in other news
Radical preacher Abu Qatada has moved into a new taxpayer-funded house worth £450,000 near to a church – and the furious owner wants him out.
The fanatical Muslim, who preached hate sermons towards the West – arrived in the leafy suburb of North-West London last week.
He had left his previous £400,000 four-bedroom rented home near Wembley Stadium after apparently complaining it was too small for him and his family.
He shares his new detached home, which is paid for by state handouts, with his wife and four of their five children. Similar homes in the area have sold for close to £500,000.
But the woman who owns the smart four-bedroom house reacted angrily last night after discovering the identity of her new tenant – and said she would try to evict him.
She said she was ‘astonished’ to be told the radical cleric had been allowed to live in the property, which she rents out through an agency for £1,400 a month.
Rema Beauty Begum had been ‘happy and bubbly’ but became withdrawn and told friends she was scared to leave her house after she and her family began receiving poison pen letters.
The 29-year-old fell eight storeys to her death after drinking rosé wine and clambering over a barrier at the Coq D’Argent, close to the Bank of England.
Three people have died by jumping from the restaurant terrace.
Ms Begum had tried to hang herself the day before but left hospital after refusing to be admitted, City of London Coroner’s Court heard.
A friend said she suspected the former British Library manager, who had lost her job over Christmas, felt guilty after her family found out she was dating non-Muslim men.
Giving evidence, HR worker Avril Atkins said she had been close friends with Ms Begum since the pair met at university around a decade earlier.
She said: “She followed some practices, she did have religious beliefs, but also lived a Western lifestyle.
“I don’t think it was something she openly told them about, however I believe they found out she had been seeing someone who wasn’t Muslim.
“She did say to me one time – it really, really worried me – that she hadn’t been living a good Muslim life. She said she wanted to live a more Muslim-based life.
“I was telling her there was nothing wrong with the way she lived her life, and her family would be proud of her. She had some problems with Facebook. Somebody – she didn’t know who – had been sending letters to her parents about her lifestyle and relationships.
“She was getting quite a lot of hate mail – both she and her parents.
“She was struggling with going out of the house, and felt depressed. I had never seen her like that – she was always very happy, cheerful, a very “up” type of person.
“She changed – she was very down, and asking for help”
Ms Begum reported the abuse to the police, before deleting her Facebook account and replacing it with one using a different name, the inquest heard.
Sudan’s Christians Facing Bombings, Arrests, Starvation
Special Report by ICC
12/14/2012 Washington D.C. (International Christian Concern) – Tens of thousands of Christians, caught in a crossfire between Sudanese armed forces and rebels in Nuba Mountains, are facing indiscriminate air strikes, detentions, and starvation – with no access to humanitarian aid.
The Arab-Muslim dominated Khartoum government has “adopted a strategy to treat all populations in rebel held areas as enemies and legitimate targets, without distinguishing between civilian and combatant,” says a Dec. 12 report by Human Rights Watch, concerning the conflict in Nuba Mountains, home to Sudan’s largest Christian population and non-Arab Muslims.
HRW’s field research shows that in the absence of an international call to end violence, bombings have greatly intensified in the Nuba Mountains state of Southern Kordofan.
Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) dropped 106 bombs in October, and 125 in the first half of November alone, the report says.“The persistent bombing has terrorized the population; most families have dug foxholes near their homes or moved to sheltered areas, and even small children now refer to the ‘Antonovs,’ the common name for the cargo planes used by Sudan to drop bombs.”
Government forces burned 26 Nuban villages, destroying schools, homes, churches, food crops and grasslands, in the Nuba Mountains in November alone, according to the Satellite Sentinel Project, which analyzes satellite imagery and eyewitness reports from the ground.
The U.N. estimates over 200,000 people have been displaced and fled over the borders, mostly into South Sudan. The people of Nuba Mountains are also living in constant danger of arbitrary detention, which is taking place on a massive scale and being seen as a new method of intimidation and terror to force them to leave their villages, writes Osman Naway, a local human rights defender, in an article on allafrica.com.
International Christian Concern’s Africa analyst William Stark said, “Although air raids by the Sudanese government are not specifically targeting Christians in the Nuba Mountains, the government is not doing anything to avoid innocent Christians being caught in the crossfire.”
Fighting broke out in Southern Korfodan after its Governor Ahmed Haroun claimed victory in a disputed election in June 2011, during the days leading to Christian-majority South Sudan’s secession from the Muslim-majority Sudan.
Though a large section of the population in the Nuba Mountains identifies with the south, they were not allowed to join the secession to South Sudan. Following the June election results, Khartoum banned the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), remaining forces of the former southern rebel SPL Army.
The SPLM-N controls large areas of the countryside around Kadguli, particularly in El Buram, Um Durein, and Heiban localities, and mountainous areas northwest of Kadugli – the areas where SAF have carried out hundreds of bombings, shelling, and rocket attacks on civilians in the recent months
Southern Korfodan’s governor, Haroun, and Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir are subject to arrest warrants by the ICC (International Criminal Court) for crimes committed in Darfur.
Southern Korfodan is dear to al-Bashir partly because it is the only oil-producing state after the independence of the South. But for the people of the Nuba Mountains, the rule of Khartoum also means cultural and religious subjugation.
“The Sudanese government has declared its intentions to make Sudan a purely Islamic state,” Stark said. “It has pursued this goal by marginalizing Christians and other non-Arabs.”
In its report, HRW has warned that “the lack of justice for serious crimes committed during the North-South conflict… and Darfur also appears to have emboldened” those engaged in the South Kordofan conflict. It’s time for the international community to break the silence.
Thus far, the al-Bashir regime has shown no sign of restraint. On the contrary, the Sudanese army is dispatching heavy reinforcements to South Kordofan in order to defeat the rebellion and increase security in the border region, the country’s defense minister Abdel Rahim Mohammed Hussein has announced, Sudan Tribune reported on Dec. 13.
“Hopefully, the international community will be able to avoid another Darfur in Sudan’s Nuba Mountains,” Stark said.