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Islamic World News ( 4 Oct 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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India powers Kabul: 202-km transmission line completed

Terrorism message is viral on Web

Using Islam to justify killing leads 'to hellfire' By Matthew Hay Brown

Friedman: Defeating terrorists requires a real commitment

Thailand: Islamic Supremacists have Murdered 3,900 so far

India: Some Muslim MPs oppose new madrasa board

India: Modern education for Muslim children still a distant dream by Akhilesh Suman/M Madhusudan

Like Terrorism, Film piracy racket too thrives on Pakistan link

Islamic Jihad predicts 'imminent' Israeli attack

Well, She Can Convert, Can’t She?

Life beneath the veil for Muslim women at Yale

Akram's Razor - Reflections on Islam, Muslims & America

Pakistan Army orders inquiry into Taliban torture video

Decision to kill Hasina was taken 'centrally' by Julfikar Ali Manik

AL culprits warned

Details of Nawaz meeting with Saudi king see light

PML-N says staying away from polls not part of any deal

Al Ain centre focusing on music of Islamic world will be global first

Palestinians angry as Abbas drops Israel war crimes case

UN atomic chief set for talks in Iran

Jack Straw ‘too close’ to pro-Hamas faction

Iran's real crime: refusing to venerate the West's holy cows by Iqbal Siddiqui

Al Franken vs. the War on Terror by Tim Graham

Obama's Iran moment by Glen Meakem Sunday

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau



India powers Kabul

Pranab Dhal Samanta, Oct 04, 2009

New Delhi : Amid all the political wrangling over the presidential elections in Afghanistan and sharp differences over the military campaign among major countries, India quietly crossed an important milestone in its diplomatic efforts as it successfully completed a four-year effort to build a 202-km transmission line to bring electricity to power-starved Kabul.

Until this, the city was running on a single gas turbine and some 25 heavy duty diesel generators for which the US was providing over $100 million of fuel. Kabul had long power cuts and matters became worse during winter. With the recent launch of the transmission line and the Chimtala sub-station near Kabul, there has been a dramatic change.

The Chimtala sub-station today distributes 90-120 MW, which is enough for Kabul. While distribution needs to be streamlined to reach each household, there is now excess power and the Afghanistan government wants India to help start an industrial estate near Kabul. This may be the next big project for India because it has already funded a well-equipped tool room for skill training.

Bringing electricity to Kabul was a project which started after a power-purchase agreement was finalised between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. A 462-km transmission line had to be built from the Uzbek border to Kabul of which the last part of 202 km from Pul-e-Khumri near the Salang pass on the Hindu Kush was to be constructed by India’s Power Grid Corporation.

Much of this fell in the “snow zone” at heights reaching up to 3,800 m. As many as 613 towers have been erected, and these were designed in India to withstand inclement weather. Pakistan refused the use of its territory for transporting these towers which then had to be sent via Iran. Also, heavy turbine equipment was moved in what was among the largest airlift operations to Kabul.



Terrorism message is viral on Web

October 4, 2009

WASHINGTON – Thousands of Web sites, most in Arabic but some in English, make it possible for Web surfers to soak up the tenets of violent Islamic terrorism. They can watch videos of jihadi rappers, meet like-minded radicals in chat rooms and, in one notorious case, even launch a rocket attack on U.S. troops in Iraq from anywhere in the world with the click of a mouse.

Last month's arrest of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, the 19-year-old Jordanian accused of trying to blow up a Dallas skyscraper, was an example of how a leaderless, virtual terror movement has become a worldwide phenomenon, counterterrorism experts say. FBI agents monitoring an Arabic Internet chat room discovered Smadi in March.

The top leaders of al-Qaeda may be living as hunted fugitives on the far edges of the world, but their ideology is available everywhere, said Yigal Carmon, a former Israeli army colonel who is president of the Washington-based Middle East Media Research Institute.

"They got from the developed world a tool, the tool of their life, to jump from their caves to the 21st century," Carmon said.

Al-Qaeda sympathizers agree. In a column commemorating the Sept. 11 attacks, the editor of the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper wrote: "Al-Qaeda's ideology is becoming a global [ideology] which is increasingly independent. Thanks to advanced media like the Internet, Facebook and YouTube, it can reach the widest audiences worldwide, [attracting] numerous supporters and recruits."

Some of the content produced for these Web sites comes from al-Qaeda itself, or from groups like Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But much of it is generated by sympathizers around the world who have little or no contact with major extremist groups.

These sympathizers are increasingly skilful at producing emotional propaganda videos showing Muslims dying and grieving at the hands of U.S. and Israeli forces. The teenagers and young adults who gravitate to such sites often aren't very religious but find in them a sense of identity and community.

"A lot of these are young kids working themselves up to becoming volunteers for jihad," said Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and author of the book Leaderless Jihad. Sageman compared the Smadi case to the adolescents behind mass high school shootings.

"Loners usually are sick," he said. "So now, instead of Goth ideology, they use al-Qaeda ideology. Before that, it was leftist ideology, and neo-Nazi."

