New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 31 Dec 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Pakistanis Rally in Support of Blasphemy Law

‘Bhutto plot hatched at Brigadier home’

JEDDAH: Keralite Muslim youth for Fighting terror intellectually

Egypt car bomb kills 21 at Alexandria Coptic church

Bomb explosion kills 30 in Nigeria

1980 cable said Israel ready to use N-bomb

Wrong recitation of Quranic verses lands Pak minister in trouble

A blessed evening in Delhi dedicated to Amir Khusrau

Indian Muslim youth can bring about a revolution: Minister

Voice raised for the rights of a historical mosque in Delhi from another historical mosque

Audiobook Version of “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam” Now Available

Bhagavad Gita studied by Hindus and Muslims in this school

Several Hindus kidnapped for ransom in Pakistan

ISI handler trained me in Lahore: David Headley

Two HuJI terrorists arrested in Bhopal

6,000 Saudis await organ transplants

Over 4,000 Pakistanis in ME jails

Pakistan drone raid kills at least 15 in N Waziristan

NATO kills 8 insurgents in Afghan operations

Why Women Are Coming to Islam

Aligarians decry efforts to change varsity’s Muslim character

Iraqi Christians bury their dead after more attacks

Indian Army to protect Afghan missions

Why Ansarul-Islam is the best primary school in Nigeria

Anti-terror court rejects bail plea of Shahzain Bugti

The SS Mullah School Dresden, “The Imam Institute,” and Islamic anti-Semitism

Many Arab Officials Have Close CIA Links: Assange

Muslim group launches popular action to reverse Swiss minaret ban

“Noor” Islamic Radio Launched in Cameroon

Top American Muslim Leader: "Ayatollah Khamenei, the best leader in the world"

India's 'Inshallah, Football' bags Dubai Film Fest award

Two Pakistani judges lobbying for promotion face action

Now, only Pak & China nationals need special permits to visit NE

92 arrested in northern Nigeria after recent religious violence

Iraqi suspect says unaware of Danish terror plot

PA blasts Israel for allocating $564m for Jewish settlements

94 journalists killed in 2010 action: report

Indians on death row won’t pay blood money

Army opens its doors to Valley’s stone-pelters

British PM David Cameron fires 2011 terror warning

WikiLeaks shows US frustrated with Egypt military

Iranian filmmaker's arrest triggers protest in Gorakhpur

Obama pledges to fight Af-Pak region militants

Twenty hurt in New Year firing

Bil'in woman protester critical after tear-gassing ?

'I am intelligent,' protests Paula Abdul

Torturing suspects 'the norm’ in Indonesia

Rawalpindi Shias Commemorate Martyrdom Anniversary of Imam Zain al Abidin

Top Sunni Scholar Fatwa Against Sudan Muslims Voting for Separation

Group says Muslim Children being Bullied at School

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistanis-rally-in-support-of-blasphemy-law/d/3865

 

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Pakistanis Rally in Support of Blasphemy Law

By SALMAN MASOOD

Jan 1, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A crippling strike by Islamist parties brought Pakistan to a standstill on Friday as thousands of people took to the streets, and forced businesses to close, to head off any change in the country’s blasphemy law, which rights groups say has been used to persecute minorities, especially Christians.

The law was introduced in the 1980s under the military dictatorship of Gen. Mohammad Zia ul-Haq as part of a policy of promoting Islam to unite this deeply fractious society. Many attempts to revise the law have since been thwarted by the strong opposition of religious forces, which continue to gather strength.

In fiery speeches across all major cities and towns, religious leaders warned the government on Friday against altering the law, which carries a mandatory death sentence for anyone convicted of insulting Islam.

“The president and prime minister should take the nation into confidence and assure in unequivocal terms that there will be no change in the blasphemy law under any international pressure,” Sahibzada Fazal Kareem, a religious leader and member of Parliament, said at a rally in the southern port city of Karachi, where the police fired tear gas to stop protesters from marching toward Bilawal House, one of the residences of President Asif Ali Zardari.

The governing Pakistan Peoples Party, which is struggling to keep its government coalition intact, has been conciliatory on the issue.

Syed Sumsam Ali Bokhari, the minister for information, tried to placate religious forces by assuring them that the government did not intend to amend or repeal the law. “Neither the Pakistan Peoples Party nor the government has discussed the issue to bring any amendment in the blasphemy law,” Mr. Bokhari said Thursday at a news briefing.

But such assurances failed to calm the religious parties, who issued their call on Dec. 15 for a countrywide strike.

“I call it a natural result of religious extremism that is on the rise in Pakistani society,” said Mehdi Hasan, the chairman of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent rights group, while commenting on the strike.

“The liberal and democratic forces in the country have retreated so much that it has created an ideological vacuum that is now being filled by the religious extremists,” Dr. Hasan said.

The human rights commission has documented scores of cases in which men have been harassed for being Christian or for being members of the Ahmadi sect, a minority group within Islam, and then accused of blasphemy. The mere fact of being a Christian or an Ahmadi in Pakistan makes a person vulnerable to prosecution, the commission says. Often the mere accusation of blasphemy has led to murders, lynchings and false arrests.

The latest push to revise the law came after the case of Asia Bibi, a 45-year-old mother of five who was sentenced to death by a municipal court, gained prominence in November. Ms. Bibi, a Christian, was accused of blasphemy after her fellow agricultural workers grew angry when she touched their water bowl, her supporters say.

After indicating that a pardon was forthcoming, government spokespeople have recently taken a more ambiguous position and now say that Mr. Zardari can extend a pardon to someone only if the prime minister recommends it. Pope Benedict XVI has appealed for Ms. Bibi to be freed unconditionally.

Rights activists, critics and several government officials, including Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab Province, and Sherry Rehman, a lawmaker and former information minister, have urged the government to repeal or revise the laws.

“These laws institutionalize injustice,” Ms. Rehman said. “People have to feel secure as first-class citizens of this country.”

Ms. Rehman expressed disappointment that the government had distanced itself from her proposed amendments to the law.

The general strike and protests on Friday show the power Islamists hold on the streets of Pakistan. They also contrast sharply with the campaigns by rights activists and opponents of the blasphemy laws who have vented their opposition and discontent mostly on the Internet and social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Protest rallies by rights activists have been ineffective and relatively small.

Since the 1980s, conservatism and religious extremism have been on the rise in the country, analysts say. The religious right has become extremely powerful by establishing its networks across major urban centers and small towns.

“Their agitation potential is immense,” said Rasul Baksh Rais, a political analyst who teaches at Lahore University of Management Sciences in Lahore. “Their numerical strength is not enough for electoral wins but is enough to create trouble for any government in Pakistan.”

