by, Pamela Geller | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
Facebook and Loretta Lynch, you’ve been served. For years I have documented the outrageous bias of Facebook’s speech policies. Hundreds of readers and Facebook followers have written to me, helpless because Facebook blocked or banned them for posting news stories or comments critical of jihad or sharia. Enough. We are suing for violation of our First Amendment rights.
We filed this lawsuit on behalf of all of us — freedom-loving peoples — struggling under the boot of Facebook’s strict sharia adherence.
“Geller: Why I Am Suing Facebook,”
Pamela Geller, Breibart, July 13, 2016:
Every day I received emails from readers and members of my various Facebook groups, asking for help after having been blocked for posting a story or comment that might offend Muslims.
This is America, not Saudi Arabia. Enough.
I am suing.
The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) is filing a federal lawsuit today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, challenging Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA) under the First Amendment. In a press release, he AFLC explained that “Section 230 provides immunity from lawsuits to Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, thereby permitting these social media giants to engage in government-sanctioned censorship and discriminatory business practices free from legal challenge.” The lawsuit was brought on behalf of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Jihad Watch.
As the AFLC explained, “Geller and Spencer, along with the organizations they run, are often subject to censorship and discrimination by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube because of Geller’s and Spencer’s beliefs and views, which Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube consider expression that is offensive to Muslims. Such discrimination, which is largely religion-based in that these California businesses are favoring adherents of Islam over those who are not, is prohibited in many states, but particularly in California by the state’s anti-discrimination law, which is broadly construed to prohibit all forms of discrimination. However, because of the immunity granted by the federal government, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are free to engage in their otherwise unlawful, discriminatory practices.”
For years I have documented the outrageous bias of Facebook’s speech policies. Notoriously one-sided, those who oppose jihad terror, support Israel and stand against the most brutal and extreme ideology on the face of the earth (sharia) have been systematically blocked and banned. Just last month Facebook took down my page and blocked me after a devout Muslim opened fire on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Facebook said they took down my page because of their rule against “hateful, obscene, or threatening” content.
But it is not hateful, obscene, or threatening to oppose jihad terror such as we saw in Orlando. Truth is not hateful or obscene. What is hateful, obscene and threatening is that Facebook is moving to silence everyone who speaks honestly about the motivating ideology behind such attacks.
After the Orlando jihad massacre, they went into full damage control mode. Orlando showed jihad for what it is. They’re committed to obscuring that knowledge and making sure people remain ignorant and complacent about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat.
They also banned my own account for thirty days. This has happened before — when I get too close to truths they want to cover up. They’re afraid these truths will get out, and that people will start acting to remove the feckless and traitorous leaders who got us into this fix.
And to those of you who say, “Forget Facebook, we’ll do without it,” I say no. I am sick and tired of the suppression of our speech. We are unable to engage in the public square. And yes, Facebook is the public square; it’s where we connect. We have to fight for it. Shouting into the wilderness is not freedom of speech. My Facebook page has close to 300,000 followers, and combined with my pages (SIOA, SION, AFDI), the reach is another 100,000. It’s a critical connection.
Facebook has immense power over organic media — the sharing of our information and news between friends and associates. I would say too much power. They’re trying to change the people by restricting our access to information. The Blaze reported in May that “Facebook’s news curators would regularly suppress news stories important to conservative readers and keep them off the ‘trending’ news section coveted by publications, a journalist and former Facebook employee told Gizmodo.”
“News curators”: what a Goebbels-like term.
Those of us who connect on Facebook have known this for years. We see it. We feel it. Which is why it is critical for our Facebook followers to share our stories on their news feeds. It is up to us to educate people.
Facebook’s unlawful, discriminatory practices have been mandated at the highest levels. In September 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel strong-armed Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to censor posts critical of the migrant invasion. CNBC reported that Merkel was “overheard confronting Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over incendiary posts on the social network.” What kind of incendiary posts? Pro-jihad terror posts? No: Merkel was angry about posts criticizing her policy of inundating Germany with Muslim migrants.
