New Age Islam
Sat Aug 08 2020, 07:32 PM

Islamic World News ( 19 Aug 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Embrace Islam or leave Kashmir Valley, Sikhs threatened

Won't back out of 9/11-site mosque, says imam's wife

Iran test fires Qiam missile: minister

NATO soldiers, over a dozen Afghans killed in attacks

Americans Praying: Spending a year with Muslims

JuD goes online to woo friends

Al-Qaida in Iraq claims army recruit bombing (AP)

US sets up new fund to help Pakistan

Imam Behind New York Project Starts Mideast Tour

Obama is Christian: White House

Forces kill 11 terrorists in Orakzai, Kurram

Iran to fire up its first nuclear power plant

Dutch Muslim group fined over Holocaust cartoon

Kashmir survey springs surprises

Muslim employee: Disney banned her head scarf

Australian asks Muslim woman to depose without face-veil

Qatif’s poor women see ‘high reward’ in body washing

Aqsa Mosque preacher lauds support

Illegal Taliban-controlled prison discovered in Afghanistan; 27 Afghanis found shackled, tortured

US drones could be harmful for Pakistan’s nuclear programme: seminar

Afghanistan marks independence day

NATO soldier, rebels killed in Afghanistan

UAE growth spurred by education

Muslims pray daily at Pentagon's 9/11 crash site

Sonia moots J&K dialogue

Pak Spurns Indian Aid Offer Despite PM’s Call

We'll not accept terms for resuming dialogue: Pakistan

Kashmir in troubled waters: Toll rises to 60

12 injured in Bannu blast

Shahbaz air base 'controlled' by US: Pak health secretary

Islamic center can lead to more peaceful world

Accept India's aid offer on humanitarian grounds: Ansar Burney

Discourse: ‘Sharia’ rules a manipulation of religious norms: Senior cleric

America's reputation rests on mosque's test of religious freedom

2 cops suspended for cremating Muslim

Ahmadinejad says Iran ready for nuclear talks

Saudi judge considers paralysis punishment

Ground Zero Imam to begin UAE visit on August 29 Martin Croucher

Hundreds mourn slain Islamist in Lebanon

Religious sessions at homes gaining favor

Another Israeli arrested for flotilla looting

Lebanese all-women aid ship to sail for Gaza Sunday

Iranian asylum seekers on hunger strike in Greece

Mosque debate divides Democrats, especially in NY

Poll: Growing number incorrectly call Obama Muslim

Makkah families cash in on demand for homemade dishes

Billions needed for flood-hit Pakistan, says Holbrooke

India accuses Pak of ceasefire breach along LoC

Woman killed, 8 policemen wounded in Yemen attacks

Pakistan sends another dossier to India regarding Headly

US report warns of ecological threats to Pakistan

Italian Ambassador to Pak calls on Minorities Minister

Editor sentenced for contempt in Bangladesh

US Muslim groups call for extra security on Eid day

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/embrace-islam-or-leave-kashmir-valley,-sikhs-threatened/d/3315

----------

Embrace Islam or leave Valley, Sikhs threatened

M Saleem Pandit

20 August 2010

SRINAGAR: Sikhs in the Kashmir Valley have received anonymous letters from Islamic militants asking them to either embrace Islam and join the protests against civilian killings or pack up and leave the Valley. The 60,000-strong Sikh community is the single largest minority group in the Valley.

An organisation of Kashmiri Sikhs said that several community members have received these letters. "Community members have received unsigned letters at various places," said All Party Sikh Coordination Committee (ASCC) coordinator Jagmohan Singh Raina. He said the community has decided to stay put and fight these "evil designs" at a meeting in Srinagar on Thursday.

Raina quoted a letter as saying: "When you are enjoying the joys here, why can't you share the grief and sorrow of Kashmiris as well? We know you are afraid of bullets... Hold protests inside gurdwaras or leave Kashmir." He added, "Some letters have asked Sikhs to embrace Islam."

Raina urged both factions of the Hurriyat, JKLF and PoK-based United Jihad Council to take serious note of the threats to maintain amity and brotherhood in the Valley.

Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has reassured the Sikhs saying they shouldn't feel threatened and should ignore the "fake letters". He assured the community that nobody would force them to join the protests.

Earlier, Geelani has made an emotional appeal against forcing minorities to join the protests and said harming them would be like "inflicting a wound on his (Geelani's) body".

The state unit of Akali Dal (Badal) president Ajeet Singh Mastana described the threats as acts by anti-social elements. "The threats can't break us and reduce our love for our motherland," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Embrace-Islam-or-leave-Valley-Sikhs-threatened/articleshow/6346853.cms#ixzz0x7Pb38iO

----------

 Won't back out of 9/11-site mosque, says imam's wife

August 21, 2010

 NEW YORK: The wife of the cleric of the controversial mosque to be built at Ground Zero here has said that they will not back down in the ongoing debate to build the place of worship near the site of the Twin Towers at the World Trade Centre.

 “We have too important a moment to back down. We have to take our opponents and transform them,” Daisy Khan, the wife of imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, said.

“We have to convince people that not all Muslims are extremists. We have to educate them on being able to distinguish between us and on the issue of Islamophobia. This is a bigger fight,” she told the Washington Post.

She said that mosque developers were considering having a “healing dialogue” with the community and the 9/11 families. Khan blamed the current fallout over the mosque on the Republicans.

Meanwhile, imam Rauf said extremism is a security threat in both the West and the Muslim world but refused to discuss the political firestorm over plans for an Islamic cultural centre.

The Times of

---

Iran test fires Qiam missile: minister (AFP)

August 21, 2010

 20 August 2010, TEHRAN - Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Friday that Iran has test fired a surface-to-surface missile, Qiam, while footage of the event was screened on state television.

Vahidi’s announcement comes a day before Iran is scheduled to launch its Russian-built first nuclear power plant in the southern port city of Bushehr.

The television images showed the sand coloured Qiam (Rising) blasting into the air from a desert terrain, amid chants of “Allahu Akbar” (God is greatest).

The words “Ya Mahdi” were written on the side of the missile, referring to Imam Mahdi, one of the 12 imams of Shiite Islam, who disappeared as a boy and whom the faithful believe will return one day to bring redemption to mankind.

Vahidi, who was speaking during Friday prayers in Tehran, did not say when the launch took place nor did he reveal the precise range of the missile.

“The missile has new technical aspects and has a unique tactical capacity,” he said on state television, adding that the device was of a “new class.”

“Since the surface-to-surface missile has no wings, it has lot of tactical power, which also reduces the chances of it being intercepted,” he said.

On Tuesday, Vahidi had said that Qiam was to be test fired during the annual government week, the period when Tehran touts its achievements in various fields. This year government week begins on Monday.

The third generation Fateh 110 (Conqueror) missile was also to be test fired during this period. Iran has previously paraded a version of Fateh 110 which has a travel range of 150 to 200 kilometres (90 to 125 miles).

Also during government week, the production lines of two missile-carrying speedboats, Seraj (Lamp) and Zolfaqar (named after Shiite Imam Ali’s sword) are due to be inaugurated, while a long-range drone, Karar, is expected to be unveiled.

The firing of Qiam comes days after a top commander from the Revolutionary Guards said Iran will mass produce replicas of the Bladerunner 51, often described as the world’s fastest boat, and equip them with weapons to be deployed in the Gulf.

On August 8, Iran took delivery of four new mini-submarines of the home-produced Ghadir class. Weighing 120 tonnes, the “stealth” submarines are aimed at operations in shallow waters, notably in the Gulf.

Iranian officials regularly boast about the Islamic republic’s military capabilities and the latest missile launch comes at a time when local officials have been warning against any attack on the Islamic republic.

Iran’s archfoes, the United States and Israel have not ruled out a military strike against Tehran to stop its controversial nuclear programme.

