New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 10 Jan 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Jamaat-Ud-Dawah Chief Hafiz Saeed against 'Secret Deal' On Kashmir with India

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Opponents of non-traditional sexual orientations during a rally of the Heterosexual Alliance for LGBT Rights in the Field of Mars dedicated to the International Day against Homophobia (RIA Novosti / Igor Russak)

 

 

 

 

India

Jamaat-Ud-Dawah Chief Hafiz Saeed against 'Secret Deal' On Kashmir with India

Malala’s Message to Pune Students: Take Part in Politics

GHMC denies permission of reconstruction of Qutubshahi Masjid

Rehabilitate Muzaffarnagar victims immediately: Jamia teachers

Centre to review terror cases against Muslims

UP Villagers clash with cops over Gurjjar girl’s marriage to Muslim youth

 

Pakistan

Attack on Chaudhry Aslam: ‘Suicide Bomber’ Identified as Imam’s Son

What’ll Mould TTP: Father’s Warmth or Brothers’ Bad Blood?

Afghan Taliban killings in Quetta may be part of pattern

Karachi: Two killed in inter-group clashes in Lyari

Altaf calls for equipping police to fight terrorism

Pakistan rubbishes US gun maker's claim of spurning $15m rifle deal over ethics

Pakistan says Dawood Ibrahim is not in country

Peace in Pak linked to FATA region resolution, says Balochistan CM

Report on Pakistan’s online future launched

 

Arab World

Official: S. Arabia Leading ‘Black Widows’ Attacks in Russia

US Courts Close in on Saudi Side of 9/11 Plot

Syria’s Envoy to the UN: Saudi Regime Involvement in Terrorism in Syria Confirmed

The Saudi Sphere: Salafi ‘Smart Power’ Targets Beyond Lebanon to Iran

Islamists rally in Egypt ahead of referendum vote, 3 killed

Al-Nusra Front Leader Apprehended in Women's Dress

FSA Arrests 100 ISIL Militants in Northwestern Syria

Salafi Sheikh Mastermind of Chain Assassinations in Lebanon

Secret UAE talks make no breakthrough in Afghan peace process

Iraqis seek political solution to avert army attack on Falluja

 

Europe

Top Russian cleric seeks nationwide referendum on criminalising male homosexuality

West sees toppling Assad more important than ending bloodshed in Syria

Split Syrian opposition stands no chance of defeating Assad – Pushkov

Low-Level Insurgent Violence Continues Unabated in Dagestan

Census shows one in 10 babies in England are now Muslims

UK reviews aid to Bangladesh after polls violence

Russia tells US it will continue to back Assad

UN Council backs Iraq government against militants

 

Africa

Muslims Pray for the Nation - We're Not Terrorists

Tunisia’s new PM assumes office in deal between Islamists, secularists

Tunisia will not follow Egypt in listing Brotherhood as terrorist group: Official

Al-Qaeda-linked militants free 2 S. African citizens kidnapped in Yemen

 

South Asia

Afghan Taliban leaders killed in Pakistan while seeking peace talks

China Steps Up ‘Strike Hard’ Campaign in Xinjiang

China’s Uighurs – Islamic extremists or oppressed minority?

Jamaat-Shibir men blast 8 crude bombs, vandalise 4 vehicles

Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hikmatyar’s move to boost democratic process

 

Mideast

Eight in ten Israelis cynical about Palestinian peace talks

All outstanding issues resolved over implementing nuclear accord: Iran

Iran commander: Hezbollah's missile power improved

Yearning for Yemen: The difficulties of returning Yemenis from Guantanamo Bay

 

Southeast Asia

For Indonesian jihadists, Syrian civil war beckons

Why different standards in investigating Catholic priest and Perak mufti, asks DAP

‘Allah’ row a non-issue, look at bigger picture, say experts

Hearing on ‘Allah’ issue does not warrant a full bench, says chief justice

 

North America

American Sikhs Push To End Army Ban on Beards

US senate writes Hasina, Khaleda for new polls

CAIR-LA Launches Muslim Game changers Network for High School Students

Jews and Muslims in Charlotte begin a dialogue for understanding

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/jamaat-ud-dawah-chief-hafiz-saeed-against--secret-deal--on-kashmir-with-india/d/35242

 

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India

 

Jamaat-Ud-Dawah Chief Hafiz Saeed against 'Secret Deal' On Kashmir with India

PTI | Jan 11, 2014

LAHORE: Jamaat-ud-Dawah chief Hafiz Mohammad Saeed on Saturday warned the Pakistan government against striking a "secret deal" with India on the Kashmir issue.

"We cannot leave the Kashmiri people at the mercy of India. Kashmiris have not sacrificed lives to divide Kashmir," he said during a meeting with supporters here.

"We will not allow the government to have a secret deal with India on the Kashmir issue. Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris and any decision without taking them on board will not be acceptable to them or to the people of Pakistan."

The founder of the banned Lashkar-e-Taiba further claimed India can "no longer rule Kashmir by force".

He asked the Pakistan government to include Kashmiri leaders in talks for resolving the Kashmir dispute.

The US has offered a $10 million bounty for Saeed, blamed by India for masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hafiz-Saeed-against-secret-deal-on-Kashmir/articleshow/28681836.cms

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Malala’s Message to Pune Students: Take Part in Politics

January 11, 2014

A short video of Pakistan’s young education activist Malala Yousafzai was recorded and played on the first day of the annual students’ convention of Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad in Pune on Friday. In the video, Malala appealed to the youths to take the plunge into politics and do good for their fellow countrymen. Malala could not personally attend the session due to ‘school commitments’. Engineering student Vinita Tibdewal, who attended the convention at the MIT campus in Pune, said: “I got goose bumps watching Malala’s video. If she could emerge as a champion of girls education from a country like Pakistan, we girls, who have far better opportunities and avenues available before us, should make better use of it”. Another student, Arpita Juneja, said Malala’s video compensated for her absence. “Her speech was full of dynamism. Despite being so young, Malala has a great outlook towards girls’ education. We need more girls like her, each of us will try to inculcate the courage she has shown in fighting extremism,” she said. Kaushik Jaiswal, a student of MIT School of Management, said viewing Malala’s video gave him the confidence to overcome adversities. The founder/convener of Bharatiya Chhatra Sansad, Rahul Karad, said Malala could not attend the convention due to school commitments, and added that he has been in touch with her parents for the past six months.

 http://indianexpress.com/article/india/politics/malalas-message-to-pune-students-take-part-in-politics/#sthash.TbLj6saN.dpuf

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GHMC denies permission of reconstruction of Qutubshahi Masjid

Jan 11, 2014

Many masajid of our city are uninhabited. And for those who have been restored anti-social elements try to stop Muslims from offering namaz there. They have the backing of GHMC and police for their vicious act. Police neither objects construction of illegal religious structures on waqf lands nor it intervenes into the matter. The same is done with Qutubshahi Masjid of Attapur.

