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Islamic World News ( 9 Feb 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Teen suicide bomber strikes Mardan army facility, 20 dead

Three car bombs kill seven, wound 78 in Iraq

Ahmadis Should Declare a New Religion: Indonesian Politician

‘South Sudan Minister shot dead in Juba’

Symposium on resemblances in movements led by Gandhi and Khamenei

Indonesian Clerics Ban Valentine’s Day

Islam's holiest imam to lead Deoband prayers

Ban on book labelling Sir Syed as separatist, communal demanded

Musharraf knew about Baitullah plot

Egypt and US swap barbs as tension mounts

Egypt army would intervene in case of chaos: minister

Now, call to storm Egypt Parliament

Egypt gets a new messiah in released Google man

US terror threat at highest since 9/11: Napolitano

Israel’s Barak in US for talks amid Egypt crisis

CBI to quiz suspects in Ajmer case

US denies dictating to Egypt

Opposition party pulls out of Egypt dialogue

Allies press US to go slow on Mubarak

Firebrand Islamic Cleric’s Trial Adjourned in Indonesia

Iran warns oppn on proposed rally

LeT operations growing in Afghanistan: US

Pakistan to get leaner Cabinet

Whirling dervishes and Sufi balladeers

Six dengue fever, four malaria cases confirmed

East Jeddah residents flee looming disaster

Turkish woman again acquitted of bombing charge

Omrania gets Kingdom Riyadh Land contract

Israel demolishes Khirbet Tana for 4th time

Prince Saud opens new embassy building in Berlin

Women meet to discuss evolving roles in society

Government denies US drone crash

Youth groups hit out at Yemeni opposition

Piracy: a growing problem for Yemen

PAS Youth chief claims misquoted over anti-Valentine’s Day push

CD of IAS topper Shah Faisal’s lecture released

Compiled by New Age Islam Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/teen-suicide-bomber-strikes-mardan-army-facility,-20-dead/d/4099

 

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Teen suicide bomber strikes Mardan army facility, 20 dead

Feb 10, 2011

ISLAMABAD: A boy in a school uniform blew himself up at a Pakistani army recruitment centre in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Mardan on Thursday, killing 20 cadets, military and security officials said.

The attack challenged official assertions that army offensives had weakened al Qaeda-linked Taliban militants waging a campaign to destabilise Pakistan’s US-backed government.

The brazen bombing suggested militants are regrouping after a lull in major attacks. Militant operations in recent months have been mostly sectarian and have not focused on military targets.

“The bomber struck recruits when cadets were busy in their morning training,” a military official told Reuters. At least 20 people were wounded.

The boy apparently walked into the compound, officials said.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani condemned the attack at the Punjab Regiment Centre in the town of Mardan.

“Such cowardly attacks cannot affect the morale of the security agencies and the resolve of the nation to eradicate terrorism,” he said in a statement.

Gilani’s government is under pressure on several fronts. It is trying to revive a stagnant economy and public discontent is growing over official corruption, rampant poverty and power cuts.

The United States, which provides billions of dollars in aid, wants Pakistan to step up its fight against militant groups who cross the border to attack Western forces in Afghanistan.

But Pakistan’s military is already stretched fighting homegrown militants.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/10/blast-in-mardan-casualties-feared.html

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Three car bombs kill seven, wound 78 in Iraq

Feb 10, 2011

KIRKUK: Three car bombs aimed at Iraqi security forces killed at least seven people and wounded 78 in the northern city of Kirkuk on Wednesday, police and hospital sources said.

The explosions were the latest in a series of attacks on police and soldiers by insurgents as US troops prepare to withdraw by the end of this year.

Kirkuk, inhabited by a mix of Kurds, Arabs, Turkmen and others, sits on some of Iraq’s biggest oil reserves and is one of the disputed territories at the centre of tensions between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iraq’s central government in Baghdad.

A police source said the first blast wounded an Iraqi police official, while the second was aimed at a police patrol. The third was outside a building used by Kurdish security forces.

“Three car bombs exploded in quick succession. We are on high alert and fear there may be more car bombs,” the source said.

“We’ve sealed the areas around where the explosions occurred, we are evacuating the wounded and we have intensified searches at checkpoints in other areas.”

Police and hospital sources said seven people including three policemen were killed and 78 wounded in the blasts in a residential area of southern Kirkuk, 250 km (155 miles) north of Baghdad. One hospital source said many of the wounded were policemen, but was unable to give an exact figure.

A police official said many cars and houses had been badly damaged and firefighters were trying to put out fires.

Kirkuk province police chief Jamal Tahir said an investigation showed the third explosion, which targeted a Kurdish security building, was carried out by a suicide bomber.

