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Islamic World News ( 4 Dec 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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40 Days in Chains: Afghan Shrine Offers 'Cure' For Evil Spirits

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smoke rises after an explosion at the Yemen Defence Ministry complex in Sanaa on Thursday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Asia

40 Days in Chains: Afghan Shrine Offers 'Cure' For Evil Spirits

Maldives Parliament to review constitutional amendment regarding religion

SC: Death only appropriate punishment for Quader

 

Mideast

40 Killed As Suicide Blast Hits Yemen Defence Ministry

Muslim Cleric in Turkey Moonlights as a Rock Musician

Israeli Bedouin and the limits of tolerating intolerance

Iran fires four mortar shells into Pakistan

Israeli former security chief: failure to end conflict is bigger threat than Iran

 

Southeast Asia

Malaysia exemplary country for Arab and Muslim nations: Hamas chief

Thailand Secretly Supplies Myanmar Refugees to Traffickers

Indonesia Jails Myanmar Muslims over Buddhist Killings

Putrajaya, seven Muslim bodies challenging church’s appeal on Allah ruling

 

Europe

UK Government’s Crackdown on Radicals 'Will Lead to Attacks on Muslims'

HRW: Violence in Bangladesh needs to end

North Caucasus Prosecutor’s Office Reports Rise in Extremism-Related Crimes

Roundtable delves into Russia’s Muslim community issues

Russian 15th-Century Mosque Returned To Muslim Faithful

Iran nuclear accord means NATO missile defence unnecessary: Russia

Russian Think Tank Says Ethnically Motivated Attacks Continue

 

Arab World

Syria conflict: Aleppo rocket attack 'kills at least 18'

Egypt anti-coup bloc to call for 'revolution' on referendum day

Iraq police storm mall, kill gunmen after standoff

Syria militants kidnap over 50 Kurds: NGO

Brotherhood-linked cleric Qaradawi quits Cairo’s al-Azhar

Al-Qaeda in Syria targets Turkmen minority

More young people in KSA hit by brain disorders

 

North America

US analysts to post online messages to blunt Qaeda influence

US group protest resolution on Indian religious freedom

Muslims seek files from NYPD’s surveillance of them and their groups

Prayer rooms for Muslim students are the big new thing at Christian colleges now

Troop accord vital for Afghan 'confidence': US

 

Pakistan

Shed your old baggage: Hina asks Pakistan, India

No proposal under consideration to open Taliban office in Pakistan: FO

Rangers arrest five MQM ‘outlaws’

Kashmir issue should be resolved peacefully through talks: Pakistan

Militants kill policeman in check post attack near Bannu

Rights of minorities to be protected at all costs: President

Blast in Chaman leaves one dead, several injured

Bagram inmate's tearful return to Pakistan fails to end legal limbo

 

Africa

Ahl e Sunna wal Jamaat, in Somalia bans schoolbooks promoting suicide bombings

Libyan assembly votes to follow Islamic law

Somalia's democracy a pleasant surprise

Central African Republic: 'Bozize loyalists' attack Bangui

Libya: 'US teacher' shot dead in Benghazi

 

India

Shia sub-sect calls for boycott of religious leader for 'insulting the practice of mourning'

India won't 'broker any deal or mediate' in Bangladesh: India

Khurshid, Egyptian Minister seek to expand bilateral ties

Need strong ties with US to fight terror: Shinde

1600kg poppy husk found concealed under Pak-bound food grain bags

More Mizo Jews to leave for Israel in December

Keen to take kids to Pakistan, says Shah Rukh Khan

Indians in Saudi Arabia pay tributes to poet Iqbal

Australia

Crackdown on Aussie jihad in Syria to spread

Ram-raid Muslim radicals - police fear crimes are funding Syrian war fighters

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/40-days-in-chains--afghan-shrine-offers--cure--for-evil-spirits/d/34727

 

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South Asia

 

40 Days in Chains: Afghan Shrine Offers 'Cure' For Evil Spirits

2013-12-05

SAMAR KHEL: All it took to land Din Muhammed in a cell at an Afghan shrine, chained up and living on bread for 40 days, was an argument with his father.

Muhammad was forced to undergo the traditional “cure” at the shrine of Mia Ali Baba, outside the eastern city of Jalalabad, to rid him of evil spirits.

Even after a decade of international funding and medical expertise pouring into Afghanistan, many locals still believe that the grim ordeal at the shrine will cure mental health problems, or as they see it, possession by malevolent “jinn” spirits.

“I had a big argument with my father,” said Muhammed, a thin young man sitting on a dirty blanket with heavy chains around his ankles and wrists. “I took money from him to buy a motorbike.

“I am very unhappy and I am angry at him that he put me here.”Muhammed, who says he has five war wounds after serving in the Afghan army, is incarcerated in a row of 20 miserable stone cells.

The ceilings are low and damp, and there are no fans in the summer or heating in the winter.

“The patient is kept in chains for 40 days on a diet of bread with black pepper,” said Malik, the shrine supervisor.

“He is given this to make bad spirits goes away. When someone is infected by ghosts, we read verses of the Koran, and married women without children give them amulets to make the spirits depart.”

”It has been the same for 360 years, and thousands of people have been cured.”

At the end of the course, the “patients” are given broth made from goat's head to complete the cleansing process.

Those undergoing the gruelling regime appear in fast-deteriorating health and barely able to talk due to exhaustion.

“I did not want to come, my brother forced me,” said Abdul, in his 30s, in a weak voice, unable to explain why he was sent to the shrine.

“They told me they would take me to a doctor and they took 5,000 Afghanis ($90) from my pocket for that. I feel dizzy and have headaches.”

Abdul's cell stinks of sweat and urine, and it is littered with trash and soiled linen. Children approach the cell to mock him, before running away laughing as he shakes in desperation.

'No basis in science'

Shah Temor Mosamim, a doctor and director of a psychiatric hospital in Kabul, dismissed the shrine's treatment as “having no basis in scientific fact”.

“No matter how aggressive a patient is, if you don't give him much food for 40 days, he will get quieter,” Mosamim said.

“In Afghanistan, there have been these traditional ways of treatment for mental patients, chaining them up in rooms or shrines. In some cases, patients are suffering from depression or mental problems.”

The campaign group Human Rights Watch has called for the Mia Ali Baba shrine, named after a 17th-century holy man, to be closed and there is also concern from local rights activists.

“This place should be shut down as its practices are not compatible with human rights,” said HRW researcher Heather Barr. “Mental health treatment is at its basic stages in Afghanistan and unfortunately has not been a high priority for international donors in spite of the fact that many Afghans have experiences of serious trauma.

”Rafiullah Bidar, of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, described how families leave patients to live in appalling conditions at the shrine.

“They think that it is the last option... we cannot ignore it,” he said. “These families are not satisfied with government medical services, that is why they rely on the shrine."

"The environment that the patients live in is unhealthy; they defecate and urinate in their cells. I remember the stench and filthy environment when I visited.”

