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Islamic World News ( 25 Dec 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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NEW DELHI: Nurturing Mirza Ghalib's legacy

Militant leader, 7 insurgents killed in shoot-out in Russia's restive North Caucasus

Sami Yusuf rejects being billed as the ‘Michael Jackson of Islamic pop’

Saudi Liberalism: Is the Problem in the Name?

More threat to British Muslims in smaller towns, says a report

26/11 case: India awaiting clarifications on Pakistan panel

Digvijay hits out at RSS, VHP again

UN chief Ban appalled at Pakistan terror attack

Christians step up campaign for release of Asia Bibi

Pak Islamist groups warn govt against changes in blasphemy law

Naxalism, terrorism major challenges: Manmohan

Top US General visits troops in Afghanistan

A wave of Christianophobia is sweeping the world

Need for strong Islamic media

Indonesia: Muslim radicals colonising the country, Indonesian bishops say

Collection of Saadi’s works published in Turkmen language

100 couples tie knot at mass wedding in Gaza

2nd Hearing Over “Prophet Joseph (AS)” Case Held

International Quran contest to open at Grand Mosque

If Israel Want to Improve Ties? Then Apologize!: Turkish FM

Iraqi Parliament allocates 25% of its parliamentary seats for women

Hamas warns Israel against escalation

Iraqi Christians mark sombre Christmas in Baghdad

Imam to tour US promoting NYC Islamic centre

Israeli activist faces prison for riding a bike

Taliban dispute U.N. report on Afghan casualties

Palestinian officials: Israeli forces kill two militants

Yemen to bolster counterterrorism forces to 'bring ... fight to al Qaeda'

UN food centres closed in Bajaur after attack

Obama condemns ‘outrageous’ Pakistan suicide attack

Pak Taliban warns of 'severe action' against 'lashkars'

Ship carrying Pakistanis, Iraqis detained off Lakshadweep

Woman suicide bombers fresh challenge for Pak security forces

Iran hangs rapist, three drug traffickers: Report

Pope urges courage for Catholics in China, Iraq

Jordan rejects Islamist fatwa over Afghan war

Rushdie is a man to be admired and envied

Jinnah wanted to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state: Dr AQ Khan

Workshop to empower young Muslim girls opens in Tuba

Vatican: Pope: may the light of Christmas bring peace in the world

Al-Qaeda Tune: Israel's Favorite War Song

“Terrorism” will stop only when Jews stop their war on Muslims

Mashhad to Become Islamic World’s Cultural Centre

Compiled by New Age Isalm News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-delhi--nurturing-mirza-ghalib-s-legacy/d/3834

 

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Nurturing Mirza Ghalib's legacy

Madhur Tankha

26 December 2010

NEW DELHI: To keep alive the legendary Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib's legacy, veteran Bollywood lyricist-director Gulzar will lead a candlelight march from Town Hall in Chandni Chowk to Ghalib's haveli in Gali Qasim Jaan in the Walled City of Delhi on Sunday (today).

Gulzar has commissioned a bust of the noted poet which will be unveiled by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit to mark the occasion. During the march Gulzar would be accompanied by Indian Ambassador to Bhutan Pavan Varma, seasoned danseuse Uma Sharma and people from different walks of life.

Describing Ghalib as a custodian of secularism while addressing media persons here, Gulzar said he had made a serial on the Urdu poet to celebrate his secular spirit. “When Ghalib was presented barfi by one of his Hindu neighbours on the occasion of Diwali, he accepted it and commented that barfi doesn't have any religious connotation. He even wanted to settle down in Banaras – the citadel of Hinduism. When he passed away, there was debate whether he was a Shia or a Sunni. The truth is that he was a Sufi.”

Lamenting the fact that literary icons and artistes have not been given their due importance, Gulzar said stalwarts like Mirza Ghalib must be given the credit for enriching the cultural life of Delhi.

“Even if a person is not conversant with Urdu, still he needs to know Ghalib. While we study Shakespeare in schools, it is also important to have detailed chapters on Ghalib, Kalidas and Tagore in our syllabus,” said Gulzar.

Stating that every year on the eve of Ghalib's birth anniversary a march is undertaken as a symbolic gesture, Mr. Pawan Varma said Uma Sharma's Ghalib Memorial Movement picked up momentum after tenants living in the famous poet's haveli were relocated.

“We wanted to salvage what was left of the place. Unfortunately, there is neglect of literary icons and amnesia about the recent history of this great city,” he said.

The former Indian Council for Cultural Relations president said Delhi had grown exponentially yet its rooh cannot be felt. Ghalib is a metaphor of culture and history representing the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb.

Advocating establishment of public awareness camps on literary icons, Mr. Varma said more importance must be given to them in the school curriculum. “The government must allocate more funds and we need greater public-private partnership in a transparent manner.”

Ms. Uma Sharma said earlier the Urdu poet's haveli was in a dilapidated condition with garbage strewn all round and was occupied by one Khan Sahib. “The Chief Minister has been supportive and made efforts in renovating the place. But we need to do more,” she added.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/12/26/stories/2010122658790300.htm

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Militant leader, 7 insurgents killed in shoot-out in Russia's restive North Caucasus

26 December 2010

Officials say one militant leader and seven suspected militants have been killed in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region.

Vyacheslav Gasanov, a police spokesman in the province of Dagestan said the eight men were killed in a shoot-out Sunday with police after they barricaded themselves in a house in the city of Makhachkala and refused to give up.

One man has been identified as a militant leader who oversaw terrorist activities in the city, police said. Other men have yet to be identified.

Dagestan faces near-daily violence between police and Islamic insurgents inspired by separatists in neighboring Chechnya.

http://www.newser.com/article/d9kbivao1/militant-leader-7-insurgents-killed-in-shoot-out-in-russias-restive-north-caucasus.html

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Sami Yusuf rejects being billed as the ‘Michael Jackson of Islamic pop’

26 December 2010

Sami Yusuf, the British musician of Azerbaijani descent who achieved tremendous success with his debut album “al-Mu'allim” in 2003, released his third studio album this month in Turkey through the record label Avrupa Müzik.