“What we have discovered is that at least one attack was carried out by a suicide truck bomber,” Tahir told reporters.

“Militant armed groups had threatened to target security forces in Kirkuk for recent success in pursuing terrorists and bringing them to justice.”

The blast also damaged a branch office of Kurdish premier Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party, a police official said.

While violence in Iraq has declined sharply from the height of sectarian warfare in 2006-07, bombings still occur daily, and Sunni insurgents and Shi’ite militia stage lethal attacks.

Nearly 200 people died and hundreds were wounded last month in bomb attacks bearing the hallmarks of Sunni Arab insurgents.

“How long will this bad and unstable situation last? We call on the state and the government of Kirkuk to take tough security measures to prevent such incidents from happening again. The victims are poor people,” said Kirkuk resident Ahmed Zebari.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/09/three-car-bombs-kill-seven-wound-78-in-iraq.html

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Ahmadis Should Declare a New Religion: Indonesian Politician

Anita Rachman

February 10, 2011

Deputy House Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso says followers of an Islamic sect deemed heretic by mainstream Indonesian Muslims should declare a new religion.

The calls from the Golkar legislator echo those made a day earlier by Imran Muchtar, from the ruling Democratic Party.

He said if followers of Ahmadiyah could not “repent, recognize their mistake and come back to mainstream Islam,” then they should “leave Islam and declare a new religion.”

Priyo, speaking on Thursday, said declaring Ahmadiyah a new religion would end the growing conflict.

“I suggest [Ahmadis] declare Ahmadiyah as a new religion because of the complicated problem,” he said.

Priyo said that even though Ahmadiyah was banned in a number of Middle Eastern countries, he disagreed that Indonesia should adopt similar policies.

“No, their belief should not be banned here; I don’t have a heart for that,” he said. “So, [to] Ahmadis, don’t hesitate to declare Ahmadiyah as a new religion.”

He said that if Ahmadiyah was established as a new, then followers must not be persecuted and allowed to hold religious services.

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http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/ahmadis-should-declare-a-new-religion-politician/421824

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‘South Sudan Minister shot dead in Juba’

February 10, 2011

South Sudan’s Minister of cooperatives and rural development Jimmy Lemi Milla and his bodyguard were shot dead in Juba on Wednesday, the Southern Army’s spokesman said, in what appeared to be a personal dispute.

“There was shooting at the Ministries (complex), in which the Minister of cooperatives and rural development was killed, as well as his bodyguard,” the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) spokesman Philip Aguer told AFP.

“It is believed that the man responsible was the Minister’s driver, and he also killed himself,” he added, indicating that three people in all died in the incident.

Aguer said the exact reason for the shooting was not known. “They all came from the same ethnic group, and it’s possible that it was a personal matter,” he said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/316649/%E2%80%98South-Sudan-Minister-shot-dead-in-Juba%E2%80%99.html

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    Symposium on resemblances in movements led by Gandhi and Khamenei

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: One resemblance in movements led by Mahatma Gandhi and Imam Khamenei was that both had started their movements in support of the oppressed and both were inspired by the revolt of Hadhrat Hussain. On the occasion of the lauch of his famous Dandi Yatra which was initially participated by 72 loyalists, Gandhiji had said that he had not brought anything new to the people of India but had presented before them what he had gathered from the study of the events of Karbala. “Therefore, if we have to win freedom, we will have to follow the path taken by Hadhrat Hussain bin Ali”, he had said. Imam Khamenei also attributed the Iranian revolution to Hadhrat Hussain. These views were expressed in a symposium on the Resemblances in movements led by Gandhi and Khamenei at Babul Ilm Delhi on the occasion of the 63rd Republic Day of India and the 32rd anniversary of the Islamic Revolution of Iran. The symposium was presided over by Dr Kareem Najafi, the Cultural Counsellor of Iran in India. Professor Akhtarul Wassay was also among the speakers

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Indonesian Clerics Ban Valentine’s Day

February 10, 2011

The Indonesia Council of Ulema has made its annual — and regularly ignored — call for Muslims to avoid celebrating Saint Valentine’s Day on Monday.

Roza’i Akbar, head of the Dumai, Riau, branch of the council, also known as MUI, said Valentine’s Day — an annual celebration of love — was a Western occasion and not permitted (haram) under Islam.

Roza’i said the celebration was inappropriate as it was identified with pre-marital relationships among teenagers.

“What would happen if Valentine’s Day became part of the culture of Islam? This is our consideration as to why the celebration is haram for Muslims,” he said.

The celebration remains hugely popular in Indonesia, particularly the urban centers, with restaurants and bars doing a roaring trade.