Sageman and Carmon said their reading of the Smadi case left them believing the teenager was more angry than adept and made an unlikely terrorist. "The FBI finds these kids and says, 'Oh, yeah? You want to do something? We can facilitate that,' “Sageman said.”Without the FBI, these kids would just be bitching."

But Walter Purdy, training director at the Terrorism Research Centre in Arlington, Va., said the alleged Dallas bomber might have found other willing conspirators if the FBI had not found him first. "There are individuals who are going to take these steps, no matter what," Purdy said.

Web sites and chat rooms – usually hosted unknowingly by U.S.-based Internet service providers, Carmon said – have been used to plot attacks in Canada, Britain, Sweden, Bosnia, the United States and several other countries. "If somebody espouses jihadi views and maybe he can't get to Pakistan or Yemen or someplace else to get training, a Web site is a place where he can go to find people who think like him and acquire knowledge," Purdy said.

Perhaps the most audacious use of the Internet by a radical group occurred in Iraq. Army Lt. Col. Joseph Felter, director of the Combating Terrorism Centre at West Point, described the case two years ago in congressional testimony.

An insurgent group sponsored a Web site design contest. "The prize for the winner," Felter said, "was to launch a rocket attack against a U.S. base in Iraq simply by clicking the mouse on their computer from the comfort of their own home."

Most other virtual terrorists haven't been successful in getting together the skills and materials to carry out their plans. Two years ago, Canadian police broke up a diverse immigrant group dubbed the Toronto 18 who conspired to blow up the Canadian Parliament and other landmarks.

The group created a Web site called Clear Guidance. This attracted two young Muslims living in the Atlanta area who suggested bombing targets in Washington, D.C. A Serb living in Sweden gathered explosives for an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Bosnia, while others linked via the Internet in London and Copenhagen talked of forming al-Qaeda in Northern Europe.

"Clear Guidance didn't have any al-Qaeda presence," Sageman said. "They were all teenagers or guys in their early 20s who were basically bragging to each other."



Using Islam to justify killing leads 'to hellfire'

By Matthew Hay Brown

October 4, 2009

Scholar talks of Jihadists during Muslim educational forum

The use of Islam to justify killing is "an innovation" in the religion, a Muslim scholar told a Baltimore conference Saturday, and warned: "Most innovations lead to hellfire."

"The Satan always has people that he will be able to deceive," Dr. Waleed Basyouni said during a presentation he called "Reclaiming Islam from the Jihadists."

Hundreds of Muslims went to the Baltimore Convention Centre on Saturday to hear Basyouni and others promote what organizers described as a moderate, modern interpretation of Islam for the United States and the West. It was the opening day of Ilm Fest, an annual education conference previously staged in New York, Chicago and Toronto.

On the agenda for this year's event, which concludes today, are talks on reconciling Muslim practice with U.S. citizenship, Islam and social justice, and domestic violence in the Muslim community.

"One of our main focuses is to try to tackle different challenges that Muslims face today, particularly youth growing up here," organizer Mobeen Vaid said. "It's really to give people a way to maintain their Muslim identity in America and telling them how to positively contribute to society."

For the Saudi-educated Basyouni, that meant speaking openly about terrorism.

Basyouni said he did "not want to be among" his brothers who "still insist" that violent extremism is not a problem, or has been exaggerated by the CIA, the Israeli intelligence service or autocratic Islamic regimes, or is justified by injustices perpetrated by those groups.

He began his talk by describing "a very difficult image to forget:" the devout young man, wearing an explosive vest or wielding a machine gun, preparing to carry out an attack that he believes is righteous.

What saddens Basyouni, he said, is that the young man is wasting the one life he has been given on a false interpretation of Islam spread by "certain groups and certain individuals who ... know how to quote a verse from here and a hadith from there" - referring to the two major sources of Islamic teaching, the Quran and accounts of the life of Muhammad - "to deceive those who are still not fully aware and fully educated" in the faith.

He described killing as one of the worst sins in Islam.

"The good news is that the nature of the Muslim community is to fight terrorism," he said. "The nature of the Muslim community is to reject extremism."

This year's Ilm Fest has drawn Muslims from Virginia to New York. The event culminates a year's worth of teaching by the AlMaghrib Institute, which was founded in College Park eight years ago and now presents one- and two-weekend seminars in 25 cities throughout the United States, Canada and Britain.

"When we do our weekend seminars, usually it's students who are serious about Islamic knowledge, and we get a lot of them," said Muhammad Alshareef, founder and president of the institute. "We do events like Ilm Fest to reach out to the broader Muslim community and others who want to basically get a glimpse of the scholarship of our teachers, get a glimpse of the atmosphere, make it more of a community effort."



Friedman: Defeating terrorists requires a real commitment

October 3, 2009

He didn't want to wear earplugs. Apparently, he wanted to enjoy the blast.

That is what the Dallas Morning News reported about Hosam Maher Husein Smadi, the 19-year-old Jordanian accused of trying to blow up a downtown Dallas skyscraper. He was caught by an FBI sting operation that culminated in his arrest nearly two weeks ago — after Smadi parked a 2001 Ford Explorer Sport Trac, supplied by the FBI, in the garage of a Dallas office tower.

