Let’s start with one fundamental fact, this site (126.96.36.199) was linked to my computer as an uninvited guest. I started cold, monitored my traffic and went to one site alone, my own.
Bam, as soon as it started loading, they came as a hitchhiker and got past all my antivirus and malware protection. I haven’t figured out why they were there or what they wanted but this is a very spooky visit from a very spooky site – just in time for Halloween.
Why is the site spooky? Because I don’t know who they are or whether they are friend or foe. I know they can’t be my friend or they would have never been connected to my machine without my invitation or permission. As to friend, in the world of domestic spying, it’s hard to figure out what a friend is.
IslamOnLine is a moderately conservative Islamic site that wrote an article about Western dress in Nigeria equating it to a return to tribal nudity. Another articles quotes Jimmy Carter that their is no genocide in Darfur. And my favorite is a self reported article on themselves claiming that they present a moderate interpretation of Islam and “It is the most famous website in the Muslim world.” They acknowledged in that article that they write different content for Arabic and English.
Alexa.com uses the following description: The first interactive portal offering an in-depth look at Islam, Muslim societies, and the world through Muslim eyes, featuring information on current events and discovering Islam. IslamOnline.net is an independent and balanced media…
The site uses two different IP’s one for the English version one for the Arabic version. There is a big crossover between the two with much of the member area and email in Arabic.
Of course I ran a traceroute and located the English site in Washington ,DC, off a “unknown.dn.net” feed. Now that’s not indicative of much because every country on earth has spooks in Washington, DC. (The Men in Black were in New York City, home of all alien freaks!) The Arabic version traces to London or possibly Amsterdam.
Now what’s spooky about the site other that they are invaliding my privacy is that it’s hard to find accurate information. Prior to March of 2004, the waybackmachine shows it’s a Japanese language site (HUH!). After that the waybackmachine breaks down as there is always an automatic redirect to the current issue. It is impossible to see there earlier stances on issues and it’s as if their Islamic Fatwas were issued for time immortal without contradictions. There is absolutely no need for revisionist history because there is no history.
Another puzzle is that quantcast.com ranks this site only slightly higher than this fatsavage blog whereas alexa.com ranks the site in the top 500 of every conceivable Muslim Nation and in the top 10000 in the US.
In essence, I don’t know what they believe today or yesterday, I don’t know how popular they are, I don’t know how different there messages are in Arabic and English. All, I really know is they are attached to one of my machines and invading my privacy.
Before Muslims gloat and patriots cry about domestic spying capabilities, I also know that there are only two degrees of separation between this site and a kiddie porn – cop honeypot but that’s another story.