on April 21 -- a website featuring cultural materials from libraries and archives around the world."

See World Digital Library

This is an exciting resource, which I'll be taking a look at in detail. A good sample page is the page on Qur'anic Verses. It features a 9th century fragment from Surat al-An'am in Kufi script. If you have a decent net connection, then it is possible to zoom in and out of this quickly, and also read the curator's comments (in this case, Christopher M. Murphy), which are also read on video.

There is plenty of other Islamic Studies related material to view on the site, including maps, documents and scanned manuscripts (the "Munajat" of 'Abdallah Ansari, and the Explanation of the Work of al-Ghazali and Nuh ibn al-Tahir al-Fulani (from Timbuktu) have also caught my attention). I can see myself spending hours looking at this material.

Iran: web pornography arrests (update)

AFP, Pornsite owners deserve death penalty: Iran prosecutor, 21 Apr 09

"Tehran's deputy prosecutor Reza Jafari said 50 Iranians had been arrested and were under investigation for running such websites and promoting prostitution, Vatan Emrouz reported.

"He said the term "corrupt on earth" suited "a person who manages many immoral, anti-religious and anti-revolutionary sites, and corruption on earth is legally punishable by death" under strict Islam."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Oman web leak fine

AFP, Oman punishes Internet writer for govt leak, 21 Apr 09, "An Omani court on Tuesday fined a web user for leaking a confidential government document on an Internet forum."

Iran, Iranian regime cracks down on internet groups, Iran Monitor: Issue 3/2009 opinion piece

"In an open letter to the “revolutionary Iranian people”, the Pasdaran, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, announced their fight against the “activities of organised destructive networks in cyberspace”. The Pasdaran also claimed that the aim of the network operators is to lead Iranian youth astray and that they had been encouraged and financially supported by the “largest foreign companies and small terrorist groups and by the counterrevolution”. The focus of criticism is not simply Iranian hardcore pornographic films, but rather those internet operators that “pursue the diabolical objectives of the enemies of the Islamic Revolution” and that , according to the Pasdaran, are “endangering Iran’s general security”. Some of these networks have apparently been “identified and destroyed” using the “intelligent and resolute” measures of the Pasdaran’s information departments."

Hossein Derakhshan

I have added this to my sidebar:

Also see Free the BlogFather. Ahmadinedjad asks to defense rights for Hossein Derakhshan and Roxana Saberi, 19 Apr 09, which notes:

"According to the Iranian national press agency IRNA, iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called this sunday for a fair treatment of iranian-american journalist Roxana Saberi, sentenced to 8 years of Prison this week as US SPY and Hossein Derakhshan, detained since 1 november, 2008 in an unknown place in Tehran."

Monday, April 20, 2009


AP, U.S. seeks hackers to protect cyber networks, 18 Apr 09 "Buffeted by millions of digital scans and attacks each day, federal authorities are looking for hackers — not to prosecute them, but to pay them to secure the nation's networks."


alArabiya, Egypt launches anti-face veil campaign in govt, 20 Apr 09, "Egypt's Ministry of Religious Endowments has launched a campaign against wearing the full face veil known as a niqab in government jobs claiming it is not an obligation for Muslims." also see AFP/Daily News Egypt, Endowments minister says 'no' to face veil, 20 Apr 09 "The independent daily Al-Masry Al-Youm published extracts of the book, entitled "The Veil is a Custom, Not Worship" by Religious Endowments Minister Mahmoud Hamdi Zaqzuq, which the ministry will distribute to mosques."

See المصرى اليوم


Daily Trust/, Nigeria: E-Passport - Zamfara Pilgrims May Be Delayed, 20 Apr 09 "Pilgrims from Zamfara may not find it easy to perform this year's Hajj as the state command of Nigeria Immigration Service is yet to acquire e-passport processing machine, despite the fact that Saudi Arabian government has made it compulsory for this year's pilgrims to travel with e-passports."

Neda al-Jihad

CBS News, Neda al Jihad Release Afghanistan Compilation Video, 17 Apr 09

Maritime Jihad

CBS News, Syrian Professor Concludes "Maritime Jihad" Is Better Than "Dry Land Jihad", 17 Apr 09 "A new study on “maritime jihad” was recently published on the website of the “Global Campaign For Combating Aggression”. The study, entitled “Maritime Jihad: Its Importance, Rewards, and Advantages,” is the work of a 40-year-old Syrian Islamic law professor called Muslim al Yucef."

Censorship in/of Syrian web users, Anarchist Queer from Syria, “Human Rights” and Syrian and American Censorship of websites in Syria "I cannot upgrade and renew my wordpress account from Syria, because wordpress deals with Paypal and Syria and Lebanon are not listed in its countries’ list to allow me to pay. I have to rely on my friends on other parts of the world to do so. And the only reason I reserved a domain on wordpress is because the domain blogspot is blocked in Syria and I fear wordpress domain might be blocked in the future as well."