"Inside the SUV was a fake bomb, designed to appear similar to one used by Timothy McVeigh in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing," the Morning News wrote. "Authorities say Smadi thought he could detonate it with a cell phone. After parking the vehicle, he got into another vehicle with one of the agents, and they drove several blocks away. An agent offered Smadi earplugs, but he declined, 'indicating that he wanted to hear the blast,' authorities said. He then dialed the phone, thinking it would trigger the bomb. ... Instead, the agents took him into custody."

If that doesn't send a little shiver down your spine, how about this one? reported that "it has emerged that an al-Qaida bomber who died last month while trying to blow up a Saudi prince in Jeddah had hidden the explosives inside his body." He reportedly inserted the bomb and detonator in his rectum to elude metal detectors.

Or how about this? Two weeks ago in Denver, the FBI arrested Najibullah Zazi, a 24-year-old Afghan immigrant, and indicted him on charges of planning to set off a bomb made of the same home-brewed explosives used in the 2005 London transit bombings. He allegedly learned how to do so on a training visit to Pakistan. The New York Times reported that Zazi "had bought some bomb ingredients in beauty supply stores, the authorities said, after viewing instructions on his laptop on how to build such a bomb.

These incidents are worth reflecting on. They tell us some important things. First, we may be tired of this "war on terrorism," but the bad guys are not. They are getting even more creative.

Full Report at:


Thailand: Islamic Supremacists Murder Buddhist, Muslim Men in Attacks That Have

October 3, 2009

SUSPECTED Islamic militants have shot dead two men, including a police officer, in the restive Thai south, police said on Saturday.”

A 55-year-old sub-lieutenant, who worked at a police station in Pattani province, was killed on Friday in a drive-by shooting as he left a mosque after prayers, they said.”

Also in Pattani, a 51-year-old Buddhist man was shot dead in another drive-by shooting earlier on Friday.”

A bloody separatist insurgency has gripped Thailand’s Muslim-majority southern provinces, bordering Malaysia, for the past five years. So far it has claimed more than 3,900 lives.”

The shadowy militants, who have never publicly



Muslim MPs oppose new madrassa board

4 October 2009

NEW DELHI: There is little hope of a Central Madarsa Board being set up in the near future. As expected, a majority of the 18 Muslim members of both Houses of Parliament who attended a meeting convened by the HRD ministry on Saturday on the issue, were not in favour of either the concept or the proposed composition of the Board. HRD minister Kapil Sibal has now put the ball in their court and asked them to come up with an alternate proposal within a month. Sibal even said that in case the community is not in favour of the board, his ministry would withdraw the proposal. He reiterated that there is no attempt to interfere in the religious teachings of madarsas.

Sources said by leaving everything to the Muslim MPs, the government has ensured that no one can allege interference by it in the functioning of madarsas. On the other hand, government has an upper hand. It can always say that the community itself is not prepared to provide modern education for a small section of children who go to madarsas.

But an official said, "We will be able to bring them on board. The idea is to break the stranglehold of big madarsas over the smaller ones. We know how poorly teachers are paid despite government grants. Smaller madarsas are in favour of the board for it will reduce their reliance on the big madarsas for money. At some stage, there will be realization that the government genuinely wants to help them."

Though 30 MPs had agreed to come for the meeting, only 18 could make it. Sibal said three kinds of views were expressed by the MPs. A group of four-five MPs said the concept of setting up a Central Madarsa Board was not justified. They argued that even the Sachar Committee had said only 4% of Muslim children go to madarsas. "Then why is government so keen (on setting up the board). Instead, it should concentrate on the remaining 96% Muslim children," said one MP who attended the meeting.

Full Report at:


India: Modern education for Muslim children still a distant dream

Akhilesh Suman/M Madhusudan | New Delhi


Two years since it was first conceptualised and now taken up afresh, the plan to impart modern (non-theological) education to nearly six lakh Muslim children studying in madrasas across the country still does not seem to have become a reality. And it looks unlikely in the near future.

On Saturday, less than one-third of the total 59 Muslim MPs from the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha turned up for the meeting here convened by Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal to evolve a consensus on setting up the Central Madrasa Board (CMB). But a majority from even among the 18 (though 30 had confirmed to participate), who actually attended, opposed the Board’s structure as envisaged in the draft CMB Bill, 2009 and called for effecting major changes.

More importantly, the proposal met with opposition from Congress’ key UPA partner Trinamool Congress and none other than Minister of State for Tourism Sultan Ahmed. The BSP and MIM, both extending an outside support to the Government, too opposed besides an Independent parliamentarian. A JD(U) MP too pitched in to voice his opposition.

The proposal, however, saw the support coming in from the BJP, CPI, and CPI (M) besides the National Conference. Congress member Rashid Alvi and Independent MP Mohammad Adeeb though did not oppose the motive of the Government but advised to delay and go slowly on the sensitive issue. Interestingly, the RJD and LJP drew a blank in terms of participation.

“Three points of views emerged from the meeting. About four to five MPs said we should not even think of it. An identical number of others said it’s a good proposal. The rest, the majority, said the proposal was in the right direction but needed major changes. They said the draft should be recast,” Sibal told mediapersons after his meeting with the MPs.

