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Islamic World News (22 Feb 2012 NewAgeIslam.Com)
Seven Afghans Are Killed During Protests Over Quran Burning at U.S. Base

Prophet Muhammad cartoonist attacked during lecture

Fresh Syrian offensive kills over 60

UN watchdog says nuclear talks with Iran failed

Pakistan and India Accord on reducing risk of nuclear accidents extended

Will support US, NATO or Indian intervention: Baloch Republican Party’s self-exiled chief

India satisfied with Maldives developments

Bangladesh P M wants EU to nominate Yunus as WB chief

One dead, several wounded as Afghans protest over Quran burning

'The Third Jihad' Producers Release Short Documentary Exposing CAIR and New York Times Collaboration

Iraq must ensure Iran exile group's safety: EU

Global Human Rights Group Aims to Bridge Gap between Islam and West

India: Hindu terror group admits role in Haryana blasts

Iran says its N-activities are non-negotiable

Formal charges against Bangladesh former Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer read out

UN to bolster Somalia peacekeeping troops by 5,700

Pakistan’s Khar to meet Clinton to discuss strains

Afghan officials ‘in talks with Quetta Taliban’

Pervez Musharraf has denied allegations in the assassination of former P M Benazir Bhutto

Musharraf to be brought back with Interpol help

4 killed in south as violence mars Yemen polls

Top Lashkar militant killed in Kashmir encounter

Islamic studies must encompass knowledge from various fields, Ex-Malaysian P M

‘US move result of Baloch struggle’: Baloch Republican Party

US military flying drones over Syria

Russia proposes sending UN envoy to Syria

Iranian navy ships return from Syria through Suez

When children are 'terrorists', Israel's story rings hollow

Tunisian party proposes Islamic constitution due to alarm secularists

Pak cautions West against attacking Iran

Gilani contempt case: AG submits documentary evidences

Pakistan Army works up its own ‘iPad’

Media Turn Hunger Striking Terrorist Spokesman into Victim

Halal slaughter becomes political issue in France

Brazil Halal Meat Feeds World Muslims

India: ISI operative held by Crime Branch

Samjhauta case: Don't know arrested 'bomb planter', says Aseemanand

Arab Kingdom Tower project in Jeddah gets final go-ahead

Makkah governorate organizes workshop on prison reforms

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Angry Afghans Rally over Quran Burning at US Base

URL:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/seven-afghans-are-killed-during-protests-over-quran-burning-at-u.s.-base/d/6701

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Seven Afghans Are Killed During Protests Over Quran Burning at U.S. Base

By Eltaf Najafizada and James Rupert - Feb 22, 2012 

Seven Afghans died amid gunfire and the U.S. embassy in Kabul halted travel by its staff during a second day of protests over the burning by U.S. troops of the Koran, the Islamic scripture, at their main base inAfghanistan.

Crowds of men turned violent, throwing stones and in some cases attacking offices or shops across Kabul and three nearby provinces of eastern Afghanistan, said local government spokesmen and residents reached by phone. In addition to the seven dead, 30 people were injured, according to a statement e- mailed by the Interior Ministry.

The U.S. embassy said in an e-mailed notice that it had “suspended all travel for embassy personnel in Kabul until further notice and ordered any personnel not at a secure compound to return to the embassy immediately.” The U.S. mission also halted staff members’ movements in the second- largest city, Kandahar, acting embassy spokesman Mark Thornburg said in a separate e-mail.

Protests erupted in the eastern city of Jalalabad and in Logar and Parwan provinces, which adjoin Kabul. They followed yesterday’s demonstration outside Bagram airbase in Parwan, where Afghans found that U.S. soldiers had included Korans among other books dumped and burned as refuse. Bagram is the biggest U.S. base in Afghanistan.

While U.S. officials quickly apologized and the top U.S. military commander announced trainingfor all troops in “the proper handling of religious materials,” the Koran burning has deepened damage to the international forces’ public image, Afghan and Muslim affairs analysts said in interviews.

Quran and Jesus

The U.S.-led force in Afghanistan and other westerners often underestimate the reverence of Afghans and other Muslims for the Koran, said Sultan Shahin, an Indian analyst who runs New Age Islam, a website on Muslim and interfaith affairs.

“Americans often suppose that the Koran, as a book, is analogous to the Christian Bible, but in fact Muslims’ reverence for the Koran is more like the reverence that Christians feel for the person of Jesus,” he said in a phone interview in New Delhi. “For Christians, the divine vehicle of God’s message is Jesus, while Muslims see their prophet as fully human and the divine gift is the book.”

The U.S. embassy and the American-led International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, used their websites and Twitter messages today to publicize apologies by U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Leon Panetta. “We honor and respect the religious practices of the Afghan people without exception,” Pentagon spokesman George Little told reporters, citing a statement yesterday by Panetta.

Taliban Victory

The Taliban guerrillas fighting American forces “strongly condemn the U.S.’ violent action in dishonoring our holy book,” said the movement’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, in a phone interview. “These disbelievers have committed such acts several times in the past,” he said.

Despite the U.S. apologies, “this incident is a big victory for the Taliban because Afghans will believe what they say -- that the foreigners are here to dishonor our book and Islamic culture,” said Abdurrahim Muqdader, a tribal elder in Parwan province, where the Koran burning and the first protest occurred. He said the incident will increase the danger in coming days of Afghan troops or police attacking U.S. soldiers in revenge.

The Korans were damaged after soldiers culled them, with other books, from a library at a prison for alleged Taliban and allied Islamic militant fighters, an ISAF statement said. The volumes were thrown into a pile of debris for burning and pulled out by Afghan employees at the base.

Burned Pages

“I was collecting pages from the Koran, some burned and some unburned, and two U.S. soldiers called for me to give the pages to them,” one such employee, Muhammad Nabi, said in a phone interview. “I told them, ‘Even if you kill me, I won’t give them to you,’” Nabi said.

An Afghan policeman shot dead two U.S. soldiers in April amid four days of protests across Afghanistan sparked when a Florida pastor, Terry Jones, oversaw the burning of a Koran at his church. In that upheaval, Afghan rioters killed 24 people, including seven international employees of the United Nations in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif.

Afghans protested again last month when a video was posted on the Internet showing four U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Afghans who may have been Taliban guerrillas. Panetta and other American officials condemned that incident.

Afghan troops, police or security guards have killed about 70 troops or other personnel of the U.S.-led international forces in Afghanistan in 46 attacks since 2007, according to U.S. Defense Department figures prepared for a Feb. 1 congressional hearing. The U.S. is training the Afghan forces to take over security duties as the Obama administration prepares to withdraw the main U.S. combat force from Afghanistan by 2014.

To contact the reporters on this story: Eltaf Najafizada in Kabul at enajafizada1@bloomberg.net; James Rupert in New Delhi at jrupert3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Hirschberg atphirschberg@bloomberg.net; John Walcott at jwalcott9@bloomberg.net

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-21/koran-burning-at-biggest-u-s-military-base-in-afghanistan-brings-apology.html


Prophet Muhammad cartoonist attacked during lecture

Wed, 02/22/2012

The Swedish artist who faced numerous death threats after depicting Prophet Muhammad as a dog has been pelted with eggs by an a group of people during a university lecture on the limits of the freedom of expression.

