Monday, 30 July 2012

France: Muslim Mob Rule, Police Attacked Doing Burka Check, Attackers Released Without Charge

From Islam versus Europe:

There have been a few attacks on police in France and Belgium while they were conducting burka checks. But this is the first time the state has taken the side of the attackers. With a 40% Muslim demographic in Marseilles and 93% of Muslims voting Socialist, the police can expect a lot more betrayal from Socialist politicians, including the new Hollande government.
In the restive port city of Marseille, police fear that the release of four people arrested for allegedly attacking officers during an ID check on a woman wearing an Islamic veil will undermine their fight against violent crime in the city.
By FRANCE 24 (text)
Marseille police say three of its officers were injured in the early hours of July 25 when a mob of some 50 people tried to prevent them from checking the identity of a woman who was wearing a full Islamic veil.
Under a controversial law passed in 2010, wearing a full veil or covering one’s face in a public place is illegal in France and offenders must submit to ID checks.
According to the police, the woman was stopped just after midnight near a city mosque and refused to cooperate with the officers.
A man accompanying her as well as a large group of bystanders came to her aid and three officers were “lightly injured” in a scuffle.
After police reinforcements arrived, four people, including the 18-year-old woman named only as “Louise-Marie”, were arrested for allegedly assaulting the officers – but were promptly released with a warning on the orders of the city prosecutor.
According to an AFP source, the decision was “a gesture of appeasement during the holy [Islamic] month of Ramadan.”
“What kind of message does this send out?” asked David-Olivier Reverdy, head of the Alliance police union. “We are absolutely astonished.”
He told FRANCE 24 the prosecutor’s decision would have “heavy consequences” in a city where “gun crime and ultra-violence is common” and where relations between city residents and local law enforcement are “particularly tense”.
“The prosecutor has given carte blanche to criminals in Marseille,” he said. “The message is that they can behave with impunity. It is extremely worrying.”
FRANCE 24 contacted the Marseille prosecutor but he was unavailable to comment when this article was published.
Marseille has a long history of criminality associated with its status as a port city.
Particularly worrying for law enforcement authorities has been the proliferation of firearms which has given Marseille the dubious distinction of being the Kalashnikov capital of France.
The police have been fighting back, and in the first five months of 2012 seized 261 firearms in the city, compared to a total of 309 for the whole of 2011.
Reverdy said the efforts had reduced the number of armed robberies in the city by 25% - a reduction of around 100 in the first half of 2012.
‘The law of the Republic’
He told FRANCE 24 that he and his fellow officer believed leniency after an alleged attack on policemen risked undermining recent progress.
“It is the law of the Republic [that ID checks are made on people wearing veils] and whether we like it or not we have to be seen to be enforcing it,” he said.
Reverdy’s feelings were backed up by Marseille’s deputy mayor Nora Présozi.
“If we want to avoid an explosive situation the police must be allowed to apply the law,” she told weekly news magazine Le Point. “Every citizen is obliged to submit to identity checks when required, as was the case in this disgraceful incident.”
The 2010 law, which came into effect in April 2011, bans the wearing of any garment that prevents easy identification of an individual by police in a public place.
As well as ski masks and balaclavas, the law also applies to Islamic “niqab” and “burka” veils.
Refusal to remove veils in public or to comply with ID checks is punishable by a 150 euro fine, while people who force others to cover their faces in public face fines of 30,000 euros and a year in prison.
Source: France24
See here for more detail on this story.

UK: Former BNP Candidate Goes on Terror Rampage after Twice Failing to Pass his HGV Driving Course

From The Telegraph:

Michael Green, 48, told terrified workers he was going to “liquidise some assets” when he stormed into offices of the Advantage HGV training company on Tottenham Court Road, claiming he was laden down with explosives.
The former BNP candidate went on the rampage after twice failing to pass his HGV driving course with the firm.
Tottenham Court Road was closed for hours on April 27
after Michael Green stormed into an office, making threats
When the company refused to refund his £1,000 fee, Green, dressed as a suicide bomber entered the office block and told staff he had nothing to live for.
After ordering staff to throw computers and paperwork out of the windows into the busy streets below, Green told a pregnant hostage that he was keeping her close by for “collateral damage”.
Large parts of central London around Tottenham Court Road had to be sealed off while police marksmen and negotiators attended the scene on April 27.
Three tube stations had to be closed in the chaos and blood supplies to a nearby hospital were also affected.
Thousands of terrified office workers, together with many shoppers and tourists in the area, were evacuated during the stand-off.
At one point, Green told the general manager of the company: “This is a hostage situation I've got enough explosives to blow up the building. I've got nothing left to live for. I want you to get armed police here now.”
Police marksmen, explosive experts and negotiators all attended the scene, while snipers took up position on nearby rooftops.
Appearing at Blackfriars Crown Court on Tuesday, Green pleaded guilty to charges of false imprisonment, communicating false information with intent, and criminal damage.
Jailing him for a total of six years Judge Henry Blacksell QC ordered he serve an extended period of three years on licence after his release for what he described as a “terrifying' incident” that had been prepared in a “quite chilling” way.
He said: 'What you did, and what you set about doing, and what you set about planning was a terrible thing and it demonstrates in my judgment a disturbing aspect of your behaviour.”
The court heard that Green was a former customer of Advantage who bought a training course from the company with a view to obtaining a HGV license in 2011.
He contacted the firm by email and was offered a £1,000 in extra training but later failed the examination a second time.
In January 2012 Green had demanded a refund of his course fee but the firm said it would not give back his cash.
The court heard that Advantage HGV lost £165,000 as a result of the siege while London underground suffered a £53,000 loss.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Insanity: UK Deports Sikh Man to Afghanistan, Where he is Jailed, Abused and Tricked into Converting

After 18 months in an Afghan prison, the British government finally decided to bring him back to the UK. But that's beside the point. Why on earth would a supposedly civilized country send a non-Muslim seeking asylum back to the Islamic hell-hole he just escaped? This case is just one in a wider trend where white countries are more than happy to accept/tolerate illegal and legal Muslim immigrants, only to then send packing law-abiding Sikhs, Christians, homosexuals, etc. back to their death.

