New Age Islam
Wed Nov 25 2020, 02:48 AM

Islamic World News ( 24 Feb 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Indonesian Islamic Parties at an Impasse Need Reform To Avoid the Worst

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Southeast Asia

Indonesian Islamic Parties at an Impasse Need Reform To Avoid the Worst

Indonesian MPs air doubts over president's nominee for central bank

 

India

Hyderabad blasts: NIA's claim baseless, alleges Delhi's Jama Masjid chief cleric

Indian Toddler forced to become illegal due to Saudisation of cos.

Post Hyderabad blasts, spotlight on Darsgah-e-Jihad-o-Shahadat

President to visit in-laws village during Bangladesh trip

Police cautious on Muslim suspects

Alleged spy caught for passing on Iron Fist info to Pakistan

Fight against terror must co-exist with federalism: Opp party

4 Pak nationals held for illegally crossing border

Govt’s failure to probe Dhule violence, Dalit murders upsets locals

Hyderabad blast: Cops zero in on 2 IM operatives

Somalian, Hyderabadi trying to sneak into Nepal questioned for Hyderabad blasts

Terror mastermind Fayyaz Kagzi shifts base from Saudi to Pakistan

 

Arab World

Egypt's 'True and Pure' Sheikh Leads Salafis against Brotherhood

Egyptian Arabic Booker winner faces blasphemy charges

'Jews of Egypt' tells story of Egypt's exiled Jewish community

Sunnis block Lebanon-Syria road, protesting Assad 'killing machines'

Indoor smoking ban has Istanbul's Shisha smokers in a fit

Rising violence against kids in Saudi Kingdom triggers call to ‘act’

Poet Jailed for Life in Qatar Insult Trial Has Term Cut to 15 Years

Syrian Rebel Officer Says No Talks Before Assad Goes

Saudi beheads Jordanian over drug trafficking

Egypt’s Mursi calls for talks with opposition over polls

Syria regime ready for talks with rebels

 

South Asia

We hate Jamaat more than Awami League: Khilafat Andolan, Bangladesh

How Indian diplomacy ended crisis in Maldives

Afghanistan Bars Elite U.S. Troops from a Key Province

Karzai orders US forces out of Afghan regions in two weeks

Four more shot dead in Bangladesh protest

NATO: No Evidence for Afghan Claim of Misconduct

Bangladesh becoming economic power

 

Pakistan

Pakistan Taliban describes interior minister Rehman Malik as comedian

Seven militants killed in Khyber Agency

‘If Veena Malik was here, minister would have come’ says Pak Senator

Violence in Karachi claims four lives

Two killed in targeted operation in Quetta

Punjab govt still not taking action against LJ: Malik

Steely resolve of Hazaras: ‘We are not victims — we choose to live and to fight’

 

Mideast Asia

Israel Instructs Obama: “Iranian And Syrian Sanctions Are Not Painful Enough!”

Palestinian prisoner's autopsy reveals 'extensive signs of beatings'

Israel tests new Arrow missile interceptor-ministry

Turkey says will not remain silent over Syria ‘crimes’

Turkish Dramas Excite Polar Responses In Yemeni Viewers

 

Africa

31 die in northern Nigeria sectarian violence

Gaddafi terror bombers nabbed in Bani Walid

Ten Chadian Soldiers Killed Fighting Islamists in Mali

‘Framework’ Announced for Peace in Congo

Nigeria Grants Bail to Russian Arms Smuggling Suspects

 

North America

Islamic Awareness Week seeks to educate, refute media stereotypes of culture

Saudi students reach out to Americans through YouTube

 

Europe

France's military operation in Mali in 'final phase'

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: 31 die in northern Nigeria sectarian violence

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/indonesian-islamic-parties-at-an-impasse-need-reform-to-avoid-the-worst/d/10554

 

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesian Islamic Parties at an Impasse Need Reform To Avoid the Worst

Andi Rahman Alamsyah

 February 25 2013

There are two interesting facts about Islam in Indonesia. First, more than 87.18 percent of the country’s total population is Muslim. Second, there has been an escalation of Islamic expression since the 1990s, such as women wearing veils, laws and bylaws influenced by Islam, the publication of Islamic books and the proliferation of Islamic banking, clinics, housing complexes and dormitories.

But these facts are not reflected in the political orientation of voters. For example, all Islamic parties won less votes and received less of the national vote than all secular-nationalist parties in three consecutive general elections after the New Order era.

According to General Elections Commission (KPU) data, the three major “pure” Islamic parties or those founded based on Islamic principles, which are the United Development Party (PPP), the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and the Crescent Star Party (PBB), together obtained only 17.2 percent of the vote in the 1999 general election.

If combined with the vote secured by the National Mandate Party (PAN) and the National Awakening Party (PKB), which can be assumed to be representations of Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulema (NU), the Islamic parties gathered 36.2 percent of the total vote.

In 2004, the major “pure” Islamic parties won 18 percent of the vote and the combined tally of all Islamic parties (including PAN and the PKB) was 25.9 percent.

In 2009, the performance of Islamic parties stagnated at about 26 percent. These figures compare unfavourably to the combined achievements of the major secular-nationalist parties: the Golkar Party and the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) secured 58.5 percent of the vote in 1999 and 47.4 percent in 2004, whereas in 2009, the PDI-P, Golkar and the Democratic Party secured and 49.3 percent.

