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Islamic World News ( 26 Aug 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistan: Children sexually abused on streets

Libya's possible new constitution draft leaked, based mainly on Shariah law

Girl in Uganda loses use of legs after leaving Islam for Christ

Iran: further arrests of Christians and Bibles confiscated

Pakistan: 36 security personnel killed in Chitral

Heavy casualties feared in Afghan car bombing

Gaddafi’s last stand? NATO attacks suspected bunker in hometown

Six killed in NATO airstrike in Afghanistan

Attacks continue on Women Human Rights Defenders in Iraq

Banning Shariah law in Michigan?

The so-called anti-Sharia law movement: A chilling example of the paranoid style

Nick Clegg & Baroness Warsi challenged on Muslim concerns

Gay in Ramadan: Caught between Fasting and Sinning

The style, content and tenor of Muslim politics are self-defeating

How Dawoodi Bohras observe Ramzan

Athletic, Muslim, Fashionable - a Tale of the Sports Hijab

Anna campaign not inclusive, no Muslim in core team: Shahi Imam

More deaths in Syria on day of 'patience and determination'

Seven Yemeni soldiers ‘killed by suspected Qaeda forces’

Sudan court sentences rebel leader to death: report

South Sudan Police Assault U.N. Human Rights Official

Pro-Gaddafi guards raped child detainees: Amnesty

Thousands march anew against Assad, 2 killed

Iraqi-Kurd lawmakers demand Turkish raid apology

Three of Pak-origin in US to go on trial for backing Taliban

Found at Gaddafi's compound: Condoleezza Rice photos

Lockerbie bomber escapes with Gaddafi?

Libya crisis: India in evacuation mode

Libya situation: Pakistan adopts wait-and-watch approach

Tripoli calmer as Gaddafi's men pushed out

Islamic militants among prisoners freed from Libyan jail

Rebels battle Gadhafi loyalists in a number of strongholds

American held in solitary escapes Tripoli prison

Journalist won Gadhafi gunman over: 'In the end, we're all human'

Christians hope freedom will flourish in Libya

Shortages grip Libyan capital, rebels hunt Gaddafi

Grim Evidence of Fighting’s Toll Becomes Clearer in Libya

An Indonesian War of 'Unknown Persons'

US: Accused Underwear Bomber Admits Ties With Al-Qaida

Turkey Steps Up Campaign against PKK on Iraq Border

Former army officer abducted, killed in Kohat

Iran launches production of banned carbon fiber

About-face for Berlusconi, who feted Qadhafi

Call to pray for Pakistan's besieged Christians

Evangelicals hope new Libya will respect human rights

Abuja hospital calls for blood donation after UN office bombing Special

Turkmenistan frees over 3,700 prisoners in amnesty

Faithful's obligation to charity stressed

Norway killer was flagged by anti-terror operation

Teen in US custody in ‘Jihad Jane’ plot: Source

Rebuilding lives and Ground Zero post-9/11 in ‘Rebirth’

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistan--children-sexually-abused-on-streets/d/5337

 

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Pakistan: Children sexually abused on streets

August 27, 2011

KARACHI: Nadeem knows firsthand the misery of life on the streets. Sexually assaulted as a child, he became a pimp of young boys – the only way he knew how to survive as a member of Pakistan’s underclass.

He says he was 12 years old when he was attacked. Since then, he has been dragged into a vicious cycle of horrifying abuse allegedly aided and abetted by police and which few are willing to confront in the Muslim country.

“It was just the third night I slept on a street when a policeman picked me up and did bad things to me. I cried a lot but no one came to help me,” Nadeem, now 17, said.

He was sexually assaulted for a second time by the leader of a street gang, who then forced Nadeem to join the 17 other children in his gang. By 14 he was a full-time sex worker. His pimp gave him a mobile phone to keep in contact with clients.

According to charities, which work to protect street children in Pakistan, up to 90 percent are sexually abused on the first night that they sleep rough and 60 percent accuse police of sexually abusing them.

“Children on the street are beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted, and sometimes killed,” said Rana Asif Habib, head of the Initiator Human Development Foundation (IHDF). “Police (should) protect people. When policemen are themselves involved in molesting children, who will protect them?” he said.

“What we have gathered in our research is that policemen make up more than 60 percent of those who physically torment or sexually harass street children,” said Anwer Kazmi of the Edhi Foundation, the country’s largest charity. Karachi is home to Pakistan’s biggest community of street children – tens of thousands of victims of domestic violence and broken homes, drugs and crime, in the steamy port city.

More than 170,000 street children live on the streets across the country. Illiterate, uneducated and most without family, the children can grow into seasoned criminals, drug addicts or fall prey to militancy.

When Nadeem turned 16, he tried to escape. He received counselling from a charity and was taught photography. He tried to make it his profession.

“I was happy with my work, but a year ago, a policeman put me in the lockup on a false charge, confiscated my camera and abused me sexually,” he said.

The experience turned him against the world. “I decided to become stronger. Now I have my own gang and many influential people are my clients. No one can touch me now.”

Nadeem says he acts as a pimp to 10 teenage sex workers aged 14-18, taking a sizeable cut of whatever the boys in earn. “Half an hour after finishing with one client I get another call and I forget all about wanting a respectable life.” Nadeem lives on a street in the downtown Saddar neighbourhood, but rents a room in a cheap hotel when he has surplus cash. He confesses that he too sexually assaulted a child.

“He insulted me and my family so I told him he had it coming. So I grabbed him and gave it to him. I still remember that night. I have not done that to anyone else since then and I do not want to.” Rizwan is a fisherman’s son. He insists he is 12, but he looks much younger. He left home three years ago because his family beat him and says he was abused by police. IHDF fears he too will be dragged into the sex industry.

“The police tried to make me do bad things six or seven times but I managed to get away,” he said. “But one day, one policeman took me by force, put a cloth over my mouth and took me to a place where he did bad things.”

Shaukat Hussain, head of police in Karachi’s southern district where many street children live, said any officers found guilty would be punished, but denied the force was anything like as culpable as reported.

There are black sheep in our department who are involved in such acts. But we punish anyone whose crime comes to surface and is proved,” he said. “The number of policemen who are involved in such acts is far less than what is being claimed by the media and NGOs,” he added. Pakistan offers little protection to vulnerable children. “A draft bill for child protection has been pending with the Interior Ministry for two years,” a senior official of the human rights ministry said.

The bill is designed to tighten the laws protecting children, bringing them in line with international conventions, doing more to help children in difficulty and bringing police and other offenders to book for abusing minors.

“There is a visible lack of interest on the part of the government on this issue... despite our constant pursuits,” said the ministry official.

One former police official said that he organised seminars to sensitise police on how to treat street children four years ago, but that the programme was abruptly abandoned when he retired.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\27\story_27-8-2011_pg7_13

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Libya's possible new consitution draft leaked, based mainly on Sharia law

Ray Downs

Aug 27 2011

A draft of a new constitution created by the Libyan rebels’ transition council that says Sharia law will be a principal source of laws has been leaked on conservative blogs, but authenticity of the document has yet to be confirmed.

The prospect of an oppressive, Iranian-styled theocracy replacing an oppressive dictatorship has alarmed bloggers and posters on the Internet, causing many to question the worth of the Libyan revolution. Fox News sarcastically said, “Good job, NATO,” while TheBlaze.com said, “Even with a new regime, ‘reform’ still does not seem to be an operative word for a new Libya.”

The part of the alleged draft constitution that has raised so much concern is in Article 1 and states that, “Islam is the religion of the state and the principal source of legislation is Islamic Jurisprudence (Shari’a).”

Whether or not the draft constitution is authentic, it is still difficult to determine exactly what kind of government a new constitution will create. Using Sharia as a “principal source” does not necessarily mean that each law must strictly adhere to a Sharia system.

According to a study by the University of Houston, out of 15,000 documents from America's founders, 34 percent of the quotes came from the Bible, making it arguably the “principal source” for the U.S. constitution. Yet few would argue that America’s legal system is too heavily regulated by the Bible.

"There are so many varying interpretations of what Sharia actually means that in some places it can be incorporated into political systems relatively easily," says Steven A. Cook, Council of Foreign Relations senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies.

Indeed, the rest of the draft constitution appears to be one that would be agreeable to a Western, democratic audience, including religious freedom, guaranteed human rights, freedom of the press, and academic pursuits, as well as other staples of Western democracies.