From the Guardian:

A Sikh man who was jailed in Kabul for "falsely claiming" to be an Afghan when he was deported from the UK, and says he was bullied and tricked into making a televised conversion to Islam, has been flown back to Birmingham by the British government.
The case of 23 year-old Baljit Singh highlights concerns about the justice system and the status of religious minorities in Afghanistan as the withdrawal of western troops gathers pace.
Singh was deported from the UK nearly two years ago and was spotted by Afghan government officials as soon as he stepped off the chartered aeroplane that carried the failed asylum seekers, marked out by his distinctive Sikh turban.
He was taken aside for questioning and then was put in prison for 18 months during which he never received a charge sheet, let alone a conviction. Prosecutors told him informally that his crime was falsely claiming to be Afghan.
"The only thing in his file was a note saying 'this is the day he was arrested'," said Kimberley Motley, a Kabul-based lawyer who took on his case pro bono and helped secure his release and his return to Britain.
"I wrote to the attorney general's office saying he is being held without charge, which is illegal. You can't just keep him indeterminately locked up for no reason."
But although illegal, his fate was not unusual in Afghanistan, activists say. The country is still struggling to build up its justice system and hundreds of people are jailed without a valid criminal charge.
"There are lots of people in prison in Afghanistan without legal cause, some of whom have completed their prison sentences but not been released, others charged for things that are not a crime under the penal code," said Heather Barr, Afghanistan researcher for Human Rights Watch.
"His case is unusual, but unfortunately the pattern of being put in prison without anyone finding a section of the law that you violated is not that unusual."
As well as the prospect of an indefinite spell in prison, in a country he had left when only five years old and where he no longer had friends or close relatives, Singh said he was being harassed for his religion and pressured to convert.
He was verbally and physically abused in prison. One inmate threw boiling water over him, Singh said, pulling out a picture of his bandaged face shortly after the assault.
He was also ordered to sleep in a corner of an outdoor courtyard, next to the toilet, he said. Men had to step over him on their way to relieve themselves, and as they did so, some kicked the turban that marked him out as a Sikh.
"Basically they were trying to say 'be like us'," he said of the beatings prior to his conversion, which he described as a superficial change he was tricked and harassed into.
"They said 'you should say these words', it was just an accident thing, and they lifted me up and said 'you are a Muslim'."
TV cameras were called in to record the moment and despite promises his face would be obscured, it was broadcast along with his name. "They played it on national television. They were very proud that a Sikh converted."
Singh said the conversion angered the country's already beleaguered Sikh community, which has dwindled from thousands of families to just a few hundred over 30 years of war and persecution.
"It makes me very sad, now we Sikhs only own four houses round here, most people have sold up," said Narander Singh, a fortune teller and herbalist who took his own family to India over a decade ago but could not find work so returned to Kabul to support them from a distance.
Many other men were in a similar situation, he said, with Afghan objections to the Sikh tradition of burning their dead a particular irritant. "Day by day, they are trying to leave," added Singh, who is not related to Baljit.
Baljit, who never lived in Kabul, was part of the wider exodus. He was born in the eastern town of Jalalabad. His father died when he was young and the rest of the family left Afghanistan soon after.
He was separated from his family during a journey through Pakistan, the Middle East and Europe, and ended up in England in 2007.
His first request for asylum was refused, but he remained in the UK pending an appeal, until he was abruptly arrested when he tried to register for marriage in 2010. Shortly afterwards, he was deported following what both he and Motley describe as mistakes by careless lawyers.
"It's extremely difficult to get asylum in the UK, especially if you are not physically in the country," said Motley.
"I think by them taking him back to the UK it is a recognition that there was a legal error that took place and that they are trying to correct."
Barr said the UK government's decision to deport a Sikh to Afghanistan was "shocking" given the country's limited religious freedom.
"Religious minorities are a very small portion of the population in Afghanistan, and are sometimes tolerated and sometimes not tolerated. So for the UK to send him back in the first place without carefully considering the situation of Sikhs in Afghanistan and the treatment that would await him is shocking," she said.
Singh told the Guardian by phone from Birmingham, where he is now seeking asylum, that being there felt "unbelievable". He had asked that his case not be publicised until he was back on British soil, because of worries it could complicate his departure.
"I never thought I would see the UK again … So many people are still stuck in jail [in Afghanistan]. I am so lucky," he added.
The British embassy declined to comment on the details of Singh's case, but suggested that it was convinced he is Afghan, and he was returned to the UK only because that could not be proved.
"Individuals are only returned to a country when there is substantial evidence that it is their country of origin," an embassy spokeswoman said.
"We have agreements in place with certain countries that mean we will re-admit individuals unable to prove their nationality to the satisfaction of the receiving country's authorities."
The Afghan justice ministry said it was not aware of the case, and the attorney general's office did not respond to requests for comment.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Sri Lankan Youth in Saudi Arabia at Risk of Being Beheaded for Praying to Buddha

From The Chakra News:

A Sri Lankan youth employed as a domestic aid has been arrested in Saudi Arabia for praying to a statue of Lord Buddha, which is considered an offence according to Islamic Sharia law. According to the Bodu Bala Sena, the youth bearing passport no. 2353715 identified as Premanath Pereralage Thungasiri has been arrested by Umulmahami Police, which is a grave situation. While the youth is a Buddhist, the charge levelled against him is that he paid obeisance to the Buddha at the house where he was employed.
The Bodu Bala Sena organisation further said those employed in Muslim-majority countries are prevented from practicing their religious faiths, and if found to do so are punished severely. Recently a Sri Lankan woman was arrested for gazing at a child at a shopping complex, where she was accused of witchcraft, on the grounds that she had a black cord around her wrist.
On prior occasions too many Sri Lankan female domestic workers were forced to embrace Islam, and wear the traditional attire, while so far four Sri Lankan youth have been beheaded in that country. (Source: Ceylon Today)
Saudi Arabia is an Islamic theocratic monarchy where the religion of Islam is the official religion. Non-Islamic proselytism and conversions are illegal and conversion by Muslims to another religion (apostasy) carries the death penalty. Under Saudia Arabia Sharia Islamic law, children of Saudi parents are considered Muslim, regardless of the country or the religious tradition in which they may have been raised.

Newly Discovered: (Disclaimer)

Usually I would quote the "about" page here, but there doesn't seem to be one. So I'll direct you towards what they call the Index of Islamic Infamy, that contains "Everything you ever wanted to know about Islam but were too politically correct to ask."

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Licia Corbella: Pro-Gay-Murdering Cleric Bilal Philips Prompts Feelings of Gratitude for Canada

 Licia Corbella is a columnist and the Calgary Herald editorial page editor.

