Saudi police ban the sale of cats and dogs (& Gaddafi’s son: Pope must convert)

September 21, 2006

* Libyan dictator Gaddafi’s son: Pope should convert to Islam “immediately”
* Six-year-old girl burned to death in “honor” killing in Birmingham, England
* Horrific 12-day gang rape of mother/daughter as punishment for college
* Nigerian pickpocket in Saudi Arabia has hand cut off
* Islamists close down Somali radio station for airing “love songs”
* Al-Qaeda threatens France



1. Did anyone say double standards?
2. Saudi religious police ban cats and dogs
3. Nigerian pickpocket at Mecca’s Grand Mosque has hand cut off
4. Six-year-old girl burned to death in “honor” killing in Birmingham, England
5. Horrific 12-day gang rape of mother/daughter as punishment for college
6. Ruler of Dubai accused of child trafficking
7. Islamists close down Somali radio station for airing “love songs”
8. Islamic conference: Muslims must buy up western media
9. Suicide bombing spreads
10. Gaddafi’s son: Pope must convert to Islam “immediately”
11. Al-Qaeda “leader” claims murder of Sudan newspaper editor
12. Al-Qaeda threatens France
13. 40 killed in Yemen stampede
14. Head of Muslim Council of Britain warns of two million terrorists
15. Hizbullah announces “victory rally” tomorrow
16. Report: Freed terrorists killed 132 Israelis after release
17. Saddam rages against “agents of Zionism”
18. Associated Press employee “spied for Saddam”

[Note by Tom Gross]


The following notes, about some of the excesses of the Islamic world, accompanies this week’s other dispatches about the reaction by some Muslims to Pope Benedict XVI’s comments on Islam.

Those so vigorously protesting the pope’s remarks seem to have little to say about fellow Muslims citing the Koran to justify, and even command, the killing of “apostates” who leave Islam (like former Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali), and of “blasphemers” (like Salman Rushdie), and of “infidels” in general and Jews and homosexuals in particular.

They have little to say about the numerous senior Islamic preachers who have savagely incited against Jews from their pulpits often broadcast live on state-television informing worshippers that Jews are descended from monkeys and dogs, are subhuman, and undeserving of life.

They have little to say about the Koranic commands for amputating hands, for public floggings and beheadings, and for wife-beating, let alone about the lack of freedom of worship afforded to other faiths in countries like Saudi Arabia. They have little to say about the suicide bomb attacks on Christians, Jews, Hindus and others carried out in the name of Islam.

Here are a few news items from recent days:


Saudi Arabia’s religious police, who usually spend their time making sure women cover themselves, men attend prayers and that married men and women don’t mix, have a new rule to enforce. They have issued a decree banning the sale of cats and dogs in the Red Sea port city of Jiddah and in the holy city of Mecca because “some youths have been buying them and parading them in public,” according to a memo from the Municipal Affairs Ministry, republished by the Associated Press.

No other Arab country restricts pet ownership. Last year Iranian police urged people not to bring their dogs out in public, but this was never enshrined in law and was widely ignored by Iranian dog-owners.

The prohibition on dogs in Saudi Arabia does not come as a surprise, since conservative Muslims think dogs are unclean. The ban on cats has been questioned by some since Islamic tradition holds that the Prophet Mohammed loved cats and once let a cat drink from his ablutions water before washing himself for prayers.


A Nigerian man, convicted of stealing at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, has had his right hand severed.

Kurba Thani Mohammed was found guilty of “pickpocketing inside the Great Mosque,” according to a statement carried by the official Saudi government SPA news agency.

Saudi Arabia applies a strict form of Sharia (Islamic law) that provides for severing the hand for theft, and the death penalty for a host of other offenses.


Alisha Begum, a six-year-old girl living in Birmingham, England, was killed in an arson attack on her home, Birmingham Crown Court heard yesterday. The attack was planned by Hussain Ahmed, a 26-year-old dentist, and Daryll Tuzzio, 18, after Ahmed found out his 15-year-old sister was seeing Alisha’s brother, Abdul Hamid, 21.

Birmingham Crown Court was told yesterday by prosecutor Adrian Redgrave: “One hears of so-called honor killings though one may wonder how by any stretch of the imagination there can be any honor in what happened here, resulting in the death of a six-year-old child.” For more, see here.


One of Australia’s leading papers reports that news of another horrific gang rape in Pakistan emerged over the weekend. A mother and daughter in a rural area were abducted and gang-raped for 12 days because the daughter refused to stop going to college in defiance of local Islamic custom. I have not seen this crime reported in most North American and European news media, many of which instead fill up their foreign news pages with articles critical only of America and Israel. For more see here.


