New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 25 Feb 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi calls for jihad against Switzerland

Position of Islam in Constitution Must Be Understood - Sultan Azlan Shah

Israeli Nobel candidate rejects nomination

Growing fury at Dubai killing reaches Australia

All demands of Balochistan acceptable: Zardari

M.F. Husain welcome to return home: Centre

‘Die Räuber’ in Urdu after two centuries

US, Israel resume strategic dialogue on Iran

In Search of Peace by Madhav Nalapat

'We were victims of a war on Islam'

‘Homosexuality is an uncontrollable feeling, like poetry’

US and permanent war

Pakistan to hand over Baradar, says Afghanistan

Hamas hit: Oz flays Israel for fake passports

A national shame if we cannot say he belongs to us: Sharmila Tagore

M F Hussain’s exile is a national shame: Indian artists

MF Husain should apologise: Bhagwat

CIA bolsters Pakistan ties in terror war

India submits 3 dossiers

Rigi's arrest should worry U.K., U.S.: Iran

Sheikh Mabarak: an appreciation

Dreaming of a chance for peace

India, Pakistan take step forward, but potholes remain

India’s focus on Mumbai ‘unfair, unrealistic’: Bashir

Pakistan snubs Mumbai centric Indian attitude

Egypt’s new crusader for reforms

Digvijay’s quota carrot for Indian Muslims

Who is cooking what against Pak CJ

Govt defends the man who convicted Benazir, Zardari

Wanted Punjabi militant dies in Wednesday’s drone attack

Pakistani boy to appear in Amritsar court today

Punjabi Taliban leader Qari Zafar killed

Clinton says new anti-terror success ‘very significant’

Freed French al Qaeda hostage tells of Mali ordeal

Leader: Islamic Iran roused Muslims, menaced powers

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/libyan-leader-moammar-gadhafi-calls-for-jihad-against-switzerland/d/2511

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Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi calls for jihad against Switzerland

KHALED AL

Feb 25, 2010

TRIPOLI: Libya's leader called for a jihad, or holy war, against Switzerland on Thurday because of its ban on mosque minarets - escalating a long-running diplomatic feud between the two countries.

Moammar Gadhafi also urged Muslims everywhere to boycott Swiss products and to bar Swiss planes and ships from the airports or seaports of Muslim nations.

“Those who destroy God's mosques deserve to be attacked through jihad, and if Switzerland was on our borders, we would fight it,” Gadhafi was quoted by Libya's official news agency JANA as saying. He spoke before a gathering marking the birthday of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad in the Libyan city of Benghazi.

Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman Lars Knuchel declined to comment on Gadhafi's call for a holy war against the neutral Alpine republic.

In November, Swiss voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on minarets, in a controversial decision that put Switzerland at the forefront of a European backlash against a growing Muslim population.

Muslim groups in Switzerland and abroad condemned the vote as biased and anti-Islamic and business groups warned that the decision could damage relations with Muslim nations and wealthy Islamic investors who bank, travel and shop there.

Any Muslims who deal with Switzerland are “apostates,” Gadhafi added.

Muslims comprise about 6 percent of Switzerland's 7.5 million people. Many are refugees from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s and about one in 10 actively practices the religion, the government says.

Anxieties about growing Muslim minorities have rippled across Europe in recent years, leading to legal changes in some countries. France has banned headscarves in schools and is considering legislation to ban head-to-toe coverings for women. Some German states have introduced bans on head scarves for Muslim women teaching in public schools.

But the Swiss ban on minarets was one of the most extreme reactions.

Relations between Libya and Switzerland turned icy after Gadhafi's son, Hannibal, and his wife were arrested in a luxury hotel in Geneva in 2008 for allegedly beating up their servants.

Gadhafi was released after two days, but Libya retaliated by recalling diplomats from Switzerland, taking its money out of Swiss vaults and interrupting oil shipments to the Swiss.

In 2009, former Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz apologized in Libya and agreed to possible compensation claims. But Switzerland backed out of the deal after two Swiss businessman were blocked from leaving Libya. One left earlier this week after more than 19 months in the Swiss Embassy in Tripoli. The other has been convicted of violating residency laws and remains in Libyan custody.

Earlier this month, Tripoli responded to a Swiss travel ban on Gadhafi, his family and ministers by banning citizens of 25 European countries from traveling to Libya.

The visa restrictions threatened lucrative work for Europeans in Libya's booming oil and gas industries, but mediation from Italy and Spain has eased the constraints.

 http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article22613.ece

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Position Of Islam In Constitution Must Be Understood - Sultan Azlan Shah

BERNAMA

26 Feb, 2010

The position of Islam as a religion which is protected by the Federal Constitution and placed directly under the power of the Rulers, while the followers of other faiths are allowed to practice their respective religion peacefully although these religions are not allowed to be preached to Muslims, must be understood and respected, said the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah.

He said failure to comply with the Federal Constitution which was formulated based on the history of the country and which had been accepted by everyone representing the various races and religions, can cause disharmony and possibly lead to confrontation.

"The people must never try to create any issue or provocation that can jeopardise the harmony which had been forged between the people of various races and religions.

"Any provocative action can threaten solidarity and public peace," he said when launching the state-level Maulidur Rasul (Prophet Muhammad's birthday celebration) at the Dataran Perbandaran Taiping (Taiping Municipal Square), here on Saturday.

Also present were Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Bainun, Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, Raja Puan Besar Tuanku Zara, Raja Dihilir Perak Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa, Raja Puan Muda Perak Raja Normahani Raja Shahar Shah, Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his wife Datin Sharipah Zulkifli as well as 3,000 others.