Roza’i advised Muslim parents to teach their children that Valentine’s was not something to be celebrated.

Last year, MUI, in banning celebrations, said celebrating Valentine’s Day was tantamount to spreading Christianity.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/indonesian-clerics-ban-valentines-day/421819

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Islam's holiest imam to lead Deoband prayers

Zia Haq

February 10, 2011

The grand imam of Islam's holiest shrine in Mecca, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais - who is to Muslims what the Pope is to Christians - will lead evening prayers at Darul Uloom Deoband on February 25. The historic trip to India will be his first to a non-Islamic Asian nation. A chance to say the namaz

after Al-Sudais, who directs the five daily prayers at Mecca's Masjid al-Haram, will give thousands who can't afford the Haj a rare occasion to seek his blessings.

Few could have predicted that the 51-year-old spiritual leader would decry terror and outlaw suicide bombings during the 2006 Haj. This gave the cue to Darul Uloom's fatwa against terrorism in 2008.

Al-Sudais is also slated to lead two prayers at Delhi's Ram Lila grounds on February 26.

Millions flock to Al-Sudais to hear him live during the holy month of Ramzan. Few fly back without a CD pack of his Quran recitals sold on Mecca's streets.

Al-Sudais is known for his theme-based sermons, often focusing on thorny contemporary issues, such as the treatment of women and terrorism.

At London's Regents Park Central Mosque in July 2010, he urged western Muslims to be "polite and caring" to their wives and to women in general, quoting al-Nisa, the Quranic chapter on women.

At Islamabad's Faisal Mosque, which he visited in June 2007, Al-Sudais declared there was "no room for terrorism in Islam".

"It will not be surprising if he reiterates this in India," said Zafarul Islam, head of Islamic studies at Aligarh Muslim University.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/newdelhi/Islam-s-holiest-imam-to-lead-Deoband-prayers/Article1-660563.aspx

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Ban on book labelling Sir Syed as separatist, communal demanded

New Age Islam News Bureau

Amroha: Md Zaurez, a presidential candidate in the Aligarh Muslim University’s Students’ Union elections has demanded a ban on the book authored by the Director of Higher Education in Bihar government, J P Singh titled Social Challenge in Modern India alleging that the founder of the Aligarh Muslim University, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan promoted communal and separatist sentiments. Mr Zaurez said that it was highly outrageous and condemnable as Sir Syed Ahmad Khan devoted his whole life for the promotion of Hindu-Muslim unity, spread of education, character building of the citizens and helping the needy and the poor.

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Musharraf knew about Baitullah plot

Feb 10, 2011

ISLAMABAD: Former president Pervez Musharraf knew that Tehrik-i-Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud was plotting the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, but withheld the information from agencies concerned, according to the Joint Investigation Team (JIT) probing the murder.

Sources told DawnNews television channel on Wednesday that Khalid Qureshi, the JIT head, met officials of the interior ministry and briefed them about the challan submitted by the Federal Investigation Agency in Rawalpindi`s anti-terrorism court (ATC) earlier this week.

The sources claimed the challan contained 12 charges against Gen Musharraf.

They said the JIT had questioned Brig (retired) Javed Iqbal Cheema, who headed the Interior Ministry`s National Crisis Management cell at that time.

In a statement tagged with the challan, Brig (Cheema) told the JIT that it was Gen Musharraf who had ordered the premature press conference which he addressed on Dec 28, 2007 — the day after Ms Bhutto`s assassination — without consulting the Punjab government.

Full report at:

www.dawn.com/2011/02/10/musharraf-knew-about-baitullah-plot.html

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Egypt and US swap barbs as tension mounts

Feb 10, 2011

WASHINGTON: A top Egyptian minister accused the United States Wednesday of imposing its “will” on its Arab ally, as the White House warned that Cairo had failed to even reach a “minimum threshold” for reform.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit lashed out in a television interview on a day when Washington took a critical line towards Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman, who is in charge of a dialogue with opposition groups.

And amid warnings by the Egyptian government of a military crackdown on rejuvenated protests, the US government again pleaded with armed forces it helped build with billions of dollars in aid to show restraint.

Abul Gheit condemned US rhetoric on a crisis sparked by days of opposition protests in Egypt, complaining in an interview with America’s PBS television at Washington’s urgent tone.

“When you speak about ‘prompt,’ ‘immediate,’ ‘now,’ as if you are imposing on a great country like Egypt, a great friend that has always maintained the best of relationship with the United States, you are imposing your will on him,” Abul Gheit said.

