Hot off the heels of Tunisia’s anticipated election of the Islamist Ennahda Party comes new details regarding Libya’s plans to embrace an even ‘stricter’ form of Shariah than previously suggested. Judging from the mark on the forehead of Libya’s interim leader — a sure sign of a very devout Muslim — there is a growing sense that as time progresses we’ll be seeing even more surprises sooner rather than later …
Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of the National Transitional Council and de fact president, had already declared that Libyan laws in future would have Sharia, the Islamic code, as its ‘basic source’.
But that formulation can be interpreted in many ways – it was also the basis of Egypt’s largely secular constitution under President Hosni Mubarak, and remains so after his fall.
Mr Abdul-Jalil went further, specifically lifting immediately, by decree, one law from Col. Gaddafi’s era that he said was in conflict with Sharia – that banning polygamy.
In a blow to those who hoped to see Libya’s economy integrate further into the western world, he announced that in future bank regulations would ban the charging of interest, in line with Sharia. ‘Interest creates disease and hatred among people,’ he said.
Gulf states like the United Arab Emirates, and other Muslim countries, have pioneered the development of Sharia-compliant banks which charge fees rather than interest for loans but they normally run alongside western-style banks.” Read more.
Muammar Gaddafi’s grisly death raises questions about Libya’s new rulers – “… Gaddafi’s death is already showing up some of the weaknesses of Libya’s new rulers. The claim by the interim prime minister, Mahmoud Jibril, that he was killed in ‘crossfire’ looks ever more false with every new piece of video. Both he and his son Mutassim were alive when captured, and dead soon after. A statement by an anonymous NTC source that ‘they beat [Gaddafi] and they killed him’ seems closer to the mark. But Mr Jibril angrily rejected demands by the United Nations and some in the West for a proper investigation into the circumstances of Gaddafi’s death… The dictator’s treatment – before and after death – underlines that Libya does not have a government, or a state with functioning standards, only a collection of militias.” Read more.
Flashback: US Intelligence Report Says Libyan Jihadists Planning to Subvert Post-Gadhafi Gov’t and Create an Islamist State – “Jihadists among the Libyan rebels revealed plans last week on the Internet to subvert the post-Moammar Gadhafi government and create an Islamist state, according to U.S. intelligence agencies. U.S. officials said spy agencies are stepping up surveillance of Islamist-oriented elements among Libyan rebels. A government report circulated Tuesday said extremists were observed ‘strategizing’ on Internet forums about how to set up an Islamist state in Libya after the regime of Col. Gadhafi is defeated.” Read more.
Iran doesn’t have to misread. Iraq has already made it very clear whose side they are on …
“WASHINGTON (AP) — Iran should not misread the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq as affecting the U.S. commitment to the fledgling democracy, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Sunday.
President Barack Obama’s announcement Friday that all American troops would return from Iraq by the end of the year will close a chapter on U.S.-Iraq relations that began in 2003 with the U.S.-led invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
Washington has long worried that meddling by Iran, a Shiite Muslim theocracy, could inflame tensions between Iraq’s Shiite-led government and its minority Sunnis, setting off a chain reaction of violence and disputes across the Mideast.
Clinton said in a series of news show interviews that the U.S. would continue its training mission with Iraq and that it would resemble operations in Colombia and elsewhere. While the U.S. will not have combat troops in Iraq, she said the American presence would remain strong because of its bases in the region.
‘Iran would be badly miscalculating if they did not look at the entire region and all of our presence in many countries in the region, both in bases, in training, with NATO allies, like Turkey,’ she told CNN’s ‘State of the Union.’” Read more.
Iraq rejects US request to maintain bases after troop withdrawal – “The US suffered a major diplomatic and military rebuff on Friday when Iraq finally rejected its pleas to maintain bases in the country beyond this year. Barack Obama announced at a White House press conference that all American troops will leave Iraq by the end of December, a decision forced by the final collapse of lengthy talks between the US and the Iraqi government on the issue. The Iraqi decision is a boost to Iran, which has close ties with many members of the Iraqi government and which had been battling against the establishment of permanent American bases.” Read more.
Iraq Sides With Iran, Sends Essential Aid to Syria’s Assad – “More than six months after the start of the Syrian uprising, Iraq is offering key moral and financial support to the country’s embattled president, undermining a central U.S. policy objective and raising fresh concerns that Iraq is drifting further into the orbit of an American arch rival — Iran. Iraq’s stance has dealt an embarrassing setback to the Obama administration, which has sought to enlist Muslim allies in its campaign to isolate Syrian autocrat Bashar al-Assad. While other Arab states have downgraded ties with Assad, Iraq has moved in the opposite direction, hosting official visits by Syrians, signing pacts to expand business ties and offering political support.” Read more.
