New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 3 Feb 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

More in France Are Turning to Islam, Challenging a Nation’s Idea of Itself

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India

"Kashmir Is A Place of Sufis and Saints, No Room for Immoral Values”: Hurriyat

Courts misinterpreting Sharia laws: Muslim law board

Indian Muslims less privileged than SC, ST's: UK scholar

Fatwa issued against Kashmiri all-girl band

Singing is un-Islamic, says J&K grand mufti

Muslim group sure people will reject Modi for PM

Fatwa against rock band: Singers can't be silenced by morons: Omar Abdullah

Three Indians held in UAE for smuggling drugs

 “Muslims have bigger problems than Rushdie”

“Release wrongly jailed Muslim youth”: AIMPLB

Delayed I-cards spanner in 26/11 security plan

Kargil officer takes aim at Malik & Mush

Amartya Sen slams Muslim outfits for skirting 'core issue of poverty'

 

Arab World

Nineteen killed in attack on Sunni militia in Iraq

80,000 beneficiaries leave Hafiz (Memorising Quran) after finding jobs

Syria, Mali crises overshadow Islamic summit in Cairo

'Bearded policemen' renew protests in Egypt

Egypt protester dies from alleged police torture

Syria violence kills at least 125 people

Saudi courts addressed 3,422 morality cases in one year

Hindus urge new Chaldean Catholic Patriarch to promote interfaith dialogue

Private schools in Jeddah blame Saudisation for their financial woes

 

Pakistan

Pakistan plans 'amusement city' for bin Laden town

Malala appears on video, says she is 'getting better, day by day'

Pak govt finally admits Hindu families' migration to India

Pakistani Taliban condemns 'ideological war' in Mali

Army battles legacy of mistrust in South Waziristan

Tahirul Qadri claims averting threat of martial law

'Martial law': Rehman Malik asks CJ to take notice of Dr Tahirul Qadri’s statement

Taliban name three guarantors for peace talks

Maleeha urges NATO nations to examine their Afghan policy

Fazl welcomes Pakistani Taliban’s conditions for peace talks

Deal suspected in Khateeb Lal Masjid’s acquittals

Constitutional impasse in Balochistan: JUI-F presents formula to end deadlock

Pakistan daily the News International website hacked

'Musharraf hid Kargil intrusions from ISI'

Talks on caretaker PM underway in Pakistan

Malik orders inquiry into death of Indian prisoner in Pak

Hafiz’s threats a bid to boost Jihadis’ morale

Tribesmen flee as fighting rages in Tirah

 

Southeast Asia

22 killed in clash of Filipino extremists, rebels

HRW condemns Malaysia for deporting Uighurs

Australian Embassy Bombing Convicts Seek Review

 

Africa

Secular party threatens to quit Islamist-led Tunisian government

Mali Tuaregs Seize Two Islamist Leaders Fleeing French Strikes

France targets Islamist bases in northern Mali

Palestinian Islamic Jihad chief meets Sudan's Bashir: media

Libyan TV crew ‘assaulted’ in parliament

Pirates Seize French-Owned Tanker and Hold 17 Aboard

 

Mideast Asia

Textbook Study Faults Israelis and Palestinians

Israeli hit damages Syrian chemical, biological research site

Rare Iran infighting surfaces over impeachment of a minister

Turkey pledges support for Syrian opposition

Shin Bet Security nabs Islamic Jihad cell plotting to kidnap Israelis

Hamas says 20 of its members arrested by Israel

Turkish attack a throwback to age of Left-wing terrorism

Iran announces nuclear talks; open to ‘authentic’ US meet

Turkey PM condemns Israel over Syria strike

Iran Says Israel Will Regret Syria Air Strike

Iran denies links to shipload of arms seized by Yemen

 

South Asia

Afghanistan should act on torture report: HRW

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami threatens to paralyse country

Bangladesh Jatiya Party forms human chain for steps to end violence

Taliban peace talks flounder as troops draw down from Afghanistan

Afghans stop 200 Pakistani containers

Maldives Criminal Court concludes hearings into terrorism charges against Shahum

 

North America

Leon Panetta admits use of torture in hunt for Osama bin Laden

Ideas about Modernizing Islam: lively discussion on Islamic faith and practice

Pentagon Expects U.S. to Retain Presence in Afghanistan

Islamophobia incidents on the rise in US

Safety tips are a sad reality for US Muslims

 

Europe

More in France Are Turning to Islam, Challenging a Nation’s Idea of Itself

‘Muslim Patrol’ attempting to enforce Sharia law in East London is condemned by imams

Fight against Qaeda could last a generation: Blair

UN: 2 Civilians Killed by Land Mines in North Mali

France jails four Somali ‘pirates’

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: More in France Are Turning to Islam, Challenging a Nation’s Idea of Itself

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/more-in-france-are-turning-to-islam,-challenging-a-nation’s-idea-of-itself/d/10266

 

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More in France Are Turning to Islam, Challenging a Nation’s Idea of Itself

By MAÏA de la BAUME

February 4, 2013

CRÉTEIL, France — The spacious and elegant modern building, in the heart of this middle-class suburb of Paris, is known as “the mosque of the converts.”

Every year about 150 Muslim conversion ceremonies are performed in the snow-white structure of the Sahaba mosque in Créteil, with its intricate mosaics and a stunning 81-foot minaret, built in 2008 and a symbol of Islam’s growing presence in France. Among those who come here for Friday Prayer are numerous young former Roman Catholics, wearing the traditional Muslim prayer cap and long robe.

While the number of converts remains relatively small in France, yearly conversions to Islam have doubled in the past 25 years, experts say, presenting a growing challenge for France, where government and public attitudes toward Islam are awkward and sometimes hostile.

French antiterrorism officials have been warning for years that converts represent a critical element of the terrorist threat in Europe, because they have Western passports and do not stand out.

In October, the French police conducted a series of antiterrorism raids across France, resulting in the arrests of 12 people, including at least three French citizens who had recently converted to Islam. Converts “often need to overdo it if they want to be accepted” as Muslims, and so veer into extremism more frequently than others, said Didier Leschi, who was in charge of religious issues at the Interior Ministry under former President Nicolas Sarkozy.

There are persistent concerns that French prisons are fertile ground for conversions and for Islamic radicalism; observant Muslims are thought to make up a least a third of the inmate population, according to French news reports.

Many Muslims counter that they regularly face prejudice, and consider a 2010 law banning the full-face veil from public spaces and the growing concern with conversions as reflections of French intolerance.

Whatever the impact, there is little doubt that conversions are growing more commonplace. “The conversion phenomenon is significant and impressive, particularly since 2000,” said Bernard Godard, who is in charge of religious issues at the Interior Ministry.

Of an estimated six million Muslims in France, about 100,000 are thought to be converts, compared with about 50,000 in 1986, according to Mr. Godard. Muslim associations say the number is as high as 200,000. But France, which has a population of about 65 million, defines itself as secular and has no official statistics broken down by race or creed.

For Mr. Godard, a former intelligence officer, it is the “nature” of conversions that has changed.

Conversions to marry have long been common enough in France, but a growing number of young people are now seen as converting to be better socially integrated in neighbourhoods where Islam is dominant.

“In poor districts, it has become a reverse integration,” said Gilles Kepel, an expert on Islam and the banlieues, the poor, predominantly Muslim neighbourhoods that ring Paris and other major cities.

