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Islamic World News ( 17 Sept 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Fighting between tribes in Pakistan kills 102

A village teaches a lesson in pluralistic living

French “Burqa Ban”: It’s Not About Religion

Settle Ayodhya dispute out of court, says Congress

Christians in Indonesia Defy Police, Past Attacks

Anti-Burqa Bill Tabled In Italian Parliament

A Holy War on Women

Myths and Truths About the “Ground Zero Mosque”

MI5 head warns of serious risk of UK terrorist attack

Govt needn’t heed Rahul on j& k says Sonia

Five Taliban terrorists seek pardon

Slain Filipino maid in Alkhobar was ‘very pious,’ says sister

Muslim summit planned over NYC Islamic center

Syrians Call For Memorial For 9/11 Victims

Publisher agrees to drop US spy secrets from book: Pentagon

Kashmir crisis: Hurriyat invited to meet team of MPs

6 cleaners arrested in UK in alleged terror threat to pope

US won’t accept slackness by Pak Army in war on terror

Striving for religious tolerance

Fearing Qaida, US cartoonist of Prophet forced into hiding

Egyptian paper fakes Obama's photo

UN seeks record two billion dollars for Pakistan floods

3 killed in Valley even as Army patrols streets

J&K teens thrown into jails full of criminals

Pak asks India to end human rights abuse in Kashmir

India reacts sharply to Pak interference in Kashmir

US fights order to release Guantanamo detainee

Support for Iran's seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders spreads worldwide

Wellesley schools chief apologizes for students' role in Muslim prayer service

India Gives Pakistan $20 Mn For Flood Relief

Two killed in rocket attack as Afghans vote: Police

NGOs to felicitate 2000 Muslim students in India

For Muslims, bonfire that wasn't still carries implications

Dhaka: 2 Sramik League leaders shot dead in Bogra

Another 26/11 would mean full-blown war between India and Pak

HC right in sticking to Sept 24 date: RSS

High court snubs plea to defer Ayodhya verdict

It was a hoax! US acid attack girl had faked it

Israel assassinates Hamas commander

Cairo to enforce five-year Haj gap for pilgrims

FBI urges US cartoonist to go into hiding due amid Al-Qaeda threat

Darfur attack survivors tell of brutal killings

Number of Christians dwindles in postwar Iraq

10 hurt as Kurdish mourners battle Turkish police

Gilani backs Karzai reconciliation plan

KARACHI: Man kills 3 sons, wife, commits suicide

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/fighting-between-tribes-in-pakistan-kills-102/d/3444

 

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Fighting between tribes in Pakistan kills 102

18 Sep, 2010

PARACHINAR: A Pakistani police official says fighting between two tribes near the border with Afghanistan has killed 102 people over the last two weeks.

Jalil Khan says 48 people died on Friday in the dispute over access to water in the Kurram region.

There have been frequent bouts of deadly tribal and sectarian fighting in the region over the last few years.

Khan says one tribe consists of minority Shia Muslims while the other is Sunni.

Kurram and other parts of the border region are also home to Sunni Islamist militants and al-Qaida.

Some reports from the remote region have said the militants may have a role in the conflict.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/fighting-between-tribes-in-pakistan-kills-102-jd-02

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A village teaches a lesson in pluralistic living

18 Sep, 2010

THE parties crossing swords over the more than four- century- old Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid issue would do well to take a leaf out of the formula adopted by the uneducated tribals and Muslims of Dhuswan Kalan in UP’s Maharajganj district.

In four days flat, the villagers evolved a consensus on building a temple and a mazar side by side on a 2,000- sqm land.

On Tuesday, some Muslim members of the village were digging up an abandoned tract to construct a mazar and a platform for qawwali programmes when they stumbled upon a Shiv Ling , a statue of Parvati and one of Nandi. As word spread, a large number of people from across the district started trickling in to pay obeisance. It seemed a religious dispute was in order but the villagers reached an amicable solution on their own before the issue took political colour.

Ajmat Ali, the villager who wanted to construct the mazar, said: “ Our village is known for Malang Baba, who used to live here 250 years ago, and for Sufi saint Naeem. A large number of Tharu tribals also live in the village.

They worship Shiva. So, we have decided to make a mazar of Naeem as well as a Malang Baba temple side by side.” Varran, a Tharu, said: “ We are happy that the statues appeared there. But how can we forget that Naeem used to live at the same place? There is no question of any dispute on such issues.” The administration was only too keen to support the move.

Maharajganj district magistrate Vinay Srivastava said: “ Villagers belonging to different religions have been living here since centuries.

They have never indulged in communalism. The locals have decided to erect a wall to divide the land and construct a mazar as well as a temple adjacent to each other.”

Mail Today

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French “Burqa Ban”: It’s Not About Religion

AMINA WADUD

September 18, 2010

Few issues related to Islam and Muslims seem to raise attention levels to the same heights as the topic of Muslim women’s dress. Not hundreds of millions of lives displaced or endangered by floods in Pakistan; not environmental hazards across the island of Sumatra; not even the dress of Buddhist or Catholic nuns.

So let’s be clear: this is not purely a religious discussion. We become intensely involved in public or international debate over the dress of fewer than 2000 women in France because they choose (or are influenced to choose) to wear the niqab. The niqab covers the face, except the eyes, with a cloth; usually black and usually also accompanied by a full black garment. The burqa is specific to the regions of Afghanistan, but sometimes the term gets called in for any extreme forms of covering outside of the countries in which it is culturally prevalent.

There are three angles to consider with this issue. For one thing, there is the perspective of the French authorities, the ones taking the matter to court, eyeballing photos or drawings of the offensive garments. Then there is the public perspective, mostly characterized as outcry, whether pro or con. As I said, few issues give us so much brouhaha. But there is also the perspective of the women who wear the niqab. Theirs is the voice of the other—make no doubt. It’s not that we don’t hear them, but we only hear them when they articulate an affirmation of their own otherness. “I will not go out,” one woman niqab wearer said. You cannot force me to uncover my face by a law prohibiting and then fining me, so I will not go out. But who cares?

Who cares really if this woman does not go out? No one probably; that is, no one more than the woman herself. Emily Dickinson was a permanent recluse. In her isolation from the public, she produced numerous volumes of eloquent and exceptional poetry, creating a canon of its own. No one comments on whether or not she went outside her door by suggesting that she should be forced to this because of some federal statute. It really doesn’t matter: in or out, covered or not covered, as long as she was productive. We forgive her.

