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Islamic World News ( 7 Oct 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Indian embassy in Afghanistan attacked: Was Pakistan involved?

Kashmir: India kills rebels from group behind 2008 Mumbai attacks by Ben Hancock

Al-Qaeda Declares Holy War on China Over Oppression of Uighurs by James Rupert

Iran 'hands down first death sentence for election protests'

Hamas bans bike rides for Gaza women

Traders in Amritsar, Jammu held for ‘funding’ Lashkar militants

Bangladesh steps up troops deployment on Myanmar border amid row

CIA Knew About Iran's Secret Nuclear Plant Long Before Disclosure by BOBBY GHOSH

Taliban say want to end foreign occupation

17 Taliban killed: US, Afghan troops seize tons of opium

Egypt cuts ties with Louvre by Paul Schemm

Iran, Serbia Ink Cultural MoU

Course on Islamic culture and ‘Cultural Islam’ in Doha

Afghan troop boost 'would unite extremists' by John Shovelan

Can the Taliban really distance themselves from al-Qaida?

Iran says 'some countries' offer it nuclear fuel

Taliban say they're no threat to other countries

Goldstone report: New roadblock to Palestinian reconciliation? by Ilene R. Prusher

Muslim life in East London Mosque shown in pictures

Afghanistan: more troops or missile strikes? Both, actually by Gordon Lubold

U.S. Department of Justice may look into attack on Ann Arbor Muslims

German publishing house self-censors over book critical of Muslims by Ethel C. Fenig

Malaysia in ferment: Mahathir challenging popular belief Muslims should not brush their teeth during Ramadan, Pas' spiritual leader Nik Aziz's brave plans to ban the wearing of the purdah by Sun Line

The Man Who Dared To Draw Muhammad: "I attempted to show that terrorists get their spiritual ammunition from parts of Islam”

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/indian-embassy-in-afghanistan-attacked--was-pakistan-involved?/d/1871

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Indian embassy in Afghanistan attacked: Was Pakistan involved?

By Ben Arnoldy

October 8, 2009

Thursday's suicide bomb attack on the Indian embassy in Kabul raises questions about Pakistan's role in Afghanistan.

NEW DELHI - A suicide car bomb exploded outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul Thursday morning, killing 17 people and wounding dozens more.

A Taliban spokesman claimed credit for the attack and said the embassy was the intended target.

In July of 2008 militants rammed the same embassy with a car bomb that killed 60 people. Both US and Indian officials later claimed they had uncovered evidence that Pakistan's spy agency was in contact with the attackers.

That recent history and the long simmering Indian-Pakistan conflict over possession of Kashmir had some Indian security analysts pointing Pakistan's way on Thursday.

"I would suggest this is the same thing. Pakistan simply doesn't want any Indian presence in the region," says Ajai Sahni, director of the Institute of Conflict Management in New Delhi. Asked how that could impact India-Pakistan relations, Dr. Sahni replied, "What relations? This is just a cyclical game. A new attack doesn't change anything."

Others have more doubts. "Given the divide between Taliban and Pakistan in recent years, particularly since Pakistan troops are fighting Taliban forces in Pakistan, I would rather see it as the Taliban's own initiative," says Suba Chandran, assistant director of the Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies in New Delhi.

But he agrees with Sahni that if Pakistani elements were involved it would barely register diplomatically, since the relationship cannot get much worse.

DOES WASHINGTON CARE?

While it's common to hear sighs of resignation from the Indian establishment about Pakistan, the reaction could run hotter in Washington. After last year's attack on the Indian embassy, US officials leaked intelligence intercepts that pointed Pakistan's way, a move that marked a nadir in relations between the two countries.

By all accounts, the trust between Washington and Islamabad has markedly improved over the past half year, following a series of military offensives inside Pakistan aimed at routing anti-government Taliban. US-Pakistani intelligence coordination is also credited with successful drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal belt that have killed Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud and Tahir Yuldashev, the head of the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

But Thursday's bombing could remind Washington that Pakistan still has done little to rein in militant groups whose attacks are focused outside Pakistan. Pakistani intelligence has traditionally used such groups to advance its interests in Afghanistan and to put pressure on India. The group blamed for the first Indian embassy attack as well as numerous other attacks in Afghanistan – the Haqqani Network – operates in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal agency.

