Thursday, March 29, 2012

Walters Art Museum Digitizes, Posts Medieval Books Online, Walters Art Museum Illuminated Manuscripts > Collections > Islamic Manuscripts this looks very interesting (need some time to look at it in detail!) See the related article here: CBS Baltimore, Walters Art Museum Digitizes, Posts Medieval Books Online, 28 Mar 2012

Court bans Internet pornography in Egypt

LA Times, Court bans Internet pornography in Egypt, 29 Mar 2012 "The verdict comes after an inquiry by Younis Makhioun, a member of parliament with the ultraconservative Islamist Al Nour party, who called for pornographic websites to be outlawed. He said X-rated sites have destroyed morality, corrupted the youth and spread obscenity, family troubles, rape and divorce."

Fatwa allows Quran reading on smartphones

The National, Fatwa allows Quran reading on smartphones, 29 Mar 2012 

"Now, officially, Muslims in the UAE are allowed to stay connected to Islam while keeping up with today's fast-paced lifestyle.

 ""There isn't just one specified way of reading the Quran," said the fatwa, released by the Ifta centre of the Abu Dhabi General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf)."

  Abu Dhabi General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Voice of Jihad Q&A service

Usman Sharifi, AFP, Taliban offer question-and-answer service online, 27 Mar 2012 "The facility on Voice of Jihad, the official website of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan -- the Taliban's own name for their movement -- allows readers to submit queries to spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid." Useful summary.

Krekar jailed, Iraqi-born Islamist cleric sentenced to 5 years in Norwegian prison for death threats "The Oslo district court convicted Najmaddin Faraj Ahmad, also known as Mullah Krekar, of making online death threats against the three other Kurdish immigrants he said had insulted Islam. The 55-year-old cleric, who came to Norway as a refugee in 1991, was also convicted of threatening Norwegian government officials in an attempt to force a reversal of a 2005 order to deport him to Iraq."

'Online video calls users to take part in ‘Holy War’', Online video calls users to take part in ‘Holy War’, 28 Mar 2012 "A German court on Tuesday jailed a 20-year-old man for three years and three months for distributing videos on the Internet in support of two Islamic “terror groups”."

Monday, March 26, 2012

Shaima Alwadi, Hijabi mother’s death after severe beating sends shockwaves across the U.S. "Shaima Alwadi was taken off life support on Saturday, four days after the crime occurred in her home in San Diego, California. The mother of five is believed to have been beaten to death by a tire iron according to her 17-year-old daughter who was interviewed by a local TV channel. In the video that has gone viral on social media, the young girl makes an emotional plea and asks why her mother was taken away from her."

Opinion piece: "Hezbollah’s Propagandist Bloggers Defend Assad"

Opinion/analysis: Ali Abdallah, Family Security Matters, Hezbollah’s Propagandist Bloggers Defend Assad

'Difa-e-Pakistan', Pakistan - The new kid on the block - The Difa-e-Pakistan, "They are there on web pages, on FaceBook and Twitter and, using the latest technology, wish to push their society back to the Dark Ages. This is the creed of the newly formed Difa-e-Pakistan Committee -Defence of Pakistan Committee (DPC)."

'Arab Media Clash Over Syria'

WSJ, Arab Media Clash Over Syria, 24 Mar 2012 "In Syria's conflict, one side stridently argues that President Bashar al-Assad is under siege by agents of Gulf Arab states and the West. Opposition fighters, they say, are al Qaeda-allied terrorists and Israeli intelligence operatives. They characterize recent reports of Assad-regime massacres in the cities of Homs and Idlib as "a hysterical terrorist media campaign.""

'Pope Benedict in .XXX pro-Islam cybersquat drama'

The Register, Pope Benedict in .XXX pro-Islam cybersquat drama "A Turkish cybersquatter has registered at least a dozen variants of Pope Benedict's name as .xxx internet domains and is using them to promote Islam."

