New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 28 March 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Pope Washes Feet of Two Girls, Two Muslims at Youth Prison in Rome

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Europe

Pope washes feet of two girls, two Muslims at youth prison in Rome

WUC Condemns Sentences Handed Down to 20 Uyghurs

France says Mali troops to be cut to 1,000 by year-end

UK terrorism report says Pakistan is still a threat

British counter-jihad blogs targeted in "massive" cyber attack

Algerian radicals taken out by army

Compare the lives of Muslims living in UK with the ones in Pakistan

Cyprus jails Hezbollah operative for Israel attacks plot

 

India

Shia Cleric to Be Hanged In Saudi Arabia, Shias Protest All over the World

Muslim women can’t go for Haj alone: Kerala govt

Charter for Muslims to be implemented before Lok Sabha polls: Azam Khan

Hyderabad Muslims under siege post-Dilsukhnagar blasts, says fact-finding report

Gujarat: English schooling for Rs 11 in Muslim area

India worries for its workers as Nitaqat crackdown continues

Cops get cash awards for investigating 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks

 

Arab World

Saudi Senior Cleric: This is “Civil War” not “Jihad” in Syria

95 Asian Detained In Mecca over Un-Islamic Rituals

24 killed as car bombs target Shia mosques in Iraq

A seven-year-old boy takes up arms against Assad

Syria Kurds help Shiite, Sunni fighters negotiate: NGO

Iraq commutes Saudi inmate’s death sentence

Spousal allowance is a life-saver, say scholarship students

Liberals, Islamists at odds over controversial protest law

Syria’s War Invades a Campus That Acted as a Sanctuary

Iraq Rejects $4B Egypt Request, Talks Ongoing

Assad urges BRICS to help ‘stop the violence’ in Syria

Syria rebels destroy plane carrying Iranian arms: activists

 

Southeast Asia

Indonesian Anti-Terror Cops Accused of Fuelling Jihad

Obedience to country’s leaders an obligation, Malaysian Muslims told

Jakarta Court Jails Two Aceh Terrorists

Muhammadiyah Threaten to File Judicial Review against Mass Organizations Bill

No action so far against Zul Noordin ‘because he is Muslim’, says Hindu Sangam chief

Church group wants GE13 hopefuls to uphold religious liberty for all

MIC leaders tell Zul Noordin to ‘shut up’ and apologise

 

Africa

Tunisia to investigate video of police 'dragging and assaulting' a woman

Major Sufi shrine in Libya destroyed

Has Boko Haram Leader Abubakar Shekau Returned To Nigeria From Mali?

South Sudan Military Says 163 Killed in Clashes

Qaeda offshoot in North Africa joins Twitter

 

Pakistan

Pashto Film Actress Takes a Swipe at the Maulana Fazl ur Rehman

Taliban bomber kills ten in Peshawar, 31 wounded

‘Caretaker govts testament to politicians’ maturity’

Jamaat-i-Islami Gujranwala chief shot, injured

Muttahida man killed, two friends wounded

Reconciliation: Pakistan committed to peace in Afghanistan, states FO

PML-N was 'top priority' for seat adjustments: Fazl ur Rehman

With a pledge to end debts, transgenders to contest elections from Karachi

Shoe thrown at Musharraf in a Pakistan court

Court extends pre-arrest bail of Pervez Musharraf, bars him from leaving Pak

Fauzia Siddiqui announces to contest election against Pervez Musharraf

Taliban extending reach across Pakistan

 

South Asia

Help Rohingya Muslims to get citizenship rights in Myanmar: OIC

Myanmar govt slams religious extremism

Sri Lanka deploys forces after Muslim store torched in Colombo

Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of wrecking peace hopes

160 Afghans held in Chaghai under the Foreigners Act

Sri Lanka boosts security after anti-Muslim attack

2 die as BNP-Jamaat men clash with Awami League

Bangladesh PM wants constructive criticism from media

Vote-buying, political polarisation, challenges for 2013 Maldives elections

Court sentences Humam for six years on charges of using cannabis

 

Mideast Asia

Christians flock to Jerusalem on the occasion of Good Friday

Journalist jailed for posting ‘insulting’ image of Abbas

Iran, North Korea, Syria block UN arms trade treaty

Turkey and Israel Feel the Effect as Syria’s Civil War Fuels Tensions at Borders

Israel beefs up security for ‘land day’

 

North America

US to provide Maldives with cost-free border control system

US ex-soldier 'fought in Syria with terror group'

 

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Pope Francis kisses the foot of a prisoner at the Casal Del Marmo Youth Detention Center during the Mass of the Lord's Supper on Thursday, March 28, in Rome

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/w-age-islam-news-bureau/pope-washes-feet-of-two-girls,-two-muslims-at-youth-prison-in-rome/d/10940

 

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Europe

 

Pope washes feet of two girls, two Muslims at youth prison in Rome

By Alessandro Speciale

March 29, 2013

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday (March 28) washed the feet of 12 young inmates, including two girls and two Muslims, during a Maundy Thursday Mass at a youth detention centre in Rome.

The Argentine pontiff, who has shown an eagerness to break with tradition in the two weeks since his election to the papacy on March 13, chose to celebrate the rite in the Casal del Marmo prison in northwest Rome, rather than in the traditional venue of the St. John Lateran Basilica.

Francis has repeatedly stated his desire to bring the papacy and the church closer to the poor and the marginalized.

The inclusion of two women in the rite — which commemorates Jesus’ washing of the feet of the apostles on the night before his death — is also a first for a pope, but Francis had already done so as archbishop of Buenos Aires.

As all of Jesus’ apostles were men, popes usually washed the feet of 12 male priests. Outside the Vatican, many bishops will wash only the feet of men.

In a brief, unscripted homily, Francis explained that the foot-washing ceremony exemplifies Jesus’ message that men — including those in positions of power and authority — must be in service of each other.

“Among us, who is above must be in service of the others,” he said. “This doesn’t mean we have to wash each other’s feet every day, but we must help one another.”

Media access to the youth prison was limited since most inmates are minors, but the Vatican’s chief spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, reported that Francis knelt in front of the 12 youths and kissed their feet after having washed and dried them.

“It was an impressive gesture,” he said, adding that it was also “physically taxing.”

After the Mass, the pope personally greeted all the inmates as well as the prison’s staff and volunteers. “Do not let yourselves be robbed of hope,” he told the young offenders before leaving.

The Casal del Marmo youth prison houses 49 inmates aged 14-21, mostly coming from North Africa and Eastern Europe.

Earlier on Thursday, at a solemn Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica that marks the beginning of Easter celebrations for the Catholic Church, Francis called on priests to avoid becoming “managers” and “collectors of antiques or novelties.”

He urged them to “go out of themselves,” into the “outskirts where there is suffering, bloodshed, blindness that longs for sight, and prisoners in thrall to many evil masters.”

