CENSORSHIP in the Muslem World.
CENSORING THE INTERNET etc.
Islamic religious censorship.
Islamic religious censorship
They were intentionally dynamited and destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban, on orders from leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, after the Taliban government declared that they were “idols” , which are forbidden under the religious (Sharia) law.
But that was before the 2006 presidential elections.
It was around that time that Yemen’s Communication Ministry began to ban opposition or independent newspaper websites like al-Nas (The People), al-Majles al-Yamani (The Yemenite Council), Sawt al-Yaman (The Voice of Yemen), Hiwar (Dialogue), and Montada al-Moustaqila (The Independent Forum). Two more opposition news sites, affiliated with al-Shura and the Socialist Party, were also blocked.
Internet Freedom In Yemen
The Egypt-based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information civil society organization has just published a report called: “One Social Network with a Rebellious Message” which examines Internet freedom in 20 Arab countries. Following is the situation of Yemen.
SANA’A, Dec. 30 — The number of internet subscribers has reached only 369,643 by mid 2009 according to the only Internet service provider TeleYemen. With a total population at least 22 million this makes a percentage of Yemenis connecting to the internet around 1.6 percent of the total population.
The number of users is obviously more since usually more than one person access Internet using the same connection. However even if there are five people accessing the internet for every internet connection the estimation of eight percent of the population accessing the internet is one of the lowest in the world.
The problem is not technology because the Yemeni telecommunications witnessed a major leap in 2009 where the number of telephone lines reached 199,685 at the end of the first half of the year compared with 3,548 lines in 1999.
The problem is not the legislation either. The Yemeni Constitution explicitly provides for “freedom and confidentiality of post, telephone and telegraph and other means of communication.”, It affirms that they “may not be monitored, inspected, disclosed, delayed or confiscated except in cases specified by law and only by court order.”
Yet between 2007 and 2008 the number of sites hosted by the national portal Yemen Net has significantly decreased from 915 sites to only 460. Some attribute this to the blocking policy and the many onerous conditions imposed on site owners or applicants including the increasing hosting price.
Internet prices are quite high, ranging between YR 4,000 (US$ 19) to YR 6,000 (US$ 30) per month. These are high rates compared to annual per capita income which does not exceed US$250. Prices are high because the two ISPs TeleYemen and YemenNet have monopolized the service since Internet was introduced.
Blocking in the name of the law
The monopoly and increase in prices prompted numerous citizens, bloggers and independent journalists to launch a national protest campaign against poor Internet services.
The campaign urged the Yemeni government to improve the service, stop blocking websites and reduce Internet service prices. In response, the Yemeni government blocked the campaign site itself in February 2009.
The Internet, as well as independent newspapers in Yemen are among the most prominent forums of opposition to political and social conditions. They represent the most effective means to confront political repression.
Figures demonstrate this as the Mareb Press Video site receives more than 600 visits per week with a member list that reached 700 in a short period, particularly after the riots in the south in 2009. On the other hand, the number of visitors to News Yemen, an important site that reports on the press and freedom of expression, exceeded 14 million in 2008.
Authorities are trying to limit the impact of the web as an alternative to traditional sources of information by controlling it in various ways, particularly through a set of punitive laws against dissidents and independents in Yemen.
In March 2009 the government submitted a legislation concerning the right to access information and to build websites. The draft was misleading and lacked clarity. It included prison sentences, some of which reach six years for anyone “trying to extract or publish prohibited content,” according to the government’s view.
The authorities also launched a campaign to block news sites, hack them and delete all content, claiming they stir the public and incite violence and terrorism. The sites the Yemeni authorities targeted included Sons of the South, Al-Taif Network News, Free Yemen, Shamsan News, Dali Gate of the South, Abyan Forum and Hadramout News.
The Yemen Portal published a list of blocked sites to which it had access. It managed to publish the contents of the blocked sites. As a result, the Yemen Portal itself was blocked. However, its owner managed to create a program to free all blocked sites. He called it Al-Kasser (the breaker).
Yemeni authorities deliberately blocked the most popular sites that host blogs to prevent bloggers from publishing their articles and pictures and information exchange.
With the blocking of the Jordanian site Maktoob, Yemeni bloggers use aliases for fear of prosecution, pursuit or abduction. Examples are the sites Thamood, Hadramout Hope, and Free Voice From Sanaa.
Due to frequent attacks, some sites and blogs clustered to start a campaign to resist blocking Yemeni websites. The campaign’s official website monitors encroachments and violations against sites. The site also publishes techniques to allow browsing blocked content.
Islamic religious censorship.
Prisoners of the Internet
Under the undeclared state of emergency enforced by the Yemeni authorities, it has become very easy to hunt down free writers on the web in many ways. The most common method is kidnapping by “civilians».
In September 2009 unknown persons kidnapped Mohammed Al-Maqaleh, an e-journalist at Al-Ishtraki (The Socialist) after he published articles critical of government performance in security issues. Yemeni opposition accused Yemen’s national security of the kidnapping.
In May 2009 the police arrested Yemeni reporter Fuad Rashid, editor of the e-paper Mukalla Press, and Yahia Bamehfuz, former editor of Hadramout News, without giving any reasons .
Another example is the continued harassment of journalist, blogger and editor of Al-Shoura Net Abdul-Karim al-Khaiwani who spent a year in prison because of his writings criticizing the regime. He was released in 2005 by presidential pardon.