Meanwhile, the Pakistani military is upset with Washington over conditions attached to a $7.5 billion US aid package. In an unusually strong public statement, the Army's top commanders released a press statement expressing "serious concerns" that some of the bill's clauses would hurt "national security."

The spat over the aid comes at a bad time. The Pakistani military stands poised to launch an offensive in the South Waziristan tribal area, a fight that Pakistani security experts say will require close cooperation between Pakistan and the US, which flies drones over the region.

The Taliban have plenty of their own reasons for attacking the Indian embassy. India supported the Northern Alliance when the Taliban controlled Kabul. And since 2001, India has contributed more than a billion dollars in aid to Afghanistan's reconstruction – a large sum for New Delhi and a significant boost for the government in Kabul. Indian contractors are building infrastructure, while Indian experts are helping train Afghanistan's military officers. New Delhi has avoided sending its military to fight, however.

Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1008/p06s02-wosc.html

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Kashmir: India kills rebels from group behind 2008 Mumbai attacks

By Ben Hancock, October 08, 2009

India also accused Pakistan of sending captured Taliban fighters to the disputed Kashmir territory in a 'jail or jihad' deal.

India and Pakistan's simmering conflict in Kashmir boiled over this week as Indian soldiers exchanged fire with rebels from the terrorist group behind last year's Mumbai attacks. The exchange came also as Indian officials alleged that Pakistan is sending captured Taliban militants to fight in the disputed Himalayan territory, giving them the option of "jail or jihad."

Indian troops on Wednesday shot dead seven rebels, four of whom were from the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Reuters reported. One of the slain militants was identified as top Let commander Abu Hamza, according to the News Agency of Kashmir.

The group was behind attacks that killed at least 166 people in the Indian financial capital in November. Last month, senior Australian official John Brumby cancelled a trip to Mumbai after the Australian government said there was reason to believe there could be more terrorist attacks there this fall, the Financial Times reported.

India is growing more concerned about Taliban infiltration after intelligence suggested Pakistan may be offering captured militants the option of fighting in Kashmir instead of going to prison, Britain's Telegraph reported.

 [Indian officials] alleged 60 Taliban fighters captured in the Pakistan army's offensive to re-assert government rule in the Swat Valley earlier this year had accepted the deal and were now waiting with an estimated 300 jihadist fighters to cross into Kashmir.

Indian officials are now braced for a series of incursions and border battles in the next two to three weeks as the militants make their move.

Officials said the militants were offered a "jail or jihad" choice by senior officers of Pakistan's ISI intelligence service and that the plot had been discovered in a series of intercepted telephone conversations.

Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony accused Pakistan of being unwilling to take action against terrorists infiltrating Jammu and Kashmir from its side of the border, Indian Express reported.

"The main thing is, even after [the Mumbai attacks], Pakistan is not willing to take strong action against these infiltrators," Antony told reporters here on the sidelines of Defence Accounts Department headquarters building inauguration.

Noting that all these terrorist camps were near to their army formation, he said if they are sincere they can control it.

Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1008/p99s01-duts.html

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Al-Qaeda Declares Holy War on China Over Oppression of Uighurs

By James Rupert October 8, 2009

A leading al-Qaeda theologian and possible successor to Osama bin Laden called for a holy war against China, which he accused of “Satanic” oppression of Muslims in the westernmost province of Xinjiang.

“The state of atheism is heading to its fall,” Abu Yahya al-Libi said in a video posted on an unspecified Islamic Web site, Reuters reported yesterday. China has carried out massacres of Muslim ethnic Uighurs in Xinjiang and pursued policies aimed at “their demise and destruction” while “looting their wealth and undermining their culture and religion,” Reuters citing him saying.

“This is the latest in a series of warnings that should make the Chinese greatly worried,” said Bahukutumbi Raman, a former Indian counter-terrorism chief and analyst at India’s Chennai Centre for China Studies. After Chinese-Uighur riots in Xinjiang in July, “al-Qaeda in the Maghreb issued a threat to attack Chinese targets,” and a riot erupted in Algiers Aug. 3 against local Chinese shopkeepers.

The July riots in Xinjiang’s capital were the deadliest in China in decades, with almost 200 people killed and more than a thousand injured. Muslim Uighurs have complained that decades of government-sponsored migration to the province threatens to make them a minority in their own homeland and destroy their culture.