Many converts are men younger than 40, experts say, often born in France’s former African colonies or overseas territories.

Charlie-Loup, 21, a student from nearby St.-Maur-des-Fossés, converted to Islam at 19, after a troubled adolescence and strained relations with his mother. He grew up Roman Catholic but had many Muslim friends at school. “Conversions have become a social phenomenon here,” he said, asking that his surname not be used because he considered his conversion a private initiative and did not want to draw attention to himself. Some convert simply “out of curiosity,” he said.

In some predominantly Muslim areas, even non-Muslims observe Ramadan, the Muslim holy month that requires fasting during the day, because they like “the group effect, the festive side of it,” said Samir Amghar, a sociologist and an expert on radical Islam in Europe.

In many banlieues, Islam has come to represent not only a sort of social norm but also a refuge, an alternative to the ambient misery, researchers and converts say.

For Mr. Amghar, Islam provides more structure and discipline than other religions. It is a way to “refuse modernism,” get back to a society with more family values and a clearer distinction between men and women. “Islam has a peaceful effect on the converts,” Mr. Amghar said. “The world looks clearer after they’ve converted.”

In Marseille, on the southern coast, “conversions have increased at an incredible pace in the last three years,” said Abderrahmane Ghoul, the imam of the major mosque of Marseille and the president of the local branch of the French Council of the Muslim Faith. Mr. Ghoul signed about 130 conversion certificates in 2012.

Hassen Chalghoumi, the moderate imam of Drancy, another suburb near Paris, says he thinks conversions have also been propelled by France’s official secularism, which he says breeds spiritual emptiness.

“Secularism has become antireligious,” Mr. Chalghoumi said. “Therefore, it has created an opposite phenomenon. It has allowed people to discover Islam.”

Many experts note the influence of celebrity converts, particularly soccer players. Nicolas Anelka, a regular on the French national team whose parents came from Martinique, changed his name to Abdul-Salam Bilal Anelka when he converted to Islam in 2004. Franck Ribéry, a popular player from northern France, converted to Islam in 2006 to marry a Muslim woman, Wahiba, and took the name Bilal Yusuf Mohammed.

But there is rising anxiety here about the influence of Islam, especially conservative Salafist Islam, particularly among those on the center-right. Islam is regularly at the center of heated debates about the nature and future of France and its culture, and politicians can win attention and support by criticizing the expansion of Muslim customs into the wider public sphere: for example, the rise of women-only sessions in public swimming pools or the increasing availability of Halal food.

In 2009, a photograph from the magazine Paris Match showing Diam, a popular female rapper, wearing a Hijab, or head covering, on a Paris street set off a flood of angry comments from officials and commentators. Fadela Amara, a former secretary of state for urban affairs and founder of a feminist group, Neither Whores Nor Submissives, said that the hijab sent out a “negative image of women” and described it as “a real danger for young women in poor districts.”

But Diam’s dismissed her critics, saying that having her hijab did not make her a radical Muslim, and that her conversion was a personal choice that had helped her with depression.

Recent arrests of radical Muslim converts have also increased concern among public officials and Muslim leaders, though radical Islam is by no means the norm among converts.

Rafaello Sillitti, the owner of the bookstore Averroès, which occupies a small space in the Créteil mosque, is convinced that converts like him can be the best advocates of Islam. He sells carpets equipped with compasses to help users orient themselves toward Mecca and a wide range of books written by Muslim scholars, with titles like “Be Master of Your Physical Desire” and “How to Use a Cellphone According to Islamic Law.”

“We must get rid of an imaginary Islamic culture,” Mr. Sillitti said, referring to the clichés and misapprehensions connected to Islam in France. “We must show that French culture and Islam can live together in peace.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/world/europe/rise-of-islamic-converts-challenges-france.html?ref=world&gwh=451272BA5C2353D2D9F112E3758522BD&_r=0

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India

 

"Kashmir Is A Place of Sufis and Saints, No Room for Immoral Values”: Hurriyat

No noble family will allow girls to become dancers: Hurriyat

Feb 3, 2013

SRINAGAR: Hard-line faction of Hurriyat Conference today expressed surprise over Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah's support for the valley's only all-girls rock band, saying there is no room to nourish western culture and immoral values in the state.

"Kashmir is a place of Sufis and saints and there is no room to nourish western type of culture and immoral values," Hurriyat spokesman Ayaz Akbar said in a statement.

"Though in a civilised society there is no place for coercion and force, there are some values a citizen has to adopt to safeguard the ethical and religious traditions," he said.

"Hurriyat Conference expresses regret and surprise over the support of Omar Abdullah," Akbar said.

"As a matter of fact no noble family will allow their girls to choose their profession as a dancer so as to be a mere thing of pleasure for strangers," he said.

Akbar said Omar should have gone through the history of Kashmir to find out the high regard and esteem bestowed upon women in order to save them from being sold as commodity.

"It is a matter of concern for us the way Omar Abdullah backed the rock band because the dynasty he belongs to has since long disassociated itself from Islamic and ethical values," he said.

Referring to the reported threats being given to the rock band, the spokesman termed it "not good".

"Instead, parents should have rectified the things and provided advice to their daughters that their activities were not as per ethics of Islam, culture and our unique identity," he said.

Omar had come out in support of the girls yesterday saying police will probe the threats.

"I hope these talented young girls will not let a handful of morons silence them," he said.

The all-girls band, which came to limelight in late December last year after their performance at the annual 'Battle of the Bands' competition here, had defied the convention by stepping into the male-dominated field of music.

The girls' band has received abusive and hate messages on their Facebook page for defying convention by choosing the field of music.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/No-noble-family-will-allow-girls-to-become-dancers-Hurriyat/articleshow/18321411.cms

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Courts misinterpreting Sharia laws: Muslim law board

By Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui

 Feb 4, 2013

LUCKNOW: The executive committee of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Sunday expressed concern over growing restlessness among Muslims over the alleged misinterpretation of Sharia law by the judiciary while dealing with sharia-based cases in violation of the Sharia Application Act, 1936.

The committee demanded the central and state governments take up issues related to innocent Muslims implicated in terror cases and have either been acquitted by courts or are still in prisons as under-trials for more than six years.

AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani said a memorandum was submitted to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav about specifics of nine separate terror cases in which arrested Muslim youths were acquitted but not before they had spent more than six years in jail. The government must take immediate steps to check such exploitation of innocent Muslims and compensate them, he added.

The board members demanded that police officers who arrested these youths must be booked under the charges that they had slapped on these innocents. The board will also demand tabling of the Nimesh Commission report. The commission was formed in March 2008 to probe the arrest of two youths, Tariq and Khalid, for the September 23, 2007, serial blasts at district courts in Lucknow, Varanasi and Faizabad.

The committee, which met at Nadwatul Ulema here, said the AIMPLB will approach the Central and the state governments with demands regarding registration of marriages Act and provisions to entitle Muslim women to inherit agricultural land of their father at par with their male counterparts, as well.

On the issue of mass objection by social organizations over the option of triple talaaq in one go, AIMPLB said Sharia has an answer to all the situations that one can face in case of a divorce and hence it should be left to the parties involved — the man and woman — to handle the issue.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Courts-misinterpreting-sharia-laws-Muslim-law-board-says/articleshow/18326084.cms

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Indian Muslims less privileged than SC, ST's: UK scholar

 Feb 4, 2013

ALIGARH: Muslims in India are even less privileged than members of scheduled caste and scheduled tribes as they enjoy neither equity nor equality of opportunity, a noted British scholar claimed here today.

