New Age Islam
Thu Oct 22 2020, 04:34 AM

Islamic World News ( 2 Nov 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

'Matrix' makers to produce $150m film on Prophet

Islamabad: Bomb Rips Market Near Pakistan Army Headquarters

Militants blow up Pakistan girls’ school: Officials

Deadly blast rocks Pakistani city

Blasts in Pakistani Cities as Army Push Continues

Raid on hideout of top Islamist militant in B’desh

Chinese Muslims from Guantánamo sent to Palau

CAIR: Texas Medical Group Denies Muslim Doctor Right to Hijab

India, Pak should not allow terrorists sabotage peace process: Qureshi

Iraqi who runs down daughter jailed in Arizona

'Kabul attackers came from Pak'

Terrorists gun down 2 cops in Srinagar

Campaign: Kerala Muslim outfits

Iran wants UN nuclear plan reviewed

With Karzai, U.S. Faces Weak Partner in Time of War

The Dutch Islam debate since Theo van Gogh

Corruption Dispute Flares in Indonesia

Iran criticizes US opposition to anti-defamation bid

FBI Kills Islamic Cleric, Arrests Followers, for Being Muslims at the Wrong Time in America

Pakistan offers Taliban bounties

Pakistan-born comic Nanjiani making it big in US

Iranian guards warn over protest

 Iraq signs new overseas oil deal

 US view on settlement 'unchanged'

Half Iraqis Killed in October Died in One Attack

Karzai Gets New Term as Afghan Runoff Is Scrapped

Iran Pressed on Nuclear Deal

Scattering of Attacks in Iraq

Half Iraqis Killed in October Died in One Attack

Iran Wants New Nuclear Fuel Talks

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/-matrix--makers-to-produce-$150m-film-on-prophet/d/2041

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'Matrix' makers to produce $150m film on Prophet

2 November 2009

DOHA: A film about the Prophet Muhammad backed by the producer of “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Matrix” is under discussion, a Qatar media firm said Sunday, with the aim of creating an English-language blockbuster for the world’s 1.5 billion Muslims.

Filming of the $150 million movie is set to start in 2011, with Barrie Osborne as its producer, Almoor Holdings said.

Almoor said the film — in which the Prophet would not be depicted, in accordance with Islamic strictures — was in development and talks were being held with studios, talent agencies and distributors in the US and Britain.

The company launched a $200-million international film fund on October 31 to invest in film projects amid tight financing in the wake of the financial crisis and plans to focus on Hollywood. Alnoor said it aimed to attract the “best international talent” to star in the motion picture.

The company was set up this year to take advantage of economic opportunities in the entertainment industry, focusing on international film production, Arabic production and animation.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Matrix-makers-to-produce-150m-film-on-Prophet-/articleshow/5187258.cms

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Bomb Rips Market Near Pakistan Headquarters

By SALMAN MASOOD

Nov 3, 2009

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A suicide bomber detonated explosives Monday morning in a busy commercial district in the garrison town of Rawalpindi, killing at least 30 people and wounding dozens more, security and rescue officials said.

The attack apparently took aim at military personnel, and many of the victims appeared to be soldiers.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the mid-morning attack, which occurred a few hundred yards from the headquarters of the Pakistani Army. The bomber attacked outside a branch office of the National Bank of Pakistan, where soldiers and civilians had gathered to collect their monthly salaries and pension payments.

“I was going inside the bank, and all of a sudden there was a blast,” Muhammad Ijaz, a soldier who was slightly wounded, told a local television station.

Military, government and intelligence buildings have repeatedly been targets in recent months, and attacks intensified after the start of a military operation against militants in the northwestern tribal region of South Waziristan, the stronghold of Taliban.

Three weeks ago in Rawalpindi, nine gunmen wearing army uniforms broke into the military headquarters complex and held dozens hostage for 20 hours. A raid by commandos ended the siege, but 16 people were killed, including 8 of the attackers, the military said.

The surviving militant has been identified as Muhammad Aqeel, whom officials believe to be a member of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, a militant group affiliated with Al Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban.

The attack on the headquarters was a severe blow to military security and intelligence. Along with the subsequent drive-by assassination of a brigadier and his driver in Islamabad, the attacks demonstrated both the militants’ growing reach and a worrisome new flexibility in their tactics.

Also Monday, news agencies reported that the United Nations suspended development projects in Pakistan’s tribal areas and the North-West Frontier Province.

In a statement, the United Nations said its work in the restive regions would focus on emergency assistance and humanitarian relief. The United Nations and affiliated agencies have helped with tents, medicine, water and food aid for internally displaced Pakistanis fleeing the fighting between the Pakistani military and Islamist militants, first in the Swat Valley and more recently in South Waziristan.

“We have had 11 of our colleagues killed because of the security situation,” said a spokeswoman, Amena Kamaal, quoted by The Associated Press. “All of the decisions are being made in light of that.”

A suicide bomber killed five people in an attack Oct. 5 on the Islamabad headquarters of the World Food Program, a major United Nations agency.

Also on Monday, the government used newspaper advertisements to announce cash bounties of more than $600,000 for the capture of Hakimullah Mehsud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban; a senior aide, Wali-ur-Rehman; and a cousin, Qari Hussain Mehsud.

A front-page advertisement by the government in The News, the leading English-language daily, carried photos of the top Taliban commanders, along with bounties for each.

“People should help the Pakistani government to bring them to justice,” the advertisement said. It added that militants were responsible for maligning Pakistan and Islam throughout the world.

Mark McDonald contributed from Hong Kong.

Source:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/world/asia/03pstan.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

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Militants blow up Pakistan girls school: Officials

1 November 2009

PESHAWAR: Islamist militants blew up a girls school in Pakistan's lawless Khyber tribal district on Sunday, destroying the building and wounding four people in neighbouring homes, officials said.

Two explosions ripped through the 18-room government high school for girls at Kari Gar village and a boy who watched the premises is missing, possibly kidnapped by the militants, local administration officials said.

"The militants have blown up the school with two blasts and all rooms were demolished," said administration official Shafeer Ullah.

"Four people in neighbouring houses were also wounded and their homes slightly damaged. We're still trying to find out what happened to the office boy," Ullah said.

Another of Khyber's administrators, Farooq Khan, confirmed the incident.

Islamist militants, who have carved out a strong presence in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal belt on the Afghan border, have destroyed hundreds of schools, mostly for girls, in the northwest of the country in recent years.

Nearly 200 schools were destroyed in the Swat valley alone during a two-year Taliban uprising to enforce sharia law in a district once favoured by Western tourists for its ski slopes and bracing mountain air.

Following up a similar offensive in Swat this summer, Pakistan has been fighting against homegrown militants in Khyber and pressing a major assault designed to crush Taliban sanctuaries in South Waziristan.