Clearly wishing to take no chances, Sibal has now lobbed the ball in the court of the Muslim MPs. “I have asked them to make their objections in writing and also suggest how to constitute the Board within a month. We will have no objections to it and follow it. Once a consensus among the Muslim MPs evolves we will take it up with the Ulemas. We are ready to wait and are in no hurry. If the community says it doesn’t want it, we will not go ahead with it. If we go ahead it will be only after a consensus,” Sibal maintained.

The Bill’s provisions for the 15-member Board’s composition calls for a Muslim religious scholar each from Deoband, Barelvi and Ahi-i-Hadith schools, a scholar each from the Imam Shafai, Shia and Dawoodi Bohra sects besides a Muslim scholar of the traditional madrasa education.

But if some MPs said they were against such a division of the Muslim community, some others called for clearly defining the concept of framework and mode of language besides specifying the powers of the Board. Despite Sibal’s insistence that there would be no interference in their theological education, it did not cut ice with the MPs.

Asaduddin Owaisi, the Lok Sabha MP of All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimmen (AIMIM) from Hyderabad, a law graduate from London and who did his schooling from a public school, was the most vociferous opponent.

“The Government should take steps for the remaining 96 per cent Muslim students (4 per cent of Muslim children go to madrasas) who don’t go to madrasas. Instead of changing the originality of the theological schools the Government should recognise the degrees given by them so that they get some meaningful job on that basis,” Owaisi told The Pioneer. Shaifqur Rahman Barq of the BSP supported him. Ahmad Saeed Malihabadi (Independent) too opposed the Government’s move.

“Madrasa is the responsibility of the Muslims for the purpose of community. We neither want Government interference in it nor seek any Government aid for that. It would create a situation where there would be a dearth of even maulvis to perform religious rituals at the time of birth, death and marriage. Regulation of madrasas in Bihar and West Bengal have turned them into normal schools and theological teaching and training have been relegated to the background, “said Asaduddin Owaisi Lok Sabha MP, All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimmen

“We oppose the way they want to control the madrasas. The UPA Government might have good intentions behind regulating madrasas, but what if another Government comes later on. The Government should hold extensive talks with Muslim organisations and institutions before taking any decision,” said Shafiqur Rahman Barq Lok Sabha MP, BSP

“It seems the Government thinks madrasas create terrorists. Else, what is the motive behind such a move? I will make opposition known in writing,” said Ali Anwar Rajya Sabha MP, JD(U).



Arrest of Adlabs workers shows the racket thrives on Pakistan link

October 4, 2009

Film piracy was the talk of Bollywood last week.

The master print of Ashutosh Gowariker's new film What's Your Rashee? was almost stolen by some workers at the Adlabs Processing lab in Mumbai's Film City a day before release.

Co-producers UTV Motion Pictures slapped a legal notice of Rs 50 crore each on Adlabs and UFO Moviez, the film's distributors, for abetting piracy. But the aftermath is proof enough of the fact that the Hindi film industry is still not taking the malady as seriously as it should. Adlabs and UFO Moviez are still to reply to UTV on the subject. Not only that, UTV had requested the Filmmakers Union to send showcause notices to Adlabs and UFO Moviez. None of it has happened.

UTV is fighting the battle alone for now with not many individual producers rallying behind the banner.

A police crackdown after the UTV complaint saw the manager of Adlabs and six other workers being arrested, and the police recovering pirated DVDs worth Rs 1 lakh of recent movies, including What's Your Raashee? and Dil Bole Hadippa!, among others.

While Gowariker and UTV managed to save his film's print on time, others weren't so lucky. The low-budget Rishi Kapoor-starrer Chintuji was available on video sharing and download websites two days before its September 4 release.

"The best we could do at that stage was put an immediate embargo and notify a crackdown with the cyber crime division. But by then it was too late," says Chintuji producer Bobby Bedi.

Piracy has always been a menace for Bollywood, and yet, little has been done to curb it. Each year, Bollywood loses around Rs 1,000 crore because of piracy, says Sidhartha Roy Kapoor, CEO of UTV Motion Pictures.

Full Report at:


Islamic Jihad predicts 'imminent' Israeli attack


Gaza – Ma'an – Islamic Jihad's armed wing expects Israel to renew attacks on Gaza soon, an official alleged on Saturday.

Abu Ahmad, spokesman for the Al-Quds Brigades, said "developments" had led the militant wing to suspect Israel was planning an imminent but unspecified incursion in "the coming days or weeks." He did not elaborate.

But he also applauded Thursday's agreement that saw 19 Palestinian women and girls released from Israeli prisons after Hamas produced a video proving that captured soldier Gilad Shalit was still alive.

"The Al-Quds Brigades believe the big swap was honourable at every stage, as the resistance will never bow to Israeli pressure," he said. "We will not tolerate foreign intervention pushing a deal forward at any price."

He added that Islamic Jihad considered the partial swap a victory not only for the freed prisoners, but for Shalit's captors, as well, and despite "political pressure to hand him over [without an extended deal]."



Well, She Can Convert, Can’t She?

By kinziblogs

Jad thought this would make an interesting post. It’s one of those uncomfortable topics that pop up when one has cute, unattached gal-pals friends while living in this part of the world.

