New Age Islam
Tue Dec 01 2020, 12:36 PM

Islamic World News ( 10 March 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Religious Parties Offer Blood Money to Taseer’s Family, Ready to Pay Gold Equal to the Weight of Qadri

 

 

 

IS Alternative to Facebook: REUTERS Published — Wednesday 11 March 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pakistan

Religious Parties Offer Blood Money to Taseer’s Family, Ready to Pay Gold Equal to the Weight of Qadri

Pak President for Following Sufi Saints’ Teachings

Govt ends death penalty freeze in all cases

Black warrant sought for Saulat Mirza, MQM activist

Four cops killed in Karachi attack

Imran threatens to take to the streets again if rigging not probed

Refugees offered incentives for return to Afghanistan: minister

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Africa

Jordanian King: Islamophobia Helps Strengthen ISIS

Boko Haram Stages Deadly Attack in Nigeria's Maiduguri

Libya’s elected parliament asks U.N. to postpone peace talks

Algerian army kills three militants near capital

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India

JMB Was Trying To Bring Sharia Law In Indo-Bangla Border Distts: NIA Charge sheet

Pak Tried Secret Deal with Al-Qaeda As Terror Group Targeted India

Muslim Quota: Opposition Parties in Maharashtra Unite, Burn Copies of Order

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Arab World

Iraqi forces retake strategic town of al-Alam near Tikrit

Female TV Host Cuts Off Interview with Muslim Scholar After He Tells Her to 'Shut Up'

District Elections in Makkah to See Participation of Expatriates

King Salman pledges to maintain kingdom's security

ISIS Syria-Iraq supply lines smashed: coalition

Iran role in Iraq unsettling, says former CIA chief

MERS virus claims three more lives in Saudi Arabia

Saudi King says he is committed to defending Palestinian cause

Iraqi forces push toward Tikrit’s centre

Egypt investor meet to showcase Sisi's political clout

Militants attack Egyptian checkpoint near Gaza, kill soldier

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South Asia

Suicide Car Bomber Kills Seven in Afghanistan

Kabul in Danger of Sliding ‘Under Thumb’ Of Pakistan: Karzai

Another expat Bangladeshi ISIS hostage

US envoy praises Pakistan’s role for peace in Afghanistan

Nizami appeal hearing delayed

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North America

The U.S. Sells Out a Brave, Democratic Muslim Leader, Mohamed Nasheed

America Just Got Its First Accredited Muslim College

Suriname president’s son jailed for Hezbollah ‘plot’

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Guantanamo torture cases

Jury sees Boston bomber's writings on Islam and 'killing innocent people'

Leading politician: Canada could end up treating Muslims as it did Jews in the ’30s and ’40s

Baltimore-area teen speaks out on behalf of Muslim community

US denounces ‘reign of terror’ in Crimea, east Ukraine

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Southeast Asia

China says Muslim Uighurs have joined ISIS

Jakarta: Terrorism Promotion Sites to Be Blocked

Nick Xenophon appeals to Indonesian Muslims to support Bali Nine reprieve

Muslim Cleric: 'Communist China's religious policies are the best in the world'

Bomb threat forces Hong Kong jet to make emergency landing

National scene: Indonesians missing in Turkey travelled legally

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Mideast

Turkey Launches International Mosque-Building Program

IS Alternative to Facebook Gets Bumpy Start

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar Set Sights on Cuba's Muslims

Turkey extends military training to local Sunni forces and Iraqi army

Qatar says it will begin rebuilding 1,000 homes in Gaza

Hillary Clinton condemns Republican letter to Iran

UK official says pursuing embassy reopening in Tehran

Israeli troops flatten private Palestinian land in WB

Turkish PM Davutoğlu fails to convince president to allow Fidan into his own inner circle

ISIL claims execution of Arab Israeli accused of spying: video

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Europe

Ex-Russian premier rejects idea Nemtsov was anti-Muslim

‘ME peace needed to defeat extremists’

Bosnia donates 500 tons of ammunition to Iraq

Why the surge in Muslim prisoners in UK?

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/religious-parties-offer-blood-money-to-taseer’s-family,-ready-to-pay-gold-equal-to-the-weight-of-qadri/d/101909

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Pakistan

 

Religious Parties Offer Blood Money to Taseer’s Family, Ready to Pay Gold Equal to the Weight of Qadri

March 11, 2015

KARACHI: Religious parties representing the Barelvi school of thought on Tuesday announced that they would challenge the Islamabad High Court decision to uphold the death sentence awarded to Mumtaz Qadri, who was convicted of killing former Punjab governor Salman Taseer.

They also offered to pay blood money to the deceased governor’s family for the acquittal of the self-confessed killer.

Know more: ‘The court delivered half justice to my client’

Speaking at a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, leaders of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Pakistan, the Jamaat Ahle Sunnat, the Pakistan Sunni Tehreek and the Pakistan Sunni Alliance claimed that the government in the name of an operation against terrorism was treating all tolerant and non-violent religious circles in a same way.

“The government is responsible for creating challenges which ultimately increase its own difficulties,” said Shabbir Abu Talib of the JUP.

“Parties representing the Ahle Sunnat school of thought do not want to trigger any chaos or violence. We are ready for a healthy debate on the Mumtaz Qadri issue.”

He said parties of their school of thought had decided to challenge the judgement against Qadri in the Supreme Court and for that meetings with legal experts and senior lawyers were being held.

“We have a key case of Raymond Davis fresh in our memory. The political leadership of the country compromised national security, exploiting the provision in Islam to set that killer [Raymond Davis] free. We are ready to pay much more Khoonbaha (blood money) to the family of Salman Taseer [for Qadri’s release],” said Mr Talib.

The Islamabad High Court on Monday acquitted Qadri of charges of terrorism, but upheld his conviction under the Pakistan Penal Code.

Mumtaz Qadri, Mr Taseer’s gunman and former Punjab police elite force commando, assassinated Salman Taseer in Kohsar market in Islamabad on Jan 4, 2011.

Angry over conviction of Qadri under the penal code, the religious parties hinted at taking it to the streets for his release.

“We will now hold protest demonstrations on Friday,” said Mr Talib. “Our struggle is under democratic norms and will remain peaceful. We are not going to challenge the writ of the state in the name of protest. In Karachi the main Friday protest will be organised at the Numaish traffic intersection.”

He said parties representing the Ahle Sunnat school of thought had called a joint meeting on Saturday to prepare a common strategy for their cause.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1168695/religious-parties-offer-blood-money-to-taseers-family

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Pak President for Following Sufi Saints’ Teachings

March 11, 2015

Islamabad - President Mamnoon Hussain has called for following the teachings of love and peace of eminent Sufi saints to establish atmosphere of tolerance and harmony in the society.

The president stated that true following of the message of great saints could act as a bulwark against the menaces of sectarianism, extremism and terrorism. The president said this while addressing the International Conference on Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam held in connection with the 700th Urs celebrations of the great spiritual leader at Aiwan-e-Sadr on Tuesday.

The president stated that Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam was a great philosopher, researcher, scholar of the Holy Quran and Hadith and expert of Islamic affairs, adding that the renowned Sufi saint devoted his whole life to spread the Holy Prophet’s (PBUH) universal message of peace, tolerance and harmony in the world. “By following the ideals and life of Hazrat Shah Rukn-e-Alam we can do away with the curses of sectarianism and militancy,” added the president. He said that the great saints of Silsila Suhrawardiya not only propagated the true teachings of Islam but also raised awareness amongst the rulers of the day about the problems confronting people.

The president stated that the purpose of celebrating the 700th Urs anniversary of distinguished spiritual leader is to highlight his achievements, sagacity and teachings that could assist us in avoiding the dark paths of sectarianism and terrorism.

He said that the government is taking measures for the welfare and prosperity of the people.  Efforts should be made to create an atmosphere of friendship and brotherhood so that we can collectively realize our dreams for peace and progress, added the President.

The President welcomed the participation of spiritual personalities from different countries and expressed hope that message of peace, tolerance and forbearance emanating form this Conference will resonate across the regions.

The president appreciated ministry of religious affairs & interfaith harmony, archaeological and historical association of Pakistan and Preston University for organizing the conference and urged them to hold similar events regularly as they positively contribute toward creating a peaceful and tolerant atmosphere in the country.

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/11-Mar-2015/mamnoon-for-following-sufi-saints-teachings

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Govt ends death penalty freeze in all cases

March 11, 2015

ISLAMABAD - All four provinces of the country have expedited the process to execute death-row inmates in line with the federal government’s decision to lift the moratorium on death penalty in all kinds of cases, an official of the Ministry of Interior said on Tuesday.

“The provinces have conveyed to us that in the light of the decision of the federal government, the process has been expedited, and prisons departments concerned have started their work,” the official said, adding executions would start in the next one or two weeks.

The federal government had formally lifted the moratorium on death penalty in all kinds of cases on March 3 and had asked the provinces to implement the decision.

After December 16 incident of terror attack on Army Public School, the government had lifted moratorium on death penalty in terrorism-related cases. Almost two dozen prisoners, those convicted only for terrorism, were executed throughout the country after this decision while in some cases, courts granted stay orders for different reasons.

“The execution of death sentences may be carried out strictly as per the law and only where all legal options and avenues have been exhausted and mercy petitions under Article 45 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan have been rejected by the President,” reads a letter of the ministry of interior written by the joint secretary (law) to all the home secretaries of all the four provinces a copy of which is also available with The Nation.

According to unconfirmed figures, in different jails of the country there are around 1,000 death-row prisoners who have exhausted all their legal options and also the mercy petitions. According to some non-governmental organisations, around 8,000 death-row prisoners are languishing in different jails of the country but they have yet to avail some of their legal options of appeals to higher courts.

