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www.islamonline.net

1- A general view
a) The importance of Islamonline.net:

Islamonline.net is considered one of the largest and most popular Arabic websites. It sees itself as a representation of moderate Islam that introduces "a unified and lively Islam that keeps up with modern times in all areas"

The website received the international ISO (ISO9001: 2000) in December 2004, thus becoming the first institution of its kind in the Arabic sphere to get the ISO. Over all, different indicators have shown that the rate of the website's visitors is increasing at a large scale.(1)

b) General editorial policy
The website defines its editorial policy as follows :

* Global presentation: Addressing humanity; avoiding ties with or speaking for any country, party, group, council, or organization.
* Comprehensive content: Presenting a whole and complementary image of Islam in the information and service pages.
* Balanced approach: Adopting the middle ground of Islam, avoiding extremism or negligence, rejecting deviant or strange opinions. .
* Objective treatment: Striving for scientific accuracy, adopting neutrality and avoiding pre-judgments.
* Moral approach: Avoiding slander or praise of individuals, groups or states, avoiding propagandist and sensational methods, or provocation and incitement.
* Pleasant presentation: Ensuring that all contents are displayed professionally and enjoyably.

c) Visitors:
Islamonline.net presents itself as a website for "all people, Muslim and non-Muslim, without regard to geographic boundaries, religion, language, background, culture or gender" .

d) Sections:
Islamonline.net consists of many sections and pages, thus creating one of the main obstacles for analyzing it as it tackles a variety of topics and issues.

# News and analyses: this section covers some political news with other related links to the same topic on the left column of the page

# Shari'ah (Islamic Law): a section dedicated to all kinds of fatwas(a considered opinion in Islam made by an Islamic scholar capable of issuing judgments on Islamic law) and introduces different consultations on Hajj (s the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Islam) and Umrah (a pilgrimage to Mecca performed by Muslims that can be undertaken at any time of the year). Issues covered include Islamic history and civilization, Islam and current issues, economy, development, culture, history of the prophet and his companions, and also a special part for women's issues within the context of Shari'ah

* Da'wah (inviting and calling people to Islam - peacefully): Deals with the importance of Da'wah and its means, with a special section for women.
* Counseling: a section tackling problems, complaints or comments made by the website's visitors regarding some issues.
* Development: this is mainly the economic section, which covers a variety of issues.
* Health and Science: fatwas and different topics on medical issues, most importantly among them is HIV/AIDS in addition to first aid other medical issues. There are also topics on environment and technology.
* Culture: a section dedicated to art and culture. The section posts news on cinema festivals, national unity, arguments on hijab (veil) , in addition to covering literature, cinema, arts and theatre news.
* Adam and Eve: tackles the relationship between men and women.
* Problems and solutions: introduces fatwas for young people.
* Multi media: could be considered the website's audiovisual library that also provides other services such as e-cards.
* Forum: a section that presents some ideas or news to be discussed with the visitors.
* Consultations.

e) Promotional tools:
The website introduces many services to its visitors, including:

1. Events calendar: contains many events on different topics with a page for human rights.
2. Islamonline radio
3. E-mail: free personal e-mails
4. Registration on the website.
5. E-bulletin
6. Links to a variety of other websites.
7. A service that allows visitors to look for a husband or a wife.
8. E-cards for different occasions.
9. Gregorian\Islamic calendar: transforming dates from the Gregorian calendar into the Islamic calendar.
10. Discussion forums: presents some ideas or news to be discussed with the visitors.
11. Consultations: An interactive section in which visitors can discuss personal issues and queries with the working team of Islamonline.net.

f) The search engine:
Islamonline.net has a strong and effective search engine. There are 2 different ways to search the website:
1. Website map
2. General and detailed search

General search:
This search comes out with detailed results for every section. When "human rights" was searched, the results were distributed amongst 27 different sections, with the "problems and solutions" section coming up twice. The news section included most of the results of the search using "human rights" as the keyword for the period from 1 October 1999 to the present time.

Advanced search:
The Advanced Search offers the ability to search either by one, all, or similar words. It also provides the ability to choose the section, in which the search is to take place, by providing categories, such as All, Management, Literature, Media, Security, etc., as well as providing subtitles to the subjects, such as All, News, Poetry, Investigations, Book Reviews.

You can also classify your topic according to the geographical area or timeline. For instance, when we searched for "human rights" using a number of options such as (adjacent words), (title and text), all (subjects), all (kinds of material), all (writer), all geographical areas and duration from (1 January - 31 December 2006), the search result was 412 stories in which the words human rights were repeated, the results were distributed in all the website's sections.