Sultan Azlan Shah said it was feared that if the people were too engrossed in factional politics, the future of the country could be at stake and the Muslims might lose what had become their religious rights and racial privileges.

"Have the Muslims in this country reached a position that can become a model for the whole ummah? Have the Muslims achieved solidarity and the strength to defend the integrity and virtue of their religion if others were to ridicule Islam?" the Ruler asked.

At the function, Sultan Azlan Shah presented the 'Tokoh Keluarga Mithali' (Model Family Personality) Award to Jurij Sulaiman who had raised five children who were successful in the various fields and the 'Tokoh Pendakwah' (Missionary Figure) Award to Mohamad Hafiz Ng Abdullah who had been preaching Islam since 1992.

In addition, the Ruler also presented the 'Tokoh Guru Sekolah Agama Rakyat' (Public Religious School Teacher) Award to Soed Ibrahim who has more than 30 years' teaching experience and the 'Tokoh Pegawai Masjid' (Religious Official) award to Abdul Rahim Abu Bakar.

http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v5/newsgeneral.php?id=478228

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Israeli Nobel candidate rejects nomination

IAN MacDOUGALL

26 Feb, 2010

Israeli nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu has asked the Nobel Peace Prize committee to disregard his nomination for the prestigious award, a Nobel official said Wednesday.

In a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Vanunu wrote that he doesn't want an award previously given to Israeli President Shimon Peres, said Geir Lundestad, the committee's permanent nonvoting secretary.

"He sees Shimon Peres as the father of the Israeli atomic bomb, and he does not want to be associated with him in any way," Lundestad told The Associated Press.

Vanunu, a former low-level technician at an Israeli nuclear plant, served an 18-year prison term in Israel for leaking details of what he alleged was the country's secret nuclear weapons program to the Sunday Times of London in 1986. He was freed in 2004, but is not allowed to leave the country or to consort with foreigners for fear he might divulge classified information.

Israel neither confirms nor denies having nuclear weapons, but foreign experts concluded from the material Vanunu made public that the country has one of the world's largest nuclear arsenals.

Peres shared the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israel's then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin for efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Peres was Israel's foreign minister at the time.

In a highly unusual move, Lundestad confirmed to the AP that the Nobel committee has received legitimate nominations for Vanunu, placing him among the candidates that the five-member panel will consider when it convenes March 9. Normally, nominations are kept secret for 50 years.

Those with nomination rights include former peace laureates, members of national governments and legislatures, selected university professors and others.

Lundestad declined to say who had nominated Vanunu or whether the letter would affect his chances of winning, citing the secrecy of the committee's deliberations.

Vanunu made a similar request last year, Lundestad said. He added that he knew of no "similar example" of a nominee preemptively asking the committee to disregard his or her nomination.

According to the Nobel Web site, North Vietnamese politician Le Duc Tho is the only winner to have rejected the peace prize. He was named co-winner in 1973 with U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

http://www.federalnewsradio.com/index.php?nid=31&sid=1896366

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Growing fury at Dubai killing reaches Australia

ROB TAYLOR

Feb 26, 2010

CANBERRA: Mounting diplomatic fury over the killing of a top Hamas commander in a Dubai hotel reached Australia on Thursday, with Israel's envoy summoned over the use of Australian passports by a suspected assassination squad.

Dubai authorities have now identified 26 people suspected of involvement in the killing of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh. Forged Australian passports were used by three of the 15 new suspects named, most of whom were Europeans.

"Any state that has been complicit in use or abuse of the Australian passport system, let alone for the conduct of an assassination, is treating Australia with contempt and there will therefore be action by the Australian government in response," said Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, without elaborating.

Mabhouh was killed last month in his hotel room in what Dubai police say was almost certainly a hit by Israel's Mossad spy agency.

Dubai police added 15 new names on Wednesday to a list of suspects wanted over the killing. Six carried British passports, three held Irish documents, three were Australian, and three French, the Dubai government said in a statement.

Among other suspects named earlier were 11 who traveled on fraudulent British, Irish, French and German passports to kill Mabhouh. Six were Britons living in Israel who deny involvement and say their identities were stolen.

Full Report at: http://arabnews.com/world/article22614.ece

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All demands of Balochistan acceptable: Zardari

Muhammad Ejaz Khan

February 26, 2010

QUETTA: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Thursday that all the demands of the people of Balochistan were acceptable to the government.

“There is not even a single demand which is unacceptable to us,” he said while addressing the 5th draw of the Waseela-e-Haq programme here on Thursday. He also met different delegations at the Governor House.

“I have good knowledge of the problems of Balochistan. I need some time to solve these problems,” he said. “We know that some estranged people have no faith in our promises, so we have decided to do some practical work before going for a dialogue.”

Zardari arrived in the city on a two-day visit on Thursday. Extraordinary security measures were adopted during the president’s visit. Additional deployment of security personnel was made to avert any untoward incident.

Zardari urged the Baloch leaders not to resort to violence for their rights. “I am here to give you the rights and develop the province.” He went on to say: “We know there is a feeling of sadness in Balochistan. The people here do not sob, and prefer to pick up guns.”

Full Report at: http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=27510

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M.F. Husain welcome to return home: Centre

26 Feb, 2010

If he is willing to come back and feels the need for security, we will provide it, says Union Home Secretary

I don’t think we need to invite an Indian national back home, says Congress spokesman

No one has the right to hurt the sentiments of any community: BJP

M.F.Husain beside his work in progress in London in October 2009.

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday said eminent artist M.F. Husain — who has been conferred Qatar nationality — was welcome to return home whenever he chose.

The “welcome home” came with a promise of security from Union Home Secretary G.K. Pillai.

The Home Secretary said he was free to return whenever he wanted. “If he is willing to return and feels the need for security, we will provide it.”

“Pride of India”

Describing the nonagenarian artist as the “pride of India,” Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said: “I would like him to feel safe and secure in India.”

While there was no clarity on whether the government would try and persuade Mr. Husain to return, there was an acknowledgment within that the conferment of Qatar nationality on India’s most celebrated artist reflected poorly on the country.

“The controversy over Mr. Husain staying away from India for so many years was not just a law and order issue; it called for a political response and that did not come from the government.”

Full Report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/26/stories/2010022654971000.htm

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‘Die Räuber’ in Urdu after two centuries

26 Feb, 2010

KARACHI: The book launch of the Urdu translation of the drama “Die Räuber” (German for “The Robbers”) was held at the Goethe-Institute on Thursday.

“Robbers”, the first drama by German poet, philosopher, historian and playwright Friedrich Schiller, was translated by Shamim Manzar, an Urdu fiction writer and the head of the German Language Department at the Goethe-Institute. The play, originally published in 1781, was premiered in Mannheim, Germany on January 13, 1782.

The language used in the drama is extremely emotional and the depiction of physical violence in the play marks it as a quintessential work of Germany’s 18th century “Sturm und Drang” (German for “Storm and Stress”) Movement.

“Robbers”, considered by critics to be the first European melodrama, strongly disparages the hypocrisies of class and religion and the economic inequities of the German society; it also conducts a complicated inquiry into the nature of evil. The drama was first translated into English in 1792 and although it took more than two centuries to be translated into Urdu, it is a commendable effort. ameer h ahmad

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\26\story_26-2-2010_pg12_6

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US, Israel resume strategic dialogue on Iran

February 26, 2010

OCCUPIED-AL-QUDS: The United States and Israel held a “strategic dialogue” on Thursday over Iran’s nuclear programme for the first time since US President Barack Obama took office, officials said.

US Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg met with Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon to pick up the regular consultations that were held during the preceding Bush administration.

“The dialogue provided an opportunity for in-depth discussion of a range of regional and international issues, thereby further strengthening the close strategic cooperation between the two countries,” the foreign ministry said after the meeting.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=226257

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In Search of Peace

By Madhav Nalapat

26 Feb, 2010

Over the weekend, I attended the ‘International Dialogue Between Islam & Oriental Religions’, which was attended by more than 60 participants including from Qatar, Nepal, Pakistan and India. Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, an Islamic scholar, was to attend, but had to be operated on, on February 19, so he sent his deputy, Dr Ali Al-Quradaghi of the World Council of Muslim Scholars.

Participants noted that the core message of each of the great faiths was the same--love and tolerance. Various points of view were listened to with respect and attention, including suggestions that non-Muslims ought to be allowed to go on pilgrimages to Mecca and Medina as the Quran doesn't differentiate between Muslim and non-Muslim, only between those who believed in God and those who did not. Among other issues, it was agreed that special attention needed to be paid to women so that they can be given the same status as men, and that local minorities everywhere ought to be given the full protection of the state.

Full report at: http://the-diplomat.com/indian-decade/2010/02/26/in-search-of-peace/

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'We were victims of a war on Islam'

February 26, 2010,

Abu Bosher had yet to become a father when Staffordshire Police began to investigate him on suspicion of promoting extremist views and radicalising the vulnerable.

But the 25-year-old's daughter is a year old now as the force's investigation comes to a close with no arrests made, or charges brought.

Mr Bosher was in bed at his then-home in North Road, Cobridge, at 7am on July 1, 2008, and initially thought that it was the postman who was banging on the door of his house.

The former St Margaret Ward School pupil said: "I looked out of the window and saw an angry mob of policemen screaming at me to open the door.

"I came downstairs and told my wife to dress and then I opened the door. They presented me with a letter and said they were searching the house under the Terrorism Act."

Full report at: http://www.thisisstaffordshire.co.uk/news/victims-war-Islam/article-1868969-detail/article.html

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‘Homosexuality is an uncontrollable feeling, like poetry’

Deepu Sebastian Edmond

Feb 26, 2010

“I am in the news every day these days... Friends update me on day-to-day news,” says Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) professor Srinivas Ramachandra Siras, who finds himself in the eye of a storm after being suspended for allegedly having sex with another man on the campus.

Siras was issued a ‘chargesheet’ by the university administration on Wednesday and asked to reply to the charges against him in 10 days. After being ordered out of his quarters and told not to leave town without permission, Siras has now rented a house in Aligarh.

“I have been getting calls from various gay rights groups pledging support, and I am considering taking their offer seriously,” he says.

A poet, Siras got the Maharashtra Sahitya Parishad’s award for his 2002 collection, Grass Under My Feet.

“The poem, after which the book is named, talks of the loneliness of a man looking at the full moon, yearning for his lover. It could be called male-dominated poetry,” he says. “The full moon represents a gay lover: all poems are about the love of one man for another,” he says.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/homosexuality-is-an-uncontrollable-feeling-like-poetry/584519/2

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US and permanent war

26 Feb, 2010

How do you spread democracy in a Muslim or Arab country?

