New Age Islam
Fri Nov 27 2020, 09:13 PM

Islamic World News ( 5 March 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

All the Taliban wanted was money: Rescued Sikh

British Parliamentarians and research experts discuss Islamophobia

The 'Son of Hamas' author on his conversion to Christianity

Row Over Egypt's Female Judges

Saudi Arabia 'OK' with India's Afghan presence

Islamic Jihad Condemns Decision To Go Back To Negotiations With Israel

Shut 42 terror camps, India tells Pakistan

India’s strategic role in countering Jihadism

J&K on alert after report that 20-25 militants slipped in on ‘special mission’

54-yr-old aide of state Cong leader ‘detained’ in German Bakery probe

London arrest highlights India's communal war

Dialogue the only way, but Pak must control terror machine: PM

Holbrooke regrets callous comment on Kabul attack on Indians

Al-Qaeda threatens to kill Iraqis who vote

Seven Dead, 50 Wounded in Iraq Election Eve Blast

Converts embrace Islam in Holy City of Madinah

Swami's devotees roughed up in Karnataka, TN after TV sting

NY imam guilty of lying in Zazi case

Suicide blast in Pak kills 12, injures 40

Malaysian magazine apologizes to Christians

Being Holbrooke

Anti-Islam film by Dutch MP Geert Wilders sparks ugly demonstrations

Aamir Khan Marks Record Breaking Inning Of Rs 35 Cr Ad Deal

Moving targets in Marja

"Should the right to oppose Islam not exist?"

India is a model of peaceful co-existence: Iran scholar

Brown visits soldiers in Afghanistan amid defense row

Talks only way forward to resolve Indo-Pak issues: Gilani

INDIA PAKISTAN TALKS -- The fiasco that need not have been

Saudi Prince Calls for Peaceful Solution to Iran Crisis

Post Colonialism and Islam

It's Just Not On

Islam centre baby dies in hospital

Pakistan-Iran Border Re-Opens for Trade

Obama's assured me no change in US stand on Kashmir: PM

Muslim quota: Andhra Pradesh govt moves SC

Obama aides to meet with atheists on White House grounds

The Dubai International Jazz Festival

Iranian doc to challenge BBC Persian TV

Swedish festival spotlights films on Iranian, Afghan women

ASI Sufi fest finds way into city’s cultural calendar

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/all-the-taliban-wanted-was-money--rescued-sikh/d/2544

 

----

 

All the Taliban wanted was money: Rescued Sikh

Omer Farooq Khan

TNN, Mar 6, 2010,

PESHAWAR: All that the Pakistani Taliban wanted was money and that's all they talked about, says Gurvinder Singh, one of the two Sikhs from Peshawar who were rescued after 40 days of captivity with the Pashtun-speaking terrorists. The Taliban beheaded the third abducted Sikh trader last month because their ransom demand wasn't met.

Gurvinder's story blows the myth the Pakistani Taliban has built around itself as a band of fighters for Islam.

"All the bandits wanted was money. They were not religious men. We did not see any one of them offering prayers even once," he said at his home in Peshawar's Mohallah Jagan Shah. The area near Khyber Pass, from where they were rescued, is under the influence of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan commanders Nazir Afridi, Adnan Afridi and Tariq Afridi.

While Surjeet Singh was rescued on Monday along with Gurvinder and they were reunited with their families in Peshawar, Jaspal Singh was beheaded after the families failed to raise the ransom of 30 million Pakistani rupees within the deadline. Jaspal's decapitated body was found on February 21.

"We were shackled and chained for 40 days, given only rotis and tea and kicked and beaten black and blue," Gurvinder told TOI. The 17-year-old described for the first time the horror that the three faced at the hands of their captors.

Belonging to the 3,000-strong Sikh community of Peshawar, mostly petty traders and business families, the three set out on January 19 to sell merchandise in some small towns nestled in the Tirah Valley near the Khyber Pass, that is the doorway to Central Asia from Pakistan. They had traversed these badlands before and Pashtun terrorists had always let them be. But not this time.

"When we reached Mathra area in Khyber tribal region, we were stopped by some 12 militants. All of them were holding AK-47 rifles. Some of them covered their faces with a long piece of cloth hanging from their turbans. They dragged out the driver from his seat, slapped him on the face and ordered him to hand over the car and leave," Gurvinder said. "While some of the militants were grappling with the driver, two of our co-travellers found an opportunity to escape but we were bundled into the vehicle and driven away."

Their humiliation began in the vehicle. The Taliban abductors ripped out their turbans, blindfolded them and cuffed their hands behind their backs. After more than an hour's drive along a bumpy, rugged road, the vehicle stopped.

"Our blindfolds and handcuffs came off. There were mountains all around. They asked us to follow the three militants while the rest walked behind us with their rifles trained." In that formation, they trekked across the mountains for five hours. "We reached two small huts where three other militants were waiting. We were told to sit on the ground. One man with scissors came to us and started cutting Jaspal's hair short. Then came Surjeet's turn and finally it was mine."

He said when Jaspal started crying and wailing loudly, one of the abductors kicked him in the back, shouting at him to shut up. "However, another militant with long, curly hair brought tea and thick rotis and asked him to stop kicking Jaspal," he said, his eyes glazing a bit. "For the next 40 days, tea and bread was our only meal."

According to Gurvinder, as darkness set in on the first night of captivity, the militants took them into one of the huts and put metal chains with iron fetters on their feet.

That became routine. "In the morning they used to open our chains, take us out and put chains back at night."

On the first morning, Gurvinder said, the terrorists asked for the phone numbers of their family members and elders of the Sikh community. "At noon, they started contacting our family members in front of us and it was then that we came to know that we were kidnapped for ransom. They warned our families not to disclose this episode and arrange 50 million rupees. It came down to 20 million in the next few days."

The talks between the captors and Sikh elders on the one hand and physical torture of the captives on the other continued for weeks to come. "Always before contacting our family, they used to beat us violently so that our family would feel the pain and pay the ransom," Gurvinder said.

After three weeks, the abductors set an ultimatum, threatening to kill one of the hostages if their demand was not met by February 19. On February 18, the militants took away Jaspal, Gurvinder said. After two days, they were told that Jaspal was dead.

"But we didn't trust them and thought they might be using it as a pressure tactic to get money," he said.