On Saturday, Iran is launching its Russian-built first nuclear power plant which eventually aims to generate electricity.

The plant is scheduled to go online after more than three decades of delays. 

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/August/middleeast_August366.xml&section=middleeast

----

NATO soldiers, over a dozen Afghans killed in attacks

August 21, 2010

 20 August 2010, KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - Three NATO soldiers, at least a dozen Afghan security guards and several civilians were killed in a wave of violence across Afghanistan, authorities said Friday.

Two of the soldiers were killed in a bomb attack in southern Afghanistan on Friday and a third — an American — died in a similar attack on Thursday, the military announced.

The nationalities of Friday’s casualties were not disclosed but a NATO spokesman denied that they were Americans.

NATO’s mission in Afghanistan does not disclose the nationalities of its casualties, leaving it for their relevant countries to do so.

The deaths brings to 441 the number of foreign soldiers killed in the Afghan war so far this year. The total for 2009 was 520, according to an AFP count based on a tally kept by icasualties.org.

The force said it killed a woman during an operation late Thursday aimed at capturing a Taliban commander in the eastern province of Khost.

Chasing the suspect through walled compounds, the troops opened fire after seeing a gun pointing towards them from a room. The troops later found they had killed a woman, ISAF said in a statement.

“Inside the room, they found one woman dead and another with a minor wound as a result of the gunfire. An AK-47 was next to the killed female,” it said.

According to Afghan tradition women rarely take part in war but most Afghan households keep firearms in their homes for security.

The issue of civilian casualties is a deeply sensitive one in Afghanistan and often leads to angry anti-US and anti-government demonstrations.

In the south, authorities said the bodies of at least 12 people, possibly private security guards, were recovered following a fierce battle with the Taliban in Helmand province.

Heavy gunbattles broke out between insurgents and guards working for a road construction company in volatile Sangin district on Thursday, provincial spokesman Daud Ahmadi told AFP.

A dozen bodies were evacuated Friday to a hospital in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, he said.

“We know that they were killed during yesterday’s fighting with the Taliban. We don’t know whether they are guards or workers,” he said.

The Taliban claimed involvement.

“We launched an attack on the road construction company along the Sangin and Gereshk road,” Zabihullah Mujahed, a rebel spokesman, said by telephone, referring to the region where authorities said the fighting took place.

“We took more than 30 checkposts along the road and killed more than 50 guards,” he said, speaking from an undisclosed location.

His claims could not be independently verified but the Taliban are known to exaggerate the impact of their operations.

Abdul Mohammad, an employee of the road construction company, said he accompanied the bodies to hospital.

He described the fighting as “fierce” and said at least another 20 bodies had been either left behind or removed from the battle scene.

“Yesterday the Taliban attacked us. We requested help from Afghan and foreign forces but no one helped. Lots of people were killed, I think more than 20 other bodies were left in the area or have been taken elsewhere,” he said.

He said the 12 bodies he evacuated with the help of colleagues were “security guards”.

His account was not confirmed by Ahmadi, who said the incident was being investigated.

The Taliban is waging an Islamist insurgency to topple the Western-backed government in Kabul. As part of their campaign they target government troops and anyone associated with it.

President Hamid Karzai has decreed that the 52 private security contractors operating in Afghanistan should cease operations by the end of the year.

The tight deadline and lack of government forces able to step into the breach has led to fears of a security crisis that could leave international organisations vulnerable, and delay reconstruction projects and aid deliveries.

There are 141,000 Western, mainly US troops based in the country fighting the rebels. 

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/international/2010/August/international_August1062.xml&section=international

---

Americans Praying: Spending a year with Muslims

August 21, 2010

 HUNTSVILLE, AL -- In 2008, when three young men burned down the Columbia, Tenn., mosque, very few Christians in the area spoke up, even when the trio claimed they were members of the "Christian Identity" movement.

"Christians saw the attackers as non-Christians or misguided individuals, so felt no reason to apologize or speak out against it," said Huntsville native Jonathan Hayden, 32, a research assistant for Akbar Ahmed.

Hayden spent a year traveling with Professor Ahmed to study the Muslim communities in the United States. "Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam," a report of that year of travel and conversation, has just been published by the Brookings Institute.

Hayden understands the disconnect for Columbia's Christians, but wishes they could see other disconnects between those who claim religious motivation and the teachings of the faith itself.

"The people who did this to the Columbia Islamic Center no more represent Christianity than Osama bin Laden represents (Columbia mosque leader) Daoud and his community," Hayden said.

While very few Christians in the city about 30 miles southwest of Nashville came to interfaith vigils that were held after the arson or communicated with mosque leaders, among those who did was the Rev. Bill Williamson. He was pastor of Columbia's first church, First Presbyterian, which had been the home congregation for U.S. President James K. Polk.

The leaders of Columbia's mosque told Ahmed's team how Williamson handed mosque leaders an offering from his members and the keys to his church.

"We have a meeting room you can use any time, day or night, for as long as you need it," Williamson told them. "Let us know if there is anything we can do to make you comfortable there."

Coming just when they had felt ignored by the larger community, the offer meant a lot.

"That kind of healed their hurt," Hayden said. "Just little actions from one person can go a real long way."

Journey into America / Special to The Huntsville Times

Jonathan Hayden, at right, talks with women at a mosque in Omaha, Neb., about their faith and their experience being Muslim in the U.S. Hayden was one of several assistants to Akbar Ahmed, professor at American University, during his yearlong study of Americans who are Muslims.

'Invisible' religion

Hayden's own experience with Muslims mirrors that of most Americans, he said. Raised "Presbyterian, mostly," he said, in Huntsville, he didn't know any Muslims at Huntsville High School or at the University of Alabama, where both of his parents had also graduated.

Sept. 11, 2001, exploded into his life, raising questions about Islam, which had been a largely "invisible" religion to him until then. By 2004, when it felt, as he said, America was "facing off" against the world's Muslims, he wanted to find a way to help prevent further conflicts.

Hayden took his newly minted political science degree to Washington, D.C., and landed a job at American University working as assistant to Islamic studies Professor Akbar Ahmed, former ambassador to England from Pakistan who has also taught Islamic Studies at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Three years ago, Hayden joined Akbar on the yearlong quest to find out how Muslims experienced their lives in the U.S. and how their experiences color their perception of "being American."

To do that, the team used the techniques of anthropologists to record what people themselves said about their lives. But they kept their eyes open, too.

For instance, when they met with the Muslim congregation in Gadsden, the leaders, all highly educated professionals who had emigrated from the Middle East, insisted they have encountered no problems or hostility from their community.

"But we couldn't help but notice that the mosque had no sign on it," Hayden said.

Everywhere they went, he said, whether it was in large mosques in cities - they also visited Birmingham - or towns of various sizes, they heard stories of bricks being thrown through windows, of yelled slurs, of claims that Islam is not an American religion, and of fears that Muslims are out to destroy the country as we know it.

"That's still happening, but we also heard about Christians and Jews who came out to protect a mosque, who would circle it, standing arm-in-arm to protect it against protesters," Hayden said. "That's America. You have the good and the bad."

Jonathan Hayden / Special to The Huntsville Times

Muslim men in Memphis share a West African-style supper following Friday prayers.

And you have the good and the bad within Islam itself.

Ahmed doesn't flinch from describing the sort of Muslims that Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin tweet about. The book's subtitle, "The Challenge of Islam," describes both the challenge that American culture faces as it begins assimilating Muslims as it has Jews and Catholics and the challenge that Islam faces as it tries to prevent sects of violence.

The book opens with a situation in which  Ahmed, who is Muslim, is confronted by Salafi Muslims, a particularly fundamentalist sect, who question Ahmed's orthodoxy, denounce the idea of talking to non-Muslims, and disrupt his presentation to a mosque.

But the more mosques Hayden visited, the more he knew that reception had been the exception, not the rule.

