Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Marwa al-Shirbini

Times Online, Fatwa fear as Islamic world watches trial of Alexander W over court killing, 27 Oct 09 "The authorities fear a repetition of the riots against Danish and Scandinavian institutions after the publication of cartoons lampooning the Prophet Muhammad in September 2005.

"The fatwa has been issued by a Sheikh Ihab Adly Abu al-Madjd in a video clip on the internet. He calls on all Muslims in Germany to take vengeance and “receive the award of Allah”."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Al Mus’haf - iphoneislam

Gaith,, iPhoneIslam Launches Al Mus’haf: A Free iPhone Natural Book Flipping App Using Their iFlipePage Engine, 10 Oct 09 "iPhoneIslam the pioneering iPhone applications startup from Egypt that is best known for Arabizing the iPhone and developing Yahoo!Maktoob’s iPhone Dictionary app, has launched today a stunning free Quran app called ” Al Mushaf ” available on iTunes Store.

"Al Mushaf makes you feel like reading the Quran on a real physical Quran; it gives you a very realistic hands-on experience of flipping a paper-book by simply dragging the pages corner. It also has natural paper behavior and natural page reflection, shadows and realistic paper sound effects."


I'm going to write something on apps soon - 3G phone reception is poor in my location in Wales, however, which hinders research. Islamic Calendar would be high on my wishlist.

There's also a range of products at Guidedways, such as iPray:

Also see their Qur'an app:

More suggestions to follow.


Gaith,, An Arab/ Pakistani iPhone Success: After Reaching 1 Million Users, Bandar and Fahed Launches a Dead Simple 2Do App for the iPhone "After Reaching the 1 million user mark, the Arab/Pakistani iPhones duo who won the best User Interface award of 2009, has just launched a new great dead simple 2Do application for iPhone and iPod Touch." cool app


Meedan, Arabic language Twitter client puts right-to-left pickle into the past

"A new Twitter application claims to have made life a lot easier for Arabic speaking users of the hit web service.

"Kzalek helps users write from right-to-left with Arabic and English words combined."

Also see Breaking: Gaith,, Kzalek, First Twitter Arabic Desktop App Beta Launched (supports all platforms), Farisi UI Planned, 19 Oct 09 "Few hours ago, Kzalek, founded by Mustafa Farghay from Egypt, launched in beta. Kzalek did not only solve the problem for Mac and Linux users but has a complete Arabic Interface for both platforms, Windows and any platform that can run by Adobe AIR.

"Whats more wonderful, I think that this app has the best Arabic right-to-left (RTL) support."

Also see Saleh Alzaid,, Kzalek

I just tried to locate Kzalek, but it seems to be down at present (it's in Beta, and likely to be suffering server strain). I'll update if I find more.

Internet jihad - research

Mark Dubowitz and Larry Footer, National Post, 'Full Comment', "The code is mightier than the sword" "The Long War against radical Islam is a war of ideas as much as a war of arms. Yet, for too long, the incitement and violent propaganda from Internet platforms operated by violent Islamist extremists have gone unnoticed and unanswered.

"Today, such neglect is not an option. As we have been warned by Harry Wingo — a former Navy SEAL who now serves as Google’s Washington, D.C. policy counsel — “the code is mightier than the sword.”

Some themes familiar to regular readers of this blog. For more info on the article's origins, see Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. This would appear to be part of a series.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

IIU attack, Pakistan Shutters Educational Institutions After Blasts at International Islamic University, 21 Oct 09 "News agencies also report, while Islamic extremists have bombed many foreign and Pakistani institutions in recent years, yesterday's attack was the first at a major university amid the jihadists' battle with the state. The sprawling government-run university has 18,000 students, 1,500 of them foreign."

Guardian, Pakistan suicide attack closes schools and universities, 21 Oct 09

Selangor, JAIS Arrests Relative Of Convicted Malay Prophet, 21 Oct 09, "The Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (JAIS) on Wednesday arrested a close relative of the convicted so-called "Malay Prophet" to help in the investigation into dissemination over the Internet and through SMS of the teachings of a deviant Islamic sect led by the "prophet"."

