New Age Islam
Sat Nov 28 2020, 02:37 PM

Islamic World News ( 22 Oct 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Beyonce cancels Malaysian concert after Islamist pressure

Backgrounder: Beyonce Knowles’ 2006 hit “Irreplaceable”

Women aspirants to Kuwaiti politics must hide all their curves:  A religious edict

Minneapolis: Imams settle case over being forced off a flight amid terrorist concerns

Unveiled plan to Islamize America hits top spot:

'Only difference between guys in suits and guys with AK-47s is timing and tactics'

Pak-based Baloch Sunni outfit Jundallah’s Battle for Control in Iran

Controversial Imam to Join Jesse Jackson at Muslim Group's Banquet

Troubled relationship between Iran and the West is at an important crossroads

The plight of rural Palestinians on the West Bank is as grim as ever

Top US Scientist Spying for Israel

Afghanistan drug trail spanning the world

BANGALORE: Love `jihad': Man kills friend

Philippines Ulema condemn kidnapping of Irish priest as un-Islamic

Indonesia arrests 10 Iranians for methamphetamine trafficking

Muslims should honour Hindu sentiments on Ram Temple: Dwarka Peeth Seer

Indonesia, a model Muslim democracy

Faith-Based Council Produces Muslim Celebrity

RIYADH (Arab) –‘Kaust will end misconception about Islam’

Kuwait to Allow Women to Travel without Husband's Consent

Kuwait women can get passport without spouse's permission

Kuwaiti women win passport rights

Kuwait: Students, teachers fume over classroom cameras

Ex-Muslim teen ordered back to Ohio

Pakistani public backs war on terror

Home to several terror groups, Pak Punjab ambivalent

Pakistan Continues Waziristan Offensive, Closes Schools

Pakistani Brigadier Is Assassinated

Pakistan attack merits outcry from Muslim leaders

Pak takes battle to Taliban den

We have proof of India's involvement in Balochistan: Pak

Iran Deal Would Slow Making of Nuclear Bombs

Iraqis top list of refugees seeking asylum

Will an Afghan run-off make a difference?

Human Rights Watch denies Israel bias

Data, Photos of US Military Forces Raping an Iraqi Girl Emerge; Gabriela-USA Demands Justice

Producers of THE THIRD JIHAD Support Calls from Congress to Investigate activities of CAIR

UK navy forces to return to Iraq

Iran mourns suicide bomb victims

Iran accuses Pakistan over attack

Syria rights veteran faces trial

Obama, U.S. leaders should contemplate future of Afghan women

Twin blasts at International Islamic University limit people’s movement

Pak judge hearing 26/11 Mumbai case wants to quit proceedings

US allows Sikh security officers to wear turban and beard

Pak minister faces criticism over son working for Kerry

Belgian, Pakistani bag UN prize for promoting Gandhian ideals

Eyeing Iran, Israel tests missile defences with US

Iran on radar as Israel, US test missile defence

Tongues wag as Holbrooke in sidelines in Obama’s latest Afghan initiative

Bangladesh SC rejects petition by convict in Mujibur case

US Muslim detained for 'terror plot'

Anti-Islamic Dutch Lawmaker's N.Y. Speech Goes Unprotested

Indonesia cabinet formation draws criticism

Iran, Israel Eyeball at Mideast Nuke Conference

Israel 'met Iran' at atomic talks

Nuclear power in the Middle East

Iran Lawmaker Rejects Nuke Deal to Ship Uranium

Six al-Qaida Suspects Arrested in Iraq

Gates to Press NATO on Afghan Commitment

Sudan cargo plane crashes in Sharjah, 6 crew members killed

Washington: Representatives of Islamic faith at state Capitol call for healthcare reform

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/beyonce-cancels-malaysian-concert-after-islamist-pressure/d/1970

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Beyonce cancels Malaysian concert after Islamist pressure

Oct 21, 2009

 Kuala Lumpur - Multiple Grammy award-winner Beyonce Knowles has indefinitely postponed the Malaysian leg of her world tour following opposition by hardline Islamists over her racy costumes and dance moves, news reports said Wednesday.

   Beyonce, who was due to perform in the capital Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, had earlier agreed to tone down her performance and clothes for the show.

   However, local organisers of the concert announced that the show would be postponed, without a new date given.

   Malaysian Tourism Minister Rais Yatim said the government had not imposed any pressure or conditions on Beyonce, adding that the decision to cancel the show could have been due to pressure from local hardline Islamists, the New Straits Times daily said.

   Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) had objected to Beyonce's concert, saying the singer's costumes and performances were 'too sexy' for local audiences.

   The show's indefinite postponement marks the second time Beyonce has cancelled a show in Malaysia, the first being in 2007 when she decided to pull out after PAS mounted strong objections to the show.

   The Islamic party has in the past opposed scheduled concerts by numerous famous Western female performers, including Rihanna, Avril Lavigne, the Pussycat Dolls and Gwen Stefani.

   While Islam is the main religion in Malaysia, the country has large minorities of Christians, Buddhists and Hindus.

Source:  http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/asiapacific/news/article_1508333.php/Beyonce-cancels-Malaysian-concert-after-Islamist-pressure

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Backgrounder: Beyonce Knowles’ 2006 hit “Irreplaceable”

Sociologist Patricia Hill Collins would suggest that that the dimensions of Black feminist standpoint epistemology is necessary to truly gain an idea of the experiences of a black woman. By researching and analyzing the music video and personal video responses of Beyonce’ Knowles’ 2006 hit “Irreplaceable” from her sophomore album B’day. I believe that I was honestly able to not only gain a perspective and public reception of the song from a males stand point, but also an females stand point.

While Beyonce’s lyrics suggest that she’s been the victim of unfortunate infidelity on the behalf of her significant other, instead of attempting to reconcile with her lover, she instead directs him “to the left” and out of her life. The song instantly became a hit and a song that many women of many nationalities could identify and accept as a soulful song and even “woman’s anthem.” The song itself ironically happens to be written by male R&B artist Ne-yo,

Though the song is praised by woman, men gain a completely different perception. Many gentlemen feel as though the song is misogynistic and in fact suggest that men are objects to women, so miniscule that another man or object can replace them in seconds. To better gain an idea of the public reception of the “women’s anthem” I decided to take a listen to the song myself and also surf the web to see what fans of Beyonce’ and R&B had to say about the song.

After listening to the song myself, it’s obvious why the track is praised by women. While artist Beyonce does show slight pain and heartache in the song, she doesn’t make here broken heart the particular angle of the song. Instead Beyonce takes the “I’ve already cried for you, and I’m not going to cry any longer.” She displays this best in the line “So go ahead and get gone/ And call up on that chick and see if she is home/ Oops, I bet ya thought that I didn’t know/

What did you think I was putting you out for?/ Cause you was untrue/ Rolling her around in the car that I bought you”. The song takes an aggressive and strong approach to relationships that are rarely seen from women, at least in the media. Women like young Esmee Denters admire the song and do by even going as far as to singing irreplaceable herself on youtube.com a video website often used to archive any video media and sometimes for self expression.

 As expected, for many men the song “irreplaceable doesn’t sit well. Not only from critics but also from artist themselves. In 2007 multi-platinum rapper Pimp-C responds to the song in a somewhat negative way in song “Like That” he raps “I’m like Beyonce to the left/Any bitch can be replaced/But I stand to the right, shinin bright/ Ready to put dick in your face.” Pimp C isn’t the only artist or man for that matter to respond defensively to the track. After only seconds of searching I was able to find many videos by men in response to the song. One that stood out was a rendition by Louis Harris-Tench. Where in response to the song he sings “I can have another one of you in an hour, yes that’s her coming out the shower. Your so replaceable” in response to Beyonce’s “I can have another you in a minute, matter fact he’ll be here in a minute.”

 Though men respond to such a video for whatever reason, perhaps emasculated by a strong black woman and her non-passive approach to infidelity, one thing is for sure, and that is Beyonce in an admiral effort created an inspiring and powerful song for woman and men. Perhaps to inform woman that they don’t have to accept infidelity as they are worth more than some men unfortunately take them for, and for men to perhaps teach them a lesson. And that’s if they take their position in a woman’s life for granted they may find themselves replaced….

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Women aspirants to Kuwaiti politics must hide all their curves:  A religious edict

By Zvi Bar'el, October 21, 2009

The cries of joy from the four women elected to the parliament in Kuwait this past spring may yet turn into sobs. A religious edict published in that country last week states that any woman who wants to take parts in politics, either as a candidate or as a voter, must dress in accordance with Muslim religious law - with their head covered and "a long robe that hides all parts of the body and which is not so tight so that it would give prominence to any curves."

For two of the women elected to the parliament - the first women to be elected to the assembly since the law permitting the election of women was passed in 2005 - this is a threat to their continued presence there.

The two, Dr. Rola Dashti and Dr. Aseel al-Awadhi, come to work in the parliament wearing Western-style clothes, with nothing covering their heads, angering members of the Islamist bloc in the house, who grind their teeth at the very sight of women in the parliament.

ashti was responsible for initiating the law permitting women to be elected and she invests a great deal of energy in furthering the status of women in her country, which is considered the most democratic in the Gulf. She completed her doctoral studies in economics at Johns Hopkins University in the United States and since then has held senior economic positions in Kuwait.

Among other posts, she was chairperson of the economic society of Kuwait, which had been male dominated since its inception in 1970.

She was also a senior banker in the Bank of Kuwait and served as an adviser to the heads of government on how to get out of last year's global economic crisis.

Al-Awadhi holds a doctorate in political philosophy from the University of Texas and belongs to one of the most important families in Kuwait. She unsuccessfully ran for parliament in 2006.

