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More about Sharia

Archaeologist claims to have found chisel that helped build the Kotel

Wed, 04/23/2014 - 03:00
From Haaretz:

Archaeologists have found a stonemason's chisel that they believe may have been used by the builders of the Western Wall in Jerusalem.

Actually Eli Shukron, an archaeologist working for the Israel Antiquities Authority, found the chisel last summer while digging at the lower base of the Western Wall, south of the Western Wall courtyard. However, the IAA has preferred to remain silent on the discovery, based on the need to study the tool and other evidence further before issuing any statements, it explained.

Shukron has been digging in the area of the City of David and the Western Wall together with Prof. Ronny Reich for the past 19 years, until a few months ago. In recent years Shukron had been excavating inside a tunnel found to lead from the City of David into the Old City, passing beneath its massive stone wall and ending at the Western Wall.

In effect the tunnel is part of a drainage system built beneath the main road during the Second Temple period. At its end within the city, the tunnel is right by Temple Mount and the lower area of the Western Wall, which had been a wall of the Second Temple.

The chisel is just one of many archaeological treasures that Shukron and Reich reported from the area. Other finds include a Roman sword, cooking vessels from the period of the Great Rebellion, a gold bell that they think may have adorned the robe of the High Priest, and a ceramic seal apparently used to confirm the suitability of sacrifices brought to the Temple.The chisel is 15 centimeters long. Its head had become flattened, almost mushroom-shaped, from being repeatedly banged on rock.

Shukron suspects a builder working at one of the higher levels of the Western Wall, from a scaffolding structure, dropped the thing and couldn't be bothered to climb down and retrieve it. Thus the metal artifact became covered by rubble and stayed that way for 2,000 years. Or maybe he did climb down but couldn't find it.

"I have no doubt that it belongs to the time the Wall was built," Shukron says. "We found it at the base of the Western Wall, about six meters below the main street of Jerusalem in the era of the Second Temple. The coins we found in the area, and ceramics too, indicate that it was at the time the Western Wall was built. The chisel itself was found inside rubble of stone chips that fell from the stonemasons working on the rocks comprising the Western Wall."

It is true that the rocks comprising the Western Wall had been transported there from far away. But the final work on the giant stones, and the job of fitting them with incredible precision, were done on site.

In contrast to the stones at the lower layer of the Wall, which remain quite natural in shape, the stones nearer the top were beautifully worked.

"People pray and kiss these holy stones every day, but somebody carved them, somebody chiseled them, somebody positioned them," Shukron says. "They were workers, human beings, who had tools. Today for the first time we can touch a chisel that belonged to one of them."

The IAA commented that the chisel had been found more than a year ago, and it is awaiting results of tests on the implement, and on other findings at the site. When solid results come in, it will comment, the IAA stated.
(h/t Yoel)

Jihadist Terrorist Group Abu Sayyaf Receives Zakat Money

Mon, 04/21/2014 - 08:29

Money Jihad blog uncovered an important report from Thomson Reuters which details financing for the Islamic terrorist organization Abu Sayyaf, which operates in the Philippines.

In the report, an entire section is devoted to zakat funding for Abu Sayyaf, particularly from Saudi Arabia.

Thomson Reuters maintains that the zakat money is only coming from Filipino expatriates living and working in Saudi Arabia, but this is almost certainly not the case. Direct funding of Jihad by wealthy Saudis has been documented going back well before 9/11.

Thomson Reuters also maintains that many zakat donors are unaware that their money goes to fund terrorism. This may be the case with some zakat donors, but certainly not all. Again, zakat funding of Jihad has been too extensively documented over the years for anyone to truly believe that donors have no awareness, particularly wealthy Saudis who are financially sophisticated.

It is rather surprising that Thomson Reuters would even publish this report, given the fact that they have major contracts providing information services specific to the Shariah Finance industry–and industry that funds zakat.

The problem of Saudi funding of terrorism via individual wealthy Saudis is one that just will not go away. The Saudi regime, which otherwise rules with an iron fist, surely is aware of these activities, yet has not stopped them. Saudi funding of Jihadist terrorism continues in the post-9/11 world, despite claims by members of the US government that we are making great progress in curtailing terrorism financing.

Here is the relevant section excerpted from the Thomson Reuters report–before someone at their corporate headquarters removes it from the internet!

ZAKAT

The ASG has also maintained the collection of Zakat, one of its traditional sources of funding, though not as profitable as its criminal activities. Zakat, which prescribes Muslims to donate 2.5% of their net revenue to charity, is legitimate under Shariah law. The ASG which claims to struggle for the establishment of an independent Islamic state in Mindanao, benefits from Zakat collected locally and abroad. Locals and those abroad who believe that militant groups are in pursuit of jihad donate substantially to support their operations and upkeep. Some donors however, are not aware that their donations end up in the treasury of militant groups. 

Crucial to the collection of Zakat in the Middle East are a small number of sympathetic Filipino workers who help source donors and channel funds to the militant groups through the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) remittance system. The Philippines is one of the major exporters of labor to Saudi Arabia with more than a million Filipino workers in that country. Annual remittances amounting to more than a billion pesos have literally kept the Philippine economy afloat. Lack of regulations or monitoring of these remittances allows the flow of funds from supporters abroad to militant groups like the ASG.

The ASG has not established a stable support group in any other country except for Saudi Arabia. They depend only on a few core supporters, mostly relatives and friends, both locally and abroad. In the past they collected donations during Friday congregational prayers and used the proceeds for the procurement of ammunition, medicines, and military supplies. It is estimated that from 1992 to 2007, the ASG collected almost ₱20 million from Zakat.

Propaganda is critical for the continuity of Zakat. There is no recent evidence that the ASG is publicly engaged in propaganda which suggests less reliance in Zakat. Previously, the ASG organized lectures and seminars to encourage people to take part in jihad by sharing their wealth through Zakat. The ASG is also known to compile video footages of militant training and actual combat operations. In October 2007, the ASG had appealed for funds and recruits on You Tube by featuring a video of two slain ASG leaders. 

http://accelus.thomsonreuters.com/sites/default/files/GRC00946.pdf

 

 

'Former Arsenal player' in Syria jihad video identified as Portuguese

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 14:13
British and foreign security services say man who appeared in video urging others to join jihadists is Celso Rodrigues Da Costa A masked al-Qaida fighter in Syria described as a former Arsenal footballer has been identified as a Portuguese citizen, it can be disclosed. The man appeared in a video released online two weeks ago urging others to join the jihadists, using a false name and speaking ...

'Former Arsenal player' in Syria jihad video identified as Portuguese

Wed, 04/16/2014 - 13:56
British and foreign security services say man who appeared in video urging others to join jihadists is Celso Rodrigues Da Costa Continue reading...

Syria wages PR fight on sanctuary for Christians

Mon, 04/07/2014 - 13:55

When the Syrian opposition took over the Armenian-Christian town of Kessab in coastal Syria last month, its 2,000 residents fled. Instead, rebels appear to be using Kessab as an opportunity to try to undo their reputation for extreme brutality towards Syria's Christians and Shiites. But the Assad regime, which considers itself the protector of minorities, has launched a media campaign to demonstrate how Islamists are terrorizing Christians in Kessab, turning the town into a public relations battlefield in Syria's civil war.  Christians' fears of the armed opposition have been stoked by events such as the Hatla massacre, in which at least 30 Shiite villagers were killed, and by snapshots of life under the control of extremist groups: strict Islamist doctrine, public beheadings of "infidels," and the alleged levying of a jizya, or protection tax, on some Christian communities by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, an Al Qaeda-linked militant group.


Hakimullah Mehsud obituary

Sat, 04/05/2014 - 20:35
Leader of the Pakistani Taliban held responsible for numerous terror attacks Hakimullah Mehsud, who has died in a US drone attack aged about 34, was one of the most notorious leaders to emerge from Pakistan's cauldron of Islamist militancy in the past decade. Charming, charismatic and ruthless in equal measure, he was propelled to the leadership of the country's largest Taliban group by the twin ...

Abu Sayyaf men abduct 2 in Malaysia–officials

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 22:53
KUALA LUMPUR — A 29-year-old Chinese national and a Filipino resort worker have been abducted from a resort off Semporna, Malaysian and Philippine officials said Thursday.   The attackers were believed to be from the Abu Sayyaf, a Filipino militant Muslim group that has been implicated in seaborne kidnappings for ransom in the region before, said a Philippine intelligence official who didn't ...

Madressah reform

Wed, 04/02/2014 - 19:00
[DAWN] THE issue of madressah reform was raised in the National Assembly on Tuesday when the house adopted an opposition resolution demanding that the government take steps to "improve and regulate" education in seminaries. As militancy has gained ground in Pakistain over the past few years, the role of madressahs, particularly those promoting myrmidon mindsets or worse and acting as nurseries for jihadi and sectarian groups, has come under close scrutiny. Though it would be wrong to tar all seminaries with the same brush as many madressahs genuinely focus on purely religious studies and do not promote violence, ever since the 1980s, the politicisation of seminaries, in the shadow of the Afghan 'jihad', has resulted in some madressahs becoming hotbeds of extremism. Attempts have been made to 'reform' the seminaries, including during the Musharraf years and the last PPP government's tenure. Yet these have made little difference mostly due to the pressure of the religious right. Religious parties feel that the government wants to control the madressahs under the guise of reforms, hence they are guarding their turf fiercely. But reforming madressahs should not necessarily be about control of institutions or doing away with religious education. Rather, it should focus on ensuring that madressah curricula do not contain hate material, and, in fact, equip the thousands of graduates that seminaries produce every year with marketable mainstream skills that will help them get jobs in different sectors. The fact is that madressahs have also mushroomed because the state has failed to create a viable, equitable system of public education. Our system is class-based and skewed against the poor. Though some people do send their offspring to madressahs out of religious beliefs, many simply have no other choice. Either there are no public schools in their native areas, or the schools that do exist hardly deliver quality education. Meanwhile, ...back at the pie fight, Bella grabbed the cocoanut cream... the free boarding and lodging many madressahs offer is an added advantage to poor parents. Madressah reform is essential and religious quarters should work with the state to bring seminaries into the mainstream. But more important is the need for the state to overhaul the broken public school system to deliver decent education to youngsters that will help them become productive, enlightened citizens.

UK, Syria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia feature in Religious Liberty Prayer Bulletin

Sat, 03/29/2014 - 13:18
Jihadists have driven Armenians from Kessab; 33 North Koreans have reportedly been sentenced to death for having contact with a South Korean Baptist missionary

Because We Are at War

Fri, 03/28/2014 - 11:27
via UTT Blog. “The Islamic nation must be fully prepared to fight the tyrants and the enemies of Allah as a prelude to establishing the Islamic State.” By-Laws of the International Muslim Brotherhood   “Killing is to continue until the unbelievers pay jizyah after they are humbled or overpowered.” Islam and Modernism, Taqi Usmani (2006) […]

Hamas MP: "We Must Massacre Jews"

Sun, 03/23/2014 - 14:00
From MEMRI:



In a recent address, Hamas cleric and MP Yunis Al-Astal said that the Koran indicates that “we must massacre [the Jews]... to prevent them from sowing corruption in the world.” Al-Astal further said: “We must restore them to the state of humiliation imposed upon them... They must pay the jizya security tax while they live in our midst.” The address was aired on March 6, 2014, on the Hamas-owned Al-Aqsa TV, broadcasting from Gaza.

Following are excerpts:

Yunis Al-Astal: In today's show, we will discuss the demand that the Palestinian people recognize [Israel] as a Jewish state, so that the occupation will graciously hand them out scraps. I would like to begin by quoting what Allah said about them: "The worst of beasts in the sight of Allah are those who disbelieve. They are the ones with whom you made a covenant, but they break their covenant every time."

[...]

The obvious question is: What is the solution to this gang of people? The Al-Anfal chapter of the Koran provides us with the answer. After He said: "They are the ones with whom you made a covenant, but they break their covenant every time," Allah added: "If you gain mastery over them in a war, use them to disperse those who follow them that they may remember." This indicates that we must massacre them, in order to break them down and prevent them from sowing corruption in the world. They are the ones who still spark the flame of war, but Allah has taken it upon Himself to extinguish it.

[...]

We must restore them to the state of humiliation imposed upon them. They should be dhimmi citizens. This status must be imposed upon them by war. They must pay the jizya security tax while they live in our midst.

[...]

However, in Palestine, where they are occupiers and invaders, they cannot have the status of dhimmis.The next to last paragraph is actually very important. While Muslims like to claim how well they treated second-class dhimmis over the centuries, al-Astal is admitting the truth: the entire point of dhimmitude is to impose a state of humiliation on Christians and Jews.

Which is why Muslims will never accept Israel. The idea that the weak, dhimmi Jews are more powerful than Muslims - in the middle of the Muslim world - is the worst humiliation that can be imagined. They can sort of accept that 2 billion Christians have a lot of power outside Muslim geographical centers, after all, that's been the status quo for 500 years. But 6 million Jews building a country that a billion Muslims cannot destroy? That cannot be accepted, no matter what.

And this is why these Jews in Israel are not even accorded dhimmi status, according to al-Astal. Their humiliation of Muslims is so egregious that the Koran itself must be interpreted to demand that they be massacred.

But the West still thinks that a couple of Muslim national leaders signing a piece of paper can change the entire Islamic psyche overnight or in a few years.

Ignoring the Elephant in the Room: Lecturing on Zakat Without Addressing Jihad

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 10:28

Recently, Chris Taylor of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, gave a half-hour lecture on zakat and Islamic charity, with a focus on India.

But as part of his lecture, Taylor gave background on the system of zakat.

Sadly–and probably predictably given the Center’s funding sources–Taylor totally ignored the specifics of recipients of zakat and the mandate in Shariah that zakat go to those fighting in the way of Allah.

Readers can watch the lecture here:

http://vimeo.com/89526114

 

03/18 Links Pt1: Obama’s M.E. fallacy; Obama: Abbas Has ‘Consistently Renounced Violence’

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 11:00
From Ian:
Caroline Glick: Why Obama will not change gears
Since its inception, the Iranian regime has been at war with the US. It has carried out one act of aggression after another. These have run the gamut from the storming of the US Embassy in Tehran and holding hostage US diplomats for 444 days, to the use of Lebanese and Palestinian proxies to murder US officials, citizens and soldiers in countless attacks over the intervening 35 years, to building a military presence in Latin America, to developing nuclear weapons.
And from its earliest days, the same Iranian regime has been courted by one US administration after another seeking to accommodate Tehran.
A similar situation obtains with the Palestinians. Like the Iranians, the PLO has carried out countless acts of terrorism that have killed US officials and citizens.
From the 1970 Fatah execution of the US ambassador and deputy chief of mission in Khartoum to the 2003 bombing of the US embassy convoy in Gaza, the PLO has never abandoned terrorism against the US.
No less importantly, the PLO is the architect of modern terrorism. From airline hijackings, to the massacre of schoolchildren, from bus bombings to the destabilization of nation states, the PLO is the original author of much of the mayhem and global terrorism the US has led the fight against since the 1980s.Obama’s Middle East fallacy
In short, Netanyahu has resigned himself to the likelihood that the U.S. framework will include provisions he’s not ready to endorse. Abbas has not. “There is no way. We will not accept,” the Palestinian news agency quoted him as saying of the Jewish-state principle on March 7. Two days later, Abbas persuaded the moribund Arab League to adopt a resolution backing him up. He’s said much the same about Israeli troops on the border.
Why does Abbas dare to publicly campaign against the U.S. and Israeli position even before arriving in Washington? Simple: “Abbas believes he can say no to Obama because the U.S. administration will not take any retaliatory measures against the Palestinian Authority,” writes the veteran Israeli-Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh. Instead, Abbas expects to sit back if the talks fail, submit petitions to the United Nations and watch the anti-Israel boycotts mushroom, while paying no price of his own.
Perhaps Obama will disabuse him of that notion at their meeting Monday. If not, another “peace process” breakdown is surely coming.Obama: Abbas Has ‘Consistently Renounced Violence’
Obama omitted all references to Palestinian terrorism and last week’s rocket attacks, many of which were claimed to have been launched by a militant branch of Abbas’ own Fatah political party.
Obama also did not mention Abbas’ efforts to honor Palestinian terrorists and more recent remarks by his senior adviser calling on Allah to kill the Israelis.
The meeting comes at a critical time in the Middle East peace process, a priority for Secretary of State John Kerry.


Gaza's Hamas government critical as Abbas meets Obama
As on previous occasions, Mr Abbas has said he has a mandate to conduct the negotiations on behalf of all the Palestinian factions, including Hamas.
He traces this back to a national agreement document that was reached by all Palestinian factions, with the exception of Islamic Jihad, signed in June 2006.
This states that “administration of the negotiations falls within the jurisdiction of the PLO and the President of the PNA (Palestinian National Authority)” and sets the condition that any final agreement must be ratified by the Palestine National Council – the highest decision making body in the PLO – or a general referendum.
However, there are questions over whether this document is still relevant. The rift between Hamas and Fatah means general elections have been delayed and Mr Abbas’s presidential term technically ended in 2009 . . .
Analysts point out that other aspects of the 2006 agreement have not been implemented.Obama to Abbas: Palestinians must take risks for peace
US President Barack Obama on Monday told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that he would have to make tough political decisions and take “risks” for peace, as would Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Abbas, for his part, reiterated his rejection of Israel’s demand that its status as a Jewish state be enshrined in a future peace accord, asserting that previous Palestinian recognition of Israel was sufficient.
“Everyone understands the outlines of what a peace deal would look like,” Obama said, describing an agreement that reflected the pre-1967 lines with agreed land swaps. He said that he would continue to emphasize “the importance of rule of law, transparency, and effective reform so that not only do the Palestinians ultimately have a state on paper, but, more importantly, they have one that actually delivers on behalf of their people.”Abbas Suggests Obama Promised ’67 Lines, E. Jerusalem Capital
Obama uttered his standard “everybody understands the outlines of what a peace deal would look like, involving a territorial compromise on both sides based on ’67 lines with mutually agreed upon swaps,” and never said a word about Jerusalem.
In Abbas’s responsive remarks, he transformed what Obama said into something quite different. Abbas made it sound as though Obama said that there would be a Palestinian State with the “’67 lines” (actually, the 1949 Armistice Lines) as its western border, and with eastern Jerusalem as its capital.
Abbas also managed to shoehorn in a reference to the refugee issue, as if Obama had acknowledged a connection between eastern Jerusalem and the refugees. And Abbas also created a link to the “promise” of the release of still more convicted murderers as part of the “peace process.”Lying About Abbas Won’t Bring Peace
In short, peace process advocates believe the only way to plow ahead to an agreement is to keep the pressure up on Netanyahu to give the maximum while treating Abbas with kid gloves, all the while fearing to offend him or to give his enemies within Fatah, not to mention Hamas and Islamic Jihad rivals, any ammunition with which to attack him as soft on the Israelis. Anything else, they tell us, risks blowing up the process leaving no hope for peace.
But the problem here isn’t so much the double standard for Netanyahu or even the blatant dishonesty involved in American and Israeli officials attesting to the sincerity and good intentions of the Palestinian leader. It’s that this theory of peace negotiating has already been tried and failed with disastrous results.Ashton: The EU is Against Boycotts of Israel
At the same time, she also reiterated the EU’s objection to Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.
''The European Union opposes a boycott of Israeli companies and businesses. We don't want to see Israel isolated,” Ashton said at a press conference after a meeting of the 28 EU Foreign Ministers in Brussels, according to the European Jewish Press (EJP).
“The EU fully supports U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts as well as the Israeli and Palestinian engagement in the current negotiations,” she added, reiterating that the EU is ''determined'' to offer Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) with an “unprecedented” package of support measures for both parties if an agreement is reached.Bennett: Fourth Palestinian prisoner release uncertain to happen
In an interview with Israel Radio, Bennett slammed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as having acted only in accordance with the policies that the Palestinians have accepted.
Bennett cited Abbas's firm refusal of Israel's demand for a public declaration that Israel is a Jewish state.
"Whoever is unwilling to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people is not a partner in dialogue," he said.Does Abbas See Arch-Terrorist as a Successor?
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas revealed a new demand this week: the release of arch-terrorist Marwan Barghouti, who is serving multiple life sentences in an Israeli prison for his role in several deadly terrorist attacks.
Abbas is reportedly defending the demand as a step that will be popular with the “Palestinian street,” thus reducing opposition to talks with Israel.
In a conversation with Arutz Sheva, analyst Baruch Yadid revealed a deeper reason behind Abbas’ request: the aging Fatah leader is seeking to replace himself, and sees the highly popular Barghouti as a likely candidate.Senior PA Negotiator Reiterates: We Will Never Recognize Israel as a Jewish State
Nabil Sha’ath, known to be a confidant of PA President Mahmoud Abbas, brushed aside allegations that the PA’s intransigence on the issue of recognition is the reason for the current impasse between Ramallah and Jerusalem.
The Palestinian official said, “Due to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu’s fixation on us recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, none of the other unresolved questions have been addressed.” Dahlan: Mahmoud Abbas is a Catastrophe; Negotiations Are "One Big Lie"
Mahmoud Abbas was against the Clinton document. I supported it. Today, Mahmoud Abbas wants a third war, in order to achieve the same Clinton document. What he is negotiating about today does not amount to 50% of the Clinton document.
Why did they prevent Yasser Arafat from signing the Clinton document? In order to present him as if he did not want a peace agreement. Today, half of them say that they supported the Clinton document, but that Yasser Arafat refused. That’s not true. You were all against the Clinton document. Yasser Arafat wanted it, but you instilled fear in him. We would have gotten 100% of the land, East Jerusalem as the capital, and a reasonable solution for the problem of the refugees, 200,000 of whom would have returned, in keeping with understandings.
What Mahmoud Abbas is negotiating about today does not amount to 50% of the Clinton document that we rejected. Does that not constitute a political corruption and political crime?

3 soldiers injured in explosion near Syrian border
Three Israel Defense Forces soldiers were lightly to moderately injured on Tuesday when their patrol jeep apparently ran over a bomb near the Israel-Syria border.
The incident occurred near Majdal Shams, and the soldiers were evacuated to Rambam Hospital in Haifa.
Light arms fire was also apparently directed at the patrol, according to a report on Israeli news site NRG.
The military reportedly returned artillery fire into Syria, hitting two sites on the nearby city of Quneitra, including a Syrian army base.Fighters penetrated into Israel in Friday attack
Militants carrying out an attack on an Israeli jeep last week penetrated hundreds of meters into Israel from Lebanon, military authorities now believe.
The terrorists managed to bypass border security and infiltrate deep into Israeli territory before they planted two small IED bombs in front of the jeep in the Friday attack, news site Walla reported Tuesday, citing military sources.
The Friday blasts, which took place in the Har Dov area in the north, damaged the jeep and caused light injuries to its occupants. Three soldiers were taken to a hospital to rule out any internal injuries from the blast, according to Israel Radio.Study: Civil defenses cut 86% of deaths from Gaza rockets
The thousands of Palestinian rockets fired at southern Israeli towns from the Gaza Strip over the years would have caused an average of seven times more casualties had Israel not developed a set of effective, life-saving civil defenses, a new study has found.
The study’s authors, Prof. Edward H. Kaplan, a specialist in engineering and public health from the Yale School of Management, and his former student Lian Zucker, began the research after encountering several instances in which international media dismissed the threat of Gazan rockets.
“Many critics of Israel point out that while there have been thousands of Kassams fired into Israel, the resulting number of casualties is very small,” Kaplan told The Jerusalem Post this week. “There has been a concerted attempt by many to portray Kassam rockets as essentially harmless, symbolic weapons.Terrorist Released in Shalit Deal Caught with Knife
The terrorist, in his 20s, was caught at the Qalandiya checkpoint and was taken in for questioning. During interrogation he admitted that he had planned a stabbing attack.
The terrorist had been in an Israeli prison for three years after being convicted of opening fire towards a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria. He was one of over 1,000 terrorists who were released in October of 2011 in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.PA Blames Debt on 'Area C' of Judea, Samaria
The Palestinian Authority (PA) announced Monday that their total debts had topped a staggering 4.8 billion dollars, and that the current year's budgetary deficit was 1.5 billion dollars, according to PA "Finance Minister" Shukri Bishara.
Bishara noted that the deficit amounts to 13% of the PA's GDP and grows by 125 million dollars per month. To combat this, the PA is working on "a strategy" to increase revenues by 550 million dollars annually over the next two years, according to the official.
The main task: accruing extra income tax - which, according to Bishara, could mean hundreds of millions to the PA every year based on each percentage point added to the current income tax rate.Documenting Palestinian Violations Of Human Rights is Just Too Darn Complicated (satire)
If a mysterious explosion rocks a Palestinian home and children are killed because a militant’s bomb went off as he was trying to assemble it, our policy is silence; Palestinian rights are only important vis-à-vis Israel. Behaving otherwise would require us to have principles, and principles have no place in this arena. International donors aren’t interested in principles; our continued funding rests on providing donors what they want, which most assuredly does not involve good guys who aren’t really good.
We do always have the fallback of attributing all the problems in the Gaza Strip to the Israeli blockade. Except for the ones stemming from the Egyptian blockade, which we try as hard a we can to ignore, because Egyptians are Arabs, not Jews, and placing blame on Arabs would be too complex. Better to adhere to the Israel-bad/Palestinians-good narrative.
You asked about starving Palestinians in Syria? Well, can Israel be directly blamed? No? Then why are you bringing it up?State Dept. Slaps Iran, Says Tehran “Very Actively” Evading Sanctions, Developing Nukes & Ballistic Missiles
With unusual candor and stark language, a top State Department official is accusing Iran of ongoing illicit nuclear-related activity in violation of international obligations. The shift in tone suggests an early beginning to establishing blame for a failure of international talks designed to remove the nuclear threat posed by Iran.
Release of this startling information is especially explosive given its timing — on the eve of ongoing nuclear talks with the P5+1 resuming in Vienna today — and in the face of Tehran’s claims it is engaged in those negotiations in good faith, despite its long record of using talks as a cover for precisely the kind of nuclear deception being exposed.Israel can’t rely on ‘weak’ US to deal with Iran, Ya’alon warns
Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon issued a scathing critique of the Obama administration, an Israeli newspaper reported Monday, declaring that Israel cannot rely on the US to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, accusing the administration of broadcasting weakness throughout the world, and warning that its perceived weakness was inviting further terrorism against US targets.
Speaking at a Tel Aviv University event on Sunday reported by the Haaretz daily, Ya’alon said Israel could not afford to rely on the Obama administration to lead an action against Iran’s nuclear program, and that Israel could only rely on itself. Israel had believed that “the one who should lead the campaign against Iran is the US,” but instead, “the US at a certain stage began negotiating with them, and unfortunately in the Persian bazaar the Iranians were better,” he said. Therefore, “we (Israelis) have to look out for ourselves.” Congressman Pete Hoekstra: Iran Bent on Sponsoring Terrorism During Nuclear Talks
Iran’s support of Islamist terror groups, its role in Syria, its cyber warfare capabilities, and a closer relationship with Russia will radically change the national security calculus for the U.S. and its allies.
We always need to keep in mind that Iran is a ruthless killing machine that flagrantly and routinely mocks international laws and norms.
Can we really expect Iran to fulfill any of its unenforceable commitments reached during the ongoing negotiations over its nuclear program, especially keeping in mind that to this day it has never really been held accountable for its actions?Iran doesn’t expect deal in coming nuclear talks
Mohammad Javad Zarif spoke to reporters after meeting his visiting Belorussian counterpart, Vladimir Makei.
“We don’t expect to reach a deal in this round of talks. Nor was a deal on the agenda for this round of talks. We have agreed to discuss a number of issues in this round,” Zarif said.US official: Iran buying nuclear parts on black market
Vann Van Diepen, who oversees non-proliferation issues for the State Department, told Reuters that while the parts are not expressly forbidden by the nuclear deal, a UN embargo on selling nuclear military or nuclear materials to Iran remains in place.
“They still continue very actively trying to procure items for their nuclear program and missile program,”
said Van Diepen, the principal deputy assistant secretary of state for international security and non-proliferation.Iranian exile to ‘Post’: Israel, Iran should become allies after regime falls
Asked if Iranians really cared so much about the Palestinians, Parham said that aside from government-sponsored protests and those organized by pro-Palestinian activists, “have you ever seen any public Iranian protests” on the issue? He said that during the anti-government unrest in 2009 there had been two slogans: One called for a non-Islamic “Iranian republic,” and the other said: “Neither Gaza nor Lebanon, I give my life for Iran.”
“Despite all the propaganda and money, there has never been in 35 years outside the revolutionary chaos of February 1979 a genuine, spontaneous demonstration by the Iranian people in the streets for Palestine or some Arab cause,” Parham claimed.Turkish Treachery Exposed As Iran Sanctions-Busting “Gas-for-Gold” Scandal Engulfs Erdogan, AKP
The Hamas supporting Prime Minister of Turkey and his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) continue to find themselves on the uncomfortable end of a growing anti-government backlash. Street protests have swelled in recent weeks as the Islamist-Authoritarian regime has brutally jailed critics and political rivals, and continued to deploy force against peaceful demonstrators.
Now, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cronies find themselves rocked by a scandal analysts describe as “the most damaging” of the corruption charges yet, exposing not only their financial corruption, but Erdogan’s betrayal of NATO allies, and the Islamist AKP leader’s deep collusion with the nuclear weapons seeking Mullah regime in Iran.Turkish doctors question PM Erdogan’s mental state
In a written statement, the association, which includes a majority of the country’s doctors, said Erdogan’s use of “polarizing, excluding and ‘otherifying’ language” suggested the premier was unwell.
The association noted Erdogan’s recent comments about 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died last week after a nine-month coma cause by being hit in the head by a tear gas canister shot by a police officer last summer. (h/t Yenta Press)

United by Fear: Life Under Militants More Radical Than Al Qaeda

Sat, 03/15/2014 - 04:14
An Islamist militant group disowned even by al Qaeda is finding few followers in the Syrian city it controls.        

19 get death for killing 12 people

Fri, 03/14/2014 - 00:31
[DAWN] GUJRANWALA: Anti-Terrorism Court No 2 on Wednesday handed down death sentence on 24 counts to 19 accused of killing 12 people including seven women and three children. ATC Judge Muhammad Ittefaq Abbasi also awarded life term on 24 counts to an underage accused and issued arrest warrants for six absconders. According to the prosecution, Arshad, Ahsanullah, Sufain, Luqman, Imran, Asghar, Zakaullah, Abdul Razaq, Ishaq, Ilyas, Ashraf, Mudassar, Khursheed, Ghulam Nabi, Waqar, Riaz, Imran and Shafqat had rubbed out and burnt bodies of Khushi Muhammad, Wali Muhammad, Hajra, Bisma, Abdullah, Tanzila, Maira, Ijaz, Arshad Bibi, Fajar, Mafia, and Bushra Bibi over a murder enmity on Dec 29, 2011. Police had enjugged ... anything you say can and will be used against you, whether you say it or not... the accused and submitted charge-sheet to the court. The judge announced the verdict amid tight police security. The convicts were shifted to the central jail.

Erdogan warns against new protests

Thu, 03/13/2014 - 00:29
Those who smell a victory for Turkey's governing Justice and Development Party in local elections this month are working to trigger street protests, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday, Anadolu Agency reported. During an election rally for his party, known in Turkey by the initials AK, in the southeastern province of Mardin, Erdogan warned listeners about possible street protests prior to the elections, which are scheduled for March 30. He called on the people and his political rivals to act in a patient and responsible way. "Whatever issue you do have, solve them in election polls on March 30," Erdogan said. Turkish streets have been tense since Tuesday, when a teenager injured during last summer's Gezi Park protests, succumbed to his injuries and died. He had been in a coma for 269 days. The Gezi Park protests began as a small environmental demonstration and mushroomed into nationwide anti-government protests. During his speech, Erdogan also referred to an anti-corruption operation, launched December 17, calling it a "conspiracy" orchestrated by followers of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen. "Unfortunately, the opposition parties have danced to the conspirators' tunes throughout this process," the prime minister said. The operation and subsequent probes into the activities of a number of high-ranking figures considered to be allies of the government have had a significant effect on Turkey's political atmosphere. The Erdogan administration has decried the operation as a "dirty plot" targeting Turkey's stability and development.

Militant grip transforms, terrorizes Syrian city

Fri, 03/07/2014 - 10:46

BEIRUT (AP) — Once a vibrant, religiously mixed community, Syria's eastern city of Raqqa is now a shell of its former self, terrorized by hard-line militants who have turned it into the nucleus of their vision for the Islamic caliphate they hope one day to establish in Syria and Iraq.


Shariah Bank in Oman Facilitates Customers’ Zakat Donations

Wed, 03/05/2014 - 10:16

One of the chief concerns of Shariah-compliant finance is its relationship to zakat, the system of tithing in Islam.

The concern stems from the fact that, under Shariah, one of the eight acceptable destinations for zakat money is to those fighting in the way of Allah.

We have covered this extensively on SFW for years.

Some zakat donations come from Shariah-compliant institutions themselves and, in some cases, Shariah-compliant institutions serve as a conduit for the zakat donations of their customers.

This is the case with Bank Nizwa in Oman, a country that has seen a sharp increase in Shariah finance over the past 3 years:

Bank Nizwa , Oman’s first Islamic Bank, is fulfilling its promise to be the leader in Islamic banking across Oman, by making it easier for its customers to pay their Zakat.

Customers can now easily transfer the required amount from their accounts into the allocated Ministry of Religious Affairs account at Bank Nizwa . They can also deposit cash directly into this account. Customers who regularly wish to transfer Zakat can set up a standing order.

Bank Nizwa customers who choose to pay their Zakat through the afore mentioned Bank Account are assured of a waiver of fees on all standing orders linked to this account. There are also fee waivers on internal, local and International transfers associated with this account.

https://www.zawya.com/story/Bank_Nizwa_helps_customers_to_fulfill_Zakat_obligations-ZAWYA20140305100337/

 

 

 

Syrian Jihadists Are Forcing Christians to Become Dhimmis Under Seventh-Century Rules

Tue, 03/04/2014 - 10:05
The religious persecution in Syria deepened this week, as evidenced by a written ultimatum purportedly distributed by the rebel jihadist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) to Christians in the northern provincial capital of Raqqa. Rejecting conversion to Islam or death, some 20 Christian leaders of that city held firm in their faith and submitted to the Islamists' demands to live by as ...

State Department Condemns Ultimatum Given to Syrian Christians

Mon, 03/03/2014 - 19:01
The State Department on Monday condemned the treatment of Christians living in the Syrian city of Raqqa following an extremist Islamist group's edict that Christians either convert to Islam, pay a tax or face death.        

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