New Age Islam
Sun Nov 29 2020, 02:37 PM

Islamic World News ( 19 May 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

25 killed in Karachi political-ethnic violence

Dialogue necessary for inter-faith unity:Imam Mohammad Bashar

The Peripatetic PREACHER:  This Imam trots the globe to engage people in interfaith dialogue, despite flak from conservatives

Christian nurses need support in Pakistan

Pakistan blocks Facebook over Prophet Mohammad online competition row

'U.S. forced American Muslim into exile'

Separate law needed for Islamic banking in India: RBI

Muslims worse off than STs                                

Burqa ban: Don't feel hurt, Sarkozy to Muslims

Nigerian MP quizzed on marriage to 13-year-old Egyptian girl

Ban on Muslim burka: A cynical ploy to stoke Islamophobia

Goa chargesheet is a wake-up call

Six killed in Indian Kashmir gunfight

Hamas rules out recognition of Israel

Intelligence agencies confirm Hamid Mir’s voice in audio clip

Investigations on into Hamid Mir's links with Taliban

Silence on Muthalik stings Karnataka CM’s credibility

Prophet toon ire taking terror turn

Move to ban burqa in Australia fails

Use and abuse of religion...

The future of Islam

Muslim women find an ally for more rights: the Koran

Fruitless fatwa debate

Islamophobia: A threat to a democratic way of life

Muslims vow to keep shari’a to themselves

Mothers' emotional reunion with US hikers in Iran

Afghan Pamir Airways plane wreckage 'spotted'

US Afghan troop deaths cross 1,000

20 YEARS OF MIRWAIZ - The reasonable separatist

Russia comes out on top in Iran deal

‘Jinnah wanted students to have a sense of responsibility’

Her silent jihad

Taseer, senators say Pakistanis united against terror

Keep your niqab ban to yourself!

Abbas urges Mitchell to stop Israeli provocations

Illiteracy, corruption hamper Afghan police: NATO

After Facebook, Pak blocks YouTube for 'objectionable content'

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/25-killed-in-karachi-political-ethnic-violence/d/2869

 

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25 killed in Karachi political-ethnic violence

 

Karachi: The paramilitary Pakistan Rangers were called in after political-ethnic violence in this southern port city claimed 25 lives, said a media report on Thursday.

The violence -- which began late Tuesday, continued through the day Wednesday and spilled over to Thursday morning -- targeted activists of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) the Awami National Party (ANP), the Muhajir Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).

Ironically, the MQM is a junior partner in the Sindh and federal coalition governments, both of which are headed by the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The ANP is also part of the federal coalition.

Despite this, the MQM and the ANP have constantly been at loggerheads as they push the interests of their respective communities - the Mohajirs who migrated from India when the sub-continent was partitioned and the Pushtoon-origin residents of Karachi.

The violence prompted the authorities to hand over the task of maintaining law-and-order to the Pakistan Rangers under the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA).

"The target killings (led to) the torching of buses, forceful closure of markets, the burning of roadside stalls as well as the targeting of police personnel. The entire city was in the grip of tension, with public transport disappearing from the roads by early (Wednesday) evening, as reports of the violence began to spread," The News said.

Schools and colleges across the city will remain closed on Thursday, while the school examinations scheduled for the day have been postponed.

The violence began on Tuesday night when one Nabi Khan, an ANP activist and a mobile phone dealer by profession, was shot dead by armed men in the Shah Faisal Colony area. Later that night, an activist of the MQM, Mohammad Hanif, was shot dead in the same area.

Armed men also resorted to firing near the MQM office in Shah Faisal Colony, injuring two MQM activists.

Shah Faisal Town turned into a virtual war-zone, echoing with fire the entire night. The violence spread to other areas when armed men ransacked an ANP office in Dhoraji Colony, while a hardware shop in the Gulshan-i-Iqbal, was also torched.

The violence continued unabated through Wednesday, with the worst affected areas being Landhi, Quaidabad, Shah Latif, Shahra-e-Noor Jehan, Orangi Town, Peerabad, North Nazimabad, Mehmoodabad, Saddar, Preedy, Risala and the Sindh Industrial Trading Estate, as armed men kept resorting to firing and forcing traders to shut their businesses.

On Thursday, an ANP rally that had been taken out to protest against the killings was ambushed by armed assailants near the Lucky Star area, in which the party's Mehmoodabad ward president was killed.

The police said that they recovered more than 50 empty bullet shells from the area.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/25-killed-in-karachi-politicalethnic-violence/115807-2.html

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Dialogue necessary for inter-religious unity:

Imam Mohammad Bashar

May 20, 2010,

New Age Islam News Bureau

New Delhi: Imam Mohammad Bashar Arafat of the US who is on a visit to India has stressed on inter-faith dialogue in order to establish peace. He said that no religion in the world preached hatred among people. He said that the goal of the American President Barack Obama was to establish peace by promoting unity in the world and for that he was encouraging dialogue.