Around 500 mercy petitions of such prisoners are also pending with the President of Pakistan under Article 45 of the Constitution while President Mamnoon Hussain has recently rejected some of such petitions.

In 2008, then Pakistan People’s Party-led federal government had issued a moratorium on executions of all kinds of death sentences. Incumbent PML-N-led federal government, after coming into power, had decided to lift the moratorium but later it postponed the decision as a result of a meeting between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with then President Asif Ali Zardari. The moratorium remained in force till December 16, 2014.

Between the period of 2008 to December 16, 2014, only a military soldier was hanged. He was convicted by a court martial for killing his colleague.

After the government’ decision to lift moratorium in terrorism-related cases, the two prisoners first to go to gallows were the convicts in the former president Pervez Musharraf attack case. The other hangings followed.

The European Union and other local and international rights groups have been raising issue of executions in Pakistan linking it with human rights. They have been asking the government to reverse its decision.

AFP adds: Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani confirmed to AFP the government had issued instructions to resume executions.

“We have received a letter from federal government asking to expedite all death penalty cases for executions whose mercy petitions have been rejected,” Durrani told AFP in Quetta.

Supporters of the death penalty in Pakistan argue that it is the only effective way to deal with the scourge of militancy.

The courts system is notoriously slow, with cases frequently dragging on for years, and there is a heavy reliance on witness testimony and very little protection for judges and prosecutors.

This means terror cases are hard to prosecute, as extremists are able to intimidate witnesses and lawyers into dropping charges.

Human rights campaigners have been highly critical of the resumption of executions.

Sarah Belal of the Justice Project Pakistan (JPP) rights group condemned the move to extend executions as “irresponsible”, saying it put the lives of vulnerable citizens at risk.

“We’ve seen time and time again that there is immeasurable injustice in Pakistan’s criminal justice system, with a rampant culture of police torture, inadequate counsel and unfair trials,” she said in a statement.

Justice Project Pakistan produced research in conjunction with US University Yale Law School documenting nearly 2,000 cases of torture in Faisalabad. Interviewees said police routinely manufactured evidence, tortured suspects and botched investigations.

Torture is recognised as such a widespread problem that any confession a suspect gives to a policeman is inadmissible in court.

http://nation.com.pk/national/11-Mar-2015/govt-ends-death-penalty-freeze-in-all-cases

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Black warrant sought for Saulat Mirza, MQM activist

SHAFI BALOCH

KARACHI: Jail authorities in Karachi on Wednesday submitted an application with a Karachi Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) asking it to issue a black warrant for condemned prisoner, Saulat Mirza, an activist of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM).

Mirza was sentenced to death by an anti-terrorism court in May 1999 for murdering the managing director of then named Karachi Electric Supply Corporation Shahid Hamid, his driver Ashraf Brohi and guard Khan Akbar in July 1997.

He was moved along with four high-profile prisoners to the Machh jail, Balochistan, in April 2014.

In May last year, Mirza’s brother petitioned the high court to move him to a Karachi prison.

He argued that his brother had been shifted to the Machh jail without the orders of the competent authority or any notification.

The petition had been disposed of by provincial authorities on the pretext of security reasons.

Mirza had also submitted a mercy petition before the president which was rejected after it remained pending for a long time.

Also read: Execution of six death warrants on the cards in Sindh

Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain said: “The mercy petition of prisoners on death row should not be rejected on political grounds and only those genuinely deserving the punishment must be hanged, which should begin with the terrorists.”

Pakistan on Tuesday lifted its moratorium on the death penalty in all capital cases, after initially restarting executions for terrorism offences in the wake of a Taliban school massacre.

Pakistan has hanged 24 convicts since resuming executions in December after Taliban militants gunned down more than 150 people, most of them children, at Peshawar's Army Public School.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1168845/black-warrant-sought-for-saulat-mirza

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Four cops killed in Karachi attack

March 11, 2015

KARACHI - As many as four policemen including an assistant sub-inspector (ASI) were killed while two others wounded in two fresh attacks on the police in the City downtown.

Four armed assailants, on two motorbikes, sprayed bullets on the Preedy police mobile van near Gull Plaza, MA Jinnah Road which injured five policemen including ASI Riasat Shah, constables Saeed, Rashid and Jahanzaib.

ASI Shah and constable Saeed succumbed to injuries on the spot while the remaining two were taken to the hospital where Rashid died during treatment and condition of Jahanzaib was termed to be critical.

Police said the cops were having tea at a tea stall when assailants targeted them and easily fled from the scene. The wounded cops were immediately taken to Civil Hospital. Reacting on information, extra contingent of police and Rangers reached the site and collected evidence. Police also collected empty shells of 9mm pistols used in the incident.

Moreover, the gunmen targeted a head constable Shakeel and constable Mujahid near Pakistan Chowk in Aram Bagh locality. The cops were on routine motorbike patrolling when gunmen targeted them and escaped. The injured cops were rushed to the hospital where Head Constable Shakeel succumbed to injuries while PC Mujahid admitted with critical wounds. Investigators believed that the culprits behind both attacks on police were same while collected empty shells of bullets to examine the nature of weapons used in both attacks.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/karachi/11-Mar-2015/four-cops-killed-in-karachi-attack

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Imran threatens to take to the streets again if rigging not probed

IKRAM JUNAIDI

March 11, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan has said that 2015 was the year of elections and threatened to come out on the street again if the judicial commission was not formed to investigate alleged rigging in the 2013 elections.

Addressing a press conference here on Tuesday, he said his party would announce its line of action after the election tribunal had announced its decision about alleged rigging in NA-122.

Know more: Commission confirms irregularities in NA-122

Mr Khan said the PTI would play the role of a real opposition because people had been fed up of the PPP-PML-N ‘alliance’.

“Whenever traditional political parties feel insecure, they form an alliance against the PTI,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1168825/imran-threatens-to-take-to-the-streets-again-if-rigging-not-probed

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Refugees offered incentives for return to Afghanistan: minister

March 11, 2015

ISLAMABAD: The government in Kabul was offering a number of incentives to refugees living in Pakistan in order to induce their return home, Sayed Hussain Alemi Balkhi, Afghanistan’s Minister for Refugees and Repatriation, said on Tuesday.

Mr Balkhi, who is visiting Pakistan for attending a meeting of the Tripartite Commission on Voluntary Repatriation of Afghan Refugees from Pakistan, said incentives being offered to refugees included allocation of residential plots for returning families, creation of jobs, and microfinance and tax-free schemes.

Know more: Afghan refugees won’t be harassed, PTI assures envoy

The Afghan minister also met Sartaj Aziz, Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs, on Tuesday.

Alemi Balkhi sought Pakistan’s support for the repatriation process.

The two countries have already agreed to cooperate in the registration of unregistered Afghan refugees in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1168828/refugees-offered-incentives-for-return-to-afghanistan-minister

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Africa

 

Jordanian King: Islamophobia helps strengthen ISIS

10 March 2015

Jordan’s King Abdullah said Tuesday that Islamophobia helps strengthen the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Addressing the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, the king said that extremists exploit conflicts to build their legitimacy and that his country will defend its people and faith against the extremist group.

The leader also said that unity is crucial in the fight against terrorism and that ISIS is not only a threat to Iraq and Syria but also to the Middle East and the entire world.

King Abdullah, who expressed sorrow for the Christian minorities that were targeted by ISIS, said that the targeting of minorities in the region is a crime against humanity.

ISIS has staged mass killings of religious minorities. Recently, the group beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya and kidnapped over 90 Christians in Syria.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/10/Jordanian-king-Our-unity-will-determine-the-fight-against-terrorism-.html

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Boko Haram stages deadly attack in Nigeria's Maiduguri

11 Mar 2015

A suspected female suicide bomber has killed at least 17 people in Maiduguri, capital of Nigeria's Borno state, military and hospital sources say.

Tuesday’s attack happened three days after a multiple bomb attack in the city killed more than 50 people.

Citing a military source, the Reuters news agency said a loud blast rocked Maiduguri just after 4pm local time (1500 GMT) and that the bomber detonated her device at a roundabout near the Monday Market, which has seen numerous attacks before.

Maiduguri is the birthplace of Boko Haram, which has been fighting for six years to enforce Islamic law in all 36 states of Nigeria, which is roughly equally divided between a predominantly Muslim north and a mainly Christian south.

The latest attack came after the government in Abuja described the fighters' pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as a sign of weakness in the face of growing military pressure from Nigeria and its allies.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/03/boko-haram-stages-deadly-attack-nigeria-maiduguri-150311051917476.html

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Libya’s elected parliament asks U.N. to postpone peace talks

11 March 2015

Libya’s elected parliament has asked the United Nations to postpone talks intended to end a power struggle for one week to allow more time for discussion of a proposal to form a national unity government, the parliament said on Tuesday.

“We are asking for a one-week delay to discuss a road map for the next government, its competences, timeframe and relationship with the House of Representatives,” parliament spokesman Farraj Hashem said.

The United Nations had planned to host another round of talks on Wednesday between Libya’s rival factions, each of which is backed by its own government and parliament.

Meanwhile an attack by ISIS militants on a Libyan oilfield where they beheaded security guards and kidnapped foreign workers underlines the difficulties facing U.N.-sponsored peace talks due to resume this week.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/11/Libya-s-elected-parliament-asks-U-N-to-postpone-peace-talks.html

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Algerian army kills three militants near capital

10 March 2015

Algerian soldiers killed three Islamist militants and seized guns and explosives southwest of the Algerian capital on Tuesday, the defense ministry said.

“During anti-terrorist operations, an army unit killed three terrorists today after an attempted ambush in the Tagrara area" 150 kilometers (90 miles) from Algiers, it said in a statement.