Whether or not the draft constitution is legitimate and if the new Libyan government will implement Sharia law in its legal system is uncertain right now, but some scholars have argued that Sharia law is viewed by many Muslims as a tool to separate religion from law. They say it can help make both religion and law purer, as opposed to a corruption of the two caused by a history of corrupt rulers in Muslim nations.

Noah Feldman, a law professor at Harvard and an expert on Middle East affairs, wrote in the The New York Times: "For many Muslims today, living in corrupt autocracies, the call for Sharia is not a call for sexism, obscurantism or savage punishment but for an Islamic version of what the West considers its most prized principle of political justice: the rule of law."

However, others argue that legally-enforced Sharia conflicts with its religious purpose.

"Enforcing a Sharia through coercive power of the state negates its religious nature, because Muslims would be observing the law of the state and not freely performing their religious obligation as Muslims,” wrote Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, a professor of law at Emory University, in a column for the Huffington Post.

The degree and type of influence Sharia law will have on the new Libyan constitution is yet to be determined. The Transition National Council of Libya, the group responsible for spearheading a new government for the Libyan rebels, did not respond to emails from The Christian Post questioning the authenticity of the draft, and the Libyan Mission to the United Nations declined to comment.

http://au.christiantoday.com/article/libyas-possible-new-consitution-draft-leaked-based-mainly-on-sharia-law/11852.htm

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Girl in Uganda loses use of legs after leaving Islam for Christ

Simba Tian

Aug 27 2011

Muslim father locked 14-year-old in room with almost no food or water for months.

A 14-year-old girl in western Uganda is still unable to walk 10 months after her father tortured her for leaving Islam and putting her faith in Christ, according to area Christians.

Susan Ithungu of Isango village, Kasese district, has been hospitalized at Kagando Hospital since October 2010 after neighbors with police help rescued her from her father, Beya Baluku. He was arrested shortly afterward but quickly released, sources said.

Susan and her younger brother, Mbusa Baluku, lived alone with their father after he divorced their mother. In March 2010 an evangelist from Bwera Full Gospel Church spoke at Susan’s school, and she decided to trust Christ for her salvation.

“I heard the message of Christ’s great love of him dying for us to get everlasting peace, and there and then I decided to believe in Christ,” she said from her hospital bed. “After a month, news reached my father that I had converted to Christianity, and that was the beginning of my troubles with him. Our father warned us not to attend church or listen to the gospel message. He even threatened us with a sharp knife that he was ready to kill us in broad daylight in case we converted to Christianity.”

Pastor Joseph Baluku of Bwera Full Gospel Church in Kasese said neighbors took her to the government hospital about 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Kasese town after she was freed.

“He locked her up in a room of the semi-permanent house for six months without seeing sunlight,” the pastor said. “The younger brother was warned not to tell anyone that Susan was locked up in a room and was not given any food.”

Young Mbusa said that when their father was away, he roasted bananas for his sister.

“I also dug a hole under the door, where I could pour water through,” he said. “My sister could drink the water using her tongue. But most days she could only feed on mud.”

A nearby resident who requested anonymity said neighbors became concerned after not seeing her for several months.

“Her brother then disclosed to us that Susan was locked up in one of the rooms in the house,” the area resident said. “We then reported the case to the Harukunggu local council and then to the Bwera police station. The police went to the house and broke the door.”

Susan was immediately taken to the provincial government hospital about 17 kilometers (11 miles) away near Bwera town, where Pastor Baluku visited her.

“The miserable young Susan was bony, very weak, and not able to talk or walk,” said the pastor. “Her hair had turned yellow, she had long fingernails and sunken eyes, and she looked very slim, less than 20 kilograms [44 pounds].”

Members of the Full Gospel Church in Bwera prayed for her and visited her in the hospital, which like many government-subsidized hospitals in the region does not customarily bill until the patient is discharged, and at rates well below those of private hospitals. It is unknown when Susan will be released, but Pastor Baluku said area residents and church members will try to gather funds for medical costs incurred.

The pastor said billing from such government hospitals can often be deferred until enough money is raised.

“It could be a challenge, but we will try to do our best,” he said.

“By God’s grace Susan is still alive,” he said after a visit last week. “Though she can’t walk, she can now talk. She is still feeding on soft foods. The great news is that Susan is still strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. She needs prayers and support, so that she can resume her education soon.”

http://au.christiantoday.com/article/girl-in-uganda-loses-use-of-legs-after-leaving-islam-for-christ/11815.htm

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Iran: further arrests of Christians and Bibles confiscated

Aug 27 2011

Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) has received reports that Abdolreza ‘Matthias’ Haghnejad, a pastor in the evangelical Church of Iran denomination from the city of Bandar Anzal, was re-arrested on the morning of 17 August by Iranian authorities in Rasht whilst making a pastoral visit.

Pastor Haghnejad’s family has no idea of his current whereabouts, his condition or the charges against him, and it is believed he is being held without access to an attorney. Earlier this year the pastor was detained, charged then acquitted, along with ten other members of his denomination, of activities against the order. He had also been arrested in 2006.

Pastor Haghnejad’s re-arrest has occurred amidst reports of another escalation in governmental pressure on Christians. In late July a Christian woman named Leila Mohammadi, was arrested in Tehran after police raided her house, according to Iranian news agency Mohabat News. Reports indicate she may have been transferred to Evin prison. A man was also reportedly detained temporarily in connection with this case.

In August a consignment of 6,500 Bibles was confiscated as it was being transported between the cities of Zanjan and Ahbar in the north-western province of Zanjan. In a comment on the seizure, Dr Majid Abhari, advisor to the social issues committee of the Iranian parliament, declared that Christian missionaries were attempting to deceive people, especially the youth, with an expensive propaganda campaign. He also indicated his belief that all religions are strengthening their power to confront Islam.

This rhetoric is the latest in a stream of condemnations of Christians from members of the Iranian regime, who have attempted to demonise Christians as western-backed conspirators, ‘parasites’ and ‘like the Taliban’.

CSW’s Advocacy Director Andrew Johnston said, “These latest arrests are extremely concerning, as is the increase in hostile and unwarranted rhetoric on the part of Iranian officials against evangelical Christians. CSW is particularly concerned for the wellbeing of Pastor Haghnejad, who is seemingly being held incommunicado, without charge, and with no access to legal representation. It is vital that the Republic of Iran ensures due process and ends this practice of incarcerating persons simply on the basis of their faith as this is in clear violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Those who, like the pastor, have been arrested must either be charged and tried in a timely manner or released, and all detainees must be allowed contact with their families and lawyers.”

http://au.christiantoday.com/article/iran-further-arrests-of-christians-and-bibles-confiscated/11862.htm

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Pakistan: 36 security personnel killed in Chitral

By Iftikhar Firdous

August 27, 2011

PESHAWAR: Thirty-six security personnel were killed and four others injured in a cross-border attack in the Chitral region on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on Saturday.

Check-posts in the Langorbut and Kavti areas of Arandhi and Ursun and Mir Khani in Drosht came under attack in an early morning raid when militants crossed over at 4:00am from Nuristan province in Afghanistan, officials said.

“Firing is still continuing in the area and it is feared that casualties might rise,” said an official.

There were unconfirmed reports of people missing, but officials said the situation was still unclear and there was limited communication because of the geographical location of the area.

Local sources said there were reports of militant activity in the border region after intense fighting in Nuristan.

Last year, an Afghan official claimed that Maulana Fazlullah, runaway chief of Swat Taliban, had been killed in a clash between security forces and militants in the Barg Mittal area of Nuristan.

The government has eyed the Afghan border with much suspicion and blames the Afghan government of not taking action against militants in the border areas. It is believed that militants who escaped the military operation in FATA and Malakand took refuge in Kunar and Nuristan in Afghanistan.

Militants from across the border have consistently attacked check-posts and raided villages in Dir, Bajaur and Mohmand from April to July this year.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/240514/cross-border-attack-three-security-personnel-killed-in-

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Heavy casualties feared in Afghan car bombing

Aug 27, 2011

LASHKAR GAH, AFGHANISTAN: Heavy casualties are feared following a suicide car bombing Saturday in Lashkar Gah, the capital of south Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province, police said.