In May 2009, she was photographed wearing a long white T-shirt and jumping for joy at news of her election. That photograph was later bandied around in the opposition newspapers which explained to their readers why they demanded that female elected representatives dress modestly.

The struggle over women's dress is now before the constitutional court, which will have to decided on a much more substantive question than the way women MPs are clothed: Does the religious ruling of the religious leaders obligate the state, or is their status that of advisors whose decisions are not binding on the state?

The law does not stipulate clearly how women representatives have to dress and the MPs have said that Kuwait is not governed by religious law, even though Islam is the state religion.

This intriguing disagreement does not stop the religious heads and the leaders of other Arab countries. Religious law is first and foremost a matter of geography.

In Egypt, for example, Muhammed Sayed Tantawi, the head Imam of al-Azhar University, which is the most important Sunni religious center in the Middle East, and the authority for the Egyptian government on religious conduct, ruled that women with head scarves should not be allowed to enter the school's campus. When a girl studying in the junior high argued with him during a visit he paid to the school, he simply dismissed her with, "I know more about religion than you do."

In this way, Tantawi gave his complete support to the Egyptian minister for higher education, Hani Hilal, who had ruled that women wearing head scarves not be allowed to enter the university campus. If they insist on a head scarf, they will not be allowed to study or to live at the student residences, he said.

This is a struggle over the character of the country where the rulers are fearful that, if the use of veils spreads, an extremist religious atmosphere could prevail and strengthen the opposition religious movements and especially the Muslim Brotherhood.

"The veil is contagious," wrote one Egyptian analyst, and therein lies its danger, he said. Egypt is not awaiting a decision by the religious tribunals.

From its point of view, the head of al-Azhar is not merely a guide, he decides what "degree of religiosity" is suitable for the state.

However the sphere of his guidance is also dependent on the wishes of the president, who, after all, appoints the head of al-Azhar.

Taxing restrictions on refugees

It is no coincidence that Hezbollah's concern for the Palestinians does not reach as far as their lowly status in Lebanon. The organization's voice is never heard with regard to employment for the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

The laws of the country that is "hosting" more than 350,000 refugees forbid the Palestinians from working in some 70 professions including medicine, journalism and law, and even from driving a public taxi.

According to the law, the only people who can work in these fields are those who have Lebanese citizenship or those whose homeland allows Lebanese citizens to work there.

Palestinian refugees can work in the "forbidden" professions only inside the refugee camps but there is no point to that since a Palestinian lawyer is not permitted to appear in a Lebanese court and a doctor is restricted to the clinics in the camps and cannot work in a government hospital.

The absurd thing is that Palestinians are allowed to get a license for a taxi, called a "red number" in Lebanon, but not to drive the cab.

That is because acquiring a license is like buying any public asset, but driving the taxi is limited to Lebanese citizens only.

The result is that there are only 200 legal Palestinian taxi drivers in Lebanon, who have either received the license because of family ties or because they managed to get citizenship.

Not a word about this has been heard from Hezbollah head Hassan Nassrallah. He understands that giving Palestinians a permit to drive a taxi does not mean that they are being resettled in Lebanon and would not change their national status as refugees.

But a permit of that type would cause direct harm to his Shi'ite supporters.

Source:  http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1122573.html

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Minneapolis: Imams settle case over being forced off a flight amid terrorist concerns

By Oren Dorell

Six Muslim clerics who were forced off a flight in Minneapolis amid terrorist concerns from passengers have settled their lawsuit against the airline and law enforcement agencies.

The imams called the settlement, which must be approved by a federal judge to take effect, a victory. The airport said it has not changed any policies as a result of the settlement, which it said it agreed to in order to save the expense of a trial.

"It is not an admission of guilt," said Patrick Hogan, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Airports Commission, which runs Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Also sued were an FBI agent and US Airways. Their spokespersons declined to comment.

Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which represented the imams, said the settlement is "a victory for civil rights."

"The six imams are pleased," Hooper said. "Their rights were maintained by the settlement."

The imams were removed from a US Airways flight on Nov. 20, 2006, after a passenger told a flight attendant that the six men had been praying loudly and cursing U.S. policies in Iraq before boarding the aircraft. Once on board, the men took separate seats in the cabin's front, middle and back. Before the pilot asked them to get off the flight, he was told that two of the men asked for seat belt extenders, which could be used as weapons.

Airport police, consulting with the FBI, removed the men and questioned them. Authorities eventually determined the clerics were not a threat, and they took a different flight home.

The imams had also sued the passengers who reported their suspicions to the flight crew, but Congress passed legislation giving passengers immunity from such lawsuits if they report suspected terrorist activity in good faith.

Hogan said the settlement is not a reflection on the actions of the passengers. "We are urging people to continue to report any suspicious behavior, and we are going to continue to follow up on any security threats."

"The fact remains there were passengers and crew that thought there was suspicious behavior, and the only way to determine whether there was a threat is to detain those individuals," he said.

Zuhdi Jasser, chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, which promotes a separation of religion and government, said he worries the settlement will affect pilots trying to make quick decisions to protect their passengers and crew.

"People are going to wonder: Am I going to be another captain who will end up costing my employer X dollars because I made a bad decision that was a bit quick," Jasser said.

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Unveiled plan to Islamize America hits top spot

'Only difference between guys in suits and guys with AK-47s is timing and tactics'

Posted: October 20, 2009

"Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America" by Paul Sperry and P. David Gaubatz is poised to rattle Washington with its revelations about the history, the activities and the goals of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and now is the No. 1best-sellers at the WND Superstore.

The book is based on the work of an undercover volunteer who worked at CAIR operations and was able to obtain access to thousands of actual documents generated by the organization that lobbies on behalf of Muslims.

Among other revelations included in the book that cites CAIR's links to the Muslim Brotherhood is a report from an FBI official in Washington who describes how the Brotherhood and al-Qaida share the same goals but use different methods to achieve them.

"The only difference between the guys in the suits and the guys with the AK-47s is timing and tactics," the book quotes the official confirming.

Earlier this year, the FBI severed ties to CAIR, citing evidence the group's leaders were participating in an "ongoing" conspiracy to support terrorists.

The book has all the elements of a top-flight mystery novel, but the situations and conversations are real. Its allegations, frightening to many readers, are supported by more than 12,000 pages of confidential, internal CAIR documents secretly extracted during the undercover operation.

The trail of information provided by the investigation and documented in the book reveals the "insidious and well-funded efforts of the seditious Muslim Brotherhood under the nonprofit guise of CAIR to fully support the international jihad against the United States."

The goal, the book explains, is the transformation of American society from within.

The hope is, the book said, "to accomplish this through terrorist activities, fraud, and infiltration of our political and intelligence systems." He writes how between President George W. Bush's "new world order" and the unprecedented governmental growth and massive redistribution of wealth under President Barack Obama, the United States risks losing the greatest middle class ever created in the history of the world.

He blows the whistle on a movement to undercut the fundamental principles of limited government that our Founding Fathers fought for and died for trying to establish, describing how as policy-makers manipulate the current economic panic to advance a globalist agenda that threatens American sovereignty, citizens must protect their independence and self-governing nation.

The globalists' plan to put America on the chopping block is explained.

"While the radical Left promotes socialism and the radical Right champions unbridled free trade, valuable jobs are being outsourced, national borders erased, and the dollar destroyed before our very eyes," he warns.

In third place is the "RECYCLE CONGRESS" Magnetic Bumper Sticker, which states a goal for the coming 2010 mid-term congressional elections – and perhaps more in 2012.

Like other WND bumper stickers, this is magnetic and permanent yet removable.

It fits perfectly on a bumper, a file cabinet or a refrigerator – or any other magnetic surface.

Here are the Shop.WND.com, WND's online Superstore, top sellers for Oct. 13-18.

   1. "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America" - (Autographed) (Hardcover)

      By Paul Sperry and P. David Gaubatz

   2.:"America for Sale: Fighting the New World Order, Surviving a Global Depression, and Preserving USA Sovereignty" - (Autographed) (Hardcover)

      By Jerome Corsi

   3. "RECYCLE CONGRESS" Magnetic Bumper Sticker

   4. "For The Record: I'M NOT CRAZY" - (DVD)

      By Molotov Mitchell

   5. "SEND CONGRESS A PINK SLIP" Magnetic Bumper Sticker

   6. The Annals of the World" (soft cover)

   7. "YOU LIE!" Magnetic Bumper Sticker

   8. "Where's The Birth Certificate" Magnetic Bumper Sticker

   9. "The Islamic Antichrist: The Shocking Truth about the Real Nature of the Beast" - (Autographed) (Hardcover)

      By Joel Richardson

  10. "UNDOCUMENTED WORKER" Magnetic Bumper Sticker

This list does not include WND's two sister publications – Whistleblower magazine and Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin – always among the best-selling products in Shop.WND.com. If you're not subscribing to these two great companions to WND, you're missing out on the best monthly magazine and the best weekly, online intelligence newsletter in the world.

Source:  http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=113477

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Pak-based Baloch Sunni outfit Jundallah’s Battle for Control in Iran

21 October 2009

The latest terror bombing, at the Islamic University in Islamabad, comes close on the heels of a suicide attack by the shadowy Baloch Sunni outfit Jundallah in Iran which killed six members of that country's elite Revolutionary Guard. Jundallah is believed to have its base in Pakistan's Balochistan province. The attack has led Iran, for the first time, to publicly pressure Pakistan to apprehend its perpetrators. And President Asif Zardari, in response, has agreed to set up a timetable to confront Jundallah.