The CNBC report continued: “On the sidelines of a United Nations luncheon on Saturday, Merkel was caught on a hot mic pressing Zuckerberg about social media posts about the wave of Syrian refugees entering Germany, the publication reported. The Facebook CEO was overheard responding that ‘we need to do some work’ on curtailing anti-immigrant posts about the refugee crisis. ‘Are you working on this?’ Merkel asked in English, to which Zuckerberg replied in the affirmative.”
This is so typical of the elites. They control policy, they control the media, they control the culture — but they can’t control the people. And this makes them crazy. If they could, they would change the people.
And so they try to change the people by restricting their access to information. My page “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s In the Quran” was taken down from Facebook because it was “hate speech.” Hate speech? Really? The page ran the actual Quranic texts and teachings that called for hatred and incitement of violence against the Jews. So who exactly was responsible for any “hate speech” that may have been present on the page?
Facebook policy dictates that truth is hate speech.
Why is Zuckerberg scrubbing evidence of Muslims inciting people to commit acts of hatred and violence? Why do his policies allow for vicious posts and pages against Israel to stand, but exposing the truth behind that Islamic hate is prohibited? That’s sharia.
Another time I received a warning on our Stop Islamization of America pages (join them!) because of this photo, another actual photo of Muslims daubing a building wall with “Kill the Jews” and “Jihad against Israel.”
Dexter Van Zile, the Christian Media Analyst for the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting (CAMERA) writes: “Recently, my correspondents have alerted me to another page on Facebook. The end of the URL includes the phrase ‘The Truth About Jews” and the page itself promotes Blood Libels against the Jewish people.
It’s titled ‘Jewish ritual murder.’ The page has all the stuff you’d expect on an anti-Semitic Facebook page. It has 248 ‘Likes’ and includes anti-Jewish libels from all over the world. The page includes a disclaimer that is simply bizarre: ‘Comments that are offensive, obscene, vulgar, irrelevant to this page or classified as spam will be removed.’ The entire page is offensive and obscene. And the page, which has been in existence since March 2012, is an exercise in vulgar anti-Semitism.
“Yes, people have complained about the page. And yes, Facebook has responded with messages indicating that the page does not violate the company’s community standards.
Will the page eventually be removed? Probably. But why doesn’t Facebook delete this stuff when first apprised of its presence on their website?”
And there is so much more. The Blaze recently reported that “a legal group accused Facebook of favoring anti-Semites over Jews following an experiment it conducted. It created two Facebook groups with nearly identical content, but with the words ‘Jews/Israelis’ and ‘Arabs/Palestinians’ swapped.”
Shurat HaDin posted a video entitled “The Big Facebook Experiment,” showing Facebook’s anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian bias. Their pro-Israel group included a post saying, “Death to all the arabs,” while their pro-Palestinian group included a post saying, “Death to all the jews.”
Then they reported both groups to Facebook. The pro-Israel group was taken down. The pro-Palestinian group wasn’t.
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Shurat Hadin commented: “Facebook’s management is required to act immediately against the blatant incitement being waged for years against Jews and Israelis in the social network it owns and manages. The in-depth investigation we conducted proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that [Facebook’s] claims of equality in the face of its conduct against any individual or group of people are at best erroneous and false in the worst case.”
Darshan-Leitner concluded: “It cannot be that in 2015 a publicly traded commercial company will carry out a racist policy which so blatantly discriminates in favor of any party. The investigation we conducted proves that indeed there is bias in favor of one political party and against Israelis and Jews in particular. Jews and Israelis around the world should be very concerned over the results of the investigation and understand that the most famous social network in the world is working actively in favor of the Palestinians.”
Facebook is increasingly doing the bidding of vicious Muslim thugs and supremacists. I receive a number of emails weekly from Muslims living in Muslim countries who have left Islam and live in terror and fear of being found out. They plead for help and advice.
One group of Arab ex-Muslims, after having their material repeatedly deleted by Facebook, prepared a petition at Change.org asking Facebook to stop deleting Arab Atheist and secularist groups. Sign this petition.
Frankly, it’s terrible and getting worse. As it continues to seize power and control, the left is on dangerous ground. We well know the bloody outcome of this trajectory. This has to end now.
Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance.
