ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (Morning Star News) – Islamic extremist attacks and land grabs on this semi-autonomous island off the coast of Tanzania have continued unabated even as violence has increased on the mainland.
The May 5 bombing of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Arusha killed a 45-year-old woman, a 16-year-old boy and a 12-year-old girl. Of the two Tanzanians and four foreigners arrested – now officially identified as one from Saudi Arabia and three from the United Arab Emirates – only one Tanzanian national reportedly remains in custody as a suspect.
While Islamic extremist activity has increased in Tanzania, Christians on the Zanzibar archipelago have recently suffered attacks by Islamists and the separatist group Uamsho (Re-awakening). Uamsho, the Association for Islamic Mobilization and Propagation, has issued explicit threats to Christians on Zanzibar Island since October 2012.
At midnight on April 20, Islamic extremists in Kianga, 16 kilometers (11 miles) from Zanzibar City, demolished most of the Pool of Siloam church building, a church leader said. Three suspects were arrested, only to be released after three days.
“When we tried to follow up the case, we found out that some of the information concerning the pulling down of the church was missing,” church pastor Israel Baraka Elijah told Morning Star News. “Hence, we decided to give up all together.”
Damages were estimated at $2,500, he added. Muslim extremists had attacked the church building before, setting part of it on fire on Feb. 19 and battering it with sledge hammers in November 2011.
Buildings aren’t the only targets. Suspected Islamic extremists on Feb. 17 shot and killed the Rev. Evaristus Mushi, a 56-year-old Roman Catholic priest, in the Mtoni area outside Zanzibar City. The murder came nearly two months after the Christmas Day shooting of another Catholic priest, the Rev. Ambrose Mkenda, that seriously injured him. Uamsho had left leaflets threatening to kill church leaders of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Tanzania Assemblies of God and Pentecostal Church denominations.
The Islamist group is fighting for full autonomy of the Zanzibar archipelago; it arose after Zanzibar’s primary opposition, the Civic United Front, formed a government with the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi party in 2010.
How Uamsho’s separatist agenda could overlap with Islamic extremists’ objectives on the mainland remains to be seen, but the Zanzibar-based group has increased in stature by appealing to Islamist sentiments. While Tanzania’s population is 34.2 percent Muslim and 54 percent Christian, according to Operation World, the Zanzibar archipelago in the Indian Ocean about 25 miles off the Tanzanian coast is more than 97 percent Muslim.
Islamists burned several church buildings in various parts of Tanzania last October after an argument between two children about the Koran resulted in a Christian boy allegedly defiling Islam’s sacred book (see Morning Star News, Oct. 19, 2012). In Kigoma, on the western border, two church buildings were set ablaze on Oct. 14, 2012, and the roof of another one was destroyed. In Dar es Salaam, where two boys’ argument over the Koran set off the violence, three church buildings were set on fire on Oct. 12, and another was destroyed on Oct. 18.
The attacks on church buildings came after Muslims began falsely asserting that Christians had sent the Christian boy to the Muslim boy to urinate on the Koran in the Mbagala area of Dar es Salaam on Oct. 10, sources said.
On Oct. 17, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania leaders released a statement saying church buildings had also been set ablaze in Mdaula, Mto wa Mbu, Tunduru and Rufiji. The Mbagala attacks, they stated, resulted from inflammatory statements by local religious leaders....
Recently in Tanzania Category
Muslim persecution of Christians spreads in Tanzania. "Tanzania police: 4 Saudis arrested after blast," from the Associated Press, May 6 (thanks to Andrew Bostom):
ZANZIBAR, Tanzania (AP) — A police commander in Tanzania says four Saudi Arabian citizens have been arrested following a bomb attack on a Catholic church.
Magesa Mulogo said Monday that the four Saudi nationals were among six people arrested.
Mulongo said two people died in Sunday's bombing of a newly opened church in the northern city of Arusha. Nearly four dozen people were wounded in the blast just before the church's inaugural Mass, which was attended by the pope's envoy to Tanzania.
Mulogo said eyewitnesses reported that the bomb was thrown from a motorcycle into the church. Mulogo said the driver of the motorcycle is among those arrested.
"One senior Christian leader in Tanzania told Barnabas Aid that the country could be totally Islamised in five to ten years if the Church does not make a decisive response." How's that "dialogue" working out for you, Bishop?
