New Age Islam
Thu Nov 30 2023, 03:21 PM

Islamic World News ( 16 Jan 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Afghan Taliban Declare Victory: Full Formal Proclamation of Islamic Emirate’s Victory

  • New Age Islam News Bureau

    16 Jan 2012
  • Pakistan PM Gilani offers to resign after SC contempt notice
  • Salafi party opposes coalition with forces who reject Sharia
  • Salman Rushdie persuaded to stay away from Jaipur Literature Festival
  • Religious fundamentalism bound to fall, Islam protects minorities: Egypt Mufti
  • Egypt's radical Salafis approach secular rivals
  • Yemenis Return to Area Run by Islamic Militants
  • Babri Masjid demolition was just an incident, not famous or infamous; Supreme Court chides Additional Solicitor General
  • China, Saudi Arabia vow to enhance relations
  • Zeti cautiously upbeat on prospects for Islamic finance industry in Malaysia
  • Supreme Court holds PM Gilani in contempt
  • Anti-Muslim article: Delhi Police quiz Subramanian Swamy
  • Saffronisation in M P, India: BJP's appeasement of the majority community
  • Islamism and secularism in Tunisia
  • Iran's 'damaged' president back for UN spotlight
  • BlackBerry Refuses to Hand Memogate Data to Pakistan
  • Pakistani Taliban Deny Death of Leader Hakimullah Mehsud
  • THIS WAS ALL A FRAUD!!! "Waiting to receive pieces of daughter’s dead body"
  • Muslim youth trained in human rights in Kawampe
  • Fake lottery scam traced to Pakistan
  • Pakistan's army chief calls PM's criticisms "divisive"
  • Pakistan's prosperity lies in following constitution: Gilani
  • Imran Khan Calls for new ties with India, says he's not anti-west either
  • Defying US, Palestinians press forward with UN bid
  • 'Violence against women rose in 2011 in Pakistan'
  • Pakistani Court Orders Contempt Notice against PM
  • Civil society vulnerable in Pakistan: Faiz's daughter
  • Pakistan: Rs 100 million bounty for Pervez Musharraf's death
  • Pakistan, India TAPI gas talks on 24th
  • Why Pakistan’s Democracy should matter more to the US
  • Pakistan SC orders contempt charges against Yousuf Raza Gilani
  • Shadow cast on Afghan peace talks
  • CAIR and ACLU: Court Blocks Anti-Sharia Law in Oklahoma
  • First Global Arab IT Company to launch in UAE
  • CIMA to offer certification in Islamic Finance
  • Residents returning to restive south Yemen city
  • Shoura OKs draft law on arbitration
  • We won’t be another NDP, say Muslim Brothers
  • New imam Of St. Louis represents new kind of Islamic leader
  • US, OIC collaboration on religious tolerance: changing times
  • NORTH AFRICA: Democracy vs academic freedom?
  • Meet the ‘new’ Hamas: strategic shift or temporary deviation from a violent path?
  • Developments in Pakistan no cause for concern: Top Indian Army Commander
  • Pakistan politically paralysed: Daily
  • Iran’s Majlis conservative member rejects disqualification
  • Pakistan spending Rs.1.2 trillion on welfare projects
  • OIC head offers condolence to Turkish Cyprus

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Afghan Taliban Declare Victory: Full Formal Proclamation of Islamic Emirate’s Victory



Afghan Taliban Declare Victory: Full Formal Proclamation of Islamic Emirate’s Victory

By Aurangzeb

January 16, 2012

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan showed it openly to the world that it is a well-organized political power besides being a military power. It has ruled the country successfully and preserves the right and might of each and every decision of the country. It can neither accept external orders nor can it come under any one’s

pressure. It is proved to the world that the Islamic Emirate is deeply rooted internally in the Afghan nation and externally in the whole Islamic ummah. Militarily successful resistance against a gigantic international alliance, full presence on the whole soil and overall perseverance are the signs and secrets of the Islamic Emirate.

The invading countries of Afghanistan are compelled to review their policies by looking into the military and political determination, unity, organization and unshakeable stance of the Islamic Emirate.

A year ago a European diplomat said to an envoy of the Islamic Emirate:

“For a complete decade we were deceived by America and Karzai saying that a neighboring country is supervising the Taliban and can prepare them for anything. Therefore we were giving every kind of prerogatives to the authorities of that neighboring country. Although they endangered their country for this purpose but they did not succeed. If they could do something, they would have done it for the sake of these privileges. Now the world has realized that the claims of Karzai and America were only a kind of propaganda to deceive the nations worldwide. The Afghans and Taliban are not a trivial phenomenon but an ideological and national movement which should be acknowledged as a political fact.

It is but sheer determination, religious and ideological adherence and unequalled sacrifices displayed by true Afghan Mujahid nation for the last decade that today regional and world powers are after to reach mutual understanding about the country.

Today somewhere in the world if the name of the Islamic Emirate is carved and a flag with ‘Kalma tayyebaa’ (holy word of creedal testimony) is wavered on the top; it is actually the formal proclamation of the success of resistance against the incursion.

The contractors of the international invasion can no more deceive the nation by their baseless talks. They used the word ‘peace’ as a propaganda fragment to deceive the people. But today as their guardians and supporters are fed up militarily and logistically with this war and are planning for retreat, they are giving contradictory statements which show their complete confusion and embarrassment. Sometime they say that the office of the Islamic Emirate should be opened in some other country. Another time they say they have no part in this.

The choice of Qatar for the inauguration of formal office shows the political deliberation of the Islamic Emirate. If this initiative had been taken in some neighboring country, it would have been another chance of every day propaganda for Karzai administration. If the office was inaugurated in Saudi Arabia, someone else would have suspected it because of the close bilateral relations of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. And finally Turkey could not have been considered an ideal place for the sovereignty and prestige of this office because of its membership of the NATO alliance.

But Qatar having balance relations with all sides and a prestigious status in the Islamic world is the most appropriate place for this kind of office.

Although none of the Muslim countries is interested in opposing the Islamic Emirate, due to the sympathy of the masses in the Muslim world with Islamic Emirate. Even if the governments or the authorities might not be interested, they may take a careful stance on this for the sake of their people.

Now the military, political and national efficiency of the Islamic Emirate is evident, perhaps no one will benefit from the mere enmity of the Islamic Emirate. Everyone concerned should choose the rational and logical path of solving issues with Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. If the present invaders had chosen a lucid path instead of incursion, they would not have faced such a huge personnel and financial loss in Afghanistan.


Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani offers to resign after SC contempt notice


ISLAMABAD: Jan 16, 2012, Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday offered to resign shortly after the Supreme Court served him a notice for contempt of court for failing to reopen graft cases against the President, according to a media report.

