Archive for October 3rd, 2014

Islamic State influence spreads beyond Iraq and Syria

Naila Inayat and Kaci Racelma
October 2, 2014

LAHORE, Pakistan — In Pakistan, some are slapping pro-Islamic State bumper stickers on their cars and writing chalk graffiti on walls exhorting young people to join the terrorist group.

In China, the government fears that Muslim Uighurs — a restive ethnic minority in the country’s far west — have sought terrorist training from the Islamic State to establish a breakaway country.

In eastern Mali, an Islamic State-affiliated group called “Soldiers of the Caliphate in the Land of Algeria” has taken over much of Gao province, inflicting severe punishments for breaches of the Quran, like drinking alcohol. Those militants beheaded a French tourist in Algeria last month after France refused to halt its participation in U.S.-led airstrikes against the group in Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

ISIS– Largest, Richest $2Billion Terror-Based Enterprise: Financial Sophistication Rivaling Wall Street

Joe DePaola
September 28, 2014

ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ) is the world’s largest, richest terrorist organizations, ever. It’s a self-sustaining enterprise that runs mainly on extortion and crime networks, hostages, oil, donations… According to Martin Chulov; ISIS has grown from a ragtag band of extremists to perhaps the most cash-rich and capable terror group in the world with a $2 billion jihadist network. The scale of ISIS resources is unprecedented: A terrorist organization while ruthless, but still able to occupy large areas of territory, quickly… for example; it controls several major cities in Iraq, which it occupied in just three days, it holds parts of several other cities and continues to menace still other cities throughout Iraq and Syria: It’s quite an accomplishment… According to Michael Knights; some estimates of ISIS’s wealth are overstated, for example; the $2 billion estimate that’s been floating around is too high, but that’s not to say ISIS isn’t raking in a fair amount of cash– between $2 million and $4 million per day… ISIS is a wealthy terrorist movement or better yet an effective financial enterprise, which it run very much like a large-scale Mafia type protection rackets business across much of Iraq. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Malaysia’s Opposition Alliance At The Crossroads: Beginning Of The End? – Analysis

Yang Razali Kassim
Eurasia Review
October 2, 2014

The Malaysian Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance is at a crossroads following the recent crisis over the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of Selangor: Whether the three partners, PKR, DAP, PAS, part ways or remain together depends on how the surprising turmoil within the Islamist party PAS is resolved.

The Malaysian Islamist party, PAS, held its muktamar or annual congress, in the southern Johor town of Batu Pahat on 18-20 September 2014. Watching the tension-filled muktamar was like waiting for a slow burning fuse to explode, as one after another, the party leadership responded to delegates’ criticisms of their handling of the Selangor Menteri Besar or “MB” crisis. That was essentially an internal squabble of its opposition partner PKR over its attempt to replace its chief minister in Selangor state.

However what began as a PKR problem quickly and surprisingly spread to engulf PAS, primarily because the spillover was not well handled by PAS’ president, Hadi Awang. For some inexplicable reason, Hadi had refused to go along with PKR’s sole nominee for the post, Dr Wan Azizah – its president and wife of Anwar Ibrahim, even though the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) which also included the DAP had agreed to this. Hadi’s resistance divided PAS internally and even threatened to bring down the entire alliance. Though the PAS leaders defended their positions during the muktamar, they only succeeded in stirring up the deep division between the party’s two pillars – the ulama or clerics and the professionals whose influence has grown over the years. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

‘Saya hanya masuk DAP, bukan tukar agama’

Mohamad Fadli| October 3, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

Artikel yang melabel dirinya sebagai pelacur tersebut bukan sahaja memalukan dirinya malah memberi impak yang sama terhadap ahli keluarganya.

SHAH ALAM: Jamila Rahim meluahkan rasa kecewanya selepas dituduh sebagai pelacur dan telah menggadai agama oleh sesetengah pihak dalam beberapa artikel yang disiarkan di dalam beberapa portal media.

Jamila atau lebih dikenali sebagai Melati Rahim menegaskan pendiriannya bahawa beliau hanya ingin menyertai parti DAP dan tidak pernah sesekali menggadai agamanya.

“Saya hanya ingin masuk parti ini dan saya tidak pernah menukar agama saya.

“Saya masih Islam dan saya ingin tekankan perkara ini,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas membuat aduan mengenai dua artikel daripada portal media MYKMU yang berjudul ‘Melati lebih baik jadi pelacur dari sertai DAP’ dan daripada Free Malaysia Today yang berjudul ‘DAP dan Politik Onani’. Read the rest of this entry »


The Islamic State: Delivering Islam’s Reformation?

Cheryl Benard
The National Interest
October 3, 2014

“When the dust finally settles, we may find that IS has given the world a lasting, if expensive, gift: the long-overdue Islamic Reformation.”

Of all the reactions to the so-called Islamic State (IS) and its grisly, intentionally provocative brutalities, perhaps the most interesting one is surely unintended: it is inspiring critical and substantive debate about the nature of Islam, on the part of Muslims, a debate with the potential to bring about the modernization and reformation of that religion.

In decades past, it has been taboo even to hint at any possible anachronisms or problems in the Quran. And: “Islam is a religion of peace” was the universal obligatory mantra after 9/11. Only a daring few voices expressed the occasional doubt, to be instantly branded as Islamophobes.

And this politically correct version might have been true. Some of the theological observations made in this context had validity: it is true that almost all religions contain seeds of extremism and have engendered violent fringe movements. Certainly, the Quran also contains passages about justice, tolerance and communal peace. It is true as well that the Bible’s Old Testament contains multiple injunctions and sanctioned behaviors that shock us today—from infanticide to polygamy to rape. Judaism and Christianity have adapted their religions to changing mores by tacitly ignoring those passages that no longer fit the times, and by accepting that some aspects of religious doctrine are historic, rather than ethical or theological.

But the sentence about Islam being a religion of peace was never a theological statement. It always had an ulterior motive: the desire to be polite, to be politically correct, and to wish into being a desired reality. Read the rest of this entry »


Congrats to BN-owned/controlled “mainstream mass media” in achieving a world record in ignoring THE World University Rankings 2014 for two consecutive days because not a single Malaysian university made it to the Top 400 universities list for fifth year

Congrats to the Barisan Nasional-owned/controlled mainstream mass media in achieving a world record in ignoring the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2014 for two consecutive days because not a single Malaysian university made it to the THE Top 400 Universities list for the fifth year in succession.

The THE Top 400 World University Rankings 2014 show a “power shift” from the United States and United Kingdom to the Far East.

While US and UK universities continue to dominate the THE World University Rankings 2014, they are starting to lose ground to East Asian rivals.

What should concern Malaysians is why this shift of higher education excellence from the West to the East has by-passed Malaysia.

Some 24 Asian universities are now in the top 200 compared with 20 a year earlier. This includes two listed in the top 25 – Tokyo University and the National University of Singapore.

In the top 400 universities list, 52 are from Asia, comprising Japan 12, China 12, South Korea 9, Hong Kong 6, Taiwan 6, India 4, Singapore 2, Thailand 1.

But there is not a single Malaysian University not only in the Top 200 but also in the Top 400 universities listed in the THE World University Rankings, not only for 2014 but for the entire five year THE World University Rankings series since 2010. Read the rest of this entry »


The war against Islamic State – Unintended consequences

Oct 4th 2014 | REYHANLI and URFA

Are American-led air strikes creating a Sunni backlash?

WHEN America extended the war against the jihadists of Islamic State (IS) to Syria on September 22nd, it seemed to have a strategy: maximise Sunni support to isolate and ultimately defeat the extremists. America would not co-operate with the regime of Bashar Assad. Instead it would build up moderate rebels to the point where, with American help, they could take on both IS and, eventually, Mr Assad’s forces. Five Sunni Arab states joined the air campaign in Syria, where Western friends declined to go. Across the border in Iraq, a new prime minister was installed with the promise to work harder to win over disgruntled Sunnis

The first fortnight of operations has proven messy, however. Though IS has been pushed back in some areas, it is still making advances in others. It has crept towards Baghdad, causing jitters in the city, and this week was close to winning the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Ain al-Arab (known to Kurds as Kobane) on the Turkish border. More worrying for America, hardly anyone in Syria is cheering. Some complain that, instead of bombing Mr Assad, America is attacking his enemies; others claim that it is hitting civilians rather than IS; still others spread the idea that the whole business is a war against Islam. Almost all the rebels—including groups such as Harakat Hazm that receive anti-tank weapons from America and its allies—have criticised America. This raises a troubling question: is America causing a backlash among the very people it needs to win over? Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

In New Front Against Islamic State, Dictionary Becomes a Weapon

New York Times
October 2, 2014

PARIS — After the French mountaineering guide Hervé Gourdel was beheaded by an Algerian jihadist group aligned with the Islamic State last month, hundreds of Muslims gathered outside the Great Mosque of Paris to express their revulsion over the brutality of a group whose name and ideology, they said, was an insult to Muslims everywhere.

Some carried placards with the hashtag #NotInMyName, which has become a rallying cry on Twitter against the Islamic State.

Ahmet Ogras, vice president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, which called for the protest on Sept. 26, said that the now-common use of the name Islamic State threatened to stigmatize France’s Muslims, Europe’s largest Muslim community. He also said that the name conferred unwarranted legitimacy on a group carrying out killings in the name of Islam.

“This is not a state; this is a terrorist organization,” he added. “I call them terrorists because that’s what they are. One has to call a dog a dog. One can’t play with words.” Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Can moderates take on the Islamic State and win?

by Melissa Chi
Malay Mail Online
October 3, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — The Islamic State (IS) has been luring hundreds of the followers of the religion of peace to join its cause in the Middle East, including Malaysians, by romanticising jihad, but a panel of moderate Muslims here believe the militant movement can be beaten.

Speaking at a youth townhall session themed ‘Extremists & Terrorism: How Should Moderates Respond?’ at Publika Solaris Dutamas last night, a three-man panel representing three local Muslim groups suggested the first step to counter the IS and other like-minded jihadists would be to make moderation “sexy” again.

“There is something narrative on the other side. It’s really powerful and it can be very attractive and you really have to counter that narrative,” said Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, CEO of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation (GMM).

The IS and other similar extremist Muslim groups have been holding up their fight to forcefully create a caliphate in Syria and Iraq as a chance for Muslims worldwide to gain glory for Islam and themselves, even at the cost of their lives in which they will be rewarded with martyrdom in the hereafter.

“Most of us are silent. We don’t actually talk about this. I think we need to shape discourse to reclaim the centre stage,” Saifuddin said.

He added that there should be attempts to make “moderation look sexy” by trying to make it like the norm rather than the exception when it comes to public discourse. Read the rest of this entry »


Islamic State committing ‘staggering’ crimes in Iraq: U.N. report

By Stephanie Nebehay
Oct 2, 2014

GENEVA (Reuters) – Islamic State insurgents in Iraq have carried out mass executions, abducted women and girls as sex slaves, and used child soldiers in what may amount to systematic war crimes that demand prosecution, the United Nations said on Thursday.

In a report based on 500 interviews with witnesses, also said Iraqi government air strikes on the Sunni Muslim militants had caused “significant civilian deaths” by hitting villages, a school and hospitals in violation of international law.

At least 9,347 civilians had been killed and 17,386 wounded so far this year through September, well over half of them since the Islamist insurgents also known as ISIL and ISIS began seizing large parts of northern Iraq in early June, the report said.

“The array of violations and abuses perpetrated by ISIL and associated armed groups is staggering, and many of their acts may amount to war crimes or crimes against humanity,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein. Read the rest of this entry »

No Comments