• Godhra Muslims invite Modi as a Chief Guest in their grand function
• Gujarat riots: HC asks Nanavati panel to clarify stand on summoning Modi
• Gulburg riots case: CM Narendra Modi avoids SIT team
• Iraq: calls for recount after Allawi take the lead
• US says it is open to nuke deal with Pakistan
• 'UK army ran secret torture unit in Iraq'
• Israel's Gaza blockade unacceptable, says Ban
• Women in Yemen oppose child marriage ban
• Nawaz met Osama 5 times, says ex-ISI man
• Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Wilders channels anger
• Hillary Clinton warns Israel faces 'difficult' choices
• Afghans say Iran arming Taliban, India in a fix
• Cartoonist hopes Headley will become 'kind' Muslim in jail
• Militants kill 6 ‘US spies’
• Bangladesh Blocks Refugee Registration for Burmese Muslims Outside Camps
• Afghan insurgents Hezb-e-Islami hold talks in Kabul
• Muslim graves damaged in Leeds cemetery
• Int'l donors raise 841 mln USD for Darfur reconstruction
• Malaysia women's group sued over 'Islam' in name
• Egypt releases Israeli reporter
• EU pressures Iran to end jamming
• 18 hurt in clashes in Rae Bareli, security increased
• ‘India not squeezed out of Afghanistan’
• Muslim body against proposed bill on communal violence
• 164 held over massacre in Nigeria
• Twenty-eight militants killed in Kurram, Orakzai
• Bareilly's Hindus, Muslims rebuild shrines and peace
• The 'fatwas' that give Christians a bad name
• Muslim delegation from Britain visits Bangalore
• Israeli journalist visits Muslim cities unnoticed
• The true meaning of halal
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Commemorating the 65th Anniversary of the League of Arab States
22 March 2010
The League of Arab States was established on 22nd March when leaders of Arab States signed a formal declaration entitled the “Charter of the League of Arab States,” marking the foundation of the regional organization.
We are commemorating the 65th anniversary of the League of Arab States, which comprises of 22 Arab states, with its Head Quarters in Cairo, and more than four decades of its Mission in India. The Arab League adopted in Beirut Summit in 2002, the Arab Peace Initiative, which includes complete withdrawal from the Arab occupied territories since 1967 and to achieve Palestinian legitimate rights to normalize relations with Israel. Arab consensus is still maintained on the Arab Peace Initiative and support for the international efforts for the two-state solution, and achieving of just and lasting peace to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, based on international resolutions and agreed references for peace process.
The Arab Peace Initiative Ministerial Committee, in the meeting held on10th March 2010, welcomed the stands taken by the U.S. Vice President, Secretary General of the United Nations, the Spanish Presidency of the European Union and Senior Representative for European Diplomacy, in addition to French, Norwegian and Danish statements, as well as from several organizations and countries that condemned the new Israeli settlements emphasizing the necessity to have simultaneously, clear and specific procedures, to deal with the existing dangerous situation after the announcement of the Israeli government about the settlements, which have been going on in the Palestinian territories, including in the occupied East Jerusalem. Joint coordinated urgent action is needed to stop all actions taking place in the occupied Palestinian territories.
Historical ties between Arab nations and India can be traced down to the pre-history era. Leaders and people from both sides are keen to further cement Arab-India ties and open new avenues of cooperation in keeping with the present needs and demands of the future.
The League of Arab States has been taking major steps towards increasing and strengthening political, social, cultural, economic ties between India and the Arab world which was culminated in the establishment of the Arab-India Cooperation Forum in December 2008 and under which was the successful holding of the India-Arab Investment Conclave in February 2010.
The League of Arab States Council Ministerial meeting, vide its Resolution dated 3rd March 2010, mandated the General Secretariat of the League of Arab States to continue its efforts in coordination with respective Arab and Indian bodies to implement the result of this Conclave. The League of Arab States Mission is hopeful that efforts will be continued to implement decisions reached at the Conclave. The League of Arab States Mission appreciates FICCI for the organization of the Conclave and its outcome the Delhi Declaration released on 9th February, 2010 which describes the Conclave as “a step towards sustainable partnership,” between members of the League of Arab States and India.