"Two Christians killed in latest violence over meat slaughter in Tanzania," from Barnabas Aid, April 8 (thanks to Liam):
Two Christians have been killed and scores arrested as violence again erupted in Tanzania over the slaughter of animals; Muslims are denying Christians the right to sell their meat because it is not halal.
The row has been going on for some weeks, but the opposition is intensifying as the authorities side with the Muslim aggressors.
On 3 April, Christians in Tunduma came under attack. Two were killed and a local Christian leader arrested. When other pastors went to see the minister, they were beaten and injured; many required hospital treatment.
Over 60 Christians were arrested in Tunduma, with dozens of others being detained in other parts of the country.
Because there is no law against Christians slaughtering meat for public consumption, some of those detained have been charged with other offences, such as breaking the peace or causing unrest, which could result in a five-year jail term. Others are being held illegally.
In February, Pastor Mathayo Kachila (45) was beheaded in an attack on a Christian butcher’s in Buseresere. Police arrested three people in connection with this incident – another pastor and two others who were involved in the slaughter of animals – but nobody over the murder of Pastor Mathayo.
Church leaders have made a united response to the crisis; around 180 from different denominations issued a statement condemning the killings, the burning of churches, other injustices committed against Christians by Muslims and the failure of the government to intervene.
Muslims have customarily carried out the slaughter of animals in Tanzania to ensure that all meat is halal. The custom is now being enforced as if it were law. As well as enduring the assaults on their butchers, Christians are banned from rearing pigs in areas that have a significant Muslim presence.
The Christian community in Tanzania is under assault on a number of fronts; threats and attacks against them are on the rise as Islamists grow in strength.
Church leaders and evangelists are being particularly targeted. There have been attacks on their properties, and some have had to leave their homes, such is the severity of the threat to their lives.
One senior Christian leader in Tanzania told Barnabas Aid that the country could be totally Islamised in five to ten years if the Church does not make a decisive response.
Over at Gatestone Institute (via RaymondIbrahim.com), I discuss the "business-envy" jihad:
A Christian pastor was recently slaughtered in the Muslim-majority African nation of Tanzania. While butchering Christian minorities is becoming increasingly common in that part of the Muslim world, the context for this latest slaughter is somewhat different than the usual forms of Christian persecution under Islam—such as allegations of “blaspheming” the name of Muslim prophet Muhammad. And yet, as in most forms of modern-day Muslim attacks on Christians, it too fits patterns and precedents.Continue reading.
On February 11, Pastor Mathayo Kachili of the Tanzania Assemblies of God Church was beheaded by Muslims. According to the report, a spokesperson from the local police departmentsaid conflicts had been boiling for quite a while now in the area where a section of what are believed to be Muslim leaders had demanded immediate closure of butcheries owned by Christians. He said that a group of youths believed to be Muslims assaulted several Christians using sticks and machetes and attacked a butchery owner at Buseresere town. During the confrontations pastor Kachili was beheaded.
According to Religious Liberty Monitoring this latest slaying “has its source in a debate presently raging in Tanzania. Apparently it is a ‘long-standing tradition’ in Tanzania that Muslims have a monopoly on the meat industry. Recently however, Christians in Geita district, Mwanza region—on the southern shores of Lake Victoria—have entered the butchery trade, causing outrage amongst Muslims.”
Tensions got to the point that the Minister of State in the President’s Office responsible for social relations “categorically directed that the task of slaughtering animals for public consumption should be executed only by Muslims. He said that people of other faiths may slaughter animals if the meat is solely for family/private consumption—but certainly not for sale to, or consumption by, the general public.”
But if they still insist on working in the trade, then they must, according to Karl Lyimo of the Citizen, be “ready, willing, able and glad to follow the Islamic rituals to the letter”—which is tantamount to saying Christians need to convert to Islam if they want to remain in the business.
Does this conflict simply revolve around Muslim fears of mistakenly eating non-halal meat, or, as has been known to happen, are Muslims attacking and killing non-Muslims for being business competitors, while articulating their hostility in the garb of Islamic piety?
For instance, in March 2010 in Pakistan—a nation which shares neither race, language nor culture with Tanzania, which shares only Islam—Rasheed Masih, described as a “devoted Christian,” was butchered by Muslim men “with multiple axe blows for refusing to convert to Islam.”...
