June 27, 2008 Special Alerts No. 74


June 27, 2008
Special Alerts No. 74

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The following is a selection of subjects and entries from daily reports over the last month.












Syrian Cartoon: "The Woman's Face In The Arab World"

On eraser: "The man."

Cartoonist: Yaser Ahmad

Source:, June 24, 2008

Global Interfaith Dialogue To Open Next Month In Madrid

A global interfaith dialogue conference will open July 16 in Madrid. The conference is according to an initiative by and under the patronage of Saudi King Abdallah. Prominent figures from the three monotheistic religions will participate in the two-day conference.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, June 22, 2008

Arab Civil Organizations Form Alliance For Darfur

Thirty-six civil organizations from 12 Arab countries have formed the "Arab Alliance for Darfur." In a communiqué, the organizations called to break the silence in light of what is happening in Darfur, and to stop the violence there.

Source:, June 19, 2008

Kuwaiti Liberal Convicted Of Harming Islam

Kuwaiti liberal Dr. Ahmad Al-Baghdadi has been convicted by a Bahraini court of harming Islam in public, and has been fined $370. The conviction followed a 2006 article he published in the Bahraini daily Al-Ayyam, in which he said that Islam had spread by means of the sword. The Muslim Brotherhood in Kuwait said that Al-Baghdadi's punishment was too lenient, and that this leniency would invite additional harm to Islam in the future. In 2005, Al-Baghdadi received a year's suspended prison sentence, on similar charges.

Source:, June 2, 2008

Syrian Authorities Cancel Press Freedom Conference

The Syrian authorities cancelled a May 25 conference on press freedom organized by Mazen Darwish, head of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression. The cancellation came fifteen minutes before it was due to begin, even though it had been approved in advance by the Culture Ministry. No explanation was given for the move.

Source:, May 27, 2008

Saudi Liberal: Saudi Religion Police Tried To Assassinate Me

Saudi liberal Dr. Rai'f Badawi has accused the Saudi religious police of attempting to assassinate him. Badawi told the U.S.-based Freedom Channel in an interview that is to air on June 1 that the religious police had acted to have him tried for articles he posted on the Liberal Saudis website that he runs.

Source:, May 24, 2008

Syria Blocks Wikipedia Too

The Arabic-language Wikipedia website ( has been added to the list of websites blocked in Syria by Syrian authorities. Also on the list are Blogspot, YouTube, and Facebook.

Source:, May 18, 2008

Editor Of Blocked Yemen Website Calls For Solidarity

The editor of the Yemenite news website Shamsannews has called on journalists and human rights activists to show solidarity with him and with dozens of other websites blocked by Yemen authorities. He said that this sort of repression will not prevent the website from publishing the truth about the tyrannical regime of Yemen's president.

Source:, May 21, 2008

In Egypt, Pardon Expected For Ayman Nour

Ihad Al-Khawli, a contender for the leadership of Egypt's Al-Ghad party, has announced that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is expected to pardon party leader Dr. Ayman Nour, to mark July 23 celebrations. Al-Khawli said that he does not know whether it is to be a full pardon or due to Nour's poor health. Similarly, Al-Khawli neither denied nor confirmed speculation that there was a deal under which Nour would be pardoned in exchange for retiring from political life. It should be noted that Dr. Ayman Nour was sentenced to five years' imprisonment on December 24, 2005 on charges of forging powers of attorney in founding his party.

Source: Al-Masryoon, Egypt, May 14, 2008

New Algerian Women's Radio – Unique In Arab World

An Algerian women's association has announced the launch of a radio station for women, the first of its kind in Algeria and in the Arab world. The station is aimed at "supporting the Algerian woman's great struggle against violence and extremism, and advancing it on the legal, media, and cultural level." The station is to be funded by the E.U.

