These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 13, 2009.
Friday, 13 March 2009
Ottawa man gets 10-plus years on terror charges
From The Vancouver Sun
OTTAWA — The first Canadian charged under the new Criminal Code provisions of the Anti-terrorism Act was sentenced Thursday to an additional 10 1/2 years in prison for his role in helping a group of Islamic extremists plot to bomb London nightclubs and other targets in 2004.
In an Ottawa courtroom, Ontario Superior Court Justice Douglas Rutherford sentenced Mohammed Momin Khawaja, 29, to another decade and a half behind bars, spread over convictions on seven charges — on top of the five years he has already spent in jail awaiting trial and sentencing. Five of the convictions were charges of participating in, contributing, financing, and facilitating terror, while two other convictions pertained to Khawaja's developing and possessing an explosive device — the so-called Hi-Fi Digimonster.
"He said he wanted to come home. I was hoping we could bring him home," his mother Azra, who visited Khawaja behind bars earlier this week, told Canwest News Service on Thursday.
She and her husband, Mahboob, had hoped their son would be sentenced to time served for spending four years before conviction.
Khawaja told his parents he wanted them to pick up some honey, good meat, and the final episode of the Star Wars saga — just some of things he hasn't had in jail, where he's been a model inmate known for staying out of trouble. He spent his days working out to MuchMusic videos and praying on his mats. (There's a painted arrow on the floor of his cell pointing to Mecca.)
"There's a lot of new movies he hasn't seen," she said. "We still pray and hope he gets out," said his mother, who hopes her son will appeal the conviction.
Assistant Crown attorney David McKercher acknowledged the sentence was lighter than he had requested, and said the Crown "will be considering the decision carefully before we consider further options."
In sentencing hearings, Greenspon had asked the judge to impose what amounted to 'time served' in custody, while the Crown had demanded two life terms. Khawaja was convicted in October of participating in, contributing to, financing and facilitating a group of British Islamist extremists plotting to bomb London and other British targets in 2004, and to wage a wider Islamic jihad against the West.
In court Thursday, Rutherford said Khawaja's actions "do not warrant being sentenced to life." While Khawaja will be eligible for parole after serving half his sentence, Rutherford declined to give Khawaja an "arithmetical" reduction in his sentence by giving him extra credit for the time he has already spent in jail, pointing out that the only three words Khawaja uttered in court were "no" and "not guilty."
Rutherford also chastised Khawaja's parents, who submitted written statements before sentencing that painted "a normal family situation," the judge said.
"There was no mention of the array of military-style rifles, the crates of ammunition, the other weapons, the projectile-pocked human target on the basement wall (of the family's Ottawa home). . . . It is impossible to think that the other members of the family were oblivious to Momin's preoccupation with, and proclivity to participate in, violent jihad."
Though he never testified, Khawaja's defence was that he wanted to aid, and someday join, Muslim insurgents fighting Canadian and other NATO troops in Afghanistan, but was unwittingly duped into designing and building electronic triggers — nicknamed the Hi-Fi Digimonster — to detonate bombs the British group secretly planned to explode in and around London.
As this is the first sentencing under the post-9/11 anti-terror laws, Rutherford had no previous Canadian cases to use as sentencing benchmarks.
The London plot ringleader, Omar Khyam, and four others, were sentenced to indeterminate life sentences for conspiring to cause explosions likely to endanger life. None will be considered for parole before they have served at least 17 1/2 years, and some "may never be released," the British trial judge said.
Posted on 03/13/2009 3:37 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 13 March 2009
Amsterdam police foils terror attack on shopping mall
From Radio Netherlands
Seven people have been arrested in the Netherlands on suspicion of planning a terror attack on an Ikea furniture store (Ikea has that effect on many people, but they merely smash their own furniture) and a number of shops near the Ajax stadium in the capital Amsterdam.
The arrests follow a telephone warning to Amsterdam police late on Wednesday evening, police chief Bernard Welten said on Thursday evening.
The caller from Brussels said three people were planning an attack using explosive devices in or near a major department store in the southeast of Amsterdam. The aim was to cause as many casualties as possible, the caller said.
