Archive for February 14th, 2008

Hezbollah Chief Declares War on Israel After Militant Commander’s Death

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

There’s no proof that Israel did this, but that’s never stopped Hezbollah before.

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Hezbollah’s leader vowed Thursday to retaliate against Israeli interests anywhere in the world for the assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, one of the militant group’s most notorious operatives, warning of a war without boundaries in a eulogy delivered to throngs of fist-waving mourners.

Israel ordered its military and embassies overseas to go on alert earlier in the day and recommended Jewish institutions around the world do the same, fearing revenge attacks for the car bomb that killed Mughniyeh Tuesday night in Damascus. The former Hezbollah security chief was one of world’s most wanted fugitives, accused of masterminding attacks that killed hundreds of Americans and French in Lebanon in the 1980s.

The fiery speech by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah at Mughniyeh’s funeral signaled that the Iranian-backed Shiite guerrilla group was ending a policy it has proclaimed for years of battling Israel only on Israeli or Lebanese territory, raising the specter of attacks in Western or other countries.

The day’s events in Beirut also raised fears that Lebanon’s internal turmoil could worsen. Earlier in the day, before Hezbollah supporters bid farewell to Mughniyeh, tens of thousands of their pro-Western political opponents filled a downtown Beirut square to mark former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s 2005 assassination.

Original Link.

JERUSALEM – Israel is on high alert today for retaliatory attacks after Hezbollah deputy commander Imad Mughniyah, one of the most wanted terrorists in the world, was assassinated yesterday in a car bomb blast in Syria.

Mughniyah, responsible for infamous deadly attacks against the U.S. and Israel, including involvement in the 1983 bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon, was No. 1 on Israel’s most-wanted list of terrorists.

According to defense officials, Mughniyah was the most important Hezbollah operative, directly planning most of the terror group’s major operations, including the 2006 raid of Israel’s northern border in which two soldiers were kidnapped, promoting Israel’s war against Hezbollah in Lebanon that year. The officials said unlike many other terror leaders who could be easily replaced, Mughniyah’s death was a major blow to Hezbollah, explaining it would take years to replace him.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s office yesterday released a statement denying responsibility for the assassination. An Olmert spokesman today added the prime minister learned of Mughniyah’s death through news reports.

Still, Hezbollah directly blamed Israel for the bombing and vowed retaliation. In a recorded speech played today at Mughniyah’s funeral, Hezbollah chieftain Hassan Nasrallah said his terror group was ready for “open war.”

“You have killed Hajj Imad outside the natural battlefield,” said Nasrallah, addressing Israel and referring to Hezbollah’s claim it only attacks Israel within Lebanon or along the Israeli border in spite of multiple overseas bombings the group carried out against Israeli and Jewish targets.

Original Link.

Valentine’s Day Banned in Saudi Arabia

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Got to love the Media Bias over at CNN.
“Saudi Arabia has asked florists and gift shops to remove all red items until after Valentine’s Day, calling the celebration of such a holiday a sin, local media reported Monday.”
Asked? Um, no. Actually, they ordered the floral shops to remove all red items until after Valentine’s Day, on pain of imprisonment or worse.

(CNN) — Saudi Arabia has asked florists and gift shops to remove all red items until after Valentine’s Day, calling the celebration of such a holiday a sin, local media reported Monday.

“As Muslims we shouldn’t celebrate a non-Muslim celebration, especially this one that encourages immoral relations between unmarried men and women, ” Sheikh Khaled Al-Dossari, a scholar in Islamic studies, told the Saudi Gazette, an English-language newspaper.

Every year, officials with the conservative Muslim kingdom’s Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice clamp down on shops a few days before February 14, instructing them to remove red roses, red wrapping paper, gift boxes and teddy bears. On the eve of the holiday, they raid stores and seize symbols of love.

The virtue and vice squad is a police force of several thousand charged with, among other things, enforcing dress codes and segregating the sexes. Saudi Arabia, which follows a strict interpretation of Islam called Wahhabism, punishes unrelated women and men who mingle in public.

Ahmed Al-Omran, a university student in Riyadh, told CNN that the government decision will give the international media another reason to make fun of the Saudis “but I think that we got used to that by now.”

“I think what they are doing is ridiculous,” said Al-Omran, who maintains the blog ‘Saudi Jeans.’ “What the conservatives in this country need to learn is something called ‘tolerance.’ If they don’t see the permissibility of celebrating such an occasion, then fine — they should not celebrate it. But they have to know they have no right to impose their point of view on others.”

Because of the ban on red roses, a black market has flowered ahead of Valentine’s Day. Roses that normally go for five Saudi riyal ($1.30) fetch up to 30 riyal ($8) on February 14, the Saudi Gazette said.

“Sometimes we deliver the bouquets in the middle of the night or early morning, to avoid suspicion,” one florist told the paper.
Don’t Miss

Saudi Arabia has often come under criticism for its treatment of women, most recently in a United Nations report that blasted the kingdom for widespread discrimination. Under Saudi law, women are subject to numerous restrictions, including a prohibition against driving and a requirement that they get a man’s permission to travel or have surgery.