Gilani told a meeting of top leaders of the Pakistan People's Party and its partners in the ruling coalition that he was ready to quit if the step strengthened the government and parliament, ARY news channel quoted its sources as saying.

PPP leader Qamar Zaman Kaira, Religious Affairs Minister Khursheed Shah and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi of the PML-Q, a key partner in the coalition, were being considered as possible replacements for Gilani in the event of his resignation.

Gilani convened the meeting of the PPP and its allies hours ahead of a crucial session of parliament that will vote on a resolution to shore up the civilian government.

President Asif Ali Zardari too joined the meeting.

Other sources told PTI that the PPP's top leadership had discussed the premier's resignation as a possible measure to ease the government's standoff with the judiciary and the military.

The judiciary has been pressuring the government to reopen cases of alleged money laundering against Zardari since December 2009, when it struck down a graft amnesty issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf.

The apex court has also accepted the military's request for ordering a probe into the alleged memo that had sought US help to stave off a possible coup in Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden in May last year.


Salafi party opposes coalition with forces who reject Sharia

Egypt Independent

Sun, 15/01/2012

The Salafi-oriented Nour Party will not form an alliance with secular forces opposed to application of Islamic Sharia law, said Nour Party spokesman Nader Bakar on Sunday.

Speaking to a program called “90 Minutes” on Mehwar Satellite Channel, Bakar said that Nour is dedicated to applying Sharia law.

The Islamist Muslim Brotherhood has secured close to half of Egypt’s parliament in elections that started in November and are now drawing to a close.

The hard-line Islamist Nour Party has come in second, putting Islamists of different stripes in control of more than two-thirds of parliament.

Bakar accused some “liberal voices” of working to exacerbate differences among political forces. He said that a national consensus is the party’s top priority.

Bakar said that his party invited all parties to participate in the “National Responsibility Initiative,” which aims to create a national consensus with liberals in order to achieve the revolution’s demands.

As for his reaction over Mohamed ElBaradie’s decision to pull out of the presidential race, Bakar said that underlying ElBaradie’s decision was the fact that the Egyptian street showed support for the Islamists during parliamentary elections.


Salman Rushdie persuaded to stay away from Jaipur Literature Festival

Akhilesh Kumar Singh, TNN

JAIPUR: Jan 17, 2012, A major flashpoint ahead of the Jaipur Literary Festival has been avoided with a jittery Rajasthan government on Monday persuading organizers to ask Salman Rushdie, the main draw at the book-lovers' jamboree, to call off his visit.

Rajasthan chief secretary Salauddin Ahmed is learnt to have called the organizers to discuss Rushdie's presence that, sources in the state government said, would have created a huge security risk, given the threat of protests by Muslim groups.

"Rushdie's trip has been cancelled. We have been informed," said a senior Rajasthan police officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The organizers, however, didn't confirm the cancellation but the Booker Prize-winning author's events on the January 20-24 programme were purged from the JLF website.

Anxiety in the ruling Congress in Rajasthan as well as the Centre during this election season has grown ever since Darul Uloom, Deoband's vice-chancellor wrote to the Union government earlier this month, insisting the author of 'The Satanic Verses' be barred from entering India, a surprising demand since Rushdie has been to the country five times since the controversy over the book erupted, including one to JLF's inaugural 2007 edition.

The Deobandis had asked the government not to give him a visa but within hours, Rushdie tweeted that he didn't need one since he was categorized as a Person of Indian Origin and could come and go as he pleased. That put the government in a spot and forced them to lean on the lit fest organizers to plead with Rushdie to back off. The author hasn't made any comment since news of his cancellation broke.

Cong leaders wanted Rushdie kept out of India: Rajasthan's sensitivities over the visit of controversial author Salman Rushdie to the Jaipur literature festival, however, are easier to comprehend.

The state government has been on the defensive after the state police were accused of failing to protect Muslim protesters in Gopalgarh where riots last September left nine Muslims dead.

It's learnt that Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot and Union law and minorities affairs minister Salman Khurshid met to discuss Rushdie's visit and the demand by conservative Muslim groups, including clerics in Rajasthan who had organized a 7,000-strong protest in Jaipur.

Some Rajasthan Muslim organizations had announced a protest against Rushdie's visit with one even declaring a reward of Rs 1 lakh for anyone ready to hurl a shoe at the author.

Rajasthan PCC chief Chandrabhan had on Thursday demanded a ban on Rushdie's visit and the Congress MP from Jaipur Mahesh Joshi had backed him.

Rushdie had two sessions, 'Midnight's Child on Jan 20' and 'Inglish, Amlish: The chutneyfication of English' the next day. Organizers told reporters on Sunday that Rushdie's first session was postponed. "We have removed his trip itinerary from the website in view of the ongoing controversy," said a JLF organizer.

TIMES VIEW: Salman Rushdie's decision to not attend the Jaipur Literary Festival sends out all the wrong signals. It would appear the government failed to reassure the Indian-born author that he need have no fears about visiting the land of his birth; on the contrary, the festival organizers were told by the Congress-run state government that Rushdie's visit could cause a law and order problem. The result is the impression that India is a soft state which succumbs easily to pressure. As for the Congress, it is open to the charge of appeasement once again.

Tweeter talk @debrosereeves: Double boo. Rushdie is not my only reason for attending the lit fest but it's sad to hear he won't be

@ShaikhAafaque: Salman Rushdie is probably singing to Indian Muslims: Why this kolaveri...kolaveri..kolaveri di..


Religious fundamentalism bound to fall, Islam protects minorities: Egypt Mufti

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa says that Islam grants all minorities the right to practice their faith and rituals. (File photo)


Amid concerns over the rise of Islamist parties in post-revolution Egypt and ongoing debates about the application of Islamic laws, Egypt’s Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa offered quite a comforting overview of both the history of fundamentalism and the ability of moderate Islam to offer equal rights to all citizens.

“Islamic a law as a main reference for legislation has always been in the Egyptian constitution since 1923,” Gomaa told Al Arabiya. “It is the ceiling no one can exceed even in the parliament.”

Gomaa pointed out that preserving the rights of Egyptians from other religions is part of the principles of sharia (Islamic law), mentioned in Article 2 of the Egyptian constitution and which has been a source of controversy especially after the sweeping victory of Islamists in the first parliamentary elections after the revolution.

“However, this article can be modified so that a sentence about the rights of Egyptians belonging to other religions to follow their own legislations can be added.”

Islam, Gomaa added, also grants religious minorities freedom of faith and the right to practice their rituals.