Once again we see that the real "hate" doesn't come from those trying to resist Islamic supremacism, but from those who are propagating it. "Muslim clerics warned against hate sermons," from The Citizen, January 7 (thanks to Twostellas):
Muslim clerics have been warned against sermons that provoke religious tensions.
The warning was given here yesterday by Ansaar Muslim Youth Centre (AMYC) director Sheikh Salim Barahiyan, when commenting on a Muslim preacher’s sermon on Friday afternoon which annoyed Christians and Muslims after one of the Ansaar’s Sheikh Juma Ali Juma preached at a Makorora mosque.
Sheikh Barahiyan, who is also Mudir of Ansaar, insisted that Islam was a religion which embraced peace and love among its faithful and other non-Muslims. (Paskal Mbunga)
He said even the holy Qur’an stressed the importance of peaceful coexistence between Muslims and non-Muslims.
He condemned the use of hate sermons, saying the country could not make any stride if there was no stability.
“Supposing you aim at convincing a non-Muslim to join your religion, obviously you are going to speak the good of your religion, but if you are wise enough, you won’t scorn other people’s religions,” he said, adding: “While we call for religious tolerance, we should not entertain hate sermons.”
Last Friday in Saad bin Mwazi mosque, Sheikh Juma was quoted in his sermon as calling on Muslims not to cooperate with Christians because they were infidels. He insisted that Muslims should not take part in Christian festivals like Christmas, Easter and other celebrations, including baptism and confirmation.
The Ansaar Sheikh went further calling on Muslims not to participate in Christian funeral services, saying Christians were supposed to be buried as dogs because they were just infidels.
“Let me tell you if you came from a Christian father or mother, but you got assimilated, consider yourself you are lucky. But if one of your parents is deceased, you shouldn’t burry him or her, but just put him/her in the grave as if you doing it to a dead dog,” he said.
However, when the cleric was called by his boss, Sheikh Barahiyan in the presence of reporters, he agreed to have preached hate sermons, but regretted for offending the non-Muslims, promising not to repeat it....
Will the Islamophobia never end? "Dozens of Churches Destroyed In Tanzania; East Africa Violence Spreading," from Worthy News, November 13:
DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA (Worthy News)– Dozens of Christian worship places have been destroyed by Islamic extremists in Tanzania and church leaders are fleeing its heavily Muslim island of Zanzibar, as the persecution of Christians spreads throughout East Africa, a human rights chief said Monday, November 12.
“As of May [about] 25 churches and convents have been destroyed. This destruction is mostly confined to [semi-autonomous] Zanzibar where the population is 99 percent Muslim and openly hostile to Christians,” explained William Stark, regional manager for Africa of advocacy group International Christian Concern (ICC)
In one of the latest just revealed incidents, violence broke out last month after a Muslim boy encouraged a Christian boy to urinate on a Koran, deemed a holy book by Muslims, on the outskirts of Dar es Salaam, the capital.
“As a result of this meeting, the Christian boy was threatened with being beheaded and at least five churches were destroyed,” Stark said.
Bishop Fabian Obeid, the Chairman of the Pastor's Fellowship in Zanzibar, stressed in published remarks that when the two boys met, the Muslim boy bragged that if someone was to urinate on the Kuran, that person would be turned into a snake, a dog or a rat.
"The Christian boy [was] interested with this scenario and without giving it a second thought urinated on the Koran," he added in a statement distributed by ICC.
When the Muslim boy informed his parents, they allegedly decided to confront the parents of the Christian boy. After discovering they weren't at home, the Muslim parents reported the incident to a nearby mosque in a move that eventually sparked violence, Christians said.
“Days later, a mob of Muslim youths gathered at the mosque after being stirred up at Friday prayer. Their intent was to punish the Christian boy for desecrating the Koran. Police were alerted of the situation and the boy was detained for protection against the mob,” well-informed Stark recalled.
They apparently demanded that police hand over the boy to the crowd and behead him, seen as an appropriate punishment for desecrating the Koran according to ultra conservative interpretations of Islamic law.
“When the police refused to release the boy, the mob began to riot…the mob decided to turn their rage on churches and other Christian property in the area,” Stark said,
The mob burned down five churches, including the Seven Day Church, the Anglican Church and the Assemblies of God Church, Christians said Other property belonging to Christians in the area was also destroyed including a car belonging to the Anglican Church pastor, according to ICC investigators.
