Muslim books of hate sold

Liam Houlihan, religious affairs reporter

LITERATURE filled with hatred of Christians, Jews and non-Muslims is being sold at a mosque near a Melbourne home raided by ASIO.

Books sold at the store attached to the Brunswick mosque tell Muslims they should "hate and take as enemies" non-Muslims, reject Jews and Christians, and learn to hate in order to properly love Allah.

The texts say Muslims should learn military tactics and suggest that if a person speaks ill of Islam it is acceptable to kill them.

They urge Muslims to strike back against "the barbaric onslaught from their enemies -- the Jews, Christians, atheists, secularists and others".

Pages are devoted to legitimising episodes of violence against Jews who insult Islam.

"A Jewish woman used to abuse the Prophet and disparage him. A man strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah declared that no recompense was payable for her blood," one book recounts.

A similar example is given of a man killing the mother of his two children because she "disparaged the Prophet"; he also was declared clear of any crime.

"When they (non-Muslims) meet you, they say, 'We believe', but when they are alone, out of frustration and rage, they bite off the tips of their fingers because of you," one says.

"O you who believe! Do not take the Jews (Yahood) and Christians (Nasara) for friends (Awliyaa). They are Awliyaa to each other. And the one among you that turns to them is one of them."

Readers are instructed by the books not to feel compassion for non-Muslims, not to trust them, and not to speak well of them.

One book says faithful Muslims should learn military tactics.

The group of books were bought from the bookstore of the Islamic Information and Support Centre of Australia, which is in the same building as the Brunswick mosque. One, The Ideological Attack, describes "the Jews" as striving to corrupt the beliefs, morals and manners of Muslims.

"The Jews scheme and crave after possessing the Muslim lands, as well as the lands of others," it reads.

"Supported by a demonic global plan as well as unlimited financial backing, this attack aims at domination and hegemony over the Islamic world; dividing it, attacking it culturally and morally and perverting the true image of the religion.

"Therefore it is amongst the priorities of the Islamic call (da'wah) to break this attack and to counter it with every legitimate means of da'wah possible."

One text says of devotion to Allah: "As regards hatred for His sake this is an essential prerequisite for loving Him."

A book on "Muslims Living as Minorities" mentions Muslims fighting in Afghanistan and discusses "jihad", or holy war, as a collective and individual responsibility.

Another quotes classic anti-Semitic conspiracy text The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, stating Jews want to make Muslims "the ass of the chosen people".


Bookstore draws scrutiny

Iqra Learning Centre in Leeds offered videos, DVDs and books alleging conspiracies against Muslims and denouncing the West. It could shed light on techniques used to recruit bombers.

The Associated Press

Sunday, July 17, 2005

LEEDS, England - Amear Ali remembers how the film images clicked by in rapid-fire sequence to a soundtrack of pounding drums: dead Iraqi children, Palestinians under siege, Guantanamo prisoners, snippets of President George W. Bush repeating the word "crusade."

"You could see how it could turn someone to raw hate," said Ali, recalling his brush last year with the hard-edged marketing of extremism at an Islamic bookstore operated by his brother-in-law.

"It even started working on me. Then I said to myself, 'Get out. This stuff is poison.' "

The shop was drawn deeper Saturday into the international investigation of the July 7 London bombings, and Ali's introductions into the militant messages could help explain the possible recruitment tactics used in the neighborhood where the suicide mission apparently took shape.

Attempts to discern the motives and mindset of the suspected bombers remain among the murkiest parts of the probe. But Ali - a 36-year-old father of four boys - says hard-line Islamists had been quietly making contacts and spreading propaganda for years in the Beeston area, a hillock of one-room stores and red-brick row houses dominated by families with roots in Pakistan.

Three of the four suspected bombers came from this seesaw world: born in Britain but influenced by the values and traditions of a motherland they barely know; watching new skyscrapers rise in central Leeds but feeling excluded from the opportunities in this former mill town.