"The blast took place near Kabul Bank and the telecommunications office some 50 metres from the governor's office. As a result, six police and Afghan army were wounded plus four other civilians," said deputy police chief Kamaluddin Sherzad, quoting initial reports.

"Heavy casualties are feared."

He added that many people had gathered at Kabul Bank to collect their salaries ahead of the Eid festival that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, although it was not clear exactly what the bomber was targeting.

The Taliban and other militants have frequently targeted government employees during their ten-year-long insurgency.

Control of security in Lashkar Gah passed from foreign to Afghan forces in July as part of the first wave of a transition process which is due to see all foreign combat forces leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The 74-year-old activist Anna Hazare is on hunger strike since 12 days. Meanwhile, the doctors are concerned over Anna's health. They may have to rush him to hospital if his fast exceeds for a few more hours.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Heavy-casualties-feared-in-Afghan-car-bombing/articleshow/9757297.cms

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Gaddafi’s last stand? NATO attacks suspected bunker in hometown

August 27, 2011

BRITISH WARPLANES HAVE attacked a large bunker in Muammar Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte, his largest remaining stronghold, as NATO turned its attention to loyalist forces trying to hold back advancing Libyan rebels in the area.

The airstrikes came a day after fierce clashes erupted in the Libyan capital of Tripoli, which remains tense as rebels hunted for the elusive leader and his allies, detaining suspected loyalists and raising concerns about human rights violations.

Rebels today searched for the remnants of pro-Gaddafi forces in Tripoli’s Abu Salim neighborhood, which saw very heavy fighting the day before. The rebels had detained seven men and one woman, loading them into a pickup truck in a rural area between Abu Salim and the airport, saying Gaddafi forces might be trying to blend in with civilians.

“Things are still not stable and we are arresting anybody we find suspicious and taking them to the military council,” said field commander Fathi Shneibi.

Meanwhile, at a clinic attached to an Abu Salim fire station, injured men believed to be Gaddafi supporters or fighters were left moaning and calling for water. Curious neighborhood men climbed the stairs to look at them, but none offered help.

One of the wounded said he was from Niger and denied any links to Gaddafi. Asked why he was in Libya, he said, “I really don’t know.” He did not give his name.

Full report at: Hindustan Times

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Six killed in NATO airstrike in Afghanistan

August 27, 2011

PULI ALAM: Six Afghan civilians from the same family were killed by a coalition air strike in the insurgent-hit east of the country, local officials said.

A spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said he could not confirm civilians were killed but that several insurgents were among the dead in the operation at around midnight Thursday in Logar province.

Logar provincial police chief Ghulam Sakhi Rogh Lewani said that the operation targeted a Taliban commander with a bounty on his head known as Qari Hijran and had also killed civilians.

“Four Taliban terrorists were killed along with three Afghan army and six members of a family during the incident,” he said.

The top official in the district of Baraki Barak where the incident happened, Mohammad Rahim Amin, claimed it occurred when a local teacher provided shelter for the commander in his home.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\27\story_27-8-2011_pg7_35

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Attacks Continue On Women Human Rights Defenders In Iraq

Aug 27, 2011

Women have been at the forefront of demonstrations across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) in the recent popular uprisings, which have received much media and international attention. In contrast, coverage of attacks on women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in Iraq’s Tahrir Square demonstrations has been limited, AWID asks why.

On the frontlines of demonstrations or behind the scenes as tech-savvy organizers, women have played pivotal roles in the recent democratic revolutions and uprisings in the MENA region. Women’s activism and organizing in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya has garnered substantial international attention. Yet in spite of several attacks, including sexual assaults, on Iraqi women activists and their organizations since February, women’s roles in Iraq’s Tahrir Square demonstrations have generated less media coverage. And the violence against them has intensified since June, one of the deadliest months so far in 2011 for Iraqis.

The Organization for Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI) is one of the leaders of Iraq’s Tahrir Square demonstrations, helping to organize youth activists and advocating for women’s rights. AWID takes a look at OWFI’s work, the situation of women human rights defenders (WHRDs) in Iraq and asks why the other Tahrir Square is receiving so little international attention.

Full report at:

http://www.trust.org/trustlaw/blogs/the-word-on-women/the-other-tahrir-square-attacks-continue-on-women-human-rights-defenders-in-iraq

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Banning sharia law in Michigan?

Aug 27 2011

State Rep. Dave Agema, R-Grandville has introduced a bill that would "limit the application and enforcement ...of foreign laws that would impair constitutional rights," according to a story in the Free Press. In other words, the legislation would ban sharia - Islamic law.

Obviously all the actual threats to Michigan residents, such as the state’s alarmingly high unemployment rate, have been resolved and we can now focus on the make-believe threats.

Become a fan of Mike Thompson on Facebook and follow his updates on Twitter.

http://www.freep.com/article/20110826/BLOG24/110826013/Mike-Thompson-Banning-sharia-law-Michigan-

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The so-called anti-Sharia law movement: A chilling example of the paranoid style August 27, 2011

Del. Ron George from Annapolis objects to those who make light of the anti-Sharia movement in the U.S. ("Sharia law is a real threat to American liberties," Aug. 24.) He argues that imposing Sharia law is the stated goal of Islamic extremists like al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and Hamas.

He may be right, but how does that lead to the conclusion that we in the U.S. are threatened by the imposition of Sharia law in this country?

As a Republican, Delegate George surely doesn't believe that the Taliban, al-Qaida, Hamas or Hezbollah are poised to overrun us and establish Sharia law here by force. Saudi Arabia would rather enslave us to its oil than dominate us through Sharia, and most other Muslim countries have enough troubles of their own without having to worry about invading use to impose Sharia.

Full report at:

http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/readersrespond/bs-ed-sharia-law-20110828,0,1417768.story

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Nick Clegg & Baroness Warsi challenged on Muslim concerns

By Aishah Ali

Aug 27 2011

“Ask about any issue which concerns you,” Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, told an audience consisting primarily of Pakistani business and community leaders who had joined him at the Lahore Village in Sparkbrook, one of the centres of the city’s thriving curry houses on July 21.

The audience put forward a wide range of questions to the Deputy PM and Minister without Portfolio, Baroness Warsi, who was accompanying him. These stretched from education and unemployment to Islamophobia and extremism. On Islamophobia, the Liberal Democrat Leader, Nick Clegg, responded by saying, “all forms of bigotry, racism, prejudice are wrong – and I’m going to work with others in Government and make sure we really look at why there seems to be an increase in Islamophobic incidents.”

Full report at:

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/paper/index.php?article=5425

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Gay in Ramadan: Caught between Fasting and Sinning

Al Bawaba

Aug 27, 2011

Is Ramadan any different for the gay members of the Arab region, when it comes to the decision to fast or not to fast?  For the very devout, there is no decision process in the matter. Muslims are enjoined upon to fast the month of Ramadan provided they are deemed fit and able. And gays for some of the conservative sector would be excluded from the religion by virtue of the non-orthodoxy of their life-style.  However, perhaps gay people tend to ‘feel’ differently come Ramadan time- about fasting, about family and about society’s judgments. How do the gay community in the Middle East regard this holy season, and how are their Ramadan choices regarded by the rest of the Muslims or the ‘heterosexual’ majority?

There's no reason necessarily that Ramadan in itself should be any different than other days of the Muslim calendar for those of alternative sexualities. Perhaps we could regard that the holy month of Ramadan throws into relief the practicing from the non-practicing in the orthodox sense. Would a gay man keeping the fast be shunned by fellow Muslims who find it in abomination of their religion to dream that a 'deviant’ or non-abiding (in the Orthodox sense) Muslim's fast would be accepted by Allah? (Editor)

Full report at:

http://www.albawaba.com/editorchoice/gay-ramadan-caught-between-fasting-and-sinning-

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The style, content and tenor of Muslim politics are self-defeating

Aug 27 2011

By Mohammad Zeyaul Haque,

The situation of Indian Muslims suggests that aggravation is the only word which symbolizes them, suggests Mohammad Zeyaul Haque

Novelist Philip Roth thinks that aggravation is a Jewish word. He also admits that he has a “Masada complex, and a Hitler complex.” Aggravation, in simple English, is getting bad to worse.

A man like that, haunted by a sense of persecution, may not be accurate in his judgment. However, there has been little in the Jewish situation after 1945 that can be described as getting bad to worse.

