As fighters surged into Syria last summer, a video surfaced online with the grisly imagery and sneering tone of a propaganda release from the Islamic State.
“Run, do not walk, to ISIS Land,” read the opening line of a script that promised new arrivals would learn “useful new skills” such as “crucifying and executing Muslims.” The words were juxtaposed with images of the terrorist group’s atrocities: kneeling prisoners shot point-blank; severed heads positioned next to a propped-up corpse; limp bodies left hanging from crosses in public squares.
The source of the video was revealed only in its closing frame: the U.S. Department of State.
But the minute-long recording also became a flash point in a much broader debate over how far the United States should go in engaging with a barbaric adversary online.
Ireland’s Islamic community is to spearhead the fightback against radical fundamentalism after a top Imam admitted there has been a surge in Islamophobia nationwide in the wake of recent terror attacks.
Shaykh Dr Muhammad Umar Al-Qadri launched a website for Irish Muslims aimed at helping youngsters to avoid radicalisation and to allow those concerned about so-called ‘Jihad messages’ from radical preachers at Irish mosques to raise the alarm.
The website – www.jihad.info – was launched at Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) where Dr Al-Qadri warned that Irish people needed to realise that Islam was a religion of peace and tolerance and not violence. He admitted it was a particularly difficult time for Irish Muslims who were fast becoming a target of hate attacks.
“People feel very isolated and very worried,” he told the Irish Independent.
A recent conference held by the Center for Security Studies at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich has restated the belief that Switzerland is not a top target for international terrorism.
While some participants called for caution concerning the very term “terrorism,” Guido Steinberg from the Berlin Foundation of Science and Politics warned that given the growth of the Islamist terrorist scene in Germany and the close connections between German-speaking countries, Switzerland ought to remain vigilant. In addition, the vice-director of the Swiss intelligence services Jürg S. Bühler spoke about so-called “control crimes,” and the need to be able to keep watch over the concerned segments of society.
Finding a halal restaurant has become easier for Americans Muslims, thanks to a new phone application launched this month that makes dietary religious observance much simpler for Muslims eating out. Halalpal, an iPhone application that locates halal restaurants and eateries throughout the United States, has made restaurant eating while sticking to a halal diet much easier. The search engine is designed for Apple’s iPhone, and gives users a list of nearby restaurants with maps, contact information, price categories, and recommendations. We found people are reaching out for this service and this gave us the inspiration to create a special application for halal users,” said Rami Dodin, Halalpal’s founder, adding that the aim of any business is to tune in and respond to the needs of customers.