January 6, 2014
By Jon Hurdle
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge on Monday sentenced a Pennsylvania woman to 10 years in prison for her part in a plan to murder a Swedish cartoonist whose images of the Prophet Muhammad offended Muslims.
The woman, Colleen R. LaRose, who used “Jihad Jane” as an online alias, pleaded guilty to four charges, including conspiring to aid terrorists and to kill a person in a foreign country, after she plotted with jihadists she encountered on the Internet to kill the cartoonist, Lars Vilks, who depicted the prophet atop the body of a dog.
Ms. LaRose, 50, of Pennsburg, Pa., near Philadelphia, went to Europe in 2008 with the intention of killing Mr. Vilks, but failed to meet up with the people who had encouraged the mission. She returned to the United States and was arrested after the plan was discovered.
Judge Petrese B. Tucker of United States District Court said Monday that she was satisfied that Ms. LaRose would have carried out the killing if she had made the right contacts.
The defendant, a slight woman of 4-foot-9 who wore green prison overalls and a black head scarf, made a six-minute statement to the court, admitting that she had been inspired to engage in jihad, or Islamic holy war, after seeing coverage of Palestinians “screaming and crying.”
26 May 2013
A 22 year old man was arrested in north London on Sunday in connection to the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby on Wednesday. Witnesses say that five plainclothes police officers arrested the man while he was riding a bike on St Paul’s Road near Highbury Corner Sunday afternoon. A spokesperson for Scotland Yard said, “A 22-year-old man was arrested by officers from the MPS counter-terrorism command investigating the murder of Lee Rigby. The man was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder by detectives supported by specialist firearms officers.”
Sunday’s arrest brings the total number of individuals arrested in connection to the attack, characterized by the Home Secretary as a lone wolf event, to nine. The two suspects, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, were shot and detained by police shortly after the attack on Drummer Rigby and are still in hospital. Three other men, aged 21, 24, and 28, were arrested yesterday in south-east London and Greenwich on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. Another man, aged 29, was arrested and released on bail Saturday evening, and two women were arrested in connection to the attack on Thursday but were released without charges.
The murder of Drummer Rigby has escalated racial and religious tensions in the UK, and police across the country have made a number of arrests for alleged racial and bigoted posts on social media sites. Faith Matters, an interfaith organization, said that approximately 150 racial or religiously motivated incidents have been reported since the attack on Wednesday, up from a daily average of eight incidents prior to the attack. Some of the incidents include violent attacks and vandalizing of mosques and have led to a number of arrests.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) during a hearing on Friday said that he believes that Islam as a whole is a threat to the United States, labeling it as a religion that will “motivate people to murder children.” During a hearing he chaired on “Islamist Extremism in Chechnya: A Threat to the U.S. Homeland?” Rohrabacher continually referred to the 2004 Beslan hostage situation in which Chechen extremists took control of a school in Russia resulting in the death of more than 180 children as an example of the threat that Islam poses. At one point, the California Republican sought to clarify that he wasn’t opposed to any religious group gaining power within a region only Islam. “What we need to worry about is if it happens to be a religion that convinces people that part of their faith is to go off and murder other people’s children,” he said, referring to Islam broadly. Later in the hearing, Rohrabacher was more clear: Islamophobia has seen a resurgence in the aftermath of the Boston attacks, with Fox News leading the charge in promoting a new wave of fear towards Muslims. Rohrabacher is no stranger himself to controversy surrounding Islam. In 2012, he accused President Obama of “pandering to radical Islamic forces” in the aftermath of the Benghazi attack.
Speaking today at the unofficial CPAC panel “Islamic Law in America: How the Obama Justice Department Is Selling Us Out,” sponsored by Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, James Lafferty of the Virginia Anti-Sharia Task Force was “proud to say” that most of the mosques attacked in the US were in the South: CPAC: Anti-Muslim Activist James Lafferty Says He’s ‘Proud’ of Attacks Against Mosques.
This is far from the first example; Geller and Spencer are usually too cunning to express this kind of open support for anti-Muslim violence, but their associates … not so much: Pamela Geller Associate John Jay Openly Calls for Mass Murder.