The ministry said two Kalashnikov assault rifles and a large quantity of ammunition and explosives was also recovered.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/10/Algerian-army-kills-three-militants-near-capital.html

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India

 

JMB Was Trying To Bring Sharia Law In Indo-Bangla Border Distts: NIA Charge sheet

March 11, 2015

The charge sheet in the Burdwan blast case, to be submitted by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) to the court on March 31, allegedly claims that the Burdwan module of the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) was trying to bring ‘Sharia law’ in some districts on the Indo-Bangladesh border — a glaring instance of ‘re-emergence of JMB’ in India.

Sources in the NIA said the chargesheet, which will be submitted within six months of the blast, will give details about the JMB module working in Burdwan.

In October 2014, an explosion had occurred in a house in Burdwan’s Khagragarh locality. Two suspected JMB operatives were killed and a third injured. The police seized 55 crude bombs, RDX, wrist watch dials and SIM cards.

The NIA, while describing JMB’s Burdwan module, has reportedly claimed in its chargesheet that the explosives were scheduled to reach the bordering areas in Assam. Sources said the agency has no evidence to prove that the explosives were smuggled to Bangladesh.

All the 17 arrested in the Burdwan blast case have been charged under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).

Those arrested, including a Bangladeshi and two “hardcore women Jihadis”, have been accused of carrying out “terrorist activities” and “making and dealing with explosives and arms”, the charge sheet reportedly stated.

In November, last year, Bangladeshi national Sajid alias Sheikh Rahamatullah — the main accused in the case — was arrested. He is allegedly the chief commander of JMB.

Besides those arrested, the NIA is currently looking for 10 people. They include Boma Mizan alias Kausar alias Zahidul Islam Shobhan — accused in over two dozen cases in Bangladesh. One of the most wanted criminals in Bangladesh; he had fled from the custody of Bangladeshi Police.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/cities/kolkata/jmb-was-trying-to-bring-sharia-law-in-indo-bangla-border-dists/

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Pak tried secret deal with al-Qaeda as terror group targeted India

March 11, 2015

TOP Pakistani politician Shahbaz Sharif, the chief minister of Punjab province and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s brother, as well as the country’s powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), had attempted to negotiate a secret peace deal with al-Qaeda in the summer of 2010, documents filed by US prosecutors in a federal court in New York last month have revealed.

Letters found in slain al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden’s safehouse show that Pakistan reached out to Said al-Masri, al-Qaeda’s number three — even as the group was beginning to expand its operations against India, the documents show.

Found by US special forces during their raid on Bin Laden’s safehouse in Abbotabad, the documents were used by prosecutors to convict Pakistani-origin British national Abid Naseer. Naseer was extradited from the United Kingdom in 2013 to face charges of having led a terror cell that planned to stage mass-casualty terror attacks in Manchester and New York.

Bin Laden, prosecutors were able to demonstrate using the documents, was kept informed of the plot by al-Qaeda’s head of external operations, Abdirizaq Abdi Saleh, also known as ‘Saleh the Somali’.

The negotiations began, the documents show, in the summer of 2010. Al-Qaeda’s manager Atiyah Abd al-Rahman told Bin Laden in a June 2010 letter that the “Pakistani enemy has been corresponding with us and with the Tehreek-i-Taliban (Hakimullah) for a very short time, since the days of Hafiz”. Hafiz, US prosecutors told the court, was a code-name for Said al-Masri; Hakimullah to the former head of the TTP, Hakimullah Mehsud.

Rahman also informed bin Laden that the CM of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif had “sent them a message indicating they (the Punjab government) wanted to negotiate with them, and they were ready to reestablish normal relations as long as they do no conduct operations in Punjab.”

The letter records, in addition, that “we received a messenger from them bringing us a letter from the Intelligence leaders including Shuja’ Shah, and others”— a possible reference to Lieutenant-General Ahmad Shuja Pasha, then the head of the ISI.

General Pasha has been alleged to have known that the ISI was aware of Bin Laden’s presence in Abbotabad, an allegation he has denied. He is also alleged to have had contact with the 26/11 plotters, through several serving ISI personnel named by convicted perpetrator David Coleman Headley.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/pak-tried-secret-deal-with-al-qaeda-as-terror-group-targeted-india/

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Muslim Quota: Opposition Parties in Maharashtra Unite, Burn Copies of Order

Mar 10, 2015

Mumbai: Joining hands against the BJP-Shiv Sena regime's decision to scrap five per cent reservation for Muslims, opposition parties in Maharashtra today staged a protest outside the Assembly and burnt copies of the order brought out by the Devendra Fadnavis government.

Congress, NCP and MIM leaders gathered outside the House, shouted slogans accusing the government of being anti-Muslim and burnt copies of a government resolution issued recently which scrapped a related ordinance.

Ahead of the Assembly polls last year, the previous Congress-NCP government had issued an ordinance providing five per cent quota in education and jobs to Muslims.

"The previous government decided to provide reservation to Muslims based on their economic backwardness. This was even approved by the High Court. Despite the court's order, this government showed the audacity to allow the reservation (ordinance) to lapse. This is unconstitutional," NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad told PTI.

Full report at:

http://www.firstpost.com/politics/muslim-quota-opposition-parties-maha-unite-burn-copies-order-2146421.html

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Arab World

 

Iraqi forces retake strategic town of al-Alam near Tikrit

Mar 11, 2015

Iraqi security forces alongside Sunni and Shia fighters have driven Takfiri ISIL terrorists out of the town of al-Alam in northern Tikrit.

Reports say the residents of al-Alam, who had been forced to flee due to the violence by the ISIL extremist militants, are now returning to the town in northern Iraq.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces are reported to have entered the strategic city of Tikrit, which is under ISIL control, from the south.

Ten days ago, Iraqi forces began a massive anti-ISIL military campaign, with more than 20,000 army troops backed by thousands of Shia and Sunni fighters, gradually advancing toward Tikrit from multiple directions.

Reports say some 2,500 to 3,000 ISIL Takfiris are still holed up in the city, most of them being foreign mercenaries from Africa.

Retaking Tikrit, sitting on the road to Mosul, would give added strategic power and momentum to the Iraqi forces to launch the next stage of their massive campaign to recapture the main city of Mosul, the largest city in the north of Iraq and also the largest city occupied by the ISIL.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/03/11/401292/Iraq-forces-retake-strategic-town

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Female TV Host Cuts Off Interview with Muslim Scholar After He Tells Her to 'Shut Up'

Kiran Moodley

 Mar 10, 2015

It seems one man didn't get the message and meaning of International Women's Day this weekend.

Lebanese TV presenter Rima Karaki cut short an interview with Sunni Muslim scholar Hani al-Seba'i after he told her to "shut up" and that it was "beneath" him to be interviewed by her.

Karaki was talking to al-Seba'i about reports of Christians joining Isis in the Middle East. Responding to her question, al-Seba'i, who is based in London, began to talk about the history of Christians joining Islam rather than engaging with the question at hand.

As al-Seba'i starts mentioning the Red Brigades in Italy and the German Baader-Meinhof Group, Karaki says, "Dr al-Seba'i, let's focus on the present. At present, what slogans are used to attract (Christians) to these groups?"

This seemingly innocent intervention riles the scholar, who responds, "Listen, don't cut me off. I will answer as I please...what kind of behaviour is this. I will not answer the way you like, because I'm here to serve the idea in which I believe."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Rima-Karaki-Hani-al-Sebai/articleshow/46515045.cms?intenttarget=no&utm_source=TOI_AShow_OBWidget&utm_medium=Int_Ref&utm_campaign=TOI_AShow

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District elections in Makkah to see participation of expatriates

11 March 2015

The society of residential district centers in Makkah has decided to allow expatriates to participate for the first time ever in the elections of 260 candidates for 17 voluntary neighborhood councils in the holy city.

A society official told Makkah daily on Monday that the election by-laws have been amended to ensure the participation of three expatriate residents.

Abdullah Al-Zahrani, assistant secretary-general of the society, said as a first step the expatriates would be made members of the general assembly of each district center, allowing them to cast their votes in the elections.

He said participation of the expatriates in the elections for these district councils would ensure the neighborhoods with better services in all fields.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/11/District-elections-in-Makkah-to-see-participation-of-expatriates.html

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King Salman pledges to maintain kingdom's security

March 11, 2015

Saudi king promises continuity and defense of Muslim, Arab causes in first major policy speech

March 10, 2015

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia –  In his first major policy speech since assuming the throne in January, Saudi King Salman has vowed that the kingdom will defend Arab and Muslim causes.

He also promised continuity and development despite low oil prices, but called on Saudi citizens, businessmen and officials to do their part to improve the country.

He also spoke about the need to fight corruption, urged businessmen to help in job creation and said security is a key pillar of his administrative priorities.

Full report at:

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2015/03/10/saudi-king-promises-continuity-and-defense-muslim-arab-causes-in-first-major/

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ISIS Syria-Iraq supply lines smashed: coalition

11 March 2015

Forces fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have cut critical communication and supply lines used by the extremists between Syria and Iraq after a two-week operation, AFP quoted the U.S.-led coalition as saying late Tuesday.

Backed by air strikes, the forces “overcame ISIL [ISIS] resistance” in northeastern Syria near the strategic town of Tal Hamis – once an ISIS stronghold – and “denied the terrorist group its freedom of maneuver in the area,” the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement.

During the operation, which ended Saturday, ISIS lost access to primary travel routes it has previously used to move personnel and materials into Iraq.

“Anti-ISIL forces were able to seize critical portions of route 47 in Syria, a key ISIL communications and supply line leading into Iraq,” it added, noting that 94 villages were freed from the clutches of the extremists.