“As the riots continued, the Evangelical Assemblies of God Church in Tanzania was pulled down. In the following days, unrest in the Muslim community continued, leading to the destruction of more properties across the country and the lives of Christian leaders being threatened,” Stark said in a statement obtained by Worthy News.
The violence also spread to Zanzibar, where on October 18, a mob of Muslim protestors carrying clubs, swords and machetes invaded two churches shouting "We want the head of Bishop Shayo" as they tried to enter his Roman Catholic church, Christians claimed.
When they failed to break into the church, the mob moved on to the Anglican church of Reverend. Emmanuel Masoud where the crowd broke windows and were seen hacking at the doors while chanting: "We need the head of Masoud!" and We want the heads of all the church pastors in Zanzibar!"
Pastor Lucian Mgaywa of the Church of God in Zanzibar, said in a statement that, "These chants caused a lot of panic and some pastors, fearing for their lives, fled the island of Zanzibar to the mainland of Tanzania," though the government later “intervened and provided security.”
However, “To date, no arrests have been made in connection with attacks on churches in Zanzibar, leading many to question whether the local government condones these activities,” Stark added.
Most violence has been linked to the Islamic separatist group 'Association for the Islamic Mobilization and Propagation' (UAMSHO) which wants Zanzibar to become independent from mainland Tanzania. “In recent years, UAMSHO has become increasingly fundamental in its religious convictions and has been involved in several attacks on Christians in Zanzibar,” Stark noted.
“After the Evangelical Assemblies of God Church was destroyed [last month] a flag belonging to UAMSHO was raised over the ruins of the church," said Bishop Fabian Obeid, Chairman of the Pastor's Fellowship in Zanzibar.
Stark observed that the spreading Islamic attacks in Tanzania coincides with “an increase of Christian persecution throughout East Africa.” Even in countries such as Kenya, which is 80 percent Christian, Islamic extremist groups like al-Shabaab are beginning to take root and perpetrate more acts of violence against Christians.
“These extremist groups often use incidents like the boy desecrating the Kuran to stir up tensions in Muslim communities that have lived in peace for generations with their Christian neighbors,” Stark added....
Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal has just become the first and only national leader in any country to acknowledge publicly that some Muslim clerics engage in hate speech and justify it using the Qur'an. In the West the focus is on the false claim that those trying to resist the jihad and Islamic supremacism are the ones actually guilty of hate speech. That charge, of course, is a tool of Islamic supremacists in their attempts to demonize and marginalize all who dare to stand up to the jihadist imperative.
"Tanzania: VP Warns Clerics Over Hate-Speech," by Amina Juma for the Tanzania Daily News, October 27:
Moshi — THE Vice-President Dr Mohamed Gharib Bilal has called on religious leaders to continue preaching peace, love and unity and warned those inclined to preach hatred to stop it henceforth, saying any breach of peace would cost the nation dearly.
Addressing Eid-El-Hajj Baraza at Jihad Mosque in Vuchama, Mwanga district in Kilimanjaro region yesterday, the Vice-President said the recent violence that erupted in Zanzibar and Dar es Salaam was a result of unnecessary hate-speeches made by some Muslim clerics.
"For many decades, Tanzania has not witnessed religious-motivated conflicts. This will not be allowed to happen again. Worshippers need to know that conflicts resulting from trivial issues like fighting for ownership of a mosque are uncalled for. Chaos taints the good image of the worshippers," Dr Bilal said.
He stressed that the government would take appropriate measures against the perpetrators of violence, saying it is easy to break peace but very costly to restore it. Dr Bilal reminded the faithful to read carefully the Holy Quran and treasure its many verses which teach about peace and unity and implored religious leaders to use the scripture to talk about peace instead of hatred....
Good luck with that.
Police in Tanzania have arrested 126 people after last week's attacks on churches in the main city, Dar es Salaam, a police commander has said.
Angry Muslims vandalised and torched five churches after a Christian boy reportedly urinated on a Koran.
President Jakaya Kikwete said the violence was unacceptable, even if the incident angered Muslims.
Tanzania's long history of religious tolerance should not be threatened, he said.
The BBC's Aboubakar Famau in Dar es Salaam says a discussion between the 14-year-old Christian boy and his Muslim friend apparently got out of hand, leading to the attacks on Friday.
'Justice will prevail'
The Christian boy was reportedly told by his Muslim friend that he would turn into a snake if he urinated on a Koran, our correspondent says.