“Egypt and the president of Egypt, the government of Egypt have already started,” he said, pointing to a road map for talks on a transition laid down by President Hosni Mubarak’s government.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/10/egypt-and-us-swap-barbs-as-tension-mounts.html

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Egypt army would intervene in case of chaos: minister

Feb 10, 2011

 CAIRO: The army would be forced to intervene if anti-government protests push Egypt into chaos, Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said Wednesday, according to the state news agency.

“We have to preserve the constitution, even if it is amended,” Abul Gheit told Al-Arabiya television, according to the MENA news agency.

“He warned that if chaos occurs, the armed forces will intervene to control the country, a step, he said, which would lead to a very dangerous situation,”the news agency said, paraphrasing the interview.

Gheit’s remarks came the day after Egypt’s Vice President Omar Suleiman warned those protesting in the street against Mubarak risk provoking a situation in which a coup d’etat was possible.

Suleiman’s statement was dismissed by many of the protesters on the streets of Cairo, and denounced as a threat by one of the most powerful of opposition groups, the Muslim Brotherhood.

“This amounts to a threat that is unacceptable in the eyes of the Egyptian people,” Mohammed Mursi, a spokesman for the Islamist group.

“The protesters have imposed a new legitimacy, and this legitimacy should be respected, for it cannot be threatened,” he said.

Since January 25, Egypt has been gripped by mass protests against the government, with hundreds of thousands taking part in street rallies and many occupying a key square in downtown Cairo and a street near parliament.

The demonstrators want Mubarak to step down immediately, but he has vowed to hang on until presidential elections in September, in order, he says, to ensure an orderly transition in power.

Opposition parties want major constitutional reform to allow them to compete in the presidential and legislative elections on a level playing field.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/10/egypt-army-would-intervene-in-case-of-chaos-minister.html

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Now, call to storm Egypt Parliament

Feb 10 2011,

Cairo: Protests against President Hosni Mubarak's regime have spread to more parts of Egypt with two people reportedly being killed in clashes with the police in a remote area in the South West.

In Cairo too, activists broadened the area of demonstration beyond Tahrir Square with a breakaway group settling next to the national Parliament building.

Organisers in Tahrir say that a big push is planned for Friday that could include storming the Parliament and shutting down the state run television building — both of which are located just blocks off the Liberation Square. The move could spark violence as both the establishments are guarded by the Army that has placed multiple barricades using tanks. By Wednesday evening, hundreds of protesters geathered near the Parliament, demanding that it should be immediately dissolved.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/748303/

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Egypt gets a new messiah in released Google man

February 10, 2011

THE Egyptian push for regime change appears to have found a figurehead at last.

A crowd of around a quarter of a million packed into Tahrir Square on Tuesday to cheer for the young Google executive who was held captive for his part in organising the initial anti- Mubarak protest.

Wael Ghonim was greeted by howls of delight, whistling and thunderous applause when he declared: “ We will not abandon our demand and that is the departure of the regime.” The protests had appeared to be on the wane into the 15th day until the 30- yearold reignited the campaign to oust the President in such dramatic fashion.

Back in business, Ghonim, the Google executive released by the Egyptian authorities, told the cheering crowd that nothing other than Mubarak’s departure will end the campaign.

“ Ain’t no stopping us now”, Ghonim told the crowds, adding, “ Egypt was seeing “ a revolution of the youth of the Internet”. More than 130,000 have joined the Facebook campaign to remove the President.

Full report at: Mail Today

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US terror threat at highest since 9/11: Napolitano

Feb 10, 2011

WASHINGTON: US Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano on Wednesday warned that the threat of terrorism against the United States was in some aspects “at its most heightened state” since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

In addition to the threats by al Qaeda, the militant group behind the attacks nearly a decade ago, Napolitano said the country faces new threats from those inspired by the group and those already inside the United States.

“The terrorist threat facing our country has evolved significantly in the last ten years — and continues to evolve — so that, in some ways, the threat facing us is at its most heightened state since those attacks,” Napolitano said in testimony to the House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee.

She also said that US officials believed there may be individuals who want to carry out attacks already in the country and that “they could carry out acts of violence with little or no warning.”

Individuals associated with al Qaeda and the Taliban have tried to carry out several attacks against the United States, including by a Nigerian man who allegedly tried to blow up a US airliner with a bomb hidden in his underwear and another individual who plotted to attack the New York subway system.

“As I have said before, we cannot guarantee that there will never be another terrorist attack, and we cannot seal our country under a glass dome,” Napolitano said in her prepared testimony. “However, we continue to do everything we can to reduce the risk of terrorism in our Nation.”

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/09/us-terror-threat-at-highest-since-911-napolitano.html

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Israel’s Barak in US for talks amid Egypt crisis

Feb 10, 2011

WASHINGTON: Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak began meetings in Washington on Wednesday as the two allies weighed the impact of Egypt’s political crisis on stability in the Middle East.

