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Islamic World News ( 31 March 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Egypt's Sufis to Form Popular Committees for Self-Defence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Egypt's Sufis to Form Popular Committees for Self-Defence

Saudi Religious Police Lift Ban on Women on Bikes

Iraq Officials Say Attacks Kill Preacher, 6 Others

Suicide bomber kills 7 at police headquarters in Iraq

Thousands of Moroccans protest to topple Islamist-led government

Kuwait hangs three, including Pakistani, in first executions since 2007

Syria accuses rebels of setting oil wells afire

Egyptian Satirist Posts Bail as Authorities Press Case

Morsi sends Islamic bond law to clerics: Report

New Shoura proposal for gratuity welcomed

Mecca Grand Mosque columns, calligraphy to be inventoried

Bahrain Upholds Sentence in Iran Spy Case

Syrian Official Says Historic Synagogue Looted

 

Africa

Top aide of Libyan PM 'kidnapped'

Mali troops sweep Timbuktu for rebels after battle

Religious tensions rise in Central Africa after coup

Illegal emigrants: Pakistani job seekers swindled in Libya

Sudan's Bashir orders political prisoner release

 

Pakistan

Islam Zindabad Conference: ‘Fazl ur Rehman is no American agent’

‘Alternate to Islamic studies is a constitutional right’

Khyber Christians lament PA’s apathy towards their festivities

NATO containers torched in Balochistan’s Bolan district

Pak terms reports on Chamel Singh as 'malicious Indian propaganda'

Militants spreading tentacles in Karachi

Moot on inter-faith harmony held

Only PTI can end terrorism, says Imran

Minorities still await implementation of dual voting right

Burgeoning child labour challenges govt reform claims

Four arrested for setting a boy on fire

Hope for Pakistani expats to cast votes as software is ready

 

Mideast Asia

Pluto's 'Gate to Hell' Discovered In Turkey

Abbas confirms Jordan as custodian of Jerusalem holy sites

Israel’s apology to Turkey over flotilla raid ‘idiocracy’

Iran sanctions spur boom for Pakistani diesel smugglers

National dialogue: Yemen’s key to peace and stability

Over 50 Iranian tourists visit southern Egypt

 

India

Self-radicalized Muslim youths swelling terror groups’ ranks

Beef exports up 44% in 4 years, India is top seller

Nitaqat policy: Kerala seeks six months clemency for NRIs

Leaders of moderate Hurriyat Conference placed under house arrest

Discharged IM co-founder to be called as defence witness

To monitor Pak TV channels, MHA wants digitisation push in Srinagar

Bazm-e-Ittihad Jeddah advises Indian youths to be active in social media

Gulf nations wooing Indian Pharma firms, says report

Togadia raises pitch for Ram temple

 

South Asia

Afghan teenager fatally stabs US soldier

Stabilising Afghanistan: Pakistan has crucial role says Afghan High Peace Council

Sheikh Hasina pledges to punish online insults against Islam

Maldivian court suspends trial against ex-leader

Death penalty sought for Jamaat-e-Islami leader in Bangladesh

Bombs explode after ‘BNP men’ torch 3 vehicles

How children's TV favourite Sesame Street tones down for Afghanistan

Maldives minister slams “dubious” motives behind Avaaz boycott campaign

4 held over blogger Asif attack link

Afghanistan’s Declining Human Rights Crisis Further Threatened

Bangla rights panel slams govt over Hindu safety

Kabul, Taliban scramble for political high ground

Burma: Discriminated Muslim Populations face death before a callous government

 

Europe

Muslim headscarf in crosshairs of French government

Britain must “acknowledge what is really happening in the Maldives”: Salisbury MP

Hate preacher will not be prosecuted for urging followers to claim 'Jihad Seeker's Allowance'

 

North America

Boston students become Muslim for a day

South Bend mosque holds blood drive

Rising from the ashes, Islamic centre a symbol of tolerance

 

Southeast Asia

Mob Violence in Indonesia a Sign of Erosion of Trust

Malaysia to face UN over Sabah Filipino abuses claims

Indonesia to host int’l conference on people smuggling

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: The body of Sergeant Michael Cable, 26, is transported home via Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. Cable was killed in Afghanistan by a local teenager. Picture: Cliff Owen

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/egypt-s-sufis-to-form-popular-committees-for-self-defence/d/10968

 

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Arab World

 

Egypt's Sufis to form popular committees for self-defence

Popular committees will be formed to protect Sufi shrines and mosques after spate of attacks blamed on 'radical Salafists'

 1 Apr 2013

Sufi orders in Egypt are to form popular committees to protect their shrines and mosques from "radical Salafists," a Sufi leader has said.

Alaaeddin Abul-Azayem, founder of the Azamiyya Sufi order, made the announcement on Sunday, hours after a Sufi shrine and mosque were torched in the city of Tala in the Nile Delta's Menoufiya governorate.

"As arson attacks against shrines have increased in Egypt, several Sufi orders are planning to take serious steps to form popular committees to protect shrines and mosques," Abul-Azayem told Turkish Anadolu news agency.

Abul-Azayem, who heads one of the largest Sufi orders in Egypt, accused "radical Salafists" of attacking Sufi shrines and festivals.

"If any Sufi shrine is demolished, all of Egypt will not be silenced whether Sufi or not," he added.

A fire ripped through the Sheikh Fouad shrine and mosque in Tala, to the north of Cairo, for almost two hours on Sunday, destroying the contents of the mosque but leaving the structure of the shrine intact.

In April 2011 fire erupted at Sidi Ezzeddin mosque and shrine in the same city. Nobody was charged over the incident but locals blamed radical Islamist groups.

Salafists condemn Sufism and consider Sufi shrines a form of idolatry.

There are estimated to be at least six million Sufis in Egypt.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/68168/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-Sufis-to-form-popular-committees-for-selfde.aspx

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Saudi Religious Police Lift Ban on Women on Bikes

April 1, 2013

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Saudi newspaper says the kingdom's religious police are now allowing women to ride motorbikes and bicycles but only in restricted, recreational areas.

The Al-Yawm daily on Monday cited an unnamed official from the powerful religious police as saying women can ride bikes in parks and recreational areas but they have to be accompanied by a male relative and dressed in the full Islamic head-to-toe abaya.

Saudi Arabia follows an ultraconservative interpretation of Islam and bans women from driving. Women are also banned from riding motorcycles or bicycles in public places. The newspaper didn't say what triggered the lifting of the ban.

The official says women may not use the bikes for transportation but "only for entertainment" and that they should shun places where young men gather "to avoid harassment."

