Islam and Muslims -- Facts and Fiction

-- Copts plan rally in support of jailed mom - 12/8/07
-- CAIR backs film praising convicted terror supporter - 12/4/07
-- CAIR called 'turnstile' for terrorist suspects - 12/4/07
-- Muslim religion taught under guise of history - 9/20/07
-- Terrorists disclose: We LOVE liberals - 9/19/07
-- Terrorists thank Cindy: You light up our lives - 9/16/07
-- U.N. must address forced conversions to Islam - 9/09/07
-- Advertisers blast 'offensive' CNN religion series - 8/29/07
--

 Joy, Fury Over Kosovo Independence Declaration

February 18, 2008    By Patrick Goodenough    CNSNews.com International Editor

(CNSNews.com) - Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence has sparked reactions that make it clear the final chapter in the upheavals that roiled the Balkans at the end of last century has yet to be written.

Within minutes of the announcement in the capital, Pristina, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica called the newly declared entity a "phony state" and said "as long as the Serbian people exist, Kosovo remains Serbia."

In a televised statement, the nationalist prime minister criticized "the president of the U.S." in particular, saying America had shamelessly breached international law by supporting independence for Kosovo.

Newly reelected president Boris Tadic in a statement appealed to NATO's KFOR peacekeeping force in Kosovo to protect the Serb minority there from possible outbreaks of violence by members of the Muslim ethnic Albanian majority.

Angry protestors in Belgrade marched on the U.S. Embassy, chanting "Kosovo is Serbia." At least 30 policemen were injured, local media reported. The ultra-nationalist Radical Party is planning a mass rally in the capital on Thursday.

Earlier, Kosovo President Fatmir Sejdiu and Prime Minister Hashim Thaci set off celebrations by declaring an independent state, which they said would be "democratic, secular and multiethnic."

The territory of two million people has been under U.N. supervision since a NATO campaign in 1999 ended Serb atrocities against the Albanians and forced the withdrawal of Belgrade's troops from the province.

As Kosovar Albanians celebrated the announcement, Serbia's Russian ally called an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting which reflected the international split over the issue.

The U.S. and most European governments, including permanent council members Britain and France, are supportive of "supervised independence." Russia is firmly opposed, as is the remaining permanent member, China.

"Kosovo's unilateral act can produce a series of results that will lead to seriously negative influence on peace and stability in the Balkan region," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said in Beijing on Monday.

Lui said the sides should continue to seek a proper solution through negotiation.

Months of negotiations have, however, had little success, and Sunday's announcement has been expected ever since a Dec. 10 deadline on reaching an agreement on Kosovo's final status passed without resolution.

Because Russia has vowed to use its Security Council veto to block independence, Kosovo's international status will remain in limbo. While it may boast trappings of statehood including a new blue-and-gold flag, it will not immediately obtain membership of the world body.

The forthcoming days will see some governments recognize the new state, with the United States and many European Union (E.U.) countries among the first, along with some Islamic nations, including Saudi Arabia and Albania.

The E.U. is split, however, with at least six of the 27 member states -- Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Cyprus and Slovakia -- unlikely to recognize an independent Kosovo, largely because of concerns about secessionist movements in their own neighborhoods.

A number of other countries, including Group of Eight members Canada and Japan, have indicated that they will not recognize the new state immediately.

'It creates no precedent'

One country that is more concerned than most is Georgia, which since the early 1990s has grappled with two breakaway regions of its own -- the pro-Moscow enclaves of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia has long hinted that if the West supports an independent Kosovo, it would in turn throw its backing behind an independent Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Interfax news agency quoted a top Georgian lawmaker as saying the government of Georgia would not recognize Kosovo's independence.

Georgia's West-leaning President Mikhail Saakashvili has frequently accused Russia of trying to destabilize Georgia by stirring up tensions in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

In a statement released after Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with the leaders of the two territories, Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement, "the declaration and recognition of the independence of Kosovo will doubtless have to be taken into account as far as the situation in Abkhazia and South Ossetia is concerned."

President Vladimir Putin has warned that independence for Kosovo will set a legal "precedent" that could be cited elsewhere. Apart from Georgia, other secessionist situations in the former Soviet region remain unresolved in Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh) and Moldova (Transdnistria).

At Sunday's Security Council session, U.N. envoy Alejandro Wolff disputed the argument, telling reporters "we have knocked it down over and over again. This is an unprecedented situation, it creates no precedent."

In an earlier statement, delivered to the Security Council late last week, Wolff said the recent history of the region made Kosovo different from other conflicts.

"The situation in Kosovo is sui generis and provides no precedent for any other part of the world," he said. "It hasn't ever been, it isn't, and it shall not be a precedent. There is no purpose served in pretending otherwise, and the United States will act consistently with this fact in how it looks at other conflicts."

John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. and American Enterprise Institute senior fellow, joined former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and senior Bookings Institution fellow Peter Rodman late last month in calling for a reassessment of U.S. policy on Kosovo.

They noted that notwithstanding the U.S. insistence that Kosovo would not set a precedent, ethnic and religious minorities in other countries have already signaled their intention to follow Kosovo's example.

Bolton, Eagleburger and Rodman also voiced concern about what they called "the dismissive attitude displayed toward Russia's objections," and asked, "On an issue of minor importance to the United States, is this a useful expenditure of significant political capital with Russia?"

'Stand up to threats'

Critics of U.S. policy on Kosovo include the non-profit American Council for Kosovo, whose director, James George Jatras, warned in a recent op-ed article for UPI that the issue "could transform into a full-blown global crisis."

Kosovar Serbs' concerns about what independence would mean for them were "well-founded."

"Since 1999, some 150 Christian shrines have been destroyed or desecrated," Jatras said. "At the same time, hundreds of mosques have been built, mainly with Saudi money and propagating the intolerant Wahhabi brand of Islam."

He argued that there was no clear U.S. interest in supporting independence for Kosovo.

"Why should we provoke a needless fight with a newly muscular Russia? Especially after Sept. 11, why should America want to be midwife to the birth of a new Islamic country in Europe?"

Heritage Foundation scholars Nile Gardiner and Sally McNamara called for the West to be united in supporting full independence for Kosovo.

"The Western powers must stand up to any threats coming from Belgrade and Moscow and support full membership for Kosovo in the United Nations as a sovereign state," they wrote in a weekend memo.

Gardiner and McNamara said the U.S. and E.U. should encourage Serbian leaders to seek E.U. membership, while making it clear that any attempt to sabotage Kosovo's sovereignty would only isolate Belgrade and weaken its chances of joining the E.U.

Among the most recent declarations of independence by territories without the consent of legal governing authorities are the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in 1983, and Rhodesia in 1965. Neither won international recognition.

---------------------

Home   TOC   Top

 Egyptian court bans convert to Christianity from changing ID card

'No one leaves Islam,' judge rules

February 1, 2008    © 2008 WorldNetDaily.com

Egypt

No one ever leaves Islam, according to a judge in Egypt who has cited Islamic religious law in rejecting a request from a Muslim convert to Christianity to be allowed to change his religious affiliation on his national identification card.

In a decision that forecasts more and more decisions being based on Shari'a, Islam's religious law, Judge Muhammad Husseini has concluded it violates the law for a Muslim to leave Islam.

According to a report from Compass Direct News, the judge found that the convert, Muhammad Hegazy, "can believe whatever he wants in his heart, but on paper he can't convert."

The report said Husseini cited Article II of the Egyptian constitution, making Islamic religious law the "source" of Egyptian secular law, as the basis for his conclusion.

Since Islam is the "final" and "most complete" religion, Muslims already have full freedom of religion and are not allowed to return to the "less complete" Christianity or Judaism, the ruling said.

It's a new peak in the rise of Islam in Egypt, which The Middle East Review of International Affairs said began with Anwar Sadat's tenure in power.

"He then initiated what one could, in hindsight, term 'the Great Islamic Transformation' of Egypt. The first step was to stipulate in the Second Article of his new Constitution, promulgated in 1971 (long before Khomeini embarked on his Islamic revolutionary campaign), that the Principles of Islamic Shari'a were 'a main source' of legislation. In May 1981, the 'a' was replaced with 'the,' making Shari'a the term of reference for the entire constitution, meaning all other articles were to be interpreted in that light," the organization said.

"The curricula of public schools, established by the Ministry of Education, ignore the Coptic era in Egypt's history. Courses glorifying Islam (the 'Only True Religion') and its history, while vilifying the crusaders (i.e. Christians) and the Jews, are imposed on all students," the group said.

"In the case of a father of a Christian family converting to Islam, his minor children are forced to follow suit: The mother's custody rights – a well established legal principle – are ignored in this case, as children, according to typical court rulings, are supposed to follow the 'better (or 'more noble') of the two religions,'" the group said.

On the pro-freedom website called Sons of Apes and Pigs, a commentary noted that the Egyptian court decision "went on and issued a very explicit warning to Muhammad Hegazy, his wife and their lawyer, that going against the tide would provoke civil unrest and exacerbate emotions in the Egyptian society."

"Freedom of religion doesn't mean getting in and out of Islam to another religion, but only means that each person is free to practice his own religious rites, and not playing games with Islam or contradicting Shari'a law," the website said the judge concluded.

The website, which said it took its name from Quranic descriptions of Christians and Jews, said Westerners don't realize the significance of having a national ID card listing the carrier as Muslim.

"If you get caught going to a church while your religion on your ID is Muslim, that could get you arrested, questioned and tortured," the commentary said. "The latest victim was a 27-year-old woman, Mrs. Sherreen, mother of two children from Alexandria, Egypt. She died at the police station on Jan. 3, 2008, after five hours of torture for refusing to renounce her Christian faith and come back to Islam."

The website noted in Egypt, children of parents with Muslim IDs automatically are Muslims, and they are required to follow mandatory Islamic indoctrination classes, and Muslims cannot marry non-Muslims.

It also said to apply for any job, an applicant must provide the state-designated religious affiliation.

The website also noted according to multiple media reports, Hegazy's father issued a statement that, "when I'll meet my son, I will discuss with him the reasons and circumstances that 'forced' him to leave Islam, and will offer him the opportunity to come back to Islam, but in case he refuses, I will kill him immediately."

Press reports say Hegazy's case was the first time someone had sought to make a change from Islam in the religious designation on an official national ID card.

Hegazy has reported he was studying various religions, and found he was not consistent with Islam.