The coalition said “multiple” ISIS weapons systems, vehicles and fighting positions were also destroyed.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/11/ISIS-Syria-Iraq-communication-lines-smashed-coalition-.html

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Iran role in Iraq unsettling, says former CIA chief

11 March 2015

Former CIA chief Michael Hayden said Tuesday he was “uncomfortable” with Iran’s growing influence in Iraq, made especially evident by an offensive in Tikrit.

The city, which is the home town of former president Saddam Hussein, is the target of as assault led by Iraqi troops and Shiite militias backed by Tehran.

“I am made uncomfortable by the growing Iranian influence in Iraq. I am made uncomfortable by the fact that it looked like a Shia advance against a Sunni town,” said Hayden, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency between 2006 and 2009.

“And the proof would be what happens if and when they retake Tikrit ... How the militias act toward the local population,” he added, during a roundtable on international intelligence sharing at the New America Foundation.

Hayden said the United States should not be sharing intelligence with the Iranians on Iraq, despite their shared desire to wipe out the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

“The Islamic Republic’s ultimate objective is different,” he explained.

“We are looking for an inclusive government with minority rights and the participation of all the major religious and ethnic groups.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/11/Ex-CIA-chief-uncomfortable-with-Iran-role-in-Iraq-.html

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MERS virus claims three more lives in Saudi Arabia

11 March 2015

Three people who were being treated for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus at a government hospital in Riyadh have died and four others have contracted the deadly virus within the space of 24 hours on Monday.

According to the Health Ministry, the victim included a 41-year-old Saudi man, a 75-year-old expatriate man and a 61-year-old Saudi man. It said all victims were suffering from other underlying health conditions and had been confined to hospital for some time.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/11/MERS-virus-claims-three-more-lives-in-Saudi-Arabia.html

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Saudi King says he is committed to defending Palestinian cause

10 March 2015

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz said on Tuesday the kingdom was committed to defending Arab and Muslim causes, on top of which was the Palestinian right for an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

In a televised speech to outline his domestic and foreign policy agenda, King Salman, who ascended the throne after the death of his brother King Abdullah in January, said he would work to strengthen close Arab and Muslim cooperation “purifying the atmosphere and uniting the stance to confront the risks and challenges they face.”

Also read:

Saudi King Salman unveils policy agenda

King Salman says Saudi will continue oil, gas explorations

He said the kingdom remains committed to “adhering to the international treaties, conventions and charters, including respecting the principle of sovereignty and rejecting any attempt of intervention in our internal affairs.”

The monarch stressed that the kingdom will work toward achieving “security and stability in the world, establish the principles of justice and peace along with the commitment to dialogue, resolve differences through peaceful means, and reject the use of force and violence or any actions that threaten international peace and security.”

‘Terrorism has no religion’

The king said the wave of extremism and terrorism plaguing the world is a “global scourge which has no religion.’

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/10/Saudi-King-says-he-is-committed-to-defending-Palestinian-cause.html

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Iraqi forces push toward Tikrit’s center

10 March 2015

Iraqi forces jointly with tribesmen and Shiite volunteers started storming the ISIS-held city of Tikrit Tuesday from four sides in attempt to reach its center, sources told Al Arabiya News Channel.

The forces so far retook the building for Tikrit hospital located south of the city, the sources said.

Samara Operations Command told Al Arabiya News Channel that the hometown of the late President Saddam Hussein - currently occupied by ISIS militants – is “360 degrees surrounded.”

Members of ISIS have attempted to slow down advances made by the Iraqi army and militia towards Tikrit city center by blowing up a main bridge to the east of the city, a provincial council member has said.

In the Qadissya neighborhood the streets are littered with the bodies of ISIS fighters, according to local sources.

The campaign to retake Tikrit, which began one week ago, is the biggest since ISIS swept across the north last year, and the government hopes it will reverse the militants’ momentum.

The forces also took the center of a town on the northern edge of Tikrit from ISIS on Tuesday.

Al-Alam is the last ISIS stronghold that needs to be cleared before government forces and militiamen can enter the city of Tikrit itself, which has been under militant control since last summer.

Military commanders said ISIS militants were still holding out in houses in the northern section of al-Alam, but the army and mainly Shiite volunteers had retaken the town center and were preparing for street fighting to seize the rest.

“Snipers and booby traps are slowing our advance to completely control all parts of the town,” said army captain Wisam Ibrahim, speaking from al-Alam.

“We’re waiting for the army helicopters to secure the way for a smooth advance for the troops,” he said.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/10/Iraqi-forces-begin-operation-to-liberate-Tikrit.html

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Egypt investor meet to showcase Sisi's political clout

March 11, 2015

Egypt hosts a foreign investor conference on March 13 it hopes will jump-start its battered economy while showcasing international support for President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as he battles increasingly radical Islamist opponents.

Sisi, a former army chief voted into office after toppling his Islamist predecessor Mohamed Morsi, has positioned himself as a frontline ally in the regional fight against Islamist militants, arguing that his country deserves more international support.

"The international economic conference is a reflection of the determination of Egypt and the Egyptians," he told Fox News in an interview broadcast on Monday.

"If Egypt is stable -- a country of 90 million people -- this will represent the strongest bedrock of stability in this region," he said, according to an English translation of his comments.

The three-day conference has been in the works for months, even as the government tries to stamp out an insurgency in the northern Sinai Peninsula and small-scale bomb attacks in Cairo that have targeted police and foreign companies.

US Secretary of State John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and several European finance ministers will attend the gathering at the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

"For Egypt this is not an economic event, but rather a political one," one Western diplomat told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The level of political representation of Western countries will be scrutinised" by Cairo, he said.

The conference comes at a time when Washington, which initially shunned Sisi over his deadly repression of Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, has been forced to admit that it cannot isolate the biggest military force in the Arab world as the jihadist Islamic State group gains ground in the region.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/egypt-investor-meet-to-showcase-sisis-political-clout-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79499&NewsCatID=352

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Militants attack Egyptian checkpoint near Gaza, kill soldier

March 11, 2015

Egyptian officials say militants have attacked an army checkpoint in northern Sinai, near the border with Gaza, killing an officer.

Medical and security officials say the checkpoint of el-Barahma in the town of Rafah was attacked in the morning of March 11, triggering a shootout that killed 26-year-old Capt. Ayman Hassan. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to reporters.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/militants-attack-egyptian-checkpoint-near-gaza-kill-soldier.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79495&NewsCatID=352

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South Asia

 

Suicide car bomber kills seven in Afghanistan

March 11, 2015

LASKHAR GAH - Seven people were killed and 28 others including five police were wounded on Tuesday when a suicide bomber blew himself up in his car outside the capital of Helmand in southern Afghanistan. Deputy governor Mohammad Jan Rasoulyar told Reuters the attack happened at a checkpoint set up by police on the outskirts of the capital city Lashkar Gah after they received intelligence of an impending attack. “The suicide bomber blew himself up in his car among other civilians waiting to get searched,” Rasoulyar said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

http://nation.com.pk/national/11-Mar-2015/suicide-car-bomber-kills-seven-in-afghanistan

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Kabul in danger of sliding ‘under thumb’ of Pakistan: Karzai

March 11, 2015

LONDON - Afghanistan’s historic struggles against British imperialism and Soviet invasion will have been in vain if the country succumbs to pressure from neighbouring Pakistan, Hamid Karzai has warned in an interview with the Guardian.

The former president made his remarks at a time when his successor, Ashraf Ghani, has overturned the country’s traditionally hostile relationship with Pakistan in the hope of enlisting its help in brokering a peace deal with the Taliban.

Several once-unthinkable concessions made to Pakistan in recent months have horrified Karzai and many of the men who helped him rule for more than a decade. “We want a friendly relationship but not to be under Pakistan’s thumb,” Karzai said.

Karzai rejected any suggestion he is at the centre of what one of his former colleagues describes as an emerging “pocket of opposition” to Ghani. “Yes, I have differences, but I will not say anything,” Karzai said. “I will keep mum, giving advice to President Ghani in private. I absolutely support this government.”

Despite professing loyalty, Karzai sharply criticised some of Ghani’s key innovations, such as the decision last month to send six army cadets to Pakistan for officer training. Karzai’s willingness to send men to India while spurning Pakistan enraged Pakistan’s generals, who believed the future leaders of the Afghan army were being indoctrinated by their mortal enemies.

“We should not send troops for training in any of the neighbouring countries, particularly when they are sending us suicide bombers in return,” Karzai said.

“I am a pacifist, I abhor violence – we would have been much better off if we had never fought against the Soviet Union,” he said referring to the epic insurgency by the Mujahideen in the 1980s. “But if we give up control over our own foreign policy then all the wars fought by Afghanistan against the British 100 years ago, and the Soviet Union, will be in vain,” he said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/11-Mar-2015/kabul-in-danger-of-sliding-under-thumb-of-pakistan-karzai

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Another expat Bangladeshi ISIS hostage

March 11, 2015

Another Bangladeshi national was among the nine foreigners abducted from a Libyan oilfield on Friday, the Bangladesh embassy in Tripoli confirmed yesterday.

Initially, Anowar Hossain, whose passport number is AE3630754, was mistakenly identified as a Sudanese. Son of Yunus Mia, 38-year-old Anowar is from Goyeshpur village of Begumganj in Noakhali.

On Monday, a foreign ministry release said those kidnapped by ISIS militants from al-Ghani oilfield included one Bangladeshi national -- Helal Uddin of Jamalpur, bearing passport No B0156553.

The ministry issued another statement yesterday saying, “The Bangladesh embassy in Tripoli has confirmed that apart from Mr Helal Uddin, another Bangladeshi has been identified…”

“It has been informed that initially Mr Anowar was mistakenly identified as Sudanese national having similar name. However, Mr Anowar's identity was confirmed by a Bangladeshi working in a neighbouring oilfield.”