Source:, May 7, 2008

Egyptian Gay Organization Demands Equal Rights

A new Egyptian gay organization called "The Lovers" garnered 600 members in the first two weeks of its existence. Organization members are calling on the government to recognize their rights, to appoint a minister in charge of their affairs, and to permit them to establish a political party. The organization's head said that homosexual relations are illegal in Egypt even though the gay community numbers over 100,000.

Source: Al-Masryoon, Egypt, May 6, 2008

Syrian Authorities Preventing Human Rights Organization Conferences

The Syrian Human Rights Organization has reported that Syrian authorities have prevented its members from holding a conference in Aleppo. According to the organization, security personnel came to the apartment where the conference was being held and forced its owner, organization administration member and attorney Najib Dadam, to sign a commitment not to hold such conferences in the future.

Source:, May 5, 2008

Bahrain Expands Press Freedom

In the framework of changes in the country's Press Law, the Bahraini government has decided to abolish prison sentences for journalists, to eliminate censoring of material printed locally, and to reduce oversight of imported printed material.

Source: Akhbar Al-Khaleej, Bahrain, May 5, 2008

Human Rights Organizations Demand to Cancel Trial of Newspaper Editors in Egypt

Fifty Egyptian and international human rights organizations are demanding that the Egyptian government cancel the trial of Egyptian newspaper editors who criticized the regime. The organizations stressed that the right to criticize is a fundamental component of free speech.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, May 2, 2008


Report: Iraqis Returning To Homeland

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki has said that Iraqis abroad are streaming back to their homeland, particularly medical doctors and the educated, following the improvement in the security situation and in law enforcement. He added that this situation was providing an incentive to international companies, which until now have refused for security reasons to participate in projects to rehabilitate Iraq, to return to the country to compete for tenders.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, June 23, 2008

'Al-Quds Al-Arabi' Publishes Details Of Iraq-U.S. Agreement

The London daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi has published a document it says outlines the Iraq-U.S. long-term security agreement, signed by Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and President Bush. According to the document, both countries will act to reinforce Iraqi democracy and to fight terror groups, and Iraq will receive guarantees for its territorial integrity. Its international legal status will be restored to what it was before 1990, and it will enjoy absolute sovereignty over its territory. The document also mentions that both countries will work on improving relations between the U.S. and the countries in the region.

Source: Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London, June 24, 2008

In Iraq, Incitement To War On The Americans

In Iraq's Babil province, announcements are being circulated on a daily basis calling for stockpiling weapons in advance of a war on the Americans. One such announcement, which was unsigned, stated, "The national resistance is the only Iraqi option for removing the occupation and its agents," and called on residents to stockpile weapons in advance of "the arrival of zero hour." Residents were also called upon to follow instructions circulated by websites of the Armed Iraqi Revolution," saying it was a "national duty" to join it. A senior provincial police official said that in the province there were many sleeper cells, some of them connected to the Ba'th and some to extremist Shi'ite streams.

Source: Al-Hayat, London, June 23, 2008

Iraqi Gov't Official: U.S.-Iraq Security Pact Moving Ahead – But Iran, Hizbullah Trying To Torpedo It

A senior official in the Iraqi government has said that essential changes to the sections of Iraq's long-term security pact with the U.S. have given negotiations "a push forward," but he added that "the problem lies in Iran's and Lebanese Hizbullah's intervention in Iraq." He said that Iran was striving to torpedo the Iraq-U.S. agreement despite the opposition by most Iraqi Shi'ite leaders to Iranian involvement in Iraqi affairs. He added that Hizbullah, which has influence on the Shi'ites in Iraq, has also begun to apply pressure against the agreement.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, June 21, 2008

Cartoon In Saudi Paper: "Al-Qaeda in Iraq Forms Suicide-Bombing 'Paradise Youths'"

On sign: "Paradise Youths."

