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All-women meet discusses Shariah in Chennai, India

  • New Age Islam News Bureau

    13 Jan 2012
  • All-women meet discusses Shariah in Chennai, India
  • Pakistan PM Gilani seeks parliament's support in crisis
  • Shia protester 'shot dead' in Saudi Arabia
  • Afghan Taliban: abuse video will not stop peace talks
  • Maldives Supreme Court backs down from issuing ruling on legality of selling pork and alcohol
  • Afghan abuse video reinforces Arab suspicion of U.S
  • Brotherhood's 'Lenin' Plotting Islamic Super-State
  • Pak: Commission fails to find Shahzad’s killers
  • The Modern Muslim Woman is Who She Chooses to Be
  • Mideast Christians face widening persecution
  • Court dismisses fears of 'creeping Sharia law' that led to Oklahoma ban
  • Indonesia Islamists protest over alcohol: reports
  • A figure in Egypt religious party says focus must be economy
  • Join the Fight against Islamophobia: A Muslim reality show
  • Defend Threatened Muslim Moderates: Save Husain Haqqani
  • CAIR: Tea Party Speaker Says She 'Loves' Marines Who Desecrated Corpses
  • Syria rallies in support of army defectors
  • Harrow campaigner and the battle for equality for Muslim women
  • Somalia's al-Shabab seizes Kenyan officials in Wajir
  • Pak: ‘Ahmad Faraz’s ideology triumphed’
  • Norway court orders new psychiatric tests on Breivik
  • Don't cross the 'red line' or we will take action: US warns Iran
  • Batla House shootout 'fake': Congress General Secretary reiterated
  • Boko Haram declares war on Christians in Nigeria
  • Boko Haram not fighting for Nigerian Muslims —MURIC
  • The Dutch - world leaders in Islamophobia
  • 4th Annual Interfaith Dinner and Dialogue for U.S. Religious Leaders
  • 7 dead as Yemen troops clash with Qaeda suspects
  • DHS watching social media, news sites
  • Nigerians Want to Transcend Sectarian and Ethnic Violence
  • Malaysia Election round the Corner?                          
  • Resilient Al-Qaida Struggles to Survive in a New Era
  • Pakistan Civilian, Army Leaders Rally Support as Rift Widens
  • Pakistan's forex reserves ease to $16.90 billion
  • Pak, UK bilateral trade efforts to expand: Lord Green
  • World Can Cope With Sanctions on Iranian Oil
  • Surya Namaskar: MP gears up for world record amid controversies
  • Pakistan PM Gilani faces confidence vote amid crisis
  • Clash kills six in northwest Pakistan
  • US confident about safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons
  • Pakistan president 'not worried' about crisis
  • Pakistan parliament told why economy is floundering
  • Zardari wants 8 PPP senators elected unopposed from Sindh
  • Local Muslims to attend lobby day in Olympia on MLK Jr. Day
  • Silence of Others: a window onto Muslims in the west
  • Oklahoma Ruling Exposes Legal Issues with Sharia Law Bans
  • Today the "Human Rights" is only a toy in the hands of politicians: The Grand Ayatollah

Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Anti-Shariah speaker discusses role of women



All-women meet discusses Shariah in Chennai, India

Jan 13, 2012

CHENNAI: The large hall at New College, Royapettah, was a sea of Burqa-clad women on Thursday, all participating in a Shariah (Islamic law) conference. Over 5,000 women were packed into the hall to listen to the orators. They had one thing in common - they wanted to know what the Shariah had to say on women's rights.

This was the first time that Chennai hosted a South India Shariah convention exclusively for women. "This will create embolden women to come forward and ask questions," said Yusra, a member of the audience who runs an Islamic centre. "I have often observed that in a mixed gathering, it's the Muslim men who dominate a debate while the women are relegated to the background."

The convention dealt with a myriad of issues that concern Muslim women today, from domestic issues and marital problems to health and hygiene. For all their goodwill though, much debate arose among the Muslims of Chennai over the panel of speakers, a majority of whom were male.

"If they are having all-women convention, which is a good idea, why invite so many male speakers for the panel?" asked A Faizur Rahman, secretary general for the Forum for Promotion of Moderate Thought Among Muslims. The male speakers were all from All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).

Nikhath Suhail, one of speakers and assistant secretary for AHI Academy for Women, pointed out that women are very thinly represented in AIMPLB. "Parliament is gunning for 33% reservation for women. The board also needs greater representation of women," she told the audience. She also spoke on the much debated triple talaq. "One cannot get divorced by simply uttering talaq thrice," she said. "What the Quran really says is that a couple can only get divorced by mutual agreement, where each declaration of talaq is followed by a long waiting period in which the couple try to resolve their conflicts."