Anowar's family urged the government to take measures for his rescue, reported our Noakhali correspondent.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/another-expat-bangladeshi-isis-hostage-70891

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US envoy praises Pakistan’s role for peace in Afghanistan

March 11, 2015

ISLAMABAD: US Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Daniel Feldman on Tuesday praised the role being played by Pakistan for restoring peace in Afghanistan.

“Visiting ambassador appreciated Pakistan’s positive role for peace and stability in Afghanistan,” Military Spokesman Maj Gen Asim Bajwa tweeted about the meeting between Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif and Mr Feldman.

The discussion during the meeting, Gen Bajwa said, centred on regional developments, particularly Afghanistan.

Also read: Pakistan’s role in peace talks deserves credit: Ghani

Pakistan has been lately encouraging Taliban to start peace talks with the Afghan government.

Gen Sharif had during his last visit to Kabul conveyed the Taliban’s willingness to kick-start the process.

But, premature leaks are believed to have slowed down the process.

Sources, however, say that talks between the Afghan Taliban and Afghan government could begin soon.

Meanwhile, Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz while speaking at the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee said that no talks were taking place between the United States and Taliban.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1168819/us-envoy-praises-pakistans-role-for-peace-in-afghanistan

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Nizami appeal hearing delayed

March 11, 2015

The Supreme Court yesterday gave the state and defence of convicted war criminal Motiur Rahman Nizami time until March 31 for submitting concise statements on an appeal filed by the Jamaat chief against his death sentence.

A concise statement contains the points on which the lawyers place arguments before the apex court during its hearing.

A four-member bench of the Appellate Division headed by Chief Justice SK Sinha extended time for submitting the statements, as none of the defence and the state placed those yesterday as per an earlier order.

The court said the appeal filed by Motiur Rahman Nizami would be prepared for hearing without any summary statement, if the prosecution and the defence did not place those by March 31.

Earlier on February 24, the SC ordered the defence and the state counsels to submit the brief statements on Nizami's appeal by yesterday.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/nizami-appeal-hearing-delayed-70808

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North America

 

The U.S. Sells Out a Brave, Democratic Muslim Leader, Mohamed Nasheed

March 10, 2015

Once again, some combination of cowardice and incompetence at the U.S. State Department is jeopardizing the freedom — and possibly the life — of a dynamic, progressive Muslim leader in the global south. Mohamed Nasheed, who was once the elected president of the Maldives, the Indian Ocean island nation, has been violently dragged into a courtroom to face a show trial that might end with him going back to prison, this time for 15 years.

Once again, most of the outside world has expressed outrage, including an eloquent article by a conservative British candidate for Parliament. Once again, the Obama administration is conspicuous by its reticence, saying nothing beyond a couple of bland, boilerplate statements.

We have been here before. In late 2013, I reported how the old regime in the Maldives, after first toppling Nasheed in a coup, illegally postponed new elections three times to thwart his reelection effort. The regime’s anti-democratic tactics prompted a storm of international protest; Canada’s (conservative) foreign minister even marched in a pro-democracy demonstration in New York.

Full report at:

http://mondoweiss.net/2015/03/democratic-muslim-leader

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America Just Got Its First Accredited Muslim College

MARCH 10, 2015

BY JACK JENKINS

A Muslim college received formal academic accreditation this past weekend, making it the first officially recognized Islamic institution of higher learning in the United States.

On Sunday, Zaytuna College, a liberal-arts school based in Berkeley, California, announced that it was formally accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), one of the six official academic bodies responsible for the authorizing public and private colleges and universities in the United States.

“Today, Zaytuna’s accreditation roots this vision in a reality recognized within American higher education,” Hamza Yusuf, president of the college, said in a statement celebrating the announcement.

The statement also added, “[Accreditation] helps ensure that Zaytuna successfully fulfills the objectives outlined in its curriculum, which grounds its students in both the Islamic and Western scholarly traditions.”

According to the school’s website, Zaytuna was founded in 1996 as an institute and briefly operated as an Islamic seminary before dedicating itself to becoming a Muslim liberal arts college in 2009. It welcomed its first freshman class in 2010, and conferred its first undergraduate degrees in 2014. It has a student body of around 30 students, and offers a B.A. in Islamic Law and Theology and courses in politics, astronomy, and American history, among others. In a video chronicling the school’s pursuit of accreditation, Colleen Keyes, vice president of academic affairs, explained that the school’s goal is “to prepare and educate students, who are morally committed spiritual, intellectual, and professional leaders who are grounded in the Islamic tradition and conversant with … modern society.”

Religiously-affiliated colleges are plentiful in the United States, but the vast majority are Christian, such as Liberty University, the University of Notre Dame, Kenyon College, or Boston College. There are a few Jewish higher education institutions such as Brandeis and Yeshiva University, and even some Buddhist schools, but there were no accredited American Muslim colleges until Zaytuna was recognized by WASC on Sunday. The school says it does not discriminate in admissions on the basis “of age, race, sex, religion, or national/ethnic origin in the admission of applicants.”

In its letter granting Zaytuna accreditation, WASC lauded the school for its “rigorous and high-quality learning experience, one that… can be viewed as an exemplar in the liberal arts tradition.”

Full report at:

http://thinkprogress.org/education/2015/03/10/3632189/america-just-got-first-accredited-muslim-college/

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Suriname president’s son jailed for Hezbollah ‘plot’

11 March 2015

A New York court sentenced the son of the president of Suriname to more than 16 years in prison Tuesday for attempting to support Hezbollah, considered a terrorist organization by the United States.

Dino Bouterse, who worked in a Suriname counterterrorist unit, had previously also pleaded guilty to conspiring to import five kgs of cocaine into the United States and admitted a firearms offense.

The 42-year-old was arrested in Panama in August 2013 and extradited to the United States after a sting operation.

Manhattan Attorney Preet Bharara said: “Dino Bouterse was supposed to oppose terrorism.

“Instead, Bouterse betrayed his official position and tried to support and aid Hezbollah, including his agreement to assist Hezbollah in acquiring weapons, and conspiring to import cocaine to the US.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/03/11/Suriname-president-s-son-jailed-for-Hezbollah-plot-.html

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U.S. Supreme Court rejects Guantanamo torture cases

10 March 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear appeals Monday about the alleged mistreatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees, barring the release of images and preventing a Syrian man from suing the government for alleged torture.

In one of the two cases, former Syrian detainee Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al Janko wanted to sue the US government for damages stemming from his treatment while held at Guantanamo for seven years until his 2009 release in Belgium.

In his complaint, Janko said he had tried to commit suicide 17 times to protest his detention, after he was “held in isolated conditions and spent most of every day confined alone in his cell, completely cut off from the outside world.”

He was “subjected to techniques that were, on information and belief, designed and intended to break him down both physically and psychologically, and caused him severe suffering throughout his detention,” the complaint added.

It cited years-long solitary confinement, lengthy bouts of sleep deprivation, “severe beatings,” threats against him and his family, sexually explicit slurs against his female relatives, deprivation of adequate medical and psychological care, as well as “continuous” humiliation and harassment.

In July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said it did not have the authority to hear lawsuits like Janko’s.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/03/10/U-S-Supreme-Court-rejects-Guantanamo-torture-cases.html

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Jury sees Boston bomber's writings on Islam and 'killing innocent people'

By RICHARD A. SERRANO

Minutes after Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured hiding in a boat in Watertown, Mass., two Boston police bomb technicians climbed into the craft searching for explosive devices. Instead they stumbled upon writings he had scribbled on the left side of the hull.

Pictures of those writings were shown Tuesday to the jury in Tsarnaev’s capital murder trial stemming from the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings. While some portions have been made public before, this was the first time the writings were released in their entirety.

In his handwritten pencil scrawl, the writings illustrate, prosecutors said, Tsarnaev’s personal motivation for killing “innocent people.” For his legal defense team, they show his deep admiration of his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who the defense claims was the mastermind of the April 2013 bombings. Tamerlan died as police tried to capture him days after the attack. He was shot by police and then run over by his brother, who was fleeing the scene.

On computer screens in the courtroom, three writing sections were shown to the jury; prosecutors presented written transcripts as well. Many of the words and phrases were missing because of the numerous bullet holes made by police during Tsarnaev’s capture. Some words were misspelled and some sentences were written without punctuation. Streaks of blood obscured other parts.

“I’m jealous of my brother who ha … ceived the reward of jannutul Firdaus (inshallah) before me,” Tsarnaev wrote in one message.

Full report at:

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-boston-bombing-boat-writings-20150310-story.html

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Leading politician: Canada could end up treating Muslims as it did Jews in the ’30s and ’40s

By Adam Taylor

March 10, 2015

In a dramatic speech Tuesday evening, the leader of Canada's Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, criticized the Canadian government for its rhetoric over the threat of Islamist-related terrorism – and compared the country's treatment of its Muslim minorities with restrictive policies against Jews prior to and during World War II.

Speaking in Toronto to alumni of McGill University, Trudeau, who will compete with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an election later this year, discussed Canada's idea of liberty. At one point, he listed a number of historical moments when his country had failed in that ideal, including the Chinese head tax (a fixed fee charged to every Chinese immigrant) and the internment of Ukrainian, Japanese and Italian Canadians during the world wars.

"When I talk to young people today about these episodes, they can hardly believe they happened. It doesn’t sound possible, not in Canada," Trudeau told his audience. "So we should all shudder to hear the same rhetoric that led to a 'none is too many' immigration policy toward Jews in the 30s and 40s, being used to raise fears against Muslims today."