One begins to receive proposals on their behalf. People started seriously asking about my daughter when she was about six months old. I still get them on occasion, from toothless old taxi drivers. When I say no, they then try offering money. As if some things can be bought.

I have no problem facilitating cross-cultural love-matches, so it isn’t a racist issue. I have enjoyed helping and watching a least a dozen happen among guys and girls who are mature, intelligent, understanding. There are several Jordanian girls I would be very happy to have as daughter-in-law some day.

But the one thing that they must have in common for my seal of approval is faith.

Just as I would not try and set up a Muslim girl with a Christian man, because it is forbidden to her, neither would I set up a Muslim man with a Christian girl, because it is forbidden to her. I explain that carefully, thinking it is a deal breaker for anyone who respects the religious mandates of others.

Even so, I hear this: “No, don’t worry, it’s ok for us to marry Christian women”. OK, I say, that is not the issue, even if it is ok for you, it is NOT ok for her as a believing Christian. If she does, she is disobeying her faith. Heart hunger can at times cloud spiritual clarity.

Without fail, the very next thing I hear is: “Well, she can convert, can’t she?”

The Bible is clear that Christians are to marry only Christians. It is called “being equally yoked”. The imagery from the agrarian society of the time is very appropriate: two equally matched animals pull the load together best. Families and marriages can be heavy responsibilities at times. If one is weaker, the work will not get done, plowing the field will be a messy business. If one goes off on another path, the yolk will break. Yolk two different kinds of animals, and someone is going to get hurt.

Full Report at:


Life beneath the veil for Muslim women at Yale

October 3, 2009

Christina Huffington uncovers the truth beneath stereotypes surrounding the Muslim headscarf.

Tasnim Motala, MC ’12, was in fourth grade when she made the decision to wear a veil. Donning the veilor hijab is a momentous step for a nine-year-old, and Motala spent the next two years alternating between wearing the headscarf and leaving her hair uncovered. In sixth grade, she decided to wear the hijab permanently.

At Yale, the process is different for each Muslim girl who weighs the decision to wear the hijab, but one theme runs constant: To don the veil is her choice and her choice alone. In Western society, where Muslim women who wear the veil are thought to be oppressed, subjugated, or, as French President Nicolas Sarkozy put it, “prisoners behind the screen,” many incorrectly assume that these women have been pressured by their religion—or forced by controlling male relatives—to cover their hair.

This assumption is incorrect and unfair to those women who make the personal choice to wear the hijab. The women who wear the veil at Yale wear it not because it is required, but because it provides a connection with Islam and engenders a strong sense of identity and self-respect.

Some of these young women are the first ones in their family to decide to cover their hair. Motala donned the veil before her mother did, and Zenah Hasan, TD ’11, is the only woman in her immediate family to wear the veil. In fact, Hasan had to work hard to convince her family that she was making the right decision in donning the hijab.

“I come from a South Asian cultural background where most women, especially liberal ones, don’t wear the veil,” Hasan said. “It’s something you don’t need to do, and it can make life harder.” But after a cousin started to wear the hijab in the months following Sept. 11, 2001, Hasan began exploring the option of covering her hair. When she shared the decision to cover her hair with her parents, her father, thinking of the rise in racial profiling and hate crimes after 9/11, was apprehensive. Despite their initial wariness, however, Hasan’s family came to fully respect her decision.

Hasan’s determination to wear the hijab is especially interesting considering that her family lived in Saudi Arabia for six years, where Hasan’s mother was required to wear both a veil and a full-body garment. Though Hasan was a young girl when she left Saudi Arabia, she remembers Saudi societal norms as “very oppressive” in great contrast the West, where donning the hijab is “overwhelmingly the girl’s own choice.”

While most women in America make the choice to wear the hijab themselves, it is true that women in some Islamic countries, like Saudi Arabia, are required by Shari’a law to wear the hijab or, in more extreme circumstances, the burqa. Unfortunately, in the Western imagination, the hijab has become associated with the oppressive laws governing women in those countries. Stories of Muslim girls who are murdered by male relatives for refusing to wear the veil fuel stereotypes that cast a negative light on the practice of wearing a headscarf.

Full Report at:


Akram's Razor - Reflections on Islam, Muslims & America

October 03, 2009

Observations on Islam, America and international affairs from an unapologetic liberal and a proud American Muslim

The latest titilation from Egypt Oy vey, where to begin?

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Egypt anger over virginity faking

A leading Egyptian scholar has demanded that people caught importing a female virginity-faking device into the country should face the death penalty.

Abdul Mouti Bayoumi said supplying the item was akin to spreading vice in society, a crime punishable by death in Islamic Sharia law.[MORE]

Meanwhile, men are getting it on with impunity. Given the double standards and life changing penalties many women face for making the same mistakes as the guys, I'm not sure I'm all that concerned about this, at least so long as this doesn't result in the spread of venereal disease. It takes two to tango, too.

It's not right for people to misrepresent their sexual past to prospective spouses, of course, but neither is having your life ruined for a mistake that is commonplace in your generation, which much of "modern" culture seems designed to encourage and which is undetectable among your male peers.