Hayden describes meeting Muslims from countries all over the world, as well as African American and Anglo converts to Islam. After countering initial suspicions that they were investigators from the FBI, they almost always found a warm greeting at the mosques, as well as in people's offices and homes.

"We ate very well," Hayden said, laughing. "And then we would stay up all night, talking, just trying to understand."

Loving all neighbors

Ahmed's study reads like a travel diary written by a particularly well-educated traveler who includes helpful analysis of context and background. He ends the book with recommendations for both Muslim leaders and political and community leaders.

Specific recommendations aside, his book becomes itself an example of the easiest way to make peace: Just get to know your neighbor.

Hayden finds that goal worthwhile for both pragmatic and spiritual reasons.

"We cannot ignore the fact that there are 1.4 billion Muslims in the world and about 7 million in the U.S.," Hayden said. "We are fighting wars in Muslim countries. We can't just say, 'We don't like Muslims and they just have to go away.'"

"We have got to find a way to live together."

Finding that way, he said, can include looking to our own country's founders for examples of respect and acceptance.

"John Adams called the prophet of Islam one of the greatest truth seekers in history and compared him to Socrates," Hayden said. "Benjamin Franklin called the prophet a model of compassion and welcomed Muslims. Jefferson and Washington said similar things.

"And if that's not good enough, then Christians can look to Jesus, who asked everyone to love their neighbors with no qualifiers."

Hayden is convinced that the current hostility towards Muslims, which is producing angry blogs, protests of new mosque construction and hateful graffiti, will evolve into an expanded definition of what it means to be "American."

"We've had ugly moments in our history before, and I have hope we'll come through this one as well with an even stronger sense of pride in our pluralist background," Hayden said.

More reading

"Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam," by Akbar Ahmed. Published by the Brookings Institution Press. The on-going blog of the yearlong journey and current discussions is posted at http://journeyintoamerica.wordpress.com/.

"The Future of Islam" by John L. Esposito. Published by Oxford University Press. Esposito surveys the history and current iterations of Islam, exploring both mainstream and radicalized expressions of the faith from the viewpoint of figuring out the context and logical viewpoint of people along that spectrum. The future of Islam, Esposito concludes, is the future of humanity.

"Religious Tolerance in World Religions" collects scholarly articles from 16 religion historians looking at historic practices of tolerance in all of the world's major faiths, including situations in which the "infidel" is accorded an honorable position.

One conclusion of the book, recorded in William Reiser's survey of Roman Catholic understanding of tolerance, is that tolerance is most likely to develop in a religiously plural society among people who are secure about their own religious identities and do not feel that their cultural identities are being threatened.

Edited by Jacob Neusner and Bruce Chilton. Published by Templeton Foundation Press.

"Taking Religious Pluralism Seriously: Spiritual Politics on America's Sacred Ground" gathers essays on how various religious groups are positioned in the common debates over the common good in the U.S.

Contributors include professors of history, religion and anthropology, including UAH's Dr. John Pottenger who reviews the history Mormon participation in U.S. public issues.

Taken together, the essays urge it is crucial to understand how various faiths conceptualize the common good so that we can build upon that as we find a way to work across religious differences.

http://blog.al.com/living-times/2010/08/a_year_with_muslims.html

 ------

JuD goes online to woo friends

August 21, 2010

KARACHI: Hardline groups in Pakistan are plugging into Western online favourites Facebook and Twitter in a bid to win friends and influence people.

Tweeting their view of a civilisation clash between the West and Islam, and posting comments that advocate violence against non-Muslims, groups that are officially banned in Pakistan have found a welter of freedom online.

Jamat-ud-Dawa, blamed for 2008 Mumbai massacre, is going public intending to influence netizens to advocate violence against non-Muslims or “Kafirs”. The information they have posted online with photographs clearly show men and women at their congregation brandishing guns and hi-tech assault weapons.

Internet pages of Sipah-e-Sahaba, a banned militant Sunni Islamic organisation, also openly preach their anti-Shia bias.

Times of India

-------

Al-Qaida in Iraq claims army recruit bombing

August 21, 2010

20 August 2010, BAGHDAD - An al-Qaida in Iraq front group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing this week that killed 61 Iraqi army recruits in central Baghdad.

The Islamic State of Iraq says its operative easily passed through checkpoints before detonating his explosives belt in a crowd of officers and recruits. The group says the attack shows it can easily overcome Iraqi security forces that it says are struggling to protect the nation as U.S. troops head home.

The insurgent group also accused the mostly-Shiite recruits of selling their faith for money.

The attack was the single deadliest act of violence in the Iraqi capital in months.

The statement was posted Friday on websites frequently used by Islamic militants.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/August/middleeast_August365.xml&section=middleeast

 

------

US sets up new fund to help Pakistan

August 21, 2010

By Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Dawn on Thursday that the United States has set up a new fund for Pakistan’s flood victims, besides contributing $150 million more to relief efforts.

In an exclusive interview in her office, the top US diplomat also said that she understood that the Pakistani military had to divert its resources from the war on terror to attend to the flood victims and while it might hurt the war, it was necessary to do so.

“The Department of State has established the Pakistan Relief Fund for all Americans to join in this tremendous relief, recovery and reconstruction effort,” she said.

“The pictures we see coming out of Pakistan are painful images of human suffering at its worst. In surveying the lives and landscape affected by this disaster, we see brothers and sisters; mothers and fathers; daughters and sons,” she added.

“We see 20 million members of the human family in desperate need of help. This is a defining moment – not only for Pakistan, but for all of us,” she said. “And now is a time for our shared humanity to move us to help.”

Obviously moved and saddened by the suffering of the Pakistani flood victims, Secretary Clinton angrily rejected the suggestion that America was helping Pakistan to boost its image in a key allied nation in the war against terror.

“It is an unfortunate characterisation,” she said. “Americans have always been the most generous responder to natural disasters anywhere in the world.”

Addressing the American nation, the secretary said: “I call on you to do what you can. Every dollar makes a difference. $5 can buy 50 high energy bars providing much, needed nutrition; $10 can provide a child or mother with a blanket; and about $40 can buy material to shelter a family of four.”

She urged Americans to go to the Department of State’s Pakistan Relief Fund and send $20 through their mobile phones by texting the word FLOOD, F-L-O-O-D, to 27722.

“If we come together now, we can meet this challenge and ensure that future generations in Pakistan have a chance to have the bright future they deserve and fulfil their own God-given potential,” she said.

“No, I don’t think so,” said Secretary Clinton when asked if perceived or real corruption in Pakistan was preventing the international community from contributing generously to flood relief funds.

“The extent of this disaster is overwhelming, how you know how and where and when to deliver resources when the disaster is ongoing. It hasn’t stopped,” she said.

“Why the US makes corruption a big issue in Afghanistan and not in Pakistan?” she was asked.

“Corruption is a cancer that eats away the body politic, and unfortunately it diverts resources from where they were intended,” she said.

“I have been very straightforward in my visits to Pakistan and in my interviews in saying that we want to see the democratic government of Pakistan to do better, really deliver services to people.”

“So what would say to those in the media who portray corruption as a major reason for the world’s reluctance to help Pakistan?” she was asked.

“I would say save lives. Save property. Do what we can. Corruption, unfortunately, has been with us, is with us and always be with us. It must be attacked and it must be rooted out but I don’t think it does a service to the people who are suffering to have some diversionary side conversation about corruption,” she said.

“Let us get as much done and as quickly as possible. Let us be sure that the funds flow where they are intended to.”

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/06-us-must-help-pakistan-at-this-defining-moment-clinton-rs-07

-----

 Imam Behind New York Project Starts Mideast Tour

August 21, 2010

By THANASSIS CAMBANIS

CAIRO — Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the organizer of the planned Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan, arrived in Bahrain on Thursday to begin a three-country tour of the Persian Gulf sponsored by the United States State Department.

