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Posts tagged as Islam

New gun laws will make New Zealand safer after mosque massacre, says PM Ardern

CHRISTCHURCH: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday she would announce new gun laws within days, after 50 people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.

Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges.Fifty people were killed and dozens wounded at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.Gun City owner David Tipple said the alleged gunman bought four weapons and ammunition between December 2017 and March 2018.“The MSSA, military-style automatic, reportedly used by the alleged gunman was not purchased from Gun City.Gun City did not sell him an MSSA, only A-category firearms,” Tipple told a new conference in Christchurch.Under New Zealand gun laws, A-category weapons can be semi-automatic but limited to seven shots.
Video of a gunman in one mosque showed a semi-automatic with a large magazine round.Tipple said the online purchases followed a police-verified online mail-order process and A-category firearms were bought in three or four purchases.“We detected nothing extraordinary about the license holder. He was a brand new purchaser, with a brand new license,” he said.Tightening New Zealand’s gun laws was at the top of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s agenda as she met with her cabinet on Monday for the first time since the massacre.The shock of the attacks has led to calls for an immediate tightening of laws to restrict access to some firearms, particularly semi-automatic weapons.“What the public rightly are asking right now is why is it and how is it that you are currently able to buy military style semi-automatic weapons in New Zealand, and that’s the right question to ask,” Ardern told TVNZ earlier on Monday.“There are ways we can bring in affective regulation of firearms that actually target those we need to target and that is our focus.”Gun City owner Tipple said he supported Ardern’s call for gun law reforms as the Christchurch shootings had raised legitimate concerns.New Zealand, a country of only 5 million people, has an estimated 1.5 million firearms. The minimum age for a gun license is 16, and 18 to own a semi-automatic weapon.A Radio New Zealand report, based on police data secured through an Official Information Act request, said more than 99 percent of people who applied for a firearms license in 2017 were successful.A New Zealand standard A-category firearm license is issued after a police and background check.No license is required to buy a large round magazine, which can be illegally modified for use in such a weapon.Only firearm owners are licensed, not weapons, so there is no monitoring of how many weapons a person may possess.
New Zealand’s top online marketplace Trade Me Group said it was halting the sale of semi-automatic weapons in the wake of Friday’s attack.BURIAL Frustration was the first signatory of a national condolence book for the country’s worst mass killing that she opened in the capital Wellington on Monday.
“On behalf of all New Zealanders, we grieve together.
They are us,” she wrote in the book.Deputy Police Commissioner Wally Haumaha said the first body was approved for release on Sunday night, but the family was yet to take the body because another relative was also killed and they wanted to collect them together. He said there would be no burials on Monday.
‘NZ attack grim reminder of Islamophobia sweeping the world’“We’ve been working fairly hard through the night to ensure the process of returning the deceased to their loved ones is taking place expediently,” he said.The burial process, which usually involves washing with three kinds of water, salving wounds and scrubbing skin, would be complicated, volunteers in Christchurch said.
Mo, a volunteer who had flown in from Brisbane to wash the bodies, said the people who died in the mosques were classified as martyrs. That meant there were different views as to whether they would be washed or not because he said Islamic jurisprudence said martyrs are not to be washed as their blood was witness to their martyrdom.“But some people have said because it was not a battlefield it is okay to wash the body. But it is at the discretion of the family,” said Mo.
He asked to be identified by just one name.Death toll of Pakistanis martyred in NZ mosques massacre rises to nineThe two mosques involved in the shootings have been closed since the massacre, but are expected to reopen by Friday prayers after cleansing blessings were carried out, said Haumaha.“This morning we conducted two important blessings at the Deans Avenue mosques and the Linwood mosque,” he said.“This blessing this morning gave them (the Muslim community) huge confidence.We hope to have those premises in place by the end of the week to allow our Muslim community to go back and undertake prayer.

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Two JMB operatives held in Bengal, explosive materials seized

Two operatives of Jamaat-ul- Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) have been arrested from West Bengal’s Murshidabad district and a cache of explosive materials seized from their possession, a senior police officer said Wednesday.