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/04/01/world/middleeast/ap-ml-saudi-women-.html?ref=middleeast

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Iraq Officials Say Attacks Kill Preacher, 6 Others

(AP) / 1 April 2013

Iraqi officials said seven people were killed in attacks in the capital and in the western city of Fallujah on Sunday, including a mosque preacher who was gunned down outside a sweets shop.

A police officer said assailants shot dead the preacher, Sheik Talib Zuwayid of the Al Baraa mosque in Fallujah, along with his nephew and another man. A health official confirmed the deaths and said another man was injured.

Residents said Zuwayid was one of the organizers of weekly Sunni demonstrations against the Shia-led government that have been taking place for the past three months. The police officer however said it was unclear if the killings were related to the protests.

Immediately after he was killed, residents hung up posters announcing the man’s death on Fallujah’s main road. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release information.

In the Iraqi capital, two separate explosions killed four people and wounded 14. Two police officers said a bomb attached to a policeman’s car exploded early Sunday morning in the capital’s northern Kazimiyah neighbourhood, killing an officer and a bystander and wounding five others.

In another incident, two other police officers said a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into an army checkpoint in Baghdad’s western suburb of Abu Ghraib, killing two soldiers and wounding nine people, of which four were civilians.

Two health officials confirmed the causalities.

All officials spoke anonymously, as they were not authorized to release information.

Police and military personnel are favourite targets of militants seeking to undermine the Iraqi government’s efforts to maintain security.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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Suicide bomber kills 7 at police headquarters in Iraq

AFP | Apr 1, 2013

TIKRIT, Iraq: A suicide bomber blew up a tanker truck at police headquarters in the Iraqi city of Tikrit on Monday, killing seven people and wounding 11, police and medics said.

Most of the casualties in the 8:40 am (0540 GMT) attack in the city, which was the hometown of executed dictator Saddam Hussein and remains a focus for insurgents, were police, the sources said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Suicide-bomber-kills-7-at-police-headquarters-in-Iraq/articleshow/19321226.cms

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Thousands of Moroccans protest to topple Islamist-led government

Monday, 1 April 2013

Thousands of people on Sunday have taken to the streets in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, to protest against the country’s high unemployment rate and cost of living.

Protesters marched through the city ahead of plans by the Islamist-led government to push for social and economic reforms.

Al Arabiya TV correspondent Adel Zobairi said about 30,000 protesters gathered in the kingdom's capital, calling for the downfall of Islamist Prime Minister Abdel Ilah bin Kiran. One of the slogans raised in the protest was: "People rise up against bin Kiran the dictator."

“Morocco is witnessing social regression,” chanted protesters, including activists from the February 20 pro-reform movement, which was born of the Arab Spring protests sweeping the region in 2011.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2013/04/01/Thousands-of-Moroccans-protest-to-topple-Islamist-led-government.html

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Kuwait hangs three, including Pakistani, in first executions since 2007

April 1, 2013

KUWAIT CITY: Authorities in Kuwait on Monday hanged three convicted murderers in the first executions in the Gulf state since May 2007, the ministry of justice said.

The men, a Pakistani, a Saudi and a stateless Arab, were hanged at the central jail, west of the capital Kuwait City, in front of judicial and security officials, the ministry said.

The Pakistani was convicted of killing a Kuwaiti couple and the Saudi of murdering a compatriot.

The stateless Arab was hanged for killing his wife and five children after claiming he was a long-awaited imam.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/04/01/kuwait-hangs-three-including-pakistani-in-first-executions-since-2007/

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Syria accuses rebels of setting oil wells afire

 March 31, 2013

Syria's state news agency says rebels fighting to topple the government have set fire to three oil wells.

The news agency SANA said on Sunday that the fires would cause a daily loss of 4,670 barrels of oil and 52 cubic meters of natural gas. It accused "terrorists", the

government's term for rebels, of setting the fires after fighting among themselves over how to divide the oil.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Syria-accuses-rebels-of-setting-oil-wells-afire/Article1-1035195.aspx

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Egyptian Satirist Posts Bail as Authorities Press Case

By KAREEM FAHIM and MAYY EL SHEIKH

April 1, 2013

CAIRO — An Egyptian television satirist who was summoned by prosecutors on charges that he had insulted President Mohamed Morsi was ordered to post bail on Sunday, indicating that the authorities were continuing to pursue their investigation of the popular host.

After presenting himself to prosecutors on Sunday morning for questioning that lasted several hours, the satirist, Bassem Youssef, paid the equivalent of $2,200 bail and was released. Prosecutors had issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Youssef on Saturday on charges stemming from statements he had made on his widely watched television show, including that he had insulted Mr. Morsi, denigrated Islam and disturbed public peace.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/01/world/middleeast/bassem-youssef-posts-bail-as-egyptian-authorities-press-case.html?_r=0

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Morsi sends Islamic bond law to clerics: Report

Reuters | Apr 1, 2013

CAIRO: Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi referred a law allowing the state to issue Islamic bonds to a panel of top Muslim scholars on Sunday, state media said, a step that could complicate the government's plans to pass the legislation.

The parliament led by the Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party approved the law earlier this month and referred it to Mursi, triggering a protest last week by Al-Azhar, the country's leading Islamic authority.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Egypts-Morsi-sends-Islamic-bond-law-to-clerics-Report/articleshow/19314257.cms

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New Shoura proposal for gratuity welcomed

 1 April 2013

Saudis across the Kingdom have welcomed the new Shoura Council proposal to increase end of service benefits (ESB) of civil servants, saying it would encourage public servants to work hard and improve the living conditions of retirees.

A Shoura meeting, chaired by Vice President Muhammad Al-Jafri, approved the proposal made by a former member Ehsan Abdul Jawad and instructed the Human Resources Committee to study the matter further.

“The majority of Shoura members supported the proposal to amend Article 53 of the Civil Service Law that deals with rights and benefits of civil servants,” said Fahad Al-Hamad, assistant to the president.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/446720

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Mecca Grand Mosque columns, calligraphy to be inventoried

 1 April 2013

A committee has been formed to list the columns and calligraphy of the Makkah Grand Mosque prior to their delivery to the Museum of the Two Holy Mosques, said Muhsen Al-Sullami, director general of the museum.

Al-Sullami could not come up with an exact number for the engravings and columns. However, he said that the committee has been listing and enumerating the objects for three months.

“The museum will be expanded in the next phase, and this will increase the number of objects shown and the number of visitors to the museum,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/446714

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Bahrain Upholds Sentence in Iran Spy Case

April 1, 2013

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain's news agency says an appeals court has confirmed a 10-year prison sentence against a man convicted of spying for Iran. The Gulf kingdom has long accused Tehran of aiding an anti-government uprising in the Arab country.