According to a police statement, Lars Vilks was unharmed in the attack that occurred at Karlstad University in southwestern Sweden late Tuesday evening.

No one has yet been arrested for the assault, but police say they are investigating the incident.

The 65-year old artist has faced a string of threats over his 2007 sketch, which rekindled a debate over free speech and Islam that had raged a year earlier after a Danish newspaper printed 12 cartoons of Muhammad. Images of the prophet, even favorable ones, are considered blasphemous by many Muslims.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/02/22/muhammad-cartoonist-attacked-during-lecture.html

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 Fresh Syrian offensive kills over 60

Feb 22, 2012

BEIRUT/GENEVA: Syrian government forces killed more than 60 people on Tuesday in assaults on villages and an artillery barrage in the restive city of Homs, activists said, and the Red Cross called for daily cease-fires to let in urgently needed aid.

Activists said at least 30 people died in the bombardment of the Baba Amro neighborhood of Homs city, and at least 33 were killed when forces trying to crush opposition to President Bashar Assad stormed villages in northern Idlib province.

In Damascus, security forces opened fire on demonstrators overnight, wounding at least four, activists said. Violence in has hit the capital over the past week, undermining Assad’s assertion that the 11-month-old uprising against his rule is limited to the provinces and the work of saboteurs.

Activist accounts of the violence could not be confirmed. The government bars most foreign journalists from Syria.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said it had asked authorities and rebels to agree daily cease-fires so life-saving aid can reach civilians in hard-hit areas including Homs.

“It should last at least two hours every day, so that ICRC staff and Syrian Arab Red Crescent volunteers have enough time to deliver aid and evacuate the wounded and the sick,” ICRC President Jakob Kellenberger said.

Western and Arab powers that are openly seeking Assad’s downfall are preparing for the inaugural meeting of a “Friends of Syria” contact group in Tunisia on Friday.

Russia and China back Assad’s own program for reforms, which includes plans for a referendum on Sunday on a new constitution which would lead to elections in 90 days. Assad says this should satisfy demands for more democracy; his opponents say the proposals are a sham.

Russia said it would not attend the “Friends of Syria” meeting because the Syrian government would not be represented. The Russian Foreign Ministry suggested the UN Security Council should send a special humanitarian envoy to Syria.

Russia and China have faced Western and Arab criticism for blocking UN action against Syria. A former Syrian Defense Ministry auditor who defected in January told Reuters Moscow’s arms sales to Damascus — nearly $1 billion last year — had increased since the start of the uprising.

Lebanon, which has tried to distance itself from the turmoil across its border, will also stay away from the Tunis meeting, its foreign minister said.

Activists said government forces launched the artillery attack on Homs after rebel fighters holding the opposition Baba Amro district blocked troops from entering.

“Several shells are falling each minute,” activist Nader Al-Husseini told Reuters from the district, adding that at least two children were among the victims.

Another activist in the city said: “We have now at least 30 killed. One family is among them.” A third said: “Others are still buried. Today the shelling is very fierce.”

The British-based opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said security forces had stormed villages in Idlib province in the north of the country.

“The army stormed the village of Abdita and chased people in Iblin and Balshoon. They killed 33 people. All are civilians,” the group said.

Activists in Homs said government forces backed by armor have been closing in on Baba Amro neighborhood, since the offensive on the city began on Feb 3.

Tanks are deployed in the Inshaat district next to Baba Amro, opposition sources said. The Observatory said a convoy of more than 50 armored vehicles was seen heading from Damascus toward Homs.

A city of one million people on the Damascus-Aleppo highway, Homs has been at the heart of the uprising against Assad’s 11-year rule. Residents say they are running short of medicine and food, and are massed together in crowded homes to seek shelter.

Government curbs on access make it hard to verify details of fighting there but international rights and aid organizations say hundreds of people have been killed in recent weeks in Homs.

Assad says the revolt is the work of foreign-backed terrorists. Until recently it was limited mainly to the provinces, but anti-government rallies have drawn crowds in Damascus in recent days. On Monday night at least four people were wounded when security forces opened fire, activists said.

“There were hundreds of demonstrators at the main square of Hajar Al-Aswad (neighborhood) and suddenly buses of security police and shabbiha (pro-Assad militia) turned up and started firing into the crowd,” activist Abu Abdallah said.

Footage posted on YouTube, purportedly taken before the shooting, showed a crowd marching in Hajar Al-Aswad carrying placards in support of besieged Homs and singing “Eyes are shedding tears for the martyrs among Syria’s youth.”

Elsewhere, an activist group in Kfar Tkharim near the Turkish border said rebel fighters had killed five soldiers and captured two in an ambush on a government column.

An activist in Al-Qusair, about 32 km southwest of Homs and close to the Lebanese border, said five people were killed and eight wounded when the northern part of the town came under heavy fire from army mortars and T-72 tanks.

“People in that area are hiding in their homes, they can’t leave. Others are resisting. Those who are farther away are fleeing the town. Some people are so scared they’re trying to leave anyway even if they are close to the fire,” Abu Ansa told Reuters.

Activists in the western city of Hama said troops, police and militias had set up dozens of roadblocks, cutting neighborhoods off from each other.

Ahmad Ramadan, a leader of the opposition Syrian National Council, said Assad loyalists killed his brother Mahmoud when they riddled his car with gunfire in his home city of Aleppo.

“The regime has been accusing Mahmoud of sending food and medicine to Homs and he was receiving daily threats. He was hit in the head and neck and died immediately,” Ramadan told Al-Jazeera Arabic news channel.

Western and Arab nations who want Assad to relinquish power are preparing an explicit gesture of support for his opponents.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Friends of Syria meeting would show that his government was increasingly isolated and offer support for “the brave Syrian people.”

“We’ll send a clear message to Russia, China and others who are still unsure about how to handle the increasing violence but are up until now unfortunately making the wrong choices,” Clinton said in Mexico at a meeting of the G20 world powers.

However, it was unlikely the Western and Arab nations will formally recognize the Syrian opposition during the meeting.

Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, who has sharpened his criticism of Assad, condemned the Syrian leader’s plan for a referendum on a new constitution, saying Sunday’s vote would be held “while the souls of corpses and the dust settle in Homs.”

One firm ally of Assad is Iran. Iranian television reported on Monday that two Iranian warships had docked in Syria to provide training for Syrian naval forces. Washington said on Tuesday it had no indication that the report was true.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article578321.ece

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UN watchdog says nuclear talks with Iran failed

22 February 2012

The UN nuclear watchdog said on Wednesday it had failed to secure an agreement with Iran during two days of talks over disputed atomic activities and that the Islamic Republic had rejected a request to visit a key military site.   

In the second such trip in less than a month, a senior team from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had travelled to Tehran to press Iranian officials to start addressing mounting concerns that the Islamic Republic may be seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

The outcome seems likely to add to already soaring tension between Iran and Western powers, which have ratcheted up sanctions on the major oil producer in recent months.

“During both the first and second round of discussions, the agency team requested access to the military site at Parchin. Iran did not grant permission for this visit to take place,” the Vienna-based IAEA said in a statement after the Feb 20-21 talks.

The IAEA named Parchin in a detailed report in November that lent independent weight to Western fears that Iran was working to develop an atomic bomb, an allegation Iranian officials reject.

