Islam  --  Facts and Fiction

-- Utah Shooter Was a Bosnian Immigrant - 2/14/07
-- A Palestinian university that receives U.S. funding - 2/16/07
-- Christians Will 'Disappear' in an Independent Kosovo, Bishop Warns - 2/12/07
-- Muslims Erupt Over Temple Mount Excavations - 2/07/07
-- Faith Under Fire - Posted: 2/07/07
-- Fabricated evidence lands man 6 years in jail - 1/25/07
-- Arab groups urge GMA to dump biased CNN personality - 1/26/07
-- Google Earth map shows Temple Mount on Arab side of Jerusalem  - 1/16/07
-- Suspects, Reportedly Tied to Al Qaeda in Iraq, Sought Student Visas - 1/22/07
-- Complaint cites judge in terror-linked case - 1/09/07
-- Local push for Islamic state - 1/09/07
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 Utah Shooter Was a Bosnian Immigrant

February 14, 2007    By Fred Lucas Staff Writer

( - A man who shot and killed five people and seriously injured four others at a Utah shopping mall Tuesday before being shot dead by police was a Muslim refugee from Bosnia, according to immigration officials.

Police have said 18-year-old Sulejman Talovic, a legal permanent resident living with his mother, had four minor incidents with police when he was younger, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported.

However, police did not know what the motive for the shooting was as of Wednesday. Also, he apparently did not know any of the people he had killed.

The paper quoted an FBI agent as saying the bureau had no reason to believe the shooter had been motivated by religious extremism.

Talovic was dressed in a trenchcoat carrying a shotgun, a .38 caliber pistol and a backpack full of ammunition, the city's police department told the paper.

Talovic wanted "to kill a large number of people," said Police Chief Chris Burbank.

Three of the dead were women, including one 15-year-old girl, according to the Tribune.

An off-duty police officer was reportedly having an early Valentine's Day dinner with his wife at the mall and was the first to go after the gunman.

A spokesman for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement told the paper Talovic was a legal permanent resident who came to the U.S. in the late 1990s.

The 1990s saw a series of wars in the former Yugoslavia, including one in Bosnia between 1992 and 1995 involving Bosnian Muslims, Serbs and Croats. More than 7,000 Muslims were killed by Bosnian Serb forces in the city of Srebrenica in 1995.


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 A Palestinian university that receives U.S. funding

February 16, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Aaron Klein
© 2007

JERUSALEM – A Palestinian university that receives U.S. funding counts among its students senior members of the Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror groups, WND has learned.

One Brigades leader openly enrolled at the college – Al-Najah University in the northern West Bank town of Nablus – described the school as a main jihad recruiting ground.

Another terror leader told WND he was studying chemistry at the university to learn how to enhance the deadly effects of suicide bomb belts.

This week, Al-Najah hosted a law conference at which the trial of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was deemed "illegitimate," America's war in Iraq was slammed as "illegal" and Saddam was hailed for encouraging insurgents to "fight American occupation."

Since September 2004, the United States Agency for International Development has provided $4 million to Arkan, a Palestinian program that funds law schools at several universities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including Al-Najah University.

The Arkan program is entirely funded by USAID.

Last Sunday, the Arkan section of Al-Najah University hosted a law symposium called "The trial of the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, and the American role in this trial – a witness testimony from the courthouse." The conference featured Saddam defense attorney Curtis Dobler as well as a Palestinian professor Nabil Alawi.

According to the Al-Ayyam Palestinian newspaper, during his lecture, Dobler called Saddam's trial "illegal and vindictive since it took place during the American occupation of Iraq."

“Saddam Hussein's defense team gave to the courthouse a memorandum of 300 pages which confirms the illegality of this trial, since it took place during the period of the illegal American occupation of Iraq," said Dobler, according to a translation by Palestinian Media Watch.

Dobler said Saddam "did for the Iraqis a kind of justice and encouraged them to fight against the American occupation of their country in his death."

Israeli security officials say Al-Najah University is one of the most important recruitment grounds for West Bank terror organizations. The Israeli Defense Forces a number of times has raided the college and arrested terror suspects. At least 15 Palestinians who carried out suicide bombings the past six years attended the school.

One senior leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the declared military wing of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, told WND many Brigades leaders study at the university, which he described as a "recruitment center for jihad."

The senior leader said he is currently studying sports education.

A leader of the Islamic Jihad terror organization said he is studying chemistry to enhance his terror group's bomb-making capabilities. He said others in the chemistry department manufacture explosives for Palestinian groups.

Islamic Jihad and the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades has taken joint responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the last two years, including a bombing two weeks ago in Eilat and an attack in Tel Aviv last April that killed eight Israelis and American teenager Daniel Wultz.

