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Islamic World News ( 12 March 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Crowd of 3 thousand Muslims attack a Coptic Christian community, 25 injured

Dubai ruler refuses to share dais with Rushdie

Iraq elections: Maliki, Allawi gain early leads

Crush LeT savages, US lawmakers tell Islamabad

Hasina alleges ‘slow poisoning’ in sub-jail

More security for Kabul, Nepal embassies

Iraq PM battling secular challenger

Jihad, war part of Islamic law: Abu Jibril

‘Pak reluctant to rein in LeT’

Karzai turns down Pak’s offer to train Afghan Army

Talibanization of Afghanistan will hit India hard: Brajesh

Pak has evidence of India's link to Balochistan's unrest: Malik

Ten killed in suicide blast at Swat checkpost

25 killed, thousands evacuated as two dams burst in Kazakhstan

Pakistan, Germany, Turkey to expand cooperation in tourism

Hope rises in former sectarian battlefield

Any dialogue with Hezbollah is futile

Israel to amend law after Biden ‘mishap’

Muslims in the west: The universal teachings of Islam

Restoration of mosque a symbol of hope for Iraq's future

Kashmiris inclusion in Indo-Pak talks must : JKPL

Another US Qaeda suspect held, again Yemen connection

Indonesian police kill two suspected militants

Reopen graft cases against Zardari: Pak SC

Women’s Bill: Sachar opposed to Muslim quota

Women empowerment or minority bashing?

Clergy opposes Muslim women in politics

Mirwaiz snubbed, chairman Geelani in Pak invite

Govt readies for terror threat at home, abroad

Bareilly erupts again, jailed cleric released

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/crowd-of-3-thousand-muslims-attack-a-coptic-christian-community,-25-injured/d/2576

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Crowd of 3 thousand Muslims attack a Coptic Christian community, 25 injured

13 March 2010

Faithful were gathered in prayer when attack occurred. There were four priests, one deacon and 400 parishioners in the building, women and children also targeted. Fundamentalists fury, egged on by the imam, unleashed by the rumour that the Christians are building a new church. In reality it is a hospice.

Cairo – The toll from an attack on the Coptic Christian community that took place yesterday in the north-western province of Mersa Matrouh, Egypt is 25 wounded, including women and children. A crowd of around 3 thousand Muslims attacked the faithful gathered in prayer in a building adjoining the local church. The fundamentalists fury, encouraged by the imam, was sparked by the rumour that the Christians have begun to build a new place of worship. 

Around 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon, the Muslims - a group of Bedouins and Salafi fanatics - started throwing stones at a construction site, which they believe in reality will be a new church. Local witnesses reported that security forces present were not sufficient to contain the attack. The police fired tear gas and arrested a dozen people, including Muslims and Christians. Only this morning, reinforcements arrived from Alexandria, thanks to which the Coptic faithful trapped inside the building could return to their homes. 

At the moment of the attack the Christian prayer house contained four priests, one deacon and about 400 parishioners. Christians say that the building under construction, in fact, is a nursing home and said they were "terrified" by the latest attack. The local imam Shaikh Khamees intervention during Friday prayers has helped to foment the anger of Muslims. He emphasized the duty to fight against the "enemies" of Islam and stressed that "we do not tolerate the Christian presence in our area."

Reverend Matta Zakarya confirms that this morning there was a summit between the leaders of the local church, state security forces and even some Muslims. "The Coptic are scared - he stresses - especially women and children who were inside the building and witnessed the assault."   

In Egypt, the Coptic Christian community is about 10% of the population in a country with an overwhelming Muslim majority, which discriminates against the Christian community. It is the victim of violence, caused by a sharp rise of Islamic fundamentalism. Sometimes the basis of many attacks there are disputes over land ownership and disputes for women, but they soon become sectarian clashes.

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Crowd-of-3-thousand-Muslims-attack-a-Coptic-Christian-community,-25-injured-17876.html

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Dubai ruler refuses to share dais with Rushdie

J Gopikrishnan

Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum avoided attending a function in Delhi on Friday, due to the presence of “anti-Islamic” writer Salman Rushdie.

According to UAE embassy officials in Delhi, a delegation led by the Dubai ruler, which arrived here on Thursday on a two-day official visit, refused to attend the India Today Conclave as they were not informed about the presence of Rushdie.

The Dubai ruler was scheduled to deliver a keynote address on ‘Dubai 2020’ at the function inaugurated by Home Minister P Chidambaram. Interestingly, Rushdie’s speech on ‘Freedom and Dissent’ was scheduled as the last item of the day in the evening.

The Embassy officials said they were not aware till the last moment about the presence of Rushdie.

In the absence of the Dubai ruler, the function was represented by his brother and president of Dubai Civil Aviation and chairman of Emirates Group Shaikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Rushdie became an eyesore to Islamic countries after the release of his controversial book The Satanic Verses in 1988. On February 14, 1989, a fatwa asking Rushdie’s execution was issued on Radio Tehran by Ayatollah Khomeini, the spiritual leader of Iran at the time, calling the book “blasphemous against Islam”. A bounty was offered for Rushdie’s death, and he was thus forced to live under police protection for years afterward. On March 7, 1989, the United Kingdom and Iran broke diplomatic relations over giving asylum to Rushdie.