On the one hand, I abhor entering this topic. I think less is more. The less attention we give to the matter of niqab in European and North American public space, the more effective we are in removing it as a topic of interest — and then removing it as an item of dress choice. But on the other hand, it is in the news again and I was asked to say something. I know, I could easily just say no; I do not wish to discuss it. In fact, I took one of those informal polls on Facebook and Twitter, and most said not to do it. But, here’s the thing, from my perspective.

It is infinitely easier not to challenge myself to write something about it. Even as I do accept my own challenge, I am 100% certain nothing I say will change one iota the perspectives of most people, who have already taken sides on the matter. I am also certain there is really little chance that I will add vital information to the not-so-opinionated, or even the plain uninformed. It’s too out there. Most people have some details.

So I won’t try to do that—be informative or persuasive, that is. I will simply engage a few of the aspects in my own way. I can consider this a kind of sharing of ideas over a topic I do not wish to have an impact on. Who does that? Who purposefully writes about something when they think what they write will have no impact? Well, if you think about it, it’s very similar to the wearing of the niqab in the public space of Europe and North America. If it had absolutely no impact, it would go away. Trust me on that one. For me personally, I chose to wear the niqab way back in the mid-1970s in the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. I was strongly influenced by a few things. Once I had accepted to practice Islam, I became very ambivalent about my relationship to all things not Islamic, especially those which I had once been a part of. I wanted a partition between myself and the rest of the world. All of it.

It’s like taking literally the spiritual implication of the statement “be in the world but not of it.” I did not go out of my home very much either. I didn’t want to. I had read Maulana Maududi’s book called Purdah. He recommends face veiling as part of protecting Muslim women from non-Muslims, men and women. How could a good Muslim woman mingle with those people? I took that to heart. After all, now that I have this mantle of Islam I was better than them, right?

Secularism

I would have been incredulous if my right to make this choice had been forced either way: to do it or not to do it, no matter what my reasons. I was glad to be in the United States, where the idea of secularism is wedded to the first amendment idea of freedom of religious practice. In France, no such complementary relation between secular and religious freedom exists. Laïcité is the kind of secularism that is anti-religion, anti-religious expression, and anti-religious identity. They are the ones that give secularism such a bad name in most parts of the world that still consider religion a part of identity. A really good book on this particular aspect is called Beyond the Politics of the Veil— I highly recommend it to those who want to get clear on what is happening in France in particular, but Europe in general.

Never mind that most people, whether religious or non-religious, tend to use the word “secular” to mean not-religion or anti-religion. They don’t use it to simply mean the separation of religion and state politics. From the perspective of the French government, you really have to look at their notions of national identity. They were the first to make a ban on the head scarf or hijab, but not so much as making it a crime to wear in the public spaces as in public government or educational institutions. Just for your information, that includes for government-issued identity cards and passports.

From the perspective of the public, there are innumerable factors to discuss, so I will take another anecdotal approach. The first time I took part in an interfaith retreat with hundreds of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian women, we had a weekend of personal encounters of the third kind. On the last day of the retreat, we sat in smaller sessions in smaller meeting rooms with closed doors, and I happened to be in one with no men. So I took my scarf off. As it was, we were there to address those silent fears or inhibitions about “the other.”

I was pretty strict about my scarf-wearing at the time and never uncovered in front of men not related to me by blood or marriage. This opened up one can of worms that I found interesting. The Christian and Jewish women admitted that they found the head scarf intimidating, off-putting and offensive. Now, I cannot say why this would be so, but I can imagine what it must be like in the public space when a woman approaches with her face of covered and the rest of her body in large draped black. It is not like a winter scarf wrapped against the cold. It’s not like dark glasses against the sun. It is just about everything that we actually characterize as essential for face-to-face identification. What can you do when you encounter them but look away or stare?—neither of which is really polite if you think about it.

People are intimidated. But let us not excuse them their intimidation, because there is also an insidious status of Islam-hating these days—I do not wish to make the mistake of identifying it as “Islamophobia.” To use the suffix “-phobia” puts all the blame on Muslims for igniting fear, and ignores the power imbalance against Muslims; especially in Europe and North America. It is not fear that motivates some of the hatred of Islam and Muslims, and to overlook that in the discourse over niqab is naïve. It is also not just about whether a Muslim woman’s dress represents Islam unless Islam itself is under attack.

So from the perspective of the individual women who wear it, I also cannot speak for them. I refuse to speak about them. But I do remember this. When I chose to stop wearing niqab after 4-5 years (after living two years outside of the U.S. in a Muslim majority country), I was asked about it by other American convert women, some who wore it and some who were just curious. I said, “It does act as a barrier between the wearer and the public. Both the good and the bad are blocked.”

Decades later, I made a conscious decision to stop wearing any head covering especially one that was identifiably Muslim. I was surprised how many of my friends—and I don’t mean the kind I have on Facebook—reacted so strongly with this state of undress. These were people I had known for 10 or 15 years and suddenly they were congratulating me! I thought: if my dress made no difference to you before, really, then why should my undress make such a difference to you now?

I never got an answer to that question, but my development on the matter moved on. After one year hijab-less, I decided that I really, personally, prefer to wear hijab. I told the story before about my slave ancestors denied the option to cover certain parts of their bodies on the auction block. So I resumed wearing hijab until I went to Indonesia. To be certain, there are the politics of women’s dress everywhere, including in Indonesia. But I lived in a small suburban town, almost a village, and at least close enough to a village where the overwhelming majority of women are Muslim. Many do cover if they go to the city or to their jobs. But where they lived communally, head-covering was not a part of their identity or efficacy.

Finally I had escaped the politics of Islamic identity. Truly no one cared if I covered my hair or not. After more than a year, I became liberated from my own ambivalence. Now I play any role I want regarding dress. I choose to wear it in public, and therefore accept the harassment at the airport every time I go through security. But I almost never put it on just to run my errands in my neighborhood, or in my car going across town.

I am also not intimidated by women who wear more cloth than me, whether at the mosque or on the street. I not intimidated by women who wear less cloth than me; but I do avert my eyes at too much cleavage or too-skintight pants revealing the full shape of the buttocks. That’s just me. I don’t think it respects the decency of their own bodies.