Monday, October 19, 2009

Twitter Palestine

Sara Elghobashy, Elan Magazine, Palestinian Takes Twitter to the Street - Literally, 15 Oct 09, "When Batheos Vloesman and his colleagues began selling street names to raise money for a children’s center in the West Bank, I bet they never anticipated that one of those streets would be named after a Twitter account. For $140, Arjan El Fassed, a Dutch-Palestinian, was able to name a street “@arjanelfassed tweetstreet.” Now his account will possibly be glorified until the end of time."

Twitter Top 10

Farrah Hamid, Elan Magazine, The 10 Best Twitter Accounts Muslims Should Follow, 19 Oct 09 [Tip: Huffington Post] "Check out our list (the first of it’s kind, as far as we can tweet) of the 10 Best Twitter Accounts that Muslims should follow. Our list includes the best of the best - from royals to athletes, to maybe even your Mom."

AK47 prize

Fox News, Al Shabaab Awards AK-47 to Winner of Koran Reciting Competition, 19 Oct 09 "The winner of a Koran recital contest and general knowledge competition organized by Islamist militant group al Shabaab in Somalia was rewarded with an AK-47, two hand grenades, an anti-tank mine, and a computer."


alarabiya, Somalia's Shabaab destroy mosque & Sufi grave, 19 Oct 09 "Al-Shabaab, which Washington says is al-Qaeda's proxy in the failed Horn of Africa state, has targeted Sufi holy sites and religious leaders in the past, saying their practices go against the insurgents' strict interpretation of Islamic law."


Middle East Online, Ben Ali campaign goes cyberspace, 19 Oct 09

"The campaign committee of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has launched three websites on the Internet to be distinct spaces for the different activities of the campaign at home and abroad.

"The sites offer room for visitors to know what has been achieved in Tunisia since the Changement that brought Ben Ali to power in 1987, in terms of gains and achievements under his leadership.

"The official website of the election campaign of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali is:


Middle East Online, Abu Dhabi invests in music video site VEVO, 19 Oct 09

"ADMC chairman says deal is part of integrated approach to expanding firm’s global digital presence, brand portfolio."

Hamas on the beach

Rory McCarthy, Guardian, Hamas patrols beaches in Gaza to enforce conservative dress code, 18 Oct 09 "This education campaign is called fadeela or virtue, and in part consists of posters distributed across the city. Some advise young people against smoking or taking drugs. Others warn against internet pornography or satellite television: "Be careful. Watching dirty channels corrupts the family and the coming generation." That particular poster lists recommended channels: all are religious and Islamic."


The Sun, Koran boy's skin mystery, 19 Oct 09

"A baby boy has left doctors baffled after passages from the Koran were found on his skin.

"The parents of nine-month-old Ali Yakubov were stunned when the word Allah appeared on his chin soon after his birth.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hajj hotel

Riazat Butt, Guardian, Mecca super-hotel to offer spa, butler and a chocolate room, 15 Oct 09 "Raffles, which gave thirsty wanderers the Singapore Sling, is opening a luxury hotel in Mecca offering pilgrims a coffee sommelier, a chocolate room where chefs will prepare bespoke pralines and truffles, and a 24-hour butler service.

"Undeterred by restrictions on beautifying oneself during the Hajj, the hotel will also have segregated gyms, beauty parlours, grooming salons and a spa."

Non-tech, but interesting story. There's an artist's impression of the new hotel. Not sure if it is subject to planning permission (the hotel seems to overshadow the precincts of Mecca), nor is it clear how its luxurious facilities are justified on other religious grounds.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Telegraph, 'Muslims want sharia law in Britain' claim "Radical Muslim group Islam4UK has launched a campaign to impose sharia law on Britain, starting with a rally in London, according to a report.

"Members of the organisation have Muslims from all over Britain to meet in the capital on October 31 for a procession to demand the full implementation of sharia law.

"The demonstration will start at the House of Commons and will then converge on Trafalgar Square."

Also in The Daily Express, Now Muslims demand full sharia law, 15 Oct 09

Islam4UK's website is currently experiencing 'difficulties' (maybe overloaded by Express readers), Hard Questions, Tough Answers with Yossi Alpher - October 12, 2009 "Yossi Alpher is an independent security analyst, co-founder and co-editor of the Israeli-Palestinian internet dialogue and Middle East roundtable He is the former director of the Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies at Tel Aviv University, and a former senior official with the Mossad, Israel's national intelligence agency. His views do not necessarily reflect those of Americans for Peace Now or Peace Now."

