New Age Islam
Mon Nov 23 2020, 08:54 AM

Islamic World News ( 21 Oct 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Iran Agrees to Draft of Deal on Exporting Nuclear Fuel

Maldives Army starts training in India

Austerity drive: Muslims should hold marriages in mosques, imambaras: AISPLB

Schools across Pakistan close after deadly suicide blasts

Attackers Kill 6 at Islamic University in Pakistan, Mystifying Students

Suicide Attack Targets Women's Cafeteria at Pakistan University

Kayani offers Mehsuds 'protection'

Terror at doorstep: Indian PM tells forces to stay alert

Bangalore: 'Love Jehad' - High Court Orders Govt to Gather Information

The day that changed Kashmir's fate 62 years ago

Rival Says He Is Ready for Runoff with Karzai

'You have atom bombs, but we have suicide bombers'

Indonesia may revise new stoning law: paper

The many faces of Islam in the United States

Malaysia Muslim sect leader gets 10-year sentence

Islamists Order Somali Radio Stations to Shut Down

Radical Muslims calls for Sharia Law to rule Britain

Unrest in Algeria for Second Day

Algerian Islamist leader ducks arrest

Pakistani Hindus get right to stay longer in India

Deadlock over Election Law in Iraq

Iran Arrests Suspects in Attack on Military Chiefs

Scholar Held After Disputed Iranian Election Is Given at Least 12 Years

Supreme Leader extols magnificent progress of Iranian women

Iraqi MPs fail to agree on new election law

U.N. chief: We will review Afghan polling stations

Talks on agenda, J-K govt to release Shabir Shah

'Maharashtra fast turning into a right-wing terror hub'

Sanatan Sanstha involved in Miraj riots too: Police

Karkare sought ban on Sanstha: ATS chief

Somali pirates turn eastward, seize China ship

Linking Islam to terrorism doesn't make you Geert Wilders

Dallas: Other side of Muslim bigotry story

"Self' in Qur'an discussed at Inter-Faith Week in Surrey

Leader deplores West’s attitude toward women

Temple U. uneasy as anti-Islam figure is set to speak

War, Negation and Muslim Identity Revisited

Anti-Islamic Dutch Lawmaker Draws Ire, Support at Temple

Concerns Resurface over Turkey-Israel Ties

US: Muslims taken off plane end bias suit

Bomb Kills Journalist, Wounds Another in Iraq

Compiled by Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/iran-agrees-to-draft-of-deal-on-exporting-nuclear-fuel/d/1964

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Iran nuclear fuel deal 'agreed'

Iran and three world powers have been handed a draft agreement aimed at reducing international concerns over Tehran's nuclear programme.

The International Atomic Energy Agency, which proposed the plan after talks in Vienna, wants an answer by Friday.

Details are yet to be confirmed, but the plan is believed to involve Iran exporting uranium to be enriched in France and Russia.

Iran's chief negotiator has not commented on the uranium export plan.

The negotiations have involved the UN, Iran, France, Russia and the US.

IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei told reporters in Vienna that he was feeling "optimistic" after the talks, which he said had been "very constructive".

ANALYSIS

Jon Leyne, BBC Tehran correspondent Under the draft plan Iran would send around 1200kg, the majority of its stocks of enriched uranium, to Russia and then to France before it is returned to run a research reactor in Tehran.

The big advantage for the West is that the arrangement would neutralise most of Iran's stockpile of enriched uranium. At the very least this would delay Iran's ability to make a nuclear bomb.

But no Iranian official has yet publicly acknowledged that Iran's enriched uranium would be shipped out of the country.

There must be doubts whether President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's government is really willing to allow its hard-won enriched uranium out of its grasp, particularly as Mr Ahmadinejad has turned the nuclear programme into such a matter of national pride.

But for the West, that key component of the agreement would surely be the deal-breaker.

"Everybody at the meeting was trying to help, trying to look to the future and not to the past, trying to heal the wounds that existed for many years," he said.

"I have circulated a draft agreement that in my judgment reflects a balanced approach to how to move forward."

Russian nuclear industry insiders told the BBC the process proposed would involve Iran sending its uranium to the IAEA, which would forward it to Russia for enriching.

The enriched uranium would then be returned to the IAEA and sent to France, which has the technology to add the "cell elements" needed for Iran's reactor, they said.

This process would enable Iran to obtain enough enriched uranium for its research reactor, but not enough to produce a weapon.

Exporting uranium has been seen as a way for Iran to get the fuel it needs, while giving guarantees to the West that it will not be used for nuclear weapons.

Iranian chief negotiator Ali Asghar Soltaniyeh talked positively about a deal, but did not mention uranium export.

Confidence boost

Mr ElBaradei said there had been many technical, legal and policy issues to address in the Vienna talks, as well as "issues of confidence and trust".

"That is why it has taken us some time and that is why we need to send the agreement to capitals for final approval," he added.

"I very much hope that people see the big picture - that this agreement could pave the way for a complete normalisation of relations between Iran and the international community."

The BBC's Bethany Bell in Vienna says the completion of the draft will be a big confidence boost for all involved in the talks, but many details are still to be worked out.

Iran insists its nuclear programme is solely for peaceful purposes and that it has the right to enrich uranium.

Western states believe it is attempting to develop a nuclear weapons programme.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8318258.stm

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Iran Agrees to Draft of Deal on Exporting Nuclear Fuel

By DAVID E. SANGER

October 22, 2009

VIENNA — The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Wednesday that Iranian negotiators had agreed to a draft of an agreement to ship much of its stockpile of nuclear fuel to Russia, but cautioned that it would have to be approved by Friday in both Tehran and Washington.

The draft, which came after three days of talks here between Iran, the United States, France and Russia, fills in the details of an agreement in principle made on Oct. 1 following a preliminary round of negotiations.

If approved, the deal would commit Iran to temporarily exporting 75 percent of its known stockpile of low-grade nuclear fuel to Russia, or about 2,600 pounds of low-enriched uranium, for additional enrichment. Negotiators say that would prevent the possibility that Iran could turn the fuel into weapons-grade material anytime soon.

Western suspicions that Iran is secretly developing a nuclear weapon despite its repeated denials are at the heart of the negotiations, which represent the first time the United States and Iran are in serious diplomatic talks after 30 years of estrangement. The talks are regarded as an important test of the Obama administration’s policy of seeking to engage America’s adversaries.

But the key to the agreement reached in the talks, if it works, would be in the timing of the shipments — a detail officials were not discussing in Vienna in the hours after the announcement. If Iran actually sends the low-enriched uranium to Russia in a single shipment, as the draft document states, it would have too little fuel on hand to build a nuclear weapon for roughly a year, according to the agency’s experts. If the fuel leaves Iran in batches, the experts warn, Iran would have the ability to replace it almost as quickly as it leaves the country.

Also of concern is the possibility that Iran might have more nuclear fuel than it is letting on. The estimate that Iran has about 3,500 pounds of low-enriched uranium assumes, as one senior European diplomat put it on the sidelines of negotiations here, “that Iran has accurately declared how much fuel it possesses, and does not have a secret supply.”

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/world/middleeast/22nuke.html?_r=1&ref=global-home

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IAEA Seeks Iran Nuclear Draft Deal By Friday

Samia Nakhoul

VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear watchdog chief on Wednesday presented a draft deal to Iran and three big powers for approval by their capitals by Friday to allay fears Tehran might use an enriched-uranium stockpile to make nuclear weapons.

