New Age Islam
Fri Nov 27 2020, 09:06 PM

Islamic World News ( 13 Feb 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Maldives Claims Christians, Freemasons Secretly Working To “Eradicate” Islam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

South Asia

Maldives Claims Christians, Freemasons Secretly Working To “Eradicate” Islam

Massive protest movement emerges against 'conservative, politicized' Islam in Bangladesh

Bangladesh-Turkey relations rooted in history: PM Sheikh Hasina

Maldives ex-president Nasheed free to leave Indian embassy, says Maldives govt

Maldives denies India's claim of discussions on Nasheed

Maldives ex-president Nasheed, taking refuge in Indian embassy, issues demands

Maldivians warned of influenza threat in India

Police arrest 16 protesters during demonstrations by Nasheed supporters

At least 18 killed in Afghan bus crash, say officials

19 Bangladeshis return home after serving two years in Indian jail

 

Pakistan

Tahir ul Qadri refuses to give up Canadian nationality

Six militants, believed to be suicide bombers, killed in attack on Bannu police station

Pakistani regulator warns media against promoting Valentine’s Day

I saved Nawaz from being hanged says Zardari

Pakistan asks Taliban to announce ceasefire before talks

Pakistan’s All Parties Conference on tackling terrorism begins

Key militant commander killed in Khyber tribal region

Valentine’s Day invites ire, celebrations in Pakistan

Committee urges intel sharing with Balochistan govt to counter terrorism

Pak-Afghan Ulema conference in Kabul on March 10: FO

Pak court orders speedy trial in Benazir assassination case

'Pak to continue to increase N-arsenal, support proxies'

 

Arab World

Prominent Saudi Islamic Scholar: “I Reject the Nobel Peace Prize”

Protection committee in Makkah seizes custody of 11 abused children

Syria rebels advance as diplomatic pressure mounts on Assad

Bahrain's Arab spring chapter is still being written two years on

Bahrain protester killed in clashes with police

Iraq war plan based on 'primitive' grasp of Islam

13 Saudis among the top most powerful Arabs

Saudi Social media users warned against promoting ‘trash’

European Embassies strive to teach languages to Saudis

New draft protest law approved by Egyptian cabinet

 

India

Khurshid to speak to Maldivian counterpart on Nasheed

Western scholars' take on Islam drawing Muslim youth

Young Indian novelist Saif Ur Rahman, 22, honoured in Riyadh

Afzal Guru said 'hope peace prevails' in last letter

PM upset for delay in informing Afzal Guru Family

India opts to side with Nasheed

Six Indian workers stranded in Saudi Arab as employer refuses to extend visas

Gulzar’s move disappoints Pakistanis

Jihadists to step up attack on India; call for Sarabjit execution

Indian gang-raped in Maldives; action sought

Intel agencies reject Yasin Malik’s defence

 

Mideast Asia

Islamic clerics hope for dialogue with new Pope

OIC to establish financial network for Palestinians

Israel confirms it held mystery 'Prisoner X'

Pope Benedict XVI considered a friend in Israel

Iran ordered banned materials to expand nuclear program fivefold, report says

Iran agrees on 'some points' in nuclear talks with IAEA: Envoy

Ovation as Muslim players join Israeli club

Iranian Guards' commander killed in Syria

Iranian official killed by gunmen on way from Syria to Lebanon

Turkey moves to boost freedom of expression

“Herod the Great” show in Israel angers Palestinians

 

Europe

Russia arming Mali, more Islamist attacks feared

UK lawmaker admits Iraq, Afghan war plans based on 'primitive understanding' of Islam

Suicide attack kills 3 police officers in Dagestan

UN chief spotlights role of inter-faith dialogue to empower women

UK to bring Afghan equipment home via Uzbekistan

UN watchdog and Iran fail to reach nuclear deal

Russia to continue Syria arms supply

Kosovo Radical Islamists In New Political Offensive

No charges in Britain over Taliban body part claims

 

Southeast Asia

Bekasi Government Targets Al-Misbah Mosque in Ahmadiya Crackdown

Two More Churches Hit in Makassar Molotov Cocktail Attacks

Students in Solo, Riau say “No” to Valentine’s Day

NU, Family Planning Body Propose Raising Indonesia's Marriage Age to 18

As Valentine's Day Returns, So Does Resistance

 

North America

Obama warns N Korea & Iran, confirms Afghan pullout

US working to convince Assad to go: John Kerry

Operation to kill Osama was risky: Panetta

Cameron Munter blasts US ‘callousness’ on Pakistan

US should hit 'pause' button on Afghan aid: watchdog

 

Africa

Somali journalist freed but may face charges

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: A Pakistani woman leaves a shop decorated with Valentine’s signs in Peshawar

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/maldives-claims-christians,-freemasons-secretly-working-to-“eradicate”-islam/d/10417

 

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South Asia

 

Maldives Claims Christians, Freemasons Secretly Working To “Eradicate” Islam

By MinivanNews | February 12th, 2013

Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed has warned that Christians and Freemasons are working to “create doubts” on Islam within the hearts of young Maldivians.

Local media reported the Islamic Minister as claiming there is a “strong psychological war” conducted by “various Christian organisations” to “wipe out” Islam from the Maldives.

Shaheem further claimed that the Freemasons – a secretive society originating from Europe – was carrying out activities “in secret” within the Maldives.

Shaheem was speaking at a ceremony to mark the 886th anniversary of the Maldives’ conversion to Islam from Buddhism, in accordance to the legend taught in Maldivian schools.

“Various Christian organisations and missionaries are strongly involved and active in our society. They are working within us and outside, trying to create doubts on Islam within the hearts of young people,” Shaheem declared.

“We have got a lot to do to strengthen Islamic faith through the national curriculum. We have to clarify the doubts being cast in the hearts of young generation. We can only overcome this through unified collaboration,” the Minister added.

President Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik meanwhile expressed similar sentiment to the Islamic Minister, asking the public to be cautious of activities being carried out to allow other faiths into the country.

Waheed said the Maldives had remained an independent and sovereign nation because it was a “100 percent Islamic state”, and that the “unity and brotherly bond” between people was the result of Islam.

“It saddens me to say that despite the existence of such a bond, today we’re seeing a little weakening of that bond. We need to seriously think about this, especially when the introduction of multi-party politics has resulted in deterioration of familial bonds and social well being,” he said, in his address.

Waheed said it was important for people create love towards Islam and strengthening Islamic faith, as the country celebrates the day the Maldives embraced Islam.

President’s Office Media Secretary Masood Imad meanwhile told Minivan News that the government had not been made aware that undercover Freemason organisations or Christian missionaries were operating in the country in an attempt to undermine Islam.

