Monday, November 30, 2009

apps and maps: Gowalla - KSA

Khaled A., Khaled Rambles, Add points of interest to the Saudi map using Gowalla, 28 Nov 09 "So I highly recommend using Gowalla to add points of interests in the Saudi map. It’s available as an iPhone app and you can read more about it at TechCrunch. A group of iPhone users in Saudi Arabia are already using Gowalla and we are slowly populating it with actual data!"


Jarret Brachman, “Jihobbyism” Goes Viral: NY Times Blog and Dallas Morning News, 25 Nov 09

al-Latefa Channel

Lara Jakes, AP, Mysterious 'Saddam Channel' hits Iraq TV, 29 Nov 09 "No one seems to know who is bankrolling the so-called Saddam Channel, although the Iraqi government suspects it's Baathists whose political party Saddam once led. The Associated Press tracked down a man in Damascus, Syria named Mohammed Jarboua, who claimed to be its chairman."

Fort Hood Updates

Op-ed: The New American, Radical Imam's Website Encouraged the Killing of American Soldiers, 30 Nov 09 "The sum of al-Awlaki’s internet evangelism and his unquestionable dedication to the cause of radical Islam and the deadly methods employed to promote it is a frightening figure that should have set off a deafening din of alarm bells throughout the American intelligence community that had already classified al-Awlaki as “an example of al-Qaeda’s reach” into America. Those bells never sounded, however, or if they did, they were never heeded by those whose timely response perhaps could have prevented the murders committed by al-Awlaki acolyte, Major Nidal Hasan, on November 5.'

Switzerland: Minaret ban

ansamed, Switzerland: Minaret ban, anger and surprise on Islamic blogs, 30 Nov 09 "The call to prayer from minarets rung out yesterday across the entire Islamic world, involved in the last hours of the Feast of Sacrifice (Eid Al-Adha) and the height of the pilgrimage to the holy sites of Mecca, while surprise and in some cases anger spread among Muslim TV commentators and internet users when pan-Arab media announced to the Islamic world the news that the Swiss referendum for a ban on minarets had received support from almost 60% of voters."

Facebook KSA

Telegraph, Saudis protest on Facebook over government handling of floods, 29 Nov 09

"Thousands of people have begun an internet-based protest movement in Saudi Arabia after the deaths of more than 100 people in flooding."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Eid al-Adha pictures

BBC News, In pictures: Eid al-Adha, 27 Nov 09

Eid al-Adha

Oralandar Brand-Williams, The Detroit News, Best Buy creates Internet buzz with Black Friday ad marking Muslim holiday, 24 Nov 09 "Electronics retailer Best Buy's Black Friday ads acknowledging the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha are stirring controversy on some Internet blogs today.

"The ads, promoting the retail giant's holiday sales, contain a greeting for the Muslim holiday that reads "Happy Eid al-Adha." The ad is drawing criticism on the Internet. The Muslim holiday will be observed Friday and marks the end of the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca."

See comment from Hesham Hassaballa: Best Buy brouhaha highlighted ignorance, 26 Nov 09 "I could not believe my eyes when I saw it: Best Buy had printed in its weekly ad "Happy Eid Al Adha." My heart was so very warmed, and it made me so very happy that Best Buy acknowledged the upcoming Muslim holiday. (And, it made me determined to make my next purchase there...) Of course, there were scattered angry online protests, with one person commenting that Eid Al Adha is a "Muslim goat throat slitting festivity." This statement exposes the enormous ignorance about this major Muslim holiday."

Hajj > Eid al-Adha

Very interesting article: Lisa Siregar and Tasa Nugraza Barley, Jakarta Globe, Indonesian Muslims Surf Internet for a Sacrifice, 25 Nov 09

"Muslims no longer have to purchase sacrificial goats and cattle for Idul Adha in person, but can arrange for them to be delivered to their home or slaughtered in their name via the Internet ..."

" ... Three sociologists from the University of Indonesia declined to comment about the practice of arranging sacrifices online, because it is considered a sensitive issue. However, Masdar F Mas’udi, the deputy chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, said buying sacrificial livestock on the Internet should not be controversial.

"“Life is changing. If it is possible to buy sacrifices indirectly with credible information, it is not a problem,” he said."

The article gives links to Indonesian websites offering this service.

It's a practice that has been ongoing online for several years, which I've looked at in my research. See and for other examples (numerous products are available, listing does not imply recommendation, etc.)

