Muslim world questions logic behind Charlie antics

Updated 15 January 2015

Muslim world questions logic behind Charlie antics

RIYADH/CAIRO: Iyad Madani, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, has denounced the publication of sacrilegious cartoons by French magazine Charlie Hebdo Wednesday, calling the move “insolence, ignorance and foolishness.”
He said: “Freedom of speech must not become a hate-speech and it must not offend others. No sane person, regardless of doctrine, religion or faith, accepts his beliefs being ridiculed.”
Prominent Saudi scholar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Ghamdi said that publication of the latest image was a mistake. “It’s not a good way to make the people understand us. Jesus or Moses, all messengers (of God) we should respect,” and should not be made fun of in pictures or words, Ghamdi said. “I believe it will make more problems.”
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestinian lands, Mohammed Hussein, said such cartoons “fuel feelings of hatred and resentment among people” and publishing them “shows contempt” for Muslim feelings.
Leading Islamic authority Al-Azhar denounced the new edition and said: “The stature of the Prophet of Mercy is greater and more lofty than to be harmed by cartoons that are unrestrained by decency and civilized standards.” It said: “Al-Azhar calls on all Muslims to ignore this hateful frivolity.”
The International Union of Muslim Scholars also criticized the antics of Charlie Hebdo, claiming they would further stir up hatred, extremism and tension. “It is neither reasonable, nor logical, nor wise to publish drawings and films offensive or attacking the Prophet of Islam,” said the Qatar-based union, headed by Yusuf Al-Qardawi.
According to the union, publication of the drawing would give further “credibility” to the idea that “the West is against Islam.” It said: “If we agree that (those who committed the attacks) are a minority that do not represent Islam or Muslims, then how can we respond with actions that are not directed against them, but against the Prophet revered by a billion-and-a-half Muslims?”
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Al-Qaeda branch on Wednesday confirmed it carried out last week’s deadly assault in Paris and vowed more attacks on the West.
In a video posted on Twitter, a commander said: “You will look for peace and stability but you will not find it because of the deeds of those carrying out martyrdom operations and heroes of lone jihad.”
He said the Yemeni-American cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki, who was killed in a US drone strike in Yemen in September 2011, had arranged the attack.


US court orders Iran to pay $879 million to 1996 Khobar bombing survivors

Updated 4 min 34 sec ago

US court orders Iran to pay $879 million to 1996 Khobar bombing survivors

  • The court ruled that the Iranian government directed and provided material for the attack
  • The Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia were housing US forces when it was bombed in 1996

DUBAI: A United States federal court held Iran responsible for the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia where US forces were housed, and ordered Tehran to pay $879 million to survivors. 

The Khobar Towers was a housing complex in the eastern city of Khobar, near the Abdulaziz Air Base and Saudi Aramco’s headquarters in Dhahran, that housed American servicemen working on Operation Southern Watch.

A truck bomb was detonated on June 25, 1996, near an eight-story building of the housing complex, which killed 19 US Air Force personnel and a Saudi national and wounded 498 others.

The court ruled that the Iranian government directed and provided material support to Hezbollah who detonated the 5,000-pound truck bomb, a Chicago law firm press release said. The attackers reportedly smuggled the explosives used in the attack from Lebanon. 


The lawsuit was brought under the terrorism exception of the US Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act by the 14 injured US airmen and 21 of their immediate family members.

The defendants in the case were listed as the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security.

“We will continue to seek to hold the Government of Iran accountable for this terrorist attack as long as is necessary,” said Adora Sauer, the lead attorney of MM LAW LLC.

US District Judge Beryl A. Howell found the defendants liable and awarded the plaintiffs $132 million for pain and suffering, as well as prejudgment interest, for a total compensatory damage award of $747 million and $132 million for punitive damages.


The court also said the plaintiffs are eligible for partial payments from the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, which compensates American victims of acts of international terrorism with funds obtained from fines and forfeitures levied against companies caught illegally laundering money for sanctioned countries and persons. 

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READ MORE: 45 Moments that changed the Middle East - The bombing of Khobar Towers

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The attorneys also intend to pursue enforcement of the judgments through litigation intended to seize Iranian assets.

“The physical and psychological toll on our families has been extremely high, but this judgment is welcome news. More than 20 years on, we want the world to remember the evil that Iran did at the Khobar Towers. Through the work of our attorneys, we intend to do just that,” said Glenn Christie, a retired Air Force staff sergeant crew chief who was severely injured in the bombing.


“The massive explosion took so much from their minds and bodies on the day of the attack in 1996 and every day and night since then. They can now live with that balance justice provides,” according to John Urquhart of the Urquhart Law Firm, who also represents the bombing victims.