Commentary: Taliban, terrorists love Great Satan's great servers

Julian Sanchez,, Taliban, terrorists love Great Satan's great servers, 10 Apr 09 "Of course, unless we're dealing with unusually stupid terrorists, it's unlikely that is talking in the clear with But plenty of surveillance effort is devoted to traffic pattern analysis, rather than content interception, which means it could be convenient to be able to keep a close eye on the timing and origin of, say, user visits or administrative logins. And while sites taken offline invariably show up again shortly thereafter, having them hosted locally should at least make it easier to quickly remove them if, for some reason, it's important that they be cut off during some specific window of time." just picked up this commentary

Saudi Arabia: 'Candid Camera'

Saudi Gazette, New hidden camera rule for Internet cafés, 20 Apr 09 "The Ministry of Interior has made it mandatory for Internet cafés to install hidden cameras and provide a record of names and identities of their customers.

"The new security regulations include a ban on using any Internet service subscription, prepaid cards or unlicensed satellite Internet other than the one certified for use by the café. Those under 18 years of age will not be allowed entry into the cafés, which must close by midnight. Also, a Saudi must be employed and all phone lines must be in the name of the licensed café , not the owner’s or anybody else’s name."

a few comments are also included

More at, Tracking Saudi’s surfers, 16 Apr 09

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum

Comments on the net, amongst other things:

First Media e-Session with the Prime Minister-Part I: Interview with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum answers rather a lot of questions, with more to follow.

""This is the second time that I have responded to your questions online; the first time was eight years ago, when Internet communications were still in the nascent stage -- although, I must say, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates had already made noteworthy progress in this field. During that initial online interview, my objective was to stimulate the interest of the Emirati community in the Internet when the use of the online communications was relatively limited.

"Today the usage of the Internet across the UAE has come to be taken for granted; in fact, the Web has been adopted so extensively in both the public and private sectors that e-communications are the norm rather than the exception. We see that a large segment of our society, especially young people, believe that the Internet is the most important source of information, education and entertainment."

And here is a selection of (positive) responses:

Business 24-7, Responses to Sheikh Mohammed's interview

Gulf News, Online community praises Mohammad, 20 Apr 09 which includes a photo

Saudi Arabia: TV, Gender and Technology

Najah Alosaimi, Arab News, Rape scene on TV stirs debate, 20 Apr 09 "Unprecedented for a Saudi TV, the three-minute scene showed two sisters being kidnapped by two men they met online, taken to a weekend home outside Jeddah, beaten and then violently raped.

"While one girl is shown tearfully pleading for help, the other is seen having her abaya stripped away. The scene ends when one rapist threatens to circulate picture of the rapes via Bluetooth if they dare go to police.

"The scene was a part of “Asakinat fe Qolubena,” (Dwellers in our Hearts) a new television series drama being aired on MBC1. It illustrates how Saudi drama has become more bold and sophisticated in exposing social problems."

The article makes some interesting comments relating to technology, as well as on the social impact of the programme. (which I haven't seen yet).

Roxana Saberi

Times Online, US journalist receives eight-year sentence for spying, 18 Apr 09 Also see The Hill, Obama says U.S. journalist in Iran is no spy, 19 Apr 09

Also see/join Twitter, Free Roxana

Free Roxana

Facebook: Free Roxana Saberi

Omidreza Mirsayafi, Hossein Derakhshan & Iranian Blogging

AP/Baltimore Sun, Blogger becomes casualty of Iran cyberwars, ""Omidreza is a symbol of many things," said Jillian York, a project coordinator at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, who exchanged e-mails with Mirsayafi in the months before his death. "He is a symbol of the free speech battles within Iran and a symbol that it would get worse."

"Dozens of activists are now jailed in Iran, including at least two prominent bloggers. One of them, Hussein Derakhshan, helped ignite the Iranian blog boom in 2001 by posting simple instructions to create sites in Farsi."

Essential reading.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Iran, Censorship and Pornography

BBC News, Iran rounds up 'porn site bosses', 17 Apr 09 "Although access to porn websites is blocked in Iran, many people manage to access them.

"One of the busted porn sites had 300,000 registered Iranian users and some of the adult video clips were downloaded at least six million times, according to the Guards.

"With a population of over 70 million, Iran has 12 million internet users.

""Over half of internet users in Iran have admitted searching for porn and about one third of them do it every day," says Saeed Madani, a sociologist in Tehran

"Since boys and girls are banned from socialising freely in Iran, demand for online adult content has exploded in big cities where internet access has become widespread, Mr Madani adds."

