Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Edge Daily, Bank Islam introduces i-Access code for Internet banking, 20 Dec 06, Tunisian bloggers discuss holidays, internet censorship and Algeria, 20 Dec 06 cites Subzero Blue's comments on Eid ul-Adha: "The blogger didn't know what to make of internet sites that offered a solution.

""They can now buy an animal over the internet and even watch it being slaughtered, before its meat is given away … I don't know what to think about this really; I know a lot of people could end up using this, and it's somehow funny too, but on the other hand it just feels a bit weird and somewhat wrong.""

The inspiration of this discussion is an article from Reuters/CNet, Pakistani groups offer animal sacrifice via Net, 19 Dec 06:

"Buying a sacrificial animal over the Internet is also becoming popular in Pakistan, said Farukh Sheikh of the Sahara trust for life.

"It is a matter of convenience. People nowadays don't have time to go to the markets and haggle over prices," Sheikh said.

"We are offering a service at competitive rates. People trust us to distribute the meat according to religious obligations among the poor and needy," Sheikh said.

"The Alamgir welfare trust also offers the option of viewing the sacrifice on its Web site."

The story chain doesn't end there:

Times of India, Pakistan offers qurbani on the web, 18 Dec 06:

"Sahara, the life trust of singer Abrarul Haq, also sells animals online. US-based group Islamicity and Life for Relief and Development offer this service to Muslims around the world.

"And the Ulema have approved of the practice.

"I see no problem in it, even if the payment is through credit cards," said Mufti Sarfraz Naeemi, head of Jamia Naeemia.

"But it is important the credit card user pay the qurbani amount instantly so he saves himself from interest," he added."

Sahara for Life can be found here, but I admit I haven't looked any harder for clips of qurbani sacrifice.

And now for something completely different:, A Man for All Seasons: Imam Daayiee Abdullah offers a gay Muslim's insights for the holidays, 21 Dec 06 This is an interesting interview with Daayiee Abdullah, including some references to Islam in China.

MEMRI, Islamist Sites in French – An Overview, Inquiry and Analysis Series - No. 308, 21 Dec 06 Some familiar sites here.

News5Belize, Captured fugitive was Taliban, al Qaeda supporter, 19 Dec 06

zeenews, Saudi youth in grip of frustration, 21 Dec 06 "Saudi youth are chronically bored in a country that can't provide them with jobs and restricts their personal freedoms, one of Saudi Arabia's most well-known Internet bloggers says."

UPI, New Zawahiri video expected within 72 hrs, 18 Dec 06, "Al-Qaida's audio-visual distribution arm, the As-Sahab Media Institute announced the upcoming release of the new video Monday, saying it was titled "The Facts behind the Conflict between Islam and Non-Belief.""

Spiegel Online, The 9/11 Fact File, 20 Dec 06

"Conspiracy theories such as those popularized in the Internet documentary Loose Change are all the rage. Yet they are easy to refute, using new evidence from video and audiotape recordings, statements of captured al Qaeda members and the reports of commissions investigating the events.", Emirates Computers installs largest, fastest single image computer in Mid East, 21 Dec 06

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Information Week, Group Calls On 'Internet Enemy' To Release Blogger, 18 Dec 06 "Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman, also known as Kareem Amer, is accused of inciting hatred of Islam and "circulating rumors threatening public order." He was held for 18 days in October 2005 and arrested again on November 6, 2006."

TechWhack, Intel to help digitize Islam’s holy book Quran, 19 Dec 06
I have a section in my new book entitled Islam Inside, which now seems even more appropriate: ... "Intel said that the E-Quran is a small computer with wireless Internet access that contains the text of the Islamic holy book, audio recitations in 40 different languages and interactive interpretations of the material."

New Straits Times, Of sex, snooping and open minds, 19 Dec 06 commentary on previously reported Google Trends stats analysis. It also notes "Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has given the green light for the setting up of discos in the state, and said he was not opposed to dancing in discos — but it must be between members of the same sex." Surely this raises some other significant issues, or am I missing something about sexuality, discos and club culture (it's been a long time since I dabbled with the wheels of steel ...)? Anyway, this is an interesting commentary from Syed Nadzri.

Daily India, American gal, Pak guy have a knotty affair on the Net!, 19 Dec 06 "Diana Marry Petite (30), an American girl who has now converted to Islam and re-christened herself as Rabia Khan, met Pakistan boy Amir Khan over the Internet, soon fell in love with his Islamic preaching, and finally married him." Hardly headline grabbing these days..., Teacher 'posed as al-Qaeda emailer', 20 Dec 06 "A Brisbane teacher charged with plotting terrorist attacks has been accused of sending police two threatening emails purporting to be from the operations chief of al-Qaeda in Australia."
PRISM (Israel), Moshe Terdman, "The ball is not always Round: The Attitude to Soccer between Jihadi-Radical and Moderate Muslims", Dec 06 The first in a series of Papers on Islamist Social Affairs. This one has just been announced - expect it on the PRISM site soon.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

BBC News, Christian video game draws anger, 14 Dec 06, "The Global Islamic Media Front has released a game called Quest for Bush, in which players aim to kill the US president.

"Adam Raisman, an analyst at the Search for International Terrorist Entities (Site) Institute who has played the game, calls the free download "propaganda", but stops short of labelling it recruitment."

Friday, December 15, 2006, Anger on Muslim web forum, 15 Dec 06, "Readers of a Sydney-based Muslim youth website have attacked the Daily Telegraph for its coverage of the Iktimal Hage-Ali incident and expressed anger that she is being mentioned as a representative of Islam in Australia."
zone-h, Pakistani cracker arrested in a "cracking-for-ransom" case, 15 Dec 06, "Abar is a 23 years old living in Islamabad where he was arrested in an Internet cafe.

"Police firmly believe that this is not his first experience as cyber criminal, indeed according to the FIA, he is suspected of installing spying software on systems in internet cafes in Islamabad and was planning to hack 20 more email accounts for similar ransom amounts, according to press reports." Also see SCMagazine, Pakistanis make arrest in ransom-hacking case, 11 Dec 06

Middle East Times, US losing info war to media-savvy jihadists, 15 Dec 06, "The US Army and Marine Corps December 15 will release a new counterinsurgency field manual that notes how insurgents use media "to magnify the effects of their actions" and which suggests ways to defeat those efforts. The manual may be too little and too late as experts say the US is being beaten on the propaganda front." Absolutely ..., Dawah on the Internet, 15 Dec 06 a listing of dawah websites, Fl Web Host Asked To Drop ‘Kill All Muslim Kids’ Site, 14 Dec 06"The Tampa, Fla., office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-Tampa) is calling on an Internet web hosting company in that state to drop a hate site that supports calls to "kill all Muslim kids."" The site has been suspended., Rare Performance and Interview With Yusuf (Cat Stevens) Will Be Broadcast Exclusively on SIRIUS Satellite Radio, "SIRIUS Satellite Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI) will broadcast a rare, exclusive performance and interview with British singer-songwriter Yusuf, formerly known as Cat Stevens."
anarchoakbar, The sacred and the Profane/Second Life Snapshots, 13/14 Dec 06 There is some intriguing developmental work going on in Second Life at present: "The new Second Life mosque - not quite finished yet, but soon, insha Allah. The old mosque included a recorded adhan, plus prayer mats with ‘coding balls’ so that anyone sitting on them could automatically make worship-like movements, but not in the form of salah."