Authorities last month shut schools across Pakistan following a suicide attack on a university campus in Islamabad, although most have since reopened.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Militants-blow-up-Pakistan-girls-school-Officials/articleshow/5185502.cms

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Deadly blast rocks Pakistani city

November 2, 2009

At least 30 people have been killed and 45 others wounded after a suicide bomber targeted workers queuing for their salaries in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad.

The blast, the second major bombing in less than a week to hit the country, occurred on Monday.

The attack off Mall Road was close to the Pearl Continental Hotel and near Pakistan's army headquarters, where 10 fighters mounted a nearly 24-hour siege last month that left 23 people dead.

Death toll rising

A senior police official said the attack was the work of a suicide bomber.

"The suicide bomber came on a motorcycle and blew up close to people gathered to get salaries. We found parts of a suicide vest and some body parts of the suicide attacker," Aslam Tarin, senior police official, said.

Al Jazeera's Imran Khan, reporting from Rawalpindi, said: "Hundreds of people were at the bank at the time which explains why the death toll has risen so sharply in the last couple of hours.

"When this blast took place, the noise was so loud, one witness said she felt as if her whole world had ended. Another said she saw a woman lying on the street missing half her body. Very harrowing stories [can be heard] at the scene of this bomb blast.

"Now this is a highly secure area. Just a couple of weeks ago there was a seige that took place on the army headquarters. The question already being asked is how another bomb blast could take place in such a sensitive area.

"There are no claims of responsibility so far."

A surge in violence has hit Pakistan in recent weeks, leaving more than 300 people dead last month alone as the military launches a major offensive against the Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP).

UN pullout

Full report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/11/200911274944627440.html

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November 3, 2009

Blasts in Pakistani Cities as Army Push Continues

By SALMAN MASOOD

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Suicide bombers attacked two major Pakistani cities on Monday — one of the them the garrison city of Rawalpindi — as the army claimed control of one more Taliban stronghold in the northwestern tribal region of South Waziristan, officials said.

The Rawalpindi suicide bomber struck a few hundred yards from the headquarters of the Pakistani Army and outside a branch office of the National Bank of Pakistan, where soldiers and civilians had gathered to collect their monthly salaries and pension payments. At least 35 people were killed and at least 45 injured, security and rescue officials said.

Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas, an army spokesman, that four soldiers were among the dead in Rawalpindi and nine among the wounded.

In the evening, an explosives-laden vehicle blew up at a police checkpoint near the entrance to the Lahore, said the city’s police chief, Pervez Rathore. Witnesses said that the vehicle was a white Suzuki and that it exploded after police officials tried to stop it from entering the city. The two suicide bombers were killed and 15 people were injured, most of them police officers.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for either attack.

Full report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/world/asia/03pstan.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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Raid on hideout of top Islamist militant in B’desh

November 2, 2009

Bangladesh’s elite security force RAB carried out a well-coordinated raid on the hideout of a top Islamist militant and arrested his wife and seized manuals on bomb making along with pamphlets supporting extremist ideology, officials said on Sunday.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) troops raided the hideout of the banned Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), officials said, adding that the kingpin of the militant group managed to narrowly escape.

“We have arrested the wife and sister-in-law of incumbent JMB chief Maulana Saidur Rahman from Sabujbagh area but he (Rahman) fled the house,” a RAB official said. He said the RAB force seized manuals on bomb making along with pamphlets in support of the militant ideology from the house.

RAB officials earlier said Rahman was the leader of the outfit since the execution of JMB’s founder Shaikh Abdur Rahman along with five other kingpins of the outfit two years ago.

Source:  http://www.dailypioneer.com/212807/Raid-on-hideout-of-top-Islamist-militant-in-B%E2%80%99desh.html

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Chinese Muslims from Guantánamo sent to Palau

By Peter Foster in Beijing

01 Nov 2009

Six Chinese Muslims who were held in the Guantánamo Bay prison camp for almost eight years have arrived on the tiny Pacific island of Palau.

The detainees from the Turkic Uighur minority were arrested in Afghanistan during the opening days of military operations in 2001 and held as suspected militants until last year when a US military tribunal decided they were not 'enemy combatants'.

The release of the men, who were greeted on arrival by Palau's President, Johnson Toribiong, is another small step in US President Barack Obama's struggle to close the controversial prison camp by January.

Palau, situated 500 miles east of the Philippines, agreed to take the Uighur inmates after lawyers argued they were at risk of torture or execution if they were returned to China, which regards them as terrorists connected to a Uighur separatist movement.

"They appeared to be very happy," said President Toribiong after meeting the men off their 17-hour military flight, "They smiled, they thanked me, they called me brother. It's amazing. I feel really good about it."

The men, aged between 31 and 40, will be housed together in Koror, the main town in Palau where most of the country's 20,000 residents live and work.

Full report at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/palau/6479330/Chinese-Muslims-from-Guantnamo-sent-to-Palau.html

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CAIR: Texas Medical Group Denies Muslim Doctor Right to Hijab

Oct 30, 2009

Muslim civil rights organization says 'no hat' policy must have religious

Exemption

Relations (CAIR) today called on a major medical group in Texas to change its policy denying accommodation for Muslim employees who wear religious attire such as Islamic head scarves (hijab) or beards. CAIR said a Muslim doctor being interviewed for a position with Care Now, a medical group with 22 facilities in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area, was told that a "no hat" policy would prohibit her from wearing hijab. She was also reportedly informed that Care Now prohibits employees from wearing beards. (Many Muslim men view wearing a beard as a religious requirement.) In an e-mail to Care Now's human resources department seeking confirmation of the denial of religious accommodation, the Muslim potential employee wrote: "Being that I wear a head scarf to cover my hair as part of my religious practice, I felt very discriminated against. I have worked in many places that have a 'no hat' policy, and I have never been confronted with a problem regarding my head scarf. I can't imagine this being an issue with an organization like Care Now. Please confirm if this is really a policy at Care Now."

An e-mail response from Care Now stated that the Muslim doctor had been given the correct information about the medical group's denial of religious accommodation.

In a letter to Care Now, CAIR wrote:

"Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals because of their religion in hiring, firing, and other terms and conditions of employment. The Act also requires employers to reasonably accommodate the religious practices of an employee, unless to do so would create an undue hardship upon the employer. CAIR has reviewed the facts of this case and determined that Care Now's staff did not make an exemption to the 'no-hat policy' to accommodate [the applicant's] religious practices, and thus is in direct violation of Title VII." CAIR is asking Care Now to 1) offer the Muslim applicant a position for which she is qualified and to allow her to wear her Islamic head scarf, 2) provide

the applicant with a formal written apology, 3) clarify Care Now's policy on religious accommodation issues and allow a religious exemption to the "no-hat" policy, 4) institute workplace sensitivity and diversity training for staff, and 5) compensate the Muslim applicant for the emotional distress she has suffered as a result of the discrimination.

