New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 25 Jan 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Deoband Chief Vastanvi forced to resign for his belief in Islamic pluralism and co-existence

Can women be stopped from praying jummah prayer in a masjid

Russian Muslim cleric urges harsher punishment for terrorists

A Muslim lecture on Shariah law – at the Temple in Atlanta

Senior Shia Cleric Highlights Imam Khomeini's Policies

‘Murder of Amanullah an attack on freedom of expression’

Moscow marks day of mourning for suicide blast victims

Shekhar Suman and Bharti Singh get bail in blasphemy case

Turkey and Russia Move Closer to Visa-Free Travel

Muslims welcome hijab law in Argentina

Industrialist MR. M. Rafeeque Ahmed gets Padma Shree

School hijab ban divides Muslim Azerbaijan

Islam’s respect for Christianity and Judaism

Security forces kill 18 terrorists in Mohmand

ANP leader guard killed

Agnes Massey demands repeal of blasphemy law and release of Asia Bibi

Thousands out in Cairo, want Mubarak to go

A.R. Rahman Again, Twice

Israel digs tunnel near Al-Aqsa

India serious about talks but wants Pak to act on 26/11: Rao

Republic Day celebrations peaceful in Kashmir, BJP march foiled

Decapitation murder trial underway in Buffalo, NY courtroom

Wyoming May Follow Oklahoma and Consider Sharia Law Ban

Israel’s flotilla report is credible, impartial: US

All eyes on other R-Day march to Lal Chowk

Story of a yatra: Why BJP elders hopped on to youth bandwagon

Delhi under security blanket on Republic Day

'Black widow' carrying bag triggered Moscow blast?

Mid-air terror scare grounds flight to London

'BJP's Ekta Yatra revives memories of May 1953 march'

Omar invites BJP leaders to attend Republic Day function

Kirti Chakra honour for 4 Army officers, jawan

'Al-Qaeda Plotting Attack On US'

Mobiles Go Off In Kashmir Ahead R'Day

'Will Surely Hoist Tricolour In Srinagar'

Ashok Chakra For Major Killed In Kabul

BJP Flag Plan Inciting Kashmiris: Mirwaiz

Five Al-Qaeda suspects held in Yemen

Jordanians terror suspects plead not guilty

Iraq-bound Al-Qaeda suspects nabbed in Egypt

Substance abuse among children remains a threat

Saudi artists can spread understanding

‘The King’s Speech’ favorite at Oscars

Iran accuses West of ‘nuclear terrorism’

Defiant Abbas says he’s on ‘right path’

Syria lifts visa restrictions on Iraqis

UK to end virtual house arrest of terrorism suspects

Karachi bike bomb blast kills three policemen

Clerics get pre-arrest bail extended until Feb 1

Thousands defy violence, mark Chehlum in Iraq

Al-Qaeda under most pressure since 2001: Obama

Sikh shrine in Baghdad lives on in memories

India celebrates 62nd R'Day, military might on show

BJP slams Omar's invitation to attend R-Day function

BJP, separatist leaders arrested for trying to hoist flag

Sushma angry over 'farce' of inviting BJP leaders to Srinagar

Russia's New Age terrorist, and what he tells us about the global jihadist movement

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/deoband-chief-vastanvi-forced-to-resign-for-his-belief-in-islamic-pluralism-and-co-existence/d/4006

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Deoband Chief Vastanvi forced to resign for his belief in Islamic pluralism and co-existence

 

By Piyush Srivastava

Jan 26, 2011

FACING stiff opposition from a section of students and teachers, Maulana Ghulam Mohammad Vastanvi, the newly elected vicechancellor of Darul Uloom Deoband, announced on Tuesday evening that he would tender his resignation.

“ It will not be possible for me to work in the present situation. Some students have gone on strike with the active support of some senior teaching staff. So, it will be difficult for me to continue. It comes to my mind that I should resign now.

“ But I have convened a meeting of the Majlis- e- Shurah ( supreme council) on February 15. I will ask the members about their stand and put in my papers if I find the slightest difference of opinion within the Shurah,” he was quoted as saying.

Vastanvi confirmed to a section of the press on Tuesday that he would resign in the meeting of the council. “ Since the Shurah has appointed me, I want to quit after its meeting on February 15,” he said.

But a senior member of the Islamic seminary claimed that some of the Shurah members had asked the rector to leave. “ According to my information, Vastanvi had talked to some members of the council, including Manjur Ahmed, Mohammad Yaqub, Hafij Siddiqui, Azhar Nomani and Abdul Qasim Nomani.

They said that it would be in the interest of the institute if he resigns,” he said.

The Majlis- e- Shurah is a 20- member council of elders in the seminary. Currently, however, there are only 17 members. Of these, only 14 members had participated in voting when Vastanvi was elected vice- chancellor on January 10.

A section of students and teachers had opposed Vastanvi’s name even at the time of his election because of his non- Darul Uloom background and alleged political inclinations.

However, it was his comments on Narendra Modi that triggered the violent protests against him last week. Vastanvi, who is from Gujarat, said Muslims faced no discrimination in the state and were, in fact, benefiting from Modi’s development policies.

As his remark sparked a controversy, Vastanvi backtracked, saying he never gave a clean chit to Modi over the post- Godhra riots. But Darul Uloom students opened a front against him and urged the Majlis- e- Shura to remove Vastanvi and appoint someone who was “ more interested in the development of the seminary than in self- promotion”. On Sunday evening, two groups at the institute clashed, in which a few students were injured. Vastanvi’s opponents alleged that his supporters had attacked them and intensified their demand for his removal.

About 100 students went on indefinite strike at the institute and reportedly disrupted classes. About 100 more joined the strike on Tuesday.

The seminary authorities also announced the withdrawal of Monday’s decision to expel nine protesting students. A spokesperson said the expulsion order had been withdrawn after restoration of normalcy in the institution and resumption of classes.

Vastanvi was elected V- C only two weeks ago.

