New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 13 Jun 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Rejection of Minorities sub-quota by Indian Supreme Court: Muslim leaders say govt was callous

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

India

Rejection of Minorities sub-quota by Indian Supreme Court: Muslim leaders say govt was callous

Jamiat Ulama-i Hind Islamic Trust gives scholarships to Hindu students

Mehdi Hassan, ‘Voice of god’ to be heard no more: Lata Mangeshkar

Ultra returns from PoK, rehabilitated

Cash-strapped MC Leases out park named after Urdu poet Hali

SC nixes Muslim quota on whiff of communalism

India seeks further access to 26/11 accused

U.S. fully understands India’s oil dependence on Iran: Krishna

 

Pakistan

Murderer of Hundred of Shiites and Sunnis, Wahhabi Files Case against “Ali Wali ullah” in Shiite Adhan

Ulema convention calls for reopening of Dir religious seminaries

CRM, civil society stage walk to protest against child abuse

Pak SC adjourns contempt proceedings against Malik

US drone kills three militants in Pakistan: Officials

Pak SC disqualifies 3 lawmakers for holding dual nationality

I never took any money from Malik Riaz: Imran

Donation misconceptions behind country’s unmet blood needs

Will Pak bury Ghazal Shahenshah near Jinnah?

Pakistan calls again for apology for NATO strike

 

South Asia

28 dead in Myanmar communal unrest: official

Thousands in need of food, shelter after Myanmar clashes

Afghanistan set to press Pakistan on terror havens

Iran warns US over military bases in Afghanistan

 

Southeast Asia

Riots in Indonesia's Papua After Independence Activist Killed

 

Mideast Asia

Seminar on spiritual aspects of Shiaism held in Belgrade

Gaza family urges UK Queen to remove ‘blood diamond’

Ex-Israeli soldier seeks Palestinian citizenship

Quran memorization courses to be run

Hamas: Israel committed 'crime against humanity' in 2010 fatal raid

Prisoners' hunger strike pushes Palestine to the edge

Israeli report slams Netanyahu

 

Arab World

The prince of Kuwait rejects bill on death penalty for blasphemy

Iraq’s Sunni vice-president’s trial portrays dark side of politics

Top 86-year old Sunni cleric Qardawi marries for the third time

Death Illustrates Issues with Loose Weapons Stockpiles in Libya

Over 14,400 killed in 15-month Syria revolt

Egypt Reimposes Martial Law, Ahead of Closely Watched Ruling

U.N. Kept Out of a Town That Syria Says It ‘Cleansed’

Bahrain Court Convicts 9 Medics for Role in Uprising

Syria violence kills 11, two car bombs reported: NGO

Syrian army systematically killing civilians-Amnesty

New weapons push Syrian crisis toward civil war

Egypt military police gets sweeping powers ahead of polls

Osama bin Laden's son pitches for football World Cup deals

Once illegal, health rumours now have Mubarak die daily

 

North America

Canada’s first full-time paid Muslim chaplain being sought at the University of Toronto

Clinton applauds Singh, Gilani for improvement in ties

Panetta favours conditions to be put on US aid to Pakistan

 

Africa

S. Africa Non-Muslims Favour Islamic Finance

 

Europe

“Jesus in Quran” commonalities of Islam and Christianity, published in Germany

German Police Raid Scores of Radical Islamists' Homes

France wants UN Security Council to enforce Syria ceasefire

 

Australia

Australia: Community opposition threatens a Shia Mosque to be build

Australia to train Afghan forces after withdrawal of combat forces

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Will the reservations really benefit minorities

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/rejection-of-minorities-sub-quota-by-indian-supreme-court--muslim-leaders-say-govt-was-callous/d/7620

 

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India

 

Rejection of Minorities sub-quota by Indian Supreme Court: Muslim leaders say govt was callous

Danish Raza

Jun 14, 2012

Weeks before polls in Uttar Pradesh, the Centre announced 4.5 per cent sub quota for minorities from 27 per cent quota for other backward classes (OBCs). The immediate target was the vote of Muslim community which made up around 18 per cent of Uttar Pradesh population.

Now it looks that the trick has worked against the Congress party in more than one way. Not only did the announcement not galvanise minority votes, the manner in which the government carved out a sub-quota has now been questioned by the Supreme Court (SC).

Muslim community leaders blame the Centre for its casual attitude in handling the issue. The Centre’s inability to defend its stand before the SC, they say, has exposed it was never serious about reservation and that sub-quota announcement was a poll gimmick.

Dr Zafarul Islam Khan, president of All India Muslim Majlis-Mushwarat, an umbrella body of Indian Muslim organizations, slammed the government for lack of home work for defending its decision before the court.

“The government’s callous attitude was clear when it sent a junior lawyer to defend its case in the Andhra Pradesh High Court. The government is hesitant about reservation and has been sleeping on the Rangranath Mishra committee report for all these years.”

Maulana Arshad Madani, president, Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, said it was the responsibility of the law ministry to make sure that sub-quota was legally valid and could not be questioned in court.

“We have seen the Congress, in UPA I and UPA II, going back and forth, on the issue of reservation for Muslims. What is happening in Supreme Court is not a minor development. Such events will adversely impact the Congress party as far as the votes of the Muslim community are concerned,” he said.

Even if Uttar Pradesh election was the only factor that prompted the government to take this decision, it had to be backed by proper justification, said SQR Ilyas, member, working committee, All India Muslim Personal Law Board.

From the way the government has defended its stand so far, it looks like religion was the criteria for slicing a separate pie for minorities and the SC is correct in observing the same. “If they (government) want the court or public to believe otherwise, they should have prepared a better case,’ said Iyas.

There was a better way to handle the issue and the solution lies in reservation models adopted by Bihar and states in south, said Tanweer Fazal, assistant professor, Jamia Millia Islamia University in Delhi.

“Instead of carving out a sub-quota for minorities form the existing OBC quota, the government could have bifurcated the OBC list into ‘backward’ and ‘most backward’ without making specific mention of minorities. The ‘most backward’ group would automatically cover minorities. This is an easy way to extend the benefits of reservation to them without creating a fuss about it,’ said Fazal.

“But such an exercise needs time and cannot be done if the objective is to announce a poll soap,” he added.

According to Sultan Shahin, editor of Islamic website, newageislam.com, questioning the Centre’s intention, is going too far.

“The sub- quota case is an example of incompetence, inefficiency and lack of attention to detail. But we should not question the intention of Congress party because it has made an attempt to understand the issues of minorities. There is political will, but there is no social or constitutional acceptability to anything done for Muslims,” said Shain.

http://www.firstpost.com/india/minorities-sub-quota-muslim-leaders-say-govt-was-callous-343827.html

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Jamiat Ulama-i Hind Islamic Trust gives scholarships to Hindu students

June 13, 2012

The Jamiat Ulama-i Hind Islamic trust Sunday handed out scholarships to nine Hindu school students in Mumbai on Sunday.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - “In the past three years, we have extended generous financial aid and scholarships to 25 non-Muslim students and the figure keeps on increasing depending on the number of applications we get,” head of the organization’s legal cell Gulzar Azmi said.

Trust president Arshad Madani said that the organisation has consciously kept away from making discriminations based on religion since its inception in 1919.

“In those days, we fought against the British rulers and those who advocated a separate state of Pakistan. Now, we are present anywhere in the country to provide emergency help to Muslims and non-Muslims,” Madani observed.

The Jamiat Ulama-i Hind distributed scholarships worth over Rs.1.75 million to nine Hindu and 301 Muslim students Sunday, Azmi said.

Targeted at students of Class VI to Class XII from different Mumbai schools, Maharashtra’s Minister for Minority Affairs & Textiles Naseem Khan gave away the scholarships to the needy students this afternoon.

Again depending on the requirements and performance of the students, the individual scholarship amounts ranged between Rs.1,000 to Rs.10,000 which covers the annual school tuition and term fees.

