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Islamic World News ( 21 March 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Religious Intolerance in Indonesia 'Strips Away Other Rights'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Africa

Safia, Hannibal, Mohamed and Aisha Gaddafi 'not in Algeria'

Little Hope for the Children Abducted in Mali’s War

New mass grave found near Sirte

The two Sudans moving from ideology to interest 

Libya rights group calls for release of journalist

How much for my left leg, asks US Jihadi with $5 mn bounty on his head

Mali's Ansar Dine militants blacklisted by US

Boko Haram Says Force Will Not Help Free French Hostages

 

Europe

European Shariah students all praise for Saudi hospitality

France, Britain Sound Alarm over Chemical Weapons in Syria

No nuclear breakthrough on Iran in Istanbul: Russia

Tunisia must repeal criminal defamation law, says HRW

Syrian asylum seekers triple in rich nations: UNHCR

Britain Supports School Meals in Areas Affected By Food Shortages in Malawi

 

North America

Pope Francis urges dialogue with Muslims, offers olive branch to China

US, Israel concerned about Iran plutonium reactor

HRW asks Libya to stop revenge ‘crimes’ against Tawerghans

Two US senators seek to target Iranian business in Euros

Barack Obama tries schmoozing in Holy Land

Pope reaches out to Jews, Muslims and urges respect

 

Mideast Asia

Palestinians deserve a state: Obama

Obama Urges Young Israelis to Lead the Push for Peace

Iran will 'annihilate' cities if Israel attacks: Khamenei

Palestinian Bedouin Community Battles Eviction

Palestinians want Obama to end peace ‘passivity’

At Memorial, Obama Urges Action against Racism and Anti-Semitism

Turkey hails jailed PKK leader's ceasefire call, questions remain

Turkey's Erdogan in Netherlands as lesbian adoption row looms

 

Arab World

Saudi Arabia Attacked for Contradictory Statements

Saudi Arabia Shia leaders criticise arrests of 16 Shia citizens

Assad vows to "cleanse" Syria of extremists following cleric killing

Hezbollah slams Obama’s call for “terror” listing

Oman’s Sultan pardons all jailed activists

Hezbollah Courier Found Guilty in Plot to Attack Israeli Tourists in Cyprus

Gunmen Seize Israeli, Norwegian Tourists in Egypt's Sinai

Muslim Brotherhood Holds Sway over Syrian Opposition

Beirutis on Edge over Sectarian Tensions between Sunni and Shiite groups

Relatives welcome prisoner exchange initiative with Iraq

Brotherhood warns opposition ahead of march

Assad sympathizers hack BBC Twitter account

 

Pakistan

National religious solidarity conference urges interfaith harmony

4 militants killed in US drone strike in northwest Pakistan

Motorbike bomb in Pakistan kills at least six

Musharraf granted protective bail in Benazir, Bugti cases

NATO containers come under attack in Khyber, Peshawar

Fresh threats emerge as Taliban gain more ground

Islamabad ready to engage with Taliban, says foreign secretary

Pakistan targets Taliban lair to secure vote

Pakistani think tank warns ECP against pre-poll rigging

 

South Asia

Death toll rises to 20 in Myanmar religious riots

Police kill Islamist in Bangla mob attack; nation in mourning

Karzai claims victory over US 'abuse' claims

Minor arrested in connection with Dr Afrasheem’s murder charged with giving false statement

Anti-Muslim feeling grips Sri Lanka

Disabled swimmers make a splash in Kabul

 

India

Terror magnitude: '93 blasts toll only second to 9/11

Delhi Police arrest Hizbul man from UP, carry out raids in Jama Masjid area

Wagah-like border drill at six posts on India-Bangla frontier soon

Juvenile law cannot lessen punishment to ‘minor’ terrorists, Supreme Court rules

Pakistan encourages terrorism in breach of UN mandate: Supreme Court

‘Infringement by Pak is devastating’

Justice Katju bats for Sanjay Dutt, says he is not a terrorist

Pak prosecutors seek voice samples of 26/11

Indian doctors and their many Malalas

As cops fail, Kandahar hijack suspect walks free

 

Southeast Asia

Religious Intolerance in Indonesia 'Strips Away Other Rights'

First Execution in 4 Years a Major Setback for Indonesia: Human Rights Watch

Batak Church Demolished by Bekasi Government

Religion, Ethnicity and Popularity Come into Play in Indonesia

Down but Not Out for Indonesia's Largest Islamic Party

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Safia, Hannibal, Mohamed and Aisha Gaddafi 'not in Algeria'

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/religious-intolerance-in-indonesia--strips-away-other-rights-/d/10864

 

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Religious Intolerance in Indonesia 'Strips Away Other Rights'

Dessy Sagita | March 22, 2013

The effects of growing religious intolerance in Indonesia go much deeper than just limiting freedom to worship and have the potential in some cases to affect the victims’ entire lives, activists say.

“The domino effect of the intolerance is tremendous, not only are people prevented from the freedom to worship their God but their other rights have been denied,” Palti Panjaitan, the national coordinator of the Solidarity of Victims of Religious Freedom Violations (Sobat KBB), told the Jakarta Globe recently.

Palti, the pastor of Bekasi, West Java’s HKBP Filadelfia church — long subject to persecution — said many victims of religious intolerance were prevented from living their lives normally.

“Ahmadi can’t marry legally and their children would be born without needed documentation. They will be considered illegitimate [children] who were born out of wedlock, and later these children can’t access many facilities as citizens, including Jamkesmas [state health insurance for the poor],” he said, referring to adherents of the Islamic sect known as Ahmadiyah.

Although there is no formal instruction from the Ministry of Religious Affairs, allegations of an unspoken rule prohibiting the marrying of Ahmadiyah couples have long existed.

“The sad thing about it is that many victims choose to stay quiet because they would be criminalized if they fought back,” he said.

Palti himself has been named a suspect by police for allegedly assaulting a member of an intolerant group on Christmas Eve last year, a charge Palti says was trumped up.

Yuniyanti Chuzaifah, chairwoman of the National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan), said even though Indonesia has ratified several international conventions pertaining to human rights, violations against minorities remained rampant.

Yuniyanti said most victims of religious intolerance could not access their economic and social rights because of pressures from hard-liners.