Yours Truly suspects that aggravation is a Muslim word. Is it not true that our situation has been getting steadily bad to worse, especially the quality of our leadership and the politics they choose to do?

This suspicion is confirmed after reading an announcement by the lawyer Zafaryab Jeelani in Lucknow that the All India Muslim Personal Law Board would take up a countrywide march after Ramadhan to highlight the Union government’s putative neglect of Muslim issues, particularly the issue of Muslim endowments (awqaaf).

Full report at:

http://twocircles.net/2011aug26/style_content_and_tenor_muslim_politics_are_

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How Dawoodi Bohras observe Ramzan

Dr. Faheem

27th August 2011

Mumbai: Do you have any idea about how Dawoodi Bohras celebrate the holy month of Ramadan? Perhaps, many of us would say, No, because we are not much aware about this community.

If taken on face value, it is hard not to stereotype the Dawoodi Bohra community as ‘just average Muslims’ – conservative, inward looking and, who knows, even fanatical. After all, isn’t that the most common, albeit erroneous picture that is painted to depict an average Muslim? But on a closer look you will realise that this community has learnt the fine art of maintaining a perfect balance between devoutly following the Islamic teachings and keeping pace with the ‘modern’ world.

Quresh Ragib, media in charge, Badri Mahal says “we are celebrating our Ramadan as usual. Our prayer will begin with tahajjud, before the dawn, Dua and Tilawat. And after Sehri we pray Fajr.” Mid day we offer Zohrana namaz where we club Zohar and Asr Salah at one pm. After every namaz we recite various duas, and after Magrib salah we break our fast and then pray Isha. After Isha we take our meals.”

According to Quresh Ragib “our spiritual leader has ordered that in this holy month we protect our health and avoid oily foods, so we are doing accordingly.” Our Iftar is organized by local jamat khana, where all community members are participating. Our dinner system is different. We have managed groups — in every group there are eight people who jointly eat in one tray,” he further added.

Full report at:

http://www.masjids.in/ramadan/how-dawoodi-bohras-observe-ramzan/

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Athletic, Muslim, Fashionable - a Tale of the Sports Hijab

Tala Hadavi

Aug 27 2011

Female Muslim athletes who observe a strict Islamic dress code sometimes face the question of whether they will be allowed to participate in major competitions -- with their heads and most of their bodies covered.  Now, one Iranian-Canadian woman is marketing a product to change that.  It complies with the requirements of many major sports, and it’s fashionable, safe and comfortable -- while still meeting Islamic requirements.

Seventeen-year-old Zeinab Hammoud has a brown belt in Taekwondo, and dreams of one day making it to the Olympics.  But unlike her sister, Rana, Zeinab chooses to wear the Islamic headscarf, or hijab. 

This became a problem four years ago. The team’s hard work, passion and hopes were dashed when the Taekwondo Federation of Quebec expelled them from a tournament in 2007. The reason: their hijabs were considered unsafe. “I was really disappointed because I trained really hard for that tournament. When I found out we were expelled I lost all my motivation to continue,” Hammoud said.

Civil rights supporters and sports enthusiasts around the world were enraged. Elham Seyed Javad was one of them. “In my opinion every individual, no matter their religion, should have the same rights as anyone else in society," he stated. "I mean, sports was made to re-unite people."

Athletic fashion

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/religion/Athletic-Muslim-Fashionable---a-Tale-of-the-Sports-Hijab-128404463.html

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Anna campaign not inclusive, no Muslim in core team: Bukhari

Aug 27 2011

New Delhi : Jama Masjid Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari, in his speech before the Friday prayers, urged Muslims to stay away from the campaign led by activist Anna Hazare. He alleged it was communal and non-inclusive.

Bukhari told Newsline that Hazare’s praise for Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi had hurt Muslim sentiments. “We believe that corruption is a big issue today but communalism is a greater concern. During the Gujarat riots, both Hindus and Muslims suffered. Anna’s praise of Modi is unacceptable. Had it been an anti-communalism movement, I would have appealed to Muslims to be part of it since communalism destroys not just communities but nations... There is no Dalit, Muslim or Sikh in his core team,” he said.

“I asked Kiran Bedi on what basis had she asked us to join Hazare’s movement. I was told he is a Gandhian. But in Gandhi’s movement, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians participated equally. I told her we need to change the system and change the thinking of the people of the country. A law against corruption will not change things but make it worse,” Bukhari said.

He said slogans like Vande Matram and Bharat Mata Ki Jai were against the tenets of Islam and, Muslims should not participate.

He questioned why Hazare did not go on a hunger strike when Gujarat was burning. “I wish Anna could answer why he never went on anshan when there were riots in Maharashtra and when atrocities on North Indians were done by the Sena? Why was he silent when Christians and Sikhs were made victims of communal riots? I wish Anna could see communalism as a much bigger concern,” he said.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/anna-campaign-not-inclusive-no-muslim-in-core-team-bukhari/837859/

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More deaths in Syria on day of 'patience and determination'

Aug 27 2011

(CNN) -- Security forces surrounding the Rifaie Mosque in the Damascus suburb of Kafr Sousa fired tear gas early Saturday on thousands of worshipers as they ended their prayers and tried to leave the building, the Local Coordination Committees of Syria (LCC) reported.

Many of the worshipers returned inside the mosque, where they chanted slogans calling for the fall of the regime, said the LCC, which organizes and documents anti-government protests.

Later, the organization reported that security forces were making random arrests outside the mosque.

In the restive city of Daraa, where the arrests in March of 15 teenagers for scrawling anti-government graffiti on walls ignited the country's expressions of discontent, security forces fired randomly in an attempt to disperse two groups of demonstrators who were chanting, "God is great!"

Tanks were surrounding more than 2,000 protesters and two armored vehicles were outside Daraa's Omari Mosque, preventing worshipers from leaving the mosque to protest.

In all, eight people were killed Friday in Syria, the LCC said.

Can Syrian regime survive? Pressure increases on Syria regime

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported that 11 army and security forces were killed by "terrorist groups" in Homs and Deir Ezzor. Another 16 soldiers were wounded, SANA said.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/meast/08/26/syria.un/index.html

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Seven Yemeni soldiers ‘killed by suspected Qaeda forces’

Aug 27 2011

Seven Yemeni soldiers were killed and six others wounded on Saturday in clashes with suspected al Qaeda forces in the southern province of Abyan, a military officer said.

The fighting took place near Dofes, a village south of the provincial capital of Zinjibar that has been occupied by extremist elements since the end of May, the source said.

“al Qaeda fighters hidden in a wooded mountainous area opened fire on army units heading from Dofes to Zinjibar to try to rejoin the 25th Mechanised Brigade,” which is encircled by the Islamists, the source said.

“Seven of our soldiers were killed and six others wounded in clashes which continued for several hours,” he added.

At least one attacker was killed, according to a source at the Al-Razi hospital in Jaar, another Abyan village controlled by al Qaeda.

“We received the body of an al Qaeda fighter killed in the fighting near Dofes,” the hospital source told AFP, identifying the victim as Omar al-Marqab from the northern al Jawf province.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/27/seven-yemeni-soldiers-killed-by-suspected-qaeda-forces.html

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Sudan court sentences rebel leader to death: report

Aug 27, 2011

A Sudanese court handed a death sentence Saturday to a leader of Darfur's most powerful rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), saying he violated the constitution and fomented war against the state, Sudan's state news agency said.

Al-Tom Hamed Tutu was captured in Southern Kordofan state, where fighting broke out in June between the Sudanese army and groups seeking to wrest control of the region from Khartoum.

JEM, which is mostly active in neighboring Darfur, joined up with a branch of the Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) to attack government troops in Southern Kordofan in July as the conflict gradually escalated to include artillery and aircraft.

According to Sudan news agency SUNA, Tutu was also accused of wearing a military uniform with an SPLA badge.

Full report at: New York Times

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South Sudan Police Assault U.N. Human Rights Official

By JEFFREY GETTLEMAN and JOSH KRON

Aug 27, 2011

NAIROBI, Kenya — South Sudanese police officers beat up the head of the United Nations human rights division in South Sudan, leaving him in the hospital and drawing a sharp rebuke from the United Nations.

According to a United Nations statement released on Friday, Benedict Sannoh, the United Nations’ human rights chief in the newly independent Republic of South Sudan, was assaulted by more than 10 police officers, “who beat, kicked and punched him in a sustained fashion while he was in a fetal position on the floor.”