Full Report At:


Egypt's radical Salafis approach secular rivals

Egypt's ultraconservative Islamist party has reached out to rival secular and liberal political factions in an unusual, behind-the-scenes attempt to unify their ranks and counter the Muslim Brotherhood's power in the country's new parliament.

An alliance between the Salafis and nonreligious parties would be very difficult to reach and even harder to maintain, given the large differences in their ideologies. But the talks highlight the growing worries that the Brotherhood, fresh off its election victory, is starting to throw its weight around to dominate Egypt's politics and sideline others.

The talks, which took place over the past week, also show the strange bedfellows that can be brought together with Egypt's politics deeply in flux ahead of the convening later this month of the first parliament since the 11 February fall of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

As a consequence, parliament may not be controlled by a unified Islamist front, but a divided one making choices on political considerations not purely religious ones. The Brotherhood and the Salafis are both Islamist movements, but there have been frequent frictions between them during the election campaign.

Full Report At:


Yemenis Return to Area Run by Islamic Militants

At least 2,000 displaced Yemenis returned home Friday to a restive area in the country's south that has been under the control of al-Qaida-linked militants for more than seven months.

Their return to Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan province, provides some of the first civilian views of the Islamic rule the militants have begun to set up in the poorly governed hinterlands of the Arab world's poorest country: A zone where armed men from a various Arab countries move about in new Toyota trucks and vow to implement strict Islamic law.

The militants have taken advantage of the security collapse across Yemen during 11 months of mass protests calling for the ouster of longtime autocratic President Ali Abdullah Saleh. A wily politician who has ruled for 33 years, Saleh is due to transfer power later this month to his vice president under a U.S.-backed deal brokered by Yemen's powerful Persian Gulf neighbors.

The U.S. has long considered Saleh a necessary ally in combatting Yemen's active al-Qaida branch, which has been linked to terror attacks on U.S. soil and is believed to be one of the international terror organization's most dangerous franchises.

Militants began seizing territory in Yemen's southern Abyan province last spring, solidifying their control over the town of Jaar in April before taking the provincial capital, Zinjibar, in May. They call their organization Ansar al-Shariah, or Partisans of Shariah, which is linked to al-Qaida.

Full Report At:


Babri Masjid demolition was just an incident, says SC

NEW DELHI: The Babri Masjid demolition is just an incident and there is nothing famous or infamous about it, the Supreme Court today said while listing CBI's plea for levelling charges of criminal conspiracy against senior BJP leader L K Advani, Shiv Sena Chief Bal Thackeray and 18 others to March 27.

"What is famous about it. It was an incident which happened and parties are before us. It is not famous or infamous," a bench of Justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad said when the Additional Solicitor General said at the beginning of the proceeding that the matter is related to "famous" Babri Masjid demolition case.

The proceeding before the bench could not go on as it was mentioned that some of the parties in the case have not filed their response and the case was then adjourned for March.

The apex court had on March 4 last year issued notice to 21 people including Advani, Thackeray, Kalyan Singh, Uma Bharti, Satish Pradhan, CR Bansal, MM Joshi, Vinay Katiyar, Ashok Singhal, Giriraj Kishore, Sadhvi Ritambhara, VH Dalmia, Mahant Avaidhynath, RV Vedanti, Param Hans Ram Chandra Das, Jagdish Muni Maharaj, BL Sharma, Nritya Gopal Das, Dharam Das, Satish Nagar and Moreshwar Save.

The court had asked all of them to file their response on why criminal conspiracy charges should not be revived against them in the Babri Masjid demolition case.

It had passed the order on an appeal filed by CBI challenging the May 21, 2010 Allahabad High Court judgement upholding a special court's decision to drop the charges against the leaders.


Supreme Court holds Pak PM Gilani in contempt

Agencies Posted online: Mon Jan 16 2012, 10:36 hrs

Islamabad : Pakistan's Supreme Court initiated contempt proceedings Monday against the Prime Minister for failing to carry out the court's order to open a corruption probe into the President, ramping up the pressure on the beleaguered civilian government.

The Supreme Court ruling open up the possibility that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani could be prosecuted and dismissed at the hands of the judges. That could happen as soon as Thursday, when the court ordered Gilani to appear before the bench.

The judges are ordering the government to open a corruption probe into President Asif Ali Zardari dating back to the 1990s. The government has refused, saying Zardari has immunity. Its supporters say the court is pursuing a vendetta against the government.

The court order is the latest development in an ongoing political crisis in Pakistan that pits the civilian government against the Army, which has three times seized power in a coup. Many observers say the spike in tensions between those two can't be separated from the maneuvering of the Supreme Court, which has sanctioned past coups.

The fault line in the country is the same one that has plagued Pakistan since its creation in 1947: an Army that can't stomach taking orders from elected politicians, and which has three times seized power in coups. The government has given the generals control over foreign and security policy, but the civilian leadership and the top brass have never seen eye-to-eye since Zardari and Gilani took office in 2008.

Full Report At:


China, Saudi Arabia vow to enhance relations

RIYADH,  2012-01-16  - Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Saudi Arabia's King and Prime Minister Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz agreed on Sunday to make concerted efforts to enhance bilateral relations under a strategic framework.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao (L) meets with Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah (R)  at the Royal Palace in Riyadh Jan 15, 2012. [Photo/Xinhua]

In their meeting, Premier Wen said Saudi Arabia is a major country in the Arab and Islamic world, which plays a significant role in regional and international affairs.

He said China respects Saudi Arabia's political system, development mode as well as its culture and traditions, and is grateful for Saudi Arabia's understanding of and support for China regarding the latter's core interests and major concerns.

As the world is undergoing profound changes, China is willing to strengthen coordination with Saudi Arabia on major issues, develop an all-around cooperative partnership in the energy sector, expand cooperation in trade, investment, infrastructure, high-tech, finance, security and law enforcement, so as to enrich the contents of the bilateral relations, he added.

King Abdullah said that the government and people of Saudi Arabia cherish friendly feelings for China, and that he believes the strengthening of bilateral cooperation will benefit peoples of both countries.

The Saudi king proposed setting up a Saudi Arabia-China high level committee to supervise the two countries' cooperation in the political, economic, cultural and security sectors. Premier Wen agreed with this proposal.

On the situation in West Asia and North Africa, the visiting Chinese premier said China respect the choice of the peoples in those countries, understand and support their appeal for reforms, and back the role of regional bodies like the Arab League in maintaining stability.

For his part, King Abdullah noted it was the objective of Saudi Arabia's foreign policy to maintain regional peace and stability. Saudi Arabia and China enjoy a high level of mutual trust and share similar views on many issues, he said, adding that the Saudi side wishes to step up consultation and coordination with China.