But the United States government refused to divulge details of his schedule of speeches and meetings, which are part of a program to promote interfaith tolerance. Local journalists have been invited to meet with Imam Feisal but were told the State Department wanted to keep the international news media at bay, said the editor of a Bahraini newspaper.

“I think they are worried that whatever he says will be taken out of context,” said the editor, Mansoor Al-Jamri of Alwasat, which has an interview scheduled with the imam during his four-day stay in Bahrain. Bahraini television will broadcast lectures by Imam Feisal, the State Department said, and he will speak at mosques and traditional community meetings, which are usually held in private homes and known as majlis, or assemblies.

American organizers of the trip said that all meetings were private and that the international news media would not be informed of the identities of the local hosts.

Edgar J. Vasquez, a State Department spokesman, said the organizers were trying to respect the sensibilities of their local partners. “There is no double standard,” he said.

The intense news media interest in Imam Feisal’s trip, and the State Department’s response to that interest, underscore the complication facing the Obama administration. Drawing foreign attention to his speeches and meetings while he is in the Middle East could play into the hands of conservatives in the United States, who regard the trip as an effort by the imam to promote the Islamic center project near ground zero.

But limiting access to him could interfere with the State Department’s aims for his trip: promoting religious tolerance and showcasing American diversity.

His wife, Daisy Khan, who is in New York, said she believed that at least one public event was scheduled in each country and that she had no objection to a reporter sitting in quietly on a public event. But she said the itinerary and media access were up to the State Department.

At the same time, she expressed a desire to shield the imam from the stress of intense media attention — now in its fourth month — during a busy travel schedule and Ramadan, the monthlong holiday in which Muslims refrain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.

She said that the controversy had only sharpened interest in the countries he was visiting, and that some talks were already booked to capacity. After Bahrain, Imam Feisal will visit Qatar from Tuesday through Friday, and then the United Arab Emirates from Aug. 28 through Sept. 2. The trip will cost the State Department about $16,000.

The agency sends about 50 religious figures each year to lecture about tolerance and interfaith dialogue as part of its speakers program, a spokesman said.

Imam Feisal has addressed groups in the past about the need for Muslims outside the United States to search for common ground with American Muslims and members of other faiths. The State Department distributes copies of Imam Feisal’s book “What’s Right With Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West,” translated into Arabic.

The feud over the Islamic center highlights America’s ability to peacefully debate a contentious religious issue, said a State Department spokesman, P. J. Crowley. The government did not consider canceling the trip, he said. “It’s important not just that we communicate our values but that we be seen to be practicing what we preach,” he said.

Mr. Jamri, Alwasat’s editor, said Bahrainis were eager to engage the imam. “Outside of America, this debate is the best propaganda. It shows a nation that is liberal and not afraid,” Mr. Jamri said. “If the mosque project fails, it will be a big victory for extremists who say that America is only liberal when it’s convenient.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/nyregion/20imam.html?_r=1&src=mv&pagewanted=print

------

Obama is Christian: White House

20 August 2010

The White House today insisted that President Barack Obama is a Christian and his faith is not a topic of conversation, a day after a poll showed that nearly 18 per cent of Americans think he is a Muslim.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said most Americans care more about the economy and the country's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and "they are not reading a lot of news about what religion the president is".

"The President is obviously a Christian. He prays every day. He communicates with his religious adviser every single day. There is a group of pastors that he takes counsel from on a regular basis. And his faith is very important to him, but it's not something that is a topic of conversation every single day," Burton was responding to questions on the Pew Research Center poll which showed one-third of Americans or 18 per cent think Obama is Muslim.

That current rating was up from 11 per cent in March who said Obama was a Muslim. The survey also showed that just 34 per cent said Obama is Christian, down from 48 per cent who said so last year.

The largest share of people, 43 per cent, said they don't know his religion.

"I just think people are focused on other issues and not paying all that much attention to exactly what the President does with his spirituality. But as you all know and have covered extensively, he is Christian and his faith is very important to him," Burton said.

The spokesman said Obama has spoken about his faith extensively in the past.

"You can bet that he'll talk about his faith again. You could always play the "would-of, could-of, should-of. But the President's top priority here is not making sure that Americans know what a devout Christian he is, it is making sure that we are getting the economy on track and we are creating jobs in this country," he said.

http://news.outlookindia.com/item.aspx?690967

----------

Forces kill 11 terrorists in Orakzai, Kurram

20 August 2010

HANGU: Around 11 terrorists were killed on Thursday in different operations of security forces in the Orakzai and Kurram agencies.

At least seven terrorists were killed and seven others injured when security forces retaliated after an attack on a security checkpost in the Tapoo area of Orakzai Agency. According to sources, terrorists attacked a security checkpost and started indiscriminate firing, killing a security official Ejaz and injuring another Asif. The forces retaliated killing seven terrorists and injuring seven others.

Separately, security forces bombed the hideouts of terrorists in Wasti Kurram and Chinarak areas of Kurram Agency killing four terrorists and injuring 10 others.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\20\story_20-8-2010_pg7_5

----------

Dutch Muslim group fined over Holocaust cartoon

20 August 2010

AMSTERDAM: A Dutch appeals court on Thursday ruled that a Dutch Muslim group ought to be fined 2,500 euros ($3,200) for publishing a cartoon suggesting that the Holocaust was made up or exaggerated by Jews..

The court in the western city of Arnhem overruled an acquittal handed down by a Dutch lower court, saying the cartoon, published on the website of the Arab European League's (AEL) in 2006, was "unnecessarily hurtful."

"The court points out that the European Court of Human Rights, which considers freedom of speech of paramount importance and defends it thoroughly, makes no exception for the denial or trivialization of the Holocaust," the court said.

The court also imposed a 2-year probation period on the AEL.

The cartoon shows two men in Auschwitz looking at several dead bodies. "I don't think they are Jews," says one man. The one man replies: "We have to get to the 6,000,000 (figure) somehow'. Six million Jews were killed during the Holocaust.

The Dutch group says it had no intention of disputing the Holocaust, but wanted instead to highlight what it described as double standards in free speech.

The AEL circulated it in 2006 after a Danish newspaper published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), which triggered an outcry among Muslims in many countries.

http://arabnews.com/world/article106991.ece

----------

Kashmir survey springs surprises

20 August 2010

 NEW DELHI — The first ever opinion poll conducted on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) that has separated Indian and Pakistani administered Kashmir since the UN-brokered ceasefire in 1949, has come out with results that could unsettle both New Delhi and Islamabad.

About 43 per cent of the total adult population in Kashmir want ‘independence (azadi)’ for entire Kashmir, while 28 per cent will go for Kashmir’s future with India.

The preference for ‘independence’ was uniform across the districts in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, but at the same time unevenly distributed in India’s Jammu and Kashmir, said the Chatham House Report titled Kashmir: Paths to Peace, authored by Robert W Bradnock.

The poll was conducted before the recent violence erupted in Jammu and Kashmir, and its results are now receiving serious attention of the policy makers in the Western world, given that it is being dubbed as the first ever poll conducted in the two parts of Kashmir, analysts have pointed out.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2010/August/international_August1039.xml&section=international&col=

----------

Muslim employee: Disney banned her head scarf

20 August 2010

ANAHEIM, Calif.: A Muslim woman who works as a hostess at a Disneyland restaurant alleged Wednesday the theme park would not allow her to appear in front of customers while wearing her head scarf.

Imane Boudlal, 26, appeared outside the resort's Grand Californian Hotel after filing a complaint with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

She said when she wore the hijab to work Sunday, her supervisors told her to remove it, work where customers couldn't see her, or go home.

Boudlal, who wore the scarf in observance of Ramadan, chose to go home but reported to work for the next two days and was told the same thing.