Public prosecutor Herman Bolhaar told the press that one of the names mentioned by the caller was a relative of a person involved in the train bombings in Madrid, five years ago. The six men and one woman who were arrested are between 19 and 64 years of age; all of them are Dutch citizens of Moroccan origin. All of them are charged with preparing an act of terrorism. After these arrests, police say the threat has been eliminated, but the prosecutor added that more people may be arrested.
Posted on 03/13/2009 3:50 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 13 March 2009
I want to see flag of Allah flying over Downing St
The more it is spelt out what life under Islam would be like for us the better in my opinion. That this vision of life in IslamUK is being put forward by one who advocates it means that there can be no doubt about why it must be resisted. I only wish he had been more forthcoming about the jizya and our dhimmi status.
From The London Evening Standard
A Muslim fundamentalist leader today told of his vision of Britain under Sharia law.
Anjem Choudary said he wanted the “flag of Allah” flying over Downing Street, all women wearing burkas and caning for drunkenness.
He is the leader of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaah, founded as a successor to the banned fundamentalist sect al-Muhajiroun, which was led by now-exiled preacher Omar Bakri Muhammad.
Their ultimate aim, he says, is "to fly the flag of Allah above 10 Downing Street" and bring about - "through jihad" - "a pure Islamic State with Sharia law in Britain".
The self-proclaimed Sharia judge admitted his followers had organised protests against British soldiers in Luton this week, waving placards which called them “murderers” for their conduct in Iraq.
Speaking exclusively to the Evening Standard in an East London coffee shop that has been cleared of other customers ahead of our arrival - a 6ft 4in minder sits off to the side - the British-born Muslim extremist crudely likens the home-coming troops of the 2nd Battalion Royal Anglian Regiment to "Nazis".
Mr Choudary, a 41-year-old lawyer, said he was proud to be reviled. He characterises Britons - "with their alcohol, gambling, prostitution and pornography" - as "living like animals in a jungle".But if he hates the British way of life, why stay? "There are parts of the lifestyle, such as fish and chips, I like very much," he quips. "For the rest," he shakes his head. "But I was born in this country, I was educated here, I have every right to stay."
He refuses, though, to see any hypocrisy in the fact that his East London-based family - he is separated from his wife, Rubana Akhtar, with whom he has three young children, aged 13, nine and three - live on benefits of allegedly £25,000 a year, funded by the taxpayers he despises.
He does not deny that he receives benefits (he won't confirm how much), or that he uses the NHS, or that his children attend state-funded faith schools, but he bristles at my proposition that taking handouts compromises his position.
“It's inevitable that when you offer an alternative morality and way of life many people will hate you for it.”
He said this “alternative morality” would mean “a pure Islamic state with Sharia law in Britain” and added: “Every woman, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, would have to wear a traditional burka and cover everything apart from her face and hands in public. In matters to do with the judicial system and the penal code, one male witness is sufficient to counter the testimony of two females. Also, anyone one becomes intoxicated by alcohol would be given 40 lashes in public.People who commit adultery would be stoned to death.”
But the mechanism for turning our liberal democracy into a regressive Islamic state is a trickier subject to broach.
Such a revolution can only come about through "jihad", Choudary admits. There are two types: jihad of the sword, and jihad of the word. "I am engaged in jihad of the word," he states.
"I live under the expectation that I could be taken to prison at any time. We have an absurd kangaroo legal system in this country. The sooner we overthrow it and implement Sharia, the better."
Does he model himself on Osama bin Laden? "I am an ordinary Muslim but let me tell you something: Sheikh Osama bin Laden is more popular in the Muslim world than any leader in charge. If there were elections in countries across the Muslim world today, he would win every one of them."
How would he like to be remembered? As a terrorist or a man of peace? "If terrorism is calling for the Sharia, supporting the innocent civilians being tortured and abused abroad, then yes, I'm the biggest terrorist in the world."
Another subject Choudary is sensitive about is reference to his undergraduate days at Southampton University where he was known as "Andy" and earned a reputation as a womaniser into "cider, casual sex, cannabis and LSD".
Although fellow students who say they took drugs with him have come forward to substantiate these claims and to remark that "he didn't seem very religious at the time", Choudary insists the story is "a fabrication" peddled by his enemies to discredit him.