Premier Wen has also met with top Saudi leaders, Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, and Secretary General of the Gulf Cooperation Council Abdullatif al-Zayani.

In a joint statement, the two sides hailed Premier Wen's visit to Saudi Arabia as a complete success, which will contribute to their long-term friendly cooperative relations.

The statement said both countries were satisfied with the progress made in bilateral cooperation, and pledged to further enhance relations within the framework of strategic relationship, so as to benefit the two peoples and contribute to regional and world peace, stability and development.

The two countries agreed in the document to conduct more high-level exchanges of visits, and to expand trade, investment and cooperation in a wide range of areas. The Saudi side also reiterated its adherence to the one-China policy.

Wen arrived in Saudi Arabia Saturday evening after an official visit to Nepal.

After his stay in Saudi Arabia, the Chinese leader will continue his visit to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.


Zeti cautiously upbeat on prospects for Islamic finance industry in Malaysia


Jan 15, 2012

The issuing of three mega Islamic banking licenses in Malaysia; starting the implementation of the new Financial Sector Blueprint (FSBP) 2011-2020 including Islamic financial inclusion and microcredit and the internationalization of Malaysia's Islamic finance industry; and helping the International Islamic Liquidity Management Corporation (IILM) launch its first sukuk as part of an ambitious issuance program, are just some of the priorities for Bank Negara Malaysia, the central bank, and its experienced Gov. Zeti Akhtar Aziz in 2012.

Gov. Zeti is under no illusion about the challenges facing the Islamic finance industry going forward and the impact the global financial crisis and the euro zone sovereign debt crisis continues to have on the industry.

"The Islamic finance industry," explained Zeti at a recent briefing in Kuala Lumpur "was insulated from the first round of the crisis (the global financial crisis). Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) are more resilient because they are closely linked to the real economy, with in-built checks and balances such as profit-sharing and risk-sharing. As such, there are greater elements of responsible lending. As economies slow down and financial markets experience a correction, these will impact financial institutions including IFIs. That is why it is important to have capital buffers, risk management and governance practices that are sound. We are continuing to develop mechanisms, institutional arrangements and financial infrastructures such as greater liquidity management and more so that the Islamic finance industry would continue to be resilient."

On the other side of the stakeholder coin, Bank Negara considers financial inclusion, microcredit and the financing of small-and-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as an important agenda. "We are also focusing on financial services outreach including mobilization of deposits from the lower income groups. Microfinance and microtakaful are also part of this. Our new Financial Sector Blueprint has a whole section on new measures that we will put in place to enhance financial inclusion mostly through outreach programs but also through institutional arrangements such as agent banking. We have also gone in a very major way into financial education and literacy to raise the level starting from the schools to factory workers and housewives on how to manage your finances," she explained.

The Malaysian Islamic banking industry indeed has shown impressive and steady growth over the last decade - growing from 6 percent in 2001 to 22 percent of the banking sector at the end of 2011. The previous Financial Sector Master Plan 2000-2010) has targeted a 20 percent market share for the industry, but the new Financial Sector Blueprint is careful not to include any performance or market share targets. Instead the aim according to Zeti is consolidation of the achievements thus far and achieving the various recommendations outlined in the blueprint.

Bank Negara is also processing three applications by foreign promoters for so-called mega Islamic bank licenses which would have a minimum paid-in capital of $1 billion each.

"The applicants for the Islamic megabank licenses are still in the process of fulfilling all the necessary requirements for licensing under the Islamic Banking Act 1983. Assessments will thereafter take place which, upon satisfactory fulfillment, will be recommended for the granting of license by the minister of finance," confirmed Zeti.

Banking sources stress that there is a timeframe for these institutions to meet all the conditions and that the applications will be resolved during 2012. None of the three promoters are from the West which rules out any of the remaining major global banks which do not have an Islamic banking license in Malaysia. The investors according to the sources are from the GCC countries.

The sukuk and Islamic capital market is an important component of the Malaysian Islamic finance industry. As such, the Malaysian government keen to boost the country as a multi-currency origination center. Already Khazanah Nasional Berhad, the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund, has issued a US dollar sukuk, a Singapore dollar sukuk and a Chinese renminbi sukuk in 2010 and in 2011.

Zeti is a keen supporter of the IILM and expects the first sukuk issuance by the corporation within the next 6 months. "The IILM," she revealed, "is currently obtaining the required rating, as well as fulfillment of all other parameters for the issuance including high quality underlying assets. The first issuance, which is a pilot issuance, will be relatively small, designed to test the system and to ensure that it is functioning as intended. Subsequent issuances are expected to be larger, more regulated in the range of $2 billion to $3 billion per issue and will be in major currencies."

The corporation's sukuk program is designed to be high quality short-term liquidity instruments and therefore demand will probably be generated from other institutions and managed funds such as pension funds etc. as it is another asset class that would be attractive as a liquid instrument. "During this crisis we saw liquidity becoming an important issue. The internationalization of Islamic finance and greater cross-border transactions require effective short-term liquidity management not only in stressful conditions but also in normal times," she added.

The IILM issuances are expected to play a major role in liquidity management in the global Islamic finance industry. At least that is the ambition. In conventional finance, it is US Treasury bills that are highly traded for liquidity management. For Islamic finance, there are no sovereign short-term debt issuances or papers of that nature. But whether the IILM sukuk can effectively play the role of US Treasury Bills only time will tell.

Zeti, however, believes that the IILM, which is a collaboration between 10 central banks and two multilaterals, has come out with something concrete, which will be an important financial infrastructure for the development of Islamic finance. "Given collaboration between central banks that come from different parts of the world that also include Europe, Middle East and Asia, it has required a consensus building on all the issues. Compared to other collaborations, I believe this IILM is a great achievement," she added.

She welcomes any move by European sovereigns to enter the euro sukuk market. Several of the European countries including the UK, France and Luxembourg have introduced enabling legislation to facilitating sukuk such as tax structures. This has been a major step forward. "They are currently focused on conditions that are highly challenging, therefore it is very difficult. Of course if there were a sovereign issuance out of the euro market, we would certainly support it. I have always encouraged our sovereign issuances which has contributed depth to the market. This, despite the fact that we have many domestic sukuk issuances, and therefore liquidity in the market. We have decided that it is also important to have a number of international issuances. It certainly contributes to creating a benchmark yield curve," explained Zeti.

The euro zone sovereign debt crisis has impacted on economic growth including in Malaysia and in the rest of Asia. She predicts that "all of us will experience a moderation in growth across the board, but to a much lesser extent than ten years ago. We in Malaysia have domestic demand which is more significant in our economy. We have a stronger domestic economy. We have strength from our regional trade and investment activities. This has had a mutually reinforcing effect on our economies. We also have resilient financial sectors that are still providing credit. We also have low unemployment and have not over-leveraged."

