New Age Islam
Mon Aug 10 2020, 05:19 PM

Islamic World News ( 25 Oct 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Comment | Comment

Iraq Ministries Targeted in Car Bombings; Over 130 Dead

60 Lashes Ordered for Saudi Woman

Afghans condemn 'Quran-burning'

UN team 'sees Iran nuclear site'

Somalis 'made to view executions'

Arab violence resumes on Temple Mount

Uighurs 'disappeared' in crackdown

Iran, Pakistan reach comprehensive security agreements

Radical Islam expert will speak at Dordt

Human Rights Watch, HRW, meet Ismail Haniyeh

Terrorism leaving prints on art activities in capital

Makkah governor opens productive family forum

Indian Army kills youth in Srinagar

Israeli police raid Aqsa compound

Bangladesh blast targets MP

At the crossroads of Islam

Indonesia lifts tsunami alert after powerful earthquake

Pakistan army claims more advances in offensive

Female Warriors Engage in Combat in Iraq, Afghanistan

U.S., France, Russia maintain unity on Iran

France ‘worried’ by Lebanon government void

Obama hopeful Lebanon forms new government ‘soon’

Want new beginning for Malegaon: Imam-MLA

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/iraq-ministries-targeted-in-car-bombings;-over-130-dead/d/1989

-----------

 

October 26, 2009

Iraq Ministries Targeted in Car Bombings; Over 130 Dead

By TIMOTHY WILLIAMS

BAGHDAD — For the second time in two months, synchronized suicide car bombings struck at the heart of the Iraqi government, severely damaging the Justice Ministry and Provincial Council complexes in Baghdad on Sunday, killing at least 132 people and raising fresh questions about the government’s ability to secure its most vital operations.

The bombers apparently passed through multiple security checkpoints before detonating their vehicles within a minute of each other, leaving the dead and more than 520 wounded strewn across a busy downtown district. Blast walls had been moved back off the road from in front of both buildings in recent weeks.

It was the deadliest coordinated attack in Iraq since the summer of 2007 and happened just blocks from where car bombers killed at least 122 people at the Foreign and Finance ministries this August.

The attacks came as the American military prepares to withdraw in large numbers — from about 120,000 troops today to some 50,000 by the end of next July, with almost all gone by the end of 2011. Iraq is also readying for national elections in January.

For months, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, who is seeking another term in office, has made painstaking efforts to present Iraq as having turned a corner on the violence that threatened to tear the country apart in 2006 and 2007.

He has recently ordered blast walls removed from dozens of streets in the capital and has insisted that Iraqi forces are capable of securing the country. In large part, his popularity has rested on the belief that he has kept the country reasonably secure.

But the wave of bombings at four high-profile, well-protected government buildings within a two-month span led some Iraqis to to say Sunday that they were reconsidering their support for Mr. Maliki.

“We don’t want a government that does not provide us with security,” said Saif Adil, 26, who has been unemployed since graduating from college two years ago. “It was good for awhile, and now explosions happen less often, but they are having big effects — large numbers of dead in important places.”

Ali Hussein, 32, said the explosions had also caused him to question his support of the prime minister. “Why should I vote for Maliki?” he asked. “He has done nothing except bring explosions and corruption.”

On Sunday, a statement from American Ambassador Christopher R. Hill and Gen. Ray Odierno condemned the bombings saying that the attacks would not “deter Iraqis from administering justice based on the rule of law and carrying out their legitimate responsibilities in governing Baghdad.”

On Sunday, American Marines were seen walking around the debris-filled streets after the attack. One Marine said the Americans had been asked by the Iraqi government to aid in the investigation.

Iraqi and American officials in Baghdad have repeatedly warned about a potential rise in violence as the Jan. 16 parliamentary election approaches, with political parties and their allies vie for advantage and insurgent groups redoubling their efforts to destabilize the country.

In a rare personal appearance at a bombing site, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki arrived at the provincial council building about an hour after the explosion, his face ashen as he surveyed the carnage.

Around Mr. Maliki, paramedics rushed the injured into waiting Red Crescent ambulances, workers wearing plastic gloves scooped body parts off of the street and into plastic bags, and scorched cars — their occupants trapped inside — were pried open in a desperate search for signs of life.

Surrounding streets had been blocked off and were under more than a foot of water because the blast had apparently also damaged a water main. Pools of water were colored red with blood.

Mr. Maliki, wearing a dark suit, did not venture far from his armored white sports utility vehicle. He made no public comment before being driven away.

Mr. Maliki later issued a statement calling the attacks “cowardly” and blamed elements of the Baath Party and the Sunni insurgent group Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia. He said the attack would not affect the scheduled elections.

President Jalal Talibani said the attackers had sought to damage Iraq’s fragile democracy.

“The perpetrators of this have revealed publicly that they are targeting the state and its basic pillars,” Mr. Talibani said. “They want to hinder the political process or to stop it and to sabotage what we have built during six years with great sacrifice.”

The two government buildings, typically filled with officials as well as civilians seeking government help, are situated on Haifa Street in one of Baghdad’s most congested sections. Nearby are other Iraqi government buildings, foreign embassies, the heavily fortified Green Zone, and bridges crossing the Tigris River.

In a testament to the power of the explosion at the provincial council building, a section of 12-foot high blast wall collapsed, crushing people underneath, witnesses said.

The Iraqi Police said the first bomb struck the Justice Ministry building around 10:30 a.m. blowing out its large windows that overlook Haifa Street, sending flying glass and shrapnel into passersby. A plume of black smoke rose over the city that could be seen for miles.

“I was eating in a restaurant near the Justice Ministry when a huge explosion took place,” said Sa’ad Saleem, 28, an employee of Iraq’s state-owned television channel, who had shrapnel wounds in his neck and chest. “The entire scene was filled with bloody human flesh. Large pools of blood were everywhere, in addition to the remains of burned cars. It was horrible.”

At the provincial council building, Sheikh Hadi Salih, 60, had been attending a meeting on the second floor when he heard the sound of an explosion followed by the collapse of the ceiling onto people’s heads.

“We tried to find our way out down the stairs, and as we went we found many dead bodies,” he said. “I’ve seen 20 bodies and more than 60 injured.”

Among the wounded were at least two American security contractors, a United States Embassy official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity under diplomatic ground rules.

Anwar J. Ali, Duraid Adnan, Mohammed Hussein and Riyadh Mohammed contributed reporting.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/world/middleeast/26iraq.html?_r=1&ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

-----------

October 25, 2009

60 Lashes Ordered for Saudi Woman

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — A Saudi court sentenced a journalist on Saturday to 60 lashes after she was charged with involvement in a television show in which a Saudi man talked about sex.

The journalist, Rozanna al-Yami, 22, is believed to be the first female Saudi journalist to be given such a punishment. The charges included involvement in preparing the program and advertising it on the Internet. Ms. Yami said she had worked as a coordinator for the program but had not worked on the episode in question. She said the judge, in the western city of Jidda, had handed down the sentence “as a deterrence.”

“I am too frustrated and upset to appeal the sentence,” Ms. Yami said.

Abdul-Rahman al-Hazza, the spokesman of the Ministry of Culture and Information, said he had no details of the sentencing and could not comment on it.

In the program, broadcast in July on the Lebanese satellite channel LBC, the Saudi man, Mazen Abdul-Jawad, described his active sex life and showed sex toys, which the station blurred. The same court sentenced Mr. Abdul-Jawad to five years in prison and 1,000 lashes.

The program scandalized this conservative country, and the government shut down LBC’s two offices in the kingdom.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/25/world/middleeast/25saudi.html?ref=middleeast

-----

Afghans condemn 'Quran-burning'

October 25, 2009

Afghan police have fired into the air to break up a protest by thousands of people who in Kabul to condemn alleged desecration of a copy of the Quran by foreign soldiers.

Protesters, claiming foreign forces had burned a copy of Islam's holiest book during a raid in Maidan Wardak province last week, blocked traffic in the Afghan capital for more than an hour on Sunday.

A spokeswoman for US and Nato-led forces in Afghanistan said none of their troops were involved in the incident and blamed the Taliban for spreading a false rumour that a copy of the Quran had been burned.

More than 100,000 foreign troops are battling a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan, where violence this year reached its highest level since the group was ousted by US-backed Afghan forces in 2001.

Thick plumes of smoke rose above the crowd as protesters set fire to a large effigy of what they said was Barack Obama, the US president.

"Death to America. Down with Israel," chanted one man at the rally, which was organised mainly by university students.

Others threw stones and clashed with police but no casualties were reported.

One banner carried by protesters said: "No to democracy. We just want Islam."

Captain Elizabeth Mathias, a media officer for US and Nato-led forces in Afghanistan, said the Taliban was trying to undermine foreign troops by spreading the rumour.

"We did not burn a Quran ... It is unfortunate that the protesters believe a Taliban rumour," Mathias said, adding an investigation had been carried out.

The Taliban could not be reached immediately for comment.

Source: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/10/20091025112525391257.html

-----

UN team 'sees Iran nuclear site'

A team from the UN's nuclear watchdog has inspected a previously secret uranium enrichment plant in Iran, Iranian officials and media have said.

The inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency are expected to visit the facility, near the holy city of Qom, again over the next two days.

The visit comes as world powers await Iran's response to a new proposed deal over its uranium enrichment programme.

Iran would send some enriched uranium to Russia to be turned into fuel.

The proposed deal is seen as a way for Tehran to get the fuel it needs for an existing reactor, while giving guarantees to the West that its enriched uranium will not be used for nuclear weapons.

But opposition inside Iran to the agreement is said to be growing.

'In jeopardy'

Sunday's inspection was the first time monitors from the IAEA had been allowed access to Iran's second enrichment facility, which is being built into a mountainside 160km (100 miles) south of Tehran.

“Westerners are insisting on going in a direction to cheat and impose their will on us”

Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8324511.stm

-------

Somalis 'made to view executions'

By Mary Harper

Hundreds of people in Somalia have been forced to watch Islamist militants executing two people accused of spying.

People in Merca said al-Shabaab militia patrolled the town with loudspeakers, demanding they attend the executions.

The militants also ordered schools to close for the day as they were keen for children to watch the two men being shot dead by a firing squad.

Most of those at the execution, on a patch of open ground, are reported to have been women and children.

It is becoming something of a pattern for al-Shabaab to encourage young people to engage in violence.

It recently organised a quiz for young men in the southern town of Kismayo.

The prizes included AK-47 assault rifles, hand grenades and anti-tank mines.

The aim, said al-Shabaab, was to stop young men from wasting time, and to focus on important things like defending their territory and their religion.

At the prize-giving ceremony, which was attended by hundreds of people, the militants urged parents to teach their children to handle weapons at an early age.

Somali children's rights groups say al-Shabaab is intent on brainwashing the young to believe in violent Islamism.

In this way, it can ensure it has a steady supply of recruits, ready to fight for its aim of establishing extreme Islamist rule, not only in Somalia but far beyond its borders.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/africa/8324955.stm

---------

Arab violence resumes on Temple Mount

October 25, 2009

JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Arab rioters attacked Israeli police officers with stones, firebombs and oil on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Three police offers were injured Sunday morning during the attack, which began shortly after the mosques on the mount opened for prayers. A second round of rioting began later Sunday morning.

Officers stormed the mount carrying glass shields for protection, but did not enter the mosques. About 100 rioters remain holed up in the Al Aksa Mosque.

At least 15 people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

Following the attacks, police closed the Temple Mount to both Muslim worshippers and to tourists. Prayers continued at the Western Wall, where police presence has been increased.

The violence comes after repeated calls Saturday by Muslim leaders, appealing to Arabs to come protect Jerusalem and the Temple Mount from "Jewish conquest." Police had announced Saturday that they would increase police forces and patrols in the area based on the Muslim incitement.

This is not the first time that rumors have circulated throughout the Palestinian and Muslim community that far-right-wing Jews plan to take over the site which is holy to both Jews and Muslims. These rumors have proven to be unfounded.

"Israel is provoking a billion Muslims around the world, who will not hesitate to protect the Temple Mount with their own bodies," Arab-Israeli lawmaker Talab Al-Sana told Ha'aretz. "Israeli police initiate avoidable riots that will end in bloodshed, when they enable extremists to desecrate the Al-Aqsa Mosque."

The violence also spread to the eastern Jerusalem, including the neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, where masked Palestinians threw stones and other objects at Israeli security forces.

Source: http://jta.org/news/article/2009/10/25/1008702/arab-violence-resumes-on-temple-mount

-----

Uighurs 'disappeared' in crackdown

October 25, 2009

Dozens of ethnic Uighurs, including several children, remain unaccounted for more than three months after China launched a crackdown on ethnic unrest in the country's far west, a human right group has said.

A report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) released on Wednesday, said the group had documented the cases of at least 43 Uighur men and boys who have disappeared in a wave of arrests across the city of Urumqi.

The group said the 43 cases were likely to be "just the tip of the iceberg", with the real number of disappeared in Urumqi and elsewhere in the Xinjiang region thought to be much higher.

'Disappeared' persons, it said, are often at high risk of torture or extrajudicial execution.

Chinese security forces launched a massive security crackdown in Xinjiang in early July, following riots in Urumqi by the region's indigenous Uighur minority.

"Some men were pushed on their knees, with hands tied around wooden sticks behind their backs; others were forced on the ground with hands on their heads," she said.

In another incident, the report said soldiers had snatched a 14-year-old boy named Sharafutdin from the street. He has not been seen since.

HRW said the boy's father has asked at the local police station five times as to the whereabouts of his son, only to be told Sharafutdin was not on their list of detainees.

Full Report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/10/2009102134853614585.html

-----

Iran, Pakistan reach comprehensive security agreements

October 25, 2009

TEHRAN -- Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar has said that Iran and Pakistan have reached significant agreements on various security issues.

The two countries have agreed to boost border security, exchange information on security matters, and increase cooperation in the campaigns against drugs and human trafficking, he said in Islamabad on Saturday.

The Iranian interior minister held separate meetings with Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Director Ahmad Shuja Pasha on Friday. Najjar also met with Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Saturday.

Najjar said the Pakistani interior minister has promised to cooperate with Iran in the efforts to crack down on the Pakistan-based Jundullah terrorist group.

Najjar traveled to Pakistan to discuss the two countries’ response to the October 18 terrorist attack in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan in which at least 42 people were killed. Jundullah claimed responsibility for the attack.

To further strengthen security ties, it was agreed that the deputy interior ministers of Iran and Pakistan will meet in the near future, Najjar added.

He described the upcoming meeting between the governor of Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan Province and the governor general of Pakistan’s Balochestan Province as “a positive and significant step” to resolve the security problems on the Iran-Pakistan border.

Full Report at: http://www.tehrantimes.com/index_View.asp?code=206301

-----

Radical Islam expert will speak at Dordt

October 24, 2009

SIOUX CENTER, Iowa -- A Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute's Center for Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C., will be a guest speaker at Dordt College on Nov. 2.

"Understanding Radical Islam" will be Dr. Paul Marshall's topic at 7:30 p.m. in the science building lecture hall S101. Marshall will also speak about Christian vocations in politics at Dordt on Monday at 11 a.m. in the B.J. Haan Auditorium. The guest presentation is part of the First Monday Speaker Series at the college.

Marshall is the author of over 20 books on religion and politics, including the best-seller, "Their Blood Cries Out: The Untold story of Christians Who Are Dying for Their Faith." He has spoken on religious freedom, international relations, and radical Islam before Congress, the U.S. State Department, the Helsinki Commission, I.N.S Asylum Bureaus, and the Sudan People's Liberation Army. He has also lectured in Canada, England, Israel, Cyprus, Austria, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Turkey, Greece, India, Switzerland, Spain, Lebanon, Korea, Nigeria, Belarus, Australia, South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand, Nigeria, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Full Report at: http://www.siouxcityjournal.com/news/faith/article_d74381d4-f094-5c58-aa13-1017df70303c.html

----

Human Rights Watch, HRW, meet Ismail Haniyeh

24 October 2009

"JERUSALEM (JTA) - Human Rights Watch called on Hamas to open an investigation into alleged war crimes.

The organization sent a letter Tuesday to Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh calling on Hamas to launch a "credible investigation" into the alleged violations highlighted in the United Nations' Goldstone report, according to reports. (link to JTA)

Imagine the conversation:

HRW: We want you to launch an investigation of the allegations that you "may have committed war crimes" when you fired 10,000 rockets and mortar shells into Israel over a period of 8 years.

Ismail Haniyeh: Ma pitom!* It's not Hamas that committed war crimes, it's the yahood! We are just following our Hamas Covenant when we launch Qassams, where it says "There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad."

HRW: But you aren't supposed to wage jihad against unarmed civilians.

IH: Oh yes we are! Our covenant says "Israel, Judaism and Jews challenge Islam and the Muslim people. May the cowards never sleep." That means all Jews, in uniform or not.

HRW: So you want the Jews out of the lands they unjustly took in 1967?

IH: No, we want them out of all occupied territory, from the river to the sea. That's what the covenant means when it says "The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Muslim generations until Judgment Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up." No Crusaders or yahood allowed.

HRW: Oh, I see. Sort of like what our Saudi donors are always saying. But what will become of the Jews when you drive them out?

IH: Who cares? They are responsible for everything bad in the world. After all,

With their money, they took control of the world media, news agencies, the press, publishing houses, broadcasting stations, and others. With their money they stirred revolutions in various parts of the world with the purpose of achieving their interests and reaping the fruit therein. They were behind the French Revolution, the Communist revolution and most of the revolutions we heard and hear about, here and there. With their money they formed secret societies, such as Freemasons, Rotary Clubs, the Lions and others in different parts of the world for the purpose of sabotaging societies and achieving Zionist interests. With their money they were able to control imperialistic countries and instigate them to colonize many countries in order to enable them to exploit their resources and spread corruption there.

They were behind World War I, when they were able to destroy the Islamic Caliphate, making financial gains and controlling resources. They obtained the Balfour Declaration, formed the League of Nations through which they could rule the world. They were behind World War II, through which they made huge financial gains by trading in armaments, and paved the way for the establishment of their state. It was they who instigated the replacement of the League of Nations with the United Nations and the Security Council to enable them to rule the world through them. There is no war going on anywhere, without having their finger in it.

HRW: (shocked) The Lions Clubs? Is there no limit to their perfidy?

IH: No. "We should not forget to remind every Muslim that when the Jews conquered the Holy City in 1967, they stood on the threshold of the Aqsa Mosque and proclaimed that "Mohammed is dead, and his descendants are all women."

HRW: OK, you may be justified if they are as bad as all that. But if I can give you a tip, be careful what you say about women. Sexism is out today.

IH: That's just dumb political correctness! Next you'll be objecting to anti-yahood-ism. Like this important part of our covenant:

The Prophet, Allah

bless him and grant him salvation, has said:

"The Day of Judgment will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews (killing the Jews), when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdulla, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews."

Source: http://www.rightsidenews.com/200910246983/editorial/human-rrights-watch-hrw-meet-ismail-haniyeh.html

-----

Terrorism leaving prints on art activities in capital

October 25, 2009

Besides paralysing morale of educational institutions, the panic created by the terrorist acts has severely affected the performing and visual art activities in the federal capital.

With the postponement of many cultural festivals planned for the months of October and November in the federal capital, the private art galleries, art institutions and the artists have expressed their concern over the increasing terrorist attacks at peaceful places having no connection with operation against militants.

Talking about the situation, Eminent folklorist and actor, Naeem Tahir said that art related events were the only way to promote the soft image of the country and they should be organized with a great zeal.

“These terrorists have used the cover of Islam for a long time, but the media and the efforts of state exposed them when they targeted educational institutions and mosques,” he said, adding, “They were non-state un-Islamic elements working for evil designs under the name of Islam.” “The artists should not lose hope and play their due role along with armed forces to face the evils with their artistic ability and creativity to keep alive the spirit of nationalism,” Naeem Tahir suggested.

Full Report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=205005

-----

Makkah governor opens productive family forum

Galal Fakkar, 25 October 2009

JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal on Saturday opened the first forum for productive families in the Kingdom, organized by the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI).

Prince Khaled said the Makkah governorate has set out a working program for productive families. “We have presented this program to Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior Prince Naif and we have received a positive response from him,” he said.

Prince Khaled said the governorate has started implementing the program and that its result would be reviewed after a year. He also disclosed the government’s plan to implement the program at a national level. The governor said a woman in Makkah presented the idea of productive families last year. “We then discussed the idea with relevant government departments,” he said, adding that the governorate has set up an agency for productive families and human resource development in the Makkah province.

Education Minister Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, Commerce and Industry Minister Abdullah Zainal Alireza, and Social Affairs Minister Yousuf Al-Othaimeen, who addressed the opening ceremony, emphasized the need for establishing a higher authority for productive families. “Such an authority is essential to set out plans and policies for the development of productive families,” said Prince Faisal. He stressed the need to create a culture of productive families through education.

Full Report at: http://arabnews.com/?page=1&section=0&article=127725&d=25&m=10&y=2009&pix=kingdom.jpg&category=Kingdom

-----

Indian Army kills youth in Srinagar

Mukhtar Ahmad, 25 October 2009

SRINAGAR: Army guards shot dead a 24-year-old youth near their north Kashmir camp on Saturday, triggering massive protests from local villagers which were on till late into the night.

Police sources said the youth Sajad Ahmad Ganai was asked by the guards of an army camp to halt at Dangiwachi in north Kashmir Baramulla district this morning. As the youth ignored the warning, a sentry opened fire killing him instantly.

The villagers came to know about the incident only after the body was handed over to them for identification. Shouting anti-India slogans, the villagers took to the streets and blocked the highway. Now they are refusing to bury it till an enquiry was ordered into the killing and a murder case registered against the troopers.

Meanwhile, an Indian soldier was wounded on Saturday by shots fired from Pakistan’s side of the disputed region, a senior Indian army officer said, calling it a violation of a cease-fire in the troubled region. The shots targeted an Indian army post and came from a Pakistani post across the cease-fire line dividing the Himalayan region, said Brig. Gopala Krishnan Murali.

Pakistani army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said the Indian allegations were “baseless.”

— With input from agencies

Source: http://arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=127729&d=25&m=10&y=2009&pix=world.jpg&category=World

-----

Israeli police raid Aqsa compound

October 25, 2009

Israeli police have raided al-Aqsa mosque's compound, clashing with Muslim worshippers and arresting Palestinian protesters.

Al Jazeera has learnt that the clashes erupted on Sunday after Israeli police tried to enter the compound in occupied Jerusalem's Old City.

The site is known to Jews as the Temple Mount and is revered by Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary), comprising al-Aqsa mosque and the Dome of the Rock.

At least 10 people were injured and another 15 detained, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Jerusalem said.

Israeli police put the number of arrests at 12.

Early on Sunday, Israeli police deployed extra troops after calls for demonstrations around the holy site.

The Palestinian calls came amid rumours that rightwing Jewish activists were planning to gather at al-Aqsa compound.

The rumours circulated after a fringe Israeli group, the Organisation for the Defence of Human Rights on the Temple Mount, called on Jews to gather at the mosque compound as well as the adjacent Western Wall.

Spreading violence

Palestinian officials said the Israeli police closed off the compound to visitors, leaving hundreds of worshippers inside.