The attack happened on Aug. 20, after Mr. Sannoh refused to let police officers search his luggage at a hotel in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, which declared its independence from northern Sudan in July. Mr. Sannoh was cut and bruised and hospitalized for five days before being sent abroad for further medical treatment.

“The High Commissioner considers this incident to be totally unacceptable,” said the statement from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Unless those responsible are held to account, this will send a chilling message to all those working in the defense of human rights in South Sudan.”

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/27/world/africa/27sudan.html

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Pro-Gaddafi guards raped child detainees: Amnesty

Aug 27 2011

Tripoli : Pro-Gaddafi guards have raped child detainees, and Libyan rebels are abusing children and holding migrant workers as prisoners, Amnesty International charged, calling on both sides to respect prisoners.

The London-based rights group said it gathered testimony from prisoners and survivors of the conflict in the capital Tripoli, where rebel forces have been clashing with remnants of Moammar Gaddafi's regime in a battle for control of the city.

Amnesty said its delegation uncovered evidence of rape being committed against inmates of Tripoli's notorious Abu Salim Prison while it was under the control of Gaddafi forces.

Two boys told cellmates that they had been raped numerous times by a guard, the Amnesty statement said.

An unnamed detainee said one of the boys returned to his cell almost naked with his clothes torn one night. He told the detainee he had been raped.

Other detainees said they were beaten in pro-Gaddafi prisons with metal wires, sticks and batons were given electric shocks.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/progaddafi-guards-raped-child-detainees-amnesty/838031/

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Thousands march anew against Syria's Assad, 2 killed

27Aug 2011

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

AMMAN, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Syrian forces killed at least two protesters on Saturday as tens of thousands of people marched again to demand the removal of President Bashar al-Assad, activists and residents said.

The two were killed overnight when government forces fired live ammunition to disperse demonstrators who streamed out of mosques in the town of Qusair and in Latakia after al-Qadr prayers, the night when Muslims believe the Prophet received the Koran.

At the United Nations, a U.S. and European push to impose Security Council sanctions on Syria over its crackdown on the protests met resistance from Russia and China, diplomats said.

Assad has sent in tanks and troops to crush months of street demonstrations calling for an end to his family's 41-year rule.

Syrian authorities have blamed armed "terrorist groups" for the bloodshed and say 500 police and army have been killed. They have expelled most independent journalists, making it difficult to verify events on the ground. The United Nations says his troops have killed at least 2,200 protesters.

Full report at:

http://www.trust.org/alertnet/news/thousands-march-anew-against-syrias-assad-2-killed

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Iraqi-Kurd lawmakers demand Turkish raid apology

August 27, 2011

ARBIL: Lawmakers in Iraqi Kurdistan on Friday demanded neighbouring Turkey apologise for a week of air strikes across their border and called for a closure of Turkish military bases inside Iraqi territory.

Tensions have flared between Turkey and Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region after local officials reported a Turkish air strike killed seven civilians on Sunday, triggering protests in the capital Arbil and other towns. Turkey launched its first strikes in more than a year on suspected Kurdish PKK rebel bases in Iraq after more than 40 members of its security forces were killed in Turkey over the last month in PKK assaults. There has been no official comment from Turkey on the civilian deaths. But Iraq’s central government has summoned the Turkish ambassador to demand an end to air strikes and the regional Kurdish government condemned the deaths.

“We demand an end to the presence of Turkish military bases and their intelligence agencies in Kurdistan’s territory,” the Iraqi Kurdish parliament said in a statement. “We demand the Turkish government make a formal apology to the people and the Kurdistan government.” Iraq’s foreign ministry says Turkey still has around 1,300 military in Iraqi territory at small observation posts set up in the 1990s with the permission of Baghdad.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\27\story_27-8-2011_pg4_7

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Three of Pak-origin in US to go on trial for backing Taliban

August 27, 2011

A Florida-based imam of Pakistani origin and his two sons are scheduled to go on trial in April next year after being charged with providing financial and material support to the Pakistani Taliban.

Judge Adalberto Jordan of the US District Court of the Southern District of Florida has set a trial date of April 23 for cleric Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, and his sons Irfan Khan, 37 and 24-year-old Izhar Khan.

Hafiz and Izhar were imams at a mosque in Miami.

They were arrested in May this year along with three other individuals in Pakistan, and charged with conspiring to provide material support to a conspiracy to murder, maim and kidnap persons overseas, as well as conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organisation, specifically, the Pakistani Taliban.

Hafiz and his sons have pleaded not guilty to the terrorism charges that each carry a 15-year prison term.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/363653/Three-of-Pak-origin-in-US-to-go-on-trial-for-backing-Taliban.html

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Found at Gaddafi's compound: Condoleezza Rice photos

August 27, 2011

Libyan rebels who took control of Muammar Gaddafi's sprawling compound made a surprising discovery in one of the buildings: a photo album with pictures of Condoleezza Rice.

Though maybe the discovery isn't that surprising. Over the years, the Libyan leader's comments and actions related to the former secretary of state have raised a few eyebrows.

Consider how he talked about her in an interview with Al-Jazeera television in 2007, where he hinted that then-President George W. Bush's top diplomat wielded considerable influence in the Arab world.

"I support my darling black African woman," he said.

"I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. ... Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. ... I love her very much. I admire her, and I'm proud of her, because she's a black woman of African origin."

The following year, Gadhafi and Rice had an opportunity to meet when the secretary of state paid a historic visit to Libya — one that made steps toward normalising relations after the United States went decades without an ambassador in Tripoli. (The U.S. 'doesn't have any permanent enemies', she said during the trip.)

Gaddafi welcomed Rice in his home — one that President Ronald Reagan once ordered bombed in retaliation for Libya's attack on a German disco — for the traditional meal that ends the daylight fast during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Once again, he repeatedly addressed Rice — 'Condi' to her friends — as 'Leezza', her aides said.

Full report at:

http://www.asianage.com/international/found-gaddafis-compound-condoleezza-rice-photos-

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Lockerbie bomber escapes with Gaddafi?

August 27, 2011

Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan national convicted for planting a bomb that killed 270 people onboard a Pan Am flight over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988, has reportedly escaped along with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

‘The Daily Telegraph’ quoted witnesses as saying that as soon as rebels entered the capital Tripoli earlier this week, all traces of al-Megrahi were lost.

Britain had freed al-Megrahi in August 2009 on humanitarian grounds. The government felt he would soon die from cancer. But he survived and even appeared in public to support the Gaddafi regime.

"This man knows too many things. Gaddafi has taken him with him, wherever he is," said Hussein Barba, a Canada-educated doctor who lives behind al-Megrahi's house.

A modern two-storey villa in the upmarket Hay Damascus suburb of Tripoli was given as a reward by the Gaddafi regime. Neighbours said they believed al-Megrahi's wife was still living in the house.

They said they had ‘promised’ to protect his house while he was away and prevent anyone trying to get in, whether or not his wife was still there.

One said his son was still living in the area. He was using his father's BMW and staying with friends.

"He (al-Megrahi) goes from place to place to check on things. He was an ordinary person, not involved with the government. He had no reason to leave," he said.

http://www.asianage.com/international/lockerbie-bomber-escapes-gaddafi-743

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Libya crisis: India in evacuation mode

Sandhya Sharma

August 27, 2011

Four Indian nationals, evacuated from violence-hit western Libya and on-board the first IOM chartered ship, are due to arrive on Saturday morning in Benghazi. However, with majority of Indians, Bangladeshis and Chinese evacuees expected to be among the second operation, the second IOM vessel is also due to arrive in Tripoli on Saturday.

“The second IOM chartered ship is due to arrive in Tripoli on Saturday and will hopefully depart on Sunday or Monday, latest,” International Organisation for Migration (IOM) spokesperson Jean-Philippe Chauzy, told The Pioneer.

“Indian evacuees will be taken to Benghazi and then overland to Sallum on the border with Egypt before going to Cairo where they will board flights for India,” he added.

