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Islamic World News ( 12 Aug 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Pakistanis see US as biggest threat: Al Jazeera-Gallup Poll

Iran Continues the Illegal Detention of Christian Converts

New Fatah leadership boosts Mideast peace efforts

Borneo Man impressed by way of life converts to Islam by Amie PDH Ishak

Radical Islam regeneration remains risk in Indonesia by Ed Davies

ABSOLUTE MONARCHY: Saudi Arabia arrested thousands without trial

Members of Jamaat Tabligh movement convicted in Tajikistan

Islamic bank ratings remain stable despite rapid growth

Saudi Arabia - Saudi Envoy Supervises Distribution of Holy Quran Copies in Algeria

Gilani, Kayani make a confidence-building visit to Swat

Iran: 4,000 arrested in post-election riots, most were released

Chinese envoy: Urumqi riot not to affect ties with Islamic countries

Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World by Heba Amin

Iran’s Women Football Team Visits National Assembly

Muslim students hint of discrimination

Muslim woman 'told to take off veil' by bus driver in Australia by Bonnie Malkin

‘Muslim Camp’ draws UK teens to combat extremism

Taliban gaining upper hand, says American commander

Researchers Doubt Saudi Islamic Curriculum Problems Solved

Albanian shamans and Islamic pluralism Author Veton Surroi

Mehsud's £25m fortune triggers Taliban infighting

Shiites in Iraq Show Restraint as Sunnis Keep Attacking by ROD NORDLAND

Police register case against Musharraf by Munawer Azeem

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau




Pakistanis see US as biggest threat:

Al Jazeera-Gallup Poll


By Owen Fay


About 43 per cent of Pakistanis support dialogue with the Taliban, the survey said [AFP]

A survey commissioned by Al Jazeera in Pakistan has revealed a widespread disenchantment with the United States for interfering with what most people consider internal Pakistani affairs.

The polling was conducted by Gallup Pakistan, an affiliate of the Gallup International polling group, and more than 2,600 people took part.


Interviews were conducted across the political spectrum in all four of the country's provinces, and represented men and women of every economic and ethnic background.


When respondents were asked what they consider to be the biggest threat to the nation of Pakistan, 11 per cent of the population identified the Taliban fighters, who have been blamed for scores of deadly bomb attacks across the country in recent years.


Another 18 per cent said that they believe that the greatest threat came from neighbouring India, which has fought three wars with Pakistan since partition in 1947.


But an overwhelming number, 59 per cent of respondents, said the greatest threat to Pakistan right now is, in fact, the US, a donor of considerable amounts of military and development aid.


Tackling the Taliban


The resentment was made clearer when residents were asked about the Pakistan's military efforts to tackle the Taliban.


Keeping with recent trends a growing number of people, now 41 per cent, supported the campaign.


About 24 per cent of people remained opposed, while another 22 per cent of Pakistanis remained neutral on the question.


A recent offensive against Taliban fighters in the Swat, Lower Dir and Buner districts of North West Frontier Province killed at least 1,400 fighters, according to the military, but also devastated the area and forced two million to leave their homes.


The military has declared the operation a success, however, some analysts have suggested that many Taliban fighters simply slipped away to other areas, surviving to fight another day.


When people were asked if they would support government-sanctioned dialogue with Taliban fighters if it were a viable option the numbers change significantly.


Although the same 41 per cent said they would still support the military offensive, the number of those supporting dialogue leaps up to 43 per cent.


So clearly, Pakistanis are, right now, fairly evenly split on how to deal with the Taliban threat.


Drone anger


However, when asked if they support or oppose the US military's drone attacks against what Washington claims are Taliban and al-Qaeda targets, only nine per cent of respondents reacted favourably.


A massive 67 per cent say they oppose US military operations on Pakistani soil.



Forty-one per cent of Pakistanis say they support the offensive against the Taliban

"This is a fact that the hatred against the US is growing very quickly, mainly because of these drone attacks," Makhdoom Babar, the editor-in-chief of Pakistan's The Daily Mail newspaper, said.