Mail Today

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CAN WOMEN BE STOPPED FROM PRAYING JUMMAH PRAYER IN A MASJID

Jan 26, 2011

Questoin: Selam aleykum we rahmetullah, Our local imam recently turned woman away from the masjid saying that Friday Juma prayer is for men only and that womenn are taking places of men so they should go home?! Also, he recieved government funding for buying the exstension to exsisting mosque to make space for woman! I do not wish this imam to be local imam any more,as he does not support women and children to come to pray in the mosque, I am stunned by such atittude, as there is no proof to prove that women are not allowed in the mosque , specialy on Friday! I would like to know what can I do to resolve this issue and make OUR masjid accessible for sister\'s and their children. I know that Juma prayer is fard on men, but there is no prohibition for women to come and pray as well on that day. I think our imam is doing deservice to sisters and their children and the community at large. What is your opinion, Please let me know, Jazakallah

Answer:

Praying in congregation has 25 to 27 times more reward than praying on your own. This is however for men and not for women because they are advised by messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) to offer their daily prayers at home.

http://www.islamic-sharia.org/worship-prayer-obligatory-prayer/can-women-be-stopped-

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Russian Muslim cleric urges harsher punishment for terrorists

Jan 26, 2011

The head of the Russian Association for Islamic Consensus' Executive Committee called for stricter punishment for terrorists.

MOSCOW, Russia (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The head of the Russian Association for Islamic Consensus' Executive Committee called for stricter punishment for terrorists.

"We don't get tired of repeating our demands for tighter punishment for those who encroach on the life of innocent people, making one more attempt to sow enmity in our multi-ethnic and multireligious Russian society," Mufti Muhammedgali Huzin told Interfax-Religion.

He said ethnic groups populating Russia have good-neighborly mutual relations, and that this "is a source of anger for the pack of abominable jackals, who are trying to bite our powerful and healthy society at the heel."

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=222643

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A Muslim lecture on Shariah law – at the Temple in Atlanta

By jgalloway

Jan 26, 2011

The Insider doesn’t normally post calendar items — especially for events without general admission. This Tuesday evening event at the Temple in Atlanta is interesting in and of itself.

The Anti-Defamation League and the Islamic Speakers Bureau of Atlanta are joining forces to present “Understanding the Quran,” a program that will examine how the Quran guides the daily lives of Muslims. The principal speaker will be Dr. Joseph Lumbard, chair of the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies program at Brandeis University. Rabbi Joshua Lesser, of Congregation Bet Haverim in Atlanta will offer a Jewish perspective on the teachings of the Quran.

ADL Southeast Regional Director Bill Nigut and Islamic Speakers Bureau founder and Executive Director Soumaya Khalifa came together for this event because they share a common belief that few non-Muslims have more than a superficial understanding of what the Quran teaches.

http://blogs.ajc.com/political-insider-jim-galloway/2011/01/24/a-lecture-on-shariah-law

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Senior Shia Cleric Highlights Imam Khomeini's Policies

Jan 26, 2011

“The policy and the strategy of Imam Khomeini (RA) were reviving the Islamic awakening,” said Head of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - “The policy and the strategy of Imam Khomeini (RA) were reviving the Islamic awakening,” said Head of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought.

"Imam Khomeni [the late founder of the Islamic Revolution ](RA) underscored reviving the Islamic awakening, returning to Islam and making complete relation between religion and life in his lifetime,” said Head of the world Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought, Ayatollah Mohammad Ali Taskhiri.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=222696

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‘Murder of Amanullah an attack on freedom of expression’

Jan 26, 2011

KARACHI: Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Information Sharmila Farooqi has strongly condemned the murder of journalist Amanullah Memon and directed the officials concerned to arrest the killers and bring them to task. In a statement issued here on Tuesday, she said that government was trying its utmost efforts to provide security to the journalists and believed in freedom of expression. She assured the bereaved family that govt would take measures to provide them justice. She also prayed that Allah Almighty might bless the departed soul and give courage to bereaved family to bear this loss. s

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\26\story_26-1-2011_pg12_11

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Moscow marks day of mourning for suicide blast victims

Jan 26 2011

Moscow : Russia's national capital region observed a day of mourning on Wednesday for the 35 victims of Monday's suicide attack on the country's busiest airport, in which over 180 people were also injured.

The regional flags flew at half mast and all public forms of entertainment have been cancelled.

A funeral service for the dead will be held at the airport's chapel where people started bringing flowers and candles on Tuesday. Funeral services will also be held in other churches, mosques and synagogues.

According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, eight foreign nationals from Kyrgyzstan, Germany, Tajikistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Great Britain have also died in Domodedovo attack.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/moscow-marks-day-of-mourning-for-suicide-blast-

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Shekhar Suman and Bharti Singh get bail in blasphemy case

New Age Islam News Bureau

Jan 26 2011

New Delhi: The Paidhoni Police Station today released Bharti Singh and Shekhar Suman participants of a programme Comedy Circus telecast on Sony TV  in a blasphemy case. According to the senior Inspector of Paidhoni Police Station Shamsher Khan Pathan, a complaint had been lodged against Shekhar Suman and Bharti Singh by Raza Academy accusing them of hurting the sentiments of a community. After the registering of the case the two accused had applied for anticipatory bail that was accepted by the court and ordered them to presented a personal bond before the local court in case arrest. According to the court order, both appeared silently before the Paidhoni Police Station and presented personal bond after which they were released by the police. It may be recalled that Bharti Singh and Shekhar Suman had ridiculed Kalma Tayyiba in the programme. The former MLA Sohail Lokhandwala had approached the local ulema and the authorities of the Raza Academy who then registered a case against them in the Paidhoni Police Station.

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Turkey and Russia Move Closer to Visa-Free Travel

Jan 26, 2011

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, visited Turkey in order to attend the talks between Iran and the P5+1. Prior to the start of the talks on the Iranian nuclear issue, Lavrov held crucial meetings with his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, on bilateral relations as well as regional issues. In particular, Lavrov and Davutoglu chaired the first Turkish-Russian Joint Strategic Planning Group at the historic Ciragan Palace in Istanbul. The talks were a preparatory meeting within the framework of the High Level Strategic Cooperation Councils, which Turkey initiated in recent years with many countries, including not only some of its Middle Eastern neighbors but also Greece and Russia.

The joint planning meeting sought to prepare the ground for the Strategic Cooperation Council to be held in Moscow in the coming months, possibly during Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s, visit to Russia in mid-March. Until then, several other high level contacts will occur between Turkish and Russian delegations, underscoring the intensity of the flourishing bilateral cooperation between the two nations.

Full report at:

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Muslims welcome hijab law in Argentina

Jan 26, 2011

The administration of Cristina Fernandez has passed an historic legislation that allows Muslim women to wear hijab in public places without the fear of persecution. They can use photographs wearing headscarves for their national ID cards.

The new law seeks to promote freedom of religion and expression in the Latin American country, and help the Muslim community to integrate into the Argentinean society.

The Muslim community in Argentina has welcomed the news, especially seeing that in other places like France, governments are taking drastic measures to ban the Islamic headscarf in public places and schools.

