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Islamic World News ( 13 Aug 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Obama strongly endorses Ground Zero mosque

Afghan clerics seek return to strict Islamic law

Pak in talks to recognise Israel, says report

Ramadhan gift to Muslims: Sikhs hand over mosque to Muslims in Punjab

Afghan, NATO troops pursue Haqqani fighters

Four killed in Valley on 2nd day of Ramzan

Mirwaiz sets terms for talks

In Geelani, they trust

UN chief arrives today, will tour flood-hit areas

‘No Brazil asylum for woman facing stoning’

Thousands barred from praying in Al-Aqsa

Malaysian state introduces Islamic currency

King’s decree ‘protects Shariah’

Love is Purity: Dr Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri

Fujairah pardons 70 prisoners

‘Saudi Arabia stands by people of Pakistan in flood crisis’

Independence Day events called off

Omar orders lifting of curfew in Srinagar

French paper lauds King Abdullah for reforms Habib Shaikh

FAITH UNDER FIRE: 'Love jihad' used in Islamic takeover

Obama, Karzai pledge to 'keep the pressure' on Taliban

ISI using D-company in bid to tap Naxals

US warns citizens: May become terror target during travel in India

Pak to fight militants alongside floods

Next WikiLeaks dump of logs could be worse, fears Pentagon

Watch for 26/11-like attacks, warns US

Muslim Divorcee Entitled Alimony Till Remarriage

Ramadan is not an excuse for gluttony

Iran’s First Nuke Power Plant To Launch Aug. 21

Kashmir fake encounter compensation unpaid

 ‘India’s aid offer being considered’

MQM-H man gunned down in Karachi

US no more pressing for N. Waziristan operation

Afghan military operation has gone badly wrong: NY Times

Pakistan won’t divert forces from anti-terror fight

Habib Jalib’s ‘killers’ held

Makkah residents keen to drink Sobia

Foreigners boost insurgency in eastern Afghanistan

Lebanon faces political crisis over Hariri case

Lebanon bans Iranian-made biopic of Christ

Four charged over deaths of 800 Bosnian Muslims

Kurdish rebels in Iraq declare Ramzan ceasefire

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/obama-strongly-endorses-ground-zero-mosque/d/3287

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Obama strongly endorses Ground Zero mosque

By ERICA WERNER

Aug 14, 2010

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Friday forcefully endorsed allowing a mosque near ground zero, saying the country's founding principles demanded no less.

"As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country," Obama said, weighing in for the first time on a controversy that has riven New York City and the nation.

"That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances," he said. "This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable."

Obama made the comments at an annual dinner in the White House State Dining Room celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The White House had not previously taken a stand on the mosque, which would be part of a $100 million Islamic center two blocks from where nearly 3,000 people perished when hijacked jetliners slammed into the World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Press secretary Robert Gibbs had insisted it was a local matter.

It was already much more than that, sparking debate around the country as top Republicans including Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich announced their opposition. So did the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group.

Obama elevated it to a presidential issue Friday without equivocation.

While insisting that the place where the twin towers once stood was indeed "hallowed ground," Obama said that the proper way to honor it was to apply American values.

"Our capacity to show not merely tolerance, but respect towards those who are different from us — and that way of life, that quintessentially American creed, stands in stark contrast to the nihilism of those who attacked us on that September morning, and who continue to plot against us today," he said.

Obama harkened back to earlier times when the building of synagogues or Catholic churches also met with opposition. "But time and again, the American people have demonstrated that we can work through these issues, and stay true to our core values and emerge stronger for it," he said. "So it must be and will be today."

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent who has been a strong supporter of the mosque, welcomed Obama's words as a "clarion defense of the freedom of religion."

But some Republicans were quick to pounce.

"President Obama is wrong," said Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y. "It is insensitive and uncaring for the Muslim community to build a mosque in the shadow of ground zero. While the Muslim community has the right to build the mosque they are abusing that right by needlessly offending so many people who have suffered so much."

Entering the highly charged election-year debate, Obama surely knew that his words would not only make headlines but be heard by Muslims worldwide. The president has made it a point to reach out to the global Muslim community, and the over 100 guests at Friday's dinner included ambassadors and officials from numerous Muslim nations, including Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. Seated around candlelit tables, they listened closely as Obama spoke, then stood and applauded when the president finished his remarks.

While his pronouncement concerning the mosque might find favor in the Muslim world, Obama's stance runs counter to the opinions of the majority of Americans, according to polls. A CNN/Opinion Research poll released this week found that nearly 70 percent of Americans opposed the mosque plan while just 29 percent approved. A number of Democratic politicians have shied away from the controversy.

The group behind the $100 million project, the Cordoba Initiative, describes it as a Muslim-themed community center. Early plans call not only for prayer space but for a swimming pool, culinary school, art studios and other features. Developers envision it as a hub for interfaith interaction, as well as a place for Muslims to bridge some of their faith's own schisms.

Opponents, including some Sept. 11 victims' relatives, see the prospect of a mosque so near the destroyed trade center as an insult to the memory of those killed by Islamic terrorists in the 2001 attacks. Some of the Sept. 11 victims' relatives, however, are in favor.