Also see Hamid Tehrani, Internet & Democracy Blog, Revolutionary Guards’ soft power: from “cyber repression” to “humanitarian action”, 16 Apr 09 "It seems the Revolutionary Guards Corp was so pleased by its conquest of the virtual world that it launched a Web site [(2)] where it names the sites this military ideologically motivated organization has dismantled and hacked. The Web site also reveals photos of arrested people who were allegedly involved with these sites."

Social Networking and Security

UPI, Social-media tools could support security, 16 Apr 09 "National Defense University researchers are encouraging the U.S. Defense Department to develop a strategy to use social media to strengthen national security.

"Mark Drapeau, National Defense University associate research fellow, said the current piecemeal approach to social-media technologies like Facebook and Twitter by the Defense Department needs to be addressed, Nextgov reported."

Can be read in conjunction with the post immediately below.

Conference on Terrorism and Cyber Security

AFP, Extremist websites offer intelligence 'gold mine': experts, 17 Apr 09 "Western governments are increasingly unwilling to close or filter extremist websites, viewing them instead as an intelligence "gold mine" on terrorist activities, experts say.

""Almost all Western governments are thinking along the same lines -- that it's better to monitor these (sites) than to try to censor everything on the Internet," said Dr Peter Neumann, director of the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR)." Discussion on the Conference on Terrorism and Cyber Security. Not exactly a 'headline', but an interesting article.

StartUpArabia, StartUpArabia Turns One Year Old, 17 Apr 09 useful source celebrates its 1st birthday

Web Therapy

Julio Godoy, IPS/ionglobaltrends, Iraq: Virtual therapy for real pain and suffering, 13 Apr 09 "N survived an attack on the transport enterprise he works for in Baghdad. He never managed to admit his trauma to anybody. Until he started psychotherapy – online.

"N is one of some 300 mostly young Iraqis who over the last year have been undergoing psychotherapy through the Centre for the Treatment of Victims of Torture (BZFO, after its German name), which operates from Berlin. BZFO was founded in 1992, but its online therapy project for Iraqis started in the spring of 2008."

I found this further info: BZFO

Saudi Arabia: Blogging, Saudi Arabia Releases Christian Blogger, 16 Apr 09 "Saudi Arabia has released Christian blogger Hamoud Saleh Al-Amri who was jailed after openly writing on the Internet about his conversion from Islam to Christianity, rights investigators confirmed Thursday, April 16."


Reuters India, Tajik president says "enemies" waging Internet war, 15 Apr 09 "Tajikistan's long-serving president accused the "enemies" of his nation on Wednesday of using the Internet to undermine his rule and urged his people to mobilise against the threat.

"President Imomali Rakhmon did not name any countries, but his remarks came at a time of growing tension between Tajikistan, a strategic nation courted by the West, and Russia, its former Soviet overlord."

Google Rankings +

Just picked this up: The Register, Whitehall to train pro-West Islamic groups to game Google, 9 April 09 "The Office of Security and Counter-Terrorism (OSCT), a 200-strong Home Office unit created 18 months ago, has said in meetings it wants to "flood the internet" with "positive" interpretations of Islam. It plans to train government-approved groups in search engine optimisation techniques, which it's hoped will boost their profile online and battle radicalisation."

Obtained from Christine Benlafquih,, UK to Offer SEO Training for Moderate Islamic Groups, 12 Apr 09 "I'm curious to see which groups sign on to this SEO training. Moderate Islamic groups alrready speak out against terrorism and extremism, and those with a web presence find their real competiton comes from anti-Islam sites, not extremist points of view. The UK is likely already aware of this. Makes you wonder if by offering SEO training,. the government isn't hoping to be in a position to make editorial suggestions as well. High Google ranking, reputable Islamic group, and controlled content – what more could they hope for in their online fight against extremism?"

As The Register notes too, I'm not sure how this is all going to work, or whether these concepts have been fully unpacked. I'll be watching this with interest.

Geert Wilders

AP, Dutch lawmaker to make sequel to anti-Islamic film, 16 Apr 09 "Geert Wilders said in an interview published Thursday in a Dutch newspaper that the film will likely come out next year.

"He said it will not be a copy of "Fitna," the film he released on the Internet last year that coupled images of terror attacks with verses from the Quran."

Maulana Abdul Aziz

BBC News, Red Mosque cleric's militant message, 17 Apr 09 "Two years after it sparked a violent campaign of suicide bombings across north-western Pakistan, the Red Mosque in the country's capital, Islamabad, is again alive with chants of victory for Islam."

