1. Left Shoe News, 31 May, 2002

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Left Shoe News, 31 May, 2002

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)


May 10, 2002 Islamists attack Dagestan Parade
Thirty six people were killed and 150 injured when Islamists set off a bomb, packed with metal fragments, by remote control on a Victory (WWII) Day Parade in Kaspiysk, Dagestan.
Among the dead were 13 children and 18 bandsmen. The children were predominantly Muslim but the area, bordering on Chechnya, does not want an Islamic state.
Kaspiysk suffered an even more devastating attack in 1996 when a bomb struck an apartment block housing border guards, killing 68 people.
A mine was defused before the celebrations began in Grozny, capital of Chechnya. Rebels have confirmed the death in March of Khattab, leading Islamic militant from Jordan, linked to al-Qaeda.


26 May, 2002 Cuba backs war on terror.
Addressing a crowd of 300,000 people in Sancti Spiritus, central Cuba, President Fidel Castro said not a drop of American blood had been spilt because of terrorist acts commissioned by Cuba. The American people could count on Cuba's friendly, fraternal and generous people in the struggle against terrorism. Cuba had never cultivated hatred against the American people or blamed them for the aggressions perpetrated by their government.
We see George W. Bush as playing to the Cuban exile vote in Florida to ensure that his brother, Jeb, is re-elected as governor later this year.


May 18, 2002 Islamists active in detention centers
The authorities automatically lock away all asylum seekers - including children - who arrive without the proper documentation and claim refugee status. The conservative government in Australia has defended the policy of mandatory detention on health and security grounds.
There are currently around 2,500 detainees in camps on the Australian mainland. Amnesty International claims some minority religious groups are being persecuted and physically assaulted by Muslim asylum seekers. For example, Christians and Mandeans, who follow the teachings of John the Baptist. The latter claim to have fled persecution in Iran, where their faith is not recognised. There are more than 100 Mandeans in detention in Australia.
Amnesty International's refugee co-ordinator Doctor Graham Thom says intolerance and vilification are now serious problems inside Australia's immigration camps. "The reports we're hearing say that Mandeans, Tamils and other Hindus and Christians - in particular Christian converts - are facing violence or threats of violence from certain Islamists with the detention centres. "They are being called infidels. They are being refused access to kitchens and things like that because people think they are unclean as infidels. These groups, who often refuse to participate in riots, are physically assaulted.
Earlier this month a newspaper report in Western Australia alleged a Islamic leader had called for a jihad - or holy war - on the small Mandean community at the Port Hedland detention centre.


4 May, 2002 More Christians killed in Ambon
The Indonesian police have arrested the leader of one of the country's most militant Islamic organisations. Jafar Umar Thalib, head of Laskar Jihad, was picked up after leaving the Moluccan Islands where his organisation has been accused of involvement in a massacre of Christian villagers last weekend. Mr Thalib, a 40-year-old Afghan war veteran, denies having links with al-Qaeda, although he met Bin Laden in Pakistan in 1987.

In a speech in front of thousands of Muslims in the city of Ambon, the provincial capital of the Moluccan Islands, Mr Jafar called for a renewed holy war against the Christian community. He told the crowd to prepare their weapons for the conflict. Two days later, a Muslim mob attacked a Christian village on the outskirts of the city killing at least 12 people, including women and a young baby. Dozens of houses and a historic church were also burned down.
Two years ago, Jafar Umar Thalib sent thousands of Laskar Jihad fighters to the Moluccan Islands leading to a major escalation in the conflict. But the government and security forces did nothing to stop them.
10/5/02 Indonesia has said it will expel thousands of armed Muslim militants from the eastern Moluccas islands following the arrest of their leader six days ago.
The militant leader, Thalib, appears to have the backing of influential Muslims including Vice-President Hamzah Haz, who visited him in his police cell on Wednesday. Mr Haz has denied accusations that he was trying to interfere in the case and said he was visiting Mr Jafar as a "Muslim brother" and in his capacity as leader of Indonesia's largest Muslim political party, the United Development Party.
The fighting in the eastern Moluccas has left more than 6,000 people dead and forced 750,000 to flee their homes since January 1999.
Lasker Jihad aims to introduce vicious Sharia law in Indonesia, where Muslims form about 85% of the population of 210 million.