Besides, Azmi said that the NGO has in the past provided legal aid to the innocent Muslim youths, who had been arrested in vain in various terror charges.

Azmi, declaring concern for humanity, pointed out how the Muslim NGO had provided relief to people injured in last week’s gas cylinder blast in north-east Mumbai, and a recent building crash in the Muslim-dominated powerloom town of Bhiwandiin Thane district.

He added that there are many non-Muslim trusts and NGOs which provide financial assistance to deserving Muslim students and his NGO decided, in its own modest ways to reciprocate the gesture.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=321722

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Mehdi Hassan, ‘Voice of god’ to be heard no more: Lata Mangeshkar

By Lata Mangeshkar

14 June 2012

Ghazal legend Mehdi Hassan passes away

TO SING with Mehdi Hassan Saab will always remain one of my unfulfilled wishes. I always wanted to record at least one song with him, and till the end, tried several possibilities. It never worked out.

After his demise, this desire to sing a duet with Mehdi Saab and share a stage with him will just remain a dream.

A few years ago — I cannot recall the exact time — I was in Kingston, Ontario, for a concert.

I learnt that Mehdi Saab was performing in Toronto along with Farida Khanum. I was so excited that I flew down to Toronto just to meet him. He was warm and extremely courteous and did not show even an ounce of ego. His humility inspired me.

I have always liked his ghazal Gulon mein rang bhare baade- naubahaar chale, penned by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. We met several times and I would tell him about my favourite ghazal . He would simply give a shy smile.

Mehdi Saab last performed in India in 2000, and always looked forward to visiting this country because he was born here. He came to our residence in 2004 and we spent a long time discussing songs and shayari . He enjoyed lunch at our place and had said he wanted to come again and again to India. That was the last time we met face to face, though we always stayed in touch over phone.

People think of Tera milna from the 2009 album Sarhadein , which became very popular. It is the only duet that features Mehdi saab ’s and my voices but, technically, we never sang together. The song was composed by Mehdi saab and written by Farhat Shahzad. His portions were recorded in Pakistan while I sang my parts in India. He had once told me about another song he wanted to record with me. Sadly, that was not to be.

Mehdi Saab wasn’t keeping well over the past several years and he was always immersed in music even when his health did not permit him to do riyaaz . His demise is a serious loss to the music fraternity. His voice had a distinct velvety touch, which has gone silent today.

Mail Today

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Ultra returns from PoK, rehabilitated

13 JUNE 2012

A 25-year-old militant trained in Pakistan on Wednesday managed to cross the Line of Control in search of a better life for his children. The youth had been kidnapped by LeT commanders and forced to undergo arms training in Pakistan.

Defence spokesman in Jammu Col RK Palta said, "Noticing some unusual movement near the LoC in Dheri border village of Mendhar tehsil in Poonch district, troops carried out a search operation and came to know that the family of Mukhtar Ahmad including his wife and three children had crossed the line of control about 5 am and taken shelter in the village." The defence spokesman said the militant had revealed that after escaping from the training camp he had been leading a miserable existence in PoK. The family pleaded for shelter from the troops of Indian Army. The Indian Army troops, seeing the exhausted children, extended assistance including food and first aid to the family before handing them to authorities.         

http://www.dailypioneer.com/nation/72863-ultra-returns-from-pok-rehabilitated.html

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Cash-strapped Panipat MC leases out park named after Urdu poet Hali

Jun 14, 2012

PANIPAT: A symbol of the glorious cultural heritage of Panipat, Hali park, dedicated to the memory of great Urdu poet and social reformer Khwaja Altaf Hussain Hali, is set to lose its sheen as the municipal corporation has leased out its land for building a banquet hall, along with a fast food court, which would be rented out for organizing marriages and other celebrations.

The MC move has however drawn flak from Hali Panipat Trust, which has received support from a cross section of society in the town, in raising the voice against the proposal. The park was established in 1974.

The cash-strapped MC has reportedly decided to lease out around 10,000 sq yard land to a private player for construction of banquet hall. Located on the court road, the park is spread over several acres of land where hundreds of local residents come for morning walk daily. Besides, the administration has recently created a lake here to beautify the park, though it has dried up for lack of water.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Cash-strapped-Panipat-MC-leases-out-park-named-

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SC nixes Muslim quota on whiff of communalism

Jun 14, 2012

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday delivered a big blow to the UPA government's bid to create a 4.5% minority sub-quota within the 27% OBC quota. Despite the Centre's fervent plea, it rejected the proposal and pulled up the government for doing shoddy homework to reach the figure of 4.5% as a sub-quota for backward Muslim groups in government jobs and admissions to colleges, including IITs.

Expressing doubts about the constitutional validity of the Centre's decision, a bench of Justices K S Radhakrishnan and J S Khehar said carving out of minority sub-quota from the 27% reservation for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) appeared to be driven only by religion-based consideration. The Andhra Pradesh high court had on identical grounds quashed the Centre's decision on May 28.

"We are not inclined to grant interim stayof the High Court judgement," the court said. It also refused to entertain the Centre's last ditch attempt to push the minority quota into IIT admissions because it doubted the intention behind the Centre's decision to carve out 4.5% sub-quota for minorities from among the 27% reservation to OBCs.

The Centre had on December 22, 2011, decided to implement 4.5% minority quota to benefit 82 Muslim groups included in the central list of OBCs, which together were entitled to a total of 27% reservation in jobs and admissions to central educational institutions, from January 1 this year.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/SC-nixes-Muslim-quota-on-whiff-of-communalism/articleshow/14104642.cms

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India seeks further access to 26/11 accused David Headley and Tahawwur Rana

Jun 14, 2012

WASHINGTON: India today sought further access to LeT operative David Headley and his accomplice Tahawwur Rana currently in US jail, with external affairs minister S M Krishna asking Washington to help bring to justice the perpetrators of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

"India's interest in further access to Headley and Rana, in accordance with our legal procedures, for the investigations into the Mumbai terror attack of November 2008, was raised," Krishna told reporters at a joint news conference with secretary of state Hillary Clinton after the Strategic Dialogue which was co-chaired by them.

In response to a question on Pakistani-American Headley (51) and Pakistani-Canadian Rana (50), Clinton said the two countries are sharing information related to terrorism and other related issues.

"With respect to information-sharing it is our policy and practice to share information, and we do that. I'm not going to go into details because we think our co-operation on intelligence-sharing, on homeland security issues, on counter-terrorism has gotten to a new level," she said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/India-seeks-further-access-to-26/11-accused-

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U.S. fully understands India’s oil dependence on Iran: Krishna

14 June 2012

Iran has been an important source of fulfilling India’s oil requirements and United States “fully understands” it, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said here two days after his American counterpart issued waiver to India from Iranian Sanctions Act.

“They (U.S.) fully understand India’s position that we are looking for our energy support from wherever we have been getting our crude oil supplies. Iran has been one of the important sources of fulfilling India’s oil requirements,” Mr. Krishna told reporters at a news conference on Wednesday.

“Even though it is coming down because of international situations, we are looking at other countries like Saudi Arabia to look into our energy needs,” Mr. Krishna said.

Mr. Krishna emphasised that India takes decision taking into consideration its domestic energy requirements.

Earlier at a separate joint news conference with Mr. Krishna at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, Ms. Clinton said the two leaders worked through some of the issues that they have fielded in common because of the concerns about Iran’s continuing search for a nuclear weapon.

“India has made it clear that, you know, Iran, like all countries, must live up to their international obligations. And as I reported to Congress this week, India has taken steps to diversify its sources of imported crude by reducing purchases of Iranian oil,” she said.

“We recognize the important energy needs that India has, and we’re working with India not only to ensure stable oil markets, but to do more to open up other sources of energy for India,” Ms. Clinton said.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3525692.ece

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Pakistan

 

Murderer of Hundreds of Shiites and Sunnis, Wahhabi Files Case against “Ali Wali ullah” in Shiite Adhan

14 June 2012

Malik Ishaq, the known supporter and the leader of terrorist groups of SSP & LeJ as well as the murderer of hundred of Shiites and Sunnis, has asked for a report to be filed in Court against the Shiites saying of ‘Ali Wali ullah’ in the Adhan (call for prayers).