For Muhammed and Abdul, the greatest fear is that they have been incarcerated not to be cured, but to die. From their cells, they can see the rough graves of those who never left.

“Some families do not come back for the sick who remain for six or eight months and sometimes die,” said caretaker Mir Shafiqullah. “We bury them here.”

http://www.dawn.com/news/1060664/40-days-in-chains-afghan-shrine-offers-cure-for-evil-spirits

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Maldives Parliament to review constitutional amendment regarding religion

By Mariyath Mohamed | December 4th, 2013

An amendment seeking to inhibit parliament’s scope to change the constitutional guarantee of Islam as the Maldivian state religion has been accepted by the parliament.

The proposal was submitted by Maldivian Development Alliance (MDA) MP Ahmed Amir, who argued that the relevant clauses must be protected from the legislature.

“I find it very disturbing that the constitutional requirement of holy Islam staying as the religion of the state is subject to being changed just by the parliament if they so wish. And thereby, with the belief that changing it so that MPs alone cannot bring any changes to this article will bring peace to the minds of the parliamentarians, I have taken the initiative to propose this,” he said.

Following heated arguments for and against the amendment, parliament voted to accept the bill after 29 members in attendance voted for, 13 voted against, and 6 abstained.

The proposed amendment asks for Article 10 to be included as the first point in Article 262(b) of the Constitution of the Maldives.

Article 10 states that “(a) The religion of the State of the Maldives is Islam. Islam shall be the one of the basis of all the laws of the Maldives” and “(b) No law contrary to any tenet of Islam shall be enacted in the Maldives”.

Article 262 (b) states that the president must accept any constitutional amendments made by the Majlis after a public referendum.

“Even if one citizen does not want to allow other religions, it must remain so”: MP Amir

“The rhetoric that this bill calls for a public referendum where citizens are to be asked whether or not they want Islam to be here is, I believe, a further attempt to create resentment and dishearten people through misinformation,” he alleged.

“The best way that an amendment like this can be framed, even I believe, is to ensure that once it is reviewed in committee stage, it comes out in such a way that this article is made strong enough to not allow any changes to it at all as long as there is even one single citizen in the country who wishes it to remain the same, without allowing other religions,” he continued.

“Even we are aware that it is not necessary to include Islam in this, our constitution. Islam itself has given us a divine law to follow. As long as we are abiding by this divine law, there is in reality no need for it to be included in our man-made laws,” Amir said.

“However, because there is a fear that such an article in our constitution may be tampered with, we are obligated to protect it,” he stated.

“Instead of a referendum, mandate Supreme Court approval”: MP Muhthalib

Some of the MPs stated that while they supported the intentions behind its submission, they would choose to bring ‘minor changes’ to the proposed implementation.

Jumhooree Party (JP) MP Ibrahim Muhthalib stated that, “As things are in this world today, if even 50 people vote to say they want to adopt a religion other than Islam, foreign governments will back them up and soon start advocating for these people’s rights. They will then start harassing us. They will interfere with the internal matters of this country.”

“My suggestion is that instead of a public referendum, we change the amendment to read that such a change cannot be brought about unless it is passed by the parliament, then approved by the seven judges sitting on the Supreme Court bench, and after which it will still need to be ratified by the president,” he proposed.

“Then, god willing, there is no way that it can ever be changed. My wish is that the amendment is passed in such a way that neither Article 9 or 10 can ever be changed, even by any future parliament,” he said.

Article 9 concerns the qualifications for citizenship, which includes a clause stating that non-Muslims cannot become citizens of the Maldives.

Opposing the amendment

According to some other MPs, Article 10 of the Constitution cannot be amended or debated anywhere, including the parliament floor. Many added that they did not believe the article could be changed even after a public referendum.

Some MPs claimed that if the current parliament was to amend the article, there might be a time in the future when another composition of MPs decide to annul it altogether, insisting it was inadvisable to begin something that may lead to “serious unpredictable implications” in future.

MDP MP Ali Waheed was removed from the premises after he protested against the holding of a debate on the amendment, claiming “while there is life in this body, and I am sitting here in parliament, I will not allow such a debate to be carried out here.”

After initially taking up procedural points, he later stood in front of the speaker’s seat to express disapproval until the speaker ordered the Sergeant at Arms to remove him from the premises.

http://minivannews.com/politics/parliament-to-review-constitutional-amendment-regarding-religion-72808

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SC: Death only appropriate punishment for Quader

Dec 5, 2013

The death penalty awarded to war criminal Quader Mollah was the only appropriate sentence, the Supreme Court said on Thursday while releasing the full judgement of 790 pages his case. A five-member Appellate Division bench of the SC, headed by Chief Justice Md Muzammel Hossain signed the full text of the verdict. The four other judges of the bench were Justice Surendra Kumar Sinha, Justice MA Wahhab Miah, Justice Syed Mahmud Hossain and Justice AHM Shamsuddin Choudhury Manik. While releasing the full judgment, the SC said: "His monstrosity must have stunned all righteous people, not only in 1971 but also afterwards - maybe through eternity, not only in Bangladesh but beyond." He added: "As such death is the only appropriate sentence." The SC continued: "The traumatic wounds of his paws caused to the whole society will never be healed. Earlier, on September 17, the SC bench pronounced the verdict that sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami leader Abdul Quader Mollah to death. The SC bench gave Mollah the death penalty by a majority, as one of the five judges, even though finding Mollah guilty, was against capital punishment for the Jamaat-e-Islami assistant secretary general. Earlier, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam told the Dhaka Tribune: “Following the release of the judgment, the government will decide when and how its orders will be implemented,” he said. International Crimes Tribunal-2, on February 5, had found Mollah, 65, guilty on five of the six charges of crimes against humanity. But, the Supreme Court in its maiden verdict in a war crimes appeal found Mollah guilty on all six charges brought against him. The Tribunal-2 awarded Mollah, infamous as “Mirpurer Kasai” (Butcher of Mirpur), maximum life imprisonment even though it had been proved beyond doubt that the Jamaat leader had committed heinous war crimes. Overruling the judgment of the Tribunal-2, that had given Mollah life term for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in 1971, the SC awarded him death sentence, which is highest punishment in the country

http://www.dhakatribune.com/law-amp-rights/2013/dec/05/sc-full-judgement-quader-mollah-case-released#sthash.axavaJuw.dpuf

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Mideast

 

40 killed as suicide blast hits Yemen Defence Ministry

Dec 5, 2013

At least 40 people were killed and more than 100 wounded on Thursday in gun and bomb attacks on the Yemeni Defence Ministry complex in the capital Sana’a, medical officials told DPA.

The attack started when a car bomb exploded at a military hospital in the ministry complex in the Bab al-Yemen area of the city, the official Saba news agency reported quoting military sources.

The bombing was followed by shootings in the complex, and “most” of the gunmen were killed, Saba reported, adding that the situation was under control.

