Back to home page

Left Shoe News        31 July, 2002


,/p> Prophet Muhammad said, "When one of you puts on sandals, he should first put on the right foot " (Hadith Sahih Muslim 877)

He also said, "He who does not obey Muhammad disobeys God." (Hadith Mishkat 144)

“The Muslim world is hopelessly backward” – Mahatir


20/7/02 Calling the Islamic world “hopelessly backward”, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad urged Muslim nations to empower themselves with modern knowledge and to develop weapons to defend themselves.
Dr. Mahatir criticized Muslims who devoted themselves entirely to religious studies at the expense of information that would lead to global influence. “Not a single Muslim country is to be found among the developed nations of the world” Dr Mahatir said. “The Muslim world of today is hopelessly weak and backward”.
2/7/02 UN report criticizes Arab states.
A United Nations report on development in the Arab world, carried out by Arabs, says the region is not developing as fully as the rest of the world, with the exception of sub-Saharan Africa. Lack of democracy and consequent poor governance lies behind all other problems. Freedom of expression and accountability, a media which is “at best partly free” squanders the advantage of oil wealth. Oil revenues are not reinvested productively and Arab unemployment, at 15 per cent, is the highest in the developing world. The GDP for all Arab countries together is less than the GDP for Spain.
Women occupy only 3.5 per cent of all seats in Arab parliaments, in countries where there are parliaments and where women have a vote. In many, women suffer unequal citizenship and one in every two Arab women can neither read nor write.. The use of Arab women's capabilities remains the lowest in the world in quantitative terms. Spending on education has actually fallen in the last seven years and school enrolments are not keeping up with rapid population growth. The Arab world has the lowest internet access and usage. The growing army of young people face an uncertain future with half of adolescents expressing a desire to emigrate.
12/7/02 Modernity is also a state of mind.
Some Muslims furiously reject modernity and all its works, insisting their own Islamic culture is superior and self-sufficient. A secular life-style is needed: someone who contemplates the supernatural and gets his “science” from the Qur'an is not able to contribute much to an improved world. For a thousand years in the West, real knowledge stagnated while clerics debated how many angels could dance on the point of a pin. In Iran, too, the intellectuals argue that the clergy have failed in their attempt to govern a modern state, and should now take a back seat. Women are wanting to play a bigger role in society and youth are impatient for a richer life. The ayatollahs have been unable to prevent them accessing satellite television and the Internet.
Pakistan, on the other hand, is facing a showdown between fundamentalism and modernity. It confronts a deadly mix of poverty, patriarchy and religious extremism. The madrasas, mosque schools, which provided thousands of recruits for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization and other militant groups, have been put on notice to provide meaningful education or face closure.
20/7/02 Scientists create artificial life.
Two scientists at the State University of New York have created an artificial polio virus from non-living amino-acids. Once in a host, viruses can reproduce and spread. This artificial one multiplied and paralysed the mice into which it had been injected. We have no doubt that the day is not far off when more complex living matter can be made from non-living chemicals. The research is exciting in that amino-acids were formed from the elements carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen in Earth's primordial “soup”, probably by the action of lightning.

14/7/02 PAS threatens death for apostasy, hudud and qisas laws for non-muslims.
The PAS (Partai Islam se-Malaysia) government in Terengganu has passed some terrifying laws which were a backward step when introduced by Prophet Muhammad in the 7th Century. To kill someone because they change religion is against freedom of conscience and against Article 18 of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states: “Everyone shall have the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion”. This right obviously includes the ability to change one's religion and leave the religion into which he or she was born. What has been described as “Islamo-fascism” expects the right to convert non-muslims to Islam but not allow “desertion from Islam”.
Sharia cannot be made to apply to non-muslims – is PAS trying to drive non-muslims out of Terengganu?
Sharia laws such as amputation for theft, stoning to death for adultery, whipping for fornication, drinking and unsuccessful accusation of rape (e.g. lack of 4 adult, male, Muslim witnesses) are all barbaric and in contravention of Article 7 of the UN Declaration “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman treatment or punishment”
Fortunately the Federal Constitution of Malaysia would not allow the punishments to be carried out, but they do show the sickness of PAS.
17/7/02 Six “deviant” religious groups probed in Selangor
The Selangor Islamic Religious Department is investigating six groups involved in deviant (from the orthodox Sunni sect) teachings. One of them is the Qadiyani movement which was banned in 1974.
12/7/02 Kylie Minogue censored in Malaysia

The video, “Kylie Live in Sydney” is among 195 titles to fall foul of Malaysian censors. Other titles to be blacklisted include Ally McBeal episode “The Queen Bee”, and two editions of Friends, “The Videotape” and “But I'm a Cheerleader”. Also banned are “The Prince of Egypt”, “Seven Years in Tibet”, “Schindler's List” and “Zoolander”.