Delivering Sir Syed Memorial Lecture at Aligarh Muslim University here, Gordon Campbell, Professor of Renaissance Studies at Leicester University in UK, claimed that the condition of Muslims, especially in the field of education, had worsened "in the seven years since the Sachar Committee Report was published".

"Muslims have been marginalised and have limited access in the field of mainstream education and public sector employment in the country," said Campbell, who is also the founding chairman of the Consortium of British Universities in Saudi Arabia.

He, however, lauded some recent initiatives in the sphere of education of Muslims, particularly AMU's decision "to establish centres of higher education in minority dominated areas of the country including Malappuram and Murshidabad".

He said, the establishment of these centres was a "bold initiative" taken by the university.

Referring to the policies followed by AMU's founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Campbell said some people attribute origins of the two nation theory, which ultimately led to the creation of Pakistan, to him.

He, however, pointed out "Sir Syed Ahmad Khan believed in peaceful co-existence and that Hindus and Muslims should form one nation".

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-Muslims-less-privileged-than-SC-STs-UK-scholar/articleshow/18334888.cms

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Fatwa issued against Kashmiri all-girl band

 Feb 4, 2013

SRINAGAR: Kashmir's top clergyman, Mufti Azam Mufti Bashiruddin, on Sunday issued a "fatwa" against three Kashmiri girls for being part of a rock band which performed in Srinagar in December 2012.

The grand mufti said he has decreed against the girls because music is banned in Islam and girls should imbibe "better values" instead of vices.

"I issued the fatwa where I said to the girls that music is not good for society," he said. "All bad things happening in the Indian society are because of music," he added.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Fatwa-issued-against-Kashmiri-all-girl-band/articleshow/18327128.cms

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Singing is un-Islamic, says J&K grand mufti

 February 4, 2013

As support grew for Pragaash, the all-girls’ rock band of Kashmir, the grandmufti of Jammu and Kashmir, Bashiruddin Ahmad, on Sunday issued a decree, terming singing “un-Islamic” and asking the band to abandon it.

“I have said that singing is not in accordance with Islamic teachings,” he told PTI.

The cleric said he told the band members that singing would not help them in playing any constructive role in society. “Society cannot be built or developed by doing un-Islamic acts like singing. I have advised these girls, and other Muslims as well, to stay within the limits of modesty as prescribed for them.”

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/singing-is-unislamic-says-jk-grandmufti/article4375691.ece

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Muslim group sure people will reject Modi for PM

MOHAMMAD ALI

 February 4, 2013

The Muslim group is confident that the majority in the country is secular

Amid high-pitched demands by some Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad to declare Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate for the 2014 general elections, a prominent Muslim group Jamiat-Ulema-i-Hind (JUH), in a first-of-its-kind development, has asked the main Opposition party to do so. Arguing that the majority of India was “essentially secular,” the JUH expressed confidence that the country would “reject” Mr. Modi.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/muslim-group-sure-people-will-reject-modi-for-pm/article4375701.ece

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Fatwa against rock band: Singers can't be silenced by morons, Omar Abdullah says

Feb 4, 2013

SRINAGAR, Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah has come down heavily on those threatening the three young girls who have formed the Valley's only rock band, Pragaash, and promised police investigations into the threats againnst them.

He encouraged the girls, saying their talent should not be stymied by "a handful of morons who are trying to silence them".

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Fatwa-against-rock-band-Singers-cant-be-silenced-by-morons-Omar-Abdullah-says/articleshow/18331076.cms

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Three Indians held in UAE for smuggling drugs

Feb 3, 2013

ABU DHABI: Three Indians have been arrested in Abu Dhabi when they tried to smuggle around 130 kg of poppy seeds into the UAE.

Customs inspectors at the Abu Dhabi international airport suspected three passengers on a flight that arrived from India.

On inspection, they found 52 bags of narcotic poppy seeds, weighing 52 kg, from one suspect.

The other two Indians were found to carry poppy seeds weighing 35.1 kg and 41.1 respectively.

Hamad A Hurr Al Suwaidi, chairman of the department of finance, praised the custom personnel for foiling the smuggling attempt.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Three-Indians-held-in-UAE-for-smuggling-drugs/articleshow/18322353.cms

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“Muslims have bigger problems than Rushdie”

ANANYA DUTTA

 February 4, 2013

“Protests at Kolkata airport distracted from the real inequities faced by the community”

Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen said here on Sunday that the Muslim groups who protested against author Salman Rushdie’s visit to the city were distracting attention from “the real disadvantages” that the community faced.

“A lot of people who are enormously disadvantaged have enormous reasons to complain about other things,” Professor Sen said in response to a question on the controversy at the Kolkata Literary Meet, one of the events in the 37 International Kolkata Book Fair.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/muslims-have-bigger-problems-than-rushdie/article4375802.ece

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“Release wrongly jailed Muslim youth”: AIMPLB

 February 4, 2013

‘Thousands of young Muslim men languish in incarceration without charge sheets to their name’

Seeking action on the prolonged incarceration of Muslim youth over unsubstantiated terror charges, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board has demanded that those against whom no charge sheet had been filed even after several years of imprisonment be discharged and compensation given to those who have been acquitted.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/release-wrongly-jailed-muslim-youth/article4375806.ece

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Delayed I-cards spanner in 26/11 security plan

Aloke Tikku, Hindustan Times

 February 04, 2013

The cabinet’s failure to give go-ahead to resident identity cards compromises key decisions taken to improve border security in the aftermath of the 26/11 attacks.

 Top security agencies have been urging the home ministry to expeditiously issue identity cards based on the National

Population Register (NPR) in nearly 130 border districts.

“A reliable identity card is at the heart of securing the country… to distinguish between a local resident and an infiltrator,” said a senior home ministry official.

The card was to have the holder’s Aadhaar number, biometric data and demographic details.

At the coastal security committee’s meeting in June, cabinet secretary Ajit Kumar Seth talked about a request by the naval chief to “take steps to complete the NPR and issue the resident identity cards in all the left out coastal villages and towns on priority basis”.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/newdelhi/Delayed-I-cards-spanner-in-26-11-security-plan/Article1-1005977.aspx

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Kargil officer takes aim at Malik & Mush

By Vikas Kahol in Chandigarh

 February 4, 2013

BRIGADIER Surinder Singh — who was commanding the Kargil- based 121 Infantry Brigade before the Kargil intrusion — has rubbished claims that General Pervez Musharraf, the then army chief of Pakistan, had flown across the LoC and travelled 11km into the Indian side weeks before the conflict. Brig Singh on Sunday said it was a “ cheap publicity stunt” of former Pakistan Army officers who have made the claim.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Amartya Sen slams Muslim outfits for skirting 'core issue of poverty'

 Feb 04 2013

Kolkata : Noted economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen on Sunday said Muslim outfits are not trying to address the issues plaguing the community and instead diverting from them by organising protests against authors like Salman Rushdie.

“There are a lot of people, who are enormously disadvantaged, have reasons to complain about other things. Here, I’m not only talking about the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes but the fact that even in Bengal, if you look at Muslim groups in terms of the even-handedness of progress, they have not been as privileged. To subvert that issue into a completely different kind, and getting offended about something else is distracting the attention from the real disadvantages they face,” Sen said at a event at Kolkata Literary Meet.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/amartya-slams-muslim-outfits-for-skirting-core-issue-of-poverty-/1068880/

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Arab World

 

Nineteen killed in attack on Sunni militia in Iraq

Feb 4, 2013

(Reuters) - A suicide bomber attacked a government-backed militia north of Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 19 people in an apparent attempt by Sunni insurgents to stoke unrest against Iraq's Shi'ite prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki.

