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Islamic World News ( 1 Oct 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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'Osama bin Laden operating from Pakistan': US

Christian convert from Islam and family threatened with death

Why I drew the cartoon: The 'Muhammad Affair' in retrospect

Pakistanis Continue to Reject U.S. Partnership

Iran businesses braced for higher evasion costs

Should Berlin let Muslim pupils pray at school?

School staff looks at Islam in depth

UN Chief's 11th Hour Climate Jihad

Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage. Launches Al Ain Centre for Music in the World of Islam

Despite Court Victory, Egypt's Bahais Face Challenges

Iraqi PM approaches Sunnis for nationwide elections

Muslim feminist recounts perilous path

New novel blends suspense thriller plot lines with stories of Islamic terrorism inspired by true events

Offered meditation between govt, Taliban: Fazal-ur-Rehman

Iran releases prominent opposition figure on bail after more than 3 months in jail

Zazi terror case has Colorado Muslims refocusing on vigilance

Somali factions battle in Kismayo

Iraqi PM Ditches Old Shi'ite Allies For Jan Polls

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



'Osama bin Laden operating from Pakistan'

01 Oct, 2009

Just days after US ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson said that Quetta had become a major base for the Afghan Taliban, United States Deputy Chief of Mission in Islamabad Gerald Feierstein also stated that Mullah Omar is operating from Quetta.

Feierstein was of the view that Osama bin Laden is operating from the tribal areas of Pakistan and maintains that the control centre of the Afghan Taliban is based in Quetta.

He said that the United Stated has conveyed its concerns to Pakistan government and that both governments are in touch on the matter.

On the issue of Blackwater or any private security company operating in Pakistan, Feierstein said that all such rumours are unfounded.

Feierstein stressed that the security agency Inter-Risk was only providing security to the United States embassy in the federal capital and said that all the dealings of the agency were fair and transparent.



Christian convert from Islam and his family threatened with death



After Friday prayers a group of zealots attacked the house of William Gomes, a young Muslim who converted to Christianity and human rights activist. The police takes no steps to ensure his protection.

Dhaka (AsiaNews) - William Gomes, a Catholic convert from Islam, is in mortal danger.  For the past several days he has been the target of Muslim extremists who want to kill him because of his new faith. On 25 September he had to flee his home to escape from a group of Islamic militants who wanted to kill him and his family (wife and child), setting fire to their house. After Friday prayers at a mosque nearby, a group of fanatics had asked the leaders of their mosque to decide on the fate of the young man and the penalty to be inflicted on him.

A freelance journalist and human rights activist, married to a Catholic and father of a child, Gomes had recently received threats, but on September 25, his accusers passed from words to deeds. Led by Nazmi Mohammed Uddin Titu, a local leader of the Chatra League movement of young Muslims, a group marched on the house of the young man accused of apostasy. 

The human rights activist sought police protection, but officers of the Police Commission in Jatrabri limited themselves to filing his complaint. Gomes said that the officer on duty guaranteed police intervention only after the fact happened saying he was not surprised at the anger of Muslims over his conversion.

 Already September 23 there had been warning signs. Mohammed Mijan Bandari, the local leader of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), had assaulted Gomes’ cousin, Mohammed Farouk, who with his wife went to visit his relative and family. The human rights activist intervened in defence of his cousin, with the help of his mother and father, only to receive death threats from Bandari and the Islamist group of a hundred people. The crowd only dispersed after the arrival of the police to calm tensions. 

The human rights activist, whose reports have been published by AsiaNews, has received the solidarity of Buni Yani, his Muslim friend and professor of the faculty of science and politics at the Muhammadiyah University in Jakarta. Yani has appealed to the authorities of Bangladesh to ensure the safety of Gomes and his family.



Why I drew the cartoon: The 'Muhammad Affair' in retrospect

By Kurt Westergaard

October 1st, 2009

Created by Joe Montalbano

When — in early September 2005 — I got a brief request from my editor at the Danish daily Jyllands-Posten to draw my impression of the prophet Muhammad, I had little idea of what I was getting myself into. To me it was just another day at the office. So I tried to do the best job I could, and I drew up a picture of the prophet with a bomb in his turban. I further inserted the quotation: “There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his prophet.”