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Religion News Service LLC.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/on-faith/pope-washes-feet-of-two-girls-two-

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WUC Condemns Sentences Handed Down to 20 Uyghurs

 March 29, 2013 

The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) strongly condemns the sentencing of 20 Uyghurs from between 5 years and life on charges of separatism and terrorism by the local courts in Kashgar and Bayingolin Prefectures and calls upon the international community and democratic countries around the world to urge the Chinese government to free the Uyghur political prisoners, to take stock of the current political conditions of East Turkestan, and demonstrate resoluteness for the protection of freedoms and liberties for the Uyghur people.

The fact that 20 Uyghur men were accused of using the Internet, mobile phones and digital storage devices to organise, lead and participate in a terrorist organisation with the intent to incite splittism, demonstrate how weak and poorly defined the concept of “terrorism” is within China’s Criminal Laws. According to the Chinese government media outlet, Tianshan Net, to access some Youtube videos and news websites were recorded as the main source of indictment.

The indictments and sentences for these 20 Uyghur men is an exhibition of the daily repressions of the basic freedoms and liberties in the People's Republic of China. Recently this month, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported an increase in detention of minority journalists in the PRC, adding further evidence to the lack of freedom of expression and alternative opinions being exercised by the peoples in the PRC. The use of the word `terrorism` to define and describe the crimes of these 20 Uyghur men show that the “war on terror” is still being utilised by the Chinese government to repress the Uyghur political and cultural voices in East Turkestan.

During the spread of democratisation waves in the Middle East and increasing calls of reform to the new leadership in China, the sentences represent a challenge for the democratic world and those who seek the protection of human rights. More importantly, increasing degree of censorship and limitations on the internet use and the freedom of press demonstrate that the expected evolution of the Chinese political system towards liberalisation and opening with economic developments will not happen through the current political structure.

After the sentences, the WUC leadership expressed its disappointment with the new Chinese leadership. WUC President Ms Rebiya Kadeer stated that, “With the sentences of 20 Uyghur men on separatism and terrorism charges, China’s new leadership showed its indifference for human rights and democracy, thus demonstrating that it is going to continue with the “strike hard” practises of the previous regimes. It further indicates that the Chinese government will not contribute to the peaceful resolution of the conflict in the region in the near future, preferring instead to continue its counterproductive and destructive practises.”

Rebiya Kadeer also stated that “The Chinese government has undertaken an intensified campaign of intimidation against the Uyghur people since unrest in Urumchi July 2009. The successive announcements of harsh sentencing of Uyghurs show no sign of relenting. The Chinese government has become so emboldened as to sentence Uyghurs to death on Human Rights Day, which is a commemoration of international standards of behaviour. By terrorizing the Uyghur population through so-called legal means, the Chinese government is merely sowing the seeds of further hatred between peoples in East Turkestan that will only lead to more instability and tension in east Turkestan and the region.”

The five cases reported by Tianshan on March 26, 2013 detailed the following crimes and sentences given to these Uyghur men:

Kadirjan Omer sentenced to life on charges of organising and leading a terrorist group; Memtimin Bekri sentenced to life imprisonment for organising a terrorist group; Yasinjan Semet sentenced to 15 years for organising a terrorist group; Tohti Baki, Iminjan Memettursun, Emetjan Abliz, Alim Baki and Kerim Ghopur sentenced to between five years to ten years for participating in a terrorist group.

Rozi Barat sentenced to life on charges of organising and leading a terrorist group, as well as disorderly conduct; Abdukerim Abliz sentenced to life for the crime of organizing and leading a terrorist group, as well as disorderly conduct; Yusuf Emet Rozi Niyaz, Nurmemet Rahman and Turghunjan Tursun sentenced to 12 years to 14 years for participating in a terrorist group and disorderly conduct.

Memet Ehmet sentenced to 15 years on charges organising and leading a terrorist group; Ehmetjan Ehet sentenced to 13 years for organising and leading a terrorist group and also illegally crossing the border; Mehmut Tursun sentenced to 10 years for participating in a terrorist group and illegally crossing the border.

Mehmut Abliz sentenced to 15 years on charges of organising and leading a terrorist group; Abdukerim Ghopur sentenced to 10 years for participating in a terrorist organisation; Yasin Tursun sentenced to 9 years for participating in a terrorist organisation.

Kerim Memet sentenced to 10 years for splittism and undermining national unity by creating an online chartroom to spread ethnic separatism, violent terrorism and religious extremism.

Copyright © 2013 World Uyghur Congress (WUC), All rights reserved.

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France says Mali troops to be cut to 1,000 by year-end

PTI | Mar 29, 2013

PARIS: The 4,000 French soldiers deployed in Mali to fight Islamist rebels will be reduced to 1,000 by the end of the year, French President Francois Hollande said.

"We will start withdrawing at the end of April," he said in an interview with France 2 television.

"In July, there will be no more than 2,000 soldiers in Mali. At the end of the year, there will only be 1,000 troops."

France -- which is leading a military intervention to secure northern Mali from al-Qaida-linked rebels -- is eager to withdraw and hand over to an African force known as AFISMA that would be transformed into a UN peacekeeping mission.

It has called for the 15-member UN Security Council to pass a resolution in April setting up the peacekeeping force, which could be in place by July.

AFISMA currently counts around 6,300 soldiers from west African countries and Chad. Hollande also said France wanted elections in Mali by July, adding that Paris was inflexible on this.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/France-says-Mali-troops-to-be-cut-to-1000-by-year-end/articleshow/19271840.cms

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UK terrorism report says Pakistan is still a threat

 March 28, 2013

The threat of terrorism exported from Pakistan remains of the “highest importance” to Britain, the government has said in an update of its counter-terrorism strategy that rebuts the assumption that the threat had shifted decisively from Pakistan.

Although the government says successful anti-al Qaeda operations in Pakistan and Afghanistan have led to the “dispersal and diversification of the terrorist threat” into Africa and West Asia, the threat from Pakistan remains a concern.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan/UK-terrorism-report-says-Pakistan-is-still-a-threat/Article1-1033904.aspx

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British counter-jihad blogs targeted in "massive" cyber attack

Two of Britain's leading anti-extremism websites have been targeted and taken down for over a week in a huge, targeted attack

 27 March 2013

Two of the leading counter-extremism blogs in the United Kingdom have been taken offline for an entire week by a large-scale cyber attack.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but by the very nature of their targeting, the sources are thought to be radical Islamist elements or their sympathisers.

Both Harry's Place and Student Rights suffered "massive" denial of service (DDOS) attacks over the past week - a cyber attack which blasts servers with traffic in order to overload them and effectively knock the websites out. The same tactics have been used against governments and businesses over the past few years, with culprits ranging from the Chinese government to the 'Anonymous' hacker group and its proxies.

Full report at:

http://www.thecommentator.com/article/3072/british_counter_jihad_blogs_targeted_in_massive_cyber_attack

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Algerian radicals taken out by army

 29 March 2013

ALGIERS: Algerian security forces have killed five radicals this week in the restive region of Kabylie, including an “emir” and a jihadist recently sentenced to death in absentia, reports said yesterday.