New Delhi, of course, has been crying itself hoarse about the need to confront the Lashkar-e-Taiba, responsible for a long string of similar outrages in India, and wind up the terror infrastructure in Pakistan. But while Islamabad has, in the past, handed over anti-Iran militants to Tehran, such cooperation with New Delhi appears unthinkable for its establishment. The consequence is that Islamabad's battle against terror is not being fought on the plane of ideas. Rather there's just an administrative response when terror's selection of targets appear less palatable to the establishment. Such a half-hearted response will not do, and is now recoiling against itself.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/opinion/edit-page/Battle-For-Control/articleshow/5142672.cms

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Controversial Imam to Join Jesse Jackson at Muslim Group's Banquet

October 20, 2009

By Joshua Rhett Miller

A radical New York imam who was once investigated as a possible co-conspirator in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre will share the stage Saturday night as a featured guest and speaker when the Council on American-Islamic Relations celebrates its 15th anniversary in Washington.

Siraj Wahhaj, imam of the Masjid Al-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, N.Y., became the first Muslim to lead the opening prayer in the U.S. House of Representatives in 1991. Four years later, he was a character witness for Omar Abdel-Rahman, the so-called "blind sheik" convicted of conspiring to bomb the World Trade Center in 1993. Although Wahhaj was never charged, then-U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White identified him in 1995 in a list of "unindicted persons who may be alleged as co-conspirators."

Also speaking at the event will be the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Stephen Schwartz, executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, a Washington-based think tank, calls Wahhaj one of the most prominent and strident African-American Islamic preachers in America.

"He's a hatemonger, there's no question about it," Schwartz said. "He's the No. 1 advocate of radical Islamic ideology among African-Americans. His stuff is very appealing to young Muslims who are on a radical path."

Full Report at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,568709,00.html

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Troubled relationship between Iran and the West is at an important crossroads

By Zach Ammerman, Oct. 19, 2009

With the first international dialogue in years about the Iranian uranium enrichment program opening next week, the troubled relationship between Iran and the West is at an important crossroads. After years of open hostility between both sides, a new dialogue is being opened. This is a golden opportunity to decrease tension that cannot be missed. In order to succeed, Americans need to understand a few things about Iran.

An Iran armed with a nuclear weapon would be bad, but not nearly as bad as most Americans think. It is likely that there is something fishy going on with Iran’s nuclear program, but there is absolutely no proof of this that we know of. There is a strong possibility that Iran is working toward nuclear capability, but it is unlikely that they will actually develop a bomb. A nuclear-armed Iran would pose a threat to the United States, but only indirectly. Iran is perhaps the country most misunderstood and misrepresented by the American public, the vast majority of whom write it off as simply another crackpot Arab dictatorship.

Besides being completely untrue, the situation is far more complex than that. A history lesson for most Americans would go a long way toward assuaging the tensions between our two (similar) nations. The comparisons that many Americans draw between Iran and the Arab world are almost entirely superficial.

Iranians are, in fact, not even Arab; they’re Persian. They do not speak Arabic, but a completely unrelated and far older language called Farsi. They do not practice Sunni Islam, as the vast majority of the Arab world does, but are mostly Shia. Iran’s history and culture are far older and – many Iranians believe – more sophisticated than that originating in Arabia, which some Iranians look down upon. Iran has, at best, a suspicious and distant relationship with its Arab neighbors.

Full Report at: http://www.idsnews.com/news/story.aspx?id=71122

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The plight of rural Palestinians on the West Bank is as grim as ever

Palestinian farmers: Not much of an olive branch

Oct 15th 2009 | AL-MUGHAYIR

The plight of rural Palestinians on the West Bank is as grim as ever

AFP A Palestinian farmer, stumped again

“WHAT did the trees do?” says Muhammad Abu Awad, a retired teacher of agriculture and father of 14 children, as he looks gloomily at his ravaged field. Twisted, silvery stubs are all that remain of a lush grove that once offered up a yearly abundance of fat green olives.

The vandals came at night from Adei Ad, a Jewish settlers’ outpost deemed “illegal” even by the Israeli government, near Shvut Rachel, an established West Bank settlement that is judged illegal in international but not Israeli law. Working fast, unnoticed by Palestinian landowners in the nearby Arab village of al-Mughayir, the settlers cut down nearly 200 olive trees, of which 70 belonged to Mr Abu Awad. As a result, he reckons to have lost income worth around $3,400 that he would have earned from this year’s harvest. But that is not all. “I planted these trees with my own hands 35 years ago”, he says, wistfully touching the stumps, now wrapped in sackcloth to protect them from the sun. Mr Abu Awad hopes his trees will recover and one day bear fruit again.

As usual at harvest time, tension between Palestinian farmers and Jewish settlers has risen. The olive tree deeply stirs the emotions of Palestinians. It is a symbol of their struggle and a vital part of their rural economy. According to their ministry of agriculture, nearly 500,000 olive trees have been bulldozed, burnt down or uprooted in the territories since the second intifada (uprising) began in 2000. Israel’s army has cleared swathes of groves to create open areas in the Gaza Strip and along the security barrier being built on the western side of the West Bank, often taking big bites out of Palestinian land. The Israelis have also cut down thousands of trees near the Jewish settlements. Palestinians and human-rights groups have repeatedly castigated the Israeli army for failing to stop such destruction. The settlers say terrorists hide among the trees.

Full Report at: http://www.economist.com/world/middleeast-africa/displayStory.cfm?story_id=14660454

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Top US Scientist Spying for Israel

IOL Staff

WASHINGTON — Top space scientist Stewart Nozette, who worked for the White House and NASA, has been charged with spying and trying to channel classified information about US nuclear weaponry and national defense to Israel.

Nozette, 52, was arrested after a sting operation involving an undercover FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer.

He has been charged with “attempted espionage for knowingly and willfully attempting to communicate, deliver, and transmit classified information relating to the national defense of the US,” the Department of Justice said in a statement on its website.

Nozette met with the undercover agent and discussed his willingness to work for Israeli intelligence.

He told him he had access to highly-sensitive and classified information about US security and satellite programs.

Nozette agreed to provide regular, continuing information in exchange for money and an Israeli passport.

"In addition, Nozette allegedly offered to reveal additional classified information that directly concerned nuclear weaponry, military spacecraft or satellites, and other major weapons systems," said the statement.

Over the next several weeks, Nozette and the undercover agent exchanged envelopes of money for answers to lists of questions.

"The answers contained information classified as both Top Secret and Secret that concerned US satellites, early warning systems, means of defense or retaliation against large-scale attack, communications intelligence information, and major elements of defense strategy," the statement said.

Full Report at: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1256033839609&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

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Afghanistan drug trail spanning the world

By Paula Newton

DOVER, England (CNN) -- As the ferries dock at the Port of Dover after crossing the English Channel, the trucks pull in at a steady rate. Afghanistan's opium harvest can be traced right back to some of those trucks.

"The routes are many and varied, the concealments are many and varied, we see body [concealment], we see what you call stuffers and swallowers, internal concealments," says Steve Coates, deputy director of Britain's Serious Organized Crime Agency.

"They're one step ahead of us and we're desperately trying to get one step ahead of them and I think it's a long game," he said.

Coates has spent almost 25 years tracking the heroin pipeline. But he says the approach over the last few years is more intelligence-led.

"If we seize the powder, the commodity, they very quickly replace it. The financial flow is much more important. If you can hit the gangs, the proceeds of crime, you really are affecting them, you're reaching right into them and actually impacting them," says Coates. VideoWatch how the Afghan drug pipeline is difficult to stop »

A new United Nations report confirms the status of the lawless and fertile lands of southern Afghanistan as the world's biggest supplier of illegal opium, the addictive narcotic that is made from the seed pods of poppies.

The drug is ravaging the young, poor and vulnerable in Afghanistan, and its proceeds are the lifeblood of the Taliban. It also is spreading on a drug trail that spans the world.

Full Report at: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/europe/10/21/afghanistan.england.drug/index.html

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BANGALORE: Love `jihad': Man kills friend

22 October 2009,

BANGALORE: Love cost Chethan dear. His friend Shiva objected to his affair with his sister, and had him murdered on October 15. Chethan's body was found in Peenya II Stage.

Chethan, who was running a small scale industry, wanted to make it big in the film industry and become a film star.

Rajgopalnagar police arrested five persons, including Shiva, alias Shivashankar. The others in the net are Manjunath, Rajesh, Lohith and Rohith Kumar.

Chethan and Shiva grew up in the same area near Rajgopalnagar. However, they became close recently, when they became office-bearers of Jai Karnataka. Chethan was negotiating with a person from Mysore to make a movie, which he was ready to fund up to Rs 25 lakh.

Meanwhile, Chethan fell in love with Shiva's sister, while Shiva's family members were looking for an alliance for the girl. When he learnt about his sister's affair, Shiva warned them both. Chethan promised to keep away from Shiva's sister.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/Love-jihad-Man-kills-friend/articleshow/5146759.cms

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Philippines Ulema condemn kidnapping of Irish priest as un-Islamic, appeal for release

By John Unson, 21, 2009

COTABATO CITY, Philippines – The 5,000-member National Ulama Conference of the Philippines (NUCP) yesterday appealed for the immediate release of kidnapped Irish priest Michael Sinnott.

The NUCP, a nationwide organization of Islamic scholars whose members include preachers trained in Islamic countries abroad, issued a statement condemning the kidnapping of Sinnott as anti-Islam.

“We condemn this act as violently opposed to the tenets of Islam and Christianity (and)… a departure from the long tradition of tolerance, compassion and goodwill held in common by these faiths,” the NUCP said.

The group also urged a peaceful dialogue for the safe release of Sinnott.

“We likewise call on the members of society to see the urgent need for sustained dialogue among its diverse members in light of this recurring incidence of abduction of civilians,” the NUCP said.

The group also criticized the media for labeling the suspected kidnappers of Sinnott as “Muslim terrorists” and “Islamic militants.”