He attended a conference at the India Islamic Cultural Centre where he spoke on the relevance of the Quranic teachings in the modern world. He said that fighting social evils and extremism and making the youth independent was the need of the hour.

Imam Mohammad Bashar further said that he had studied Islam extensively and could say that Islam focused on every aspect of life and taught to live a decent life. Speaking on the President Obama’s efforts on the economic and educational fronts, he said that he was extending all help to the NGOs and new projects were being approved for the civil societies and organisations.

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MINORITY REPORT: THE PERIPATETIC PREACHER

This Imam trots the globe to engage people in interfaith dialogue, despite flak from conservatives

Mohammed Wajihuddin

Many of his co-religionists call him a puppet of the Pentagon. Several fellow imams in the USA, who hate him, accuse him of being on the payroll of the FBI and CIA. But the Baltimore-based Imam Mohamad Bashar Arafat takes the torrent of venom in his stride and moves ahead.Though attached to a mosque in Baltimore, Maryland, where he leads prayers and delivers Friday sermons, Imam Arafat crosses continents for another purpose : to engage people in inter-faith dialogue.

Currently touring India,the imam was in Mumbai this week to speak on Interfaith Partnership in America at Bandras R D National College. The young students listened as the 49-year-old, dressed more like a diplomat than a religious head, held forth on how imams and preachers should act in multicultural societies.Later, in a tete-a-tete with this correspondent, he reiterated the sentiment: The day of sermonising from the pulpit is over. Preachers and imams must come down from their exalted,decorative podiums and mingle with the masses. Imams should be mobile, not static, as we often find in much of the Muslim world.

As founder-president of the Civilizations Exchange and Cooperation Foundation (CECF), a Baltimore-based NGO, the Syria-born Arafat adroitly addresses many issues concerning the ummah and other faith communities. He confronts the supremacists and teleevangelists who untiringly uphold Islams supremacy and declare that only Muslims will reach heaven while the rest, the kafirs, are doomed to eternal hellfire. They are ill-informed preachers, Arafat says. They have no right to interfere in Gods job. Its Gods prerogative to decide who will go to heaven or to hell.Let us do our jobs and let God do His.

Arafat moved to the USA two decades ago after graduating in Islamic Studies in Damascus and a stint under the noted liberal Syrian scholar,the late Grand Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Kuftaro. It was Sheikh Kuftaro who instilled the values of tolerance and pragmatism in me, he says.He put those values,especially pragmatism,to ample use when he accepted the US Department of States invitation to conduct its programme,Islam in America,a few years ago.Since then, the programme has taken him to dozens of destinations,from Mauritania to Morocco and Austria to Saudi Arabia.

The preacher recounts a visit to Tanzania,where Islamists protested his visit because they thought the US embassy-sponsored programme was part of a conspiracy to dilute Islamic movements there and wean the boys away from the radical cause. That evening a huge crowd belligerently shouting Death to America! blocked his way to a mosque where he was scheduled to lead the maghrib (evening) prayers. The next day,my speech was at a conference hall under police protection, but some of the same sloganeers sneaked in and tried to create trouble, he recalls.

Amidst the bedlam, Arafat narrated a famous story from the life of the Prophet Mohammad, which went thus.The angry pagans of Taif, a mountainous city near Mecca, stoned the Prophet for propagating monotheism. Through Angel Gabriel, an anguished Allah asked the Prophet if he wanted the miscreants to be crushed between two mountains.The Prophet declined and asked for Allahs forgiveness. Says Arafat,I told the unruly among the audience that I was a follower of the same Prophet,and I would not budge even if they stoned me.The protest died down.

So why does he travel outside America as the US embassy's guest and invite flak from fellow Muslims. I firmly believe that partnership with the State for a good cause should be encouraged, not stonewalled, he explains.You have only two choices: either to be in constant confrontation with the State or use the State's infrastructure to spread peace and harmony. I prefer the latter.

The antagonism from fundamentalists in his community is part of his routine, but sometimes there are pleasant surprises. When Arafat went to conservative Saudi Arabia a couple of years ago, the authorities in the monarchy envied democratic America for having a forward-looking, progressive imam like him. The Saudis, who have often been criticised for promoting a puritanical petro-dollar-backed Salafist Islam, wanted to import moderate Imam Arafat. I refused the offer, but agreed to train imams for them, says Arafat. I am happy as a US citizen which allows me the freedom to choose my God.

Imams everywhere, including in India,would do well to take a leaf out of Imam Arafat's book.

The Times of India, New Delhi

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Christian nurses need support in Pakistan

20 May 2010

FAISALABAD, Pakistan: Church officials say Christian nurses face increased social discrimination especially when marrying men of other religions, and need support to help them work.

Their concerns were voiced during a Nurse’s Day event at St. Raphael’s Hospital in Faisalbad, Punjab province, on May 14. The diocesan commission for nurses and the diocesan commission for interreligious dialogue jointly organized the event attended by about 300 nurses (200 of them Christians), four priests and 20 nuns.