The data shows a paradox: Religiosity has increased at the social level, but at the political level, Islamic parties seem to face an impasse because of their inability to obtain support from Muslims. How is this possible?

Several studies argue that the paradox is a result of the apolitical character of Muslims in Indonesia. Their Islamic orientation is confined to religious practice. This is true to some extent but the argument ignores several important factors.

First, Islam in Indonesia is diverse both in religious tradition and political orientation. This is different from the situation, for example, in Turkey. As a result of Mustapha Kemal Ataturk’s secularization project, the AKP (Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi) has become the only significant Islamic force in Turkey (Hadiz, 2011). As the almost undisputed representation of Islamic power, it is easier for the party to obtain the support of Muslim voters. It is no wonder then that the AKP has convincingly won three-straight general elections since 2002.

Second, the economic base of Islamic parties in Indonesia is weak, whereas such as base is very important in maintaining and expanding their constituency.

A strong economic base would make it easier for these parties to carry out populist programs that might garner the support of the people. The AKP in Turkey and Ikhwanul Muslimin (IM) in Egypt provide all kinds of social services for the people, such as education and health.

Having a strong economic base, in the form of support from pious sections of the middle-class and the business community, enables them to provide these social services (Hadiz, 2011).

Third, Islamic parties in Indonesia have failed in the last 20 years to develop positions that could be supported by non-Muslim members of the electorate. The majority of Islamic figures are “parochial” in type: Their scope of influence is limited and only oriented to their own communities. There have been individuals who tried to “cross communal borders”, but they have failed to get significant support from Muslims themselves.

Fourth, members of the House of Representatives, ministers, regents and governors from Islamic parties have performed inadequately in their roles, thereby diminishing public support for them.

There is no “superior product” that Islamic parties can “sell” in the democratic political market. A number of successful local government heads, such as the mayors of Surakarta (Solo) and Surabaya, and the regent of Jembrana are not from Islamic parties.

If the performance of the Depok mayor (who hails from the PKS) was as good as the Solo mayor, or if the growth of the Indonesian agriculture sector (which is presided over by a PKS minister) was as good as that in Thailand, then maybe the PKS vote would not be stagnant at 7.9 percent, the level it achieved in the 2009 general election.

Should Islamic parties fail to reform themselves, support for them will decrease further. A survey predicted that Islamic parties would only get 15.7 percent of the vote in the 2014 general election. But the most important thing is that Muslims have a means to channel their aspirations through Islamic parties, secular parties and various kinds of democratic mechanisms.

Islamism can be a serious problem if the aspirations of Muslims are blocked and they are tempted to take non-democratic channels. And indications of this kind of Islamism have appeared in recent years. Many Muslims who give their support to Islamist groups opposing democracy take up non-democratic ways of fighting for their interests.  

The writer lectures in the department of sociology at the University of Indonesia, Depok, West Java.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/02/25/islamic-parties-impasse-need-reform-avoid-worst.html

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Indonesian MPs air doubts over president's nominee for central bank

Feb 25 2013

JAKARTA: The candidate to become Indonesia's next central bank chief ran into opposition on Monday, as one member of a parliamentary commission that has the final word on selection questioned his integrity and another doubted his grasp of macroeconomics.

Late on Friday, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono unexpectedly nominated Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo to replace Darmin Nasution, whose term as Bank Indonesia (BI) governor ends in May.

The president has given no reason for pushing out Darmin, who is generally seen as having kept a firm hold on monetary policy, with inflation under control, though the the rupiah currency has weakened sharply during his tenure.

'For the BI governor nomination, we don't only look at technical capability. We also look at integrity and national interest. Agus Martowardojo's involvement in the Hambalang (graft) case makes us doubt his integrity,' said Dolfi OFP, a member of the parliamentary commission on financial affairs. The commission has the final say in the selection.

Dolfi, a member of the opposition Democratic Party of Indonesia-Struggle (PDI-P) Indonesia, was referring to a corruption scandal surrounding the construction of the Halambang sports complex.

The controversy has already toppled one minister and the chairman of Yudhoyono's ruling, but increasingly unpopular, Democratic Party.

Martowardojo was questioned last week by Indonesia's anti-corruption agency as a witness in relation to the case.

It is the second time Yudhoyono has nominated the career banker to head the central bank. Martowardojo was rejected in 2008, along with another candidate proposed by the president, though that was seen more as an attempt by parliament to flex its political muscle than any particular dislike of Agus.

Martowardojo, 57, took over as finance minister in 2010 from the reformist Sri Mulyani Indrawati, who fell foul of members of the business and political elite with her anti-corruption drive.

The Dutch-born finance minister raised his profile when he headed the main state bank, Bank Mandiri, which he managed to turn around.

Some media reports suggested that the parliamentary commission might go back to the president and demand another candidate.

'Agus's understanding of macroeconomics is insufficient, which is important for a BI governor,' Kontan daily quoted commission member Harry Azhar Azis as saying. Azis belongs to the ruling coalition member Golkar Party.

The appointment could become the latest hurdle to an already complicated $7.2 billion takeover proposal by Southeast Asia's biggest bank DBS Group, which has been postponed for almost a year.