US war veteran Taylor Force died in a Palestinian attack while visiting Israel as a tourist in March. Photo courtesy of: AP and BBC News
by, BBC News | h/t Gary F. Patton @ Searching for Truth
An Israeli rights group is suing Facebook for $1bn on behalf of families of victims of Palestinian attacks.
The Shurat Hadin group says Facebook violates the US Anti-Terrorism Act by allowing militant groups such as Hamas a platform for spreading violence.
Hamas called the lawsuit an Israeli attempt to blackmail Facebook.
The victims cited in the case are all American, including Taylor Force, 28, who was stabbed to death while visiting Israel in March.
The others are dual Israeli-US nationals who died in attacks in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank between 2014 and 2016.
The suit, filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, argues the platform “knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas… facilitat(ing) this terrorist group’s ability to communicate, recruit members, plan and carry out attacks, and strike fear in its enemies”.
Sami Abu Zuhri, a Hamas spokesman in Gaza, accused Israel of trying to turn it into a spy tool against Palestinians.
He said some Israeli politicians and soldiers had “expressed pride at the killing of Palestinians” on Facebook and other social media.
“The real test for the owners of Facebook is to reject this pressure,” he said.
Israel says Palestinian incitement on social media has fuelled a wave of attacks since October, which have killed 35 Israelis and four people of other nationalities.
In June, Israeli forces demolished the house of the Palestinian who killed Taylor Force. Photo courtesy of: AP and BBC News
A report on the Israel-Palestinian conflict last week by the Quartet group of international mediators identified “the spreading of incitement to violence on social media” by Palestinians as a key issue.
“Hamas and other radical factions are responsible for the most explicit and widespread forms of incitement. These groups use media outlets to glorify terrorism and openly call for violence against Jews, including instructing viewers on how to carry out stabbings,” the report said.
Asked to comment on the Shurat Hadin case by the Reuter news agency, Facebook’s Israeli PR firm said the company “does not respond on any issue currently subject to legal procedure”.
The lawsuit was brought under the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1992 which prohibits American businesses from providing any material support, including services, to designated terrorist groups and their leaders.
- Turkish court orders Facebook pages insulting Mohammed to be blocked
- Also warns that site will be banned if it doesn’t comply with Turkey’s ruling
- Turkey has also banned web access to cover of Charlie Hebdo magazine
- Move is seen as the latest in crackdown on ‘offending religious material’
Editorial Preface: Our lead-in referrer ‘Blazing CatFur’ is reporting that Facebook has already begun the process of blocking pages on their social networking site that ‘..insult Muhammad..’
by, Jennifer Newton | Daily Mail Online | h/t Frau Katze @ Blazing CatFur
A Turkish court has ordered authorities to block access to Facebook pages that ‘insult’ the Prophet Mohammed and warned the whole site will be banned if the company doesn’t comply.
The country’s state-run news agency confirmed that a court in Ankara issued the order yesterday, following a request by a prosecutor.
The decision comes just days after another court ruling banned access in Turkey to web pages featuring the controversial cover of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo depicting the Prophet Mohammed.
Atheist (POS) Mark Zuckerberg Bows Down and Submits to Islam:
It is the latest move to crack down on material seen as offending religious sensibilities in the largely Muslim nation, where the government of President Tayyip Erdogan is viewed as pursuing an Islamist-leaning agenda.
Facebook have yet to comment on the ruling but earlier this month Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company would not censor content published in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks.
He added that the social network would ‘never let one country or group of people dictate what people can share across the world.’
However, according to statistics released by Facebook, the company has removed 1,893 ‘pieces of content’ at the request of the Turkish government.
Earlier this month, Turkey’s president began to press for new legislation which would allow ministers to temporarily ban websites, such as Facebook, and force Twitter to block an anonymous whistleblower.
The proposed law would allow ministers to restrict access to websites deemed to threaten lives, public order or rights and freedoms.
The Telecommunications Directorate (TIB) would have to comply within four hours, and then apply for a court order for the ban to be extended beyond 24 hours.
Communications minister Lutfu Elvan this week defended the proposal, saying it was needed after Turkey’s top court in October annulled previous legislation giving greater powers to ban websites, and saying it would only be used in emergencies.
Last year Turkey came under international criticism for temporary bans on Facebook and Twitter as a corruption scandal unfolded.