"Maybe the intelligence channels, the military channels consider it productive, but for the general public it is controversial ... the drone attacks are causing collateral damage," he told Al Jazeera.


A senior US official told Al Jazeera he was not surprised by the poll's findings.


The US has a considerable amount of work to do to make itself better understood to the Muslim world, he said.


And it would take not only educational and economic work to win over the Pakistani people but also a concerted effort to help the Pakistani government deal with "extremist elements" that are trying to disrupt security within Pakistan, he added.


Nearly 500 people, mostly suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters, are believed to have been killed in about 50 US drone attacks since August last year, according to intelligence agents, local government officials and witnesses.


Washington refuses to confirm the raids, but the US military in neighbouring Afghanistan and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) are the only forces operating in the area that are known to have the technology.


The government in Islamabad formally opposes the attacks saying that they violate Pakistani sovereignty and cause civilian casualties which turn public opinion against efforts to battle the Taliban.


Lieutenant-General Hamid Nawaz Khan, a former caretaker interior minister of Pakistan, told Al Jazeera that US pressure on Pakistan to take on the Taliban was one reason for the backlash.


"Americans have forced us to fight this 'war on terror'... whatever Americans wanted they have been able to get because this government was too weak to resist any of the American vultures and they have been actually committing themselves on the side of America much more than what even [former president] Pervez Musharraf did," he said.


Pakistani leadership


The consensus of opinion in opposition to US military involvement in Pakistan is notable given the fact that on a raft of internal issues there is a clear level of disagreement, something which would be expected in a country of this size.


When asked for their opinions on Asif Ali Zardari, the current Pakistani president, 42 per cent of respondents said they believed he was doing a bad job. Around 11 per cent approved of his leadership, and another 34 per cent had no strong opinion either way.


That pattern was reflected in a question about Zardari's Pakistan People's party (PPP).


Respondents were asked if they thought the PPP was good or bad for the country.


About 38 per cent said the PPP was bad for the country, 20 per cent believed it was good for the country and another 30 per cent said they had no strong opinion. 


Respondents were even more fractured when asked for their views on how the country should be led.


By far, the largest percentage would opt for Nawaz Sharif, a former prime minister and leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-N (PML-N) party, as leader. At least 38 per cent backed him to run Pakistan.


Last month, the Pakistani supreme court quashed Sharif's conviction on charges of hijacking, opening the way for him to run for political office again.


Zardari 'unpopular'


Zardari, the widower of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, received only nine per cent support, while Reza Gilani, Pakistan's prime minister, had the backing of 13 per cent.



The survey suggests Sharif is Pakistan's most popular politician by some distance [AFP] But from there, opinions vary greatly. Eight per cent of the population would support a military government, 11 per cent back a political coalition of the PPP and the PML-N party.

Another six per cent would throw their support behind religious parties and the remaining 15 per cent would either back smaller groups or simply do not have an opinion.


Babar told Al Jazeera that Zardari's unpopularity was understandable given the challenges that the country had faced since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US.


"Any president in Pakistan would be having the same popularity that President Zardari is having, because under this situation the president of Pakistan has to take a lot of unpopular decisions," he said.


"He is in no position to not take unpopular decisions that are actually in the wider interests of the country, but for common people these are very unpopular decisions."


For the complete poll results, click here.



Iran Continues the Illegal Detention of Christian Converts

Washington, D.C. (August 10, 2009)

International Christian Concern (ICC) has learned that Iranian authorities told Maryam Rustampoor and Marzieh Amirizadeh, converts from Islam to Christianity, to recant their Christian faith during a hearing before a revolutionary court in Tehran on August 9.

Maryam, 27, and Marzieh, 30, were first arrested on March 5, 2009, for leaving Islam. Iranian authorities kept them in solitary confinement at the infamous Evin prison, deprived them of medical attention, and blindfolded and interrogated them for long periods of time.

At the time of hearing before the court, the deputy public prosecutor, Haddad, asked Maryam and Marzieh about their faith and told them to recant their belief in Christ. When he asked them if they were Christians, they replied, “We love Jesus.” He then repeated his question, and they said, “Yes, we are Christians.”