Several politicians and local residents participated in a commemoration service for Marwa El-Sherbini, a 32-year-old Egyptian woman who was killed in a court in Dresden two years ago. El-Sherbini, who was a witness in a criminal case, was stabbed by the defendant, against whom she had testified, during an appeal hearing. During the commemoration service, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany described the murder as the “tip of the iceberg” and warned not to under-estimate Islamophobic tendencies in Germany.
March 14 2011
Turkish Dutch students should learn about domestic violence and honor murder in elementary school, according to Turkish labour union HTIB and Chairman Mustafa Ayranci. According to the Telegraaf, the chairman suggested this education would lead to changing “the mentality among all Turks”. Amsterdam alderman for Diversity and Integration Andree van Es commented in response to Sp!ts that while there has already been some improvement, “the Turkish community is still closed off”.
A Muslim cleric and his wife have been killed in their own house in an arson attack, with two of their children injured, in Blackburn near Manchester. Abdullah Mohammed, 41, was killed in the fire in October. His wife, Ayesha, 39, died a week later. The 14-year old daughter is still hospitalized. Her 9-year old brother has been released and taken care of by extended family.
Two men have already been charged with murder and remanded in custody, while two more men have now been arrested on suspicion of murder. The police have not yet commented on the motive for the attack.
This week marks five years since the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh. Van Gogh was killed on an Amsterdam streetcorner in 2004 by Mohammad B., a Muslim of Dutch Moroccan origin, in retaliation for his film Submission.
The city organized a tour for journalists of the Slotervaart neighborhood in which Mohammad B. grew up. During the tour, the borough chairman, Moroccan-Dutch youth workers, mosque representatives, and integration experts presented material “aimed at connecting different ethnic groups in the city” to prevent over-simplified stories from making international headlines, NRC Handelsblad reports.
Media outlets marked the occasion with a series of commentaries and interviews. Radio Netherlands Worldwide noted the anniversary with an evaluation of the “debate on the influence of Islam on Dutch society” which the incident generated, noting that “it is a debate between indigenous Dutch in which Muslims hardly participate. The fierce criticism of Islam does not tempt them to respond.”
RNW also published a commentary likening van Gogh to populist right wing politician Geert Wilders. Het Parool published an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, with whom van Gogh made Submission. Ali commented that, “after the murder it became clear that there was a very nasty confrontation between Islam and the ethnic [white] population.”
IslamOnline.net covered Holland’s attempts to “grapple with immigration” on the occasion, highlighting developments since van Gogh’s murder including Amsterdam’s “emergency plan” to fight extremism through immigrant subsidies and dialogue building with mosques, the “hardening” of debate through right wing political figures such as Wilders, and the election of Rotterdam’s Muslim mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb.
Some Turkish media have suggested that the murder of a Turkish businesswoman in Amsterdam on August 10 may have been a hate crime. Arzu Erbaş Çakmakçı was stabbed to death in Amsterdam in the parking lot outside of a daycare center she owned by unknown perpetrators. She was married with two children. There is no trace of the stabber, Dutch police said Wednesday, and there was no statement from the police concerning the motive for the attack. Cakmakci’s brother in law told Cihan that Arzu Erbaş Çakmakçı had been receiving threats lately.
A Paris court has convicted Youssouf Fofana for the 2006 kidnapping, torture and murder of a young French Jew and sentenced him to life in prison – a verdict that drew a thumbs-up sign from the head of the self-styled “gang of barbarians.” Twenty-four others, including eight women, also were found guilty in the kidnapping, torture and murder of Ilan Halimi, who was 23 years old. The case brought comparisons to the Dreyfus case and involved charges of racial and religious hatred.
Mr. Halimi, held captive for more than three weeks, was found naked, handcuffed and covered with burn marks near railroad tracks in the Essonne region south of Paris on Feb. 13, 2006. He died on the way to the hospital. The horrific death revived worries in France about lingering anti-Semitism, considered an aggravating circumstance in this case, and led to deep anxiety in France’s Jewish community, the largest in western Europe.
Fofana describes himself as a hard-line salafist Islamist. Halimi’s mother, Ruth Halimi, said that if her son “had not been Jewish, he would not have been murdered.” She accused the police of being slow to accept the anti-Semitic nature of the crime, for fear of offending Muslims.