May 17, 2009
A radical Muslim who dressed his baby daughter in a hat with “I love al-Qaeda” on it tried to firebomb the home of the publisher of a controversial novel about the Prophet Mohammed.
Ali Beheshti, 40, along with Abrar Mirza, 22, have admitted conspiracy to recklessly damage property and endanger life after they poured diesel through the letterbox of a publishing house in Islington, North London.
Abbas Taj, 30, a mini-cab driver, was found guilty at Croydon Crown court of conspiracy to firebomb the home of Martin Rynja, the publisher of The Jewel Of Medina. He was to be the getaway driver, but was stopped in his car and arrested by armed police near Angel Tube station in the early hours in September last year, just after they had set fire to the premises.
Beheshti’s 20-month-old daughter, Farisa, was pictured wearing the hat when he took her along to a protest against Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed and proudly called her “the youngest member of al-Qaeda”. He waved banners vowing to “Massacre those who insult Islam” and promising “Europe, your 9/11 will come!” During the protests in 2006 he called himself Abu Jihad — meaning holy war.
The three men began their attack when publisher Mr Rynja was preparing to release The Jewel Of Medina, a novel about the Prophet Mohammed and the life of his child bride, Aisha.
The trio were planning to spend the night at Regent’s Park Mosque, in North London, as part of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, but shortly after arrival they set out with “fire-making equipment” for the home of Mr Rynja…
The publication of The Jewel of Medina was cancelled by one major publisher in the United States over fears that it could offend Muslims.
Run that “religion of peace” line past me again…
April 12, 2009
Police are continuing to search 10 properties across the north-west of England in connection with an alleged planned terror bomb attack. They have found pictures of popular Manchester shopping centres and a nightclub, the BBC has learned.
Twelve men – 11 of them Pakistani, and most of them students – are still being questioned over the alleged plot. Gordon Brown and Pakistan’s president are “committed to working together” to combat terror, says Downing Street.
Although the police previously insisted there was no intelligence pointing to any specific targets, sources have told the BBC photographs of four popular Manchester locations were recovered during searches. These were the Arndale and Trafford Centre shopping complexes, Birdcage nightclub and St Ann’s Square.
- BBC News
I can remember the days when Britain was a net exporter of crime…
April 7, 2009
Business Secretary Lord Mandelson is leading the first British business delegation to Iraq in over 20 years.
Representatives from 23 companies are accompanying the business secretary on a one-day trip to Baghdad and Basra. The group will meet Iraqi government ministers to discuss how they can contribute to the economic reconstruction of the country…
Lord Mandelson stressed that the reconstruction of Iraq continued to be a good business opportunity.
“British business and expertise can play an important role in the development of the Iraq economy,” he said.
- BBC News
Just like they did in its destruction.
The choice of the Business Secretary to head the trade trip should be a fascinating test of diplomatic relations with the new Iraqi administration, given that Islamist preachers in Britain want Mandelson to be stoned for his homosexuality.
March 3, 2009
Gunmen have attacked a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team on its way to play in the Pakistani city of Lahore.
At least five Pakistani policemen escorting the team bus were killed, while seven cricketers, and their assistant coach, were injured.
Pakistani officials said about 12 gunmen were involved and grenades and rocket launchers have been recovered.
Officials said the incident bore similarities to deadly attacks in Mumbai in India last November.
The Mumbai attacks were blamed on Pakistan-based Islamic militants.
- BBC News
Skepticlawyer’s post is here.
February 19, 2009
The founder of a US Muslim TV network has been charged over the beheading of his wife, media reports say.
Muzzammil Hassan, 44, is accused of second degree murder of Aasiya Hassan, whose body was found last week at the TV station in New York state.
Both Mr Hassan and his wife worked at Bridges TV, a station aimed at countering stereotypes of Muslims.
Authorities said Mrs Hassan, 37, had recently filed for divorce. The couple had two children, aged four and six.
- BBC News
Begs the question, what does it take to qualify as first-degree murder? (Yes, I chopped her head off with this machete I coincidentally had lying around the office…)
And in local news…
Muslims have complained that the Koran is often displayed on the lower shelves, which is deemed offensive as many believe the holy book should be placed above “commonplace things”.
Now library officials in one city have been told to keep all holy books, including the Bible, on the top shelves in the interests of equality.
It has caused concern from Christian charities that this will put the Bible out of the reach and sight of many people.
Guidance published by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council, a quango answering to Culture Secretary Andy Burnham, brought the situation to light.
It said Muslims in Leicester had moved copies of the Koran to the top shelves of libraries, because they believe it is an insult to display it in a low position.
A report into the issue said the city’s librarians consulted the Federation of Muslim Organisations and were advised that all religious texts should be kept on the top shelf to ensure equality.
The guidance states: “This meant that no offence is caused, as the scriptures of all the major faiths are given respect in this way, but none is higher than any other.”
(For those without the benefit of a multicultural education, Sikhs feel it is appropriate to put their holy book to bed at night. Each to their own.)