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cyber Jihadi-Takfiri Video, Cyber Jihadi-Takfiri Video Dedicated to Muhammad Merah, 25 Mar 2012 [posted retrospectively] "A video montage produced by the fringe cyber transnational jihadi-takfiri community, specifically the al-Fida' al-Islamiyya Internet forum dedicated to French gunman Muhammad Merah. A similar montage appeared less than a day after Major Nidal Malik Hasan's shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas on November 5, 2009. This video montage makes use of jihadi-takfiri anasheed (rhythmic recitations) and video clips of Usama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, the latter clip from Al-Qa'ida Central's video production about the July 2005 suicide bombings in London."

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cops fear footage of terror in Toulouse will surface

The Australian, Cops fear footage of terror in Toulouse will surface, 23 Mar 2012, "Police and intelligence officials in Paris fear the footage might surface on the internet despite their success in tracking down the Islamic extremist who was killed during a blazing gun battle at his apartment in Toulouse, southern France."

France: Sarkozy vows crackdown on Islamic indoctrination

ABC, The World Today, Sarkozy vows crackdown on Islamic indoctrination, 23 Mar 2012 cites Sarkozy (translated): "All those people who decide to visit internet sites that apologise or defend this kind of violence or terrorism, all those who go away to work and being indoctrinated in countries with this kind of ideology will also be punished."

Net Iran stats, The current state of internet access in Iran, 23 mar 2012 "The latest figures from ViewDNS underline the poor state of access to the internet for citizens in Iran. The country is second only to Israel for the percentage of the population with Internet access in the Middle East, but strict moral values and a watchful eye over access to dissent or criticism means that around 27% of all internet sites are blocked."

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Female-only cybercafe
KABUL (Reuters) - 'Afghanistan opened its first female-only internet cafe on Thursday, hoping to give women a chance to connect to the world without verbal and sexual harassment and free from the unwanted gazes of their countrymen.'

'Arab regimes embrace Twitter and Facebook — for their own ends'
"Governments learn to use Facebook and Twitter to strike back against democracy activists."

Net recruiter jailed, Five years jail for Qaeda Internet recruiter: German court, 22 Mar 2012 "A German court jailed a Syrian-born Islamic militant for five years Thursday for posting jihadist propaganda on the Internet aimed at fishing for new members for Al-Qaeda."

"Al-Qaeda's North African affiliate reportedly demands in a video that Germany free a woman jailed on terror charges in return for a German hostage."

Islamist groups seeking influence in Syria uprising

AP/, Islamist groups seeking influence in Syria uprising, 22 Mar 2012
“The gunmen in eastern Syria, wielding grenade launchers and assault rifles, announced on the Internet they were forming the “God is Great” Brigade and joining the country’s rebellion. They swore allegiance to the Free Syrian Army and vowed to topple President Bashar Assad.”

New issue: CyberOrient

New issue: CyberOrient, Vol. 5, Iss. 2, 2011

This issue includes the following pieces:
Affinities of Dissent: Cyberspace, Performative Networks and the
Iranian Green Movement
Babak Rahimi

Speaking of Invasion: Narratives over Arabs in Eksi Sozluk, a Virtual
Community in Turkey
Zeynep Oguz

Islamic Shura, Democracy, and Online Fatwas
Jens Kutscher

The King, the Mufti & the Facebook Girl: A Power Play. Who Decides
What is Licit in Islam?
Khalid Chraibi

Die Fotografie im Osmanischen Reich
Göran Larsson

More information:

I haven't read any of these yet.

Toulouse siege

BBC News - France shootings: Suspect dead as Toulouse siege ends "A man suspected of killing seven people in southern France dies after police end a siege with an assault on a flat in Toulouse."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Biographical Dictionary of the Egyptian Revolution

bikya, Egypt students make wiki dictionary for their revolution, 21 Mar 2012
“As people from different parts of the world became interested to learn more about Egypt’s struggle for freedom following the January 25 Revolution, there was a new demand for detailed information on the important political and social players in the uprising. Students at the American University in Cairo (AUC) moved swiftly to provide this information by creating the Biographical Dictionary of the Egyptian Revolution.”