The mosque has won approval from local planning boards but faces legal challenges, and New York's Conservative Party is planning a television ad campaign to pressure a New York City utility to use its power to block the project.

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Afghan clerics seek return to strict Islamic law

By Sayed Salahuddin

Aug 14, 2010

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghanistan's largest gathering of clerics, who met to discuss reconciliation with the Taliban, has called for the revival of strict Islamic law as the country seeks ways to win militants away from a growing insurgency.

About 350 of the Islamic clerics, or ulema, met for three days this week, the meeting ending with a declaration calling on President Hamid Karzai to enact sharia, or Islamic law, including punishments such as stonings, lashing, amputation and execution.

"The lack of implementation of sharia hodud (punishment) has cast a negative impact on the peace process," said a 10-point resolution issued after the meeting.

"We the ulema and preachers of Afghanistan ... earnestly ask the government not to spare any efforts in the implementation of sharia hodud."

The resolution, seen by Reuters, was sent to Karzai's government.

The ulema have a long-standing and deep influence in traditionally conservative Afghanistan and have often stepped in to back uprisings or been used to bolster past governments.

The head of a government council of religious leaders, separate to the gathering this week, has been asked to find ways to make peace with the Taliban after almost 10 years of war since the militants were ousted by U.S.-backed Afghan forces.

The head of that government council, Mawlavi Qiyamuddin Kashaf, attended the meeting of clerics and scholars this week, which included representatives from both the majority Sunni Muslim sect and minority Shi'ites.

"This (gathering) was very new for the peace efforts and the biggest yet. They will go and preach for peace in their respective regions," Kashaf told Reuters on Thursday.

However, there has so far been no reaction from Karzai's government to the council's resolution.

After years of conflict in Afghanistan, Karzai has sought to soften perceptions of his deeply religious country through programs such as moderate Islamic schools.

But at the same time he has been pushing reconciliation with the Taliban as violence continues to rise, raising concerns among some of his backers in the West.

Karzai called a major tribal "peace gathering" in June to win support for his plan to offer an amnesty, cash and job incentives to Taliban foot soldiers while arranging asylum for top figures in a second country and getting their names struck off a U.N. and U.S. blacklist.

NOTORIOUS

The Taliban were notorious for their harsh punishment of offenders during their rule from 1996 to 2001 and staged public stonings, floggings, amputations and executions.

In a reminder of their harsh rule, a woman received dozens of lashes before she was publicly executed by a Taliban commander in a remote district of northwest Badghis province this week, officials have said.

The clerics' resolution also urged foreign forces, who number more than 140,000, to stop unnecessary air strikes and searching of Afghans' homes.

While military deaths have reached record proportions this year, Afghan civilians bear the brunt of the conflict and civilian casualties have long been an irritant been Karzai's government and its backers in the West.

Such concerns have led to a tightening of tactical directives twice in the past year, under the former head of NATO and U.S. forces, General Stanley McChrystal, and his successor General David Petraeus in June.

The council also pushed for a crackdown against corruption -- one of the major Western complaints against Karzai's government -- and social immorality and "cultural invasion."

The latter two are indirect references to the airing of immodest Indian and Western songs and films by the growing number of private cable and satellite television networks in Afghanistan. Such entertainment was banned under the Taliban.

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCATRE67B2QA20100812?pageNumber=1&virtualBrandChannel=0

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Pak in talks to recognise Israel, says report

Rezaul H Laskar

Aug 14, 2010

Pakistan is engaged in secret talks with Israel and might even be considering recognising the Jewish State, a media report said on Friday, prompting a strong rebuttal from the Government which said there was “not an iota of truth” in the claim.

Quoting top-level diplomatic sources, the Nation said that Pakistan is said to have opened its ‘camp office’ in Tel Aviv, and is engaged in covert talks to find out possibilities to establish direct links.

The paper said Pakistan might even be following in Turkey’s footsteps to recognise Israel in the near future.

Reacting to the report, the Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said in a statement: “There was no change in Pakistan’s policy (on Israel), nor is any change under consideration”.

Such reports “based on mere speculation and hearsay” are “irresponsible, to put it mildly,” he said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/275969/Pak-in-talks-to-recognise-Israel-says-report.html

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Ramadhan gift to Muslims: Sikhs hand over mosque to Muslims in Punjab

August 14, 2010

Ludhiana: Wave of jubilation ran among the Muslims of Punjab on the first day of Ramadhan when thanks to the efforts of the Majlis-e-Ahrar Islam, Hind the Sikhs of the village Mallan handed over the mosque which had been closed for the last 63 years to the Shahi Imam of Punjab, Maulana Habibur Rahman Sani Ludhiyanvi in a simple ceremony. According to eye witnesses, when the caravan of the Shahi Imam of Punjab Maulana Habibur Rahman Sani Ludhinvi reached Mallan at 12.30 PM on the first day of Ramadhan, the joy of Muslims knew no bounds. The Sarpanch of the village Amar Singh handed over the mosque to the Shahi Imam. On the occasion, the Shahi Imam also felicitated the people of the Sikh community. Addressing the gathering, the Shahi Imam said that he was thankful to God that with the blessings of the holy Prophet (PBUH), He took this service from them on the first day of Ramadhan. He further said that the mosque was in a very dilapidated condition and would be handed over to the Al Habib Charitable Trust for repair and renovation. The Shahi Imam said that with the recovery of this mosque, the residents of the 10-12 Muslim houses in the village will now have the facility of offering namaz and observing other Islamic customs as until now the Muslims of this village offered their namaz in their homes.

