–Thomas Jefferson, letter to Abigail Adams, 1787
A leading law professor has contradicted Chancellor Angela Merkel’s statement that Sharia law was not practiced in Germany, saying a variety of Sharia-based rulings were being made all the time.
“We have been practising Islamic law for years, and that is a good thing,” Hilmar Krüger, professor for foreign private law at Cologne University, told Der Spiegel magazine.
Family and inheritance rulings were often made according to Sharia law, he said, listing a range of examples.
Women who are in polygamous marriages legal in their countries of origin can make claims of their husbands in Germany regardless of the fact that their marriages would not be lawful here. They can claim maintenance from their husbands and a share of an eventual inheritance, said Krüger.
German judges often refer to Sharia, as the Federal Social Court in Kassel did a few years ago when it supported the claim of a second wife for a share of her dead husband’s pension payments, which his first wife wanted to keep all to herself. The judge ruled they should share the pension.
In another case, the Administrative Appeals Court in Koblenz granted the second wife of an Iraqi living in Germany, the right to stay in the country. She had already been married to him and living in Germany for five years, after which the court said it would not be fair to send her to Iraq alone.
A judge in Cologne ruled that an Iranian man should repay his wife’s dowry of 600 gold coins to her after their divorce – referring to the Sharia which is followed in Iran.
Erlangen lawyer and Islam scholar Mathias Rohe told the magazine that the use of laws from various countries was an expression of globalisation. “We use Islamic law just as we use French law,” he said.
While Canada, for example, does not recognise any foreign laws, the German legal structure allows some to be upheld – as long as they do not contradict the constitution.
(News.com.au) –BRITAIN’S Prince Charles has cited the Mumbai shantytown setting for the film “Slumdog Millionaire” as a role model for sustainable living in Western cities, a report said Saturday.The 61-year-old heir to the British throne writes in a new book being published next week that the Dharavi slum is better and more instinctively organised than many Western towns, London’s Daily Telegraph said.In the book, called Harmony, Prince Charles contrasts the “fragmented, deconstructed” housing estates of Western nations with the “order and harmony” of the dusty potters’ colony featured in the Oscar-winning movie.
Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb using sheer fear for control in Algeria
CAIRO -- Al Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb has sought to consolidate control over designated areas of Algeria.
Algerian security sources said the Al Qaida Organization has sought to dominate several areas of eastern and central Algeria. They said AQIM has intimidated farmers and businessmen to pay protection money to finance the insurgency campaign against the government in Algiers.
"They are very cruel and bold and do not fear anybody," a security source said. "When they send a warning to people, it is obeyed."
The AQIM extortion campaign was said to have helped finance insurgency attacks.
On Sept. 1, at least four people were killed and 30 others injured in an Al Qaida suicide bombing of a military convoy near the northern town of Zemouri. Later, AQIM claimed that 25 soldiers were killed.
AQIM was said to operate throughout provinces in eastern, central and southern Algeria. In Algeria's southern Sahara Desert, the sources said, the Al Qaida network controls villages near the border with Mali and Mauritania to support smuggling and attack missions.
Pro-Al Qaida, Gulf-financed Sunnis fomenting unrest in LebanonNICOSIA -- Lebanon is monitoring Sunni plans to increase unrest against Iran.
Security sources said Sunni groups supportive of Al Qaida were being funded to foment unrest in northern Lebanon against the mullah regime in Teheran. They said the groups were preparing violent demonstrations in the Sunni city of Tripoli during the scheduled visit to Lebanon by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Oct. 13.
The sources said the Sunnis appeared to be receiving funds from Gulf Cooperation Council states and training from Egypt and Jordan for the anti-Iranian campaign. They said some of the Sunnis were also battling Hizbullah efforts to establish its own insurgency network in northern Lebanon.
Capture of towns by Yemenis galvanized Saudi military trainingABU DHABI -- Saudi Arabia has reported the acceleration of military training in wake of its war with rebels from neighboring Yemen.
Officials said all arms of the Saudi military were implementing plans to intensfy combat and support training by 2011.They said the effort would stress combat skills, joint operations as well as intelligence and reconnaissance skills.