Internet rumours in Iran

Damian Thompson, Telegraph, Internet rumour: Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, 'is dead', 15 Oct 09

"Is Ayatollah Khamenei of Iran dead? This is the story being put out this morning by Realite EU, a news service “supported by individuals concerned with the growing threat of Iran and extremism in Europe and the Middle East”. It is unconfirmed and turns out to be based on questionable sources."

One of these is Antimullah

"The lonely, dangerous life of Gaza wine-lovers"

AFP, The lonely, dangerous life of Gaza wine-lovers, 14 Oct 09

""I started making my own wine after Hamas took power," says the 40-something civil servant who, like all the other Gaza bootleggers interviewed by AFP, declined to give their real names for fear of being arrested.

""I asked friends how to do it and I did some research on the Internet," he says."

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Salma al-Oudah statement: Standing United Against Terrorism & Al-Qaeda, 'Standing United Against Terrorism & Al-Qaeda' – Salman al-Oudah (with Yasir Qadhi, Yaser Birjas, Tawfique Chowdhury), 12 Oct 09 which originated on the Islam Today website "I have persistently called upon our sincere scholars and preachers – and continue to call upon them – to describe things by their proper names, and to disassociate the word "jihād" (a word rich in meaning which is found in our sacred texts) form the activities of those killing organizations which murder innocent people and undermine security in societies around the world – regardless of whether those societies are Muslim or non-Muslim – since carrying out atrocities and targeting civilians is categorically forbidden in Islam."

Milan bombing attempt: web responses

AKI, Italy: Jihadist websites exalt Milan barracks attack, 13 Oct 09

"Extremist websites have lauded Libyan immigrant Mohammed Game's botched bombing of a military barracks in northern Italy - the country's first attempted suicide attack. Police have arrested two people suspected of helping Game in Monday's attack, in which he lost a hand, his eyesight and suffered injuries to his face. An Italian soldier was slightly injured in the attack."

Egypt and Hamas

Egyptian Chronicles, Innocent People Do Not Do Such Thing !!, 13 Oct 09

"The Egyptian authorities have cut the broadcast of Al-Aqsa Channel which follows Hamas on Nile Sat today. The timing of the cut was very interesting , it was during the announcement of Sami Abu-Zahery, Hamas’ spokesperson that his brother “Youssef” died because of his torture during his detention in Borg Al-Arab prison in Egypt!!"

Spotted by Brian Whitaker, Hamas man dies in custody, 14 Oct 09

“Jihadi Media Elite”

Scott Sanford,, Information War in Gaza, 13 Oct 09

"The “Department of Documents and Research” from the “Jihadi Media Elite,” a jihadi media production entity, has recently announced its “Series for God and then for History” publications. These productions are intended to “document the important events” in the jihadi world “that are considered historical turning points in the Ummah’s path and in the circle of conflict between truth and falsehood.”"

Also see the related post: Scott Sanford,, Media Incursion of Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi, 10 Oct 09

"The Global Islamic Media Front, in cooperation with the Faloja Forums, has announced, “The Media Incursion of the Imam and Martyr Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi.” It has five goals:

"1. Expose the truth about Hamas’s “crime” and “lies,” i.e. the recent attack on Jund Ansar Allah (JAA).

"2. Expose the truth about Hamas today and how it has “strayed” from its foundational roots.

"3. Let Muslims know that the money they give Hamas equates to “bullets in Muslims’ chests.”

"4. “Support the monotheistic mujahidin, who fight for the word of God and for the rule of God’s absent law.”

"5. “Distribute the legacy of the Imam Shaykh Abu al-Nur al-Maqdisi.”"


Sheema Khan, Extremism: Canadian Muslims must keep their eyes on the ball, 13 Oct 09 "Widespread skepticism of the terrorist threat is far too common among Muslims. Community leaders need to take this threat seriously and warn the faithful of its danger."