Police said the bomber had infiltrated a meeting of Sahwa tribal fighters and detonated his explosives as they were gathering to pick up salaries in Taji, a town 20 km (12 miles) north of the capital.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/04/us-iraq-violence-idUSBRE91308T20130204-

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80,000 beneficiaries leave Hafiz (Memorising Quran) after finding jobs

 4 February 2013

Labour Minister Adel Fakeih said 80,000 beneficiaries have already left the Hafiz scheme after they found jobs.

The Hafiz is a scheme introduced by the ministry to provide incentives to the unemployed youth to find jobs. The incentives include a monthly allowance of SR 2,000 and job-training programs.

“Some youth have voluntarily stopped taking the unemployment grant because they do not need it. This indicates the rising level of people’s awareness,” the minister said in a press meeting after attending a function in Jeddah on Saturday.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/80000-beneficiaries-leave-hafiz-after-finding-jobs

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Syria, Mali crises overshadow Islamic summit in Cairo

Cairo summit is scheduled to discuss the major conflicts in the Islamic world with Mali and Syria on top agenda

4 Feb 2013

Foreign ministers will begin a two-day meeting in the Egyptian capital on Monday to prepare for the summit, which will include leaders of 26 of the OIC's 57 states.

Egypt's first Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi, will assume the OIC's rotating presidency.

The summit had been scheduled to take place in 2011 but was postponed due to the regional uprisings that overthrew four Arab dictators, including Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, the OIC's secretary general Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/63983/World/Region/Syria,-Mali-crises-overshadow-Islamic-summit-in-Ca.aspx

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'Bearded policemen' renew protests in Egypt

Tens of policemen demand the right to work while keeping their beards, based on court verdict ignored by interior ministry

 3 Feb 2013

Tens of bearded police officers protested at the interior ministry headquarters Sunday demanding to be allowed to resume their work.

Police officers in Egypt are not allowed to grow their beards.

The protesting officers repeated chants demanding that Minister of Interior Mohamed Ibrahim accepts a court verdict allowing them to resume their duties.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/63943/Egypt/Politics-/Bearded-policemen-renew-protests-in-Egypt-.aspx

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Egypt protester dies from alleged police torture

Mohamed El-Gendy, who was arrested at a protest in Tahrir Square on 27 January, dies on Monday from severe brain injuries allegedly caused by police torture

 4 Feb 2013

A man has died after allegedly being tortured in police custody following his arrest at a protest in Tahrir Square on 27 January.

Mohamed El-Gendy, 28, a member of the Popular Current, died in Helal Hospital on Monday after being transferred to the intensive care unit suffering from low blood pressure, a suspected brain haemorrhage and a brain effusion, said health ministry spokesperson Ahmed Omar.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/63989/Egypt/Politics-/Egypt-protester-dies-from-alleged-police-torture.aspx

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Syria violence kills at least 125 people

February 04, 2013

BEIRUT: At least 16 people, among them 10 children and a rebel commander, were killed in a missile attack by the Syrian army Sunday on a rebel-held area of the northern city of Aleppo, the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. They were among at least 125 people killed across Syria Sunday, according to a tally compiled by the organization.

The Observatory warned that the number of casualties from the Aleppo attack could rise as people scrambled to sift through the rubble of a five-story building that collapsed in the attack on Ansari district, in southwestern Aleppo.

Video distributed by activists showed a man describing the carnage.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Feb-04/204933-syria-violence-kills-at-least-125-people.ashx#ixzz2JvEcL1kF

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Saudi courts addressed 3,422 morality cases in one year

By Habib Toumi

 February 4, 2013

Manama: Courts in Saudi Arabia last year looked into 3,422 cases of harassment, prostitution and khelwa (unlawful meeting between men and women), official statistics indicate.

Illicit relations topped the list with 2,050 cases followed by sexual harassment of women in public places with 969 lawsuits, according to the figures published by local Arabic daily Al Sharq on Monday.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-courts-addressed-3-422-morality-cases-in-one-year-1.1141580

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Hindus urge new Chaldean Catholic Patriarch to promote interfaith dialogue

By Secretary

 Feb 3, 2013

Congratulating His Beatitude Dr. Louis Raphael I Sako, 64, on his election as the new Patriarch of Babylon of Baghdad (Iraq) headquartered Chaldean Catholic Church, Hindus hope that he would promote interfaith dialogue in the world.

Chaldean Catholic synod of bishops, after four days of meetings at Vatican, elected Sako on January 31 as the successor to His Beatitude Emmanuel-Karim III Delly, 85, who reportedly resigned for health reasons in December. His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI reportedly formally recognized the election by extending “ecclesial communion” to him.

Full report at:

http://rajanzed.com/rajan/index.php/2013/02/03/hindus-urge-new-chaldean-catholic-patriarch-to-promote-interfaith-dialogue/

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Private schools in Jeddah blame Saudisation for their financial woes

 4 February 2013

About 13 private schools in Jeddah laid off staff and students after experiencing significant financial hardships following the decision by the Ministry of Labour to raise minimum wage for Saudis teachers, school officials said.

The closure of private schools will increase public education costs on the government.

“Private schools save the government SR12 billion annually, given the fact one public education pupil costs the government about SR 20,000 a year,” said Othman Al-Qasabi, chairman of the committee for private schools at Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The Saudisation quota required from girls’ schools by the Ministry of Labour led to difficulties and hardships for these schools that had to raise their fees by 50 percent, which was rejected by many parents who drew their offspring out.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/private-schools-blamed-saudization-their-financial-woes

--------------

Pakistan

 

Pakistan plans 'amusement city' for bin Laden town

Monday 4 Feb 2013

Pakistan is planning to build a $30 million amusement park with a zoo and adventure sports facilities in the town where Osama bin Laden was killed by US special forces, officials said Monday.

The 50-acre (20-hectare) riverside development on the edge of Abbottabad, where US Navy SEALs shot the Al-Qaeda leader dead on May 2, 2011, will include restaurants, a heritage centre and artificial waterfalls.

The government of northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province hopes the project, announced as a public-private partnership, will boost tourism but denied it was intended to improve the town's image after the humiliation of the bin Laden raid.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/64010/World/International/Pakistan-plans-amusement-city-for-bin-Laden-town.aspx

--------------

 

Malala appears on video, says she is 'getting better, day by day'

Feb 4, 2013

LONDON: A Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban has made her first video statement since she was nearly killed, saying she is recovering.

Speaking clearly but with a slight stiffness in her upper lip, 15-year-old Malala Yousefzai said that she was "getting better, day by day."

The video statement was published Monday, just hours after Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital said they had successfully operated to reconstruct her skull and restore her hearing.

The teenager drew the world's attention when she was shot by Taliban militants on Oct. 9 on a school bus in northwestern Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Malala-appears-on-video-says-she-is-getting-better-day-by-day/articleshow/18334562.cms

----------

 

Pak govt finally admits Hindu families' migration to India

February 04, 2013

Lahore: The Pakistan government has finally acknowledged reports that dozens of Hindu families have migrated to India, saying that members of the minority community left Pakistan for a better future.