“The government is not in a position to take any drastic step against the sensitivities of the religious right, which does not want to concede any inch, even if that is meant to save innocent lives,” Mr. Rais said.

Ms. Rehman, the former information minister, said the secular, democratic forces need not be deterred by the show of force by Islamists. “Eventually, I think we have to keep at it with the help of the civil society and media; their street power is disproportional,” she said, referring to religious parties. “The mainstream political parties need to push back and resist the religious extremists who hijack issues through street power.”

However, analysts said the huge show of force by religious parties, and even the attention local news media outlets gave them on Friday, would only embolden the religious elements in the country. The dynamic is such that “the government may not be able to make any changes in the blasphemy laws in the coming years,” Mr. Rais predicted.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/01/world/asia/01pakistan.html?_r=2&hp

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‘Bhutto plot hatched at Brigadier home’

Jan 01 2011


Islamabad : The plot behind the 2007 assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto was hatched at the home of a Pakistani army brigadier, claimed a media report, which was dismissed as “totally concocted” by Interior Minister Rehman Malik.

A fresh probe had uncovered the role of nine men, including the brigadier in whose residence the plot was hatched, The Express Tribune newspaper reported on Friday quoting unnamed sources.

The findings of the investigation, conducted under the Interior Ministry’s supervision, were deliberately kept under wraps, even from the ruling PPP’s top leaders, it claimed. The probe’s findings are in the possession of Interior Minister Malik and had been seen only by President Asif Ali Zardari in its entirety, the report said.

It did not say whether the brigadier purportedly identified by the probe was a serving or a former army officer. However, the Interior Minister dismissed the report. “It is a totally concocted story, a false story. No conspiracy was hatched in any brigadier’s home,” Malik told reporters in Karachi. He said all the reports he had received so far on the assassination did not show the involvement of a brigadier. The conspiracy to assassinate Bhutto was hatched in militant hideouts and not in the home of any brigadier, Malik said.

The Express Tribune reported that Zardari had “temporarily shelved plans” to share the contents of the inquiry report earlier this week. Zardari was keen to “first take the army leadership into confidence before ordering the arrest of certain uniformed personnel over their alleged involvement” in the assassination, the report said.

Five of the nine conspirators are alive while the other four, including those sent to kill Bhutto, are dead, according to the inquiry report. The five surviving men “were the ones who hired the killers and gave them shelter and logistical support.” They will “now be formally charge-sheeted and put on trial,” the daily reported.

“Both logistical support and rehearsals for the murder were arranged by uniformed persons, who were part of the plot. Militant groups, which were working closely with the nine plotters, provided the manpower,” the report further said.

The joint investigation team had traced two new mobile phone SIMs used to communicate on the day Bhutto was assassinated and the the Federal Investigation Agency had drawn up a tough questionnaire for former President Pervez Musharraf on the basis of investigations conducted by the team, the report said.

The questions for Musharraf were “framed once the role of the nine plotters became clear and the inquiry team managed to lay its hands on the main accused who was part of the plot to eliminate” Bhutto, it added. The daily claimed that Zardari was “undecided on how to handle the more explosive contents of the inquiry report.”

It quoted sources as saying that Zardari had “deliberately withheld presentation of the inquiry report before the PPP central executive committee” during a recent meeting at Naudero in Sindh province. The daily further reported that the military leadership had “signalled their willingness to cooperate with the civilian government.”

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bhutto-plot-hatched-at-brigadier-home/731839/

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JEDDAH: Keralite Muslim youth for Fighting terror intellectually

Jan 1, 2011

JEDDAH: A meeting of Keralite Muslim youth in Yanbu under the aegis of the Yanbu Dawa Center stressed the significance of fighting terrorist ideologies intellectually.

“One of the priorities of a Muslim student movement is to fight the spread of terrorist and extremist ideologies in universities, colleges and schools in the Indian state of Kerala,” said Sayyid Mohammed Shakir, who is also a patron of the student movement.

The student organization, which is called the Mujahid Student Movement (MSM), is planning to organize a three-day conference with the participation of 25,000 students at Kottakkal in Kerala beginning on Jan 7. The conference will focus on peace and knowledge as the tools to build up an ideal Islamic society.

The participants in the meeting also expressed their relief at the news of the speedy recovery of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah from his illness.

Shakir stressed the need for people to respond to King Abdullah’s call to promote world peace through dialogue among different cultures.

“The tendency to resort to brutality in the present world is due to the utter failure in understanding the basic principles of Islam,” said Shakir, adding that the Holy Qur'an prompts man to think about the world around him and acknowledge the supremacy of the Creator. “Implementing the principles of the Holy Qur’an and treading the path shown by the Prophet (peace be upon him) is the only way to achieve peace in this world and the life hereafter.”

Shakir, who is on a short visit to the Kingdom, said the MSM has been organizing various programs to spread Islamic teachings with special stress on the dangers of extremism.

The MSM organized three conferences in the past and the first conference was attended by former imam of the Grand Mosque Shaikh Abdullah Al-Subayyil.

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article227423.ece

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Egypt car bomb kills 21 at Alexandria Coptic church

Jan 1, 2011

A car bomb explosion outside a church in the north Egyptian city of Alexandria has killed at least 21 people and injured 24, officials say.

The blast hit worshippers as they left a new year's service at the al-Qidiseen church shortly after midnight.

Sectarian tensions have recently been on the rise in Egypt.

After the explosion, angry Christians clashed with police and local Muslims, reportedly throwing stones and targeting a nearby mosque.

Protesters went into the mosque, throwing books out onto the street, the Associated Press news agency reported.

Security forces and ambulances rushed to the scene of the blast to help victims and restore calm.

The mayor of Alexandria, Gen Adel Labib, said on Egyptian TV that there had been recent threats of attacks on churches, though he tried to play down any possible sectarian motive for Saturday's bombing.

Sectarian violence

A local priest said the death toll from the blast would have been even higher had the explosion happened minutes later, after more people had left the service, reports the BBC's Khaled Ezzelarab in Cairo.

After the explosion, Christians were seen chanting beside a burnt-out car in front of the church: "We sacrifice our souls and blood for the Cross."

Christians from the Coptic Orthodox Church make up about 10% of Egypt's predominantly Muslim population.

The rise of political Islam and the failure of the government to address Coptic claims of discrimination have fuelled divisions, analysts say.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq has also been conducting a campaign against Christians, following the reported conversion to Islam by two Egyptian Christian women in order to divorce their husbands. The group said the women were being held against their will by the Coptic Church.

