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Islamic World News ( 7 Apr 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Muslim Groups Criticised For “Politics of Demanding Justice”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mideast Asia

Islamic Militants Crackdown on Long Hair and Tight or Low-Waisted Trousers, shaves heads of young men with ‘indecent’ hair

Deported Yemenis 'thrown into trucks like sheep' in Saudi foreign labour crackdown

Turkey gets tough with Israel over peace deal

American declares himself favourite to replace Ahmadinejad as Iran president

Israel closes Gaza crossing after rockets fired

Hate crime: Israelis target mosques

Turkey police fight 'coup' trial protesters near Istanbul

Israel Says It Repelled Most Attacks on Its Web Sites by Pro-Palestinian Hackers

Israel can only rely on self against Iran threat: PM

Flotilla raid victims to pursue Israel in court despite apology

Hundreds protest UN's Gaza aid suspension: witnesses

 

Southeast Asia

Ahmadiya Remain in Sealed Bekasi Mosque, Struggle with Police Harassment

Indonesian Public has little faith in government, law enforcers

Parents Assault Islamic School Teacher for Punishing Students

Church Demolition Was Unjustified: HKBP

PAS says will field non-Malays in GE13 despite difficulties

Court releases 28 children back to adoptive parents

Malaysian Federal Court gives nod to challenge constitutionality of state religious enactment

 

Pakistan

30 militants, 23 soldiers killed in clashes in Pakistan

Seven insurgents killed in Orakzai

Christian vote appears drifting towards PPP

Minorities hold the key in eight of Sindh’s districts

ECP opposes online voting system for overseas Pakistanis

Who will be the scholars of Sindh Tomorrow?

Ensure Pervez Musharraf does not leave Pak: Supreme Court tells govt

Pak allowed US drone strikes in secret deal: Report

DSP among two killed in Quetta firing

 

Arab World

Iraq unveils reforms to De-Baathification law following Sunni protests

Car bomb explodes in central Damascus killing at least 10

Iraq executes seven convicted of terror offences

Zawahiri seeks Syrian Islamist state

Saudi authorities round up Shiites in spy row

90 injured, 2 killed in cathedral attack: Egypt health ministry

Egypt's pope mourns slain Copts, calls for 'wisdom, restraint'

Iraq cabinet unveils sweeping reform of Saddam law

Nearly 9,000 Syrian troops killed in war: Group

Egypt prosecutor orders new Mubarak investigation

Attack on Christians in Egypt Comes After a Pledge

Symposium discusses course of post-colonial Arab history

Qatar to give $500 million in aid to rebuild Darfur: minister

 

South Asia

Hefazat-e Islam chief stop act of a prostitute, asks Bangladesh HR Ambassador

Maldives Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Palestinian Embassy announce Masjid Al-Aqsa conference

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina rules out new blasphemy law

Afghan roadside bomb hits bus killing nine: Officials

Rohingya refugees will face trial in Indonesia

Ministers slam Nasheed for “bluffing” over guesthouse commitments

Maldives: Actor newest addition to government’s list of political appointees

‘Hefazat demands anti-constitutional’

Celebrate Pahela Baishakh for resisting religious bigotry

20 hurt in Bangladesh latest strike

High-ranking Taliban official killed in eastern Afghanistan

With Swagger, Afghan Army Takes the Lead

Abducted French photographer released in Afghanistan

 

Europe

Negotiators Find in Kazakhstan the Perfect Place to Disagree

Multi-ethnic couples reflect Bosnia’s growing diversity

Sharia court tells 'abused wife' to stay

Syria chemical weapons inspectors ‘ready to deploy’: Ban Ki-moon

France launches major offensive on Mali Islamists

France revives charred Mali market to ‘win the peace’

 

North America

US drone war deal 'in return for killing Pakistani militant in CIA missile strike'

Osama Bin Laden's son-in-law and mouthpiece faces New York court

CAIR Welcomes AP Stylebook Revision of 'Islamist'

Tennessee May Deliberately Exclude Muslim Schools from New Voucher Program

US general: Taliban likely to be long-term threat

 

Africa

11 killed in central Nigeria village attacks

Militant group claims killing 15 policemen in Nigeria's south

Some Tuaregs in Mali mark 1 year of rebel movement

Nigeria: Lagos School Pupil Powers Generator from Urine

20 Nigerians in Multi-Million Dollars Credit Card Fraud in U.S

Sudan army men jailed up to 5 years over 'coup': lawyer

Moroccan MPs 'barred from entering West Bank'

Nigerian 'Mend' militants claim Niger Delta ambush

 

India

Muslim Groups Criticised For “Politics of Demanding Justice”

No male escort, no Haj

J&K needs development, not secret agencies: Jairam

Sikhs consider sending Jathas to Bangladesh as Pak toughens norms especially for pilgrims

Farooq chants autonomy again

NC for phased withdrawal of AFSPA, Indo-Pak dialogue

Lashkar plans to strike in guise of local youth: NIA

Ansari trail leads NIA to recover cash for ‘terror funding’

MA student from J&K wins Irom scholarship

Haj preparations begin, govt seeks increase in quota

Vicious attempt by Pak government to divide us, Sikh groups say

US-Pak drone deal exposes Kashmir rider

Man who availed VoA facility to initiate movement for 'people's friendly' visa regime

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Car bomb explodes in central Damascus killing at least 10

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-groups-criticised-for-“politics-of-demanding-justice”/d/11055

 

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Muslim Groups Criticised For “Politics of Demanding Justice”

MOHAMMAD ALI

April 8, 2013

Just before the beginning of the election season, minority groups have started organising conventions in a bid to create pressure on the political dispensation. During the last two months alone, almost all prominent groups claiming to be representatives of the minority community have organised events, conventions and conferences on the idea of seeking “justice” for Muslims, mainly on the issues of “illegal” arrests of community youths, communal riots and encroachment of Waqf lands, among many others.

Yet some intellectuals think it is high time Muslim groups get their priorities right. They question the line of activism which is focused on emotional issues. Arguing that giving undue emphasis to narratives of victimisation would do the community no good, they suggest that the disturbing socio-economic indicators should remain the central points of the agenda.

They criticise the politics of seeking “justice” by groups with vested interests who use such conventions to demonstrate their support base to the political class and thereby try to be in a better bargaining position.

“Why don’t we look at problems of Muslims holistically, rather than just concentrating on a set of emotive issues, ignoring the enormous socio-economic challenges facing them,” said Sultan Shahin, a senior journalist who edits NewAgeIslam.com, a website which talks about modern interpretation of Islam.

“Disproportionate emphasis on emotive issues by groups with vested interests has not let the community settle down,” he added.

Shahid Siddiqui, editor of Urdu weekly Nai Duniya, underscored that most of the Muslim groups are out of touch with reality as they do not realise that the community has changed. “The minority community wants to hear about economic development, professional education, entrepreneurial skills and more and more educational opportunities but these so-called leaders are like Bollywood directors who make low-grade movies because they think that the public wants to watch them,” he argued.

“You name me one prominent Muslim group which is engaged in encouraging education of the girl child or monitoring government schemes on the ground. They do not do it because raking up emotions of the community doesn’t involve any hard work and comes very easy,” added the former Member of Parliament, while echoing what Justice (Retd.) Rajinder Sachar had on Saturday told one prominent Muslim group during its convention on “Movement for Justice”.

While addressing a crowd heavily drawn from madrasa and Muslim-dominated pockets of western Uttar Pradesh, Justice Sachar said: “Government claims that lakhs of students have been provided scholarship but has your NGO gone to Seelampur and checked if they have actually received the money?”

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/muslim-groups-criticised-for-politics-of-demanding-justice/article4593267.ece

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Mideast Asia

 

Islamic Militants Crackdown on Long Hair and Tight or Low-Waisted Trousers, shaves heads of young men with ‘indecent’ hair

8 April 2013

Police in Hamas-ruled Gaza have started grabbing young men with long or gel-styled spiky hair off the streets, bundling them into jeeps, mocking them and shaving their heads, two of those targeted and a rights group said Sunday.

It’s the latest sign that the Islamic militants are imposing their strict practices on the population.

Hamas has been slowly forcing its fundamentalist interpretation of the religion on already conservative Gaza since it overran the territory in 2007, but the new crackdown on long hair and tight or low-waist pants - in several cases accompanied by beatings - appears to be one of the most aggressive phases of the campaign so far.

It began last week, and two of those targeted told The Associated Press said they were rounded up in separate sweeps in Gaza City that included more than two dozen young men.

House painter Ayman al-Sayed, 19, had shoulder-length hair before police grabbed him and shaved his head Thursday.

“The only thing I want to do is leave this country,” said al-Sayed, who despite his ordeal defiantly wore stylish but outlawed narrow-leg tan khakis Sunday. “I am scared. They just take you from the street without reason. I don’t know what they are going to do next.”