A few months ago my daughter encouraged me to go to one of the hot spring spas in Northern California. This was a nude spa. I have gone to nude beaches in my teens, but I no longer feel I demonstrate my liberation only by taking off all my clothes. So I wore a bathing suit. There were many years in my life when I would not wear that little in public; I would go even swimming in a short cap and tee shirt over a pair of leggings. So there’s progress.

But honestly at some point at the spa, it was just plain exhausting to avert my eyes from so many penises and breasts. Now when she invites me I decline politely. I am clear on this: to each his own and that is not mine.

To the burqas be their way and to the nude be theirs.

http://www.religiondispatches.org/dispatches/guest_bloggers/3351/french_%E2%80%9Cburqa_ban%E2%80%9D:_it%E2%80%99s_not_about_religion/

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Settle Ayodhya dispute out of court, says Congress

Sep 18, 2010

NEW DELHI: In an attempt to prevent the Allahabad High Court verdict on the status of the site of the demolished structure in Ayodhya snowballing into a full-blown political controversy, Congress has favoured an out-of-court settlement of the dispute through dialogue between the concerned parties.

Exactly a week before the September 24 verdict on the title deed of the Babri Masjid, the party on Friday said that it would be better if a solution could be found through talks outside the judicial ambit.

"Nothing is better than an out-of-court settlement of the dispute," Congress general secretary Janardan Dwivedi told reporters.

He, however, said that his party would respect the High Court judgment. Supporting the government appeal to the people to maintain peace and not to fall prey to provocations in the wake of the verdict, Dwivedi said it was a timely step. "We are with the government in this regard," he said. He urged the parties to the dispute to enter into a talk to thrash out a solution.

Another party general secretary, Digvijay Singh, accused the BJP of "playing a double game" on the Ayodhya issue. "Whle the BJP is posing as a voice of moderation, its allies -- VHP and Bajrang Dal -- are getting ready to whip up a frenzy," he said.

Singh, however, pointed out that the possibility of a fresh flare-up over the Babri Masjid- Ram Janambhoomi standoff was very remote.

Still concerned over the chances of an adverse fallout, the party has directed its office-bearers in Uttar Pradesh to be on their guard. "We have asked all our leaders in UP to be in their districts on September 24 to take charge of the situation," Singh said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Settle-Ayodhya-dispute-out-of-court-says-Congress/articleshow/6575350.cms#ixzz0zr15M0wc

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Christians in Indonesia Defy Police, Past Attacks

September 18, 2010

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- A group of Christian worshippers said they would defy police and the threat of attack to hold Sunday prayers outside their now-boarded-up church near Indonesia's capital.

Religious tensions that had been growing for months in the industrial city of Bekasi came to a head last week when unidentified assailants stabbed a member of the Batak Christian Church in the stomach and hit its preacher on the head with a wooden plank. Neither injury was life-threatening.

Police arrested 10 suspects including the local leader of the hard-line Islamic Defender's Front, which has for months warned the Christians against holding prayers in the staunchly Muslim neighborhood.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010/09/18/world/AP-AS-Indonesia-Defiant-Christians.html?_r=1&ref=world

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Anti-Burqa Bill Tabled In Italian Parliament

Sep 18th, 2010

Italy's anti-immigrant North League party has introduced a bill in the lower house of parliament seeking ban on burqa, the full body veil worn by Muslim women.

According to the legislation, wearing burqa will be punishable by a year in prison, fines of 150 to 300 euros for the wearer and 30,000 euros for anyone forcing a woman to don the face-covering Islamic garment.

Anyone coercing a minor or a disabled woman into wearing a burqa will be eligible for a 60,000-euro fine.

If a woman is wearing the burqa of her own volition, the 150-300 euro fine can be reduced, if she agrees to do community service aimed at better integrating Muslim immigrants.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/anti-burqa-bill-tabled-italian-parliament-428

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A Holy War on Women

September 18, 2010

If anyone still doubted, or hadn't noticed, that misogyny is the fundamental pillar on which radical Islam is based, the news that poison gas was pumped into girls' schools in Afghanistan, likely by the Taliban, ought to confirm it.

The story, first reported in the U.S. in the New York Times two weeks ago, goes like this: For the last two years, girls and women in certain schools around Afghanistan have been turning up sickened by fumes in their schools. At first, authorities disregarded the reports, chalking them up to female hysteria due to nervousness over outright attacks on girls schools by murderous Taliban enforcers.

Then the U.N. went in and tested their blood, and voila -- it appears the Taliban, taking a page out of the Nazi playbook, has been pumping stuff like Zyklon B, the notorious Holocaust gas, into girls' schools, to further their goal of keeping their females illiterate.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nina-burleigh/a-holy-war-on-women_b_721173.html

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Myths and Truths About the “Ground Zero Mosque”

September 18, 2010

Feisal Abdul Rauf has long insisted that his proposed Muslim center at the edges of Ground Zero would build a path to peace, that he and those who work with him are the true opponents of radical Islam and violent jihad. I’ve been inclined, generally, to believe him, despite my reservations about the location of his center. But the more I listen to him speak, the less convinced I am.

Let’s start from the beginning: September 11, 2001, when the landing gear of one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center – no one knows which one – crashed into the roof of the Burlington Coat Factory just two blocks away. Staff were in the basement of the building at the time; as a result, no one there was hurt – or at least, not physically.

Full report at:

http://blogs.forbes.com/abigailesman/2010/09/17/myths-and-truths-about-the-ground-zero-mosque/?boxes=Homepagechannels

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MI5 head warns of serious risk of UK terrorist attack

September 18, 2010

The UK faces a continuing serious risk of a lethal terrorist attack taking place, the head of MI5 has warned.

Jonathan Evans raised concerns over the number of soon-to-be-freed inmates who are "committed extremists and likely to return to terrorist activities".

He also said Somalia and Yemen were important concerns for MI5, as a source of serious plots against the UK.

And, he said, the security service had not expected dissident republicanism to grow as it had in Northern Ireland.

Mr Evans, who made the rare public remarks to the Worshipful Company of Security Professionals in London, said dealing with international terrorism remained the main focus of MI5's efforts.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=154921

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GOVT NEEDN’T HEED RAHUL ON J& K SAYS SONIA

By Kay Benedict in New Delhi

18 Sep, 2010

Congress chief clarifies to senior leaders after PDP’s Mufti Mohd Sayeed raises red flag on Rahul’s support for Omar

A DAY AFTER All India Congress Committee general secretary Rahul Gandhi lent his support to embattled Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah, his mother and Congress president Sonia Gandhi stepped in to undo any possible damage that may have been caused by his statements.