The publication of the book and the subsequent ‘fatwa’ sparked violence around the world, with bookstores being firebombed. Muslim communities in several nations in the West held public rallies in which copies of the book were burned. Several people associated with translating or publishing the book were attacked, seriously injured, and even killed.

Speaking at the conclave later in the evening, Rushdie criticised ban on his book ‘The Satanic Verses’ and pointed out that India was the first to ban the book, “as it stood with countries like Iran and Pakistan in suppressing the freedom of speech.”

Seeking complete freedom of speech in the country, he said, “Let India not be a closed world, making it another China, another Iran, or another Pakistan.”

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Iraq elections: Maliki, Allawi gain early leads

Atul Aneja

13 March 2010

DUBAI: Early results in Iraq's parliamentary elections show incumbent Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki's State of Law formation ahead in the southern Shia strongholds while Iyad Allawi's secular Iraqiya list is performing impressively in areas dominated by Sunnis.

In elections which are again exposing the sectarian faultlines, Mr. Maliki's coalition is ahead in Najaf and Babil provinces, located south of Baghdad. Mr. Allawi's secular alliance leads in two provinces north and east of the capital.

Analysts point out that the support that Mr. Maliki's coalition has received in the Najaf and Babil provinces, which are generally more religiously oriented, could signal setbacks, as the counting progresses, for the rival National Iraqi Alliance-another Shia formation, seemingly well inclined towards Iran.

Mr. Allawi's positive showing is being interpreted as an expression of the growing influence of secular Sunnis within Iraq's larger Sunni bastions.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/03/13/stories/2010031359222200.htm

http://www.dailypioneer.com/241907/Dubai-ruler-refuses-to-share-dais-with-Rushdie.html

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Crush LeT savages, US lawmakers tell Islamabad

S Rajagopalan

13 Mar, 2010

US lawmakers came down hard on Pakistan for doing next to nothing to rein in Lashkar-e-Tayyeba and demanded that the Obama Administration exert pressure on Islamabad to go all-out and crush this “group of savages” without any further delay.

At a Congressional hearing devoted exclusively to the LeT’s ravages in India and its widening jihadist agenda, top South Asia experts pointed out that the Pakistani Army and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) were still conniving with the terror outfit and using it as the spearhead for their proxy war against India.

Terming the LeT “a deadly serious group of fanatics” that has been slaughtering Indians by the score for decades, senior Congressman Gary Ackerman said: “This group of savages needs to be crushed. Not in a month. Not in a year. Not when the situation stabilises in Afghanistan. Not when things are under control in Pakistan. Now. Today and everyday going forward.”

“We (the US) are not doing it, and we’re not effectively leading a global effort to do it. And we’re going to regret this mistake. We’re going to regret it bitterly,” warned Ackerman, a founder member of the India Caucus and currently chairman of the Congressional subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia.

Calling the Pakistani bluff on where its state machinery stood vis-à-vis LeT, Ackerman said: “They (the Lashkar militants) are well-financed, ambitious and, most disturbingly, both tolerated by and connected to the Pakistani military. The same Pakistani military to which we are selling advanced arms.”

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/241759/Crush-LeT-savages-US-lawmakers-tell-Islamabad.html

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Hasina alleges ‘slow poisoning’ in sub-jail

13 March 2010

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has alleged that there were attempts on her life by mixing poison with her food when she was under detention in a sub-jail during the state of emergency.

The “slow poisoning” caused a serious problem to my eyes, Hasina told Parliament on Thursday. “I was held in a dirty house and given shabby mattress and bed. But Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Khaleda Zia was kept in the speaker’s residence. Khaleda was allowed to keep a domestic help and her food was brought from outside and cloths washed at laundry,” she said.

The Prime Minister was making the concluding speech on the thanksgiving motion on the President’s address.

Hasina’s arch-rival Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia did not take part in the discussion on the thanksgiving motion. However, the BNP-led opposition lawmakers were present in the House when the premier delivered her speech.

She accused the BNP-Jamaat alliance of hatching a conspiracy to increase prices of essentials “using the money they looted while in power”. The PM claimed the BNP-Jamaat alliance has decided not to allow the Government run the country smoothly.

“BNP-Jamaat alliance is spending their looted money to increase the prices of essentials. Thousands of crore of taka are now in their hands and it does not matter to them if they spend Tk 1,000 crore for this purpose,” she said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/241756/Hasina-alleges-%E2%80%98slow-poisoning%E2%80%99-in-sub-jail.html

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More security for Kabul, Nepal embassies

13 March 2010

New Delhi, March 12: The Indian embassies in Kabul and Kathmandu are under threat from the Pakistan-base Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, intelligence reports have suggested. India has decided to fortify its missions abroad by deploying more commandos and installation of CCTV cameras, barriers, construction of walls and fencing around the Indian establishments. An additional platoon (30-40 personnel) of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is being rushed to Kabul to secure Indian citizens and installations in the war-hit country. The ITBP commandos would leave for the neighbouring country on Saturday. The threat perception to the Indian Mission and diplomats in Nepal comes following terrorists using the Kathmandu route to enter India and also a possible Maoists’ threat to Indian assets in that country.

Following National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon’s visit to Afghanistan after the terror attack on Indians in Kabul on February 26, a new site has been identified for the ‘’re-location’’ of Indians working in working developmental projects in that country. Currently, Indians working in various projects and private companies are scattered across the country leading to security concerns.