Adviser to Prime Minister on Minorities Affairs Dr Paul Bhatti said there was no legal restriction on any minority member to avail such opportunity, reports the Daily Times. Bhatti is a member of the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP), as well as the chairman of All Pakistan Minorities Alliance (APMA).

Full report at:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/south-asia/pak-govt-finally-admits-hindu-families-migration_826967.html

----------

 

Pakistani Taliban condemns 'ideological war' in Mali

Feb 3, 2013

PESHAWAR: The Pakistani Taliban urged the Muslim world to unite in a video message released on Sunday as they condemned the French military intervention in Mali as an "ideological war".

French President Francois Hollande visited Mali on Saturday and vowed his troops would stay as long as necessary to continue the fight against Islamist rebels who had taken control of the country's north for 10 months.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistani-Taliban-condemns-ideological-war-in-Mali/articleshow/18319669.cms

--------------

 

Army battles legacy of mistrust in South Waziristan

 February 4, 2013

CHAGMALAI: In a Pakistan army base high in the mountains on the Afghan frontier, a general explains a strategy for fighting the Taliban he calls simply “WHAM”.

The name has a distinctly bellicose ring. But the soldiers are learning to fight a new kind of war in a region US President Barack Obama has called the most dangerous on Earth.

“WHAM - winning hearts and minds,” explains the straight-talking General Nazir Butt, in charge of converting the army’s gains on the battlefield into durable security. “The plan is to turn militant sanctuaries into safe havens for the people.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\02\04\story_4-2-2013_pg1_5

--------------

 

Tahirul Qadri claims averting threat of martial law

February 4, 2013

LAHORE: Minhajul-Quran International (MQI) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri has claimed that if he had allowed the participants of his January 14 long march a ‘free hand’, the country would have been placed under martial law “within five minutes”.

He told a press conference in Lahore on Sunday that the objective of the long march was to promote peace and convey a message to the world that Pakistanis are peaceful people. At the same time, he said had the government not come forth for negotiations, he would have allowed the marchers a free hand which he claimed would have culminated in martial law.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/502345/tall-claim-tahirul-qadri-claims-averting-threat-of-martial-law/

---------

 

'Martial law': Rehman Malik asks CJ to take notice of Dr Tahirul Qadri’s statement

By Ferya Ilyas

 February 4, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Responding to a claim made by Minhaj ul Quran International (MQI) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri regarding the imposition of martial law in the country, Interior Minister Rehman Malik asked Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take notice of the statement.

Malik said the people of Pakistan want to know why he made such a controversial revelation.

Qadri in a press conference on February 3 said that if he had allowed the participants of his January 14 long march a ‘free hand’, the country would have been placed under martial law “within five minutes”.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/502462/martial-law-rehman-malik-asks-cj-to-take-notice-of-qadris-statement/

--------------

 

Taliban name three guarantors for peace talks

 February 4, 2013

PESHAWAR: Barely a day after mounting an audacious attack on the security forces, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) held up a white flag, signalling its willingness to enter peace negotiations with the government if three senior politicians would act as guarantors.

Saturday’s assault on a military camp in the Lakki Marwat district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa claimed the lives of nearly two dozen people, including 11 civilians.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/502342/ending-conflict-taliban-name-three-guarantors-for-peace-talks/

--------------

 

Maleeha urges NATO nations to examine their Afghan policy

February 4, 2013

Reacting sharply to criticism by a German MP of Pakistan’s Afghan policy, Dr Maleeha Lodhi said that Pakistan had consistently called for a negotiated political settlement to end the war.

Speaking at a roundtable organised in Berlin by a leading German think tank, the former Pakistani envoy to the US and the UK said that the MP’s characterisation of Pakistan’s stance as being double faced was both false and unwarranted.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/502314/berlin-roundtable-maleeha-urges-nato-nations-to-examine-their-afghan-policy/

--------------

 

Fazl welcomes Pakistani Taliban’s conditions for peace talks

 February 4, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman on Monday welcomed “positive” demands by Pakistani Taliban of making Sharif, Hasan and himself guarantor for holding peace talks with the government, DawnNews reported.

Speaking to media representatives, he said the conditions set by the banned Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) for holding talks was a progress in the right direction.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/04/fazl-welcomes-pakistani-talibans-conditions-for-peace-talks/

--------------

 

Deal suspected in Khateeb Lal Masjid’s acquittals

 February 4, 2013

ISLAMABAD, Feb 3: The acquittal of Khateeb Lal Masjid Maulana Aziz in all except one case has led to conjecture and speculation that a deal has been struck.

In 2009, Maulana Aziz was facing 27 cases in different courts including Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) of Rawalpindi.

Towards the end of January 2013, Maulana Aziz got off scot-free from the second last one in which he was accused of kidnapping police officials; he now only has one hurdle left.

He now only faces one case of harassing the shopkeepers of Aabpara and Jinnah Super — threatening them for selling Indian and English movies.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/04/deal-suspected-in-maulana-azizs-acquittals/

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Constitutional impasse in Balochistan: JUI-F presents formula to end deadlock

 February 4, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F, the third largest party in the Balochistan Assembly after the PML-Q and PPP, has offered its unconditional support for the ruling coalition to elect a new chief minister.

The JUI-F has urged coalition partners to nominate a new chief minister or let Maulana Fazlur Rehman make a choice to enable Balochistan to move ahead with other provinces in democratic transition.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/04/constitutional-impasse-in-balochistan-jui-f-presents-formula-to-end-deadlock/

--------------

 

Pakistan daily the News International website hacked

 4 February 2013

The website of a Pakistani daily, the News International, was hacked on Monday, with the hackers claiming that they controlled the “.pk domains”.

A message on the daily’s website from “PAKbugs” read: “Here we go again, pknic.net.pk you think you control .pk domains? LOL you don’t! today we are controlling .pk domains!

after you patched your ...system we still owned you it was perfect security, btw we dumped 23,000 Accounts information successfully, including government news blogs forums etc etc...”

The message signed off, saying “We Are: ZombiE_KsA, Z3r0Byt3, Xploiter, Dr.Freak

Greetz: pknic.net.pk, RiSky, Hij@cker, and all Pakbugs folks.”

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/international/2013/February/international_February143.xml&section=international

--------------

 

'Musharraf hid Kargil intrusions from ISI'

 February 03, 2013

Pervez Musharraf kept such a tight lid on intrusions by Pakistani troops into Kargil in 1999 that the ISI learnt of the development when it intercepted Indian Army communications, reveals a retired general in his book.

Lt Gen (retired) Shahid Aziz, who headed the analysis wing of the ISI at the time, writes that when he brought "strange wireless intercepts" to the notice of then ISI chief, Lt Gen Ziauddin Butt, on May 3 or 4, 1999, he asked Aziz to keep the documents with himself.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/Musharraf-hid-Kargil-intrusions-from-ISI/Article1-1005945.aspx

--------------

 

Talks on caretaker PM underway in Pakistan

Imtiaz Ahmad, Hindustan Times

 February 03, 2013

With general elections expected to take place in May, hectic negotiations are being conducted in Pakistan between different parties on the choice of the caretaker prime minister and the cabinet which will oversee the polls. A number of names have cropped up and been shot down as the talks continue.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/Talks-on-caretaker-PM-underway-in-Pakistan/Article1-1005944.aspx

--------------

 

Malik orders inquiry into death of Indian prisoner in Pak

 Feb 04 2013

Islamabad : Pakistan's Interior Minister Rehman Malik today said he had ordered an inquiry into the death of Indian national Chambail Singh, who died after he was allegedly assaulted by prison staff in Lahore last month.