It was not clear from initial reports whether most of the casualties were from the bombing or the shootings.

Local news site Barakish reported that the Health Ministry had issued an appeal for blood donations.

Yemeni military bases, as well as oil and gas pipelines and other facilities, have repeatedly come under attack throughout the last year.

Officials often attribute the attacks to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The Yemen-based group is seen as one of the most active and dangerous branches of the international terrorist network.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/40-killed-as-suicide-blast-hits-yemen-defence-ministry/article5425069.ece

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Muslim Cleric in Turkey Moonlights as a Rock Musician

Dec 5, 2013

PINARBASI, Turkey— Ahmet Tuzer's motto could be: I rock, therefore imam.

By day, the 42-year old Muslim cleric chants the Azan—the Islamic call to prayer—from a small mosque in the coastal village of Pinarbasi, where he preaches to about 150 people. By night, he preaches the gospel of Led Zeppelin, singing about a different stairway to heaven with his four-piece rock band, FiRock, led by Mr. Tuzer and heavily tattooed metal guitarist Dogan Sakin.

FiRock—whose name is derived from math's "golden ratio," or the divine proportion of things—is soon to release its first album after playing in several Turkish towns. Videos of the band's biggest hit, "Come to God," have garnered more than 50,000 hits on YouTube and have been screened on Turkish TV channels. Mr. Tuzer wears his hair long and his jeans skinny.

Mr. Tuzer, a third-generation imam who took up religious responsibilities at the age of 19, says the band combines Islamic mysticism with the music of Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Queen to spread a message of peace and tolerance. At home, he head bangs to Iron Maiden's "Fear of the Dark" and Metallica's "Wherever I May Roam." He says there is no contradiction between religion and heavy metal, and he is hoping to attract younger people to the faith by carving out a new genre: Muslim rock.

"There are many old Islamic hymns and songs, but young people today don't listen to them. Our aim is to wrap these songs into rock, blues and psychedelic music, if necessary, to create a style that the young people like," Mr. Tuzer said. "Music is one of the ways to get closer to the God."

But the man who has become known as Turkey's "Rocking Imam" is also rocking religious authorities here, drawing the ire of conservatives and sparking a debate about how Turkish holy men are supposed to behave.

Turkey's religious directorate, the Diyanet, in September began to investigate whether Mr. Tuzer's activities were "un-Islamic" after he played an August gig in the seaside town of Kas. As one of around 100,000 imams in Turkey—all state employees who work in Sunni run mosques—Mr. Tuzer's actions are governed by a clerical code.

Abdul Kadir Ozkan, a Diyanet spokesman, refused to give details on Mr. Tuzer's case but stressed, "If a public official wants to appear on television or in concert he needs to get permission…We are conducting an investigation."

Mr. Tuzer says he isn't making money from his music and insists there is nothing in his lyrics that could offend anyone. "I'm not singing about Satan, sex or violence here," he says. "Its not death metal!" He plans to appeal if the investigation orders him to choose between the band and his state-financed job preaching the book.

Minor celebrity status has also brought other unwelcome attention, drawing threats from more conservative Muslims on social media. For Mr. Tuzer, the reaction speaks to a broader question about what it means to be an imam: "The image of Islam is suffering right now, and we need to lead our community. If being an imam means solely acting within a framework of rules and taboos, it's not for me."

Mr. Tuzer is an unexpected contrast to some Western stereotypes of an Islamic holy man. Baby-faced and clean-shaven, he has a fashion sense more in keeping with rock star than with preacher. On a recent day at the village mosque he calls home, he wore white skinny jeans, a red military-style jacket and zip-up leather boots with Cuban heels. He is active on Twitter and Facebook and dreams of recording with Madonna, an artist he says shares his affinities for "spirituality" and "breaking boundaries." The ringtone on his smartphone is George Michael's "Careless Whisper," although his wife says he changes it "at least once a week."

Mr. Tuzer's views on some sensitive religious subjects such as homosexuality could also surprise some. He says his guiding inspiration in the physical world is Freddie Mercury, the Queen frontman and longtime gay icon who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991.

"I try to channel Freddie when I rehearse and perform. I don't think there will be another man like him again—he left a legacy of beautiful values," the imam said.

Given his small record sales and a thin rock pedigree, it could be tempting to belittle the imam's musical ambitions. But FiRock's lead, guitarist Dogan Sakin, goes some way to compensating for the holy man's lack of chops. Now 53 and graying—but still rocking his hair below the shoulders—the guitarist has for three decades played with some of Turkey's notable hard-rock outfits.

Ahmet and Dogan aren't exactly Mick and Keith.

"If he was a typical imam I couldn't work with him," Mr. Sakin says. Lighting one cigarette from the butt of another, he adds: "I'm a rocker. I like a drink, I don't live up to expectations of a religious life. But it works. He learns from me musically and I learn from him spiritually."

FiRock isn't the first time Mr. Tuzer has tested boundaries in Turkey: When he married his wife, Ana Mara, a Romanian Orthodox Christian in 2000, he was the first state-employed imam in Turkey to wed outside the faith.

She later converted to Islam but doesn't cover her head. The couple has a 13-year-old son.

"My husband has an unusual style," she said as Mr. Tuzer scrolled through videos of his band rehearsing on his smartphone. "But I'm so glad he's doing what he was born to do."

In sleepy Pinarbasi village, the mostly retired locals also appear supportive, if a little perplexed by Mr. Tuzer's mission to fuse religion and rock.

After afternoon prayers on Thursday, Yusuf Acar, the 67-year-old village headman—equivalent to a local councilor—said he was supporting the imam's musical adventure and had even been to a recent gig, which he described as "nice."

"We wish him good luck and we're proud of him, of course," said Mr. Acar, He added that he didn't listen to the imam's music at home as hearing his call to prayer was "quite enough."

With attention for his band growing but his day job now at stake, Mr. Tuzer is mulling FiRock's next steps. The band's new album, "Time of Change," is due for release later this month. Niki Kaiser, a folk artist from Oakland, Calif., offered help to set up concerts in the U.S., although no dates are confirmed yet.

"We want to play all over the world…If the authorities try to stop me, I will fight them in court," he says. "The Prophet Muhammad would have approved of my mission."

—Ayla Albayrak contributed to this article.

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304355104579236441632365378

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Israeli Bedouin and the limits of tolerating intolerance

Dec 5, 2013

The long-standing legal disputes between the state of Israel and the Muslim Arab Bedouin minority regarding landownership in the southern Negev Desert seems to be the usual story of David and Goliath in majority and minority relations in the Middle East. The relationship between Israel and its Bedouin community, however, is more universal and also more particular than most cases. It is universal because it touches on the difficult interactions between a modern welfare state and a patriarchal traditional society that insists on retaining its traditions, and particular because it has to do with very specific Bedouin nomadic tribal traditions of landownership.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/12/prawer-bill-israeli-bedouin-multiculturalism-minority.html#ixzz2mdbHFP3S

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 Iran fires four mortar shells into Pakistan

 December 5, 2013

QUETTA: Iranian border guards violated the Pakistani border once again firing four mortar shells at Mashkail town in Washuk district during the early hours of Wednesday. No loss of life was reported.