Source: Sahafat, New Delhi

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Afghan, NATO troops pursue Haqqani fighters

Aug 14, 2010

KABUL: More than 20 insurgents including Arab, Chechen and Pakistani fighters, have been killed by NATO and Afghan forces who are ramping up operations in the east against a Taliban faction linked to al-Qaida, the international coalition said Saturday.

Separately, a NATO service member was killed Saturday following an insurgent attack in the volatile south. NATO did not disclose the nationality of the service member or details about the death.

The joint force operation began Wednesday against dozens of insurgents holed up in a mountainous area of Zadran district of Paktia province. The operation focused on disrupting the Haqqani network's movement in an area used to stage attacks in the capital, Kabul, and along a highway that links Khost province and Gardez, the provincial capital of Paktia.

More than 20 insurgents have been killed, the coalition said. Combined security forces also discovered and destroyed multiple explosive devices and bomb-making equipment, including trip wire and blasting caps, weapons and ammunition. A coalition airstrike destroyed an enemy ammunitions bunker.

Full report at:

 http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Afghan-NATO-troops-pursue-Haqqani-fighters-/articleshow/6310098.cms#ixzz0wZWDTTZL

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Four killed in Valley on 2nd day of Ramzan

M Saleem Pandit

Aug 14, 2010

Srinagar: After a days lull,violence erupted again in Kashmir,with protesters out on the streets pelting stones at cops and the security forces firing at mobs,killing four people,including three teenagers,on Friday.The fresh casualties pushed up the toll during the 64-day strife to 55.

The stone pelting-police firing cycle resumed on the second day of Ramzan even as the chairman of the moderate Hurriyat Conference,Mirwaiz Umar Farooq,urged the Centre to initiate serious talks involving all stakeholders for finding a permanent solution to the Kashmir issue.The phrase all implies including Pakistan in any negotiated solution.

Chief minister Omar Abdullah,apparently miffed by the police action thats bound to intensify the spiral of violence,called off a scheduled meeting of heads of various security forces.A state spokesman simply said the meeting of the unified command was put off since most officers were busy dealing with the situation on the ground.

Full report at: Times of India

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Mirwaiz sets terms for talks

Shujaat Bukhari

Aug 14, 2010

INSIDE KASHMIR: All Parties Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq leads a rally in Srinagar on Friday.

SRINAGAR: The chairman of the moderate faction of the Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, has called for withdrawal of the troops and release of political prisoners as a pre-condition for talks with New Delhi.

The Mirwaiz, who was released from house arrest after two months, delivered a sermon at Jamia Masjid where Friday prayers were offered after six weeks. Later, he led thousands of people in protesting the recent killings in Kashmir.

Asserting that the ongoing agitation was not to demand any economic package, the Mirwaiz rejected Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's appeal for talks to restore peace in the Kashmir Valley. “We know when the situation is normal. New Delhi says everything is fine in Kashmir, and we will not give it that opportunity this time,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/14/stories/2010081464590700.htm

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In Geelani, they trust

Aug 14, 2010

The Indian state has been loathe to have any truck with Syed Ali Shah Geelani given his stated position on Kashmir — that a plebiscite is the only way forward and that Kashmir's destiny lies with Pakistan. But he might just be a good interlocutor to engage today.

At 81, Syed Ali Shah Geelani still retains the fire that has made people in Jammu and Kashmir acknowledge him as one of the Valley's most charismatic leaders. Soon after his release from his recent spell in jail, he went where mainstream politicians feared to tread. He attended the funeral of one of the youths killed by security forces.

When a stone hit his car, Geelani jumped out and demanded to know which "government agent" had dared attack him. As silence descended on the agitated mob, the firebrand separatist made an impassioned appeal for peaceful protests. Violence must not be allowed to mar our cause, he thundered. The funeral procession proceeded quietly after that. It was the first funeral in two months that did not end with a death after clashes with security forces.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/In-Geelani-they-trust/articleshow/6309886.cms#ixzz0wZVRWdiF

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UN chief arrives today, will tour flood-hit areas

14 Aug, 2010

ISLAMABAD: UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will fly to Pakistan today (Saturday) to visit areas devastated by unprecedented floods and speed up relief efforts to contain the country’s worst humanitarian crisis.

“The UN secretary general will arrive in Islamabad late on Saturday,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Abdul Basit told AFP. “He will discuss relief efforts with the government leaders on Sunday and visit flood-devastated areas the same day,” the spokesman added. US Senator John Kerry will also visit Pakistan next week to raise public awareness and drum up donations. President Zardari welcomed the visit of UN secretary general and Senator Kerry to Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\14\story_14-8-2010_pg7_16

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‘No Brazil asylum for woman facing stoning’

14 Aug, 2010

BRASILIA: An Iranian woman condemned to death by stoning for adultery will not be transferred to Brazil, which has offered her asylum, Iran’s ambassador to the country said Thursday. Moshen Shaterzadeh said Sakineh Mohammadi-Ashtiani would remain in prison in Iran, and ruled out the possibility she would be allowed to seek refuge in Brazil.