2- Human Rights in Islamonline: -

a) Publishing rate:
When searching through the content of stories, we will find that the website publishes on average 1.1 human rights stories a day. When searching through titles, the average falls to 7 stories a year.

b) Issues tackled in Islamonline.net in 2006:

Islamonline.net resembles other websites in having civil and political rights dominating most of its interest in human rights issues, (human rights' movement, political participation and freedom of opinion and expression), however we also found the right to freedom and protection from discrimination well covered.

c) Content coverage:

News coverage of human rights violations ranks first on Islamonline.net interest while the website's interest in human rights advocacy is also evident.

d) Political and geographical scope:

The website shows human rights violations perpetrated by the state, with most attention given to Egypt, Iraq, and the US, while at the same time showing violations in Israel, Morocco, and Tunisia.

e - The four rights

As in Al-Jazeera, topics related to minorities and tolerance ranked first amongst the four rights. This could be related to the fact that the year 2006 had witnessed two important incidents, namely the offensive cartoons of Prophet Mohammed and the Pope's statements.

1- Analysis of the four rights
a- Minorities and tolerance:
Islamonline.net divides the world into 2 blocs, the Islamic world and the Western world. It concentrates on minorities rights (the rights of Muslims in the west and Israel, and western intervention in the Islamic world).

The website concentrates on the success of Muslims in the west and their role to spread Islam and the aspects of this spreading.

The website also tackles issues related to Christian minorities in the Muslim world, while criticizing what it calls "missionary campaigns" in the Muslim world. However, it does not deal with the minority Muslim sects in the Muslim world, with the exception of the Shiites in Iraq.

The policy of Islamonline.net follows the line of Dr Tarek Ramadan's ideas illustrated in his book "Muslims in the west and the future of the Islam", in which he said that Muslims shouldn't declare war against the west, as western countries is not a war territory, but it is a land for martyrs. Here Ramadan has an alternative vision of being a martyr. For him, a Muslim martyr does not have to be killed in defense of Islam but rather work on representing a good symbol of Islam.

Examples:
The west: a land of martyrdom
On 28 September 2006, Islamonline.net posted an article written by Ramadan, which constitutes a part of his book, mentioned above. In the article, the writer says that it is no longer appropriate to resort to the old division of the world into 2 blocs, namely the Muslim World and the West, which was considered the land of war. The world, the author argues, is more complex and heading towards globalization. He emphasized that this division was not one that was stated in the Quran and the Prophet's sayings (Sunna). According to Ramadan, the division was created to describe the world at a specific moment in history. The world has changed due to political and economic developments which have led millions to be forced to emigrate to the West, seeking jobs and security in societies described as multi cultural and multi religious. The second generation of Muslim immigrants consider themselves as Muslims Europeans/Americans.

Ramadan thinks that the Hanafi school (the oldest of the four schools of thought or jurisprudence within Sunni Islam) is one that has divided the world into Islamic countries and war countries. To him, the Hanafi School was mainly concerned with the security of Muslim believers, not governments and the implementation of Shari'ah.

Ramadan believes that the sociopolitical environment in the West was one welcoming Muslim immigrants, making them feel in their homeland. The western world, he says, guarantees freedom of belief and religious practices and protects the physical security of Muslims. In this sense, it is not a hostile environment.

In the US and Europe, Muslims are guaranteed 5 rights essential to making them feel safe in their newly found homeland. These rights are: freedom of practicing the Islamic rituals, the right to knowledge, the right of assembly, the right to independent representation, and the right to resort to law.

Ramadan argues that the right name for the west is "west countries". Thus, he sees that the role of Muslims should be "representing a symbol of the spirit and morals of Islam in their society, and to acknowledge their humanistic obligation and affiliation to their societies".

The west, in his opinion, is a "missionary place". That means that Muslims in the west should get involved in positive reform, whether this reform was institutional, legal, economic or political. He also calls upon Muslims in the west to get involved in their society to guarantee justice and to achieve true public participation.

The case of the prophet Mohamed cartoons crisis
- On 11 March 2006, the website published a statement by Montada Al-Hikma (The wisdom circle of researchers and thinkers) on the crisis of the offensive cartoons of Prophet Mohamed. The statement argues that the current crisis between the west and Islam is not only the result of the cartoons, but also of three other factors, which are:

1- Accumulation of aggression
2- Consolidation of the negative western stereotype about Islam
3- Unrestricted freedom of expression

The statement proposes drafting laws that protects all religions from insults. However, the statement emphasized that while such laws are necessary, they are not sufficient to end the crisis, which is deep rooted. It thus calls upon honorable men of the Islamic and western worlds to bring an end to the negative stereotype which each side have about the other side.