Our time is almost up, but I test his sense of humour with one last question: does he ever bump into anyone from his Southampton days who still remembers him as Andy? His face clouds over. "Turn off your tape recorder," he demands, "I'm ending the interview here and now."
Suddenly his minder is towering over me. "If you don't turn that off, I will take it off you and you'll never see it again," he says menacingly.
And with that Choudary stands abruptly and makes some bizarre derogatory comment about me probably being a paedophile. The veneer of gentility shattered, he strides out of the café without so much as a backward glance.
Posted on 03/13/2009 5:38 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Friday, 13 March 2009
Mired in PC the US Senate Homeland Security Committee Hides Threat of Somali American Jihadis
Patrick Poole in this Pajamas Media piece entitled "What Senators Didn't Hear About Somali American Jihadists" raises a basic disturbing question about why our FBI and Senator Lieberman's Homeland Security and Government Committee (HSGAC) staff continually evade the realities of Muslim extremism in hearings over the past two years. His sub-text message in his jeremiad is clear:
A serious new terrorist threat is on the horizon — but government officials are too politically correct to face it.
Poole goes on to note clear evidence that Somali American Jihadists constitute a ‘clear and present danger.’
In December 2007, months before the Somali men began disappearing from Minneapolis, I reported exclusively here at Pajamas Media about a jihadist fundraiser in the Twin Cities area attended by hundreds of local Somalis. The event featured top jihadist organizer Zakaria Mahmoud Haji-Abdi, the deputy chairman of the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) and now second in command to Somali “president” Sheikh Sherif Ahmed.
In that instance, homeland security officials failed to prevent Abdi from entering the country and conducting a series of fundraisers here in the U.S., where he encouraged recruitment to the jihad and financial support from the Somali community for their cause. As the story of the missing Somali men began to unfold late last year, I reported that some of those same homeland security officials have now admitted privately that the fundraiser the year before had been the “tipping point” for radicalization in the Minneapolis area. That notwithstanding, another ARS official was recently allowed to enter into the U.S. to conduct even more jihadist fundraisers. (Stay tuned to Pajamas Media for more on that report.)
And it is no big secret what the common denominator is to all of the missing men — all attended the Abubakar as-Siddique Mosque in south Minneapolis, led by extremist imam Sheikh Abdirahman Ahmed, the largest mosque in the area. Seeing as this link between the mosque and the missing men has been the focus of recent articles in the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek, it is hard to believe that this has escaped homeland security’s notice, especially since the mosque’s imam and youth director have been placed on the agency’s “no-fly” list and were prevented from leaving the country back in November.
Clearly dismayed at the HSGAC hearing on March 11th, Poole comments:
Anyone following this issue closely in recent months knows the potential danger Somali jihadists carrying American passports pose to our national security, but you wouldn’t get that impression listening to Wednesday’s hearing. If Senator Lieberman and his Homeland Security Committee colleagues want to avoid a potential homegrown 9/11, they’re going to have to circumvent the official channels and the politically correct agency propaganda to get an accurate assessment of how serious the threat is and how rapidly it is growing.
The reason that the HSGAC hearings on Muslim extremism are a failure is that the Committee staff is mired in the paradigm that Islamic extremists are isolated to a fringe group and the fostering of gang like behavior among Muslim youths who are disadvantaged whether here in the US or abroad in Eurabia and in this case the failed state of Somalia with a Taliban-like irredentist terror group like Al-Shabaab. This is doubtless traceable to ‘shadow warriors’ in the CIA, Homeland Security and academia like Dr. Marc Sagerman who evade the core values of Jihad and Political Islam at our peril. In effect we have benightedly built a Trojan Horse in the form of Muslim infiltration of our national law enforcement translator cadres and the influx of legal humanitarian refugees from Muslim countries, like Somalia harboring Islamic extremists. Poole, for example notes, the infiltration of Muslim extremist translators in the form of Al Shabaab sympathizers in the Voice of America Somali service.
