Islam and Muslims -- Facts and Fiction

--
-- Iran website heralding 'Mahdi' by springtime - 12/31/06
-- Ethiopia Steps Up Attacks on Somalia, Planes Strike Airport; Refugees Flee to Kenya - 12/26/06
-- Baker case documents - 12/20/06
-- Christian teen recovering from attack by Muslims - 12/21/06
-- Baker accused of skirting U.S. sanctions on Saddam - 12/18/06
-- Muslim stabs wife when daughter becomes Christian - 10/14/06
-- Teen escapes from Muslim kidnappers in Egypt - 10/12/06
-- Boy slave 'crucified' by Sudanese Muslim - 9/28/06
-- Violent Muslim Reaction verifies Pope's Stated Concerns, Cardinal Says - 9/19/06
-- Muslim anger spreads to South Asia - 9/19/06
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 Iran website heralding 'Mahdi' by springtime

State media: Shiite messiah to kill archenemy in Jerusalem, may arrive during next equinox.

December 31, 2006    2006 WorldNetDaily.com

An official state media website in Iran has posted a message heralding the coming of the Shiite messianic figure, Imam Mahdi, noting he could arrive with Jesus by the spring equinox.

"Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) will appear all of a sudden on the world scene with a voice from the skies announcing his reappearance at the holy Ka'ba in Mecca," the message says.

The Islamic Republic of Iran broadcasting website said in a program called "The World toward Illumination," that the Mahdi will form an army to defeat the enemies of Islam in a series of apocalyptic battles, in which the Mahdi will overcome his archvillain in Jerusalem.

The Mahdi's far sightedness and firmness in the face of mischievous elements will strike awe. After his uprising from Mecca all of Arabia will be submit to him and then other parts of the world as he marches upon Iraq and established his seat of global government in the city of Kufa.
Then the Imam will send 10 thousand of his forces to the east and west to uproot the oppressors. At this time God will facilitate things for him and lands will come under his control one after the other. ...

After his appearance the Imam would remain in Mecca for some time, and then go to Medina. ... a descendant of the Prophet's archenemy Abu Sofyan will seize Syria and attack Iraq and the Hejaz with the ferocity of a beast ... finally Imam Mahdi sends troops who kill the Sofyani in Beit ol-Moqaddas (Jerusalem), the Islamic holy city in Palestine that is currently under occupation of the Zionists.

The Iranian series also claims the Mahdi will reappear on Earth with Jesus: "We read in the book Tazkarat ol-Olia, 'the Mahdi will come with Jesus son of Mary accompanying him.' ... Imam Mahdi will be the leader while Prophet Jesus will act as his lieutenant in the struggle against oppression and establishment of justice in the world. Jesus had himself given the tidings of the coming of God's last messenger and will see Mohammad's ideals materialize in the time of the Mahdi."


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appearing at "The World Without Zionism" conference Oct. 26, 2005

As WND reported this month, in a greeting to the world's Christians for the coming new year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he expects both Jesus and the Mahdi, to return and "wipe away oppression."

"I wish all the Christians a very happy new year and I wish to ask them a question as well," said Ahmadinejad, according to an Iranian Student News Agency report cited by YnetNews.com

"My one question from the Christians is: What would Jesus do if he were present in the world today? What would he do before some of the oppressive powers of the world who are in fact residing in Christian countries? Which powers would he revive and which of them would he destroy?" asked the Iranian leader.

"If Jesus were present today, who would be facing him and who would be following him?"

Ahmadinejad's mystical pre-occupation with the coming of the Mahdi is raising concerns that a nuclear-armed Islamic Republic could trigger the kind of global conflagration he envisions will set the stage for the end of the world.

In a videotaped meeting with Ayatollah Javadi-Amoli in Tehran, Ahmadinejad discussed candidly a strange, paranormal experience he had while addressing the United Nations in New York last September.

He recounts how he found himself bathed in light throughout the speech. But this wasn't the light directed at the podium by the U.N. and television cameras. It was, he said, a light from heaven.

According to a transcript of his comments, obtained and translated by Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin, Ahmadinejad wasn't the only one who noticed the unearthly light. One of his aides brought it to his attention.

The Iranian president recalled being told about it by one of his delegation: "When you began with the words 'in the name of Allah,' I saw a light coming, surrounding you and protecting you to the end."

Ahmadinejad agreed that he sensed the same thing.

"On the last day when I was speaking, one of our group told me that when I started to say 'Bismillah Muhammad,' he saw a green light come from around me, and I was placed inside this aura," he says. "I felt it myself. I felt that the atmosphere suddenly changed, and for those 27 or 28 minutes, all the leaders of the world did not blink. When I say they didn't move an eyelid, I'm not exaggerating. They were looking as if a hand was holding them there, and had just opened their eyes Alhamdulillah!"

Ahmadinejad's "vision" at the U.N. is strangely reminiscent and alarmingly similar to statements he has made about his personal role in ushering in the return of the Shiite Muslim messiah.