(see also "Al-Qaeda Suicide Kids Expand Activity In Baghdad")

Cartoonist: Jihad 'Awartani

Source: Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 29, 2008

Al-Qaeda Suicide Kids Expand Activity In Baghdad

The Al-Qaeda "Paradise Youths" suicide bombers group, comprising children and youths aged 11 through 16, has expanded its operations into areas of northern Baghdad. Up until now, the organization had operated only in western Baghdad. Senior officials from Al-Sahwa (the Awakening Councils) estimate that since the Paradise Youths have been striking primarily at Al-Sahwa, the organization has been infiltrated by them.

Source:, May 27, 2008

Iraqi Army Launches Operation to Purge Mossul, Environs Of Al-Qaeda

Maj.-Gen. Riyadh Jalal Tawfiq, operations commander of Ninewa province, Iraq, has announced the launch of the "Zaer Al-Asad," ("Lion's Roar") security operation in the province. He said that large army forces had arrived in Mossul and were deploying throughout the province in order to purge the city and its environs of Al-Qaeda operatives and lawbreakers. It was reported that the operation, which is coordinated with the U.S. forces, is meant to last at least two or three weeks, and that the operations room set up for the purpose in Ninewa province will be headed by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki.

Source: Al-Mada, Baghdad, May 10, 2008

Iraq's New Terror List To Include Military Wings Of Political Parties

Iraqi security sources have reported that there is a security plan to draw up a new terror list of military organizations operating in Iraq, and to outlaw their operations on Iraqi territory. The list will include the armed wings of Iraqi political parties. According to the sources, some of the parties have expressed opposition to harming their parties' armed wings, while the parties which did not object encouraged their members to join the military and the Interior Ministry forces, to the point where there will be units in the Iraqi Interior Ministry identifying with a particular party.

Source: Al-Zaman, London, May 7, 2008

New Iranian Surface-To-Surface Missile Found In Basra

Iraqi Defense Minister Abd Al-Qadir Al-Ubaydi said May 4 that Iraqi army searches in Basra turned up a new surface-to-surface missile. Reliable Iraqi intelligence sources said that the missile was an Iranian Falaq 1, made in 2007, and that this was the first missile with such great destruction potential to be found in Iraq. The sources said that if many such missiles had been brought into Iraq, "we are on the brink of a security catastrophe, both Iraqi and regional." Hinting that the missile could have been sent from Iran together with a launch crew, the sources added that the launching of such missiles required great technical know-how, and that at this point the militias were not likely to have such know-how. The sources also noted that Hizbullah used similar Iranian missiles in the July 2006 war against Israel.

Source: Al-Zaman, London, May 5, 2008

Mahdi Army in Iraq Relies on Youths and Children

The recent attacks by the Iraqi and U.S. forces on the Mahdi Army (namely the Law Enforcement campaign in Baghdad in February 2008, and the Knights' Attack campaign in Basra in March 2008) forced many of the militia's commanders to flee to Iran or to go into hiding, which in turn has prompted the younger generation of commanders to come forward and take their place. In addition, the Mahdi Army has taken to using teens and children as scouts. The latter are provided with mobile phones and asked to inform the commanders of the approach of U.S. forces.

Source: Al-Hayat, London, May 2, 2008


Syria, Interpol To Co-Host Damascus Counterterrorism Conference

On June 18-19, Damascus will host a conference on fighting terror in the Middle East and North Africa. The conference, a joint venture of the Syrian Interior Ministry and the Interpol general secretariat, will be attended by Interpol Director-General Ronald K. Nobel. Invitees include representatives of countries dealing with counterterrorism in the Middle East and North Africa.

Source: Teshreen, Syria, June 8, 2008

Dissident: Syria Harassing Opposition Activists And Their Families

Former Syrian MP and dissident Mamoun Al-Homsi, who is currently in Lebanon, said that Syrian authorities have arrested his brother and harmed his family in Syria despite no wrongdoing on their part, as payback for his oppositionist activity. Al-Homsi called for immediate intervention by the international community and by human rights organizations. Also, the Syrian Committee for Human Rights stated that the Syrian authorities arrested Syrian citizen Yasser Al-'Aabed in January 2008 on charges of reading articles on the opposition website. It was reported that his family has not been told where he is being held and is not allowed contact with him.

Sources:,, May 27, 2008

Syrian Daily: The Poisonous Mushroom That Is Israel Will Sooner Or Later Be Uprooted

In an editorial by editor Isam Dari, the Syrian government daily Teshreen criticized the world leaders who attended Israel's 60th anniversary celebrations, saying that by coming to Israel, the leaders of imperialist countries such as Britain, France, the U.S., and Germany wanted to underline that they were continuing their protection of the "poisonous mushroom that they planted in the Arab garden, which aims to destroy it and to spread chaos and terror in the region." Dari added that the Crusader experience had proved that those who owned the land and the rights "would sooner or later uproot the poisonous mushroom," which, he said, explained the fear dominating the Zionists and their attempts to persuade the world leaders that Israel is an existing fact even though that is not how things are.

Source: Teshreen, Syria, May 14, 2008

Assad Honors Martyrs On Syrian Martyrs Day

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad marked Syria's Martyrs Day, May 6, by visiting the Martyrs Monument at Qassiyoun Mount. Assad was received there by Syrian Defense Minister Hasan Turkmani and Chief of Staff Lt. General Ali Habib. ‏He reviewed the Honor Guard as a 21-gun salute was fired in honor of the martyrs, and later laid a wreath on the Unknown Soldier Monument, and recited some Koran verses. ‏ He also held a luncheon in honor of the children of martyrs. ‏ During the ceremony, a student from the School of Martyrs Daughters gave a speech highlighting the sublime values of martyrs and martyrdom, and pledged to continue rallying behind the president's wise and brave leadership, and embodying the manners of martyrs in the great sacrifices they had offered in defense of the home. A group of martyrs' sons and daughters also performed an artistic show highlighting the occasion. ‏Assad later met with sons and daughters of martyrs, and asked them to be outstanding in their study to contribute to the building of their homeland and society.

Source: Syria Times, Syria, May 7, 2008


Hizbullah: Security Appointments Conditional Upon Opposition's Agreement

Hizbullah foreign relations chief Nawaf Al-Musawi has said that his organization was making security and military appointments conditional upon the opposition's agreement. He also warned, in a hint to the March 14 Forces, against incitement against the resistance, because "to every action there is a reaction."

Source: Al-Hayat, London, June 22, 2008

Egyptian Journalist: Nasrallah Waged A Noble War Against Israel

Egyptian journalist and author Muhammad Hassanein Heikal has said that anyone accusing Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah of being an agent of Iran does him an injustice. He added that it must not be forgotten that Nasrallah waged a noble war that changed the resistance perception vis-à-vis Israel. He said that Hizbullah's weapons had taught Israel a lesson that will never be forgotten. Heikal also called the extension of the state of emergency law in Egypt ("Egypt's State Of Emergency To Be Extended Another Two Years") a real disaster for reform and for freedom of expression.

Sources: Al-Masri Al-Yawm, Al-Masryoon, Egypt, May 29, 2008

Syrian Source: Arab Country Suspected Of Involvement In Mughniya Assassination

A senior Syrian source has said that the picture of the assassination of Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniya is becoming increasingly clear, and that there have been several arrests in the case. According to the source, one of those arrested is a man with citizenship from an Arab country, who is closely linked with a prominent minister in that country, and who has the confidence of the country's leadership. The source did not name the country but said that all information would be released at the end of the investigation.

Source: Al-Zaman, London, May 19, 2008

In Lebanon, Calls For Nonviolent Resistance Against Hizbullah

Intellectuals, journalists, and civil society activists in Lebanon called yesterday, May 18, to launch nonviolent civil disobedience against the Hizbullah coup and to defend Lebanon, its culture, and way of life. They claimed that Hizbullah's weapons were threatening Lebanon's existence, and entreated the March 14 Forces to set disarming Hizbullah at the head of its agenda in the Lebanese dialogue. Also speaking out against Hizbullah was Mt. Lebanon Mufti Sheikh Muhammad Ali Al-Jozo, who accused "hero of the resistance" Hizbullah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah of harming state security and plundering the Lebanese people. Al-Jozo said that the image of the resistance was mortally wounded when it became clear that sectarian impulses were still overcoming common sense.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, May 19, 2008

Lebanese Journalist: Hizbullah "New Sharons" – But Worse

Senior correspondent for the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal Paul Shaul has called Hizbullah "new Sharons." However, he pointed out, when Ariel Sharon took Beirut and carried out the Sabra and Shatilla massacre, he was more merciful than Hizbullah. Shaul said that Sharon did not close down newspapers and didn't burn down media buildings like Hizbullah did. Shaul added that the Zionist enemy also did not celebrate the invasion of Beirut like Hizbullah did.

Source: Al-Mustaqbal, Lebanon, May 14, 2008

Cartoon In Saudi Paper: Hassan Nasrallah Carried On Shoulders Of Lebanese People

Cartoonist: Jihad 'Awatarni

Source: Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 9, 2008


Iraqi Sources: Lebanon Crisis Planned By Iran, Hizbullah, Shi'ite Militias

Iraqi political and security sources have told the Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal that the crisis in Lebanon was planned in advance during a secret meeting in early May between representatives of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), Hizbullah, and the Shi'ite militias in Iraq. According to the sources, the aim of creating the crisis is to establish a "Persian empire" in the Middle East, and also to cover up revelations of Hizbullah's role in training Shi'ite militias in Iraq. Iraqi MP Muhammad Al-Dahini told the paper that the Lebanon crisis is a settling of accounts by Tehran.

Source: Al-Mustaqbal, Lebanon, May 14, 2008

Lebanese Minister: Iranian Ambassador Active Partner In Political Leadership Of Battle In Lebanon

In an interview in the Saudi daily 'Okaz, Lebanon's Youth and Sports Minister Ahmad Fatfat accused Iran's ambassador to Beirut of active participation in the political leadership of the battle in Lebanon."

Source: 'Okaz, Saudi Arabia, May 13, 2008

Cartoon In Saudi Paper On Beirut In Flames

On woman being abducted by Hizbullah gunman: "Beirut."

Cartoonist: Jihad 'Awartany

Source: Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 12, 2008


Palestinian Human Rights Center Condemns Attack On Gaza Christian School

The Palestinian Human Rights Center has condemned an attack by gunmen on the Al-Manara school. In the attack, the gunmen also stole a bus belonging to the Christian association Al-Kutab Al-Muqdas, which owns the school.

Source: Al-Quds, Jerusalem, June 2, 2008

Hamas: Senior European Officials Are In Contact With Us

An advisor to the Hamas "government" prime minister Dr. Ahmad Yousef has said that senior European officials from France, Norway, Switzerland, and Italy had initiated and were maintaining contacts with Hamas, out of a desire to understand Hamas's positions regarding the permanent arrangement.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, May 26, 2008

Hizb Al-Tahrir Attacks Bethlehem Economic Conference

The Islamic organization Hizb Al-Tahrir in the Palestinian territories has come out against a conference of international businessmen taking place in Bethlehem. The organization says that the conference serves the interests of the infidels, harms the interest of the Palestinians and the Islamic ummah, and aids normalization of relations between Jews and the Muslim world. It called on Palestinians to renounce the Palestinian Authority because it was not solving their economic distress and only oppressed them.

Source: Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London, May 22, 2008


Saudi King Launches New "Energy For The Poor" Initiative For Developing Countries

In the opening speech at the global petroleum conference in Jeddah on solutions for the world oil crisis, Saudi King Abdallah announced Saudi Arabia's intention to restrict its oil exports. The king also announced an "Energy for the Poor" initiative, under which Saudi Arabia would offer economic aid to developing countries.