Late Bishop Paul Andreotti of Faisalabad founded the diocesan commission for the nurses in 1982. It helps Christian girls gain admission into the profession, organizes meetings for Christian nurses, and provides counseling for nurses with problems.

Speakers at the event highlighted the difficulties faced by minority women in the nursing profession, which is looked down upon by many in Pakistani society.

“Today in our society there is a need to provide light and care to those who are struggling to stay alive amid the uncertain security situation. Nursing is a vocation which counterbalances the violence occurring in this ongoing war on terror,” he said.

Asif Shah, the Muslim director of the Faisalbad Art Council said that despite its great services to mankind, the profession gets a bad name because of chauvinistic and backward attitudes by many in Pakistan’s male-dominated society.

“Nursing was very attractive for poor Christian families and a useful skill for those wanting to work abroad,” Sister Ignia John, a medical mission nun from the diocesan commission for nurses said.

“However it is becoming more difficult for them to get into nursing schools as the university has set the admission criteria high and not many Christian students can get a high enough score for admission to nursing schools.”

She said Christian nurses marrying Muslims has created many problems for the women.

This was highlighted by a stage performance depicting a newly married nurse undergoing intense criticism from her mother in law due to her profession. The drama ends after the mother-in-law gets sick and the nurse helps her to recover.

There are roughly 500 Christian nurses in Faisalabad diocese which has only one Church-run hospital and two dispensaries. There are seven Catholic hospitals in the country.

http://www.heraldmalaysia.com/news/storydetails.php/Christian-nurses-need-support-in-Pakistan/5130-1-1

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After Facebook, Pak blocks YouTube for 'objectionable content'

Omer Farooq Khan

May 20, 2010

ISLAMABAD: After blocking access to the website “Facebook”, Pakistan’s government on Thursday blocked the popular video sharing website “YouTube” for hosting blasphemous material.

A statement released by Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) said that YouTube had been blocked due to "objectionable content." However, the statement did not specify the nature of content.

All internet service providers were directed by the PTA on Thursday to block YouTube. All internet users were unable to access the site after 11:00am.

A PTA official wishing not to be named said the action was taken after the PTA authorities determined that some sacrilegious caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad were transferred from Facebook to YouTube.

Wahaj-us-Siraj, the CEO of Nayatel, an Internet service provider, said the blocking of the two websites would cut up to 25 percent of total Internet traffic in Pakistan.

"It'll have an impact on the overall Internet traffic as they eat up 20 to 25 percent of the country's total 65 giga-bytes traffic," he said.

The move follows the Lahore High Court's order to block Facebook for an indefinite period as it acted on a petition filed by the Islamic Lawyers Forum, which had sought a complete ban on the social networking website.

The court also directed the foreign ministry to raise the issue of the blasphemous caricatures of Prophet Mohammed at an international forum.

Meanwhile, demonstrations continued on Thursday across the country in protest against the social networking website, Facebook.

At a demonstration outside the parliament, protesters urged the government to raise the issue at the international level. Addressing a press conference later, Talha Mehmood, chairman of the Senate standing committee on interior affairs, urged the government to redefine its relations with the West against the backdrop of an increase in incidents hurting religious sentiments of the Muslims.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/After-Facebook-Pak-blocks-YouTube-for-objectionable-content/articleshow/5953279.cms

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Pakistan blocks Facebook over Prophet Mohammad online competition row

May 20th, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) directed Internet service providers to block Facebook indefinitely on Wednesday because of an online competition to draw the Prophet Mohammad.

The order followed a decision by the Lahore High Court temporarily banning Facebook in Pakistan after the country's media reported that the competition would be held on May 20.

"The court has ordered the government to immediately block Facebook until May 31 because of this blasphemous competition," Azhar Siddique, a representative of the Islamic Lawyers Forum who filed a petition in the Lahore High Court, said.

"The court has also ordered the foreign ministry to investigate why such a competition is being held." A spokesman for the PTA, the country's telecommunication watchdog, said the government on Tuesday ordered Internet providers to block only the Facebook page showing these caricatures.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-blocks-Facebook-over-Prophet-Mohammad-online-competition-row/articleshow/5950037.cms

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'U.S. forced American Muslim into exile'

20 May 2010

An American Muslim civil rights group has accused the U.S. government of forcing an American citizen into exile because of his faith.

The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has called on the U.S. Department of Justice to look into the matter.

CAIR said Raymond Earl Knaeble IV, 29, has been placed on a no-fly list and has been unable to return home from Colombia since March.

According to CAIR, Knaeble this week flew to Mexico in hope of traveling to the Mexican-U.S. border, but he instead faced lengthy interrogation by Mexican officials before being sent back to Colombia.

Full report at:

http://islamonline.com/news/articles/2/-US-forced-American-Muslim-into-exile-.html

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Separate law needed for Islamic banking in India: RBI

May 20, 2010

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Islamic banking in India is not possible now with the current banking principles based on interest payment, but it can be done though a separate legislation, Reserve Bank of India Governor D Subbarao said here on Thursday.