“They can’t obtain an ID card, they can’t join the election and they can’t even set up an account at banks,” she said.

Religious violence had started to take its toll on children especially, Yuniyanti said. In some places like Bekasi, she said, children had started to fear religious symbols, associating them with violence.

“Children are terrified seeing people dressing in Islamic garb and they are scared whenever they hear somebody chant ‘Allahu akbar’ because they think it means an attack. This is sad, because religion has become something terrifying for children.”

Palti urged the government must take immediate action.

“Now we hear persecuted people have started to retaliate; in my hometown in North Sumatra we heard some mosques were burned down. This has to stop now,” he said.

A report by the Setara Institute, an Indonesia-based research and advocacy group, found 216 cases of violent attacks on religious minorities in 2010, 244 cases in 2011 and 264 cases in 2012.

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/religious-intolerance-in-indonesia-strips-away-other-rights/581252

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Africa

 

Safia, Hannibal, Mohamed and Aisha Gaddafi 'not in Algeria'

 March 22, 2013

Three of Col Muammar Gaddafi's children and his widow have left Algeria, its ambassador to Libya has said.

Aisha and Hannibal Gaddafi are wanted by Interpol following a request from the Libyan authorities, unlike a third child, Mohamed and his widow, Safia.

Abdel-Hamid Bouzaher said the family had left "a long time ago" without giving further details.

Earlier this week, one of Col Gaddafi's cousins, Ahmed Gaddaf al-Dam, was arrested in Egypt.

Col Gaddafi's four close relatives sought refuge in Algeria in 2011 after the rebels reached the Libyan capital Tripoli during the war that ended his 42-year rule.

Their current whereabouts are not known.

News of the departure of the Gaddafi family from Algeria first surfaced in Arab media in November, citing unnamed sources.

This is the first official confirmation by Algerian authorities.

The office of the Libyan prime minister told the BBC it had no comment.

The BBC's Rana Jawad in Tripoli says Col Gaddafi's children were known for their lavish lifestyles while he was in power and some oversaw key sectors in the economy, like shipping and the state's telecommunications company.

Another of his sons - Saadi - fled to Niger after the war and he has been there ever since.

Saif al-Islam, who had been seen as his father's most likely successor, was captured in Libya, where he remains in detention, even though the International Criminal Court wants to put him on trial in The Hague for alleged crimes against humanity.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21886072

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Little Hope for the Children Abducted in Mali’s War

 March 22, 2013

BAMAKO, Mar 22 (IPS) - One of Amina Diallo’s sons, 14-year-old Salif, has been missing since August last year. She thinks Islamists kidnapped him while he was on his way to the market in their hometown of Gao, in northern Mali, and recruited him as a child soldier.

“Wherever he is, he must know that I still pray for him to come back alive and well,” she tells IPS.

While a French intervention allowed the Malian army to reclaim the north of the country in January – it had been held for more than a year by Islamist militants composed of Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb, Ansar Dine and the Movement of Unity and Jihad in West Africa – this West African nation still remains in turmoil with hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people, missing and abducted children and food shortages.

Diallo and her four other children now live at a relative’s home in Bamako after they left Gao last October. But despite Diallo’s hopes that Salif might return, chances are unlikely.

She tried to search for her missing son, only to be told by local authorities that they were sorry for her loss, and that the Malian army was doing its best to find out where the children were taken.

Media relations director of Christian relief agency World Vision, Laura Blank, tells IPS that children in Mali still remain at risk.

“Unsupervised children are also vulnerable to sexual harassment and violence, including the potential to be recruited as child soldiers by armed groups. This continues to be a concern for World Vision.”

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report published in February found that children as young as 11 were placed on the Islamist rebel frontline. Shocked residents told HRW researchers that they saw bodies of child soldiers lying in pools of blood after the fighting. The United Nations Children’s Fund reported at least 175 children were used as soldiers in the conflict last year.

Blank says that her organisation is working with volunteers to share valuable child-protection messages with local communities, which will hopefully empower parents to keep their children safe.

“Children and their families remain vulnerable. They have increasingly limited access to food, water, medicines, and safe shelter, and are prone to diseases,” Blank adds.

Not all children are reported to have taken part in active combat. Some were also used as porters, cooks and spies. Others were offered as sexual slaves to combatants.

Oumou Camara was forced to watch as heavily-armed gunmen, who conducted door-to-door operations in their area in Gao, snatched her 16-year-old daughter from her. They were looking for underage girls, widows and other unmarried women to “marry off” to the mujahidin (combatants of religion).

“They took my daughter away at gunpoint and threatened to shoot us if anyone in the house objected,” the mother of seven tells IPS. “I never saw her again.”

Camara has given up all hope of ever finding her daughter and has no faith in the authorities. “What can the authorities do if they couldn’t even fight their own war? I’m powerless and can only hope and pray.”

Getting comment from the Malian government is impossible. The state has barred independent reporters from entering the war zone, and threatened to detain and prosecute anyone who publishes “sensitive information” that could incite mutiny under the current state of emergency.

But as rights groups try to protect Mali’s vulnerable children, they are also concerned about the growing food crisis in the country.

Oxfam International says that food prices have rocketed, aggravated by a shortage of cereals on the market. Rice has gone up by more than 50 percent since October last year.

“Many traders in Gao region have moved and/or sold out their remaining stocks from Gao to villages and communes outside of the town,” Oxfam International campaign manager in Mali, Ilaria Allegrozzi, tells IPS.

Also, the population has very little cash available as banking systems were disrupted by the conflict.

“Most people in the Gao region don’t have any money left, are in debt, and have sold assets – exhausting their coping strategies,” she says.

Allegrozzi says Oxfam International aims to provide food aid to at least 70,000 people. And Blank says that as of December, World Vision reached nearly 130,000 people in Bamako, Segou and Sikasso, in southern Mali.

Against this backdrop, finding abducted or missing children will prove difficult, as the conflict here has displaced 260,665 people internally, according to the U.N. Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In addition, there are some 170,313 registered refugees in neighbouring countries such as Niger, Mauritania and Burkina Faso.

Many are reluctant to return to their former homes because of the food shortages. Diallo is one of them.