Massod added that the matter would be better forwarded to the Ministry of Islamic Affairs for clarification.

“We try to keep out of these matters,” he said.

Sheikh Shaheem and leader of the government aligned Adhaalath Party, Sheikh Imran Abdulla, were not responding to calls at time of press.

The story of how Maldives embraced Islam

The legend of how the nation converted to Islam is one that is still taught to children studying in Maldivian schools.

According to the story, an evil demon named ‘Rannamaari’ appeared from the sea on the first of every month, and would only leave the islanders alone after the sacrifice of a virgin girl.

Every month the islanders selected a girl to be sacrificed for the demon, only to discover her body on the beach the following morning.

This continued until one day a Muslim traveller named Abul Barakathul Yousuful Baru Bary arrived in Male’ and happened to stay in the house of the next virgin girl selected for sacrifice.

As he saw the whole family weeping in sorrow he asked what was going on, and learnt about the procedure..

He then decided to disguise himself as the virgin girl and go to the temple instead. The following morning the islanders found him alive and reciting the verses of the Quran.

The King and his people were impressed that the demon never appeared after that incident, and decided to embrace Islam from that day onwards.

The story itself is now dismissed by the young generation as a myth, with many people believing instead that it was the King himself allegedly raping and murdering the virgin girls every month.

http://minivannews.com/politics/islamic-ministry-claims-christians-freemasons-secretly-working-to-eradicate-islam-in-the-maldives-52751

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Massive protest movement emerges against 'conservative, politicized' Islam in Bangladesh

Feb 14 2013

Washington, Feb 14 (ANI): A vibrant protest movement against the ongoing influence of conservative, politicized Islam has erupted in one of the world's most populous Muslim nations-Bangladesh.

The protest, which erupted a week earlier, began after Abdul Qader Mollah was sentenced to life behind bars on Feb. 5 in Bangladesh's controversial war crimes tribunal.

Known as the 'butcher of Mirpur,' Mollah was convicted of heinous crimes committed in 1971 during the country's blood-soaked independence struggle from Pakistan.

He has also been one of the leaders of the largest Islamist party here, the Jamaat-e-Islami .

After the sentencing, protesters gathered in downtown Dhaka, crying foul that Mollah had not received the death sentence, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The paper quoted Zafar Sobhan, editor of the Dhaka Tribune, as saying that 'the current movement is aimed very explicitly at the Jamaat's role in 1971.'

Zafar said 'it was clear that the youths protesting envision is one without Islamist politics, returning to Bangladesh's secular roots, and recognition that religion-based politics had poisoned the society.'

He added that the youth 'don't want to see the Jamaati-style Islamism either gain further currency in the society or more power politically'.

The 1971 independence struggle pitted indigenous Bengali identity against those wishing to remain a part of Pakistan, a country founded with an Islamic identity, the paper said.

Sobhan said JI represents two things in Bangladesh- their Islamist political philosophy, and their role, both as a party and individually, as collaborators with the Pakistan Army in 1971, and as such, the current protests have drawn on a potent secular patriotism.

According to the paper, Zafar stressed that the protests "are not an antireligious movement, and that people are not against Islam."

People are against intimidation in the name of Islam and religion interfering in politics, he added. (ANI)

http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail4/story99221/massive-protest-movement-emerges-against-039-conservative-politicized-039-islam-in-bangladesh.html

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Bangladesh-Turkey relations rooted in history: PM Sheikh Hasina

Feb 14 2013

The outgoing Turkish Ambassador to Bangladesh M Vakur Erkul made a farewell call on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her office in the capital on Thursday.

Briefing newsmen after the meeting, PM Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad said that the prime minister appreciated the ambassador’s active contribution in improving the overall bilateral relations, particularly in bilateral trade and commerce, and Turkish investment in Bangladesh.

During the meeting, Hasina said that the relations between the two countries are rooted in history.

Mentioning the influence of Turkish culture on Bangladesh’s literature, culture and religion, she said National Poet of Bangladesh Kazi Nazrul Islam wrote inspiring poems on Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, who was the revolutionary leader and the first president of Turkey.

Ambassador at Large M Ziauddin, PMO Secretary Molla Waheeduzzaman and Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad were, among others, present on the occasion.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=44767

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Maldives ex-president Nasheed free to leave Indian embassy, says Maldives govt

Feb 14, 2013

MALE: The former president of the Maldives Mohamed Nasheed can leave the Indian embassy where he has taken refuge because the warrant for his arrest has expired, the government said on Thursday.

Opposition leader Nasheed has said he would remain at the Indian High Commission (embassy) until authorities assure him that he will not be arrested and will be free to campaign for presidential elections due in September.

"Mr Nasheed is a free man and he can walk out of the embassy," government spokesman Masood Imad told AFP. "Police will not arrest him because the arrest warrant expired last night."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Maldives-ex-president-Nasheed-free-to-leave-Indian-embassy-says-Maldives-govt/articleshow/18498585.cms

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Maldives denies India's claim of discussions on Nasheed

Feb 14, 2013

MALE: Maldives on Thursday denied India's claim that it held discussions with Indian officials regarding former president Mohamed Nasheed, who sought "refuge" at the Indian High Commission here to evade arrest, saying it cannot interfere with the independence of the judiciary.

"Maldives wishes to confirm that neither the High Commission of India in Male, nor any other authority of the Government of India has had had discussion with the Government of Maldives concerning former president of Maldives Mohamed Nasheed's reported request for 'refuge'," Maldives' foreign ministry said in a statement here.

Full report at:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Maldives-denies-Indias-claim-of-discussions-on-Nasheed/articleshow/18497272.cms

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Maldives ex-president Nasheed, taking refuge in Indian embassy, issues demands

Feb 14, 2013

MALE: Former Maldivian leader Mohamed Nasheed, who has taken refuge at the Indian embassy in the capital to evade arrest, has demanded the dropping of charges against 800 party workers, his spokeswoman said on Thursday.

Mariya Didi also said Nasheed wanted India to take a lead in securing an end to the political crisis in the Indian Ocean atoll nation of of 330,000 Sunni Muslims.

Nasheed insisted that "politically motivated" charges against over 800 Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) activists be dropped ahead of elections scheduled for September, Didi told AFP.

"We are asking all politically motivated charges including that against president Nasheed, MDP parliamentarians, MDP councillors, party officials and key party workers be dropped," she said.

Full report at:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Maldives-ex-president-Nasheed-taking-refuge-in-Indian-embassy-issues-demands/articleshow/18495098.cms

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Maldivians warned of influenza threat in India

By Minivan News | February 13th, 2013

Maldivians travelling to India have been warned by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) about the spread of influenza in the north of the country.