People took to the streets in Mashkail to protest against the Iranian aggression. Local administration confirmed the incident. The township shares a border with the Jalk district of Iranian Balochistan.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/641264/border-violation-iran-fires-four-mortar-shells-into-pakistan/

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Israeli former security chief: failure to end conflict is bigger threat than Iran

5 December 2013

Yuval Diskin, who left office two years ago, criticised the continuing occupation and the growth of settlements in the West Bank, saying a solution based on two states would soon no longer be an option.

"I would like to know that our national home has clear borders and that we hold the people sacred, not the land. I would like to see a national home that is not maintained by occupying another people. I say this even though it's not popular: we need an agreement now, before we reach a point of no return from which the two-state solution is not an option any longer," Diskin said in a speech to mark the 10th anniversary of the Geneva Initiative, a peace plan proposed by Israeli and Palestinian politicians and public figures.

The former security chief, who featured in the Oscar-nominated documentary The Gatekeepers, added: "We cannot live in one state between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea and we cannot treat the conflict as shrapnel in the backside." He was referring to comments by the economy minister Naftali Bennett, who dismissed the conflict as "shrapnel in [the] rear end".

Full report at:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/05/israeli-security-chief-conflict-threat-iran

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Southeast Asia

 

Malaysia Exemplary Democratic Country for Arab and Muslim Nations: Hamas Chief

Dec 5, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: Hamas chairman Khalid Meshaal regards Malaysia as an exemplary democratic Muslim country which should be the model for Arab and other Islamic countries.

He said that democracy as practised in Malaysia included every segment of society in the country's journey for progress and development.

 "It is a democratic model that has all the values of a democratic society including freedom and coexistence," said the chairman of the Palestinian resistance movement in a special talk held at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) today.

 Meshaal is in the country on the invitation of Umno to attend a two-day international forum themed "The Politics of Moderation Accommodates and Balances

Competing Principles that Leads to Peace and Stability," held in conjunction with the Umno General Assembly, which was attended by 125 delegates from more than 30 political parties in 25 countries.

Full report at:

 http://www.nst.com.my/latest/malaysia-exemplary-country-for-arab-and-muslim-nations-hamas-chief-khalid-meshaal-1.421430#ixzz2mdsATlfC

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Thailand Secretly Supplies Myanmar Refugees to Traffickers

Dec 5, 2013

Ranong, Thailand. One afternoon in October, in the watery no-man’s land between Thailand and Myanmar, Muhammad Ismail vanished. Thai immigration officials said he was being deported to Myanmar. In fact, they sold Ismail, 23, and hundreds of other Rohingya Muslims to human traffickers, who then spirited them into brutal jungle camps.

As thousands of Rohingya flee Myanmar to escape religious persecution, a Reuters investigation in three countries has uncovered a clandestine policy to remove Rohingya refugees from Thailand’s immigration detention centers and deliver them to human traffickers waiting at sea.

The Rohingya are then transported across southern Thailand and held hostage in a series of camps hidden near the border with Malaysia until relatives pay thousands of dollars to release them. Reporters located three such camps — two based on the testimony of Rohingya held there, and a third by trekking to the site, heavily guarded, near a village called Baan Klong Tor.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Thailand-supplies-Myanmar-refugees-to-trafficking-rings/articleshow/26886043.cms

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Indonesia Jails Myanmar Muslims Over Buddhist Killings

Dec 5, 2013

Medan. An Indonesian court on Wednesday jailed 14 Muslim Rohingya men from Myanmar for nine months each for bludgeoning eight Buddhists from their country to death in an Indonesian detention center.

The Rohingya asylum-seekers in April killed the Buddhist men, who had been detained for illegally fishing in Indonesian waters, as sectarian tensions in their home country flared.

The Rohingyas, aged 18 to 37, accused the fishermen of sexually harassing two Rohingya women and said the Buddhists started the violence in the detention center, in the port town of Belawan near Medan city on Sumatra island.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/indonesia-jails-myanmar-muslims-over-buddhist-killings/

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Putrajaya, seven Muslim bodies challenging church’s appeal on Allah ruling

Dec 5, 2013

Putrajaya and seven Muslim organisations are opposing the Catholic Church's leave application to appeal against the Court of Appeal ruling on the use of the word Allah.

The eight respondents said that the Court of Appeal ruling was correct and that it was not worthwhile for the Federal Court to determine the question of law outlined by the church.

Lawyer S. Selvarajah, a member of the church's legal team, said the eight respondents were given two weeks to file affidavits to oppose the church's application.

Selvarajah also said Federal Court deputy registrar Nor Aziati Jaafar has fixed the leave applicaton for hearing on February 24.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-seven-muslim-bodies-challenging-churchs-appeal-on-allah-ruling

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Europe

 

UK Government’s crackdown on radicals 'will lead to attacks on Muslims'

Dec 5, 2013

A fresh crackdown on Islamist extremism risks backfiring by fuelling anti-Muslim prejudice and driving hardliners underground, the Government was warned last night.

A group that monitors attacks on Muslims said it was preparing for an upsurge of violence as a result of the moves being announced today by David Cameron.

Under the Prime Minister’s proposals, Islamist radicals face being expelled from mosques, Muslim community groups and universities in a fight-back against fundamentalism.

The courts would be given new civil powers – similar to Asbos – to ban suspected extremists from preaching or indoctrinating others.

At the same time internet companies have been asked to block terrorist material from overseas being accessed in this country.

The measures were proposed by the Prime Minister’s extremism task force – which included ministers, community groups, the police and the security services – set up after the killing of Lee Rigby.

Full report at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/government-crackdown-on-radicals-will-lead-to-attacks-on-muslims-8981288.html

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HRW: Violence in Bangladesh needs to end

Dec 5, 2013

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has expressed grave concern over the ongoing pre-polls violence in Bangladesh. HRW's Asia director Brad Adams issued a statement in this regard on Wednesday morning, just before the opposition led 18-party alliance announced their third countrywide blockade programme. In the statement, Brad Adams said: “Violence by the main opposition party BNP protesters and excessive force by state security forces need to end in Bangladesh.” Referring to the deaths and injuries caused by the ongoing clashes between the opposition members and the law enforcers, Brad said: “The leaders of the Awami League and BNP need to take urgent steps to avoid further deaths and abuses.”