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Malik Ishaq, the known supporter and the leader of terrorist groups of SSP & LeJ as well as the murderer of hundred of Shiites and Sunnis, has asked for a report to be filed in Court against the Shiites saying of ‘Ali Wali ullah’ in the Adhan (call for prayers).

‘Ali Wali Ullah’ in Adhan is the Shiites’ witness that after the Prophet [saw.], Imam Ali [a.s.] is the leader of the Ummah. This is the main difference between the Shiites and Sunnis and causes much argument between the sects.

According to our correspondent, on 30th May, Malik Ishaq asked the SHO of the Rahim Yar Khan City B Division Police Station to file a report and take action against the Haider trust in Rahim Yar Khan. The reason, he said, is because the Adhan is given from the Trust 3 times a day, every day, and ‘Ali Wali Ullah’ and the Witness that Ali [a.s.] is the rightful Khalifah after the Prophet [saw.] is included in the Adhan. The request, however, was denied. The SHO also claimed that the request was outrageous and pointless and reports like these would never be filed.

His request having been denied at the police station, Malik Ishaq has now hired a lawyer [Khalid Mehmood] and written to the Court of Justice and asked for this case to be looked into. He also mentioned the fact that his request was previously denied at the Police Station. The Session Judge has agreed to look into the case regardless of the fact that this is not in his jurisdiction. The police SHO has been asked to show up in Court at the order of the Session Judge Sardar Akram Khan.

The Judge’s behaviour is very peculiar indeed because according to Pakistani law, every citizen has the right to practice and preach their religion. The act of the Judge in looking into the case which is nothing but the Shiites following their religion can be seen as defiance of the Law.

Believed to be the latest attempt of the extremist and self-claimed murderer of 100s, Malik Ishaq to cause discord amongst the Shiites and Sunnis in Pakistan, the case has none the less caught attention of Shiites all over the country. Many believe that Ishaq is trying to turn the Shiite Genocide into Sectarian Violence by causing Shiites and Sunnis to take sides and fight. This can be the only reason that he would highlight such a sensitive topic between the two biggest Sects in Pakistan.

Analysts claim that common Shiites, who already hate their government, courts and security agencies, will be turned against them even further. Shiites take their belief in Imam Ali[a.s.] very seriously and where a small protest against the SSP’s burning Alams and attacking Imambargahs may be enough, when talk starts against Imam Ali[a.s.], it may not be.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=322050

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Ulema convention calls for reopening of Dir religious seminaries

14th June 2012

TIMERGARA, June 13: Religious leaders belonging to various schools of thought have demanded of the authorities of security forces to allow madaris (religious seminaries) function in Adenzai tehsil of Lower Dir.

The demand was made during ulema convention held at a local seminary in Chakdara the other day with prominent scholar Maulana Bashir Ahmad in the chair. Over 150 ulema of different schools of thought and affiliated to various boards attended the moot.

Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leaders Maulana Gul Naseeb and Maulana Rahat Hussain, Jamaat-i-Islami’s Sultanat Yar, Hafiz Rahmat Gul of Rabitatul Madaris Islamia, Maulana Ghulamullah of Wifaqul Madaris Islamia, Maulana Shah Namdar of Wifaqul Madaris Salfia and Maulana Ghulam Mohammad of Tanzeem ul Madaris Islamia spoke on the occasion.

They said that under a planned conspiracy the nation was being pitted against the army. Some of the speakers blamed the US for creating a wedge between madaris and the army.

The ulema said that the security forces had ordered closure of madaris in Adenzai owing to law and order situation. They said that none of the local madaris had been involved in any kind of illegal activities or militancy. They said that the closure of madaris would affect the students as their examinations were nearing.

“Madaris students and teachers are patriotic, peaceful and civilised citizens,” Maulana Ghulamullah said, adding that the ban on madaris was beyond comprehension. He said that ulema and their students were being defamed by branding them as Taliban.

Maulana Gul Naseeb announced that another ulema convention would be held on June 24 in which heads of all madaris

would participate. He said that a peace walk would also be held in Chakdara to spread the message that madaris wanted

peace in the region. Heads of religious seminaries, he said, had been asked by the security authorities to close their institutions for four months in Adenzai.

ANTI-MALARIAL SPRAY: Lower Dir district administration on Tuesday announced that anti-malarial and anti-dengue spray would be carried out in all 37 union councils of the district.

Inaugurating a 10-day anti-malarial campaign at district headquarters hospital, Timergara, DCO Mahmood Aslam said that officials of health department would go from village to village during the campaign and would conduct anti-mosquito spray

to curb occurrence of malaria, dengue and leishmaniasis.

He said that volunteers and village activists would help the health staff to ensure success of the campaign.

http://dawn.com/2012/06/14/ulema-convention-calls-for-reopening-of-dir-madaris/

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CRM, civil society stage walk to protest against child abuse

14 June 2012

LAHORE: Commemorating the International Day for Innocent Children Victim of Aggression and Child Labour, Punjab chapter of Child Rights Movement (CRM), in collaboration with civil society members, held a protest walk at Liberty Roundabout on Wednesday.

The protest walk stood as a symbol of civil society’s condemnation of the recent incidents of physical and psychological harassment of children that led children to commit suicide.

Participants of the protest demanded that immediate action be taken by the three pillars of state – parliament, judiciary and executive – to set things straight before it was too late because these were not only suicides, rather genocide of the future generation.

The CRM demanded that extensive trainings be organised for school management, teachers and parents on positive disciplining strategies as an alternative to corporal punishment. It also made an appeal to the government that relevant legislation be introduced that declared unlawful all acts of physical violence against children, corporal punishment in specific.

Also, it was urged that a code of conduct needed to be developed for the media for reporting of such traumatic instances, as it must not be forgotten that children too were the end receivers of the information transmitted through media.

Some of the placards held by the participants in the protest walk read: ‘Say No to Corporal Punishment’, ‘Mar Nahi Pyar’, ‘Nahi sahen gy nahi sahen gy, ham tashdud nahi sahen gy’, etc.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\14\story_14-6-2012_pg13_5

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Pakistan SC adjourns contempt proceedings against Malik Riaz Hussain

Jun 14, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan's Supreme Court today adjourned contempt proceedings against a real estate tycoon at the centre of a corruption scandal involving Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry's son after the businessman sought time to hire a lawyer.

A three-judge bench led by Justice Mian Shakirullah Jan adjourned the matter till June 21 when tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain told the court he needed time to engage a counsel.

The bench rejected a petition's demand for Hussain's name to be included in the Exit Control List so that he could not travel out of the country, saying his behaviour did not indicate that he would "run away".

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-SC-adjourns-contempt-

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US drone kills three militants in Pakistan: Officials

Jun 14, 2012

MIRANSHAH, Pakistan: A US drone attack killed at least three militants early Thursday in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, security officials said.

The drone fired two missiles on a building in the central market of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan, a known Taliban and al-Qaida stronghold, Pakistani officials said.

At least three militants were killed, they said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/US-drone-kills-three-militants-in-Pakistan-Officials/articleshow/14110783.cms

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Pak SC disqualifies 3 lawmakers for holding dual nationality

 Jun 14, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court has suspended the membership of three lawmakers of provincial assemblies for possessing dual nationality days after it took similar action against senior Pakistan People's Party leaders Rehman Malik and Farahnaz Ispahani.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry, which is hearing a petition seeking the disqualification of lawmakers with dual nationality, yesterday suspended the membership of legislators Amna Buttar and Muhammad Akhlaq, both members of the Punjab Assembly, and Ahmed Ali Shah, a member of the Sindh Assembly.

"Prima facie we are satisfied that they are not qualified to hold the membership of provincial assemblies. Therefore their status as member of provincial assemblies of Punjab and Sindh is hereby suspended," the apex court said in an order.