The masjid in question is known as Choti masjid. Soon after the police action it has been tried to annihilate the masjid. Gradually the masjid was completely demolished; only a niche in the wall (mihrab) remains as the sign of the masjid. Non Muslim constructed houses, buildings and temples on the 4 acre Waqf land belonging to the masjid. When local Muslims came in action and tried to restore the masjid the move was hindered with the support of GHMC and Rajendranagar police.

Yesterday few hours before Friday prayers the ablution area was demolished. According the administrative committee of the masjid Sarpanch Kanta Reddy under the supervision of police demolished the ablution chamber. The masjid was restored 4 years ago but sadly GHMC denied permission of construction as a result Muslims are compelled to offer prayer under the tarpaulin. They face lot of hardship during rain and sun. There was 4 acre land under Choti masjid but it has been shrunk to only 200 sqyds thanks to illegal occupation. GHMC also built a park on the Waqf land. Unfortunately GHMC officials also permitted construction of a temple on the masjid land.

http://www.siasat.com/english/news/ghmc-denies-permission-reconstruction-qutubshahi-masjid

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Rehabilitate Muzaffarnagar victims immediately: Jamia teachers

Jan 11, 2014

The Jamia Teachers' Association (JTA) Friday accused the Uttar Pradesh and union governments of playing blame games instead of providing relief to the victims of the Muzaffarnagar riots.

The teachers' association also demanded immediate rehabilitation of those displaced after the riots of September in Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts of Uttar Pradesh.

"We take serious exception to the politicisation of the miseries and the deplorable conditions of innocent victims of the Muzaffarnagar communal carnage," said the JTA in a statement.

"Instead of finding permanent and dignified solutions to their miseries and ensure safe resettlement at their native places, the state and the central governments have remained busy in playing blame games," the statement said.

"On the one hand, the victims have been living in dehumanising conditions and the state government is spending public money in organising so-called cultural carnivals".

The association demanded "immediate end to the miseries of the victims" by providing them "permanent and immediate resettlement with full security of life and property."

"We appeal to all political parties to desist from making political capital out of a human tragedy," the teachers' association said.

In communal riots that broke out in September 2013, about 60 people died and nearly 50,000 people, mostly Muslims, fled their homes in fear. At least 40 children died after bitter cold set in with winter, as the flimsy tents the displaced lived in provided little protection.

The Uttar Pradesh government also faced flak for organising the fortnight-long Saifai Mahotsav, an extravaganza that the government said was an annual event to promote tourism, at Saifai in Etawah district, the native village of Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

Saifai is about 300 km from the site of some of the relief camps for the riots-displaced in Muzaffarnagar district.

http://www.siasat.com/english/news/rehabilitate-muzaffarnagar-victims-immediately-jamia-teachers

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Centre to review terror cases against Muslims

Bharti Jain,TNN | Jan 11, 2014

NEW DELHI: Home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde on Friday announced the Centre's plans to provide screening committees to review terror cases against Muslims languishing in jails without proper trial.

"I am... writing to all chief ministers saying we will appoint a screening or advisory committee like in the case of POTA. These will be state-level committees," he told reporters at a press conference here to present the home ministry's report card for December.

However, there was no clarity regarding the law under which such a screening panel would be set up, given that the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act provides for a review mechanism only after finalization of the investigation report and ahead of granting prosecution sanction.

Even the repealed Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) provided for a screening panel as part of the sunset clauses included in the repeal Act. The POTA screening mechanism was meant to review all existing POTA cases at the time of repeal, and its recommendation to drop the cases or pursue them was binding on the state governments.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Centre-to-review-terror-cases-against-Muslims/articleshow/28653096.cms

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UP Villagers clash with cops over Gurjjar girl’s marriage to Muslim youth

January 11, 2014

A group of people, who had gathered to hold a Mahapanchayat at Salempur village in Saharanpur to protest the marriage of a Gurjjar girl with a Muslim youth, clashed with policemen Friday afternoon. The police had banned the holding of the Mahapanchayat and deployed security in the area. The girl has married a Muslim youth in Roorkee in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar district where both of them were studying. She is still at her maternal uncle’s place in Roorkee and the youth, too, lives there. Gurjjar organisations like Rashtravadi Gurjjar Hindu Mahasabha and other Hindu organisations had declared to hold the Mahapanchayat Friday if the girl was not brought home to her family at Salempur village by Thursday.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/villagers-clash-with-cops-over-gurjjar-girls-marriage-to-muslim-youth/#sthash.427HnI1A.dpuf

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Pakistan

 

Attack on Chaudhry Aslam: ‘Suicide bomber’ identified as Imam’s son

January 11, 2014

KARACHI: The suspected suicide bomber, who allegedly rammed an explosives-laden vehicle into slain SP CID Chaudhry Aslam’s Vigo, has been identified as Naeemullah, the son of a prayer leader.

According to initial investigations and evidence collected thus far, the police believe that the young Naeemullah, who was identified by fingerprints, carried out the attack in Karachi on Thursday, said SP Niaz Khosa.

Some body parts allegedly of a suspected attacker were found at the bomb site on Friday and sent to the National Database and Registration Authority for identification. “[We are] 98% sure that a suicide bomber hit the explosives-laden Suzuki cargo van with Aslam’s Vigo,” Crime Investigation Department (CID) DIG Zafar Bukhari told The Express Tribune.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/657588/attack-on-chaudhry-aslam-suicide-bomber-identified-as-imams-son/

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What’ll Mould TTP: Father’s Warmth or Brothers’ Bad Blood?

January 11, 2014

LAHORE - The top leadership of Sami ul Haq’s JUI has made first formal contact with Taliban Shura (council), playing as a facilitator in government’s bid to secure peace through talks with the militants.

However, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has not immediately responded to the JUI’s contacts, according to sources.

Sami ul Haq is known as father of the Taliban as he and his associates had played a key role in raising and training militants for fighting against the Soviet forces in Afghanistan, and in the latter years, his group has maintained close association with the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/11-Jan-2014/what-ll-mould-ttp-father-s-warmth-or-brothers-bad-blood

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Afghan Taliban killings in Quetta may be part of pattern

January 11, 2014

KABUL/QUETTA: At least two Afghan Taliban commanders have been killed in recent weeks in the Pakistani city of Quetta, militants and police told Reuters, the latest in what officials across the border in Afghanistan have described as a series of assassinations within the Islamic insurgent group.

The motive for the killings and the number of those killed is unclear, but the deaths could make peace between Afghanistan's government and the rebels more elusive as Western troops prepare to leave the war-torn nation.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1079634/afghan-taliban-killings-in-quetta-may-be-part-of-pattern

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Karachi: Two killed in inter-group clashes in Lyari

January 11, 2014

KARACHI: Two persons lost their lived when two rival groups exchanged fire in different areas of Lyari while a grenade attack was also reported in Jhat Pat market on Saturday, Geo News reported.

According to the police, two persons were killed in clashes that took place between two rival groups in Jhat Pat market, Rangewara and Kalakot today morning. A hand grenade blast also occurred in Jhat Pat market of Lyari that injured a gang war member identified as Mulla Nisar.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-133762-Karachi:-Two-killed-in-inter-group-clashes-in-Lyari

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Altaf calls for equipping police to fight terrorism

January 11, 2014

Altaf Hussain on Friday appealed to the Sindh government to provide modern and sophisticated weapons, communication equipment and bullet-proof vehicles to all brave officers like Chaudhry Aslam.

In a statement, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief once again condemned Aslam’s murder and said all brave police officers were working in poor conditions “which cannot be described in words”. He added that despite old equipment and unsophisticated weapons the officers were fighting terrorists bravely.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-4-225781-Altaf-calls-for-equipping-police-to-fig

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Pakistan rubbishes US gun maker's claim of spurning $15m rifle deal over ethics

 January 10, 2014

WASHINGTON DC: Pakistani embassy in Washington DC on Friday rubbished reports that an American gun manufacturer had declined a potential $15 million deal to provide precision rifles over fears they may be ultimately used against US soldiers.

According to the statement released by the Pakistan embassy spokesperson on Friday, the Utah gun maker Desert Tech, never even made it to the shortlist and that all reports to the contrary were baseless.

The statement added that Desert Tech had initially shown interest in securing the deal.

“Desert Tech’s first and foremost ethical responsibility should be honesty,” the statement read. The spokesperson alleged that the company had clearly violated ethics by fabricating a story that at best was a publicity stunt.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/657420/pakistan-rubbishes-us-gun-manufacturers-claim-of-spurning-15m-rifle-deal-over-ethics/

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Pakistan says Dawood Ibrahim is not in country

PTI | Jan 11, 2014

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Saturday said fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim is not present in the country, a day after India asserted that its most wanted terrorist was living in the neighbouring country.

"We have repeatedly informed Indian authorities that Dawood Ibrahim is not in Pakistan," Pakistan Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam said.

Asked if Dawood was ever present in Pakistan, she said, "This issue has been raised in the past too. We have checked and have said he is not present here".

Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde had said, "As per our information, Dawood is in Pakistan."

"When I went to America last year to discuss inland security, I met the Attorney General who looks after the FBI. I talked to him and we decided that we will pass whatever information we have on Dawood amongst each other. We decided we will make joint efforts," Shinde had said when asked about the whereabouts of Dawood, who is wanted in a number of cases by Indian security agencies including the 1993 Mumbai blasts.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-says-Dawood-Ibrahim-is-not-in-country/articleshow/28677000.cms

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Peace in Pak linked to FATA region resolution, says Balochistan CM

Jan 11, 2014

Pakistan’s southwestern province Balochistan’s chief minister Dr Malik Baloch has said peace in the country is linked with peace in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), calling the federal government to restore peace in the volatile tribal belts.

Baloch appealed the government at a press conference in Quetta in the presence of other mainstream political party leaders, to empower the tribesmen to decide their political future, Dawn News reports.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/english/news/peace-pak-linked-fata-region-resolution-says-balochistan-cm

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Report on Pakistan’s online future launched

2014-01-11

KARACHI: The impact of the Internet in a local context particularly in relation to the state ‘compulsion’ to regulate and control the cyberspace was discussed on Friday at the launch of a comprehensive report about Pakistan’s online future.

While the blocking and filtering of content on the Internet by the state resulted in numerous violations of fundamental rights, especially the right to access to information, people successfully circumvented these blocks by using proxy servers and virtual private networks, said Jahanzaib Haque, author of the 28-page report ‘Pakistan’s Internet Landscape’.

Presenting report’s main findings and recommendations to the gathering, Mr Haque said that although the blocking and filtering of online content was becoming increasingly organised, it continued to be inconsistent.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1079647/report-on-pakistans-online-future-launched

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Arab World

 

Official: S. Arabia Leading ‘Black Widows’ Attacks in Russia

Jan 11, 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB) has informed President Vladimir Putin of Saudi Arabia’s direct role in leading the recent terrorist attacks in Volgograd, an informed Russian official revealed on Saturday.

“The FSB has gained some important documents and evidence on the background of the terrorist attacks conducted by the ‘Black Widows’ in Volgograd,” the Russian official, who asked for anonymity due to the sensitivity of his information, told FNA.

“The FSB has presented some documents to President Putin which shows the multi-layer internet connection lines as well as the recruits and hirelings of the group in Britain, the UAE, Lebanon and Turkey,” he said.

The Russian official underlined that Saudi Arabia is the main centre leading the terrorist attacks in Russia, and said the report submitted to Putin by the FSB also includes details of Riyadh’s financial and logistic support for the Black Widows.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921021000728

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US Courts Close in on Saudi Side of 9/11 Plot

Jan 11, 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- US courts revived a class action suit which accuses Saudi Arabia of helping to organize the 9/11 attacks.

This view has been put publicly by ex-Senator Bob Graham who oversaw the original US Congressional 9/11 investigation, 911forum.org.uk reported.

Multiple leaks confirm that the section of Graham’s report that was redacted by the White House came to the conclusion that Saudi agents helped to organise the people named as 9/11 hijackers.