Boycotting Denmark's products don't contradict with free trade
The website published an article on 1 February 2006 titled "Boycotting Danish products don't contradict with free trade". The article was asking Muslims to Boycott Danish products on the basis that such an action is not in contradiction with free trade agreements. The article criticized the political use of international agreements. It argues that the laws of power are controlling international relations not international commercial agreements and that the west is using these agreements to serve their interests.

The article mentioned some examples. One example is American pressure on China to decrease its exports to Europe, while at the same time the US is using economic pressures to float the Chinese currency and political pressures by using the human rights card.

The cartoons... A battle without a strategy
On 23 February 2006 the website published an article titled "the cartoons… a battle without strategy". The article was discussing Islamic-Western relations, described as a relationship at risk of explosion as constantly there are people who intend to increase the tension the West and Muslims, referring to the neglect the article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which makes illegal the incitement of religious, national or ethnic hatred, by Western countries,

According to the article, Muslims have no interest in transforming tensions with the West into an open war. The writer argued that the battle must remain a battle over human rights principles and agrees on the calls for an international declaration protecting sacrosanct beliefs.

Islamonline.net published many articles and news to show that there were people in the west against the cartoons. Those stories came under different titles:

* Bringing the case against "Jylland-Poston" to the UN
* Europe empathizes with Muslim sentiments
* Solana defends guarantees to prevent the repetition of such insults from taking place.

The European Council for Fatwas: assault is against integration.
The cultural section had a special file, posted on 23 February, tackling the cartoons issue. It was titled "profanation of the sacred and the Danish crisis".

The website considered the file an attempt to hold a reasonable calm debate on the crisis by holding a series of interviews with Arab academics and writers.

The pope's statements;
Islamonline.net gave attention to the statements made by the Pope. Stories posted on the website to respond to the Pope's statements, took the form of providing information on Islam and Muslims. There were several articles, including the following:

The prophet and human rights:
On 31 May Dr. Mohamed Ibrahim Al-Geyoushi wrote an article titled "the prophet and human rights", in which he differentiated between human rights and Islam, making both of them in confrontation of one another. Al-Geyoushi criticized human rights. He found a contradiction with the world adopting Human Rights principles while at the same time the world is suffering from dire poverty, humiliation, murder. He said that world bandwagons with the aggressive and gives a blind eye to the suffering of human beings. In his opinion, the aggressor is the West and its followers, and sees that Islam came to save the world.

The rewards for following the Prophet:
On 8 February, the website published an article titled "The reward for following the Prophet", written by Dr. Ali Bin Omar Badahdah. In this article the writer argues that the victory of Muslims in the case of the offensive cartoons was not expected. He also believes that the victory was a result of the Muslim world had resorted to economic, media, and political tools. He emphasizes that this a lesion to be learnt.

Benedict and questions about defamation:
Nabil Shebieb asked the pope some questions in an article published on Islamonline.net. At the end, he concluded that believing n Islam does not take over the identity of people. To him, what the Pope said would never change historical and religious facts. He believes that the Western civilization is approaching its end, while the Islamic civilization is about to take its toll in growing. If the Islamic civilization becomes dominant, the writer argues, that this will be in the interest of all human beings.

Arab Christians and the Islamic identity
Mostafa Soliman, Islamonline correspondent, wrote an article to respond to Andrea Zaki's book "Political Islam, Citizenship and Minorities: Arab Christians' future in the Middle East".

Soliman first introduces priest Zaki as one of the Protestants' clergymen in Egypt and that he belongs to "the liberal Christian school", which relies on a Western theological project that believes - like liberal Christianity - that political participation should be limited to secularism and civil society.

The correspondent argues that Zaki wants to "brush aside Islamic identity from both Arab Muslims and Christians, and that Islamic identity should not be the base of introducing nations".

On the other hand, Soliman expresses his disagreement with this opinion. For him, when states rid themselves from a religious identity, citizenship will be even more challenged as multiple identities arise.

Soliman believes that Zaki ignored Islamic history and how the Islamic state treated Christians and Jews. He also sees that Zaki had not considered the fact that many Copts in Egypt have occupied ministerial positions with real decision making roles. Soliman also emphasized the fact that many Christians have contributed to the Islamic heritage though arts and poetry.

He adds that the oppression practiced against Arab Christians in some eras goes back to political circumstances and the personality of specific rulers and not to Islam itself.

The Bahais
Islamonline.net dealt with the Bahais' case from an absolutely religious perspective, without considering their case socially, totally not recognizing the sect, describing them as apostates.

Egyptian judicial report on the Bahais' case
On 17 January, Islamonline.net published a report entitled "Egyptian judicial report on the Bahais' case" that presented the stance of the state judiciary towards the case of Bahais following the Administrative Court ruling obliging the Ministry of Interior, Chief of the Personal Status Authority, and immigration department to allow for Bahais to state their religion in the religion line in all national identification documents in Egypt.