The current trade between India and the Arab world, which stands at US$ 114 billion, is expected to double to US$ 230 billion by 2014 as was mentioned by the Honorable Minister of Commerce & Industry, Mr. Anand Sharma at the India-Arab Investment Projects Conclave. This positive projection is welcomed by the Arab delegates.
During the two days of the Conclave, investment projects worth US$ 32 billion were discussed in different economic sectors. The Conclave also witnessed signing of the MoU between FICCI and Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture.
The success of the Conclave has further opened several investment opportunities for the trade to grow between India and the Arab world.
The Arab world is an important source of energy for India as almost 70% of India’s energy requirements are sourced from the region. No doubt, that nearly 5 million Indians who live in the Arab world, mainly the Gulf region, have contributed significantly to the development of the countries in the region as well as to India.
Within the framework of Arab-India Cooperation Forum, in coordination with members of the Arab League States of the Arab Summit Troika and the Indian External Affairs Ministry, the first session of Joint High Level Committee meeting is expected to be held in near future.
The League of Arab States member countries are considering the possibility of hosting the 2nd Arab-Indian cultural week. It is expected to be held in one of the Arab countries, in coordination with the respective Arab and Indian authorities as the first one was held in New Delhi in December 2008.
As a strong manifestation of relations between India and the Arab world, India has been attending the annual Arab League summits on regular basis.
The invitation is extended to the Government of India for the forthcoming Summit to be held on 27th of March 2010 in Libya.
The two sides exert all efforts to consider more options of further developing Arab-India relations in different areas including political, social, cultural and economic fields.
There is a need for collective and dedicated efforts for strengthening the Indo-Arab ties with further building up of relations between India and the Arab world including in the field of Science and Technology, Education, Health, Telecommunication and Energy.
The League of Arab States expresses its gratitude to the Indian Government for hosting the second India-Arab Investment Conclave on 8-9 February, 2010 in Delhi, within the framework of Arab-Indian Cooperation Forum.
The League of Arab States Mission is thankful to the Government of India for its principle position in support of the Palestinian cause. The Arab countries also appreciate India voting in favour of the Report of the Human Rights Council on its Twelfth Special Session held in last October in Geneva on the human rights situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including Gaza Strip.
The stand expressed by India in Riyadh Declaration, signed on 28th February 2010, during Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, supporting the formation of Palestinian State,
Copyright © International News and Views.com.
Godhra Muslims invite Modi as a Chief Guest in their grand function
22 March, 2010
A group of Dawoodi Bohra Muslim leaders today visited Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi in Gandhinagar and invited him to grace the Dawoodi Bohra Chief Priest Dr. Saiyadna Saheb’s 99th Birth day celebration function as a Chief Guest. A grand birth day celebration function of Saiyadna Saheb will be held on 4th April 2010.
The Bohras thanked Gujarat Chief Minister for appointment of one of the leading community members Rukaiyaben Gulam Husainwala as BJP’s Panchamahal district national council member.
Sheikh Imranbhai, Abbasbhai, Dr. Nuruddin were part of the delegation among others.
Gujarat riots: HC asks Nanavati panel to clarify stand on summoning Modi
Mar 22, 2010
NEW DELHI: The Gujarat High Court on Monday asked the Nanavati Commission, which is probing the post-Godhra riot cases, to clarify whether it would summon chief minister Narendra Modi.
The High Court issued the notice to Nanawati Commission through the states advocate general to reply to the court in this regard by April 1.
The Gujarat High Court sent the notice on the petition filed by the Jan Sangharsh Manch, which has sought that the chief minister and the others depose before the Nanavati Commission, according to Times Now.
The Jan Sangharsh Manch, which represents the victims of the 2002 communal riots, had moved an application in April 2007 before the Nanavati Commission demanding that Modi be summoned for questioning.
Full report at: http://toi.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Gujarat-riots-HC-asks-Nanavati-panel-to-clarify-stand-on-summoning-Modi/articleshow/5711333.cms
Gulburg riots case: CM Narendra Modi avoids SIT team
Mar 21, 2010
NEW DELHI: Attacking Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi for not showing up before the SIT in connection with a Gujarat riots case, Congress on Sunday said that it was "contemptuous" and showed that he "loves to hide".
