New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 26 Dec 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

ABU DHABI: Fatwa centre to issue more than 350 edicts this year

17 Killed in twin bomb blasts in central Iraq

Ghalib's bust installed at Chandni Chowk haveli

Alleged US missiles hit Pakistan, kill 6: Intelligence     

Pak Taliban warn of severe action against ‘lashkars’

Visa hurdle trips Pak publishers as Delhi Book fair stalls go empty

Interfaith gathering shows unity in diversity

India launches sharia stock index for Muslims

Alleged ‘Desecration’ of holy Quran in Karachi

Malaysian Islamic Institute: "Islam rejects religious pluralism"

Moslems whine the world is intolerant of Islam: REALITY CHECK!

Al-Asheikh stresses unifying role of Holy Qur'an

First ever encyclopaedia documenting the Gaza war released Sunday

Seminar on “Quran and Microbiology” Held in Jordan

Time to stand up for Christians

Somalia: Al Shabaab calls for continuation of 'East Africa jihad'

Finding the root causes of terrorism

Russian Translation of A Survey in Nahjul-Balaqah Published

Rise of the east in a new clash of civilizations

Arabic studies centre to reopen in Beijing

Nigerian Muslims and Arabic Language Skills

''VHP does not accept Allahabad HC verdict on Ayodhya''

Clashes in Nigerian city after deadly Christmas bombings

Malaysian colleges a hotbed for militant recruiting: Experts

In Saudi Arabia, 'no Arabic, mafi mushkila'

Priests' wives missing after converting to Islam in divorce bid

Julian Assange in £1 million book deal

New challenge for Pakistan

Iran warns Pakistan

Karzai denounces suicide attack

Bangladeshi border guards bust ULFA hideout, seize arms

Christians step up campaign for release of Asia Bibi

Backing the 'mole': Jailed soldier finds support

Pak Taliban claims responsibility for suicide attack by woman

Terrorist attack an affront on people of Pakistan: Obama

Four Turkish engineers abducted in Afghanistan

French defence minister meets Hamid Karzai on hostages

Dutch free 5 of 12 Somalis suspected of terrorism

No apology to Turkey over Gaza aid convoy raid: Israel minister

Yemen sets up anti-terror unit in al-Qaida bastion

Iran halts hanging of Kurdish student

World may recognise Palestine soon: Israel minister

ED seizes Adnan Sami's properties

THIRD ANNIVERSARY - No closure on Benazir's murder

China struggles to make its own arms

Drug war digs up diplomacy dirt

Nawaz accuses MQM of killings in Karachi

Two top Peshawar jail officials made OSDs

US hints at more military actions on Pak-Afghan border

Benazir Bhutto — an icon of struggle for the people

Two killed as violence surges on Gaza border

Islamic finance continues to feature as an affirmative action tool in NEP

King’s recovery delights every citizen: Shoura chief

Thousands greet flotilla ship; Ankara holds out for apology

Police disperse feuding high school students

British police charge nine men over bomb plot

Two years after war, Gaza border tensions flare

Senior Lawmaker Stresses Necessity of Islamic-Iranian paradigm of progress

Compiled by New Age Isalm News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/abu-dhabi--fatwa-centre-to-issue-more-than-350-edicts-this-year/d/3835

 

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ABU DHABI: Fatwa centre to issue more than 350 edicts this year

Rym Ghazal

Dec 27, 2010

ABU DHABI // Body paints in the form of gold or regular henna, as well as makeup, are allowed as long as they are not permanent - in the form of a tattoo.

Half sisters are allowed to shake hands with their brothers, whether their mother is Christian or not, and napping in the afternoon is not desirable as it takes time away from productivity. Watching TV channels or checking websites that instigate hate or division should also be avoided.

These were among the more than 350,000 religious edicts are expected to have been released this year through the Fatwa Centre at the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (Awqaf).

The rulings, which are published on Awqaf's website, were earlier this month made available to a much wider audience when the centre launched the English version of its website.

The move was made in response to growing interest in content published by the Islamic authority, particularly the fatwas themselves.

"This decision was based on the tremendous interest in the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments website, both locally and internationally, and to help non-Arabic website visitors benefit from our services," said Dr Mohammad Mattar al Kaabi, Awqaf's director general. "The fatwa centre is a true success."

The religious edicts are issued through the Abu Dhabi fatwa centre in response to people's questions, which are either submitted online, via text or over the phone, about what is permissible under Sharia law.

Since opening three years ago, in August of 2008, the fatwa centre has witnessed a steady increase in the number of fatwas issued, and there are plans to hire more muftis next year to accommodate the growing demand for answers. The call centre currently employs 50 scholars, the majority of whom are men, and it is in the process of doubling that figure.

According to Awqaf, by November 1 it had issued 298,277 fatwas since the start of the year, with most inquiries - 258,436 - made by phone. The centre was averaging almost 30,000 fatwas per month.

The centre issued a total of 343,121 last year and 142,117 during the months it was open in 2008.

In a statement released in September, Awqaf predicted that the centre might end up issuing a total of a million fatwas since its opening - but it appears it will be several more months before it will reach that goal.

The most common questions address confusion over the specifics of worship, whether it is how to conduct certain prayers or specific queries related to Zakat and Haj. One fatwa called on worshippers to always "be clean" when heading to the mosque and to avoid eating garlic right before as the smell "offends" those trying to pray.

One fatwa clarified the permissibility of car raffles, which are conducted at many of the country's major malls, stating: "It is not permissible to buy a coupon of a specific amount for the purpose of entry in a draw for a car, because it is ambiguous and a kind of gambling".

Others govern behaviour in public places, indicating it is okay to eat dates from palm trees growing in public areas as long as no harm is caused to the tree itself. One provided a reminder that it is not legal to kill a "noisy" donkey, animal or bird, no matter how loud or inconvenient its utterances may be.

Even the noisy vuvuzela warranted a fatwa, with a decree allowing its usage in the stadium and its trade as long as it causes no harm to the people around it: "Who ever brings it or trades in it, must ensure that its power is not over 100 decibels so as to avoid damaging people's hearing."

Others focused on more personal issues. Muslim women are allowed to live on their own "as long as it was in a safe place". In response to a question from a single woman, the centre ruled that there were no specific prayers for "getting a husband". The fatwa instead called on single women to make more general prayers asking for "a need" to be fulfilled and for help from Allah in easing their life.

This year also saw the regulation of fatwas, with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia issuing a decree last Ramadan allowing only senior clerics or Islamic religious edicts to issue fatwas. Similar stances were taken in UAE, with one of the Friday sermons warning people against accepting fatwas unless issued from the rightful authorities.

This year Awqaf also began conducting performance evaluations of mosques every six months and allocated of Dh15 million dirhams for mosque furnishings.

http://www.thenational.ae/news/uae-news/fatwa-centre-to-issue-more-than-350-edicts-

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17 Killed in twin bomb blasts in central Iraq

Dec 27, 2010

Two consecutive bomb attacks have rocked the capital of Iraq's central province of Anbar, leaving at least 17 people dead.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - An explosion occurred on Monday when a bomber blew up the minibus he was driving near a government compound in the central city of Ramadi, the Asscociated Press quoted provioncial spokesman Mohammed Fathi as saying.