They said the labels, which they said were emotionally and politically charged, had maligned the Islamic faith in referring to the supposed abductors of the Irish priest.

Six armed gunmen kidnapped the 79-year-old Irish priest from his home at the Missionary Society of Saint Columban compound in Pagadian City on Oct. 11.

Authorities initially suspected a group of pirates snatched Sinnott and brought him to the custody of a commander of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Lanao del Norte.

Full Report at: http://www.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleId=516056&publicationSubCategoryId=63

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Indonesia arrests 10 Iranians for methamphetamine trafficking

October 21, 2009

Indonesia has arrested 10 Iranians, including eight women, for allegedly smuggling more than $10 million of the drug methamphetamine into the country, an official said on Wednesday.

The Iranians were arrested after arriving by plane at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta international airport, customs chief Anton Mawardi told AFP.

"The total value of the illegal drug amounts to Rupiah 102.064 billion" Mawardi said.

"They turned some of the methampetamine into liquid and put them into shampoo and soap bottles."

The alleged traffickers could face up to 10 years in jail, the customs office said in a statement.

Indonesia enforces stiff penalties, including life imprisonment and death, for drug trafficking.

Source:  http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Indonesia-arrests-10-Iranians-for-methamphetamine-trafficking/Article1-467506.aspx

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Muslims should honour Hindu sentiments on Ram Temple: Dwarka Peeth Seer

PTI 22 October 2009, 06:57pm IST

JAMSHEDPUR: The Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth, Swami Swaroopanand Sarswatiji Maharaj, has appealed to the Muslim community to honour the religious sentiments of Hindus and cooperate in the construction of Ram Temple at Ram Janambhoomi in Ayodhya.

"Ram Temple at the birth place of Lord Ram is one of the holiest places for Hindus as Mecca for Muslims and Vatican for Christians," Swaroopanand Sarswatiji told newspersons here last night.

Temples and Masjids can be built at any place but the birthplace (of Lord Ram) cannot be shifted, he said while emphasizing for a concrete step to end the dispute over the issue.

He said the issue should be resolved in a cordial atmosphere without disturbing the prevailing communal harmony.

Taking a dig at BJP, the Shankaracharya said the Ram Mandir issue was grabbed from the Sadhus and the issue was forgotten by them.

The Shankaracharya also expressed concern over the rampant pollution in the Ganges river.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslims-should-honour-Hindu-sentiments-on-Ram-Temple-Dwarka-Peeth-Seer/articleshow/5149729.cms

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Indonesia, a model Muslim democracy

Dr.  N Janardhan

22 October 2009

Even as the controversies surrounding the presidential elections in Iran and Afghanistan refuse to subside, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was sworn in for a second five-year term as president of Indonesia this week. The relative ease with which he assumed office again not only strengthens Indonesia’s democratic experiment, but lends an air of optimism for the future of participatory governments in the Islamic world.

The start of Yudhoyono’s second innings is the product of a complex political process that required parliamentary election in April and presidential poll in July, which was only the second in its history. It involved 176 million voters in nearly half a million polling stations, making it the largest Muslim country on the path to becoming the third largest democracy in the world.

" While these events form the subtext, the meat of the matter lies in the largely peaceful growth of Indonesia’s nascent democracy "

The president, popularly known as SBY, overcame challenges from Megawati Sukarnoputri, a former president and daughter of independence hero Sukarno, and outgoing Vice President Jusuf Kalla. In fact, both losing candidates later alleged voting irregularities and demanded that the results be annulled. The Constitutional Court, however, endorsed SBY’s victory in August.

While these events form the subtext, the meat of the matter lies in the largely peaceful growth of Indonesia’s nascent democracy.

Full Report at: http://www.alarabiya.net/views/2009/10/22/88851.html

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Faith-Based Council Produces Muslim Celebrity

by Jamie Tarabay

October 22, 2009

Dalia Mogahed, a Muslim, is one of 25 people President Obama tapped to advise him on faith issues. She may have met the president exactly once, but to Muslims, she's a celebrity — thanks to the headscarf, or hijab, she wears every day.

When Obama spoke to the Muslim world from Egypt last summer, Mogahed was in the audience, sitting five rows from the front, sandwiched between old men in prayer caps and women in suits.

To Muslims who saw her there, she was traveling with the president — even though she wasn't. To them, she'd written his speech — even though she'd only contributed a couple of paragraphs.

To them, she was his Islamic adviser. She's not.

The denials didn't matter. The sight of Mogahed, a Muslim, in her hijab, seeming very official and "Washington," prompted Muslims to think of her as something more. To them, she is the hijabi in the White House.

"That's what stuck and that's how the story has been framed ever since. I've tried many times to reframe it and failed miserably," Mogahed says.

Muslims everywhere see her voluntary appointment as a backstage pass to the White House. She hears everything from "My father is in jail, and I want you to ask Obama to pardon him" to "I need a visa," she says.

What Mogahed actually does for the president is work on his faith-based council. They're supposed to come up with ideas on how the American government can partner with communities and social groups. What she brings to the table is research from her polling of Muslims at her day job with Gallup.

Mogahed says she's not there to represent Islam.

"What I'm doing is sharing with other council members and with the president the research we've done on the opinions of Muslims around the world," Mogahed says.

Right now, those opinions have swung sharply in favor of the United States. Mogahed saw that firsthand when she traveled around the region at the same time.

Full Report at: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=114004048

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RIYADH (Arab) –‘Kaust will end misconception about Islam’

By Muhammad Saman

22 October 2009

RIYADH – The Secretary-General of the Board of Senior Ulema, the Kingdom’s highest religious authority, has described King Abdullah University for Science and Technology (KAUST) as a “beacon of science and welfare for the entire world”.

Sheikh Fahd Bin Sa’ad Al-Majed, speaking to Okaz on Wednesday, said that King Abdullah had brought in “huge advances” evident in the doubling of the number of universities in the Kingdom and the encouragement of healthy competition between them, with KAUST the most notable of all.

“KAUST will serve to end the stereotypical propaganda and incorrect misconceptions about Islam by presenting the true image of Islam as a religion of knowledge and civilization,” Al-Majed said.

Al-Majed continued by describing the Islamic World as “suffering from cultural resistance in education, health and welfare, as well as different visions and motives”.

“Those following the efforts of the King can clearly see what he is doing to tackle these faults,” Al-Majed said. “He has brought in moves to address the situation of Muslims in political, intellectual and social areas, as seen in his continued efforts to reform the judiciary and education, as well as the personal interest he takes in improving scientific research to serve Islam and Muslims.”

Full Report at: http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentID=2009102252233

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Kuwait to Allow Women to Travel Without Husband's Consent

By Edward Yeranian

21 October 2009

Kuwait's constitutional court ruled Wednesday that Kuwaiti women have the right to travel without their husband's permission, revoking a 1962 passport law. Women in other Gulf States, like Saudi Arabia, still need permission from a close male relative to travel.

Kuwait took another step in favor of women's rights when the country's constitutional court ruled that women do not need to obtain their husband's consent before obtaining a passport to travel.

The high court, whose rulings may not be appealed, struck down part of a 1962 law that stipulated that women may not be granted a passport without the approval of their husbands.

Kuwait granted women the right to vote in 2005. Tribal and hardline Islamist members of parliament opposed the move, before being outvoted.

It was not until 2009, however, that women were first elected to parliament. Kuwait's Islamists insist that Islamic law forbids women from holding positions of leadership.

The ruling by Kuwait's constitutional court states that the 1962 passport law, requiring a woman to obtain their husbands' consent, violated the state's constitution, which assures personal freedom and gender equality.

The high court reached its decision after hearing the case of a Kuwaiti woman whose husband had refused to hand over her passport and those of her children to prevent them from leaving the country.

Full Report at: http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-10-21-voa43.cfm

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Kuwait women can get passport without spouse's permission

21 October 2009

KUWAIT CITY: Kuwait's highest court has granted women the right to obtain a passport without their husband's approval.

According to the ruling published in the daily Al-Qabas, the Constitutional Court found the decades-old law requiring a husband's signature on a woman's application for a passport "unconstitutional".

The court ruled it "compromised her humanity". The ruling is the latest gain for Kuwaiti women since they were granted the right to vote and compete in elections in 2005.

Unlike in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, women in this small oil-rich ally of Washington can drive and travel without the permission of their fathers or husbands.

Women activists still say they need equal access to government housing and the right to pass their citizenship to their children.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Kuwait-women-can-get-passport-without-spouses-permission/articleshow/5144855.cms

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KUWAIT: Students, teachers fume over classroom cameras

By Nawara Fattahova

October 22, 2009

KUWAIT: The incident where closed circuit television(CCTV) cameras were installed at the Farwaniya Islamic Institute for Girls has stirred stiff opposition from fellow classmates and parents alike. A voice recording device was also attached to the cameras and connected to a computer.

The management has decided to remove the cameras today. "We decided to remove these cameras after receiving many complaints from students, their parents, and teachers. I think we can continue to work even without these cameras," the institute's principal told the Kuwait Times after refusing to give statements to the press initially.

The students had complained that these spy cameras had curbed their freedom while at class rooms. Many who wore 'niqab' (face veil) would remove them at the class room since there were no men. Once the cameras were installed they were suspicious of who were watching the footage and had to continue wearing their niqabs and hijabs all the time.

Full Report at: http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=OTgxNTQ3MjY3

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Ex-Muslim teen ordered back to Ohio

October 22, 2009

ORLANDO (BP)—Rifqa Bary, a 17-year-old girl who fled her family’s home after converting from Islam to Christianity, was ordered Oct. 13 to return to Ohio where she will be in the custody of a local children’s services agency.

In July, Bary sought refuge in Orlando after saying that her father threatened her life. In August, Florida’s Department of Children and Families took emergency protective custody of her and placed her with foster parents.