"The SIT's direction to Narendra Modi to appear before it shows the seriousness and importance attached to the issue by the apex court," party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi said.
"For Modi to avoid appearing on any ground or pretext is contemptuous and would show that he loves to hide," he said
Modi was summoned by the SIT with regard to a complaint filed by Zakia Jaffery, wife of slain former MP Eshan Jaffrey in the 2002 Gulburg society riots case.
Slamming Gujarat government for spending lavishly on advertisements, minister of state for communications and technology Sachin Pilot said that Narendra Modi has been spending huge money for "self praise". Pilot alleged that Modi took credit of Central schemes in the state, demanding that he comes out with a white paper if he had launched any scheme.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Gulburg-riots-case-CM-Narendra-Modi-avoids-SIT-team/articleshow/5708917.cms
Iraq: calls for recount after Allawi take the lead
Mar 22, 2010
Baghdad: Final results from Iraq's March 7 parliamentary elections will be announced on Friday, the country's electoral commission announced on Sunday, amid mounting calls for a recount.
The Iraqi parliamentary race looked set to go down to the wire after early results announced over the weekend showed the former Prime Minister, Ayad Allawi's Iraqi List eking out a narrow lead over Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition.
In separate statements, Mr. Maliki and President Jalal al-Talabani on Sunday called on the Independent High Electoral Commission (IHEC) to conduct a manual recount of the national vote, given allegations of fraud.
This would “preserve political stability ... and avoid a return to violence,” Mr. Maliki said.
The IHEC has stood by its results and has said that it is thoroughly investigating claims of fraud, in at least five cases discarding ballots cast at polling stations because of irregularities.
Candidates have three days after the release of final results to launch formal challenges. — DPA
US says it is open to nuke deal with Pakistan
Mar 22, 2010
WASHINGTON: Amid reports of massive 16-20 hour power outages across Pakistan causing public unrest, the Barack Obama administration has indicated it is open to Islamabad's plea for a civilian nuclear deal akin to the US-India agreement, notwithstanding continued disquiet about Pakistan's bonafides on the nuclear front.
The first indication of a possible policy shift by US, which had till now rejected Pakistan's entreaties for a nuclear deal, came in an interview the US ambassador to Islamabad, Anne Patterson, gave to a Pakistani-American journal in which she said the two sides were going to have "working level talks" on the subject during a strategic dialogue on March 24.
Patterson confirmed the claim of her Pakistani counterpart in Washington Hussain Haqqani, which were initially denied, that the two sides had had some initial discussions on the subject. Acknowledging that earlier US "non-proliferation concerns were quite severe", she said attitudes in Washington were changing.
Full report at: http://toi.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-says-it-is-open-to-nuke-deal-with-Pakistan/articleshow/5709719.cms
'UK army ran secret torture unit in Iraq'
Mar 22, 2010
LONDON: UK's military intelligence ran a secret torture unit in Iraq which "reported directly to London" and authorised harsh treatment of detainees, a media report said on Sunday.
In fact, prisoners were kept hooded for long periods in intense heat and deprived of sleep by military intelligence officers who were answerable only "directly to London", the Independent reported, citing documents.
The revelations, about the use of illegal "coercive techniques" in Iraq by Joint Forward Interrogation Team, came during the inquiry into Baha Mousa, an Iraqi hotel worker who was beaten to death in the custody of British troops in 2003.
In a statement to the inquiry commission, colonel Christopher Vernon said he raised concerns after seeing prisoners in a kneeling position with sacks over their heads and those in charge were from the army's intelligence headquarters, the report said.
Israel's Gaza blockade unacceptable, says Ban
Mar 22, 2010
DUBAI: The assertion by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that Israel's Gaza blockade was causing “unacceptable suffering” seemed to have fallen on deaf ears as Tel Aviv on Sunday reinforced the continuation of its existing policies towards the Palestinians.
Israel had increased Gaza's isolation after the Palestinian Hamas took over the coastal strip in 2007. The Israeli blockade has escalated humanitarian strife in the area since the winter conflict of 2008-9, which badly damaged Gaza's physical infrastructure.
Speaking in Gaza, Mr. Ban said that residents in the strip were staying in “unacceptable, unsustainable conditions”.
Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/22/stories/2010032254191600.htm
Women in Yemen oppose child marriage ban
22 Mar, 2010
SANAA, March 21: Thousands of Yemeni women, their faces covered in religious veils, demonstrated outside the parliament on Sunday to oppose proposed legislation banning the marriage of girls under 17.The protesters held up banners proclaiming “don’t ban what Allah made permissible,” or “stop violating Islamic sharia law in the name of rights and freedoms,” a correspondent said.
Answering calls by Muslim clerics who oppose the proposal on grounds it goes against Islamic sharia, the protesters arrived in organised buses.
Proposed amendments to the civil status law stalled in parliament last August after severe opposition to a government proposal that would ban girls females 17 and males under 18 from marrying.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/women-in-yemen-oppose-child-marriage-ban-230
Nawaz met Osama 5 times, says ex-ISI man
Mar 22, 2010
In a stunning disclosure that once again confirmed the nexus between Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and banned militant outfits, a former ISI official, Khalid Khwaja, has claimed to have arranged at least five meetings between former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden.
In an interview with a private television channel, Mr Khwaja said Mr Sharif has met several Islamic movement leaders around the world, including Osama, and asked him to provide funds for “development projects”.
Mr Khwaja said that he had arranged three meetings between Mr Sharif and Osama in Saudi Arabia.
Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/index.php
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Wilders channels anger
By John Tyler
22 March 2010
Ayaan Hirsi Ali has returned to the Netherlands with the same message as when she left: Islam needs its own period of 'Enlightenment'. Ms Hirsi Ali is back for one week to promote her most recent book, Nomad. It's her first substantial visit since leaving the Dutch parliament four years ago to live in the United States.
Her main point still is that Muslim integration into Dutch society can only succeed if Muslim immigrants fully embrace Dutch values and leave their own values behind. The two systems of thought cannot be combined.
"The idea that the two can be combined is why the problem has lasted so long, and become so entrenched as to be nearly intractable: people have contradictory expectations."
Once a rising star
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is living proof of what an individual immigrant from a Muslim background can accomplish.
Full report at: http://europenews.dk/en/node/30676
Hillary Clinton warns Israel faces 'difficult' choices
22 March 2010
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is to call on Israel to make "difficult but necessary choices" if it wants a peace agreement with the Palestinians.
Mrs Clinton will warn that the status quo is "unsustainable" in a speech to the pro-Israel lobby group, Aipac.
Her comments come amid a dispute between the US and Israel over plans for 1,600 new homes in East Jerusalem.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruled out halting settlement construction in the city.
The Palestinian Authority is furious at Israel's insistence on building on occupied territory. It sees it as a serious stumbling block to the resumption of talks, which have been stalled for more than a year.
Nearly 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They are held to be illegal under international law, which Israel disputes.
Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8579766.stm
Afghans say Iran arming Taliban, India in a fix
Mar 22, 2010
NEW DELHI: Even before India's efforts to engage Pakistan on the Afghanistan issue could gain momentum, claims by Afghan agencies that Iran was secretly helping the Taliban have further compounded India's concerns.
The disclosure that Iran was supplying weapons to the Taliban, accompanied by "evidence" in the form of seizure of arms in Herat, comes just ahead of foreign minister S M Krishna's crucial visit to Tehran.
Iran is one of the few countries which has repeatedly said that it doesn't believe there is any good Taliban, something which has encouraged India to reach out to Tehran for keeping Taliban out of any major role in the Kabul government in the event of a reconciliation.
Iran has denied helping the Taliban after Afghan border police chief Rahmatullah Safi displayed the arms seized in Herat saying that these were manufactured in Iran.
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Afghans-say-Iran-arming-Taliban-India-in-a-fix/articleshow/5709994.cms
Cartoonist hopes Headley will become 'kind' Muslim in jail
March 21, 2010
The Danish cartoonist against whom David Headley plotted an attack in retaliation for his sketches of Prophet Mohammed has said a long prison sentence would give time to the Pakistani-American LeT operative to "convert to more kind Islam".
Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten's 74-year-old cartoonist Kurt Westergaard says he does not believe in the death penalty and he would be satisfied with adavidheadleyphoto.jpg long prison sentence for Headley, who has also pleaded guilty to involvement in the Mumbai attacks.
