Egypt police using gay dating apps to hunt members of LGBT community

iranaware

By JULIE STEIGERWALD

The Egypt Government has reportedly been using gay dating apps to locate and detain members of the LGBT community, according to online lifestyle and entertainment magazine CairoScene.

The outlet cited a source close to the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community as claiming that the online dating platforms, such as Grindr, are jeopardizing the safety of the conservative Muslim country’s homosexual population.

“There have been a number of arrests in the last few months linked to these applications,” CairoScene quoted the unnamed source as saying.

The source stated that the government authorities use the technology to pinpoint the location of users by triangulation.

“It is possible to tell a user’s position within a few hundred meters,” the source added, saying the personal photographs uploaded by users to their dating profiles makes them easily identifiable to police.

“It baffles me how easily people are willing to share such personal information in a country like Egypt – it is beyond stupid,” asserted the source. “I would advise anyone to be careful when dating online.”

While homosexuality is not specifically outlawed in Egypt, members of the country’s LGBT population are known to face hostilities and punitive measures based on other charges.

A recent crackdown on Egypt’s LGBT community has led many of its members to conceal their identity out of fear of arrest or physical harm.

In April, an Egyptian court sentenced 11 men accused of committing homosexual acts to terms of up to 12 years in jail on charges of “inciting debauchery.”

In late 2014, Egyptian authorities detained 26 men in a raid on a Cairo bath house after police received a report claiming they were holding gay orgies. A court later ruled to release the men.

Sharia Police Patrols Forming In Hamburg

Islamic State and “Sharia Police” stickers have been seen on vehicles in Hamburg, and some fear that extremists may try and harass residents. However, police and security services have denied these reports.

At least one witness has came forward claiming that she has seen Islamic State logos and sharia police slogans on a car in Hamburg. According to the woman, she saw a car at a traffic light populated by three women wearing the Islamic full-face veil, the hood of the car was described as having a large logo on it with a blue border which read: “Sharia Police”.

Now some fear that the so-called sharia patrols that harassed the residents of Wuppertal in 2014 could be returning to German streets, reports Die Welt.

The woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the paper that she clearly saw the words “Sharia Police” on the vehicle. The original sharia police were formed in 2014 by radical preacher and Islamic convert Sven Lau. Lau formed the group in order to tackle what he deemed unIslamic or “haram” behaviour in Wuppertal. The group wore high-visibility jackets with the words “Sharia Police” on the back.

The patrols harassed locals in the area who were drinking, gambling, or engaging in any other activity considered socially acceptable in the West which would otherwise be considered haram in Muslim countries. The group also put up stickers – much like their British “Sharia Patrol” counterparts – indicating areas that were “sharia controlled zones” and subject to the Islamic holy law, rather than German secular laws. Alcohol, gambling, music, pornography, prostitution, and drugs were all said to be banned in the area by the group.

Sven Lau himself was revealed to have ties to radical Islamic groups earlier this year after he was arrested on suspicion of aiding and recruiting for Islamic State. German prosecutors alleged that Lau had bought night vision goggles and other equipment in order to aid the group, and had made several trips to the Middle East where authorities say he made contact with Islamic State.

One local Hamburg politician is taking the possible reemergence of the group seriously. Left Party politician Cansu Ozdemir has made a special request via the Hamburg Senate to try and find out what the police and intelligence services know about possible sharia police activity. The Senate responded claiming that they had no evidence of any sharia police activity in the area.

According to Die Welt, there was a second case reported at the Dammtor railway station where witnesses said they saw the Islamic State logo hanging from the rear view mirror of a bus on which five to seven burka-clad individuals could be seen. Police have said there haven’t been any formal reports made to them regarding the incident.

Islam: Wahhabism and Salafism

Islam 0

In one of the great speeches of the 20th century, General Charles de Gaulle on BBC Radio on June 18,1940 spoke to the French people after the government of France had capitulated to Nazi Germany.  Optimistically, he argued that France would be able in the future to overcome the enemy by a “superior mechanical force.”  The fate of the world depended on it.

Hope, de Gaulle said, must not disappear.

Today, the democratic world must respond to the enemy, radical Islam and Islamist terrorism, with the same force and in the same spirit that de Gaulle embodied.  The task has become increasingly difficult and complicated with the changing nature of the threat and the varied massacres and terrorist Islamist attacks.  The West has also now become aware of the sophisticated propaganda machine of the jihadist terrorist groups, especially ISIS, whose propaganda spreads on the internet, Skype, Facebook, YouTube, and satellite outlets.  Now revelations about one intelligence unit, EMNI, responsible for an external terrorist network, of the secret service of ISIS, is the latest cause for Western concern.

