New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 07:29 PM

Islamic World News ( 29 Jan 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Egypt protesters camp out, Mubarak turns to army

Opposition Rallies to ElBaradei as Military Reinforces in Cairo

Egypt protest deaths top 150, Mubarak names deputy

Al Jazeera banned from covering Egypt events

Pak police arrest Muslim student for blasphemy

Hindu legislator quits in Pakistan, shifts to India

Yemen al-Qaeda commander declares war against Shiite Muslims

Afghan musician returns to keep a tradition alive

Religious leaders promote interfaith harmony

Chaos engulfs Cairo as Mubarak points to succession

Top cleric tells Mubarak to go

Egypt on boil, but India won’t rush in

Egypt goes dark as govt puts internet to death

Egypt, Tunisia inspired by Saddam's fall: Iraqis

Burney's 26/11 turnaround surprises many

Pak, US On Collision Course Over 26/11 ?

Lawyer: 'Jihad Jane' plans to plead guilty

Wife beating and misogyny not part of Islam

Security forces kill 9 terrorists in Mohmand

Govt slow in ensuring justice to 26/11 victims: Martyrs' wives

Jamiat wants madarsas out of RTE Act purview

Iran hangs Dutch woman held in 2009

Under terror shadow, Muslims speak out

Three Nato tankers torched near Khuzdar

India will share info on Samjhauta blast case with Pak: PC

Tunisia's Islamist Leader Returning

Mubarak Names A V-P 1st Time In 30 Yrs

Moscow bomber was 20-yr-old from Caucasus

2 killed, 6 hurt as militants ambush security convoy

Son’s death brings this father a job

India can’t remain immune to West Asian turmoil

Five killed in Nigeria religious violence

Pakistan rebuffs call for US gunman’s quick release

Special AI plane to bring back 300 Indians from Egypt

Offical figures: Thousands turn to Islam in Dubai

Cleric open to new site for Islamic center

Dictatorship to democracy? Tunisia's risky venture

Tunisian Islamist exiled leader return to Tunisia after 22 years

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/egypt-protesters-camp-out,-mubarak-turns-to-army/d/4028

 

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Egypt protesters camp out, Mubarak turns to army

31 January 201

CAIRO - Egyptian protesters were camped out in central Cairo on Monday and vowed to stay until they had toppled President Hosni Mubarak, whose fate appeared to hang on the military as pressure mounted from the street and abroad.

“The army has to choose between Egypt and Mubarak,” read one banner in Cairo’s Tahrir Square, where demonstrators shared food with soldiers sent to restore order after violent protests shook Mubarak’s 30-year rule to its core.

Six days of unrest has killed more than 100 people but the two sides have reached a stalemate. Protesters refuse to go, while the army is not moving them. The longer protesters stay unchallenged, the more untenable Mubarak’s position seems.

Protesters in Tahrir Square — epicentre of the earthquake that has sent shudders through the Middle East and among global investors — have dismissed Mubarak’s appointment of military men as his vice president and prime minister.

His promises of economic reform to address public anger at rising prices, unemployment and huge gap between rich and poor have failed to halt their broader calls for a political sweep out of Mubarak and his associates.

Protesters have called for a general strike on Monday and what they bill as a “protest of the millions” march on Tuesday, to press their demands for democracy which could spell the end for the military establishment which has run post-colonial Egypt since the 1950s.

The United States, an ally which has poured billions of dollars of aid into Egypt since Mubarak came to power, stopped just short of saying openly that it wanted him out. Officials including President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke about “an orderly transition”.

A senior U.S. administration official, who declined to be identified, said the feeling among Obama’s national security aides was that Mubarak’s time had passed, but it was up to Egyptians to determine what happens next.

Mubarak, a former air force chief, has turned to his military commanders, meeting them on Sunday. They seem to hold his future in their hands. Egypt’s defence minister spoke by phone to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Sunday.

Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and highest-ranking U.S. military officer, praised the “professionalism” of Egypt’s armed forces as its troops refrained from a crackdown on protesters. Egypt receives about $1.3 billion a year in U.S. military aid.

INVESTORS NERVOUS

The crisis in Egypt follows a revolt that toppled the leader of Tunisia two weeks ago, and a wave of popular anger sweeping other countries in North Africa and the Middle East.

Financial markets around the globe opened on Monday bracing for the impact of the weekend’s events in Egypt. Brent oil hit a 28-month high, pennies below $100 a barrel. The dollar rose in Asian trade as investors sought a safe haven.

Share prices fell in Asia, and U.S. S&P futures were lower on Monday after Wall Street closed down 1.8 percent on Friday, suggesting a global pullback from risk assets like equities had room to run.

“The greater fear is that the turmoil could spread to other Middle East countries, including even Saudi Arabia. If that happens, then all bets for oil prices are off,” ANZ Bank economist Sharon Zollner said in a note to clients.

Egypt’s own financial markets will be closed for a second working day in a row on Monday and the turmoil could quickly run down its substantial reserves if it continues.

“Mubarak’s predictability has long been counted on by the West, and with that on the verge of disappearing, investors and politicians around the region are nervous,” said Akram Annous, MENA strategist at Al Mal Capital.

An Egyptian opposition coalition that includes the mass Islamist movement the Muslim Brotherhood has turned to Mohamed ElBaradei, former head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, to form a national unity government and make contact with the military.

ElBaradei has urged Obama to call time on Mubarak.

“It is better for President Obama not to appear that he is the last one to say to President Mubarak, ‘It’s time for you to go,” he told CNN.

ElBaradei disappointed the opposition by spending much of his time abroad since he first launched a campaign calling for political reform in Egypt last year, but lends the weight of his international reputation to a movement that lacks a leader.

‘NO MORE PHARAOHS’

“I think he is a good guy. He wasn’t prepared for what happened. All we care about is that we don’t get another pharaoh,” said Rami Nabil, 39, a businessman camped in Tahrir.

“We need a system of government that is democratic and long term, not more pharaohs.”

A short distance from the protests, shooting echoed over Cairo. Impromptu neighbourhood watch groups set up checkpoints across the city centre, checking anyone passing by.

Some of the self-appointed guards said shooting in one area near Cairo’s supreme court was the result of looters in a chemical company building.

Security, which disintegrated on Saturday and Sunday when police withdrew from the streets, has been slowly restored. Extra troops sent into cities helped calm panicked residents and the official news agency said police patrols had resumed.

While the army has sought to stop lawlessness, there is no sign it is willing to drive the protesters off the street.