CAIR offers a booklet, "An Employer's Guide to Islamic Religious Practices," designed to help prevent such incidents.

SEE: An Employer's Guide To Islamic Religious Practices

CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization.

Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.

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India, Pak should not allow terrorists sabotage peace process: Qureshi

1 November 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: Warning that terrorists wanted to sabotage the Indo-Pak peace process, Pakistan today said the two countries should not allow extremists to dictate terms to them.

Stating that Pakistan was committed not to allow its soil to be used for acts of terrorism against any country, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said India should reciprocate its positive gestures to effectively fight terror.

The peace process has been put on hold by India since last year's Mumbai terror attacks. India has linked Pakistan's actions against terrorists to resuming the composite dialogue.

"We continue to strongly believe that the terrorists are out there to sabotage the peace process between Pakistan and India... Our two countries should not be driven and dictated by them," Qureshi told Malaysian news agency Bernama in an interview.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/India-Pak-should-not-allow-terrorists-sabotage-peace-process-Qureshi/articleshow/5186621.cms

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Iraqi who runs down daughter jailed in Arizona

1 November 2009

PEORIA, Arizona: An Iraqi immigrant accused of running down his daughter with his car because she was becoming too "Westernized" was returned to Arizona Saturday to face aggravated assault charges.

Faleh Almaleki was arrested Thursday when he arrived at Atlanta's airport, sent from the United Kingdom after authorities denied him entrance. He was returned to the Phoenix-area city of Peoria, booked and taken to a county jail.

He is accused of striking and then running over his 20-year-old daughter and her boyfriend's mother with his Jeep on Oct. 20 as the women were walking across a Peoria parking lot.

Noor Almaleki remains hospitalized in serious condition after undergoing spinal surgery. The other woman, Amal Khalaf, is in serious but stable condition, according to family members.

Police said the Almalekis moved to Peoria from Iraq in the mid-1990s.

Family members said Noor Almaleki had been living with her boyfriend and Khalaf, and Faleh Almaleki was upset that his daughter had become too ``Westernized,'' had failed to live by traditional Muslim values and had disrespected the family.

Source:   http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iraqi-who-runs-down-daughter-jailed-in-Arizona-/articleshow/5185626.cms

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'Kabul attackers came from Pak'

2 November 2009

KABUL: The deadly suicide attack at a UN guesthouse here last week was a joint operation directed by an Afghan warlord based in the tribal areas

of Pakistan and by an operative of al-Qaida, the Afghan intelligence director said.

The intelligence official, Amrullah Saleh, said six Afghan suspects had been arrested, including an imam who had provided a hideaway for the attackers. He said the suspects had said that the three suicide attackers were all from the Swat Valley in Pakistan, a region under Taliban control earlier this year.

Saleh said the operation was jointly directed. One group was the Haqqani network, a Taliban-affiliated organization named for its leaders: Jalaluddin Haqqani and his son Sirajuddin. The group is based in North Waziristan, in the remote region that straddles Afghanistan’s eastern border.

Saleh said the other leader was a Qaida operative known as Ajmal, who fled to the Waziristan area.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Kabul-attackers-came-from-Pak/articleshow/5187267.cms

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Terrorists gun down 2 cops in Srinagar

Khursheed Wani

November 2, 2009

Three days after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh offered unconditional talks with people willing to abjure violence, gun-wielders in Kashmir responded by firing at two policemen in an uptown Srinagar locality. While a head constable died in a close hit, his colleague succumbed in the evening after battling for life in a premier Srinagar hospital. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Prime Minister had on October 29 announced in Srinagar that his Government was willing to talk to any group that was willing to repudiate violence. This was in an apparent reference to indigenous terror outfits operating in Jammu &Kashmir.

Police said unidentified terrorists marked their presence at the busy Qamarwari Chowk, an important intersection on the Srinagar-Baramulla road in the outskirts of the State capital on Sunday afternoon. They fired upon two on-duty police personnel. The shooters took advantage of the crowd and shot at the policemen from close range. Head Constable Manzoor Ahmad and Constable Abdul Kabir received bullets and fell down in a pool of blood. They were immediately shifted to the Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura, where Manzoor was declared brought dead.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/212956/Terrorists-gun-down-2-cops-in-Srinagar.html

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'Love Jihad' a misinformation campaign: Kerala Muslim outfits

2 November 2009

KOZHIKODE: Muslim outfits in Kerala today said the 'love jihad', where girls from other religious background are allegedly lured to marriage and converted to Islam, is a "malicious-and misinformation campaign" by Sangh Parivar outfits.

The term 'love jihad' is a misconceived notion "raked up" by Sangh Parivar outfits and reference of such a term by Constitutional establishments like the judiciary "is not a good sign", a joint statement by various prominent Muslim leaders here said.

"The misinformation campaign against the non-existent organisation in the name of 'Love Jihad' would only lead to vitiating the prevailing communal harmony and create suspicion among various communities and the parties concerned should keep themselves away from levelling unsubstantiated charges," the statement said.

The Kerala and Karnataka High Courts had recently directed the police to investigate allegations of 'Love Jihad'.

The signatories to the statement include State Muslim League president Syed Hyderali Shihab Thangal, general secretary of All India Jem-uth-Ulema A P Abubacker Musliyar, and chairman of Peoples Democratic Party Abdul Naser Madhani.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/thirupuram/Love-Jihad-a-misinformation-campaign-Kerala-Muslim-outfits/articleshow/5189444.cms

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Iran wants UN nuclear plan reviewed

2 November 2009

Iran wants the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to establish a panel to undertake a technical review of a UN-backed plan requiring it to ship most of its uranium abroad for further processing.

Tehran is under pressure to sign the deal, which would see its low-enriched uranium sent to Russia and France for conversion and then sent back to reactor in the Iranian capital monitored by the IAEA.

Iran will be required to send about 1,200 kilogram’s, or 70 per cent, of its low-grade uranium stockpile to Russia for processing by the end of the year.

Subsequently, France would convert the uranium into fuel rods that would then be returned to Iran for use in a reactor that produces medical isotopes.

The UN-drafted plan is designed to prevent Iran from trying to turn low-enriched uranium stockpile into highly-enriched uranium needed to build a nuclear bomb.

Last week the IAEA said it had received an "initial response" from Iran to the deal.

Technical review

Full report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/11/2009112105113954770.html

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With Karzai, U.S. Faces Weak Partner in Time of War

By DAVID E. SANGER

November 2, 2009

WASHINGTON — With the White House’s reluctant embrace on Sunday of Hamid Karzai as the winner of Afghanistan’s suddenly moot presidential runoff, President Obama now faces a new complication: enabling a badly tarnished partner to regain enough legitimacy to help the United States find the way out of an eight-year-old war.