But uncertainty reigned whether Iran would endorse the draft deal calling on it to send most of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) reserve to Russia and France soon for conversion into fuel for a nuclear medicine facility in Tehran.

This would reduce the high risk cited by the West of Iran, under suspicion over nuclear secrecy and restrictions on U.N. inspections, covertly refining LEU to the high level of purity suitable for nuclear weapons.

Iran, which says its nuclear energy quest is only for electricity generation, already has accumulated enough LEU for one bomb if it were further enriched. Iran's enrichment programme has approached industrial scale over the past year.

Iran's delegation chief said the Vienna talks presided over by International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Mohamed ElBaradei were constructive, but did not say whether the Iranian leadership would embrace the draft accord. "We have to thoroughly study this text and ... come back and reflect our opinion and suggestions or comments in order to have an amicable solution at the end of the day," Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's IAEA ambassador, said. "We welcome this event, we are fully cooperating."

ElBaradei announced the draft agreement after 2 1/2 days of tense, high-stakes talks, plagued by delays, involving Iran, France, Russia and the United States at IAEA headquarters.

Diplomats said ElBaradei's draft contained the powers' call for Iran to send some 75 percent of its LEU before the end of this year for more refinement and processing into fuel rods to power a Tehran reactor producing radio-isotopes for cancer care.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/10/21/world/international-uk-iran-nuclear.html?ref=global-home

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Maldives Army starts training in India

Manu Pubby, Oct 21, 2009

New Delhi: Two months after Defence Minister A K Antony went on a high-profile visit to the Maldives, initiating the process to bring the country into India’s security grid, the Maldives Special Forces have started training in India as per a long-term plan to augment defence relations.

While India is setting up a series of radar stations and has started conducting regular aircraft sorties over the island nation to ensure its security, the elite special forces of the Maldives National Defence Force (MNDF) have started training at Belgaum.

A batch of close to 50 soldiers and officers from the MNDF commenced a junior leader wing training exercise at Belgaum on Monday. Over the next two weeks, they will undergo a series of exercises to derive from the experience of the Indian Army units that have been battle hardened in counter-insurgency warfare.

Sources said this is the second in a series of counter-terrorism exercises with the island nation and would become a regular affair, given India’s commitment to help Maldives improve its security setup.

Full Report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/maldives-army-starts-training-in-india/531283/

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Muslims should hold marriages in mosques, imambaras: AISPLB

21 October 2009

LUCKNOW: With a view to checking ostentatious display of wealth, All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) today suggested using mosques and

imambaras for holding marriage functions.

The board in its annual session in New Delhi later this month would be passing a resolution to this effect for making it mandatory for the community to use mosques and imambaras for holding 'nikahs' so as to check unnecessary expenditures, AISPLB president Maulana Mirza Mohamad Athar said.

There has been a growing trend among the community of solemnising weddings at banquet halls or hotels which add on to the burden on the bride's family, he said, adding this could be checked by using imambaras and mosques, which have ample land in and around, for holding such ceremonies.

Athar said there is no ban on holding such functions at mosques and imambaras and if brought into practice it will also narrow the gap between the rich and poor.

He said the annual meeting of the Shia Board on Oct 25 would also press on checking the practice of dowry. The practice of organising community feast after burial should also be stopped as it poses unnecessary burden on the poor.

The national policy for Shias and reservation for the community in Parliament are also some of the issues which will be discussed in the meet, he said.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslims-should-hold-marriages-in-mosques-imambaras-AISPLB/articleshow/5145286.cms

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Schools across Pakistan close after deadly suicide blasts

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (CNN) -- Pakistani authorities have closed all educational institutions across the county until at least the end of the week, following twin suicide bombings at an Islamic university Tuesday.

By Wednesday, the death toll from the attacks at Islamabad's International Islamic University had climbed to six. Twenty-nine others were wounded, said Naeem Iqbal of the Islamabad police.

Officials in the North West Frontier Province, Balochistan and Sindh shuttered their schools and colleges until Sunday. Educational institutions in Punjab will remain closed until further notice.

The back-to-back explosions Tuesday took place in the faculty area of the men's section and in the women's section cafeteria at the university.

Full Report at: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/21/pakistan.university.explosion/index.html

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Attackers Kill 6 at Islamic University in Pakistan, Mystifying Students

By SALMAN MASOOD, October 20, 2009

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — The International Islamic University here, one of the country’s premier schools, prides itself as a unique centre of learning that combines “the essentials of the Islamic faith with the best of modern knowledge,” as its Web site says.

So on Tuesday afternoon, when two suicide attackers struck this conservative gender-segregated campus simultaneously, killing six people, many of the students and residents of Islamabad were perplexed.

The attackers’ bombs ripped through a cafeteria for female students, two of whom were among the dead, and destroyed an office in the Shariah and law department in a second building. Dozens were wounded.

“When I heard that it was Islamic University, I wondered why an Islamic institution would come under attack,” said Erum Yasir, 32, who was visiting Islamabad from her home in New Jersey.

If the militants are striving to enforce religion, why attack an Islamic university of all places, she asked. The answer, she figured, was that the militants just needed a target and had stopped caring what the target was.

Attacks like this one, following far larger ones in the last two weeks at security installations and in crowded marketplaces have increasingly soured public opinion of the Taliban.

While anti-Americanism still runs high, and while there remains support for some militant groups that are considered allies of the state, there is also support building for the military’s campaign to squeeze the Taliban militants who have used Pakistan’s tribal areas as a base to train and dispatch their suicide bombers.

Syed Fakhr Hasan, 24, a student at the university who is pursuing a master’s degree in Arabic, and who is a member of the youth wing of an Islamic political party, said the attackers were maligning the name of Islam.

He was in his dorm room when two loud explosions rocked the surroundings and “everything shook for a while,” he said.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/world/asia/21pstan.html

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Suicide Attack Targets Women's Cafeteria at Pakistan University

October 20, 2009

Two suicide bombers attacked the International Islamic University in Pakistan today, targeting a women's cafeteria and the Islamic law department. The attack killed at least 4 and wounded 18 others, BBC reports. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack thus far.

One student told the BBC that "There were gunshots at first and then two explosions one after the other. One was just outside the gate of the girls' cafeteria and the other one targeted the head of the department for Sharia studies...I was near that office. Two of my friends were injured, they were taken to the hospital. I am in shock. Now we are not even safe in our universities."

The Associated Press reports that the University has over 12,000 students, nearly half of them are women, and many come from abroad, according to. The attack is the first since the October 16th, when Pakistan's army began an offensive against Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants in the northwest near the Afghan border.

In Taliban-controlled areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan, violence against schools that educate girls as part of their opposition to the education of women. A girls' school was bombed in northern Pakistan earlier this year and last December the Taliban announced an education ban for women and girls in the Swat Valley. More than 130 schools in that area, many of which were all girl institutions, have been destroyed, allegedly by the Taliban, in the past year.

Source: http://www.msmagazine.com/news/uswirestory.asp?ID=11998

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Kayani offers Mehsuds 'protection'

21 October 2009

 DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Pakistan’s army chief has appealed to members of a major tribe linked to the Taliban to support an offensive against the insurgents. Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani made it clear that the operation in South Waziristan was not meant to target the “valiant and patriotic” Mehsud tribes.