Conduct as many air strikes as possible and kill as many people as possible. But you should describe all those killed as either Taleban/Al-Qaeda masterminds, or their followers or supporters. Suppose innocent women and children get killed, as is the case always. It can only be because the heartless terrorists use them as human shields.

But sometimes the evidence is so strong against you that none of the usual excuses will come to your help. Then blame the faulty intelligence.

Now this is supposed to be the reason for the death of eight schoolboys (all from one family) in a night-time raid in eastern Afghanistan in December last year.

Ten children and teenagers died when troops stormed a remote mountain compound near the border with Pakistan.

At the time, the Western powers and media justified the raid because they were targeting a "known insurgent group responsible for a series of violent attacks". The victims were involved in making and smuggling improvised explosive devices, when in fact they were reading their textbooks or helping one another with their school lessons in a dim-lit room. One man lost two sons, two brothers, three nephews and a cousin in the raid.

Full report at: http://arabnews.com/opinion/letters/article22350.ece

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Taliban lose stronghold as Marjah falls to Nato

Alfred De Montesquiou And Heidi Vogt

Feb. 25, 2010

MARJAH, Afghanistan — Afghan officials raised the national flag over Marjah on Thursday, asserting government control even as Marines searched for militant holdouts.

Kabul also confirmed the arrest of another top Taliban leader — part of a roundup that could further strain the insurgent movement.

About 700 men in turbans and traditional caps gathered in a central market for the flag-raising ceremony, during which Abdul Zahir Aryan was installed as the top Afghan official in this town of 80,000 in Helmand province. The provincial governor told the crowd that authorities were eager to listen to requests from the townspeople and provide them with basic services that they didn't have under the Taliban.

Taliban fighters still control about 25 percent of the 80-square-mile area in and around the town, nearly two weeks after U.S. and Afghan forces launched their attack to seize Marjah, a major Taliban logistics and supply center and the largest community in the south under insurgent control.

Full report at: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/700012211/Afghan-government-takes-Marjah.html?pg=2

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Pakistan to hand over Baradar, says Afghanistan

Feb 26, 2010

Pakistan has agreed to hand over to Afghanistan captured Afghan Taliban number two, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, and other militants, the president's office said on Thursday.

Pakistan had no immediate comment on the Afghan government's statement on Thursday, but late on Wednesday said Mullah Baradar was being investigated for crimes in Pakistan and would be tried there in the first instance.

Three senior Taliban officials were captured in Pakistan this month, including Mullah Baradar. His capture has been viewed as an intelligence coup and a sign of greater Pakistani cooperation in fighting Afghan militants.

"The government of Pakistan has accepted Afghanistan's proposal for extraditing Mullah Baradar and other Taliban who are in its custody and showed readiness to hand over those prisoners ... on the basis of an agreement between the two countries," a statement from President Hamid Karzai's office said.

Among the others captured were Mawlavi Abdul Kabir, Taliban military commander for eastern Afghanistan on the Pakistani border, and the shadow governors for Kunduz and Baghlan provinces in northern Afghanistan, Karzai spokesman Siamak Herawi said. The prisoners "are accused of criminal acts," it said.

Full report at: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pakistan-to-hand-over-baradar-says-afghanistan/584782/2

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Hamas hit: Oz flays Israel for fake passports

Feb 26, 2010,

CANBERRA: Mounting diplomatic fury over the killing of a top Hamas commander in a Dubai hotel reached Australia on Thursday, with Israel's ambassador summoned over the use of Australian passports by a suspected assassination squad.

Dubai authorities have now identified 26 people suspected of involvement in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, with three using forged Australian passports named among 15 new suspects, most of them Europeans.

"Any state that has been complicit in use or abuse of the Australian passport system, let alone for the conduct of an assassination, is treating Australia with contempt and there will therefore be action by the Australian government in response," said Australia's Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, without elaborating.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Hamas-hit-Oz-flays-Israel-for-fake-passports/articleshow/5617546.cms

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A national shame if we cannot say he belongs to us: Sharmila Tagore

26 Feb, 2010

NEW DELHI: Artists, reacting to the news of Qatar nationality being conferred on artist M.F. Husain who is currently in temporary exile, fear that the treatment of the eminent painter is part of a broader trend.

“This is not the first time we have thrown away our geniuses,” said fellow painter Anjolie Ela Menon. “In India, we recognise our national treasures only when they are gone.”

The recent riots against a Hindi film were defied by a show of strength from the public. However, it has been harder for painters to find popular support, says Kishan Khanna, who was a member of the Progressive Artists Group co-founded by Mr. Husain in 1947. “The circulation of painting is a very small matter. It doesn’t have the reach that some other arts do. But it will stay. It is evidence that will stay long after the others have gone. No one is going to forget Husain sahib and his work.”

Singer Shubha Mudgal pointed out that if Mr. Husain could be treated in such a way, “things could go even more horribly wrong for a younger artist of lesser stature and we wouldn’t even know it. There are other more subtle ways of pressuring creative people that don’t even get talked about.”

Open letter

“We should write an open letter, asking him to come back. Unless it’s a movement, a few isolated voices can’t bring him back. I would urge him not to give up his Indian nationality…It would be a national shame if we cannot say he belongs to us,” said actor Sharmila Tagore

“It’s tragic that he would have to give up not only his citizenship, but also his heritage, simply because of the politics of intimidation,” said filmmaker Shyam Benegal.

Ms. Menon feels that any action taken now would be too little, too late. “If at this stage, we decide to do anything, it would be reactive. It should be proactive.”  she said.

“Since the man is 95 what is the point of coming back to India when the government cannot ensure his safety. It is an irony that being born in India he cannot die in the country. After all he has got nothing to lose by accepting Qatar’s nationality,” said photographer Ram Rahman.

Theatre veteran M.K. Raina who had protested against exclusion of Husain’s works at the 2008 India Art Summit said: “It is a shame for Indian democracy. While Salman Rushdie was issued a fatwa, Britain and other countries stood by him.”

http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/26/stories/2010022661421100.htm

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M F Hussain’s exile is a national shame: Indian artists

26 Feb, 2010

NEW DELHI: Artists, reacting to the news of Qatar nationality being conferred on artist M.F. Husain who is currently in temporary exile, fear that the treatment of the eminent painter is part of a broader trend.

“This is not the first time we have thrown away our geniuses,” said fellow painter Anjolie Ela Menon. “In India, we recognise our national treasures only when they are gone.”

The recent riots against a Hindi film were defied by a show of strength from the public. However, it has been harder for painters to find popular support, says Kishan Khanna, who was a member of the Progressive Artists Group co-founded by Mr. Husain in 1947. “The circulation of painting is a very small matter. It doesn’t have the reach that some other arts do. But it will stay. It is evidence that will stay long after the others have gone. No one is going to forget Husain sahib and his work.”

Singer Shubha Mudgal pointed out that if Mr. Husain could be treated in such a way, “things could go even more horribly wrong for a younger artist of lesser stature and we wouldn’t even know it. There are other more subtle ways of pressuring creative people that don’t even get talked about.”

Open letter

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/26/stories/2010022661421100.htm

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MF Husain should apologise: Bhagwat

26 Feb, 2010

Painter MF Husain should tender apologies for hurting the sentiments of Indians (for his paintings depicting Hindu gods obscenely), RSS Sarsanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat said. Responding to questions on granting of citizenship to the painter by Qatar, Bhagwat told newsmen here on Thursday that the Sangh had never made any comments on Husain.

Stating that freedom of expression was not limitless in a democracy, he said nobody had the right to hurt others’ sentiments. “You should respect the sentiments of Indians if you are an Indian. One should not hurt the sentiments of other sections,” Bhagwat said, adding the Sangh would neither oppose nor welcome Husain into the country.

The RSS chief said that Hindus could never be terrorists and the general sentiment of Hindus was always against extremism. Hindu organisations were against extremism but this was not the case with some other religions, he said. Referring to the India-Pakistan foreign secretary-level talks, Bhagwat said there was no meaning in discussions with Pakistan unless and until that country changed its mindset.

He opposed the idea of reservations on the basis of religion, saying this was against the Constitution. He also said that his organisation did not accept the Ranganath Mishra Commission recommendations. Bhagwat was in Kerala to participate in Wednesday’s State RSS conference, Prant Sanghik 2010, at Kollam in which over 1,00,000 fully uniformed swayamsevaks participated.

On the sensitive issue of RSS-CPI (M) clashes in Kannur, which had claimed hundreds of lives of workers from both sides over the past three decades, the Sarsanghachalak said his organisation would welcome anyone taking initiative to end such conflicts. “The RSS has always taken initiative for the cause of peace,” he said. He termed incidents like Malegaon blasts as aberrations, adding the RSS had no links with outfits like Sriram Sene.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/238618/MF-Husain-should-apologise-Bhagwat.html

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CIA bolsters Pakistan ties in terror war

Mark Mazzetti and Jane Perlez

Feb 25, 2010

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Inside a secret detention center in an industrial pocket of the Pakistani capital called I/9, teams of Pakistani and American spies have kept a watchful eye on a senior Taliban leader captured last month. With the other eye, they watch each other.

The CIA and its Pakistani counterpart, the Directorate of Inter-Services Intelligence, have a long and often tormented relationship. And even now, they are moving warily toward conflicting goals, with each maneuvering to protect its influence after the shooting stops in Afghanistan.

Yet interviews in recent days show how they are working together on tactical operations, and how far the CIA has extended its extraordinary secret war beyond the mountainous tribal belt and deep into Pakistan's sprawling cities.

Beyond the capture of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, CIA operatives working with the ISI have carried out dozens of raids throughout Pakistan over the past year, carried out from bases in the cities of Quetta, Peshawar and elsewhere, according to Pakistani security officials.

The raids often come after electronic intercepts by American spy satellites, or tips from Pakistani informants -- and the spies from the two countries then sometimes drive in the same car to pick up their quarry. Sometimes the teams go on lengthy reconnaissance missions, with the ISI operatives packing sunscreen and neon glow sticks that allow them to identify their positions at night.

Successful missions sometimes end with American and Pakistani spies toasting one another with Johnnie Walker Blue Label whisky, a gift from the CIA.

Full report at: http://www.starbulletin.com/news/20100225_cia_bolsters_pakistan_ties_in_terror_war.htm

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India submits 3 dossiers

26 Feb, 2010

NEW DELHI: India and Pakistan took the first step towards restarting dialogue during a meeting between Foreign Secretaries of both countries here on Thursday.

Both sides agreed on the need to “remain in touch” with each other to restore trust and confidence with Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao observing that, “we will keep this channel of communication open.”

Besides focussing on terror and the need to successfully prosecute those arrested by Islamabad for the Mumbai blasts, India submitted three dossiers which Pakistan assured it would seriously examine. One dossier provides information on some individuals associated with the Mumbai attacks, the second was a list of Indian fugitives sheltered in Pakistan and the third on Jamaat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed’s anti-India statements. Pakistan touched upon India’s involvement in supplying weapons and money to insurgents in Baluchistan which India said was a “baseless allegation.”

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/26/stories/2010022657390100.htm

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Rigi's arrest should worry U.K., U.S.: Iran

Atul Aneja

26 Feb, 2010

DUBAI: The dramatic arrest of Abdolmalek Rigi, leader of a high-profile anti-Iran militant group based in Pakistan, should worry the intelligence agencies of the United States, Britain and a number of “regional states,” a senior Iranian official has said.

“The information that he [Rigi] has is more important than his trial and punishment. He must answer many questions, and that is a point worrying the powers and countries which supported him,” General Mohammad Baqer Zolqadr, a former commander of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and an adviser to Iran's judiciary chief has said.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/26/stories/2010022662091600.htm

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Sheikh Mabarak: an appreciation

Pranay Gupte

26 Feb, 2010

Sheikh Mabarak, who died on Wednesday, was for Emiratis the embodiment of the values of adventure and equitable development on which the nation was built.

Sheikh Mabarak bin Mohammed Al Nahayan befriended Indians who came to the UAE to participate in the huge task of nation building in the 1970s.

He was the last of the giants, those tough men of the Bedouin desert who formed a new nation out of a harsh environment, those visionaries who created a country that would occupy a special place in the global firmament.

Sheikh Mabarak bin Mohammed Al Nahayan, who died on Wednesday, occupied a special place himself in the hearts of fellow Emiratis. He was the first Minister of the Interior of the United Arab Emirates and he helped start and sustain what is arguably one of the foremost security infrastructures in the world. Even before his federal role, which began when the UAE was established in December 1971, Emiratis knew him as the head of the Abu Dhabi Police, which he established in 1961. Most of all, they knew him for his dazzling smile and his endearing warmth, and they knew him for being accessible at all times.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/26/stories/2010022655151300.htm

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Dreaming of a chance for peace

V.R. Krishna Iyer

26 Feb, 2010

The latest round of India-Pakistan talks represents a major opportunity to both countries to put in place a new bilateral architecture.

The India-Pakistan discord and the repeated armed conflicts between the two countries have stemmed chiefly from the accession to India of the state of Kashmir. The strife has caused a heavy drain of human and financial resources over the years, including in Jammu and Kashmir itself. We must halt the disaster and end the recurring loss of life and property that has been occurring. False prestige should not stop an exploration of all possible solutions to find a dignified resolution. Every available proposal should be discussed in a spirit of honour. And, meanwhile, there should be no begging for arms by either country. Both are nuclear-capable and may be tempted to use the weapons in a crisis. There is possibly enough nuclear weapon capability to destroy all of Asia that the two countries have.

Statesmen from both sides have repeatedly spoken out on the potential havoc involved and projected a vision for peace. Superficial solutions or talks will not work. Both countries will have to go to the root of the problem and seek an understanding.

Full report at: http://www.hindu.com/2010/02/26/stories/2010022655161300.htm

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India, Pakistan take step forward, but potholes remain

Siddharth Varadarajan

February 26, 2010

The absence of a joint statement or joint press conference at the end of the meeting clearly meant the bilateral gulf was still enormous. But the original purpose, of opening a path for a new process of engagement, has been served.

So accident-prone and politically fraught is the relationship between India and Pakistan that conventional diplomatic metrics for measuring the success or failure of a meeting between them must invariably be discarded for more esoteric markers.

The absence of a joint statement or joint press conference at the end of Thursday’s meeting of the two foreign secretaries clearly meant the bilateral gulf was still enormous. But the fact that Nirupama Rao and Salman Bashir spoke of taking small first steps, stopping the “regression” in the relationship and rebuilding confidence and trust suggested their encounter had served its original purpose: of opening a path for a new process of engagement.

Full report at: http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article113762.ece

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India’s focus on Mumbai ‘unfair, unrealistic’: Bashir

26 Feb, 2010

NEW DELHI: India’s focus on the 2008 Mumbai attacks is “unfair” and stalling efforts to get bilateral relations back on track, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said on Thursday. “It is unfair and unrealistic and, in our view, counterproductive to ... keep the focus on that,” said Bashir after talks in New Delhi with his Indian counterpart. He said Pakistan had done everything to bring the perpetrators of the Mumbai attacks to book. Bashir warned that neither country could afford to remain disengaged. “Pakistan does not believe that India should lecture us and demand Pakistan does this or that,” he said. He said, “We are not desperate ... if India takes more time to reflect on the modalities of engagement, they will find us ready,” he said. He said Pakistan had pressed for the inclusion of Hurriyat leaders in the composite dialogue on Kashmir whenever it is resumed. agencies

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\02\26\story_26-2-2010_pg1_3

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Pakistan snubs Mumbai centric Indian attitude

26, Feb 2010

NEW DELHI—India and Pakistan held wide-ranging discussions Thursday about terrorism, Kashmir, water and other disputes in the first talks between the rival nations since the 26/11 Mumbai attacks.

Pakistan Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir said that India’s focus on the 2008 Mumbai attacks was “unfair” and was stalling efforts to get bilateral relations back on track.

“It is unfair and unrealistic and, in our view, counterproductive to keep the focus on that (Mumbai) to stall the process of the broader relationship between the two countries,” said Bashir told reporters after talks with his Indian counterpart Nirupama Rao. India said the four-hour meeting between the nuclear-armed countries’ foreign secretaries in New Delhi was intended to begin the process of rebuilding a relationship badly damaged by that deadly siege.

Full report at: http://dailymailnews.com/0210/26/FrontPage/FrontPage1.php

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Egypt’s new crusader for reforms

Sarah El Deeb

26 Feb, 2010

Nobel laureate and former IAEA chief Mohammed ElBaradei has announced the formation of a ‘national society’ that will push for constitutional reforms and social justice.

Respected worldwide, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and for 12 years the leader of the UN nuclear watchdog, Mr Mohammed ElBaradei is positioning himself as a force for change in his homeland.

He has already said he might run for President of Egypt, and now he’s forming a coalition to press for free and fair elections in a land ruled for nearly 30 years by President Hosni Mubarak. Mr ElBaradei, 67, returned to Cairo only days ago to a hero’s welcome by supporters who see him as the most credible Opposition leader to emerge as this US-allied country prepares for the 2011 presidential vote.

Existing restrictions make it practically impossible for independents to run, meaning that Mr ElBaradei’s chances are dim without long-sought constitutional amendments.

The former Egyptian diplomat has been mum about potential plans to join the campaign, saying that he would only do so if guaranteed that elections would be free, fully supervised by the judiciary and monitored by the international community. But he has used the publicity surrounding his visit to push for democratic reform and escalate pressure on a system he has criticised as stale. Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/238698/Egypt%E2%80%99s-new-crusader-for-reforms.html

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Digvijay’s quota carrot for Muslims

26 Feb, 2010

The Congress general secy pushes for a consensus on reservation for the Muslims

CONGRESS general secretary Digvijay Singh has stepped on the gas in his drive to woo the Muslims of Uttar Pradesh ( UP).

On Thursday, he said his party was striving to achieve a consensus on reservation for the Muslim community on the basis of their educational, social and economic backwardness.

“ Though we cannot give reservation on religious grounds, it is possible to do so on the basis of backwardness. We are discussing this issue and trying to reach a consensus. It will be implemented in the near future,” he said in Gorakhpur.

He was addressing a seminar on ‘ Social Justice and Minority Community’, organised in the memory of late Ashfaq Husain Ansari, an ex- MP of the party from Maharajganj.

Full report at: Mail Today New Delhi

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Who is cooking what against CJ

Ansar Abbasi

February 26, 2010

ISLAMABAD: A flurry of intelligence reports generated during the recent weeks put Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry at risk of being embarrassed by miscreants allegedly paid by the government.

Although authenticity and credibility of such intelligence reports remain in question, some of these reports are really interesting. One such report talks of a government move to organise pro-president and anti-chief justice demonstrations.

Another report talks of a possible assault on the chief justice inside his Court No 1 or even outside to embarrass him. Another report generated by the National Crisis Management Cell (NCMC) of the interior ministry last month, which warned officials concerned in Islamabad about a “Conspiracy against the government”, said The News/Jang Group was likely to plant a story about the government’s plan to embarrass the chief justice.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=27509

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Govt defends the man who convicted Benazir, Zardari

Rauf Klasra

February 26, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Former attorney-general Malik Muhammad Qayyum has suddenly gained huge importance in the eyes of the legal gurus of the federal government burning midnight oil to find “reasons and logic” to defend his act of writing to the Swiss authorities to close down the money-laundering cases against Asif Zardari as a new legal battle seems imminent in the Supreme Court when the review petition against the NRO judgment is admitted for regular hearing.

A quick look at the long review petition gives clear idea the PPP government has given huge importance in its review petition to save the beleaguered former attorney-general. The fate of the review petition now heavily depends upon the government’s ability to establish before the court that Malik Qayyum’s act was in line with the legal requirements and that he was competent to write to the Swiss authorities after getting verbal instructions from the president.

The PPP government has now come out in the open to save Malik Qayyum purely for personal reasons, notwithstanding the bitter fact that as judge of the Lahore High Court he had sentenced Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari.

The Supreme Court in its detailed judgment had targeted the former attorney-general and had even recommended action against him. But the government not only avoided taking any action against him but now it came out to justify his act to write to the Swiss authorities to close down cases against Benazir Bhutto, Begum Bhutto and Asif Zardari.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=27511

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Wanted Punjabi militant dies in Wednesday’s drone attack

February 26, 2010

Mushtaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR: Senior security officials on Thursday said three militants killed in the US drone attack on Wednesday in North Waziristan were important commanders and included Qari Muhammad Zafar, reportedly involved in the attack on the US consulate in Karachi on March 2, 2006.

The US had announced $5 million head money on him. Inter-Service Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General Maj-Gen Athar Abbas did not confirm his death. When reached by telephone, he said, “No, really I did not receive any such information from our security agencies.”

However, security officials based in Miramshah, the principal town of militancy-wrecked North Waziristan, said the two other militant commanders killed with Qari Zafar were Rana Afzal alias Noor Khan and Bahadur Mansoor.

Full report at: http://thenews.com.pk/top_story_detail.asp?Id=27512

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Pakistani boy to appear in Amritsar court today

26 Feb, 2010

LAHORE: A 13-year-old boy, Atiq Ahmad, will appear in an Amritsar court on Friday morning with a hope that he will be allowed a reunion with his family in Lahore.

The teenaged kite enthusiast has been in an Indian prison for a ‘small mistake’ he committed on Jan 11 by boarding a train to escape punishment by his father.

The train took him to the Lahore railway station from where he boarded another train without knowing it was Samjhota Express.

The boy was produced before the Principal Magistrate for Juvenile Justice, Ajaib Singh, at the Amritsar district courts, on Feb 19.

“I reprimanded him for flying kites as it would land him in prison. He started weeping and ran away. I got panicky when he didn’t return till late night and I went to his friends, but no one had any clue about his whereabouts. Three days later, I came to know that he was in an Indian prison,” recalled Malik Iftikhar Ahmad, the father of Atiq.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-pakistani-boy-to-appear-in-amritsar-court-today-620-hh-     

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Punjabi Taliban leader Qari Zafar killed

26 Feb, 2010

MIRAMSHAH, Feb 25: Qari Zafar, an important leader of so-called Punjabi Taliban, was reported to be among the people killed in Wednesday’s drone attack in the Dandi Darpakhel area of North Waziristan.

Officials said that six militants critically wounded in the missile strike died on Thursday, taking the death toll to 14. He added that all of them were believed to be members of the Punjabi Taliban.

It is said that Qari Zafar headed the Badar Mansoor organisation whose members are mostly militants from Punjab. Hailing from Karachi, he formerly belonged to Lashkar-i-Jhangvi.

Qari Zafar had joined the TTP in North Waziristan some time before the army launched an operation in South Waziristan. He was seen in a video, sitting next to TTP chief Hakeemullah Mehsud and his deputy Waliur Rehman.

The US has announced a reward of $5 million for information leading to the capture or death of Qari Zafar.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/punjabi-taliban-leader-qari-zafar-killed-620

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Clinton says new anti-terror success ‘very significant’

26 Feb, 2010

WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised Pakistan’s recent anti-militancy strides as “very significant” and said the United States is working to forge a new long-term relationship with the key South Asian partner.Speaking in the backdrop of Pakistan’s arrest of some top Afghan Taliban militants, Clinton remarked that “what’s going on in Pakistan right now is very significant.”Clinton, who appeared in two separate Congressional hearings · Senate Appropriations sub-committee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee - sought lawmakers’ support for $ 3.2 billion economic and security assistance for Pakistan as part of the budget request for the fiscal year 2011.

She applauded the “political will” demonstrated by the Pakistani government and President Asif Ali Zardari toward putting the economy back on track with some important recent reforms.

In the context of ongoing fight against militants, the chief American diplomat appreciated “the increasing efforts by the Pakistani military and intelligence services to capture Taliban leaders,” cooperation btween the United States and Pakistan “both on the civilian and the military side,” as well as efforts “they’re doing to reclaim territory from Swat to North Waziristan.”

Highlighting the importance of Obama Administration’s request for economic and security assistance for Pakistan and other frontline states, she said the U.S.would foster a sustained relationship with Pakistan.

“We’re trying to create a new relationship with Pakistan that is of longer duration and making the Pakistanis know that we’re in it for the long term,” she told the Senate Appropriations panel on State Foreign Operations.

She said the U.S. $ 3.2 billion aid for Pakistan - sought by the Obama Administration for the year 2011 - will support the country’s efforts to achieve economic development and combat extremism. http://dailymailnews.com/0210/26/FrontPage/FrontPage4.php

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Freed French al Qaeda hostage tells of Mali ordeal

Feb 26, 2010

French aid worker Pierre Camatte, who returned to France on Thursday after being freed from captivity by North African al Qaeda militants, said his captors tried repeatedly to convert him to Islam.

Camatte, who looked gaunt and tired on his arrival, was seized in November and held in the desert of Mali by men calling themselves al Qaeda "mujahedeen", or fighters.

"They often came to see me to try and convert me," he told reporters on the tarmac after landing at an air base near Paris. "They want to Islamise the whole world in their own way."

Dressed in a white shirt and brown jacket that were too big for him after three months in captivity, Camatte said most of his kidnappers were under the age of 20.

"It was a jail without bars, it was simply a roof," he said. His captors would intimidate him by aiming rifles at him or miming throat-slitting, he said.

Camatte was released in an apparent prisoner swap that has angered neighbours Algeria and Mauritania. Al Qaeda threatened to kill him unless four Islamist prisoners were released by February 22. All four were freed last week.

"It's not as if freeing four Salafi Islamists will change anything, given that in the meantime they probably recruited 40 more," the former hostage said.

He learned of his imminent release only minutes before Mali's security forces arrived in the desert in a 4x4 jeep to pick him up, he said.

On Wednesday night in Mali's capital of Bamako, during a press conference with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Camatte had described how his captors would immerse themselves in the Koran for long periods of time.

"It's frightening, it's a kind of conditioning," he said.

http://af.reuters.com/article/topNews/idAFJOE61P02V20100226

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Leader: Islamic Iran roused Muslims, menaced powers

Thu, 26 Feb 2010

The Leader of the Islamic Republic Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei reiterates that all Iranians must do their utmost to safeguard the Islamic establishment against plots hatched by arrogant powers.

The Islamic establishment has led to an awakening in the world of Islam and has endangered the interests of arrogant and oppressive powers in the region, said the Leader in a meeting with members of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran on Thursday.

“Therefore all people should do their utmost to safeguard and maintain the establishment and its pillars,” the Leader added.

Ayatollah Khamenei emphasized that the Islamic Republic has been founded on the Islamic principle of human dignity and popular consensus.

The revered Leader went on to underscore the point that the vote of the people plays a key role in Iran in light of such Islamic perspective.

“And for this reason the election in the Islamic Republic is a real issue,” the Leader added.

Full report at: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=119490&sectionid=351020101

URL of this page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/libyan-leader-moammar-gadhafi-calls-for-jihad-against-switzerland/d/2511


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