We made many of the same points as Poole in a letter sent to Sen. Joe Lieberman's, Homeland Security and Government Committee (HSGAC) staff, on March 4th. In 2007, we have also written about the corruption of leaders in the American Somali Community in Nashville and Minneapolis - major Somali émigré centers. In the March 5th letter to the HSGAC Majority Counsel we noted:
More concerning is that the UN control of humanitarian refugee processing has introduced Jihadis among the Somalis from the Horn of Africa, who now number in the tens of thousands throughout America. The Somalis have brought with them strict Islamic Sharia values that violate our Constitution and Civil Rights laws and mock our Judeo Christian values. Still worse, they, and some other refugee groups, have brought with them undetected contagious diseases like TB, Hepatitis and HIV that evaded health screening prior to their entry to America.
The Somali immigrants are a significant proportion of those included in the humanitarian refugee program for Africa. For the Federal Fiscal year ended, September 30, 2007, according to information from the ORR, 7,500 Somalis entered this country out of a total of 17,000 such refugees allotted to Africa. The aggregate total of Somali refugees as of 2005 was close to 70,000. Given figures for both 2006 and 2007, the current aggregate may approximate 90,000.
Among those Somali legal humanitarian refugees are Imams indoctrinating naturalized American youths in extremist Islamic violence.
We saw in the tragedy in Mumbai, India, late last year, the devastation, death and destruction wrought by a ‘swarming attack’ by a limited number of Kashmiri and Pakistani extremists recruited by radical Islamist groups. Counter terrorism experts and the FBI consider that a high risk in America. Such attacks could be perpetrated by homegrown Jihadis like those among the several hundred naturalized Somali youths, alleged to have ‘disappeared’ to join Al Shabaab militia groups in Somalia Al Shabaab returnees could constitute cadres to train fellow American Somali youths to undertake swarming attacks against public facilities in this country. FBI and local counter terrorism authorities monitoring of the radical Somali émigré communities are a vital necessity to stifle swarming attack threats.
Unless and until the HSGAC staff penetrates the fog of disinformation emanating from the FBI, Homeland Security and National Counter-Terrorism groups, the US stands vulnerable to the threats of home-grown naturalized Somali Jihadis returning to this country under US passports to possibly initiate Mumbai-type swarming attacks.
Posted on 03/13/2009 7:42 AM by Jerry Gordon
Friday, 13 March 2009
Celebration of the Birth of Mohammed 'Held in Chapel of Birmingham Catholic College'
Damian Thompson reports here and then gives this update:
The Archbishop of Birmingham, Vincent Nichols, has defended the use of a Catholic university college chapel for an event marking the birthday of Mohammed. Unbelieveable, I know. But here it is:
In a statement issued today, Thursday 12 March, Peter Jennings, Press Secretary to the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Birmingham, and the Archdiocese of Birmingham, said: "The chapel at Newman University College, Birmingham, was properly prepared for this event which consisted of two talks and a discussion of an interfaith nature."
Mr Jennings added: "Christian/Muslin dialogue is an important part of the Catholic Church's agenda. College authorities were fully aware of what was taking place."
I'm baffled. Last night I reported on this disturbing event, organised by the college's Islamic Society and sanctioned by its politically correct chaplaincy team. I know that priests in Birmingham archdiocese are outraged by what happened. Archbishop Nichols could so easily have distanced himself from this, but he hasn't. If, against the odds, he is named as the next Archbishop of Westminster, his failure to speak out now will haunt him.
As I noted this morning, Italian journalist Paolo Roderi has named Bishop Bernard Longley, auxiliary in Westminster, as the man chosen by the Pope to succeed +Cormac. But only last night Roderi was claiming that Benedict XVI was leaning towards Vincent Nichols, which implies that the Pope had a last-minute change of heart. If so, can you blame him? This response to an event that has enormously upset devout Catholics is inadequate, and that's putting it politely.
Posted on 03/13/2009 9:32 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 13 March 2009
No Visa For Moussawi
From the Daily Mail (with thanks to Jeffrey Imm):
Islamic fanatic Ibrahim Moussawi was today denied a visa to enter Britain.
Jacqui Smith has ruled the spokesman for the terrorist organisation Hezbollah should not be allowed to travel here - despite him making at least two previous visits to the UK on her watch.
The Mail understands the Home Secretary ruled his presence here - where he was due to lecture Government officials - would not be 'conducive to the public good'.
Moussawi, who had been invited to speak on 'political Islam' at the School of Oriental and African Studies later this month, is a newspaper editor for the Lebanon-based terrorist organisation Hezbollah's newspaper.
He is a former political editor of the Iranian-backed group's television station, which has been banned in many countries including France, Spain and the US where its output is seen as anti-Semitic.
Miss Smith has been under enormous pressure to refuse his latest visa application, since details were first revealed by the Mail last month.
Critics said allowing him in would represent 'double standards' after she banned the far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders from coming to Britain to show his film about Islam because it would threaten ‘community harmony’.
The Conservatives said that if Miss Smith bans people who threaten community harmony, but lets in those who glorify terrorism or are part of terrorist groups then it sends out entirely the 'wrong message'.
Moussawi was due to speak at the Political Islam event at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.
Moussawi - along with the UK-based extremist Dr. Kamal Helbawy, a former spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood - was among the star speakers at the week-long course.
This report claims the only minister opposed to Moussawi's visit was Hazel Blears.
Posted on 03/13/2009 9:46 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 13 March 2009
Afghan Government Seeks U.S. Support For Negotiations With Controversial Former Mujahedeen Tied To Muslim Brotherhood
From the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report:
The New York Times has reported that the Afghan government has been exploring possible negotiations with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a controversial former mujahedeen with ties to the global Muslim Brotherhood. According to the NYT report, these negotiations could end up being supported by the U.S.:
Even as President Barack Obama floated the idea of negotiating with moderate elements of the Taliban, Afghan and foreign officials here said that preliminary discussions with the Taliban leadership were already under way and could be developed into more formal talks with the support of the United States. The Afghan government has been exploring the potential for negotiations with the Taliban leadership council of Mullah Muhammad Omar and with a renegade mujahedeen leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, after receiving overtures from them last year, the officials said. The proposal for talks gained additional momentum from an endorsement by Saudi Arabia and the change to a civilian government in Pakistan, both of which increased political pressure on the Taliban to compromise. Afghan government officials and Western diplomats said the peace process might have already made greater progress, if the Afghan government and the United States had pushed it more forcefully. They also said that negotiations should be expanded to a broad spectrum of Taliban leaders and that a policy of talking only to moderates was doomed to failure…..American officials would not comment on negotiations with the Taliban or with Hekmatyar, except to say that they supported the five-year-old government reconciliation process. Western diplomats in Kabul said that even under the Bush administration, the United States had grown more receptive to the idea of talking to the Taliban.
A 2005 Jamestown Foundation report describes the behavior of Hekmatyar’s mujahedeen faction known as the Hezb-e-Islami Afghanistan (The Islamic Party of Afghanistan or HIA) which has been widely blamed for the violence of the post-Soviet period in Afghanistan:
Although the HIA faction under Hekmatyar was the most heavily armed, funded and publicized organization of the resistance, it did little of the real fighting against the Soviets. Instead, it was responsible for most of the assassinations, purges and infighting with rival groups and personalities. It ruled and dominated the Afghan scene with intimidation, fear and sheer terror. Nonetheless, after the withdrawal of the Soviets and the collapse of Dr. Najibullah’s regime, Hekmatyar’s HIA remained the most powerful and best equipped organization. Hekmatyar and his Pakistani sponsors erroneously anticipated a quick seizure of power by the HIA. However, based on the Jabalurseraj Agreement, thrashed out among Ahmad Shah Masoud of the Tajiks, Abdul Ali Mazari of the Hazaras and Abdur Rashid Dostum of the Uzbeks, the strategic center and garrisons in Kabul were taken over by these three groups. Hekmatyar’s forces were left out of the city, and in a futile attempt to reverse this misfortune, HIA forces shelled the city indiscriminately.