'Virtual Hajj'

France24, 'Virtual Haj' allows Internet users to make 'pilgrimage', 25 Nov 09 "This year’s Haj commenced on Wednesday, attracting 2.5 million worshippers to the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca. For those who can’t make the trip, however, the “Virtual Haj” – found on the Islam Online site - allows Internet users a way to pay virtual homage to the fifth pillar of Islam."

Details at Hajj Blog, Islam Online, perform Hajj on Second Life, 9 Nov 09

If you're not on SL, then take a look at this (made in '08) "This is for an ethnography class for the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. This is a synopsis of's virtual Hajj on Second Life." While the clip is useful, please be advised that this has a music soundtrack attached, so you may want to hit 'mute' on your computer!. It may be more atmospheric...:

Mullah Omar message

Times Online, Taleban leader Mullah Omar gets on message with speech aimed at West, 26 Nov 09 "The message is a fascinating demonstration of how an austere and vindictive group of extremists has adopted the PR techniques of its Western foes.

"Many experts say the tactics show the influence of al-Qaeda in the use of technology, and an awareness that the militants must fight their own hearts and minds campaign."

The statement is widely available online.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ansar al-Mujahideen on Fort Hood

Views from the Occident (Twitter Specials), Ansar al-Mujahideen English Forums' Statement on Fort Hood Attack, 24 Nov 09

Iraqigov on YouTube

"The Iraq government has followed in the footsteps of the Queen and the Pope and set up its own YouTube channel."BBC News, Iraq government launches its own channel on YouTube, 24 Nov 09

And here it is: YouTube - Iraqigov's Channel

Iraq museum online

Guardian, Google puts Iraq museum collection online, 24 Nov 09

"CEO Eric Schmidt announced that the search engine will feature 14,000 pictures of the museum's artefacts."

Ongoing trial

Derby Telegraph, Muslim said he felt deaths of US soldiers were a 'gift', 25 Nov 09 "A DERBY Muslim arrested for terrorism offences told people he met online that "when American soldiers die it is like the whole world has given me a gift" ...

" ... As well as the videos, police searching Lusha's Moore Street home found many documents downloaded from the internet, including a Hezbollah military instruction manual, Middle Eastern terrorist bomb design, improvised radio detonation techniques and a Mujahideen explosives handbook."

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'Palestine Street' on al-Jazeera

Tip: Sabbah Report. The programme escaped my attention first time around, so this is a useful pointer.

Harakat al-Shabab

Views from the Occident, Bridging the Gap: Somalia's Harakat al-Shabab Cleverly publicizes its public sector social service work, 22 Nov 09 "The Somali insurgent-jihadi group Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahideen ["Movement of the Warrior-Youth"] is publicizing its public sector social service work, such as distributing materials and monetary aid to those in need and building bridges, literally."


Herve Bar, Ex-Somali fighters tell why they abandoned jihad, 24 Nov 09 "The gunfire outside does not disturb them as they speak, explaining what led them to leave behind their lives as Islamist fighters and defect to the side of Somalia's weak transitional government." There is a net link in this interesting story.

al-Oudah on Fort Hood, Danger Room, Bin Laden’s Spiritual Mentor Condemns Ft. Hood Attacks, 16 Nov 09

"Salman Al-Awdah, a Saudi cleric who played an influential role in Bin Laden’s early radicalism, made the statement during an appearance on his “Life is a Word” show on MBC, a Saudi-owned news and entertainment satellite TV channel, later posting his remarks on his website, Islam Today."

Fort Hood Updates

MEMRI, Popular Jihadist Forum: We Hope Other Muslims in the U.S. Army Will Take Nidal Hasan as a Role Model, Nov 24, 2009 Analysis "The Ansar Al-Mujahideen jihadist forum issued a communiqué on November 24, 2009 in praise of Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan. The communiqué aimed in particular to defend Hasan's actions against the condemnations that have been voiced by Muslim associations in the U.S."


Scotsman, Photoblog: Pilgrims look down on the lights of Mecca, 24 Nov 09

Adel Zaanoun, AFP, Muslim pilgrims converge in Saudi city for hajj, 24 Nov 09 "An estimated 2.5 million Muslims have converged on Mecca for the annual hajj pilgrimage, as workers toil round the clock to complete construction projects designed to avoid deadly stampedes."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Research on the internet in Palestine

Oded Yaron, Ha'aretz, Palestinian internet users stuck between Fatah, Hamas and Israel
23 Nov 09
"Israel has a hand in these problem, Ben-David argues. Israel prevents equipment meant for bettering the internet industry from entering the Palestinian Authority - equipment such as servers and routers. Moreover, Israel is delaying giving a permit to Wataniya, a second cell phone and internet provider in the West Bank, which bolsters the existing company PalTel's monopoly. Ben-David says that "according to the Oslo accords, PalTel is required to pass the communication lines outside the West Bank and through Israel."

