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Al-Qaeda Losing Supporters in Jihadi Groups Across Arab World

Several Islamic organizations and scholars (once considered extremely militant) are changing their tune and condemning Al Qaeda’s radicalism.



Magharebia
June 25, 2010

In addition to security restrictions that it faces in many countries around the world, al-Qaeda has been facing another significant challenge for years from within the "jihadi" circles it tapped to recruit fighters. The challenge concerns the use of armed violence – and in many cases, indiscriminate violence – to achieve al-Qaeda's goals.

These disagreements are no longer limited to a particular group or country. They have expanded to include a wide mix of "jihadi groups" which have reviewed their ideas and ceased many of their past activities, which al-Qaeda is still carrying out.

The main rift within the circles of the so-called jihadi groups in the Arab world first appeared in the mid to late 1990s.

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Illinois State Police Revoke Appointment of Muslim Chaplain Linked to US Muslim Brotherhood

The Illinois State Police has revoked the appointment of the agency’s first Muslim chaplain, who had evidently not gone through background checks. Kifah Mustapha, a Chicago-area imam, has ties to the Palestine Committee of the US Muslim Brotherhood. The Investigative Project on Terrorism also reported that Mustapha raised money for the Holy Land Foundation, a Shariah Charity that was shut down for funneling money to Hamas.



Campus Watch
June 24, 2010
Chicago, IL

National media is reporting that the Illinois State Police has revoked the appointment of its first Muslim chaplain, likely as a result of his ties to the Palestine Committee of the US Muslim Brotherhood. According to the report:

CHICAGO — The Illinois State Police has revoked the appointment of the agency's first Muslim chaplain, citing only information revealed during a background check. A national Muslim advocacy group Wednesday blamed the move on Islamophobia. Kifah Mustapha, a Chicago-area imam, was appointed the agency's first Muslim chaplain in December. Community groups had praised Mustapha's appointment as a nod to the growing diversity among the agency's nearly 2,000 officers.

But within days, the appointment came under criticism from the Investigative Project on Terrorism, a Washington-based think tank. The group alleged that Mustapha was linked to the Palestine Committee of the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, a popular movement in the Muslim world that advocates the formation of Islamic governments in the Middle East. It also alleged he raised money for the Holy Land Foundation, a now-defunct Islamic charity whose founders were sentenced last year for funneling money to the Palestinian militant group Hamas. The group cited internal documents and a list of unindicted co-conspirators. Mustapha hasn't been charged with any crimes. Messages left Wednesday for Mustapha weren't immediately returned. According to a statement from the Illinois State Police, after Mustapha underwent training in December and was issued state identification and a bulletproof vest, it was discovered that he had not undergone background checks required to serve in the volunteer position. Mustapha's appointment was rescinded Friday, but that action wasn't publicly disclosed until late Tuesday after media inquiries. "Due to information revealed during the background investigation, Sheikh Kifah Mustapha's appointment as a volunteer ISP Chaplain has been denied," ISP spokesman Master Sgt. Isaiah Vega said in an e-mail. "Specific details of background investigations are confidential and cannot be discussed." Vega declined to say whether there was a connection between the think tank's allegations and Mustapha's dismissal.But the Council of American-Islamic Relations in Chicago, which is representing Mustapha, said the imam was told that was why his appointment was put on hold.

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High Court Upholds Terror Law After Free Speech Challenge

Supreme Court upholds law that criminalizes material support to terror organizations.



CNN.com Blog
June 21, 2010
Washington, D.C.

A divided Supreme Court has ruled the government's power to criminalize "material support" of a terrorist organization is constitutionally permissible.

The 6-3 ruling preserves a key provision of the 2001 Patriot Act, amid claims it threatens the free-speech rights of Americans who would assist non-violent activities of certain militant and terror groups.

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Belgium's Lower House Votes to Ban Burqa

Belgium’s lower house just approved a ban on burqas. Denis Ducarme of Belgium’s liberal Reformist Movement said earlier this month, "We must defend our values in the question of the freedom and the dignity of the woman." Once the upper house approves this bill, the dignity and freedom of women will be upheld in Belgium. Other European countries may soon follow suit. French President Nicolas Sarcozy is in full support: "The burqa is not a sign of religion, it is a sign of subservience."



CNN.com
April 30, 2010
Brussels, Belgium

Lawmakers in Belgium on Thursday approved a ban on the wearing of burqas and other Islamic garb that covers a woman's face but the bill must still be approved by the upper house of parliament before it becomes law.

If the Senate approves it, Belgium would become the first country in Europe to ban the burqa.

The vote in the Chamber of Deputies was 136 in favor, none opposed and two abstentions, according to Dominiq van Dendossche, a press officer for the Belgian parliament.

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Libel On Tour

Louisiana just passed two bills: one stating that “no foreign law shall be applied here if it violates a right guaranteed by the American Constitution.” Another is “Rachel’s Law,” which protects individuals against libel tourism. Both of these are in response to the violation of not only freedom of speech, but also basic constitutional freedoms denied by Shariah Law. The hope is that more states will follow suit, protecting human rights for all Americans, including those that are otherwise subject to Shariah Law in their own homes.



NOLA.com
April 28, 2010
By James Gill
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Within minutes Monday a legislative committee repudiated both Islamic and British law.

Neither, perhaps, represents an immediate threat to justice in Louisiana, but it was not entirely an alarmist and xenophobic stunt when the committee approved two bills by Rep. Ernest Wooton, R-Belle Chase. Mostly, but not entirely.

One of Wooton's bills, which provides that no foreign law shall be applied here if it violates a right guaranteed by the American Constitution, is by any rational measure superfluous. But it is not unknown for immigrant litigants to invoke the tenets of Sharia to which, the committee was told, the Maryland courts deferred in a child custody case.

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