When he said, “You were Muslims and now you have become Christians,” their reply was, “We were born in Muslim families, but we were not Muslims.”

During the questioning, when they made reference to their belief that God had convicted them through the Holy Spirit, the deputy public prosecutor said, “It is impossible for God to speak with humans.” In return, Marzieh asked, “Are you questioning whether God is Almighty?” The prosecutor replied, “You are not worthy for God to speak to you.” Then Marzieh said, “It is God, and not you, who determines if I am worthy.”

At the end of the hearing, the deputy prosecutor told them to take time to think about the option of returning back to Islam, but Maryam and Marzieh replied, “We have already done our thinking.”

After the questioning, they were taken back to the prison.

Five months of abuse and mistreatment by Iranian authorities has taken a toll on their health. They have lost weight and are denied access to medical care. Marzieh is suffering due to pain in her spin, a tooth infection, and intense headaches.      

Jonathan Racho, ICC’s Regional Manager for Africa and the Middle East, said, “We ask Iranian officials to free Maryam and Marzieh. Iran must respect their right to follow the religion of their choice. In this century, it’s unconscionable for any country to force its citizens to adhere to any particular religion.”

Please pray for Maryam and Marzieh’s health. Also pray that God will continue to give them strength and courage.


Borneo Man impressed by way of life converts to Islam

By Amie PDH Ishak

A conversion ceremony was held yesterday for Jekessoh Nyambong at the home of Hj Mohammad Hj Ibrahim in STKRJ Mata-Mata Gadong. Jekessoh Nyambong chose his Muslim name as 'Mohammad Aman Abdullah Nyambong' and said that he converted because he was impressed by the Islamic way of life.

He was converted to Islam by Shambri Hj Mohd Som, an officer from the Islamic Dakwah Centre, and is the second in his family of seven to convert to Islam.

Also present at yesterday's ceremony were the penghulus and village heads of Kg Hujung Bukit, officers from the Islamic Dakwah Centre, as well as friends and relatives of Mohd Aman Abdullah.

Full Report at:


Radical Islam regeneration remains risk in Indonesia

Tue Aug 11, 2009

By Ed Davies - Analysis

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Capturing or killing Noordin Mohammad Top would bolster confidence in Indonesia's security but the capacity of militants to regenerate means radical Islam will remain a risk for Southeast Asia's biggest economy regardless.

Malaysian-born Top is a prime suspect in last month's near simultaneous suicide attacks on Jakarta's JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels which killed nine people and wounded 53.

Three suspects were killed, five arrested and half-a-tonne of explosives was seized in weekend raids, although early confidence that the elusive Top was among the dead appears to be fading.

Forensic tests including on DNA, finger prints and hair do not match the militant, a police source told Reuters on Monday.

Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert based in Singapore, said it was important not to get fixated on Top.

"Certainly neutralizing Noordin Top is crucial for Indonesia's strategy to bring down the entire terrorist network," he said. "But neutralizing Noordin Top is not going to kill terrorism."

Full Report at:


Saudi Arabia arrested thousands without trial- HRW

Aug 10, 2009

Saudi Arabia detained thousands of people, group says

* Second rights group to criticise U.S. ally within weeks

* Saudi interior ministry declines to comment

RIYADH, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has detained thousands of people as part of its anti-terrorism drive without charging them and sometimes even ignoring court rulings ordering their release, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

New York-based HRW is the second international rights body to criticise the U.S. ally and the world's biggest oil exporter for violating human rights on security grounds. Amnesty International issued a similar report in July. [ID: nLL497643]

In a report, HRW said the General Directorate for Investigations, the domestic intelligence agency, was holding an unknown number of people in its prisons, among them foreigners, and dissidents demanding democratic reforms.

HRW estimated that more than 9,000 had been held since al Qaeda launched a campaign in 2003, of whom probably between 2,000 and 4,000 were still detained, said Christoph Wilcke, the author of the report.

Full Report at:


Members of Jamaat Tablig movement convicted in Tajikistan

11 August 2009

Dushanbe, August 11, Interfax - The Supreme Court of Tajikistan has convicted five members of the Jamaat Tablig movement for making public calls for a forcible change of the constitutional system of Tajikistan, a crime enshrined by Article 304 of the Tajik Criminal Code, the court reported on Tuesday.