"Middle East Bloggers: The Street Leads Online"

Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ, Middle East Bloggers: The Street Leads Online "In the Middle East and North Africa, where political change occurs slowly, blogging has becomes a serious medium for social and political commentary as well as a target of government suppression."

Although I haven't read this in detail, it looks very useful. There's also an MP3 audio report, and some related comments from bloggers. BTW there's a chapter on blogging in iMuslims., New York-based Muslim web site calls on God to ‘kill Jews’, 13 Oct 09, "A New York bicycle cabbie has used his web site to post a prayer that calls on God to murder all Jews and exhorts Muslims to “throw liquid drain cleaner in their faces.”

"Yousef al-Khattab, who runs and pedals a pedicab in New York City, insists the words he has posted on his web site are a prayer, and not a threat - and that his hatred is protected by the First Amendment, reports Fox News."


AP, Albanian Muslim charged with inciting terrorism, 13 Oct 09, "Authorities say they have charged an Albanian Muslim man for inciting terror acts through postings on a local Web site.

"The Prosecutor-General's office says 31-year-old Artan Kristo was arrested Monday in the port city of Durres, 20 miles (33 kilometers) west of Tirana, following a two-month investigation."

Annoucement: New Journal - International Journal for Arab Studies

"International Journal for Arab Studies *

"Launching date : 21 October 2009, 1:00pm Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies University of Exeter, UK

"The International Journal for Arab Studies is an electronic journal introduced by the Society of Arab & Islamic Studies at the University of Exeter (UK). We strive to publish outstanding and unique research produced by young academics from around the world. Our eJournal will publish original, previously unpublished, work in both Arabic and English. Through our website we hope to expand our readership and access to the thousands of researchers with interest in the Arab World."

More details on their website. Interesting to learn of a new journal in these cash-strapped times. Looks like a niche waiting to be filled, however, especially as there is the eJournal element to it.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Istiqlal Media

Adam Rawnsley,, Taliban Steps Boldly in 2007, Invades YouTube, 13 Oct 09 discusses Istiqlal Media:

"The Taliban’s experiment with an official YouTube channel, however, might not be as effective at keeping the group’s propaganda online. While controversies have erupted over YouTube’s efforts to remove terrorist videos before, many such videos are frequently taken down. An official Taliban channel could be a lightning rod, making it easier to identify, report and remove the outfit’s videos and potentially placing Afghanistan’s militant Mullahs in another bandwidth crunch sooner than they think."

Monday, October 12, 2009


Currently receiving a great deal of online attention:, Fake "hymen" sparks outrage in Egypt, 11 Oct 09

"A fatwa sanctioning the harshest of punishments on those who import the hymen was issued by Dr. Abdel-Moati Bayoumi, a member of the Center for Islamic Research (CIR), which has been slammed as unnecessary.

"“People who bring the artificial hymen into the country should be severely penalized,” Bayoumi, who is also a former Deputy Chairman of the Religious Affairs Committee in parliament, stated in his fatwa."

"The Laidback Show", Pakistani bloggers ‘jihad’ on mainstream media!, 12 Oct 09

"In a first, two of Pakistan’s leading bloggers have challenged the supremacy of mainstream media’s talk shows and programming by launching an online audio-visual show.

"Karachi-based bloggers Awab Avli and Faisal Kapadia, who blog at and respectively, have released the third episode of "The Laidback Show". The promos carry a picture of Al Qaida chief Osama bin Laden tagged "Jihad on da suits starts now!""

And here it is:

Haven't watched this all the way through yet, but it is certainly a 'relaxed' presentation style ...


BBC News, UAE jails man for 'terror links', 12 Oct 09

"UAE public prosecutors said that, while living in the US, he donated $2,000 to an unnamed Islamic charity. This is alleged to have financed the firing of two rockets on Israel.

"He was also reportedly alleged to have copied and reposted an item from an Islamist website, but his lawyer argued this did not constitute in crime in the UAE."

Taqwacore + The Kominas, 'Punk Islam' creates a buzz at Montreal fest: Omar Majeed's label-defying feature documentary "It's their inner punk that grabs Muslim misfits, judging by Omar Majeed's label-defying feature documentary "Taqwacore: The Birth of Punk Islam," the buzz film at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montreal." has more information, including premiere details. I haven't seen this yet ...