The report's available for download at Global Information Society Watch 2009 Report. I haven't read this one yet...

Hajj, Muslim faithful descend on Mecca, 23 Nov 09 "Braving the swine flu pandemic and tensions between the Saudi hosts and Shiite Iran, more than 2.5 million Muslim faithful are descending on the holy cities of Mecca and Medina this week for the hajj." Live coverage will be available via Saudi1TV (and elsewhere), streaming across the net.

Syria, Syria’s gays, lesbians fight discrimination, 22 Nov 09 "Online, Syrian homosexuals can find several dating and chatting websites where they can exchange photos and telephone numbers and sometimes fix dates to meet."

aQ English sites

AP, 200 Web sites spread al-Qaida's message in English, 20 Nov 09 [not exactly a headline ...] "Increasing numbers of English-language Web sites are spreading al-Qaida's message to Muslims in the West. They translate writings and sermons once largely out of reach of English readers and often feature charismatic clerics like Anwar al-Awlaki, who exchanged dozens of e-mails with the Army psychiatrist accused of the Fort Hood shootings."


BBC News, Arabic web domain: Your emails, 16 Nov 09

Egypt says it will apply for the first Internet domain written in Arabic. The new domain name will be .masr written in the Arabic alphabet - which translates as .egypt. Here is a selection of emails on the subject from BBC readers in Egypt."

Fort Hood Updates

Armstrong Williams,, Death by Political Correctness, 23 Nov 09, op-ed: "Approximately six months ago, the FBI reviewed internet postings by Hasan, which described suicide bombings as heroic sacrifices in defense of Islam: "If one suicide bomber can kill 100 enemy soldiers because they were caught off guard that would be considered a strategic victory," wrote Hasan. The FBI never opened a full investigation. Do terrorists now have to hand out business cards proclaiming themselves "Terrorists" before the FBI takes action? This thought may have actually occurred to Hasan, who printed up business cards identifying him as "SOA"—a jihadi acronym for "Soldier of Allah." Still, no one did anything."

Iran and the net

AFP, Iran police arrest 12 couples for partner swapping, 23 Nov 09 "Iran's moral police have arrested a dozen couples for engaging in illicit sexual acts, including swapping of partners, the conservative Jomhuri Eslami reported on Monday.

"The report said the couples and another individual were running a website, Iran Multiplication, which was aimed at promoting illicit sexual relations."

.il unblocked in UAE(?)

Opennet Initiative, UAE unblocks access to top Israeli domain ".il", 22 Nov 09 "ONI noticed earlier this month that .il Web sites have been accessible from the UAE, and has since been testing for filtering of tens of .il Web sites from different categories including government, politics, religion, and entertainment. All sites have been found consistently accessible via the country's two ISPs, Etisalat and du."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Napoleon TV going live

I previously blogged on this back on 4 Nov. [see al-Arabiya article here] It's coming to Sky in the UK on 1 Dec.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Oman ROP VoiP raid

Rahima Al Balushi, Times of Oman, 212 held for providing VoiP, 16 Nov 09, "The Royal Oman Police (ROP) raided 121 cyber cafes throughout the country and arrested 212 people for providing illegal Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoiP) service, a senior police officer said here yesterday." tip Neteffect

'The Ideological Hybridization of Jihadi Groups'

Thomas Hegghammer, Institute, The Ideological Hybridization of Jihadi Groups, Nov 18, 2009 "A second possible explanation is that hybridization is the result of changes in the media and communications environment of jihadist groups. The Internet revolution in the 2000s has, of course, greatly facilitated the production and distribution of jihadi propaganda, and this has made it easier for groups to borrow talking points and operational ideas from each other." tip Jarret Brachman

UAE iTunes?

The National, iTunes may be on way to UAE, 19 Nov 09 "The UAE is in talks with Apple, Amazon and Sony to allow residents to download music, books and films."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Islam, Evolution & Creationism on the net

Times Online, Muslim academics and students are turning against Darwin's theory, 17 Nov 09 "Evolution did not contradict Islamic beliefs, Dr Guessoum said, unless a literal reading of the texts were adopted. “Many Muslim scholars, from the golden age of Islam to today, adopted an evolutionary world view,” he said.