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

AINA, Spain Arrests 11 Islamic Terror Suspects, 13 Dec 06, "Spain's largest-circulation newspaper, El Pais, reported last month that Ceuta has become a target for Islamic radicals, via Web site postings visited by al Qaeda adherents. The Web site note called for attacks on what it termed the "occupied city of Ceuta" and also against the other Spanish enclave, Melilla (pron: May-lee-ya) farther east on Morocco's north coast." Here is the original article: El Pais, Detenidos 11 islamistas en Ceuta que ideaban atentar contra un polvorín y el recinto ferial, 13 Dec 06

USA Today/Detroit Free Press, Fear 'as bad as after 9/11', 13 Dec 06

AKI, Women Preachers answer a growing need, 13 Dec 06 non-tech, but relevant nevertheless: "The decision by Egypt's religious affairs ministry to train Murshidat (female preachers) via a four year course at the country's top Islamic university, al-Azhar university has been welcomed by a leading female spiritual guide. Swiss-educated Samira Rifat Abul Kheir, is a 'daaya', a role that already exists to help female Muslims."
Aharq Alawsat, Keeping an Eye on the Net, 11 Dec 06 "It was no surprise that the 2006 Innovations in Newspapers that was issued by the World Association of Newspapers (WAN) and INNOVATION, the international media-consulting group has suggested that modern newsroom should include a ‘radar’ unit. This task of this unit is to monitor radio stations, television channels and websites considering that news agencies are no longer the only sources for news.", Algerian group linked to Qaeda takes responsibility for attack on foreign workers, 12 Dec 06

Reuters Alertnet, Pakistan’s Tribal Areas: Appeasing the Militants, 11 Dec 06 includes references to International Crisis Group, Pakistan’s Tribal Areas: Appeasing the Militants, Asia Report No. 125 which is available as a PDF, Sleeper Cell: Season Two "With the threat to Darwyn’s personal domestic space thus trumped up, Sleep Cell goes on to double-underscore such drama with the introduction of Darwyn’s new FBI handler, Warren Russell (Jay R. Ferguson), whose vexing greenness is exacerbated by his apparent desire to feel smarter than everyone around him (and beat the 'curse' associated with being Darwyn’s case worker, given that, at the end of 'Al-Baqara,' his second handler, the seemingly very competent Special Agent Patrice Serxner (Sonya Walger), is assassinated on an internet video." Includes trailer. Haven't seen this programme myself yet, but know that in the UK the series is on FX ...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Washington Post, Seeking Iran Intelligence, U.S. Tries Google, 11 Dec 06
In today's red-top tabloid edition of the blog ... Daily Star, Most porn surfers from Kota Baru and Kuantan, 10 Dec 06 "Internet surfers in Kota Baru and Kuantan topped the list of local pornographic website visitors, according to Google Trends."

AP/CNN, Lawmaker quits over pop star romp, 8 Dec 06, "An Indonesian member of parliament at the centre of an Internet sex scandal has quit the assembly in the latest morality-related incident to shake the world's most populous Muslim nation ..."

Refers to MP Yahya Zaini:

" ... Zaini became headline news after a shaky, one-minute video that appears to show him frolicking naked with Indonesian pop singer Maria Eva made it onto the Internet."

Back to more serious matters:

CNSNews, Egyptian Blogger Arrested for Criticizing Islamic Clerics, 8 Dec 06 Also see TCSDaily, Jailed for a Blogpost, 11 Dec 06 "In a cramped jail cell in Alexandria, Egypt, sits a soft-spoken 22-year-old student. Kareem Amer was remanded to over a month in prison for allegedly "defaming the President of Egypt" and "highlighting inappropriate aspects that harm the reputation of Egypt." Where did Amer commit these supposed felonies? On his weblog."

New Straits Times, Sunday Interview: Countering the scary view of Islam, 11 Dec 06, "Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, 35, is not only the youngest mufti in Malaysia, he is also among religious scholars who are calling for a more modern and compassionate face to Islam."

The Scotsman, No smoking - but killing teachers is fine, says new Taleban rulebook, 11 Dec 06 "The rules were agreed by the 33 members of the Taleban shura, or council, and were posted on the internet." Not sure how posting on the net is useful to a local Afghan audience, given the very low levels of internet access.

Friday, December 08, 2006

A little bit of reading for the weekend: Iraq Study Group Report [via U.S. Institute of Peace] - PDF
al-Ahram Weekly, Noha Othman El-Zeiny: The whistleblower, 7-13 Dec 06, ""The third force are the youthful activists -- the bloggers of the Internet, organisations such as Youth for Change, and other such groups. They are forward-looking. They have fresh ideas. First and foremost, they want freedom. I am very hopeful and optimistic about their cause. I am convinced that they will effect political change eventually.""

Reuters/Washington Post, Clerics should combat militant ideology, Saudi says, 5 Dec 06, "A member of the committee has said young people were attracted to radical Islamist ideology through preachers' sermons and lectures, as well as religious edicts on the Internet and in books." Not exactly a headline-grabber.

Gulf Daily News, Espionage alert to Bahrain firms, 5 Dec 06 "Industrial espionage and organised crime are the biggest threats facing companies in Bahrain and the Middle East, a former counter-terrorism chief said yesterday."

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The Tide Online, Sokoto: Sultan’s palace gets wireless Internet, 7 Dec 06

""The new Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Salad Abubakar III, has said his palace will be hooked to wireless Internet this week.

"The Sultan who hosted newsmen to a dinner on Friday in Sokoto, said: "I already have somebody who came and surveyed the place for a VSAT."

"All the officers in the palace will have wireless internal network. There will also be a web site for the caliphate," he said.

"According to him, all information on the caliphate, including its history will be uploaded in site for use globally."

No sign of the caliphate's site yet, but I await it with interest.

AINA, Terrorist Tentacles in India, 6 Dec 06 "Investigations into the recent terrorist attacks and the subsequent chain of arrests and seizures in different parts of India, particularly rural Maharashtra, have revealed a growing alliance between jihadi groups operating from Pakistan and Bangladesh with ideologically extreme groups in India."

Reuters/Gulf Times, Muslim police analyst sues city over e-mails, 7 Dec 06 "A Muslim police anti-terror analyst is suing New York City, claiming a former CIA official sent hundreds of racist e-mails, including one that said 'burning the hate-filled Qur'an'should be seen as 'a public service'." Law & Disorder...

The Herald, CIA fears Bin Laden is alive in safe haven, 7 Dec 06 "Several special task forces which include British and Australian SAS troopers, the CIA, MI6, and even Norwegian mountain warfare specialists, have been on continuous patrol along the 1200-mile border since al Qaeda was driven from its White Mountains redoubt at Tora Bora in Afghanistan in 2001."

The Sun, Ding dong merrily Dubai, 7 Dec 06 "As Britain’s manic PC brigade try to take the fun out of Christmas . . . MUSLIM Dubai shows how to celebrate properly.

"Shoppers at the posh Wafi mall in the Arab state are greeted by a massive Christmas tree, covered with dazzling lights and decorations." opinion piece

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

UPI/Middle East Times, Gaza group warns women to cover heads, 5 Dec 06 "Just Swords of Islam said that it would show "no mercy on any woman who violates the traditions of Islam and who also hangs out in Internet cafes.""

NY Times, Prisoners of Sex, 3 Dec 06 several internet references in this article by Negar Azimi.

Washington Post, Look Me Up Under 'Missing Link': On Wikipedia, Oblivion Looms for the Non-Notable, 3 Dec 06 general tech article

Information Week, Growth In IT Spending Expected To Slow In 2007, 5 Dec 06 "Western Europe is expected to see a 4% increase in IT purchases, while Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa are predicted to spend 15% more."

Globe & Mail, Alliance goes interactive with launch of BlogTV, 6 Dec 06, "The strategy was unveiled yesterday when Alliance announced a partnership with GS New Media to create, a Canadian website patterned after a popular Middle East site that lets people broadcast live through webcams to computers and cellphones."

The Virginian-Pilot, Lou Gehrig's disease hurts his body; technology helps his brain, 3 Dec 06 This is rather on the periphery of this blog's main theme, but this article about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis really captured my attention, in terms of Mr Gehrig's application of technology.