Jamaat Tablig is a movement which promotes closer observance of what it says are the norms of Islam. Although it is not an officially registered religious movement, Jamaat Tablig is widespread in the countries of South Asia, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and India. The authorities of these countries do not consider the movement to be dangerous. In Russia Jamaat Tablig is on the list of terrorist organizations. The convictions on Tuesday are the first such sentences imposed on Jamaat Tablig activists in Tajikistan.

Full Report at:


Islamic bank ratings remain stable despite rapid growth

Andy McDonough

Aug 10, 2009

Moody's Investors Service says that the ratings of entities in the fast-growing Islamic banking sector are stable, largely thanks to their ample liquidity, high profit margins and conservative leveraging. Nevertheless, Moody's cautions in its latest report on the sector that future upgrades may be constrained by issues relating to Islamic banks' under-utilised excessive liquidity, inadequate corporate governance and weak risk management, particularly in terms of the handling of asset-liability maturity mismatches.

Moody's new Special Comment, entitled "The Liquidity/Leverage Trade-Off for Islamic Banks", evaluates the liquidity and leverage trade-offs for Islamic financial institutions (IFIs) in a changing environment and assesses the impact that this exchange will have on their ratings. "IFIs have traditionally demonstrated low leverage for religious reasons, but also because of their very profitable assets, cheap deposits and high levels of core capital. However, the resulting reliance on concentrated short-term liquid assets to finance liabilities means that Islamic banks' balance sheets are deficient in medium- to long-term funding instruments," explains Anouar Hassoune, a Moody's Vice President -- Senior Credit Officer Analyst.

Full Report at:


Saudi Arabia - Saudi Envoy Supervises Distribution of Holy Quran Copies in Algeria

Saudi Ambassador to Algeria Dr. Sami bin Abdullah Al-Saleh has supervised the distribution of thousands of copies of the Holy Quran printed at King Fahd Complex for Printing the Holy Quran in Madinah as well as translation of its meanings into French language in Algeria.

Hundreds of mosques and charitable, cultural and scholarly societies and foundations in Algeria have received copies of the Holy Quran.

He noted that translation of the meanings of the Holy Quran into more than 60 languages and its delivery to all Muslims practically embodies the Kingdom's policy in highlighting the noble meanings of the Holy Quran.

Full Report at:


Gilani, Kayani make a confidence-building visit to visit Swat

Nirupama Subramanian

A confidence-building move

Confusion on militants’ death persists

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani made a confidence-building visit to Swat on Monday accompanied by Army chief Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the Provincial Governor and two Chief Ministers.

This was the first visit by the country’s political leadership after the anti-Taliban military operation in the valley apparently aimed at sending out the message that it is safe for people to return to their homes.

The United Nations said last Saturday that 7.6 lakh registered displaced people had returned to their homes in Swat and the adjoining Buner district.

The returns have been taking place since July 13, when the government officially declared victory in the military operations and asked people to return to their homes. But 1.3 million people are still displaced.

Full Report at:


Iran: 4,000 arrested in post-election riots, most were released

Aug 11, 2009

Spokesman of the Iranian Judiciary Authority stated that during the June post-elections uproar some 4,000 people were arrested, the Iranian Labor News Agency reported.

This constitutes the highest number of riot detainees being stated by an official Iranian source thus far. According to the spokesman, approximately 3,700 of the detainees were released within a week of their arrest. (Dudi Cohen)

Full Report at:,7340,L-3760240,00.html


Chinese envoy: Urumqi riot not to affect ties with Islamic countries

The riot won't affect the relationship between China and Islamic countries, said a Chinese envy.

·The relationship between China and Islamic countries has a "firm foundation," he said.

·The Islamic countries have showed their understanding and support, he said.

    BEIJING, Aug. 11 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese envoy said Tuesday that the deadly riot in northwestern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region would not affect "sound relationship" between China and Islamic countries.