While Argentina's Muslims - who make up about 2 per cent of the population - live in harmony and peace in the mostly Catholic society, they say sometimes it is hard to practice the religion, because of the way the media represents Islam and Muslims at large.

The government says it will enforce the law to the best of its ability and in collaboration with police forces, the judiciary and the business community.

Although Muslims are a minority here in Argentina, the government is making it a priority to make sure they're free to express their religion without discrimination.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/162033.html

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INDUSTRIALIST MR. M. RAFEEQUE AHMED GETS PADMA SHREE

Jan 26, 2011

Dear all, salam

M. Rafeeque Ahmed, Ambur

It is heartening to know that the Chairman of the Farida group Mr. M. Rafeeque Ahmed was named for Padma Shri Award for this year. It is a great honour to him and the leather industry for which his contribution is considerable. He is a man of action. We wish him all the best in all his progressive endeavours for the betterment of the industry, community and country. The leather fraternity in India, particularly in Tamil Nadu, is in jubiliation in getting this pleasant news.

Best regards,

V.M. Khaleelur Rahman

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School hijab ban divides Muslim Azerbaijan

Jan 26, 2011

NARDARAN, Azerbaijan: A woman with her head uncovered is a rare sight in Nardaran, an impoverished village on the Caspian Sea which has become a stronghold of Islamic activism in ex-Soviet Azerbaijan.

Roadside posters offer messages from the Quran, alcohol is absent from local shops, and hundreds of villagers recently took to the streets in protest against a controversial decision to stop girls wearing the Islamic headscarf in schools.

Angry worshippers demonstrated last month outside the huge mosque which dominates the village on the outskirts of the capital, set fire to a photograph of the education minister and chanted: “We’d rather die than give up the hijab!”

The hijab was effectively banned in schools last year by new rules defining what kind of uniforms pupils should wear in this mainly Shia Muslim country, which emerged as one of the most secular in the Islamic world after decades of Soviet rule.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/26/school-hijab-ban-divides-muslim-azerbaijan.html

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Islam’s respect for Christianity and Judaism

Manal Abdul Aziz

Jan 26, 2011

Egyptian sociologists and the literati have long warned of a possible explosion of anger in Egypt due to the deteriorating socio-economic conditions of the country together with the absence of political and human rights. But no one ever imagined that this steam of anger would eventually emerge in the form of a sectarian violence.

Do the recent criminal acts directed against some Christian citizens at the Alexandria church on the New Year’s Eve or on a Cairo-bound train from Assiut some days later reflect a hidden hatred between the Egyptian Muslims and Copts?

Or is it just a deep sense of despair, anger and injustice that has mistaken its target?In last week’s article I cited to some wrong practices of the Coptic Orthodox Church pertaining to irresponsible acts and sayings of some Christians and their clerics that gave the impression the Copts are being treated as if they were above the law.

Full report at:

http://www.alarabiya.net/views/2011/01/25/134934.html

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Security forces kill 18 terrorists in Mohmand

Jan 26, 2011

GHALANAI: At least 18 terrorists were killed and 22 others injured in security forces shelling on terrorists’ hideouts in various parts of Mohmand Agency on Tuesday, security sources said. The sources said security forces targeted terrorists’ hideouts in different areas of tehsils Khewazai Bazai, Ambar and Safi. Ten terrorist hideouts were also destroyed in the shelling, the sources said.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\26\story_26-1-2011_pg7_9

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ANP leader guard killed

Jan 26, 2011

TIMERGARA: A guard of ANP leader Senator Zahid Khan was killed and his brother injured when some people attacked his hujra (guest house) in Odigram, Lower Dir district, on Tuesday evening.

Police said gunmen stormed the hujra and opened fire on people sitting there.

Guard Bakht Shehzad alias Malang was killed on the spot and Mohammad Ayub Khan, a brother of Senator Zahid Khan, was injured. The assailants escaped.

The injured was taken to the Timergara district headquarters hospital, but doctors referred him to Peshawar because of his critical condition.

Ayub Khan, ANP`s district general secretary, contested election twice from NA-34, Lower Dir.

Suspected militants had blown up a guest house of Senator Zahid Khan soon after the launching of military operation in Lower Dir in 2009.

The family had received several threats from militants for their affiliation with the ANP, which played a major role in flushing out militants from Dir and Swat.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/26/anp-leaders-guard-killed.html

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Agnes Massey demands repeal of blasphemy law and release of Asia Bibi

Jan 26, 2011

Toronto: January 25, 2011. (PCP) Pakistan Christian Congress PCC Canadian Chapter have demanded government of Pakistan to drop blasphemy charges of Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, sentenced to death on charges of blasphemy. PCC-Canadian Chapter have also urged to repeal blasphemy law and to release all prisoners charged under this controversial law.

Agnes Massey, President of PCC-Canadian Chapter have expressed grave concern on enforced conversion of Christians to Islam to safe their lives in Pakistan after legislation of blasphemy law.

Recently, a Canadian media outlet have published an investigative report on conversion of Christian family and quoted that dozens of Christian convert to Islam every week according to one Islamic Seminary in Lahore. The Star also have published a photo of Christian family learning and reciting Quran under supervision of Islamic teacher.

Full report at:

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/viewarticles.php?editorialid=1218

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Thousands out in Cairo, want Mubarak to go

January 26, 2011

Thousands of anti-Government protesters have broken a police cordon in the Egyptian capital and are crossing a major bridge over the Nile to join hundreds more demonstrators massed on the other side of the river.

The demonstration calling for an end to Hosni Mubarak’s Government is the biggest Egypt has seen in years. Police are showing unusual restraint in what appears to be a concerted effort by the Government not to provoke a Tunisia-like mass revolt.

The demonstrators chanted, “Long Live a Free Tunisia” and “Down with Hosni Mubarak.” Hundreds of protesters also gathered in Alexandria and other cities. The call for Tuesday’s rallies spread on Facebook and Twitter, with 90,000 saying they would attend. Downtown Cairo came to a standstill and there was a massive security presence.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/313241/Thousands-out-in-Cairo-want-Mubarak-to-go.html

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A.R. Rahman Again, Twice

Jan 26, 2011

After his double win at the 2009 Academy awards, music maestro A.R. Rahman has a chance to repeat the feat this year winning two Oscar nominations for his music in Danny Boyle’s film 127 Hours.

If I Rise, the 45-year-old singer-composer’s collaboration with British pop star Dido, has been nominated in the best song category.