NYT, Open Source Spying, 3 Dec 06 "Adding to the information glut, there’s an increasingly large amount of data to read outside of Intelink. Intelligence analysts are finding it more important to keep up with 'open source' information — nonclassified material published in full public view, like newspapers, jihadist blogs and discussion boards in foreign countries. This adds ever more calories to the daily info diet. The W.M.D. analyst I spoke to regularly reads the blog of Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor known for omnivorous linking to, and acerbic analysis of, news from the Middle East. "He’s not someone spies would normally pay attention to, but now he’s out there — and he’s a subject-matter expert, right?" the analyst said."

CSO, Financial Cyberthreat From Jihadists Deemed Unsuccessful, 2 Dec 06

Jawa Report, Jihad Media Battalion Report: Fighting Zionist Robots!, 4 Dec 06

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Guardian, Censorship fears rise as Iran blocks access to top websites, 4 Dec 06 "Iran yesterday shut down access to some of the world's most popular websites. Users were unable to open popular sites including and YouTube following instructions to service providers to filter them." Useful article, which should be read alongside Reporters Without Borders, Government wants all news sites dealing with Iran to be registered, 30 Nov 06 ", a conservative website that supports Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and often criticises President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s policies, has protested against the decision." Those seeking to get around such censorship will be interested in Slashdot, Psiphon Now Available For Download, 1 Dec 06, which is also mentioned in, Tool to circumvent internet censorship set to launch "Its creators plan to launch the software at the Protect The Net conference at the university's Munk Centre for International Studies, where psiphon emerged as a project of Citizenlab. Researchers at the facility examine the relationship between digital media and politics around the world." You can download Psiphon from CitizenLab's website. Is there an Arabic or Farsi version?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Islam Online, World AIDS Day 2006, 1 Dec 06 A selection of articles and commentaries to mark World AIDS Day.

Reuters, Pope hailed for praying towards Mecca like Muslims, 1 Dec 06 ""The Pope's dreaded visit was concluded with a wonderful surprise," wrote daily Aksam on its front page.

""In Sultan Ahmet Mosque, he turned towards Mecca and prayed like Muslims," popular daily Hurriyet said, using the building's official name."

Amongst the megabytes of other coverage, also see Globe & Mail, Pontiff prays at Turkish mosque, 1 Dec 06 "So it was time, at yesterday's apex of his closely watched trip to Turkey, to make an unprecedented gesture of togetherness. During his visit to Istanbul's 17th-century Blue Mosque, he marvelled repeatedly at the similarities between Roman Catholic and Muslim worship, then made a gesture of considerable historic significance: He turned toward Mecca, clasped his hands and joined the chief Muslim cleric of Istanbul in a minute of silent prayer."

Hurriyet noted the following: "Pope: Leaving part of my heart in Istanbul" Also see Hurriyet, Dış basın: Papa tarihi jest yaptı, 1 Dec 06, Turkey holds 18 in al-Qaeda swoop during pope visit, 1 Dec 06

People's Daily Online, Gaza fanatic group attacks internet cafes, audio cassettes shops, 30 Nov 06 "An extremist Islamic group in Gaza calling itself "the swords of Islam" claimed responsibility on Thursday for attacking and destroying internet cafes and shops that sell cassette tapes.", Tunisian bloggers talk about censorship, religion and women in Islam, 30 Nov 06 "The Tunisian blogosphere hot topics this week were Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey, censorship and women in Islam."

AFP/Middle East Times, Demonstrators protest against Dutch veil ban plan, 1 Dec 06"Bayrak handed parliamentary officials a petition posted on the Internet for which she had gathered 1,000 signatures.

"According to the protestors, only around 100 women in the Netherlands regularly wear a face-covering veil."

Thursday, November 30, 2006

BBC News, UK pair lose US extradition fight, 30 Nov 2006 "Babar Ahmad, 32, from Tooting, south-west London is accused of running websites inciting murder, urging holy war and raising money for the Taleban.

"Haroon Aswat, from Yorkshire, is accused of plotting to set up a terror camp to train fighters for Afghanistan."

See the Ahmad family's response to this verdict here
Reuters AlertNet, Qaeda says Pope wants to pull Turkey from Islam-Web, 29 Nov 06 "Iraq's al Qaeda wing on Wednesday condemned Pope Benedict's visit to Turkey as part of a crusade against Islam aimed at pulling Turkey away from the Muslim world."

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Ted Swedenburg discusses Fun-Da-Mental's "DIY Cookbook" Video, linking to a piece by John Hutnyk on his blog Trinketization entitled Pantomime Terrors - DIY Cookbook, 22 Nov 06. There is also a link to YouTube's copy of the video. I previously discussed this issue on this blog (see below for related links).

SITE Institute, First Issue of the Technical Mujahid, a New Periodic Magazine Related to Technology and Internet Security Published by al-Fajr Information Center, 28 Nov 06 "This edition, 64-pages in length, contains articles that primarily deal with computer and Internet security, in addition to other pieces explaining Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites and video types, editing, and encoding into different formats." Seems like a collection of generic information. I've taken a look at the edition, and will be referring to it in my next book.
NY Times, British Terror Trial Traces a Path to Militant Islam, 25 Nov 06 "But prosecutors charge that Mr. Amin, who knew some of the other Crevice defendants from Britain, became a link between them and militants in Pakistan. They said he and others attended a two-day course in Pakistan to learn to make fertilizer-based explosives. In videotaped confessions to the British police after his arrest in 2005, he admitted being “mixed up with terrorists” and said he provided a formula for explosives to one of his co-defendants through an Internet chat room."

Jawa Report, Terrorists Launch Google Guide, 27 Nov 06, "An organization calling itself 'The Jihad Media Battalion' (alt, brigade), which is linked to al Qaeda in Iraq, has produced a 26 page guide for using the Google search engine to further the goals of the global jihad. The group was formed to promote the dissemination of al Qaeda and other Salafist jihadi propaganda."

VOA, Muslim Rap Group Uses Islam to Send Positive Messages, 24 Nov 06, "Critics of American rap music say it glamorizes "thug" life, and contains too many violent themes and profanity. But one Muslim rap trio, known as Native Deen, is aiming to do the exact opposite with its music. The American rappers incorporate the teachings of Islam to send positive messages to their fans." [includes a filmed report], Bridging the religious divide, 26 Nov 06, "Today, Sarah isn't the only Muslim in the family -- the day after she turned 18, while her dad was in Iraq, she married Mohammed Hannan, a Bangladeshi she'd met online.

"The entire family now lives in Lincoln, Calif., in a house full of military and Muslim worship gear and a constant barrage of one-liners. "Nobody get out unscathed," Rick says." Lively piece, with echoes of the film 'Meet the Parents'., The pen is funnier than the sword, says Algerian-American cartoonist, 24 Nov 06, Muslim cartoonist interviewed: "If it weren't for the Internet, I would be pessimistic. As news companies continue merging, there is less of a variety of opinions. The internet has been an important tool in democracy.", The Legacy of Londonistan opinion piece from Australian/Israel Review., Digital cops and robbers?, 26 Nov 06"To show the evolution, the CIA's Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) was initially established in the 1940s to collect and translate foreign open-source intelligence information (mostly newspapers and magazines). Now, the FBIS service regularly includes translations from many terrorist or terrorist-linked Web sites and chatrooms. The data provide an unprecedented inside look at how terrorist groups work. They also offer a series of dots which, if connected, could provide a trail to transnational terrorist operations or actors."

PrisonPlanet, Private Spies Stalk The Internet, Trying to entrap non-existent "Al-Qaeda cells" into incriminating themselves, 23 Nov 06 more on Vigil "An organization of highly trained, committed and ruthless individuals with links to global intelligence agencies are using the Internet to try to foment terrorism in order to advance their unified political agenda. No it's not Al-Qaeda, it's Vigil, the elite private spies who are stalking the web and telling the government about any e-speech they deem suspicious."