He sees his main mission, as he recounted in a Nov. 16 speech in Tehran, as to "pave the path for the glorious reappearance of Imam Mahdi, may Allah hasten his reappearance."

According to Shiites, the 12th imam disappeared as a child in the year 941. When he returns, they believe, he will reign on earth for seven years, before bringing about a final judgment and the end of the world.

Ahmadinejad is urging Iranians to prepare for the coming of the Mahdi by turning the country into a mighty and advanced Islamic society and by avoiding the corruption and excesses of the West.

All Iran is buzzing about the Mahdi, the 12th imam and the role Iran and Ahmadinejad are playing in his anticipated return. There's a new messiah hotline. There are news agencies especially devoted to the latest developments.

"People are anxious to know when and how will He rise; what they must do to receive this worldwide salvation," says Ali Lari, a cleric at the Bright Future Institute in Iran's religious center of Qom. "The timing is not clear, but the conditions are more specific," he adds. "There is a saying: 'When the students are ready, the teacher will come.'"


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 Ethiopia Steps Up Attacks on Somalia, Planes Strike Airport; Refugees Flee to Kenya

December 26, 2006     By Stephanie McCrummen     Washington Post Foreign Service     Page A01

LONDON, Dec. 25 -- Ethiopian warplanes attacked the airport in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, on Monday in another major escalation of fighting between the Ethiopian-backed Somali government and the Islamic Courts movement that in recent months has taken over much of the country.

In Mogadishu, businesses shut down and thousands of enraged Somalis loyal to the Islamic movement rallied in the streets, once again proclaiming holy war against Ethiopia, a bitter enemy that is widely perceived to be supported by the U.S. government. Witnesses said young Somali men who have grown up in a country awash with AK-47 assault rifles continued to pour into recruiting centers to sign up to fight.

Two Islamic Courts vans with soldiers guard Mogadishu airport after the Ethiopian air force hit Mogadishu airport, And 150 miles away on the front lines near Baidoa, seat of the fragile interim government, sources said that fighters from Eritrea and Pakistan, among others, had joined the Islamic movement's battle against Ethiopia in a conflict that analysts fear could engulf the Horn of Africa.

"The feelings are very bad, very confusing -- everywhere, it's confusing," said a businessman in Mogadishu who did not want to be identified. "I didn't expect this scale of war, but most Somalis, even if they were fighting each other before on a clan basis, they are united now against Ethiopia. And there's a feeling that the international community is not helping."

Thousands of Somalis who had fled war and drought earlier this year and epic flooding in recent weeks once again abandoned villages, leaving behind fields and livestock at harvest time, aid workers said. Droves of villagers trudged down muddy roads toward refugee camps just across the Kenyan border. The camps are already full of Somalis displaced by years of fighting and natural disasters.

"These families are really pushed into the extreme limits," Pedram Yazdi, a spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said from Nairobi, adding that Red Cross-supported medical facilities had received more than 440 wounded and that the total "is rising every hour." Aid workers believe the number of dead is in the hundreds.

Meanwhile, Ethiopian officials said on state-run television Monday that they would continue the assault against the Islamic movement and vowed to push toward Mogadishu, clearing the Islamic fighters out of every town they control over the next five days. By Monday night, Ethiopian forces, which are vastly superior to the Islamic movement in conventional military terms, had secured the strategically important town of Beledweyne, which is near the Ethiopian border and along a main road to Mogadishu. The Associated Press reported that Ethiopian and government forces had also captured three villages in a push toward Jowhar, about 60 miles north of Mogadishu.

AP also reported that airstrikes hit a second airport, Baledogle Airport, outside Mogadishu.

Negotiations between Somalia's weak but internationally recognized interim government and the Islamic movement have fallen apart in recent months as the Islamic group has become stronger and advanced its control. The current conflict began even as the two sides had signed an agreement to de-escalate fighting and resume talks.

Analysts believe that Ethiopia's offensive is intended to force the movement back into negotiations by changing the situation on the ground.

But some analysts have expressed fear that Ethiopia's military calculation is seriously flawed, and that even if its superior military initially routs the Islamic movement, the ideologically driven militias will become only more motivated to pursue a guerrilla-style war or terrorist attacks across the region.

Ethiopia, which has fought two wars with Somalia in the past 45 years, is perceived as a historically Christian nation, though Muslims now make up nearly half its population.


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 Baker case documents

Saved from shred order Businessman says they outline sanction-avoiding transactions

December 20, 2006    By Aaron Klein    2006 WorldNetDaily.com

Former Secretary of State James Baker

JERUSALEM An Israeli businessman who says he served as a broker in a multimillion-dollar Iraqi collection deal by the law firm of former Secretary of State James Baker now charges in a WND interview Baker's firm tried to cover up the alleged transactions, concerned about exposure after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The deal was structured to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iraq, according to the middleman, Nir Gouaz, president of Caesar Global Securities in Israel.

Gouaz claimed Houston-based Baker Botts made about $30 million collecting funds owed to a South Korean company by the Iraqi government at the peak of American sanctions imposed against Baghdad.