The special forces killed the five men on Monday evening and Tuesday in a raid on the village of Attouche, in the Makouda area, near the main Kabylie city of Tizi Ouzou, Liberty newspaper quoted security sources as saying.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/446372

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Compare the lives of Muslims living in UK with the ones in Pakistan

By: hamdabilal

March 28, 2013

Muslims are spread everywhere around the world. They all practice Islam, but the difference is that some live in Islamic countries while some live as minorities in non-Muslim countries. Talking about Europe and specially UK, there are Muslims present in a huge amount, but the country is not a Muslim country. On the other hand, Pakistan is a Muslim country, and you are going to find a Muslim majority, wherever you go.

Full report at:

http://muslim-academy.com/compare-the-lives-of-muslims-living-in-uk-with-the-ones-in-pakistan/

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Cyprus jails Hezbollah operative for Israel attacks plot

Mar 29 2013

A Cypriot court has jailed a member of the Lebanese militant Shia movement Hezbollah for three years for plotting to attack Israeli targets there.

Hossam Taleb Yaccoub, a Lebanese Swedish national, admitted collecting information on Israeli tourists, but denied planning to attack them.

The court heard how Hezbollah paid him to carry out six missions since 2011.

Israel says Hezbollah has been behind a string of attacks against Israeli and Jewish targets around the world.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-21970309

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India

 

Shia Cleric to Be Hanged In Saudi Arabia, Shias Protest All over the World

New Age Islam, March 30, 2013

New Delhi: A Saudi court has sentenced Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Baqar with death by hanging. The judgment has sparked protests from Shia community all over the world. Indian Shia scholar Maulana Jalal Haider Naqvi said that the death sentence for the imam of the mosque in the city of Qateef was based on bias and injustice. He attributed the judgment to growing US and Israeli intervention in Saudi Arabia. He further said that Ayatollah Sheikh Baqar was victimised for his vociferous protests against Shia persecution in Saudi Arabia and was a symbol of the struggle for the rights of the Shias in the Sunni dominated country. He had been raising his voice against the persecution of Shias. In this connection Ayatollah was illegally detained and severely tortured by the Saudi police last year. He survived despite severe injuries. After the failure of the police, now the Saudi government has decided to eliminate him through court order, Maulana Jalal Haider said. He added that the death sentence to the Ayatollah was a part of the ethnic cleansing and targeted killing of Shias in Pakistan, Bahrain and Iraq.

It is to be noted that the Saudi King has been taking initiatives to promote interfaith dialogue but the persecution of Shias in his country flies in his face. It shows that interfaith dialogue initiated and promoted by him is only an eyewash and to please the US and the UK. Last year, an Anti-Shia conference was held in the capital of Saudi Arabia, Riyadh.

Shias have long complained that they are persecuted and looked upon with suspicion by the government and the police in Saudi Arabia and that they have been deprived of basic religious rights in the country. Recently, the Saudis have also started fomenting sectarian feelings in central India.

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Muslim women can’t go for Haj alone: Kerala govt

Mahir Haneef, TNN | Mar 29, 2013

KOCHI: Muslim women are not allowed to travel alone for the Haj pilgrimage to avoid risking their safety, the state government has informed the Kerala high court.

The government clarified its stance on a petition filed by a Muslim woman questioning the Haj Committee of India's denial of permission to her to travel with a female companion. According to the committee's rules, Muslim women have to be accompanied by a male family member to perform Haj.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Muslim-women-cant-go-for-Haj-alone-Kerala-govt/articleshow/19268613.cms

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Charter for Muslims to be implemented before Lok Sabha polls: Azam Khan

PTI | Mar 29, 2013

BAREILLY (UP): With an eye on 2014 Lok Sabha polls, urban development minister Mohammad Azam Khan said a charter plan for the welfare of Muslims will be implemented before the elections.

"A charter plan for welfare and betterment (of Muslims) has been given to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. It will be implemented before Lok Sabha polls," Khan told reporters here on Thursday evening.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Charter-for-Muslims-to-be-implemented-before-Lok-Sabha-polls-Azam-Khan/articleshow/19275115.cms

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Hyderabad Muslims under siege post-Dilsukhnagar blasts, says fact-finding report

March 28, 2013

Hyderabad, March 28: Over Dilsukhnagar twin blasts, how media and police have filled the mind of common people with hatred and anger for Muslims in the city of Hyderabad is evident from this anecdote. Days after the 21st February blasts, a Muslim girl student was traveling in city bus. She had a bitter experience of anti-Muslim hatred in the wake of the terror blasts. “After the Dilsukhnagar bomb blasts while I was travelling in the bus I gave my bag to a lady who was seated to hold my bag as the bus was full, immediately that woman said, ‘you are Turkollu (this word in Telugu language is used for Muslims with full hatred) and I will not take the bag.”

Full report at:

http://muslimmirror.com/eng/hyderabad-muslims-under-siege-post-dilsukhnagar-blasts-says-fact-finding-report/

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Gujarat: English schooling for Rs 11 in Muslim area

 Mar 29 2013

Ahmedabad : To arrest the dropout rate in its schools and impart quality education to underprivileged, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation will inaugurate its first English medium school on May 13.

The Ahmedabad Public School is going to come up in Muslim-dominated Shahpur and is aimed at students from lower and middle income groups. It will charge a one-time registration fee of Rs 11.

The APS will start its formal academic session from June. To begin with, it will have classes from junior KG to class II and add a class every year.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/gujarat-english-schooling-for-rs-11-in-muslim-area/1094566/

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India worries for its workers as Nitaqat crackdown continues

 29 March 2013

The Indian government has expressed concerns over the fate of its workers in the Kingdom after the deadline for the implementation of the ‘Nitaqat’ (naturalization) system was up last Wednesday. The government has assured its support to workers in distress in the wake of the naturalization scheme aimed at increasing employment of Saudi nationals across various sectors. Indian Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs Vayalar Ravi spoke to Ambassador Hamid Ali Rao via telephone yesterday and pledged support to Indian nationals affected by the new Saudi labour policy.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/446404

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Cops get cash awards for investigating 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks

Mar 29 2013

Mumbai : The Maharashtra government has sanctioned Rs 6.58 lakh as cash awards to 46 crime branch officials involved in the investigation of 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai.

A government resolution (GR) of the Maharashtra state home department said the decision came in the wake of Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan's announcement of a cash prize in August last year.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cops-get-cash-awards-for-investigating-2611-mumbai-terror-attacks/1094925/

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Arab World

 

Saudi Senior Cleric: This is “Civil War” not “Jihad” in Syria

27-03-2013

Source: Agencies

Member of the Senior Scholars Council in Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Manea assured that what is taking place in Syria, “the land of revolutions”, is a “civil war” not “jihad”, indicating that “in civil wars, it is hard to specify friends from enemies, especially if the country is Muslim.”