"With the present set of Banking Regulation Act, Islamic banking just cannot take place because many of the banking principles in place are based on interest payments. However, Islamic banking is possible through a separate legislation," Subbarao told reporters here at the end RBI board meeting.

Asked about the Kerala High Court ruling asking the state government and its agencies to keep away from a new company that has been registered under the Sharia laws of banking, he said: "Since this is a constitutional issue of whether a government can or cannot enter, we have nothing to say on that."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/biz/india-business/Separate-law-needed-for-Islamic-banking-in-India-RBI/articleshow/5954287.cms

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Muslims worse off than STs

Chetan Chauhan

May 20th, 2010

Muslims continue to remain the country's most back- ward community on the edu- cational front.

The ratio of Muslims enrolled in a formal education system to those pursing higher education in India is lowest among all com- munities, including the Schedu- led Tribes (STs), considered most backward, says the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) report released on Wednesday.

Of 100 Muslims in the edu- cation system, just 10 are enrolled in high school and above. Similar ratio for STs is 11, Scheduled Castes (SCs) 12 and Other Backward Classes (OBCs) is 14.

“It is not surprising,“ said Tahir Mahmood, member of the Ranganath Mishra Committee, which has asked the govern- ment to reserve seats for Muslims in educational insti- tutions and make modern edu- cation mandatory part of madarssa education.

Full report at: Hindustan Time

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Burqa ban: Don't feel hurt, Sarkozy to Muslims

May 20, 2010

PARIS: President Nicolas Sarkozy urged French Muslims on Wednesday not to feel hurt or stigmatised by a planned ban on full face veils that will fine women who hide their faces and jail men if they force them to cover up.

Sarkozy told a cabinet meeting, which approved the bill that could become law this autumn, that France was an old nation that could not allow its vision of women's dignity and public order to be violated by the veil.

Only a tiny minority of Muslim women in Europe wear full veils, called niqabs or burqas, but their numbers are growing. The Belgian parliament has already begun debating a ban there and could also impose it in the coming months.

France has reaped criticism from Muslim groups and rights advocates for the planned "burqa ban", which Sarkozy called for last year to counter Islamist views among some Muslims.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Burqa-ban-Dont-feel-hurt-Sarkozy-to-Muslims/articleshow/5951075.cms

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Nigerian MP quizzed on marriage to 13-year-old Egyptian girl

May 20, 2010

A Nigerian senator, under fire for marrying a 13-year-old Egyptian girl, was on Tuesday quizzed by investigators, an official statement said.

Investigators of the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons and Other Related Matters questioned Ahmed Sani Yerima for two hours over the marriage, the agency said in the statement.

‘The senator stated he had not contravened any aspect of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He confirmed that the marriage was held as reported and was officiated by the chief Imam of Abuja National Mosque,’ the statement said.

Full report at:

http://www.newagebd.com/2010/may/20/edit.html

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Ban on Muslim burka: A cynical ploy to stoke Islamophobia

By Finian Cunningham

20 May 2010

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is playing with fire after his country’s parliament voted to ban Muslim women from wearing the Islamic veil in public places.

Last month, Sarkozy ordered the French parliament to debate introducing a ban on Muslim women donning in public the garment known as the burka or nijab, which covers the face except for the eyes.

This week, 11 May, the French parliament voted unanimously – after 30 communist deputies walked out in protest – to condemn the practice of Muslim women wearing the burka publicly. The ban is expected to become law later this year. France will be the second European country after Belgium to introduce such legislation that in effect criminalises Muslims over their choice of dress, which is seen as a symbol of religious devotion.

Full report at:

http://islamonline.com/news/articles/2/Ban-on-Muslim-burka-A-cynical-ploy-to-stoke-islam.html

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Goa chargesheet is a wake-up call

May 20 2010

The chargesheeting of 11 members persons of the Sanatan Sanstha for last October’s Goa bomb blast case by the National Investigating Agency recently should serve as a warning that particular religions should not be associated with acts of terror. This requirement is all the more important in a society which is rather proud of its democratic political system and credentials. Initially the idea had seemed preposterous to many that those born in the Hindu faith in this country would resort to terrorism. There was no ideological, political, or analytical basis for such a cosy belief to arise. Perhaps what can be said in the light of experience is that because there was so much reporting from around the world of a great number of Islamic people leaning toward extremist ideological tendencies at the present moment in history, and a good number of these engaging in terrorism to secure their political aims in several countries, it generally became easy to accept that fingers could be pointed at Muslims alone for terrorist acts. Evidence to the contrary was dispensed with.

Full report at:

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/dc-comment/goa-chargesheet-wake-call-281

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Six killed in Indian Kashmir gunfight

20 May 2010

A police officer and five militants have been killed in two separate shooting incidents in Indian-ruled Kashmir, the country's security officials say.