Bary claims to have been a Christian for four years, a development she attempted to hide from her devout Muslim parents who are natives of Sri Lanka and now reside in the Columbus area. She reportedly hid a copy of the Bible in their home and secretly attended Christian meetings.

In an affidavit filed in August, Bary said in 2007 her father Mohamed Bary, a jeweler, found a copy of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren hidden in her bedroom. He had a serious talk with her about retaining the Islamic bloodline in their family, she said, adding that she didn’t admit her conversion.

After receiving e-mails and phone calls from the family’s mosque, the Noor Islamic Cultural Center, urging him to “deal with this matter immediately,” Bary’s father asked her if she had converted to Christianity.

“In a fit of anger that I had never seen before in my life, he picked up my laptop, waved it over my head as if to strike me with it and said, ‘If you have this Jesus in your heart, you are dead to me! You are no longer my daughter,’” Bary said in the affidavit, according to the Florida Baptist Witness.

Full Report at: http://www.floridabaptistwitness.com/10921.article

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Pakistani public backs war on terror

October 21, 2009

BJT Many Pakistanis say they support the government's military action against the Taliban. Civilians have paid a high price in years of violence.

Protection measures extend to the streets of Islamabad. Cement roadblocks are built everywhere to counter car bombs.

Police check points dot the streets. Inspection sometimes causes traffic jams, but the public consider it necessary.

Islamabad Resident, said, "They are trying to protect us from the danger and the terrorists. This is good."

Islamabad Resident, said, "We are a brave nation. We are against terrorism. We support the government's effort against terror. This is not only good for us but for the world."

Source:  http://english.cctv.com/program/newshour/20091021/102951.shtml

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Home to several terror groups, Pak Punjab ambivalent towards Waziristan offensive

October 21st, 2009

Washington, Oct.21 (ANI): While people across Pakistan strongly support the on-going military offensive against the Taliban in its stronghold South Waziristan, residents in Punjab province are apparently undecided on whether to stand in support of the ‘war on terror’ or not.

The political scenario in Punjab, the home of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI), is much different from other parts of Pakistan. While the whole of Pakistan is currently up in arms against the extremists following a series of audacious terror strikes in the recent past, people in Punjab tend to believe that the extremists are doing the country a favour by fighting against the foreigners (US).

Punjab has served as a base for several Islamist militant groups, such as the Lashkar-i-Taiba (LeT), which was raised and sponsored by the state to fight India and other enemies.

As a result, officials here tend to shy away from harsh condemnations, The Washington Post reports.

Provincial officials have their own explanations for the growing wave of terrorism in the region.

Full Report at: http://www.thaindian.com/newsportal/south-asia/home-to-several-terror-groups-pak-punjab-ambivalent-towards-waziristan-offensive_100263645.html

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Pakistan Continues Waziristan Offensive, Closes Schools

21 October 2009

Pakistani helicopter gunships attacked Taliban strongholds near the Afghan border Wednesday on the fifth day of an offensive in the tribal region of South Waziristan.

Residents who fled Waziristan wait to be registered at a camp for the internally displaced, in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, 21 Oct 2009

Residents who fled Waziristan wait to be registered at a camp for the internally displaced, in Dera Ismail Khan, Pakistan, 21 Oct 2009

Officials say troops are facing fierce resistance as they fight to gain control of Kotkai, the hometown of the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud.

Pakistan's army says about 115 militants and 16 soldiers have been killed since the offensive began

There is no independent confirmation of the tolls, as the region is closed to outsiders and no journalists are traveling with Pakistani troops.

Full Report at: http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-10-21-voa11.cfm

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October 23, 2009

Pakistani Brigadier Is Assassinated

By JANE PERLEZ and SALMAN MASOOD

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Two assailants on a motorbike fired on a Pakistani Army jeep amid heavy rush-hour traffic Thursday morning, killing a brigadier and his driver, a security official said.

The assassination of the brigadier, Moinudin Ahmed, was believed to be the first targeted attack on a senior military officer in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, and also suggested a new tactic in the ongoing war between the government and Islamist militants. Until now, the military has been able to mostly move freely through the capital.

The assailants fired with automatic weapons at the jeep, which was not bulletproof, and then disappeared into heavy traffic, according to witnesses. The attack took place around 9:30 a.m. in the G-11 neighborhood of the capital.

The attack appeared to be a direct reprisal against the army’s current offensive against militants in the rugged tribal region of South Waziristan.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/world/asia/23pstan.html?_r=1&ref=global-home

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Pakistan attack merits outcry from Muslim leaders

October 22, 2009

The twin suicide blasts that rocked a Pakistani university campus this week are the latest in a series of comparable incidents attributed to Islamic fundamentalists that have again and again claimed innocent lives throughout the Muslim world in recent years.

In Iraq, Somalia, and in other parts of the world in which a peaceful Islam once thrived, the raw cruelty of those attacks, which are undoubtedly contrary to the principles of Islam, regularly remind us that confronting the radical elements within the Muslim community is an urgent necessity.

In this case, the specific targeting of an academic institution strikes a severe blow to a central pillar of Islam: education.

Despite the efforts of many Islamic radicals to disrupt educational institutions in scores of societies, it is widely accepted that Islam sanctions the importance of education; the prophet famously called on the religion’s followers to seek knowledge even if that journey brought them as far as China.

Full Report at: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&article_id=107822&categ_id=17

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Pak takes battle to Taliban den

22 October 2009

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Pakistani helicopter gunships attacked Taliban bases near the Afghan border on Wednesday as the army urged Nato forces to seal

the frontier to stem cross-border movement of militants.

Pakistani forces launched an offensive to wrest control of the lawless South Waziristan region on Saturday after militants rocked the country with a string of bomb and suicide attacks in recent weeks, killing more than 150 people.

Remote and rugged South Waziristan, with its rocky mountains and patchy forests cut through by dry creeks and ravines, is a global hub for militants. The offensive is being closely followed by the United States and other powers embroiled in Afghanistan.

The government forces initially faced light resistance but fighting intensified as soldiers approached the militants’ main sanctuaries in the mountains.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-takes-battle-to-Taliban-den/articleshow/5146954.cms

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We have proof of India's involvement in Balochistan: Pak

21 October 2009

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has "solid evidence" about India's involvement in fomenting unrest in Balochistan province and is ready to share them with

New Delhi, interior minister Rehman Malik said today.

Islamabad has "solid evidence of India's interference in Balochistan" and this material can be shared with Indian ministers or representatives at any forum of their choice, Malik told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting at the interior ministry.

"I invite their interior minister or anyone else (to come to Pakistan) and I will put on record all the material about India's interference in Balochistan. I'll prove it to the world," he said.

Malik made the remarks in response to a question about Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that a Mumbai-like attack was imminent in India.

He said India should stop "issuing threats" every few weeks as Pakistan is capable of responding to any contingency.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/We-have-proof-of-Indias-involvement-in-Balochistan-Pak/articleshow/5146227.cms

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October 22, 2009

Iran Deal Would Slow Making of Nuclear Bombs

By DAVID E. SANGER

VIENNA — Iranian negotiators have agreed to a draft deal that would delay the country’s ability to build a nuclear weapon for about a year, buying more time for President Obama to search for a diplomatic solution to the Iranian nuclear standoff.

Under the tentative accord hammered out in international talks here, Iran agreed to ship about three-quarters of its known stockpile of nuclear fuel to Russia for conversion into a form it could use only in a peaceful nuclear reactor, participants in the negotiations said Wednesday. But the arrangement would still have to be approved by Friday in Tehran and Washington.

If Tehran’s divided leadership agrees to the accord, which Iran’s negotiators indicated was not assured, it will remove enough nuclear fuel from Iran to delay any work on a nuclear weapon until the country can replenish its stockpile of fuel, estimated to require about one year. As such, it would buy more time for Mr. Obama to try to negotiate a more comprehensive and more difficult agreement to end Iran’s production of new nuclear material.

Obama administration officials expressed cautious optimism that the agreement could increase the chances of striking a broader diplomatic accord and put off any decision about whether to address the Iranian nuclear threat by other means, including military action. In particular, the United States is seeking to convince Israel that negotiations have reduced the risk that Iran could throw out nuclear inspectors and quickly turn its reactor fuel into bomb fuel.

 “There’s a part of this that’s about getting our diplomacy with Iran started, and a part that’s about convincing the Israelis that there’s no reason to drop hints that they are going to reach for a military solution,” one senior administration official said from Washington.

The Friday deadline for Iran to respond also poses a major test for its embattled leadership, one that is “intended to explore the proposition of whether Iran really wants to negotiate its way out of this problem,” in the words of one White House official.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/22/world/middleeast/22nuke.html?ref=global-home

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Iraqis top list of refugees seeking asylum

NEW YORK (CNN) -- For the fourth year in a row, Iraqis top a growing roster of people seeking asylum in an industrialized nation. They are just ahead of people fleeing wars in Afghanistan and Somalia, said a report published by the U.N. refugee agency Wednesday.

The refugee agency said 13,200 Iraqis applied for asylum. An additional 12,000 claims were from Afghans and 11,000 from Somalis.

In all, the United Nations said 185,000 people filed for asylum in the first six months of 2009, a 10 percent increase over last year.

Those people were fleeing homelands that also included China, Serbia (including Kosovo), Russia, Nigeria, Mexico, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The United States received the most asylum applications -- 23,700, or 13 percent -- while 38 European nations received 75 percent of the applications.

"These statistics show that ongoing violence and instability in some parts of the world force increasing numbers of people to flee and seek protection in safe countries," said Antonio Guterres, the U.N. high commissioner for refugees.