The second evacuation operation aims to assist groups of Bangladeshi, Chinese, Filipino, Indian and Egyptian migrants. The departure of this second IOM boat comes as a first group of 263 people were successfully evacuated by IOM from Tripoli on Thursday night. Among those evacuated were Egyptians, Lebanese, Algerians, Filipinos, Americans, Swiss, Lebanese, Italians, Indians, Sudanese, a German, a Canadian and an Iraqi.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/363799/Libya-crisis-India-in-evacuation-mode.html

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Libya situation: Pakistan adopts wait-and-watch approach

Aug 27 2011

ISLAMABAD: Although the Libyan Embassy in Islamabad has removed the official green flag and hoisted the one representing the National Transitional Council, Pakistan has not yet recognised the rebels.

Islamabad’s reluctance to endorse the Nato-backed rebels is said to be because of its reservations over the manner in which Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Qaddafi was removed from power through foreign intervention.

Pakistan also believes that it is too early to take any decision on Libya since there is lot of uncertainty and confusion regarding who is really in charge in Tripoli.

In the past, Pakistan has taken a principled position to oppose foreign intervention in Libya and other states.

However, since the rebels made advances through Nato backing in Libya, Islamabad has avoided making any public statement in an apparent attempt not to annoy the western powers.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/239299/libyan-embassy-in-pakistan-hoists-rebel-flag/

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Tripoli calmer as Gaddafi's men pushed out

Aug 27 2011

Tripoli : Tripoli began to look like a solidly rebel-held city on Friday, the calmest day in the capital since Muammar Gaddafi's opponents swept in nearly a week ago. Some even celebrated in the streets, marching and chanting, "Hold your head high! You are a free Libyan.''

There were still occasional gunbattles, but nothing like the bloody firefight Thursday in which rebels drove loyalists from a neighbourhood close to Gaddafi's captured compound.

As the fighting waned, the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva expressed concern about treatment of detainees on both sides. The ICRC has been able to visit some prisoners, but "there are hundreds more probably,'' spokesman Steven Anderson said.

Dozens of decomposing bodies were piled up in and near an abandoned hospital next to the Gaddafi compound, revealing some of the war's brutality. One hospital room had 21 bodies lying on gurneys. The floors were covered with shattered glass and bloodstains, and medical equipment was strewn about.

It was unclear when the men died or who killed them, but they had darker skin than most Libyans. Gaddafi had recruited fighters from sub-Saharan Africa.

In a new advance for the rebels Friday, fighters took control of the main border crossing with Tunisia after battling Gaddafi loyalists who had held out there, Tunisia's official news agency reported. The rebels control other posts along the border, but Ras Ajdir is the primary crossing between the two countries and would allow them to more easily bring supplies into Libya.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/tripoli-calmer-as-gaddafis-men-pushed-out/837972/

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Islamic militants among prisoners freed from Libyan jail

Aug 27 2011

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Hundreds of Islamist militants were among the prisoners freed from a notorious Tripoli prison this week, according to a former Libyan jihadist.

The freed militants had been imprisoned in Tripoli's Abu Salim prison by Moammar Gadhafi's regime during the height of the insurgency in Iraq, according to Noman Benotman, once a senior figure in the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Benotman said he believes as many as 600 militants may have been among the prison population at Abu Salim.

It's not known how many prisoners were held in the vast facility. Human Rights Watch said Gadhafi's prisons "have been filled to the limit in the last few months with thousands of people who were arrested for taking part in the anti-Gadhafi protests, or because of their suspected support for Libya's democratic opposition."

The human rights group, which recently had a team visit the prison, estimates that before the uprising, there were a few hundred Islamists held at Abu Salim.

Benotman said many of the militants released are pro-al Qaeda.

"Nobody knows what these released prisoners are going to do next," he said. "Will they take part in the fighting and if they do will they join pre-existing rebel brigades or form a separate fighting force?"

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/08/26/libya.militants.analysis/index.html?hpt=

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Rebels battle Gadhafi loyalists in a number of strongholds

Aug 27 2011

Tripoli, Libya (CNN) -- Rebel fighters say they are in control of most of Libya's capital, though the months-long war appeared far from over Saturday.

As rebels worked to extend their reach, Moammar Gadhafi's forces battled back from a number of loyalist strongholds in Libya.

The fighting followed warnings by the United Nations and its diplomatic partners that widespread shortages of food, water, fuel and medical supplies could further destabilize the region.

"All agreed that the crisis in Libya has entered a new and decisive phase," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, following conversations Friday with the heads of the African Union, the League of Arab States and others.

"All agreed, as well, on the importance of a smooth transition."

Imprisoned under the Gadhafi regime Gadhafi: Women, kids fight for me Rebels claim to have Gadhafi surrounded Global response to Libya conflict

Ban said the transition from Gadhafi's rule must be based on inclusiveness, reconciliation and national unity.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/08/27/libya.war/index.html?hpt=hp_t1

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American held in solitary escapes Tripoli prison

Aug 27 2011

(CNN) -- After months of psychological torment by guards loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, when a commotion arose outside the door of his solitary confinement cell in Tripoli's most notorious prison, Matthew VanDyke was sure he was going to be executed.

But what happened next is sure to be the Baltimore-based adventure writer's wildest chapter yet.

Reached by phone in a safe house in Tripoli, VanDyke, 32, described a harrowing 30 hours that took him from Abu Salim prison to the safe house under the protection of anti-Gadhafi rebels.

The freelance journalist and aspiring travel writer had not been heard from since mid-March, shortly before he was arrested in the city of Brega by forces loyal to Gadhafi. He had been without contact with any family member, government official or aid organization since March 12, when he last spoke to his mother.

Early Wednesday in Tripoli, he said, he heard prisoners yelling and shouting and banging, not unlike the sounds he had heard as guards rousted out other prisoners during his six months of solitary confinement. As he stared at the white walls where he had ticked off the days until he lost track, he thought, "This is it, they've come to lynch me."

American freed from Libyan prison Law and order breaking down in Libya? Freed journalist: 'Driver was killed' American writer escapes Libyan prison

ed the small slit in the door where his food was passed through. He heard someone angrily shouting and pointing at verses in an open Quran pushed through the door.

Not long after, someone hammered off the lock on the door.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/08/25/libya.freed.american/index.html

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Journalist won Gadhafi gunman over: 'In the end, we're all human'

By Wayne Drash

Aug 27 2011

(CNN) -- The gunman showed that he was human.

Most of the others who stalked the lobby of Tripoli's Rixos Hotel were young, brash, hostile Gadhafi diehards. Yet this man in his 50s, armed with a Kalashnikov, longed to see his children.

His kids were out there somewhere in the Libyan capital, he said, gunfire and explosions erupting around them.

"I really miss my family, too," CNN producer Jomana Karadsheh told him in Arabic. "I really want to go out and see my family. They're worried about me."

Tears welled in the gunman's eyes. Rebels were taking over the Libyan capital. And this man, who had known nothing but the Gadhafi regime for 42 years, wanted to go home, too.

It was in this moment that Karadsheh knew she had a chance. If the three dozen journalists being held against their will inside the five-star hotel for five days had a shot of being freed, it was now.

At 29, Karadsheh has a lifetime of experience in hostile regions. A native of Jordan who is fluent in Arabic and English, she's a stalwart of CNN's Baghdad bureau and known for her professionalism, persistence and persuasiveness.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/africa/08/25/libya.freed.journalists/index.html

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Christians hope freedom will flourish in Libya

Aug 27 2011

As the end of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s rule in Libya draws near, Christian leaders continue to urge people to pray for the nation.

NATO-backed rebel forces in Libya seized control of much of Tripoli in the last few days after months of brutal war tactics by Gaddafi. The rebels continue to fight for the rest of the capital city.

Christian leaders like Nik Ripken, meanwhile, are praying for stability of a different kind in Libya.

“Often we ask people to pray that governments provide the safety and security necessary for the gospel to spread, such as the early church had under the Roman Empire," said Ripken, who has served 25 years with the International Mission Board and is an expert on the persecuted church in Muslim contexts.

"But when stability is the stability of governments that deny their people even access to Jesus, then that is the worst form of persecution."

Full report at:

http://au.christiantoday.com/article/christians-hope-freedom-will-flourish-in-libya/11858.htm

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Shortages grip Libyan capital, rebels hunt Gaddafi

Aug 27, 2011

TRIPOLI, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Tripoli struggled with collapsing water and power supplies on Saturday as rebels now in control of most of the Libyan capital battled for a city still held by Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

Sporadic bursts of gunfire echoed around Tripoli, but the street fighting of recent days, much of it in the traditionally pro-Gaddafi Abu Salim neighbourhood, seemed to have died away.

The rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) is trying to assert its authority and restore order in Tripoli but its top officials have yet to move there from Benghazi in the east.

The coastal highway to Tripoli is cut by pro-Gaddafi forces holding Sirte, the deposed leader's birthplace, 450 km (300 miles) east of the capital. They are defying rebels who had hoped Sirte would surrender swiftly after the fall of Tripoli.

Gaddafi's own whereabouts remain unknown -- rebels hunting him say the war will not end until the 69-year-old colonel who kept Libya in his grip for 42 years is captured or killed.

A convoy of six Mercedes cars crossed from Libya into Algeria on Friday, Egypt's state MENA news agency reported, quoting a rebel source. It was impossible to verify the report, but MENA quoted the source as speculating senior Libyan officials or Gaddafi himself and his sons may have fled Libya.

Full report at: New York Times

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Grim Evidence of Fighting’s Toll Becomes Clearer in Libya

By ANTHONY SHADID and KAREEM FAHIM

Aug 27, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — As the fighting died down in Tripoli on Friday, the scope and savagery of the violence during the nearly weeklong battle for control of the capital began to come into sharper focus.

Amnesty International said Friday that it had evidence that forces loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi had killed rebels who had been held in custody in two camps. In one camp, it said, guards killed five detainees held in solitary confinement, and in another they opened the gates, telling the rebels they were free to go, then tossed grenades and fired on the men as they tried to run for freedom.

The report, based on accounts from escaped prisoners, cited no death toll, but said that of the 160 detainees attacked, only 23 were known to have escaped.

On Thursday, there were reports that the bullet-riddled bodies of more than 30 pro-Qaddafi fighters had been found at a military encampment in central Tripoli. At least two were bound with plastic handcuffs, suggesting that they had been executed, and five of the dead were found at a field hospital.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/27/world/africa/27libya.html

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An Indonesian War of 'Unknown Persons'

By AUBREY BELFORD

Aug 27, 2011

JAKARTA — It is a seemingly unending conflict in a part of the world famous for both its awesome remoteness and the incredible wealth on and beneath the ground.

For half a century, Indonesian troops and police officers have fought a shadowy and sporadic war in the vast forests and highlands of Papua, as the western end of New Guinea is known, after taking control of the former Dutch colony in the 1960s. It is a long-running conflict that is poorly understood by even those involved.

On one level, the fight is between security forces and ragtag groups of indigenous separatists, armed with guns, spears and arrows.

Sometimes, it is alleged, it is factions of the security forces fighting among themselves, drawn into competition over the ill-gotten spoils of a region of vast natural resources, including some of the world’s richest mines. Often, official references to those doing the killing go no further than “unknown persons,” leaving their identity — agents provocateurs, business rivals or guerrillas — the stuff of conspiracy theories.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/27/world/asia/27iht-papua27.html

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US: Accused Underwear Bomber Admits Ties With Al-Qaida

Aug 27 2011

U.S. prosecutors say a Nigerian man charged with trying to blow up a plane bound for Detroit in late 2009 admitted his association with al-Qaida during his arrest.

In Detroit Friday, prosecutors sought a judge's permission to use Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's comments during his arrest as evidence in his terrorism trial in October.

The government filed the motion in response to Abdulmutallab's claim he was not read his Miranda rights, which offers protection from self incrimination. A court hearing on that matter is set for September 14.

Abdulmutallab is accused of trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight with 300 passengers upon arrival in Detroit, Michigan by lighting explosives in his underwear. The device did not explode, but Abdulmutallab was treated for burns.

Abdulmutallab has chosen to represent himself in his upcoming trial.

http://blogs.voanews.com/breaking-news/2011/08/27/us-accused-underwear-bomber-admits-ties-with-al-qaida/

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Turkey Steps Up Campaign Against PKK on Iraq Border

Dorian Jones

Aug 27 2011

The conflict between the Turkish state and Kurdish rebel group the PKK continues to escalate as the Turkish armed forces in last few days have being bombarding PKK bases in neighboring northern Iraq. The conflict is set to further escalate with growing speculation that Turkish armed forces are preparing to cross into Iraq.

This week, 15 Turkish soldiers were injured by land mines. The attack was blamed on the Kurdistan Workers Party and is the latest event behind the escalation between the Turkish armed forces and the PKK.

For the last few days, the Turkish air force has been bombarding PKK bases in neighboring Iraq, claiming they have killed nearly a 100 rebels. The PKK claim only three have died.

Further escalation expected

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday promised it's just the beginning.

"Carrying out operations for the peace of the nation is the most natural right of the government," he said. "It is an obligation and we will do whatever it takes.

The conflict with the PKK, which is fighting for greater Kurdish rights, has been steadily escalating over the last couple of months.

In the run up to last June's general election, the army killed nearly two dozen rebels, a move that was seen as strengthening the prime minister's political power.

The rebels vowed revenge and after ending their unilateral cease-fire after the June election, killed nearly 40 soldiers.

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/english/news/europe/Turkey-Steps-Up-Campaign-Against-PKK-on-Iraq-Border---128467448.html

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Former army officer abducted, killed in Kohat

Aug 27 2011

PESHAWAR: A police official says gunmen kidnapped and killed a retired army colonel in northwestern Pakistan, and a police officer died trying to rescue him.

Umer Hayat says the gunmen seized Col. (r) Shakeel Ahmad on Saturday as he was on his way home from morning prayers in the garrison city of Kohat.

Hayat says police intercepted the gunmen’s car at a checkpoint and engaged them in a firefight.

One police officer was killed and two others were wounded. The gunmen escaped and later shot dead Ahmad and abandoned his body alongside a road.

No group has claimed responsibility.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/27/former-army-officer-abducted-killed-in-kohat.html

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Iran launches production of banned carbon fiber

Aug 27 2011

TEHRAN: Iran has inaugurated its own production of carbon fiber, a material under UN embargo because of its potential use in the country’s controversial nuclear program, the official Irna news agency reported Saturday.

Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said Iran decided to manufacture the strategic material domestically since it could no longer access carbon fiber on foreign markets because of the international sanctions.

”Because of the restrictions imposed by the enemies, Iran faced challenges in getting access to carbon fiber,” Vahidi was quoted by Irna as saying.

”That had caused a bottleneck in Iran’s production of advanced and smart defense systems,” Vahidi said.

He claimed Iran has mastered the entire process of carbon fiber production.

Iran uses carbon fiber for more advanced centrifuges, which spin uranium gas to produce enriched uranium.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/27/iran-launches-production-of-banned-carbon-fiber.html

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About-face for Berlusconi, who feted Qadhafi

Aug 27 2011

MILAN: Almost exactly a year ago, Silvio Berlusconi was throwing a party for his ”friend” Muammar Qadhafi replete with Bedouin riders and a lavish dinner. On Thursday, he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the head of the Libyan rebel Cabinet, offering his best wishes and announcing the release of frozen assets.

Other leaders have had turnarounds on Libya, but the Italian premier is unique among his European peers in having such a cozy relationship with Qadhafi – and performing such a remarkable about-face.

The two have dined together and exchanged gifts. In one notorious incident last year, Berlusconi kissed Qadhafi’s hand at a summit. And when the world rushed to condemn the Libyan’s bloody crackdown on protests in February, Berlusconi held back – saying Qadhafi was too busy to be bothered.

It makes the sight of Berlusconi opening his arms to Mahmoud Jibril at a government office in Milan all more surreal. Berlusconi declared Thursday that Italy plans to release (euro) 350 million ($505 million) in frozen Libyan assets and expressed his hope for a successful transition to democracy.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/26/about-face-for-berlusconi-who-feted-qadhafi.html

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Call to pray for Pakistan's besieged Christians

By: Elizabeth Kendal

27 August 2011

Sharia Law prohibits Christians testifying against Muslims in court. Consequently, in an Islamic state Muslims are essentially guaranteed impunity for crimes committed against Christians.

As would be expected, impunity and legal discrimination then fuels further persecution. The resulting profound insecurity is doubtless the most devastating aspect of dhimmitude (subjugation under Islam).