"Addressing the conference in Alexandria, organised for the bicentenary of Darwin’s birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, he said that concerns among Muslims about evolution were being fuelled by Christian creationists. People in Muslim countries would find creationist theses on the internet and, not realising that these were on the fringes of scientific debate, assume that creationism had scientific credibility in the West."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nidal Hasan Powerpoint

Washington Post, Hasan on Islam "Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the Army psychiatrist believed to have killed 13 people at Fort Hood, was supposed to discuss a medical topic during a presentation to senior Army doctors in June 2007. Instead, he lectured on Islam, suicide bombers and threats the military could encounter from Muslims conflicted about fighting wars in Muslim countries."

Monday, November 16, 2009


BBC News, Arabic web domain: Your emails, 16 Nov 09

Egypt says it will apply for the first Internet domain written in Arabic. The new domain name will be .masr written in the Arabic alphabet - which translates as .egypt. Here is a selection of emails on the subject from BBC readers in Egypt."

Fatwas from prisons

David Leppard, Times Online, Terrorists smuggle fatwas out of secure prisons, 15 Nov 09 "Some of Britain’s most dangerous Al-Qaeda leaders are promoting jihad from inside high-security prisons by smuggling out propaganda for the internet and finding recruits."

The report is published by the Quilliam Foundation.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Iran and the net

AFP, Iran creates Internet crime unit, 13 Nov 09 "The Iranian police have created a special unit to monitor Internet crime, particularly political offences, a senior police officer was quoted by the ILNA news agency as saying on Friday."

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Nadeem F. Paracha,Dawn, A nation of sleepwalkers, 12 Nov 09 "Recently, we also heard about a hijab-clad female student at the prestigious and ‘liberal’ Lahore University of Management Sciences, who bagged her 15 minutes of fame by capturing images through her mobile phone of students indulging in ‘immoral activities’ on campus. Of course, the same lady’s ‘concern’ and righteousness ends at becoming a self-appointed paparazzi for the reactionaries, whereas it was young women (in hijabs) and men with beards who died so senselessly at the Islamabad Islamic University campus.

"Pathetic, indeed."

Opinion piece on Dawn's blog

Social Networking and the New Workplace

Philip M. Berkowitz, Social Networking and the New Workplace, New York Law Journal, November 12, 2009

"Taking action against an employee because their Facebook page or Twitter posts suggest they have emotional difficulties or mental health problems may itself be a violation of anti-discrimination laws. If a Web site reveals that an employee is a believer in Islamic fundamentalism, this is not by itself information that can justify an employer's adverse action."

CAIR, Muslim Mafia' author ordered to remove documents from Web, 9 Nov 09 "A federal judge has taken the rare step of ordering self-described anti-terrorism investigator Paul David Gaubatz to remove from his Web site some of the 12,000 documents that his son allegedly stole from the Council on American-Islamic Relations."

Arabcrunch, After Getting Funded, ArabCrunch Launches First Online Social Platform in the Arab World focused on Startups & The Technology Industry, 10 Nov 09 See


AP, Azerbaijan opposition bloggers sentenced to jail, 11 Nov 09 "A court in Azerbaijan sentenced two bloggers to prison Wednesday for a fight in a restaurant, but the defendants say the charges were a pretext to punish them for political dissent."

Social networking and Facebook

Saudi Jeans, Facebook Friends and Colorful Circles, 10 Nov 09 points to, 25 Years of Facebook Friends "How do your real-life networks reflect on your digital networks? In my 25 years of acquaintance accumulation, I have hopped from circle to circle."

Mali, Fowler's captors steered by Internet: Even in middle of desert, hi-tech Al Qaeda relied on web, ex-hostage says, 12 Nov 09, "The Al Qaeda captors of Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler held him in the desert of northern Mali for 130 days, starting last December. But despite their archaic views and lifestyle, he says, they are sophisticated readers of the political barometer thousands of kilometres away.

""They live in the 7th century but they're technologically savvy," Fowler told the Star. "They were following the Internet, and one even showed me a cellphone picture of me at the UN that I'd never seen before.""

Neda Agha Soltan update

Times Online, 'Angel of Freedom' Neda Agha Soltan Oxford scholarship will be her most important legacy, 12 Nov 09 "Four months on, Neda has become a defining symbol of the protest movement in Iran. So the decision by Queen’s College, Oxford, to establish a scholarship in her name is more than commendable. The “Neda Agha-Soltan Graduate Scholarship” for philosophy students of Iranian descent could prove to be a galvanising tool for the protesters – especially in their fight to counter academic censorship in Iran. As a British-Iranian student myself, Oxford’s move is as striking as it is heartening."


BBC News, Wrecks tell tale of growing violence, 12 Nov 09, "The bombers were Islamist radicals. In a chilling video posted on the internet, a Russian-born Muslim convert called Said Buryatsky makes it clear the bomb was intended to kill as many people as possible."