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2013/dec/05/hrw-violence-bangladesh-needs-end#sthash.kCNeX7N9.dpuf

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North Caucasus Prosecutor’s Office Reports Rise in Extremism-Related Crimes

 Valery Dzutsev

Dec 5, 2013

North Caucasus Federal District Deputy Prosecutor General Andrei Medvedev, recently reported that the number of extremism-related crimes in the North Caucasus rose by 40 percent in the first three quarters of 2013 in comparison to the same period of 2012. According to the official, 69 extremist crimes were registered in the district during this period. The number of such crimes increased in Karachaevo-Cherkessia from zero in 2012 to nine in 2013. At the same time, Medvedev noted terrorist attacks decreased by 10 percent, down to 399. Over 100 servicemen died and more than 300 were wounded in attacks in the first nine months of 2013, while over 200 militants were killed and more than 250 arrested (http://ria.ru/crime/20131128/980428708.html). Notably, the official did not mention civilian deaths.

Full report at:

 The Jamestown Foundation

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Roundtable delves into Russia’s Muslim community issues

Dec 5, 2013

Representatives of the Russian Muslims came together at the Public Chamber in Moscow to discuss issues being faced by millions of their community members around the country. The issue of social integration of Russian Muslims was of high priority during the talks. Experts also identified misunderstanding and social divisions as key issues facing the Muslim community.

The Russian Muslim society is growing every year with many more people coming to live around the country. It is estimated that over 20 million Muslims live in Russia, which is around 14% of the population. This number is expected to rise to 19% by 2030.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/12/04/338234/roundtable-delves-into-russias-muslim-community-issues/

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Russian 15th-Century Mosque Returned To Muslim Faithful

Dec 5, 2013

One of Russia's oldest mosques, in the western oblast of Ryazan, has been handed back to the Muslim faithful.

The spiritual directorate for Russian Muslims said on December 4 that after years of legal debate, it had finally taken over the 15th-century Khan Mosque, as well as the shrines of Shakh Ali Khan and Muhammad Avgan Sultan, in the town of Kasimov, 225 kilometers east of Moscow.

Full report at:

http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-mosque-returned-muslims/25189744.html

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Iran nuclear accord means NATO missile defence unnecessary: Russia

Dec 5, 2013

The accord with Iran to curb its nuclear programme means a planned NATO anti-missile system in Europe, hotly opposed by Moscow, is no longer necessary, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov argued Wednesday.

Moscow fears the system would compromise its own defences while NATO says the project is meant only to protect Europe from Iranian development of long-range missiles.

The prospect that Iran would also develop a nuclear weapon -- strongly rejected in Tehran -- added to the momentum for the NATO defence system.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/88295/World/International/Iran-nuclear-accord-means-NATO-missile-defence-unn.aspx

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Russian Think Tank Says Ethnically Motivated Attacks Continue

Dec 5, 2013

MOSCOW -- A Moscow-based think tank monitoring xenophobia and extremism says ethnically motivated attacks continue apace in the country.

According to the latest report by the Sova Center for Information and Analysis, 19 people have been killed and 168 have been injured in ethnically motivated attacks in Russia so far this year.

The report says ethnically motivated violence took place in dozens of regions around Russia but that the location of the deadliest attacks was Moscow, where seven people were killed and 53 injured by ultranationalists.

Full report at:

http://www.rferl.org/content/russia-nationalism-ethnicity-study/25189598.html

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Arab World

 

Syria conflict: Aleppo rocket attack 'kills at least 18'

Dec 5, 2013

A rocket attack on regime-held areas of the Syrian city of Aleppo has killed at least 18 people, activists have said.

Aleppo is split between government and opposition-held districts and has seen some of worst fighting of the conflict.

Meanwhile, the Syrian government has said President Bashar al-Assad should lead any transitional government agreed at peace talks due in January.

Such a government is envisaged as a result of the talks, but the opposition has rejected any role for Mr Assad.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based activist group with links to the opposition, said 18 people had been killed in the Aleppo attack, including 10 government soldiers.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25219664

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Egypt anti-coup bloc to call for 'revolution' on referendum day

World Bulletin / News Desk

Dec 5, 2013

A leading figure of the National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy said they will call for a boycott of the planned constitutional referendum and for a new revolution on the vote day.

"We will not participate in the referendum and will call for a new revolutionary wave on the referendum day," Mahmoud Fathi, chairman of the Salafist Fadilah Party and an alliance figure, wrote on his Facebook.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=124337

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Iraq police storm mall, kill gunmen after standoff

Dec 5, 2013

Iraqi police stormed a mall in a northern city that gunmen used to launch an attack on a nearby police station, killing three militants and ending an hours-long standoff as attacks elsewhere left seven dead on Thursday, authorities said.

Militants held off police from their rooftop position on six-storey Jawahir mall in Kirkuk overnight, throwing down grenades and firing on officers and civilians who tried to flee the fighting. Officers raided the mall on Thursday morning before dawn, killing the militants, said Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir, Kirkuk’s police commander.

No security forces or civilians were wounded in that fighting, Brig. Gen. Qadir said, though it left large portions of the mall burned. Eleven storekeepers hid inside the mall during the attack, scared to leave, he said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/iraq-police-storm-mall-kill-gunmen-after-standoff/article5425392.ece

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Syria militants kidnap over 50 Kurds: NGO

 December 5, 2013

BEIRUT: Militants in northern Syria have kidnapped more than 50 Kurds in the past three days, in the second such case of mass hostage-taking since July, a monitoring group said on Thursday.

The kidnappings come months into major battles for control of several parts of northern Syria that have pitted Kurdish fighters against the militants, chiefly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

“In the past three days, ISIL has kidnapped at least 51 Kurds in the towns of Minbej and Jarablus,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Among the hostages were nine children and a woman, said the Britain-based group, adding that there was no information on where they had been taken.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/641494/syria-militants-kidnap-over-50-kurds-ngo/

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Brotherhood-linked cleric Qaradawi quits Cairo’s al-Azhar

Dec 5, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood-linked theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi has resigned from the governing body of Cairo's Al-Azhar, accusing the top Sunni seat of learning of supporting Egypt's military-installed government.

“I submit my resignation,” Qaradawi wrote on Twitter and his Facebook page on Monday, accusing the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb, of “abusing the authority of the office to support the military coup.”

Egyptian-born Qaradawi, who has been based in Qatar since he was stripped of his citizenship decades ago, has been an outspoken critic of the army's July 3 ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/12/03/Brotherhood-linked-cleric-Qaradawi-quits-Cairo-s-al-Azhar-.html

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Al-Qaeda in Syria targets Turkmen minority

Dec 5, 2013

As al-Qaeda-linked fighters push for control over northern Syria, they have singled out a new and vulnerable target: the country’s small Turkmen minority. Over the past two months, the group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) has been menacing a cluster of Turkmen villages wedged between the Turkish province of Hatay and the Mediterranean Sea. The Turkmen call the area  "Bayir," which means "cliff" in their native Turkish. On a recent night, I stood with a group of Turkmen fighters on the Turkish side of the border and watched a Syrian army tank positioned on a nearby mountain shell the villages at a slow but steady pace.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/12/syria-al-qaeda-targets-turkmen-minority-isis-jihadist-kurds.html#ixzz2mdabDuwk

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More young people in KSA hit by brain disorders

Dec 5, 2013

The Kingdom lacks specialized doctors who can diagnose and manage the growing incidence of brain disorders in the country, especially among young people, a leading doctor said here.