From Calgary Herald:

I did everything right, or so I thought. After walking through the big main doors of the Akram Jomaa Islamic Centre in northeast Calgary on Friday it became obvious I was in the wrong place, as I was the only woman in sight.
So I walked back outside a little further south and followed some women into another door. Like everyone else, I took off my shoes, placed them neatly on the shelf and climbed the stairs. I sat down on the carpeted floor with convenient stripes that make it easy to ensure those in attendance sit facing Mecca, where I could watch through a glass balcony the men and boys gather below for prayers and to listen to controversial Muslim cleric, Bilal Philips of Toronto.
A kindly older woman offered me a head scarf. I respectfully put it on, despite the heat. A few minutes later, however, an angry greyhaired man in a plaid shirt walked into the women's area, came up to me and another female reporter from a different Calgary paper and insisted we leave. "No media allowed," he barked.
"You don't support us, we won't support you," said the man in plaid.
It was a strange occurrence, particularly since I had been invited to attend the event by both Bilal Philips himself, who sent me two complimentary tickets to the conference called: Power of Unity - Islam in a Multicultural Canada, taking place this entire weekend, as well as by Abraham Ayache, chairman of the Muslim Council of Calgary, who was putting on the event.
 Bilal Philips who supports executing homosexuals 
During an interview on June 6, Ayache told me no one had ever been kicked out any of the Sunni mosques run by the Muslim Council of Calgary. I guess I very nearly became the first.
Eventually Nagah Hage, the conference committee chair, was summoned and he granted us permission to stay just in time for prayers to start.
Philips, a Saudi-educated cleric, was born in Jamaica and raised in Ontario, where he converted to Islam. He is considered controversial because he is on the record saying that all male homosexuals should be killed for their deviant behaviour.
He is not the only contentious speaker on the agenda. Munir El-Kassem, a dentist from London, Ont., wrote a column back in 2001 that criticized the West as hypocritical and defended the medieval and murderous Taliban for destroying the sixth-century Buddha statues in Bamiyan. Shaykh Hatem Alhaj lost his job recently at the Mayo Clinic because he wrote papers in support of female genital circumcision, which is illegal in North America. He later clarified his position by saying he only supports nicking the clitoris, not cutting it right off.
Shortly after his sermon about the importance of gratitude, Philips clarified his views on homosexuality in a one-on-one interview.
In short, he only thinks homosexuals should be executed in Muslim countries and only after four people have witnessed the homosexual act.
"The media tends to take my words out of context," Philips said. "If you go back and view the lectures in which I spoke about this, those lectures were basically in defence of the sharia - the Islamic law.
"So, in explaining there that homosexuality, adultery, these are both punishable by execution where there is incontrovertible evidence, they have to have been witnessed by four trusted people in society. That is sufficient then to bring that punishment on them in a Muslim country where the sharia is applied," he explained.
"This is not a controversial thing for me," he added. "No Muslim who knows Islam would say otherwise," he said.
When it was pointed out that the Qur'an was written 1,400 years ago and things have changed, Philips said this judgment against homosexuals would "remain the law until the end of this world according to our belief. It will never change."
Nevertheless, that evening, Philips intended to lecture about how while the "Muslim identity has to be preserved. . . . Muslims have to respect the laws of their host countries they live in."
That's why, he said, "I would never advocate here in Canada the execution death penalty for homosexuals. I would never do so," Philips added.
It's a small mercy but a mercy nonetheless.
While Philips wouldn't shake my hand for religious reasons - he was charming, open and warm. When asked if he hoped that Canada would one day be governed by sharia, he said yes.
"If the majority of people become Muslims that is our hope," but he said it was highly unlikely.
When asked why if Islamic law is the ideal, why do so many people who live in Muslim countries want to move to Canada, the U.S. and other western democracies, Philips said most Muslim countries do not operate under sharia.
He named Saudi Arabia, Iran and Sudan as good examples of where sharia is "applied to a large degree."
Hardly bastions of equality, fairness, freedom, enlightenment, education and prosperity. Frankly, Philips made my point for me.
We were sitting in the large gym that was filling up. The session called "Justice for All - Why Muslims are always profiled" was ready to start. Aman Elvi, a Canadian Security Intelligence Service agent and Raj Sharma, a Calgary immigration lawyer were going to speak and I was asked to leave - again. I was told CSIS didn't want me to be present, but when I called CSIS communications in Ottawa I was told that it was the event organizers who established the parameters and "closed this event to the media."
And so, this time I really was kicked out of the event I was told was open to all.
And so I reflected on Philips' sermon on gratitude as I left. I was grateful for the sunshine, for the Tim Hortons across the road, for the kind women I met and on this Canada Day weekend, I was grateful most of all for Canada - for our parliamentary democracy and the rule of law that protects us all. I will forever stand on guard for thee.

US: Muslim Charged with 9 Counts of Attempted Murder for Trying to Kill Street Preachers

From Answering Muslims:

I heard about this when I was still in Michigan, but I didn't want to post anything until I had some documentation. I waited for the Detroit Free Press and other local media to report the story, but I gave up after more than a week of searching. Fortunately, Gadi Adelman (GA) interviewed Ruben Israel (RI) and posted the disturbing news over at Front Page Magazine.
On Sunday, June 17th, 2012, Ruben Israel's group of street preachers went to the Islamic Center of America (the same mosque I had visited two days earlier). While the group was preaching, a Muslim emerged from the mosque, got into his SUV, and tried to run them over. Mosque security naturally blamed the preachers for provoking him.
Everyone should take note here. Ruben Israel's presence at the Dearborn Arab Festival was national news. The media jumped at the chance to show images of intolerant Christians harassing Muslims (check out Niraj Warikoo's coverage over at the Detroit Free Press). While I have no objections to calling attention to (and criticizing) the actions of Ruben Israel and his associates, we should all be horrified to realize that nine counts of attempted murder by a Muslim targeting Christians isn't even considered newsworthy by local media in Michigan.
Here's an excerpt from Adelman's interview:
GA: Now give me the exclusive; what happened on Sunday?
RI: We were at the Arab fest on Friday. On Sunday we went to the mosque in Dearborn.
GA: Were you on mosque property or out on the side walk?
RI: What mosque doesn’t have a sidewalk, but we stood by the street where the side walk would be. Of course the Dearborn Police showed up instantly. We were able to use our megaphone. We were able to fly our banners and there was no problem. The officers said everything was fine and we’re doing good. There were 2 squad cars and they flanked us just to make sure we were safe. Some of the Muslims came out and were screaming at us and we yelled back and forth and we did not go on their property, and according to police it was fine.
Unfortunately, one of the Muslims got in his SUV, drove up over the hill, accelerated and came right at us where we were standing. This guy came directly at us and we had to jump out of the way and he came screaming by us. Both of the police cars stopped him, pulled him out and cuffed him and he showed no remorse. The police actually have it on video because both police cars had there dash cameras on, so it’s not like it’s my word against his.
Then mosque security came out and said that they knew this guy and that we provoked him and the Dearborn Police officer yelled at the security guard and told him if he didn’t back off he would also be arrested for hindering a police investigation.
GA: Did the guy in the SUV pull over or was he forced to?
RI: They had to block him in. Once he was on the street they were headed his way and he was blocked in. They threw him against the car, cuffed him, frisked him, checked his car and again. It’s not like we can make this up. He is now officially charged with 9 counts of attempted murder.
GA: This never hit the news, not even in Dearborn?
RI: No, of course not, but if I had attempted to run down a Muslim that would be the head news on CNN, CBS, NBC, but when a Muslim wants to take out 9 Christians. We were the visiting team. This guy may walk; he has the potential to walk. At the very best they may take away his library card for a few weeks, but he’s out on bail. He’s out on high-dollar bail and from what I was told by the detective in charge, he does have a high-dollar attorney, so he’s not going to go down easy. He’s going to fight this thing.
Hmmm. It seems police have video footage of the attempted murder of the group. Since the Dearborn Police Department and I aren't on the best of terms, anyone care to put in a FOIA request for the footage and police reports?
For more on Dearborn, click here.