“It is disappointing that Iran did not accept our request to visit Parchin. We engaged in a constructive spirit, but no agreement was reached,” said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano.

Earlier, Iran’s envoy to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, told the country’s ISNA news agency that Tehran expected to hold more talks with the UN agency, whose task it is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons in the world.

But Amano’s spokeswoman, Gill Tudor, made clear no further meetings were planned: “At this point in time there is no agreement on further discussions,” she said.

Iran rejects accusations that its nuclear program is a covert bid to develop a nuclear weapons capability, saying it is seeking to produce only electricity.

But its refusal to curb sensitive atomic activities which can have both civilian and military purposes and its track record of years of nuclear secrecy has drawn increasingly tough UN and separate US and European punitive measures.

The United States and Israel have not ruled out using force against Iran if they conclude diplomacy and sanctions will not stop it from developing a nuclear bomb.

In Washington, no immediate comment was available from the US State Department on the IAEA statement.

The five-member IAEA team led by Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts was seeking answers from Iran about intelligence suggesting its declared civilian program is a facade for a weapons program.

STILL TIME FOR DIPLOMACY?

Last year’s IAEA report suggesting Iran had pursued military nuclear technology helped precipitate the latest rounds of European Union and US sanctions, which are causing economic hardship in Iran ahead of a parliamentary election in March.

One key finding was information that Iran had built a large containment chamber at Parchin southeast of Tehran in which to conduct high-explosives tests, which the UN agency said were “strong indicators of possible weapon development”.

The IAEA said intensive efforts were made to reach agreement in the talks on a document “facilitating the clarification of unresolved issues” in connection with Iran’s nuclear program, particularly those relating to possible military dimensions.

“Unfortunately, agreement was not reached on this document,” it said in an unusually blunt statement.

The IAEA mission’s lack of progress may also have an impact on the chances of any resumption of wider nuclear negotiations between Iran and the six world powers, the five permanent members of the Security Council plus Germany.

The West last week expressed some optimism at the prospect of new talks, particularly after Iran sent a letter to EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton promising to bring “new initiatives”, without stating preconditions.

But the United States and its allies may become more reluctant if they feel that the Islamic state is unlikely to engage in substantive discussions about its nuclear activities.

The deputy head of Iran’s armed forces was quoted on Tuesday as saying Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered.

“Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran’s national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions,” Mohammad Hejazi told the Fars news agency.

In retaliation for oil sanctions, Iran, the world’s fifth-largest crude exporter, has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, conduit for a third of the world’s seaborne oil, while the United States signalled it would use force to keep it open.

The White House said there was still time for diplomacy.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/22/un-watchdog-says-nuclear-talks-with-iran-failed.html

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Pakistan and India Accord on reducing risk of nuclear accidents extended

22 February 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and India on Tuesday announced that they were extending by five years their pact on reducing the risk of nuclear accidents.

“The two sides have agreed to extend the validity of the Agreement on Reducing the Risk from Accidents Relating to Nuclear Weapons for another five years, with effect from 21 February 2012,” a statement issued by Foreign Office said. A similar statement was issued by Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Senior officials of the two countries, who met in December for the sixth round of Expert-Level Talks on Nuclear Confidence-Building Measures under the resumed bilateral dialogue, had agreed to extend the validity of the pact and recommended to their foreign secretaries to renew it by another term of five years.

The talks on nuclear and conventional CBMs took place after a gap of four years under the peace dialogue revived last year.

The process was suspended following the 2008 Mumbai attacks blamed on Lashkar-e-Taiba.

The agreement on nuclear accidents that came into effect on February 21, 2007, for an initial period of five years is extendable for successive terms of five years at a time under its Article 8.

Under the pact both countries committed to improving the security and safety of their nuclear arsenal; informing each other of any nuclear accident, and taking steps to minimise the radiological consequences of such an accident. Furthermore, each of the two countries, in the event of a nuclear accident, is bound to take steps to prevent its actions from being misinterpreted by the other.

India and Pakistan have been regularly exchanging lists of their nuclear-related facilities under the 1988 Agreement on Prohibition of Attack against Nuclear Installations and Facilities. Besides the agreement on nuclear accidents, the experts’ meeting had agreed on extending the Agreement on Pre-Notification of Flight Testing of Ballistic Missiles by another five years.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/22/accord-on-reducing-risk-of-nuclear-accidents-extended.html

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Will support US, NATO or Indian intervention: Baloch Republican Party’s self-exiled chief

By Shehzad Baloch

Published: February 22, 2012

QUETTA: Supporting the US congressional bill on Balochistan, Baloch Republican Party’s self-exiled chief Brahamdagh Bugti has welcomed all foreign intervention in the province whether it is by the US, Nato or India.

“America must intervene in Balochistan and stop the ethnic cleansing of Baloch people,” said Brahamdagh, 30, as reporters listened with rapt attention to his telephonic address on Wednesday at the Quetta Press Club. “We know that foreign countries have their personal interest but we must think of our greater interest.”

A resolution was introduced on February 17 by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher and co-sponsored by two other congressmen in the US House of Representatives, calling upon Pakistan to recognise the Baloch people’s right to self determination. The bill has outraged Pakistan and leaders and lawmakers have called it against the country’s sovereignty and an unwelcome intervention by the US.

“Baloch women, political leaders, activists, students, writers, poets, professors and intellectuals are being subjected to enforced disappearances and undergoing torture for years. Their mutilated bodies turn up daily. Under such circumstances, we will welcome the support of foreign countries,” he said. “We have been accused of getting support from India but the Baloch movement does not have any foreign support. However, we will welcome any support for independence.”

Balochistan, Pakistan’s least-developed but largest province, has undergone a separatist insurgency since the country’s inception. The insurgency escalated into rampant violence after the 2006 murder of Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti, the grandfather of Brahamdagh who now lives in Switzerland.

“The American resolution and committee formed for Balochistan is not against the sovereignty of Pakistan. Every country has the right to interfere or intervene [in another’s affairs] if there are state-sponsored human rights violations,” he said.

‘They are protecting Punjab’s sovereignty’

Sceptical of mainstream politicians’ and media attention to Balochistan’s affairs, Brahamdagh said the change of heart was rooted in apprehensions over Punjab’s sovereignty. “Pakistani politicians like Nawaz Sharif are now visiting Balochistan and inquiring about the plight of Baloch people. There are discussions and talks on TV channels and print media in recent days about Balochistan. Because they are now worried about the sovereignty of Punjab and [want] to protect Punjab’s interest.”

If they were sincere, he said, they should have raised the issue of enforced disappearances, mutilated bodies of Baloch youth and leaders earlier.

Reiterating his stance that there is violation of human rights in Balochistan by security forces and agencies, Brahamdagh said that Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had said that there was no military operation in the province and must stop denying the truth now.

Brahamdagh pointed out that if the lawmakers believe that the situation in Dera Bugti, Kohlu and adjoining areas is normal, they should allow free access to the region for journalists, international humanitarian organisations and citizens.

‘No negotiations’

When asked about an all-parties conference that Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had announced over the crisis in Balochistan, Brahamdagh said that Baloch nationalist leaders will not join negotiations. “One the one hand, they are calling an APC while on the other, they are brutally killing Baloch people and throwing their bullet-riddled, mutilated bodies,” he said.

