New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 04:38 PM

Islamic World News ( 17 Aug 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

'Death fatwa' for protesters against Muslim Brotherhood

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

'Death fatwa' for protesters against Muslim Brotherhood

Gunmen Raid Homes, Kill 6 People in Northern Iraq

'Marry Us' charity campaign weds 60

UN: Algeria's Lakhdar Brahimi will replace Kofi Annan in Syria

Bahraini Teenager Killed in Clash With Police

Egyptian TV presenter, chief editor to go on trial

Kuwait drama on war unity contrasts current feuds

Arab critically hurt in Arab-Jewish brawl in J'lem

Syria: turning back the clock on the Arab Spring

Syrian Rebels: PM Who Defected Visits Qatar

New Syria envoy on ‘impossible mission’

Ramadan gives area Muslims a time to pray, reflect and do good deeds

 

India

Protest in Lucknow over Assam riots, curfew imposed in Allahabad

220 more Pak Hindus cross border

Assam Muslims blame AIUDF chief for violence in state

'Muslim leaders should have guided youth'

74 missing defence personnel believed to be in Pak jails

India objects to OIC calling J&K a country

India conveys serious concern to Pakistan over abduction of Hindus

23,600 Bangladeshis deported from India

Scribes speak on farmer suicides, Kashmir, RTI

Kashmir problem incendiary: Yasin Malik

National Conference calls Geelani's statement juvenile

High Commission in Islamabad ready to assist Sarabjit: India

Clashes in Srinagar after Friday prayers

Zardari dole lands in dargah amid drama

Ceasefire violated, BSF man killed

 

Pakistan

No joint anti-terror operation with US: Pakistan

Kamra base attackers were trained in Waziristan: Malik

Zardari tells Sindh to frame law to prevent forced conversion of Hindus

Pak preparing for military push in north Waziristan?

Drone attack kills six in North Waziristan

5 killed in suicide attack at Quetta in Pakistan

UN, US asked to pressure Pak to open Gilgit-Ladakh trade route

Two killed, nearly 20 injured in gun-bomb attack on Pak Shias

Gilgit mourns victims of sectarian violence

Pakistani film “Lamha” bags two awards at New York Film Festival

Eight terrorists killed in Orakzai

Nine, including three MQM activists, killed in violence, target killing in Karachi

Jumatul Wida observed with call for unity among Muslims

Murder?: Mosque guard arrested for ‘killing child’

Bring middle-class Hindus into politics: Wali Ram Wallabh

Curbing violence: Not a child’s play - sale of toy guns banned

Targeted: Son, 3 nephews of former peace committee leader killed

Imran Khan calls Salman Rushdie a ‘self-hating’ Muslim

 

South Asia

Myanmar opens new probe into deadly sectarian unrest

British soldier killed while on sentry duty in Afghanistan

Cross-border incursions: Afghan militants kidnap shepherd from Kalash Valley

Bomb at Afghan bazaar kills four people

Taliban leader urges insurgents to cut civilian deaths

 

Southeast Asia

Numerous Crimes, Accidents and Deaths in Jakarta and Greater Jakarta During Week Before Idul Fitri

By next year, only whistle blowers to be eligible for remission

Independence Day celebration is less merry

Indonesian Government Official Shot to Death in Papua

Quiz on Islam aims to bring Filipino Muslims closer to God

 

Mideast Asia

'Tumour' of Israel will soon be destroyed: Ahmadinejad

Hezbollah says can make Israeli lives ‘hell’

Militants Attack Yemen Intelligence HQ, Killing 14

A Gaza Border Slams Shut, and With It, Chances for a Pilgrimage to Mecca

Iranian Currency Traders Find a Haven in Afghanistan

Hezbollah: We have rockets that can kill 1000s of Israelis

 

North America

US says infiltration not main cause of Afghan 'insider' attacks

An Attack on a House of Worship is an Attack on All Houses of Worship

‘Unintentional error’: Zakaria suspension lifted

US, UN condemn Ahmadinejad's comments on Israel

Human Rights Commission Praises Muni's Response to Furor Over "Defeat Jihad" Ad

Changes Atop Egypt’s Government Create Uncertain Path for United States

US Muslims condemn violence against Shias in Pak

U.S. administration official: Israeli leaks are damaging efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program

Special `Eid for Houston Muslim Converts

‘Happy `Eid’ Presents Islam to America

Anti-Islamic ads hit Metro-North Railroad platforms

 

Europe

German Anti-Islam Group Targets Mosques

Russia rejects idea of no-fly zone over Syria'

Syria conflict: British fighters seek jihad

British schools drop Holocaust from history lessons so as not to offend Muslims

 

Ecuador president seeks moral high ground in asylum fight

Syrian refugee exodus accelerates: UN agencies

France’s FM says Assad regime should be ‘smashed fast’

Africa

South African President Zuma vows probe into killing of 34 miners

Mine 'bloodbath' shocks post-apartheid South Africa

What mining massacre says about South Africa

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Gunmen Raid Homes, Kill 6 People in Northern Iraq

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/-death-fatwa--for-protesters-against-muslim-brotherhood/d/8323

 

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Arab World

 

'Death fatwa' for protesters against Muslim Brotherhood

Aug 18 2012

Manama : Liberals and Islamists in Egypt have condemned a ‘fatwa’ issued by a cleric, which legalises the killing of demonstrators in a mass protest against the Muslim Brotherhood party and the nation’s President Mohammad Mursi later this month.

Hashem Islam, a preacher from the prestigious Muslim institution Al Azhar, who issued the fatwa, said that demonstrators who will take part in the August 24 protest are ‘heretics’ and their murder would be legal.

However, a video that went viral on the internet showing Islam accusing the protesters of high treason, prompted Al Azhar to disassociate itself from the fatwa, saying that it is his personal view.

“We have heard with anger and worry about the fatwa legalising the killing of anyone taking part in a protest against the president,” Gulf News quoted Al Azhar’s influential arm, the Islamic Research Centre, as saying in a statement.

It added that Islam is not a member of Al Azhar’s committee, which is responsible for issuing religious edicts.

Liberals have reportedly called for mass protests on August 24 to show discontent with Mursi’s policy and his group, and have accused him of being controlled by the Brotherhood party, which allegedly seeks to control state institutions, the report said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/death-fatwa-for-protesters-against-muslim-brotherhood/990006/

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Gunmen Raid Homes, Kill 6 People in Northern Iraq

Aug 18 2012

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi officials say gunmen have raided two family homes in a northern Iraqi city, killing six people.

Provincial police officials say the raids took place Saturday in the city of Mosul. In the first attack, four people were killed, including a husband and wife. In the second house, gunmen killed two men.

Local authorities say they are investigating the two attacks. Mosul was once an al-Qaida stronghold. It is about 360 kilometers (225 miles) north of Baghdad.

The attacks came two days after a relentless assault across the country killed at least 93 people and wounded many more in what was the second deadliest day in Iraq since U.S. troops left in December.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/08/18/world/middleeast/ap-ml-iraq.html?ref=middleeast&gwh=DD73656BD853B907ED356902066917E1

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'Marry Us' charity campaign weds 60

18 August 2012

Charity House has headed a campaign called “Marry Us” via Twitter for marriage and family guidance in Jeddah. The charity received donations worth SR 450,000 for 60 young men and women. The event took place in Jeddah in the presence of Abdulla Al-Tawi, manager of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The charity seeks to offer help and support for those who want to get married. The charity launched a campaign called “Marry Us” through their Twitter account to marry 200 young men and women.

During the event, Al-Tawi expressed his appreciation to Jeddah’s marriage charity for using social networks to support the youth, and for drawing on a number of well-known social characters to encourage society to support and interact with the campaign.

Al-Tawi pointed out that charities are in desperate need to market over social networks and think outside the box for projects and programs. “Electronic donations are the future and the financial ground of this charity work for years to come,” he added. Abdullah bin Abdulrahman Al-Atheem, head of the charity’s board of directors, said the charity worked on providing technical tools to support its marrying 200 young men and women. The campaign witnessed a number of male and female volunteers, including preachers, scholars, athletes, artists and a number of well-known social media characters. This step, added Al-Atheem, goes along with the charity’s intention to facilitate marriage for the youth. Therefore, they are taking a step forward by providing for them financially, from simplified loans and zakat (money given to charity), to furniture and gifts for the newlyweds.

Al-Atheem thanked and prayed for those who were part of this project.

The main goal of the Charity Society for Marriage and Family Guidance in Jeddah, according to them, is to specialize in building successful marriages and happy families through helping the youth in need, and walking them through stable life lessons by signing them into programs for such purposes.

http://www.arabnews.com/marry-us-charity-campaign-weds-60

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UN: Algeria's Lakhdar Brahimi will replace Kofi Annan in Syria

August 17, 2012

The United Nations has announced that Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi will replace Kofi Annan as peace envoy to Syria.

UN deputy spokesman Eduardo del Buey announced Friday that the former Algerian foreign minister and longtime UN official would succeed Mr. Annan as joint UN-Arab League envoy.

The 78-year-old Brahimi has worked in several high-profile positions at the UN, gaining a reputation as a tough, independent negotiator as envoy to Afghanistan, Iraq and Haiti. He helped negotiate the end of Lebanon’s civil war.

Mr. Brahimi is a member of the Elders, a group of former world leaders working for global peace.

Mr. Annan announced his resignation earlier this month after failing to achieve a temporary ceasefire during a six-month tenure.

The Security Council announced Thursday it would end the UN military observer mission in Syria.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3786073.ece

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Bahraini Teenager Killed in Clash With Police

18 August 2012

DUBAI (Reuters) - A 16-year-old protester died after what opposition activists in Bahrain said was a "brutal attack" by security forces, but the Bahrain government described as a defensive response to a petrol bomb attack on police.

Opposition parties in Bahrain say more than 45 people have been killed in protests since June 2011, when the government lifted the martial law it imposed to help quash pro-democracy demonstrations by its Shi'ite Muslim majority inspired by revolts against repressive dynasties across the Arab world.

The interior ministry says protesters have injured more than 700 police officers in clashes and that the police, who do not use live fire, are practising restraint.

The protester's death after the protest on Friday night came as the United States, an ally of Manama, expressed concern over Bahrain's jailing of a prominent opposition activist, Nabeel Rajab, for three years.

The government identified the dead youth as 16-year-old Hussam al-Haddad, and said he had been among protesters throwing petrol bombs at police and had died after being taken to hospital.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/08/18/world/middleeast/18reuters-bahrain-protests-killing.html?ref=middleeast

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Egyptian TV presenter, chief editor to go on trial

18 August 2012

CAIRO: An Egyptian court has ordered a popular TV presenter and a chief editor of an independent daily to face trial for insulting the country’s newly elected president.

The Cairo court charged controversial TV presenter Tawfiq Okasha with suggesting the killing of President Muhammad Mursi during his nightly TV show. The court also referred the chief editor of El-Dustour daily, Islam Afifi, for his newspaper’s harsh criticism of Mursi.

Court referrals escalate the unfolding standoff between Egypt’s president and his opponents in the media.

Last week, members of the upper house of Parliament chose new editors for state-owned newspapers despite demands for a vote by newspaper staff or an independent media body. Around half the seats in the upper house of Parliament are controlled by Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood group.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/egyptian-tv-presenter-chief-editor-go-trial

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Kuwait drama on war unity contrasts current feuds

HUSSAIN AL-QATARI,Associated Press

August 18, 2012

KUWAIT CITY — Each night for the past three weeks, families in Kuwait have been transfixed by a drama in which they already know the ending: Iraq forces will be driven out and the shattered Gulf nation will rebuild. But a 30-part television serial on Iraq's 1990 invasion has become more than just a retelling of the occupation and the brief but intense Gulf War.

The series is being seen by many as a reminder of past national unity at a time when Kuwait is caught in a near endless cycle of tribal bickering and political showdowns between the Western-backed ruling family and conservative Islamists, who want to impose measures such as banning public concerts and blocking women athletes from major sporting events. Tensions over the Gulf Arab showdowns with Shiite power Iran also have brought pressures on Kuwait's minority Shiites.