Also see Dawn, Maulana Abdul Aziz back preaching at Red Mosque, 17 Apr 09

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Review: iMuslims

Publishers Weekly, Nonfiction, 13 Apr 09 - Review of iMuslims scroll down for this

Iraqi Resistance Coalition

Iraqi Resistance Coalition Release First Compilation Video, 15 Apr 09


CBS News, Taliban Execute ‘Spies’ Who Led U.S. To Abu Layth Al Libi’s Hideout, 14 Apr 09

Chips are down

The National, Region’s IT demand slumps, 15 Apr 09, "Demand for computer chips and IT products is decreasing faster in the Middle East and Africa than in the developed markets of western Europe, Intel said Wednesday.

"Christian Morales, Intel’s vice president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said a dramatic slowdown in spending by businesses accounted for the faster-than-expected contraction in the first quarter of this year."

Data watch

The National, Measuring systems compete for websites, 13 Apr 09 "Two competing internet audience measurement systems will begin producing audited data for the Middle East in the coming months, giving the best view yet into the state of web audiences."

Phone Fatwa

alArabiya, Muslim organization issues fatwa on ringtones, 15 Apr 09"Clerics from a Muslim organization in the north Indian city of Kanpur have issued a fatwa (religious decree) against people using verses from the Quran as ringtones on their mobile phones.

"A panel of clerics from Jamia Asharaf-ul-Madaris objected to the use of aayats (verses from the Quran) as ringtones, arguing that people answer calls midway, leaving the verse incomplete."

K'naan opinions on Somalia

Opinions of rapper K'naan via Davey D., New American Media, Somalian Born Rapper Sheds New Light on Pirates, 14 Apr "Davey D talks to Somalian born rapper K'naan about Hip Hop, the Somalian community under scrutiny in America and his notorious countrymen pirating off the horn of Africa."

Also see K'naan's Official Site


Arab News, Shariah court approves SMS divorce, 9 Apr 09 "A Shariah court here has approved the divorce of a young Saudi woman in her 20s whose husband sent her an SMS text from Iraq saying he had divorced her.

"The husband, who is in Iraq to participate in what he described as “jihad,” also telephoned two of his friends who witnessed his marriage and told them that he had divorced his wife."

Thomas Hegghammer Q&A

Bellum, Special Guest: Jihadica’s Thomas Hegghammer, "Today we are pleased to host Thomas Hegghammer, contributor to Jihadica. The Norwegian-born scholar is a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a senior research fellow at the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment. He joins us to share his thoughts on the study of radical Islam and its relation to Saudi Arabia and Afpak."

Iran Conspiracy Theories

NRC, Iran accuses Netherlands of conspiracy, 14 Apr 09 "In an official statement, the revolutionary guard says the Netherlands is paying millions of euros to internet sites and radio broadcasters, such as the Amsterdam-based Radio Zamaneh, that are hostile to Iran. The statement has been printed in several Iranian newspapers.

""One of the countries that have given financial support to the opposition over the past few years is the Netherlands," said the statement. "The Dutch project aimed to encourage sexual and moral deviation in society" and to support the idea that "threats [against Iran] are increasing... and that the current Iranian government is incapacitated." "

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Virtual Newsroom

DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination Age, The Launch of a Journalistic Experiment: The Virtual Newsroom of the American University in Cairo, 7 Apr 09 "Today at the Virtual Journalism Conference at the Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University (WSU), Dancing Ink Productions (DIP) is proud to premiere our latest documentary: "Virtual Journalism: Inside the Virtual Newsroom of the American University in Cairo." The documentary is part of an ongoing project in collaboration with Lawrence Pintak the director of the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism and Research to explore the transformation of the business and culture of journalism in a global context. It was produced in conjunction with Ill Clan Animation studios. It describes a news conference in Second Life organized by DIP and AUC which brought together James K. Glassman who was then US Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs and a group of eight Egyptian bloggers."

Haven't seen this all yet.

GPS Egypt

Cellular News, Egypt Lifts Ban on GPS Capable Mobile Phones, 7 Apr 09 "The Egyptian authorities have announced plans to loosen the restrictions on the use of GPS devices within the country. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has lifted a ban on civilian use of GPS which had blocked the (official) import of most mid to high end mobile and smartphones."


حملتها حجبت 500 كلمة بحث تقود لمواقع مخلة,

MidEastWire, “Dubai police asks Google to confront spread of pornography...” "On April 2, the Saudi-owned news website carried the following report by Ahmed Sharif: “The Dubai police has asked the directors of the renowned Google search engine to seek a mechanism “to prevent the spread of pornographic images and movies that create problems and generate decadence in society, especially among the young and the teenagers”. The police thus announced on Thursday 2-4-2009: “During a meeting that was held in Dubai, security officials asked Gisel Hiscock, the director of Google Business Development in the Middle East and Europe, to limit the spread of pornographic clips, as well as clips mocking religions, calling for atheism and spreading newly-founded religions."