Nikhath also added that there has been a spike in the divorce rate in the Muslim community in the past few years due to intolerance and unwillingness to compromise. "At the same time, one cannot put up with abuse in a marriage," she said. Another burning issue, she said, is that of alimony. "Islamic laws dictate that when a husband and wife separate, the woman must be paid maintenance by the husband. However, that is often violated and the women and children are left to fend for themselves."


Pakistan PM Gilani seeks parliament's support in crisis

13 January 2012

Pakistan's PM Yousuf Raza Gilani has said parliament must choose between "democracy and dictatorship", in a critical vote of confidence.

Parliament is to vote on a resolution of confidence in its political leadership and democracy on Monday.

The vote comes amid a deepening political crisis between the government, the military and judiciary.

It will be held as a Supreme Court deadline expires for the government to reopen political corruption cases.

The deadline was set after the court quashed a government amnesty for politicians, including Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari, and is seen as a direct challenge to the government.

The announcement of the confidence vote comes after several public disputes have brought relations between the government and the military to an all-time low, correspondents say.

In a dramatic and defiant speech, Mr Gilani urged MPs to protect the country's democracy and said he "will not beg support from anyone".

He said that anyone who had a hand in removing his government would be setting back democracy in Pakistan.

"Now we have to decide whether we should have democracy or dictatorship in this country. If we have committed any mistakes, it does not mean that democracy or parliament should be punished," the prime minister told parliamentarians.

Fears for stability

Analysts say that Mr Gilani is likely to win the Monday vote of confidence, and that obtaining parliament's seal of approval is likely to strengthen his hand.

Meanwhile Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has returned to Pakistan after a brief visit to Dubai.

His departure on Thursday fuelled rumours of an impending military coup, in a country which has a history of army takeovers.

ut officials said he was there to attend a wedding. Mr Zardari had heart treatment in Dubai last month.

The government's stand-off with the military escalated earlier this week when the military publicly rebuked Mr Gilani on Wednesday, warning of "serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences" after he criticised military leaders in a media interview.

Mr Gilani also sacked his defence secretary, who is seen as having close ties to the military, in a move likely to heighten frictions with military leaders.

But in a move seen by analysts as an attempt to ease tensions, Mr Gilani called a meeting of the cabinet's defence committee for Saturday.

This will be the first time civilian and military officials will meet face-to-face since the latest crisis erupted. They are likely to discuss last year's Nato attack on a Pakistani border post.

Last month Mr Gilani said conspirators were plotting to bring down his government, without specifically blaming the military. That prompted the army chief Gen Ashfaq Kayani to dismiss coup rumours.

At the heart of the rift is an anonymous memo which sought US help to avert a possible military coup in Pakistan following the killing by US forces of al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in May last year.

It is not clear who wrote the memo or conveyed it to the Americans. They say they received it but took no action.

Pakistan's Supreme Court has launched its own inquiry into the memo affair.

Pakistan's military - deeply humiliated by the discovery of Bin Laden on Pakistani soil and the secret US operation to kill him - has been incensed by what has become known as "memogate".

The scandal has already cost Pakistan's former ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani, his job. He denies any role in the memo, as does President Zardari.

Mr Zardari could be forced to quit if the trail is found to lead to his door.


Shia protester 'shot dead' in Saudi Arabia

13 January 2012

At least one person has been killed and three others injured in clashes between security forces and Shia protesters in eastern Saudi Arabia, activists say.

Issam Mohammed, 22, reportedly died when troops fired live ammunition after demonstrators threw stones at them in al-Awamiya, a town in the Qatif region.

One activist said they had been calling for the release of political prisoners.

The violence came as UK Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Saudi Arabia for his first official visit.

Mr Cameron will meet King Abdullah and Crown Prince Nayef, the interior minister, to discuss the strengthening of security, trade and energy ties with the UK, growing tensions with Iran and the civil unrest in Syria.

Saudi investment in the UK is worth more than £62bn ($95bn) and the Gulf kingdom is the UK's biggest trading partner in the Middle East.


There has so far been no comment from the Saudi authorities on the reported clashes in Qatif, a region of the oil-rich Eastern Province.

But the Saudi Shia news website Rasid said Mr Mohammed had suffered multiple gunshot wounds when security forces opened fire to disperse protesters in al-Awamiya at dawn on Friday, after they threw stones.

One of the three injured was shot while trying to drive through a checkpoint at the entrance to the town, the website added. Security forces reportedly sealed off the town after the clashes.

The clashes came after demonstrations were held in four villages in the Qatif region to call for the "release of political detainees, reform and an end to sectarian discrimination", one activist told the AFP news agency.

Eastern Province has a Shia majority which has long complained of marginalisation at the hands of the Sunni ruling family, the Al Saud.

Protests erupted in Eastern Province in March when the popular uprising in neighbouring Bahrain, which has a Shia majority and a Sunni royal family, was crushed with the assistance of Saudi and other Gulf troops.