The series "Saher al-Lail" — "Insomniac" in Kuwait's Arabic dialect — is the most ambitious attempt by a Kuwait TV network to portray the invasion and six-month occupation. It follows the story of an extended Kuwaiti family: a Kuwaiti diplomat married to an Iraqi; their son, an army officer held in prison; and the diplomat's nephews and nieces in the resistance, including one who is captured and tortured by Saddam Hussein's soldiers.

Full report at:

http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2012/aug/18/kuwait-drama-war-unity-contrasts-current-feuds/

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Arab critically hurt in Arab-Jewish brawl in J'lem

By MELANIE LIDMAN

08/18/2012

Police investigating Zion Square incident; witness claims Jewish youths attacked Arabs unprovoked in "lynch situation."

A savage fight between Jewish and Arab teenagers in downtown Jerusalem late Thursday night left a 20-year-old Arab man in critical condition, with witnesses calling it a "lynch situation."

Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben Ruby said police are checking into the background of the story and do not know who started the fight. He added that the people involved were between the ages of 15-20, according to eyewitness accounts. Acting Jerusalem police chief Manny Yitzhaki appointed a special team to investigate the issue.

“The area is under video surveillance we are checking the cameras,” Ben Ruby said. “We will know what happened after we check the cameras.”

An eyewitness wrote in a Facebook post that she heard dozens of Jewish youth shouting curse words at three Arabs and then a fight broke out.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=281632

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Syria: turning back the clock on the Arab Spring

AHMAD BARQAWI

 18 August 2012

Perhaps one of the most inglorious accomplishments of the western-backed/Gulf-funded Syrian opposition is that it has – and over the course of mere months - managed to inflict such a colossal, irreparable damage to the Syrian people’s future prospects of having a real, homegrown and genuine uprising to bring about positive change in their own country.

Thanks to the devious Syrian National Council and the crazed Free Syrian Army; the term ‘revolution’ has sadly lost its worth and lustre for a sizable portion of the Syrian populace and in the Arab world in general, as it has become marred by abhorrent stigmas of sectarianism, religious fanaticism, succumbing to foreign agendas, subjugation of national integrity and social disintegration. We must concede to the SNC, the FSA and their western patrons their unrivalled ability in transforming what was essentially a flicker of hope into an entire landscape of desolation and ruin.

In the blink of an eye, the home country in which all Syrians coexisted peacefully and harmoniously together for decades became a place they do not even recognize; reciprocal kidnappings between rival tribes, sects, ethnicities and neighbourhoods have become the order of the day; makeshift illegal checkpoints manned by pundits and warring militias have popped up all over Syrian cities; where ID cards could easily get unfortunate passersby killed on the spot, the country’s normally amicable population has been driven headfirst into a horrible cycle of killings and reprisal killings, torture and summary executions, and Mount Kassioun, a once picturesque and vibrant touristic site that overlooks Damascus has become a strategic vantagepoint for rocket launchers and artillery barrage.

Full report at:

http://www.opendemocracy.net/ahmad-barqawi/syria-turning-back-clock-on-arab-spring

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Syrian Rebels: PM Who Defected Visits Qatar

18 August 2012

AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — Syria's rebels and a relative of the former Syrian prime minister who defected from Bashar Assad's regime say he is visiting Qatar where he may reveal his future plans.

Two members of the rebel Free Syrian Army say Riad Hijab is wrapping up a three-day visit to the Gulf nation on Saturday. A relative of Hijab's says he may speak more about his plans from Doha.

All three spoke on condition of anonymity because of concerns for Hijab safety.

Hijab's defection to the opposition and his rebel-orchestrated escape to Jordan earlier this month was a significant blow to Assad.

Hijab is the highest-ranking political defector from Syria so far. Qatar is among a group of Gulf Arab nations that have backed Syria's rebels.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/08/18/world/middleeast/ap-ml-jordan-

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New Syria envoy on ‘impossible mission’

18 August 2012

Syrian forces pounded opposition hubs in the northern city of Aleppo and battled opposition fighters around Damascus yesterday, activists said, as the UN reported a surge in the number of people fleeing.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, meanwhile, called for President Bashar Assad’s regime to be “smashed fast” as he visited Turkey’s largest refugee camp near the border.

“After hearing the refugees and their account of the massacres of the regime, Assad doesn’t deserve to be on this earth,” he said.

Violence was also reported in other towns and villages across Syria, with the bloodletting showing no signs of any let-up a day after the UN formally called time on its observer mission.

Despite the imminent departure of the observers, the UN announced that veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi will take over as international envoy from Kofi Annan, who quit earlier this month.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/new-syria-envoy-%E2%80%98impossible-mission%E2%80%99

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Ramadan gives area Muslims a time to pray, reflect and do good deeds

By Anne Kallas

 August 16, 2012

The final 10 days of Ramadan, a 30-day period of fasting, prayer and reflection, are the holiest days of the year for Muslims.

Ramadan this year started July 20, when the new crescent moon was sighted. It will end this weekend the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.

Khaleeq Siddiqui of the Simi Valley Islamic Center said devout Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset each day of Ramadan, refraining from eating or drinking.

"The purpose of fasting is to make you purify yourself — not bodily, but spiritually to purify the soul and spirit," Siddiqui said.

In Oxnard, Ventura County Islamic Center communications coordinator Hamdy Ismail said fasting during Ramadan means not only refraining from eating and drinking, but also from bad behavior.

Full report at:

http://www.vcstar.com/news/2012/aug/16/ramadan-gives-area-muslims-a-time-to-pray-and-do/#ixzz23srAFKsj

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India

 

Protest in Lucknow over Assam riots, curfew imposed in Allahabad

Aug 17, 2012

LUCKNOW: A mob tried to disturb communal harmony in Lucknow by indulging in violence and arson under the garb of agitation to protest violence against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar. Around 50 people dressed as Muslims, wearing skull caps and scarves, created ruckus in the crowded Hazratganj area violence soon after Friday prayer.

According to eye-witnesses, soon after the alvida namaz, which is offered on the last day of the holy month of Ramzan, a mob which reportedly came out of from a mosque in Wazirganj area marched in the form of procession till Buddha park before turning violent. The miscreants broke window panes of several vehicles and tried to set afire a few.

The mob also ransacked the Buddha park, forced closure of shops and attacked media-persons. The violent group also created ruckus and indulged in vandalism in the busy thoroughfare in Hazratganj area leading to traffic jams at several places. Panic-struck shop keepers downed their shutters and peole ran for shelter. The drama continued for an hour.

The police initially remained mute spectator and allowed the mob to indulge in violence. It acted only after reporters were attacked. Heavy police was deployed at sensitive points across the city following intelligence reports that an attempt to vitiate communal amity could be made after the alvida namaz. The situation was brought under control by 5 pm.

The eye-witnesses also said that the mob was shouting slogans denouncing violence against Muslims in Assam and in Myanmar. Miscreants were dressed like Muslims but some were chewing paan and paan masala, which is prohibited during the fast in the month of ramazan. This raised suspicion that it was an handiwork of some anti-social elements.

On the other hand, the rumours of riots led to panic in other parts of the state capital, particularly old city area. Shops were closed and people were asked to evacuate market as early as possible. Media exercised restrain in reporting the incident and helped in bringing normalcy. But some media-persons staged demonstration to protest attack on them.

Senior officers including the principal secretary home and director general of police rushed to the spot. They assured media-persons that government will compensate the losses. Several vehicles of the media-persons and their cameras were broken by the mob. The officers also issued an appeal to the people not to react on rumours and keep patience.

Meanwhile, curfew has been imposed in Kotwali police area in Allahabad on Friday evening after members of minority community ransacked shops and damaged more than 70 vehicles. About half-a-dozen persons including policemen also sustained injuries, as the mob tried to rake up the issue of violence against Muslims in Assam and Myanmar. Police had to use mild force to disperse the agitators and controlled the situation.

DP Giri, ADM (city) said, "Curfew has been imposed in the Kotwali area as a preventive measure." Superintendent of police (city), Shailesh Kumar Yadav said, "The situation all of a sudden went out of control after a group of youths who were the part of the procession lost their cool and started hurling bricks on shops and ransacking the vehicles parked at Chowk, Johnstonganj crossing and Leader Road. Police swung into action and chased the agitators."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Protest-in-Lucknow-over-Assam-riots-curfew-imposed-in-Allahabad/articleshow/15532779.cms

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220 more Pak Hindus cross border

Aug 18, 2012

ATTARI: A fresh batch of 220 Pakistani Hindu pilgrims arrived in India via Attari border near Amritsar on Friday with many insisting that they live happily in their country.

"There are lakhs of Hindus, who have mixed up with the Muslim society and are living happily in Pakistan. But when a few of us migrate for any number of reason and tell Indian media that they are mistreated and persecuted, it creates embarrassing situation for the rest of the community in Pakistan," said Pakistani Hindu Mukesh, who is in India to visit Amritsar, Rishikesh, Haridwar, Delhi and Indore with 10 members of his family.

Narayan Nath, a Hindu temple priest from Pakistan, said, "Sporadic incidents may happen here or there, even Muslims are also facing threat from goons and Taliban."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/220-more-Pak-Hindus-cross-border/articleshow/15539869.cms

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Assam Muslims blame AIUDF chief for violence in state

Digambar Patowary and Sanjib Kr Baruah

 August 17, 2012

The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal is often accused of making fiery speeches and exaggerating issues related to Muslims.

Indigenous Assamese Muslim groups joined the All Assam Students Union (AASU) on Friday in charging the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) chief Badruddin Ajmal with fanning communal sentiments in the wake of the recent violence in Assam.

Sadou Asom Gariya – Moria Desi Jatiya Parisad (SAGMJP), an influential body of about 25 lakh Assamese Muslims, held Ajmal responsible for Northeast students and workers leaving Maharastra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

SAGMJP president Sahiruddin Ali Ahmed said, “Ajmal said the clash in Kokrajhar and Chirang was between Muslims and Bodo tribals. All Muslims are not involved in the clash. Ajmal is trying to consolidate his political position by indulging in communal politics.”

SAGMJP and AASU also blamed the Gogoi government for not taking stern action against “a section of Muslim politicians” whose inflammatory comments triggered Kokrajhar clash.

“Ajmal has been neglecting Assamese Muslims rights from the day of creation of the AIUDF. His political outfit is only concerned about the interests of Muslims of Bangladeshi origin,” said Ahmed.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Guwahati/Assam-Muslims-blame-AIUDF-chief-for-violence-in-state/Article1-915265.aspx

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'Muslim leaders should have guided youth'

August 18, 2012

Prominent Muslim activists called upon the organisers of the Azad Maidan rally to go beyond "mere apology" and engage in constructive work for the community even as imams in a few mosques expressed remorse about the violence after the Friday namaz. "The way the youth were mobilised

during Ramzan was not correct. Every issue has a specific reason; so does the Assam violence. It's incorrect for leaders here to give it a communal colour or cry 'conspiracy against Muslims' for everything," said Asghar Ali Engineer, a noted Islamic scholar.

Engineer was joined by journalist and civil liberties campaigners Javed Anand and Shakil Ahmed, and well-known women's rights activist Hasina Khan under the banner of Muslims in Solidarity for Justice.

"The Muslim leadership is completely responsible for the violence for not guiding the youth properly," said Shakil Ahmed. "Most of the youths come from poor backgrounds without proper education. The violence took our fight against injustice behind by a few years," he added.

Anand said the leaders used masjids where people would come to pray during Ramzan as a platform to incite them. "Instead of working towards the relief of the displaced Muslims in Assam, they have only used the situation for political gains," said Anand.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Mumbai/Muslim-leaders-should-have-guided-youth/Article1-915367.aspx

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74 missing defence personnel believed to be in Pak jails

August 17, 2012

Seventy-four missing defence personnel, including 54 Prisoners of Wars (PoWs), are believed to be in Pakistani jails for the last 41 years, government said on Friday. "According to available information, 74 missing defence personnel including 54 PoWs are believed to be in Pakistan since

1971," minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.

She said that government has repeatedly taken up the matter with Government of Pakistan through diplomatic channels and during the high-level contacts for the release of Indian PoWs.