The report saw that Court's sentence was unconstitutional. It considered the ruling as a threat to national unity and that the right to freedom of belief should be restricted when it is a threat to the nation's stability. The report added that Bahais do not follow a divine religious an therefore the religion should not be recognized.

Moreover, the report described Bahai believers as apostates who have betrayed the nation. It said that Bahais have taken an anti-Arab and Islamic stance and thus supported Zionism.

Shiekhs confronting Bahais
In an investigative report by Sobhi Megahed, posted on Islamonline.net on 26 June under the title of "Shiekhs confronting Bahais", the case of Bahais was discussed through a series of interviews with a number of Shiekhs about the Islamic stance towards Bahais. The report described Bahais as following a religion that has the most destructive preaches.

Al-Azhar refuses to enlist Bahais on IDs
In another investigative report by Adel Abdel Halim posted on Islamonline.net on 9 April, the case of Bahais was again attacked. The writer built the report on the opinions of Egyptian Muftis (Islamic scholars who interpret Islamic law and are capable of issuing fatwas) and the decision made by the International Assembly of Islamic Fiqh (Islamic rules) Egyptian Mufti's opinions and the resolution of international Islamic Fiqh (Islamic rules). The Muftis saw that it was inappropriate to recognize the Bahai belief by putting it on identification documents. They also so that it was inconvenient to abolish the religion space on IDs as this is important for civil matters such as marriages.

Meanwhile, the report highlighted the decision made by the Islamic researches Centre of Al-Azhar Institution that considered Bahais as apostates.
While the attacks on Bahais took over most of the space of the article, there was a relatively small space given to the response of Hossam Bahgat, Director of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) - an organization that has adopted the case of Bahais in Egypt - welcoming the sentence passed by the Administrative court.

b- Women's rights:
For Islamonline.net, Islam preceded the West in recognizing what Wessam Fouad, Director of Islamonline, calls "people's rights".

It is clear that Islamonline.net is interested in the relationship of women with men. However, doesn't give any notice to women's relation with society. Economic and social rights, for example, were mainly limited to rape, sexual harassment, divorce, khola' (woman's right to divorce herself), the veil, and circumcision.

Islamonline.net neglected women's rights to education, work, passing nationality to their children and their right to social insurance (pension) and medical care, especially for pregnant women.

These rights, for the website, might be more of violations of women's rights. For example, a woman having to go to work is a violation to her right to settle down at home raise children. This is not to mention the website's opposition to women's civil and political rights, such as the right to nominate for elections and occupy government positions.

Examples of such coverage include the following:
Marriage twice a week
In an article titled "Marriage twice a week", Islamonline.net contested the right of women to sign their own marriage contract whether a woman is an adult or a minor.

Furthermore, the article had the opinion that the broadcasting of news on rape, sexual harassment, murder, adultery, and prostitution is "garbage" broadcast in western media. This, the article continued, is now spreading gradually into the media of the Muslim World in an attempt to uncover hidden stories. The writer sees that the result is a decaying moral environment.

The article insists on the fact that a woman is a follower of man, since she has been created from the body of man. The writer also concentrated on the natural biological differences between men and women to further consolidation the discrimination against the two sexes.

He continues to assert that the Muslim World should learn from the failures of the West. Women in the West, he argues, did not assume their rights fully. There is a low proportion of women occupying senior political, economic, judiciary, financial and cultural positions. A high proportion of working women are working in the production industry and more 90% are in the sex trade industry. He continues referring to the fact that women constitute the majority of victims of crimes and assaults, particularly sexual related crimes. This he sees as a contradiction to former arguments that sexual freedom would protect women from crimes resulting from sexual oppression.

The website limited the role of women to motherhood and raising children. If women want to work, the website said that the woman should then give first priority to her home. This is an attitude that was embodied in responses to queries submitted by visitors on personal problems. In one response to a woman was that she should not forget that her greatest job is a mother, which is the sacred role of women and should be given top priority.

Al-Quwama and responsibility
The website stresses on male authority over women. One religious researcher of Islamonline.net said that it is necessary to understand Al-Quwama (the authority or guardianship that men can exercise individually or collectively over women) in a balanced manner in order to prevent it from transforming into absolute power or into a indifference so that everyone does what he/she likes.

The website sees that anything related to a woman should be permitted by the guardian first. This is in obedience to God's instructions.

The Saudi preacher Saad ibn Abdullah Alboreik emphasized that a man is the guardian (wasi) of a woman. That means that he is her governor in all her matters and he is responsible for her well behavior. He claims that his opinion is based on Shari'ah. He adds that the fact that all the prophets were men shows that men are superior to women. The preacher also explained that Al-Quwama means protection and responsibility.