The Pakistani military’s operation against the Pakistani Taliban in South Waziristan is considered its most critical fight against Islamist extremists threatening its stability, and its strategy involves convincing other warlords and tribes in the region to stand aside during the fight, even if they are involved in anti-US activities in Afghanistan.

Kayani’s letter — dropped as leaflets from the air in South Waziristan — was addressed to the Mehsud tribe, whose members populate the top ranks of the Pakistani Taliban, a group bent on overthrowing the central government.

The Mehsuds are a huge tribe with several subsections. Many members live far from the tribal badlands, and are involved in a range of professions and businesses. The tribe dominates Pakistan’s transport sector.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Kayani-offers-Mehsuds-protection/articleshow/5143512.cms

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Terror at doorstep: PM tells forces to stay alert

21 October 2009

NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday virtually sounded the Code Red in the ongoing anti-terror alert, asking the armed forces to be vigilant since the situation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region was spiralling out of control.

"There are regular intelligence reports of imminent attacks in the country. This is a matter of deep concern, and there is no room for complacency,'' said the PM, addressing the top military brass at the annual combined commanders' conference here.

"The terrorist attack on our embassy in Kabul on October 8 is yet another grim reminder of the forces we are pitted against. The overall situation in our immediate neighbourhood has worsened since I last spoke to you,'' he added.

The fast-deteriorating situation in the Af-Pak region, which has become a revival ground for Taliban, in fact, came in for special mention during the conference.

This comes just a day after defence minister A K Antony held the situation was "very serious'' in Pakistan, where extremists have unleashed a spate of attacks on governmental forces and targets, including one on the Army headquarters at Rawalpindi.

Army chief General Deepak Kapoor, too, said the threat of a terror spill-over into India was a clear and present one. The Indian security forces, he added, were, however, geared towards giving "a befitting reply'' to the Taliban if "they try to carry out destructive activities in our country''.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Terror-at-doorstep-PM-tells-forces-to-stay-alert/articleshow/5142905.cms

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Bangalore: 'Love Jehad' - High Court Orders Govt to Gather Information

Oct 21, 2009

The alleged propagation of what has come to be popularly known as 'Love Jehad', to engineer conversions from other religions to Islam, has drawn the attention of the state High Court. It may be recalled that the 'Love Jehad,' in which reportedly, the modus operandi used by the Muslim men is to trap the girls from other religions through ‘love’ and thereby get them converted into Islam, is of late, making media headlines. The High Court has now directed the state government to obtain details about the 'Love Jehad' from the Kerala government.

The Kerala High Court has already, after taking cognizance of certain reports, which had alleged that the girls are being lured in the name of love and being deserted, after getting them converted into Islam as part of the 'Love Jehad', directed the director general of police of that state, to conduct an in-depth investigation into the allegations and submit a report thereof within three weeks.

In the state, two cases of this kind had of late, been referred to the High Court. A girl each from Chamarajanagar and Belgaum districts had loved Muslim youths and had eloped with them. As the girls were majors, the High Court upheld the rights of the girls to select their life partners. At the same time, it directed the state government on Tuesday October 20, to collect details about the alleged 'Love Jehad' from Kerala government. In the recent past, there have been instances in which the parents of the girls from other religions, who have chosen to marry the Muslim youths, have complained to the policemen that their wards were the victims of the 'Love Jehad'.

There are reports that the girls who are trapped through the 'Love Jehad' are converted into Islam and then trained in Madrassas located in Chennai and Kasargod for three months, to make them conversant with the tenets and practices of Islam. The Chamarajanagar police have already said that the girls from the district, who were converted as above, are being given training at Chennai Madrassa.

The divisional bench of the High Court expressed its surprise about the conversion of the girls and the training being imparted to them at the Madrassas of other states. A girl from Chamarajanagar stated in the High Court that a written agreement was got executed between the youth concerned and herself, in the presence of some fundamentalists. As per the agreement, she was to get converted into Islam and she would be able to enter the wedlock with the man, only after she gets properly acquainted with the traditions and practices of Islam. She had informed that she has converted into Islam, but is yet to be married. She was trained at Chennai and Kasargod. She presented herself before the High Court on Tuesday and gave details of what had transpired during the last three months, since she eloped with her lover.

The High Court adjourned the hearing to Wednesday, after asking the government to collect details of the alleged 'Love Jehad' from Kerala government. In Kerala state, a widespread discontent is simmering over the alleged 'Love Jehad' activities. Some also say that a few fundamentalists have been aiming at causing social insecurity and unrest by encashing the situation, and by spreading unconfirmed news and rumours of the supposed 'Love Jehad' practices.

Source: http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=67200

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The day that changed Kashmir's fate 62 years ago

Sarwar Kashani, 21 Oct 2009

SRINAGAR: On Thursday, it will be 62 years since tribal invaders descended on Jammu and Kashmir from the Pakistani side, laying the seeds of a dispute that would turn the region into one of the world's most enduring flashpoints.

London-based Kashmiri separatist leader Shabir Choudhry describes Oct 22, 1947, as a "black day". He says Jammu and Kashmir would never have been a subject of dispute had Pakistan not launched "unprovoked tribal aggression against the people of the state" more than six decades ago.

Choudhry, who belongs to the Kashmir National Party (KNP), says Pakistan unleashed "extremist war in (the) name of Jihad in 1947 to advance (its) political agenda" in the state that was yet to decide on whether to accede to India or Pakistan after the blood-stained partition of the subcontinent.

"If there was no tribal invasion, then there might have been no Kashmir dispute," Choudhry told IANS in an e-mail interview. "Oct 22 is a black day in the history of Jammu and Kashmir. The attack of the tribesmen forced the ruler of the state to seek help from India and subsequently accede to India."

Kashmir was one of the 565 autonomous states of British India that had a choice to accede either to secular India or Muslim-dominated Pakistan after the end of colonial rule. The accession, however, was the prerogative of the ruler, not of the population. Most of these princely states acceded peacefully, except for Junagadh (Gujarat), Hyderabad, Tripura and Jammu and Kashmir.

Source: http://www.expressbuzz.com

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October 22, 2009

Rival Says He Is Ready for Runoff With Karzai

By DEXTER FILKINS, SABRINA TAVERNISE and MARK LANDLER

KABUL, Afghanistan — Abdullah Abdullah, the chief rival to Afghan President Hamid Karzai, said Wednesday he was preparing for a runoff to decide the disputed election here. But he left open the possibility that he might join a coalition with Mr. Karzai that would make a new round of voting unnecessary.

Mr. Abdullah, who finished second in nationwide voting in August, said he was under no pressure from American officials or anyone else to join a coalition government. But he declined to rule out that possibility, one which officials in the Obama administration appear to favor to end weeks of political uncertainty here

“We have started preparing for a second round,” Mr. Abdullah said, speaking at a press conference in his backyard in Kabul. “The results show the need for a second round. We will let the Afghan people decide — I am committed to that.”

Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission formally certified the vote Tuesday, and said Mr. Karzai had received 49.7 percent of the votes, higher than a foreign-led panel of experts conducting an audit had found, but still short of over 50 percent which was required to avoid a runoff.

Mr. Abdullah said he had called President Karzai on Tuesday to congratulate him for accepting the election results. Earlier vote tallies originally showed Mr. Karzai with than half of the votes, which would have made a runoff unnecessary.