Erdogan vowed to ‘eradicate’ Twitter after allegations of government corruption were published on the micro-blogging site.
Meanwhile Facebook was briefly banned in Pakistan along with Twitter after the sites refused to remove pictures pertaining to be the Prophet Muhammad.
Facebook did eventually bow to pressure and blocked the images in Pakistan.
Iranian blogger, Soheil Arabi. Photo courtesy of: HRANA
by, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran | David Wood @ Answering Muslims
IRAN: A blogger found guilty of insulting the Prophet Mohammad in his postings on Facebook has been sentenced to death. An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the blogger, Soheil Arabi, will be able to appeal the decision until September 20, 2014.
Agents from the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Sarallah Base arrested Soheil Arabi, 30, and his wife in November 2013. Arabi’s wife was released a few hours later, but he was kept in solitary confinement for two months inside IRGC’s Ward 2-A at Evin Prison, before he was transferred to Evin’s General Ward 350. Branch 76 of the Tehran Criminal Court, under Judge Khorasani, found Arabi guilty of “sabb al-nabi” (insulting the Prophet), on August 30, 2014.
“The way he was arrested was illegal. It is not clear how the agents were able to enter their home at that time in the morning. All the doors were locked and family members were asleep. Agents entered his home and bedroom. He and his wife were arrested and some of their photographs and personal belongings were taken after their home was searched,” said the source.
“Soheil had eight Facebook pages under different names, and he was charged with insulting the Imams and the Prophet because of the contents of those pages. He has accepted his charges, but throughout the trial, he stated that he wrote the material without thinking and in poor psychological condition,” the source told the Campaign.
The source noted that the Tehran Penal Court issued its ruling without regard for Article 264 of the Islamic Penal Code. “Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states that if a person insults the Prophet of Islam, his punishment is death. But in Article 264, it explicitly says that if a suspect merely claims in court that he said the insulting words in anger, in quoting someone, or by mistake, his death sentence will be converted to 74 lashes. I would like to emphasize that if only the suspect claims this, he will not be eligible for death, and there is no need to even prove his claim,” added the source.
“Unfortunately, despite this Article and the explanations provided, the judges issued the death sentence. They didn’t even take any notice of Soheil’s statements in court in which he repeated several times that he wrote the posts under poor [psychological] conditions, and that he is remorseful. Three of the judges ruled for the death sentence, and two ruled for imprisonment,” said the source.
According to the source, Soheil Arabi has another judicial case. On September 4, 2014, Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Salavati sentenced Arabi to the maximum punishment of three years in prison on charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “propaganda against the state,” through his writings on Facebook.
F R E E S O H E I L A R A B I N O W !
*This story has been updated to note that all the sites included in a list of “official Islamic State accounts” have now been suspended by VKontakte
by, Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai | Mashable
The Islamic State may soon be running out of social networks.
When Twitter ramped up its crackdown on several accounts in the wake of the brutal beheading of James Foley, the militants were forced to move on to different social networks like Diaspora and VKontakte (or VK), the Russian equivalent of Facebook, looking for more permissive digital pastures.
But VKontakte, which boasts of 260 million users, has also started to crack down on accounts related to the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL).
“We are shutting down all communities and personal accounts that promote ISIS and have been found by our moderators or reported by users,” George Lobushkin, VKontakte’s spokesperson, told Mashable.
Experts who track Jihadists online confirmed that the crackdown has indeed started. “They have just suspended two of their top accounts,” Laith Alkhouri, a researcher with Flashpoint Partners, told Mashable.
J.M. Berger, who writes the influential Intelwire report also confirmed that two popular pages, named “al Hayat” and “Ajnad” — ISIS used both accounts for propaganda and recruiting — had been suspended.
Until Thursday, however, experts were critical of VKontakte’s leniency with ISIS accounts.
“VKontakte is their safe haven for now,” said Pieter Van Ostaeyen, a researcher who’s been tracking ISIS fighters and supporters on the Internet for months. “The main fact for these guys to move there is because they don’t get kicked off all the time.”
In the last three months, as ISIS fighters have carved a bloody path through Syria and Iraq, the group has shown an unprecedented ability among Jihadist groups to use social media to spread propaganda and recruit new fighters. But as large social networks like Facebook and Twitter crack down on their accounts, they have been forced to move to smaller networks with a more limited reach, but also more freedom to operate.