Islamization of dress or behavior?
In an article by Aya farouk posted on the website on 14 December, the writer argued that the hijab (veil) is a duty that must be imposed by the ruler. The main question in the article was: Is the ruler or guardian allowed to restrict dressing in sexually inciting clothes? Here the writer of course is considering any dress other than the Hijab. In the article, the writer called for a campaign against indecent clothing and to force the Hijab as it is a duty in accordance to Shari'ah and the Quran. She referred to the Malaysian experience when the state fined unveiled women for dressing improperly.

The writer also stressed on that the guardian, the government in this case, to impose Hijab on the Muslim women. In this regard, Dr. Mohamed Elsalaheen, the dean of the Faculty of Shari'ah in the University of Jordan said that the guardian can commit women to the veil and not the opposite, being unveiled.

Based on the point of view of Dr. Abdul Sabour Shahin, the writer of the article considered unveiled women, even if not Muslim, a threat to social security and stability; an wide scoped phrase that can be translated into: non Muslims are a threat to social peace. Shahin sees that the guardian should impose proper clothing even to non Muslims for the sake of social peace and stability.

Sexual Harassment:
While the website covered the incident when women were intensively sexually harassed in down town Cairo end of October 2006, it neglected the case of the Bahraini girl who was raped by 11 Kuwaiti young men in Kuwait. This is despite the fact that there 120 results to using "raping a girl" as a keyword in a search and 335 results to using "rape" as the keyword in our search.

Fatwas:
Fatwas consisted a big part of the website, as it talks in the name of Islam and hires sheikhs to give fatwas (religious opinion based on Shari'ah) from different countries, and also hires some consultants, they get the questions through discussions or e-mails. There are different titles for fatwas such as consultants, religious fatwas, general fatwas, direct fatwas, fatwas for women.

Mostly there can be no human rights background when the web site discusses the different topics from the shariaa point of view, or at least this is what is being claimed. The clear example here is a question from a young man about marrying a Christian woman, the sheikh asked the man not to go on this marriage as the results will not be good, or to call his wife to be for Islam, and in the case of foreign Christians the sheikhs accuse the west and western women of decay, immortality and bawdry. In one fatwa the shiekh considered sending a photograph from the girl to her fiancée outside the county forbidden (haram), based on that there is no certainty of marriage.

In other situations the mufti (sheikh) considered the others non believers, such as the position from Bahaais, he also forbidden listening to people of other religions to get an idea about their belief.

(3) Refugees:
Refugees' rights came second in terms of coverage on Islamonline.net and the majority of stories related to refuges were included in the News and Analysis section. Stories included:

Italy considers giving asylum to Afghani apostate:
Amir Shabana wrote a report titled "Italy considers giving asylum to Afghani apostate" that was posted on Islamonline.net on 28 March. The report covered the trial in Afghanistan of an Afghani Muslim who converted to Christianity in Afghanistan and how Western countries have been exerting pressure for the man to be released. The report focused on Italy considering granting asylum to the man on trial. The report quoted unnamed western diplomatic sources warning from the dangers of granting the man asylum as this will pose a security threat. The website described the man on trial as an "apostate", which insinuates that he should be executed.

Refugees among victims of the War on Terror
The website posted a report written by Nasiba Dawoud on 19 April on a United Nations report issued by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The UN report stated that refugee and asylum seekers escaping war and oppression in their homelands are the real victims of what is termed the "War on Terror". The report said that some countries treat refugees and asylum seekers as illegal migrants and suspected terrorists or criminals. At the least they are treated as outlaws. The report confirmed that the decrease in the number of refugees is not the result of better security, but rather a result of policies applied by both rich and poor countries circumvent legal procedures that should be respected when dealing with refugees.

Dawoud sees that after the 9/11 attacks against the US, Washington and most of the western countries adopted strict security arrangements, which have been strongly criticized as they violate human rights.

Sudanese refugees in Cairo face humanitarian crisis
On 3 January, Islamonline.net posted a report covering the killing of 27 Sudanese asylum seekers during a police storm of a demonstration in Mustafa Mahmoud Square in Cairo. The report included several interviews, including with asylum seekers, government officials, members of parliament and the UNHCR

Under the subtitle "We need a country that treats us as human beings", the website showed the refugees' suffering because the Egyptian government did not provide any support while the UNHCR was doing nothing to alleviate their suffering.

The report also covered the stance of opposition members of parliament under the subtitle "Parliamentarians demand an investigation". The report covered the stance of the Egyptian government under the subtitle "Government regrets". In addition to that, the report covered the stance of the Sudanese government and the UNHCR, which sees that the majority of asylum seekers are not real refugees but people who are just searching for a better and easier life.