Sheikh Al-Manea condemned in an interview the fatwas that call upon Saudis to travel for “jihad” in Syria, and considered that “it is prohibited to engage in civil wars, for the negative consequences and incitements they bring to the country; and religion seeks to quench incitements.”

In parallel, Manea stressed that the individual cannot specify the public interest, like the state or government does, and he is prohibited from working merely in accordance with his opinion.

He further pointed out that “Riyadh has not given the permission for Jihad in Syria."

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?eid=87669&frid=23&seccatid=28&cid=23&fromval=1

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95 Asian Detained In Mecca over Un-Islamic Rituals

 March 28, 2013 

MAKKAH — Ninety-five Asians were arrested after passport police raided several locations in Makkah and found the suspects engaging in rituals that appeared to be against Islam. Two buildings at Sitteen Street and another at Al-Shumaisi neighbourhood were raided and the alleged ringleader, an old Asian woman, together with Asian men and women, were arrested. The chief suspect allegedly organized ceremonies where participants engaged in un-Islamic rituals. The old woman made hefty amounts of money from organizing such activities, police said. The officers found camels, cows and sheep in the courtyard of the building in Al-Shumaisi. The woman brought these animals to use them in her rituals and deceive naïve Asian Muslims, said police. She told officers that the animals were used to give the suspects an idea about how the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to live in the past.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130329158969

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24 killed as car bombs target Shia mosques in Iraq

 March 29, 2013

Car bomb attacks against four Shia mosques in Baghdad and one in Kirkuk killed at least 24 people and wounded more than 100, security officials said on Friday.

At least 19 people were killed in the Baghdad attacks, while at least five died in Kirkuk.

A police officer said the deadliest bombing was in western Jihad neighbourhood of Baghdad when a parked car bomb exploded as worshippers were leaving a mosque after Friday prayers. Seven people died there and 25 were wounded.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/24-killed-as-car-bombs-target-shia-mosques-in-iraq/article4561962.ece

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A seven-year-old boy takes up arms against Assad

28 March 2013

At the mere age of seven, Ahmed is one of the youngest to take up arms in Syria’s brutal civil war.

As his right hand supports his AK47, cigarette smoke pouring out of his mouth, he stands before a makeshift rebel barricade in the city of Aleppo.

Photojournalist Sebastiano Tomada Piccolomini captured the child on his camera whilst on his second trip to Syria since President Bashar al-Assad has come under intense pressure to step down.

Ahmed is the son of a Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighter and helps operate a barricade built to protect rebels from snipers on the frontlines of the Salahadeen district.

Despite his tender age Ahmed, controversially, plays a role in the conflict in south-west Aleppo.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/2013/03/28/A-seven-year-old-boy-takes-up-arms-against-Assad.html

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Syria Kurds help Shiite, Sunni fighters negotiate: NGO

 28 March 2013

Syrian Kurds in the northern province of Aleppo have helped Sunni rebel fighters negotiate a settlement with Shiite residents in two flashpoint villages, a monitoring group said.

Sunni “rebels and Shiite fighters from the popular committees of Zahraa and Nabul have entered into talks, several months into a siege by insurgents of the two villages,” said Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director Rami Abdel Rahman.

“The talks were initiated by the Kurdish popular committees,” he told AFP.

Though large swathes of Aleppo province have fallen out of the hands of the regime in recent months, the province is home to a variety of ethnic and religious groups, and has seen clashes pitting rebels against Kurds and Shiites.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/03/28/Syria-Kurds-help-Shiite-Sunni-fighters-negotiate-NGO.html

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Iraq commutes Saudi inmate’s death sentence

March 28, 2013 

AMMAN — An Iraqi court has commuted the death sentence against one of the five Saudi prisoners in the country to life imprisonment, Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Thursday.

Lawyers appointed by the Saudi Embassy in Amman to follow up the cases of the five Saudis on death row in Iraq have succeeded in getting the sentence against Ali Al-Shehri revoked, said Salih Bidaiwee, head of the committee in charge of Saudi citizens’ affairs at the Saudi Embassy in Jordan.

“Al-Shehri will now have to serve a life imprisonment, while the lawyers are working hard to reduce death sentences handed down to other Saudi prisoners,” Bidaiwee added.

He said: “It is difficult at the time being to visit Saudi prisoners in cities where the security situation is precarious.”

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130329158962

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Spousal allowance is a life-saver, say scholarship students

 March 28, 2013 

JEDDAH — The Council of Minister has approved an allowance for women who accompany husbands studying abroad.

Students who are married to non-Saudi women are also to receive the allowance.

Students have expressed joy at the decision and are hopeful that a similar decision will be issued for an allowance to cover their children’s kindergarten and school costs.

Khalid Al-Hazmi said this decision clearly shows the concern of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah for students abroad, who he said would return to the country and contribute to the development process.

Awadh Aseeri said the decision is important to help them provide for their wives, even though they are not students.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130329158965

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Liberals, Islamists at odds over controversial protest law

28/03/2013

A new law governing protests, approved in principle by the Shura Council Tuesday, has sparked anger among the opposition's political forces.

Opponents, comprised mostly of liberal, secular and revolutionary youth groups, criticized the bill, saying it restricts Egyptians’ right to demonstrate peacefully.

Meanwhile, the law’s supporters, who are mainly Islamist factions, said the legislation is a necessary measure to curb chaos and lawlessness.

The Shura Council, which took over temporary legislative powers late last year after the passing of the Constitution, approved the draft law prohibiting citizens from organizing protests that "pose a risk to the nation's security."

Full report at:

http://www.egyptindependent.com/news/liberals-islamists-odds-over-controversial-protest-law

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Syria’s War Invades a Campus That Acted as a Sanctuary

By ANNE BARNARD

Mar 29 2013

DAMASCUS, Syria — More and more students at Damascus University were skipping classes. The whack and thump of shelling in the distance punctuated the hum of the downtown campus. Some students walked miles to avoid the security checkpoints that choke traffic.

But classes continued at the Syrian capital’s flagship university, and many students kept coming. The university, where PresidentBashar al-Assadand many other Syrian elites completed their studies, became a sanctuary for young people still preparing for a future, however uncertain, when their country would not be in the midst of a ferocious civil war.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/world/middleeast/damascus-students-killed-in-

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Iraq Rejects $4B Egypt Request, Talks Ongoing

Mar 29 2013

BAGHDAD (AP) — An Iraqi official says Baghdad has rejected a request from Egypt for a $4 billion bond to be deposited in Egypt's central bank to bolster its faltering economy.

The official said on Friday that it's "too risky" to deposit such a large sum in Egypt but that talks are continuing for a smaller amount. The official didn't elaborate. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk to the media.

In Egypt, the presidency's media office confirmed in a statement to The Associated Press that discussions with Iraq are ongoing.

Egypt's planning minister, Ashraf el-Araby, visited Iraq this week.

Egypt has sought help from several oil-wealthy Arab countries to shore up reserves in its central bank, which were depleted in the aftermath of Hosni Mubarak's 2011 ouster.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/03/29/world/middleeast/ap-ml-iraq-egypt.html?ref=middleeast&gwh=766F1011A03743567BE2EBD9961B44E8

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Assad urges BRICS to help ‘stop the violence’ in Syria

 28 March 2013

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad urged BRICS nations Wednesday to help “stop the violence” in his country and end the suffering of his people, which he blamed on international sanctions.

His plea came as rights watchdog Amnesty International said the world must press all parties to the conflict - which has killed an estimated 70,000 people since March 2011 - to “end war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

“I call on the BRICS leaders to work together to immediately stop the violence in Syria in order to guarantee the success of a political solution,” Assad said in a letter to South African President Jacob Zuma.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/03/28/Assad-urges-BRICS-to-help-stop-the-violence-in-Syria.html

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Syria rebels destroy plane carrying Iranian arms: activists

28 March 2013

The rebel Free Syrian Army has destroyed a plane carrying arms from Iran, an opposition news network reported Thursday.

The FSA hit the plane as it was landing in Damascus International Airport, the SANA Revolution Network reported.

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency denied the report, saying everything was “normal” at the airport.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/2013/03/28/Syria-rebels-destroy-plane-carrying-Iranian-arms-activists.html

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesian Anti-Terror Cops Accused of Fuelling Jihad

Angela Dewan | March 29, 2013

The elite police unit on the front line of Indonesia’s lauded terrorism clampdown faces fresh allegations of torture and unlawful killings, raising concerns it is fuelling the jihadist cause.

Detachment 88 was established after the 2002 bombings on Bali that killed 202 people, mostly Western tourists, and has gained strong public support after claiming the scalps of some of the region’s most-wanted extremists.

But last month a video emerged in which officers from the anti-terror unit interrogated a suspect writhing in pain after he had been shot in the chest and forced to strip to his underwear.

“Why did you shoot me? I surrendered,” he screams, as police repeatedly yell back that he ask Allah for forgiveness. “You’re going to die,” they say, trampling on three other suspects, shooting into the ground to intimidate them.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/indonesian-anti-terror-cops-accused-of-fueling-jihad/582539

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Obedience to country’s leaders an obligation, Malaysian Muslims told

 March 29, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 ― Obeying the country’s leaders is an obligation in Islam while betrayal is considered a huge sin, Muslims nationwide were told today in the official Friday sermons prepared by the federal government.

This comes amid a protracted “Ops Daulat” offensive campaign to flush out armed Sulu invaders in Lahad Datu, Sabah, which has entered its third week with no end in sight.

“The patriotism spirit towards this country demands us to obey and be loyal to our leaders completely,” said the Friday sermon by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (JAKIM) that was uploaded into its official website today.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/obedience-to-countrys-leaders-an-obligation-muslims-told/

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Jakarta Court Jails Two Aceh Terrorists

Jakarta Globe | March 28, 2013

The Central Jakarta District Court on Thursday jailed two men who were involved in several shootings in the Aceh province in the lead-up to the April 2012 gubernatorial elections.

The two men, who were sentenced in two separate hearings, were found guilty of participating in acts of terror and violence.

Zakaria, also known as Jack bin Ahmad, was sentenced to 12 years in jail and Zainal Abidin was handed down an eight-year sentence, Tempo Interaktif news portal reported.

Zakaria was also found guilty of taking part in the shooting of workers of a project by Telkom in the Jeumpa subdistrict of Aceh’s Bireuen on Dec. 31, 2011, that left three of the workers from Java dead and seven other wounded.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/jakarta-court-jails-two-aceh-terrorists/582522

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Muhammadiyah Threaten to File Judicial Review Against Mass Organizations Bill

SP/ Anastasia Winanti Riesardhy | March 28, 2013

Indonesia's second-largest Islamic organizations says it will file a judicial review against the mass organization bill if the House of Representatives refuses to drop the controversial regulation.

“This bill is getting more repressive and it will lead us to authoritarianism, so if the House of Representatives doesn't listen to us, Muhammadiyah [the Islamic organization] will file a judicial review to the Constitution Court,” said Din Syamsuddin, the chairman of Muhammadiyah, on Thursday.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/muhammadiyah-threaten-to-file-judicial-review-against-mass-organizations-bill/582515

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No action so far against Zul Noordin ‘because he is Muslim’, says Hindu Sangam chief

 March 29, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — A umbrella body for Hindus said today that it had previously complained about apparent insults to Hindus made by independent lawmaker Datuk Zulkifli Noordin, but no action was taken “because he is a Muslim.”

Hindu Sangam said today a video of Zulkifli, making what the opposition has said are vicious attacks against Hinduism, had originally surfaced in 2011.

“At that point in time we already told the government, but they are reluctant to take action I think because he is Muslim and vice president of Perkasa,” Hindu Sangam president Datuk R S Mohan Shan told The Malaysian Insider today.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/no-action-so-far-against-zul-noordin-because-he-is-muslim-says-hindu-sangam-chief/

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Church group wants GE13 hopefuls to uphold religious liberty for all

 March 29, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 ― An evangelical church group has urged Christians to call on Election 2013 candidates to support legislating the freedom for all Malaysians to profess their religion of choice.

The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Malaysia (NECF) also said in its GE13 booklet titled “Christians & The Ballot Box” that those elected should table in Parliament draft proposals on child conversion and inter-religious custody disputes.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/church-group-wants-ge13-hopefuls-to-uphold-religious-liberty-for-all/

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MIC leaders tell Zul Noordin to ‘shut up’ and apologise

 March 29, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29 — MIC leaders told Datuk Zulkifli Noordin today to “shut up”, apologise and retract his remarks that allegedly disparaged the Hindu religion.

The Independent Kulim-Bandar Baharu MP was recorded in a video uploaded yesterday on YouTube as questioning the purity of the Ganges River in India, which the Hindus consider sacred, claiming that chicken carcasses were floating in it.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/mic-leaders-tell-zul-noordin-to-shut-up-and-apologise/

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Africa

 

Tunisia to investigate video of police 'dragging and assaulting' a woman

Friday, 29 March 2013

Tunisia’s Interior Ministry said Friday that it launched an investigation following accusations that two policemen mistreated and manhandled a woman on the streets of Tunis.

The Tunisian community was enraged after a video posted online made the rounds on social networking sites Thursday showing two men – one of whom was wearing a police uniform – dragging a woman by her arms and shirt on the floor.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/africa/2013/03/29/Tunisia-to-investigate-video-of-police-dragging-and-assaulting-a-woman.html

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Major Sufi shrine in Libya destroyed

March 28, 2013

TRIPOLI – The Al-Andlusi mausoleum in Tajoura area, one of the major Sufi shrines in Libya, was destroyed early Thursday morning in a bomb attack.

An eyewitness, who was at work nearby, told the Libya Herald that he heard three “very loud” explosions around 4 a.m. He said that he did not see any one near the shrine at the time of the bombing.

The shrine, on a prominent knoll on the Beach Road some 15 km east of Tripoli, is protected under the law as a national monument. Sadat Badri, head of Tripoli Local Council, told the Libya Herald that the people of Tajoura and Tripoli were shocked and “distressed of this criminal act”.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130329158988

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Has Boko Haram Leader Abubakar Shekau Returned To Nigeria From Mali?

Jacob Zenn

March 27, 2013

Abubakar Shekau announced in July 2010 that he was the new leader of Boko Haram and replaced Boko Haram founder Muhammad Yusuf, who was killed by Nigerian security forces in July 2009. In his first statement in July 2010, Shekau, who was Yusuf’s deputy, showed solidarity with al-Qaeda by expressing greetings from the mujahideen in Nigeria “to the Islamic State of Iraq, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu Yahya al-Libi, Abu Abullah al-Muhajir, the Amir of the Islamic State in Somalia, the Amir of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, the Amir of the mujahideen in Pakistan, in Chechnya, Kashmir, Yemen, the Arabian Peninsula and our religious clerics whom I did not mention.”  He also warned the United States that “jihad has just begun (Agence France-Presse, December 28, 2010).” This tone from Shekau distinguished his leadership from Muhammad Yusuf, who mainly gave sermons about Salafist teachings and the Nigerian government, which he saw as corrupt; Yusuf did not overtly show support for al-Qaeda.

Full report at:

http://premiumtimesng.com/news/125659-boko-haram-threatens-jtf-spokesperson-demands-

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South Sudan Military Says 163 Killed in Clashes

Mar 29 2013

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — A battle between South Sudan soldiers and rebels allegedly backed by neighbouring Sudan killed 163 people, most of them rebels, government officials said Thursday.

South Sudan's military spokesman, Col. Philip Aguer, said government forces also captured an airstrip in the town of Okello, which he claimed the rebels have been using to import most of their military supplies. Okello is in South Sudan's southeast Pibor County, where rebel leader David Yau Yau hails from.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2013/03/28/world/africa/ap-af-south-sudan-

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Qaeda offshoot in North Africa joins Twitter

The media arm of Al-Qaeda's offshoot in North Africa launches its Twitter account @Andalus_Media

28 Mar 2013

The media arm of Al-Qaeda's offshoot in North Africa launched its Twitter account on Thursday by offering "glad tidings" to its supporters, US monitors SITE Intelligence Group reported.

"We send glad tidings to our Muslim Ummah in general and its sons from among the supporters of the mujahedeen in particular," SITE quoted the Al-Andalus Media Foundation as saying on the micro blogging website.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/67970/World/International/Qaeda-offshoot-in-North-Africa-joins-Twitter.aspx

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Pakistan

 

Pashto Film Actress Takes a Swipe at the Maulana Fazl ur Rehman

March 29, 2013

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Despite facing what she claims are death threats, popular Pashto film actress Musarrat Shaheen said on Thursday she would contest the upcoming elections against Fazlur Rehman, Faisal Kundi, former senator Waqar Khan, and “all the waderas, looteras and thekedars of Islam”.

Shaheen, now a social worker and head of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Musawat, filed nomination papers to run for NA-24 Dera Ismail Khan – her hometown.

The former actress pointed out that in a male-dominated society, she had dared to step forward and run against the other contestants, all of whom are men.

Shaheen said that she had been informed of threats to her life, but stopped short of naming her “enemies”. “I put my life at risk to come to Dera Ismail Khan and compete against Fazlur Rehman. I know a plan has been prepared to kill me but I will walk through these roads and streets. I am not scared,” she said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/528185/no-holds-barred-musarrat-takes-a-swipe-at-the-maulana/

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Taliban bomber kills ten in Peshawar, 31 wounded

Zahir Shah Sherazi  

 March 29, 2013

PESHAWAR: At least 10 people were killed and 31 injured Friday when a suicide bomber detonated his explosives near a Frontier Constabulary convoy in a high security area of northwestern Peshawar city, police said.

The bomber blew himself up near a military checkpost, barely 500 yards from the US consulate, on Peshawar’s Fakhr-i-Alam Road, which connects the city’s Mall Road and Cantonment Road.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/29/explosion-in-peshawar-casualties-feared/

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‘Caretaker govts testament to politicians’ maturity’

 March 29, 2013

LAHORE: PPP leader and former deputy opposition leader of the Punjab Assembly Shaukat Basra has said that the functioning caretaker setups at the federal and provincial levels reflected the maturity of the politicians because the completion of the process had set the ball rolling for holding of elections in a free, fair and transparent manner.

Basra said it was heartening to note that the army has reiterated its full support and assured that all possible steps would be taken to ensure law and order during the elections. “This level of commitment of the army is appreciable,” he said, adding that the Election Commission of Pakistan was fully equipped to hold elections in the country.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\29\story_29-3-2013_pg7_16

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Jamaat-i-Islami Gujranwala chief shot, injured

 March 29, 2013

GUJRANWALA: Jamaat-i-Islami Gujranwala district chief Bilal Qudrat Butt was severely injured when unidentified armed men opened fire on his car on Friday, Express News reported.

Rescue sources said that Butt and his two companions were severely injured following the firing incident, along with three passer-bys. Butt was immediately shifted to hospital and taken into the operation theatre.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/528274/ji-gujranwala-chief-shot-injured/

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Muttahida man killed, two friends wounded

 March 29, 2013

KARACHI: An activist of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement was shot dead and his associate along with another man was wounded in a targeted attack in the old city area on Thursday, police said.

The officials added that the drive-by shooting was carried out at a spices shop in the wholesale market of Jodia Bazaar.

The attackers managed to disappear into the narrow lanes of the congested locality, the police said.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/29/muttahida-man-killed-two-friends-wounded/

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Reconciliation: Pakistan committed to peace in Afghanistan, states FO

 March 29, 2013

ISLAMABAD: A day after Afghanistan cancelled a military visit to Pakistan in protest against an alleged cross-border shelling incident, Islamabad sought to lower tensions with Kabul saying the two neighbours will have to work together in harmony to promote peace in Afghanistan and the region.

Recriminations between Afghanistan and Pakistan have undermined hopes that a recent thaw in relations could help bring the Taliban to the peace table.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/528179/reconciliation-pakistan-committed-to-peace-in-afghanistan-states-fo/

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PML-N was 'top priority' for seat adjustments: Fazlur Rehman

March 29, 2013

LAHORE: Party chief of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazlur Rehman faction) Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that though Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) was their top priority for seat adjustments, it did not work out, Express News reported on Friday.

Adressing the media in Lahore, the JUI-F chief said that he is not scheduled to meet the Sharif brothers in the upcoming days, but if it were to happen he did not see a problem with it.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/528251/jui-f-pml-n-was-top-priority-for-seat-adjustments/

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With a pledge to end debts, transgenders to contest elections from Karachi

 March 29, 2013

KARACHI: Once constrained to singing and dancing at gatherings or plying the flesh trade, the transgendered community have stepped up their efforts to be represented in the parliament to fight for their rights.

Bindiya Rana, president of the Gender Interactive Alliance has decided to contest for a seat in the provincial assembly, standing from PS-115 in Karachi.

Bindiya claims that she wants to be an agent of change in traditional politics.

“In the last five years, we have only seen politicians fighting, criticising each other and making false promises. But I promise today, that transgenders from all across Pakistan will participate in the up-coming elections and bring a change,” she said.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/528259/with-a-pledge-to-end-debts-transgenders-to-contest-elections-from-karachi/

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Shoe thrown at Musharraf in a Pakistan court

PTI | Mar 29, 2013

KARACHI: A man lobbed a shoe at former President Pervez Musharraf when he appeared in a Pakistani court here on Friday, but it did not hit him.

The unidentified man hurled the shoe towards Musharraf while he was leaving the Sindh high court this morning after obtaining a 15-day extension of his pre-arrest bail in a series of cases.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Shoe-thrown-at-Musharraf-in-a-Pakistan-court/articleshow/19274325.cms

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Court extends pre-arrest bail of Pervez Musharraf, bars him from leaving Pak

Mar 29 2013

Karachi : Former military dictator Pervez Musharraf, who returned to Pakistan this week to participate in the May 11 polls, was today barred from leaving the country by a court where an angry lawyer hurled a shoe at him.

A single member bench of the Sindh High Court Chief Justice Justice Musheer Alam, however, accepted 69-year-old Musharraf's request for extension of bail for 15 days in a series of cases, which was granted before he arrived back in the country.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/court-extends-prearrest-bail-of-pervez-musharraf-bars-him-from-leavi.../1094854/

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Fauzia Siddiqui announces to contest election against Pervez Musharraf

By Web Desk

 March 29, 2013

Karachi: Dr Fauzia Siddiqui, the sister of jailed Pakistani scientist Dr Aafia Siddiqui, has announced to contest elections against former President Pervez Musharraf on the Karachi seat.

Former army chief has expressed his willingness to contest elections from NA-250, a constituency comprising of Defence and Clifton areas of Karachi.

Full report at:

http://www.thenewstribe.com/2013/03/28/aafia-siddiquis-sister-fauzia-siddiqui-announces-to-contest-election-against-pervez-musharraf-on-karachi-seat/

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Taliban extending reach across Pakistan

Declan Walsh & Zia ur Rehman

Mar 29, 2013

KARACHI, PAKISTAN: This seaside metropolis is no stranger to gangland violence, driven for years by a motley collection of armed groups who battle over money, turf and votes.

But there is a new gang in town. Hundreds of miles from their homeland in the mountainous northwest, Pakistani Taliban fighters have started to flex their muscles more forcefully in parts of this vast city, and they are openly taking ground.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Taliban-extending-reach-across-Pakistan/articleshow/19272773.cms

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South Asia

 

Help Rohingya Muslims to get citizenship rights in Myanmar: OIC

 March 29, 2013

Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) Secretary Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu has urged the Arab leaders to assist Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and to put pressure on the Myanmar government to help them get citizenship of that country.

“Rohingya Muslims appeal to Arab leaders to use their influence and relations to ask active powers and the international community to intervene urgently with the government of Myanmar to enable the minority people obtain their full citizenship rights which they had been denied,” he said.

Ihsanoglu made the call while speaking at the 24th ordinary session of the Arab League Summit in Doha on March 26.

Meanwhile, the Doha Declaration, which was issued on March 26 on conclusion of the summit, condemned the treatment of Rohingyas in Myanmar. They called on Myanmar’s government to take steps for ending the sufferings of the minority people.

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/help-rohingya-muslims-to-get-citizenship-rights-in-myanmar-oic-2/

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Myanmar govt slams religious extremism

 29 March 2013

YANGON: Myanmar President Thein Sein said yesterday that his reformist government would not tolerate religious extremism, following a wave of deadly Buddhist-Muslim violence in the former army-ruled nation.

At least 40 people have been killed and mosques burned in several towns in central Myanmar since a new eruption of sectarian strife on March 20, prompting the government to impose emergency rule and curfews in some areas.

“I would like to warn all political opportunists and religious extremists who try to exploit the noble teachings of these religions and have tried to plant hatred among people of different faiths for their own self-interest: Their efforts will not be tolerated,” Thein Sein said in a national address.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/446365

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Sri Lanka deploys forces after Muslim store torched in Colombo

 Mar 29 2013

Colombo : A mob, including Buddhist monks, allegedly stoned and set afire a Muslim-owned business in Sri Lanka in the latest attacks directed against the minority, prompting authorities to deploy security forces to bring the situation under control.

In last night's attack, a showroom of the Fashion Bug clothing chain in Pepiliyana, a suburb of Sri Lankan capital Colombo, was stoned ans the glasses were smashed before the merchandise was set on fire.

Several people were injured and several other vehicles and buildings sustained damages, local media reports said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/sri-lanka-deploys-forces-after-muslim-store-torched-in-colombo/1094928/

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Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of wrecking peace hopes

 March 29, 2013

KABUL: The Afghan government on Thursday accused Pakistan of wrecking efforts to end the Taliban’s bloody 11-year insurgency, in the latest sign of worsening cross-border relations. Pakistan, which backed Afghanistan’s 1996-2001 Taliban regime, is seen as having a crucial role in negotiating a political settlement with the Islamist extremist leaders who shelter in Pakistan’s border districts. Relations had improved between the countries over recent months, building up to a three-way summit hosted by Britain in February to find an end to the war that US-led troops have waged since 2001. But President Hamid Karzai’s spokesman said that Pakistan had now abandoned the peace process and imposed “impossible” pre-conditions on any further discussions that would encourage the Taliban to lay down their weapons.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\29\story_29-3-2013_pg7_4

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160 Afghans held in Chaghai under the Foreigners Act

 March 29, 2013

QUETTA: A law enforcement agency has detained 160 Afghan nationals under the Foreigners Act in Nokundi area of Chaghai district. The Levies force said on Thursday that the Afghans had entered the country without travelling documents and were apprehended when they were on way to Iran from Pakistan. Later, they were handed over to the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for further interrogation.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\29\story_29-3-2013_pg7_10

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Sri Lanka boosts security after anti-Muslim attack

 March 29, 2013

COLOMBO: Elite police commandos patrolled a suburb of the Sri Lankan capital on Friday after hundreds of rampaging Buddhist hardliners torched a Muslim-owned business in the latest in a series of mob attacks.

At least three people were wounded when majority Sinhalese mobs stoned and later set fire to a clothing store in Pepiliyana on Thursday night, police spokesman Buddhika Siriwardena said.

“We have deployed extra units of STR (Special Task Force commandos) and police to guard the area,” Siriwardena told AFP. “The situation was brought under control within a few hours.” No arrests had been made, Siriwardena said.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/29/sri-lanka-boosts-security-after-anti-muslim-attack/

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2 die as BNP-Jamaat men clash with Awami League

 March 29, 2013

Two persons were killed and 20 others injured in a clash between activists of BNP and its key ally Jamaat-e-Islami and the ruling Awami League in Belkuchi upazila of Sirajganj on Friday.

Deceased are Elias Ali, 17, of Kalyanpur village and Faridul Haque, Sorboculshi village of the upazila, reports our Sirajganj correspondent.

The clash ensued around 11:00am when activists of BNP-Jamaat equipped with wooden sticks and iron rods, attacked the house of a union-level leader of Awami League in Kandapara village, police sources said.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/2-die-as-bnp-jamaat-men-clash-with-al-in-sirajganj-2/

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Bangladesh PM wants constructive criticism from media

 March 29, 2013

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday welcomed constructive criticism from the media but asserted that the manner of criticism should not make the anti-liberation or undemocratic forces stronger.

“You will criticise but that should be constructive. Don’t criticise to such an extent that it makes hands of the enemies, anti-liberation forces stronger or create space for undemocratic forces again,” she told journalists at the award giving ceremony of Sangbadik Bazlur Rahman Smriti Padak 2012 in the capital’s Osmani Auditorium.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/pm-wants-constructive-criticism-from-media/

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Vote-buying, political polarisation, credibility critical challenges for 2013 elections: Transparency Maldives report

By JJ Robinson | March 28th, 2013

The 2013 presidential elections are set to unfold “against a context of uncertainty, crises of political legitimacy and unprecedented levels of political polarisation,” Transparency Maldives has stated, in an extensive pre-election assessment published on Thursday.

“The latter is characterised by mistrust, categorical negative framing of one another and by the lack of self-accountability of institutions, politicians and their parties for their role in the existing political crises. The electoral background is therefore discouraging,” Transparency noted.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/vote-buying-political-polarisation-credibility-critical-challenges-for-2013-elections-transparency-maldives-report-55352

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Court sentences Humam for six years on charges of using cannabis

By Ahmed Nazeer | March 28th, 2013

Criminal Court has sentenced Hussain Humam of Henveiru Lobby House, who was arrested in connection with the murder of late MP Dr Afrasheem Ali, to six years’ imprisonment on two counts of using cannabis.

The Criminal Court ruling stated that in May last year Humam was arrested by a patrolling officer on suspicious of being intoxicated. Police officers tested his urine which was tested positive for cannabis, police said.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/society/court-sentences-humam-for-six-years-on-charges-of-using-cannabis-55317

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Mideast Asia

 

Christians flock to Jerusalem on the occasion of Good Friday

March 29, 2013

Hundreds of Christians streamed through the cobblestone alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday, hoisting wooden crosses and chanting prayers to mark the crucifixion of Jesus.

Throngs of pilgrims walked a traditional Good Friday procession that retraces Jesus’ steps along the Via Dolorosa, Latin for the “Way of Suffering.” They followed his 14 stations, saying a prayer at each and ending at the ancient Holy Sepulcher church.

Along the route, Franciscan friars in brown robes chanted prayers in Latin and explained the different stations to crowds through a megaphone. One man dressed as Jesus wearing a crown of thorns was flanked by men posing as Roman soldiers and had fake blood dripping down his chest as he lugged a giant cross down the street.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pilgrims-flock-to-jerusalem/article4561854.ece

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Journalist jailed for posting ‘insulting’ image of Abbas

Friday, 29 March 2013

A Palestinian court sentenced a local journalist to a year in jail on Thursday over a picture posted on Facebook that was deemed insulting to President Mahmoud Abbas.

The ruling against Mamdouh Hamamreh, who works for the al-Quds TV channel in Bethlehem, is the second this year in which Palestinians have been given jail terms over caricatures of the president.

Journalists and media watchdogs, saying Hamamreh was only “tagged” in the photo and did not create it, criticized the ruling and curbs on media freedom by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2013/03/29/Palestinian-journalist-gets-jail-term-for-Abbas-insult.html

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Iran, North Korea, Syria block UN arms trade treaty

 March 29, 2013 

Iran, North Korea and Syria have blocked adoption of a UN arms treaty that would regulate the USD 70 billion conventional arms trade around the world, saying it fails to ban sales of weapons to groups that commit “acts of aggression.”

The text of the first international treaty on arms trade needs support from all 193 UN member states for its approval.

The draft text came up for approval yesterday after the UN members failed to adopt it in July last year even after month-long negotiations.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/iran-north-korea-syria-block-un-arms-trade-treaty/article4561483.ece

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Turkey and Israel Feel the Effect as Syria’s Civil War Fuels Tensions at Borders

By SEBNEM ARSU and RICK GLADSTONE

Mar 29 2013

ISTANBUL — Border tensions caused by Syria’s civil war worsened on Thursday, as Turkey threatened to prosecute or deport 130 refugees implicated in a violent protest, and Israel reported rising numbers of injured Syrians seeking medical help on the Israeli side of their disputed boundary.

The tensions, which underscored how the Syrian conflict is threatening the region’s stability, came as international diplomacy aimed at ending the conflict faced new complications. Russia, a major supporter of the Syrian government, suggested that the special Syria envoy of the Arab League and United Nations had lost credibility because the Arab League had sided with the insurgency.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/29/world/europe/turkey-reverses-plans-to-deport-130-

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Israel beefs up security for ‘land day’

 29 March 2013

Israel deployed significant security reinforcements on Friday in the occupied West Bank including east Jerusalem for demonstrations commemorating the deaths in 1976 of Arab Israelis on “Land Day.”

“Thousands of police reinforcements have been deployed in Jerusalem including in the Old City to prevent disorder,” a police spokeswoman told AFP.

The measures were introduced “following information that groups of Palestinians were ready to engage in violent demonstrations” during the Land Day commemorations.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/03/29/Israel-beefs-up-security-for-land-day-.html

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North America

 

US to provide Maldives with cost-free border control system

By Neil Merrett | March 28th, 2013

The US government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Maldives government to provide it with a border system after several years of uncertainty and legal wrangling over the future of the country’s immigration controls.

Defence Minister Mohamed Nazim and US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives Michele J Sison signed an MOU that will see a US technical team coming to the country next month to begin work on planning and implementing a new border system, according to local media. The system is scheduled to be installed by June this year.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/society/us-to-provide-maldives-with-cost-free-border-control-system-55343

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US ex-soldier 'fought in Syria with terror group'

Mar 29 2013

A former US soldier has been charged with using a weapon outside the US as he fought against Syrian government forces, prosecutors say.

Eric Harroun, 30, served in the US Army from 2000-2003, and allegedly fought in Syria with the al-Nusra Front.

Al-Nusra is deemed a terror group by the US as an alias of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

As the US calls for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, it has also expressed concern about militant groups fighting in Syria.

If convicted, Mr Harroun would face a maximum sentence of life in prison. He was arrested as he returned to the US on Wednesday.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-21971790

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/w-age-islam-news-bureau/pope-washes-feet-of-two-girls,-two-muslims-at-youth-prison-in-rome/d/10940

 

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