"Miss Boudlal has effectively understood that they're not interested in accommodating her request either in timing or good faith," said Ameena Qazi, an attorney from the Council on American-Islamic Relations who is consulting with Boudlal.

Full report at:

"There's absolutely no correlation," said Shelton, who's with Unite Here Local 11.

http://arabnews.com/world/article107101.ece

----------

Australian asks Muslim woman to depose without face-veil

20 August 2010

MELBOURNE: In a latest ruling, an Australian court has asked a Muslim woman witness in a fraud case to appear before it without a face covering veil in the interest of a fair trial.

Judge Shauna Deane today ruled that the witness must remove her 'niqab', or face covering veil when she gives evidence to the jury, according to media reports from Perth.

Deane said her decision should not set a legal precedent, as it was simply her ruling in these circumstances.

The judge said that in the interest of a fair trial the witness should not be allowed to wear a niqab.

The 36-year-old woman, an Islamic studies teacher, is due to give evidence for the prosecution in the fraud trial of college director, Anwar Sayed.

In court, defence lawyer Mark Trowell, QC, said the woman's wish to wear the burqa was a "preference she has".

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Australian-asks-Muslim-woman-to-depose-without-face-veil/articleshow/6335843.cms#ixzz0x7PXDyw4

----------

Qatif’s poor women see ‘high reward’ in body washing

20 August 2010

QATIF: Poor women in Qatif are turning to corpse washing as a way to make ends meet at a time many are quitting the profession, which involves preparing the bodies for burial, because of social stigma attached to it.

Washing bodies before burial is a compulsory funeral rite for Muslims and it is a social obligation. Close relatives of a dead person are expected to fulfill this obligation. In the absence of such relatives, other members of society are obliged to perform the task, which is considered a pious act that brings high rewards.

Despite the fact that body washing as a profession is looked down on as undignified in society, some women, out of utter poverty, are willing to take it up for a living, according to a report in Shams newspaper.

“In fact, a dead body ought to be washed and processed for burial without expecting any material reward because it is a religious duty. But I don’t have any other income,” said a widow in Qatif.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article107153.ece

----------

Aqsa Mosque preacher lauds support

20 August 2010

ABU DHABI — Dr Yousuf Salama, the preacher of Al Aqsa Mosque, commended the important role the UAE is playing in caring for both Islamic and Christian shrines in Palestine.

“Solidarity of the UAE under the leadership of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, with the Palestinian people has enforced the resistance of our people in the confronting Israel’s attempts of expulsion, dispersion and uprooting,” Salama, a former minister of Islamic Affairs and Awqaf, told a lecture organised by the UAE General Women’s Union (GWU) yesterday in coordination with Dubai International Holy Quran Award. In his lecture “Mother making a nation”, Salama praised Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Chairperson of the GWU, for her care and support for the Palestinian family by establishing hospitals and schools in towns and villages in Palestine.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/August/theuae_August558.xml&section=theuae&col=

----------

Illegal Taliban-controlled prison discovered in Afghanistan; 27 Afghanis found shackled, tortured

August 20th 2010

NATO-led troops discovered the ramshackle jail near Musa Qaleh in Helmand province, in the southern region of the country, NATO's International Security Assistance Force said on Wednesday.

"Multiple intelligence sources and tips from Afghan citizens led to a combined Afghan and coalition force operation," the ISAF said in a statement.

Soldiers discovered 27 Afghan men in the prison, who were found shackled and showed signs of having been tortured. Five additional prisoners were killed during the firefight.

"The men were taken to an International Security Assistance Force base where they underwent medical screening and debriefing," ISAF said.

According to Reuters, the prisoners worked for an Afghan aid agency.

Thirteen insurgents were killed during the operation. Numerous weapons were also uncovered at the makeshift facility.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/2010/08/18/2010-08-18_illegal_taliban_prison_discovered_in_afghanistan_27_afghanis_found_shackled_tort.html

----------

US drones could be harmful for Pakistan’s nuclear programme: seminar

20 August 2010

LAHORE: Nuclear issues expert and the director of the Ali Institute of Education, Dr AH Nayyar has expressed fear that US drone attacks could prove harmful for Pakistan’s nuclear programme and its nuclear installations placed at undisclosed locations.

Addressing a seminar titiled “What is so unclear about nuclear; a brief history of Pakistan’s nuclear programme” organised by the Ali Institute of Education in its Mustafa Hall on Thursday, when the director was asked if the CIA could take away Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and whether the country’s nuclear weapons were safe against thefts and proliferations, Dr Nayyar told the audience that the country’s nuclear weapons were fully safe, as the state of Pakistan had taken strict measures according to modern standards that were similar to international countries to avoid any mishap. “But, due to US drone attacks, Pakistani nuclear weapons could be targeted if these weapons were kept in the same areas of the country where US forces were chasing terrorists and bombing their hideouts,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\20\story_20-8-2010_pg13_9

----------

Afghanistan marks independence day

By Sardar Ahmad

20 August 2010

The Taliban, who were ousted in a 2001 US-led invasion and are the main militant group behind a growing insurgency, also marked the day, vowing to defeat the NATO force and calling them ‘invaders’

KABUL: Afghanistan marked independence day Thursday as the Taliban-led insurgency drags on, with foreign troop deaths at record highs and the government under pressure to honour pledges on corruption and security.

August 19 commemorates the signing of the Treaty of Rawalpindi in 1919, which granted Afghanistan full independence from Britain—though the country was never part of the British empire—after three bloody wars. The day was traditionally marked by a military parade and other public events, but these were scaled down after a Taliban attack in 2008 that was seen as an assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\20\story_20-8-2010_pg20_9

----------

NATO soldier, rebels killed in Afghanistan

20 August 2010

KABUL—NATO warplanes pounded insurgent strongholds near the Afghan capital, killing two dozen rebels, the alliance said Thursday, as a foreign soldier lost his life in violence elsewhere in the country. The soldier, whose nationality was not revealed, died in a Taliban-style improvised bomb attack on Wednesday, NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said in a statement.

The death brings to 437 the number of international troops who have died in the Afghan war so far this year, according to a foreign news agency tally based on that kept by the independent website icasualties.org. Many of those deaths have been caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which are the main weapon in the Taliban's arsenal, along with suicide bomb attacks and targeted assassinations.

http://dailymailnews.com/0810/20/FrontPage/index.php?id=12

----------

UAE growth spurred by education

20 August 2010

ABU DHABI — A well-planned education programme has helped Abu Dhabi’s vibrant economy, Louis V. Gerstner Jr said during his lecture on education in the Capital.

Gerstner Jr, Retired Chairman and CEO, International Business Machines (IBM) and Chairman of Broad Institute, University of Harvard and MIT, delivered a speech titled ‘Education: from Nursery to G12 : The Path to Global Competitiveness’, which was attended by General Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, at his Ramadan majlis, on Thursday.

The talk was also attended by Shaikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah; Shaikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman; Shaikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in the Western Region; Shaikh Surour bin Mohammed Al Nahyan; Shaikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chief of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince’s Court; Shaikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research; Shaikh Sultan bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority; Shaikh Rashid bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Chairman of Ajman Department of Municipality and Planning.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/August/theuae_August557.xml&section=theuae

----------

Muslims pray daily at Pentagon's 9/11 crash site

20 August 2010

WASHINGTON: While Americans are bitterly debating the proposed building of a mosque near New York's ground zero, Muslims have been praying for years less than 80 feet from where another hijacked jetliner struck.

The Pentagon chapel is part of a memorial to the 184 people killed in 2001 when hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 flew into the west side of the Pentagon and plowed through three of the building's five office rings.

As part of its massive renovation, the Pentagon opened the nondenominational chapel in November 2002. The chapel hosts a daily prayer group and weekly worship service for Muslims and provides similar services for Jews, Hindus, Mormons, Protestants, Catholics and Episcopalians.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article107104.ece

----------

Sonia moots J&K dialogue

20 August 2010

Congress chief Sonia Gandhi has expressed anguish over violence in Kashmir and favoured “dialogue and mutual understanding” to break the cycle of death and protests.