The growing focus of al-Qaeda and its affiliates on Xinjiang “is a serious and growing concern” for China, Fan Shiming, assistant dean of international studies at Peking University, said yesterday at a conference in New Delhi.

Full Report at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20670001&sid=al9wM3k5zjLQ

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Iran 'hands down first death sentence for election protests'

October 8, 2009

The first death sentence for participation in Iran’s post election protests was handed down on Monday, an Iranian reformist website has reported.

Mowcamp, one of the many Farsi-language sites relied on by opposition supporters to spread news, reported that the accused, Mohammed Reza Ali-Zamani, had been informed of the verdict on Monday after the conclusion of his trial. The website gave no source for its report, which could not be independently verified.

The website reported that Mr Ali-Zamani “was transferred on Monday from Evin prison ward 209 to Revolutionary Court number 15, presided over by Justice Salabati and the execution verdict was communicated to him.” Evin is the name of Tehran’s most infamous prison, where regime opponents have been imprisoned since the reign of the Shah.

If confirmed, it would be the first death sentence yet in the trials of more than 100 opposition supporters for allegedly fomenting street violence following President Ahmadinejad’s disputed election victory in June.

Opposition supporters and international and local human rights groups have denounced the proceedings as “show trials” designed to intimidate the general populace and uproot the moderate opposition supporting his rival, Mir Hossein Mousavi.

Full Report at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article6865877.ece

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Hamas bans bike rides for Gaza women

8 October 2009

GAZA CITY (Gaza Strip): The Hamas government has banned motorcycle riders from carrying women on the back seat latest in the militants’ virtue campaign in Gaza.

The ban was posted on Hamas Interior Ministry Web site on Tuesday.

It says the ban seeks “to preserve citizen safety and the stability of Palestinian society’s customs and traditions.’’

Hamas wants to impose a strict interpretation of Islam. Its other efforts have included breaking up mixed couples on the beach and obliging female lawyers to wear headscarves in court.

The group insists compliance with the campaign is voluntary and reflects Gaza’s conservative ways, but reports have surfaced of offenders being beaten or arrested. Gazan women almost never drive motorcycles, and rarely even ride behind men.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Hamas-bans-bike-rides-for-Gaza-women/articleshow/5099554.cms

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Traders in Amritsar, Jammu held for ‘funding’ Lashkar militants

Oct 08, 2009

Srinagar: Police in Jammu and Kashmir have busted a hawala racket involving traders and businessmen in Punjab and Jammu who allegedly funnel funds to Lashkar-e-Toiba militants in the Kashmir Valley — and get huge cuts in return.

There have been such arrests in the past as well but this is the first time that traders from outside the Valley have been allegedly involved in such funding.

Sources confirmed to The Indian Express that four businessmen were arrested during raids after an alleged conduit was picked up handing over cash to an “over ground worker (OGW)” in Banihal. An OGW is an unarmed guide and handler to militants.

Police said militants are taking advantage of the absence of legal banking facilities for trade across the Line of Control — it currently runs on a barter system.

Sources said police put Budgam resident and businessman Mushtaq Ahmad under surveillance for a year and trapped him recently when he was handing over Rs 10 lakh to an OGW identified as Abdullah. Both were arrested.

“Mushtaq Ahmad set up the shop in a plush Srinagar locality as a front and most of the time, it remained shut,” a police officer investigating the case said. “Once we searched the shop, we found grenades there.”

Full Report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/526570/

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Bangladesh steps up troops deployment on Myanmar border amid row

October 07, 2009

Dhaka--Amid growing diplomatic tension between Bangladesh and Myanmar, Dhaka has reinforced troops deployment along the border with its eastern neighbour as it protested against erecting of a border fence by Yangon.

The border guard Bangladesh Rifles has cancelled all but essential leaves as tension mounted along the Naikhyangchhari border in Bandarban after Myanmar resumed border fencing on Friday. Myanmar also reinforced army deployment on its side of the border.

The Home Ministry asked the Director General of the Bangladesh Rifles to keep their forces "on alert" along the border.

"Troop deployment in the border has been reinforced and all but essential leaves of BDR personnel have been cancelled," Major General Mohammad Mainul Islam, Director General of the Bangladesh Rifles, was quoted as saying by the New Age newspaper on Wednesday.

Islam said BDR troops had been deployed along sensitive areas in the border and other preparation had also been made.