"Efforts are under way to modernize the various branches of the armed forces in the coming days," Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled Bin Sultan said.
Drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan disrupted Euro-terror plotsU.S. intelligence officials said Al Qaida's No. 3 official was involved in planning for a major terrorist attack in Europe but the planning was disrupted by stepped-up drone strikes in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
More than 10 drone strikes were carried out over the past week in remote regions of Pakistan based on intelligence reports of meetings between Al Qaida leaders and foot soldiers being prepared for the European attacks.The officials said Illyas Kashmiri, a former Pakistan special forces commando, was behind the latest terrorist attack plot and the stepped up drone strikes were aimed at killing him, although it is not clear they were successful in that objective.
Hamas agents believed in U.S. seeking dual-use componentsWASHINGTON -- Hamas is believed to have sent operatives to the United States to acquire weapons for the war against Israel.
Officials said authorities have been monitoring suspected Hamas agents assigned to obtain weapons and advanced dual-use equipment from the United States.
They said the weapons were being purchased through organized crime cells, sometimes in cooperation with the Iranian-sponsored Hizbullah.
"It is not clear whether any sophisticated equipment has been smuggled from the United States, but there have been some serious attempts," an official said.
On Sept. 7, a Palestinian was arrested and charged with purchasing a large amount of weapons for shipment to the West Bank. The Palestinian, believed linked to Hamas, attempted to procure 300 M-16 assault rifles, 9mm pistols and Israeli-designed Uzi submachine guns.
The Palestinian, identified as Abdul Aziz Hamayel, has been detained in Miami.
A criminal complaint in U.S. federal district court asserted that Hamayel, a resident of southern Florida, had also been seeking to purchase silencers and grenades.
"Hamayel contacted the confidential source to discuss the weapons and explosives he was requesting for purchase," the complaint said.
Hamayel was said to have been working with Hamas-related cells in Jordan for the weapons shipment to the West Bank. Officials said he was arrested on Aug. 29 when he arrived in Miami on a flight that originated in Amman.
Pakistan accuses the White House of exaggerating Al Qaeda terror threat
The U.S. has been accused by a top Pakistani diplomat of exaggerating the terror threat from Al Qaeda for political ends.
Intelligence officials also suggested the White House has tried to 'stitch together' rumours of attacks to ramp up security fears.
The U.S. warned last weekend of an increased risk of terrorist attacks in Europe and possibly an assault on transport infrastructure.
Security agents in Britain, France and Germany also warned Al Qaeda terrorists were planning a Mumbai-style atrocity in Europe.
Britain raised the terrorism alert level in its advice from travellers to Germany and France to 'high' from 'general' but the home level was kept at 'severe'.
France also issued an extreme warning, claiming an attack in Britain was 'very likely' - particularly in top tourist sites such asTrafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus or London transport.
But Wajid Shamsul Hasan, Pakistan's high commissioner to Britain, claims the U.S. warning was a bid to justify drone attacks in his country.
And he also raised the prospect Washington was trying to show its strength ahead of next month's mid-term congressinal elections.
Mr Hasan told the Guardian: 'I will not deny the fact that there may be internal political dynamics, including the forthcoming midterm American elections.
'If the Americans have definite information about terrorists and Al Qaeda people, we should be provided that and we could go after them ourselves.
'Such reports are a mixture of frustration, ineptitude and lack of appreciation of ground realities.'
European intelligence experts have also questioned the likelihood of a co-ordinated plot targeting Britain, France and Germany.
'To stitch together [the terror plot claims] in a seamless narrative is nonsensical,' one source told the paper.
A British man, who had been tasked with leading an Al Qaeda group in the UK and others were killed by a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan on September 8.
They had been heard talking about a 'commando-style' attack on prominent European sites.
Intelligence sources admit Jihadi recruits are travelling to Pakistan to train but insist the plan was nowhere near being put into action.
This nuance would put a very different slant on U.S. drone attacks because it would mean they are not actually being unleashed to tackle an imminent threat.
The European officials told the Guardian that Washington was the 'driver' behind the leaking of possible plots, which intelligence agencies had been aware of for months.