On June 4, the Supreme Court suspended Rehman Malik's membership of the Senate or upper house of parliament on the ground that he had failed to provide proof of renouncing his British citizenship.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-SC-disqualifies-3-lawmakers-for- ---------

 

I never took any money from Malik Riaz: Imran

14 June 2012

LAHORE: Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has said that he was ready to swear by the holy Quran that he did not take any money from Malik Riaz.

He was talking to the media at the Allama Iqbal International Airport on Wednesday.

Imran said that President Asif Ali Zardari was directly involved in the memogate, and Husain Haqqani was a traitor.

He said the PTI would always stand by the country’s independent judiciary, adding that the allegations levelled against the chief justice of Pakistan were actually meant to paralyse the superior judiciary. The target was not only the chief justice but the entire Supreme Court, he added.

Full report at:

and fair elections, which could not be held in the presence of President Zardari.

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Donation misconceptions behind country’s unmet blood needs

 Mukhtar Alam   

14th June 2012

KARACHI, June 13: Mohammad Ali Ghazi, 50, a businessman who has been voluntarily donating blood for more than 33 years, says it was his education and training at school that motivated him about regular donations.

“I have donated around 100 units of blood which have definitely been used to save lives of others in need during these years at an NGO’s blood collection set-up.”

Mohammad Iqbal Baloch, 32, a government hospital employee, started donating blood in the mid-90s for thalassaemia children and now he is a regular donor.

He says: “An individual may donate two to three times a year and stay completely healthy.”

M. Iqbal Bawany, in his 30s, associated with a government hospital-run blood bank, says that he has donated about 24 bags of blood over the past eight years and does not want to discontinue the practice, because each donation refreshes him.

“My donation may also benefit needy patients, including those suffering from cancerous diseases or renal failure and depending highly on blood transfusion.”

A social worker associated with a welfare society, Rizwan Edhi, 36, says he feels the hardship of people seeking blood or those running here and there for a pint of blood for their relatives, particularly those coming from the interior of Sindh.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/14/donation-misconceptions-behind-countrys-unmet-blood-needs/

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Will Pak bury Ghazal Shahenshah near Jinnah?

 Jun 14, 2012

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan called him Shahenshah-e-Ghazal — emperor of Ghazal — and his family want him buried in the mausoleum of the country's tallest leader, Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

Mehdi Hassan, 84, started life as a humble auto-mechanic and went on to mesmerize the world with his flawless melody for well over 50 years. After battling for life for almost a decade, he breathed his last at a Karachi hospital on Wednesday. He will be laid to rest on Friday, his children said. The government is yet to take a decision on their request for giving him a resting place in Jinnah's mausoleum.

In the 1980s, Hassan had to cut back on performances because of multiple ailments which aggravated with time. He had lung, chest and urinary tract problems and for the past many years had been under treatment in Pakistani hospitals. Some days ago, he was admitted to Agha Khan Hospital after he developed severe chest infection and breathing problems.

"My father has been ill for the last 12 years. This year, his condition deteriorated significantly. He was discharged from hospital for just one day before being admitted again," said Arif Mehdi, Hassan's son. Hundreds of fans gathered at the hospital after news of his death broke.

Hassan's popularity — both in his home country and across the border in India — was reflected in the outpouring of grief as television channels in Pakistan beamed Lata Mangeshkar talking of the maestro. She was deeply saddened by Hassan's death, she said. It's sad that such a wonderful person had to suffer so much, Lata said. Lyricist Javed Akhtar said Hassan's voice gave solace to thousands all over the world.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Will-Pak-bury-ghazal-shahenshah-near-Jinnah/articleshow/14111445.cms

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Pakistan calls again for apology for NATO strike

Jun 14, 2012

(Reuters) - Pakistan's foreign minister said on Thursday that the country wants an apology for a NATO cross-border strike that killed two dozen of its soldiers last year before it considers reopening supply routes to foreign troops in Afghanistan.

"Pakistan still wants an unconditional apology and the reassurance that the Salala type of incident does not happen again," Hina Rabbani Khar told reporters, referring to the place where the incident took place.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/14/us-pakistan-nato-idUSBRE85D0U320120614

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South Asia

 

28 dead in Myanmar communal unrest: official

 June 14, 2012

Twenty-eight people have been killed and dozens more wounded in several days of sectarian clashes in western Myanmar, a government official on Thursday said.

A state of emergency has been declared for Rakhine state, which has been rocked by a wave of rioting and arson, posing a

major test for the reformist government which took power in 2011.

"The latest death toll we can confirm is 28 with 53 people wounded," the official, who did not want to be named, told AFP in the state capital Sittwe, without saying whether they were Buddhist or Muslim Rohingya.

The figure raises the last official toll given on Tuesday of around 25 dead and 41 wounded since Friday.

The toll does not include 10 Muslims who were killed on June 3 by a Buddhist mob in apparent revenge for the rape and murder of a woman, which sparked the violence in Rakhine.

Hundreds of homes on both sides have been torched.

An uneasy calm has returned to central Sittwe, an AFP reporter said on Thursday, after security forces enforced another night of curfew.

More than 30 people were held after breaking the curfew on on Wednesday night, the official added.

The stateless Muslim Rohingya are scattered around the globe and viewed by the United Nations as among the most persecuted minorities on the planet.

About 800,000 Rohingya live in Myanmar, according to the UN, mostly in Rakhine. The government considers the Rohingya to be foreigners, while many citizens see them as illegal immigrants and view them with hostility.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Myanmar/28-dead-in-Myanmar-communal-unrest-official/Article1-871991.aspx

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Thousands in need of food, shelter after Myanmar clashes

 Jun 14 2012

Sittwe : Thousands of displaced Muslim Rohingyas and ethnic Rakhine Buddhists were in need of food, water and shelter in northwestern Myanmar on Thursday after fleeing the country's worst sectarian clashes in years.

Houses were burnt down late on Wednesday in two villages near the Bangladesh border, but there were no reports of further deaths. Scores of people are feared to have died in the rioting that broke out in Rakhine state on June 8.

Violence has largely subsided in after days of arson attacks and killing that have presented reformist President Thein Sein with one of his biggest challenges since taking office last year.

Places that had been flashpoints earlier in the week, including state capital Sittwe, were quiet, said Caw Tun, a member of a development group, the Wan Latt Foundation.

“Tensions between the two groups have eased. There are around 20,000 refugees in Sittwe. Most of them are from the villages where people fled in fear of the violence,” Aung Myat Kyaw, a senator for Rakhine state, told Reuters.

“They are in need of food and, because of the heavy rain, there are concerns about the refugees' health and whether they have enough shelter,” he added.

The violence had killed 21 people as of Monday, state media said, but activists fear the death toll could be much higher. At least 1,600 houses have been burnt down.

The army has taken hundreds of Rohingyas to Muslim villages outside Sittwe to ensure their safety.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/961940/

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Afghanistan set to press Pakistan on terror havens

14 June 2012

KABUL: Afghanistan is expected to use the latest round of international talks on its future today (Thursday) to raise pressure on Pakistan over terrorist safe havens ahead of the departure of foreign troops.

Representatives from 29 countries will gather in Kabul for the one-day conference, which follows a meeting in Istanbul in November aimed at mapping out the future of the war-torn country after NATO troops leave in 2014.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai says peace depends on regional cooperation to smash sanctuaries for terrorist networks waging violence in his country, and has voiced hope that Pakistan can help in this process.

In April, terrorists staged a spectacular coordinated attack in Kabul which Washington blamed on the Pakistan-based Haqqani network.

Last week, US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta added to concerns about worsening violence by describing a June 6 double suicide attack in the southern city of Kandahar as “much more organised than we’ve seen before”.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2012\06\14\story_14-6-2012_pg7_24

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Iran warns US over military bases in Afghanistan

Jun 14, 2012

KABUL: Iran on Thursday warned a key international conference that a long-term US military presence in Afghanistan would fan regional insecurity and could plunge the war-torn country back into further chaos.