Furthermore, as Islamic fundamentalism rises in constitutionally secular Muslim-majority states, Sharia provisions are increasingly being enforced to appease politically powerful hardline Islamists, even though these provisions conflict with the law of the land. Weak and fearful governments are increasingly opting for 'reconciliation' and 'harmony' over justice.

As the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) recently noted, 'Legal discrimination against religious minorities and the failure of Pakistan's federal and provincial governments to address religious persecution by Islamist groups, effectively enables atrocities against these groups and others who are vulnerable.'

Full report at:

http://au.christiantoday.com/article/call-to-pray-for-pakistans-besieged-christians/11865.htm

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Evangelicals hope new Libya will respect human rights

27 August 2011

The World Evangelical Alliance wants to see Libya transition into a country where the human rights and religious liberty of the people will be respected.

The call came as rebels announced they were moving their leadership base from Benghazi to Tripoli, where battles are still being fought against Gaddafi loyalists.

There were appeals by the UN today for all sides in the conflict to show restraint amid reports of abuses and summary killings by both rebels and loyalists.

It is uncertain when the conflict will end as fierce fighting continues in parts of Tripoli and Col Gaddafi’s hometown of Sirte.

The Secretary General of the WEA, Dr Geoff Tunnicliffe, said he hoped that the new nation to emerge from the conflict would respect the rights of the people.

“As Libya transitions to a new era after decades of oppression, it is our hope that its new leaders will develop a government that truly represents the aspirations of its people,” he said.

Full report at:

http://au.christiantoday.com/article/evangelicals-hope-new-libya-will-respect-human-rights/11864.htm

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Abuja hospital calls for blood donation after UN office bombing Special

Aug 27 2011

The National Hospital in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja is calling on residents to donate blood after those injured from the reported bombing of a UN building where rushed to the hospital.

The unspecified numbers of casualties with severe injuries are said to be putting pressure on the hospital’s blood bank.

A former journalist residing in the capital territory, Henry Agbonike who has been posting hospital pictures on his facebook page said there was need for medically fit residents to contribute to the hospital’s blood bank to prevent a rise in the death toll.

“My fear is regarding the issue of blood now; blood seems to have run out of the blood bank at hospital. There are calls now for Abuja residents, those that are O+ or B+, to come forward and donate blood and we hope that Nigerians would be magnanimous enough to save these lives,” Agbonike said.

On how the incident took place, he said: “From what I heard, a Toyota Camry car ran through the gate of the UN building, passing through the first gate. They tried to stop it. Unfortunately they couldn’t and the suicide bomber detonated the whole thing within the complex.’’

Full report at:

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/310842#ixzz1WDRx7SCE

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Turkmenistan frees over 3,700 prisoners in amnesty

Aug 27, 2011

ASHGABAT: Turkmenistan pardoned more than 3,700 prisoners, including around 30 foreigners, and released them from prison early on Saturday in the latest amnesty ordered by the leader of the reclusive Central Asian state.

President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, whose word is final in the mainly Muslim nation of 5.4 million, has continued the practice begun by his predecessor Saparmurat Niyazov of releasing large numbers of prisoners to mark significant dates.

The latest release comes shortly before the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

“In Turkmenistan, we systematically pardon citizens of our own country and foreign states who have strayed, accepted their guilt and sincerely repented,” Berdymukhamedov said in comments broadcast on state television.

Turkmen authorities have not disclosed the country’s prison population. Though Berdymukhamedov has promised greater economic freedom, he holds virtually unlimited powers in a country that holds the world’s fourth-largest natural gas reserves.

Only Eritrea and North Korea scored worse than ex-Soviet Turkmenistan in the 2010 press freedom index compiled by media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, while vocal opponents to the president’s rule have long since fled the country.

Tajikistan, another ex-Soviet republic in Central Asia, also plans a mass amnesty to commemorate 20 years of independence. It plans to release 15,000 prisoners, including some rebels who fought against the government in a civil war.

http://arabnews.com/world/article494235.ece

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Faithful's obligation to charity stressed

Aug 27, 2011

MAKKAH/MADINAH: Sheikh Saud Al-Shuraim, imam and khatib at the Grand Mosque, said Ramadan was the sweetest month in the year in terms of spiritual peace and tranquility.

“The distinctive features of the month, which passes like a fleeting moment, make a believer wish that the whole year was like Ramadan,” Sheikh Al-Shuraim told worshippers while delivering his sermon on the last Friday of this year’s Ramadan.

The sheikh said Ramadan was different because it was the month of the Holy Qur’an, the source of a believer’s spiritual and material power. The sheikh also exhorted believers to be God-fearing and keep away from disobedience and evil deeds.

The sheikh concluded his sermon after reminding worshippers about the need to distribute the obligatory special charity of Eid before going out for prayer on the day itself.

In the midst of tight security arrangements nearly 2 million worshippers attended the congregational prayers of the last Friday of Ramadan. As all the space inside the mosque, mataf (area of circumambulation around the Kaaba) and the courtyards were packed beyond capacity, many thousands had to pray under the sweltering August sun on the asphalted roads.

No vehicles were allowed to enter the central zone close to the mosque. Pilgrims and worshippers started arriving since early morning in order to ensure a seat inside the mosque.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article494141.ece

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Norway killer was flagged by anti-terror operation

27 August 2011

OSLO, Norway — Four months before Anders Behring Breivik went on his killing rampage in Norway, a global operation that monitors trading in bomb-making materials told the nation’s police that he had bought chemicals from a Polish company, a customs official said Friday. But police did not act on the information.

On July 22, Breivik killed 77 people in a bombing in Norway’s capital and a shooting rampage on a nearby island, and he has since confessed to the mass killings.

Geir Hoiseth, who heads the border control department of Norway’s customs agency, said Breivik’s name came up as a result of the Global Shield program, a U.S. initiative, after he bought chemicals from a Polish firm.

Hoiseth said customs officials passed the information to Norway’s security police, PST, in March. PST has confirmed that it was alerted to Breivik’s purchase of chemicals from the company, but has said the transaction was legal and there wasn’t enough information to warrant further investigation.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/international/2011/August/international_August1284.xml&section=international&col=

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Teen in US custody in ‘Jihad Jane’ plot: Source

August 27, 2011

PHILADELPHIA: A US teen from Pakistan is in secret US custody, accused of trying to help recruit terrorists for a woman known as “Jihad Jane,” according to a source close to the family.

Charges filed last month accuse the 17-year-old of helping Colleen LaRose in her alleged efforts to incite an Islamic holy war.

The high school graduate had accepted a full scholarship to Johns Hopkins University, according to the source.

Now, the teen is in custody at a youth facility in Berks County, Pa. He could have his case moved to adult court when he turns 18 next month.

A law-enforcement source confirmed the details to The Associated Press. Both sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they aren’t authorized to speak publicly about the case.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/26/teen-in-us-custody-in-%E2%80%98jihad-jane%E2%80%99-plot-source.html

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Rebuilding lives and Ground Zero post-9/11 in ‘Rebirth’

27 August 2011

LOS ANGELES - “Rebirth” follows five New Yorkers who discuss the events of 9/11 and the World Trade Center as a site of shared trauma, exploring the emotional, spiritual, mental and physical repercussions that day left on all of us.

Interwoven with the annual interviews is on-site time lapse photography — paired with an ethereal score by Philip Glass — that shows how the Twin Towers’ rubble is removed and new structures are built in the same space.

As the rebuild moves forward, interviewees tell how they are coping with the emotional toll of the attacks.

To get his footage, Whitaker strapped 14 cameras to various locations in lower Manhattan that would snap a still of the site’s recovery every five minutes, every day, for the duration of his interviews.

The result is stunning animation of seasons changing and time moving on as construction workers execute the One World Trade Center project, to be unveiled in January 2013.

No less stunning are the annual interviews. “I was always aware of how each of the subjects was evolving,” Whitaker has said. “It was around the fourth or fifth year that I saw each one of them making some kind of small, medium or large leap forward towards something. There was a new feeling, a settling of emotions.”

Take Tanya, an instantly lovable firefighter’s fiance who lost her “soul mate” in the midst of planning for their wedding and life together. We see her envy toward other women whose lives move forward with ease while she feels stuck mourning the life she lost.

We also see her moments of sanctuary — riding her motorcycle or escaping to Miami — that allow her some space to heal.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/entertainment/2011/August/

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistan--children-sexually-abused-on-streets/d/5337


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