Apart from the immediate steps being taken following Mr Menon’s visit to Kabul, a high-level security team will be visiting Kabul very soon to review the security arrangements for Indians there.

“A separate detailed review will be done after a team visits Afghanistan,” a government official said. The official said that the Indian embassy in Kabul and the four consulates in Jalalabad, Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif are under ‘’terror threat’’.

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5335:more-security-for-kabul-nepal-embassies&catid=35:india&Itemid=60

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Iraq PM battling secular challenger

13 March 2010

The First results from Iraq’s parliamentary election showed the Prime Minister and his secular rival locked in an extremely tight contest on Thursday amid fraud allegations by rival parties and a chaotic, unpredictable vote count.

The partial tallies came from only five of Iraq’s 18 provinces. However, Iraqi officials who have seen results from across the country said Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's coalition appeared to have a narrow edge, though not an outright majority. That foreshadows tough and lengthy negotiations to build a government and choose a Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, The Iraqi Prime Minister’s bloc says it has started laying the groundwork to form a coalition government after preliminary election results showed it winning in at least two southern provinces.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/241753/Iraq-PM-battling-secular-challenger.html

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Jihad, war part of Islamic law: Abu Jibril

13 Mar, 2010

Firebrand cleric Muhammad Iqbal Abdurrahman, widely known as Abu Jibril, is once again under the spotlight following a police raid that killed Jamaah Islamiyah notorious leader Dulmatin in an Internet café located near Abu’s residence. Being associated since the late 1970s with the radical movement and terrorism, Abu talked to The Jakarta Post and several other media outlets late Thursday to convey his thoughts on jihad and terrorism. Here are the excerpts:

Question: Can you tell us about your congregation?

Answer: I came to Witana Harja (a housing complex in Pamulang) in November 2005. The (complex’s) Al-Munawarah mosque was idle at that time. Then I was appointed by the mosque’s management to become the imam to lead prayers and deliver Islamic teachings, including tauhid (teaching on God’s oneness), shariah (Islamic law) and attitude. I improved the teachings with knowledge about jihad and war, because both of them are part of Islamic sharia. My teachings are based on other clerics’ methods.  The mosque has eventually attracted many people from various places. They can reach hundreds, even thousands. I deliver my congregation every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday morning. Every morning I also teach on the Koran. So I deliver a complete package of teachings, which are open, and delivered using speakers in order for others to hear and know and ensure that I don’t teach in secrecy. I disagree with people saying my congregation is exclusive. Everybody is welcome at their own will.

Full report at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/13/jihad-war-part-islamic-law-abu-jibril.html

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‘Pak reluctant to rein in LeT’

LALIT K. JHA

13 March 2010

WASHINGTON ,March 12: The ISI continues to maintain links with Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, the terrorist outfit responsible for 26/11, and Islamabad is reluctant to take action against its leaders and its network, several eminent US scholars and experts of South Asia have categorically told US legislators.

Attending a special Congressional hearing on Thursday on “Lashkar-e-Tayyaba and the growing ambition of Islamic militancy in Pakistan”, Congressmen expressed concern that despite best of the efforts by the Obama administration, the ISI continues to maintain links with LeT and that Pakistan is not taking decisive action against the terrorist outfit.

“The LeT is a deadly serious group of fanatics. They are well financed and most disturbingly, both tolerated by, and connected to, the Pakistani military,” said Gary L. Ackerman, chairman of the House Subcommittee on West Asia and South Asia of the House Committee on International Relations. And it is the same Pakistani military, to which the Obama administration is selling advanced arms, he pointed out.

Testifying before the Congressional committee, Marvin G. Weinbaum, from the Middle East Institute — a Washington-based think tank, said despite the government official ban of LeT, the ISI continued to consider the organisation as an asset.

“It is a measure of the impunity with which LeT is allowed to operate in Pakistan that the authorities have been unwilling to contain LeT chief Hafiz Mohammed Saeed,” Mr Weinbaum said

http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5279:pak-reluctant-to-rein-in-let&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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Karzai turns down Pak’s offer to train Afghan Army

Rezaul H Laskar

13 March 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has virtually turned down Pakistan’s offer to train the Afghan National Army while promising to keep Islamabad in the loop about his Government’s plans to engage the Taliban as part of reconciliation and reintegration efforts.

During two interactions with the media here on Thursday, Karzai said the Afghan Government had accepted some of Pakistan’s offers for military cooperation, including the supply of ammunition and equipment.

“As far as the training of Afghan soldiers and officers is concerned, my Defence Minister will study (this proposal) and we will come back on this,” Karzai said during an interaction with editors and senior journalists.

The News daily reported that Karzai’s comments amounted to “not less than a ‘polite no’”.

Diplomatic sources told PTI that Karzai had been “less than enthusiastic” about Pakistan’s offers to train the Afghan Army and police.

The issue has been raised with Karzai by President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani during several recent meetings.

During his interaction with the editors, Karzai pointed out that the training of the Afghan Army by the Soviets in the past had lead to “trouble”.