U.S. - Pakistan tensions have also been ramped up after two Pakistani soldiers were killed by mistake in a helicopter attack near the Afghan border.
American pilots mistook the troops for insurgents they were pursuing and later apologised for the error on September 30.
Pakistan closed a key border crossing in an apparent reaction, which militant gunmen have exploited by attacking stranded and rerouted Nato trucks.
Mr Hasan claims fears are growing in Pakistan that the U.S. could bolster its drone attacks with a bombing campaign using fixed-wing aircraft.
He warned increasing anger could spill over into violence aimed at the thousands of American who are currently stationed in his country.
Fears of a Mumbai-style plot were sparked after Ahmad Sidiqi, an Afghan informant said to have known 9/11 mastermind Mohammed Atta, told U.S. interrogators about the plot.
Sidiqi said Ilyas Kashmiri, an Al Qaeda commander linked to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai in India that left 174 people dead, had told him that teams had already been sent to Europe to launch similar assaults.
In France, 12 suspects were arrested this week after they were found with a huge arsenal of guns and ammunition to launch an attack anywhere in Europe.
The men were held after their phone numbers were found on the mobile phone of a suspected terrorist arrested in Italy at the weekend.
They are also believed to have been recruiting young men willing to travel to Afghanistan to fight coalition forces.
A spate of attacks by militants and warnings about the increasing strength of Islamic extremism have ramped up fears there could be a new strike.
Tony Blair, now a Middle East envoy, recently warned that the West is being 'outspent and outmanoeuvred by Islamic extremists'.
A U.S. official told the Guardian: 'Our allies have been briefed on the nature of the threat and the intelligence that led to the travel alert and everyone understands this cannot be taken lightly. To try to ascribe any political motivation is misguided and irresponsible.'
1. Generally speaking, when it comes to important national issues, whose judgment do you trust more, the American people or America's political leaders? Those in the mainstream say the American people; those in the political elite say political leaders.2. Some people believe that the federal government has become a special-interest group that looks out primarily for its own interests. Has the federal government become a special interest group? Mainstreamers say yes; the political elite says no.
3. Do government and big business often work together in ways that hurt consumers and investors? Mainstreamers say yes; the political elite says no.
75% of the polled public answered this one, way, 14% the other.
Anyone else wondering what men like Hubert Humphrey, Henry Jackson, Gerald Ford, and Tip O'Neill would make of this?
The difference, of course is that the constituency these men served is NOT the constituency served by the leaders today.
On Wednesday I responded to a Craig's list ad for a senior CPA for audit and tax, so responded to it. The poster of the ad called me, gushing over my extensive resume, and asked me to come in and talk to him. I did. I knew from his name and accent he was Indian, but did not know that he was a Muslim until I sat down in front of his desk. He had a beard, and there was a Muslim newsletter laying on his desk. It was then that I silently spoke to God: "You really have a strange sense of humor!"
He was a young guy who is facing his third tax season and needs some help. I found him personally likeable, so said I'd come back the next day and do some work for him and see how it goes.
Today he introduced me to some of his associates, all Muslims. One was a client; the other was a marketing consultant, complete with white knitted cap, and the other was an employee, a young man who has passed the CPA exam but has no experience. I found all of them to be very likeable, cheerful and possessing a healthy sense of humor. They seemed totally accepting of me and I returned their friendliness.
My new associate took me to lunch at an Indian restaurant. When we returned to the office, he did his afternoon prayers right there in the office, bowing towards Mecca in the middle of the floor. I didn't mind. I almost told him to pray for more business, but thought the better of it.
I don't know where this is going to lead, but I will stick with them for awhile, and sincerely try to help them. I figure God has his reasons for this association and I want to see what they are. I suspect the lesson to be learned is that, although Islam is a violent, oppressive and cruel ideology, many of its adherents are innocents, sincerely trying to do the right thing and live productive lives. Many Muslims are decent people.
BRANFORD, Conn. (AP) - A town official insays police and FBI agents have surrounded a tractor-trailer possibly carrying explosives.
said Friday that police have told him that authorities are holding the semitrailer at a travel stop on . He did not say which direction the truck was headed or what happened to the driver.