A suit has been filed in a Florida court alleging that the ruler of Dubai and his brother have enslaved around 30,000 children over the past 30 years for use as camel jockeys.

The defendants include Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the minister of finance and industry.

The brothers, who are among the world’s best-known racehorse owners, are accused of trafficking boys as young as 2 from Bangladesh, Sudan and southern Asia.

The claim is based on an international law banning slavery and child labor and was filed in Florida because the defendants own property there.


Islamists in control of large parts of southern Somalia shut down a radio station for airing “music and love songs.” Radio Jowhar was closed last week after Sheikh Mohammed Abdirahman ordered that playing “music and love songs for the people” was un-Islamic and would be banned.

The station has since resumed broadcasting on condition it no longer plays any music or jingles. It was the only radio station in Jowhar, 55 miles from the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Elsewhere in Somalia, radio stations are still broadcasting normally, playing all kinds of music, including western hip-hop and R ‘n’ B.

Since capturing a large swathe of southern Somalia (including the capital) in June, Islamic groups have imposed strict Sharia rule. Islamists in Mogadishu have banned the watching of films, and broken up wedding celebrations where bands were playing music and women and men were seen socializing together.

During the recent soccer World Cup, Islamist gunmen in Somalia pulled the plug on makeshift cinemas airing the soccer tournament. For more, see Banning the World Cup, Israeli wine labels, and other items (June 14, 2006).


Almost none of the above stories received much coverage in mainstream western media, which tends to be dominated by journalists with leftist opinions who wish to avoid reporting on human rights abuses in the Muslim world. However, it seems government ministers from Islamic countries would like to see even less western coverage.

Information ministers and officials meeting under the auspices of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the world’s largest Islamic body, were told at a conference in Saudi Arabia last Wednesday that Muslim tycoons should buy stakes in global media outlets to help change reporting on Muslims around the world.

“Muslim investors must invest in the large media institutions of the world so that they have the ability to affect their policies via their administrative boards,” the chief of the OIC, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, said.

He added that “This would benefit in terms of correcting the image of Islam worldwide.” He called on Muslim countries to set up more television channels in widely-spoken foreign languages.

Billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal already has a sizeable stake in News Corp., the Rupert Murdoch-run group which owns the Fox News Channel.

Egyptian Information Minister Anas el-Feki also told the OIC: “Now more than ever we need a new Islamic media message that reaches all parts of the world.”


The phenomena of the suicide bomb, which some in the west (such as Tony Blair’s wife Cherie) were almost sympathetic to when its prime victims were Israelis*, continues to spread to more and more countries. On Monday, Somalia became the latest country to witness its first suicide bomb attack, during which the Somalian president survived an assassination attempt. Five members of the president’s entourage died in the blast in the central Somalian city of Baidoa.

“The assassination attempt today in Baidoa is associated with what happened in Mogadishu on Sunday where the Catholic nun was killed in the cold blood. Whoever was behind that attack is also behind this,” the Somali foreign minister said.

* One prominent western politician who continues to offer encouragement to Palestinian suicide bombers is Dr. Jenny Tonge, a prominent parliamentarian for the British Liberal Democratic party who on Tuesday at the annual Lib Dem Conference reiterated her support for suicide bombings in Israel. She also made anti-Semitic comments, which as British journalist and commentator Stephen Pollard points out could have come straight out of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

For more on Tonge, see For and against: the British MP who would be a suicide bomber, (Jan. 26, 2004).


The elder son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has told Pope Benedict XVI that he must convert to Islam “immediately,” dismissing Sunday’s apology from the pontiff for supposedly offending Muslims.

“If this person were really someone reasonable, he would not agree to remain at his post one minute, but would convert to Islam immediately,” Mohammed Gaddafi told an awards ceremony in Tripoli for an international competition to memorize the Koran. “We say to the pope whether you apologize or not is irrelevant, as apologies make no difference to us.”

Gaddafi junior also hit out at “those Muslims who look for comfort in the words of a non-Muslim”. He said Muslims “should not look for charity from the infidel... but should fight Islam’s enemies who attack the faith and the Prophet Mohammed.”


While Islamist-backed Arab militias continue to carry out mass killings verging on genocide in the Darfur region of southern Sudan, other atrocities are taking place elsewhere in the country.

Abu Hafs al-Sudani, who says he is the leader of an African branch of al-Qaeda, has claimed responsibility for the beheading of a Sudanese newspaper editor last week.