Anwar al-Awlaki

Times Online, SNP candidate praised radical Muslim as ‘preacher of peace’, 12 Nov 09, "Mr Awlaki, 38, who on his blog described Major Hasan as “a hero”, has been a regular visitor to Britain and delivers frequent lectures to audiences here by video or via the internet.

"Counter-terrorism sources said last night that Mr Awlaki was barred from entering Britain on security grounds, while the anti-extremist Quilliam Foundation said that he was “perhaps the most influential pro-jihadist ideologue preaching in English today”."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fort Hood Updates

Washington Post, Authorities scrutinize links between Fort Hood suspect, imam said to back al-Qaeda, 9 Nov 09 "Federal investigators are examining possible links between Fort Hood shooting suspect Maj. Nidal M. Hasan and an American-born imam who U.S. authorities say has become a supporter and leading promoter of al-Qaeda since leaving a Northern Virginia mosque, officials said. "

Monday, November 09, 2009

al-Watan Hacked, Saudi newspaper al-Watan website hacked, 7 Nov 09 "The website of the Saudi based newspaper al-Watan was hacked early Saturday by suspected supporters of a leading cleric who was recently sacked from the kingdom’s Council of Senior Clerics board.

"After the newspaper’s website was compromised, the hackers placed a picture of Sheikh Saad bin Nasser al-Shithri on its front page along with a statement denouncing the defamation of Muslim scholars."

Saudi Arabia and Facebook, Saudi religious police launch Facebook group "A group of Saudi's launched a group on a popular social networking website called The Facebook Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice and have so far to attracted more than 500 members.

"The group, named after the kingdom's Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice also known as the religious police, aims to introduce people to the religious police, the London-based al-Hayat reported Friday."

Malaysia IT, Choose local IT solutions, govt agencies told "All government agencies will soon be required to use local software and solutions whenever possible.

"The move is to give Malaysian ICT (information and communications technology) companies a chance to flourish in the local market and strengthen their products before pushing into global markets."

Also see, Three new MSC Malaysia cybercentres to be developed "Three new locations in the Klang Valley will be developed into MSC Malaysia cybercentres — the Persoft Tower in Petaling Jaya, as well as GTower and Bangsar South City in Kuala Lumpur.

"Datuk Badlisham Ghazali, chief executive officer of the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), said the new locations are to provide more variety and choice to companies and organisations looking to be part of the MSC Malaysia initiative.

Najibullah Zazi

The Sun, Brit spies foil 9/11 New York raid No2, 9 Nov 09 "Thousands of New Yorkers could have been at risk from a US subway blitz. Zazi, of Denver, Colorado, is alleged to have been given instructions through the internet by a senior al-Qaeda figure in Pakistan.

"But the Yard's counter-terrorism branch was monitoring an email address uncovered in April's abortive Operation Pathway probe into an alleged UK terror cell."

Fatma Riahi, Tunisian blogger detained, 7 Nov 09 "A Tunisian blogger and drama teacher, Fatma Riahi, known online as Arabicca, has been arrested by the country's police, Al Jazeera has learned."

The photo above comes from Facebook, Free Arabicca

Also picked up by LA Times, TUNISIA: Online activists rally to free fellow blogger Fatma Riahi [Updated], 7 Nov "Fatma Riahi was released Saturday morning, according to a statement posted on the Facebook page and blog devoted to her release.

"The statement said Riahi was in good health but was still in danger of being re-arrested."


Ahmed Naish,, Maldivian featured in al-Qaeda video, 8 Nov 2009 "A video clip of a Maldivian man, who went to Pakistan for Jihad and was reportedly killed in a suicide attack in Lahore, has surfaced on the internet.

"In the clip, Ali Jaleel (Mus’ab Sayyid), 30, from H. Moscowge in the capital Male’ says he wants to wage Jihad and die a martyr.

"“I want my blood to be the bit of carpet which the Mujahideen are taking from their blood. The red carpet which would take the Ummah to its glory...So I want to be among that caravan so that I can be a brick upon which Islam will stand,”"

Commentary on Islam Q&A - Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid

Tarek Fatah, National Post, Spreading intolerance, one fatwa at a time, 9 Nov 09 "Muhammad Salih Al-Munajjid is a well-known Saudi cleric who has a large following in Canada and the West. Like other so-called Islamic scholars, he maintains an active presence on the Internet, which he uses as a platform to tell young Muslim men and women how to lead proper Islamic lives. His Saudi-based Islamic web portal, Islam Q& A, caters to Muslim youth not just in English, but Mandarin, Cantonese, Turkish, Urdu, French, Spanish, Russian, Uyghur and of course Arabic."

