New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 06:26 AM

Islamic World News ( 17 Aug 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

‘Islamic Shariah will be the principal source of legislation in Libya after Gaddafi’: the rebel government

Islamists threaten to roll back legal gains for women in Egypt

Islamist Threat With Qaeda Link Grows in Nigeria

Muslim reality TV show targets stereotypes

‘Will Islamic law ever be a part of the U.S. legal system?’

Syria unrest: Obama urges Assad to step down

Afghan roadside bomb 'kills 25' in Herat province

Suicide blasts target British Council in Kabul

Syria: Assad says military operations ended; 18 killed

Pak security agencies tested to limits by terrorism: Gilani

Indonesia reduces sentences for 84 terror convicts

Four more killed in Karachi’s unabated violence

Israel bombs Gaza in revenge strike

33 killed in new Karachi violence; gang wars blamed

Former MNA Karimdad killed: Gang war claims 13 lives in Karachi

Israel bus attacks: 'Several killed'

Six militants killed in central Kurram

Nine killed in Kurdish ambush in Turkey

Suicide truck bomb kills two at US Afghan base

Iftar: A special kind of feast for northern Manhattan Muslims

Iftar Unites Faiths in Qur’an Burning City

Marital rape: Learning to cope in a society that fails to acknowledge its existence

Ramadhan English Programme started at the Islamic Centre of England

Canadian Girl Finds Inner Peace in Islam

15 Ways to Make Ramazan Special for Our kids

Libya rebels fight for refineries; US sends drone

Libya rebel chief fears bloodbath in battle for Tripoli

Gujarat: Modi govt digs out old case against ‘ traitor’

‘Qaeda’ gunmen seize south Yemen town: local official

Thirteen fighters killed in Russian Caucasus

3 Afghan Policemen Killed in Shootout With Army

Human Rights Watch accuses Egypt military of silencing critics

Four top Hizbul militants surrender in J&K

Anna effect: Pakistani to fast against corruption in India

Pakistan not state sponsor of terrorism: US

Syria’s Assad says military assault ended despite new deaths: UN

Bangladeshi war crimes: court to charge first suspect

Bangladesh arrests chief of banned outfit HuJI

Kidnapped US national was doing humanitarian work in Pakistan

It's a challenging relationship, but Pak is a partner: Clinton

OIC members vow to donate $350 mlllion to Somalia

Britain says 400,000 Somali children at risk of death

IIROSA chief reiterates need to reinforce humanitarian work

Netanyahu snubs Clinton over Turkey apology

Filipino Muslim rebels to disown radical commander

Turkey PM compares Syrian leader Bashar Assad to Muammar Gaddafi

Syrian troops detain dozens, 3 killed in north

Hamid Ali Rao appointed new Indian envoy

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/‘islamic-shariah-will-be-the-principal-source-of-legislation-in-libya-after-gaddafi’--the-rebel-government/d/5274

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‘Islamic Shariah will be the principal source of legislation in Libya after Gaddafi’: the rebel government

Aug 18, 2011

BENGHAZI: Libya's rebel leaders have set out a fresh plan to transform the country from autocracy to a democracy, in a roadmap that could help define the country for decades to come.

The draft 14-page "constitutional declaration," plots a path - via the first elections seen in Libya since 1964 - to a new constitution and a multiparty democracy inspired by Islamic law.

"Libya is a democratic and independent state," the document states, "the people are the source of authority, Tripoli is the capital, Islam is the religion and Islamic sharia is the principal source of legislation." In 37 articles the text, drafted by the rebels' de-facto government - the National Transitional Council - sets out key milestones along a roughly two-year path to democracy including an assembly election, a constitutional referendum and a general election.

Dated August 8, leaked details of the Arabic text have already drawn modest criticism in Benghazi, with some questioning whether the timeframe is too short, risking instability, or so long it will undermine the legitimacy of the revolution.

According to Richard Dalton, a former British ambassador to Tripoli and Tehran, the document is an admirable start. "It is important, not only to anchor different groups within the NTC to something, but also to convince the international community about the NTC."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Roadmap-for-democracy-in-Libya-First-elections-since-1964/articleshow/9641796.cms

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Islamists threaten to roll back legal gains for women

Ahmed Zaki Osman

Aug 18, 2011

Ahmed Abubaker, a 35-year-old teacher has little interest in politics and barely followed the developments of the Egyptian revolution. But this recent divorcee has now taken up protesting.

Al-Masry Al-Youm found him just recently at a demonstration in front of the Ministry of Justice. Abubaker is joining likeminded divorced fathers who are calling for a change to laws regulating custody over their children. They believe that the current custody system, along with other provisions in the personal status law, is against Islamic Sharia law.

“Two months ago I couldn’t see [his six-year-old daughter] Maram for a whole month. My ex-wife’s father told me that the security situation was deteriorating and [the family] couldn't risk letting the girl go far from home,” said Abubaker at the protest.

The problem he raised is not only due to the absence of police from the streets of the working-class area in Omraniya where he and ex-wife’s family live, but also the result of the law regulating the divorced father’s right to see his children.

The debate over custody laws, which is usually accompanied by arguments that Sharia supports the claims of divorced fathers, comes within a context in which Islamist groups wants to curtail women’s rights. Islamists argue that women’s legal gains in recent years are a product of Hosni Mubarak’s pro-Western regime. Women’s rights advocates, however, believe that the improved status of women is an outcome of social activism, which managed to push women’s issues to the fore.

Women’s gains under threat

In 2005, Egypt’s parliament, then dominated by the former ruling National Democratic Party, passed legal amendments by which children should remain in their mother's custody until age 15, up from 10 for boys and 12 for girls.

The law states that fathers have the right to see their children only three hours a week. Other members of the father’s family, such as grandparents, don’t have the right to see the children unless accompanied by the father in the three-hour visitation. Fathers also don’t have the right to house their children without the mother’s agreement.

Abubaker joined a Facebook page calling for changes to the custody laws. Other fathers who stage regular protests in front of the Ministry of Justice have joined newly established groups, such as the “The Front for Saving the Family” and “The Coalition for Saving the Egyptian Family”.

They staged small marches in front of the cabinet building, the Ministry of Justice and the state radio and television building. Fathers in governorates around Egypt formed local branches for the group.

Salafi and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated websites have been active in covering these developments, which they describe as being “calls for the application of Sharia.”

Family court judge Abdullah Albaga said in a TV interview in April that the new age rules for custody contravene Sharia, and called for the cancellation of the amendments, along with others, such as an amendment from 2000 giving woman easy access to divorce though the courts.

In the last decade, Egyptian women managed to erase some of the egregious gender inequities enshrined in the laws regulating personal status issues, such as reforming child custody laws, ensuring that women have the right to add conditions to marriage contracts, and providing women with the right to get a divorce through courts, known as khola, which are based on Islamic law.

Before 2000, when new legal provisions for divorce were introduced, it was nearly impossible for women to get divorced without the consent of their husbands. Divorce cases could linger in the courts for up to a decade, and even then, women would often not be granted the divorces they requested.

Karim Younis, another father who is calling for the change, tells Al-Masry Al-Youm that the divorced fathers have met with Ministry of Justice officials, who said their demands are legitimate.

For feminists and secular political activists, these movements are dangerous, since they’re based on specific and rigid interpretations of Sharia.

“What you surveyed from groups and marches against the custody law are indicators that there has been a major setback in the position of women since the revolution,” says Karima Kemal, a journalist and commentator.

“Conservative thinking is on the rise along with the rise of the Islamic groups. They see all the developments that took place concerning the status of women as Western and aimed at destroying the family.”

Feminist activist Lamiyaa Lotfy agrees.

“We know that the custody law is unfair. Having only three hours a week to see your child is unfair. That members of the father’s family don’t have the right to see the child is also unfair. But the problem is people don’t want [just] amendments; they want to take away all the rights we fought for, alleging that they are anti-Sharia,” she says.

A Western import?

Perhaps the biggest impediment to improving the legal status of women is the argument that such changes are being forced on Egypt by the West and were pushed by former First Lady Suzanne Mubarak, who is widely hated.

Elham Eidarous, a political activist, says this argument is used “to distract people from seeing the efforts exerted by women’s NGOs in order to push for the changes. Suzanne Mubarak wasn’t a feminist actually," says Eidarous. "If the state pushed for positive legislation to improve the status of women, this happened because of local as well as international pressure.”

Women’s rights advocates may face crucial challenges with the election of the next parliament, which many expect will be dominated by Islamists. Some women’s activists fear that an Islamist-dominated parliament would strip women of the rights they have gained.

“Women’s activists should build strategic relationships with civil political parties that support women’s rights, " said Eidarous. "Women’s NGOs shouldn’t be the only force defending women’s rights. Organizing women from grassroots and forming coalitions are the strategy. Women’s issues after the revolution should get rid of any remains of elitism.”

One example of how to defend women’s rights by gathering women from the grassroots is the Coalition of Custodian Women group, which has staged various protests in recent months, mainly in Cairo.

“What we are seeing now is that ordinary women are speaking about their rights," says Lotfy. "If you have a march that alleges that the custody law is anti-Sharia and Western-based, you have on the opposite side the Custodian Women, who staged similar marches in the street, saying that they won't give up their rights over their children. In this case, you can’t describe those women as being Western.”

Another new development is the degree to which Coptic women are making their voices heard.

“That’s the radical change," says Kemal. "Coptic women are also speaking out, either pressing the Church to change its position to give them licenses for divorce or by pressing the state to push for a new legislation that allows civil marriage.”

The silencing of women

Women’s rights advocates say that regression on personal status issues is part of a larger problem of marginalizing women. After an unprecedented showing during protests over the last six months, Egypt women are now being told that they cannot take high political and executive posts.

“The rise of the Islamist movement after the revolution poses significant threats to gains made by Egypt’s women in many aspects related to political representation, as well as, and especially in the legal context, regulating the personal status law,” says Kemal.

The committee that drafted the constitutional amendments in March didn’t include any women, and Prime Minister Essam Sharaf’s cabinet has only one female minister. During the last governors reshuffle, no female governors were appointed.

Minister of Local Development Mohsen al-Nomany said last month that women are currently incapable of filling governorships due to the deteriorating security situation.

On Wednesday, a coalition of feminist organizations sent a letter to Deputy Prime Minister Ali al-Selmy calling on the government to ensure that women will be represented in the committee that drafts the new constitution. The letter indicates that any future constitution must have anti-discrimination provisions.

However, Lotfy argues that at this very moment, Egyptians must not evaluate the situation of women in isolation.

“Women aren’t represented in a fair way in the political scene. That’s true, but who from the marginalized people is Egypt are being fairly represented? Youth are still marginalized, disabled people are badly discriminated against and people from Sinai can’t claim any significant posts.

"It’s not only women who are unfairly represented. The old way of thinking still dominates,” Lotfy says.

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/487345

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Islamist Threat With Qaeda Link Grows in Nigeria

By ADAM NOSSITER

Aug 18 2011

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — A shadowy Islamist insurgency that has haunted northern Nigeria — surviving repeated, bloody efforts to eliminate it — appears to be branching out and collaborating with Al Qaeda’s affiliates, alarming Western officials and analysts who had previously viewed the militants here as a largely isolated, if deadly, menace.

Just two years ago, the Islamist group stalking police officers in this bustling city seemed on the verge of extinction. In a heavy-handed assault, Nigerian soldiers shelled its headquarters and killed its leader, leaving a grisly tableau of charred ruins, hundreds dead and outmatched members of the group, known as Boko Haram, struggling to fight back, sometimes with little more than bows and arrows.

Now, insurgents strike at the Nigerian military, the police and opponents of Islamic law in near-daily assaults and bombings, using improvised explosive devices that can be detonated remotely and bear the hallmarks of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Western officials and analysts say. Beyond the immediate devastation, the fear is that extremists bent on jihad are spreading their reach across the continent and planting roots in a major, Western-allied state that had not been seen as a hotbed of global terrorism.

In the past two years, Boko Haram has met and trained with Qaeda affiliates outside the country, American and Nigerian officials and analysts say, and the group has begun waging a propaganda campaign that includes conference calls with reporters — another sign of its growing sophistication.

“Where are they getting this knowledge of I.E.D.’s?” said Kashim Shettima, the new governor here. “Some of them went as far as Sudan. Why? I believe they are making efforts to reach out to the global terrorism network.”

The Nigerian government appears to have only a shaky grasp of how to confront the threat, responding with such a broad, harsh crackdown that many residents see the military as more of a danger than Boko Haram. Shops are shuttered, vans laden with refugees can be seeing heading out of town and the normally wide, traffic-choked streets lined with neem trees are unexpectedly clear.

About 140 people have died in the violence since January, according to Amnesty International, including dozens of civilians killed by the military. Most of Boko Haram’s attacks have occurred here in this city at the edge of the Sahara, but there have also been blasts farther south in Kaduna and outside the national police headquarters in the capital, Abuja.

Several dozen civilians were killed in June when bombs were hurled into the rudimentary outdoor beer parlors that exist furtively on the Christian-minority fringes here. Shariah law exists in this overwhelmingly Muslim region, but in a relatively loose form. Not all women are veiled, and beer and wine can be obtained — apparently an affront, the authorities here say, to the group’s goal of imposing strict Islamic law in this country’s restive and impoverished north.

Boko Haram’s militants fade into the warrens of sandy alleys, protected, officials say, by supporters in the population and even in the security services. The brutal Nigerian military tactics — shoot first, ask questions later — are creating more sympathizers on the ground, analysts and residents here suggest.

“You are Boko Haram!” said Saude Maman, recounting how soldiers yelled at her husband on July 9 after a patrol vehicle was bombed and the military cordoned off Kaleri, a district of low cement houses and courtyards.

When her husband denied it, “they dragged him to the courtyard and shot him,” said Ms. Maman, sitting with a group of women in front of a scorched house. Four of them said they had lost their husbands that night.

Ms. Maman, dressed in black from head to foot, told of holding her spouse as he died and then having to pay about $20 to recover his body. At least 25 people died in that operation alone, Amnesty says. A week later, the neighborhood still showed the scars of the military’s nocturnal onslaught: burned-out vehicles, charred walls, melted cookware.

Boko Haram’s growing sophistication is not being matched by the government’s, analysts contend. Last month, at another insurgent attack near the military headquarters here, a blasted-out jeep lay on its side, a pool of blood forming under it. No soldiers were guarding the fresh crime scene, and no evidence was being gathered from it, an hour after the blast, even though several security-force personnel were wounded, one severely.

Boko Haram, however, is rapidly evolving. It has a virulent Web site taunting the security services, promising “more attacks on the way!!!” all “in the name of Allah,” and inviting e-mails to “nigjihadist” — additional signs of outside influence, analysts say.

Western officials expressed alarm over the apparent cross-border exchange between the extremist groups that have unsettled the vast Sahel region, which stretches across the Sahara.

“There’s a lot more coordination,” said a Western official who was not authorized to speak publicly, citing an A.Q.I.M. video that boasts of helping Boko Haram. “They’re communicating with each other better.”

Last year, after dozens of Muslims were killed in the city of Jos, a leader of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb vowed to help train and supply Nigerian Muslims with weapons to “respond against the aggression of the Christian minority,” in a statement published on Islamist Web sites. He also promised to help avenge the killing of Boko Haram’s leader in 2009.

Andrew Lebovich, a researcher at the New America Foundation who follows A.Q.I.M., said the improvised explosive devices Boko Haram had been using were an A.Q.I.M. trademark, echoing a common argument made by Western officials.

Another analyst with connections to Western intelligence operatives said that Boko Haram members had even told intermediaries that “our leaders are in Mali,” a country where the group has received training from Qaeda affiliates, one American official said.

Gen. Carter F. Ham, the head of the United States Africa Command, told The Associated Press that there were also signs that Boko Haram and A.Q.I.M. wanted to establish a “loose partnership” with the Shabab, the militant group that controls much of southern Somalia and bombed World Cup watchers in Uganda last year.