Martowardojo voiced his concern over the deal when it was announced last year.

Indonesia's central bank and government have been pushing for equal treatment from Singapore's regulator for their banks to be allowed to operate in the city-state.

The change at the central bank comes at an especially sensitive time in the run-up to next year's parliamentary and presidential elections when Yudhoyono comes to the end of his second, and under the constitution, final term.There is no clear front-runner to replace him.

There was some media speculation that the reshuffle had as much to do with pushing Martowardojo out of the cabinet because of his very public opposition to two major issues involving influential businessmen.

One relates to his insistence that the central government buy a stake in a gold mining company, an issue which involves the Bakrie family. One of the Bakrie brothers is the Golkar Party's presidential candidate.

Another concerns a project to build a bridge linking the islands of Java and Sumatra. Martowardojo has opposed the project, which is headed by wealthy businessman Tommy Winata, in its current form.

There has been no word on who might be the new finance minister, if Martowardojo's appointment to the central bank goes through, though some speculation has focused on Deputy Finance Minister Anny Ratnawati, Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan, and investment chief Chatib Basri, all seen as close to Yudhoyono.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/indonesian-mps-air-doubts-over-presidents-nominee-for-central-bank/1079304/

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India

 

Hyderabad blasts: NIA's claim baseless, alleges Delhi's Jama Masjid chief cleric

 February 25, 2013

Delhi's Jama Masjid chief cleric Syed Ahmed Bukhari has said investigation agencies have the tendency to name perpetrators of any bomb blasts in the country much before initiation and conclusion of their probes.

Referring to the recent Hyderabad blasts, Bukhari said the National Investigation Agency's claim that the evidence pointed towards involvement of the Indian Mujahideen in the bombings was baseless.

"If the investigators have pointed fingers towards the Indian Mujahideen, then let them declare the location of its office and disclose identities of its activists," said the cleric while interacting with media persons in Rampurm, UP last evening.

Official statements are not supported with evidence, the Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid said.

"The government machinery had arrested innocent Muslims after Malegaon, Mecca Masjid and Samjhauta Express blasts," he said.

Sixteen people were killed and over 100 injured when two bombs placed on bicycles went off within minutes of each other at Dilsukhnagar area in Hyderabad on February 21.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/UttarPradesh/Hyderabad-blasts-NIA-s-claim-baseless-alleges-Bukhari/Article1-1017264.aspx

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Indian Toddler forced to become illegal due to Saudisation of cos.

 25 February 2013

Mohammed Shihab is a happy, healthy Indian infant who will turn one year old today. He is also illegal and has no birth certificate, even though his parents were legal residents in the Kingdom at the time of his birth.

When his father Abdul Naser Ambatingam returns home from his job in the evening, he loves to wrap his arms around his baby boy and see his smiling face. But lately, Ambatingam feels nervous and sad when he looks at his son. At times he even cries.

When Mohammed was born, his parents were holders of valid documents. Three days after the birth, those documents expired. To this day the father has been unable to obtain a birth certificate for his son.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/toddler-forced-become-illegal-nitaqat%E2%80%99s-sway

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Post Hyderabad blasts, spotlight on Darsgah-e-Jihad-o-Shahadat

25 February 2013

HYDERABAD: With no breakthrough achieved as yet in the February 21 bomb blasts in Dilsukhnagar that have claimed 16 lives and left nearly 150 persons injured, the investigating agencies are reportedly looking into the activities of Darsgah-e-Jihad-o-Shahadat (DJS), a city-based organisation that has been lying relatively low of late.

"DJS has been a training ground for militants in the past. Many of these militants had developed links with foreign intelligence agencies and terrorist organisations and carried out attacks in Hyderabad and elsewhere. It is pertinent to know the status of these members in the context of the latest blasts," a police officer said on condition of anonymity.

Full report at:

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-02-24/hyderabad/37269363_1_blasts-police-encounter-terror-activities

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President to visit in-laws village during Bangladesh trip

Feb 25, 2013

NEW DELHI: President Pranab Mukherjee's Bangladesh visit will be a homecoming in more ways than one. Apart from the symbolism of his first overseas trip and the special rapport he shares with the establishment in Bangladesh, Mukherjee will also get a chance to visit his in-laws for the first time since he took over as President.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/President-to-visit-in-laws-village-during-Bangladesh-trip/articleshow/18666749.cms

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Police cautious on Muslim suspects

Feb 25 2013

Hyderabad: Unlike in the past when police teams raided Muslim neighbourhoods and picked up youths after the May 2007 Mecca Masjid blast and August 2007 blasts at Lumbini Park and Gokul Chat, the police have been careful this time. Still, four persons — who were arrested in the past, acquitted by trial court, and even got compensation from the state government — were allegedly detained for questioning.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/police-cautious-on-muslim-suspects/1079124/

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Alleged spy caught for passing on Iron Fist info to Pakistan

 February 25, 2013

Jodhpur: Barely two days after the conclusion of Indian Air Force's air exercise 'Iron Fist' in Pokhran, a suspected spy has been caught passing information of the war games to an ISI operative in Pakistan.

Sumer Khan (34), a computer expert, was taken into custody by army intelligence from his house in Pokhran on Sunday and was being grilled by security agencies, SP Jaisalmer Pankaj Kumar Chaudhary said on Monday.