"I (have) ordered an enquiry by (the Federal Investigation Agency) today," Malik said in a message posted on Twitter this morning.

He was responding to a post by an Indian Twitter user who had claimed that Singh was "murdered" in a Pakistani prison. Authorities in Lahore had earlier ordered a judicial inquiry into the death of Singh after another prisoner, a Christian lawyer - Tehseen Khan, alleged that the Indian national had died after he was beaten by staff at Kot Lakhpat Jail on January 15.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/malik-orders-inquiry-into-death-of-indian-prisoner-in-pak/1069069/

--------------

 

Hafiz’s threats a bid to boost jihadis’ morale

By Rajeev Deshpande & Subodh Ghildiya

Feb 4, 2013

NEW DELHI: Lashkar-e-Taiba boss Hafiz Saeed's recent threats to step up violence in Jammu and Kashmir after the US pullout from Afghanistan in a year's time might be crafty attempts to boost the morale of separatists and rally jihadi factions.

Saeed's public statements and his private pledges to a visiting Hurriyat delegation are being seen in the context of an increasing flow of Kashmiri "returnees" in contrast to lower numbers of infiltrators in the past couple of years.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hafizs-threats-a-bid-to-boost-jihadis-morale/articleshow/18327069.cms

--------------

 

Tribesmen flee as fighting rages in Tirah

 February 4, 2013

LANDI KOTAL, Feb 3: More than 300 Kamarkhel families were forced to leave their houses as outlawed militant group Lashkar-i-Islam strengthened its control over the northern part of Takhtaki area in Tirah valley of Khyber Agency.

Situated at a high altitude, the picturesque Takhtaki, inhabited mostly by Khoedadkhel sub-tribe of Kamarkhel, witnessed some bloody clashes between Kamarkhel Amn Sareshtha, a local peace committee, and Lashkar-i-Islam (LI) during the last one week.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/04/tribesmen-flee-as-fighting-rages-in-tirah/

--------------

Southeast Asia

 

22 killed in clash of Filipino extremists, rebels

Feb 4, 2013

MANILA: A Muslim rebel group said today it attacked Abu Sayyaf gunmen after the al-Qaeda-linked militants refused to free hostages, sparking fierce jungle clashes that left up to 22 combatants dead in the southern Philippines.

There was no word on whether the hostages were hurt in the fighting, but they remained in the grip of the Abu Sayyaf militants, police said.

Rebel commander Khabir Malik of the Moro National Liberation Front, which has an autonomy deal with the government, said his group decided to attack the Abu Sayyaf in the rugged mountains of Patikul town in southern Sulu province after negotiations collapsed on the release of several of its foreign hostages, including a Jordanian TV journalist and two European men who have been held since last year.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/22-killed-in-clash-of-Filipino-extremists-rebels/articleshow/18334804.cms

-----------

 

HRW condemns Malaysia for deporting Uighurs

 February 4, 2013

KUALA LAMPUR: Human Rights Watch on Monday denounced the Malaysian government for forcibly returning six ethnic Uighur asylum seekers to China, saying they face an “uncertain fate”.

The New York-based group said their deportation in December was a grave violation of international law and demanded Malaysia ensure it does not happen again.

“While Malaysians were celebrating the New Year, their government was forcibly returning Uighur asylum seekers to a dangerously uncertain fate in China,” deputy Asia director Phil Robertson said in a statement.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/502438/hrw-condemns-malaysia-for-deporting-uighurs/

--------------

 

Australian Embassy Bombing Convicts Seek Review

Farouk Arnaz | February 04, 2013

Lawyers for the two men convicted of bombing the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2004 are drafting legal review pleas to the Supreme Court in order to have their clients escape the death sentence.

Achmad Michdan, the head of the Muslim Lawyer Team, expressed optimism that his clients — Iwan Darmawan, also known as Rois, and Ahmad Hasan — would be successful in their bid.

“We have new evidence we will submit in our documents, for instance, testimonies by witnesses that were not fully conveyed because of pressure at that time,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/jakarta/australian-embassy-bombing-convicts-seek-review/569383

----------

Africa

 

Secular party threatens to quit Islamist-led Tunisian government

The president-affiliated secular party threatens to withdraw from Islamist-led Tunisian coalition amid a domestic crisis on cabinet formation

3 Feb 2013

The Tunisian president's secular party threatened on Sunday to withdraw from the Islamist-led government unless it drops two Islamist ministers.

The moderate Islamist Ennahda party won 42 percent of seats in the country's first post-Arab Spring elections in October 2011 but formed a government in coalition with two secular parties, President Moncef Marzouki's Congress for the Republic and Ettakatol.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/63974/World/Region/Secular-party-threatens-to-quit-Islamistled-Tunisi.aspx

-----------

 

Mali Tuaregs Seize Two Islamist Leaders Fleeing French Strikes

February 4, 2013

KIDAL, Mali (Reuters) - Tuareg rebels in northern Mali said on Monday they had captured two senior Islamist insurgents fleeing French air strikes toward the Algerian border, and France pressed ahead with its bombing campaign against al Qaeda's Saharan desert camps.

Pro-autonomy Tuareg MNLA rebels said they had seized Mohamed Moussa Ag Mohamed, an Islamist leader who imposed harsh sharia law in the desert town of Timbuktu, and Oumeini Ould Baba Akhmed, believed to be responsible for the kidnapping of a French hostage by the al Qaeda splinter group MUJWA.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/02/04/world/africa/04reuters-mali-

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France targets Islamist bases in northern Mali

 February 4, 2013

The French military intervention turns away from cities and toward the radicals’ desert outposts

New French airstrikes targeted fuel depots and bases of Islamist extremists in northern Mali overnight, as the French military intervention turns away from cities and toward the radicals’ desert outposts that had raised fears of a Saharan launchpad for international terrorism.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on France-Inter radio on Monday that the strikes hit the Kidal region, near the border with Algeria, for the second night in a row. The extremists “cannot stay there a long time unless they have ways to get new supplies,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/france-targets-islamist-bases-in-northern-mali/article4378267.ece

--------------

 

Palestinian Islamic Jihad chief meets Sudan's Bashir: media

February 04, 2013

KHARTOUM: The head of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, accused by Israel of receiving arms which transit through Sudan, has met President Omar al-Bashir in Khartoum, official media reported.

Bashir discussed "issues of mutual concern" with Ramadan Abdullah Shallah during talks on Sunday at the presidential guest house, the state SUNA news agency said. It gave no further details.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Feb-04/204969-islamic-jihad-chief-meets-sudans-bashir-media.ashx#ixzz2JvESZpIP

--------------

 

Libyan TV crew ‘assaulted’ in parliament

February 3, 2013

Tripoli: Security guards at Libya’s parliament have beaten up a crew of Alassema, an independent television network, the channel told AFP on Sunday.

“A team from [Al Assema TV] went to cover a meeting of the national assembly on Friday, entering as they were permitted to,” the channel’s press office director Fat’hi Bin Aissa said.

“After interviewing an MP, the team was assaulted by plain clothes guards of the General National Congress,” he said, adding that “the public prosecutor has decided to open an inquiry into the incident.”