But a United Nations-backed monitoring panel threw out nearly a million ballots cast in his favor — about a third of all the votes he received — on the grounds that they had probably been fraudulent. With that, Afghan election officials set a runoff election for November 7.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/world/asia/22afghan.html?ref=global-home

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'You have atom bombs, but we have suicide bombers'

David Rohde, 21 October 2009

Reporter held by Taliban recounts debating religion and singing Beatles songs with

his captors. A nervous looking Pakistani soldier pointed a rocket-propelled grenade at our pickup truck in late January. The Taliban guard beside me loaded his rifle and ordered me to put a scarf over my face. In the drivers seat was Badruddin Haqqani, a senior commander of the Haqqani network, one of the Taliban’s most hard-line factions and the group that was holding me and two Afghan colleagues hostage in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Obeying the guard, I covered my face. The soldier was in the lead vehicle of a Pakistani army supply convoy in North Waziristan. After surveying the road, the soldier got back in his truck, and the convoy rumbled forward. I hoped that the Pakistanis might somehow rescue us. Instead, I watched in dismay as Badruddin got out of the truck and calmly stood on the side of the road. After the convoy disappeared, Badruddin seemed amused.

Do you know who that was? he asked me.

No, I said, trying to play dumb.

That was the Pakistani army, he said.

He explained that under a ceasefire agreement between the Taliban and the army, all civilians were required to get out of their cars when an army convoy approached. For Taliban vehicles, though, only the driver had to get out. The practice, I realized, allowed the Taliban to hide kidnapping victims and foreign militants from the Pakistani army.

That morning, Badruddin arrived at the house in Miram Shah where I was being held with Tahir Luddin, an Afghan journalist, and Asad Mangal, our driver. We had been taken hostage on a reporting trip south of Kabul, Afghanistan, in November 2008 and moved to Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Badruddin announced that he was taking us out of town to a snow-covered hillside to shoot the final scene of a video that would be released to the media. He was determined to make it look as though we were being held in the frigid mountains of Afghanistan, not in a bustling city in Pakistan.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/You-have-atom-bombs-but-we-have-suicide-bombers/articleshow/5143465.cms

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Indonesia may revise new stoning law: paper

Oct. 21 2009

    JAKARTA, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia may revise the new stoning law in Aceh province, which rights group says against the human rights, following the public outcry over the bylaw that mandates stoning to death for adulterers, a paper said here Wednesday.

    The provincial lawmakers, major political party Ulemas and executives have agreed to review the Islamic criminal code endorsed by previous councillors in September.

    "Qanun Jinayat (the law) is still controversial and the Acehnese people are not ready for it, they need a better understanding of their religion," said Hasbi Abdullah, acting council chairman, quoted by the Jakarta globe.

    Another lawmaker from Aceh Party named only Abdullah said current councillors were generally against the bylaw and eager to revise it.

Full Report at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-10/21/content_12287164.htm

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The many faces of Islam in the United States

By Kalsoom Lakhani, 21 Oct, 2009

The United States is a country founded on the principles of freedom, justice, and tolerance. These fundamental ideas are revisited in Journey into America, a documentary that explores American identity through the Muslim lens. Professor Akbar Ahmed, the Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, travelled with a team of young Americans for nine months, visiting over 75 cities and 100 mosques in the United States. The result is an unprecedented effort to understand the nuanced dimensions of Islam in America, and its place within the broader American identity.

Journey into America – the companion to Professor Ahmed’s earlier study Journey into Islam: The Crisis of Globalization, which documents Ahmed’s tour of the Muslim world – is the first consolidated anthropological study on the Muslim-American community. Five Americans were chosen to be part of the team – Craig Considine (the film’s director), Madeeha Hameed, Jonathan Hayden, Frankie Martin, and Hailey Woldt. According to Ahmed, the team members were not only instrumental in conducting the necessary fieldwork, but they also acted as his ‘guides’ on the journey.

That said, the film was also a journey of discovery for Ahmed’s team. Woldt, a former honours student of Ahmed’s who travelled with him through the Muslim World for Journey into Islam, says this recent study challenged her preconceived notions about her own country. ‘I learned so much about my own society by talking to the Muslim community,’ she says.

At one point in the documentary, the team visited Arab, Alabama, where they conducted a small social experiment, dressing Woldt in a full abaya to gauge the residents’ reactions. Despite the fact that Arab (pronounced ‘Ay-raab’) is a small and more homogenous town, people were warm and welcoming, living up to what Ahmed hails as ‘southern hospitality.’ Woldt adds that the residents of Arab were open to getting to know her as a person, rather than viewing her simply ‘as an image or a stereotype.’

Full Report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/02-the-many-faces-of-islam-01

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Malaysia Muslim sect leader gets 10-year sentence

Kuala Lumpur, October 21, 2009

A Malaysian Islamic court sentenced a Muslim sect leader to 10 years in prison and six lashes of a cane Wednesday for spreading false teachings and claiming to be God's prophet.

Abdul Kahar Ahmad, 59, pleaded guilty in an Islamic Shariah court last month to charges of spreading false doctrine, blasphemy and violating religious precepts.

He had been charged in 2006 but went into hiding for three years to evade trial before Islamic religious police tracked him down in central Selangor state last month.

Officials have accused Abdul Kahar of sending letters to the prime minister and other authorities to urge them to affirm him as a prophet, claiming he was appointed by God under the same circumstances as the Prophet Muhammad.

The Shariah court in Selangor decided Wednesday to jail Abdul Kahar for 10 years, said state prosecutor Muhamad Nazri Basrawi. He will also be caned six times and must pay a fine of 16,500 ringgit ($5,000), Muhamad Nazri said.

Earlier this month incourt, Abdul Kahar reportedly urged his supporters to forget his teachings and repent. Prosecutors say he is believed to have had more than 100 followers.

Malaysia, whose population of 28 million people is nearly two-thirds Muslim, is wary of groups that preach radical views of Islam because of fears that they could upset the country's religious stability and moderate teachings.

Source: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/10/21/malaysia-muslim-sect-leader-gets-10year-sentence.html

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October 21, 2009

Islamists Order Somali Radio Stations to Shut Down

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) -- A powerful Islamist group linked to al-Qaida has ordered two radio stations in southwestern Somalia to stop broadcasts indefinitely.

Jubba Radio station journalist Mohamed Adawe says al-Shabab delivered a letter Wednesday ordering the station's closure. Adawe says the letter does not give any reason. The other station ordered to close is Warsan.

Al-Shabab spokesman Sheik Hassan Yaqub Ali declined to comment on the closure.

Al-Shabab is fighting to overthrow the fragile U.N.-backed government in the capital, Mogadishu. The extremist group controls much of southern Somalia. The country is one of the most dangerous places for the media to work in. At least five journalists have gunned down this year.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/10/21/world/AP-AF-Somalia.html?ref=global-home

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Radical Muslims calls for Sharia Law to rule Britain

By Gretta Curtis, 21 October 2009

A radical Muslim group has called for the full implementation of Islamic ‘Sharia’ law all over Britain, and has plan to hold a public rally on 31 October to press for the demand.

The extremist group Islam4UK declared in their website that they “have had enough of democracy and man-made law and the depravity of the British culture”; and has urged Muslims from all over Britain to come and participate in a march dubbed ‘March 4 Shari’ah’.