Refers to the Islam Q&A site, which I have discussed in iMuslims and other work.

Fort Hood Shooting - Nidal Malik Hasan

Observer, Fort Hood massacre investigators focus on suspect's internet activity: Computers belonging to army major examined as chief of staff warns against anti‑Muslim backlash, 8 Nov 09 "Detectives from the FBI and the US military's internal police force have taken away for forensic examination the computer used by Major Nidal Malik Hasan, who is now in a coma having been shot in the gun rampage on Thursday. They have also seized a computer that he often used in a neighbour's house.

"They hope that by tracing Hasan's internet activities, including postings and conversations that may have been erased before the killing spree, they can gain some insight into his actions."

Also see Naveed Ali Shah,, In Iraq, the Ft. Hood attack hit home, 8 Nov 09 interesting article: Naveed Ali Shah also has a blog: aCitizenSoldier

TechCrunch, NSFW: After Fort Hood, another example of how ‘citizen journalists’ can’t handle the truth, 7 Nov 09 op-ed

Friday, November 06, 2009

Fort Hood Shooting - Nidal Malik Hasan

Guardian, Fort Hood gunman shouted 'Allahu Akbar' as he opened fire, 6 No v09

"Family and fellow officers said Hasan had complained of harassment by other troops about his Middle Eastern ethnicity and Muslim faith.

"The FBI was last night going through Hasan's phone and computer records to see if a motive could be identified. Agents were checking back on website postings by a man who identified himself as Nidal Hasan that appeared sympathetic to suicide bombings."

Times Online, Web post by Fort Hood gunman Major Nidal Malik Hasan could shed light on motives, 6 Nov 09, "Investigators trying to understand why a US army psychiatrist launched into a shooting spree on a military base in Texas will be poring over an internet posting he is thought to have made comparing the sacrifice of Islamist suicide bombers and American military heroes."

Obviously, this event has been picked up by various jihadi oriented sites, which I'm looking at at present.

Thursday, November 05, 2009


Ghaith, Yahoo!Maktoob’s Launches Workplace and University Friend Finder Alert for its Arabic Social Network “As7ab”, 4 Nov 09 "As7ab which means Friends in Arabic is one of first Arabic social networks owned now by Yahoo! Maktoob, the social network was launched around 2 years ago by Maktoob, since then it has been adding features gradually."

See As7ab for more

Napoleon TV

Mona Moussly,, Mutah Beale launches TV show to present "true Islam": US rapper to expose "media lies" about Islam, 04 November 2009

"Islam is backward, breeds terrorists and suppresses women, are just some of the lies the media promotes about Islam, says American rapper and convert to Islam Mutah Beale, who is set to launch a TV show next month to counter the negative stereotypes about Muslims.

"Beale, who shot to fame as a member of the "Outlawz" formed by hip hop legend Tupac Shakur, is set to launch Napoleon TV on Dec. 1 to introduce people to the "true" Islam and counter what he terms "media lies about Islam." "

Iran protests: update

# Ian Black and Saeed Kamali Dehghan, Guardian, Iran protesters hijack 30th anniversary of US embassy seizure: Pro-Mousavi demonstrators are met with militia violence after taking to the streets against Ahmadinejad regime, 4 Nov 09 "Video footage on the internet showed supporters of Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who claims he won the presidential race, stamping on images of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme leader, and denouncing him as a "murderer". Others criticised the president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Many wore wearing green scarves, ribbons or wristbands."

YouTube, Iran Tehran 4 Nov 09 Shariati St Seyed Khandan Protest P37

Also see Ali Akbar Dareini, Associated Press, Rival marches in Iran mark U.S. hostage anniversary: Opponents defied threats to protest as supporters praised the 1979 revolution, 4 Nov 09

Jillian York, ONI, Is Iran Cracking Down On the Internet Again?, 4 Nov 09

Egypt cellphones

Joseph Mayton,, Egypt: Is the government getting your personal information?, 30 Oct 09 "When Rashad Mahmood’s mobile phone stopped working earlier this month, it came as a surprise. But when a text message was sent asking him to update his personal information with Vodofone Egypt, he was confused. The staff writer for Business Monthly – a publication run through the American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt – didn’t know what was going on."


AFP, Qaeda blasts Saudi king over mixed university: SITE, 5 Nov 09 "Ibrahim al-Rubaish, a Saudi member of Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said in an audio message posted on the internet that the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, where post-graduate science students and researchers will work together, violated Islamic shariah law."