According to the U.S. Foreign Operations Bill of 2006, it is illegal to fund universities which the Secretary of State "knows or has reason to believe advocates, plans, sponsors, engages in, or has engaged in, terrorist activity."

A USAID spokesman told WND the organization provides funds to Al-Najah's law school indirectly through the Arkan program.

USAID has a history of funding anti-American Palestinian projects.

WND first reported last month a northern West Bank street funded by USAID was renamed for Saddam after his execution.

Zacharias Zubeidi, leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Yaabid, told WND the city changed the name on the U.S.-funded street to show "Saddam Hussein is still alive."

"We will honor his memory until the American and Zionist occupation is driven from our land," Zubeidi said.

WND reported USAID also reconstructed roads and municipalities in areas in the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas.

In a WND interview, Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud al-Zahar thanked USAID for its efforts.

According to Palestinian Media Watch translations, after USAID funded road projects in the West Bank city of Jenin in 2004, a central street there was named after the first Iraqi suicide bomber, who killed four American soldiers in Fallujah. The mayor of Jenin reportedly participated in an anti-American dedication ceremony in which speakers blessed the "resistance of the residents of Fallujah"

Also, a USAID-funded Palestinian sports center was named after Salef Khalef, operational head of the Black September terror organization, which was behind the killing of two U.S. diplomats in Sudan in 1973 and the massacre one year earlier of 11 Israeli Olympic athletes in Munich.


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 Christians Will 'Disappear' in an Independent Kosovo, Bishop Warns

February 12, 2007     By Nathan Burchfiel Staff Writer

A United Nations push for Kosovo statehood will lead to the destruction of the minority Kosovar Serbs in the region, a Serbian Orthodox bishop warned here, urging the international community to reject the plans.

Kosovo is an autonomous province in Serbia with a population of about two million, most of whom are ethnic Albanian and Muslim. Eight years ago, NATO launched a military air campaign against Serbia to prevent atrocities against Kosovar Albanians.

The U.N., which has governed the province since the war, is in talks to recognize it as a self-governing state, but opponents worry it will lead to independence and could spell destruction for the minority Christian Serb community.

Dr. Artemije Radosavljevic, the bishop of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija, who has long been critical of plans for Kosovo's independence, warned Friday that Christians would be wiped out of the region under a completely independent regime.

"Kosovo Albanians committed numerous crimes and were conducting terror on Kosovo Serbs," Artemije told Cybercast News Service through a translator. "The independence of Kosovo would be a sort of reward for the terrorists ... that would lead to the total disappearance of my people in that province."

Artemije is in the United States to meet with lawmakers and urge them to block the plans to recognize independence for Kosovo.

Artemije said Europeans will not oppose Kosovo's independence because they are "afraid" of Muslim terrorists. The U.S., he contended, supports independence "so they can point one example that the United States of America is not fighting the war against Muslims in general."

But such a step would lead to more violence as Serbia will never accept an independent Kosovo, Artemije said. Independence would also pose a threat to other nations as Kosovo would become "a base of extreme jihad," he claimed.

"Serbia does not accept separation of Kosovo under any name," Artemije said, adding that his countrymen also oppose internationally monitored statehood, which is part of the plan made public by chief U.N. special envoy Martti Ahtisaari on Feb. 2.

According to the U.N., the plan calls for a European Union special representative who would have "ultimate supervisory authority over civilian aspects of the settlement, including the power to annul laws and remove officials whose actions are determined to be inconsistent with it."

The proposal also grants "specific representation for non-Albanians in key public institutions and requir[es] that certain laws may only be enacted if a majority of the Kosovo non-Albanian legislative members agree."

The U.N. says the plan, which has not been officially submitted for approval, would create protective zones around more than 40 religious and cultural sites with importance to the Serbian Orthodox Church and allow for the return of more than 200,000 Serbs who fled in 1999.

Nancy Beck, a spokeswoman for the State Department, told Cybercast News Service that the United States supports the plan. "We believe Ahtisaari's proposal, which is the product of over a year of intense negotiations, is a fair and balanced document."

Beck said the plan includes "extremely generous provisions for protecting Kosovo's non-Albanian communities" that "are in line with European and international standards."

Artemije was skeptical of the protections being offered for Serbs. "Monitored independence, what does that mean? [The] international community has been present more in the last seven years than it would be tomorrow" under monitored independence, he said. "There's no improvement for the position of the Christians."

Beck said that the United States does not necessarily view the plan as granting independence to Kosovo. In fact, the U.N. characterizes the plan as giving Kosovo "the right to govern itself and conclude international agreements ... [but] does not specifically mention independence for the province."