The Jamestown report also says that Hekmatyar started his political career as a leftist and later became a disciple of the Muslim Brotherhood and Sayyed Qutb, one of the most important ideologues in the history of the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Spring 1993, Hekmatyar participated in a meeting in Afghanistan that included:
- Burhanuddin Rabbani (former President of Afghanistan and also associated with the Muslim Brotherhood)
- Mustafa Machour (Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood)
- Kazi Hussain Ahmed (Head of the Pakistani Jamaat-e-Islami, an Islamist group close to the global Muslim Brotherhood)
- Ghaleb Ali Himmat (Leader of the German Muslim Brotherhood)
A confidential Swiss prosecutor’s report has said that Hekmatyar also had financial transactions with the now-defunct Al-Taqwa Bank established by Mr. HImmat and Youssef Nada, another leader of the Muslim Brotherhood living near Mr. Himmat in Italy. According to that report:
…the examination of the bank accounts at the investigators’ disposal and especially the account number 112333 through the Paribas Bank notably permitted to bring to light …money transfers to the profit of Gulbuddin HEKMATYAR; it being specified that not long after these transfers massacres took place in Kaboul…
Numerous Muslim Brotherhood luminaries held shares in the bank, including the bank’s Sharia supervisor Sheikh Youssef Qaradawi and his family, which was supposed to conduct business in accord with Islamic principles. The bank was closed in 2000 after what Nada said were unforeseen developments related to the Asian financial crisis and a run on the bank caused by unfavorable publicity generated by accusations that the bank was funding Hamas. Prosecution of Nada and Al Taqwa has also been dropped in Switzerland recently but Nada, Himmat, Nasreddin, and Al Taqwa remain on the U.S. and other lists of designated terrorists.
Posted on 03/13/2009 10:21 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 13 March 2009
Pakistani Lawmakers Use Taliban To Threaten Others
Peshawar, Mar 13 : Not only are common people going to seek the Taliban's help against powerful elements in their respective areas, but Pakistani lawmakers are also now threatening their colleagues in the NWFP Assembly by letting the Taliban loose on them to settle personal scores.
Many attending Thursday's session of the assembly were stunned when they heard a lawmaker warning a provincial minister of calling the Taliban, if he (minister) continued interfering in postings and transfers in his constituency....
The writing has been on the wall of Pakistan for a long time. We're soon going to be threatened by a nuclear Taliban-Pakistan alliance.
Posted on 03/13/2009 10:37 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Friday, 13 March 2009
Women free from tyranny of dressing suggestively in Swat, also fear death
We often hear how living under sharia, with its strict regulation of womens' covering, is actually liberating for women, who no longer have to dress suggestively to gain approval from lecherous men. Here, again, is the reality. From DAWN.com in Pakistan:
PESHAWAR: Terrified, locked up at home and courting death if they go out alone, women oppressed by extremists in Swat have nothing to celebrate on International Women’s Day.
Nearly 100 years after the annual day was created to mark the struggle for equal rights for half the world’s population, most women in Swat look blank and go silent when asked about gender rights and discrimination.
They’re too frightened to speak in public. They can only leave the confines of their homes accompanied by a male relative, their bodies hidden in veils.
‘How can I tell you my name, are you crazy? I was told not to give my name to anyone because the Taliban could hurt me,’ one girl in the ninth grade told AFP by telephone from the former ski resort.
The girl’s dreams of becoming a doctor are over. She worries the Taliban will stop her finishing school, regardless of her parents’ support.
‘My mother told me I can do anything, but my inner soul is shattered.’
‘Tell me if you stop women getting an education where will a sick woman go? Do you want her to go to a male doctor? I was told that education is compulsory for every man and woman in Islam but the Taliban destroyed our schools.’
Militants have destroyed 191 schools in the valley, 122 of them for girls, leaving 62,000 pupils with nowhere to study, local officials say.
Huma Batool – not her real name – is a 42-year-old mother of two who dices with death to teach girls at a private school in the region’s main town Mingora.
‘We have to veil ourselves and wear shuttlecock burqas. We are not safe even at home.
We fear the Taliban all the time. Life is becoming worse and worse for women in Swat,’ she told AFP by telephone.
Educated and financially self-sufficient, she cannot even pop to the shops without a male relative, leaving her frequently couped up at home for hours, waiting for a suitable escort to become available.
‘You cannot imagine how I manage to get to school, practically every day I think about leaving the job and sitting at home.’
‘Life bores us to tears. There is no entertainment. We can’t even think about cable TV, cinema, film and music. Imagine I can’t even go shopping or to the bazaar as women are banned by Taliban.’
Salma Javed, 35, is a nurse at a local hospital, where women – however sick – can only be admitted if accompanied by a male relative.
‘Every woman fears she will be killed if she comes out, so even sick and pregnant women have to visit hospital with their husbands.’
Salma would love to leave, but she cannot scrape together the money to set herself up in Peshawar.