Full report at:

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/alleged-spy-caught-for-passing-on-iron-fist-info-to-pakistan-335321

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Fight against terror must co-exist with federalism: Opp party

Feb 25 2013

New Delhi : Amid stiff opposition from Opposition-ruled states to the proposed NCTC, the BJP today said the fight against terror must co-exist with federalism and it was meaningless to debate the "imaginary federalism versus terrorism" issue.

"The fight against terrorism can and must co-exist with federalism. It would be meaningless to debate an imaginary 'federalism versus terrorism' issue," party leader Arun Jaitley said in response to Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde's plea for setting up the National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/fight-against-terror-must-coexist-with-federalism-arun-jaitley/1079429/

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4 Pak nationals held for illegally crossing border

 February 25, 2013

Four Pakistani nationals, including two children, have been apprehended by Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) for illegally crossing over to Indian side through Indo-Nepal border at Sonauli in this district.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/uttarpradesh/4-Pak-nationals-held-for-illegally-crossing-border/Article1-1017105.aspx

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Govt’s failure to probe Dhule violence, Dalit murders upsets locals

 February 25, 2013

The state government’s lackadaisical attitude in dealing with two sensitive incidents that took place in January – the Dhule violence and the Dalit killings in Ahmednagar – has upset Dalits and Muslims.

Nearly 40 days after Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced a judicial probe, to be led by a retired high court judge, into the Dhule incident, the panel is yet to be appointed.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/mumbai/Govt-s-failure-to-probe-Dhule-violence-Dalit-murders-upsets-locals/Article1-1016965.aspx

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Hyderabad blast: Cops zero in on 2 IM operatives

 Feb 25, 2013

HYDERABAD: City police teams are set to launch a massive manhunt beginning Monday for two Indian Mujahideen activists who were spotted in Hyderabad a few days prior to the twin bomb blasts in Dilsukhnagar on February 21.

The two, Asadullah Akhtar alias Tabrez, and Waqas alias Ahmed are accused in the Pune blasts. "A Maharashtra Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) team that has landed in the city gave a detailed presentation to us on Sunday about the two IM activists. They said they received alerts about the presence of these two activists in Hyderabad last week. According to them, Tahseen Akhtar alias Raju Bhai, another IM activist and familiar with the city, helped the two in conducting the recce in Dilsukhnagar and other areas," a Special Investigative Team (SIT) officials said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hyderabad-blast-Cops-zero-in-on-2-IM-operatives/articleshow/18666889.cms

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Somalian, Hyderabadi trying to sneak into Nepal questioned for Hyderabad blasts

Feb 24, 2013

MOTIHARI (BIHAR): A Somalian and a Hyderabad youth arrested here while trying to sneak into Nepal were questioned on Sunday by security forces and central agencies, even as a senior district police officer said no link of the duo with the twin blasts in Hyderabad has come to light so far.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Somalian-Hyderabadi-trying-to-sneak-into-Nepal-questioned-for-Hyderabad-blasts/articleshow/18659549.cms

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Terror mastermind Fayyaz Kagzi shifts base from Saudi to Pakistan

 Feb 25, 2013

NEW DELHI: Fayyaz Kagzi, a Lashkar-e-Taiba operative wanted in the 2010 German Bakery blasts and the 2006 Aurangabad arms haul case, is said to have recently shifted base to Pakistan from Saudi Arabia, even as agencies here counted on the Saudi authorities to deport him.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Terror-mastermind-Fayyaz-Kagzi-shifts-base-from-Saudi-to-Pakistan/articleshow/18671233.cms

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Arab World

 

Egypt's 'True and Pure' Sheikh Leads Salafis against Brotherhood

Bradley Hope

Feb 25, 2013

SOBK EL AHAD, EGYPT // Here in a village nestled deep in the Nile Delta, the growing flock of religious leader Muhammad Said Raslan is a sign of the increasingly powerful opposition to the ruling Muslim Brotherhood from within the broader Islamist movement.

Sheikh Raslan is on the far right of the ultraconservatives known as Salafis. He believes good Muslims do not vote or get involved with politics because they should devote their lives to "true religion", meaning a deep understanding of the teachings of Islam unadulterated by "innovations" such as democracy and literature.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/egypts-true-and-pure-sheikh-leads-salafis-against-brotherhood#ixzz2LtrC32hR

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Egyptian Arabic Booker winner faces blasphemy charges

Youssef Zeidan faces blasphemy charges for his book 'The Arabic Theology' which investigates the relationship between man and God within Islam, Christianity and Judaism

Mohammed Saad

24 Feb 2013

Egyptian Arabic Booker prize winner Youssef Zeidan, the author of Azazil, is facing charges of blasphemy and contempt of Islam, Christianity and Judaism for his book The Arabic Theology.

Zeidan was summoned to appear in front of the High State Security Prosecutor last week.