    "The incident won't impose a negative impact on the relationship between China and Islamic countries," said Wu Sike, China's Special Envoy to he Middle East, at a news briefing after he concluded a four-nation visit in the Middle East earlier this month.

Full Report at:


Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World

By Heba Amin, August 10, 2009

The objective of this book is to present an illustrative introduction to a select number of Muslim women who have lived extraordinary lives and gone on to influence their communities in a positive way, often overcoming extreme hardship and defying inaccurate stereotypes about the role of women in Islam.

The list of women in this book is in no way comprehensive or exhaustive - nor is the book meant to be an academic study of their lives or a guide to what makes a good Muslim, per se. However, it is hoped that readers will gain a better understanding of the positive impact many Muslim women have had throughout the ages - irrespective of their nationality, race and profession - and hopefully feel inspired to pursue their life goals with increased vigor and compassion.



ISLAMABAD: Acting Speaker National Assembly, Faisal Karim Kundi has said that Pakistan values its relations with Iran in high esteem and both the countries are tied in the bonds of religion, culture and history.

Talking to the players of visiting Women Football Team of Iran that called on Acting Speaker after witnessing the proceedings of NA session in the Parliament House today, the Acting Speaker said that sportsmen were the ambassadors of their country and they play vital role in developing friendly relations with people and government of the country they visit.

He said that the visit of Iranian Women Football Team revealed the spirit and closeness of friendly relations between the two fraternal countries. He said that such visits always generate goodwill and this visit of the Iranian Women Football Team will bring further closer the governments and people of Iran and Pakistan.

Full Report at:


Ghana Muslim students hint of pressure to convert

10 August 2009

The Ghana Muslims Students Association (GMSA) claims some of its members in some second-cycle institutions are being discriminated against.

The association says the authorities of public schools established by other religious bodies were exerting pressure on Muslim students to convert.

The situation, GMSA says is forcing Muslim students in such schools to drop out of school in order to avoid indoctrination.

GMSA Spokesperson, Mohammed Saani told Joy News the heads of the senior high schools in question were flagrantly violating provisions of the 1992 Constitution which guarantees freedom of worship.

He will not mention any school but calls on the president to intervene to avert a possible confrontation between students and school authorities.

A petition, he said, cataloguing cases of bias against Muslim students presented to the presidency was yet to receive attention.

He lamented the conversion of some Muslim girls, blaming it on pressure from school authorities.

Full Report at:


Muslim woman 'told to take off veil' by bus driver in Australia

By Bonnie Malkin in Sydney

24 Jul 2009

A Muslim woman has accused a Sydney bus driver of racism after he told her to take off her headscarf because it was against the law to wear it on board.

Khadijah Ouararhni-Grech was wearing a pink, floral niqab, which covers her hair and lower face, when she tried to board a bus in Greystanes, an outer suburb of the Astralian city.

"As I was stepping onto the bus the driver said 'You can't get on the bus wearing your mask'," she told the Sydney Daily Telegraph newspaper.

When she explained it was religious dress, the woman said the driver responded: "Sorry, it's the law."

"I told him it wasn't the law and he said 'You have to show me your face,'" she said.

"I said to him, 'There's no difference between me and that lady sitting there who chooses to not wear what I'm wearing'."

Full Report at:


‘Muslim Camp’ draws UK teens to combat extremism

11 August 2009

 More than 1,000 young Muslims attend 3-day retreat

*Tahirul Qadri says saving the younger generation from radicalisation his duty

Scholar seeks to combat extremism with spirituality

COVENTRY: Like any rousing Islamic preacher, Muhammed Tahirul Qadri's voice rises to a shout and his index finger jabs as he hammers home a point.

But rather than angry calls for jihad (holy war) or a vitriolic denunciation of the West and its aggressions against Islam, Qadri's message, equally forcefully delivered, is about moderation, peace, inclusion and understanding.

Addressing a packed auditorium from a raised platform, his words beamed onto large screen behind him, more than 1,000 young followers hang on his every word, even as his lecture moves into its fourth uninterrupted hour.