The overnight gunfights took place in the southern Pulwama and Doda districts in the south of Srinagar -- the summer capital of Indian-ruled Kashmir.

"Among the dead were two militant commanders wanted by the security forces," a Srinagar police spokesman said.

Security forces and contingents of the Indian Army came under fire after they cordoned off the two villages during a search operation.

"The cordon was laid around 06:30 a.m. local time but the gunfight triggered around 15:15 p.m. and continued for a couple of hours," a police official in Pulwama said.

Full report at:

http://islamonline.com/news/articles/34/Six-killed-in-Indian-Kashmir-gunfight.html

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Hamas rules out recognition of Israel

20/05/2010

Hamas has proposed a phased establishment of a Palestinian state, insisting its acceptance of the 1967 borders will not involve the recognition of Is (more)

Hamas has proposed a phased establishment of a Palestinian state, insisting its acceptance of the 1967 borders will not involve the recognition of Israel.

The proposal would see the acceptance of a Palestinian state "in stages" on the 1967 armistice line, with the currently Israeli occupied East al-Quds (Jerusalem) as its capital, Ma'an news agency quoted senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya as saying on Wednesday.

It also requires "the return of all refugees without recognizing Israel in exchange for a 10-year truce," Hayya told a Hamas conference in Gaza City's al-Shujaiyeh neighborhood.

"This means that if the international community grants the right of return to the six million Palestinian refugees across the world to their homes in Haifa, Yaffa, and Akko [Acre], then there will no longer be an occupying state," he noted.

Full report at:

http://islamonline.com/news/articles/34/Hamas-rules-out-recognition-of-Israel.html

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Intelligence agencies confirm Hamid Mir’s voice in audio clip

May 20, 2010

LAHORE: Intelligence agencies, including the Inter-Services Intelligence have presented an investigation report to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani regarding an audiotape of the telephonic conversation between TV anchor Hamid Mir and an unidentified Taliban militant, a private TV channel reported on Wednesday.

Quoting reliable sources, the channel said the report submitted by three intelligence agencies confirmed the authenticity of the audio clip after a detailed investigation.

Original: “The conversation between Hamid Mir and the Taliban militant is original and has been proved by the audiotape,” the report said.

Mir is currently working as Islamabad Executive Editor for Geo News channel.

According to BBC Urdu, the Jang Group has set up an investigation committee and has announced the conducting of an impartial investigation in this regard.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\20\story_20-5-2010_pg1_6

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Investigations on into Hamid Mir's links with Taliban

May 20, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Jang media group has formed a committee to ascertain whether well-known TV anchor Hamid Mir had been taped speaking with a Taliban operative even as media reports said intelligence agencies had confirmed the authenticity of the recording.

Mir has been at the centre of a controversy over the past week after several websites uploaded a 13-minute conversation he purportedly had with a Taliban operative.

In the tape, Mir and the militant discuss the activities of former Inter-Services Intelligence officer Khalid Khwaja, who was recently abducted and killed by the Asian Tigers, a group of Punjabi Taliban.

The Jang media group said in a statement published today in its The News daily that it had set up a committee "to get detailed information" on the issue.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Investigations-on-into-Hamid-Mirs-links-with-Taliban/articleshow/5952615.cms

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Silence on Muthalik stings Karnatka CM’s credibility

20 May 2010

WHEN Tata rolled out Nano, Bangalore- based cartoonist Ponnappa imagined its possible repercussion in this city. His cartoon showed four men in the tiny car parked outside a darshini ( small café), shouting: “ By four.” It means a cup of coffee served for four. It is usual to get coffee and tea here by half measures or even less.

We Bangaloreans have perfected the art of doing things by half measures. Roads are often half- built after repairs and sidewalks paved half- way, municipal water supply is there only once in two days and many areas now have power for just half a day.

Our leaders do things halfheartedly.

The best example is the BJP government’s response to the Headlines Today – Tehelka sting operation on the right- wing rabble- rouser Pramod Muthalik.

Everybody saw on the television how his men offered to orchestrate a riot for a few lakh rupees.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Prophet toon ire taking terror turn

May 20th, 2010

Baghdad: An alleged al-Qaida militant detained in Iraq said he had talked to friends about attacking Danish and Dutch teams at the World Cup in South Africa next month to avenge insults against the Prophet Muhammad.

Abdullah Azam Saleh al-Qahtani said he initially came to Iraq in 2004 to fight Americans and was recruited by al-Qaida.An Iraqi security official with knowledge of the investigation said al-Qahtani was arrested after a joint US-Iraqi operation in April that killed the two top al-Qaida in Iraq figures Abu Ayyub al-Masri and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi.

Documents found in the house where they were killed,including a note written by al-Qahtani detailing a plan to launch attacks at the World Cup,led to his arrest on May 3.Iraqi authorities made it public on Monday.

Full report at: The Times of India

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Move to ban burqa in Australia fails

May 20, 2010

MELBOURNE: A bill to ban burqa in Australia's most populous state New South Wales on Thursday fell through as centrist and leftist lawmakers condemned it as racist.