Dhaka may need to resume diplomatic efforts to stop intrusion of Myanmar citizens into the Bangladesh territory seeking shelter or employment, a home ministry official said, adding intrusion into Bangladesh was damaging the country's overseas labour market and reputation of its workers.

"Most of the illegal migrant workers, including boatmen in Cox’s Bazar, Bandarban and other places along the Bangladesh coast are Myanmar citizens," a source said, quoting an intelligence agency report.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/News/bangladesh/B-desh-steps-up-troops-deployment-on-Myanmar-border-amid-row/Article1-462361.aspx

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CIA Knew About Iran's Secret Nuclear Plant Long Before Disclosure

By BOBBY GHOSH

Oct. 07, 2009

A view of what is believed to be a uranium-enrichment facility near Qum, Iran, is seen in this satellite photograph from Sept. 25, 2009

DigitalGlobe / Reuters

This summer, as the Obama Administration prepared to confront Iran with proof of its undisclosed uranium-enrichment plant in Qum, CIA Director Leon Panetta ordered his staff to work with European intelligence agencies to compile a comprehensive presentation about the facility. Although the Iranians had taken great pains to keep the facility a secret, building it into a mountain 100 miles southwest from Tehran, the CIA had known about it for three years.

Panetta was told about Qum during the White House transition period in January. "This was presented at that time as something nobody knew about, a secret facility," he told TIME in an exclusive interview. "It was built into a mountain; obviously that raised question marks." Panetta said that after he was confirmed as the agency's director, "we spent the next months trying to get better intel about what was going on there ... and conducting covert operations into that area."

(See pictures of the world's worst nuclear disasters.)

As part of that effort, the CIA worked with British and French intelligence, which had also been on the lookout for the secret plant. They knew there had to be one; once Iran's primary enrichment plan in Natanz was revealed, in 2002, it was assumed that the Iranians would build a second one somewhere.

The Qum site first attracted the attention of Western intelligence agencies in 2006, when the CIA noted unusual activity at the mountain: the Iranians moved an anti-aircraft battery to the site, a clear sign that something important was being built there.

Full Report at: http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1929088,00.html

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Taliban say want to end foreign occupation

October 08, 2009

KABUL: Afghanistan's insurgent Taliban marked the eighth anniversary of the U.S. invasion by saying they have no ``agenda' 'to harm other countries but would continue fighting as long as America and its allies remain in the troubled nation. The Taliban insisted that it would pose no threat to other countries.

In an Internet statement, the Taliban said their goal was ``independence and establishment of an Islamic system.'' ``We did not have any agenda to harm other countries including Europe, nor we have such agenda today,'' the group said. ``Still, if you want to turn the country of the proud and pious Afghans into a colony, then know that we have an unwavering determination and have braced for a prolonged war.''

The Taliban called on foreign forces to leave the country.

``We call on the American rulers and their allies of the coalition once again to put an end to the game of occupying Afghanistan and killing the Afghans under unsubstantiated pretexts,'' the statement said.

``At the beginning, they were promising they will withdraw within three months, in their words, after eliminating the so-called terrorism,'' the statement said, referring to U.S. forces. ``Contrarily, today, eight years (later) they have built up hundreds of military bases in Afghanistan and Iraq.'

Source: http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/updates.asp?id=88473

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17 Taliban killed: US, Afghan troops seize tons of opium

08 Oct, 2009

KABUL, Oct 7: US and Afghan forces seized 50 tonnes of opium and killed 17 Taliban insurgents on Wednesday, the defence ministry said, as US President Barack Obama mulled his options for the increasingly war-torn country.

The drug haul and militant deaths came in joint action between American and Afghan troops in the troubled south of the country, and also saw 1.8 tonnes of heroin seized, along with several Taliban.

It was one of the largest drug seizures in recent memory, worth five million dollars, said Mohammad Zahir Azimi, a defence ministry spokesman.

In the five-hour operation that began at 11:00 am (0630 GMT), the soldiers dropped from helicopters into the Kajaki district of Helmand province, source of most of the world’s heroin, the spokesman said.

“We seized and destroyed 30 tonnes of fertiliser, 1,000 boxes of AK-47 and TK machinegun bullets and other weapons,” he said, adding that a factory for making remote-controlled bombs was also destroyed.

“Seventeen Taliban were killed, three were arrested alive,” he said.