18 May, 2002 Al-Qaeda responsible for synagogue blast.
Al-Qaeda was responsible for last month's attack on a Tunisian synagogue which killed 19 people, including 14 German tourists.
Abdelazeem al-Mohajer - described by the newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat as an al-Qaeda leader - was quoted as saying the attack on the Ghriba synagogue by al-Qaeda member, Nizar Nouar proved to the US that its military campaign had not defeated Osama Bin Laden's organisation.
"The network is preparing to make a new, more painful strike against the Americans." "Our network is not confined to a single spot on this earth. We are scattered all over the globe." He added that Osama Bin Laden and Taleban leader Mullah Omar were both still alive.
11 May, 2002 PEACE NOW - over 60,000 rally in Tel Aviv

Between 60,000 and 100,000 Israelis rallied demanding the immediate withdrawal of the Israeli army and settlers from Palestinian territories and to pursue the Saudi peace plan which specifies a full withdrawal in return for a full peace with Arab countries.
"From tonight, [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon can be assured there is no consensus for a military operation" in Gaza, said the leader of the main opposition Meretz party, Yossi Sarid.
Parliamentary speaker Avraham Burg, called for his Labor Party to withdraw from Mr Sharon's hardline coalition government.
PEACE NOW does not see itself as caving in to Palestinian suicide bombers. The inhabitants of Gaza have had a fright. In the main they did not welcome retaliation by the IDF. Hamas, who claimed responsibility for last week's suicide bombing near Tel Aviv which killed 16 Israelis, said they were ready for them but this just shows how little Hamas values the lives of Palestinians. Peace activists say the cycle of violence must stop - retaliation does not seem to be teaching some Palestinians a positive lesson.

12 May, 2002 Did you think Sharon was a hawk?

Binyamin Netanyahu, former PM of Israel, who is challenging Sharon's leadership of Likud told the central committee of Likud that "there must never be a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river.". They supported this statement leaving Sharon no room to maneuver This goes down well with the Ultra-Orthodox Jews who want a Greater Israel on the boundaries promised them by God 3,000 years ago. But to ethnically cleanse the West Bank and Gaza and to rebuild the Temple on the site of the al-Aqsa mosque **, is totally unacceptable. This vision is shared by the US Christian far-right but what about George W. Bush? What is he going to do about the Likud threat to peace?

** The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. The Temple Mount was a pile of rubble and garbage when, after the Muslim invasion, Caliph Umar went there in February 638. So much for Prophet Muhammad flying to "the Furthest Mosque" (See Qur'an 17:1 and Hadith) on the back of Buraq in 622! The Muslims built a wooden mosque there in 638.

19/5/02 Does Sharon want Hamas to lead the Palestinians?
I had merely thought Sharon was mistaken about Yasser Arafat. But an Israeli peacenik has cleared this up. Arafat and the Palestinian authority are being marginalised so that there are no moderate forces left in Palestine which can sue for peace and gain Palestinian statehood. This is in line with the push for a Greater Israel.
Hamas is opposed to an Israeli state, full stop. So both Hamas (already said to have 30% support) and Sharon will battle it out and Sharon sees himself winning, eventually clearing the Arabs from their land. Neither side cares about the death and destruction that will ensue.
7 May, 2002 Israel bomb blast
At least 16 people have been killed in a suspected suicide attack on the crowded Spiel snooker club in the suburb of Rishon Letzion. The blast happened just as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon began talks with US President George Bush in Washington.

27/5/02 Bomber targets Israeli shopping mall


A suicide bomber has killed himself and two Israelis - including a small child - in the town of Petah Tikva, near Tel Aviv. The bomber struck as Israeli forces stepped up raids on Palestinian-controlled areas in the West Bank as part of the army's attempt to stop Palestinian militant attacks.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat condemned the bombing, saying it would only harm their cause. However, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed offshoot of Mr Arafat's Fatah group, claimed responsibility for the attack. The bomber detonated his explosives outside an ice cream parlour and coffee shop at the entrance to a shopping centre in the Em Hamoshavot district.
12 May, 2002 Israelis probed for 'targeting Arabs'
Israeli security officers are questioning four Jewish settlers (Yarden Morag, Shlomo Dvir and Ofer Gamliel and Noam Federman) suspected of placing a bomb at an Arab girls' school in East Jerusalem. Police now say they are investigating whether the four men are linked to a series of terror attacks against Arab targets carried out over the past two years Noam Federman, a member of the oulawed Kach party, which advocates the expulsion of Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza, and Menashe Levinger, the son of a leading West Bank rabbi, are suspected of helping the others acquire weapons.
The Israeli human rights organisation B'Tselem says that since the beginning of the Palestinian uprising in September 2000, 12 Palestinians have been killed and dozens injured in attacks by Israeli extremists.
28 May, 2002 Three Israeli settlers shot dead
Three Israeli students have been shot dead by a Palestinian gunman at the Jewish settlement of Itamar near Nablus in the West Bank.