Jivara al-Budairi, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Jerusalem, said: "Clashes between Palestinians and the Israeli police spread to the Old City neighbourhoods of Bab Hutta, Bab al-Majlis and Aqabat al-Tkiye.

She said the injured could not be moved out of the compound because of the Israeli police siege.

Full Report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/10/2009102562438423180.html

-----

Bangladesh blast targets MP

October 25, 2009

A bomb attack on a car carrying a Bangladeshi member of parliament has left at least 15 people injured in the capital, Dhaka.

Fazle Noor Taposh, a relative of Sheikh Hasina, the Bangladeshi prime minister, escaped with minor cuts and bruises following the attack in the capital's Motijheel district on Wednesday.

Khandakar Mahiduddin, a police official, told the Associated Press that unidentified attackers threw a bomb at Taposh as he was getting into his car outside his office.

He said Taposh was unhurt but the blast injured 15 activists of his party who were in the area.

Mahiduddin said Taposh fled in his car, which was slightly damaged. Police are investigating why he was targetted.

Bangladesh has a history of political violence and attacks on political rivals are common.

Taposh is the son of Sheikh Fazlul Haq Moni, a politician who was killed in a military coup in 1975 in which Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the country's founding father, was also killed.

Source: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/10/2009102232436688463.html

-----

At the crossroads of Islam

Robert F Worth, 24 October 2009

The remote desert valley of Tarim in Yemen, with its towering bluffs and ancient mud-brick houses, is probably best known to outsiders as the birthplace of Osama bin Laden’s father. Most accounts about Yemen in the Western news media refer ominously to it as “the ancestral homeland” of the leader of al-Qaida, as though his murderous ideology had somehow been shaped here. But in fact, Tarim and its environs are a historic centre of Sufism. The local religious school, Dar al-Mustafa, is a multicultural place full of students from Indonesia and California who stroll around its tiny campus wearing white skullcaps and colorful shawls.

“The reality is that Osama bin Laden has never been to Yemen,” said Habib Omar, the revered director of Dar al-Mustafa . “His thinking has nothing to do with this place.”

Lately, al-Qaida has found a new sanctuary here and carried out a number of attacks. But the group’s inspiration, Omar said, did not originate here. Most of the group’s adherents have lived in Saudi Arabia — as has bin Laden — and it was there, or in Afghanistan or Pakistan, that they adopted a jihadist mind-set .

Omar set out 16 years ago to restore the ancient religious heritage of Tarim. It is an extraordinary legacy for an arid, windswept town in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula.

About 800 years ago, traders from Tarim and other parts of Hadramawt, as the broader area is known, began traveling down the coast to the Arabian Sea and onward in rickety boats to Indonesia, Malaysia and India. They thrived, and they brought their religion with them. Nine especially devout men, all with roots in Tarim, are now remembered as “the nine saints”, Omar said, because of their success in spreading Islam across Asia.

Full Report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/At-the-crossroads-of-Islam-/articleshow/5156493.cms

-----

Indonesia lifts tsunami alert after powerful earthquake

24 October 2009

JAKARTA: Indonesia lifted a tsunami warning after a powerful earthquake in the Maluku area in the eastern part of the country, the national meteorological agency said on Saturday.

The quake measured magnitude 7.3 and the epicentre was located 209 km (129.9 miles) north west of Saumlaki at a depth of 165 km.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake struck at 11:40 p.m. local time (1440 GMT).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/topics.cms?query=Indonesia

-----

Pakistan army claims more advances in offensive

By ASIF SHAHZAD, 25 October 2009

A suicide bomber killed a police officer on a highway south of Pakistan's capital Sunday, a day after the army captured the hometown of the Pakistani Taliban chief in its push into a major insurgent stronghold along the Afghan border.

The military claimed to have secured more areas in the rugged, lawless South Waziristan tribal region, while insurgents who fled the seized town continued to attack troops with rockets.

Taliban militants have carried out a string of attacks across the country in response to the air and ground offensive. Washington has encouraged the operation in the northwest because many militants there are believed to shelter al-Qaida leaders and be involved in attacks on Western troops in Afghanistan.

The army announced Saturday the capture of Kotkai, the hometown of Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud and one of his top deputies, Qari Hussain. It also lies along the way to the major militant base of Sararogha.

The majority of homes in the town had been converted into "strong bunkers," and it was home to a training camp for suicide bombers, army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas told reporters. Troops had begun ridding it of land mines and roadside bombs.

"Thank God, this is the army's very big success," Abbas said. "The good news is that (communications) intercepts show that there are differences forging among the Taliban ranks. Their aides are deserting them."

Abbas said some of the fleeing Taliban have shaved their beards and cut their hair to try to blend in with the civilian population. Taliban spokesmen could not be reached for comment.