The Hartford Courant reports that took the driver and a passenger into custody at gunpoint, then began searching the truck.
Branford is about 80 miles north of.
Terry Lynn told KNSD-TV he looked out his window to see a man park his van, jump over a fence at Kelly Elementary School, walk across a field, and fire a .357 Magnum revolver toward a crowd of children.
"He was saying something about the president, he was ranting," Lynn said.Interesting that somehow this shooting had been made out to be an anti-Obama lunatic, when it wasn't. A witness had said it was. Same witness said the man was carrying a Jack-o-Lantern. He apparently was not.
Authorities late Friday identified the alleged gunman in a Carlsbad, Calif., school shooting that left two young girls with minor injuries as Brendan L. O’Rourke, 41, thought to be a transient.
O'Rourke was booked on six counts of attempted murder and numerous weapons violations, police said. He is being held at the San Diego County jail in Vista.
Construction worker Carlos Partida, who was remodeling the school kitchen in the beachside community 30 miles north of San Diego, said he saw a man jump over the school fence and start firing a gun at children. He said the gunman appeared to be reloading and trying to leave the scene when Partida jumped in his truck and rammed the man, knocking him down.
Partida said the gunman, who was wearing a black, hooded sweatshirt and black pants, had been screaming incoherently. Authorities later discredited initial reports that the gunman was ranting about President Obama.
Some witnesses said the gunman was carrying a gasoline can and others said it seemed to be gasoline can decorated like a Halloween jack-o’-lantern. The bomb squad was called to examine a propane tank found in the gunman's car.From CBS:
News 8 has learned O'Rourke has a valid security guard's license issued by the state of California, but that license does not permit him to carry a gun.
Records show O'Rourke has previous addresses and relatives in Illinois. He currently lives in the Canyon Creek Apartments on Garrison St. in Oceanside, records show. Neighbors in the complex described O'Rourke as a loner with a temper. Resident Vickie Roe-Mitchell told News 8 she has called police on O'Rourke in the past for his erratic behavior.
"I'm not surprised. I'm kind of scared of him," Roe-Mitchell said. "He'd scream out things like, 'I'm going to burn your eyes out. I'm going to kill you.'"
A preliminary background check Friday night showed several minor traffic violations in Illinois, but no felony criminal history in either California or Illinois under the name Brendan L. O'Rourke. However, Carlsbad police officers reported that O'Rourke initially gave them three different names during questioning.
Report: US Contractors Hired Iranian Spies, Taliban, Warlords To Guard US Troops In Afghanistan
Senate Investigators Say Chaotic Security Contracts Pose 'Grave Risk' To US Troops
By MATTHEW COLE
Oct. 7, 2010 --
A scathing Senate report says US contractors in Afghanistan have hired warlords, "thugs," Taliban commanders and even Iranian spies to provide security at vulnerable US military outposts in Afghanistan. The report, published by the Senate Armed Services Committee, says lax oversight and "systemic failures" have led to "grave risks' to US forces, including instances where contractors have employed Afghan subcontractors who were "linked to murder, kidnapping and bribery, as well as Taliban and anti-coalition activities." The chairman of the committee, Sen. Carl Levin, D.-Michigan, said the report was evidence that the US needs to reduce its reliance on contractors. "We need to shut off the spigot of US dollars flowing into the pockets of warlords and power brokers who act contrary to our interests," said Sen. Levin. The committee reviewed roughly 125 unclassified Department of Defense security contracts between 2007 and 2009, and found that there are some 26,000 private security contractors operating in Afghanistan, the majority of whom are Afghan nationals. The review found "systemic failures" of the military oversight for contracts, including the hiring of what Levin called "many too many" security contractors who had been improperly vetted, improperly trained or were not provided weapons.In some cases, companies were awarded contracts though they had no ability to provide the services needed. In those cases, companies then quickly hired local nationals without proper vetting or security checks. The chaotic system left US facilities and personnel vulnerable to attack. The report found that some Afghan security guards simply walked off their posts at remote forward operating bases.