Rahman will also be competing for the Best Original Score trophy with John Powell (How to Train Your Dragon), Hans Zimmer (Inception), Alexandre Desplat (The King’s Speech) and Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (The Social Network).

The nominees in the best song category are Coming Home from Country Strong, I See the Light from Tangled and We Belong Together from Toy Story 3.

The Mozart of Madras first won the award for his music in Boyle’s Mumbai-based potboiler Slumdog Millionaire in 2009.

http://www.asianage.com/international/rahman-again-twice-147

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Israel digs tunnel near Al-Aqsa

Jan 26, 2011

RAMALLAH: The Israeli Antiquities Authority (IAA) on Tuesday said it has completed an archaeological dig of a tunnel under the walls of Jerusalem's Old City, not far from the Al-Aqsa Mosque Complex.

The authority said that the 600 meters long tunnel links the City of David in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan with the Archaeological Park & Davidson Center, which is located near the Western Wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque complex. The City of David is an archaeological site run by rightist Jewish occupiers.

The IAA said that the tunnel was uncovered during excavations conducted by its teams over the past few months. It added that the tunnel will enable visitors to cross under the walls of Jerusalem's Old City.

Israeli sources said that the digging had been going on for seven years and was delayed for about a year by order of the Israeli High Court of Justice, after Palestinian residents in Silwan filed a petition claiming the dig was damaging their homes.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article242615.ece

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India serious about talks but wants Pak to act on 26/11: Rao

Jan 26, 2011

ISLAMABAD: India is looking forward to receiving foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for talks in the next couple of months and is "serious" about dialogue but wants Pakistan to take action against perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao has said.

"No breakthrough is expected during this high-level meeting", which is likely to take place in the next two months, she said.

But it would serve as a strong base to move ahead to establish a good relationship, said Rao, who met Pakistani journalists in New Delhi days before her meeting in Thimphu with her counterpart Salman Bashir on the margins of a SAARC committee conference there in early February.

"I cannot promise you any breakthrough during FM-level talks, however, I'm sure things would move ahead," she was quoted as saying by Pakistani newspapers.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-serious-about-talks-but-wants-Pak-to-act-

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Republic Day celebrations peaceful in Kashmir, BJP march foiled

Jan 26, 2011

SRINAGAR: Republic Day parades passed off peacefully across the Kashmir Valley Wednesday even as seven Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists were arrested to foil the party's proposed flag hoisting march to Lal Chowk here.

Six activists were taken into custody immediately after they came out of a hotel near Lal Chowk and began walking towards the city centre. Another activist was arrested in Residency Road area adjacent to Lal Chowk when he appeared with a national flag and the BJP flag.

Security in and around Lal Chowk had been mounted since Tuesday to scuttle the proposed marches by the BJP and the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Wednesday.

Authorities imposed curfew-like restrictions in Srinagar.

State finance minister Abdul Rahim Rather unfurled the tricolour and took salute at the Bakshi Stadium, the main Republic Day parade venue here, as smartly turned out contingents of police, paramilitary, civil defence and school children march passed the podium.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Republic-Day-celebrations-peaceful-in-Kashmir-

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Decapitation murder trial underway in Buffalo, NY courtroom

Jan 26, 2011

The murder trial of Muzzammil “Mo” HASSAN, Muslim TV executive accused of stabbing and decapitating his wife, is underway in a Buffalo, NY courtroom. It began with jury selection on January 10th, with opening testimony starting last week. The trial resumes today.

The following contains information compiled from witness testimony provided last week and an exclusive analysis of the historical impact these proceedings will have as American jurisprudence intersects with Islamic doctrine.

The grisly process of stabbing his wife some 40 times, then cutting his wife’s head off, most likely while she was still conscious[0], while their three children waited inside the family’s minivan took a total of 47 seconds. The decapitation was so vicious and brutal that floor tiles under his wife’s body were damaged by the blade of the knife.

Full report at:

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/32462

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Wyoming May Follow Oklahoma and Consider Sharia Law Ban

Jan 26, 2011

Apparently, Sharia law is such a creeping threat to Wyoming that a Republican state legislator wants to make the “Equality State” consider a constitutional amendment barring judges from considering Islamic and international law. In November, Oklahomans passed a similar amendment, which was later blocked by a federal judge over its suspect constitutional grounds.

“To date, no Wyoming court rulings have been based on Islamic law, or Shariah,” the Billings Gazette reports, “But state Rep. Gerald Gay, R-Casper, said his proposed constitutional amendment, House Joint Resolution 8, is meant as a ‘pre-emptive strike’ to ensure judges don’t rely on Shariah in cases involving, for example, arranged marriages, ‘honor killings’ or usury cases.” Gay needs approval of two-thirds of the legislature and the governor's signature to place the amendment on the 2012 ballot.

Full report at:

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/wyoming-may-follow-oklahoma-and-consider-

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Israel’s flotilla report is credible, impartial: US

January 26, 2011

The US has described as credible, impartial and transparent an Israeli probe that justified Israel’s commando operation on a Gaza bound flotilla in which nine Turkish pro-Palestinian activists were killed.

“We have been supportive of this effort by Israel, and we think that this is an independent report, credible and impartial and transparent investigation that has been undertaken by Israel,” State Department spokesman PJ Crowley, told reporters at his daily news conference.

The US statement comes days after the Turkel Commission gave its preliminary report on the May 2010 incident that killed nine Turks.

A separate UN inquiry last year said the Israeli Navy had shown an “unacceptable level of brutality”. The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Israeli report had “no value or credibility”.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/313239/Israel%E2%80%99s-flotilla-report-is-credible-

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All eyes on other R-Day march to Lal Chowk

Randeep Singh Nandal

Jan 26, 2011

Srinagar: On Republic Day,16-year-old Mehrajuddin Bhatt from Downtown Sringar will participate in a function that some here consider a farce.He will lead an NCC contingent marching at Bakshi Stadium and salute the Tricolour.

For several years now,every January 26 the state government has organized a celebration at the stadium.The Indian flag has been dutifully raised amid tight security.Cars and tiffin boxes are not allowed within a km of the venue.

Mehrajs parents will not be in the stands to cheer him as he leads the 150-strong contingent past the podium.Instead,a safe crowd comprising mainly plainclothesmen will pack the stadium.

That done the youngster will slip out of his NCC khakis,tuck his medals and clasps into a bag and slip out.Returning to his neighbourhood in uniform with medals strung across his chest could mean serious trouble.The parade is unlikely to make news unless a bomb goes off or a shoe is chucked.

Full report at: Times of India

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Story of a yatra: Why BJP elders hopped on to youth bandwagon

Manoj C G

Jan 26, 2011

New Delhi : Returning from a five-day visit to China, BJP chief Nitin Gadkari landed in Delhi at 9 pm. Instead of going home, he drove straight to Rajghat where his predecessor Rajnath Singh is on a fast to protest against the Jammu and Kashmir Government’s “undemocratic” move of preventing the party’s youth wing workers from hoisting a flag at Srinagar’s Lal Chowk.

In Jammu, its top leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar spent the night in police custody after they tried to enter the state from the Punjab border leading the BJP youth wing’s Ekta Yatra. Both the Leaders of the Opposition in Parliament—detained and externed from the state just 24 hours ago—were lodged in a hotel. They would be produced before a magistrate on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/story-of-a-yatra-why-bjp-elders-hopped-on-to-youth-

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Delhi under security blanket on Republic Day

Jan 26, 2011

NEW DELHI: Delhi was under a blanket of security on the Republic Day on Wednesday as thousands of armed personnel kept a tight vigil while Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and helicopters scanned the city from above.

Snipers with sophisticated arms and binoculars were on rooftops while hundreds of police personnel kept the 8km parade route from Rajpath to Red Fort under their watch to ensure that nothing untoward happened.

Around 35,000 police personnel, including 15,000 from paramilitary forces and elite National Security Guards (NSG) were deployed across the city in the run-up to the national celebrations.

A senior security official said the UAVs of the Air Force were deployed for surveillance besides the usual deployment of helicopters. "The UAVs not only kept an eye on the parade route but entire Delhi," the official said.

Mobile hit teams, anti-aircraft guns and sharpshooters of the NSG were also on the job at various places while paramilitary and Delhi Police commandos kept a close watch along the route.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Delhi-under-security-blanket-on-Republic-

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'Black widow' carrying bag triggered Moscow blast?

Jan 26, 2011

MOSCOW: A 'black widow' from Russia's restive Northern Caucasus region could be behind the deadly suicide attack at Moscow's international airport and police were on the lookout for four men who sneaked in with explosives.

A day after the explosion killed 35 people, including two Britons, a German and a Bulgarian , and injured 178 others at the Domodedovo International Airport, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday slammed airport management for security failures . "The management of Domodedovo airport should be held responsible. After previous similar events, we had adopted appropriate legislations . Obviously there have been lapses. We will have to look into this," Medvedev said.

US president Barack Obama called up Medvedev to condemn the attack and offered assistance.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Black-widow-carrying-bag-triggered-

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Mid-air terror scare grounds flight to London

Jan 26, 2011

LONDON: A London-bound flight from the UAE was forced to make an emergency landing in Essex, escorted by two British fighter jets, following a mid-air terror scare, a report said.

The Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi, which was scheduled to touch down at London's Heathrow airport at 12.30pm on Monday, was forced to make the emergency landing at the Stansted airport in Essex, after a passenger sparked a terror scare by announcing he had a bomb, the Daily Express said.

A police spokeswoman said a 37-year- old British man has been arrested following an incident.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Mid-air-terror-scare-grounds-flight-to-

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'BJP's Ekta Yatra revives memories of May 1953 march'

Sanjay Sharma

Jan 26, 2011

CHANDIGARH: The clamp-down on BJP leaders on Tuesday reminds one of the scenes of May 1953 when the founder of the Jan Sangh, the previous incarnation of the BJP, Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee was arrested from the Madhopur-Lakhanpur bridge on May 17, 1953.

This is exactly the spot where the BJP's Ekta Yatra was stopped on Tuesday nearly 48 years later.

One half of the bridge on Ravi is Punjab while the other half is in Jammu and Kashmir. BJP leaders have descended in Jammu to support the Ekta Yatra heading towards Srinagar to unfurl the Tricolour at Lal Chowk.

One of the co-protesters with Dr Mookerjee and former Punjab minister Balramji Dass Tandon recalled as soon as Mookerjee reached the middle part of the bridge, he told Atal Behari Vajpayee to inform the nation that Mookerjee had entered Jammu and Kashmir without a permit.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/BJPs-Ekta-Yatra-revives-memories-of-May-1953-

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Omar invites BJP leaders to attend Republic Day function

Jan 26, 2011

JAMMU: In a goodwill gesture, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday night spoke to BJP leader Arun Jaitely and invited party members, who were arrested for trying to enter the state, to attend the Republic Day function either in Jammu or in Srinagar on Wednesday.

The Chief Minister also ordered the release of all BJP workers who had courted arrest as well as the BJP MLAs detained during the day.

Omar's move comes hours after the BJP delegation led by Jaitely and Sushma Swaraj was stopped at Lakhanpur in J-K. They were proceeding towards Srinagar to hoist the tricolour at the historic Lal Chowk.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Omar-invites-BJP-leaders-to-attend-Republic-Day-

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Kirti Chakra honour for 4 Army officers, jawan

Jan 26, 2011

NEW DELHI: Continuing with the tradition of leading the counter-militancy battle in Jammu and Kashmir and north-east from the front, four young Army officers and a soldier have been awarded the Kirti Chakra in the Republic Day honours' list this year.

While this year there is no recipient of Ashok Chakra -- the nation's highest peacetime gallantry award -- the President will confer it posthumously on Major Laishram Jyotin Singh, the medical doctor who was among the Indian nationals killed in a terrorist attack in Kabul in February 2010. His name was announced for Ashok Chakra on August 15 last year.

Among the five Kirti Chakra awardees is Captain Deepak Sharma (Corps of Signals), who laid down his life while battling heavily-armed militants in Pulwama district, J&K.

The others are Major Rahul Gurung (Corps of Engineers), Lieutenants Vikas Sharma (6 Para) and Vikrant Ajit Deshmukh (8 Madras) and Naik Rajinder Singh (2 Rajputana Rifles).

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Kirti-Chakra-honour-for-4-Army-officers-

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'Al-Qaeda Plotting Attack On US'

Jan 26, 2011

Washington: President Barack Obama today said al Qaeda and its affiliates continue to plan attack against the United States even as he said that Osama bin Laden-led outfit is under pressure in Pakistan.

"As we speak, al Qaeda and their affiliates continue to plan attacks against us. Thanks to our intelligence and law enforcement professionals, we are disrupting plots and securing our cities and skies," Obama said in his State of the Union Address before a joint session of the US Congress.

"As extremists try to inspire acts of violence within our borders, we are responding with the strength of our communities, with respect for the rule of law, and with the conviction that American Muslims are a part of our American family," said the US President.