The official memo notifying Zeidan of the investigation was very stern and did not include any details, only the case number 686, Zeidan said via Facebook.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContentP/18/65457/Books/Egyptian-Arabic-Booker-winner-faces-blasphemy-char.aspx

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'Jews of Egypt' tells story of Egypt's exiled Jewish community

Ahram Online talks to Amir Ramses, director of new documentary 'Jews of Egypt,' scheduled for release in Egyptian cinemas next month

Sara Elkamel

 25 Feb 2013

On a quest to discover how Egyptian Jews went from partners to enemies within the span of a few decades, Egyptian filmmaker Amir Ramses spent three years researching and shooting a documentary that presents a valuable insight into the nostalgia that haunts the exiled Jewish community. In an interview with Ahram Online, Ramses shares his motivations for tackling this controversial part of history in his latest film.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/5/32/65504/Arts--Culture/Film/Jews-of-Egypt-tells-story-of-Egypts-exiled-Jewish-.aspx

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Sunnis block Lebanon-Syria road, protesting Assad 'killing machines'

Lebanese Sunni protesters start a sit-in to obstruct the passage of fuel tankers in the eastern Bekaa Valley intended for forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad

 24 Feb 2013

Hundreds of Sunni protesters in Lebanon launched a sit-in Saturday on the main road linking Beirut to Damascus, blocking the passage of fuel tankers to war-torn Syria, an AFP reporter said.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/65467/World/Region/Sunnis-block-LebanonSyria-road,-protesting-Assad-k.aspx

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Indoor smoking ban has Istanbul's shisha smokers in a fit

Thomas Seibert

Feb 24, 2013

ISTANBUL // For several years Ahmet Akkaya has spent most of his mornings and evenings in his favourite cafe in Istanbul, chatting with friends and smoking shisha.

But a new law banning indoor smoking of shisha, or nargile as it is known in Turkey, is threatening to leave him out in the cold.

"Where will I meet my friends?" Mr Akkaya, 47, said as thick smoke from dozens of water pipes like his own drifted through the Cinaralti Nargile Cafe near the Bosphorus. "In the summer it's not a problem. But what am I supposed to do in winter?"

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/europe/indoor-smoking-ban-has-istanbuls-shisha-smokers-in-a-fit#ixzz2Ltr1hJEt

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Rising violence against kids in Saudi Kingdom triggers call to ‘act’

25 February 2013

Twelve children died as a result domestic violence in 2012, double the number from the previous year, according to Maha Al-Muneef, executive director of the National Family Safety Program (NFSP).

These cases are recorded at hospitals’ protection centres, she said recently on the sidelines of the celebrations of the World Thinking Day for Girl Guides and Scouts.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/rising-violence-against-kids-triggers-call-%E2%80%98act%E2%80%99

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Poet Jailed for Life in Qatar Insult Trial Has Term Cut to 15 Years

February 25, 2013

DOHA (Reuters) - A Qatari poet jailed for life for criticizing the emir and attempting to incite revolt had his sentence cut to 15 years on Monday, in a case human rights groups said showed hypocrisy by the Gulf state, which has supported Arab uprisings abroad.

In his verses, Muhammad Ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami praised the Arab Spring revolts that toppled four dictators, often with the help of money and other support from Qatar, a close U.S. ally which also backs rebels in Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/02/25/world/middleeast/25reuters-qatar-poet-verdict.html?ref=middleeast

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Syrian Rebel Officer Says No Talks Before Assad Goes

February 25, 2013

BEIRUT (Reuters) - A Syrian rebel leader said on Monday there could be no negotiations to end the civil war until President Bashar al-Assad stepped down and leaders of the army and security forces were put on trial.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/02/25/world/middleeast/25reuters-syria-crisis-

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Saudi beheads Jordanian over drug trafficking

Saudi Arabia beheads Jordanian citizen in northern Jawf province, bringing total number of beheaded people in kingdom to 16 this year

24 Feb 2013

Saudi Arabia on Sunday beheaded a Jordanian man convicted of drug trafficking, the interior ministry said.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/65498/World/Region/Saudi-beheads-Jordanian-over-drug-trafficking.aspx

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Egypt’s Mursi calls for talks with opposition over polls

 25 February 2013

CAIRO: Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi on Monday called for a meeting with the country’s opposition to discuss upcoming legislative polls, amid calls for a boycott.

“I call on all the brothers in the different parties in all of Egypt to come... so we can sit and put in the place the guarantees for the transparency and fairness of the elections,” Mursi said in an interview on private satellite channel Al-Mehwar.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/egypt%E2%80%99s-mursi-calls-talks-opposition-over-polls

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Syria regime ready for talks with rebels

 25 February 2013

MOSCOW: The Syrian regime is ready to talk with all parties, including armed rebels, who want dialogue to end the conflict, Foreign Minister Walid Al-Muallem said on Monday at talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

“We are ready for dialogue with all who want dialogue, including those who are carrying arms,” Muallem said at the Moscow talks with Lavrov, in an apparent reference to the rebels battling the regime of President Bashar Assad.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/syrian-government-says-ready-talk-armed-opposition-%E2%80%94-agency

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South Asia

 

We hate Jamaat more than Awami League: Khilafat Andolan, Bangladesh

2013-02-24

Khilafat Andolon’s Assistant Secretary General Mujibur Rahman Hamidi was speaking to bdnews24.com amidst their Sunday’s nationwide shutdown.

“There is no question of ties with Jamaat… We hate them (Jamaat) more than Awami League does,” he said.

“We know where our difference lies with them (Jamaat)… From deep inside our heart.”