A businesswoman told the Times of London this month that she was detained and strip-searched by the religious police for holding a meeting in a coffee shop with male colleagues.

Two years ago, a teenager was raped by seven men who found her alone with a man unrelated to her. The government sentenced the 19-year-old woman to 200 lashes and six months in prison for being in the company of a man who wasn’t a family member or her husband. She was later pardoned. The seven rapists were sentenced to two to nine years in prison.

Original Link.

RIYADH (AFP) — True to tradition, Saudi Arabia’s religious police are zealously enforcing a ban on Valentine’s Day symbols in the austere Muslim kingdom.

But in other Gulf Arab countries, celebrations of the traditional lovers’ day are now common and appear to be gaining acceptance.

“We have not been selling red roses for a week and we will not bring in any until Valentine’s Day is over,” said Alan, a Filipino working at a flower shop in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

He said a member of the religious police, known as Muttawa, visited the shop a week ago and ordered the florists not to display any red roses in the runup to February 14.

At a gift shop in the city, a salesman said the Muttawa had told him to remove from the shelves any red-colour gifts symbolising the feast of love.

“We also removed red gift boxes so as not to expose ourselves to punishment, which could be to close the shop and arrest staff,” said Mohammad Hassanein al-Hawari.

The Muttawa, whose formal name is the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, does not stop at just openly inspecting shops. “Agents” in camouflage clothes check to ensure their orders are heeded, he told AFP.

One member of the religious police, who gave his name only as Abdurrahman, checked out shops lining Prince Sultan Street in Olaya district for anything smacking of Valentine’s Day. None was evident.

“The West exports to us habits and feasts which contradict sharia (Islamic law) and wants us to imitate them. We want to make sure that sharia is implemented. We punish anyone who commits or abets a violation,” he said.

Saudi Arabia declared the feast named after the Christian patron saint of love a “pagan Christian holiday” through a fatwa (religious edict) issued seven years ago by its grand mufti, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh.

Original Link.

Atheist Lawyer Tries Again to Get ‘Under God’ Nixed From Pledge

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Here we go again.

David Cortman, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund, says [Atheist lawyer Michael Newdow] seems to be on a mission to destroy America’s Christian heritage. He believes Newdow will not be happy until all of the founding fathers’ documents are censored to remove any reference to God.

Newdow has filed the latest in his series of lawsuits against references to God in government oaths, ceremonies, and pledges in the U.S. District Court for New Hampshire — a move that Cortman equates with “venue shopping.”

“Enough is enough,” states Cortman. “He should not be allowed to roam the country and try to find a suitable court that will agree with his musings.”

Cortman finds it ironic that Newdow complains about the imposition created when an atheist is allegedly “forced” to listen to the reference to God in the Pledge of Allegiance. “While he complains consistently about the impositions of certain religious beliefs on him from the majority,” he continues, “his goal is actually to impose his beliefs on the rest of us.”

Original Link.

Palestinians: Biblical Hero Joseph ‘Was Really a Muslim’

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

More lunacy from the pali terrorist.

In the wake of an attempt by Palestinians to burn down Joseph’s Tomb – Judaism’s third holiest site – Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction issued a statement denying it will help restore the shrine, referring to both the shrine and the biblical patriarch as “Muslim.”

“Pay no attention to the rumors that we will work with Israel to restore the burial site of the holy Muslim Joseph,” said the statement, issued from Nablus, the biblical city of Shechem. “We are going to guard this holy Muslim site.”

Joseph’s Tomb is the believed burial place of the son of Jacob who was sold by his brothers into slavery and later became viceroy of Egypt.

Palestinian security officials in Nablus said Monday they were called to the tomb to find 16 burning tires inside the sacred structure. A Palestinian police official who inspected the site told WND there was some fire damage to the tomb.

He said the Palestinian Authority, fearing embarrassment, immediately formed a joint committee from the PA’s Force 17, Preventative Security Services and Palestinian intelligence, to find out who was behind the fire.

The move comes after Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced last week he would ask Israel’s Defense Ministry to work with the PA to reconstruct and restore the tomb, parts of which were destroyed in 2000 by Palestinians, including known PA security officers.

Under the 1993 Oslo Accords, which granted nearby strategic territory to the Palestinians, Joseph’s Tomb was supposed to be accessible to Jews and Christians. But following repeated attacks against Jewish worshippers at the holy site by gunmen associated with then-Palestinian Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat’s militias, then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak in October 2000 ordered an Israeli unilateral retreat from the area.

Within less than an hour of the Israeli retreat, Palestinian rioters overtook Joseph’s Tomb and reportedly began to ransack the site. Palestinian mobs reportedly tore apart books, destroying prayer stands and grinding out stone carvings in the Tomb’s interior. A Muslim flag was hoisted over the tomb.

Original Link.