“On this day we will call for a complete upheaval of the British ruling system its members and legislature, and demand the full implementation of Shari’ah in Britain,” the website declared.

According to Islam4UK website, the procession will start at the House of Commons and converge on Trafalgar Square; and shows important landmarks in Britain including Nelson’s Column and the House of Parliament, with minarets and Islamic motifs added.

Plans for the demonstration have been delivered to the Metropolitan Police and could see up to 5,000 extremists marching to demand the controversial system, according to the Daily Express, UK’s newspaper.

The controversial campaign has been denounced by UK politicians and other Muslims.

Full Report at: http://au.christiantoday.com/article/radical-muslims-calls-for-sharia-law-to-rule-britain/7146.htm

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October 21, 2009

Unrest in Algeria for Second Day

By REUTERS

ALGIERS (Reuters) — About 100 protesters threw stones and gasoline bombs at the police here in Algeria’s capital on Tuesday in a second day of clashes fueled by unrest over unemployment and housing shortages.

One police officer was seriously hurt when about 400 officers in riot gear used tear gas and an armored vehicle in an unsuccessful attempt to clear the protesters from blocking a road.

Algeria, which is fighting an insurgency linked to Al Qaeda, rarely sees outbreaks of rioting in the heavily policed capital. Some analysts say social unrest has replaced Islamist militants as the biggest threat to stability.

Protesters spent much of the day hurling debris down onto the police from high ground on a shantytown’s edge. As night fell, the police moved in to try to disperse them but were driven back.

The clashes broke out on Monday when some residents of the shantytown, in the Diar Echams district, protested that they had not been included on a list of people who qualified for re-housing.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/world/africa/21algeria.html?ref=global-home

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Algerian Islamist leader ducks arrest

October 20, 2009

An Algerian political leader escaped Switzerland last Friday before he could be arrested on charges of torture.

Bouguerra Soltani, the leader of the Islamic Society Movement for Peace and a former Algerian minister, was visiting Geneva. He had planned to attend a Muslim conference in Fribourg on October 17.

A Swiss non-governmental organisation tracking suspected war criminals said Soltani cut short his stay following a complaint submitted to a magistrate in canton Fribourg. The group, TRIAL, believes Soltani received the information through a leak.

Judge Jean-Luc Mooser on October 12 received a complaint from Nouar Abdelmalek, an Algerian who alleges he suffered numerous beatings during a torture session led by Soltani on July 1, 2005.

Mooser said he would have summoned Soltani had the Algerian's whereabouts been known. Soltani was not covered by diplomatic immunity, the Swiss foreign ministry had informed the judge.

"TRIAL regrets Mr Soltani's escape but is satisfied that Swiss authorities seriously tried to implement their international obligations by initiating a proceeding against an individual suspected of acts of torture," the NGO said in a statement.

Source: http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news_digest/Algerian_Islamist_leader_ducks_arrest.html?siteSect=104&sid=11380010&ty=nd

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Why not? Pakistani Hindus get right to stay longer in India

Lokpal Sethi, October 21, 2009

Minority Hindus of Pakistan have won a major battle as the External Affairs Ministry, in consultation with the Home Ministry, has agreed to give them a six-month visa to visit India, instead of the present limit of 30 days.

Some time back, Hindu Visthapit Sangh, an organisation of migrated Hindus from Pakistan, had submitted a memorandum to President Pratibha Devisingh Patil, urging her to direct the External Affairs Ministry, to relax the rule of 30-day visa to the Hindus of Pakistan.

Over 10 lakh Sodha Rajputs are living in Umarkot, just across the international border from Barmer. Under Hindu religion, marriages within the same gotra are not allowed. So these Sodha Rajputs look beyond the borders to wed their sons and daughters among the Rajputs of Rajasthan, belonging to other gotras of the community.

They come to India on a valid visa in search of a match for their children. “Thirty days is too short a period to search for a bride or groom, as well as to perform the marriage,” says Hindu Singh Sodha, head of the organisation. “Now, we have been informed about the relaxation in the visa rules and have passed on the information to our Hindu relatives living in Pakistan”.

In the past, owing to strict visa conditions, newly-weds could not stay in India beyond a 30-day limit. Now under the relaxed rules, they can prolong their stay in the country.

A large number of weddings take place every year between the Hindu families in India’s border districts of Bikaner, Jodhpur, Barmer and Jaisalmer, and in Rahimyarkhan and other border districts of Pakistan.

Source: http://www.dailypioneer.com/210271/Why-knot-Pakistani-Hindus-get-right-to-stay-longer-in-India.html

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October 21, 2009

Bomb Kills Journalist, Wounds Another in Iraq

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BAGHDAD (AP) -- An Iraqi police official says a bomb has killed one journalist and wounded another in northern Iraq.

Police Col. Sherzad Mofari says Wednesday's blast targeted the Kirkuk home of cameraman Orhan Hijran, who works for Baghdad-based television station Al-Rasheed. He says the blast killed Hijran and wounded correspondent Mohammed Shahid of Cairo-based Al-Baghdadiyah.

Jawdat Assaf, the director of Al-Rasheed TV, confirmed Hijran's death.

According to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, at least 140 journalists have been killed in Iraq since the U.S.-led invasion in March 2003. That figure does not include Wednesday's death.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/10/21/world/AP-ML-Iraq-Journalist-Killed.html?ref=global-home

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October 22, 2009

Deadlock Over Election Law in Iraq

By ROD NORDLAND

BAGHDAD— The Iraqi Parliament failed again Wednesday to enact an election law, saying it had reached a stalemate. The deadlock increased the pressure to delay Iraq’s national elections, which in turn might slow down the American withdrawal from the country.

The speaker of parliament, Ayad al-Samarraie, adjourned the assembly until Sunday and referred the issue for mediation to the little-used Political Council for National Security, which includes the prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, the president, Jalal Talabani, and party heads, according to a spokesman for the speaker, Jabbar Mashhadani.

Mr. Maliki has been on a trip to the United States, making it unlikely the council could deliberate quickly, pushing a vote on a new election law to Sunday at the earliest. Any delay in the elections could delay the timetable for withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq.

The American military commander, Gen. Ray Odierno, has said the United States would review its troop levels, now at 120,000, a month or two after the elections. President Obama has pledged to reduce those numbers to 50,000 by August 2011, which leaves little room for delay. The Oct. 15 deadline to enact the election law passed last week, but legislators had been meeting around the clock to hammer out a compromise, and until Tuesday, many were hopeful of a resolution. They deadlocked over the issue of how to register and count voters in the disputed oil-rich province of Kirkuk.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/world/middleeast/22iraq.html?ref=global-home

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October 21, 2009

Iran Arrests Suspects in Attack on Military Chiefs

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's police chief says security officials have arrested suspects in a suicide bombing that killed five senior Revolutionary Guard commanders and dozens of others.

Gen. Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghadam is quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying those who carried out Sunday's bombing entered Iran from neighboring Pakistan.

A suicide bomber killed 15 members of the powerful Guard force, including five senior commanders, and at least 32 others in Iran's southeast, near the Pakistani border.

The dead included the deputy commander of the Guard's ground force as well as a chief provincial Guard commander.

Iran has accused the United States, Britain and Pakistan of having links with the Sunni militants it says are responsible.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/10/21/world/AP-ML-Iran-Bombing.html?ref=global-home

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October 21, 2009

Scholar Who Was Held After Disputed Iranian Election Is Given at Least 12 Years

By ROBERT F. WORTH

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — An Iranian-American scholar who was jailed during the protests following Iran’s disputed presidential election has been sentenced to at least 12 years on charges of acting against national security, Iranian state media reported Tuesday.

Kian Tajbaksh, a sociologist and urban planner with a doctorate from Columbia, was arrested July 9 and testified during a mass trial of opposition supporters in August.

American officials have repeatedly called on Tehran to release Mr. Tajbaksh, who was the only American citizen included in the mass show trials that followed Iran’s postelection unrest. He spent four months in prison in 2007 on charges of endangering national security.

The sentence came as high-profile negotiations continued over Iran’s nuclear program in Vienna, and some analysts said they believed that the Iranian government might intend to use the harsh jail term as leverage during talks. Similar sentences against political dissidents have been commuted in the past.

The charges against Mr. Tajbaksh included being a consultant for the Open Society Institute, which the indictment identifies as a C.I.A. satellite institution devoted to fomenting “velvet revolutions” in Iran and elsewhere, according to Iran’s official IRNA news agency. The institute was created by the investor and philanthropist George Soros, who finances democracy-building programs in many countries.

Mr. Tajbaksh was also charged with belonging to an e-mail list run by Gary Sick, a professor at Columbia University whom the indictment identifies as a C.I.A. agent. The members of Mr. Sick’s list, known as Gulf/2000, include numerous scholars, diplomats, businesspeople and journalists with a professional interest in the Persian Gulf region.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/world/middleeast/21iran.html?ref=global-home

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Supreme Leader extols magnificent progress of Iranian women

October 21, 2009

TEHRAN (IRNA) -- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that the magnificent presence of Iranian women in the scene of scientific and Quranic studies accounted for honor of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

In a meeting with Iranian learned women to mark birth anniversary of Hazrat-e Masoumeh (AS), the Supreme Leader said that the Quranic studies must focus on leading the social and individual life in line with the criteria set by the Holy book.

The Supreme Leader said that Islam accorded high esteem to women and that Islamic Republic of Iran has successfully provided opportunity for thousands of women to enhance level of education at the international level and get top status.

The Supreme Leader said that the Western culture uses the women as tools compared to the respect Islam accords to woman.

Full Report at: http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=206025

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Iraqi MPs fail to agree on new election law

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's parliament failed Wednesday to reach agreement on a new electoral law, but the parliament speaker said it would not affect the date of the general election scheduled for January.

Speaker Ayad al-Samarrai said members of parliament disagreed over the oil-rich province of Kirkuk, an issue that has been a stumbling block in debates about the law.

He told reporters that the issue has been referred to the Political Council for National Security, and if the council submits a proposal for the new law Sunday, Parliament can vote on it Monday.

The council comprises Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, President Jalal Talabani, and leaders of the major political parties.

Iraq still has no election law, three months before the scheduled vote. If a new law isn't adopted, the government may have to come up with a new election date, or rely on the old election law used in the 2005 national elections, some officials say.

The election law lays out the basic rules for how the election will be conducted.

Al-Samarrai said the failure to pass the law would not affect the current date of January 16.

The United Nations and United States have expressed concerns about any delay in the election. Waves of destabilizing violence across the country are feared if the date is delayed.

Full Report at: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/10/21/iraq.election.law/index.html

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U.N. chief: We will review Afghan polling stations

  NEW YORK (CNN) -- More than 200 Afghan election officials implicated in Afghanistan's tainted presidential election will be replaced before the runoff election in less than three weeks, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"We will make sure that first of all, the Independent Election Commission will have to visit all the polling stations throughout Afghanistan," Ban said Tuesday. "And we will make sure that those polling stations from which we have received complaints will be reviewed.

"And we will try to replace, out of 380 electoral districts in Afghanistan, more than 200 district officials who have been implicated."

The U.N. leader's comments came hours after Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai agreed to a runoff with his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, on November 7. Karzai's decision follows a report by a U.N.-backed panel of election monitors saying there was widespread fraud in the August 20 election.

Independent analysis of that report shows Karzai's tally of votes is now below the 50 percent required to avoid a runoff.

The 200 election officials the U.N. wants to replace were recruited by Afghanistan's Independent Electoral Commission.

Ban has that the U.N. would advise the IEC not to re-recruit those officials who were implicated in fraud. The U.N. has said some flouted or ignored electoral procedures, and others were complicit in attempted fraud.

Full Report at: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/asiapcf/10/21/afghanistan.un.moon.amanpour/index.html

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Talks on agenda, J-K govt to release Shabir Shah

RIYAZ WANI, October 21, 2009

Extending an olive branch to separatists ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit next week, the J&K government on Tuesday decided to revoke the detention of top Hurriyat leader Shabir Shah to facilitate and expand Hurriyat participation in the proposed dialogue with New Delhi.

This is the first major indication from the government towards resumption of talks that got stalled after the Hurriyat declined to join the Prime Minister’s Kashmir roundtable in 2006. However, moderate Hurriyat chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq recently expressed the conglomerate’s keenness to hold direct dialogue with the Centre.

“Yes, we are planning to do that (release Shah),” Chief Minister Omar Abdullah told The Indian Express.

The Chief Minister has already expressed full support of his government for resumption of direct talks between the Centre and the separatists. “I am aware that there are people who think there is no need for engaging separatists after the successful Assembly and Lok Sabha elections. Elections have nothing to do with it. If we do not talk to separatists, we will make a big mistake,” Omar said recently. “My government will facilitate such a process.” 

Shah, who was arrested for his role in the separatist protests in the Valley over the past one year, especially during the Amarnath land row, has always been pro-talks but had lately drifted towards the hardline camp. In fact, the J-K police had accused him of establishing constant contact over phone with Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Mohammad Sayeed.

Full Report at: http://www.kashmirlive.com/story/Talks-on-agenda-JK-govt-to-release-Shabir-Shah/531255.html

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'Maharashtra fast turning into a right-wing terror hub'

Mateen Hafeez, 21 October 2009

MUMBAI: Whether it was the 2008 Kanpur blast or the one in Goa the previous week, their common links have been traced to Maharashtra. Senior

police officials and retired cops say the state is fast becoming a hub of right-wing organisations' terror activities as most of these outfits are based in the state. Moreover, the state has been most affected by foreign organisations' terror strikes.

"Most Hindu hardline organisations are Maharashtra-based. The purported objective of these outfits seems to avenge the series of attacks on Mumbai," said V N Deshmukh, former joint director Intelligence Bureau who retired as the state intelligence chief. Deshmukh said it was time the state banned Sanatan Sanstha, whose members are allegedly involved in Goa blasts. The organisation had made headlines last year during blasts in Thane and Panvel theatres.

The Anti-Terrorism Squad and the state intelligence department have already recommended a ban on Sanatan Sanstha. The recommendation came after the ATS arrested six men with alleged links to the outfit. Sources say the suspects involved in the September 29, 2008 Malegaon blast — the members of Abinav Bharat and Jai Vande Matram Samiti — are from Jabalpur, Bhopal and Kanpur. However, they conducted conspiracy meetings at Deolali and Nashik. Moreover, a Malegaon blast accused, Rakesh Dhawade, allegedly organised a terror training camp for Bajrang Dal members near Sinhgarh Fort in Pune in 2003.

There have been blasts in mosques in Jalna, Porna, Parbhani and Beed areas of Maharashtra. The suspects behind these blasts were traced to rightwing extremist organisations. Two Bajrang Dal members, Himanshu Panse and Naresh Rajkondawr, died while making a bomb in Nanded on April 6, 2006. "The youth are being indoctrinated by fundamental organisations. The state government should act quickly to control the right-wing terrorism," said a senior IPS officer.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Maharashtra-fast-turning-into-a-right-wing-terror-hub/articleshow/5143696.cms

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Karkare sought ban on Sanstha: ATS chief

Oct 21, 2009

Mumbai: Hindu right-wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha might have faced a ban if the Maharashtra government had acted on a proposal forwarded by the Anti-Terrorism Squad last year.

After a blast at Gadkari Rangayatan in nearby Thane in June 2008, investigations had pointed a finger at the Sanstha and, the then ATS chief Hemant Karkare, had sent a proposal to the state Home Ministry seeking a ban on the organisation. “ATS had forwarded the proposal to the government but I’m not aware of its status,” said ATS chief K P Raghuvanshi. Karkare had forwarded the proposal some time before he was gunned down by terrorists in the 26/11 attacks. To proscribe an organisation, the state has to forward its proposal to the Centre, which takes a call after considering the recommendations.

Meanwhile, the Sanstha on Tuesday, while denying its role in the blast, said it would extend full cooperation to the investigating team. “The Margao incident is unfortunate and we condemn it,” Vivek Naphade, trustee of Sanatan Sanstha, said. “We extended our full cooperation to police during the raid on the Ashram and it will continue,” he said.

Full Report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/karkare-sought-ban-on-sanstha-ats-chief/531238/

Sanatan Sanstha involved in Miraj riots too: Police

Chandan Haygunde

Oct 21 2009

It has now come to light that the Sanatan Sanstha, being probed for its link in the Madgaon blast in Goa, was also involved in the Miraj riots. Malgounda Patil, one of the two Sanstha members who died in the Goa blast, was in Miraj for two weeks when the construction of a controversial arch in the town sparked off communal riots.

Sangli SP Krishna Prakash said, "We had information that Sanatan Sanstha members were distribut

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Somali pirates turn eastward, seize China ship

21 October 2009

NAIROBI: Somali pirates hijacked a Chinese bulk carrier on Monday northeast of the Seychelles in the Indian Ocean, as the marauding sea bandits hunted their prey ever further from base to wrong-foot naval patrols.

According to the European Union’s anti-piracy naval mission (EU NAVFOR), the unnamed ship was seized 1,000km northeast of the Seychelles and 700 nautical miles off the east coast of Somalia.

“On indication of an attack an EU NAVFOR Maritime Patrol Aircraft, operating from the Seychelles was launched to investigate the incident,” the EU naval mission said in a statement from its headquarters in Britain.

The ship was not registered with the force’s Horn of Africa Maritime Security Centre, the statement added.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Somali-pirates-turn-eastward-seize-China-ship/articleshow/5143487.cms

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Linking Islam to terrorism doesn't make you Geert Wilders

Will Heaven, October 20th, 2009

I’m sick to death of Geert Wilders. His weird, Brylcreemed blond hair. His nasty video. And his pathetically hyped-up visits to London. Of course we should allow him into the country, and he should be free to say whatever he wants. But must we fawn and lay down the red carpet for the bloke just to get at Jacqui Smith? It’s true: forty Muslims held a horrible protest outside parliament when he was over last week. But let’s keep the extremists’ rage in perspective – earlier this year, almost a million Brits voted for the BNP (and the two groups, I suspect, are not entirely disconnected).

The real problem with Geert Wilders and his ilk, is that their hyperbole detracts from real arguments to be made about Islam and terrorism. “Fitna“, despite what Lord Pearson says, is not “a very important document” – it’s a simplistic and repulsive piece of Islamophobic propaganda. But it serves multiculturalists as well as it does those on the far Right.

A case in point has to be this Guardian article by Rizwaan Sabir, headlined “Linking Islam and terrorism is wrong”. Well, as Johann Hari wrote recently, no journalist ever writes their own headline, so I think we’ll ignore this one and concentrate on the content of the article. Sabir argues that the government’s strategy for Preventing Violent Extremism, known as “Prevent”, is counter-productive, particularly because information is being gathered about innocent Muslims. Fair enough. As Shami Chakrabati told The Guardian, to stockpile vast amounts of intimate information about innocent people is a recipe for injustice. But just take a look at Sabir’s argument.

Full Report at: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/willheaven/100014211/linking-islam-to-terrorism-doesnt-make-you-geert-wilders/

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Dallas: Other side of Muslim bigotry story

Rod Dreher, Oct 20, 2009

Yesterday TDMN ran a front pager about concerns local Muslim leaders have that the wider public will judge all Muslims by the actions of Smadi, the alleged terrorist bomber. I don't blame them for being concerned, even though it would be plainly unjust to hold an entire community responsible for the alleged actions of a lone wolf living in Italy and working at a gas station. But that's not the whole story. Here's some supplemental information.

Have we forgotten about the Holy Land Foundation terrorist fundraising convictions? Those defendants weren't outliers like Smadi, but pillars of the local Islamic community. Have we forgotten about the anti-Christian, anti-Semitic hate literature found at the Dallas Central Mosque, which prompted this newspaper to editorialize thus in 2005 (the link to the entire editorial is dead, but here's an excerpt):

According to the report (available at freedomhouse.org/religion), investigators gathered literature that teaches contempt for Jews, Christians and tolerant Muslims, as well as hatred for America. Material found in a Houston mosque even commands the faithful to establish a revolutionary fifth column.

Some of these documents came from the Dallas Central Mosque in Richardson. Unfortunately, this kind of thing is not altogether alien to this mosque. Last spring, it hosted a youth quiz competition, sponsored by two national organizations closely tied to the worldwide Islamist movement. Kids were tested on the work of premier jihad ideologist Sayyid Qutb.

The mosque's imam, Dr. Yusuf Kavakci, has publicly praised two of the world's foremost radical Islamists, Yusuf Qaradawi and Hasan al-Turabi, as exemplary leaders. Dr. Kavakci also sits on the board of the Saudi-backed Islamic Society of North America, described in congressional testimony as a major conduit of Wahhabist teaching. Yet Dr. Kavakci tells The Dallas Morning News he rejects Wahhabist teaching. Something doesn't add up.

Dr. Kavakci is a national leader in the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), which according to the FBI and other authoritative sources, is rooted in the radical global Muslim Brotherhood. This connection is what earned ISNA, CAIR and other Muslim groups a place on the U.S. government's list of unindicted co-conspirators in the HLF trial.

And have we forgotten about the notorious event held at an Irving mosque a few years ago -- the "Tribute to the Great Islamic Visionary," the Ayatollah Khomeini -- and which attracted the cream of North Texas Islamic leaders? The story of Islamic extremism in North Texas is a lot more complicated than you might think. One may well be a stone-cold bigot for having critical suspicions of the local Muslim community. Or one may simply be paying attention to the facts as they are, not as one would prefer them to be.

Full Report at: http://dallasmorningviewsblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2009/10/other-side-of-m.html

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Leader deplores West attitude toward women

Tue, 20 Oct 2009

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has deplored the West's attitude toward women as 'insulting'.