Reiterating that the al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan is under more pressure than at any point since 2001, he said his administration is determined to defeat the terrorist outfit.

"In Pakistan, al Qaeda's leadership is under more pressure than at any point since 2001.Their leaders and operatives are being removed from the battlefield. Their safe-havens are shrinking," Obama said.

"We have sent a message from the Afghan border to the Arabian Peninsula to all parts of the globe: We will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you," the US President said.

http://www.asianage.com/international/al-qaeda-plotting-attack-us-198

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Mobiles Go Off In Kashmir Ahead R'Day

Jan 26, 2011

Srinagar: Mobile phone connectivity was suspended across the Kashmir Valley ahead of the Republic Day celebrations on Wednesday due to security reasons, official sources said.

The move comes to avoid the use of mobile telephones by Pakistan-backed militants to trigger improvised explosive devices, the sources said.

http://www.asianage.com/india/mobiles-go-kashmir-ahead-rday-201

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'Will Surely Hoist Tricolour In Srinagar'

Jan 26, 2011

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday maintained that its activists will unfurl the national flag at Srinagar's Lal Chowk on Republic Day on Wednesday even though a large number of party workers and leaders were arrested soon after the crossed into Jammu and Kashmir from Punjab.

"Our activists will hoist the tricolour tomorrow (Wednesday) at Lal Chowk. The Congress will repent its stance. It is a historical blunder by the Congress," party spokesman Shahnawaz Hussain said here.

"Our leader S.P Mukherjee gave his life in Kashmir. Our march to hoist national flag in Srinagar is peaceful," Hussain said.

He said if the government had given even a tenth of paramilitary forces it used to prevent the march from entering the state in providing security to workers of Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) for hoisting the flag in Srinagar on Republic Day, it would have earned praise.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/india/will-surely-hoist-tricolour-srinagar-193

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Ashok Chakra For Major Killed In Kabul

Jan 26, 2011

President Pratibha Patil will confer the Ashok Chakra — the country’s highest gallantry award in peacetime — posthumously on Major Laishram Jyotin Singh of the Army Medical Corps on Republic Day this year for his act of gallantry in Kabul during an attack by terrorists in February 2010.

The announcement of the gallantry award for Major Singh had first been made on the eve of Independence Day in 2010.

The government also announced the award of the Kirti Chakra — the second-highest gallantry award during peacetime — to five Army personnel, one of them posthumously. Twenty-one armed forces personnel have also been awarded the Shaurya Chakra — the third highest gallantry award during peacetime.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/india/ashok-chakra-major-killed-kabul-183

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BJP Flag Plan Inciting Kashmiris: Mirwaiz

Jan 26, 2011

SARJU KAUL

Hurriyat Conference leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, who is in London, on Tuesday morning criticised the Bharatiya Janta Party’s bid to unfurl the Indian flag in Srinagar, accusing the Opposition party of “irresponsible behaviour” that aims to push the Kashmiris back on path of violence.

“Unfortunately, the BJP has created a situation on the ground where it claims that it wants to unfurl the Indian national flag in the middle of Srinagar’s Lal Chowk. This seems to be a design to push the people of Kashmir back to the point where they probably will get agitated and will come out on the streets with stones in hand,” Mirwaiz said in London on Tuesday.

“There has been a huge transformation from violence to non-violence in the state of Jammu and Kashmir in recent times,” the 37-year-old Mirwaiz, who is religious head of Kashmiri Muslims, said at a conference on Kashmir organised by a British defence think tank in London.

http://www.asianage.com/india/bjp-flag-plan-inciting-kashmiris-mirwaiz-166

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Five Al-Qaeda suspects held in Yemen

Jan 26, 2011

SANA'A: Yemeni security forces in the rebellious city of Lawadr in Abyan province arrested five Al-Qaeda suspects, the Ministry of Interior said.

Among the apprehended terrorists was Amen Saleh, classified as a dangerous terrorist. He was wounded in the raid along with a soldier.

The suspects were arrested while being in a car planning to attack a police patrol. The injured terrorist was taken to a hospital in Aden while the others were being interrogated by police.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article242623.ece

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Jordanians terror suspects plead not guilty

Jan 26, 2011

AMMAN: Three suspected extremists pleaded not guilty as they went on trial before the State Security Court (SSC) on Tuesday, sources said.

Mohammad Abu Lebadeh, 27, Omar Abu Qutam, 28, and Ahmad Khatib denied the charges of leaving the country to join foreign groups and carry out acts not approved by the government that were set to ”offend Jordan’s ties with other countries,” the sources said.

The three suspects were arrested last September.

A fourth suspect, Zeid Hourani, will be tried in absentia because he is still at large.

All four defendants belong to the takfir ideology (dubbing people as atheists).

The indictment sheet did not name the groups, which the defendants planned to join, but said they traveled to Syria and later to Turkey for this purpose.

Groups of Jordanians were tried by the SSC over the past few years on charges of joining either Al-Qaeda or Taleban to fight the US-led allied troops in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The tribunal adjourned hearings until Feb. 9 for hearing witnesses, the sources said.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article242625.ece

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Iraq-bound Al-Qaeda suspects nabbed in Egypt

Jan 26, 2011

CAIRO: Egyptian authorities have arrested 19 Arabs suspected of having links to Al-Qaeda en route to Iraq, the interior minister said Tuesday.

In an interview published in Egypt's leading Al-Ahram daily, Habib El-Adly said the suspects are originally from Tunisia and Libya and were using Egypt as a transit point on their way to Iraq to join Al-Qaeda groups there.

He said security forces also confiscated weapons, ammunition and documents related to Al-Qaeda. He did not say exactly when or where the arrests took place.

But El-Adly said the suspects were taken into custody before Jan. 1, and stressed the men have no connection with the New Year's Day suicide bombing of a Christian Coptic church in the port city of Alexandria that killed 21 people. Egypt has blamed that attack on the Al-Qaeda-inspired Palestinian Army of Islam, which is based in the neighboring Gaza Strip.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article242606.ece

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Substance abuse among children remains a threat

Jan 26, 2011

RIYADH: Terrorism and drug abuse are two major threats facing the Kingdom, which has — to a certain extent — been successful in rooting out the threat of terror. Substance abuse, however, remains a growing problem, especially among students.

In spite of efforts to combat the problem, drug abuse continues to grow, Al-Riyadh newspaper reported.

According to Dr. Abdul Ilah Al-Moshref, educational consultant at the National Committee for Combating Drugs, substance abuse continues to spread in Saudi society year after year.

“Our programs to combat this menace are not working as effectively as we hoped they would. This is more evident especially in the case of our younger generation in the 15 to 25 age group,” he said, quoting recent statistics.

Al-Moshref, who is also director general of schools in Riyadh, said the Kingdom’s security agencies strive hard to protect wider society from drugs.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article242710.ece

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Saudi artists can spread understanding

By SIRAJ WAHAB

Jan 26, 2011

RIYADH: A British Museum curator speaking at the Global Competitiveness Forum said a major exhibit on the Haj pilgrimage has the potential to create better understanding between the people of the West and the Middle East.

Dr. Venetia Porter, curator of Islamic and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art at the British Museum, spoke on Sunday at the forum and encouraged participants to think of both art and artifacts as means to create bridges between cultures.

“Next year we will put on a major exhibition on the Haj which will include photographs by Reem Al-Faisal  — an exhibition that we hope will explain this remarkable event,” she told forum delegates. “Three million people perform Haj every year, but only if you are a Muslim can you know what this sacred ritual means.”

Porter said the British Museum would collaborate with other institutions to mount the exhibit. She said Saudi artists would be playing a role.

Full report at:

 http://arabnews.com/economy/article242787.ece

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‘The King’s Speech’ favorite at Oscars

Jan 26, 2011

BEVERLY HILLS: The British monarchy saga “The King’s Speech” leads the Academy Awards with 12 nominations, including best picture and acting honors for Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush.

“This story has struck such a rich resonant chord with audiences of all ages, which is very exciting — to have your work honored by your industry peers is even better,” Rush said.

Also nominated for best picture Tuesday were the psychosexual thriller “Black Swan;" the boxing drama “The Fighter;" the sci-fi blockbuster “Inception;" the family tale “The Kids Are All Right;" the survival story “127 Hours;" the Facebook chronicle “The Social Network;" the animated smash “Toy Story 3;" the Western “True Grit;" and the Ozarks crime thriller “Winter’s Bone.” “True Grit” ran second with 10 nominations, including acting honors for Jeff Bridges and Hailee Steinfeld.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/offbeat/article242568.ece

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Iran accuses West of ‘nuclear terrorism’

Jan 26, 2011

VIENNA — A leading Iranian official has accused Western nations of “nuclear terrorism” and of being behind the recent assassination of an Iranian scientist.

The accusation is contained in an internal document obtained by The Associated Press that was drawn up by Egypt as the head of the Vienna chapter of nonaligned nations.

The document also cites another senior Iranian official as pledging to allow more visits by diplomats to the nation’s key nuclear sites.

The report, obtained Tuesday, summarizes the Jan. 15-16 visit by diplomats to a heavy water reactor and a uranium enrichment plant in Iran.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful, but the two sites can create the fissile core of nuclear warheads. Iran is under UN sanctions because of its nuclear defiance.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/January/

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Defiant Abbas says he’s on ‘right path’

Jan 26, 2011

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas returned to a hero’s welcome in the West Bank on Tuesday, making his first public appearance at home since Al-Jazeera published embarrassing documents showing him making broad concessions to Israel in peace talks.

The Arab satellite channel has been releasing what it says are hundreds of internal documents summarizing a decade of peace efforts. In Al-Jazeera’s latest revelation late Monday, a document quoted Abbas as acknowledging that the Palestinian dream of returning millions of refugees to Israel is unrealistic — drawing accusations of treason from his Hamas rivals.

Greeted by hundreds of supporters at his headquarters in Ramallah, Abbas vowed to weather the storm over the leaks, which have highlighted the gap between his tough public positions on sensitive issues and the offers he has made to Israel behind closed doors. Opponents have accused him of treason.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/January/

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Syria lifts visa restrictions on Iraqis

Jan 26, 2011

DAMASCUS - Syria lifted visa restrictions on Iraqi nationals on Tuesday in a sign of improving ties between the two neighbours after political disputes curbed border movement,

Syria’s official news agency said a cabinet decision will make it possible from Feb. 1 for any Iraqi to apply for visa at border points, instead of from the Syrian embassy in Baghdad.

Visa rules imposed in 2007 limited visas to Iraqi merchants and academics, making it difficult for other Iraqis fleeing violence in their homeland to go to Syria.

Syria, which has a 600-km (375-mile) border with Iraq, received hundreds of thousands of Iraqi refugees following the US invasion that removed Saddam Hussein from power in 2003 and ushered in sectarian strife.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/January/

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UK to end virtual house arrest of terrorism suspects

Jan 26, 2011

LONDON - Britain will announce on Wednesday it is easing tight restrictions on terrorism suspects, a government source told Reuters, in a political compromise sought by the ruling coalition’s junior Liberal Democrat party.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg will claim the move as policy win for his Liberal Democrats after promising in last May’s national election to scrap the control orders, among the most contentious of the counter-terrorism measures introduced by the former Labour government.

His popularity is at a low after he and Liberal Democrat ministers abandoned a campaign pledge to abolish university tuition fees and instead voted to nearly triple student charges.

Eight British citizens are subject to “control orders” imposed under counter-terrorism laws which require them to observe curfews for up to 16 hours a day and other constraints in a form of house arrest.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/January/

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Karachi bike bomb blast kills three policemen

Jan 26, 2011

KARACHI: Three policemen were killed and several others injured in a bomb attack on Tuesday. The victims were in a police van, which was travelling on the main National Highway, when a motorcycle they were passing by exploded causing the fatalities. The victims of the blast – Constable Kamran Qureshi, Mushtaq and Imran – were called from the Razaqabad Police Training Centre to augment police contingents on the day. The bike was packed with explosives and blew up when the police van was passing by it. Body parts of the victims, which littered the blast site, were collected and sent for forensic examination, East Commander DIG Shaukat said while briefing the media. He said that the three police constables died on the spot. Authorities had recovered a head from the blast site, which was initially thought to be that of a bomber but turned out to be of one of the dead policemen. Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\26\story_26-1-2011_pg1_2

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Clerics get pre-arrest bail extended until Feb 1

Jan 26, 2011

RAWALPINDI: Qari Muhammad Hanif Qureshi and Syed Imtiaz Hussain Kazmi, the two religious leaders believed to be the abettors in the killing of former Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, on Tuesday got an extension in their pre-arrest bail from an anti-terrorism court in Rawalpindi until February 1.

ATC-II Judge Raja Ikhalque Ahmad extended the bail plea of the two clerics until February 1.

The judge also showed anger over the state lawyer for not being present in the court and adjourned the hearing for February 1.