On Sept. 30, the paper published 12 cartoons, including my own, that took Islam and Muhammad as their subject. The ‘Danish cartoon affair’ which ensued turned out to be perhaps the most important free speech case of our time. In the months after the cartoons’ publication, protests against them morphed from peaceful objections to irrational violence which included serious threats on my life. The cartoons have become a watershed test for the ability of the press to comment and criticize all religions without fear of violent reprisal. All of us — and not least the students and faculty at an institution such as Princeton — will be on the center front of this debate for years to come.

It is important, therefore, that we all understand what is at stake. It is for this reason that I spoke at Princeton yesterday and why I write here. I would also hope to explain to you why I acted as I did, and especially why I have refused to apologize for my cartoon despite strong pressure that I do so.

The initial reaction to the cartoons’ publication was fair. Many people — both Muslims and non-Muslims — were very angry at what they saw as an attempt to ridicule and offend a whole religion, and my contribution in particular was held out for criticism. Many of my fellow journalists joined with a number of politicians, intellectuals, artists and Danish ex-diplomats in condemning Jyllands-Posten’s action, and three thousand Muslims marched through the streets of Copenhagen in a peaceful protest. Eleven diplomats from Muslim countries asked for a meeting with our prime minister in order to elicit a state apology for the cartoons. He refused to meet with them, stating that Denmark enjoys freedom of the press and that it was not his business to apologize for something a newspaper had done. All was as it should be in a democratic country with free speech. People certainly had a right to voice their opinion, just as I had the right to voice mine.

In December and January 2006, however, things turned ugly. A delegation of Danish imams toured the Middle East in an attempt to stir up anger against the cartoons, and they brought with them some disgusting pictures that had never been published by any Danish newspaper. The outcome was predictable. Soon the entire Muslim world erupted in violent demonstrations that claimed the lives of more than 130 people. Jyllands-Posten’s cartoonists and editors received death threats. Danish embassies were burned down. Danish goods were boycotted. The entire Danish political class went into panic when it realized that this was the worst foreign policy crisis to have hit the country since World War II.

Full Article at:


Pakistanis Continue to Reject U.S. Partnership


September 30, 2009

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Even with the arrival of the Obama administration and the prospect of substantially increased aid, more Pakistanis — an overwhelming majority — continued to reject the United States as a partner to fight militancy in their country, a new poll finds.

The survey, conducted by the Washington-based International Republican Institute, underscored the difficulties the Obama administration faced in its efforts to tamp down Islamic militancy in this strategically vital nation.

The I.R.I. is a nonprofit pro-democracy group which is financed by the American government.

President Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of the slain former prime minister Benazir Bhutto and a relatively inexperienced politician, scored a 25 percent approval rating how he’s handling his job, 6 points more than in March.

His chief opponent, Nawaz Sharif, the leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, garnered a 67 percent favorable rating, down from 75 percent in March.The findings come as Washington is poised to spend $1.5 billion in assistance for Pakistan in the coming year, a big jump in American funds intended to help strengthen the civilian government rather than the military.

The poll confirms the persistent strand of anti-American discourse in Pakistan in the last few years, and its release coincides with particularly strong attacks in the Pakistani media about the American Embassy’s hiring private security firms to protect American diplomats.

Even as the Obama administration takes pride in the new funds for Pakistan, the increased aid has been criticized in the Pakistani news media and among politicians as too little, one calling it “peanuts.”

Face-to-face interviews were conducted July 15 to Aug. 7 with 4,900 adults throughout Pakistan’s four provinces, excluding areas in the North-West Frontier Province and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus one percentage point. The survey results will be available on the institute’s Web site,, on Friday. The I.R.I. has conducted surveys in Pakistan since 2002.

A troubling aspect of the findings for the Obama administration, analysts said, was the significant increase in the rejection of the United States as a partner in the war against Islamic militants.