Gurvinder is certain he and Surjeet would have been dead by now, had not the Pakistani military operation been successful. "Our chains had not yet been opened that morning when we heard helicopters hovering and bursts of gunfire. The three militants inside our hut rushed out and we were left alone."

He and Surjeet crawled out of the dusty hut, the latter now bleeding from bullet wounds in the stomach. They could not see anybody but the gunfire was incessant.

"Then we saw Pakistani soldiers. We put our hands up."

The soldiers first refused to believe that the two bedraggled men were indeed the kidnapped Sikhs. "We had no turbans and our hair was cut short. Finally, they asked us to remove our shalwars to check whether we were circumcised or not. And then we were airlifted in a chopper from the area and brought to Peshawar," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/All-the-Taliban-wanted-was-money/articleshow/5648940.cms

-----

British Parliamentarians and research experts discuss Islamophobia

06 March 2010

The Muslim Council of Britain hosted a special closed-meeting to discuss the growing spate of attacks in all its forms against British Muslims at the House of Commons.

The event entitled ‘Tackling Islamophobia: Reducing Street Violence Against British Muslims’ Friday brought together distinguished Parliamentarians, academics, journalists, police, public servants, and community representatives who all endorsed calls for the establishment of an All-Party Parliamentary Committee on Islamophobia with a view to holding a parliamentary inquiry on Islamophobia in the UK.

The meeting took contributions from experts and responses from parliamentarians and concluded with a Q&A session with the audience who comprised of individuals from over 80 organisations.

Glasgow MP Mohammad Sarwar who sponsored the event said ‘Islamophobia is a big challenge’ and offered his full support for an All-Party Parliamentary Group.

Internationally renowned journalist and political commentator Peter Oborne said ‘tolerance defines our constitution and the British people. If the UK is to live up to its tradition of tolerance, this needs to be taken seriously. Islamophobia needs to be abolished’.

He added that the committee had a ‘big job to do’. Oborne previously presented a Dispatches programme on Channel 4 in July 2008 called, It Shouldn’t Happen to a Muslim where he argued that the demonisation of Muslims has become widespread in British media and politics.

Full report at: www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=97843&Itemid=2

-----

‘They Need to Be Liberated From Their God'

The 'Son of Hamas' author on his conversion to Christianity, spying for Israel, and shaming his family.

By MATTHEW KAMINSKI

'I absolutely know that in anybody's eyes I was a traitor," says Mosab Hassan Yousef. "To my family, to my nation, to my God. I crossed all the red lines in my society. I didn't leave one that I didn't cross."

Now 32, Mosab is the son of Sheikh Hassan Yousef, a founder and leader of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. Throughout the last decade, from the second Intifada to the current stalemate, he worked alongside his father in the West Bank. During that time the younger Mr. Yousef also secretly embraced Christianity. And as he reveals in his book "Son of Hamas," out this week, he became one of the top spies for Israel's internal security arm, the Shin Bet.

The news of this double conversion has sent ripples through the Middle East. One of Mr. Yousef's handlers at the Shin Bet confirmed his account to the Israeli daily Haaretz. Hamas—already reeling from the assassination of a senior military chief in Dubai in January—calls his claims Zionist propaganda. From the Israeli prison he has occupied since 2005, Sheikh Yousef on Monday issued a statement that he and his family "have completely disowned the man who was our oldest son and who is called Mosab."

Mr. Kaminski is a member of the Journal's editorial board.

Full report at: online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703915204575103481069258868.html

------

Row Over Egypt's Female Judges

March 6, 2010

CAIRO (Dispatches) - A row over the appointment of female judges to an influential court which governs matters of administrative law in Egypt has highlighted a general sense of malaise over women holding top jobs.

Mohammed al-Husseini, the head of the Egyptian State Council, overturned a decision by its general assembly which voted by overwhelming majority last week against appointing women judges to the council.

The State Council or Maglis al-Dawla is the court that is authorized to settle administrative disputes concerning the exercise of public power.

Husseini, who said his ruling was supported by the constitution, has since faced a barrage of criticism from fellow judges who want an emergency meeting to overturn his decision.

Some have even sought legal proceedings to have him removed from his post.

The decision to bar women from sitting on the State Council is "unconstitutional", said Judge Noha al-Zeini of the Administrative Prosecution Authority, one of only 42 women judges out of the country's 12 000 in total.

Full report at: http://www.irannewsdaily.com/view_news.asp?id=197867

-----

Saudi Arabia 'OK' with India's Afghan presence

TNN, Mar 4, 2010

NEW DELHI: India has secured Saudi Arabia's endorsement of its presence in Afghanistan, in a move that is sure to disappoint Pakistan.

The Riyadh Declaration signed by PM Manmohan Singh and Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a few days after a Pakistan-sponsored terrorist attack aimed at Indians, said that the two leaders "expressed their full support for the efforts aimed at helping Afghanistan to develop its infrastructure and achieve social and economic development."

The Declaration also backed the Afghan Constitution which Pakistan-sponsored Taliban does not recognise. While calling for the preservation of Afghanis-tan's sovereignty and independence, it said that the two leaders supported "the efforts of the people of Afghanistan to achieve stability and security, protected from exploitation by the terrorist organizations, while upholding the values and principles of the Constitution of Afghanistan."

The support validated the assessment that Saudi Arabia's wariness over collaboration between terror groups raised by Pakistan to target India, Taliban and al Qaida may have created an opening for India to try nudging the oil-rich Kingdom out of its traditional alignment with Pakistan. The estimate was reinforced during the PM's interactions with the Saudi King and his foreign minister Prince Saud al Faisal, with both appearing to share the "worry and concern" against the backdrop of continuing threat from al Qaida elements based in Yemen as well as within the Kingdom itself.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Saudi-Arabia-OK-with-Indias-Afghan-presence/articleshow/5639112.cms

-----

ISLAMIC JIHAD CONDEMNS DECISION TO GO BACK TO NEGOTIATIONS WITH ISRAEL

Mar 6th, 2010

GAZA — supporters of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group called Friday on the Palestinian authority to reject plans to go back to the negotiations’ table with Israel in protest against Israeli plans of Judaizing Islamic holy sites.

The supporters’ call was made during a huge rally which took place in the town of Jabalyia in northern Gaza. The rally also called to confront Israeli plans in occupied Jerusalem city.