He claimed Baker was directly involved in the deal.

Gouaz told WND today Jeffrey Stonerock, a senior partner at Baker's firm, contacted him in November 2001 inquiring whether he had any documents related to the purported Iraqi deal.

Gouaz said he told Stonerock he still had a few papers.

He said Stonerock asked him to destroy all remaining documents related to the matter and sign a nondisclosure form pledging not to discuss the alleged deal.

"He told me to just sign the nondisclosure and forget about what happened," Gouaz told WND.

Gouaz said he refused to sign the nondisclosure agreement. He said he decided to retain all documents in his possession he said were related to the deal. The documents were obtained by WND yesterday.

"When they asked me to destroy the papers I became a bit skeptical," said Gouaz. "They were clearly worried about exposure after the 9-11 terror attacks."

Baker Botts today refused to comment on Gouaz's latest allegations.

As WND reported yesterday, Gouaz said he was tapped in 1998 by Baker Botts senior partner Stonerock to serve as a middleman in the collection of $1.65 billion in debt owned to Korea's Hyundai Engineering by the Iraqi government.

Hyundai had completed a series of major infrastructure projects in Iraq, including the construction of roads, railways and power plants and was supposed to be paid in Iraqi government bonds, but in the wake of the Gulf War, Saddam suspended payments to suppliers.

Gouaz said Iraq's failure to pay threatened the future of Hyundai.

Gouaz said he was asked to mediate the collection efforts to evade American sanctions on Iraq, which did not apply to Israelis.

He said he met initially with Baker and that the former secretary of state was involved in the collection deal.

Gouaz said he was asked by Baker's firm to meet with Shaiker Tawfik Fakoury, the president of the Bank of Jordan, which agreed to purchase the Iraqi government bonds from Hyundai at a lowered rate and resell them to the Iraqis at a profit in exchange for oil.

He said the Jordanian bank in July 2000 bought the Iraqi bonds from Hyundai using the services of Baker's firm at the price of $272 million. The Bank of Jordan, he claimed, then resold the bonds to Iraq for about $450 million in oil.

Gouaz said he estimated the Baker Botts law firm made about $33 million in fees for its services in the transactions.

He said it was "clear" from his communications with all parties involved that Baker's firm established the bonds exchange through Jordan using an Israeli middleman to bypass sanctions on Iraq.

"The point of involving me and setting up the collection as it was done was to get around the sanctions," Gouaz said.

Gouaz would not disclose how much money he personally made in the deal.

He first spoke out last weekend in an interview with Israel's Maariv daily newspaper during which he passed a polygraph lie detector test.

Gouaz provided WND with a copy of a letter dated July 11, 2000, from Hyundai executives thanking him for his efforts in mediating the collection deal. He also gave WND a copy of an Iraqi government bond from 1989 for $11 million he said was part of Hyundai's collection efforts.

Gouaz told WND he decided to come forward with details of the alleged transactions after the release earlier this month of a report by the Iraq Study Group, a commission headed by Baker that recommended an eventual U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and dialogue with Iran and Syria.

The report also urged Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem, and to sign a deal with Syria in which the Jewish state would vacate the Golan Heights, strategic mountainous territory twice used by Damascus to launch ground invasions into Israel.

"As a citizen of Israel I cannot just sit by and watch the hypocrisy being spewed by Baker," said Gouaz. "If Baker was still a private citizen I could keep his business dealings private, but now he is involved in diplomacy that sells out Israel. People need to understand he is acting out of economic considerations."

Baker Botts released a statement to WND yesterday saying the firm has "no knowledge" of whether the purported transaction described by Gouaz ever occurred.

The statement said Baker Botts' role in the supposed transactions as described by Gouaz and the payment Gouaz said the firm received are inaccurate.

Mike Cinelli, a public relations manager at Baker Botts, denied Baker was involved in the purported transactions Gouaz described.

Cinelli pointed to a press release on Hyundai's website from 2005 stating the company did not yet receive funds owed by the Iraqi government.

But Gouaz supplied WND with pictures of what he said was the signing ceremony in 2000 in which Hyundai's Iraqi government bonds were sold.

Baker's envoy role conflict of interest?

In 2003, President Bush appointed Baker as special envoy to aid in the recovery of debt from Iraq. He was specifically tasked with trying to persuade the international community to forgive large sums of debt.

A number of media reports pointed out Baker simultaneously was working with commercial companies trying to recover money from Iraq and that the former secretary of state might have conflicts of interest with his role as envoy.

Baker's firm represents the government of Saudi Arabia, the country claiming the largest amount of debt from Iraq. Also according to London's Guardian newspaper and the Nation magazine in New York, the Carlyle Group is involved in efforts to recover nearly $27 billion on behalf of the Kuwaiti government. Baker was a partner at Carlyle until last year.

Baker has publicly brushed aside the criticism, saying he has agreed to forego earnings from clients with obvious connections to the Iraqi debt.