Representatives from 29 countries gathered in Kabul for the conference, weeks after NATO agreed at a summit in Chicago to stick to plans to withdraw the bulk of 130,000 foreign combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

The Taliban militia leading a 10-year insurgency against President Hamid Karzai's government has begun the annual fighting season with a series of attacks which saw US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta admit that violence was rising.

Karzai sought to reassure neighbours that strategic partnership deals signed by Kabul with several Western powers -- particularly the United States -- to govern relations beyond 2014, would not damage ties.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-warns-US-over-military-bases-in-Afghanistan/articleshow/14128559.cms

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Southeast Asia

 

Riots in Indonesia's Papua After Independence Activist Killed

14 June 2012

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Angry residents of Indonesia's resource-rich Papua island burned cars and shops on Thursday after an independence activist was shot and killed, police and human rights activists said.

A low-level insurgency for independence has simmered on Indonesia's easternmost island for decades.

Mako Tabuni, deputy of a group pushing for a referendum on Papuan self-determination, was shot dead while resisting arrest, human rights activist Markus Haluk told Reuters.

Tabuni had been campaigning for an investigation into a recent spate of shootings.

"This is not law enforcement, this is ridiculous," Haluk told Reuters by telephone from Jayapura, the province's main town.

"Security forces are using the excuse of law enforcement to shoot, using the classic excuse of the separatist group stigma," Haluk said of Tabuni's killing.

Police confirmed Tabuni's death saying he was shot in the hip and leg and died on his way to hospital.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/14/world/asia/14reuters-indonesia-

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Mideast Asia

 

Seminar on spiritual aspects of Shiism held in Belgrade

June 13, 2012

Iran's Cultural Consulate in Belgrade, in cooperation with Iran-Serbia Friendship Association and Qom Islamic Science Center, held a seminar dubbed as “ Spiritual Aspects of Shiism” here on Tuesday.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - In the gathering, scholars discussed different aspects of Shiism and analyzed philosophy and spirituality of Islam among Muslim philosophers in Iran and the West.

One of the speakers, Tehran Khalilovic, expounded on historical role of Iranian Muslim scholars in establishing primary stages of Islamic philosophy.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=321889

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Gaza family urges UK Queen to remove ‘blood diamond’

14 June 2012

A family, whose twenty-nine members were martyred during the Israeli regime’s 22-day war on Gaza Strip, has issued an appeal to the British Queen to remove the Steinmetz Jubilee diamond from the Tower of London due to the company’s support and funding of the onslaught.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - The Samuni family has called on the De-Beers company, which has put the diamond on display to mark the British Queen’s 60th years on the throne, to show respect for the surviving victims of the diamond funded Givati Brigade’s war in Gaza.

The family also said that diamonds that generate revenue used to fund the regime guilty of committing war crimes are de-facto “blood diamonds”.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=321757

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Ex-Israeli soldier seeks Palestinian citizenship

14 June 2012

RAMALLAH: In an odd twist to the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian saga, a former Israeli soldier has embarked on a new fight: He wants to renounce his Israeli citizenship and move to a Palestinian refugee camp in the West Bank. 

Andre Pshenichnikov, a 23-year-old Jewish immigrant from Tajikistan, was recently detained by Israeli police for residing illegally in the Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. There he told police that he wants to break all ties with Israel, give up his Israeli citizenship and obtain a Palestinian one instead.

Pshenichnikov is currently travelling in Europe for two months. When he returns, he hopes to move to the West Bank.

It’s incredibly rare for Israelis to seek to live under Palestinian rule. There are only a few known cases of Jewish Israelis who have done so, mostly ones who have married Palestinians, as well as a journalist for the Israeli daily Haaretz who moved to Ramallah and reports from there.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/14/ex-israeli-soldier-seeks-palestinian-citizenship/

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Quran memorization courses to be run

14 June 2012

Darolquran of the Labor House has begun registrations for preparation courses for the examination of Quran Memorization.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Public relations manager of Darolquran of the Labor House told us that the classes will begin in the next two weeks and are aimed at promotion of the professional competence of Quranic memorizers.

As Mohammad Sadegh Mohseni Kabir said, the courses are to prepare volunteers for the Quran memorization examination. Subject to an act ratified in 1997 by the Islamic Parliament (Majlis), anyone who manages to pass the exam will be given a BS degree without having to pass high school or the undergraduate level in the university.

He went on to say that the Darolquran of the Labor House has arranged for the classes with a 50% discount for volunteers. The classes will be conducted by Quranic experts like Dr Mojtaba Heidari and Ghasem Darzi.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=321509

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Hamas: Israel committed 'crime against humanity' in 2010 fatal raid

June 13, 2012

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says a recent report on the 2010 deadly attack by Israeli forces on a Gaza-bound flotilla proves the act was a “crime against humanity.”

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says a recent report on the 2010 deadly attack by Israeli forces on a Gaza-bound flotilla proves the act was a “crime against humanity.”

“This report proves that what the world said regarding what happened on the [Mavi] Marmara ship is a crime against humanity and a piracy of the Israeli occupation,” Haniyeh told reporters on Wednesday.

An inquiry of the attack published in a report on June 13 found “substantive and significant shortcomings” in the Israeli leadership’s handling of the 2010 assault.

On May 31, 2010, Israeli navy commandos attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla from dinghies and helicopters while the six-ship fleet, aimed to break Tel Aviv’s years-long siege of the Gaza strip, was still in international waters.

Nine Turkish nationals were killed in the attack, which drew condemnation from the UN Security Council and mounted pressure on Israel to slightly ease its blockade of the Palestinian territory.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=322063

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Prisoners' hunger strike pushes Palestine to the edge

Jun 14, 2012

NEW DELHI: He has been on hunger strike for the past 89 days protesting detention without trial for 3 years. He has lost more than a third of his body weight. He has not been allowed to meet his family. As he slips in and out of consciousness, 25 year old Mahmoud Sarsak is on the edge of death which could unleash fresh unrest and protests in Palestine.

A member of the Palestine national football team, Sarsak was arrested as he left Gaza to play a match in the West Bank. He presented himself at the Israeli military checkpost with legal papers on 22 July 2009 for entering West Bank but found himself detained under the "Unlawful Combatants Act" under which persons can be detained for 6 months at a time with provision for renewal of detention after presenting before a magistrate.

Israeli government is claiming that Sarsak is associated with terrorists and refuses to hold a trial claiming that it would expose its sources to terrorist attacks.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Prisoners-hunger-strike-pushes-

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Israeli report slams Netanyahu

14 June 2012

Israel's state watchdog criticised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday over his handling of a 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that left nine Turks dead and ties with Ankara in shreds.

In a 153-page report, State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss slammed the decision-making process that led to the botched pre-dawn raid on the six-ship flotilla on May 31, 2010, which was headed by the Mavi Marmara, a Turkish ferry carrying more than 600 people.

The assault triggered an international outcry and a lingering diplomatic crisis between once-close allies Israel and Turkey, with Ankara demanding a formal apology and compensation for the families of the victims.

“In the process of decision-making, which was led by the Prime Minister and under his responsibility, regarding the handling of the [flotilla], there were significant shortcomings,” said the report.

Mr. Netanyahu, it said, had not held any structured, formal discussion with top ministers about the flotilla, and had only held separate talks with Defence Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, neither of whom was properly documented.

Reacting to the report, the Premier's office issued a statement defending its record on security.

It also referred to a U.N. report on the flotilla, published last year, which endorsed the legality of Israel's naval blockade on Gaza.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3525253.ece

------------

Arab World

 

The prince of Kuwait rejects bill on death penalty for blasphemy

June 13, 2012

Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has refused to sign a bill passed by parliament stipulating the death penalty for those who offend God Almighty, the Holy Quran, his prophets and Prophet Muhammad (p.) and his wives, according to parliament sources.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah has refused to sign a bill passed by parliament stipulating the death penalty for those who offend God Almighty, the Holy Quran, his prophets and Prophet Muhammad (p.) and his wives, according to parliament sources.