A statement by al-Sudani called the beheaded editor, Mohammed Taha a “dog of dogs from the ruling party,” and accused him of insulting the prophet Mohammed.

Last year Taha reprinted a series of articles questioning the roots of the Prophet Mohammed. He was kidnapped from outside his home in Khartoum, and beheaded last Wednesday. The north of Sudan is under Sharia law.

For commentary on the mass killings in the south, see Sudan genocide 2: Where’s Sean Penn when you need him? Where’s the ISM?, (Aug. 9, 2004), and other previous dispatches.


Al-Qaeda has for the first time announced a union with the Algerian insurgent “Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat,” which is known by its French initials GSPC, and has designated France as an enemy. They say they will act together against French and American targets.

Al-Qaeda No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the “blessed union” in the most recent al-Qaeda video posted on the internet to mark the fifth anniversary of 9/11. Al-Zawahiri said “All the praise is due to Allah for the blessed union which we ask Allah to be as a bone in the throats of the Americans and French Crusaders and their allies, and inspire distress, concern and dejection in the hearts of the traitorous, apostate sons of France.”

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French interior minister, said “We take these threats very seriously.” He added that the threat to France was “high” and “permanent,” and that “absolute vigilance” was required. France’s leaders have warned previously that the decision not to join the U.S.-led war in Iraq would not shield the country from Islamic terrorism.

In an article published on September 14, the French daily Le Figaro confirmed that the French secret services believe that there are several dozen Algerian GSPC terrorist cells in France. Le Figaro said GSPC is in deep difficulties in Algeria but is gaining strength in Europe. The French authorities are worried about the consequences of their policies aiming at a national reconciliation in Algeria. Since the beginning of 2006, more than 2,000 prisoners (including former members of the armed Islamist group GIA) have been freed.

(For more, in French, see this article in Le Figaro. There is a slightly shorter version in English here.)


At least 40 people were killed when a political meeting in Yemen ended and too many people tried to exit from a single door. Another 100 people were injured at the rally addressed by President Ali Abdallah Salih in the run-up to the upcoming presidential election.

Separately, four French tourists were kidnapped in Yemen last Sunday. It is the latest in a series of hostage takings as the Abdallah tribe attempts the release of many of its members from government detention.

Yemeni authorities have announced that they prevented a double suicide-bombing on oil refineries in the country. The announcement last Friday came two days after al-Qaeda had warned it intended to carry out attacks against Arab states in the Persian Gulf region. According to the Sana news agency, four would-be bombers, on their way to two oil and gas facilities, were intercepted and killed. One security officer also died.


Mohammed Abdul Bari, the secretary-general of Britain’s main Muslim group, the Muslim Council of Britain, has blamed “some police officers and sections of the media” for “demonizing Muslims, treating them as if they’re all terrorists and that encourages other people to do the same.” Bari also told The Sunday Telegraph that if the supposed “demonization” continues then “Britain will have to deal with two million Muslim terrorists 700,000 of them in London.”


Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah has set this Friday evening, while Israelis are celebrating the Jewish new year, as the time to hold a massive rally celebrating Hizbullah’s “victory” over Israel in 34 days of warfare. Nasrallah, who has been in hiding since the start of the war, said the rally would “celebrate the divine and historic victory over the Zionists.”

For more on the aftermath of the recent Hizbullah-Israel war, see “The Arabs have become wise enough to know TV victory from real victory” (Sept. 5, 2006).


Hizbullah is demanding that Israel release prisoners, including convicted terrorists.

A new report issued by an Israeli NGO reveals that 132 Israelis were killed by terrorists who had previously been released from Israeli jails between 1993 and 1999. Israel had released these terrorists under UN and international pressure, including that from the Clinton administration in the United States.

The report by the Almagor Terror Victims Association listed 14 specific attacks perpetrated by released terrorists, including some of the most notorious incidents in recent years.


Saddam Hussein attacked Kurdish survivors giving evidence at his genocide trial in Baghdad last week. Saddam and six other defendants are accused of killing up to 180,000 Kurds during “Operation Anfal” in 1987 and 1988. Saddam accused Kurds who survived the massacres, and are now testifying about how their wives and children had been gassed to death by Saddam, as “agents of Zionism.”


An Iraqi Intelligence officer’s report to different Iraqi Intelligence Directorates referring to secret information provided to them from a trusted source who works for the Associated Press, has been made public. The information was about the formation of a new UN weapons inspectors team called UNMOVIC. For more, see

-- Tom Gross

All notes and summaries copyright © Tom Gross. All rights reserved.