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 Christian teen recovering from attack by Muslims
Voice of Martyrs helping with medical, emotional cataclysm

December 21, 2006    2006 WorldNetDaily.com

Noviana Malewa, after treatments to minimize scarring from the machete attack

In many ways Noviana Malewa is like any other teen-aged Christian girl in Indonesia. But it is her eyes which reveal a sadness and strength far beyond her years that are different, and give evidence of the emotional and mental trauma of her own experience with radical Islam, a new report concludes.

That, and the machete chop scar that runs from her cheek bone across her face down onto her neck, says the report from Voice of the Martyrs.

As WND has reported, Noviana and three of her friends were walking on a school path Oct 29, 2005, when they were assaulted by radical Islamic jihadists wielding machetes. Noviana was the only survivor, and suffered the massive slash across her face and neck; the other three girls were decapitated.

VOMedical, a division of the outreach to persecuted Christians worldwide that deals with medical issues, eventually was able to arrange transportation for Noviana to a hospital in Surabaya, and officials are planning to continue follow-up physical treatment.

"Though Noviana's physical scars are beginning to heal, she still struggles with the emotional and mental scars from witnessing the brutal murder of her three friends. Yet, she remains steadfast in her faith," the group confirmed in its report.

Noviana and her friends had been taking a small footpath on their way to their Christian high school in Poso, Indonesia, when radical Islamists dressed all in black jumped suddenly from the jungle and began slashing the girls with machetes.

VOM reports that Noviana fought back as she was struck, then fell to the ground and rolled down into a ravine. Above, she heard her friends screaming.

Just as she was about to lose hope, a van of soldiers appeared and the attackers fled. The soldiers then took her to a hospital.

But she had to be hidden in a Christian village and guarded by police because her testimony was needed in court, and the radical Muslims who had killed her friends still were hunting her. At that point it was too dangerous even to leave her in a hospital, but after months of negotiations to guarantee her safety, arrangements were made for her to be in the Surabaya hospital, VOM said.

She's had successful surgery and VOM is working on continuing care, officials said. She suffered from an involuntary tick in her eye and another near her mouth because of the nerve damage from the slash, and she also suffered other nerve damage and a dislocated jaw.


Surgery was used to help repair the damage from the attack from Ils

Earlier reports said daily massages are being used to stimulate nerve repair and skin salves must be given daily. Plastic surgery also was obtained to reduce the scarring.

Authorities said Theresia Morangke, 15, Yarni Sambue, 15, and Alfita Poliwo, 17, were killed in the attack. Their heads were found in bags on the steps of a church and along a road, carrying a message, "We will murder 100 more Christian teenagers and their heads will be presented as presents."

The Pakistan Christian Post reported that Noviana recalled streaming with blood.

"All I could do was pray to Jesus for his help,' she said.

According to a subsequent report in The Jakarta Post, the Islamic suspects in the deaths have confessed to the fatal attack. Authorities reported that the suspects have ties to Noordin Top, who is considered a key leader of the Al-Qaida-linked group Jamaah Islamiyah.

There also have been reports that the defendants told authorities they planned the murders as a "gift" to mark the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

VOM is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.

It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.

He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.

The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.

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 Baker accused of skirting U.S. sanctions on Saddam
Businessman charges ex-secretary of state
used middleman to 'sell out' Israel for profit

December 18, 2006
5:00 p.m. Eastern


By Aaron Klein
2006 WorldNetDaily.com



James Baker
RAMAT HASHARON, Israel The law firm at which former Secretary of State James Baker is a senior partner used an Israeli middleman to bypass U.S. sanctions on Iraq and push through a multimillion-dollar collection effort involving the regime of Saddam Hussein, according to a businessman here who said he mediated the deal.
Nir Gouaz, president of Caesar Global Securities in Israel, told WND that Baker's firm, Houston-based Baker Botts, made about $30 million collecting funds owed to a South Korean company by the Iraqi government at the peak of American sanctions imposed against Baghdad.

He claimed Baker was directly involved in the deal.

Gouaz told WND he decided to come forward with details of the alleged transactions after the release earlier this month of a report by the Iraq Study Group, a commission headed by Baker that recommended an eventual U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and dialogue with Iran and Syria.

(Story continues below)


The report also urged Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem, and to sign a deal with Syria in which the Jewish state would vacate the Golan Heights, strategic mountainous territory twice used by Damascus to launch ground invasions into Israel.

"As a citizen of Israel I cannot just sit by and watch the hypocrisy being spewed by Baker," said Gouaz. "If Baker was still a private citizen I could keep his business dealings private, but now he is involved in diplomacy that sells out Israel. People need to understand he is acting out of economic considerations."

Gouaz provided WND with documentation indicating he mediated the Iraqi debt deal. He first spoke out this weekend in an interview with Israel's Maariv daily newspaper during which he passed a polygraph lie detector test.

Gouaz said he was tapped in 1998 by Jeffrey Stonerock, a senior partner at Baker Botts, to serve as a middleman in the collection of $1.65 billion in debt owned to Korea's Hyundai Engineering by the Iraqi government.