Titled “Wherever You Are,” Yusuf's first album of new material in five years is a 15-track set marked by a new sound, which Yusuf calls “spiritique.” The 30-year-old musician says he focused more on philosophical issues in this newest album, which he started promoting this month in Turkey.

Yusuf's choice of only his silhouette for the cover art of the album instead of a colorful photograph of him is also a reflection of this new sound and his outlook. Despite his immense success with his previous two albums, which collectively sold 7 million copies worldwide, Yusuf says he is generally a reserved person and that he has slowly started to open up.

In an interview with Sunday's Zaman, the young singer-songwriter-producer says “Wherever You Are” was still a learning experience for him. “There is a lot I still need to learn. It is not an album that is easy to listen to. Faith is very important to me. Without faith, my life is nothing,” he says.

Yusuf, who is billed as “Islam's biggest rock star” by Time magazine, believes the reason his debut CD “al-Mu'allim” became a worldwide success was because it was sincere and heartfelt. “I always tell my heart to be honest, be real, be sincere. Fame, glory and prominence come step by step, and it is like suicide. I strive to make my heart free and pure. I don't believe in coincidence; I believe in destiny,” he explains.

Yusuf presents three versions of the song “You Came to Me” in the album with lyrics in Arabic, Turkish and Farsi. He collaborated with Turkish pop diva Sezen Aksu on the song's Turkish version, which caused quite the hype in the Turkish media recently.

Yusuf's new album, which he calls “a renaissance” on his official website, presents a more sophisticated style, but still it looks like it is going to take some more time for him to escape labels such as “Islamic pop star.” Noting that he does not like these kinds of labels, the talented musician says: “If you don't describe yourself, then others do it for you. I am not a pop singer. But neither do I want to be a representative of a particular group or religion. I am in the center, and I want to reach everyone. I believe this style will become more popular over time. This is the way people perceived me because I worked with a company that produced religious music. If I had been marketed by a more international brand, then my music would be playing even in America. I am a religious person, but I don't want my religious side to be used for this purpose. It was effective in the success of ‘al-Mu'allim' by bringing together the Muslim diaspora. … Normal pop videos are too pornographic. ‘Al-Mu'allim' was seen as a rescuer in this respect. … I don't want to make music for myself; I want to appeal to large audiences. But these labels confine me in a box and prevent me from reaching masses.”

Of course, it is unclear if and when Yusuf's soaring success will end, however the artist notes that he gets enough love from his parents and does not thrive on solely fans' attention, adding, “I will stop making music the moment I feel it does not offer an added value [for my listeners].”

They used to call me ‘piano boy'

“I grew up in London. My father was a composer. They used to call me the ‘piano boy.' I went to a regular public school and I was always seen as different. Even my teacher would wonder, ‘Why won't this kid listen in class, is he crazy?' I think music can be harsh and bring temporary glory and fame. That is why my father has always kept my sister away from music. When I am by myself, I always pray to be able to serve something, to be subservient and to be able to add value to something. My desire to win the Grammy is completely personal. The Grammy Award is only the visible part of the iceberg. We need to think bigger. I am foreign to the concept of glory and fame. I would not want to be remembered with pop music. Spirit is the substance of real music.”

The ‘Michael Jackson of Islamic pop'

“I was always interested in spiritual matters. At the age of 19 I always asked myself: ‘Who am I? Am I Muslim? Am I Christian? Am I Azerbaijani? Am I British?' I then made a final choice about my lifestyle. I don't have a problem with hymns or religious music; I just don't like the way they are presented. Not everything has to be explicitly voiced in life. We should be more sophisticated. People tried to make me ‘the Michael Jackson of Islamic pop.' These two concepts are not compatible with each other. … I wouldn't want to listen to Islamic rock or Islamic pop, anyway. These labels inhibit my music and message. And they are heartbreaking. I want to be remembered as a good musician. I want people to say I am a very talented and good musician, not a person who makes religious music. My newest album will ensure that.”

‘I would not have asked Aksu for a song'

“Sezen Aksu is a living legend. They always ask me about her. If I had known her name was going to be mentioned so much [in the media] maybe I would not have worked with her. I am afraid of damaging her reputation. I wouldn't want her to go through the trouble. I have never been a fanatic fan. But, of course, I like to collaborate with artists who share my line of thought. I want to work with people who stay away from fame and glamour and act as themselves instead of people who see the world as a sick place and aspire to cure it. In that sense, Avrupa Müzik understood me and believed in my album.”

No more Ramadan concerts in Turkey

“My first appearance in Turkey [for a concert in İstanbul in September 2007] was during Ramadan. It was wrong. I performed before an audience of 200,000 people at the Feshane [cultural center]. The fact that the concert was free and was held in Ramadan made me less valuable. They presented me as a public-oriented Islamic pop star and that just took away the quality. You can't have quality like that. My second appearance was at Harbiye last September. People wondered why they had to pay for the concert when it was free last time and chose not to come. We should be at home during Ramadan, not on the stage. I won't come to Turkey for a concert during Ramadan again. If this album had been released by my former record company, then you can bet I would have come to Turkey again during Ramadan.”

http://www.todayszaman.com/news-230705-sami-yusuf-rejects-being-billed-as-the-michael-jackson-of-islamic-pop.html

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Saudi Liberalism: Is the Problem in the Name?

By Mshari Al-Zaydi

26 December 2010

Dr Abdullah al-Ghathami came out to criticize liberalism in Saudi Arabia, during an open lecture he gave at the King Saud University in Riyadh.

I watched this lecture in full, which was available online on the King Saud University's Faculty of Arts website. This recording lasted for around two hours.

For people seeking further information [about this lecture], please refer to the link on this website. As an ordinary observer, I was expecting a calmer approach from the famous Saudi critic, especially as Dr Abdullah al-Ghathami is one of few figures of the Saudi elite who has enriched the scene with his ideas, books, and even his "stories" such as his book detailing the "story of modernity." I was therefore surprised by Dr al-Ghathami’s approach, especially taking into account his distinguished presence and cultural role in Saudi Arabian academia and the marketplace of ideas.