Alexandria, Egypt's second-largest city with a population of about four million, has seen sectarian violence in the past.

In 2006, there were days of clashes between Copts and Muslims after a Copt was stabbed to death during a knife attack on three of the city's churches.

Are you in the area? Were you affected by the blast? Send us your comments using the form below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-12101748

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Bomb explosion kills 30 in Nigeria

Jan 1, 2011

At least 30 people have been killed when a bomb went off at a market near a military barracks in Abuja on new year's eve, the state-run TV channel said today.

The Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) reported the casualty figure to be 30 while a local newspaper reporter told Press Trust of India that he was able to see unconscious bodies being taken away from the scene by army trucks but could not confirm if they were dead or injured.

Two other bomb explosions were also reported in the city. The second one was said to have exploded at a road leading to the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport while the third one was said to have went off at a Church in an area called Nyanya but casualty figures for the two are yet to be known.

The police and emergency service workers could not be reached for comment on the bombing and casualty figures but a top Air Force official confirmed the bombing at a beer drinking spot near the Sani Abacha Barracks.

Full report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_bomb-explosion-kills-30-in-nigeria_1488739

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1980 cable said Israel ready to use N-bomb

Jan 1, 2011

LONDON: A British ambassador to Israel warned as early as 1980 that Israel would detonate a nuclear bomb in case of a new war with the Arabs, according to previously secret state documents released on Thursday.

"If they (Israelis) are to be destroyed, they will go down fighting this time. They will be ready to use their atomic weapon," ambassador John Robinson wrote in a cable to the foreign office on May 4, 1980. Israel has never confirmed or denied having atom bombs under a policy of ambiguity to deter numerically superior foes.

Robinson's message, published under a rule that allows official British papers to be released after 30 years, voiced concern that US-hosted negotiations would not lead to a comprehensive solution.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/1980-cable-said-Israel-ready-to-use-N-

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Wrong recitation of Quranic verses lands Pak minister in trouble

New Age Islam News Bureau

Jan 1, 2011

Islamabad: A petition has been filed for disqualifying the Home Minister of Pakistan. According to sources Tariq Asad Advocate has filed a petition in the Supreme Court alleging that Rahman Malik recited the Surah Akhlas three times in the cabinet meeting. Rahman Malik does not have knowledge of the basic teachings of Islam and so he does not fulfil the conditions laid down in the Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution, he said. He should therefore be declared invalid for the senate seat, he demanded.

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A blessed evening in Delhi dedicated to Amir Khusrau

New Age Islam News Bureau

Jan 1, 2011

Saharanpur: A programme titled ‘Ek Shaam Amir Khusrau ke naam’ was held by Hadrat Amir Khusrau Cultural and Welfare Society at the local Skylark Hotel last night. In the programme the famous qawwal and TV artist Akhlas Majid Hussain presented mystic verses. The senior social activist Sufi Tahir Hussain was conferred the Khursrau Award for his contribution in the field of education. The secretary of the Society Ekramul Haque told the audience that Sufi Tahir Hassan did his BA and B. Ed from the Aligarh Muslim University. From August 1956 to 1987 he taught in the Islamia Inter College Boys.

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Muslim youth can bring about a revolution: Minister

New Age Islam News Bureau

Jan 1, 2011

New Delhi: Muslims are not lagging behind in any field and if they are provided a better opportunity to get education and training, they can bring about a big revolution in the world. These views were expressed by the Central Minister for Coal Shri Prakash Jaiswal addressing the Memory Development Workshop jointly held by India Islamic Cultural Centre and Noble Education Foundation. Appreciating the efforts of the President of NEF and IICC Sirajudding Quraishi in the social welfare and educational progress, he urged other resourceful persons in the community to come forward and establish educational and training institutes in the country. He said that there is no dearth of rich people in the country but unfortunately they are not interested in social welfare work. In the workshop, the students demonstrated stunning overwhelming performances of memory retention.

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Voice raised for the rights of a historical mosque in Delhi from another historical mosque

New Age Islam News Bureau

Jan 1, 2011

New Delhi: The message of the Shahjahani Masjid has been an important one for the community’s unity. If we study the history, we will find that the Shah Bano case and the Babri Mosque movements were launched from Jama Masjid. It is another issue that the Babri Masjid movement got a setback but the message of unity it conveyed was very strong. That is the reason, the Muslims succeeded to put their claim despite the conspiracies of the Sangh Parivar other political groups. In the current circumstances, the message that has been sent about the Qanati Masjid was the need of the hour as the Archaeological department and the Delhi Police have been interfering in the matters of mosques for a long time in the capital. At present, the Qanati Masjid issue has laid the foundation for unity at Jantar Mantar and the leaders making it to the Assembly Haji Shoaib Iqbal and Asif Mohammad Khan raised their voice against the injustice done to the mosques. In this connection, the demonstration led by Haji Shoaib Iqbal after the Friday prayers at Jama Masjid Chowk demanded that the government make amends for the wrongs done to the mosques of the entire country including those in the capital.

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Audiobook Version of “No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam” Now Available

Jan 1, 2011

No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam is now available as an audiobook from Audible.com. The book, published by Random House Audio and written by Reza Aslan, has also made Audible.com’s Best Sellers List for the week of December, 22 2010.

The audiobook version of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, narrated by Shishir Kurup, has received an average rating of 4.39. The title has a run length of 12 hours and 36 min. The book was first released in February 2009 and a sample of the audiobook is available for download.

The written description of the book is “Though it is the fastest growing religion in the world, Islam remains shrouded by ignorance and fear. What is the essence of this ancient faith? Is it a religion of peace or war? How does Allah differ from the God of Jews and Christians? Full report at:

http://www.americanconsumernews.com/2010/12/audiobook-version-of-no-god-but-god-

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Bhagavad Gita studied by Hindus and Muslims in this school

Jan 1, 2011

Lucknow: Schools across the country may have modified textbooks over the decades, but an institution in Lucknow has persisted with the Bhagavad Gita as a moral science textbook for the last 75 years. Hindu as well as Muslim students have to study it.

Besides being the "prescribed book" for the moral science subject, the holy scripture is also a compulsory subject for all students of Gita Vidyalaya in the Babuganj area here.

"Holy scriptures like the Gita guide human beings, their behaviour towards individual, family and society. So by teaching lessons from the Gita we, in a way, are teaching students about the importance of their life and making them realise their responsibilities," school principal U.P. Mishra told IANS.

"We take pride in keeping the unique tradition alive at the school that was started around 1935 by a group of three friends who were deeply religious," he added.