Hamid Tehrani, Global Voices Online, Iran: Interview with Khyaboon, an underground Internet journal, 7 Oct 09

"Khyaboon, (meaning 'street') is one of underground internet journals that emerged in Iran after the June presidential election and subsequent systematic repression of protesters."

Friday, October 09, 2009


BBC News, 'Al-Qaeda-link' Cern worker held, 9 Oct 09

"The 32-year-old man of Algerian descent was one of two brothers detained in the south-east town of Vienne on Thursday.

"Police believe they had been in contact over the internet with people linked to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and had been planning attacks in France."

Thursday, October 08, 2009

AmmanCIty100, Arabic-English website charts history of Amman for 100 year celebration

"A new bi-lingual website is making an ambitious claim to help increase understanding of Jordanian history."

Details: AmmanCIty100

Censorship issues

Julaybib, Cultural Anarchlyst, Censorship: pointless, futile and counterproductive, 8 Oct 09

"I was recently sent an invitation to join a group on Facebook, called The True Furqan – Fake so called Quran. The True Furqan is “…is a book written by two Christian Arabs, calling themselves Al Saffee and Al Mahdee, and translated by Dr Anis Shorrosh who calls it ‘a tool to evangelize Muslims’. It consists of about 77 chapters. The book seems to be an amalgam of different versions of Bible and the Holy Quran. Most of the Arabic text has been copied from the Holy Quran by modifying many of its verses.” This FB group is for Muslims and others opposed to The True Furqan."

Interesting opinions on this issue, in relation to knee-jerk reactions or calls for censorship. "The True Furqan" [sic] reminds me of the "SuraLikeIt" debate, which I discussed way back in Virtually Islamic.

American Muslims, Detroit and the web

Paul Egan, The Detroit News, FBI works to cut tension with Arab community, 8 Oct 09

"After the FBI's Andrew Arena gave a recent talk in Dearborn, three teenagers approached him and asked if it was illegal for them to listen to songs that tout Hezbollah, a designated terrorist organization.

""I said, 'No, it's the United States, you can listen to whatever you want,'" Arena, the special agent in charge of the FBI in Detroit, recalled telling them.

""Can we go on pro-Hezbollah Web sites?" one of the teenagers asked.

""Yes, this is America," Arena answered.

""However, "the minute you push the button to send money to Hezbollah ... you've crossed the line.""

'American Qur'an'

AP, 'American Qur'an' blends US life, Quranic verses, 7 Oct 09 "In Birk's version, each chapter of the Quran has been carefully copied in English in a calligraphy modeled on the urban graffiti of America's inner cities. The stark black text is bordered by scenes from American life both mundane and extraordinary: gangsters flashing signs, Hurricane Katrina's devastation, migrants working the fields, a crowded airport lounge and a raging California wildfire among them."

This has raised a number of potentially controversial issues relating to text and depiction of the Qur'an.

"Even when completed, Birk’s “American Qur’an” is not to be considered a “Holy Qur’an” in that it does not contain the original text in Arabic. Tradition holds that since the Qur’an was revealed to Muhammad in Arabic, that only the Arabic text – or a translation that also contains the original Arabic verses – may truly be considered as the “Holy Qur’an”. Translations into any other language are not “true” Qur’ans, but merely approximations of God’s revelations." Source:

For further information, and examples of the illustrations (which can be viewed online), see, Sandow Birk, 'American Qur'an'

'Phishing' in Egypt

US-Egypt smash cyber 'phishing' ring "Investigators in the United States and Egypt have smashed a computer "phishing" identity theft scam, officials said Wednesday.

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation said 33 people were arrested across the United States early Wednesday while authorities in Egypt charged 47 more people linked to the scam.""

Pew Report

BBC News, One in four is Muslim, study says, 8 Oct 09 "A report from an American think-tank has estimated 1.57 billion Muslims populate the world - with 60% in Asia."

Details:, Mapping the Global Muslim Population, A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Muslim Population [executive summary] "A comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries finds that there are 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages living in the world today, representing 23% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion.