Full Article at:


Iran businesses braced for higher evasion costs


By Najmeh Bozorgmehr

Iran’s small private sector has spent a lot of time and money over the past few years on finding ways to evade international sanctions imposed over the country’s nuclear programme. That activity could become even more costly than before if further sanctions are imposed against the Islamic regime following the make-or-break talks in Geneva today. While western leaders seem more reluctant than before to go for petrol sanctions as the next step, the possibility of further financial limitations is on the rise. “The biggest impact of sanctions has been on the cost of trade transactions ... with financial settlement instruments such as letters of credit becoming more costly and time-consuming,” says Amir Cyrus Razzaghi, head of Ara Enterprise, a private business consulting group.

But bankers and businessmen say that Dubai and China are already the main hubs for evading sanctions - in particular, the financial ones - either directly or through front companies. That trend would increase if sanctions were tightened. “Europe should revise its approach in not selling goods to Iran, otherwise it is not only China Iran is considering, but India and other Asian countries,” says Asadollah Asgaroladi, the head of the Iran-China Chamber of Commerce and one of Iran’s leading businessmen.

Iran has consistently shrugged off international sanctions, arguing that the world is too big for the US and Europeans to restrict business with the Islamic regime. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s fundamentalist president, said yesterday his government was ready for “any conditions” and added that Iran had got used to exploiting restrictions in its “own favour”. Indeed, Iran took in a record $60bn (€41bn, £37bn) of imports during the past Iranian year, which ended on March 20, despite a sharp decline in the country’s trade with Europe as the result of sanctions.

According to Eurostat, European Union imports to Iran went down by 66 per cent to €14.3bn ($21bn, £13bn) in 2008 compared with the previous year, while its exports from Iran declined 80 per cent to €11.3bn. Instead, China has kept its lead as the top exporter of goods to Iran, partly because of the financial restrictions imposed by the US and later by the EU on banking transactions. “The imports, exports and investments by Germany, France, Italy and UK combined have now lagged behind China,” says Mehdi Fakheri, deputy head of the Iran Chamber of Commerce. “None of the European countries can compete with China anymore.”

Full Article at:


Should Berlin let Muslim pupils pray at school?

September 30th, 2009

A ruling by a Berlin court allowing a 16-year-old Muslim pupil to pray towards Mecca in a separate room at school has raised questions about the extent of religious freedom in Germany.  Some media, including the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, describe the ruling as a landmark case, saying it is the first time a German court has considered whether the right to practise religious beliefs should extend to schools.

Muslim man praying in BerlinThe case arose in 2007 when the head of a school in Berlin, which has a strong secular tradition, forbid a boy and his friends from kneeling on their jackets to pray where they could be seen by other pupils.

The school argued it was religiously “neutral” but the boy, whose mother is Turkish and father is a German who converted to Islam, decided to go to court.

And they won. Judge Uwe Wegener of Berlin’s Administrative Court wrote: “The plaintiff credibly showed he feels a religious obligation to pray according to Islamic custom five times a day at specific times.”

In the ruling, which makes clear the boy must pray outside lesson times to avoid disruption, the court also said Germany’s constitution guaranteed an individual the right to manifest one’s belief — which includes praying.

The case raises some interesting questions, including to what extent a Muslim can be flexible in delaying prayers and whether an institution like a school should have to put aside rooms for worship.

Religious leaders of various faiths welcomed the court decision. The KRM Coordinating Council for Muslims in Germany said it was pleased about the respect shown towards other peoples’ beliefs. “The ruling confirms the confidence Muslims have in our rule of law,” it said.

Stefan Foerner, spokesman for Berlin’s Roman Catholic archdiocese, was quoted in the popular daily Bild as saying the ruling strengthened the freedom of religious expression.

But media also reported teachers are worried the decision may encourage pupils to demand new prayer rooms in schools.

Berlin, home to Germany’s largest Muslim community, may be a slighly special case due to an institutionalised secular streak — for example, it is one of Germany’s only states to have compulsory ethics lessions and only optional religion courses.

How flexible should schools and individuals be about prayers?



School staff looks at Islam in depth

By Nancy Bowman

September 30, 2009

HUBER HEIGHTS — With an excellent instructor available and a desire to provide a wide range of educational offerings, Huber Heights offered an Understanding Islam course during the Huber Heights City Schools Staff Development Day.