The supporters included several prominent figures from the Islamic Jihad group who came from various parts of the town.

Islamic Jihad leader Khalid Al-Batsh said that Arab League decision to extend the period of resuming negotiations with Israel is simply a lifeline to Netanyahu’s government which is suffering isolation due to its terrorism policies.

Al-Batsh also called on increasing resistance and to take serious steps against Israeli plans against Islamic historic heritages in Jerusalem city.

Earlier today, Israeli occupation forces withdrew from the courtyards of the Holy Al-Aqsa mosque transferring encounters to districts of the Old City of Jerusalem following an incursion into the Holy Mosque that resulted in the injury of a number of Palestinians.

Full report at: news.brunei.fm/2010/03/06/islamic-jihad-condemns-decision-to-go-back-to-negotiations-with-israel/

-----

Shut 42 terror camps, India tells Pakistan

IANS, Mar 6, 2010

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Defence minister A K Antony on Saturday asked Pakistan to shut down 42 terrorist camps he said were functioning in its territory if India-Pakistan talks were to succeed.

"Pakistan has not made any serious attempt to disband the camps that are functioning close to Jammu and Kashmir. The decision for bilateral talks has been made consciously and it was not an ad hoc one," Antony told reporters after inaugurating the new office complex of the Coast Guard station at Vizhinjam near here.

"Though there was no breakthrough (in the foreign secretary talks), being a conscious decision the process (of talks) will continue," he added.

The minister said the central home ministry and the Jammu and Kashmir government had evolved a formula to check infiltration and help terrorists to return to normal life.

"Many have surrendered too. With the conditions becoming normal, there is an increase in tourist arrivals in Kashmir. Attempts for terrorist infiltration are there and the armed forces are maintaining vigil on the border," he said.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Shut-42-terror-camps-India-tells-Pakistan/articleshow/5651744.cms

-----

India’s strategic role in countering Jihadism

Dr. Walid Phares

05 Mar 2010

The confrontation in the sub Indian continent between al Qaeda, the Taliban and their allies on the one hand and the three democracies they target, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, on the other hand must be reevaluated in terms of international cooperation against the Jihadi threat. A regional system should be established to integrate the struggle against all Jihadi forces in the subcontinent. There needs to be a separation between the ethnic and territorial questions from the fight against Terrorism. Once that distinction is made the possibilities of internationalization of counter terrorism will be high. Jihadists based in any country of the subcontinent must not be given legitimacy by any Government on the ground of a local ethnic issue. Jihadi forces must be confronted collectively, while diplomacy and international mediations assist in solving the local problems.

India particular role

The West can help all players in the subcontinent coming under internationalization of the struggle against Jihadi terror. But India has enough international credibility to help the West and other democracies in building an international basis for this counter Jihadi platform. There are initiatives India can take within the Third World and international organizations which can weaken the Jihadist propaganda against India’s partners worldwide.

Full report at: http://www.analyst-network.com/article.php?art_id=3380

-----

J&K on alert after report that 20-25 militants slipped in on ‘special mission’

Muzamil Jaleel

Mar 06, 2010

Srinagar : Security agencies in Kashmir are on tenterhooks after finding out that a highly trained group of 20 to 22 militants arrived in the Valley in the last two weeks on a “special mission”.

The group, sources say, does not belong to a particular outfit and has immediately spread across the Valley, especially north Kashmir, where militant attacks are already on the rise. 

When contacted, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said that the government had reports about the group. “It is yet to be fully confirmed but we are working on the assumption that they are correct so as not to take chances,” he said. 

Sources said the security agencies were alarmed especially after they picked up a sudden increase in communications in north Kashmir which showed an increase in the number of militants. Further investigation, sources said, revealed the presence of a new group of 20 to 22 militants sent for a special mission. There is, however, no clue as to what could be the mission that this group has come to carry out. 

Full report at: www.indianexpress.com/news/j&k-on-alert-after-report-that-2025-militants-slipped-in-on-special-mission/587587/

-----

54-yr-old aide of state Cong leader ‘detained’ in German Bakery probe

Sukanya Shetty

Mar 06, 2010

Mumbai : Arif Pathan, a 54-year-old aide of Maharashtra Congress spokesman and MLC Sanjay Dutt, is said to have been detained by police in connection with the German Bakery blast in Pune, his family and friends alleged today.

While official sources confirmed that Pathan had been questioned — and that his name had come up during the probe into the 2008 Jaipur serial blasts — top police officers denied Pathan had been picked up for the attack. They also refused to comment on why the man was missing since being questioned by police on Wednesday as claimed by his family.

For the record, K P Raghuvanshi, chief of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad which is probing the blast, said his force had not picked up Pathan.

Pathan and his brother Feroz own a successful transport business in Kalyan in Thane district and their vehicles are known to mostly transport livestock to Nashik, Ahmednagar, Pune and other cities in the region. He was appointed Dutt’s official personal assistant about three months ago.

Full report at: www.indianexpress.com/news/54yrold-aide-of-state-cong-leader-detained-in-german-bakery-probe/587588/

-----

London arrest highlights India's communal war

Praveen Swami

Patel was foot-soldier in battle stretching from Babri demolition and bombings in Mumbai to today's jihadists

Patel is wanted in India for 1993 bombing in Surat

He was arrested by authorities in the United Kingdom last month

NEW DELHI: For 17 years, police in half a dozen countries had hunted for Mohammad Hanif Umerji Patel, wanted in India for a 1993 bombing in Surat, which left 12 people injured and an eight-year-old girl dead.

Last month, authorities in the United Kingdom caught up with him in a neighbourhood grocer's shop in Bolton, 16 km from Manchester. Known to his friends as “Tiger Patel,” the fugitive will now face extradition proceedings. Seventeen men have so far been handed down sentences ranging from 10 years to life imprisonment for their role in the bombing.

Despite his fearsome nickname, Patel was something of a bit player in a still-unfinished communal war: a war involving Hindu-chauvinist groups, Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, and the organised crime networks which funded the birth of the modern jihadist movement in India.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/05/stories/2010030562511200.htm

-----

Dialogue the only way, but Pak must control terror machine: PM

March 5, 2010

Asserting that dialogue was the only way forward, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Friday said that not talking to Pakistan will not isolate it but made it clear that "the terror machine has to be controlled by Pakistan, even if non-state actors are at work" for any meaningful dialogue to progress.