Many Islamist parties have ideological differences with the Jamaat – the party that sided with Pakistan during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971.

Full report at:

http://bdnews24.com/politics/2013/02/24/we-hate-jamaat-more-than-al-hamidi

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How Indian diplomacy ended crisis in Maldives

 Feb 25, 2013

NEW DELHI: It was an "understanding" between India and Maldives that resolved an embarrassing political situation in the island country after former president Mohammed Nasheed took refuge inside the Indian high commission, drawing India into the heart of the ongoing political crisis there. The resolution, which showcased Indian diplomacy at its most effective, confirmed India's position as the pre-eminent power in the Indian Ocean.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/How-Indian-diplomacy-ended-crisis-in-Maldives/articleshow/18666911.cms

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Afghanistan Bars Elite U.S. Troops From a Key Province

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG

February 25, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Afghan government barred elite American forces from operating in a strategic province adjoining Kabul on Sunday, citing complaints that Afghans working for American Special Operations forces had tortured and killed villagers in the area.

The ban was scheduled to take effect in two weeks in the province, Maidan Wardak, which is seen as a crucial area in defending the capital against the Taliban. If enforced, it would effectively exclude the American military’s main source of offensive firepower from the area, which lies southwest of Kabul and is used by the Taliban as a staging ground for attacks on the city.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/world/asia/afghanistan-orders-us-troops-from-key-

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Karzai orders US forces out of Afghan regions in two weeks

Feb 24, 2013

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai demanded on Sunday the withdrawal of US special forces from Wardak and Logar within two weeks, accusing them of fuelling "insecurity and instability" in the volatile provinces neighbouring the capital Kabul.

"In today's national security council meeting ... President Karzai ordered the ministry of defence to kick out the US special forces from Wardak and Logar provinces within two weeks," said presidential spokesman Aimal Faizi.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Karzai-orders-US-forces-out-of-Afghan-regions-in-two-weeks/articleshow/18661407.cms

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Four more shot dead in Bangladesh protest

 February 25, 2013

Islamists demanding the execution of bloggers they accuse of blasphemy clashed with police in Bangladesh for a third straight day Sunday, and at least four protesters were killed when police opened fire.

Up to 3,000 protesters, including students from religious schools, barricaded

a highway at Singair in the central district of Manikganj, police said.

 “They attacked us with machetes, sticks, bricks and firearms from three sides when we tried to clear the barricade. We fired back in self-defence,” Mizanur Rahman, deputy police chief of Manikganj, told AFP, adding at least 40 people were injured including policemen.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/bangladesh/Four-more-shot-dead-in-Bangladesh-protest/Article1-1016882.aspx

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NATO: No Evidence for Afghan Claim of Misconduct

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

February 25, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan says NATO has so far found no evidence to support Afghan allegations of misconduct by American special forces in a strategic eastern province.

German Gen. Gunter Katz said on Monday that the International Security Assistance Force will work with the government to find a solution to the concerns of Afghans.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/02/25/world/asia/ap-as-

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Bangladesh becoming economic power

February 25, 2013

Bangladesh is evolving as an impressive economic power and sets a good example as a voice of moderation in the Muslim world, said the visiting Greek minister of Public Order and Citizen Protection, Nikolaos Dendias, yesterday.

Calling on Foreign Minister Dipu Moni at her office, he also acknowledged Bangladesh's credentials and commitment for combating terrorism.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=270369

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Pakistan

 

Pakistan Taliban describes interior minister Rehman Malik as comedian

 Feb 25, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistani Taliban have mocked Interior Minister Rehman Malik by describing him as a "comedian", with a militant spokesman saying a "serious person" should replace him for any dialogue between the two sides.

Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan spokesman Ihsanullah Ihsan compared Malik to Pashto comedian Ismail Shahid and said the group did not take the minister's statements seriously.

"Our central shura (consultative council) believes that if Rehman Malik keeps on churning out statements about our offer (of talks), it'll indicate the government is not serious in pursuing peace talks," Ihsan told The Express Tribune.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-Taliban-describes-interior-minister-Rehman-Malik-as-comedian/articleshow/18672967.cms

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Seven militants killed in Khyber Agency

25 February 2013

LANDI KOTAL, Feb 24: At least seven militants were killed and some of their hideouts destroyed in air strikes and a clash in Tirah and Bara areas of Khyber Agency on Sunday.

Officials said that fighter planes bombed Taliban positions in Kukikhel area of Tirah.

The aerial bombing resulted in killing of four Taliban and destruction of three of their hideouts in Sra Vella and surrounding localities, officials claimed.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/25/seven-militants-killed-in-khyber-agency/

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‘If Veena Malik was here, minister would have come’ says Pak Senator

 February 25, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Senator Humayun Mandokhel expressed displeasure over the absence of the secretary and the minister for Water and Power in a session of Senate’s Standing Committee on Water and Power on Monday, Express News reported.

“If Veena Malik was here, they would have been present,” he remarked.

During the session headed by Awami National Party (ANP) leader Zahid Khan, the additional secretary of Water and Power Ministry informed that the blackout across the country occurred due to fault in the national grid.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/512271/senate-session-if-veena-malik-was-here-water-and-power-minister-would-have-come/

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Violence in Karachi claims four lives

25 February 2013

KARACHI: At least four persons including a woman were killed in separate incidents of violence in various areas of the city whereas five persons including a cleric were also on injured, DawnNews reported on Monday.