More than 180 of the district’s teachers, paraprofessionals and other staff such as secretaries took part Friday, Sept. 25, in the day’s training. Among other topics were computer skills, customer service, child abuse intervention and contemporary issues in sports.

Dorothy Johnson, curriculum supervisor for the Huber Heights City Schools, said this was the second year for the Understanding Islam course offered by Judith Martin, PhD, a professor in the Religious Studies Department at the University of Dayton. She teaches courses on Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Women and Religion, Interfaith Dialogue and Religious Fundamentalism.

Johnson said Understanding Islam did not come about because of any problems in the district. She knew of Martin’s expertise and said she wants to provide awareness of the Muslim faith, one of the fastest growing religions in the country. The course provides information for both tolerance and understanding a culture, Johnson said. She could not recall any previous courses focusing on other religions.

A course information sheet said course participants would examine historical factors that gave rise to Islam; discuss how to make sense of current events and change one dimensional stereotypes of Arabs, Muslims and the Islamic world; the role of women; and the diverse backgrounds of American Muslims, in general, and local Muslim students in particular. “This helps a lot in terms of understanding and enlightenment in terms of a growing religion,” Johnson said.

She said district demographic information did not include details on the number of Muslim students.



UN Chief's 11th Hour Climate Jihad

by Peter Glover and Michael J. Economides


On the run-up to December’s Climate horror-fest in Copenhagen -- billed as the last chance saloon in man’s Quixotic tilt at rising carbon levels -- the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon has, it seems, displaced Planet Gore as the world’s self-appointed Climate Czar.  In a bid to assume world leadership and turn Copenhagen’s coming Emission Impossible into a personal triumph, Ban’s ‘choice’ for the role is about as desperate as Obama’s of Van Jones for Green Car Czar.

If the Disney-like world of the UN were to be brought to the silver-screen, the part of the current UN Chief might best be portrayed by Tweedie-Pie, such is the level of Ban’s low-key, low-profile caricature of an effective diplomat. Dubbed the “invisible man” by parts of the media, the UN Chief’s speech in South Korea in mid-August was the opening salvo in a new campaign to boost his global leadership credentials on the run up to Copenhagen. But if that was the aim it fell short. The UK’s Daily Telegraph described the speech as a “PR stunt” redolent with the “sort of cataclysmic environmental statements doled out in scientifically dodgy disaster movies like The Day After Tomorrow or the forthcoming 2012”.

“We have just four months. Four months to secure the future of our planet,” Ban pronounced to the Global Environment Forum -- what we in the UK call a ‘Quango’, a Quasi-automomous, non-governmental organization or ‘unelected bureaucracy’.  We are facing “Droughts, floods, and other natural disasters” as well mass social unrest, violence and “incalculable” human suffering, warned Ban.  All of which will result, Ban claimed, if the world fails to “seal a deal” on climate change in December. 

With that the UN General Secretary -- Greenpeace note -- jetted off to Norway to draw attention to the melting polar ice cap where, unfortunately, severe weather conditions led to a trip to the North Pole being put on ice.  Non-plussed, Ban informed his Norwegian audience: “We may have a virtually ice-free Arctic in 30 years”. Ban did not seem to know that the Arctic sea-ice is half a million kilometres greater in extent than it was this time last year. And his hosts were clearly too polite to inform him that their ancestors were growing crops in Greenland over a millennia ago. Nor did Ban explain why he picked the Arctic rather than the world’s far larger greatly expanded ice mass of the Antarctic. 

Full Article at:


Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage.launches Al Ain Center for Music in the World of Islam


With the participation of 30 specialists in ethnic music and anthropology from 21 countries Abu Dhabi, October 3rd and 4th, 2009 A concert Friday night at the Emirates Palace as part of the Centre's first events With the conclusion of the meetings of UNESCO on intangible heritage Abu Dhabi, 30th Sept. 2009 (WAM) -- Mohammed Khalaf Al Mazrouei, Director General of Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH) has announced the launch of "Al Ain Centre for Music in the World of Islam", to be officially opened within two years, as a follow-up to implementing the strategy plan of the Authority (2008-2012).