Addressing the Congress Parliamentary Party meeting on Thursday, Gandhi also spoke on corruption charges in the Commonwealth Games, Bhopal gas tragedy, illegal mining and price rise.

Gandhi said, “Reaching out to the people of Jammu & Kashmir, most particularly to the youth, is the need of the hour. The anger and pain that is manifesting itself, especially among the young, needs to be addressed…Our security forces have a difficult task to discharge.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/277178/Sonia-moots-JK-dialogue.html

----------

Pak Spurns Indian Aid Offer Despite PM’s Call

Aug 20th, 2010

Pakistan on Thursday declined India’s offer to send $5 million in aid to Pakistani flood victims, saying it “appreciated India’s gesture, but can’t take aid now”.

This was hours after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called up his Pakistani counterpart Yousaf Raza Gilani to reiterate the offer of $5 million made last week and offer more assistance to tackle Pakistan’s worst floods in 80 years.

Dr Singh said at the time of such natural disasters, all of South Asia should rise to the occasion and extend every possible help to the affected people. Dr Singh called Mr Gilani “to express his sense of sorrow and to condole the deaths resulting from the huge floods that have devastated parts of Pakistan. The Government of India ... is ready to do more to assist in the relief effort.”

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/india/pak-spurns-indian-aid-offer-despite-pm%E2%80%99s-call-814

----------

We'll not accept terms for resuming dialogue: Pakistan

Anita Joshua

20 August 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Thursday said it would not accept any pre-conditions for resuming dialogue with India and said New Delhi would have to show some flexibility and readiness to discuss all issues, including Jammu & Kashmir, to move forward.

This was stated by Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit in response to questions relating to Pakistan and Kashmir references in Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Independence Day address to the nation. Dr. Singh had said no progress could be made in India-Pakistan dialogue unless Pakistan stopped allowing its territory to be used for acts of terrorism against India.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/20/stories/2010082055541400.htm

----------

Kashmir in troubled waters: Toll rises to 60

20 August 2010

An eight-year-old boy, hit by a stray bullet during clashes between security forces and protesters, died here Thursday, taking the toll in the Kashmir Valley unrest since June 11 to 60.

Milat Ahmad Dar was injured Saturday in Harnagh village of Anantnag district. He was playing with his friends when a bullet fired some distance away hit him.

"The boy was not part of any mob. He had come to his mother's ancestral village from Wanpora village in Kulgam district when destiny cut short his life," said a sobbing villager who did not wanted to be named.

"The bullet was fired somewhere else and it claimed an innocent life somewhere else. This is the tragedy of the Kashmiri people," the man said.

Reports said a car and a van belonging to the security forces were attacked by a mob in Harnagh village Saturday when security forces fired in the air to disperse protesting against the firing.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/277156/Kashmir-in-troubled-waters-Toll-rises-to-60.html

----------

12 injured in Bannu blast

20 August 2010

BANNU: A powerful blast ripped through Preety Gate area in Bannu on Thursday injuring 12 people, four of them critically.

The blast occurred at 9:30am when an unidentified man left a shopping bag at Preety Gate, which blew up and injured 12 people while the suspect managed to flee. The injured were rushed to the nearby District Headquarters Hospital where an emergency was declared.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\20\story_20-8-2010_pg7_3

----------

Shahbaz air base 'controlled' by US: Pak health secretary

20 August 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Shahbaz air force base in southern Sindh province, which is home to the country's newest F-16 jets, is "controlled by the US", a senior official has said, triggering a denial from America which described the remarks as "completely false."

Health secretary Khushnood Lashari made the stunning claim about the Shahbaz airbase in Jacobabad area during an appearance before the Standing Committee on Health of the Senate or upper house of Parliament yesterday.

Lashari said the relief operations in flood-hit areas of Jacobabad could not be conducted from the airbase because of this reason.

"Health relief operations are not possible in the flood-affected areas of Jacobabad because the airbase is with the United States," he said answering a question from a member of the committee.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Shahbaz-air-base-controlled-by-US-Pak-health-secretary/articleshow/6338113.cms#ixzz0x7PRBwRO

----------

Islamic center can lead to more peaceful world

20 August 2010

I support the proposed Cordoba Islamic Community Center near Ground Zero in Manhattan. Its detractors fail to note that many Muslims lost their lives also, on Sept. 11, 2001, and that the 11-story building that will house it will have a mosque on one floor, with the other floors devoted to classrooms, physical fitness apparatus and to many programs that will promote dialogue between Muslims and other faiths. In short, it will provide opportunities for healing the wounds and misunderstandings that resulted from 9/11.

One frequently hears, "Where are moderate Muslims? Why don't they speak out against radicalism and violence?" The Cordoba Center is exactly that - a group of moderate Muslims who want to generate mutuality and peace by having a mainstream place from which to work.

The Cordoba Center deserves the support of every American who believes in our Bill of Rights. It could become a powerful symbol of hope and healing as it stands side-by-side with neighboring churches and synagogues in bustling, downtown New York City. Its location near Ground Zero is perfect. It will point to the possibility of a better world. I think those who died on 9/11 would agree.

http://www.theday.com/article/20100820/OP02/308209906

----------

Accept India's aid offer on humanitarian grounds: Ansar Burney

20 August 2010

As Pakistan reels under the impact of the worst floods in its history, leading rights activist Ansar Burney has exhorted the government to accept India's offer of $ five million in aid for the affected people, saying it is not the time "to scratch old wounds". "This is the first time Indian

government has shown a very positive attitude towards Pakistan after the Mumbai attacks and government of Pakistan should respond positively to the kind gesture of love of the Indian Government for the sake of flood victims and also for the sake of peace in the region," Burney said in a statement.

Burney said the "hypocrite government," President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, on one hand beg with the world for help and accept all donations and on the other hand they are not accepting a donation of "Love and Peace from India".

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/europe/Accept-India-s-aid-offer-on-humanitarian-grounds-Ansar-Burney/Article1-588803.aspx

----------

Discourse: ‘Sharia’ rules a manipulation of religious norms: Senior cleric

20 August 2010

Indonesia seems far removed from Afghanistan, where the Taliban recently stoned to death a couple that had eloped after a long hiatus in applying the sharia punishment. Aceh province gained the right in 2006 to apply Islamic law and practise as part of its special autonomy; while several regencies and provinces have also passed sharia-inspired bylaws and rules. Masdar Farid Mas’udi, a deputy chairman of the law-making body of the country’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), recently talked to The Jakarta Post’s Ridwan Max Sijabat regarding the issue.

Question: What is your comment on the growth of the sharia-related bylaws and regulations in the regions?

Answer: Such bylaws, instructions and circulars violate the 2004  Regional Administration Law and the amended Constitution [which gives equal rights to all citizens]. The phenomenon has to be viewed in light of the emergence of sectarianism and of formalism [of that sectarianism] among local elites, mainly politicians and religious leaders.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/08/20/discourse-%E2%80%98sharia%E2%80%99-rules-a-manipulation-religious-norms-senior-cleric.html

----------

America's reputation rests on mosque's test of religious freedom

20 August 2010

A mosque near Ground Zero? Who's going to pay for it? Where are they getting the money?

This is the cry of the conspiracy theorists who claim that the mosque will be built with suspicious money, including charities possibly connected to terrorism. Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are intensely opposed to the mosque. They want it to be moved. I have a great idea. Why don't they find a new property and personally raise the money themselves to fund the $100 million community center? They could call the project The Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich Foundation for Religious Freedom. It has a nice ring to it. I think they should put their money where their mouths are. Nothing could be more patriotic or American; it's what this country is all about. It would take, especially with Palin's popular following, probably 20 minutes to collect the amount needed.