‘Summer Brides’: Under-Age Daughters Sold as ‘Sex-Slaves’ in Egypt to Wealthy 'Arab' Tourists

From Al Arabiya:

Wealthy Arab tourists from Gulf countries are paying money to purchase under-age Egyptian girls as “summer-brides”, claims a new report on human trafficking released by the U.S. State Department.
The marriages are not legally binding and end when the men return to their home countries.
According to the report “Trafficking in Persons”, often times these temporary marriages are facilitated by the girls’ parents who profit from the transaction.
According to Britain’s The Daily Mail, the wealthy tourists pay an amount to poor families through intermediaries, ranging from anywhere between $495 and $4,950.The young victims, some under the age of 18, are then forced to serve as sex slaves as well as servants to their “husbands.”
Egypt has laws in place that aim to combat human trafficking which prevent foreigners from marrying an Egyptian woman if there is more than ten years age difference, but marriage brokers have found a way around that by forging birth certificates to make the girls appear older and the men younger.
These contracts also eliminate any potential problems with hotels and land lords who may demand to see proof of marriage before allowing a couple to stay in a room together, since pre-marital sex is prohibited in Islam.
In many cases, the family agrees to marry their daughter without her consent, but often the girls are willing participants as they see it as the only way to help provide for their families.
In some cases the men take the Egyptian girls back to their home country to work as maids for their first wives. But even the girls who stay in Egypt do not fare much better since they often become ostracized by society and find it difficult to re-marry in the traditional way, particularly if the “summer marriage” resulted in a child.
Many of the young women end up in a cycle of temporary marriages with Gulf tourists, and others are targeted by Egyptian men who marry them in order to force them into prostitution.
Many abandon the child out of shame, either to orphanages or leaving them to join the hundreds of thousands of street children that already exist in Egypt.
 Dr. Hoda Badran, who chairs the NGO Alliance for Arab Women, explained to the Sunday Independent that poverty is the main factor behind this phenomenon.
“If those families are in such a need to sell their daughters you can imagine how poor they are. Many times, the girl does not know she is marrying the husband just for the short term. She is young, she accepts what her family tells her, she knows the man is going to help them. If the girl is very poor, sometimes it is the only way out to help the family survive,” she told the newspaper.
The report by the State department said Egypt is making significant efforts to eliminate human trafficking, but due to the political unrest in the country over the past year, the government is unable to provide law enforcement and prosecution data on those efforts.
Furthermore, it said Egypt is continuing to develop strategies to implement a comprehensive action plan to address all aspects on trafficking.
In 2009, a court in Egypt’s second largest city Alexandria jailed two registrars for conducting temporary marriages of hundreds of underage girls, however NGOs say that this is only the tip of the iceberg, and that more needs to be done to implement existing laws.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

John R Bradley: So-Called Arab Spring a Sick Joke, Has Proved a Dismal Failure on Every Level

John R Bradley is the author of After the Arab Spring: How Islamists Hijacked The Middle East Revolts.

From the Mail Online:

Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s deposed dictator, is reportedly still in a coma after being handed a life sentence earlier this month for complicity in the deaths of almost 1,000 protesters during last year’s mass uprising against his tyrannical rule.
He is a man utterly lacking in charisma, who has only ever been interested in enriching his family and the corrupt tycoons who surrounded him. Few will shed any tears when he dies.
However, while Mubarak was no better known for his political acumen than for his benevolent rule, he has been proven right about one thing at least.
Sweeping to power: Muslim Brotherhood supporters
in Cairo's Tahrir Square at the weekend
A few days before he was forced to step down in February last year, he warned that sudden, dramatic change in the land of the pharaohs would lead only to anarchy, followed by a takeover by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood party and the imposition of strict Islamic law.
Gradual political reform, in other words, was preferable to revolutionary upheaval that had no agenda other than ousting the current leader.
That advice, at the time mocked as the self-serving twaddle it partly was, now seems strikingly prescient. Indeed, Mubarak could have been talking about the consequences of revolutionary chaos not just for Egypt, but the Arab region as a whole.
On Monday, Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, warned that the mayhem caused by the so-called Arab Spring has resulted in the creation of new Al Qaeda training camps throughout the Middle East, especially in Syria and Libya, where British jihadis are receiving training in terrorist tactics. They are intent, he added, on returning to Britain to launch attacks here.
The terrifying reality is indeed that Islamists of various factions are taking advantage of the febrile volatility in the regime to flex their muscles.
Egypt’s new president has just been announced. He is Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. His victory ends a year of political transition in the country during which the Muslim Brotherhood have thrashed their liberal opponents in every election that’s been held.
A wolf in sheep's clothing: The Muslim Brotherhood's
Mohammed Morsi has won the Egyptian Presidency
On Sunday, Morsi called for national unity. That will be a tall order. Like other so-called ‘moderate’ Islamist leaders throughout the region, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The truth is that the Muslim Brotherhood will now set about implementing their real agenda: imposing Sharia law and encouraging the growth of extreme Islam.
Still championed by over-excited, ill-informed pundits in the West, and kept alive on the ground by a gaggle of equally naive, out-of-touch and mostly English-speaking local activists, the bitter truth is that the so-called Arab Spring has proved a dismal failure on every level.
Nothing good has come of it at all, if judged by the classic Western values of liberty, freedom of expression and democratic accountability.
Hijacked: Syria's initially moderate and peaceful
uprising has been taken over by Islamist fighters
From Egypt to Tunisia, Yemen to Libya, shockingly high crime rates, economies in free-fall and decimated tourism industries are the terrifying new realities Arabs must now confront.
And in each of those countries, radical Islamists have moved quickly to fill the social and political vacuum. They have used a simple strategy: relying on gaining a majority from the minority who vote, and blatantly disregarding rules that ban foreign campaign donations from neighbouring states, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, looking to extend their influence in the region.
Both these countries, although Western allies, also subscribe to Wahhabism — the strictest and most austere interpretation of Islam that even bans contact between unrelated men and women. They also consider it their God-given duty to promote this ‘pure’ version of Islam whenever the opportunity arises, thus their attempts to exploit the Middle East’s disarray.
In Morocco, Kuwait and Algeria — the only Arab countries that have held parliamentary elections during the past year — affiliates of the Muslim Brotherhood have swept to power.
Now the Muslim Brotherhood itself has also triumphed in both Egypt’s parliamentary and presidential elections. Meanwhile, Syria’s initially popular and peaceful uprising is in the midst of being hijacked by a band of fanatical international jihadists also intent on imposing Sharia law.
These more extremist Syrian insurgents, who employ classic terrorist tactics such as suicide bombings and kidnappings, are being funded by the most repressive, undemocratic Islamist theocracy in the region: Saudi Arabia.
Ironically, because of the grip of its leaders, the repressive Saudi kingdom itself has witnessed no major uprising, apart from sporadic demonstrations among its repressed Shia minority.
Meanwhile, in Libya — despite Britain and France’s intervention — Islamist militias now rule the streets. The country is at serious risk of being torn apart along tribal and regional lines.
Just last week, more than 100 people were killed in clashes between rival tribes in Libya’s south, and a band of armed Islamists occupied the capital’s airport in protest at the arrest of one of their members. The Libyan transitional government exists only in name.
In neighbouring Tunisia, the birthplace of this Arabian nightmare, thousands of zealots last week rioted throughout the country — the latest violent agitations against artworks deemed insulting to Islam. What was once the most socially liberal and progressive Arab country has, like Egypt, in a year become yet another backwater for extreme Islam.
Tunisia, too, is now governed by a Muslim Brotherhood offshoot called Ennahda. Its electoral success, like that of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, is widely reported to have been achieved in part by substantial funding from the states of the Persian Gulf — Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Thus we are witnessing a ruthlessly successful counter-revolution led by these two countries. For both nations, secularism and democracy are anathema, as they are using their immense wealth to successfully install their extremist Islamist proxies.
The terrifying reality is that we are seeing once secular, tolerant cultures being dragged back to the Middle Ages — and with the implicit blessing of the West. Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s continued status as a vital Western ally holds up a mirror to the rank hypocrisy of the pro-democracy rhetoric we hear from the likes of Barack Obama and David Cameron.
How extraordinary it was to hear last week, for example, Western leaders’ gushing praise on the occasion of the death of Saudi interior minister Prince Naif. This was a man who, for decades, was at the helm of a vast army of internal security forces that had a repugnant record for crushing all political dissent.
The truth is from the outset of the Arab Spring, realpolitik dictated the Western powers’ determination to contain Iran and ultimately trumped any concerns about human rights and democracy. Sunni Saudi Arabia is Shia-dominated Iran’s arch-enemy. Saudi Arabia is Britain’s biggest trading partner and a reliable source of affordable oil.
Yet, despite all this, liberals in the West continue to call for more uprisings in the Arab world, more bravery from the protesters, more upheavals, more violence and chaos — all in the name of a democracy in which most Arabs have no interest in partaking, and which is being shamelessly manipulated by outside powers.
The ousting of staunchly secular Tunisian dictator Ben Ali in January 2011 marked the birth of the Arab Spring.
The country’s subsequent descent into religious extremism, lawlessness and economic ruin is a microcosm of what has happened throughout the region in all the countries caught up in the ongoing turmoil.
Elections last October brought to power Ennahda, the self-professed ‘moderate’ Islamist political party that is affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood and which was banned under Ben Ali. However, tens of thousands of more radical Salafi Muslims have been causing constant mayhem on the streets of Tunis and throughout the country, attacking liberal artists and filmmakers, firebombing shops that sell alcohol, and assaulting women who refuse to wear the veil.
In recent weeks, rumours have been rife in the country that the Salafis may be about to launch an armed insurrection. Their goal: creating a hardline Islamist state.
The National Transitional Council, which has ruled since last year’s Nato-led uprising in Libya, governs in name only. Since the fall of Tripoli in August 2011, Libya has been in turmoil.
Officials openly admit billions of dollars have been smuggled out of the country by corrupt officials and businessmen, while the country’s infrastructure is disintegrating.
Just this month, the British ambassador’s vehicle was attacked by rocket-propelled grenades, and the U.S. Consulate was bombed. The latter attack was claimed by a local Islamist group, which said it was angered by assassinations of suspected Al Qaeda members in Pakistan.
Parliamentary elections slated for this month have been postponed until July  7, with officials citing ‘logistical and technical’ reasons for the delay. Not that most people in this most tribal of Arab countries, as elsewhere in the region, are likely to care.
Since Mubarak was ousted, the Muslim Brotherhood has repeatedly shown it is willing — indeed eager — to reach compromises with the elite group of generals overseeing the messy transition to democracy.
That co-operation will continue now that Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi is president.
The Muslim Brotherhood will leave policy decisions concerning the defence budget and foreign relations to the generals.
Instead, it will concentrate on radicalising Egyptian society through parliament — with devastating consequences for the liberal elite and religious minorities.
Exaggerated reports of the imminent overthrow of President Bashar al-Assad’s authoritarian regime have been a staple of the Western media for more than a year.
However, the initially peaceful street demonstrations have been hijacked by armed gangs of radical Islamists, whose members are drawn from both inside and outside the country. For the time being, the majority of the Syrian people are therefore sticking with the devil they know.
Still, with the Syrian regime’s crackdown on all dissent as ruthless as ever, the country could quickly descend into bloody civil war.

A Trend Away from Islam in Indonesia; 2 Million Indonesian Muslim Apostates Every Year

It is now no secret that "moderate" Indonesia is not quite so moderate. But as the so-called "extremists" get louder and more violent, the tide seems to be turning. There is taking place a quiet trend away from Islam. Apparently 2 Million Indonesian Muslims are leaving Islam for Christianity every year. This isn't Christian missionary propaganda. These figures are from an Islamic organization (see video below).