Naif Al-Mutawa op-ed

Philadelphia Inquirer, Naif Al-Mutawa, The many shapes of extremism: The distinction between Islam and fanaticism can't be made too often. Op-ed "In the age of the Internet and satellite television, my students are not shielded from the misconceptions and misrepresentations of their faith any more than the Arab American student at Brown had been.

"But if Muslims grow up to identify extremism with Islam, and to believe that to be an accurate reflection of their religion, then we will have a far bigger problem than we ever could have imagined. Passing off aberration as the norm is a danger to all of us. And constantly setting the record right on what is and isn't Islam is the duty of every able communicator in today's multimedia world."

from the creator of The 99

Blogging in Iran

Jurist, Iranian blogger's death in prison shows regime's desperation to suppress public opposition, 8 Apr 09 Amir A. Fakhravar [Director of International Affairs, Council for a Democratic Iran]: """Iran, a Nation of Bloggers" is the name of a short animated film that I saw a few days ago. In only 100 seconds, Mr. Aaron pointed out a subject that has remained out of sight amid the commotions over Iran's nuclear program - the power of the Iranian youth and the bloggers of today's Iran. On March 18, 2009, the news of the killing of a young blogger, Omid Reza MirSayafi, in the infamous Evin prison resonated throughout the world media."

see Iran: A Nation of Bloggers - Vancouver Film School (VFS) and the related blog

Kazakhstan IT

Trends, First multimedia project on Islam basics to be designed in Kazakhstan, 8 Apr 09, "The first multimedia project on basics of Islam 'Bissimillah: Acquaintance with Islam' is being designed in Kazakhstan, project's director Amanzhol Temirbek said.

""We hope that the modern presentation of a text, audio and video footages will make acquaintance with Islam attractive and visual," Temirbek said. The project also includes multimedia materials on fundamentals of Allah's religion in a CD. It is of an educational and informational nature."


Yemen aQ

AFP, Saudi breaks up 'terror' network, 8 Apr 09 "In January the Yemen branch of Al-Qaeda announced in an Internet video message the merging of the Saudi and Yemeni branches into what it called Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, led by a Yemeni, Nasser al-Wahaishi."

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Egypt: Facebook/Twitter activists 'Day of Rage'

alArabiya, Egypt's Facebook activists 'day of anger' fizzles, 7 Apr 09 "Egyptian security forces arrested several protesters and contained small demonstrations in Cairo Monday during a 'day of anger' organized on Facebook by April 6 youth that largely fizzeled out according to observers.

"Dozens of activists, students and members of the banned Islamist group the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested, though there were no reports of mass arrests. A police crackdown over the weekend resulted in at least 30 arrests, according to the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information ...

" ... Activists used Twitter, which allows users to send out short messages called tweets via mobile phones to their followers and their blogs, and blogs to publicize the detentions and arrests of fellow protesters and keep tabs on police activity."

Rolling Coverage: IkhwanOnline (Arabic)
also IkhwanWeb, Egypt Under Siege On ‘Day of Rage’

"Could Obama Close The Internet?"

Chris Van Buren, Internet & Democracy Blog, Could Obama Close The Internet?, 5 Apr 09 "New Senate legislation introduced by John Rockefeller (D-West Virginia) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) would grant the president sweeping powers to control the internet in the event of a cyber-security crisis, including control of the on/off switch for both public and private U.S. networks. The bill is said to follow many of the suggestions of a Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) report released Dec. 8, 2008, calling for a cyber-security czar."

Turkey: Barack Obama Q&A

Hurriyet, Obama tells students US poised for a new chapter with rest of world, 7 Apr 09 "U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday his country is poised for a "new chapter in American engagement" with Muslims and the rest of the world during a round table meeting with students on his last official stop at the end of his two-day stay in Turkey." includes links to video Q&A (part 1 of 4 below)

Hürriyet Video'larını izlemek için Flash 7 veya daha yüksek eklenti yüklenmeniz gerekmektedir. Yüklemek için tıklayınız!!!

Abu Dhabi Fatwa Clampdown

Zoi Constantine and Tala al Ramahi, The National, Fatwas to be brought under federal umbrella, 6 Apr 09 "The country’s principal religious body has drafted a law that aims to counter what some senior clerics are calling “fatwa chaos” with the religious edicts coming from unqualified sources.

"Legislation proposed by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf) and awaiting cabinet approval, would bring in a more “unified” approach across the emirates."

Asharq Alawsat, 'Arab Extremists Invading Indonesia'

Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed, Asharq Alawsat, Arab Extremists Invading Indonesia, 6 Apr 09, "An in-depth study emerged recently that leveled accusations against Arab organizations and individuals and claimed that that they are trying to control ideology in Indonesia and alter its society from one that is known for tolerance to one that is religiously fanatic and politically extremist. The study argued that the spread of Arab extremists in Indonesia was an organized and comprehensive plan that focused deliberately on penetrating all aspects of life in Indonesia ...