The 30-odd Muslims among the school's 200 students also study the Hindu text as part of their curriculum.

Full report at:

http://www.ummid.com/news/2010/December/26.12.2010/gita_studied_by_hindus_and_

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Several Hindus kidnapped for ransom in Pakistan

Jan 1, 2011

Islamabad: Santosh Kumar Bugti, a minority leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N, has said that several members of the Hindu community have been abducted for ransom in the country as he sought early recovery of an abducted leading Hindu spiritual leader.

Addressing a press conference in Quetta, Bugti appealed to all tribal leaders and elders to play their role in recovering Lakki Chand Garji, the kidnapped Hindu spiritual leader of Balochistan.

Eightytwo-year-old Lakki Chand Garji, who is the `maharaja' of the Kali Mata Mandir in Kalat town in Balochistan province, is considered to be one of Pakistan's most revered Hindu spiritual leaders. He was kidnapped by a gang of armed men Dec 21.

The daily Dawn reported Thursday that leaders of the Hindu community, including Dewan Chand, Anil Kumar and Bhajan Lal, attended the press conference.

Full report at:

http://www.ummid.com/news/2010/December/30.12.2010/hindus_in_pakistan_kidnapped_

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ISI handler trained me in Lahore: David Headley

Jan 01 2011

New Delhi : US and Indian officials probing the 26/11 terror attack now believe that Lashkar-e-Toiba operative David Coleman Headley, who scouted targets in Mumbai, was “more than a terrorist... a Pakistani spy” who was trained for months on the streets of Lahore in “techniques for detecting surveillance, developing sources and other skills” by his ISI handler Major Iqbal.

US-based online investigative news outfit ProPublica, which has obtained a copy of a 119-page report recounting Headley’s interrogation by Indian authorities, said Headley told investigators that a Pakistani Navy frogman helped plan the maritime attack on Mumbai.

The report quoted Headley as saying that ISI chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha later went to see Lashkar military chief Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi in custody. “Pasha had visited him to understand the Mumbai attack conspiracy.”

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/isi-handler-trained-me-in-lahore-david-

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Two HuJI terrorists arrested in Bhopal

Jan 01, 2011

Bhopal: Two alleged Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HuJI) terrorists have been arrested in Bhopal. The duo was arrested by a team of Bhopal police on Friday night.

The two terrorists have been identified as Shaukat and Mirajuddin. Police claim that both the terrorist are wanted in Kashmir.

Jammu and Kashmir Director General of Police Kuldeep Khoda Friday claimed that in 2010 the state had witnessed least terror-related incidents in the last 20 years, bringing down the number of civilian causalities.

"The militancy parameters -- like number of incidents, civilians killed due to militancy, security force/police personnel who laid down their lives and militants killed overall -- is lowest this year since the inception of militancy in 1990," the DGP said in his new year message to the the state police personnel.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/two-huji-terrorists-arrested-in-bhopal/139128-3.html

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6,000 Saudis await organ transplants

Jan 1, 2011

RIYADH: There are some 6,000 sick Saudis across the Kingdom awaiting organ transplants, something that has in recent years become difficult due to an annual decrease in the number of organ donors in the region, Al-Riyadh newspaper reported.

As a result, such people pin their hopes on an ambitious organ exchange program that has been implemented by Saudi authorities in cooperation with their counterparts in other GCC states. The program is managed by the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation (SCOT) in coordination with the Air Ambulance Evacuation Department.

One lucky girl who received a liver from a donor in Kuwait is 13-year-old Sarah. Sarah, who is from Riyadh, has, since the age of four, been suffering from Wilson disease, a rare and inherited disorder that causes one’s body to retain copper.

“Sarah’s condition worsened after she stopped taking her medicine without me or anyone else knowing,” said Sarah’s mother. “She was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Armed Forces Hospital as her condition became serious when her liver almost stopped working. Then, her medical report was sent to most major hospitals in Riyadh and they all agreed that her life could only be saved if she got a liver transplant,” she added.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article227420.ece

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Over 4,000 Pakistanis in ME jails

By Shakeel Ahmed

Jan 1, 2011

ISLAMABAD – State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Nawabzada Malik Amad Khan Friday told the Lower House that over 4000 Pakistani were detained in Middle Eastern countries on various charges. As per breakup, he said the number of Pakistani prisoner in foreign jails is as under: 1783 (Saudi Arabia), 700-800 (Abu Dhabi), 853 (UAE), 212 (Oman), 56 (Bahrain), 349 (Kuwait), 53 (Qatar), 65 (Iran), 40 (Yemen), 4 (Lebanon), 3 (Iraq) and 2 (Jordan).Replying to a question during question hour, the minister said that the government has agreement with UK, Sri Lanka and Thailand for return of prisoners.He said special cell for Overseas Pakistanis has been setup in the Foreign Affairs ministry to deal with the issues of Pakistani prisoners detained abroad. The cases of prisoners were also taken up with the relevant authorities by Pakistani Missions, whose punishments have been completed for early deportation besides providing them one way tickets to the destitute prisoners.

Minister for Livestock and Dairy Development Mir Hamayun Azia Kurd has informed the House that there is no restriction on catching of sharks in marine water of the country and its sale.

Full report at:

http://dailymailnews.com/0111/01/FrontPage/index.php?id=7

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Pakistan drone raid kills at least 15 in N Waziristan

Jan 1, 2011

Two US drone attacks have killed at least 11 people in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal region, local officials say.

The missiles fired from unmanned planes on Saturday targeted militants in an area just north of Miranshah town, reports say.

The death toll cannot be independently confirmed and it is not clear whether all those killed were militants.

The area, near Afghanistan, is seen as a haven for Taliban and al-Qaeda.

On Friday, five people died in a US drone attack, officials said. That attack struck a vehicle convoy near Miranshah.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-12102255

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NATO kills 8 insurgents in Afghan operations

Jan 1, 2011

NATO says it has killed at least eight insurgents and captured a Taliban leader in several operations throughout Afghanistan.

The coalition said Saturday that five of the insurgents were killed a day earlier in an operation targeting a Taliban leader in the northern Kunduz province. It was unclear whether the Taliban leader was among those killed or detained.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4007318,00.html

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Why Women Are Coming to Islam

Jan 1, 2011

There are many stories of conversions to the Deen of Allah (God’s way of life). Many are very touching and poignant and serve us as a reminder that Allah guides who he wills often in ways and in circumstances we would never imagine. We would like to highlight in this article that among the most inspiring and illustrative of the fact that a pure heart and intention is rewarded with guidance, are those stories of our Muslim sisters who have accepted Islam.