Full Report at: http://www.wbt.com/news/details.cfm?ap_id=D9BI4F000

-----

Female Warriors Engage in Combat in Iraq, Afghanistan

By MARTHA RADDATZ and ELIZABETH GORMAN

Oct. 25, 2009

Vague Language in Policies Puts in Question Legality of Roles for Women in Combat

The image of young women in a hot , dusty combat zone toting automatic weapons is still startling to some.

But right now there are 10,000 women serving in Iraq, more than 4,000 in Aghanistan. They have been fighting and dying next to their male comrades since the wars began.

"I can't help but think most Americans think women aren't in combat," says Specialist Ashley Pullen who was awarded a Bronze Star for valor in 2005 for her heroic action in Iraq where she served with a military police unit. "We're here and we're right up with the guys."

Technically they're restricted from certain combat roles. The Department of Defense prohibits women from serving in assignments "whose primary mission is to engage in direct combat on the ground."

Nevertheless, women serving in support positions on and off the frontlines, where war is waged on street corners and in markets, are often at equal risk. There have been 103 women who have been killed in Iraq and 15 others in Afghanistan.

What women can or cannot do in combat is not always clear in today's wars, and many say that the Department of Defense and Congress should reevaluate women's roles in modern warfare.

As female aviators, military police officers, and civil affairs officers, about 80 percent of the positions in the Department of Defense and 70 percent in the Army are available to women, according to a RAND study. Women make up about 11 percent of the forces deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.

Covering their own hair, women Marines in Afghanistan are part of female engagement teams that reach out to Muslim women, and as intelligence officers investigating those who may be infiltrating the communities.

Last year, 19-year-old Army combat medic Specialist Monica Brown told ABC News she used her body to shield five wounded soldiers during an attack on her unit's convoy in southeast Afghanistan.

"That was my only concern, making sure everyone got out of there as fast as possible," Brown said. She said she wasn't thinking of the dangers involved.

And in Iraq, ABC News talked to Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester whose convoy had been ambushed south of Baghdad in early 2005. Hester was serving in a military police unit.

"When we first started taking fire, I just looked to the right and saw seven or eight guys shooting back at us."

Female Soldiers Earning Combat Medals in Iraq, Afghanistan

Both Hester and Brown were awarded the Silver Star for their bravery, one of many reasons why military leadership says these wars could simply not be fought without women increasingly joining the ranks.

In a review of the assignment of Army women requested by the Pentagon in 2007, RAND analysis shows that the Army is complying with the Department of Defense policy of 1994 assigning women in combat, but the Army does not always follow its own 1992 policy for women, which is more restrictive and uses vague language.

The RAND report recommended then that the Department of Defense revise all its assignment policies for women "to provide greater clarity and to better reflect the changing nature of warfare" in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Nobody is saying women aren't in combat. I think just by being over there that you are in combat situations," said Dr. Margaret Harrell, a senior social scientest at RAND.

For instance, women can fly attack helicopters and patrol hot zones as military police, but they can't serve in the infantry. They can act as a machine gunner, but can't train to drive an armored vehicle. Women could be trained in artillery and assigned to artillery units, but not ones battalion size or smaller. Female medics can be substituted in to combat units on the ground, but not assigned to them.

"Policymakers should be aware of what women are doing well in Iraq and Afghanistan if they're going to change the policy to preclude women from doing any of those things," Harrell said.

Critics like Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a group opposing full integration of women in the Army, says the Army bends the rules through loopholes in the language without giving proper notice to Congress of what they're doing. Women can't be assigned, by they can be "attached" to direct ground combat units.

The Growing Role of Women in Combat

"The way they're going about it haphazard, about how that job can be best done, is a problem," Donnelly said. "There needs to be a serious discussion of exactly where do we want our female soldiers to be deployed and where they can be used to the best effect," she said.

The Army inserting women in direct combat without consent from Congress is a practice that's been going on for a number of years now, she says.

"It's gotten worse," Donnelly said. "It's the policymakers I fault in this. They are the ones responsible for deciding who goes where. The field officers are having to deal with problems like pregnancies, evacuation, sexual misconduct, romantic hostility. Right now people aren't discussing," she said.

Women sleep in separate quarters, and use separate bathrooms. However, female troops are much more likely to face the additional threat of sexual harassment and assault. Almost 15 percent of female Iraq and Afghanistan veterans who have gone to the Veterans Administration for care have experienced sexual assault, according to "Women Warriors" study released this month by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

In the Navy women are excluded from submarine warfare, but earlier this month, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus says "allowing women to serve on submarines is an idea whose time has come," the Associated Press reported.

Copyright © 2009 ABC News Internet Ventures

http://www.abcnews.go.com/WN/Politics/roles-question-women-warfare/story?id=8879944

-----

U.S., France, Russia maintain unity on Iran

October 25, 2009

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The United States, Russia and France agreed to maintain a united front on a proposal to enrich Iranian uranium, the White House said.

President Obama spoke with his French and Russian counterparts on Saturday, separate White House statements said. In each conversation, Obama thanked the leader for cooperating in a proposal that would remove Iran's low-enriched uranium to Russia and then France for further enrichment to levels useful in medical research, but well short of levels appropriate for nuclear weapons.

Iran initially welcomed the offer when it was put forward last month, but on Friday, presented with a detailed version, said it needed a week to consider it.

In the past, Iran joined equivocation on proposed formulas to end its isolation and stymie its suspected nuclear weapons program with efforts to sow disagreement between the major powers; Obama's statements appeared to be a signal that a united front was in place.

Full Report at: http://jta.org/news/article/2009/10/25/1008693/us-france-russia-maintain-unity-on-iran

France ‘worried’ by Lebanon government void

October 25, 2009

BEIRUT (AFP) – France is “worried” by Lebanon's failure to form a cabinet four months after elections and fears the void could undermine security in the country, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said on Friday.

“Five months after elections, perfect elections recognised the world over, there is no government in Lebanon,” Kouchner said in Beirut, where he was meeting top officials on a day-long visit.

“It is not up to France to form your government and we have not come to give lessons, but we are worried.

“You cannot continue this way. You are promoting all the most dangerous trends in the region... At stake are your security and the unity and freedom of Lebanon,” he said.

Saad Hariri, son of slain ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, has tried without success to form a government since June, when his U.S.- and Saudi-backed coalition won a general election over a Hezbollah.

The stalemate was largely blamed on tension between the two camps' regional backers, but Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Saudi King Abdullah seemed to have buried the hatchet at a meeting earlier this month and jointly called for a unity government.

Full Report at: http://www.tehrantimes.com/Index_view.asp?code=206334

-----

Obama hopeful Lebanon forms new government ‘soon’

October 25, 2009

WASHINGTON (AFP) — President Barack Obama Friday expressed hopes that Lebanon's factions would finally form a new government as he marked the 26th anniversary of the “senseless” Beirut bombing of a U.S. Marine barracks.

“We remember today the 241 American Marines, soldiers, and sailors who lost their lives 26 years ago as the result of a horrific terrorist attack that destroyed the Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon,” Obama said.

“The murder of our soldiers, sailors, and Marines on this day on 1983 remains a senseless tragedy,” Obama said in a statement.

While remembering the victims of the bombing, their families and all U.S. service personnel abroad, Obama also looked to the future in Lebanon, where a political crisis has been grinding on since general elections in June.

“In remembering this terrible day of loss, we are at the same time hopeful that a new government in Lebanon will soon be formed,” Obama said.

Full Report at: http://www.tehrantimes.com/Index_view.asp?code=206331

-----

Want new beginning for Malegaon: Imam-MLA

Rakshit Sonawane

Oct 24, 2009

Mumbai: Last month, as he led the Eid prayers at the Jama Masjid in Malegaon, Imam Mufti Mohammed Ismail Khalique was a bit preoccupied. It was four days before the last date for filing nominations for the Maharashtra Assembly elections, and the cleric had decided to throw his hat into the ring.

It proved to be the right decision, as the Imam emerged as the surprise winner yesterday, trouncing his nearest rival, incumbent MLA Shaikh Rashid of the Congress, by a convincing margin of 17,919 votes.

“I wanted to do something more than just my duty as the Imam and teaching at the madrasa. But I had no network of workers, no team of experts to help me, no money or muscle power,” says Mufti Ismail, a day after his victory from the Muslim-majority textile town, about 300 kilometres northeast of Mumbai.

So he “decided to appeal to the conscience of the people for support”. For two weeks after Eid, he went from door-to-door, asking people if they wanted change and whether they were willing to help him. “The response was overwhelming. People started giving money. Even the poor people gave at least one rupee, a family of five would give Rs 5 — one rupee per vote. I had no funds for contesting the polls, but this way I collected about Rs 80,000, and with the grace of Allah, got elected,” he says.

The Imam contested as a candidate of local outfit Jan Surajya Shakti (JSS). In the past, the constituency has voted for the Congress or the Janata Dal.

“For three decades, Nihal Ahmad was elected MLA of Malegaon. But he used to play emotional politics which caused communal tension — there used to be riots preceding elections, bringing a bad name to Malegaon,” says Mufti Ismail, referring to his Janata Dal (Secular) rival in the polls.

“People wanted change, so in 1999, they voted for Congress candidate Shaikh Rashid. He was our MLA for 10 years, but did nothing,” he says, adding that the town needs schools, colleges, hospitals, jobs, and more importantly, religious harmony.

Full Report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/want-new-beginning-for-malegaon-imammla/532644/

URL of this page:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/iraq-ministries-targeted-in-car-bombings;-over-130-dead/d/1989

 

Loading..

Loading..