The Centre will be officially announced during the Academic and Cultural Conference organized by the Cultural Centre in Al Ain under the title "Why Safeguard Our Musical Heritage for the Future?" on next Saturday and Sunday at the Intercontinental Hotel Abu Dhabi.

Performing on this occasion, are groups and bands from of Albania, Indonesia, Nigeria who will make distinctive shows Friday night at the Emirates Palace as part of the closing ceremony of the fourth meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which is hosted by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage held from September 28 until October 2 2009, with the participation of representatives of 114 countries. The shows reflect the rich musical heritage of Islam in Asia, Europe and Africa.

Mazrouei said that the "Al Ain Centre for Music in the World of Islam" is a research Centre part of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage, and was established in the framework of the tireless efforts made by the Authority to make a cultural path, to help reach a better level of understanding and excellence of taste for Muslim Arab UAE culture at the local and global levels.

Mazrouei stated that the establishment of the Centre is part of a series of important cultural projects, which began by the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage to implement in the city of Al Ain, stressing that achieving the right balance between preserving our culture and deeply-rooted heritage, and keeping up with the rapid pace of development, will remain one of the major challenges of the future of the cultural environment in the region.

Full Article at:


Despite Court Victory, Egypt's Bahais Face Challenges

By Aya Batrawy

30 September 2009

Earlier this year, residents of a small town in Egypt burned down four homes that belonged to followers of the Bahai faith. Last month, demonstrations greeted plans to relocate them. Despite gains made by Bahais in a recent court ruling to grant them rights on government identification cards, this small community of Egyptian Bahais is in a greater battle for community acceptance. 

While it has never been illegal to be a Bahai in Egypt, it has never been easy. Amm Ahmed, his wife and their six children fled their hometown of Suhag in southern Egypt after hate crimes against them became too much.

Amm Ahmed meets me in a private residence on the outskirts of Cairo away from the public eye and security officials.

It is here, in the privacy of this apartment, that Amm Ahmed can practice his faith. A tall, sturdy man dressed in a traditional Egyptian gallabiya and turban, he reads verses from the Bahai holy book as the Muslim call to evening prayer rings out in the background.

Victims of persecution

Although born Bahai, he used to work as a reciter of the Quran. He saw nothing wrong with reading the Muslim holy book since the Bahai faith embraces the scriptures of other major religions. 

But soon after he announced he was Bahai, he says, both he and his wife were imprisoned for nine months on charges that were never made clear. Then, in March, his home in Suhag was burned down along with those of three other Bahai families there. He and his family escaped injury because they already fled due to harassment in the previous months. 

He says the civilized world discusses things and that Egypt should do the same. He says Egypt must open a dialogue with Bahais and see what they believe in and what their holy book says.

Origin of Bahai faith

The Bahai faith was founded in the mid 19th century by a Persian named Baha'ullah. Many Muslims view the religion as a heretical deviation of Islam and Bahais have long faced persecution, particularly in Iran.

But this was not always the case, at least not in Egypt where there are thought to be as many as 2,000 followers of the religion. Bahais enjoyed some level of official recognition here until 1960, when the government outlawed any public activities of Bahais and forced them to misidentify themselves on government documents as either a Muslim, Christian or Jew.

Following years of legal struggle for state recognition, a court ruled earlier this year that Bahais can leave the section under religion blank on government identification cards and birth certificates.

New court ruling is important

Hossam Bahgat of the Egyptian Initiative for Human Rights explains the significance of the ruling.

"There are two ways of looking at this positive court outcome," Bahgat said. "For Bahais it is simply a correction of a mistake and finally the government seems to be granting them these documents again. But for the Egyptian legal system, it is a significant step in that this the first time in Egypt's legal history there is an administrative system to deal with Egyptians who do not adhere to one of the three state recognized religions of Islam, Christianity or Judaism."

Seated at a café in downtown Cairo, Dr. Raouf Hindy enjoys a steaming Turkish coffee as he talks about the court case. 

He's a modest hero among fellow Bahais for taking on the government to court and winning. His children have just become the first Egyptians to receive the new ID's.