Asked if Malaysia will take the great leap forward by adopting a Shariah-compliant monetary policy she stressed that the country has already implemented liquidity management operations whereby Shariah-compliant instruments are used to manage the liquidity in the Islamic financial system. Bank Negara issues short-term instruments to manage liquidity by absorbing or releasing the liquidity into the system.


Anti-Muslim article: Delhi Police quiz Subramanian Swamy

Agencies Posted online: Mon Jan 16 2012, 09:38 hrs

New Delhi : Janata Party chief Subramanian Swamy was today questioned by Delhi Police in connection with a case of writing an "inflammatory article".

Swamy, accompanied by lawyers, reached the inter-state cell of Delhi Police's Crime Branch here at around 10.50 am and the questioning lasted for about two hours.

The Janata Party chief, who has been granted interim protection till January 30 by the Delhi High Court against his arrest, claimed that he was called as a witness in the case.

"I was asked about the meaning of certain words. I told police that my original article was about 4,000 words and the published one was about 1,100 words. I told police that, which all passages were deleted," he told reporters.

He claimed he wrote the article and emailed it to the newspaper when he was in the United States.

Full Report At:


Saffronisation in M P, India: BJP's appeasement of the majority community

15 January 2012


We hear the BJP make so much noise about appeasement of minorities, particularly Muslims. But does anyone use the term 'Majority [or Hindu] appeasement' when the party goes all out to ensure Saffronisation in a state.

Full Report At:


Islamism and secularism in Tunisia

Rory McCarthy

14 January 2012

Subjects:International politics Economics Democracy and government Culture Conflict Civil society Tunisia Social Innovation Constitutional reform Arab Awakening

In Tunisia at least, radical Salafism is not just a challenge to secularists: it’s also a challenge to moderate Islamists like Ennahda.

About the author

Rory McCarthy is the former Middle East correspondent of the Guardian and author of Nobody Told Us We Are Defeated: Stories from the New Iraq.

Some Tunisians see a worrying confrontation developing in their country a year after the fall of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, the first dictator toppled by last year’s Arab uprisings. Salafists have been demonstrating at Manouba University against a ban on female students wearing the niqab, the full-face covering. A crowd chanted anti-Semitic slogans as they gathered at Tunis airport to greet the arrival of Ismail Haniyeh, a leader of the Palestinian Hamas movement, earlier this month. Salafists have already led demonstrations against the screening of two films they deemed unacceptable, one an investigation into Tunisian secularism and another the Oscar-nominated animation Persepolis, which tells the story of a young girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution.

Full Report At:


Iran's 'damaged' president back for UN spotlight

Fri Sep 16 2011

Cairo : There was a time when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used his annual trip to the United Nations for two big objectives: Basking in the attention of America's media hub and personally delivering the views of the Islamic Republic to Western leaders.

The spotlight seeking is still there. But what's missing this year is any sense that Ahmadinejad is still a trusted messenger for the ruling clerics after trying to expand the limits of his power and being batted down harshly.

“He's damaged”, said Ahmad Bakhshayesh, a political affairs professor at Tehran's Azad University. Dubai-based analyst Theodore Karasik sees 'a badly wounded lame duck' arriving in New York for the UN General Assembly session that begins Tuesday.

There's little doubt about Iran's political pecking order these days: Ahmadinejad and his allies are sharply diminished while the theocracy and its protectors -- including the hugely powerful Revolutionary Guard -- are grinding away at any opposition.

This suggests Ahmadinejad's voice may be as booming as ever at the UN -- and in possible side trips around New York -- but his role as an emissary of Iran's ruling system is severely muted.

Full Report At:


BlackBerry Refuses to Hand Memogate Data to Pakistan

Islamabad, Jan 16 (IANS): BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) has said it will not release data regarding a memo that said President Asif Ali Zardari had feared a military coup last year, it was reported here.

Geo News reported that the BlackBerry maker has refused to release data related to the memo that led to the stepping down of the country's US envoy Husain Haqqani and a festering row between the military and the political leadership.

The phone manufacturer, based in Canada, has said that their privacy laws prohibit disclosure of a customer's data to any other party without the consent of the parties concerned, hence Pakistan cannot have the information.

Pakistani-American businessman Mansoor Ijaz had reportedly forwarded the memo to then US military chief Gen. Mike Mullen in May last year.

Full Report At:


Pakistani Taliban Deny Death of Leader

ISLAMABAD—Intercepted militant radio communications indicate the leader of the Pakistani Taliban was killed in a recent U.S. drone strike, Pakistani intelligence officials said on Sunday, but a Taliban official denied the report.

In this Oct. 4, 2009 file photo, Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud arrives to meet with media in Sararogha of Pakistani tribal area of South Waziristan along the Afghanistan border.

Full Report At:



THIS WAS ALL A FRAUD!!! "Waiting to receive pieces of daughter’s dead body"

LAHORE - A fraud scheme to collect funds using conventional media and social networks ostensibly for ‘ransom money’ came to an end on Wednesday when Rawalpindi Police, responding to news reports, investigated the matter and registered a case against Shamsul Anwar, the father of a so-called unfortunate girl named Madina Anwar, who was reportedly ‘kidnapped for ransom’ by a terrorist outfit. Nasirabad Police Chowki Supervisor and Investigation Officer Sub-Inspector Awais Akram told Pakistan Today that on media reports, police initiated an investigation into the alleged kidnapping on Wednesday.

Full Report At:!!!-quot-Waiting-to-receive-pieces-of-daughter%92s-dead-body-quot-SHAMELESSSSSSNESS


Muslim youth trained in human rights in Kawampe


Kawempe, January 16 2012, Muslims students from about 20 schools around the country have attained training in human rights observance, with a call for exhibition of tolerance in their communities and fostering peace while following the teachings of Prophet Mohammed.

The president of Muslim Centre for Justice and Law, Mr Jaffer Senganda, in a three-day human rights training at Bilal Secondary School in Kawempe Division, said promotion of human rights among Muslims is very important, especially at a time when the world is grappling with sectarian violence.

Full Report At:


Fake lottery scam traced to Pakistan

Pakistani group, with the help of Noida and Wazirpur residents, duped several people across the country; money they amassed was siphoned off to Pakistan through hawala

After two years of painstaking investigation, the Delhi crime branch finally tasted success when it identified two men who were part of a fake lottery scam that was operated from across the border.

Full Report At:


Pakistan's army chief calls PM's criticisms "divisive"


Sat Jan 14, 2012

(Reuters) - Pakistan's army chief is furious with the prime minister for statements criticising the army and has demanded that they be clarified or withdrawn, a senior military source told Reuters on Saturday.