Brahamdagh called on Balochistan Governor Zulfiqar Magsi and Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani to also join the Baloch movement, leaving behind their “temporary” and “personal” interest as they will not achieve anything but humiliation from supporting the Pakistani government. “If they do not want to join the movement, they should resign from office and sit quietly because the Baloch movement is nearing its destination. Efforts are being made to unify the rank of Baloch leaders.”

When asked about the recent killing of his sister and niece in Karachi, Brahamdagh said that such brutalities will not compel him to withdraw or surrender from the struggle.

He also lashed out at the ultra-conservative Difa-e-Pakistan Council, which has announced a public gathering on February 27 in solidarity with the Baloch people. “Where were they when Baloch women, children and youth were being picked up and brutally killed by security forces? There is no influence of Jihadi elements in Balochistan. These religious parties are backed by security agencies,” he said.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/340137/will-support-foreign-intervention-whether-by-us-nato-or-india-barahmdagh/

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India satisfied with Maldives developments

SANDEEP DIKSHIT

With relative calm and stability returning to Maldives, India is tracking the run up to the convening of its Parliament (Majlis) on March 1 when political parties will meet to discuss a crucial amendment to the Constitution that will ensure that the country will not have to hold two elections for the post of President in two years.

India is also hoping the parties will be able to agree on the date for early polls, which official sources made clear did not mean snap polls.

 ``All political parties have to agree to the Constitutional amendment because it has to be approved by three-fourths of the Majlis. The need to change Article 124 has been a good way to get the parties to talk to each other,’’ said official sources while asserting that peace and stability in the Maldives is important for India due to its strategic location.

According to Article 124 of the Maldivian Constitution, if the President is changed mid-term, the new incumbent will stay in office for the remaining period of the original five year term. This means that the new President who is elected after the ``early’’ polls agreed upon by all political parties in Maldives will be in office till end 2013 (as the previous polls were held in 2008) and a fresh round of election will then have to be held. 

 ``There is need for continued stability and Maldives should not go in for two elections in two years. All political parties understand the need to change Article 124,’’ added the sources.

 India feels satisfied that political parties in Maldives have agreed to form a national unity government (though ousted President Mohd Nasheed-led Maldivian Democratic Party has still not joined the Cabinet) which will lead to early polls and are trying to resolve all issues of discord as per democratic norms. India had worked with its partners including the United Nations, the European to more or less convey this message, said the sources.

 This was, however, not the situation when the crises erupted after some policemen revolted and Mr. Nasheed sent in copies of his resignation letter to the Chief Justice and Speaker of the Majlis. ``At the time India did understand from extensive consultations with parties that there was wide divergence in their views. New Delhi identified some issues to bring them together and one of them was early elections. This offered the way forward to resolving other issues,’’ they said while summing up confabulations with political leaders in Male by Secretary (West) in the Ministry of External Affairs M. Ganapathy and Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai.

The sources also mentioned a discussion paper drafted by the current President Mohd. Waheed Hasan which contains the ``essentials’ to ensure stability in the polity – an all-inclusive Government, restoring law and order, strengthening the judiciary and an independent mechanism to investigate the recent transfer of power.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2919427.ece

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Bangladesh P M wants EU to nominate Yunus as WB chief

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina requested the European Union on Wednesday to nominate Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus as the president of the World Bank.

She made the request when visiting member of EU Parliament Jean Lambert called on the PM at her office.

According to meeting sources, Hasina said Nobel Laureate Prof Muhammad Yunus is respected all over the world for his outstanding contribution to alleviating poverty through microcredit activities.

She said Prof Yunus’ experience would be a valuable asset for the WB to expand its activities to different countries of the world.

The premier said the EU could persuade the concerned authorities to make Prof Yunus as the WB president for the welfare of the world.

She said the Nobel Laureate has vast experience to run big institutions like Grameen Bank and other organisations having excellent reputations in the world.

The WB is planning to appoint a new president by the time of the annual spring meetings in April.

Incumbent WB chief Robert Zoellick said Wednesday he would not seek a second five-year term and planned to step down by the end of June.

The WB said the selection process will be "merit-based and transparent" with all the executive directors able to nominate and consider all candidates. Nominations must be received by March 23.

The board will then draw a shortlist of prospects for a formal interview process.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=36000

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One dead, several wounded as Afghans protest over Quran burning

KABUL: At least one soldier was killed and 20 other wounded as shots were fired into a crowd of anti-US demonstrators trying to march on the centre of the capital Kabul Wednesday, an official said.

“All (the injured) are suffering from bullet wounds and were injured during the protests,” a health ministry official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Hundreds of Afghans threw stones, shouted “death to America” and torched tires, pouring onto streets Wednesday for a second day of angry protests against Nato troops for burning copies of the Quran.

About 500 protesters threw stones at a US military base in Kabul, while in the eastern city of Jalalabad more than 1,000 demonstrators blocked the highway shouting “Death to Americans, Death to Obama”, AFP journalists said.

In Kabul, the crowd attacked anti-riot police, forcing them to retreat, an AFP photographer said. At least one protester was shot, he said, without being able to identify where the shots came from.

Troops guarding the base, Camp Phoenix, fired in the air, he said, while black smoke from burning tyres rose above the demonstration in the Hod Khail neighbourhood.

A second protest erupted in west Kabul, involving about 100 university students, a police spokesman said, adding that riot police were present and the demonstration was under control.

The Jalalabad protest also involved university students, who chanted “We cannot tolerate insults to the sacred religion of Islam” as they prepared to burn an effigy of US President Barack Obama, an AFP reporter said.

The crowd blocked the key highway from the capital Kabul through the eastern provinces to the Pakistani trade port of Turkham.

On Tuesday, protests erupted in Kabul and outside the US-run Bagram military base, north of the capital, as word spread that Nato troops had burnt copies of the Quran.

The US commander in Afghanistan, General John Allen, apologised and ordered an investigation into an incident in which troops “improperly disposed of a large number of Islamic religious materials which included Qurans”.

In an attempt to head off further protests in deeply religious Afghanistan, Allen repeated his apology late Tuesday and said that all troops would be trained in the “proper handling of religious materials no later than March 3”.

For the first time, he admitted that Qurans had been burnt, saying they were “inadvertently taken to an incineration facility at Bagram airfield”.

“Along with our apology to the Afghans is our certainty and assurance to them that these kinds of incidents, when they do occur, will be corrected in the fastest and most appropriate manner possible,” said Allen.

“We’ve been shoulder to shoulder with the Afghans for a long time. We’ve been dying alongside the Afghans for a long time because we believe in them; we believe in their country, and we want to have every opportunity to give them a bright future.” Two US officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP the military removed Qurans from the US-run prison at Bagram because inmates were suspected of using the holy book to pass messages to each other.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/22/one-dead-several-wounded-as-afghans-protest-over-quran-burning.html

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'The Third Jihad' Producers Release Short Documentary Exposing CAIR and New York Times Collaboration

By Clarion Fund

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012

NEW YORK, Feb. 21, 2012 -- /PRNewswire/ -- The producers of the critically-acclaimed documentary, The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision for America, have produced a new short video exposing the recent New York Times and Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) campaign to smear The Third Jihad.