The Christian boy then asked for a Koran and, according to reports, urinated on it to test his friend's claim, our correspondent adds.
A Dar es Salaam police commander, Suleiman Kova, told the BBC that 126 people had been arrested over the subsequent attacks.
"We are making every effort to arrest everyone responsible... We want justice to prevail," he said.
Muslim cleric Sheikh Alhadi Musa, who is the chairman of the local Interfaith Committee, condemned the attack on the churches.
He said the Koran had been defiled by one person and it was wrong to assume that it was the stand of all Christians.
Plans were under way to promote dialogue between followers of the two faiths, he said.
"Youth are said to have been largely involved in the violence, so I have sent some youth to talk to their colleagues," Sheikh Musa added....
Oh, that will fix everything.
Will anyone denounce this madness? The churches had nothing to do with this. It was a... pissing contest between two adolescent boys. And the boy's mother offered to replace the book. But Muslims seem to be seizing any excuse to run amok, while the world stands by and discusses outlawing criticism of Islam.
Dar es Salaam. Violent clashes erupted in Dar es Salaam’s Mbagala suburb yesterday when scores of Muslim youth stormed a police station and demanded that a 14-year-old boy accused of urinating on the Quran be handed over to them.
In the aftermath of the confrontation, at least five churches were attacked, several car windows smashed and passersby injured as the angry mob moved from street to street at Mbagala Kizuiani protesting the desecration of the holy book.
Dar es Salaam Chief Sheikh Alhad Mussa Salum urged Muslims not to pursue the issue out of proportion, adding that there wasn’t ample grounds to mess up national security.
Is this kind of thing really ever "ample grounds to mess up national security"?
“The incident doesn’t need emotions in dealing with. Islam means peace; we can deal with such issues peacefully. This matter involved children. Islam considers age; it shouldn’t lead to a breach of peace in our country,” said Sheikh Salum.
He added that attacking churches would mean the boy was sent by Christians to desecrate the Quran, which he said he believed wasn’t the case.Police used teargas canisters and water cannons to quell the unrest and open up Kilwa road as the protesters hurled stones and burned tyres to block the road. Police were still engaging the demonstrators at Mbagala Zakhem late in the evening as the attacks on churches continued to rage.
A source told The Citizen on Saturday that the origins of the clashes could be traced back five days to an incident in which a Christian and Muslim boy got into an argument over the power of the Quran to turn anyone who defiled it into a snake.
According to those reports, the Christian boy swore he would not be harmed if he played with the Quran while his Muslim friend maintained that he would turn into a snake or run mad if did so.
The Christian boy then urinated on the book—and set off a chain of events that would turn the area into a battleground for what the Muslims described as a defence of their faith.
The protesting group initially arrested the boy at around 9am on Monday and took him to a police station. The incident turned deadly after the angry Muslims mobilised more support during Friday prayers, reportedly in an attempt to grab the boy from the police station and behead him.
Temeke Regional Police Commander David Misime described the situation on the ground as “not well” as the police were still engaging with protestors as at 7pm. “There was relative calm in the evening,” our reporter on the scene said late yesterday. “But I have just started hearing explosions on the Zakhem side now.”
Protesters attacked the Catholic Church at Mbagala Zakhem and broke down the door and an Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania was torched in the same area.
At Mbagala Kizuiani, reports which were later confirmed by ACP Misime further say, the Seventh Day Adventist, Tanzania Assemblies of God (TAG), Moravian and Anglican Church and two other catholic churches were attacked and properties destroyed. During the fracas, which was made worse by vandalism, the windows of a vehicle belonging to Clouds Media Group were smashed.
Commuters had problems making their way into and out of Mbagala after the road was closed for several hours.
Mr Misime told The Citizen on Saturday that more churches would have been attacked had the police not taken action. He said 11 cars, including two belonging to police, were destroyed by the protesters.
According to some reports, the 14-year-old boy got into an argument with his Muslim friend when he told him that he would turn into a snake if he urinated on the holy book. The Christian boy apparently asked his friend to give him a Quran so he could test the claim.
As he started urinating on the holy book, a Muslim man arrived and asked the boys why they were doing so. The old man and other people took the Christian boy to his home, handed him to his mother and told her what he had done. “The mother responded that if that was the case, she would give them money to buy another Quran,” said our source. “That statement angered the group, which vowed to deal with the child.”
