The first woman to be convicted under new terror legislation was spared a jail term after the judge said her actions were “on the margins” of what constitutes a crime by handing a suspended sentence. Samina Malik, 23, who compiled a “library” of jihadi-inspired manuals and wrote poetry extolling martyrdom using the pen name “Lyrical Terrorist”, was found guilty earlier this month under Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000 which makes it a crime to have materials “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”. Malik, who worked in a stationery shop at Heathrow airport, was given a nine-month jail term, suspended for 18 months, and was ordered to carry out community service [Full-text here.->http://themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=D083DE079C082F44FF04CE80&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News
A British teacher faces a jail sentence in Sudan for insulting Islam by letting her class of seven-year-olds name a teddy bear Muhammad as part of a school project. Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, has been accused of blasphemy – an offence punishable by 40 lashes under Sharia – and could be imprisoned for up to six months. Rob Crilly in Khartoum and Lucy Bannerman report.
After a grueling and emotional five month trial, a Spanish judge found 21 people guilty of the March 11th, 2004 Madrid train bombings that killed 19` people, and injured 1,841 others. The verdict of the 11-M suspects, as the attacks re known in Spain, evoked mixed emotions – justice and relief for some, and dissatisfaction from several survivors and family members of the victims. The chief judge of the anti-terrorist court, Javier Gomez Bermudez, handed the heaviest sentences to two Moroccans – Jamal Zougam, and Othman el-Gnaoui, and a Spaniard – Jose Emolio Suarez Trashorras. Each of the three men received a severe approzimately 40,000 year sentence, although under Spanish law, the maximum they can spend is 40 years behind bars. Rabei Osman Sayed Ahmed, one of the alleged ringleaders of the attacks, was acquitted on all charges. A total of 28 defendance were on trial for the 11-M attacks – 19 of which are mostly North African Arabs living in Spain, and 9 Spaniards charged with providing the explosives used in the bombings. After the sentencing of Zougam, el-Gnaoui, and Trashorras, the remaining 18 received sentences between 3-18 years, for crimes ranging from using and providing explosives, to having membership in a terrorist group. The attack was claimed by the Al-Qaeda network of Osama bin Laden.
The sentence signed today by the judges of the National Hearing, Fernando Garc_a Nicol_s, Alfonso Guevara and Javier G_mez Berm_dez, deliberated that the 11-M attacks were perpetrated by an Islamist cell with the help of an ex-mine worker. The mine-worker, named Jos_ Emilio Su_rez Trashorras, is believed to have facilitated the theft of explosives from a mine in the region of Asturias, used to make the bombs used in the attacks. Jamal Zougam and Otman El Gnaoui were condemned as for their material invovlvement, and Jos_ Emilio Su_rez Trashorras was condemned as an accessory.
The Spanish anti-terrorist court announced the date of October 31st to hand down verdicts on the 28 suspects on trial for the 2004 Madrid train bombings. The blasts of the terrorist attack, which were claimed in the name of Al-Qaeda, killed 191 people and injured 1,841 others. The top suspects face a sentence of up to 40,000 years each; although under Spanish law, the longest jail term one can serve for terrorist crimes is only 40 years.
A 21-year-old student was convicted today of possessing CDs and computer material linked to Islamist terrorism, along with threatening to become a suicide bomber and other offences. He faces a potential jail sentence of up to 15 years, the trial judge has warned. Following the verdict, police said Mohammed Atif Siddique, from Alva, Clackmannanshire near Stirling in central Scotland, had been found guilty of “serious terrorism offences” that posed a genuine threat. Siddique’s lawyer said he would appeal, arguing the student’s actions amounted to nothing worse than “what millions of young people do every day – looking for answers on the internet”.
In August a case of so-called honour killing comes up for retrial in Germany’s highest court. Two years ago in Berlin, the murder of a young Kurdish woman at the hands of her three brothers sparked a nation-wide debate on the limits of multicultural tolerance and the failures of integration policy in Germany. The 23 year-old woman was shot for supposedly bringing dishonour to her family for living a western lifestyle. Only the youngest brother was handed a prison sentence, but the public prosecutor insists the whole family was behind the killing. While cases like this are extremely rare, it was the sixth such incident in five months. Now there’s a new organisation devoted to rescuing women and girls from Turkish or Middle Eastern communities in Germany, who feel the threat of an honour killing or forced marriage.
A German court on Monday sentenced an Iraqi man to 5 1/2 years in prison for supporting an extremist group believed to have been behind attacks in his homeland. The Munich state court found that Ferhad Kanabi Ahmad, a 36-year-old Iraqi Kurd, gave the equivalent of $8,935 to a member of Ansar al-Sunna in Germany “and so supported terror in Iraq.” It stopped just short of the prosecution’s call for a six-year sentence. The defense had called for Ahmad to be acquitted. The defendant stayed silent during the yearlong trial, and the prosecutors’ case relied heavily on intercepted phone calls and e-mails. Ansar al-Sunna is the successor to Ansar al-Islam, which was formed in the Kurdish parts of Iraq and is believed to include former al-Qaida members who fled the U.S.-led ouster of Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers. The organizations are suspected of involvement in a string of deadly attacks on U.S. troops and Iraqi police as well as foreign embassies, international organizations and rival Iraqi groups.
SAN ANTONIO: A figure from the 1970s Watergate political scandal, Chuck Colson, warned a gathering of Southern Baptist pastors against what he described as two dire threats: the deadly marriage of Islam and fascism and a new, militant atheism growing in popularity in the West. Colson, a former “hatchet man” for former President Richard Nixon who became a born-again Christian and founded an evangelical ministry to prisoners, called on Christians to do a better job of explaining their religion’s worldview. Colson, 75, spoke Sunday at a conference that precedes the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, which begins here Tuesday. At one point, Colson said “Islam is a vicious, evil … ” and then before finishing the sentence, said, “Islamo-fascism is evil incarnate.” “Islamists,” Colson said, “are very different. We will die for what we believe. They will kill for what they believe.”
Civil weddings are a concern for some imams in France. Increasingly, young Muslims want to get married without having a prior civil wedding ceremony. According to the penal law, this procedure is illegal and can carry a sentence of up to 6 months’ imprisonment and 7 500 euros’ fine. Recently, the MP Etienne Mourrut (UMP Party) expressed concern about these claims in a letter addressed to the Minist_re de l’Int_rieur. “In the majority of the counties, the town councils are rarely asked to pronounce a wedding when the brides and grooms are Muslims. Therefore, we can assume that there are either no Muslims marrying, or that [the civil ceremonies were skipped” Azzedine Gaci, president of the Conseil Regional du Culte Musulman in the Rhone-Alps region says, “I sometimes receive this kind of claim, but I always explain that the civil wedding is mandatory. I also have to explain this to the parents, as the wedding of a Muslim bride cannot be celebrated without her father’s consent”.