I also find it very saddening to see a prominent scholar could advocate such a ridiculously draconian measure for an action that does not cause people any physical harm. This would hardly be the only source of vice in Egyptian life.

However one feels about the ethics of this device, such a call makes a mockery of Islamic law. (And, accepting these bizarre premises for a moment for the sake of conversation, what about the fact that a girl can rupture her hymen through a variety of non-sexual activities? Should someone be killed for aiding such a girl in protecting her honor and marital prospects?)



Pak frames law to haul up renamed terror groups

Press Trust Of India

Islamabad, October 04, 2009

The anti-terror law in Pakistan has been amended allowing authorities to act against members of outlawed groups that set up new outfits with different names, a move which may have ramifications for Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) whose founder Hafiz Saeed floated Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) after it was banned.

An ordinance promulgated on Saturday by President Asif Ali Zardari amending the Anti-Terrorism Act of 1997 stated that if "office bearers, activists or associates of a proscribed organisation form a new organisation under a different name, upon suspicion about their involvement in similar activities, the said organisation shall also be deemed to be a proscribed organisation."

The government may then "issue a formal notification" about the proscription of the new group formed by members of a banned organisation, it said.

Soon after the LeT was banned in Pakistan in the wake of the 2001 attack on Indian Parliament, its founder Saeed floated the JuD, describing it as a charitable organisation. The UN Security Council declared the JuD a front for the LeT after last year's Mumbai terror attacks and imposed restrictions on Saeed.

The Pakistan government has said on several occasions that the JuD has been banned, though no formal written notification has been issued in this regard.


Pakistan Army orders inquiry into Internet beating clip

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Army has ordered an inquiry into a video clip posted online that apparently shows members of the security forces beating up suspected militants, the army spokesman said on Saturday. The 10-minute clip, widely circulated on the Internet, shows men in army uniforms questioning at least four suspects in turn, before pushing them to the ground and kicking and whipping the detainees. “We have ordered a detailed investigation into this incident,” Inter-Services Public Relations Director General Major-General Athar Abbas said. “The inquiry is underway and the culprits will face stern action if [the abuse is] proven,” he said. afp\10\04\story_4-10-2009_pg1_4


Decision to kill Hasina was taken 'centrally'

Julfikar Ali Manik

Sunday, October 4, 2009

States Aug 21 attack charge sheet but skips detailing it; venue episode left a mystery

The charge sheet in the August 21 grenade blasts case points to a meticulous plot to kill the then opposition chief Sheikh Hasina, but clears up no questions along that line. Submitted on June 9 last year by Criminal Investigation Department, the charge sheet does not give any details of the plot.

It confines itself to describing briefly a few meetings between Huji leaders and the then deputy minister and BNP leader Abdus Salam Pintu just days before the blasts.

It says Abu Taher, then president of Dhaka city Huji, met Mufti Abdul Hannan, prime accused and top leader of Huji, and Ahsanullah Kajal, organising secretary of the outfit's Dhaka city unit, near Mohammadpur Supermarket in the capital, on August 18.

He informed the other two that “it has been decided centrally that the August 21 Awami League rally would be attacked to kill them [Hasina and others], and a meeting has been held with Salam Pintu”.

Later that day, Taher took Hannan and Kajal to Pintu's house in Dhanmondi for further discussion.

The charge sheet clearly says the decision to kill Hasina was taken at a central forum of an organisation, but it does not go into detail.

It does not mention who were the “central leaders” involved in decision-making regarding the August 21 carnage that left 23 people killed and over 300 injured.

It all suggests the investigators did not bother to follow up the clue that experts say is serious enough to call for further probe.

They also did not seek answers to questions like who initiated the plot and where it was decided to kill Hasina and other AL leaders.

The charges pressed against 21 Huji men and Pintu do not explain if the attackers knew about the venue before AL announced on August 20 that it would hold the rally on Bangabandhu Avenue.

AL sought the government's permission to use Muktangan for the rally a week before August 21. But as it did not get any response even on August 20, it decided to settle for Bangabandhu Avenue.

The decision was published in the newspapers the following day.

Full Report at:


AL culprits warned

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hasina asks for stern action against extortion, tender manipulation; vows to spare none for tarnishing party

Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday gave orders for taking action against party men involved in extortion, tender manipulation and other unlawful activities, which are tarnishing the image of the party.

"Stern actions will be taken against those involved in any unlawful activity. Nobody will be spared," the AL chief told a meeting of the AL Central Working Committee (ALCWC) at the party's Dhanmondi office.

AL General Secretary and LGRD Minister Syed Ashraful Islam told reporters after the meeting that they have received many complaints of extortion, tender manipulation and other malpractices by party men. "We will take tough actions against those involved in these activities upon investigation," he said.

On facing the existing acute shortage of power, Hasina told the meeting that it needs time to resolve the crisis. "It is possible to generate 4,500MW power using coal from Barapukuria mine, but before starting mining, locals will have to be rehabilitated," she said.

The PM asked State Minister for Forest and Environment Dr Hasan Mahmud to conduct a feasibility study to assess relocation of Barapukuria locals and submit the report to the cabinet soon.