'French attacks could inspire next generation of terrorists: Expert'

CNN, French attacks could inspire next generation of terrorists: Expert, 21 Mar 2012 "Merah, the suspect in the French killings, is a supporter of radical Islamist group Forsane Alizza, the Knights of Glory, France's Interior Minister Claude Geant said. "Gohel [Sajjan Gohel, director of International Security at the Asia Pacific Foundation] said the organization, which has members in Paris and Limoges in central France, acts as an "antechamber towards terrorism," encouraging its followers to go abroad for training. ""Before it was banned earlier this year, it had posted a chilling warning on Facebook, encouraging its followers to attack Americans, Jews and French soldiers," said Gohel. "Unfortunately, that threat seems to have been carried out in recent days.""

China censorship issues

RFE/RL, Yellow Islamic Aphrodisiacs: The Terms China’s Twitter Doesn’t Want You To Search, 21 Mar 2012 “If you’re one of the 250 million users of the Chinese social network Weibo and you search for the terms “candle wax,” “evolution,” the color “yellow,” or “China’s military,” you’re going to be disappointed. "Blocked On Weibo, which looks at the search terms blocked on China’s most-popular social network and gives further insight into the mechanics and logic of Chinese censorship.”

Israeli netizen campaign
"It is not possible to dial an Iranian number from an Israeli telephone. It will simply not go through. That lack of communication stems from the government level, where there is no dialogue between the two countries aside from public speeches meant to carry weighty threats of war to each camp."

Also see Global Voices, , A Love Letter From Israel to Iran, 18 Mar 2012 "A message of love from Israelis to Iranians sounds stranger than fiction in these tense years where Iranian and Israeli governments threaten each other with any imaginable words. "But we see examples of just this in a Facebook campaign launched by Pushpin Mehina (real name Ronny) in his timeline that says: “We will never bomb your country. We love you.”"

The Pushpin Facebook page has more information about this particular campaign

Jihadi use of games systems

Sensational headline, but article has some interesting information.
‎"There has even been evidence would-be jihadists treat war games as training tools, a bit like a pilot might use a flight simulator."

Toulouse situation update

‎"French police said Wednesday they were probing a call made to a news channel by a man claiming to be the killer of seven people, who said footage of the attacks would soon be on the Internet."

"A self-confessed Al Qaeda terrorist thought to have murdered seven people across south west France over the past two weeks was going to post footage of his crimes online today, he claimed."

Iraq wax controversy

"An exhibit of wax statues depicting some of Shiite Muslims’ most beloved clerics, aimed at paying tribute to this Iraqi holy city’s contributions to culture, has been dipped in controversy as some Sunnis decry the figures as heretical. "
Non-tech ...

Obama on Iran internet

"President Barack Obama sends greetings to Iranians celebrating Nowruz and uses the occasion to placate the Iranian government for its censorship of Internet."

‎"Increasingly, the Iranian people are denied the basic freedom to access the information that they want," Obama said after the U.S. Treasury Department opened the way for American companies to export Internet communications software and other materials to Iran. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

'A Muslim’s Guide to Facebook Arguments (and online ridiculousness in general) '

Amusing article...
‎" ... the age-old rule still stands true- that wherever there are Muslims hanging around, there are bound to be Muslims arguing over ridiculous things. Not surprisingly, the internet is now the boxing ring for our new generation of Shaykh Googles and Mufti Wikipedias to profess their scholarly expertise and argue with one another with far more advanced tools of divisiveness, or as they say nowadays according to modern cyber tajwīd: “trolling.”""

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Punk rock

"Punk rock is ancient history here, but elsewhere disaffected young people are discovering its anarchic energy – despite the enormous risks they face from their oppressive regimes, writes John Harris"

Friday, March 16, 2012

Syria: YouTube use

CNN, For Syrian activists, YouTube is a sword and shield, 15 Mar 2012 "Syrian forces stormed the town of Douma this week, fired at the home of activist Mahmoud Saab, wounded the father of two and then hanged him from a balcony."

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal, Al-Faisal denies preaching hatred on Internet, 14 Mar 2012 "Controversial Muslim Cleric Sheikh Abdullah al-Faisal has denied a report that he has been preaching hate against non-Muslims via the Internet."

'Cyber-attack on BBC leads to suspicion of Iran's involvement'

"A “sophisticated cyber-attack” on the BBC has been linked to Iran’s efforts to disrupt the BBC Persian Service.