In a joint operation by the Special Task Force (STF) of the Kolkata Police and the Murshidabad police, Moshibur Rahman (35) alias Farooque and Ruhul Amin alias Saifullah (26) were apprehended Tuesday night, he said.Both Moshibur and Ruhul, residents of Murshidabad district, are active members of the outlawed JMB. A cache of explosive materials, including aluminium dust, calether (spirit of ether) and sulphuric acid, have been recovered from their possession, the senior officer told PTI.
The duo happen to be associates of Kauser and Sajjad, who were nabbed on January 29 for their involvement in 2014 Burdwan blast case, he said.On October 2, 2014, a blast had occurred in a house at Khagragarh in Burdwan district, killing two persons.We have interrogated Sajjad and found out that Moshibur and Ruhul have been trained in making acid bombs.Their plan was to attack the police and get Kauser released, the officer said.With Tuesday’s successful raid in Murshidabad, the number of JMB operatives arrested in a month rose to six, he added.On February 16, Ariful Islam alias Arif (22) was arrested from the city’s Babughat area for his alleged links to the terror outfit.
Three days later, Asif Iqbal alias Nadeem, another resident of Murshidabad district, was held at Santragachi railway station in Howrah district.Islam was involved in 2018 Bodh Gaya blast case, police had claimed.On January 19 last year, a low-intensity bomb had exploded at Bodh Gaya in Bihar, shortly after Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama finished a sermon at the Mahabodhi temple.

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The Rushdie Fatwa, Thirty Years Later