Beck said the U.N. envoy "is still engaging with the parties on the settlement and way forward. We do not speak about the eventual outcome while these talks are underway. The United States continues to seek a status outcome that advances regional stability, protects the rights of Kosovo's communities and is acceptable to the people of Kosovo."

In an interview Feb. 6, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Daniel Fried had harsh words for opponents to the U.N. plan.

"Wise Serbs understand that nationalism has brought nothing but ruin and misery to Serbia," he said. "And they're looking down this pit again and listening to the same tired voices of nationalism make the same tired arguments."

More discussions about the plan are scheduled between Ahtisaari and representatives from Serbia and Kosovo. Artemije said he still has hopes that the plans will be derailed.

"Nothing has been finished yet. There's no proof that everybody supports independence," he said, urging the international community "to prevent the violence and not enable it."

Evangelists beaten for handing out tracts     Four took Christian message to conference that taught Islam

Posted: February 8, 2007     2007

Four evangelists who are supported by Voice of the Martyrs have suffered beatings by a crowd of irate Muslims, but they first succeeded in handing out more than 13,000 Christian tracts at a conference on Islam.

Officials with VOM, a U.S.-based Christian group helping members of the persecuted Christian church worldwide, said one of the beatings was so severe that the Christian apparently suffered internal bleeding as a result.

But the message was delivered, much as Jesus described in Matthew 16:18, where he announces that "thou are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

Gates, of course, generally are immobile, implying that it is the Christian message that advances. That is what happened at the Pakistan conference, VOM said.
"We are thrilled to stand with such courageous Christians," said Todd Nettleton, a spokesman for VOM. "These men bravely carried Christ's message of love to some of those who need it most, even though it was costly to do so.
"We are blessed to be able to provide medical care for them, and to continue to provide gospel materials to Pakistani Christians who risk so much to live for Christ," he said.
The team was at a Muslim festival in the city of Pakpattan on a Friday late last month. The four-member team handed out more than 13,000 Christian messages at that event before being attacked by radical Muslims.
VOM reports that three members of the team were beaten up, then taken to the police station where they were detained and questioned before being released.
The fourth member, however, "was badly beaten by a mob of more than 100 angry Muslims, who then dragged him through the crowd before taking him to the police station," the VOM reported. "He was beaten so severely that he reported blood in his urine and his stool."
VOM said workers on the scene are overseeing his hospitalization and care.
Tens of thousands of Muslims gather for similar conferences each year in Pakistan, where they are lectured on the demands of Islam and ordered to follow the Quran's instructions on handling apostates, VOM said.
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. 

 Faith Under Fire
Descendant of Muhammad converts to Christianity but faces threat to life if forced to return to Turkey

Posted: February 7, 2007    By Wolfgang Polzer    © 2007 ASSIST News Service

A Turk who claims to be a descendant of Islam's prophet Muhammad has converted to Christianity while living in Germany.
But Sedar Dedeoglu, of Luedenscheid, now faces a threat to his life if he's forced to return to Turkey, and is seeking help from German authorities.
Dedeoglu, who is involved in Christian outreach programs among Muslims, has been receiving death threats from Muslims unwilling to accept his conversion. His relatives also regard the apostasy as shameful.
If Dedeoglu is returned to his native country, he very likely would be killed, his lawyer says.
Despite this threat, the German Federal Migration Office and several courts of justice have rejected asylum applications by the Dedeoglu family. They claim Christians are free to practice their religion in Turkey.
To avoid deportation, Dedeoglu, his wife Husniye and their daughter Isil now hope at least to be tolerated in Germany as a "case of hardship." According to their attorney, Oswald Seitter, it is impossible to overlook the extraordinary danger the Dedeoglu family is facing.
For Muslims, he said, it is undeniable Dedeoglu descends from Muhammad's daughter Fatima and her husband Ali. In Dedeoglu's hometown, Elazig, in eastern Turkey they used to be revered as a holy family. According to Seitter, the apostasy of a family member is regarded as an insult of the prophet himself.
Dedeoglu's case has become so widely known in Turkey that his life is in real and imminent danger, the lawyer said.
"We should rejoice that a such a person has become a Christian, and we should avoid any actions which could put his life in additional danger," Seitter told an evangelical news agency.
Seitter is an evangelical Christian and used to be the speaker of the synod of the Protestant Church in Wuerttemberg.
Dedeoglu came to Germany in 1997 and asked for asylum because of political persecution of the Kurdish minority in Turkey. Four years later, he and his family converted to the Christian faith. They are members of an Evangelical Brethren church.