Hyundai had completed a series of major infrastructure projects in Iraq, including the construction of roads, railways and power plants and was supposed to be paid in Iraqi government bonds, but in the wake of the Gulf War, Saddam suspended payments to suppliers.

Gouaz said Iraq's failure to pay threatened the future of Hyundai.

Gouaz said he was asked to mediate the collection efforts to evade sanctions on Iraq, which did not apply to Israelis.

He said he met initially with Baker and that the former secretary of state was involved in the collection deal.

Gouaz said he was asked by Baker's firm to meet with Shaiker Tawfik Fakoury, the president of the Bank of Jordan, which agreed to purchase the Iraqi government bonds from Hyundai at a lowered rate and resell them to the Iraqis at a profit in exchange for oil.

He said the Jordanian bank in July 2000 bought the Iraqi bonds from Hyundai using the services of Baker's firm at the price of $272 million. The Bank of Jordan, he claimed, then resold the bonds to Iraq for about $450 million in oil.

Gouaz said he estimated the Baker Botts law firm made about $33 million in fees for its services in the transactions.

He said it was "clear" from his communications with all parties involved that Baker's firm established the bonds exchange through Jordan using an Israeli middleman to bypass sanctions on Iraq.

"The point of involving me and setting up the collection as it was done was to get around the sanctions," Gouaz said.

Gouaz would not disclose how much money he personally made in the deal.

Gouaz provided WND with a copy of a letter dated July 11, 2000, from Hyundai executives thanking him for his efforts in mediating the collection deal. He also gave WND a copy of an Iraqi government bond from 1989 for $11 million he said was part of Hyundai's collection efforts.

Baker Botts released a statement to WND saying the firm has "no knowledge" of whether the purported transaction described by Gouaz ever occurred.

The statement said Baker Botts' role in the supposed transactions as described by Gouaz and the payment Gouaz said the firm received are inaccurate.

Mike Cinelli, a public relations manager at Baker Botts, denied Baker was involved in the purported transactions Gouaz described.

Cinelli pointed to a press release on Hyundai's website from 2005 stating the company did not yet receive funds owed by the Iraqi government.

But Gouaz supplied WND with pictures of what he said was the signing ceremony in 2000 in which Hyundai's Iraqi government bonds were sold.

Baker's envoy role conflict of interest?

In 2003, President Bush appointed Baker as special envoy to aid in the recovery of debt from Iraq. He was specifically tasked with trying to persuade the international community to forgive large sums of debt.

A number of media reports pointed out Baker simultaneously was working with commercial companies trying to recover money from Iraq and that the former secretary of state might have conflicts of interest with his role as envoy.

Baker's firm represents the government of Saudi Arabia, the country claiming the largest amount of debt from Iraq. Also according to London's Guardian newspaper and the Nation magazine in New York, the Carlyle Group is involved in efforts to recover nearly $27 billion on behalf of the Kuwaiti government. Baker was a partner at Carlyle until last year.

Baker has publicly brushed aside the criticism, saying he has agreed to forego earnings from clients with obvious connections to the Iraqi debt.

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 Muslim stabs wife when daughter becomes Christian

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October 14, 2006


'If children fail, the mother is at fault and will bear the brunt of the blame'

October 14, 2006 2006 WorldNetDaily.com

A devout Muslim woman was attacked and stabbed to death, allegedly by her husband, after their 17-year-old daughter announced she was embracing Christianity, according to police and news reports.

Officials say Dr. Muhammad Hussain, 48, remained in critical condition in the Gold Coast Hospital with knife wounds, under police guard, as authorities investigated the death from stabbing injuries of his wife, Yasmine, 41.

According to Assist News Service, neighbors of the Australian family reported "blood curdling" and "terrifying" screams, along with cries of "Help me, help me, they're trying to kill me," on Monday night.

Shortly after, the report said, Kaihana Hussain fled from the family's apartment, dressed in underwear because her clothes had been torn off, with blood splattered over her scratched and cut body.

Police found the mother inside the apartment, dead, and the father seriously hurt. It was not immediately clear how the father was also stabbed.

"From what we understand the daughter decided to tell her father of her radical plan to convert to Christianity which, in the eyes of most Muslims, is totally unacceptable and to be honest, sadly, many would react as he has done," a Muslim source told "The Gold Coast Bulletin."

"It is the Islamic way that if a son or daughter does or plans to do something that is unacceptable or wrong for a Muslim then it is the mother who is automatically at fault and will bear the brunt of the blame," the source said.

The mother and daughter apparently had arrived in the popular East Australia region only a few days earlier. The doctor apparently had been there for several weeks, establishing his medical practice.

Elizabeth Kendal, of the World Evangelical Alliance Religious Liberty Commission, told ASSIST that the tragedy highlights "the great and urgent need for rigorous, open debate on what Western religious liberty means for Muslim immigrants, and what Islam's rejection of apostasy means for Christians in terms of convert care."