Barak was due to meet Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Thomas Donilon, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, the Israeli Embassy said in a statement.

Barak’s visit is expected to focus on Egypt, where unprecedented protests against the 30-year rule of President Hosni Mubarak have raised fears the unrest may lead to militant radicalization that could threaten Cairo’s 1979 peace agreement with Israel and its role in Middle East peace efforts.

The demonstrations have thrown a question mark over the revival of stalled talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/09/israel%E2%80%99s-barak-in-us-for-talks-amid-egypt-crisis.html

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CBI to quiz suspects in Ajmer case

Feb 10, 2011

 A local court in Ajmer has granted permission to the CBI for interrogation of terror suspects Devendra Gupta and Lokesh Sharma in the Malegaon blast case. The court has passed this order on Tuesday while hearing a petition filed by the CBI, which sought permission.

According to the court order, the CBI can question both the suspects at the central jail in Ajmer for next 10 days. The court observed that it would be unfair if the permission was not given to the investigating agency. The defence argued that lawyers should be allowed to be present during the questioning.

The court observed that if the defence files any such application during the interrogation, the CBI may consider such applications.

The CBI team comprising Mumbai ATS officer Promad Kumar, deputy SP F.B. Karna and inspector A.J. Sheikh will question the suspects. Both Devendra Gupta and Lokesh were arrested in the Ajmer blast case by the Rajasthan ATS and both are currently lodged in Ajmer central jail.

According to sources, Aseemanand mentioned the names in his statement last year in Delhi.

http://www.asianage.com/india/cbi-quiz-suspects-ajmer-case-604

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US denies dictating to Egypt

Feb 10, 2011

 Washington: The US is not trying to dictate anything on how Egypt should move out of the crisis engulfing it, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley has said.

He was responding to criticism by Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit that the US is imposing its will on Egypt by dictating on how to move on through the crisis, Xinhua reported.

"We're not trying to dictate anything," Crowley said at a regular press briefing on Wednesday.

"As we've said and emphasised many times, there will be an Egyptian solution, you know, and Egyptian actions within this orderly transition."

Since mass anti-government protests erupted on January 25 in Egypt, calling for free and fair elections as well as an end to President Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule, US President Barack Obama and other top officials have oftentimes made public calls, at first for immediate transition but later for orderly transition.

In his latest phone call to his Egyptian counterpart Omar Suleiman on Tuesday, US Vice President Joe Biden called for an orderly transition in Egypt that is 'prompt, meaningful, peaceful, and legitimate'.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/us-denies-dictating-egypt-696

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Allies press US to go slow on Mubarak

Mark Landler & Helene Cooper

Feb 10, 2011,

WASHINGTON: As the Obama administration gropes for the right response to the uprising in Egypt, it has not lacked for advice from democracy advocates, academics, pundits , even members of the previous administration. But few voices have been as urgent , insistent or persuasive as those of Egypt's neighbors.

Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have each repeatedly pressed the US not to cut loose Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak , too hastily, or to throw its weight behind the democracy movement in a way that could further destabilize the region, diplomats say.

While each country has its concerns, all worry a sudden change in Egypt would destabilize the region or, in Arab nations, even jeopardize their leaders, many of whom are also autocrats facing restive populations.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Allies-press-US-to-go-slow-on-Mubarak/articleshow/7465310.cms#ixzz1DWtVaYGT

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Firebrand Islamic Cleric’s Trial Adjourned in Indonesia

Olivia Rondonuwu

February 10, 2011

The trial of a firebrand Indonesian Islamic cleric on terror charges opened on Thursday and was swiftly adjourned on a technicality. Abu Bakar Bashir, spiritual leader of the outlawed southeast Asian militant network Jemaah Islamiah, faces fresh charges that carry the death penalty in a trial which refocuses attention on Indonesia’s fight against Islamic terror groups.

Indonesia has won praise for largely defeating Islamic terror, but analysts and rights groups are concerned a recent spike in religious intolerance shows extremism still has a hold on the world’s most populous Muslim nation.

The trial opened under tight security in the capital, but was adjourned until Monday after judges granted a defence request for a postponement on technical grounds.

Foreign investment has poured into Indonesia’s bond and stock markets thanks to improved political stability and successful efforts to combat Islamic militancy since the last significant attack -- the bombing of two hotels in Jakarta in 2009. 

But this week has twice seen mobs of youths running riot in the name of defending Islam -- first killing three members of the Ahmadiyya sect are considered heretical by mainstream Muslims, and then torching two churches to protest against the perceived light sentence of a Catholic accused of blasphemy. 

