Daniel Pipes—profiled as “the country’s most controversial Middle East scholar“—is stirring debate again, taking to The Jewish Press to advocate a ban on wearing the niqab and burqa—clothing traditionally worn by Muslim women—in public spots. He says too many Philly crimes (including the recent kidnapping of a girl from her school) are taking place under, literally, the cover of Muslim garb.
It’s important to understand, though, that Pipes’ “crisis” looks a little less disturbing when looked at closely. He justifies a ban because, by his count, at least 14 robberies have been committed in Philadelphia using Muslim garb … since 2007. That’s less than three a year. If you need more perspective, consider this: The 14 robberies that Pipes counts adds up to maybe one really busy shift for the police department. In the 28-day period ending Feb. 17, there were 507 robbery reports to city police—if 14 of those robberies had been committed by burqa-wearing assailants, that wouldn’t even be 3 percent of the total. Trying to calculate what those 14 cases look like compared to six or more years of robberies? You couldn’t even see a number that small with the naked eye.
News agencies – April 3, 2012
Preliminary charges are being filed against 13 Islamist radicals in France, a prosecutor announced, saying some had been calling for Muslim Shariah law in the country, doing weapons training and even planning to kidnap a judge. Prosecutor Francois Molins told a news conference the Forsane Alizza group, or Knights of Pride, did physical training in parks and forests, collected weapons and preached hate and violence on their Internet site, showing clips of late al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
The 13 — among 17 suspects detained in police raids last week — faced preliminary charges of criminal association linked to a terrorist network, a sweeping charge with a maximum 10-year prison term that is used in France to ensure a full investigation of terror suspects. Nine of the 13 are being jailed, Mr. Molins said. Charges of acquiring, transporting and detention of arms also were issued. The remaining four who had been detained were being released.
The prosecutor said several terror plans appeared to be in the works, including the kidnapping of a judge in Lyon, in southeast France. An official close to the investigation said the targeted judge is Jewish.
9 September 2011
Dutch MP Tofik Dibi of the Green Left has announced the launch of an anti-fatwa awareness campaign designed to “free Muslims …to think independently and make their own choices”. Dibi made the plans for his campaign public in a letter published in the newspaper Volkskrant, in association with the 9/11 anniversary memorial coverage. Dibi’s letter, co-authored by Achmed Marcouch, Naima Azough, and Mohamed Ajouaou, declares itself ‘the last fatwa’, and calling for Muslims to reject “top down decrees issued by a handful of scholars”, which are “kidnapping …the Islamic faith.” His campaign is to be presented in English, Arabic and Dutch.
News Agencies – October 27, 2010
In a newly released audio tape Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden threatens to kill French citizens to avenge their country’s support for the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and a new law that will ban face-covering Muslim veils. In the tape posted on Al-Jazeera’s website, bin Laden said France was aiding the Americans in the killing of Muslim women and children in an apparent reference to the war in Afghanistan. He said the kidnapping of five French citizens in the African nation of Niger last month was a reaction to what he called France’s oppression of Muslims.
The authenticity of the tape could not be immediately verified but the voice resembled that of the terror group leader on previous tapes determined to be genuine. France’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment. France has about 4,000 troops deployed in and near Afghanistan. CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith) president, Mohammed Moussaoui, condemned the threat.
The man, a Muslim Moroccan with a regular job in Italy, has been sentenced for maltreatment, kidnapping and violence after he struck and locked up his wife in the house during the period 2004-05. Their marriage was an arranged one; at the time the woman was 16 while the man was 30. This raises doubts about the legitimacy of the marriage itself: Italian law, in fact, doesn’t permit other members of the family to reunite in Italy in a case like this, in which at least one spouse is still a teenager and there are doubts concerning the actual intention of the couple in getting married.
The whereabouts of a woman alleged to have been kidnapped and condemned to death for adultery in a shari’a court in Tarragona are unknown. She didn’t make an appearance at court, and now the judge has advised the Morocco government that she is missing and her presence is required by the Spanish justice system.
The lawyer for the 10 accused of her kidnapping argues that this disappearance is a sign of their innocence.
Several Spanish Muslim communities have made public their condemnation of the recent abduction of three Catalans in Mauritania. The three aid workers were part of Barcelona Acción Solidaria, Albert Vilalta, Roque Pascual and Alicia Gomez, were kidnapped on Sunday 29th November in Mauritania. The abduction has been claimed by al Qaida. The Muslim communities of Murcia and Catalonia have expressed their condemnation of this action with two press releases.
Al-Qaida has taken responsibility for the November kidnapping of a Frenchman and three Spaniards working for the Catalan organization Barcelona-Acciò Solidaria.
They were seized in Mali and Mauritania by al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), an offshoot of Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida. Claiming responsibility for the action via a video-tape, a spokesman announced that France and Spain will be informed of their demands for hostage release.
Later reports indicate that AQIM has made assurances that the hostages remain in good health and will be treated according to Islamic law.
Seven men have been sent to prison without jail in Tarragona, and two others released with charges, for planning to kill a woman for “adultery” after kidnapping her from her home in Tarragona and holding her in a farmhouse, from which she escaped to a local police station.
The men allegedly created an Islamic Tribunal and illegally tried the woman for adultery using “an extremist version of Islamic law”, sentencing her to death. They were arrested in November.
In October 2008 a Canadian Muslim named Beverley Giesbrecht was kidnapped in a remote region in northwestern Pakistan. Since then, her whereabouts and wellbeing are unclear. Giesbrecht has been held captive by a Muslim group since Nov. 11. She is somewhere in northern Pakistan or in Afghanistan.
A former magazine publisher and advertising saleswoman, Giesbrecht left all the trappings from her former life in West Vancouver and started calling herself Khadija Abdul Qahaar. The last direct contact that her closest friend in West Vancouver had with Ms. Giesbrecht was in July. According to one source who spoke this week to the National Post, a video of Ms. Giesbrecht in captivity surfaced last month. It is the third video to appear since her abduction last year, but the only one not to have been broadcast on television or on the Internet.