 Muslims Erupt Over Temple Mount Excavations
By Julie Stahl Jerusalem Bureau Chief
February 07, 2007

Jerusalem ( - The Muslim world is upset about archeological excavations around Jerusalem's Temple Mount because they fear it will disprove their claim that Jews never inhabited the Holy Land before 1948, an Israeli expert on Arabic matters said here.

Islamic leaders on Tuesday urged Palestinians and Muslims across the region to rally against Israel to prevent damage to the Al-Aksa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, which is located on the Temple Mount.

The calls for violence came as archeologists continued what they call "rescue" excavations, which are taking place about 50 meters (163 feet) outside the Temple Mount compound. The rescue work is part of a plan to build a new footbridge to be used by non-Muslims entering the Temple Mount.

The new bridge will replace a temporary wooden ramp that was built two years ago after the original structure leading to the Mughrabi gate partially collapsed following an earthquake and snowstorm. It is the only gate through which non-Muslim visitors can enter the Temple Mount.

The Temple Mount, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary), was the site of two successive Jewish Temples built during biblical times and is currently the site of important Islamic shrines.

The most holy site in Judaism, it is one of the main points of contention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has been a flashpoint for Palestinian violence in the past.

In 1967, when Israel captured Jerusalem's Old City during the Six-Day War, Israel allowed the Islamic authorities to continue supervising daily affairs on the Mount, but overall security remains in Israeli hands.

The Muslims view anything that Israel is doing in Jerusalem as a sign of Israeli hegemony over the city -- an affront to their ideology, said Dr. Mordechai Kedar of the BESA Center for Strategic Studies near Tel Aviv

That is why they are protesting so much, Kedar said in a telephone interview.

Some Muslims claim that all of Jewish history was concocted after 1948 just to validate Jewish claims to the land and the city. They are afraid that if there is digging around the Temple Mount, the archeologists will find evidence that the Jews were here 2,000 years ago and that would mean that Jerusalem was and should be the Israeli capital, Kedar said.

The Muslims came to Jerusalem in the 7th century. For them, everything before that -- whether Christian or Jewish -- is irrelevant. Claims based on previous ownership have lost their validity. Islam did not come to live side by side with Christianity and Judaism. It came to replace it and to build on its ruins, Kedar said.

This is why they are so "vociferous" in their complaints about the Temple Mount, he said.

Israeli Arab Knesset Member Abas Zkoor said that although the digging was taking place outside the Temple Mount compound, it was within the mosque's "range." He demanded that the renovation plans be reviewed by a Muslim expert who could judge if the digging is jeopardizing the mosque.

Kedar noted that it didn't bother the Islamic Movement in Israel when bulldozers dug under the Temple Mount several years ago (hollowing out what has been described as the largest mosque in the Middle East), but when Israel removes something from the site, it's a different story.

"This is how they behave. This is how they talk. This is a wave of propaganda," said Kedar.

On Wednesday, police arrested Sheikh Raed Salah, the head of the Islamic Movement in Israel, after he and five others attacked Israeli police near the site of the archeological dig, said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.

(Salah was quoted on Tuesday in connection with the work as saying it was "high time" for an uprising of the Islamic people.)

There were a few stone-throwing incidents in eastern Jerusalem on Wednesday but the area was otherwise quiet, said Rosenfeld.

Jordan's King Abdullah II said that the excavation represented a "dangerous escalation" that would not be helpful in attempts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas reportedly said that the excavations could threaten efforts for regional peace. They demonstrated Israel's desire to destroy Islamic holy sites, he said.

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni said that Israel's excavations around the Temple Mount would do no harm, nor were the excavations intended to harm any holy place. "The opposite is true - they are meant to preserve the site following problems that arose in the past," she said.

Dr. Gideon Avni, director of the Excavations and Surveys Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority, told journalists at the site on Tuesday that the excavations "by no means" touch or endanger the Temple Mount.

A small mechanical digger could be seen working well outside the walls of the Temple Mount.

According to Avni, the furor over the digging is political in nature. Until now, he said, no one has leveled any professional criticism about any of the work or complaints that it would destroy or harm the Temple Mount.

The dig is one of the smaller ones that the Antiquities Authority is managing. Experts are excavating an area where three pylons supporting the footbridge will stand as well as the land the ramp runs across.

Israeli law requires excavations to be conducted in certain areas of the country before building can take place. According to the Antiquities Authority, permission to build the new footbridge was conditional on doing the excavations.

"The archeological excavations, which will last several months, will provide an opportunity to study the nature of the archeological remains in the site, and their contribution to studying Jerusalem's history is expected to be substantial," the Antiquities Authority said in a statement.