HPA’s Epidemiologist Dr Aishath Aruna told Sun Online that the virus had been misreported in local media as swine flu. Instead, influenza H1N1 is not swine flu and is less dangerous.

So far 450 people have been affected by influenza in Rajasthan in northern India, of which 94 people have died from the virus.

Full report at:http://minivannews.com/category/news-in-brief

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Police arrest 16 protesters during demonstrations by Nasheed supporters

By JJ Robinson | February 14th, 2013

Protesters supporting the former Maldivian President gathered last night at an intersection near the Indian High Commission where Mohamed Nasheed has sought refuge from police seeking his arrest.

Riot police took up position outside the diplomatic premises shortly after 1:00pm yesterday, blocking the street outside to pedestrians and placing checkpoints in adjoining streets.

The street outside the High Commission was clear aside from a small group of police, including Special Operations officers and piles of riot shields.

Full report at:http://minivannews.com/politics/police-arrest-16-protesters-during-demonstrations-by-nasheed-supporters-52908

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At least 18 killed in Afghan bus crash, say officials

 14 February 2013

KABUL: Afghan officials say at least 18 people have been killed in a traffic accident in the country’s southeast.          

Deputy provincial governor in Ghazni Ahmad Ali Ahmad said the accident took place on Thursday on Afghanistan’s main north-south highway, when a bus with more than 50 passengers on board rammed into a truck.  He added that here were also numerous injuries.

The deputy provincial governor further said the accident was due to reckless driving on the part of the bus driver, who was speeding on a narrow part of the highway in the Qarabagh district.

The main hospital in Ghazni province confirmed the death toll.

http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/at-least-18-killed-in-afghan-bus-crash-say-officials/

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19 Bangladeshis return home after serving two years in Indian jail

Feb 14 2013

Nineteen Bangladeshis have returned home after serving two years in an Indian jail.

Kamruzzaman, officer-in-charge of Benapole immigration police, said Petrapole Immigration police handed them over to Bangladesh immigration police through Benapole check post Tuesday afternoon.

The victims hail from different areas of Dhaka, Satkhira, Jessore, Chuadanga and Pirojpur districts. They said human traffickers sent them to India two years ago, promising good jobs there.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=268990

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Pakistan

 

Tahir ul Qadri refuses to give up Canadian nationality

February 14, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Minhajul Quran International (MQI) chief Tahirul Qadri said that he cannot fall prey to emotions and give up his Canadian nationality, reported Express News on Thursday.

“I respect the Supreme Court’s decision but if I travel with a Pakistani passport then I will have to wait for months to get any visa,” Qadri told the media while referring to the apex court’s objection over his dual nationality.

He further said, “Dual nationality doesn’t stop one from casting a vote.” He also complained that the Supreme Court did not allow him to present arguments on his right to file a petition.

He said, “There is a difference between ‘elector and elected’. The constitution allows dual nationals to vote, hence, I can cast my vote. It bans people with dual nationality from contesting elections.”

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/507314/qadri-refuses-to-give-up-canadian-nationality/

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Six militants, believed to be suicide bombers, killed in attack on Bannu police station

 14 February 2013

BANNU: Six militants believed to be suicide bombers were killed and one policeman was injured as police countered a huge attack by militants on the Maryan police station in Frontier Region Bannu in the wee hours of Thursday.

District Police Officer Nisar Tanoli said the attack on the police station had been successfully encountered and six militants were killed.

He said five suicide bombers had been killed by the security forces during the encounter while the sixth blew himself up when he was holed up inside the police station.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/four-militants-killed-in-attack-on-bannu-police-station/

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Pakistani regulator warns media against promoting Valentine’s Day

 Caitlin Dewey

February 14, 2013

Valentine’s Day is a source of controversy this week in Pakistan, where Islamists have staged protests against the holiday and regulators have asked media to “honor viewers’ sentiments” and official media codes in restraining any holiday-themed programs.

On Wednesday, Pakistan’s Electronic Media Regulatory Authority, or PEMRA, sent a letter to TV and radio stations reminding them that the holiday is “not in conformity to our religious and cultural ethos.” The report warns that “a large segment of society” has complained about “Valentine’s Day celebrations” and blames Valentine’s Day for “depraving, corrupting and injuring morality of Pakistani youth.”

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/02/14/pakistani-regulator-warns-media-against-promoting-valentines-day/

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I saved Nawaz from being hanged says Zardari

February 14, 2013

LAHORE: President Asif Ali Zardari said on Wednesday that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) chief Nawaz Sharif has denied his request for a visit.

The President had intended to visit the rival party chief in order to condole the death of the latter’s brother Abbas Sharif.

Talking to visitors at Bilawal House, Lahore on Wednesday President Zardari complained Nawaz denied him a visit despite owing his life to him. He claimed he had saved the PML-N chief from being hanged by former president Pervez Musharraf.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/507162/tall-claim-i-saved-nawaz-from-being-hanged-says-zardari/

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Pakistan asks Taliban to announce ceasefire before talks

Feb 14 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s government on Wednesday urged the Taliban to announce a 30-day ceasefire as a precursor to peace talks which the militants offered earlier this month, adding the nation had rejected their campaign of terror.

The umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) faction has stepped up attacks in recent months, leading to fears that violence could mar general elections scheduled to take place by mid-May.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\02\14\story_14-2-2013_pg7_1

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Pakistan’s All Parties Conference on tackling terrorism begins

 14 February 2013

ISLAMABAD: At least 27 of Pakistan’s political parties were attending on Thursday the All Parties Conference (APC) organised by the Awami National Party to devise a joint strategy to deal with the menace of terrorism, DawnNews reported.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz, (PML-N), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), ANP and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI) were among the parties attending the conference.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/apc-against-terrorism-attended-by-27-political-parties-in-islamabad/

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Key militant commander killed in Khyber tribal region

Zahir Shah Sherazi

 14 February 2013

PESHAWAR: A key militant commander, Khurasan, along with another commander identified as Mazloom Yar, belonging to the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) Tariq Afridi group from Darra Adamkhel area, were shot dead in Saam area of Khyber tribal region.

Intelligence official sources told Dawn.com that the two militant commanders were shot by an unknown sniper.

No confirmation from the outlawed TTP was available till the filing of this report.

http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/key-militant-commander-killed-in-khyber-tribal-region/

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Valentine’s Day invites ire, celebrations in Pakistan

 14 February 2013

ISLAMABAD: Some Pakistanis celebrated Valentine’s Day on Thursday with balloons and flowers, but others denounced the holiday as an insult to Islam.