Reports said Hussain finished his medical training in Bangladesh in 1982 and in 2001 finished a masters in family medicine program in Australia. The family settled earlier in Adelaide, where the daughter attended a local nondenominational Christian school.

Police indicated the religious dispute was being reviewed, but they couldn't confirm the details. Neighbors, however, supported that account.

Neighbor Caitlin Dalton told The Australian that many people heard the screams as the girl fled the luxury apartment.

She told the neighbors she had wanted to "convert from the Islam religion and obviously her father didn't handle it very well," Dalton said.

A police detective-inspector said the investigation would determine if charges will be filed.

"This matter may end up in a criminal trial or may end up in a coroner's court. Before we know the full facts, I'm not willing to speculate," he said.

Officials at Pembroke school in Adelaide, where the teen had attended, said the school is nondenominational and students are encouraged "to seek their own spiritual journeys."

Students are not required to participate in Christian services, officials said.

Pembroke principal Malcolm Lamb released a statement explaining the school's practice.

"In the case of Islamic students the school is in principle and in practice very supportive of students observing religious customs, such as wearing the Hijab this has happened in the past, observing fasting and the need for prayer rooms," Lamb said.

The Quran does instruct the faithful to kill those who leave the faith but Muslim leaders have said that is not to be taken literally.


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 Teen escapes from Muslim kidnappers in Egypt
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Girl had been abducted from public bus to be 'converted' to Islam

October 12, 2006

2006 WorldNetDaily.com


Lorans Emeel, threatened with rape if she denied Islam

A 15-year-old Egyptian girl has escaped from a team of Muslims who kidnapped her and threatened her with rape if she did not convert to Islam, according to a new report from Voice of the Martyrs."

The group, a Christian aid organization that has helped members of the persecuted Christian church worldwide since its founding in 1967, said it is for situations such as the recent one involving Lorans Wageah Emeel that it runs safe houses in various locations throughout the Muslim world.

(Story continues below)


The teen, living in El Mahala Al Kobra, about 60 miles north of Cairo, disappeared from a public bus on Oct. 2, when a team of Muslims drugged her and threatened her with rape if she refused to embrace Islam, described by its supporters as a "religion of peace."

Her parents were notified via text message that, "The girl is not accepting easily, but she will embrace Islam for sure." Another said, "Take the rest of your daughters and leave the city, or you will lose them one by one."

The Compass Direct report provided to Voice of the Martyrs said it was the next night, about 10 p.m. on Oct. 3, when she was able to escape from a detention room where she was being held in Helwan, a suburb just south of Cairo.

She fled while the terrorists were taking a break from a Ramadan fast, the report said. She was able to contact authorities, but was told then that if she did not deny the kidnapping had occurred, she would "never see her parents again."

The kidnapping was reported only by the El Tareek, the sole Arabic Christian newspaper in the Middle East. It said that the abductors wanted the girl, a student at Saida Nafesa High School in El Mahala Al Kobra, to reject Christ and embrace Islam.

Her family members had gathered at the El Mahala Al Kobra police station on the morning of Oct. 3 to plead with officers to find Lorans and return her to them. Her parents accused a Muslim man of kidnapping their daughter in a report filed at the police station.

Voice of the Martyrs said the kidnapping of Christian teenage girls in Muslim nations has reached epidemic proportions. Other times, the girls themselves are lured away with promises of material wealth.

The organization, for that reason, sponsors safe houses in various Islamic nations to protect Christian girls who face such threats, or who already have escaped from abduction, officials said.

These Christian refuges are also places where young women learn job skills and receive spiritual training, the group said.


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 Boy slave 'crucified' by Sudanese Muslim

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Now a youth, he tells Voice of the Martyrs he's forgiven attacker

September 28, 2006

2006 WorldNetDaily.com


Boy who was 'crucified' by Muslim

A Sudanese slave who was assigned to watch his Muslim master's camels was "crucified" when he was caught sneaking out to attend a Christian church, according to reports from Voice of the Martyrs.

The aid organization that helps persecuted Christians worldwide said the reports come from witnesses in the Sudan who were in contact with the youth, now about 15.

Damare Garang was seven when the attack happened, officials said. He had been captured by Islamic soldiers when his Sudanese village was attacked, and then sold as a slave to a Muslim family in Tuobon, Bahr el Gazel.

His duties were to tend the master's camels, but one day one fled.

"How could you do this? You will surely have to pay! You stupid slave, I should just kill you now," he was told.

However, the child escaped any injuries at that point.

Then the following day Damare, who had been raised in a Christian family, sneaked away for a time to a small church service across the village.

His master was waiting when he returned.

"Where have you been?" he was asked, and partly from fear and partly from not having another answer, he said, "to church."

"You have made two grave mistakes," the slave master said. "Yesterday you lost one of my camels, and today you worship with infidels!"

The master went to a barn and returned with a large board, some rusty spikes and a hammer, the report said.