"The major issue for me was love. Islam wasn't promoting love as Christianity did," he said.

As a result of his conversion he's reported being arrested and tortured several times, but it's opened wide the eyes of observers, the Apes and Pigs website said.

"Muhammad Hegazy's case dynamited the Islamic mountain of lies, propaganda and false pride," the commentary said. "Not only in Egypt, but all over the Arab world. Exposed to the world [was] the deception of the Islamic governments, Egypt in particular … [of] 'no compulsion in religion.'"

According to the Compass Direct report, Gamal Eid, head of the Arab Network for Human Rights Information, whose lawyers have been representing the convert, said that he was disappointed with the verdict.

"The judge didn't listen to our defense, and we didn't even have a chance to talk before the court,” Eid said.

Meanwhile, death threats have forced the couple, whose new daughter is only a month old, into hiding.

Compass also reported that at least partly because of the case, lawyers in Egypt now are trying to force the government to outlaw conversion from Islam in secular law as well as religious law.

WND previously has reported on a ruling from a U.S. federal court that an Egyptian Christian who had fled his home nation "most assuredly has a right not to be tortured." The ruling allowed the Egyptian Christian to remain in the United States.

The court pointedly concluded that "diplomatic assurances" of his religious rights "by a country known to have engaged in torture" weren't reassuring.

A report from the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights concluded Coptic Christians in Egypt have been harassed, tortured and killed by Muslims for 1,400 years.

"They have been subjected to all kinds of hate crimes including, the abduction of young Coptic girls, the killing of Coptic women and children and the destruction of their places of worship," the report said.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, an agency created by Congress, also lists Egypt on its watch list of countries, noting it had "a poor overall human rights record."

In addition, Egyptian authorities have threatened two young boys who were ordered to take training to be Muslims, but refused, stating they are Christian.

----------------------

Home   TOC   Top

 CIA chief: Al-Qaida behind Bhutto slaying

Echoing Musharraf, Hayden says al-Qaeda, militants behind ex-PM’s death

Jan. 18, 2008     By Joby Warrick     The Washington Post

The CIA has concluded that members of al-Qaeda and allies of Pakistani tribal leader Baitullah Mehsud were responsible for last month's assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, and that they also stand behind a new wave of violence threatening that country's stability, the agency's director, Michael V. Hayden, said in an interview.

Offering the most definitive public assessment by a U.S. intelligence official, Hayden said Bhutto was killed by fighters allied with Mehsud, a tribal leader in northwestern Pakistan, with support from al-Qaeda's terrorist network. That view mirrors the Pakistani government's assertions.

The same alliance between local and international terrorists poses a grave risk to the government of President Pervez Musharraf, a close U.S. ally in the fight against terrorism, Hayden said in 45-minute interview with The Washington Post. "What you see is, I think, a change in the character of what's going on there," he said. "You've got this nexus now that probably was always there in latency but is now active: a nexus between al-Qaeda and various extremist and separatist groups."

Hayden added, "It is clear that their intention is to continue to try to do harm to the Pakistani state as it currently exists."

Days after Bhutto's Dec. 27 assassination in the city of Rawalpindi, Pakistani officials released intercepted communications between Mehsud and his supporters in which the tribal leader praised the killing and, according to the officials, appeared to take credit for it. Pakistani and U.S. officials have declined to comment on the origin of that intercept, but the administration has until now been cautious about publicly embracing the Pakistani assessment.

Widespread suspicion of Musharraf
Many Pakistanis have voiced suspicions that Musharraf's government played a role in Bhutto's assassination, and Bhutto's family has alleged a wide conspiracy involving government officials. Hayden declined to discuss the intelligence behind the CIA's assessment, which is at odds with that view and supports Musharraf's assertions.

"This was done by that network around Baitullah Mehsud. We have no reason to question that," Hayden said. He described the killing as "part of an organized campaign" that has included suicide bombings and other attacks on Pakistani leaders.

Some administration officials outside the agency who deal with Pakistani issues were less conclusive, with one calling the assertion "a very good assumption."

One of the officials said there was no "incontrovertible" evidence to prove or rebut the assessment.

Al-Qaida rebuilding in region

Hayden made his statement shortly before a series of attacks occurred this week on Pakistani political figures and army units. Pakistani officials have blamed them on Mehsud's forces and other militants. On Wednesday, a group of several hundred insurgents overran a military outpost in the province of South Waziristan, killing 22 government paramilitary troops. The daring daylight raid was carried out by rebels loyal to Mehsud, Pakistani authorities said.

For more than a year, U.S. officials have been nervously watching as al-Qaeda rebuilt its infrastructure in the rugged tribal regions along the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, often with the help of local sympathizers.

In recent months, U.S. intelligence officials have said, the relationship between al-Qaeda and local insurgents has been strengthened by a common antipathy toward the pro-Western Musharraf government. The groups now share resources and training facilities and sometimes even plan attacks together, they said.

"We've always viewed that to be an ultimate danger to the United States," Hayden said, "but now it appears that it is a serious base of danger to the current well-being of Pakistan."

Policy hasn't changed, Hayden says
Hayden's anxieties about Pakistan's stability are echoed by other U.S. officials who have visited Pakistan since Bhutto's assassination. White House, intelligence and Defense Department officials have held a series of meetings to discuss U.S. options in the event that the current crisis deepens, including the possibility of covert action involving Special Forces.

Hayden declined to comment on the policy meetings but said that the CIA already was heavily engaged in the region and has not shifted its officers or changed its operations significantly since the crisis began.

"The Afghan-Pakistan border region has been an area of focus for this agency since about 11 o'clock in the morning of September 11, [2001], and I really mean this," Hayden said. "We haven't done a whole lot of retooling there in the last one week, one month, three months, six months and so on. This has been up there among our very highest priorities."

Hayden said that the United States has "not had a better partner in the war on terrorism than the Pakistanis." The turmoil of the past few weeks has only deepened that cooperation, he said, by highlighting "what are now even more clearly mutual and common interests."

Hayden also acknowledged the difficulties -- diplomatic and practical -- involved in helping combat extremism in a country divided by ethnic, religious and cultural allegiances. "This looks simpler the further away you get from it," he said. "And the closer you get to it, geography, history, culture all begin to intertwine and make it more complex."

Regarding the public controversy over the CIA's harsh interrogation of detainees at secret prisons, Hayden reiterated previous agency statements that lives were saved and attacks were prevented as a result of those interrogations.

He said he does not support proposals, put forward by some lawmakers in recent weeks, to require the CIA to abide by the Army Field Manual in conducting interrogations. The manual, adopted by the Defense Department, prohibits the use of many aggressive methods, including a simulated-drowning technique known as waterboarding.

"I would offer my professional judgment that that will make us less capable in gaining the information we need," he said.

Staff writer Robin Wright and staff researcher Julie Tate contributed to this report.


© 2008 The Washington Post Company
URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22690096/

Home   TOC   Top

 Palestinians fire big rockets amid peace talks

January 16, 2008    By Aaron Klein    © 2008 WorldNetDaily.com

Major escalation against Israel as U.S.-brokered negotiations continue

JERUSALEM – In what would be considered a major escalation, Hamas has claimed to WND it fired Katyusha rockets from the Gaza Strip aimed at a strategic Israeli city.
Katyusha rockets can travel further and carry much larger payloads than Qassam rockets, the brand usually launched by Gaza-based terror groups.

Qassams, about four feet long, usually can travel up to about five miles and are filled with explosives, fuel and shrapnel. Katyushas can travel more than 12 miles and are able to deliver a devastating amount of explosives. Hezbollah in 2006 hit northern Israel with more than 4,000 Katyushas, killing 43 Israeli civilians and injuring 4,262 more.

Hamas claimed it fired two Katyushas last night and another today aimed at Ashkelon, a port town about 10 miles from the Gaza Strip that is home to strategic fuel depots and electrical stations that supply power to most of southern Israel.

A spokeswoman for the Israel Defense Forces denied knowledge of any Katyushas fired at Ashkelon, stating only Qassams were launched from Gaza in recent days.

The IDF several times has denied various Palestinian rocket attacks, including a Katyusha that Hamas claimed it fired at the Israeli city of Sderot last year, only to later release limited information confirming the attacks.

In one of the largest single-day rocket salvoes, the IDF confirmed over 40 Qassam rockets and dozens of mortars were fired today at southern Israeli cities. Palestinian terrorists yesterday launched 25 rockets into Israel.

The attacks come in the wake of an Israeli anti-terror operation launched yesterday targeting Gaza's rocket installations and killing 15 Palestinian militants the IDF said were involved in rocket firings.

Today, the IDF reportedly mistakenly hit a car of Palestinian civilians while targeting a nearby vehicle carrying terrorists who had just fired rockets at Israel. While Palestinian terror leaders vowed revenge, the IDF pointed out it put to use better targeting capabilities in recent years that has limited the number of civilians killed in air strikes from roughly 50 percent in 2002 to 2-3 percent last year.

Since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005, thousands of rockets have slammed into nearby Jewish cities.

In line with agreements outlined at the U.S.-sponsored Annapolis summit in November, Israel is widely expected to evacuate large swaths of the West Bank and some sections of Jerusalem to create a Palestinian state this year.

President Bush visited the region last week to encourage the Israeli and Palestinian leaders to continue negotiations leading to a Palestinian state. According to diplomatic sources, Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams met today as the rockets were landing in Sderot and Ashkelon.


Home   TOC   Top

 Congressmen Seek Answers about Terror Expert's Firing

January 16, 2008    By Fred Lucas    CNSNews.com Staff Writer

(CNSNews.com) - Members of Congress are seeking more information regarding the firing of a top terrorism expert at the Pentagon following reports that he was dismissed for being too critical of Islamic law.

Earlier this month, the Pentagon Joint Staff told Stephen Coughlin, a specialist on Islamic law at the Pentagon, that his contract would not be renewed in March. The firing apparently resulted from pressure by pro-Muslim officials working in the Department of Defense, according to numerous news reports.

Meanwhile, members of Congress have not had much success in getting answers from the Pentagon either, said Rep. Sue Myrick (R-N.C.), co-chair of the bi-partisan House Anti-Terrorism Caucus.

"We want to get to the bottom of this," Myrick told Cybercast News Service Tuesday. "We are contacting everyone to see who we can talk to."

Coughlin - who supporters say had one of the most important jobs in analyzing how Jihadists think -- crossed Hasham Islam, an aide to Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, according The Washington Times.

