June 2007

Muslim Brotherhood Leader Praises Haniya Gov't

Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt General Guide Muhammad Mahdi 'Akef has said that the government of Palestinian Prime Minister Isma'il Haniya is one of the best Palestinian governments.

'Akef said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had admitted as much to him, in a phone conversation in the past.

'Akef called on the Palestinians to act to liberate the homeland from the Zionists, and said that the Muslim Brotherhood was standing alongside the entire Palestinian people.

Source: www.ikhwanonline.com, June 19, 2007

Date Posted: June 20, 2007
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Lawsuit: Human Rights Activist Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim Betrayed, Conspired Against Egypt

Egyptian MP Murtadha Mansour has filed a lawsuit against Egyptian civil rights activist Sa'd Al-Din Ibrahim, who heads the Ibn Khaldoun Center in Cairo, for treason and for conspiring against the homeland.

Mansour stated that Ibrahim received millions of dollars from the U.S. Embassy in Egypt and from the wife of Qatar's emir to disseminate false information about Egypt's domestic situation, and to harm its good name.

Source: Al-Masryoon, Egypt, June 18, 2007

Date Posted: June 20, 2007
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Egyptian Mufti: Establish Fatwa Supervisory Body

Egyptian Mufti 'Ali Gum'a has called to establish a supervisory body for fatwas issued in Egypt, in order to put an end to the anarchy in fatwas that has prevailed recently.

He said that as of now, none of the existing Egyptian bodies is suitable for this task.

Source: Al-Gumhouriyya, Egypt, June 19, 2007

For more on Egyptian Mufti 'Ali Gum'a, see: "Preacher Files Complaint To Al-Azhar: Egyptian Mufti Authored 70 Erroneous Fatwas."

Date Posted: June 20, 2007
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Gaza Christians Harassed, Fear Harm

Following the attack on a monastery in Gaza, Gaza Christians are fearing that they will be harmed.

One, who refused to be identified, said that a crucifix had been ripped off his neck by a Hamas Executive Force member shouting "Islam is the Solution."

Source: Al-Quds Al-Arabi, London, June 20, 2007

Date Posted: June 20, 2007
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Egypt To Transfer Diplomatic Representation To West Bank, Opposes Religious Emirate On Its Border

Egypt has decided to transfer its diplomatic representation in the Palestinian Authority to Ramallah, in the West Bank.

Referring to the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip, a senior Egyptian official said that Egypt was vehemently opposed to the establishment of a religious emirate on its border.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, June 20, 2007

Date Posted: June 20, 2007
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Hamas Threatens To Attack Fatah In West Bank

Hamas sources have stated that the movement is seriously considering carrying out attacks against Fatah in the West Bank, and that Hamas has military cells "capable of making the lives of the Fatah leaders hell."

Source: Al-Hayat, London, June 20, 2007

Date Posted: June 20, 2007
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Saudi Cartoon: "Officials of Ill-Fated Arab Countries"

Sources: Arab News, Saudi Arabia, June 20, 2007; Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, June 20, 2007

Date Posted: June 20, 2007
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Iran FM: Israel Planning To Attack Lebanon Again

In a June 17 interview with Iran's Arabic-language Al-'Alaam TV, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said that Israel was preparing another attack on Lebanon, and asked the countries in the region to treat the problem with the proper seriousness.

Source: Aftab, Iran, June 18, 2007

Date Posted: June 20, 2007
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Economic News - Palestinian Shares Rise Amid Optimism Over Lifting Of Embargo

Dubai Financial Market To Become Global Islamic Market

The Dubai Financial Market (DFM) has announced the launch of a process to transform itself into the first global Islamic financial market, following the approval of religious advisory and oversight bodies of the Islamic financial institutions in the U.A.E.

According to a fatwa, about 98% of DFM revenues are shari'a-compatible, with only 2% being commissions for traditional services.