Malik Mumtaz Qadri, the killer of Salmaan Taseer, had told investigators that on December 31, he offered his Friday prayers in a mosque in Muslim Town in Rawalpindi, where Hanif Qadri and Imtiaz Shah made speeches criticising the attempts to amend the blasphemy law and remarks made by Taseer.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\26\story_26-1-2011_pg7_23

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Thousands defy violence, mark Chehlum in Iraq

Jan 26, 2011

KARBALA: Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims marched and beat their heads and chests in ritualistic mourning in a major rite in Iraq’s holy Shia city of Karbala on Tuesday, after attacks that killed dozens in recent days.

The Chehlum event, which draws Shias from across Iraq, neighbouring Iran and other Muslim countries, has been a frequent target of al Qaeda, but pilgrims in Karbala sounded defiant on the climactic day of the commemoration. It was a stern security test for a government formed in late December after months of political bickering following an inconclusive March election, as US troops prepare to withdraw from Iraq by year’s end.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\26\story_26-1-2011_pg7_26

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Al-Qaeda under most pressure since 2001: Obama

Jan 26, 2011

WASHINGTON: Al-Qaeda is under more pressure in Pakistan now than at any time since the September 11, 2001 attacks, US President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address Tuesday.

“Their leaders and operatives are being removed from the battlefield. Their safe-havens are shrinking,” Obama said, according to prepared remarks released by the White House.

“And we have sent a message from the Afghan border to the Arabian Peninsula to all parts of the globe: we will not relent, we will not waver and we will defeat you.”

Obama thanked counter-terrorism operatives foiling the plots that Al-Qaeda continues to plan but also sought to reassure American Muslims that there would be no backlash against them.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/26/al-qaeda-under-most-pressure-since-2001-obama.html

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Sikh shrine in Baghdad lives on in memories

Jan 26, 2011

A desolate courtyard surrounded by fields of mournful graves is all that remains of an ancient shrine to the Sikh faith's founder Guru Nanak inside a sprawling Muslim cemetery in Baghdad.

War, insurgents or looters have wiped any trace of a historical footnote that had preserved the memory of the Indian holy man's 16th-century journey through Arabia and his stay in Baghdad, hailed by Sikhs as an early example of inter-faith dialogue.

"No one visits anymore," lamented Abu Yusef, the lean and bearded Muslim caretaker, standing in the nearly-bare patio where a disorderly stack of broken electric fans and a discarded refrigerator replace the prayer books and articles of Sikh worship that had furnished a shrine whose modesty mirrored the apparent humility of the man it honoured.

"Before the war a few Sikh pilgrims would occasionally arrive," Abu Yusef said, referring to the 2003 US-led invasion that toppled ex-dictator Saddam Hussein and unleashed an unending cycle of violence.

Full report at:

http://www.sify.com/news/sikh-shrine-in-baghdad-lives-on-in-memories-news-

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India celebrates 62nd R'Day, military might on show

Jan 26, 2011

New Delhi, Jan 26 (IANS) India celebrated its 62nd Republic Day with a grand parade of its military might and cultural diversity in the heart of the capital, with big and small events also held across the length and breadth of the world's largest democracy.

From Jammu and Kashmir to Kerala and from Gujarat to Assam, tens of thousands turned out to watch the national flag unfurled and parades by police and armed forces as well as children at their colourful best.

There was no major violence anywhere -- either in Kashmir, where curfew like restrictions were clamped in Srinagar to prevent the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from hoisting the tricolour at Lal Chowk, or in Maoist dens.

In the northeast, thousands defied militant diktats and took part in official celebrations.

The biggest spectacle of all was at the Rajpath boulevard in Delhi where the country's who's who assembled to watch an immaculate 100-minute parade that displayed India's military prowess and cultural heritage.

Full report at:

http://www.sify.com/news/india-celebrates-62nd-r-day-military-might-on-show-news-

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BJP slams Omar's invitation to attend R-Day function

Jan 26 2011

Jammu : Irked by Jammu and Kashmir government thwarting its flag-hoisting plan, BJP today termed as "grand standing" Omar Abdullah's invitation to its leaders to attend the Republic Day function even as seven party activists were arrested when they made a vain bid to unfurl the national flag in Srinagar.

Describing as "unfortunate" the detention of senior leaders Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj and Ananth Kumar in Jammu, BJP president Nitin Gadkari rubbished charges that the party was playing politics over hoisting the national flag.

Rubbishing the invitation of Abdullah to attend the Republic Day function, Jaitley told PTI over phone that how could he join the event when he was under arrest.

"We are under custody for the honour of national flag. That is the way we celebrated the Republic Day. Many of activists were arrested or detained," he said.

"We are under arrest even after the parade was over. That proves how serious Omar Abdullah was on the invite. Hundreds of our supporters were still being arrested," Jaitley said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bjp-slams-omars-invitation-to-attend-rday-

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BJP, separatist leaders arrested for trying to hoist flag

Jan 26 2011

Srinagar : A number of BJP activists and leaders of separatist groups including JKLF were arrested today for violating prohibitory orders as Jammu and Kashmir government foiled their plans to hoist flag at Lal Chowk, which was turned into a fortress.

At least 16 separatist leaders, including JKLF chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, were arrested as they tried to march towards Lal Chowk here to hoist the party flag on Clock Tower.

"Malik and other leaders including Bilal Gani Lone and Shahidul Islam of (moderate) Hurriyat Conference were arrested as they were marching towards Lal Chowk," a spokesman of the JKLF told PTI.

He said the separatist leaders started the march from Maisuma locality towards Lal Chowk around noon.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bjp-separatist-leaders-arrested-for-trying-to-hoist-

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Sushma angry over 'farce' of inviting BJP leaders to Srinagar

Jan 26 2011

Jammu : Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj today attacked the Jammu and Kashmir government for arresting Leaders of Opposition from both Houses of Parliament while making a "farce" of inviting them to the official Republic Day parade in Srinagar.

"This is an extra-ordinary situation. India completes 61 years of being a Republic. This is the first Republic Day after Emergency when Leaders of Opposition of both Houses of Parliament were kept under arrest. And our fault was that we were entering Jammu and Kashmir and for this crime we were arrested," she said.

Swaraj, along with senior party leaders Arun Jaitley and Ananth Kumar among others, was talking to reporters after being released by the J & K government in the afternoon.

"My first question to the government is what kind of a Republic is this," Swaraj asked.

She referred to the telephonic conversation between Jaitley and Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, who had invited the two leaders to attend the Republic Day parade in Srinagar.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sushma-angry-over-farce-of-inviting-bjp-leaders-to-

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