It will not be easy. As the evidence mounted in late summer that Mr. Karzai’s forces had sought to win re-election through widespread fraud to defeat his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, administration officials made no secret of their disgust. How do you consider sending tens of thousands of additional American troops, they asked in meetings in the White House, to prop up an Afghan government regarded as illegitimate by many of its own people?

The answer was supposed to be a runoff election. Now, administration officials argue that Mr. Karzai will have to regain that legitimacy by changing the way he governs, at a moment when he is politically weaker than at any time since 2001.

“We’re going to know in the next three to six months whether he’s doing anything differently — whether he can seriously address the corruption, whether he can raise an army that ultimately can take over from us and that doesn’t lose troops as fast as we train them,” one of Mr. Obama’s senior aides said. He insisted on anonymity because of the confidentiality surrounding the Obama administration’s own debate on a new strategy, and the request by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the American military commander in Afghanistan, for upward of 44,000 more troops.

“Needless to say,” the senior aide added, “this is not where we wanted to be after nine months.”

Full report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/02/world/asia/02assess.html?hp=&pagewanted=print

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The Dutch Islam debate since Theo van Gogh

By michelhoebink

2 November 2009

On an autumn day in 2004, an event occurred on an Amsterdam street corner that came to symbolise a clash between two ideologies. An artist, the ultimate symbol of the Western concept of freedom of expression, was murdered by a Muslim fundamentalist, a believer in the absolute and singular truth of Allah.

Film maker Theo van Gogh had insulted the prophet and called Muslims ‘goat-shaggers’. But it was generally assumed that he was murdered for his co-operation with Dutch parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali in making her film Submission, in which Koran verses were projected on naked and tortured female bodies.

After the murder, an emotional debate about Islam and the freedom of expression erupted in the Netherlands. A series of incidents kept this debate alive over the years: the international row about the Danish Mohammed cartoons and in the Netherlands the statements of the anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders who called the Koran a fascist book and the prophet Mohammed a barbarian warlord.

Healthy debate

On the one hand there are the critics of Islam and militant defenders of the freedom of expression. They feel that their democratic freedom is threatened by invading hordes of Muslim migrants. The freedom of expression, they claim, is absolute and also includes the right to insult. Look at the Dutch writer Gerard Reve, they say, who caused a row in the 1960s by claiming that he had met God in the shape of a grey donkey. That’s how we deal with religion in the Netherlands! Muslims better get used to it and stop being so over-sensitive. It is healthy to fiercely debate Islam and tell each other the truth.

Full report at: http://www.rnw.nl/english/article/dutch-islam-debate-theo-van-gogh

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Corruption Dispute Flares in Indonesia

PERSDA/BIAN HARNANSA

Monday, 2 November 2009

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com — Public calls mounted Monday for Indonesia’s president to defend the top corruption-fighting body in what is seen as a major test of his commitment to democratic reforms as he begins a second term in office.  Anti-graft campaigners say bogus charges were filed by police in the arrests of two deputies at the Corruption Eradication Commission last week to undercut its powers. The agency’s head was suspended months ago and put on trial for murder.

The case has fueled opposition to the police and poses a serious challenge for the newly installed government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was sworn in last month for another five-year term in the Muslim-majority nation of 235 million.

“This is the time for SBY to prove his word,” said Rezki Wibowo, deputy executive director of the Indonesian branch of Transparency International, an anti-graft watchdog, using the president’s initials. This is a “systematic attempt to undermine the fight against corruption in Indonesia.”

Newspaper editorials on Monday demanded the resignations of key members of the police force and Attorney General’s office, whose phone conversations were wiretapped and broadcast on national television and who allegedly invented charges against the commissioners.

Full report at: http://english.kompas.com/read/xml/2009/11/02/14384981/Corruption.Dispute.Flares.in.Indonesia

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Iran criticizes US opposition to anti-defamation bid

02 Nov 2009

In his first address as the new Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Ramin Mehman-Parast criticizes the US refusal to consider a bid to bar religious defamation.

The 56-nation bloc of Islamic countries known as the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) has called on the UN Human Rights Council to implement an anti-defamation resolution that would broadly condemn religious hatred.

The motion comes amid a rising tide of anti-Islamic sentiments in Western countries, including a number of controversial incidents that openly insult Islam under the pretext of freedom of speech.

According to the OIC resolution, Islamophobia is one of the most "prominent challenges facing the Muslim world today".

The US State Department, in its annual report on world-wide religious freedom, has lashed out against the anti-defamation efforts led by Muslim countries, claiming that they "limit free speech."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also criticized the OIC resolution, in much the same vein.

Full report at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=110228&sectionid=351020101

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FBI Kills Islamic Cleric, Arrests Followers, for Being Muslims at the Wrong Time in America

November 2nd, 2009

By Stephen Lendman

On October 28, New York Times writer Nick Bunkley wrote the following:

"Federal agents (today) fatally shot a man they described as the leader of a violent Sunni Muslim separatist group in Detroit." Targeted was Luqman Ameen Abdullah "whom agents were trying to arrest in Dearborn on charges that included illegal possession and sale of firearms and conspiracy to sell stolen goods."

The Times echoed FBI allegations that Abdullah "began firing at them from a warehouse (and) was shot in the return fire...." Ones also that he said:

-- "America must fall;"

-- If police tried to arrest him he'd "strap a bomb on and blow up everybody;" and

-- That he urged his followers to get bulletproof vests by "shoot(ing) a cop in the head and tak(ing) their vest."

In fact, neither happened, and no surprise. No bombs were found or went off, and bulletproof vests are easily bought online from web sites like bulletproofme.com, so why shoot anyone to get them.

Post-9/11, America declared war on Islam with the FBI in the lead at home. It notoriously targets the vulnerable, entraps them with paid informants, inflates bogus charges, spreads them maliciously through the media, then intimidates juries to convict and sentence innocent men and some women to long prison terms. Justice is nearly always denied. At times willful killings are committed. The Detroit Muslims are their latest victims.

The Muslim Community Reacts

The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) "is a public service agency working for the civil rights of American Muslims, for the integration of Islam into American pluralism, and for a positive, constructive relationship between American Muslims and their representatives." Since its 1988 founding, it's become known for promoting "Mercy, Justice, Peace, Human Dignity, Freedom, and Equality for all."

On October 29, MPAC's Executive Director, Salam Al-Marayati said:

"There is a clear and present danger in the escalating mob mentality against vulnerable Muslim Americans."

The organization called for an investigation into the shooting death, saying it is "deeply disturbed" by the incident.

So is the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA), a national network of masjids (mosques), Muslim organizations and individuals committed to addressing the needs of the Muslim community. It released a statement saying:

"It is with deep sadness and concern that we announce the shooting death of Imam Luqman A. Abdullah, of Masjid Al-Haqq (Detroit, MI). Imam Luqman was a representative of the Detroit Muslim community to the 'National Ummah' and the general assembly (Shura) of the Muslim Alliance in North America (MANA)...."