Westergaard has had three attempts on his life since sketching the cartoons in 2005.
"He (Headley) has to, of course, be put away for many years, but perhaps he can sit in jail, and he may think it all over and perhaps convert to, well, more kind Islam," Westergaard told the 'Chicago Sun-Times'.
Full report at: http://www.ndtv.com/news/world/cartoonist-hopes-headley-will-become-kind-muslim-in-jail-18174.php
Militants kill 6 ‘US spies’
Mar 22, 2010
PESHAWAR—Suspected Taliban militants have killed six people in North Waziristan tribal region after accusing them of being U.S. spies, a local tribal elder said Sunday.
The tribal leader quoted an official as confirming that bodies of four persons were thrown along road near Mir Ali, and two other bodies were found at Pir Kaley area near Miranshah.
Locals said that the militants had kidnapped the slain men some two weeks ago and believed to be killed then late Saturday night. Officials said here that all were locals.
Notes were found near the bullet-riddled bodies, saying that ‘they were spying for the United States and warned that all traitors would meet the same fate,’ an official said. Locals said they could not remove the bodies as the authorities had clamped curfew in the region.
Taliban militants kill people on espionage charges and thrown their bodies with written announcement that they were spies and that all those will face the same treatment if found guilty of similar charges.
Full report at: http://dailymailnews.com/0310/22/FrontPage/FrontPage6.php
Bangladesh Blocks Refugee Registration for Burmese Muslims Outside Camps
Dhaka: Muslims from Burma who are now living outside refugee camps in Bangladesh have been denied the chance to register as refugees with the UNHCR by the Bangladesh government due to fear of triggering an exodus of Muslims from Burma, according to official reports.
Bangladesh Food and Disaster Management Minister Abdur Razzaque refused to allow the registration when he met recently with UNHCR representative to Bangladesh, Craig Sanders, at the secretariat.
"International agencies, including UNHCR, are creating pressure on the government to register more Refugees living outside the camps. We, being a poor nation can not give shelter to so many refugees and therefore want their repatriation to their homeland," Razzaque said.
Thousands of Muslims from Burma, who are known internationally as Rohingya, are living outside of Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar without any kind of help from the outside world.
Full report at: http://www.narinjara.com/details.asp?id=2531
Afghan insurgents Hezb-e-Islami hold talks in Kabul
Mar 22, 2010
A delegation from a powerful Afghan militant group has met officials for talks in Kabul, the government says.
The team from the Hezb-e-Islami group of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar are expected to meet President Karzai while in Kabul.
It would be the first confirmed direct contact between Mr Karzai and envoys of Mr Hekmatyar, who is wanted by the US.
Hezb-e-Islami fighters are based mainly in eastern Afghanistan and share many aims with the Taliban. The two groups clashed in the north in recent months.
Observers say the talks in Kabul may only be preliminary but they come at a fluid time in Afghan politics, with a peace jirga or tribal gathering due to be held in a few weeks' time and a surge in US-led troop numbers under way.
On Friday the former UN envoy to Afghanistan Kai Eide confirmed he had been holding secret contacts with top Taliban leaders for the past year.
Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/8579380.stm
Muslim graves damaged in Leeds cemetery
22 March 2010
Nineteen gravestones have been vandalised in a section of a Leeds cemetery used by Muslims.
One headstone was broken and a number of name plaques on wooden stands were damaged at Harehills Cemetery.
Police said they were "keeping an open mind" on whether the graves were deliberately targeted because they were linked to Muslim families.
The damage is believed to have happened overnight last Thursday. Witnesses are being asked to contact police.
Insp Nik Adams said: "This incident has caused a great deal of upset and distress to a number of people in the local community.
"Over the weekend we have worked alongside community and religious leaders to identify and contact the next of kin of those whose graves have been affected by this mindless vandalism.
"At this stage in the investigation we are keeping an open mind on whether the graves were deliberately targeted because they were linked to Muslim families or whether they were vandalised because of their proximity to a nearby path and two thoroughfares that run through the cemetery."