Even after the suspension of “al Hayat” and “Ajnad,” Alkhouri told Mashable that VKontakte is “not doing enough.”
On Thursday morning, Van Ostayen also pointed to a list of VKontakte profiles circulated on Twitter in the last week, titled “The Official Accounts of the Islamic State.”
Of the 16 links on the list, nine were still active at the time this article was written. And four of the ones that are now suspended were still active on Thursday, according to an analysis conducted by Mashable with the help of Dlshad Othman, a Syrian hacker and technologist who now lives in D.C. (After this story was published, VKontakte blocked all the links in the list.)
Vkontakte’s seemd to ramp up its crackdown on the same day a Russian news site Apparat published an investigation into Islamic State activities on VKontakte, revealing that the militants were widely recruiting and fundraising on the site, which Apparat defines as “free” and “comfortable” for the militants.
But VKontakte’s spokesperson Lobushkin rejected the idea that they’ve been too slow in their crackdown. He said the first account of the 62 was blocked on Aug. 7, but he also said that in the last two days, they shut down “about 20.”
For Alkhouri, compared to other social media companies, 62 “is a very small number” that dwarfs compared to others. Even after this fresh round of suspensions, “[VKontakte]’s standards remain lackluster,” he said.
This story has been updated to note that all the sites included in a list of “official Islamic State accounts” have now been suspended by VKontakte.
by, Jakarta Globe | h/t Trop
An Indonesian atheist was lawfully jailed for two-and-a-half years after being accused of blaspheming Islam, the Supreme Court decided in a ruling posted on its website on Tuesday.
The court said it upheld the sentence for former civil servant Alexander Aan, who was found guilty of disseminating cartoons portraying the Prophet Muhammad and saying on Facebook that “God does not exist.”
“The defendant was proven to have spread information which blasphemes the Prophet Muhammad in eleven cartoons,” the court said in its ruling.
Alexander, who worked as a civil servant at a local government office in West Sumatra, was beaten by a mob prior to being taken to jail, after posting the status and cartoons.
The Indonesian state requires every citizen to believe in Allah and Muhammad.
The Muaro district court in June 2012 sentenced him to two-and-a-half years in jail and a Rp 100 million ($8,500) fine for inciting religious hatred. The sentence was upheld by the West Sumatera High Court in August 2012.
The case sparked international outrage and Alexander was labeled a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. He was released from jail in January this year.
by, J. Schuyler Montague | sharia unveiled
An organization by the name of “Muslim Advocates” is working diligently with high ranking executives from Facebook, Twitter, Google/YouTube and many other social media giants to silence any criticism of Islam. Hiding their true agenda behind a cloak of ‘..freedom and justice..’ they are pushing hard to have “all” Facebook pages, websites and videos with any negative connotation towards Islam removed immediately.
This organization which touts itself as a voice of reason and moderation is nothing more than a facilitator of silence through subjugation. They are the “IslamoNazi Gestapo” in disguise. Muslim Advocates initiated a campaign entitled: “Click Here to End Hate” which essentially is a ‘How to Guide’ to shut-down any speech that they disagree with.
Here is a screenshot from their website which clearly reveals their underlying motivations:
They actually give a couple “alleged” examples of ‘..hate speech..’ they found online. I would not be at all surprised if Muslims wrote these themselves under alias accounts:
And speaking of ‘..freedom of speech..’ they actually have the audacity to quote in their campaign program:
‘..Given today’s widespread use of the internet, all Americans should remain actively engaged and vigilant to prevent “our” freedom of speech from being abused..’
Here is a screenshot of that section:
This is their idea of ‘..freedom of speech..’ Robbing us of our freedoms, while defending their own. As if ‘freedom’ is a zero-sum commodity in which they must steal our’s in order to acquire their’s.
But we all know..it’s not about hate, because there is no hate on our end.
Islam possesses a monopoly on hate.
With us, it’s all about “truth.”
And they can’t handle the truth, so they seek to hide it.
‘..I possess but two weapons, in my right hand a pen and in my left, a sword.