The Observer, 'We try to filter out the propaganda': The man bringing al-Jazeera to the West tells James Robinson accusations it is al-Qaeda's mouthpiece are wide of the mark, 26 Nov 06 "How can he be sure coded messages are not being passed on to al-Qaeda operatives? 'We have developed an excellent understanding of the speeches of al-Qaeda. We have experts in our newsroom. Out of a 40-minute tape we will only broadcast two minutes. Most of the tapes nowadays are available in full on the internet.'"

SITE Institute, Jihad Media Battalion Video of Enemy Losses in Iraq for October 2006, 17 Nov 06

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sunday Times, The law that lets women be raped changes... a little, 26 Nov 06 Discusses the case of Mukhtaran Mai: "Mukhtaran was given a passport and used the money from her award to set up a school. She now produces a weekly blog on the problems of women in her village. As she cannot read or write, she tells her stories to a local journalist and they are printed on the website of the BBC Urdu Service."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Polskie Radio, Arabia dot pl, n.d. "Meet Marek Kubicki, the man behind – an internet site raising awareness about Arabic and Islamic issues." Hear the broadcast here [MP3] Also see Some time back they reviewed Virtually Islamic and Islam in the Digital Age

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

asharq alawsat, Lebanese Fearful after Leader's Murder, 22 Nov 06 Also see Daily Star Lebanon, Assassins claim Pierre Gemayel in broad daylight, 22 Nov 06, The Lebanese Bloggers, and reactions in the Lebanese Blogger Forum

Qur'an-ic ring tones (again): The Register, Muslim clerics slam Koranic ringtones, 22 Nov 06 "Mohammed Asumin Qazmi, an official at the Dar-ul Uloom seminary in the northern Indian town of Deoband, said the verses were "not meant for entertainment", and declared that "anyone who persists in using these should be ostracized from society"."

AFP/Yahoo, Malaysian IT heist likely had international links, say experts, 22 Nov 06, "Malaysia's largest heist has left US semiconductor giant Intel shocked at poor cargo security, and industry players hinting an international syndicate was behind the crime."

alarab online, article on 'creationism' related publications [no title], 22 Nov 06:

"The driving force behind these books is a reclusive Islamic teacher named Adnan Oktar who over the past decade has published a flood of books under the pseudonym Harun Yahya.

""Harun Yahya has managed to create a media-based and popular form of creationism," said Taner Edis, a Turkish-born physicist at Truman State University in Missouri.

"Harun Yahya, which is probably a pool of writers, has turned out over 200 books in Turkish and translated many of them into 51 other languages.

"Oktar, 50, appears on the group's Web site sporting a clipped beard and dapper suits.

"His works can be found in Islamic bookshops around the world and downloaded for free over the Internet.

"Nobody seems to know how all this is funded."

Harun Yahya's main site can be found here, although there are plenty of related URLs.

Here's a headline I didn't pick up first time around: The People, Kill the Queen Kids!, 19 Nov 06: "People investigators listened as a British-born follower of exiled Bakri spouted a shocking online sermon branding Her Majesty "a vile woman and enemy of Islam.""

BBC News, Hamza probe leads to bomb manual, 21 Nov 06 Discusses aspects of a manual: "On page 58, I found the answer to the Abu Hamza question. In a section called "Special mixtures" there are instructions on how to make an acid-based explosive, which again I will not name.

"At the end of the recipe the author writes: "This liquid is very dangerous. It will explode with a detonator. It exploded in the hands of Abu Hamza causing him to lose both of his hands. Nobody tries this one anymore as it is too powerful and dangerous.""

Further discussion on the emergence of al-Jazeera International. Spiegel Online, War of Cultures Hits the Airwaves, 20 Nov 06 I've watched a few hours of al-Jazeera International, including Frost, and various editions of 'Witness'. Very slick, lots of long promos, which are paradoxically a bit of a turn-off. Still, at least it is available on Sky in the UK. The Arabic al-Jazeera channel seems to have disappeared from Sky.

Press Release: AMEInfo, Satellite leader opens new Dubai office in Internet City, 22 Nov 06 "Dubai Internet City has emerged as one of the world's leading commercial hubs with state of the art infrastructure and business environment hosting a range of multi-national giant companies and enterprises."

AP/, Norwegian court upholds expulsion order of Ansar al-Islam founder Mullah Krekar, 22 Nov 06 "A court Wednesday rejected an appeal by the founder of Ansar al-Islam, a suspected Islamic terror group in Iraq, and upheld a government order to expel him from Norway as a threat to national security."

AP/IHT, Hundreds of Pakistani women protest Islamic rape law amendments, 20 Nov 06

Tuesday, November 21, 2006, Fears of dissent as Saudi bourse tumbles, 21 Nov 06, "Newspapers have reported day traders losing up to 80 percent of their holdings and Internet chatrooms have reflected much anger in a country where millions have played the market with official encouragement in the hope of making a quick buck."

YNet, Al-Qaeda ups anti-Iranian rhetoric, 20 Nov 06 "Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah has been branded a "worshipper of idols, an agent of the anti-Christ," and "charlatan" by Iraqi al-Qaeda leader Sheikh Abu Hamza al-Muhajir in a statement made earlier this month, the full text of which has now become available."

The Guardian, Study rejects claim that Muslim areas harbour terrorists, 20 Nov 06 "The study by Manchester University says that "terrorist hotbeds" are a fantasy and concludes that Islamist terrorists are as likely to come from towns and cities with small Muslim populations as from so-called "self-segregating" Muslim areas.", Somalia Islamists join terror networks, 20 Nov 06 "The Mogadishu-based Islamic Court Union and its Islamist militias are getting stronger present in the Internet, using a two-faced strategy. Official statements from court leaders, also available from the Union's website, demonstrate moderate viewpoints. The "unofficial" web campaign, however, is much wider and links the Islamists closely to the world's most radical jihadist groups.", Abizaid: U.S. Must Shape Middle East to Avoid Larger War, 20 Nov 06, Comments from General Abizaid: "Most Middle Easterners don’t want bin Laden to win, but there are also many people in the region who support him, Abizaid said. The terrorists use the internet to recruit, communicate and to spread propaganda, the general said, and they seek ungoverned areas of the world to train for future attacks.", Working on the internet from an anonymous city office, the shadowy figures exposing Islamic extremism, 19 Nov 06 Rather a dramatic headline, I think. "Vigil is non-profit making and does not charge for its services. It operates from a discreet office in London, but the address is kept secret in case it is, in turn, targeted by Muslim extremists." This was commented on in last week's blog (ref: File on Four). For perspectives on VIGIL, see Global Politician, The VIGIL Anti-Terror Network (interview), Voidstar, UK Political Feeds: Journalistic Groundhog Day, 19 Nov 06 and, finally, a statement from IC-HUMINT/The VIGIL Group.

Observer, Muslim leader sent funds to Irving, 19 Nov 06 "Asghar Bukhari, a founder member of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee (MPAC), which describes itself as Britain's largest Muslim civil rights group, sent money to Irving and urged Islamic websites to ask visitors to make donations to his fighting fund." MPAC's website is here

Monday, November 20, 2006

BBC News, Adjusting will be hard for death row man, 18 Nov 06 On the return to the UK of Mirza Tahir Hussain, with a brief link to technology: "He is returning to a city where things we take for granted - like internet cafes and take-away cappuccinos - will seem completely alien.", Speech recognition comes of age in the Middle East, 19 Nov 06 "Nuance Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: NUAN), the world's leading supplier of speech and imaging solutions, today shared plans to tap into the fast - maturing speech recognition market in the Middle East." Press release, with some interesting details on how dialectical issues are going to be approached in the Arabic market(s).

Middle East Times, Egyptian bloggers weary of authorities' iron fist, 19 Nov 06 "Bloggers have become the latest thorn in the side of the Egyptian government, which has recently responded to a growing number of outspoken bloggers by arresting Abdel Karim Suliman Amer on charges that included "spreading information and malicious rumors that disrupt public security and defame the president," as well as "incitement to hate Islam and to breach public peace standards.""

Friday, November 17, 2006

Reuters, Briton jailed for first "web-rage" attack, 17 Nov 06 "Paul Gibbons, 47, from south London, admitted he had attacked John Jones in December 2005 after months of exchanging abuse with him via an Internet chatroom dedicated to discussing Islam."

Middle East Online, Britain’s Multiculturalism Falters, 17 Nov 06. Comprehensive article by Wendy Kristianasen, citing Tarique Ghaffur, assistant commissioner to the Metropolitan Police: ""For among young Muslims there is anger and a feeling of injustice but there are also elements of denial: They have their own myths, and through the internet it leads to a huge industry of conspiracy theories."".

Daily Star, Al-Jazeera at 10: an Arab media island unto itself, 17 Nov 06, Opinion piece by Daoud Kuttab, director of the Institute of Modern Media, Al-Quds University. : "As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, Al-Jazeera is no longer new, but it remains a trendsetter. It has broken new ground in politics and culture, but its impact on social and economic life has been minimal. So, as Al-Jazeera moves into media adolescence, it must begin to think about how it can become a social pioneer in the Arab and Islamic world. God knows, change is still needed on that front."

A few al-Qaeda related stories:

CBS Evening News, An Insider's View Of Al Qaeda, Exclusive: Richard Roth Talks With A Former Terrorist Operative Who Also Spied For The West, 17 Nov 06, "Nasiri says his training was more sophisticated than propaganda videos suggest, including a real laboratory. He was taught how liquid explosives could be used to blow up airplanes — 10 years ago. Everything he learned then is now being taught — on the Internet.

""You don't need to fly 7,000 kilometers to make the training," he says. "You just open your door, open your laptop or your computer." The world is now a virtual training camp, he says, and "you have no way to stop it.""

And, on the same subject:, US: Terrorists telecommuting to work, 17 Nov 06, "Michael Chertoff, head of US Homeland Security, warned that people don't need to travel to a country with "-stan" in its name to become radicalized and commit acts of violence. Instead, they can now turn to the Internet."

And also this:, Jihad's femmes fatales, 17 Nov 06 "Peter Patton, an NYPD intelligence specialist, drew from an "Encyclopedia of Jihad" found at an Al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, saying that 80% of jihadists' information is drawn from public sources.

"They read newspapers and scour the Internet for maps and shareholder reports, he said. The other 20% of their information comes from taking panoramic photos of potential targets, casually interviewing security staff, examining surveillance equipment and traffic patterns onsite and observing product delivery schedules."

Sun Star Cagayan de Oro (Philippines), al-Qaeda intensifies recruitment online, 13 Nov 06 "A student group voiced apprehensions on reports and observations that the al-Qaeda and Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) terrorist cells are increasing their use of the Internet, thus further "touching base and bridging the gap" with more terrorist organizations from other foreign soils."

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Some interesting and controversial comments from Aki Nawaz about 'moderate' Islam can be found in the latest edition of Q-News. He has a new album out too, co-incidentally, entitled All is War: The Benefits of G-Had. I haven't heard this one yet, although I am familiar with much of his other work. Details from Fun-Da-Mental's website. Read about the background to the group, and the controversy surrounding this CD, on Wiki. Preview/download tracks via 7-digital

Radical Middle Way are publicising a lecture by Amr Khaled in London. It is promoted by Young Muslim Organisation UK, Q-News, Mahabba Unlimited and FOSIS. The event takes place on 18th November. Hopefully there will be a podcast of highlights, or a transcript.
BBC Radio 4, File on Four: Countering radical Islam contains a discussion on the webcast activities of Omar Bakri Mohammed. This is not the headline grabbing event that the report would like to suggest, as it has been an ongoing activity for some months (and has been reported elsewhere in the media and on this blog). Leaving that aside, this is an interesting broadcast. Alas, the download doesn't work, although you can Listen Again and also subscribe by podcast.

UPI/Middle East Times, Jihadis slam first Muslim US congressman, Nov 15, "Contributors to Jihadi Internet forums have been attacking the first ever Muslim elected to the US Congress, according to media reports."

NYT/IHT, Jihad ideology is spreading online, 14 Nov 06, "In a study billed as the "first systematic mapping" of jihadist ideology, the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point has found that bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, have had only a minor influence on the movement's intellectual foundation. Among the network's ideologists, they are seen more as propagandists than strategic thinkers."

This discusses The Militant Ideology Atlas (cover left) which can be found on the Combating Terrorism Center's website, available for download. The Compendium document runs to 360 pages, so - needless to say - I have yet to read this. The Executive Summary is a necessary adjunct, which contains plenty of useful information, including an Ideological Influence Map (presented in a graphic format). Many resources have been directed into this project, so it will be interesting to observe any outcomes.

PRISM Islam in Africa Newsletter no. 6/1 (November 2006)

Welcome to al-Jazeera International. Its broadcasts can be found online, although there seems to be a subscription. There is also the free trial, which didn't work when I tried it via Real.

TCS Daily, Is Apple Computer Insulting Islam?, 14 Nov 06 commentary from Prof. Kemal Silay of Indiana University

International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House (Toronto)/All, Egypt: Blogger Dismissed From University, Detained And Interrogated, Faces Possible Imprisonment for Expressing Secular Views, 13 Nov 06 "On 8 November 2006, the Public Prosecutor's Office in Alexandria extended the detention of Egyptian blogger Abdel Karim Suliman Amer, also known as Kareem Amer, for an additional 15 days."

Daily Trust (Ajuba)/, Egypt: Egyptian Court Acquits Cleric Again, 13 Nov 06, "The Muslim Brotherhood said on its Web site that the presidency, acting as the office of the military ruler, had rejected the acquittal and asked for a retrial."

Yusuf Islam's new album An Other Cup is out now. Details on his official site. Yusuf has a page on MySpace. I haven't heard the complete album yet.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

AKI, Islamist Hackers to target airline site, 13 Nov 06 "Islamic hackers are targeting the internet website of Morocco's aircarrier Royal Air Maroc (RAM), after it reportedly prohibited workers from praying within the company's premises during working hours and banned the veil for its female employees."

Times of India/AsiaMedia, Al Qaida threatens to blow up White House, 12 Nov 06

The Register, Iran throws wobbly at Google Video, 13 Nov 06

Sunday Times, Islamic hip-hop artists are accused of indoctrinating young against the West, Nov 11 2006 "Madeleine Gruen, an American intelligence analyst, highlighted the lyrics of a British group called Blakstone as a possible gateway to extremist politics.

"Ms Gruen has studied how music, internet forums, boardgames and fashion have been used to radicalise youths."

Gruen's publications include: The Khalifate is Way Cool, (Hudson Institute, 2006) [PDF] Gruen is an intelligence analyst with the New York Police Dept.

Islamic Awareness/Kavkaz Center, Islam’s Invisible Frontier: The Muslims of Chinese-Occupied East Turkestan, 12 Nov 06 includes internet ref

YNet, Egypt gets tangled in the net, 11 Nov 06

CWNews, Islamic hackers again fail to disrupt Vatican web site, 10 Nov 06

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Just seen a useful report on the Taliban's use of computers, which featured on Sky News. It showed a clip of Taliban operatives downloading material from a captured laptop, taken from a US Navy SEAL. Will update shortly.

Ilford Recorder, Impressions of a cooler Islam, 2 Nov 06 "Islamic Impressions, Ilford Lane, Ilford, opened last month after trading for more than 18 months on the internet in the UK."

Press Gazette, Ex-Reuters editor studies effect of jihadi propaganda, 2 Nov 06 more on Paul Eedle's programme.

Metro, Paras make 'Eminem' battle film, 2 Nov 06

Wednesday, November 01, 2006, Iran to establish Internet network, Oct 31, 2006 " Iranian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Mohammad Soleimani said that the ministry will establish scientific internet network to link the provinces and cities nationwide. Speaking at the Internet and Women Seminar in the Third Millennium, Soleimani promised that the ministry will formulate a pilot plan for the network in two weeks."

Wall Street Journal/, Egypt televisions's veil uproar, 31 Oct 06, "The debate has played out in newspapers and magazines and on TV talk shows and the Internet, at times pitting one artist against another in heated exchanges. The topic of the veiled actresses has become a staple of celebrity interviews, with one side defending the actresses' personal freedom and the other objecting to their visibility."

Brand Republic, Al Jazeera finalises date for English-language launch, 1 Nov 06 links to launch reel

Scotsman (via Kavkaz), Hunt for 'super-snipers' who uses US tactics, 29 Oct 06 "Snipers attacking US troops in Baghdad are using an American shooting textbook to assist in their operations, an insurgent group has claimed.

"The assertion has prompted the US military to try to alter its tactics. The change reflects concern over an insurgent video-CD that appears to show a series of shooting attacks on US and Iraqi forces in Baghdad by a purported sniper brigade from the Sunni militant Islamic Army."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Asians in Media, Could a women-led jihad change Islam in Britain? focused on Channel 4 UK documentary on tonight at 8.00. Also noted: "Next Monday on Channel 4, continuing Channel 4's Iraq: Legacy of Hate strand, Jihad TV shows how video footage of smiling suicide bombers, missile attacks and beheadings have become as important a weapon as plastic explosives and guns both in the war in Iraq and in al-Qaeda's global jihad against the West.

"Paul Eedle, an Arabic-speaking journalist who has reported Islamic movements since the 1980s and monitored al-Qaeda's internet sites since 9/11, investigates the jihadi propaganda machine and its impact on young Arabs, and young Muslims in the UK."

Information on Paul Eedle here

Al Jazeera, Al-Qaeda takes its fight to the internet, 29 Oct 06 "From the Middle East, Asia and Europe, extremists have built an extensive internet library of sophisticated texts on the ideology that underpins violence against the West and other enemies, Western analysts and intelligence officials said on Saturday."

Reuters, Thousands mourn Nigerian sultan killed in crash, 29 Oct 06 Wiki background details on Mohammadu Maccido.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Independent, Martyrs of the web, Amnesty launches a campaign to free the bloggers jailed for telling the truth about repressive regimes, 27 Oct 06 Includes links to information about imprisoned bloggers Kianoosh Sanjari (Iran) and Mohammed Abbou (Tunisia).

Click on the link to find details of Amnesty's campaign Irrepressible, including an online pledge, which can be signed if you wish.
Presently listening to Rachid Taha's new CD Diwan 2. It's one of his best. Produced by Steve Hillage. Features the Cairo String Ensemble. He was on Andy Kershaw a few weeks ago (Radio 3), and there were some brilliant live performances. Visit Taha's MySpace.

I became hungry whilst viewing this page, due to the beautiful pix of various dishes: payvand, Sofreh Nazr - An Iranian Shia Tradition, 27 Oct 06 "Sofreh is a Persian word which technically means spread but when used in conversation it means a cloth, simple or grand, usually spread on the floor on top of the carpet, on which food is served, and nazr means a wish or a vow which one makes with God."

TCS Daily, The Most Dangerous Game, 27 Oct 06 "There are hundreds of websites featuring dozens of professionally produced videos of violence against US forces in Iraq. Dubbed with loud monotonal music for an extra creepy effect, at the point of the attack, the filmers usually erupt into cries of "Allahu akbar!""

AP/MSNBC, Records of freed slaves to go online, 27 Oct 06 a proportion being of Muslim descent, Turkish Trains Now Internet-Ready, 27 Oct O6 "After months-long preparation, the TCDD managed to establish a continuous connection for 95 percent of the line. Now those traveling on trains will be able to use the Internet with their laptop computers during the course of the voyage." This is a free service - UK train operators take note!

Opinion piece:, YouTube, Google, and the Liberal Bias Virus, 25 Oct 06, "After closer examination, the tie between all the banished websites was the publishing of articles about radical Islam and its relation to international terrorism. Yet, sites that actually were more specifically involved in such activities – like Hezbollah’s propaganda arm in Lebanon, al Manar – were unaffected by Google’s “hate speech” policies, and continue to be a part of its news crawl."

AP/MSN, Dubai tours offer positive view of Islam, 24 Oct 06

GigaOM, Jawed Karim: How you Tube Took Off, 26 Oct 06

Non-Tech, but fatwa oriented: StarTribune (Minnesota), Airport taxi flap about alcohol has deeper significance, 25 Oct 06 brief web ref


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cover version: it caused some hilarity in my office, when the similarities between the cover of John Esposito's The Straight Path (revised 3rd edition, OUP, 2006) and my own Islam in the Digital Age (Pluto, 2003) were pointed out. I have used Esposito's book in teaching for several years, and it is a very good introductory work.

It's also got a nice 'new' photo on its cover. It is actually a stock shot from Getty Images, unlike the cover of Virtually Islamic - which I took myself. I may follow that latter route for my next book, as I have plenty of suitable shots on file.

Anyway, compare and contrast:

ISIM Review 18 is now out [links to PDF of the entire magazine, 2.3 MB]. As always, there are some useful articles. Particularly relevant to this blog are the following [links go to PDFs of specific sections]: John Esposito on 'Islamists & US Foreign Policy', Roel Meijer's article on Yusuf al-Ayiri entitled 'Re-Reading al-Qaeda', and Philipp Reichmuth & Stefan Werning's 'Pixel Pashas, Digital Djinns'. This latter article covers a neglected area of study, namely the depiction of Islam and Muslims in computer and video games, and ideas associated with orientalism.

Helsingin Sanomat, A Muslim MySpace based in Espoo, 25 Oct 06 "In principle, MuslimSpace performs the same task as its larger social networking namesake MySpace, though it should be pointed out that the two are not actually physically related in anything but the similarity of their names." I have been writing about MuslimSpace and also MySpace for my next book.

Reuters, Saudi youth bored in model Islamic state - blogger, 25 Oct 06 being a brief profile of Ahmed al-Omran (Saudi Jeans)

Opinion piece by Asra Q. Nomani: StatesmanJournal, Wife-beating in Islam, chapter and verse, 25 Oct 06 non-tech, although you will find similar opinions in areas of the internet.

IRNA, Mulla Omar asks NATO to stop sacrificing soldiers, 25 Oct 06, "According to the Dawn newspaper, in a lengthy Eid-ul Fitr message targeting Afghans, Mullah Omar also urged NATO to withdraw its troops and stop sacrificing soldiers for the United States, claiming that the nation still stood with him."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

UPI, Commentary: Jihad in cyberspace, 24 Oct 2006, "Below the radar screen of Western intelligence and security services, there is a global re-education process on the Internet to proselytize on the true meaning of an Islamic state. This "cyberwar" is transforming the political landscape of the Middle East. It is a slow, stealthy but massive campaign."

NYT/IHT, In the land of the Taliban, 22 Oct 2006 ""The Taliban of the 90's were concerned with their district or province," says Waheed Muzhda, a senior aide at the Supreme Court in Kabul, who before the Taliban fell worked in their Foreign Ministry. "Now they have links with other networks. Before, only two Internet connections existed - one was with Mullah Omar's office and the other at the Foreign Ministry here in Kabul. Now they are connected to the world.""

MEMRI, Islamist Holiday Video Calls for Jihad and Slaughter of "Crusaders", 24 Oct 06

Middle East Online, Saudi cleric warns of Sunni conversion to Shiism, 24 Oct 06, "A top Saudi cleric Monday warned of waves of conversion to Shiism by Sunni Muslims, motivated by the strong showing by Shiite Hezbollah militants against Israel and the situation in Iraq."

The Scotsman, Scots Muslim charged for alleged 'terror' websites, 24 Oct 06, "Mohammed Atif Siddique, 20, who was arrested in an anti-terrorism dawn raid on 13 April at his family's home in Alva, Clackmannanshire, is charged with using websites to distribute publications that could encourage acts of terrorism, as well as other terrorism-related offences."

Monday, October 23, 2006

AFP, Iran launches first private mobile network, 21 Oct 06 "Iran has launched a new mobile phone network with SIM cards provided by the country's first private operator, the communication and IT ministry has told AFP."

Strategy Page, Vatican Geeks 1, Islamic Hackers 0, 23 Oct 06

Friday, October 20, 2006

Blogger speaks (albeit briefly): BBC World Service, Heart and Soul, Sunday 22nd October Listen Again by following the above link until next weekend. Contains contribution from myself and alt.muslim re. religious podcasting in Islamic contexts.

Guardian, Research councils halt Islamist project, 19 Oct, 2006 "The decision by the Economics and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council followed accusations by academics that they would be putting the lives of British researchers at risk in Muslim countries." [non-tech, but relevant]

International Middle East Media Centre, Palestine Today, 16 Oct 06 includes link to MP3 'broadcast'. "... in Bethlehem, unknown gunmen broke into and damaged the offices of the Joint Services Council of the Ministry of Local Government on Monday at dawn. The front door was damaged and the gunmen confiscated hard drives from several computers, and some of the furniture.", Internet links world's Muslims during Ramadan, 20 Oct 06

SITE Institute, The Ninth Issue of the Echo of Jihad – A Periodic Magazine Featuring General Mujahideen News, 18 Oct 06 "The Echo of Jihad [Sada al-Jihad], a periodic publication electronically distributed via the Internet and featuring articles concerning general Mujahideen news from several regions, was recently issued in its September/October 2006 release. This issue, the ninth edition, contains pieces regarding a purported American intent to invade Sudan, an evaluation of the Israeli war with Lebanon and Hezbollah, commentary on a “competent authority of our time,” Shamil Basayev, and an interview with a field commander of the Army of Islam [Jeish al-Islam] in Palestine, Abu Muhammad al-Ansari."

Sky News, Revolt Over Muslim Spoof, 19 Oct 2006, "A tabloid newspaper has dropped "offensive" plans to feature a spoof page entitled the 'Daily Fatwa' after a revolt by staff.", Cash for Fatwa: Murdoch's Star TV Conspiracy 'Benaqaab', 20 Oct 06, "In a sting-operation that bites at the very foundation of an already aggrieved and at times persecuted Indian Muslim community, secret footage of 10 Muftis (Muslim Jurists) mainly from Uttar Pradesh, was shown on Rupert Murdoch-owned Star news channel on 16 September "allegedly" taking bribes to issue fatwas in accordance with people's wishes." File under: Allegations and Conspiracies.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

New York Sun, How Qaeda Warned Its Operatives on Using Cell Phones, 18 Oct 06, "When an aspiring Al Qaeda terrorist is buying a cell phone, it's best that he purchase the chip inside the device under a phony name or from a black market vendor that does not sell the accompanying documentation. If he has any reason to believe his phone has been tapped, he should sell it immediately to a stranger.

"This is the kind of advice contained in "Myth of Delusion," a 151-page manuscript making the rounds on password-protected jihadi Web sites. The book recently caught the attention of American intelligence analysts, who estimate that it was released sometime this summer."

Jamestown Foundation, Jihadis Provide Internet Training for Female Mujahideen, , Terrorism Focus, Volume 3, Issue 40, October 17, 2006

Wired, Chertoff's 'Web of Terror', 17 Oct 06, "Disaffected people living in the United States may develop radical ideologies and potentially violent skills over the internet and that could present the next major U.S. security threat, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said on Monday."

ITN/, Chatroom warning after 'web-rage' attack, 19 Oct 06, "Mr Adebayo said the two men met while using an Internet chatroom called Yahoo Islam 10 as they were both interested in the Islamic faith and had Muslim friends."

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Fayrouz mentions several books by bloggers/derived from blogs which have been published, or are somewhere in the pipeline. See Fayrouz in Beaumont, From Iraqi Blogs To Books By The Bloggers, 12 Oct 06 Attention should be drawn to Elen Ghulam's book Don't Shoot! ... I have another story to tell you. Details from her website. Looks interesting.

Monday, October 16, 2006

alt.muslim podcast 020 now available, and well worth listening to
Arab News, Project Launched to Extend Arabic Linguistic Research, 13 Oct 06 "The one-year pilot research project will examine the feasibility of developing an Arabic search engine capable of scanning text pages and the Internet to locate names, a resource which has not as yet been established in the Middle East." This sounds very useful. It is a collaboration between the British University in Dubai (BUiD) and Fast Search and Transfer (FAST).

Western Mail, Religious rows unveil racial tensions, 16 Oct 06 essentially a non-tech story, although a hot topic in chat rooms and elsewhere. Also see: The Scotsman, MPs condemned for 'scoring points' in veils controversy, 16 Oct 06, The Times, Muslim MP backs sacking of school assistant who wore veil, 16 Oct 06 and various comments on the Muslim Council of Britain's website. Plenty of online comment from varying perspectives to wade through on this subject, if you have the time ...

The Guardian, Universities urged to spy on Muslims, 16 Oct 06, "The Department for Education has drawn up a series of proposals which are to be sent to universities and other centres of higher education before the end of the year. The 18-page document acknowledges that universities will be anxious about passing information to special branch, for fear it amounts to "collaborating with the 'secret police'". It says there will be "concerns about police targeting certain sections of the student population (eg Muslims)"." Non-tech story essentially, although presumably this will start to acquire a net edge.

AFP, British Library to store 'blog' of lives of Britons: report, 15 Oct 06 "Students and teachers at 29,000 schools have also been invited to join in the project, along with pupils at the Dubai British School, who will blog about expatriate life in the Middle East." Visit the History Matters website tomorrow (Tuesday) to make a contribution.

AP/, Al-Qaida in Iraq: 'Insurgent Tape' Fake, 14 Oct 06, "Al-Qaida in Iraq said Saturday that a recent video tape made by a man claiming to be an insurgent who called for the replacement of the head of the terrorist group was fabricated."

Frontpage, Jihad Incorporated, October 16, 2006 interview with Steve Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, and author of Jihad Incorporated: A Guide to Militant Islam in the US, which I have yet to see.

alt.muslim, Muslim Website Says Muslims Aren't Offended By Apple Store, 11 Oct 06 MEMRI are accused of stirring trouble: "It's not the first time the controversial organisation has selectively framed an issue to show Muslims in a less than positive light, nor is it the only instance of pre-emptive outrage attributed to Muslims in recent months."

Pak Tribune, Al-Libi urges followers to attack White House, 12 Oct 06, "Abu Yahya al-Libi, believed to be a top al Qaeda militant, urged followers in Afghanistan to attack the White House in a videotape broadcast by Dubai-based Al Arabiya television Oct. 10."

Friday, October 13, 2006

asharq alawsat, Speak No Evil: Muslim Experts Sound Off Over the Ongoing ‘Tash’ Controversy, 10 Oct 06 "Regarding the role of mosques, and the various preachers who participated in rekindling the recent controversy, Muhammad al-Mahmud believes the mosque is controlled through the exploitation of its symbolic holiness and that the power of religious reformation or progressiveness has disappeared. He believes that the mosque has become restricted to the traditional reserved religious discourse, or the provocative one, which exploits the month of Ramadan and other religious occasions by using internet websites and some satellite television channels." Discuss
MTV, Al Qaeda Videos Earn American First Treason Charge In More Than 50 Years, 12 Oct 06 refers to Adam Yahiye Gadahn and his pronouncements.

MEMRI, Saudi Arabia Ministry of Islamic Affairs Launches Arabic-English Website to Fight Extremism, October 13, 2006 "The site is to be operated by the Al-Sakinah Campaign, an independent Saudi initiative supported by the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs. The campaign initiates dialogue with extremists on the Internet with the aim of preventing the spread of extremist views." No URL yet.