The new short video entitled Anatomy of a Smear is available online at http://www.thethirdjihad.com

The Third Jihad was recently the subject of debate when the New York Times rehashed a year-old story that the New York Police Department (NYPD) was using the film in its counter-terrorism training program.

Anatomy of a Smear documents the blatant inaccuracies, misquotes, omissions and innuendos of New York Times articles and editorials aimed at discrediting The Third Jihad as "hateful" and Islamophobic.

"Claims that The Third Jihad is an anti-Islam film are ignorant and misinformed," says Raphael Shore, Producer of The Third Jihad.  "Those that have blasted the film are attempting to stifle an important debate about the internal state of the Muslim community in America, and whether politicized Islam and indoctrination pose tangible security threats," Shore said.

The Third Jihad, narrated by devout Muslim and US Navy veteran Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, opens with the following frame in bold letters for all viewers to read: "This is not a film about Islam.  It is about the threat of radical Islam.  Only a small percentage of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims are radical."

The new video, Anatomy of a Smear demonstrates how the New York Times and CAIR campaign is a real-time example of cultural jihad, a strategy to use the banner of political correctness to manipulate American institutions and culture, the very subject of The Third Jihad.

As part of the campaign, CAIR called for the resignation of NYPD commissioner Raymond Kelly, one of many high-level interviewees featured in the film.  The Brennan Center for Justice, who is cited as a source by the Times then published its own opinion piece calling for an independent inspector general to "police the NYPD."

CAIR itself has established terror ties, as documented in The Third Jihad, and was designated by the U.S. Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator/joint-venturer in the Holy Land Foundation Trial, the largest terror-funding trial in America's history.

The Third Jihad has received significant praise outside of the New York Times articles, including by American Muslim leaders.

A recent statement by the American Islamic Leadership Council reads, "We have viewed The Third Jihad, and regard the information presented therein to be both factually accurate, and important for our fellow Muslim and non-Muslim citizens to understand, debate and address. The Third Jihad explicitly distinguishes between the religion of Islam, and the highly politicized ideology of religious hatred, supremacy and violence characteristic of political Islam, often referred to as 'Islamism.'"

Rudy Giuliani called the film, "a wake up call for America."

"It is imperative that The Third Jihad reaches a mass audience in the U.S. so that the urgency of this threat becomes clear to the American public," said US Rep. Ros-Lehtinen (FL), Chairwoman of the House Foreign Relations Committee.

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (AZ) said, "The Third Jihad alerts Americans to the dangers of Islamic radicalization in our own communities. Zuhdi Jasser is sounding the alarm before it is too late."

"We hope that the general public will consider the sensitive content in the film, and will not simply accept the baseless innuendos being made in the media.  We invite the general public to watch and judge the documentary for themselves," Shore said.

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/02/21/4279478/the-third-jihad-producers-release.html

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Iraq must ensure Iran exile group's safety: EU

17 February 2012

(BRUSSELS) - The European Union called on Iraqi authorities on Friday to guarantee the security of an Iranian opposition group transferring to a new camp near Baghdad.

The National Council of Resistance (NCRI) has agreed to begin evacuating Camp Ashraf, its long-time base in central Iraq, and transfer the refugees to Camp Liberty, a former US military base.

Full Report At:

http://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/iraq-iran-un-us.f9n

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 Global Human Rights Group Aims to Bridge Gap Between Islam and West

Ismira Lutfia

February 21, 2012

Jakarta played host on Monday to the inaugural meeting of the human rights commission of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, an event that the commission said carried “profound historical significance.”

Indonesia’s deputy foreign minister, Wardana, said the Independent Permanent Human Rights Commission of the OIC was expected to bridge the growing divide between the Muslim world and the West on the issue of human rights.

“Our hope is that this commission will be the engine that drives the reform process to transform the OIC into an organization that can effectively address the challenges facing the Muslim world,” he said.

“We also hope it can address the misunderstandings in both the Muslim world and the West about the compatibility between Islam, human rights and democracy.”

The IPHRC, agreed upon at a summit of OIC foreign ministers last June, has 18 commissioners, six each from Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Four of them are women, including the Indonesian representative, Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin, and those from Malaysia, Afghanistan and Sudan.

The commission will serve in an advisory role and promote human rights in the OIC member states, which have a combined population of 1.3 billion Muslims.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the group’s secretary general, said the establishment of the rights commission was testament to the “moderation and modernization” of the OIC in the face of global challenges.

“This is a moment of profound historical significance,” he said.

Ihsanoglu said misconceptions about Muslim communities failing to respect human rights were feeding a rising Islamophobia worldwide and leading to greater discrimination against Muslims.

“While no country in the world can claim a perfect human rights record, there always is room for improvement, including in the OIC member states,” Ihsanoglu said.

“There is a motivated campaign at portraying Islam as inherently incompatible with international human rights norms and standards. I am of a firm belief that the case is exactly the opposite. Islam is not incompatible with human rights standards.”

He added that the human rights framework offered the “most plausible avenue of structured engagement” to address these misconceptions.

“An engagement geared toward removing misconceptions and promoting interfaith harmony. An engagement that could underwrite global peace,” he said.

Julian Wilson, the EU ambassador to Indonesia, welcomed the development.

“The important element in all this is that no one is above anyone else when it comes to human rights issues,” he said. “We also face similar challenges that we need to address. This is a way to maintain the course of democracy and human rights.”

Siti told reporters that Indonesia was being considered as a possible choice to host the permanent secretariat of the IPHRC. She said Iran and Saudi Arabia had put themselves forward, but because they championed different Islamic schools of thought (Shia and Sunni Islam) a neutral state like Indonesia would be more appropriate.

“We’re ready to host the secretariat on the assumption that Indonesia can bridge the differences between these two branches, but of course the final decision will be made at the next ministerial summit,” she said.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/global-human-rights-group-aims-to-bridge-gap-between-islam-and-west/499339

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India: Hindu terror group admits role in Haryana blasts

TNN | Feb 22, 2012

CHANDIGARH: Five people arrested by Patiala Police in connection with a series of blasts in Haryana are associated with a Jind-based Hindu terror group, Azad Sangthan. The five accused had been arrested earlier by Haryana Police on similar charges but were released on bail.

They were allegedly involved in a blast near a madrasa in Jind in 2010 and another near a Transport Union office in Safidon in August 2010. But, they got bail as police failed to file chargesheet in time.

While in police custody, the police did not question the five suspects, including Azad alias Sagar alias Kala, Himmat Singh, Gurnam and Rajesh, about blasts at Jind and Nuh . On Thursday, however, they confessed their role in the blasts. Haryana Police chief ordered a probe into the lapses in investigation. "We have asked the Jind SP to probe and submit a report," said B S Sandhu, additional director general of police, law and order. During interrogation, they told police they were opposed to cow slaughter, said Sandhu. Blasts in Haryana occurred between October 2009 and August 2010 at Jind, Safidon and Nuh.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hindu-group-admits-role-in-Haryana-blasts/articleshow/11985479.cms

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Iran says its N-activities are non-negotiable

TUESDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2012

Iran said on Tuesday it views its nuclear activities as a non-negotiable right, but confirmed they will be discussed in mooted talks with world powers aimed at defusing a crisis containing the seeds of a new Middle East war, even as two Iranian warships sent by Tehran to the Mediterranean last week to help “train the Syrian navy” entered the Suez canal on Tuesday on their way back to Iran, source said.

“The issue of our country’s peaceful nuclear activities will be on the agenda of talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent  UN Security Council members plus Germany),” foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told reporters in a televised briefing. “Our main demand is recognition of our right to possess the (nuclear) technology for peaceful purposes,” Mehmanparast said. “That right has been achieved, and we don’t think this is a negotiable issue.” He said a UN team visiting Iran has no plans to inspect the country’s nuclear facilities and will only hold talks with officials  in Tehran. He said the visiting IAEA team was made up of experts, not inspectors, adding the IAEA team was holding talks on Tuesday to prepare the ground for future cooperation between Iran and IAEA.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/44428-iran-says-its-n-activities-are-non-negotiable.html

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Formal charges against Bangladesh former Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer read out

Deposition against Sayedee deferred till Thursday

Ghulam Azam

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The prosecution on Wednesday concluded reading out the formal charges against former Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Ghulam Azam for his alleged crimes against humanity during the country's Liberation War.

Chief Prosecutor Ghulam Arieff Tipoo during his submission prayed to the International Crimes Tribunal to take action against Ghulam Azam as per provision of International Crimes Tribunal Act.

In his submission, Tipoo said the detained Jamaat leader had committed crimes against humanity and peace alongside genocide, killing and some other grievous offences during the Liberation War in 1971.

The three-judge tribunal headed by its Chairman Justice Nizamul Huq asked the prosecution to show video footage on February 27 on the alleged crimes against humanity committed by Ghulam Azam.

It also adjourned the hearing on the charge framing against Ghulam Azam till February 27 and asked the jail authorities to produce the detained Jamaat leader before it on the day.

Earlier in the day, the tribunal adjourned till Thursday the recording of prosecution witnesses' deposition against other war crimes accused Jamaat Nayeb-e-Ameer Delawar Hossain Sayedee.

The court passed the adjournment order since the scheduled prosecution witness did not appear before the tribunal due to his personal difficulties.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=36001

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UN to bolster Somalia peacekeeping troops by 5,700

African Union forces have made significant gains in repelling al-Shabab militants

The UN Security Council is to vote to increase the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia by more than 5,000 soldiers, diplomats have said.

The resolution will increase the number of troops in the country to 17,731 from its current level of 12,000.

Full Report At:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-17120912

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Pakistan’s Khar to meet Clinton to discuss strains

22 February 2012

LONDON: Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Tuesday urged Washington to establish a “predictable, transparent and sustainable” relationship ahead of a meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to repair damaged ties.

Khar said she would meet Clinton in London on Thursday; where both are due to attend an international conference on Somalia, to try to heal a rift caused by a Nato air attack last November that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers.

“I will be looking forward to meet Secretary Clinton on the sidelines of the Somalia meeting,” Khar told reporters after talks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

“We hope that, for the goals that we share that of peace and stability within the region …, Pakistan and the United States will be able to foster their ties. However, there are certain pre-conditions for that.”

Khar said Pakistan’s parliament was currently looking at “terms of re-engagement” with the United States.

She said relations must be predictable, transparent and sustainable, and pursued in the two countries’ mutual interests.

Khar added that, in the past, “a different type of relationship has been pursued in the dark of night and a different type in daylight”.

“We hope to be able to combine the two and bring this relationship credibility (in the eyes of) the people of Pakistan,” she said.

The United States sees Pakistan as critical to its efforts to wind down the war in neighbouring Afghanistan, where US-led Nato forces are battling a stubborn Taliban insurgency.

In particular, it wants Pakistani cooperation in tackling the Haqqani network, the Afghan insurgent group now seen as the gravest threat to Nato and Afghan troops.

The Nov. 26 Nato attack on the border with Afghanistan exacerbated a crisis that erupted after US special forces killed Osama bin Laden in an unannounced raid on Pakistani soil in May last year, and sent relations between the two countries to their chilliest levels in years.

Ties between were also severely hurt a year ago by the killing of two Pakistanis by a CIA contractor.

Khar said there had been “a series of events which were deemed to be crossing the red lines which were pre-established, clearly articulated, by Pakistan in its partnership with the United States and our Nato partners”.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/22/pakistans-khar-to-meet-clinton-to-discuss-strains.html

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Afghan officials ‘in talks with Quetta Taliban’

22 February 2012

KANDAHAR: Afghan officials are holding talks with the Taliban in Pakistan, the head of a provincial peace council in the insurgency’s heartland Kandahar said on Tuesday, in a possible signal that Islamabad is boosting its support for Afghan peace efforts.

Kandahar peace council’s chairman Ata Mohammad Ahmadi said the officials had been meeting for “some time” with mid-level Taliban commanders in Quetta, where the leadership of the militant group is reported to be based.

“In the last 10 days, our peace council delegation has gone to Quetta three times in twos and threes,” he said.

Full Report At:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/22/kandahar-peace-team-visited-quetta-three-times-in-10-days-afghan-officials-in-talks-with-quetta-taliban.html

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Pervez Musharraf has denied allegations in the assassination of former P M Benazir Bhutto

22 February 2012

KARACHI: Former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf has denied allegations about his involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Reacting to statements made by Interior Minister Rehman Malik in the Sindh Assembly on Tuesday, Mr Musharraf said in television interviews security was mainly the responsibility of the provincial government and matters relating to her primary security were handled by PPP workers.

He said he had informed Ms Bhutto before her arrival in Pakistan about threats she faced.

“Benazir did not consider me to be a threat,” Mr Musharraf said.

He said the question that had not yet been answered was who had asked her to emerge out of the sunroof of her jeep just before the attack. He said he had met Ms Bhutto twice in Dubai but had not spoken to her after her arrival in Pakistan on Oct 18, 2007.

“Rehman Malik was not present during those meetings,” he added.

Talking about his return to Pakistan, the former president said he was willing to face courts.—Dawn monitor

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/22/former-ruler-denies-role.html

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Musharraf to be brought back with Interpol helpHabib Khan Ghori

22 February 2012

KARACHI: Interior Minister Rehman Malik on Tuesday informed members of the Sindh Assembly that soon former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf would be brought back to the country to face trial in the Benazir Bhutto assassination case, following issuance of red warrants by the trial court to Interpol.

He also said that former Sindh chief minister Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim, whenever he returned to Pakistan, would be questioned about his remarks reported in a section of the press on the eve of arrival of Benazir Bhutto on Oct 18, 2007, from her exile. Dr Rahim had reportedly said that “during the day they will beat drums, but after sunset they will cry when lights will be switched off”.

Full Report At:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/22/malik-jit-head-brief-sindh-assembly-on-benazir-assassination-probe-musharraf-to-be-brought-back-with-interpol-help.html

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4 killed in south as violence mars Yemen polls

TUESDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2012

Four persons, including a child, were killed in clashes on Tuesday in south Yemen between security forces and separatists, who have called for “civil disobedience” in protest at the country’s presidential polls, officials and medics said.

A 10-year-old child was killed when militants from the separatist Southern Movement traded gunfire with police near the election commission headquarters in Aden’s Dar Saad neighbourhood, residents and medics said.

Southern Movement gunmen killed a policeman in Mansura, also in Aden, the main city in the south, a security official said, adding that two others were wounded in Dar Saad. In the southeastern city of Mukalla, separatists attacked a polling station killing a soldier, a military official said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/44430-4-killed-in-south-as-violence-mars-yemen-polls.html

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Top Lashkar militant killed in Kashmir encounter

Wed Feb 22 2012

Srinagar : A top Lashkar-e-Toiba militant was killed and an army jawan wounded in a gunbattle between security forces and ultras in Sopore town in north Kashmir's Baramulla district today.

A self-styled LeT commander identified as Badar was killed in the gunfight, police said.

Full Report At:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/915213/

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Islamic studies must encompass knowledge from various fields, Ex-Malaysian P M

22 February 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Islamic studies should not only focus on fiqh (Islamic understanding, comprehension, knowledge and jurisprudence) but should also encompass other fields, including science and economics, said former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

He said although the Quran as the main source of Islamic studies comprised various branches of knowledge, Islamic studies were categorised as a non-science field.

"This is due to the notion that scientists or non-religious scholars are not men of religion. This is contrary to early thought from Islamic intellectuals in the past.

"This classification should be corrected at the policy and implementation level, especially in the education system to enable understanding constraints that lead to conflict on aqli and naqli knowledge can be overcome," he said when opening the National Seminar on Muslim Achievements: Lessons and the Way Forward and the pre-launch of the IKIM 20th anniversary celebration here, today.

Speaking to reporters later, Abdullah, who is also Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) chairman, said he supported the introduction of a guideline on interactions between religions to foster racial harmony in the country.

"This is similar to 'Islam Hadhari' that I had advocated (during his premiership) as it was understood by various races from different religious backgrounds in the country," he said.

On Thursday, Ulama Association of Malaysia secretary-general Dr Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor said the association was preparing a guideline on interactions between Muslims and non-Muslims to address mounting complex issues that affected Muslims and non-Muslim relations in the country.

Commenting on halal food, he said the guideline on the halal food preparation should be strengthened.

"What is important we should not meet out punishments against those who violate halal food rules without educating them first for they may lacked understanding," he said.

On IKIM 20th anniversary celebration, he said IKIM should gather scholars to discuss the future of Muslims for the next 20 years. -- BERNAMA

http://www.nst.com.my/top-news/islamic-studies-must-encompass-knowledge-from-various-fields-says-abdullah-1.49977

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‘US move result of Baloch struggle’: Baloch Republican Party

22 February 2012

QUETTA: Praising the tabling in US Congress of a resolution on Balochistan, the Baloch Republican Party (BRP) has urged the Baloch people to unite and continue their struggle for independence.

BRP central organising committee’s spokesman Sher Mohammad Bugti said in a statement on Tuesday that introduction of the resolution demanding an independent Balochistan was the result of continuing struggle of the Baloch people against “their enemy”.

He said Balochistan was divided among Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan where Baloch people were deprived of their rights.

“Baloch people are facing extra-judicial killings in Pakistan,” he said, adding that demanding right to self-determination and

independence was the democratic right of the Baloch nation.

The spokesman said that after the introduction of the resolution in the United States Congress, security forces had stepped up their operations against Baloch people in Dera Bugti, Jaffarabad, Nasirabad, Sui and other areas of Balochistan to appease the Iranian president who recently visited Pakistan.

He said the BRP and the Baloch nation were thankful to the US Republican senator who had moved the resolution, the United Nations and other international human rights institutions for taking up the Balochistan issue at the international level.

He appealed to these institutions to take practical steps for implementing the resolution and stopping extra-judicial killings and security forces’ operations against the Baloch nation.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/22/us-move-result-of-baloch-struggle.html

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US military flying drones over Syria

Feb 20, 2012

US has deployed a large number of drones over Syria to monitor Syrian military attack on the opposition forces and civilians, NBC News has reported.

Quoting Pentagon officials, the TV channel said that the operation of unmanned aircraft over the Syrian skies was not a harbinger of a US military intervention in the country but to gather evidence that can be used to 'make the case for a widespread international response.'

Full Report At:

http://www.asianage.com/international/us-military-flying-drones-over-syria-253

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Russia proposes sending UN envoy to Syria

Published: Feb 21, 2012

MOSCOW: Russia on Tuesday urged the United Nations to send a special envoy to Syria to help coordinate security issues and the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Twitter Tuesday that it’s proposing that the UN Security Council ask the UN Secretary General to send the envoy.

On Monday Russia’s UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said the world body should help solve humanitarian issues in Syria, after Damascus allowed the Red Cross to bring humanitarian aid to some regions.

Russia and China have vetoed two Security Council resolutions backing Arab League plans aimed at ending the conflict and condemning President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on protests that killed 5,400 in 2011 alone, according to the UN Hundreds more have been killed since, activist groups say.

Syria is Russia’s last remaining ally in the Middle East. Moscow has maintained close ties with Damascus since the Cold War, when Syria was led by the current leader’s father, Hafez Assad.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Tuesday that Moscow will not attend the planned “friends of Syria” meeting at the end of this week, because its organizers had failed to invite representatives of the Syrian government.

Lukashevich said the meeting in Tunisia wouldn’t help a dialogue, saying that the global community should act as friends of the entire Syrian people, and not just one part.

“It looks like an attempt to forge some kind of international coalition like it was with the setting-up of a ‘contact group’ for Libya,” Lukashevich said.

Russia has said it will block any UN resolution that could pave the way for a replay of what happened in Libya. In that case, Russia abstained from a vote, which cleared the way for months of NATO air force attacks that helped Libyans end Muammar Qaddafi’s regime.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article578217.ece

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Iranian navy ships return from Syria through Suez

Feb 21, 2012

CAIRO: Two Iranian naval ships returned from Syria through the Suez Canal on Tuesday, a Suez Canal source said.

The ships entered the canal from the Mediterranean Sea early in the morning, heading south towards the Red Sea, and were expected to leave the canal on Tuesday afternoon, the source said.

The ships had docked at the Syrian port of Tartous, in a show of support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, a regional ally of Iran.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article578230.ece

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When children are 'terrorists', Israel's story rings hollow

Ali Khaled

Feb 22, 2012

It's one of the 20th century's most celebrated images of individual courage. Very few people are unfamiliar with the photograph of the lone Chinese protester facing down a line of army tanks in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Despite his anonymity, "Tank Man" or the "Unknown Rebel", as he came to be known, is a lasting symbol of that student rebellion that was so brutally crushed.

Full Report At:

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/when-children-are-terrorists-israels-story-rings-hollow

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Tunisian party proposes Islamic constitution due to alarm secularists

FEBRUARY 21, 2012

The third-largest party in Tunisia’s constituent assembly, charged with writing a new constitution, has proposed a draft document based on Islamic law which will likely alarm the country’s secularists. The moderate Islamist Ennahda party won a 40 percent share in the assembly, or 89 seats, in Tunisia’s first election since the ouster of Zine al-Abdine Ben Ali a year ago sparked the Arab Spring uprisings across the region.

The non-religious Conference for the Republic won 29 seats in the 217-seat assembly and Aridha Chaabia, or Popular List, came in third. Should the proposal win the support of more than 60 percent of parliamentarians, it would pass without a referendum.

Popular List said in a statement on Monday that its draft document “stipulates in its first article that Tunisia is a free, independent and sovereign country, Islam is its religion and the principal source of its legislation, Arabic is its language and its system is a republic”.

“Using Islamic sharia as a principal source of legislation will guarantee freedom, justice, social equality, consultation, human rights and the dignity of all its people, men and women.”

Full Report At:

http://blogs.reuters.com/faithworld/2012/02/21/tunisian-party-proposes-islamic-constitution-due-to-alarm-secularists/

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Pak cautions West against attacking Iran

TUESDAY, 21 FEBRUARY 2012

Pakistan has cautioned the West against attacking Iran over its nuclear ambitions, saying it should learn the lessons from the Iraq war.

“The West should learn the lessons of the lead-up to the Iraq war while attempting to confront Iran over its nuclear ambitions,” Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar warned.

Thirty five-year old Khar, who is on a four-day official visit to Britain, said Iran had not taken a belligerent stance towards its eastern neighbours, even as it had raised tensions across the Gulf and against Israel and the West.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/44427-pak-cautions-west-against-attacking-iran.html

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Gilani contempt case: AG submits documentary evidences

22 February 2012

ISLAMABAD: Supreme Court of Pakistan resumed the hearing of contempt of the court case against Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani today where Attorney General (AG) Maulvi Anwar-ul-Haq submitted the documentary evidences, Geo News reported.

During today’s proceedings, AG’s statement was also recorded while he presented the attested copies of NRO verdict as one of the proofs.

A seven-member bench of apex court headed by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk and comprising Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa, Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany, Justice Ejaz Afzal Khan, Justice Ijaz Ahmed Chaudhry, Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Muhammad Ather Saeed would examine the proofs submitted by the Attorney General against the prime minister.

It is worth mentioning here that on February 16, Attorney General submitted four volumes of documentary evidence before the Supreme Court in the prime minister’s contempt of court case.

http://www.bankbazaar.com/personal-loan.html?WT.srch=1&WT.mc_id=SOKRATI_&Short=Yes&gclid=COrprrbysK4CFUd66wodflUIPA,Sokrati_Personal_Loan&OVKEY=Ad_Tag

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Pakistan Army works up its own ‘iPad’

Sabir Shah

22 February 2012

LAHORE: Pakistani military was working to develop a homegrown version of the iPad (PacPad) at the Kamra Air Force Complex, a leading American news agency, has reported.

The $200 iPad tablet was manufactured at the Kamra Air Force facility that produced fighter jets and was the latest addition to Pakistan military’s sprawling commercial empire. The report appearing in The Gulf News, maintains: “The device runs on Android 2.3, an operating system made by Google and given away for free. At around $200, it’s less than half the price of Apple or Samsung devices and cheaper than other low-end Chinese tablets on the market, with the bonus of a local, one-year guarantee. The PAC in the name stands for the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex, where it is made. The PAC also makes an e-reader and small laptop.”

The UAE newspaper has revealed that only a few hundred units of each product have been made so far, though a new batch would be completed in the next three months. It concludes by saying: “The tablet and other devices are made in a low-slung facility, daubed in camouflage paint, near, a factory that produces J-17 Thunder fighter jets with Chinese help. Pac builds the PacPad with a company called “Innavtek” in a partnership that also builds high-tech parts for the warplanes.”

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-36419-Pakistan-Army-works-up-its-own-iPad

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Media Turn Hunger Striking Terrorist Spokesman into Victim

By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Islamic Jihad spokesman Khader Adnan said Tuesday he is ending his 66-day hunger strike after worldwide sympathy pressured the Justice Ministry to decide to end his administrative detention two months from now.

Full Report At:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/152993#.T0S6oYdl-Cc

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Halal slaughter becomes political issue in France

21 February 2012

PARIS, 29 Rabi al-Awwal/21 Feb.(IINA)-A TV documentary’s revelation that slaughterhouses around Paris have switched meat production entirely to halal methods has stirred a political storm in France, where attitudes to Europe’s largest Muslim minority are a subtext in a presidential election campaign.

The France 2 documentary last week said all of the abattoirs in the greater Paris region were producing only halal-style meat, selling some without labeling it as such to avoid the cost of running separate lines for halal and non-halal customers.

Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen – who is hoping to win voters away from center-right President Nicolas Sarkozy ahead of the two-round election in April and May – has seized on the issue.

Full Report At:

http://iina.me/wp_en/?p=1006920

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Brazil Halal Meat Feeds World Muslims

CAIRO, 29 Rabi al-Awwal/21 Feb.(IINA)-Eyeing a share of the $400-billion global halal food market, Brazilian meat producers are vying to ensure compliance with Islamic religious and hygiene standards to acquire the halal stamp that unlocks access to huge markets in the Muslim world.

“There have been no complaints [on halal authenticity] raised to the ministry in recent years,” Michel Abdo Halaby, director-general and chief executive of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, told the Gulf News on Monday, February 20.

As the sun shines in the tiny town of Palmeira de Goias in the southeastern state of Goias, work starts at Minerva’s halal unit where three Muslim men work in shifts to slaughter 1,600 heads of cattle according to halal slaughter method.

Full Report At:

http://iina.me/wp_en/?p=1006931

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ISI operative held by Crime Branch

WEDNESDAY, 22 FEBRUARY 2012

The Delhi Police have busted a spy network by arresting a Pakistani national who was sent by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to gather sensitive information about the deployment of Indian armed forces.

Identified as Kamran Akbar (39), he had come to Kolkata in 1992 and was living as an ‘Indian citizen’. He had married a woman in Kolkata and had two children. He had also managed to procure all the important documents such as Election ID card, passport and driving licences from Sikar in Rajasthan and Kolkata to prove his citizenship.

Full Report At:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/city/44561-isi-operative-held-by-crime-branch-.html

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Samjhauta case: Don't know arrested 'bomb planter', says Aseemanand

RAGHAV OHRI

Wed Feb 22 2012

Chandigarh : Accused in the Samjhauta attack, Swami Aseemanand told a court today that he did not know one Kamal Chauhan who has recently been arrested in the case.

Full Report At:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/915251/

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Arab Kingdom Tower project in Jeddah gets final go-ahead

Feb 22, 2012

JEDDAH: A Jeddah-based project to build the tallest tower in the world has been given the go-ahead after it received its final license, Chairman of Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) Prince Alwaleed bin Talal confirmed.

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article578390.ece

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Makkah governorate organizes workshop on prison reforms

By MD AL-SULAMI

Published: Feb 22, 2012

JEDDAH: Several prominent figures representing a cross section of Saudi society have discussed comprehensive prison reform programs with an objective of enabling prisoners to eventually become productive members of society.

The discussions were held at a workshop organized by the Makkah governorate under the patronage of Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, on Monday. Representatives of about 40 organizations and agencies in the government, security, civilian and academic sectors participated in the workshop, which was organized as part of the governorate’s initiative to further improve reform programs for inmates of jails and reformatories in the Makkah region.

Full Report At:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article578402.ece

URL:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/seven-afghans-are-killed-during-protests-over-quran-burning-at-u.s.-base/d/6701

 



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