• At banquet for President, she flags new strategic partnership between India and Britain
• Clinton Arrival in Pakistan Met by Fatal Attacks
• Taliban in Punjab: Beginning of end
• Pakistan mourns bomb victims
• Indonesia: Jeans Banned for Some Aceh Women
• Rare Muslim books on show in Washington
• Leading Muslim body to host Hindu gurus at conference
• COLUMBIA: Muslim student creates international Pink Hijab Day
• Taliban denies Peshawar blast role
• Islamabad: Promotion of peace and harmony must to curb terrorism
• New York-Based Muslim's Web Site Calls for God to 'Kill the Jews'
• Cathedrals, Muslims and Inter-Faith Relationships
• Iran Delivers Response to U.N. Nuclear Watchdog
• Iran Hints at Cooperation on U.N. Nuclear Deal
• UN hopes for Iran nuclear accord
• Iraq Makes Sweeping Arrests over Baghdad Blasts
• Iran worker 'jailing' angers UK
• Police arrested over Iraq bombing
• Report: Palestinians denied water
• Indonesia 'might expel' refugees
• Al-Aqsa Mosque Clash cannot be resolved through religious dialogue
• Kuwaiti Women Granted Right to Obtain Passports
• UN body on BB murder case finalizes visit to Pakistan
• Taliban, al-Qaeda disown blast
• UN sets date for Gaza report debate
• Philippines pact to protect schools
• Malaysia seizes 15,000 copies of the bible
• Radical Islamic Group Mosque Imam Killed in Shootout With FBI
• Arabic Introduces Islam to Ukrainians
• Somali PM says his country is haven for Al-Qaeda
• Haj Mission declares living pilgrim dead
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Queen Elizabeth lauds India’s courage in facing terror
At banquet for President, she flags new strategic partnership between India and Britain
LONDON: Queen Elizabeth II unexpectedly brought up the subject of the November last Mumbai terror attacks at the banquet she hosted for President Pratibha Patil on Tuesday.
The Queen described the attacks as “appalling” and commended India for showing courage in the face of this great tragedy. “I would like to pay tribute to the courage and steadfastness shown by the Indian security forces and people in the face of this great tragedy.”
The Queen’s banquets are usually very formal and officious in keeping with her position as a ceremonial head.
On Tuesday night, both sides went through the drill. Ms. Patil spoke of “commonalities and shared experiences” that have “helped us understand each other’s vision and concerns.”
The Queen, in turn, sung hosannas to the “long shared history between Britain and India” and the “warmth and hospitality of the Indian people.”
But alongside, there was also recognition that contemporary India had gone beyond the British Raj and was confronting the political and geo-strategic realities of the new millennium on its own strength. Indeed, competing with the old shibboleths were new ones, now considered mandatory when an Indian dignitary visits abroad.
Thus the Queen spoke of the new strategic partnership between the two countries “founded on the sure knowledge that India’s emergence on the world stage would be one of the main forces shaping 21st century.”
The Queen’s speech acknowledged the expanding scope liberalising India offered for cooperation especially in education.
“The first group of Manmohan Singh scholars has just arrived to begin their studies at Cambridge University. In the future we hope that many more British students will go to study in Indian universities, making this a genuinely two-way exchange of learning.”
The Queen’s banquet for the President stretched one hour beyond the allotted time, which palace sources said indicated her special interest in her guest.
They also said extraordinary care went into the selection of Indian origin royal items on display for the benefit of Ms. Patil and her husband Devisingh Shekhawat.
Among the memorabilia were selections from the Padshahnama constituting the official record of part of the reign of Emperor Shah Jahan (The folio showed a 15-year old Prince Aurangazeb confronting a rogue elephant on the riverbank in Agra in 1633); the Hindustani Diary of Queen Victoria; a shawl spun by the Mahatma and given over as a gift at the wedding of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip; the banquet speech by President Rajendra Prasad during the Queen’s first visit to India in 1961; the invitation on carved wood sent by President Prasad to Queen inviting her to pay the first visit; and the exchange of letters pertaining to the establishment of the Indian Republic.
October 29, 2009
Clinton Arrival in Pakistan Met by Fatal Attacks
By MARK LANDLER and ISMAIL KHAN
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Militants in Pakistan and Afghanistan punctuated Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s arrival here with deadly attacks on Wednesday, underscoring their ability to cause chaos even in the face of offensives on both sides of the border.
In Pakistan, a devastating car bomb tore through a congested market in the northwest city of Peshawar, killing as many as 101 people, many of them women and children. Pakistani authorities said the attack was the country’s most serious in two years, and the deadliest ever in Peshawar, which has become a front line for Taliban efforts to destabilize the government through violence.
In the Afghan capital, Kabul, Taliban militants stormed a guesthouse, killing five United Nations employees and three other people in a furious two-hour siege. The attack was meant to scare Afghans away from voting in a runoff election on Nov. 7 between President Hamid Karzai and his challenger, Abdullah Abdullah, a Taliban spokesman said.
The violence cast a shadow over the visit of Mrs. Clinton, who was meeting with government ministers in Islamabad, 90 miles southwest of Peshawar, when news of the Peshawar explosion came over television screens. Mrs. Clinton immediately condemned the bombing, which in killing women and children in Peshawar seemed aimed at the very constituencies she has championed in her travels to other developing countries.
Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/29/world/asia/29pstan.html?_r=1&ref=asia&pagewanted=print
Taliban in Punjab: Beginning of end
October 29, 2009
The brazen Taliban strike at carefully selected three different important targets in the provincial metropolis Lahore on Oct. 15, has once again, highlighted the extent and scope of Taliban’s scathing terroristic scare and the extent to which they can go on. Armed Taliban groups simultaneously attacked the office of Federal Investigation Agency and two other police training centers in Lahore, killing a number of Police officials and wounding many more. The attackers tried to hold the policemen and the officials as hostage inside the buildings but failed due to quick response from the security men. The vigilant Police and other law enforcing agencies shot dead all the terrorists and soon the situation was under control. The nation is proud of martyred security officials who have sacrificed their lives to save the citizens.
It is a good premonition that Chief Minister Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, who was about to leave for the U.K for medical checkup, immediately dropped his flight and preferred to stay on and personally supervised the security situation. In a subsequent statement, he said the valiant officers and Jawans, through their action, have again proved that they will never let the enemies of Pakistan accomplish their nefarious designs. Condemning the terrorist attacks, Chief Minister said that the nation stands united against all those elements who want to destabilize Pakistan.
Full Report at: http://pakobserver.net/200910/29/Articles03.asp
Pakistan mourns bomb victims
October 29, 2009
Many of the dead were women and children killed as they shopped for groceries in the busy market [EPA]
The first funerals have been held for some of the 105 victims of a massive car bomb attack that tore through a crowded market in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.
The attack on Wednesday brought down buildings, caused a large fire and left doctors appealing for blood donations to treat the more than 200 wounded.
Rescuers said many people were trapped under collapsed shops and buildings in the Mina Bazaar area of Peshawar's old town, a warren of narrow alleys.
Pakistani government officials have said the attack was in revenge for the army's offensive against Taliban fighters in South Waziristan, but that said the military campaign would go on.
Both the Taliban and al-Qaeda have rejected claims regarding their involvement in the attack.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a statement sent to the media, condemned the deadly blast and denied involvement in the explosion that rocked Peshawar's Meena Bazaar area on Wednesday.
Al-Qaeda, in its statement, said it does not kill innocent people.
The statement said that the terror strike was the handiwork of those people who wants to "defame jihad and refugees".
It warned that it would continue its struggle against the US and its allies across the world.
Full Report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/10/2009102924715563295.html
Indonesia: Jeans Banned for Some Aceh Women
By NORIMITSU ONISHI
October 29, 2009
Muslim women in a district in Aceh Province will be forbidden to wear tight pants or jeans under a regulation that will go into effect in January. Officials in West Aceh district said the Shariah police, who are charged with enforcing Islamic law, will shred any offensive clothing and require women in tight pants to change into government-issued skirts. The district has already ordered 7,000 skirts of various sizes. Last month, Aceh Province’s Parliament passed an Islamic penal code that could subject adulterers to death by stoning.
Rare Muslim books on show in Washington
October 29, 2009
WASHINGTON – A rare collection of unique, ornate books of divination consulted by shahs, sultans and Muslim laymen in 16th century Persia and Turkey are on show at Washington's Smithsonian Institution.
"It won't happen again, it's a once in a lifetime opportunity" to see the brilliantly painted manuscripts, Massumeh Farhad, chief curator and curator of Islamic art at the prestigious institute's Sackler Gallery of Asian art told Agence France-Presse.
Titled "Falnama: The Book of Omens," the exhibition includes 65 manuscripts and fortunetelling books depicting figures from the Old Testament, the Koran and a host of astrological symbols that provided insight to people's questions about their future.
The manuscripts, whose large size makes them a rarity in Oriental literature, are pages from three of the four known books of divination from the Persian and Ottoman cultures after 1550. It includes the book of omens from the court of Shah Tahmasb, who reigned from 1524 to 1576).
The works of art were lent by museums including Istanbul's Topkapi Palace, the Louvre in Paris, Berlin's museum of Islamic art, Geneva's museum of history and Dublin's Chester Beatty Library. The exhibition runs until January 24.
Full Report at: shttp://showbizandstyle.inquirer.net/breakingnews/breakingnews/view/20091029-232888/Rare-Muslim-books-on-show-in-Washington
MU Muslim student creates international Pink Hijab Day
By Courtney Shove
October 29, 2009
COLUMBIA — What began as a high school fashion experiment turned into annual effort of worldwide activism. Donning pink head scarves has become a symbol of Muslim support in the fight against breast cancer.
While on a Rock Bridge High School field trip in 2004, Hend El-Buri and a few of her friends decided to sport pink hijabs in an effort to be appear more approachable. She said she doesn't even remember where the trip took them just that it was to a place with few to no Muslims.
At the time, the girls thought in their teenaged minds, "Look, we're wearing pink, and we're so friendly," El-Buri said, now a senior at MU.
Annually for the next two years, El-Buri and her friends continued to wear pink hijabs at Rock Bridge. By brightening their head scarves, the young women strived to make their peers feel more comfortable asking them questions about Islam.
During her freshman year at MU, El-Buri created a Facebook for the first Pink Hijab Day and since then, the event has gotten bigger every year.
Now, three years later, she is the founder of Pink Hijab Day, an international breast cancer awareness initiative. According to pinkhijabday.net, the purpose of the event is to break stereotypes of Muslim women, as well as raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.
Pink Hijab Day is now celebrated in 11 countries: the United States, Botswana, Canada, Egypt, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Trinidad, the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. During the month of October, Muslims around the globe participate by wearing pink hijabs and ribbons and donating money to various breast cancer foundations.
Other than being a woman, El-Buri does not have any personal connection to the breast cancer research cause. She said she could have chosen any other cause to support but because breast and hijabs are both very personal to women, it made sense to connect the two.
According to the American Cancer Society Web site, female breast cancer incidence in Missouri from 2002 to 2006 was 122.2 out of every 100,000 women, and the female breast cancer mortality rate in Missouri was 25.3 of 100,000.
Hijab is an Arabic word that refers to the head covering worn by many Muslim women. In the Islamic tradition, many women wear hijabs as a sign of faith in God and as a way to remain modest.
El-Buri began wearing a hijab when she was in fourth grade because she saw her mother and older sisters wearing them. She said it wasn't until later that it became more about her faith.
According to El-Buri, there are no rules regarding color or fabric of the scarf, but it should cover everything except the face and hands. She said the color choice of the hijabs seems to be cultural. While it is common for most Saudi Arabian women to wear a black hijabs, there are many American Muslims that wear other colors.
Missouri celebrated Pink Hijab Day on Wednesday. El-Buri and a handful of other women from the MU Muslim Student Organization set up a table outside of Memorial Union.
Full Report at: http://www.columbiamissourian.com/stories/2009/10/29/pink-hijabs-promote-breast-cancer-awareness-break-steroeotypes/print/
Taliban denies Peshawar blast role
October 29, 2009
The blast killed many women and children as they shopped in the busy Mina Bazaar [EPA]
The Taliban and al-Qaeda have distanced themselves from Wednesday's deadly market blast in Peshawar that claimed 105 lives, saying "their main targets are the security forces, and not innocent civilians".
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), in a statement sent to the media on Thursday, condemned the car bomb attack that tore through a crowded market and denied any involvement in the explosion.
However, Pakistani government officials have said the attack was in revenge for the army's offensive against Taliban fighters in South Waziristan, and that the military campaign would go on.
The attack on the busy Mina Bazaar, which also injured more than 200 people, was the deadliest to hit Pakistan this year.
Many of those killed were women and children and on Thursday, residents of the troubled city began burying the dead.
Lieutenant-General Asad Durrani, the former head of Pakistan's Inter Service Intelligence (ISI), told Al Jazeera the current situation in the country was grim and that it could take years for the situation to be brought under control.
"American help in our efforts of counter- insurgency are very unhelpful because this alliance is a very unpopular one. The public are not in favour of America and Pakistan co-ordinating..."
Full Report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/10/2009102995252334582.html
Islamabad: Promotion of peace and harmony must to curb terrorism
By Noor Aftab
Promotion of peace and harmony among all segments of the society is a must to curb growing menace of extremism and terrorism from the Pakistani society.
These views were expressed by UK-based scholars including Shaykh Babikir Al Sudani, Shaykh Pir Habibur Rehman and Allama Zafar Farashwi during a press briefing held here on Wednesday.
These scholars are on a fact finding tour to listen to views on what local and international personalities can do to help Pakistan overcome its present challenges.
The visit of these scholars has been arranged by Karevan-e-Amal, a campaign that is aimed at helping build trust and resolve conflict in the country. The fact that the visit is taking place in the present security climate shows the extent of the commitment of the scholars taking part in the campaign.
Shaykh Babikir, originally from Sudan, while giving details of their ongoing visit said the main purpose of their initiative is to articulate a relevant mainstream understanding of Islam that is dynamic, proactive and relevant.
“Our aim is to remove the gap between public and private dialogue on issues affecting Islam and Muslims in the modern world. We believe in open debate and meaningful discussion that is the need of hour,” he said.
Full Report at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=205696
New York-Based Muslim's Web Site Calls for God to 'Kill the Jews'
Oct 13, 2009
By Joshua Rhett Miller
A New York bicycle cabbie who last year used his Web site to mock the beheading of journalist Daniel Pearl posted a prayer calling for the murder of Jews and exhorting Muslims to “throw liquid drain cleaner in their faces." And there's nothing authorities can do about it.
Yousef al-Khattab, who runs RevolutionMuslim.com and pedals a pedicab in New York City, insists the words he has posted on his Web site are a prayer, and not a threat — and that his hatred is protected by the First Amendment.
"If it was a threat, I'd be in jail," the 41-year-old al-Khattab told Foxnews.com from his home in Queens. "I'm asking my God, that's what it is. Every supporter of Israel is an enemy combatant and the immune system is not anti-Semitic for resisting disease."
Al-Khattab removed the Oct. 7 post a "few days ago" and replaced it with a post about a mosque in Jerusalem.
An American-born Jew formerly known as Joseph Cohen who converted to Islam after attending an Orthodox rabbinical school — al-Khattab called on Allah to carry out "wrath on the Jewish occupiers of Palestine & their supporters."
"Please throw liquid drain cleaner in their faces," he wrote. " … burn their flammable sukkos while they sleep … Ya Allah (Oh God) answer my duaa (prayer)." ("Sukkos" refers to the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, during which Jews build and eat their meals in outdoor huts known as "sukkahs," which represent the huts the Jews lived in during their exodus from Egypt.)
Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox News' senior legal analyst, said the posting is "absolutely protected" by the First Amendment.
"All innocuous speech is absolutely protected and all speech is innocuous when there is time for more speech to rebut or address it," he told Foxnews.com. "So even if this Web site were to call on Muslim freedom fighters to kill Jews, as long as there is time for someone else to challenge this with words, then the originals words are lawful."
Iran Hints at Cooperation on U.N. Nuclear Deal
By ROBERT F. WORTH and ALAN COWELL
October 30, 2009
BEIRUT, Lebanon — After days of uncertain signals, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hinted Thursday that Iran would accept a United Nations-sponsored plan to send the country’s uranium abroad for processing, saying “we welcome cooperation on nuclear fuel, power plants, and technology, and we are ready to cooperate.”
Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments, broadcast on state television, came as Iran prepared to deliver a formal response to the plan, which was designed to bridge the gap between Iran’s insistence that its nuclear program is for civilian purposes and the West’s suspicion that it is building a bomb.
Iran’s state-run Al Alam Arabic-language television station reported Thursday that Tehran had delivered its formal response to the proposal to the United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna. But officials there said they could not immediately confirm the report. Earlier this week, Iran said it would respond to the plan by Friday.
Speaking in the north-eastern city of Mashad, Mr. Ahmadinejad did not address the possibility that Iran might seek changes to the agreement, which was crafted during three days of talks in Vienna by Iranian and Western negotiators. Other Iranian officials have suggested that Iran might insist on shipping its low-enriched uranium in instalments rather than all at once, which could derail the agreement.
But Mr. Ahmadinejad’s comments put a more positive spin on the plan than he has in the past.
“Fortunately, the conditions for international nuclear cooperation have been met,” Mr. Ahmadinejad said. "We are currently moving in the right direction and we have no fear of legal cooperation, under which all of Iran’s national rights will be preserved, and we will continue our work."
He also insisted, as he often has, that Iran would not retreat from its rights to nuclear power. “As long as this government is in power, it will not retreat one iota on the undeniable rights of the Iranian nation.”
Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/30/world/middleeast/30nuke.html?hp
Iraq Makes Sweeping Arrests Over Baghdad Blasts
By JOHN LELAND, October 30, 2009
BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraqi officials said on Thursday they had arrested 61 army and police officers in connection with the bombings in central Baghdad on Sunday that killed 155 people and wounded hundreds more.
The attacks, in which suicide bombers were seen on film passing through numerous security checkpoints before detonating their vehicles in front of three government buildings, spurred angry criticism and accusations of corruption among the officers manning the checkpoints.
Maj. General Qassim Atta, who announced the arrests, did not say whether the officers were accused of complicity in the attacks or negligence in preventing them.
Those arrested included the chief and commander of the police station nearest to the bombing, as well as officers in adjoining neighborhoods.
Since the bombings, which were the deadliest coordinated attack since 2007, numerous officials, including the governor of Baghdad, have called for the resignation of the interior iinister and operations commander, blaming their negligence for insecurity in the capital.
Full Report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/30/world/middleeast/30iraq.html?hp
Iran worker 'jailing' angers UK
Foreign Secretary David Miliband has urged Iran to overturn a four-year jail sentence reportedly given to a British embassy employee.
Hossein Rassam, 44, was arrested in June at the time of massive street protests over the country's disputed presidential election.
The Iranian, who worked as a political analyst at the embassy, was accused of spying and inciting unrest.
In a statement, Mr Miliband called the reported sentence "wholly unjustified".
The foreign secretary said it represented "further harassment of embassy staff for going about their normal and legitimate duties".
He added the British ambassador in Tehran had spoken to Iran's deputy foreign minister and that the Iranian ambassador in London had been called in to explain the decision.
Mr Miliband said: "We understand the sentence can be appealed. I urge the authorities to conduct this quickly and overturn this harsh sentence."
He added: "We are in close touch with EU and other international partners, who continue to show solidarity in the face of this unacceptable Iranian action.
Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/8331122.stm
Police arrested over Iraq bombing
Iraq has arrested more than 60 security force members, including 11 senior officers over Sunday's twin suicide bombing in the capital, Baghdad.
Those arrested include the commanders of 15 checkpoints near to where the attacks took place.
The attack, in which more than 150 people were killed and 500 injured, was the deadliest in Baghdad for two years.
Correspondents say the scale of the bombings raised new questions over the competence of Iraqi security forces.
The BBC's Gabriel Gatehouse in Baghdad says it is not clear whether those arrested are accused of negligence or collusion.
However, he adds, it seems to confirm what many people have suspected - that the security forces are susceptible to infiltration by insurgents or are just not up to the job.
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said in a BBC interview that he wanted the UN to investigate external interference, accusing Syria of providing a safe haven for the bombers, which Damascus has denied.
Mr Zebari asserted that security aims would have to be met for the planned US withdrawal to proceed according to plan.
“The Americans cannot just wash their hands”Hoshyar Zebari, Iraqi Foreign Minister
Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8331488.stm
Report: Palestinians denied water
Israel is denying Palestinians access to even the basic minimum of clean, safe water, Amnesty International says.
In a report, the human rights group says Israeli water restrictions discriminate against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.
It says that in Gaza, Israel's blockade has pushed the already ailing water and sewage system to "crisis point".
Israel says the report is flawed and the Palestinians get more water than was agreed under the 1990s peace deal.
In the 112-page report, Amnesty says that on average Palestinian daily water consumption reaches 70 litres a day, compared with 300 litres for the Israelis.
“Israel must end its discriminatory policies, immediately lift all the restrictions it imposes on Palestinians' access to water”
Donatella Rovera Amnesty International
It says that some Palestinians barely get 20 litres a day - the minimum recommended even in humanitarian emergencies.
While Israeli settlers in the West Bank enjoy lush gardens and swimming pools, Amnesty describes a series of Israeli measures it says are discriminating against Palestinians:
Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/middle_east/8327188.stm
Indonesia 'might expel' refugees
By Karishma Vaswani, Jakarta
Indonesia says the 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers moored in a boat off Sumatra must co-operate with authorities over identity checks or risk expulsion.
The Sri Lankans were intercepted in Indonesian waters eleven days ago while trying to reach Australia.
Australia and Indonesia agreed to a deal last week which in principle would see the asylum seekers moved to an Indonesian detention centre.
But the Sri Lankans, ethnic Tamils, are refusing to leave the ship.
Indonesia's foreign ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizahsyah has told the BBC that Indonesia will only be able to host the 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers once they have been clearly identified.
The refugees have so far resisted any efforts to get off the Oceanic Viking, an Australian customs ship that picked them up in Indonesian waters.
Mr Faizahsyah says if this stand-off continues, Indonesia will have no choice but to expel the Sri Lankans.
This has turned into an embarrassing problem for the Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who last week agreed to a deal with Australia to look after the 78 Sri Lankan asylum seekers in Indonesia.
Full Report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/8331300.stm
Clash around Al-Aqsa Mosque cannot be resolved through religious dialogue: experts
October 29, 2009
Clash around Al-Aqsa Mosque cannot be resolved through religious dialogue: experts
The problem of clash between the Arab and the Orthodox Jews and the Israeli police around the Al-Aqsa mosque cannot be solved by a religious dialogue, because the problem is a continuation of the Arab-Israeli conflict, experts believe.
Analysts also do not rule out that it may trigger a new wave of violence in the region.
The Palestinian Delegation to the UN, which has an observer status, urged the UN Security Council to take urgent steps due to worsening of the situation on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, venerated by both Muslims and Jews, RIA Novosti reported.
In recent weeks, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, especially around the third-largest Muslim holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, were the scene of constant clashes between Arabs and the Israeli police and Orthodox Jews.
Last Sunday 18 people were arrested in the clashes.
However, even minor disturbances in East Jerusalem, which Palestinians consider the capital of their future state, and where the major Muslim shrines are located, can lead to serious complications.
Visiting the Temple Mount in 2000, Ariel Sharon, who later became the Prime Minister of Israel, turned into the intifada that lasted several years.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), one of the largest in the Islamic world, in a statement called on Islamic countries to take steps to protect their holy places in Jerusalem.
However, analysts believe that the conflict caused by the clash around Al-Aqsa is political in nature, although it arose between representatives of different religions.
The Arab experts were unanimous in their opinion that the clashes in Jerusalem are the result of the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian lands.
"The problem is that the Israeli government is trying to gain upper hand over all Jerusalem," Director of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies, Hasan Abu Nimah, said to Trend News in a telephone conversation. "This problem cannot be solved through inter-religious dialogue and negotiation between religious communities, because that arose as a result of policies of the Israeli government."
Full Report at: http://en.trend.az/regions/met/palestine/1568470.html
Kuwaiti Women Granted Right to Obtain Passports
Molly Driessen, October 29, 2009
On Oct. 21, 2009, Kuwait's high court passed a law allowing women to apply for and hold a passport without a husband's signature. The issue was brought to court by Fatima al-Baghli, when her husband refused to give her and their three children their passports, in the effort of keeping them in the country. The law overturned a previous act from 1962 that required the signature of a husband before a woman could obtain her passport.
According to The New York Times, the court said, "It undermines her free will and compromises her humanity." Furthermore, Article 29 of the Kuwait Constitution says, "(1) All people are equal in human dignity and in public rights and duties before the law, without distinction to race, origin, language, or religion. (2) Personal liberty is guaranteed." Thus, the court found the previous law to be unconstitutional, preventing women from having equal rights with men. One woman activist, Aisha al-Rsheid, promises to fight for more rights. The New York Times quoted her saying, "We want to see women judges and prosecutors, we want women to give their citizenship to their children, and we want women to have the right to state-provided houses."
The high courts's decision is controversial due to Kuwait's political history. Kuwait, which became independent in 1961 and ratified its Constitution in 1962, rules by a political system that significantly adheres to the Islamic law. Thus, the National Assembly, which is Kuwait's 50 member legislative body, rules under the influence of both the Islamic law and the Constitution.
However, the balance of such political ruling, becomes particularly difficult in the fight for women's rights. Nonetheless, Kuwaiti women activists have continued to fight for their rights, which they believe to fall within this balance.
Full Report at: http://media.www.thecowl.com/media/storage/paper493/news/2009/10/29/World/Kuwaiti.Women.Granted.Right.To.Obtain.Passports-3816737.shtml
UN body on BB murder case finalizes visit to Pakistan
October 29, 2009
LAHORE: The United Nations commission probing Benazir’s murder case has finalized their final visit to Pakistan to end probe into Mohtarma’s assassination, Geo news reported.
The body said that it is having problems getting access to former president Pervez Musharraf for questioning, sources said
According to the sources, the UN body had also demanded that the government help them contact Musharraf.
The commission could visit Pakistan in the last week of next month, sources added.
Taliban, al-Qaeda disown blast
October 29, 2009
RAWALPINDI: The Taliban and al-Qaeda have denied involvement in the Peshawar bomb blast and said they do not explode bombs in bazaars and mosques. According to a statement of al-Qaeda, they are not involved in the killing of innocent people. According to al-Qaeda sources, the elements, who want to defame Jehad and refugees, are behind the Peshawar bomb blast. The al-Qaeda sources say they would continue Jehad against America and its agents across the world. The banned Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) in an email sent to the media also condemned the Peshawar blast and denied its involvement in the Meena Bazaar explosion.
UN sets date for Gaza report debate
October 29, 2009
The UN General Assembly has said it will meet next week to consider a UN report that accused both Israeli forces and the Palestinian group Hamas of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity during the Gaza war last winter.
The report, compiled by a panel led by Richard Goldstone, a South African jurist, was endorsed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council on October 16, which recommended that the General Assembly take it up during the current session.
Jean Victor Nkolo, the General Assembly spokesman, said Ali Treki, the Assembly's president, had received a letter from the president of the Human Rights Council about the report and requests from Arab nations asking the assembly to consider its findings and recommendations during the first week of November.
The 118-member non-aligned group of mainly developing nations also asked the assembly to consider the report findings and recommendations.
Nkolo said Treki "intends to convene a plenary meeting of the General Assembly on November 4".
The Goldstone report was more critical of Israel than Hamas, accusing its troops of using disproportionate force, deliberately targeting civilians and using Palestinians as human shields in the three-week offensive that raged between last December and January.
About 1,400 Palestinians, a majority of them women and children, and 13 Israelis were killed in the offensive.
Full Report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/10/2009102944129142371.html
Philippines pact to protect schools
October 28, 2009
The Philippine government and separatists fighting for a Muslim homeland in the country's south have signed an agreement to protect schools and hospitals, and avoid civilian suffering.
The deal between the predominantly-Catholic government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) was sealed in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, signalling improving ties after years of conflict.
In the agreement signed on Tuesday, both sides committed not to target non-combatants, along with "schools, hospitals, religious premises, health and food distribution centres, or relief operations".
They also agreed not to block the flow of food aid and other relief goods, according to Philippine officials.
Displaced civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict in the Muslim-majority southern region, which has claimed at least 120,000 lives since the 1970s.
Talk to resume
Full Report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2009/10/200910285955811606.html
Malaysia seizes 15,000 copies of the bible
October 29, 2009
They used the word "Allah" as a translation for God. -AFP
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian authorities have seized some 15,000 bibles imported from Indonesia because they use the word "Allah" as a translation for God which is banned here, a church leader said Thursday.
"The church uses the bible and it is part of the worshipper's life. There is no reason why it should be confiscated," said Reverend Hermen Shastri, general secretary of the Council of Churches of Malaysia.
"The bibles are used in the church," he said, dismissing suggestions by Islamic officials that they could be used to help convert Muslims who make up some 60 percent of the 27 million population.
Shastri said the latest confiscation happened in September when airport authorities in Sarawak state on Borneo island seized 10,000 copies of the Indonesian-language bibles which feature the disputed word "Allah".
Another 5,000 copies were confiscated in March, he said.
"The reason given for the detention of the Scriptures was because they contain banned words," he said.
The Catholic Church has waged a two-year legal battle with Malaysian authorities over the use of the word "Allah" as a translation for "God" in its newspaper published here.
The Herald newspaper, circulated among the country's 850,000 Catholics, nearly lost its publishing licence last year for using the disputed word in its Malay-language edition.
The government has argued that the word "Allah" should be used only by Muslims, who dominate the population of multicultural Malaysia.
The row is one of a string of religious disputes that have erupted in recent years, straining relations between Muslim Malays and minority ethnic Chinese and Indians who fear the country is being "Islamised".
Shastri said there was no reason to seize the bibles because the use of the word "Allah" predates Islam.
"The word is not sensitive in Indonesia and the Christians use it in the Middle East. It is mainly driven by other motives ... (to project) the dominance of Islam in Malaysia," he said.
Officials at the home ministry, which Shastri said was involved in the seizure, were not immediately available for comment.
Full Report at: http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20091029-176703.html
Radical Islamic Group Mosque Imam Killed in Shootout With FBI
By Anthony L. Kimery
29 October 2009
Called for 'an offensive jihad'
Luqman Ameen Abdullah, the imam of Masjid Al Haqq, a Detroit mosque of the National Ummah, a 20-year-old radical Islamic group that “may have ties to charities linked to terrorism financing,” according to a 2009 Virginia intelligence assessment, was shot and killed by the FBI at a trucking and warehouse firm in Dearborn during a series of raids Wednesday in that city and in Detroit while trying to arrest eleven members of the group.
A member of the advisory council of the Muslim Alliance in North America, Abdullah was charged with conspiracy to sell stolen goods and illegal possession and sale of firearms, among other alleged criminal activity.
The National Ummah was established in 1987 by former FBI ten most wanted fugitive, Black Panther "Minister of Justice," H. Rapp Brown, who has been known as Jamil Abdullah Al Amin following his conversion to Islam while in prison from 1971 to 1976 for his role in a robbery that ended in a shootout with New York police.
The National Imam of the National Ummah, Al Amin’s group is composed mostly of African-American converts to Islam who seek to establish a separate Sharia-law governed state within the United States.
Al Amin currently is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for the March 2000 shooting that killed Fulton County, Georgia Deputy Sheriff Ricky Kinchen and the wounding of deputy sheriff Aldranon English. The deputies - both African-Americans - were attempting to serve Al Amin a warrant for failing to appear in court to face charges of driving a stolen car and impersonating a police officer.
During Al Amin’s murder trial, the Masjid Al Islam mosque in Los Angeles – which called Al Amin "one of the pillars of our local Islamic communities," declared that his arrest was nothing less than a challenge to "establishing Islam in America."
According to a joint statement from the FBI and the Detroit US Attorney’s Office, “the eleven defendants [charged by the FBI Wednesday] are members of a group that is alleged to have engaged in violent activity over a period of many years and known to be armed.”
Several of the men, including Abdullah, have prior criminal convictions going back to the 1970s. Abdullah reputedly was arrested in 1979 for assault on a police officer.
Full Report at: http://www.hstoday.us/content/view/10847/149/
Arabic Introduces Islam to Ukrainians
By Hani Salah, IOL Correspondent
Oct. 29, 2009
KIEV – Forty-five weekly schools that teach the Arabic language are gaining popularity among Ukrainian intellectuals and are helping introducing them to Islam and its civilization.
“Arabic, the language of the Qur’an, has become a window for many Ukrainians to know Islam,” Dr. Shadi Shawer, the head of Human Development Department at the Federation of Social Organizations in Ukraine (Arraid) and the schools supervisor, told IslamOnline.net.
He said the weekly schools help many Ukrainians to better understand the Muslim faith.
“The schools have become one of our tools to promote Islam and show its true image.”
Shawer said there are 45 weekly schools across the country that teach Arabic language, eastern culture and Islamic sciences over a period of three years.
Most of the students enrolled at the charges-free schools are university students and professors who attend classes once a week.
“Many enroll to know the Arabic culture to better communicate with Arab students at Ukrainian universities,” he said.
“Others are interested in knowing more about Islam.”
The Muslim leader notes that some students end up embracing Islam during or after the course.
Ukraine is home to some two million Muslims making up 4 percent of the estimated 48-million population.
There are up to 200 mosques and 20 Islamic centers in the country.
Many Ukrainians credit the Arabic schools for changing their misconceptions about Islam.
Full Report at: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1256034108542&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout
Somali PM says his country is haven for Al-Qaeda
London, October 28, 2009
Al-Qaeda is using Somalia to train, regroup and plan further attacks, the Somali prime minister said Wednesday, warning it was also beginning to threaten regional stability.
"Somalia has now clearly become a haven for the pariah that is Al-Qaeda," Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke said in a speech in London.
"We cannot be certain of the precise size of their presence in our country but Al-Qaeda are here, they are training and planning in our land. Somalia is serving as an ideal place for them to re-group and redeploy."
The Al-Qaeda inspired-Shebab group and allied hardline Islamists control large swathes of southern and central Somalia, and Sharmarke said defeating them was important not only to his country but "to the whole world".
He said the insurgency was also spreading to other countries and "Al Shabab is now starting to threaten regional stability".
"And Somalia does risk being taken over by Al-Qaeda, just as Afghanistan was the haven of Al-Qaeda in the 1990s," he told the Royal Institute of International Affairs think-tank at Chatham House in London.
Sharmarke said that an exclusively military response would not work, saying strong government and regeneration was needed to provide an alternative.
"An insurgency needs chaos, discontent and poverty and we must take that away," he said.
Sharmarke is part of a Western-backed transitional government headed by President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed that took over earlier this year, but has faced a renewed campaign by the hardline Islamist Shebab.
Somalia has been gripped by civil wars and insurgencies and bereft of stable government since the overthrow of president Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
Full Report at: http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/europe/Somali-PM-says-his-country-is-haven-for-Al-Qaeda/Article1-470338.aspx
Haj Mission declares living pilgrim dead
October 29, 2009
A goof up by the Haj Mission in Mecca gave tense moments to a family of a septuagenarian man from Bihar. Mallick Gazi Bilaluddin had gone to Mecca and was declared dead by the Indian Haj Mission there but was later found alive recuperating in a hospital.
Bilaluddin had gone to Saudi Arabia on October 23 for the Haj piligrimage and was admitted to the King Abdul Aziz Hospital after he complained of chest pain.
An official of the Haj Mission in Mecca called Bilaluddin’s family in Bihar to inform about his death. The family members were shocked to hear that he was no more. His relative in Saudi Arabia was also informed about his death. Mohammad Imam Mallick, Bilal’s nephew who works in Jeddah, rushed and was asked to identify his body. But, he was relieved to find that the body was not that of his uncle. The Indian embassy in Saudi Arabia had also listed Bilal’s name in its list of dead persons, the family claimed.
“After receiving a call from India, I contacted a Haj Mission official in Mecca who told me that my uncle had passed away. The body was somebody else’s and we realised that the announcement was a mistake. We then searched the entire hospital and found my uncle in room number 143,” added Mallick.
Full Report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/212102/Haj-Mission-declares-living-pilgrim-dead.html