Dr. Hindy says that prior to this court ruling, Bahais faced a hard choice. They either had to lie on official papers, which could lead to being jailed, or they had to function as best they could without documentation.

He says he is happy, but that he wishes he never had to go to the court in the first place. Dr. Hindy says that it is not the job of the government to choose a person's religion for them.

Bright future?

Dr. Basma Moussa is one of hundreds of Bahais waiting for the new ID. She prefers we talk from inside her car just near the university where she teaches because she is wary of being interviewed in public. 

Although she's been married for more than 20 years, she does not have a marriage license because the Egyptian government does not recognize Bahai marriages. At its simplest this means that if she and her husband check into a hotel room they have to get separate rooms because unwed Egyptian couples are not legally allowed to rent hotel rooms together.  But without correct papers, it also means that she cannot file taxes properly, open a bank account, buy a new car or receive government benefits.

Moussa says they are tired, and the government keeps complicating things. She notes there is nothing in the Quran that says there are only three religions. She adds that they do not want to lie or write false things, they just want to live like all other Egyptians.

Bahais still face an uphill battle for acceptance in Egypt. Just last month, there were protests and arrests after the government announced plans to relocate those Bahais whose homes were burned down. But the new ID cards have given the hope that more change is coming.



Iraqi PM approaches Sunnis for nationwide elections


by Subhy Haddad and Shaalan Ahmed

BAGHDAD, Sept. 30, (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is striving to convince Sunni Arabs to join his list for the coming nationwide parliamentary elections in January next year, following his refusal to join the newly-established alliance of the majority of Shiite parties.

    During the past weeks, Maliki has held talks with tribal chieftains and political leaders in the provinces of Salahaddin, Anbar, Kirkuk and Nineveh, with Sunni majority, to encourage them to join the coming elections that would reshape political map in the war-torn country.

    "Maliki is waging a new race in the face of the Iraqi Shiite National Alliance, in order to gain support by the largest possible number of Sunni parties, blocs and personalities," Sabah Al-Sheikh, an Iraqi political analyst, told Xinhua in an interview.

    He said in the Iraqi political scene, certain changes have occurred in the country after the provincial elections in January this year.

    "A new power has emerged as a result of the provincial elections, which was the alliance led by Maliki, who achieved major successes against his current competitors and former partners in the Shiite alliance," said Sheikh.

    He said the successes achieved by Maliki have pushed him to keep himself away from the main Shiite alliance that had helped him score the prime minister's post, in order to keep away the sectarian mold from his new election list and look for new alliances with the Sunni sect, which he strives to gain their support to keep his post for a new phase.

    "I call for the people of Salahaddin province and other Iraqi provinces to participate effectively in the Voter Registration Update process in a way that will achieve a broad contribution in the next elections and chose those who possess potentiality, faith and ability to fulfill the prerequisites of the people and serve our homeland," Maliki told a meeting with tribal chieftains of Salahaddin Province on Sunday.

Full Article at:


Muslim feminist recounts perilous path

By Jennifer Torres

October 01, 2009

STOCKTON - Individuals should think critically about their faiths and should strive for forms of religious expression that reflect justice, fairness and humanity, even in the face of intense opposition, Muslim feminist Asra Nomani told an audience of more than 100 Wednesday night at University of the Pacific's DeRosa University Center.

She urged listeners to stand "for whatever you believe in with courage ... even when you are in the minority, even when you are unpopular."

Nomani, a controversial author and journalism professor at Georgetown University, spoke as part of the Colliver lecture series, which is dedicated to themes on religion.

In October 2003, upon returning from Pakistan, where she worked as a journalist, Nomani struggled with leaders and fellow members of her West Virginia mosque, arguing that women be allowed to pray alongside men in the main hall.

The conflict was documented in the PBS film "The Mosque in Morgantown."

While some praised her effort and others like it as part of a movement toward equality and social justice, others questioned Nomani's motives and approach and charged that by antagonizing some in the Muslim community, she was actually detracting from work that seeks equity for women.

Worse, critics have said, her public statements on the exclusion of women in her faith reinforced negative stereotypes of Islam.