"Frozen in fear, Damare was dragged out to the edge of his master's compound where he was forced to the ground with his legs over the board," the VOM report said. "The savage brutality of the master was unleashed as he proceeded to drive the long nails through Damare's knees and then nail his feet securely onto the board."

While Damare was screaming in agony, the slave master simply walked away.

The boy's help arrived in the form of a Good Samaritan who happened by, and saw the small boy. The man sneaked into the compound and carried the boy to a hospital where the board and nails were removed.

Damare later was released to the custody of his helper, with whom he lived for the next 18 months.

Once again, then, there was a militia attack on his village, and he was separated from his protector. When the Islamic army soldiers were driven off, a commander of village forces recognized Damare's speech as being of the Dinka tribe, and took charge of him.

That commander eventually adopted Damare, who now lives in Mario Kong.

He remains disappointed he is unable to run quickly like other boys, but he says he's forgiven his attacker, because Jesus was nailed to a cross to forgive all sins.

"Before leaving, we gave Damare a care package with mosquito netting, soap, new clothing, shoes, a hat, a new Bible, a soccer ball, and a fishing line and hooks," said the VOM report by Tom Zurowski.

"Please tell the Christian children in America to remember to pray for the children of Sudan," Damare told his visitors.


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 Violent Muslim Reaction Justifies Pope's Stated Concerns, Cardinal Says

By Patrick Goodenough
CNSNews.com International Editor
September 19, 2006

(CNSNews.com) - As the Vatican continues trying to placate Muslims angered by Pope Benedict XVI's recent remarks, a senior Catholic leader has said the violent response justified the concern the pope had been expressing in the first place.

Citing threats of violence against the pope in Somalia and Iraq, Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell said "the violent reactions ... showed the link for many Islamists between religion and violence, their refusal to respond to criticism with rational arguments, but only with demonstrations, threats and actual violence."

In a statement, Australia's top Catholic leader expressed gratitude that no "organized violence" had occurred in Australia in response to the pope's words, and he called the reactions of some Australian Muslim leaders "unfortunately typical and unhelpful."

"It is always someone else's fault, and issues touching on the nature of Islam are ignored," he said.

"Our major priority must be to maintain peace and harmony within the Australian community, but no lasting achievements can be grounded in fantasies and evasions."

Pell said genuine questions about Islam needed to be addressed, not regularly avoided.

Separately, in an op-ed article published Tuesday, he made a further appeal for Christian-Muslim dialogue.

"Accurate information, accurate understandings and a respect for truth, even across differences, are the only long-term bases for fruitful exchanges."

Responding to Pell's statement, Australian Muslim leader Ameer Ali said the cardinal's statement had not been helpful.

"The point is Pope Benedict quoted a most inappropriate quote at a most inappropriate time," Ali said.

In an academic speech in Germany last week, Pope Benedict, without qualification, quoted a 14th century Byzantine emperor's assessment of Islam and its seventh century founder.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached," the pope quoted Manuel II Palaeologus as saying.

"To convince a reasonable soul, one does not need a strong arm, or weapons of any kind, or any other means of threatening a person with death ..." the emperor had said, according to the pope.

The speech at Regensburg University included an appeal for dialogue based on "reason."

Following angry response from parts of the Islamic world, the Vatican issued several statements seeking to clarify the remarks, and the pope himself made what is being called an unprecedented public apology.

He said Sunday he was "deeply sorry" for the reaction of Muslims, and that the passages he quoted did not reflect his own views.

Some Muslim leaders and organizations welcomed the apology, but others - including Egypt's radical Muslim Brotherhood and the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza - called it insufficient.

Qatar-based Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi said the pope should retract the speech, and speaking on al-Jazeera television, he called for a day of "peaceful and rational" anger on Friday. The Egyptian-born Sunni cleric, who is considered an influential voice in the Islamic world, has called Palestinian suicide bomb attacks justifiable.

In incidents believed to be linked to the issue, an Italian nun was shot dead in Somalia and armed Palestinians attacked churches in the Palestinian self-rule areas.

Muslim figures have compared the pope to Hitler, Mussolini and Urban II, the eleventh century pontiff who initiated the first crusade.

Iran's "supreme leader," Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the pope's remarks "the latest chain of the crusade against Islam started by America's [President] Bush."

Demonstrators in London have called for the pope to be killed for insulting Islam and Mohammed.

In an online posting attributed to the al-Qaeda terrorist group in Iraq, the pope was warned to "wait for defeat ... we will smash the cross."

'On the verge of an all-out clash'

Writing on the website of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, Anas Altikriti of the Muslim Association of Britain said that when the pope spoke about "reason" it was clear he was saying that Judaism and Christianity were reasonable but Islam was not.

Pope Benedict was essentially accusing Islam of being "inherently violent, fundamentally blood-thirsty and an enemy of all others," said Altikriti.

He added that this was "an extremely dangerous assertion to make ... when the world lies on the verge of an all-out clash that threatens everyone and everything."

In Geneva, the Organization of the Islamic Conference asked the U.N.'s Human Rights Council to make time during its current session to address "religious tolerance and related issues."