" ... This recent study claims that Gulf and Egyptian influence is also a problem. It might be true that the extremist ideology that is prevalent in the Arab world today is the source of the problem in most parts of the Islamic world. However, holding it entirely responsible suggests that some parties are not willing to take responsibility. Extremism has become a general issue; its main channels are the modern means of communication popular among our youth, such as the Internet for example. Therefore, would it be logical to say that the United States is responsible for the spread of Islamist extremism because the internet is US based?"

Not sure whether one can really make that final point - otherwise, an interesting article.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Net Effect, iMuslims are coming!

Evgeny Morozov, Net Effect, iMuslims are coming!, 4 Apr 09 "Exploring ways in which radical Islamists use the Internet has become a favorite pastime for many pundits, journalists, and academics. Most of them reach the inevitable conclusion that social networking, text messaging, and blogging empower hardcore extremists and help them grow their ranks. It's precisely for this reason that most discussions on this issue are still crippled by alarmism, with recurring fears over the rise of the "virtual caliphate" (also the title of a recent report on how Islamist extremists use the Internet from UK-based Center for Social Cohesion)."

The piece refers to iMuslims, and also my piece in Saturday's The National (see below), as well as highlighting some recent research in the field.

This includes John Kelly and Bruce Etling, Internet & Democracy Blog, Mapping Change in the Iranian Blogosphere, 12 Feb 09:

"A number of recent international anecdotes indicate increased online activism by governments. A perfect example of this ’state-engagement’ in cyberspace is found in Hamid Tehrani’s recent post about the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ plan to recruit 10,000 Basij bloggers. This may help explain some changes we’ve seen in the Iranian blogosphere, and is a good opportunity to share an updated Iranian blogosphere map created by John Kelly at Morningside Analytics, Berkman’s partner on our foreign language blog studies."

The mapping is useful. It also points to Berkman Center, Mapping Iran’s Online Public: Politics and Culture in the Persian Blogosphere, (English and Persian translation), Apr 05, 2008

Decoding the Alhambra

AFP/alArabiya, Spain decodes scriptures of Islamic Alhambra, 5 Apr 09 "Researchers armed with modern technology such as digital cameras and 3D laser scanners have embarked on a mission to catalogue and decipher for the first time the words that adorn Spain's most-visited tourist attraction.

"For centuries visitors to the Alhambra fortress-palace in Granada, built by Spain's medieval Moorish rulers, have wondered what the thousands of Arabic inscriptions that are carved into its walls and ceilings mean.

"What the researchers have found so far is that, contrary to what was widely believed; verses from the Koran and poetry represent only a tiny minority of the messages in classical Arabic that cover the Alhambra, Europe's jewel of Muslim architecture."

Mosques' Allignment

AFP/Gulf Times, 200 Makkah mosques ‘face wrong direction’ "According to the pan-Arab Al Hayat newspaper, Islamic affairs ministry deputy secretary Tawfik al-Sudairy downplayed the problem.

""There are no major errors, but corrections have been made for some old mosques, thanks to modern techniques. In any case, it does not affect the prayers," the newspaper quoted Sudairy as saying in its Saturday edition."

Sun Dial, Sun Dial uses mobile phones to alert Muslims to prayer "Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a mobile application known as Sun Dial, which alerts Muslim users when it's time to perform the five daily prayers known as salat. The device is currently being discussed this week at the human-computer interaction conference, CHI, in Boston."

Also see: GVU Center, Georgia Tech, Sun Dial: Exploring Techno-Spiritual Design through a Mobile Islamic Call to Prayer Application, "Sun Dial is a mobile phone application that supports Muslims’ prayer practices, . Our projects responds to the growing interest in knowing how to appropriately design technologies that account for and support user’s spiritual and religious practices. Unlike similar systems ours relies on imagery, rather than text and graphs to communicate prayer times. The sun’s gentle movement through the sky prompts Muslim users to their five daily prayer times. Users’ drove this choice, by telling us that tracking the sun was the most religiously valued method to determine prayer times. Additionally, our system was developed for Muslims practicing in the United States, who told us that they have different needs from those living in regions where Islam is more widely practiced."

Also see: Susan P. Wyche, Kelly E. Caine, Benjamin K. Davison, Shwetak N. Patel*,
Michael Arteaga, and Rebecca E. Grinter, Sacred Imagery in Techno-Spiritual Design

Abu Qatada allegations

BBC News, Abu Qatada 'issues jail edicts', 5 Apr 09," Radical Islamic cleric Abu Qatada has been issuing messages to his followers from his British jail cell, according to anti-extremism researchers.