15/7/02 Pearl murderer defiant after verdict

British-born Islamic militant, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh (above left) reacted defiantly to his death sentence for abducting and murdering US journalist Daniel Pearl (above right). He said Americans deserved the September 11 attacks and that “the war between Islam and the infidels would be decisive”. Three co-defendants who received life sentences had implicated him in the killing. Daniel Pearl disappeared after meeting Omar Sheikh in January while researching an article on militant Islam and a month later a videotape sent to the US consulate in Karachi showed his throat being cut. Pearl's widow, Mariane was pregnant at the time of his abduction and has since given birth to a son, Adam, in Paris.
9/7/02 News out on attempted Musharraf assassination.
Three members of the al-Alami offshoot of the banned Muslim extremist group, Harkat-ul-Mujahideen have been arrested for a failed attempt to set off a car bomb in Karachi in April as General Musharraf's motorcade drove by. Inspector Wasim Aktar of the Paramilitary Rangers has been charged with providing details to them of the president's itinerary.
23/7/02 Four men have been arrested for the attack on a Christian church last year in which 18 people died. Those arrested are said to be members of the outlawed Sunni group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi.
8/7/02 A visiting American Muslim objected to the contents of a sermon in a mosque near Faisalbad. He asked the cleric to confine himself to Islamic teachings and not carry on about the United States. The cleric, Hafiz Abdul Lateef responded by calling on a crowd to attack the American. Police dispersed the crowd and arrested Lateef.
5/7/02 Haziz Ishfaq, a member of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has been arrested on his return from Afghanistan where he had been fighting alongside the Taleban. He had been wanted for killing a high-ranking police-officer and a provincial leader of the Shia Tehrik Jafriaq, and 12 Shia muslims in Punjab province.
13/7/02 Attacks on foreigners continue in Pakistan
Nine foreign tourists, mostly Germans and 3 Pakistanis were injured in a bomb attack in the NW Frontier province. They were part of a tour that had left Rawalpindi to retrace the old Silk Road to China. 17/7/02 Fourteen men have appeared in court in the latter matter and charged with attempted murder and possessing explosives.
There have been several attacks targeting foreigners in Pakistan recently, including the June 14 blast outside the US consulate in Karachi, which killed 12 Pakistanis, and the May 8 car bomb near the Sheraton Hotel which killed 14 people, including 11 French engineers.
20/7/02 Blasphemy death sentence in Pakistan

Anwar Kenneth, a Pakistani Christian confessed to writing hundreds of letters claiming to be a reincarnation of Jesus Christ and so insulting Islam, for whom Jesus is a Muslim prophet.
Bishop Samuel Azariah said he knew Anwar who should have been given medical treatment.
Two weeks ago a Muslim man was stoned to death by hundreds of villagers after being acquitted of blasphemy because he was mentally ill. And last month, a former army officer sentenced to death for claiming to be a prophet was shot dead in jail by an inmate while his appeal, was pending.
22/7/02 Rape and “honour killings” common in some parts of Pakistan.
A report from the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) said more than 150 women were sexually assaulted in the first 6 months of this year in southern Punjab. Also there were about 40 “honour killings” by men who allege the behavior of a woman brought dishonour to their family. Two years ago General Musharraf said “killing in the name of honour is murder and will be treated as such”.
Women's organizations have been incensed by the gang-rape of a woman ordered as punishment by a local tribal council for what her brother was supposed to have done. The government is trying the men responsible as terrorists.
July 2002 On his first visit to Bangladesh, Gen Pervez Musharraf apologized for Pakistani atrocities against Bangladesh during the 1971 war of independence.
July 2002 Hindus killed in Kashmir attacks.
The militant Islamic group, Lashkar-e-Toiba is held responsible for a grenade and arms attack on a shanty town near Jammu, Indian Kashmir. Twenty seven people, mainly women and children were killed and more than 30 injured
23/7/02 A teenage girl was killed and 18 others injured in a grenade attack on a crowded market in Rajouri, Indian Kashmir.
30/7/02 A Hindu pilgrim and the taxi driver were killed and 3 other passengers injured when a taxi on its way to the Amarnath shrine was attacked with a grenade.

31/7/02 Chances for peace in Palestine improve as leading terrorists killed
Hamas and Islamic Jihad planners are being targeted as those responsible for Palestinian and Israeli deaths alike. One of the problems is that they use Palestinian non-combatants as human shields and place their bomb factories in civilian areas.
23/7/02 The military leader of Hamas, Sheikh Salah Shahada was killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza. He had been blamed for many dozens of deaths. Unfortunately civilians, including children, were killed in the raid.
1/7/02 Top bomb-maker of Hamas, Muhanad al-Taher (below)was shot dead when Israeli special forces raided his hideaway in Nablus on Sunday. This terrorist was responsible for the deaths of 117 Israelis.
9/7/02 One of the leading members of Islamic Jihad, Moammar Darghne, 30, was killed in an ambush as he was driving his car near Jenin.