From the FFI Forum:

It has been obvious for quite some time that Islam in Indonesia is somewhat on the decline...
In a country where some 90% of the population is Muslim, only 15% vote for the main Islamic parties, that is down from 29% in 2009.
It is obvious that political Islam in Indonesia is rapidly becoming a marginal issue in local politics. The Bali bombings had something to do with this effect, as did various political scandals involving Muslim ministers.
details here
So the vast majority of Indonesian Muslims want a secular government, one where religion and government are kept apart.
On a personal level, we read that there are also each year about 2 million Indonesians who leave Islam, some for other religions, often Christianity, others for none. If this trend continues, then Islam as a "religion" will also decline over the years, though the figure given on the article on the main site, 2030, may be a little premature.
The Islam in everyday Indonesia is quite different from that found in Arabic countries. People quite deliberately nurture a culture of "not knowing" about Islam, and to most folk it is a case of fasting and saying prayers, not eating pork, and not asking questions. Very few will even know the Qur'an. Increasingly, amongst the young, with the Internet, this blissful ignorance gets destroyed. While Malaysia bans a lot of sites about Islam, Indonesia does not.
So, is the writing on the wall?
Why is Indonesia bucking the trend?

Monday, 23 July 2012

Newly Discovered: (Disclaimer)

Welcome to Handbook for Infidels, a candid, unflinching appraisal of the religion that keeps making the news, around the world, day after day. This site attempts to shed some light on just why Islam keeps making the news, and why that news is never pretty.
The Handbook is intended to serve as a wake-up call for some of my dozy (or less scrappy) fellow progressives, who seem unaware that we're now engaged in a global War of Ideas that's much bigger, and more threatening, than the absurdly-named "War on Terror" suggests. HFI is one-stop shopping for the secular progressive who wants to get the skinny on what we're facing in the Muslim world, and what we can do to protect our more enlightened, life-embracing culture from the advancing shadow of grim, aggressive Islamism.
Some key points to get out of the way:
1) This site is NOT about hate. The Candid Progressive is too happy to be a hater. But not so blissed-out as to be unperturbed by a barbaric, woman-hating, freedom-squelching ideology with hordes of violence-prone True Believers, who are just aching to drag us all back into the Seventh Century and make us slaves to ancient superstition. That sort of jangling, in-your-face insanity does manage to puncture my cozy little bubble of bourbon-fueled bonhomie from time to time -- and from my (relatively) civilized, femme-loving, liberty-addicted perspective, that whole scenario seems more than a little f’d up. Toss in the fact that I consider religious superstition to be the greatest impediment to intellectual, moral, and spiritual enlightenment, and the result is a politically incorrect book that treats Islam with exactly as much respect as it deserves, and gives faint-hearted multiculturalists the "vapors”.
2) This site is NOT about racism. I have nothing but respect for former Muslims, regardless of their race/color/ethnicity. And I consider bone-headed white converts to Islam to be just as great a threat to democracy and human decency as rabid Wahhabis in Saudi Arabia. The trick (which many of my fellow Lefties have not yet mastered) is to ignore skin color, language, and geography, and focus on the ideas that motivate people, and on their resulting actions. Race has nothing to do with it.
3) If white people behaved in the ways that millions of dusky-hued Muslims do every day, liberals would be literally foaming at the mouth in their condemnation of them. On MSNBC, they would never shut up about those vile, pedophilic, wife-beating, honor-killing, homo-hanging Scandinavian bastards. But since the miscreants (and the victims, for the most part) are swarthy people from "developing" nations, the mainstream media seems to have nothing but respect for their ideology and culture. Apparently they get a special Brown People Dispensation, and are thus beyond reproach. That, of course, is bullshit. Bad behavior is bad behavior, regardless of who is hacking off their pubescent daughter's genitalia, or stoning someone to death.
4) This is a critique of an ideology -- an ideology that is inherently hostile to democracy, free speech, freedom of the press, women’s rights and other fundamental human rights -- principles that all progressives should support wholeheartedly. Islam's brutal subjugation of women should be reason enough to make all liberals unite in heated opposition to it. (And the fact that this has not happened indicates that something very strange and unlikely is going on here, between Islam and the political left.)
5) The idea that Muslims should somehow be exempt from having their ideology criticized (in a way that Catholics, or Mormons, or Christian Creationists, for instance, are not) is a bigoted position, because it’s based upon the assumption that they are too uncivilized, or too immature, to handle it. It’s actually more respectful to treat them as adults, like everyone else, and expect them to deal with criticism without reacting violently, just like everyone else.
6) Some cultures are clearly far more enlightened and humane than others. A brief look at what goes on in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan makes this fact obvious. Cultural relativism is a lie, and it serves no purpose, except to prevent backward cultures from engaging in the kind of honest self-criticism that leads to the development of happier, healthier, more progressive societies.
7) Political correctness is totally counter to the spirit of free speech, and prevents the discussion of important truths. It might make superficial people feel more comfortable, but it has serious, real-life consequences. Political correctness is an unacceptable hindrance for serious people who want to see the world become a better place.
8) Ultimately, the problem here is religion in general -- a problem of people accepting “revealed” truths without sufficient evidence, and confidently acting upon those beliefs, regardless of the consequences. Magic-thinking still causes a vast amount of misery around the world, and prevents the development of more enlightened intellects and moral codes. That being said, no other religion in the 21st Century continues to promote medieval barbarism on such an epic scale as Mohammed’s “spiritual” legacy. Islam is religion taken to its most diabolic extreme. [...]

Reading Material for Muslims During Ramadan 2012

Brief Summary of Islamic Fasting

Sawm (صوم‎) is the Arabic word which refers to Islamic fasting. The observance of sawm during the Islamic month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam and therefore a compulsory (fard) duty.
The salient features of Islamic fasting are:
 *For 30 days every lunar year (during the month of Ramadan), waking up before dawn and eating and drinking to prepare for the fast 
 *Refraining from eating, drinking, smoking, and engaging in sexual intercourse from dawn (fajr) to sunset (maghrib). 
 *Breaking the fast at sunset and again eating and drinking to prepare for the day ahead. 
The adverse effects of Islamic fasting are vast and encompass such issues as; health, national economy and productivity, crime rates, public safety and social behavior. In practice, Islamic fasting is unlike medical fasting or fasting as found in other religious traditions. It is more accurately described as delayed eating; Muslims simply turn their eating habits upside down and gorge at dusk and at dawn.
Binge eating is a common habit during Ramadan.[1] For example, in Egypt, national statistics point to a substantial increase in consumption of food, electricity, and medications related to digestive disorders during the month of Ramadan as compared with the monthly average in the rest of the year.[2] Similarly in Doha, Qatar, almost 8,000 cases of indigestion were recorded at the Hamad Medical Hospital emergency room solely in the first week of Ramadan 2011, due to "most of the population sleeping during the day" and eating "large feasts".[3]
Once the month of Ramadan comes to an end, Muslims then observe Eid ul-Fitr ("Festival of Fast-Breaking"), a day to celebrate the end of Ramadan. Eid celebrations include the unprecedented large-scale slaughter of hundreds of thousands,[4] possibly millions, of animals. In the Netherlands alone, which has little over a million Muslims, a 100,000 animals were slaughtered in 2010 for Eid al-Adha ("Festival of Sacrifice").[5]

