Syria – Extremist group ‘executes’ 15-year-old Syrian boy for heresy


 

Monday, 10 June 2013
The gunmen belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a militant group that started off known as the Jabhat al-Nusra Front, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (File photo: Reuters)
Reuters, Amman

Members of an Al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo executed a 15-year-old boy in front of his parents on Sunday as punishment for what the group regarded as a heretical comment, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Mohammad Qataa was shot in the face and neck a day after being seized, said the pro-opposition monitoring group, which is based in Britain and uses a network of observers across Syria.

“The Observatory cannot ignore these crimes, which only serve the enemies of the revolution and the enemies of humanity,” said the group’s leader Rami Abdulrahman.

A photo released by the Observatory showed Qataa’s face with his mouth and jaw bloodied and destroyed, as well as a bullet wound in his neck.

The Observatory, which based its report on witness accounts of the killing, said Qataa, who was a street vendor selling coffee in the working-class Shaar neighborhood, had been arguing with someone when he was overheard saying: “Even if the Prophet Mohammad comes down [from heaven], I will not become a believer.”

The gunmen, who belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, a militant group that started off known as the Jabhat al-Nusra Front, took Qatta on Saturday and brought him back alive in the early hours of Sunday to his wooden stand, with whiplash marks visible on his body.

“People gathered around him and a member of the fighting brigade said: ‘Generous citizens of Aleppo, disbelieving in God is polytheism and cursing the prophet is a polytheism. Whoever curses even once will be punished like this.”

“He then fired two bullets from an automatic rifle in view of the crowd and in front of the boy’s mother and father, and got into a car and left,” the report said.

Abdulrahman said the boy’s mother had pleaded with the killers, whose Arabic suggested they might not be Syrian, not to shoot her son. Qataa’s parents said the youth had taken part in pro-democracy demonstrations in Aleppo.

Since last year, large parts of the city have fallen under the control of Islamist brigades, including the al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra Front, as well as other rebel units.

Swedish missionary dies after Pakistan shooting


Swedish missionary dies after Pakistan shooting

Published: 13 Dec 12

The Swedish charity worker who was shot in the chest in Pakistan last week died in a Stockholm hospital on Wednesday night.

Sveriges Television (SVT) reported that 71-year-old Birgitta Almeby died at the Karolinska Hospital in Stockholm late on Wednesday.

She was receiving treatment after having been flown home to Sweden for specialist medical care for her injuries.

Niclas Lindgren, director of the missionary wing of the Pentecostal church in Sweden, said it was hard to come to grips with Almeby’s killing.

“Birgitta worked with social issues like education and health care. If she’d worked with political issues, it may have been understandable why she got murdered,” he told The Local.

“There was no indication that there was a threat to her life. It was very unexpected. As it is now, we don’t know what the motive was or why she was killed.”

Lindgren added that it was “too early to say” whether the murder will affect the missionary’s work in Pakistan.

Speaking with Christian newspaper Dagen, a representative from the Pentecostal church in Köping said Almeby’s injuries had resulted in serious brain damage, leaving little hope that she would ever fully recover.

Almeby was attacked in Lahore, Pakistan‘s second largest city, on the eastern border with India last Monday.

“She was returning from her office and was attacked when she arrived in front of her home in the Model Town neighbourhood,” Awais Malik, a senior police official told AFP.

She was working in Lahore for the US-founded Full Gospel Assemblies, which describes itself as a “church fellowship” with congregations all over the world.

The woman had lived in Pakistan for almost forty years.

Malik said on Monday that the culprits had not yet been identified.

The missionary wing of the Pentecostal church in Sweden still has one family in Pakistan, according to press officer Noomi Lind:

“But they are safe at the moment, as far as we can see. So they are going to stay for the time being,” she told The Local.

Lahore, a city of eight million, suffered a string of high-profile bombings blamed on Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked militants in 2010.

In August 2011, US development worker Warren Weinstein was kidnapped after gunmen tricked their way into his Lahore home. Pakistani officials believe he is being held by al-Qaeda and Taliban extremists in Pakistan’s lawless
northwest.

In April, a British Muslim Red Cross worker was beheaded nearly four months after being kidnapped in the southwestern city of Quetta.

The Local/AFP/ej/og

As Obama celebrates, Yemen is hit with a drone strike


by Avaaz Teamposted 09 November 2012 10:13

Americans protest the use of drones

Americans protest the use of drones (Getty)

Just hours after President Barack Obama celebrated his re-election early Wednesday morning, it appears he approved a drone strike in Yemen that killed three people and wounded two. Reports indicate that the strike, which hit less than 40km from Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, was targeted at three suspected members of al-Qaeda.

The US has been stepping up its drone attacks in Yemen as it backs the country’s forces struggling to fend-off al-Qaida militants who have succeeded in seizing large areas in the south of the country. But the US’s use of these deadly robot weapons in its “war on terror” efforts has attracted widespread condemnation, not least because the attacks have likely killed hundreds of innocent civilians and children in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.

Also, studies have shown that drones are a useful recruitment tool for extremists, especially in Pakistan where anti-American sentiment is so high that it was the only country in the world to have expressed a preference for Mitt Romney over Obama in a BBC poll.

As Obama begins his second term, he must consider the message he is sending by using robots to kill defenceless citizens. Is this the kind of leadership the world was hoping for as they listened to his powerful acceptance speech earlier this week?

Learn more: See and hear the devastating cost of drone attacks for 800,000 Pakistanis, and learn about the dangerous precedent the US’s robot war sets for the rest of the world.

Sources: Times of India, Global Voices, Avaaz

I am not LEFT, I am not RIGHT… I am not HINDU, I am not MUSLIM… I am just a Journalist.


My Case: Let the Jury decide

By Syed Hassan Kazim in http://kindlemag.in

2012-08-30

This time I am not going to write about any particular incident and events surrounding it. Because in a journalist’s life, there comes a time when he has to clarify regarding his own belief , principles, ideas and his own prism through which he sees the things happening around him. After writing for a considerable period of time, he is confronted with an avalanche of questions, and attacked from all sides, left, right and the centre. So please bear with me this time, while I write about my understanding of certain things while standing like a culprit in the ‘’ Janta ki Adalat’’ aka, the jury of the masses.

 

In a short journalistic career of 5 years, I have been attacked from each and every side, from many people because some think that I am an advocate of Islamism, which I am totally not. I hate the radicalism prevailing in my own religion as much as I hate the orthodoxy prevailing in the other. The rightists think that I am leftist and the leftists think that I am a rightist. If I write against the crimes of Narendra ‘’ Milesovic’’ Modi,  I am branded as the sympathizer of Al Qaeda. If I pen down something against Al Qaeda and other radicalists and ‘’Lashkars’’ then I am regarded as a ‘’secularist’’.

 

If I speak against the American, Saudi and Israeli bullying tactics against Iran, I am accused of acting as a Shiahaving a sectarian outlook. Despite agreeing to the fact that Bashar Al Asad is an autocrat and can go to any extent to save his regime, if I write against the way American, Saudi and Turkish backed terrorist groups, most of them, Al Qaeda sponsored and trying to create mayhem in Syria , I am branded as some sort of an Iranian agent and most of the people start reminding me about my opposition to the way the uprising in Bahrain was suppressed. Some people try to compare the situation in Syria and Bahrain despite knowing the fact that in Bahrain, America never wanted a regime change while in Syria, US is hell bent on a regime change as per its own choice for the survival of Israel, America’s biggest and most favoured stooge and ally in the Middle East.

 

Back home, If I speak against the policies of the Congress led UPA and the Congress as a whole, I am accused by the supporters of the Congress as someone who doesn’t know about the way Indian democracy and politics work. Some Congress people even tried to portray me as a sympathizer of Anna, despite knowing the fact that I have been in a great disagreement with Anna’s and his team’s way. If I write against Anna and Ramdev, I am accused of being an agent of Congress who is up there to defame the two ‘’ pious’’ people. Even I am asked that ‘’ you , the Muslims only think about the welfare of your own people, no matter in which part of the world they reside and do not give an iota of attention to the condition and welfare of your fellow Indian citizens’’, as if Anna and Ramdev are the sole spokesmen of the Indian masses. If I ask why Anna becomes silent whenever he is asked to condemn Modi , I am reminded to understand the pros and cons and the limitations of Anna and his movement. I cannot understand where the so called ‘’limitations’’ go when Anna praises Modi on his so called development, and Ramdev shares a dais with the mass murderer of Gujarat?

 

If I write against the massacres of Rohingyas Muslim community in Burma, I am again branded as an Islamist who is always up there to defend Islam and support Muslims. But I think it as my duty as a human being to raise my voice against the injustices being done, no matter against whom. I regard it as my duty to speak against Burmese regime and the criminal silence of Aang Sang Sui Kyi as well as the forceful conversion of the Hindus to Islam in Pakistan.  It sometimes becomes irritating to see the same people who accuse me of being sympathetic to everything which are associated with Muslims, becoming silent and expressionless when I write against the injustices done against the people of other faith residing in the Muslim countries. I think that somehow they prefer to ignore my writings which can break their self created stereotypes regarding me and my views.

 

As a concerned Indian citizen, if I write against the human rights violations in Kashmir, I am branded as some sort of a sympathizer of the separatist forces and an anti- national; traitor, as if an Indian has no right to speak against the excesses of the security forces.

 

The list is long but just to sum up, I would like to request my friends to start looking at me as a journalist first, and everything else later.  I do not want to impose my religious ideology on others. I will speak and write against the injustices and tyrannies, no matter they are done against anyone, at whichever place or country. After all, the thing which suffers and matters most is the humanity and humane values.  The blood of a single innocent human being is equal to the blood of entire humanity and everyone in his own capacity and rights should speak against the tyrants and unjust system. It’s our duty as human beings which we cannot forget or ignore.

 

In an age of post modernization, no one owes any explanation to anyone about what he believes, but this write up is just an effort, so that people can understand my writings in the right perspective. Hope my effort won’t go in vain and I will stand vindicated in the ultimate analysis.