No clear evidence has been made public about alleged Iranian roles in the more than two-year unrest but Tehran officials have often denounced crackdowns on Shiite-led protesters by Bahrain's Sunni leaders.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/04/01/world/middleeast/ap-ml-

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Syrian Official Says Historic Synagogue Looted

April 1, 2013

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A Syrian antiquities official says a historic Jewish synagogue in Damascus has been damaged and looted as clashes between government troops and rebels have consumed the surrounding neighborhood.

Maamoun Abdul-Karim, head of the Antiquities and Museums Department of the Syrian Culture Ministry, said Monday that objects from the Jobar Synagogue were stolen last year, but that officials haven't been able to visit the building for months because rebels control the area.

Activist videos posted online last month show damage to its walls and roof that appears to have come from shelling. The videos appeared authentic and corresponded to other reporting by The Associated Press.

The synagogue was built in honor of the prophet Elijah. A plaque near its door says it dates to 720 B.C.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/04/01/world/middleeast/ap-ml-syria.html?ref=middleeast

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Africa

 

Top aide of Libyan PM 'kidnapped'

Reuters | Apr 1, 2013

TRIPOLI: An adviser to Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan was grabbed from his car by unknown assailants on the outskirts of Tripoli on Sunday evening, a government source said.

Mohamed Ali Ghatous, in his 50s, was seized after passing a checkpoint into the eastern Tripoli suburb of Tajoura. A source at Zeidan's office said Ghatous was a senior adviser to the prime minister.

"Nobody knows where he is. They left his car behind, probably they thought it could be traced," he said.

Ghatous had last spoken to his family by mobile phone from his car before he was taken. An investigation is under way.

Since the end of the 2011 uprising that toppled Muammar Gaddafi, Libya's new rulers have struggled to control myriad armed groups who refuse to lay down their weapons and often take the law into their own hands.

Last week, five British nationals who were part of an aid convoy passing through Libya on the way to Gaza were briefly kidnapped by an armed group, and one was sexually assaulted in the eastern city of Benghazi, security officials said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Top-aide-of-Libyan-PM-kidnapped/articleshow/19326187.cms

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Mali troops sweep Timbuktu for rebels after battle

(AFP) / 1 April 2013

Malian troops swept Timbuktu for remaining fighters after a weekend battle that left seven dead and forced France to dispatch reinforcements and fighter jets to help Mali’s army.

By late Sunday relative calm had been restored, after militants used the chaos created by a suicide bombing Saturday night to infiltrate the city and engage French and Malian troops in a day-long battle that left four more rebels, a soldier and a civilian dead.

‘For the moment it’s calm in Timbuktu. We have the situation under control,’ a Malian officer told AFP.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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Religious tensions rise in Central Africa after coup

April 1, 2013

Rising religious tensions in the Central African Republic could be a ticking time-bomb after a coup that left the chronically unstable nation with a Muslim strongman, despite his promises of secular rule.

“We are sitting on a bomb. An evil sorcerer could blow up the whole house. I don’t want us to underestimate the problem,” said Dieudonne Nzapalainga, the Catholic archbishop of Bangui.

Michel Djotodia, the self-proclaimed president, became the first Muslim leader of the country after seizing power in a bloody March 24 coup that ousted president Francois Bozize, creating days of chaos and looting.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\01\story_1-4-2013_pg4_7

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Illegal emigrants: Pakistani job seekers swindled in Libya

April 1, 2013

Pakistan says it will take up with the Libyan diplomatic mission the issue of Pakistani job seekers tricked by recruitment companies in Libya and Pakistan.

Pakistan embassy in Tripoli recently unearthed an issue where Libyan and Pakistani recruitment firms cheated thousands of Pakistani job seekers, where they were not given jobs – as promised by the racketeers – since authorities gave them the status of illegal emigrants. Some Libyan embassy staffers were also allegedly involved in the visa racket.

“We have already received a complaint by the Pakistani ambassador in Tripoli in this regard,” Foreign office spokesperson Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry told The Express Tribune.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/529381/illegal-emigrants-pakistani-job-seekers-swindled-in-libya/

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Sudan's Bashir orders political prisoner release

April 1, 2013

Sudan's President Omar al-Bashir has said all political prisoners in the country are to be released.

In a speech at the opening of parliament, Mr Bashir also said the government was committed to a "national dialogue" with all groups.

It was not immediately clear how many prisoners would be released under the announcement.

The move comes as tensions ease in Sudan amid improving relations with neighbouring South Sudan.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21992816

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Pakistan

 

Islam Zindabad Conference: ‘Fazl ur Rehman is no American agent’

 April 1, 2013

LAHORE: “Change can only be brought in Pakistan if Shariah is enforced. All those who raise slogans of change without meaning to bring in Islamic laws are fooling the public,” said 50-year old Muhammad Ramazan who had come to attend Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F’s (JUI-F) Islam Zindabad Conference.

“This country was founded in the name of Islam and can only be saved by Islam. The only person who can bring change and impose Shariah in Pakistan is Maulana Fazl ur Rehman. That’s why I have come to attend the meeting today,” Ramazan said. Ramazan had travelled from Qalat, Balochistan, to attend the event.

“I have come because I know Maulana Fazl ur Rehman isn’t an American agent,” said Muhammad Saeed.

“Imran Khan speaks about bringing change but he cannot bring any substantial change. How can a man who cannot handle his wife, handle this country,” Saeed said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/529335/islam-zindabad-conference-fazlur-rehman-is-no-american-agent/

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‘Alternate to Islamic studies is a constitutional right’

April 1, 2013

KARACHI: The course outline at different educational institutes is one of the major issues faced by the minorities as well as marginalized groups in Pakistan. Despite that the Christians and Hindus are the largest minority groups, they have been facing he unfavourable structure of syllabus from day one. Most students end up in Islamic Studies classes at both public and private schools, due to a lack of alternative subject teachers. Besides, Islamic Studies, they are also forced to read or learn Muslim religious topics as part of other subjects like English and Urdu. In this regard, Sindh Education Department claims that they have included other optional subjects in the curriculum, to replace religious subjects to provide assistance and ease to minorities. However, the concerned department seems to have failed to implement what they claim.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\01\story_1-4-2013_pg12_2

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Khyber Christians lament PA’s apathy towards their festivities

April 1, 2013

LANDIKOTAL: Khyber Political Agent Morahir Zib Khan has refused to give the Khyber Agency’s Christian community financial support for annual Easter celebrations.