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 Fabricated evidence lands man 6 years in jail

Christian had been accused of stomping on torn Quran pages

January 25, 2007    © 2007

Shahbaz Kaka, before his arrest

The charges were made up, the evidence fabricated, the arrest without notice and the sentence was life in prison. But now after serving six years of that term, a Pakistani man is being released, according to Voice of the Martyrs, a U.S.-based Christian group helping members of the persecuted Christian church worldwide.

Shahbaz Kaka currently is being treated with medical care for a month following his recent release from his jail cell, according to a statement issued by Justice Ejah Ahmad Chaudry of the High Court in Lahore.

He then will be free to return home, officials said.

According to Voice of the Martyrs, Shahbaz was arrested in June 2001 after using the restroom at a mosque.

"Qari Rafique, the head of the mosque, asked him why he was using the toilet that was adjacent to the mosque. He quizzed Shahbaz on whether he was a Christian because he was wearing a cross around his neck," a Pakistani information source told VOM.

Rafique subsequently made a series of false accusations against Shahbaz, including statements to authorities that he "disgraced" the Quran by tearing pages out, cutting them into pieces and trampling them under his feet, the source reported.

His arrest followed immediately, and he later was charged, tried, convicted and sentence to life in prison for his "crime," according to VOM.

For the first 18 months of his term, his mother was not even told where her son was, or that he had been accused and arrested. She eventually learned that he still was alive from VOM workers, who started addressing his situation in 2003 when they discovered the injustice delivered in his case.

While they worked on the legal procedures, they also helped his family, encouraging them during a time of extreme hardship and grief, VOM reported.

Shahbaz Kaka in chains

"We rejoice with Shahbaz Kaka and his family at his release," said Todd Nettleton, the director of media development for VOM. "Yet we wonder about the injustice of his arrest and the six years he spent in prison. We are concerned for other Christians who still face persecution in Pakistan, and encourage the Pakistani government to provide true religious freedom in their country."

According to VOM records, Christians have faced severe opposition from militant Islamic groups since Pakistan was formed in 1947 as the Muslim section in the partition of British India.

Christians routinely are barred from jobs and Christian merchants are harassed, and since the war in Afghanistan started, problems have intensified since Pakistani Christians are seen as being a part of an attack on Islam, VOM reported.

Sharia law, Islamic religious law, was adopted in 1998, and that further limited the rights of Pakistani Christians.

While Article 20 of the Constitution of Pakistan assures every citizen the right to profess, practice and propagate their religion, Christian organizations working within Pakistan report reality is quite different.

Muslim extremists use blasphemy laws to attack churches and kill Christians across the nation, and in one incident in 2005, an estimated 3,000 militant Islamists attacked Christians and destroyed Roman Catholic, Salvation Army and United Presbyterian churches. In 2006, churches and Christian schools were targeted for destruction in Pakistan because of the publication of cartoons of Islam in Denmark.

"Unfortunately very little evidence is needed to make a charge under the blasphemy laws and it is very difficult for non-Muslims to successfully contest the accusations," said one analyst. "Even the judicial system struggles to counter such acts with blasphemy cases attracting scores of agitators disrupting court proceedings, shouting slogans and demanding the death penalty."

That law reads: "Whoever by words, either spoken, or written, or by visual representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly, or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him) shall be punished with death."

The nation's Christian community of 2 million is relatively small in the overall population, making up only about three percent of the people.

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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 Arab groups urge GMA to dump biased CNN personality

Jan. 26, 2007    Associated Press

NEW YORK — Three groups are urging ABC News not to keep CNN Headline News personality Glenn Beck on as a Good Morning America commentator because they believe he's biased against Arabs.

The Arab American Institute, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee and the Muslim Public Affairs Council all said Thursday they had written to ABC News President David Westin about Beck.

Good Morning America executive producer Jim Murphy has spoken to a representative of the groups and has invited them on the air to talk about their grievances, said ABC News spokeswoman Jeffrey Schneider. Beck has appeared twice on the show, once together with a Muslim religious leader.

The groups said that Beck — who's drawing strong ratings with his evening show on CNN Headline News — has stated on his show that Arab and Muslim Americans are apathetic to terrorism. During an interview in November with Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim member of Congress, Beck asked him to "prove to me that you are not working with our enemies."

"That blatant anti-Arab, anti-Muslim bias has been given credibility on a larger news show is something that concerns us," said Arab American Institute spokeswoman Jennifer Kauffman.

Beck has said that his question to Ellison was poorly worded.

"My message is clear: Islam is a peaceful religion for over 90 percent of the world's Muslims," he said. "I have urged viewers repeatedly to understand this, while asking all of the proud, peaceful Muslims here in America to take a more visible role in our fight against those who make a mockery of the Quran. I also make airtime available, at any time, to any Muslim organization to help reinforce this realistic, peaceful view of Islam."