 References for the article here:

Adverse Effects of Islamic Fasting

Medical fasting is different from Islamic fasting (Sawm), and contrary to popular Muslim beliefs, Islamic fasting, unlike Medical fasting, has numerous adverse effects that have been observed using scientific studies and news sources. Intermittent and prolonged fasting is generally not conducive to a healthy lifestyle. Depriving the body of water and essential nutrients by dividing and postponing meals to irregular intervals does nothing to limit consumption. In-fact it causes a host of health, performance and mood disorders. Fasting is not normally prescribed for the well being of human beings. Instead, it is commonly understood that eating healthy, smaller-portioned meals, interspersed throughout the day is far better in maintaining a well-balanced diet and far more forgiving on a person's metabolism. Any claims that prolonged and intermittent fasting contributes to the well-being of an individual's health are misleading, based on the scientific studies that prove otherwise. If the Islamic argument in favor of fasting is that “we fast because God commanded us to do so," then it is obvious that God is not a nutritionist or a dietitian because the negatives definitely outweigh the positives. So the question to the Muslim world is: what benefit does the Muslim world get for 1 billion people staying hungry throughout the day for one full month every year? Did Allah actually want Muslims to suffer physically, economically and socially for one month every year? Also, if fasting is beneficial as Muslims claim, why do Muslims not fast the entire year instead of just one month?

Read the full article here:

The Ramadan Pole Paradox

This article consists of a set of questions and answers exploring Ramadan's relation to the North and South Poles. According to Islamic rules, the length of a fast is governed by the rising and the setting of the sun. This can cause a huge problem for those who live close to these poles. The closer we get to the poles, the longer our days or nights become. They can eventually extend for up to several months each, making the fourth Pillar of Islam impossible to practice without starving yourself to death. Obviously Muhammad was unaware of the poles.

Read the full article here:

Muslim Statistics (Ramadan and Eid)

With the advent of Ramadan in just a few days, child trafficking, a trade that sometimes goes unpunished in Yemen, is expected to increase as food prices rise and parents struggle to provide for their children.
"I think during Ramadan prices rise and there is a lapse of security along the borders," Coordinator of Child Parliament Om Khalthoum said.
Almost 1,500 Yemeni children were saved by child protection centers from exploitation, abuse and deprivation that come at the hands of their traffickers or smugglers, according to Naseem Ur-Rahman of UNICEF. Yemeni children, primarily boys, are trafficked into Saudi Arabia for exploitation as beggars, street vendors and unskilled laborers.
While there are no statistics that determine how many children are trafficked on an annual basis, authorities do know that during the month of Ramadan the numbers rise. "One of the main problems is that there is a lack of reliable data," Ur-Rahman said.
. . .
There is also a need for a legal description of children trafficking specifically for sex, begging or any other action that assists or encourages children to escape from their houses to practice prostitution or any other immoral actions. Occasionally children are even maimed or crippled in order to ensure success in begging.
. . .
Despite making great strides in recent years, the government of Yemen does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Even with their latest significant efforts, the Yemeni government did not show evidence of progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders or in preventing sex trafficking over the last year, according to the US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report for 2009.
The Yemeni government reported no trafficking investigations, prosecutions, or convictions during the reporting period, and took no steps to address trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Read the full article here:

Ramadan Bombathon 2012

Oh, and don't forget to keep yourself up-to-date over at TROP with the latest scores in the 2012 Ramadan Bombathon. Islam (like last year, and the year before that) has taken an early lead:

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Malaysia: Educational Book has Offensive Caricatures of Africans, refers to Them as “Mr. Charcoal.”

According to the propaganda, Islam "eradicates racism". Apparently not....

From Bikya Masr:

KUALA LUMPUR: Black face is never a good idea. Malaysia’s new comic book aimed at educating the country’s taxi drivers as cultural ambassadors for the country has shown that racism and xenophobia can find a place in the location one least expects it.

For the Malaysian government to employ it and publish Africans in this lens is “disrespectful and racist,” said cultural psychologist Mariam Razq, who told that she was “shocked that in today’s modern multicultural world, this kind of overt racism continues.”

She was referring to a recent “M1-Malaysia” magazine aimed at educating the governments recent addition of taxi drivers to be the frontline for tourist relations in the country.

The booklet reveals the dark side of racism and its undercurrents that can be shown publicly. In the magazine, dark-skinned foreigners are depicted with large mouths, white lipstick and slapstick-type qualities in what experts and organizations haave condemned as “highly crude and discriminatory remarks.”

In a statement the Working Group on National Ratification of International Convention for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination said the booklet is a distorted propaganda publication bearing the 1Malaysia logo and was widely distributed at the 1Malaysia People’s Taxi Program launch on June 25.

“We strongly and collectively condemn the discriminatory cartoon in the comic booklet entitled “M1-Malaysia – Majalah untuk rakyat,” the statement said.

“The irony is this degrading comic book was actually given to the thousands of tax drivers who were being heralded as the “tourism ambassadors” of our country,” the coalition of NGOs said in the statement.

The booklet continued to refer to black foreigners as “Mr. Charcoal.”

Razq said that getting beyond racism can be a difficult process and one that takes time, “but government officials should have known better than to publish something so blatant and which could have horrible affects for black people visiting the country.”

“This negative depiction of any race or nationality based on skin color is a violation of basic human rights. Sadly this embarrassing document obviously contradicts the spirit, sentiment and principles of “1 Malaysia” as espoused by PM Najib’s government.

“Respect, unity and tolerance for all are not values only to be enjoyed by Malaysian Citizens but they are universal principles applicable for all human beings on this earth!

“This “Xenophobic” behavior or the ridiculous and unreasonable fear or hatred of foreigners is truly embarrassing for our nation and our multicultural population. It is a total contradiction to the common claim that Malaysians are very sensitive to each other despite racial and religious differences, and we have achieved the delicate balance of “unity in diversity”,” said the statement in demanding the government immediately remove the document from circulation and publish a new magazine that accurately represents dark-skinned visitors to the country.