Full report at:

http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/sally_quinn/2010/08/americas_reputation_rest_of_mosques_test_of_religious_freedom.html

----------

2 cops suspended for cremating Muslim

Aug 20, 2010

PATNA: Two police officers have been suspended here after a Muslim banker found dead near a park was mistakenly identified as a beggar and cremated according to Hindu rites.

The body of Mohd Ishrafil, a 46-year-old State Bank of India official, was recovered near Gandhi Maidan last week. He was cremated within three hours.

According to police, Ishrafil's body was cremated after officials assumed he was a beggar. "It was a big mistake on the part of the police," an officer admitted Friday.

Patna Senior Superintendent of Police B.S. Meena said two guilty police officials have been suspended.

Ishrafil's family had lodged a complaint with the police Aug 12 that he was missing. This was a day before his body was found.

Ishrafil's family wants a criminal case registered against the guilty officers.

Ishrafil's son Mohd Sohrab Alam said the police cremated his father at Banshghat near the Ganges.

He pointed out that police usually preserve unidentified bodies for 72 hours. But in his father's case, they disposed his body within hours.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/2-cops-suspended-for-cremating-Muslim/articleshow/6377110.cms#ixzz0x8H9D1Cc

----------

Ahmadinejad says Iran ready for nuclear talks

20 August 2010

 Iran is ready for immediate talks with world powers over a nuclear fuel swap deal, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said in an interview published in Japan on Friday.

Iran is “ready to resume in late August or in early September” talks with the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany over an exchange of enriched uranium, Ahmadinejad told the Yomiuri Shimbun.

Ahmadinejad hinted Iran could stop its controversial programme of uranium enrichment if a deal were struck to ensure the supply of nuclear fuel to Tehran.

“We promise to stop enriching uranium to 20 percent if fuel supply is ensured,” he said in the exclusive interview in Tehran, published in Japanese.

“We have the right to enrich uranium. Iran has never provoked a war nor craved for nuclear bombs,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle09.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/August/middleeast_August361.xml&section=middleeast

----------

Saudi judge considers paralysis punishment

20 August 2010

CAIRO — A Saudi judge has asked several hospitals in the country whether they could damage a man’s spinal cord as punishment after he was convicted of attacking another man with a cleaver and paralyzing him, the brother of the victim said Thursday.

Abdul-Aziz al-Mutairi, 22, was left paralyzed and subsequently lost a foot after a fight more than two years ago. He asked a judge in northwestern Tabuk province to impose an equivalent punishment on his attacker under Islamic law, his brother Khaled al-Mutairi told The Associated Press by telephone from there.

He said one of the hospitals, located in Tabuk, responded that it is possible to damage the spinal cord, but it added that the operation would have to be done at another more specie public in the kingdom, highlights the delicate attempt in Saudi Arabia to balance a push to modernize the country with interpretations of religious traditions that critics say are out of sync with a modern society.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/August/middleeast_August359.xml&section=middleeast

----------

Ground Zero Imam to begin UAE visit on August 29 Martin Croucher

20 August 2010

DUBAI — An Imam at the centre of a controversial plan to build a mosque near Ground Zero in New York, is to visit the UAE later this month.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf will have a list of speaking engagements in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and the Northern Emirates between August 29 and Sept. 1.

The visit, which is arranged and funded by the US State Department, has been timed to fall within the holy month of Ramadan and is part of a wider strategy of fostering closer ties between the US and the Muslim world.

The imam will visit the UAE as part of a Middle East tour, along with Daisy Khan — another prominent US Muslim.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/August/theuae_August548.xml&section=theuae

----------

Hundreds mourn slain Islamist in Lebanon

20 August 2010

 AIN AL-HILWEH, Lebanon — Hundreds of mourners gathered in a southern Lebanese refugee camp on Thursday for the funeral of Abdel Rahman Awad, the head of a Qaeda-inspired group killed by the army at the weekend.

Awad, a Palestinian, was the presumed chief of the shadowy Fatah al-Islam, an Islamist group which fought a deadly battle in 2007 against the Lebanese army at Nahr al-Bared refugee camp in the country’s north.

The conflict raged for more than three months and cost 400 lives, with 168 soldiers among the dead. Awad was said to have fled to the notorious southern camp of Ain al-Hilweh.

The open-casket funeral of Awad, dubbed the “prince” of Fatah al-Islam and formerly one of Lebanon’s most wanted Islamists, was held at Ain al-Hilweh and only attended by family members.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/August/middleeast_August348.xml&section=middleeast&col=

----------

Religious sessions at homes gaining favor

20 August 2010

JEDDAH: It is becoming increasingly commonplace for women preachers to give Islamic lectures at homes.

For many years, they were invited to preach in tents in front of a female audience, but for unknown reasons this practice has stopped.

This has encouraged many women to invite these scholars to give talks at mosques or at their homes.

“During the whole year, we use to hold weekly sessions for women including friends, relatives and neighbors,” said Hayat Al-Malki, a Saudi housewife.

“We used to arrange these sessions at our homes, but during Ramadan we meet at mosques. We hold the talks one hour before Taraweeh prayer, shortly after iftar. It is not important what degree the preacher has as long as she has a good knowledge of Islam and excellent preaching skills.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article107160.ece

----------

Another Israeli arrested for flotilla looting

20 August 2010

RAMALLAH: The Israeli military police on Thursday arrested another soldier on suspicion of involvement in the looting of Gaza-bound Turkish ships.

The development came hours after the military police arrested an Israeli forces officer also suspected of stealing laptop computers from activists aboard the Gaza-bound aid ship Mavi Marmara raided by Israeli commandos on May 31 and selling them to other officers.

The officer, who holds the rank of first lieutenant, allegedly sold the computers to a friend, who in turn sold them to friends of his. Three officers who are suspected of having bought the computers have also been detained for questioning.

The story was first revealed on Israeli Ynet news service. Ynet quoted a high-ranking officer who said, “The investigation has just begun, but as it appears now it will prove embarrassing and shameful. These are soldiers who don’t understand what their uniform represents.”

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article107085.ece

----------

Lebanese all-women aid ship to sail for Gaza Sunday

20 August 2010

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: A Lebanese ship carrying aid and women activists who want to break Israel’s Gaza blockade will set sail Sunday from Lebanon despite warnings that they will not be allowed to make it past Cyprus, organizers said Thursday.

The ship cannot travel directly to Gaza from Lebanon because Beirut is still technically at war with Israel, forcing the vessel to pass through a third country — in this case, Cyprus — before heading for the blockaded Palestinian territory.

But on Thursday, the Cypriot ambassador to Lebanon told The Associated Press that the boat, the Miriam, will be turned back when it reaches Cyprus.

“We decided that such a ship will not be allowed to enter Cyprus and if such a Gaza-bound ship docks in a Cypriot port the crew and the passengers will be deported to their country of origin,” Kyriacos Kouros said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article107090.ece

----------

Iranian asylum seekers on hunger strike in Greece

20 August 2010

ATHENS, Greece: Iranian refugees in Athens have launched a hunger strike to demand that Greek authorities process their asylum applications, following what they say has been nine years of delay.

Rights activists say the protest highlights deficiencies in Greece's system of granting asylum to refugees — with only about 0.04 percent of all applications being accepted every year.

Two of the five hunger strikers outside the United Nations refugee agency's offices have refused to eat for a month.

They said Thursday they have been waiting for up to nine years for an answer to their applications.

Semko Mohammadi, a member of the Union of Migrant Workers in Greece, says "they have lost the best years of their life in Greece," adding that the men faced persecution if they returned home.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article106893.ece

----------

Mosque debate divides Democrats, especially in NY

20 August 2010

NEW YORK: As vulnerable congressional Democrats weigh how to respond to President Barack Obama's statements on Muslims' right to build a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks, those in New York and closest to the controversy are staying silent or scrambling away.