14/7/02 A Hamas bomb factory (above) at Qarara near Khan Younis, southern Gaza Strip was destroyed by Israeli aircraft.
Suicide bombings by Palestinian terrorists have decreased as Israeli troops search the West Bank house by house for them. A curfew is also helping reduce the terror.
31/7/02 Five of the seven students killed in a bomb attack on the cafeteria at Jerusalem's Hebrew University were foreigners, not Israelis it was disclosed today

26/7/02 More than 30 Arab Islamists have been killed in fighting in Chechnya in the past two weeks. It is estimated that more than 200 Arab terrorists still remain in Chechnya.
22/7/02 Yusuf Said Saoudai, an Algerian, was sentenced to 7 years in prison for fighting for the Islamists in Chechnya. He had earlier claimed to be a British national named John Benini from London but the British embassy was unable to support his claim.

5/7/02 A GIA (Armed Islamic Group) bomb killed 35 people in a crowded market in Larba, 25 km S of Algiers. Two foreigners from Niger were among the dead.
8/7/02 Two people were shot dead and 3 others seriously injured at a false road-block in the Batna region.
8/7/02 Militants stabbed to death three brothers in the Annaba region.
The GIA is fighting the secular government with the aim of setting up an Islamic state.


27/7/02 Iran jails opposition members
Thirty-three officials and members of the Freedom Movement have been given prison terms ranging from four months to ten years. The movement was accused of conspiring to change the Islamic regime after its leader, Ebrahim Yazdi (above left) returned from cancer treatment in the United States. The revolutionary court also banned and dissolved the movement.
8/7/02 Iran court puts ban on dancer.
Traditional dancer Mohammed Khordadian (above right) who has been living in Los Angeles visited relatives in Iran. However he was prevented from leaving and spent several months in prison. He has been put under country arrest and forbidden from dancing again or attending weddings for three years. Dancing at weddings is popular in Iran but banned by the Islamic establishment, involving as it does the mixing of sexes.

12/7/02 Bomb plot arrests

Agus Dwirkana, an Indonesian  has been sentenced to 17 years jail for supplying a ton of explosives to the terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah. A second man, Filipino Hussain Ramos is to stand trial on the same charges.
Indonesian Muslim cleric Abu Bakar Ba'asyir (above) is being sought in Indonesia for helping to lead the group. Jemaah Islamiah wants to establish an Islamic state including parts of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

13/7/02 Muslim militants hold UK meeting

A London conference against the US was told that President Bush should stand trial as a war criminal. Yasser al-Sirri, who is facing extradition to the US for sending money to terrorists in Afghanistan complained about the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. One of the five Britons held there is Feroz Abbasi, 22 (above right)
Abu Hamza al-Masri (above left) who lost his hands and left eye fighting in Afghanistan and now preaches at Finsbury Park mosque in London said that Allah would soon provide victory for Islam. His funds were frozen by the US treasury for membership in the Islamic Army of Aden, which claimed responsibility for bombing the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000 during which 17 American sailors were killed.
Organizers of the meeting included the militant group al-Muhajiroun which has encouraged members to join armed struggle abroad.


5/7/02 Egyptian limousine driver, Hesham Hadayet, 41, waited in line at the El Al (Israeli) Airlines counter at Los Angeles International then whipped out a gun and killed two innocent people there. When police went to his apartment in Irving, California they found a notice pinned to his front door “Read the Qur'an”.
20/7/02 A Jordanian-born American of Chechen parents, Omar Shishani, 47, had his name on a security list of people who had trained in Afghanistan. He was detained at Detroit Airport when he arrived back carrying forged cheques worth $12 million. It is not known how the cheques were to be used.
16/7/02 US attitude towards Kurdistan is sickening
“Wolfowitz praises Turkey as a model Muslim nation!” – Sick!
US foreign policy is completely opportunistic. It courts fascist countries such as Turkey for the sake of its global aims. The United States fought for its own independence from Britain, yet it denies the Kurds this same right. And the Kurds are far worse off under Turkey than the Americans ever were under the British. They are not even allowed to use their own language. To listen to Kurdish they must tune into satellite broadcasts from France.
See Chomsky on Turkey.

13/7/02 Sydney Muslim gang-rape convictions
Eighteen young Lebanese Muslims who deliberately targeted 11 non-Muslim teenage girls in a series of gang-rapes in August-September 2000 have been convicted. The rapists appear to have had a strong religious and ethnic motivation wanting to dominate the girls whom they called “Aussie pig” and “Christian shit”. The young Muslims may have to be segregated from other prisoners as, to date, two of them have been brutally assaulted by Aussie crims.
13/7/02 According to RAWA, things are not much better even after the Taliban's defeat. Book reviews