Recent tension has raised fears for the stability of the nuclear-armed country and exposed a struggle between the government and the military, which has ousted three civilian governments in coups since independence in 1947 and has ruled the nation for more than half of its history.

"The army chief complained to the president about the prime minister's statements, and said they needed to be either clarified or withdrawn," the source told Reuters.

"He said such statements were divisive and made the country more vulnerable."

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani this week criticized Army Chief General Ashfaq Kayani and the director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence agency Lieutenant-General Ahmed Shuja Pasha for filing court papers in a case involving a mysterious memo that has pitted the military against the civilian government.

In an interview with Chinese media, Gilani said the filings were "unconstitutional," infuriating the military's high command, who issued a stern press release.

"There can be no allegation more serious than what the honourable prime minister has levelled," it said.

"This has very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the country."

Gilani further infuriated the army on Wednesday by sacking the defence secretary, retired Lieutenant General Naeem Khalid Lodhi, for "gross misconduct and illegal action which created misunderstanding" between institutions.

Lodhi was the most senior civil servant responsible for military affairs, a post usually seen as the military's main advocate in the civilian bureaucracy.

"The army is not going to concede an inch," said Najam Sethi, editor of The Friday Times. "Reconciliatory statements are for form, the demanding statement is the bottom line. The army is not going to do anything directly, the army will wait for the Supreme Court to lay down the rules and will back it to the hilt."

As angry as Kayani is, the military source said, the council of senior military commanders is even more angry. "There is a lot of pressure by the main corps commanders on the army chief regarding the statements of the prime minister."

The military, which sets foreign and security policies, drew rare public criticism after U.S. special forces killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil in a raid in May 2011, an act seen by many Pakistanis as a violation of sovereignty.

Pakistanis rallied behind the military after a November 26 cross-border NATO air attack killed 24 Pakistani soldiers on the frontier with Afghanistan, driving ties with Washington to their lowest point in years.

"My sense is that the PM is also at the end of his tether," Sethi added. "I think his view is that we've done everything for these guys, and these guys have embarrassed us time and again. ... And these people have not once stood by us. And that is actually an accurate description of the ground realities."

Full Report At:


Pakistan's prosperity lies in following constitution: Gilani

Saturday, Jan 14, 2012

The prosperity of Pakistan lies in following the constitution, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani emphasised Saturday, days after he accused army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani and the country's spy chief Lt. Gen. Shuja Pasha of violating it.

Full Report At:


Imran Khan calls for new ties with India, says he's not anti-west either

Chidanand Rajghatta

 Jan 14, 2012

(Imran Khan, former cricket hero-turned-rising political star called for a "completely new relationship" between the two countries in keeping with the times.)

WASHINGTON: Implicitly conceding that Pakistan erred in using terrorism to foment unrest in Jammu and Kashmir, Imran Khan, the country's former cricket hero-turned-rising political star called for a ''completely new relationship'' between the two countries in keeping with the times.

Khan, virtually unknown in the US despite his near mythic cricketing status in the subcontinent, used a skype conversation with Washington DC's think-tank community on Friday to present himself as a moderate, progressive, idealist peacenik who has the silver bullet to Pakistan's problem.


Defying US, Palestinians press forward with UN bid

Ramallah, West Bank : In a direct challenge to the United States, the Palestinians have said they will ask the Security Council next week to accept them as a full member of the United Nations, even though Washington has promised to veto the measure.

The Palestinian assertion came on Thursday, as a senior US diplomatic team was in the region trying to avert an embarrassing showdown and relaunch peace talks. By pushing forward, the Palestinians risk putting President Barack Obama in the uneasy position of having to veto a measure supported by the vast majority of the international community.

Foreign Minister Riad Malki told foreign journalists the Palestinians were not looking for a fight. But he said the American stance puts the US in a 'confrontational position' with the rest of the world, and suggested American credibility could be at stake.

“I don't know what it means to the standing of the US in the United Nations and among the countries of the world”, he said.

Even so, the Palestinians left the door open for compromise.

Malki said the Palestinians were still ready to listen to suggestions from American envoys. And in New York, his UN ambassador, Riyad Mansour, said a final decision on whether to pursue recognition in the Security Council, or seek a lesser, symbolic status in the General Assembly had not yet been made.

“The final decision will be taken in the next few days as to which path we will follow”, Mansour said.

Asked about his boss's comments in Ramallah, he replied, “There are many words from many places, but what I'm telling you is that we are deliberating all these details and it is not yet finalised”.

Full Report At:


'Violence against women rose in 2011 in Pakistan'

Islamabad, Mon, 16 Jan 2012ANI

Islamabad, Jan 16 (ANI): Violence against women increased in 2011 in Pakistan, according to incidents reported and registered at different forums, including police stations, courts and complaint cells.

Full Report At:


Pakistani Court Orders Contempt Notice Against PM


January 16, 2012

Pakistan's top court initiated contempt proceedings Monday against the prime minister for failing to carry out the court's order to open a corruption probe into the president, ramping up the pressure on the beleaguered civilian government.

The Supreme Court ruling open up the possibility that Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani could be prosecuted and dismissed at the hands of the judges. That could happen as soon as Thursday, when the court ordered Gilani to appear before the bench.

The judges have ordered the government to open a corruption probe into President Asif Ali Zardari dating back to the 1990s. The government has refused, saying Zardari has immunity. Its supporters say the court is pursuing a vendetta against the country's civilian leadership.

Full Report At:


Civil society vulnerable in Pakistan: Faiz's daughter

Kolkata, Jan 16 (IANS)

Pakistani social activist Salima Hashmi, the daughter of renowned Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, feels civil society in her country is under pressure and extremely vulnerable, with extremism and fundamentalism on the rise, while tension continues between the civilian government and the military.

Full Report At:


Pakistan: Rs 100 million bounty for Pervez Musharraf's death

Monday, January 16, 2012, 12:46 [IST]A A A

Islamabad, Jan 16: Rs 100 million bounty has been offered to any person who would kill General Pervez Musharraf, said reports.

Full Report At:


Pakistan, India TAPI gas talks on 24th

Islamabad(SANA)Petroleum minister Dr Asim Hussain will be visiting New Delhi to discuss the issue of transit fee for Turkmenistan Afghanistan Pakistan and India (TAPI) gas pipeline project with his Indian counterpart on January 24.

Talking to reporters Petroleum Minister confirmed that he would be visiting India to discuss the issue of transit fee. He said India was currently out of the Iran Pakistan pipeline and could join the project in future only if Tehran was ready to provide additional supplies to New Delhi.