The Prince has the power to refuse bills passed by the elected parliament, but the assembly can override the rejection by passing the bill again with a two-thirds majority of the house membership of 50 MPs and 15 appointed Cabinet ministers.

Last month, the Kuwaiti parliament dominated by the Islamists introduced certain modifications to the Penal Law, which included adding two articles to stiffen penalties for such offences and specifically to stipulate the death penalty for those who offend God Almighty, the Holy Quran, His prophets and Prophet Muhammad (p.) and his wives.

Non-Muslims who commit the same offence face a jail term of no less than 10 years, according to the bill.

The bill stipulates exempting the convicts from the death penalty, if they repent before the court, and their sentence will be reduced to five years in prison and paying a 36 thousand dollars fine.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=322055

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Iraq’s Sunni vice-president’s trial portrays dark side of politics

By Suadad al-Salhy

 Jun 14, 2012

(Reuters) - With testimony of torture, betrayal and death, the trial of Iraq's fugitive Sunni vice-president is reviving memories of sectarian killings with witnesses painting an ugly portrait of the underbelly of Iraqi politics.

Vice-president Tareq Hashemi, a Sunni Muslim politician in the Iraqiya bloc, fled Baghdad in December days after U.S. troops left when Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government sought his arrest on charges he ran a death squad.

Hashemi's case helped fuel a broader crisis in Iraq where Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish political parties have wrangled for more than a year over how to share power in a feud that often threatens to spill over into sectarian violence.

International police agency, Interpol, is seeking Hashemi's arrest at Iraq's request after he was accused of orchestrating the killing of mainly Shiite victims. Hashemi denies the charges and says the trial is a witch-hunt by Maliki to consolidate his own position.

The initial case focuses on three murder charges involving the assassination of a general manager of the National Security Ministry, an officer in the Interior Ministry and a lawyer. But Hashemi, his son-in-law and dozens of their bodyguards are also charged with the deaths of six judges.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/14/us-iraq-politics-hashemi-

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Top 86-year old Sunni cleric Qardawi marries for the third time

14 June 2012

Top Egyptian octogenarian Sunni cleric and theologian, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qardawi has remarried for a third time.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Top Egyptian octogenarian Sunni cleric and theologian, Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qardawi has remarried for a third time.

Al-Qardawi, 86, married a Moroccan woman 37 years his junior in Qatar.

According to Moroccan media the 49 year old women is a public employee in the capital city of Rabat.

Sheikh Al-Qardawi was born in a small village in Egypt’s Nile Delta in 1926. He studied Islamic theology at the Al-Azhar University in Cairo, where he graduated in 1953.

However, the Sunni cleric has lived and worked in the Persian Gulf littoral state of Qatar since 1961.

In 1977, he founded the Faculty of Shariah and Islamic Studies in the University of Qatar and managed it until 1990. He has also been heading the Research Centre of Seerah and Sunna in the same university.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=322052

------------

 

Death Illustrates Issues With Loose Weapons Stockpiles in Libya

By C. J. CHIVERS

14 June 2012

The death of an Estonian explosive ordnance disposal technician in Libya this spring illustrates the continuing problem of loose weapons stockpiles almost a year after Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi was driven from power.

The technician, Kaido Keerdo, died in March while examining unexploded munitions scattered near a police compound and checkpoint in Ad Dafniyah as part of his work for the nongovernmental group Danish Church Aid.

The checkpoint had been fought over by rival Libyan militias three nights before. The groups were quarreling over access to 22 shipping containers of Qaddafi-era munitions, according to the aid group’s investigation, the findings of which were described this week to The New York Times.

One of the containers was struck during the fighting and caught fire. The explosion that followed ruptured at least 11 containers, heaving into the air a poorly stored collection of grenades, rockets and mortar rounds, some of which landed almost 500 yards away.

The munitions, once seen by Libya’s armed groups as instruments for breaking free from internal repression and making the country safe, were then scattered near houses, a mosque and a school along Libya’s main coastal road. The inadequately trained militias and ad hoc police officers had stored rockets and shells with fuzes inserted, a configuration that compounded their dangers.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/world/middleeast/death-illustrates-issues-with-libyas-

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Over 14,400 killed in 15-month Syria revolt

14 June 2012

More than 14,400 people have been killed in Syria in the 15-month revolt against President Bashar Al Assad’s regime, including 2,302 in the past month alone, a monitoring group said on Thursday.

“There have been 14,476 people killed since March 2011, among them 10,117 civilians, 3,552 soldiers and 807 army defectors,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said.

The civilian toll includes casualties among rebels who have taken up arms against the regime.

Since the implementation of a UN-Arab League brokered ceasefire on April 12, at least 3,353 people were killed, the majority of them in the past month.

“From May 13 to June 13, there were 2,302 people killed in Syria,” Abdel Rahman said, listing 1,455 civilians, 96 dissidents and 751 soldiers, who accounted for nearly a third of the total.

“In the past month, there has been an escalation of clashes between regime forces and rebel troops as well as shelling, which has led to a sharp increase in casualties,” the Observatory head said.

The rise in violence follows an assessment by UN peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous on Tuesday that Syria was now locked in full-scale civil war, with regime forces having lost control of “large chunks of territory.”

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2012/June/middleeast_June150.xml&section=middleeast

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Egypt Reimposes Martial Law, Ahead of Closely Watched Ruling

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

14 June 2012

CAIRO — The military-led government issued a decree on Wednesday reimposing martial law ahead of an anticipated court ruling that could delay the presidential election scheduled for this weekend and the promised transition to civilian authority.

Egypt’s Supreme Constitutional Court unexpectedly announced last week that it would rule Thursday on a legal challenge to the legitimacy of the presidential elections — two days before a scheduled runoff between Mohamed Morsi, head of the Muslim Brotherhood’s political arm, and Ahmed Shafik, former President Hosni Mubarak’s last prime minister. The announcement’s timing has stirred speculation here that the court might invalidate the first round of the elections and require a revote.

Legal experts say the court’s ruling is impossible to predict. But during his final years in office, Mr. Mubarak packed the court with loyalists in anticipation of presidential elections then scheduled for 2011. Many judges are believed to be suspicious of the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that dominates the Parliament.

When the foreign minister recently announced the results of votes already cast by more than 220,000 Egyptians abroad, the Brotherhood candidate had a three-to-one lead over Mr. Shafik. Ordering a revote of the first round might decrease the chances of a Brotherhood victory.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/world/middleeast/egypt-extends-martial-law-before-

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U.N. Kept Out of a Town That Syria Says It ‘Cleansed’

By NEIL MacFARQUHAR

14 June 2012

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syria announced on Wednesday that the village of Al Heffa in its Mediterranean hinterland, which United Nations monitors had been physically blocked from visiting to check on fears of a massacre there, had been “cleansed” of armed terrorist gangs, the government’s blanket term for the opposition.

Activists in the opposition said a ferocious blizzard of artillery shelling by the Syrian military had forced all residents of Al Heffa to flee.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry issued a statement declaring that the United Nations monitors, who are unarmed, were now invited to visit Al Heffa to inspect the situation after “security and calm” had been restored. It said that the armed groups had carried out “killing and terrorizing against the innocent citizens, and acts of looting and vandalism against public and private properties and shops.”

The ministry declaration represented a U-turn from a day before, when the United Nations monitors retreated after an angry mob had attacked their vehicles with stones and iron rods before they reached Al Heffa. Residents of the surrounding villages are mostly Alawites, the same minority sect of President Bashar al-Assad, while Sunni Muslims were the majority in Al Heffa.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/14/world/middleeast/new-weapons-push-syrian-crisis-

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Bahrain Court Convicts 9 Medics for Role in Uprising

14 June 2012

MANAMA (Reuters) - A Bahrain appeals court convicted nine medics on Thursday for their role in last year's pro-democracy uprising, and acquitted nine others, in a controversial case that has drawn international criticism of the U.S.-allied Gulf Arab state.