The new ALCWC, which sat for the first time since its formation last July, discussed the overall socio-economic and political and organisational matters.

At the five-hour-long meeting, AL central leaders said the massive involvement of leaders of the party, Chhatra League, Jubo League and Swechchhasebak League in extortion and tender manipulation is tarnishing the image of the government as well as the party, meeting sources said.

Demanding immediate action against party leaders and workers involved in such unlawful activities, they said both the government and the party would have to pay heavily if this is not checked now.

The AL pledged before the ninth parliamentary polls to take stern actions against such crimes to implement the party's charter for changes.

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PML-N says staying away from polls not part of any deal

October 04, 2009

LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-N has denied the allegation that Nawaz Sharif decided not to contest by-election under a deal with Saudi king.

Talking to Geo News on Sunday, spokesman of PML-N Senator Pervez Rasheed said there is no substance in the report carried by Online news agency which says Nawaz Sharif’s staying out of polls is part of a deal.

The news agency claimed that Mian Nawaz Sharif during his visit to Saudi Arabia in the holy month Ramazan met with Saudi king Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz the latter asked the former to honour the agreement made between Saudi government and former president Pervez Musharraf.

The report said that during the above meeting Nawaz Sharif was reminded that he cannot contest elections for 10 years under the agreement.

Senator Pervez Rasheed rejected the report.


Details of Nawaz meeting with Saudi king see light

October 04, 2009

KARACHI: The details of the meeting between Pakistan Muslim League-N Chief Nawaz Sharif and Saudi Arabia’s King have come to light.

According to a local news agency, Mian Nawaz Sharif cannot contest elections under an agreement with the Saudi king.


Al Ain centre focusing on music of Islamic world will be global first

By Anna Seaman, October 03. 2009

Al Ain is to become home to the world’s first centre dedicated to preserving the musical heritage of the Islamic world, a senior cultural official confirmed yesterday.

Although the Al Ain Centre for Music in the World of Islam will not open until 2011, it will launch a schedule of events, research and outreach programmes almost immediately.

“There is no centre in the entire world with such a specific scope,” said Dr Sami al Masri, deputy director general and director of strategic planning at the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (Adach).

“It will cover aspects of musical history, including old instruments, archive musical scores and the sub-genres of folk music, which are rarely researched and never promoted.”

Ahead of a two-day conference in Abu Dhabi attended by 30 specialists in ethnic music and anthropology from 21 countries, Dr al Masri said that the long-term aim of the centre would be to establish a base of expertise in the region.

“Currently, people with professional capacities in this area are largely based in the West. We want the focus to be on preserving the knowledge in the Islamic world,” he said.

“Music is an important part of culture. It is an expression, linked to aspirations, habits and traditions. Especially by studying the types of music that are not often promoted, we can learn a lot about our history.”

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Palestinians angry as President Mahmoud Abbas drops Israel war crimes case

AP 4 October 2009

RAMALLAH (West Bank): Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas faced growing outrage at home on Sunday over his decision to withdraw support for a UN report that alleged Israel and Hamas committed war crimes in last winter's Gaza war.

Abbas' reversal came as a result of intense U.S. pressure, Palestinian officials said. The report by respected justice Richard Goldstone will now lie dormant for at least six months rather than be sent to the UN General Assembly with possible recommendations for action.

Israel, which vehemently denies the war crimes allegations, has warned that dealing with the Goldstone report now would derail peace efforts. The Obama administration is pushing hard to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and a senior U.S. envoy is returning to the region in coming days to try to narrow gaps over the terms of such talks.

Israel launched the three-week war to quash militant rocket barrages from Gaza that had terrorized residents of southern Israel for years. The UN report accused Israel of using disproportionate force and targeting civilian areas. It faulted Hamas for firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli towns. Both sides have denied committing war crimes.

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UN atomic chief set for talks in Iran

Agence France-Presse, Tehran, October 04, 2009

The head of the UN atomic watchdog was due to hold talks today with senior Iranian officials on allowing its inspectors into Iran's new uranium enrichment plant at the holy city of Qom, local media said.

Mohamed ElBaradei's visit comes after Washington and its allies demanded rapid progress in revived talks in Geneva last week on Iran's controversial nuclear programme.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief was expected to meet Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, and other officials on Sunday, news agencies said.

The main purpose of his visit is to discuss with Iranian officials "how UN inspectors can visit the Qom plant, other nuclear facilities and to discuss more cooperation," the ILNA news agency said.

Iran's English-language Press TV said ElBaradei would not visit the Qom facility himself during his trip.

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Jack Straw ‘too close’ to pro-Hamas faction

October 4, 2009

A SECRET MI5 report on Islamic extremism in Blackburn has raised “potential concerns” about some radical Muslim factions known to Jack Straw, the local MP and justice secretary.

A senior security figure who has seen the report said it underlined concern among cabinet colleagues that Straw could be “too close” to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), a prominent Muslim umbrella group. The government formally severed links with the group after a blazing row over extremism earlier this year.

“Jack’s a bit too close to the MCB — he sometimes appears to suggest they are the only game in town. There is a concern that proximity to them may colour [his] judgment,” the insider said.