Countering the opposition's criticism about the recent foreign secretary-level talks with Pakistan, Manmohan Singh said the talks were not "a sudden decision but a calculated one, based on weighing all the costs and benefits."

Unwavering in his belief that "the channels of communication with Pakistan should not break down," Manmohan Singh told parliament: "The fact of the matter is that the rest of the international community is talking to Pakistan. So, our not talking to them is not going to isolate them."

"We have made our point strongly but we cannot wish away the problem by not talking to them," he stressed.

"Even at the height of the Cold War, the Americans and the Soviets used to speak to each other. The chances of miscalculation can only increase in an environment of no contact," the prime minister said.

Full report at: www.dailypioneer.com/240073/Dialogue-only-way-forward-with-Pak-says-PM.html

-----

Holbrooke regrets callous comment on Kabul attack on Indians

Chidanand Rajghatta

TNN, Mar 6, 2010,

WASHINGTON: A top American official on Thursday reeled back his remarks about a terrorist attack on Indians in Kabul that New Delhi found callous and offensive, providing a brief respite from growing US support for Pakistani interests in the region.

Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration's Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, had caused dismay and anger in India earlier this week by suggesting that Indians were not the target of the terrorist attack in Kabul and there were ''other foreigners, non-Indian foreigners,'' who were also victims. ''Let's not jump to conclusions,'' Holbrooke advised about an attack that Indian and Afghan officials said had Pakistani fingerprints.

Holbrooke's assertion came even as Afghan intelligence officials said the terrorists, speaking Urdu, specifically sought out Indians after attacking a facility that was known to house Indians. Other US officials too initially subscribed to the theory that the attack was a broader Taliban strike against foreign interests even though six of the 16 victims were Indians.

The latest strike followed two massive attacks in preceding years against the Indian Embassy in Kabul by the Haqqani group backed by the Pakistani military-intelligence establishment, according to US accounts.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Holbrooke-regrets-callous-comment-on-Kabul-attack-on-Indians/articleshow/5648895.cms

-----

Al-Qaeda threatens to kill Iraqis who vote

ARTHUR MACMILLAN

March 6, 2010 - 8:54AM

Al-Qaeda in Iraq on Friday threatened to kill people who vote in the war-torn nation's election and imposed a self-declared curfew during polling hours when millions are to cast ballots.

The Islamic state of Iraq, the Qaeda front in the country, in a statement two days ahead of Sunday's vote said anyone who defies the curfew would "expose himself to the anger of Allah and... all kinds of weapons of the mujahedeen."

The group, which has previously threatened to sabotage the poll and claimed responsibility for attacks that have killed hundreds in Iraq, delivered its warning after a series of suicide bombings left dozens dead.

"The Islamic state declares... a curfew on election day... from six in the morning until six pm, throughout Iraq and especially in Sunni areas," US monitors SITE quoted it as saying in an Internet statement.

"For the safety of our people, any of those who learn of this, report it to those who do not know and supply yourself with needs for the curfew," it said in a translation of the message which was posted on jihadist forums.

Full report at: news.theage.com.au/breaking-news-world/alqaeda-threatens-to-kill-iraqis-who-vote-20100306-pp4i.html

-----

Seven Dead, 50 Wounded in Iraq Election Eve Blast (Update1)

By Kadhim Ajrash

March 06, 2010,

A car bomb near a Shiite Muslim shrine in Iraq’s holy city of Najaf killed seven people today, including four Iranians, and injured at least 50 people, police said.

A booby-trapped car exploded in a crowded bus station near the Imam Ali shrine, Najaf police spokesman Mohammed Karim said in a phone interview. The wounded included 37 Iranians, said the official. The bus station is usually used by Iranian pilgrims.

The car bomb attack came a day before Iraq votes in parliamentary elections that the U.S. hopes will contribute to political stability and ease the exit of American combat troops by August, before a full withdrawal in 2011.

It followed a mortar attack in Baghdad on March 4 that killed five civilians and wounded 10 others. The U.S. and Iraqi authorities have blamed increased violence since last August on insurgents trying to disrupt the election.

Assaults spiked in the run up to the vote, with twice as many civilians killed in February as in January. Still, violence has fallen from its peak in 2006-7 when Iraq tipped toward civil war between majority Shiite and minority Sunni Muslims.

Full report at: www.businessweek.com/news/2010-03-06/seven-dead-50-wounded-in-iraq-election-eve-blast-update1-.html

-----

Converts embrace Islam in Holy City of Madinah

6th March 2010

Holy City of Madinah,

As many as 182 persons from various nationalities have embraced Islam in Madinah region as a result of the efforts exerted by The Madinah-based Cooperative Office for Call, Guidance and Community Awareness.

A report issued by the Office said that the Office has distributed 1,103,553 versions of religious publications in 21 different languages, in addition to holding 8 exhibitions and performing 160 Hajj and Umrah trips.

http://www.hajinformation.com/display_news.php?id=1822

-----

Swami's devotees roughed up in Karnataka, TN after TV sting

TNN, Mar 4, 2010

CHENNAI/BANGALORE: A salacious tape containing alleged sexual acts of godman Nithyananda Paramahamsa, telecast by a Tamil TV channel repeatedly since Tuesday night, triggered violence across Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, with disciples in his ashrams located in the two states being roughed up and his property damaged by the irate public.

The tape, aired by the channel, shows a man, similar in appearance to the young long-haired godman, in a few minutes of sexual romp allegedly with a Tamil actor. The incident also evoked a sharp response from Tamil Nadu CM M Karunanidhi. When asked in Tiruchi about the alleged sexual excesses by the godmen, the CM said a meeting of a high-level committee comprising members of the state-run Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment department and other top officials would be convened to discuss and decide on the course of action the government planned to take to curb the trend.

Full report at: /timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Swamis-devotees-roughed-up-in-Karnataka-TN-after-TV-sting/articleshow/5639175.cms

-----

NY imam guilty of lying in Zazi case

Betwa Sharma

05 March 2010

New York ,March 5: A New York cleric, who tipped off Al Qaeda-trained militant Najibullah Zazi as he plotted to bomb the city’s subways in 2009, has pleaded guilty to lying to US federal agents about his contacts with the terror suspect.