‘Now we are waiting to see what will happen after the peace deal, but let me tell you things will not change for women,’ she said.
The only light in Shahnaz Kousar’s life is that the Taliban – at least for now – are allowing her to go to school in Mingora. But outside her 10th grade classroom, the daily pleasures of shopping and make-up are gone.
‘We are now totally depending on Taliban. There’s not a single shop left where I can go and buy cosmetics, all shops selling women’s things are either closed or empty.’
‘I remember when I used to go to this market with my mother and sisters, but now it seems like a dream.’
Posted on 03/13/2009 12:10 PM by Artemis Gordon Glidden
Friday, 13 March 2009
AP-Award Winning Journalist Brian Mosely, Interviewed by CBN on Shelbyville Somali Culture Clash
Today’s Shelbyville Times-Gazette had a story on a forthcoming Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) story about the ‘culture clash’ between émigré Somali Muslims in this Middle Tennessee community. Erick Stakelbeck, Washington based CBN counter terrorism journalist, had recently gone to both Nashville and Shelbyville to gain a sense of why these heartland locations have become a cultural battleground.
We have interviewed AP award winning Brian Mosely about what transpired when Tyson foods hired several hundred Somalis to replace Latino illegal immigrants at their poultry processing plant in Shelbyville.
Stakelbeck of CBN had read Mosely’s Somali series and thought it might be an interesting story to portray on film. Stakelbeck notes in this Shelbyville Times Gazette article what motivated him to undertake this assignment.
Stakelbeck said the situation first caught his attention when the Associated Press picked up Mosely's story about Tyson replacing Labor Day with a Muslim holiday, Eid al-Fitr. He then went back and found the earlier series about the growing Somali population and related challenges.
"I usually cover terrorism, but culture is a big part of it as Muslim Americans are assimilating," he said. "I've taken an interest in the culture clash aspect."
Not that the two aren't related, Stakelbeck said. He referred to Muslim schools in America that are teaching the more radical aspects of the religion.
"In addition to the military jihads, I've been covering the 'soft jihad,'" he said. "They're doing it with books instead of bullets."
But Shelbyville, Stakelbeck said, "is an interesting case."
In other areas of the country, he has heard reports of large groups of Somali refugees going back to Somalia and enlisting in militant groups. That hasn't happened here, that he's heard.
"I think the interesting part of Shelbyville is the culture clash. This is old-school America -- heavily Christian -- and they are planting people from a Third World Muslim country in this mix."
Shelbyville, he said, was not a traditional "gateway city," such as New York or Los Angeles, where there is already a large population of the displaced nationalities to help them assimilate.
"This is not a big, melting pot environment."
The influx of Somalis and others from Muslim backgrounds concerned him, he said, and Shelbyville's issues indicate "it's not just New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia or Boston. It's now in the heartland."
Mosely has paid the price of being vilified as a ‘racist” by some in the Bedford County vicinity because of the Somali series. Two comments appended to today’s Shelbyville Times Gazette article was typical of extremist diatribes that he has faced:
If he had it his way, he would become the Hitler of Shelbyville and do away with any race that is not White/Caucasian.
- Posted by Disturbia on Fri, Mar 13, 2009, at 1:34 PM
HAHA, yes, new sign to be posted when entering Shelbyville/Bedford County....THIS TOWN IS ONLY FOR STRAIGHT, WHITE CHRISTIANS ONLY!! Wouldn't shock me a bit if they actually posted this sign lol
-- Posted by Vindicated on Fri, Mar 13, 2009, at 1:42 PM
Notwithstanding that article noted:
The Somali stories have garnered a great deal of feedback, with Mosely being accused of being "politically correct" by some people and of being racist by others. Mosely, whose childhood home was opened to church-sponsored refugees from Laos and Ethiopia, denies both claims.
"I report the news," he said. "People don't like the message, they shoot the messenger."
After his interview, Mosely felt Stakelbeck, affiliated with two traditionally conservative television networks, was "very fair."
Stakelbeck in an email exchange about the story and reader comments had this piece of advice for Mosey:
I agree with Jerry--definitely do not let the comments get you down. I learned that over the years—just shrug them off and wear them a as a badge of honor!
Posted on 03/13/2009 4:05 PM by Jerry Gordon