"Islam is not a religion of seclusion, it is not a religion of detachment," he thunders from the dais, occasionally pausing to wipe the sweat from his brow or adjust his spectacles. "Any killer of a non-Muslim citizen, he will go to hell. Those who are committing terroristic acts from Pakistan and Afghanistan and claiming it is jihad – they do not know what jihad is. It is forbidden," he hollers, to shouts of approval from his listeners.

Full Report at:\08\11\story_11-8-2009_pg7_24


Taliban gaining upper hand, says American commander

11 August 2009

Gen McChrystal says he plans to shift more troops to Kandahar to ensure Afghan city is secure

WASHINGTON: The top US military commander in Afghanistan says the Taliban have gained the upper hand in the country, forcing the United States to change its strategy by increasing the number of troops in heavily populated areas, The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

General Stanley McChrystal told the newspaper in an interview the militant group was moving beyond its traditional strongholds in southern Afghanistan to threaten formerly stable areas in the north and west.

The militants are mounting sophisticated attacks that combine roadside bombs with ambushes by small teams of heavily armed militants, causing significant numbers of US fatalities, the general said, according to the report.

Full Report at:\08\11\story_11-8-2009_pg20_1


Exclusive: Researchers Dubious that Islamic Saudi Academy Curriculum Problems Solved

11 August 2009

A recent National Review article carried an analysis of the textbooks used for the 2008-2009 school year by the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA), the Virginia school founded by a decree of Saudi King Fahd in 1984. The authors state they were not persuaded that problems with the curriculum had been solved. Their specific criticisms included:

    * Jihad is a central tenet of Islam and is raised multiple times in the Koran. Saudi textbooks describe jihad as “the summit of Islam” and “one of the most magnificent acts of obedience to God,” and endorse its militant form for both defensive and aggressive purposes. ISA’s new texts, however, make no mention of militant jihad, not even as a defensive measure. And they make only a single passing reference to the alternative view of jihad. (Buried toward the end of a twelfth-grade text is a two-line reference to the “greater jihad” — the obligation “to do jihad against Satan, selfish desire and capriciousness.”) At a time when many Muslim radicals proclaim the merits of militant jihad, ignoring the issue almost completely will not suffice to orient students toward the peaceful interpretation. One must wonder whether the books were even intended to do such a thing.

Full Report at:


Albanian shamans and Islamic pluralism

Author: Veton Surroi, 10 August 2009

The editor of Koha (Prishtina) and perhaps Kosova's best know journalist comments on the themes of Stephen Schwartz's 'The Other Islam: Sufism and the dialogue about respect', an Albanian edition of which has recently appeared in Kosova.

I - It must have been in the nature of the Albanians – the curiosity to look at history from inside just like children who want to know how toys function. Maybe only in this simplified and almost cynical way can we interpret one of those centuries-long investigations (‘how does religion work?’, ‘what’s the name of God?’, ‘can he watch us when we sleep’ etc.) when the Albanian lands became the latest stop for a long shamanic journey that originated from somewhere deep in Central Asia’s spaces.

The shamans, mystics who identify themselves as mediators between God and man, by using a variety of means from music and dances to hallucinogens, and who in their long journey seem to have met, somewhere between Afghanistan and Persia, the prophecy of a religion, would identify in the latter the framework of a moral code. After melding their mysticism with a monotheist religious order like Islam, they would continue their journey towards the West until they reached their most advanced position, among Albanians.

After a journey of seven centuries, it was only among Albanians that Sufism (known in Albanian lands as tarikate, including Bektashis, Mevlevis, Rufais and other names from the 12-member family) found a safe home in Europe. And through Albanians it reached also America, with the first teqe opened in Michigan by Baba Rexheb Beqiri.

As if all this story were not interesting enough, with the Albanians taking the journey of the Central Asian shamans to a teqe near the automobile plants in America, now comes Stephen Schwartz, American journalist, son of a Christian mother and a Jewish father, a former communist with great interest in the Latin American revolutions, who travels to the Balkans to cover the wars in former Yugoslavia only to discover and to embrace the call of Sufism and to author, among many books, a new one with the Albanian title Islami Tjetër: Sufízmi dhe rrëfimi për respektin [The Other Islam: Sufism and the dialogue about respect, KOHA, Prishtina, 2009].