2- Sanctity of private life
A: Spying on private lives:
British document calls for eavesdropping on the Muslim students:

A report from news agencies, written by Hazem Mostafa, covers British press reports of a document prepared by the Ministry of Higher Education demanding the faculty in British universities to spy on Muslim student on the basis that they might organize activities that would establish extremism and fundamentalism amongst student colleagues. The report included the response of the President of the Muslim student union who described this document as the worst violation that could happen to Muslim students under suspicion and investigation, as if they were accused until their innocence is proven.

The report showed how the Muslim minority in Britain are suffering, especially after the Leader of the House of Commons and former British foreign minister, Jack Straw attacked veiled women and demanding that they take their veil off.

American students spy on their teachers
Moustaf El Minshawy wrote a report titled "American students spy on their teachers" posted on Islamonline.net on 20 January. The report shows how privacy is violated in the US, such as the call made by the UCLA Graduate Students Association to students to students telling them to inform on their teachers when they deal with issues related to the War on Iraq in an attempt to suppress radical teachers within the university.

El Menshawy also mentioned several other cases of violation of privacy. For example, organizers of a conference on Islam in Texas University, held in February 2004, accused the American military intelligence of spying on the conference and demanding the list of participants. Also the Google search engine has been requested by the American Ministry of Justice to provide it with the name list of users.

b- Defamation:
Fabricated sexual tapes to a Tunisian opposition man
On 11 April, the website covered a story on the violation of privacy in Tunisia. The story comes following accusations made by the Tunisian League for Human Rights against Tunisian authorities, claiming that the Tunisian authoritie shave circulated fabricated video tapes, including sexual snapshots to Mokhtar Aljalaly, Tunisian opposition and the former Member of Parliament, to distort his reputation.

Under the subtitle "A similar case", the writer showed a similar occurrence with one of the Tunisian opposition leaders, Naila Sharshour Hashisha, when fabricated naked pictures of her daughter were also distributed.

c- Homosexuals;
The website continues its policy of dividing the world into two blocs, a Muslim world and the West. It also continues to not tackle issues that are considered socially unacceptable. It also continues to blame the West for all the problems that the Muslim World is facing. For example the website sees that the west canceled the gap between the public and private spheres, so that homosexuals have to announce their sexuality publicly in order to demand their rights. The website considers that the West is the reason why there is issues related to homosexuality.

Arabic satellite channels promote sex and homosexuality in the Arab world
Mohamed Gamal Arafa tackled in the News and Analysis section on 16 May homosexuality. However, he did not deny that there are homosexuals in the Arab World. He enumerated incidents of homosexuals arrested in different Arab countries under the subtitle "Arab homosexuals". Such incidents included:

* The arrest of 26 men in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for practicing irregular sex
* The decision by Kuwait to establish religion centers to help homosexuals.
* Many bisexuals and gay women arrested in many incidents in Lebanon
* Morocco dealing with the issue of homosexuality in an attempt to end the phenomenon which has taken momentum in coastal cities.
* About 50 homosexuals arrested in Egypt when they were discovered through advertisements on the internet this is in addition to 179 sentenced in 2001 because of their homosexuality.

The writer recognized that the West had started to recognize the rights of homosexuals during the 1980s. Yet, he believes that the "phenomenon" of homosexuality in the Arab and Muslim world is a result of American and French influence.

Following Islamonline.net coverage
During the period from 21 April to 21 May 2007 there was no variation in the percentages of coverage of human rights issues found during the period of 2006.

The most covered countries on the website were the US, Iraq, Egypt, and European countries.

During the selected month, the website had continued the same approach it had in 2006. Human rights violations came first, then the call for human rights, then finally criticism of human rights.

As for the content, the website tackled human rights mostly, followed by personal safety, then personal rights, then human rights movement, minorities and finally tolerance.

# The response of Islamonline.net to the research findings.
Islamonline.net sent the research team a paper prepared by Wessam Fouad that included a research done by Heba Rabea along with an interview with the information systems department in the website.
The paper sent by Islamonline to our research team came out with results that can be summarized as follows:

* According to the findings of Heba Rabea, the website's quantative coverage of human rights is not satisfactory.
* The average human rights topics on the website was 1.1 a day during the year 2006. This means that during the period from 1 January to 31 December 2006, the website had a total of 718 stories related to human rights out of 5944 posted on the website during the same time. This means that human rights related stories only constituted 12% of the website.
* Using "human rights" as a keyword is not sufficient to search human rights related topics on the website.
* Having a variety of data entry staff could be the reason for the variation in using different tags which thus affects the sorting of the content of the website.

