1. Church in Indonesia attacked by sword wielding person or persons
A priest and several churchgoers have been injured during a machete attack on a church in the Indonesian city of Yogyakarta.
A 22-year-old man armed with a sword or machete attacked members of the congregation at St Lidwina Church.
The priest was struck in the back of the head and several others were injured before the man started hacking at a statue of Jesus and Mary.
2. Pakistani man extradited from Quebec to face child sexual assault charges in Texas
HOUSTON – Harris County prosecutors say a 41-year-old Pakistani man who fled Texas where he’s charged with sexually assaulting a teenage girl is being returned to Houston after he was arrested and unsuccessfully sought asylum in Canada.
Authorities say Aamir Khan was being extradited Thursday from Quebec.
The head of the fugitive apprehension section of the Harris County district attorney’s office, Kim Bryant, says Khan was “walking through the woods” in November in Canada when he was arrested by Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
3. Indonesia: Buddhist monk threatened by Islamists
He is accused of proselytism. Wrath of the radicals sparked by his charity work, he was forced to read and sign an admission of guilt. Authorities rule that the allegations made by the fundamentalists are groundless.
Jakarta (AsiaNews) - In the village of Kebon Baru (Banten province), an unknown radical Islamic group forced the Buddhist monk Mulyanto Nurhalim to sign an agreement, in which the religious committed himself to abandon his home following accusations of proselytism. The episode happened last February 4, but was unearthed only six days after an online video that portrays the monk reading and signing the document went viral.
The wrath of the Islamists was sparked by a charity project undertaken by the Buddhist monk. Spreading fish eggs, he intended to transform an abandoned ditch, where the villagers once used to extract sand, into a peach nursery to be made available to the community. The extremists have however accused Mulyanto Nurhalim of wanting to proselytize local Muslims through his “emotional solicitation”.
4. Canada: N.S. woman claims potential wedding venue violated her religious freedoms
A Dartmouth woman claims a local hotel is infringing on her freedom of religion by not offering appropriate food for her wedding reception.
Susan Ashley says the Delta Hotel in Dartmouth has denied her request to have halal food at the venue, something she says is needed for a traditional Muslim meal.
“It wouldn't have been a big issue, and I honestly feel that it infringes on my human rights,” said Ashely. “I can't say enough how upset I am.”
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6. Protests force South Korea to scrap plan for Muslim prayer room at Winter Olympics
The plan for two container-style prayer rooms has been halted after South Korea's anti-Muslim group drew over 56,000 signatures.
The Korea Tourism Organization (KTO) will not arrange any mobile prayer room for Muslim tourists at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Gangneung due to strong opposition from anti-Muslim campaigners, according to the statements of the city’s tourism department’s chief given to Al Jazeera.
Earlier, the KTO had decided to set up a mobile prayer room to increase the number of Muslim tourists and to promote a “Muslim-friendly Korea” during the Olympics which started on Friday. The initiative was undertaken despite only 0.2% the South Korean population of 51 million being Muslims.
The plan for two container-style prayer rooms has been halted after South Korea’s anti-Muslim group drew over 56,000 signatures opposing the idea, reports The Korea Times.
“We had strong opposition from some religious groups who opposed the installation and threatened protests during the Winter Olympics,” the Gangneung city Government Tourism Division chief Kang Suk-ho told Al Jazeera. “We sat down with them for talks, but in the end, we had to cancel the plans.”
7. “We Are Not Visitors”: Muslims in Sweden Demand Mosque Call to Prayer
Muslims in Sweden have applied for permission to broadcast the call to prayer, claiming the move would boost community self-esteem and assist with integration.
The Växjö Muslim Foundation submitted an application to the police requesting permission to send out a three-minute Islamic call to prayer each Friday from a loudspeaker attached to the front of a mosque in the city’s Araby district.
“We are just wanting Sweden to allow Muslims in Växjö to feel even more at home. The Islamic community should be proud of their culture, and not feel like they have to hide,” said Imam Ismail Abu Helal.
The imam told Smålandsposten he believes allowing the call to prayer could have a positive effect on the city, and that it would help enable Muslims to better integrate into Araby, a district in which already by 2008, 58 per cent of residents were recorded to have had foreign backgrounds.
8. Expert: Sweden Has Become a “Base” for International Radical Islamic Extremist Networks
Swedish researcher Peder Hyllengren of the Swedish Defence College has claimed that Sweden has become a hub of international Islamic extremism and that hundreds of Swedish residents have built up a vast network of jihadi contacts.
Hyllengren claimed that jihadi networks have been allowed to operate in Sweden for at least a decade and that Swedish lawmakers have been lagging on proper legislation to deal with the problem, Swedish broadcaster SVT reports.
According to the researcher, Swedish residents have been in contact with Islamic terrorists like Mohamed Belkaid who was shot during a raid in Brussels by police who were searching for terrorist Salah Abdeslam who had participated in the 2015 Paris Bataclan massacre.
9. Treka the Syrian Comedian warns Canada about the dangers of Trudeau’s policy on returning ISIS fighters
10. Islamic State video signals intent to disrupt (Egyptian) elections, targeting would-be voters, as well as security forces
(WARNING: The Islamic State video contains disturbing images of graphic violence, destruction of property and items sacred to other faiths.)
On 11 February, the Islamic State’s province in Egypt’s North Sinai – Wilayat Sinai – released a video of its operations against the Egyptian army.
The video featured a warning to Egyptians not to take part in the presidential election, scheduled to take place on 26–28 March.
On 9 February, the Egyptian Armed Forces announced Comprehensive Operation Sinai 2018 – a counter-terrorism operation across Egypt from the Western Desert to the Sinai Peninsula – with the objective of “eliminating terrorism” in Egypt within a three-month deadline set by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on 30 November, in response to the Al Rawdah mosque attack on 24 November.