"However, Pakistan does not acknowledge the presence of any Indian PoWs in its custody," Kaur said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/74-missing-defence-personnel-believed-to-be-in-Pak-jails/Article1-915078.aspx

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India objects to OIC calling J&K a country

Aug 18, 2012

NEW DELHI: An Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) communique referring to Jammu & Kashmir as a country drew a sharp reaction from India which described it as wrong and unacceptable. Despite opposition from India, OIC continues to refer to the state as occupied territory or a separate country.

"We note that there is an erroneous and factually incorrect mention about an integral part of India by the OIC in its communique issued at its Fourth Extraordinary Summit held in Makkah on August 14-15, 2012,'' said official spokesman and joint secretary Syed Akbaruddin. "This is wrong, unacceptable and we reject it,'' he added.

He was replying to India's position on OIC's reference to J&K in its meet in Makkah. Under the heading of Solidarity With Other Member States, the final communique at OIC Summit said, "The Summit affirms its solidarity and full support for Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan and J&K, Iraq, Yemen, Ivory Coast, the Union of Comoros and the Republic of Turkish-Cyprus in addressing the challenges facing these countries."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-objects-to-OIC-calling-JK-a-country/articleshow/15539930.cms

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India conveys serious concern to Pakistan over abduction of Hindus

Aug 17, 2012NEW

DELHI: India has conveyed to Pakistan its "serious concerns" over the abduction and forced conversion of Hindu girls and marriage against their will to Muslim men there, government told the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

In reply to a question over the problems of Hindus in Pakistan, minister for external affairs E Ahamed said the government has come across reports on the issues faced by minority communities in Pakistan.

"Government has from time to time come across reports on the problems faced by members of the minority communities in Pakistan, including the reports on abduction of Hindu traders from Baluchistan and the televised conversion of a Hindu young man in Pakistan to Islam," he said.

He said it is the responsibility of Pakistani government to discharge its obligation towards its citizens and "incidents of persecution and intimidation of Hindus have also been reported."

Based on reports of persecution of minority groups, the government had in the past taken up the matter with Pakistan, he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-conveys-serious-concern-to-Pakistan-over-abduction-of-Hindus/articleshow/15533780.cms

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23,600 Bangladeshis deported from India

Aug 17, 2012

NEW DELHI: 23,600 Bangladeshi nationals have been deported in the last three years while over 83,400 people from the country, claiming to be refugees, are living in India.

Replying to a question in Lok Sabha, minister of state for external affairs Preneet Kaur said a total of 23,653 Bangladeshi citizens have been deported from 2009 to 2011.

Giving year-wise break up, she said a maximum of 10,602 Bangladeshi nationals were deported in 2009 while the numbers for 2010 and 2011 were 6,290 and 6,761 respectively.

She said that as on December 31, 2011, a total of 67,945 nationals from over 40 countries were found to be overstaying in India who include 13,744 from Afghanistan and 8,037 from Pakistan.

Kaur said a total of 2,168 nationals from the US, 2038 from Iraq and 1,094 people from the UK were also found to be overstaying in India.

Answering a separate question, she said a total of 83,484 Bangladesh nationals have been living in India, claiming to be refugees.

Asked whether these people were given Adhaar numbers, Kaur did not give a direct reply but said Unique Identification Authority of India has been mandated to generate and issue a 12 digit unique identification number to all residents of India.

"Adhaar is not a citizen identity card. It does not confer citizenship nor does it, by itself, confer right of citizenship," she said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/23600-Bangladeshis-deported-from-India/articleshow/15533309.cms

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Scribes speak on farmer suicides, Kashmir, RTI

 August 18, 2012

"When more than 2,50,000 farmers have committed suicide in the country, you know something is fundamentally wrong," said journalist P Sainath while delivering the keynote address at Malhar. Sainath, a recipient of the Magsaysay Award, spoke of his experiences in Indian villages where

farmers committed suicide and underlined the increasing inequalities suffered by the agriculture and labour class despite India's GDP growth.

Conclave 2012, titled 'Seeds of a Siege', included a panel discussion on revolutions around the world. The panelists included Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar and journalist Waiel Awwad. "There is a total disconnect between the Kashmir valley, Ladakh and Jammu, which in turn increases the state's disconnect with Delhi," said Dileep Padgaonkar, chairman of a group of interlocutors between the Indian government and separatists in J&K.

"For a while, the tribal community was left alone. As soon as our country needed their land, the conflicts began," said Shoma Choudhary, editor of Tehelka magazine, as the discussion explored the tribal issues of the country.

'Beg to Differ', the last event of the day, was a moderated debate between Soli Sarabjee, former attorney general of India and Darius Khambata, Maharashtra's advocate general, on the use or misuse of judicial activism and the Right To Information (RTI) Act.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Mumbai/Scribes-speak-on-farmer-suicides-Kashmir-RTI/Article1-915369.aspx

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Kashmir problem incendiary: Yasin Malik

August 18, 2012

Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik on Friday warned the international community of dire consequences of the Kashmir problem remains unresolved. "Silence of the world community on Kashmir equals to criminal negligence. If the world community continues with the

same behavior of negligence, it would put world into a more dangerous situation like that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki," said Malik who addressed a Friday congregation at central Kashmir's Budgam district.

Malik said the world community has been in recent past showing a cold shoulder towards various problems of the world, especially the issue of Kashmir, which happens to be one of the most dangerous issues related to the peace and prosperity of the world.

"This silence cannot be termed but as a criminal negligence," he said.

He said the world will progress enormously if it is provided a fare, long lasting peace and stability. "Wisdom, intellect, morals and humanity require the global community to rise above their petty considerations and instead of putting Kashmir on the back burner address it and solve it in accordance with the wishes, aspirations and sacrifices of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Srinagar/Kashmir-problem-incendiary-Yasin-Malik/Article1-915385.aspx

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National Conference calls Geelani's statement juvenile

 August 17, 2012

Ruling National Conference on Friday described hardline Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani's statement as juvenile and asked separatists to re-read the speech of chief minister Omar Abdullah. "The chief minister had said that let us achieve through dialogue what you could not achieve

with guns - a peaceful, prosperous Jammu and Kashmir. Let you come forward and talk for achieving a breakthrough on table which gun could not deliver in 20 years," said NC statement.

The statement came just on a day when hardline Hurriyat had called Abdullah a New Delhi's pawn and stated that he has no mandate to ask Hurriyat to enter into any dialogue process.

"Omar Abdullah never invited them but advised them that for the prosperity and progress of the state they (separatists) should come forward and talk as it is the only way forward for a peaceful solution to the Kashmir issue," said the spokesman adding, "Issuing irrelevant statement proves that they probably have not read the statement clearly."

The NC spokesman said separatists' non-seriousness and childish remarks have again proved they only want to score points over the sufferings of the people.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/Srinagar/National-Conference-calls-Geelani-s-statement-juvenile/Article1-915186.aspx

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High Commission in Islamabad ready to assist Sarabjit: India

August 18, 2012

In the backdrop of death row convict in Pakistan Sarabjit Singh claiming there was a threat to his life, India on Friday said its High Commission in Islamabad stood at the ready should he require any assistance.

India had consistently urged Pakistan on several occasions to take a sympathetic and a humanitarian view of Sarabjit’s case, the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs said. Minister S.M. Krishna had assured Sarabjit’s family that he would raise the issue when he mets his counterpart, the spokesperson noted.

“Singh has been in custody for well over two decades. With that background, let me say that what you mentioned in terms of the news reports, we have also seen them. Our High Commission in Islamabad stands ready to assist his lawyer should he require it. But at this stage my understanding is that the lawyer himself has requested the Pakistani authorities,” the spokesperson said.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3785887.ece

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Clashes in Srinagar after Friday prayers

Aug 17 2012

Srinagar : Groups of youth in interior parts of the city today resorted to stone-pelting shortly after the Friday prayers, prompting police to fire teargas shells and

use batons to disperse them.

A policeman was injured in Nowhatta area of the city in the clashes, which started outside Jamia Masjid and soon spread to adjoining areas, official sources said.

"Nowhatta and its adjacent areas in the vicinity of Jamia Masjid wore a festive look today when some miscreants started pelting stones on the police deployment," a police spokesman said.

Chanting slogans, groups of youth pelted stones on police and paramilitary forces who were deployed in strength in the vicinity in view of Jumat-ul-Wida (last Friday of Ramadan), sources said.

They said the policemen fired teargas shells and used batons to disperse the protesters and the clashes between the two sides were going on when last reports were received.

Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umer Farooq addressed a congregation at the historic mosque (Jamia Masjid) and demanded unconditional release of political prisoners and an end to alleged human rights violations in the state.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/clashes-in-srinagar-after-friday-prayers/989630/

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Zardari dole lands in dargah amid drama

Aug 18, 2012

AJMER: It was a thriller till the end. The long-awaited distribution of the promised $1 million to the dargah of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti by Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari finally came to fruition on Friday but not without its share of drama.

A long three-hour-long, marathon closed-door meeting between delegates from the Pakistan high commission, members of Anjuman Syed Zadgan, members of Anjuman Yadgar and those of the Dargah Committee resolved what an elaborate ceremony planned earlier in the evening could not.

Now, Rs 3 crore will be given to the Anjuman Syed Zadgan, Rs 1 crore to the Anjuman Yadgar, and Rs 1 crore 47,48,905 to the Dargah committee.

"I am happy that the matter has been finally resolved," said a much relived Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir.

"We talked in detail and reached a conclusion," said Syed Wahid Angara, secretary of Anjuman Syed Zadgan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Zardari-dole-lands-in-dargah-amid-drama/articleshow/15539827.cms

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Ceasefire violated, BSF man killed

Arun Sharma

 Aug 18 2012

Jammu, New Delhi : A day after Pakistan Rangers exchanged sweets with their BSF counterparts on Independence Day, firing from across the border claimed the life of a BSF personnel at Abdullian in R S Pura sector Thursday night.

The firing continued on Friday morning, spreading fear among the villagers, most of whom could not go to the fields. They gathered at “safe” places, anxiously waiting for the situation to ease. Though firing from the Pakistani side stopped in the afternoon, the villagers did to venture out in the open following apprehensions of being shot at by sniper firing from across the border.

The BSF man who was killed, Chander Rai, from Assam, was hit by a sniper shot from across the border around 7.30 pm. Official sources said the Pakistan Rangers also fired rockets at the Indian side.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ceasefire-violated-bsf-man-killed/989767/

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Pakistan

 

No joint anti-terror operation with US: Pakistan

Aug 18, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has no plans to conduct a joint military operation with the US against the Taliban in the country, the army announced Friday.

Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani has "dispelled" the speculative reporting in the US media that a joint military operation is on the cards, Xinhua quoted the army as saying.

The US media had reported that Islamabad and Washington agreed to launch a joint anti-terror operation in North Waziristan, bordering Afghanistan.

It was reported that an agreement had been reached during talks between Pakistani intelligence chief Lt Gen Zaheer-ul-Islam and top CIA officials in Washington.

Gen Kayani has clarified Pakistan's position after his meeting with US Gen James N. Mattis in the garrison city of Rawalpindi late Thursday.

It is important to distinguish between coordinated action and joint operation, Kayani said.

He said coordinated action implies that Pakistan Army and ISAF ( International Security Assistance Force) conduct operation on respective sides of the Pakistan-Afghan border.

Whereas a joint operation implies that the two forces are physically involved on either side of the border, an army statement quoted Kayani as saying.

"A joint operation in this sense is unacceptable to the people and armed forces of Pakistan," Kayani said.

The national interest will be the main consideration for any decision, he added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/No-joint-anti-terror-operation-with-US-Pakistan/articleshow/15542947.cms

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Kamra base attackers were trained in Waziristan: Malik

 Aug 18 2012

Islamabad : The terrorists who attacked a key Pakistan Air Force base, had been trained in the Waziristan tribal region where plans for the raid could be traced, Interior Minister Rehman Malik has said.

Four of the nine terrorists involved in Thursday's attack on Kamra airbase in Punjab province had been identified, Malik said during an interaction with the media on Friday as he described the North and South Waziristan as a hotbed for criminals.