Hamas officials played down the campaign - a stance adopted in the past that allows the group to distance itself from a controversial crackdown while at the same time instilling fear in those it targeted.

Ziad al-Zaza, the deputy prime minister of Gaza, said the head-shaving “was a very limited, isolated behavior of the police and is not going to continue.”

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights called on Hamas to investigate the “arbitrary detentions and violations of civil rights of civilians.”

The hair crackdown came just days after the Hamas-run parliament in Gaza passed an education bill mandating separate classrooms for boys and girls from the age of nine.

Gender separation is already widely practiced in Gaza schools, as it is in the West Bank, where Hamas rival Mahmoud Abbas, the Western-backed Palestinian president, administers some areas.

Enshrining such separation in law marked another step forward in Hamas’ campaign of imposing Islamic practice.

Since seizing Gaza from Abbas six years ago, Hamas has moved gradually in spreading its ultra-conservative version of Islam. It has issued rules restricting women or requiring them to cover up in the traditional Islamic dress of long robes and headscarves, but relented if met by protests.

Last month, the Hamas government barred girls and women from participating in a U.N.-sponsored marathon, prompting a U.N. aid agency to cancel the race. Hamas activists have also exerted social pressure to get all school girls to wear Islamic dress.

Al-Sayed, the house painter, and 17-year-old high school student Tareq Naqib said Sunday that they were targeted by police in separate incidents Thursday.

Al-Sayed said he had just finished his work in Gaza City and was waiting at an intersection for a shared taxi when a police jeep approached. Al-Sayed said he was thrown into the jeep with more than 10 others already squeezed into the back of the vehicle. He said policemen cursed them on the way to the police station.

There, the detainees were lined up, and a policeman began shaving their heads. He shaved two lines, from front to back and from one ear to the other, telling the young men they could finish the job at a neighborhood barber shop.

Those who resisted were beaten, al-Sayed said. He said he asked the policeman to finish the job of shaving so he wouldn’t have to step outside with a partially shaved head.

A young man came into the police station, saying he was looking for his cousin, said al-Sayed. One of the officers grabbed the young man, who had his hair in gel-styled spikes, and shaved his head as well.

Naqib, the high school student, said he was seized outside his home and put in a police jeep along with four young men who had come to Gaza City from the southern town of Khan Younis.

On the way to the police station, police insulted them and warned them that Gaza is Islamic, said Naqib.

“They said, ‘we want you to respect our tradition,’” Naqib said. “They made a cross on our heads and asked us to leave and finish the shaving at a barber shop.”

Naqib’s family is originally from Tunisia, and he said he wants to go back there after he finishes high school.

In another incident, a Gaza teen, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of retribution, said he saw police beat three young men in downtown Gaza City for wearing tight, low-rise pants. The witness said the policemen beat the three with clubs on the backs of their knees and told passers-by watching the scene to move along.

Ahmed Yousef, a Hamas figure identified with the more pragmatic wing of the movement, said the police behavior is “absolutely wrong” and must stop. Hamas is often divided over such campaigns, but the pragmatists have been unable to stop the more zealous members.

Hamas is also competing with the even more fundamentalist Salafis, a movement that has gained in strength and popularity in Gaza in recent years. Salafis have criticized Hamas for not implementing Islamic law in Gaza quickly enough.

For Gaza’s young generation, such crackdowns have meant a shrinking space of self-expression. In some, it sparked defiance. Mohammed Hanouna, an 18-year-old high school senior, said he started styling his hair with gel after his friends Ayman and Tareq were targeted by police.

On Sunday, he walked with them in the streets in a show of support, adding that he is not afraid of arrest. “I have nothing to lose except my hair,” he said.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/04/08/Hama-police-shave-heads-of-young-men-with-indecent-hair.html

 

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Deported Yemenis 'thrown into trucks like sheep' in Saudi foreign labour crackdown

Hakim Almasmari

Apr 8, 2013

SANAA // For Yemenis who relied on jobs in Saudi Arabia to support themselves and their families back home, the recent campaign by Saudi authorities to tighten its control over foreign labourers has been an unwelcome shock.

Some of the thousands of Yemenis deported from Saudi Arabia in recent weeks said they were treated as criminals in a crackdown that began in January.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday ordered a three-month delay on the deportations that have already resulted in 200,000 foreign workers being removed from the country in recent months.

The announcement has offered some hope for an estimated 300,000 who were facing deportation, according to Yemen's ministry of expatriate affairs.

With an unemployment rate among Saudis at more than 12 per cent, the kingdom is seeking to reduce the number of foreign workers. But the economic fallout is expected to hit countries that supply the foreign workers. None more so than its southern neighbour Yemen, which has more than a million workers in Saudi Arabia.

In Sanaa, Yemenis view the deportations as an attack against their nation rather than an attempt to enforce tougher visa regulations.

Under Saudi law, expatriates have to be sponsored by an employer, but many switch jobs without transferring their residency papers. Saudi's council of ministers said last month that it was illegal for employees to work for anyone other than their visa sponsor.

Those that have arrived back in Yemen say their compatriots in Saudi Arabia are living in fear. They are worried the police will raid their home or workplace, arrest and deport them without any chance to explain their situation.

"We were treated as slaves or criminals. Thrown into trucks and then thrown out of them," said Abdullah Al Qubati, 27, a plumber who was deported two weeks ago. He said his residency visa was cut in half by police and he was given only two hours to pack before being forced to leave.

Moeen Al Bashiri, a labourer deported last month after living in Dammam for five years, described being "thrown into a truck like sheep".

"Yemen should follow the same strategy with Saudi nationals living in the country," he said.

Yemen's unemployment rate is 42 per cent, according to the ministry of civil services, making it the highest on the Arabian Peninsula. That, coupled with the peninsula's lowest GDP, means Yemen will not be able to absorb the returning workers.

Economists say the effect will be catastrophic for a country that has a projected budget deficit this year of Dh11.6 billion and is seeking billions of dollars in aid to overcome financial and security challenges.

"The Yemeni economy will collapse and in return the entire region's economic situation will be in danger," said Yahya Al Madwami, a financial analyst in Sanaa. "Saudi Arabia is shooting itself in the leg by handicapping the Yemeni economy."

Anger over the treatment of Yemeni workers in Saudi Arabia has led to demonstrations, with thousands protesting in front of the Saudi Embassy in Sanaa last week.

Politicians have also seized on the row, saying the deportations are the latest example of Saudi Arabia's patronage over Yemen's politics.

Yemen, where Arab Spring protests forced its autocratic president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to step down last year, is currently mapping out its political future through a national dialogue. This has seen some political factions questioning Yemen's relationship with its neighbour.

Saudi Arabia "is purposely hurting the Yemeni people and this is not acceptable", said Ahmed Al Bahri, a leader of the opposition Haq Party. The party has strong links with Shiites across the region, mainly Hizbollah and Iran. "An independent foreign policy for Yemen is our goal and that will break the Saudi influence in the region."

Houthis, Shiite rebels suspected of links to Iran with tens of thousands of fighters, are using Saudi Arabia's new policy to affirm their rhetoric: that Saudi Arabia is seeking to weaken and destabilise Yemen to remain the only superpower in the region.

A Yemeni delegation is expected to hold talks with Saudi officials in Riyadh next week in an attempt to defuse tensions and give Yemeni workers a chance to "rectify their legal situations".

King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud said the deportations would be halted for three months to allow workers in breach of their regulations to "clarify their status".

Yemen's minister of expatriate affairs, Mujahid Al Kohali, said last week he hoped to find a compromise with Riyadh that would not involve the deportation of hundreds of thousands of nationals.

In 1990, nearly two million Yemeni labourers were deported from Saudi Arabia almost overnight when Mr Saleh supported Iraq during the First Gulf War.

foreign.desk@thenational.ae

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/deported-yemenis-thrown-into-trucks-like-sheep-in-saudi-foreign-labour-crackdown#ixzz2PrEZiwr3

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Turkey gets tough with Israel over peace deal

Thomas Seibert and Hugh Naylor

Apr 8, 2013

ISTANBUL and RAMALLAH //Israel will have to end all restrictions on Palestinians and lift the Gaza blockade before Turkey restores ties.

The surprise demand yesterday by Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu is a diplomatic setback for the United States as secretary of state John Kerry arrived in Istanbul for his third trip to the region in the past two weeks.

Mr Kerry had hoped to firm up the rapprochement between Turkey and Israel that Barack Obama began on a visit to Israel last month. The US sees the two allies as anchors of stability in the Middle East.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/turkey-gets-tough-with-israel-over-peace-deal#ixzz2PrFmwh1S

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American declares himself favourite to replace Ahmadinejad as Iran president

Taimur Khan

Apr 8, 2013

NEW YORK // The ayatollahs of Iran's Guardian Council have yet to decide who they will allow to contest the upcoming election to replace the divisive president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

But an American citizen has already proclaimed himself the favourite.

"My chances are better than all of them," Hooshang Amirahmadi said emphatically as he sat in the lobby of a Manhattan hotel. "If they approve me, I am the next president of Iran."