"While Muslims are found on all five inhabited continents, more than 60% of the global Muslim population is in Asia and about 20% is in the Middle East and North Africa. However, the Middle East-North Africa region has the highest percentage of Muslim-majority countries. Indeed, more than half of the 20 countries and territories1 in that region have populations that are approximately 95% Muslim or greater."

The weighted map is useful in showing population distribution.

Also see the full report [pdf], which weighs in at 10MB

The website itself has interactive elements.

I'd be interested in mashing up this data with information about internet access/broadband, etc.

China, Uighurs and al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda Declares Holy War on China Over Oppression of Uighurs, 8 Oct 09 "A leading al-Qaeda theologian and possible successor to Osama bin Laden called for a holy war against China, which he accused of “Satanic” oppression of Muslims in the westernmost province of Xinjiang.

"“The state of atheism is heading to its fall,” Abu Yahya al-Libi said in a video posted on an unspecified Islamic Web site, Reuters reported yesterday. China has carried out massacres of Muslim ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang and pursued policies aimed at “their demise and destruction” while “looting their wealth and undermining their culture and religion,” Reuters citing him saying."

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

'Commercial break'

The whole issue of how websites promote themselves is an intriguing one, especially in relation to elements of cyber Islamic environments. For some time now (including in iMuslims, I've been writing about the phenomena of online matrimonial agencies, so thought I would drop this press release into the blog. It links to three humorous (depending on your definition) tv ads from (also on YouTube), and they've been using an image from their campaign for online advertising elsewhere. They obviously had fun with the make-up. See:, TV Adverts Launched

Other products are available. I'd be interested in seeing examples of humorous adverts of this nature elsewhere.

“A Bridge to Islam.”, New York Website Development Company Helps Build Bridge to Islam, 7 Oct 09

"Peter Crisafi, Vice President of dzine it, inc. (, a leading Manhattan website development firm that specializes in web services for clients throughout the world, has announced that the company recently completed a new educational website titled, “A Bridge to Islam.” ( )"

OS wiki-style chapters on Islam, which could be a useful introductory resource (dpending on who is doing the editing).

German 'jihadists', German raids target 'violent Islamic extremists', 7 Oct 09 "German police on Wednesday conducted a "city-wide search" in Berlin, targeting "potentially violent Islamic extremists," a police spokeswoman told CNN.

"While there is no "concrete" evidence of any attack plot, the raid is targeting people suspected of being involved in "jihadi training," according to the spokeswoman"

More to follow on this.

Sahara Net

Vineetha Menon,, Sahara Net to push hosting services at GITEX, 6 Oct 09, "Sahara Net, a leading provider of internet services in Saudi Arabia, is looking forward to showcasing their range of solutions at the upcoming GITEX Technology Week."

Sahara Net

Yahoo! and Maktoob

Gareth Van Zyl,, Yahoo! goes East: Yahoo! intent on making in-roads in the East and Middle East, 6 Oct 09

"Apart from Maktoob, Yahoo! also seems to be trying to tackle the mobile space with news on ArabCrunch (a Middle East blog on technology) reporting that Yahoo! Maktoob have developed an app for the iPhone that acts as a translator from English into Arabic."

Gulf broadband report, Broadband service in the Gulf inadequate says report, 2 Oct 09

"Gulf countries do not have a high enough quality of broadband service to be able to meet the demands of today's applications, according to a new study.

"The study, which was carried out by Oxford University's Saïd Business School and the University of Oviedo, found that quality of service was not adequate to manage modern applications for business and consumers alike, and that Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are a long way from being able to handle applications developed in the next three to five years."

The link in the article to the report is broken - watch this space, I've requested more info on this.

Also see:

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Turkish review: iMuslimsünyalı Yazılar, Dünyalı Yazılar Cumhuriyet Pazar Dergi, Dijital Çağda Ulema Gücü, 13 Sep 09 Turkish review of iMuslims.

Jordan, technology and comedy

A couple of interesting tech related stories relating to Jordan:

Tom Gara, The National, Animated success for Jordan, 5 Oct 09 "A Jordanian animation studio has received a multimillion-dollar investment from a regional private equity fund in another success for the country’s community of technology entrepreneurs."