Considering the intense anti-Islamic and hostile media propaganda these past few years, some with a particularly strong emphasis on the ‘supposed’ degrading position of women in Islam, we feel that those women are exceptional who accept Islam and who were able to separate the negative stereotyping and nonsense from the reality of faith.

Full report at:

http://www.masjidma.com/2010/12/31/why-women-are-coming-to-islam/

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Aligarians decry efforts to change varsity’s Muslim character

Jan 1, 2011

JUBAIL: Two prominent representatives of India’s Muslim community have called for a sustained campaign to protect the unique character of their most important seat of learning.

Z.K. Faizan and Muhammad Adeeb were referring to the historic Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) while speaking at an event organized in Jubail on Friday by the university’s illustrious alumni to remember the university’s founder Sir Syed Ahmad Khan.

Faizan, convener of the AMU Action Committee, and Adeeb, a member of Parliament, have in recent days launched a political campaign against the dilution of the university’s Muslim character and the launching of new centers in other states. They have met with considerable success on the political front. However, they readily admitted that the odds were heavily stacked against those who want to see the university in the form and format as envisaged by its legendary founder.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article227428.ece

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Iraqi Christians bury their dead after more attacks

Jan 1, 2011

BAGHDAD: Iraqi Christians buried their dead on Friday after a string of apparently coordinated attacks using bombs and rockets hit their community, killing two people and injuring 13 others.

At least four Christian homes in Baghdad were hit Thursday night in the first string of attacks since Al-Qaeda-linked militants last week renewed their threats of violence against Christians in Iraq.

Iraqi Christians have been living in heightened fear since militants carried out a bloody siege of a Baghdad church that killed 68 worshippers in October and Al-Qaeda announced it was waging a concentrated campaign against their community. In the face of the threats.

Father Mukhlis, the target of the October siege, said as many as 12 violent incidents occurred against Christian homes across the capital Thursday night.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article227390.ece

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Army to protect Afghan missions

Jan 1, 2011

A VIEW is emerging in military circles that the country should send an army contingent to guard locations in Afghanistan that hold interest for India.

Currently, these locations are being guarded by the Indo- Tibetan Border Police ( ITBP) personnel. But they are too few in number to serve the purpose, forcing them to augment their numbers by availing themselves of the services of locals.

Consequently, the idea is being floated that a battalion of the army’s paratrooper commandos be sent to places such as Kabul, Kandahar and Herat — to provide security to the Indian embassy and consulates and to protect sites of interest to India.

In order to avoid offending the sensitivities of the Afghans and the US and its allies, the special forces can be outfitted in ITBP uniforms — which would bely the rise in lethality on the ground.

If this proposal is made to the governments of the countries involved through official channels, there can be objections raised. Instead, the military is looking to broach the issues unofficially, so that they can maintain plausible deniability in public.

 Full report at: Mail Today

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Why Ansarul-Islam is the best primary school in Nigeria

Jan 1, 2011

Abuja (Nigeria): What will you say if you were asked to debate the topics: “Women education is better than men education” or “Doctors are more useful in the society than farmers” or “Farmers are more useful in the society than teachers.” What will you say either for or against each of the topic? What points will you muster to win your argument?

Those were the debate topics given to pupils of all primary schools in Nigeria to talk about and Ansarul-Islam G.U.B.E.A. Primary School, Kuntu, Ilorin emerged the best or the winner out of them. The school which was founded in 1967 by the notable Islamic scholar, Sheikh Muhammed Kamaldeen was later taken over by the State government in 1976 during the military era.

For each of the topics, the points made by the pupils, their gestures and gesticulations, their elocution and eloquence, their power of delivery were assessed and scored. At the end of it all, Ansarul-Islam was adjudged the best.

Full report at:

http://www.ummid.com/news/2010/December/31.12.2010/best_school_in_nigeria.htm

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Anti-terror court rejects bail plea of Shahzain Bugti

Jan 1, 2011

ISLAMABAD: An anti-terrorist court in Quetta on Friday rejected bail application of Balochistan chief of the Jamhoori Watan Party (JWP) Shahzain Bugti, grandson of slain Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti.

Shahzain Bugti and his accomplices were arrested by the Frontier Corps (FC) last week. A huge cache of ammunition was seized from their possession.

The men were produced in court amid tight security on Friday, after the lapse of the seven-day remand.

The prosecutor requested the court to grant a 20-day extension in remand but the court decided to extend it by three days.

According to Bugti’s lawyer, Mukaish Kohli, the prosecution said they needed more time because they had included four more accused, who were originally from Chaman.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article227211.ece

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The SS Mullah School Dresden, “The Imam Institute,” and Islamic anti-Semitism

Jan 1, 2011

Much thanks to Roger, who was visiting Dresden, Germany, recently and took an excellent audio tour of sites related to the Jewish Holocaust. He sent me a link to the recordings.

Please listen to the clip concerning an SS school for Mullahs that existed there in 1944, set up by Himmler and Muslim leader Al-Husseini. The recording is about 11 m long.

The Islamic world aligned with The Third Reich, an alliance that has largely been whitewashed from the pages of history. The Nazis were given no such free pass, and shouldn’t have been; why has the Islamic alliance with them been ignored?

Many Muslims fought on the German side during World War II. The Wehrmacht had six legions with a Muslim majority and the SS had three Muslim divisions, a brigade and a Waffenbrigade. Each Muslim unit got a mullah as an adviser. In November 1944, an SS mullah school was established in Dresden, founded by Himmler.

http://centurean2.wordpress.com/2010/12/31/the-ss-mullah-school-dresden-the-imam-

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Many Arab Officials Have Close CIA Links: Assange

Mobin Pandit & Ahmed El Amin

Jan 1, 2011

DOHA - Top officials in several Arab countries have close links with the CIA, and many officials keep visiting US embassies in their respective countries voluntarily to establish links with this key US intelligence agency, says Julian Assange, founder of the whistle-blowing website, WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks founder Assange told Al Jazeera network that he is prepared to release all the explosive information in his possession to the public after "he has been done away with. (Credit: AFP/Getty Images)"These officials are spies for the US in their countries," Assange told Al Jazeera Arabic channel in an interview yesterday.

The interviewer, Ahmed Mansour, said at the start of the interview which was a continuation of last week's interface, that Assange had even shown him the files that contained the names of some top Arab officials with alleged links with the CIA.