Christian community leaders have regretted that this is not the first time that the Khyber political agent has rejected the community’s demands, saying he has declined their appeals in the past as well. The Christian community members throughout Khyber Agency and all over FATA are mostly poor, which is why they cannot celebrate the annual Easter festival.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\01\story_1-4-2013_pg7_16

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Nato containers torched in Balochistan’s Bolan district

April 1, 2013

QUETTA: Unknown militants torched five containers, carrying back Nato supplies from Afghanistan to Port Qasim Karachi, in Balochistan’s Bolan district on Monday.

Levies sources told Dawn.com that four motorcycle-riding militants opened fire on containers in Kambiri area of Bolan district adding that the drivers survived the attack.

Levies further said that the armed men set containers in fire after the drivers fled from the site.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/04/01/nato-containers-torched-in-balochistans-bolan-district/

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Pak terms reports on Chamel Singh as 'malicious Indian propaganda'

Mar 31 2013,

Lahore: Pakistani authorities today rejected as "malicious Indian propaganda" reports that Indian prisoner Chamel Singh had died after allegedly being assaulted by jail staff here, saying his death was caused by a sudden stroke and heart attack.

Mohsin Rafiq Chaudhry, Senior Superintendent of Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore claimed a few Indian newspapers had published "concocted news with ulterior motives" about Singh being tortured to death.

He also described the reports of Singh's death after allegedly being assaulted as "malicious Indian propaganda".

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-terms-reports-on-chamel-singh-as-malicious-indian-propaganda/1095640/

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Militants spreading tentacles in Karachi

PTI | Apr 1, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Taliban wield control over large stretches of Pashtun neighbourhoods in five districts of Pakistan's largest city of Karachi after chasing out workers of political parties and creating fear among law enforcement personnel, said a media report on Sunday.

The latest players in land grabbing in Karachi are elements of the banned Tehrik e-Taliban Pakistan "who have been putting down their roots in various parts of the city over the past couple of years", the influential Dawn newspaper reported.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Militants-spreading-tentacles-in-Karachi/articleshow/19316034.cms

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Moot on inter-faith harmony held

March 30, 2013

M RAFIQUE GORAYA

 In the interest of interfaith harmony and stepping towards a tolerant society, Centre for Global Dialogue, in association with Institute of Islamic Culture, Lahore, and Institute of Communication and Cultural Studies, University of Management and Technology (UMT), Lahore, held a national conference on 'Creating Space for Tolerance in an Age of Extremism', on Friday at the UMT campus.

Full report at:

http://www.brecorder.com/general-news/172/1168916/

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Only PTI can end terrorism, says Imran

April 1, 2013

MINGORA: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) was the only party that could resolve the issue of terrorism in the country, claimed Imran Khan. 

Addressing a public meeting at Grassy Ground here on Sunday, he said that his party would form the next government after achieving a landslide victory in the upcoming general elections.

Mr Khan, the central chairman of PTI, lauded the sacrifices rendered by residents of Swat for restoration of peace. He said that only PTI had a durable solution to the issue of terrorism owing to which it seemed to be a matter of few weeks for his party to form the next government.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/04/01/only-pti-can-end-terrorism-says-imran/

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Minorities still await implementation of dual voting right

By Amar Guriro

April 1, 2013

KARACHI: Around 2.77 million religious minority voters across the country will take part in the electoral process, not for their own representatives, but the Muslim candidates.

This has always been the case during general elections in Pakistan. Non-Muslim candidates will not be elected through direct election, but will be selected by Muslim leadership of the mainstream political parties on the reserved seats for minorities.

Officially the religious minorities of Pakistan have dual voting rights, allowing them to not only vote on general seats of Muslim candidates, but also for their own members, but practically the system has not been implemented.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\01\story_1-4-2013_pg12_1

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Burgeoning child labour challenges govt reform claims

By Ahtesham Azhar

April 1, 2013

KARACHI: Burgeoning income disparities and rising inflation, with almost 200 percent increase in the prices of food commodities; many parents are forced to send their children to work.

Various non-governmental organisations have attempted to highlight and resolve child labour, but none of them have succeeded to identify the real causes behind this societal issue. In Pakistan, there are a lot of factors compelling the innocent children to sacrifice their childhood and start working from an early age.

Different people who are working for the problem were of the view that NGOs and concerned government departments never tried to resolve the issue from the grassroots. They always blame parents and people, who appoint minor age children for work on a low daily wage, but concerned people must know that the problem could not be eliminated until problems are identified and tackled with at the grassroots.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\01\story_1-4-2013_pg12_9

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Four arrested for setting a boy on fire

April 1, 2013

SUKKUR: Ghotki police arrested four men allegedly involved in burning a boy to death in Khanpur Mahar on Saturday.

Fifteen-year-old Gyan Chand Meghwar was on his way back to Khangarh from Khanpur Mahar when two men on a motorcycle offered him a ride. After covering some distance, the men stopped the vehicle and demanded Meghwar hand over his mobile and cash. Both of the men had concealed their faces with cloths. But during the mugging the cover fell off one of the suspects, whom Meghwar was then able to identify as Sunil Kumar. He then demanded that the two men hand over his snatched valuables. But they overpowered Meghwar and set him on fire.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/529302/voices-for-justice-four-arrested-for-setting-a-boy-on-fire/

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Hope for Pakistani expats to cast votes as software is ready

 1 April 2013

In a move that fulfills a longstanding demand of the expat community, Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) has created an electronic software to enable overseas Pakistanis to cast their ballots.

The Supreme Court will be briefed today on the preparations being made for overseas Pakistanis’ voting, Nadra Chairman Tariq Malik told Geo News yesterday.

The court has directed the government to ensure participation of overseas Pakistanis in the voting process.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/446717

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Mideast Asia

 

Pluto's 'gate to hell' discovered in Turkey

April 01, 2013

Italian archaeologists have discovered the ruins of an ancient mythological cave in Turkey, believed to be the "gate to hell" emitting fatal carbon fumes.

Described as Pluto's Gate, the cave was celebrated as the portal to the underworld in Greco-Roman mythology and tradition.

Historians located the site in the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis, now Pamukkale, describing the opening as filled with lethal mephitic vapours, the 'Discovery News' reported.

"This space is full of a vapour so misty and dense that one can scarcely see the ground. Any animal that passes inside meets instant death," Greek geographer Strabo, who lived between 64/63 BC -about 24 AD, wrote.

"I threw in sparrows and they immediately breathed their last and fell," he added.

