Islamic nations are again learning that the jihad is a volatile instrument of war that can easily backfire on those who preach it; that "holy war" is hardly limited to fighting and subjugating "infidels"-whether the West in general, Israel in particular, or the millions of non-Muslim minorities under Islam-but can also be used to fight "apostates," that is, Muslims accused of not being Islamic enough.
In an unprecedented move and following Egypt's lead, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain recently withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, largely due to its Al Jazeera propaganda network which, since the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been inciting chaos in the region.
According to a March 7 Reuters reports, "Saudi Arabia has formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, in a move that could increase pressure on Qatar whose backing for the group has sparked a row with fellow Gulf monarchies…. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are fuming over Qatar's support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and resent the way Doha has sheltered influential cleric Yusuf Qaradawi, a critic of the Saudi authorities, and given him regular airtime on its pan-Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera." more >>
The upcoming Bible-based epic "Noah" has been banned by three Arab countries after Islamic critics took aim at the movie for offending religious teachings by depicting a biblical figure on screen.
"Censors for Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) officially confirmed this week that the film will not release in their countries," a representative of the producer, Paramount Pictures, told Reuters on Saturday.
"The official statement they offered in confirming this news is because 'it contradicts the teachings of Islam,'" the representative added, saying that Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait are also expected to ban the $125 million Darren Aronofsky film. more >>
A Sharia law court in northern Nigeria ordered four men to be whipped after they were found guilty of homosexuality this week.
The court forced each of the four men, who ranged in age from 22 to 28, to lie on the floor of the room and receive 15 lashes from horsewhips, Dorothy Aken'Ova, the Executive Director of the Coalition for the Defense of Sexual Rights Network, told France 24. They were also fined $125, which could cause future problems for them, as if they are not able to come up the funds they could be forced to spend a year in prison.
"The court session was kept secret from the public and the judgment given and executed before the news filtered into the city," court clerk Abdul Mohammed confirmed. more >>
Darren Aronofsky's upcoming film "Noah" has reportedly been banned by censorship boards in Qatar, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates due to its personification of biblical characters, which reportedly violates Islamic law.
Insiders with Paramount Pictures, the company producing "Noah," told The Hollywood Reporter that censorship boards in the Middle Eastern countries said they will not release the film. Kuwait, Egypt and Jordan are reportedly expected to follow suit.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Paramount had expected "Noah" would face criticism in Islamic countries. Islamic law states it is blasphemous to characterize prophets of Muhammad, and the film is inspired by the biblical story of Noah, one of God's prophets who builds an ark to escape a catastrophic flood. more >>
The Islamist militant group Boko Haram has stepped up its attack efforts in Nigeria's northeastern state of Borno, reportedly killing 150 people over the weekend. A senator from Borno state said this week that the violence has become so unmanageable that soldiers flee with villagers when the militants arrive, as they are outnumbered and lack proper weapons to fight the militants.
The intense violence took place over the weekend, when Boko Haram militants swarmed three cities in the Borno state, killing a reported total of 150 from Friday to Sunday. Although Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has allowed the military extra power to curb the extremist group, recent reports indicate that Boko Haram's numbers have been too large for local military to sustain.
Ahmad Zannah, a senator from Borno state, told BBC earlier this week that when Boko Haram militants arrived in Borno over the weekend, military personnel fled along with the villagers because there was not enough manpower to fight the militants. "When the attack took place, all of them ran away, along with the villagers. There was no resistance." more >>
A top Islamic institute in Egypt has called for a ban on Darren Aronofsky's upcoming "Noah" movie, arguing that the Hollywood film provokes people and violates Islamic law.
Al-Azhar, a main Sunni Muslim institute, said in statement on Thursday that movies like "Noah" are "contrary to faith and to the fundamentals of the Islamic Sharia [law]," and announced that it is prohibiting the screening of films that personify biblical figures, Al Arabiya News reported.
"Al-Azhar renews its rejection to the screening of any production that characterizes Allah's prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet [Muhammad]," the institute said, adding that such productions "provoke people's feelings." more >>