Six banks attacked in retaliation for an anti-Islam video

Six major American banks were hit in a wave of computer attacks last week, by a group claiming Middle Eastern ties, that caused Internet blackouts and delays in online banking.

Frustrated customers of Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and PNC, who could not get access to their accounts or pay bills online, were upset because the banks had not explained clearly what was going on.

A hacker group calling itself Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Cyber Fighters — a reference to Izz ad-Din al-Qassam, a Muslim holy man who fought against European forces and Jewish settlers in the Middle East in the 1920s and 1930s — took credit for the attacks in online posts.

The group said it had attacked the banks in retaliation for an anti-Islam video that mocks the Prophet Muhammad. It also pledged to continue to attack American credit and financial institutions daily, and possibly institutions in France, Israel and Britain, until the video is taken offline. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq were also targeted.

Last week, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut, chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said in an interview on C-Span that he believed Iran’s government had sponsored the attacks in retaliation for Western economic sanctions. The hacker group rejected that claim. In an online post, it said the attacks had not been sponsored by a country and that its members “strongly reject the American officials’ insidious attempts to deceive public opinion.”

Such attacks are fairly common and generally don’t compromise sensitive data or do any lasting damage. Still, they can be a huge headache for companies that rely on their websites to interact with customers.

The hackers maintained that they were retaliating for the online video. “Insult to the prophet is not acceptable, especially when it is the last Prophet Muhammad,” they wrote.

Call to protest against the movie and the cartoon that offend the Prophet Mohammed

24 September 2012

 

The Islamic Commission of Melilla (CIM) has called for a demonstration on Saturday to protest against the movie and the cartoons that offend the Prophet Muhammad. The protest, which will leave at 18.00 from the Central Mosque to the Plaza of Spain, will be supported by the main opposition party in the Assembly of the Autonomous City, the Coalition for Melilla (CPM).

Louvre opens long-awaited Islamic Wing

News Agencies – September 20, 2012

 

France’s Louvre Museum is unveiling a new wing devoted to Islamic art, with the long-gestating project debuting during a period of increased tension with the Muslim community over a French publication’s caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Louvre’s new addition, which cost nearly 100 million euros (about $127 million Cdn) is its biggest project since the famed Parisian art museum unveiled its I.M. Pei-designed, now-iconic glass pyramid in 1988. The dragonfly-shaped new galleries will showcase a rotating display of artifacts from the Louvre’s collection of Islamic art, which includes pieces dating from as far back as the 7th century.

The museum first opened its Islamic art department in 2003, during the tenure of former French president Jacques Chirac, who urged a “dialogue of cultures” to break down walls between religions. France is home to more than four million Muslims, western Europe’s largest Muslim population.

However, an expansion was necessary because the Louvre did not have enough space to display what has grown to become a vast collection of Islamic art, including treasures donated by King Mohammed VI of Morocco and the foundation of Saudi Prince Waleed Bin Talal.

 

France boosts embassy security over Muhammad cartoon

News Agencies – September 19, 2012

 

The French government stepped up security at its embassies across the Muslim world after a French satirical weekly published vulgar caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad, inflaming global tensions over a movie insulting to Islam.

The move by the provocative weekly Charlie Hebdo followed days of violent protests from Asia to Africa against the U.S.-produced film Innocence of Muslims and turned France into a potential target of Muslim rage. Up to now, American government sites have drawn the most ire.

The French government ordered embassies and schools abroad to close on Friday, the Muslim holy day, as a precautionary measure in about 20 countries, according to the foreign affairs ministry. It ordered the immediate closure of the French Embassy and the French school in Tunisia, which saw deadly film-related protests at the U.S. Embassy last Friday.

The principle of freedom of expression “must not be infringed,” Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, speaking on France Inter radio. But he added: “Is it pertinent, intelligent, in this context to pour oil on the fire? The answer is no.”

“This is a disgraceful and hateful, useless and stupid provocation,” said Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Grand Paris Mosque. “We are not Pavlov’s animals to react at each insult.”

French Interior Minister Pledges Zero Tolerance for Islamists

 

French Interior Minister Manuel Valls warned Islamists that preaching hatred in France would not be tolerated, telling hardliners as he inaugurated a mosque that they would be expelled if they challenged the Republic’s principles. Valls’ message underscored the tough line that President Francois Hollande’s government has taken towards Islamists who were furious over the publication of cartoons mocking the Prophet Muhammad in a French magazine last week.

Valls also used the mosque’s inauguration to say more prayer sites for Muslims needed to be built, an issue that arose during Sarkozy’s term with a controversy over illegal street prayers.

Bishops blast Coptic Christians behind anti-Muslim film

(RNS) Coptic Christian leaders in the United States distanced themselves from an anti-Muslim film that has sparked protests in more than 20 countries, and denounced the Copts who reportedly produced and promoted the film.