He added: “So we are careful.”

http://www.dailypioneer.com/241741/Karzai-turns-down-Pak%E2%80%99s-offer-to-train-Afghan-Army.html

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Talibanization of Afghanistan will hit India hard: Brajesh

Mar 13, 2010,

NEW DELHI: India will be one of the biggest losers if Talibanization grips Afghanistan and extremism spreads through Pakistan. Therefore, it is imperative that India ramp up its defence preparedness, which has been hopelessly neglected since the end of the cold war, says former national security adviser Brajesh Mishra.

Addressing a meeting of strategic and security experts at a new think-tank, Vivekananda International Foundation here on Friday Mishra said India was completely without allies and had to fight this war all on its own.

India should also expect more terror attacks from Pakistan-based groups, if the Taliban find a bigh enough space in Kabul.

In the Afghanistan game, India stands to be the big loser and Pakistan the big gainer. India will need to think ahead to reverse that situation, he added.

Mishra said India had no diplomatic clout to prevent the current developments in Afghanistan (where a huge effort is under way to bring the Taliban back into the fold and in government); nor does it have the military clout to take on the threat that, he said, was clearly developing.

For perhaps the first time in its history, he said, India faces a threat on two fronts, China and Pakistan. While in the past, the two threats did not come together, India can expect that in future, these threats can come together.

"The government has to take a strategic decision that India's military growth must match its economic growth. We can't let ghosts of Bofors or fears of corruption stifle our military acquisitions."

If the US and NATO forces leave Afghanistan in the next few years, and Taliban gets a piece of the government, there will be consequences in the region and in South Asia. In Central Asia, he said, there would be greater fears of extremism rising in Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan etc. which would have its own implications for China, US and Russia. In a Talibanized Afghanistan, Pakistan would ensure that Chinese interests -- especially economic interests -- would be protected, as against attacking Indian interests there.

In South Asia, Mishra said, "Talibanization of Afghanistan would give an impetus to the Taliban of Pakistan. This would have an adverse impact on India."

In the past nine years, since the US invaded Afghanistan, little has changed in its fundamental reality. Mishra expects that over the next couple of years the Taliban will control a fair amount of territory in Afghanistan and Pakistan. "We should not be carried away by reports of dissension within the Taliban," he said. Afghan president Hamid Karzai too was negotiating with hardline Taliban because it was unthinkable that any reconciliation with the Taliban could be done without its chief, Mullah Omar.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Talibanization-of-Afghanistan-will-hit-India-hard-Brajesh/articleshow/5677339.cms

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Pak has evidence of India's link to Balochistan's unrest: Malik

13 March 2010

Pakistan has "solid evidence" of India’s alleged involvement in fomenting unrest in Balochistan province and the government is taking up this matter diplomatically with its Indian counterpart, Interior Minister Rehman Malik claimed on Friday.

Malik made the remarks while talking to the media at parliament.

"We are not levelling mere allegations against India but we have solid evidence of Indian involvement in Balochistan. The weapons recovered from various areas were Indian-made," he alleged.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-has-evidence-of-indias-link-to-balochistans-unrest-malik/590123/

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Ten killed in suicide blast at Swat checkpost

13 Mar, 2010

PESHAWAR: At least 10 people were killed in a suicide attack in Pakistan's Swat valley on Saturday, a day after a series of bombings brought chaos and bloodshed to the city of Lahore, police said.

The bomber blew himself up in Saidu Sharif, on the southern outskirts of Mingora, the main town of Swat, where the military said several months ago it had quelled a Taliban uprising.

“A total of 10 people have been killed and 37 were wounded. It was a suicide attack,” senior police official Qazi Jamil told AFP by telephone. Three security personnel and a nine year old child were also among the dead.

“The suicide bomber was on foot. He was trying to enter the building and blew himself up after being stopped by police,” he said.

A spokesman for the army-run Swat media centre also confirmed the death toll and told AFP by telephone that two policemen and one soldier were killed.

The area was cordoned off by security forces and all shops and markets were immediately closed, residents said.

“Some 20 vehicles were also damaged in this blast. The bomber was carrying 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of explosives,” Jamil added.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/14-suicide-blast-at-check-post-in-swat-zj-07

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25 killed, thousands evacuated as two dams burst in Kazakhstan

13 Mar, 2010

TALDYKORGAN (Kazakhstan), March 12: At least 25 people were killed and thousands evacuated from their homes in southern Kazakhstan on Friday when two burst dams unleash massive flooding, officials said.

Flood waters from rivers swollen by unusually heavy winter snowfalls and an early spring spilled over the walls of a dam in the southern Aksuisky district and washed away a second in the nearby Karatalsky district.

“According to the latest confirmed information the number of dead stands at 25,” Almaty regional government spokesman Ilyas Biyakhmetov said.

More than 2,500 people have been affected by the flooding, he said, and at least 60 homes were destroyed.

Full report at: newspaper/international/25-killed%2C-thousands-evacuated-as-two-dams-burst-in-kazakhstan-330

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Pakistan, Germany, Turkey to expand cooperation in tourism

By Asim Hussain

13 Mar, 2010

ISLAMABAD—The Embassy of Pakistan in Berlin, Germany organized bilateral meeting between the visiting Pakistani Minister for Tourism Atta-ur-Rehman and Turkish Minister for Tourism and Culture Ozgar Ozaslan and German Parliamentary State Secretary / Federal Commission for SMEs and Tourism Atta-ur Rehman briefed them about the potential of bilateral arrangements for the promotion of tourism through learning of experiences on either side with Turkey and Germany.