"Statements said to be from the Jordanian have appeared recently on a number of extremist websites.

"The Quilliam Foundation think tank say Abu Qatada has released three letters from prison in four months.

"But the Prison Service says Quilliam's claims that it has been incompetent are "completely unfounded"."

Quilliam Foundation

Arabic websites: crunching the numbers

Chris V. Panganiban, The Peninsular, More Arabic websites, but few visitors, 5 Apr 09 "Based on the study explained in the presentation, although there are now more Arabic websites in the region than before, their number is still small compared to that of English websites. Another fact is that most people in the Gulf access the popular sites such as Google, Facebook and Yahoo."


Muslim Brotherhood blogger detained

Reuters, Egypt police detain Muslim Brotherhood blogger, 5 Apr 09 "Police arrested Abdel Rahman Fares, 25, in the province of Fayoum, southwest of Cairo, while he was handing out flyers calling for the protests Monday, the security source said.

"Fares, who runs the blog "My tongue is my pen" (, was detained on suspicion of distributing literature promoting the Brotherhood's ideology and inciting citizens to strike, the source added."

YouTube in Dubai

Gulf News, Police highlight negative aspects of YouTube, 3 Apr 09 ""Dubai Police completely supports the personal freedom of every individual but there is certain content on YouTube that is absolutely unacceptable to any country, society or individual," said Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Deputy Chief of Dubai Police."

Omar Bakri Muhammad's "A-Team"

Dominik Lemanski, Daily Star, Bakri's A-Team on Global Jihad, 6 Apr 09, "Omar Bakri Mohammed claims he is training up to 400 extremist activists in a bid to win over the 'hearts and minds' of western converts ...

" ... We are already doing this in the UK with the use of the internet but we need Muslim intellectuals on the ground who can speak -English and French as well as Arabic."

Friday, April 03, 2009

Zaad: Palestinian directory search engine, Zaad, A Specialized Palestinian Directory Search Engine, 2 Apr 09 Here's the link: Zaad

"Zaad is a local Palestinian directory search engine that serves up search results from specialized databases, currently covering the Palestinian private sector and NGO sector databases."

Investing in Technology Forum, Investing In Technology Forum, Cairo, Egypt - May 12-14th 2009, "The Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF), a Pan-Arab NGO with the mission of promoting and supporting Science, Technology and Entrepreneurship as a tool of economic development in the MENA region, has announced its 6th Investing in Technology Forum to be held this year in Cairo, Egypt on May 12th -14th, 2009 under the Patronage of H.E. Dr. Ahmed Nazif, Prime Minister of Egypt."

Islamic Turkistani Party: Voice of Islam

CBS News, Voice of Islam Video Pays Tribute To Turkistani, 2 Apr 09, "The media wing of the Islamic Turkistani Party released a new 66-minute video paying tribute to the slain leader of the Islamic Turkistani party Hassan Makhdum, who is known Abu Mohammed al Turkistani."

Swat: Punishment by Pakistan Taliban

Declan Walsh, The Guardian, Video of girl's flogging as Taliban hand out justice, 2 Apr 09 "A video showing a teenage girl being flogged by Taliban fighters has emerged from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, offering a shocking glimpse of militant brutality in the once-peaceful district, and a sign of Taliban influence spreading deeper into the country."

Disturbing viewing.

Also read this piece: Saeed Shah, The Guardian, Pakistan region in grip of fear as leader begins to implement sharia law, 3 Apr 09 "[Sufi] Muhammad is leader of an Islamist movement that has long since agitated for sharia justice. And he took a big step towards his objective in February when he struck a "peace for sharia" deal with the authorities under which the Taliban would stop a two-year armed campaign in the region in return for the establishment of new religious courts. In a rare interview with any media outlet, domestic or foreign, he told the Guardian that the new courts would formalise penalties including flogging, chopping off hands and stoning to death."

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The CIA Wants You ...

Times Online, CIA launches recruitment drive on internet and TV, 31 Mar 09 "A typical recruiting advertisement recently posted on the Chronicle of Higher Education's website is headlined "Central Intelligence Agency, National Clandestine Service Careers, Linguists. You Can Make a World of Difference. Are you up to the challenge of achieving our mission abroad?"

"It adds: "This career track offers rewarding, fast-paced, and high-impact challenges." The CIA is also advertising on the social networking site Facebook and YouTube.""

World Economic Forum, The Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009

Tunisia: Tunis Ranked First in Maghreb and Africa for Davos ICT Report "The 2008-2009 Davos World Economic Forum Global Information Technology Report ranks Tunisia first in the Maghreb and in Africa for the third consecutive year."