Ummah founder Jamil Al-Amin (aka H. Rap Brown) wanted it to be an association of mosques in US cities to coordinate religious and social services primarily in the black community. Calling it a "nationwide radical fundamentalist Sunni group consisting primarily of African-Americans" is an "offensive mischaracterization."

Those who've worked with Imam Abdullah know him for having "advocated for the downtrodden and always sp(eaking) about the importance of connecting to the needs of the poor." Alleging that he and his followers engaged in illegal activity, resisted arrest, and waged an "offensive jihad against the American government" are "shocking and inconsistent."

On October 30, the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections (AMT), a coalition of major national Islamic organizations, issued this statement:

"It is imperative that an independent investigation of Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah's death make public the exact circumstances in which he died. And unless the FBI has evidence linking the criminal allegations to the religious affiliation of the suspects, we ask that federal authorities stop injecting religion into this case. The unjustified linkage of this case to the faith Islam will only serve to promote an increase in existing anti-Muslim stereotyping and bias in our society."

AMT also urged the Congressional Tri-Causus (African-American, Latino and Asian) to call for a judicial inquiry.

A statement from The International Council for Urban (Formations) Peace, Justice and Empowerment read:

We members "are appalled by the raids on Masjid Al-Haqq and a halal meat packing plant that left (Abdullah) dead. We are demanding an independent investigation into this action that is clearly the result of a climate of Islamophobia fed by law enforcement and a media bent on sensationalism. (The FBI's) complaint and the resulting raid are nothing more than government sponsored terrorism against a group that was working to help the community...."

"The inconsistencies in this investigation are glaring. The case is based on sworn statements of informants. These informants were convicted criminals who were paid by the federal government for their 'work.' These criminals were used to engage and entrap law abiding citizens...."

We "never heard Imam Abdullah make any statements (or suggest any actions) consistent with the statements in the complaint...."

"The FBI has stated that this was not a terrorism case. However, the investigation was conducted by a counter terrorism unit."

"....Masjid Al-Haqq, under the direction of Imam Abdullah, fed the hungry, housed the homeless, worked with gangs and the formerly incarcerated to turn a crime ridden and drug infested neighborhood around to becoming a productive community....The most disturbing fact is that a religious leader who reached out to his people and his community is dead, the victim of a society that sees anyone who is different as dangerous."

Omar Regan, Abdullah's son, led the Friday, October 30 prayers at the Al-Haqq mosque, and said the following:

"My father was a sharp-tongued individual. He would talk about his dislike of the government, about how law enforcement wasn't protecting and serving the people. But speaking his emotions and acting on (them) are two different things."

Other community members echoed that sentiment in accusing the FBI of heavy-handed tactics that killed Abdullah maliciously from multiple gunshot wounds.

Abdullah El-Amin, an imam at Detroit's Muslim Center (the city's largest black mosque), said he knew Luqman for years and never heard him talk about wanting a separate Muslim state, just something "like the Pennsylvania Dutch have (with) their own communities and stuff."

He and about 20 other Detroit imams attended an October 29 meeting with US Attorney Terrence Berg and FBI Special Agent Andrew Arena at which they charged the Agency with entrapping Abdullah, then killing him in cold blood. One informant, they said, was a former Abdullah follower with a criminal past, and he and the others "came to a place where people are not getting social security, unemployment. They had nothing," so could easily be manipulated to sell stolen items they provided.

Dawud Walid, Executive Director of the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said:

"The very incendiary rhetoric that the FBI alleges, I never heard that from (Abdullah). There was nothing extraordinary about him....I knew him as a respected imam in the Muslim community....I knew him to be charitable. He would open up the mosque to homeless people. He used to run a soup kitchen and feed indigent people....I knew nothing of him that was related to any nefarious or criminal behavior."

Walid added:

"Is this the kind of excessive force that we black Americans are all too familiar with?" He also questioned using informants he called "agent provocateurs" who entice law-abiding people to self-incriminate.

Other community members believe Abdullah was maliciously targeted, that the FBI likely initiated gunfire, and if he shot back it was in self-defense.

Even the FBI's complaint admitted that whatever alleged crimes were planned or committed, they were minor and inconsequential. Hardly offenses warranting a high-profile raid, shoot-out, and political assassination.

Department of Justices Allegations

On October 28, a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release headlined: "Eleven Members/Associates of Ummah Charged with Federal Violations - One Subject Fatally Shot During Arrest." The FBI and US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Terrence Berg, charged:

"Luqman Ameen Abdullah, aka Christopher Thomas, and 10 others with conspiracy to commit several federal crimes, including theft from interstate shipments, mail fraud to obtain the proceeds of arson, illegal possession and sale of firearms, and tampering with motor vehicle identification numbers. The eleven defendants are members of a group that is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years, and known to be armed."

Those charged were "believed to be armed and dangerous (so) special safeguards were employed by law enforcement to secure the arrests without confrontation. During the arrests today, the suspects were ordered to surrender. At one location, four (did) and were arrested without incident. Luqman Ameen Abdullah did not surrender and fired his weapon. An exchange of gun fire followed and Abdullah was killed."

"Abdullah was the leader of part of a group which calls themselves Ummah ('the brotherhood'), a group of mostly African-American converts to Islam, which seeks to establish a separate Sharia-law governed state within the United States. The Ummah is ruled by Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin, formerly known as H. Rap Brown, who is serving a (life) sentence (without parole) in USP Florence, CO, ADMAX (supermax), for the murder of two police officers in Georgia."

In the US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, a criminal complaint named:

-- Luqman Ameen Abdullah (aka Christopher Thomas);

-- Mohammad Abdul Bassir (aka Franklin D. Roosevelt Williams);

-- Muhammad Abdul Salaam (aka Muhammad Addul Salam; aka Gregory Stone; aka Gun Man; aka Norman Shields);

-- Abdul Saboor (aka Swayne Edward Davis);

-- Muhahid Carswell (aka Muhahid Abdullah, Luqman's son);

-- Abdullah Beard (aka Detric Lamont Driver);

-- Mohammad Philistine (aka Mohammad Palestine; aka Mohammad Al-Sahli);

-- Yassir Ali Khan;

-- Adam Hussain Ibraheem;

-- Garry Laverne Porter (aka Mujahid); and

-- Ali Abdul Raqib.

At the time of the raid, three of the men were still at large - Mujahid Carswell (Abdullah's son), Mohammad Philistine and Yassir Ali Khan. However, Windsor, Ontario police announced the arrest of Carswell the next day, and on October 31, they arrested Philistine and Ali Khan.

The unsealed complaint charged Abdullah with "espous(ing) the use of violence against law enforcement, (and) train(ing) members of his group in the use of firearms and martial arts in anticipation of some type of action against the government." It said "Abdullah and other members of this group were known to carry firearms and other weapons."

