New Age Islam
Wed Aug 12 2020, 08:19 AM

Islamic World News ( 21 Aug 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Saif al-Islam Gaddafi says rebels 'trapped'

Libya unrest: World urges Gaddafi to surrender, plans future

Tyrant goes but civil war remains

Gaddafi still in Libya: Pentagon

Obama: Libya’s future ‘in the hands of its people’

Parallels Between Qaddafi and Hussein Raise Anxiety for Western Leaders

After Uprising, Rebels Face a Struggle for Unity

Islam takes root in land of bikinis and Carnival

Now it's your turn, Syrians tell Assad

US drone attack kills four militants in North Waziristan

Afghan Villagers Stone a Taliban Commander to Death

UN says 600 die in South Sudan clashes — TV

Syria unrest: UN says 2,200 killed in protest crackdown

Israel and Hamas agree Gaza truce, officials say

125 killed in South Sudan cattle raid

12 more killed in Karachi; violence revisits Orangi

19 NATO oil tankers torched in Balochistan

Ramadan in Greenland: The only Muslim in the island fasts for 21 hours

Brush with fame for J& K brave hearts

Pak man in US kills wife with Indian GF's help

Libya: Gaddafi forces battle on after rebels enter Tripoli

More Clashes After Rebels Sweep Tripoli

Germany, France urge Libya’s Qaddafi to step down

 “Gaddafi has three options”

Gaddafi's whereabouts remain a mystery

World to Gaddafi: Surrender

If Libyan rebels force Gadhafi’s fall, can they fill the power vacuum?

Syrian gunmen kill two after Assad speech - activists

Families of Ain al-Hilweh mobilize against gun violence

Rebels say Tripoli's fall 'imminent', urge Nato to help with Apache assault helicopters

Former PM Salim Hoss hails rebel assault on Libyan capital

Young Pakistanis turn to music to beat bombers

Growing up Muslim after Sept 11 test of faith

Pakistani accused of slitting prostitute's throat in Dubai

Taslima tweets herself to new controversy in Nepal

Gilani rules out military action to tackle Karachi bloodbath

BBC reporter alleges torture by Tajik authorities

Seven more killed in Karachi

Assad defies global outcry, says he is not quitting

Woman killed in crossfire in Kashmir

'India using 9/11 as excuse for stirring up trouble in Balochistan'

Pakistan: Family cases — a terrible predicament

Israel's regret for Egyptian soldiers killing not enough: Cairo

US 'deeply disappointed over Iran hikers' sentence: Clinton

Fourth case in New York naming ISI in Mumbai terror attacks

Khairnar & Darul Uloom Deoband flay Anna’s graft fight

Religious lines blur for Anna’s cause

UN rights body to pressure Syria on brutal crackdown

Bishops condemn Islamic banking, FG’s approach on Boko Haram

Worshippers throng mosques for 'qiyamullail'

Ex-Gitmo inmate takes Australia to UN

Four killed in Nigeria ethnic attacks-govt official

Savings drive growth of Islamic banking in Indonesia

Somali rapper K’naan visits famine-struck homeland

Broken dreams: Ukraine marks 20 years of independence

"The problems with Islamic Fundamentalism are the Fundamentals of Islam"

Making Space for Women at Friday Prayer

Built at the advent of Islam in the subcontinent, buried by us humans

Town’s new Islamic centre is welcomed by Muslims

Daunted Afghans find refuge in former foe Russia

Women empowerment, poverty cut help check extremism in Bangladesh

Kerala set for country's biggest Ramadan gathering Friday

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/saif-al-islam-gaddafi-says-rebels--trapped-/d/5300

 

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Saif al-Islam Gaddafi says rebels 'trapped'

23 Aug, 2011

Saif al-Islam, one of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's most influential sons, who was earlier reported to have been captured by opposition forces, has appeared with supporters on the streets of Tripoli, raising questions over rebel claims about the extent of their control over the Libyan capital.

The head of Libya's opposition National Transitional Council (NTC) on Monday announced the end of Gaddafi's decades-long rule after rebel fighters had swept into the heart of Tripoli on Sunday night, prompting scenes of jubiliation.

But Saif's appearance, hours after the opposition had said he was in its custody, and bouts of fierce fighting in Tripoli on Monday threw doubt on opposition claims that the city had fallen.

"This is our country. We live here and we die here and we are going to win," Said said.

Television footage showed him waving his fists in the air, smiling and shaking hands with supporters, as well as holding his arms aloft with each hand making the "V" for victory sign.

Saif also spoke to foreign journalists at the Rixos Hotel, telling them that Tripoli was in government hands and that his father, whose whereabouts is still unknown, was safe.

"I am here to refute the lies," Saif al-Islam said, referring reports of his arrest. "We broke the back of the rebels. It was a trap. We gave them a hard time, so we are winning."