“We have not received any official demand or offer that this woman be transferred to Brazil. There is no written document or exchange of (diplomatic) notes,” Shaterzadeh told Agencia Brasil news service.

“There were crimes that will be judged according to the legal code of Iran, which is in accordance with the moral and cultural precepts of the country,” he added.

“The trial involves Iranians, why should other countries be involved?”

The sentence of death by stoning handed down against Mohammadi-Ashtiani, a 43-year-old mother of two, has provoked international condemnation.

On July 31, Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has close ties with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, offered Mohammadi-Ashtiani asylum. US officials said they supported the offer, but it was denounced by Iranian authorities.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\14\story_14-8-2010_pg20_7

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Thousands barred from praying in Al-Aqsa

By MOHAMMED MAR'I

Aug 14, 2010

RAMALLAH, West Bank: The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and Palestine Sheikh Mohammed Hussein said that the Israeli restrictions prevented thousands of Palestinian worshipers from attending the first Friday prayer of Ramadan at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Hussein told Arab News that only around 40,000 worshipers succeeded in entering Jerusalem for the prayer. The Israeli police in Jerusalem confirmed the number. It added that thousands of police and border patrol officers were stationed near Al-Aqsa Mosque, Old City and East Jerusalem, in order to prevent disturbances.

Police said they allowed Palestinian married men aged 50 and over and women aged 45 and over to enter Jerusalem.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article101788.ece

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Malaysian state introduces Islamic currency

14 Aug, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR ( Malaysia)—A Malaysian state is allowing people to use gold and silver coins at stores and restaurants to revive a practice from early Islamic societies, an official said Friday.

The gold dinar and silver dirham coins provide an alternative to Malaysia’s currency, the ringgit, in northeastern Kelantan state, which is governed by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, a conservative opposition group that promotes religious policies in its rule. The gold dinar was the official currency of Muslim societies for centuries. The value of the coins used in Kelantan can fluctuate according to market prices, but officials say it remains a better alternative to currency affected by the U.S. dollar and other foreign currency.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0810/14/FrontPage/index.php?id=13

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King’s decree ‘protects Shariah’

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA

Aug 14, 2010

MAKKAH: Grand Mosque Imam and Khatib Sheikh Saleh bin Abdullah bin Humaid used his first Friday sermon of the holy month of Ramadan to praise the royal decree banning unqualified people from issuing fatwas.

"Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah has safeguarded the process of issuing fatwas and protected Shariah law from infringements of unqualified people who deviate from the path of the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his true followers," said the sheikh, who is also chairman of the Supreme Judicial Council.

"The king is determined to stop any transgression against approved religious establishments."

The imam also called on believers to be true Muslims by worshipping Allah alone and avoid wrongdoings.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article101789.ece

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Love is Purity - Muslim Summer Camp Against Terrorism - Dr Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri

Aug 14, 2010

The first Muslim Summer Camp against terrorism took place last week at Warwick University and was by all accounts a huge success.1,300 young muslim men and women attended th anti-terrorism camp led by Dr Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri, an Islamic scholar.The strap line for the camp was simple but heart felt:"Love is Purity"The doctor describes this as a "message for mankind". He explains that in the Koran the Arabic word used for love is related to the word seed continuing:"If love is the seed of every act of piety, then how can an act of hate like terrorism please God?"The vast majority of Muslims the world over do not support terror but those that do are very vocal. Dr Muhammad Tahir ul-Qadri believes it's now time for the majority to rise up and speak as one against terrorism and for peace.It's perhaps with thoughts like this that Barack Obama has embraced the building of a mosque near Ground Zero. The politics of hate can perhaps only be overcome by the showing of love to and from all sides.

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/6518021-love-is-purity-muslim-summer-camp-against-terrorism

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Fujairah pardons ?70 prisoners

14 August 2010

FUJAIRAH — His Highness Shaikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah, ordered for the release of 70 prisoners, who had proven to be well behaved while serving their terms in the punitive and reformative institutions in the emirate.

The prisoners are given amnesty from serving the remaining period in their prison terms as a gesture of benevolence marking the advent of the holy month of Ramadan.

This will give them the opportunity to join their families soon and live the rest of their lives as good individuals, said Director General of Fujairah Police Brigadier Mohammed Ahmed Ghanem Al Kaabi, who extended profound gratitude to the ruler for this kind gesture.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/August/theuae_August378.xml&section=theuae&col=

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‘Saudi Arabia stands by people of Pakistan in flood crisis’

14 Aug, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan on Friday clarified a news item published in Daily Times on August 13, 2010.

The embassy has said that the Saudi government is actively contributing to the relief efforts in the flood-affected areas. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands by the side of the people of Pakistan,” the statement said.