Mr Amirahmadi, 65, speaks with the self-confidence of a seasoned politician, though he had never campaigned for office before declaring his candidacy last November. Since then he has addressed packed audiences at universities in the United States and Europe, and held fund-raising dinners in Dubai.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/news/world/middle-east/american-declares-himself-favourite-to-replace-ahmadinejad-as-iran-president#ixzz2PrFQ1Isu

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Israel closes Gaza crossing after rockets fired

The Associated Press, Jerusalem

April 08 2013

Israel shut a crossing with Gaza after rockets were fired from the Hamas-ruled territory at the Jewish state on the day it commemorated the Holocaust.

The military said it closed the Kerem Shalom terminal Monday. Another crossing would be open for humanitarian cases only, it said.

Israel has blockaded the coastal territory since the Islamic militant Hamas took over in 2007.

Israeli police said several rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel the previous evening, as annual ceremonies were held nationwide to remember the 6 million Jews murdered by German Nazis and their collaborators.

Israeli TV showed footage of people in the south of the country abandoning a memorial ceremony and running for cover as sirens wailed warning of incoming rockets.

No injuries resulted from the attack, police said.

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/04/08/israel-closes-gaza-crossing-after-rockets-fired.html

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Hate crime: Israelis target mosques

8 April 2013

TEQOA, Palestinian Territories: Vandals scrawled threats on two mosques in a West Bank village in the latest hate crime by suspected Jewish extremists, a official said yesterday.

“Settlers came in the middle of the night and wrote threats in Hebrew on the walls of two mosques and slashed the tires of a car,” said Adel Al-Shaer, a councillor for Teqoa village east of Bethlehem.

At one site in Teqoa, the attackers scrawled: “Adele Biton’s revenge” and “Price tag for throwing stones,” and drew two Stars of David around the front entrance with the words: “Regards from Adele,” a reporter said.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/447339

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Turkey police fight 'coup' trial protesters near Istanbul

 April 8, 2013

Turkish police have fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters outside a courthouse near Istanbul where 275 suspected coup plotters are on trial.

Some protesters tried to tear down police barriers in front of the courthouse in Silivri.

Many waved Turkish flags and chanted anti-government slogans, showing solidarity with the defendants.

The "Ergenekon" plot allegedly aimed to topple the AK Party government.

Since Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came to power, heading an Islamist-rooted movement, hundreds of military officers - serving or retired - have been arrested.

The investigations have undermined the traditionally powerful influence of the military in Turkish politics.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-22063158

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Israel Says It Repelled Most Attacks on Its Web Sites by Pro-Palestinian Hackers

By ISABEL KERSHNER

 April 8, 2013

JERUSALEM — A loose international coalition of pro-Palestinian computer hackers threatened to carry out what it called “a massive cyberassault” against Israel on Sunday, but the campaign created mostly minor disruptions, and the Israeli government said that as of midday its Web sites were still accessible to the public.

Numerous sites, including some hosted by the government, were briefly closed down or defaced starting on Saturday evening, and some data was stolen, according to Israeli cyberexperts. On Sunday afternoon, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement that government sites were “under DDoS attack,” referring to Distributed Denial of Service, a method used by hackers to make sites unavailable, and that Israeli computer experts were working to repel the attacks in cooperation with Internet service providers.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/world/middleeast/pro-palestinian-hackers-attack-

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Israel can only rely on self against Iran threat: PM

April 8, 2013

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel cannot rely on any other country, even an ally, when it comes to facing up to the perceived nuclear threat from Iran.

“We appreciate the efforts of the international community to halt Iran’s nuclear programme,” Netanyahu said in a speech on the eve of Holocaust Day.

“But at no stage will we abandon our fate into the hands of other countries, even our best friends,” he said, in an apparent reference to the United States whose Secretary of State John Kerry flew in to Israel on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/532697/israel-can-only-rely-on-self-against-iran-threat-pm/

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Flotilla raid victims to pursue Israel in court despite apology

 8 April 2013

Pro-Palestinian activists said on Monday they would not withdraw a lawsuit against Israeli commanders for a fatal 2010 raid on their Gaza-bound flotilla, ahead of official compensation talks between Turkey and the Jewish state this week.

“We will not discuss compensation or give up on the trials until the blockade over Gaza is removed,” said Musa Cogas, one of the activists who was on board the Mavi Marmara, the largest ship in the flotilla aimed at breaking Israel’s Gaza blockade.

His comments came ahead of official compensation talks between Turkey and Israel on Thursday.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/08/Flotilla-raid-victims-to-pursue-Israel-in-court-despite-apology-.html

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Hundreds protest UN's Gaza aid suspension: witnesses

 April 08, 2013

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories — Hundreds of Palestinians rallied outside a UN office in Gaza City on Monday, protesting against its decision to suspend aid to refugees in the besieged enclave, witnesses said.

Protesters held banners that read "We want bread, we don't want games," and chanted "O Muslims and Arabs, see the downtrodden," according to witnesses.

The UN's Palestinian refugee agency UNRWA stopped food deliveries after dozens of Gazans forced their way into its Gaza field office last Thursday, demanding reinstatement of a monthly cash allowance to poor families which was halted from April 1 due to budget cuts.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130408160513

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Southeast Asia

 

Ahmadiya Remain in Sealed Bekasi Mosque, Struggle with Police Harassment

Camelia Pasandaran | April 08, 2013

Thirty members of Bekasi’s beleaguered Ahmadiya Muslim sect have been locked inside the shuttered Al-Misbah mosque since Bekasi Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) officers sealed the building last Thursday.

“These thirty people were inside the mosque when the government put a fence around the mosque,” Firdaus Mubarik, spokesman of Ahmadiyah Indonesian Congregation (JAI), said on Monday. “When the officers shut down the mosque they were not asked to leave.”

The community members remained in the mosque on April 4 as Satpol PP officers installed heavy iron gates and a fence around the building. When they tried to leave, they found all exits blocked, Firdaus said. They plan to remain in the building until the Bekasi government reopens the mosque.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/ahmadiyah-remain-in-sealed-bekasi-mosque-struggle-with-police-harassment/584308

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Indonesian Public has little faith in government, law enforcers

Margareth S. Aritonang

 April 08 2013

A public opinion survey has revealed a poor perception of the performance of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s administration in law enforcement and also that the general public distrusts law enforcement agencies.

The Indonesian Survey Circle’s (LSI) survey showed that only 29 percent of respondents said they were satisfied with the government’s performance in enforcing the law.

“All segments of society, whether in rural and urban areas, rich or poor, with low or high levels of education, are dissatisfied with law enforcement,” researcher Rully Akbar of the LSI said.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/04/08/public-has-little-faith-government-law-enforcers.html

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Parents Assault Islamic School Teacher for Punishing Students

Nurdin Hasan | April 08, 2013

A teacher at an Islamic boarding school in Aceh sustained serious injuries after being beaten by the parents of a student he disciplined.

Teungku Harmen Nuriqmar, the principal of the Serambi Mekkah Islamic Boarding School (Pesantren) in Blang Beurandang village in West Aceh, revealed that the family members of a female student arrived at the school on Sunday and assaulted Teungku Muhibbul Nasir Wali.

“The victim’s face was severely injured. His left eye was swollen,” Herman told the Jakarta Globe on Monday.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/parents-assault-islamic-school-teacher-for-punishing-students/584326

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Church Demolition Was Unjustified: HKBP

Mikael Niman | April 08, 2013

The Bekasi district administration’s insistence that it was justified in demolishing a church because of local opposition has been called into question yet again, church officials point out.

Masra Markus Simamora, a member of the council of the HKBP Taman Sari congregation, said on Sunday that not only was there no objection to the congregation holding Sunday services at the site of their demolished church, but that local Muslim residents even helped them clear away the rubble and set up a tarpaulin tent.

“It wasn’t just the church members who were cleaning up the area. We were helped by local residents,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/jakarta/church-demolition-was-unjustified-hkbp/584266

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PAS says will field non-Malays in GE13 despite difficulties

Apr 08, 2013

SHAH ALAM, April 8 – PAS today gave a committment that it will field non-Muslim candidates in Election 2013 despite saying that it faced difficulties finding suitable seats for them.

Its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said today that seat allocations talks with its allies in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was virtually complete but most of the seats deemed suitable for the party’s non-Malay candidates had been taken up by the DAP or PKR.

“There will be (non-Muslims), we are working towards it and inshallah, there will be non-Malay candidates,” he told reporters after attending a dialogue on PAS’ “welfare state” push here.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pas-says-will-field-non-malays-in-ge13-despite-difficulties/

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Court releases 28 children back to adoptive parents

Apr 08, 2013

BUKIT MERTAJAM, April 8 — The Bukit Mertajam magistrate’s court today ordered 28 children, who are subjects of an alleged child trafficking ring, to be released into the care of their adoptive parents.