Int'l donors raise 841 mln USD for Darfur reconstruction
by Islam Yehia
CAIRO, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The International Donors Conference for the Reconstruction of Darfur wrapped up here on Sunday with pledges to provide 841 million U.S. dollars for development and reconstruction projects in the war-torn Sudanese region.
The major contributions came from the Islamic Development Bank with 355 million dollars, Qatar 200 million, the European Union 95 million, Turkey 70 million, Algeria 10 million, Belgium 5 million euros (6.8 million dollars), and Australia 4 million dollars.
Participants also agreed to form a committee comprising Egypt, Qatar, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) and major donors to establish a development bank to receive the funds and take up the mission of financing development projects in the region.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit, whose country co- chairs the conference with Turkey, said in a press conference the projects will coincide with the peace process.
"We expect to achieve peace and final settlement between rebel movements and the people of Darfur soon ... when we reach this moment, the projects will come in coincidence." He underlined the necessity to establish the Darfur development bank to administer the budget of the projects.
Full report at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-03/22/c_13219700_2.htm
Malaysia women's group sued over 'Islam' in name
Muslim activists filed a lawsuit Monday against a Malaysian women's group, asking it to remove the word "Islam" from its name on the ground that it misleads people to believe it speaks for all Muslims.
The suit against Sisters in Islam, one of the most well-known nongovernment groups in this Muslim-majority country, comes after it angered conservative Muslims by criticizing Islamic Shariah laws that allow the caning of women for offenses such as drinking alcohol.
Numerous Muslim groups have in recent months accused Sisters in Islam of misinterpreting religious principles, highlighting a divide between Muslims who demand strict enforcement of Islamic morality laws and others who fear religious intolerance is threatening the moderate practice of their religion.
Full report at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/22/malaysia-women039s-group-sued-over-039islam039-name.html
Egypt releases Israeli reporter
Mar 22, 2010
Egyptian authorities have released an Israeli journalist arrested crossing the border into Israel on the trail of illegal African migrants.
Yotam Feldman, 30, was held for a week by the Egyptian authorities, who arrested him with a Ghanaian man in the Sinai desert.
His father claimed he had been beaten while in custody.
Egyptian border guards have shot nine African migrants this year trying to make it across the border.
The Israeli government requested a clampdown by Egyptian authorities after a rise in the number of asylum claims from Africans in Israel.
Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8579525.stm
EU pressures Iran to end jamming
Mar 22, 2010
The European Union will put pressure on Iran to stop jamming satellite broadcasts from the BBC and other international channels.
Iran has been blocking news channels broadcast into the country from a French satellite following widespread anti-government protests there.
But it is not yet clear exactly what action the EU will take.
A statement from the EU foreign ministers said they would act to end the "unacceptable situation".
"The EU calls on the Iranian authorities to stop the jamming of satellite broadcasting and internet censorship and to put an end to this electronic interference immediately," a statement from the EU foreign ministers said.
Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8579719.stm
18 hurt in clashes in Rae Bareli, security increased
Mar 21, 2010
RAE BARELI: At least 18 people were injured in a clash between members of two communities over the route of a religious procession in Parsadepur town in Rae Bareli district of Uttar Pradesh on Sunday.
The trouble erupted when some persons objected to the route of the religious procession, police said adding the two sides indulged in heavy stone-pelting.
Some incidents of arson were also reported during the communal flare-up, they said.
Police reinforcements were rushed to the trouble-torn town where tension ran high. Top district and police officers were camping in the area.
‘India not squeezed out of Afghanistan’
Sunday, 21 March 2010
New Delhi, March 21: Refuting reports that it has been “squeezed out” of Afghanistan, external affairs minister S.M. Krishna has said India was playing a “stellar role” in rebuilding the war-torn country which was acknowledged by the people and the legitimate government there.
He also said India has taken note of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai’s statement that it was a friend and Pakistan a conjoined twin.
“I do not think that India has been squeezed out. I think India is playing a stellar role in rebuilding Afghanistan which has been acknowledged by the people of Afghanistan and by the legitimate government of Afghanistan, and that is what matters,” Mr Krishna said in an interview.
Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=6323:india-not-squeezed-out-of-afghanistan&catid=35:india&Itemid=60
Muslim body against proposed bill on communal violence
Mar 21, 2010
Lucknow : Terming the proposed Prevention of Communal Violence Bill as harmful for Muslims, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Sunday said it would oppose the legislation till it was redrafted.
"The proposed bill is not only useless, but is also harmful for Muslims. The AIMPLB would oppose the bill till the time it is redrafted," the board's Assistant General Secretary Maulana Abdur Rahim Qureshi told reporters here on the concluding day of the Panel's three-day conference.
Alleging that the bill would give arbitrary powers to the police, Qureshi said, "Majority of the commissions set up by the government in the past have said that police acted under a bias and was prejudiced towards Muslims, therefore their accountability should also be fixed."
The AIMPLB has appealed to all Muslim organisations to oppose the bill, he added.
"A meeting of the Muslim MPs and like-minded people would be held before April 12 on this issue," board member Zafaryab Jilani, who was also present, said.
Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/593621/
164 held over massacre in Nigeria
22 Mar, 2010
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ABUJA, March 21: Nigerian police have arrested 164 people over a recent massacre near the central city of Jos and plan to charge most with offences ranging from terrorism to arson, authorities said on Sunday.
“In its resolve to deal decisively with perpetrators of violence in the nation, the Nigeria police has concluded investigation into the mass killings in Dogo Nahawa, Rasat and Jeji villages...which occurred on 7th March 2010,”police said in a statement.
In all, 164 suspects were arrested, but two of them will serve as prosecution witnesses, according to police.
Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/164-held-over-massacre-in-nigeria-230
Twenty-eight militants killed in Kurram, Orakzai
By Hussain Khan and Hassan Mahmood
22 Mar, 2010
PARACHINAR/KALAYA: At least 28 militants were killed and several others injured in air strikes on suspected militant positions in Central Kurram and Orakzai tribal regions on Sunday.
Official sources said that helicopter gunships pounded militants’ positions in Masozai and Murghan Kando areas of Central Kurram, killing 19 militants and destroying eight of their hideouts.
Officials claimed a militant leader hailing from South Waziristan was among the dead. However, the claim could not be verified because media personnel did not have access to the remote areas situated near the Afghan border.
Official sources said some militants fleeing South Waziristan and Orakzai regions due to military operations there had been killed in the air strikes.
According to sources, Central Kurram has become a hub of militants following military operations in South Waziristan.
They said different militant groups have set up their hideouts there. In a recent clash between militants belonging to two such groups, as many as 30 people were killed.
Military jets also shelled militants’ hideouts in Ferozkhel area of Orakzai. According to sources, nine militants were killed and three others wounded in the strikes.
Bareilly's Hindus, Muslims rebuild shrines and peace
If the recent riots made Bareilly cry for peace, the trouble-torn district in western Uttar Pradesh is now witnessing a rare show of communal harmony now -- Muslims taking up the construction of a damaged temple and Hindus joining hands to restore a mazar (mausoleum).
The Hanuman temple, popularly known as the Bajrangi Mandir, and the Peer Bhai Meer Zafar Ali's mausoleum -- both situated a few metres away in Kohadapeer area in Bareilly, some 250 km from Lucknow -- were damaged March 2 during communal violence.
'Hindus are restoring the mazar and Muslims the temple just to give a befitting reply to those who want to widen the Hindu-Muslim rift for vested interests,' Vikas Sharma, a Kohadapeer resident, told IANS on the telephone from here.
'In our opinion, those who damaged the two religious places cannot be of any religion. They were just anti-social elements, who have nothing to do with Hinduism or Islam. Our ongoing cooperation for restoring the religious places would definitely counter communal forces to a considerable extent,' added Sharma (40), who is an English lecturer at a college here.
Kohadapeer, a Muslim-dominated locality has over 3,000 registered voters. Majority of the people of the locality had their commercial establishments reduced to ashes during communal violence.
Full report at: All rights reserved. India News Portal, Sify.com
The 'fatwas' that give Christians a bad name
22 Mar 2010
Writing poison-pen letters to an atheist author is not going to convert anyone, says George Pitcher.