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/update-firebrand-islamic-clerics-trial-adjourned-in-indonesia/421813

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Iran warns oppn on proposed rally

Feb 10, 2011,

Iran's chief prosecutor has warned opposition supporters not to hold a rally next week, saying they can expect a response from "vigilant" Iranians if they do. Opposition leaders have applied to stage a rally in support of revolts in Egypt and Tunisia, to revive their "Green movement."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-warns-oppn-on-proposed-rally/articleshow/7465266.cms#ixzz1DWtfuWLf

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LeT operations growing in Afghanistan: US

February 10, 2011

Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) was increasing its operational role against America and coalition forces in Afghanistan, a top US official said. Deposing before House Homeland Security Committee, yesterday, Michael Leiter, Director of National Counter terrorism Center, told Congressmen that

besides al-Qaeda, Taliban, Tehrek-e-Taliban Pakistan, and the Haqqani network, the United States was now also focused on LeT when it comes to terrorist outfits in Pakistan.

In Pakistan, we remain focused on Lashkar-e-Taiba, the group behind the 2008 Mumbai attacks, which remains a threat to a variety of interests in South Asia. And although LeT has not yet conducted attacks in the West, it does have individuals who have been trained, who have been involved in attacks, and it could pose a threat to the homeland and Europe, in addition to destabilising South Asia more broadly," Leiter said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/LeT-operations-growing-in-Afghanistan-US/Article1-660620.aspx

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Pakistan to get leaner Cabinet

Anita Joshua

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's federal Cabinet resigned en masse on Wednesday in a pre-scripted move aimed at paving the way for a new and leaner structure.

The resignations were submitted as per a decision taken by the Central Executive Committee of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) last Friday and in consultation with other constituents of the ruling coalition.

The move is aimed at cost-cutting as demanded by international donors including the International Monetary Fund and improving governance as the brief given to Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani by PPP co-chairman and President Asif Ali Zardari is to replace the outgoing Cabinet with Ministers who enjoy a reputation for integrity, competence and efficiency.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/02/10/stories/2011021066802300.htm

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Whirling dervishes and Sufi balladeers

By Archana

February 10, 2011

IF MUSIC that intends to reach out to God does encapsulate some superlative power, then the freak showers in the city on Monday may have had something to do with Sufi music.

It was cloudy since afternoon and the citizens of Delhi had peeled off a few layers, almost heralding the spring, and exclaiming ‘ how lovely the weather is’, when the skies turned a little violent in the evening, bursting over the city with an unexpected rain. May be, it was the powerful Sufi singing at Kamani auditorium the same evening that had something to do with it.

Even if it didn’t have anything to do with the changes in the city’s weatherscape, the evening positively showcased a power- packed performance by Sufi singers from India, Syria and Afghanistan, as part of the festival, Tradition of Sufism , presented by the ICCR. On the first day on Monday, the whirling dervishes from Damascus, Syria, stole the limelight, almost overshadowing the robust singing by other members of the Tahleeleh Sufi Music Group. But when it’s whirling dervishes, looking absolutely divine in their long white robes, nothing else leaves the same impact on your mind.

In a chat after the performance, Hisham Al Khatib, the group leader, said that he hoped to get women singers too in his group in sometime.

“ It was only about 20 years ago that Sufi music started to move out of the confines of the mosque in Syria. We have had a few women Sufi singers as well but not as many as in India. We would like to have some women in our group too,” said Khatib.

The next performers of the evening, Nawab Khan and Ensemble from Kabul, Afghanistan, however, weren’t very sure if women would soon become part of their group.

Needless to add, it was the evening’s finale, by Zila Khan from India, that had led to the women- centric debate in the green room.

Irrespective of the gender of the singers, the evening was an enthralling affair, even for those who had come with a predecided exit time but stayed on, succumbing to the pull of the divine songs. The fact that it was pouring outside, helped.

Mail Today

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Six dengue fever, four malaria cases confirmed

By SARAH ABDULLAH

Feb 10, 2011

JEDDAH: Six cases of dengue fever and four cases of malaria have been confirmed since the Jan. 26 floods in Jeddah, according to the Ministry of Health.

Dr. Sami Badawood, director of the Health Affairs Department in Jeddah, said that since the beginning of the year there have been 61 reported cases of dengue fever, with 26 of them still not being confirmed.

“Although it is the municipality’s duty to control mosquitoes that carry dengue fever, we are also trying to raise awareness among the public to avoid contact with stagnant water and not to let children play in the dirty water pools,” Badawood told Arab News.