The children, between the ages of five months and eight years, were brought to the courthouse in a bus where the court issued the interim custody to the adoptive parents.

Immediately after the court order, the adoptive parents and the children adjourned to the Bukit Mertajam police station to register their details with the police.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/court-releases-28-children-back-to-adoptive-parents/

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Malaysian Federal Court gives nod to challenge constitutionality of state religious enactment

Apr 08, 2013

PUTRAJAYA, April 8 – ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and its director Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid have been given the nod by the Federal Court here today to challenge the constitutionality of a Selangor state religious enactment which restricts freedom of expression.

Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria presiding a five-member panel unanimously granted leave to the publishing company and Mohd Ezra who have filed a petition seeking the Federal Court to declare invalid Section 16 of the Syariah Criminal Enactment 1995.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/zi-publications-given-nod-to-challenge-constitutionality-of-state-religious-enactment/

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Pakistan

 

30 militants, 23 soldiers killed in clashes in Pakistan

 Apr 08 2013

Islamabad: Thirty militants and 23 soldiers have been killed during fighting between security forces and pro-Taliban rebels in the lawless Khyber tribal region of Pakistan, according to a media report today.

The fighting erupted after troops, including Special Services Group commandoes, launched a "decisive operation" against militants in Tirah Valley of Khyber Agency.

Twenty-three soldiers, including commandoes, and an unspecified number of members of a tribal lashkar or militia had died in clashes over the weekend, official sources were quoted as saying on the website of the Dawn newspaper.

Around 30 militants had died and scores more injured in the fighting during the weekend. The report said "scores of militants" had died in the offensive launched last week.

There was no official word on the latest developments in Khyber Agency. Late last night, at least 10 militants were killed in a clash with security forces in Akka Khel area of Bara sub-division, the report said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/30-militants-23-soldiers-killed-in-clashes-in-pakistan/1099258/

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Seven insurgents killed in Orakzai

 April 8, 2013

ORAKZAI: Security forces in Orakzai Agency killed seven suspected militants and destroyed their three hideouts on Sunday. According to security sources, the militant compounds were targeted with gunship helicopters in Gowak and Mitherni areas of Orakzai Agency. Three compounds of the militants were also destroyed, the sources said.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\04\08\story_8-4-2013_pg7_8

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Christian vote appears drifting towards PPP

 April 8, 2013

LAHORE: A 0.9 million-strong Christian community, mainly residing in central Punjab, forms the dominant minority within the province. Unlike the Sikhs and Hindus, who have a thin presence, the Christians are the focal minority group that election hopefuls hungrily seek out to help sweep them into parliament – since the 2002 general elections, their votes have played a vital role.

Pakistan Peoples Party’s former MPA Pervez Rafique has said that this time around Christians are determined to cast their vote in favour of the PPP.

According to him, previous polls have shown that the community casts votes keeping in view the national circumstances and the political parties’ policies towards minorities. In 2002, the Christians in Lahore supported Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran head Dr Tahirul Qadri, contesting on behalf of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek party. Then, in 2008, the Christian vote bank was split between the PPP and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, and both parties benefited from the group.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/532598/christian-vote-appears-drifting-towards-ppp/

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Minorities hold the key in eight of Sindh’s districts

April 8, 2013

ISLAMABAD: If minorities’ votes were to affect the outcome of elections anywhere in Pakistan, it would be in eight of Sindh’s 13 districts.

According to ECP records the Hindu community is the largest minority registered in Sindh. But the trend continues all over Pakistan, and not just in Sindh alone. Collectively, all the minorities constitute 2.78 million registered voters. Experts believe that the fate of elections could be impacted substantially by the votes of minority communities in districts where they have a larger share of the total registered votes, but only if they decide to vote en bloc.

In Karachi (south), 81,589 of the registered voters are non-Muslim, which is eight percent of the total.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/532597/minorities-hold-the-key-in-eight-of-sindhs-districts/

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ECP opposes online voting system for overseas Pakistanis

April 8, 2013

ISLAMABAD: The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) opposed an online voting system for overseas Pakistanis, in its report submitted to the Supreme Court on Monday, Express News reported.

The commission stated that allowing overseas Pakistanis to vote via a non-certified computerised system could be disastrous for the electoral process.

The report added that a law needs to be devised to give voting rights to overseas Pakistanis.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry and comprising Justice Gulzar Ahmed and Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed was hearing two identical petitions seeking right to suffrage for overseas Pakistanis.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/532723/ecp-opposes-online-voting-system-for-overseas-pakistanis/

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Who will be the scholars of Sindh Tomorrow?

 April 8, 2013

KARACHI: Once upon a time, in 1975, Abdul Hamid Akhund was driving the late Sindhi scholar Dr Nabi Baksh Baloch to Nagarparkar for a seminar. Dr Baloch asked him to see if they could find a man by the name Darhun Sheedi. After some inquiries they came upon a group from which an old man raised his hand.

For five hours that ran late into the night, Dr Baloch interviewed Darhun Sheedi. What emerged was a 600-page history of the legend of Dodo Chanesar – such was the nature of Dr Baloch’s method of inquiry.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/532545/who-will-be-the-scholars-of-sindh-tomorrow-its-chroniclers-asks-worried-old-guard/

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Ensure Pervez Musharraf does not leave Pak: Supreme Court tells govt

Apr 08 2013

Islamabad : Pakistan's Supreme Court today directed the government to ensure that Pervez Musharraf does not leave the country as it began hearing several petitions seeking the former military ruler's trial for treason for subverting the constitution and declaring emergency in 2007.

A two-judge bench led by Justice Jawad S Khwaja ordered the Interior Secretary to take steps to prevent Musharraf from travelling abroad. The bench issued the directive after hearing initial arguments on five petitions asking the apex court to direct the government to prosecute Musharraf under the High Treason (Punishment) Act of 1973.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ensure-pervez-musharraf-does-not-leave-pak-supreme-court-tells-govt/1099267/

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Pak allowed US drone strikes in secret deal: Report

Apr 08 2013

 MARK MAZZETTI

Nek Muhammad, a tribal warlord, knew he was being followed.

On a hot day in June 2004, the Pashtun tribesman was speaking by satellite phone in a compound in South Waziristan. He asked one of his followers about the strange, metallic bird hovering above him. Less than 24 hours later, a missile tore through the compound, killing him and several others.

A Pakistani military spokesman was quick to claim responsibility for the attack.

That was a lie.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/pak-allowed-us-drone-strikes-in-secret-deal-report/1099026/

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DSP among two killed in Quetta firing

Apr 8, 2013

QUETTA: At least two police officials, including a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), were killed in a firing incident in Quetta on Monday.

Police said gunmen on motorcycles opened fire at the vehicle of DSP Ameer Muhammad, in the Essa Nagri area of the provincial capital.

Ameer Muhammad and his guard received multiple bullets and were shifted to Bolan Medical Complex Hospital in serious condition for medical treatment.

Police said both of them succumbed to injuries in the hospital. The assailants managed to escape unhurt from the spot.

Police and FC personnel reached the spot and started investigation into the incident. Police said that the incident was an act of targeted killing.

http://dawn.com/2013/04/08/dsp-among-two-killed-in-quetta-firing/

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Arab World

 

Iraq unveils reforms to De-Baathification law following Sunni protests

 8 April 2013

The Iraqi government on Sunday revealed sweeping reforms to a law banning members of late President Saddam Hussein’s Baath party from public life following ongoing protests by the country’s Sunni minority.

However, the parliament, which is scheduled to convene Monday, has yet to approve the changes to the De-Baathification law.

"This law [of De-Baathification] has excluded many talented people and prevented the country from [benefiting from] their services," Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlak said in a statement Sunday.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/08/Iraq-unveils-reforms-to-De-Baathification-law-following-Sunni-protests.html

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Car bomb explodes in central Damascus killing at least 10

AP | Apr 8, 2013

DAMASCUS, SYRIA: A Syrian government official says a car bombing in central Damascus has killed at least 10 people.

The official says the bomb exploded on Monday near the Sabaa Bahrat Square, one of the capital's biggest roundabouts where the Syrian Central Bank is located.

The blast was followed by a massive cloud of smoke that is rising from the residential and commercial area.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give official statements to the media.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Car-bomb-explodes-in-central-Damascus-killing-at-least-10/articleshow/19442997.cms

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Iraq executes seven convicted of terror offences

 April 8, 2013

BAGHDAD: Iraq has executed seven people convicted of terror-related offences, an official said on Monday, despite widespread calls for the country to declare a moratorium on its use of the death penalty.

All of those executed were Iraqi men, and brought to 29 the number of times Iraq has carried out the death penalty so far this year, according to an AFP tally. Baghdad executed 129 people in 2012, among the highest such figures in the world.

“Seven people were executed yesterday,” a senior justice ministry official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The official said the men were executed after having been convicted on terror charges.

Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari insisted last month that Baghdad would continue to implement the death penalty in the face of widespread calls for it to issue a moratorium.