"So someone comes along and says, 'Muslims are oppressed, Muslims are being killed by the West,' and so on," said Ali, whose father emigrated to Britain from Pakistan. "For some young lads who are confused and feel alienated, it's a powerful thing to hear. If it happened with young Muslims here, it's happening everywhere."

Ali said he first noticed outsiders coming into Beeston in the late 1990s, speaking about Muslim causes and identity. He said they were always well-spoken, fluent in English and often dressed in the traditional shalwar kameez, a loose tunic-and-trouser outfit common in Pakistan and across South Asia.

Ali said the men were always vague about their affiliations - never mentioning al-Qaida or any of the Muslim groups in Britain - and first offered only generalities about the importance of prayer and following Islamic codes.

"We used to joke that they were like the Muslim version of the Mormons or born-again Christians," Ali said. "They would ask if anyone wanted to attend lectures or just talk further. A few would go, but we didn't pay them much attention."

It began to change shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. His sister's husband, Mohammad Tafazil, 38, opened a corner bookshop with the idea of offering an alternative for young Muslims who were drifting into drug use and a gang culture, Ali said.

Gradually, Tafazil became more radicalized and aloof from his old Western-oriented crowd, said Ali. He grew a beard, became estranged from his wife and began allowing visiting Muslim speakers to use the shop - the Iqra Learning Centre - for gatherings. The shelves increasingly included videos, DVDs and books outlining conspiracies against Muslims and denouncing the West.

"I remember telling him once, 'This kind of stuff may get you in trouble if the police see it,' " Ali said. "He told me that I was weak."

Ali said Tafazil also had some financial links to a storefront site known as the Hamara Youth Access Point, where the suspected bombers also were known to meet.

Both the bookstore and youth site have been searched and sealed by police.

"They were always talking about the same thing: how the West is out to destroy Islam," Ali said.

Among those who became part of the shop's inner circle was Shahzad Tanweer, 22, one of the suspected London bombers, said Ali. Another suspected attacker, 30-year-old Mohammad Sidique Khan, reportedly used the two sites for diatribes against U.S. and British foreign policies.

It's unclear what - if any - connections were made by the bombers to wider terrorist networks. But senior Pakistani intelligence officials said authorities were looking into possible links between Tanweer and two al-Qaida-linked militant groups.

On Saturday, meanwhile, police intensified their search of the street-level bookstore.

Tafazil was not at his home or answering his cell phone on Saturday. Police declined to say whether Tafazil was being held in Britain.

Ali said he was approached by Tafazil last year for discussions about Islam. At first, Ali said he received instructions on proper Muslim prayers, which he never learned when younger. Then came lectures about injustices to Muslims around the world. Finally, on the day Ali and his family returned from their father's funeral, Ali said Tafazil played him a DVD on a laptop computer.

"It started off with scenes of Muslims being killed or persecuted: Iraq, Palestinians, Chechnya. It had Bush saying the word 'crusade.' It was slick and really made you feel angry," Ali said. "I know it was propaganda and was made to make you feel this way.

"But what about young guys who see this material as a call to do something?

"I'm convinced something like this was the first step for the bombers."

Police probe stores over extremist books

Monday Jul 18 2005


Counter-terrorism agencies are investigating at least two Sydney bookstores accused of selling extremist Islamic literature - including one book endorsed by Osama bin Laden.

Media reports said The Islamic Bookstore at Lakemba was selling Defence of the Muslim Lands, which carries a front-cover endorsement from the al-Qaeda leader.

The book, and others at the store, discuss the effectiveness of suicide bombings and attack Western civilisation as "the culture of oppression, the culture of injustice, the culture of racism".

Asked if the books were still on sale, a spokesman for the store said: "I didn't see (them) there".

The Islamic Development Centre of Australia bookshop at Auburn, also in Sydney's west, rejected claims it was selling texts promoting terrorism.