In November, four Shia men were shot and killed by security forces over a four-day period in the city of Qatif. The interior ministry said they had been armed and operating on "foreign orders" - code for Iran.

Earlier this month, the authorities named 23 suspects in connection with the disturbances in Eastern province, accusing them of possessing illegal weapons and opening fire on the public and police.

About 400 people have been arrested since March, of whom 70 remain in custody, according to activists, including the author Nazir al-Majid and the human rights activist Fadil al-Munasif.


Afghan Taliban: abuse video will not stop peace talks

There has been anger in the Taliban stronghold of Kandahar at a video appearing to show US troops urinating on the dead bodies of insurgents in Afghanistan.

The latest incident comes as America tries to encourage talks between insurgents and the Afghan government ahead of US troop withdrawal.

Kandahar resident Tawab Khan said he thought the treatment of the corpses was against Islam and that it was the role of the international community to act. He called for an investigation by the Human Rights Commission and the arrest of those involved.

It is another blow to the reputation of US military conduct, following successful prosecutions of troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Feda Mohammed lives in the capital Kabul, an area where the Taliban enjoys less support: “The US soldiers who urinated on dead bodies of Muslims have committed a crime. We don’t want them on our soil anymore. We want all foreign soldiers to leave Afghanistan,” he said.

Reassuringly for the US, a spokesman for the Afghan Taliban has said this video scandal will not harm peace talks and negotiations about prisoner exchanges being held with the Afghan government as they are still at the preliminary stage.


Maldives Supreme Court backs down from issuing ruling on legality of selling pork and alcohol

By Eleanor Johnstone

The Supreme Court has rejected the government’s request for a consultative opinion over whether the Maldives can import pork and alcohol without violating the nation’s Shariah-based constitution.

Pork and alcohol are prohibited items under Shariah law.

The judges unanimously rejected the case on the grounds that the matter did not need to be addressed at the Supreme Court level.

The Court did note, however, that pork and alcohol have been imported under provisions of the Contraband Act and that there is a regulation in favor of the trade. As no law has declared the regulation unlawful, the import of pork and alcohol is indeed legal, the court claimed.

Meanwhile, Article 10 of the Constitution states that “No law contrary to any tenet of Islam shall be enacted in the Maldives.”

Full Report At:


Afghan abuse video reinforces Arab suspicion of U.S

(Reuters) - In the Arab world, footage showing American forces urinating on dead Taliban insurgents was for many a bitter reminder of what they fear - that U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not just about fighting Muslims, but about humiliating them.

"If they had urinated on us, it would have been better than what they did to us," said Abu Mostafa, 85, who spent six months in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in 2005. "The U.S. assaulted me by beating and torturing me psychologically."

"Killing combatants in battle is one thing but degrading the value of human beings like this is something else," said Archimandrite Qais Sadiq, president of the Ecumenical Studies Centre of Amman.

The video, posted on YouTube and other websites, shows four men in camouflage U.S. Marine Corps combat uniforms urinating on three corpses. One of them jokes: "Have a nice day, buddy." Another makes a lewd joke.

The images reinforced a sense in the Muslim world that U.S. military campaigns in Afghanistan from 2001 and Iraq from 2003, were - far from bringing peace and democracy - an opportunity to assert U.S. power over Muslim populations.

"Many other ugly crimes will take place in the countries that U.S. forces enter, and no one can stop them," said 37-year-old Iraqi farmer Raheem al-Zaidi, who was also held at Abu Ghraib, where U.S. soldiers were photographed abusing Iraqi detainees.

Full Report At:


Brotherhood's 'Lenin' Plotting Islamic Super-State

By Erick Stakelbeck

WASHINGTON -- Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi has been called the most influential Islamic cleric in the world.

During the past year, he's used his clout to promote the so-called Arab Spring.

For al-Qaradawi, the rise of radical Islamic governments across the Middle East and North Africa means a giant step towards his vision of a united Islamic super-state -- or caliphate -- governed by Sharia law.

The 86-year-old Egyptian native pushes this agenda through his website, IslamOnline, and his top-rated Al-Jazeera program, titled "Sharia and Life," which reaches tens of millions of Muslims each week.

"Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi is more than just an ideologue. He is also a strategist," Middle East expert Walid Phares told CBN News.

Full Report At:



The Modern Muslim Woman is Who She Chooses to Be

11 JANUARY 2012

By Maryam Ismail

Where did this image of the oppressed Muslim woman come from and when will this battle against it stop? Growing up on a diet of Saturday TV matinees, every “Muslim woman” I saw in the movies was a belly dancer with a lot of chiffon wrapped around her. Mata Hari, who was actually a Dutch divorcée who recreated herself as a Javanese Hindu princess, changed the world of exotic women forever. In the films of old it was the dance of the seven veils that would woo a man into revealing secrets of war. Today, it seems there is the idea that under one’s hijab lies some mystical inner working, one that needs to be covered up by another layer of normality.