Tom Gara, The National, Arabic humour scores a hit, 26 Sep 09 "A Jordanian website that lets users view and share humorous Arabic-language content is one of the winners of a contest to find the most promising internet startups in Europe and the Middle East." This refers to Talasim:

Details: Talasim. This blog needs more (intentional) comedy, so I may return in due course to Talasim when I have time.

"Love Jihad: luring girls online and forcing them to convert to Islam", Love Jihad: luring girls online and forcing them to convert to Islam, 6 Oct 09 "The High Court of Kerala asks the state police and the Interior Minister in New Delhi to investigate the forced conversion campaign dubbed "Love Jihad" and "Romeo Jihad." Young people attracted by promises of marriage end up in the hands of Islamic organizations. It is feared that there are over 4 thousand cases. For the boys who act as bait there is a reward of 100 thousand rupees ...

" ... The main instrument used for grooming is the Internet. The profile of young people involved is well defined: Hindu or Christian, a student in college or their first job, coming from wealthy families. The primers were precise: two weeks to verify the feasibility of converting the girl, six months for submission to real brainwashing. During their mission the young men are given cell phones, bikes and clothing needed to lure young women; if the conversion occurred 100 thousand rupees, about 1,400 Euros, as financial aid to start a business of their own."

Sensationalistic story - expect to see this in the tabloids.

Hosam Maher Husein Smadi case, Accused Dallas terrorist made video for bin Laden, government says, "The Jordanian teenager accused of trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper created a seven-minute video that he believed would be given to 9-11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, an FBI special agent testified during a probable cause hearing Monday."

Report: ICT in Sub-Saharan Africa

Open Net Initiative, Internet filtering in Sub-Saharan Africa "Many sub-Saharan African governments view the Internet as a key tool for development and are developing ICT policies accordingly, though the region still lags behind the rest of the world in both number and percentage of Internet users. Sub-Saharan Africa has a history of media abuses and restrictions on freedom of the press, and the region would seem a likely setting for equally restrictive Internet policies. However, ONI testing found evidence of a technical filtering regime in only one country, Ethiopia. As the Internet continues to develop in sub-Saharan Africa, so too will laws regulating its use. To what extent these laws will encourage education, commerce and online governance or restrict free expression largely remains to be seen."

The report clearly has significant implications in its discussions on a variety of Muslim contexts, although I haven't read it yet.

Download available: Open Net Initiative, Sub-Saharan Africa [pdf]

New channel for broadcasting Qur'an planned

Arab News, New Qur’an channel planned, 5 Oct 09 "A satellite channel focusing on broadcasting recitations of the Holy Qur’an will be launched next year, the Arabic daily Al-Watan reported, quoting president of Makkah Al-Mukarramah Open University Ali ibn Hamza Al-Amari. “The recitations of the current Qur’anic channels are not satisfactory... This is why the new channel is being launched,” he said."

It doesn't discuss why current output is not satisfactory..., New launched to help Poor Muslims "Every year millions of Muslims are falling in to the poverty trap, despite the wealthy people of the world consuming excessive amounts of food, energy and natural resources of the world.

" allows poor Muslims from around the world as well as other poor communities to list and display their products and services for sale, for free. Buyers from the local area as well as worldwide are encouraged to trade with the poor, so they can earn an income and get out of poverty with dignity and pride. Aid and Charity to date have largely failed poor Muslims around the world."

"“In the last few decades the situation of the poor Muslims worldwide has become very desperate. is our effort to address this situation. In a world of plenty and excess consumption by the wealthy, abject poverty is a “crime against humanity”, states Shafique Azam who is the idea’s man behind He is the Founder of which was the first business to business web portal launched for the Middle East region in 1999. He is UK educated and former Middle East Regional Manager for British Telecom."


Naomi Wolf op-ed

Naomi Wolf, Khaleej Times, What Muslim Women Wan, 5 Oct 09 "When caricature takes the place of dialogue, everyone suffers — especially when it comes to understanding issues affecting women, who struggle worldwide against being silenced. Some right-wing American bloggers recently twisted an article that I wrote in a way that did just that." Opinion piece.


AFP/Arab News, Tantawi orders Al-Azhar girl to remove face veil, 5 Oct 09 widely reported online, hence inclusion here. "Egypt’s leading scholar ordered a student to remove her face veil while was he was visiting an academy linked to the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, an Egyptian newspaper reported on Monday."