Following the decline of the DFM, which lost 15% of its value in 10 days, it sought to obtain another fatwa to legitimize underwriting activities of the non-Muslim companies listed on the market. The purpose of the new fatwa is to prevent objections based on the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad against underwriting and usury.

The DFM stated that it would form a religious association, consisting of three senior religious scholars specializing in capital markets.

Source: Al-Eqtisadiya, Saudi Arabia, June 20, 2007

Palestinian Shares Rise Amid Optimism Over Lifting Of Embargo

After falling for over a year, Palestinian share prices have jumped, amid optimism regarding promises by the West to lift the ban on aid, as well as the wane in the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Shares have risen 15% since the appointment of the emergency government in the West Bank and the subsequent U.S. and European undertakings for resuming economic aid, which was suspended last year.

The value of the stock market is estimated at about $3 billion, slightly higher than its $2.9 billion value in 2006 but less than its peak of $5.4 billion the previous year, prior to the economic sanctions.

Apparently, decisions this week by the E.U. and the U.S. to end the 15-month-old blockade, along with Israel's willingness to release the Palestinian tax revenues that it had held to support the new government, have encouraged investors to buy shares.

Source: Elaph, June 20, 2007

Tehran Brandishing "Oil Weapon"

The Iranian delegate to OPEC has confirmed statements in the Iranian newspaper Al-Sharq regarding his country's willingness to use oil as a weapon in a possible confrontation with the U.S.

The delegate added, "If the American administration does not lift the military threat, Iran will remain committed to the possible use of oil as a weapon.

He stressed that his country would be ready to export oil to the U.S. if Washington lifted the embargo on Iran.

In addition, he acknowledged that Iran had suffered from U.S. sanctions imposed on its oil industry, saying, "American companies are not participating in our oil sector, so we are forced to deal with second-level companies, and we have no choice but to accept their high prices."

Source: Dar Al-Hayat, London June 20, 2007

Dubai Basins To Build 4 Tankers Worth $175 Million

Dubai Basins has announced that it has entered into an agreement with a Singaporean company to build four medium-range tankers, with the option of building four additional ones.

The value of the contract is $175 million, making it the largest deal ever concluded by the U.A.E company, which is gambling on transforming this step into a launching pad for entering the market of building larger commercial vessels.

Source: Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, London, June 20, 2007

Al-Jazeera Satellite To Expand "Al-Jazeera Mobile" Worldwide

The Al-Jazeera satellite network will expand its "Al-Jazeera Mobile" service to all parts of the world, and will include new services for video and live and direct broadcasting to mobile.

The current number of subscribers in the Middle East is about 100,000, and this number is expected to increase to around 1 million in the coming period.

The number of subscribers worldwide, after the company extends its service to include Arabic, English, French, Hindi, Turkish, and German, is expected to reach 5 million.

Source: Al-Sharq, Qatar, June 20, 2007

Date Posted: June 20, 2007
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Jaysh Al-Islam to Hamas' 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades: Announce the Establishment of an Islamic Emirate in Gaza

On June 20, 2007, Islamist websites posted a 13-minute video message titled "A Message from Jaysh Al-Islam to 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades." In it, a veiled speaker congratulates the 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades on their recent takeover of the Gaza Strip, saying: "We would like to convey our happiness at [the actions of] our brothers in the Izz Al-Qassam Brigades against the treacherous apostates [i.e. Fatah] who used to control the apparatuses which spied... on Muslim mujahideen in Palestine. And we ask Allah to complete their [task] on the way to implementing Islamic shari'a and imposing the rule of Allah..."

The speaker then asserts that if 'Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam announces "the establishment of an Islamic emirate in the Gaza Strip, Jaysh Al-Islam and its soldiers will be ready to serve the Islamic Emirate's army... as long as [this emirate] rules according to Allah's scripture and the sunna of the Messenger of Allah..."

Click Here to View Video

Date Posted: June 20, 2007
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