Iraq’s executions have sparked concern from the United Nations, as well as Britain, the European Union and rights groups Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

http://dawn.com/2013/04/08/iraq-executes-seven-convicted-of-terror-offences/

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Zawahiri seeks Syrian Islamist state

April 7, 2013

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, April 7 (UPI) -- In his first message since November, al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri urged rebels in Syria to fight to establish an Islamic state governed by Sharia law.

"Let your fight be in the name of Allah and with the aim of establishing Allah's Sharia (law) as the ruling system," he said in an Internet video. "Do all that you can so that your holy war yields a jihadist Islamic state."

Full report at:

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2013/04/07/Zawahiri-seeks-Syrian-Islamist-state/UPI-44611365365476/

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Saudi authorities round up Shiites in spy row

Shiite leaders have accused the government of deflecting attention from reform calls

 April 8, 2013

Abu Dhabi: Saudi authorities have called in several influential Shiite Muslim clerics and intellectuals for questioning, as last month’s arrest of 16 people on charges of spying for Iran threatens to raise tensions between leaders of the religious minority and the government in the oil-rich kingdom.

Over the past days and weeks, the interior ministry has summoned scores of clerics and intellectuals from the towns of Ihsaa and Qatif in the oil-producing Eastern Province for interrogation, Saudi activists say.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-authorities-round-up-shiites-in-spy-row-1.1167953

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90 injured, 2 killed in cathedral attack: Egypt health ministry

Sectarian attack on the funeral outside Cairo's main cathedral leaves 90 injured and 2 dead

 8 Apr 2013

An official from the health ministry confirms that at least 90, including at least 11 policemen, have been injured in the attack by unknown assailants at the Abbasiya Cathedral on Sunday.

Two were announced dead by late Sunday; one is not yet identified but the other is Mahrous Hanna Ibrahim (30 years).

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/68723/Egypt/Politics-/-Updated--injured,--killed-in-cathedral-attack-Egy.aspx

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Egypt's pope mourns slain Copts, calls for 'wisdom, restraint'

In official statement, Pope Tawadros II says he's in constant touch with Egyptian security officials as clashes resume outside Cairo's main Coptic cathedral

 7 Apr 2013

As clashes persisted in the vicinity of Cairo's main Coptic-Christian cathedral in the capital's Abbasiya district, Coptic Pope Tawadros II issued a statement calling on the Egyptian people exercise "wisdom and restraint."

In a papal statement, Tawadros stressed that he has remained in constant contact with state officials – including the interior minister and security heads – since Egypt's latest outbreak of sectarian violence.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/68707/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-pope-mourns-slain-Copts,-calls-for-wisdom,-.aspx

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Iraq cabinet unveils sweeping reform of Saddam law

Iraqi cabinet to pass reforms on a law that would allow former Baath party members to re-enter the civil service and receive pensions

 7 Apr 2013

Iraq's cabinet unveiled sweeping reforms to a law barring members of Saddam Hussein's Baath party from public life on Sunday, in a bid to head off months of rallies by the country's Sunni Arab minority.

The amendment to a De-Baathification law still need to be approved by parliament but if implemented would mark a key concession to demonstrators in Iraq's north and west who have alleged the current rules promote unfair targeting of their community by the Shiite-led authorities.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/68688/World/Region/Iraq-cabinet-unveils-sweeping-reform-of-Saddam-law.aspx

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Nearly 9,000 Syrian troops killed in war: Group

April 08, 2013

BEIRUT — A Syrian human rights group says nearly 9,000 government troops have been killed in two years of fighting between President Bashar Assad's forces and rebels trying to topple him.

The Syria-based Violations Documentation Center has been keeping track of the dead, wounded and missing since the start the uprising against Assad's rule. It said on Monday 8,785 Syrian troops have died in the fighting.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130408160504

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Egypt prosecutor orders new Mubarak investigation

 Apr 07 2013

Cairo: Egypt's state news agency says the country's top prosecutor has ordered a new investigation into corruption allegations against ousted President Hosni Mubarak, a move that will keep him detained during his upcoming retrial.

The 84-year old Mubarak heads to court April 13 over his alleged complicity in the killing of hundreds of demonstrators during the protests that ultimately forced him out of office in February 2011.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/egypt-prosecutor-orders-new-mubarak-investigation/1098966/

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Attack on Christians in Egypt Comes After a Pledge

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and KAREEM FAHIM

 April 8, 2013

CAIRO — Police officers firing tear gas joined with a rock-throwing crowd fighting a group of Christian mourners Sunday in a battle that escalated into an attack on Egypt’s main Coptic Christian Cathedral that lasted for hours.

It was the third day of an outburst of sectarian violence that is testing the pledges of Egypt’s Islamist president to protect the country’s Christian minority. By nightfall, at least one person had died from the day’s clashes, bringing the weekend’s death toll to six.

Later Sunday, President Mohamed Morsi called the Coptic pope, Tawadros II, to reassure him. “I consider any aggression against the cathedral an aggression against me personally,” Mr. Morsi said, according to state media.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/world/middleeast/in-egypt-attack-on-christians-

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Symposium discusses course of post-colonial Arab history

8 April 2013

The symposium on Islamic political movements has continued to attract the attention of a number of local and foreign intellectuals who are attending the Janadriyah Cultural Festival.

Saad Al-Deen Ibrahim from Egypt said the Indonesian Islamic experience has saved the image of Islamic models of rule. He said Islamic parties in the Middle East have “hijacked” the revolutions and marginalized others. Almost all the revolutions in the Middle East display a totalitarian nature, he said and added that the Muslim Brotherhood is not different from other political parties in this sense.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/447409

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Qatar to give $500 million in aid to rebuild Darfur: minister

 8 April 2013

Qatar pledged $500 million in aid to rebuild Sudan's war-ravaged western region of Darfur, the official QNA news agency on Monday quoted a minister as saying.

“Qatar has pledged an amount of $500 million as grants and contributions for rebuilding Darfur,” said the gas-rich emirate's minister of state for cabinet affairs, Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmud.

In February 2010, Qatar had promised to establish a bank with a capital of $1 billion to develop Darfur.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/04/08/Qatar-to-give-500-million-in-aid-to-rebuild-Darfur-minister.html

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South Asia

 

Hefazat-e Islam chief stop act of a prostitute, asks Bangladesh HR Ambassador

Apr 6th, 2013

Human Rights Ambassador William Nicholas Gomes has warned Hefazat-e Islam chief Allama Ahmad Shafi stop acting like a prostitute. William Nicholas Gomes said Allama Ahmad Shafi has been used by political forces like BNP and others in the name of Islam.

Human Rights Ambassador William Gomes said you are no difference than other Pro ruling party Islamic scholars. William Gomes said a dog is better than Allama Ahmad Shafi , he is betraying and playing with the good faith of ordinary faithful Muslims of the country.

He said if you are playing to bring back the old system, why so many people need to die and wait for another five years for havoc.

Full report at:

http://www.spyghana.com/bangladesh-allama-ahmad-shafi-stop-act-of-a-prostitute/

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Maldives Ministry of Islamic Affairs and Palestinian Embassy announce Masjid Al-Aqsa conference

By Minivan News | April 8th, 2013

Maldives Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed and Palestinian Islamic Minister Dr Mahmoud Al Habbash have announced the Masjid Al-Aqsa conference will be held in the Maldives during a joining press conference Sunday (April 7).

Shaheem said the Mufti and Imam of the Masjid was invited and various “renowned” religious scholars will participate, reports local media. A joint committee with officials from the the Maldives Ministry of Islamic Affairs and the Palestinian Embassy will finalise the conference date and participants.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/category/news-in-brief

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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina rules out new blasphemy law

AFP | Apr 8, 2013

DHAKA: Bangladesh's prime minister has ruled out a new blasphemy law despite a mass campaign by Islamists to introduce the death penalty for bloggers whom they accuse of insulting the Prophet Mohammed.

As part of their push for a change in the law, the Hefajat-e-Islam organisation on Monday forced the closure of schools and businesses across the country as part of a general strike.

And television reports said scores of people had been injured in clashes between pro-government activists and Islamists, already infuriated by the recent convictions of leading opposition figures for war crimes.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Bangladesh-PM-Sheikh-Hasina-rules-out-new-blasphemy-law/articleshow/19440890.cms

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Afghan roadside bomb hits bus killing nine: Officials

AFP | Apr 8, 2013

GHAZNI, Afghanistan: A roadside bomb in Afghanistan exploded under a bus on Monday, killing nine people and wounding at least 22 people in an attack by suspected Taliban militants, officials said.

"Today at around 8:00am an IED (improvised explosive device) hit a bus," Attaullah Khogyani, the governor's spokesman in Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, told AFP.