This is where lawlessness leads, and it confirms what the initial video evidence suggested …
“A Libyan rebel confessed on camera Sunday to killing Muammar Gaddafi.
The provisional government in Libya is claiming Gaddafi was killed in a shootout in the city of Sirte, where the ousted leader had been hiding.
However, following his death videos began to surface showing Gaddafi bleeding while being held by rebels, which raised the suspicion he was executed.
The rebel, who identified himself as Senad el Sadık el Ureybi, said: ‘We grabbed him, I hit him in the face. Some fighters wanted to take him away and that’s when I shot him twice, in the head and in the chest.’
He noted that Gaddafi didn’t die instantaneously, and that it took half an hour. He said he didn’t like the idea of Gaddadi being caught alive.” Read more.
Ontario Provincial Police Const. Peter Leon said the number of dead waterfowl is estimated to be between 5,000 and 6,000. Officials will be collecting more of the carcasses on Sunday for examination.
The dead birds are scattered along a nearly three-kilometre stretch north of the community of Wasaga Beach, said Leon.
Federal and provincial officials believe the cause of the death is a form of botulism, apparently from the birds eating dead fish, he said.
A spokeswoman for Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle says staff in his department are monitoring the situation and will be collecting more samples. Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Natural Resources issued a news release saying the death of large numbers of fish and wildlife on the Great Lakes is not uncommon at certain times of the year. Georgian Bay is on Lake Huron.” Read more.
Posted as an addendum to this article. Maybe Barack Hussein Obama should read it if for no other reason than to be reminded of what they all have in common …
By Ashley Fantz, CNN – “This week the U.S. Justice Department accused an Iranian-American, who allegedly has ties to Iran’s elite Quds Force, of attempting to hire a man he thought was a Mexican cartel hitman to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States.
Some question the plausibility of the circumstances that prosecutors have described involving Manssor Arbabsiar, a 56-year-old used-car salesman from Texas.
The alleged plot, if proven, would be but one of several terror schemes hatched by American citizens that were intended to occur on U.S. soil but were not carried out. Here are a few of those:
In 2002, Pakistani-American Iyman Faris worked as a truck driver in Columbus, Ohio. He was convicted of providing material support to al Qaeda for his role in a plot to attack the Brooklyn Bridge.
WikiLeaks documents released this spring reveal more details about Faris’ role in the war on terror. Faris pleaded guilty to providing material support to al Qaeda and was sentenced in October 2003 to 20 years in prison. He’s now behind bars in Florence, Ohio.
In September 2004, then-26-year-old Ryan Anderson, a U.S. citizen and member of the Washington National Guard, was convicted of passing military information to American agents posing as al Qaeda operatives.
Anderson, a convert to Islam, was arrested earlier that year at Fort Lewis, Washington. According to the News Tribune in Tacoma, Washington, which covered Anderson’s story extensively, military prosecutors contended that Anderson had ‘grown disgusted’ with what he viewed as ‘the moral decay’ of America, and that Anderson disagreed with the war in Iraq. He was also upset that his Guard unit was being deployed.
In 2005, authorities announced that they had foiled a plot, concocted in a California prison, to use proceeds from gas station robberies to carry out terror attacks. Planned targets included military recruitment centers, synagogues and the Israeli consulate. Kevin James pleaded guilty in 2007 to conspiracy to levy war against the government of the United States through terrorism, and to oppose by force the authority of the U.S. government.
The danger of Islamic radicalization inside American prisons is ‘real and present,’ Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said in June during a controversial hearing on the subject. King is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. King weighed in on the alleged plot revealed this week, telling CNN that evidence in the case against Arbabsia is strong.” Read more.
Tunisia: Islamist Ennahda Party Expected to Win Election, Voter: ‘Islam Should Be Respected Again in Tunisia’
The Islamist Ennahda Party may be described as ‘moderate’, but don’t let that term fool you. As I wrote here back in September regarding Libya, Western ears often hear the word ‘moderate’ and think ‘peaceful’ or ‘free’ or ‘democratic’, so in the minds of the naive and the willingly ignorant there is therefore no need for worry.
We’ll often envision Indiana Jones chasing after lost relics throughout Egypt governed by a ‘moderate’ Islamic government. Or we’ll think of a moderate country like Indonesia with its beautiful beach resorts. Or a moderate society in Malaysia and the marvelous Petronas Twin Towers. Or even a ‘moderate’ state such as Turkey and the St. Sophia ‘Church’ Museum. Yet Egypt is where Christians have been persecuted and killed for centuries, before and during Mubarak, and now at an increasing pace post-revolution. In Indonesia Islamic teachers are attacked for speaking against violence, and a television station is forced to pull a film promoting religious tolerance because some Muslims were offended and threatened to riot. In Malaysia the government can now charge non-Muslims with ‘blasphemy’ for simply quoting from the Qur’an ‘insincerely’. It’s also where at least one Muslim group has declared jihad against Christians simply for disagreeing with them. And Turkey is responsible for — and continues to deny — the genocide of over one million Armenian Christians. And the examples don’t end there.