Ahmad Afzali, a 38-year-old Afghani citizen who is a mosque imam in Queens, was charged in September with making false statements to the government, including lying about whether he told a terror suspect Najibullah Zazi that federal authorities were on his trail.

“When I was asked whether I had told Zazi about law enforcement being interested in him, I lied and said I did not. My intention was not to protect Zazi but to protect myself,” Afzali told the judge in a Brooklyn federal court.

“In doing so, I failed to live up to my obligation to this country, my community, my family, and my religion. I am truly sorry,” he said, between tears.

Afzali will be sentenced on April 10, and faces a prison term of up to six months. After finishing his sentence, Afzali has to leave the United States within three months.

Najibullah Zazi, a 25-year-old shuttle driver from Colorado, had pleaded guilty to three terrorism charges in a federal court, and admitted to being trained along with other men from New York by Al Qaeda in Pakistan.     —PTI

http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4495:ny-imam-guilty-of-lying-in-zazi-case&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

-----

Suicide blast in Pak kills 12, injures 40

SHAFQAT ALI

05 March 2010 19:06

ISLAMABAD ,March 5: At least 12 people were killed and over 40 injured in a suicide attack in Pakistan’s Handu district, officials said on Friday.

“A suicide bomber blew himself up between the two vehicles near a petrol pump at Parachinar road. The blast killed 12 persons, including four women and wounded over 40,” a security official said. Commissioner Kohat Khalid Umarzai said that an emergency has been declared at the hospitals of Hangu and Kohat.

Suicide bombings have eased in recent weeks but it is not clear whether that is because security has improved after military gains against the Taliban, or if the insurgents are merely regrouping for more attacks.

“Our convoy was hit by a big explosion,” said witness Javed Hussain, who was in the convoy of vehicles carrying Shia Muslims to the city of Peshawar. “It’s all chaos here. I myself have seen four dead, two of them are children. I have seen four wounded women.”

Full report at: www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4491:suicide-blast-in-pak-kills-12-injures-40&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

-----

Malaysian magazine apologizes to Christians

AP, Mar 6, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian magazine apologized on Saturday for upsetting Christians after it published an article researched by two Muslims who pretended to be Roman Catholics and took Communion in a church.

The apology is likely to soothe frustrations among religious minorities who feel that overzealous government authorities and clerics are trying too hard to champion the interests of Islam and ignoring the rights of non-Muslims.

The Al Islam monthly magazine, which focuses on issues affecting Malaysian Muslims, acknowledged in a statement on its publisher's website that its article had ``unintentionally hurt the feelings of Christians, especially Catholics.''

Al Islam's article, published in May last year, was meant to investigate rumors that Muslim teenagers were being converted to Christianity in churches. The article said its two reporters had found no evidence of that.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Malaysian-magazine-apologizes-to-Christians/articleshow/5650564.cms

-----

Being Holbrooke

Mar 06, 2010

Richard Holbrooke, the Obama administration’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, has always been a difficult person to second-guess. As the formidable architect of the Bosnia peace accords in the ’90s, he has a long history of diplomatic induction in the United States’ arena of overseas intervention — notably Vietnam and Bosnia. The latter has been his calling card for more than a decade now. But it was the former that was to have determined America’s choices in a region remapped as Af-Pak precisely on the remit of his new assignment. He would be, it was held, mindful of the differences between Vietnam and Af-Pak, but would also be careful to heed the lessons of Vietnam. However, just over a year into his assignment, it is becoming clear that Holbrooke in Af-Pak is becoming an object lesson for future diplomats on what they should not do. Indeed, envoys of other countries in the region often joke that their challenge is not just to manage Af-Pak, but also to contain Holbrooke.

In an astonishing intervention this week, Holbrooke chose to weigh in on the February 26 terrorist attack in Kabul, in which the dead included six Indian citizens. “I don’t accept the fact that this was an attack on an Indian facility like the (Indian) embassy.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/being-holbrooke/587512/

-----

Anti-Islam film by Dutch MP Geert Wilders sparks ugly demonstrations

By Emily Nash

6/03/2010

A far-right Dutch MP sparked ugly scenes when he screened his anti-Islam film in Britain yesterday.

Mounted police had to be deployed after hundreds of extremists from the English Defence League turned out to support Geert Wilders.

The yobs chanted football songs and waved St George flags outside Parliament as he showed the film Fitna in the House of Lords.

Officers arrested several anti-racism protesters as they staged a rival demo.

Wilders was turned away from Britain 12 months ago but the ban was overturned in October and he was invited to show his film by Baroness Cox and UK Independent Party leader Lord Pearson.

After the screening, the 46-year-old scoffed: "The more Islamism we have, the more freedom we will lose."

The United Against Fascism group said Wilders should never have been allowed in.

His visit was also condemned by the Home Office.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/03/06/anti-islam-film-by-dutch-mp-geert-wilders-sparks-ugly-demonstrations-115875-22089213/

-----

Aamir Khan Marks Record Breaking Inning of Rs 35 Cr Ad Deal

2010-03-05

May be personal set back must have bogged down Aamir Khan but success seems to be much in his favor. Currently he has hit a jackpot of Rs 35 crore deal for an ad contact. The actor of ’3 Idiots’ fame has signed a contract with a UAE-based telecommunications service provider as their brand ambassador for a cool sum of 35 crore.

He has been listed as the top brand ambassador among the other celebrity figures of Bollywood, surpassing even the icons like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan by hitting an unbelievable jackpot of Rs 35 crore deal for an ad. Previously, any famous celebrity would not bag an endorsement deal of more than Rs. 15-crore.

This brand endorsement deal with the UAE which the noted actor made is for a two-year contract. According to its term, Aamir will have to make himself available for an allotted number of media shoots, press advertisements and personal appearances.

In reaction to this surprising news the advertisement guru Prahlad Kakkar, who directed Aamir’s first cola commercial stated this is a hell lot of money which the actor had received in comparison to his Rs 17 lakh for Coca Cola ad in 1993.

Full report at: http://www.india-server.com/news/aamir-khan-marks-record-breaking-inning-22230.html

-----

Moving targets in Marja

Mar 04, 2010

This year will be the third in a row that tens of thousands of new United States troops have arrived in Afghanistan with plans to “clear, hold and build” areas controlled by the Taliban. Those previous surges have achieved little success at holding or building, as the international coalition and Afghan government have inevitably failed to come up with realistic plans for what happens after the fighting is done. Is the campaign in Marja destined for the same fate?