He explained the stepping-up of the tourism infrastructure in Pakistan. He anticipated that Pakistan will assume a more important role in the global tourism scenario in future.

Both Turkish and Pakistani Minister for tourism agreed for the continuation of dialogue through their missions in their respective countries towards achieving the common objectives in relevance to the tourism promotion.

Atta-ur-Rehman was leading Pakistan’s delegation in ITB, the world’s biggest annual tourism exhibition held in Berlin (10-11 March).

Pakistan’s tourism industry jointly set up Pakistan Pavilion in 41sqm.

Full report at:  http://dailymailnews.com/0310/13/CityPage/CityPages2.php

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Hope rises in former sectarian battlefield

JASON KOUTSOUKIS

March 13, 2010

Just to be able to get in a car and drive to the ancient city of Samarra, 125 kilometres north of Baghdad, is a sign of how far things have progressed in war-ravaged Iraq.

''In 2007-2008, you would not have made it here,'' says Iraqi army Major Maher Selman. ''[You would have been] taken by terrorists along the way, or killed in the fighting if somehow you made it here.''

After Sunni insurgents destroyed Samarra's al-Askari mosque, one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites, in successive attacks in 2006 and 2007, the city became the epicentre of the poisonous sectarian conflict that tore the country apart.

''That first attack ignited the sectarian war that then spread all over Iraq,'' says Major Selman. ''But the sectarian war ends here as well. We have been able to secure this area because the people here said no. They rejected sectarianism, and this is what has spread throughout the rest of the country.''

Samarra is in Salahuddin province, the capital of which is Tikrit, once the power base of Saddam Hussein. Yesterday, Iraq's Independent High Electoral Commission said former prime minister Iyad Allawi's secular Iraqiya list was leading in Salahuddin and neighbouring Diyala province.

In Diyala, Iraqiya was ahead with more than 42,000 votes of the 142,800 ballots tallied. Dr Allawi was also winning in Salahuddin, with more than 34,000 votes of the 118,320 counted so far.

Full report at: http://www.theage.com.au/world/hope-rises-in-former-sectarian-battlefield-20100312-q481.html

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Any dialogue with Hezbollah is futile

Elias Bejjani

13 Mar, 2010

Lebanese politicians and leaders from rival parties are scheduled to engage tomorrow, March 09/10 in a new national dialogue session at the presidential palace under the chairmanship of President Michel Suleiman to look into means and ways that could ultimately lead to the disarmament of the Hezbollah terroris Iranian militia and give the Lebanese central government the sole authority on the decision making process of war and peace.

Hezbollah is insisting that the fate of its weapons is not on the table by any means, and arrogantly is calling on all the Arab countries to adopt its role model of resistance against Israel and abandon hope of reaching peace with Israel via negotiations.

Meanwhile, several top notch Hezbollah leaders have been lately boldly and with a tone of overt intimidation and threats asserting almost on daily basis that those Lebanese politicians and leaders who call for its disarmament are Israeli and American agents and traitors. Hezbollah wants all the Lebanese people to embrace its weaponry and support its "divine resistance".

Cabinet Minister Mohammed Fneish, representative of Hezbollah in the Al Hariri government, said yesterday that disarming his "resistance" group was not up for discussion in the dialogue session, but instead that the national defense strategy would be appropriate for discussion. According to Hezbollah this strategy should give its leadership more power and more authority to safeguard all of Lebanon against Israel. "Some have implied that the dialogue session seeks to decide on when Hezbollah will be disarmed," Fneish was quoted as saying by the Anbaa News Agency. "This issue is not a subject for discussion and will not be debated at the dialogue session," Fneish said.

Full report at: http://globalpolitician.com/26296-hezbollah-lebanon

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Israel to amend law after Biden ‘mishap’

13 March 2010

Israel is moving to amend the country’s planning procedures on sensitive political decisions following an embarrassing diplomatic flap during a visit this week by US Vice President Joe Biden, a Cabinet Minister said on Friday. The change endorsed by a parliamentary legislation committee on Thursday will require a representative of the Prime Minister to be present when development plans are approved.

The change aims to ensure the country’s leader is not caught off guard by politically charged decisions, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was by the approval of 1,600 new homes for Jews in east Jerusalem during Biden’s visit. Both Biden and the Palestinians sharply condemned the Israeli settlement decision. Netanyahu apologised for timing, though not the substance, of the announcement.

Biden’s trip this week, aimed at renewing Mideast peace efforts as well as repairing Israel-US ties strained precisely by disagreements over Israeli settlement construction, was overshadowed by the Israeli move.

Netanyahu said he was not aware of the decision — announced by Israel’s Interior Ministry — before it was made public, and released a statement saying he had reprimanded the Cabinet Minister responsible. There has been no indication he took further action against those involved.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/241747/Israel-to-amend-law-after-Biden-%E2%80%98mishap%E2%80%99.html

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Muslims in the west: The universal teachings of Islam

13 March 2010

The death last month of the Swiss-born British Muslim Charles le Gai Eaton provided a reminder of the surprise that sometimes greets Europeans who have made the decision to convert to Islam. Eaton could be seen as a curiosity because he chose a faith not traditionally associated with his ethnicity. However, a defining aspect of Islam, from its inception, has been that it is race-blind.

There are three important aspects of Islam, as explained in the Qur'an. One is the specific Islam: that of the followers of the prophet Muhammad. The second is the general Islam, or submission to the will of God, described as being the path of the first humans and of all the great teachers and prophets, including Abraham, Moses and Jesus. The Qur'an also explicitly mentions that there were many other religious figures whom it does not name: "We sent a messenger to every nation." Islam in this sense is the original teaching of all the major world religions, and can be seen as the teachings upon which they all agree. Alongside this is the universal aspect of Islam seen through harmony with Nature, for "everything in the heavens and the earth glorifies God".

Full report at: vhttp://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/mar/13/islam-east-west-religion

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Restoration of mosque a symbol of hope for Iraq's future

JASON KOUTSOUKIS

March 13, 2010

SAMARRA: Just to be able to get in a car and drive to the ancient city of Samarra, 125 kilometres north of Baghdad, is a sign of how far things have progressed in war-ravaged Iraq.

''In 2007-2008, you would not have made it here,'' said Major Maher Selman of the Iraqi army. ''Taken by terrorists along the way, or killed in the fighting if somehow you made it here.''

After Sunni extremists destroyed one of Shiite Islam's holiest sites, Samarra's al-Askari mosque, in successive attacks in 2006 and 2007, the city became a source of the poisonous sectarian conflict that tore the country apart.

The first attack came early in the morning on February 22, 2006, when a group of insurgents allied with al-Qaeda entered the shrine and tied up the security guards, planting several bombs that destroyed the mosque's famous golden dome.

More than a year later other militants connected to al-Qaeda successfully aimed mortar shells at the mosque's two minarets standing next to the ruins of the first explosion, toppling both of them. ''That first attack ignited the sectarian war that then spread all over Iraq,'' Major Selman told the Herald this week. ''But the sectarian war ends here as well. We have been able to secure this area because the people here … rejected sectarianism and this is what has spread throughout the rest of the country. Everyone is saying no to more sectarian violence.''

Full report at: http://www.smh.com.au/world/restoration-of-mosque-a-symbol-of-hope-for-iraqs-future-20100312-q46v.html

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Kashmiris inclusion in Indo-Pak talks must : JKPL

13 Mar, 2010

Anantnag—Senior Hurriyat Leader and Acting Chairman JKPL, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza while addressing a public gathering at Bhawan Mattan Anantnag after Friday congregation has called for inclusion of Kashmiris in Indo-Pak dialogues for finding a durable solution of the thorny issue of Kashmir in line with wishes of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Mukhtar Waza was demanded that ongoing peace process should be all inclusive and the genuine Kashmiri leadership should be made part of all future negotiation between India and Pakistan. Waza reiterated that the people of Kashmir are determined to continue the liberation struggle till the achievement of right to self-determination and emphasised that the United Nations should play role to resolve the long-standing dispute. Waza observed that denial of right of self determination and the maintenance of international peace and security are inseparable and this denial has brought both India and Pakistan to the brink of a nuclear catastrophe..

Waza said that, on one hand, India claimed to be the world’s largest democracy but, on the other, Indian troops were committing gross human rights violations. “India had invoked draconian laws which provided impunity to the troops to commit gross human rights violations in Kashmir,” he added.

http://dailymailnews.com/0310/13/FrontPage/FrontPage8.php

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Another US Qaeda suspect held, again Yemen connection

Mar 13, 2010

Buena : He was raised in New Jersey, where he was on the school wrestling team and a black belt in karate. Nearly a decade later, Sharif Mobley is under arrest in Yemen, suspected to be a member of the same branch of al-Qaeda that is linked to Nigerian ‘underwear bomber’ Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

A former classmate said that Mobley had strong religious views in high school, often trying to convert friends to Islam, and became increasingly radical, especially after graduating in 2002.

Roman Castro, 25, who did a tour with the US Army in Iraq, said the last time he saw Mobley, about four years ago, Mobley yelled, “Get the hell away from me, you Muslim killer!”

Mobley, a 26-year-old US citizen, was identified by Yemeni officials as a Somali-American. He moved to Yemen about two years ago, supposedly to learn Arabic and study Islam, a former neighbour said. Between 2002 and 2008, he had worked as a labourer at three nuclear power plants in New Jersey.

The FBI, the State Department and other authorities said they were trying to gather information about Mobley. But the allegations by Yemen appeared to illustrate a phenomenon US intelligence officials have been warning about: more and more American Muslims are becoming radicalised and joining terrorist movements overseas.

Mobley was among 11 Qaeda suspects detained this month in a security sweep in San’a. He was taken to a hospital over the weekend. At the hospital, however, Mobley snatched a gun from a security guard and fatally shot a guard and wounded another before being captured, said Mohammed Albasha, spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/590330/

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Indonesian police kill two suspected militants

Banda Aceh

13 March 2010

Indonesian police killed two suspected Islamist militants in a firefight in remote Aceh province on Friday during the latest in a series of raids made since an extremist training camp was discovered there last month. Eight other suspects were arrested.

The operations have highlighted the resilience of Southeast Asian militant networks allied to Al Qaeda, as well as the continued pressure being applied on them by Indonesian anti-terror police. The greatest prize for authorities so far has been Dulmatin, a master bomb maker who was shot dead on Tuesday near Jakarta. He had been wanted for making and priming one of the bombs that killed 202 people in a nightclub strip on Indonesia’s Bali island in 2002 and had been assumed to be hiding in the southern Philippines.