The compound reportedly houses the provincial council as well as Anbar's police headquarters.

A second bomb blast followed a few minutes later when a man detonated his explosive vest some 500 meters away.

Anbar Governor Qassim Mohammed put the casualties from the attacks at seven dead and 28 wounded.

But a police official at the sit of the explosions said the death toll had risen to 17.

Most of the killed are police officers and 47 people have been wounded, he said on condition of anonymity, adding the blasts were caused by two successive vehicle bombs.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=218654

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Ghalib's bust installed at Chandni Chowk haveli

Dec 27, 2010

New Delhi: The legacy of the 19th century classical Sufi lyricist and poet Mirza Ghalib came alive Sunday when Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit installed the poet's bust at his haveli in Chandi Chowk area of Delhi's old quarters on the eve of his 213th birth anniversary.

Ghalib, born to a family of Turkish origin in Agra Dec 27, 1797, resided at the Gali Qasim Jaan haveli in Ballimaran from 1862 to 1869, the last years of his life.

The bust was commissioned by Mumbai-based Oscar-winning lyricist Gulzar and sculpted by renowned public installation and bust artist Bhagawan Rampure of Sholapur in Maharashtra.

More than 200 people, led by the chief minister and including Gulzar, writer-diplomat Pavan K. Varma, kathak danseuse Uma Sharma, director general of Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) Suresh Goel, High Commissioner of Pakistan to India Shahid Malik and members of the Ghalib Memorial Movement marched with candles and flaming torches to Ghalib's haveli at Gali Qasim Jaan from the Town Hall in Chandni Chowk, a distance of one km, to pay homage to the poet on the eve of his birth anniversary Monday.

The haveli, located in a narrow crowded alley lined with shoe shops, was restored by the Delhi Archaeological Survey in 2001. It is home to a small museum which displays some of the original manuscripts and rare photographs of Ghalib and his peers.

The procession, that stalled traffic in the bustling business neighbourhood of the ancient Mughal quarters of the capital, was accompanied by drummers.

Locals and scores of Ghalib fans joined the marchers, comprising writers, poets, lyricists, including some from Bollywood.

Mirza Ghalib, known for his Urdu poetry, chronicles and ghazals, began to write in Persian at the age of nine. After losing his father early in life, Ghalib was raised by his uncle. He settled in the capital after marrying into the Muslim nobility and was admitted to the last Muslim emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II's court as his poet-tutor.

The independnece war of 1857, however, disrupted the poet's life. Ghalib, who saw the decline of the Mughal empire and the horrors of the uprising, chronicled it in detail.

Installing the bust, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said: "I thank Gulzar for commissioning such a beautiful bust of Ghalib and artist Bhagawan Rampure for carrying it to the capital all the way from Maharashtra."

She also expressed her gratitude to the writer Pavan K. Varma, the Indian ambassador to Bhutan, for having kept "Ghalib's legacy alive in the 21st century".

"Varma, Gulzar and dancer Uma Sharma, the force behind the Ghalib Memorial Movement, were responsible for the installation of the bust," Dikshit said.

"The mansion at Gali Qasim Jaan used to be a timber shed till the last century. The Delhi archaeology department evicted the timber merchant and restored the haveli in 2001," Dikshit said.

Pakistani High Commissioner Shahid Malik, who was present with his wife, said: "Nothing could have been bigger tribute to the poet than the bust."

"Ghalib's poetry is taught at every Urdu school, college, university and academic institutions in Pakistan. I too read him in school," Malik told IANS.

Suresh Goel, the director-general of ICCR, who was born in the old city near Khari Baoli and grew up there, said: "The initiative should lead to serious efforts to revive old Delhi, not just the haveli".

Noted Bollywood lyricist and Ghalib fan Shellee, who has penned lyrics for the tracks in "Dev D", "Phas Gaye Obama" and "Acid Factory", said: "The move was inspiring. But it should not become a political 'tamasha' and the movement must remain an ongoing process."

http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/uncategorized/ghalibs-bust-installed-at-chandni-

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Alleged US missiles hit Pakistan, kill 6: Intelligence

Dec 27, 2010

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, PAKISTAN: Suspected US missiles struck a vehicle in a militant stronghold on Pakistan's side of the border with Afghanistan on Monday, killing six people, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

The attack in the North Waziristan tribal region came in the final days of a year that has witnessed an unprecedented number of such drone-fired strikes on Pakistani soil, part of a ramped-up US campaign to take out al-Qaida and Taliban fighters seeking sanctuary outside Afghanistan.

At least 110 such missile strikes have been launched this year -- more than doubling last year's total. Nearly all have landed in North Waziristan, a region that hosts several militant groups battling US and NATO troops in Afghanistan, including the feared Haqqani network.

The four missiles fired Monday struck the vehicle in the Shera Tala village of North Waziristan. Shera Tala lies in Mir Ali district, where militants are heavily concentrated. The identities of the six dead were not immediately certain.

The two intelligence officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media on the record.

Pakistan officially protests the strikes, saying they violate its sovereignty and anger tribesmen whose support it needs to fend off extremists. There is widespread belief among tribal residents that the attacks kill many innocent people, though the numbers are difficult to prove.

US officials rarely discuss the covert, CIA-run missile program. Privately, however, they say it is a crucial tool and has killed several top militant leaders. They also say the drone-fired strikes are very accurate and usually kill militants.

Information from Pakistan's tribal belt is very hard to verify independently. Access to the area is legally restricted, and ongoing conflict there makes it a dangerous territory to venture into.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Alleged-US-missiles-hit-Pakistan-kill-6-

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Pak Taliban warn of severe action against ‘lashkars’

Rezaul H Laskar

Dec 27, 2010

The Pakistani Taliban have warned that they will take “severe action” against any persons who form “lashkars” or militias to take on the militants in the restive tribal belt bordering Afghanistan.

Azam Tariq, the spokesman for the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, threatened that his group would take “severe action whenever and wherever peace committees” or anti-Taliban militias are formed.

All persons working with security forces and peace committees would be brought to Taliban courts and awarded punishment according to Shariah or Islamic law, Tariq was quoted as saying by The Frontier Post newspaper on Sunday.

Tariq acknowledged that 23 elders of the Mehsud tribe of South Waziristan were in the Taliban's custody.

Earlier reports had said the elders were detained by militants after they attended a function addressed by army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani on December 7. Tariq also warned the media to ‘abandon following the western powers and not to print any news without verification’.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/306510/Pak-Taliban-warn-of-severe-action-against

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Visa hurdle trips Pak publishers as fair stalls go empty

By Insiya Amir

Dec 27, 2010

AS MANY as 50 publishers from Pakistan were expected to attend the 16th Delhi Book Fair that got under way at Pragati Maidan on Saturday, but not even one managed to get a visa approval.

There was one name listed though — Sheikh Mubarak Ali from Lahore. But visitors, who especially went to the stall, were greeted by empty racks. “ We can’t help it if the visas didn’t get approved.