Saeed Bohlega, professor and senior neurology consultant at the department of neurology at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Riyadh and the president of the Saudi Neurology Society, told Arab News at the Brain Forum conference here that there appears to be an epidemic-level problem of young people contracting these illnesses.

He said this was worrying because children and young adults form 50 percent of the country’s population. This was in sharp contrast to the number of elderly people contracting old-age diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/487736

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North America

 

US analysts to post online messages to blunt Qaeda influence

 Dec 05 2013,

New York: Seeking to deter Americans from getting influenced by al-Qaeda, US analysts will post messages on English-language websites used by jihadists, asking young people to "turn away" from extremist groups.

The pilot programme launched by the State Department comes at a time when intelligence officials say dozens of Americans have travelled or tried to travel to Syria since 2011 to fight with the rebels against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, a New York Times report said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-analysts-to-post-online-messages-to-blunt-qaeda-influence/1203717/

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US group protest resolution on Indian religious freedom

Dec 05 2013

Washington : A US-based Hindu-American group has launched a mass campaign against a Congressional resolution on religious freedom and human rights in India and urged the US government to continue its policy to not to grant visa to Narendra Modi, the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

The legislation (HR 417), introduced on November 18, by Congressmen Keith Ellison and Joe Pitts, praises India's "rich religious diversity and commitment to tolerance and equality," while raising concerns over the erosion of religious freedom.

It also highlights the alleged role of Modi in the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat.

The resolution has so far been co-sponsored by nearly two dozen lawmakers. Washington-based Hindu American Foundation has described the legislation as flawed.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/us-group-protest-resolution-on-indian-religious-freedom/1203597/

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Muslims seek files from NYPD’s surveillance of them and their groups

Dec 5, 2013

Two Muslim leaders have taken the NYPD to court to get files on the department’s surveillance of them and their organizations.

Talib Abdur Rashid, imam of the Mosque of Islamic Brotherhood in Harlem, and Samir Hashmi, a former student leader of a Rutgers University Muslim group, said police denied them access to their own files, claiming the documents are exempt from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Law.

In separate actions, both filed Nov. 26 in Manhattan Supreme Court, the men said the NYPD’s denial was illegal because it did not provide a more detailed, specific justification for the refusal.

Full report at:

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/muslims-seek-nypd-surveillance-files-article-1.1536776#ixzz2mdrBVa35

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Prayer rooms for Muslim students are the big new thing at Christian colleges now

Dec 5, 2013

Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries are sending a number of students to U.S. universities ever since the United States greatly loosened restrictions put in place after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. This influx has meant the installation of Muslim prayer rooms at some schools the students attend.

Two private, religiously affiliated schools are in the news this week for their prayer rooms: Texas Wesleyan University and the University of St. Thomas.

Texas Wesleyan in Fort Worth is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. A Saudi student, Mohammed Khalid M. Alshafei, asked for and received the prayer room in 2012, reports The Rambler, the schools’ student newspaper.

Full report at:

http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/03/prayer-rooms-for-muslim-students-are-the-big-new-thing-at-christian-colleges-now/#ixzz2mdrchaw3

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Troop accord vital for Afghan 'confidence': US

AFP

2013-12-05

WASHINGTON: Delaying the signing of a US-Afghan security pact poses more of a psychological than logistical problem because it jeopardises Afghan troop “confidence,” the US military's top officer said Wednesday.

US and Nato officials have been pressing Kabul to sign the agreement without further delay or else risk a complete withdrawal of Western troops after 2014 and drastically reduced international aid.

The United States likely has until the “early summer” before a delay would start to constrict possible military “options” in Afghanistan, said General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff. “So that's not the limiting factor,” he told reporters when asked about the accord.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1060657/troop-accord-vital-for-afghan-confidence-us

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Pakistan

 

Shed your old baggage: Hina asks Pakistan, India

December 05, 2013

NEW DELHI - Former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar on Wednesday said India and Pakistan should shed their ‘old baggage’ as she made a strong pitch for resumption of Indo-Pak dialogue process.

Asserting that she ‘disagrees’ with the views of Jamaatud Dawah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed, she said India should give that evidence in the Mumbai attacks probe case which ‘holds’ in a court of law. “We, both India and Pakistan, have done a fantastic job of infesting the young minds with hatred for each other. Let us not fall prey to historical mistakes...do not judge with historical baggage...patience and perseverance is needed (to take India and Pakistan ties forward),” she said. “If you allow past to determine future...then it becomes difficult,” Khar told the ‘Agenda Aajtak’ conclave here on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/editors-picks/05-Dec-2013/shed-your-old-baggage

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No proposal under consideration to open Taliban office in Pakistan: FO

December 05, 2013

Foreign Office on Thursday said that no proposal is under consideration for opening the office of Taliban in Pakistan.

Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry in his weekly briefing in Islamabad on Thursday said there is no proposal under consideration to open Taliban office in Pakistan for dialogue with the United States; however‚ Pakistan is facilitating Afghan reconciliation process.

To a question‚ the spokesman said Pakistan intends to facilitate withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan as it desires a smooth process in this regard.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/05-Dec-2013/no-proposal-under-consideration-to-open-taliban-office-in-pakistan-fo

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Rangers arrest five MQM ‘outlaws’

December 05, 2013

KARACHI - An operative of outlawed Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan and five gangsters of Lyari were killed in alleged encounters with security forces here on Wednesday.

The encounter, according to police officials, took place near Musharraf Morr of Maripur area.

Police on routine snap-checking tried to intercept three suspects riding a motorcycle. According to SHO Shafiq Tanoli, the armed terrorists opened indiscriminate fire on them. As a result, two policemen Ejaz and Aqeel were wounded. Police retaliated and shot one suspect dead while two of his companions managed to escape from the scene. Tanoli claimed the victim was the member of outlawed TTP. One Kalashnikov and two pistols were also recovered from his possession. The accused were involved in more than 50 cases of target killings, including the targeted killings of 30 policemen. Further investigation was underway.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/karachi/05-Dec-2013/rangers-arrest-five-mqm-outlaws

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Kashmir issue should be resolved peacefully through talks: Pakistan

Dec 05 2013

Islamabad : Pakistan on Thursday said the Kashmir issue should be resolved peacefully and through "meaningful and substantive" talks with India and both sides should work on addressing the mistrust that exists and divides them.

Speaking at a press conference, Foreign Office spokesman Aizaz Chaudhry also said that Siachen glacier should be demilitarised and there should be disengagement of forces.