Full Report At:


Why Pakistan’s Democracy should matter more to the US

Seema Sirohi

Jan 16, 2012

Featured Read: Why Imran Khan will fail

Pak PM's army dilemma: In too deep for reconciliation?

Washington: The strongest proponent of democracy is strangely soft-spoken about the water boarding treatment democracy is currently receiving in Pakistan where an army chief openly warns of “grievous consequences” when called out on his back-handed moves against the government and where a former ambassador is hounded because he is a moderate.

True, the burden of nurturing and maintaining a democratic system rests primarily on Pakistani shoulders but the US Administration and other powers could be a little louder about defending democracy by adding their voices. A more stable Pakistan – which is in the interest of all — can only emerge in the long run if a duly elected government survives and another comes in through electoral means, not extra-ordinary ones. Not once but repeatedly until it becomes a habit.

But a coup by other means is well underway.

The US Administration perhaps doesn’t want to be seen interfering in the domestic affairs of Pakistan at a time when anti-Americanism is at a record high. But if it wants Pakistan’s democracy to grow from perpetual infancy into young adulthood, some help is necessary.

The State Department spoke out mainly when prodded by letters from senators and American academics expressing concern about the safety of Husain Haqqani, who was Pakistan’s ambassador until last November pleading the very special case of his country in the corridors of Washington.

Full Report At:

Seema Sirohi is a senior journalist based in Washington. You can follow her on Twitter


Pakistan SC orders contempt charges against Yousuf Raza Gilani

Islamabad: The Pakistan Supreme Court on Monday ordered contempt charges against Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in the National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) case, a corruption amnesty issued by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

Gilani has been ordered by the seven-member bench of the Supreme Court led by Justice Nasir-ul-Mulk to appear before it in person on January 19 for failing to reopen corruption cases against President Asif Ali Zardari and over 8,000 others.

Gilani has been ordered to personally appear in court to explain why contempt proceedings should not be initiated against him for deliberately disregarding the court's orders on the reopening of the corruption cases.

Full Report At:


Shadow cast on Afghan peace talks 


16 January 2012 10:10

Though Taliban's decision to open a political office in Qatar raised expectation for a negotiated end to the US-led war in Afghanistan, the ousted regime consistently rejected a pre-condition set by Afghan government for any talks with the rebels -- accept the constitution.

"We have increased our political efforts to come to mutual understanding with the world in order to solve the current ongoing situation. But this understanding does not mean surrender from Jihad (holy war) and neither is it connected to an acceptance of the constitution of the stooge Kabul administration," Taliban said in a statement sent to media recently.

Afghan government has repeatedly said that the door is open for talks with those Taliban who severe ties with al-Qaida network, renounce violence and accept the constitution.

The militant group, which has turned down peace talks unless the foreign troops withdraw from Afghnistan, also vowed to continue fighting Afghan government troops and Nato-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

"The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (the ousted Taliban regime) is utilizing its political wing alongside its military presence and Jihad (holy war) in order to realize the national and Islamic aspirations of the nation and its martyrs," said the statement written in Pashto and English.

Full Report At:


CAIR and ACLU: Court Blocks Anti-Sharia Law in Oklahoma

Jim Kouri, January 16, 2012

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld a lower court's decision to block the implementation of an Oklahoma constitutional amendment that would prohibit courts from applying -- or even considering to apply -- "Sharia law" and "international law."

In response to a lawsuit filed in 2010 by Muneer Awad, the head of CAIR's Oklahoma office (CAIR-OK), the lower court blocked implementation of the "Save Our State Amendment" based on arguments that it would unconstitutionally disfavor an entire faith and deny Oklahoma's Muslims access to the judicial system on the same terms as every other citizen. The state had appealed that ruling saying the United States' U.S. Constitution is the law of the land.

"We have a large number of Jews in the U.S. Have we ever used the Pentateuch or the Talmud in U.S. courts? Unlike Islamists, Jews never attempted to interject their law into U.S. jurisprudence," claims Mike Baker, a political strategist and attorney.

"The stated goal by Islamists is the creation of a caliphate in the United States. And the Council on  American-Islamic Relations is a Fifth Column for the Islamic terrorist groups," Baker added.

While "international law" is included in the Oklahoma amendment, the court addressed primarily Sharia.

Last year, CAIR and their partners at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a brief urging the circuit court to uphold the lower court's ruling blocking implementation of the amendment. 

The appeals court ruling indicates the judges heard the CAIR-ACLU cabal loud and clear when they ruled:

Full Report At:


First Global Arab IT Company to launch in UAE

The official launch will be announced during 15-16-17 January 2012 in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah under the patronage of H.H. Sheikha Hind Bint Abdulaziz Al Qassimi, Chairperson of UAE Business Women Council and Goodwill Ambassador of the Scientific and Human Development Program, H.E. Abdul Rahman Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and under the patronage of Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Full Report At:


CIMA to offer certification in Islamic Finance

KARACHI: Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) will be launching the new qualifications in Islamic Finance keeping in view the emerging need of qualified professionals for flourishing Islamic financial industry of the country, Javaria Hassan, CIMA Country Manager, said.

Full Report At:


Residents returning to restive south Yemen city

Saturday 14 Jan 2012

"We were finally allowed into the city after three previously failed attempts," said Nayef Jabari, a resident of Zinjibar, capital of the southern Abyan province.

Gunmen from the Al-Qaeda-linked Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law) group, which controls large parts of Zinjibar, "accompanied us as we entered the city," said Jabari. He said the city was "almost destroyed" due to months of fierce fighting but added that the extremists have promised to provide residents with water and electricity.

Full Report At:


Shoura OKs draft law on arbitration


RIYADH: The Shoura Council approved on Sunday a new draft regulation for an arbitration system in the Kingdom.

The 77th session of the Shoura Council was presided over by its Chairman Abdullah A. Al-Asheikh.

Following the session, Shoura Council Secretary-General Muhammad Al-Ghamdi said the draft system was presented to the house by the council's committee on Islamic affairs and judicial notes.

Full Report At:


We won’t be another NDP, say Muslim Brothers

Mohamed Abdel Kadir

Hossam Sadaqa

Mohamed Gheith, MP for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, on Sunday said his party would not act like the disbanded National Democratic Party (NDP). “We do not intend to dominate parliament,” he said. “All committees will be headed according to a consensus.”

Full Report At:


New imam of St Louis represents new kind of Islamic leader

January 14, 2012

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The first native of the St. Louis area to lead the largest mosque in the region represents the rise of a distinctly American brand of Islam.

Umar was raised in St. Charles and considered becoming a doctor, like his father, before deciding instead to immerse himself in his faith. He's such a rabid sports fan that for the past decade or so he has celebrated the end of Ramadan, Islam's holiest month, by going to a St. Louis Blues game with his friends.