“I’m not in a hurry to go back because even if the war is over, what will we eat? What will I sell and buy in the market? Gao is thirsty, hungry and angry.”

http://www.iede.co.uk/news/2013_1364/little-hope-children-abducted-mali%E2%80%99s-war

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New mass grave found near Sirte

March 21, 2013

TRIPOLI — A grave reportedly containing six bodies has been found in Nufaliyah, between Ras Lanuf and Sirte.

The bodies, discovered close to the main road by members of the Libya Shield Battalion, Second Force, in cooperation with the Libya Shield of Ajdabiya, are thought to be those of revolutionaries.

The Assistant Commander of the Libya Shield, Second Force, Mohamed Hamad Aribi, was reported by the Libyan news agency LANA as saying that the bodies were discovered with the legs tied and that they may have been buried alive.

A similar grave with seven bodies was found nearby last May.

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130322157970

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The two Sudans moving from ideology to interest 

ALSIR SIDAHMED

21 March 2013

As far as Sudan is concerned, fingers crossed; we may be lucky this time. There are grounds for optimism as the latest round of talks between Sudan and South Sudan ended last week with the signing of a matrix to enforce eight deals on cooperation between the two countries agreed upon last September. This means that these deals may have finally found their way for implementation.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445555

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Libya rights group calls for release of journalist

 March 21, 2013

TRIPOLI — The Libyan Human Rights Observatory had called on the judicial authorities to release Amara Hassan Al-Khatabi, the editor of the Ummah (Nation) newspaper, accused of defamation of members of the judiciary.

He published a list of 84 judges in the newspaper claiming saying they were involved in corruption, demanding that the allegations be investigated.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130322157981

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How much for my left leg, asks US jihadi with $5 mn bounty on his head

March 22, 2013

A US extremist fighting with Islamist militants in Somalia on Friday brushed off a $5 million bounty offered by the state department, jokingly asking how much he could get for his left leg.

Alabama-born Omar Hamami - better known as Abu Mansur Al-Amriki or "the American" - is in Somalia, where he has fought with the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Africa/How-much-for-my-left-leg-asks-US-jihadi-with-5-mn-bounty-on-his-head/Article1-1030431.aspx

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Mali's Ansar Dine militants blacklisted by US

 March 22, 2013

The US government has placed Mali's Islamist group Ansar Dine on its terror blacklist because of continued links to al-Qaeda's North Africa branch.

The decision freezes any of its US assets and bans business with it.

Ansar Dine was one of a number of militant groups that took control of northern Mali in the aftermath of a coup, one year ago on 22 March 2012.

French troops, which intervened in January to oust them, are still fighting insurgents in the mountains.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-21894117

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Boko Haram Says Force Will Not Help Free French Hostages

March 21, 2013

Paris. A Nigerian Islamist group warned against the use of force to free a French man and six members of his family kidnapped in Cameroon in a video aired on Thursday.

Tanguy Moulin-Fournier was kidnapped on February 19 along with his wife, four children aged between five and 12, and brother while vacationing in northern Cameroon.

"We are proud to say that we are holding the seven French hostages," said a Boko Haram member in the video aired by France's i-Tele channel with French sub-titles.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/international/boko-haram-says-force-will-not-help-free-french-hostages/581166

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Europe

 

European Shariah students all praise for Saudi hospitality

March 22, 2013

BURAIDAH — More than 50 students from eastern and southern European countries are majoring in Arabic language and Shariah sciences at Qassim University.

The students hail from countries in the Balkan region, including Kosovo, Serbia, Bosnia, Albania and Macedonia.

The students said they were particularly grateful to Qassim University’s Abdulrahman Al-Aqal and Ibrahim Al-Bsaili, who taught them Shariah.

After a year and a half in the Kingdom, the European students commended their Saudi hosts for their hospitality.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130322157938

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France, Britain Sound Alarm Over Chemical Weapons in Syria

March 22, 2013

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - French and British foreign ministers expressed concern on Friday over what they said was President Bashar al-Assad's willingness to use chemical weapons in the civil war in Syria.

The Syrian government and rebels accused each other of using such weapons in a rocket attack near Aleppo on Tuesday that killed 26 people.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/03/22/world/europe/22reuters-syria-crisis-

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No nuclear breakthrough on Iran in Istanbul: Russia

 March 21, 2013

MOSCOW — Expert talks between world powers and Iran over Tehran's nuclear program produced no breakthrough but were positive in tone, Russia's chief negotiator on the dispute said on Thursday.

"There was certain progress. It was real but insufficient to speak of a breakthrough," Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told reporters after the talks in Istanbul on Monday.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130321157892

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Tunisia must repeal criminal defamation law, says HRW

March 21, 2013

TUNIS – Human Rights Watch on Wednesday called on Tunisia to “urgently” repeal its criminal defamation law, which can lead to two years in jail and which it said has a “chilling effect” on freedom of speech.

“Tunisian authorities should urgently amend the country’s law on defamation to make it conform to international norms on freedom of expression,” the New York-based press watchdog said.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130321157827

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Syrian asylum seekers triple in rich nations: UNHCR

March 21, 2013

GENEVA — The number of Syrians seeking asylum in developed nations tripled last year, the UN refugee agency said Thursday, amid an eight-percent overall rise in people looking for a safe haven in rich countries.

Syrian asylum claims in 44 industrialized countries jumped to 24,800 from 8,400 in 2011, the year the civil war began.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130322157969

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Britain Supports School Meals in Areas Affected By Food Shortages in Malawi

22 MARCH 2013

Lilongwe — The UK Government, through UKaid, has contributed US$7.8 million (£5 million pounds sterling) to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to help provide school meals to children in Malawi.

The contribution will benefit nearly 770,000 children in 683 primary schools in food-insecure districts of central and southern Malawi. It will also enable WFP to support more than 5,000 children in 35 Community-based Childcare Centres, and provide take-home rations for more than 24,000 girls and orphan boys in primary schools.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201303220764.html

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North America

 

 

Pope Francis urges dialogue with Muslims, offers olive branch to China

AP | Mar 22, 2013

VATICAN CITY: Pope Francis called on Friday for more dialogue with Islam and offered an olive branch to China and other countries that don't have diplomatic relations with the Holy See.