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 Google Earth map shows Temple Mount on Arab side of Jerusalem

January 16, 2007    By Aaron Klein    © 2007

Google Earth map marks Temple Mount Palestinian

Gaza Strip also 'Israeli occupied,' even though Jews withdrew in 2005

JERUSALEM – While Jerusalem serves as Israel's capital, and the Temple Mount is located within Israeli sovereignty, the popular satellite map program Google Earth divides the city and places the Mount – Judaism's holiest site – within Palestinian territory.

Interactive Google Earth maps mark eastern sections of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as "occupied territory," set to become part of a future Palestinian state.

Google Earth states it demarcates its maps according to international standards, but no Israeli-Palestinian negotiations – even the failed Camp David final-status negotiations in 2000 – ever placed the Temple Mount within Palestinian territory.

Google Earth map shows Temple Mount on Arab side of Jerusalem

The United Nations considers eastern sections of Jerusalem, recaptured by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, to be "disputed." The Israeli Knesset officially annexed the entire city of Jerusalem as its capital in 1980.

"Google Earth is reinforcing lies," Rabbi Chaim Rechman, director of the international department at Israel's Temple Institute, told WND.

"The Muslims have engaged in a systemic campaign to re-write history and erase any traces of Judaism from the Temple Mount in total disregard to all actual archeological and historic evidence," he continued." Now Google Earth has given in to this campaign."

Jerusalem first was divided into eastern and western sections when Jordan invaded and occupied the city and the Temple Mount area in 1947, expelling all Jewish inhabitants. Israel originally built its capital in the western part of the city, while the eastern quarters remained under Jordanian control until Israel regained them in 1967.

'Racist Israel stealing Palestinian water'

Google Earth does not limit its input in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Jerusalem alone.

The Gaza Strip is labeled by Google Earth as "Israeli occupied," even though the Jewish state withdrew from Gaza in August 2005., a UK-based Jewish website, pointed out an interactive Google Earth map of an Israeli community in the northern West Bank features integrated user comments implying Jews are stealing water from neighboring Palestinians.

A posting on a Google map next to the town of Kiryat Arba, near the ancient city of Hebron, states: "Note the well-tended lawns in a region deprived of water."

Clicking on a weblink in the posting brings the user to a site stating, "The principal reason for the water shortage is an unfair distribution of water resources shared by Israel and the Palestinians."

The posting decries Israel's purported water-confiscation practices as "illegal" and "racist," even though dozens of major Israeli aquifers, many run by the Jewish National Fund, purify water running through Palestinian cities and return the cleaned water to the Palestinian towns.

Comments on other Google Earth images claim Israel plans to divide parts of Bethlehem, even though no such plan exist.

Google Earth is also accused of showing falsified images. Visitors to Google Earth who click on an area just outside Jerusalem can view a computer-generated image claiming to depict an Israeli missile factory.

Israeli defense officials told WND the "missile factory" is a fabrication.

Google Earth could not immediately be reached for comment since its corporate offices were closed today in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

A Google spokeswoman previously told comments and pictures on satellite maps can be switched off if visitors don't want to see them. She said the company would investigate the offending postings.

Referring to Google erroneously labeling the Gaza Strip as occupied, the spokeswoman said, "Borders and place names are not always updated straightaway. Occasionally there are discrepancies. We are happy to receive feedback and will pass it on to the Google Earth team and take the necessary steps."

Terror leader: 'Congratulations to Google Earth'

Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, accused Google Earth of encouraging terrorism.

"When the Arab terrorists see Google Earth's falsification of geographic realities, they will be appeased and encouraged because these kinds of lying maps send the message that their disinformation campaigns and their terrorism work," Klein told WND.

Indeed, Abu Nasser, second-in-command of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group, said he was "thrilled" by Google Earth's depictions.

"Congratulations to Google Earth," Abu Nasser told WND.

"We congratulate Google and the American people in making this very important change in the Middle East. The Al Aqsa Mosque (located on the Temple Mount) is part of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem is part of Palestine. If such a big institution like Google corrected these historical mistakes on maps, maybe we can bring about a change in the depictions of Palestine by the American media, which is controlled by the Zionists."

According to Abu Nasser, whose terror group says it is trying to liberate the Al Aqsa Mosque, the Jewish Temple "never existed."

"At least not on the area Jews now call the Temple Mount.," he said. "Maybe a Temple existed somewhere, but not in Jerusalem. The Temple Mount exists only in the imaginations of the Jews and Americans."

Abu Nasser's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is the declared "military wing" of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party. The Brigades, together with the Islamic Jihad terror group, has taken responsibility for every suicide bombing in Israel the past two years, including an attack in Tel Aviv in April that killed American teenager Daniel Wultz and nine Israelis.