As for the qualitative aspect of HRinfo's findings, the Islamonline document sees:

* HRinfo was bias in many points.
The "Adam and Eve" section is interested in some human rights topics that cannot only be considered civil and political rights.
* HRinfo is biased against authority

According to the document sent to HRinfo, HRinfo is biased against authority in its relation to civil society, be it individuals or organizations. For Fouad, all sections of Islamonline.net had a human rights vision founded on religious basis.

In his paper, Fouad recommended HRinfo to differentiate between the media website with a message from a website established purely for economic reasons. The latter, he said, needs deeper research tools to present a clearer vision that is more honest to its discourse and its application.

The HRinfo research team revised the statistics found by Heba Rabea. The team concluded that the variation in results is because the research team had depended on the advanced search tool on the website.

Intensive search- we used different words to study how the website sees human rights.

According to the findings of the HRinfo research team, there were 412 results, with an average of 1.1 stories a day. The results were distributed amongst all the different sections of the website.

In the News and Analysis section, there were 298 results, while in the section Islam and Contemporary Issues, there were 7 results 42 in Analysis and Opinion, 2 results in "Recommendations", 18 results in Arts and Culture, 11 results in "Adam and Eve", 5 results in "Daw'ah", 7 results in "Shariah", 2 results in "Unknown and Famouse", 3 results in Problems and Solutions, 1 result in Concepts and Terms, 2 results in Files and Special Pages, 6 results in Development, and 8 results in Documents and Statements.

Heba Rabea used the word "human rights" and chose the option "use all words" to get out the results she had found in her research.

But we found out that using the two words separately could lead us to results that are not related to the topic. The word "human" can come in one part of an article, while the word "rights" can come in another part. For example in the section of "Shariah" there is an article titled "These are our feasts and nothing else" and another story in Health and Science titled "Hassan Hathout: a physician from the era of love". This article discusses the Medical Code of Honor, considering it only a paper while the conscience is the only savior of the religion. The word human was mentioned once in this article in the sentence "conscious is the only reformer as it is the voice of God in the human being"

In another article titled "Bin lakhdar opens the door for Tunisia's atomic science" there was a subtitle "The leader is to be followed". In this article, the writer talks about the Pakistani professor Mohammed Abdul Salam who won the Nobel Prize for physics and the role of the scientist Bin Lakhdar and her steps following the Pakastani professor. The word human comes in the sentence "Bin lakhedr follows the steps of Mohammed Abdul Salam and is committed to her principle: humans must live in the place where he would be of more benefit to the others"

In another article titled "Euroscience: a civil experiment to introduce European sciences"
The word "rights" comes in the sentence "The European convention for researchers, which was founded to put specific European standards, rights and commitments towards employing researchers"

It is clear from these examples that the stories are not related to human rights and their writers do not consider them as related to human rights international agreements and conventions.

The HRinfo research team did not only use the term "human rights" as its keyword. Different keywords, taken from international human rights covenants, were used particularly those related to the four rights used in this research (Women's rights, Minorities's rights and tolerance, Refugees' rights, and Privacy). Despite the language variation from one website to the other, these keywords cover almost every aspect of life and thus it would be expected that there would be a 100% result.

Regarding women's rights the following keywords were used:
women's rights, girl, motherhood, personal status law female activist, norms, veil (hijab), raising children, taking care of children, prostitution, sexual harassment, rape, violence against women, women's right to vote, female candidate, female candidates, female parliamentarian, female ambassador, children nationality, nationality, marrying a foreigner, women's education, women's work, female servants, the right to choose a profession, wages, procreation, miss, wife, divorced women, divorce, maternal paid leave, hard labor for pregnant women, health care, women's testimony in courts, female judge, authority over women (Quwama), assaults against civilians, using chemical weapons, women in wartime, collective punishment, demolishing houses, forced evacuation, housing deprivation, nutrition deprivation, medical aids deprivation, International women's day

Regarding minorities' rights, the following keywords were used:
Belief, Muslim, Christian, Jew, atheist, Bahaai, Shiite, apostate, Saharans, Amazigh, Kurds, churches, temples, prayer, tolerance, change of religion, building churches, maintaining churches, Easter, nationality, nationalization, population formation, demography, Christian community, violence, multicultural, tolerance day, racism, fascism, extremism, no nationality, Ismailis, citizenship.

Regarding the refugees' rights, the following keywords were used:

Loosing the nationality, refugee, oppression, with no nationality, the right to return, homeland, residency, race, religion, nationality, UNHCR, evacuation, deportation.

Regarding the sanctity of private life, the following keywords were used:
private life, family affairs, houses break in, monitoring mail exchange, eavesdropping, spy on mail exchange, monitoring, harassment, honor, defamation, lesbians, homosexuals, bisexuals, homosexuality.

When searching using the term "human rights" as the keywords, the research team was able to find out how writers for ISlamonline.net feel about the principle's relation to international human rights treaties. The team used all the aforementioned keywords. While the percentages did not differ, the numbers did. It is believed that using "human rights" is accurate indicator to what the website considers human rights issues.

As for the variation in data entry staff, which is considered a factor affecting the results of the search, HRinfo team believes that while this information is important as it answers question of what does Islamonline.net consider human rights, the team believes that by using a comprehensive list of keywords it was able to gather all stories related to human rights issues, specifically those related to the four rights covered by this research, particularly that the research team had also searched all stories of all sections and thus excluding any chance that there was a classification error of the stories posted on the website. The research team thus believes that the chances of errors in the statistics found are very slight.

As for Wessam Fouad's opinion that HRinfo has biases to civil and political rights, using the Adam and Eve section as evidence, it is important to note that the research team had made considerations for such biases. The research team had focused on the Adam and Eve section. Also it is important to stress that the aim of the research is to study the discourse used by different media websites that have a specific message. This includes how websites tackle women's rights. While searching the Adam and Eve section, stories, as the following, were found:

1- "In Egypt disabled children look for someone to represent them" 6-12-2006 "Adam and Eve"
2- "Do women have a cause?" 21-11-2006 "Adam and Eve"
3- "Forgotten children: poverty and negligence " 20-11-2006 "Adam and Eve"
4- "Be merciful on sexual harassers" 5-11-2006 "Adam and Eve"

It is clear that the research team had searched all sections of the website, including religious sections and the section on Problems and Solutions, along with other parts of the website.

Thus it is evident that the research team had no biases towards civil and political rights over economic, cultural and social rights.

As for bias against authority, the only response the team has is that it had monitored and analyzed the content of Islamonline.net regarding human rights organizations. This was through 25 stories that were found on the website that clarify the point of view of the website on the different organizations and institutions active in the human rights movement.

The team also monitored the Fatwas section, which affects the human rights movement in a way or the other, with most cases coming from a preacher or a scholar. In this regard the research team found some stories within the scope of personal rights, such as: "Al Qaradawi calls on veiled women to revise the conditions of the veil", "In defense of the Tunisian renaissance", "Politicizing the veil", "The veil and the protocols of secularists", "The veil: Civilized considerations and scriptural evidence"

Under protection from discrimination, the research team found around 50 results from which the website's message can be clear. Here, we would like to mention one out of the 50 stories, entitled "The great prize: Sectarian violence in Egypt. The research also tackled international relations and how it is viewed by the website. This was done through several keywords, such as international justice, international cooperation, and protection of civilians.

The research team used 15 stories tackling "protection of civilians" to understand the message of Islamonline.net regarding international relations and agreements. For example, titles included: "100 thousands unexploded cluster bomb in southern Lebanon", "Israel refuses a humanitarian truce in Lebanon", "Cluster bombs still a threat to Lebanese people", "Americans calls to end Israel's massacres in Lebanon", and "The week of popular protests against the raid over Gaza".

As for Fouad's recommendation to differentiate between a website that carries a message and one that is set up purely for economic purposes, it is clear that the target of this research is studying the variable factors, ideological and economic, and their effect on human rights discourse in Arabic news websites.

5- Conclusion;
The website divides the world into 2 blocs, the Islamic World and the Western world. The human rights issues that dominated the website, were issues related to minority rights, particularly, Muslims in the West and Israel and Western intervention in affairs of the Muslim world.

The website concentrates on the successes of Muslims living in the West and their role in spreading Islam, referring to indicators of such success. Christian minorities in the Muslim World where also covered, yet the website attacked missionaries. At the same time, Islamonline.net did not tackle the different Muslim Sects or Muslim minorities in the Muslim world. The only exception in this case was the case of Iraq.

It is evident that Islamonline.net follows the lines of thought of Dr. Tarek Ramadan as expressed in his book "Muslims of the west and the future of Islam" in which he argues that the western world is not a war land (a place where we should fight or launch war), but it is "martyr land" (a place one can be martyred).

While Islamonline.net sees human rights as a product of the West, it believes that Islam preceded the West in asserting human rights principles - or as Wessam Fouad, the website's director, would like to call "people's rights" - through the Islamic vision.

It is also clear that Islamonline.net is interested in the relationship of women with men, without giving any importance to women's relation with society. Economic and social rights, for example, were mainly limited to rape, sexual harassment, divorce, khola' (woman's right to divorce herself), the veil, and circumcision.

The website thinks that many of what is considered women's rights is actually violations to women. For example, a woman having to go to work is a violation to her right to settle down at home raise children. This is not to mention women's civil and political rights, such as the right to nominate for elections and occupy government positions.