Al Qaeda condemns Obama, Catholics for supporting gay couples

The latest issue of Inspire magazine, al Qaeda's English-language propaganda rag, hit the Interwebs last night, and it's just as quirky and brooding as previous issues.

Besides rebuking France for its military intervention in Mali or calling for the kill or capture of Florida pastor Terry Jones, the issue takes direct aim at Barack Obama and a "majority" of Catholics for supporting "same-sex relationships."

A darkened image of Obama features the somewhat erroneous quote from the president: "My stance is still evolving ... I think same sex couples should be able to get married." (Not like it matters, but those two remarks were not stated in the same interview.) Below the quote is an image of U.S. bishops next to the factoid, "LESS THAN A QUARTER OF U.S. CATHOLICS ATTEND MASS EVERY WEEK ... MAJORITY SUPPORT SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS."                  

Perhaps most disturbingly, the magazine features a side graphic that reads "JUST MARRIED" in blood-stained letters next to an image of former Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank and his husband Jim Ready. The image appears to be a Photoshopped version of a photograph taken by the New York Times at Frank's wedding in July of last year. Below the image, the script reads "Barney Franks, Gay Congressman, Symbol of the American Dream."

Apparently, the "Vanity Fair of terrorism" is adopting gay-baiting as its latest tactic.
Elsewhere in the latest issue, it accuses France of only caring about liberties for gays and fornicators.

"Does Bashar Al-Asad [sic] respect human rights which France claims to defend?" reads an essay by Abu Abdillah Almoravid. "Where is it from the massacres in Burma? Where is it from Palestine which is bombarded day and night? Which freedom and rights is it talking about? The freedom of living in peace with adequate resources? Or the freedom of adultery, homosexuality, interest and other impurities?"


The 'Harlem Shake' is becoming a new form of protest in the Middle East

Earlier this week, we reported on the controversy in Tunisia and Egypt over some "Harlem Shake" videos, which have provoked arrests and an investigation by the Tunisian Ministry of Education, and the follow-up Harlem Shake protests Egyptians and Tunisians were planning.

Well, they happened.

The video above is from Cairo, outside the offices of the Muslim Brotherhood. Another protest took place outside the Ministry of Education in Tunis, though rain deterred some dancers.

The videos are spreading (here's one from another school, Tunisia's Institute of Applied Sciences and Technology), as is the backlash. Salafist groups have tried to intimidate students making Harlem Shake videos, and, at one school, a protest broke out that was dispersed by police with tear gas.

The videos are clearly becoming more political. In the video from Egypt, for example, a protester is wearing a large fake beard to mock conservative critics. And in the videos from Tunisia there are a number of protesters wearing the Guy Fawkes and gas masks that were popular during the Arab Spring protests of 2011. Unlike so many other flash-in-the-pan memes, the Harlem Shake might be around for a while -- especially if politicians in Egypt and Tunisia keep trying to get rid of it.