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Islamic World News ( 6 May 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Kashmiri doctor Shah Faisal tops in India's highest civil service

Kashmir Valley erupts in celebration as news of Faisal's feat spread

Kasab deserved death: Muslim clerics, scholars

Meerut hangman wants to prepare noose for Kasab

Jaishe E Mohammad Of 9/11 Fame, Not Drones, Responsible For Time Square Terror

Did financial crisis turn MBA grad into a terrorist

Where Are the Moderate Jewish Voices

Iranian cleric warns world powers that threats will be answered

Kerala school asked to take back girl ousted in head scarf row

More Saudi women working from home

Europe's Anti-Muslim Racism

Brinda wants fresh probe into Makkah Masjid blast

Fierce Kashmir gunbattle leaves seven dead

Four policemen killed in Mansehra attack

At least 26 militants killed in clashes

Turkey approves Islamist gov't bill to reform constitution

Uighur leader killed in Pakistan

The Endless War With Islam

'The Perfect Prayer' explores Islam, assimilation

The Muslims are coming

Politicising women's bodies

Islam's many hats

Questions for Stephen Prothero, Author of God Is Not One

Australia heist sparks burka row

IDB’s India panel to hold meeting in Patna

Terror sympathizers urged to surrender

Sunni-backed party in Iraq warns of sectarianism

Man on trial for taking photos of woman in toilet

Kuwait finds mass grave for 55 Iraqi soldiers

Scholars abhor stringent penalties for Ta’zir crimes

Makkah accident claims father, son's lives

A Clear Conscious? Then you are Guilty of Not Feeling Guilty

Man sends son-in-law to jail, forces daughter to go with new husband

Nigeria's Jonathan sworn in after death of president

Balochistan PA condemns acid attacks

Girl’s body torched: Man kills wife, two daughters for ‘honour’

Woman allegedly shot dead by husband

Saudi diplomat ‘stable’ in Nairobi

Saudi king's photo brings women's rights into focus

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/kashmiri-doctor-shah-faisal-tops-in-india-s-highest-civil-service/d/2817

 

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Kashmiri doctor Shah Faisal tops in IAS 2009

AHMED ALI FAYYAZ

5/7/2010

SRINAGAR, May 6: Twenty -six-year old Dr Shah Faisal of Sogam, a far-flung village in Lolab valley of Kupwara district, today created history by becoming Jammu & Kashmir state's first topper of the Indian Civil Services examination in 63 years of the independent India. In its year-long exercise, Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) has selected 875 incumbents out of 4.09 Lakh candidates who had applied in the country's toughest and the most prestigious competitive examination.

According to the UPSC notification issued today, Dr Shah Faisal of Sogam, Kupwara, (Roll No 025085) has stood at the top in the merit list of all the 875 candidates selected for the prestigious Indian Foreign Service (IFS), Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS) and all other central services in the year 2009. After completing his MBBS from Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Science (SKIMS) Medical College, Bemina in March 2009, Shah Faisal has got this historic distinction in his first attempt.

A Bachelor of Technology from IIT Delhi, Prakash Rajpurohit has got the second position in his second attempt for Indian Civil Services examination while as a post-graduate in geography from Jawahar Lal Nehru University, Delhi, Ms Iva Sahay has secured the third position, again in her first attempt. She is the topper among all female candidates selected by UPSC.

A total of 4,09,110 candidates had applied for the examination. As many as 1,93,091 appeared for the preliminary examination and 12,026 qualified for the mains in which 2,432 were shortlisted for personality test in order of merit. UPSC finally selected 875 candidates who have been recommended for appointment to IFS, IAS, IPS and other Central Services.

Of the top 25 candidates, 15 are male and 10 female. Of them, 13 are from Engineering, 9 from Commerce, Management, Humanities, Science and Social Sciences and just 3 from Medical background. While only 4 of the top 25 candidates, including Dr Shah Faisal, have cleared it in their maiden attempt, 4 got the success in second attempt, 11 in third attempt, 3 in fourth attempt and one in seventh attempt. Of the 875 selected, 30 are physically challenged. Those selected include 399 in General category, 273 OBC, 127 Scheduled Caste and 76 Scheduled Tribe.

After a Bihar (Now Jharkhand) cadre IPS officer, Abdul Gani Mir (presently on deputation in J&K as DIG CID), Dr Shah Faisal is the second candidate from the border Kupwara district who has directly cleared the Indian Civil Services examination. Coming from a lower middle class socio-economic background, Faisal's father, Ghulam Rasool Shah, had joined government service as a Laboratory Assistant after he failed to continue his Bachelor of Engineering. Later, he rose to the position of a teacher and became very popular in entire Lolab valley. However, on July 3rd, 2002, he was gunned down by militants in his village. Neighbours said that a day earlier an outspoken Shah had publicly objected to a Pakistani militant's attempt of shaking hands with a girl of his neighbourhood.

Even as Ghulam Rasool Shah's assassination came as a jolt for the family, his wife Mubeena shifted her residence to a rented house in Srinagar and managed to continue the studies of two of her sons and a daughter. Mubeena is a Master, who teaches Kashmiri at Government Boys High School Rawalpora. The family is now living at a relative's house in Hyderpora locality. Mubeena's daughter, Talat, has been appointed as a teacher on compassionate grounds under SRO-43 as a result of her father's killing by militants.

After their Matriculation studies at Government Higher Secondary School Sogam, Kupwara, Mubeena managed both of her sons admission at the Christian Missionary Tyndale Biscoe School in Srinagar. Getting a distinction in his class 12th examination, Faisal was selected for MBBS course which he completed in March 2009 at SKIMS Medical College, Bemina. His younger brother, Shahnawaz, was selected against a reserved seat at a minority Medical College in Riva. He too has, of late, completed his MBBS and is preparing for a masters in medicine.

Determined to make it to IAS, Faisal took a brief course of coaching at Hamdard Study Circle in New Delhi and cleared the prestigious in his maiden attempt.

As news of a Kashmiri candidate's securing the first position in order of merit in the UPSC examination spread in the Valley, there was remarkable jubilation in all sections of the population. Reports from Sogam and Hyderpora said that hundreds of relatives, acquaintances and well-wishers of the family dropped in with their greetings to the Shah family. Regular recruits of IAS, IPS as also those in Indian Forest Service and other Central Services were seen eagerly looking for telephone numbers of Shah Faisal and other of his family members. Greeting kept pouring in till late tonight. In Delhi, Faisal remained continuously busy while giving interviews to media and receiving felicitations from different corners.

In a message from his overseas visit, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah sent his greetings to Faisal and said that the Kashmiri doctor had done the state of Jammu & Kashmir proud with his unparalleled achievement at the national level. Similar greetings came from Union Minister of Health and former J&K Chief Minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad. In a message from Manipur, former DGP of J&K, Gopal Sharma, told Early Times :"I feel proud as if my son has topped the IAS. I am so happy for Dr Faisal".

Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Khursheed Ahmed Ganai, who is a 1982-Batch IAS officer of J&K cadre, also expressed his happiness over Dr Faisal's success and wished more and more youth from the state to follow him.

http://www.earlytimes.in/newsdet.aspx?q=53506

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Kashmir Valley erupts in celebration as news of Faesal's feat spread

Shujaat Bukhari

I did not put any restriction and he did whatever he wanted to do: mother

SRINAGAR: The Kashmir Valley erupted in a spontaneous celebration on Thursday after the news that Shah Faesal, a medical graduate from a remote village in Kupwara, had topped this year's Civil Services Examination.

Faesal's journey to the topmost job in the country was seen as an achievement for the youth managed to crack the prestigious examination despite some recent traumatic experiences.

Seen as recognition of the Kashmiri talent, Faesal is the first Kashmiri Muslim to top the All India Services.

As Faesal was in Delhi, his temporary residence in Srinagar and ancestral home in Sogam village suddenly found themselves thrust in the limelight.

“We never imagined that Faesal would achieve such a thing. The phones have not stopped ringing,” said family friend Abdul Majid Pir.

Faesal's mother Mubeena, a government school teacher, is overwhelmed. After the killing of his father Ghulam Rasool Shah by militants in 2002, the first test Faesal faced was appearing for the Professional Entrance Examination for MBBS.

“He was disturbed, but he went ahead and was selected,” said Mubeena, tears of joy sparkling in her eyes. “I did not put any restrictions on him and whatever he wanted to do, he went ahead and did it,” said the proud mother.

After the death of Faesal's father, a respected teacher in the area, the family, including a sister and a brother, shifted to Srinagar. However, the incident did not affect Faesal's resolve to achieve his goal.

People from all walks of life visited Faesal's home to congratulate his family for a feat that has “made every Kashmiri proud.” In Sogam, people celebrated by bursting crackers.

Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said it was a remarkable achievement. “Wherever Kashmiris have worked, they have excelled. I am proud of Faesal, who hails from a remote village. He has worked so hard and made us real proud,” he told The Hindu, adding that Kashmiri talent was unmatched.

The former Chief Minister, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, and People's Democratic Party (PDP) president Mehbooba Mufti congratulated Faesal.

In a joint statement issued here on Thursday, the PDP leaders also said that the youth from the remotest Lolab area of the Kupwara district proved his capability by securing the first position in the country. They said Faesal's achievement also proved the intellectual potential of the youth of Jammu and Kashmir and that his success would give inspiration to youth of the State.

Youth National Conference president Qaisar Jamsheed Lone and MLA Lolab Abdul Haque Khan were among others who congratulated Faesal.

The last Kashmiri to have qualified for the IAS was Asghar Hassan Samoon. Faesal has entered the elite services after a gap of 16 years. Two more Kashmiris qualified for the Civil Services this year, while one entered the IPS last year.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/05/07/stories/2010050762351300.htm

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Kasab deserved death: Muslim clerics, scholars

May 06 2010

Lucknow : Muslim clerics and scholars have welcomed the capital punishment awarded to the Mumbai terror attack convict Ajmal Amir Kasab saying the court verdict has reiterated the faith of all countrymen in Indian judicial system.

"There could not have been any lesser punishment than capital sentence to Kasab who is responsible for the killing of scores of innocent people and it is the right decision", Vice President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board and noted Shia scholar Kalbe Sadiq said.

"A person responsible for killing scores of people should be hanged many times and we think that the Mumbai court has done justice in the case", Sadiq said adding it has sent a strong message that there would be no leniency to the guilty.

Niab Imam of the idgah and member of the Muslim Personal law Board Khalid Rasheed Firangimahli, while welcoming the punishment, said it would provide some solace to the families of those killed in the Mumbai attack.

"The punishment would also be a lesson to all those indulging in anti-India activities--that terrorists would be meted out the strictest of treatments by the country and would act as a deterrant", Firangimahli said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/kasab-deserved-death-muslim-clerics-scholars/616002/

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Meerut hangman wants to prepare noose for Kasab

May 7, 2010

MEERUT: Decades after his father hanged the assassins of prime minister Indira Gandhi, Mammu Singh says he wants to hang Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Amir Kasab for his role in the 26/11 Mumbai carnage.

"I want to prepare a noose for him and see him die. I am just praying to the almighty that I get an official call to hang Kasab," Singh, a hangman with the Central Jail in Meerut, said.

"I am very happy that Kasab got the death sentence. I personally want that he should be hanged as soon as possible. His (Kasab) death should serve as a deterrent to all those, particularly terrorists from Pakistan who should think at least hundred times before making any assault on our country," he added.

For the last nearly four decades, Singh, 65, has been directly or indirectly involved in hanging convicts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, among other states.

"Hanging is an art. Preparation of a noose requires a series of steps to make the hanging simple. Before hanging any person, I apply soap, ghee and other substances to the rope for making the hanging smooth. Moreover, as a hangman you have to maintain the correct posture of the convict while hanging," said Singh, whose father Kallu hanged Kehar Singh and Satwant Singh, assassins of Indira Gandhi, in 1989.

Moments after he came to know from TV news channels that Kasab was sentenced to death, Singh said he mentally prepared himself for hanging Kasab.

"Hanging requires a lot of courage and guts. Though preparing yourself mentally for the job is the toughest part of hanging, I am perfectly ready for it," said Singh, who lives in the bylanes of Shiv Hari-Mandir colony here.

"I am personally of the view that taking into account my experience of a hangman, I would definitely be called for hanging Kasab. Frankly speaking, I would get a unique sense of satisfaction in hanging Kasab, who along with his aides indiscriminately killed several innocents," he added.

Till now, Singh has hanged 10 people in different states. A Mumbai special court which conducted the trial of 26/11 terror strikes announced the death penalty for Kasab Thursday.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Meerut-hangman-wants-to-prepare-noose-for-Kasab/articleshow/5902737.cms

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JAISHE E MOHAMMAD OF 9/11 FAME, NOT DRONES, RESPONSIBLE FOR TIME SQUARE TERROR

5/7/2010

First we were told it was a lone wolf, a white man in his forties. Mayor Bloomberg even suggested that he was against Obamacare. Then we are told Faisal Shazad was motivated by the foreclosure on his house and anger over the civilian casualties caused by American drone attacks on the Taliban. Now we are told it is the expected response of a group successfully targeted by drones on behalf of Pakistan's civilian government. If I am skeptical, it is because Jaishe-e -Mohammad seems to be involved:

Yesterday, a Pakistani police officer in Karachi confirmed the arrest of Mohammad Rehan, a militant who was being questioned about facilitating Mr Shahzad's travel back to Pakistan on at least one occasion in the past 18 months, when the Pakistani-born US citizen visited the northwest frontier area of the country.

Full report at:

http://hnn.us/blogs/entries/126411.html

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Did financial crisis turn MBA grad into a terrorist

Chidanand Rajghatta

07 MAY 2010

WASHINGTON: He had a privileged "fauji" upbringing in Pakistan that ensured a passage to America in the late 1990s for undergrad studies, and later an MBA, bankrolled mostly by "family funds". But his academic record was mediocre at best, and dismal at worst — obtained at one school that is now shuttered (Southeastern University in Washington DC) and another that has a modest reputation (University of Bridgeport, Connecticut), both rather dissonant to his elite background that should typically have propelled him to an Ivy League institution.

Ending up in low-paying jobs in marginal companies, he doesn’t appear to have made more than $50,000 per year at any time in his career despite having a degree in computer science and and MBA. But he married his way into the "American Dream", taking Huma Mian, a liberal Colorado-born Pakistani-American, as his wife. Two children followed quickly, but the jobs didn’t get better and life was tight on a modest salary that included mortgage on a $273,000 suburban home in Connecticut, on which he somehow paid a handsome 20% down. He gained American citizenship in April 2009, but lost his home to foreclosure in an economically depressed America.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/US/Did-financial-crisis-turn-MBA-grad-into-a-terrorist/articleshow/5900361.cms

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Where Are the Moderate Jewish Voices

MAY 7, 2010

I am a bit sickened after reading one of the lead articles in the World Section of Tuesday's New York Times. It focuses on a fire that erupted in a mosque in the West Bank town of Luban al-Sharkiyeh. Israeli authorities are now investigating the cause of this fire. According to the New York Times, Palestinians say they are certain extremist Israeli settlers are responsible for this.

I work in the field of Intercultural Communications. Over and over again, I listen to people outside the field address my Muslim colleagues asking, "Where are the moderate Muslim voices? How come I never hear from you? Why are the terrorists making all the headlines?" In this instance, I feel like the roles have been reversed. Sadly, I will not be surprised if the investigation finds that extremist Israeli settlers initiated this fire. In December, a mosque in the West Bank town of Yasuf was attacked by arsonists. Last month, a mosque in Hawara was vandalized with a Star of David and Hebrew letters spray-painted upon a wall. I hope I am wrong, but these two prior cases force me to consider otherwise.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sara-reef/where-are-the-moderate-je_b_566976.html

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Iranian cleric warns world powers that threats will be answered

2010-05-07

Tehran - A senior Iranian cleric on Friday warned the world powers that if their threats continued, the Islamic state would decisively reply to them.

"If you threaten or attack our nation and religion, we will reply and you will get yourself a punch in your mouth and jeopardize all your world ('s interests)," Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami, a member of the influential clergy group the Experts' Assembly, said in his Friday prayers' sermon.

The ayatollah was referring to threats of renewed sanctions by world powers against Iran for defying numerous United Nations Security Council demands to suspend its controversial uranium enrichment programmes.

He was also responding to alleged implied threats of military action by some Western powers.

Full report at:

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/322476,iranian-cleric-warns-world-powers-that-threats-will-be-answered.html#

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Kerala school asked to take back girl ousted in head scarf row

By ASHRAF PADANNA

MAY 7, 2010

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, India: Authorities in the southern Indian state of Kerala has directed a church-run school to take back the student fired for wearing Islamic head scarf, saying it violated fundamental and religious rights.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) also wrote to the Believers Church English Medium School in Alappuzha seeking clarification on the news reports about the girl’s ouster, an official statement released through the Press Information Bureau (PIB) said Thursday.

The letter from the Board states that such action is prima facie a violation of its affiliation bylaws. The school was directed to give immediate clarification “before the Board takes further appropriate action”.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article50858.ece

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More Saudi women working from home

By RIMA AL-MUKHTAR

May 7, 2010

JEDDAH: The number of Saudi women who have started their own business at home has increased since the economic downturn, according to the Direct Selling Association. “Local studies show that 40 percent of Saudi women are working from their houses,” said Mona Almashahadi, sales manger at AVON Cosmetics. “More and more women have stepped in to help provide for their families after the economic crisis. This is why we started supporting those women by giving them the opportunity to sell cosmetics from their homes” she added.

Saudi women work at home in different fields — some design clothes; some resell clothes that were brought from outside the Kingdom and some bake cakes and cook various kinds of food for sale.  “I’m married and have 4 children; I really don’t have time to work though I need the money, so I decided to start a catering company from home,” said Umm Saleh. Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article50912.ece

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Europe's Anti-Muslim Racism

MAY 7, 2010

The specter of racism leers menacingly over Western Europe today. More and more Europeans are reacting to Europe's changing racial profile in ever more illiberal ways, typically under the guise of lawful legislative intervention. Recently voters in Switzerland declared an injunction against all new construction of minarets - architecturally distinct towers adjoining mosques - demonstrating widespread contempt for that country's small Muslim community. In Italy, a Muslim woman wearing the niqab (a garment that covers the face) was fined over six hundred dollars for exercising her right to dress in a manner she believes is appropriate. Belgium also recently embarked on the road to illegalize and stigmatize the burka and niqab with a vote in the Brussels federal parliament. That move mirrors similar ongoing efforts in France.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ahmed-moor/europes-anti-muslim-racis_b_565651.html

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Brinda wants fresh probe into Makkah Masjid blast

07 MAY 2010

NEW DELHI: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Thursday demanded a fresh probe into the 2007 Makkah Masjid blast in Hyderabad in the light of new evidence suggesting the involvement in it of groups that set off the Ajmer blast in the name of Hindutva.

She said terror had no religion, and terrorists acting in the name of any particular religion defamed it. “In the current investigations, these highly condemnable acts…were committed by groups acting in the name of Hindutva…”

Raising the matter during zero hour in the Rajya Sabha, Ms. Karat said groups acting in the name of Hindutva were implicated in the Malegaon and Modasa blasts in 2006 and 2008. Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/05/07/stories/2010050754951400.htm

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Fierce Kashmir gunbattle leaves seven dead

07 May, 2010

SRINAGAR: A fierce gunbattle between militants and Indian security forces in Indian-administered Kashmir left five insurgents and two soldiers dead, an army spokesman said Friday.

Fighting erupted Thursday night in densely forested Rafiabad — about 50 miles north of Srinagar — after army troops and police received information about the presence of militants in the area, Col. Vineet Sood said. Five militants and two soldiers died in the clash, and search operations were continuing.

In a telephone call Friday to Current New Service, a local news agency, a man who identified himself as a spokesman for Hizbul Mujahedeen, Kashmir's biggest militant group, said four of the guerrillas killed belonged to his group.

Full report at:

http://news.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/world/04-kashmir-gunbattle-7-dead-qs-07

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Four policemen killed in Mansehra attack

07 May, 2010

PESHAWAR: Gunmen attacked a police checkpoint in northwest Pakistan at dawn on Friday, killing four policemen before speeding away in a getaway vehicle, police said.

The attackers sprayed bullets at policemen sheltering from rain inside a check post building in Ghazi Kot town in the mountainous Mansehra district.

“Four policemen were killed on the spot. They were taking shelter inside the check post when rain started. One injured is still unconscious,” Zulfiqar Jadoon, a police official told AFP by telephone from the scene.

“This is a clear act of terrorism,” Jadoon said. The gunmen arrived in a vehicle and fled after the attack, he said.

Full report at:

http://news.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/04-mansehra-policemen-attacked-qs-03

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At least 26 militants killed in clashes

07 May, 2010

PESHAWAR: Clashes between security forces and militants in Orakzai Agency have led to the deaths of at least 26 militants.

Accoding to sources militants in lower Orakzai attacked the FC Fort with rocket fire which led to an officer being injured. Five militants were killed in retaliatory fire.

Six militants were killed in the Karga area of Lower Orakzai during clashes between militants and tribal lashkars.

While in the Upper Orakzai area of Bagori clashes led to 15 militants being killed and three security officials being injured.

http://news.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/news/pakistan/provinces/06-at-least-26-militants-killed-in-clashes-rs-06

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Turkey approves Islamist gov't bill to reform constitution

MAY 7, 2010

Turkey's parliament approved today a bill introduced by the ruling Islamist-rooted AK Party to reform the constitution, clearing the way for a referendum militant secularists have pledged to block in court.

The draft to overhaul the judiciary and the role of the military will now go to President Abdullah Gul for his signature, after which a referendum can be held within 60 days.

The main opposition party has said it will appeal to the Constitutional Court to block the referendum, which it says would cement the AK Party's grip on power.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, who faces a general election set for 2011, says the reforms are needed to meet the demands of the EU, which Turkey seeks to join. He denies Islamist ambitions.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/World/China/Uighur-leader-killed-in-Pakistan/articleshow/5903111.cms

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The Endless War With Islam

By James R. Holland

MAY 7, 2010

Americans Are Living A Delusional PC Fantasy That Will Destroy Us

While listening to an interview with Ralph Peters on the radio or one of the cable stations, my attention was grabbed by a pithy, five-word description he made of our current President. That one, insightful word portrait convinced me I needed to buy this book. Peter’s memorable sentence in that radio interview was, “Obama is beautifully packaged incompetence.”

Wow, I thought, this guy doesn’t beat around the bush, he tells you just what he thinks and he’s certainly not much concerned with being politically correct. As his interview continued Peters came up with other equally shocking statements. I immediately ordered his book. It was packed full of amazing insights and observations that I’ve not heard anywhere else in the media. Here are just a few of what I’d call “Peters’ Truisms” although that probably sounds too Biblical.

Full report at:

http://www.basilandspice.com/journal/the-endless-war-with-islam-52010.html

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'The Perfect Prayer' explores Islam, assimilation

By James Ward

MAY 7, 2010

When "The Perfect Prayer" — which debuts Friday and runs through May 16 at The Ice House Theatre — made its West Coast premiere in Alaska three years ago, a critic described the play as "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" meets "Inherit the Wind."

That description may be flippant, but talking to the cast and crew of the Visalia Community Players' latest production, it's also fairly accurate. Written by Atlanta playwright Suehyla El-Attar, the play explores the culture clash between an American-born young woman and her traditional Egyptian and Muslim parents. That parental relationship reaches a critical point when the daughter starts dating a Christian college student.

"When I first read the play a few years ago, I fell in love with it," director Nancy Holley said. "I knew it was something I wanted to do."

In between the domestic family squabbles "The Perfect Prayer," audiences get to sit in on moments from a contemporary Muslim societies class taught by the young woman's professor father, a devout Muslim.

Full report at:

http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/article/20100507/ENTERTAINMENT05/5070303

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The Muslims are coming!

MAY 7, 2010

No matter what Europeans think of Muslims and other recent arrivals, the continent badly needs new blood and ideas

Step out of Brussels South and you step back in time — into a different world that looks exotic in this part of the world but not out of place. This is the main train station that connects Belgium’s capital with Paris, London — thanks to Eurorail — and the rest of Europe.

During a visit to the European Union headquarters a couple of years back, one was pleasantly surprised to see all those restaurants offering “halal” food and elderly Arab and Turkish gentlemen enjoying their cuppa of heady Turkish coffee and even an occasional shisha by the roadside cafe.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article50861.ece

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Politicising women's bodies

CATHERINE MARSHALL

MAY 7, 2010

Women's bodies have long been the site of robust political battles. Abortion, prostitution, contraception, virginity, modesty, childbirth: for millennia, policy-makers the world over have sought to influence these issues one way or another in the hope of shaping a society that most resembles their vision of perfection.

Simultaneously, women's bodies have long been used as canvasses on which cultural, religious and political expectations can find expression: bound feet for Chinese women, corsets for Victorians, unshaven armpits for feminists, shaitels for orthodox Jews, uninterrupted ovulation for Catholics, burqas for Muslims, suspenders for strippers, habits for nuns, breast implants for anyone who thinks they might enhance their feminine appeal.

Full report at:

http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=21125

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Islam's many hats

MAY 7, 2010

ISLAM looms large, sometimes terrifyingly so, in the West’s vision of the Middle East. Westerners are apprehensive as they see secular-minded democrats losing ground to Islamic fundamentalists. This anxiety, greatly sharpened by the attacks on America in 2001, the “war on terror” and all its consequences, has led to many seeing any public expression of Islam as a threat. Two new books by Vali Nasr, an Iranian-American academic, and Isobel Coleman, a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, offer a welcome challenge to such fears. Neither author disregards the danger posed by extremists (underlined this week by the attempted car-bombing in New York). But they insist on a careful distinction between piety and fundamentalism, and present a nuanced view of Islam’s role in public life that is cautiously hopeful.

Full report at:

http://www.economist.com/culture/displaystory.cfm?story_id=16056421

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Questions for Stephen Prothero, Author of God Is Not One

MAY 7, 2010

Stephen Prothero is the bestselling author of Religious Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know -- And Doesn't and a professor of religion at Boston University. His latest book is God Is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions That Run the World -- And Why Their Differences Matter. I caught up with Prothero on his book tour to chat with him about religious zealotry, atheists, and Islamic pride.

As you discuss in the book, religious zealotry has been the cause of much tragedy in world history. Is there an antidote to that or is that just the way things will always have to be?

Well, zealotry of both the religious and the nonreligious sort has been the cause of much bloodshed. If we are to blame Jesus and Muhammad for violence by proxy from the hand of God we must blame Marx and Lenin for the atrocities of Stalin and Mao.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/benyamin-cohen/questions-for-stephen-pro_b_564900.html

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Australia heist sparks burka row

MAY 7, 2010

An armed robbery allegedly carried out by a man wearing a burka has sparked a row in Australia on whether the full-face Islamic veil should be banned.

Opposition Liberal Sen Cory Bernardi said the robbery showed the burka was "emerging as the preferred disguise of bandits and ne'er-do-wells".

Both PM Kevin Rudd and Liberal leader Tony Abbott dismissed the comments and said they would not support a ban.

The row follows similar debates on the burka in European countries.

Last week, Belgian politicians voted for a ban which would outlaw the full-face veil in public.

Mr Bernardi, senator for South Australia, made his comments after a man was held up at gunpoint in a car park in Sydney on Wednesday and robbed of a bag of cash.

The victim said his attacker had been a man wearing sunglasses and a burka, meaning he could not be identified.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8667330.stm

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IDB’s India panel to hold meeting in Patna

By SHAHEEN NAZAR

MAY 7, 2010

JEDDAH: The annual meeting of the Islamic Development Bank’s India Panel will be held in the eastern Indian state of Bihar later this year.

This is reflective of the growing realization at the IDB that the northern part of India needs greater attention, said Ahmad Abdul Hai, the noted Indian surgeon, here recently.

Abdul Hai is the east zone convener of the Central Panel for IDB Projects in India, as the panel is formally known.

Abdul Hai said that there is a general perception that IDB is more focused on the south whereas the highest concentration of Muslims in India is in the east that covers Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam and half a dozen northeastern states.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article50856.ece

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Terror sympathizers urged to surrender

By SULTAN AL-TAMIMI

May 7, 2010

JEDDAH: The Ministry of Interior has again called on Al-Qaeda supporters and sympathizers to hand themselves in. The call follows the surrender earlier this week of an Al-Qaeda sympathizer who has not been named.

“The Interior Ministry only publishes the names of those who are on the wanted list but not those who been brainwashed by terrorist organizations,” said ministry spokesperson Maj. Gen. Mansour Al-Turki

“These measures are taken so it will not defame the families of brainwashed victims and not cause embarrassment to them because it’s not their fault.”

He added that the ministry identifies only those who had previously been mentioned on the wanted list, or those who are already captured or killed.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article50928.ece

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Sunni-backed party in Iraq warns of sectarianism

7 May 2010

BAGHDAD — The Sunni-backed alliance that got the most votes in Iraq’s election warned Thursday against the rise of sectarian politics after two religious Shiite blocs joined together to try to form a government.

The Iraqiya party led by secular Shiite Ayad Allawi won the most seats in parliament with strong backing from the nation’s disaffected Sunnis in the March 7 elections, but it cannot form a majority government alone. Now looks as though Iraqiya will be squeezed out of first place by the new Shiite alliance, effectively losing the first chance to form a governing coalition.

“We hope that the motive and the reason behind this new alliance is purely politics and not to take sides according to the sect,” Iraqiya said. “The time of sectarian and ethnical polarization has gone after it proved to be a threat to the unity of Iraqi people.”

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/May/middleeast_May104.xml&section=middleeast

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Man on trial for taking?photos of woman in toilet

7 May 2010

 DUBAI — A legal accountant went on trial on Thursday in the Court of First Instance on the charge of outraging the modesty of a woman by clicking her pictures while she was using the toilet in their accommodation.

The defendant is a 29-year-old Filipino. The complainant, a 28-year-old Filipina resident, told the prosecutors that the incident happened about 8am on February 4 as she was preparing to go to work. She entered the bathroom and was being careful because her sister had warned her the day before about having found a mobile phone hidden in a skirt, which was hanging on the toilet’s door.

Her sister had not paid much attention to that, thinking that some woman may have forgotten her mobile phone in the toilet. She just covered the skirt to prevent any filming.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/May/theuae_May164.xml&section=theuae&col=

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Kuwait finds mass grave for 55 Iraqi soldiers

MAY 7, 2010

 KUWAIT CITY - Kuwait on Thursday announced the discovery of a mass grave for 55 Iraqi soldiers killed during the 1991 war in which a US-led coalition force evicted Saddam Hussein’s forces from the Gulf emirate.

Interior ministry spokesman Brigadier Mohammed Al Saber said in a statement cited by the official KUNA agency that the grave was found in the north of the country near the border with Iraq.

Saber said that representatives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, coalition forces, the Iraqi human rights ministry, Iraqi forensic experts and Kuwaiti interior ministry officials were present at the site.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/May/middleeast_May95.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Scholars abhor stringent penalties for Ta’zir crimes

May 7, 2010

ABHA: Shariah has legislated certain punishment for serious crimes. These punishments, collectively known as Hudud, are mentioned in the two sources of Shariah — the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

As Hudud punishments are sanctioned through the core sources of the Islamic faith, a person found guilty of a Hudud crime is never shown leniency, Al-Riyadh newspaper reported.

In Saudi Arabia, a person found guilty of a crime for which a punishment has not been mentioned in the Qur’an and the Sunnah is usually handed a form of punishment known as Ta’zir. This form of punishment usually includes lashes but can also — depending on the person’s character and the severity of the offense — involve a prison sentence, a formal warning, house arrest, and a court injunction ordering the person to avoid certain areas, towns and people.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article50909.ece

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Makkah accident claims father, son's lives

May 7, 2010

MAKKAH: A Saudi man and his son were killed while his wife was wounded in a head-on-collision between two cars on Haramain Road.

The driver of the other car was also injured in the accident, which occurred at Al-Nouriya signal near Makkah on Wednesday, Al Madinah daily reported. The Saudi family was traveling in a car when it was collided with a speeding car at the signal. The woman, who sustained multiple injuries, was taken to Hira General Hospital.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article50925.ece

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A Clear Conscious? Then you are Guilty of Not Feeling Guilty

MAY 7, 2010

The woman that lectured us and the men handing out leaflets seem to have forgotten that Islam is based on interpretation, tolerance and respecting differences. But it will take much longer for members of Saudi society to change their own views, says Hissa al Dhaheri.

There is no such thing as gender segregation in Islam. That statement by Sheikh Ahmed al Ghamdi, published in the Saudi newspaper Okaz in December, sparked a controversy, not least because the sheikh is the head of Mecca’s Commission to Promote Virtue and Prevent Vice, better known as the religious police.

And earlier this year, the poet Hissa Hilal received death threats for criticising ad hoc fatwas and hardline religious figures. Although she didn’t mention any religious figure by name, it was assumed that she was criticising Sheikh Abdul Rahman al Barrak, who had issued a fatwa saying that anyone encouraging the mixing of the genders was “an infidel” who “must be killed”. As most people know, Mrs Hilal went on to take third place in the Million’s Poet competition.

Full report at:

http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/opinion/?id=38867

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Man sends son-in-law to jail, forces daughter to go with new husband

MAY 7, 2010

MADINAH: A Shariah Court in Madinah is looking into the case of a married woman who has filed a complaint against her father that he has misused his parental authority to marry her off to a man even though she wants to continue living with her first husband.

The first husband, a Tunisian expatriate, has also complained to Madinah Gov. Prince Abdul Aziz bin Majid that he was jailed by the Passport Department after his father-in-law, who is also his sponsor, filed a false allegation against him, Al-Madinah newspaper reported.

The husband claims a judge in Madinah sided with his father-in-law to take away his rights over his wife while he was in prison. Prince Abdul Aziz has ordered the Passport Department to investigate why the man was put in jail.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article50572.ece

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Nigeria's Jonathan sworn in after death of president

By RANDY FABI AND FELIX ONUAH

MAY 7, 2010

ABUJA: Nigeria's Acting President Goodluck Jonathan was sworn in as head of state on Thursday following the death of President Umaru Yar'Adua and will lead the country to its most fiercely contested polls since its return to democracy.

Jonathan took the oath of office in front of government ministers, state governors and ambassadors at the presidential villa in Abuja almost 12 hours after Yar'Adua died, aged 58, following a long battle with kidney and heart ailments.

Jonathan had already been running Africa's most populous nation as acting president for several months while Yar'Adua was incapacitated.

He will appoint a new deputy and the pair will then complete the unexpired presidential term in the oil-producing nation of more than 140 million people until elections due by April 2011.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article50716.ece

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Balochistan PA condemns acid attacks

By Amanullah Kasi

07 May, 2010

QUETTA, May 6: The Balochistan Assembly has condemned the recent acid attacks on women in Kalat and Dalbandin and demanded exemplary punishment for the culprits.

Winding up discussion on the admissibility of an adjournment motion tabled by Rubina Irfan of the PML-Q on Thursday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Parveen Magsi said Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani and the government had taken serious notice of the attacks and ordered arrest of the assailants.

She submitted a report of the home department stating that a number of suspects had been arrested in Kalat and Dalbandin and investigations were under way.

She said the victims were being treated in government hospitals and doctors said they would recover in eight weeks.Rubina Irfan said the people of Balochistan had great respect for women but the barbaric acts had sent a bad message.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/balochistan-pa-condemns-acid-attacks-750

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Girl’s body torched: Man kills wife, two daughters for ‘honour’

07 May, 2010

KHANEWAL, May 6: A man gunned down his wife and two daughters and later set the body of one of the girls on fire in the name of honour at Mauza Rukanwala village, some 25km from here, on Thursday.

eports said Aslam Chaddhar, a shopkeeper at Bara Meel bus stop on Jhang Road, suspected his wife, Khalida Mai, divorced daughter Sonia Mai, 19, and another daughter Hina Mai, 17, of having loose morals.

On Thursday morning, when Aslam was at his shop, someone told him his wife was talking to a stranger. On receiving the information, Aslam, armed with a pistol and an axe, rushed to his house.

On reaching there, he locked the door from inside and started thrashing his wife and daughters and later opened fire on them, killing all the three on the spot.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/girls-body-torched-man-kills-wife,-two-daughters-for-honour-750

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Woman allegedly shot dead by husband

May 07, 2010

KARACHI: A young woman was allegedly killed by her husband over a domestic dispute in Model Colony police precincts on Thursday. Station House Officer (SHO) Abid Shah said the victim Farzana, 28, was shot by her husband Amjad after a quarrel at their house. The husband fled after committing the crime. Farzana’s niece informed the police about the incident and said Farzana was Amjad’s second wife, while the nephew Asif Ali said Amjad used to run a car business in Peshawar before shifting to Karachi three months ago, the SHO added. Police have registered first information report (FIR) No 103/10 against Amjad on Ali’s complaint and initiated investigation. Separately, a scavenger was killed in the wee hours of Thursday and his body was found on the footpath near the Japan Plaza at the Tibet Centre in Preedy police precincts. Police said the unidentified victim was an Afghan national who used to live on the same footpath. The victim was probably killed by bricks after a quarrel with his companions, they added. Police have registered FIR No 531/10 against unidentified suspects on the complaint of Sub-Inspector Muhammad Shoaib.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\05\07\story_7-5-2010_pg12_8

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Saudi diplomat ‘stable’ in Nairobi

May 7, 2010

JEDDAH: A relative of the Saudi diplomat Muhammad Mahmoud bin Muhammad, who was injured in an attack by unidentified gunmen in Nairobi on Tuesday, said his brother was in a stable condition but still in intensive care.

“My brother’s skull will be scanned to make sure that he is safe and free from any harmful elements,” said Abdul Salam Mahmoud Al-Shanqiti, brother of the injured religious attaché, in Riyadh on Thursday. The diplomat’s relatives plan to travel from Riyadh to Nairobi on Thursday evening to discuss his health with doctors at a local hospital and coordinate with the Saudi embassy in Kenya, Abdul Salam said.

“My brother, who has three daughters and a boy, has been working as a religious attaché in Nairobi over the past five years after working in Pakistan. He is known for his gentle and humble character and no one is known to have been harboring enmity toward him,” he added.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article50922.ece

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Saudi king's photo brings women's rights into focus

6 May 2010

King Abdullah, centre left, and Crown Prince Sultan pose for a picture with a group of women at a seminar on health and the community. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia is not normally associated with radical moves but the 85-year-old monarch is making waves with signals encouraging greater tolerance of women's rights.

In recent days Abdullah's appearance in an unusual group photograph has become a talking point across his realm and the wider Arab world. The king and his brother Crown Prince Sultan were flanked by 40 women dressed in modest abayas but mostly with their faces bare, a novelty that is seen as evidence of rare liberalism at the top.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/may/06/saudi-king-abdullah-women-photo

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/kashmiri-doctor-shah-faisal-tops-in-india-s-highest-civil-service/d/2817


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