The paper reported, without attribution, that the aide told Coughlin to "soften his view" on radical Islam. When Coughlin refused, Hasham Islam called him a Christian zealot "with a pen," according to the report.

The incomplete reports and near silence from the Pentagon creates the need to get at the truth, Myrick said.

"This sounds like another example of someone protecting national security and being told to shut up," Myrick continued. "If we don't get over being politically correct, we won't be here as a country."

This week, Myrick said she began contacting other co-chairs of the Anti-Terrorism Caucus, such as Rep. Jane Harmon (D-Calif.), Rep. Richard "Bud" Cramer (D-Ala.), and Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) about setting up a meeting with Coughlin and Pentagon officials to find out the circumstances behind the firing.

Myrick stressed that any congressional inquiry is in the early, talking stages, but she has contacted the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, the House Armed Services Committee, and the House Homeland Security Committee to inquire about investigative hearings into the case.

While any inquiry by Congress would be significant, the Anti-Terrorism Caucus is only a group of House members that can hold a meeting and ask questions. It does not have authority to take action or issue subpoenas, which congressional committees have.

Myrick said the Pentagon is requiring any congressional requests to go through the Defense Department's Legislative Affairs Office before Coughlin would be available to speak to anyone.

Coughlin, an attorney, a former Army intelligence officer, and a major in the Army Reserves, could not be reached for comment for this story. Those who know him say he will not talk to the media until his employment with the Defense Department is over.

Coughlin's 333-page thesis, " To Our Great Detriment: Ignoring What Extremists Say About Jihad," was accepted last year by the National Defense Intelligence College. The report describes an Islamic culture that teaches violence from an early age.

It says, for instance, "So how does one explain the prevailing assumption that Islam does not stand for such violence undertaken in its name with the fact that its laws and education materials validate the very acts undertaken by 'extremists' in Iraq?"

And continues, "The first 'radicalizing' lessons Saudi youth receive that motivates them to travel to Iraq and fight coalition forces does not come from 'extremist' groups like al Qaeda, but rather is taught as part of Saudi Arabia's standard secondary school curriculum."

The sentiments of Coughlin's research apparently were too much for some in the Pentagon, said Andrew Bostom, an author and lecturer on Islam, who has known Coughlin for more than three years.

He and Coughlin conducted a lecture at the Naval War College in Rhode Island last year, and Bostom spoke to Pentagon officials on other occasions at Coughlin's request.

"The general sense I got from Steve is that no one at the Pentagon could argue in a rational way against his analysis, so there was unfortunately a lot of petty resistance," Bostom told Cybercast News Service.

"His law-based presentation, fact-based presentation demonstrates that the so-called extremists are firmly rooted in Islamic law," said Bostom. "You can't just ascribe al Qaeda as a phenomenon that comes out of a vacuum. Invoking sociological and anthropological ideas and ignoring Islamic law will not get us far."

Jerome Gordon, a former Army intelligence officer who knows Coughlin, said many rank-and-file Defense Department officials are supportive of Coughlin.

"He was the only expert they retained on the Joint Staff with that kind of knowledge of Islamic law and jihad in what we're calling the long war against Jihad," Gordon told Cybercast News Service . "Steve used authentic Islamic sources. The documents he used stand equivalent to legal briefs supporting the legal doctrine of Jihad."

Questions submitted by Cybercast News Service to the Pentagon were not answered by press time.


Home   TOC   Top

 US court overturns $156 million award in terrorism suit against Islamic charities

No date posted ???

A United States federal appeals court on Friday overturned a $156 million award against US-based Muslim activists for their involvement in the terrorist death of an American teenager in the West Bank more than a decade ago.

The 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals said the judge in the case had failed to require the parents of 17-year-old David Boim to properly show a link between the boy's shooting death by Hamas - a group designated by the US as a terror organization - and the fundraising activities of the charities.  Because of that error, it sent the case back for a possible new trial.  The Boims' attorney, Nathan Lewin, said an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is possible.  ''This court of appeals decision is wrong, very wrong,'' Lewin said. ''It amounts to encouragement of financial contributions to terrorist organizations.''

Stanley and Joyce Boim had sued the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development; the American Muslim Society, also known as the Islamic Association for Palestine; the Quranic Literacy Institute, and Mohamed Salah, and an alleged Hamas fundraiser.  Their son, a yeshiva student, was gunned down in 1996 while waiting with other students at a bus stop in Beit El, on the West Bank.  A federal court jury in 2004 ruled in their favor and awarded them $52 million in damages in one of the first jury awards against US-based institutions accused of supporting terrorism.  In accordance with US anti-terrorism law, a federal magistrate subsequently tripled the amount of the damages levied against the defendants, who had all denied financing terrorism.

The ruling in 2004 came in addition to a crackdown against a group of US-based Islamic charities and others who saw their assets frozen and, in some cases, faced federal charges for allegedly funding groups deemed by the US as terrorist organizations.  The case against the Holy Land Foundation, the largest Muslim charity in the country when it was shut down in 2001, was the government's biggest terror-financing case since the Sept. 11 attacks.  Authorities closed it down after accusing it of funneling more than $12 million to Hamas.  Several people connected to the group were charged.

But, in a blow to the government, the case ended in a mistrial after none of the group's leaders was convicted and many acquittals were tossed out in October after some jurors took the rare step of disputing the verdict.

Salah was sentenced in July to 21 months in federal prison. He was convicted of obstruction of justice for lying under oath on a written questionnaire involving David Boim's death, stemming from the civil lawsuit filed by the teen's parents.

The jury, however, acquitted Salah of taking part in a racketeering conspiracy aimed at bankrolling Hamas.

Home   TOC   Top

 Copts plan rally in support of jailed mom

47-year-old sentenced for fraud for declaring herself Christian

December 8, 2007

Al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo

A rally is being planned on Sunday by Coptic Christians in Egypt who have decided "enough is enough" after a 47-year-old mother was jailed because she married as a Christian.

The case, on which WND reported earlier, involves Shadia Nagui Ibrahim, who was charged and convicted of fraud, with its three-year prison sentence, for marrying more than two decades ago as a Christian.

According to reports from the South African Press Association, her national identity documents state she is a Christian, and she was unaware that her father's brief conversion to Islam in 1962, when she was 2 years old, also required her to be converted to Islam.

"The seriousness behind this is this is the first time in the history of the Copts of Egypt [they are giving] a signal, a very, very important signal, that the people of Egypt … say, 'Enough is enough.'" Sam Grace, of Coptic News told WND.

He said the rally in Cairo will be a march to the presidential palace where there will be several speakers addressing the issue of human rights in the nation that admits it governs itself by Islamic sharia law.

Grace, whose operations keep him in the United States although the issues he addresses are in Egypt, said he will be monitoring the event live early Sunday.

"We have people there. We will be in contact live," he said.

"The demands [will be to] ask the president directly to intervene in this case and stop this masquerade and set Mrs. Shadia free," he said.

He said there's been no estimate on those who are expected to attend, but told WND, "There will be plenty, because as I say this is kind of a red flag day [in Egypt]."

Egypt has in recent years moved its federal government closer and closer to Islamic sharia law, including an amendment to the constitution that Islamic law now is considered the source of jurisprudence in Egypt.

Such actions have dealt harshly with Christians, who with this rally "have decided to be more active in taking a stand," Grace told WND. "It seems they've kind of reached a point where they can't take it any more."

In the case prompting the protest, activists are seeking freedom for the woman who, when she was two, was abandoned by her father when he converted from Christianity to Islam. However, Nagui Ibrahim re-converted several years later to Christianity, and since Egyptian law allows conversions only from Christianity to Islam, he had someone forge personal identity documents to say he was Christian.

The man who forged Ibrahim's documents was detained in 1996 for falsifying dozens of documents and confessed to changing Ibrahim's papers, SAPA reported.

Ibrahim also was detained and informed his daughter officially was a Muslim, because children in Egypt automatically take their father's religion.

When Shadia Ibrahim married in 1982, she stated she was a Christian. Authorities later prosecuted her for "providing false information on official documents," and after a lengthy trial she was sentenced in 2000, in abstentia, to three years in prison.

Egypt forbids a Muslim woman from marry a Christian man.

She was detained in August this year and sent to prison after a brief court session, her lawyer said, according to SAPA.

Egyptian authorities have not shown themselves tolerant of Christianity.

"In September, an Egyptian court extended the jail term of two Christian human rights activists, Adel Fawzy Faltas and Peter Ezzat, who were arrested in August. The men, members of the Middle East Christian Association, were arrested a day after they took part in documenting the alleged murder of a Copt by two members of the police force. They later were released.

Authorities also have threatened two young boys who were ordered to take training to be Muslims, but refused, stating they are Christian.

And there have been several attempts to deport from America Egyptian Christians who would be subject to penalties if returned because of their choices to live as Christians.

The Middle East Review of International Affairs said the rise of Islam in Egypt arrived with Anwar Sadat's tenure.

"He then initiated what one could, in hindsight, term 'the Great Islamic Transformation' of Egypt. The first step was to stipulate in the Second Article of his new Constitution, promulgated in 1971 (long before Khomeini embarked on his Islamic revolutionary campaign), that the Principles of Islamic Shari'a were 'a main source' of legislation. In May 1981, the 'a' was replaced with 'the,' making Shari'a the term of reference for the entire constitution, meaning all other articles were to be interpreted in that light," the organization said.

"The curricula of public schools, established by the Ministry of Education, ignore the Coptic era in Egypt's history. Courses glorifying Islam (the 'Only True Religion') and its history, while vilifying the crusaders (i.e. Christians) and the Jews, are imposed on all students," the group said.

"In the case of a father of a Christian family converting to Islam, his minor children are forced to follow suit: The mother's custody rights – a well established legal principle – are ignored in this case, as children, according to typical court rulings, are supposed to follow the 'better (or 'more noble') of the two religions,'" the group said.

An Egyptian Christian who had fled his home nation, "most assuredly has a right not to be tortured," a federal court ruled in allowing him to remain in the United States.

The court pointedly concluded that "diplomatic assurances" of his religious rights "by a country known to have engaged in torture" weren't reassuring.

A report from the Coalition for the Defense of Human Rights concluded Coptic Christians in Egypt have been harassed, tortured and killed by Muslims for 1,400 years.

"They have been subjected to all kinds of hate crimes including, the abduction of young Coptic girls, the killing of Coptic women and children and the destruction of their places of worship," the report concluded.