Full report at:

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/12/30-5

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Muslim group launches popular action to reverse Swiss minaret ban

Jan 1, 2011

A Swiss Islamic group said on Monday it was launching a popular initiative to reverse a ban on building new minarets in the Alpine state.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - A Swiss Islamic group said on Monday it was launching a popular initiative to reverse a ban on building new minarets in the Alpine state, saying voters would decide differently if the matter came up for referendum again.

Last year, 57.5 percent of Swiss voters approved a ban on the construction of new minarets, drawing international condemnation.

The plan to reverse the minaret ban comes a day after a majority of Swiss voted to back expulsion of migrants convicted of "serious crimes", the latest sign of growing hostility to foreigners.

The text of the proposed initiative will state that the ban on building minarets is to be stricken from the constitution, the Central Islamic Council of Switzerland said.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=219317

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“Noor” Islamic Radio Launched in Cameroon

Jan 1, 2011

Noor Islamic radio station was launched yesterday, December 31, in Adamaoua, Cameroon

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The opening ceremony of the Islamic radio network was attended by Muslim figures, governor of Adamaoua and citizens interested in religious issues.

Broadcasting religious and cultural programs such as teaching of Quran memorization and recitation and speeches by scholars about various issues of the Islamic world in Arabic and Fulani language have been announced as the aims of launching the radio.

Stressing the importance and the role of media in today’s world, the scholars and government officials present at the ceremony regarded the establishment of the Islamic radio as a step towards promotion of religious and spiritual values in society.

The religious association of Islamic Da’wa in Cameroon has financially supported the launch of the radio.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=219321

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Top American Muslim Leader: "Ayatollah Khamenei, the best leader in the world"

Jan 1, 2011

Prominent American Muslim hails the measures taken by Ayatollah Khamenie as the best in unifying world Muslims.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Prominent American Muslim hails the measures taken by Ayatollah Khamenie as the best in unifying world Muslims.

Famous American Muslim leader hails the measures taken by Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenie as the best in unifying world Muslims.

Sheykh Abdul alim Musa, a Muslim American activist and the prayer leader of Al-Islam mosque in Washington DC hailed the measures by the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and said," Ideas and fatwas issued by Ayatollah Khamenei play a major role in proximity of the Islamic Schools of Thought".

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=219300

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India's 'Inshallah, Football' bags Dubai Film Fest award

Jan 1, 2011

Dubai: The 7th Dubai International Film Festival wrapped up with a glittering ceremony honouring the best of world and regional cinema, with Indian documentary "Inshallah, Football" bagging the Special Mention award.

Directed by Asvin Kumar, "Inshallah, Football" is a poignant drama about a young Kashmiri boy obsessed with football but trapped by circumstances. It was cited in the Muhr AsiaAfrica category.

The festival, which ended Sunday, played host to 157 films from 57 countries, which included an array of contemporary Arab cinema, a competition focused on the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Arab world, Asia and Africa.

The awards ceremony held at the Madinat Jumeirah, showcased the highlight of each section.

Full report at:

http://www.ummid.com/news/2010/December/20.12.2010/indian_doc_at_dubai_film_fest.

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Two Pakistani judges lobbying for promotion face action

Jan 1, 2011

Islamabad: Two Pakistani judges have been issued show-cause notices for trying to influence the Lahore High court chief justice for their promotion and posting.

The Daily Times reported Friday that Lahore High Court Chief Justice Ijaz Ahmad Chaudhry Thursday issued the show-cause notices to the two judicial officers for trying to put external influence on him for their promotion and posting.

Nankana Sahib Additional District and Sessions Judge Muhammad Saleem and Bahawalnagar Civil Judge Shahzad Raza were served the show-cause notices.

Justice Chaudhry told them to explain as to why disciplinary proceedings should not be initiated against them for being guilty of misconduct.

The judges have been directed to file their replies within seven days.

http://www.ummid.com/news/2010/December/31.12.2010/pak_judges_face_action.htm

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Now, only Pak & China nationals need special permits to visit NE

Jan 1, 2011

NEW DELHI: Foreigners, excluding Pakistani and Chinese, visiting India on valid visa will not have to take special permit to travel to Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland from January 1 as government has scrapped the provision to boost tourism in these northeastern states, beginning New Year. The relief, however, won't be applicable to foreigners who would like to go to Arunachal Pradesh. Even in the three exempted states, the relief will initially be for one year.

"The government has decided to exclude Manipur, Mizoram and Nagaland from the Protected Area regime notified under the Foreigners (Protected Areas) Order 1958, initially for a period of one year," a MHA statement said. However, all foreigners visiting these states will have to register themselves with Foreigners Registration Officer (FRO) of the district they visit within 24 hours of their arrival.

The restriction was in force since pre-independence days. Now, Arunachal Pradesh is the only state left in the north-east where foreigners are required to take prior permission before any visit. Citizens of some specified countries, including Pakistan and China, would, however, continue to require prior approval of the MHA before their visit to these three states.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Now-only-Pak-China-nationals-need-special-permits-to-visit-NE/articleshow/7199004.cms#ixzz19letTRh9

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92 arrested in northern Nigeria after recent religious violence

Jan 1, 2011

Jos, Nigeria (CNN) -- Nigerian authorities on Friday arrested 92 people allegedly affiliated with a militant Islamist group that the government says is responsible for a string of recent killings in the country's northeast.

Police blame the group, Boko Haram, for attacks Wednesday that left three police officers and one civilian dead in Maiduguru and for Christmas Eve attacks on two Christian churches in the city that left five dead.

Borno state Police Commissioner Mohammed Abubakar said those arrested were "members of a dangerous religious fundamentalist group... (that) is anti-government."

Maiduguru is the capital of Nigeria's Borno state.

According to IHS Jane's, a defense and security analysis company, Boko Haram is a Sunni militant group that emerged in 2003 and is fighting for the implementation of strict Islamic law in Nigeria.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/africa/12/31/nigeria.arrests/

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Iraqi suspect says unaware of Danish terror plot

By JAN M. OLSEN

Jan 1, 2011

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- An Iraqi immigrant accused of helping plot an attack against a newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad said in an interview published Friday that he was an innocent man arrested while providing three other suspects with an apartment.

Abdullah Muhammed Salman was released a day after his arrest Wednesday due to an apparent lack of evidence. Three men taken into custody with him remain in jail on charges attempting to carry out an act of terrorism and possession of illegal weapons. Police said they found a submachine gun, a handgun and ammunition in raids and believe the men were plotting to open fire inside the Copenhagen offices of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which angered many Muslims by publishing 12 cartoons of Muhammad in 2005.

