Love Thy Neighbour: February 2003 Archives

February 28, 2003

Islamic terrorist a phony?

New Zealand: cyanide-laced letters have been sent to the British High Commission in Wellington, ostensibly by an Islamic terroist group calling itself September 11, but police are investigating whether they are an attempt to stir up hatred against Muslims. A linguist and international terror experts have noted that the letter is full of deliberate grammatical errors, as well as errors about Islam that a genuine Muslim believer would not make.

Auckland University School of Asian studies senior lecturer Tim Behrend said the letters seemed very transparent and like an incredibly bad effort.
They don't appear to have been written by a non-native speaker of English or someone who is accustomed to being around non-native English speakers.
What I see here is someone who is mimicking a foreign voice.

The Muslim community in New Zealand and under intense pressure. A number of their religious leaders have already pointed out that the manner in which the letters have been signed make absolutely no sense whatsoever.

Chief among them was the signature, Abd Allah September 11. Abd in Arabic means servant and Allah God, but the way this had been written was incorrect.
A Muslim would not write it like this, said an Arab immigrant.
All in a row, Abd Allah September 11. No, nonsense. It's written wrongly. He can't say Abd Allah and later say September 11. It can't be, it makes no sense.
As a phrase the two words are meaningless and it cannot be a name because Muslims cannot take the name Allah.

British diplomats were cyanide target - Stuff, 28th February 2003; Police can't say if cyanide letter 'anti-Muslim stirring' - Stuff, 28th February 2003; Experts say cyanide letter writer pretending to be Muslim - Stuff, 28th February 2003.

February 24, 2003

An African Ripper?

Tanzania: A mob surrounded a police station in Mbeya demanding a suspect be handed over to them, but police have denied arresting anyone carrying women's breasts in a plastic bag. There has been a series of gruesome murders in the region which have been linked to witchcraft.

Some body parts are reportedly needed for planting special protective charms in business. The killings of women have been linked to witchcraft beliefs. People believe people who have consulted witch doctors do the killings.

The murders themselves sound like the work of a sociopath.

Incidents of killings of women are increasing in Mbeya Region, whereby four women have been killed and their bodies found with breasts, hearts and private parts missing. The women were killed after they were raped.

Police deny arresting suspect carrying woman breastsThe Guardian (Tanzania), 25th February 2003.

Cleric guilty of soliciting murder

An extremist Muslim cleric has been found guilty of three charges of soliciting murder, two of using threatening behavious and one of distributing threatening material at the Old Bailey. Sheik Abdullah al-Faisal had recorded and sold tapes in which he urged young Muslims to go out and kill non-believers, Americans, Hindus and Jews.

Initially, the defence planned to call another controversial cleric, Abu Hamza, as a witness.

Unknown to the jury, Hamza appeared before the judge during a pre-trial hearing to outline his evidence.
However, the defence decided to drop him as a witness during the month-long case as Hamza's antics caused more and more embarrassing headlines.

He was acquitted on two charges of soliciting murder and one of posessing threatening material. Cleric guilty of spreading hate - BBC News, 24th February 2003.

Girl killed in place of 'witch' mother

Ghana: A farm labourer has been remanded in custody after he allegedly murdered his four-year-old daughter by butchering her into pieces.

[Afua] Kusasi initially sought to kill his wife Azuma Kusasi, for being a witch, but substituted his daughter Afua when Azuma sneaked out of the house.
The accused, who lives at Acquaye-Allah village in the Aowin-Suaman District of the Western Region, is further alleged to have sacrificed two dogs and two fouls after the incident.

Labourer Butchers Daughter - GhanaWeb General News, 22nd February 2003.

February 20, 2003

Juvenile delinquency

Twenty-one youths aged between 13 and 17 have been arrested after an elderly woman's house burned down.

Ntobeng Phala, police spokesperson, says a group of about 100 youths approached a 74-year-old woman last night and accused her of witchcraft. The group allegedly set her house alight, burning it to ashes. The woman managed to escape.