"At least 22 people are wounded and nine others, including a woman, are dead."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghan-roadside-bomb-hits-bus-killing-nine-Officials/articleshow/19439741.cms

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Rohingya refugees will face trial in Indonesia

Apriadi Gunawan

April 08 2013

The North Sumatra Police on Saturday named 18 Rohingya refugees as suspects in a torture case that left eight Myanmar illegal immigrants dead.

The eight Myanmar fishermen were killed in the early hours of Friday in a violent incident involving hundreds of Rohingya refugees at the Immigration Detention Center (Rudenim) in Belawan, just outside Medan.

The eight fishermen were Aung Thu Win, 24, Aung Than, 44, Min-Min, 24, Win Tun, 32, Nawe, 23, Aye, 23, Myo, 20, and Sam Iwin, 45. Three Myanmar fishermen managed to escape and 21 refugees sustained injuries.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2013/04/08/rohingya-refugees-will-face-trial-indonesia.html

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Ministers slam Nasheed for “bluffing” over guesthouse commitments

By Neil Merrett | April 8th, 2013

Former President Mohamed Nasheed’s pledge to expand guest house tourism in the country has been strongly criticised by senior government figures, who accuse him of lacking sincerity and “bluffing” over his commitments to mid-market tourism.

State Minister for Finance Abbas Adil Riza and Minister for Tourism Ahmed Adheeb both this week slammed Nasheed, claiming guesthouse bed numbers more than doubled last year after President Dr Mohamed Waheed came to power.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/ministers-slam-nasheed-for-bluffing-over-guesthouse-commitments-55845

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Maldives: Actor newest addition to government’s list of political appointees

By Mohamed Naahee | April 7th, 2013

Local Actor Ali Seezan has been appointed as technical advisor to Minister of Tourism Arts and Culture Ahmed Adheeb, reports local media.

According to the President’s Office, Seezan was appointed to the position last Thursday with a salary of MVR 15,000 (US$ 972.76) and an additional allowance of MVR 10,000 (US$ 648.50), a total monthly income of MVR 25,000 (US$1,621.27).

Seezan – who is the nephew of opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Chairperson MP Moosa ‘Reeko’ Manik – has won National Film Awards and Maldives Film Association Award twice and is a member of business tycoon and MP Gasim Ibrahim’s Jumhoree Party (JP).

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/actor-ali-seezan-newest-addition-to-governments-list-of-political-appointees-55823

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‘Hefazat demands anti-constitutional’

 April 8, 2013

Leaders of the Gonojagoron Mancha on Monday rejected the demands of Hefazat-e Islam terming those as anti-constitutional.

“The 13 demands of Hefazat totally go against our constitutional provisions. We can no way accept these,” Imran H Sarker, spokesperson of the Mancha, said at Central Shaheed Minar after a flag procession in the capital.

They brought out the procession from Shahbagh intersection, now popularly known as Projonmo Chattar, to oppose the ongoing shutdown called by Hefazat-e Islam.

Several hundred youths carrying national flags and wearing red and green dresses brought out the procession around 11:30am.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/gonojagoron-mancha-set-to-hold-flag-procession/

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Celebrate Pahela Baishakh for resisting religious bigotry

 April 8, 2013

Some eminent personalities yesterday urged all to spread the vow, in all Pahela Baishakh celebrations, to establish a society based on communal harmony and democratic tolerance.

Greater national unity, inspired by the Liberation War’s spirit and secular democracy, is required so that the celebrations can rekindle the nation’s long traditions and take the country forward, they said.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/celebrate-for-resisting-religious-bigotry/

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20 hurt in Bangladesh latest strike

 April 8, 2013

At least 20 people have been injured in south-western Bangladesh as a hardline Islamic group enforces a general strike to back its demands for an anti-blasphemy law.

Police and Somoy TV station say the violence on Monday took place in Chittagong city when activists from Hifazat-e-Islam clashed with ruling Awami League supporters.

Police official Abdullahel Baki says the Hifazat-e-Islam protesters threw stones at police and the ruling party supporters.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/south-asia/20-hurt-in-bangladesh-latest-strike/article4594536.ece

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High-ranking Taliban official killed in eastern Afghanistan

April 6, 2013

A high-ranking Taliban official was killed during a joint military operation by Afghan and coalition security forces in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan on Friday.

NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) following a statement announced, “An Afghan and coalition security force killed Darah-ye Pech district’s highest-ranking Taliban official, Haji Matin, and one other insurgent during an operation in Darah-ye Pech district, Kunar province, yesterday.”

Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/article/3736/

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With Swagger, Afghan Army Takes the Lead

By AZAM AHMED

 April 8, 2013

DAMDARA, Afghanistan — Through the crackle of the hand radio, the Taliban fighter could be heard screaming at his comrades, berating them to strike from their mountain hide-outs and kill the infidel forces gathered nearby.

A burly Afghan Border Police commander, eavesdropping on the enemy’s open-channel communication, chuckled and decided to stir things up. “If you are a man, you don’t need to yell,” the commander spoke into his radio, as a circle of Afghan Army soldiers giggled. “Why don’t you come out, you thief, and fight us face to face? What cave are you hiding in?”

Startled, the insurgent on the other end blurted: “I’m strong with the love of God! I’m going to heaven.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/world/asia/afghan-army-learning-to-fight-on-its-own.html?ref=asia&gwh=6CBE14519CB6221E4A87AF75CF971946

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Abducted French photographer released in Afghanistan

April 08, 2013

A French photographer has been freed more than three months after being taken hostage in Afghanistan, the interior ministry said on Monday.

Four armed men snatched the freelancer in the capital, Kabul, last November, said ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi. He was released

in Wardak province, near Kabul, said Sediqqi. The exact circumstances of his release were not immediately clear.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/afghanistan/Abducted-French-photographer-released-in-Afghanistan/Article1-1039351.aspx

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Europe

 

Negotiators Find in Kazakhstan the Perfect Place to Disagree

By DAVID M. HERSZENHORN

 April 8, 2013

ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Plopped in a chair in a fifth-floor suite at the Rixos Hotel here, his eyes red from exhaustion, Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov of Kazakhstan spoke humbly about playing host to international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program.

“To put it in a nutshell, our role is very simple and very modest,” Mr. Idrissov said. “We have to prepare a nice coffee and nice tea, for the parties to be happy and have a really good atmosphere to work and focus on the issues of substance.” As if to illustrate the point, he sat in front of a lavish spread of pastries and finger cakes, but left them untouched in favor of puffing on an electronic cigarette.

Nothing is simple when it comes to high-stakes diplomatic talks, though — least of all deciding where they will be held. On that score, Kazakhstan, a former Soviet republic on the steppes of Central Asia between Russia and China, has pulled off something of a coup. After two days of contentious discussions between Iran and six world powers that ended with no deal anywhere in sight, the negotiators were in accord on one point: they had found the perfect place to disagree.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/world/asia/negotiators-find-in-kazakhstan-the-

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Multi-ethnic couples reflect Bosnia’s growing diversity

 April 8, 2013

SARAJEVO: Sandra Zaimovic, a Catholic Bosnian Croat and her husband Rusmir, a Bosnian Muslim, are looking forward to celebrating both Eid and Christmas with their new baby this year.

Couples of different ethnicity like the Zaimovics were a rarity in the years following the 1992-1995 war which divided Bosnia along ethnic lines, but today they are slowly reappearing, reflecting the country’s growing diversity.

“It is an advantage for children to grow up in two cultures and I am very happy that, while I am a Catholic, my last name is Muslim,” says Sandra, a 32-year-old charity worker.

Rusmir and Sandra, herself a child of a mixed marriage between a Bosnian Croat mother and Serb father, met in 2003 at a friend’s party.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/04/08/multi-ethnic-couples-reflect-bosnias-growing-diversity/

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Sharia court tells 'abused wife' to stay

A SHARIA law scholar has sparked outrage after asking an investigator posing as a battered wife: “Does your cooking upset your husband?”

By: James Fielding

April 7, 2013

Dr Suhaib Hasan told the undercover reporter that she should only contact police “as a last resort”, but she would be forced to leave her marital home if she did so.

The shocking exchange, filmed by the BBC’s Panorama programme for a special report into Sharia courts, has infuriated equal rights campaigners.

Baroness Cox is trying to take ­forward a private members’ Bill in the House of Lords to make it an offence for Sharia councils to set themselves up as courts.

Full report at:

http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/389957/Sharia-court-tells-abused-wife-to-stay

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Syria chemical weapons inspectors ‘ready to deploy’: Ban Ki-moon

8 April 2013

A U.N. inspection team is in Cyprus and ready to deploy to nearby Syria to probe the alleged use of chemical weapons in the conflict there, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday.

“I can announce today that an advance team is now in Cyprus, the final staging point” before the mission heads to Syria, Ban said in The Hague. “We are ready.”