In June 2008 Khaiwani was sentenced to six years in prison for «terrorism and scheming with the rebels of the Sana’a Second Cell”. He was kidnapped several times in 2007 and banned from travel. Khaiwani wrote critical articles that annoyed the regime, such as the Ead Al Jolous and Ali Katyusha.
In October 2009 a new approach was introduced into Yemen’s e-space to harass annoying voices. Editor of Ittijah Net Zbeen Ayed Attia accused «certain departments» of trying to assassinate him and fabricate cases against him to prevent him for disclosing facts through his journalistic work.
Internet cafés and attempts to demonize the web
According to the Yemeni News Agency the number of Internet cafés reached around 984 as of June 2009 .
Cafés experience «organizational» campaigns which seek to «oblige cafés to observe regulations and provide a complete and integrated database to facilitate dealing with the Public Institution for Telecommunications, business centers and Internet cafés .»
The Yemeni community still views Internet cafés with suspicion and mistrust. According to observers, the Internet is a means to access immoral sites and is considered unsafe for the young people.
However, many Yemenis are skeptical of this unfair government image aiming to drive citizens away from the Internet which even calls Internet users sinners.
In August 2007 the official news agency Sabaa conducted a survey that showed that 70% of the respondents were young people seeking pornographic sites.
The continued crackdowns in pro-government papers against sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and DailyMotion provide further evidence of the Yemeni regime’s fear that ordinary citizens would access information and news from independent sources beyond their control.
Islamic religious censorship.
Patriarchal Internet: Women are not welcome
The modest logistic resources and low number of Internet users had a negative impact on women users in Yemen, rendering them invisible.
Official figures show that illiterate Yemeni women represent over 70%. This explains women’s absence from the Internet scene. Female computer science students of government universities in 2009 are 489 compared to 2,915 male students. The number of women employed in the public sector in the field of computer and communication technologies does not exceed 78 out of 88,000 females in other areas.
Female bloggers are almost non-existent due to extreme poverty that renders owning a computer and an Internet connection quite beyond reach. In addition, girl presence in Internet cafés goes totally against conservative Yemeni society patriarchal traditions.
The official website of the Yemeni Women’s Union, one of the most prominent Yemeni web sites is a positive point in favor of Yemeni women. The site was censored and even hacked several times for publishing articles and positions that bothered the regime.
Communications and Internet in the Arab world as of 2009
• Number of Arab internet users: 58 million of around 338 million.
• Number of mobile phones in the Arab world: about 176 million.
• Number of landlines in the Arab world: about 34 million.
• Number of Facebook users in the Arab world: about 12 million.
• Number of Arabic blogs: about 600,000, active blogs: 150,000.
• Largest number of internet cafés and cyber clubs: 16,000 in Algeria.
• Largest number of internet users: 15 million in Egypt.
• Least number of internet users: 60,000 in Mauritania.
• Countries most intensely using Facebook: Egypt, Lebanon and Algeria.
• Highest number of mobile phone lines: 7.5 million, in UAE.
• Highest percentage of internet users, compared to population: 2.86 million in UAE, i.e. more than 50% percent of the total population.
• Countries most intensely monitoring internet: Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.
• Countries most repressive of internet activists: Egypt.
• Best countries dealing with internet: Lebanon and Algeria.
• Best country in internet services: Morocco.
• Countries most intensely tapping communications: Lebanon and Egypt.
• Countries hosting majority of extremist sites: Saudi Arabia.
• Countries hosting majority of secular sites secular: Morocco, Lebanon and Egypt.
• Best communities of online bloggers and activists: Morocco.
• Countries most intensely using YouTube: Egypt.
Islamic religious censorship attempts in EuropeWhy are Muslims so hypersensitive ???
Den danske journalist i Pakistan, Puk Damsgård Andersen, er ikke længere velkommen i det uroplagede land.
Den engelsksprogede pakistanske avis The Nation sætter spørgsmålstegn ved, hvorfor hun stadig opholder sig i landet.
– På trods af at hun er erklæret persona non grata (uønsket, red.) af den pakistanske regering, formår en dansk journalist stadig at opholde sig i hovedstaden, skriver The Nation, der også nævner Puk Damsgård Andersen ved navn.
Artiklen beskylder Puk Damsgård Andersen for at udbrede karikaturerne af profeten Muhammed og for at stå bag “tvivlsomme og skumle aktiviteter”. Den er desuden ledsaget af et brev fra de pakistanske myndigheder, der skriver, at journalisten er blacklistet.
Pakistan bars Danish
Pakistani authorities have informed Puk Damsgaard Andersen that his visa will not be renewed, saying they “can no longer guarantee her security”. Authorities in Islamabad believe Andersen carried out secret and illicit activities and distributed the controversial drawings in Pakistan, an accusation that Andersen denies.
SOURCE: The Nation.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: ‘Why are Muslims so hypersensitive?’
(The Guardian Ayaan Hirsi 8.5.2010)Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Why are Muslims so hypersensitive?
“If you compare the way Muslims take offence at perceived insults that are not insults, but are just a critical way of looking at their religion, then I start to ask myself, why are Muslims so hypersensitive to criticism and why don’t they do anything with it except to respond by denying it or playing the victim?
And I’ve come to the conclusion it’s because of the gradual indoctrination – from parents, teachers – that everything in the Qur’an is true; Muhammad is infallible, you have to follow his example and defend Islam at all times, at all costs.
Instead of going along as most people are doing now and saying, OK, let’s refrain from criticising Islam, let’s refrain from calling Islamic terrorism Islamic,