“We reject any allegation that the Coptic Orthodox community has contributed to the production of this film,” the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of America said in statement on Friday (Sept. 14). “Indeed, the producers of this film have taken these unwise and offensive actions independently and should be held responsible for their own actions.”

Joseph Nassralla Abdelmasih, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula and Morris Sadek – all Coptic Christians who live in the U.S. – have emerged as the producers and promoters of the anti-Muslim film. Called “Innocence of Muslims,” the crude film depicts Islam’s Prophet Muhammad as a bumbling sexual pervert.

There are about 300,000 Copts in the United States, most of whom live in California and the Northeast. Copts in Egypt, where the faith was born, regularly face discrimination and violence at the hands of the Muslim majority, according to the State Department.

Bishop Serapion of the Coptic Orthodox Diocese of Los Angeles, Southern California and Hawaii said he “strongly rejects dragging the respectable Copts of the Diaspora” into the controversy.

Channel 4 documentary Islam: The Untold Story receives harsh reaction from British Muslims

28 August 2012

In a historical documentary, aired on Channel 4, British writer Tom Holland investigated the origins of Islam and raised doubts about the Muslim version of the history.

The program, shown on the 28th of August, infuriated many Muslim viewers as the documentary entitled Islam: The Untold Story concluded that Islam was not a distinctive religion in the early periods (as Muslims claim) but rather was formed 200 hundred years after the Prophet Muhammad, under the influence of Judaic and Christian heritage.

Many Muslims found the documentary biased and misleading, as Tom Holland did not discuss the topic with Muslim historians as well as non-Muslim scholars who are critical about his theory.

Tom Holland’s documentary sums up the marginal Western scholarship’s view on the origin of Islam and the Qur’an. However, those views have been harshly criticized from within Western academia for their methodological flaws and arbitrary usage of evidence, and sometimes only relying on evidence that was hostile to Islam.

As a result, Ofcom received hundreds of complaints about the documentary and Channel 4 has been called on to apologize to Muslims.

Interpreting Shariah Law Across The Centuries

Sadakat Kadri is an English barrister, a Muslim by birth and a historian. His first book, The Trial, was an extensive survey of the Western criminal judicial system, detailing more than 4,000 years of courtroom antics.

In his new book, Heaven on Earth, Kadri turns his sights east, to centuries of Shariah law. The first parts of his book describe how early Islamic scholars codified — and then modified — the code that would govern how people lead their daily lives. Kadri then turns to the modern day, reflecting on the lawmakers who are trying to prohibit Shariah law in a dozen states, as well as his encounters with scholars and imams in India, Pakistan, Syria, Egypt, Turkey and Iran — the very people who strictly interpret the religious and moral code of Islam today. And some of those modern interpretations, he says, are much more rigid — and much more draconian — than the code set forth during the early years of Islamic law.

Islamic law is shaped by hadiths, or reports about what Prophet Muhammad said and did. The hadiths, says Kadri, govern how Muslims should pray, treat criminals and create medications, among other things.

Muslims preparing for annual Eid-e-Milad event across Canada

Calgary Herald – February 11, 2012

Muslims in Calgary will again be celebrating their annual Eide-Milad event, which celebrates the birthday and the life of the Prophet Muhammad.

In Calgary, the program takes place Sunday at the Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts, at Jack Singer Hall, 205 8th Ave. S.E. Atthar Mahmood, vice-president of the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada and president of Muslims Against Terrorism, says the guest speakers include: Brig.-Gen. Paul F. Wynnyk; Qari Syed Muhammad Fassiuddini from Karachi, Pakistan; Dr. Munir El Kassen; Senator Grant Mitchell; MP Ralph Goodale; and MP Jim Karygiannis. “This is a program of learning for everyone about the life of (the) Prophet Muhammad,” says Mahmood.

Dinner will be served as part of the program. “Calgary holds one of the largest programs in Canada, where approximately 1,500 to 1,800 people every year (attend),” Mahmood says.

The Supreme Council will hold programs in all major Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa and Halifax, and also in many towns and smaller cities.

French Magazine Strikes Back After Firebombing

News Agencies – November 9, 2011

Last week, the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo were firebombed after printing a controversial cartoon of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad with the headline, “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!” Hebdo’s website was also hacked and left with a message reading, “No God but Allah.” Now, the satirical publication is back on the attack. This week’s cover depicts an editor of Charlie Hebdo making out with Muhammad under a banner that reads, “Love is stronger than hate.”

The recent events surrounding Charlie Hebdo have proved to be divisive to say the least. Muslim groups in France have been up in arms over what they perceive to be continued provocation and discrimination by the French media, while the extremist acts have played into the skepticism of Islam held by members of the French far-right community.

The French Muslim Council, an organization that had previously sued Charlie Hebdo over cartoons of Muhammad in 2006, have denounced the attacks. More support has come from smaller liberal organizations with large Muslim constituencies. Sihem Habchi, head of the women’s group Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whores nor Submissives) said that the bombing was “a great hurt for the image of Islam.”