Thursday, April 26, 2007

Jihadist Internet Filtering Spreads

The radical Islamist custom of responding to objectionable web content by threatening Internet cafes has now spread from the Gaza Strip to the Indian region of Kashmir. According to Agence France Presse:

A hardline Islamic rebel group in Indian Kashmir ordered Internet cafes to demolish closed-door cabins where users surf, claiming that they are being used for "licentious" purposes.

The Badr Mujahideen group, which has claimed responsibilities for many deadly attacks on Indian troops in the revolt-hit state, issued no deadline and did not say what action it would take if its order was disobeyed.

"The cabins in the Internet cafes facilitate licentious activities. These cabins should be abolished," the group said in a telephone statement to Current News Service, a local media agency.

There are hundreds of Internet cafes throughout the Himalayan state and many have cabins with doors and room for two people to sit and surf.

Police said that they had received complaints in the past that couples were viewing pornographic sites and behaving in an "intimate fashion" in the Internet cabins.

Last year, Kashmir's leading woman separatist group Dukhtaran-e-Milat or Daughters of Faith raided some Internet cafes, destroying equipment, to prevent what it said were "immoral activities" in the outlets.

The militants, who are seeking to implement a stricter form of Islam, have banned cinema halls and liquor shops in the region.

Wherever radical Islamist groups are active, one sees the same brutal efforts to suppress any thoughts or behavior that offend their totalitarian vision.


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