"We believe that Kashmir issue should be resolved peacefully through talks for which we have always urged the Indian government to engage with us in meaningful and substantive talks. We also believe that Kashmiri leadership should be associated with that resolution," Chaudhry said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kashmir-issue-should-be-resolved-peacefully-through-talks-pakistan/1203709/

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Militants kill policeman in checkpost attack near Bannu

AFP

2013-12-05

PESHAWAR: Militants killed one policeman and wounded another in an attack on a checkpost in northwestern Pakistan, officials said on Thursday.

The attack took place on the outskirts of Bannu town, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, which has seen several terrorist attacks in the past — many of them targeting security officials.

“A group of up to five militants riding motorbikes attacked the checkpost late Wednesday night, threw hand grenades and later opened fire, killing one policeman and wounding another one,” local police official Noor Wali said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1060663/militants-kill-policeman-in-checkpost-attack-near-bannu

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Rights of minorities to be protected at all costs: President

December 05, 2013

President Mamnoon Hussain has said rights of minorities will be protected at all costs.

He expressed these views at a meeting with a delegation of minorities led by Member National Assembly Isphan Yar Bhindaraé who called on him here on Thursday

The President said minorities enjoy equal rights and opportunities in Pakistan and it is govornment's endeavour to proected their rights.

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/islamabad/05-Dec-2013/rights-of-minorities-to-be-protected-at-all-costs-president

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Bagram inmate's tearful return to Pakistan fails to end legal limbo

 December 5, 2013

The last time Waqeel Khan saw his son Hamidullah, the boy was just 14 and was leaving the family home in Karachi for a few days.

Five years later, father and son were finally reunited this week amid tearful scenes in an impersonal office in Peshawar's central jail.

Hamidullah, now an adult, was among six Pakistanis held for years without trial by the US military in Afghanistan who were secretly repatriated to their home country last month.

Despite being on home soil they remain imprisoned under laws that critics say are just as inadequate as those used to hold them for years at Bagram, the huge US airbase in Afghanistan that uses detention policies similar to those at Guantánamo Bay.

Monday was the first time the six men had seen their families or even had a chance to talk to lawyers for years – more than a decade in one case.

Full report at:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/05/bagram-hamidullah-khan-return-pakistan-legal-rights

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Blast in Chaman leaves one dead, several injured

 December 5, 2013

CHAMAN: At least one person was killed and seventeen people injured in a a bomb blast that took place in Chaman, Balochistan, reported Express News on Thursday.

According to initial reports, the explosives were planted on a motorcycle.

The injured which includes two children were shifted to a hospital. According to reports, the children were of a shopkeeper who was just closing shop and heading home when the explosion occurred.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/641517/blast-in-chaman-critically-injures-five-people/

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Africa

 

Ahl e Sunna wal Jamaat, in Somalia bans schoolbooks promoting suicide bombings

Dec 5, 2013

Ahl e Sunna wal Jamaat (ASWJ) has banned schools in Somalia's central regions from using a book entitled "Islamic Education", which contains chapters that justify the use of suicide bombers and promote the notion of apostasy.

ASWJ had implemented a similar ban on schools in the regions under its control five years ago and renewed it November 18th after it was discovered that various schools started using the book in question, ASWJ's Executive Committee Deputy Chairman Ahmed Abdullahi Mohamud told Sabahi.

ASWJ appointed a committee to look into the book's content and ordered schools to stop using it after they found text that used language that justified suicide bombing, Mohamud said.

The ban has affected more than 50 schools in the districts of Dhusamareb, Adado, Guriel, Harardhere, Hobyo and several other areas in central Somalia, he said.

Full report at:

http://sabahionline.com/en_GB/articles/hoa/articles/features/2013/12/03/feature-01

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Libyan assembly votes to follow Islamic law

Dec 5, 2013

(Reuters) - Libya's General National Council assembly (GNC) voted on Wednesday to make Islamic Sharia law the base for all legislation and for all state institutions, a decision that may impact banking, criminal and financial law.

"Islamic law is the source of legislation in Libya," the GNC said in a statement after the vote. "All state institutions need to comply with this."

The immediate scope of the decision was not clear, but a special committee would review all existing laws to guarantee they comply with Sharia.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/04/us-libya-law-idUSBRE9B30J420131204

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Somalia's democracy a pleasant surprise

Dec 5, 2013

Yesterday, Dec. 2, Somalia’s parliament voted Abdi Farah Shirdon, the prime minister, out of office. For too long we have been hearing about tribal conflicts, pirates’ practices and terrorism by so-called al-Shabab and almost no other news of any significance.

The prime minister asked parliament on Sunday that he be allowed to defend his government against charges, but his request was rejected. The speaker provided the result of the vote in parliament to the Somali president as well as to the prime minister. A new prime minister will be named by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who said, “I welcome parliament’s role as a strong signal of Somali democracy at work.” The president further added, according to a report in The New York Times, “It is important to emphasize that the constitution has been our clear guidance throughout this situation,” and expressed appreciation for the work of the departing prime minister.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/12/somalia-democracy-surprise.html#ixzz2mdbc5B6Y

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Central African Republic: 'Bozize loyalists' attack Bangui

Dec 5, 2013

At least 16 people have been killed during fighting in the capital of the Central African Republic (CAR), Bangui.

The city has reportedly been attacked by supporters of President Francois Bozize, who was ousted by rebels in March, plunging the country into chaos.

It comes hours before the UN Security Council is due to vote on French troops joining an African peacekeeping force.

France's ambassador to the UN, Gerard Araud, said the move would make a difference "within days".

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25229061

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Libya: 'US teacher' shot dead in Benghazi

 December 5, 2013

A teacher, believed to be an American national, has been shot dead in Libya's eastern city of Benghazi, local officials say.

Reportedly from Texas, he taught chemistry at the international school, medical and security sources said.

The man, thought to be called Ronnie Smith, was gunned down earlier on Thursday as he was jogging in Fweihat district, local sources told the BBC.

There was no immediate statement from the US embassy in Libya.

No group has said it carried out the attack.

The international school in Benghazi is a Libyan-owned institute that follows an American curriculum.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25239168

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India

 

Shia sub-sect calls for boycott of religious leader for 'insulting the practice of mourning'

TNN | Dec 5, 2013

HYDERABAD: Demonstrating strong disapproval of noted scholar Maulana Syed Taqi Raza Abedi's reported speeches against 'extreme' forms of mourning during Muharram; a leading organization of the Shia Muslims in Hyderabad has called for his boycott.

The community members led by All India Shia Majlis-e-Ulema-o-Zakireen (SMUZ), a council of speakers and religious figures, have alleged in a statement that Maulana Abedi had 'insulted the practice of mourning'.

Abedi, who is a member of the United Muslim Action Committee, an umbrella body of prominent Islamic figures cutting across sectarian lines, is known for his efforts of bringing about change in ritualistic practices in the Shia community. One such practice is that of Khooni Matam (self flagellation leading to bloodletting).

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hyderabads-Shia-sub-sect-calls-for-boycott-of-religious-leader/articleshow/26870092.cms

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India won't 'broker any deal or mediate' in Bangladesh: India

 Dec 04 2013

Dhaka : India on Wednesday said it will not "broker any deal or mediate" between Bangladesh's feuding political parties though it wants the successful completion of the country's troubled election process.

Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, who today met top Bangladeshi leaders amid a standoff between the two main political parties over the January 5 general election, said she was not "here to broker any deal or mediate" among the rival parties.

"But I told them India wants the successful completion of the election process," she said at an interaction with a small group of Bangladeshi journalists after meeting Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her arch-rival, BNP chief Khaleda Zia.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-won-t--broker-any-deal-or-mediate--in-bangladesh-india/1203287/

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Khurshid, Egyptian Minister seek to expand bilateral ties

Dec 5, 2013

Egypt’s Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, who has chosen India as the destination of his first visit to Asia, had broad ranging discussions with his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid here on Wednesday.

The two sides agreed to take forward issues of cooperation during the upcoming visit by Secretary East in the Ministry of External Affairs to Egypt before this month-end.

As the regime in Egypt prepares for a referendum in January on a new pattern of government, India is looking to take forward discussions held during ousted President Mohd Morsey’s visit especially in the areas of defence, long term oil supply arrangements, joint ventures in refining and fertilizers and greater cooperation in science and technology.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/khurshid-egyptian-minister-seek-to-expand-bilateral-ties/article5422500.ece

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Need strong ties with US to fight terror: Shinde

Bharti Jain,TNN | Dec 5, 2013

NEW DELHI: Conceding that both India and the US were leading targets of transnational terror groups, Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde on Wednesday sought enhanced cooperation between the two countries to "secure our cities and our people".

Addressing the India-US police chiefs' conference — the first ever mega-city policing cooperation between the Americans and another country — Shinde said most attacks in India were launched from across the border, an indirect reference to Pakistan, and intended to cause greatest disruption of peace. Recalling the 9/11 attacks in New York as well as the 26/11 Mumbai strikes, the minister underlined how terrorists would typically target large and densely populated urban areas to inflict maximum damage.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Need-strong-ties-with-US-to-fight-terror-Shinde/articleshow/26871922.cms

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1600kg poppy husk found concealed under Pak-bound foodgrain bags

TNN | Dec 5, 2013

BATHINDA: The counter-intelligence wing of Punjab police has unearthed a new method of smuggling poppy husk in consignments of foodgrains to Pakistan.

Poppy husk was concealed under bags of foodgrains, which were to be exported to Lahore via Wagah border. The narcotics were to be unloaded at Tarn Taran before the truck carrying foodgrains was to enter Pakistan. The special group of counter-intelligence has seized 1600kg poppy husk worth Rs 24 lakh being smuggled from Rajasthan.

Counter-intelligence IG Jatindra Jain said the special group intercepted a truck on Bathinda-Dabwali road on Wednesday and seized 40 bags of 40kg poppy husk each concealed under 431 bags of foodgrains.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/1600kg-poppy-husk-found-concealed-under-Pak-bound-foodgrain-bags/articleshow/26872273.cms

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More Mizo Jews to leave for Israel in December

TNN | Dec 5, 2013

AIZAWL: After being freed from Egypt by the Lord of Abraham and Isaac, the Israelites wandered in the desert for four decades before they were allowed to enter the 'Promised Land' and conquer it. For the Bnei Menashe community (the Lost Tribes of Israel) in Mizoram and Manipur, the wait was considerably longer.

However, their goal of returning to the Promised Land seems close to fruition. A large number of Mizo Jews would be migrating to Israel during this month while other batches of people will undertake the journey next year, a source in the Bnei Menashe community said.

The source said 889 Mizo Jews, from Mizoram and Manipur have been identified to undertake the 'Aliyah' or 'return to Zion' by the interior ministry of the Israeli government.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/More-Mizo-Jews-to-leave-for-Israel-in-December/articleshow/26872221.cms

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Keen to take kids to Pakistan, says Shah Rukh Khan

IANS | Dec 5, 2013

Having fond memories of visiting Peshawar as a teenager with his father, Shah Rukh Khan harbours a hope to take his three children to visit his family's hometown, and hopes ties between India and Pakistan become "friendlier" and "family-like".

The Hindi film superstar spoke fondly of Peshawar when Pakistan's former foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar asked him about visiting her country, at an event.

"I'd love to! My family is from Peshawar and few of them still live there. I would love to come to Peshawar and bring my children over because my father took me when I was 15 or 16. I still have some of the greatest memories of the time I spent with my father in Peshawar, Karachi and Lahore. I want to take my kids there," said Shah Rukh.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/news-interviews/Keen-to-take-kids-to-Pakistan-says-Shah-Rukh-Khan/articleshow/26894548.cms

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Indians in Saudi Arabia pay tributes to poet Iqbal

IANS | Dec 4, 2013

DUBAI: The Indian community in Saudi Arabia has paid tributes to Urdu poet Muhammad Iqbal for his rich contribution to poetry and Islamic awareness in the world.

A cultural evening "Mahfil-e-Iqbal" was organized by Tanzeem Hum Hindustani, a voluntary, non-profit and non-religious organization of overseas Indians, the Arab News reported on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/nri/middle-east-news/Indians-in-Saudi-Arabia-pay-tributes-to-poet-Iqbal/articleshow/26865779.cms

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Australia

 

Crackdown on Aussie jihad in Syria to spread

Dec 5, 2013

A CRACKDOWN on Australians travelling to Syria to fight with jihadists is set to widen, with police preparing to charge a third suspected extremist currently in jail on attempted murder charges.

After officers from the Australian Federal Police and NSW police yesterday charged two men with an array of foreign-incursion offences - the first such charges to stem from the Syrian conflict - The Australian can reveal a third man has been targeted by investigators and is expected to be charged.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/policy/crackdown-on-aussie-jihad-in-syria-to-spread/story-fn59nm2j-1226774612318#

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Ram-raid Muslim radicals - police fear crimes are funding Syrian war fighters

Dec 5, 2013

COUNTER-terrorism officers have charged a figurehead of last year's Muslim riots and infamous Sharia "whipping" case over an attempted ATM ram-raid in Sydney's north.

Wassim Fayad, 46, one of two head spokesmen during the riots, was arrested at 7.30am last Friday at Auburn and charged over the failed ram-raid involving at least two other men at North Ryde on May 15.

The investigation, kept under wraps until now, has been continuing for several months, running at the same time as another case with the Joint-Counter Terrorism Team examining a syndicate sending young Australian Muslims to fight in the Syrian civil war. Police also have been investigating Fayad's activities to see whether he has any connection with the Syrian syndicate.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/ramraid-muslim-radicals-police-fear-crimes-are-funding-syrian-war-fighters/story-fni0cx12-1226775455240

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/40-days-in-chains--afghan-shrine-offers--cure--for-evil-spirits/d/34727

 

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