"In a speech Director General Mark Thompson plans to say that the internet attack coincided with efforts to jam two of the service’s satellite feeds into Iran.

"He will say: “We regard the coincidence of these different attacks as self-evidently suspicious.”"

Monday, March 12, 2012

Iran’s leader sets up Internet control group

Iran’s supreme leader ordered Wednesday the creation of an Internet oversight agency that includes top military, security and political figures in the country’s boldest attempt yet to control the web.”

‘Badar’s death a major setback to al-Qaeda’

“The confirmation of Badar’s death came on March 10 in a video statement released by al-Qaeda on a Jihadi Internet forum, saying that commander Badar Mansoor was killed on February 9, 2012 in an American drone attack which targeted him close to the Pak-Afghan border.”

‘Regulating’ the net

ChannelNewsAsia, What’s the best way to regulate cyber world?, 10 Mar 2012

An Internet code of conduct may not be the best way to regulate the cyber world, according to panelists at a seminar on the role of social media and its impact on a multi-cultural society like Singapore.

Organised by the Centre for Research on Islamic and Malay Affairs, seminar participants heard the panelists share their thoughts on issues ranging from the limitations of the law to youths in the digital age”

Syria - “Civilians ‘massacred’ in central Syria”

AP, Activists: Civilians ‘massacred’ in central Syria, 12 Mar 2012 “The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 12 people were killed Sunday night while the Local Coordination Committees said 45 were “murdered.” Both groups said children were among the dead.”

Syria and Social Media

“Social media networks have come to play an important part in the political unrest in Syria. The Syrian government barred most media from the country after the unrest began almost one year ago. But that has not stopped Syrians from getting out information to the rest of the world.”

Monday, March 05, 2012

"Searching for Al-Qaeda in Lebanon"

Interesting comments re communications:

" ... On a third visit to Ain al-Hilweh, Al-Akhbar was able to interview a more senior leader of the Abdallah Azzan Brigades. A contact based in the Bekaa who is well-connected to “mujahideen brothers” in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq arranged the meeting. It was all done over the Internet, which is considered a safe means of communication these days. The security forces recently managed to penetrate the group’s communications network, thereby reaching some of the mujahideen’s second-ranking leaders. They nearly got to the top tier. Since then, the use of cellphones and landlines has been kept to a minimum."

Salamworld - build-up continues, Turkey/Internet: ‘Muslim Facebook’ plans to be launched in Istanbul “in Ramadan   11 Rabi al-Thani/ 4 March (IINA)- "Described as a “Halal Facebook,” the new social networking phenomenon, Salamworld, set to hit the Muslim world during the fasting month of Ramadan, will create an Internet platform for Muslims of all ages. The headquarters of the company are located in Istanbul.”

 Will be following this one closely - although currently undergoing social networking overload …

'The great (fire)wall of Pakistan'

Jahanzaib Haque, Tribune, The great (fire)wall of Pakistan "Blocki­ng/bannin­g the intern­et is not being done to save us from “evil” porn or blasph­emous conten­t."

'Diligent student compiles list of 780,000 porn sites for PTA to ban'

Tribune, Diligent student compiles list of 780,000 porn sites for PTA to ban  "Fiftee­n-year-old works with friend­s to identi­fy porn sites still access­ible in Pakist­an."

Friday, March 02, 2012

Saudi religious police launch Islamic educational videos, Saudi religious police launch Islamic educational videos
“The Saudi Commission for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, also known as the religious police, launched a video campaign to promote the principles of Islam and familiarize the public with the commission’s duties.”

Hackers deface Lebanese government websites

"Cyber activists hacked into four Lebanese governments websites on Thursday, defacing the home pages in an apparent bid to raise awareness over the country's rampant corruption."

'Syria's deadly neighbourhood and the desperate attempts to escape'

“Espinosa made it to Lebanon on Wednesday. This morning he took to Twitter to pay tribute to the bravery of his hosts, in particular Abu Hanin, who ran Baba Amr’s media centre for at least the last six months, and the citizen journalists there who have chronicled the battle for the heartland of the Syrian uprising with a stream of uploaded videos. “I never saw ‘journalists’ so brave,” he said.”