If you ever take my pen away..you leave me with only one weapon to choose..’
– j. schuyler montague
If you would like to read their campaign program in it’s entirety, please link here:
The actual home of the Ahmadi Muslim family. Photo courtesy of: The Express Tribune
One baby, one toddler and one woman burned alive, 9 others injured by Muslims over a picture on Facebook
by, Asad Kharal and Rana Tanveer | The Express Tribune | h/t Trop
GUJRANWALA, Pakistan: Three members of the same family including one woman and two minors were killed and nine other people were injured when an angry mob set a house on fire in Arafat Colony, Gujranwala.
According to details, the clash started when an Ahmadi, Saqib s/o Ahmad Din, allegedly shared a blasphemous picture with Ejaz on Facebook.
Ejaz along with Zakariya s/o Imam Jama Masjid Sadiqia Qari Muhammad Hakim and others gathered outside Saqib’s house to protest.
However, Ahmadis belonging to the community had gathered at a Dr Sohail’s house at the time. The angry mob attempted to raid the doctor’s house in search of Saqib when, according to Ejaz, people inside the house opened fire on them, injuring Zakariya.
After that the angry mob set one house on fire, due to which Bashira Bibi, 30, and two minors including eight-month-old Hira, and five-year-old Kainat, died of suffocation, while nine others, including a woman and two minors were injured.
The injured were transferred District Hospital Gujranwala where they were given medical treatment. They were identified as Ruqia, Razia, Humaira, Noor Tabassum, Samar, Atta, Atiya and an infant. However, they were later shifted to Rabwah hospital because of security reasons.
SHO Peoples Colony Station Malik Asghar has confirmed three casualties. Six houses and a shop were damaged in the incident.
A cases was registered against 420 people, including 20 nominated, under sections 302, 436, 148 and 149 of Pakistan Penal Code and Section 7 of Anti-Terrorism Act on the complaint of Bhutta, father of the deceased minors, at the Peoples Colony Station.
Majority of the male members of the Ahmadi community have still not returned to their homes out of fear of another attack.
Family members have taken the bodies of the deceased into their custody and are heading towards Rabwah for burial.
Also, a seven-month pregnant woman, identified as Mubashira, had a miscarriage because of the incident.
Police have been deployed in the locality and no arrest has been made till the filing of this report.
עד שהנערים חוזרים – בכל שעה במחבל יורים
by, Lazar Berman | The Times of Israel
A Facebook page calling for the execution of a Palestinian convict every hour until three Jewish teens kidnapped Thursday night are returned had garnered more than 15,700 likes as of early Monday morning.
The page, whose cover photo featured the Hebrew slogan “Hotfim? Hotfim!” uses the word for kidnapping — referring to the three boys — which in slang also means to receive a harsh punishment, a reference to the Palestinian prisoners.
The cover photograph shows a picture of the three teens in blue, next to photographs of Palestinians convicted of murdering Israelis in a crosshairs. “Until the teens return — every hour we will shoot a terrorist,” the page reads.
The page was created on Friday, when news surfaced of the kidnapping of Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Frenkel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16, who were hitchhiking in the West Bank.
Among the updates on the page are profiles and photographs of specific convicts in Israeli jails, with calls for their execution. One post called for Israel to learn from the biblical King David, who is described in Samuel I 30 as tracking down and slaughtering the Amalekites who sacked an Israelite town and imprisoned its women and children.
Though most of the commenters were strongly supportive of the site’s message, there were some who posted comments in Arabic mocking Israel and the captives. “#3 Shalit,” one read. “To Hell,” wrote another under a picture of the three teens.
Security forces further intensified on Sunday night the ongoing search for Yifrach, Shaar and Frenkel.
The army has placed the southern section of the West Bank under curfew and flooded the region with troops.
Thus far, over 100 Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials and activists have been apprehended, including one of Hamas’s founders, Hassan Yousef, and several former government officials.
On Sunday night, IDF troops converged on a house in Hebron and arrested two men wanted in connection with the kidnapping.