Qur'an resources, Walters Art Museum puts Islamic texts online for all; Digitization revolutionizes scholarship, experts say

"In a quiet, windowless room deep inside the Walters Art Museum, a digitization specialist places a 900-year-old Quran into the cradle of the Stokes Imaging System.

"She turns a page, lowers a wedge to hold the book in place, and snaps a picture."

I'm looking for a direct link to this, and will update when I receive info. The Walters Art Museum's general page is here

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Bismillah Raven

Just saw this, when looking for something else ....

Sourced from Islamicate, Bismillah Raven

Commentary: al-Qaradawi and 'Fiqh al-Jihad'

Nelly Lahoud, Qaradawi on Jihad this is the first of a three parter available on "Youssef al-Qaradawi’s recent book Fiqh al-Jihad (Jurisprudential Reasoning and Jihad), excerpts of which are available here, has received considerable attention in the Arabic press and for good reason. Al-Qaradawi commands significant influence among Sunni Muslims in the Arab world and beyond, not least because he reaches a wider audience through his television shows on al-Jazeera (”Huda al-Islam” and “al-Shari‘a wa-al-Hayat”) and his two websites, one dedicated to his work, the other, Islamonline, designed to serve as a news service about the Muslim world, a religious guide to Muslims and a window to the Islamic faith and civilization to non-Muslims."

I haven't read this closely yet, but it looks useful. The article links through to the other two sections.

Commentary on aQ

Leah Farrall, All Things Counter Terrorism, Al Qaeda’s As Sahaab brand value slipping? is commented on at Internet Hagahan, Whither the as-Sahab brand? [thread picked up at]

Saudi Arabia

Yves Gonzalez-Quijano,, Sex and the Arab City : les vents du changement soufflent dans le monde arabe, 2 Nov 09, "A voir le nombre de commentaires qu’elle a suscités sur le Net, la vie sexuelle des Arabes, en particulier en Arabie saoudite, est un sujet qui passionne ! Rappel pour ceux qui n’ont pas suivi cette affaire: en juillet dernier, un Saoudien a eu la malheureuse idée de faire état de ses aventures galantes dans le cadre de « Ligne rouge » (الخط الأحمر), une émission tapageuse – et à succès – de la chaîne libanaise LBC (contrôlée par le milliardaire saoudien Al-Waleed Ibn Talal)."

Malaysians go shopping online

Star, Malaysians still big on online shopping, 3 Nov 09, "Despite the weakened economy, Malaysians are entering into the festive spirit, with 6 in 10 shoppers expected to spend more or the same amount during the upcoming holiday season, as compared to last year."

Phone code in Egypt

BBC News, Egypt seeks ethical mobile users, 29 Oct 09 "A code of ethics for the use of mobile phones has been launched by Egypt's official telecoms regulatory body.

"The 16-point guide includes advice about when to switch phones off and warns against annoying others with ringtones and loud conversations."

No specific references to religion in this guide.

'Love Jihad' update, 'Love Jihad' a mis-information campaign, say Muslim outfits, 2 Nov 09, "Muslim outfits in Kerala today said the 'Love Jihad', where girls from other religious background are allegedly lured to marriage and converted to Islam, is a "malicious-and mis-information campaign" by Sangh Parivar outfits."

Australian Security Intelligence Organisation

The Australian, ASIO busy fending hostile cyber probes, 28 Oct 09

"A sharp increase in cyber attacks including internet probes by "hostile foreign intelligence services" marked the busiest year since 2005 for the country's peak security service, the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation.

"ASIO's annual report to federal parliament released yesterday, cited "new layers of complexity" to the standard fare of terrorism threats, espionage and foreign interference.

"The most serious national security challenge in 2008-09 was the thwarting by ASIO of an alleged plan by Melbourne-based Islamic extremists for an armed suicide assault on an Australian Defence Force facility, the report said."

'Ibn Sina' the Robot

AFP/, Robots primed for 'are you being served' role in Arabic, 3 Nov 09 "A laboratory in the UAE has built what it says is the world's first Arabic-speaking robot which could soon go into mass production to serve as staff in shopping malls.

"Ibn Sina, named after the 11th century Islamic philosopher and scientist commonly known in English as Avicenna, was designed by a team at UAE University in the city of Al-Ain, which is part of Abu Dhabi emirate.

""It is the world's first Arabic-speaking conversational humanoid robot," Nikolaos Mavridis, assistant professor of computer science at the university who led the team, told AFP in an interview."