But Nomani said the more conciliatory stance that some advocated proved ineffective.

"I think it's really important for us to know that if we want change, ... we have to be able to take great personal risk," she said.

During Wednesday's lecture, Nomani discussed the Morgantown confrontation as well as her upbringing as an immigrant. She was born in India in 1965 and raised in the United States.

Full Article at:


New novel blends suspense thriller plot lines with stories of Islamic terrorism inspired by true events

72 Virgins, by Avi Perry, tells the layered story of a group of Jihad terrorists headed for the United States and the FBI agents and civilians that cross their paths along the way

PARAMUS, N.J. (MMD Newswire) September 30, 2009 -- 72 Virgins, a suspense novel by Avi Perry, combines the themes of unrest in the Middle East, espionage, intrigue and romance with in-depth character development to deliver a book about terrorism and its effect on the world.

72 Virgins focuses on a group of Jihad extremists that are targeting the United States in their latest terrorist campaign. Perry explores what he characterizes as the Jihad's obsessive culture and commitment to homicidal crusades. According to Perry, 72 Virgins is based on true accounts of terrorism and uses real-world locations to create a picture of what a future terrorist attack on the U.S. might be like.

With 72 Virgins, Perry intends to provoke discussion on religious extremism while providing a compelling tale of love, lust, violence and conspiracy.

"Perry draws on events currently taking place in the world and crafts a remarkably captivating work that delves into the workings of Jihad terrorism and the agencies struggling to stop them," says Kam Aures, a book reviewer for RebeccasReads. "72 Virgins is a very well-written, eye-opening book that I believe any fan of the suspense genre would enjoy."

72 Virgins is available for sale online at, and through additional wholesale and retail channels worldwide.

About the Author

Avi Perry grew up in Israel, was a professional musician as a young adult and served in the Israeli military during the Six-Day War. He came to the United States as a doctorate student, and later became a professor at Northwestern University. He is also the author of Fundamentals of Voice Quality Engineering.



Offered meditation between govt, Taliban: Fazal-ur-Rehman

October 01, 2009

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-F (JUI-F) leader Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman said the government has promised to remove the weaknesses of Women Protection Bill.

Briefing newsmen on his successful meeting with the Prime Minister, he said we will not part from the coalition since the government has agreed to accept the demands of JUI-F.

“An eight-member committee has been formed to legalise the recommendations made by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), and we hope unlike the past government will uphold its promises now.”

He said the PM has issued directives to Foreign and Interior Ministries to adopt new strategy in light of the unanimous resolution of the Parliament on national security in its in-camera session called on his request.

Answering a question he said, "We have offered government to meditate between Islamabad and Taliban since we believe the issue can be resolved without blood-shedding."

“We are waiting for response from government in general and from army in particular.”

Government has taken him into confidence on the proposed Balochistan Package and that JUI-F knows how to counter the US intervention, he added.



Iran releases prominent opposition figure on bail after more than 3 months in jail

Nasser Karimi, October 1, 2009

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — One of Iran's most prominent pro-reform figures has been released on bail after more than three months in jail on charges of inciting the country's postelection unrest, state media and his lawyer said Thursday.

Saeed Hajjarian is considered a top architect and ideologue of the movement pushing for more social and political freedoms in Iran. He is among more than 100 opposition politicians and activists who have been on trial since August on charges of fomenting the street unrest that broke out after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed re-election in June.

The state-owned IRAN newspaper reported that authorities released Hajjarian Wednesday on $200,000 bail after he spent 110 days in jail.

His lawyer, Gholamali Riahi, confirmed Hajjarian's release but would not comment on the reasons behind it, saying only that the court has yet to issue a verdict in the case.

During his testimony, Hajjarian confessed to helping fuel the postelection turmoil and asked for the nation's forgiveness. The opposition dismissed his and other confessions as coerced.

In the days after the June 12 election, hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters poured into the streets of major Iranian cities to protest what they said was a fraudulent result.