The first organized attack on the West came from groups such as al-Qaeda that concentrated on important or symbolic targets.  Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11 and war on U.S., arguing that the U.S. had massacred Muslim people and supported Israel.  To this attack was added the fight against those regimes, including Saudi Arabia, that aided the U.S.

Then terrorist groups in different countries attacked “soft targets” – train stations and hotels.  More recently, so-called lone wolf jihadists have attacked Jewish museums, night clubs, the promenade of a fashionable seaside resort, in European countries.

It is essential for all defending Western civilization to be aware of the ideology that drives all these different terrorist activities.  The rise of Islamist violence and terrorism has illustrated a clash of cultures in the world, not universal agreement on some hypothetical end of history.  Muslim societies accepting that “the Koran is our Constitution” are antithetical to Western democracies and the secular rule of law.  Glorification of terrorists is incompatible with a system of law and order, however imperfect.  The rise of jihadism stems from an extreme form of Islam, not the revenge of Muslim countries for Western colonialism.

The problem for the West started in the 18th century in the area of Najd in the Arabian Peninsula, when two men met.  One was a religious figure, Abd al-Wahhab, son of an Islamic cleric (juge) who wanted to stop Bedouins from being pagans.  The objective was to return to a “pure” Islam, that of the Prophet and his companions.  This was the extreme, puritanical, and rigid form of Islamist doctrine.  This overlaps with Salafism, which goes back to an even earlier period, the first three generations of Islam, the so-called “Pious  Predecessors.”

In the small town of Diriya, Wahhab in 1744 met Ibn Saud, ruler of the area, and agreed on an arrangement.  This was the pact that involved the lowering of taxes on agricultural products and the raising of revenue by a process of jihad and conquest of neighboring cities on one side and religious extremism on the other.

The alliance of the two men led to conquest of Arabia and the imposition of both centralized administration and the extreme religious point of view on it.  The area gradually changed from continual tribal wars in search of spoils to a political center and a dominant Saudi ruling family, and to Wahhabism, an extreme form of Islam, as the dominant form.

At first, Wahhabism was concerned with defense of Muslim countries against “impurity” within them.  This meant having a military force, a fanatical sect that included mercenaries.  Then grew the emphasis on jihad, the assault of Western systems, that became more urgent with the creation by Hassan al-Banna, a 22-year old teacher, in 1928 in Cairo of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It was the first important movement that tried to unite activist Muslims to affirm an Islamic identity in the face of British and French colonialism.  Therefore, a major objective of Banna was the restoration of the caliphate, a political system that had been abolished by Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1924, to rule over Arab countries.  Moreover, that caliphate was to exercise political power, to become politically important, and to reform society.

Parenthetically, Banna was the grandfather of Tariq Ramadan, the Swiss-born academic, often a spokesperson for the Brotherhood and an extreme critic of Israel.  In 2013, he wrote that the overthrow of the Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, Brotherhood leader, was orchestrated by a conspiracy of the U.S. and Israel.

Inherent in the position of the Brotherhood is that the Muslim ruler should be destroyed if he contravenes the divine law.  The Brotherhood had tried to assassinate President Gamal Abdel Nasser in October 1954 and succeeded in assassinating President Anwar Sadat on October 6, 1981.

In the 1960s, the Brotherhood became even more extreme with the influence of Sayyid Qutb, who emphasized resort to violence and overthrow of bad Muslim governments.  It was the teaching of Qutb, who was executed in 1966, that led to Sadat’s assassination and to continuing jihadism.

For the West, the threat of Salafist jihadist terrorism stems from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979.  The opposition to that event was a combination of Saudi and American force, the employment of American money and the CIA, and the recruitment of local fighters by the U.S. and Pakistan.  Motives were different.  The U.S. was engaged in the Cold War with the Soviet Union.  The local fighters were liberating territory of an occupied Muslim country.  The Taliban was born.

Salafists are of various kinds.  Some insist on piety, education, and predication; others are more interested in political and nonviolent reforms.  The third group, advocates of global jihadism, is what affects the West and Muslim countries.

Starting in the fight against regimes of Algeria and Egypt, jihadism spread to Albania and the Caucasus.  By late 1990s, global jihad against the West was basis of al-Qaeda.  The fall of Saddam Hussein led al-Qaeda to become influential in Iraq.  Organized jihadism then became nihilist, with the creation of ISIS in 2006 and the caliphate in 2013, both jihadist and a territorial state.

Like de Gaulle in 1940 fighting against Nazi Germany, Western leaders, together with Russia, must pluck up courage and fight the evil.  It helps to know who the enemy is.  The next president of the U.S. must fight from the front, not from behind.

The Supreme Council of Cyberspace

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