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/region/libya/libyan-tv-crew-assaulted-in-parliament-1.1141470

--------------

 

Pirates Seize French-Owned Tanker and Hold 17 Aboard

By GERRY MULLANY

February 4, 2013

HONG KONG — A French-owned oil tanker that went missing off the Ivory Coast is believed to have been hijacked by pirates who are holding the 17 sailors on board, a maritime agency said Monday.

The seizure of the tanker, registered in Luxembourg, likely took place Sunday, said Noel Choong, a spokesman for the International Maritime Bureau, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He added that the seizure may be tied to a recent series of attacks by pirates operating in the Gulf of Guinea, where patrols, particularly off the Ivory Coast, are scarce.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/05/world/africa/pirates-seize-french-owned-

------------

Mideast Asia

 

Textbook Study Faults Israelis and Palestinians

February 4, 2013

JERUSALEM (AP) — Both Israeli and Palestinian schoolbooks largely present one-sided narratives of the conflict between the two peoples and tend to ignore the existence of the other side, but rarely resort to demonization, a study released Monday said.

The study by Israeli, Palestinian and American researchers, billed as setting a new scientific standard for textbook analysis, tackled a particularly fraught issue — longstanding Israeli claims that the Palestinians teach hatred of Israel and glorify violence in their schools.

The research, funded by the U.S. State Department, appeared to undermine these allegations, though it was unlikely to resolve the debate.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/02/04/world/middleeast/ap-ml-israel-palestinians-

------------

 

Israeli hit damages Syrian chemical, biological research site

 Feb 04 2013

Washington : Israel's recent daring air strike inside Syria may have damaged the Arab country's main chemical and biological research center, according to US officials.

While the attack targetted Russian-made SA-17 missiles and their launchers, video shown on Syrian television backs up assertions that the research center also suffered moderate damage, US officials said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/israeli-hit-damages-syrian-chemical-biological-research-site/1069099/

--------------

 

Rare Iran infighting surfaces over impeachment of a minister

February 3, 2013

Tehran: Bad blood between Iran’s government and parliament spilled into open on Sunday over the impeachment of a minister, with heads of the two branches accusing each other of corruption and abuse of power.

A majority of MPs voted in a heated parliament session, broadcast live on state radio, to remove the labour and social welfare minister, Abdolreza Shaikholeslam, for refusing to sack a controversial figure, Saeed Mortazavi.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/region/iran/rare-iran-infighting-surfaces-over-impeachment-1.1141519

--------------

 

Turkey pledges support for Syrian opposition

Says its leaders should not be pressured into talks with regime as civil war rages

 February 3, 2013

Beirut: Turkey pledged on Sunday its continued support for the Syrian opposition, saying its leaders should not be pressured into talks with the regime as civil war rages.

Speaking at a security conference in Germany, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said his country supports efforts to end the bloodshed in Syria, but he understands the opposition’s refusal to talk to President Bashar Assad after so many Syrian deaths in the fight to topple him.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/in-focus/syria/turkey-pledges-support-for-syrian-opposition-1.1141515

--------------

 

Shin Bet Security nabs Islamic Jihad cell plotting to kidnap Israelis

By Yaniv Kubovich and Gili Cohen

Feb.03, 2013

Three members of an Islamic Jihad cell have confessed to plotting to kidnap an Israeli soldier or civilian around New Year’s Eve, according to information from Israeli security forces that was released yesterday.

After a gag order on the case was lifted, it emerged that three members of the cell uncovered by the Shin Bet security service and Israel Police were taken into custody just after midnight on New Year’s Eve at a checkpoint at Eyal Junction in the Sharon region, based on an intelligence tip.

Full report at:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/shin-bet-nabs-islamic-jihad-cell-plotting-to-kidnap-israelis-1.501107

--------------

 

Hamas says 20 of its members arrested by Israel

February 04, 2013

RAMALLAH, West Bank: The Palestinian militant group Hamas says Israel has arrested 20 of its members, including three lawmakers, in a West Bank raid.

Several Hamas officials say the arrests took place early Monday across the territory. They say three of those arrested are Hamas lawmakers. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution.

Full report at:

Rhttp://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Feb-04/204974-over-20-hamas-members-including-3-mps-arrested-in-.ashx#ixzz2JvEMtFyD

 --------------

 

Turkish attack a throwback to age of Left-wing terrorism

February 04, 2013

Long before al-Qaida, when the Cold War gripped the world, Leftist terrorists staged spectacular attacks in a doomed campaign to overthrow governments and impose their vision of a socialist utopia. The bulk of these extremist groups eventually drifted into oblivion, gutted by police pressure, internal rifts and an ideology undercut by communism's fall.

In Turkey, one cult-like group didn't get the memo.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/restofasia/Turkish-attack-a-throwback-to-age-of-Left-wing-terrorism/Article1-1005948.aspx

--------------

 

Iran announces nuclear talks; open to ‘authentic’ US meet

 February 4, 2013

MUNICH: Iran on Sunday announced fresh talks with world powers on its nuclear drive and said it was open to an offer from the US for two-way discussions if Washington’s intention was “authentic”.

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said the six world powers planned to resume talks in Kazakhstan on Feb 25, and he insisted that Iran had never pulled back from the negotiations.

“I have good news, I’ve heard yesterday that 5+1 or EU3+3 will be meeting in Kazakhstan 25th of February,” Salehi said during a panel discussion at the Munich Security Conference.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/04/iran-announces-nuclear-talks-open-to-authentic-us-meet/

--------------

 

Turkey PM condemns Israel over Syria strike

 February 4, 2013

ISTANBUL:Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Israel on Sunday of waging “state terrorism” as he condemned the air strike on Syria as an unacceptable violation of international law.

“Those who have been treating Israel like a spoilt child should expect anything from them, at any time,” said Erdogan, a harsh critic of the Jewish state.

“As I say time and again, Israel has a mentality of waging state terrorism. Right now, there is no telling what it might do and where it might do it,” he told reporters.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/03/turkey-pm-condemns-israel-over-syria-strike/

----------

 

Iran Says Israel Will Regret Syria Air Strike

February 4, 2013

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Iran told Israel on Monday it would regret its air strike against Syria last week, without spelling out whether Iran or its ally planned any military response.

"They will regret this recent aggression," Saeed Jalili, Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, told a news conference in Damascus a day after holding talks there with President Bashar al-Assad.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/02/04/world/middleeast/04reuters-syria-crisis-

------------

 

Iran denies links to shipload of arms seized by Yemen

Tehran denies claims by Yemen that Iran has sent a vessel loaded with weapons and surface-to-air missiles to the Huthi rebels in Saada

 4 Feb 2013

Tehran has denied that a ship loaded with rockets and explosives intercepted by Yemen's coast guard originated from Iran as claimed by Yemeni officials, local media reported on Monday.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/63985/World/Region/Iran-denies-links-to-shipload-of-arms-seized-by-Ye.aspx

----------

South Asia

 

Afghanistan should act on torture report: HRW

 3 February 2013

The Afghan government should urgently adopt meaningful steps to end the widespread use of torture in government detention centres, Human Rights Watch said Sunday.

A Jan 20 UN report found that more than half of 635 pre-trial detainees and prisoners convicted on national security grounds had been tortured or ill-treated while in Afghan government custody.

The Afghan government dismissed as 'exaggerated' the findings of the UN report which concluded that government reforms - including better monitoring and training but no dismissals or prosecutions - had not significantly reduced torture.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami threatens to paralyse country

 4 February 2013

Jamaat-e-Islami leaders on Monday threatened to paralyse the country if the government does not free its leaders immediately.