Canada's legacy of turning away Jewish refugees before and during World War II has become a source of shame for the country – Trudeau's speech references the book "None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe 1933-1948" which documented how Canada did less that other Western countries for Europe's Jews during this period, allowing only 5,000 Jewish refugees to enter the country.

The title of that book is itself a reference to an anecdotal comment by an immigration agency when asked how many Jews would be allowed into Canada after the war. Other stories of Canadian indifference to the Jewish plight abound. In one remarkable case, Canada turned away the St. Louis, a German ocean liner, carrying 907 European Jews. Those Jews later returned to Europe, where 254 are thought to have died in concentration camps. Some German and Austrian Jews were interned in Canada during World War II, accused of being "enemy aliens."

Full report at:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2015/03/10/leading-politician-says-canada-treats-muslims-today-as-it-did-jews-in-the-30s-and-40s/

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Baltimore-area teen speaks out on behalf of Muslim community

TOWSON, Md. — Amara Majeed founded a website called "The Hijab Project," aimed at combating discrimination against Muslim girls and women who wear head-scarves in public. She self-published a book of short biographies of 17 peace-loving, law-abiding Muslims from around the world. She provides online commentary for CNN and, starting earlier this month, for the Huffington Post.

It's worth noting that Amara is 17 years old and is still in high school. What will she accomplish when she's 18?

"I want to transform myself into an idea," Amara, a senior at Towson High School said during a post-school chat in the bookstore that has become a second home for her. "I want to transform myself into this concept of liberty and equality. People die, but ideas don't. I want my ideas to live on long after I've left this world."

Even before she's earned her driver's license, Amara Majeed is rapidly becoming a force to be reckoned with as a fresh new voice speaking on behalf of an under-represented and frequently misunderstood minority. The 2,770,000 Muslims living in the U.S. in 2010 represent just 0.9 percent of all Americans, according to a study by the Pew Research Center.

So Amara can't help but stand out from the crowd — though the impression she makes stems more from her unusual initiative and drive than it does from her black hijab.

For instance, after months of fruitlessly pitching various editors at the Huffington Post and getting no response, Amara sent a long email plea directly to the website's founder, Arianna Huffington, describing her great desire to work for that organization.

The email went on to explain how Amara had gradually learned to embrace her identity as a Muslim feminist.

Full report at:

http://bismarcktribune.com/lifestyles/fashion-and-style/baltimore-area-teen-speaks-out-on-behalf-of-muslim-community/article_35314f4b-d229-5b30-86c3-dacf7a764ff6.html

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US denounces ‘reign of terror’ in Crimea, east Ukraine

March 11, 2015

WASHINGTON - The top US diplomat for Europe declared that Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine are living under a “reign of terror” Tuesday, blaming Russia for a conflict that has claimed thousands of lives.

“Even as Ukraine is building a peaceful, democratic, independent nation across 93 percent of its territory, Crimea and parts of eastern Ukraine are suffering a reign of terror,” Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Today Crimea remains under illegal occupation and human rights abuses are the norm, not the exception, for many at risk groups there,” she said.

She said several groups - Crimean Tatars, Ukrainians who refuse to surrender their passports, gays and lesbians, journalists and others - are at risk of persecution. “In eastern Ukraine, Russia and its separatist puppets unleashed unspeakable violence and pillage,” she said.

“This manufactured conflict - controlled by the Kremlin; fueled by Russian tanks and heavy weapons; financed at Russian taxpayers’ expense - has cost the lives of more than 6,000 Ukrainians, but also of hundreds of young Russians sent to fight and die there by the Kremlin, in a war their government denies.”

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s military said on Tuesday pro-Russian rebels were amassing heavy weapons in depots around separatist-held Donetsk city despite a ceasefire deal. Attacks have fallen in the past week, but accusations from both sides of violations show the fragility of the peace deal agreed in Minsk last month, which calls for the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the frontline.

“(Rebels) are continuing to transport equipment and artillery ammunition intensively via the Debaltseve railway junction and build weapons storages around Donetsk,” military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said in a televised briefing.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/11-Mar-2015/us-denounces-reign-of-terror-in-crimea-east-ukraine

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Southeast Asia

 

China says Muslim Uighurs have joined ISIS

Mar. 11, 2015

Chinese officials say that members of the country's Muslim Uighur ethnic minority have gone overseas to fight with Islamic State, which controls sections of Syria and Iraq, and returned to take part in plots at home.

Authorities in the far-western region of Xinjiang, which borders Afghanistan and Pakistan, will strengthen their crackdown on terrorism and extremism, regional representatives said at a discussion on the sidelines of China's legislature.

Xinjiang has seen repeated violence as Uighurs have bristled under what they say is repressive Chinese government rule. Attacks blamed on Uighurs have also occurred in other parts of the country, including a car which plowed into Beijing's Tiananmen Gate in 2013, killing five people.

"There are Uighurs that have fled overseas and joined the Islamic State," Zhang Chunxian, Communist Party secretary of Xinjiang, said Tuesday. "The organization has a huge international influence and Xinjiang can't keep aloof from it and we have already been affected. We have also found that some who fought returned to Xinjiang to participate in terrorist plots." He didn't elaborate.

Beijing has previously blamed the violence on Islamic militants with foreign connections who are seeking an independent state in Xinjiang, but has offered little evidence and ignored calls for independent investigations. Uighur groups say police have used indiscriminate deadly force against people protesting the government's policies in the region.

Full report at:

http://www.haaretz.com/news/world/1.646317

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Jakarta: Terrorism Promotion Sites to Be Blocked

March 11 2015

With fears of radicalization on the rise, the government plans to ban websites and other media that propagate intolerance, extremism and terrorism.

Communications and Information Minister Rudiantara told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday he would form a panel to determine the specific Internet, radio and television programs that needed to be blocked for cheerleading hatred of other groups and acts of terrorism.“We’ll discuss the matter with a number of religious figures by the end of this month, and we aim to come up with a list of web pages or broadcasts that need to be blocked by mid-year,” he said.

Among the figures, according to Rudiantara, would be Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) luminary Salahuddin Wahid, better known as Gus Solah, and Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin.

The NU and Muhammadiyah are the country’s two biggest Islamic groups, with combined membership of over 100 million of the country’s 250 million people.

NU activist Slamet Effendy Yusuf said he supported the minister’s move to block media broadcasts promoting acts of terrorism.

“We’ve discovered that there are still quite a few websites, radio and TV broadcasts that incite hate. There are also a number of media that provide sympathy to the terrorist group ISIS,” he said.

ISIS is an acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also known as ISIL or IS, the Islamic State movement.

Effendy said media broadcasts had encouraged many people to justify violence or hatred directed at certain groups.

Muhammadiyah activist Nadjamuddin Ramly also applauded the plan, but cautioned the ministry against blindly blocking all websites deemed “radical”.

“It is very important to first have a consensus view on what kind content should be blocked,” he said.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/03/11/terrorism-promotion-sites-be-blocked.html

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Nick Xenophon appeals to Indonesian Muslims to support Bali Nine reprieve

Kate Lamb

11 March 2015

Australian senator Nick Xenophon has travelled to Jakarta to appeal to Indonesia’s largest Islamic body to support a reprieve for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, two of the Bali Nine who have been sentenced to death for drug smuggling.

Xenophon, the independent senator for South Australia, met with leaders from Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) in the Indonesian capital on Tuesday, accompanied by Abdurrahman Kafrawi Hamzah, a sheikh from the Adelaide City Mosque.

Describing Islam as a “religion of mercy”, the sheikh, who was reportedly acting as a translator for Xenophon, urged the NU Islamic leaders to forgive the Australian nationals on death row.

“We would like to knock on the hearts of NU as the biggest organisation for Muslims in Indonesia, and also other religious communities here, including the Indonesian government, [to show that] Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran have shown a strong desire to repent,” he said, “Islam is a merciful religion, so it is very appropriate for the two Australians to get mercy.”

An influential Islamic organisation with branches across the country, the NU has voiced strong support for executing drug felons, including the Bali Nine pair.

A week after they were transferred to the island prison off Java where they are scheduled to be executed, senator Xenophon and the sheikh appealed to the NU’s executive council to support a reprieve for the two Australian men.

“We are aware that the death penalty is the right of the Indonesian government. Therefore, we do not ask that it be cancelled but plead that it be delayed, so that the future can also be a lesson for the people of Australia, that drugs carry a very grave danger,” said Hamzah, as reported in Kompas.

Xenophon was visiting the Islamic body on behalf of all Australian Muslims, said the NU website.

Full report at:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/mar/11/nick-xenophon-appeals-to-indonesian-muslims-to-support-bali-nine-reprieve

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Muslim Cleric: 'Communist China's religious policies are the best in the world'

10 March 2015

The Communist Party's strict religious policies in China are the "best in the world" according to a leading Muslim cleric.

Abudulrekep Tumniyaz, from the Islamic Institute in Xingjiang, an autonomous region in northwest China that is home to the Muslim Uyghurs, did not refer to the present offensive against religion in the region, where the burqa has been banned in the capital, children cannot enter mosques and churches been demolished.

Tumniyaz told China's parliament: "Our religious policy is the best in the world. In Xinjiang people can choose freely which religion to follow."

The crackdown on religion came after a suicide attack by Islamist terrorists in Urumqi last year killed 31 people.