This refers to World Economic Forum, The Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009 - which can be downloaded in full as a 2.1 MB pdf. Clearly, it could be a useful piece of research. I haven't read its 379 pages yet... There is an interactive version of the report as well.


Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Israel Intelligence Heritage & Commemoration Center (IICC), Hezbollah senior activist Omar al-Moussawi stressed that while Britain’s policy toward the organization had changed, the organization itself had not: Hezbollah, he said, is one entity and no distinction can be made between its military and political wings, and will continue its terrorist activities (“resistance”) and refuse to recognize Israel, 30 Mar 09

Egyptian blogger released

Reuters, Egypt releases detained blogger, 28 Mar 09, "Police detained Diaa Eddin Gad on February 6 outside his home in the Nile Delta province of Gharbiya. London-based rights group Amnesty International said in February that his incommunicado detention in an unknown location put him at danger of torture."

Cyber Crime Abu Dhabi

Khaleej Times, Workshop on Cyber Crimes, 2 Apr 09 "A workshop on combating cyber crimes to enhance the capabilities of the Public Prosecution in this field was conducted by the technical office of the Attorney General in 
Abu Dhabi."

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Shabab al Mujahedeen Movement

CBS News, Sheikh Abu Mansour the “American” Featured In Militant Somali Group's Video, 31 Mar 09, "The militant Islamist Somali group Shabab al Mujahedeen Movement has released a new video featuring a man identified as Sheikh Abu Mansour the “American," who was seen giving a study circle in fluent Arabic and English."

Research and Commentary

Thomas Hegghammer, Jihadica, Oslo Workshop Summary (part 1) includes report of panel consisting of Gilles Kepel, Reid Sawyer and Brynjar Lia, and Mariam Abou Zahab on Afghanistan-Pakistan issues.


Earth Times, Gay rights remain a taboo in Morocco - Feature, 1 Apr 2009 includes reference to the internet and various online discussions.

Afghanistan-Pakistan Policy and Cyberspace

Thomas Hegghammer, Jihadica, Virtual safe havens and the war of ideas, 31 Mar 09 points to Andrew Exum, The New Republic, No Place to Hide, 31 Mar 09, discussing the Afghanistan-Pakistan Policy of Barack Obama. Exum (who also blogs on Abu Muqawama) states:

"The White House strategy, though, betrays an obsession with physical space at the expense of virtual space. This fixation very much reflects a generational divide among the scholars and policy-makers who focus on terrorism. Younger scholars such as Will McCants (now at the Department of Defense) and Thomas Hegghammer--in addition to being much more likely to actually be able to speak and read the relevant languages (Arabic and Urdu)--are "digital natives" rather than "digital immigrants" (to use the labels preferred by the counter-insurgency scholar Thomas Rid): They do not need to have the explosive potential of the internet explained to them, and McCants and Hegghammer especially have individually spent hundreds of hours on the more popular jihadi chatrooms to gather data about the debates and spread of information that is taking place in the virtual world."

Hegghammer notes in his posting response:

"There are at least two more reasons why there ought to be a virtual dimension to the new AfPak strategy. First, the Pashto and Urdu-language part of the jihadi cyberspace is growing rapidly, and very few people are keeping track of it. Those who do rarely know the Arabic sites and vice-versa. No analyst I know has enough Arabic and Pashto to connect the dots (except Mustafa Abu al-Yazid).

"Second, the Internet infrastructure in Afghanistan and Pakistan is relatively poorly developed compared to the Arab world. This is very worrying, because it means that there is a huge untapped propaganda resource which will be exploited as the local infrastructure inevitably develops."

Some interesting issues here, which I'd like to pick up on if I had more time...

Saudi Jeans on Tour

Saudi Jeans is blogging the G20 Summit "I’m flying to London later tonight to blog the G20 Summit. 50 bloggers from 22 different countries have been invited by a group of British NGOs to provide a different kind of coverage for this global event, where world leaders will meet to discuss the current economic crisis and try to find answers and solutions. More from there later…"

Malaysia: 'Islamic Medical Treatment'

Daily Star Malaysia, Evil, be gone!, 30 Mar 09

"Trimizi Zainal creates hell for unearthly spirits which haunt mortals.

"AT FIRST glance, Trimizi Zainal comes across as just another Malaysian student whom you’ll probably bump into in London’s Oxford Street.

"Like any IT-savvy youngster, the 23-year-old stays connected when abroad. With his Yahoo! Messenger, he sends text messages, makes PC calls or chats with friends over the Internet.

"Well, the similarity ends there. Trimizi is no ordinary Malaysian whom you would want to mess with.""

This is an interesting article. Trimizi is coming to the UK, and I found details of a course here at PISANG, Islamic Medical Treatment Course

And there's some blogger commentary on it here: Coffee Conversatins (Zurairifm), Blame It On the Djinns