Salman told the Ekstra Bladet newspaper that a Swedish acquaintance had asked him to find the apartment for a couple in Copenhagen. After arranging a sublet, Salman went to downtown Copenhagen to meet the couple, but instead three men he had previously met only briefly at a mosque in Sweden were waiting for him.

Full report at:

dyn/content/article/2010/12/31/AR2010123100657.html

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PA blasts Israel for allocating $564m for Jewish settlements

Jan 1, 2011

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Friday slammed Israel for allocating two billion Israeli shekels ($564 million) in the 2011 budget to Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories.

Nabil Abu Rudainah, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told the official Wafa news agency that the “Israeli budget is a proof of Israel’s continued insistence to end the peace process and hit the efforts to rescue the peace talks.”

Abu Rudainah added that “the Palestinian position to stop building in settlements, and mainly in Jerusalem, is unchanged.” He added that the “Palestinians want an Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders before the resumption of the peace process.”

On Friday, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the Israeli Knesset on Wednesday approved the 2011-2012 budget of which two billion shekels were allocated to settlements, their services and security, and hundreds of millions of shekels more hidden among the different clauses of the bill.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article227393.ece

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94 journalists killed in 2010 action: report

Jan 1, 2011

Brussels : At least 94 journalists died in violence this year, the International Federation of Journalists said today, adding that Pakistan was the most dangerous place in 2010 for media workers.

“Journalists and media personnel remain prime targets for political extremists, gangsters and terrorists,” the Brussels-based organisation said in a report, adding that The death toll came at the hands of “targeted killings, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents,” it said.

In 2009, the total was 139 journalists.

The IFJ said 15 media workers died in Pakistan this year, adding that the majority of the annual fatalities comprised “victims of violence connected to the insurgency war in Pakistan, the drug war in Mexico as well as the political unrest in Honduras.” The list was issued two days after Danish and Swedish intelligence agencies said they foiled an attack plot against the daily that published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.

“Nearly 100 journalists killed is a heavy loss which ought to stir the world governments into action to offer better protection to journalists,” said Jim Boumelha, IFJ president.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/94-journalists-killed-in-2010-action-report/731657/

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Indians on death row won’t pay blood money

Jan 1, 2011

IT WOULD help them escape the noose. But 17 Indians lodged in a Sharjah jail would rather embrace death than be branded guilty for a crime they claim they did not commit.

The men — 16 from Punjab and one from Haryana — are on death row in the UAE for killing a Pakistani man. On Thursday, they turned down an offer to pay ‘blood money’ to the victim’s kin under a proposed settlement that would have reversed their death sentence.

The 17 accused claim they are innocent and have been framed for the murder of Misri Nazir Khan.

A representative of Khan’s family told the Sharjah Court of Appeal on Thursday that they were ready to settle the case if the accused agreed to pay the blood money to his clients as recompense for the murder.

“The family wants compensation, including diyya (blood money) or qisas (death sentence), if the defendants refuse to pay the compensation,” the representative told the court.

The defence team headed by lawyer Mohammed Salman rejected the offer, saying the accused have not been proven guilty yet, a media report said. But the court told the defence team to give the offer a second thought and fixed the next hearing on February 17.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Army opens its doors to Valley’s stone- pelters

By Arjun Sharma

Jan 1, 2011

THE stone- pelting youths of Kashmir have got a job offer from an unexpected quarter.

The army, against which these youths raise slogans and clamour for the revocation of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act ( AFSPA), has invited them to shun the stones and become soldiers.

Under the influence of separatists, the youths allegedly hurl stones on security forces and press for the withdrawal of both the army and paramilitary units from Kashmir.

The former chief of Northern Command, Lt. General ( retd) B. S. Jaiswal, extended an open invitation to the Valley’s stonepelting youths to enrol in the army. While Jaiswal retired on Friday, he made the offer at the command headquarters on Thursday.

Jaiswal said: “ I welcome these stone- pelters to come to us and join the forces. We will train them and provide them with an opportunity to join the mainstream.” He said Pakistan was fuelling the stone- pelting culture in the Valley by provoking the local youths and asking separatist leaders to stoke the fire.

Full report at: Mail Today

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British PM David Cameron fires 2011 terror warning

Jan 1, 2011

LONDON: Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain had to combat its home-grown Islamic extremism in 2011, in his New Year message released on Friday.

He said 2011 would likewise be a "crucial year" in Afghanistan, where British troops are fighting Taliban insurgents, as the country deals with fighting terror on two fronts.

Cameron also asserted that while 2010 was the year when Britain stopped the rot by facing up to its debts, 2011 would be tough but could be the year that the kingdom "gets back on her feet".

"For many years now we have been aware of the threat we face from international terrorism," he said.

"That threat is still very much with us. And it is as serious today as it ever has been."

He said that going into 2011 the authorities were working "round the clock to foil plots that would do terrible harm to our people and our economy.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/British-PM-David-Cameron-fires-2011-terror-

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WikiLeaks shows US frustrated with Egypt military

Jan 1, 2011

Egypt's military, the biggest recipient of US military aid after Israel, is in decline, according to American diplomats, who blame the Arab nation's top brass for failing to modernize and adapt to deal with new threats.

US diplomatic memos leaked this month show previously unknown friction between the two allies over military assistance and strategy.

Military cooperation has always been seen as an unshakable link between Egypt and the US, even as the political side of the alliance has gone through public ups and downs.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/WikiLeaks-shows-US-frustrated-with-Egypt-

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Iranian filmmaker's arrest triggers protest in Gorakhpur

Kim Arora

Jan 1, 2011

NEW DELHI: A court verdict in Tehran has triggered protest among serious-cinema lovers in Gorakhpur. Last week renowned Iranian film director Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years in jail and banned from making movies for 20 years. Following the judgment, a small group of world cinema lovers in this eastern Uttar Pradesh town have posted a blog urging people to join the movement to free the director of films such as "Offside" and " White Balloon."

The Hindi blog headlined, Jafar Panahi ki mukti abhiyaan mein shamil hon, also gives the link to an online petition to free the filmmaker. The petition has already drawn over 4,800 signatures.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Iranian-filmmakers-arrest-triggers-protest-in-

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Obama pledges to fight Af-Pak region militants

By Anwar Iqbal

Jan 1, 2011

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama pledged on the New Year eve to provide all the tools and training US intelligence professionals needed to fight the insurgents hiding in the Pak-Afghan region and elsewhere.

“We will do everything in our power to ensure the safety and security of the American people,” Mr Obama said in a statement on the anniversary of a terrorist attack in a remote outpost in Khost, Afghanistan, that killed seven CIA officers.