“The joint forces also destroyed a heroin-making factory,” he said, adding that the joint forces suffered no casualties.

He said the fertiliser was of a type used to manufacture improvised explosive devices (IEDs), the main weapon in the Taliban arsenal and the cause of a large proportion of deaths among forces under US and Nato command.

More than 400 foreign troops have died in Afghanistan so far this year.

Full Report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/17-taliban-killed-us%2C-afghan-troops-seize-tons-of-opium-809

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Egypt cuts ties with Louvre

By Paul Schemm

8 October 2009

CAIRO: Egypt said Wednesday its antiquities department severed ties with France’s Louvre museum because it has refused to return what are described as stolen artifacts, one of the country’s most aggressive attempts yet to reclaim relics from some of the world’s leading Egyptology collections.

The ruling means that no archaeological expeditions connected to the France’s premier museum will be allowed to work in Egypt. Already Egypt has suspended an excavation sponsored by the Louvre at the massive necropolis of Saqqara and canceled a lecture in Egypt by a former curator of the museum.

“The Louvre museum refused to return four archaeological reliefs to Egypt that were stolen during the 1980s from the tomb of the noble Tetaki,” near the famed temple city of Luxor, said a statement quoting Supreme Council of Antiquities head Zahi Hawass.

A spokeswoman for the antiquities council said there would be a meeting Friday with the Louvre to resolve the matter. “We do have great collaboration with them,” she said. “What I hear is they are willing to return the items.”

The Louvre would not return repeated calls for comment and France’s Culture Ministry said it had no comment.

Full Report at: http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=127186&d=8&m=10&y=2009&pix=world.jpg&category=World

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Iran, Serbia Ink Cultural MoU

2009-10-08

TEHRAN (FNA)- A cultural memorandum of understanding was signed by Iran and Serbia which will be in force for three years.

The deal which contains 45 articles in three languages of Persian, Serbian and English was inked by the head of Islamic Culture and Relations Organization, Mehdi Mostafavi and Serbian Deputy Foreign Minister Milvan Bozivich.

Addressing the signing ceremony, Mostafavi was quoted by the Islamic republic news agency as saying that friendship among the two nations will remain eternal in history.

Stating that Iran's culture and civilization date back to 7,000 years ago, he noted that due to its geographical location, Iran has always served as a bridge between different civilizations.

Signing a cultural deal will have valuable benefits for both sides, he said, hoping that the two nations will make full use of the efforts being taken by the governments in line with establishing friendship and promoting art and culture.

Bozivich, for his part, expressed his country's interest in witnessing the start of cultural cooperation at the earliest.

Full Report at: http://english.farsnews.com/printable.php?nn=8807160294

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Course on Islamic culture and ‘Cultural Islam’ in Doha

8 October, 2009

An intensive two-week course focusing on the distinction between ‘Cultural Islam’ and ‘Islamic Culture’ will start this Saturday in Doha.

Conducted by visiting Canadian Muslim scholar Dr Bilal Philips, the university-level 32-lecture course, based on a book written by the lecturer, aims to remove the veils of misunderstanding which have led many non-Muslims mistakenly to attack Islam in the media.

Muslim communities around the world have included a variety of customary practices in their common practice of Islam which distort and deface the religion’s teachings.

Dr Bilal will discuss the roots of Muslim culture in detail and highlight the moral principles behind the various Islamic cultural practices.

The course starts this Saturday at 8:30am at the Dana Centre in Dafna. Those interested may call 6890575 for further information and registration.

Source: http://www.gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=318972&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16

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Afghan troop boost 'would unite extremists'

By John Shovelan

8 October, 2009

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee has heard any increase in US troops to Afghanistan is likely to be seen as anti-Muslim and a recruiting tool for extremists that could result in more terrorist attacks abroad.

Today is the eighth anniversary of the US war in Afghanistan and President Barack Obama again convened a meeting of his war council to discuss strategy and troop numbers for Afghanistan in the future.

The committee was also told Al Qaeda's presence in Afghanistan has been vastly diminished and all the terrorist plots in the past four years have come from Al Qaeda in Pakistan.

But there is a strong argument being put to the President that if the Taliban regains control in Afghanistan, Al Qaeda will just leak back across the border from Pakistan.

Republican Senator John McCain is a strong advocate of that view.