The finding was made by a team led by Francesco D'Andria, professor of classic archaeology at the University of Salento, who conducted extensive archaeological research at the World Heritage Site of Hierapolis.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/europe/Pluto-s-gate-to-hell-discovered-in-Turkey/Article1-1035503.aspx

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Abbas confirms Jordan as custodian of Jerusalem holy sites

Palestinian President Abbas and King Abdullah II of Jordan sign deal to confirm historic role of monarchy as custodian of holy sites in Jerusalem

 31 Mar 2013

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas signed a deal with King Abdullah II on Sunday confirming Jordan's historic role as custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem, the palace said.

Outlining their coordination, the two sides stressed their "common goal to defending" Jerusalem and its sacred sites against attempts to Judaise the Holy City, particularly the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/68160/World/Region/Abbas-confirms-Jordan-as-custodian-of-Jerusalem-ho.aspx

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Israel’s apology to Turkey over flotilla raid ‘idiocracy’

 30 March 2013

So, finally our prime minister has apologized to Turkey for “operational mistakes” that “might have” led to the death of nine Turks during the attack on MV Mavi Marmara, the ship which tried to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza.

It took him two years and ten months to do so.

Hallelujah.

But the real apology should not have been addressed to the Turks, but to the Israelis. And not just for the mistakes committed by the soldiers.

The entire affair was an act of pure idiocy, from beginning to end. Right from its inception.

It is easy to say so with hindsight. But my friends and I pointed to the stupidity of the action publicly, before it all started.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/446526

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Iran sanctions spur boom for Pakistani diesel smugglers

April 1, 2013

JOGAR, PAKISTAN: Some of the contraband is spirited across the mountains in Pepsi bottles carried by child smugglers. Yet more is loaded into pick-up trucks or siphoned into barrels and strapped onto mules.

So lucrative are the returns that even seasoned opium traffickers are abandoning their traditional cargo to grab a share of Pakistan’s closest thing to an oil boom: a roaring trade in illicit Iranian diesel.

As Western powers tighten sanctions on Iran, an unexpected set of beneficiaries has emerged in the hard-scrabble Pakistani province of Balochistan – smugglers lured by surging profits for black market fuel.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/529483/iran-sanctions-spur-boom-for-pakistani-diesel-smugglers/

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National dialogue: Yemen’s key to peace and stability

 March 31, 2013

SANA’A — The National Dialogue Conference (NDC) is a landmark event in Yemen’s political transition. As agreed in the power transfer deal mediated by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the NDC includes all the political parties, civil society representatives, southern movement, Houthis, women and youths. A total of 565 delegates representing different sections of society are involved in the NDC to build a roadmap for the future. In short, the National Dialogue has endeavored to bring all the political parties and other factions under one umbrella and prepare for a smooth transition in the aftermath of the revolution. The NDC will discuss issues such as formulating the constitution, government structure and political system, the southern issue, the Houthis, achieving national reconciliation and transitional justice, and other social and economic issues.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130401159395

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Over 50 Iranian tourists visit southern Egypt

AP | Apr 1, 2013

LUXOR, Egypt: More than 50 Iranian tourists visited sites in southern Egypt on Sunday amid tight security as part of a bilateral tourism promotion deal that has generated some controversy.

The tourists, who according to a security official arrived on some of the first commercial flights between the two countries in three decades, will be restricted in their movement following objections from some ultraconservative Sunni Muslims to receiving visitors from Shiite Iran. Members of the Salafi movement in Egypt consider Shiites heretics, and fear Iran is trying to spread its faith in the Sunni world.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Over-50-Iranian-tourists-visit-southern-Egypt/articleshow/19314215.cms

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India

 

Self-radicalized Muslim youths swelling terror groups’ ranks

Apr 1, 2013

NEW DELHI: Terror groups are no more having to scout for recruits; rather, self-radicalized youth seething with a sense of injustice to Muslims are reaching out to the jihadi outfits to volunteer to work for them.

Interrogation of Indian Mujahideen (IM) and Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) operatives in connection with the recent Hyderabad blasts has brought out what security and intelligence agency call the "deeply worrying trend" , where terror groups are able to find recruits without having to work really hard. NIA's interrogation of IM operatives Syed Maqbool and Imran Khan and LeT member Obaidur Rehman also revealed that the new recruits had no qualms about switching loyalties from one group to another.

Maqbool and Imran were arrested last year in connection with the August 1, 2012 Pune blasts and are suspected to have conducted reconnaissance for the Hyderabad blasts. Rehman was part of the LeT module of 18 operatives busted by Bangalore Police last year. He is suspected to have helped Maqbool and Imran carry out reconnaissance of Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad, where twin blasts on February 21 claimed 16 lives.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Self-radicalized-Muslim-youths-swelling-terror-groups-ranks/articleshow/19313691.cms

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Beef exports up 44% in 4 years, India is top seller

April 1, 2013

CHENNAI: The Centre's Pink Revolution to promote meat production and export has led to a 44% increase in meat consumption and export in four years, but it has failed to regulate the industry.

According to data compiled by the animal husbandry departments of all states, meat from registered slaughterhouses increased from 5.57 lakh tonnes in 2008 to 8.05 lakh tonnes in 2011. Export earnings from bovine (beef and cattle) meat expected to touch Rs 18,000 crore in 2012-2013. India became the world's top exporter of beef in 2012.

Uttar Pradesh is the top buffalo meat-producing state with 3 lakh tonnes in 2011. At least 70% of the buffalo meat is exported. "Our meat is lean and cheaper. We supply Halal meat, which is preferred in Gulf countries," said Surendra Kumar Ranjan, director of Uttar Pradesh-based Hind Agro Industries.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Beef-exports-up-44-in-4-years-India-is-top-seller/articleshow/19314449.cms

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Nitaqat policy: Kerala seeks six months clemency for NRIs

TNN | Apr 1, 2013,

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With Saudi Arabia firmly implementing naturalization laws that will hit Kerala expatriates there, the state government plans to urge the Centre to seek a clemency period of six months for non-resident Indians trapped in the Kingdom.

Under the Nitaqat—or naturalization—policy, 10% of jobs in all companies will be reserved for Saudi nationals. It has been feared that the kingdom's new labour policy would result in the denial of job opportunities to several Malayalis.

Chief minister Oommen Chandy will meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday and raise the demand to buy time for finalizing alternative options and ensure that those violating the law won't land in Saudi prisons.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Nitaqat-policy-Kerala-seeks-six-months-clemency-for-NRIs/articleshow/19315172.cms

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Leaders of moderate Hurriyat Conference placed under house arrest

PTI | Apr 1, 2013

SRINAGAR: Several leaders of moderate Hurriyat Conference, including its chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, were placed under house arrest by the authorities here after the separatist amalgam said it will visit the family of Parliament attack convict Mohammad Afzal Guru.

Besides Mirwaiz, those placed under house arrest include executive member of Hurriyat Aga Syed Hassan Alsafvi Almosvi, Zaffar Akbar Bhat and advisor to the chairman Shahidul Islam, official sources said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Leaders-of-moderate-Hurriyat-Conference-placed-under-house-arrest/articleshow/19320567.cms

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Discharged IM co-founder to be called as defence witness

Mar 31 2013

Mumbai : A special MCOCA court Saturday allowed the defence in the July 2006 train blasts case to examine alleged Indian Mujhahideen (IM) co-founder Sadiq Israr Sheikh and two others as witnesses, ignoring opposition by the ATS.

The defence had filed an application in the MCOCA court seeking to call Sadiq, Arif Badruddin and Ansar Ahmed, all allegedly involved in blasts across India in 2008, as defence witnesses in the train bombings case. The ATS had opposed the application.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/discharged-im-cofounder-to-be-called-as-defence-witness/1095565/

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To monitor Pak TV channels, MHA wants digitisation push in Srinagar

Manoj C G

Apr 01 2013

New Delhi : As the deadline for the second phase of cable television digitisation drive came to an end on Sunday, one city where this process is being keenly watched is Srinagar where the progress is slow but significant.

The capital of Jammu and Kashmir, one of the 38 cities where television broadcasting is supposed to be fully digitised by Sunday, has barely started installation of set top boxes, according to sources in the state government, though the Information and Broadcasting Ministry claims that 20-25 per cent of cable TV households have already been covered.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/to-monitor-pak-tv-channels-mha-wants-digitisation-push-in-srinagar/1095721/

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Bazm-e-Ittihad Jeddah advises Indian youths to be active in social media

1 April 2013

Bazm-e-Ittihad, an Indian welfare organization in Jeddah, hosted a function to celebrate their recent restructuring at a local restaurant recently.

Prominent members of the Indian community and other local organizations, such as Khake-Taiba Trust and United Andhra Pradesh Forum, also attended.

“Bazme-e-Ittihad is a welfare organization with the objective of promoting education, peace and unity,” said the organization’s chief adviser Mirza Mazher Ali Baig.

Bazm-e-Ittihad also belongs to the AIMIM (All India Majlis Ettehadul Muslimeen), an Indian political party. Syed Ali Mehmoud, a patron of Bazm-e-Ittihad, appreciated the efforts and dedication of the newly appointed members.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/446707

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Gulf nations wooing Indian pharma firms, says report

 April 01, 2013

A number of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are seeking investments from Indian pharmaceutical companies to benefit from their experience in the generics segment, says a report by investment bank Alpen Capital.

According to Alpen Capital's The GCC pharmaceutical Industry Outlook, signing of the impending free trade agreement between the GCC and India will further open up the market for Indian companies.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/corporatenews/Gulf-nations-wooing-Indian-pharma-firms-says-report/Article1-1035451.aspx

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Togadia raises pitch for Ram temple

April 1, 2013

On the day Gujarat’s Narendra Modi became the first Chief Minister to be named a member of Bharatiya Janata Party’s highest decision-making body, the sangh parivar hardened its stance on the Ayodhya Ram temple issue at an event in his Assembly constituency of Maninagar.

Mr. Modi skipped the event presided over by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, but had separate meetings with BJP veteran L.K. Advani and senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi.

Mr. Bhagwat and Vishwa Hindu Parishad international general secretary Pravin Togadia raised the pitch for construction of a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. “Unless and until we will become Hindus, not only by our behaviour, but with our practice and awareness, only then will our dream of building Ram Mandir at Ayodhya be fulfilled,” Mr. Togadia said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/togadia-raises-pitch-for-ram-temple/article4567534.ece

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South Asia

 

Afghan teenager fatally stabs US soldier

 April 01, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan — An Afghan teenager killed an American soldier in eastern Afghanistan by stabbing him in the neck while he played with a group of local children, officials said Monday.

The killing comes as the monthly U.S. death toll rose sharply in March to 14 with the start of the spring fighting season when the Taliban and other insurgents take advantage of improved weather to step up attacks.

Sgt. Michael Cable, 26, was guarding Afghan and U.S. officials meeting in a province near the border with Pakistan when the stabbing occurred last Wednesday, two senior U.S. officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

The attack occurred after the soldiers had secured the area for the meeting, but one of the U.S. officials said the youth was not believed to have been a member of the Afghan security forces or in uniform so it was not being classified as an insider attack.

The official said the attacker was thought to be about 16 years old, but the age couldn't be verified.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130401159466

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Stabilising Afghanistan: Pakistan has crucial role says Afghan High Peace Council

 April 1, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Afghan High Peace Council has said that Pakistan has a crucial role to play in the ‘difficult-to-achieve’ peace with the Taliban militia.

“The Afghan High Peace Council considers Pakistan’s role as extremely important to put an end to the armed struggle in Afghanistan,” Abdul Hakim Mujahid, a senior member of the council, told The Express Tribune by the phone from Kabul.

Mujahid’s remarks came days after Afghan Deputy Foreign Minister Javed Ludin said that Kabul could pursue the peace process without Pakistan’s help. He also alleged that those Taliban figures who want to reconcile were either killed or arrested in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/529379/stabilising-afghanistan-pakistan-has-crucial-role-peace-negotiator/

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Sheikh Hasina pledges to punish online insults against Islam

 Apr 01 2013

Dhaka : Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today pledged stern action against people found guilty of defaming Islam using the internet as right-wing Islamic parties threatened to wage an intensified street campaign against "atheist bloggers".

"You (Islamic parties) do not need to go for any movement. As a Muslim, I have the responsibility to take action," Hasina said at a party meeting of her ruling Awami League, this evening.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sheikh-hasina-pledges-to-punish-online-insults-against-islam/1095961/

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Maldivian court suspends trial against ex-leader

 April 01, 2013

COLOMBO — A Maldivian court Monday suspended the trial of former president Mohamed Nasheed, who maintains that the case against him is designed to thwart his re-election bid in September, his party said.

Nasheed's Maldivian Democratic Party said they secured an order from the High Court freezing the proceedings of the lower Hulhumale Magistrates' Court (HMC) which had scheduled another hearing for Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130401159458

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Death penalty sought for Jamaat-e-Islami leader in Bangladesh

April 1, 2013

Completing its closing arguments, the prosecution yesterday sought capital punishment for Jamaat-e-Islami leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman in connection with crimes against humanity committed during the Liberation War.

“Through verbal and documentary evidence, we have been able to prove the charges beyond any shadow of doubt and in the interest of justice, we pray for capital punishment [of Kamaruzzaman],” Prosecutor Syed Haider Ali appealed to the International Crimes Tribunal-2.

The tribunal fixed tomorrow for recording the defence’s closing arguments. The prosecution may respond to the defence’s arguments if it feels the need. The tribunal would fix the date for delivering the verdict after closing arguments are concluded.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/death-penalty-sought-for-kamaruzzaman/

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Bombs explode after ‘BNP men’ torch 3 vehicles

April 1, 2013

At least 10 cocktails went off near the BNP headquarters at Nayapaltan shortly after alleged BNP men torched three vehicles, including one of private television channel ATN News, Monday afternoon.

The incident took place seconds after a rally of the main opposition party which was organised to protest Sunday night’s firing in front of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s office in Gulshan, our reporter covering the events reported.

While police blamed BNP men for the torching, BNP leaders refrained from making any statement in this regard.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/bombs-exploded-as-bnp-men-torch-3-vehicles/

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How children's TV favourite Sesame Street tones down for Afghanistan

April 1, 2013

Indian and Afghan producers of children's TV favourite "Sesame Street" are brainstorming in a New Delhi office, swapping tips on how to make Big Bird and his fluffy pals palatable to local viewers.

As the show makes India a satellite hub for production and training, it is a chance for the Afghan producers to tap into their Indian peers' six years of experience in balancing sensitivities in their own culturally and religiously diverse nation.

In doing so, the Afghans are working out how to avoid upsetting their own audiences in their quest to teach reading, writing and arithmetic in a conflict-torn country where only 50 percent of children attend school.

Full report at:

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130331/how-sesame-street-tones-down-afghanistan

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Maldives minister slams “dubious” motives behind Avaaz boycott campaign

By Neil Merrett | March 31st, 2013

Deputy Tourism Minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal has slammed what he calls the “dubious” motivations behind an Avaaz.org petition calling for tourists to boycott the Maldives in protest over the sentencing of a 15 year-old rape victim to flogging, alleging the campaign is “politically motivated”.

While accepting a need for “capacity building” in parliament and other institutions, Maleeh said tourism had been a key driver in ensuring national development and democratic reforms for the last 40 years, granting the industry “sacred” importance in the Maldives.

“People should not be doing anything to damage the industry. In Switzerland, you would not see a campaign designed to damage Swiss chocolate. Likewise you would not see a German campaign to damage their automobile industry,” he said.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/maldives-minister-slams-%E2%80%9Cdubious%E2%80%9D-motives-behind-avaaz-boycott-campaign-55511

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4 held over blogger Asif attack link

April 1, 2013

Police on Monday arrested four people from different parts of the capital ‘for attempting to murder’ popular Bangla blogger Asif Mohiuddin.

The law enforcers in overnight drives arrested the four religious extremists, said Nazrul Islam Mollah, deputy commissioner of Detective Branch (DB) of police.

Police also recovered several books on Jihad, marshal arts clothing and fake BBA certificates from their possession, the DB official added.

The detail of the drive and the identities of the arrestees will be revealed during a press briefing which will be held around noon at Media Centre of DMP (Dhaka Metropolitan Police).

Earlier on January 13, unidentified miscreants stabbed online activist Asif Mohiuddin in Uttara of the capital.

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/4-held-over-blogger-asif-attack-link/

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Afghanistan’s Declining Human Rights Crisis Further Threatened

By Sarah Carlson

SUNDAY MARCH 31, 2013

As US and NATO troops begin to withdraw from Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned in a report that human rights in Afghanistan “remain poor, with deterioration in some areas and growing concerns for the future.”

Long-term assistance prolonged

It has been over a decade since the Security Council enacted the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which was put in place in 2002. The mission mandates “to protect citizens and their human rights, especially those of women and children” while “providing humanitarian and development assistance.” The UN Security Council unanimously renewed the mission to continue until March of this year, but on March 19 the council, for a second time, unanimously agreed to extend the mission for a further year. Under this decision, the humanitarian assistance campaign will have been active for 12 years.

Full report at:

http://www.theinternational.org/articles/385-afghanistans-declining-human-rights-cr

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Bangla rights panel slams govt over Hindu safety

PTI | Apr 1, 2013

DHAKA: Amid nationwide violence in Bangladesh over 1971 war crimes trial of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami leaders, the country's human rights body has criticized the government for inadequate steps to protect Hindus from recent attacks as the minority community demanded more security.

"The government must answer why the people of religious minorities were living in insecurity in Bangladesh," Mizanur Rahman, the chairman of Bangladesh National Human Rights Commission, said at a seminar on Saturday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Bangla-rights-panel-slams-govt-over-Hindu-safety/articleshow/19316066.cms

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Kabul, Taliban scramble for political high ground

ATUL ANEJA

April 1, 2013

Ahead of next year’s withdrawal of western forces

The Afghan government and the Taliban have begun scrambling for political high ground ahead of next year’s withdrawal of western forces that is likely to result in a power vacuum.

The tussle between the elected government in Kabul and the Taliban was out in the open in Doha, where the latter will soon be permitted to open an office. Afghans President Hamid Karzai is in the Qatari capital over the past two days, and held talks on Sunday with Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/kabul-taliban-scramble-for-political-high-ground/article4567470.ece

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Burma: Discriminated Muslim Populations face death before a callous government

By Youssef Sourgo

March 29, 2013

Who said the age of blatant discrimination, racism and intolerance has gone, and that only a less direct neo-discrimination has been in practice since then? Some corners of the world are still intensely loaded with as blatantly repulsive and inhuman attitudes as those the world had known many years ago.

In Burma, the Muslim community is still a victim of vehement discrimination from mostly adherents to the Buddhist faith. Even humanitarian aid is banned from reaching the Muslim population there. “Burmese government restrictions on aid to Rohingya Muslims are creating a humanitarian crisis that will become a disaster when the rainy season arrives,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch.

Full report at:

http://www.moroccoworldnews.com/2013/03/84564/burma-discriminated-muslim-populations-face-death-before-a-callous-government/

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Europe

 

Muslim headscarf in crosshairs of French government

 1 Apr 2013

LE BOURGET, France — Because of her choice to wear a Muslim Hijab headscarf, Samia Kaddour has all but abandoned trying to land a government job in France. Soon some private sector jobs could be off limits, too.

French President Francois Hollande says he wants a new law that could extend restrictions against wearing of prominent religious symbols in state jobs into the private sector. It comes amid a political backlash after a top court ruled that a day care operator that gets some state funding unfairly fired a woman in a headscarf.