He stated that people should protect themselves by using mosquito repellants, as well as ensuring that windows are adequately covered.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article255340.ece

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East Jeddah residents flee looming disaster

By MD AL-SULAMI

Feb 10, 2011

JEDDAH: A number of east Jeddah residents have left their homes after rain and underground water covered their local streets and leaked into their bedrooms.

They told Arab News Wednesday that their area has become contaminated, with an environmental disaster there imminent.

They said the situation was getting worse, but the municipality was not doing anything about it.

Two weeks after heavy rains fell in Jeddah, many streets in the eastern districts were still covered with water that had also leaked into the houses.

Residents hired trucks to pump water from their houses and nearby streets, but large quantities of dirty water were still leaking from unknown sources.

Ahmad Al-Zahrani, Muhammad Al-Mitairi and Saad Al-Bassami from Quwaizah district said they were worried by the continuous flow of dirty water from pools created by recent rains and floods on the streets and in courtyards.

Full report at: Arab News

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Turkish woman again acquitted of bombing charge

By SUZAN FRASER

Feb 10, 2011

ANKARA: A Turkish woman was acquitted for a third time on Wednesday of being involved in a 1998 explosion that killed seven people and wounded more than 120 in Istanbul's 17th-century spice bazaar.

But the long-running legal case against sociologist Pinar Selek is not over yet. A higher court could still reverse that verdict.

Selek, now 40, has been accused of aiding and abetting Kurdish rebels who allegedly planted a bomb that caused the explosion. She was tried alongside a man who later claimed he was tortured by police and forced to testify against Selek.

Selek was acquitted of the charges in 2006 and 2007, but an appeals court overturned both verdicts and ordered new trials.

On Wednesday, a lower court again found Selek not guilty, but a higher court must decide whether to uphold that ruling.

“Let's hope this verdict will be upheld and the case will finally end,” the Anatolia news agency quoted Selek's father and lawyer, Alp Selek, as saying.

Selek, who could be imprisoned for life if she is convicted, has maintained her innocence throughout her 13-year ordeal.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article255288.ece

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Omrania gets Kingdom Riyadh Land contract

Feb 10, 2011

RIYADH: Kingdom Holding Company (KHC), chaired by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, has announced that Omrania has been awarded the design of the master plan and infrastructure of “Kingdom Riyadh Land” that is 16 million sqm.

Prince Alwaleed said: "Our Saudi real estate projects are solid anchors for Kingdom Holding's profitability."

Talal Almaiman, executive director for development and domestic investments, said: "We are continuing with our solid and significant local projects aimed at increasing positive returns for Kingdom Holding Company."

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article255313.ece

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Israel demolishes Khirbet Tana for 4th time

By MOHAMMED MAR'I

Feb 10, 2011

RAMALLAH: Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished Khirbet Tana for the fourth time in recent months, under the pretext that they were built without building permits from Israeli authorities.

Ghassan Daghlas, the Palestinian Authority official monitoring settler activity in the northern West Bank, said that "military bulldozers, backed by more than 20 military jeeps, arrived at Khirbet Tana early Wednesday and started razing the structures."

Daghlas said that the Israeli forces demolished structures include several homes, sheep barns, agricultural installations and tore several tents the International Committee of the Red Cross donated to the villagers.

He added that "180 residents are now displaced after the demolition of their homes."

The official said that the structures were demolished under the pretext that they were built in Area “C” without building permits.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article255266.ece

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Prince Saud opens new embassy building in Berlin

Feb 9, 2011

BERLIN: Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal and his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle jointly opened the new building of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Berlin on Wednesday. The two ministers also hoisted Saudi Arabian flag at the embassy.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Saudi Ambassador Osama Shobokshi highlighted the strong relations between the two countries.

In his speech, Westerwelle welcomed Prince Saud Al-Faisal and other participants. He highlighted the Saudi Embassy’s role in strengthening bilateral ties.

The ceremony was attended by a large number of Saudi and German officials and businessmen. The six-story building is located in the heart of the German capital.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article255351.ece

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Women meet to discuss evolving roles in society

By DIANA AL-JASSEM

Feb 10, 2011

JEDDAH: Saudi women gathered on Tuesday at the Jeddah Hilton hotel to share their experiences and obstacles faced in their careers and lives.

Thanking Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for his initiative to raise the profile of Saudi women, Dr. Aisha Netto, CEO of Eye-2-Eye optics and member of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said women should continue this drive by pushing for representation in the Council of Ministers, the Shoura Council and the country’s municipal councils.

“Now you can see women in the position of deputy minister and as active members of the boards in organizations,” she told the audience, referring to Nora bint Abdullah Al-Fayez, deputy education minister in charge of female students.

Netto added that she would like to see more support from organizations, businesses and the public sector.

“All (of the progress) we see from the experience so far is an individual effort; it does not receive the full support of government agencies,” she said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article255344.ece

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Government denies US drone crash

10-02-2011

SANA’A – The government has denied reports that a US drone crashed near Lauder on Tuesday and that Al-Qaeda militants made off with the spy plane’s wreckage.

Reports by local and international press claimed a Predator drone went down in Jahayn, near the town of Lauder, an area inhabited by Al-Qaeda. According to international press reports, police officials recovered parts of the destroyed unmanned aircraft, but Al-Qaeda members seized the wreckage from the police at gunpoint.

The Ministry of Defense dismissed the reports as “baseless rumors,” in a statement posted on its website.

Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks last year revealed that the Yemeni government deliberately covered up the crash of an unmanned US drone, ‘Scan Eagle’, in March 2007. The government claimed the aircraft, which washed up on the coast of Hadramout, was an Iranian spy plane.

Full report at:

http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=35544

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Youth groups hit out at Yemeni opposition

10-02-2011

SANA’A - Yemen’s opposition leaders have come under fire this week from online activists and youth groups who accuse them of hijacking a grassroots protest movement and using it to serve their own political agenda.

The complaints come after two weeks of Tunisian inspired anti-government protests organised by the Joint Meeting Parties (JMP), Yemen’s opposition coalition, which includes the Islamist party Islah, as well as Socialist and Nasserite parties. 

“The opposition, especially the Islah party, is trying to use our voice, but this is not us.  This group does not represent the Yemeni youth,” said Taha Muthanna, the founder of Eyoun Shabbah, a well-known youth initiative that organises its activities on Facebook.

Muthanna said he did not participate in the so-called ‘day of rage’ last Thursday, when approximately 20,000 people gathered outside Sana’a University calling for political and economic changes.

“It was an opposition demonstration and not ours,” he said. “Even the youth who are there don’t represent all Yemenis. We have an active civil society, an active youth movement, and we will bring about change peacefully and gradually.”

Full report at:

http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=35541

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Piracy: a growing problem for Yemen

10-02-2011

Malak Shaher

SANA’A, Feb. 9 – Pirates attacking ships in international waters are becoming a growing problem for Yemen as captured men cannot be tried in Yemeni courts when arrested by international forces.

Yemen is unable to try pirates who operate outside its regional waters. In addition the process of receiving and trying the captured men is extremely costly, according to Shuja’ Al-Deen Al-Mahdi, head of the operational unit of the Coast Guard Authority (CGA) in Sana’a.

Al-Mahdi told the Yemen Times that pirates are avoiding Yemeni regional waters due to the high presence of international naval ships deployed to protect shipping from attacks. Yemen detained 62 pirates during 2008 and 2009. While some were tried, others are still awaiting the Yemeni courts’ decisions, according to the CGA head.

“The pirates these days are trying to play hide-and-seek with us,” said Al-Mahdi. “The more we try to catch them and control piracy, the more they go far away and hijack ships from waters not protected.”

Full report at:

http://www.yementimes.com/defaultdet.aspx?SUB_ID=35540

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PAS Youth chief claims misquoted over anti-Valentine’s Day push

By Boo Su-Lyn

February 10, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hasan claimed today he was misquoted about planning a crackdown on Muslims celebrating Valentine’s Day, saying he is not ignorant that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) states have their own authority to act on these matters.

PAS, DAP, MCA and civil groups have criticised Nasrudin for his remarks, which he said were just an offer to assist state governments curb “immoral activities”.

“I did not order the state governments to follow PAS Youth,” Nasrudin told his party paper Harakah, saying the Agence France-Presse (AFP) reporter had misunderstood his remarks.

“I am not ignorant about the state government’s authority and scope of power. I merely said that we are willing to work with state governments that have the same goals as us,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pas-youth-chief-claims-misquoted-over-anti-valentines-day-push/

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CD of IAS topper Shah Faisal’s lecture released

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: The CD of lectures of IAS topper Shah Faisal and the Police Commissioner of Hyderabad A K Khan was released in Zakir Nagar in a programme held by the city branch of the M S Creative School Hyderabad on Wednesday. Speaking on the occasion Shah Faisal said that there was no dearth of talent among the Muslim youth, only there was a need to awaken their talent and create awareness about their hidden talents. The Chairman of the M S Creative School and memory expert Latif Khan said that the CD had no commercial value and had been prepared only with a view to helping Civil Services aspirants. He said that the CDs will be distributed among their 10000 students free of cost.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/teen-suicide-bomber-strikes-mardan-army-facility,-20-dead/d/4099


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