More arrests are expected. More than 20 arrested after house is burnt down - SABC News, 20th February 2003.

Thou shalt not suffer a poisoner...

A South African labourer faces culpable homicide charges after he allegedly supplied a poison to a family which killed two boys and sixteen animals. The deaths were originally blamed on witchcraft. Labourer gave killer chemical - News24, 19th February 2003.

February 19, 2003

Presidential paranoia

The situation in Venuzuela is getting worse, and according to Gustavo Coronel, the President is going a little batty:

As the economy collapses around us the President has gone into a frantic campaign on national TV. Compulsory "hook ups" are now daily affairs, in which the President will talk about anything, including the attempts made by voodoo witches to do a job on him. The President firmly believes in witchcraft and has developed a personal religion which is a mixture of Catholicism, voodoo and Marxism.

The writer has US connections and his words should be treated with suspicion unless you saw the broadcasts live. This editorial by Ted Rall exposes the level of self-censorship in the US media, and how vital facts are left out of their reports--facts which completely change the story.

The American media has, for example, devoted extensive coverage to political unrest in Venezuela, where mobs loyal to President Hugo Chávez have clashed with striking employees of the state oil company. The crisis sparked an attempted coup d'état in April 2002. To busy Americans, this looks like a simple story of a right-wing Latin American dictator crushing poor workers. That's because three key facts are regularly omitted from the story. First, the oil company strike was called by its wealthy managers, not its workers. Second, Chávez was democratically-elected. Third, the coup plotters were backed by the Bush Administration. We were sending informal, subtle signals that we don't like this guy, said a U.S. Defense Department official quoted in The Guardian, an English paper that has become an important post-9/11 resource for Americans in search of objective reporting. The bully, it turns out, is us--not Chávez, who is standing up for his nation's poor.

A Chronicle of the Dark Ages -, 18th February 2003; What they don't tell us - Yahoo! News, 17th February 2003.

February 16, 2003

School to be educated about law

The Pagan parents of a child in Tennessee have sued the local school board after constant harassment, violence and ostracism led their daughter to become suicidal and need treatment for anxiety. The school also forced her to attend (illegal) Bible classes, and constantly tried to persuade her to attend fundamentalist rallies during school hours. Union schools hit with religion-related lawsuit - Knox News, 14th February 2003. Comment on this story can be found at and Wren's Nest.

February 6, 2003

Bullets more effective than pins

A man who killed his suicidal spiritual mentor at his own request has been jailed for at least 12 years in Wisconsin. Greg Friesner admitted shooting Santeria high priest Mark Foster in order to inherit his soul and title. The two men also arranged for Foster to collect on Friesner's life insurance. Man pleads guilty in Wisconsin voodoo slaying - Duluth News Tribune, 28th January 2003.

February 5, 2003


Malawians are still terrified by tales of government-sponsored vampires roaming the country and murdering people a decade after the leader who was supposed to have sponsored them was deposed.

Many Malawians, especially in the country's rural south, believe in reports that teams of blood suckers are murdering poor people on a nightly basis, draining their blood and selling it to international aid agencies in return for food.

Last month, a member of the ruling United Democratic Front was beaten by residents of a small town after he was accused of harbouring the vampires. The government has said there is no evidence that the vampires exist and has banned spreading of the rumour. But the Central African Presbyterian Church has called for an enquiry, not on how to deal with silly supersitions but to investigate the allegations of blood-sucking. Vampire rumours continue to spread in Malawi - IOL, 5th February 2003.

Child dies after father does nothing.

United States: A nine-year-old Philadelphia boy has died of leukaemia because his father chose to pray because he believes that going to a doctor is to serve Satan. The boy's mother died last August as a result of an infection after a miscarriage. Authorities have yet to decide whether to press charges.

Northeast Phila. boy died of leukemia; D.A. 'reviewing the facts'Philadelphia Daily News, 5th February 2003.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries in the Love Thy Neighbour category from February 2003.

Love Thy Neighbour: January 2003 is the previous archive.

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