The country may face a civil war if the leaders are not released, the leaders said while addressing a rally at Shapla Chattar in the capital's Motijheel area.

Thousands of Jamaat leaders and activists took part in the rally that began around 10:50am demanding the scrapping of the international crimes tribunals and unconditional release of its top leaders facing war crimes charges.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=44549

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Bangladesh Jatiya Party forms human chain for steps to end violence

 4 February 2013

Leaders and activists of Jatiya Party formed a human chain in the capital yesterday demanding an end to violence including murder, rape and acid throwing immediately.

The human chain, which began at 10:00am, stretched from Shahbag area to Motijheel.

Hussain Mohammad Ershad, Jatiya Party chairman, along with his party leaders visited the whole chain in a mini truck.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=267768

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Taliban peace talks flounder as troops draw down from Afghanistan

 Feb 3, 2013

KABUL, Afghanistan: The Afghan peace effort is floundering, fraught with mistrust and confusion among key players even though the hard-line Taliban militants show signs of softening and their reclusive, one-eyed leader made a surprise offer to share power in a post-war Afghanistan.

The US and its allies hope the peace process, which began nearly two years ago, will gain traction before most international forces withdraw from the country in fewer than 23 months. Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Taliban-peace-talks-flounder-as-troops-draw-down/articleshow/18323837.cms

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Afghans stop 200 Pakistani containers

 February 4, 2013

QUETTA: The Afghan border authorities have stopped over 200 Pakistani containers carrying food items to Turkmenistan and other Central Asian states under transit trade from entering Afghanistan via Chaman.

Pakistani border authorities said on Sunday that Afghan security forces also retuned a number of containers which had entered Vesh, the first border town on the Pakistan-Afghan border.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/02/04/afghans-stop-200-pakistani-containers/

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Maldives Criminal Court concludes hearings into terrorism charges against Shahum

By Ahmed Nazeer | February 3rd, 2013

The Criminal Court has concluded hearings into terrorism charges against Ibrahim Shahum Adam of Galolhu Couzy.

Spokesperson for the Criminal Court, Ahmed Mohamed Manik, said the court will deliver a verdict in the case on  February 24.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/society/criminal-court-concludes-hearings-into-terrorism-charges-against-shahum-52285

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North America

 

Leon Panetta admits use of torture in hunt for Osama bin Laden

Feb 4, 2013

NEW YORK: US defence secretary Leon Panetta has admitted that torture and enhanced interrogation techniques were used to "put together the puzzle" that led to the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

Panetta made the candid admission, becoming the highest-ranking Obama administration official to do so, while responding to a question on Kathyrn Bigelow's Oscar-nominated film "Zero Dark Thirty", the New York Post reported.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Leon-Panetta-admits-use-of-torture-in-hunt-for-Osama-bin-Laden/articleshow/18331347.cms

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Ideas about Modernizing Islam: lively discussion on Islamic faith and practice

By Farzana Hassan

01/30/2013

A lively discussion on Islamic faith and practice took place on Saturday, January 26th at the launch of my new book "Unveiled: A Canadian Muslim woman's struggle against Misogyny, Sharia and Jihad." The event was hosted by the Muslim Canadian Congress at the Promenade Gallery in Mississauga, Ontario.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/farzana-hassan/modernize-islam_b_2578787.html

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Pentagon Expects U.S. to Retain Presence in Afghanistan

By THOM SHANKER

February 4, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s top civilian and military officials on Sunday expressed an expectation, even a desire, that American troops would remain in Afghanistan after the NATO mission ends in December 2014, although they emphasized that no decision had been made.

Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the United States would sustain a strategic partnership with Afghanistan, and they cited a decision by the NATO heads of state during a summit meeting last year in President Obama’s hometown, Chicago, that long-term support for Kabul would include military assistance.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/04/world/asia/pentagon-expects-us-to-retain-presence-

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Islamophobia incidents on the rise in US

There was a 10 per cent increase in anti-Muslim incidents in 2012 reported by the San Francisco Bay Area office

By Mick O’Reilly Senior Associate Editor

 February 3, 2013

Dubai: In Oklahoma City, a Muslim family placed a sign on their lawn wishing “as-salaamu alaykum” or peace be upon their neighbours.

On Friday night, just after 8pm, the neighbours answered. A volley of high-calibre shots ricochetted off the walls and ripped through windows, spreading fear and terror to the family inside. Luckily, no one was injured, but the attack came several days after the family’s son was stopped and asked about his religion.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/usa/islamophobia-incidents-on-the-rise-in-us-1.1141240

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Safety tips are a sad reality for US Muslims

By Mick O’Reilly

 February 3, 2013

Dubai: The growing incidence of hate crime against Muslims in America has led Cair, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, to issue a safety guide to mosques and places where Muslims gather.

Cair is warning that mosques are vulnerable as they are located in isolated areas or are left unattended for long periods. And it warns that mosques should avoid having vegetation or shrubs close to the buildings where intruders might hide — and the facilities need to be well-lit and have a burglar alarm.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/world/usa/safety-tips-are-a-sad-reality-for-us-muslims-1.1141351

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Europe

 

 ‘Muslim Patrol’ attempting to enforce Sharia law in East London is condemned by imams

BY CAROL KURUVILLA

FEBRUARY 2, 2013

A small group of Muslim extremists are patrolling the streets of East London, publicly targeting gays, drinkers and women who aren’t dressed modestly, in an attempt to enforce Sharia law.

The self-styled “Muslim Patrol” group has posted videos of at least three verbal attacks on YouTube. Out of the handful who participate in the attacks, at least five have been arrested on suspicion of harassment, according to CNN. The group’s alleged purpose is to defend Islamic morals, but numerous local and national Muslim leaders have denounced their dubious methods.

Full report at:

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/muslim-patrol-enforcing-sharia-e-london-article-1.1253893#ixzz2Ju0uUdOl

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Fight against Qaeda could last a generation: Blair

February 03, 2013

Backing Prime Minister David Cameron's decision of sending British troops to support the French effort in Mali to put down terrorists, ex-premier Tony Blair has said West's fight against al-Qaeda could last for a generation.

The former prime minister said on Sunday that Britain was right to send troops to support the French effort in Mali to put down a terrorist attempt to overthrow the country's government.

David Cameron faced difficult decisions to fight terrorism, Blair said, but warned the cost of standing aside would be far greater.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/europe/Fight-against-Qaeda-could-last-a-generation-Blair/Article1-1005861.aspx

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UN: 2 Civilians Killed by Land Mines in North Mali

February 4, 2013

TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) — United Nations officials say that two civilians have been killed by explosions in northeastern Mali.

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a statement Tuesday that two civilians died in explosions by a land mine, or by an improvised explosive device, on the road in northeastern Mali that links Kidal, Anefis and North Darane.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/02/04/world/africa/ap-af-mali-

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France jails four Somali ‘pirates’

 2 February 2013

A French appeals court on Friday upheld prison sentences of between four and eight years for four Somali men found guilty of seizing a French sailing boat in the Gulf of Aden in 2008 and holding its two passengers hostage.

A fifth man was acquitted.

A Paris court had earlier also acquitted one defendant and sentenced five others to prison terms of between four and eight years in the trial of the original six suspects.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/more-in-france-are-turning-to-islam,-challenging-a-nation’s-idea-of-itself/d/10266

 

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