The CIA operatives were killed a year ago by a Jordanian informant who was allowed into the post as a friendly informant but set off explosives rigged to his body.

The attack destroyed what had been a focal point of counter-terrorism for the spy agency.

“As we mark the first anniversary of their sacrifice at Khost, this is the work to which we recommit ourselves today,” Mr Obama said in the statement, and pledged that his government would “ensure that our dedicated intelligence professionals have the training and tools they need to meet the missions we ask of them”.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/01/obama-pledges-to-fight-af-pak-region-militants-2.html

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Twenty hurt in New Year firing

Jan 1, 2011

KARACHI: Intense firing in the air across the city during New Year celebrations on Friday night left at least 20 people injured.

They were taken to the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Civil Hospital and Abbasi Shaheed Hospital.

“We have received 10 people with bullet wounds. There are two women among them,” an official at the medico legal section of the JPMC said. “A youngster brought from Lyari with a wound in the head is being operated upon.” A man in his late 30s was also critically injured.

Injured people were also brought from Clifton, Mehmoodabad and Shah Faisal Colony.

The Abbasi Shaheed Hospital received four injured people from Liaquatabad. —Staff Reporter

http://www.dawn.com/2011/01/01/twenty-hurt-in-new-year-firing.html

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Bil'in woman protester critical after tear-gassing ?

Jan 1, 2011

RAMALLAH: Jawaher Abu Rahmah, 36, was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital after inhaling massive amounts of tear gas toward protesters in Bil'in earlier Friday. She is currently in critical condition and is not responding to treatment. Another protester required hospitalization after being hit in the face with a tear gas projectile shot directly at him.

Doctors at the Ramallah hospital are currently fighting for Jawaher Abu Rahmah's life, after an acute deterioration in her condition Friday evening. She suffered from severe asphyxiation during the demonstration in Bil'in as a result of tear gas inhalation, and was evacuated to the Ramallah hospital. She is currently diagnosed as suffering from poisoning caused by the active ingredient in the tear gas, and is not responding to treatment.

Jawaher Abu Rahmah is the sister of Bassem Abu Rahmah, who was shot dead with a high velocity tear gas projectile during a demonstration in Bil'in on April 17th, 2009.

Over a thousand people heeded to the call issued by the Bil'in Popular Committee Against the Wall and Settlements Friday, and joined the weekly demonstration. Despite the siege laid on the village by the Israeli army, activists — Palestinians, Israelis and internationals — swarmed the hills and valleys surrounding Bil'in by the hundreds and managed to join those already in the village.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article227450.ece

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'I am intelligent,' protests Paula Abdul

Jan 1, 2011

LOS ANGELES: Former "American Idol" judge Paula Abdul said that being perceived as stupid was one of the most annoying misperceptions people have about her.

Abdul, 48, who returns to television next week with her own dance reality competition show, also insisted that she was naturally goofy and that her sometimes volatile public behavior was not the result of drugs or alcohol.

 "I am intelligent, I AM," Abdul told Julie Chen in an interview to be broadcast on "CBS Sunday Morning."

"But, people don't give you enough credit for having a brain," Chen replied, according to a transcript released on Thursday. "Having a brain, that's a concept, yes, with Paula Abdul. I have a brain," Abdul said.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/offbeat/article227258.ece

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Torturing suspects 'the norm’ in Indonesia

Jan 1, 2011

JAKARTA: Law enforcement officials from police to prison wardens routinely torture Indonesian suspects and convicts to extract confessions or obtain information, a new report asserted Friday.

Beatings, intimidation, burnings and rape are so commonplace that they are considered the norm, with few victims ever bothering to lodge complaints, said Restaria Hutabarat of the Jakarta-based Legal Aid Foundation.

The torture findings, published this week, were based on yearlong interviews with 1,154 suspects and prison inmates in the capital, Jakarta, and four other major cities in 2009 and 2010. Questionnaires also were given to 419 police, prosecutors, judges, wardens and rights activists who accompanied suspects during the legal process.

“We found that torture is systematic,” Hutabarat said Friday, adding that it starts with the arrest and continues during interrogations, trials and after imprisonment.

“It is seen as a normal way to get information and extract confessions.” Indonesia, a sprawling archipelago nation of 237 million people, only emerged from decades of dictatorship in 1998.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article227200.ece

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Rawalpindi Shias Commemorate Martyrdom Anniversary of Imam Zain al Abidin

Jan 1, 2011

Agha Moosavi said the ‘dua’ of Imam Zainul Abideen (A.S.) is the source of encouragement for the Islamic world and is a good omen for rooting out enemies of Islam and their hippocratic attitude.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Quaid-i-Millat Jafariya Agha Syed Hamid Ali Shah Moosavi has said that we would have to bow down before Allah to turn Pakistan into peaceful country and to get it rid of international colonial powers to check terrorism, says a press release issued in Rawalpindi on Friday.

This was stated by him in a special message on the occasion of martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Imam Zainul Abideen (A.S.) at the conclusion of International ‘Ashra Beemar-e-Karbala’ that is being observed throughout the country today (Saturday) with religious spirit, devotion and respect.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=219310

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Top Sunni Scholar Fatwa Against Sudan Muslims Voting for Separation

Jan 1, 2011

Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), issued a fatwa declaring that it is not permissible for Muslims in South Sudan to vote for separation from the North.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, Chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars (IUMS), issued a fatwa declaring that it is not permissible for Muslims in South Sudan to vote for separation from the North.

He also called on Muslims and Arabs to unite and form a large entity that brings them all together. The fatwa came in response to a question the Sheikh received on Al-Jazeera TV "Shari`ah and Life" program aired this past Sunday evening (26/12/2010). The question was about the role IUMS should take in a bid to prevent the separation of Southern Sudan, and whether it is religiously permissible for eligible Muslim Sudanese voters to vote in favor of secession.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=219258

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Group says Muslim Children being Bullied at School

Jan 1, 2011

The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) is asking Southern California Muslim families to become familiar with the growing issue of 'school bullying' taking place against Muslim and other children in the nation and report any incidents of bullying or harassment to the CAIR-LA office immediately.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) is asking Southern California Muslim families to become familiar with the growing issue of 'school bullying' taking place against Muslim and other children in the nation and report any incidents of bullying or harassment to the CAIR-LA office immediately.

CAIR-LA has received several complaints from students and parents in Southern California of harassment due to religious, ethnic and national origin. Students have reported ongoing verbal harassment, such as being referred to as "terrorist" or "jihadi" as well as girls, who wear the hijab, being physically assaulted.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=219252

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/pakistanis-rally-in-support-of-blasphemy-law/d/3865


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