Islamic Culture & Photo Blog – Muslim Blog

Muslim Brotherhood leadership clamps down on group’s youth

May 30th, 2011
by Sufia

Muslim Brotherhood leadership clamps down on groups youth 300x179 Muslim Brotherhood leadership clamps down on groups youthThe “Second Day of Rage” last Friday marked a significant step taken by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). They announced they would remove political cover for the MB youth, part of the Youth Revolution Coalition (YRC), over their participation in Friday’s protests.

“Only Mohamed Afifi and Osama Yassin represent the MB in the coordination committee for the protection of the revolution and no one is representing it in the YRC,” said Mahmoud Hussein, Secretary General of the MB, according to a press release.

Meanwhile the MB youth do not plan to comply with this statement. “We will continue both our role in the YRC and as MB members,” Mohamed El-Qasas, member of the MB youth and member of the YRC told Ahram Online.

The MB youth declare that their participation in the “Second Rage Friday” doesn’t conflict with the MB’s refusal to participate.  “We participated in ‘Political Corruption Friday’ which is what the YRC called it,” El-Qasas told Ahram Online.

The YRC called May 27 Political Corruption Friday and not Second Day of Rage because they had different demands. “We did not call for a constitution before the parliamentary elections or a presidential council or a sit-in,” el-Qasas said. They were calling only for trials of corrupt figures of the old regime.

The coordination between the MB youth and the YRC began on the first day of the Egyptian revolution, January 25 and has continued since then. “The decisions of the MB don’t reflect on us and I think the MB did that to eliminate the role of the YRC,” Shady Ghazaly Harb, a member of the YRC told Ahram Online.

Moreover, the Ikhwan Online editor, Abdel Gelil el-Sharnouby resigned today in protest over the MB’s official statement released on the Second Day of Rage.

The MB refused to take part in the Second Day of Rage and released a statement on 27 May that said: “The Muslim Brotherhood group is very worried about Friday protests and we ask to whom this anger is directed now?”

The statement said the group sees these protests as either a revolution against the majority of the Egyptian people or a dispute between the Egyptian people and the military represented by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces. They asked Egyptian people to stop this.

Interestingly, around 100,000 protesters were at Tahrir Square on the Second Day of Rage, raising questions about the actual weight of the MB among Egyptians.

US diplomats feared Islamic radicals in Jamaica

May 29th, 2011
by Sufia

KINGSTON, Jamaica – U.S. diplomats have expressed concern that an Islamic cleric convicted of whipping up racial hatred among Muslim converts in Britain might do the same thing in his homeland of Jamaica, according to a leaked cable from the island’s U.S. Embassy.

The dispatch, dated February 2010, warns that that Jamaica could be fertile ground for jihadists because of its underground drug economy, marginalized youth, insufficient security and gang networks in U.S. and British prisons, along with thousands of American tourists.

It says Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal, who was deported back to Jamaica in January 2010, could be a potential catalyst, and it noted that several Jamaican-born men have been involved in terrorism over the last decade.

Another memo says an associate of el-Faisal was suspected of involvement in a previously unreported terror plot in Montego Bay, a tourist center near where el-Faisal now lives. A second associate was allegedly suspected of threats against a cruise ship in nearby Ocho Rios. No details of the alleged schemes were provided in the cables and both U.S. and Jamaican officials declined to comment on them.

U.S. diplomats and law enforcement officials have expressed concern in the past that Middle Eastern terror groups might forge alliances with drug traffickers or take advantage general lawlessness in parts of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The January 2010 return of “extremist Jamaican-born cleric Sheikh el-Faisal raises serious concerns regarding the propensity for Islamist extremism in the Caribbean at the hands of Jamaican born nationals,” said the secret cable, apparently from Isiah L. Parnell, the deputy chief of mission for the U.S. Embassy in Kingston.

“Given the right motivation, it is conceivable that Jamaica’s disaffected youth could be swayed towards organized crime of a different nature through the teachings of radical Islam,” said the dispatch dated February 25, 2010.

The cable is one of the quarter million confidential American diplomatic dispatches first obtained by anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks and separately obtained by The Associated Press.

There is no hard evidence that Jamaica has a burgeoning problem with extremism, though some of the embassy dispatches list suspected associates of el-Faisal, several labeled as radical Muslims and believed to be involved in drug and human trafficking. One is a 31-year-old Jamaican suspected of involvement in a Montego Bay bomb plot and another man suspected of threats against a cruise ship.

Other Jamaicans involved in terrorism include Germaine Lindsay, one of the four men behind the 2005 suicide bomb attacks on London’s subways, and Lee Boyd Malvo, who was convicted in the deadly sniper attacks that terrorized the Washington, D.C., area in 2002.

Jamaican police say they are monitoring el-Faisal but note that he has no criminal record in the country.

“To the extent that he was living abroad and was convicted of offenses, we do have concerns. But he is a Jamaican and we had to take him back,” said Deputy Police Chief Glenmore Hinds.

One of the leaked U.S. cables said Jamaica’s Ministry of National Security has established a special unit to collect information on Islamic extremism, but it voiced concern about whether the unit would be able to “react rapidly to actionable intelligence and to effectively prosecute an anti-terrorism case in the courts.”

El-Faisal, who is known as “al-Jamaikee,” or “the Jamaican” in Islamist circles, has been living in a rural town outside the northern city of Montego Bay, not far from where he grew up. He has several children.

He declined through a spokesman repeated requests for an interview with the AP.

Mustafa Muhammad, president of the Islamic Council, said el-Faisal’s angry rhetoric and conspiracy theories may attract some young and disenfranchised people, but he doubted it would have much traction among the Jamaica’s roughly 5,000 Muslims.

“Faisal has always been very eloquent and the moment he speaks he captures your attention,” Muhammad said in the library of a whitewashed concrete mosque in Kingston. “That is why it’s so sad, so very sad, about what he has come to believe.”

Jamaica’s Islamic Council has banned el-Faisal from preaching in the country’s mosques because he of his past. He now preaches in informal prayer sessions and conferences.

“He told me that he didn’t think he had ever done anything wrong,” Muhammad said. “That’s a concern to me.”

Born Trevor Forrest in 1963, he was raised in the rolling hills of northern Jamaica. His parents belonged to the Salvation Army, the Christian evangelical group. He converted to Islam after being introduced to the faith by a school teacher at about 16, Muhammad said.

Shortly after his conversion, el-Faisal’s global migrations began. In the early 1980s, he traveled to Trinidad for a Saudi-Arabian-sponsored course in Islamic and Arabic studies. He then went to Guyana for similar studies, according to terrorism researchers.

El-Faisal, now a compactly built 47-year-old man with receding hair, was deported to Jamaica for the second time last year after being arrested in Kenya, where he reportedly encouraged young men to join an extremist Islamic group in Somalia.

Before that, he preached in a London mosque attended by convicted terrorists and was imprisoned in Britain for nearly four and a half years for inciting murder and stirring racial hatred with sermons titled “No peace with the Jews” and “Them versus Us.” In one recorded sermon, he told followers that “the way forward is the bullet.” On another, he said jihadists should use “chemical weapons to exterminate the unbelievers.”

“Faisal’s popularity remains strong with online jihadist supporters, particularly American jihadist groups. His sermons are widely published across the Internet,” said Jarret Brachman, a former CIA analyst who is now an independent terrorism researcher.

Some experts in militant Islam said his isolation in Jamaica may create a mystique that could draw alienated people into his circle.

“There is a danger that Abdullah Faisal will radicalize individuals in Jamaica, just as he has previously done in the U.K. and elsewhere. He is a powerful, charismatic speaker who is easily capable of presenting Islamist extremism as a rational choice,” said James Brandon of the Quilliam Foundation, a British anti-extremism think tank.

Source: Yahoo News

Man to rally against Islamic law

May 29th, 2011
by Sufia



A man whose rock band sings songs describing violence against Muslims is leading a rally against Islamic law at 3 p.m. today on the steps of Dearborn City Hall.

Frank Fiorello, 35, of Marlette is with a band called Crude Legacy and a group called Order of the Dragon.

“We’re a peaceful group,” Fiorello said.

Originally, he planned to rally with Quran-burning Pastor Terry Jones in front of a mosque in April, but backed off after meeting with Dearborn officials. Fiorello said today’s rally is “an assembly against radical Islam and shari’a,” which is Islamic law.

In the past two years, Dearborn has dealt with accusations that the city is under shari’a, a claim city officials say is ludicrous.



Home invasion suspect arrested

Royal Oak police said they hoped the arrest of a suspect early Thursday will end a rash of home invasions in neighborhoods near Beaumont Hospital.

Devone Winbush, 21, of Southfield was charged with home invasion, a 15-year felony. Winbush was arrested after a homeowner on Hillside Court called police at 11:55 p.m. Wednesday and said someone had just tried to break in. Her area experienced about a dozen breaking-and-enterings in recent weeks, so police raced to surround the area and brought in a tracking dog, Royal Oak Police Lt. Tom Goad said.

Near the Urbane apartment building on West 13 Mile near Woodward, police saw two men carrying pillow cases bulging with property, Goad said. One man escaped, but Winbush was captured, he said Friday.

“We are certainly looking to see if our suspect is connected to a lot of these other crimes,” he said.



Man held in armed robbery

A Sterling Heights man was being held on $500,000 bail after police said he robbed a store clerk at gunpoint and got into a hit-and-run accident in the clerk’s vehicle.

Richard A. Smith, 33, of the 12700 block of Windsor Court was being held Friday in Macomb County Jail on armed robbery and carjacking charges. On Thursday, he was arraigned in 41A District Court and a judge ordered him to wear a GPS tether if he posts bond. His preliminary exam is set for June 8.

Police said Smith entered the 7-Eleven on Plumbrook near Schoenherr and robbed the clerk about 5:40 p.m. Wednesday. He fled in the clerk’s vehicle. About three hours later, a hit-and-run accident was reported near Clinton River Drive and Gainsley, police said.

The hit-and-run vehicle was the clerk’s stolen vehicle. Officers checked nearby subdivisions and found it in an open garage at Smith’s home. Police found Smith hiding under a rug in the basement about 3:30 a.m. Thursday.



Ex-officer gets prison in sex assault

A former southwest Michigan police officer who authorities say sexually assaulted a jail inmate was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.

Ivery Cross was sentenced Friday in a Berrien County court in Niles, where he was a police officer for about two years. The South Bend (Ind.) Tribune reports that Cross cried as he apologized to his family and the man he was accused of assaulting, who didn’t appear in court. The 26-year-old told the judge he hopes to lecture to youths about the consequences of making a mistake.

Last month, Cross pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct and one count of misconduct in office stemming from the assault on the 19-year-old. In exchange, a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge was dropped.

Quick hit

PILOT DETAINED: Authorities say the pilot of a single-engine plane has been detained after a crash in west Michigan. The Muskegon Chronicle and WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids reported that the pilot was in his 60s and had minor injuries following the crash Friday near Fremont. Police say alcohol was suspected to be a factor in the crash. A 46-year-old passenger wasn’t hurt.

Source: Detroit Free Press

Now Open Kitchens Are Un-Islamic, Too

May 29th, 2011
by Sufia

Now Open Kitchens Are Un Islamic Too 480x395 Now Open Kitchens Are Un Islamic, TooOpen kitchens are the latest addition to the list of supposedly un-Islamic items and behaviors in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

According to conservative cleric Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, open kitchens don’t allow homeowners to be protected from the eyes of their guests.

“Women should be allowed to do their work while they have guests without being watched by others,” Amoli was quoted as saying in a meeting in the holy city of Qom, where he is based.

Every now and then, Iran’s clerics and officials come up with new things they designate as “un-Islamic.”

There are obvious un-Islamic items and behaviors, such as the consumption of alcohol, which is banned in Islam. But other things, such as open kitchens, may strike some as more odd, or at least out of touch.

Owning dogs is considered un-Islamic, even though some Iranians own them. Some people also wear tight or colorful clothes and makeup in public, all of which are officially no-no’s. So are trendy hairstyles, but that doesn’t stop some young men from sporting them.

Other actions and activities that have been deemed un-Islamic — with varying degrees of correspondence to what actual people do — include Western music, ties, the mingling of individuals of opposite sexes, women entering sports stadiums to watch soccer games, and advertising for banks.

The list is long.

In practice, the “un-Islamic” designation is often used to limit personal freedoms and to push state policies.

In the past two years, officials have also targeted social sciences for allegedly being un-Islamic. The campaign was said to be part of an ongoing state crackdown on universities, which had turned into centers of antigovernment protests.

Hard-line cleric Mebah Yazdi said last year that social sciences are not just un-Islamic, but they’re against Islam. He argued that social-science graduates, who he said deal with matters such as freedom and human rights, cannot be expected to have a deep belief in Islamic principles.

The “un-Islamic” designation can also be used in political disputes.

After he was sacked last year, former Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki accused President Mahmud Ahmadinejad of un-Islamic behavior.

“Sacking a minister while [he is] on a mission is un-Islamic, undiplomatic, offensive, and outside the practices of politics,” Mottaki was quoted as saying.


Muslims want second mosque in Sofia

May 28th, 2011
by Sufia

Muslims want second mosque in Sofia 480x290 Muslims want second mosque in Sofia

The leadership of Sofia’s mosque have said that the temple is now too small to hold the capital’s Muslim community during Friday prayers and that the authorities should authorise construction of a second mosque.

In order to avoid future tension with other residents, and to prevent rallies such as that staged by Ataka members on May 20, they have also vowed to “reconsider” their policy of allowing worshippers to pray outside, hoping to reduce obstruction to pedestrians during prayer time.

They have also promised to reduce the sound on loudspeakers to the “bare minimum” so that the noise does not disturb the surrounding area.

“We were given assurances by the Sofia municipality that this Friday (May 27) we would be allowed to carry on with our prayer as we have done in the past,” said Hyussein Hafuzov, the Muslim general secretary in Bulgaria, cited by Dnevnik daily.

“Every Friday, we get between 1200 and 1500 worshipers, most of them young people, and they are often forced to go out into the courtyard or the pavement because there is insufficient room in the mosque to accommodate them all,” he added.

There were no reported disturbances during the May 27 prayer, although there had been fears that another rally might be staged in protest.

The Muslim leadership also appealed to other Muslims to be calm and not be provoked by the May 20 incident, saying that “there was no clash between Muslims and Ataka last week per se; some people simply defended themselves and the mosque”.

Sofia mayor Yordanka Fandukova has said that measures have been drawn and presented to the Muslim leadership, stipulating that amendments have to be made so that other people are not disturbed on prayer days and that “people should be aware of the laws”. She added that “Islam is a registered religion in the country and is protected by Bulgarian law”.

Tensions in the community resurfaced again last week when three Ataka supporters were arrested and one of the party’s MPs, Denitsa Gadzheva, was injured in the incident at the Banya Bashi mosque, which followed a protest by Ataka against the use of loudspeakers to broadcast the call to prayer on Friday May 20.

This was the latest in a series of protests which started some years ago against the loudspeakers, but Ataka has revived its campaign in the run-up to Bulgaria’s autumn 2011 municipal and presidential elections, in which Siderov has said he will stand as a presidential candidate.

Scuffles broke out after one of the Ataka protesters tried to steer a column towards Muslims taking part in Friday prayers.

Earlier on May 27, the Bulgarian Parliament had condemned the actions of Volen Siderov and members of his ultra-nationalist Ataka party outside the Sofia mosque.

MPs from all parties present in the parliamentary sitting, with the exception of Ataka MPs who abstained, voted in favour of the declaration condemning Ataka’s actions, calling it a “threat to national security”.

Siderov himself said that “an internal investigation” is currently underway to determine who torched carpets outside the mosque, as Ataka members “had nothing to do with this”.

“I never advocated physical violence or the destruction of property,” Siderov said, quoted by Dnevnik.

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