"I don't think it's a proper reading of both history and the situation to somehow think that Al Qaeda will not quickly emerge in Afghanistan if it falls to the Taliban," he said.

But according to Marc Sageman, a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute and formerly of the CIA and the Afghan Task Force, that is overly simplistic view.

He told today's Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that Al Qaeda may return, with or without the Taliban in power - it just depends on finding a host tribe that will conceal them.

"Right now, as I said, they're in Pakistan and even if they return to Afghanistan, I think they will return in the same way they are now in Pakistan," Dr Sageman said.

"They've been hiding. They don't really want to be targets for either our drones, missiles or special forces units going there to eliminate them.

"So the type of threat, things have changed. It's not going to be the type of training camps, huge training camps that we saw in the 1990s.

Full Report at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/10/08/2708644.htm

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Can the Taliban really distance themselves from al-Qaida?

8 October 2009

Afghanistan's deposed rulers are seeking legitimacy as a home-grown resistance to occupation rather than terrorists

Osama Bin Laden addressing news conference in Afghanistan

Osama bin Laden speaks at a news conference in Afghanistan in 1998. Photograph: Reuters

The Taliban have always been adept communicators. Their latest effort – "Statement of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan on the occasion of the Eighth Anniversary of the American Attack on Afghanistan" – was posted on one of several websites they regularly use. Then it was emailed – in English – to individuals and organisations that the movement specifically wanted to reach. This is normal practice for any press officer for a government, NGO or major retailer anywhere in the world.

It is unclear whether the statement represents a genuine shift in position or a clever attempt to influence an ongoing debate. It could of course be both. The Taliban stand to benefit even if they are not serious as their intervention will fuel the increasingly acrimonious and muddled debate on Afghan strategy in the west and the public disillusionment with the war. Or they will gain if the statement is taken seriously and they are genuinely interested in repositioning themselves as independent from al-Qaida.

Full Report at: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/oct/08/taliban-statement-analysis-alqaida-terrorism

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Iran says 'some countries' offer it nuclear fuel

7 October 2009

TEHRAN: President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Wednesday that "some countries" had offered to provide Iran with uranium enriched to 20% for use as

nuclear fuel, the official IRNA news agency reported.

"There have been some proposals by individual countries and groups of countries. We are ready to hold talks with anyone interested. Our experts will soon start talks with those sellers," he said.

Western diplomats say Iran agreed in principle at last week's talks in Geneva to send about 80% of its stockpile of low-enriched uranium to Russia and France for further processing and return to Tehran to replenish dwindling fuel stocks for a reactor that

Source:

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-says-some-countries-offer-it-nuclear-fuel/articleshow/5097806.cms

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Taliban say they're no threat to other countries

8 October 2009

KABUL: Afghanistan's insurgent Taliban marked the eighth anniversary of the US invasion saying they have no "agenda" to harm other countries but

would continue fighting as long as America and its allies remain in the troubled nation.

The Taliban insistence that it would pose no threat to other countries appeared aimed at countering suspicions that the Islamist movement would support al-Qaida's global jihad if they returned to power.

Supporters of the war fear that al-Qaida would regain its once-dominant position in Afghanistan if the Taliban topple the US-backed Afghan government.

In an Internet statement today obtained by the SITE Institute, a US group that monitors terror messages, the Taliban said their goal was "independence and establishment of an Islamic system."

"We did not have any agenda to harm other countries including Europe, nor we have such agenda today," the group said. "Still, if you want to turn the country of the proud and pious Afghans into a colony, then know that we have an unwavering determination and have braced for a prolonged war."

The statement came on the anniversary of the US invasion that ousted the Taliban for harboring al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Taliban-say-theyre-no-threat-to-other-countries/articleshow/5099925.cms

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Goldstone report: New roadblock to Palestinian reconciliation?

By Ilene R. Prusher

10.07.09

Hamas cancels Fatah reconciliation talks in Egypt. At the UN, Libya gets a hearing today about allegations in the Goldstone report on the Gaza war.

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JERUSALEM - The Palestinian Authority’s decision to delay further action on the Goldstone report – a UN investigation into the war in Gaza – is continuing to put Fatah leaders in a difficult political position vis-à-vis their domestic image, and may ultimately postpone progress on a Hamas-Fatah reconciliation deal.