A military court sentenced the 20 medics, who are all Shi'ite, in September to terms of between five and 15 years on charges including theft of medical equipment, occupying a hospital and incitement to topple the state.

The court gave Ali al-Ekry, a senior orthopedic surgeon who worked at the Salmaniya hospital in Manama, a five-year sentence and Ibrahim al-Dimistani three years. Seven others were handed sentences ranging from one month to one year.

The verdicts follow an earlier trial in a separate court, which also gave jail terms of 15 years to two medics not involved in Thursday's proceedings. Those defendants are believed to have left the country or gone into hiding.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/14/world/middleeast/14reuters-bahrain-

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Syria violence kills 11, two car bombs reported: NGO

14 June 2012

BEIRUT: Nine civilians and two rebels were killed early Thursday in violence across Syria, while car bombs exploded in the northwest city of Idlib and the capital Damascus, monitors reported.

The car bomb in Idlib city targeted a military checkpoint, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, adding that a number of soldiers were killed or wounded in the blast. No further details were immediately available.

In Damascus, a car bomb exploded early morning in a suburb that houses a popular Shiite shrine, wounding two people, Syrian state media reported.

The blast in the Sayyida Zeinab neighbourhood occurred near the Sadr hospital, leaving a large crater and damaging vehicles.

State news agency SANA said the booby-trapped vehicle was parked in a garage. It gave an initial toll of two people wounded.

The Observatory said meanwhile that clashes between regime troops and rebels erupted early morning in the central city of Homs, where four people were killed before dawn, including three civilians and a rebel fighter.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2012/06/14/damascus-car-bomb-wounds-two-state-media/

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Syrian army systematically killing civilians-Amnesty

 Jun 14 2012

London : Syrian government forces are killing civilians in organised attacks on towns and villages that amount to crimes against humanity, Amnesty International said on Thursday, citing evidence from over 20 locations in the country's northwest.

The rights group repeated its call for the United Nations Security Council to refer Syria to the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, and to impose an arms embargo.

Amnesty's findings, detailed in a 70-page report, add to reports of massacres elsewhere in Syria as a 15-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad moves closer to a civil war.

Its researchers visited 23 towns and villages in the Aleppo and Idlib provinces between April and May, conducting interviews with more than 200 people, including many whose relatives had been killed or whose homes had been destroyed.

Amnesty adviser Donatella Rovera told Reuters TV she had found repeated examples of brutality against civilians during two months of unauthorised visits to northwest Syria.

“Wherever I went, in every town, in every village, there was a very similar pattern - soldiers who went in, in very large numbers, for very short but very brutal incursions where they extra-judicially executed young men, burned down their homes. Those who they arrested were then tortured in detention,” she said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/961924/

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New weapons push Syrian crisis toward civil war

 Jun 14 2012

Washington : MARK LANDLER & NEIL MacFARQUHAR

With evidence that powerful new weapons are flowing to both the Syrian government and opposition fighters, the bloody uprising in Syria has thrust the Obama administration into an increasingly difficult position as the conflict shows signs of mutating into a full-fledged civil war.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that the United States believed that Russia was shipping attack helicopters to Syria that President Bashar al-Assad could use to escalate his government’s deadly crackdown on civilians and the militias battling his rule.

Her comments reflected rising frustration with Russia, which has continued to supply weapons to its major Middle Eastern ally despite an international outcry over the government’s brutal crackdown.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/961648/

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Egypt military police gets sweeping powers ahead of polls

14 June 2012

Egypt’s government has extended the powers of military police and intelligence agents to allow them to arrest civilians for a wide range of offenses, just days before the runoff for a president who will replace the country’s military rulers as head of state.

Prominent human rights lawyer Gamal Eid and other rights activists said the decision, announced Wednesday, was tantamount to declaring martial law and offered concrete evidence of what was long suspected that the military wants to extend its grip on power after handing executive authority to an elected president by the end of this month.

Gen. Adel el—Morsi, the head of military judiciary, said the decision by the Justice Ministry part of a government appointed by the ruling military council provides “legal cover” for the presence of military forces in the streets, 16 months after they were deployed during last year’s uprising.

“There is a need to put in place a law to regulate the presence of army troops ... to enable them to secure presidential elections or carry out security sweeps to arrest fugitives and outlaws,” he told Al—Ahram daily’s website.

That statement suggests anxiety about new turmoil breaking out on Egypt’s already chaotic streets should ousted authoritarian leader Hosni Mubarak’s former prime minister, Ahmed Shafiq, be elected in the runoff on Saturday and Sunday. Shafiq is facing Islamist candidate Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that Mubarak’s regime repressed for many years.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3527286.ece

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Osama bin Laden's son pitches for football World Cup deals

Jun 14, 2012

DOHA: A Qatari constructor, founded by a son of former al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, has bolstered its bid to win contracts ahead of the 2022 soccer World Cup by forming a joint venture with Spain's Coprosa.

Qatar Bin Laden Group will hold 51 per cent of the new company, BC Group — to be based in Doha - and Coprosa 49 per cent, chief executive Omar bin Laden told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday.

Qatar Bin Laden Group was founded two years ago by Omar bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden.

"We want to be involved in the Doha Metro and other high-speed rail projects in Qatar, as well as hydraulics and water treatment plants. Coprosa has particular experience with high-speed rail projects, and we want to make use of that. We hope to be submitting proposals by the end of June," bin Laden said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Osama-bin-Ladens-son-pitches-for-

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Once illegal, health rumours now have Mubarak die daily

Jun 14, 2012

CAIRO: Former President Hosni Mubarak uses a wheelchair, is able to eat little more than Jell-O, and has his two grown sons by his bedside. He suffers from sore joints in his feet, high blood pressure, shortness of breath and, according to rumors widely circulated in the Egyptian and foreign press, he required artificial respiration and heart defibrillation within the space of just 24 hours last weekend. Twice, doctors could not find his pulse, the reports said.

Such public speculation about Mubarak's health was a crime during his 30 years in power. But since he received a life sentence on June 2, a torrent of leaks has sprung suggesting that he may be nearing his end. The revolt that ousted him is nearing a climax with a presidential election on Saturday pitting an Islamist group he outlawed against his last prime minister, Ahmed Shafik.

And in the same way news of his deteriorating health was once withheld to protect his image, many people assume the military-led government is doling out sympathetic details to lay the groundwork for Mubarak to be transferred from a prison hospital to the relative comfort of a military hospital, or perhaps to build sympathy for Mubarak to diminish opposition to his former PM, Shafik.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/rest-of-world/Once-illegal-health-rumours-now-have-Mubarak-die-daily/articleshow/14111936.cms

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North America

 

Canada’s first full-time paid Muslim chaplain being sought at the University of Toronto

 Jun 13 2012

Noor Javed

A young woman looks directly into the camera and says in a soft accent: “I was told to go back to my country.”

A young man with a light beard follows: “In my profession, relationships are built at the bar. What am I supposed to do about that?” he asks.

And then, the more complicated issues: “My parents forced me to take off my hijab,” says another student, referring to the head scarf.

The anecdotes, told from the point of view of Muslim students at the University of Toronto, are gripping, complex and, as many youth can attest to, all too real. They are also part of a promotional video intended to show the urgent need behind the Muslim Chaplaincy Program at U of T, the first program of its kind in Canada that would see the community fund a full-time chaplain at a university to support the spiritual needs of Muslim students.

“Many Muslim youth don’t have a place to turn to, and they feel challenged on issues of faith and identity,” says Ruqayyah Ahdab, chair of the board for the chaplaincy program, who was instrumental in creating the student-led initiative.

“Adults can turn to the mosque for support, but youth often can’t because of cultural issues or the age gap,” said Ahdab. “So the chaplain will be there to provide this safe space for youth to turn to.”

Full report at:

http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1211098--canada-s-first-full-time-paid-muslim-

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Clinton applauds Singh, Gilani for improvement in ties

14 June 2012

The U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has applauded the leadership of the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, and his Pakistan counterpart Yousuf Gilani for taking steps to improve their bilateral relationship.

“I applaud the leadership that Prime Minister Singh and Prime Minister Gilani have demonstrated,” Ms. Clinton told reporters at a joint news conference with the External Affairs Minister, S.M. Krishna, following the conclusion of the strategic dialogue which was co-chaired by them.

Ms. Clinton said the two delegations discussed the steps that the governments of India and Pakistan are taking to open up avenues for trade, investment and movement of people.

Mr. Krishna in his remarks said the issue of safe havens in Pakistan was raised during the Strategic Dialogue.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/article3525701.ece

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Panetta favours conditions to be put on US aid to Pakistan

Jun 14 2012

Washington : US should place conditions on release of about USD 3.5 billion aid to Pakistan based on “what we expect them to do”, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has told the Congress.

Short of recommending stopping of aid to Pakistan, Panetta, in a testimony to a Senate's appropriations panel said US would have to be careful about shutting the aid down.

Instead, he said he favoured placing conditions on aid based on “what we expect them to do”. His testimony is crucial as influential lawmakers infuriated by Islamabad's closure of supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan and stalling of a crackdown on Haqqani network are pressing for blockage of aid to the country.

The Obama Administration has requested Congress for about USD 3.5 billion aid in military and economic assistance for Pakistan for fiscal 2013, Washington Post reported.

Panatta said that Pakistan's seven-month-long refusal to allow US and NATO supplies to cross its territory into Afghanistan is costing America an additional USD 100 million a month to fund alternative routes.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/961944/

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Africa

 

S. Africa Non-Muslims Favour Islamic Finance

14 June 2012

Non-Muslims in South Africa are turning to Islamic finance to guarantee investing their money in fields that are not negative for society, such as alcohol, tobacco and gambling.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) -"Many non-Muslims choose Islamic banking products because they like knowing that their funds will never be invested in industries that are potentially negative for society, such as alcohol, tobacco, gambling and pornography,” Arrie Rautenbach, head of retail markets at Absa bank, told Business Live.

Trying to get a share of the booming Islamic banking industry, several South African banks are offering Shari`ah-compliant services, such as the First National Bank and ABSA bank.

The South African National Treasury has also announced plans to introduce Islamic bonds as part of efforts to get a share of the booming industry.

Over the past few months, the number of South Africans using Shari`ah-complaint banking products has remarkably increased to exceed 100,000 citizens.

The new Shari`ah-compliant services are available to all customers, regardless of their religion.

"Any company - small, medium or large - that chooses an alternative to conventional banking can make use of the Islamic business bank offering," said Rautenbach.

"During June the Islamic Forward Exchange Contract [FEC] from Absa Capital will be launched to support international trade by Islamic banking customers. Support for companies wishing to do international business is a current focus and products in the pipeline include a unique working capital solution and letters of credit, which will be Shariah-compliant."

Islam forbids Muslims from usury, receiving or paying interest on loans.

Transactions by Islamic banks must be backed by real assets -- not shady repackaged subprime mortgages and banks cannot receive or provide funds for anything involving alcohol, gambling, pornography, tobacco, weapons or pork.

Shariah-compliant financing deals resemble lease-to-own arrangements, layaway plans, joint purchase and sale agreements, or partnerships.

Investors have a right to know how their funds are being used, and the sector is overseen by dedicated supervisory boards as well as the usual national regulatory authorities.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=321745

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Europe

 

“Jesus in Quran” commonalities of Islam and Christianity, published in Germany

14 June 2012

One of the most recent books on commonalities of Islam and Christianity, book on the Jesus Christ (PBUH) and Qur’an is published in Germany.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - One of the most recent books on commonalities of Islam and Christianity, book on the Jesus Christ (PBUH) and Qur’an is published in Germany.

“Jesus in Qur’an” (originally “Jesus in Quran”) is the name of the book by Martin Bauschke, German author and researcher published by Bohlav Publication.

Through the 12 chapters, the author has analyzed the topics in regards to Jesus Christ (PBUH) providing a good source for Islam-Christianity interreligious dialogue.

Dr. Martin Bauschke, works half-time as the representative of the Global Ethic Foundation in Berlin and in the eastern federal states of Germany and is particularly active in connection with showings of the exhibition "World Religions - Universal Peace - Global Ethic" as well as in teacher training.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=321545

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German Police Raid Scores of Radical Islamists' Homes

14 June 2012

BERLIN (Reuters) - About 1,000 police raided scores of buildings across Germany on Thursday in a clampdown on radical Salafist Islamists suspected of plotting against the state.

German officials fear the Salafists, who trace their roots to Saudi Arabia and want to establish Sharia (Islamic) law in Europe, are fuelling militancy among a small minority of socially alienated young Muslims in Germany.

Announcing the crackdown, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said he had banned one of the Salafists' groups called the Millatu Ibrahim and said the raids may unearth evidence that would allow the outlawing of two other associations.

"(The Millatu Ibrahim group) works against our constitutional order and against understanding between peoples," Friedrich told reporters.

German authorities have recently stepped up their monitoring of ultra-conservative Salafist groups following a series of violent clashes with police.

In May Salafists turned on police protecting far-right anti-Islam protesters during a regional election rally in the west German city of Bonn, injuring 29 officers, two of them badly.

The far-right protesters had infuriated the Salafists by waving cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2012/06/14/world/europe/14reuters-germany- ------------

 

France wants UN Security Council to enforce Syria ceasefire

Jun 13, 2012

PARIS: France called Wednesday for a faltering Syrian ceasefire plan to be made mandatory, with the threat of action by the UN Security Council, saying the conflict there now constituted civil war.

Foreign minister Laurent Fabius also said he would consult with Western allies to prepare a new raft of tough sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, notably targeting top brass.

With battles between troops and rebels raging across Syria and reports of human rights violations escalating, Fabius said that UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's largely ignored ceasefire plan must be made mandatory.

He called on fellow Security Council members to "take recourse to Chapter Seven (of the UN charter) to make the measures in the Annan plan obligatory."

"We are working on that and we hope that measure will be put in place quickly," he told journalists in Paris.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/France-wants-UN-Security-Council-to-

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Australia

 

Australia: Community opposition threatens a Shia Mosque to be build

14 June 2012

Overwhelming community opposition has crushed a woman’s dream to build a mosque in Henley Brook but not her desire to revive the project one day.

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Mosque in the Valley Foundation director Maria Marasigan said negative and retaliatory comments directed toward the current owner of the property they had intended to purchase had made her question the approach to the project, and cease preliminary planning discussions with the City of Swan.

The Islamic Shia Community of WA’s concept plan was for a mosque with multi-purpose uses plus a number of chalets, education facilities and a cultural centre that Ms Marasigan hoped would help explain Islam to the wider community.

Details of the plan, including an explanation of the foundation’s vision and a fundraising drive, remain available online.

Swan Valley Regional Network co-ordinator Sue Hurt said the community’s primary concern was that the proposed mosque and cultural centre did not fit with legislation of the Swan Valley.

Full report at:

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=321876

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Australia to train Afghan forces after withdrawal of combat forces

By the CNN Wire Staff

June 14, 2012

(CNN) -- Australia pledged Thursday to provide troops and resources in Afghanistan beyond a 2014 deadline to withdraw combat forces, a commitment that came as NATO's chief vowed the alliance would not leave a security vacuum in the country.

The announcement followed news of a joint political declaration between Australia and NATO during a news conference in the Australian capital of Canberra.

The agreement unites Australia and NATO in battling terrorism, piracy and cyber crimes, though the primary focus in the near term will be on Afghan security forces.

"Afghanistan will be a central to our focus for our partnership for some time to come," Prime Minister Julia Gillard said.

Full report at:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/14/world/asia/australia-nato-afghanistan/index.html

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/rejection-of-minorities-sub-quota-by-indian-supreme-court--muslim-leaders-say-govt-was-callous/d/7620

 

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