In my opinion, I did not benefit [from this lecture], even though I was genuinely enthusiastic [to listen to it]. What I heard was no different to what I have heard and read before from the opponents of liberalism in Saudi Arabia over the past few years. It was true that Dr al-Ghathami, because he adopts an academic approach, was careful to ensure that he used academic terms, but the latest findings were no different to the "distorted" intellectual depiction of Saudi Arabian liberalism. In his lecture, he referred to a general and distorted perception of liberalism in Saudi Arabia, portraying it as having reached a dead-end. Al-Ghathami’s latest speech about liberalism merely served to underline the negative image of liberalism in the general perception of Saudi society. This is why al-Ghathami’s latest speech targeting and attacking liberalism was welcomed and echoed by the opponents of liberalism throughout Saudi Arabia, the majority of whom are members of the Islamic Awakening movement, or [religious] conservatives.

At this point, it is necessary to stress that the author of this article is in favor of all the cultural, social, and political phenomena in Saudi Arabia being studied, for we are in desperate need of these kinds of studies. Critiquing and indeed dissecting liberalism is not only permissible, but it is one of the most important duties for any scholar or researcher, including Dr al-Ghathami. As Saudi Arabian writer Abdullah al-Qafari put forward in his recent article in the "Riyadh" newspaper, even defining the term "Liberalism" is problematic in Saudi Arabia, as it is many other countries. This term seems to have developed into an object of popular satire, and a controversial social topic, and has therefore even been criticized and lampooned on satirical television programs such as "Tash ma Tash". However we expert more than this from scholars and researchers, as they are expected to investigate beyond the standard and oft-repeated definition, and in a professional and analytical manner, seek to reach an understanding, not support or oppose. This is a question of being devoted to an academic approach, but unfortunately this is something that did not happen in this instance, at least in my opinion.

Liberalism is an issue worthy of study, examination and analysis. It deserves to be placed in its historical, social and political context, and to be understood within the developments that have taken place in the Middle East. Specifically, these range from the dawn of the Al-Nahda [Arab Cultural Renaissance] to the end of the Cold War and the birth of the new world order under President George Bush Senior. We must also consider the rise of religious terrorism, which is something that existed before 9/11, contrary to what the opponents of liberalism tend to espouse in order to associate national reform with US foreign policy [following 9/11].

We can recall the acts of religious terrorism that struck Egypt in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as Algeria, not to mention the Al-Ulayya Bombings in Riyadh in 1995. We do not have to go far back in history to recall the Grand Mosque Seizure in 1979 by Juhayman al-Otaibi and his group, or the assassination of [late Egyptian President Anwar] al-Sadat in 1981 at the hands of Egyptian radical extremists.

All these events generated huge questions about the development of religious discourse and its reform in the Arab world. Many Arab intellectuals produced studies, some of them profound and wonderful, on the debates between the state and religion, tradition and modernity, and religious reform in general. This debate developed into a growing trend towards the necessity for political and religious reform. A famous theory soon emerged to the effect that religious intolerance and social rigidity were effects, rather than causes, the results of political despotism and autocracy. Egyptian sociologist and political dissident Saad Eddin Ibrahim was one of the most prominent advocates and defenders of this theory, and he believed that the only solution to this problem was for the immediately implementation of a democratic system, even if this would result in the fundamentalists coming to power. As a side note, we must say that Saad Eddin Ibrahim later distanced himself from this proposal. For his part, we see Dr al-Ghathami categorically putting forward the idea of elections in Saudi Arabia, however these would be elections in social clubs and social clubs alone, even if these elections bring extremists to power [in these social clubs].

The debate surrounding reform and development is an old one in the Muslim world; it almost seems to coincide with the birth of the concept of the Arab nation itself. The questions of freedom, secular and religious reform, and women's social reform, as well as other issues, were the fundamental fabric of the discourse during the Al-Nahda, particularly that by [Syrian Arab nationalist intellectual] Sati al-Husri, his colleagues, and their students.

Likewise in Saudi Arabia, the question of reform is considered an old one, particularly social, religious, and even political reform. Here we can recall the writings of [Saudi intellectual] Mohamed Hassan Awad and Abd al-Karim al-Juhayman.

A confrontation with the conservative and anti-modernist current soon began, particularly on the issue of women and the fight for female education, during the era of King Saud and King Faisal. The debate around social reform has also been well documented in the Saudi press.

Dr al-Ghathami is well aware of all these issues; he has even addressed some of them in his books. Therefore, is there nothing new to be said about the issue of reform in Saudi Arabia, or is the problem merely in the term "liberalism"?

This underplays the issue somewhat, because the problem does not lie in terms and definitions. Perhaps, Dr. al-Ghathami remembers a story that he himself previously mentioned about the problem that Saudi society has in dealing with the term "modernism" due to the criticisms made by key conservative literary figures.

In his book that deals with the story of modernity, Al-Ghathami recalls an occasion when traditionalists, modernists and media representatives participated in the Al-Janadriyah Heritage and Cultural Festival in 1988. At this time, the conservative critic Mohammad al-Malibari had announced his opposition to the term and indeed concept of modernism, saying that if a more appropriate concept was found, then he would not have a problem with the modernists. This prompted journalist Muhammad Sadiq Diyab to propose to rename this concept, and after much discussion he proposed to rename this "imaginary realism." Thus, we saw a new term coined, and an old term rejected, in the hope of ending the problem and stopping the criticism and attacks by the anti-modernists. However, of course, this did not happen, because the issue was not a problem of names and terms. These names were just a terminological construct veiling the real dispute regarding modernization and reform, amongst its supporters and opponents.

Let us discard the term liberalism for example. Let us throw it into the fire and re-define it under a new name: enlightenment, moderation, modernization, national reform, rationalism, or any other term you might choose. After a period of time, you would find that the opponents who distorted the first term will have gone on to distort the next!

Let's save our efforts and confine our discussions to the intellectual and dialectical content of the term, rather than exhausting ourselves in a fruitless struggle over the term itself.

The story is not a tale of names and terms; these issues have been discussed and analyzed in an academic manner. You can examine the validity of the terms with academic discipline, or even discuss them in general, but this must not become a preoccupation.