"He's a sports junkie," said Umar's friend Nauman Wadalawala, a third-year law student at St. Louis University. "Whenever we go to a Cards game, he always has to wear his Pujols jersey. It's interesting to see this religious scholar, sitting in good seats, with his beard and Cardinals jersey."

Full Report At:


US, OIC collaboration on religious tolerance: changing times

by Turan Kayaoğlu*

30 December 2011

On Monday, Dec. 19, 2011, the UN General Assembly passed a path-breaking resolution supporting religious tolerance.

The resolution, passed by the joint efforts of the US and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), points to the increasing collaboration between the two. The resolution has been in the making for some time and is part of an effort by Muslim states to get Western states to combat growing Islamophobia in the post-9/11 world.

The newly passed UN resolution condemns the stereotyping, profiling and stigmatization of people based on their religion and urges countries to take action to address and combat religious intolerance, hate speech and discrimination. Supporters of the resolution framed their demands in terms of internationally accepted human rights principles, citing the crucial roles freedom of opinion and speech play in “strengthening democracy and combating religious intolerance.”

Full Report At:


NORTH AFRICA: Democracy vs academic freedom?

Wagdy Sawahel

15 January 2012

On 5 January Tunisian Salafists, ultra-conservative Muslims, ended a weeks-long protest at Manouba University's faculty of letters, arts and humanities that had forced the institution to close. It is expected to reopen next week. The case has highlighted the implications of democratic changes in the Arab world for academic freedom in universities.

While democratic reforms hold the promise of greater academic freedom, they have also empowered Islamist movements and parties who argue for the right to be religiously conservative. In higher education friction over the niqab, the full face veil, has illustrated these tensions.

Habib Kazdaghli, the faculty dean at Manouba, was quoted by the Magharebia website as saying: "They've left, the sit-in is over."

Kazdaghli did not say what broke the deadlock between the university and the Salafists, who demanded that the institution lift its ban on the niqab. But he stressed that the niqab would remain prohibited in the classroom.

Salafists started their protest on 28 November last year, and it led to classes and examinations being suspended. The university was eventually forced to shut its doors on 6 December.

Staff and students complained about verbal and physical attacks because they were wearing clothing considered unsuitable by conservatives. Several female professors were threatened.

University policy prevents students from covering their faces in class and the segregation of male and famale students. Generally, Tunisian universities allow women to wear headscarves but ban the niqab.

On the other side of the issue were some 200 students and professors who demonstrated in the capital, Tunis, on 4 January to express their determination to fight for academic values they believe in. They waved placards with statements such as "Science before the Niqab" and "No to shackles, no to niqab, knowledge is free".

The recently elected Tunisian coalition government, led by the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, has condemned violence and the interruption of classes and has promised not to impose strict Islamic rules on society.

According to a 4 January report in Ahram newspaper, Manouba University is not the only academic institution facing pressures from Salafists.

The newspaper alleged that a leader at the University of Sousse had received death threats if he did not authorise wearing the niqab on campus. Sousse also witnessed clashes last October when a small group of Salafists entered the campus and attempted to force the university to accept a female student who had been rejected for wearing a niqab.

Earlier in Gabes, a coastal city in the south of Tunisia, some students had demanded the separation of men and women in classes and in the university canteen.

Speaking to University World News Amna Guellali, a Tunisia-Algeria researcher for the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch, said:

"While Tunisian authorities must protect the right of persons to protest peacefully on campus, they should not tolerate threats to individual and academic freedoms by religiously-motivated groups acting on university campuses who have disrupted classes, blocked professors in their offices, and prevented students from taking exams."

"University authorities and the state security forces will need to cooperate to find the right balance between these two rights," Guellali suggested.

Human right watch is a member of the Committee for Academic Freedom in the Middle East and North Africa, which seeks to foster the free exchange of knowledge as a human right and to inhibit infringements on that right though government restrictions on scholars.

As mentioned on the website of International Academic Freedom Workshops, a project of Scholars at Risk, the Network for Education and Academic Rights (NEAR) and the Open Society Institute, "academic freedom - the freedom to teach and learn without fear or retribution - is the heart of the modern university".

Full Report At:


Meet the ‘new’ Hamas: strategic shift or temporary deviation from a violent path?

15 January 2012

Subjects:International politics Democracy and government Conflict Civil society Palestine Israel Social Innovation Violent transitions Arab Awakening

Contrary to the widespread assumption that the recent ‘nonviolent turn’ would be a new and unprecedented development in the evolution of Hamas, the history of the group reveals a constant internal tension along this political-military line

About the author

Benedetta Berti is a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) and a lecturer at Tel Aviv University. She co-wrote the book Hamas and Hezbollah: a Comparative Study (John Hopkins University Press, 2012) and is author of forthcoming, Armed Groups as Political Parties and Their Role in Electoral Politics that also looks at Hamas's political activism.

Full Report At:


Developments in Pakistan no cause for concern: Top Indian Army Commander

Jammu: The standoff between the civilian government and the military in Pakistan is nothing new and not a cause for concern, but the developments there are being closely monitored by India, a top Army commander said on Sunday.

"What is happening in Pakistan is not historically new. They have had these problems before. Therefore, the country as well as Army are watching the events closely," General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Northern Command, Lt Gen KT Parnaik told reporters in Jammu.

Full Report At:


Pakistan politically paralysed: Daily

ISLAMABAD: The government must provide a road map to get democracy back on track in Pakistan which is "near paralysed politically", said a leading daily, adding that "what the country has seen amounts to one step forward, two back and then two steps forward, one back".

Pakistan has witnessed a tense stand-off between the political leadership and the powerful military that saw Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani last Wednesday sacking defence secretary Naeem Khalid Lodhi, a retired lieutenant general widely seen to be close to army chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani.

Full Report At:


Iran’s Majlis conservative member rejects disqualification

15 January 2012

Azerbaijan, Baku, Jan. 15

Ali Motahari and Hamid-Reza Katouzian, two conservative members of Iran's Majlis (parliament), have protested their disqualification by the Interior Ministry from the upcoming Majlis elections.

Full Report At:


Pakistan spending Rs.1.2 trillion on welfare projects

Islamabad, Jan 16

Cash-starved Pakistan is spending a staggering Rs.1.2 trillion on public welfare projects, a minister said.

Full Report At:


OIC head offers condolence to Turkish Cyprus

OIC Secretary General will also attend the funeral ceremony of Denktas in TRNC on January 17, 2012.

Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu offered condolences after the demise of former president Rauf Denktas of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

Full Report At: