New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 24 Jun 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Named Egypt’s Winner, Islamist Mohamed Morsi Makes History

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Named Egypt’s Winner, Islamist Mohamed Morsi Makes History

Sex Parties Find a Home in Saudi Arabia

Qatar drive to educate foreigners on dress code

Egypt's democratic revolution is being crushed by a slow-motion coup

Egypt's Morsi to rethink Israel peace pact, build Iran ties

Iraq cleric: Government reforms need PM’s ouster

33 Syria military members defect to Turkey: Report

Bashir says Sudan protests are no Arab Spring

Iraqi authorities order closure of 44 news organisations

Syrian Olympic chief 'banned from London 2012'

 

India

Over two dozen people injured in clashes after fire in Srinagar Sufi shrine

Order Issued Specifically To Prevent Quadeer's Release from Jail for 8 Yrs after Serving Life

Tata Institute Report Points to Anti-Muslim Bias Of Police

Srinagar: 200-yr-old Dastageer Shrine gutted, holy relics safe

Shrine blaze triggers tension in Srinagar

Key Mumbai terror attack handler arrested in Delhi

Fake currency: Pak national arrested in Delhi, arrived by Samjhauta Exp

 

Pakistan

Hindu and Sikh minorities of Khyber Agency cry for attention: United Sikhs

Buddha attacked by Taliban gets facelift in Pakistan

Security agencies of Pakistan whisked away 75 year old Baloch man

Taliban attacks Pakistan military posts, 8 soldiers dead

Rehman Malik protests Afghan militant incursion

10 soldiers killed in cross-border attack in Dir

Forced marriage: Victims hate the crime, not their parents

Pak SC suspends PPP leader's membership of National Assembly

Pakistan handled prime minister's disqualification better than India

Dual nationality case: Zahid Iqbal’s membership suspended

Protection given to all Gilani decisions of Apr 26-June 19

Pakistanis prefer 'reasoning to passion' in decision making: Survey

Gilani's son accuses govt of withdrawing his security cover

 Pakistan's Dr Afridi, from CIA asset to solitary cell

Gilani moves into president’s estate over security fears: Reports

Five, including two policemen, killed in Karachi violence

Four policemen gunned down in Quetta

 

South Asia

Selfish Pakistan army may spark nuclear war with India: Bangladesh envoy

Leading Afghan lawyer arrested on rape charge

China Urges Calm after Syria Shoots Down Turkish Jet

Lucrative Afghan Oil Deal Was Awarded Properly, Karzai Says

Bomb Blast Kills 6 Afghan Police Officers

Afghan brain drain fears as Karzai urges education reforms

 

Southeast Asia

Indonesia Ranks near Bottom on Safety for Women

Malaysia wants Malay taught in Tamil schools

Malaysia Court: Give Iranian Bomb Suspect to Thais

Indonesian troupe brings unbroken musical tradition to Pakistan

Malaysia student arrested at PM rally for wearing Bersih shirt

 

Mideast Asia

Israel to ease visa norms, open office in Mumbai

Turkey Turns to NATO over Syrian Attack

Israel Expelling 150 South Sudanese

Israel's historic city of Acre faces tourist and settler tensions

 

Africa

Militants Attack Jail in Nigeria, Freeing 40

Libya Democracy Clashes with Fervour for Jihad

Nigeria Says It Needs New Anti-Terrorism Tactics

Grenade Attack in Kenya Kills at Least 3

 

North America

Obama congratulates Mohamed Morsi

Obama Calls Muslim Brotherhood 'Milestone of Democracy'                            

US urges new Egyptian government to be 'pillar of peace'

 

Europe

British Pakistani found guilty in 30 rape cases in new trial

UK court stops deportation of Taliban fighter

Muslim Students in Spain Initiate Jihad on Ham Sandwiches

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Named Egypt’s Winner, Islamist Makes History

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/sex-parties-find-a-home-in-saudi-arabia/d/7735

 

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Arab World

 

Named Egypt’s Winner, Islamist Mohamed Morsi Makes History

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

25 Jun 2012

CAIRO — Egypt’s military rulers on Sunday officially recognized Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood as the winner of Egypt’s first competitive presidential election, handing the Islamists both a symbolic triumph and a potent weapon in their struggle for power against the country’s top generals.

Mr. Morsi, 60, an American-trained engineer and former lawmaker, is the first Islamist elected as head of an Arab state. He becomes Egypt’s fifth president and the first from outside the military. But his victory, 16 months after the military took over on the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, is an ambiguous milestone in Egypt’s promised transition to democracy.

Following a week of doubt, delays and fears of a coup after a public count showed Mr. Morsi winning, the generals showed a measure of respect for at least some core elements of electoral democracy by accepting the victory of a political opponent over their ally, the former air force general Ahmed Shafik. “Today, you are the source of power, as the whole world sees,” Mr. Morsi said, pointing into the television camera, during his victory speech.

Mr. Morsi’s status as president-elect, however, does little to resolve the larger standoff between the generals and the Brotherhood over the institutions of government and the future constitution. Two weeks before June 30, their promised date to hand over power, the generals instead shut down the democratically elected and Islamist-led Parliament; took over its powers to make laws and set budgets; decreed an interim Constitution stripping the incoming president of most of his powers; and reimposed martial law by authorizing soldiers to arrest civilians. In the process, the generals gave themselves, in effect, a veto over provisions of a planned permanent Constitution.

For much of Sunday, the capital was tense with apprehension that the panel of Mubarak-appointed judges overseeing the election might annul the ballot count and declare Mr. Shafik the president, completing a full military coup. Banks, schools and government offices closed early for fear of violence.

Tens of thousands of Brotherhood supporters and their allies against military rule gathered in Tahrir Square for the sixth day of a sit-in, demanding that the military roll back its power grab. Around 3:30 p.m., hushed crowds gathered around portable radios to hear the election commissioner’s rambling introduction of the official result.

Then they leapt to their feet: Mr. Morsi had won 51.7 percent of the runoff votes.

“Morsi, Morsi!,” the crowd chanted. “Down, down with military rule!”

Smiling riot police officers put down their helmets to exchange congratulations with bearded protesters. Beaming Brotherhood supporters streamed in, swelling the crowd to perhaps 100,000 by nightfall. In a carnival atmosphere, fireworks were set off and vendors hawked cotton candy or threw pieces of fruit into the laughing crowd.

After 84 years as a secret society struggling in the prisons and shadows of monarchs and dictators, the Brotherhood is now closer than ever to its stated goal of building an Islamist democracy in Egypt. “In my dreams, I wanted this to happen, but it is unbelievable,” said Hudaida Hassan, a 20-year-old from Menoufiya who was rejoicing in the square.

Brotherhood leaders emphasized that their struggle was far from over. They promised to continue the sit-in and fight on in the courts and the streets to reinstate the Parliament. In his short first statement as president-elect, Mr. Morsi vowed to take the oath of office before the reseated Parliament, and not the Supreme Constitutional Court, as the generals had decreed.

Field Marshal Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the chairman of the military council, congratulated Mr. Morsi. The official presidential guard, which once protected Mr. Mubarak, arrived at Mr. Morsi’s home to take up their new role. Until 16 months ago, their appearance at the home of a Brotherhood leader could only mean a trip to one of Mr. Mubarak’s jails. Mr. Morsi himself was jailed for a time in 2008 and again during the revolt last year against Mr. Mubarak.

State television, long a wellspring of propaganda against the Brotherhood, broadcast Mr. Morsi’s victory speech on Sunday. In it, he pledged repeatedly to be “a president for all Egyptians.” He quoted the first Muslim caliph to describe his authority in Islamic terms, but he also extended a hand to Egypt’s large Coptic Christian minority, many of whom remain dubious of him. “We as Egyptians, Muslims and Christians, are preachers of civilization and building; so we were, and so we will remain, God willing,” he said. “We will face together the strife and conspiracies that target our national unity.

“We are all equal in rights, and we all have duties towards this homeland,” he added. “But for me, I have no rights, I have only duties.” He also repeated his pledge to uphold all international agreements, an apparent reference to Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

The Coptic Church formally congratulated him, calling the election a victory for democracy.

Fulfilling a campaign promise, Mr. Morsi resigned on Sunday from the Brotherhood and its political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party. He is expected to appoint a prime minister and cabinet in the next few days. He has promised that the prime minister and an advisory council would come from outside the Brotherhood as part of a unity government based on a rebuilt alliance with liberals and other secular activists.

At the same time, however, Mr. Morsi has always campaigned not as an individual with a vision of his own but rather as an executor of the Brotherhood’s platform. He was the group’s second-choice nominee, put forward after the disqualification of its leading strategist and most influential leader, Khairat el-Shater. Mr. Morsi, a close friend and protégé of Mr. Shater’s, has vowed to carry out the “renaissance” program that Mr. Shater devised to overhaul Egypt’s ministries. The two did little to dispel the assertions of critics that Mr. Shater and the Brotherhood’s board would wield the true power in a Morsi government.

Even after the two-month presidential campaign, Mr. Morsi remains an unfamiliar figure to most Egyptians. He was living and working in Los Angeles during the tumultuous period after Islamic militants assassinated Anwar Sadat and his successor, Mr. Mubarak, cracked down on the Brotherhood. Those who knew him in America say Mr. Morsi never appeared notably political or religious. But he became a leader in the Brotherhood after his return to Egypt, and he won election in 2000 to the Mubarak-dominated Parliament, and was chosen to lead the Muslim Brotherhood’s small bloc of 18 members, playing a key role in the group’s experiments in multiparty democracy and coalition-building. But as he rose in the leadership, he gained a reputation as a conservative enforcer, known for discouraging dissent.

Five years ago, when the Brotherhood adopted a draft party platform that called for barring women and non-Muslims from the presidency, Mr. Morsi was a chief defender of the controversial planks, inside and outside the group. He argued that Islam required the president to be a male Muslim, in part because the head of state should promote the faith.

Since Mr. Mubarak’s ouster, the Brotherhood has jettisoned those proposed restrictions from its platform, but during the campaign Mr. Morsi said that he personally still thought that only a male Muslim should hold the office.

Even so, the jubilation and relief at Mr. Morsi’s victory swept up not only Brotherhood supporters, but also some more secular Egyptians who had stayed on the sidelines of the Brotherhood’s tug of war with the military. Alaa al-Aswany, a writer who campaigned against Mr. Morsi before the runoff and has been a sharp critic of the Brotherhood, wished him well on Sunday. “Congratulations for the Egyptian people,” Mr. Aswany wrote in an online commentary. “The will of the people was able to topple the old regime once more. Long live the revolution.”

Inside the prison where Mr. Mubarak’s sons and former allies are being held, there was “sadness and tears” at the election result, the Web site of the state newspaper Al Ahram reported. It said, however, that Mr. Mubarak himself, now under guard in a hospital, reacted stoically.

Early in the week, when the vote counts were still unofficial, Mr. Shafik had declared himself the true winner of the election, but on Sunday he sent Mr. Morsi a congratulatory telegram, wishing him luck with “the difficult task assigned by the Egyptian people,” a Shafik spokesman said.

Mr. Morsi’s designation as president-elect will hand the Brotherhood and its more secular and liberal allies an important megaphone in their struggle for power with the military. Mr. Morsi will become the chief figure negotiating with the generals on behalf of both the group and its allies, Brotherhood officials say.

“I feel like there is hope again,” said Mohamed Ahmed, 20, an activist with the secular April 6 Youth Movement, one of many demonstrating with the Brotherhood in Tahrir Square. He was celebrating, he said, but not because he supported Mr. Morsi. “I hate Ahmed Shafik,” he said. “He is from the old regime.”

President Obama called Mr. Morsi to congratulate him and offer support, the White House said in a statement. A separate statement urged the generals to speed the transition to democracy and recalled Mr. Morsi’s pledges of inclusiveness: “We believe in the importance of the new Egyptian government upholding universal values, and respecting the rights of all Egyptian citizens — including women and religious minorities such as Coptic Christians.”

Mr. Obama also telephoned Mr. Shafik to commend him on his campaign and to encourage him to help “unify the Egyptian people,” the White House said. Official reaction in Israel was muted; Israeli officials have watched events in Egypt with trepidation over the past year and a half, reflecting concern that a new government would reassess the peace treaty that Egypt’s generals have long honored. In the Gaza Strip, governed by the militant Islamist group Hamas, an offshoot of the Brotherhood, wild celebrations broke out on Sunday. Celebratory gunfire accidentally killed a 24-year-old man and wounded two girls in Rafah, near the border crossing to Egypt.

Mr. Morsi’s victory is unlikely to end the fierce polarization of Egyptian society. Many of the young secular and liberal activists who started the revolt against Mr. Mubarak have come back together to support the Brotherhood against the military’s grab for power, but older secular political leaders are more divided.

A counterprotest in support of the ruling generals reportedly grew to 10,000 people Saturday night, and a group of lawmakers who call themselves liberals held a televised news conference to declare their support for the generals and for the dissolution of the Brotherhood-led Parliament.

The secular politicians accused the Brotherhood of “hijacking” the revolution, called the group a threat to the “civil” character of the state, and charged that the Brotherhood would impose religious rule.

And incongruously, given Washington’s history of antagonism toward the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood, the secular lawmakers argued that the United States had improperly tried to sway the presidential race in Mr. Morsi’s favor. American officials and diplomats say the United States supported only the democratic process, regardless of the election’s result.

Reporting was contributed by Mayy El Sheikh, Liam Stack and Kareem Fahim from Cairo, and Fares Akram from Gaza.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/world/middleeast/mohamed-morsi-of-muslim-brotherhood-declared-as-egypts-president.html?ref=world&gwh=4CB9203BEF01EAE1DBA16399AB9A4E22

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Sex Parties Find a Home in Saudi Arabia

Sharifa Ghanem | 25 June 2012

The home is empty now, but clothes still strewn across the floor reveal a growing trend among the wealthy elite in Saudi Arabia and foreigners, who indulge frequently in what are becoming known as “sex parties” in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

This couple, who hosts a monthly “event,” as they call it, told Bikyamasr.com that without freedom to go out on the town, couples have come together to have sex parties.

“It is something we do and we are not ashamed of it,” said 32-year-old Tara, who asked that her complete identity remain obscure. For her, it is an opportunity “to find out more about ourselves sexually.”

Her husband, Mark, nods in agreement. They said that for their “event” some 5 couples come to their home, strip naked and partake in what can only be defined as an “orgy.”

“What we do is we put all our names in a hat and draw out one woman and one man, then we continue until all the names are counted and then we begin,” Mark said, adding that all couples have agreed and are willing participants.

“We would never allow someone to be coerced into this kind of thing,” he added.

The swingers party then erupts into sexual escapades, with couple indulging in each other’s bodies, and Tara admits that sometimes couples join together for “for intimate and intriguing experiences.”

While the details are self-explanatory, the couples’ do fear being caught. Sexual relations in the ultra-conservative Gulf country are shunned, and sex outside of marriage is considered adultery and can be punishable by death.

“That is why these parties are kept very secret. We believe in the concept of sexual freedom and in a country like Saudi it is difficult to really live,” Tara added.

But what about their relationship? The couple said they have been partaking in swingers events since they began dating 6 years ago and have no qualms about having sex with others.

“We were both very sexually open when we began dating and after we got married and moved to Saudi, it was only natural to find other couples who were interested,” Mark revealed. “For us, it makes us stronger as a couple, knowing that we are open and free about our lives and our bodies.”

The couple said that they also attend another house once a month for the “sex parties.”

They have had scares though, with one resident in their building questioning them over what goes on during the meetings.

“It was very worrying when he came up one day and saw two other couples in robes, naked. He threatened us and demanded to know what was going on. We told him we were doing massage techniques and he left, but if he went to the police, it would have been scary.”

The couple said the man has since moved away from the building and the monthly parties continue unhindered.

With a growing number of expatriates living in Saudi and frustrated over the lack of freedom, the “sex parties” they argued, “give people a chance to release the frustration and tension that builds up living here.”

http://bikyamasr.com/70777/sex-parties-find-a-home-in-riyadh/

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Qatar drive to educate foreigners on dress code

By Mostafa Sheshtawy

June 24, 2012

Islamic Culture Center “Fanar” is organising a campaign

Doha: Growing discontent in Qatar over expatriate clothing has sparked an Islamic centre to organise an awareness campaign to educate foreigners on Islamic and Qatari traditions. The Islamic Culture Centre “Fanar” is organising a campaign targeting shopping malls after a story published in early June in the Qatari daily Al Rayah reported how Qataris were upset at immodest dress in malls. “The amount of immodest clothing is growing in public places, especially shopping malls. Such foreigner behaviour conflicts with our traditions. We do not want our kids to be exposed to it or learn from it, and that’s why we will start this campaign,” Nasser Al Maliki, Chief of Public Relations in Fanar told Gulf News.

The campaign’s starting date is yet to be announced, however the centre is calling for many public meetings with anyone interested in working with them.

“Many foreigners, Muslims and non-Muslims, are interested in working with us. That will help us a lot especially as it is not a religious campaign, it’s a social one,” Al Maliki said.

“It’s good to have an awareness campaigns for foreigners here in Doha so they can at least wear modest clothes in public places. They should respect Qatari and Islamic traditions,” says Wafaa R., 23, a Doha resident.

“We need such campaigns everywhere not just malls. It is getting out of hand. Its not only clothing but we are seeing inappropriate displays of affection in public,” says Hussa, a Qatari woman who supports the campaign.

“I totally disagree with this, everyone should be allowed to wear what they want,” says Rawan, an 18-year-old university student.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/qatar/qatar-drive-to-educate-foreigners-on-dress-code-1.1039705

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Egypt's democratic revolution is being crushed by a slow-motion coup

 24 June 2012

The west can, and must, use its influence to curb Egypt's generals

Whatever the final results of Egypt's presidential elections, due to be announced today, it is fair to say that one thing has not changed since the advent of the Arab Spring – the grip of the country's generals on the country's post-Hosni Mubarak politics.

Egypt's "deep state" – represented by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces backed by powerful former regime interests in both business and the media – has moved at every turn to undermine the transition to democracy.

It has dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament which was elected in January in what were largely regarded as free and fair elections. The military, too, has pursued young revolutionaries through the courts and with live ammunition when they have dared to protest, leading to more than 1,000 deaths since the revolution. The remnants of the old regime – known as the felool – have prosecuted foreign NGOs, attempted to portray foreigners as spies and agents provocateurs, while doing their best to undermine the writing of a new constitution that the "deep state" fears might introduce civilian oversight into its murky dealings, not least its monopolisation of large parts of Egypt's economy.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/24/observer-editorial-egypt-west-must-put-pressure

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Egypt's Morsi to rethink Israel peace pact, build Iran ties

Jun 25, 2012

TEHRAN: Egypt's Islamist president-elect, Mohamed Morsi, wants to "reconsider" the peace deal with Israel and build ties with Iran to "create a strategic balance" in the Middle East, according to an interview published by Iran's Fars news agency on Monday.

The stated goals are certain to alarm Israel and its ally the United States as they adapt to the new direction Egypt will chart with Morsi at the helm.

They could also boost Iran's influence in the Middle East at a time of heightened tensions between Tehran and the West.

"We will reconsider the Camp David Accord" that, in 1979, forged a peace between Egypt and Israel that has held for more than three decades, Morsi was quoted as telling a Fars reporter in Cairo on Sunday, just before his election triumph was announced.

He said the issue of Palestinian refugees returning to homes their families abandoned in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war and the 1967 Six-Day War "is very important".

Morsi added though that "all these issues will be carried out through cabinet and governmental bodies because I will not take any decision on my own."

Morsi also said he was ready to improve ties with Iran. The Islamic republic broke off diplomatic relations with Egypt in 1980, a year after Cairo signed the peace deal with the Jewish state.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Egypts-Morsi-to-rethink-Israel-peace-pact-build-Iran-ties/articleshow/14388796.cms

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Iraq cleric: Government reforms need PM’s ouster

25 Jun 2012

NAJAF: The firebrand Iraqi cleric whose followers make up a crucial swing vote said Sunday the prime minister must resign as a first step to pull Iraq out of the morass that has all but paralyzed its government.   

Speaking to reporters from his headquarters in the holy c said he would not bow to pressure from Iran and other Shiite religious leaders to continue supporting Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

He joins Sunni and Kurdish officials who seek to oust al-Maliki, a Shiite, in the first major Shiite defection against the premier.

Al-Sadr accused al-Maliki’s government of keeping Iraq’s minorities away from power and failing to fix legal systems and other public services. He said he would direct his party’s 40 lawmakers to support a no-confidence vote against al-Maliki if he is sure other political blocs in parliament will provide the rest of the 163 votes needed.

“The reforms are main goal, and the no-confidence vote is the beginning of the reforms,” al-Sadr said in a rare and wide-ranging hour-long news conference. “And like ablution before prayers, reforms cannot happen without pressuring the government.”

He added, “If the head is reformed, everything beyond it is reformed.”

His declaration delivers a sharp blow to al-Maliki’s efforts to hold on to power. Al-Sadr’s followers are the first major Shiite party to take sides against al-Maliki.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/25/iraq-cleric-government-reforms-need-pms-ouster/

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33 Syria military members defect to Turkey: Report

Jun 25, 2012

ANKARA, TURKEY: Dozens of members of Syria's military defected to Turkey overnight with their families, a Turkish official said Monday, at a time of heightened tensions between the two countries over Syria's downing of a Turkish military plane.

The state-run Anadolu news agency said 33 soldiers crossed into Turkey overnight and the group - 224 people in all - included a general and two colonels.

A government official, however, said the group included three colonels and there was no general among them. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, did not know the overall number of defectors and the two accounts could not immediately be reconciled.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/33-Syria-military-members-defect-to-Turkey-Report/articleshow/14387996.cms

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Bashir says Sudan protests are no Arab Spring

25 Jun 2012

As demonstrations against austerity measures continue, Sudan's president says they are the work of "a few agitators".

Omar al-Bashir, Sudan's president, has said anti-government protests against high prices is the work of "a few agitators".

More than a week of protests sparked by austerity measures have spread across the capital Khartoum and other cities, expanding beyond the core of student activists who hoped to turn public discontent into an "Arab Spring" movement.

Dismissing the demonstrations in a speech late on Sunday, Bashir said: "They said the economic measures were a chance for the Arab Spring, but we've already had the Arab Spring a number of times.

"When the Sudanese people revolt, they all come out. The people who are burning tyres are a few agitators."

Witnesses on Sunday evening reported groups of about 100 people demonstrating in two areas of Khartoum.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/video/africa/2012/06/201262545747456418.html

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Iraqi authorities order closure of 44 news organisations

 24 June 2012

Press freedom group condemns move as a warning to critics of the prime minister

An Iraqi press freedom group has condemned authorities for ordering the closure of 44 news organisations, including a US-funded radio station.

No media outlet is reported to have been forced to close so far but critics say the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is sending a warning to the media.

The dispute calls into question the future of Iraq's fledgling democracy, nine years after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and six months after the last of the US troops who overthrew him withdrew.

Ziyad al-Aajely, the head of the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory, called the move to shut down media offices "a setback to the freedom of journalism in Iraq."

"It is a government message to the media outlets that if you are not with us, then you are against us," he said by telephone.

The list, which officials say was compiled a month ago, only became public on Sunday.

Most of the 44 newspapers, radio and television stations targeted for shutdown are Iraqi, although foreign broadcasters including the BBC and Voice of America are on the list as well as the US-funded Radio Sawa. The BBC and Voice of America have closed most permanent news operations in Iraq.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/24/iraq-closure-news-organisations

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Syrian Olympic chief 'banned from London 2012'

Owen Gibson

 22 June 2012

General Mowaffak Joumaa, head of Syria's National Olympic Committee, is believed to have been barred over links to regime

The head of Syria's National Olympic Committee, General Mowaffak Joumaa, is understood to have been banned from attending the London Olympics next month because of his links with Bashar al-Assad's regime and the Syrian military.

Whitehall sources have confirmed that Joumaa submitted his application at the end of last week and it is believed to have been turned down. The Guardian revealed earlier this month that his application would be refused.

Exclusion decisions are taken by a joint Home Office and Foreign Office committee, with input from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport. Sources said there was "very little sympathy" for the Syrian NOC chief.

There has been a debate behind the scenes about the best approach to take to individuals who are not subject to international travel bans but whose attendance presents an ethical dilemma.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2012/jun/22/syrian-olympic-chief-london-2012

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India

 

Order Issued Specifically To Prevent Quadeer's Release from Jail for 8 Yrs after Serving Life

GOVIND KRISHNAN V.

24th Jun, 2012

A former police constable, Quadeer shot dead his superior officer during the 1990 communal riots.

Almost the first thing that Abdul Quadeer says is that he is a Sufi. Dressed in a white tunic and skullcap, 49-year-old Quadeer's prematurely grey hair, white beard and decrepit appearance make him look like a Sufi fakir. He has to prop himself up on his hospital bed with his arms when talking to visitors and the bandages on his left leg reveal the open sores of advanced diabetes. A pair of handcuffs hangs on the bedstead and a policeman stands guard outside.

A former police constable, Quadeer shot dead his superior officer, Assistant Commissioner of Police Sattaiah, with his service musket during the 1990 communal riots in Old Hyderabad when 100-200 people, including children, were killed. The Andhra Pradesh government refused to remit his sentence when he completed the normal term of 14 years in 2004. It also rejected his appeal for release on the humanitarian ground that his health was broken because of his prolonged imprisonment and the torture he said he suffered in jail.

"I am not a traitor. I love my country and have no enmity with Hindus or any other community. Mein ek Sufi hoon. We have love for every soul. What I did may be illegal, but I do not regret it since I did it to save the lives of several innocent people. The ACP used the police to burn Muslim shops and opened fire on innocent Muslims," says Quadeer.

The riots of December 1990 took place in a communally polarised atmosphere, a month after L.K Advani completed his first rathyatra as part of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement. The riots were widely seen as politically engineered by factions within the state Congress to bring down the government of Chenna Reddy. After resigning, Chenna Reddy accused the late Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, who became Chief Minister in 2004, of engineering the riots.

According to the additional metropolitan sessions court's judgement in 1992, in the early morning of 12 December 1990, Quadeer and some CRPF men were patrolling the riot-hit Chatrinaka area in a jeep when they were joined by Sattaiah. Sattaiah, who rode shotgun, was using his VHF wireless to contact other patrols, when Quadeer, sitting in the back, unloaded his musket and shot the ACP in the back of the head. Sattaiah was taken to the Osmania hospital and died shortly. The police submitted that in the struggle to disarm Quadeer, he fell to the ground and became unconscious.

What I did may be illegal, but I do not regret it since I did it to save innocent lives. The ACP used the police to burn Muslim shops and opened fire on innocent Muslims. 

During his trial, the prosecution argued that Quadeer was a religious fanatic and had killed Sattaiah as revenge for a previous reprimand. According to the judgement copy, the state accused Quadeer of "instigating rowdy elements in the Muslim community to rape Hindu girls" and of being "seen in the company of Muslim rowdies". The judge rejected the charge that Quadeer was a communal fanatic but held him guilty of murder.

Quadeer, his wife and human rights activists say that he was so badly beaten after his arrest that he fell unconscious and was taken to the same hospital where the ACP was taken. "From there he was taken to the Central Crime Control Station and tortured. We learnt that he was even forced to drink urine," says Latif Mohammad Khan, the general secretary of the Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee.

But the police has denied before the High Court that Quadeer was tortured in jail and has stated that it is the sole right of the government to release life convicts.

"After 2004, the Congress government remitted the sentences of over 50 life convicts even before they completed 14 years. This includes several known criminals and goondas. Then why not a man like Quadeer?" Khan asks. The Civil Liberties Monitoring Committee, which plans to appeal to the Supreme Court, has also sent a petition to the President. The petition has been forwarded for consideration to the Andhra Pradesh Chief Secretary by the President.

"I was young and emotional. A river of blood was flowing at the time. What else could I have done? But I have served my 14 years and want to go home to my wife and children. How much longer will they continue to torture me? If this is allowed I will say that humanity and justice are dead in Hindustan," says a weeping Quadeer.

The AP Home Department issued a Government Order in 2004, when Quadeer was expecting to be released, stating that no one guilty of the murder of a public officer would have their sentences remitted. Malleshwar Rao, a lawyer who represented Quadeer, claims that the order was issued specifically to prevent Quadeer's release. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that imprisonment for life is not restricted to 14 years and the government has the sole power to decide on remitting the sentence. While the AP High Court refused to entertain Quadeer's plea to be released, B.V. Acharya, the former Attorney General of Karnataka and a constitutional expert said, "Lifers who have served 14 years are usually released automatically. While the SC judgement clarifies that governments have the power to imprison for life, there must be good grounds for doing so. It cannot be an arbitrary decision."

Meanwhile, Quadeer's wife, Sabera Begum is worried. "The doctor says that if his condition does not improve his leg would have to be amputated. We want to take him to a good private hospital. But since he is a prisoner the police have refused to transfer him to a private hospital," she says.

http://www.sunday-guardian.com/investigation/man-in-jail-for-8-yrs-after-serving-life

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Tata Institute Report Points to Anti-Muslim Bias Of Police

June 24, 2012

MEENA MENON

“Most of prisoners in Maharashtra jails victims of prejudice”

A report on Muslim prisoners in Maharashtra jails by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) establishes that most of them do not have connections with criminal gangs, and points to an acute bias of the police for arresting them in some cases only because they belong to a particular community.

A Study of the Socio Economic Profile and Rehabilitation Needs of Muslim Community in Prisons in Maharashtra, 2011, by Dr. Vijay Raghavan and Roshni Nair from the Centre for Criminology and Justice School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), states that 96 per cent of the respondents have not been held under preventive detention charges, thus indicating that they are not viewed as a threat to law and order.

The study which surveyed 339 Muslims, mostly between 18 and 30 years of age, in 15 prisons says this implies that most respondents do not have connections with criminal gangs or have any record which may be a threat to law and order. About 25.4 per cent of those imprisoned don’t have lawyers to represent them in their cases.

The police’s bias against Muslims led to some of the arrests under the erstwhile Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA), the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) and even under the Official Secrets Act.

‘Two types of laws’

An agent in textile export, Murtuza, arrested under the Official Secrets Act on charges of spying, says in his interview to the research team: “There are two types of laws in this country. One is for Hindus and the other is for Muslims. The policeman is first a Hindu and then a policeman. The judge is first a Hindu and then a judge and the lawyer is first a Hindu then a lawyer. People who work against the State, indulge in rioting, kill thousands of innocent people, and harass women and children roam free in this country. They are not punished. I am suffering only because I am a Muslim.”

Murtuza strongly feels that the discriminatory attitude is one of the major reasons for his arrest. He says that the police do not have enough evidence against him and yet he remains in prison. Two years have passed and the case is dragging on in court. He misses his court dates because the escort to take him to court is often not available. He has applied for bail thrice, but it has been rejected each time. He also applied for transferring the case to a different judge, but nothing has happened yet.

POOR VICTIMISED

Another prisoner Moiz says that “every time he tries to start life afresh, the police arrest him in some false case. They also demand money from criminals and those who can pay are set free. The poor are victimised. The police are very powerful and can do anything.”

Some interviews reflect the deep despair and alienation of the people interviewed. Muneer feels that after the demolition of the Babri Masjid, the rift between Hindus and Muslims has widened. Due to the riots and bomb blasts in 1992-93, the police perception of Muslims has become negative. The police view them as criminal minded. Migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are viewed with prejudice by the police.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article3563333.ece

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Over two dozen people injured in clashes after fire in Srinagar Sufi shrine

Jun 25, 2012

SRINAGAR: Over two dozen people were injured in clashes with police in downtown after a fire broke out in the 200-year-old Muslim shrine 'Peer Dastgeer Sahib' at Khanyar in Srinagar.

The fire which started from the top of the tomb of the shrine due to short circuiting at about 6.30 am on Monday engulfed the whole building. However, the holy relic of the saint, 'taburakts' and written copies of holy Quran were safe in the custody of Syed Khalid Hussain, Sajada Nasheen of Dastageer Sahib Shrine.

The residents of the area blamed the fire service officials for laxity in saving the building. Riyaz Ahmad Bhat of Khanyar said that the fire tenders arrived late at the site and there was also no water stocked in the fire tenders to fight the fire.

Director general of fire and emergency department, Dr G A Bhat denied that there was scarcity of water in the fire tenders. He said people did not allow the firemen to use the water from nearby canal, Barinimbal. On top of that, he said, the agitating mob caused damage to about 22 vehicles of the department and burnt one vehicle. "They also damaged the bronto sky lift which costs Rs six crores," Bhat told the TOI. He said that over 15 firemen were injured in the clashes during the fire fighting.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Over-two-dozen-people-injured-in-clashes-after-

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Srinagar: 200-yr-old Dastageer Shrine gutted, holy relics safe

 Jun 25 2012

Srinagar : The over 200-year-old shrine of Dastageer Sahib was on Monday gutted in a fire at Khanyar in old city, triggering protests that left over 50 people including 11 policemen injured.

An official of the Disaster Management Cell said the fire broke out in the shrine of Syed Abdul Qadir Jeelani around 6.30 am and engulfed the entire complex within no time.

“The shrine was made of wood ...The fire spread quickly and the complex has been gutted,” the official said.

The official said the relics of the preacher, known as Ghaus-ul-Azam among the local populace and revered worldwide, are safe as these were retrieved from the fire-proof vault.

Fire tenders were rushed to the spot but the blaze spread very fast.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known but police is investigating the possibility of sabotage.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/srinagar-200yrold-dastageer-shrine-gutted-holy-relics-safe/966456/

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Shrine blaze triggers tension in Srinagar

Jun 25, 2012

SRINAGAR: Tension gripped the Jammu and Kashmir summer capital on Monday following a blaze that gutted the revered Peer Dastageer Sahib shrine, police said.

Stone pelting mobs clashed with the security forces in parts of the old city, prompting the authorities to increase security in the entire capital city.

Three people were injured in the stone pelting. Traffic in the old city has been diverted after the mob violence, a senior police officer said. Police used tear smoke and resorted to repeated baton charges to disperse the mob.

The mob also pelted stones at a police station in Khanyar, where the shrine of Peer Dastageer Sahib is located.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Shrine-blaze-triggers-tension-in-Srinagar/articleshow/14385051.cms

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Key Mumbai terror attack handler arrested in Delhi

Jun 25, 2012

NEW DELHI: After tracking him for more than three years, security agencies have arrested Sayed Zabiuddin alias Abu Hamza, alleged Lashker-e-Taiba ultra and the Hindi tutor of 10 terrorists who carried out the audacious attack in Mumbai in 2008.

The 30-year-old Ansari alias Abu Jindal, who hails from Georai area of Beed district in Maharashtra, was arrested on June 21 when he arrived in India from a Gulf country, official sources said on Monday.

India had also secured an Interpol Red Corner notice against him in which he was accused of crimes involving the use of weapons, explosives and terrorism.

With his arrest, the mysterious voice recorded during the conversation between 10 Lashker terrorists and their handlers in Pakistan has been identified, the sources said.

According to the officials associated with the probe, Ansari had told Lashker terrorists carrying out attack in Nariman House to convey to the media that the "attack was a trailer and the entire movie was yet to come".

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Key-Mumbai-terror-attack-handler-arrested-in-Delhi/articleshow/14384313.cms

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Fake currency: Pak national arrested in Delhi, arrived by Samjhauta Exp

 Jun 25 2012

New Delhi : A Pakistani national was arrested by the Delhi unit of the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) on Friday while trying to smuggle Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) concealed in ladies slippers. The arrest was made following a tip-off that Pakistan national Mohammad Tahir had come to Jama Masjid area of central Delhi. Tahir was to deliver the consignment of Rs 2.93 lakh FICN to his Indian contact at the Kabootar Market near Jama Masjid. However, the Indian contact managed to escape from the clutches of the DRI sleuths.

Tahir was taken on remand during which it was revealed that he came to Delhi on June 22 on Samjhauta Express and got down at the Old Delhi railway station. He was accompanied by his 70-year-old ailing mother who was visiting her parental house in Rampur in Uttar Pradesh. Sleuths also found a Pakistani passport number AC 7129812 along with 38 ladies slippers. The fake notes in denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 were concealed in the bottom of the slippers. He was also found carrying dental equipment, medicinal oil, clothes and ointments, said officials.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/fake-currency-pak-national-arrested-in-delhi-arrived-by-samjhauta-exp/966305/

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Pakistan

 

Hindu and Sikh minorities of Khyber Agency cry for attention: United Sikhs

Jun 24, 2012

AMRITSAR: More than 70 Sikh and Hindu families who have been displaced from Khyber Agency, Pakistan had taken shelter in Gurudwara Bhai Joga Singh, Peshawar, Gurdwara Punja Saheb. These families had no source of income to feed their families and need urgent relief, food, Non Food Items (NFI) and hygiene kits, informed Director, United Sikhs (US), Majinderpal Kaur on Sunday.

She said due to this displacement the education of children of the displaced families was also seriously affected."40 of the 70 families are in dire straits of which three families do not have a male member and are facing severe difficulties and can barely afford daily expenses of their family members"said she.

Project Director , US, Herdyal Singh said "The situation of Sikh and Hindu residents in the Khyber Agency areas has been bad since an Islamic tax (Jazia) was imposed on them by militants, under a threat of violence, a few years ago". But their situation had further worsened recently due to military operations forcing them to seek refuge elsewhere. The shops of many Sikhs have had to close due to the curfews and worsening conditions. "We appeal to the global community to donate funds which can help relocate Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to safer areas" he said.

Amongst those in need were the families of Satnam Singh and Sardar Singh, who were killed during the fighting between the security forces and militants last October. One of the shells landed on the shops of Satnam Singh and Sardar Singh in Shalobar Chowk of Bara market in the Khyber Agency.

Satnam Singh died on the spot, and Sardar Singh was seriously injured and was admitted for treatment to the hospital nearby, but later died in this hospital said he Kaur said that US Relief Team met with the different government organizations, like FATA Disaster Management Authority , Provincial Disaster Management Authority and the UN organisations to raise the issue of these IDPs to register their families quickly.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Hindu-and-Sikh-minorities-of-Khyber-Agency-cry-for-attention-United-Sikhs/articleshow/14372459.cms

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Buddha attacked by Taliban gets facelift in Pakistan

Jun 25, 2012

JAHANABAD, PAKISTAN: When the Taliban blew the face off a towering, 1,500-year-old rock carving of Buddha in northwest Pakistan almost five years ago, it fell to an intrepid Italian archeologist to come to the rescue.

Thanks to the efforts of Luca Olivieri and his partners, the 6-meter (nearly 20-foot)-tall image near the town of Jahanabad is getting a facelift, and many other archeological treasures in the scenic Swat Valley are being excavated and preserved.

Hard-line Muslims have a history of targeting Buddhist, Hindu and other religious sites they consider heretical to Islam. Six months before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the Taliban shocked the world by dynamiting a pair of 1,500-year-old Buddhist statues in central Afghanistan.

The Jahanabad Buddha, etched high on a huge rock face in the 6th or 7th century, is one of the largest such carvings in South Asia. It was attacked in the fall of 2007 when the Pakistani Taliban swarmed across the scenic Swat Valley. The army drove most of them out two years later, but foreign tourists who used to visit the region still tend to stay away.

Olivieri himself had to leave in 2008 after more than two decades of tending to the riches dating back to Alexander the Great and the Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim invaders who followed. The 49-year-old head of the Italian Archeological Mission in Pakistan returned in 2010 and is back at work.

Taliban militants climbed ropes to insert explosives in holes drilled into the face and shoulders of the Jahanabad Buddha, said Olivieri. The explosives in the shoulders failed to detonate, but the others blew off most of the face above the lips and cracked other parts of the carving and surrounding rock.

Olivieri and his team began work this month on fixing the cracks and what's left of the face. A full reconstruction is impossible because detailed documentation and fragments of the face are lacking.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Buddha-attacked-by-Taliban-gets-facelift-in-Pakistan/articleshow/14385170.cms

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Security agencies of Pakistan whisked away 75 year old Baluch man

25 Jun 2012

Occupied Baluchistan: The Pakistani Para-Military force (FC) has abducted an elderly Baluch man on 20 June from Jansok area of Turbat region in Baluchistan.

According to details 75 year old Mohammad Baksh Baluch has been taken to an undisclosed location and motives of his abducted are not known like previously thousands of abducted Baluch. Mr Mohammad Baksh Baluch’s son, Ganguzar Baluch, is said be an administrator of Baluchistan University’s Turbat campus.

No family member or relatives have heard of Mohammad Baksh Baluch since he was abducted. It is feared that he will be tortured and might even be made a victim of kill and dump policy by the state’s security agencies. It is worth mentioning that since July 2010 the Pakistani Military and FC with the help of local police and their civilian death squads, commonly called the Punjabi death squad by Baluch people, have killed and dumped around 500 abducted Baluch activists.

Full report at:

http://www.balochwarna.com/modules/news/article.php?storyid=3577

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Taliban attacks Pakistan military posts, 8 soldiers dead

Jun 25, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Over 100 Taliban fighters crossed over from Afghanistan and attacked military posts in Upper Dir area of northwest Pakistan, triggering clashes that left eight soldiers and 15 militants dead, officials said today.

The Taliban launched the attack late last night and killed at least eight soldiers, Pakistani military officials were quoted as saying by CNN.

Fifteen Taliban fighters were killed in the exchange of fire that followed the attacks in Upper Dir district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan said the Afghan Taliban carried out the attacks.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Taliban-attacks-Pakistan-military-posts-8-soldiers-dead/articleshow/14382668.cms

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Rehman Malik protests Afghan militant incursion

25 Jun 2012

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to prime minister on interior affairs, Abdul Rehman Malik on Monday expressed his grievances to Afghanistan over the Afghan militant attack on Pakistani security personnel in Upper Dir area on Sunday, DawnNews reported.

Malik contacted the Afghan Interior Minister to submit his complaint over the incident and blamed Afghan authorities for not preventing the cross border movement of militants into Pakistan.

A cross border attack by Afghan militants in Upper Dir area resulted in the deaths of 10 security personnel whereas another 10 were missing.

Pakistan security forces killed 15 militants in retaliatory action.

The security forces’ team was patrolling on the Pak-Afghan border when it was attacked by the militants who crossed the border. Sources said that the team was sent to the location on the information of militant presence in the area.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/25/rehman-malik-protests-to-afghanistan-against-militant-incursion/

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10 soldiers killed in cross-border attack in Dir

25 Jun 2012

PESHAWAR: Afghan terrorists on Sunday attacked a military convoy in Upper Dir, resulting in the killing of at least 21 people, including terrorists and soldiers. According to reports, Afghan militants attacked a military convoy in Upper Dir, a district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, killing at least 10 military personnel, while several others were left missing. The sources further said that the security forces retaliated to attack and killed 11 terrorists.

Militants from Afghanistan have several times attacked the checkposts in Upper Dir, causing causalities to security forces in the area.

In an earlier attack on Friday, two soldiers and five Afghan militants were killed in Karakar in Barawal Tehsil of Upper Dir district, officials said.

Two soldiers were also injured as security forces repulsed the attack by militants from the Kunar province of Afghanistan on a security checkpost in the border area of Karakar. Sources in security forces said terrorists, who had taken shelter in Kunar following the military operation by security forces in Malakand Division, attacked the border post.

One of the slain soldiers was identified as Iqbal, 27, hailing from Kallar Syedan Tehsil of Rawalpindi District. Iqbal had gotten engaged three months ago. The other soldier succumbed to injuries at the hospital. This was the second attack on security forces’ checkpost at Karakar within nine days.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\25\story_25-6-2012_pg1_3

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Forced marriage: Victims hate the crime, not their parents

Zofeen Ebrahim

25 Jun 2012

“When I did not return to school at the age of 13, why didn’t the school authority ask any questions; when I had a baby at the age of 14, the doctors, the nurses, not even the social services people asked my mother how I got pregnant,” says 42-year-old Sameem Ali, a Labour councilor of Pakistani origin in Moss Side, Manchester.

Born to Pakistani Muslim parents, Ali was forced into marriage as soon as she hit the teens to a Pakistani cousin twice her age and whom she met on the wedding day.

In 2011, the UK government’s Forced Marriage Unit recorded 1,468 instances, 78 per cent of which were females. However, the government says these figures are just the tip of the iceberg and do not reflect the full scale of the abuse as most cases go unreported. The government estimates that 5,000 to 8,000 cases of forced marriage take place in the UK every year.

In an interview with Dawn.com Dr Suhaib Hasan, secretary of the Islamic Sharia Council, in Leyton, points out the gaping “generational gap” that exists between the Pakistani parents who arrived in the country as unskilled workers in the 1950s and 1960s, and their children. He should know, as several young men and women forced into such unhappy matrimony seek his advice on divorce.

Full report at:

 http://dawn.com/2012/06/25/forced-marriage-victims-hate-the-crime-not-their-parents/

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Pak SC suspends PPP leader's membership of National Assembly

Jun 25, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court today suspended a Pakistan Peoples Party leader's membership of Parliament on the ground that he possesses dual nationality, taking the number of lawmakers suspended so far to six.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry suspended the membership of PPP lawmaker Zahid Iqbal, who represents Sahiwal constituency of Punjab province in the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament.

The bench sent an order to the Speaker of the National Assembly that said Iqbal's membership would remain suspended till he submits proof to the court that he has only Pakistani citizenship.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-SC-suspends-PPP-leaders-membership-of-National-Assembly/articleshow/14386261.cms

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Pakistan handled prime minister's disqualification better than India

Jun 25, 2012

It is becoming increasingly clear to members of the US Congress that Pakistan is a failed state and no amount of US aid will ever change that," influential US lawmaker Dana Rohrabacher wrote to former Pakistani prime minister Yousuf Gilani in the first week of May.

On June 19, Foreign Policy magazine published a list of failed states ranking Pakistan at 13th place because "the country is run by a military obsessed with — and, for decades invests in — the conflict with India, and by a civilian elite that steals all it can and pays almost no taxes."

It would not have ruffled Gilani much since such rankings had become routine. In 2009 and 2010, it was ranked at 10th place and in 2011 it was ranked 12th.

The very next day, a bolt came from the blue. The Supreme Court ruled that Gilani stood disqualified from the Majlis-e-Shoora (parliament) from April 26, when he was convicted for contempt of court and sentenced symbolically. In the time of political crisis, the failed state responded to the situation rather admirably. Within days, the situation became more fluid with another court issuing warrants against a prime ministerial prospect in a pending case. But promptly, an alternative in Raja Pervez Ashraf was found.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-handled-prime-ministers-disqualification-better-than-India/articleshow/14380227.cms

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Dual nationality case: Zahid Iqbal’s membership suspended

25 Jun 2012

ISLAMABAD: The hearing on dual nationality case continued in the Supreme Court of Pakistan on Monday. During the proceedings, the senate membership of Zahid Iqbal from Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) was suspended DawnNews reported.

Moreover, Member of the Senate, Jamil Malik, confessed that he holds Holland’s nationality, however, is not a citizen. The Chief Justice questioned his statement by asking “how can a person be a national and not a citizen of Holland”.

Jamil Malik submitted his reply on the dual nationality case.

Justise Jawwad S Khawaja remarked that people holding dual nationalities should not be a part of Pakistan’s assemblies.

Petitioner, Wahid Anjum, requested the court to collect records from Airport authorities and FIA.

Moreover, no one representing MNA Farhat Mehmood Khan and MNA Nadia Gabol came to the Supreme Court. whereas Rehman Malik was given some more time to submit his documents.

Rehman Malik’s counsel, Anwar Mansoor, said that Rehman’s British lawyer is on leave which is why he was unable to present the evidence and documents in the court and asked for more time. The court granted him the time to gather the evidence and adjourned the hearing until July 2.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/25/dual-nationality-case-zahid-iqbals-membership-suspended/

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Protection given to all Gilani decisions of Apr 26-June 19

 25 JUNE 2012

President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday issued an ordinance to give constitutional protection to all decisions made by former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani during the period when he was disqualified by the Supreme Court, averting a possible crisis.

A notification issued by the Law Ministry said the ordinance provided constitutional protection to all decisions made by Gilani between April 26 and June 19. The ordinance also covers all domestic and foreign agreements signed by Gilani and advise given by him to the President during this period.

According to the ordinance, the decisions made by Gilani cannot be challenged in any court or forum, including the Supreme Court. The notification said the President had issued an ordinance because both houses of Parliament were not in session. On June 19, the Supreme Court disqualified Gilani due to his conviction of contempt for refusing to reopen graft cases in Switzerland against Zardari.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/world/75623-protection-given-to-all-gilani-decisions-of-apr-26-june-19.html

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Pakistanis prefer 'reasoning to passion' in decision making: Survey

 Jun 25 2012

Karachi : A survey carried out by university students from various institutes in Pakistan to gauge the personality preference of Pakistanis, has revealed that a majority of the respondents preferred to function with “reasoning” than with “passion”.

According to the Daily Times, the survey was aimed at finding out whether Pakistanis prefer to take decisions based on passion or reasoning.

A total of over 3,700 respondents participated in the survey, which was conducted over the Internet and via SMS.

Around 68 percent of the male respondents believed that Pakistan needs more “reasoning” to be a positive society, while 32 percent believed that the nation lacked “passion”. 85 percent of the female respondents favoured reason, while a meager 15 percent were in favour of passion.

40 percent of the respondents believed “intelligence” to be the single most important attribute for success, while 39 percent believed it to be “luck”. Over 46 percent of respondents, aged between 31-45, were optimistic about the future of Pakistan.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/966496/

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Gilani's son accuses govt of withdrawing his security cover

Jun 25 2012

Lahore : Former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani's son Abdul Qadir Gilani has said that the PML-N government of Punjab province has withdrawn his security cover despite knowing that he had received death threats from the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan.

“Despite knowing that I am facing threats from the Taliban, the government of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has withdrawn my security cover,” Abdul Qadir told PTI.

“Since my father is no more the Prime Minister, the Punjab government did not hesitated in withdrawing my security. I am going to write to the Punjab Police chief and the Home Secretary to restore my security,” he said.

Abdul Qadir said that if he does not receive a response from the authorities in Punjab, he would request the federal government to provide him security.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/966467/

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Insight: Pakistan's Dr Afridi, from CIA asset to solitary cell

 Jun 25 2012

Peshawar, Pakistan : There can be few jail cells in Pakistan as lonely as the one occupied by Shakil Afridi, the doctor who helped the CIA hunt down Osama bin Laden.

He is kept in solitary confinement to protect him from hundreds of convicted militants eager to avenge their hero's death. He may not be safe even from the guards - only two trusted officials are allowed to see him.

Beyond the walls, Afridi is as much a prisoner of Pakistan's growing resentment of the United States as he is a victim of his own dalliance with high-stakes espionage.

No wonder then that he finds solace in the story of Younus in the Koran, almost identical to that of Jonah in the Old Testament, a prophet whose faith in God delivers him from the belly of a whale.

“My brother was confident that he will be released very soon. He said: 'I'm innocent, I've done nothing wrong,'” Afridi's brother Jamil told Reuters in a recent interview after visiting the jail in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/966520/

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Gilani moves into president’s estate over security fears: Reports

 Jun 25 2012

Islamabad : Pakistan's former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani along with his family has moved into the sprawling presidency in the heart of Islamabad for security reasons, according to media reports.

TV news channels reported that Gilani had been provided a three-room suite on the sixth floor of the president’s official residence. He had earlier moved into the Islamabad Club after he was disqualified by the Supreme Court. The news channels quoted their sources as saying that Gilani could not stay at the club due to security concerns.

Some reports said Gilani was expected to play a behind-the-scenes role in guiding the administration of new Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf. Ashraf was on Friday elected the Prime Minister during a special session of the National Assembly following Gilani’s disqualification.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/966372/

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Five, including two policemen, killed in Karachi violence

25 Jun 2012

KARACHI: At least five people, including two policemen, lost their lives on Sunday in violent incidents of Karachi, DawnNews reported.

People protested on Maripur road after two people were injured by firing of unidentified men. Traffic and the business activities in the area remained paralysed.

Unidentified men opened fire on the police officials during snap-checking near ‘Nagan Chowrangi’ in the area of North Karachi. Sub-inspector Wazir Ali and Constable Rashid lost their lives in the incident. Their dead bodies were taken to Abbasi Shaheed hospital.

A tortured dead body was found from the area of ‘Pak colony’ near ‘Mewa Shah’ graveyard. According to the police officials the dead body was a few days older.

Two hand-tied dead bodies were found from the bushes in the jurisdiction of Manghopir police station. Police officials said that both men were kidnapped and tortured before they were killed.

A man, named Aslam, received bullet wounds near Baldia graveyard. The man succumbed to his injuries and passed away.

A dead-body of a woman was found in the area of Bahar Colony.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/25/fiveincluding-two-policemen-killed-in-karachi-violence/

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Four policemen gunned down in Quetta

25 Jun 2012

QUETTA: At least four policemen were gunned down in Bakra Mandi area of Eastern Bypass, on outskirts of Balochistan’s capital city on Sunday.

According to police sources, four police officials were patrolling the area when unidentified armed men, riding a motorcycle, opened fire on them. Resultantly, three police personnel died on the spot while the other was injured.

The deceased and the injured cop were moved to the Combined Military Hospital where the latter also succumbed to injuries. Law enforcement agencies, including Frontier Corps and police, rushed to the crime scene and cordoned off the area. Quetta CCPO Mir Zubair Mehmood and the DIG (investigation) also reached the spot.

Sariab SP Sikandar Tareen confirmed that four police constables had been shot dead by unidentified men. They were identified as Abdullah Mengal, Shahjehan, Abdullah Pirkani and Mumtaz Sarpara. No group had claimed responsibility of the attack until the report was filed. The shooting comes a day after gunmen on motorcycles shot dead eight Sindhis at a laundry in Sariab Mill on Saturday. The deceased included Gul Muhammad, a police constable, Noorullah, Muhammad Umair, Sher Ahmed, Muhammad Ishaq Soomoro and Abdul Hameed. Owner of the laundry, Shehzad, was also critically injured.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack, but Balochistan suffers from militancy, sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shias and a separatist insurgency which also targets non-natives. Baloch rebels rose up in the province in 2004, demanding political autonomy and a greater share of profits from oil, gas and mineral resources in the region.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\25\story_25-6-2012_pg1_4

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South Asia

 

Selfish Pakistan army may spark nuclear war with India: Bangladesh envoy

Jun 25, 2012

NEW DELHI: In one of his publications which he presented to BJP leader LK Advani last week, Bangladeshi high commissioner to India Ahmed Tariq Karim attacked the Pakistan army saying its "selfish corporate" interests may spark off a nuclear confrontation with India.

In the 19-page document, excerpts from which have been displayed by Advani on his blog, Karim said the armed standoff between India and Pakistan over Kashmir was "inevitably enlarged by the Pakistan military into a permanent security threat to the newly established Muslim nation".

"While the Indian leadership, despite the conflict with Pakistan, chose the path of democracy and invested in strengthening their democratic and civic institutions, the political leadership of Pakistan used Kashmir as the reason for embarking on the road to authoritarian governance," Karim said.

"Ironically, in the process, they sowed the seeds for their own displacement by the very institution that was normally meant to be the guardian of their security," he added in the pamphlet titled 'Pakistan: Stalking Armageddon?'

According to Karim, Pakistan in its obsession with matching India tit-for-tat in missiles and the nuclear race, has "failed to address more fundamental problems related to societal development within its own orders, and has gone pretty nigh bankrupt in the process".

In the pamphlet, Karim cited seven "deadly sins" of Pakistan which were responsible for the political problems and weak democracy in the neighbouring country.

These, according to Karim, were doctrines of Islamic invincibility over Hindus, West Pakistani superiority over inferior Bengalis (Bangladeshis), its indispensability as a strategic ally of the US, too much emphasis on relations with China and Iran, a belief that majority of Kashmiris want to join Pakistan, and that defence of East Pakistan lay in the plains of Punjab (Pakistan).

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Selfish-Pakistan-army-may-spark-nuclear-war-with-India-Bangladesh-envoy/articleshow/14379703.cms

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Leading Afghan lawyer arrested on rape charge

25 Jun 2012

KABUL: A prominent Afghan lawyer close to a possible presidential candidate has been arrested on charges of kidnapping and raping a woman, prosecutors said Sunday.

Kabir Ranjbar, the president of the Afghan Lawyers’ Union and a former member of parliament, was detained on Saturday, deputy attorney general Rahmatullah Nazari told AFP.

Nazari said the woman, now aged 20, was kidnapped from Dehsabz district, northeast of Kabul, around two and a half years ago and held at the home of Ranjbar’s niece.

Ranjbar, a familiar face on Afghan television talk shows, allegedly got the woman drunk and raped her, the prosecutor said, and two months ago she gave birth to his child. “I can confirm Kabir Ranjbar, a former Kabul MP in the lower house of parliament, has been arrested by the attorney general’s office yesterday, accused of kidnapping and raping a girl,” Nazari said, adding that the investigation was at an early stage.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\25\story_25-6-2012_pg14_5

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China Urges Calm After Syria Shoots Down Turkish Jet

25 Jun 2012

BEIJING (Reuters) - China called for calm and restraint on Monday after Turkey accused Syria of shooting down one of its military reconnaissance jets in international airspace and summoned a NATO meeting to discuss a response.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the attack "brazen and unacceptable" and said Washington would cooperate closely with Ankara to promote a transition in strife-torn Syria.

"China has noted the relevant reports and is paying close attention to developments," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a daily news briefing.

"At present, the regional situation is extremely complicated and sensitive. We hope that the parties concerned will exercise calm and restraint and adhere to diplomatic channels to reach an appropriate solution, so it does not escalate further."

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/25/world/europe/25reuters-syria-crisis-

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Lucrative Afghan Oil Deal Was Awarded Properly, Karzai Says

By GRAHAM BOWLEY

25 Jun 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan — President Hamid Karzai, responding to recent allegations that insiders close to him are plundering the nation’s mineral wealth, said Sunday that the United States and British governments had given their imprimatur as to how a lucrative oil contract was awarded.

Mr. Karzai’s office put out a statement saying that he met Saturday with the American and British ambassadors to Kabul to clarify recent reports of bias and that both men had agreed that the concession awarded to a Chinese company and a local Afghan company was done so transparently and fairly.

“The U.S. and U.K. ambassadors confirmed the transparency and fairness exercised in the Amu Darya oil tender,” according to the statement, which was accompanied by a photograph of the United States ambassador, Ryan C. Crocker, and other officials meeting with Mr. Karzai and the Afghan mines minister, Wahidullah Shahrani. The statement said experts from the American and British governments had properly audited the process by which the contract was awarded and it was done according to international best practices. Although it is unusual for a foreign government to claim independently the support of outside nations against internal criticism, the United States on Sunday supported Mr. Karzai’s assertion.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/world/asia/lucrative-afghan-oil-deal-was-awarded-

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Bomb Blast Kills 6 Afghan Police Officers

25 Jun 2012

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Authorities say a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan has killed six police officers.

Uruzgan provincial government spokesman Abdullah Emat says the policemen were driving in a pickup truck through the province's Charcheno district on Sunday when the vehicle struck the explosive. He did not provide further details.

Meanwhile, the Italian defense ministry says an Italian soldier was killed and two others were wounded in an explosion Monday in western Afghanistan.

Local police spokesman Raouf Ahmadi says the Italian soldier died when a grenade went off inside a watchtower at the base. He says the grenade apparently got dropped by accident and exploded. Ahmadi says there was no sign of an attack.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/06/25/world/asia/ap-as-afghanistan.html?ref=global-home

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Afghan brain drain fears as Karzai urges education reforms

25 Jun 2012

KABUL: A call by Afghan President Hamid Karzai for more foreign involvement in the country’s higher education system risks exacerbating an already dangerous brain drain, analysts warn.

With foreign forces set to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, the country badly needs highly skilled graduates to help it rebuild and progress economically after more than 30 years of near-continuous war.

Karzai on Saturday called for subjects such as medicine and engineering to be taught in international languages such as English or German, and invited foreign institutions to come and fund Afghan faculties.

“If France wants they can take over our medical university to teach. They can even bring teachers, books and teach in French,” he told a seminar on reforming Afghanistan’s education system.

“If Germany wants to take over our engineering faculty we will be very happy.”

He also said Afghanistan would allocate up to $15 million for scholarships to send more students abroad for higher education next year.

Decades of war and conflict in Afghanistan have destroyed hundreds of schools and colleges and many of those who are well-educated have fled to other countries, causing a severe brain drain in the country.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/24/afghan-brain-drain-fears-as-karzai-urges-education-reforms/

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesia ranks near bottom on safety for women

Bikya Masr Staff | 25 June 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia women continue to face hardships in the country, according to a global poll of gender experts published earlier this month. The poll, conducted by Trustlaw, a legal news service published by Thomson Reuters, said Indonesia ranks just above Saudi Arabia and India among the world’s top 19 economies.

It’s not easy being a woman in Indonesia, the report suggested.

The poll of 370 gender specialists found that policies promoting gender equality, safeguards against violence and exploitation and access to health care made Canada the best place to be a woman among the G20 nations.

According to the foundation’s website, “violence, child marriage, sexual trafficking, harassment and exploitation make Indonesia dangerous for women while health services are poor.”

“Women suffer sexual violence each day, according to the National Commission on Violence Against Women [Komnas Perempuan], with rape being the most frequent form of violence,” Sunila Singh, an independent gender expert, was quoted by the site as saying. “Other forms include sexual trafficking, sexual harassment, torture and sexual exploitation.”

The website also noted that 90 percent of women in Indonesia had claimed to have suffered sexual harassment in the workplace, according to the OECD Development Center, and that one Indonesian woman died every hour in childbirth, according to the UN population fund.

http://bikyamasr.com/70752/indonesia-ranks-near-bottom-on-safety-for-women/

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Malaysia wants Malay taught in Tamil schools

Bikya Masr Staff | 24 June 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: In an effort to boost integration in Malaysia, the government here announced that they want to see the Malay language taught in primary schools that predominantly teach Tamil to students.

The government said that current curriculum should be revised and improved in order to ensure students in the country are receiving a basic level of Malay language before completion of primary education.

A study published by the Bernama news agency found that at least 40 percent of students who complete 6 years of education in Tamil schools, fail to obtain a minimum grade C in Bahasa Malaysia in the UPSR examinations, to proceed to Form 1.

The 6-month study by Education, Welfare and Research Foundation (EWRF), an educational non-governmental organization, was conducted on remove class students from Tamil vernacular schools nationwide to explore the effectiveness of remove classes in Malaysia’s education system.

Coordinator for the Action Plan for Future of Tamil Schools, Professor N.S Rajendran said in the beginning remove classes were compulsory and introduced to all students from vernacular schools as a platform to acquire proficiency in Bahasa Malaysia and English language .

“However, the irony is that despite given an extra year, these students end up not mastering the languages but instead use their mother-tongue in most cases since they are separated from the main-stream and are required to interact among themselves,” he said while tabling the findings of the study.

Full report at:

http://bikyamasr.com/70627/malaysia-wants-malay-taught-in-tamil-schools/

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Malaysia Court: Give Iranian Bomb Suspect to Thais

25 Jun 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — A Malaysian court ruled Monday that an Iranian man accused of plotting to attack Israeli targets in Bangkok must be extradited to Thailand.

Masoud Sedaghatzadeh said he planned to appeal the decision. He is not expected to be immediately deported.

Sedaghatzadeh was arrested at a Malaysian airport soon after an apparently accidental explosion rocked a Bangkok neighborhood Feb. 14.

Bombs were found at the house were the explosion occurred, and Thai police say Sedaghatzadeh and two other Iranian men now in Thai custody had been seen leaving the house.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/06/25/world/asia/ap-as-malaysia-thailand-terror-

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Indonesian troupe brings unbroken musical tradition to Pakistan

By Ali Hassan

25 Jun 2012

ISLAMABAD: A fascinating show of traditional Indonesian music was held at the National Art Gallery, Islamabad, highlighting glorious historical socio-cultural bonds between Indonesia and Pakistan. The musical show was yet another successful collaboration of the embassy of the Republic of Indonesia and the Pakistan National Council of the Arts and was organised to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between Indonesia and Pakistan.

The government dignitaries, diplomatic community and people from different walks of life attended the event. The musical show featured performance of an Indonesian troupe from the Tanah Karo district of North Sumatra Province. This place is home to the centuries-old enchanting customs and traditions deeply intertwined with religious beliefs and rituals.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\25\story_25-6-2012_pg11_7

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Malaysia student arrested at PM rally for wearing Bersih shirt

Bikya Masr Staff | 25 June 2012

KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysia university student was on Monday arrested by police and detained for reportedly wearing a protest Bersih 3.0 t-shirt on the University Malaya (UM) campus.

The event featured a dialogue with Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has been firm in his crackdown on Bersih activists since the rally in late April calling for increased reforms in the country.

Koh Cher Hao, 21, a first-year Sports Science student, told reporters that three plainclothes police walked up to him in the early afternoon at the Tunku Chancellor Hall and asked him to follow them.

He alleged that police were “unprofessional” as they refused to tell him why they wanted him to go to the Pantai police station.

The policemen had showed Koh their authority card, of which he had taken photos.

Koh followed them anyway and finally an officer told him that he was being detained under Section 103 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The event has sparked anger among activists, with a number of Bersih 3.0 activists telling Bikyamasr.com that this “sort of thing is to hinder and crackdown on free speech in Malaysia and should be condemned.”

http://bikyamasr.com/70772/malaysia-student-arrested-at-pm-rally-for-wearing-bersih-shirt/

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Mideast Asia

 

Israel to ease visa norms, open office in Mumbai

Jun 25, 2012

JERUSALEM: With Indians emerging as the largest group visiting the Jewish state, Israel is mulling easing visa restrictions in a bid to double the numbers of visitors from India.

The Jewish state is opening a tourist office in Mumbai and invest about $660,000 to attract more visitors from India that has emerged as Israel's single largest source of incoming tourists in the continent, overtaking South Korea.

Israel's tourism minister, Stas Misezhnikov signed a bilateral agreement with his visiting Indian counterpart Subodh Kant Sahai, aiming at doubling the number of tourists between the two countries in the next three years.

"We are opening an office of the ministry of tourism in Mumbai which shows that we give a lot of significance to our relationship with India," Misezhnikov said addressing a joint press conference with Sahai.

"The potential for enhancing co-operation in the tourism is very good. Now tourist inflow to India from Israel and tourist outflow from India to Israel is equal," he said, adding about 50,000 Israelis go to India every year and the same number of Indians visit Israel.

"We want to double this number in three years through mutual cooperation."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Israel-to-ease-visa-norms-open-office-in-Mumbai/articleshow/14382784.cms

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Turkey Turns to NATO Over Syrian Attack

25 Jun 2012

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has accused Syria of shooting down one of its military reconnaissance jets in international airspace without warning and summoned a NATO meeting for Tuesday to agree a response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkey's cabinet was due to meet on Monday to discuss Friday's incident, which lent a more threatening international dimension to the 16-month-old uprising against Assad. Britain called the attack over the eastern Mediterranean outrageous and said it stood ready to back strong action in the United Nations.

Turkish newspapers welcomed Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's decision to invoke an article in the NATO alliance's founding treaty providing for urgent consultations if a member considered its security interests threatened.

"Turkey has moved into action" both Milliyet and Vatan newspapers declared in headlines under the NATO flag.

Sabah newspaper columnist Mehmet Barlas said some were calling Friday's attack a Syrian declaration of war. "We already know there is an 'undeclared war' being carried out between Turkey and Syria," he said, citing the presence of the Syrian opposition and Syrian refugees sheltering on Turkish soil.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/25/world/middleeast/25reuters-syria-

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Israel Expelling 150 South Sudanese

25 Jun 2012

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is expelling an additional 150 South Sudanese as part of its campaign to reduce the number of African migrants who have slipped illegally into the Jewish state.

Authorities are offering the migrants cash to leave voluntarily and threatening them with arrest if they don't.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad says the latest flight with the expelled migrants is to leave after midnight Monday.

Some 60,000 Africans, mostly from Eritrea and Sudan, have slipped into Israel from Egypt since 2005. The influx has concerned officials and caused friction with Israeli locals.

Most of the migrants fled repressive regimes and Israel cannot expel them. Earlier this month, authorities began rounding up migrants from South Sudan, which has friendly relations with Israel and can be expected to treat its returnees reasonably well.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/06/25/world/middleeast/ap-ml-israel-migrants.html?ref=global-home&gwh=D209F45ACAA08121218DF028C296E677&pagewanted=print

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Israel's historic city of Acre faces tourist and settler tensions

Harriet Sherwood

24 June 2012

Mixed Arab-Jewish 'sleeping beauty' city awakes to gentrification and influx of nationalist-religious Jews

Amid narrow winding alleys, crumbling courtyards and dark doorways of neglected buildings, a work of art gleams within the walls of Israel's ancient but dilapidated city of Acre. The Efendi Palace hotel opened in March after eight-and-a-half years of painstaking restoration.

A team of experts was brought from Venice to work on Ottoman-era wall and ceiling paintings; stone walls dating from the Byzantine and Crusader eras have been carefully preserved in what is now the wine cellar; a 400-year-old Turkish bath has been restored. Light floods through the windows, from which there are views across the rooftops and ramparts of the historic old city to the Mediterranean.

The Jewish owner is Uri Jeremias, known to everybody in Acre as Uri Buri after his eponymous avant garde seafood restaurant five minutes' walk from the Efendi Palace, and instantly recognisable from his magnificent long grey beard.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jun/24/israel-historic-city-acre-tensions

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Africa

 

Militants Attack Jail in Nigeria, Freeing 40

25 Jun 2012

LAGOS, Nigeria (Reuters) — Members of the Islamist sect Boko Haram stormed a prison in northern Nigeria on Sunday and freed 40 inmates, the police said, in the latest of a string of attacks by the group.

The police responded to the attack, in the town of Damaturu, but they were overpowered. Two of the attackers were killed and a number of police officers were wounded, said Patrick Egbuniwe, the police commissioner of Yobe State.

“They attacked with rifles, the police and the joint task force confronted them and the Boko Haram members that were shot were carried away by the sect,” Mr. Egbuniwe said.

Gun battles between sect members and security forces in Damaturu, Yobe’s capital, killed 40 people on Tuesday. The government’s inability to stem the wave of violence led President Goodluck Jonathan to fire his defense minister and national security adviser on Friday.

Boko Haram has been blamed for several prison breaks in the past, and one of its few demands has been that its imprisoned members should be released.

The group, which is based in the remote northeast of the country, has rapidly overtaken militants in the oil-producing southern Niger Delta as the country’s biggest security threat. It is opposed to any kind of activity linked to Western culture.

Hundreds of people have died in months of shootings and bombings attributed to Boko Haram since the movement started its uprising more than two years ago.

It is fighting to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria, a country nearly evenly split between Muslims and Christians. Attacks on churches have intensified this month, setting off mob violence in northern Kaduna State.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/25/world/americas/boko-haram-gunmen-free-40-from-nigeria-prison.html?ref=global-home&gwh=4FC8752F99AA5D7101594DD191D0B7F5

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Libya Democracy Clashes With Fervor for Jihad

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

25 Jun 2012

DARNAH, Libya — Abdul-Hakim al-Hasadi first took up arms nearly 20 years ago to try to bring Islamic law to Libya. He studied under the Taliban in Afghanistan, and during last year’s uprising he led a local militia council here in a city famous as a cradle of Islamic jihad.

But now Mr. Hasadi has refashioned himself as an eager politician running for local office, looking to the ballot box to promote his Islamic values. “There is no reason for weapons now,” he said. “Words are our weapons. Politics needs politics. It doesn’t need force.”

In the same town, Sufian bin Qumu leads a militia that flies the black flag of militant Islam. A former truck driver for Osama bin Laden who spent six years as a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Mr. Qumu says the Koran is the only constitution he knows. He insists that he will remain armed until Libya adopts a Taliban-style Islamic government.

“I lived in Kabul, in Afghanistan, when it was under Islamic law,” he said approvingly in a recent local radio broadcast that has been his only public statement. “If an Islamic state is established here, I will join it.”

In an unfolding contest here over the future of the Islamist movement, Mr. Hasadi’s vision of peaceful change appears ascendant. For the West, his success may represent the greatest promise of the Arab Spring, that political participation could neutralize the militant strand of Islam that has called thousands to fight and die in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

That hope for democracy, however, is now imperiled by lawlessness in Libya, signs of sectarian war in Syria and military rule in Egypt. In Egypt, especially, the generals’ attempts to thwart an Islamist electoral victory could validate militant arguments about the futility of democratic reform.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/24/world/africa/libya-jihadis-offer-2-paths-democracy-

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Nigeria Says It Needs New Anti-Terrorism Tactics

25 Jun 2012

ABUJA (Reuters) - Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan said on Sunday he sacked his defence minister and national security adviser last week because the government needed new anti-terrorism tactics.

Militant Islamist sect Boko Haram has been fighting an insurgency against Jonathan's government since he entered office over a year ago. Several military crackdowns and a state of emergency have failed to stem the violence.

The presidency issued a statement on Friday saying Jonathan's two top security chiefs had been dismissed but did not give a reason why.

"We think some new persons have to come in to change tactics in our fight against terrorism.... It's not that they were not working but just that we need to change tactics," Jonathan said in a meeting with reporters aired on state television on Sunday.

Boko Haram, which is based in the remote northeast, has rapidly overtaken militants in the oil-producing southern Niger Delta as the country's biggest security threat.

Niger Delta militants gave up arms in return for training and stipends in a 2009 amnesty but brief efforts to hold a dialogue with Boko Haram earlier this year failed.

"Boko Haram has no face and government will not dialogue with a faceless people. They must come out and tell us why they are doing what they are doing," said Jonathan.

Gun and bomb attacks blamed on Boko Haram have killed hundreds since the movement started its uprising more than two years ago.

It is fighting to carve out an Islamic state in Nigeria - a country nearly evenly split between Muslims and Christians. Attacks on churches have intensified this month, sparking deadly religious violence in northern Kaduna state.

(Reporting by Felix Onuah; Writing by Joe Brock; Editing by Ralph Gowling)

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/24/world/africa/24reuters-nigeria-bokoharam.html?ref=global-home&gwh=B37F4AE9741CECF94EA5864295CE56E1

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Grenade Attack in Kenya Kills at Least 3

25 Jun 2012

MOMBASA, Kenya (AP) — Officials in Kenya say the death toll from the country's latest grenade attack has risen to three.

Police official Aggrey Adoli said Monday that anti-terror police have taken one suspect into custody for the Sunday grenade and gunfire attack on a bar outside the coastal city of Mombasa. Adoli said there were three explosions and heavy gunfire during the attack.

Kenya's Red Cross confirmed that the death toll had risen to three overnight. Some 25 people were wounded.

Police official Elijah Rop said one of the injured people being treated at the hospital is suspected of having taken part in the attack.

Kenya has seen several grenade attacks since it sent troops into Somalia to fight al-Shabab militants last October.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/06/25/world/africa/ap-af-kenya-terror.html?ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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North America

 

Obama congratulates Mohamed Morsi

Jun 25, 2012

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama called Mohamed Morsi and congratulated him for winning the Egypt's presidential elections and reaffirmed America's continued support to his country, the White House said.

Congratulating him on his victory in Egypt's presidential election, Obama underscored that the US will continue to support Egypt's transition to democracy and stand by the Egyptian people as they fulfill the promise of their revolution.

"He emphasized his interest in working together with President-elect Morsi, on the basis of mutual respect, to advance the many shared interests between Egypt and the US," the White House said in a statement.

According to the White House, the Egyptian President-elect Morsi expressed appreciation for the call and welcomed US support for Egypt's transition.

"The two leaders affirmed their commitment to advancing the US-Egypt partnership and agreed to stay in close touch in the weeks and months ahead," the statement said.

Obama also called General Ahmed Shafiq to commend him on a well-run campaign and encouraged him to continue to play a role in Egyptian politics by supporting the democratic process and working to unify the Egyptian people, White House said.

"The President emphasized his interest in working together with the new Egyptian President and all Egyptian political groups to advance the shared interests between the United States and Egypt," said the statement.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Obama-congratulates-Mohamed-Morsi/articleshow/14383394.cms

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Obama Calls Muslim Brotherhood 'Milestone of Democracy'                            

 Tom McGregor                 

 Jun 24, 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood seeks to implement ‘sharia law’ (Muslim rule) in Egypt. Hence, those who commit adultery would be stoned to death. Those caught stealing get their hands chopped off and women lose all their political and property rights.

Nevertheless, President Barack Obama calls the Muslim Brotherhood’s election sweep in Egypt a “milestone of democracy.” The White House even praises itself for allegedly sparking the “first phase of a democratic transition and opening a new struggle with the still-dominant military rulers.

The Houston Chronicle reports that, “Islamist Mohammed Morsi was declared the winner Sunday in Egypt’s first free presidential election in history, closing the tumultuous first phase of a democratic transition and opening a new struggle with the still-dominant military rulers who recently stripped the presidency of most of its powers.”

Morsi intends to launch a Syrian-style revolt against the military powers of Egypt and has already deployed thousands upon thousands of young jihadists to take control of the streets of Tahrir Square in Cairo, where the Arap Spring first erupted in Egypt that swept Hosni Mubarak from power a year ago.

Full report at:

http://www.dallasblog.com/201206241009131/dallas-blog/obama-calls-muslim-brotherhood-milestone-of-democracy.html

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US urges new Egyptian government to be 'pillar of peace'

Jun 25, 2012

WASHINGTON: The United States congratulated the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi on his election as Egypt's new president and urged his government to fulfill its role as a "pillar of regional peace."

After a bitterly divisive election that pitted Morsi against Mubarak-era premier Ahmed Shafiq, the White House called on the newly elected leader to bridge a polarized nation.

"We believe that it is important for president-elect Morsi to take steps at this historic time to advance national unity by reaching out to all parties and constituencies in consultations about the formation of a new government," spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement.

And after Morsi's victory marked the first time Islamists have taken the presidency of the Arab world's most populous nation, the White House called on the newly crowned leader to maintain Egypt's long-standing role as regional powerbroker.

"We believe it is essential for the Egyptian government to continue to fulfill Egypt's role as a pillar of regional peace, security and stability," Carney said, in a veiled reference to hopes for continued cooperation with Israel.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/US-urges-new-Egyptian-government-to-be-pillar-of-peace/articleshow/14379641.cms

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Europe

 

British Pakistani found guilty in 30 rape cases in new trial

25 Jun 2012

LONDON: A British Pakistani ringleader of a sex-grooming gang was found guilty of 30 counts of rape in a new trial of the Rochdale sex-grooming case.

Shabir Ahmed, 59, a father of four, and his friends raped an underage girl above a Heywood takeaway where he worked as a delivery driver. He also encouraged his victims to call him “daddy”.

The Pakistan-born former taxi driver claimed the girls gave him the name because he would scold them if they behaved badly in the takeaway. He was one of nine men convicted at Liverpool Crown Court in May over the sexual grooming of vulnerable girls in Rochdale between 2008 and 2010. He raped one underage girl twice and “aided and abetted” in a third rape by another takeaway worker, Kabeer Hassan. Ahmed also had a year-long sexual relationship with another teenage girl, although the girl herself regarded him as a father figure and still insists he did nothing wrong.

Ahmed behaved outrageously during the Liverpool trial, removing his T-shirt and ripping out clumps of his own chest hair in front of the judge in a bizarre bid to demonstrate he would have left damning follicles of his own hair at the scene of his crimes. “You preyed on girls because they were not part of your community or religion,” the judge said, as he jailed the Rochdale sex gang for 77 years.

According to one of the victims, she was scared and told him she wanted to go home.

During the trial, Ahmed repeatedly accused the judge, the jury, and the police of being part of a racist conspiracy against Muslims in the United Kingdom. All the defendants were Asian and all the five young victims who gave evidence during the trial were white.

“It’s all white lies,” the accused said. But it can now be revealed he repeatedly raped an Asian girl over many years.

The ban on identifying Ahmed was lifted after another jury at Manchester Crown found him guilty of yet more sex crimes - this time the allegation was that he repeatedly raped an Asian girl over a number of years. In the latest case, he was convicted on 30 counts as he raped the girl over many years. The jury was not told of his involvement in the Rochdale child sex-grooming scandal until Ahmed went into the witness box and revealed everything as part of his bid to persuade them he was a victim of a conspiracy against the Muslim community. He was jailed for 19 years at Liverpool Crown Court in May after a jury convicted him on three counts of rape of one girl, for sexual assault on another girl, trafficking within the UK and conspiracy to engage in sexual activity with a child.

The jury in Manchester had been told of the rape and sex assault convictions but not of the other charges and how he was central to the Rochdale case. The jury in the latest case dismissed his defence in finding him guilty of 30 counts of rape. He smiled as the verdicts were read out. Judge Mushtaq Khokhar lifted the ban on identifying Ahmed and told him, “As you know you have been convicted of serious offences. The court does require further information in your case before proceeding to sentence.”

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\25\story_25-6-2012_pg7_19

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UK court stops deportation of Taliban fighter

25 Jun 2012

By Asif Mehmood

LONDON: Another shining example of justice and human rights was set by the British court by stopping deportation of a Taliban fighter who killed British troops while fighting for the group despite government efforts to deport him.

Zareen Ahmadzai, who spent three years fighting in Afghanistan, has admitted using a kalashnikov rifle and firing rockets as well as supplying weapons and food to the Taliban.

The British Home Office rejected his claim for asylum, and when his appeal also failed, Ahmadzai was detained at Harmondsworth immigration removal centre in West London while awaiting deportation.

Yet when the 30-year-old – who initially did not speak English – mounted a fresh appeal, he was able to overturn the Home Office’s case on the grounds that his life would be at risk if he returned home.

The decision by Britain’s one of the highest court is another setback for Home Secretary Theresa May, who is under pressure to reform human rights laws following a series of high-profile cases in which Muslim extremists have avoided deportation.

Ahmadzai arrived in Britain illegally in May 2010 after travelling from Afghanistan in lorries. Two days later he was arrested in Wolverhampton and claimed asylum. When the Home Office ordered he be deported, he appealed to the immigration court.

Although a judge rejected his appeal, Ahmadzai took his case to the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber. The tribunal heard Ahmadzai joined the Taliban after his father, who was a commander in Helmand province, and was shot dead by US soldiers during a battle.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\25\story_25-6-2012_pg7_17

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Muslim Students in Spain Initiate Jihad On Ham Sandwiches

Jim Hoft

June 23, 2012

Students in Catalonia are upset that Muslim students are tossing their children’s ham sandwiches in the trash.

Islam versus Europe reported, via ROP:

Four Spanish mothers have written a letter denouncing the goings-on at a school in Tarrasa, Catalonia, where, they say, indigenous pupils are routinely harassed by their Muslim classmates and the school authorities always seem to take the side of the aliens.

According to the letter, the nursery school does not meet the legally-mandated minimum of having at least 20% of the class speaking the native language as their mother tongue! Arabic has become the dominant language in the corridors and playgrounds. The school is now sending out official notices in Arabic and Catalan only, not Spanish. In one class, 83.33% of the pupils speak Arabic. There is even a letter in Arabic posted on one of the school doors, in violation of the law.

The outraged mothers also claim that Muslim pupils prevent their own children eating sandwiches if the sandwiches contain ham or other meat derived from pigs. The offending sandwiches will simply be plucked from their hands and thrown in the bin by the Muslims.

http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2012/06/muslim-students-in-spain-organize-jihad-against-ham-sandwiches/

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/sex-parties-find-a-home-in-saudi-arabia/d/7735

 

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