Such a collaboration “would be the most dangerous thing to happen not only to the Africans, but to us as well,” he said.

Looking toward Nigeria would be “natural” for the Qaeda affiliate, said Paul Lubeck, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who studies the region. “They are global jihadists,” he said of Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. “It’s automatic that you would look to the largest Muslim state in Africa to expand.”

Boko Haram has infiltrated the Nigerian security services, complicating the fight against them, officials say. “They have their sympathizers within the security establishment, who are providing them with information,” said Mr. Shettima, the governor.

In the neighborhoods, the anger against the military is unequivocal. Nobody admitted supporting Boko Haram, but several residents said “young men” were now signing up with the group. When asked about the army, an angry mob quickly formed.

“After looting the properties of the people, they killed innocent people,” said Yusuf Babagana, describing an army incursion after a bomb blast in the Abbangaram neighborhood last month. At least five died, residents and a local reporter said. “They are creating more chaos than the Boko Haram sect. They are looting, killing, and even raping.”

Mohammed Bukaru, a businessman in Abbangaram, agreed. “When the army men came in, they just started beating everybody, and killing everybody,” he said. On July 23, according to Amnesty, 23 people were killed by soldiers after a blast near the palace of the sheik here.

A military spokesman denied the residents’ claims. “It is not correct,” Col. Victor Ebhaleme said. “We have a code of conduct, rules of engagement. They are being followed.”

At the hospital here, the surgical ward was still filled with men who had been wounded in Kaleri, 10 days before. “A soldier shot me,” Zira Koda whispered up from his hospital bed, looking down at his groin. “They entered my house and shot me. There was no reason for it.”

Mark Mazzetti contributed reporting from Washington.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/18/world/africa/18nigeria.html?pagewanted=print

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Muslim reality TV show targets stereotypes

By Shane McGinley

Aug 18, 2011

A man participates in the American Muslim Day Parade in New York

An American cable television channel hopes to shatter stereotypes of Muslim Americans with the launch of a reality TV show that will chronicle the lives of five families. 

US network TLC plans to launch ‘All-American Muslim’ in November, following families living in the Michigan town of Dearborn, home to the largest mosque in the United States.

The show’s stars include a football coach, a law enforcement officer and two sisters: one of whom wears a traditional headscarf and another who has tattoos and is married an Irish Catholic.

The series “is hoping to do for Muslims what it did for polygamists and Sarah Palin — put a new spin on controversial subjects that people often make judgments about without knowing the whole story,” said the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).

Rival channel Bravo has also unveiled plans for a documentary show following the lives of Persian-Americans living in Los Angeles.

The move follows what has been described by CAIR as a wave of “anti-Muslim bigotry” in the run up to the 2012 US presidential campaign.

Republican politician Hermain Cain this month used a rally Murfreesboro, Tennessee to condemn plans to build a mosque in the town and speak out against Sharia law.

"This is another way to sneak Sharia law into our laws, and I absolutely object to that," he said.

Former 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, previously the subject of a reality TV show by TLC, also said the adoption of Sharia law in the US would “be the downfall of America”.

A poll by Gallup this month found Muslim Americans are more optimistic about their lives than any other major US faith group, and more likely to condemn violence against civilians.

Some 89 percent of Muslim Americans said that violent attacks on civilians were never justified, compared to between 71 and 79 percent of other religious groups who felt the same way.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/muslim-reality-tv-show-targets-stereotypes-416098.html

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‘Will Islamic law ever be a part of the U.S. legal system?’

August 18, 2011

NASHVILLE – A discussion of the potential application of Islamic law in the United States, and proposals to limit or prevent that possibility, will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, at the First Amendment Center, 1207 18th Ave. South in Nashville.

Earlier this year, at least 13 states – including Tennessee – had legislative measures filed that would bar judges from considering Sharia law in legal decisions, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Advocates for such measures warn against any application of Islam’s religious tenets in the U.S. legal system. Opponents say such laws are not needed and that the proposals simply reflect an out-of-control “Islamaphobia” aimed at restricting the presence and religious beliefs of Muslims.

 Panel members for the discussion will include:

• Bill Warner, founder and director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam (CSPI).

• Hedy Weinberg, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Tennessee.

• Gene Policinski, senior vice president/executive director of the First Amendment Center, will moderate the discussion. Other panel members may be added.

There is no charge for admission, but there is limited seating. To reserve a seat, call 615-727-1333, no later than noon, Monday, Aug. 22. Limited parking is available across from the Seigenthaler Center, on the first floor only of the parking garage.

The forum is being held in cooperation with the School of Journalism at Middle Tennessee State University, which is hosting a conference for journalists on “Covering Islam in the Bible Belt” at the First Amendment Center. The three-day conference, which features veteran reporters and experts in Islamic history and culture, is intended to provide journalists with resources to help them report on issues involving Muslim communities. The McCormick Foundation is funding the conference, one of six Specialized Reporting Institutes in 2011.

The First Amendment Center, with offices at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C., is an operating program of the Freedom Forum and is associated with the Newseum and the Diversity Institute. Its affiliation with Vanderbilt University is through the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies. Its offices on the Vanderbilt campus are in the John Seigenthaler Center.

The center’s programs provide education and information to the public and groups including First Amendment scholars and experts, educators, government policy makers, legal experts and students. The center is nonpartisan and does not lobby or litigate.

http://www.murfreesboropost.com/-will-islamic-law-ever-be-a-part-of-the-u-s-legal-system--cms-28190

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Syria unrest: Obama urges Assad to step down

Aug 18 2011

US President Barack Obama has called on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down over a deadly crackdown on anti-government protesters.

The call marks a significant increase in pressure on Syria for sending in his army against the protesters.

Mr Obama said: "For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside."

Meanwhile, UN investigators say the security forces' use of violence "may amount to crimes against humanity".

The investigators said the UN Security Council should refer the issue to the International Criminal Court.

In a written statement, Mr Obama also announced "unprecedented sanctions to deepen the financial isolation of the Assad regime and further disrupt its ability to finance a campaign of violence against the Syrian people".

The US had already tightened its sanctions against members of Syria's government but had stopped short of demanding Mr Assad step down.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14577333

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Afghan roadside bomb 'kills 25' in Herat province

Aug 18, 2011

At least 25 people have been killed and many wounded when a roadside bomb hit a crowded minibus in the Afghan province of Herat, officials say.

Officials said the bus was full and women and children were among the casualties.

It was travelling from Obe district to the provincial capital, which recently passed to the control of Afghan forces.

Earlier on Thursday, a suicide attack at a US-run base in eastern Paktia province killed two Afghan guards.

"It was a big, powerful blast," the Associated Press news agency quoted Abdul Bashir, a village elder, as saying.

"Among the dead are men, women and children. The bodies are not easily recognisable."

The bus was on its way to a market where the passengers were going to shop, the agency quoted Mohyuddin Noori, a spokesman for the province's governor, as saying.

Afghan officials said the roadside bomb in Herat was planted by the Taliban.

Last December, 14 people were killed when a bus hit an explosive planted in the same area.

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) are widely used by insurgents. Their intended targets are Afghan or international security forces but because they are left unsupervised and activated by a pressure plate, civilian vehicles often detonate the explosives.

IEDs are to blame for the majority of civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-14569631

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Suicide blasts target British Council in Kabul

Aug 19 2011

KABUL: At least three people were killed as a wave of suicide explosions rocked a British cultural centre in Kabul Friday, a public holiday marking Afghanistan’s independence from Britain in 1919.

Four blasts, claimed by the Taliban, struck the British Council offices in Kabul, while an AFP reporter at the scene reported heavy gunfire ongoing inside the compound.

The British Council is an official organisation part-funded by London which promotes cultural relations in offices around the world.

Police said the first two blasts at least were the work of suicide bombers.

Kabul’s criminal investigations chief Mohammad Zahir told AFP that at least three people had died but that the casualty toll could rise as attackers are still inside the compound.

“I can confirm that three have been killed so far and there are five or six injured but the casualty toll may rise,” Zahir said. He could not confirm whether any of the dead were foreigners.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/19/suicide-blasts-target-british-council-in-kabul.html

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Syria: Assad says military operations ended; 18 killed

Aug 19 2011

Beirut : Syrian President Bashar Assad told the United Nations chief that military operations in his country have ended, even as activists said Thursday that security forces shot dead 18 people nationwide and intense shooting erupted in the flashpoint city of Latakia.

Assad is coming under mounting criticism for his crackdown on a 5-month-old uprising. Human rights groups and witnesses accuse Syrian troops of firing on largely unarmed protesters and say more than 1,800 civilians have been killed since mid-March.

In Washington, US officials said the Obama administration is ready to make an explicit call for Assad to leave power. The timing is still in flux but preparations are in place for the White House to issue a statement Thursday demanding that Assad step down, the officials said. This would be accompanied by an announcement of new sanctions on the Assad regime and followed by an on-camera appearance by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to reinforce the US position, the officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/syria-assad-says-military-operations-ended;-18-killed/833847/

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Pak security agencies tested to limits by terrorism: Gilani

Aug 19 2011

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said that Pakistan's security agencies have been “tested to the limits” by terrorism.

Gilani traced factors like funding, weapon supplies and organisational support for the mushrooming of terrorism in his country saying that the menaced needed to be addressed in a comprehensive manner.

He made the remarks while chairing a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet on Wednesday which was attended by federal ministers, the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee chairman and the three service chiefs.

“Our intelligence and security agencies have been tested to the limits,” he said.

Pakistan was “passing through a difficult period” and issues related to the criminal justice system and terrorism, particularly suicide attacks, had seriously affected the citizens,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-security-agencies-tested-to-limits-by-terrorism-gilani/833802/

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Indonesia reduces sentences for 84 terror convicts

Aug 19 2011

JAKARTA — Indonesia has reduced the sentences of 84 convicted terrorists, including an Al-Qaeda-linked extremist on a US black list, as part of its Independence Day celebrations, according to an official.

Mohammed Jibril Abdurahman, 26, known on extremist websites as the "Prince of Jihad", had his five-year sentence reduced by two months for "good behaviour", justice ministry spokesman Akbar Hadi Prabowo said.

The US Treasury on Tuesday placed financial sanctions against Abdurahman and three other Indonesians for their leading roles in violent groups such as Jemaah Islamiyah, blamed for deadly bombings across Southeast Asia.

The Treasury said Abdurahman was a channel for funds intended for Jemaah Islamiyah attacks and underwent military training in Pakistan, "where he met with Al-Qaeda and Taliban personnel".

Full report at: Copyright © 2011 AFP

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Four more killed in Karachi’s unabated violence

Aug 19 2011

KARACHI: Four more people were killed since Thursday night as death toll during last three days rose to 51 in the city, DawnNews reported.

Two people were gunned down in the areas of Gulshan-e-Iqbal and Shireen Jinnah Colony while two bodies were recovered from Kharadar and New Karachi.

The city plunged into the fresh wave of violence on Wednesday when a former lawmaker of the Pakistan People’s Party was shot dead.

Earlier on Thursday, at least 21 bullet-riddled and tortured bodies stuffed in gunny bags were found in different parts of the city as more than 30 people were killed in the city on the second day of a renewed wave of violence that police saw blended with an ‘ethnic colour’, taking the two-day death toll to nearly 50, a report published in Dawn said.

Thursday’s casualties that emerged as the largest single-day toll in current spree of violence left people in a state of constant fear.

Despite measures promised both by the federal and provincial administrations, no credible action from the law enforcers was witnessed.

The trend of brutal incidents that emanated from the city’s south district on Wednesday evening stretched to the west on Thursday and police said victims were kidnapped and tortured before being shot dead. Their bodies were stuffed in gunny bags and dumped at various places.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/19/four-more-killed-in-karachi%E2%80%99s-unabated-violence.html

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Israel bombs Gaza in revenge strike

Aug 19 2011

Jerusalem : Gunmen killed seven people in southern Israel on Thursday in attacks along the Egyptian border and Israel responded with an airstrike in the Gaza Strip that killed six Palestinians, including the leaders of a group it blamed for the violence.

The series of assaults on a desert road north of Israel’s Red Sea resort of Eilat drew Israeli accusations that Egypt’s new rulers were losing their grip on the porous frontier.

Israel said the attackers infiltrated from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip via Egypt’s Sinai desert, despite stepped up efforts by Egyptian security forces in recent days to rein in Palestinian and Islamist radicals.

“This was a grave incident in which Israelis and Israeli sovereignty were harmed. Israel will respond accordingly,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement. He was due to speak further on the most deadly attack in Israel since 2008 in a televised address later in the day.

Israeli military commanders said six civilians and one soldier were killed in attacks on two buses, a car and an army vehicle. Another 25 people were wounded.

The violence, which began in the early afternoon, stretched into the evening. As the Israeli military’s chief of staff and Defence Minister Ehud Barak were briefing reporters at the scene, ambulances raced away to what reporters said was another attack by gunmen in which one person was wounded.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/israel-bombs-gaza-in-revenge-strike/833990/

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33 killed in new Karachi violence; gang wars blamed

Aug 18 2011

Karachi : Up to 33 people have been killed in a fresh outbreak of violence in Karachi, Pakistan's biggest city and commercial capital, but police on Thursday said the clashes now focused more on gang turf wars after months of ethnic and political disputes.

Much of the fighting erupted in and around the old district of Lyari, long a focus of spats between rival gangs and a stronghold of President Asif Ali Zardari'a Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

A former PPP lawmaker was among the dead.

An official at the city's main government hospital put the death toll at 30 over the past 24 hours. Nineteen bodies had been brought in since Wednesday evening.

Most of the killings have resulted from clashes between criminal gangs operating in Lyari and surrounding areas, a senior police official said.

It's not the kind of fighting that we saw last month, this is more of a gang war.

But police said turf wars between gangs dealing in drugs and extortion rackets were by no means a new development in Lyari.

These gangs regularly clash and kill members and supporters of rival groups, the senior official said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/30-killed-in-new-karachi-violence;-gang-wars-blamed/833705/

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Former MNA Karimdad killed: Gang war claims 13 lives in Karachi

By Imran Ayub

Aug 18, 2011

KARACHI: Former MNA Ahmed Karimdad, better known as Waja Karimdad, of the Pakistan People’s Party was among 13 people killed in Karachi on Wednesday in what police termed a fresh bout of a war between ‘criminal gangs’ operating in Lyari, the city’s oldest neighborhood.

The victims — all residents of Lyari and adjoining old city areas — included an 11-year-old boy and a teenage girl who fell prey to deadly attacks in which guns, hand-grenades and rockets were freely used.

Police said violence erupted in the evening after five young residents of Lyari were found shot dead in different parts of the city in the morning.

Five other people were killed in armed attacks in different parts of the city, though police said those incidents did not appear to be linked with the Lyari violence.

“The violence is actually connected to clashes between rival gangs in Lyari,” Saud Mirza, the Additional IG of Sindh Police, told Dawn, ruling out any political influence or motivation behind the fresh assaults. “These are purely criminal gangs which are operating in the neighbourhood and have nothing to do with politics. They mainly targeted innocent people in their armed rivalry.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/18/former-mna-karimdad-killed-gang-war-claims-13-lives-in-karachi.html

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Israel bus attacks: 'Several killed'

Aug 18, 2011

At least five people have been killed in a series of attacks on vehicles in southern Israel, Israeli medics say.

The attacks began when gunmen fired at an Israeli bus which was travelling near the Egyptian border.

Several gunmen ambushed the civilian bus, with security forces later going in pursuit of the attackers.

This is the first major attack on Israel's border with Egypt for several years, reports the BBC's Paul Danahar in Jerusalem.

So far, the Israeli military has only confirmed that four soldiers have been "moderately injured and one soldier lightly injured".

Israeli army spokeswoman Col Avital Leibowitz told the BBC it had been a combined attack by Gaza militants who had infiltrated Israel, adding that the exchange of fire was continuing.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14573559

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Six militants killed in central Kurram

Aug 18, 2011

PESHAWAR: According to government sources, security forces killed six militants on Thursday in the ongoing operation in central Kurram, DawnNews reported.

Two security personnel were also injured in the clash that took place in the Gwaki area of central Kurram.

Meanwhile, five other security personnel were injured when a landmine exploded near their vehicle in the Manato area of the tribal region.

The ongoing operation against militants continues in the tribal region, while security forces claim to have cleared out several areas of insurgents.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/18/six-militants-killed-in-central-kurram-operation.html

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Nine killed in Kurdish ambush in Turkey

Aug 18, 2011

Turkish aircraft have attacked 60 sites in northern Iraq used as bases by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in a "successful" operation, military headquarters said in a statement.

It followed an attack by the rebel group that killed nine Turkish troops.

The statement said the military would press ahead with strikes until the rebels were "rendered ineffective".

The aircraft involved in the operation all returned safely to their bases in Turkey, it added.

Fourteen soldiers were injured in the attack by the Kurdish separatist militants in the district of Cukurca, in Hakkari province close to the Iraqi border, on Wednesday.

Officials and Turkish media said the vehicle of the troops who died was hit by a roadside bomb or mine. There were also reports of a shoot-out.

The PKK said they had carried out the attack.

Strategy questions

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14570301

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Suicide truck bomb kills two at US Afghan base

Aug 18, 2011

Kabul: A suicide bomber detonated a truck bomb near the entrance of a heavily-guarded US-run base in eastern Afghanistan today, killing two Afghan guards, officials said.

The Taliban, the main militant group leading an escalating 10-year insurgency, claimed responsibility for the attack in Gardez, the capital of eastern Paktia province, which borders Pakistan. The bomber was in a vehicle. He tried to enter the base (but) the guards did not let him. He was frustrated and detonated at the very, very first gate, a coalition spokesman said.

Two Afghan-contracted guards were killed, he said. Earlier the Paktia provincial police chief told AFP three people, two contracted guards and a border police officer in a nearby police base had been wounded.

A suicide bomber tried to attack the base with a truck bomb but he was encountered at the first gate by Afghan guards. He set off his bombs there, Paktia provincial police chief, Abdul Ghafar Sapai, told AFP.

Full report at:

http://itvnewsindia.com/suicide-truck-bomb-kills-two-us-afghan-base

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Iftar: A special kind of feast for northern Manhattan Muslims

Aug 18, 2011

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer speaks during the Fourth Annual Iftar Dinner to mark the end of Ramadan on August 9th at the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center. PHOTO: Courtesy of the office of the Manhattan borough president

Story by Cassandra Gallese

The lobby of The Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center was packed this past Tues., August 9th, as the Muslim community of northern Manhattan joined together in collective prayer to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. Just moments before prayer, attendees had gathered upstairs where trays piled high with dates were passed around so that they might break their fast with the traditional food.

Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer’s Fourth Annual Iftar Dinner brought together Muslim and non-Muslim residents alike on West 168th Street and Broadway to celebrate the Islamic holiday and honor several members of the community. The diverse crowd, some clad in traditional Muslim dress, sat together at six long tables stretching the length of the room.

Full report at:

http://manhattantimesnews.com/2011/iftar-a-special-kind-of-feast-for-northern-manhattan-muslims.html

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Iftar Unites Faiths in Qur’an Burning City

Aug 18, 2011

CAIRO – Members from different faiths have gathered at the Islamic Community Center of Gainesville to share Muslims their Ramadan Iftar and send a new message of peace and tolerance from the city, which witnessed the burning of the Noble Qur'an last year.

“I think it's beautiful — this is a family dinner for us,” Imam Abdul Malik told the Gainesville Sun newspaper.

“It's an opportunity for us to share God's gift with all our brothers and sisters in Gainesville,” the imam added.

The iftar brought together Muslims, Christians, Unitarians, Mennonites, Episcopalians, Baha'i and Hindus.

At sundown, attendants were served dishes from Morocco, Pakistan, India and other countries throughout the Middle East.

The iftar was a golden opportunity to break the ice inside the community ahead of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 attacks.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/americas/453530-iftar-unites-faiths-in-quran-burning-city.html

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Marital rape: Learning to cope in a society that fails to acknowledge its existence

Aug 18, 2011

Every society has taboos. In Egypt, one of them is marital rape, which is when a husband forces his wife to have sexual intercourse without her consent.

In a culture that often expects a wife to satisfy her husband sexually as an obligation in the eyes of God, the idea of marital rape is rejected as innately false.

Magda Boutros, researcher for the  Violence and Bodily Integrity Program within the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, says this kind of domestic violence is widespread in Egypt. As Boutros puts it, while women consider being forced to have sex humiliating, painful and somehow not right, "they have no escape, and no one on their side. If they go to the police station, they will be laughed at. Same with their family and female friends.”

Every five years the Ministry of Health and Population runs a survey on women within households, which includes a section on domestic behavior. Boutros' research incorporates the results of that survey, and she says the findings are striking: victims simply do not know what to do.

Full report at:

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/487174

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Ramadhan English Programme started at the Islamic Centre of England

Aug 18, 2011

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - English lectures for the holy month of Ramadhan have started at the Islamic Centre of England on the 15th of the month which is marked by the birth anniversary of Imam Hassan Al Mujtabah (as).

Dr. Shomali the guest speaker for this year his delivering lectures under the title: `an exploration into the spiritual dimension of the Holy Qur’an`. In which he will analyze the spiritual dimension of the Holy Book and the importance that it occupies within the Islamic faith.

Lectures start at 19:00pm and will conclude 15 minutes before Maghreb call to prayer.

http://www.abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=260360

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Canadian Girl Finds Inner Peace in Islam

Aug 18, 2011

Tanya's Journey to Islam : I can say my life before Islam was very sporadic, with not too much grounding, no roots.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - I lived with my mother. My mother doesn’t have a strong religious background. She comes from a Christian background. Because of my mother’s and I lack of compatibility, I had to live in the street for a couple of months where I was then found and I was placed into a foster care.

I was in three different foster homes before the last one that became my permanent home where I stayed for six years. During that time I was completely alone. I had no mother, no father and no friends, nothing that I could hold on to, and I think that’s what really opened the doors for me and why I had to start my search because I was alone.

My mother never really installed any firm roots, so I myself got involved. I guess you can say I put my suffering in Christianity then. And I started attending a Pentecostal Church. So every Sunday I would look forward to going to church. I felt like it was my spiritual education that I was not getting from home.

Full report at:

http://www.abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=260319

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15 Ways to Make Ramazan Special for Our kids

Aug 18, 2011

Alhamdullillah the Ramazaan-ul-Mubarak has arrived and hope you all had prepared yourself (nafs) for the Blessings (Riza) of Allah (s.w.t) , take some little time to prepare kids for Ramazaan and it's Blessings, Benefits & achievements. Here is couple of ideas to help make it special this year.

Hold a family meeting about Ramazaan

Hold a family meeting to explain what Ramazaan is, that the sighting of the moon indicates its beginning, what Muslims do and how the family's schedule will change. Also ask for suggestions of what everyone would like to do during the month.

Welcome the month with balloons, banners and more

Say "Ramazaan Mubarak" with the standard party fare: balloons, a great banner and decorations galore. Get the kids to help decorate the place and ask for their ideas and suggestions so they feel included.

Full report at:

http://www.abna.co/data.asp?lang=3&Id=260353

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Libya rebels fight for refineries; US sends drone

Aug 18, 2011

ZAWIYAH: Rebels to the west and east of Libya's capital fought forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi for control of oil facilities vital to winning the six-month-old civil war.

The United States also deployed two more Predator drones for surveillance operations over Libya, a U.S. official told Reuters on Wednesday, as Gaddafi's forces faced unprecedented pressure.

The drones arrived earlier this week, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. It was not immediately clear how many U.S. drones were currently deployed on the NATO mission.

In Zawiyah, 50 km (30 miles) west of Tripoli, rebels assaulted a coastal oil refinery to try to drive the last Gaddafi forces out and tighten their noose around the capital.

A rebel spokesman said a pipeline to Tripoli was cut. There was no word on the outcome of their assault after nightfall.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Libya-rebels-fight-for-refineries-US-sends-drone/articleshow/9644541.cms

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Libya rebel chief fears bloodbath in battle for Tripoli

Aug 18 2011

Benghazi : As Libyan rebels fought to close in on Tripoli today, their chief said he feared a bloodbath in a battle for the capital that could come by the end of August.

Anticipating victory, the rebels' political leaders have set out a plan to transform the country from autocracy to a fully blown democracy, in a roadmap which could help define Libya for the coming decades.

National Transitional Council (NTC) head Mustafa Abdel Jalil said in a newspaper interview the "noose is tightening" and that he feared a "veritable bloodbath" in Tripoli because of strongman Muammar Gaddafi's refusal to step down.

"Gaddafi will not go quietly; he will go amid a catastrophe that will touch him and his family," Abdel Jalil told the pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat from his eastern bastion of Benghazi.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/libya-rebel-chief-fears-bloodbath-in-battle-for-tripoli/833790/

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Gujarat: Modi govt digs out old case against ‘ traitor’

By D. P. Bhattacharya in Gandhinagar

Aug 18, 2011

Suspended cop Bhatt who accused CM Modi for 2002 riots faces arrest

FIRST he was suspended. Now, whistleblower Gujarat IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt faces an arrest warrant issued by the Jamnagar sessions court for a case dating back to the 90s.

The bailable warrant was served on Tuesday after Bhatt, who is an accused in the case pertaining to a person’s death allegedly because of police beating, failed to appear for the hearing.

Bhatt has earlier accused Gujarat CM Narendra Modi of misusing the state machinery during the 2002 post- Godhra riots.

He told MAIL TODAY that the 1990 case pertained to a communal clash that had broken out in Jamjodhpur following a Bharat Bandh call by the BJP, in which a mosque along with 17 houses belonging to the minority community were burnt.

Bhatt was then posted as the deputy police superintendent and had arrested 133 people following the incident.

“ One VHP member, Prabhudas Vaishnani, died 11 days after he was released from judicial custody.

Full report at: Mail Today

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 ‘Qaeda’ gunmen seize south Yemen town: local official

Aug 18, 2011

ADEN: Suspected al Qaeda gunmen have seized control of the town of Shaqra in lawless Abyan province, a stronghold of the jihadist network in southern Yemen, a local official said on Thursday.

“al Qaeda fighters have attacked positions of armed tribesmen” tasked with defending the town on Wednesday, and have “managed to drive them away without any resistance,” the official told AFP.

Tribesmen backing government forces in the restive region had in mid-July chased the suspected al Qaeda militants from Shaqra.

The town lies 35 kilometres (20 miles) east of Zinjibar – the provincial capital that has been mostly under the control of suspected al Qaeda gunmen since late May.

The militants tried to advance to nearby villages after taking control of Shaqra but “their advance was halted by tribesmen, and clashes broke out,” a tribal source told AFP.

Yemeni tribesmen have in past weeks been locked in battle with suspected al Qaeda militants in Abyan, especially in Zinjibar.

The army has been battling the militants calling themselves Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), who have besieged its 25th Mechanised Brigade base in Zinjibar.

Apart from Shaqra and Zinjibar, Islamist gunmen control the village of Jaar.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/18/qaeda-gunmen-seize-south-yemen-town-local-official.html

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Thirteen fighters killed in Russian Caucasus

Aug 18, 2011

MAKHACHKALA: Russian police say 13 insurgents have been killed in the country’s volatile Caucasus region, including four in an operation commanded by Chechnya’s president, himself a former militant.

A spokesman for the Interior Ministry in the republic, Magomed Deniev, said four militants were killed Thursday in the capital Grozny in the operation commanded by Ramzan Kadyrov.

He said seven others were killed in an operation in Chechnya’s mountainous south, where insurgents shelter in the rugged territory.

It was an unusually high one-day death toll for Chechnya, where separatists have been less active than neighbouring Dagestan.

Dagestan interior ministry spokesman Vyacheslav Gananov said two insurgents were killed by police during the night in the Dagestani capital Makhachkala after opening fire on police who stopped their car.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/18/thirteen-fighters-killed-in-russian-caucasus.html

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3 Afghan Policemen Killed in Shootout With Army

By TAIMOOR SHAH and ROD NORDLAND

August 18, 2011

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan — A shootout between Afghan police officers and soldiers in a district near this southern city on Wednesday evening left three policemen dead and at least five civilians wounded in the crossfire, Afghan officials confirmed Thursday.

The incident began when an Afghan National Army unit stopped a group of policemen in civilian clothing in Zahre District, a former stronghold of the Taliban until large numbers of U.S. and Afghan troops occupied it over the past year.

The soldiers challenged the policemen’s identities and questioned their lack of uniforms, and an argument ensued that escalated into a firefight between the two units, according to the Zahre District governor, Niaz Muhammed Sarhadi. The result was three police officers killed, three soldiers wounded and eight civilians hit in the crossfire, he said.

The provincial police chief, General Abdul Razaq, confirmed the incident and the death toll, but said only five civilians had been wounded. He said an investigation into the cause of the incident was under way.

The firefight took place not far from Arghandab District, where last week U.S. soldiers opened fire without apparent reason during a meeting with Afghan policemen, killing four and wounding two of them, according to survivors and Afghan officials.

The U.S. military has made no comment on that incident, other than to say an investigation is under way. Local officials, however, said the meeting took place because the Americans were concerned that the police officers had not been wearing their uniforms on duty.

Many Afghan policemen are reluctant to wear uniforms in areas where the Taliban have many sympathizers, out of fear of retribution. Coalition officials express concern that doing so contributes to an atmosphere of fear in communities they are trying to win over.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/world/asia/19kandahar.html?_r=1&src=twrhp&gwh=3864B6656D9CA42A26092F3CFECCE402

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Human Rights Watch accuses Egypt military of silencing critics

Aug 18, 2011

 CAIRO — Human Rights Watch accused Egypt’s military on Thursday of escalating a crackdown on critics, after it decided to try an activist for insulting the ruling generals.

Asmaa Mahfouz, an activist and blogger involved in the uprising earlier this year that toppled president Hosni Mubarak, will be tried by a military court for defamation, a judicial source said this week.

Mahfouz was questioned Sunday for “speaking inappropriately about the military council and for using defamatory and offensive insults against the council on Facebook and Twitter,” the official MENA news agency had reported.

“The military prosecutor’s decision to prosecute the youth leader Asmaa Mahfouz for ‘insulting the military’ is a serious escalation of efforts by military leaders to silence critical voices,” the New York-based rights group said in a statement.

“The Mahfouz case is the latest in a series of moves prosecuting critical expression by the military, which is increasingly setting narrower and narrower limits on what it permits,” it said.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has ruled Egypt since the fall of Mubarak on February 11.

The military council has come under much criticism from pro-democracy activists in Egypt, who suspect it will delay a transition to civilian government.

It has also been criticised for summoning journalists over their reporting and arresting them during protests.

Mahfouz was a co-founder of the April 6 youth movement which had called for the January 25 street protests that led to the ousting of Mubarak 18 days later, ending his 30 years of autocratic rule

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August426.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Four top Hizbul militants surrender in J&K

Aug 18, 2011

SRINAGAR: Four top militants of Hizbul Mujahideen outfit, including a self divisional commander, today surrendered before police in Kulgam district of south Kashmir.

"Police achieved a major success by forcing the surrender of longest surviving and only active militant group of Hizbul Mujahideen Pir Panchal Regiment (HMPPR) in the state at Kulgam," a police spokesman said.

He said the surrender of the militants came after joint operations conducted by police, army and CRPF in Kulgam and Reasi districts on either side of Pir Panjal Mountain Range.

The surrendered militants have been identified as Mohammad Rafiq Sheikh alias Basharat, Bashir Ahmad alias Rashid, Mohammad Maqbool alias Majid and Mohammad Shafi alias Haroon Rashid.

All the four militants hail from Reasi district in Jammu region and Sheikh was the divisional commander of the outfit, the spokesman said.

The surrendered militants handed over two AK-47 rifles, seven magazines, one under barrel grenade launcher, five under barrel grenades, 118 AK rounds, one wireless set, one mobile phone, one battery and three pouches.

He said at least five cases are already registered against this group.

"They are also involved in a number of cases in Reasi and Ramban districts. The militants are being questioned to know the details of whole militant network in Pir Panchal Range," the spokesman added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Four-top-Hizbul-militants-surrender-in-JK/articleshow/9646366.cms

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Anna effect: Pakistani to fast against corruption in India

Aug 18, 2011

NEW DELHI: Taking a cue from Anna Hazare, a 68-year-old Pakistani businessman is set to go on hunger strike in Islamabad from September 12 to declare war on endemic corruption in his country. Expressing his admiration for Hazare, Jehangeeer Akhtar complained that corruption was a far more serious disease in Pakistan.

Activist Akhtar wants the Pakistan Parliament to pass an anti-corruption law -- like what India is now planning.

"I demand that an anti-corruption bill be presented in the National Assembly," said Akhtar, who has closely followed the anti-corruption war in India.

He said the Pakistani bill should be on the lines of what gets passed in India's parliament.

"Corruption in Pakistan is more than in India... bahut zyada (much more)," Akhtar told IANS in a telephonic interview from Islamabad where he runs a photography business.

It is not the first time Akhtar will be taking up cudgels for a cause.

"I once sat on a hunger strike for 22 days for the sake of traders in Islamabad," he recalled. It was about tenants being forcibly vacated.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Anna-effect-Pakistani-to-fast-against-corruption-in-India/articleshow/9646058.cms

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Pakistan not state sponsor of terrorism: US

Aug 18, 2011

WASHINGTON: Pakistan is America’s partner in the fight against terrorism and the two countries will continue to work together in combating the menace, the US State Department said.

State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland dismissed the suggestion that discussions on terrorist organisations like the Haqqani network and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba being able to operate on the Pakistani soil implied that the key South Asian country was a state sponsor of terrorism.

“Our view is that Pakistan is a partner in our fight against terror, and we’re going to continue to work together. We believe it is in our interest and it’s in the interest of Pakistan that we continue to strengthen our cooperation and collaboration,” she said. Nuland was answering a series of questions, following Defence Secretary Leon Panetta’s remarks about the two organisations’ alleged links in Pakistan.

“I think Secretary Panetta spoke of our concern over how these two organisations operate and any relationship that they may have with Pakistan, which is a subject that we talk about with Pakistan, which is a different issue than a state being a sponsor of terrorism itself,” she explained.

The spokesperson said Panetta’s remarks did not suggest that the two organisations had relationship with the Pakistani government as she responded with a “no” when asked directly if the comments meant that.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\18\story_18-8-2011_pg1_4

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Syria’s Assad says military assault ended despite new deaths: UN

Aug 18, 2011

UNITED NATIONS: Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad told UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday that military operations against protest towns have “stopped,” a UN spokesman said, amid new reports of killings and mass arrests.

Ban spoke to Assad by telephone ahead of a UN Security Council meeting on Syria when, diplomats said, the UN human rights chief is expected to call for the international war crimes court to investigate Assad’s deadly crackdown.

There is mounting international concern over the military assault on pro-democracy protests said to have left about 2,000 civilian dead in the past five months.

Ban, one of the few international leaders to have got through to Assad in recent weeks, “expressed alarm at the latest reports of continued widespread violations of human rights and excessive use of force by Syrian security forces against civilians across Syria,” deputy UN spokesman Farhan Haq said.

The statement highlighted the town of Lattakia, where several thousand Palestinian refugees are said to have fled their camps.

Ban “emphasized that all military operations and mass arrests must cease immediately. President Assad said that the military and police operations had stopped,” the statement declared.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/18/syrias-assad-says-military-assault-ended-despite-new-deaths-un.html

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Bangladeshi war crimes court to charge first suspect

Aug 18, 2011

DHAKA: A special Bangladeshi court set up to try people suspected of war crimes during the 1971 battle for independence from Pakistan is expected to frame charges against its first suspect on Thursday.

The Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal, which was set up last year by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, will hear cases of alleged collaborators who are accused of crimes ranging from mass killings to rape.

Delwar Hossain Sayedee, a senior official of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamic party, was scheduled to be the first case presented in front of Judge Nizamul Huq.

Saydee, 71, has been accused of killing more than 50 people, torching villages, rape, looting and forcibly converting Hindus to Islam.

The court opened proceedings last week but immediately adjourned after Sayedee’s lawyers argued that they needed more time to prepare. They requested a six-week extension, but were given just eight days.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/18/bangladeshi-war-crimes-court-to-charge-first-suspect.html

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Bangladesh arrests chief of banned outfit HuJI

Aug 18 2011

Dhaka : Bangladeshi security forces on Thursday arrested the chief of banned militant outfit Harkat-ul-Jihad al-Islami (HuJI) Moulana Yahiya along with his two accomplices in central Kishorganj district.

“We have arrested him (Yahiya) this morning,” elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion's (RAB) intelligence wing chief Lt. Colonel Ziaul Ahsan said.

He said the three were arrested intercepting a passenger bus as they were going to Kishorganj from northeastern Sylhet.

The two other HuJI operatives were identified as Mohammad Bahauddin, 22, and Yar Mohammad, 50.

The RAB officials said Yahiya fought in Afghanistan and also against Myanmar forces for the Arakan Muslims.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bangladesh-arrests-chief-of-banned-outfit-huji/833771/

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Kidnapped US national was doing humanitarian work in Pakistan

By Hussain Kashif

Aug 18, 2011

LAHORE: The abducted US expert Warren Weinstein was doing large scale humanitarian work in different public sectors including small and medium industries, agriculture and infrastructure development, which was responsible for bringing significant foreign investment and development in Pakistan.

He was a country director of JE Austin Associates Incorporation, Arlington, Virginia, US, which is a development contractor that works with the aid arm of the US government. Weinstein had also worked on a dairy project in Pakistan and imported dairy chillers to boost the productivity of rural farms in the country, resulting in $63 million in new investment to Pakistan, at least 2,150 new jobs, and a 25 percent boost in producer productivity.

His company is working here on US Agency for International Development (USAID) projects, including one to set up small businesses and create jobs in the restive Tribal Areas in Pakistan. Warren Weinstein was recognised by his company as an expert in international development of industries but they have removed his profile from their website after his kidnapping. The company also worked on helping small businesses in the gem and marble trade in the lower districts of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\18\story_18-8-2011_pg7_19

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It's a challenging relationship, but Pak is a partner: Clinton

August 17, 2011

S Rajagopalan

In continuation of its "blow hot, blow cold" relationship with Pakistan, the United States has asserted that its ties with Islamabad are of "paramount importance', regardless of the fact that it has been "a challenging relationship" through decades.

When asked point blank during an interview as to whether Pakistan is a partner or an adversary in the light of a series of recent developments, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "Well, they are partners, but they don’t always see the world the way we see the world, and they don’t always cooperate with us on what we think — and I’ll be very blunt about this — is in their interests."

"I mean, it's not like we are coming to Pakistan and encouraging them to do things that will be bad for Pakistan, but they often don’t follow what our logic is as we make those cases to them. So it takes a lot of dialogue,” Clinton said during a joint appearance with Defence Secretary Leon Panetta at the National Defence University here.

Asserting that ties with Pakistan are of "paramount importance” to the US, Clinton said: “We think it is very much in America’s interests. We think it is in the long-term interest of Pakistan for us to work through what are very difficult problems in that relationship. And this is not anything new. We’ve had a challenging relationship with Pakistan going back decades.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/361443/Its-a-challenging-relationship-but-Pak-is-a-partner-Clinton.html

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OIC members vow to donate $350 mln to Somalia

18 August 2011

 ISTANBUL — Members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, at an emergency meeting in Istanbul Wednesday, vowed to donate 350 million dollars for famine relief in Somalia.

“We said we aimed (to collect) 500 million. We are committed 350 million today,” Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Turkish general secretary of the OIC, told a press conference following the talks.

The promised amount includes 150 million dollars that Turkey has already collected for Somalia, Ihsanoglu said.

Other donations came from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Gabon, Iran, Kazakhistan, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal and Sudan, according to the meeting’s unofficial final declaration.

The United Nations has declared that one billion dollars is needed for Somalia, but the international community only pledged half this amount, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in his opening remarks.

Representatives from some 40 of the 57 OIC member countries convened in Istanbul to discuss how to boost aid to Somalia.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2011/August/middleeast_August427.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Britain says 400,000 Somali children at risk of death

Aug 18, 2011

MOGADISHU - Britain said on Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of children could starve to death in Somalia if the international community did not ramp up its response to the famine there.

Britain has already pledged more than 80 million pounds ($130 million) to help tackle what aid agencies are calling the worst drought in decades to hit Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

The British government is expected to announce additional funding specifically to deal with the unravelling humanitarian crisis later on Wednesday, a diplomatic source said.

“We call today on other countries to put their shoulders to the wheel and ensure this dreadful famine ... does not claim up to 400,000 children,” Andrew Mitchell, Britain’s International Development Secretary, told a news conference in the Somali capital, Mogadishu.

Japan has also pledged about $600,000 worth of aid to the U.N. refugee agency to help famine victims at the Dadaab refugee camp in northern Kenya, home to 440,000 Somali refugees.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/August/international_August798.xml&section=international&col=

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IIROSA chief reiterates need to reinforce humanitarian work

Aug 18, 2011

JEDDAH: The secretary-general of the International Islamic Relief Organization-Saudi Arabia (IIROSA) said the anniversary of World Humanitarian Day on Friday should be used to increase awareness of the significance of humanitarian work and the need to protect it against political conflict and racial turmoil.

“The World Humanitarian Day should be an occasion to remember the needy, hungry, poor and deprived people in order to provide relief to them and communicate with them the meanings of togetherness and true humanitarian brotherhood,” Adnan Khalil Basha said.

He also called for making the day an occasion to fight hunger resulting from drought and desertification in Somalia and other parts of Africa and also an occasion to help the displaced and victims of political unrest in a number of Arab countries.

He stressed that humanitarian work is an inseparable part of the concept of human rights. He said human aid is a legitimate right of man any time, anywhere. “Depriving man of this right will mean his certain death. Subsequently, humanitarian work is an integral part of human rights,” he said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article490060.ece

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Netanyahu snubs Clinton over Turkey apology

Aug 18, 2011

JERUSALEM: Israel has rejected a US request to apologize to Turkey over its 2010 commando raid on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine Turkish activists, local media reported Wednesday.

Reports by Israel's two main radio stations said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday with a direct request that he make an apology, but he turned her down.

"He said Israel has no intention of apologizing at this time and that he is waiting for the publication of a report by the UN secretary-general," army radio said.

A United Nations report into the flotilla affair, whose publication has been postponed at least twice this year to allow time for the two sides to reconcile their differences, is due to be released on Aug. 22.

Israeli officials, citing advance copies of the report, have said it would vindicate Israel's blockade on the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Turkey, which like Israel had a delegate on the UN panel headed by former New Zealand Prime Minister Geoffrey Palmer, has said it would not accept such a finding.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article490101.ece

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Filipino Muslim rebels to disown radical commander

Aug 18, 2011

MANILA: The largest Muslim rebel group in the Philippines has given a radical commander with hundreds of fighters a final warning to stop a mutiny or face expulsion, which would expose his breakaway force to possible military assaults.

The Moro Islamic Liberation Front’s central committee plans to issue a resolution in the near future declaring Ameril Umbra Kato is no longer a member unless he returns to its fold, which is an unlikely prospect after he rejected calls for him to rejoin, the group’s vice chairman Ghazali Jaafar said Wednesday.

Philippine officials have expressed concern over the infighting in the 11,000-strong Moro rebel group, which they say cast doubts on its ability to enforce any future accord from years long peace talks brokered by Malaysia.

The guerrillas have said the uprising by Kato, who used to head one of their largest and most battle-tested rebel commands, was an internal problem they were trying to defuse and asked the military not to attack him while they tried to woo him and his armed men back.

Jaafar said an expulsion will mean Kato is no longer covered by preliminary agreements the rebel group has forged with the government, including a truce that shields rebels from military assaults.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article489743.ece

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Turkey PM compares Syrian leader Bashar Assad to Muammar Gaddafi

Aug 18, 2011

BEIRUT: Turkey's prime minister compared Syria's president to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi on Wednesday, as Damascus defied international calls to end the crackdown on a 5-month-old uprising.

President Bashar Assad has unleashed tanks, ground troops and snipers in an attempt to retake control in rebellious areas. The military assault has escalated dramatically since the start of the holy month of Ramadan in August, killing hundreds and detaining thousands.

"We made our calls (to Gaddafi) but unfortunately we got no result," Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today. "The same thing is happening with Syria at the moment."

The conflict in Libya, which began a month before Syria's unrest, has descended into a civil war as Gaddafi defies calls to end the bloodshed.

Erdogan said he personally spoke to Assad and sent his foreign minister to Damascus, but "despite all of this, they are continuing to strike civilians."

Turkey, a neighbour and former close ally of Syria, has been increasingly frustrated with Damascus' crackdown. But Turkey, Syria's most important trade partner, has not joined the US and Europe in imposing sanctions.

With tension rising, the UN said it has temporarily withdrawn about two dozen "nonessential" international staff from Syria because of security concerns.

UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq also said some family members of UN staff have been relocated to other countries. The government insists its crackdown is aimed at rooting out terrorists fomenting unrest in the country. In comments carried on the state-run news agency, Assad appeared to lash out at the international reproach, saying his country will not give up its "dignity and sovereignty."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Turkey-PM-compares-Syrian-leader-Bashar-Assad-to-Muammar-Gaddafi/articleshow/9641940.cms

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Syrian troops detain dozens, 3 killed in north

Aug 18, 2011

BEIRUT: Syrian troops detained scores of people in Damascus and the coastal city of Latakia in overnight raids as President Bashar Assad's regime tried to forcefully end a five-month uprising, activists said Wednesday.

Assad dramatically escalated his crackdown on the five-month-old uprising since the start of the holy month of Ramzan in August, killing hundreds and detaining thousands. Despite broad international condemnation, most recently from neighboring Turkey and Jordan, the regime has unleashed tanks, ground troops and snipers in an attempt to retake control in rebellious areas.

In Latakia, a Mediterranean port city that has been subjected to a four-day military assault, security centers were overflowing with detainees, forcing authorities to hold hundreds of other prisoners in the city's main football stadium and a movie theater, said Rami Abdul-Raham, head of the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

"Detentions centers are packed," he said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Syrian-troops-detain-dozens-3-killed-in-north/articleshow/9638744.cms

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Hamid Ali Rao appointed new Indian envoy

Aug 18, 2011

JEDDAH: Hamid Ali Rao has been appointed India's next ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Rao, an Indian Foreign Service officer from the 1981 batch, is expected to take up his assignment at Indian Embassy, Riyadh, on Sept. 23, according to embassy sources. He will succeed the incumbent Talmiz Ahmad who retires on Aug. 31.

Rao is presently the permanent representative of India to the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, Geneva.

Hailing from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh, Rao is son of the late Kunwar Mahmood Ali Khan, a former governor of Madhya Pradesh state.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article490102.ece

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/‘islamic-shariah-will-be-the-principal-source-of-legislation-in-libya-after-gaddafi’--the-rebel-government/d/5274


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