Kaddour was on hand in Le Bourget, north of Paris, for the four-day Annual Meeting of Muslims of France that ends Monday. The conference last year drew 160,000 faithful and is billed as the largest gathering of its kind in Europe. — AP

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130401159470

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Britain must “acknowledge what is really happening in the Maldives”: Salisbury MP

By JJ Robinson | March 31st, 2013

The international community “will not find it tenable” if former President Mohamed Nasheed is excluded from elections in the Maldives later this year, Deputy Leader of the UK’s House of Commons Tom Brake has stated.

Brake was responding to a speech in British parliament on March 27 by UK MP for Salisbury, John Glen, who called for the British government to “acknowledge what is really happening” in the Maldives “and stand firm later this year”.

“The [Maldives] is now in a critical state. The free and fair elections that should happen later this year are in the balance. It is difficult to get clarity from the international community, and even from the British Government, on how assertive it is prepared to be to deal with the country,” Glen stated.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/british-government-must-acknowledge-what-is-really-happening-in-the-maldives-salisbury-mp-john-glen-to-uk-parliament-55503

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Hate preacher Anjem Choudary will not be prosecuted for urging followers to claim 'Jihad Seeker's Allowance'

Muslim cleric made his comments to a crowd of around 30 fanatics

Thames Valley Police said video 'fell below evidential threshold' for a case

Another video shows him saying it is okay to take money from non-believers

By RICHARD HARTLEY-PARKINSON

 28 March 2013

A controversial Muslim cleric will not face action despite telling his followers to claim benefits and saying David Cameron should be killed.

Telling fellow fanatics to claim 'jihad seeker's allowance', Anjem Choudary, who in the past has planned to disrupt the minute's silence on Remembrance Sunday, also openly mocked hard-working Britons, calling them 'slaves'.

The Sun newspaper secretly filmed him saying Islam will overrun Europe, David Cameron and Barack Obama should be killed, and called the Queen 'ugly'.

Full report at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2300390/Anjem-Choudary-prosecuted-saying-followers-claim-jihad-seekers-allowance.html#ixzz2PBi2uq8o

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North America

 

Boston students become Muslim for a day

March 31, 2013

Boston: Non-Muslim students at Boston University have volunteered to spend a day wearing headscarves as part of the university’s March’s Islam Awareness Month in a trial to correct misconceptions about Islam and Hijab.

“I saw the poster at the GSU Link and thought this was a really interesting thing to do,” Dian Qu, a College of Arts and Sciences student, said BU Today in a report posted Friday.

“I asked them to show me how to put it on, but I forgot, so I did it my own way,” Qu, who is from China, added.

Qu was not alone in this experience.

She is among 40 non-Muslim women at BU who volunteered to spend a day wearing headscarves as part of the BU Hijab Day Challenge.

Her boyfriend insisted she remove the scarf while they walked together. She refused.

“I just turned around and walked on my own,” she said.

Full report at:

http://www.ummid.com/news/2013/March/31.03.2013/hijab_day_in_boston.htm

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South Bend mosque holds blood drive

 Mar 29, 2013

By Amir Abbas

Local Muslims are trying to do their part to help others.

The Islamic Society of Michiana held a blood drive Friday organized by the South Bend Medical Foundation.

The drive was open to the public and held immediately after the Friday prayer service which over 250 people attend.

So many people showed up to donate that the bloodmobile was full to capacity..

Donors had to be shuttled to another location to give.

Members of the mosque say they want to be an active part of the community.

"We hope that people see that that's what Islam is all about, they see other things claiming to be Islam that we don't think are, and we want to present what we really believe Islam to be," says Gene Stowe a member of the mosque.

Full report at:

http://www.fox28.com/story/21828995/2013/03/29/south-bend-mosque-holds-blood-drive

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Rising from the ashes, Islamic centre a symbol of tolerance

BY DR. S. AMJAD HUSSAIN

4/1/2013

You would never think that bricks and mortar would have such a deep emotional and spiritual pull on people. But they do.

The people who built the Islamic Centre of Greater Toledo in 1982 were devastated when an arsonist set fire to the prayer room at the Perrysburg Township centre six months ago.

These people had worked hard to make the centre a welcoming place for people of all faiths. The centre became the face of progressive Islam in America.

Yet in the 30 years of the center’s existence, the tide would turn and someone brimming with hatred and misplaced patriotism would want to burn the place down.

Full report at:

http://www.toledoblade.com/S-Amjad-Hussain/2013/04/01/Rising-from-the-ashes-Islamic-center-a-symbol-of-tolerance.html#DPPKwwDOm5fDYeD7.99

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Southeast Asia

 

Mob Violence in Indonesia a Sign of Erosion of Trust

April 01, 2013

The dire warnings of Indonesia’s slide into lawlessness may be overstated, but there is no denying that a gradual erosion of trust and confidence in the country’s law enforcement agencies is underway.

Over the past few weeks, a worrying escalation of attacks against police officers and other institutions by military personnel and mobs is creating an impression that lawlessness is taking hold in the country. In March alone, such attacks left 12 people dead and property damaged.

Indonesia has always prided itself on being a law-abiding nation but the failure by the police and the legal community to uphold the law could prove fatal, especially to the country’s efforts to become a developed economy. If this view becomes more entrenched, it will affect business sentiment and investor confidence, as no businessperson or citizen will feel safe in this country.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/mob-violence-a-sign-of-erosion-of-trust/582919

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Malaysia to face UN over Sabah Filipino abuses claims

April 1, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Outraged Philippine civil society groups have filed human rights violations complaints against Malaysia to the United Nations over serious allegations by returning Filipinos fleeing the month-long armed conflict raging in Sabah’s restive east coast, the Manila Times reported.

The Philippine newspaper reported concerned groups and individuals had lodged reports yesterday with UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay (picture), and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, who are both based in Geneva, Switzerland, after failing to move the Aquino administration to exert pressure on Putrajaya.

The activists were reported to have petitioned the two UN agencies to “urgently intervene so that Malaysia will respect the human rights of the Filipinos in Sabah, recognised under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/malaysia-to-face-un-over-sabah-filipino-abuses-claims/

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Indonesia to host int’l conference on people smuggling

 March 31 2013

Indonesian and Australian foreign ministers will co-chair the 5th Bali Process Ministerial Conference slated to take place on April 1 to 2 in Nusa Dua, Bali.

The People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime conference will be attended by ministerial-level officials from 49 Bali Process member countries; 19 observer countries; and 11 international organizations including the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/03/31/indonesia-host-int-l-conference-people-smuggling.html

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/egypt-s-sufis-to-form-popular-committees-for-self-defence/d/10968

 

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