As US secretary of state defends Islamic moderates, Egyptian leader Sissi says the religion needs a reboot
Jihadists ‘are terrorists and murderers who bring hatred and suffering to the people,’ says German Muslim leader
Syria: nearly half rebel fighters are jihadists or hardline Islamists, says IHS Jane’s report
September 15, 2013
Opposition forces battling Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria now number around 100,000 fighters, but after more than two years of fighting they are fragmented into as many as 1,000 bands.
The new study by IHS Jane’s, a defence consultancy, estimates there are around 10,000 jihadists – who would include foreign fighters – fighting for powerful factions linked to al-Qaeda..
Another 30,000 to 35,000 are hardline Islamists who share much of the outlook of the jihadists, but are focused purely on the Syrian war rather than a wider international struggle.
There are also at least a further 30,000 moderates belonging to groups that have an Islamic character, meaning only a small minority of the rebels are linked to secular or purely nationalist groups.
Killings top months of kidnappings, attacks by Islamic extremist militants
CAIRO, Egypt (Morning Star News) – Christians in two villages in North Sinai, Egypt have fled for their lives after a priest was gunned down and a Christian businessman was abducted and killed, his decapitated body dumped onto a street.
On Thursday (July 11) the body of Christian businessman Magdy Lamei was found in the town of Sheikh Zuwayed. Suspected members of an unidentified Islamic extremist militant group had kidnapped him on July 6, and he was thought to have been killed on the first day of Ramadan, which in Egypt began on Wednesday (July 10).
At first glance, the abduction seemed to be just another of the kidnappings that have unsettled the area. But Yousef Soubhy, a Coptic Orthodox priest formerly in Rafah, said investigations indicated that wasn’t the case. The suspected militants purposely targeted a Christian leader, he said.
“He was a committed Christian, and he used to serve in the church, and he was active in his prayers and his ministry – he used to open his home for prayers,” Soubhy told Morning Star News. “It was obvious they didn’t kill him for the money.”
SYDNEY, Australia – A recent series of events has seen Australia, like America, become a victim of radical Islam, with related events leaving Australian lawmakers and citizens reeling.
Among these are a landmark legal decision against a prominent Muslim cleric over allegedly menacing messages, a visit by controversial Dutch politician and Muslim critic Geert Wilders, a plan to build a Muslim housing enclave in Sydney’s suburbs and the formation of new police task force aimed at dealing with Middle Eastern violence and gun crime.
Amon Ross, a concerned resident of Sydney, said of the events and radical elements of the Islamic community within Australia:
“They’ve rioted in our streets and assaulted our police officers. They’ve raped our women and said they deserve it. They laugh at and in our courts. They’re shooting up the south-west of Sydney. They’re advocating for Shariah. Every time we fly on a plane, we’re reminded of what they have done to the world.
“They’ve told us that our culture and way of life is inferior to theirs. We’ve caught homegrown Muslims plotting to blow up our military bases and power plants. We now have a special police squad dealing with Middle Eastern Crime. Many make no effort to be Australian or surrender the culture of their old home. … And our politicians refuse to acknowledge there is a problem.”
Australia has joined a familiar pattern in Western nations, with Americans dealing with news that students in Texas were forced to wear burqas and that the Fort Hood shooter, Nidal Malik Hussan, has yet to face trial.
Sheik Man Haron Monis, a high-ranking Muslim cleric, is alleged to have sent offensive letters and a recorded message to the relatives of several Australian soldiers killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan, where Australia remains fighting alongside the U.S. His attempt to have the charges quashed on the grounds of political communication freedom was unsuccessful last week with the High Court of Australia ruling against him.
“I certainly welcome the result. They should not be allowed to bypass the justice system,” said Felix Sher, who allegedly received letters before the funeral of his son, Pvt.Gregory Sher, in 2009.
And a move to build a Muslim housing enclave in Sydney’s suburbs has drawn the ire of many who consider the plan “divisive.”
The company behind the plan advertise the loans as “100 per cent Halal” and a “chance to escape Riba (interest)” because interest is a sin under Islamic law.
Meanwhile, in South Western Sydney, police announced last month the creation of a special squad, “Operation Apollo,” targeting Middle Eastern gang violence and gun crime, and earning the criticism of key Muslim community leaders.
Enter Dutch politician and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders.
Wilders, whose application for a visa had been previously thwarted, finally arrived in Australia last week on a speaking tour, causing violent demonstrations by far-left groups. His arrival also brought significant angst for government leaders.
“Dutch politician Geert Wilders’ public speaking tour has run into constant problems as venues continue to pull out or refuse to host his events,” Sen. Cory Bernardi wrote to subscribers of his weekly “Common Sense” newsletter. “In such a tolerant and open society like Australia, why is it so difficult to accommodate a speaking tour by a member of the Dutch parliament who has a different perspective?”
Bernardi contrasted the difficulty Wilders had in obtaining a visa with the federal government’s preparedness to issue them to Taji Mustafa, a senior figure in Hizb ut-Tahrir, and Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, who has described Jews as “rats of the world.”
On the future of Muslim immigration to Australia, Amon Ross said: “I honestly don’t know what is going to happen. Something needs to be done. We want Australia to stay Australia. These people came because there was something attractive about our values. They can’t just turn around now and demand we change to be like them. We need to crack down on radical Islam here and everywhere.”