Rahul’s comments “ should not eclipse the government’s strategy” in dealing with the turmoil in J& K, she told senior party leaders during a review meeting on Friday.

Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, home minister P. Chidambaram, defence minister A. K. Antony, Sonia’s political secretary Ahmed Patel, health minister and former J& K chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, minister of state Prithviraj Chavan, who is also AICC general secretary in- charge of J& K, and J& K state Congress chief Saifuddin Soz were present at the meeting. The meeting also discussed the contours of the all- party delegation leaving for Kashmir on Monday.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Five Taliban terrorists seek pardon

18 Sep, 2010

MINGORA: Five Taliban on Friday sought pardon in a public gathering for “crimes” they committed during the Taliban rule in Swat valley. “We made a mistake by joining the Taliban. The Taliban leadership is anti-Pakistan and anti-Islam,” the five told residents of Kabal tehsil. “We request you to forgive us for our crimes,” they pleaded during appearance at the hujra of defence committee chief Idress Khan in the Bara Bande village. The five were residents of former Taliban stronghold of Kabal and were arrested during Operation Rah-e-Rast last year. It was for the first time that Taliban fighters had been produced at a public gathering. They were later whisked away to detention cells at unknown places, eyewitnesses said. The army asked Kabal residents to keep an eye on suspected elements in their area and inform it if wanted terrorists were spotted. staff report

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\18\story_18-9-2010_pg7_16

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Slain Filipino maid in Alkhobar was ‘very pious,’ says sister

By RODOLFO C. ESTIMO JR.

Sep 18, 2010

RIYADH: The sister of a Filipino housemaid brutally killed in the Eastern Province has called for those behind her death to be brought to justice.

Annabelle Eroy-Fuertes spoke out in public to pay tribute to Romilyn Eroy-Ibanez.

“We want justice. My sister was such a good person. She didn’t deserve such a death,” Annabelle Eroy-Fuertes told GMANews.TV in Kidapawan City.

Labor Attache David Des T. Dicang of the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in the Eastern Region (POLO-ERO) recently called Ibanez’s family in North Cotabato to inform them of her death.

The family asked for the government’s help but requested that their names not be made public. However, Fuertes eventually broke her silence. Ibanez died from acid burns and stab wounds. She was found in the kitchen of her employer’s residence in Alkhobar with knife wounds in her neck, abdomen and wrist as well as acid burns on her face, arms and legs. She was taken to King Fahd Hospital by the Red Crescent.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article141135.ece

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Muslim summit planned over NYC Islamic center

By DAVID B. CARUSO

September 18, 2010

NEW YORK — A proposed Islamic center near ground zero is slowly being embraced by some Muslims who initially were indifferent about the plan, partly in response to a sense that their faith is under attack.

A summit of U.S. Muslim organizations is planned for Saturday and Sunday in New York City to address both the project and a rise in anti-Muslim sentiments and rhetoric that has accompanied the nationwide debate over the project.

It has yet to be seen whether the groups will emerge with a firm stand on the proposed community center, dubbed Park51. The primary purpose of the meeting is to talk about ways to combat religious bigotry.

But Shaik Ubaid of the Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan New York, one of the groups organizing the gathering, said he has a growing sense that some American Muslims who initially had trepidation are now throwing their support behind the plan.

"Once it became a rallying cry for extremists, we had no choice but to stand with Feisal Rauf," he said, referring to the New York City imam who has been leading the drive for the center.

Full report at:

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Syrians Call For Memorial For 9/11 Victims

September 18, 2010

As the controversy surrounding the establishment of an Islamic centre near Ground Zero in New York continues, a group of Syrians netizens have suggested a way out of the current quandary. Through a Facebook group, they called for a memorial symbolising the solidarity of the Muslim world with the victims of September 11 to take the place of the proposed Islamic centre.

“What hurt you on that day was a shock to all of humanity… We differ in our religious faiths but we are brethrens in humanity,” the group wrote.

The issue of building a centre for Islamic culture near the site where the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre were hit by the 9/11 terrorist attack has been dividing America for months. Some consider the project a provocation to the feelings of the American people, while others said that it would strengthen bruised relations between the US and Muslims.

Full report at:

http://www.damascusbureau.org/?p=1220

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Publisher agrees to drop US spy secrets from book: Pentagon

Sep 18, 2010

WASHINGTON: A publisher has agreed to remove US intelligence secrets from a memoir by a former army officer in Afghanistan after the Pentagon raised last-minute objections, officials said Friday.

The book, " Operation Dark Heart," had been printed and prepared for release in August but St. Martin's Press will now issue a revised version of the memoir after negotiations with the Pentagon, US and company officials said.

In return, the defense department has agreed to reimburse the company for the cost of the first printing, spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said.

The original manuscript "contained classified information which had not been properly reviewed" by the military and US spy agencies, he said.

Full report at:

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Publisher-agrees-to-drop-US-spy-secrets-from-book-Pentagon/articleshow/6576805.cms#ixzz0zr0h73y8

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Kashmir crisis: Hurriyat invited to meet team of MPs

Sep 18, 2010

To enable the all-party delegation visiting Jammu and Kashmir on Monday to hear all shades of opinion in the state, the government on Friday decided to send written invitations even to the Kashmiri separatist leaders, such as Mirwaiz Omer Farooq and Yasin Malik for meetings with them.

 39-member panel will be leaving for Srinagar, including a host of senior leaders: Home Minister P Chidambaram and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley (BJP), Basudeb Acharia (CPM), Gurudas Dasgupta (CPI), Mulayam Singh Yadav (Samajwadi Party) and Ram Vilas Paswan (Lok Janshakti Party).