In Karachi, home to 18 million people, billboards decorated with a black heart urged citizens to “SAY NO TO VALENTINE’S DAY”.

“This tradition reflects insensitivity, indignity and ignorance of Islam,” the signs read. They were put up by a group affiliated with Jamaat-e-Islami, a party that holds six of 342 legislative seats.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/valentines-day-invites-ire-celebrations-in-pakistan/

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Committee urges intel sharing with Balochistan govt to counter terrorism

By Sajid Chaudhry

Feb 14 2013

ISLAMABAD: Agreeing to the Balochistan chief secretary’s demand, the special committee on law and order situation in Balochistan has recommended that all federal intelligence agencies should share information with the provincial government to counter violence and terrorism in the province.

It also recommended that the provincial government should take necessary measures to control kidnapping-for-ransom and highway crimes, and called for increasing patrolling of police, Levies in this regard. The committee also recommended that the provincial government should take necessary measures to control sectarian violence, and asked the provincial government to compensate the families affected by targeted killings and sectarian violence.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\02\14\story_14-2-2013_pg7_16

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Pak-Afghan Ulema conference in Kabul on March 10: FO

 14 February 2013

ISLAMABAD: A conference of religious scholars (Ulema) from Afghanistan and Pakistan will take place in Kabul on March 10, a spokesman for the Pakistani foreign office said on Thursday.

During the foreign office’s weekly briefing in Islamabad, spokesman Moazzam Ali Khan said both countries had principally agreed to hold the Ulema conference in Kabul on March 10.

Khan said that the objective of the summit is to move forward with the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/pak-afghan-ulema-conference-in-kabul-on-march-10-fo/

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'Pak to continue to increase N-arsenal, support proxies'

P Feb 14 2013

Washington : Instead of trying to benefit from India's economic growth, Pakistan is expected to continue with its anti-India narrative by not only continuing to build up its nuclear arsenal, but also support terrorist outfits as proxies, American lawmakers have been told.

"I believe that Pakistan will continue doing what they've been doing for the last several years is a much more severe acceleration of their nuclear deterrent," Frank Hoffman, Senior Research Fellow at the prestigious National Defense University, told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-to-continue-to-increase-narsenal-support-proxies/1074233/

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Pak court orders speedy trial in Benazir assassination case

Feb 13, 2013

ISLAMABAD: A Pakistani court today directed an anti-terrorism court to conduct daily hearings in the 2007 Benazir Bhutto assassination case and to conclude the trial within three months.

The Rawalpindi bench of the Lahore high court issued the order after prosecutors from the Federal Investigation Agency complained that the trial had not been completed though five years had lapsed since Bhutto's assassination.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-court-orders-speedy-trial-in-Benazir-assassination-case/articleshow/18485568.cms

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Arab World

 

Prominent Saudi Islamic Scholar: “I Reject the Nobel Peace Prize”

14 February 2013

A prominent Saudi Islamic scholar who was previously accused of plagiarism and famous for his best-selling book “Don’t Be Sad” (La Tahzan) has announced that he would reject the Nobel Peace Prize if it is offered to him.

Sheikh Aaidh al-Qarni made his statement on Twitter after Saudi writer Ibrahim al-Majari wrote in a column on the daily Al-Sharq newspaper that the preacher deserves the prestigious award because he is “sympathetic to women’s rights” and because he stands against terrorism.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/articles/2013/02/14/266154.html

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Protection committee in Makkah seizes custody of 11 abused children

February 13, 2013

MAKKAH — The Ministry of Social Affairs’ social protection committee in Makkah has seized custody of 11 children from three families, the ministry said on Wednesday.

Muna Al-Ahmadi, a social worker at the ministry in Makkah who was a former member of the protection committee, said the decision was made following an incident where a baby girl identified as Ghisoon was assaulted by her father and stepmother.

She said: “It was not possible before this incident for the committee to remove custody of children from violent families.”

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130214153123

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Syria rebels advance as diplomatic pressure mounts on Assad

By AFP Published: February 14, 2013

DAMASCUS: Rebels in northern Syria have seized most of a military base, their third major battlefield success in as many days, as US Secretary of State John Kerry called on President Bashar al Assad to step down.

Kerry said Assad needed to abandon hopes of riding out the war and instead accept the “inevitability” of his departure, hours after a monitoring group reported rebels were almost in complete control of the base in Aleppo province.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/507280/syria-rebels-advance-as-diplomatic-pressure-mounts-on-assad/

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Bahrain's Arab spring chapter is still being written two years on

 14 February 2013

Ian Black: Gulf state's problems unresolved amidst slim hopes for resumed dialogue between government and opposition

Anniversaries of the Arab spring uprisings of 2011 are falling thick and fast, though nowhere is it harder to draw up a balance sheet than in Bahrain, where the immediate challenge to the government was seen off two years ago but opposition persists – with little prospect of a resolution any time soon.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/on-the-middle-east/2013/feb/13/middleeast-bahrain-saudi-gulf

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Bahrain protester killed in clashes with police

February 14, 2013

A teenaged boy was shot dead during clashes with police in a Shiite village near Manama on Thursday as hundreds took to the streets to mark the second anniversary of an uprising in the Sunni-ruled kingdom.

"The child Hussein al-Jaziri was martyred after he was wounded by shotgun fire in Dia," Bahrain's major Shiite opposition bloc Al-Wefaq announced on Twitter.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/afp/bahrain-protester-killed-in-clashes-with-police/571708

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Iraq war plan based on 'primitive' grasp of Islam

In a speech, shadow defence secretary will acknowledge shortcomings of Blair government's approach

Nick Hopkins

 13 February 2013

Labour has conceded for the first time that a "primitive understanding" of the Islamic world caused some of the problems faced by the west in Iraq and Afghanistan, and warned David Cameron his response to the terrorist crisis in north Africa shows he has not learned the painful lessons from those conflicts.

In a speech on Thursday, Jim Murphy, the shadow defence secretary, will suggest the Blair government did not appreciate what it was getting itself into after the September 11 attacks, as British forces joined the international effort to overthrow the Taliban and hunt down Osama bin Laden's al-Qaida network.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/13/iraq-war-islam-labour

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13 Saudis among the top most powerful Arabs

 14 February 2013

Thirteen Saudis were listed among the most powerful Arab personalities of 2012, according to the latest ranking of the Gulf Business magazine.

The list topped by Prince Alwaleed bin Talal also included prominent female personalities such as Reem Asa’d, Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel, Lubna Al-Olayan, Wojdan Seraj, Sarah Attar and Manal Al-Sharif.