Democrats control both of the state's US Senate seats and 27 of its 29 Congressional districts, but analysts believe as many as eight House Democrats in the state may be headed to defeat this year. Republicans, hoping to ease Democrats' grip on the state, insist the economy remains the major campaign issue but say the mosque flap could also help move voters their way.

From eastern Long Island to more rural areas of northern New York state, House Democrats have been opposing the construction of a $100 million Islamic center two blocks from the World Trade Center site, referred to by many as "ground zero." More than 2,700 people died there on Sept.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article106857.ece

----------

Poll: Growing number incorrectly call Obama Muslim

20 August 2010

WASHINGTON: Americans increasingly are convinced — incorrectly — that President Barack Obama is a Muslim, and a growing number are thoroughly confused about his religion.

Nearly one in five people, or 18 percent, said they think Obama is Muslim, up from the 11 percent who said so in March 2009, according to a poll released Thursday. The proportion who correctly say he is a Christian is down to just 34 percent.

The largest share of people, 43 percent, said they don't know his religion, an increase from the 34 percent who said that in early 2009.

The survey, conducted by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center and its affiliated Pew Forum on Religion and amp; Public Life, is based on interviews conducted before the controversy over whether Muslims should be permitted to construct a mosque near the World Trade Center site. Obama has said he believes Muslims have the right to build an Islamic center there, though he's also said he won't take a position on whether they should actually build it.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article106899.ece

----------

Makkah families cash in on demand for homemade dishes

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA

20 August 2010

MAKKAH: The holy fasting month of Ramadan has proved in the past to be a fruitful period for traders and owners of restaurants across the Kingdom.

Shops and restaurants in the holy cities of Makkah and Madinah witness a huge flow of pilgrims during Ramadan, marking the peak Umrah season.

Ramadan also provides a great opportunity for Saudi families struggling to meet ends. They cash in on the huge demand for homemade dishes during the fasting month. Many people prefer such delicious and tasty food to those bought from restaurants and eateries.

 large number of citizens lend a supporting hand to their wives by helping them prepare special Ramadan dishes and deliver them to customers. Their children also take part in this lucrative business.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article107177.ece

----------

Billions needed for flood-hit Pakistan, says Holbrooke

20 August 2010

UNITED NATIONS: US special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke said on Thursday that “many billions” of dollars will be needed to rebuild Pakistan after massive flooding. Holbrooke told the Asia Society that the US was the first and largest contributor, and he challenged other countries, especially Pakistan’s close ally China, to “step up to the plate”. He spoke ahead of a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on Thursday to spotlight the South Asian country’s immediate need for $460 million for food, shelter and clean water. The floods have submerged tens of thousands of villages, killed around 1,500 people and affected more than 20 million others, authorities said.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\20\story_20-8-2010_pg7_7

----------

India accuses Pak of ceasefire breach along LoC

20 August 2010

JAMMU: The Indian Army on Thursday accused Pakistan of violating a ceasefire along the Line of Control, charging it with trying to push militants into the Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) under the cover of fire. A defence spokesman said Indian military posts in southern Kashmir came under small arms and mortar fire from across the border in a pre-dawn skirmish with Pakistani troops that lasted around two hours. “Pakistani troops opened unprovoked fire at Indian posts and targeted several positions in Poonch district,” said Lieutenant Colonel Biplab Nath in Jammu. “Our soldiers retuned fire,” Nath said, adding there were no casualties on the Indian side in Poonch.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\20\story_20-8-2010_pg7_8

----------

Woman killed, 8 policemen wounded in Yemen attacks

20 August 2010

ADEN: A Yemeni woman was killed and eight policemen wounded in two separate attacks in south Yemen, security officials said on Thursday.

Five policemen were wounded in an explosion on Wednesday when a masked biker hurled a hand grenade through the window of a police station in Zinjibar, the main city of Abyan province, a police officer told AFP, adding that the assailant managed to escape. A medical official at Al-Razi hospital in neighbouring Jaar town said two of the policemen were critically wounded and had been transferred to a hospital in Aden.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\20\story_20-8-2010_pg4_9

----------

Pakistan sends another dossier to India regarding Headly

20 August 2010

ISLAMABAD—Pakistan has sent a fresh set of 47 questions relating to former CIA operative David Headley and his activities during his multiple visits to India.

Sources at the Ministry said that the fresh dossier has been sent to ascertain maximum information from New Delhi to judge the level of truth in the claims of Indians pertaining to David Headley Interior Ministry had earlier sent a note to its Indian counterpart posing 51 questions relating to Headley’s 9 trips to India and sought details about the people whom he met there.

However India is yet to send answers to that questionnaire and it is to be seen when will the2nd questionnaire be answered

http://dailymailnews.com/0810/20/FrontPage/index.php?id=4

----------

US report warns of ecological threats to Pakistan

20 August 2010

WASHINGTON—Environmental woes as witnessed in Pakistan’s devastating floods threaten the unity of the nation, exacerbating the threat of Islamic extremists, a US government report said. The study prepared for US lawmakers warned that Pakistan’s ecological problems would likely get worse due to climate change, potentially inflaming tensions with nuclear-armed adversary India.

The report said that Pakistan faced critical risks to food security in the coming decades due to a number of reasons including water scarcity, population growth and mismanagement. “The combination of these factors could contribute to Pakistan’s decline as a fully functioning state, creating new, or expanding existing, largely ungoverned areas,” the Congressional Research Service said.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0810/20/FrontPage/index.php?id=14

----------

Italian Ambassador to Pak calls on Minorities Minister

20 August 2010

ISLAMABAD—Vincenjo Prati, Ambassador of the Republic of Italy to Pakistan called on Federal Minister for Minorities Affairs Shahbaz Bhatti here in Islamabad and shared grief and sadness to the people badly affected by recent floods in Pakistan, says press release here on Thursday.

During meeting Minister apprised the Ambassador about various steps undertaken by the Government of Pakistan on war footing for rescue and relief of people affected by the recent natural calamity. Minister stressed the need that the International Community should support Pakistan generously in this trying time

Minister shared that it was a worst disaster in the history of Pakistan which has affected large number of people, properties and inundated a major part of land.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0810/20/CityPage/index.php?id=7

----------

Editor sentenced for contempt in Bangladesh

  20 August 2010

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s Supreme Court on Thursday sentenced an opposition-affiliated newspaper’s editor to six months in jail for contempt, in a case that has been condemned by an international press freedom group.

Mahmudur Rahman, editor of the daily Amar Desh, was detained in June when the Awami League government, which swept to power in December 2008 elections, shut down the paper, saying it was being printed illegally.

Rahman, who has been held in police custody since his detention, still faces a string of criminal charges, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Rahman was one of the government’s most vocal critics and a leading figure in the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/editor-sentenced-for-contempt-in-bangladesh-080

----------

US Muslim groups call for extra security on Eid day

20 August 2010

WASHINGTON, Aug 19: US Muslim groups have urged law enforcement agencies to provide them extra security on Eidul-Fitr, which this year coincides with the anniversary of the Sept 11, 2001 terror attacks.

A “heightened climate of Islamophobia” in recent months, stirred partly by protests against plans to build an Islamic centre and mosque near Ground Zero, has further increased the sense of insecurity among Muslims, says Edina Lekovic of the Los Angeles-based Muslim Public Affairs Council.

Another group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, says that demonstrations against the mosque project have occurred not just in New York but at mosques in other parts of the United States.

One church in Florida, known in the past for campaigning against other religions and non-religious groups, has announced that it will hold a public burning of Muslim religious books on Sept 11.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/us-muslim-groups-call-for-extra-security-on-eid-day-080

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/embrace-islam-or-leave-kashmir-valley,-sikhs-threatened/d/3315


Loading..

Loading..