In his first foreign policy address as pope, Francis delivered his remarks in Italian rather than the traditional French — another indication that the Argentine-born Pope is less than comfortable speaking languages other than Italian and his mother-tongue Spanish.

The occasion was an audience with ambassadors from the 180 countries that have diplomatic relations with the Holy See, in which Francis explained he would work for peace, the poor and to "build bridges" between peoples. He noted that even his title "pontiff" means bridge-builder.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/Pope-Francis-urges-dialogue-with-Muslims-offers-olive-branch-to-China/articleshow/19127268.cms

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US, Israel concerned about Iran plutonium reactor

March 21, 2013

VIENNA — While international diplomacy has focused on trying to prevent Iran from using enriched uranium to produce nuclear arms, concern is growing about another rapidly advancing project that could supply plutonium for a nuclear weapon.

Tehran hopes to have a plutonium-producing reactor up and running next year, part of a nuclear program that the Iranians insist is designed to produce electricity and material for medical and scientific research — not for bombs.

Both plutonium and enriched uranium can be used to produce a nuclear explosion. International concern has so far focused more intensely on Iran's uranium enrichment path.

That's because Tehran won't be able to produce plutonium until next year at the earliest and doesn't have the means to convert it into bomb material. It is now enriching uranium to a level only a step away from weapons-grade.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130321157877

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HRW asks Libya to stop revenge ‘crimes’ against Tawerghans

March 21, 2013

TRIPOLI — The New York-based human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) has described the treatment of people from Tawargha a “crime against humanity” and has called on the UN Security Council to condemn it.

It had demanded the Libyan government to take urgent steps to stop “serious and ongoing human rights violations against Tawerghans”, who it says are widely viewed as having supported Muammar Gaddafi during the 2011 revolution. It also wants the Security Council to demand that the government report within three month on how it is fulfilling its responsibility to protect its population “from mass atrocities”.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130322157973

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Two US senators seek to target Iranian business in euros

AP | Mar 22, 2013

WASHINGTON: Two US senators are proposing a new round of Iran sanctions aimed at preventing the Islamic republic from doing business around the world in euros.

Iran is already largely cut off from international transactions in dollars, meaning its business with foreign banks and customers must be conducted in other currencies.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Two-US-senators-seek-to-target-Iranian-business-in-euros/articleshow/19118178.cms

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Barack Obama tries schmoozing in Holy Land

 Mar 22 2013

Jerusalem : From old-fashioned schmoozing to "I feel your pain" appeals, President Barack Obama is wading into Middle East diplomacy with a personal touch he has rarely displayed on the world stage.

It is the kind of charm offensive he has been trying to pull off - with decidedly mixed results - with political opponents back home and which he now hopes will help advance peace prospects in a region mostly devoid of them.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/barack-obama-tries-schmoozing-in-holy-land/1091864/

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Pope reaches out to Jews, Muslims and urges respect

 March 21, 2013

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis has promised to continue the Catholic Church’s “fraternal” dialogue with Jews and work with Muslims for the common good.

Francis met Wednesday with religious representatives from a dozen faiths and traditions who attended his installation mass a day earlier.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130321157786

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Mideast Asia

 

Palestinians deserve a state: Obama

Mark Landler & Alan Cowell

Mar 22, 2013

RAMALLAH (WEST BANK): Hours after Palestinian militants fired at least two rockets from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip that crashed into the Israeli border city of Sderot on Thursday, President Obama travelled to the West Bank city of Ramallah and renewed his call for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians, saying that continued Israeli settlement-building did not advance the cause of peace.

But, at a news conference with President Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority and the secularist Fatah movement that rivals Hamas, Obama did not specifically call for a halt in settlement construction and urged both sides to press for a broad agreement that would meet two objectives: to provide sovereignty and a state for Palestinians and security for Israel.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Palestinians-deserve-a-state-Obama/articleshow/19119800.cms

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Obama Urges Young Israelis to Lead the Push for Peace

By MARK LANDLER

March 22, 2013

JERUSALEM — President Obama, appealing to very disparate audiences to solve one of the world’s thorniest problems, moved closer on Thursday to the Israeli government’s position on resuming long-stalled peace talks with the Palestinians, even as he passionately implored young Israelis to get ahead of their own leaders in the push for peace.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/world/middleeast/gaza-militants-fire-rockets-as-

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Iran will 'annihilate' cities if Israel attacks: Khamenei

AFP | Mar 21, 2013

TEHRAN: Iran will "annihilate" the Israeli cities of Tel Aviv and Haifa if it comes under attack by the Jewish state, supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned on Thursday.

"Every now and then the leaders of the Zionist regime threaten Iran with a military attack," Khamenei said in a live televised speech from the northeastern holy city of Mashhad, referring to Israel.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Iran-will-annihilate-cities-if-Israel-attacks-Khamenei/articleshow/19112235.cms

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Palestinian Bedouin Community Battles Eviction

By: Jihan Abdalla

 MARCH 21, 2013

WADI ABU HINDI, West Bank — To get to the Palestinian Bedouin village of Wadi Abu Hindi, you would have to drive 4 km through an unnamed dirt road, past a large landfill leachate pool and under a narrow bridge.

Living in makeshift tents and raising livestock, Jahalin Bedouins have inhabited the barren hills lining both sides of the road from Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea for decades. But their ancient lifestyle is slowly dying, as Israel increasingly tries to evict them from the land.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/03/palestinian-bedouins-threatened-eviction.html#ixzz2OFFk3ZL8

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Palestinians want Obama to end peace ‘passivity’

March 21, 2013

RAMALLAH — Palestinians want President Barack Obama’s milestone visit to the region to lead to a more active US approach to resolving the conflict with Israel, before the West Bank is overrun by Jewish settlements and it is too late for a two-state solution.

“We are in an emergency situation,” independent Palestinian legislator Mustafa Barghouti told reporters in Ramallah, where Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will host Obama Thursday.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130321157824

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At Memorial, Obama Urges Action Against Racism and Anti-Semitism

By JODI RUDOREN

March 22, 2013

JERUSALEM — After rekindling the eternal flame and laying a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, a solemn President Obama spoke on Friday of a collective “obligation not just to bear witness but to act” against racism “and especially anti-Semitism” as he wrapped up his three-day visit here with a trio of symbolic pilgrimages.

“We have the choice to ignore what happens to others or to act on behalf of others,” Mr. Obama said after a tour of the museum and a brief memorial service.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/23/world/middleeast/president-obama-

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Turkey hails jailed PKK leader's ceasefire call, questions remain

Ankara praises the call of the PKK's jailed leader Abdullah Ocalan for a ceasefire to the thirty-year conflict

22 Mar 2013

Turkey welcomed on Friday Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan's ceasefire call as a crucial step towards peace, but obstacles remained in resolving a conflict that has torn the country for nearly three decades and killed around 45,000 people.

"This is the Spring of Turkey," declared the headline of liberal Taraf daily, printed on a picture showing the vast crowd of people who gathered on Thursday in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir to hear the message from jailed Ocalan.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/67455/World/Region/Turkey-hails-jailed-PKK-leaders-ceasefire-call,-qu.aspx

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Turkey's Erdogan in Netherlands as lesbian adoption row looms

Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan to meet Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte to discuss strengthening ties between the two countries

21 Mar 2013

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a one-day visit to the Netherlands on Thursday aimed at strengthening ties; his visit however, risks being overshadowed by a row over a Turkish boy adopted by Dutch lesbians.

Erdogan is to meet Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte to discuss economic and political cooperation, but a top Dutch government official has confirmed that the squabble over custody of the nine-year-old Yunus was also on the agenda.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/67390/World/Region/Turkeys-Erdogan-in-Netherlands-as-lesbian-adoption.aspx

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Arab World

 

Saudi Arabia Attacked for Contradictory Statements

By Shubhangni Gupta

Mar 21st 2013

Lady Shri Ram College Model United Conference 2013 took place from 15th-17th March in the college campus. It was attended by over 150 delegates from various schools and colleges all over the country. While three committees were convened- the General Assembly, the Human Rights Council and the Security Council- the UNHRC took the cake in terms of the exciting developments taking place due to the statements made by various delegates. The International Press, responsible for reporting blow-by-blow accounts of all the committees came across an interesting development wherein the Delegate of Saudi Arabia's comments caused uproar in the Human Rights Council. Reporter Trisha Ray reports in accurate detail.

Full report at:

http://www.coolage.in/2013/03/21/saudi-arabia-attacked-for-contradictory-statements-lsrmun-13/

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Saudi Arabia Shia leaders criticise arrests of 16 Shia citizens

 March 22, 2013

A number of Shia community leaders in Saudi Arabia have signed a statement condemning the recent arrest of 16 Shia citizens on allegations of spying.

The statement called for political reform and an end to what it called a policy of playing the sectarian card.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-21876520

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Assad vows to "cleanse" Syria of extremists following cleric killing

 22 March 2013

Syria’s president has vowed to rid the country of Muslim extremists whom he blamed for a suicide bombing that killed over 40 people, including a top Sunni preacher.

"I present my condolences to the Syrian people for the martyrdom of Sheikh Mohamed Saeed al-Bouti, a great figure in Syria and the Islamic world," he said in a statement issued by the presidency overnight. "Those who killed you think they are silencing the voice of Islam and belief in the Syrian nation... they killed you for raising your voice against their ignorant and obscurantist ideas which are intended to destroy the principles of our tolerant religion."

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/03/22/President-Assad-vows-to-clean-Syria-of-extremists.html

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Oman’s Sultan pardons all jailed activists

22 March 2013

Oman’s Sultan Qaboos pardoned on Friday all dissidents jailed for defaming the ruler or taking part in protests, in the latest effort to defuse unrest inspired by Arab uprisings elsewhere.

The official Oman News Agency did not say how many prisoners would be freed, but activists say courts sentenced at least 50dissidents to jail terms of up to 18 months last year.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/03/22/Oman-s-Sultan-pardons-all-jailed-activists-state-news-agency.html

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Hezbollah slams Obama’s call for “terror” listing

Friday, 22 March 2013

Lebanese militant group Hezbollah on Friday slammed U.S. President Barack Obama's demand that nations list it as a "terrorist organisation," saying he spoke like "an employee of the Zionist entity."

"He speaks like an employee of the Zionist entity [Israel] and not the highest-ranking official in the administration of the independent state that is the United States," the group said in a statement issued overnight.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/2013/03/22/Hezbollah-slams-Obama-call-for-terror-listing.html

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Hezbollah Courier Found Guilty in Plot to Attack Israeli Tourists in Cyprus

By NICHOLAS KULISH

March 22, 2013

BERLIN — In a decision that could have significant repercussions for Hezbollah’s operations in Europe, a court in Cyprus on Thursday found a man guilty of participating in a plot to attack Israeli tourists there, part of a conspiracy similar to a deadly bombing last July in Bulgaria.

The court found the man, Hossam Taleb Yaacoub, a dual Swedish-Lebanese citizen, guilty on five of the eight charges against him, including participation in a criminal organization and in the preparation of a criminal act. The three other counts were conspiracy charges, which the ruling said were already covered under the other counts. Mr. Yaacoub will be sentenced at a separate hearing. He was initially charged with several terrorism-related counts as well.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/22/world/middleeast/hezbollah-courier-guilty-of-role-in-cyprus-terror-plot.html?ref=middleeast&_r=0

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Gunmen Seize Israeli, Norwegian Tourists in Egypt's Sinai

March 22, 2013

CAIRO (Reuters) - Masked gunmen in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula kidnapped two tourists, an Israeli man and a Norwegian woman, travelling between two coastal resorts, Egyptian and Israeli officials said on Friday.

The pair was travelling in a car between Taba, near the Israeli border, and Dahab, a sea resort further south when Bedouin gunmen in a pickup truck captured them, Egyptian security sources said.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2013/03/22/world/middleeast/22reuters-egypt-kidnapping.html?ref=middleeast

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Muslim Brotherhood Holds Sway Over Syrian Opposition

By: Hassan Hassan

MARCH 21, 2013

Ghassan Hitto, a naturalized US citizen from Damascus, was selected on Monday, March 18, by members of the opposition Syrian National Coalition to become the interim prime minister. Little known among Syrians, his appointment is by far the clearest indication of the Muslim Brotherhood’s monopoly over the opposition’s political and military bodies. At least nine figures suspended their membership in the National Coalition in protest, including the coalition’s spokesman, Walid Buni, and Vice President Suhair Attasi, who then retracted her suspension a day later.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/03/syria-ghassan-hitto-muslim-brotherhood.html#ixzz2OFGRUgb4

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Beirutis on Edge over Sectarian Tensions between Sunni and Shiite groups

By: Elie Hajj

 MARCH 21, 2013

Old Beirutis, who have long called the capital city their home, long for the olden days when it did not matter to which sect their neighbours, belonged. They have recently seen renewed tensions and fighting — either on the streets or on television — between Sunni and Shiite groups. This article will report on the impressions and testimonies of Beirutis in the aftermath of the sectarian and political incidents that took place last Sunday.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/03/beirut-anxious-sectarian-tension.html#ixzz2OFFYo13P

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Relatives welcome prisoner exchange initiative with Iraq

March 22, 2013

ARAR — Several families of Saudi prisoners who are languishing in Iraqi jails have thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah and Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, for their utmost care and concern for their kin.

They noted that the decision to send a high profile delegation to Iraq soon to discuss the issue of swapping prisoners was a relief.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130322157944

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Brotherhood warns opposition ahead of march

 22 March 2013

CAIRO: Egypt’s ruling Muslim Brotherhood warned yesterday that it will defend its headquarters, as opposition activists planned a march on the building where they have previously clashed with the ruling party's activists.

The Brotherhood has seen about 30 of its offices across the country attacked in widespread protests against President Muhammad Mursi.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445609

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Assad sympathizers hack BBC Twitter account

 21 March 2013

LONDON: Supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad hijacked the Twitter accounts of the BBC’s weather and Arabic services yesterday and posted messages that were by turns political, anti-Semitic and comical.

The BBC confirmed that several accounts had been hacked, saying that it is “actively working” on the issues and expects them to be resolved shortly.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/445683

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Pakistan

 

National religious solidarity conference urges interfaith harmony

 March 22, 2013

LAHORE: Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) Chairman Allama Tahir Ashrafi has stressed the need to promote interfaith peace and religious harmony in greater interest of the nation, and demanded authorities to take strict action against those elements who are behind incidents like Quetta blasts and Joseph Colony arson.

Ashrafi was addressing the National Religious Solidarity Conference at a local hotel, which was organised by the PUC in connection with the Joseph Colony attack. Jamaat-e-Islami’s Liaqat Baloch, Allama Muhammad Khan Laghari of the Sunni Ittehad Council, Bishop of Lahore Dr Alexander John Malik, Akram Masih Gill, Mashaikh Pakistan Peer Chairman Saifullah Khalid, representatives of different political parties, religious parties and civil society representatives also participated in the conference in a show of solidarity with the minorities.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\22\story_22-3-2013_pg7_15

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4 militants killed in US drone strike in northwest Pakistan

PTI | Mar 22, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Four militants were killed when a US drone targeted a vehicle in the lawless north Waziristan tribal region of Pakistan on Friday.

State-run Radio Pakistan reported four persons were killed in the attack by the CIA-operated spy plane in Dattakhel area of North Waziristan Agency.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/4-militants-killed-in-US-drone-strike-in-northwest-Pakistan/articleshow/19121965.cms

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Motorbike bomb in Pakistan kills at least six

March 22, 2013

A bomb planted on a motorbike killed six people and wounded another 15 on Friday in a crowded Pakistani market in the troubled southwestern province Baluchistan, police said.

The bomb, detonated by remote control, exploded near a bus station in the remote town of Dera Allah Yar, around 270kms southeast of Quetta, the provincial capital.

"At least six people have been killed and more than 15 injured. The bomb was planted on a motorcycle," police official Qamar Ul Hasan said.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Pakistan/Motorbike-bomb-in-Pakistan-kills-at-least-six/Article1-1030416.aspx

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Musharraf granted protective bail in Benazir, Bugti cases

 March 22, 2013

KARACHI: The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Friday granted General (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s request for protective bail in various cases pending against him, DawnNews reported. The cases in which the former military ruler has been granted bail include the Benazir Bhutto murder case, the case on the killing of Baloch nationalist leader Nawab Akbar Bugti and one pertaining to the deposing of Supreme Court judges.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/22/shc-grants-musharrafs-request-for-protective-bail/

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Nato containers come under attack in Khyber, Peshawar

 March 22, 2013

PESHHAWAR: One person was killed and four were injured when unknown militants attacked Nato containers in Peshawar and the Khyber tribal region on Friday, DawnNews reported.

According to Hayatabad police, the militants attacked a Nato container in Peshawar in which one person was killed and three others were injured.

“One of the injured is in a critical condition,” hospital officials said.

Moreover, in Khyber’s Jamrud area, a Nato container was attacked and its driver was injured.

The vehicles were badly damaged in both incidents.

Later, security forces started search operation and arrested 15 suspects.

According to assistant political agent, a Levi official was suspended for the negligence over the incident.

http://dawn.com/2013/03/22/nato-containers-come-under-attack-in-khyber-peshawar/

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Fresh threats emerge as Taliban gain more ground

 March 22, 2013

PESHAWAR: “We have resisted insurgents for over seven years, but this attack was unusual,” said Sadat Afridi, spokesman for the banned outfit Ansarul Islam (AI), after much of Khyber Agency’s well-known Tirah Valley fell to the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and Laskhar-e-Islam (LeI).

“There were foreign fighters … Uzbeks, Chechens … almost 3,000 of them,” claimed Afridi. “We ran out of ammunition and other supplies,” he added.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/524687/outflows-from-tirah-fresh-threats-emerge-as-taliban-gain-more-ground/

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Islamabad ready to engage with Taliban, says foreign secretary

 March 22, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad is ready to engage in negotiations with all militant groups that can help end the decade-long war in Afghanistan and restore peace in Pakistan, a senior official said on Thursday.

“We will accommodate any entity that will be helpful in making the [peace] process successful,” Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani told reporters after attending a Senate defence committee meeting.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/524641/peace-talks-islamabad-ready-to-engage-with-taliban-says-foreign-secretary/

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Pakistan targets Taliban lair to secure vote

 March 22, 2013

PESHAWAR: Pakistan is stepping up an offensive to dislodge the Taliban from a key stronghold in an effort to safeguard May’s general election and crack down on militants behind a wave of attacks.

The northwestern Tirah Valley, hemmed in by steep mountains and replete with numerous caves, has offered Pakistan’s umbrella Tehreek-e-Taliban a new base in the tribal district of Khyber beyond the reach of ground troops.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2013\03\22\story_22-3-2013_pg7_16

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Pakistani think tank warns ECP against pre-poll rigging

 March 22, 2013

ISLAMABAD: A prominent Pakistani think tank on Thursday demanded strict action by the country’s election commission against attempts of pre-electoral rigging in run up to the general elections scheduled for May 11.

Terming it as pre-poll rigging, the Citizens Group on Electoral Process (CGEP), facilitated by PILDAT, has expressed serious concern at the actions taken by the outgoing federal and provincial governments in relation to mass regularisation of contract employees.

Full report at:

http://dawn.com/2013/03/21/pakistani-think-tank-warns-ecp-against-pre-poll-rigging/

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South Asia

 

Death toll rises to 20 in Myanmar religious riots

March 22, 2013

A lawmaker says at least 20 people have died in two days of rioting between Buddhists and Muslims in a central Myanmar town where residents remained locked in their homes, too afraid to walk the streets. Opposition National League for Democracy lawmaker Win Htein told The Associated Press

by telephone on Friday that at least five mosques were burned down since the violence started Wednesday in the town of Meikhtila.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/myanmar/Death-toll-rises-to-20-in-Myanmar-religious-riots/Article1-1030311.aspx

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Police kill Islamist in Bangla mob attack; nation in mourning

 Mar 22 2013

Dhaka : Bangladeshi police shot dead an Islamist supporter Thursday as they tried to fend off a mob attack by some 2,000 opposition activists angered by the ongoing war crimes trials of their leaders.

Police said 2,000 supporters of the country’s largest Islamic party, Jamaat-e-Islami, attacked a group of 90 officers at a village in the western Jhenidah district after they tried to arrest some JI activists.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/police-kill-islamist-in-bangla-mob-attack--nation-in-mourning/1091665/

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Karzai claims victory over US 'abuse' claims

 March 22, 2013

KABUL — Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday claimed victory in his latest dispute with the US after accusing its special forces of abusing civilians in the key strategic province of Wardak.

Karzai had demanded that the elite US units leave the province, just outside Kabul. On Wednesday, a deal was struck in which Afghan forces will take responsibility for security in Nerkh, one of Wardak's eight districts.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20130321157909

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Minor arrested in connection with Dr Afrasheem’s murder charged with giving false statement

By Ahmed Nazeer | March 21st, 2013

The state has pressed charges against a minor arrested in connection with the murder of Dr Afrasheem Ali, who was murdered in October last year.

The state told the court the minor had given a false statement to police when he was summoned to police during the investigation of Dr Afrasheem’s murder, and that the minor had also given false statement to the Juvenile Court.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/society/minor-arrested-in-connection-with-dr-

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Anti-Muslim feeling grips Sri Lanka

4 years after silencing the LTTE-led Tamil separatists, extremist Sinhalese Buddhists find new target to vent their ire

By Yusra Farzan

 March 22, 2013

Ameen Mohammad sits in a corner of his clothes shop in central Colombo, Sri Lanka, poring over the company’s accounts. The numbers do not look good; business has been bleak over the last few months. He says it is because he is Muslim.

“We have experienced a steady drop in sales since January because the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) had put up posters around the country telling people not to shop at our stores because our company is Muslim-owned. They threaten to take violent action against people who do,” says the father of three.

Full report at:

http://gulfnews.com/about-gulf-news/al-nisr-portfolio/weekend-review/anti-muslim-feeling-grips-sri-lanka-1.1160957

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Disabled swimmers make a splash in Kabul

Afghanistan's largest indoor swimming pool is helping youths, including those with no arms, learn to enjoy the water.

Jennifer Glasse

 20 Mar 2013

Kabul, Afghanistan - Light bounces off the blue water and shimmers on the ceiling one early morning in Kabul, at the Lajaward Swimming Complex, the capital’s largest indoor swimming pool. It is the brainchild of Qasim Ali Rezaee, an Afghan with 25 years experience running recreation centers in Iran.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2013/03/2013320122458631419.html

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India

 

 

Terror magnitude: '93 blasts toll only second to 9/11

Bharti Jain | Mar 22, 2013

NEW DELHI: The 1993 Mumbai serial blasts heralded a new era in urban terrorism, being the first coordinated, high-casualty strike to hit a bustling metropolis. Accounting for 257 deaths, the Mumbai underworld- triggered bombings are second only to the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York in terms of casualties.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/mumbai/Real-masterminds-still-being-sheltered-by-Pak/Article1-1030236.aspx

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Delhi Police arrest Hizbul man from UP, carry out raids in Jama Masjid area

Mar 22 2013

New Delhi : A suspected Hizbul Mujahideen terrorist was arrested from Uttar Pradesh with Delhi Police today claiming that they have unearthed a plot to create terror in the national capital ahead of Holi.

The alleged operative Liaqat Ali was on way to Delhi in a train when he was arrested from Gorakhpur, police sources said.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/cops-arrest-hizbul-man-from-up-carry-out-raids-in.../1091822/

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Wagah-like border drill at six posts on India-Bangla frontier soon

Deeptiman Tiwary, TNN | Mar 22, 2013

NEW DELHI: India-Bangladesh border may soon see Wagah-like scenes as India and Bangladesh have agreed to have similar march drills at six posts on the frontier. The first such drill, expected to be implemented this year, will start at Benapole in West Bengal on the Indo-Bangla border.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Wagah-like-border-drill-at-six-posts-on-India-Bangla-frontier-soon/articleshow/19119140.cms

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Juvenile law cannot lessen punishment to ‘minor’ terrorists, Supreme Court rules

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Mar 22, 2013

NEW DELHI: Terrorism and heinous crimes cannot be fastened only on adults, the Supreme Court said on Thursday while upholding the conviction of Muhammad Moin Faridulla Qureshi, who was 17 years and 3 months old when he loaded vehicles with explosives and fitted them with timers to devastating effect on March 12, 1993 in Mumbai.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Juvenile-law-cannot-lessen-punishment-to-minor-terrorists-Supreme-Court-rules/articleshow/19117798.cms

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Pakistan encourages terrorism in breach of UN mandate: Supreme Court

Dhananjay Mahapatra, TNN | Mar 22, 2013,

NEW DELHI: In a first-ever indictment of Pakistan as a promoter of terrorism, the Supreme Court on Thursday said the neighbouring country had breached the United Nation's mandate for every member country to prevent terrorists from using its territory to harm other countries.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pakistan-encourages-terrorism-in-breach-of-UN-mandate-Supreme-Court/articleshow/19119062.cms

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‘Infringement by Pak is devastating’

Utkarsh Anand

Mar 22 2013

New Delhi : The Supreme Court verdict on the 1993 blasts described India as “one of the worst victims of terrorist acts”, and said that “the training received in Pakistan materialised in the unfortunate serial blasts in Bombay” and that this shows “the tolerance and encouragement shown by Pakistan towards terrorism.”

The bench of Justices P Sathasivam and B S Chauhan said it was “devastating” to note that Pakistan, despite being a member of the UN, “has infringed the recognised principles under international law, which obligates all states to prevent terrorist attacks emanating from their territory and inflicting injuries to other states.” It said it cannot be ignored that “a responsible state owes an obligation not only to another state but also to the international community as a whole.”

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/infringement-by-pak-is-devastating/1091724/

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Justice Katju bats for Sanjay Dutt, says he is not a terrorist

 March 22, 2013

Press Council of India Justice Markandey Katju Friday said that he appealed for Sanjay Dutt's pardon in the 1993 Mumbai blasts case on humanitarian grounds and said that he wasn't questioning the Supreme Court verdict.

Katju sought pardon for Dutt under Article 161 of the Constitution saying that he had not been found guilty of having played a role in the 1993 blasts and had suffered a lot.

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Justice-Katju-bats-for-Sanjay-Dutt-says-he-is-not-a-terrorist/Article1-1030452.aspx

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Pak prosecutors seek voice samples of 26/11

March 22, 2013

Islamabad: Pakistani prosecutors have approached a court seeking voice samples of seven men, including LeT commander Zakiur Rehman Lakhvi, charged with involvement in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, saying the measure will speed up their prosecution.

Full report at:

http://zeenews.india.com/news/nation/pak-prosecutors-seek-voice-samples-of-26/11_837204.html

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Indian doctors and their many Malalas

Shobha John, TNN | Mar 22, 2013

On March 19, 15-year-old Malala Yousafzai put her best face forward. The Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban joined a UK school after numerous reconstructive surgeries. However, Indian surgeons have of late been tending more than ever before to victims of terror from across the world's conflict zones, be it Afghanistan or Iraq, Somalia or Sudan and Nigeria.

What's more, for foreign patients India is a good destination for these operations as the surgery costs are one-fifth that in the US or Europe.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indian-doctors-and-their-many-Malalas/articleshow/19119459.cms

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As cops fail, Kandahar hijack suspect walks free

Arun Sharma

 Mar 21 2013

Jammu : Six months after he was arrested as a top militant suspected to have helped five men who hijacked the Kathmandu-Delhi Indian Airlines flight IC-814 to Kandhar in 1999, Mehrajuddin Wani alias Mehrajuddin Dand alias Javed Ahmed was bailed out by a court in Kishtwar as the Jammu and Kashmir police failed to present challan against him.

He was bailed out by Munsiff Kishtwar Umesh Sharma, who has been working as acting Chief Judicial Magistrate, Kishtwar. The court ordered to release Dand on bail on his furnishing a bail bond and personal bond of Rs 10,000 each.

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/as-cops-fail-kandahar-hijack-suspect-walks-free/1091458/

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Southeast Asia

 

First Execution in 4 Years a Major Setback for Indonesia: Human Rights Watch

March 22, 2013

The death of Malawian national Adami Wilson — Indonesia’s first execution in four years — heightens the urgency for the government to end the death penalty, Human Rights Watch said on Friday.

A firing squad executed the 48-year-old in Jakarta on March 15. He was convicted in 2004 of smuggling one kilogram of heroin into Indonesia.

The execution marked an end to Indonesia’s unofficial moratorium on the death penalty since the November 2008 killing of three men convicted for their role in the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings that left 202 people dead.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/first-execution-in-4-years-a-major-setback-for-indonesia-human-rights-watch/581349

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Batak Church Demolished by Bekasi Government

Camelia Pasandaran, Jonathan G. Vit & Sandra Siagian | March 21, 2013

The congregation of Bekasi’s beleaguered HKBP Taman Sari church huddled close, forming a barrier between their church and the idling bulldozer sent to demolish their house of worship on Thursday.

They sang tearful Batak hymns in the afternoon heat, wailing between the verses, as church member Megarenta Sihite shouted at the officers from the Bekasi District Public Order Agency (Satpol PP).

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/batak-church-demolished-by-bekasi-government/581255

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Religion, Ethnicity and Popularity Come into Play in Indonesia

Bruce Gale - Straits Times | March 22, 2013

A closer look at how provincial elections are fought in Indonesia suggests that the determinants of success at the local level often have little to do with party affiliation. In North Sumatra, as in many other socially heterogeneous provinces in the outer islands, religion and ethnicity are far more important.

The Muslim Javanese community in the province, for example, is surprisingly large. Consisting of around 27 percent of the population, it is second only to the native (and predominantly Christian) Batak community. There are also other minority groups, including significant numbers of Malays. Political contests therefore tend to be battles between rival ethnic and religious coalitions.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/religion-ethnicity-and-popularity-come-into-play-in-indonesia/581358

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Down but Not Out for Indonesia's Largest Islamic Party

Salim Osman - Strait Times | March 22, 2013

Indonesia's largest Islamic party, the Prosperous Justice Party (PKS), is defying predictions of tough times ahead of legislative elections due next April.

The results of two regional elections in West Java and North Sumatra earlier this month saw its incumbent governors Ahmad Heryawan and Gatot Pujo Nugroho, respectively; defeat their challengers from large parties.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/opinion/down-but-not-out-for-indonesias-largest-islamic-party/581354

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/religious-intolerance-in-indonesia--strips-away-other-rights-/d/10864

 

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