CSM/Middle East Times, In new TV characters, Palestinians see their own, 13 Oct 06 "Fast is out. Television is on. All the members of the Abu Tarboush family, Hanan and Ahmed and six of their seven children, gather around to watch "Shufi Mafi" - Palestinian slang that roughly translates to "What's Up?"

"Tonight's episode: "Love in the Internet age." Two characters who can't stand each other "meet" anonymously on an online chat site, fall in love, and agree to marry without having met - yet." I hope I get to see this episode sometime.

Eteraz, Muslim Hip-Hop: Lupe Fiasco’s "Muhammad Walks", 13 Oct 2006 contains links to MP3 of this track + links to other music.

Online paper on an interesting issue: Šisler, V.: Representation and Self-Representation: Arabs and Muslims in Digital Games. In: Gaming Realities: A Challenge for Digital Culture, Proceedings of the International Medi@Terra 2006 Conference, Fournos, Athens, 2006, p. 85 – 92 [note: this links directly to a PDF]. On the same theme, The Washington Post, Way radical, dude: Video games with an Islamist twist, Oct. 13, 2006 I'm not much of a games player myself, as I already spend enough time gazing into computer screens, although I have been inducted into the mysteries of FIFA Soccer.

Newsline, It's Not Easy Being Molly, October 2006 (includes net ref)
I heard this programme on Radio Four yesterday. It offers a perspective on the aftermath of Jack Straw's comments on veiling, using interviews from Blackburn. The programme was presented by Fareena Alam, editor of Q News: Radio 4, Unveiled, 7/12 oCTOBER 2006. Unfortunately, no podcast is available, but you can use the Listen Again feature.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

BBC News, Libyan pupils 'to have laptops', 11 Oct 06 "The government of Libya is reported to have agreed to provide its 1.2m school children with a cheap durable laptop computer by June 2008."

Islam Online, IOL's Fatwa Service Thriving During Ramadan, 11 Oct 06 "It received up to 500,000 page views per day in 2005 from 216 countries. Its average daily production is 182 items in both English and Arabic."

WSJ, An Arab Therapist Seeks to Lift the Veil On a Touchy Subject, 11 Oct 06 (subscription required, alas)

CSM, New Danish Muhammad cartoons draw criticism, spark protest, 11 Oct 06

Monday, October 09, 2006

KUNA,Insurgents attack internet cafe in Gaza, tear it down entirely -- Police, 8 Oct 06 "A new Islamic group claimed responsibility for the attack. "The ten-kilogram bomb destroyed the cafe that was center for corruption and immoral deeds that disgrace Islam" the group said in a statement."

sfgate, Daniel Pearl, Omar Sheikh -- 2 lives forever intertwined, 8 Oct 06 review of tv doc - has yet to hit UK screens, contains some net references.

Business Today Egypt, Start Your Engines, 8 Oct 06, "The linguists, academics and Arab nationalists who for years have bemoaned the lack of Arabic content on the internet may soon be able to call it a day: Google, the global search-technology giant, has arrived in Egypt, signaling that Arabic could yet prove profitable on a regional and, indeed, global scale." About time. Great article.

Guardian, Jihad videos posted on YouTube website, 7 Oct 06

Friday, October 06, 2006

Jamestown Foundation, New Website Incites Electronic Jihad, Terrorism Focus Volume 3, Issue 38 (October 3, 2006) refers to Electronic Jihad. Not exactly a new concept, although these pages are slick and well-organised. Also see Zone-H, Electronic Jihad, 6 Oct 06

NYT, Anti-U.S. Attack Videos Spread on Web, 6 Oct 06 includes info on YouTube clips. Also see Free Market News, Al Qaeda Tape shown to be a fake, 6 Oct 06.

Alsumaria Iraqi Satellite Network, Abu Ayoub Al-Masri still alive, 6 Oct 06, "Conflicting reports had said that Abu Ayoub Al-Masri, al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq had been killed in a military operation."

AHN, Al-Qaeda In Palestine Threatens Palestinian "Traitors", 5 Oct 06 Also see: Fox News, Is Al Qaeda in Palestine?, 5 Oct 06

Iran Press Service, Voices From Iran, 2 Oct 06, "A vast number of people being denied access to free information and free expression through the conventional media are using the electronic means of communication. While only 1 in 60 people in the world speak Persian, the language is reported to be the fourth used in weblogs in the internet. The army of young educated Iranians frustrated by the official media and the severe censorship applied to all sorts of communications has taken to the cyberspace in the exercise of their right to free speech."

SperoNews, Converts from Islam: unseen and unheard, 3 Oct 06

Guardian, Take off the veil, says Straw - to immediate anger from Muslims, 6 Oct 06 also see Islam Online, Straw Asks Muslim Women Show Face, 5 Oct 06

TechCentral, TM Net does Ramadan site, 6 Oct 06 "In conjunction with the holy month of Ramadhan and the upcoming Hari Raya Aidilfitri, TM Net has set up a special microsite, Aidilfitri 2006, dedicated to the fasting month." The link is here

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I have been listening to a range of Ramadan radio stations recently. Some of them are offering downloadable programming, and also online streaming. Here is my selection:

Radio Ramadhan Glasgow broadcasts in Arabic, English, Punjabi and Urdu in a variety of formats. This is an enterprising site with some lively programming. They offer a download of their marriage programme, but unfortunately it is not of broadcast quality [24MB Real Player].

Radio Ramadan Luton is working well at present: it includes a Children's programme and 'Sista's Zone'.

There's a list of Ramadan stations here, but unfortunately it is not hyperlinked.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Today, I added the Virtually Islamic Podosphere to the left-hand side bar. This is a working title! Anyway, it assembles some of the podcasts I have encountered and found. Suggestions for other podcasts welcome.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Sun, Inmates can buy terror books, 2 October 2006 links to The Sun, Execution vids on lags' laptops, 23 Sep 06 "Video images of hostages being beheaded had been downloaded off the internet on to computers being used inside a maximum security nick."
Sunday Times, Chilling videos of 9/11 pilots revealed, 2 Oct 2006 The link to the five video clips is here. None of them have sound.

IHT, French critic of Islam flees threats, 2 Oct 06, Concerns the reaction to statements made in Le Figaro by philosophy teacher Robert Redeker:

"Among the threats was one by a contributor to Al Hesbah, an Internet forum that is said to be a conduit for messages from Al Qaeda and other jihad organizations.

""It is impossible that this day pass without the lions of France punishing him," the Hesbah contributor wrote. The contributor called on Muslims in France to follow the lead of Muhammad Bouyeri, who murdered the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh after he made a film denouncing the plight of abused Muslim women."

AP/CBS, FBI Worries About An Osama-Sopranos Link, 1 Oct 06, Comment from Joseph Billy Jr., "the FBI's top counterterrorism official": "The Internet has become the new Afghanistan, allowing terrorist sympathizers to promote their radical ideas and to recruit and train followers right their home computers. That makes it far more difficult for investigators to identify them."

Washington Post, Why I'm Banned in the USA, 1 Oct 06 Tariq Ramadan explains all.

Ramadan tech gifts: AMEInfo, Nokia offers Islamic applications, "The applications include Emsakya, which features prayer times, and the Islamic Organiser, an independent calendar that works on both Hijri and Gregorian systems."

AMEInfo, XPress launches new Ramadan SMS channel, "By paying a fee for each received SMS, subscribers may get the prayer times, the Holy Quran, Hadeth, historical anecdotes about Islam, prayer wishes, information about Muslims, and lots more delivered straight to them on their handsets."

Friday, September 29, 2006

zone-h, New defacements' messages threatening the Pope "Between September 12th and september 27th, Zone-H database recorded a hike in the number of defacements for religious or political reasons and we highlighted that about 4939 websites have been attacked with the aim of focus on the Islamic protest."