Hamas said today that it had cancelled a meeting between Fatah and Hamas in Cairo, where the two were expected to sign a reconciliation deal on Oct. 26. The reason, the Islamic organization said, was their outrage towards PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

 “The crime of postponing the vote on Goldstone’s report left a severe psychological crack, and Abbas should immediately apologize to the Palestinian people,” said Salah al-Bardawil, a senior Gaza-based Hamas leader, in a statement sent to the media. He added: “Hamas has asked Egypt to postpone the dialogue, until Abbas apologizes.”

Anger against the Fatah-led PA has been manifest since late last week, when its representative in Geneva asked that the Goldstone report not be adopted by the UN Human Rights Council, which would then send it to the UN Security Council. Small protests have been held in Ramallah, and larger ones in Gaza City, which is now full of posters accusing Abbas of “a great treason” and saying he should be thrown into “the dustbin of history.”

The 575-page UN report points to evidence that suggests both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, but it reserved its most damning criticism for Israel. Israeli officials have attacked the report as devoid of merit and balance, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned last week that if Palestinians pursue action on it, they would endanger any return to peace talks.

Behind-the-scenes talks have been taking place in the US, and President Barack Obama’s Middle East peace envoy, George Mitchell, is due to arrive in Jerusalem late Wednesday.

Full Report at: http://features.csmonitor.com/globalnews/2009/10/07/goldstone-report-new-roadblock-to-palestinian-reconciliation/

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Muslim life in East London Mosque shown in pictures

7th October 2009

Opened in 1985, the East London Mosque serves the UK’s largest Muslim community, with congregations of up to 6,000 worshippers coming through its impressive doors every day. Keen to open these doors to the masses, photo journalism student Rehan Jamil set about documenting daily life within the mosque’s walls for his final project at Tower Hamlets College back in 1997. A decade later he finally finished and his exhibition, Islamic Culture and Customs, has now gone on display at Bruce Castle.

 “The project just grew and grew and I didn’t know where to stop,” the 31-year-old east Londoner recalls. “Then, after 9/11, it became an important set of images for people who wanted to learn more about Muslims and what goes on behind the closed doors of a mosque. It’s a nice way to understand the basics of Islam.”

Rehan’s great affection and personal connection to the mosque is present in all of the 24 black and white images – some of which featured in a British Council touring show, Common Ground, which visited Indonesia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the Middle East and the Gulf States between 2003 and 2006.

Regular worshipper at the East London Mosque since he was a little boy, Rehan muses: “When I was younger, I didn’t like going to the mosque, it was a bit boring, but as I got older it became more interesting and I starting looking more at my religion.

“I’m a Londoner, born in White Chapel to Pakistani parents, but above all I was born a Muslim and it was a privilege to have grown up near the East London Mosque.”

Full Report at: http://www.asianimage.co.uk/news/4669266.Muslim_life_in_pictures/

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Afghanistan: more troops or missile strikes? Both, actually.

By Gordon Lubold

October 7, 2009

The White House debate over a troop-heavy counterinsurgency versus more targeted strikes against Al Qaeda is a false choice, some experts say. One is needed to complement the other.

WASHINGTON - US and foreign officials have reported recent success in counter-terrorism operations in Afghanistan and beyond based on better intelligence. Such operations are bolstering arguments that a smaller American force with a narrower mission could be the answer for Afghanistan.

But experts say that the intelligence on Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and other enemy fighters is gathered as a very result of the fact that the US and its allies have so many troops there.

"If you're not physically on the ground, people aren't going to talk to you," says Scott Stewart, vice president for tactical intelligence at STRATFOR, a global intelligence firm. Mr. Stewart says that the US and its allies are benefiting from the intelligence network they have built over the past eight years.

In recent weeks, the US can point to a number of successful attacks on wanted militants, from Afghanistan to Somalia and Pakistan, including a strike on Baitullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistan Taliban, killed by a US air strike in August.

Much of the intelligence that allows those strikes to be successful comes from having more troops on the ground as well as the use of embedding spies into networks such as Al Qaeda.

Full Report at: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1008/p02s16-usfp.html

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U.S. Department of Justice may look into attack on Ann Arbor Muslims

October 7, 2009

Ann Arbor -- The attorney for two Muslim teens attacked last month aboard a school bus is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to step in after Washtenaw County prosecutors decided not to file ethnic intimidation charges in the case.