After more than 10 years in the job the head of Saudi intelligence resigned days before the 9/11 attacks, while the Bush White House organised the evacuation of key Saudis from the US including Prince Bandar, known as Bander Bush for his close Washington links.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921021000369

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Syria’s Envoy to the UN: Saudi Regime Involvement in Terrorism in Syria Confirmed

Jan 11, 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- Syria’s Permanent Envoy to the UN Bashar al-Jaafari said that the Saudi regime is involved in instigating people to terrorism and sending the terrorists to Syria under the pretext of Jihad, including "the sex jihad".

"Those issues became confirmed starting from the statement of the Saudi foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal who admitted twice in Cairo that Saudi Arabia is arming the opposition… it is a clear confession," al-Jaafari told al-Mayadeen TV, Syrian Arab News Agency reported.

He stressed that Saudi Arabia is instigating people to terrorism and perpetrating massacres in Syria, adding that the so-called "the Islamic Front" is also a terrorist organization.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921021000993

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The Saudi Sphere: Salafi ‘Smart Power’ Targets Beyond Lebanon to Iran

January 11, 2014

“In the greater sphere of global relations, Saudi Arabia faces a critical and uncertain future with the limitations of an oil economy, the U.S. disengaging from Iraq, and the controversy over a nuclear Iran.”

The Saudis, who for years have submitted themselves in “soft bilateralism” to the U.S.-led world order and in the past have shown a willingness to acquiesce to U.S. foreign policy goals, now appear to be breaking away from the west and expanding their sphere of influence from Syria to Lebanon and beyond using “smart” power.  But appearances can be deceiving; the U.S., while arguably in decline, still holds sway over its Saudi “partner” and Iran remains the target.

Full report at:

http://tehrantimes.com/component/content/article/52-guests/113278-the-saudi-sphere-smart-power-targets-beyond-lebanon-to-iran

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Islamists rally in Egypt ahead of referendum vote, 3 killed

January 11, 2014

Hundreds of Islamists rallied in Egypt’s capital and across the country Friday, calling for a boycott of an upcoming constitutional referendum as clashes with security forces killed three people, officials said. Friday has traditionally been a day of protests for the supporters of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi since he was toppled in a July 3 popularly backed military coup. This Friday, Islamist supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood organization added a call to boycott of the January 14-15 referendum on changes to the constitution drafted under the ousted president. Egypt’s military-backed interim government is seeking a comfortable “yes” majority vote and a strong turnout that would enshrine their legitimacy ahead of planned presidential and parliamentary elections. In clashes Friday in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria, a street vendor was shot and killed as hundreds of Morsi supporters marched, Maj. Gen. Nasser el-Abd said. It wasn’t clear who shot the vendor. Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/europe/islamists-rally-in-egypt-ahead-of-referendum-vote-3-killed/#sthash.Mukn6sO6.dpuf

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Al-Nusra Front Leader Apprehended in Women's Dress

Jan 11, 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- One of the notorious Al-Nusra front leaders was caught by the Syrian Army in the city of Raq'a.

Abu Anas Assaheebe, one of Al Nusra's leaders in the city of Raqa who was first rooted by Jordan, was caught by the Syrian Army as he, dressed like a woman, was attempting to flee to Lebanon.

There is yet no official report by Damascus on his arrest.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921021000654

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FSA Arrests 100 ISIL Militants in Northwestern Syria

Jan 11, 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Free Syrian Army (FSA) held captive tens of Al-Qaeda-linked militants in Idlb countryside in Northwestern Syria.

The FSA militants have taken more than 100 militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Idlib countryside.

The FSA also took dozens of residents of Al-Dana border town captive for cooperating with the ISIL.

After more than two years of fighting side-by-side and leading one of the bloodiest conflicts in the recent history of Middle-East, FSA and al-Qaeda affiliated groups have been making increasing moves against each other to come in control of the armed insurgency.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921021000451

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Salafi Sheikh Mastermind of Chain Assassinations in Lebanon

Jan 11, 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- A Salafi cleric has orchestrated the recent terrorist attacks in Beirut, including the assassination of Lebanon's political and religious figures, local media reports said.

Sheikh Ahmed Al-Assir, a renowned Salafi Sheikh, has been behind the killings of a number of Lebanese figures, the Beirut-based Al-Joumhouria newspaper quoted informed security sources as saying on condition of anonymity.

The militants of these groups have been turned into radical and terrorist groups who work on the orders they receive from abroad and they are fully ready to conduct terrorist attacks against the Lebanese army and assassinate political, security and religious personalities of Lebanon.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921021000947

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Secret UAE talks makes no breakthrough in Afghan peace process

January 11, 2014

According to reports, a number of the Afghan government officials have met with the Taliban group in United Arab Emirates, in a bid to start peace talks between the militants group and Afghan government.

A Taliban official quoted by Associated Press said, the two sides met secretly in UAE, however no progress were made regarding a peace deal.

The official further added, the meeting took place between two Afghan ministers and Taliban delegates, as Pakistan has been releasing dozens of Taliban prisoners in an effort to revive peace talks.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/secret-uae-talks-makes-no-breakthrough-in-afghan-peace-process-3280

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Iraqis seek political solution to avert army attack on Falluja

TNN | Jan 11, 2014

BAGHDAD: The prospect of an imminent Iraqi army assault on Falluja receded on Friday as negotiators tried to work out a deal under which Al Qaeda militants who seized the city 10 days ago would give way to Sunni Muslim tribal leaders.

Military and local officials said the tanks, artillery and troops around the city 70km (44 miles) west of Baghdad would not attack while efforts to end the standoff peacefully were under way.

Militants of the al Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which is also fighting in neighbouring Syria, took control of Falluja and parts of nearby Ramadi on Jan. 1 with the help of sympathetic armed tribesmen.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iraqis-seek-political-solution-to-avert-army-attack-on-Falluja/articleshow/28663231.cms

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Europe

 

Top Russian cleric seeks nationwide referendum on criminalizing male homosexuality

January 11, 2014

Vsevolod Chaplin maintains that gay relations between men pose a threat to the whole of society, but left it for the people to decide on the possible punishment for such actions.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church’s department for relations with society has said in an official press comment that the question of criminalizing male homosexuality “deserved discussion in society without any doubt.” He added that since Russia is a democratic country, the majority of its people and not some “external forces” must decide what constitutes a criminal offence and what does not.

The cleric explained that public attitudes to homosexuality have varied at different times and in different societies, but the most widespread position was to treat such relations as a crime. Chaplin said he was convinced that male homosexual relations must be completely ruled out by society, but also noted that it was better to achieve this through moral persuasion. “If we have to draw the law into this, let us ask the people if they are ready for this,” Chaplin stated, suggesting the question of criminalizing gay male contact be posed in a nationwide referendum.

Full report at:

http://rt.com/politics/russia-gay-crime-referendum-401/

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West sees toppling Assad more important than ending bloodshed in Syria

January 11, 2014

It's still unclear whether the Geneva-2 conference, intended to settle the Syrian conflict, will be held or not. Neither Iran, nor the Syrian opposition has confirmed that they will take part. The Syrian opposition still has preconditions and has said it will not decide on participation until January 17th.

The Geneva-2 international conference on Syria has been scheduled for January 22nd . But the list of attendees has not yet been agreed. The Syrian opposition will not hear of sitting down at the negotiating table with Iran but the presence of all parties involved in the conflict is a key condition for it to take place. No important decisions can be made in Iran's absence, says the director general of the Centre for the Study of Modern Iran, Rajab Safarov, and elaborates;

"It's pointless to hold a conference with no Iranian delegation attending", Rajab Safarov says. "Actually, the Middle East problem has not been settled to this day precisely due to the non-participation of such an important regional player as Iran. So, if Iran does not attend the forthcoming Geneva conference, any decisions the other conferees may make will prove ineffective."

Full report at:

 http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_01_11/West-sees-toppling-Assad-more-important-than-ending-bloodshed-in-Syria-6920/

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Split Syrian opposition stands no chance of defeating Assad – Pushkov

January 11, 2014

Chairman of the Russian Duma International Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov feels that the current split in the ranks of Syrian militants deprives them of any chance to defeat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Pushkov tweeted earlier this Saturday that radical Islamists in Syria are now fighting the Free Syrian Army, with the split denying them any chance to defeat al-Assad.

Almost 500 fighters have died over this past week in clashes between the Syrian armed opposition rebels and the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant group, involved with Al-Qaeda.

Full report at:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_01_11/Split-Syrian-opposition-stands-no-chance-of-defeating-Assad-Pushkov-4508/

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Low-Level Insurgent Violence Continues Unabated in Dagestan

January 11, 2014

The last week of 2013 was dominated by the news about three terrorist attacks—one in Pyatigorsk and two in Volgograd. These attacks overshadowed the tense situation in the North Caucasus itself.

The last week of the year was the same as many previous ones and apparently did not correspond with the festive mood of the country’s residents. With the North Caucasus becoming increasingly radicalized, calls proliferated there to reject the New Year’s celebrations because they contradict Islamic traditions (www.novayagazeta.ru/news/241557.html; www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/236199/).

On the eve of Christmas, the Russian Antiterrorist Committee reported that 260 rebels, including 42 militant leaders, were killed in the North Caucasus in 2013 (http://newsland.com/news/detail/id/1297523/). Overall, government anti-terrorist forces prevented 78 crimes, including 12 terrorist attacks.

Full report at:

The Jamestown Foundation's

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Census shows one in 10 babies in England are now Muslims

January 11, 2014

LONDON: Almost one in 10 babies and toddlers in England and Wales are Muslim, according to new analysis of census figures published Friday, illustrating the growth of the minority community.

Some 317,952 children aged under five, or 9.1 per cent, were registered as being Muslim in the 2011 census, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.

As a measure of how the religious demographics of England and Wales are changing, the figure is nearly double the 4.8 per cent of the whole population who are Muslim, while fewer than one in 200 people aged over 85 are Muslim.

It is also an 80 per cent increase on the 176,264 Muslim under-fives recorded in the 2001 census.

“It certainly is a startling figure,” David Coleman, professor of demography at Oxford University, told The Times newspaper on Friday.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1079636/census-shows-one-in-10-babies-in-england-are-now-muslims

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UK reviews aid to Bangladesh after polls violence

January 11, 2014

A spokesman at the High Commission in Dhaka said two programmes - costing more than £55 million - could lose part of its future funding in light of the current “political situation”, reports UK-based newspaper The Telegraph.

They expressed concern that voters in 153 out of the total 300 seats had no chance to vote as only a single candidate was standing, and in the remaining 147 where there was a vote, candidates for the most part only provided token competition, said the news item publish on January 10.

The main opposition parties boycotted the elections, which were held last Sunday, as the government had refused to hand over power before the election to a neutral caretaker government, accusing the Awami League of seeking to fix the results.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/uk-reviews-aid-to-bangladesh-after-polls-violence-6383

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Russia tells US it will continue to back Assad

2014-01-11

MOSCOW: Russian diplomats told a top visiting US dignitary on Friday that Moscow would continue backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s campaign against rebel forces despite peace talks due later this month.

US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s visit came ahead of a crunch meeting in Paris on Monday between her boss John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that will focus on Moscow’s push to give Syrian ally Iran a formal seat at the so-called Geneva 2 conference.

Russian officials said Lavrov and Kerry would also hold a joint meeting in Paris on Monday with UN-Arab League peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi.

Sherman did not address reporters after her meeting with Russian Deputy Foreign Ministers Mikhail Bogdanov and Gennady Gatilov.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1079795/russia-tells-us-it-will-continue-to-back-assad

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UN Council backs Iraq government against militants

014-01-11

United Nations: The UN Security Council on Friday gave strong backing to an Iraqi government campaign to retake provincial strongholds from al Qaeda-linked militants.

The 15-nation council agreed a statement backing Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki amid mounting concern over the battle for Anbar province, which runs from the western suburbs of Baghdad up to the border with Syria.

The council condemned attacks by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and praised the “great courage” of the Iraqi security forces in Anbar.

“The Security Council expresses its strong support for the continued efforts of the Iraqi government to help meet the security needs of the entire population of Iraq,” said the statement.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1079810/un-council-backs-iraq-government-against-militants

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Africa

 

Muslims Pray for the Nation - We're Not Terrorists

 BY ISHOLA BALOGUN

January 11, 2014

Prominent Muslims bared their minds as they gathered at the Tafawa Balewa Square to offer prayers for the nation. The event which was organized by the Joint Muslim Forum was an assemblage of Muslim organisations in the region with prominent Muslim personalities in attendance. among who are Sheikh Ibrahim Garba Akinola, OON, the Chief Imam of Lagos state, Dr. Abdurrahman Ahmad of Ansar-Ud-Deen Islamic Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdullah Akinbode of Nasrullah-il-Fathi society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdurrahman Adamgba of Qareeb Islamic Society, Sheikh Imran Abdul Majeed Eleha, Prof Ishaq Oloyede, Secretary-General, Nigeria Council for Islamic Affairs, NCIA among others.

Delivering a keynote address shortly after the prayers, Sheikh Abdurrahman Ahmad, leader of the Forum, beseeched Allah to intervene in the socio-political situation of the country, adding that Muslims are not terrorists as being misconstrued by some enemies of Islam.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201401100343.html?viewall=1

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Tunisia’s new PM assumes office in deal between Islamists, secularists

January 11, 2014

Tunisia’s new premier Mehdi Jomaa assumed office Friday to lead a temporary government until elections are held later this year. The ruling Islamist party’s premier, Ali Larayedh, resigned Thursday in a deal between Islamists and secular opponents to end the country’s political crisis since Tunisia’s overthrow of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 and complete the nation’s transition to a more democratic system. Formerly the industry minister, Jomaa will lead a non-partisan cabinet, which he will name in the next few days. "I am not a miracle worker, but I promise I will do my best… we are doing everything possible to overcome hurdles, to reform what we can reform, and bring back stability," Jomaa said Friday, according to Reuters.

http://rt.com/news/line/2014-01-10/#53878

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Tunisia will not follow Egypt in listing Brotherhood as terrorist group: Official

January 11, 2014

Tunisia's presidential chief of staff, Adnan Nasr, said Saturday that his country will not follow Egypt's decision to list the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

"Tunisia has great reservations over how the crisis in Egypt is being managed. We know that in all political crises need peaceful solutions. However, there doesn't seem to be any ... and for that we expect difficulties in exiting the crisis," said Nasr in interview with Algerian Al-Shorouk newspaper.

Nasr further added that his country is not "obliged or concerned" by the recent memo issued by the Arab League informing its members of Cairo's desision to tag the Islamist group as terrorist.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/91317/Egypt/Politics-/Tunisia-will-not-follow-Egypt-in-listing-Brotherho.aspx

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Al-Qaeda-linked militants free 2 S. African citizens kidnapped in Yemen

January 11, 2014

Al-Qaeda-linked militants released two South African citizens who were kidnapped in the Yemeni city of Taiz in May, Reuters reported, citing local officials and tribal sources. Gunmen seized the man and woman believed to be in their 30s in Yemen's commercial hub to the south of the capital, Sanaa, in May last year. They were freed on Friday and were in good health, the local officials said, declining to give details.

http://rt.com/news/line/2014-01-10/#53878

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South Asia

 

Preparing to Seek Legal Limits on Interfaith, Interethnic Marriage targeting Muslim minority

January 11, 2014

A Myanmar politician said this week that he was preparing to seek legal limits on interfaith and interethnic marriage, specifically targeting Chinese and Muslim minority groups and underscoring how ethnic and religious tensions still run deep in the Southeast Asian country.

Thein Nyunt, a parliamentarian and chairman of the New National League for Democracy - a breakaway faction of Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy - said Thursday that he plans to put forth a bill restricting marriage along ethnic and religious lines, discouraging Buddhist women from marrying ethnic Chinese or Muslim men.

The politician said the bill would be paired with tougher legislation against those who are convicted of child abuse or sexual abuse, crimes he said he hopes will be punished by death.

Mr. Thein Nyunt's effort follows a push for similar marriage limitations in Myanmar earlier this year from a radical monk and his followers.

Full report at:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303754404579312073321546970?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303754404579312073321546970.html

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China Steps Up ‘Strike Hard’ Campaign in Xinjiang

January 11, 2014

Chinese authorities in the troubled northwestern region of Xinjiang have launched a New Year “strike hard” campaign targeting cell phones, computers, and religious materials belonging to ethnic minority Uyghurs, an exile group and local residents said on Thursday.

“Since Jan. 1, the authorities have been engaged in raids and searches for cultural products … and a ‘strike hard’ campaign in Uyghur neighborhoods,” Dilxat Raxit, spokesman for the exile World Uyghur Congress (WUC) group said.

“The government is stepping up these raids, even to the point of armed police shooting Uyghurs who refuse to cooperate and offer some kind of resistance,” he said, in a reference to a string of shooting deaths in clashes between Uyghurs and police.

Full report at:

http://www.uyghurcongress.org/en/?p=21679%20China%20Steps%20Up%20%E2%80%98Strike%20Hard%E2%80%99%20Campaign%20in%20Xinjiang

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Afghan Taliban leaders killed in Pakistan while seeking peace talks

January 11, 2014

The Afghan intelligence – National Directorate of Security (NDS) chief, Rahmatullah Nabeel has said that nearly 12 Afghan Taliban commanders have been killed in Quetta city of Pakistan.

Mr. Nabeel further added that the Taliban commanders were assassinated by unknown gunmen, while they were looking to establish peace talks with the Afghan government.

“Around a dozen Taliban members of varying ranks were killed in Quetta in last year’s winter,” Rahmatullah Nabeel quoted by Reuters said.

Nabeel further added that investigation reports suggest that the victims had all sought unauthorized peace talks.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-taliban-leaders-killed-in-pakistan-while-seeking-peace-talks-3277

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Hardline monks rally Sri Lanka against the country’s Muslim minority

January 11, 2014

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — With a bloody civil war over and a cautious peace at hand, a group of hardline Buddhist monks is rallying Sri Lankans against what they say is a pernicious threat: Muslims.

In just over a year, the saffron-swathed monks of Bodu Bala Sena — or Buddhist Power Force — have amassed a huge following, drawing thousands of fist-pumping followers who rail against the country’s Muslim minority.

Buddhists have attacked dozens of mosques and called for boycotts on Muslim-owned businesses and bans on headscarves and halal foods. At boisterous rallies, monks claim Muslims are out to recruit children, marry Buddhist women and divide the country.

“This is a Buddhist nation, so why are they trying to call it a multicultural society?” said Galagoda Atte Gnanasara, the 37-year-old pulpit-pounding monk who co-founded the group in 2012. “Not everyone can live under the umbrella of a Buddhist culture.”

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/hardline-monks-rally-sri-lanka-as-buddhist-front/2014/01/11/c83ca12a-7a8e-11e3-a647-a19deaf575b3_story.html

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China’s Uighurs – Islamic extremists or oppressed minority?

January 11, 2014

China’s government claims that amongst its Uighur community there are radical Islamic terrorists emerging, but the ethnic minority says they’re the ones facing serious discrimination.

TRACY BOWDEN, PRESENTER: For decades, the authority in China has been trying to suppress a separatist movement in the far-west province known as Xinjiang, where the mainly Muslim ethnic Uighur community is seeking independence.

Today, China’s boom has seen those tensions with the country’s 10 million Uighurs resurface. The government says the movement contains Islamic extremists, citing last October’s suicide attack in front of the iconic Chairman Mao portrait in Beijing.

Full report at:

http://www.uyghurcongress.org/en/?p=21648%20China%E2%80%99s%20Uighurs%20%E2%80%93%20Islamic%20extremists%20or%20oppressed%20minority?

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Jamaat-Shibir men blast 8 crude bombs, vandalise 4 vehicles

January 11, 2014

The activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its students’ front Islami Chhatra Shibir blasted eight crude bombs and vandalized 4 vehicles in One Kilomitre area under Chandgaon police station in the port city on Saturday morning.

Chatgaon police station Officer-in-Charge Md Abdur Rouf told the Dhaka Tribune that Jamaat-Shibir men brought out a flash procession in the area at 9am. On information, police rushed to the spot and interrupted the procession. During the time, they fled the scene exploding eight crude bombs and vandalising four more vehicles.

Nobody was reported injured in the incident.

Police, however, did not arrest anyone.

http://www.dhakatribune.com/politics/2014/jan/11/jamaat-shibir-men-blast-8-crude-bombs-vandalise-4-vehicles#sthash.38pOBaw4.dpuf

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Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s move to boost democratic process

January 11, 2014

ISLAMABAD: In a surprise move, Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, whose militant outfit Hizb-e-Islami is fighting US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan, recently asked party members to take part in the upcoming polls. Hekmatyar had previously opposed elections in the presence of foreign troops.

Hekmtayar’s decision is likely to boost the democratic process in the insurgency-torn country as it will define the future political role of his party, which is also the second major armed resistance group. Hizb-e-Islami’s political role is also being seen as a key to the reconciliation process ahead of the Nato troops withdrawal this year.

This is the first time Hekmatyar has formally instructed his party leadership to convey to members inside Afghanistan to vote in the elections, scheduled for the first week of April.

“Convey to Hizb-e-Islami members to take part in the provincial councils’ elections and support those candidates who are either related to us or have a positive view about the party,” Hekmatyar said in a letter addressed to members of the party’s councils in the country.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/657523/hekmatyars-move-to-boost-democratic-process/

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Mideast

 

Eight in ten Israelis cynical about Palestinian peace talks

11 January 2014

Majority of Israelis believe that peace talks between Israel and Palestine, brokered by the United States, will not yield a positive outcome, a new survey has revealed.

According to the survey conducted by the Maariv newspaper, out of the 507 Jewish and Arab Israeli respondents, 80 percent believe that negotiations will prove unfruitful. Interestingly, the poll result has been released a week after the recent visit of U.S Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been playing mediator between the two war-torn countries to put an end to their age long feud, News 24 reported.

While 73 percent of Israelis are unsupportive of complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank following peace negotiations, another poll suggests that 70 percent of its 500 Jewish respondents are against the troupes retreating from the Jordan valley. Even as Palestinians are insistent on the international military force taking over the border, the Israelis are sceptical about the involvement of John Kerry in bringing peace to Israel and Palestine.(ANI)

http://www.siasat.com/english/news/eight-ten-israelis-cynical-about-palestinian-peace-talks-0

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All outstanding issues resolved over implementing nuclear accord: Iran

January 11, 2014

Pakistan’s  prime minister announced Friday that a teenage boy, who sacrificed his life to stop a suicide bomber who wanted to attack his school, should be honoured with the nation’s highest civil award of bravery. Aitzaz Hasan, 17, died Monday in a remote village in Hangu, a district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Pakistanis have praised the boy since his teacher told police that he saw Hasan chasing the bomber, who detonated his explosives, killing the teen. On Friday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif praised the boy in a statement, saying his “brave act saved the lives of hundreds of students and established a sterling example of gallantry and patriotism”. Sharif advised President Mamnoon Hussain to approve the conferment of Pakistan’s Star of Bravery to Hasan, the statement said. The award is given by the president on the advice of the prime minister. On Friday, Hasan’s teacher Azmat Ali told AP Television News that the boy “played a significant role while stopping the suicide bomber. Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/americas/all-outstanding-issues-resolved-over-implementing-nuclear-accord-iran/#sthash.f1uIJwOG.dpuf

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Iran commander: Hezbollah's missile power improved

January 11, 2014

TEHRAN: Hezbollah has dramatically improved its missile capabilities and can now pinpoint targets anywhere in Israel, a senior commander of Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guards said Saturday.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guard's aerospace division, said Israelis will see Hezbollah's new might should a war break out. Slain Hezbollah commander Hasan Lakkis had played a key role in boosting the group's military strength, he added, without elaborating. The comments were posted on the Guard's website, sepahnews.com.

"Hezbollah's capability has improved so tremendously in recent years that it can hit and destroy any target in the occupied lands with very little inaccuracy and pinpoint ability," he said, referring to Israel. The assertions could not be verified, and Iran often claims technological advances with its own military that similarly cannot be confirmed.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Jan-11/243793-iran-commander-hezbollahs-missile-power-improved.ashx#ixzz2r56Dc25c

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Yearning for Yemen: The difficulties of returning Yemenis from Guantanamo Bay

January 11, 2014

In the controversial history of the US military detention centre at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, this week marks a small but significant landmark.

A Yemeni national, Mahmoud Mujahid, held there without trial since 2002, is the first to be re-evaluated for transfer and eventual release by a new US government panel set up by presidential order in an effort to hasten the camp's closure.

Previously classed as "too dangerous to release," the alleged former bodyguard to Osama bin Laden has now been transferred from indefinite detention to a list of those "approved for transfer," where he joins 55 other Yemenis.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25687505

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Southeast Asia

 

For Indonesian jihadists, Syrian civil war beckons

January 11, 2014

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The young Indonesian was raised in an extremist household and graduated from a boarding school notorious for teaching generations of terrorists. So it was perhaps no surprise that when Muhammad Fakhri Ihsani left to study in Pakistan, the lure of jihad proved inescapable.

But the 21-year-old didn’t sneak into nearby Afghanistan or the lawless border areas, as scores of other foreigners have in recent years. Indonesian authorities believe that after flying to Turkey, he and three other Indonesian students traveled overland to Syria to fight there with fellow countrymen and jihadists from all over the world.

Their journey in August shows how determined some Indonesians are to join what has become the new theater of choice for international jihadists. It also points to an emerging threat for Southeast Asian authorities, who have successfully clamped down on militants in recent years, largely preventing them from forging links with their brethren overseas.

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/for-indonesian-jihadists-syrian-civil-war-beckons/2014/01/10/3e1080d8-79bd-11e3-a647-a19deaf575b3_story.html

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Why different standards in investigating Catholic priest and Perak mufti, asks DAP

January 11, 2014

The nation's top cop must explain the double standards of the police in investigating Catholic priest Father Lawrence Andrew and Perak mufti Tan Sri Harussani Zakaria, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang (pic) said today.

The Gelang Patah MP said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar was clearly practising double standards in both cases.

On January 3, Harussani had issued a fatwa (edict) declaring it halal (permissible) to spill the blood of the participants of an anti-price hike rally held on New Year's Eve.

The Perak mufti had issued the edict based on the "bughah" concept which refers to an armed revolt by Muslims against a just ruler or government in accordance with Islamic law.

On Friday, Khalid told reporters that police have interviewed Harussani and recorded his statement although he declined to say when.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/why-different-standards-in-investigating-catholic-priest-and-perak-mufti-as

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 ‘Allah’ row a non-issue, look at bigger picture, say experts

January 11, 2014

A fatwa or edict issued by sultans is only applicable to Muslims and, therefore, cannot be enforced against those of other faiths, says constitutional law expert Dr Aziz Bari.

Speaking at a forum entitled "Allah issue and seizure of Bibles: Between the law and religious sensitivities", organised by PAS last night, Aziz questioned the timing of the Selangor Islamic Religious Department’s (Jais) raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) last week.

Saying that the Selangor Non-Muslim Religions (Control of Propagation among Muslims) Enactment 1988 had been in force for 25 years, Aziz asked: "Why choose to enforce it now? Everyone is waiting for the Federal Court to decide on the ‘Allah’ ruling.

"Isn't it a better and wiser decision to let the issue cool down instead of turning up the heat? Or is this a calculated and deliberate act?"

Aziz also questioned the reason police had accompanied the Jais team when they raided the BSM office in Damansara Kim on January 2.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/allah-row-a-non-issue-look-at-bigger-picture-say-experts

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Hearing on ‘Allah’ issue does not warrant a full bench, says chief justice

January 11, 2014

The leave application for the "Allah" case to be heard by the Federal Court does not warrant a full bench, said Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria.

Speaking to reporters after the launch of Legal Year 2014 at the Palace of Justice today, Ariffin said that the leave application will be heard by a five-member bench.

"I have gone through the issue and I don't think it warrants a full bench because it is a leave application," he said, in response to a suggestion by veteran lawyer Karpal Singh yesterday that a full bench hear the case.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/hearing-on-allah-issue-does-not-warrant-a-full-bench-says-chief-justice

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North America

 

American Sikhs Push To End Army Ban on Beards

January 11, 2014

For the past 30 years, the Army has barred soldiers from wearing beards, or articles of clothing like turbans, for religious reasons. The service contends they hamper the proper use of gas masks and run counter to the military’s desire that soldiers share a uniform appearance.

But on Wednesday, Major Kamal Kalsi, a doctor, a 13-year Army veteran—and a Sikh—explained to Congress how his religion’s accoutrements and the Army can get along.

When the Army first reached out to him during medical school, Kalsi, one the hundreds of thousands of American Sikhs, expressed interest. But he told the recruiter: “This is how I come—turban and beard.” Kalsi says the recruiter assured him that his faith would not interfere with a military career.

Full report at:

http://swampland.time.com/2014/01/10/american-sikhs-push-to-end-army-ban-on-beards/#ixzz2r53oCXdh

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US senate writes Hasina, Khaleda for new polls

January 11, 2014

Expressing concern over the ongoing political impasses, US Senator Robert Menendez has urged both Sheikh Hasina and Khaleda Zia to negotiate on holding a new election that are free, fair, peaceful and inclusive.

Robert Menendez, the chairman of US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia on January 8.

"Bangladesh is a valued partner of the United States.  Bilateral trade between our countries now tops $6 billion annually, and US companies have made significant long-term investments in Bangladesh.  The ongoing political deadlock has had serious economic consequences and will further weaken the confidence of international investors.  To end this downward spiral, I strongly urge you to begin negotiations on new elections that are free, fair, peaceful and inclusive," he insisted.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/us-senate-writes-hasina-khaleda-for-new-polls-6391

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CAIR-LA Launches Muslim Gamechangers Network for High School Students

January 11, 2014

ANAHEIM, Calif -- The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today announced the launch of the Muslim Gamechangers Network (MGN), a comprehensive four-month social justice training program for Muslim high school students.

MGN is designed to empower and equip students with the tools necessary to effectively promote justice and to build legacies of positive change in their communities and in the larger society.

The program consists of weekly interactive sessions and field trips centered on themes of identity, history, social responsibility, and activism. Students will also receive hands-on training in the areas of civic engagement, media advocacy and community organizing.

"Many of the youth I've interacted with struggle with identity issues, a lack of confidence and a fear of being active and standing out," said CAIR-LA's Youth Development Coordinator Zienab Abdelgany. "The idea behind MGN is to understand how our narratives and struggles as Muslims growing up in America connect to broader world issues. By elevating our social consciousness—within an Islamic framework—and acquiring practical organizing tools, we are more equipped to actualize social justice in our communities."

Full report at:

http://www.sacbee.com/2014/01/09/6059656/cair-la-launches-muslim-gamechangers.html#storylink=cpy

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Jews and Muslims in Charlotte begin a dialogue for understanding

January 11, 2014

While most of the world focuses on the differences between Islam and Judaism, some people in Charlotte are discussing how the religions are alike.

“We’ll realize how important we are to each other, how much we have in common, and how much in the future can be worked out if we just sit down and talk,” historian Amadou Shakur told a group at Temple Beth El. Dialogue “is the most critical idea that we can have for the 21st century.”

Beth El senior rabbi Judy Schindler told the group her “dream checklist” includes starting an Islamic-Jewish dialogue. Schindler started a Jewish-Muslim dialogue seven years ago, she said, but it only lasted a few sessions.

Full report at:

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2014/01/09/4599649/jews-and-muslims-in-charlotte.html#.Ut7Ke9JDsqN#storylink=cpy

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/jamaat-ud-dawah-chief-hafiz-saeed-against--secret-deal--on-kashmir-with-india/d/35242

 

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