The bill had been moved by the leader of the rightist Christian Democratic Party Fred Nile, who had called for banning burqa citing security reasons and to what he called "set women free from domination of males."

The legislation had been moved apparently to keep up with the trend in Europe where nations like France and Belgium are heading to ban the burqa, full face covering dress.

Nile's bill was defeated in the state's upper house by 26 to 3 votes, with members opposing saying that such a step would spread fear and hatred in the country.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Move-to-ban-burqa-in-Australia-fails/articleshow/5954143.cms

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Use and abuse of religion...

By Dr James J Zogby

20 May 2010

Back in the 1960s Americans were deeply divided on matters of war and race.

While Reverend Martin Luther King Jr and religious leaders associated with his Southern Christian Leadership Conference led protests and committed acts of civil disobedience demanding civil rights, they were countered by white Christian preachers in the south who warned of the dangers of violating God's will by ignoring the punishment God had meted out to the "sons of Ham".

And while New York's Cardinal Francis Spellman had travelled to Vietnam to bless U.S. troops as they battled "godless Communism", a Jesuit priest Daniel Berrigan led fellow clergymen and women in protests against the warn, often resulting in their arrest and imprisonment (in one case, for burning the Selective Service files of young men who were to be drafted to serve in the military).

Full report at:

http://islamonline.com/news/articles/2/Use-and-abuse-of-religion--.html

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The future of Islam

By Youssef Chouhoud

20 May 2010

Brooklyn, New York - According to a recent Gallup poll, a majority of Americans still have little to no knowledge of Islam's basic tenets. More disheartening, if not outright frightening, is that even given this avowed lack of knowledge, a sizeable percentage of U.S. citizens nonetheless maintain a negative perception of Muslims.

So, either an informed, nuanced understanding of Islam is being obscured by the voluminous – and venomous – misinformation that clutters the media, or an accessible and authoritative account of what Muslims truly believe and how they interact with the world around them simply hasn't been produced.

John Esposito, given his celebrity and scholarship, is among perhaps only a handful of individuals who have met both these prospective challenges head-on with some success. His latest offering in a line of timely scholarly works, The Future of Islam, provides a refreshingly holistic assessment of the challenges Muslims face from increased pluralism on the one hand, and heightened hostility on the other.

Full report at:

http://islamonline.com/news/articles/2/The-future-of-Islam.html

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Muslim women find an ally for more rights: the Koran

By John Hughes

20 May 2010

Provo, Utah – Indonesia’s Siti Musdah Mulia is a name to remember. That’s because she is showing Muslim women how to break out of bondage by using the words of the Koran.

Dr. Mulia was raised in a traditional Indonesian Muslim home and an Islamic boarding school. She was barred from contact with men. She was not allowed to laugh out loud. If she socialized with a non-Muslim, she was made to shower afterward.

Growing up, she traveled to other Muslim countries and found ways to understand Islam other than the rigid orthodoxy of her upbringing. Having earned a PhD in Islamic political thought, she has become a significant force in Indonesia and elsewhere for Muslim women’s rights. In 2007 she received the International Women of Courage award from then-US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Full report at:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20100513/cm_csm/301115

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Fruitless fatwa debate

Aijaz Zaka Syed

20 May 2010

 I love the way the French say, “plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose (the more things change, the more they remain the same). The truism is perhaps even truer in the case of Muslims. As if we do not already have enough problems and headaches, we are perpetually hunting for new ones. When I first heard about this latest of fatwas issued by some scholars of Darul Uloom Deoband, I cringed: “Oh God, no…not again!”

And I told myself I am not going to get distracted by another hopeless, pointless debate all over again, even if our revered Ulema or religious scholars cannot help themselves. Eyes wide shut, they love barging in where angels fear to tread.

Trust me I have immense respect for the Ulema, especially those from Darul Uloom, the most revered centre of Islamic learning in the world after Al Azhar Sharif in Cairo. The university was founded by the movement of scholars that took up arms against the British rule over India offering immense sacrifices, long before anyone thought of resisting the ?colonial masters.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=/data/opinion/2010/May/opinion_May124.xml&section=opinion

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Islamophobia: A threat to a democratic way of life

By LISA KAAKI

20 May 2010

Islam is one of the fastest-growing religions in the world with more than 1.5 billion Muslims living within fifty-seven Muslim-majority countries. It is the second-largest religion in Europe, with nearly 20 million Muslims, and it is the third largest and fastest-growing religion in the US, with nearly eight million Muslims. The present upsurge of interest in Islam is the cause; however, this wasn’t the case 40 years ago, especially when there was a dearth of information on Islam.