He claimed the attack had been foiled and all the terrorists were killed because of an advance warning about a possible attack on PAF installations.

The attackers had been trained in Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan and the raid, "Could be traced back to North and South Waziristan", he said.

The Taliban were harbouring criminals from all over the country and there is a need to trace the mastermind who sent the terrorists to Kamra, he added.

His hard comments about terrorists harbouring in Waziristan come as speculation mounted here about a military offensive in the offing in the region.

Nine terrorists and two PAF personnel were killed during the attack. A rocket-propelled grenade fired by the attackers amaged a Saab-2000 surveillance aircraft.

The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out to avenge the killing of Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud and Osama bin Laden.

Answering a question from reporters, Malik said no decision had been taken as yet about launching an operation against militants in North Waziristan. “Such a decision will not be taken under foreign pressure,” he said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kamra-base-attackers-were-trained-in-waziristan-malik/989992/

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Zardari tells Sindh to frame law to prevent forced conversion of Hindus

 Aug 18 2012

Islamabad : Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has directed the Sindh government to frame a draft law to amend the Constitution to prevent the forced conversion of minority communities in the southern province.

During a meeting held in Karachi on Thursday, Zardari directed Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to form a committee under provincial Law Minister Ayaz Soomro to prepare the draft law to amend the constitution.

Elected representatives and leaders of the Hindu Panchayat will be included in the committee, The Express Tribune quoted its sources as saying.

The President made the decision after he was briefed about the concerns of Hindus by his sister Faryal Talpur, a lawmaker of the ruling Pakistan People's Party, and Chief

Minister Shah.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/zardari-tells-sindh-to-frame-law-to-prevent-forced-conversion-of-hindus/989976/

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Pak preparing for military push in north Waziristan?

Aug 18, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Preparations for a military push against militants in North Waziristan appeared to be underway, as a top US army commander held talks with Pakistani military officials on better cooperation along the border with Afghanistan.

Residents of the lawless Waziristan tribal region said they had noticed "abnormal movement of military convoys in the area" and this had caused fears of another showdown between the army and tribal militants affiliated with al-Qaida , The Express Tribune reported.

The top military leadership cancelled holidays for the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr for troops deployed in the region and directed them to stay alert, the report said. The preparations for a possible campaign against militants emerged as general James Mattis, commander of the US Central Command, held talks in Islamabad on Thursday with Pakistan army chief general Ashfaq Pervaiz Kayani.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-preparing-for-military-push-in-north-Waziristan/articleshow/15540044.cms

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Drone attack kills six in North Waziristan

18 August 2012

MIRAMSHAH: A US drone attack Saturday killed at least six militants in the North Waziristan tribal region as local people celebrated Eidul Fitr, security officials said.

The drone fired two missiles on a compound in Shuwedar village in Shawal district of the troubled North Waziristan region, considered a stronghold of Taliban and Al Qaeda linked militants.

“US drones fired two missiles into a militant compound. Six bodies have been recovered from the compound so far,” a security official told AFP.

Residents and local intelligence officials confirmed the attack and the casualties. The missiles also destroyed a car parked at the compound, they said.

The attack came as people were celebrating the festival of Eidul Fitr, they said.

It was not immediately clear if the missiles targeted any senior militant leader.

Attacks by unmanned American aircraft are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, which says they violate its sovereignty and fan anti-US sentiment, but US officials are said to believe the attacks are too important to give up.

Washington regards Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt as the main hub of Taliban and Al Qaeda militants plotting attacks on the West and in Afghanistan.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/18/drone-attack-kills-four-in-north-waziristan-3/

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5 killed in suicide attack at Quetta in Pakistan

Aug 18, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Five security personnel were killed and several others injured when a suicide attacker blew up his explosives-laden vehicle after he was intercepted by security forces in Quetta city of southwest Pakistan today.

Security personnel began chasing a vehicle after its driver refused to stop at a check post in Sharifabad area early this morning.

The man then blew up the explosives-laden vehicle, killing himself and five security personnel who were chasing the car, police officials said.

Several persons were injured by the explosion. Witnesses said the powerful blast shook nearby buildings.

Law enforcement agencies cordoned off the area and found three grenades and a pistol at the site of the blast.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/5-killed-in-suicide-attack-at-Quetta-in-Pakistan/articleshow/15543506.cms

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UN, US asked to pressure Pak to open Gilgit-Ladakh trade route

August 17, 2012

A day after the killing of 21 Shias by militants, an organisation representing the people of Gilgit Baltistan has asked the United States and the United Nations to put pressure on Pakistan to open the trade routes with Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Laddakh.

"United Nations and USA are requested to pressure Pakistan to open travel and trade routes towards Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Indian Ladakh so that Shias are not forced to travel on the roads that have become killing fields and virtually controlled by ISI-led militants like Lashkar Toaiba, Lashkar Jhangvi and Sipah Sihaba," Washington based Gilgit Baltistan National Congress (GBNC) said in a statement on Friday.

Alleging that Shias and other religious minorities are being prosecuted in Pakistan, the Gilgit Baltistan National Congress in its statement demanded that the state department grant a CPC (country of particular concern) status to Pakistan and impose restrictions on activities of Pakistani secret service agencies and their militant allies.

"It is feared that Shia killings will continue until the strategic region of Gilgit Baltistan has a Shia majority population.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Americas/UN-US-asked-to-pressure-Pak-to-

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Two killed, nearly 20 injured in gun-bomb attack on Pak Shias

August 18, 2012

Two persons were killed and 19 others injured in a gun and bomb attack on a group of Shia students in the port city of Karachi on Friday, a day after 25 community members were pulled out of three buses and shot dead by masked gunmen in Pakistan's northwest. Members of the Imamia Students

Organisation, who were on their way to a rally organised to mark Yum-al-Quds - which is observed on the last Friday of the month of Ramzan to show solidarity with Palestinians, were fired at by unidentified gunmen.

At least five persons were injured in the shooting, witnesses said.

Minutes later, a bus carrying members of the Imamia Students Organisation, a body of Shia Muslims, was targeted with a remote-controlled explosive device near Safari Park area in Karachi.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Pakistan/Two-killed-nearly-20-injured-in-gun-bomb-attack-on-Pak-Shias/Article1-915384.aspx

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Gilgit mourns victims of sectarian violence

18 August 2012

GILGIT, Aug 17: A pall of gloom descended on the capital city of Gilgit-Baltistan on Friday over the Mansehra sectarian violence in which 20 people were shot dead.

On Thursday, terrorists ambushed four buses in the Babusar Top area of Mansehra, pulled out passengers and shot dead 20 people from the Shia community.

In major parts of Gilgit city, shops were closed and traffic remained thin.

Ulema in their Jumatul Wida sermons condemned violence and said murderers couldn’t be Muslims as Islam didn’t allow its followers to kill people.

A large number of people poured into streets to protest against the killings before staging a sit-in at Benazir Chowk. GB Legislative Assembly members Didar Ali and Raziuddin Rizvi led the protest.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/18/gilgit-mourns-victims-of-sectarian-violence/

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Pakistani film “Lamha” bags two awards at New York Film Festival

18 August 2012

KARACHI: Pakistani film “Lamha (Seedlings)” bagged two awards at the New York City International Film Festival (NYCIFF), which concluded early Friday.

“Lamha” won the Best Feature Film award and its leading lady Aamina Sheikh won the Best Actress in Leading Role award in a late-night ceremony at the Angelika Film Centre in New York, NY.

The film was nominated in five other categories, including Best Actor in Leading Role (Mohib Mirza), Best Actor in Supporting Role (Gohar Rasheed), Best Score, Best Original Screenplay (Summer Nicks) and Best Director (Mansoor Mujahid).

Lamha weaves through the life of a young couple Maliha (Sheikh) and Raza (Mirza) and those affected by their deep struggle to reconnect after the loss of their only child in a tragic accident.

The film’s premiere at the festival, on August 10, was a sold out affair at the Tribeca Cinema.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/17/pakistani-film-lamha-bags-two-awards-at-new-york-film-festival/

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Eight terrorists killed in Orakzai

18 August 2012

ORAKZAI: At least eight terrorists were killed and four injured in clashes with security officials in Manmuzai area of Orakzai on Friday. Two security officials also sustained injuries in the attacks. According to details, the clashes occurred when insurgents ambushed security forces during a routine search in Mulbar, Tehsil Mor City Zara of Manmuzai area. Security forces killed up to eight terrorists during the operation. Two security personnel sustained injuries in the attack. The injured soldiers were identified as Ikram and Rasheed and were shifted to the Combined Military Hospital (CMH). Meanwhile, security forces also conducted a door-to-door search operation in Goundi Kalay, Mala Patti and Koronchi areas. The forces recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition and explosive material from caves in the areas.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\18\story_18-8-2012_pg7_3

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Nine, including three MQM activists, killed in violence, target killing in Karachi

18 August 2012

KARACHI: Nine people, including three activists of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), were killed in unabated wave of violence and target killing in city on Friday.

In the first incident, an activist of MQM was shot dead while other sympathisers were injured near Siddique-e-Akbar Mosque, Nagan Chowrangi within the limits of New Karachi police station. SHO Ashraf Gujjar said that the two armed motorcyclist reached near Siddique-e-Akbar Mosque and opened targeted firing, resultantly three people, including Adeel, Faisal and Adnan, received bullet injuries. All the injured were rushed to Abbasi Shaheed Hospital (ASH) where during treatment Adeel, son of Hameed succumbed to his injures. The deceased were the residents of Country Tower and worker of MQM Unit 134.

Sources informed that at the time of incident a police mobile deputed for mosque security didn’t react timely as the culprits managed to escape under the cover of firing after completing swift operation.

Another MQM activist was gunned down in Sector 11, Orangi Town within the precincts of Pakistan Bazaar police station. Police said that Farhan Gilani, 30, son of Nisar Gilani, was shot dead by armed bandits near PSO petrol pump while offering resistance in a robbery bid. The deceased was the active worker of Unit 120 Orangi Town sector. His body was shifted to ASH for autopsy.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\18\story_18-8-2012_pg7_8

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Jumatul Wida observed with call for unity among Muslims

18 August 2012

* Al Quds rally demands protection of Muslim holy places

ISLAMABAD: Jumatul Wida, the last Friday of Ramazan, was observed with religious zeal and reverence in the twin cities.

The day was also observed as Youmul Quds to express support and solidarity with the oppressed Muslims of Palestine. Youmul Quds is observed on the last Friday of Ramazan to oppose Israel's occupation of Jerusalem.

The Islamabad Capital Territory Police had planned foolproof security arrangements for Jumatul Wida and Youmul Quds, as commandos had been deployed to avert any untoward incident.

Jumatul Wida has special significance since it is a prelude to the departure of Ramazan and is considered the harbinger of end of showering of divine blessings that characterise the holy month.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\08\18\story_18-8-2012_pg11_4

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Murder?: Mosque guard arrested for ‘killing child’

By Shamsul Islam

August 18, 2012

FAISALABAD: Satiana police have arrested a security guard of a mosque following an FIR accusing him of killing a child and injuring brother on Thursday night.

The police have also seized the weapon, a single barrel 0.12-bore gun, from the suspect.

The FIR registered on the complaint of Attiq Ullah accused the guard, Muhammad Anwar, of shooting his sons Abdul Aleem, 11, and Abdul Hameed, 12, during a trip to the mosque in Chak 36-GB on Thursday night.

The complainant said the children had gone to the mosque to deliver dinner to their grandfather, Muhammad Nawaz, who was in aitekaf.

He said Aleem had died of the bullet wound on their way to a hospital. The other child was discharged from the hospital after receiving first aid for his injuries.

The complainant refused to let the media speak to the child about Thursday’s incident.

SHO Malik Jahangir said the suspect had denied the charge.

He quoted the guard as saying that he had left his seat to go to the toilet when the incident took place. “He said he had left his gun at the seat,” the SHO said.

SP (Jaranwala) Nasir Sial said the body of the child had been sent for an autopsy. He said the police were not ruling out the possibility that the killing was accidental. “There is a possibility that the children started playing with the gun while the guard was away,” he said.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/423560/murder-mosque-guard-arrested-for-killing-child/

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Bring middle-class Hindus into politics: Wali Ram Wallabh

By Ashok Sharma

 August 18, 2012

HYDERABAD: Opportunist Hindus are in politics but the middle-class Hindu has been kept away from it, said renowned Sindh writer and intellectual Wali Ram Wallabh while speaking to Sindh Express.

“It is the need of the hour to correct the political system,” he suggested. “Reserved seats should be abolished. A proper system should be introduced to ensure social harmony.”

Hindus are migrating and are also going for ‘Yatra’ to India, he commented. They have been living in depression and with a sense of insecurity since the partition of the sub-continent, he said.

“Sindhi Hindus are not independent socially and they face problems getting education and jobs,” he added. “A common Hindu is denied participation in political and social activities. These conditions are not stable.”

Wallabh said that Hindus had been migrating for several years but that the issue came to the surface when they started leaving in groups. “Hindus do not live by their own wishes. They even can’t run their businesses according to their own will because they need to see protection from local influentials.”

http://tribune.com.pk/story/423646/bring-middle-class-hindus-into-politics-wali-ram-wallabh/

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Curbing violence: Not a child’s play - sale of toy guns banned

By Fazal Khaliq

August 18, 2012

SWAT: While keeping in mind the negative influence that toy weapons may have on children, trade associations and administrations of Matta and Khwazakhel Tehsils have banned their sales in local bazaars. The decision in this regard was taken during a joint meeting of local administration, police and army officials recently. It was announced that the shopkeepers found violating the ban would be fined heavily and imprisoned.

Locals have appreciated the move, dubbing it a positive step in grooming their children.

“I support the ban. Our children got some really bad exposure to weapons during the militancy. They would play with toy guns and fire at each other instead of focusing on their education,” said Muhammad Iqbal, a local.

Meanwhile, child development experts also voiced their support for the step. “In the aftermath of ruthless violence, many children developed psychological problems. These toys enhance aggressive tendencies among children and should be permanently banned,” said Murad Ali Khan, a psychologist at Mingora while talking to The Express Tribune. He emphasised on engaging children in healthy activities and games rather than having them fight with toy weapons.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/423574/curbing-violence-not-a-childs-play-sale-of-toy-guns-banned/

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Targeted: Son, 3 nephews of former peace committee leader killed

By Mureeb Mohmand

August 18, 2012

MOHMAND AGENCY: Four family members of former Tarakzai peace committee leader Haji Salam were killed when unidentified gunmen opened fire on them in the Michni area of districk Ekkaghund.

An official told The Express Tribune that the family had received a call the previous night upon which a son and three nephews of the former leader, armed, went to a house in Gul Tabar. There, unidentified men sitting in waiting opened fire on them, injuring them severely.

The men succumbed to their injuries and when locals reached the spot in the morning, they were all dead.

Following this, the politicial administration of Kasadar, along with the army, initiated a search operation and arrest nine suspects.

The reason for the target killing is yet to be ascertained.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/423792/targeted-son-3-nephews-of-former-peace-committee-leader-killed/

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Imran Khan calls Salman Rushdie a ‘self-hating’ Muslim

August 17, 2012

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, in an interview to The NewYork Times, cited his reasons for cancelling his participation at a conference in New Delhi which Salman Rushdie was attending.

“I always hated his writing. He always sees the ugly side of things. He is… a ‘self-hating’ Muslim,” Khan stated in his interview.

Commenting on the names he has been called by Rushdie and other critics, Khan said, “I am called an Islamic fundamentalist by Rushdie. My critics in Pakistan say I am a Zionist agent. I must be doing something right.”

During the interview, Khan also stressed upon the fact that the Muslims have different ways of looking at religion than the West, and that the West needs to understand this.

ISI Links?

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/423411/imran-khan-calls-salman-rushdie-a-self-hating-muslim/

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South Asia

 

Myanmar opens new probe into deadly sectarian unrest

18 August 2012

YANGON: Myanmar has set up a new commission to probe sectarian clashes that saw scores killed and displaced tens of thousands, members told AFP, following intense scrutiny of its handling of the issue.

The nation’s authorities have faced heavy criticism from rights groups after deadly unrest between Muslim Rohingya and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists in western Rakhine state.

The 27-member commission, which includes religious leaders, artists and former dissidents, will “expose the real cause of the incident” and suggest ways ahead, the New Light of Myanmar newspaper said.

The newspaper said its remit is to establish the causes of the June violence, the number of casualties on both sides and recommend measures to ease tensions and find “ways for peaceful coexistence”.

“As an independent commission was formed inside the country…it is a right decision which showed that we can create our own fate of the country,” Aye Maung, the chairman of Rakhine Nationalities Development Party, told AFP.

In June, the government established a committee to investigate the sectarian strife. But its findings, originally expected by the end of that month, were never released by President Thein Sein.

The regime also invited the Saudi-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the world’s largest Muslim grouping, to visit the country in an effort to diffuse mounting outcry over the treatment of the Muslim Rohingya.

Official figures say some 80 people died in the initial spasm of violence, but rights groups say the toll is likely much higher — mainly on the Rohingya side.

The commission is expected to call witnesses and be granted access to the areas rocked by the violence, which saw villages razed and has left an estimated 70,000 people — from both communities — in government-run camps and shelters.

Thein Sein has overseen a series of reforms since the end of outright military-rule last year, but the Rakhine bloodshed cast a long shadow over those changes.

Myanmar’s government has rejected accusations of abuse by security forces in Rakhine, after the United Nations raised fears of a crackdown on Muslims.

New York-based Human Rights Watch has accused Myanmar forces of opening fire on Rohingya during the June outbreak of unrest, as well as committing rape and standing by as rival mobs attacked each other.

Decades of discrimination have left the Rohingya stateless, and they are viewed by the United Nations as one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.

http://dawn.com/2012/08/18/myanmar-opens-new-probe-into-deadly-sectarian-unrest/

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British soldier killed while on sentry duty in Afghanistan

18 August 2012

A soldier from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards has been killed while on sentry duty in Afghanistan, the MoD has said.

The soldier died in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province during "enemy action" on Friday. His family has been told.

MoD spokesman Maj Ian Lawrence said the military's "thoughts and prayers" were with the soldier's family.

The number of British military deaths since the conflict began in October 2001 now stands at 425.

Maj Ian Lawrence, who speaks on behalf of Task Force Helmand, added: "It is with great sadness I must inform you that a soldier from 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards has been killed whilst on sentry duty in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand Province.

"The thoughts and prayers of everyone in the Task Force are with his family and friends at this very difficult time."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19305114

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Cross-border incursions: Afghan militants kidnap shepherd from Kalash Valley

By Mokhamud Din

 August 18, 2012

CHITRAL: In a bizarrely unheard of situation, dozens of Afghan militants crossed into Kalash Valley in Chitral on Friday, made off with a herd of goats and kidnapped a shepherd.

According to an official of the Chitral Scouts, the militants came from the Nuristan province of Afghanistan. The official had rushed to the site and chased the militants up to the border, following the incursion. He added that the militants attacked the Dobazha pastures in the morning and took away around 700 goats with them.

“They also kidnapped a shepherd identified as Abd Khun, a resident of Kara Kaarh area of Bamboret in Kalash for resisting them,” he said.

He added that before the arrival of the scouts, the residents of the area also followed the militants in an effort to release the herds and the shepherd. But the residents said that the militants had crossed the border immediately and had also killed at least 20 goats.

They expressed concern over the continuous border incursions of militants into the Garmai pastures of Bamboret, the stealing of their herds and kidnappings of shepherds. They demanded security forces in Chitral to stop living in the plains and move to their check posts in the mountains to guard the borders.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/423712/cross-border-incursions-afghan-militants-kidnap-shepherd-from-kalash-valley/

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Bomb at Afghan bazaar kills four people

18 August 2012

KABUL: A bomb in a busy Afghan market killed four people on Saturday in the western province of Herat, an official said, the latest attack targeting civilians in the decade-long war. 

The early morning explosion also wounded 12 people, including three policemen who were on patrol in the bazaar in Shindand district, Herat provincial government spokesman Muhiudin Noori said.    The blast came three days after a bicycle bomb in Herat’s provincial capital wounded 14 people.

”Once again the enemy has attacked in Herat … They have no other target than killing civilians,” Noori said.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/08/18/bomb-at-afghan-bazaar-kills-four-people/

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Taliban leader urges insurgents to cut civilian deaths

By Rob Taylor

August 17, 2012

Reclusive Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has urged insurgent fighters, who he said had successfully infiltrated the security forces, to avoid civilian deaths after a swathe of suicide bombings this week killed 63 people.

In a message to the Afghan people ahead of the Eid al-Fitr festival ending the holy Ramadan fasting month, the one-eyed leader said insurgents should "employ tactics that do not cause harm to life and property of the common countrymen".

"The instructions given to you for the protection of civilian losses are, on you, a religious obligation to observe," Mullah Omar said in a seven-page statement released late on Thursday and translated into five languages.

"Any violation readily incurs loss in this world and in the world to come. Therefore, I urge you emphatically to be careful about the civilian losses and take this on yourselves as an explicit responsibility."

Amid mounting anger among Afghans over civilian deaths caused by both the insurgency and NATO, the statement is probably aimed at presenting a more moderate face for the Taliban as efforts continue to re-start peace talks which could foster a power-sharing deal for the insurgency.

Full report at:

http://www.vision.org/visionmedia/article.aspx?id=58804

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesian Government Official Shot to Death in Papua

Jakarta Globe | August 18, 2012

Ayub Natanubun, head of the forestry agency of Papua's Sarmi district, was shot by an unidentified gunman near the border of Indonesia and Papua New Guinea on Saturday afternoon.

Ayub, 50-years-old, was driving his car over the Skanto bridge, near the border area in the Keerom district, when he was shot from the left side of the road. His body has been taken to Dok Dua hospital in Jayapura.

The spokesman of the Papua police, Sr. Comr. Yohannes Nugroho, told Antara news agency that he had not received a complete report about the incident since the Keerom police are still investigating the case.

“After a scene investigation is completed, we may be able to provide the information,” Yohannes said.

This incident adds to the list of attacks by unidentified gunmen in the restive region. Last month, three people were found stabbed to death in Ndeotadi in the Paniai district of Papua, including a member of the Indonesian Military (TNI).

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/indonesian-government-official-shot-to-death-in-papua/539079

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Quiz on Islam aims to bring Filipino Muslims closer to God

By Mariecar Jara-Puyod      

August 17, 2012      

DUBAI: Filipino Muslims in the UAE are planning to spice up their three-day Eid Al Fitr holiday in ways other than the usual partying and family gatherings that accompany the observance of the end of the Holy Month of Ramadan.

For the second consecutive year, Filipino Muslims from birth and converts to Islam across the UAE will be congregating on the second day of the holidays, for the “2012 Balik Islam Quiz Bee” contest. Alim Alaoddin Lucman, vice-chairman of the organising committee of the competition, informs that “Balik Islam” means “return to Islam.”

Similar to last year’s first edition, there will be 40 teams of contestants, outdoing one another in their knowledge of the faith and the Holy Quran, said Lucman, who is also a teacher-translator and member of the Screening Committee for the Curriculum of the Zayed House for Islamic Culture.

Lucman said the event would be another refresher course for contestants, aside from giving them the opportunity for camaraderie and unity; but above all, enhance their relationship with God.

The contest, to be held from 3 pm at the Dubai Department of Charity and Islamic Affairs, would be in three categories-youth, men and women-coming from the various Filipino Muslim organisations and Islamic centres from the seven emirates.

http://gulftoday.ae/portal/292a70e2-8c62-4a87-af1c-a45759569dd2.aspx

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Numerous Crimes, Accidents and Deaths in Jakarta and Greater Jakarta During Week Before Idul Fitri

Bayu Marhaenjati | August 18, 2012

Just a week before Idul Fitri, Jakarta police have recorded a high number of crimes and accidents, some of which have been fatal.

In an operation named Ketupat Jaya — in which high numbers of police officers are assigned to secure important venues and areas — the police have recorded 136 crimes and 98 accidents that claimed 13 lives.

“From Aug. 11 to Aug. 16, 2012, there were 136 crimes,” the head of the operation post, Comr. Miyanto, said at the Jakarta police station on Friday. “The data is from Jakarta and its satellite cities, but we haven’t gotten the details on what type of crimes were committed yet.”

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/numerous-crimes-accidents-and-deaths-in-jakarta-and-greater-jakarta-during-week-before-idul-fitri/539068

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By next year, only whistle blowers to be eligible for remission

 August 18 2012

Law and Human Rights deputy minister Denny Indrayana said on Saturday that the government was revising the Government Regulation No.28/2006 on inmates’ rights, aiming at tightening the remissions policy.

In the revision, only justice collaborators and whistle blowers will be eligible for sentence remission.

“Remissions will be granted only to justice collaborators,” Denny said on his Twitter account.

Justice collaborators will also be eligible for several other advantages, including commutation.

The revision is currently being discussed in the Law and Human Rights Ministry, according to Denny, with advice from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), the National Narcotics Agency (BNN), the National Police and Indonesia Corruption Watch.

The revision will regulate terms and conditions that have to be met before an inmate can get a sentence reduction.

“The requirements should be measurable and accountable,” he said, adding that the revision would take a few months. (swd)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/08/18/by-next-year-only-whistle-blowers-be-eligible-remission.html

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Independence Day celebration is less merry

Bagus BT Saragih and Margareth S. Aritonang

August 18 2012

The Independence Day celebration on Friday caused little hype in Jakarta and other parts of the country, but it coincided with the exodus of millions of people from Jakarta and other big cities who wanted to celebrate Idul Fitri, expected to fall on Sunday, in their hometowns.

But for inmates who received sentence reductions as a part of the celebration, Independence Day meant that they were closer to their release from prison.

President Susilo Bambang Yu-dhoyono led the state’s flag-raising ceremony at Merdeka Palace, which was attended by hundreds of high-ranking officials, former state leaders and envoys of foreign states.

The decorations at the presidential compound were styled to reflect traditions from North Sumatra. Guests were welcomed by dancers performing the tortor dance, and the sounds of the gondang sambilan musical instrument from North Sumatra’s Batak Mandailing ethnic group upon entering the compound. Ulos, the traditional fabrics from the North Sumatran Batak ethnic group, were also hung on trees.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/08/18/independence-day-celebration-less-merry.html

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Mideast Asia

 

'Tumour' of Israel will soon be destroyed: Ahmadinejad

 August 18, 2012

TEHRAN: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told an annual anti-Israel protest in Tehran on Friday that the Jewish state was a “cancerous tumour” that will soon be excised, drawing Western rebukes.

Washington said Ahmadinejad’s statements were “reprehensible”, while Paris viewed them as “outrageous.”

Ahmadinejad’s diatribe against Israel in his Quds (Jerusalem) Day address was the latest in a long line to have drawn criticism from Western governments.

“The Zionist regime and the Zionists are a cancerous tumour,” he said.

“The nations of the region will soon finish off the usurper Zionists in the Palestinian land…. A new Middle East will definitely be formed. With the grace of God and help of the nations, in the new Middle East there will be no trace of the Americans and Zionists,” he said.

The diatribe took place amid heightened tensions between Israel and Iran over Tehran’s controversial nuclear programme.

The Jewish state has in recent weeks intensified its threats to possibly bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities to prevent it having the capability to produce atomic weapons.

Iran, which is suffering under severe Western sanctions, denies its nuclear programme is anything but peaceful. Its military has warned it will destroy Israel if it attacks.

“They (the Israelis) know very well they don’t have the ability” to successfully attack Iran, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/423767/tumour-of-israel-will-soon-be-destroyed-ahmadinejad/

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Hezbollah says can make Israeli lives ‘hell’

18 August 2012

BEIRUT: Lebanese group Hezbollah will transform the lives of Israelis to “hell” if Israel attacks Lebanon, its leader said yesterday, adding that the group would not hesitate to hit targets that would leave tens of thousands of Israelis dead.

Speaking in a televised speech marking Jerusalem Day — an annual rally in support of the Palestinians — Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said only a few rockets fired by the group’s militia could cause massive casualties, given its well-planned target list.

“Rockets are ready and directed at these targets,” he said. “We will not hesitate to use them, if we have to, at any point in time in the course of aggression against our country to protect our people,” he added.

“Hezbollah cannot destroy Israel but we can transform the lives of millions of Zionists in occupied Palestine into a real hell,” the black-turbaned Nasrallah said.

“We can change the face of Israel.”

Nasrallah said Iran’s response to any Israeli attack would be “lightning” quick and “great.”

“It would be the golden opportunity Iran has been dreaming of for 32 years,” he said, referring to the date of Iran’s 1979 Revolution. He did not mention what an attack on Iran would mean for Hezbollah.

http://www.arabnews.com/hezbollah-says-can-make-israeli-lives-%E2%80%98hell%E2%80%99

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Militants Attack Yemen Intelligence HQ, Killing 14

18 August 2012

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Suspected al-Qaida militants attacked a Yemeni intelligence headquarters on Saturday, killing 14 people in a bold attack in the country's main southern city of Aden, officials said.

The attack in the heart of the port city underscored al-Qaida's ability to launch deadly strikes despite a two-month Yemeni military offensive backed by the U.S. that earlier this year dislodged militants who had taken over a string of southern towns near Aden.

Militants attacked the intelligence building from two sides, firing automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades, according to intelligence officials in the city and witnesses from the adjacent state TV and radio building. The assault left 11 soldiers and three intelligence officers dead, and six people wounded, the officials said.

They and the witnesses, who are government employees, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/08/18/world/middleeast/ap-ml-

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A Gaza Border Slams Shut, and With It, Chances for a Pilgrimage to Mecca

By FARES AKRAM

18 August 2012

GAZA CITY — Every Ramadan for the past two decades, Mouin Mushtaha has made the pilgrimage to Mecca during the last 10 days of the Muslim holy month. This year, as Ramadan ticked away, he sat gloomily at the office of his tourism agency here, watching the festivities on television.

For Mr. Mushtaha, it was not just a lost spiritual experience, but a missed business opportunity: the Ramadan pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia is a major annual source of profit. But Gazans were unable to go to Mecca this season because exits through the Rafah crossing to Egypt were extremely restricted after an Aug. 5 attack nearby that killed 16 Egyptian soldiers.

“I, my wife and our 500 clients were supposed to be there now,” said Mr. Mushtaha, 64, pointing at the television in the air-conditioned office of his agency, the Mushtaha Company for Tourism and Travel. “My wife bursts into tears when she watches the Kaaba,” he added, referring to the cube-shaped building in Mecca that is among Islam’s most sacred sites.

Egyptian officials closed Rafah completely for a week after the attack, amid concern that the perpetrators, believed to be from the Sinai Desert, had support from Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Though the crossing was reopened several days before this weekend’s conclusion of Ramadan, exits were limited to those with passports or residences in Arab or European countries, or Gazans with humanitarian needs.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/18/world/middleeast/rafah-crossing-closed-curbing-

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Iranian Currency Traders Find a Haven in Afghanistan

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG and ANNIE LOWREY

18 August 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — With American and European sanctions spurring a currency crisis in Iran, officials say a growing number of Iranians are packing trucks with devalued rials and heading to the freewheeling currency market next door in American-occupied Afghanistan, to trade for dollars.

The rial has lost more than half its value against the dollar, and cross-border bank transfers and currency exchanges have become difficult, as sanctions have slashed Iran’s vital oil revenue and cut the country off from international financial markets. Iranian businesses and individuals are desperate to avoid further losses, by converting their money and moving it out for safekeeping. At the same time, the government is trying to find alternate ways to bring in hard currency.

Enter Afghanistan, where dollars function as a second national currency after years of Western spending and where financial oversight is so lax that billions of dollars in cash leave the country every year. Though Afghan and Western officials say they cannot put a precise figure on the trade with Iran, they see it as a potential challenge to the sanctions, and one that the United States, as Afghanistan’s main benefactor, helped create.

The Iranians are “in essence using our own money, and they’re getting around what we’re trying to enforce,” one American official said.

It is a new iteration of an enduring problem in Afghanistan, where Western officials are already struggling to quell a storm of corruption that has undercut the war effort. In the years since the invasion, the country has become a smuggler’s dream, with a booming opium economy and pervasive government graft that is widely believed to be a factor in funneling Western aid money to the Taliban.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/18/world/middleeast/iranian-currency-flows-into-

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Hezbollah: We have rockets that can kill 1000s of Israelis

08/17/2012

Nasrallah addresses crowd at Al-Quds Day celebration, anti-Zionist event calling for the liberation of Palestine; protesters hold massive rallies in cities across Iran; Ahmadinejad: Zionist regime an insult to humanity.

The Iranian-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah said on Friday it possessed what it called precision rockets that could kill "tens of thousands" of Israelis in strikes on Israel.

"I tell the Israelis that you have a number of targets, not a large number ... that can be hit with precision rockets ... which we have," Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah said in a broadcast speech. He said he would not identify the targets and did not say whether the rockets were newly acquired weapons.

Nasrallah said his group could strike a limited number of targets in Israel which if hit would lead to mass casualties - a possible reference to Israeli nuclear facilities, though he said he did not spell out what he meant.

Israel, the only Middle East country outside the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), has never confirmed or denied having nuclear weapons.

"Hitting these targets with a small number of rockets will turn ... the lives of hundreds of thousands of Zionists to real hell, and we can talk about tens of thousands of dead," said Nasrallah.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=281645

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North America

 

US says infiltration not main cause of Afghan 'insider' attacks

August 18, 2012

WASHINGTON: Only about 11% of so-called “insider attacks” by Afghans against Nato troops are due to Taliban infiltration, the Pentagon said on Friday, as more American troops were killed at the hands of Afghans.

The vast majority of insider attacks this year – nearly 90 percent – are due to other motives, including personal grudges, Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Steven Warren said, citing a new study by the Nato-led forces in Afghanistan.

The data challenge Taliban assertions of widespread infiltration of Afghan security forces, but also raise questions about the limits of Nato efforts to weed out insider threats as they prepare to hand over lead security control of the country to the Afghans in 2014.

The Pentagon announced earlier this week it was expanding counterintelligence staff in Afghanistan after a rise in insider attacks by Afghans, including attempts to spot signs of Afghan forces becoming radicalized without contact with insurgents.

But that would be little help in preventing grudge-related killings.

And the number of attacks has been rising.

As of Tuesday, there had been 29 attacks so far in 2012, resulting in 37 deaths among the Nato-led coalition forces, 21 of which were Americans, according to Pentagon data. For the same period last year, there were 16 attacks and 28 deaths.

In all of 2011, there were 35 coalition troops killed, 24 of whom were US troops.

The latest incident on Friday came in Afghanistan’s western Farah province, where a recently recruited police militia member in his late 60s killed two US troops shortly after being given his weapon at an inauguration ceremony, a US official said.

The motives of the killings were still unclear and an investigation was underway, Nato-led forces said.

General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that Afghan forces had so far discharged hundreds of soldiers who showed a risk of radicalisation.

Reclusive Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has said insurgent fighters have successfully infiltrated the Afghan security forces. In a statement released late on Thursday, Mullah Omar urged police, soldiers and government workers to “abandon support of the invaders” and back the Taliban ahead of the departure of most Western combat troops in 2014.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/423666/us-says-infiltration-not-main-cause-of-afghan-insider-attacks/

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An Attack on a House of Worship is an Attack on All Houses of Worship

August 17, 2012

By Jilllian Holzbauer

Islamophobia has become a prominent buzzword in the realm of political rhetoric. Some see it as the pinnacle of a climate of discrimination in America; others view it as a smear tactic to inhibit free speech. But what is the real pulse of our great nation when it comes to that delicate balance between freedom of religion and freedom of speech?

Representative Michele Bachmann and others declare that the United States government has been infiltrated and compromised by Muslim terrorists. Illinois Representative Joe Walsh contends that radical Islam is “trying to kill Americans every week” and that “it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was after 9/11.” In our own state of Oklahoma, Representative Rex Duncan said of Islam and Sharia Law, “It’s the face of the enemy, and we need to call it what it is.”

Meanwhile, vandals throw bottles filled with acid at an Islamic school for children in Illinois. Assailants hurl bloody pig legs at worshippers leaving a prayer service at a mosque in California. A mosque in Joplin is burned to rubble. Oklahoma City area Muslims woke up Monday morning to find their house of worship vandalized with paintballs.

Within a week and a half, eight cases of attacks on houses of worship occurred nationwide, seven of them against the American- Muslim community. It has become increasingly difficult to ignore the extent to which extreme rhetoric is inspiring extreme actions. We have collectively buried our heads in the sand on the issue of discrimination and Islamophobia, and are now reaping the suffocating results: bigotry and violence targeting American Muslims. Violence is unacceptable, but so is silence. As Elie Wiesel said, “Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormenter, never the tormented.”

Full report at:

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/altmuslim/2012/08/an-attack-on-a-house-of-worship-is-an-attack-on-all-houses-of-worship/

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‘Unintentional error’: Zakaria suspension lifted

Aug 18, 2012

WASHINGTON: The Time magazine and CNN on Friday lifted the suspension of Indian-American writer and journalist Fareed Zakaria, who had admitted to plagiarism, saying that it was an "unintentional error" on his part.

Following a review of the allegations of plagiarism, for which Zakaria has apologized , CNN and Time in separate statements said that his suspension has been lifted. This comes a day after The Washington Post apologized to Zakaria after the daily wrongly accused him of another instance of plagiarism.

CNN and Time announced that his popular column and the Sunday talk show would now resume.

"We have completed a thorough review of each of Fareed Zakaria's columns for Time and we are entirely satisfied that the language in question in his recent column was an unintentional error and an isolated incident for which he has apologised ," Time's statement read. "We look forward to having Fareed's thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on Sept 7," it said.

The CNN said, "CNN has completed its internal review of Fareed Zakaria's work for CNN, including a look back at his Sunday programmes, documentaries, and CNN.com blogs. The process was rigorous. We found nothing that merited continuing the suspension. Zakaria has apologized for a journalistic lapse. CNN and Zakaria will work together to strengthen further the procedures for his show and blog."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Unintentional-error-Zakaria-suspension-lifted/articleshow/15539971.cms

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US, UN condemn Ahmadinejad's comments on Israel

Aug 18 2012

Washington : The US has condemned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's tirade against Israel, calling it "reprehensible", while UN chief Ban Ki-moon expressed dismay at the remarks that called the Jewish nation's existence an "insult to humanity".

In its reaction to Ahmadinejad's latest comments, the White House urged the international community to condemn "hateful and divisive" rhetoric against Israel.

"We strongly condemn the latest series of offensive and reprehensible comments by senior Iranian officials that are aimed at Israel," National Security Council spokesman, Tommy Vietor said.

"The entire international community should condemn this hateful and divisive rhetoric. If Iranian officials are truly concerned about protecting the rights and dignity of all human beings, then Iran should stop supporting Assad's brutal assault on the Syrian people," Vietor said.

"Iran and Syria's blatant disregard for basic human rights is the real insult to humanity," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-un-condemn-ahmadinejads-comments-on-israel/990005/

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Human Rights Commission Praises Muni's Response to Furor Over "Defeat Jihad" Ad

By Erin Sherbert

 Aug. 16 2012

If San Francisco has learned anything from this pro-Israel Muni ad debacle it's that money talks.

First, the American Freedom Defense Initiative gave Muni $3,800 to plaster the city's buses with an ad that refers to enemies of Israel as subhumans. And while even Muni Board President Tom Nolan says he's offended by the message, the transit agency assures us they won't take the ads down.

Why? Nolan chalks this up to a potential First Amendment issue, going as far as to say that if Muni took down those provocative ads, then the agency would wind up in court -- and that would cost more than Muni earned from the ads. In the first five minutes. 

"What could happen here if we take them all down [is] we could be taken to court and [there] would be a big cost associated with that and we could be forced -- I guess like New York, to put them back up anyway," Nolan told CBS news.

By that logic Muni should stop running people over, too. Let's see if that happens.

In a particularly gratuitous compromise, the transit agency decided to donate the $3,800 in question to the city's Human Rights Commission. The HRC claims it will use the money paid by an ad-buyer -- described by both the Anti-Defamation League and Southern Poverty Law Full report at:

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2012/08/hrc_muni_ad.php

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Changes Atop Egypt’s Government Create Uncertain Path for United States

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

18 August 2012

During the first months of Barack Obama's stint in the United States Senate and the beginning of President George W. Bush's second term, an Egyptian general wrote a thesis for the Army War College in Carlisle Barracks, Pa., offering American policy makers advice about how to manage relations with the Middle East.

The author, Brigadier General Sedky Sobhy, was elevated to chief of staff of Egypt's military this week as part of reshuffle of top defense officials by President Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected leader and the candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood. General Sobhy now helps oversee the military institution that has been the closest United States ally in Egypt and the region. And his paper, first reported by the journalist Issandr el Amrani on his blog the Arabist, and which we wrote about in Friday's Times, is a vivid reminder of how fast the landscape of the region is changing in ways that may challenge whoever occupies in the White House.

United States policies in the Middle East were contradictory and unsustainable, General Sobhy wrote. Opposition to America's military presence in the Gulf, its interventions in the Muslim countries and its "one-sided" support for Israel had inspired an endless recruiting pool of Islamist radicals and "immersed" Washington in an "asymmetrical" global war against terrorists with no foreseeable goal or endpoint. United States policies and the Western hostility to Islam belied Washington's stated commitment to democracy. The best solution, the general wrote, was an all but complete withdrawal of United States forces from the region, to be accompanied by economic assistance, more forceful support for the Palestinian peace process, and "the impartial application of international law."

Full report at:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/08/17/changes-atop-egypts-government-create-

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US Muslims condemn violence against Shias in Pak

18 August 2012

Washington, Aug 18 (PTI) Condemning the recent killing of about two dozen Shias in Pakistan and expressing concern over increase in attacks on religious minorities, the American Muslim community has called for intervention by Pakistan's religious, civic and government authorities.

In a statement yesterday, the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) called for an end to intra-faith violence and minority persecution in Pakistan.

http://www.ptinews.com/news/2891290_US-nbsp-Muslims-condemn-violence-against-Shias-in-Pak-

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U.S. administration official: Israeli leaks are damaging efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program

By Barak Ravid       

 Aug.18, 2012

Former chief of Israeli intelligence Amos Yadlin writes in the Washington Post that Obama must visit Jerusalem and convince the Knesset and the Israeli public that the U.S. is committed to preventing the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapon.

U.S. officials say Israeli leaders are sincere about the need to act quickly on Iran, but they do not think Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made the decision to strike. Rather, the Israeli leader is trying to pressure the United States. “They are deadly serious, as is the president, about the need to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon,” a senior U.S. official told the Washington Post. “But there has been far too much talking — background leaks and fabrications — that hurt the cause.”

On Saturday, Amos Yadlin, a former chief of Israeli military intelligence, called in a Washington Post article for President Barack Obama to visit Jerusalem in order to convey to the Israeli public that he is committed to halting Iran's nuclear program, including with military means.

Full report at:

http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/diplomania/u-s-administration-official-israeli-leaks-are-damaging-efforts-to-halt-iran-s-nuclear-program-1.459052

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Special `Eid for Houston Muslim Converts

17 August 2012

CAIRO – Marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, a group of Muslims will host Houston's first-ever `Eid festival for Muslim converts, helping them enjoy their first experience of the Islamic festival.

"We want to let them feel the spirit of what Eid really is," Abdullah Oduro, who converted to Islam 15 years ago, told Houston Chronicle.

Recalling his first `Eid after reverting to Islam, Oduro still remembers thousands of men, women and children who flooded into the mosque to celebrate the Islamic holiday of `Eid Al-Fitr - marking the end of the month-long fasting of Ramadan.

Getting hundreds of hugs and smiling faces yelling, "Eid Mubarak!" or "blessed Eid, the spirit in the mosque made the then 20-year-old ecstatic.

Returning home, Oduro, the only convert to Islam in his Christian family, felt very alone.

The same feelings were shared by Isa Parada, a Salvadoran-American convert and educational director at Masjid Sabireen, a mosque in Stafford.

"It took me a few years to really understand the concept of Eid," said Parada, also 35, who converted when he was 19.

"I sensed that the other Muslims were happy and excited, but I felt like I was kind of on the outside looking in."

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/458647-special-eid-for-houston-muslim-converts.html

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‘Happy `Eid’ Presents Islam to America

16 August 2012

CAIRO – Decorating their cars with `Eid greetings, young American Muslims are launching a new initiative to teach the US public about the Muslim festival and show that Islam is part of the fabric of the United States.

“On `Eid, the Muslim community gathers to reaffirm their monotheistic belief through a special prayer,” said Hasan Gilani, the founder of Rad Talks website, told The Houston Chronicle.

“But the feasting and fasting are important parts of our celebration.”

`Eid Al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, is set to start next week.

Seeking to educate the US public about the festival, two Muslim groups have launched an initiative to encourage Muslims to draw `Eid greetings on the windows of their cars.

“Individuals from Rad Talks and Crescent Youth are encouraging the Muslim community to use glass chalk to paint ‘Happy `Eid’ on their car windows during `Eid,” said Gilani.

“The hope is that people will become aware of the celebration and their curiosity will lead them to visit a website we created about the `Eid celebration that we will also have written on our cars.”

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/458640-happy-eid-presents-islam-to-america.html

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Anti-Islamic ads hit Metro-North Railroad platforms

GREG SHILLINGLAW

Aug 17, 2012 

As commuters waited for their morning trains Thursday, many expressed disbelief at the sight of an anti-Islamic advertisement prominently displayed on platforms at Metro-North stations in Westchester County.

The American Freedom Defense Initiative, a group led by Pamela Geller, paid for the signs, which associate the religion of Islam with 19,250 terrorist attacks carried out by extremists since Sept. 11, 2001. Printed in large block lettering on a dark background, an asterisk denotes that number is rising, and a slogan below reads: “It’s not Islamophobia, it’s Islamorealism.”

Cynthia Idriss, a practicing Muslim and New York University professor specializing in right-wing extremism, was shocked when she saw the ad at the Larchmont station.

“My biggest concern is this gives legitimacy to radical extremism,” Idriss said. “Extremism is most threatening when it enters the mainstream. When you see stuff like this in public places like a Metro-North platform, it gives legitimacy to it.”

Full report at:

http://www.lohud.com/article/20120817/NEWS02/308170040/Anti-Islamic-ads-hit-Metro-North-Railroad-platforms?odyssey=mod|mostview

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Europe

 

German Anti-Islam Group Targets Mosques

17 August 2012

CAIRO – A Berlin court has allowed a far-right group to display provocative caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) during planned demonstrations outside mosques this weekend, sparking a wave of counter-demonstrations.

“The Campaign Against Racism is one of a handful which has registered to demonstrate along both routes on both days, in the same places as Pro-Deutschland,” police Michael Gassen told The Local on Friday, August 17.

“We are making it very clear that we want to talk with all groups concerned to reduce the risk of violence.”

The debates were first sparked after the administrative court in the German capital ruled that the group, Pro Deutschland, could brandish copies of Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) first published in 2005 which sparked violent protests around the globe.

The court said it “rejected the urgent complaint filed by three Islamic mosque congregations to prevent the ‘citizens’ movement Pro Deutschland from showing so-called Mohammed caricatures in front of their premises during demonstrations on Saturday”.

It said the cartoons were protected as “artistic freedom” and could not legally be considered as abuse of a religious group.

“Simply showing the Mohammed cartoons does not qualify as a call to hatred or violence against a specific segment of the population,” the court said.

Getting the court’s permission, Pro-Deutschland plans to demonstrate this Saturday in front of three mosques in the capital city under the slogan, “Islam does not belong to Germany – stop Islamization.”

Around 70 participants are expected to drive between the mosques and hold rallies in front of them - as Muslims prepare to celebrate `Eid Al-Fitr on Sunday.

On Sunday, the group plans another tour around some of Berlin’s left-wing hot spots, in a further move which can only be interpreted as deliberate provocation.

Rejecting the provocative protests, at least half a dozen counter-demonstrations have been registered with the police for both days, Gassen said.

He added that police reinforcements would be brought in from other states including North Rhine-Westphalia and Bayern to avoid any violence.

Muslim Conversations

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/458648-german-anti-islam-group-targets-mosques.html

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Russia rejects idea of no-fly zone over Syria'

08/18/2012

DUBAI - Russia rejects the idea of a no-fly zone over Syria, Sky News Arabia quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying in comments broadcast on Saturday.

"Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov asserted that his country rejects the imposition of any no-fly zone on Syria," Sky News Arabia reported on its website.

No member of the United Nations Security Council has proposed a no-fly zone but US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Aug. 11 the United States did not rule out the option. Days later, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that a no-fly zone over Syria was not a "front-burner" issue.

http://www.jpost.com/Headlines/Article.aspx?id=281697

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Syria conflict: British fighters seek jihad

By James Longman

16 August 2012

However vague the picture in Syria may have been before this conflict began, the blood of many thousands has now muddied it further still.

But in this complex web of armed civilians, defected soldiers, paramilitary units and bloodthirsty militias, a further dynamic is growing in strength: militants from outside Syria joining the fray.

Foreign fighters have been heading to Syria for some time - many of Syrian descent but living in Europe or the US, keen to help their brothers in arms. A similar pattern emerged in Libya, where young western Libyans joined the battle against [late leader Col Muammar] Gaddafi.

However, a different, more dangerous contingent is joining this struggle now.

Militant groups thought to be linked to al-Qaeda are operating in the country. Among their ranks, a small number of young British men - at this stage, probably only running into the dozens - are joining this fundamentalist fringe, having been recruited from towns and cities across the UK.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-19283578

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British schools drop Holocaust from history lessons so as not to offend Muslims

AUGUST 17, 2012

 HOWARD PORTNOY

A report by Britain’s Department for Education and Skills notes that an increasing number of schools are dropping the teaching of the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim students. The report, titled Teaching Emotive and Controversial History, also observes that many teachers are reluctant to discuss the Crusades because the lessons frequently contradict what is taught in local mosques.

It gets worse. The website Family Security Matters (h/t Weasel Zippers) reports:

In an effort to counter ‘Islamophobia’ in British schools, teachers now are required to teach ‘key Muslim contributions such as Algebra and the number zero’ in math and science courses, even though the concept of zero originated in India.

The article further notes that 30 non-Muslim children at an elementary school in Scotland were required to visit a mosque in Glasgow, where they were instructed to recite the shahada, the Islam declaration of faith, which states, “There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger." In addition, Muslim leaders are demanding that Islamic preachers be sent to every school in Scotland to teach children about Islam, ostensibly in an effort to counter negative attitudes about Muslims.

In London, 85 of 90 schools have implemented "no pork" policies, reflecting a nationwide trend toward banning pork from lunch menus, all once again to avoid offending Muslim students.

The question that naturally arises is whether any of this bend-over-backward pandering would be taking place had the hijackers who commandeered the four jetliners used as missiles on September 11, 2001 been anything other than Muslim. Taking an alternate hypothesis—that the attacks had been carried out by, say, murderous Zionists—would New York City public schools be mandating the teaching of Hebrew in grades 2 through 5?

http://www.examiner.com/article/british-schools-drop-holocaust-from-history-lessons-so-as-not-to-offend-muslims

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Ecuador president seeks moral high ground in asylum fight

Aug 18, 2012

LIMA (PERU): An economist schooled in the United States and Belgium, Rafael Correa was judged among the more cerebral of Latin America's new breed of leftist leaders well before Julian Assange strolled into his country's London embassy and gave Ecuador's president a chance to seize the global spotlight.

Correa's decision to grant asylum to the WikiLeaks founder seems anything but an emotional roll of the dice. The former lay missionary knew he was apt to deeply offend the US, Britain, Sweden and likely the European Union. He knew he would be inviting commercial and political retaliation that could hurt his small petroleum-exporting nation of 14 million people. No such retaliation has yet come, but the standoff is young.

It let him stake a claim to moral high ground, associating himself with a man whose adherents see him as a digital age Robin Hood crusading against abuses of big governments and corporations and who believe the Swedish extradition request is a pretext for shipping Assange to the US to face a kangaroo court.

Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on US House's Western Hemisphere subcommittee , has met with Correa and believes he understands the gamble. He said, "He's a very smart guy and this wasn't done in a vacuum. The reason is to kind of be the head of the poke-the-US-in-the-eyegroup ." That club includes Bolivia , Nicaragua, Argentina, Venezuela and Cuba.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Ecuador-president-seeks-moral-high-ground-in-asylum-fight/articleshow/15539960.cms

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Syrian refugee exodus accelerates: UN agencies

Aug 17, 2012

BEIRUT: Refugees are fleeing Syria in ever greater numbers, UN agencies said on Friday, as the conflict between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebels intensifies.

Former Syrian Prime Minister Riyad Hijab, who defected this month, has arrived in Qatar to discuss how to unify opposition efforts to hasten Assad's downfall, his spokesman said.

Hijab, a Sunni Muslim, is the most senior serving civilian official to desert Assad, whose ruling system is dominated by members of his Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

Shi'ite Iran, Assad's closest ally, has cast the revolt in Syria as a plot by the United States and its regional allies to destroy an anti-Israel "axis of resistance" linking Tehran, Damascus and Lebanon's Shi'ite Hezbollah movement.

"You want a new Middle East? We do too, but in the new Middle East ... there will be no trace of the American presence and the Zionists," Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in a speech to mark annual state-organised rallies against Israel.

Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, which like Syria have mainly Sunni populations, are the principal regional supporters of the rebels fighting Assad in an increasingly bloody conflict.

More than 250 people, including 123 civilians, were killed in Syria on Thursday alone, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based opposition watchdog.

Turkey is taking the brunt of a swelling exodus of refugees, with 66,000 Syrians now sheltering there, the Turkish state disaster and emergency authority said.

Some 1,500 arrived from the rebel-held border town of Azaz after Assad's air force bombed it on Wednesday, killing at least 35 people, Turkey's Dogan news agency reported. It said another 1,500 from the devastated town were thought to be on their way.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syrian-refugee-exodus-accelerates-UN-agencies/articleshow/15535351.cms

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France’s FM says Assad regime should be ‘smashed fast’

17 August 2012

ONCUPINAR, Turkey: French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called Friday for Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime to be “smashed fast” as he visited Turkey’s largest refugee camp near the border.

“The Syrian regime should be smashed fast,” Fabius told reporters. “After hearing the refugees and their account of the massacres of the regime, Mr. Bashar Assad doesn’t deserve to be on this earth.”

“It is an operation of destruction of an entire people that he is trying to accomplish,” he said.

Fabius made the remarks at a refugee camp near the Oncupinar border crossing in Kilis province, where he met a number of Syrian refugees appealing to France for weapons and aid to fight the Damascus regime.

In response to the demands, the top diplomat said his country was spending efforts in the political and humanitarian fields, but France could not accept continuation of Assad’s “massacre.”

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/france%E2%80%99s-fm-says-assad-regime-should-be

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Africa

 

South African President Zuma vows probe into killing of 34 miners

Aug 18, 2012

MARIKANA, SOUTH AFRICA: President Jacob Zuma rushed home from a regional summit on Friday and announced an official inquiry into a police shooting of striking miners that left 34 dead and 78 wounded, an incident that police claimed was self-defense despite video recordings suggesting the protesters were not attacking them but running from clouds of tear gas.

Wives of miners at the Lonmin platinum mine northwest of Johannesburg searched for loved ones missing from Thursday's shooting and staged a protest, demanding to know why officers fired automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns at the strikers, many of whom had been armed with spears, machetes and clubs.

"Police stop shooting our husbands and sons," read a banner carried by the women on Friday. They kneeled before shotgun-toting police and sang a protest song, saying "What have we done?" in the Xhosa language.

At least 10 other people have been killed during the week-old strike, including two police officers battered to death by strikers and two mine security guards burned alive when strikers set their vehicle ablaze. Tensions remained high Friday among strikers, who are demanding monthly salary raises from $625 to $1,563.

"They can beat us, kill us and kick and trample on us with their feet, do whatever they want to do, we aren't going to go back to work," winch operator Makhosi Mbongane told The Associated Press. "If they employ other people they won't be able to work either. We will stay here and kill them."

South Africa faces myriad problems 18 years after white racist rule ended, including growing inequality between a white minority joined by a small black elite while most blacks endure high unemployment and inadequate housing, health care and education.

The shootings "awaken us to the reality of the time bomb that has stopped ticking - it has exploded," The Sowetan newspaper said in a front-page editorial Friday. "Africans are pitted against each other... They are fighting for a bigger slice of the mineral wealth of the country."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/South-African-President-Zuma-vows-probe-into-killing-of-34-miners/articleshow/15542762.cms

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Mine 'bloodbath' shocks post-apartheid South Africa

Aug 17, 2012

MARIKANA: The police killing of 34 striking platinum miners in the bloodiest security operation since the end of white rule cut to the quick of South Africa's psyche on Friday, with searching questions asked of its post-apartheid soul. Newspaper headlines screamed 'Bloodbath', 'Killing Field' and 'Mine Slaughter', with graphic photographs of heavily armed white and black police officers walking casually past the bloodied corpses of black men lying crumpled in the dust.

The images, along with Reuters television footage of a phalanx of officers opening up with automatic weapons on a small group of men in blankets and t-shirts, rekindled uncomfortable memories of South Africa's racist past.

Police chief Riah Phiyega confirmed 34 dead and 78 injured after officers moved in against 3,000 striking drill operators armed with machetes and sticks and massed on a rocky outcrop at the mine, 100 km (60 miles) northwest of Johannesburg.

Phiyega, a former banking executive who was only appointed to lead the police force in June, said officers had acted in self-defense against charging, armed assailants at Lonmin's Marikana platinum plant.

"The police members had to employ force to protect themselves from the charging group," she told a news conference, noting that two policemen had been hacked to death by a mob at the mine on Tuesday.

However, the South African Institute of Race relations likened the incident to the 1960 Sharpeville township massacre near Johannesburg, when apartheid police opened fire on a crowd of black protesters, killing more than 50.

"Obviously the issues that have led to this are not the same as the past, but the response and the outcome is very similar," research manager Lucy Holborn told Reuters.

In a front page editorial, the Sowetan newspaper questioned what had changed since 1994, when Nelson Mandela overturned three centuries of white domination to become South Africa's first black president.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Mine-bloodbath-shocks-post-apartheid-South-Africa/articleshow/15535408.cms

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What mining massacre says about South Africa

JUSTICE MALALA

18 August 2012

The story of the London-listed Lonmin's Marikana mine shootings is that of a trade union that cosied up to big business; of an upstart and populist new union that exploited real frustration to establish itself; and of police failure.

It is a story which exposes South Africa's structural weaknesses too. Poverty, inequality and unemployment lie at the heart of the shootings this week.

The Lonmin story starts with the 360,000-member National Union of Mineworkers, formed in the 1980s to fight apartheid labour laws. Under the leadership of Cyril Ramaphosa - ironically now on the board of Lonmin – the union became the biggest affiliate to the Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu), a powerful ally of the ruling ANC.

Power politics

For more than a decade Cosatu has concentrated on socio-economic and political issues. Instead of organising on the shop floor it has harried the ANC government to adopt increasingly left-leaning policies. The NUM, one of the two biggest unions within Cosatu, has been at the forefront of these struggles. Over the past few years the NUM has been split by succession battles inside the ANC, with the current leadership campaigning for ANC President Jacob Zuma to win a second term. The union has paid a heavy price for this.

At the Lonmin mines its membership has declined from 66% of workers to 49% and it has lost its organisational rights. Disgruntled and expelled union leaders had in the meantime started a new union, the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union, and were organising on the NUM's turf.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3789655.ece

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/by-new-age-islam-news-bureau/-death-fatwa--for-protesters-against-muslim-brotherhood/d/8323

 

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