This seemed to be the idea at a recent panel discussion called “The Role of Muslim Women in Society”. This discussion was part of the ICover photograph exhibit by Sadaf Syed at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. This exhibit is a sort of official debut of the new American Muslim. This newly christened, hybrid identity is one that hopes to erase all ties with Muslim cultural, ethnic and linguistic history.

Full Report At:


Mideast Christians face widening persecution

y John J. Metzler

UNITED NATIONS , 01-13-2012 ― Though it’s the birthplace of Christianity in ancient times, the modern Middle East is increasingly hostile to Christianity as civil conflict, Islamic fundamentalism and terrorism grow in scope and strength.

ull Report At:


Court dismisses fears of 'creeping Sharia law' that led to Oklahoma ban

By Patrik Jonsson | Published Thu, Jan 12 2012 12:01 am

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against a proposed constitutional amendment in Oklahoma that bans the use of the Islamic legal code known as Sharia, calling the popular measure discriminatory and saying there is no evidence that US courts are influenced by those Muslim legal precepts.

The Denver-based court, which is not known for holding progressive views, on Tuesday upheld a lower court injunction against the proposed amendment, which passed in 2010 by 70 percent of Oklahoma voters in a referendum. The court decision, sparked by a lawsuit brought by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, repudiated, in part, the fear of "creeping Sharia law" that has inspired over 20 proposed state laws and has infused some Republican campaign rhetoric.

Full Report At:


Indonesia Islamists protest over alcohol: reports

JAKARTA — Hundreds of radical Muslims attacked the offices of Indonesia's home affairs ministry on Thursday to demand the government maintain by-laws banning alcohol in certain districts, reports said.

Around 500 protesters, including members of the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), hurled rocks and eggs at the office complex in Jakarta to reject a proposal to revoke anti-alcohol rules in force in some areas, news website said.

Full Report At:


A figure in Egypt religious party says focus must be economy

The Muslim Brotherhood is expected to win more than 40% of legislative seats, transforming it from state enemy to power center. It seeks to dispel fears that Islamists will tilt Egypt toward sharia.

Sobhi Saleh, center, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and a candidate for Egypt's lower house of parliament, speaks to voters in November at a polling station in Alexandria. (Tarek Fawzy / Associated Press / November 28, 2011)

Political Islam at a crossroads in Egypt

Egypt raids foreign organizations' offices in crackdown

Egypt Islamist parties the big winners in second round of voting

rotesters, troops clash for third day in Egypt

Full coverage: Unrest in Egypt

Full Report At:,0,1115134.story


Join the Fight against Islamophobia: A Muslim reality show

A new campaign against a Muslim reality show reminds us that Muslims are our brothers, sometimes literally.

By Cord Jefferson

Hardware store chain Lowe’s made headlines this week when it pulled its ads from “All American Muslim,” a new reality show on TLC. The program, set in Dearborn, Michigan, highlights the lives of five Lebanese families as they go about their day-to-day business. The families aren’t radical or anti-American; they’re just normal Muslims. No big deal, right? Apparently, to some conservatives, it was a big deal.

Full Report At:


Defend Threatened Muslim Moderates: Save Husain Haqqani

By Nina Shea

January 12, 2012

Husain Haqqani may soon be put on trial for his life in his native Pakistan. That country’s ambassador to the United States until last November, he now faces allegations of treason in the so-called “Memogate” affair, accused of instigating an unsigned memo to the U.S. government warning of a military-coup plot against Pakistan’s government — an allegation he denies. Haqqani’s defense lawyer, the valiant human-rights advocate Asma Jahangir, has filed an appeal to the Supreme Court challenging due-process irregularities in a preliminary investigation against him, and, fearing assassination from vigilantes, the ambassador has sought safety in the prime minister’s home, where he is a virtual prisoner.

Full Report At:


CAIR: Tea Party Speaker Says She 'Loves' Marines Who Desecrated Corpses

WASHINGTON, Jan. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today condemned remarks by Pamela Geller, the leader of an anti-Muslim hate group and a frequent speaker at Tea Party events, applauding the alleged desecration of Afghan corpses by U.S. Marines.

On her hate blog, Geller wrote in response to CAIR's condemnation of the desecration: "I love these Marines. Perhaps this is the infidel interpretation of the Islamic ritual of washing and preparing the body for burial."

EE: Screen Shot of Pam Geller's Post

While Geller praised the desecration video, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called it "utterly deplorable." CAIR yesterday expressed concern that enemies of the United States will use the video to further their anti-American goals.

Full Report At:


Syria rallies in support of army defectors

13 January 2012

Syrian opposition activists have called for mass rallies in support of the Free Syrian Army, a group of army defectors seeking to topple the government.

Demonstrations are reportedly already taking place in Aleppo, Deir al-Zour, Homs, Idlib and suburbs of Damascus.

One activist group said two civilians had been killed, one of them a child.

On Thursday, the Free Syrian Army and the main opposition coalition, the Syrian National Council, agreed to co-ordinate their operations more closely.

An SNC statement said a liaison office would be set up with the FSA to "maintain direct communications around the clock".

The groups also agreed to devise a plan, which would include "the reorganisation of FSA units and brigades, and the creation of a format to accommodate within FSA ranks additional officers and soldiers, especially senior military officials, who side with the revolution", the SNC added.

The SNC initially opposed the use of force in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, while the FSA operated independently.

It is impossible to verify how many army defectors have joined the FSA, but its leader, Col Riyad al-Asaad, has put the figure at as many as 20,000.

The group has said it is behind an increasing number of attacks on Syrian security forces, and the authorities have acknowledged mounting losses.

The government says 2,000 security personnel have died combating "armed gangs and terrorists". The UN last month said more than 5,000 people had been killed by Syrian security forces since the uprising began in March.

Also on Thursday, the secretary general of the Arab League defended the organisation's observer mission in Syria, saying in an interview with the BBC that it had helped to save lives.

Syrian border guards turned back activists who wanted to bring in humanitarian aid from Turkey

Nabil al-Arabi was responding to criticism of the mission, which one former monitor has called a "farce".

Mr Arabi said the presence of the observers had encouraged more Syrians to take part in peaceful demonstrations.

"The observers are in Damascus to verify that shooting and killing has stopped. This has not materialised. So, the rationale for sending observers has not materialised," he said.

He added that he regretted President Assad's criticism of the Arab League in a speech this week and hinted they had exchanged sharp words in private.

Meanwhile, Syrian border guards turned back several hundred activists who wanted to take humanitarian aid across the border from Turkey. The guards said they did not have the right permits to enter the country.

The activists, who called themselves the Freedom Convoy, said they would stage a sit-in protest close to the border.


Harrow campaigner and the battle for equality for Muslim women

Jan 12 2012 by Hannah Bewley, Harrow Observer

A CAMPAIGNER is trying to help a controversial bill through Parliament because she believes it would encourage greater equality for Muslim women.

Tehmina Kazi, director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy, is concerned about Muslim women who don’t know about alternatives to Sharia law – the Islamic legal system followed by some Muslims in the UK.

The Wealdstone resident has been advising crossbencher Baroness Caroline Cox on her Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill, which would make it an offence for anyone falsely claiming or implying that Sharia courts or councils have legal jurisdiction over family or criminal law in this country.

Ms Kazi claims the controversial bill, which has been opposed by some parts of the Muslim community, would give Muslim women greater clarification on their rights.

Ms Kazi, a law graduate of the London School of Economics, said: “There is a gap in the system for Muslim women due to the prevalence of Sharia councils.

Full Report At:


Somalia's al-Shabab seizes Kenyan officials in Wajir

January 12, 2012

Gunmen have killed six people and abducted three others in the latest attack in the north-eastern border region with Somalia, police say.

The al-Qaeda-linked Somali Islamist group al-Shabab said that it had carried out the raid in Wajir district.

A local police chief told the BBC that two officials were among those seized from the police post in Gerille town.

There have been several attacks since October when Kenya sent troops into Somalia in pursuit of al-Shabab.

The police said six people had died, but al-Shabab said it had killed seven officers and officials and seized several others as prisoners in its surprise attack on Wednesday evening.

"Also seized during the raid were Kenyan vehicles, communication equipment and a cache of weapons," the al-Shabab statement said.

North-Eastern Province police head Leo Nyongesa would not confirm to the BBC if any police officers were killed - despite earlier reports that at least three had died.

He said two government administrative officials - the district officer and the registrar of persons - were among the three people seized.

Full Report At:


Pak: ‘Ahmad Faraz’s ideology triumphed’

ISLAMABAD - The International Islamic University, Islamabad (IIUI) Urdu Department, in collaboration with Ahmad Faraz Trust, celebrated Ahmad Faraz’s birthday on Thursday at the IIUI Quaid-e-Azam Auditorium. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Barrister Masood Kausar was the chief guest while Acting IIUI President Professor Dr Sahibzada Sajid-ur-Rehman presided over the event. IIUI Rector Prof Fateh Muhammad Malik and other scholars presented their papers on Ahmad Faraz on the occasion.

Full Report At:


Norway court orders new psychiatric tests on Breivik

13 January 2012

A court in Norway has ordered a new psychiatric evaluation of mass killer Anders Behring Breivik after an earlier report found him legally insane.

Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen said in Oslo that the new evaluation was necessary because of widespread criticism of the initial findings.

Full Report At:



Don't cross the 'red line' or we will take action: US warns Iran

lisabeth Bumiller, Eric Schmitt & Thom Shanker,

ew York Times

ASHINGTON: Jan 13, 2012,,The Obama administration is relying on a secret channel of communication to warn Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that closing the Strait of Hormuz is a "red line" that would provoke an American response, according to United States government officials.

ull Report At:


Batla House shootout 'fake': Congress General Secretary reiterated

New Delhi: Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh on Thursday stuck to his claim that the the Batla House encounter here was "fake" even as Home Minister P Chidambaram insisted that the gunfight between security forces and terrorists was "genuine".

Singh also said that now after the lapse of so much time, he feels a judicial inquiry into the episode is not possible.

Full Report At:


Boko Haram declares war on Christians in Nigeria

13 JANUARY, 2012

Nigeria (MNN) ― Boko Haram's march toward chaos continues. The leader of the militant Islamic sect appeared in a video posted January 11 to justify his group's attacks on Christians in the northern part of Nigeria.

In the video, he also declared war on Christians. Aside from Boko Haram's determination to institute Sharia law across the rest of Nigeria, they've vowed to render Nigeria "ungovernable." Since 1999, Muslim state leaders have imposed Shariah law in 12 northern states and parts of four others.

More than 85 people have died in bomb and gun attacks since Christmas Day on churches in Abuja, the capital, and in the north. 15 sections of the country remain under a state of emergency as assaults were launched on universities, police, secular courts, Christian churches and mosques. President Goodluck Jonathan also closed Nigeria's borders with Chad and Niger Republic. 

Full Report At:


Boko Haram not fighting for Nigerian Muslims —MURIC

Friday, 13 January 2012

The Muslim Right Concern (MURIC) has declared that the Islamic fundamentalist group Boko Haram is not fighting for Nigerian Muslims.

Apparently reacting to the attack of a branch of the Deeper Life Bible Church in Gombe, killing six worshippers including the wife of the pastor, Johnson Tauro, and injuring 10 others, the MURIC’s director, Dr Is-haq Akintola, in a statement entitled “Boko Haram: Is it about Muslim grievances?”, condemned  this barbaric aggression.

According to MURIC, the Holy Quran did not preach aggresion.

“Places of worship should be held in reverence. The attack is therefore sacriledgious. We denounce Boko Haram’s violent approach particularly its attacks on rival religious targets,” it said.

It called on Nigerians not to view the satanic acts of Boko Haram as representative of actions of

Nigerian Muslims, saying that this was the handiwork of a few misinformed, misguided elements and disgruntled elements.

Full Report At:


4th Annual Interfaith Dinner and Dialogue for U.S. Religious Leaders

January 11, 2012

Remarks as Prepared for Delivery

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I would like to thank Ambassador Erlan Idrissov for hosting this dinner, the fourth one dedicated to interfaith dialogue. I am honored to join Ambassador Idrissov and Imam Fiesal Abdul Rauf in addressing you tonight.

Full Report At:


7 dead as Yemen troops clash with Qaeda suspects

(AFP) – 18 hours ago 

ADEN — Three Yemeni troops, including a colonel, and four Islamist gunmen were killed on Thursday during clashes in the restive southern city of Zinjibar, a military official and a witness said.

The soldiers were killed when a mortar shell exploded as they were loading it at a military base east of Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, the official said requesting anonymity.

Full Report At:


DHS watching social media, news sites

by Peter Grady –

The Department of Homeland Security has issued a document revealing it is monitoring various social media and new sites.

The document says Homeland Security is bound to do so by federal law. “Federal law requires the NOC [National Operations Center] to provide situational awareness and establish a common operating picture for the entire federal government, and for state, local, and tribal governments as appropriate, and to ensure that critical disaster-related information reaches government decision makers.”

It goes on to say “situational awareness” is defined  as ““information gathered from a variety of sources that, when communicated to emergency managers and decision makers, can form the basis for incident management decision-making.”

Full Report At:


Nigerians Want to Transcend Sectarian and Ethnic Violence

12 JANUARY 2012

Nigerians Want to Transcend Sectarian and Ethnic Violence

There are those who look at violence between Muslims and Christians with glee, such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller. For them it is more fodder to smear Islam for the actions of some Muslims, while dismissing the same logic for Christian attacks on Muslims.

What boggles their mind however is when Muslims and Christians come together and oppose sectarianism and actively seek peace and reconciliation.

This is the case in Nigeria, where many want to transcend sectarian and ethnic violence


Malaysia Election round the Corner?                        


Najib and Anwar

With Sodomy II out of the way, looks forward to March polls -- maybe

With the Sodomy II trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim now out of the way, it is probably time to start thinking seriously about Malaysia's 13th general election, which most observers -- but not all -- believe will be called in March, during school holidays when the classrooms are empty.

Despite euphoria on the part of the three-party opposition coalition, the end of the trial doesn't mean that Anwar's troubles are over. One political observer in Kuala Lumpur told Asia Sentinel that the United Malays National Organization, the lead party in the ruling national coalition, will probably do its best to discredit him in other ways.

Full Report At:


Resilient Al-Qaida Struggles to Survive in a New Era


2 JAN 2012

The Sept. 11 attacks made a household name out of al-Qaida, an organization whose existence had earlier concerned only intelligence professionals and a handful of journalists. As 2012 begins, al-Qaida has suffered a series of harsh blows, leading some to conclude that the once-predominant purveyor of terrorism and extremist ideology in much of the world has become a spent force, one without much of a future.

To be sure, 2011 was a devastating year for the organization. But al-Qaida is not about to fade quietly into the sunset. Like a virus that mutates to survive its host’s most potent defenses, al-Qaida is a nimble, adaptable organism. It is already seeking to make the most of a situation that, undoubtedly, has become a threat to its survival. ...


Pakistan's forex reserves ease to $16.90 billion

January 12th, 2012

KARACHI: Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves eased marginally to $16.90 billion in the week ending Jan. 6, from $16.92 billion the previous week, the central bank said on Thursday. Reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell to $12.82 … See all stories on this topic »


Pak, UK bilateral trade efforts to expand: Lord Green


12 JANUARY 2012

KARACHI: UK State Minister for Trade and Investment Lord Green said on Thursday that Pakistan and United Kingdom will be making important headway in expanding bilateral trade in next four years. He was replying to the queries of media persons’ alongwith UK

Cabinet Minister Baroness Sayeeda Warsi at the launch of a British chain of departmental stores Debenhams in the city.

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World Can Cope With Sanctions on Iranian Oil

Written by David Rosenberg

Published Thursday

January 12, 2012

Analysts say Saudis would fill shortfall while European slowdown trims demand

Can Europe – or for that matter, the world -- live without Iranian oil?

That’s the question as the continent’s leaders gear up to impose an embargo on oil from the Islamic Republic.

While Iran accounts for less than 5% of the world’s petroleum production, for many key economies the Islamic Republic’s oil is critical to keeping vehicles and factories running and homes heated. It supplies 11% of China and India’s needs and 10% of Japan’s. Overall, Europe is far less reliant on Iranian oil, but Greece, Italy and Spain, three of Europe’s weakest economies, depend heavily on Iranian crude.

Nevertheless, analysts are pretty close to a consensus that an embargo can be successfully imposed without creating energy bottlenecks or causing prices to spike.

“The shortfall could be made up with increased production from Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia would be happy to do that because of the tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. There aren’t two countries - apart from Iran and Israel - that hate each more,” Julian Jessop, chief global economist at London-based Capital Economics, told The Media Line.

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Surya Namaskar: MP gears up for world record amid controversies

Bhopal/Indore: As Madhya Pradesh gears up to create a world record today for largest aerobics demonstration (multi location) by holding mass Surya Namaskar on January 12 (which also happens to be Vivekananda Jayanti) across the state, Muslim leaders have equated it with idol worship and issued a fatwa against it.

Meanwhile, state Chief Minister Shiv Raj Singh Chauhan has urged the Muslim community to avoid taking any offense claiming that the ‘Surya Namaskar’ in schools across the state is not mandatory.

At present, the record for largest aerobics demonstration rests with Kazhakistan's multi location aerobic where 48, 45,098 people participated. To break this record, it is necessary that more than 48, 45,098 people participate in Surya Namaskar.

The school education department has made elaborate arrangements to ensure maximum participation in the Surya Namaskar exercise so that a world record can be created by registering the feat in the Guinness Book of records, officials said.

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13 January 2012

Pakistan PM Gilani faces confidence vote amid crisis

Pakistani PM Yousuf Raza Gilani and his government are to face a confidence vote in parliament amid a deepening political crisis with the military.

The vote will take place on Monday, the same day as a Supreme Court deadline for the government to reopen corruption cases against political figures.

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Clash kills six in northwest Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — Six people were killed in an overnight clash between more than a hundred Islamist militants and security forces in Pakistan's northwestern Peshawar city, police said on Friday.

Police and paramilitary troops retaliated after the militants attacked a checkpoint on the outskirts of the city, leaving three militants and three security officials dead.

"More than 100 militants attacked a checkpost 10 kilometres west of Peshawar at midnight and injured nine security persons," Muhammad Yamin Khan, a senior police official told AFP.

"We repelled the attack and killed three militants. The fight continued for more than two hours and three security persons later died in hospital," he said.

Another senior police official Imtiaz Altaf confirmed the clash and number of casualties.

Pakistan's army has previously launched a series of offensives targeting Lashkar-e-Islam, a Taliban-allied militant group waging a local insurgency.

Pakistan's seven tribal districts on the Afghan border are rife with homegrown insurgents, and are strongholds of Taliban and Al-Qaeda operatives.


US confident about safety of Pakistan's nuclear weapons

WASHINGTON: The Obama Administration has exuded confidence about the safety and security of Pakistan's nuclear weapons in the wake of political turmoil inside the country.

"We are confident that all of these issues are managed well," Undersecretary of State for Arms Control Ellen Tauscher told Washington-based Defence Writers Group yesterday.

"The administration is very clear that we work very closely with our Pakistani allies. At their requests and at our offering we work closely on issues of nuclear security," Tauscher said in response to a question on the security of nuclear weapons in Pakistan.

The Under Secretary said that safety and security of nuclear weapons and materials is an issue of concern for global leaders.

This is the reason why the (US) President (Barack) Obama had such a success (on Nuclear Security Summit)," she said adding that the next one is being scheduled for March in Seoul.


Pakistan president 'not worried' about crisis

January 13, 2012

QUICK READSpokesman: Pakistan's president returns from Dubai, 'not worried' about future

Pakistan's president returned on Friday from a trip to Dubai that provoked fresh questions over whether he was being pushed out of office, his spokesman said, adding that the leader was not worried about his political future.

President Asif Ali Zardari is under intense pressure from the military establishment, as well as what many see is a partisan Supreme Court intent on ousting his...


Pakistan parliament told why economy is floundering

13 Jan, 2012

Pakistani parliamentarians have been briefed by Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh on the three factors -- including the devastating floods in 2010 -- that are burdening the economy.

"The three factors include devastating flood in 2010 which caused damage of $10 billion as estimated by the World Bank, increase in oil prices at the international level and the security situation," Shaikh said at the briefing Thursday, Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The minister also said that inflation was in single digits, tax revenues had incresed 17 percent in the last six months, exports went up by upto 28 percent and imports had increased by 18 percent.

n the ailing Pakistan Railways, he said that government has created a consortium of banks to provide it Rs.6 billion.


Zardari wants 8 PPP senators elected unopposed from Sindh

KARACHI - With the Election Commission of Pakistan’s announcement of the 2012 Senate elections’ schedule, the Presidency has tasked Pakistan People’s Party (PPP)’s leaders in Sindh to make all-out efforts to ensure that at least eight PPP senators are elected unopposed from the province. Sources said that during recent party meetings, President Asif Ali Zardari had directed senior PPP leaders – including Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Syed Khurshid Ahmed Shah, Nisar Ahmed Khuhro and Agha Siraj Durrani – to make efforts for getting all senators from Sindh elected unopposed.

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Local Muslims to attend lobby day in Olympia on MLK Jr. Day


JANUARY 12, 2012

More than 400 Muslims from around the state, including Redmond, are expected to attend a lobby day on Monday in Olympia for this year's Muslim Day at the Capitol.

Arsalan Bukhari, executive director of the Washington chapter of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-WA), said the idea for the event came after a group of local Muslims attended a lobby day in Olympia in 2008 and 2009 as part of the Statewide Poverty Action Network, which works to end causes of poverty and create opportunities for people to prosper.

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Silence of Others: a window onto Muslims in the west

David Lepeska

Jan 13, 2012

The work of Bharat Choudhary makes one wonder how a Hindu photographer from India decides to focus his art and energies on young Muslims living in the west. The answer involves an itinerant life, mistaken identity and a dash of guilt.

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Oklahoma Ruling Exposes Legal Issues with Sharia Law Bans

By JEREMY B. WHITE: Subscribe to Jeremy's RSS feed

January 12, 2012

A federal appeals court's ruling against a proposed constitutional amendment to ban Oklahoma courts from using Islamic Sharia law represents more than a setback to the measure's proponents.

Experts say that the decision also reveals how such laws fall somewhere between impractical and unconstitutional. Oklahoma was not alone in pushing for a Sharia ban -- three other states have passed laws that would prohibit Sharia and more than two dozen have considered such measures, according to a report by Congressional Quarterly Global Researcher -- but Oklahoma's was the only one to explicitly mention Sharia, the compendium of laws and prescriptions emanating from interpretations of the Koran.

Muneer Awad, the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Oklahoma, sued to block implementation of the amendment after it was overwhelmingly approved in November 2010 by Oklahoma's voters. A three-member panel of the Denver-based U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld a district judge's decision to block the law from implementation, agreeing with Awad's contention that the measure violated the Establishment Clause by discriminating against Islam and exposing Muslims in Oklahoma to "disfavored treatment."

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Today the "Human Rights" is only a toy in the hands of politicians: The Grand Ayatollah

“They these days impose so many objections with regard to human rights against Iran, while a number of Arab countries have no election, no democracy and do not respect human rights at all, and they even never been criticized so far as these countries act according to their interests in the region“

The Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi in a meeting with “Marco Sassoli” professor and director of the Department of international law of the University of Geneva stated: unfortunately, the human rights has become a means for politicians to reach their agendas. 

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