Full Article at:,0,1952677.story


Zazi terror case has Colorado Muslims refocusing on vigilance

Skepticism about Zazi case gives way to hard questions

By Bruce Finley, 10/01/2009

The evolving case of terrorism suspect Najibullah Zazi — the Afghan immigrant jailed in an alleged bombing plot — initially struck some in Colorado's Islamic community as another example of FBI overenthusiasm.

But as details trickled out, skepticism morphed into surprise and embarrassment, prompting leaders to ask searching questions about themselves, the community and how U.S. actions abroad could imperil Americans at home.

Afghanistan-born landscaping company owner Mohammad Noorzai, who sees the case as evidence of America's alarming vulnerability to covert extremists, this week proposed an initiative to prevent future plots.

"We need to step up as a Muslim community . . . to start putting


    * Watch a 9News report that includes surveillance video of a man believed to be Najibullah Zazi shopping at an Aurora beauty supply store.

    * Read the grand jury's indictment of Najibullah Zazi. (2 pages, PDF)

    * Read the government's permanent detention order. (12 pages, PDF)

    * Watch video as Craig Silverman, former Denver Chief Deputy DA, offers his opinion about Najibullah Zazi's defense.

    * Watch video as Arthur Folsom, attorney for Najibullah Zazi, and Warren Williamson, attorney for Mohammed Zazi, speak to the media on Monday Sept. 21, 2009.

    * Read the criminal complaint against Najibullah Zazi.

    * Read the criminal complaint against Mohammed Zazi.

    * Read the criminal complaint against Ahmad Wais Afzali.

    * View slide show of Zazi's arrest in Aurora.

    * Watch video of Najibullah Zazi's father Mohammed Zazi as he leaves the federal building, Friday, Sept. 18, 2009.

    * View slide show of terror investigation of Aurora man.

    * Watch a video interview with Najibullah Zazi's attorney on Thursday, Sept. 17, 2009.

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Somali factions battle in Kismayo

October 01, 2009

One-time Islamist allies in Somalia's southern port town of Kismayo have clashed, with as many as nine people reported killed in the violence.

Heavy fighting broke out on Thursday, apparently shattering an alliance between al-Shabab and Hizbul Islam which had together run the town and opposed to the country's Western-backed government.

"The fighting is very intense, al-Shebab launched an offensive on Hizbul Islam positions at dawn," Abdi Baruud, a Kismayo resident, was reported by the AFP news agency as saying.

Sheikh Ismail Haji Adow, a local Hizbul Islam spokesman, said: "We were attacked by our brothers with no reason."

"They [al-Shabab] launched their offensive on several fronts very early this morning. The fighting is very intense but we are holding up," he said.

Hundreds of families fled the area, many of the leaving ahead of the fighting as the two groups geared up to battle for control.

Alliance broken

Kismayo, about 300km from the capital, Mogadishu, has been relatively quiet since it was wrested from interim Somalia government forces by Islamist fighters in August.

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Iraqi PM Ditches Old Shi'ite Allies For Jan Polls

October 1, 2009

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced on Thursday a new coalition that will run against former Shi'ite Muslim allies in January's national elections, raising the prospect of intra-sectarian strife.

In a speech in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone, Maliki left the door open to working with other political groups, but his allies told Reuters his State of Law coalition had no desire to join a rival alliance headed by other powerful Shi'ite parties.

"The birth of State of Law represents an historic milestone and development in establishing a modern Iraq built on peaceful, nationalist principles," Maliki said.

Ambitions to bring about such a turning point for Iraq's fragile democracy will be tested in the first general election since 2005, which takes place just as U.S. troops prepare to withdraw and local forces seek to defeat a stubborn insurgency.

A smooth vote may help consolidate security gains, but many fear friction among Shi'ite parties may spark greater violence.

Maliki's Dawa party, which was part of a broad Shi'ite alliance that swept to power after 2005 polls and has dominated majority Shi'ite Iraq since, has chosen not to join the recently formed, mostly Shi'ite, Iraqi National Alliance (INA).

The INA is headed by the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council (ISCI), a powerful Shi'ite party which has close ties to Iran.

Those close to the prime minister say Maliki, spurning calls to join the INA, wanted a broader coalition including a greater number of minority Sunni Arabs and Kurds, which might give him a better chance of winning a second term.


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