Ban said at the opening of the third review of the Chemical Weapons Convention at the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that they still needed the Syrian regime’s go-ahead.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2013/04/08/Syria-chemical-weapons-inspectors-ready-to-deploy-Ban-Ki-moon-.html

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France launches major offensive on Mali Islamists

France launches military operation against Islamist base believed to belong to militia linked to Al-Qaeda near Malian city of Goa, Mali

 8 Apr 2013

A French force of 1,000 soldiers has begun a sweep of a river valley thought to be a logistics base for armed Islamists near the Malian city of Gao, an AFP journalist accompanying the mission said.

Operation Gustav, one of France's largest actions since its intervention against insurgents in January, will involve dozens of tanks, helicopters, drones and aircraft, said General Bernard Barrera, commander of the French land forces in Mali.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/68756/World/International/France-launches-major-offensive-on-Mali-Islamists.aspx

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France revives charred Mali market to ‘win the peace’

 8 April 2013

GAO, Mali — After routing an insurgency in Mali early this year, France is making sure it also “wins the peace” in the west African state – and the central market in the eastern city of Gao is acting as a symbol of that strategy.

The once-bustling sprawl of vendors’ covered stalls and stands on the banks of the Niger River was all but consumed by fire on February 21, when flames spread from sheds in the courtyard of the nearby town hall being used as cover by an infiltrating the extremists.

The scene of traders running screaming from the inferno, and the blackened ruin of their livelihoods scarred the heart of the city.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130408160441

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North America

 

US drone war deal 'in return for killing Pakistani militant in CIA missile strike'

By Philip Sherwell

 07 Apr 2013

The back-room deal, although not publicly confirmed, was detailed in several interviews with officials in the US and Pakistan for a New York Times investigation.

The bargain was crucial in allowing the Central Intelligence Agency dramatically to escalate its use of unmanned drones to target suspected terrorists in Pakistan’s border areas in what the then Bush administration called the “war on terror”.

President Barack Obama has intensified America’s covert drone operations, expanding their role in Yemen and East Africa, as he has tried to reduce US boots on the ground in combat missions.

Full report at:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9977583/US-drone-war-deal-in-return-for-killing-Pakistani-militant-in-CIA-missile-strike.html

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Osama Bin Laden's son-in-law and mouthpiece faces New York court

Apr 8, 2013

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law pleaded not guilty to terrorism charges in a New York court on Friday, becoming the closest member of the dead terrorist's family to face the US justice system.

Sulaiman Abu Ghaith allegedly acted as the chief spokesman for al-Qaeda at the time of the September 11 attacks. He appeared alongside bin Laden the morning after the outrage to warn America that "a great army is gathering against you".

The 47 year-old was reportedly captured several weeks ago in Turkey before being deported to Jordan, where he was handed over to the FBI and secretly taken to America.

Full report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/1820091/report-osama-bin-laden-s-son-in-law-and-mouthpiece-sulaiman-abu-ghaith-faces-new-york-court

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CAIR Welcomes AP Stylebook Revision of 'Islamist'

 April 8, 2013

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/5/13) -- The nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization today said the decision by The Associated Press (AP) to revise its Stylebook reference to the term "Islamist" is a "step in the right direction."

Late last year, the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) approached AP about modifying the reference, which had been added to its influential Stylebook. That entry read: "Islamist -- Supporter of government in accord with the laws of Islam. Those who view the Quran as a political model encompass a wide range of Muslims, from mainstream politicians to militants known as jihadi."

Full report at:

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Tennessee May Deliberately Exclude Muslim Schools from New Voucher Program

By Adam Peck on Apr 3, 2013

Several conservative lawmakers in Tennessee are throwing the brakes on a fast-moving bill that would divert money away from public schools and towards vouchers for students to attend private or parochial schools. Republicans are taking a second look at the bill after the possibility arose that some Islamic schools could apply for the same funding made available to other religious schools.

Full report at:

http://thinkprogress.org/education/2013/04/03/1815461/tennessee-may-deliberately-exclude-muslim-schools-from-new-voucher-program/?mobile=nc

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US general: Taliban likely to be long-term threat

 8 April 2013

BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan — The United States accepts that a diminished but resilient Taliban is likely to remain a military threat in some parts of Afghanistan long after U.S. troops complete their combat mission next year, the top U.S. military officer says.

In an Associated Press interview at this air field north of Kabul, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday he is cautiously optimistic that the Afghan army will hold its own against the insurgency as Western troops pull back and Afghans assume the lead combat role. He said that by May or June, the Afghans will be in the lead throughout the country.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130408160502

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Africa

 

11 killed in central Nigeria village attacks

 8 April 2013

JOS, Nigeria: Officials in central Nigeria say at least 11 people have been killed in ongoing fighting between Christian and Muslim villagers in the region.

The attacks centered around the volatile city of Jos, where thousands have been killed since Nigeria became a democracy in 1999.

In the first attack Saturday, Tarok Christian people living in the Karkashi village say people from a neighboring Muslim Hausa-Fulani village raided their homes. Military spokesman Capt. Mustafa Salisu said Sunday that seven people were killed in that attack.

Later, in Zango, a Hausa-Fulani village, a community leader says four attackers from a Tarok settlement were killed. At least five people were also injured.

Religion, politics, grazing rights and economic power all play a role in the violence in Nigeria’s fertile central belt region.

http://www.arabnews.com/news/447315

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Militant group claims killing 15 policemen in Nigeria's south

Apr 08 2013

Abuja: A statement purportedly by militant group MEND has claimed an attack on security forces in Nigeria's oil-rich southern region, killing at least 15 police officers.

The claim came yesterday, a day after the Nigerian police had declared 12 of its men missing in Bayelsa state after some militants had attacked them in the oil-rich region of the southern part of the country.

Bayelsa state police spokesman Alex Akhigbe had said the officers boat had developed some faults before they were ambushed in Azazuma village. But the statement said they killed 15 policemen in a gun duel and that two of the militants also died.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/militant-group-claims-killing-15-policemen-in-nigerias-south/1099222/

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Some Tuaregs in Mali mark 1 year of rebel movement

April 07, 2013

BAMAKO, Mali (AP) -- Some separatist ethnic Tuareg rebels in northern Mali are marking the one-year anniversary of their political movement.

The National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad was formed last April in northern Mali in the aftermath of the country's coup. While some members of the group still seek to secede from Mali, the group officially has backed away from its quest for independence.

Full report at:

http://www.wgme.com/template/inews_wire/wires.international/37eda4aa-www.wgme.com.shtml

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Nigeria: Lagos School Pupil Powers Generator From Urine

BY OLUWAFUNKE LASISI, 7 APRIL 2013

A Lagos school boy, Gbenga Bamidele Joseph, Year 10, has invented the second urine-powered generator, capable of generating six hours of 300 voltage electricity.

The teenager who is a pupil of Avi-Cenna International School, Lagos, displayed the project at a science fair penultimate Saturday.

His invention follows an earlier urine-powered generator invented by four girls of Doregos Private Academy also in Lagos, and showcased at the Maker Faire Africa, a pan-African conference of handcrafters in November 2012.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201304070028.html?viewall=1

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20 Nigerians in Multi-Million Dollars Credit Card Fraud in U.S

BY TOKUNBO ADEDOJA, 7 APRIL 2013

Thirty people, including 20 Nigerians and a Hudson County jail nurse, have been arrested in a multimillion, multi-state identity theft and credit card fraud ring by United States authorities.

According to a US medium, The Jersey Journal, the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office first got involved in the investigation in the early fall of 2012, when they received numerous complaints from victims as far away as California claiming that credit cards in their name made fraudulent retail purchases in Hudson County, officials said today.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201304070010.html?aa_source=acrdn-f0

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Sudan army men jailed up to 5 years over 'coup': lawyer

A group of Sudanese military officers receive sentences ranging between two and five years for alleged coup against the Sudanese government last year

 7 Apr 2013

A group of Sudanese military officers have been sentenced to between two and five years in prison for their role in an alleged coup against the Sudanese government last year, a lawyer said on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/68690/World/Region/Sudan-army-men-jailed-up-to--years-over-coup-lawye.aspx

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Moroccan MPs 'barred from entering West Bank'

 8 April 2013

AMMAN -Israeli authorities on Monday barred two Moroccan MPs accompanying EU parliamentarians from crossing into the West Bank to meet Palestinian officials, one of the lawmakers said.

"The Israel authorities prevented me and my colleague Ali Salem Chekkaf from crossing into the West Bank without giving us any reason," Mehdi Bensaid told AFP.

"I do not understand this Israeli action, which was an insult to the Moroccan parliament and people. I denounce it."

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130408160520

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Nigerian 'Mend' militants claim Niger Delta ambush

7 April 2013

Nigerian militants claiming to be from a group that has been inactive since 2009 say they carried out an attack that left 12 police officers dead.

An email purportedly from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) said it was responsible for the ambush in southern Nigeria on Friday.