"We don't believe we're selling any books that promote terrorism or promote attacks," said a spokesman for the centre, who would only be identified as Ihsan.

"But obviously if you're selling such books, that would be irresponsible, (in) particular when Islam doesn't promote those ideas."

Federal and state governments said law-enforcement agencies were investigating the bookshops to determine whether any breach of the law had been committed.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said relevant agencies were looking into the matter.

"This issue is a very real problem here and abroad," Mr Ruddock told reporters in Canberra.

"If there are offences that have been committed here in Australia, competent authorities will seek to obtain appropriate evidence and we will deal with it.

"There is already a person who has been committed for trial in relation to ... collecting or making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts."

A spokesman for NSW Attorney-General Bob Debus said there were laws against racial vilification and inciting violence.

"If the literature is found to contain racial vilification then the laws are there to prosecute," he said.

"If any information or literature results in a violent act ... then we have laws to prosecute under incitement to violence."

A prominent Muslim leader, Keysar Trad, urged bookstores to be careful about the products they sold.

"I'm concerned that these books are readily available," Mr Trad said.

"I don't know whether the bookshop owners are aware of what's inside these books but there should be a lot more vigilance ... and they should be careful not to import these types of books."

NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney said he found the material "offensive" but could not say whether it could be banned.

Mr Moroney would not confirm the number of shops under investigation by the AFP and the NSW Counter-Terrorism Command or whether intelligence agency ASIO had been monitoring the bookstores.

"Obviously, in this investigation it will be necessary to seek qualified legal opinion ... as to who actually commits the offence - is it the author, is it the publisher, is it the retailer, is it the purchaser of this particular material, or is it all of the above?" he said.

NSW opposition police spokesman Mike Gallacher called on the Carr government to do whatever it could to get the books off the shelves.

"If that means raiding them, so be it," he said.


Hate books banned

By Kelvin Bissett

July 12, 2006

BOOKS of hate found openly on sale in Sydney's Muslim community have been banned after an official finding that they promote suicide operations and violence.

The Classification Review Board found the books Defence of the Muslim Lands and Join the Caravan were so threatening it should be an offence to import them.

The Daily Telegraph revealed the books and other inflammatory material were in Sydney bookshops last July, triggering an outcry over the availability of such inflammatory material in the wake of the London bombings.

The books slapped with a refused classification ruling were found on sale at The Islamic Bookstore at Lakemba during an investigation by The Daily Telegraph that involved an Arabic interpreter.

The Review Board found Defence of the Muslim Lands was "specific and explicit in support for and encouragement of suicide bombing, including details for undertaking such crimes".

The book, originally written to rally support for mujahideen in Bosnia but since republished, carries an explicit endorsement by terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden on its back cover.

The board was also scathing about Join the Caravan, which it described as a "real and genuine call" to specific action to fight for Allah and engage in acts of violence.

"Join the Caravan warrants refused classification because it has the objective purpose of promoting and inciting acts of terrorism against 'disbelievers'. . ." the board noted

Six other books reviewed by the board can continue to be sold. Among them, The Criminal West, written by an Australian-based Muslim, contains claims Australian police routinely rape girls and authorities conspire to turn Muslim youths into drug addicts.

The board found the book did not promote, condone or incite crime or violence.

"Whilst some may consider that badly-written books containing unsubstantiated and outlandish conspiracy theories should be banned for reasons of good taste, it is a fundamental principle of the National Classification Code that adult Australians should be able to read, hear and see what they want," the board concluded.

Board convenor Maureen Shelley said the opinions of a number of organisations were sought before the rulings, including Mufti Sheik Taj el-Dene Elhilaly and the NSW Council for Civil Liberties.

Muslim Friendship Association spokesman Keysar Trad said the bookstore involved had voluntarily chosen not to continue selling the books.

He said he believe the board's ruling was influenced by "sensationalism".

"It would have been far better to leave the matter with the understanding that these books would not be marketed in Australia rather than to be on the record as censoring them," Mr Trad said.