9 May, 2002 Islamists bomb bus
Dozens of people with links to al-Qaeda have been arrested in Pakistan's southern Sindh province in connection with a fatal bomb attack on a bus carrying foreign nationals in the provincial capital, Karachi. Wednesday's suspected suicide attack on the bus killed 15 people, including 11 French workers. Three Pakistanis were also killed and more than 20 people were wounded in the blast.
The New Zealand national cricket team, who were staying at the nearby Pearl Continental Hotel, called off their Pakistan tour, saying they would return home immediately.
14/5/02 Police kill Pakistan's most wanted man
Police in Pakistan say one of the country's most notorious sectarian extremists, Riaz Basra, has been shot dead. They said he was killed along with three other militants during a raid on a village in Punjab province. Riaz Basra was the founder of a militant Sunni Muslim group, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, held responsible for attacks on the minority Shia community and Iranians in Pakistan. Police say they arrived just as Riaz Basra and his heavily-armed accomplices were about to attack the home of a prominent Shia in Vehari district, 300 kms south of Lahore.
7 May, 2002 Pakistan cleric gunned down
Gunmen in Pakistan have shot dead a well-known Islamic cleric, Ghulam Murtaza Malik, in a late-night attack in Lahore. Police said the attackers, on motorcycles, also killed Mr Malik's driver and a police constable who gave chase.
Ghulam Murtaza Malik was a Sunni scholar who lectured regularly on state-run Pakistani radio and television. Lahore police said they had no immediate clues who was responsible for the killing, but correspondents say sectarian clashes between Shi'ites and Sunni Muslims are common in Pakistan.


23/5/02 Sudan plane bombs Christian village
A government Antonov bomber dropped 16 bombs on the village of Rier in western Upper Nile Province killing 15 people, including many children and injuring 90.
NTA, a Norwegian aid organization, says it has flown dozens of wounded people to hospital, some with hands and legs lost to shrapnel.
The Islamic government in the north is fighting against southern rebels who do not want Sharia, Islamic law. Over 2 million people have died so far, many because food aid is denied them.


2 May, 2002 Islamist killings in Algeria.
The GIA (Armed Islamic Group) have killed 31 people in two separate massacres in the Tiaret region of western Algeria. Twenty people were killed and 5 wounded at Ksar-Chellala. Another 11 people were killed in Sidi Khaled, on the outskirts of the town of Tiaret.
Sixteen people, including 8 children and 4 women were killed last week during another attack in the region.
Since the beginning of the year more than 450 people, including about 150 Islamic fundamentalists, have been killed in Algeria's brutal civil war. Total death toll since 1991 is put at 150,000.
Last week 14 prisoners, mainly Islamists, died when they set their mattresses on fire at Serkedj prison.
10/5/02 The GIA exploded a bomb at Cherchel market killing one person and injuring several others.

23/5/02 Philippines bombing suspect arrested.
Noor Mohammad Umog, aka Abu Muslim Al Ghazie, was arrested on Wednesday. He is held responsible for a series of bombings in the southern Philippines last month which killed 15 people and injured nearly 100. He is alleged to have headed a special Abu Sayyaf operations which threatened businesses with bombings unless they gave the group money.
Martin Burnham, Abu Sayyaf hostage for a year, is reportedly seriously ill and being carried around on a stretcher.
4 May 2002 Police in the northern Philippines raided a Muslim school used as a training camp and seized three automatic rifles and material for making bombs. The men arrested were members of Jema-ah Islamiya with links to Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda. All the men are Muslims, some recent converts from Christianity.

Saudi Arabia
16/5/02 Saudi torture condemned by United Nations.
The UN Committee against Torture has criticized Saudi Arabia over the amputations and floggings it carries out under Sharia, Islamic law. Such penalties violate international conventions against cruel and degrading treatment.
Amnesty International says that the kingdom is guilty of widespread human rights abuses, with the silent consent of western powers which are reliant on Saudi oil.

29/5/02 Oppose Terengganu hudud laws.
Women and Family Minister Datuk Shahrizat Abdul Jalib has urged women leaders in Malaysia to pressure the Terengganu state government to withdraw its proposed Syariah Criminal Enactment which encourages the discrimination of women. For example, Section 9 (2) of the Bill states that a woman who alleges rape but cannot provide clear or circumstantial evidence will be guilty of qazaf (slanderous accusation) and liable to be whipped 80 times. As proof the woman must provide four adult male Muslim witnesses to the crime, or alternatively get the rapist to make a confession. Women and non-Muslims, male or female, cannot act as witnesses.
What does PAS propose for women's legal aspects of marriage, such as divorce, alimony, property distribution and child custody?
13/5/02 The Islamic Kelantan state government boycotted Saturday's closing ceremony of the National Water Festival because of mingling of sexes on the stage. The dancers of Istana Budaya and singer Siti Nahaliza were seen by 90,000 folks from Kelantan and Terengganu, and the Sultan and Raja Perempuan of Kelantan but the chief minister of PAS (Islamic Party) disallowed the state exco from turning up.