Full Report at:


Mehsud's £25m fortune triggers Taliban infighting

PTI 12 August 2009

LONDON: Taliban commanders in Pakistan are fighting a bloody battle to take control over slain leader Baitullah Mehsud's whopping £25 million

fortune, British media claimed on Tuesday.

Quoting sources close to the Taliban, the British newspaper Daily Telegraph reported that Mehsud had built a vast financial empire on drug and weapon smuggling, "tolls" on haulage and transport bosses, and donations from al-Qaida and wealthy Arabs.

Mehsud, who took the Taliban's jihad into Pakistan's cities with suicide bomb attacks, is believed to have been killed last week in a US drone attack on his father-in-law's home in South Waziristan. According to the report quoting Pakistani government officials and some Taliban sources, Mehsud, his father-in-law, wife, brother and seven of his fighters were killed in the attack in Zagara village.

Full Report at:


Shiites in Iraq Show Restraint as Sunnis Keep Attacking


BAGHDAD — Shiite clerics and politicians have been successfully urging their followers not to retaliate against a fierce campaign of sectarian bombings, in which Shiites have accounted for most of the 566 Iraqis killed since American troops pulled out of Iraq’s cities on June 30.

“Let them kill us,” said Sheik Khudair al-Allawi, the imam of a mosque bombed recently. “It’s a waste of their time. The sectarian card is an old card and no one is going to play it anymore. We know what they want, and we’ll just be patient. But they will all go to hell.”

The patience of the Shiites today is in extraordinary contrast to Iraq’s recent past. With a demographic majority of 60 percent and control of the government, power is theirs for the first time in a thousand years. Going back to sectarian war is, as both Sunni extremists and Shiite victims know, the one way they could lose all that, especially if they were to drag their Sunni Arab neighbors into a messy regional conflict.

It is a far cry from 2006, when a bomb set off at the sacred Shiite shrine in Samarra killed no one, but ignited a fury at the sacrilege that set off two years of sectarian warfare.

This year the equally important shrine of Kadhimiya in Baghdad, the tomb of two revered Shiite imams, was attacked by suicide bombers twice, in January and April. More than a hundred people were killed, but there was no retaliation.

Full Report at:


New Fatah leadership boosts Mideast peace efforts

12 August 2009

BETHLEHEM, West Bank - Fatah has elected a rejuvenated leadership that will likely bring the mainstream Palestinian movement more in line with President Barack Obama’s vision for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement, according to unofficial results released Tuesday.

But a reluctant Israel and militant Islamic Hamas stranglehold on the Gaza Strip pose formidable obstacles on the road toward a peace accord.

The voting for Fatah’s two main decision making bodies, the Central Committee and the larger Revolutionary Council, was the highlight of the first convention held in two decades by the movement founded by the late Yasser Arafat. The meeting was scheduled for three days but has stretched into its eighth because of acrimonious wrangling.

Official results have not yet been released, but the vote appeared to present a new Fatah leadership that removed some of the old-time exiled revolutionaries who urged armed struggle in favor of pragmatic, younger grass-roots activists who grew up in the West Bank and Gaza and support negotiating a peace treaty with Israel.

The fresh faces on the Fatah leadership bodies are not newcomers to the scene. Instead, most are local grass-roots activists who have long clamored for a voice in Palestinian policy making.

Full Report at:


Police register case against Musharraf

By Munawer Azeem

12 Aug, 2009

ISLAMABAD: Police registered on Tuesday a case against former president Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf and his unnamed collaborators on charges of detaining judges of superior courts and their families in their houses after the proclamation of emergency on Nov 3, 2007.

The Secretariat Police registered the case at around 9am after 18 hours of discussion with senior police officers and officials of the interior ministry.

The case was registered in accordance with an order issued by the district additional and sessions judge on Monday after four months of hearing of petitions submitted by Advocate Chaudhry Aslam Ghuman.

In the FIR, the former president and his collaborators had been charged under sections PPC 344 and 34 which deal with wrongful confinement for 10 or more days and acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention.

Full Report at: