Islamic Jihad: Thailand, Malaysia, Turkey, Nigeria, Russia, and Bosnia too

Posted on September 11, 2010


Thailand: Expat Muslim workers in Malaysia send back money to fund the jihad

After all, someone’s got to keep up the jihad against teachers, rubber tappers, telephone workers, and fathers and daughters, just to name a few.

If they were into bumper stickers, the might run off a few thousand urging: “Keep Thailand Restive.”

“Envoy: Thai workers in Malaysia funding insurgents,” from the Bangkok Post, September 10 (thanks to Twostellas):

A Thai diplomat in a northern Malaysian state has said his countrymen working in Malaysia are funding insurgents in Thailand’s restive southern provinces, according to a report Friday.

Thai consul general Surapon Petch-Vra, who is based in Kelantan state, told the New Straits Times newspaper Thai workers have been sending back money to groups involved in the violence in the country’s south which flared up six years ago.

The southern region was once an autonomous Malay sultanate until Buddhist Thailand annexed it a century ago, provoking decades of tension that flared up into the present insurgency.

Just an “autonomous Malay sultanate,” minding its own business? More on the rest of the story can be found here. In a nutshell, it’s another case where the jihadists lost, and they want a do-over.

“Admittedly, a few of our citizens who are earning an income in Malaysia are sending their money to certain perpetrators of violence,” he was quoted as telling the paper.

“However, it has to be emphasised that the majority of our citizens working in Malaysia are only using their income to support themselves and their families,” he added.

Surapon said about 200,000 Thais from the south’s Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani, Songkhla and Satun provinces were working in Malaysia, in various sectors including the construction industry, the paper reported. The consul-general could not be reached for comment.

Surapon’s comments follow the killing of five people in southern Thailand on Tuesday in a string of attacks by suspected militants as the military raided an insurgent training camp.

Guns, knives, Malaysian currency, medical supplies and two-way radios were among the items discovered in the eight temporary shelters surrounding the camp’s communal meeting room….

Posted by Marisol on September 11, 2010 1:06 AM | 4 Comments
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Turkey: Secularists fear referendum as Erdogan’s latest move to push Sharia

That’s right. Creeping Sharia, advanced by referendum if Erdogan has his way. This case only offers further proof that democracy for its own sake is not the solution to “extremism” in the Muslim world, because the success of a democracy to protect civil liberties, equality, and true pluralism (not dhimmitude) depends on the values that inform its participants.

“Referendum in Turkey raises fears of too much Islam in government,” from the Christian Science Monitor, September 10 (thanks to Twostellas):

In a largely Muslim country that sits at the crossroads of East and West, Turks who treasure secular rule are again warning about a “creeping coup” of political Islam.

The cause this time? Constitutional amendments pushed by the elected government, run by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his party, the Islamic Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Turks will vote on the amendments Sept. 12 in a referendum. Most of the changes are not very controversial but secularists are alarmed over one that gives the president and parliament more say in appointing senior judges. Currently, senior judges vet their own judicial candidates – an inbred system.

Critics say giving the government a greater role in appointments undermines the independence of a judiciary that has staunchly defended the strict separation of mosque and state – and gone head-to-head with the religiously minded government.

Erdogan’s semi-stealth jihad under cover of democracy:

But Prime Minister Erdogan maintains that this change, and all the amendments, are another step on the path to Turkish democracy. Indeed, they meet criteria for Turkey to join the European Union.

The clash over Sunday’s referendum should signal to Erdogan the ongoing need to build trust among the broader population as he boosts the brightness of this rising star over Europe and Asia.

He’s bound and determined to put a crescent with that “star.” Whether it is “rising” is subject to considerable debate.

The AKP has been in power since 2002, a period of strong economic growth and relative stability that won the party backing again in the election of 2007. The devout Muslim prime minister has ambitions for his country of nearly 80 million people. He sees it as an important player in energy and as a regional problem solver.

Along the way Erdogan has also mixed the Islamic religion with politics, attempting to criminalize adultery, for instance, and trying to lift the ban on women wearing the head scarf at universities – both of which failed. Since the 1970s, Turkey’s high court has shut down four Islamic political parties. Erdogan himself was jailed, and he refashioned himself and the AKP along the lines – he says – of Europe’s Christian Democrats.

But Erdogan’s pushing of the Islamic agenda unnerved secularists, who fear a secret agenda of full Islamization. They’ve watched warily as the AKP government has drawn closer to Iran, Syria, and Iraq and left longtime ally Israel in the diplomatic dust.

Critics worry also about an increasingly autocratic government, pointing to sweeping arrests related to a supposed coup conspiracy. The media have been cowed or bought by the AKP, and official wiretapping abounds. The populist Erdogan often sounds dogmatic and threatening. When he warned a business group that it faced “elimination” if it opposed the referendum, the European Commission sternly rebuked him.

In truth, the constitutional changes conform to democratic norms. They strengthen individual rights, privacy, and unions. They bring the military – which ousted four governments in the last 50 years – further under civilian control.

But the abstract truth is not the same as the political reality in Turkey. The reality is that this is a polarized country, with a large segment of the population increasingly mistrusting of the government….

With good reason.

Posted by Marisol on September 11, 2010 12:02 AM

Nigeria: State forces caught “flat-footed” as “Education is Sin” group stages massive jailbreak

The same questions go for Muslims in Nigeria as in Lebanon and Pakistan: How much do you care about your country as you know it? How much do you care about the way of life that was still possible a generation ago, but is now under threat, and about the ideals set forth when your country became independent?

Are you willing or able to fight for them, or is your resolve so hobbled by the notion that the imposition of Islamic law is benevolent, Allah’s will, and can’t ultimately be so bad, that you look the other way as your country disintegrates into chaos and poverty in the name of Allah?

Islamic law not only can be so bad, but it consistently fails to deliver on its proponents’ promises of peace, justice, and prosperity. And it fails badly.

Here, we may be seeing an accelerating transition in Nigeria from creeping Sharia to galloping Sharia, at the peril of the very nature of the country and the well-being of its non-Muslim populations. “Sect’s prison attack raises new fears in Nigeria,” by John Gambrell and Shehu Saulawa for the Associated Press, September 8:

BAUCHI, Nigeria — A radical Muslim sect used assault rifles to launch a coordinated sunset raid on a prison in northern Nigeria, freeing more than 100 followers and raising new fears about violence in the oil-rich nation just months before elections.

The attack Tuesday night by the Boko Haram sect left the prison in ruins and showed the group had access to the sophisticated weapons it needed to overpower prison guards. Now the group seeking to impose strict Islamic law on Nigeria may want to take on the government directly, potentially bring a new wave of violence to Africa’s most populous nation.

The Nigerian government is “standing flat-footed. They’re on the defensive,” said Mark Schroeder, the director of sub-Saharan Africa analysis for STRATFOR, a private security think tank based in Austin, Texas.

The attackers went cell by cell at the prison in Bauchi, breaking open locks and setting fire to part of the prison before escaping during the confusion with more than 750 inmates, said Bauchi state police commissioner Danlami Yar’Adua.

Five people — a soldier, a police officer, two prison guards and a civilian — died in the attack and six others remain in critical condition.

Members of Boko Haram — which means “Western education is sacrilege” in the local Hausa language — rioted and attacked police stations and private homes in July 2009, triggering a violent police and military crackdown during which more than 700 people died. More than 120 followers arrested in the wake of the attacks last year were being held at the Bauchi prison pending trial.

Police believe the followers freed by the attack are now hiding in the mountains surrounding the pasturelands of the rural region.

“We have provided watertight security to hunt members of this group that we believe have not gone far,” said Mohammed Barau, an assistant superintendent of police.

Bauchi remained calm Wednesday, as paramilitary police officers guarded the front of the damaged prison. They refused to allow an Associated Press reporter access the prison grounds. Footage later aired on the state-run Nigerian Television Authority showed piles of broken locks, burned-out rooms and a destroyed truck at the prison.

Police and military units added checkpoints along roads heading out of the city in hopes of catching escapees. Yar’Adua said his agency had arrested more than 20 suspected followers following the attack. Yar’Adua said 36 prisoners had returned to the prison on their own by Wednesday morning, hoping to serve out the remainder of their short sentences.

Boko Haram has campaigned for the implementation of strict Shariah law. Nigeria, a nation of 150 million people, is divided between the Christian-dominated south and the Muslim-held north. A dozen states across Nigeria’s north already have Shariah law in place, though the area remains under the control of secular state governments.

In recent months, rumors about Boko Haram rearming have spread throughout northern Nigeria. A video recording released in late June showed a Boko Haram leader calling for new violence as the one-year anniversary of their attack neared. Meanwhile, police believe motorcycle-riding members of the sect are killing policemen in the region.

Cassette tapes of preaching by the sect once could be found across the north, said Mustapha Ismail, an Kano-based Islamic scholar writing a book about Boko Haram. Now, Nigeria’s secret police arrest people for merely attempting to download sermons, forcing the group underground.

“With their members in so many jails and prisons, they are just trying to free them, at least for now,” Ismail said.

More Islamic supremacist trouble ahead:

The violence also comes as Nigeria’s Jan. 22, 2011 presidential election nears. President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian who took over after the death of elected Muslim leader Umaru Yar’Adua, has yet to say whether he’ll run for office.

If Jonathan runs, it could anger the country’s Muslim elite, who believe Yar’Adua would have won a second term under a power-sharing agreement in the nation’s ruling party. Now Jonathan faces new pressure in trying to put down the sect without alienating Muslims or allowing security forces to conduct a violent reprisal like they did in 2009….

Posted by Marisol on September 8, 2010 11:40 AM

Russia: Suicide car bomb at city’s central market kills at least 17, wounds 133 in northern Caucasus

Once again, jihadists target civilians directly, seeking to be “victorious with terror,” as Muhammad described himself (Sahih Bukhari 4.52.220), and embracing the Qur’an’s promise of paradise for those who “slay and are slain” in the cause of Allah (9:111).

Apologists will insist Islamic warfare forbids the killing of “innocents,” and hope listeners will project their own cultural understanding of the term onto what they are hearing. In practice, the discussion of “innocents” in jihad attacks all too easily becomes an elaborate shell game relative to concept’s usefulness in advancing Islam’s agenda at the moment — i.e., whether or not the casualties are bad enough for business (note how Hamas always seems to get a pass). Ultimately, it is informed in spirit by the Qur’an’s dehumanization of unbelievers as “apes and swine” (Qur’an 2:63-66; 5:59-60; and 7:166) and the “vilest of creatures” (98:6).

As such, the victims in this market were apparently not innocent enough for this jihadist attack. “Suicide attack in Russia kills 17, wounds over 130,” by Sergei Venyavsky for the Associated Press, September 9:

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia – A suicide car bomber hit the central market of a major city in Russia’s North Caucasus on Thursday, killing at least 17 and wounding more than 130 people in one of the worst attacks in the volatile region in years, officials said.

The attacker detonated his explosives as he drove by the main entrance to the Vladikavkaz market, according to the Emergency Situations Ministry.

At least 17 people, including the suicide bomber, were killed and 133 were wounded in the explosion, said Alexander Pogorely of the Emergency Situations Ministry’s branch in southern Russia. He said 98 of the injured were hospitalized, many in grave condition.

Russian television stations showed a shrapnel-littered square in front of the market, with blood stains on the pavement and rows of vehicles scarred by the blast.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sent his regional envoy to Vladikavkaz to help coordinate efforts to help the victims. He urged the investigators to “do everything to track down the beasts, the scoundrels who conducted that terror attack.”

No one has immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing, which was the deadliest such attack in the region since a double suicide bombing killed 12, mostly police officers, in the province of Dagestan in April. Twin suicide bombings on Moscow subway in March killed 40 people and wounded over 100.

The market and its surrounding blocks has been the target of several bomb attacks over the past dozen years, in which scores of people have died.

Vladikavkaz is the capital of the Russian republic of North Ossetia. Although it is less plagued by violence than some other republics in the region such as Chechnya and Dagestan, North Ossetia has experienced ethnic tensions and frequent attacks.

Which ethnicity is Islam again?

Posted by Marisol on September 9, 2010

Bosnian police discover jihadist weapons cache in investigation of murder of policeman

What? Jihadists in Bosnia? But…but…they’re all peaceful, America-loving moderates! Aren’t they? Aren’t they? “Bosnia bomb probe finds weapons, Islamist link seen,” from Reuters, September 6 (thanks to Sr. Soph):

SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Bosnian police have uncovered a large cache of weapons and detained a new suspect in the course of their inquiry into a June bomb attack that killed one policeman and injured six others, the prosecutor’s office said.The attack, outside a police station in the town of Bugojno, was one of the most serious security incidents in the Balkan country since an ethnic war ended in 1995.

Shortly after the blast, police arrested the suspected mastermind and his helper — both believed to be followers of the radical Sunni Muslim Wahhabi sect….

The Wahhabi sect has taken root in Bosnia under the influence of Islamists from abroad, some of whom stayed on after fighting alongside Bosnian Muslims during the 1992-95 war.

Police have stepped up efforts to curtail the small but vocal Wahhabi groups. In February they raided a community in the northern village of Gornja Maoca and arrested several men accused of trying to destabilise the fragile country….

 

Posted by Robert on September 7, 2010

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