The magazine also noted that 28 percent of the world’s most powerful Arabs were born and brought up in Saudi Arabia.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/13-saudis-among-top-most-powerful-arabs

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Saudi Social media users warned against promoting ‘trash’

 14 February 2013

The Minister of Culture and Information Abdul Aziz Khoja has warned social media users against promoting insulting, spurious and harmful material.

“Comments that create conflict in society should not be disseminated through Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or any other social media outlet,” he said. “The social media users should be fully aware of what they are writing and what they are forwarding.”

Abdul Rahman Al-Hazza, chairman of the Saudi Broadcasting and Television Commission, read out the information minister’s address at the Gulf Economic Media Forum 2013 at the Asharqia Chamber.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/social-media-users-warned-against-promoting-%E2%80%98trash%E2%80%99

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European Embassies strive to teach languages to Saudis

14 February 2013

European embassies plan to develop their languages learning centres in the Kingdom by establishing new facilities to attract more Saudis and expatriates.

Previously, such language learning centres failed to offer high-level courses due to the few students who enrolled in the courses.

There are cultural centres of French, German, Italian and English languages. However, English language is more interesting to citizens and expatriates in the Kingdom due to its importance in the business and education sectors.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/embassies-strive-teach-languages-saudis

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New draft protest law approved by Egyptian cabinet

Egypt's cabinet agrees on new draft legislation placing some limits on protests; justice minister says police can't ban demonstrations

14 Feb 2013

The cabinet of Prime Minister Hisham Qandil approved a new law Wednesday to regulate protests.

The law puts restrictions on protests, including articles that stipulate that notice must be submitted to the interior ministry five days prior to any protest, including the time, place and objectives of the demonstration.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/64728/Egypt/Politics-/New-draft-protest-law-approved-by-Egyptian-cabinet.aspx

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India

 

Khurshid to speak to Maldivian counterpart on Nasheed

Feb 14 2013

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will be speaking to his counterpart in Maldives which has raised strong objections to India’s views regarding former President Mohamed Nasheed, who has sought “refuge” at the Indian High Commission in Male.

“I will be talking to the Foreign Minister of Maldives (Abdul Samad Abdullah) regarding the issue,” Mr. Khurshid told PTI.

The 45-year-old Nasheed on Wednesday took refuge in the Indian High Commission in Male to evade arrest warrant issued by a local court in a case concerning the detention of Chief Judge of the Criminal Court during his Presidency in January last year.

Sources here said that senior Indian officials are going to understand from Mr. Nasheed his future plans.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/khurshid-to-speak-to-maldivian-counterpart-on-nasheed/article4414597.ece

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Western scholars' take on Islam drawing Muslim youth

 Feb 14, 2013

HYDERABAD: A growing number of Muslim youth from the city are looking westwards for modern perspectives on - hold your breath - Islam! The educated and upwardly mobile youth armed with the internet are gravitating towards different interpretations of the second largest faith presented by scholars from American and European countries and the trend is fast gaining momentum across Hyderabad.

What is attracting the young Muslims is that many scholars from the West make no distinction between religion and modern education apart from having a practical approach to various issues, unlike a large section of the Indian Muslim clergy.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hyderabad/Western-scholars-take-on-Islam-drawing-Muslim-youth/articleshow/18490788.cms

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Young Indian novelist Saif Ur Rahman, 22, honoured in Riyadh

 14 February 2013

At a time when many students are not proficient in writing, Saif Ur Rahman, a 22-year-old author hailing from the southern Indian city of Hyderabad, has written a novel.

A premier Indian group called “Tanzeem Hum Hindustani” (THH) recently honoured the young author in Riyadh by marking the release “The Nucle Saga 1”

“Young Saif is an iconic symbol of our new generation and the world of literature has begun to acknowledge the contribution of this young and talented English writer,” said Mohammed Quaiser, THH president, who presided over the function recently.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/young-indian-novelist-honored

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Afzal Guru said 'hope peace prevails' in last letter

Toufiq Rashid, Hindustan Times

 February 14, 2013

In the letter to his family written just before the end came, Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru “hoped that peace will prevail after he has gone”. A source close to the family revealed this, although HT could not verify the contents of the letter independently and the family

refused to divulge the contents of the letter at this juncture.

But Afzal’s elder brother, Aijaz, almost verified the letter’s content: “Yes, it has beautiful messages for the people as well as the family.”  He, however, insisted that the family wants “no politics on his death”.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/newdelhi/Afzal-Guru-said-hope-peace-prevails-in-last-letter/Article1-1011354.aspx

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PM upset for delay in informing Afzal Guru family

 February 13, 2013

Amid widespread criticism, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has expressed his displeasure to home minister Sushilkumar Shinde over the delay in informing Afzal Guru's family about his hanging.

Singh told Shinde that Guru's family should have been informed in advance about the execution carried out last Saturday morning at Tihar Jail in Delhi for his role in 2001 Parliament attack case, sources said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/newdelhi/PM-upset-for-delay-in-informing-Afzal-Guru-family/Article1-1011223.aspx

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India opts to side with Nasheed

SANDEEP DIKSHIT

 14 February 2013

Caught in a cleft stick, India has opted to side with the former Maldives President, Mohd. Nasheed, who entered the Indian High Commission in Male on Wednesday, after a court sought his appearance in a case.

India admitted Mr. Nasheed had sought refuge in its Male mission and in a message to the Maldives government asked it not to take any steps that would bar candidates from recognised political parties from contesting elections. It also indicated that Maldives President Mohd. Waheed is on watch by asking him to ensure that the elections were free, fair and credible.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/india-opts-to-side-with-nasheed/article4411391.ece

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Six Indian workers stranded in Saudi Arab as employer refuses to extend visas

 14 February 2013

Six Indians, five from Punjab and one from Himachal Pradesh, are unable to leave Saudi Arabia because their employer has allegedly refused to extend their visas.

The workers have not ventured beyond their living quarters because they are afraid of being caught by the local police, according to a leading Indian daily. The men claim they are virtual prisoners.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/six-indian-workers-stranded-employer-refuses-extend-visas

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Gulzar’s move disappoints Pakistanis

ANITA JOSHUA

 14 February 2013

Noted poet and lyricist Gulzar pulled out of the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) on Wednesday after an ‘emotionally overwhelming’ visit to his ancestral house in Jhelum. The poet’s sudden return to India from Lahore on Wednesday morning triggered speculation about the reasons with television channels reporting that it was because of security considerations.