"There is an acute need for countries to keep their asylum doors wide open to those who are in genuine need of international protection," he said.

Source:  http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/meast/10/22/un.refugees/index.html

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Will an Afghan run-off make a difference?

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has announced he will back a decision to hold a second round of presidential elections. What do you think of Mr Karzai's decision?

The run-off will be held on 7th November between the president and his main rival Abdullah Abdullah.

After allegations of fraud in August's elections, the Electoral Complaints Commission ordered that ballots from 210 polling stations be discounted. In order to prevent more irregularities, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has said the UN is seeking to get more than half the top officials involved in Afghanistan's election replaced.

Mr Ban told the BBC that 200 officials who had been complicit in fraud should go to ensure a run-off vote due next month was "transparent and credible".

Are you in Afghanistan? Will you be voting? Do you think that fraud can be prevented this time? Will a second round bring stability to the country?

Source:  http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?forumID=7138&edition=2&ttl=20091022161913

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Rights group denies Israel bias

A leading human rights group has rejected a claim by its founder that it is biased against Israel.

Robert Bernstein said Human Rights Watch had strayed from its original mandate to scrutinise closed societies, not democracies like Israel.

In an article in the New York Times, he said the organisation had helped to turn Israel into a pariah state.

In response, Human Rights Watch said its reporting on Israel was only a tiny fraction of its work.

The organisation has accused Israel of committing war crimes during its attack on Gaza earlier this year.

Mr Bernstein, who was chairman of Human Rights Watch from 1978 to 1998, said the group had been set up to pry open closed societies and advocate basic freedoms, and therefore had drawn a distinction between democratic and non-democratic states.

“Human Rights Watch has lost critical perspective on a conflict in which Israel has been repeatedly attacked by Hamas and Hezbollah, organisations that go after Israeli citizens and use their own people as human shields”

Robert Bernstein

"Now the organisation, with increasing frequency, casts aside its important distinction between open and closed societies," he said.

"Nowhere is this more evident than in its work in the Middle East. The region is populated by authoritarian regimes with appalling human rights records.

"Yet in recent years Human Rights Watch has written far more condemnations of Israel for violations of international law than of any other country in the region," Mr Bernstein wrote.

Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8320013.stm

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Data, Photos of US Military Forces Raping an Iraqi Girl Emerge; Gabriela-USA Demands Justice

October 21, 2009

On October 3, 2009 graphic and disturbing photos of the brutal rape of a 14 year old Iraqi girl emerged via confidential source and caught media attention. The photos show US Soldiers in the 101st Airborne Division forcibly holding down and gang raping the Iraqi girl. The girl and her family, including a five year old child, were murdered.

This brutal event occurred back in March 2006, and one of the killers, Steven Green, was found guilty on May 7, 2009 and awaits sentencing. Women’s rights advocates expose the link between the War on Terror and the increasing rates of violence committed against women and children abroad. Elaine Villasper, a GABRIELA USA Vice Chair, stated, “This is enraging. Wherever the U.S. military goes, the rates of prostitution and sexual violence escalates. It’s time to stop the U.S. war machine.”

The story and three photos, which had been withheld from the public, is a deep reminder that the United States has had a long history of brutality against women and children during times of war. The presence of US military forces has always corresponded with an increase in human rights violations. US military forces employ the vicious and sadistic tactics of raping, torturing, and murdering women and children as a weapon of war, meant to exert power and control over a country and to beat it’s people into submission.

What you are reading is either a press release/ statement or a manifesto. These materials do not go through our editorial process and do not reflect Bulatlat’s policy or position.

Full Report at: http://www.bulatlat.com/main/2009/10/21/data-photos-of-us-military-forces-raping-an-iraqi-girl-emerge-gabriela-usa-demands-justice/

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Producers of THE THIRD JIHAD Support Calls from Congress to Investigate Activities of CAIR

Tue Oct 20, 2009

The producers of the hard-hitting documentary The Third Jihad: Radical Islam's Vision for America, applaud the demand of Congressmen Sue Myrick (NC), Trent Franks (AZ), John Shadegg (AZ), and Paul Broun (GA) to open an investigation into the activities of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Capitol Hill.

This past week, the new book 'Muslim Mafia' charges CAIR with planting interns

in the House Homeland Security Committee, Intelligence Committee and Judiciary

Committee to affect legislative policy by acting as "spies" for CAIR.

In a letter sent to the U.S. Congress earlier this year, Congresswoman Myrick

warned her fellow colleagues to cut all ties with CAIR, noting, "The FBI has

cut ties with them." 

CAIR claims to be America's largest Islamic civil liberties group, but its

founders have allegedly been linked to radical organizations. CAIR was

publicly named as one of 306 unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land

Foundation trial, the largest terror funding trial in the United States.  An

exclusive clip from The Third Jihad about the founders of CAIR, and the Holy

Land Foundation trial can be viewed at:

www.thethirdjihad.com/exclusive_clips_test.php.

Upon watching The Third Jihad, Congresswoman Myrick stated that, "All

Americans should see this DVD. It presents a clear picture of the threat of

Radical Islam--even within our own borders."

"Many Americans remain unaware of the threat that radicals present to our

civil liberties and the American way of life," stated Raphael Shore, Executive

Producer of The Third Jihad.

Full Report at: http://www.reuters.com/article/pressRelease/idUS143913+20-Oct-2009+PRN20091020

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UK navy forces to return to Iraq

British naval personnel are to return to Iraq to train local forces, Armed Forces Minister Bill Rammell has said.

The announcement comes after politicians in Baghdad passed legislation allowing their return.

The six-year British military mission in Iraq ended on 30 April this year with all UK personnel withdrawn in July.

The Ministry of Defence said that the navy personnel would be back in Iraq next month.

Mr Rammell told the Commons it was agreed "training activity should resume as soon as possible".

In a written statement, he said: "The government intends to notify the Iraqi government within the next few days that the UK is ready to bring this agreement into force."

Between 100 and 150 British service personnel withdrew to Kuwait in July after the Iraqi parliament failed to ratify an agreement allowing them to remain.

“Training of the Iraqi Navy has been paused since June and it is important to resume this activity as soon as possible”

Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/8320415.stm

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Iran mourns suicide bomb victims

Revolutionary Guards members killed in Sunday's suicide bombing in south-eastern Iran have been buried.

Thousands of mourners, many in military uniforms, attended the funerals.

The attack in the province of Sistan-Baluchistan killed 42 people. It targeted the Revolutionary Guard, killing 15 of its members.

Iran has blamed Jundullah, a Sunni militant group. It has also accused the United States, Britain and Pakistan of some role in the attack.

All have denied any involvement.

Sunday's suicide bombing hit as Revolutionary Guards met tribal leaders in the Pishin district close to the Pakistani border.

SISTAN-BALUCHISTAN ATTACKS

# May 2009 A bomb explodes at a mosque in the provincial capital Zahedan, killing 19 and injuring 60.

# February 2007 Suspected militants killed 11, including Iranian Revolutionary Guards, in a bomb attack in the provincial capital Zahedan.

# March 2006 Gunmen posing as police kill 22 people, many government employees, after closing the Zabol-Zahedan road.

Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8316278.stm

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Iran accuses Pakistan over attack

Iran's president has accused Pakistani agents of involvement in a suicide bombing in south-east of the country targeting a group of the elite Revolutionary Guards force.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on Pakistan to arrest the attackers, who he said had entered Iran from Pakistan.

Forty-two people died in the attack in Sistan-Baluchistan, including six Revolutionary Guards commanders.

Iran has previously accused the US and UK of contributing to the attack.

In his first comments on the bombing, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini also blamed the United States.

"This terrorists crime revealed the evil face of enemies of security and unity who are supported by intelligence organisations of some arrogant governments," he said, using a phrase that usually refers to the US and its allies.

Pakistani officials condemned the attack, which has been blamed on the Sunni resistance group, Jundullah.

The Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman, Abdul Basit, dismissed Iranian claims that Jundullah's leader was in Pakistan.

'Crushing' response

According to state media, one or more suicide bombers targeted the group of Revolutionary Guards leaders who had arranged to meet tribal leaders in the Pishin district close to the Pakistani border.

ANALYSIS

Jon Leyne, BBC Tehran correspondent Jundallah, or Army of God, has been involved in a long-running insurgency in Sistan-Baluchistan.

Some experts believe they may have ties with the Taliban or al-Qaeda, operating in Pakistan and Afghanistan. That is disputed, and another possibility is that Jundallah maintains more informal links with ethnic Baluchis in the neighbouring countries.

Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8313625.stm

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Syria rights veteran faces trial

A Syrian human rights group says veteran dissident Haitham Maleh has been put under formal arrest after he was questioned by military prosecutors.

The 78-year-old former judge was detained last week in a move which sparked international criticism.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says he is likely to face charges of spreading false information.

In interviews and a recent open letter to the president he criticised repression and corruption in Syria.

Mr Maleh has advocated democracy in Syria for decades and spent seven years in prison as a dissident in the 1980s.

He disappeared, presumed arrested, last Wednesday, but there was no announcement by the authorities.

It was confirmed that he had been referred by a security branch to a military court on Tuesday and he was interrogated on Wednesday.

Britain has urged Syria to free Mr Maleh and allow Syrian citizens "to practise the right of freedom of expression and association without fear of sanction".

Advocacy group Human Rights Watch said Syria could not expect to be treated as a member of the international community if it arbitrarily imprisoned its own citizens.

Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8319361.stm

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Obama, U.S. leaders should contemplate future of Afghan women

October 21, 2009

I spend a lot of time these days thinking about Afghanistan, about what is the right thing for the United States and the international community to do in that inhospitable land. Thoughts of Afghanistan have filled my mind ever since someone killed Ben Sklaver there a few weeks ago.