Sada al-Malahem

Al Qaeda calls for home-made bomb attacks in West, 2 Nov 09 "Abu Basir Nasser al-Wahayshi, in an article in the e-magazine Sada al-Malahem, also urged militants to assault secular media figures and columnists who promote the policies of rulers in the world's top oil exporting region.

""You do not need to exert great effort or spend a lot of money to make 10 grams of explosives, more or less. Do not spend a long time searching for materials as they already exist in your mother's kitchen," Wahayshi wrote in the article, posted on an Islamist website on Sunday."

Also see, Magazines and Waq al-Waq.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Hossein Derakhshan: update/reminder

Robert Mackey, The Lede, News of Iran’s Detained ‘Blogfather’, 23 Oct 09 "After a long silence, there is suddenly news on the fate of Hossein Derakhshan, an influential Iranian blogger with Canadian citizenship who was detained in Tehran almost a year ago."

ICANN IDN non-Latin characters

ICANN, ICANN Bringing the Languages of the World to the Global Internet, Fast Track Process for Internationalized Domain Names Launches Nov 16, 30 Oct 09 "The first Internet addresses containing non-Latin characters from start to finish will soon be online thanks to today's approval of the new Internationalized Domain Name Fast Track Process by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers board.

""The coming introduction of non-Latin characters represents the biggest technical change to the Internet since it was created four decades ago," said ICANN chairman Peter Dengate Thrush. "Right now Internet address endings are limited to Latin characters – A to Z. But the Fast Track Process is the first step in bringing the 100,000 characters of the languages of the world online for domain names.""

See Paul Suarez,, ICANN OKs International Domains: The Pros and Cons, Nov 1, 2009
"ICANN's approval of non-Latin character domains undoubtedly is a game-changing decision in the history of the World Wide Web. With scheduled [sic] to start popping up in the middle of next year, many people are debating if this digital support for more distinctly international sites balances with potential security threats and fragmentation of the Internet."

Also see the thread on, ICANN Approves Non-Latin ccTLDs

I talk about this is iMuslims and elsewhere, in terms of potential impact in Islamic contexts.


Gaith,, Tiba3a: Unleashing the Beauty of Arabic on the Web, 26 Oct 09 "No one can deny that Arabic is one of the best looking written languages out there, it’s considered a highly sophisticated art form in addition of it being a communication medium.

"Yet the amount of Arabic fonts that are available on Windows, Mac, Linux and the Web is very few. This problem was a discussion topic about between some of the participants -including me- at BarCamp Lebanon event, we tried to do something to solve this problem, but not much work was done!"

More info:

'The Arab Knowledge Report 2009', Arab Knowledge Report 2009: Towards Productive Intercommunication for Knowledge

"HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation has launched The Arab Knowledge Report 2009: Towards Productive Intercommunication for Knowledge during the Arab Strategy Forum. The report is the fruit of a collaborative effort between the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme/ Regional Bureau for Arab States."

Gaith has provided an introduction to this report on - given it runs to over 300 pages, this is quite helpful, it isn't light reading! I haven't read any of this yet, but will be working through it soon. The full report can be accessed here:

UNDP/Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation, Arab Knowledge Report 2009: Towards Productive Intercommunication for Knowledge takes you to chapter-by-chapter links, or download the full pdf here (1.92MB). These are links to English documentation. Arabic versions are here (تقرير المعرفة العربي للعام 2009)

Research: "Chinese Digital Islam"

Ho Wai-Yip, 'Islamic-Confucian Axis as Transborder Connectivity: Chinese Digital Islam, Middle East & Reimagining the Ummah' Conference paper, taken from 'Transcending Borders: Asian, Middle East, and the Global Community', October 16-17, 2009, Annapolis, Maryland, USA

Here's the first part of the abstract:

"While the predominant focus of the rise of cyber Islamic environments has been on the Middle East and the West, this paper considers the emerging trend of the Chinese-speaking Islamic websites in the midst of growing autonomy of civil social movements as well as the state surveillance, it is argued that the transborder Sino-Islamic digital movements are repositioned in both the foreign policy of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and its domestic politics among 56 local nationalities of China."

I haven't read this paper yet, but clearly it's an under-represented area, with relevance to this blog., Belgian Muslim vigilance website launched, 26 Oct 09"Vigilance Musulmane (Muslim Vigilance), a think tank and watch dog group based out of Belgium, has launched a website detailing their work ensuring for proper treatment within the country’s constitution, as well as the neutrality of the State and the separation of religion and politics in the country. The website features news articles on these topics. It is coordinated by Abdelghani Ben Moussa."

Details: It could do with some fresh content, however.