King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud issued a royal decree to establish an air-bridge for transportation of relief goods. So far, twelve airplanes with relief goods have reached Pakistan. The Saudi Development Fund has contributed $55 million and the embassy staff donated their one-day salary for the flood victims.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\14\story_14-8-2010_pg7_6

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Independence Day events called off

By Shakeel Ahmed

14 Aug, 2010

ISLAMABAD—All official Independence Day functions have been called off due to the widespread devastation wreaked by unprecedented floods in the country.

According to an announcement issued here at the Presidency, no ceremony relating to Independence Day will take place at Aiwan-e-Sadr on August 14 and the President will spend his entire day with the flood victims of Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. Earlier, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had cancelled all annual activities of armed forces for August 14 and September 6, adding the expenses saved would be used for helping the flood victims.        On the other hand, President Asif Ali Zardari has curtailed his visit to Russia to only a few hours in view of the devastating floods in the country. The original schedule for the President’s visit to Russia was two days where he was travelling to participate in the quadrilateral summit of Head of states of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Russia.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0810/14/FrontPage/index.php?id=5

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Omar orders lifting of curfew in Srinagar

14 Aug, 2010

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah,who was given a free hand to tackle the situation at an all-party meeting with the prime minister on Tuesday last week,ordered lifting of curfew from Srinagar city on Friday,despite four people being killed in firing during protests elsewhere.

We have removed the curfew from the city on a trial basis.Let us watch the situation for the day, a top source in the Omar Abdullah government said.There were conflicting reports about what led to stone throwing and firing in Kupwara.According to a source,Mudasir Ahmad Zargar,a 17-year-old from Trehgam was killed and 64-yearold Janat Begum injured when security forces fired at a stone-pelting mob.

However,eyewitnesses said as people were coming out of a mosque after offering dawn prayers at Mirpora Mohalla in Trehgam town,they were confronted by CRPF personnel enforcing curfew.This led to an argument between the worshippers and CRPF upon which the latter opened fire.

Later,protesters defied curfew in Pattan area in Baramulla district and threw stones on the forces,leading to firing.

Times of India

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French paper lauds King Abdullah for reforms Habib Shaikh

14 August 2010

JEDDAH — Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has furthered the development of the Kingdom by instituting a series of pragmatic reforms, according to an article in the French newspaper Le Figaro.

In the article by Loseil Van Dersilk to mark the fifth anniversary of King Abdullah’s ascension to the throne as per  the Gregorian calendar, she said, ”As for us in France, it is now time to build bridges of trust, friendship and fruitful cooperation between our countries.”

She added that relations between King Abdullah and the people of Saudi Arabia are firm and stable due to the noble positions taken by the royal family in both domestic and foreign affairs.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/August/middleeast_August246.xml&section=middleeast

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FAITH UNDER FIRE: 'Love jihad' used in Islamic takeover

August 14, 2010

Aggressive conversion efforts by Muslims in a prominent region of India are being described as a "love jihad" with a little bribery thrown in.

A new report by a New Delhi, India-based think tank says that Kerala state's Muslim minority is getting ready for a power grab in India's southern-most state.

And one way they're planning on capturing control is through what International Christian Concern's Jonathan Racho calls "love jihad."

"The Muslim man will deliberately seduce a Christian or a Hindu girl. Once they have a relationship and the man marries the girl and they have children, the man forcibly converts the woman to Islam," Racho explained.

Listen to an interview with Racho:

"Then the children are raised as Muslim children. In this way the Muslims believe they will be the majority of the population in Kerala in another 20 years," he said.

Racho said the Muslims also are resorting to bribery.

Times of India

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Obama, Karzai pledge to 'keep the pressure' on Taliban

Aug 14, 2010

WASHINGTON: USPresidentBarack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai pledged to continue efforts to "keep the pressure on the Taliban" during a video conference on Friday, the White House said.

During an hour-long conversation, the two leaders "agreed that the United States and Afghanistan should continue to work together to keep the pressure on the Taliban and to build Afghan capacity," a statement said.

"Both leaders also agreed to continue in our shared efforts to combat violent extremism, protect the Afghan people, improve governance, and deliver basic services, particularly at the local level."

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Obama-Karzai-pledge-to-keep-the-pressure-on-Taliban/articleshow/6309089.cms#ixzz0wYCB7qhw

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ISI using D-company in bid to tap Naxals

Aug 14, 2010

Bangalore: In a discovery that deepens the terror threat across India,Bangalore police has stumbled upon evidence that Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been using mafia gangsters to connect to Naxalites.

Bangalore cops say they thwarted a dangerous mission by Chhota Shakeels men trying to link up with Naxalites in southern India to create a law-and-order problem in the region.In a joint operation with the Andhra Pradesh police,the bid was foiled and five people arrested.Police say that Chhota Shakeel acts on behalf of the Karachi-based don Dawood Ibrahim,who has close links with the ISI,the military group whose fingerprints have been found in most terrorist attacks in India.

Full report at: Times of India

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US warns citizens: May become terror target during travel in India

Aug 14, 2010

Washington: In a fresh warning,US has said it has credible evidence that terrorists may be planning terror attacks at places frequented by its citizens in India,Pakistan and Middle East and asked them to be alert and take precautionary measures.

In a Worldwide Caution issued on Thursday,the state department said it continues to receive information that terrorist groups in south and central Asia,including in India and Pakistan,may be planning attacks in the region,possibly against US government facilities,citizens or its interests.

In India there is a continuing threat of terrorism as attacks have randomly targeted public places frequented by Westerners,including luxury and other hotels,trains,train stations,markets,cinemas,mosques,and restaurants in large urban areas, the state department said.

Full report at: Times of India

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Pak to fight militants alongside floods

Aug 14, 2010

Islamabad: Pakistans army is playing the leading role in rescue efforts after the worst floods in decades,but it will not divert forces from the battle against Islamist militants,military officials said on Friday.

The floods,the countrys most severe natural disaster,began two weeks ago and have killed more than 1,600 people,forced 2 million from their homes and disrupting the lives of about 14 million people,or 8% of the population.The army has deployed about 60,000 troops for rescue and relief operations out of a force of about 550,000 soldiers.

The involvement of our troops in relief activities will have no impact on our fight against militants, said military spokesman Major-General Athar Abbas.We were mindful of this factor when we carried out deployment for relief activities and I dont think there will be any need to withdraw troops from the western border, he said.

We have not withdrawn any troops from the western border and we hope we will not need to do so, said an official,who declined to be identified.

Times of India

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Next WikiLeaks dump of logs could be worse,fears Pentagon

Aug 14, 2010

Washington: The Pentagon says it believes the next document dump by WikiLeaks will be even more damaging to national security and the war effort than the organizations initial release of some 76,000 war files.This came even as WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange said that his organization is preparing to release the rest of the secret Afghan war documents it has on file.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell said on Thursday that the military believes it has identified the additional 15,000 classified documents that WikiLeaks has vowed to release.Morrell declined to identify the documents other than to say that their exposure would be ever more damaging than the thousands already published.

Last month,WikiLeaks posted online some 76,000 secret files that described in gritty detail US operations in Afghanistan.The defense department said the leak one of the largest in US military history put American troops and Afghan informers at risk.If they were to publish any additional documents after hearing our concerns about the harm it will cause our forces,our allies and innocent Afghan civilians it would be height of irresponsibility.It would compound a mistake that has already put far too many lives at risk, said Morrell.

Times of India

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Watch for 26/11-like attacks, warns US

 Aug 14, 2010

ust two days ahead of Independence Day, the US issued fresh warnings of terror strikes in India, among other countries.

Suggesting 26/11-type attacks, the US said it has “credible evidence“ of such strikes.

“In India there is a continuing threat of terrorism as attacks have randomly targeted public places frequented by Westerners, including hotels, trains, train stations, markets, mosques, and restaurants in large urban areas,“ the US State Department said in a Worldwide Caution issued on Thursday.

“Current information suggests al Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against US interests in regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East,“ the alert said.

Government officials said they were aware of the caution, and had taken due note of it.

“We have taken note of this caution. Generally, and in view of Independence Day, the security forces are on alert across the country“, said an official.

Hindustan Times

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Muslim Divorcee Entitled Alimony Till Remarriage

Aug 14th, 2010

New Delhi, Aug 13: Justice Shiv Narayan Dhingra of the Delhi High Court has said that a Muslim man is bound to maintain his divorced wife and minor children till she gets remarried.

The HC said that irrespective of Muslim personal laws, under which the husband is bound to maintain his wife only during Iddat period which is around three months after divorce, the wife is entitled for maintenance under CrPC till she remarries.

“It is crystal clear that even a Muslim divorced woman would be entitled to claim maintenance from a Muslim husband till she has not married (again). This being a beneficial piece of legislation (CrPC), the benefit must accrue to the divorced Muslim women,” the court said.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/india/muslim-divorcee-entitled-alimony-till-remarriage-696

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Ramadan is not an excuse for gluttony

14 August 2010

Ramadan should remind us of those less fortunate, but in some parts of the Muslim world it means gorging yourself after sunset

An estimated 1.6 billion Muslims around the world are marking the start of one of the most important months in the religious calendar, Ramadan. We believe that it was during Ramadan that the Qur'an was revealed to the prophet Muhammad. So, for the next 30 days Muslims will abstain from water and food from sunrise to sunset. The sound of rumbling tummies will echo from Milton Keynes to Mecca.

Fasting is a humbling but rewarding experience. It's also exhausting and testing, a necessary reminder of the struggle that the majority of the world's population face every day to find food and water to nourish themselves and their families.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2010/aug/14/ramadan-gluttony-after-sunset-muslim

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Iran’s First Nuke Power Plant To Launch Aug. 21

Aug 14th, 2010

Iran’s first nuclear power plant, being built by Russia in the southern city of Bushehr, will formally launch next week, a spokesman for the Russian atomic agency said on Friday.

“The fuel will be charged in the reactor on August 21. From this moment, Bushehr will be considered a nuclear installation,” Rosatom spokesman Sergei Novikov said. “This can be considered as the physical lau-nch,” he added.

Officials said the launch would be marked at a ceremony in Bushehr including the head of Rosatom, Sergei Kiriyenko. Russia has been helping Iran build the plant since the mid-90s but its involvement has been marred by delays and the issue is delicate amid the standoff over Iran’s nuclear programme.         

http://www.asianage.com/international/iran%E2%80%99s-first-nuke-power-plant-launch-aug-21-733

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Kashmir fake encounter compensation unpaid

Praveen Swami

Aug 14, 2010

HANDWARA: More than eight weeks after investigators established that three north Kashmir villagers were murdered by a rogue Army unit masquerading as terrorists, the victims' families are yet to receive interim compensation promised by the Jammu and Kashmir government.

Kin of the three victims have told The Hindu that local authorities issued them cheques for Rs.1,00,000 each last month — but say they were unable to cash them as they did not bear a signature.

The cheques were handed over to the families by Javed Dar, Minister of State for Roads and Bridges and legislator for Rafiabad in a gesture intended to demonstrate the government's commitment to support victims of human rights violations.

Police investigators say that Nadihal residents Shahzad Khan, Riyaz Ahmad Lone and Mohammad Shafi Lone were kidnapped by the 4 Rajput Regiment in April, and killed in a staged encounter.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/08/14/stories/2010081455421400.htm

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‘India’s aid offer being considered’

14 Aug, 2010

 ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday seemed unsure about how to respond to a $5 million aid offer from India to help it meet its flood crisis.

The offer was made by Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna in a telephonic conversation with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Mr Krishna described the offer as a “gesture of solidarity with the people of Pakistan in their hour of need”, a statement issued by the Indian High Commission here said.

A statement by Foreign Office here on Mr Krishna’s call did not mention the Indian aid offer. However, sources in the foreign ministry indicated that it was being considered.

“We have not rejected the offer outright and a decision would be made soon,” a senior official told Dawn.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/19-indias-aid-offer-being-considered-480-hh-14

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MQM-H man gunned down in Karachi

14 Aug, 2010

KARACHI: An activist of the Mohajir Qaumi Movement, commonly known as MQM-Haqiqi, was shot dead in the Quaidabad area in the early hours of Friday, police and party sources said.

They said that 45-year-old Wasim Ahmed alias Bhutto along with his wife and son was returning home on a motorbike when assailants riding a motorcycle intercepted him near Dawood Chali and one of them fired multiple shots at him.

“He died on the spot and the attackers escaped from the scene,” said an official at the Quaidabad police station. “He was living in Sherpao Colony in Landhi and returning home after seeing some relatives in the Korangi area. The body was shifted to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for a post-mortem examination.”

Hospital sources said that the victim sustained two bullet wounds in the head and chest.

The victim was associated with the Afaq Ahmed-led faction of the MQM-H.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/local/19-mqmh-man-gunned-down-480-hh-04

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US no more pressing for N. Waziristan operation

14 Aug, 2010

WASHINGTON: The US military has stopped urging Pakistan to launch an operation in North Waziristan to root out the Haqqani network, officials said.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Robert Gates told journalists that the US was not expecting Pakistan to undertake new offensives for some time because it was busy consolidating the gains it had already made.

On Friday, an influential American newspaper – Wall Street Journal – reported that the US had stopped lobbying Pakistan to root out militants in North Waziristan.

US military officials told the Journal they believed pressing Pakistan for help against the group was counter-productive.

The newspaper reported that during a trip to Pakistan last month, Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, chose not to raise the issue of an offensive against the Haqqani network — a departure from the message US defence officials delivered earlier this year.

The Journal quoted US officials as saying that they believed making more demands, public or private, on Islamabad to start a military offensive against the Haqqani network would only strain US-Pakistani relations.

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/national/19-us-no-more-pressing-for-n.-waziristan-operation-480-hh-05

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Afghan military operation has gone badly wrong: NY Times

14 Aug, 2010

WASHINGTON, Aug 13: An Afghan operation to flush out the Taliban and showcase growing military competence has turned into a debacle, with many troops dead or captured and commanders pleading for help, The New York Times reported on Friday.

A senior US official with knowledge of the mission — apparently not coordinated in advance with Nato officers — said commanders called for backup from foreign forces after at least 10 Afghan soldiers were killed and up to 20 captured since the operation began Aug 3 in a rugged region east of Kabul.

Fighting has raged so intensely over the past week in the area around Bad Pakh village, in Laghman province, that the Red Cross has been unable to reach the battle zone and evacuate the wounded and dead, the Times reported.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/afghan-military-operation-has-gone-badly-wrong-ny-times-480

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Habib Jalib’s ‘killers’ held

14 Aug, 2010

QUETTA: The capital city police have arrested two men alleged to have been involved in the July 14 assassination of Balochistan Nationalist Party (BNP) leader Habib Jalib Baloch. Addressing a news conference on Friday, Provincial Police Officer Malik Iqbal disclosed that Jalib had been murdered over a personal enmity and the alleged criminals were relatives and neighbours of the late BNP leader. The PPO identified the criminals as Hijaz Ahmed and Muneer Ahmed. Hijaz was working as an accountant for Jalib. Police also recovered pistols, a Kalashnikov and a motorcycle allegedly used in carrying out the assassination. “Several organisations claimed responsibility to divert the attention of law enforcement agencies but the investigation teams under the supervision of CCPO Quetta Ghulam Shabbir Sheikh inspected the case from several angles,” said the PPO. He said that both the accused revealed important clues during investigation. “The arrested accused also gave two more names of men they say were also involved in killing Jalib,” said Iqbal. However, he said, Jalib’s family would identify the criminals during an identification parade.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\08\14\story_14-8-2010_pg7_2

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Makkah residents keen to drink Sobia

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA

Aug 14, 2010

MAKKAH: After an absence of 11 months, Sobia is back. A traditional drink made from raisins, barley, yeast or dry bread, it is among the favorite beverages for residents of Makkah during the fasting month.

Many Saudis in Makkah and surrounding areas are keen to drink Sobia in Ramadan, even though it is available all year round.

Muhammad Saleh Amboun told Arab News that he has been making his high-quality Sobia for more than 30 years.

Saudis living in Makkah or visiting the city are keen to drink his Sobia, known as the “Ibn Al-Wahhaj Sobia.” The second most famous version of this beverage in Makkah is the Al-Khudairy Sobia.

Amboun said his sons also share his love for Sobia and prepare it themselves despite the fact that they have obtained university degrees.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article101719.ece

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Foreigners boost insurgency in eastern Afghanistan

Aug 14, 2010

JALALABAD, Afghanistan: As the spotlight of the Afghan war focuses on the south, insurgent activity is increasing in parts of the east, with Arab and other foreign fighters linked to Al-Qaeda infiltrating across the rugged mountains with the help of Pakistani militants, Afghan and US officials say.

Security in eastern Afghanistan is critical because the region includes the capital, Kabul, which the insurgents have sought to surround and isolate from the rest of the country. The east also borders Pakistan, where Al-Qaeda's leaders fled after the 2001 US-led invasion drove the Taleban from power.

Gen. Mohammed Zaman Mahmoodzai, head of Afghanistan's border security force, told The Associated Press that infiltration by Al-Qaeda-linked militants has been increasing in his area since March.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article100903.ece

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Lebanon faces political crisis over Hariri case

14 August 2010

Lebanon may be plunged into a political crisis which could bring down its coalition government if the U.N. tribunal indicts members of the Shia group Hezbollah.

The Syrian and Iranian-backed Hezbollah has strongly criticised the tribunal and said last month that the prosecutor’s first indictment, expected to be issued in September or October, will blame some of its members.

Since then Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, who has been in hiding since the group’s war with Israel in 2006, has repeatedly rejected any Hezbollah link to Hariri’s killing, attacking the tribunal as an “Israeli project”.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/August/middleeast_August244.xml&section=middleeast

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Lebanon bans Iranian-made biopic of Christ

14 August 2010

 BEIRUT — Two Lebanese television networks were banned Friday from showing an Iranian-made biopic on the life of Jesus Christ, officials said after the film sparked outrage among the country’s Christians.

“General Security has requested the two Lebanese television channels airing the series during the holy month of Ramadan stop the broadcasts,” the official who requested anonymity told AFP.

“The Messiah” was originally released in Iran as a big screen movie in the Islamic republic in 2008.

It was subsequently adapted to television as a series that was dubbed into Arabic and began airing on Lebanon’s NBN and Al-Manar television channels after the start this week of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/August/middleeast_August237.xml&section=middleeast&col=

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Four charged over deaths of 800 Bosnian Muslims

Aug 14, 2010

SARAJEVO: Four former Bosnian Serb army soldiers have been charged with genocide over the killing of at least 800 Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica in 1995, Bosnia's war crimes court said on Friday.

Franc Kos, Stanko Kojic, Vlastimir Golijan and Zoran Goronja all served with the Bosnian Serb army's 10th commando unit. They have been detained since their arrest earlier this year. In a statement, the court alleged the accused "took part in the execution of more than 800 Bosniak (Bosnian Muslim) men and boys from the U.N. safe area of Srebrenica, who were transported to the execution site at Branjevo Farm".

Kos, who was born in Slovenia but also had Bosnian citizenship, led the 10th commando unit's First Bijeljina Platoon, and the other three were regular soldiers.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Four-charged-over-deaths-of-800-Bosnian-Muslims/articleshow/6307266.cms#ixzz0wZWPM2Ix

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Kurdish rebels in Iraq declare Ramzan ceasefire

Aug 14, 2010

QANDIL MOUNTAINS: Kurdish rebels fighting Turkey from bases in northern Iraq declared on Friday a unilateral cease-fire for the Islamic holy month of Ramzan.

The rebels belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, have staged hit-and-run attacks on Turkish targets in their decades-long campaign for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast. Similar announcements by rebels in the past have failed to open the way to a lasting peace.

One of the group's leaders, Bouzan Teken, told reporters that the PKK's fighters will ``cease all their military operations inside Turkey'' but will defend themselves if attacked.

The ceasefire will last from Friday until Sept. 20 to coincide with the period in which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, he said, speaking alongside two other prominent PKK leaders at a news conference in the Qandil Mountains.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Kurdish-rebels-in-Iraq-declare-Ramzan-ceasefire/articleshow/6308163.cms#ixzz0wZXsYJmc

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/obama-strongly-endorses-ground-zero-mosque/d/3287


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