Friday Update. What Others Are Saying.
SYRIA: Anti-Assad fighter, “We have a big fight against the Jews ahead of us.”
The Jewish Chronicle (UK) reports: “As Bashar al-Assad fights for his survival, a new threat to Israel is crystallising across its northern borders. What began in Syria as a limited but genuine people’s uprising against a dictatorship has become contaminated with Saudi-funded foreign mujahideen who are driven, among other things, by an intense hostility toward non-Muslims – and an implacable hatred of Jews and Israel. In Al Midan, a suburb in southern Damascus, Mateen, a fighter who claimed to have travelled from Afghanistan, shared his ideas for a post-Assad Syria: “We have to a build a society of respect and brotherhood in accordance with the Prophet’s commandments,” he said in Urdu. “We will treat non-Muslims kindly, but we have a big fight against the Jews ahead of us. We will take that up, God willing.”
LEBANON: Hezbollah supporters wave Iranian flags and carry pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad
The Daily Star (Lebanon) reports: The opposition March 14 coalition Wednesday slammed Hezbollah’s organization of protests across the country against a film insulting the Prophet as an attempt to divert attention from the crisis in Syria. The coalition statement praised President Michel Sleiman for demanding official clarification from Tehran over Jaafari’s remarks Sunday that the Revolutionary Guard had sent high-level military.
EGYPT: No need to amend Israel treaty
Gulf Today (Arab Emirates) reports: Egypt sees no reason to make changes to its peace treaty with Israel, presidential spokesman Yasser Ali said in statements carried on Thursday by the state-owned paper Al Ahram. “There is no need for the moment to amend the Camp David agreement,” said Ali who was accompanying President Mohammed Mursi in New York for the meetings of the UN General Assembly…Israel has watched with concern as Islamic parties were catapulted to the forefront of politics following a popular uprising that toppled president Hosni Mubarak. Mursi, who emerged from the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, has repeatedly said he would respect international treaties signed by Cairo.
TURKEY: Syria Muslim Brotherhood says Russia ‘an excuse’ for inaction
The Jordan Times: Russia’s UN Security Council veto is “just an excuse” for world powers not to intervene in Syria, but the regime is going to fall without their help, the chief of Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood told AFP Thursday. “Russia is just an excuse for the rest of the great powers not to topple [Syrian President Bashar Al Assad’s] regime,” said Mohammed Riyad Al Shaqfa, complaining of an international unwillingness to “get sucked into” the conflict in Syria. The exiled chief of the hardline opposition group was referring to divisions in the Security Council, where permanent members Russia and China have so far vetoed three resolutions on Syria… Shaqfa repeated calls on the international community to provide the Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles to fend off air attacks and with long-range missiles to use against tanks… Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood claims no direct links to the main Islamist movement that was established in 1928 in Egypt.
SAUDI ARABIA: King Abdullah, “Stop abusing religions, prophets.”
Arab News (Saudi Arabia) reports: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has urged people the world over to confront those who try to abuse divine religions and prophets of God. Addressing princes, ministers, religious scholars and other citizens who came to greet him at Taiba Palace on Tuesday night, King Abdullah urged Muslims to defend their Islamic faith and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)… In his brief speech, King Abdullah described Islam as a religion that promotes tolerance, mercy and equality. Crown Prince Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, attended the reception. . . Meanwhile, intellectuals in Madinah said King Abdullah’s arrival in the Prophet’s city after concluding his private vacation in Morocco was a symbolic reply to those who try to tarnish the image of the Prophet (peace be upon him). They also noted the king’s efforts to promote dialogue between the followers of different cultures and faiths.
EGYPT: “President Muhammad Mursi, must sever diplomatic ties with the United States and expel the US ambassador.” – Islamic Group’s Rifai Taha.
Asharq Al-Awsat (UK) reports: After the 25 January Revolution and the election of Muhammad Mursi to the presidency, the number of Islamic Group and Jihad Organization leaders who have been released from prison has risen significantly. One of the most prominent figures to be released is the Islamic Group’s Rifai Taha. After years of being on the run, followed by a lengthy prison sentence, Taha, the Islamic Group’s international representative, who in the past has been charged with planning the assassinations of presidents and government officials, has finally returned to his hometown in southern Egypt.
IRAN: Iranian FM warns Nationals against travelling to Canada
Fars News Agency (Iran): The Iranian foreign ministry in a statement warned the country’s nationals against visiting Canada due to the growing wave of Iranophobia and Islamophobia in the British colony. “According to evidence, the wave of Islamophobia and Iranophobia has not stopped but has considerably increased over the past few years and this approach has affected the country’s governmental and nongovernmental authorities,” the ministry said in its statement issued on Wednesday. The statement added that the arrest and deportation of Iranian nationals under different pretexts continues and they are deprived of basic rights such as accessing their bank accounts or conducting financial transactions.”The performance of Canadian police shows that the country’s government does not have sufficient resolve or capability to pursue crimes committed against Iranian residents.”
FRANCE: Vows not to tolerate Islamic ‘radicalism’
Gulf Times (Qatar): France’s Socialist government vowed to do more to integrate the country’s Muslims but warned that it would not tolerate the country becoming a hotbed of Islamic radicalism. In a speech marking the inauguration of the Strasbourg Grand Mosque, the biggest Islamic place of worship ever built on French soil, Interior Minister Manuel Valls pledged to come down hard on extremists, warning that foreign activists trying to stir up trouble would be immediately deported… He warned yesterday that he would not “hesitate to expel those who claim to follow Islam and represent a serious threat to public order and, as foreigners in our country, do not respect our laws and values.” He also made it clear that the Muslim community as a whole had to accept responsibility for tackling extremism, which he linked to a re-emergence of antisemitism in the country. “If all religions have their share of fundamentalists, it is in Islam that this raises fears. It was on French soil and with a French passport that Mohamed Merah killed in the name of Islam. Antisemitism is a terrible scourge and its resurgence cannot be disguised.”
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