The Bali bombings and several others against Western targets in Indonesia since then were carried out by Jemaah Islamiyah or associated groups.

Police say those targeted in recent raids are linked to that network, which at its height in early 2000 had cells across Southeast Asia. They killed the two suspects on Friday as a group of 10 tried to flee from a bus that was stopped at a checkpoint close to the Aceh, provincial police chief said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/241749/Indonesian-police-kill-two-suspected-militants.html

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Reopen graft cases against Zardari: Pak SC

13 March 2010

Islamabad, March 12: Pakistan’s Supreme Court on Friday directed the country’s anti-corruption watchddog to reopen graft cases against Asif Ali Zardari and 8,000 others that were quashed under the controversial National Reconciliation Ordinance, a move likely to further weaken his hold on the presidency.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Javed Iqbal directed the National Accountability of Bureau to implement its verdict to reopen cases that were quashed under the National Reconciliation Ordinance, promulgated by former military ruler Pervez Musharraf in 2007. The bench also directed the bureau to protect all records related to NRO cases. The bench also expressed its dissatisfaction at a report submitted by NAB on the reopening of cases.

NAB was directed by the judges to submit a report regarding the appointment of prosecutors for these cases. Justice Iqbal remarked that whatever was decided by the apex court “must be implemented in letter and spirit”.

Full report at:    

http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5278:reopen-graft-cases-against-zardari-pak-sc&catid=36:international&Itemid=61

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Women’s Bill: Sachar opposed to Muslim quota

Seema Chishti

Mar 13, 2010

New Delhi : Justice Rajinder Sachar’s report highlighting the abysmal plight of Muslims is being used by several leaders and groups to argue for a Muslim sub-quota in the Women’s Bill. Few have checked with Sachar — he is strongly opposed to such a move.

Strongly endorsing the Bill “as it is,” Sachar trashed demands for a sub-quota for Muslims or OBC women. “I think the Bill should be brought to the Lok Sabha straightaway. It makes no sense to ask to divide women up into different categories. I firmly believe that increasing women participation in Parliament will clarify muddy politics and decriminalize it,” he told The Indian Express today.

“Those who are in Parliament because they are OBCs or Muslims aren’t there for the great social work they have done but because of the caste composition. Now that won’t get diluted because women will come in. Women of that caste will come in. Those who oppose this view can debate why in the Lok Sabha. My view is that Muslim women will leave their male counterparts behind, they are very capable, they will prove to be superior to the Muslim male. I have no doubt about it,” he said.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/590375/

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Women empowerment or minority bashing?

M Burhanuddin Qasmi

The Women’s Reservation Bill would further marginalise Muslims because over and above the 33 per cent for women, the old quotas for SC/ST, which are often at the cost of Muslims, would continue

It is an unfortunate fact that in a democracy nothing is achievable without united agitation. This time too, the Muslim social and political leadership are failing to unite strongly behind a very genuine demand as they have been blinded by a piece of glaring hypocrisy: so-called ‘women’s empowerment.’

The electronic media too seems part of the mockery being put to play by UPA chief Sonia Gandhi to distract attention from the government’s failures. One wonders, why 24x7 media houses are refusing to debate the ideas put forth by the Samajwadi Party, RJD, BSP, AIDUF, TCM and MIM.

If religion-based reservation is unacceptable when it comes to political empowerment of minorities — which is overdue for 63 years — then how can gender-based be reasonable? Reservation is usually offered to the weakest sections of society to genuinely empower them and by all government data it is the Muslims who are India’s weakest community. Yet, Muslim empowerment is anathema.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/241880/Women-empowerment-or-minority-bashing.html

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Clergy opposes Muslim women in politics

Amita Verma

13 March 2010

Lucknow, March 12: Even as political parties cry themselves hoarse demanding quota within quota for Muslim women in the Women’s Reservation Bill, Muslim clerics are not too keen on allowing women to enter politics.

Maulana Saeed-ur-Rehman Azmi Nadwi, who heads Nadwa-tul Ulema which is the biggest Islamic seminary in north India, told reporters that politics was an ‘unlikely profession’ for Muslim women.

“Islam does not allow women to discard the ‘purdah’, deliver speeches in public and seek their rights. Guidelines for Muslim women are clear — stay at home in ‘hijab’ and take care of household chores. They are also free to get educated and serve the nation,” he said but hastened to add that this did not give them the permission to enter politics. He said that contesting elections was essentially a man’s job and a woman was definitely not suited to face the hurly burly of politics. “Women can join politics only if they turn into men,” he added firmly.

Full report at:  http://www.asianage.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=5346:clergy-opposes-muslim-women-in-politics&catid=35:india&Itemid=60

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Mirwaiz snubbed, chairman Geelani in Pak invite

RIYAZ WANI

13 March 2010

Srinagar : In a setback to the Hurriyat moderates, several hardliners figure among the list of separatists who have got an invite from Islamabad for a forthcoming visit to the country. This includes Dukhtaran-e-Millat leader Asiya Andrabi, who has never been given much prominence by Pakistan.