Source: Al-Hayat, London, June 23, 2008

Saudi Mufti To Soccer Players: Stop Prostrating Yourselves After Every Goal

Saudi Mufti and Saudi Senior Ulemaa Council chairman Abd Al-Aziz Abdallah Aal Al-Sheikh has criticized soccer players' practice of prostrating themselves during games as a sign of thanks following every goal. He said that it was better for a player to thank God in his heart than to prostrate himself. A few players responded that prostration was the best way to express joy and to carry out the supreme mission of esteeming thanks to Allah.

Source:, May 25, 2008

Saudi Religious Police Vs "Star Academy" Show

The Saudi religious police intends to arrest Abdallah Al-Dosari, star of the Saudi TV show "Star Academy." The religious police claim that Al-Dosari posted on his website an invitation for girls to be photographed with him.

Source: Al-Watan, Saudi Arabia, May 20, 2008

Al-Qaeda Orders Its Operatives In Saudi Arabia To Leave The Country

Against the backdrop of the marking of five years since the May 12, 2003 attack in Saudi Arabia, Al-Qaeda has sent a message over the Internet to its operatives in Saudi Arabia calling on them "to leave the country for Yemen, lest [you] be killed or arrested by Saudi security forces."

Source: 'Okaz, Saudi Arabia, May 12, 2008

Saudi Achievements In War On Terror

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abd Al-Aziz said during an interview with the Saudi daily 'Okaz that Saudi Arabia had attained important accomplishments in eliminating sources of funding for terrorism and for the group of transgressors in Saudi Arabia. He said that there had been over 180 attempts to carry out attacks within Saudi Arabia, and all had been thwarted. Prince Naif stressed the importance of ideological security as the responsibility of all, and particularly of Saudi clerics and intellectuals. He also asked intellectuals with influence who owned media outlets to play an active role in fighting extremism.

Source: 'Okaz, Saudi Arabia, May 12, 2008


Kuwaiti Salafist MPs Speak Out Against 'Star Academy' Show

Walid Al-Tabtabai and Muhammad Haif Al-Mutayri, Kuwaiti MPs from the Salafist stream, have demanded that Kuwait Communications Minister Sheikh Sabah Al-Khaled prevent directors from the "Star Academy" TV show from coming to Kuwait to hold auditions. The MPs said that "Star Academy" represents debased Western values that are against the values of Kuwaiti society.

Source: Al-Jarida, Kuwait, May 30, 2008

Kuwaiti Conservatives Rage Over Ministerial Posts For Women Who Don't Wear Hijab

Kuwaiti conservative MPs are enraged over the prime minister's appointment of two women who do not wear the hijab as ministers. Salafi MP Muhammad Haief Al-Matiri demanded that his comrades boycott the parliamentary session in which the new government will be sworn in.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, May 29, 2008

Kuwait Arrests Jihad Recruiters

Kuwaiti security forces have arrested three Kuwait residents on charges of recruiting young men and sending them to wage jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan. The three are also charged with belonging to Al-Qaeda.

Source: Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, May 25, 2008

Cartoon In Qatari Paper: "Al-Qaeda Plans Attack On European Football Championship"

On shirt: "September 11." Terrorist holding shirt: "This is my favorite player."

Cartoonist: Baqi Bukhalfa

Source: Al-Arab, Qatar, May 17, 2008

Alcohol-Free Hotels Grow in Dubai

As Dubai's popularity among tourists and business people increases, there is a growing demand for Islamic, or shari'a-compliant, hotels that apply a no-alcohol policy and tailor their services to suit Islamic culture. Some hotel chains follow a detailed set of Islamic rules for operating hotels, while others just adhere to Islam's ban on alcohol owing to local regulations or investor preference.

[To read the rest of article, visit the full blog post]

Source: Arab News, May 16, 2008

Kuwaiti Foreign Minister: Why Kill Muslims and Not Israelis?

Following an Al-Arabiya report on two terrorists who carried out a suicide bombing in Mossul, Iraq, the Kuwaiti foreign minister condemned the terrorist leaders who urge the Kuwaiti youth to wage "false jihad." He asked why these leaders do not call to liberate Palestine and kill Israelis instead of calling to murder innocent Muslims.