"The parliamentary affairs minister will send around 30 to 40 invitation letters to various groups and individuals in Kashmir over the weekend. Several separatist leaders are in this list,” a senior government functionary revealed

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Kashmir-crisis-Hurriyat-invited-to-meet-team-of-MPs/H1-Article1-601516.aspx

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6 cleaners arrested in UK in alleged terror threat to pope

Sep 18, 2010

Demonstrators hold placards as Pope Benedict XVI passes in his car as he arrives at St Mary's University College Chapel at Twickenham in west London on Friday. The Pope is on a four day visit to England and Scotland. (Reuters)1 of 3

(Update) LONDON: British police staged a pre-dawn raid at a London garbage depot Friday, arresting five street cleaners in a suspected terrorist plot against Pope Benedict XVI on the second day of his state visit to Britain. A sixth person was arrested later in the day.

The Vatican said the pope was calm despite the arrests and planned no changes to his schedule. But the arrests overshadowed a major address by Benedict to British politicians, businessmen and cultural leaders about the need to restore faith and ethics to public policymaking.

Acting on a tip, police detained the men, aged 26 to 50, under the Terrorism Act at a cleaning depot in central London after receiving information about a possible threat.

The men were being questioned at a London police station and have not been charged.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article140798.ece

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US won’t accept slackness by Pak Army in war on terror

18 Sep, 2010

ISLAMABAD: US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke said on Friday that his country would not accept any “slackness” on part of the Pakistan Army in the fight against the Taliban due their engagement in flood relief efforts. “Neither the security situation has changed fundamentally, nor the Taliban threat has receded and with the Americans placed in a difficult situation in Afghanistan, we certainly will not like to see slackness on part of the Pakistan Army in the war on terror,” he told reporters in Islamabad.

“I don’t believe that the Americans are losing any battles or war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, rather a recent surge of troops would certainly improve situation in Eastern Afghanistan soon,” the US envoy said while referring to the situation in Afghanistan.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\18\story_18-9-2010_pg1_4

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Striving for religious tolerance

September 18, 2010

In his Sept. 11 PostPartisan commentary, "Obama and the right to burn books," Charles Lane looked to the wrong 21st-century administration for an example of how a president's warnings can exert a chilling effect on speech. President Obama's argument that burning Korans is counterproductive is a far cry from, say, Ari Fleischer's warning after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that Americans need to "watch what they say."

Mr. Obama was highlighting a legitimate threat to the safety of American soldiers that could stem from burning the Koran; more important, images of Americans burning Korans would contribute to the widespread misconception that America is engaged in a war against Islam, rather than a war on al-Qaeda, undermining the distinction that President Bush took pains to draw.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/16/AR2010091606590.html

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Fearing Qaida, US cartoonist of Prophet forced into hiding

Sep 18, 2010

SEATTLE: A Seattle cartoonist who stirred up a religious storm with a tongue-in-cheek encouragement to draw images of the Muslim prophet Muhammad has gone into hiding after a threat to her safety.

According to Seattle Weekly, which originally published an illustration by cartoonist Molly Norris entitled "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day," Norris was told by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to "go ghost."

"On the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI," Norris is "moving, changing her name and essentially wiping away her identity," a Seattle Weekly report said on Thursday. Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Fearing-Qaida-US-cartoonist-of-Prophet-forced-into-hiding/articleshow/6575758.cms#ixzz0zr0bRX80

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Egyptian paper fakes Obama's photo

Sep 18, 2010

LONDON: Egypt's state-run newspaper Al-Ahram has come under fire for doctoring a photograph to suggest that President Hosni Mubarak had led US President Barack Obama and other Middle East leaders into historic peace talks in the White House earlier this month.

The picture showed the Egyptian president striding a head of Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, King Abdullah II of Jordan and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on a red carpet at the White House.

But checks revealed that the image had been digitally altered to place Mubarak at the head of the powerful pack, while he was actually trailing behind them in the original picture, the Sun reported.

Full report at:

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Egyptian-paper-fakes-Obamas-photo/articleshow/6575737.cms#ixzz0zr0eFfXz

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UN seeks record two billion dollars for Pakistan floods

Sep 18, 2010

UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations on Friday appealed for a record two billion dollars in emergency aid for the millions of victims of Pakistan's devastating floods.

"We simply cannot stand by and watch the immense suffering in a disaster of this scale," said Valerie Amos, the UN under secretary general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, announcing the mega-appeal.

The floods caused by weeks of torrential rain have left at least 1,700 dead but the UN said the massive surge has affected 21 million others, "devastating communities throughout the country."

"The size of the revised appeal reflects the enormo us human and geographic scale of the catastrophe," the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement.

Full report at:

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/UN-seeks-record-two-billion-dollars-for-Pakistan-floods/articleshow/6576519.cms#ixzz0zr0kOA5i

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3 killed in Valley even as Army patrols streets

M Saleem Pandit

18 Sep, 2010

SRINAGAR: Kashmir continued to remain on the boil with the killing of three more protesters on Friday, even as hundreds of Army troopers patrolled streets — for the second time this summer — to prevent protests. The move to deploy the Army came as the situation seemed to have spiralled out of control with the killing of 17 people in the deadliest day of violence on Monday and the separatists plan to march to security installations on September 21.

The state government had taken a lot of flak for its earlier decision to call in the Army to march Srinagar streets — for the first time in two decades — as a symbolic show of force in July. The protesters didn't confront soldiers then, but that wasn't so this time.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/3-killed-in-Valley-even-as-Army-patrols-streets/articleshow/6576705.cms#ixzz0zr0tI0Hn

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J&K teens thrown into jails full of criminals

Sameer Arshad

Sep 18, 2010

Mushtaq Ahmad (14), a class VI dropout, was among thousands who took to streets after Kashmir erupted over an alleged staged encounter and the killing of a teenager in June. He was part of stone-pelting protesters for days till his luck ran out. He was detained and kept at a police station along with hundreds of other juveniles. While many, who could bribe the cops bailed their kids out, the likes of Mushtaq, whose family from Srinagar's old city can hardly make ends meet, continued to remain behind bars. Worse, the police slapped Public Safety Act on him and shifted him to a Jammu jail.

Rights groups estimate that hundreds of boys have been detained under the draconian law, which provides for up to two years of preventive detention and has its roots in the pre-independence Defence of India Act, denounced by Mahatma Gandhi as a "draconian and black law enacted to suppress Indians". Repeal of the Act, along with the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act is a key demand of the rights groups, who say such laws have alienated people by giving authorities "a free hand to trample civil liberties".

Full report at:

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/JK-teens-thrown-into-jails-full-of-criminals/articleshow/6576684.cms#ixzz0zr0zUZt8

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Pak asks India to end human rights abuse in Kashmir

18 Sep, 2010

ISLAMABAD: In provocative remarks, Pakistan on Friday asked India to stop " gross and systematic abuse of human rights" in Jammu and Kashmir and "exercise restraint" while dealing with protesters in the state.

"Gross and systematic abuse of human rights and Indian repression in Kashmir must end. Pakistan calls upon the Government of India to exercise restraint," Pakistan foreign minister S hah Mahmood Qureshi said.

"The indigenous movement in (Jammu and Kashmir) has gained a new momentum and urgency. The Kashmiris are unanimous in their demand for self-determination," Qureshi said.

Qureshi said Pakistan will "continue to stand by the Kashmiris in their just cause". His comments were put out in a statement by the foreign office.

He said Pakistan has taken "serious note of the deteriorating situation" in Jammu and Kashmir.

Full report at:

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-asks-India-to-end-human-rights-abuse-in-Kashmir/articleshow/6575433.cms#ixzz0zr12QivB

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India reacts sharply to Pak interference in Kashmir

18 Sep, 2010

NEW DELHI: India on Friday hit back at Pakistan rejecting as "gratuitous" its statements on Jammu and Kashmir, saying they amounted to interference in the internal affairs of the country.

It asked Islamabad to take effective action against infiltration from across the LoC and dismantle terror infrastructure there as it is the people of the state who suffer from the consequences of terrorism fomented from across the border.

Reacting sharply to Pakistan foreign minister S M Qureshi asking India to "exercise restraint" in the state, ministry of external affairs official spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said "India firmly rejects gratuitous statements issued by Pakistan on Jammu & Kashmir, which amount to interference in the internal affairs of India.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-reacts-sharply-to-Pak-interference-in-Kashmir/articleshow/6575001.cms#ixzz0zr1GYoKw

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US fights order to release Guantanamo detainee

By NEDRA PICKLER

September 18, 2010

WASHINGTON — The government is asking an appeals court to throw out a judge's order to release a Guantanamo Bay prisoner accused of recruiting Sept. 11 hijackers.

The 9/11 commission report described Mohamedou Ould Salahi as a significant al-Qaida operative who instructed hijackers how to reach Afghanistan to train for jihad. Salahi says he falsely admitted under abusive interrogation to arranging travel for some of the hijackers.

Salahi has been held without charge for eight years at the Navy-run prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and remains there as lawyers prepare to argue over his release before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Friday.

U.S. District Judge James Robertson ruled this spring that the evidence against Salahi was "tainted by coercion and mistreatment" and based on classified material that could not support a criminal prosecution.

Full report at:

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Support for Iran's seven imprisoned Baha'i leaders spreads worldwide

September 18, 2010

GENEVA — The call to release seven Iranian Baha'i leaders - whose prison sentences have reportedly been reduced to 10-years each - is spreading around the world.

Prominent figures in India, medical professionals in Austria, a Muslim leader in El Salvador and human rights activists in Germany have added their voices to the concern already expressed by numerous governments and non-governmental organizations who have publicly condemned the sentences.

In an open letter, 31 leading figures from India's religious communities, judiciary, civil society organizations and academia, wrote that the "only crime that these seven individuals - two women and five men, the oldest among them being 77 years old - have committed is that they are Baha'is. They are peace-loving and obedient to the law of their land and have worked for the betterment of Iranian society."

Full report at:

http://news.bahai.org/story/794

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Wellesley schools chief apologizes for students' role in Muslim prayer service

September 18, 2010

WELLESLEY — Wellesley’s school superintendent apologized today for allowing middle school students to participate in a prayer service during a field trip to a Roxbury mosque last spring.

The apology to parents came after a group that has been critical of the Islamic Society of Boston Community Center — New England’s largest mosque and Muslim cultural center — released a 10-minute long video featuring footage of Wellesley students bowing their heads during a prayer service.

The group, Americans for Peace and Tolerance, received the footage from a mother of one of the students, its director, Dennis Hale, said today. The woman, whom they will not identify, went on the May 27 trip as a chaperone for her son’s sixth grade class, he said.

Wellesley School Superintendent Bella Wong said that allowing the children to participate in the prayer service was ‘‘a mistake,’’ and apologized to parents in a letter.

Full report at:

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/wellesley/2010/09/wellesley_schools_chief_apolog.html

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India Gives Pakistan $20 Mn For Flood Relief

Sep 18th, 2010

India's permanent representative to the United Nations, Mr Hardeep Singh Puri, has given a cheque for $20 million to the UN Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon, as India's contribution towards the 'Pakistan Emergency Response Plan'.

The cheque was handed over to Mr Ban in the presence of Pakistan's Permanent Representative to the UN, Mr Abdullah Hussain Haroon on Friday.

Mr Puri recalled the messages of solidarity, sympathy and support from Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh and the external affairs minister, Mr S. M. Krishna, to their Pakistani counterparts in the immediate aftermath of the devastating floods that affected parts of Pakistan in August this year.

"Natural disasters do not respect national boundaries. This is a small but significant gesture from the highest levels of the Indian government conveying the message that the people of India stand by the people of Pakistan in their hour of need," he said.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/india-gives-pakistan-20-mn-flood-relief-429

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Two killed in rocket attack as Afghans vote: Police

Sep 18, 2010

KABUL: A rocket attack killed two people and wounded another in a volatile province of eastern Afghanistan, as Afghans voted for a new parliament on Saturday, police said.

"Two rockets fired from some unknown location hit a house in Nazyan district, and killed two people and wounded a third," said Nangarhar provincial police spokesman, Abdul Ghafor.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Two-killed-in-rocket-attack-as-Afghans-vote-Police/articleshow/6578239.cms#ixzz0zrg43Hhs

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NGOs to felicitate 2000 Muslim students in India

18 September 2010

New Delhi: With the aim to promote educational interest among Muslim students and to encourage meritorious students for higher education, Human Welfare Foundation and P.M. Foundation, Kerala have decided to jointly felicitate 2000 Muslim meritorious students from Bihar, U.P., Assam and West Bengal who passed 2010 matriculation examination with 60% or above marks.

The selected students will be awarded with mementos and cash prizes at award distribution ceremony that will be held in Bihar, U.P., Assam and West Bengal on 26th September, 3rdOctober, 10th October and 29th November respectively.

Besides students, the best minority schools whose performance and records have been excellent in previous years will also be awarded on the occasion. After the award distribution ceremony the foundation will hold talent search test of 100 marks to evaluate the performance and ability of the students and thereafter foundation will give career counseling guidance to the students to choose the best courses according to their ability and interest and will also offer scholarship to the poor students among them.

 Full report at:

http://twocircles.net/?q=2010sep18/ngos_felicitate_2000_muslim_students_india.html

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For Muslims, bonfire that wasn't still carries implications

BY OMAR SACIRBEY

September 18, 2010

The crowd-control barriers and TV satellite trucks are gone after a Florida pastor called off a bonfire to burn 200 Qurans. But American Muslims say the political firestorm in Gainesville was more than a momentary flare-up.

 The incident laid bare the wildly different perceptions of Islam's sacred text between Americans — or at least some of them — and rank-and-file Muslims, not to mention the differing responses among Muslims here and abroad.

But perhaps most troubling, Muslim leaders say the sacrilege of burning a holy text is less dangerous than the hatred or misunderstanding that motivated it, even after nine years of concerted outreach following the 9/11 attacks.

Even though Pastor Terry Jones' Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville promised to never set fire to a Quran, members of the fringe Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., did burn a Quran and an American flag.

Full report at:

http://newsok.com/for-muslims-bonfire-that-wasnt-still-carries-implications/article/3495897#ixzz0zrjFvOFJ

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Dhaka: 2 Sramik League leaders shot dead in Bogra

September 18, 2010

Two local leaders of Jatiya Sramik League were hacked and shot dead at Naruli in Bogra district town early Saturday.

The deceased were identified as Hasanuzzaman Nasim, 35, Sramik League president of Satgram Bandar Committee unit, and his close associate Israfil Hossain Ranju, 35, reports our Bogra correspondent.

Nasim was the main suspect in the murder case of Manik, a Motor Sramik League leader, who was killed few years back, police sources said.

Officer-in-charge Khalequzzaman of Sadar Police Station said a gang stormed into the house of Nasim around 2:00am and opened fire at the two leaders.

The criminals hacked them mercilessly to confirm their deaths and left the place, he added.

The OC, quoting the witnesses, said Shubo, a Swechchhasebak League leader, might have led the gang.

The bodies were sent to Shaheed Zia Medical College Hospital morgue for autopsy.

The Sramik League leaders and activists have halted transport movement from Chelopara of the town to northern part of Bogra since morning protesting the killings.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=25934

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Another 26/11 would mean full-blown war between India and Pak

September 18, 2010

In the event of another Mumbai- type attack, India is most likely to strike back by eliminating terrorist training camps across the border which may lead to a "full-blown" Indo-Pak war involving possibility of a nuclear exchange, a noted US counter-terrorism expert has said.

"I think a very serious concern that we should all be collectively worried about is the possibility of a Mumbai II attack," Peter Bergen, the Counter-terrorism Strategy Initiative Co-Director at New America Foundation, said in his testimony before the House Homeland and Security Committee.

Mumbai-II, Bergen, said would change every strategic calculation in South Asia.

"I think the Indians showed great restraint after the last Mumbai attack. But their populations are going to demand some kind of retribution if a large-scale attack happens on Indian soil by a Pakistani militant group, which I think is one of the more foreseeable foreign policy challenges we have going forward," he told the committee, which had organised a hearing on the evolving nature of terrorism nine years after 9/11.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/283766/Another-26/11-would-mean-full-blown-war-between-India-and-Pak.html

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HC right in sticking to Sept 24 date: RSS

September 18, 2010

The RSS on Friday said the Allahabad High Court’s refusal to defer the judgement in the 60-year-old Ayodhya case is a right decision as impediments were sought to be put in the judicial process to delay the verdict.

The court has done the right thing by dismissing the application seeking postponement of the verdict, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav told reporters here.

“This was an unnecessary attempt to delay the verdict,” he told reporters commenting on the High Court’s dismissal of the plea by Ramesh Chandra Tripathi.

Asked what efforts were being taken by RSS to maintain peace, he said, “we are a law abiding organisation and we will make all efforts to maintain peace.”

Tripathi pleaded for deferring the September 24 judgement for working out an out-of-court amicable settlement of the issue.

The Special Bench, comprising Justice S.U Khan , Justice DV Sharma and Justice Sudhir Agarwal, decided to impose a heavy fine which would be announced later though Justice Agarwal proposed a fine of `5 lakh.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/283837/HC-right-in-sticking-to-Sept-24-date-RSS.html

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High court snubs plea to defer Ayodhya verdict

By Piyush Srivastava in Lucknow

18 Sep, 2010

Petitioner is fined `5lakh for wasting the court’s time

THE ALLAHABAD High Court on Friday dismissed a petition asking it to postpone its verdict on the 60- yearold title suit in the Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid case.

The Lucknow bench of the high court also imposed a fine of ` 5 lakh on petitioner Ramesh Chandra Tripathi, a retired government employee, for “ wasting the court’s time”. Tripathi had sought an amicable, out- of- court settlement of the dispute.

He had moved an application on Monday to defer the September 24 judgment, saying “ orthodox elements” on both sides were trying to vitiate the atmosphere.

“ So, we want the court to once again initiate the process to let both the parties sit together and reach a solution,” Tripathi had said in his petition.

Full report at: Mail Today

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It was a hoax! US acid attack girl had faked it

18 Sep, 2010

THE WOMAN who gained sympathy around the world after a “ total stranger” threw acid in her face has made a shocking confession: she made the whole thing up.

Bethany Storro, 28, confessed the truth to the Vancouver police on Thursday that the severe burns she suffered in the horrific “ attack” were actually self- inflicted.

The police said they did not know the motive behind her bizarre plan but hinted that she may be mentally unsound.

Storro’s confession came after the police picked holes in her story and turned up the pressure by searching her house.

It is not clear if she will be criminally charged. “ It’s obvious to everybody here that she’s got a fragile mental state,” said Commander Marla Schuman, who led the investigation to find the “ attacker”. “ She is extremely upset and remorseful. This got much bigger than she expected.” He added that the investigation had wasted hundreds of hours of police time.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Israel assassinates Hamas commander

Sep 18, 2010

RAMALLAH/ GAZA CITY: Israeli forces raided the West Bank refugee camp of Nour Shams, to the east of Tulkarm, early Friday and killed a Hamas commander in cold blood, Palestinian sources said.