John Esposito, one of America’s leading authorities on Islam, recently published a book titled “The Future of Islam,” which offers an informative and balanced account much needed in a world obsessed with “Islamophobia.” The book is clearly written for anyone searching for correct information about Islam and who is interested in the major issues facing it.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/books/article55303.ece

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Muslims vow to keep shari’a to themselves

20 May 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: The Muslim Lawyers Association says it will fight a civil court’s decision to hear a challenge to a rule banning non-Muslim lawyers from a Syariah Court (shari’a court).

The Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur is one of three of the country’s 14 territories and states with such a ban.

Victoria Jayaseelee Martin, a Christian lawyer, on May 14 won approval from the High Court to challenge the rule. The date for the hearing is yet to be fixed.

The opposition Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS) wants the National Fatwa Council to set guidelines.

Victoria has said she wants to be a shari’a lawyer to handle cases such as custody battles for children where one spouse had converted to Islam and where Muslims had renounced their faith.

Full report at:

http://www.heraldmalaysia.com/news/storydetails.php/Muslims-vow-to-keep-shari%E2%80%99a-to-themselves/5143-0-1

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Mothers' emotional reunion with US hikers in Iran

20 May 2010

The mothers of three American hikers being held in Iran on espionage charges have had an emotional meeting with their children in Tehran.

The women threw their arms in the air, rushed to the trio, hugged and kissed them.

It was their first meeting since Shane Bauer, 27, Sarah Shourd, 31, and Josh Fattal, 27, were seized last July after entering Iran from Iraq.

The mothers called for their release as a "humanitarian gesture".

"Please, please let them go," said Cindy Hickey, Shane Bauer's mother. "It would be a good gesture for the world to see Iran doing."

Speaking to reporters after their two-hour reunion, the three hikers said they had been well treated in custody.

But Sarah Shourd said it was "difficult" being alone, adding her boyfriend Shane and friend Josh are being held together.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/10129546.stm

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Afghan Pamir Airways plane wreckage 'spotted'

20 May 2010

The tail section of an Afghan passenger plane which crashed between Kunduz and Kabul on Monday has been spotted by rescuers, Afghan officials say.

It was identified by aerial photographs, the head of Pamir Airways told the BBC.

Search efforts in the mountains north of the Afghan capital, Kabul, have been hampered by poor weather. Rescue teams have not yet reached the site.

The flight had more than 40 people on board, including six foreigners.

It is still not clear what caused the crash.

Officials were able to identify the Pamir Airways logo on the tail after search teams took photographs of the wreckage from the air, Ahmanullah Hameed, the head of Pamir Airways told the BBC.

It was found in the mountains of Shakardara, north-west of Kabul. Reports say teams are being sent to the area.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/10130335.stm

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US Afghan troop deaths cross 1,000

JAMES DAO and ANDREW W. LEHREN

May 20th, 2010

He was an irrever ent teenager with a pregnant girlfriend when the idea first crossed his mind: Join the Army, raise a family. She had an abortion, but the idea remained.

Patrick S.

Fitzgibbon, Saint Paddy to his friends, became Private Fitzgibbon. Three months out of basic training, he

went to war.

From his outpost in the Kandahar province of Afghanistan, he complained to his father about shortages of cigarettes, Skittles and Mountain Dew. But he took pride in his work and volunteered for patrols. On August 1, 2009, while on one of those missions, Private Fitzgibbon stepped on a metal plate wired to a bomb buried in the sunbaked earth. The blue sky turned

brown with dust.

Full report at: The Asian Age

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20 YEARS OF MIRWAIZ - The reasonable separatist

Arun Joshi

May 20th, 2010

On Friday, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq will hold a rally at Srinagar's Idgah ground to mark the 20th death anniver- sary of his father Moulvi Mohammed Farooq. The day will also be a landmark for him, reminding him how a personal tragedy pushed him into pub- lic life at the age of 17.

Mirwaiz came into the lime- light almost by chance. After becoming chairman of the Awami Action Committee, fol- lowing his father's assassina- tion, he was chosen as the first chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference -- an umbrella group of Kashmir's separatist organisations and leaders -- in 1993.

The reason: senior separatist leaders such as Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the late Abdul Ghani Lone could not see eye- to-eye. The soft-spoken Mirwaiz was as the alternative they all agreed upon.

Full report at: Hindustan Time

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Russia comes out on top in Iran deal

Vladimir Radyuhin

May 20, 2010

Setting the stage:Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (right) and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva at the Kremlin on May 14. Mr. Medvedev set up the Iran nuclear deal during his recent interactions with the leaders of Brazil and Turkey.

Russia has upped the United States in a diplomatic tug-of-war over Iran's nuclear programme. While Washington was busy getting Moscow and Beijing on board for tougher sanctions against Teheran, the Kremlin quietly orchestrated a deal between Iran, Turkey and Brazil for swapping Iranian low-enriched uranium for fuel rods for use in a medical reactor. The deal has taken the wind out of the U.S. sails.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had set up the deal in the course of his recent interactions with the leaders of Brazil and Turkey. In April Mr. Medvedev discussed the proposal with President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on the sidelines of a BRIC summit in Brazil. Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/05/20/stories/2010052062941300.htm

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‘Jinnah wanted students to have a sense of responsibility’

By Haya Fatima Iqbal

May 20, 2010

KARACHI: Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wanted young Pakistanis to be nation builders with a sense of responsibility instead of merely turning into well-equipped clerks on entering the professional arena.