A woman died in a gunfiring incident in Machar colony near the Docks area of Karachi.

The body of a man was found in a nullah in Karachi’s Ibrahim Hyderi area.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/25/violence-in-karachi-claims-four-lives/

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Two killed in targeted operation in Quetta

25 February 2013

QUETTA: Two armed suspects were killed and five others arrested by the Frontier Corps in a targeted operation in Gulistan area of the Qila Abdullah district on Sunday, official sources said.

The FC personnel moved in the Killi Abdul Rehman Zai area on a tip-off about the presence of some suspects there.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/25/two-killed-in-targeted-operation/

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Punjab govt still not taking action against LJ: Malik

25 February 2013

KARACHI: Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik has again accused the Punjab government of not taking action against the banned militant organisation Lashkar-i-Jhangvi (LJ), DawnNews reported.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/24/punjab-govt-still-not-taking-action-against-lj-malik/

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Steely resolve of Hazaras: ‘We are not victims — we choose to live and to fight’

 February 25, 2013

KARACHI: Trauma alone from a blast such as the one which took place in Quetta on February 16 can leave an individual paralysed with fear – but the girls of Hazara, the community which was targeted in the attack, have found resilience and strength after surviving it.

Their injuries range from broken backs to severed toes to burnt arms but they are adamant to go back home and join their schools.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/512117/steely-resolve-of-hazaras-we-are-not-victims-we-choose-to-live-and-to-fight/

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Mideast Asia

 

Israel Instructs Obama: “Iranian And Syrian Sanctions Are Not Painful Enough!”

By Franklin Lamb

23 February, 2013

Damascus: On 3/26/2013 Iran is expected to meet with other world powers in Astana, Kazakhstan to discuss its nuclear program. Discussions that the occupiers of Palestine fervently hope will not be successful. It is toward this end that their key demand this week to the US Congress, the White House and the European Union is “to cast responsibility on the Iranians by blaming them for the talks’ failure in the clearest terms possible.”

According to the Al-Monitor of 3/19/13, Israel also demands that the countries meeting in Kazakhstan “make it perfectly clear that slogans such as ‘negotiations can’t go on forever’ are their marching orders to the White House, and they want the Kazakhstan attendees to act “so severely that the Iranians realize that they face a greater threat than just Israeli military action.” “The message must be that this time the entire west, behind Israel’s leadership, is contemplating the launch of a massive military action.” Unsaid is that “the entire West” is expected to confront Iran militarily while Tel Aviv’s forces will mop up Hezbollah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Syria if necessary.

Full report at:

http://www.countercurrents.org/lamb230213.htm

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Palestinian prisoner's autopsy reveals 'extensive signs of beatings'

Hugh Naylor

Feb 25, 2013

RAMALLAH // The Palestinian Authority yesterday called for a international investigation into the interrogation methods used on Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails following the death of a 30-year-old in custody whose autopsy report that described "extensive signs of beatings" on the body.

The report, by a Palestinian doctor who attended the autopsy yesterday at Israel's main forensics institute, said the injuries to Arafat Jaradat's body - that included bruising, signs of lashings and broken ribs - show he died of "shock" and not from a heart attack as the Israeli prison authorities claimed.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/palestinian-prisoners-autopsy-reveals-extensive-signs-of-beatings#ixzz2LtqtrwXq

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Israel tests new Arrow missile interceptor-ministry

 Feb 25 2013

JERUSALEM : Israel carried out a successful test of its upgraded, ballistic Arrow missile interceptor on Monday, the Israeli Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The U.S.-backed Arrow missile is designed to shoot down incoming missiles at altitudes high enough to allow for any non-conventional warheads to disintegrate safely.

The test was of a new generation Arrow III, which is intended to bolster defences against threats to the Jewish state, including from Iran and Syria. Designers say the system has proved a success in up to 90 percent of live trials.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/israel-tests-new-arrow-missile-interceptorministry/1079339/

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Turkey says will not remain silent over Syria ‘crimes’

 24 February 2013

DAMASCUS: Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan Sunday vowed his country will not remain silent over Syrian President Bashar Assad’s “crimes,” as Washington condemned a missile strike on Aleppo that left 58 dead.

“Every day a large number of innocent children and women fall dead in Syria,” Erdogan, a key backer of Syria’s opposition, said in a speech in the United Arab Emirates.

“We will not remain silent on those committing crimes against their people... We will not remain silent on the brutal dictator in Syria,” Erdogan added.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/turkey-says-will-not-remain-silent-over-syria-%E2%80%98crimes%E2%80%99

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Turkish Dramas Excite Polar Responses In Yemeni Viewers

By Maram Alabassi

February 24th, 2013

For six years, Turkish television dramas such as “Noor” and “Fatima” have left a significant number of Yemeni audiences captivated. However, it is the dramas’ great popularity – primarily among young people – which has made them both socially relevant and open to sharp moral criticism in Yemen.

Turkish Ambassador to Yemen Fazli Corman told the National Yemen, “In Turkey, people are more exposed to Western culture than here in Yemen. They are more open regarding relationships and women’s roles.”