The sources told Arab News that the Israeli forces shot 37-year-old Iyad As’ad Abu Shilbayeh thrice at point-blank range and then delayed his medical treatment. Shilbayeh was a commander in Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

Narrating the sequence of events, Mohammed Shilbayeh, Iyad's brother, said dozens of military vehicles raided the camp at 2 a.m. He said the raiders used him (Mohammed) as a human shield during the raid. They blew up the bedroom door and shot Iyad three times — once in the neck and twice in the chest — while he was in bed.

The Israelis seized the body of Iyad before allowing the Palestinian forces to take it back to the family in the morning, Mohammed said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article141110.ece

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Cairo to enforce five-year Haj gap for pilgrims

By GALAL FAKKAR

Sep 18, 2010

JEDDAH: Egypt has pledged to strictly implement the rule that prevents pilgrims from repeating the Haj if they have already performed it within the previous five years.

"This decision is aimed at giving the chance to other citizens, especially low- and medium-income people, to perform the fifth pillar of Islam," Umaimah Al-Hussaini, a senior official at the Egyptian Ministry of Tourism, told Arab News by telephone on Thursday night.

She said 950 Egyptian Haj tourism companies responsible for more than half of Haj pilgrims have ignored this rule in the past.

Tourism Undersecretary Osama Al-Ashri said the passports of those who apply to do Haj this year will be thoroughly checked. Anyone with a Haj visa in their passports since 2005 will not be allowed to travel to the Kingdom for Haj, which takes place in mid-November. Al-Ashri said this would not affect the number of Haj visas allotted to Haj tour operators as there will be plenty of demand.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article141114.ece

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FBI urges US cartoonist to go into hiding due amid Al-Qaeda threat

Sep 18, 2010

SEATTLE: A Seattle cartoonist who stirred up a religious storm with a tongue-in-cheek encouragement to draw images of the Muslim prophet Mohammed has gone into hiding after a threat to her safety.

According to Seattle Weekly, which originally published an illustration by cartoonist Molly Norris entitled "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day," Norris was told by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation to "go ghost."

"On the insistence of top security specialists at the FBI," Norris is "moving, changing her name and essentially wiping away her identity," a Seattle Weekly report said on Thursday.

The Seattle office of the FBI did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article140724.ece

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Darfur attack survivors tell of brutal killings

By OPHEERA MCDOOM

Sep 18, 2010

KHARTOUM: Darfuri men were shot dead at point blank range during a surprise Arab militia raid on a busy market this month in which at least 39 people were killed and almost 50 injured, eyewitnesses said on Friday.

The attack on civilians was reminiscent of the early years of the counter-insurgency operation in Sudan's west, which took up arms against the government in 2003, complaining that the region had been neglected by Khartoum

The International Criminal Court in The Hague has since issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir for genocide and war crimes in Darfur, charges he denies.

Details of the Sept. 2 attack on the market in the village of Tabarat have not previously come to light. The government prevented peacekeepers from visiting the site until days later.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article141016.ece

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Number of Christians dwindles in postwar Iraq

By DAVID E. MILLER

Sep 18, 2010

BAGHDAD: The number of Christians in Iraq has dwindled to half of what it was before the American invasion in 2003, an Iraqi official said.

Abdallah Al-Nofali, head of the government’s Bureau for the Endowments of Christians and Other Religions, said in an interview with the Arab daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat that according to a recent survey some 40 percent of Iraqi refugees in Syria are Christian.

According to UN statistics, 1.5 million Christians of different sects were living in Baghdad before the American invasion.

“The majority of Christians left Iraq because of religious persecution by extremists,” Joe Obayda, an Iraqi expat living in England told The Media Line. “Today there are less than 500,000 Christians left in Iraq.”

Obayda is a member of the executive council of Iraqi Christians In Need (ICIN), a British charity set up in May 2007 to address the influx of Christians leaving Iraq.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article140934.ece

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10 hurt as Kurdish mourners battle Turkish police

Sep 18, 2010

ISTANBUL: A bomb blast Friday wounded 10 people, including six police officers, during a funeral of one of nine victims of a roadside bombing in the country's southeast, a private television said.

The explosion occurred in the town of Yuksekova near the city of Hakkari, where the mourners earlier had attacked police with rocks in the funeral of another victim, the NTV reported. It said police used pepper spray and water canons to disperse the crowd in Hakkari.

Thursday's bombing struck a minibus near Hakkari. After the attack, blamed on autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels, the government canceled a meeting with the country's pro-Kurdish party, which demands more rights for the Kurds.

The Kurdish rebels have been fighting for autonomy in the country's Kurdish-dominated southeast since 1984. The conflict has killed tens of thousands of people.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article141011.ece

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Gilani backs Karzai reconciliation plan

By AZHAR MASOOD

Sep 18, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai, who held a key meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani on Friday, continued to woo Pakistan  in a bid to raise his profile among the Afghan emigres here ahead of the forthcoming elections in Kabul.

Officials said, “It was not a routine meeting. Karzai had to assure the Pakistani leadership of non-interference in Baluchistan by hostile operatives who shuttle between Afghanistan and the Pakistani province, and in return Karzai was seeking the good offices of Pakistan to muster support of those Afghan nationals who remained opposed to Karzai’s regime.”

Karazai, who has continued to flirt with New Delhi, is hobnobbing with Islamabad this time with the realization that it is Pakistan alone that can ensure his political strength in his own country.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article141083.ece

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Man kills 3 sons, wife, commits suicide

By Atif Raza

18 Sep, 2010

KARACHI: A factory worker strangulated his three minor children and wife to death before committing suicide in his house in Majeed Colony, Landhi in the limits of Quaidabad police station.

Landhi Town SP Nasir Aftab said the victim identified as Atif, 29, was working at a garments factory in Landhi for which he was paid a salary of around Rs 5,000. He was paying Rs 3,000 as house rent since nine months, while two of his children were studying in a school situated in the same area, he added.

Atif, son of Nasir, had tried several times to get a better job, he finally took the extreme step of ending his life with his family, the SP said.

Tahir, the victim’s younger brother, who lives in the same house with his mother, had informed the police about the incident.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\09\18\story_18-9-2010_pg12_1

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/fighting-between-tribes-in-pakistan-kills-102/d/3444


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