This was stated by Professor Emeritus of Higher Education Commission (HEC) at Sindh University, Jamshoro, Dr Yaqoob Mughal while speaking at the three-day conference on ‘Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah: His life and ideals’ organised by the Sindh Madressatul Islam (SMI).

As the conference continued here on its second day after being inaugurated by President Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday, Dr Mughal said, “The Quaid wanted students to have an honourable character, spirit for selfless service and a sense of responsibility. He wanted them to get out of the rut left behind by the old system in which people only opted to become either clerks or government officials so they could have convenient jobs. Mr Jinnah often stressed the importance of technical education and knowledge in the fields of banking, commerce and industry and urged the youth to take part in such fields as well.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\20\story_20-5-2010_pg12_6

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Her silent jihad

BY ALNAS ZIA

May 20, 2010

It is a matter of great national pride when your country tops headlines in the international news media. But Pakistanis only seem to make the news for actions that leave their compatriots blowing down their heads in utter shame and disappointment. Ajmal Kasab and Faisal Shahzad, for instance, have truly disgraced the country, and it remains a sad reality that we don’t get to hear stories of Pakistanis who show courage and determination in times of distress.

Thankfully, a recent article published by the BBC is a rare exception that deserves to be shared with the world, and especially with the Pakistani youth who are discontented with the way their country is portrayed abroad.

The article tells the story of Meena, a young girl from Pakistan whose own brother and father beat her because they wanted her to be a suicide bomber. The article claims that there is no proof that her account is accurate, but the police consider it crucial information in the fight against terrorism.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/timing-to-be-decided-by-pakistan-accord-for-operation-in-north-waziristan-050

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Taseer, senators say Pakistanis united against terror

May 20, 2010

WASHINGTON: The country’s leaders from across the political spectrum are united in eliminating terrorism, Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer and a delegation of senators visiting Washington said on Wednesday, stressing the need of a trust-based long-term Pak-US partnership to tackle regional challenges.

Taseer and Senator Javed Ashraf Qazi of the PML-Quaid, chairman of the Senate’s Defence Committee, were speaking at a reception at the Pakistani embassy hosted by Ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.

Senators Haji Muhammad Adeel of the ANP, Tahir Mashhadi of the MQM and senior officials from the US State Department, as well as senior officials from Capitol Hill attended the reception.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\20\story_20-5-2010_pg7_15

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Keep your niqab ban to yourself!

By MOLOUK Y. BA-ISA

May 20, 2010

Professor learns hard way he should concentrate on teaching, not preaching

It might be thought that dentistry lessons would be far removed from global politics. However, a confrontation during the 5th annual Bahrain Course on Comprehensive Oral Implantology, May 13-15, showed that intolerance can make an appearance anywhere.

The first two days of the course passed without incident. Then on Saturday, during the break between classes, a woman attendee in the course asked a question of the distinguished instructor, professor Manuel Chanavaz. Chairman of the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Implant Surgery at Lille University Medical School, Professor Chanavaz reached over and placed his hand on the woman's shoulder and told her that she should uncover her face so that he would know who she was before he answered her question.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/sidelights/article55541.ece

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Abbas urges Mitchell to stop Israeli provocations

By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH

May 20, 2010

RAMALLAH, West Bank: Palestinian leaders on Wednesday complained to a US envoy about what they said were Israeli provocations, as the second round of indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks got under way.

White House emissary George Mitchell met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is to hold talks later in the week with Israeli leaders. The negotiations were launched earlier this month, and Mitchell will be shuttling between the sides for up to four months to try to narrow their vast differences on the terms for Palestinian statehood.

Abbas aide Saeb Erekat said discussions should focus on drawing a border between Israel and a Palestinian state.

Israel has said it is willing to negotiate all issues, but suggested far-reaching decisions can only be made in direct talks.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article55535.ece

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Illiteracy, corruption hamper Afghan police: NATO

May 20, 2010

ROME - An 80 percent illiteracy rate, corruption and a lack of trained personnel are hampering Afghan police, the NATO commander overseeing the training of Afghan security forces said on Wednesday.

NATO has stepped up training of Afghan police in an effort to reform a force that inspires little confidence among locals, struggles with high dropout rates and is frequently accused of incompetence and drug use.

But only 45 percent of Afghan police have had any formal preparation, said U.S. Lieutenant-General William Caldwell, who heads the training mission as the alliance prepares to boost the size of the Afghan army and police to over 300,000 by 2011.

The training is also central to NATO’s strategy to eventually transfer control of security to Afghan forces so that Western troops can start withdrawing next year.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2010/May/international_May1103.xml&section=international&col=

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/25-killed-in-karachi-political-ethnic-violence/d/2869


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