The girl, 16, and her brother, 15, were attacked Sept. 8 after they left Skyline High School.

They said the incident began aboard a school bus and escalated after they got off the bus several blocks from their home.

The girl said a group of black teens removed her hijab, a traditional head scarf, and yelled ethnic slurs at her and her brother before punching her. The girl suffered a black eye and said she required stitches to the top of her head. Neither teen is being identified.

The prosecutor's office said it found no evidence the attack was motivated by their ethnicity.

"We did not feel there was sufficient evidence to justify prosecution for that based on information that was gathered by the Ann Arbor Police Department," said Steven Hiller, the deputy chief assistant prosecutor for the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office.

Full Report at: http://www.detnews.com/article/20091007/METRO/910070368/1409/METRO/Feds-may-look-into-attack-on-Ann-Arbor-Muslims

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German publishing house self-censors over book critical of Muslims

Ethel C. Fenig

October 07, 2009

The chilling effect of fear of violent Muslim retaliation continues in the previously staid world of publishing where pre-emptive self censorship now dominates. Recalling the international riots triggered by some mild Danish cartoons that mocked Islam and its inventor, Mohammed, Yale University Press refused to print the cartoons in a book about the cartoons.

Not confined to the U.S., fear of future of a future deadly Muslim backlash also prevails in Europe. Sarah Marsh of Reuters reports on the German publisher Droste's cancellation of a book about an Islamic honour killing because, as the company's head forthrightly explained

    "After the Mohammad cartoons, one knows that one can't publish sentences or drawings that defame Islam without expecting a security risk," said Felix Droste, head of Droste publishers.

Full Report at: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2009/10/german_publishing_house_selfce.html

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Malaysia in ferment: Mahathir challenging popular belief Muslims should not brush their teeth during Ramadan, Pas' spiritual leader Nik Aziz's brave plans to ban the wearing of the purdah

By Sun Line

08 October 2009

Pas' spiritual leader Nik Aziz's reported brave plans to ban the wearing of the purdah and ex-PM Mahathir Mohamad's challenging the popular belief that it is not encouraged for Muslims to brush their teeth during Ramadan draw the spotlight on how many Malaysian Muslims have been living in a little world of their own.

Both Nik Aziz and Mahathir were drawing attention to the fact that many Malaysian Muslims have been confusing Islamic teachings per se with fantasies that are not parts of the Koran nor hadiths.

How these fantasies became a virtual part of Malaysian Muslims' life is unclear but popular belief is that the export of dodgy Islamic sub-culture began with the birth of the Shite Islamic Republic of Iran, and later through the deeds of the Sunni Talibans of Afghanistan.

From the 1970s onwards, local Muslims slowly started to shed their traditional, cultural ways of practising Islam and started to adopt a more visual approach and concentrated on form rather than substance.

So began the journey of Umno's political Islam which soon led to the codification of syariah laws and establishment of agencies like Islamic Affairs Department (JAWI), Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) etc to enforce the fatwas of the day on Muslims, nevermind that these agencies were Man-made and such snoop squads and privacy intruders were ultra vires the Koran and hadiths.

Full Report at: http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/27611/84/

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The Man Who Dared To Draw Muhammad: "I attempted to show that terrorists get their spiritual ammunition from parts of Islam”

7th October 2009

Kudos to journalist and broadcaster Michael Coren for devoting an hour of his television program to the story of Kurt Westergaard.

Mr. Westergaard, of course, is the Danish cartoonist responsible for drawing the image seen at right. Is it gratuitous to show the notorious image? Perhaps it is, but the blame lies not with me nor with Mr. Westergaard, but those responsible for the fact that Mr. Westergaard's life is in constant danger.

And why did he draw the infamous cartoon, anyway? It seems that almost no one ever bothers to ask the question. Critics simply assume the worst, but Westergaard was clearly not trying to insult Islam or depict Muhammad as a terrorist. In his own words:

    "I attempted to show that terrorists get their spiritual ammunition from parts of Islam and with this spiritual ammunition, and with dynamite and other explosives, they kill people. I showed this in a cartoon and what happened? They want to kill me, so I think I was right."

Source:http://www.am770chqr.com/Blogs/RobBreakenridge/BlogEntry.aspx?BlogEntryID=100567

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/indian-embassy-in-afghanistan-attacked--was-pakistan-involved?/d/1871

 

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