The story relates to the meaning [of the term], and the differences of opinion, regarding questions of reform and development. This is the core issue.

http://aawsat.com/english/news.asp?section=2&id=23554

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More threat to British Muslims in smaller towns, says a report

26 December 2010

LONDON - Anti-Muslim sentiment and violence are seen as problems of big British cities with large immigrant populations from countries where Islam is the official religion.But new research suggests that threats and intimidation are more of a problem in small market towns and suburban areas.Many cases, the University of Exeter report found, are not reported.The new study ‘Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate Crime: UK Case Studies,’ reveals unprovoked incidents are largely a hidden experience that is insufficiently acknowledged and understood outside of the communities where they occur.Dr Jonathan Githens Mazer, co-director of the European Muslim Research Centre (EMRC), which produced the report, said Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hate crime are very real problems for British Muslims going about their everyday business. Through our research we have found that in smaller and more isolated mosques in many suburbs and market towns there is a feeling of being under siege.

Full report at:

http://app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=125714&Itemid=2

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26/11 case: India awaiting clarifications on Pakistan panel

Sandeep Diskhit

26 December 2010

NEW DELHI: India is waiting for Pakistan to clarify on the extent and scope of a Judicial Commission it wants to send to take the statements of a Magistrate and Investigation Officers connected to the Mumbai terror attacks, government sources said.

The sources said India would convey its decision on allowing the Pakistan Judicial Commission to come to India based on clarifications provided by Pakistan on the exact purpose of its visit. “They have mentioned several things that the Judicial Commission wants to do in India. We have sought clarifications,” said the sources.

The missive seeking certain clarifications on the Pakistani proposal for sending a three-member Judicial Commission was sent on December 17. It also contained a proposal to send a Judicial Commission from India to Pakistan to examine the accused in the Mumbai attacks and get their voice samples.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/12/26/stories/2010122659310700.htm

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Digvijay hits out at RSS, VHP again

26 December 2010

RAGHOGARH (MP): Hitting out once again at the VHP and the RSS, Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh said here on Saturday that the two were working like an "organised gang".

When asked as to why other Congress leaders were keeping quite while he was attacking the BJP, RSS and VHP, Singh said that Congress has been fighting against fundamentalism, both of the majority and minority community since 1930.

He said that some fundamental elements have reached the judiciary, army and the government and these needed to be identified.

Regarding Niira Radia, Singh said it is now known that she was helped by Ananth Kumar, the BJP leader who was part of the NDA government.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Digvijay-hits-out-at-RSS-VHP-

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UN chief Ban appalled at Pakistan terror attack

Dec 26 2010

United Nations : UN chief Ban-Ki-moon is appalled at the killing of innocent people in the "abhorrent" terrorist attack at a food distribution centre in northwest Pakistan where over 45 people were killed in an explosion triggered by a woman suicide bomber.

Reacting to the incident, the United Nations Secretary General condemned the act and conveyed his condolences to the families of victims.

The burqa-clad bomber targetted a UN aid distribution centre in Bajaur tribal region yesterday, first lobbing a grenade and then detonating her explosives at a checkpoint near a World Food Programme centre in Khar.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/un-chief-ban-appalled-at-pakistan-terror-

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Christians step up campaign for release of Asia Bibi

Dec 26 2010

Lahore : 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 in Lahore 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.indianexpress.com/news/christians-step-up-campaign-for-release-of-asia-

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Pak Islamist groups warn govt against changes in blasphemy law

26 December 2010

Islamabad/Lahore : Hardline religious parties and groups, including the LeT-linked Jamaat-ud-Dawah, have threatened countrywide protests if the controversial Pakistani blasphemy law is amended or attempt made to commute the death sentence of Christian woman Asia Bibi.

Thousands of supporters of hardline religious parties and groups, including the Jamaat-ud-Dawah, joined protests across Pakistan yesterday to step up pressure on the government not to make any changes in a controversial blasphemy law.

They warned the government of countrywide protests if any attempt is made either to amend the law or commute the death sentence of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman sentenced to death after being convicted of blasphemy last month.

Large rallies were organised in several cities, including Islamabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, Quetta and Karachi by groups like the Tehrik-e-Tahfooz Khatm-e-Naboowat and Tehrik Hurmat-e-Rasool, which has close links to the JuD.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-islamist-groups-warn-govt-against-changes-in-

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Naxalism, terrorism major challenges: Manmohan

Vinay Kumar

26 December 2010

NEW DELHI: Terrorism, Naxalism, communalism, and management of law in metropolitan cities have thrown up immense challenges to the law and order machinery, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh cautioned over the week end .

Pointing out that the tribal areas of central India were in the grip of Naxalite menace, Dr. Singh said if it was not controlled, the country would have to bid goodbye to its ambitions of sustaining a growth rate of 10-11 per cent per annum.

He emphasised that a healthy and steady growth rate was needed to get rid of chronic poverty, ignorance and disease that still afflict millions and millions of our citizens.

Addressing Indian Police Service (IPS) probationers here, the Prime Minister said Naxalism afflicted parts of central India, where the bulk of India's mineral wealth was concentrated. Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/12/26/stories/2010122657960200.htm

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Top US General visits troops in Afghanistan

December 26, 2010

The top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan crisscrossed the country on Saturday, visiting coalition troops on Christmas at some of the main battle fronts in a show of appreciation and support in the 10th year of the war against the Taliban.

Gen David Petraeus started his Christmas visit by traveling by helicopter from the capital, Kabul, to the northern province of Kunduz, telling troops with the US Army’s 1-87, 10th Mountain Division that on this day, there was “no place that (he) would rather be than here” where the “focus of our effort” was.

The northern part of the country has seen increased fighting, with the Taliban increasing their attacks as NATO focuses its sights on the militant movement’s southern strongholds.

Petraeus was briefed on the situation in the region by German Maj Gen Hans-Werner Fritz, the commander of NATO’s northern regional command.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/306280/Top-US-General-visits-troops-in-Afghanistan.html

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A wave of Christianophobia is sweeping the world

By JOEL BRINKLEY

26 December 2010

This Christmas season, Christians are under assault around the world.

