ReCap April 2013

ReCap LogoWelcome to the April edition of Best Current News’ ReCap series – brief summaries of selected articles chosen to keep you informed of threats to traditional Judeo-Christian values and western culture by Islamists. In each synopsis there are links provided to the original sources to provide you with more information. Simply click on the underlined portion of each entry in order to access the source information.

United States:  The U.S Army officially declined to award Purple Heart medals to the victims the shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas that occurred in November of 2009. The medal is presented to members of the military who are “wounded or killed in any action against an enemy of the United States.” The Army said awarding the medal would “set the stage for a formal declaration that Major Hasan is a terrorist.” Thus far the U.S. government has classified the attack at Fort Hood as “workplace violence” rather than a terrorist attack.

United States: The Associated Press, reacting to pressure from the Council on American Islamic Relations  (CAIR) revised the term “Islamist” in their stylebook after CAIR complained the term had a negative connotation. The AP now instructs their stylebook subscribers that the term should not be used as “a synonym for Islamic fighters, militants, extremists or radicals.”

United States: The Arab American News reports the Dearborn (Michigan) public schools accommodate Muslim student led prayer in all the schools in the district. The Council for American-Islamic Relations is also meeting with other school districts to obtain similar accommodations.

United States: Fox News reports a U.S. Army training instructor included Evangelical Christianity and Catholicism as examples of religious extremism along with organizations such as Al Qaeda, and Hamas during a training brief. Also listed, as a form of religious extremism was the term “Islamophobia.” An Army spokesman said the matter was closed after the instructor removed the slide from the presentation and apologized.

United States: A second defendant in the June 2011 plot to attack a military installation in Seattle, Washington was sentenced to 17 years in prison after pleading guilty. Walli Mujahidh planned to use grenades and machine guns to attack the Military Entrance Processing Center.

United States: In two separate cases – one in New York and the other in Ohio, Muslim workers are suing their employers for denying workplace accommodations for their religious practices. U.S. employers are increasingly forced to allow Muslim workers time during the work day for prescribed times of prayer and time off on Fridays for weekly Muslim services.

United States: Sharif El-Gamal, the developer of the controversial Park51 also known as the “Ground Zero” mosque property purchased a five-story adjacent building to the sight. With this purchase he now controls three properties within the city block.

United States: Three Americans were killed and 264 were injured when two pressure cooker bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon on April 15. Chechen brothers, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were identified as the bombers. After pictures were released of the suspects, they allegedly killed a MIT police officer, stole a car and initiated an exchange of gunfire with police injuring 16 police officers. Tamerlan was killed during the exchange. Dzhokhar escaped but was later apprehended by police. The brothers reportedly were motivated by extremist Islamist beliefs and learned how to make the bombs through consulting al Qaeda’s online magazine, Inspire.

United States: A Pennsylvania mother rescued her son who had been abducted by his father and was living in Egypt.  Kalliope (Kalli) Atteya traveled with her son and ex-husband, Mohamed to visit Mohamed’s aging mother in July of 2011. While there, her ex-husband abandoned Kalli on the side of the road and abducted their son. After numerous attempts to appeal to the Egyptian authorities for help, she sought the help of a private company. When the company failed to find her son, she hired a local guide who helped her find her son, and she personally rescued him, grabbing him as he stepped off a school bus in Alexandria, Egypt.  Atteya’s son is one of many American children abducted by a parent and taken to a foreign country. In 2011, there were more than 1,300 similar cases according to the U.S. State Department.

United States: The National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association developed a program called the Muslim Journeys Bookshelf which is a collection of 25 books, 4 DVDs and programming resources that have been given to 843 humanities councils, public, academic and community college libraries to use in presenting Islamic programs across the United States.

United States: The National Review reported there were at least 7,518 illegal aliens apprehended in 2011 from four nations that the U.S. government calls “state sponsors of terrorism” and ten additional “countries of interest.” The fourteen nations include Afghanistan, Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Yemen, Nigeria, Iraq and Cuba.

Canada: Chiheb Eseghaier and Raed Jaser suspected Al Qaeda terrorists were arrested for plotting to derail a New York to Toronto passenger train. According to Superintendent Doug Best of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police this was the first known Al Qaeda planned attack in Canada. CBC News reported that Canada had tried to deport Raed Jaser in 2004.

Canada: A Toronto single father was banned from watching his nine-year-old daughter’s swim class because of “religious reasons.”  The class listed on the city’s website did not indicate that males could not observe the lessons held at a public pool.  After the blinds to the viewing area were closed to him, the staff informed the father the policy was because of Muslim women. Female only swim programs began 20 years ago based on “accommodating cultural and religious practices and requirements.” Currently nine Toronto pools have female only swim programs.

Afghanistan: As Operation Enduring Freedom continues in Afghanistan 17 coalition military fatalities were reported in the month of April. This brings the total fatalities since the operation began in 2001 to 3,291 with the majority of the coalition fatalities (2,207) being U.S. soldiers.

Austria:  The Turkish Muslim community claims they successfully forced Lego, a Danish toy manufacturer to withdraw its production of a Star Wars toy set, Jabba’s Palace.” The toy based is off the 1983 film Return of the Jedi. Jabba the Hutt is a hookah-smoking villain who lives in a domed building that Muslims claimed resembled Istanbul’s Hagia Sophia mosque. Initially Lego denied the request to stop production of the toy, but after a meeting between Muslim leaders and Lego executives the company announced it would end production from 2014 onwards. According to the company, “’Jabba’s Palace’ was planned from the beginning to be in the assortment only until the end of 2013.”

Britain: A Christian worker, fired from Heathrow airport after five Muslim colleagues complained she was anti-Islamic won the right to appeal her unfair dismissal case. Nohad Halawi says she lost her job after expressing her concerns about intimidation that she received from Muslim workers at the airport. She lost her tribunal case in 2011, because it was ruled her job was part time and commissioned-based freelance rather than a staff employee.

Britain:  BBC Panorama released a program called “Secrets of Britain’s Sharia Councils.” The 29-minute program takes a look at sharia councils across Britain and how the rulings of these councils can oftentimes be in opposition to British laws. Among some of surprising findings are that Muslim women are obtaining Islamic marriages rather than civil marriages in Britain that are not recognized under British law. This means when it comes to divorce the women are not entitled to rights that a married couple under British civil law would possess.  It also means a Muslim man can take more than one wife since he is not married under British law.

Australia:  Qantas Airlines will no longer serve pork or meals prepared with alcohol because it is forbidden in Islam on flights to and from Europe because of its partnership with Middle Eastern airline Emirates. Because of the partnership, flights from Australia to Europe fly via Dubai instead of Singapore. Several other airlines also observe the Islamic ban including Virgin Australia who serves halal accredited meals on its flights to and from Abu Dhabi Halal simply means permitted and indicates the meat served has been prepared according to Islamic law.

Egypt: Violence continued against Egypt’s Coptic Christians as gangs of Muslims attacked St. Mark Cathedral during a funeral service for six slain Christians – including one intentionally set on fire. Two additional Christians were killed and hundreds forced to hide in the back of the Cathedral until the violence subsided. Raymond Ibrahim of FrontPage Magazine described the significance of the attack: “…this jihadi attack on St Mark Cathedral is no different for Copts than a jihadi attack on the Vatican would be for Catholics. Or, to maintain the analogy, but from the other side, it would be no different than a ‘crusader’ attack on the Grand Mosque of Mecca for Muslims.”