The international coalition’s strategic goal for Afghanistan is to build “an enduring stable, secure, prosperous and democratic state.” Only by focusing on the messy medium-term stages of reconstruction — those months, and possibly years, after the fighting dies down—- do we have any chance of achieving such a goal. In this regard, Marja presents us with four distinct hurdles. (Disclosure: I work as an analyst for a military contractor, but these views are my own.)

The most pressing problem is displaced civilians. During the weeks leading up to the offensive, Afghan and American authorities asked residents to leave their homes. Many obliged: according to the United Nations, several thousand families, representing upward of 25,000 people, have fled the area.

But accurate reporting is always an issue in Afghanistan, and the Western coalition put the number of families that fled in advance of the fighting at about 200. In either case, aid workers say that the families cannot find temporary housing or medical assistance either in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, or Kabul. Many hundreds of other residents have had their homes and livelihoods destroyed in the fighting.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/moving-targets-in-marja/586590/2

-----

"Should the right to oppose Islam not exist?"

March 5, 2010

This is why they hate her.

At Taslima Nasreen's website there is a whole page of articles by her that you can download in pdf format. The following is an excerpt from "Homeless Everywhere":

When I was asked to memorize verses from the Qur’an, I first wanted to know what they meant. The Qur’an is in Arabic, whereas I read and speak Bengali. My mother said that it would please Allah if I read the Qur’an in the original Arabic. Merely reading it was one thing - I wished to know its meaning. Even my mother could not tell me what it was saying or meant to say. Eventually, this did not matter very much as at the age of twelve or thirteen. I managed to get hold of Bengali translations of both the Qur’an and the Hadith.

With the exception of my mother, no one at home seemed to be interested in or dabbled in religious affairs. And a great deal of my mother’s religiosity sprang from her disapproval of my father’s activities; also, it kept her mind occupied. Even then, she could never fully immerse herself in religion. I do not think I ever had the slightest belief in religion. My father, my brother, my uncles – those I grew up with – none of them was drawn to religion. I will not say they were all atheists, but they were all opposed to praying. This is the family I was born into and the environment I grew up in. Thus, even in childhood it did not take a major effort or struggle for me to free myself from the shackles of religion. But as a woman I had to struggle greatly to get human rights. One must realize that ours is a patriarchal society.

Full report at: egregores.blogspot.com/2010/03/should-right-to-oppose-islam-not-exist.html

-----

India is a model of peaceful co-existence: Iran scholar

Mar 6 2010

The long and peaceful co-existence of various religions in India presents a "model" to the world at a time when communal tensions plague societies, an Iranian scholar said today.

"India, with her people, her religions and her old and meaningful textual provisions, presents to the world model of an ideal peaceful co-existent society," G R Mahdavi of Al-Mustafa International University said addressing the first international seminar on peaceful co-existence in Islam and Indian Religions here.

"People enjoined with each other in spite of different religions and mode of thinking, are living with each other in togetherness, as if they are being benefited from one single water turf of Marifat (knowledge of God) and are living under one umbrella," he said

The seminar, attended by scholars, spiritual leaders and distinguished personalities from all over the world, dwelt on the increasing violence in the name of religion.

http://www.ptinews.com/news/551305_India-is-a-model-of-peaceful-co-existence--Iran-scholar

-----

Brown visits soldiers in Afghanistan amid defense row

6 March 2010

The prime minister has visited British troops in Afghanistan as a row grows over his evidence to the Iraq inquiry.

Gordon Brown's aides told the BBC he rejected criticism from two former Army chiefs that as chancellor he denied pleas to send more equipment to Iraq.

No 10 also fiercely denied Conservative claims Mr Brown was using the visit to divert attention away from the row.

During his visit the PM promised 2,000 more metal detectors and announced plans for a new light patrol vehicle.

Senior officers also told the prime minister the military phase of their current campaign in Afghanistan had been largely successful.

'Extremely cynical'

The visit took place as two former defence chiefs took issue with Mr Brown's evidence to the Iraq inquiry on Friday, in which he said military leaders overseeing the Iraq war were given everything they asked for.

Lord Guthrie, ex-chief of the defence staff, wrote in the Daily Telegraph that armed forces had been denied a request for more helicopters.

And his successor, Lord Boyce, told the Times Mr Brown had been "disingenuous" about funding policy.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/8553316.stm

-----

Talks only way forward to resolve Indo-Pak issues: Gilani

March 03, 2010

Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani has said dialogue is the only way forward for resolving all issues between India and Pakistan despite a perceived lack of progress during the recent Foreign Secretary-level talks.

"We raise our hopes and then disappoint ourselves," Gilani said, referring to the Feb 25 talks between Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and her Pakistani counterpart Salman Bashir in New Delhi.

However, he said, talks are the "only way forward".

Gilani expressed his views in response to a question about the parleys during an interview with Geo News channel.

Referring to his meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Sharm el-Sheikh in July last year and an expected meeting on the sidelines of the upcoming SAARC summit in Bhutan, he said "whenever we meet, it would be meaningful".

Responding to a query about Singh's visit to Saudi Arabia, Gilani described it as a good development.

He said it would not have any impact on Pak-Saudi ties as the two countries are members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference and enjoy close and friendly relations.

Asked about military exercises recently conducted by India at Pokhran, Gilani said Pakistan's defence is in secure hands and the country is aware of its defence capabilities.

"We are not worried about such things," he said.  

Full report at: www.in.com/news/current-affairs/fullstory-talks-only-way-forward-to-resolve-indopak-issues-gilani-13026703-149839-1.html

-----

NDIA PAKISTAN TALKS -- The fiasco that need not have been

Vikram Sood

There is a déjà vu in the way the Pakistani foreign and military establishment has reacted to the resumption of talks between the two countries

The India Pak talks were followed by the usual Prime Time agony on TV on February 25 as wise men and women dissected what went wrong.  There was considerable surprise and consternation at how events and strategies unfolded that day. It was obvious that the theatrics by the Pakistan Foreign Secretary caught us by surprise. It was equally obvious that we had not done our homework. Actually what Salman Bashir did was a scaled down version of what Musharraf did at the India Today Conclave a year ago in New Delhi and much more scaled down version of his antics at the Agra Summit. It should have been déjà vu.