I would not say that Ben and I were close friends. But I knew him, I liked him and I always admired him. A suicide bomber killed Ben, ending the life of a bright, compassionate, handsome 32-year-old, whose future was filled with promise. A friend described him as a "combatant for peace," an idealistic civil affairs specialist with an advanced degree in diplomacy, specializing in humanitarian studies. An Army reservist, Ben had recently started an organization bringing water to poor villages in Africa after a tour of duty there. Ben's death is most devastating to his family and his fiancee. It is also a loss for the world.

We should never forget that wars, even the most just and necessary ones, always bring terrible pain and loss.

President Barack Obama and his advisers are now deciding the future of U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. As they discuss a troop request from Gen. Stanley McCrystal, their deliberations focus on the security interests of the United States and its allies.

Afghanistan is where al-Qaida hatched the 9-11 plot that killed 3,000 Americans and rerouted history's march.

Obama must consider what would happen if America and its allies lost the war. Would Afghanistan's former Taliban rulers return to power and again welcome al-Qaida? Would nuclear-armed Pakistan become even more vulnerable to its own Taliban insurgency? Will a defeat embolden America's enemies?

Full Report at: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/sns-200910210805mctnewsservbc-ghitis-column-mi1209,0,326400.story

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Twin blasts at International Islamic University limit people’s movement

Obaid Abrar Khan, October 22, 2009

After Tuesday’s twin suicide blasts at the International Islamic University (IIU), the residents of Rawalpindi and Islamabad are reluctant to go out or visit crowded places.

Shopkeepers are facing financial losses because their sales have dropped considerably. Only a few customers are seen in markets.

Talking to ‘The News,’ Muhammad Awais, a resident of Rawalpindi, said that his family members have restricted their movement. “They are avoiding crowded places due to security threats,” he added.

Naila Hameed, a housewife, said that visiting shopping malls, markets and other crowded places was not wise as terror attacks could occur anywhere anytime. “For this reason, we have restricted our movement and prefer to stay at our home. If any family member goes out, we pray for his safety until he returns home,” she added.

According to her, the closure of educational institutions for one week was not a solution to deal with terrorists. “The government should make strong policies and tighten security to counter terrorists,” she added.

Muhammad Shahbaz, owner of a garment shop, said that people have confined themselves to their homes and avoiding visiting markets, which was resulting in business loss to them.

He said that all markets were presenting a deserted look after suicide attacks at the International Islamic University.

Mian Imran, another shopkeeper, said that they were earning around Rs15,000 per day, but due to the fresh terror wave they were hardly making Rs5,000.

Source:  http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=204537

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Pak judge hearing 26/11 Mumbai case wants to quit proceedings

21 October 2009

ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: In a possible setback to the trial of seven suspects arrested by Pakistani police for their involvement in the Mumbai terror

Attacks, the judge hearing the case has said he can no longer continue with the proceedings.

Citing "unavoidable reasons", Judge Baqir Ali Rana of the anti-terrorism court, who has been conducting the trial within the high-security Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi, has asked the Lahore High Court to be excused from hearing the case.

Rana sent a formal request to the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court yesterday, saying he could not continue with the proceedings because of "unavoidable reasons".

The request is currently pending with the Chief Justice's office, officials said.

However, sources said that Rana took the step as he felt he was under pressure from the government and other quarters with regard to the trial of the seven suspects, including key Lashker-e-Taiba operatives Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi and Zarar Shah.

The sources said Rana was also facing pressure from the lawyers of the seven suspects, who are unhappy about the trial being conducted in-camera.

The judge felt his position had been made "vulnerable" because of the move to conduct the proceedings behind closed doors. There are also reports that Rana has received threats from the LeT because the suspects were indicted in the absence of their lawyers during a hearing on October 10.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-judge-hearing-26/11-Mumbai-case-wants-to-quit-proceedings/articleshow/5144737.cms

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US allows Sikh security officers to wear turban and beard

21 October 2009

WASHINGTON: Sikhs in US will be allowed to serve in uniform with their beards and turbans under a legal settlement reached with the US Department of Homeland Security, a Sikh advocacy group claimed on Wednesday.

In a statement, Sikh Coalition said the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to pay Raghbir Singh, a Sikh who wears a beard and turban in accordance with his religious beliefs, monetary damages for his wrongful termination in 2005.

"Holding the federal government accountable for discriminating against Sikhs sends a strong message to private employers. If the government includes Sikh-Americans in its workforce, it should encourage other employers to do the same," said Harsimran Kaur, legal director, Sikh Coalition.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-allows-Sikh-security-officers-to-wear-turban-and-beard/articleshow/5144375.cms

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Pak minister faces criticism over son working for Kerry

Chidanand Rajghatta, 22 October 2009

WASHINGTON: The knives are out for Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi after it has emerged that his son was working in the office of US senator John Kerry, co-author of the legislation which has caused immense heartburn in Pakistan because of its “insulting tone” and “humiliating language” while disbursing a $ 7.5 billion aid.

Zain H Qureshi served as an intern in Kerry’s Washington office during an unspecified period when the bill was being readied, according to reports that first surfaced online and was subsequently confirmed by the Senator’s aides.

It is not clear if Qureshi jr was in any way associated with the crafting of the bill, being a relatively junior aide, but the very fact that he worked in the office of the senator who produced such a controversial legislation, widely seen in Pakistan as undermining its military, has inflamed pro-military Pakistani circles.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pak-minister-faces-criticism-over-son-working-for-Kerry/articleshow/5146983.cms

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Belgian, Pakistani bag UN prize for promoting Gandhian ideals

21 October 2009

UNITED NATIONS: A Belgian human rights activist and a Pakistani philanthropist have bagged a coveted United Nations prize which draws its inspiration from apostle of peace Mahatma Gandhi's life.

Franois Houtart of Belgium and Abdul Sattar Edhi of Pakistan were awarded the '2009 United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO)-Madanjeet Singh' prize for promoting tolerance and non-violence.

The two will share a prize money of USD 10,000 and receive the award on the 'International Day for Tolerance' on November 16, the Paris-headquarted UNESCO said in a statement.

The prestigious prize was constituted way back in 1995 on the 125th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi mainly due to generosity of Indian diplomat and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Madanjeet Singh.

Dedicated to advancing the spirit of tolerance in the arts, education, culture, science and communication, the prize is awarded every two years to individuals or institutions for contributions to the promotion of tolerance and non-violence.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Belgian-Pakistani-bag-UN-prize-for-promoting-Gandhian-ideals/articleshow/5144455.cms

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Eyeing Iran, Israel tests missile defences with US

21 October 2009

TEL AVIV: Israel and the United States launched a major air defence drill on Wednesday as part of what Israeli public radio called preparation for a faceoff with Iran.

During the two-week manoeuvres, dubbed Juniper Cobra, some 1,000 American personnel will mesh ground- and ship-based missile interceptors like the Aegis, THAAD and Patriot with Israel's Arrow II ballistic shield, defence officials said.

Spokesmen on both sides insisted the biennial drill was unrelated to world events, but Israel Radio quoted an unnamed commander as saying it served "to prepare for a nuclear Iran".

The United States and other world powers are trying to talk Tehran into giving up nuclear technologies with bomb-making potential, while the Israelis watch warily from the sidelines.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Eyeing-Iran-Israel-tests-missile-defences-with-US/articleshow/5144333.cms

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Iran on radar as Israel, US test missile defence

22 October 2009

TEL AVIV: Israel and the US launched a major air defence drill on Wednesday as part of what Israeli public radio called preparation for a faceoff with Iran.

During the two-week manoeuvres, dubbed Juniper Cobra, some 1,000 American personnel will mesh ground- and ship-based missile interceptors like the Aegis, THAAD and Patriot with Israel’s Arrow II ballistic shield, defence officials said.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-on-radar-as-Israel-US-test-missile-defence/articleshow/5146874.cms

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Tongues wag as Holbrooke in sidelines in Obama’s latest Afghan initiative

S Rajagopalan

October 22, 2009

The mysterious absence of US Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke from the latest Obama initiative on Afghanistan leading to President Hamid Karzai finally agreeing to a run-off election has set tongues wagging here in Washington.

It was Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and not Holbrooke, the designated Af-Pak envoy, who rushed to Kabul this week to get Karzai to agree to the run-off after resisting the US pressure for the past several weeks.

As soon as word came about Karzai accepting the US-brokered deal, President Obama publicly praised Kerry and the US’s Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, without making a mention about Holbrooke. That prompted a section of the American media to wonder if Holbrooke’s days in his high-profile assignment may be numbered.

However, some senior administration officials sought to discount the speculation on this score, saying Holbrooke had been asked to “cool it publicly” while Washington tried to sort out the electoral mess between Karzai and his main challenger, Abdullah Abdullah. The officials suggested that Holbrooke was very much on the job “labouring hard behind the scenes”.

The State Department also sought to emphasise that Holbrooke was not out of action. Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs PJ Crowley has been quoted as saying that Holbrooke is “at the heart of the execution of the (Afghan) policy that the President enunciated in March”. “His job is (in Washington) right now,” Holbrooke’s spokeswoman Ashley Bommer told The Washington Times.

Full Report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/210329/Tongues-wag-as-Holbrooke-in-sidelines-in-Obama%E2%80%99s-latest-Afghan-initiative.html

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Bangladesh SC rejects petition by convict in Mujibur case

Anisur Rahman

October 22, 2009

Bangladesh Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected a petition by a convict in the murder case of the country's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman challenging the trial on procedural grounds alleging that the prosecution submitted a document to the court beyond the deadline.

The apex court rejected the plea by sacked lieutenant colonel Faruque Rahman's lawyer Khan Saifur Rahman who alleged that the ‘concise statement’ containing the case history was submitted by the state prosecutors after the expiry of the deadline.

The defence court order came a day after two former Bangladesh Army officers, convicted of killing Rahman over 34 years ago, sought re-trial by a military court.

On Tuesday, lawyer of another convict and sacked major Bazlul Huda demanded re-trial by a military court calling the assassination a part of an ‘army mutiny’ and not the result of a conspiracy.

Huda's counsel claimed that his client or other co-convicts in fact never intended to kill Rehman and the real culprits would have been unmasked, had this case been tried under the Army Act.

Full Report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/210323/Bangladesh-SC-rejects-petition-by-convict-in-Mujibur-case.html

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US Muslim detained for 'terror plot'

22 Oct 2009

US security forces have apprehended an American Muslim citizen over claims of his 'conspiracy' to kill the country's politicians, soldiers, and civilians.

American security forces arrested Tarek Mehanna, a US pharmacologist of Egyptian descent, around Boston on Wednesday over accusations of his conspiracy to carry out 'terror' attacks against Americans.

Mehanna has been charged with plotting to kill US citizens at shopping malls and to assassinate politicians and troops in collusion with another US expat, Ahmad Abousamra, and a third unnamed accomplice, AP has reported.

Despite a lack of evidence incriminating the US citizen, Mehanna was accused in a federal tribunal of supporting 'terrorism' for his 'anti-US' stance.

The court arraigned the 27-year-old doctor and Islamic teacher of seeking 'terrorist training' during his 2004 trip to Yemen.

Full Report at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=109315&sectionid=3510203

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Anti-Islamic Dutch Lawmaker's N.Y. Speech Goes Unprotested

October 22, 2009

NEW YORK — Dutch right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders warned of the growing threat of Islamization to America in an address before a low-key audience at Columbia University.

Wilders, who has outraged Muslims by comparing the Koran to Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and calling for an end to Muslim immigration to the Netherlands, spoke Wednesday to around 150 students and invited guests at a campus event sponsored by the Columbia College Republicans. He decried the spread of Islam throughout Europe and warned that "it's already rearing its head in America."

The event did not draw expected protesters such as those who met Wilders at Temple University in Philadelphia on Tuesday. There, the question-and-answer session had to be cut short when some in the crowd began shouting jeers.

The Columbia audience was mostly respectful, although one audience member called Wilders a "clown" and another an "idiot."

"There are radicals within our community that we need to deal with, but the solution he's presenting is not the way to go," said Berk Koca, 21, a Turkish-American student and practicing Muslim.

Full Report at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,569060,00.html?test=latestnews

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Indonesia cabinet formation draws criticism

By Karishma Vaswani

22 October 2009

Indonesia's President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's new cabinet line-up has drawn criticism from analysts.

Many say the president's choices, announced could have been bolder, considering he was given such a strong mandate when he was re-elected in July.

President Yudhoyono was voted back into power on promises of improving economic conditions for citizens in the nation with the largest Muslim population.

He also promised to crack down on corruption.

A cabinet of compromise - that is what editorials in Indonesia are calling President Yudhoyono's new cabinet.

Out of the 37 names announced late on Wednesday - 34 ministers and three state officials - just over half are career politicians.

Many had hoped that the president would choose professionals who are experts in their field - especially since the Indonesian leader received such the overwhelming majority of the public vote in July's election.

But political analysts say President Yudhoyono has always been a realistic man.

Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8319728.stm

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October 22, 2009

Iran, Israel Eyeball at Mideast Nuke Conference

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel and Iran took part in an international conference on nuclear disarmament last month in Egypt -- a gathering that is now prompting media reports the two foes held direct discussions that included an awkward exchange on whether the Jewish state has atomic weapons.

An Israeli official confirmed Thursday the two sides attended the conference but denied they talked face-to-face. Iran also denied any direct meetings, which would be unheard of between the arch enemies.

However, Australia's The Age newspaper quoted participants as saying that the rivals had a ''very robust exchange'' during the two-day event in the Egyptian capital. Israel's Haaretz daily also reported Thursday the two sides met.

The meeting was held by the International Commission on Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, set up by the governments of Australia and Japan to probe ideas on how to cut the world's nuclear arms stockpile ahead of a U.N. conference on the subject next year.

According to Haaretz, Israeli delegate Meirav Zafary-Odiz, chief for policy and arms control for the Israel Atomic Energy Commission, said at the Cairo gathering that Israel would only be prepared to discuss a Mideast nuclear freeze at some future date when the region is at peace.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/10/22/world/AP-ML-Israel-Iran.html?ref=global-home

October 22, 2009

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Iran Lawmaker Rejects Nuke Deal to Ship Uranium

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's deputy parliament speaker on Thursday dismissed an internationally backed draft plan to have Tehran ship its uranium abroad for enrichment, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The remarks by Mohammad Reza Bahonar were the first reaction in Tehran on the proposal, presented Wednesday after three days of talks between Iran and world powers in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

The plan is seen by international community as a way to curb Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.

Tehran is expected to decide by Friday on whether to approve the plan that calls for shipping Iran's uranium to Russia for enrichment to a level that renders it suitable as nuclear fuel for energy production -- not for nuclear weapons.

''The United States demanded Iran ship uranium abroad, in return for getting fuel back,'' Bahonar said, according to IRNA. ''But Iran does not accept this.''

Iran's parliament will not vote on the draft plan and Bahonar does not speak for the government, which is to decide on the matter.

But it's unclear if his comments could reflect high-level resistance to the deal or the opinions of some influential politicians in Iran.

There has been no response so far to the offer from Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, or President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/10/22/world/AP-ML-Iran-Nuclear.html?ref=global-home

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October 22, 2009

Police: 6 al-Qaida Suspects Arrested in Iraq

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

BAGHDAD (AP) -- Six suspected al-Qaida members, including two who were formerly detained by U.S. troops in Iraq, were arrested near the western Iraqi city of Fallujah, a local police chief said on Thursday.

Col. Mahmoud al-Isawi said the six men were wanted on suspicion of involvement in ''murders'' and ''attacks'' in and around Fallujah, 40 miles (65 kilometers) west of Baghdad.

Al-Isawi didn't say when the arrests were made, but said the six are suspected of planning attacks and planting explosives that killed and injured civilians and members of the Iraqi security forces.

''The group is believed to be behind many murders and attacks against the citizens and the police forces,'' Al-Isawi told The Associated Press on Thursday. He didn't elaborate on specific attacks the men were allegedly involved in.

Fallujah is a city in the western Anbar province that was a hotbed of Iraq's Sunni-dominated insurgency and the scene of some of the most intense U.S. fighting with militants, before becoming a model of security gains in the country.

Al-Isawi said two of the six men arrested by the Iraqi police were previously detained by American troops. He said both were held in Camp Bucca, a U.S. military base in southern Iraq.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2009/10/22/world/AP-ML-Iraq.html?ref=global-home

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October 23, 2009

Gates to Press NATO on Afghan Commitment

By THOM SHANKER

SEOUL, South Korea — Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said Thursday that he would press NATO to increase its contributions for training Afghanistan’s security forces even before the Obama administration decides whether to commit additional combat troops.

Speaking here before flying to Slovakia for a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Mr. Gates said alliance support for Afghanistan’s army and police and its efforts to improve local governance must not be frozen while Washington completes a new review of war policy.

Even so, it could be challenging for alliance defense ministers to have concrete discussions before President Obama decides whether to add significant numbers of combat troops, as requested by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the senior American and NATO commander in Afghanistan.

“Leaving aside the question of troop resources, General McChrystal has identified a number of needs in his assessment on which there is agreement,” Mr. Gates said.

He said there was no dissention on “the civilian aspect of the effort in Afghanistan,” or on “the need to expand the size and the training” of the army and police.

In comments during travels this week in Asia, Mr. Gates indicated that if Mr. Obama decided to commit more troops, then other NATO nations should do more as well.

“I think the thing to remember is that General McChrystal’s assessment and also his resource request is going up through the NATO chain of command as well as through our own chain of command,” Mr. Gates said.

Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/23/world/asia/23gates.html?ref=global-home

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Sudan cargo plane crashes in Sharjah, 6 crew members killed

21 October 2009

 SHARJAH: A Sudanese cargo plane crashed on Wednesday in the desert near the airport in the United Arab Emirates, killing all six crew members,

Sharjah civil aviation director Khaled al-Qassimi said.

"A Sudanese cargo plane crashed two miles (three kilometres) from the Sharjah airport shortly after takeoff and there were no survivors among the six crew," Sheikh Khaled told AFP, saying the crash site was in the desert.

Officials had earlier said the the aircraft was Iranian.

A civil aviation official said the airport had been closed to air traffic.

The UAE emirate of Sharjah lies hard by the Gulf federation's trade and leisure hub of Dubai.

Source:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Sudan-cargo-plane-crashes-in-Sharjah-6-crew-members-killed/articleshow/5145950.cms

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Representatives from 18 Christian denominations, the B'Hai faith and Islam at state Capitol calling for comprehensive healthcare reform

By Don Bishop

October 21, 2009

OKLAHOMA CITY, Ok. - A call at the state Capitol from the members of the B'hai faith, Islam and 18 Christian denominations affiliated with the Oklahoma Conference of Churches for comprehensive healthcare reform. Joanne Kurklin is from the Oklahoma Conference of Churches. "It is good news that this vital justice issue is receiving concentrated attention. The bad news is that some of our disagreements are being expressed in ways that are not civil," Kurklin says. Representatives from all the beliefs had the same message yesterday that a lack of comprehensive healthcare for everyone is not acceptable.

Full Report at: http://krmg.com/localnews/2009/10/representatives-from-18-christ.html

URL of this Page:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/beyonce-cancels-malaysian-concert-after-islamist-pressure/d/1970

 

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