We tried our best,” Shakti Malik, director, Delhi Book Fair, said.

The fair, on till January 2, had promised to be bigger than its predecessors with more than 270 publishers, including a few from China. But, so far it has had an indifferent start.

Publishers from Europe had anyway decided to skip this annual event which last year saw more than 2.5 lakh visitors.

Organisers are boasting the presence of 35 Chinese publishers at the fair. But only one stall, which has just a handful of books, has been put up by the China National Publications Import and Export Group.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Interfaith gathering shows unity in diversity

December 27, 2010

PESHAWAR: The Sarhad Tourism Corporation and Culture Department here Saturday organised a rare gathering, which was attended by people practicing different faiths.

The function was held to mark Christmas Day, December 25, which also coincided with birthday of the Founder of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. Musical performances by various artistes enthralled the audience.

Minister for Culture and Information Mian Iftikhar Hussain also participated and joined in the Christmas celebrations, which were also attended by a large number of women and children. Christians, Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus participated in large number and expressed the unity in diversity.

This was the first time when a government organisation arranged a function of this nature for our brothers and sisters coming from various faiths.Mian Iftikhar Hussain said that culture was the instrument through which the people could be brought close to each other to create an atmosphere of love and brotherhood.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=22404&Cat=7

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India launches sharia stock index for Muslims

Dec 27, 2010

India's Bombay Stock Exchange launched a share index of sharia-compliant companies on Monday in an attempt to open stock-trading to more Muslims.

MUMBAI (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - India's Bombay Stock Exchange launched a share index of sharia-compliant companies on Monday in an attempt to open stock-trading to more Muslims.

The BSE TASIS Sharia 50 consists of the largest and most liquid sharia-compliant stocks within the BSE 500 index.

All the companies have been vetted to ensure they comply with Islamic law, which does not allow investors to put money into firms that benefit from interest or the sale of sinful goods such as alcohol, tobacco or firearms.

The managing director and chief executive of the Bombay Stock Exchange, Madhu Kannan, said the index would attract Islamic and other "socially responsible" investors both in India and overseas.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=218642

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Alleged ‘Desecration’ of holy Quran in Karachi

By Asghar Azad

Dec 27, 2010

KARACHI: Unidentified persons set on fire our house in Buffer Zone last night after levelling allegations against us that we desecrated the Holy Quran and Hadith, but the law enforcement agencies timely intervention saved the house partially.

This was stated by members of a Muslim family Rahil Masood Wasti, Zafar Iqbal and Samreen Masood while addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) here on Sunday.

Wasti said they were facing trouble after some religious people accused them of committing desecration of the Holy Quran and Hadith, which they never committed. He said that they were deprived of their house and now could not even dare to enter it after such false allegations.

He said that they had already declared that the incident took place due to a mistake by their illiterate housemaid who swept some pages of the Holy Quran and Hadith outside the house, adding it all happened without their knowledge. To a query, he replied that some religious and civil society people had also staged protests outside KPC and some other places for our arrest. “These people have also declared us ‘wajibul qatal’ (deserve death),” he said.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\27\story_27-12-2010_pg7_35

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Malaysian Islamic Institute: "Islam rejects religious pluralism"

Dec 27, 2010

Of course, few if any serious religious believers of any tradition would agree that "all religions are equally true and equally good." The problem here is that while this Malaysian government entity says that "national unity should be nurtured by encouraging the uniqueness of each religious tradition and simultaneously encouraging the attitude of mutual goodwill, mutual empathy and mutual love as fellow neighbours and fellow human beings," on the ground the situation is not so rosy. Muslims have special legal rights that non-Muslims do not have, which indicates yet again that all too often, when Islamic spokesmen speak about harmony and mutual respect among religions, they do not mean that all religious believers should enjoy equal legal rights.

"Press Statement Institute Of Islamic Understanding Malaysia (IKIM) on Religious Pluralism," from the Institute of Islamic Understanding Malaysia, December 15 (thanks to Rose):

Full report at:

http://networkedblogs.com/cc1gB

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Moslems whine the world is intolerant of Islam...REALITY CHECK!

Dec 27, 2010

This was sent to me by Moinak Sengupta a freind who is also in a country that has a moslem problem.

"There is something which you may like and spread to muslim fanatics"

Many in the Muslim world repeatedly express anger when Islam and its founder are criticized. This anger could be fully understandable, especially when we take into consideration the sensitivity of talking about religious issues. However, it is vital that the Muslim world realize that most–if not all–the criticism of Islam and of the prophet is based on what traditional and mainstream Islamic books teach.

In other words, it is unfair to say that criticism of Islam was merely based on or motivated by bias against the religion, especially when we see thousands of Mosques and Islamic schools built in and sometimes supported by Western countries.

Full report at:

http://pameladeanne.blogspot.com/2010/12/moslems-whine-world-is-intolerant-of.html

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Al-Asheikh stresses unifying role of Holy Qur'an

Dec 27, 2010

Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh opens the Qur'an contest at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Sunday. (SPA)1 of 2

JEDDAH: Islamic Affairs Minister Saleh Al-Asheikh on Sunday highlighted the Holy Qur'an's role in unifying the Islamic Ummah and called for greater efforts to spread its message all over the world.

He made this comment while opening the 32nd King Abdul Aziz International Qur'an Recitation and Memorization competition inside the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

"It is the duty of Muslims to learn and memorize the Qur'an and follow its teachings in all walks of their lives," the minister said and noted the government's support to domestic and international Qur'an contests.

Al-Asheikh said the Qur'an plays an important role in the lives of Muslims all over the world. "The Qur'an has contributed a lot in the development of Islamic civilization," he pointed out.

As many as 188 contestants from 64 countries are participating in the competition organized by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article224018.ece

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First ever encyclopedia documenting the Gaza war released Sunday

Dec 27, 2010

The “creativity” studies and training foundation released Sunday the first ever electronic encyclopedia that documents Israel's late 2008 early 2009 war on the Gaza Strip to mark the war's second anniversary as it approaches.

GAZA (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The “creativity” studies and training foundation released Sunday the first ever electronic encyclopedia that documents Israel's late 2008 early 2009 war on the Gaza Strip to mark the war's second anniversary as it approaches.

The encyclopedia, dubbed “the Gaza Holocaust”, is the product of drawn out efforts by the foundation's strategic research and studies center, said foundation head Mohammed al-Madhoun. “More than 120 of the foundation's field researchers contributed to this remarkable work, as well as many more from research centers, rights foundations, and ministries.”

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=218644

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Seminar on “Quran and Microbiology” Held in Jordan

Dec 27, 2010

A seminar on Quran and microbiology was held on December 25 by the branch of the Society for protection of the Quran in Mafraq province in Jordan.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - A seminar on Quran and microbiology was held on December 25 by the branch of the Society for protection of the Quran in Mafraq province in Jordan.

According to Al-Dastoor newspaper, Abdul Hamid Al-Quzat, expert of the International Union of Islamic Medical Societies presented a speech on the theme at the meeting.

Regarding the results of Quranic-scientific studies stressing the scientific miracle of the Divine Word in the field of microbiology, he said: “the miracle was not known by humans since they were not scientifically developed to that extent and the issue has been presented at scientific meetings recently.”

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=218643

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Time to stand up for Christians

Piers Akerman

Dec 27, 2010

AROUND much of the Western world, Christmas hymns are still echoing in the ears of happy holidaymakers, but elsewhere, Christians, for whom Christmas is one of the holiest days, are being persecuted.

While Australian troops are dying in Afghanistan in a war with Islamist forces, the Afghan Government which our forces are supporting seems incapable of implementing policies that respect fundamental principles guaranteeing real religious freedoms.

Afghanistan is not alone. Islamic nations which regularly issue calls for the West to respect Islam and show tolerance for its traditions, rarely practise what they preach.

A 200-page study of religious freedom reveals that Christianity is under siege in the Islamic world and that the dwindling number of Christians still living in Islamic nations remain among the most oppressed.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/time-to-stand-up-for-christians/story-

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Somalia: Al Shabaab calls for continuation of 'East Africa jihad'

Dec 27, 2010

Somali insurgents have called on Al Qaeda terrorist network to 'come to Somalia' and join what the insurgents called 'East Africa jihad', Radio Garowe reports.

Al Shabaab insurgent spokesman, Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage "Ali Dheere," told a press conference in Mogadishu on Friday that Al Qaeda fighters should come to Somalia to "expand the East Africa jihad."

"We call on our brothers [Al Qaeda] to come to Somalia and to help us expand the East Africa jihad," Ali Dheere said, who was sitting alongside former Hizbul Islam insurgent spokesman, Sheikh Abdifatah Mohamed Ali.

Last week, Somalia's two main insurgent groups, Al Shabaab and Hizbul Islam, declared their unity under Al Shabaab name and declared to continue the insurgency against the UN-recognized Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and the 8,000-strong African Union force (AMISOM) that projects it in Mogadishu.

Full report at:

http://www.garoweonline.com/artman2/publish/Somalia_27/Somalia_Al_Shabaab_calls_for

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Finding the root causes of terrorism

Dec 27, 2010

The negative opinions and pronounced suspicions held by the West toward Islam are understandable, given the murderous acts of terrorism that, in the name of Islam, some Muslims have inflicted on the west.

Adding to the jaundiced views held by the West toward Muslims are the sharp cultural differences between the Muslim world and the West. For example, Western societies do not punish women who fail to dress in a prescribed manner, nor do they stone women to death for infractions of religious proscriptions.

Many characterize the nature of the terrorism committed by followers of Islam as a conflict between Islam and the West, further assessing the source of that conflict to be the unquestioning, over-zealous devotion to Islam and to opportune interpretations of the Koran. For the terrorists, mass murder is sanctioned by divine will.

Full report at:

http://www.santamariatimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/commentary/article_b74acec6-

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Russian Translation of A Survey in Nahjul-Balaqah Published

Dec 27, 2010

The Russian translation of Martyr Motahari’s “A Survey in Nahjul-Balaqah” was published by Islamic Studies Foundation in Moscow.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Russian translation of Martyr Motahari’s “A Survey in Nahjul-Balaqah” was published by Islamic Studies Foundation in Moscow.

According to Islamic Culture and Relations Organization, the book has been translated by Mohammad Salam Makshulov and distributed with the cooperation of Orientalism Publications in St. Petersburg.

The translation is aimed at helping Russian readers with better understanding of the lofty concepts of Nahjul-Balaqah.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=218448

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Rise of the east in a new clash of civilizations

Minhaz Merchant

Dec 27, 2010

As this adolescent century unfolds, four competing civilizations will shape it. This new contest of civilizations could determine the balance of power between nations and regions for generations.

"The longer you can look back," Winston Churchill said, "the farther you can look forward." Though in decline, western civilization will continue to influence global policy and culture. The rise of China will establish a powerful Confucian counter-civilizational force with strong roots in history and a sphere of influence arching from the Pacific to Africa. The third major civilization, again deeply rooted in history, will be driven by India's growing hard and soft power.

Strong demographics, a far-flung diaspora and the world's third largest economy will impel India to play a global role unmatched since the golden thousand years between the fifth century BC and fifth century AD when the subcontinent produced two prophets (Buddha and Mahavir Jain), two emperor-statesmen (Ashoka and Chandragupta) and two epics (the "Ramayana" and "Mahabharata" ).

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/sunday-toi/all-that-matters/Rise-of-the-east-in-a-

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Arabic studies centre to reopen in Beijing

Daniel Bardsley

Dec 27, 2010

BEIJING // The Arabic department of Beijing Foreign Studies University is a building site, with piles of scaffolding rods, panels and rubble littering the ground.

Next year, however, the centre will again offer a flavour of the Middle East close to the centre of the Chinese capital, when a US$2.8 million (Dh10.2m) refurbishment, paid for by the UAE, is completed.

The dome that sits atop the auditorium will be a shining golden colour, while Arabic poetry and calligraphy will adorn the walls inside the main building.

The work began in August and is to last for about a year, with funds coming from the Court of the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, also the Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/news/worldwide/south-asia/arabic-studies-centre-to-reopen-in-

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Nigerian Muslims and Arabic Language Skills

Dec 27, 2010

Arabic language is obviously the only official language of Islam, primarily for being the language in which the holy Qur’an was revealed to the Messenger of Allah, and in which the entire Islamic culture was basically collected, preserved and disseminated over the centuries. Incidentally, a language thrives and declines according to the condition of the civilization it belongs to. Accordingly, Arabic language has witnessed fluctuations over different periods of time and in various areas around the world; thriving and declining from era to era depending on the condition of Islamic civilization at any given time and location. For instance when Muslims were calling the shots in terms of cultural, scientific, technological and socio-economic and political fields, Arabic language flourished incredibly, and when they lagged behind it lost ground.

Full report at:

http://qaddamsidq.blogspot.com/2010/12/nigerian-muslims-and-arabic-language.html

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''VHP does not accept Allahabad HC verdict on Ayodhya''

Dec 27, 2010

Mumbai, Dec 26 (PTI) VHP today said it did not accept the Allahabad High Court verdict of trifurcation of the Ram Jamnabhoomi land.

"A magnificent Ram temple cannot be constructed in the 1/3rd portion alloted by the court. Even the ASI has confirmed that a temple existed before 1528. If the Sunni Wakq Board''s petition was dismissed by the court and there were doubts if the structure on the Ramjanmabhoomi land was indeed a mosque, how did one portion go to the Wakq board," Vishva Hindu Parishad President Ashok Singhal said.

He was addressing a "dharma sabha" organised by the party here.

http://in.news.yahoo.com/vhp-does-not-accept-allahabad-hc-verdict-ayodhya-20101226-

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Clashes in Nigerian city after deadly Christmas bombings

Dec 27, 2010

JOS, NIGERIA: Soldiers were patrolling the streets of the central Nigerian city of Jos Monday, a day after ethnic clashes there left at least one person dead.

The latest violence came just two days after Christmas Eve bombings in the city that killed at least 32 people, raising fears ahead of the country's April elections.

Hundreds of people have died in previous outbreaks of violence between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups.

"There were some skirmishes between the two groups and it's under control now," state police commissioner Abdulrahman Akano told AFP. "One or two houses were burnt."

Asked about deaths, he said, "we have seen only one -- one person."

An AFP correspondent said at least two houses burned and heavy smoke was coming from another area of the city. He also said crowds ran through the streets earlier in the day, with some claiming people had been killed.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Clashes-in-Nigerian-city-after-

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Malaysian colleges a hotbed for militant recruiting: Experts

Dec 27, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's universities have become prime recruiting grounds for Islamic militants looking for youngsters to draw into terrorist networks, security experts warn.

Unlike neighbouring Indonesia and Thailand, the moderate Muslim-majority nation has remained largely free of terror attacks but there are fears that lax admission policies have created a haven for jihadists.

A string of arrests and detentions this year have highlighted the growing presence of radicals using Malaysia as a base to sign up supporters and plan attacks.

"The terror threat to Malaysia is very real in terms of terrorists who come in as students," Zamihan Mat Zin, deputy head of the Malaysian Islamic Training Centre, told AFP.

"They are under the radar so they can recruit and create terrorists in our midst," said Zamihan, who is among a group of Muslim scholars engaged by the government to rehabilitate terror suspects in custody.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Malaysian-colleges-a-hotbed-for-

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In Saudi Arabia, 'no Arabic, mafi mushkila'

Dec 27, 2010

JEDDAH: A simmering issue that has been in the backburner is slowly seeing the light with many locals wondering why most non-Arab expatriates either do not know Arabic, or speak only a smattering of Arabic words picked up at random, which — although sound gibberish to the purist — does enable them to at least communicate.

There are reasons for the apathy to learning Arabic, despite many having spent years working in the Kingdom. Reasons cited by the non-Arab expatriate community include claims of finding the language difficult and an absence of Arabic schools or institutions. Many, on the other hand, are simply not keen to learn the language.

As a result, many non-Arabic speaking expatriates rely on English as their chosen language of communication, something that Saudis find strange, especially when these expatriates have been living in the Kingdom for over 10 years.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article223974.ece

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Priests' wives missing after converting to Islam in divorce bid

Dec 27, 2010

The wives of two Egyptian Coptic priests, forbidden by the church from divorcing their abusive husbands, desperately sought another way out by converting to Islam.

When their intentions were discovered, police handed them over to the church and their whereabouts since have been unknown.

The cases caused a furore at home that spilled over the borders and turned deadly when al-Qaida in Iraq cited the women as the reason behind the bloodiest attack yet on Christians in Iraq - a five-hour siege of a church in October that left 68 people dead.

It was the most stark example recently of the schism between Christians and Muslims that runs through the Middle East and periodically erupts into violence.

"Amid the current sectarian discord, the timing is perfect for al-Qaida to show it is defending Islam and to exploit the situation to rally extremists against the churches," said Ammar Ali Hassan, an expert on Islamic movements.

Full report at:

http://www.breakingnews.ie/world/priests-wives-missing-after-converting-to-islam-in-

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Julian Assange in £1 million book deal

Hasan Suroor

Dec 27, 2010

LONDON: Struggling to pay his mounting legal bills and keep WikiLeaks afloat, Julian Assange has signed a book deal that, he expects, will earn him more than one million pounds in advance and serialisation rights.

The book, an account of his own life and the activities of his controversial whistleblower website, is to be published by Canongate in Britain and Alfred A. Knopf in America.

“I don't want to write this book, but I have to,” Mr Assange told The Sunday Times, “I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat.”

Revolutionary feminism

Mr. Assange, who is on bail while fighting extradition to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault brought by two Swedish women, claimed that he had been a victim of “revolutionary feminism”.

“Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism. I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism,” he alleged.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/12/27/stories/2010122762851500.htm

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New challenge for Pakistan

Anita Joshua

Dec 27, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Police on Sunday confirmed that the suicide bomber who struck at a World Food Programme distribution centre in Bajaur on Saturday was a woman. Though terrorists have used the burqa as a disguise in the past to penetrate security arrangements across the country, this is the first instance of a woman suicide bomber that has come to light in Pakistan.

As per last count, Saturday's blast killed 49 people and left nearly a 100 injured. While there was considerable speculation soon after the blast about the gender of the attacker, further investigations by the police confirmed that it was indeed a woman who carried out this “mission”.

Even as the police try to establish the identity of the bomber — in particular, zero in on the tribe she belongs to — Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani urged people to maintain vigil and report “the black sheep” to the authorities.

The use of a woman to carry out the suicide bomb attack has further complicated matters for the security agencies. Security analysts said more ingenious ways would have to be evolved to carry out checks, particularly in the tribal agencies.

Drone attacks

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/12/27/stories/2010122762811500.htm

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Iran warns Pakistan

Dec 27, 2010

Islamabad: Iran has stepped up pressure on Pakistan to crack down on terrorists, days after Islamabad announced the arrest of the chief of Jundallah, a sectarian Muslim group which carries out cross-border attacks inside Iranian territory.

Welcoming the capture of Abdul Rauf Rigi, a senior Iranian official, however, said Pakistan needs to deal with terrorists sternly. Rigi was captured in Pakistan on Friday.

He became chief of Jundullah after his brother Abdul Malik Rigi was hanged by Iran earlier this year.

The arrest was made after Iran pressured Pakistan to crack down on terrorists operating from its soil in the wake of a deadly suicide attack in the Iranian city of Chabahar.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/12/27/stories/2010122762831500.htm

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Karzai denounces suicide attack

December 27, 2010

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Sunday urged Islamabad to “spare no effort in eliminating” those responsible for a suicide attack on a World Food Programme project in Pakistan that killed 43 people.

Karzai also stressed the need for the two countries to work together on boosting efforts against violent extremism in the aftermath of the attack in the lawless Bajaur tribal district of northwest Pakistan.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/306515/Karzai-denounces-suicide-attack.html

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Bangladeshi border guards bust ULFA hideout, seize arms

Anisur Rahman

Dec 27, 2010

For a second time in a week, Bangladeshi border guards claimed to have busted a suspected ULFA hideout close to the Indian border seizing mine manufacturing equipment, radio sets and propoganda material.

The hideout suspected to be that of ULFA separatist group which is active in Assam was busted in the hilly forest areas on Saturday in northern frontier area of Sherpur, close to country’s border with Meghalaya.

This is a second major arms haul from the same area, from where security forces recovered 13,680 bullets, a week back.

“BDR soldiers seized mine manufacturing equipments, a grenade, 97 bullets, some computer CDs, 19 (cell phone) SIM cards, five walkie-talkies, Indian rupees and ULFA documents in an abandoned state from hilly forests near Bankakura cluster village in Sherpur,” a top police official told PTI over phone.

He said no arrest has been made in the case.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/306512/Bangladeshi-border-guards-bust-ULFA-hideout-seize-

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Christians step up campaign for release of Asia Bibi

December 27, 2010

Amidst pressure from Pakistan’s religious hardliners not to amend a blasphemy law, Christian groups have pledged to take all possible steps for the release of a mother of five who has been sentenced to death for insulting Prophet Mohammed.

The death sentence given to Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old Christian woman convicted for blasphemy, has triggered a debate on the need to repeal or amend the controversial law.

However, hardline groups had organised protests across the country, saying they will not accept any changes to the law.

For the first time since a lower court in Punjab province sentenced Asia Bibi to death last month, groups representing the minority Christian community organised a protest on Saturday and called on the Government to drop the death penalty for blasphemy. The rally, which coincided with Christmas, was attended by a large number of Christians and rights activists.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/306473/Christians-step-up-campaign-for-release-of-Asia-

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Backing the 'mole': Jailed soldier finds support

Aaron Glantz

Dec 27, 2010

The small office of Courage to Resist, a nonprofit group in Oakland, is full of items featuring the face of Pfc Bradley Manning, the army intelligence analyst accused of passing secret government documents to WikiLeaks. Bradley Manning T-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers - even whistles - are for sale.

Jeff Paterson, the project director of the organization, which has supported dozens of service members who have refused deployments to Iraq or Afghanistan, said the group began to raise money for Private

Manning's legal defense after he was arrested in May. WikiLeaks was not supporting the soldier "who gave them all this information," said Paterson, a former Marine, who was jailed for refusing to board a plane bound for Saudi Arabia.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, has said he has never spoken with Manning and does not know who is behind the leaks. WikiLeaks technology was "designed from the very beginning to make sure that we never know the identities or names of people submitting us material," Assange said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Backing-the-mole-Jailed-soldier-finds-

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Pak Taliban claims responsibility for suicide attack by woman

Dec 27, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Taliban on Sunday claimed responsibility for an attack by a woman suicide bomber on the World Food Programme centre in the volatile tribal belt that killed 46 people, even as the food distribution center temporarily stopped its operations in the region.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Azam Tariq claimed responsibility for Saturday's attack on the WFP food distribution centre at Khar, the headquarters of Bajaur tribal region. The bombing killed 46 people and injured over 80 others.

In the first attack of its kind, the woman bomber struck at a time when some 600 people had gathered at the centre to receive aid.

Tariq said the attack was directed against members of the Salarzai tribe because they had supported the army against Taliban.

The Salarzai tribe had formed a 'lashkar' or militia against Taliban and that is why they were targeted, he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-Taliban-claims-responsibility-for-

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Terrorist attack an affront on people of Pakistan: Obama

Dec 27, 2010

WASHINGTON: Strongly condemning terrorist attack in Pakistan at a food distribution center, US President Barack Obama has termed it as an affront on the people of the country.

"I strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack in Khar in Pakistan. Killing innocent civilians outside a World Food Program distribution point is an affront to the people of Pakistan, and to all humanity," Obama said in a statement.

"The United States stands with the people of Pakistan in this difficult time, and will strongly support Pakistan's efforts to ensure greater peace, security and justice for its people," Obama said.

More than 40 people were killed and over 100 injured when a suicide bomber believed to be a woman attacked a checkpoint in the northwestern tribal area on Saturday.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Terrorist-attack-an-affront-on-people-of-

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Four Turkish engineers abducted in Afghanistan

Dec 27, 2010

KHOST (Afghanistan): Four Turkish engineers and their Afghan driver were kidnapped on Sunday in Afghanistan's eastern border province of Paktia, the deputy provincial governor told AFP.

Abdul Rahman Mangal said the men were travelling from a building site in the Dand Wa Patan district, which borders Pakistan's lawless tribal areas, to the provincial capital Gardez when the incident happened.

"Four Turkish engineers and their Afghan driver were kidnapped by unknown gunmen and have been taken away to an unknown location," Mangal said, adding that the men worked for a construction company which builds border posts.

Criminal groups and insurgents have kidnapped several dozen foreigners in Afghanistan since the 2001 US-led invasion ousted the Taliban. Most of the hostages are released safe and well.

One Bangladeshi road worker was killed and seven others were taken captive earlier this month in northern Afghanistan.

Five of them are still being held despite efforts by local police and elders to free them.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Four-Turkish-engineers-abducted-in-

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French defence minister meets Hamid Karzai on hostages

Dec 27, 2010

KABUL: President Hamid Karzai has promised the "full support" of Afghan authorities in efforts to free two French journalists held captive in the war-torn country, France's defence minister said on Sunday.

After meeting with the Afghan leader, Alain Juppe said intense discussions were taking place and he hoped the pair, kidnapped by suspected Islamist insurgents on December 30 last year, would be released soon.

"President Karzai assured me of the Afghan authorities' full support and all the help they can give us," Juppe said.

"I don't have a more precise timetable to give you. As we have said several times before, discussions are intense."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/French-defence-minister-meets-

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Dutch free 5 of 12 Somalis suspected of terrorism

Dec 27, 2010

AMSTERDAM: Dutch prosecutors said they have cleared five of the 12 Somali men who were detained Christmas Eve on suspicion of preparing a terrorist attack in the Netherlands.

The men were picked up after a tip from intelligence services said an attack may be imminent. There was no information on the alleged target, although Rotterdam is one of Europe's biggest commercial hubs.

Prosecutors said Sunday they had no evidence of criminal involvement against five of the men. Three who no valid residency permits were turned over to immigration police, and two Dutch residents were released.

Authorities must decide by Tuesday whether to ask a court's permission to continue the investigation of the remaining seven people or to free them.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Dutch-free-5-of-12-Somalis-suspected-of-

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No apology to Turkey over Gaza aid convoy raid: Israel minister

Dec 27, 2010

JERUSALEM: Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman vowed on Sunday that Israel would not apologise to Turkey for a commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship that killed nine Turkish activists.

Speaking in Jerusalem at a meeting of Israel's ambassadors, Lieberman said Ankara's demand for an apology before normalising relations between the former allies was "a cheek."

"The ones who have to apologise are the government of Turkey for supporting terror," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/No-apology-to-Turkey-over-Gaza-aid-

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Yemen sets up anti-terror unit in al-Qaida bastion

Dec 27, 2010

SANAA (Yemen): A Yemeni security official says his country is setting up regional anti-terrorism units to confront al-Qaida operatives in their strongholds.

The official said Sunday the special units will operate in four provinces believed to house senior al-Qaida leaders in a bid to "uproot" terrorism from Yemen. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to discuss the plan with reporters.

Yemen has highly trained, US-funded anti-terrorism security units. This is the first time officials have said the units will be based in the heartland of al-Qaida.

The move follows a conversation between Yemen's President and a top US counterterrorism official, who urged Sanaa to take "forceful" action against al-Qaida and improve cooperation.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Yemen-sets-up-anti-terror-unit-in-al-

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Iran halts hanging of Kurdish student

Dec 27, 2010

TEHRAN: A defense lawyer in Iran says authorities have halted the hanging of a Kurdish student sentenced to death for backing a rebel group.

The lawyer for Habibollah Latifi was quoted by Iran's ISNA news agency on Sunday as saying officials temporarily blocked the execution shortly before it was scheduled.

The lawyer, Nemat Ahmadi, had called for a full investigation of the case. Amnesty International and other rights groups also have protested against the execution.

Latifi was sentenced in 2008 for supporting the Party for Free Life in Kurdistan, or PEJAK, which says it is fighting for greater rights for the Kurdish minority in Iran.

Iranian authorities blame the group for attacks and clashes. Latifi claims he never took part in violence.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-halts-hanging-of-Kurdish-

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World may recognise Palestine soon: Israel minister

Dec 27, 2010

JERUSALEM: With peace talks stalled, the "entire world" could recognise a Palestinian state within a year, a dovish Israeli cabinet minister warned on Sunday, urging the resumption of negotiations.

The comments from industry and trade minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer come after Ecuador formally recognised Palestine as an independent state on Friday, following the lead of other South American countries.

Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia gave formal recognition earlier this month while Uruguay said it will do so early in the new year.

"I would not be surprised if within a year the entire world, even the US, recognizes a Palestinian state, then we will have to explain how this happened," Ben Eliezer told reporters ahead of the weekly cabinet meeting.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/World-may-recognise-Palestine-soon-

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ED seizes Adnan Sami's properties

C Unnikrishnan

Dec 27, 2010

MUMBAI: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has confiscated eight properties and five parking spaces acquired by singer Adnan Sami under the Foreign Exchange Management Act. This means that the same have become government properties.

The ED has also imposed a fine of Rs 20 lakh on the singer as being a Pakistan national, he was not allowed to acquire properties in India.

Officials said that in 2003, the actor had acquired eight immovable properties along with five parking spaces in Oberoi Sky Garden housing society in Lokhandwala, Andheri for a total consideration of Rs 2.53 crore.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/ED-seizes-Adnan-Samis-

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THIRD ANNIVERSARY - No closure on Benazir's murder

Imtiaz Ahmad

Dec 27, 2010

Three years after her death, the Pakistan government is still unable to make any headway into the killing of Benazir Bhutto, the country's first woman prime minister.

So far no one has been caught or named and those whose names were mentioned by Bhutto, in a letter prior to her assasination, have not even been questioned. No police case has also been registered.

Public perception in Pakistan remains that the Asif Ali Zardari-led government is not interested in finding the truth.

“There are too many names involved, many of whom are in power even today,“ said TV anchor Kashif Ansari, in a recent TV show on the subject.

Many debunk the theory that the Taliban were behind the killing.

A UN Commission set up to investigate the killing, which took place on December 27, 2007, highlighted the lack of proper security arrangements in place for the political rally in Nishtar Park, Rawalpindi, where the attack took place.

Full report at: Hindustan Times

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China struggles to make its own arms

John Pomfret

Dec 27, 2010

The Moscow Machine-Building Enterprise Salyut on the east side of town has put up a massive Sovietstyle poster advertising its need for skilled workers. The New Year's party at the Chernyshev plant in a northwest suburb featured ballet dancers twirling on the stage of its Soviet-era Palace of Culture.

The reason for the economic and seasonal cheer is that these factories produce fighter-jet engines for a wealthy and voracious customer: China.

After years of trying, Chinese engineers still can't make a reliable engine for a military plane.

The country's demands for weapons systems go much further. Chinese officials last month told Russian Defence Minister Anatoly E. Serdyukov that they may resume buying major Russian weapons systems after a several-year break.

This persistent dependence on Russian arms suppliers demonstrates a central truth about the Chinese military: The bluster about the emergence of a superpower is undermined by national defence industries that can't produce what China needs.

Full report at: Hindustan Times

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Drug war digs up diplomacy dirt

Dec 27, 2010

WASHINGTON: The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has been transformed into a global intelligence organization with a reach that extends far beyond narcotics, and an eavesdropping operation so expansive it has to fend off foreign politicians who want to use it against their political enemies, according to secret diplomatic cables.

In far greater detail than previously seen, the cables, from the cache obtained by WikiLeaks and made available to some news organizations, offer glimpses of drug agents balancing diplomacy and law enforcement in places where it can be hard to tell the politicians from the traffickers, and where drug rings are themselves mini-states whose wealth and violence permit them to run roughshod over struggling governments.

DEA officials and the US state department declined to discuss what they said was information that should never have been made public.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/china/Drug-war-digs-up-diplomacy-

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Nawaz accuses MQM of killings in Karachi

Dec 27, 2010

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif on Sunday criticised Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain for supporting dictators and accused the MQM of violence in Karachi, a private TV channel reported on Sunday.

Addressing a public gathering at Muzaffarabad, the PML-N chief said that dictators had betrayed the people of Pakistan. Nawaz made a formal announcement for launching of the PML-N Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) chapter. He said the PML-N was a revolutionary party. He asked why 50 people were killed in Karachi when Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry arrived in the provincial capital on May 12. He said those demanding revolution should define the word first. “Is it a revolution that MQM leader Imran Farooq is murdered in London and dozens of people are killed in Karachi in its reaction?” Nawaz asked.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\27\story_27-12-2010_pg1_1

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Two top Peshawar jail officials made OSDs

By Akhtar Amin

Dec 27, 2010

PESHAWAR: The superintendent and deputy superintendent of the central prison had to face the music when they were made officers on special duty (OSDs) for refusing to hand over a Taliban prisoner to security agencies, official sources said.

Sources in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Prisons Department told Daily Times on Sunday that the security agencies sought custody of a Taliban prisoner, Janan, resident of Nowshera, believed to be a suicide bomber.

They said the inspector general of prisons, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Qudratullah Marwat, issued orders a week ago making Superintendent Masoodur Rehman and Deputy Superintendent Iftikhar Khan, OSDs.

They were made OSDs after agencies pressurised the provincial government, sources added.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\27\story_27-12-2010_pg1_6

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US hints at more military actions on Pak-Afghan border

Dec 27, 2010

FORWARD OPERATING BASE SALERNO: The top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan said there will be more coordinated military operations on either side of the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, and commended Pakistan on its “impressive” counter-insurgency efforts.

The Taliban in Afghanistan and other extremist groups use safe havens across the border in Pakistan, and the US has been pushing Islamabad to clear the lawless tribal belt that runs along the frontier. The pressure has often strained US-Pakistani relations, with Islamabad bristling at suggestions it should do more.

Gen David Petraeus, who took over command of coalition troops in Afghanistan in July, said there had already been coordinated operations on both sides of the border, with Pakistani forces on one side and NATO and Afghan troops on the other.

“We want to do more hammer and anvil operations,” Petraeus said late on Saturday, in an interview aboard a military transport aircraft as he flew around the country on Christmas visits to bases and combat outposts dotted across north, west, south and east Afghanistan.

Pakistan recognised “the need to do more to solidify their gains in FATA and we are going to coordinate with them to help their operations”, he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\27\story_27-12-2010_pg7_10

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Benazir Bhutto — an icon of struggle for the people

By Farzana Raja

Dec 27, 2010

Indeed, it was the most tragic and dreadful evening in the history of Pakistan. Three years ago, it was a horrible evening of December 27 when few cowards, who were afraid of the democratic struggle of Benazir Bhutto and her resolve to serve the people of Pakistan, brutally assassinated her at Liaquatbagh soon after her historic speech to a massive public rally.

Benazir was assassinated because she was a forceful advocate of the democratic and human rights of the poor. Her assassins actually wanted to murder the hopes and aspirations of the downtrodden of getting rid of the clutches of vicious circle of poverty and undemocratic oppressive regimes. Hence, the murder of Benazir was indeed a conspiracy to keep the people deprived of their fundamental rights and dreams of a better future.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\27\story_27-12-2010_pg7_25

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Two killed as violence surges on Gaza border

Dec 27, 2010

JERUSALEM: Israeli forces killed two Palestinian militants Sunday along the Gaza-Israel border, where a sudden surge in violence has weakened an unofficial truce in place since Israel’s bruising 2009 war there.

The Israeli military said it launched an airstrike after spotting two men trying to plant an explosive device along the frontier, where soldiers patrol. The Islamic Jihad militant group said two of its members died in a clash with Israeli ground troops. There was no way to immediately reconcile the two accounts.

The border area has been calm for the most part since Israel invaded Gaza in December 2008 to try to stop years of Palestinian rocket fire on southern Israel, killing more than 1,400 Palestinians - including more than 900 civilians - and destroying large sections of the territory. But violence flared several weeks ago, and on Saturday, Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers warned they would escalate hostilities against Israel if tensions didn’t subside. Israel holds Hamas responsible for all attacks coming out of Gaza, though much of the rocket fire has been carried out by more radical splinter groups. But they all share a common rejection of Israel’s right to exist and oppose efforts by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to win a Palestinian state through negotiations with Israel. ap

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\12\27\story_27-12-2010_pg4_4

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Islamic finance continues to feature as an affirmative action tool in NEP

Dec 27, 2010

Malaysian Prime Minister Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak last week reiterated in the Dewan Rakyat (the Parliament) that the country's New Economic Policy (NEP), which promotes the economic empowerment of the indigenous peoples and the Bumiputeras (Malays) and their poverty alleviation through affirmative action, will continue and is still relevant today.

The NEP was first introduced in 1971 by no other person than the father of Najib, the much-revered late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Malaysia's second prime minister since independence from the British.

The NEP is a highly sensitive issue in the maelstrom of Malay politics and in the national Malaysian polity. It was supposed to have been a 20-year policy ending in 1991, but successive governments would not have dared to sign off its demise.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/islamicfinance/article223981.ece

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King’s recovery delights every citizen: Shoura chief

Dec 27, 2010

RIYADH: The Shoura Council on Sunday congratulated Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on his recovery from recent surgery and subsequent discharge from a US hospital.

“The king’s recovery has delighted every citizen and resident of the Kingdom as well as Muslims living in all parts of the world,” said Shoura Council Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh at the beginning of the 67th session of the council.

Al-Asheikh said people should also pray for the well being of Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, and Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif.

He also stressed that the sentiments expressed by people truly reflect the strong bond between the leadership and the Kingdom’s citizens.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article223959.ece

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Thousands greet flotilla ship; Ankara holds out for apology

Dec 27, 2010

ISTANBUL: Thousands of pro-Palestinian activists on Sunday welcomed back to Istanbul the ship that was the scene of bloodshed during an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla in May. Activists meanwhile, promised to send more ships in an effort to break the Gaza blockade.

Hundreds of balloons were released as the ship, Mavi Marmara, sailed into Istanbul’s Sarayburnu port, following repairs at a port on Turkey’s Mediterranean coast.

The activists waved Palestinian and Turkish flags and chanted “down with Israel” and “Allah is great” as they greeted the vessel.

Protesters also boarded boats to welcome the approaching ship, which was adorned with a poster of the nine activists from Turkey who were killed during the raid.

The ship was part of an international flotilla carrying supplies to Gaza in a campaign to breach the blockade on Gaza when Israeli troops intercepted the convoy. Eight Turks and an American-Turkish teenager were killed in the violence that erupted on board the Mavi Marmara.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article223810.ece

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Police disperse feuding high school students

Dec 27, 2010

TAIF: Police were called to a school in the town of Asheera, north of Taif, to separate two gangs of fighting students recently.

A number of students sustained minor injuries in the clashes at the secondary school, which saw students attacking each other with sticks.

Seven students were arrested and another seven were taken to a juvenile center in the town.

A local resident said the fighting initially began between two teenagers from two tribes that are involved in a bitter feud. The altercation escalated and others joined in.

Police were called when teachers and other staff at the school were unable to end the hostilities. Asheera is a small town home to some 30,000 people.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article223958.ece

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British police charge nine men over bomb plot

Dec 27, 2010

LONDON (AFP) – Nine men will appear in a London court Monday on terrorism charges including plotting one or more bomb attacks in Britain, a week after police arrested them in pre-dawn raids across England and Wales.

The men have been charged with conspiracy to cause an explosion -- or explosions -- "of a nature likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property" between October 1 and November 20 this year, police said.

The suspects were also charged with involvement in the preparation of an attack by having downloaded and researched methods and materials, and scouted potential targets, according to a police statement.

The suspects had also tested incendiary materials, said police.

Full report at:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20101227/wl_afp/britainattackscourt

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Two years after war, Gaza border tensions flare

27 Dec 2010

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Monday marked two years since Israel's devastating invasion of the coastal enclave at a time of renewed high tensions with Israel

The Islamic Jihad movement planned a rally in Gaza City to commemorate the start of Israel's "Operation Cast Lead," while the Hamas-run television channel Al-Aqsa devoted its programming to the 22-day invasion.

The anniversary comes after weeks of mortar shell and rocket fire from Gaza and retaliatory Israeli air strikes. Both sides have ramped up their rhetoric, warning an escalation in violence could result in a full-blown conflict. On Sunday, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad said the group was prepared for a new war with Israel.

"The occupation will pay the price if they even think of carrying out an escalation in the Gaza Strip," Abu Ahmed told mourners at the funerals of two Islamic Jihad members killed in a Sunday exchange of fire with Israeli troops.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/UI/Front/NewsContent/2/8/2704/World/Region/Two-years-

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Senior Lawmaker Stresses Necessity of Islamic-Iranian paradigm of progress

Dec 27, 2010

TEHRAN (FNA)- Developing and adopting an Islamic-Iranian paradigm of progress is of paramount importance to Iran since the Islamic Republic would never accept to abide by the western model of lifestyle and system of ruling, a senior Iranian lawmaker underlined on Monday.

"Movement on the basis of the western paradigm cannot be palatable or acceptable to the (Islamic) ruling system. Therefore, adopting an Islamic-Iranian paradigm of progress is of paramount importance," Asadollah Badamchian told FNA in Iran's Northeastern city of Mashhad.

"All of us should take steps in this regard with much effort and display that the Islamic Republic of Iran is a role model among the Muslim states," the lawmaker continued.

"This goal is achievable," Badamchian stated, and mentioned that developing and adopting an Islamic-Iranian paradigm of progress and presenting its to the other Islamic states is an issue seriously pursued and emphasized by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8910060929

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/abu-dhabi--fatwa-centre-to-issue-more-than-350-edicts-this-year/d/3835


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