I had written about these tricks last year, pointing out that whenever Pakistanis want to launch their careers or burnish their fading images, they come here. The artiste performs to gushing audiences while the politician, general, or civil servant addresses his domestic audience in Pakistan. It pays or, is indeed expected, that he should act tough while in New Delhi. Rare is the case that a man comes to New Delhi and talks reasonably in public. One eminent journalist of a well known Pakistani magazine made that mistake some years ago and the agencies got to him pretty quickly when he got back with their gruff midnight knock. So this should have been anticipated and prevented unless this was a deep Brahman cal ploy and the Pakistanis are still trying to figure this out.

Full report at: http://www.hardnewsmedia.com/2010/03/3484

-----

Saudi Prince Calls for Peaceful Solution to Iran Crisis

March 6, 2010

JEDDAH (Dispatches) - Saudi Arabia reiterated on Sunday its stance on the nuclear standoff between Iran and the West, saying that the issue should be resolved peacefully.

However, it emphasized the need for ensuring the Middle East region was free of weapons of mass destruction.

“The Kingdom supports a peaceful solution to the issue,” said Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif, adding that Iran should abide by all international regulations and agreements to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons.

Speaking to Qatar’s Al-Sharq Arabic newspaper, Prince Naif highlighted Saudi Arabia’s pioneering experience in combating terror.

“Many countries wanted to benefit from our experience in this area,” he said, adding that the fight against terrorism would continue.

Prince Naif said it was difficult for a single country to control cross border crimes, adding that it needs the cooperation of others.

http://www.irannewsdaily.com/view_news.asp?id=197922

-----

Post Colonialism and Islam

06 March 2010

Professor A. R. Kidwai, Director, UGC, Academic Staff College, Aligarh Muslim University has been invited to present a paper at the International Conference on Post Colonialism and Islam at the University of Sunderland, UK.

The multidisciplinary conference will be relevant to specialists in postcolonial theory and cultural, historical, political, sociological, literary and religious studies who seek to problematise both the terms themselves and their juxtaposition.

During his stay in UK, Professor Kidwai will also make presentations at the University of Leicester, University College, London and Byron Centre, Nottingham.

http://www.merachaman.com/content/view/1242/43/

-----

It's Just Not On

Mar 4, 2010,

Virus of intolerance shows up again in Karnataka riots

Democratic values enshrined in the Constitution are under renewed attack, this time in Karnataka. Following the publication of a translated version of controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen's article which is critical of the burqa tradition in a respected Kannada daily, mobs have protested violently. Two people have lost their lives and the Mangalore office of the daily has been vandalised. The issue is complicated by the fact that Nasreen says the newspaper has distorted the original article written by her.

It is important that newspapers stick to a professional code of ethics in the interest of upholding the credibility of the fourth estate. If the accusations being made against the paper in question are true, condemnations are in order. But taking to the streets and inciting violence to register one's protest is absolutely unacceptable. The Constitution protects an individual's right to freedom of expression. Increasingly, this freedom is under attack in our country.

There are ample platforms available to counter opinions and protest against them in this country. But instead of using them and debating issues within a peaceful framework, lumpen elements find it both convenient and politically profitable to resort to violence. We have seen this play out repeatedly in Mumbai, where the Shiv Sena and MNS target non-Mumbaikars.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Its-Just-Not-On/articleshow/5638277.cms

-----

Islam centre baby dies in hospital

6/03/2010

A newborn baby boy died in hospital after he was found outside an Islamic centre, a police spokesman said.

Officers were called to Beresford Street in the Shelton area of Stoke-on-Trent at about 10.30am on Saturday after the baby, which was wrapped in clothes, was discovered.

A Staffordshire Police spokesman said the baby was taken to the University Hospital of North Staffordshire where he died two hours later.

He said: "The scene around the centre has been sealed off to allow a detailed examination of the scene to take place."

Detective Inspector Dave Giles said: "We urgently need to contact the mother of the baby who may need medical treatment."

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/latest/2010/03/06/islam-centre-baby-dies-in-hospital-115875-22089980/

-----

Pakistan-Iran Border Re-Opens for Trade

March 6, 2010

QUETTA (Dispatches) - Formal trade between Pakistan and Iran started at Pak-Iran border Taftan, according to officials on Monday.

Officials from both countries gathered and reopened the border, giving in to a longstanding demand from people living on both sides of the border.

Jobs for thousands of people are linked with this border, which serves to be one of the most important places for trade activities in Balochistan.

Iranian border guards had closed the Pak-Iran border in the aftermath of a suicide bombing in the Pishin area of Sistan-Balochistan.

However, now with the capture of Jundallah leader Abdul Malik Rigi, relations between the two countries are beginning to thaw.

http://www.irannewsdaily.com/view_news.asp?id=197920

-----

Obama's assured me no change in US stand on Kashmir: PM

TNN, Mar 4, 2010

 NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday rose in the Lok Sabha to ask BJP leader L K Advani whether the NDA had ever bothered to inform Parliament "even once" about then foreign minister Jaswant Singh's talks with US diplomat Straube Talbott. If this had not been the case, why should he respond to the allegations, said the PM.

Advani also made pointed observations on persistent reports that there had been a shift in US attitudes after the exit of the Bush administration and the view that the "road to Kabul lies through Kashmir" had gained traction. Again, Singh responded by saying that in his meetings with US president Barack Obama he had been categorically assured that there was no change in the US position.

In this context, Advani said that the government's decision to delink talks from terror did not seem to make sense as it set aside a time-honoured negotiating position. "What has happened for this to change?", asked Advani, demanding the government explain its back-channel negotiations.

Full report at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Obamas-assured-me-no-change-in-US-stand-on-Kashmir-PM/articleshow/5639114.cms

-----

Muslim quota: Andhra Pradesh govt moves SC

Dhananjay Mahapatra

TNN, Mar 4, 2010

NEW DELHI: Stung by the sharp political criticism of not doing enough to make its law giving 4% reservations to Muslims pass the high court scrutiny, the Andhra Pradesh government has appealed in the Supreme Court saying the quota was meant only for the most backward among the minority community.

Though the move to hurry with the special leave petition against the February 8 judgment of the 7-judge Bench was aimed to quell the frayed tempers among political parties, it resulted in the petition being termed defective by the apex court registry. The defects would now have to be cured by the government counsel when the court reopens after the Holi break.

What has hurt the Rosaiah government most was the observation in the majority judgment penned by chief justice A R Dave. Justice Dave before striking down the order had caustically said that such a legislation could promote conversion.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslim-quota-Andhra-Pradesh-govt-moves-SC/articleshow/5639122.cms

-----

Obama aides to meet with atheists on White House grounds

By Margaret Talev

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has burnished his Christian credentials, courted Jewish support and preached outreach toward Muslims. On Friday, his administration will host a group that fits none of the above: America's nonbelievers.

The president isn't expected to make an appearance at the meeting with the Secular Coalition for America or to unveil any new policy as a result of it.

Instead, several administration officials will sit down quietly for a morning meeting at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House campus with about 60 workhorses from the coalition's 10 member groups, including the American Atheists and the Council for Secular Humanism. Tina Tchen, the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, and representatives from the Justice and Health and Human Services departments will participate.

Coalition leaders are billing their visit as an important meeting between a presidential administration and the "nontheist" community. On the agenda are three policy areas: child medical neglect, military proselytizing and faith-based initiatives.

"We're raising important issues that affect real people's lives," said Sean Faircloth, 49, a former Maine state legislator who's the coalition's executive director.

Full report at: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2010/02/25/88475/obama-aides-to-meet-with-atheists.html

-----

The Dubai International Jazz Festival

Jan Tengeler

A Chill in the Desert Air

Germany took centre stage at the eighth Dubai Jazz Festival. Hamburg led the way, sending no fewer than seven bands to the Persian Gulf. Jan Tengeler reports

In downtown Dubai the scene was set for a very special festival. The venue, a little park with a dramatic backdrop of towering half-finished skyscrapers, a cooling breeze blowing in from the sea and comfortable sofas ranged invitingly in front of the stage – the perfect ingredients for a memorable festival! The name of the company organising the event, "chill out productions," also seemed particularly apt.

Eight years ago when a slightly corpulent man from Beirut, Anthony Younes, came up with the idea of a festival here there were more than a few indulgent smiles exchanged. The idea of jazz in Dubai seemed outlandish to many, a non-starter, it just wouldn't work. It did work, however, and in the meantime the Dubai International Jazz Festival has established itself as a two-week annual event.

Last year it attracted 32,000 visitors. It has to be admitted, however, that most of these visitors do not come primarily for the jazz. It is the big-name pop acts that really pull in the crowds – major draws such as Jane Monheit, Laura Izibor, David Gray or James Morrison, pack in the fans, with tickets costing up to 200 euros a time.

Full report at: http://www.qantara.de/webcom/show_article.php?wc_c=310&wc_id=733

-----

Iranian doc to challenge BBC Persian TV

March 6, 2010

TEHRAN -- The Iranian production company Sima Films will be making a documentary on BBC with a focus on the Persian service of BBC television.

The 90-minute documentary primarily spotlights BBC Persian TV programming to review Britain’s diplomatic objectives in Iran.

The screenplay was written by the Iranian researcher Majid Tafreshi who resides in the Britain. He has been conducting research for the film for a long time, said film producer Majid Shakibania on the Sima Film Website.

For the documentary, Tafreshi said that he reviewed BBC’s history using vocal and visual resources available in the UK National Archives, the British government’s official archive.

“We will also conduct interviews with some people who previously worked for BBC but now are critical of this media organization,” he added.

The documentary needs extensive research and many documents have to be reviewed for the film, so that the research project is considered the main pre-production phase of the movie, he said.

BBC Persian Television is the BBC’s Persian language news channel that was launched on 14 January 2009. The service can be accessed through satellite television, and is aimed at the 100 million Persian speakers in Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Iran has blocked the satellite signal of BBC Persian TV following the unrest that erupted after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won the June 12 election, which is disputed by his reformist rival Mir-Hossein Mousavi.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/Index_view.asp?code=215392

-----

Swedish festival spotlights films on Iranian, Afghan women

Tehran Times Art Desk

TEHRAN -- Swedish “Women in Focus”, the 8th Women’s Film Festival will open March 6 with films from Iran and Afghanistan.

Iran’s “Memory of Niavaran” by Hadi Afarideh will open the 8th Women’s Film Festival organized by the Swedish Uppsala University on Saturday.

Afarideh is also scheduled to speak after his film screening.

“Three-Day Life” by Kaveh Mazaheri, “Rough Cut” by Firuzeh Khosravani, “Second Home” by Mahvash Sheikholeslami, “Water, Wind, Fire” by Yaseman Turang and “The Lover” by Yalda Qashqaii are among the Iranian productions to go on screen during the two-day event.

“Twenty-Five Percent” by Diana Saqebnistan, “Shelter” by Mohsen Hossaini, and “Run Roobina, Run” by Diana Saqeb are among the entries from Afghanistan.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/Index_view.asp?code=215391

-----

ASI Sufi fest finds way into city’s cultural calendar

Suanshu Khurana

Mar 04, 2010

New Delhi : Last week, director-designer-writer Muzaffar Ali wowed the Delhi audience with his brainchild, Jahan-e-Khusrau — a three-day festival to commemorate the death anniversary of Sufi saint Hazrat Amir Khusrau.

Now, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), in collaboration with Aga Khan Trust for Culture, Central Public Works Department and the MCD brings its first ever heritage festival — Jashn-e-Khusrau — as part of the Urban Renewal Programme undertaken by ASI and the Trust.

The festival, starting on Thursday, will be set against the resplendent backdrop of Chaunsath Khamba located in Hazrat Nizamuddin Basti and the lawns of the Humayun’s Tomb — incidentally, this is where Khusrau started the quwwali music tradition in the 13th Century.

“Monuments are not just tourist destinations. The concerts to be held at heritage sites will have arrangements for almost 2,000 people. I am sure it is going to be an invaluable addition to the city’s cultural calendar,” ASI Superintending Archaeologist (Delhi) K K Muhammed said.

The festival has invited six groups of Khanqahi quwwals, of which two are from Pakistan. Farid Ayaz, Abu Muhammad and their group from Karachi will perform the repertoire of Khusrau’s qalaam on March 10.

Full report at: www.indianexpress.com/news/asi-sufi-fest-finds-way-into-citys-cultural-calendar/586519/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/all-the-taliban-wanted-was-money--rescued-sikh/d/2544


Loading..

Loading..