Given the way Pakistani hockey players and a theatre group were sent home from India, and a music concert in Mumbai featuring Ghulam Ali was cancelled in the wake of tensions across the Line of Control in January, Mr. Gulzar’s sudden decision to pack up and return was grist for the rumour mill.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/gulzars-move-disappoints-pakistanis/article4412222.ece

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Jihadists to step up attack on India; call for Sarabjit execution

ANITA JOSHUA

 14 February 2013

Several banned anti-India militant groups, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammad, on Wednesday announced their resolve to step up ‘jihad’ in Jammu & Kashmir and avenge the execution of Afzal Guru by India for the 2001 Parliament House attack.

Other organisations, which converged at the National Press Club under the banner of the United Jihad Council, included al-Badr Mujahideen; Jamiat-ul-Mujahideen; Harkat-ul-Mujahideen; and Hizb-ul-Mujahideen.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/jihadists-to-step-up-attack-on-india-call-for-sarabjit-execution/article4412224.ece

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Indian gang-raped in Maldives; action sought

R. K. RADHAKRISHNAN

 14 February 2013

An agitated group of Indians met a senior official of the Indian High Commission in Male late night on Tuesday and demanded that India take up strongly with the Maldivian government, the case of a young Indian woman who was raped by a gang on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/indian-gangraped-in-maldives-action-sought/article4412238.ece

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Intel agencies reject Yasin Malik’s defence

 Feb 14, 2013

NEW DELHI: Indian intelligence agencies have rejected JKLF leader Yasin Malik's defence that his appearance in the same frame as 26/11 mastermind and Hafiz Saeed was incidental and believe that the Kashmiri leader deliberately shared the stage with the LeT chief to do a one-up on moderate Hurriyat leaders, who had secretly met Saeed last December.

"Malik, who had of late been sidelined in the Kashmir's separatist politics by high-profile leaders of the Tehreek-e-Hurriyat like hardliner Syed Ali Shah Geelani and the moderate Hurriyat under Mirwaiz Umer Farooq, may have sensed an opportunity to bounce back to the centre stage with a high-publicity photo-op alongside Saeed. His fast in Islamabad against the hanging of Afzal Gurul provided the right opportunity," an official of the security establishment told TOI.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Intel-agencies-reject-Yasin-Maliks-defence/articleshow/18491187.cms

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Mideast Asia

 

Islamic clerics hope for dialogue with new pope

 February 14, 2013

CAIRO — Senior Muslim clerics believe Pope Benedict XVI’s abrupt resignation could reopen the way for dialogue with the Catholic Church, severed after Benedict’s controversial 2006 remarks on Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).

But improved ties between the Church and Al-Azhar, the premier seat of Sunni Muslim learning, would depend on the next pope’s approach to the Muslim World, the clerics said.

“The resumption of ties with the Vatican hinges on the new atmosphere created by the new pope,” said Mahmud Azab, an adviser on interfaith for the head of Al-Azhar Ahmed Al-Tayyeb.

“The initiative is now in the Vatican’s hands,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130214153113

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OIC to establish financial network for Palestinians

 14 February 2013

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation intends to establish a secure financial network to support the Palestinians, OIC Secretary-General Prof. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said yesterday.

Ihsanogly made this announcement during a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York. The two also discussed the developments in Syria and Mali as well as the situation of Rohingya in Myanmar. The OIC chief told the UN secretary-general the need to take necessary measures for protecting the Muslim minority in Myanmar and putting an end to the violence against them. Ihsanoglu met Ban to inform him about the resolutions taken by the recently concluded OIC summit in Cairo, which had instructed him to take necessary steps to solve the issues of Palestine, Syria, Mali and Myanmar with the support of the United Nations.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/oic-establish-financial-network-palestinians

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Israel confirms it held mystery 'Prisoner X'

February 14, 2013

Israel has confirmed it jailed a foreigner in solitary confinement on security grounds who later committed suicide, as Australia admitted Thursday it knew one of its citizens had been secretly held.

The man, identified by Australian media as Mossad agent Ben Zygier, known as "Prisoner X", died in a secret prison near Tel Aviv in 2010 in a case Israel went to extreme lengths to cover up, imposing media gag orders.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/afp/israel-confirms-it-held-mystery-prisoner-x/571701

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Pope Benedict XVI considered a friend in Israel

Feb 14, 2013

JERUSALEM: When Joseph Ratzinger became pope in 2005, many in Israel wondered whether the German-born Cardinal with the Nazi past would prove a worthy successor to the popular Pope John Paul II, whose pluralistic path helped sooth centuries of fraught relations between Jews and Christians.

Eight years later, following his surprise resignation Monday, Israeli leaders lauded Pope Benedict XVI as a friend who helped promote dialogue and coexistence.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Pope-Benedict-XVI-considered-a-friend-in-Israel/articleshow/18493960.cms

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Iran ordered banned materials to expand nuclear program fivefold, report says

Washington Post report says Iran's attempt to purchase specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines indicates country is 'planning a major expansion of its nuclear program that could shorten the path to an atomic weapons capability.'

 Feb.14, 2013

Iran recently attempted to purchase tens of thousands of highly specialized magnets used in centrifuge machines, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

The attempted acquisition indicates that the country is "planning a major expansion of its nuclear program that could shorten the path to an atomic weapons capability," said the Post.

Full report at:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/middle-east/iran-ordered-banned-materials-to-expand-nuclear-program-fivefold-report-says-1.503542

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Iran agrees on 'some points' in nuclear talks with IAEA: Envoy

Feb 14, 2013

TEHRAN: Iran has agreed on "some points" in talks with experts from the UN atomic watchdog in Tehran on Wednesday, its lead negotiator at the meeting said, quoted by local media.

"Some differences were resolved and agreement on some issues in the modality was reached," Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was quoted as saying after the meeting.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-agrees-on-some-points-in-nuclear-talks-with-IAEA-Envoy/articleshow/18490282.cms

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Ovation as Muslim players join Israeli club

 14 February 2013

Under heavy security, Gabriel Kadiev (19), a Muslim football player whose signing with the Jerusalem club Beitar sparked a violent uprising by a hardcore group of racist fans, made his much anticipated debut recently to a rousing ovation.

Tensions remained high as the team faced off against Bnei Sakhnin — an Arab team whose fans have clashed before with Beitar’s. But the thousands of fans and foes who flooded to Teddy Kollek Stadium on Sunday presented a show of strength against a rising tide of racism among Israeli soccer fans.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/ovation-as-muslim-players-join-israeli-club/article4411984.ece

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Iranian Guards' commander killed in Syria

14 Feb 2013

BEIRUT — Assailants shot dead an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander in Syria while he was travelling by road from Damascus towards the Lebanese capital, the Iranian authorities said on Thursday.