The ‘Arab Spring’ isn’t giving birth to freedom. It’s giving birth to a whole new Beast …
“TUNIS, Oct 23 (Reuters) – Tunisian voters poured into polling stations to vote on Sunday in their country’s first free election, 10 months after vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in an act of protest that started the Arab Spring uprisings.
The leader of an Islamist party predicted to win the biggest share of the vote was heckled outside a polling station by people shouting ‘terrorist’, highlighting tensions between Islamists and secularists being felt across the Arab world.
Bouazizi’s dramatic suicide, prompted by despair over poverty and government repression, provoked mass protests which forced President Zine al-Abidine to flee Tunisia. This in turn inspired revolts in Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria.
Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the moderately Islamist Ennahda party, took his place in the queue outside a polling station in the El Menzah 6 district of the capital.
‘This is an historic day,’ he said, accompanied by his wife and daughter, both wearing Islamic headscarves, or hijabs. ‘Tunisia was born today. The Arab Spring was born today.’…
‘Islam should be respected again in Tunisia,’ said Hasna Ben Zid, a 38-year-old woman wearing a hijab, ‘That’s why I’m going to vote for the only Islamic party.’
But the party’s rise worries secularists who believe their country’s liberal, modernist traditions are now under threat…
‘I’m not so optimistic about the result of the vote,’ said Ziyed Tijiani, a 26-year-old architect who had just cast his vote. His forefinger was stained with the blue ink used in polling stations to stop ballot fraud.
‘I think the Islamists could win. It’s not want I want. They may try to change the way I live,’ he said, accompanied by a young woman in jeans and T-shirt.” Read more.
Post-Revolt Tunisia Wrestles with Resurgent Islam, ‘We Want Islamic Schools All Over the Country’ - “For Walid, Tunisia’s revolution is an opportunity to turn one of the Arab world’s most secular countries towards Islam. ‘We paid a heavy price for the revolution so we are not ready to let secularists and supporters of the Zionists control our destiny,’ said the young man, with a beard and a long white robe, after prayers in the Omrane district of the capital. ‘We want to respect our religion and to apply Islamic law in our country.’ ‘We want Islamic schools all over the country.’” Read more.
Obama praises Tunisians on first post-revolt vote – “US President Barack Obama congratulated Tunisians Sunday on casting ballots in their country’s first election since the revolt that started the Arab Spring, calling it ‘an important step forward.’ ‘The United States reaffirms its commitment to the Tunisian people as they move toward a democratic future that offers dignity, justice, freedom of expression, and greater economic opportunity for all,’ Obama said in a statement.” Read more.
He said his government ‘again and again made decisive moves’ suggesting that it was now the turn of European leaders to make ‘historical’ decisions.
The socialist government has implemented a series of measures to cut spending and raise revenue, which has provoked fury on the streets.
In violent protests this week outside the Greek Parliament one person died and 200 were injured.
It is clear the austerity measures are having a dramatic effect on the middle class: wages have shrunk, pensions hacked back and thousands of civil servants put on notice.
Pensioner Sotoris Grizas helped found the socialist PASOK party which is now in power.
His pension has already been slashed, now he faces another losing another 20%. Tax increases and rising prices in the shops are adding to the squeeze.
‘The government didn’t predict this crisis, they didn’t plan well, and they failed the Greek people with their negotiations. I will fight to remove them from power,’ he told Sky News.” Read more.
Deadly 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Rocks Eastern Turkey, Dozens of Buildings Collapse, Significant Casualties Reported
Richter Magnitude 7.2 – EASTERN TURKEY
Sunday, October 23, 2011 at 01:41:21 PM
Depth: 20 km (12.4 miles)
“A powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 7.2 shook southeastern Turkey on Sunday, Turkey’s Kandilli Observatory said, triggering the collapse of buildings and killing scores of people.
Turkey’s main seismography center says the quake could have killed up to 1,000 people.
The Kandilli observatory’s estimate is based on the strength of the quake and the structure of the housing in the area.
‘We are estimating a death toll between 500 and 1,000,’ Mustafa Erdik, head of the Kandilli observatory, told a televised news conference Sunday.
‘A lot of buildings collapsed, many people killed, but we don’t know the number. We are waiting for emergency help, its very urgent,’ Zulfukar Arapoglu, the mayor of Ercis district, which was hit badly, told the news broadcaster NTV.” Read more.