Mr Trad said he believed the books did not pose any immediate danger and said inflammatory comments made by radio personalities were more of a concern.

The board ruling followed the AFP visiting the The Daily Telegraph's office to seize the books for their own inquiries.


Hate book applauds holy war

By Carly Crawford

Sunday Herald Sun

AN ISLAMIC hate book that encourages martyrdom and war against non-Muslims has been approved by Australian regulators.

They accept that the book, Jihad in the Quran and Sunnah, advocates fighting for Islam, but contend it is too old and vague to do any harm.

The Office of Film and Literature Review has classified the title as unrestricted, meaning it can be imported freely and sold in Australia.

It contains references to bloodletting in the name of Allah and calls to rail against other faiths.

"When you meet those who disbelieve, smite at their necks 'til when you have killed and wounded many of them, then take them as captives," it reads.

"You are ordered by Allah to continue carrying out jihad against the disbelievers until they embrace Islam . . . those who are killed in the way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost."

It is one of the titles the Sunday Herald Sun found during recent visits to Islamic bookshops in Brunswick. Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council director Ted Lapkin called for further review of the book.

"Anything that incites violence should be seriously checked and, if this particular book does that, I would think there would be grounds for finding it illegal," he said.

"These are not normal times and we are dealing with a global jihadist network waging war with the democratic world."

The Office of Film and Literature Classification termed the book "historical and general" and said it contained no call to action: "There were no specific violent acts or threats of jihad referred to." Of the eight titles the board reviewed, acting upon a request from federal Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, two were immediately banned.

They were Join the Caravan and Defence of the Muslim Lands, neither of which was in stock at Victoria's two main Muslim bookshops this past week.


Bookshop's messages of racist hate

Antony Barnett
Sunday February 4, 2007
The Observer

Books and DVDs promoting suicide bombing, glorifying terrorism and advocating the killing of homosexuals have been on sale at the Birmingham bookshop raided by police last week as part of their investigation into an alleged plot to behead a British Muslim soldier.

Last year an undercover Observer reporter visited the store, Maktabah al-Ansar, and was sold a handful of extremist literature and DVDs.

Maktabah, which is Arabic for library, has been raided three times under the Prevention of Terrorism Act because of the inflammatory literature on its shelves and has links with several terror suspects. Nobody from the business has ever been charged with an offence.

One DVD, 21st Century Crusaders, begins by stating: 'History remembers two colours: black, the ink of scholars; and red, the blood of martyrs.' Footage is shown of the 9/11 atrocities with a poem that says: 'Suddenly their storms arise to demolish their fortresses and proclaim to them we shall not stop our raids until you abandon our lands.' Pictures of Jews are subtitled: 'Brothers of pigs and monkeys.'

An interview with former Guantanamo Bay inmate Moazzam Begg is featured declaring that the US has begun a war on Islam. During a raid on the premises in 2000, Begg - who worked in the bookshop and is understood to have been its co-owner - was arrested under anti-terrorism laws. He was later released without charge.

A sequence of war footage from Iraq shows vehicles and aircraft being bombed and dead bodies. It ends with an insurgent declaring: 'We love death just as they love life.' The DVD was still being recommended this weekend on the Maktabah website.

A book purchased by The Observer called War on Islam justifies terrorism and likens US foreign policy to Hitler's 'final solution'. A pamphlet entitled Islam on Homosexuality discusses the best way to kill homosexuals.

In 1999 Maktabah commissioned and published The Army of Madinah in Kashmir, written by Dhiren Barot, who is serving a life sentence after pleading guilty at the Old Bailey last November to planning a dirty bomb attack on London. Barot, alias Esa Al Hindi, accuses Western troops of invading Muslim countries and urges followers to strike back. The 4.95 book is still on sale via Maktabah's website. The Maktabah shop's owner at the time said: 'We have a duty to sell books that express a variety of viewpoints.'