Full report at:

http://www.christiantoday.com/article/muslim.cleric.communist.chinas.religious.policies.are.the.best.in.the.world/49676.htm

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Bomb threat forces Hong Kong jet to make emergency landing

March 11, 2015

HONG KONG - A bomb threat to a Hong Kong-bound flight with nearly 300 people on board forced the jet to make an emergency landing in China on Tuesday, Hong Kong Airlines said. “Hong Kong Airlines was notified of a suspected bomb threat onboard its flight HX337 from Beijing to Hong Kong, after the plane had taken off,” a spokeswoman from the airline said. The captain of the Airbus A330-200 decided to divert “in order to ensure the safety and security of the passengers and crew” and landed the plane at around 2:30 pm local time (0630 GMT) in Tianhe International Airport in the central city of Wuhan, she said. The precise nature of the threat was not immediately known.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/11-Mar-2015/bomb-threat-forces-hong-kong-jet-to-make-emergency-landing

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National scene: Indonesians missing in Turkey travelled legally

March 11 2015

National Police spokesman Sr. Comr. Rikwanto said the passports and visas of 16 Indonesians missing in Istanbul, Turkey were all legitimate.

“There is no indication that the passports or visas that these Indonesians possessed were fraudulent,” Rikwanto said at the National Police headquarters on Tuesday.

According to the Foreign Ministry, the 16 Indonesians, six of whom are children, entered Turkey with nine other Indonesians on Feb. 24 on a tour arranged by Smailing Tour travel agency. The 16 went missing after getting separated from the group following an immigration check at the airport.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/03/11/national-scene-indonesians-missing-turkey-traveled-legally.html

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Mideast

 

Turkey Launches International Mosque-Building Program

March 10, 2015

ISTANBUL—

During his visit to Cuba in January, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan requested that his government be allowed to build a mosque in Havana.

Turkey currently is building 18 large mosques across the globe, including one in Tirana, Albania, that will hold more than 4,000 worshippers. Mosques also will be built in the United States, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, the Philippines, the United Kingdom, the Palestinian Territories and Somalia.

Observers see the effort as part of Erdoğan's goal to establish the country as leader of the Muslim world, a mantle it held during the Ottoman Empire, from the late 13th through early 20th centuries.

"Erdoğan cares very much for his historic legacy and his global legacy,” said Asli Aydintasbas, a political columnist for Turkey’s Milliyet newspaper. “… In many ways, he does want [to] see, in Turkey and globally, himself as a person who has advanced the interests of Islam and Muslims around the world. So he very much cares about the mosque-building project.”

Imperial underpinning

Experts say there are imperial aspirations behind this strategy. Returning Turkey to the glories of its Ottoman past is a common theme of Erdoğan and his ruling AK Party, according to Yuksel Taskin, an expert on center-right politics at Istanbul’s Marmara University.

He said within the party “there is a very popular term, 'medeniyetcilik,’ which means civilizations, regarding the golden age of Islam. They are trying to create an image that Islamic civilization will be on the rise again. Naturally, Turks will be the vanguard people of this rebirth."

The Diyanet, the Turkish state body that administers the Islamic faith, has seen its international office markedly expanded under Erdoğan’s rule. Along with mosque building, promoting theological education is a key element in the drive for greater international influence, with offers of scholarships to Turkish universities and student exchanges.

But Turkey has found itself in competition with other Muslim countries, especially Saudi Arabia, which has for decades has been spreading its oil money around the Islamic world. Turkey’s mosque offer to Cuba followed a similar one from Saudi Arabia.

Balkans at center of conflict

But the Balkans is the main region for rivalry between Ankara and Riyadh, according to Istar Gozaydin, a professor of religion and politics at Istanbul’s Doğuş University.

"It has been a competition, especially [in] Bosnia, constructing mosques and trying to gather the communities in those mosques,” she said. Gozaydin said she thought the two countries’ efforts at one point were complementary. “But now again I believe it’s more competition."

Underlying the rivalry with Saudi Arabia are historical tensions that extend across the region. Taskin said many in the ruling AK Party mistakenly think countries colonized by the Ottomans share the same positive view of the imperial past.

Full report at:

http://www.voanews.com/content/turkey-launches-international-mosque-building-program/2674972.html

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IS alternative to Facebook gets bumpy start

11 March 2015

DUBAI: Facing a ban from mainstream online social networks Facebook and Twitter, supporters of the Islamic State appear to have launched their own “caliphate book.”

But 5elafabook.com was offline on Monday just a day after its launch and its Twitter account was suspended, highlighting the challenges faced by backers of the ultra-violent militants based in Iraq and Syria in spreading their message and recruiting online.

The amateur page showed a map of the world dotted with Islamic State’s trademark Arabic insignia and was crafted by Socialkit, a program that lets users produce do-it-yourself social networks.

It was unclear who created the site or how many members it attracted. A banner message in its current form said it had temporarily suspended operations to “protect the information and details of its members and their safety.”

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/716761

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Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar Set Sights on Cuba's Muslims

11 MARCH 2015

The Islamist governments of Turkey and Saudi Arabia see a growing Muslim community in Cuba and are acting quickly to ideologically lead it. The Saudis and Turks have separately asked for permission to build a mosque there. President Erdogan wants it to reflect the Ottoman Empire, the last Islamic caliphate that was abolished in 1924.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey are competing over who will build the mosque in Havana for the estimated 4,000 Muslims in Cuba. The Saudis originally expressed interest, but now the elected Islamist government of Turkey is bidding for it. Turkish President Erdogan says his country hopes to build elsewhere in Cuba if its application is rejected.

Saudi Arabia remains an extremist state and continues to promote Wahhabism, a very radical interpretation of Islam. The Saudis spend an estimated $3 billion a year promoting Wahhabism. It is a national security threat to have the Saudis shaping the Cuban-Muslim community only 90 miles away from Florida.

Turkey is no better. President Erdogan's government is rolling back democratic freedoms, hosts a Hamas terrorist network and is a stalwart supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood. There is a scandal in Turkey over his intelligence service's cover-up of its arming of Al-Qaeda in Syria.

Full report at:

http://jewishvoiceny.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=10363:saudi-arabia-turkey-and-qatar-set-sights-on-cubas-muslims&catid=118:war-on-terror&Itemid=301

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Turkey extends military training to local Sunni forces and Iraqi army

March 11, 2015

Turkey will extend its training program to the Iraqi army and local Sunni forces in Mosul, in addition to the 1500 Kurdish fighters the Turkish armed forces has trained since November, Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz has said.

“We have decided to give train-equip, intelligence and logistics support to the Iraqi Army, the Peshmerga and the Sunnis,” Yılmaz told reporters on March 10, elaborating on his visit to Baghdad and Arbil last week.

The training of local Sunni tribes would take place in northern Iraq, the minister said, adding that the total number of trained Peshmerga by Turkish armed Forces exceeded 1500 and the number of trainees is open-ended upon the demand of the Kurdistan Regional Government in northern Iraq (KRG).

The Turkish Armed Forces has conducted a training program for Kurdish fighters in northern Iraq since November as part of efforts to degrade and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-extends-military-training-to-local-sunni-forces-and-iraqi-army.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79477&NewsCatID=510

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Qatar says it will begin rebuilding 1,000 homes in Gaza

10 March 2015

A Qatari official visiting a Gaza neighborhood heavily bombed in last summer's war with Israel said on Tuesday the Gulf Arab state had begun a project to rebuild 1,000 homes as part of a $1 billion aid pledge.

Mohammad al-Amadi, head of the Qatari Committee to Rebuild Gaza, said that earlier in the day Israel had allowed four truckloads of cement into the Gaza Strip so that the planned construction of the dwellings could begin.

Asked about the shipment, the Israeli military agency that oversees civil interaction with the Hamas Islamist-ruled Palestinian enclave, declined immediate comment.

“Today we are starting the $1 billion (effort),” Amadi told reporters as he stood in the rubble of a hospital destroyed during the 50-day Gaza war.

Palestinian and United Nations officials said 130,000 houses had either been destroyed or damaged in the fighting.

“We want more countries to come and build Gaza. Gaza suffered from previous wars,” Amadi said.

At a donors' conference in Cairo in October, some two months after the latest conflict ended in an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire, Qatar said it would provide $1 billion in reconstruction assistance for Gaza.

In all, some $5.4 billion was pledged at the meeting, but little of that has reached the Gaza Strip.

U.N. officials have said internal Palestinian divisions have blocked oversight by the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, Hamas's rival, of the import of building materials.

Israel also tightly limits the flow of concrete, cement, iron bars and other materials into Gaza, as “dual use” items that could have a military purpose if they were seized by Hamas to rebuild tunnels used to launch attacks.

Qatar is a major ally of Hamas and currently hosts the group's chief political leader, Khaled Meshaal.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/11-detained-at-anti-isil-protest-in-western-turkey.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79502&NewsCatID=341

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Hillary Clinton condemns Republican letter to Iran

11 March 2015

Former U.S. secretary of state and probable presidential challenger Hillary Clinton condemned Tuesday a bid by Republican senators to disrupt nuclear talks with Iran.

“Either these senators were trying to be helpful to the Iranians or harmful to the commander-in-chief in the midst of high stakes, international diplomacy,” Clinton said.

“Either answer does discredit to the letters’ signatories.”

Clinton was speaking after 47 Senate Republicans, including several potential 2016 presidential candidates, made the unprecedented move of directly and publicly addressing Iran’s leaders in a bid to scupper talks between Western powers and the Islamic Republic over the country’s disputed nuclear program.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/03/11/Hillary-Clinton-condemns-Republican-letter-to-Iran.html

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UK official says pursuing embassy reopening in Tehran

Mar 11, 2015

The British shadow foreign secretary says he is seriously pursuing the reopening of the UK embassy in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

During a meeting with a delegation of Iranian parliamentarians on Tuesday in London, Douglas Alexander also underlined the need for promotion of ties between Tehran and London, IRNA reported.

The British politician said that the UK has made mistakes with respect to its relations with Iran in the past, but that his country would hopefully make positive and constructive moves for a better future.

The member of the Labor Party in the British House of Commons also expressed the shadow administration’s readiness to contribute to the settlement of problems surrounding Tehran’s nuclear issue.Britain is a member of the so-called P5+1 countries engaged in talks with Iran over its nuclear program.

Alexander also highlighted Iran’s significant role in the Middle East and the world, saying London is keen to cooperate with Tehran in different areas.

For his part, the head of the Iran-Britain Parliamentary Friendship Group Abbas Ali Mansouri Arani, said that Iran is willing to promote ties with the UK based on the Islamic Republic’s national interests.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/03/11/401284/UK-Iran-embassy-must-be-reopened-soon

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Israeli troops flatten private Palestinian land in WB

Mar 11, 2015

Israeli forces have leveled a piece of private Palestinian land near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, a report says.

Israeli soldiers and settlers escorted bulldozers to the land near the village of Kisan, southeast of Bethlehem, to flatten the ground on Tuesday, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency reported.

The raid happened on 18 acres of land belonging to Palestinian families, said local officials in Kisan.

Israeli authorities plan to build an industrial zone of 150 acres on the land, Khalid Qaddura, the director of Bethlehem's District Civil Liaison Office, said.

He also added that the plan would isolate Kisan from adjacent Palestinian villages and leave it encircled by Israeli settlements and the industrial zone.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/03/11/401316/Israeli-forces-level-Palestinian-land-

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Turkish PM Davutoğlu fails to convince president to allow Fidan into his own inner circle

March 11, 2015

The two-month-long adventure of former National Intelligence Agency (MİT) Chief Hakan Fidan, who was bidding to play a role on the political stage, has ended with his reappointment to his MİT post by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. The prime minister apparently failed to convince President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who publicly and repeatedly voiced his uneasiness about having Fidan on the political stage rather than continuing his critical post in what he described as “the most important institution of the state.”

Fidan’s attempt to become a senior-bureaucrat-turned-politician will probably go down in the history of Turkish politics as one of the fastest turnarounds by a senior official, which was also visible to the eyes of the public.

Hectic meetings had reportedly started 20 days before Fidan, who is one of Erdoğan’s closest confidants, resigned late on Feb. 6, in order to run in a parliamentary election in the June 7 parliamentary elections for the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Fidan eventually put his political plans on the shelf for a number of reasons, with Erdoğan’s sharp objection being in top among those reasons.

No clarity at first meeting

Twenty days before announcing his decision and applying to the AKP to become a nominee in order to run for parliament, Fidan visited Erdoğan and brought up the matter with him. However, it is widely suggested that Fidan did not clearly express his reasons for leaving the post, and in response Erdoğan voiced particular concerns over any possible harm to the ongoing struggle against the “parallel structure,” a byword for sympathizers in state institutions of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen, the government’s ally-turned-nemesis. Erdoğan reportedly told Fidan that, in his opinion, resuming his post at MİT would be more appropriate.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-pm-davutoglu-fails-to-convince-president-to-allow-fidan-into-his-own-inner-circle.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79487&NewsCatID=338

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ISIL claims execution of Arab Israeli accused of spying: video

March 11, 2015

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) released a video March 10 purporting to show a young boy executing an Arab Israeli who it claimed infiltrated the group in Syria to spy for the Jewish state.

In the video, a youth identifying himself as 19-year-old Mohammed Said Ismail Musallam recounts how he was recruited by Israeli intelligence.

Dressed in an orange jumpsuit that is standard in videos of ISIL executions, he is shown kneeling in front of the boy, who appears to be no more than 12 years old, and a man standing at his side.

The man, speaking in French, issues threats against Jews in France, before the boy walks around in front of the hostage and then shoots him in the forehead using a pistol.

The boy, who shouts "Allahu Akbar" ("God is greatest" in Arabic), then shoots the man four more times as he lies on the ground.

In February, Musallam's father denied in comments to AFP the IS claim that his son was an Israeli agent.

"My son is innocent; ISIL accused him of working for Mossad because he tried to run away," Said Musallam said, claiming that his son had travelled to Syria to join the jihadists.

Following release of the video Tuesday, Musallam said he did "not know anything".

"People are calling us; they told us ISIL sent a video in which Mohammed says he works for the Israeli Shin Bet. That's not true; my son doesn't work for the Shin Bet. IS did this to scare the world.

"He's dead, he's a martyr. Mohammed is just a child, like a baby, only 19 years old."                       

"He is absolutely not religious," Musallam said earlier, adding that perhaps his son had been recruited through the Internet.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/isil-claims-execution-of-arab-israeli-accused-of-spying-video-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=79493&NewsCatID=352

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Europe

 

Ex-Russian premier rejects idea Nemtsov was anti-Muslim

March 11, 2015

A prominent ally of slain Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov dismissed suggestions by Russian investigators that he was murdered because he was anti-Muslim.

Mikhail Kasyanov, who was President Vladimir Putin's first prime minister before joining the Russian opposition, told a media briefing at the European Parliament that Nemtsov was tolerant of all minorities and religions.

Russian investigators have said they were looking into the possibility that the former deputy prime minister was killed over his support for French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published images of the Prophet Mohammed and was attacked by jihadists in January.

"He never made any statements against the Muslim religion," Kayanov said during a visit to the French city of Strasbourg, where he met leading members of parliament.

During the 1990s when Boris Yeltsin was president, Kasyanov said, Nemtsov even collected more than one million signatures against the Russian war in Chechnya.

Yet, he said, Russsian investigators now "developed the notion that Mr. Nemtsov was killed as a result of anti-Muslim, anti-religion statements."

Kasyanov, who co-led the liberal opposition RPR-Parnas party with Nemtsov, said investigators already had to abandon earlier theories that foreign or Ukrainian secret services were behind the murder.

Full report at:

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pti-stories/ex-russian-premier-rejects-idea-nemtsov-was-anti-muslim-115031100025_1.html

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‘ME peace needed to defeat extremists’

March 11, 2015

STRASBOURG - King Abdullah II of Jordan warned Tuesday that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was essential for combating Islamic extremists, saying the conflict served as a rallying cry for militants. Abdullah told the European Parliament that the battle against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria was “first and foremost” a fight for Muslim nations to carry out.

Jordan has stepped up its role in the US-led coalition against IS after the group burned to death a captured Jordanian military pilot in a grisly video released last month. But Abdullah said the root problem was the world’s failure to “defend Palestinian rights”. “This failure sends a dangerous message,” he said.

“And it has given the extremists a powerful rallying cry. They exploit the injustices and the lingering conflict, to build legitimacy and recruit foreign fighters across Europe and the world.”

He added: “How can we fight the ideological battle, if we do not chart the way forward towards Palestinian-Israeli peace?”

As a country that has made peace with Israel, Jordan has played a mediating role in the peace process.

Around 20,000 foreign fighters are believed to have left their homelands to join extremist groups in the past few years - including an estimated 4,000 since 2012 from western Europe.

Abdullah however said that Muslim countries had to lead the fight against IS and other extremists.

Introducing the king to European lawmakers, Parliament President Martin Schulz offered his sympathies over the murder of the pilot. “It’s hard to imagine people could commit such gruesome acts,” he said.

Meanwhile, about 95 captives, including Kurdish fighters, escaped from an Islamic State-run prison in northern Syria but most have been recaptured, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.

The jailbreak took place in the town of al-Bab, 30 km (20 miles) south of the Turkish frontier, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State controls tracts of territory across northern Syria and runs its own prisons, courts and other facilities in what it describes as an Islamic caliphate extending into Iraq.

The escapees included Syrian civilians, about 30 Kurdish fighters, and members of Islamic battalions opposed to the more hardline Islamic State, the Observatory said. Kurdish fighters backed by US-led air strikes have been trying to drive back Islamic State across northern Syria.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/11-Mar-2015/me-peace-needed-to-defeat-extremists

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Bosnia donates 500 tons of ammunition to Iraq

11 March 2015

Bosnia donated 500 tons of ammunition to Iraq as aid to fight the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria, a Defense Ministry official said Tuesday.

“By doing so our country will contribute to the fight against terrorist organization Islamist State (ISIS),” the ministry official told AFP.

Bosnia’s tripartite presidency agreed the donation on a U.S. request that Bosnia “joins the coalition against the Islamic State group,” the source added.

The donation is part of some 16,000 tons of arms and ammunition left over from the 1992-1995 inter-ethnic war in Bosnia that the authorities plan to either destroy or donate to other countries by 2020.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2015/03/11/Bosnia-donates-500-tons-of-ammunition-to-Iraq-.html

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Why the surge in Muslim prisoners in UK?

By Danny Shaw

11 March 2015

Why has there been a surge in the number of Muslim prisoners?

In 2002, 5,502 prisoners in England and Wales said they were Muslim.

Three years later, the number had risen to 7,246 and almost a decade on, by December 2014, it had reached 12,225.

OK, I hear you say, the overall prison population has also increased, so what's the big deal?

Indeed, prisoner numbers have risen from an average of 70,778 in 2002 to 84,691 last December.

But that 20% increase in the jail population has been outstripped by the rise in Muslim inmates - up 122%.

One possible explanation for the rise is that there are now more Muslims in the general population.

In the 2001 census, 3% of people in England and Wales said they were Muslim - 1.55 million.

By 2011, that had gone up to 4.8 % - 2.7 million people - so you'd expect the numbers in prison to go up too.

Not terrorists

But the percentage rise in Muslim prisoner numbers has been far greater than the Muslim population increase: Muslim inmates now account for 14.4% of those behind bars, compared with 7.7 % in 2002.

The media focus on terrorism might lead some to think that the Muslim prisoner population increase is linked to convictions of Islamist extremists.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31794599

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/religious-parties-offer-blood-money-to-taseer’s-family,-ready-to-pay-gold-equal-to-the-weight-of-qadri/d/101909

 

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