According to FBI Counter-Terrorism Squad Special Agent Gary Leone, a "confidential source" (aka paid informant) called S-2 provided "reliable and credible" information, "independently corroborated by other sources, and by consensual recordings he has made with the members of The Ummah at the direction of the FBI."

In a "surreptitiously" recorded December 12, 2007 conversation, "S-2 told Abdullah he had asked to donate $5,000 to pay to have someone 'do something' during the 2006 Super Bowl in Detroit. Abdullah said he would not be involved in injuring innocent people for no reason: 'If there's something to be done....it (has) to be legitimate.' "

He then allegedly said...."things are coming....I got some violence (in me) because of what they did to Imam Jamil (H. Rap Brown)....I got some stuff, man, I got some soldiers with me....Brothers that I know would, you know, if I say 'Let's go, we going to go and do something,' they would do it."

Leone said this and other recordings "confirm(ed) by (another paid informant) S-1 (showed) that Abdullah and his followers view themselves as soldiers at war against the United States government, and against non-Muslims," yet nothing in his above statement says that, so charges amount to putting FBI allegations in the mind of a dead man, unable to refute them.

The DOJ presented no evidence of a plot, a crime, or intent to commit one.

The FBI used three paid informants for over two years. On October 10, 2008, the third, S-3, allegedly recorded Abdullah saying:

"We have to cut the ties to (Christians, Jews, and the Kuffar (infidels). You cannot please them until you follow their religion....Obama is a Kafir (infidel, non-Muslim, an insulting term for any African American)....the premise of Allah and Islam (is) 'the worst Muslim is better than the best Kafir....we should be trying to figure out how to fight the Kuffar....Washington is trying to stop everything we do....they are my enemy, and I should be trying to plot as to how to make moves to get some things accomplished....(we) need to plan to do something."

These and other recordings show anger, not intent to commit crimes. Yet that's what the DOJ alleges. Saying "We are going to have to fight against the Kafir" suggests resistance against a hostile state. Even stronger statements, allegedly recorded, aren't hard evidence of planned violence against the FBI, other federal agents, or anyone else.

In its October 28 press release, the DOJ acknowledged that the above criminal complaint "is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A trial cannot be held on felony charges in a complaint. When the investigation is completed a determination will be made whether to seek a felony indictment." Yet the FBI killed Abdullah, allegedly in a shoot-out with only its account for proof, an Agency notorious for political assassinations and twisting facts to make its case.

Imam Umar Responds

In a widely distributed message, an Imam Umar wrote:

"The FBI ups the ante. They set up Imam Luqman of Detroit and murdered him. We know him and the community he comes from. This is no terrorist trap. This was part criminal sting and when the Imam and his brothers peeped the tricks of the FBI, they lured him to a warehouse and killed him. Now they accuse Imam Jamil (H. Rap Brown) who has been in prison for the past ten years as leader of this group. He is an easy target. A lone Imam with the FBI was also an easy target. The FBI is not only tricky and devious....they are extremely dangerous thugs and murderers."

A follow-up message added:

"The FBI is known for their murderous tactics all over the world. When they are given an assignment they use every imaginative strategy to accomplish their goal. When they were under J. Edgar Hoover, he found various ways to discredit Martin Luther King....They turned the Black Stone Rangers against the Black Panthers in Chicago that (caused) the death of the (BPP) leaders. They got the Huey P. Newton and Eldredge Cleaver factions to kill one another. They have gone after the so-called terrorists with one phony case after another. They first went after immigrants, decimating their numbers in America. Now they are after African American Muslims. Next will most likely be the support groups of mostly white people....These FBI devils are very shrewd and their evil spreads....The murder of a good Muslim will only make it more dangerous to live in America. They know that black people sooner or later will fight back."

"The Ummah is not a 'brotherhood,' it is the Arabic word for 'community.' This group setting up a Muslim state? What a joke. They can hardly set up an annual conference. This information is to cause fear....to cause backlash against Muslims....Let the FBI continue with their tricks, lies and murder. Before long, everyone will see through their veil and they will become the target."

Imam Jamil Al-Amin, Formerly Known as H. Rap Brown

Born Hubert Gerold Brown, he became famously known as H. Rap Brown, a 1960s civil rights activist, social commentator, and chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (succeeding Stokely Carmichael) where he distinguished himself as a charismatic leader and effective organizer. In 1968, he was named minister of justice for the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense that strove for ethnic justice, racial emancipation, and real economic, social, and political equity across gender and color lines.

As a result, he was targeted by federal and state authorities, charged with inciting a riot in Maryland, violating the National Firearms Act, and illegally crossing state lines to skip bail. During his 1970 firearms trial, he disappeared for 17 months and was placed on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list. In late 1971, he reemerged after being arrested and falsely charged with armed robbery in Manhattan. Convicted, he served five years in Attica State Prison.

While there, he converted to Islam and changed his name to Jamil Abdullah Al-Amin. After release, he started an Atlanta mosque and operated a small grocery store and community center. Then in 2000, he was charged with murdering a black police officer and injuring his partner in a gun battle outside his store.

In 2002, he was tried, and despite strong evidence of his innocence, was convicted on 13 counts, including murder, aggravated assault, obstruction, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and sentenced to life imprisonment with no possibility of parole.

At trial, his lawyers argued for a case of mistaken identity, claimed prosecutors were out to get him for decades, and presented a strong defense in his behalf, including:

-- his fingerprints weren't on the murder weapon;

-- he wasn't wounded in the incident even though the arresting deputy said he shot the assailant;

-- he also identified his eyes as gray; Al-Amin's are brown;

-- his attire didn't match clothing the shooter wore;

-- blood found at the scene was discounted and unchecked;

-- potentially exculpatory evidence relating to the sheriff's vehicle was either lost or destroyed;

-- a man named Otis Jackson confessed to the crime; it was ignored, never introduced at trial, days later Jackson recanted, and the defense team never got a chance to interview him; and

-- withheld evidence and proceedings were so controversial that observers believed Brown was convicted pre-trial for his civil rights activism and conversion to Islam; he was clearly a targeted man;

It became clearer when the Georgia Supreme Court agreed that the prosecution committed a grave constitutional error when, in closing arguments, the assistant district attorney directed jurors to consider posed questions relating to Al-Amin's failure to present testimony or evidence. Nonetheless, the Court upheld the verdict.

Afterward, his legal team filed a habeas corpus writ citing gross irregularities, including:

-- not investigating Otis Jackson's confession;

-- denying a change of venue due to negative publicity;

-- prohibiting Al-Amin from testifying in his own defense;

-- eliminating Muslims from the jury pool;

-- dismissing three of his four trial lawyers;

-- prohibiting potentially exculpatory evidence from being introduced;

-- denying favorable testimony in his behalf;

-- withholding discovery from the defense team;

-- denying them a chance to cross-examine an FBI agent relating to his prior misconduct against a Muslim, his misleading and false testimony, and charges that he tampered with evidence; and

-- inflammatory media reports during trial, portraying Al-Amin as a radical extremist.

A Final Comment

As a nationally known civil rights champion and Islamic leader, Al-Amin was a prime FBI COINTELPRO target, the agency's infamous counterintelligence program against political activists, legitimate dissent, independent thought, and non-violent opposition to the Vietnam war, and racial and social injustice.

It continues today against men like Abdullah, his followers, and dozens more like them for their faith, ethnicity, race, activism, prominence, and opposition to government injustice at the wrong time to be Muslim in America.

According to an Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) December 2007 report on Al-Amin titled, "Prisoners of Faith Campaign Pack," many thousands of "Muslim prisoners of faith around the world" are being held in Muslim and non-Muslim countries, including politicians, human rights activists, students, writers, and others with "one thing in common:" their adherence "to the Islamic belief and way of life."

They're portrayed as "terrorists, inciters of religious hatred or of even trying to change the constitution of the country" where they live. They're vilified and denied their civil rights. In custody, they're neglected, brutalized, tortured, and forgotten as non-persons. As one of them, Al-Amin once said:

"For more than thirty years, I have been tormented and persecuted by my enemies for reasons of race and belief....I seek truth over a lie; I seek justice over injustice; I seek righteousness over the rewards of evil doers; and I love ALLAH more than I love the state."

For others like him, their struggle for equity, social justice, and mutual understanding persists against hostile government oppression. In America as much as anywhere. Its tradition continues.

Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to The Global Research News Hour on RepublicBroadcasting.org Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening.

Full report at: http://www.thepeoplesvoice.org/TPV3/Voices.php/2009/11/02/fbi-kills-islamic-cleric-arrests-followe

 

Pakistan offers Taliban bounties

2 November 2009

Official notice of Pakistan's Taliban bounties

Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud heads the wanted list

Pakistan's government has offered rewards totalling $5m (£3m) for information leading to the capture of Taliban leaders and commanders.

A sum of 50m rupees ($600,000) has been promised for the capture - dead or alive - of the group's leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, and two top aides.

The Taliban have been blamed for a recent series of attacks in Pakistan.

The rewards come as the army carries out an operation against militants in South Waziristan province.

Pakistan's government announced the offers in a series of national advertisements.

It said the accused were "daily involved in deadly activities" which were killing Muslims and "earning a bad name for the Muslims in Pakistan and around the world".

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8337237.stm

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Pakistan-born comic Nanjiani making it big in US

Eric Konigsberg

1 November 2009

If you are of the view that nurture trumps nature, you might not have predicted a career as a professional comic for Kumail Nanjiani. He grew up

Kumail Nanjiani

Pakistan-born comic Nanjiani a hit in US. (Damon Winter/The New York Times)

in Pakistan — “Not necessarily a very funny place,” he says — and had never seen a moment of stand-up comedy until he came to Iowa for college and watched a Jerry Seinfeld HBO special.

In his background’s favor, however, at college — Grinnell — he double-majored in computer science and philosophy (“Funnier than you’d think”), and his father was a psychiatrist back in Karachi (“Inherently pretty funny”) who, after relocating their family and his practice to New Jersey, developed an obsession with designer jeans. “The super-expensive ones, like 7 for All Mankind, True Religion, Citizens of Humanity,” Nanjiani said. “You can’t make this stuff up.”

At the moment, Nanjiani, 31, isn’t well known, “except to comedy geeks,” as he puts it; his name would definitely prompt some head scratching among many of the tourists flocking to see celebrity comics like Bill Maher and Ricky Gervais at the established clubs where much of the annual New York Comedy Festival will take place later this week. But if recent history is any guide, the circuit of cramped rooms, obscure bars and hidden basements in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn where Nanjiani plies his trade might well be leading him to a larger stage.

Thanks in part to a critical mass of like-minded performers (which is to say, slightly absurdist and occasionally free-form), but also to the increasing number of movies and television shows to reflect and deploy that sensibility, Nanjiani‘s proving ground has become ripe for discovery.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pakistan-born-comic-Nanjiani-making-it-big-in-US/articleshow/5186306.cms

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Iranian guards warn over protest

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have warned opposition groups not to hold protest rallies as the country marks 30 years since the seizure of the US embassy.

Reformist leaders have urged their supporters to take part in peaceful rallies on 4 November, including losing presidency hopeful Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

A statement, quoted by Irna state news agency, said it would not tolerate any "diversionary and false" slogans.

Elite units of guards helped suppress mass protests after the June elections.

Mr Mousavi challenged President Mahmoud Ahmadinajad in the election and accused hardline forces of tampering with the vote to steal the election.

At least 30 protesters were killed in clashes and thousands were arrested.

Some 200 opposition activists remain behind bars. Three have been sentenced to death.

The Guard called on the Iranian people to exercise vigilance with regard to the likelihood of plots by enemy agents during the traditional anti-US rally on the date its embassy was stormed by revolutionary students.

Source:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8337779.stm

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Iraq signs new overseas oil deal

Iraq's oil ministry has signed an initial agreement with a consortium led by the Italian firm, ENI, to develop the Zubair oilfield in southern Iraq.

The deal, which needs cabinet approval, calls for the group to extract 200,000 barrels of oil a day, rising to 1.1 million a day within seven years.

The project could be Iraq's second major contract with overseas oil firms since the US-led invasion in 2003.

Last month, Iraq signed off a deal with Britain's BP and China's CNPC.

The two oil companies will develop the giant southern oilfield in Rumaila.

The project aims to almost triple output at the 17-billion-barrel field - increasing it by two million barrels a day.

Iraq has the world's third largest oil reserves, but production has yet to reach full potential.

The country's total daily output of about 2.4 million barrels is lower than it could be, because of sanctions against former Iraqi governments, lack of investment and insurgent attacks, analysts say.

Source:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/business/8338058.stm

US view on settlement 'unchanged'

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November 2, 2009

Half Iraqis Killed in October Died in One Attack

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Nearly half of all Iraqis who died in October perished in a single coordinated attack against government offices in Baghdad, AP figures revealed Monday.

Of the 364 Iraqis killed over the past month, according to The Associated Press count, 155 died in two nearly simultaneous bombs targeting government buildings Oct. 25 in downtown Baghdad -- the worst coordinated attack in more than two years.

The impact of the devastating bombing, which occurred in one of the most protected parts of the capital, continues to be felt as the government struggles to convince Iraqis it can protect them.

The government blamed an alliance of al-Qaida in Iraq and members of Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party for similar bombings in August of the Justice and Finance ministries that killed about 100 people and has called for an international investigation, particular with regard to the role of neighboring Syria.

In a nod toward Iraqi concerns, special U.N. envoy Oscar Fernandez-Taranco met Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and senior government officials as part of ''preliminary consultations on the incidents surrounding'' the Aug. 19 and Oct. 25 blasts.