The statement continued to warn and question what the result would be if children in Malaysia came in contact with the booklet.

The Malaysia Information Ministry said it was looking into the matter and would investigate the groups’ argument and claims.

For now, the booklet remains in public view, and for the first line of “ambassadors” and taxi drivers who will meet and greet visitors to the country, there are worries that it could have dramatic consequences.

Razq said that more efforts are needed to “educate Malaysians on differences between people, but in a manageable way that does not divide and show people that it is all right to promote racist behavior.”

Tidiane N'Diaye: The Veiled Genocide (The Islamic Slave Trade of Black Africans)

For more books on the Islamic slave trade, see Books on Slavery. To contribute and keep yourself up-to-date on the fight against modern-day slavery (widely ignored by "human-rights activists" because Muslims remain the main perpetrators of this trade), visit

Video Description:

Any black African Who Refused to Become Muslim was Deported as a Slave to Muslim World
17 million black Africans who refused to convert to Islam were deported to the Muslim world as slaves. The history of this trading of humans is still a taboo subject. Tidiane N'Diaye breaks the silence in his book 'The Veiled Genocide'. And the worst part is that most of the enslaved were castrated and sadly, weren't allowed to have any children. The Islamic slave trade of black Africans lasted over 13 centuries.

MEMRI Video and Transcript: Sunni Fatwa Allows Sodomy for Jihad Purposes

I'm not against 'sodomy' between two consenting adults, but this may be taking it a little far....


Following are excerpts from an address by London-based Shiite cleric Abdallah Al-Khilaf, which aired on Fadak TV and was posted on Youtube, on June 16, 2012.
Abdallah Al-Khilaf: First, we'd like to show you a fatwa, which appeared on the Lions of Sunna Internet forum. One Wahhabi wrote: "Dear Sheik, may Allah grant you martyrdom and black-eyed virgins in Paradise, I wanted to commit a martyrdom operation. I turned to Sheik Abu Dimaa Al-Qassab, who told me that they had invented a new and unprecedented form of martyrdom operations – explosive capsules are inserted into your anus.
"In order to train for this method of Jihad, you must consent to being sodomized for a period of time, so that your anus becomes wider, making room for the explosives.
"My question is whether I am permitted to allow one of the mujahideen access to my anus, if my intentions are honorable, and the purpose is to train for Jihad by widening my anus."
The sheik praised Allah and said: "In principle, sodomy is forbidden. However, Jihad is more important. It is the pinnacle of Islam. If sodomy is the only way to reach this pinnacle of Islam, then there is no harm in it.
"The rule is that necessity makes the forbidden permissible. Something that is required in order to perform a duty becomes a duty in and of itself. No duty takes precedence over Jihad.
"Therefore, you must be sodomized... After you have been sodomized, you must ask Allah for forgiveness.
"Know, my son, that Allah resurrects the mujahideen on Judgment Day on the basis of their intentions. Allah willing, your intention is to support Islam. May Allah include you among those who heed His call."
This is the fatwa that led a man a while ago to carry out a bombing attack against then Interior Minister Naif bin Abd Al-Aziz [sic].

Newly Discovered: (again, I would normally provide a disclaimer here, but this site was created by a recent Pakistani Muslim-turned-atheist who had previously been very active in defending Islam on Internet forums. So whilst the site is still a work in progress, I highly recommend showing your support by visiting it)

Islam is a false religion with out any doubt. Purpose of this site will not be bashing muslims but to educate people in particular muslims about Islam. The glorified version of Islam and Muhammad that muslims learn while growing up and which is in-grained on their minds is not true. Muslims should know the facts about Islam, Quran, Muhammad and Islamic history.
I am an ex-muslim and one time staunch defender of Muhammad and Islam. It is my sincere hope to save as many muslims as I can from the curse of Islam. It is an evil barbaric ideology which has no place in 21st century civilised world. I will prove here without any doubt that Islam is a bogus religion and Muhammad and Quran have nothing to do with any god

Saudi Arabia: Destination for Human Trafficking, “Forced Prostitution”, Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking “Modest” at Best

From Bikya Masr:

Saudi Arabia is a “destination country” for men and women being trafficked for labor and “to a lesser extent, forced prostitution,” said the United States Department of State in its annual report on human trafficking published June 19.
Men and women from countries like India, Pakistan, Indonesia and Sudan travel to Saudi Arabia as domestic servants or other low-skilled workers.
Some of them subsequently face conditions comparable to involuntary servitude, including long working hours, deprivations of food, physical or sexual assault and restrictions on movement.
The report further claims that although many migrant laborers sign contracts, many report work conditions “that are substantially different from those described in the contract.”
These conditions are exacerbated by Saudi Arabia’s law, which requires foreign workers to obtain permission from their employer to get an exit visa before leaving the country.
According to the report, many employers make use of this law, forcing migrant workers to stay for months or years beyond their contract term.
The US State Department asserts that the efforts of Saudi government to combat human trafficking have been “modest” at best. Although the government reported that it prosecuted 11 cases of human trafficking, it is unclear if these cases occurred during the reporting period.
During the reporting period, the government achieved only one conviction under the anti-trafficking law. Details of the cases were not provided.
Additionally, the government’s annual budget for the fiscal year 2012 dedicates $1 million to the permanent committee to combat trafficking. However, procedures have never been implemented to systematically identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations. Moreover, the government officials lack the necessary training on prevention and prosecution of these cases, the report said.
This is not to say that Saudi government has made no progress. It is now a tier three country, according to the US State Department’s ranking and there have been some cases where foreign workers successfully sought help from the authorities.
In one case, a Saudi sponsor paid an Indonesian domestic worker $15,200 in back wages after Riyadh police intervened. In another case, a provincial governor helped an Indian shepherd to recover more than $22,500 in unpaid wages.
The Saudi Ministry of Labor has also produced a guidebook delineating foreign workers’ rights in Arabic, English and a few other languages. These guidebooks are continuously distributed in airports and contain a telephone number for workers to report abuse. Saudi police has likewise maintained a 24-hour emergency anti-trafficking hotline with operators who speak Arabic and English.
The US Department of State suggested various reports to the Saudi government in the sponsorship system and enforcing existing laws to discourage employers from withholding workers’ passports and restricting workers’ movements, including arbitrarily denying permission for exit visas.
The report also encouraged increased efforts to prosecute, punish, and stringently sentence traffickers.