The revelation's about Google Earth's Mideast map follow media reports this week insurgents in Iraq are using Google's satellite imagery to attack British bases and troops.

Intelligence sources quoted by Britain's Daily Telegraph said raids of insurgents last week found printouts of Google satellite photographs of British bases, including details such as toiled blocks, Land Rover parking, and tented areas.

One of the photographs, taken of a hotel housing a British regiment, had the camp's longitude and latitude written on the back, the newspaper said.

"This is evidence, as far as we are concerned, for planning terrorist attacks," an intelligence officer told The Daily Telegraph. "Who would otherwise have Google Earth imagery of one of our bases?"

A Google spokesman told the newspaper its information could be used for "good and bad." "Of course we are always ready to listen to governments' requests," he said.

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 Suspects, Reportedly Tied to Al Qaeda in Iraq, Sought Student Visas

Jan. 22, 2007    By PIERRE THOMAS   

WASHINGTON,  — - Mimicking the hijackers who executed the Sept. 11 attacks, insurgents reportedly tied to al Qaeda in Iraq considered using student visas to slip terrorists into the United States to orchestrate a new attack on American soil.

Lt. Gen. Michael D. Maples, head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, recently testified that documents captured by coalition forces during a raid of a safe house believed to house Iraqi members of al Qaeda six months ago "revealed [AQI] was planning terrorist operations in the U.S."

At the time, Maples offered little additional insight into the possible terror plot. ABC News, however, has learned new details of what remains a classified incident that has been dealt with at the highest levels of government.

Watch Pierre Thomas' full report tonight on "World News with Charles Gibson."

Sources tell ABC News that the plot may have involved moving between 10 and 20 suspects believed to be affiliated with al Qaeda in Iraq into the United States with student visas -- the same method used by the 19 al Qaeda terrorists who struck American targets on Sept. 11.

U.S. officials now require universities to closely track foreign nationals who use student visas to study in the United States. University officials must report international students who fail to arrive on campus or miss class regularly.

In August, the FBI and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement alerted intelligence agencies and state and local law enforcement about 11 Egyptian students who had failed to report to their classes at Montana State University. The students were ultimately apprehended.

Still, despite the heightened precautions, some security analysts fear that skilled terrorists -- handpicked because of their clean records and because they are carefully trained -- could still slip through an academic setting.

The plot was discovered six months ago, roughly the same time that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of al Qaeda in Iraq, was killed by coalition forces. Sources tell ABC News that the suspects involved in the effort to launch the U.S. attack were closely associated with Zarqawi.

The plan also came only months after Ayman al-Zawahiri, al Qaeda's No. 2, had requested that Zarqawi attempt an attack inside the United States.

"This appears to be the first hard evidence al Qaeda in Iraq was trying to attack us here at home," said ABC News consultant Richard Clarke, former chief counterterrorism adviser on the U.S. National Security Council.

The plan was uncovered in its early stages, and sources say there is no indication that the suspects made it into the United States. Officials also emphasize that there is no evidence of an imminent attack.

The hunt for suspects continues, however, and some fear that al Qaeda recruits in Iraq could be easily redirected.

"Anyone willing to go to Iraq to fight American troops is probably willing to try to come to the United States," Clarke said.

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 Complaint cites judge in terror-linked case

January 9, 2007    © 2007

Woman protecting sons from Islam charges divorce court rules broken

Judicial ethics complaints are being filed against a Tennessee judge by a woman battling her Muslim husband in a divorce case she fears could leave her teen sons at the mercy of violent Islamic jihadists and a lawyer who was asked to take notes in the case.

The woman, Rosaline Ghawji, is seeking a divorce from her husband, prominent Memphis doctor Maher Ghawji, because she alleges he has "ties to terrorism [and] has threatened to kill her and her two boys if they did not abide by radical Islamic doctrine," according to a statement from her general counsel's office.

The statement from that office alleged Judge Donna Fields of Circuit Court in Shelby County for the state's 13th Judicial District "grossly violated" the Canons of Judicial Ethics.

A lawyer who was hired to take notes at her divorce trial also is filing a complaint after Judge Fields ordered him out of the audience and onto the stand to testify in the divorce case.

In her complaint, Mrs. Ghawji alleges the judge has improperly excluded terrorism issues from her trial, which started Jan. 2. As a result of a variety of influences, including that from the FBI which she said, "has likely turned her husband into an informant," her trial lawyer was allowed to withdraw "without good cause" so that she no longer effectively can present her case.

Even though the judge's ruling to let the lawyer go came just days before the trial, she said the judge refused to delay the hearing, and told her she must go forward, even without counsel.