The secret report on Islamist extremists in Blackburn was produced in August last year by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), based at MI5’s London headquarters.

The security figure emphasised that Straw was not mentioned in the report. “That is not the protocol of these reports. But the JTAC document does raise some potential concerns over some individuals who are key figures in the town. It’s a small pond and by definition they are figures Jack would know or know of,” he said.

It is not the first time that fears have been raised over the influence of Islamists in Blackburn, where the majority of the electorate is Muslim.

When Tony Blair sacked Straw as foreign secretary three years ago, it was suggested that the move was prompted by White House concerns about his views on the Middle East. Condoleezza Rice, then US secretary of state, was said to have been shocked to discover the influence of Muslims in Straw’s constituency when she visited him there in 2006.

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Iran's real crime: refusing to venerate the West's holy cows

by Iqbal Siddiqui, October 3, 2009

"Its refusal to allow the Western powers to dictate its energy policy, through the spurious authority of the UN and the IAEA, is bad enough. The fact is it is doing so not only on grounds of its interests, but because it rejects the mythical moral foundations of that authority (the same foundations that supposedly legitimise the Zionist state) makes it not just an outlaw, but a revolutionary threat. And the fact that it is doing so in the name of Islam, with the potential to inspire up to a quarter of the world’s population, is what renders it so very dangerous."

In the months since the inauguration of Barack Obama as president of the USA in January, the hype that characterised his campaign has all but disappeared. Only his most ardent fans continue to expect much from him, although they are disproportionately represented in the world’s westoxicated media; commentators in the US are already talking of him as a likely one-term president. Elsewhere too, the realisation has long since dawned that in most significant ways his policies are little different to those of George W. Bush; only the tone and style of his presidency are different.

This has been most obvious in his policies on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and other issues in the Muslim world. For all his conciliatory words on Islam and Muslims, his policies are essentially similar to those of the Bush administration. It is hardly surprising therefore that his attention should turn to Iran last month, as he prepared for his first attendance at the General Assembly of the United Nations at the end of the month. After his speech to the UN, Obama was accused by some US commentators for apologising for America. The following day, at the G20 summit in Pittsburgh, he reassured them. How? By taking a familiarly tough stance against the one constant bogeyman in American foreign policy over the last three decades: Iran. Other players in the global game — Saddam Hussain, the Taliban, Osama bin Laden, Moscow, Colonel Qaddafi, even France — may wax and wane in the US consciousness, moving from friend to rival to enemy, as suits the US agenda, but Iran has been a constant enemy throughout.

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Al Franken vs. the War on Terror

By Tim Graham, October 3, 2009

Washington Examiner focused attention on an unfolding story the liberal media doesn't want to highlight.

Some key parts of the Patriot Act are set to expire in December. When the anti-terrorism law was passed in the days after 9-11, Congress put eight-year time limits on the most far-reaching provisions. Since the Democrats didn't really favor a War on Terror, their preference for the civil liberties of terrorist suspects over the civil liberties of future terrorist victims is becoming clear. York looked at one exchange in the Senate with freshman Sen. Al Franken:

Even roving wiretaps, a widely accepted, common-sense feature of the Patriot Act, have come under question. At a Sept. 23 committee hearing, Sen. Al Franken, the newest member of the committee, challenged the constitutionality of such wiretaps, and in the process left an Obama Justice Department official -- who supports the law -- muttering in frustration.

That official, Assistant Attorney General David Kris, tried to explain to Franken that the law allows, and the courts have held, that investigators can wiretap a suspect based on a specific description of that suspect's activities, even if investigators don't know his name.

Franken, who pointed out that he is not a lawyer, was unimpressed. "That's what brings me to this," he said, pulling a copy of the Constitution from his coat pocket. He read aloud the Fourth Amendment: "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue but upon probable cause supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized."

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Obama's Iran moment

By Glen Meakem, October 4, 2009

Last month, the world learned Iran has a second, previously secret facility for creating weapons-grade nuclear material. Iran has successfully test-fired ballistic missiles that could carry nuclear weapons to Israel and parts of Europe.

In response, President Obama and other leaders threatened new economic sanctions, but not possible military action. Defense Secretary Robert Gates even said, "There is no military option that does anything more than buy time."

But time is just what we need. Here are five reasons why the U.S. must stop Iran.

First, Iran's leaders simply cannot be trusted with nuclear weapons. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said the Holocaust is "a lie" and that Israel "is an illegitimate regime that must be wiped off the face of the Earth."

According to Hassan Shariatmadari, editor-in-chief of Iran's most influential daily newspaper and a close confidant of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the "need to wipe Israel from the map has been the defined policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran from the very beginning. We declare explicitly that we will not be satisfied with anything less than the complete obliteration of the Zionist regime from the political map of the world."

These leaders killed and tortured their own people this summer to hold on to power. They adhere to an apocalyptic Islamic ideology. There is a solid chance that deterrence from "mutually assured destruction" would not work with them. We must take them at their word.

Second, North Korea shows that when a dictatorial regime is determined to obtain nuclear weapons, diplomacy fails. Democrat and Republican administrations have failed to prevent North Korea from producing nuclear material and crude nuclear weapons.

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