Iran's elite fighting force named the slain man as commander Hassan Shateri, in an statement on its website that said he was killed while travelling from Damascus to Beirut.

"Commander Hassan Shateri was martyred en route from Damascus to Beirut at the hands of Zionist regime mercenaries and backers," the force's spokesman Ramezan Sherif said in the statement.

Full report at:

Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved.

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Iranian official killed by gunmen on way from Syria to Lebanon

14 Feb 2013

Beirut: The Iranian embassy in Beirut said Thursday that an Iranian official was killed overnight on his way back from Damascus to the Lebanese capital.

The embassy said in a statement that "engineer Houssam Khosh Newes, an Iranian development official working in Lebanon, was killed by "armed terrorist groups while he was returning to Beirut from the Syrian capital."

Media outlets reported that Khosh Newes was in the Syrian province of Aleppo evaluating development projects to reconstruct the northern city that is witnessing deadly clashes between the government forces and rebels.

Khosh Newes was appointed to help rebuild southern Lebanon by Iranian President Mahmound Ahmadinejad after the 2006 war between Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah militia.

http://zeenews.india.com/news/world/iranian-official-killed-by-gunmen-on-way-from-syria-to-lebanon_829042.html

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Turkey moves to boost freedom of expression

 13 February 2013

ISTANBUL: Turkey has drafted changes to the penal code, narrowing the definition of terrorist propaganda in a step to boost freedom of expression in line with EU demands and potentially encourage a fledgling peace process with a jailed Kurdish militant leader.

The bill, presented to Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday and likely to be sent to Parliament this month, may lead to the release of defendants accused of links to Kurdish rebels, a justice ministry official told Reuters yesterday.

Turkey has used anti-terror legislation widely to prosecute thousands of politicians, activists and journalists, frequently for things they have said or written.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/turkey-moves-boost-freedom-expression

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 “Herod the Great” show in Israel angers Palestinians

 14 February 2013

JERUSALEM: The first major museum exhibition on the divisive biblical figure of Herod the Great has provoked a modern-day row between Israel and the Palestinians over who has the right to dig up his artefacts.

The Israel Museum in Jerusalem on Tuesday unveiled a display dedicated to Herod – branded a baby-killer in the Christian tradition but remembered by many in Israel for rebuilding the Jewish Temple two millennia ago.

Palestinians have complained many of the exhibits were taken from the occupied West Bank, land Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and which Palestinians seek as part of a future state.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/herod-the-great-show-in-israel-angers-palestinians/

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Europe

 

Russia arming Mali, more Islamist attacks feared

February 14, 2013

Russia revealed on Wednesday it was supplying guns to Mali's government, as French troops defused a massive bomb in the north of the country, the latest bid by Islamist rebels to strike back.

The head of Russia's arms export agency said it had delivered small amounts of light weapons for the West African nation's poorly equipped and deeply divided army.

"We are in talks about sending more, in small quantities," said Rosoboronexport chief Anatoly Isaikin, quoted by the Interfax news agency.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/africa/Russia-arming-Mali-more-Islamist-attacks-feared/Article1-1011454.aspx

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UK lawmaker admits Iraq, Afghan war plans based on 'primitive understanding' of Islam

Feb 14 2013

London, Feb 14 (ANI): A British lawmaker has admitted for the first time that a 'primitive understanding' of the Islamic world caused some of the problems faced by the west in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Jim Murphy, the Shadow Defence Secretary, will suggest in a speech today that the Blair government did not appreciate what it was getting itself into after the September 11 attacks, as British forces joined the international effort to overthrow the Taliban and hunt down Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network.

Full report at:

http://www.aninews.in/newsdetail4/story99220/uk-lawmaker-admits-iraq-afghan-war-plans-based-on-039-primitive-understanding-039-of-islam.html

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Suicide attack kills 3 police officers in Dagestan

February 14, 2013

A suicide car bomb attack in the volatile Russian Caucasus region of Dagestan killed three police officers and wounded six other people on Thursday, the local interior ministry said.

The attacker blew up his car at a checkpoint at Khassaviurt, in northern Dagestan, a statement said.

It said the blast left a crater that was two metres in diameter (two yards) and 1.5 metres deep.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/europe/Suicide-attack-kills-3-police-officers-in-Dagestan/Article1-1011486.aspx

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UN chief spotlights role of inter-faith dialogue to empower women

 14 February 2013

12 February 2013 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today drew attention to the role of faith leaders in promoting female empowerment, noting that they can help address gender prejudices and support women’s participation in society at all levels.

“People place extraordinary trust in their faith leaders, who have a far-reaching ability to help achieve lasting peace and promote the status of women,” Mr. Ban said in his message to a symposium held in New York.

Full report at:

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=44128&Cr=interfaith&Cr1=#.URypyx3Itm4

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UK to bring Afghan equipment home via Uzbekistan

 14 February 2013

LONDON: Britain’s Defense Secretary Philip Hammond said the UK has struck a deal with Uzbekistan to help bring back 4 billion pounds ($6.2 billion) of equipment from Afghanistan as operations drawn down.         

Britain’s government has said UK troop numbers in Afghanistan will fall from around 9,000 currently to about 5,200 by the end of 2013.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/uk-to-bring-afghan-equipment-home-via-uzbekistan/

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UN watchdog and Iran fail to reach nuclear deal

 14 February 2013

VIENNA: The UN nuclear watchdog said on Thursday it had again failed to clinch a deal in talks with Iran this week on investigating suspected atom bomb research by the state.

The lack of a breakthrough in Wednesday’s meeting in Tehran, though expected by Western diplomats, represented a new setback for international efforts to resolve a decade-old dispute over Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/14/un-watchdog-and-iran-fail-to-reach-nuclear-deal/

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Russia to continue Syria arms supply

VLADIMIR RADYUHIN

 14 February 2013

Russia is continuing to supply “defensive” weapons to Syria, the head of the state arms exporter said on Wednesday.

“We are continuing to fulfil our contract obligations because Syria is not under any sanctions of the United Nations Security Council,” Anatoly Isaikin, Director of Rosoboronexport, told a press conference in Moscow.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/russia-to-continue-syria-arms-supply/article4411359.ece

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Kosovo Radical Islamists In New Political Offensive

 FEB 13, 2013

BY STEPHEN SCHWARTZ

Kosovo, the Albanian-majority Balkan republic, is probably best known for its fervent pro-Americanism, understandable given the role of U.S.-led NATO forces in assisting its 1.8 million inhabitants against Serbian oppression in 1999. American troops in Kosovo are drawn from National Guard units and have fallen below a thousand, but continue to symbolize a commitment that Kosovars consider indispensable to their future.