The group then took the boy to the chairman of Chamazi local government, where they secured a letter to take the boy to the police post for further questioning.
On Wednesday, the group arrived at the police station demanding that the boy be handed over to them but they were told he had been sent to another police station. “They continued to mobilise and agreed to storm the police station after Friday prayers, with the intention of finding the boy and beheading him.
Will the Islamophobia never end? "Christian teen sentenced to two years in Tanzanian prison," from Voice of the Martyrs, n.d. (thanks to David):
A teenager in Tanzania was recently sentenced to two years in prison after being accused of desecrating the Qur'an. Eva Abdullah, 17, converted to Christianity from Islam three years ago. Her parents disowned her after her conversion and a group of radicals in her hometown of Bagamoyo tried to persuade her to renounce her Christian faith. When she refused, they falsely accused her of desecrating a Qur'an. Many Christian leaders were afraid to defend Eva because of Muslim dominance in the district. On July 26, Eva was sentenced to two years in prison by a judge who was allegedly bribed by the Islamic militants....
He also traveled in a burqa on occasion to avoid detection. An update on this story. "Life sentence likely for Guantanamo detainee in NY," by Larry Neumeister and Tom Hays for the Associated Press, January 24:
NEW YORK - After his capture in the 1998 bombing of a U.S. embassy in Tanzania, Ahmed Ghailani recalled welcoming news reports of the al-Qaida-sponsored terror attack -- until it dawned on him his countrymen were killed.
"The target was Americans, not Tanzanians," Ghailani explained, according to a summary of a lengthy confession.
A jury would hear none of it when Ghailani went on trial more than a decade later.
With the confession barred from evidence, the trial last year resulted in Ghailani's conviction on just one count and an acquittal on 284 others in dual attacks in Tanzania and Kenya. But that's unlikely to stop a judge from giving him the same punishment at sentencing Tuesday as if he'd been convicted of everything: life in prison.
The potential for a paradoxical outcome in the closely watched test case points to the difficulties of applying civilian laws and rules of evidence in civil prosecutions of suspects picked up in other countries in the war on terror. [...]
The judge called the evidence persuasive, citing proof that Ghailani bought one of the bomb-laden trucks, purchased 15 gas cylinders used in the bomb, stored and concealed detonators and sheltered an al-Qaida fugitive prior to the attacks.
In court papers, prosecutors agreed. They also cited evidence against Ghailani, including that he delivered hundreds of pounds of TNT to an al-Qaida cell two months before the bombings along with bags of fertilizer. [...]
The FBI said Ghailani also said he wanted to learn weapons, do jihad and "wanted to learn to fight so that he could kill Jews."
It was only after the embassy bombings, that Ghailani got to go through training in Afghanistan, according to the FBI interviews.
He later served as a bodyguard and cook for Osama bin Laden, though he did not have any private conversations with him and eventually got tired of the duties and asked to learn how to forge documents, the FBI said.
The FBI quoted him as saying he was being trained on making fraudulent documents when his trainer was making some of the fraudulent documents used by 19 men who hijacked planes on Sept. 11, 2001.
It also said he was in Karachi, Pakistan, at the time of the attacks and asked Khalid Sheik Mohammed who did it, only to be told he didn't know.
The FBI said Ghailani didn't believe Mohammed didn't know and "assumed it was a secret."
The questioning of the interviews was wide ranging at times, including when agents asked Ghailani if he knew any men who wore women's clothing when they traveled. He said he had worn a burqa at times when he traveled, the FBI said.
Prosecutor misunderstands al-Qaeda, but what else is new? "Accused terrorist was determined to 'kill Americans': feds," from AP, October 12:
A man accused of helping to build a truck bomb used in a 1998 terror attack on a U.S. embassy in Africa was a member of an al-Qaeda cell that was determined to kill Americans, a federal prosecutor told jurors Tuesday at the start of trial.
Prosecutor Nicholas Lewin said that Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani -- the first Guantanamo Bay detainee to face a civilian trial -- bought the truck and gas tanks that were used in the bombing in Tanzania.
"The defendant did all of this ... because he was committed to al-Qaeda's overriding goal: killing Americans," he said.
That isn't al-Qaeda's overriding goal. Al-Qaeda's overriding goal is to establish Sharia all over the world.