Then Fields put one of Mrs. Ghawji's out-of-state lawyers on the witness stand, plucking him from the audience where he was taking notes, and ordering him to testify about attorney-client communications with Mrs. Ghawji, she alleged.

"To coerce the lawyer to testify Judge Fields threatened him with fabricated criminal charges of kidnapping based on the simple fact that the Ghawji children had not gone to school that day," the statement said.

"The attorney client privilege is the most sacrosanct of all client rights," the statement said, and the judge's conduct "warrants the most severe punishment."

Larry Klayman, the woman's private general counsel and Judicial Watch founder, also said he was filing a complaint for the judge's alleged violations of the attorney client privilege with Mrs. Ghawji.

"This case is important to redress the culture of extrajudicial bias and prejudice that has pervaded this case and to set an example that the court system cannot be allowed to abuse client rights with impunity," the firm's statement said.

Mrs. Ghawji, a Christian woman who once served as an FBI informant on her husband's alleged support of terrorism, said she wants a divorce because her husband, a self-described radical Muslim, told her he would be proud if their sons blew themselves up for Allah.

Joe Kaufman, who has run an anti-terrorism organization for several years, noted that both of the Ghawji sons have, in e-mails and other communications, told friends their father was planning to take them to Syria against their will, and one noted that his grandfather has promised to beat him up when he arrived there.

If Mrs. Ghawji's allegations are correct, she is up against some of the most radical factions in the world today, including the adherents of blind Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman, now serving a life sentence in the SuperMax prison in Colorado on accusations he helped in the planning of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings in New York.

She has said her husband's brother once bragged "we got them" when an explosion at the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia killed 19 Americans.

She also alleges her husband had an affair with a spokeswoman working for the Islamic Society of Central Florida.

That organization, she said, tried to sponsor a fundraiser featuring Siraj Wahhaj, who is on the U.S. Attorney’s list of potential co-conspirators to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

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 Local push for Islamic state

Barney Zwartz
January 9, 2007

AN ULTRA-radical Muslim group banned in many countries will promote support for an Islamic superstate in a seminar in Australia this month.

Christian critics claim that the seminar, to be conducted by the group Hizb ut-Tahrir, will be a recruiting ground for extremists.

Hizb ut-Tahrir believes that the caliphate — a part of the world under Muslim rule that, at its peak, ran from Spain to Iran and beyond — is about to be re-established.

Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Russia and most Muslim countries in the Middle East because of alleged links to terrorism, including the bombers behind the 2005 London attacks.

It is not banned in Australia but is controversial because it opposes democracy and Muslim integration, has tried to recruit young Muslims and ran a lecture last year titled "Israel is an illegal state that Muslims will never accept".

A promotional video for the January 27 Sydney conference on the internet site claims the world was "plunged into darkness" on March 3, 1924, the date when Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk ended the Ottoman caliphate.

"The consequences were unimaginable: death, destruction, chaos, exploitation. After 80 years of the absence of the khilafate (caliphate) the Muslim world has awakened from its slumber, and the umma (the community of all the world's Muslims) is ready to resume its political destiny," the video says.

"From the darkness will emerge a new light."

Some observers have expressed fears that the conference will be used to radicalise Muslims in Australia and recruit extremists.

A spokesman for federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said group members would have to be careful about what they said at the conference and remember that Australia was a harmonious society.

Melbourne Anglican minister Mark Durie, author of a book comparing Islam and Christianity, said in a widely distributed email: "If we wake up in 10 years' time and wonder what went wrong, historians who are able to look back and analyse the rise of radical Islam in Australia will identify events such as this conference as part of the answer."

Dr Durie said yesterday Hizb ut-Tahrir was a major world force for radical political Islam, with links to terrorist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, and had strategies for Australia. He said the purpose of the conference was to "inspire and mobilise Muslims to establish Islamic government in the medieval model of sharia law with no concession to other principles such as democracy or human rights".

"They want to legitimise the caliphate as a political aspiration."

Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman Wassim Doureihi said the purpose was to highlight the reality of political struggle in the Muslim world and the obligations of Muslims in Australia to raise these issues, and to raise awareness of the caliphate.

"The caliphate is a political reality. It's imminent. There is a burgeoning Islamic revival, and it's only a matter of time before the caliphate is a state," he said.

Asked if he wanted sharia in Australia, Mr Doureihi said yes, by peaceful means.

"Islam is universal. The caliphate would be a role model for the rest of the world."

Mr Doureihi said Hizb ut-Tahrir sought to win hearts and minds but denied that the group in Australia was shadowy or extremist, saying non-Muslims were welcome at the conference.

He said the conference was a forum to discuss concerns and misconceptions and there was nothing extremist about noting the Muslim world's plight or advocating peaceful change.

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