Certainly a focus of the problem is the Middle East, where Islamic extremists consider anyone who holds another faith to be a heretic, often subject to execution. But it’s surprising to learn that Christian groups report heinous persecution on almost every continent. And for them, the nation considered the worst place to live is North Korea.

There, believers must worship in secret, and if caught they are imprisoned, tortured and sometimes killed.

North Korea may be the most brutal of the non-Muslim states, but it is far from alone at this. Bhutan forbids the building of churches. In Uzbekistan, Christians are hated, and authorities cut off their water and electricity trying to drive them away. In Azerbaijan, even after churches register with the government, police shut some of them down. In Belarus, the government forces churches to register, and that takes several years. In China, “unregistered” Christians are beaten and imprisoned.

Full report at:

http://www.kansascity.com/2010/12/24/2541036/a-wave-of-christianophobia-

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Need for strong Islamic media

26 December 2010

Unfortunately, especially after Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Muslims are stereotyped as extremists, fundamentalists, fascists, terrorists and suicide bombers.

Islamophobia should be accepted as a crime against humanity just as anti-Semitism is. It is not about the question of integration and how compatible the religion of Islam is with a modern secular society. It is about double standards. It is about hypocrisy. The West’s double standards, hypocrisy, and injustice fuel Muslim anger. Muslim anger is also fueled by the deaths of over a million Iraqis following the US invasion and Washington’s support for Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands, and the ongoing US occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan and other Muslim countries.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/opinion/letters/article221674.ece?comments=all

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Indonesia: Muslim radicals colonising the country, Indonesian bishops say

26 December 2010

The bishop of Padang warns against the systematic and organised spread of radical Islamic ideology. Political authorities are criticised for failing to stop the wave of violence. In the meantime, police is out in force to prevent anti-Christian violence over the Christmas period.

Jakarta – Mgr Mathinus D Situmorang, president of the Indonesian Bishops of Conference’s (KWI), warned Indonesian political elites on a potentially serious threat to the national interest. The prelate, who is the bishop of Padang (Western Sumatra), delivered his word of caution during the admission ceremony for new members of the Indonesian Catholic University Student Association (PMKRI). In his address, he criticised the state for its powerlessness in the face of dozens of attacks carried out by Islamic fundamentalist groups against churches and Christians.

Full report at:

http://www.speroforum.com/site/article.asp?id=45679&t=Indonesia:+++Muslim+radicals+

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Collection of Saadi’s works published in Turkmen language

26 December 2010

IBNA: According to informing center of Islamic culture and relations organization, the book has been written by “Rahman Rajabov”.

Iran Cultural attaché, Nasseri said :”great personalities who have created great works, are not limited in special time and place but belong to all eras and centuries.”

He added :”Saadi is one of these personalities and all through the world his works especially Bostan ("The Orchard") and Gulistan ("The Rose Garden")have lot of readers. In Turkmenistan, Iranian poets and authors like Hafiz, Ferdowsi and Saadi also have many fans.”

Full report at:

http://www.ibna.ir/vdcevn8o.jh8z7ik1bj.html

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100 couples tie knot at mass wedding in Gaza

26 December 2010

A total of 200 citizens of the Gaza Strip got married at a mass wedding organized by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement on Saturday, RIA Novosti reported.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - A total of 200 citizens of the Gaza Strip got married at a mass wedding organized by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement on Saturday, RIA Novosti reported.

The event gave poor newlyweds the chance to save money on their wedding and political organizations, which footed the bill, the chance to show publicly they care about the younger generation.

Only the bridegrooms, dressed in strict black suits, were on the decorated stage before the ceremony, while the brides were hidden from the public's view.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=218501

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2nd Hearing Over “Prophet Joseph (AS)” Case Held

26 December 2010

A second hearing over an accusation of plagiarism in the “Prophet Joseph (AS)” screenplay was held in a Tehran appeals court on Wednesday.

(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The hearing was held behind closed doors under an order from judge Heidari.

The court has revised the decision of the lower court, which convicted “Prophet Joseph (AS)” screenwriter and director Farajollah Salahshur in absentia over plagiarism in the TV series that was broadcast by IRIB’s Channel 1 in 2008 and 2009.

“I have presented evidence that proves my innocence,” Salahshur told the Persian service of IRNA on Thursday.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=218499

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International Quran contest to open at Grand Mosque

26 December 2010

A total of 188 contestants from 64 countries are participating in the 32nd King Abdul Aziz international Qur’an recitation and memorization competition, which opens at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Sunday.

JEDDAH (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - A total of 188 contestants from 64 countries are participating in the 32nd King Abdul Aziz international Qur’an recitation and memorization competition, which opens at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Sunday.

Minister of Islamic Affairs Saleh Al-Asheikh will open the event, which is to be held for the first time inside the Grand Mosque. The minister commended the government’s support for the contest, which is aimed at encouraging Muslim youth to learn the Qur’an.

The contests are held in five categories. Twenty-one contestants will take part in the first category (memorization of the entire Qur’an with tajwid and explanation of the meanings of words) and 49 in the second (memorization of the whole Qur’an with tajwid).

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=218455

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If Israel Want to Improve Ties? Then Apologize!: Turkish FM

26 December 2010

Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu renewed on Saturday calls for the Zionist entity to apologize from Turkey and offer compensation for its raid on a Gaza Strip-bound aid flotilla in May in which nine Turkish citizens were martyred.

Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu renewed on Saturday calls for the Zionist entity to apologize from Turkey and offer compensation for its raid on a Gaza Strip-bound aid flotilla in May in which nine Turkish citizens were martyred.

Davutoglu told reporters that Turkey has the intention of making peace with Israel. However, he accused the Israeli government of not reciprocating Turkish overtures and said "nothing can cover up" the killing of Turkish citizens.

The Turkish FM, who spoke on the eve of the return of the raided Turkish ship, Mavi Marmara, to Istanbul, said that Turkey wants to both preserve relations and defend our rights.

In an interview published last Sunday in the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, US President Barack Obama urged Turkey and Israel to "do everything they can to repair their relations."

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=218442

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Iraqi Parliament allocates 25% of its parliamentary seats for women

26 December 2010

The Iraqi Parliament has allocated 25% of the total seats in its parliamentary committees for the Iraqi women, as part of their support and to help them play their role in the Parliament, its Speaker, Usama al-Nujeifi said on Saturday.

BAGHDAD (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Iraqi Parliament has allocated 25% of the total seats in its parliamentary committees for the Iraqi women, as part of their support and to help them play their role in the Parliament, its Speaker, Usama al-Nujeifi said on Saturday.

The Parliament’s women component had protested against the absence of women in the new Iraqi government, but for one post, which was considered by their spokeswomen, Legislature Ala Talabani, in the Parliament’s session that witnessed the discussion of the new cabinet’s posts, as a “constitutional violation,” demanding the Iraqi President, Cabinet, Parliament and leaders of different political blocs, to treat the issue.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=218441

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Hamas warns Israel against escalation

26 December 2010

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip: The Hamas movement is warning it will escalate hostilities against Israel if tensions don’t subside along the Gaza-Israeli border.

“There is a truce in effect in the field. It is real if Israel stops its aggression and ends it’s siege. But if there is any Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip we will respond strongly,” said a masked spokesman for Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades who identified himself as Abu Obeideh.

Speaking at a press conference with three guards, who were all masked and armed, he said the group was ready to repel any future Israeli invasion and hinted at a secret weapon.

“We are completely ready to answer any Israeli aggression,” he said. “Our weapons are few compared to those of the Israeli occupation, but we have something that will worry the occupation,” he said without giving details.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article223056.ece

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Iraqi Christians mark somber Christmas in Baghdad

26 December 2010

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Christians celebrated Christmas Mass on Saturday in a Baghdad church that was the scene of a brutal Al-Qaeda assault, facing stark symbols of the price of faith: photos of dead parishioners in front of the altar and, hanging from the wall, black cassocks representing two slain priests.

The Oct. 31 attack on Our Lady of Salvation Church was the deadliest ever against Christians in Iraq, killing 68 people. It and a string of bombings that followed prompted thousands of Christians to flee to Iraq’s more peaceful Kurdish-run north — and renewed Al-Qaeda threats cast a shadow over Saturday’s celebrations.

But the 300 worshippers who gathered on Christmas morning insisted they would not be driven away.

“No matter how hard the storm blows, love will save us,” Archbishop Matti Shaba Matouka told the congregation.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article223047.ece

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Imam to tour US promoting NYC Islamic center

26 December 2010

NEW YORK: The imam who hopes to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site said Friday night that he’ll tour the US in an effort “to inspire interfaith understanding” for a project that has ignited explosive faceoffs between supporters and opponents.

“The major purpose is to make people aware of what America means as a country that protects the right to freedom of religion,” said Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf.

American Muslims like himself, he said, “can play an important role as interlocutors between the United States and the Muslim world.” Rauf’s first appearance is scheduled for Detroit on Jan. 15. The city has North America’s largest Muslim population.

The imam said he’ll continue on to Chicago, Washington, San Antonio and college campuses including Harvard, Georgetown, Yale and the University of North Carolina. He did not release specific dates for his speeches.

Rauf said he expects the tour will end sometime in April; he’s still receiving and considering invitations.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article223077.ece

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Israeli activist faces prison for riding a bike

26 December 2010

TEL AVIV: Prominent Israeli activist Jonathon Pollak may go to jail for riding a bicycle in a protest march against the siege of Gaza. The verdict in Pollak's trial will be handed down at the Tel Aviv Magistrates Court on Monday. If convicted, Pollak could be imprisoned for up to six months for his participation in a 2008 "Critical Mass" bicycle ride that took place in Tel Aviv, according to a statement by the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee.

In April 2009, Pollak was indicted on a charge of illegal assembly for his participation in the Critical Mass ride. A conviction in this case will activate an older three-month suspended sentence, imposed on Pollak in a previous trial for protesting the construction of Israel's wall in the West Bank.

Tel Aviv Magistrates Court Judge Yitzhak Yitzhak could add an additional prison term in addition to the suspended sentence.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article223178.ece

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Taliban dispute U.N. report on Afghan casualties

26 December 2010

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) -- The Taliban movement is disputing a U.N. report that asserts the number of civilians slain by insurgents has risen but those killed by the coalition has dropped.

The group said in a statement posted Friday that the recently-issued quarterly report is part of an "effort to cover up the brutal actions of Americans."

The Taliban said American operations in the southern Afghan provinces of Kandahar and Helmand and coalition night raids have caused casualties and displaced thousands of civilians.

"The increase in civilian casualties to hundred of thousands during the past nine years by the American brutal invaders is a plan for genocide, which is continuing in the remote areas of the country ... " the statement said.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/12/25/afghanistan.un.taliban/index.html

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Palestinian officials: Israeli forces kill two militants

26 December 2010

CNN) -- Israeli forces killed two militants in the Gaza Strip on Sunday morning, Palestinian officials said.

The forces said they saw suspects "planting explosives along the security fence along the southern Gaza Strip."

A spokesman for the forces confirmed the attacks, saying there were "direct hits," but did not provide the number of people killed.

Palestinian officials confirmed an exchange of fire occurred between Israeli forces and "Islamic jihad militants" east of Khan Younis.

Saraya al-Quds militants said in a statement that two of their fighters were killed.

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/12/26/israel.attack/index.html

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Yemen to bolster counterrorism forces to 'bring ... fight to al Qaeda'

By Mohammed Jamjoom

26 December 2010

(CNN) -- Yemen is embarking on a major initiative in its war on terror and plans to build four new branches for the country's elite counterterrorism units next year, a spokesman for the country's American embassy said on Saturday.

Mohammed Albasha said the branches will be located in four different locations -- Mareb, Shabwa, Abyan and Hadramawt.

Hadramawt, Albasha said, will have the largest contingent of counterterror units.

"This is the next phase in the war on terrorism - we are bringing the fight to al Qaeda."

Yemen has been locked in a struggle with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, the offshoot of the al Qaeda terror network based in Yemen.

It grabbed the attention of the west with the attempted bombing of a Northwest Airlines trans-Atlantic flight as it landed in Detroit, Michigan, on Christmas Day in 2009.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/meast/12/25/yemen.terror/index.html

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UN food centers closed in Bajaur after attack

26 December 2010

KHAR: Authorities have temporarily closed food aid distribution centers in northwest Pakistan, an official said Sunday, a day after a female suicide bomber killed 45 people and wounded scores more outside a World Food Program depot in the region.

Shafiq Khan, an official with the WFP food distribution project, said the regional government ordered the temporary closure of all four food relief centers in the Bajur district following Saturday’s bombing in the area’s main town of Khar.

The WFP project in Bajur feeds thousands of people who have been displaced since early 2009 by fighting between the Pakistan military and insurgents in the country’s rugged tribal regions along the Afghan border. It was not immediately clear how long the food distribution points would be closed.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2010/12/26/un-food-centers-closed-in-bajaur-after-attack.html

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Obama condemns ‘outrageous’ Pakistan suicide attack

26 December 2010

HONOLULU: US President Barack Obama condemned Saturday’s “outrageous terrorist attack” in northwestern Pakistan in which a suicide bomber killed dozens of people at a World Food Program project.

“I strongly condemn the outrageous terrorist attack in Khar, Pakistan,”Obama said in a statement from Hawaii, where he was spending Christmas with his family.

“Killing innocent civilians outside a World Food Program distribution point is an affront to the people of Pakistan, and to all humanity,” Obama added.

The blast occurred in Khar, the main town of lawless Bajaur tribal district, once a stronghold of Taliban militants who have carried out several bombings and suicide attacks in the area, which is near the Afghanistan border.

A suicide bomber wearing a burqa, and who some officials said was a woman, killed at least 43 people and wounded 100 as many of them queued for food that was being distributed by the United Nations food agency.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2010/12/26/obama-condemns-outrageous-pakistan-suicide-

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Pak Taliban warns of 'severe action' against 'lashkars'

Dec 26 2010

Islamabad : The Pakistani Taliban has 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 today.

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

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-taliban-warns-of-severe-action-against-

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Ship carrying Pakistanis, Iraqis detained off Lakshadweep

Dec 26 2010

New Delhi : An unidentified ship with over 25 Pakistani and Iraqi nationals on board has been detained off the coast of Lakshadweep by security agencies after it illegally entered Indian waters.

Sources privy to the probe said the ship had sailed into the waters and was cruising towards an unknown destination when it was challenged by the Coast Guard and the Navy. It has been anchored off the Lakshadweep coast.

The initial suspicion was that it could have been moving towards the Maldives, which, according to Indian intelligence, is now being preferred by terror groups based in Pakistan. However, the sources did not rule out that it could have been moving towards any of the unoccupied islands in Lakshadweep or Daman and Diu areas.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ship-carrying-pakistanis-iraqis-detained-off-

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Woman suicide bombers fresh challenge for Pak security forces

Dec 26, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The use of a woman suicide bomber by the Taliban to target a UN aid centre in Pakistan's restive tribal belt represents a fresh challenge as security forces will have to find ingenious ways to avert more such attacks, experts said on Sunday.

In the first attack of its kind, the burqa-clad woman bomber lobbed grenades and detonated an explosive vest after being stopped at a checkpoint near a World Food Programme centre distributing aid to displaced people in Bajaur tribal region on Saturday.

The bombing killed 46 people and injured over 80. The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the attack, with spokesman Azam Tariq telling the media that the group has a large number of women suicide bombers who would be used in attacks.

Officials said an examination of remains confirmed the bomber was a woman.

Several witnesses said they had heard the woman scream before the explosion and one claimed her last words were: "Ya Allah khair."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Woman-suicide-bombers-fresh-

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Iran hangs rapist, three drug traffickers: Report

Dec 26, 2010

TEHRAN: Iran has hanged a convicted rapist and three men found guilty of drug trafficking in the southwestern city of Ahvaz, hardline Kayhan newspaper reported today.

Kayhan identified the convicted rapist only as Gh.F and said he was found guilty of "acting against virtue" -- the charge brought against rapists in the Islamic republic.

The three drug traffickers were also identified only by their initials -- AA, HM and JJ.

The four were executed yesterday in the prison of Ahvaz, the newspaper said citing the provincial judiciary.

The latest hangings bring the number of executions in Iran to at least 167 so far this year, according to an AFP count based on media reports. At least 270 people were executed in 2009.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-hangs-rapist-three-drug-

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Pope urges courage for Catholics in China, Iraq

Dec 26, 2010

VATICAN CITY: Iraqi Christians celebrated a somber Christmas in a Baghdad cathedral stained with dried blood, while Pope Benedict XVI exhorted Chinese Catholics to stay loyal despite restrictions on them in a holiday address laced with worry for the world's Christian minorities.

Saturday's grim news seemed to highlight the pope's concern for his flock's welfare.

In northern Nigeria, attacks on two churches by Muslim sect members claimed six lives, while bombings in central Nigeria, a region plagued by Christian-Muslim violence, killed 32 people, officials said.

Eleven people including a priest were injured by a bombing during Christmas Mass in a police chapel in the Philippines, which has the largest Catholic population in Asia. The attack took place on Jolo island, a stronghold of al-Qaida linked militants.

But joy seemed to prevail in Bethlehem, the West Bank town where Jesus was born, which bustled with its biggest crowd of Christian pilgrims in years.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Pope-urges-courage-for-Catholics-in-

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Jordan rejects Islamist fatwa over Afghan war

26 December 2010

AMMAN — The Jordanian government said on Monday that a fatwa issued by the Islamist opposition barring Muslims from assisting US and NATO troops in Afghanistan was "offensive."

"The government rejects the fatwa because it is offensive to the significant armed forces' role in providing medical and humanitarian aid to the Afghan people and helping preserve their country's security and stability," Deputy Prime Minister Ayman Safadi said in a statement.

"Jordan is proud of its armed forces and security apparatuses as well as their roles in Afghanistan, the Gaza Strip or any other place in the Arab and Muslim worlds."