Full report at:

http://nationalyemen.com/2013/02/24/turkish-dramas-excite-polar-responses-in-yemeni-viewers/

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Africa

 

31 die in northern Nigeria sectarian violence

Feb 25 2013

Abuja : At least 31 people have been killed and houses and vehicles were burnt after a disagreement over ownership of a football pitch set off sectarian violence in northern Nigerian state of Taraba, officials said today.

Violence erupted when Muslim and Christian football teams argued over which team had the right to a football pitch."We have arrested more than forty people so far and we are doing everything possible to bring the crisis under control," state police spokesperson T Y Mohammed told PTI.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/31-die-in-northern-nigeria-sectarian-violence/1079318/

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Gaddafi terror bombers nabbed in Bani Walid

February 25, 2013

TRIPOLI — A Gaddafi terrorist cell has apparently been discovered in Bani Walid following an explosion there, that killed its leader on Thursday. The cell was believed to be planning a bombing campaign in the town as well as in Tripoli.

According to local council media office spokesman Saad Mohamed Al-Daba, the group was preparing explosive devices in a house in the town, when one of them exploded killing Yousef Musbah Abdul Rahim Dabia, a member of one of Gaddafi’s Revolutionary Committees.

From Benghazi, Dabia, who was an explosives expert,  had belonged to the 32nd Brigade (“the Khamis Brigade”), said the spokesman. The dead man had also been part of a team involved in the assassination of members of the opposition both inside Libya and abroad.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130225154562

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Ten Chadian Soldiers Killed Fighting Islamists in Mali

February 25, 2013

N'DJAMENA/GAO (Reuters) - Ten Chadian soldiers were killed in combat in northern Mali's mountainous border with Algeria where Islamist rebels regrouped after losing urban areas to a French-led offensive, Chad's army said on Sunday.

The latest Chadian fatalities came in an area of the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains where 13 Chadian soldiers were killed in clashes on Friday that centered around what one senior commander said was a rebel base of "significant importance". At least 93 rebels have been killed in fighting in the area so far, Chad's army said.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/02/24/world/africa/24reuters-mali-rebels-

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‘Framework’ Announced for Peace in Congo

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN

February 25, 2013

NAIROBI, Kenya — Leaders of several African countries and United Nations officials on Sunday announced a new “framework” to tackle instability in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a war-torn country that has become synonymous with suffering and has eluded countless attempts to build a lasting peace over the years.

The new effort calls for greater cooperation among Congo’s neighbors — several of which are suspected of sponsoring violence inside Congo — and political changes by the Congolese government. United Nations and African officials are also proposing a new beefed-up “peace enforcement” brigade of about 2,000 soldiers to go after rebel groups in Congo.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/25/world/africa/african-nations-and-un-offer-plan-to-

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Nigeria Grants Bail to Russian Arms Smuggling Suspects

February 25, 2013

LAGOS (Reuters) - Fifteen Russian sailors charged with illegally bringing weapons into Nigeria last year were granted bail on Monday and released until a hearing in early April, a Lagos court ruled.

Nigerian authorities intercepted a ship and arrested its Russian crew on October 23 after they found several guns and around 8,500 rounds of ammunition aboard.

The Russian sailors have pleaded not guilty and the Moran Security Group, the Russian company that owns the confiscated vessel, has said the ship had permission to carry arms, calling the accusations "groundless".

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/02/25/world/africa/25reuters-nigeria-

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North America

 

Islamic Awareness Week seeks to educate, refute media stereotypes of culture

By RACHEL CROSS

25 February 2013

This week, the Muslim Student Association at Grand Valley State University will set out to inform the community about Islam, as well as dispel common misconceptions often portrayed in the media, during Islamic Awareness Week.

Sebastian Maisel, adviser of the MSA and professor of Arabic and Islamic studies at GVSU, said Islamic Awareness week includes events that educate the community, including poetic readings, lectures about women’s rights in Islam, as well as a comedian who lightens up the topic a bit.

Full report at:

http://www.lanthorn.com/article/2013/02/islamic-awareness-week-seeks-to-educate-refute-media-stereotypes-of-culture

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US drones blow up any hope of close ties with Yemenis

Farea Al Muslimi

Feb 25, 2013

Late last year I escorted the US radio journalist Kelly McEvers to Abyan, a governorate in South Yemen.

Government troops and local militias had been battling fighters from Ansar Al Sharia, an Al Qaeda affiliate, and had forced them from the area only two days earlier. There were reports that some had shaved their beards and stayed. If they had known an American reporter was around, they would have had a golden opportunity for a kidnapping.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/thenationalconversation/comment/us-drones-blow-up-any-hope-of-close-ties-with-yemenis#ixzz2LtreLVy3

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Europe

 

France's military operation in Mali in 'final phase'

Feb 25, 2013

French President Francois Hollande has said his country's forces are engaged in the "final phase" of the fight against militants in northern Mali.

He said there had been heavy fighting in the Ifoghas mountains, where members of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) were thought to be hiding.

Mr Hollande also praised Chadian troops for their efforts in the same area.

Thirteen Chadian soldiers and some 65 militants were killed in clashes on Friday, according to the Chadian army.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21563077

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/indonesian-islamic-parties-at-an-impasse-need-reform-to-avoid-the-worst/d/10554

 

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