Full report at:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/kosovo-radical-islamists-new-political-offensive_701196.html

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No charges in Britain over Taliban body part claims

 14 February 2013

LONDON: Three British military personnel accused of keeping dead Taliban insurgents’ body parts as “souvenirs” will not face charges due to a lack of evidence, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday.

The ministry said an independent investigation had found that no further action should be pursued over the allegations, which centred on a Scottish battalion’s tour of duty in Afghanistan between September 2010 and April 2011.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/13/no-charges-in-britain-over-taliban-body-part-claims/

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Southeast Asia

 

Bekasi Government Targets Al-Misbah Mosque in Ahmadiya Crackdown

Camelia Pasandaran | February 14, 2013

Indonesia’s beleaguered Ahmadiya sect suffered another blow on Thursday as Bekasi’s mayor announced plans to shut down a Pondok Gede mosque as part of a city-wide crackdown on what Islamic officials have branded a “deviant” branch of Islam.

“It has been banned.” Mayor Rahmat Effendi said of the sect. “We want to... prevent social clashes that will cause losses on all sides. The government needed to make a decision and stop it.”

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/bekasi-government-targets-al-misbah-mosque-in-ahmadiyah-crackdown/571664

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Two More Churches Hit in Makassar Molotov Cocktail Attacks

Farouk Arnaz | February 14, 2013

Police in Makassar, South Sulawesi, are standing guard outside churches after would-be arsonists hit two more churches in a second wave of attacks early Thursday morning.

Unknown assailants hurled homemade molotov cocktails at the South Sulawesi Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) and the Toraja Klassis Makassar Church Panakkukang Congregation in a pair of coordinated 4 a.m. attacks. Both churches suffered fire damage in the attempted fire bombings, police said.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/two-more-churches-hit-in-makassar-molotov-cocktail-attacks/571670

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Students in Solo, Riau say “No” to Valentine’s Day

Kusumasari Ayuningtyas

February 14 2013

Nearly 500 elementary school students in Surakarta, Central Java, joined a march to the city’s Manahan Stadium on Wednesday in protest against Muslim youths partaking in Valentine’s Day celebrations, arguing that doing so was against Islamic teaching.

Some 30 teachers accompanied the students at the rally in the city, which is also known as Solo. The students ranged from first to sixth graders of Al Fattah Islamic elementary school.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/02/14/students-solo-riau-say-no-valentine-s-day.html

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NU, Family Planning Body Propose Raising Indonesia's Marriage Age to 18

Jakarta Globe | February 14, 2013

Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization and the country’s family planning body have recommended that lawmakers raise the legal age of marriage.

Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and the National Family Planning Coordinating Board (BKKBN) both agreed that the current legal marriage age of 16 years old under the 1974 Marriage Law is no longer relevant.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/nu-family-planning-body-propose-raising-indonesias-marriage-age-to-18/571575

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As Valentine's Day Returns, So Does Resistance

SP/Lawrence Dami | February 13, 2013

The deputy mayor of Depok has called on residents, especially younger people, to not celebrate Valentine's Day on Thursday, as he believed people misinterpret the meaning of the celebration.

“Many people translate Valentine's Day as expressing [love] to their lover,” Idrus Abdul Somad said on Tuesday as quoted by Tempo.co. “Therefore please forbid your children from celebrating Valentine's Day.”

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/as-valentines-day-returns-so-does-resistance/571423

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North America

 

Obama warns N Korea & Iran, confirms Afghan pullout

Feb 14 2013

Washington : US President Barack Obama on Wednesday announced to bring 34,000 American troops back home from war-torn Afghanistan in the next one year as he warned North Korea and Iran to meet the international obligations on their controversial nuclear programmes or face action.

In an inspiring State of the Union Address — the first of his second term — Obama also came out with specific proposals to rejuvenate the country’s fragile economy by boosting the middle class, creating jobs, fixing the finances, increasing minimum wages and comprehensive immigration reform to attract the best talent of the world.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/obama-warns-n-korea---iran-confirms-afghan-pullout/1073753/

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US working to convince Assad to go: John Kerry

Feb 14, 2013

WASHINGTON: Washington aims to change Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's belief that he can hang onto power and accept "the inevitability" of his departure, Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

"We need to address the question of President Assad's calculation currently," Kerry told reporters. "I believe there are additional things that can be done to change his current perception."

The new top US diplomat said he would not go into specifics in public, but has a "good sense" of possible proposals.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-working-to-convince-Assad-to-go-John-Kerry/articleshow/18492135.cms

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Operation to kill Osama was risky: Panetta

February 14, 2013

US defence secretary Leon Panetta on Thursday said the daring operation to kill Osama bin Laden at his Abbottabad safe house in Pakistan was very risky as the al-Qaeda chief's presence there was not 100% confirmed. As Director of the CIA, Panetta played a leading role in the finding and

killing of bin Laden. Subsequently he was made the defense secretary by President Barack Obama.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/americas/Operation-to-kill-Osama-was-risky-Panetta/Article1-1011485.aspx

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Cameron Munter blasts US ‘callousness’ on Pakistan

 14 February 2013

WASHINGTON: Former US ambassador to Islamabad Cameron Munter on Wednesday criticised Washington’s “callousness” over the killing of Pakistani troops as he called for both nations to rethink how they see each other.

Munter served as ambassador during some of the most difficult times of the turbulent US-Pakistan relationship including the slaying of Osama bin Laden and a US border raid that killed 24 Pakistani troops in November 2011.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/13/cameron-munter-blasts-us-callousness-on-pakistan/

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US should hit 'pause' button on Afghan aid: watchdog

14 Feb 2013

The US government should reconsider whether to spend more on reconstruction aid in Afghanistan, the US watchdog that monitors the funds said on Wednesday, citing Afghanistan's persistent corruption and inability to manage projects as US troops withdraw.

John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghan reconstruction, said $20 billion in US assistance for Afghanistan had been appropriated but not yet spent. Nearly $10 billion more in aid may soon be approved by Congress.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=44760

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Africa

 

Somali journalist freed but may face charges

 14 February 2013

MOGADISHU: A Somali journalist was freed after being detained without charges for more than a week for speaking out against the imprisonment of a fellow reporter.

Daud Abdi Daud was released but he said yesterday that the Somali government wants to charge him in court with “offending the president's wife.”

Daud, a Radio Kulmiye reporter, said he was released Tuesday after more than a week in custody, though authorities treated him well.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/somali-journalist-freed-may-face-charges

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/maldives-claims-christians,-freemasons-secretly-working-to-“eradicate”-islam/d/10417

 

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