New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 16 March 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Islam's Holy Relics Being Demolished In Mecca In Controversial Expansion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Islam's Holy Relics Being Demolished In Mecca In Controversial Expansion

Car bomb kills 10 in south Iraq: Official

Assad regime expanding use of cluster munitions: International Human Rights group

Hundreds of 'jihadists' infiltrate Syria: state media

Born in war and poverty, youth don’t abandon Iraq

Baghdad spending billions to buy arms

After years of fear, Iraqis embracing nightlife

Syrian opposition to choose rebel PM

Syrian rebels say seize arms depots in Aleppo: army

Egypt’s two former ministers found not guilty

From teenage graffiti to a country in ruins: Syria's two years of rebellion

Kurd town marks 25 years since deadly gas attack

Qur’an museum in Madinah soon

112,000 civilians dead in a decade in Iraq: Report

Lebanon must stem flow of fighters to Syria: president

UAE opens world’s largest solar power plant

'Assad urges BRICS intervention to end Syria war'

 

India

Indian Muslims ‘unaware of govt schemes’

Ishrat Jahan case: A shootout and many smoking guns

Bukhari ties cut, Mulayam cosies up to Bareilly cleric for 2014 polls

MFN status from Pakistan will boost ties: Indian ambassador to USA

Egypt prez's visit: India concerned over Pakistan stopover

Saudi curb on Haj, only once in 5 years through tour operators

Vital clues obtained in fidayeen attack: Shinde

Srinagar CRPF attack: Govt employee arrested

Two arrested for allegedly providing logistical support for Srinagar attack

 

Europe

University of Sharjah and Cambridge present insights on rising female conversion to Islam

Muslim states agree to 'historic' UN statement on women

‘Qaida jihadis replacing rebels in Syria’

Syria: Arms embargo relaxation would ease distress, says Hague

Kazakh documentary warns against joining extremist groups

 

South Asia

Afghan clerics warn US to heed Karzai demands

Jamaat could be banned under existing laws: citizens

Khaleda unmasked for siding with anti-liberation forces: PM

Taher could be the Chavez for Bangladesh

No point in talking with ‘killer’ govt: BNP chairperson

Deal likely to keep US elite forces in key Afghan province: official

Ex-President Nasheed's trial to resume on April 4

 

Pakistan

PML-N fails to convince Fazlur Rehman on caretaker PM

Balochistan ministers up in arms over bid to ‘impose’ govt

‘10pc children in country die below five years of age’

Rangers arrest LeJ leader involved in Daniel Pearl murder

No one can ‘attack’ democracy in future: Pak PM

Pakistan PM faces possible disqualification in upcoming polls

Key players in Pakistan's upcoming election

 

Africa

Gunmen in Nigeria free 170 prisoners, one person killed

Hundreds flee heavy clashes in South Sudan refugee camp

Nigeria summons US official over tweets on pardon

North Mali's drinkers toast France for return of beer

Fifth French soldier killed in Mali fighting

 

Mideast Asia

Palestinians eye concrete gains during Obama visit

Netanyahu picks ex-General Moshe Yaalon as new Israeli defence chief

Iran launches destroyer in Caspian Sea

 

North America

Qaeda front group claims Iraq ministry attack: SITE

As US drone monopoly frays, Obama seeks global rules

 

Southeast Asia

 ‘Products with Halal certificate have higher export value’

Brother of self-proclaimed Filipino sultan fleds Malaysia

Islamic intellectuals willing to form advisory body for Kelantan BN

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Iraqi security forces and civilians gather at the site of a car bomb attack in Basra, Iraq, Sunday, March 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Nabil al-Jurani)

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islam-s-holy-relics-being-demolished-in-mecca-in-controversial-expansion/d/10794

 

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Arab World

 

Islam's Holy Relics Being Demolished In Mecca In Controversial Expansion

 Mar 17, 2013

The authorities in Saudi Arabia have begun dismantling some of the oldest sections of Islam's most important mosque as part of a highly controversial multi-billion pound expansion.

Photographs obtained by The Independent reveal how workers with drills and mechanical diggers have started demolishing some Ottoman and Abbasid sections on the eastern side of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca.

The building, which is also known as the Grand Mosque, is the holiest site in Islam because it contains the Kaaba - the point to which all Muslims face when praying. The columns are the last remaining sections of the mosque which date back more than a few hundred years and form the inner perimeter on the outskirts of the white marble floor surrounding the Kaaba.

The new photos, taken over the last few weeks, have caused alarm among archaeologists and come as Prince Charles - a long-term supporter of preserving architectural heritage - flew into Saudi Arabia yesterday for a visit with the Duchess of Cornwall. The timing of his tour has been criticised by human rights campaigners after the Saudis shot seven men in public earlier this week despite major concerns about their trial and the fact that some of the men were juveniles at the time of their alleged crimes.

Many of the Ottoman and Abbasid columns in Mecca were inscribed with intricate Arabic calligraphy marking the names of the Prophet Muhammad's companions and key moments in his life.

One column which is believed to have been ripped down is supposed to mark the spot where Muslims believe Muhammad began his heavenly journey on a winged horse, which took him to Jerusalem and heaven in a single night.

To accommodate the ever increasing number of pilgrims heading to Mecca and Medina each year, authorities have embarked upon a massive expansion project. Billions of pounds have been poured in to increase the capacity of the Masjid al-Haram and the Masjid an-Nabawi in Medina which marks where Muhammad is buried. King Abdullah has put the prominent Wahabi cleric and imam of the Grand Mosque, Abdul Rahman al-Sudais, in charge of the expansion while the Saudi Binladin Group - one of the country's largest firms - has won the construction contract.

While there is little disagreement over the need to expand, critics have accused the Saudi regime of wantonly disregarding the archaeological, historical and cultural heritage of Islam's two holiest cities. the independent

Photographs reveal how workers with drills and mechanical diggers have started demolishing some Ottoman and Abbasid sections on the eastern side of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. The building, which is also known as the Grand Mosque, is the holiest site in Islam

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Islams-holy-relics-being-demolished-in-Mecca/articleshow/19011463.cms

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Car bomb kills 10 in south Iraq: Official

AFP | Mar 17, 2013

BASRA, Iraq: A car bomb exploded at a bus station in the south Iraq city of Basra on Sunday, killing 10 people and wounding 16, the head of the Basra provincial council security committee said.

The bombing at the bus station in Basra, the main southern port, came soon after another that exploded in the centre of the city at about 11:00 am (0800 GMT) that caused no casualties, Ali al-Maliki said.

Attacks in Basra are relatively rare compared with other areas of Iraq, especially the centre, west and north.

Violence has decreased from its peak in 2006 and 2007 when sectarian bloodshed raged between Sunni and Shiite Arabs, but 10 years after the US-led invasion attacks remain common, killing 220 people last month, according to an AFP tally based on security and medical sources.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Car-bomb-kills-10-in-south-Iraq-Official/articleshow/19018940.cms

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Assad regime expanding use of cluster munitions: International Human Rights group

 17 March 2013

BEIRUT: The Syrian regime is expanding its use of widely banned cluster bombs, an international human rights group said yesterday as the deadlocked conflict entered its third year.

In new violence, rebels detonated a powerful car bomb outside a high-rise building in the eastern city of Deir El-Zour, setting off clashes with regime troops, state TV and activists said.

The blast came a day after Syrians marked the second anniversary of their uprising against President Bashar Assad.

Yesterday, the New York-based Human Rights Watch said Syrian forces have dropped at least 156 cluster bombs in 119 locations across the country in the past six months, causing mounting civilian casualties.

Two strikes in the past two weeks killed 11 civilians, including two women and five children, the report said. The group said it based its findings on field investigations and analysis of more than 450 amateur videos.

Cluster bombs open in flight, scattering smaller bomblets. They pose a threat to civilians long afterwards since many don’t explode immediately. Most countries have banned their use.

A senior Syrian government official denied that regime forces use cluster bombs and said, “Many amateur videos are doubtful.”

Yesterday, rebels in Deir El-Zour detonated a car rigged with more than two tons of explosives next to the tallest building in the city, known as the Insurance Building, state TV said.

The TV said rebels entered the building after the blast but were pushed out by government forces.

Meanwhile, the European Union’s foreign policy chief urged caution yesterday about a Franco-British drive to lift an EU arms embargo to help opposition fighters, questioning the impact such a step might have on attempts to reach a political settlement there.

Other EU governments rebuffed efforts by Paris and London at an EU summit on Friday to lift the Syrian arms embargo to help fighters, although they asked foreign ministers to discuss it again next week.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the EU needed to think “very carefully” about French and British arguments that lifting the embargo would encourage Assad to negotiate.

The EU should also consult UN mediator Lakhdar Brahimi and Moaz Al-Khatib, head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, about what impact lifting the embargo might have on their efforts to start talks to end the Syria crisis, she said.

“What we’ve got to make sure of is anything we do does not make that (work) harder,” she said, speaking at a conference.

Samir Nashar, a member of the Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition group in exile, said he hoped France and Britain would defy the EU if the embargo remains in place.

“I prefer that there is a consensus and a joint resolution,” he said Friday in Istanbul. “But if there’s no consensus, I still think France and Britain will act unilaterally.”

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445105

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Hundreds of 'jihadists' infiltrate Syria: state media

March 17, 2013 

DAMASCUS — Syrian state media says hundreds of foreign "jihadist" fighters have infiltrated the country in the past two years to join with rebels trying to topple President Bashar Assad.

The pro-government Al-Watan newspaper alleged on Sunday that the radical foreign fighters were trained in the United States, Britain and France, which are backing the opposition.

The paper says the hundreds of jihadist fighters are responsible for the decline of the Syrian economy and the destruction of the nation's cultural heritage.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157286

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Born in war and poverty, youth don’t abandon Iraq

March 17, 2013 

BAGHDAD: The 21-year-old college student in Baghdad lost her father during the Iraq War to gunmen from a rival Muslim sect. Now she dreams of an Iraq where all people can ”enjoy stable life and security.”   

The young bus driver from a former Al Qaeda stronghold had to drop out of school to help support his family. He struggles to make ends meet but longs to resume his education. The teenager from the northern Kurdish region works in his father’s barber shop when he’s not in class. He looks forward to making a lot of money in Iraq but only if the government can capitalize on its oil trade and foreign investments.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/17/born-in-war-and-poverty-youth-dont-abandon-iraq/

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Baghdad spending billions to buy arms

 March 17, 2013

BAGHDAD — Ten years after the invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein and smashed Iraq’s military, the country has become a major buyer of military equipment, spending billions to rebuild its armed forces.

In doing so, Iraq has become a customer of some of the same companies that supplied the weapons used to attack Baghdad’s troops in 2003.

US-led forces carried out a massive bombing campaign and then a ground offensive against Iraq in March that year.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157199

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After years of fear, Iraqis embracing nightlife

March 17, 2013 

BAGHDAD — During Baghdad’s darkest days, often the only light at night was that of gunfire and mortar rounds. But the Iraqi capital now looks a world apart, with packed restaurants, parks and even the odd nightclub.

Though still a long way from its once-lofty status as one of the region’s most dynamic nightspots, and with the social scene out of reach for many Baghdadis, the options after sunset offer a rare bright spot for a violence-wracked country.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157202

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Syrian opposition to choose rebel PM

March 17, 2013

ISTANBUL — A former agriculture minister and an economist are leading candidates to be named Syria's first rebel prime minister when the opposition Syrian National Coalition meets to vote in Turkey this week.

The two men are among around 10 opposition figures Coalition members are expected to consider during their gathering in Istanbul on March 18 and 19.

The list includes virtual unknowns, as well as some prominent members of the opposition to President Bashar Al-Assad's regime, with former agriculture minister Asaad Mustapha and economist Osama Kadi believed to be leading the pack.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157296

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Syrian rebels say seize arms depots in Aleppo: army

 March 17, 2013

BEIRUT - Syrian rebels have seized several weapons depots in the village of Khan Toman in Aleppo province after days of fierce clashes, a rebel military source told AFP on Sunday.

"Opposition fighters gained control over weapons and ammunition stores in the village of Khan Toman in southern Aleppo province on Saturday after fierce fighting that went on for more than three days," the source said.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157276

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Egypt’s two former ministers found not guilty

March 17, 2013 

CAIRO — An Egyptian court has cleared two former ministers of charges that they sold state lands for cut-rate prices in the country’s prized Red Sea resort areas.

Former tourism minister Zuheir Garana and ex-housing minister Ahmed Maghrabi were found not guilty in the case involving the sale of land in the Red Sea resort of Ain Sokhna and the popular tourist city of Hurgahda.

The land was purchased by a businessman from the United Arab Emirates when Hosni Mubarak was president.— AP

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157208

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From teenage graffiti to a country in ruins: Syria's two years of rebellion

 17 March 2013

(Reuters) - On a cold winter's night in early 2011, some Syrian schoolboys drew a few slogans on a wall in a town the world had barely heard of. Two years on, more than 70,000 people have died in the bitter conflict that ensued, and calls for the West to give more help to the Syrian rebels are rising.

Full report at:

http://in.reuters.com/article/2013/03/17/syria-crisis-uprising-graffiti-idINDEE92G06220130317

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Kurd town marks 25 years since deadly gas attack

 17 March 2013

HALABJA: Hundreds of people joined in sombre commemorations yesterday for the 25th anniversary of Saddam Hussein’s gassing of thousands of Kurds in the town of Halabja near Iraq’s border with Iran.

Many of those paying their respects held pictures of some of the estimated 5,000 people who were killed, most women and children, in what is now thought to have been the worst ever gas attack against civilians.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445103

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Qur’an museum in Madinah soon

 15 March 2013

The holy city of Madinah will soon have a state-of-the-art Qur’an museum with impressive facilities, said Prince Sultan bin Salman, president of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.

“It will be first of its kind in the world,” the prince added. He said the project dubbed the “Oasis of the Holy Qur’an” would be established in cooperation with the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, the Madinah governorate and other related departments.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/islam-perspective/qur%E2%80%99-museum-madinah-soon

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112,000 civilians dead in a decade in Iraq: Report

AFP | Mar 17, 2013

BAGHDAD: At least 112,000 civilians were killed in the 10 years since the US-led 2003 invasion of Iraq that ousted Saddam Hussein, a new report published today said.

Including combatants on all sides of the decade-long conflict, as well as yet undocumented civilian fatalities, the figure could rise as high as 174,000, according to the Britain-based Iraq Body Count (IBC) group.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/112000-civilians-dead-in-a-decade-in-Iraq-Report/articleshow/19018180.cms

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UAE opens world’s largest solar power plant

March 17, 2013 

MADINAT ZAYED: Oil-rich Abu Dhabi on Sunday officially opened the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant, which cost $600 million to build and will provide electricity to 20,000 homes.

The 100-megawatt Shams 1 is “the world’s largest concentrated solar power plant in operation” said Sultan al-Jaber, the head of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar, which oversees the emirate’s plan to generate seven per cent of its energy needs by 2020 from renewable sources.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/522217/uae-opens-worlds-largest-solar-power-plant/

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'Assad urges BRICS intervention to end Syria war'

 March 16, 2013

Syria's President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday called on the BRICS nations to intervene to end the conflict in his country, in a letter delivered by his adviser Bouthaina Shaaban during a trip to South Africa. Speaking to AFP, Shaaban said she had delivered the letter to South African

President Jacob Zuma ahead of the BRICS summit in South Africa on March 26.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Assad-urges-BRICS-intervention-to-end-Syria-war/Article1-1027530.aspx

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India

 

Indian Muslims ‘unaware of govt schemes’

 17 March 2013

Minorities in India are living in desperate conditions due to high levels of illiteracy and lack of education, according to Safdar H. Khan, chairman of the Delhi Minorities Commission.

Khan, who was on a visit to the Kingdom to perform Umrah, took the occasion to attend a Kokan community program in Jeddah on Thursday to address the grievances of community members and raise awareness regarding the Indian government’s schemes to assist minorities.

He said that minorities whether they are Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists or Parsis need to be aware of government schemes, as that will help them avail themselves of the facilities they are entitled to.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445145

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Ishrat Jahan case: A shootout and many smoking guns

 Mar 17 2013

With the CBI making its first arrests in the Ishrat Jahan case, Ujjwala Nayudu and Rahul Tripathi look at past investigations, all of which have punctured holes in the Gujarat Police’s encounter theory

When were Ishrat Jahan and three others killed? Was it in a police encounter on June 15, 2004, as the Gujarat Police’s records show, or a day earlier, on the evening of June 14, as subsequent investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and others show, and which now point to an encounter that may have been staged? Nine years after the alleged encounter, heads have begun to roll in the Gujarat Police with the CBI making arrests, including that of IPS officer Girish Singhal, late last month.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ishrat-jahan-case-a-shootout-and-many-smoking-guns/1089373/

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Bukhari ties cut, Mulayam cosies up to Bareilly cleric for 2014 polls

Faisal Fareed

Mar 17 2013

Lucknow: WITH his bonhomie with Imam Syed Ahmad Bukhari of Delhi’s Jama Masjid coming to an end, Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav is now wooing another Muslim leader, Maulana Tauqeer Raza of Bareilly, for support in the Lok Sabha elections.

Already two rounds of talks have been held between Raza and Mulayam.

Raza had floated his own outfit, Ittehad-e-Millat Council, before the assembly elections and has a lone MLA, Shahzil Islam from Bhojipura in Bareilly. He did not emerge as a game-changer but was certainly a spoilsport with the SP losing out on Muslim-dominated seats in Bareilly.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bukhari-ties-cut-mulayam-cosies-up-to-bareilly-cleric-for-2014-polls/1089292/

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Egypt prez's visit: India concerned over Pakistan stopover

Jayanth Jacob, Hindustan Times

 March 17, 2013

Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi will be the first among the Arab spring leaders to visit India. But his itinerary in South Asia adds to New Delhi's concerns over the new Islamist regimes Arab spring ushered in could be more inclined towards Pakistan.

Morsi, arriving here on Monday after visiting Pakistan could well be the case in point as Islamabad is his first port of call in South Asia.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/newdelhi/Egypt-prez-s-visit-India-concerned-over-Pakistan-stopover/Article1-1027652.aspx

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Saudi curb on Haj, only once in 5 years through tour operators

ByMohammed Wajihuddin, TNN | Mar 17, 2013

MUMBAI: After India made the Mecca pilgrimage through the Haj Committee of India a once in a lifetime affair, the Saudi government has said Haj can be performed through private tour operators only once in five years. This rule, to be implemented from this year's pilgrimage, is likely to hit the business of tour operators since nearly 45,000 pilgrims of around 1.72 lakh Indian Haj passengers each year choose to go on their own.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Saudi-curb-on-Haj-only-once-in-5-years-through-tour-operators/articleshow/19012617.cms

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Vital clues obtained in fidayeen attack: Shinde

PTI | Mar 16, 2013

TIRUPATI: Union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde today said vital clues have been obtained on the recent 'fidayeen' attack in Srinagar in which five CRPF jawans were killed.

"Security personnel have obtained vital clues on the attack and identified the people responsible for it and also those who helped them to carry it out," Shinde, who is in this temple town to offer worship to Lord Venkateswara, told reporters.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Vital-clues-obtained-in-fidayeen-attack-Shinde/articleshow/19009734.cms

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Srinagar CRPF attack: Govt employee arrested

PTI | Mar 16, 2013

SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Police have detained Parandeep Singh, a daily wager with the public health department who allegedly provided shelter to militants who carried out the suicide attack on Wednesday, killing five CRPF men.

Police were looking for Parandeep Singh after his name figured in the interrogation of Bashir Ahmed alias Haroon Bhai — a resident of Uri in North Kashmir who worked for LeT.

Singh, who was on run after the attack on Wednesday, was detained early this morning, official sources said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Srinagar-CRPF-attack-Govt-employee-arrested/articleshow/19004102.cms

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Two arrested for allegedly providing logistical support for Srinagar attack

ByM Saleem Pandit, TNN | Mar 17, 2013

SRINAGAR: Two people, including a former police informer, have been arrested for allegedly providing logistical support for the terrorist attack on a CRPF camp in Srinagar on Wednesday.

Sources identified the two as Bashir Ahmad Mir and Pradeep Singh and said cell phones recovered from two terrorists killed in the attack led police to them. They said Mir, a former militant who had surrendered to security forces in the 1990s and worked as a police informer, was arrested from Srinagar's Shaheed Ganj area.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Two-arrested-for-allegedly-providing-logistical-support-for-Srinagar-attack/articleshow/19012571.cms

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Europe

 

University of Sharjah and Cambridge present insights on rising female conversion to Islam

 March 16, 2013

JEDDAH – Experts at American University of Sharjah (AUS) and the University of Cambridge presented their insights based on the report Narratives of Conversion to Islam in Britain: Female Perspectives, which was prepared earlier this year by Professor Yasir Suleiman, Project Leader and Founding Director at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre of Islamic Studies, University of Cambridge, in association with The New Muslims Project, Markfield.

This report was officially released at the panel for the first time.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157177

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Muslim states agree to 'historic' UN statement on women

16.03.2013

Muslim and western nations on Friday overcame deep divisions to agree a historic United Nations declaration setting out a code of conduct for combatting violence against women, AFP reports.

Iran, Libya, Sudan and other Muslim nations agreed to language stating that violence against women and girls could not be justified by "any custom, tradition or religious consideration."

Western nations, particularly from Scandinavia, toned down demands for references to gay rights and sexual health rights to secure the accord after two weeks of tense negotiations between the 193 UN member states.

Full report at:

http://en.tengrinews.kz/people/Muslim-states-agree-to-historic-UN-statement-on-women--17816/

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‘Qaida jihadis replacing rebels in Syria’

By Kounteya Sinha, TNN | Mar 17, 2013

LONDON: Russia has warned that jihadi fighters connected to al-Qaida are replacing genuine opposition fighters in Syria, putting the whole world at risk.

After meeting British foreign secretary William Hague on Wednesday, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said Kremlin could confirm that the dangerous group fighting in Syria in the name of being rebels was the Jabhat al-Nusra, which had direct links to al-Qaida. "The US has declared it a terrorist organisation," Lavrov said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Qaida-jihadis-replacing-rebels-in-Syria/articleshow/19011888.cms

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Syria: Arms embargo relaxation would ease distress, says Hague

 17 March 2013

A failure to supply weapons to rebel fighters in Syria would add to the risk of "extreme humanitarian distress" in the country, William Hague has warned.

The foreign secretary said movement of arms would have to be "very carefully controlled" to prevent them getting into the hands of extremists.

But the government had to "weigh some risks against other risks", he added.

The prime minister has urged the European Union to end its embargo on arms supply to Syria.

Currently the UK is sending "non-lethal" equipment to help the forces opposed to President Bashar al-Assad, but they have requested further assistance.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21822047

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Kazakh documentary warns against joining extremist groups

 March 16, 2013

The state-owned Kazakh Khabar TV broadcast a documentary entitled "Zapadnya" ("Trap") at 1535 gmt on 12 March warning people against falling into trap of religious extremists.

The film voices concern over Kazakh young people's tendency towards joining extremists and militants in Pakistan's Waziristan, often via the Internet websites, in recent years. In the film, several religious experts and scientists speak about militants, condemn their actions and stress that "certain powers" sow ideas of extremism "to pursue their own interests". The film contains text fragments of a confession by a Kazakh national, who has allegedly returned form militant camps in Waziristan.

Full report at:

Source: Khabar Television, Almaty, in Russian 1535 gmt 12 Mar 13

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South Asia

 

Afghan clerics warn US to heed Karzai demands

March 17, 2013 

KABUL: Afghanistan’s leading religious body on Saturday warned the presence of US troops in the country would soon be treated as an ‘occupation’ unless the United States hands over detainees.

The fate of prisoners held in Bagram jail has been one cause of a sharp deterioration in US-Afghan ties, with President Hamid Karzai repeatedly pushing to be given full control of the facility north of Kabul.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\17\story_17-3-2013_pg7_5

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Jamaat could be banned under existing laws: citizens

March 17, 2013 

Eminent citizens on Saturday said that Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir could be banned under existing laws of the land.

Lawyers, human rights activists, economists, educationists, freedom fighters and cultural personalities at a citizens’ convention at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre also called upon government to go for immediate action to ban Jamaat and Shibir.

Full report at:

http://www.newagebd.com/detail.php?date=2013-03-17&nid=43228#.UUW-ExffCbs

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Khaleda unmasked for siding with anti-liberation forces: PM

March 17, 2013 

The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina. has said the real face of the opposition leader has been unmasked through taking direct side with the anti-liberation forces.

‘Taking direct side of the anti-liberation forces, Begum Khaleda Zia has proved that she does not believe in

Bangladesh’s independence and she wants to save war criminals,’ the prime minister said.

She said BNP’s characters were to patronise, protect and encourage the killers, and the countrymen must judge these.

Full report at:

http://www.newagebd.com/detail.php?date=2013-03-17&nid=43234#.UUW-fBffCbs

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Taher could be the Chavez for Bangladesh: Anu Muhammad

March 17, 2013 

Economist Anu Muhammad on Saturday said that Colonel Taher could be the Hugo Chavez for Bangladesh as the uprising of soldiers and people Taher led was like Chavez’s revolution.

The Jahangirnagar University professor said this while addressing a discussion on Hugo Chavez at business faculty auditorium at Dhaka University.

Full report at:

http://www.newagebd.com/detail.php?date=2013-03-17&nid=43213#.UUW-RRffCbs

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No point in talking with ‘killer’ govt: BNP chairperson

March 17, 2013 

The BNP chairperson, Khaleda Zia, on Saturday called Sheikh Hasina’s government heretic and said that any talks with the ‘killer government’ would be pointless.

Addressing two public meetings at Singair upazlia in Manikganj, Khaleda, also the leader of the opposition, called countrymen for waging a strong movement to topple the ‘blood thirsty government’ at any cost.

Full report at:

http://www.newagebd.com/detail.php?date=2013-03-17&nid=43227#.UUW-axffCbs

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Deal likely to keep US elite forces in key Afghan province: official

Hamid Shalizi

 March 17, 2013 

KABUL — Afghan and US officials are working on a compromise deal to allow American special forces to stay in a strategically key province near the capital in return for full Afghan control of a controversial jail, a top Kabul official said.

President Hamid Karzai's decision to expel special forces from Wardak province has angered US defense officials who worry their exit could allow insurgents to strengthen their presence the area and use it as a base to attack Kabul, only 25 km (15 miles) away.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157274

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Ex-President Nasheed's trial to resume on April 4

Mar 16, 2013

Hulhumale Magistrate Court has slated the trial of former president Mohamed Nasheed over the arrest and subsequent detention of Chief Criminal Judge Abdulla Mohamed for April 4.

During the last hearing of the case on March 6 the three judge bench ruled to delay the by four weeks on request by the defence.

Full report at:

http://www.haveeru.com.mv/news/47966

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Pakistan

 

PML-N fails to convince Fazlur Rehman on caretaker PM

March 17, 2013 

ISLAMBAD: Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) failed to persuade Jamiat Ulema-e- Islam-F (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on the matter of caretaker Prime Minister, DawnNews reported Sunday.

The PML-N delegation comprising Raja Zaffarul Haq and Senator Ishaq Dar called on Fazlur Rehman on Sunday, March 17. Fazl showed reservations on the withdrawal of Justice (retired) Mian Shakirullah Jan’s name from the caretaker PMs list and said that PML-N had not consulted him over this.

Fazl said that Shakirullah Jan’s name should have been included in the list. PML-N leaders said that his name was withdrawn over a misunderstanding, adding that they would apprise him (Fazl) after consultation with party leadership

http://dawn.com/2013/03/17/pml-n-fails-to-convince-fazlur-rehman-on-caretaker-pm/

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Balochistan ministers up in arms over bid to ‘impose’ govt

March 17, 2013 

QUETTA: Balochistan was in turmoil over the issue of provincial caretaker set-up after 17 ministers resigned from the Nawab Aslam Raisani-led cabinet on Saturday and decided to sit on opposition benches in the assembly.

They have warned that they will not accept what they called an interim government which two political parties [JUI-F and Balochistan National Party-Awami (BNP-A)] want to impose on the province.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/17/balochistan-ministers-up-in-arms-over-bid-to-impose-govt/

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‘10pc children in country die below five years of age’

March 17, 2013 

KARACHI: Experts at an emergency medicine conference on Saturday highlighted a staggering fact that one in 10 Pakistani children do not live to see their fifth birthday while medical emergencies and injuries are significant contributors to child deaths.

Public awareness was visibly lacking with government support and legislation for emergency care needs of children nowhere in healthcare facilities, the experts noted at the third annual emergency medicine conference held at the Aga Khan University (AKU).

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/17/10pc-children-in-country-die-below-five-years-of-age/

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Rangers arrest LeJ leader involved in Daniel Pearl murder

March 17, 2013 

KARACHI: Rangers arrested the former president of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi’s (LeJ) Sindh chapter during a raid in Karachi on Sunday, reported Express News.

Qari Abdul Hayee, alias Asadullah, was allegedly involved in the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl. He was arrested in 2003 from Multan over his suspected involvement in planning and carrying out the kidnapping and murder of Pearl.

Hayee is also wanted in several other criminal cases, including helping his accomplice, Riaz Basra, in escaping from the Lahore sessions court in 1994.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/522223/rangers-arrest-lej-leader-involved-in-danial-pearl-murder/

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No one can ‘attack’ democracy in future: Pak PM

March 17, 2013 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on Saturday hailed parliament’s historic completion of a full term in office as a victory for democracy and remarked that the government has strengthened democracy so much that no one will be able to derail it in the future.

In his farewell address to the nation, aired live on national television channels and radio, the prime minister said, “Despite all odds, completion of the term is an extraordinary and historic achievement.” He added that the journey of democracy to this stage has seen many difficulties, tests and tribulations. He said there was a long history of conflict between the democratic and non-democratic forces in the country, however the democratic forces have finally succeeded.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\17\story_17-3-2013_pg1_2

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Pakistan PM Raja Pervez Ashraf faces possible disqualification in upcoming polls

PTI | Mar 17, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf faces possible disqualification in Pakistan's upcoming polls as a company co-owned by him has been declared a defaulter by authorities, according to a media report today.

Under existing rules, any person declared a defaulter in business dealings is barred from contesting elections.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-PM-Raja-Pervez-Ashraf-faces-possible-disqualification-in-upcoming-polls/articleshow/19016511.cms

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Key players in Pakistan's upcoming election

 March 17, 2013

A look at several key players in Pakistan's upcoming national election that is expected in May:

PRESIDENT ASIF ALI ZARDARI

The President rode to power on a wave of sympathy following the 2007 assassination of his wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, but

his tenure has been turbulent and he has long been plagued by allegations of corruption.

Zardari will not be participating in the upcoming election, but as co-head of the Pakistan People's Party, which led the last government, he will be a key figure. His unpopularity and anger over the performance of the government during its five-year term could damage the party's run in the upcoming election.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/Key-players-in-Pakistan-s-upcoming-election/Article1-1027717.aspx

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Africa

 

Gunmen in Nigeria free 170 prisoners, one person killed

March 17, 2013 

KANO, Nigeria — Gunmen have raided a prison in a northern Nigeria border town with Cameroon, freeing 170 inmates and killing a civilian, officials and residents said Friday.

The civilian was shot dead in crossfire when the gunmen in cars and on motorcycles stormed the prison Thursday in Gwoza, 130 kilometers (80 miles) from the restive city of Maiduguri, the hotbed of Boko Haram Islamists, they said.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157249

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Hundreds flee heavy clashes in South Sudan refugee camp

March 17, 2013

NAIROBI — Hundreds of Sudanese refugees fled heavy fighting in South Sudan, United Nations officials said Sunday, warning of "serious concerns" over the presence of armed groups in border camps.

Several Sudanese rebel forces from the civil war regions of South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Darfur have been reported to have used South Sudan's volatile border regions as rear guard bases.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157291

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Nigeria summons US official over tweets on pardon

March 17, 2013 

LAGOS — Nigeria’s foreign ministry summoned a top US diplomat Friday night over an issue of national importance — on Twitter.

At dispute are two messages sent Friday by the US Embassy’s Twitter account critical of an unconditional pardon given to a former governor convicted on corruption charges, a man who President Goodluck Jonathan only weeks earlier referred to as “my boss.”

While the Twitter fight isn’t likely to end the close relationship Nigeria shares with the US, one of its top customers for crude oil, it signals the sensitivity the government has over the pardon, which has enraged Nigerians tired of corruption’s strangle-grip on the country. It also shows the growing power that social media have in Nigeria, and the rest of the world, to drive public debate.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157247

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North Mali's drinkers toast France for return of beer

By Stéphane Jourdain

 March 17, 2013

GAO, Mali — Close to the banks of the Niger river, men in the north Malian city of Gao gather at nightfall to drink beer, in one of the daily signs of life in a town whose residents are working to wipe out all traces of hardline Islamist occupation.

With its walls of red clay, its white chairs and its tepid French export beer, Le Petit Dogon bar reopened last week after nine months of closure enforced by the armed Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO), whose fundamentalists were driven out by French-led troops this year.

Full report at:

Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Fifth French soldier killed in Mali fighting

Reuters | Mar 17, 2013

PARIS: A fifth French soldier was killed in the nine-week-old military campaign against Islamist rebels in Mali, the French government said on Sunday.

The corporal from the 1st Marine infantry regiment of Angouleme was killed in action, President Francois Hollande's office said in a statement, without giving details.

Dozens of Islamist fighters linked to al-Qaida have been killed as French and African forces have fought to drive them out of the northern region of Mali they have controlled since last April.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Fifth-French-soldier-killed-in-Mali-fighting/articleshow/19018465.cms

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Mideast Asia

 

Palestinians eye concrete gains during Obama visit

 March 17, 2013 

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories — The Palestinians are hoping to see concrete gains from US President Barack Obama's upcoming visit, while acknowledging it's unlikely the trip will bring about a peace breakthrough.

Obama himself has played down expectations of pushing forward peace talks on his first visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories as president, but the Palestinian optimism stems from other issues.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157294

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Netanyahu picks ex-General Moshe Yaalon as new Israeli defence chief

Reuters | Mar 17, 2013

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday chose Moshe Yaalon, an ex-General and vice premier from his right-wing Likud party, to be Israel's next defence minister, a government official said.

Yaalon, 62, spent the past four years in Netanyahu's inner circle of ministers, routinely boosting the rightist prime minister and his strategic outlook.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Netanyahu-picks-ex-General-Moshe-Yaalon-as-new-Israeli-defence-chief/articleshow/19018748.cms

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Iran launches destroyer in Caspian Sea

March 17, 2013

TEHRAN, Iran — Iran on Sunday launched its domestically built destroyer in the Caspian Sea, the nation's first heavy military presence in the oil-rich sea, state TV reported.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the guided-missile destroyer Jamaran-2 in the port city of Anzali, about 250 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of Tehran.

After final tests, the report said, Jamaran-2 will join Iran's naval fleet in the sea in coming months.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130317157289

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North America

 

Qaeda front group claims Iraq ministry attack: SITE

March 17, 2013

Al-Qaeda's front group in Iraq has claimed a brazen coordinated attack involving a series of bombings and the storming of a ministry complex in central Baghdad, a monitoring service said on Sunday.

The Islamic State of Iraq claimed to have killed up to 60 people, according to the

US-based SITE Monitoring Service.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Qaeda-front-group-claims-Iraq-ministry-attack-SITE/Article1-1027724.aspx

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As US drone monopoly frays, Obama seeks global rules

March 17, 2013 

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama, who vastly expanded US drone strikes against terrorism suspects overseas under the cloak of secrecy, is now openly seeking to influence global guidelines for their use as China and other countries pursue their own drone programs.

The United States was the first to use unmanned aircraft fitted with missiles to kill militant suspects in the years after the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/522222/as-us-drone-monopoly-frays-obama-seeks-global-rules/

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Southeast Asia

 

‘Products with halal certificate have higher export value’

MARCH 17, 2013

SUNGAI PETANI, March 17 — Products given halal certification by the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) have high export value for their quality are deemed reliable in the international market, said Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim.

She said many foreign entrepreneurs still sought after the Jakim’s halal certification despite having halal certification their own country due their confidence in Jakim.

“Jakim’s halal logo is widely accepted in the international market because they (foreign manufacturers) know that we are very cautious when issuing halal certificates.

“Even after the certificates are issued, Jakim will always monitor the products to ensure that the halal process is carried out continuously,” she told reporters after closing the Kedah Halal Carnival 2013 here, last night. – Bernama

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/business/article/products-with-halal-certificate-have-higher-export-value/

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Brother of self-proclaimed Filipino sultan fleds Malaysia

 16 March 2013

KUALA LUMPUR: The leader of a band of Filipino militants whose incursion in Malaysia has left scores dead has reportedly fled.

More than 200 followers of a self-proclaimed Filipino sultan entered Sabah on Borneo Island a month ago to resurrect long-dormant land claims by Jamalul Kiram III.

Malaysian forces launched a military assault on March 5 against the group, sending them fleeing from a farming village where they had been holed up.

Armed Forces chief Zulkifeli Zin said intelligence report showed that Agbimuddin Kiram, whose family says is the crown prince of the Sulu Sultanate, had managed to evade security forces and slip out of Malaysia.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445094

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Islamic intellectuals willing to form advisory body for Kelantan BN

MARCH 17, 2013

KOTA BAHARU, March 17 — A group of Islamic intellectuals has expressed willingness to form an advisory body for Kelantan Barisan Nasional (BN) should the coalition succeed in forming the state government at this coming general election.

Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Mahmud Zuhdi Abdul Majid said he and his colleagues would advise the state government on the setting up of an Islamic government.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/islamic-intellectuals-willing-to-form-advisory-body-for-kelantan-bn/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/islam-s-holy-relics-being-demolished-in-mecca-in-controversial-expansion/d/10794

 

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