עד שהנערים חוזרים – בכל שעה במחבל יורים
Pictured above is the atheist Facebook page entitled: ‘Colorless’ after the Muslims abducted the atheists and hacked their page
‘..First, they came for the Jews..but, I remained silent..because I wasn’t a Jew. Then, they came for the Christians and again I said nothing..for I wasn’t a Christian either..’
by, Zaheena Rasheed | Minivan News | Halal Pork Shop
Vigilante mobs have abducted and interrogated several young men in Malé City in a push to identify online activists advocating secularism or professing atheism, Minivan News has learned.
Eyewitnesses told Minivan News the young men were taken to isolated locations in Malé City in separate incidents in recent days.
A vigilante mob interrogated them on the identities of administrators of Facebook groups advocating secularism and atheism in the Maldives.
Minivan News understands the abductions are also related to the hijacking of a Facebook group called ‘Colorless’ on Sunday.
The group has 4,865 members and was set up with in the wake of February 2012’s transfer of power with the aim of bringing a “divided nation to a common ground as a platform to advocate peace, love and harmonic co-existence.”
The group’s administrators were expelled on Sunday and new administrators have changed the group’s banner to a black flag with the Shahadha or the Islamic creed declaring the oneness of Allah and the acceptance of Mohamed as Allah’s prophet.
Meanwhile, the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) issued a statement condemning the abductions and said the hostages were threatened with death. The party has called on the government to take immediate action.
The Maldives Police Service said it is looking into whether these incidents have been reported. The President’s Office was not responding at the time of press.
The vigilante mob – estimated at 40 men – accused the young men of homosexuality and atheism, eyewitnesses said. The mob consisted of religious extremists and prominent Malé City gang members, sources said.
Eyewitnesses said the young men were interrogated on their religious beliefs and asked to recite the Shahadha as a test of their belief in Islam. They were also tested on prayer verses and passages from the Quran.
The young men were threatened and forced to hand over the passwords to their Facebook accounts.
They were also asked to identify the administrators behind the ‘Secular Democratic Maldives Movement’ and ‘Maldivian Atheists’ on Facebook.
The ‘Secular Democratic Maldives Movement’ page was founded in December 2012 to advocate for a secular democracy in the Maldives. It has 2,463 followers.
The ‘Dhivehi Atheists/ Maldivian Atheists’ page has 575 followers and advocates for the rights of atheists in the Maldives. It was set up in June 2013.
All abductees were eventually released, sources said.
The MDP believes religious extremists were behind the abductions.
“The Maldivian Democratic Party has received information that some religious extremists have kidnapped young people claiming they had committed irreligious acts. The extremists blindfolded the young people, took them to remote locations against their will, threatened them with sharp weapons, threatened them with death, issued sentences in a vigilante trial and are now implementing these sentences,” the party’s statement said.
The kidnappers then told the hostages they would be killed if any news of the abduction were shared, the MDP said.
The party said it believed “these dangerous acts of terrorism” are against the Maldives constitution, laws and Islamic Sharia and committed by individuals for a certain gain.
Jennifer Latheef, a human rights activist and former administrator of ‘Colorless’, said the four administrators of the group had received several warnings from Facebook users over recent months to remove offensive comments posted by members allegedly mocking Islam.
However, the administrators opted to allow free speech and appealed to all members to be responsible and refrain from attacking and insulting the other’s religious beliefs.
Pictures identifying the group’s administrators were then posted and circulated online by a separate Facebook group called ‘Shariah4Maldives’.
The group alleged ‘Colorless’ administrators had allowed “the mocking of the Prophet Sallalaahu Alaihi Wassalam and outright lies about Islam on their group, and when we warned them about this issue, they refused to remove such posts mocking Islam.”
On Sunday, infiltrators expelled and removed Jennifer and the group’s original administrators without warning.
Jennifer, who currently lives abroad, said death threats have been issued against the group’s administrators.
“I am scared for Maldives. I am scared for the people who are there,” she said.
Analysts have raised concerns over the growing threat of extremism in the Maldives. A recent report by the US State Department expressed concern over radicalization of youth groups and said funds are being raised in the Maldives to support terrorism abroad.
Maldivians are alleged to have died in suicide attacks in Syria, and online jihadist groups last week insulted and taunted the Maldives Police Services after they said they were investigating the deaths.
Maldivian media have also said they feel threatened by religious extremists and gangs.