“In the next few days security and stability will return,” said Brigadier Atef Said in Suez, east of Cairo and the scene of some of the worst of the violence between police and protesters.

“We will allow protests in the coming days. Everyone has the right to voice their opinion. We’re listening and trying to help and satisfy all parties. We’re not here to stop anyone. These are our people,” he said.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/January/middleeast_January684.xml&section=middleeast

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Opposition Rallies to ElBaradei as Military Reinforces in Cairo

By ANTHONY SHADID and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

CAIRO — Egypt’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood and the secular opposition banded together Sunday around a prominent government critic to negotiate for forces seeking the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, as the army struggled to hold a capital seized by fears of chaos and buoyed by euphoria that three decades of Mr. Mubarak’s rule may be coming to an end.

The announcement that the critic, Mohamed ElBaradei, would represent a loosely unified opposition reconfigured the struggle between Mr. Mubarak’s government and a six-day-old uprising bent on driving him and his party from power.

Though lacking deep support on his own, Dr. ElBaradei, a Nobel laureate and diplomat, could serve as a consensus figure for a movement that has struggled to articulate a program for a potential transition. It suggested, too, that the opposition was aware of the uprising’s image abroad, putting forth a candidate who might be more acceptable to the West than beloved in Egypt.

In scenes as tumultuous as any since the uprising began, Dr. ElBaradei defied a government curfew and joined thousands of protesters in Liberation Square, a downtown landmark that has become the epicenter of the uprising and a platform, writ small, for the frustrations, ambitions and resurgent pride of a generation claiming the country’s mantle.

“Today we are proud of Egyptians,” Dr. ElBaradei told throngs who surged toward him in a square festooned with banners calling for Mr. Mubarak’s fall. “We have restored our rights, restored our freedom, and what we have begun cannot be reversed.”

Dr. ElBaradei declared it a “new era,” and as night fell there were few in Egypt who seemed to disagree.

Dr. ElBaradei also criticized the Obama administration, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered the message via Sunday news programs in Washington that Mr. Mubarak should create an “orderly transition” to a more politically open Egypt, while she refrained from calling on him to resign. That approach, Dr. ElBaradei said, was “a failed policy” eroding American credibility.

“It’s better for President Obama not to appear that he is the last one to say to President Mubarak, it’s time for you to go,” Dr. ElBaradei said.

The tumult Sunday seemed perched between two deepening narratives: a vision of anarchy offered by the government, and echoed by Egyptians fearing chaos, against the perspective of protesters and many others that the uprising had become what they called “a popular revolution.”

The military, Egypt’s most powerful institution and one embedded deeply in all aspects of life here, reinforced parts of the capital Sunday. It gathered as many as 100 tanks and armored carriers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the site of President Anwar el-Sadat’s assassination in 1981, which brought Mr. Mubarak to power. The Interior Ministry announced it would again deploy once-ubiquitous police forces — despised by many as the symbol of the daily humiliations of Mr. Mubarak’s government — across the country, except in Liberation Square.

In a collapse of authority, the police withdrew from major cities on Saturday, giving free rein to gangs that stole and burned cars, looted shops and ransacked a fashionable mall, where dismembered mannequins for conservative Islamic dress were strewn over broken glass and puddles of water. Thousands of inmates poured out of four prisons, including the country’s most notorious, Abu Zaabal and Wadi Natroun. Checkpoints run by the military and neighborhood groups, sometimes spaced just a block apart, proliferated across Cairo and other cities.

Many have darkly suggested that the government was behind the collapse of authority as a way to justify a crackdown or discredit protesters’ calls for change.

“Egypt challenges anarchy,” a government-owned newspaper declared Sunday.

“A Conspiracy by Security to Support the Scenario of Chaos,” replied an independent newspaper in a headline that shared space at a downtown kiosk.

The United States said it was organizing flights to evacuate its citizens on Monday, and the American Embassy urged all Americans to “consider leaving as soon as they can safely do so,” in a statement that underlined a deep sense of pessimism among Egypt’s allies over Mr. Mubarak’s fate.

Turkey, a major power in the region, said it was sending three flights to evacuate 750 of its citizens from Cairo and Alexandria.

“We’re worried about the chaos, sure,” said Selma al-Tarzi, 33, a film director who had joined friends in Liberation Square. “But everyone is aware the chaos is generated by the government. The revolution is not generating the chaos.”

Still, driven by instances of looting — and rumors fed by Egyptian television’s unrelenting coverage of lawlessness — it was clear that many feared the menace could worsen, and possibly undermine the protesters’ demands.

“At first the words were right,” said Abu Sayyid al-Sayyid, a driver. “The protests were peaceful — freedom, jobs and all that. But then the looting came and the thugs and thieves with it. Someone has to step in before there’s nothing left to step into.”

For a government that long celebrated the mantra of Arab strongmen — security and stability — Mr. Mubarak and his officials seemed to stumble in formulating a response to the most serious challenge to his rule. Mr. Mubarak appeared on state television on Sunday in a meeting with military chiefs in what was portrayed as business as usual. Through the day, the station broadcast pledges of fealty from caller after caller.

“Behind you are 80 million people, saying yes to Mubarak!” one declared.

That was the rarest of comments across Cairo, though, as anger grew at what residents described as treason and betrayal on the part of a reeling state.

For two days, clashes raged at Abu Zaabal, the prison north of Cairo, and officials said the police had killed at least 12 inmates there before abandoning it. On Sunday, scores of people passed in and out of the colonnaded entrance, hauling boxes and furniture through a black iron gate. Two army tanks parked nearby declined to intervene.

The Muslim Brotherhood said 34 of its members walked out of Wadi Natroun, on the road to Alexandria, after guards abandoned their posts. All had been arrested before dawn Friday, the biggest day of the protests.

“The prisoners themselves freed us from the gang who kidnapped us, this government that has become a gang,” said Essam al-Arian, one of the Brotherhood’s leaders, who had been among those held.

Since the uprising began last week, the Brotherhood has taken part in the protests but shied away from a leadership role, though that appeared to change Sunday. Mohammed el-Beltagui, a key Brotherhood leader and former Parliament member, said an alliance of the protest’s more youthful leaders and older opposition figures had met again in an attempt to assemble a more unified front with a joint committee.

It included Dr. ElBaradei, along with other prominent figures like Ayman Nour and Osama al-Ghazali Harb, who have struggled to build a popular following. By far, the Brotherhood represents the most powerful force, but Mr. Beltagui and another Brotherhood official, Mohamed el-Katatni, said the group understood the implications of seeking leadership in a country still deeply divided over its religious program.