The prosecutor told jurors they would hear testimony from a former al-Qaeda "insider" who has pleaded guilty. Some of the bombings' survivors also will take the witness stand, he said.
After Ghailani fled to Pakistan, he "never dreamed that one day he would face all these witnesses ... here in an American courtroom," Lewin said....
Nor should he.
The villagers wanted the mosque more than they wanted the fresh water, so the mosque is what they got -- paid for by the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. Constitutional issues? Pah! The U.S. is busy winning hearts and minds here! For surely now all the Friday khutabah that are preached in the mosque will be brimming with love and gratitude for Americans -- won't they?
Won't they? Well, the Qur'an recited and memorized in this mosque will still preach hatred of Infidels and the obligation Muslims have not to ally with them (3:28, 5:51) -- won't it?
"Zanzibar: US restores 900 year Kizimkazi mosque," by Jeff Baron in Afrik.com, April 2 (thanks to Twostellas):
The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation has provided support for saving three mosques in Tanzania, including the one near Kizimkazi on the island of Zanzibar that is considered one of the oldest Islamic buildings on the coast of east Africa. The 2008 grant allowed for repairs and restoration of the mosque's roof, ceiling, doors and windows as well as the mihrab, the ornate alcove that indicates the direction of Mecca.
The mosque at Shumba is one of two on the island of Pemba restored with help from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. [...]
A U.S. official who visited Pemba to discuss plans for the project "heard many complaints about the hardships of life in these villages, including the problem of having no access to fresh water," the proposal said. "But when asked which was a higher priority for the community -- access to fresh water or restoration of their historic mosque -- the village elders unanimously stated that restoring the mosques was more important."
"Being Muslims, it becomes our religious and moral obligation to help the distressed Pakistani woman convicted by the US court on false charges."
Odd, isn't? The Western media avoids mentioning anything about the fact that Aafia Siddiqui is a Muslim or was influenced by Islamic teachings, as if it were completely irrelevant to her violent actions. Yet at the same time, for the Taliban that's the only thing that matters about her.
"Taliban to execute US soldier if Aafia not released," from the PakTribune, February 5 (thanks to Sr. Soph):
PESHAWAR: The Afghan Taliban on Thursday demanded the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist who has been convicted by the US court on charges of her alleged attempt to murder US soldiers in Afghanistan, and threatened to execute an American soldier they were holding currently. They claimed Aafia Siddiqui's family had approached the Taliban network through a Jirga of notables, seeking their assistance to put pressure on the US to provide her justice.
"Being Muslims, it becomes our religious and moral obligation to help the distressed Pakistani woman convicted by the US court on false charges," said a senior Afghan Taliban commander. The commander, whose militant network is holding the US soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, called our sources from an undisclosed location in Afghanistan and threatened to execute the American trooper if their demand was not met. He claimed AafiaSiddiqui's family had approached the Taliban network through a Jirga of notables, seeking their assistance to put pressure on the US to provide her justice.
"We tried our best to make the family understand that our role may create more troubles for the hapless woman, who was already in trouble. On their persistent requests, we have now decided to include Dr Aafia Siddiqui's name in the list of our prisoners in US custody that we delivered to Americans in Afghanistan for swap of their soldier in our custody," explained the militant commander....
Now here's a new twist on an old jihad, and on the notion of "interfaith dialogue" as well. As I have said many times, I am always happy to debate any serious Muslim spokesman, but if any of them ever summon up the courage to debate me (it's okay, Brave Ahmed Rehab, you can come out from under the couch now), I won't agree to hold the debate in Tanzania.
"Arrested Evangelists in Tanzania Say Muslims Colluded with Police," from Compass Direct News, February 2 (thanks to Twostellas):
NAIROBI, Kenya, February 2 (CDN) -- Two Christian evangelists in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, have been arrested after Muslims invited them to debate religion but instead called in security agents who charged the evangelists with illegal preaching.
Anglican evangelists Eleutery Kobelo and Cecil Simbaulanga, released on bail and facing a hearing on Feb. 11, told Compass that Christian and Muslim groups organized the inter-faith debate that was planned for a neutral venue in October of last year in the Kariakoo area of Dar es Salaam.
Kobelo said no Muslims showed up at the debate until Islamists arrived with government security agents who charged them with "using religious sermons to incite Muslims and Christians into viewing each other with suspicion."
"This continuous intimidation by the Muslims using the police is worrying us," he said....
As well it should.
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