I'm slightly suspicious of any author who claims to be suffering persecution just ahead of the publication of their "controversial" new book. The PR departments of publishing houses might call this the Salman Rushdie Gambit, in honour of the man who won worldwide publicity for the almost unreadable The Satanic Verses, courtesy of a fatwa and having to go into hiding for a decade or so. If only they would do the same for Martin Amis.
I'm sure the novelist Philip Pullman isn't fabricating the abuse he says he's been receiving from religious zealots for his new book, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ. He's telling the truth, as it were, even if his book isn't telling The Truth. But I would just like to point out that it's being published this week and it's being put about that he will have bodyguards when he appears next Sunday at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. Funnily enough, it was The Sunday Times that reported that.
Full report at: http://www.expressbuzz.com/edition/story.aspx?
Muslim delegation from Britain visits Bangalore
A four-member Muslim delegation from United Kingdom, presently in India to study various social and educational aspects arrived here on the first leg of their tour on Sunday.
The delegation consists of people who are willing to meet different social, educational and civil society personalities to better understand the key interests and concerns of Muslims in India and share the experiences of British Muslims.
"The aim of this delegation is to show British Muslim women are happy to live in Britain, there is no conflict between their identities. In fact we have multiple identities. Myself I am British and originally from India and a woman, and I wear Hijaab and I am free to practice my faith in Britain," said Remona Aly, Campaign Director of the delegation.
Full report at: All rights reserved. India News Portal, Sify.com
Israeli journalist visits Muslim cities unnoticed
An Israeli journalist declared he was able to enter several cities in the Arab and Muslim world without revealing his identity in an attempt to convince authorities to lift the blockade imposed on Israeli journalists in the region.
Eldad Beck, who works as a correspondent for Israel’s daily Yedioth Aharonot, complained that restrictions are imposed on Israeli journalists in the region even though Israel signed a peace treaty with Egypt and Jordan.
"Israeli journalists only get to know about the Middle East and the Muslim world through foreign press agencies, journalists from other countries, or even Hollywood movies "
“This makes it very difficult for me and my colleagues to stay in Arab and Muslim countries long enough to cover events that take place there, whether they are political, economical, or even sports related,” he told the Israeli daily Haaretz.
Full report at: http://www.alarabiya.net/articles/2010/03/22/103745.html
Sachar mum on Muslim job quota
Mar 21, 2010
KOLKATA: Sachar Committee chairman Rajindar Sachar on Saturday opposed a sub-quota for Muslim women in Parliament and state assemblies within the proposed quota for the fairer sex. The former Delhi high court chief justice, however, remained non-committal about West Bengal's recent move for 10% job quota for backward Muslims, merely saying it was something the government could decide.
He, however, expressed displeasure over reservation of madarsa teaching posts for Scheduled Caste candidates even if they lacked expertise in Urdu.
The Sachar Committee, which was headed by the former judge, submitted a controversial and much-debated report on the social, economic and educational status of Muslims in India. The report created ripples across the country.
Sachar was in the city on Saturday to deliver a valedictory address on the concluding day of a three-day conference on protection of minority rights. It was organised by Calcutta Research Group (CRG).
Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata-/Sachar-mum-on-Muslim-job-quota/articleshow/5707174.cms
The true meaning of halal
22 march 2010
Debates about halal slaughter miss the wider point of a concept that promotes purity and integrity in Muslims' whole lives
Half-reluctantly, I should "come out", despite having hidden it from most of my fellow PhD students in the Cambridge English faculty. I try to avoid identity politics but for this article it seems necessary. I'm a white Muslim girl who doesn't wear hijab or speak Arabic. Unlike that other white Muslim, Jihad Jane, I quite like the west. In fact I'm inspired by western-educated Muslims such as Gai Eaton, who died recently. Nevertheless, the glib Islams that have plagued British Muslims to date exhaust me.
Nesrine Malik's article on "The rights and wrongs of halal", which has been vigorously commented upon by Guardian readers, fits the shoddy bill. Its purpose, like many articles on British Islam, is to dig a great gaping gulf between "religious" values and the "secular ethical ones" (anyone reminded of the Rushdie affair?) Malik scaremongers by providing inept source evidence for the British secular reaction against halal meat, and by providing no source evidence whatsoever on the Islamic concept of "halal".
Full report at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/mar/22/halal-slaughter-food-muslim