Last week another email said Mend would resume attacks after its leader, Henry Okah, was jailed in South Africa.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-22058929

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India

 

Media creating a wrong image of Muslim community, promoting communalism: Justice Katju

New Age Islam News Bureau

 April, 8, 2013

Hyderabad:  The chairman of Press Council of India, Justice Markande Katju said that the media was maligning the Muslim community. The impartial attitude towards Muslims intensified their sense of injustice. He further said after every bomb blast, the media channels start mentioning Indian Mujahideen, JeM, HuJI etc and show the emails and SMSs sent from terrorists claiming the responsibility. He said that any mischievous person can send an SMS or email. But when you show it on television or print in newspapers, you create the impression that Muslims are terrorists and that they have no other work except hurling bombs. In this way, the media is maligning Muslims and promoting communalism in the country, Mr Katju said.

Speaking in a seminar on “Reporting terror: How sensitive is the media?” Mr Katju condemned this kind of reporting. He termed it as a very irresponsible attitude. He said that he has already written to the government to bring amendments to the press laws.

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No male escort, no Haj

Sonal Nerurkar, TNN Apr 7, 2013

For six years, Aminakutty of Malappuram district in Kerala has cherished hopes of going on the Haj pilgrimage . Her four sons couldn't find the time, so she asked her neighbor , Sainaba Vayalpeedikakkal, 65, to accompany her. But on March 18, the 64-year-old's application was denied because her 'mahram' or escort was not male. "It is against the law that provides equal rights to men and women," says Aminakutty, who has filed a case in Kerala High Court, on grounds that the Haj Committee of India's (HCI) refusal violates her constitutional right to equality.

Full report at:

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-04-07/special-report/38345540_1_aminakutty-haj-pilgrimage-hci

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J&K needs development, not secret agencies: Jairam

Ruhi Tewari

 Apr 08 2013

Srinagar: In what could be construed as an indictment of the tendency of the Centre to prioritise intelligence rather than political inputs in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday said “secret agencies cannot be allowed to dictate our Kashmir policy” and what the state really needs is “normal politics”.

Speaking to a select group of reporters while returning from his two-day Kashmir visit, Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/j-k-needs-development-not-secret-agencies-jairam/1099101/

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Sikhs consider sending Jathas to Bangladesh as Pak toughens norms especially for pilgrims

Yudhvir Rana, TNN | Apr 8, 2013

AMRITSAR: Contrary to the claims of a relaxed visa regime, Pakistan government has toughened the formalities especially for pilgrims intending to visit Pakistan, prompting various organizations in Punjab to consider Bangladesh-based Gurudwaras for pilgrimage.

A few Sikh organizations have either suspended their scheduled pilgrimage to Pakistan on Baisakhi or have warned to send Jathas to Bangladesh to pay obeisance at Sikh historical Gurudwaras.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Sikhs-consider-sending-jathas-to-Bangladesh-as-Pak-toughens-norms/articleshow/19435338.cms

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Farooq chants autonomy again

Naseer Ganai/ Srinagar

 April 8, 2013

THE National Conference on Sunday defied ally Congress’ concerns to reiterate its “ commitment” to autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir and the return of Parliament attack convict Afzal Guru’s body to the state.

At the party’s working committee meeting, chaired by chief and Union minister Farooq Abdullah, the NC also said “ meaningful dialogue” with Pakistan was essential for “ sustainable peace in the region”. “ The NC has resolved that the restoration of autonomy continues to be the bedrock of the NC’s policy and agenda,” the party’s resolution, issued after the two- day meeting, stated.

Full report at: Mail Today

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NC for phased withdrawal of AFSPA, Indo-Pak dialogue

 April 8, 2013

The ruling National Conference (NC) on Monday batted strongly for phased withdrawal of AFSPA from Jammu and Kashmir and sustained and meaningful Indo-Pakistan dialogue, saying that the restoration of internal autonomy continues to be the party’s policy.

Union Minister and NC chief Farooq Abdullah, in a meeting of the party’s Central Working Committee held on Sunday, said that AFSPA should be lifted in a phased manner from various parts of the state.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/nc-for-phased-withdrawal-of-afspa-indopak-dialogue/article4594701.ece

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Lashkar plans to strike in guise of local youth: NIA

 April 08, 2013

Two years after getting thoroughly exposed in the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, the brass of Pakistan-based terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) put another plan in motion. To conceal its footprint, the banned outfit plans to use local youths for its terror activities in India – an investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has revealed.

In June 2012, the NIA had launched a probe against Sayeed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal, the Hindi teacher of 10 suicide attackers of 26/11, for trying to recruit Indian youth for terror activities with an idea to show to the world that terrorism in India was indigenous in character and content.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/newdelhi/Lashkar-plans-to-strike-in-guise-of-local-youth-NIA/Article1-1038990.aspx

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Ansari trail leads NIA to recover cash for ‘terror funding’

Rahul Tripathi

 Apr 08 2013

New Delhi : The NIA probe into the operations of Mumbai 26/11 handler Syed Zabiuddin Ansari alias Abu Jundal has led the agency to recover Rs 26.50 lakh cash for a house in Beed, Maharashtra. The house belonging to one Nizamuddin was raided by the NIA, which, along with the money, recovered a pen drive and a hard disk.

Nizamuddin has told the court that he got the money by selling his plot of land. Father of one of the suspects Zakiyoddin, he has also deposited money in the name of his son. Preliminary income-tax reports claim that one Syed Mehmood who reportedly bought the land from Nizamuddin does not have the wherewithal to pay such a big amount. However, a final report is awaited. But the NIA had on Thursday filed a chargesheet against him alleging that the money was meant to fund terrorist activities.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ansari-trail-leads-nia-to-recover-cash-for-terror-funding/1099137/

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MA student from J&K wins Irom scholarship

Apr 08 2013

Raipur: The first Irom Sharmila Scholarship has been awarded to Iymon Majeed (22), a resident of Panjipora village in Sopore, J&K. An MA (political science) student at Jamia Millia Islamia, he has been writing about his experiences in his home state for various publications. He was born in March 1991, nine months after the state came under AFSPA in July 1990.

The jury selected him over 50 applicants, mostly students who had lived in conflict zone. The scholarship includes one-time cash award of Rs 50,000, and is open only for post-graduate students enrolled in any university or institute in Delhi who have suffered under AFSPA or similar laws and have contributed to the democratic struggle against militarism in the spirit of Irom Sharmila.

The jury consisted of A Bimol Akoijam of JNU, Kamei Aphun, Ujjwal Kumar Singh and Nandini Sundar of DU, and Sameer Yasir of Islamic University of Science and Technology, Kashmir.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/ma-student-from-j-k-wins-irom-scholarship/1099096/

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Haj preparations begin, govt seeks increase in quota

Daniel P George, TNN | Apr 8, 2013

CHENNAI: Preparations for Haj, which starts in October, has begun in the state. The state Haj committee has so for received more than 8,000 applications and issued about 2,200 passports to pilgrims.

A Aboo Bucker, vice-chairman of the Haj Committee of India said that as there is a great demand for the pilgrimage, the Centre has urged the Saudi Arabia authorities to increase the quota for pilgrims from the country. Every year, about 1,70,000 Indians perform Haj. The Centre has sought an increase of 10,000 pilgrims in this year's quota.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Haj-preparations-begin-govt-seeks-increase-in-quota/articleshow/19435412.cms

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Vicious attempt by Pak government to divide us, Sikh groups say

TNN | Apr 8, 2013

AMRITSAR: Sikh religious organizations have accused the Pakistan government of deliberately trying to create a wedge between Hindus and Sikhs by denying visas to those intending to join them on pilgrimage.

"This is a vicious attempt by Pak government to divide us and Indian government should take up the issue with its Pakistani counterpart and apprise them of the Hindu Sikh ties," said President of Sai Mia Mir Foundation H S Brar while talking to TOI on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Vicious-attempt-by-Pak-government-to-divide-us-Sikh-groups-say/articleshow/19436885.cms

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US-Pak drone deal exposes Kashmir rider

Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN | Apr 8, 2013

WASHINGTON: Pakistan's former military strongman Pervez Musharraf allowed the CIA to conduct Drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal areas as long as the United States kept away from the country's nuclear facilities and mountain camps where terrorists were being trained for attacks on India, according to explosive new disclosures that break the wall of silence from both sides on the controversial Predator attacks, and if accurate, again exposes U.S duplicity on terrorism.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-Pak-drone-deal-exposes-Kashmir-rider/articleshow/19435838.cms

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Man who availed VoA facility to initiate movement for 'people's friendly' visa regime

Yudhvir Rana, TNN | Apr 8, 2013

AMRITSAR: Feeling betrayed by the new visa regime introduced both by India and Pakistan, Chanchal Manohar Singh, the man who went into the pages of history by being the first Indian to avail the Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility to visit Pakistan on January 15th, have decided to visit Pakistan again to mobilize support from like-minded people and NGO's to pressurize their respective governments for making a 'people's friendly' visa policy.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Man-who-availed-VoA-facility-to-initiate-

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-groups-criticised-for-“politics-of-demanding-justice”/d/11055

 

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