Moreover, the chief of the Hurriyat hawkish faction, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, has been addressed as ‘Hurriyat chairman’ in the invite to him.

This is a clear snub to Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, the leader of the moderates, regarded as the sole ‘chairman’ of the Hurriyat Conference. In earlier invites, Geelani used to be referred to as just “buzurg rehnuma (veteran leader)”.

Apart from Mirwaiz, Geelani and Andrabi, invites have gone out to JKLF chief Yasin Malik, two executive members of the moderate Hurriyat Shabir Shah and Agha Syed Hassan, and president of the Kashmir High Court Bar Association Mian Abdul Qayoom.

Qayoom is considered a staunch ideological ally of Geelani. Earlier Hurriyat staples for such visits Prof Abdul Gani Bhat and Bilal Gani Lone have been overlooked.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/589833/

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Govt readies for terror threat at home, abroad

Aloke Tikku & Jayanth Jacob,

13 March 2010

India is ramping up security at its missions in Afghanistan and Nepal, even as it expects a ‘hot year’ of terror attacks, government officials said.

Security is being increased following intelligence inputs about increased threats of terrorist attacks in the two countries.

A team of 40 Indo-Tibetan Border Police commandos will be flying to Kabul on Saturday, primarily to secure an upcoming building complex where all Indian officials posted there would be moved into.

At present, the officials are living in different places and are very vulnerable, a senior government official said. The new complex will be a fortified one, with hi-tech security gadgets, a high boundary wall and close circuit cameras.

The first security assessment after the February-end attack in Kabul has spoken about the possibility of kidnappings and killings of officials. There are also inputs of more suicide attacks occurring.

Full report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Govt-readies-for-terror-threat-at-home-abroad/H1-Article1-518253.aspx

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Muslim leader passes away; CM, Naidu pay respects

13 March 2010

Muslims of Hyderabad were in deep mourning over the passing away of their popular religious and spiritual leader and a leading light of the community, Moulana Hameeduddin Aauqil Hussami.

Extremely popular among the masses for his typical spiritual discourses with liberal doses of sarcasm and wit, Moulana Hussami breathed his last in the wee hours of Friday at his residence in the old city after prolonged illness. He was shifted on Thursday from the hospital to his residence on his insistence, as he wanted to be among family members and friends.

Chief Minister K Rosaiah, Opposition leader N Chandrababu Naidu, Hyderabad MP and MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad Police Commissioner AK Khan and heads of several organisations and prominent personalities paid their last respects.

His Namaz-e-Janaza was offered at historic Mecca Masjid after Friday’s congregation, which was attended by thousands of mourners. Later, he was laid to rest at family cemetery Hussamia Chaman.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/241734/Muslim-leader-passes-away;-CM-Naidu-pay-respects.html

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Bareilly erupts again, jailed cleric released

13 March 2010

Trouble-prone localities in Bareilly once again witnessed clashes when members of a particular community took to the streets and torched several business establishments and vehicles. They threw bricks and crude bombs, critically injuring about 20 persons, including a dozen policemen along with SP (City) Rakesh Jolly.

The policemen later reportedly opened fire to disperse the agitated mob.

Curfew was also extended in Subash Nagar police station besides the other four police station areas which are already under curfew. ADG (Law & Order) Brij Lal, denied that police had opened fire and claimed that they just used rubber bullets to disperse the mob.

He also ruled out that curfew was imposed in Subhash Nagar area though he confirmed that violence took place there. He also admitted of rushing more senior officers in wake of the tense situation and the proposed ‘Ram Barat’, which was to be taken out on Friday, was cancelled to avert further clashes. Ten persons have been arrested for Friday’s violence.

On learning the volatile situation, the State Government which changed the DM and DIG/SSP of Bareilly on Thursday, sent the Commandant of 32nd battalion of PAC Jyoti Narain, who was earlier SSP of Bareilly, along with three additional SPs — Anant Deo, HM Singh and Pramod Kumar, and four Deputy SPs.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/241765/Bareilly-erupts-again-jailed-cleric-released.html

 

Resolving Kashmir won't satisfy LeT: Experts

13 March 2010

A resolution of Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan would no longer satisfy Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and the terrorist outfit responsible for 26/11 and attack on Indian Parliament would continue to pose a serious threat to both India and the western world in particular the US, top experts have told American lawmakers.

"There is no doubt in my mind that we have to find ways to resolve the issues relating to Kashmir. But I think resolving Kashmir is not going to solve the problems relating to LeT," Ashley J Tellis, senior associate at the prestigious Carnegie Endowment for International

Peace, told US lawmakers at a Congressional hearing on Thursday.

"Resolving the Kashmir problem by itself is not going to remove this threat because the aim of these groups is to leverage themselves into a position of power inside Pakistan and to take control," said eminent Pakistani scholar, Shuza Nawaz, Director, South Asia Centre,

the Atlantic Council of the United States.

Both Nawaz and Tellis were responding to concerns of the US Congressmen at the hearing if LeT would abandon terrorism if Kashmir dispute was resolved; given that Lashkar was initially popped up by the ISI of Pakistan for the specific purpose of targeting Kashmir and India in particular.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/241927/Resolving-Kashmir-wont-satisfy-LeT-Experts.html

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/crowd-of-3-thousand-muslims-attack-a-coptic-christian-community,-25-injured/d/2576


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