Source: Al-Jarida, Kuwait, May 2, 2008


Egypt Bans Female Circumcision

The Egyptian parliament yesterday passed a law banning female circumcision. Under the new law, the procedure is prohibited "except in cases of medical necessity."

Source:, June 8, 2008

Al-Azhar Sheikh Won't Condemn Terrorism In Iraq

A delegation of 14 U.S. Army personnel met with Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Sayyed Tantawi and asked Al-Azhar to issue a fatwa condemning the terror operations in Iraq and the attacks on the foreign forces there. Sheikh Tantawi responded that the religion of Islam is against terrorism and extremism, but declined to issue a fatwa.

Source: Al-Masryoon, Egypt, May 20, 2008

International Egyptian Footballer Wore Shirt With Logo Of Alcoholic Drink Company

Many accusations have recently been leveled against 'Isam Al-Hadri, Egyptian national soccer team player and goalkeeper for the Swiss soccer club Syon, for agreeing to wear a club shirt with the logo of a company that makes alcoholic drinks. Muhammad Rafat 'Uthman, instructor at Al-Azhar University and member of its Center for Islamic Research, said that it was forbidden for Al-Hadri to wear the shirt, and that if the club insisted that he do so he must break his contract and quit. In contrast, liberal Egyptian thinker Gamal Al-Banna said that Al-Hadri should not be accused, because he had acted like a Muslim minority member should act within a non-Muslim majority.

Source:, May 13, 2008

Al-Azhar Clerics Issue Fatwa Against Exporting Gas To Israel

A body called the Al-Azhar Clerics Front has issued a fatwa calling on workers in plants exporting gas to "the criminal Zionist Jews" to quit their jobs. The fatwa read in part, "Save your souls from Allah's curse and anger... before you become a nail in Egypt's coffin. Protect your children, your offspring, and your families from the forbidden money you are earning."

Source:, May 5, 2008; Al-Masryoon, Egypt, May 11, 2008


Jordan Muslim Brotherhood Leader: Continue The Jihad

Leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan Hamam Sa'id has said that the Jewish state on the soil of Palestine must not be recognized, and that continued jihad is the only way to liberate that soil. He said that all foreign Jews who came to Palestine must leave it.

Source: Al-Hayat, London, May 25, 2008

Contradicting Fatwas Over Construction Of Churches In Muslim World

Leading Sunni cleric Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, who heads the Union of Muslim Scholars, has issued a fatwa permitting the building of churches in Islamic countries for Christian citizens and residents, provided that there is a real need for it and that the authorities agree. He also permitted Muslims to participate in the construction. However, a Saudi Wahhabi cleric close to the royal family, Abdul Rahman Al-Barak, ruled that the Christians and Jews of our time are infidels and should be treated as such.

Source:, May 19, 2008; Islamlight, May 17, 2008

Report: At Meeting With Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, Neturei Karta Rabbis Call For Dismantling Israel

Weiss, Al-Qaradhawi, and Cohen at Al-Qaradhawi's residence in Doha, April 30, 2008

The Qatari paper Gulf Times reported on May 1 that two "Jewish rabbis" have called for a peaceful end to the state of Israel, saying that its existence contradicted Jewish law. The rabbis are Aharon Cohen and Yisroel Dovid Weiss of Neturei Karta. The paper said that during a meeting with Sunni leader Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi, Weiss called the creation of Israel "a heresy made up by the Zionists to undermine the true Jewish life... We will not lose hope and dream of dismantling the state of Israel." The report said that Cohen called for the peaceful dismantlement of what he termed the "Zionist state," which he accused of "trigger[ing] tension and conflict in the region" since its establishment. He said, "I believe that the current tension in the Middle East can disappear overnight once the superpowers agreed to dismantle" it.

[To read the rest of the article, visit the full blog post]

Source: Gulf Times, Qatar, May 1, 2008

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