“We’re supporting ElBaradei to lead the path to change,” Mr. Beltagui said as he joined him in Liberation Square. “The Brotherhood realizes the sensitivities, especially in the West, towards the Islamists, and we’re not keen to be at the forefront.”

“We’re trying to build a democratic arena before we start playing in it,” he said.

Whether Dr. ElBaradei can emerge as that consensus figure remained unclear. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for his work leading the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Even in Liberation Square, the crowd’s reaction to Dr. ElBaradei was mixed — some were sympathetic but many more were reserved in their support for a man who has spent much time abroad.

One Brotherhood supporter, Mohammed Fayed, an engineer, said that even if Dr. ElBaradei could replace Mr. Mubarak, he should stay no longer than a year: “ElBaradei doesn’t live here and doesn’t know us. We need a leader who can understand Egyptians.”

Whatever his success, the army, long an institution shielded from criticism in the state media, was still the fulcrum of events, with a growing recognition that it would probably play the pivotal role in shaping the outcome.

In a show of authority, Mr. Mubarak was shown meeting with Defense Minister Mohammed Tantawi and Omar Suleiman, his right-hand man and the country’s intelligence chief, whom he appointed as vice president on Saturday. In slogans and actions, protesters cultivated the military, too, in a bid to turn it to their side.

Military helicopters circled Liberation Square through the day, and jets roared across a late afternoon sky. But the army took no steps against the protesters, who cheered as the helicopters passed overhead. In an unprecedented scene, some of them lofted a captain in uniform on their shoulders, marching him through a square suffused with demonstrators that cut across Egypt’s entrenched lines of class and religious devotion.

In contrast to the apprehension elsewhere in Cairo, a carnival atmosphere descended on the square, where vendors offered Egyptian dishes at discount prices and protesters posed for pictures beside tanks scrawled with slogans like, “30 years of humiliation and poverty.”

“The people and the army are one hand!” they shouted.

Across the capital, youths and some older men guarded their own neighborhoods, sometimes posting themselves at each block and alley. Several said they were in contact with the military, as well as with each other, and many residents expressed pride in the success that they had in securing their property from the threat of looters and thieves.

The sentiments captured what has become a powerful theme these days in Cairo: that Egyptians again were taking control of their destiny, against the odds.

“We know each other, we stand by each other and people respect what we’re doing,” said Ramadan Farghal, who headed one self-defense group in the poorer neighborhood of Bassateen. “This is the Egyptian people. We used to be one hand.”

Reporting was contributed by Kareem Fahim, Liam Stack, Mona El-Naggar and Dawlat Magdy.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/31/world/middleeast/31-

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Egypt protest deaths top 150, Mubarak names deputy

Jan 30, 2011

CAIRO: AFP: The death toll in mass revolt against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak crossed 100 even as the embattled leader tapped military intelligence chief as his first-ever vice president and named a new premier to cool tempers on the streets.

Fresh riots, the fifth day of the revolt, left 22 people dead in the town of Beni Sueif, south of Cairo, where protesters tried to burn down a police station, witnesses and a security source said.

Another three protesters died in Cairo and three police were killed in the Sinai town of Rafah, raising to at least 102, the number of people killed since the unrest erupted on Tuesday, including 33 on Saturday, according to medics.

As tens of thousands flooded central Cairo demanding he step down, President Mubarak went into crisis talks with officials, after which it was announced that Mubarak confidant General Omar Suleiman had been sworn in as his deputy.

Suleiman, 75, is a career army man and chief of military intelligence.

He has spearheaded years of Egyptian efforts to clinch an elusive Israeli-Palestinian peace deal and tried so far in vain to mediate an inter-Palestinian reconciliation.

Demonstrators have dismissed the 82-year-old president's vague promises of political and economic reform as too little, too late and were not impressed with Suleiman's appointment.

The crowd in Tahrir (Liberation) Square, the epicentre of the revolt in the Egyptian capital, chanted "Neither Mubarak nor Suleiman; we're sick of Americans."

In line with Mubarak's orders, the cabinet resigned on Saturday and the president later tapped the outgoing aviation minister, Ahmed Shafiq, to form a new government.

Shafiq, 69, is respected by the Egyptian elite, even among the opposition, and has often been mooted as a potential successor to Mubarak.

But Mohamed ElBaradei, the Nobel laureate and former UN chief nuclear inspector who has emerged as a dissident leader in his homeland, said the appointments were insufficient.

"I tell President Mubarak and his regime to leave Egypt as soon as possible. It will be better for Egypt and for you," he said in remarks to Al-Jazeera television.

Egyptians were watching to see if widely hated Interior Minister Habib al-Adly, in office since 1997 and responsible for the security apparatus, will keep his job.

Along with the demonstrations in several cities, looting broke out in the capital after the police appeared to have faded from the scene, prompting the army to call on citizens to defend themselves.

The army announced that a night-time curfew would be enforced and extended in key cities. But when the new 4:00 pm to 8:00 am lockdown went into effect, demonstrators in Cairo paid no heed.

Later, the army stood back as protesters fought running battles with police in front of the interior ministry.

Hundreds of demonstrators threw Molotov cocktails at police near the heart of five days of protests, and policemen responded with live rounds of gunfire, witnesses said. Medics said three people were killed.

By late evening most people had gone home, apart from vigilante protection committees seeking to deter looters on residential streets and over 1,000 people camped out on Tahrir Square.

As Mubarak stood his ground, influential Arab cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi called on him to quit, in an interview with Al-Jazeera.

"Leave Mubarak. Have pity on the people and get lost before the destruction spreads in Egypt," said the Egyptian-born president of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, who called the president "deaf, dumb and blind."

And the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's best-organised opposition group, called for a peaceful transfer of power through a transitional cabinet.

Earlier on Saturday, young Egyptians had already formed a human chain to protect the Cairo Museum, which is located in Tahrir Square and houses the famous Tutankhamun mask and other priceless antiquities.

Elsewhere, clashes erupted in the key port city of Ismailiya, northeast of Cairo, where thousands of workers fought running battles with police.

In Alexandria, hundreds of people camped out by the main mosque in the centre of the Mediterranean city vowing to protest again, with several police stations still burning amid sporadic looting.

As in Cairo, tanks were deployed and the police were absent. Civilians directed traffic and conducted clean-up efforts.

Despite the ongoing protests, two Cairo mobile phone networks came back on line on Saturday, a day after all Egyptian operators were told to suspend services.

The demonstrations, inspired by events in Tunisia, are unprecedented in Mubarak's Egypt and have sent shock waves across the region. At least 1,500 civilians and 1,000 police have been injured since Tuesday.