The powerful Islamic Action Front (IAF) said in the non-binding religious edict on Sunday that "sending troops to help NATO and America in Afghanistan or any other country is forbidden."

Full report at:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gZ_5yu3upX4TG0OunAP4JFQ5TtcQ?

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Rushdie is a man to be admired and envied

Khushwant Singh

26 December 2010

Ever since I read Midnight's Children I have been in awe of Salman Rushdie: I was dazzled by its brilliance, so were thousands of others who read it. Deservedly it won The Best of The Booker Prize. I wrote about it in my column as about the best novel I had read. Rushdie paid me a visit and

had a drink with me. I was highly flattered.

All went well till the publication of The Satanic Verses. I read it in manuscript and twice again at the behest of its publishers — Penguin-Viking of England. It evoked the ire of Muslims. Ayatollah Khomeni of Iran pronounced a Fatwa, condemning him to death. Muslim countries as well as the Indian Government imposed a ban on it.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Rushdie-is-a-man-to-be-admired-and-envied/Article1-

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Jinnah wanted to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state: Dr AQ Khan

December 26, 2010

RAWALPINDI: Father of the Nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state while his golden principles, Unity, Faith, and Discipline are beacon of light for the new generation.

These views were expressed by renowned nuclear scientist and architect of Pakistan nuclear programme Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan while addressing the concluding session of the three-day celebrations organised to mark the birth anniversary of Quaid-i-Azam at Ghulam Qadir Hall, Faizul Islam Complex, here on Saturday.

He said that Quaid-i-Azam was not only the liberator of the nation but he also laid down foundation of an independent and sovereign state through his wisdom and untiring efforts.

Terming Quaid-i-Azam a true sympathiser and well-wisher of the Muslims, he said Allah Almighty selected him for the creation of Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=22293&Cat=2

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Workshop to empower young Muslim girls opens in Tuba

26 December 2010

GNA - A workshop aims at equipping young Muslim girls to become responsible women, opened on Friday in Tuba near Kokrobite in the Greater Accra.

The three-day workshop is also intended to encourage the girls to appreciate the crucial value of education both secular and Islamic to be able to take up leadership roles in society.

It has the theme: "Empowering the Muslim Youth to Attain Greater Heights".

It was organised by the Federation of Muslim Women's Association (FOMWAG) in collaboration with the youth wing of FOMWAG.

Hajia Fatima Suleiman, National President of FOMWAG, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said this year's workshop is the 10th in the series, which had seen much improvement over the years beginning with a small group.

Full report at:

http://www.ghananewsagency.org/s_social/r_23828/

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Vatican: Pope: may the light of Christmas bring peace in the world

26 December 2010

In the message, Urbi et Orbi, Benedict XVI calls for dialogue and reconciliation in all situations of tension in the world, from the Holy Land to the North and South Korea. Respect for human rights in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A special thought for Iraqi Catholics for their ”suffering to be eased” ...

Vatican City – May the light of Christmas shine again in the Holy Land and inspire Israelis and Palestinians to peace, console Iraqi Christians, bring security and respect for human rights to Afghanistan and Pakistan, foster reconciliation between the Koreas, encourage Chinese Catholics "not to lose heart because of the limitations on their freedom of religion and conscience". These are just some of the Benedict XVI’s wishes this Christmas delivered in his Urbi et Orbi message,  to Rome and the world, addressed before 50 thousand people who crowded St Peter's Square.

Full report at:

http://www.speroforum.com/a/45713/Vatican---Pope-may-the-light-of-Christmas-bring-

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Al-Qaeda Tune: Israel's Favorite War Song

By Dr. Ahmed Yousef

26 December 2010

Israeli strategists covet the concept of Islamic fundamentalism. It is a convenient, all-encompassing tag easily applied to any bearded man, veiled woman or contrarian critic of Western politics who happens to be Muslim. The label has deftly been used to paint a poisoned picture of Islamism in Palestine; and distort Hamas’ policies as those of an extreme faction akin to Al Qaeda or Taliban – a useful reference given the West’s concerted efforts to neutralize those militants.

There is no doubt that Hamas leaders and government officials view their movement as a national liberation movement – a political and military one – which draws its inspiration from its religious roots (the only thing it has in common with its Israeli counterparts). And which works to affect freedom through all legitimate means as well as provide civil services to the Palestinian people wherever it operates and any area where circumstances permit.

Full report at:

http://www.palestinechronicle.com/view_article_details.php?id=16510

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“Terrorism” will stop only when Jews stop their war on Muslims

26 December 2010

Bangalore: President Obama and other Western leaders are repeatedly asking the Muslims to stop “terrorism” so that they can call off their “war on terrorism”.

There is lot of hypocrisy on this newly popularised term “terrorism”. The Western war on terrorism is nothing but a war on Muslims – plain and simple.

This war is nothing but a zionist conspiracy carried out by the Western Christian leadership at the behest of Jews.

This is because all the Western Christian countries are controlled by the Jews with the help of their money power, media and Christian stooges.

Even a child knows it.

Muslims refused to be fooled: It is the American Jews, who control that country and managed Obama election. It is they who managed to make him utter sweet words to Muslims at Cairo and elsewhere.

Full report at:

http://www.milligazette.com/news/238-terrorism-will-stop-only-when-jews-stop-their-war-

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Mashhad to Become Islamic World’s Cultural Center

26 December 2010

The holy city of Mashhad is to become the cultural center of the Islamic world as expected in the 20-year prospective plan of Astan-e Qods Razavi.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The holy city of Mashhad is to become the cultural center of the Islamic world as expected in the 20-year prospective plan of Astan-e Qods Razavi.

The achievements of Astan-e Qods Razavi have been extremely remarkable during the post-revolution years, said Hojat-ol-Islam Gholami, cultural council secretary of the Supreme Leader.

He also referred to various exhibitions held in Astan-e Qods Razavi as evidence of its great capacities and achievements during the recent years.

“Over 20 million pilgrims travel to Mashhad each year,” he noted adding that they all use the accommodations and services provided by Astan-e Qods Razavi.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=218453

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-delhi--nurturing-mirza-ghalib-s-legacy/d/3834


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