Fernandez-Taranco said Monday he had come to Baghdad to ''listen to the government of Iraq's concerns'' over security and sovereignty issues.

Full report at: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/11/02/world/AP-ML-Iraq.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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November 3, 2009

Karzai Gets New Term as Afghan Runoff Is Scrapped

By ALISSA J. RUBIN and ALAN COWELL

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officials canceled a runoff presidential vote set for Saturday and declared President Hamid Karzai the winner on Monday, a day after his remaining challenger, , Abdullah Abdullah, withdrew.

The announcement capped a fraught election widely depicted as deeply flawed by corruption and voting irregularities.

Azizullah Ludin, the chairman of Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission, said the Constitution did not require a runoff and the second-round vote, set for Saturday, had been canceled after Mr. Abdullah’s announcement that he was dropping out.

Mr. Ludin said Mr. Karzai had won the majority of votes in the first round “and was the only candidate in the second round,” and so was “declared the elected president of Afghanistan.”

Among the commission’s reasons for canceling the vote, Mr. Ludin said at a news conference, was to spare Afghans the high costs and security risks of a fresh round of balloting. Those concerns reflected the difficulties of holding an election amid a growing Taliban insurgency.

But Mr. Karzai and the election commission had been under intense pressure from Afghanistan’s international backers, including the United States, to cancel the runoff, in part because of worries that the vote-rigging that marred the first round might be repeated.

Full report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/world/asia/03afghan.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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November 3, 2009

Iran Pressed on Nuclear Deal

By JACK HEALY

World leaders pressed Iran on Monday to defuse an international standoff over its nuclear program by accepting a deal to ship its nuclear fuel abroad. But Iranian officials continued to send confusing signals about whether Iran would accept the agreement.

In Paris, the French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said that world leaders would not stand for what he called Iran’s stalling tactics.

“We are waiting for a reply,” he said during a joint news conference with his new German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle. “If the reply is aimed at delaying matters, as we believe, then we will not accept it.”

But two Iranian officials made comments that failed to illuminate the Iranian stance, prolonging what appears to be a cat-and-mouse game between Iran and other countries, including the United States, that are leery of Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, said that Iran had not rejected the draft agreement, brokered by the United Nations, under which the country would export much of its low-enriched uranium to Russia for further processing and return to Tehran for medical uses.

Mr. Mottaki, on a trip to Malaysia, told reporters that “we have considered this proposal, we have some technical and economic considerations on that,” and that the deal should be reviewed further, according to The Associated Press. He said Iran would continue to enrich uranium for nuclear power stations.

Full report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/03/world/middleeast/03iran.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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November 2, 2009

Scattering of Attacks in Iraq

By JOHN LELAND

BAGHDAD — A week after the deadliest attack in Iraq in more than two years, a scattering of smaller bomb attacks around the country on Sunday raised fears of a sustained escalation in violence as American forces withdraw.

The bombings, which killed at least 12 people and wounded more than 50, killed both police officers and civilians and struck Sunni as well as Shiite areas.

Though violence in Iraq has fallen sharply since 2007, many Iraqis fear an increase before parliamentary elections scheduled for Jan. 16. Since the attacks on Oct. 25, which killed 155 and destroyed three government buildings in Baghdad, the authorities have arrested dozens of suspects and security officers, and critics have lashed out at the government for failing to provide security.

Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi said in a statement on Sunday that the Baghdad attacks were preventable, and he blamed “catastrophic gaps and breaches in security forces.”

Also on Sunday, a special envoy from the United Nations arrived in Baghdad to investigate security here. Iraqi leaders had asked the United Nations Security Council to study the role of neighbouring countries in last week’s attacks.

Meanwhile, Iraqi legislators again failed to agree on laws governing the January elections, despite warnings that further delay could prevent the vote from taking place on time. Discussions in Parliament on Sunday instead focused on other matters.

In October, 453 Iraqi civilians and security personnel were killed, an increase from a monthly low this year of 379 in September but considerably below the high of 677 in April, according to the Interior Ministry. The statistics do not count deaths in the northern Kurdish region.

Full report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/02/world/middleeast/02iraq.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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November 2, 2009

Half Iraqis Killed in October Died in One Attack

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Nearly half of all Iraqis who died in October perished in a single coordinated attack against government offices in Baghdad, AP figures revealed Monday.

Of the 364 Iraqis killed over the past month, according to The Associated Press count, 155 died in two nearly simultaneous bombs targeting government buildings Oct. 25 in downtown Baghdad -- the worst coordinated attack in more than two years.

The impact of the devastating bombing, which occurred in one of the most protected parts of the capital, continues to be felt as the government struggles to convince Iraqis it can protect them.

The government blamed an alliance of al-Qaida in Iraq and members of Saddam Hussein's outlawed Baath Party for similar bombings in August of the Justice and Finance ministries that killed about 100 people and has called for an international investigation, particular with regard to the role of neighbouring Syria.

In a nod toward Iraqi concerns, special U.N. envoy Oscar Fernandez-Taranco met Monday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and senior government officials as part of ''preliminary consultations on the incidents surrounding'' the Aug. 19 and Oct. 25 blasts. Fernandez-Taranco said Monday he had come to Baghdad to ''listen to the government of Iraq's concerns'' over security and sovereignty issues.

Source:  http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/11/02/world/AP-ML-Iraq.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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November 2, 2009

Iran Wants New Nuclear Fuel Talks

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran wants more talks on a U.N.-drafted nuclear deal and prefers to import atomic fuel rather than send its own uranium abroad for processing, a senior official said, suggesting terms that world powers are likely to rebuff.

Western powers have urged Iran to accept a draft deal in which it would send most of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) abroad by the end of the year for further enrichment to turn it into fuel for a medical reactor in Tehran.

But Ambassador Ali Asghar Soltanieh told Reuters on Monday that more talks were needed "in order to ensure that our technical concerns, and especially the issue of the guarantee of the fuel supply, are taken into consideration."

Tehran appears to be stalling after appearing ready to make concessions to the international community, which is threatening to impose new sanctions over fears that Iran is pursuing an atomic weapons programme.

International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei, who drafted the plan, said the deal was a chance for Tehran to build confidence in its atomic ambitions.

"I therefore urge Iran to be as forthcoming as possible in responding soon to my recent proposal based on the initiative of the United States, Russia and France," ElBaradei told the U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Iran says its uranium enrichment programme is for peaceful electricity generation only and senior lawmakers have voiced deep misgivings about parting with the bulk of Iran's LEU, seen as a strategic asset and a strong bargaining chip.

"We are ready for the next round of technical discussions in Vienna at the IAEA headquarters," Soltanieh said by telephone, adding that the IAEA should now arrange a date. Source:   

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2009/11/02/world/international-uk-iran-nuclear.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/-matrix--makers-to-produce-$150m-film-on-prophet/d/2041

 

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