Hundreds of demonstrators calling for Mubarak to go rallied outside Egyptian embassies in Paris and Washington on Saturday as well as at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

Travel agencies postponed departures for popular tourist destinations, as capitals warned their citizens to avoid visiting Egypt, which counts on tourism as a prime source of foreign exchange.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Egypt-protest-deaths-top-100-

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Al Jazeera banned from covering Egypt events

Jan 30th, 2011

By Bikya Masr

BREAKING NEWS: Al Jazeera, the leading news network covering the ongoing protests in Egypt aimed at ousting President Hosni Mubarak from power, has been banned from reporting from inside the country, it said at around 11 am Cairo time on Sunday. However, their reporters told followers interested in news from the country, said they would not stop reporting on the demonstrations and security situation inside the country.

“Don’t worry we’ll still report what’s happening in Egypt no matter what new restrictions they put on us,” wrote one Al Jazeera correspondent Dan Nolan on his Twitter account.

It comes after five days of valiant reporting from its staff, who have been the leading network on all things Egypt during the unrest. They have reporters across the country and their 24-hour news cycle has focused almost exclusively on the country.

It is unclear whether other networks will suffer the same fate. Still the network continues to report as much as they can, even as Egyptian security attempts to take equipment from their personnel in the field.

By 12:30 pm in Egypt, Al Jazeera continued to broadcast live from the country as its reporters asked “who is going to enforce it [the ban].”

Just past 1 pm Cairo time, the networks’ reporters reported that their feed on Egyptian satellite channels had in fact been removed.

http://bikyamasr.com/wordpress/?p=25015

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Pak police arrest Muslim student for blasphemy

Jan 30 2011

Karachi : Pakistani police in the port city of Karachi have arrested a Muslim student under the country's controversial blasphemy law for allegedly writing derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed in his examination answer sheets.

Muhammad Samiullah, an intermediate student, was arrested on Friday following a complaint from the Chief Controller of the Intermediate Board, who accused him of blasphemy. A case of blasphemy was registered against him at the Shahrah-e-Noor Jahan police station. "We got a complaint from the intermediate board that this student had violated the blasphemy law by writing derogatory remarks on his examination papers," SSP Nazimabad Zafar Iqbal confirmed.

"We raided the house of the student and arrested him from Malir Halt. He has confessed he did write the derogatory remarks. He claims he did this after being instigated by two of his cousins who had come to Karachi for a visit from Oslo Norway," the police official said.

He said since the cousins had already left the country and returned to Oslo their was nothing the Pakistani police could do against them.

The Chief Controller alleged that Samiullah, a resident of Mujtaba Colony in Malir Halt, violated the blasphemy law by writing "unacceptable remarks" against Prophet Mohammed in his answer sheets for three subjects.

Police obtained all of Samiullah's answer sheets before taking him into custody. A challan or charge-sheet was presented in court and Samiullah was sent to custody. Samiullah also wrote a letter in which he admitted committing the mistake and sought forgiveness, Iqbal said.

Qudrat Sher Lodhi, an investigation officer for the case, told the Daily Times newspaper that Samiullah had told police that he was "brainwashed" by his cousins from Norway. Lodhi said Samiullah had no physical or mental illness and that further investigation was underway.

The controversial blasphemy law has been at the centre of a heated debate since last year, with liberals and rights activists claiming that it is misused to settle personal scores and persecute minorities.

Arrests and registration of cases under the blasphemy law have become more frequently in recent months with many Pakistani muslims being booked under the law besides minorities.

Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer was gunned down earlier this month by a police guard who was angered by the politician's opposition to the blasphemy law. The law has divided the nation with hardline religious and politico-religious parties all rallying for any amendments in the law.

The religious parties have held regular demonstrations and protests warning the government to stay clear of trying to amend the law which civil and human right groups says is generally misused in the country.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-police-arrest-muslim-student-for-

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Hindu legislator quits in Pakistan, shifts to India

Jan 30 2011

ISLAMABAD: A Hindu member of the legislative assembly in Pakistan's Sindh province resigned from his seat after receiving threats and shifted to India, media reports said Saturday.

Ram Singh Sodho was elected a member of the Sindh assembly on a reserved seat for minorities on a Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) ticket in the 2008 general elections, Dunya TV reported.

Sodho received threats and shifted base to India, from where he sent his resignation to Sindh assembly speaker Nisar Ahmad Khoro, the report said.

The resignation has been accepted with immediate effect.

The PML-F is an ally of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) in Sindh.

The law and order situation in Karachi, capital of the province, and other interior regions -- where the Hindu community is based in large numbers and its members are quite well off -- has been deteriorating for quite some time now.

Incidents of kidnapping for ransom of Hindu children have seen an alarming rise during the last few months, forcing many families to abandon their homes and shift to India or other countries.

Lakki Chand Garji, 82, who is the 'maharaja' of the Kali Mata Mandir in Kalat town in Balochistan province and considered to be one of Pakistan's most revered Hindu spiritual leaders, was kidnapped by a gang of armed men Dec 21 last year. He is yet to be rescued.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Hindu-legislator-quits-in-Pakistan-shifts-

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Yemen al-Qaeda Terrorist commander declares war against Shiite Muslims

Jan 30 2011

Leader of al-Qaeda militants in Yemen declared "Jihad" against the Houthi-led northern Shiite fighters, in an audio message posted on the internet by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Friday.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Leader of al-Qaeda militants in Yemen declared "Jihad" against the Houthi-led northern Shiite fighters, in an audio message posted on the internet by al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) on Friday.

"To our Wahhabi fellows in northern Yemeni provinces of Saada, Al- Jouf and Amran, we (AQAP) announced jihad (holy war) against Houthi Shiites" Saeed Ali al-Shihri, deputy leader of the Yemen-based AQAP.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=223184

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Afghan musician returns to keep a tradition alive

Jan 30 2011

Master tabla player Asif Mahmoud had fled to Britain, to escape violence and fanatics who opposed music. Now he's back in Kabul's music quarter, helping train a new generation of musicians.

The master sits in a newly painted house on Kharabat Street, in the oldest quarter of this ancient city in the mountains.

He plies his craft with his fingers, palms and wrists, beating, tapping and scraping the oiled surface of his drums as if he were listening to the secret pulse of the universe. Daw-tiki-tak, tiki-tiki, daw-tiki-tak, tiki-tiki, the beat goes.

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"Tabla has its own notes," Asif Mahmoud says. "It speaks to us. It speaks from my heart. When I play tabla, I open my heart to listeners. Music is the language that speaks for the heart, for the soul."

Full report at:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-afghanistan-music-

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Religious leaders promote interfaith harmony

By Ren Zhongxi

Jan 30 2011

China's five national religious associations gathered in Beijing on January 28 to issue a Joint Declaration on Promoting Religious Harmony. Representatives from the Buddhist Association of China, the Taoist Association of China, the Islamic Association of China, the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association and the China Christian Council spoke in support of the declaration.

The declaration follows a UN General Assembly decision last year to declare the first week of February every year as World Interfaith Harmony Week. Representatives from China's religious groups all expressed their belief in harmony and peace at the meeting.

They also called for patriotism, religious freedom and promoting harmony; opposed the distortion and manipulation of religion and emphasized its positive role in the development of a harmonious society.

Full report at:

http://www.china.org.cn/china/2011-01/30/content_21847513.htm

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Chaos engulfs Cairo as Mubarak points to succession

Jan 30 2011

Cairo : Looters rampaged through malls and luxury shops in upmarket Cairo as more army men doffed their uniforms and joined the unprecedented movement for Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's ouster that has left over 100 dead in the last six days.

Breaking into malls along the Nile, looters picked up TV sets, furniture, electronic items and clothes defying curfew and and heavy presence of security personnel in the capital.

A beleaguered Mubarak, 82, had yesterday showed first signs of handing over power as he appointed for the first time his intelligence chief Omar Suleiman as Vice-President after 30 years of autocratic rule.

Thousands of protesters defied the curfew for the second night and Cairo's central Tahrir (Liberation) Square remained filled with protesters. Troops and armoured vehicles have been deployed across the city to guard key government buildings, and major tourist and archaeological sites.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/chaos-engulfs-cairo-as-mubarak-points-to-

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Top cleric tells Mubarak to go

Jan 30 2011

DUBAI: The Arab world’s influential cleric Yusuf al Qaradawi on Saturday urged Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to step down for the good of the country, as his ouster was the only solution to Egypt’s crisis. The widely respected Sunni Muslim cleric, who holds Egyptian and Qatari nationalities, also encouraged Egyptians to keep up peaceful protests, in an interview with al Jazeera television. “President Mubarak, I advise you to depart from Egypt. There is no other solution to this problem but for Mubarak to go,” Qaradawi said. The cleric, a resident of Qatar who has a popular programme on al Jazeera to advise on Islamic laws, heads the International Union for Muslim Scholars. He is considered one of the world’s top Sunni preachers.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\30\story_30-1-2011_pg1_3

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Egypt on boil, but India won’t rush in

Jan 30 2011

New Delhi : As India watches with concern the gathering political storm in Egypt and other Arab states, the government will not rush into commenting on the unprecedented and the unpredictable revolt against the ossified order in the Middle East, official sources here say.

The government’s current silence on the confrontation between the Arab nation and the ruling regimes in the Middle East does not mean it is unaware of the implications of the tumult for India’s growing interests in the region.

India’s trade with the 22 countries of the Arab League is currently at the level of about $120 billion and is expected to double within the next five years. Prospects for regional instability have already begun to push oil prices up and close to $100 a barrel.

Both principle and pragmatism, however, have tended to reinforce the current Indian reluctance to inject itself verbally into an explosive situation on the Arab street.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/egypt-on-boil-but-india-wont-rush-in/743705/

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Egypt goes dark as govt puts internet to death

Jan 30 2011

SAN FRANCISCO: About a halfhour past midnight on Friday morning in Egypt, the internet went dead.

Almost simultaneously, the handful of companies that pipe the internet into and out of Egypt went dark as protesters were gearing up for a fresh round of demonstrations calling for the end of President Hosni Mubarak's nearly 30-year rule, experts said.

Egypt has apparently done what many technologists thought was unthinkable for any country with a major internet economy: It unplugged itself entirely from the internet to try and silence dissent. Experts say it's unlikely that what's happened in Egypt could happen in the US as the US has numerous internet providers and ways of connecting to the internet. Coordinating a simultaneous shutdown would be a massive undertaking.

The Internet blackout in Egypt shows that a country with strong control over its Internet providers apparently can force all of them to pull their plugs at once, something that Cowie called "almost entirely unprecedented in Internet history." The outage sets a precedent for other countries grappling with paralyzing political protests.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Egypt-goes-dark-as-govt-puts-internet-to-

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Egypt, Tunisia inspired by Saddam's fall: Iraqis

Jan 30 2011

BAGHDAD: Iraqis on Saturday welcomed the revolt in Egypt that threatens to topple President Hosni Mubarak, with some claiming the tremors shaking Arab rulers had begun with the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

"Saddam was their teacher, and all of these dictators are his little pupils," declared Hussein Mohammed, taking a break from loading boxes of imported toys into a truck.

"The dictator (Mubarak) must leave -- all dictators must go," the 55-year-old added, noting that he stayed up until 4:00 am listening to the radio for news from Cairo.

"From Morocco to Saudi Arabia, we Arabs want all dictators out."

Other Iraqis remained glued to their television sets throughout the day, with electronics store owner Maher Minjal tuning four televisions to different Arabic news channels reporting events in Egypt.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Egypt-Tunisia-inspired-by-Saddams-

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Burney's 26/11 turnaround surprises many

Mohammed Wajihuddin

Jan 30, 2011

MUMBAI: Senior Urdu editor Aziz Burney's turnaround on his much-vaunted stand on the perpetrators of the heinous 26/11 attack has surprised the Muslim intelligentsia. Burney, through a series of impassioned articles in a daily that he edits, had tried to shred the official line that Hindutva terrorists were not involved in the 26/11 attacks. But on Friday he surprised many when different editions of the daily carried a front-page apology from Burney, saying he felt sorry if he had hurt the feelings of 'deshbhakts and deshpremis (patriots)'. with his views

Burney had compiled his articles into a book provocatively titled RSS ki Saazish: 26/11, where he had differed from the investigating agencies' conclusion that no saffron terror activists were involved in 26/11. Senior Congress leader Digvijay Singh had attended the launch of Burney's book on December 6, 2010 in Delhi and on December 27 in Mumbai. Full report at:

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Pak, US On Collision Course Over 26/11 ?

Jan 30, 2011

The continuing probes into the Mumbai terror attacks that have established the links between its perpetrators and Pakistan’s intelligence agency ISI could put Washington and Islamabad onto a collision course, an investigative report released by ProPublica said.

“The Mumbai case could put Washington and Islamabad on a collision course,” veteran journalist Sebastian Rotella said in his latest investigative report, which was released on January 26, on the Mumbai terrorist attacks. US attorney-general Eric H. Holder has vowed to prosecute the killings of the six Americans as required by law, Mr Rotella said, adding that the prosecutions for the Mumbai and Denmark plots are being led by Patrick Fitzgerald, the US Attorney in Chicago. Mr Rotella said at least half a dozen suspected masterminds of the attacks are still at large and it is unlikely that Pakistan would extradite any suspects to the US. Pakistani courts tend not to convict accused radical Islamists, he said, adding that the Pakistani government denies any official link to the 2008 terrorist attacks. “Why should there have been involvement of the Pakistani government in the Mumbai attacks at a time when Pakistan and India were dealing seriously with issues?” a senior Pakistani official was quoted. “Mumbai incident provided a pretext for India to shy away from settling the contentious issues between the two countries,” the official alleged. Mr Rotella said the question of Pakistani government involvement drives a high-stakes debate about whether the ISI participates in terrorist activity.

http://www.asianage.com/india/pak-us-collision-course-over-2611-796

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Lawyer: 'Jihad Jane' plans to plead guilty

Jan 30 2011

Colleen LaRose, the woman who authorities say called herself "Jihad Jane" on YouTube, has changed her mind about fighting government charges that she was plotting to wage violent jihad overseas.

Her attorney, Mark Wilson, told CNN Friday "she is going to plead guilty" at a change-of-plea hearing next week in Philadelphia federal court.

LaRose was indicted in 2009 on four counts, including conspiring to support terrorists and kill someone overseas. She was allegedly part of a plot to murder Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks, who outraged some by depicting the prophet Mohammed with the body of a dog in 2007.

Five other co-conspirators were allegedly involved, but never named by the government.

LaRose also is accused of lying to a federal agent and attempted identity theft. She faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

Full report at:

http://www.cnn.com/2011/CRIME/01/28/pennsylvania.terror.case/?hpt=T2

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Wife beating and misogyny not part of Islam

Jan 30 2011

Mahfooz Kanwar's column, "Yes, Islam condones wife beatings, misogyny," Opinion, Jan. 16, tells me why domestic violence takes place in a Muslim family while clear guidance of Islam forbids this abuse.

The reason is very clear. People like Kanwar are convinced that Islam condones wife beating. I never believed that my religion allows me to beat up my wife. Therefore, more than 22 years ago I married a woman and I am still happily married to the same woman. I am sure those who beat up wives must have a different experience than I do. One of the major reasons of failed marriages is the abuse by the spouse.

Kanwar's column did not do any good except for providing more opportunities to those who do not want to build bridges among different communities of Canada. Kanwar's column has also shown the level of knowledge he has about Islam's holy book, the Qur'an, and Islam itself.

Full report at:

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Wife+beating+misogyny+part+Islam/4189424/story.

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Security forces kill 9 terrorists in Mohmand

Jan 30 2011

PESHAWAR: Security forces on Saturday engaged militants’ positions near Afghan border in Saafi tehsil of Mohmand Agency and killed nine more Taliban fighters, official said. The security forces launched an air offensive against terrorists’ hideouts in Inzary, Sagi, Awrdewazgi areas bordering Afghanistan as 28 terrorists were killed in the aerial strike in the same region yesterday. Separately the security forces apprehended six suspects from an IDP camp in Nahqi area of Mohmand Agency. Muhammad Jan was killed as a mortar shell hit a house in Dawezai area of the agency.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\30\story_30-1-2011_pg7_10

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Govt slow in ensuring justice to 26/11 victims: Martyrs' wives

Jan 30, 2011

LUCKNOW: Wives of the three police officers, who were killed in 26/11 Mumbai attacks, alleged the Centre is acting "too slow" in ensuring justice to victims of the terror strikes and failed to punish its perpetrators.

"The government is acting too slow in ensuring punishment... It has been two years since the attack but the Centre could not trace its mastermind. Besides, the government has also not taken any encouraging steps that shows that it was really serious to ensure punishment to the culprits," Kavita Karkare, wife of slain Maharashtra ATS chief Hemant Karkare, told reporters here.

While, Smita Salaskar, wife of another slain officer Vijay Salaskar, said justice to victims of the terror attack could only be given when all those involved in the 26/11 strike were punished.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Govt-slow-in-ensuring-justice-to-26/11-victims-

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Jamiat wants madarsas out of RTE Act purview

January 30, 2011

The Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind wants madarsas to be kept out of the purview of the Right to Education Act, 2009 alleging it went against provision of Constitutions that gave the Muslims liberty to set up and administer their own educational institutions.

A high-level delegation of the Jamiat led by its president Maulana Qari Syed Mohammad Usman Mansoorpuri met the Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal and demanded immediate amendment in RTE Act 2009 in order to do away with its “negative” aspects.

The delegation also said the Act is in apparent conflict with Article 26 and 30 of the Constitution that allows minorities “the right to establish and administer educational institutions of their choice.”

The delegation appreciated Sibal for issuing guidelines under Section 35(1) of the RTE Act and apprised him of the minority community’s apprehension that it will not address their concerns.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/314061/Jamiat-wants-madarsas-out-of-RTE-Act-purview.html

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Iran hangs Dutch woman held in 2009

Jan 30 2011

Tehran : An Iranian-Dutch woman, arrested after taking part in anti-government protests in Iran in 2009, has been hanged for drug smuggling, the semi-official Mehr news agency said on Saturday.

“A woman smuggler named Zahra Bahrami, daughter of Ali, has been hanged today for the possession and selling of narcotics,” Mehr reported, quoting the court.

The 45-year-old woman’s daughter was quoted by the rights group International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran as saying the drug charges were fabricated after Bahrami was arrested for taking part in protests against Iran’s disputed presidential election in December 2009.

Mehr reported that she had been found guilty of smuggling cocaine into Iran from the Netherlands and was found with 450 grams of the drug in her possession.

Following reports of the execution, the Dutch Foreign Minister summoned Iran’s ambassador on Saturday.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/iran-hangs-dutch-woman-held-in-2009/743633/

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Under terror shadow, Muslims speak out

Jan 30 2011

NEW DELHI: "I am Jamil Masiullah from Malegaon, Maharashtra. I am the elder brother of Shabbir Masiullah. The police arrested my brother at 3.30am on August 3, 2006 from his house. He was given electric shocks on his private parts and acid was poured on his private parts, to make him confess that he was responsible for either the Malegaon or the Mumbai local train bomb blasts."

"I am Abdul Kareem from Hyderabad. I used to drive an autorickshaw before arrest. One day, police barged into my house and took me away. I was tortured, hit on the soles and other body parts with a rubber belt. I was asked what I knew about the Hyderabad bomb blasts. I answered that I did not know anything. But they were still forcing me either to admit to the crime or to speak about it."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Under-terror-shadow-Muslims-speak-

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Three Nato tankers torched near Khuzdar

Jan 30 2011

QUETTA: Gunmen in southwestern Pakistan attacked three trucks after they returned from delivering supplies to Nato troops in Afghanistan, police said Sunday.

The incident took place near the town of Wadh, some 380 kilometres south of Quetta, the capital of the restive oil- and gas-rich Balochistan province which borders Iran and Afghanistan.

“Unknown gunmen fired at three NATO trucks, one of them overturned and the two other trucks were set ablaze by the attackers,” local police official Juma Khan told AFP.

“There were no injuries to drivers,” he said.

Another police official confirmed the attack.

Nato trucks and oil tankers are regularly targeted with arson attacks blamed on insurgents attempting to disrupt two key supply lines that cross western Pakistan bound for foreign troops fighting in neighbouring Afghanistan.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/30/two-nato-tankers-torched-near-khuzdar.html

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India will share info on Samjhauta blast case with Pak: PC

Jan 30 2011

Davos : Home Minister P Chidambaram has said "some evidence" has emerged in the 2007 Samjhauta blast case and India will share information with Pakistan once the probe is over. "We have not said that we will not provide evidence. These are early phases of investigation...once the investigation is complete we will share the evidence with Pakistani authorities," he said.

Chidambaram said that he had conveyed India's position to his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik.

"We had no indication (earlier) as to who may have been behind the attack. Now we have some evidence. A couple of people are suspects," he said.

He said that right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat member Swami Aseemanand has confessed his involvement in the Samjhauta case as also in the Malegoan blast case before a court.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/india-will-share-info-on-samjhauta-blast-case-with-

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Tunisia's Islamist Leader Returning

Jan 30, 2011

London: Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisia's Islamist movement Ennahda, boarded a plane on Sunday to return home from London after 22 years in exile, his daughter travelling with him told AFP.

"He is boarding the plane now," Soumaya Ghannouchi told AFP by telephone from a departure gate at London Gatwick Airport.

Ghannouchi's British Airways flight to Tunis was due to depart at 0830 GMT and arrive at 1125 GMT.

Ghannouchi checked in at Gatwick accompanied by 30 supporters and journalists to return to Tunisia after 22 years in exile in Britain.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/tunisias-islamist-leader-returning-855

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Mubarak Names A V-P 1st Time In 30 Yrs

Jan 30, 2011

Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak gave the first indication on Saturday he was preparing an eventual handover of power by naming a vice-president for the first time in 30 years after protests that have rocked the foundations of the state.

Mr Mubarak’s decision to pick Mr Omar Suleiman, his intelligence chief and confidant, as his No. 2 is the first time the 82-year-old leader has hinted at a succession plan and may suggest he will not run in an election scheduled for September.

Whether he can hold on to power until then, however, remained in question. Many believe the Army holds the key. Until five days of unprecedented scenes of popular defiance and chaos across the country, officials had suggested Mr Mubarak would run again.

If not him, many Egyptians believed, his son, Gamal, 47, could be lined up to run. This now seems impossible. Omar Suleiman, 74, has long been central in key policy areas, including the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, an issue vital to Egypt’s relationship with key aid donor the United States.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/mubarak-names-v-p-1st-time-30-yrs-787

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Moscow bomber was 20-yr-old from Caucasus

Jan 30, 2011

MOSCOW: The suicide bomber who killed 35 people and wounded 180 at Moscow's largest airport was a 20-yearold man from the volatile southern Caucasus region, Russian investigators said on Saturday. Breaking a five-day silence over the probe, federal investigators also said foreigners were deliberately targeted , marking an ominous new tactic in Russia's losing battle with extremism.

Islamist rebels from the Caucacus, a group of mountainous Russian provinces that are beset with an entrenched separatist insurgency , have been widely suspected in the attack at Domodedovo airport. Saturday's statement from federal investigators confirmed a suicide blast involving a bomb containing shrapnel. While authorities say they know the identity of the perpetrator , they suggested they still don't know who masterminded the attacks.

"Despite the fact that we know the name of the terrorist , we won't name him today ... since investigative searches are ongoing to identify and detain the organizers and accomplices of the terrorist act,'' the statement said. "According to the investigation, the terrorist act was aim first and foremost at foreign citizens,'' the statement added.

 ttp://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Moscow-bomber-was-20-yr-old-from-

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2 killed, 6 hurt as militants ambush security convoy

January 30, 2011

Two civilians were killed and six others injured when pro-Taliban militants ambushed a security forces convoy in the Khyber tribal region of northwest Pakistan on Saturday, official sources said.

The militants attacked the convoy in Shalobar area of Khyber Agency, triggering a gun battle with the security forces, the sources said.

The militants fired three rockets at the convoy, which was carrying security forces on a routine patrol.

Two civilians caught in the crossfire were killed. One security personnel was among the six injured. Two persons who sustained serious injuries were taken to a hospital in Peshawar.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/314026/2-killed-6-hurt-as-militants-ambush-security-

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Son’s death brings this father a job

By Arjun Sharma

Jan 30 2011

Four- year- old Mohammad Zubair was killed in militant attack

MOHAMMAD Tufail’s loss was irrecoverable. But this bereaved father from Rajouri has a government job owing to the death of his son.

Tufail lost his son Mohammad Zubair to a militant attack in his village, Manjakote, near Rajouri district in Jammu and Kashmir on June 25, 1995. A rocket fired by militants during a gunbattle with forces hit their house, killing Zubair, then four, and grievously wounding his mother and siblings.

Tufail, 58, got a Class IV government job with the office of the deputy commissioner of Rajouri as compensation for the death of Zubair under SRO 43, a government order which guarantees employment to a militancy victim in Jammu and Kashmir on compassionate grounds.

Full report at: Mail Today

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India can’t remain immune to West Asian turmoil

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Jan 30 2011

NASDAQ declined by over 2.48 per cent over the weekend. Dow Jones dropped by 1.39 per cent. This is despite the US economy growing by an annual rate of 3.2 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2010. The heaving streets of Cairo and Alexandria are making investors nervous.

India is lucky. Its economy hasn’t been globalised enough to make its stock exchanges vulnerable if footfalls appear in the shadows of the Pyramids. Onions and tomatoes still remain the indices of the vagaries of life. Yet, it is foolhardy to imagine India is going to be immune to the roar coming from West Asian streets.

One can hear the crisp sound of nail- biting in South Block as the Indian establishment trains its ears to the West Asian roar.

Delhi has still not said a word about the tumultuous happenings in its “ extended neighbourhood”. But there is going to be a lot to talk about. India’s entire policy towards the region under successive UPA governments is facing a test of endurance.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Five killed in Nigeria religious violence

Jan 30 2011

JOS: Filling stations, churches and mosques were set ablaze in central Nigeria’s city of Jos on Saturday after students were wounded when soldiers opened fire to quell a protest, security officials and students said. At least five people were killed in the ensuing violence.

Some gas stations and a farmer’s market were also set on fire in late Friday’s violence that was sparked when Christian students attacked Muslims trying to bury a corpse in Jos, a city at the epicentre of tensions between Nigeria’s two dominant faiths. One Muslim died in that attack, which sparked retaliatory assaults on Christian churches in the region Saturday morning. Christens also attacked some mosques and set those on fire.

This is the latest violence in Jos and its surrounding villages, a region once known as a vacation spot for British colonialists and as a tin mining town. Human Rights Watch said at least 1,000 people died in 2010 and another 200 more have died within the last month in violence largely fuelled by ethnic, economic and political disputes.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\01\30\story_30-1-2011_pg4_2

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Pakistan rebuffs call for US gunman’s quick release

Jan 30 2011

ISLAMABAD: In a clear about-turn on the status of the American charged with murder of two motorcyclists in Lahore, the United States on Saturday claimed that the accused was a diplomat and demanded his immediate release.

“The diplomat, assigned to the US Embassy in Islamabad, has a US diplomatic passport and Pakistani visa valid until June 2012,” a terse statement by the embassy said.

It went on to accuse Islamabad of being in violation of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations. The Foreign Office reacted sharply to the embassy statement, counselling respect for the legal course.

The exchange was a pointer to an evolving diplomatic crisis between Islamabad and Washington.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/30/us-calls-for-immediate-release-of-diplomat-in-

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Special AI plane to bring back 300 Indians from Egypt

Jan 30, 2011

NEW DELHI: India has sent a special commercial flight on Sunday to bring back Indians wanting to return home from Egypt that is in the middle of a political upheaval.

An Air India flight with a capacity to carry 300-odd passengers is being sent to Cairo to enable Indians living in or visiting Egypt to return to India if they desired so, government sources said here.

Some of the 3,600-odd Indians, who live in Egypt that is facing political unrest at present, have expressed their interest in returning home and the flight is arranged based on their request, the source said.

Flight schedules in and out of Egypt have been disrupted in the last couple of days after anti-government protests broke out there seeking the stepping down of President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in power for over three decades now.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Special-AI-plane-to-bring-back-300-Indians-from-

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Offical figures: Thousands turn to Islam in Dubai

Jan 30 2011

Almost 3,000 people, the majority of them women, from dozens of nationalities became Muslims in Dubai last year, it was announced on Wednesday.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - A total of 2,763 individuals - 1,869 of them women - from 72 countries embraced Islam in 2008, an increase of 71 percent over 2007, according to figures released by the Islamic affairs and charitable activities department.

Announcing the data Dr Hamad bin Al Sheikh Al Shaibani, director general of the department, said: ''We are delivering our message properly by spreading Islamic culture and instilling national identity through giving greater attention to mosques, holy Quran sciences, Islamic heritage, research fatwa and charity works.”

The Islamic message was being delivered through a moderate school of Islam by highly qualified and conversant individuals using the most advanced methodologies, he added.

''We are lending special care to new Muslims, providing them with all they need from audio-visual materials, books, lectures and training programmes in all languages so as to become true Muslims,” Al Shaibani said.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=223353

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Cleric open to new site for Islamic center

By Jay Tokasz

Jan 30 2011

The Muslim cleric at the center of a controversial plan to build an Islamic center near ground zero told The Buffalo News on Saturday he would consider another location for the project if a suitable site was offered.

"If someone is willing to offer another site ... I would move," said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who was in Western New York to address concerns about the project. "I would move because my whole life is about improving relationships with people, and once the project is established, it will have an impact."

It was the first time Abdul Rauf appeared to back away from building the center two blocks from where the World Trade Center fell.

The proposed center has the required city approvals and the backing of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. But it also sparked months of escalating nationwide rancor over the appropriateness of a mosque near the site of the 9/11 attack -- culminating in a threat from a Florida pastor to burn the Quran.

Full report at:

http://www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article327927.ece

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Dictatorship to democracy? Tunisia's risky venture

Jan 30 2011

The fishmonger at the market cries, “Long live Tunisia!”, his smile as big as the fish he’s slicing. Middle-aged women hold sleep-overs to talk politics deep into the night. Euphoric Tunisians have a chance to do what was undreamable three weeks ago - Build a democracy from the ground up.

But will they?

It is clear what this tiny Arab nation of 11 million has started - A revolution against long-time authoritarian regimes that has already spread to the powerful regional giant, Egypt, and to the impoverished but well-armed Yemen. What is not clear is where Tunisia’s experiment will end.

The ruling party of former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali still operates from the shadows, its tentacles wrapped around every aspect of life. Islamists are clamouring for a share of the pie in a country that has known only one-man rule since its founding in 1956. And a shaky interim government - the second in less than two weeks - must keep Tunisia stable until elections in about six months.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article1137418.ece

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Tunisian Islamist exiled leader return to Tunisia after 22 years

Jan 30 2011

Leader of Tunisia's main Islamic party Rachid Ghannouchi has left London's Gatwick airport to Tunis after more than 20 years in exile, following the departure of the ousted Tunisian ruler Zine El Abidin Ben Ali.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Leader of Tunisia's main Islamic party Rachid Ghannouchi has left London's Gatwick airport to Tunis after more than 20 years in exile, following the departure of the ousted Tunisian ruler Zine El Abidin Ben Ali.

Ghannouchi's British Airways flight to Tunis was due to depart at 08:30 GMT and arrive at 11:25 GMT, AFP reported.

Ghannouchi checked in at Gatwick accompanied by 30 supporters and journalists to return to Tunisia after 22 years in exile in Britain.

"I feel very happy today," he said. "I am still the leader of my party. I want to organize a conference."

"If there are free and fair elections Ennahda will take part -- in the legislative elections, not the presidential elections," Ghannouchi added.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=223331

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/egypt-protesters-camp-out,-mubarak-turns-to-army/d/4028


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