Pakistan's envoy, speaking on behalf of the 56-member Islamic bloc, welcomed the papal apology, but said the speech had "showed lack of understanding, albeit inadvertent, about Islam and its prophet."

"Such a tendency also threatens deeper alienation between the West and the world of Islam and hurts the ongoing efforts to promote dialogue and harmony amongst religions," Masood Khan told the council, whose three-week session began on Monday.

"To associate Islam with violence is to negate the basic tenets of a faith practiced for 15 centuries and which now has more than one billion followers - who are one-fifth of humanity."

Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, titular head of the world's Anglican (Episcopalian) church, defended Pope Benedict, saying his words about Islam should be seen in context and "judged against his entire record, where he has spoken very positively about dialogue.""

A weekend editorial in Lebanon's Daily Star said the pope's words were ignorant but a violent response "will only reinforce erroneous beliefs and stereotypes about Islam."

"In today's world - where even prominent leaders embrace hurtful myths that compare Islam with fascism - Muslims have a moral duty to uphold the tenants of their faith," the newspaper said.

"Only then will Westerners begin to understand that Islam is a religion of peace."

President Bush said last month that a foiled transatlantic airline bombing plot showed that the U.S. was "at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom."

Earlier this year, Sydney's Cardinal Pell was attacked for a speech of his own, when he told an audience in Florida: "Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion, and its capacity for far-reaching renovation is severely limited."

See also:
Muslims Enraged by Pope's Remarks on Spreading Islam by Violence (Sept. 15, 2006)
Catholic Leader Ponders Violence in Koran (May 08, 2006)

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 Muslim anger spreads to South Asia

September 19, 2006


Extremists called yesterday for an Islamic army to march on Rome because of remarks by Pope Benedict XVI, while a well-known Muslim firebrand said in London that the pontiff should face "capital punishment."

Elsewhere, Iran's supreme leader called for more protests over the pontiff's remarks and protests broke out in South Asia and Indonesia, with angry Muslims saying Benedict's statement of regret a day earlier did not go far enough. In southern Iraq, demonstrators carrying black flags burned an effigy of the pope.

In London, police increased patrols near churches and began an inquiry into remarks by Anjem Choudhary, a well-known extremist who had called at a rally outside Westminster Cathedral on Sunday for the pope to be "executed."

The 39-year-old lawyer also had organized a rally earlier this year sparked by cartoons in a Danish newspaper at which some protesters carried placards declaring "Behead Those Who Insult Islam."

"Non-Muslims must ... understand that there may be serious consequences if you insult Islam and the prophet," Mr. Choudhary was quoted as saying on Sunday by the Daily Mail. "Whoever insults the message of Muhammad is going to be subject to capital punishment."

In Iraq yesterday, the extremist group Ansar al-Sunna challenged "sleeping Muslims" to prove their manhood by doing something other than "issuing statements or holding demonstrations."

"If the stupid pig is prancing with his blasphemies in his house," the group said of the pope in a Web statement, "then let him wait for the day coming soon when the armies of the religion of right knock on the walls of Rome."

The protests over the pope's comments have been smaller than those that broke out over cartoons of the prophet Muhammad, but there have been several instances of violence.

Attackers hurled firebombs at seven churches in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over the weekend. The fatal shooting of a nun Sunday in Somalia also could be linked to the dispute.

Extremists said the pope's comments proved that the West is waging a war with Islam.

Al Qaeda in Iraq and its allies issued a statement calling the pope "a cross-worshipper" and warning, "You and the West are doomed, as you can see from the defeat in Iraq, Afghanistan, Chechnya and elsewhere.

"You infidels and despots, we will continue our jihad [holy war] and never stop until God avails us to chop your necks and raise the fluttering banner of monotheism, when God's rule is established governing all people and nations," said the statement by the Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of Sunni Arab extremist groups in Iraq.

In Iran, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for anti-U.S. demonstrations. He argued that although the pope may have been deceived into making his remarks, the words give the West an "excuse for suppressing Muslims" by depicting them as terrorists.

"Those who benefit from the pope's comments and drive their own arrogant policies should be targeted with attacks and protests," he said, referring to the United States.

President Bush yesterday tried to calm the Muslim world during a 50-minute meeting in New York with Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"The president noted that the pope had made some apologies for his remarks, and the president believed that the pope was sincere in those remarks," said Dennis Wilder, senior director for East Asian affairs at the National Security Council.

Mr. Badawi "accepted the president's position on the subject," Mr. Wilder added. Malaysia's foreign minister has said the pope's words of explanation had been insufficient.

On Sunday, Benedict said he was "deeply sorry" about any hurt caused by a speech last week in which he quoted a medieval text characterizing some of the prophet Muhammad's teachings as "evil and inhuman" and calling Islam a religion spread by the sword.

The Vatican yesterday ordered papal representatives around the world to meet with leaders of Muslim countries to explain the pope's point of view and the full context of his speech.

cStaff writer Stephen Dinan contributed to this report from New York.

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