Addressing a group of female Quran researchers on Tuesday, Ayatollah Khamenei admonished the West for its 'wrong, instrumental and insulting' attitude toward women.

The Leader said contrary to the West women were highly respected in Islam, which provided them with opportunities to nurture their talents in order to gain knowledge, conduct research and make progress.

Ayatollah Khamenei reiterated that the establishment of the Islamic Republic has best paved the way for development based on the teachings of the Quran.

The Leader called for Islamic and Qur'anic principles to form the basis of policies in different arenas including the educational and political ones.

Source: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=109147&sectionid=351020101

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Temple U. uneasy as anti-Islam figure is set to speak

By DAFNEY TALES, Oct. 20, 2009

Student Senate denounces Geert Wilders

A student organization's event scheduled for tonight has caused quite a stir on Temple University's campus.

The Student Senate has joined ranks with several organizations decrying a student group's invitation to Dutch politician Geert Wilders, known for anti-Islamic and anti-immigration beliefs, to speak on campus.

In an overwhelming vote yesterday, the governing body passed a resolution denouncing Wilders for "intolerable, disgraceful and prejudiced slandering of the Islamic faith."

Student Senate President Jeff Dempsey said he couldn't support the decision to invite Wilders and hoped that the university would pull the plug on the program at the last minute.

"I've never been ashamed to be a Temple student," Dempsey said, adding that university-sponsored dollars were not used to fund the event. "Our proud embrace of diversity and inclusion is tarnished by this man's provocation of hate."

Wilders was invited to speak by a new group on campus called Temple University Purpose.

Before the meeting, about a dozen students held signs with phrases including "Temple U. Does Not Condone Hate" and "Hate Speech [does not equal] Free Speech."

Among the demonstrators was Megan Chialastri, vice president of All Sides, an organization that seeks to promote peace between Israel and Palestine.

"We feel student groups should not bring people on campus that jeopardizes the safety, or just the way people feel on this campus," she said.

In a letter issued last week, Monira Gamal-Eldin, president of the Muslim Students Association, criticized the University for being the first in the United States to allow Wilders to address students.

Full Report at: http://www.philly.com/dailynews/local/20091020_Temple_U__uneasy_as_anti-Islamfigure_is_set_to_speak__Student_Senate_denounces_Geert_Wilders.html

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War, Negation and Muslim Identity Revisited

Ramzy Baroud, 21 October 2009

A Muslim writer begins an article with, “who says the campaign for animal rights was started in the West...” She goes on to argue that Islam provided the original treatise on the humane treatment of animals. Her case was poorly constructed, inadequately executed, although the essence of her idea was to a degree, accurate.

Islamic tradition has indeed laid a foundation, with clear boundaries regarding the humane treatment of animals. But why did the author, like so many others, choose to turn what should have been a constructive argument, into a diatribe? Was it necessary to charge Western discourses, resorting to the ever predictable classification of “us and them”, instead of trying to find a common cause? 

The same point can be made regarding other discussions, whether pertaining to human rights (women’s rights in particular), the environment, labour rights, and many others.

In her defense, Amirah Sulaiman was simply following an existing pattern, commonly used to delineate one’s cultural or religious progression, at the expense of another.

But it’s more than that, it’s also a defence mechanism, a haunting reminder that the alleged civilisational clash, although more imagined and politicised, than real, pervades many aspects of our perception of ourselves and of others.

Among Muslim intellectuals, as in societies, this paradigm is omnipresent.

Cultural animosity, collective defensiveness, racism (and Orientalism), among other overriding cultural trends existed long before distained US foreign policy in the Middle East became the defining norm, before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. But these events emboldened existing arguments on both sides, with Muslims solidifying as a collective victim, and the US, from a Muslim point of view, seen as a vulgar, but true representation of the West.

Of course, Muslims and Islam had their own ominous representations in the US, thus ‘Western’ media, culture and psyche – the dagger wielding bearded man, who abuses women, whenever he takes time away from blowing up infidels. As comical as I intended this to sound, as disturbingly true such a depiction is in the minds of many.

Full Report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle.asp?xfile=data/opinion/2009/October/opinion_October105.xml&section=opinion&col=

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Anti-Islamic Dutch Lawmaker Draws Ire, Support at Temple

by KYW's Hadas Kuznits, 20 October 2009

An anti-Islamic Dutch politician's visit to Temple University was cut short after a question-and-answer session turned nasty.

Protesters rallied against Dutch Parliament member Geert Wilders.

He was invited to the campus by the group Temple University Purpose for an event funded by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a foundation that promotes conservative scholarship.

Inside, Wilders evoked applause and boos with his controversial views:

"Our entire Western elite -- whether they are politicians, journalists, or judges -- have lost their way.  They think the Islamic culture is equal to our culture -- which is based on Christianity, on Judaism, and on Humanism."

What did students think of his speech?

(Man:) "Mr. Wilder, he wanted to just say the hateful things that he's been saying across this world.  He wanted to use Temple as a bully pulpit.  I'm sad that he had the chance to do that."

(Kuznits:) What did you get out of this program?

(Man:) "That he's a hateful bigot, and that he supports banning the Quran."

Others supported Wilders' views:

(Woman:) "It's not an attack on Muslims themselves, but on the radical teachings of the religion."

The program was suspended when many students opted to debate his remarks rather than ask questions.

Source: http://www.kyw1060.com/Anti-Islamic-Dutch-Lawmaker-Draws-Ire--Support-at-/5485087

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US: Muslims taken off plane end bias suit

By Steve Karnowski, Oct. 21, 2009

US Airways, airport settles with preachers whose presence on board alarmed others.

MINNEAPOLIS - Six imams taken off a 2006 US Airways flight after passengers reported what they considered suspicious behavior have settled their discrimination lawsuit, saying they consider it acknowledgment that their removal was a mistake.

Neither the imams nor lawyers in the case would discuss terms of the tentative settlement, which was announced yesterday.

Marwan Sadeddin, of Phoenix, said the settlement did not include an apology but he considered it acknowledgment that a mistake was made.

"It's fine for all parties," he said. "It's been solved. . . . There is no need for a trial."

"We reached our goal," said Omar Shahin, of Phoenix, another of the imams and chairman of the North American Imams Federation.

The tentative agreement was reached during a conference Monday in St. Paul with U.S. Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan. A one-page court form filed yesterday said the meeting lasted 7 hours and 20 minutes and that the terms were confidential. It gave few other details.

Omar Mohammedi, an attorney for the imams, said the settlement still required approval from U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery. An attorney for US Airways Group Inc., Michael Lindberg, declined comment.

Officials removed the Muslim prayer leaders from the Phoenix-bound flight in November 2006 as they were returning from a conference of the North American Imams Federation in Minneapolis.

Some passengers became alarmed after the clerics said their evening prayers in Arabic in a concourse before boarding the plane, and they told authorities some of the men made critical comments about the Iraq war while aboard.

The imams were handcuffed and questioned for several hours before being freed.

Among those in their suit were US Airways and the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which runs the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

The Airports Commission said its insurance company had exercised its right to take control of the defense and settle the case. It said the insurance policy limited the company's potential financial exposure in such cases to $50,000.

Source: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/world_us/20091021_Muslims_taken_off_plane_end_bias_suit.html

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