Thirty years ago today, the then ruler of Iran, the Ayatollah Khomeini, sent a valentine to Salman Rushdie in the form of a fatwa.His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses (1988), featured a storyline about Muhammed and the Koran that was deemed blasphemous throughout the Muslim world, leading the novel to be banned in over a dozen countries.The fatwa condemned Rushdie, his publishers, and his editors to death, and called on “all valiant Muslims wherever they may be in the world to kill them without delay, so that no one will dare insult the sacred beliefs of Muslims henceforth.” Khomeini’s government announced that anyone who assassinated Rushdie would receive $6 million, if he survived, and instant martyrdom in Heaven, if he didn’t.The fact that Rushdie, an outspoken leftist, had joined many other cultural-elite types in supporting the overthrow of the Shah apparently didn’t impress Khomeini enough to keep him from ordering Rushdie’s murder. At that time, the word fatwa was unfamiliar outside the Muslim world.Indeed, for most people in the West, the idea of the long arm of Islam reaching out from that primitive corner of the planet and into the civilized West was a relatively new idea – even though, in historical terms, it was a very old idea, dating back to Islam’s seventh-century founding. Even the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre was widely seen not as a strike against the Free World that was motivated by Islamic ideology but, rather, as an act of Palestinian Jew-hatred There was also, of course, the Iran hostage crisis of 1979-81, but that event, although it involved the detention of fifty-two Americans and had been in the news for 444 days straight, had occurred in Tehran, not in the West, and, in any event, hadn’t exactly been perceived as an act of terrorism.
So it was that at the time of the Rushdie fatwa, terrorism was still associated in the Western mind less with Islam than with the Irish Republican Army, with FARC and other groups in Colombia, with Basque separatists in Spain, with Shining Path in Peru, and with the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeigh. Hence the idea of some religious leader in Iran ordering the death of a prominent British subject struck many in the West as grotesque, absurd – a joke, even.
But it soon became clear that this was no joke. Bookstores in the U.S. and Britain were bombed.Copies of the book were publicly burned in a number of British cities. Across the Muslim world, dozens died in anti-Rushdie riots.
In 1991, the book’s Italian translator was beaten and stabbed and its Japanese translator murdered; in 1993, William Nygaard, its Norwegian publisher, was shot several times outside his home, but survived. (Nygaard would live to publish the 2004 memoirs of child-murdering terrorist Mullah Krekar and to host Krekar at a garden party.) The fatwa also exposed for the first time the readiness of many Western political leaders and cultural icons to appease Islamic bullies – a readiness that, thirty years later, continues to define much of the Western establishment. Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter called The Satanic Verses “a direct insult to millions of Muslims.” Muslim leader Iqbal Sacranie, whom Tony Blair would later award with a knighthood, said that death was perhaps too easy a punishment for Rushdie. Hugh Trevor-Roper, one of Britain’s most respected historians, said he “would not shed a tear” if a pack of Muslims “were to waylay [Rushdie] in a dark street.” Archbishop of Canterbury Robert Runcie denounced the book. So did John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York.
So did John Paul II’s Vatican. Its importation into Canada was forbidden.
Major U.S.bookstore chains stopped carrying it, and publishers in France, West Germany, and other countries dropped plans to publish it. To their credit, most Western governments criticized the fatwa, with some of them temporarily withdrawing their ambassadors to Tehran.
A great many writers also (eventually) voiced their solidarity with Rushdie. But not all of them did: children’s author Roald Dahl called Rushdie an “opportunist,” the premise apparently being that he had deliberately invited the fatwa in order to garner free publicity, while Germaine Greer refused to stand up for him, saying he was a “megalomaniac.” As for Rushdie himself, he and his wife went into hiding immediately after the fatwa was declared, and were given full police protection by orders of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (whom Rushdie despised); understandably, Rushdie offered Khomeini an apology, but the ayatollah was having none of it, and reiterated the need to “send him to Hell.” The Rushdie affair, as I have noted, taught many Westerners a new word: fatwa.
But at the time, relatively few people in the West recognized it as a lesson in a much broader topic – namely, Islam. Yes, the episode taught millions that Islam takes blasphemy very seriously and that Muslim leaders feel empowered to order hits on their enemies.
But few high-profile Western commentators extrapolated very far beyond the particulars of the episode. Since no modern Western cultural production had sparked anywhere near such fury in the Islamic world, most Westerners, I gather, developed the impression that Khomeini was a particularly testy kind of a Muslim and that Rushdie, who had been raised in that faith, had knowingly ventured out onto a minefield.This was not to say that people in the West thought Rushdie had it coming, but rather that they considered it unlikely that such a case would arise again anytime soon. Rare indeed were those in the West who seriously entertained the possibility that this was not a one-off but the beginning of a new chapter in the history of relations between Islam and the West.
And why should that possibility have occurred to them? In 1988, almost no one in the West was aware of the core Islamic concept of jihad, or of the long history of jihad against the West that dated back to Islam’s birth. Although the Rushdie affair made worldwide headlines for months, there were few if any informed attempts in prominent Western media to contextualize it by enlightening the general public about Islamic law and doctrine.
Consequently, few in the West imagined that the Rushdie fatwa, coming at a time when Communism was beginning to fall in Eastern Europe, might mark the rekindling of a centuries-long war with another totalitarian enemy. Even at the height of the fatwa drama, then, virtually nobody in the West could have foreseen what the next three decades would bring on this front.Who imagined that, on a September morning twelve years after the ayatollah announced his fatwa, Islam’s contempt for Western freedom and Western lives would be manifested in an attack more breathtaking than any in human history, and that that attack, which took thousands of lives, would be followed by dozens of deadly, large-scale jihadist assaults on Western metropolises? Who imagined that, despite these acts of mass murder, Western countries would continue to welcome to their shores armies of Muslim immigrants, shower them with welfare benefits, tolerate their violent crimes, and surrender to their increasingly aggressive demands that Western society and culture be made sharia-compliant? Who imagined that mainstream Western publishers, news media, and film and TV producers would routinely celebrate Islam, even as they systematically smeared its critics and denied them a platform? Who imagined that people in Western countries who dared to speak the truth about Islam would be harassed by the police and dragged into court? Who imagined that countless Western political leaders, law-enforcement officers, social workers, and journalists would cover up the brutal organized rape of thousands of “infidel” girls by Muslim rape gangs? And, having asked all of the above questions, let us ask one more: now, in 2019, who among us would dare to predict what the Western world will look like thirty years from now?

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