Archive for October, 2010

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Muhammad inspired Michael Myers?

October 31, 2010
Michael Myers peers over the balcony

Michael Myers in "Halloween"

The Prophet Mohammed in a Mosque

Muhammad in a mosque

 

One of the greatest horror films ever made was “Halloween,” which was produced by Syrian-born Moustapha Akkad in 1978.  The film was so thrilling that Roger Ebert proclaimed “I would compare it to Psycho.”

Apart from producing the Halloween series, Akkad is perhaps most famous for directing “The Message”—the sword and sand “epic” glorifying the life and conquests of Muhammad.  “The Message” was released just two years prior to “Halloween.”  It seems a rather dramatic change in focus—does it not?—to be making a religious biography one year and a gory slasher flick shortly thereafter?  But there is more continuity between the two movies than meets the eye.

First person camera

There are a few famous films in history, such as “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” that have used the viewpoint of the camera to simulate the viewpoint of a character in the movie.  Two of the other best known films to employ that technique are—you guessed it—“The Message” and “Halloween.”

More often than not, arch-villain Michael Myers is depicted either by the camera or in the shadows, at a distance, and only in a mask.  Like our beloved Prophet, you never see his face.  The production of “The Message” was interrupted, protested, and boycotted on many occasions over rumors that an actor would portray Muhammad on screen.  If Moustapha Akkad ever desired to show the face of Muhammad, the death threats convinced him otherwise.  Akkad decided to use first-person camera and only portrayed Muhammad’s more distant relatives and companions to avoid the controversy of showing Muhammad’s inner circle.

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Arab nations fund Marseille mega-mosque

October 29, 2010

Old news in need of wider dissemination.  Various “Arab nations” have pledged the money that will be necessary to build the new “Grand Mosque” in Marseille that will fit 7,000 worshipers…  From France 24, courtesy of the “Islam in Europe” blog on May, 20, 2010:

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Viva Palestina: the next Holy Land Foundation?

October 28, 2010

The Holy Land Foundation trial centered on HLF’s illegal funneling of money from the United States to Hamas.  Muslim Americans are rightfully sitting behind bars for their crimes in the HLF case.  But another organization—Viva Palestina US—seems to be getting away with strikingly similar activities today with impunity.

The back story

The Investigative Project on Terrorism released a report earlier this year on Viva Palestina, a Hamas front group launched by the notorious George Galloway.  IPT finds that Viva Palestina, “and its American affiliate, Viva Palestina US, claim to be involved in providing humanitarian donations to the Palestinian people. The operations of these two connected organizations, however, are clearly political in nature and have provided material and propaganda support to Hamas, a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).”

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Tax breaks for South African sharia

October 27, 2010

South Africa is poised to pass new tax “neutrality” measures for sharia banking.  That means tax changes to encourage what they euphemistically call “foreign direct investment” (FDI).

The Arab News came out with this report late last month:

The South African government’s recent confirmation that it is in the process of introducing tax neutrality laws for Mudaraba (trust financing), Murabaha (cost-plus financing) and Diminishing Musharaka (diminishing shared ownership) contracts is a long overdue recognition of the potential Islamic finance has for the country and the region. Financial services industry sources stress that the proposed tax neutrality measures are just the start and the wider objective is to introduce a comprehensive regulatory and legal framework to facilitate Islamic finance in the country both for financial inclusion and market liberalization and development reasons.

It may also have something to do with the ambition of the country to develop Cape Town into an international financial hub, an ambition which was confirmed by Alan Winde, the finance minister of the provincial government of the Western Cape; and South Africa’s aim of attracting inward foreign direct investment (FDI) from the Middle Eastern countries and others such as Malaysia and Brunei…

Great!  We already have sharia finance hubs in London, Paris… Why not Cape Town?  This was followed up by the Business Report:

The Banker magazine reported recently that few parts of the global financial sector could claim to have continued growing in the past two years like Islamic financial institutions had – namely, asset growth of 64 percent.

It is thus no surprise that South Africa has joined Australia, Hong Kong and the UK and a growing number of non-Muslim countries in developing their Islamic finance sector by changing regulations that level the playing field for these transactions.

To achieve this Revenue will place a new insertion in the Income Tax Act that would take into account Shariah practices which involved profit and risk sharing and forbade the paying or receiving of interest or investment in certain industries.

“In the absence of special rules, the way Shariah transactions are treated for tax purposes creates unfair distortions,” says Islam Today…

Notice that we in the West are steadily changing our “secular” tax laws to accommodate their sharia law?  More on the growth of Islamic finance in South Africa can be found on Shariah Finance Watch here, and the Shia push for khums among South Africans on Money Jihad here.

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New tax on harbi truckers

October 26, 2010

To shore up its frightful budget, Pakistan is considering a new tax against U.S. trucks.  Sounds like Pakistan is taking a page from the Taliban’s book.  Or from Hizbul Islam’s.  Or from Caliph Omar.  From the Daily Times on Oct. 10 (h/t Rantburg):

Pakistan mulls tax on NATO trucks

LAHORE: The government is considering imposing a tax on NATO supply trucks going into Afghanistan from Pakistan, a private TV channel reported on Saturday. According to sources, NATO supplies are sent to Afghanistan through Chaman and Torkham road networks. On the other hand, some 500 trucks filled from Pakistani refineries go to Afghanistan on a daily basis and this had been the routine since the last seven years, the channel said. Numerous highways had been adversely affected due to the heavy trucks and hence the government said it considered imposing a tax on their supply. The government might also demand a road tax from the US for the past seven years of transporting these trucks, which would amount to approximately Rs 600 million, the channel reported.

For the past seven years?  Add retroactivity to the list of what’s wrong with Pakistan’s awful tax system.

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Zakat flows “uninterrupted” to jihadist JMB

October 25, 2010

A year ago today we covered the jihadist financing behind Jamatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).  At the time JMB was enriched by zakat, ushr, and counterfeiting.  Last month the Daily Star provided an update (h/t Shariah Finance Watch).  Does it still count as an “update” when the financing hasn’t changed one bit?  Well, one thing may have changed—JMB appears to be receiving even more international zakat donations than last year.

JMB still getting plenty of funds

Flow of money from local, foreign sources remains intact despite arrest of top brass

Shariful Islam

Financial strength of militant organisation Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh has been a grave concern for law enforcement agencies as the banned outfit is reportedly getting more than Tk 50 lakh a month from local and foreign sources.

JMB’s activities have lately appeared on the wane following the arrest of its top brass, including its chief Moulana Saidur Rahman, and explosives experts.

But law enforcers involved with anti-militancy drives believe its network of financial support survives intact. The flow of fund in the form of supporters’ monthly contributions, Zakat and donation apparently remains uninterrupted.

The officers, however, could not say who handles the funds after the arrest of Saidur in May. The JMB chief himself was in charge of its finance division.

Of their monthly earning, around Tk 6 lakh is being sent by around 3,000 JMB supporters staying in Australia, England, Italy, Canada, Malaysia and middle-east countries, according to a statement made by Saidur at Taskforce for Interrogation cell recently.

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Just what the world needs

October 24, 2010

A new, mega-Islamist charity.  Zakat as far as the eye can see.  All courtesy of Osama Bin Laden.  Here’s AP’s report on the release of Bin Laden’s latest audiotape earlier this month:

Actually, this is old news in many ways because the 9/11 attacks were primarily funded by zakat.

But maybe Bin Laden will establish a “new,” “charitable” wing for Al Qaeda.  Like Hamas has the Union of Good network.  He might figure that some dim Western governments will allow their own Muslim populations to donate to a front charity more easily than they can donate to Al Qaeda today.  (Again, just like Union of Good.)

Let’s hope that S. Leslie Ireland, the relatively new head of Treasury’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis, is watching the landscape closely for any new Bin Laden initiatives.

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British Muslims are Taliban’s “greatest source of revenue”

October 22, 2010

Un:dhimmi ran a post yesterday entitled “Taliban: British Muslims Our Greatest Source of Funding” (h/t Religion of Peace) which includes video from an interview of the Taliban recently conducted by Sky News.  Sky News was told that the Taliban’s money comes from “community centers” and mosques around the world, especially from the United Kingdom.

To repeat, “We are not like a government, we depend on individuals.  We get donations from our Muslim brothers in Britain for jihad and they help us. It is the duty of all Muslims to pay towards fighting a jihad. And this is how we get our money and buy our weapons and carry on fighting.”

As we have shown again and again, Al Qaeda and the Taliban are not primarily funded by criminal activity involving drugs or money laundering, but through routine zakat ordained by the Koran.

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Newburgh 4 happily accepted “jihad money”

October 21, 2010

A would-be Muslim terror cell in New York, the “Newburgh 4,” have been convicted of attempting to blow up military airplanes with Stinger missiles and Bronx synagogues with bombs.  From the Associated Press on Oct. 18:

NEW YORK, N.Y.—Four men snared last year in an FBI sting were convicted Monday of plotting to blow up New York City synagogues and shoot down military planes with the help of a paid informant who convinced them he was a terror operative.

The sting never put New Yorkers at risk. But the defendants “thought this was real — real bombs, real missiles — every step of the way,” Assistant U.S. Attorney David Raskin said during closing arguments.

A jury in federal court in Manhattan deliberated eight days before finding alleged mastermind James Cromitie and three co-defendants guilty of charges including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and conspiracy to acquire and use anti-aircraft missiles to kill U.S. officers and employees.

Cromitie and David Williams were convicted of all eight counts, while Onta Williams and Laguerre Payen were convicted of seven of eight counts. Sentencing was set for March 24, when the defendants could face up to life in prison.

Afterward, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in a statement called homegrown terrorism a “serious threat” and added: “We are safer today as a result of these convictions.” He said the defendants agreed to plant bombs and use missiles “they thought were very real weapons of terrorism.”

Defence lawyers said they will appeal…

According to Doyle Murphy, reporter for the Times Herald Record, FBI informer Shahed Hussain had given the Newburgh 4 “money for rent, groceries, train tickets and cigarettes, carefully reminding them it was ‘jihad money’” to help with preparations for their terrorist acts.  The Islamists readily accepted the loot.

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Treasury mysteriously de-lists Faraj Farj Hassan al Saadi

October 20, 2010

Yesterday, lumped in with a laundry list of Columbian drug dealers designated under the Kingpin Act, the Treasury Department quietly deleted Faraj Faraj Hussein al-Sa’idi (also known by five aliases) from their terror listing of specially designated nationals.

The reasons for the de-listing are unclear, and few if any media outlets have published any further detail, much less a proper justification for the removal.

According to Kufr Akbar’s Notes on Sunni Terrorists blog, Faraj al-Sa’idi was convicted by a court in Milan, Italy, in 2006 to a five year prison sentence, a conviction which was upheld on appeal, for membership in the terrorist organization known as the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.  Nevertheless, al-Sa’idi was never extradited from Britain where he has lived since 2002.

The U.N. Security Council Al-Qaida and Taliban Sanctions Committee conducted a review of Mr. al-Sa’idi’s case and apparently decided NOT to de-list him.  The U.N.’s review was completed in January 2010.

The Brits give him safe haven, the U.S. removes him from its terror list, but Italy and the UN stick to their guns on this slug.  Here’s the question for Adam Szubin, the director of the agency within Treasury that removed Sa’idi from Treasury’s list:  what gives?

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Algeria clamors to Europe to stop funding terror

October 19, 2010
Algerian minister for African Affairs, Abdelkader Messahel

Enough, says Abdelkader Messahel

But will the West listen?  Abdelkader Messahel, Algeria’s African affairs minister, says ransoms paid by Europe account for 95 percent of terrorist revenues in the region.

U.N. Resolution 1904 prohibits payments of ransoms, but imposes no penalties for entities that pay ransoms anyway.  Algeria announced at the end of September that it would introduce amendments to give teeth to 1904.

US HRC Ambassador Eileen Donahoe

Slow down, says Ambassador Donahoe

U.S. Human Rights Commission Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe objected to the African proposal during deliberations on Oct. 1 saying that the U.S. “does not consider the Human Rights Council to be the appropriate forum for such counterterrorism issues,” and that the wording of the text “could have been improved with further consultation.”

Regardless of Amb. Donahoe’s objections, the resolution was adopted without a vote.  The resolution itself includes no harsher sanctions for the payment of ransoms, but instead tables the issue for further study during the 16th session of the Human Rights Council.

Algeria is up on the rooftop crying out for help.  They’re not asking for perpetual bailouts like Pakistan.  They’re just asking for wealthy European nations like Spain to stop funding their mutual enemy of Al Qaeda. 

If it’s wrong for terrorists to fund Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and if it’s wrong for U.S. contractors to pay the Taliban, isn’t it also wrong for Western governments to pay ransoms demanded by Al Qaeda?

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