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, an agency created by Congress, lists Egypt on its watch list of countries, noting it had "a poor overall human rights record."

Home   TOC   Top

 CAIR backs film praising convicted terror supporter

Group urges Muslims to buy tickets to al-Arian premiere

Posted: December 4, 2007      WorldNetDaily.com

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is co-sponsoring the premiere of a documentary film that canonizes convicted terrorist supporter Sami al-Arian.
Tomorrow, CAIR will host the screening of "USA vs. Al-Arian" at the AMC/Loews Uptown 1 Theater in Washington, D.C., according to an action alert the Muslim group posted on its website urging Muslims to buy tickets to the premiere.

In a scene from the film 'USA vs Al-Arian,' Dr. Sami Al-Arian arrives for a jail interview (Courtesy Washington Report on Middle East Affairs).

The screening, co-sponsored by the Muslim American Society, an Islamist group tied to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, will be followed by a "panel discussion" involving al-Arian's lawyer, his son, Abdullah al-Arian, and a constitutional lawyer from Georgetown University, whose Islamic studies program is funded by the Saudi royal family.

Last year, al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison followed by deportation. In a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of "conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to, or for the benefit of, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad," a federally designated terror group.

Al-Arian, an Egyptian citizen of Palestinian descent, had hoped for early deportation, but prosecutors and the federal judge in the case argue he has not cooperated in related terror cases.

He remains in federal prison in Virginia on a contempt citation after he refused to testify in front of a Virginia grand jury investigating a network of Islamic businesses and charities known as the Safa group.

Critics say the film portrays al-Arian in a sympathetic light by suggesting the U.S. government used the "draconian" Patriot Act to railroad an innocent Muslim professor.

The film's website juxtaposes photos of al-Arian in handcuffs with one of him and his wife posing with President Bush and Laura Bush during the 2000 campaign. It calls al-Arian "one of America's most prominent political prisoners."

"What we have is a man found innocent who is still harassed by the justice system," said Norwegian filmmaker Line Halvorsen, the film's director. "He's a man of principle. He fights for what he believes in and he's not afraid to speak his mind."

Critics say the film whitewashes the federal terror case, failing to mention that al-Arian pleaded guilty to providing material support to an officially designated terrorist group. The home page instead says he pleaded guilty to one count of supporting "immigrants" associated with an "illegal organization."

It also fails to reveal how, in a speech at a Cleveland mosque, al-Arian once thundered: "Let's damn America, let's damn Israel, let's damn their allies until death."

Court exhibits also show letters written by al-Arian praising Palestinian suicide bombers.

Publicly, al-Arian has maintained he doesn't support any kind of violence.

"I am a very moderate Muslim person," he said. "I also condemn violence in all its forms."

The film's website decries what it calls the "harsh" treatment of the confessed terrorist supporter.

"Currently Al-Arian is held under severe conditions in a prison about 1,000 miles away from his family, making it extremely hard for them to keep in touch with him," it said. "Al-Arian recently went through a 60-day hunger strike to protest the government's treatment."
 

 CAIR called 'turnstile' for terrorist suspects
'Proven record of senior officials being indicted, imprisoned, deported from U.S.'

Posted: December 4, 2007 © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com


As the Council on American-Islamic Relations lobbies Congress to help strike its name from a list of co-conspirators in a federal terror case, WND has learned the Muslim group's ties to terrorism and extremism are far more extensive than first believed.

Although CAIR is a nonprofit organization, it does not disclose complete directories of its staff or advisory boards, and even refuses to make its federal tax filings readily available to the public.

But a review of federal criminal court documents, past IRS 990 tax records and Federal Election Commission records detailing donor occupations, reveals that Washington-based CAIR has been associated with a disturbing number of convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations.

"Their offices have been a turnstile for terrorists and their supporters," said one FBI veteran familiar with recent and ongoing cases involving CAIR officials.

As previously reported, three CAIR officials have been linked to terrorism. But WND has learned that at least 11 other CAIR officials have been caught up in terror investigations, bringing the total to 14.

Congressional leaders say they are warning lawmakers and other Washington officials to disassociate from the group due to its growing terror ties.

"Groups like CAIR have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States," said U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., co-founder of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus.

CAIR itself recently was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged scheme to funnel $12 million to the terrorist group Hamas. In the Holy Land Foundation case, federal prosecutors also listed CAIR as a member of the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement that gave rise to Hamas, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. The government will retry the Holy Land case, which ended in a hung jury.

"There was a lot of evidence presented at the recent Holy Land Foundation trial which exposed CAIR and others as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States," Myrick said.

Still, CAIR is lobbying House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and other sympathetic members of Congress to pressure the Justice Department to expunge its name from the case, arguing the negative publicity has hurt membership and fundraising.

The federal judge during the trial refused a written request by the group to strike its name from the list of co-conspirators. The petition is still pending before the court.

CAIR denies supporting terrorism and continues to claim to be a "moderate" voice for Muslims in America. The group says its critics are the extremists, including radio personality Michael Savage, whom the group is now attacking with a boycott campaign. So far it has convinced Wal-Mart, OfficeMax, AT&T, JCPenney and other companies to stop advertising on Savage's popular show.

In response, Savage last week filed a lawsuit against CAIR, accusing the organization of being a "political vehicle of international terrorism" that seeks to do "material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR's clients."

Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for CAIR, told WND the group would not comment on Savage's action until the document had been reviewed.

CAIR, which runs 33 offices and chapters nationwide, also recently helped defeat an anti-terror plan by Los Angeles police to map the local Muslim community for extremist neighborhoods. Now it's pressuring GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to back down from his position against appointing a Muslim to his Cabinet.

Critics counter that CAIR has no legitimate voice to make such complaints, because the group is itself an extremist organization that has employed or appointed to its boards of directors and advisers an inordinate number of radical co-conspirators, suspected and convicted terrorists, and other criminals.

Indeed, the list is long and growing, and includes:


Muthanna al-Hanooti: The CAIR director's home was raided last year by FBI agents in connection with an active terrorism investigation. Agents also searched the offices of his advocacy group, Focus on Advocacy and Advancement of International Relations, which al-Hanooti operates out of Dearborn, Mich., and Washington, D.C.
FAAIR claims to be a consulting firm raising awareness of Sunni grievances in Iraq, but investigators suspect it's a front supporting the Sunni-led insurgency.


Muthanna al-Hanooti, wearing traditional headgarb

Al-Hanooti, who emigrated to the U.S. from Iraq, formerly helped run a suspected Hamas terror front called LIFE for Relief and Development. Its Michigan offices also were raided last September. In 2004, LIFE's Baghdad office was raided by U.S. troops, who seized files and computers.

Al-Hanooti is related to Shiek Mohammed al-Hanooti, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He currently leads prayers at a Washington-area mosque that aided some of the 9/11 hijackers.

The FBI alleges al-Hanooti, an ethnic-Palestinian who also emigrated from Iraq, raised money for Hamas. In fact, "Al-Hanooti collected over $6 million for support of Hamas," according to a 2001 FBI report, and was present with CAIR and Holy Land officials at a secret Hamas fundraising summit held last decade at a Philadelphia hotel.

Prosecutors recently added his name to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case.

Al-Hanooti denies supporting Hamas, although he's praised Palestinian suicide bombers as "martyrs" who are "alive in the eyes of Allah."

Earlier this year, his younger brother, Hamid al-Hanooti, was found dead in Iraq after reportedly being held by local security forces as a suspected terrorist.


Laura Jaghlit: A civil-rights coordinator for CAIR, her Washington-area home was raided by federal agents after 9/11 as part of an investigation into terrorist financing, money laundering and tax fraud. Her husband Mohammed Jaghlit, a key leader in the Saudi-backed SAAR network, is a target of the still-active probe.

Laura Jaghlit

Last decade, Jaghlit sent two letters accompanying donations – one for $10,000, the other for $5,000 – from the SAAR Foundation to Sami al-Arian, now a convicted terrorist. In each letter, according to a federal affidavit, "Jaghlit instructed al-Arian not to disclose the contribution publicly or to the media."

Investigators suspect the funds were intended for Palestinian terrorists via a U.S. front called WISE, which at the time employed an official who personally delivered a satellite phone battery to Osama bin Laden. The same official also worked for Jaghlit's group.

In addition, Jaghlit donated a total of $37,200 to the Holy Land Foundation, which prosecutors say is a Hamas front. Jaghlit subsequently was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the ongoing case.


Abdurahman Alamoudi: Another CAIR director, he is serving 23 years in federal prison for plotting terrorism. Alamoudi, who was caught on tape complaining bin Laden hadn't killed enough Americans in the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, was one of al-Qaida's top fund-raisers in America, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Nihad Awad


Nihad Awad: For the first time, wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case puts CAIR's executive director at a Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and activists that was secretly recorded by the FBI. Participants allegedly hatched a plot to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists as charitable giving.
During the meeting, according to FBI transcripts, Awad was recorded discussing the propaganda effort. He mentions Ghassan Dahduli, whom he worked with at the time at the Islamic Association for Palestine, another Hamas front. Both were IAP officers. Dahduli's name also was listed in the address book of bin Laden's personal secretary, Wadi al-Hage, who is serving a life sentence in prison for his role in the U.S. embassy bombings. Dahduli, an ethnic-Palestinian like Awad, was deported to Jordan after 9/11 for refusing to cooperate in the terror investigation.

Awad's and Dahduli's phone numbers are listed in a Muslim Brotherhood document seized by federal investigators revealing "important phone numbers" for the "Palestine Section" of the Brotherhood in America. The court exhibit shows Hamas fugitive Mousa Abu Marzook listed on the same page with Awad.


Omar Ahmad


Omar Ahmad: U.S. prosecutors also named CAIR's founder and chairman emeritus as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case. Ahmad too was placed at the Philly meeting, FBI special agent Lara Burns testified at the trial. Prosecutors also designated him as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's "Palestine Committee" in America. Ahmad, like his CAIR partner Awad, is ethnic-Palestinian.
(Though both Ahmad and Awad were senior leaders of IAP, the Hamas front, neither of their biographical sketches posted on CAIR's website mentions their IAP past.)


Nabil Sadoun: A current CAIR board member, Sadoun has served on the board of the United Association for Studies and Research, which investigators believe to be a key Hamas front in America. In fact, Sadoun co-founded UASR with Hamas leader Marzook. The Justice Department added UASR to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case.

Mohamed Nimer


Mohamed Nimer: CAIR's current research director also served as a board director for UASR, the strategic arm for Hamas in the U.S.
(Tellingly, CAIR neglects to mention Nimer's and Sadoun's roles in UASR in their bios.)


Rafeeq Jaber: A founding director of CAIR, Jaber was the long-time president of the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2002, a federal judge found that "the Islamic Association for Palestine has acted in support of Hamas." In his capacity as IAP chief, Jaber praised Hezbollah attacks on Israel. He also served on the board of a radical mosque in the Chicago area.

Rabith Hadid: The CAIR fund-raiser was a founder of the Global Relief Foundation, which after 9/11 was blacklisted by Treasury for financing al-Qaida and other terror groups. Its assets were frozen in December 2001. Hadid was arrested on terror-related charges and deported to Lebanon in 2003.

Siraj Wahhaj

Siraj Wahhaj: A member of CAIR's board of advisers, Wahhaj was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The radical Brooklyn imam was close to convicted terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and defended him during his trial.


Randall "Ismail" Royer: The former CAIR communications specialist and civil-rights coordinator is serving 20 years in prison in connection with the Virginia Jihad Network, which he led while employed by CAIR at its Washington headquarters. The group trained to kill U.S. soldiers overseas, cased the FBI headquarters, and cheered the space shuttle Columbia tragedy. Al-Qaida operative Ahmed Abu Ali, convicted of plotting to assassinate President Bush, was among those who trained with Royer's Northern Virginia cell.

Bassam Khafagi: Another CAIR official, Khafagi was arrested in 2003 while serving as CAIR's director of community affairs. He pleaded guilty to charges of bank and visa fraud stemming from a federal counterterror probe of his leadership role in the Islamic Assembly of North America, which has supported al-Qaida and advocated suicide attacks on America. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and deported to his native Egypt.

Ghassan Elashi


Ghassan Elashi: One of CAIR's founding directors, he was convicted in 2004 of illegally shipping high-tech goods to terror state Syria, and is serving 80 months in prison. He's also charged with providing material support to Hamas in the Holy Land Foundation trial. He was chairman of the charity, which provided seed capital to CAIR. Elashi is related to Hamas leader Marzook.

Hamza Yusuf: The FBI investigated the CAIR board member after 9/11, because just two days before the attacks, he made an ominous prediction to a Muslim audience.
"This country is facing a terrible fate and the reason for that is because this country stands condemned," Yusuf warned. "It stands condemned like Europe stood condemned because of what it did. And lest people forget, Europe suffered two world wars after conquering the Muslim lands."

CAIR, which receives financial backing from Saudi and Emirati royalty, denies charges that it has a secret agenda to Islamize America. But a Muslim Brotherhood document declassified in the Holy Land case reveals that CAIR's parent was among Muslim organizations enlisted in a secret plot to destroy the American system from within and eventually take over the country.

Written early last decade in Arabic, the manifesto lays bare the subversive role of CAIR's forerunner, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and other Muslim groups in America to carry out a "grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by the hands of the believers, so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

CAIR's founder Ahmad, while claiming to be a moderate and patriotic American, last decade told a group of Muslims in Northern California that they are in America to help assert Islam's rule over the country.

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant," a local reporter quoted him as saying, adding, "The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."

Ahmad insists he was misquoted. However, an FBI wiretap transcript quotes Ahmad agreeing with terrorist suspects gathered last decade at the secret Philly meeting to "camouflage" their true intentions.

He compared it to the head fake in basketball. "This is like one who plays basketball: He makes a player believe that he is doing this, while he does something else," Ahmad said. "I agree with you. Like they say, politics is a completion of war."

What's more, Hooper, CAIR's communications director, also has expressed his wish to overturn the U.S. system of government in favor of an "Islamic" state.

"I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future," Hooper said in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But I'm not going to do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education."

Though conceding he made the remark, Hooper argues that he's never advocated violence. He says he and Muslims like him should work instead through the media and use "education" to help turn America into an Islamic state. 
'Proven record of senior officials being indicted, imprisoned, deported from U.S.'

Posted: December 4, 2007 © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com


As the Council on American-Islamic Relations lobbies Congress to help strike its name from a list of co-conspirators in a federal terror case, WND has learned the Muslim group's ties to terrorism and extremism are far more extensive than first believed.

Although CAIR is a nonprofit organization, it does not disclose complete directories of its staff or advisory boards, and even refuses to make its federal tax filings readily available to the public.

But a review of federal criminal court documents, past IRS 990 tax records and Federal Election Commission records detailing donor occupations, reveals that Washington-based CAIR has been associated with a disturbing number of convicted terrorists or felons in terrorism probes, as well as suspected terrorists and active targets of terrorism investigations.

"Their offices have been a turnstile for terrorists and their supporters," said one FBI veteran familiar with recent and ongoing cases involving CAIR officials.

As previously reported, three CAIR officials have been linked to terrorism. But WND has learned that at least 11 other CAIR officials have been caught up in terror investigations, bringing the total to 14.

Congressional leaders say they are warning lawmakers and other Washington officials to disassociate from the group due to its growing terror ties.

"Groups like CAIR have a proven record of senior officials being indicted and either imprisoned or deported from the United States," said U.S. Rep. Sue Myrick, R-N.C., co-founder of the House Anti-Terrorism/Jihad Caucus.

CAIR itself recently was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an alleged scheme to funnel $12 million to the terrorist group Hamas. In the Holy Land Foundation case, federal prosecutors also listed CAIR as a member of the U.S. branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, a worldwide jihadist movement that gave rise to Hamas, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. The government will retry the Holy Land case, which ended in a hung jury.

"There was a lot of evidence presented at the recent Holy Land Foundation trial which exposed CAIR and others as front groups for the Muslim Brotherhood in the United States," Myrick said.

Still, CAIR is lobbying House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers and other sympathetic members of Congress to pressure the Justice Department to expunge its name from the case, arguing the negative publicity has hurt membership and fundraising.

The federal judge during the trial refused a written request by the group to strike its name from the list of co-conspirators. The petition is still pending before the court.

CAIR denies supporting terrorism and continues to claim to be a "moderate" voice for Muslims in America. The group says its critics are the extremists, including radio personality Michael Savage, whom the group is now attacking with a boycott campaign. So far it has convinced Wal-Mart, OfficeMax, AT&T, JCPenney and other companies to stop advertising on Savage's popular show.

In response, Savage last week filed a lawsuit against CAIR, accusing the organization of being a "political vehicle of international terrorism" that seeks to do "material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR's clients."

Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for CAIR, told WND the group would not comment on Savage's action until the document had been reviewed.

CAIR, which runs 33 offices and chapters nationwide, also recently helped defeat an anti-terror plan by Los Angeles police to map the local Muslim community for extremist neighborhoods. Now it's pressuring GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney to back down from his position against appointing a Muslim to his Cabinet.

Critics counter that CAIR has no legitimate voice to make such complaints, because the group is itself an extremist organization that has employed or appointed to its boards of directors and advisers an inordinate number of radical co-conspirators, suspected and convicted terrorists, and other criminals.

Indeed, the list is long and growing, and includes:


Muthanna al-Hanooti: The CAIR director's home was raided last year by FBI agents in connection with an active terrorism investigation. Agents also searched the offices of his advocacy group, Focus on Advocacy and Advancement of International Relations, which al-Hanooti operates out of Dearborn, Mich., and Washington, D.C.
FAAIR claims to be a consulting firm raising awareness of Sunni grievances in Iraq, but investigators suspect it's a front supporting the Sunni-led insurgency.


Muthanna al-Hanooti, wearing traditional headgarb

Al-Hanooti, who emigrated to the U.S. from Iraq, formerly helped run a suspected Hamas terror front called LIFE for Relief and Development. Its Michigan offices also were raided last September. In 2004, LIFE's Baghdad office was raided by U.S. troops, who seized files and computers.

Al-Hanooti is related to Shiek Mohammed al-Hanooti, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He currently leads prayers at a Washington-area mosque that aided some of the 9/11 hijackers.

The FBI alleges al-Hanooti, an ethnic-Palestinian who also emigrated from Iraq, raised money for Hamas. In fact, "Al-Hanooti collected over $6 million for support of Hamas," according to a 2001 FBI report, and was present with CAIR and Holy Land officials at a secret Hamas fundraising summit held last decade at a Philadelphia hotel.

Prosecutors recently added his name to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case.

Al-Hanooti denies supporting Hamas, although he's praised Palestinian suicide bombers as "martyrs" who are "alive in the eyes of Allah."

Earlier this year, his younger brother, Hamid al-Hanooti, was found dead in Iraq after reportedly being held by local security forces as a suspected terrorist.


Laura Jaghlit: A civil-rights coordinator for CAIR, her Washington-area home was raided by federal agents after 9/11 as part of an investigation into terrorist financing, money laundering and tax fraud. Her husband Mohammed Jaghlit, a key leader in the Saudi-backed SAAR network, is a target of the still-active probe.

Laura Jaghlit

Last decade, Jaghlit sent two letters accompanying donations – one for $10,000, the other for $5,000 – from the SAAR Foundation to Sami al-Arian, now a convicted terrorist. In each letter, according to a federal affidavit, "Jaghlit instructed al-Arian not to disclose the contribution publicly or to the media."

Investigators suspect the funds were intended for Palestinian terrorists via a U.S. front called WISE, which at the time employed an official who personally delivered a satellite phone battery to Osama bin Laden. The same official also worked for Jaghlit's group.

In addition, Jaghlit donated a total of $37,200 to the Holy Land Foundation, which prosecutors say is a Hamas front. Jaghlit subsequently was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the ongoing case.


Abdurahman Alamoudi: Another CAIR director, he is serving 23 years in federal prison for plotting terrorism. Alamoudi, who was caught on tape complaining bin Laden hadn't killed enough Americans in the U.S. embassy bombings in Africa, was one of al-Qaida's top fund-raisers in America, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.

Nihad Awad


Nihad Awad: For the first time, wiretap evidence from the Holy Land case puts CAIR's executive director at a Philadelphia meeting of Hamas leaders and activists that was secretly recorded by the FBI. Participants allegedly hatched a plot to disguise payments to Hamas terrorists as charitable giving.
During the meeting, according to FBI transcripts, Awad was recorded discussing the propaganda effort. He mentions Ghassan Dahduli, whom he worked with at the time at the Islamic Association for Palestine, another Hamas front. Both were IAP officers. Dahduli's name also was listed in the address book of bin Laden's personal secretary, Wadi al-Hage, who is serving a life sentence in prison for his role in the U.S. embassy bombings. Dahduli, an ethnic-Palestinian like Awad, was deported to Jordan after 9/11 for refusing to cooperate in the terror investigation.

Awad's and Dahduli's phone numbers are listed in a Muslim Brotherhood document seized by federal investigators revealing "important phone numbers" for the "Palestine Section" of the Brotherhood in America. The court exhibit shows Hamas fugitive Mousa Abu Marzook listed on the same page with Awad.


Omar Ahmad


Omar Ahmad: U.S. prosecutors also named CAIR's founder and chairman emeritus as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land case. Ahmad too was placed at the Philly meeting, FBI special agent Lara Burns testified at the trial. Prosecutors also designated him as a member of the Muslim Brotherhood's "Palestine Committee" in America. Ahmad, like his CAIR partner Awad, is ethnic-Palestinian.
(Though both Ahmad and Awad were senior leaders of IAP, the Hamas front, neither of their biographical sketches posted on CAIR's website mentions their IAP past.)


Nabil Sadoun: A current CAIR board member, Sadoun has served on the board of the United Association for Studies and Research, which investigators believe to be a key Hamas front in America. In fact, Sadoun co-founded UASR with Hamas leader Marzook. The Justice Department added UASR to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case.

Mohamed Nimer


Mohamed Nimer: CAIR's current research director also served as a board director for UASR, the strategic arm for Hamas in the U.S.
(Tellingly, CAIR neglects to mention Nimer's and Sadoun's roles in UASR in their bios.)


Rafeeq Jaber: A founding director of CAIR, Jaber was the long-time president of the Islamic Association for Palestine. In 2002, a federal judge found that "the Islamic Association for Palestine has acted in support of Hamas." In his capacity as IAP chief, Jaber praised Hezbollah attacks on Israel. He also served on the board of a radical mosque in the Chicago area.

Rabith Hadid: The CAIR fund-raiser was a founder of the Global Relief Foundation, which after 9/11 was blacklisted by Treasury for financing al-Qaida and other terror groups. Its assets were frozen in December 2001. Hadid was arrested on terror-related charges and deported to Lebanon in 2003.

Siraj Wahhaj

Siraj Wahhaj: A member of CAIR's board of advisers, Wahhaj was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The radical Brooklyn imam was close to convicted terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, and defended him during his trial.


Randall "Ismail" Royer: The former CAIR communications specialist and civil-rights coordinator is serving 20 years in prison in connection with the Virginia Jihad Network, which he led while employed by CAIR at its Washington headquarters. The group trained to kill U.S. soldiers overseas, cased the FBI headquarters, and cheered the space shuttle Columbia tragedy. Al-Qaida operative Ahmed Abu Ali, convicted of plotting to assassinate President Bush, was among those who trained with Royer's Northern Virginia cell.

Bassam Khafagi: Another CAIR official, Khafagi was arrested in 2003 while serving as CAIR's director of community affairs. He pleaded guilty to charges of bank and visa fraud stemming from a federal counterterror probe of his leadership role in the Islamic Assembly of North America, which has supported al-Qaida and advocated suicide attacks on America. He was sentenced to 10 months in prison and deported to his native Egypt.

Ghassan Elashi


Ghassan Elashi: One of CAIR's founding directors, he was convicted in 2004 of illegally shipping high-tech goods to terror state Syria, and is serving 80 months in prison. He's also charged with providing material support to Hamas in the Holy Land Foundation trial. He was chairman of the charity, which provided seed capital to CAIR. Elashi is related to Hamas leader Marzook.

Hamza Yusuf: The FBI investigated the CAIR board member after 9/11, because just two days before the attacks, he made an ominous prediction to a Muslim audience.
"This country is facing a terrible fate and the reason for that is because this country stands condemned," Yusuf warned. "It stands condemned like Europe stood condemned because of what it did. And lest people forget, Europe suffered two world wars after conquering the Muslim lands."

CAIR, which receives financial backing from Saudi and Emirati royalty, denies charges that it has a secret agenda to Islamize America. But a Muslim Brotherhood document declassified in the Holy Land case reveals that CAIR's parent was among Muslim organizations enlisted in a secret plot to destroy the American system from within and eventually take over the country.

Written early last decade in Arabic, the manifesto lays bare the subversive role of CAIR's forerunner, the Islamic Association for Palestine, and other Muslim groups in America to carry out a "grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotaging its miserable house by the hands of the believers, so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions."

CAIR's founder Ahmad, while claiming to be a moderate and patriotic American, last decade told a group of Muslims in Northern California that they are in America to help assert Islam's rule over the country.

"Islam isn't in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant," a local reporter quoted him as saying, adding, "The Koran, the Muslim book of scripture, should be the highest authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion on Earth."

Ahmad insists he was misquoted. However, an FBI wiretap transcript quotes Ahmad agreeing with terrorist suspects gathered last decade at the secret Philly meeting to "camouflage" their true intentions.

He compared it to the head fake in basketball. "This is like one who plays basketball: He makes a player believe that he is doing this, while he does something else," Ahmad said. "I agree with you. Like they say, politics is a completion of war."

What's more, Hooper, CAIR's communications director, also has expressed his wish to overturn the U.S. system of government in favor of an "Islamic" state.

"I wouldn't want to create the impression that I wouldn't like the government of the United States to be Islamic sometime in the future," Hooper said in a 1993 interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune. "But I'm not going to do anything violent to promote that. I'm going to do it through education."

Though conceding he made the remark, Hooper argues that he's never advocated violence. He says he and Muslims like him should work instead through the media and use "education" to help turn America into an Islamic state.

 Muslim religion taught under guise of history

'Students perform skits about the tenets of Islam belief'

September 20, 2007   By Bob Unruh    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

The "Five Pillars" of Islam – charity, fasting, prayer, belief and pilgrimage – are being taught to public school students in Nyssa, Ore., under the guise of world history, the school has confirmed to WND, even though a parent raised a complaint about the same teachings a year ago.

In a letter to parents following the concerns that were raised at that point, Supt. Don Grotting and other school officials told parents that the text called "Journey Across Time" features a chapter on "Islamic Civilizations."

As part of that, "class activities have included guest speakers (including an American soldier serving in Iraq and a practicing Muslim woman who is an American citizen living in Mountain Home) who talked about geography, dress, climate, religion, economy and culture and student skits, in which students prepare and perform three- to five-minute skits about the tenets of Islam belief: charity, fasting, prayer, belief, and pilgrimage."

Janine Weeks, the curriculum director at the school, this week told WND that the curriculum, and class activities, are continuing.

"We've not made any changes," she said. "The content standards require that we present information about the rise of Islam in the context of world history."

She said there are "choices" about the way students can respond to the chapter's requirements. "Perhaps one of the items might be the fact that there is a religious journey that is part of the belief system; the kids can present that in a report," she said.

However, she said she was unaware of what requirements there were for presenting the basic beliefs of any other religion, including Christianity, to students.

The McGraw-Hill book itself, according to its online outline, heavily emphasizes the positive aspects of Islam.

"Muslims were successful merchants, in part because they had a common language and a common currency. Baghdad, Cairo, and Damascus grew wealthy from trade and became important centers of learning, government, and the arts. The cities featured mosques that served as Muslim houses of worship and centers of learning. The bazaar was a very important part of the Muslim city. Although Muslims enjoyed great success and cities grew, most Muslims lived in villages and farmed," the book says.

"Muslims made valuable contributions in math, science, and the arts. Muslim scholars saved and translated the works of the ancient Greeks and Romans. Muslims are well known for their beautiful buildings. The Taj Mahal, which is made of marble and precious stone, is one of the world's most beautiful buildings," it says.

Meanwhile, in its chapter on Christianity, it notes that Christianity "attracted many followers because it gave meaning to people's lives, appealed to their emotions, and promised happiness after death."

It goes on to talk about the schism between the Roman Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church that still exists.

For a student exercise, it suggests students study the American Red Cross.

In its chapter on Judaism, the book notes "the 12 tribes of Israel often quarreled, so they asked a prophet to choose a king to unite them against their enemies." Then, after World War II, "Palestine was divided into a Jewish nation called Israel."

The parent who raised the concerns a year ago, Kendalee Garner, was contacted and told WND that essentially Christianity and Judaism are not being taught. "They teach the history of Hinduism but not the tenets of its faith," she said.

"When I asked the teacher today if they were changing the curriculum she replied there is nothing we need to change," she said.

Idalia Stam, the chair of the school board, confirmed the same teaching curriculum was being used, but declined further comment on the issue.

A lawyer who has argued over such teachings in a case that went to the U.S. Supreme Court said the procedures wouldn't last 10 seconds in a public school if Christianity were being addressed.

"Would it have been 'just cultural education' if students were in simulated baptisms, wearing a crucifix, having taken the name of St. John and with praise banners saying 'Praise be to Jesus Christ' on classroom walls?" Edward White III, of the Thomas More Law Center, told WND earlier.

As WND has reported the case White handled was almost a duplicate. Teachers were having students memorize Islamic prayers, wear Islamic dress and learn to behave as a Muslim under the guise of studying history.

Some parents objected and their resulting lawsuit was turned back by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals where the opinion called it "cultural education."

The presence of such Islamic teachings is because "organized Islamists have gained control of textbook content," according to an organization that analyzes textbooks.

The American Textbook Council has concluded that the situation is the consequence of "the interplay of determined Islamic political activists, textbook editors, and multiculturally minded social studies curriculum planners."

It has gone so far that correcting the situation now becomes a problem, because "educational publishers and educational organizations have bought into claims propounded by Islamists – and have themselves become agents of misinformation."

That comes from Gilbert T. Sewall, who not only wrote the organization's report on Islam and textbooks, but also generated a response to the flood of criticism he encountered.

Home   TOC   Top

 Terrorists disclose: We LOVE liberals!

Jihadists respond to Rosie, Clinton, Penn, Pelosi, Fonda, Boxer, Murtha

September 19, 2007    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

Klein, left, with the senior West Bank leadership of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, including Ala Senakreh, second from left, the terror group's West Bank chief. The Brigades took responsibility together with the Islamic Jihad terror group for every suicide bombing in Israel the past three years. The Brigades, the most active West Bank terror group, also carried out hundreds of shootings and rocket attacks.
Many analysts and commentators have speculated what America's enemies might think about liberal politicians, celebrities and activists who protest the war in Iraq, call terrorists "freedom fighters," express solidarity with terror-supporting countries or even question who was behind the 9/11 attacks.

In a shocking new book, author and WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein actually petitions Muslim terrorists to respond to the statements and actions of American public figures such as anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Sen. Barbara Boxer, Rep. John Murtha, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and entertainment personalities Rosie O'Donnell, Sean Penn and Jane Fonda. The jihadists overwhelmingly applauded the liberal leaders.

In "Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew!," Klein in one chapter assembles a panel of senior terrorist leaders and asks them to sound off about high-profile liberals. He also asks about conservative personalities from Ronald Reagan through Rush Limbaugh.

The terrorists were familiar with some of the names, while for others the jihadists were provided with a series of statements and speeches to which to respond.

Klein, for example, had a speech made earlier this year by Penn translated into Arabic. In the speech, Penn, who in 2005 paid a solidarity visit to Tehran, called Iran a "great country," slammed President Bush and Vice President Cheney as "villainous and criminally obscene people" and suggested Iran had the right to obtain a nuclear weapon since the U.S. has a nuclear arsenal.

In "Schmoozing" Klein also read to the terrorists statements from O'Donnell in which she argued terrorists are people, too.

"Don't fear the terrorists. They're mothers and fathers," said O’Donnell.

The former daytime talk host also has raised questions about whether al-Qaida was responsible for 9/11; implied the Iranian seizure of 15 British sailors in March was a hoax to provide Bush with an excuse to attack Tehran; and doubted whether confessed 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed really planned the attacks.

Klein discussed with the terrorists demands for a quick U.S. withdrawal from Iraq by politicians such as Boxer and Murtha.

He asked jihadists what they thought of Pelosi's visit last April against the recommendations of the White House to meet with Syrian President Bashar Assad.


Klein with Eiman Abu Eita, chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in Beit Sahour

During a photo opportunity, a smiling Pelosi stated, "We came in friendship, hope and determined that the road to Damascus is a road to peace."

Syria openly hosts Palestinian terrorist leaders, signed a military alliance with Iran and is accused of arming and funding the Lebanese Hezbollah terror group and aiding the insurgency against U.S. troops in Iraq.

Klein also read to the terrorists speeches and statements by Sheehan, who has called terrorists "freedom fighters" and has accused Bush of waging war in Iraq for Israeli interests.

Why schmooze with the professed enemies of Western civilization?

States Klein: "In the midst of America's war on terror, in the midst of our grand showdown with Islamofascism, with our boys and girls deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and around the world to defend liberty, it is crucial for all of us to understand the adversary we are up against and how some of our policies and personalities are emboldening the terrorists to think they are winning."

Klein explains he believes America is in trouble. While the U.S. has made enormous advances in the war on terror the past few years, it is encouraging terrorists to attack, and people don't even know it, he professes.


Klein with Muhammad Abu Tir, the No. 2 Hamas leader in the West Bank, suspected of attempting to poison Israel's water supply

"If the American approach to identifying, understanding, and dealing with terrorism is not re-examined in the very near future, if we don't immediately begin to understand how the terrorists think and respond to our policies, we face a devastating reality, with global jihad beating down our doorstep before we even realize what happened," states Klein.

Among the highlights of "Schmoozing with Terrorists:"


Madonna and Britney Spears stoned to death? What life in the U.S. would be like if the terrorists win.

Jihadists list their U.S. election favorites, mouth off about politicians and even threaten to kill one 2008 presidential candidate.

Klein and friends confront well-armed senior terrorists about whether suicide bombers really get 72 virgins after their deadly operation.

A shocking expose on how YOUR tax dollars fund terrorism!

Bibles used as toilet paper, synagogues as rocket launching zones? Meet the leaders of the most notorious holy site desecrations in history.

The under-reported story of Christian persecution in the Middle East as told by the antagonists and victims.

Terrorists offer tips on how to win the war on terror!
Klein has been interviewing terrorists since age 19, when he spent a weekend with a group connected to al-Qaida. He reports daily from Israel, going where many of his media colleagues dare not tread.

Klein is known for his regular appearances and segments on top American radio programs, where he has many times interviewed terrorists live on air. He served as a co-host of the national "John Batchelor Show," currently on hiatus.

The oldest of 10 children, Klein attended Jewish schools from kindergarten through college at Yeshiva University in New York, where he served as editor-in-chief of the undergraduate student newspaper.

Home   TOC   Top

 Terrorists thank Cindy: You light up our lives

September 16, 2007    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

Islamists: Sheehan 'gives us hope' U.S. will change Mideast policies

Cindy Sheehan at Washington D.C. anti-war march, Sept. 15 (Photo: © Carrie Devorah)
Muslim terrorist leaders are "thankful" for the efforts of activist and congressional candidate Cindy Sheehan, stating in a new book Sheehan's anti-Iraq war activities and her statements against President Bush "give us hope" the U.S. will change its Mideast policies.

"You [Sheehan] give us hope and you show us that there are different Americans than those whom we know," stated Ramadan Adassi, chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terror group in the West Bank's Anskar Refugee Camp.

"This sincere woman says what we've been saying all these last years – Saddam never threatened America or its security. Now Iraq is being decimated and America is losing. Voices like Sheehan's show things can change," said Adassi.

Adassi and other terror leaders were quoted sounding off about Sheehan in the recently released "Schmoozing with Terrorists: From Hollywood to the Holy Land Jihadists Reveal their Global Plans – to a Jew!," by author and WND Jerusalem bureau chief Aaron Klein.

Adassi's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades took responsibility, along with the Islamic Jihad terror group, for every suicide bombing in Israel the past three years. It also carried out scores of fatal shootings and hundreds of rocket attacks against Jewish population centers.

According to "Schmoozing with Terrorists," jihad leaders interviewed about Sheehan were thankful for the anti-war activist's activities.

Klein states in his book he read to the terrorists quotes from the outspoken mother of fallen U.S. Army specialist Casey Sheehan. Among the quotes highlighted for the terrorists were statements calling Bush "the biggest terrorist in the world" and "worse than Osama bin Laden," and Sheehan's labeling of Iraqi insurgents multiple times as "freedom fighters."

Terrorist: 'I thank Sheehan from the deep of my heart'

Palestinian terrorist leaders were elated to hear Sheehan blamed the Iraq war on Israel, according to Klein.

In a letter to ABC News' "Nightline" published on the Internet, Sheehan wrote: "Am I emotional? Yes, my first born was murdered. Am I angry? Yes, he was killed for lies and for a neo-con agenda to benefit Israel. My son joined the army to protect America, not Israel."

Responding in "Schmoozing," Ala Senakreh, overall West Bank chief of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, stated:

"I agree with her completely and thank her from deep in my heart when she dares to tell the Americans that their children are killed for the interests of Israel.

"The American security has nothing to do with the atrocities in Iraq and in Palestine. I tell this noble mother that American soldiers and Israeli soldiers receive common training and share their experience in how to turn these atrocities even more cruel. You are losing your sons not for a better life for you, but for Israeli interests," stated Senakreh.

Abu Hamed, leader of the Al Aqsa Brigades in the northern Gaza Strip, urged Americans to listen to Sheehan.

"I hope that all the Americans will understand what this great mother understood. We hope you do not consider this mother as a humanitarian case who speaks from her own pain, because she is saying the truth. I hope you will take her as a good example."

Sheehan first attracted international news media attention in August 2005 for her extended antiwar demonstration at a makeshift protest camp she erected about three miles outside Bush's Texas ranch.

Sheehan has since organized multiple tours and rallies against the Iraq war, was arrested for protesting at Bush's May 2007 State of the Union Address, spoke out in Europe and South America and has made statements some critics say defend jihad.

In May, Sheehan stated she would officially end her anti-Iraq war activism, but she resumed her efforts in July. Last week, Sheehan spoke at an anti-war protest in Washington and was arrested in a House office building for allegedly interrupting the congressional testimony of Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq.

Sheehan last month announced her candidacy as an independent for California's eighth Congressional district against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Home   TOC   Top

 U.N. must address forced conversions to Islam

September 9, 2007    By Bob Unruh    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

'If governments abridge right to choose religion, how can this right be considered universal?'

Headlines this week reported that Migsti Haile, a 33-year-old Christian woman, was tortured to death in Eritrea for refusing to recant her faith, and the European Center for Law and Justice is asking the United Nations to address what it described as the growing problem of forced religious conversions around the world.

"We had been getting notification from lawyers and human rights groups that this issue was growing, and we thought it was high time that the United Nations address it," Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the ECLJ as well as the organization's U.S. affiliate, the American Center for Law and Justice, told WND.

He said the problem is not necessarily always national governments, but local governments and area factions, which are "putting pressure" on people and "threatening people with up to death if they don't renounce their conversion to Christianity."

The ECLJ, since it is officially recognized as a non-governmental organization in special consultative status by the United Nations, now has petitioned the organization's Human Rights Council to address the situation.

"We would like to draw the Council's attention to the growing number of violations of the fundamental right to freedom of religion that are occurring around the world, specifically the right to choose one's religion and change one's religious affiliation," the written statement said.

"Forced religious conversions and punishment for voluntary conversions are commonplace in many countries. Laws against apostasy, blasphemy, or proselytizing are used in conjunction with anti-conversion laws to create an atmosphere hostile to members of the majority faith who voluntarily convert to another religion," the organization said.

Sekulow told WND that the problem is growing significantly in the Middle East, although total numbers are impossible to cite since so many of the cases end with the death of the person who converted from Islam, or refused to recant a conversion to Christianity.

"A lot of these cases go unreported," Sekulow told WND. "We think it's pretty significant." He cited situations in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Egypt as among those he's heard concerns about just recently.

The Compass Direct News report said Haile was one of 10 single Christian women arrested at a church gathering in Keren who have spent 18 months under severe pressure. The report said last February, Magos Solomon Semere also died under torture at the Adi-Nefase Military Confinement facility near Assab, and last October, two other Christians died from torture wounds.

The report said Haile died at the Wi'a Military Training Center, where she was being detained.

"As the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief (Asma Jahangir) has observed, 'questions related to change of religion are at the very heart of the mandate on freedom of religion or belief,'" the NGO's petition said.

It cited other recent cases:


Just last month Fatah officials reported Hamas gunmen abducted a university dean in the Middle East and forced her to convert from Christianity to Islam. "Sources close to the family said that she would not willingly convert to Islam and she had 'called her parents to say she was being held against her will in order to marry a Muslim man…'"

India in just the past few days has begun considering new anti-conversation legislation. That's in a nation where many states already have instituted laws "that allow the government to accept or reject the legitimacy of religious conversions."

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have used India's models as the basis for their own laws. "Under the auspices of upholding anti-conversion laws, arrests and private acts of violence have contributed to the degradation of religious freedom."

"In the last few months, the first Muslim-born Egyptian to challenge that country's restrictions on conversion away from Islam filed suit in the Egyptian court system to have his conversion from Islam to Christianity recognized by the government after the Interior Ministry refused to change the religion on his identification card. According to recent reports, the individual has since gone into hiding due to numerous death threats made against him, and his first two lawyers withdrew from representation due to alleged harassment by the government."
The NGO petition said the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations and endorsed by most of the offending nations, recognizes that "freedom of thought, conscience and religion" and "freedom of opinion and expression" are among the most fundamental of human rights.

Such rights also are enshrined in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights (1950), Fundamental Freedoms and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966), the Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief (1981) and other U.N. documents.

"If governments may abridge the right to choose one's religion by relying upon regional practices or religious doctinres, how can this right be considered universal?" the NGO petition said.

The organization suggested the granting of the authority to investigate the claims, and a request to all religious leaders "to recognize the right to choose one's religion."

There also needs to be a provision that encourages governments to recognize voluntary conversions and prevent coercion, the NGO said.

Home   TOC   Top

 Advertisers blast 'offensive' CNN religion series

Christiane Amanpour special compares Jews, Christians to Muslim terrorists

August 29, 2007    By Aaron Klein    © 2007 WorldNetDaily.com     (Courtesy Newsbusters.org)

JERUSALEM – In response to uproar from angry viewers and a media watchdog report, CNN advertisers have distanced themselves from a special series that aired last week entitled "God's Warriors," produced and anchored by the network's chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour.

The Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America called an episode of the series that focused on Judaism "one of the most grossly distorted programs" ever aired on mainstream American television.

The financial company Raymond James' Investor Relations complained to CNN that one of its commercials ran during the Jewish section of the program, titled "God's Jewish Warriors." The company said it was not aware its ad would be aired during the program and requested "no further airing of our commercials in any re-broadcast of the series."

Martha Craft, assistant vice president of public relations for Orkin, which also advertised on the CNN program, slammed Amanpour's documentary as "offensive" and said her company would not purchase any ad time if the network re-aired the series.

"We had purchased advertising that was supposed to air on 'Larry King Live' on Aug. 21. CNN changed programming to air 'God's Jewish Warriors' without notifying us ahead of time to obtain our approval – which is against our agreement with the network," stated Craft.

"We have discussed this with CNN, and they are aware of the severity of their mistake. I am told that 'God's Jewish Warriors' was (part of) a three-part special which has concluded; however, Orkin has added it to our 'do not buy' list ('of offensive shows where we do not allow our ads to run'), should it re-air in the future," she said.

CAMERA said letters and calls from angry viewers prompted the swift response from advertisers. The media watchdog asked viewers to continue complaining to companies that advertised on "Gods Warriors," including Intel, Brink's Home Security, Verizon Wireless, Circuit City and Direct TV.

The first part of "God's Jewish Warriors" compared Jewish and Christian "radicals" to Muslim supporters of suicide terror, presented anti-Israel commentators with no counterbalance, falsely labeled the West Bank as Palestinian land and minimized Jewish rights to the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site, the critics said. During last week's program, Amanpour also conducted a friendly interview about Israel with former President Jimmy Carter, whose most recent book, "Palestine: Peace, not Apartheid," criticized the Jewish state's treatment of Palestinians. The book was slammed for a series of falsehoods and was widely labeled anti-Israeli by a number of media critics.

The CAMERA said the CNN series is "false in its basic premise, established in the opening scene in which Jewish (and Christian) religious fervency is equated with that of Muslims heard endorsing 'martyrdom,' or suicide-murder. There is, of course, no counterpart among Jews and Christians to the violent jihadist Muslim campaigns under way across the globe."

Amanpour's "God's Warriors" describes itself as focusing on religious fundamentalism among Christians, Muslims and Jews.

The Jewish segment started off comparing "Jewish terrorists" to that of Muslims, specifically focusing on the few instances of violence or attempted violence by religiously motivated Jews against Muslims. It told the story of Baruch Goldstein, an American-born Israeli physician who killed 29 Arabs in the West Bank city of Hebron in 1994. Goldstein's actions were widely condemned by Israelis and worldwide Jewry. The organization he was a part of was outlawed in Israel.

States the CAMERA report: "While in reality Jewish 'terrorism' is virtually non-existent, the program magnifies at length the few instances of (Jewish) violence" comparing it to "violent jihadist Muslim campaigns" when indeed there is no such comparison "either in numbers of perpetrators engaged or in the magnitude of death and destruction wrought."

Amanpour: Martyrdom 'quite noble'

While discussing Islamic suicide attacks, Amanpour painted "martyrdom" as "quite noble."

"To the West, martyrdom has a really bad connotation because of suicide bombers who call themselves martyrs," Amanpour stated. "Really, martyrdom is actually something that historically was quite noble, because it was about standing up and rejecting tyranny, rejecting injustice and rejecting oppression and, if necessary, dying for that."

Amanpour's feature moved on to interviews with critics of Israel without providing pro-Israeli voices.

The feature repeatedly falsely referred to the West Bank as "Palestinian territory."

"It is also Palestinian land. The West Bank – it's west of the Jordan River – was designated by the United Nations to be the largest part of an Arab state," stated Amanpour.

The West Bank contains some of Judaism's holiest sites and biblical Jewish cities, including Hebron, home to the oldest Jewish community in the world. The territory was recaptured by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War after Jordan, which controlled the West Bank, ignored Israeli advice to stay out of the conflict.

The U.N. labels the West Bank as "disputed," not Palestinian territory.

'Pro-Israel lobbies against U.S. interests'

Several guests, including former Sen. Charles Percy and University of Chicago professor John Mearsheimer, who co-authored Carter's book on Israel, state in Amanpour's documentary pro-Israel lobbies in Washington force American lawmakers to support Jewish expansion in the West Bank and promote causes contrary to U.S. interests.

Carter is interviewed claiming no American politician could survive politically while calling for cuts in aid to Israel unless the Jewish state ceases expanding West Bank Jewish communities.

"There's no way that a member of Congress would ever vote for that and hope to be re-elected," stated Carter.

Contradicting Carter's sentiments, CAMERA notes critics of Israel's West Bank policies have thrived politically, including Sen. Robert Byrd and Reps. Dana Rohrabacher, Nick Smith, Pete Stark, Neil Abercrombie, David E. Bonior, John Conyers Jr, John D. Dingell, Earl F. Hilliard, Jesse L. Jackson Jr., Barbara Lee, Jim McDermott, George Miller, Jim Moran, David R. Obey, Ron Paul and Nick J. Rahall II, among others.

Amanpour suggests West Bank settlements are the cause of Arab anger.

"The Jewish settlements have inflamed much of the Arab world," she says.

A number of guests describe West Bank settlements as being the cause of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

But CAMERA points out Arab wars and acts of violence were waged against Israel long before the settlements were first established in 1967.

"The Arab world was just as anti-Israel (actually more so) before the settlements were built," stated the CAMERA report.

Reagan misrepresented

Amanpour claims all U.S. presidents since 1967, including Ronald Reagan, deemed Israeli settlements "illegal."

But U.S. policy did not deem settlements illegal.

Amanpour quoted Reagan as stating "the United States will not support the use of any additional land for the purpose of settlements."

But the documentary failed to produce the rest of Reagan's quotes in which he stated West Bank settlements are not illegal.

"As to the West Bank, I believe the settlements there – they're not illegal," stated Reagan.

Amanpour moves on to holy sites in Jerusalem, where she minimizes Jewish rights to the Temple Mount – Judaism's holiest site – and exaggerates Islamic claims, critics said. Muslims say the Mount it is their third holiest site.

"It was from here (the Temple Mount), according to Muslim scripture, that the Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven around the year 630. But Hebrew scripture puts the ancient Jewish Temple in the same location, destroyed by the Romans in the year 70."

The Quran doesn't once mention Jerusalem. Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque later became associated with the Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

The Jewish Temple is described throughout biblical sources as the center of religious Jewish worship. The Temple Mount compound has remained a focal point for Jewish services over the millennia. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition. Jews worldwide pray facing toward the Western Wall, a portion of an outer courtyard of the Temple left intact.

Amanpour interviews the Muslim Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who offers an Islamic perspective on the importance of the Temple Mount and Al Aqsa Mosque to Muslims, but no Jewish religious figure is presented to discuss the paramount religious importance of the Mount to Jews, noted CAMERA.

Amanpour's feature also claimed a visit to the Temple Mount by former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2000 instigated the Palestinian intifada which began that year, even though intifada planners and Palestinian leaders admitted the violence was pre-planned and that Sharon's visit was used as an excuse.

The intifada was launched after Arafat returned from U.S.-mediated peace talks at the Camp David presidential retreat during which the Palestinian leader turned down an Israeli offer of a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and eastern sections of Jerusalem.

"Whoever thinks the intifada broke out because of the despised Sharon's visit to the Al-Aqsa Mosque is wrong," admitted Palestinian Communications Minister Imad Al-Faluji to an Egyptian daily newspaper. "…This intifada was planned in advance, ever since President Arafat's return from the Camp David negotiations."

Arafat himself spoke of planning the intifada months before Sharon's visit, as did Marwan Barghouti, a jailed Palestinian parliament member and one of the chief architects of the intifada.

Senior terror leaders involved in the intifada admitted during numerous WND interviews Sharon's visit to the Mount did not spark the intifada.

The CAMERA report concludes: "Whether wittingly or not, Amanpour's program, with its reliance on pejorative labeling, generalities, testimonials and a stacked lineup of guests, is a perfect illustration of classical propaganda techniques. Unfortunately propaganda is the opposite of journalism, the profession Amanpour is supposed to practice."

Home   TOC   Top