Monday, October 05, 2009

'Gender reassignment'

Crossroads Arabia, Gender Reassignment Surgeries up in Saudi Arabia "‘Gender correction’, or as it is more usually known in the West, ‘gender reassignment’ surgery is taking place at a rapid pace in Saudi Arabia. The incidence of surgery is five times higher than its average over the past 25 years, according to a report from the Arabic daily Okaz, rewritten in Saudi Gazette."


Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center (Israel), The struggle between Hamas and the jihadi-Salafist networks in the Gaza Strip affiliated with the global jihad. 4 October 2009 Perspectives on net use

Swat Facebook video

Telegraph, Pakistan soldiers 'beat' civilians in Facebook video, 5 Oct 09 "The recording has emerged as concern rises over alleged extra-judicial killing of Taliban detainees in the country's Swat valley.

"The apparent executions and the film, posted on internet websites including YouTube and Facebook, could undermine the Pakistani army's operation in north western Swat to drive out the Taliban who had annexed the area – an offensive which has won praise from around the world."

Declan Walsh, Guardian, Video shows Pakistani soldiers beating Taliban suspects, 2 Oct 09

The latter article includes a link to heavily edited version of the 10 minute clip, somewhat incongruously edited by the Guardian onto a commercial for vodka ...

"The country's powerful army has faced frequent accusations of human rights abuses. Ali Dayan Hasan of Human Rights Watch said it was difficult to verify the authenticity of the video but such abuses were common whenever soldiers were involved in anti-terrorism operations. "It is disgustingly predictable," he said."

Canada: GIMF

National Post, Terror plotter undone by online activities, 2 Oct 09 "Said Namouh thought his apartment in Trois-Rivieres was an ideal location to plot jihad, far from the prying eyes of anti-terrorism investigators. But the Internet that allowed him to spread hatred from the boondocks also proved his undoing, and yesterday -- largely on the strength of his online activity -- the 36-year-old Moroccan was convicted of four terrorism charges

" ... Hundreds of pages of transcribed conversations, retrieved from password-protected web sites and Namouh's computer, proved that he was an active member of the Global Islamic Media Front, a propaganda arm for al-Qaeda and smaller terrorist cells in Gaza and Somalia."

'Terrorism message is viral on Web', Terrorism message is viral on Web, 4 Oct 09 "Thousands of Web sites, most in Arabic but some in English, make it possible for Web surfers to soak up the tenets of violent Islamic terrorism. They can watch videos of jihadi rappers, meet like-minded radicals in chat rooms and, in one notorious case, even launch a rocket attack on U.S. troops in Iraq from anywhere in the world with the click of a mouse." Commentary.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Noordin Muhammed Top

New Straits Times/, Letters from bombers smuggled to Noordin, 1 Oct 09

"Indonesian police have discovered letters sent by executed Bali bombers at the Central Java hideout of slain terrorist Noordin Mohammad Top. The bombers had urged him to continue with his jihad to establish Islamic rule in the country.

"In 2005, police found that Imam Samudra was recruiting people through the Internet with a laptop which was smuggled into his prison cell in Kerobokan, Bali."

Zakir Naik

Hussain Zaidim Time, The Muslim Televangelist Linked to Zazi, 1 Oct 09

"You can see and hear him [Zakir Naik] in one of the countless alternate universes available on YouTube — listen to him cite chapter and verse of Koran and hadith with the greatest of ease, explicating their meaning to those who would live their lives right by God, conjuring up the world as it should be, explaining everything from the difficult truths of Islam to how long a beard a good Muslim should grow (grab the hair by a fist, and snip off all that protrudes below; and trim your mustache!). Through video and via his PEACE TV channel, which is beamed in 60 countries out of Mumbai and is said to have 50 million viewers, the Indian Muslim televangelist is a very real presence in the spiritual lives of millions of Muslims all over the world — including, it appears, Nazibullah Zazi, who was indicted last week for conspiracy to detonate weapons of mass destruction in New York City around the time of the eighth anniversary of al-Qaeda's Sept. 11 attack on the U.S."

Also see Time, An Enemy Within: The Making of Najibullah Zazi, 1 Oct 09