When asked if his father was safe in Tripoli, Saif responded: "Of course".

Saif said he did not care about an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, seeking him and his father for crimes against humanity.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the ICC prosecutor, had earlier said the 39-year-old was arrested and in detention, yet it was not clear if he was ever held by rebel forces at all.

Waheed Burshan, an NTC member, told Al Jazeera: "We had confirmation Saif al-Islam was arrested, but we have no idea how he escaped."

Gaddafi's eldest son, Mohammad, who was also detained by rebels on Sunday night, is reported to have escaped.

Meanwhile, rebel forces said they arrested Saadi Gaddafi, the beleaguered Libyan leader's third son. The claim was made even as the whereabouts of other relatives and senior officials remained unknown.

Pockets of resistance

The celebrations that followed the rebels push into central Tripoli on Sunday night, when opposition force took control of the Green Square and claimed victory, gave way to confusion on Monday as they were met by pockets of resistance.

Throughout Monday there was gunfire near Bab al-Azizia, Gaddafi's sprawling compound, in western Tripoli.

Rebels set up checkpoints throughout the neighbourhoods in an attempt to maintain law and order. 

Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reporting from Tripoli said: "While Gaddafi's forces have withdrawn from most areas of Tripoli, sleeper cells haven't."

Gaddafi supporters also remained in control of the Rixos hotel, where foreign correspondents have been based throughout the six-month conflict.

Snipers scattered across the city continued to wage resistance while a rebel convoy was ambushed by Gaddafi loyalists using anti-aircraft weapons.

An opposition fighter told Al Jazeera, "We haven't been able to launch an attack we are waiting for more men and heavy weapons."

Elsewhere in the country, the US military said that its warplanes had shot down a scud missile fired from Sirte, Gaddafi's hometown, indicating that remnants of Gaddafi's forces were continuing to resist.

Moussa Ibrahim, the government spokesperson, claimed Gaddafi forces had control of at least 75 per cent of Tripoli. But rebels said Gaddafi supporters only held about 20 per cent of the city.

The tenuous nature of the rebel's grip on Tripoli has dampened rebel hopes of a swift victory and raised concerns that the city of two million people could be the stage for a protracted armed struggle.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/africa/2011/08/20118234144136279.html

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Libya unrest: World urges Gaddafi to surrender, plans future

Aug 23, 2011

PARIS: World leaders said on Monday the end is near for Muammar Gaddafi's regime and began planning for Libya's future without the man who has held power for 42 years.

They welcomed the rebels' dramatic advances in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, after six months of fighting, and urged Gaddafi to surrender and avoid a bloodbath. Hundreds of Libyans living abroad in the Middle East and Europe celebrated in the streets, taking over embassies, burning images of the Libyan strongman and hoisting rebel flags.

Though Gaddafi's whereabouts were not known, leaders were setting the stage for new leadership there.

Britain said its frozen Libyan assets would soon be released to help the country's rebels establish order; France announced plans for an international meeting next week; and Italy sent a team to the rebels' base of Benghazi to help plan reconstruction and the restoration of oil and natural gas production.

"The Gaddafi regime is coming to an end, and the future of Libya is in the hands of its people," President Barack Obama said while vacationing in the US.

He said fierce fighting continued to rage in some areas of Tripoli, and he appealed to Gaddafi to prevent further bloodshed and urged opposition forces to build a democratic government through "peaceful, inclusive and just" measures.

Obama was to discuss Gaddafi's fall in a phone call with British Prime Minister David Cameron, officials said. Cameron was also holding talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the leaders of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

"His regime is falling apart and in full retreat. Gaddafi must stop fighting, without conditions," Cameron said in London. He vowed that Britain and others would now assist Libya's "effective transition to a free, democratic and inclusive" nation.

However, Cameron's office cautioned that in the discussions leaders were mindful of the fact that the opposition forces had not yet completed Gaddafi's ouster.

"Let's not forget, we have not yet found Gaddafi and they are not yet in control of all parts of Tripoli," said a spokeswoman for Cameron's office, on condition of anonymity in line with policy.

The spokeswoman said that in a call with United Nations Secretary General Ban ki-Moon, Cameron discussed plans for a new U.N. resolution on Libya.

Ban said he will hold meetings on Libya later this week with the Arab League, African Union and European Union. He urged Gaddafi's forces to stop fighting immediately and make way for a "smooth transition" that ensures a free and democratic future for the country.

Ban said the U.N. could propose sending "peace monitors" to Libya or help its new government with security, economic recovery, elections and a new constitution.

The U.N. chief said his special adviser Ian Martin and special envoy Abdelilah Al-Khatib will travel to Doha, Qatar, to meet with the rebels' National Transitional Council.

Cameron said British diplomats would move from Benghazi in the east to Tripoli as soon as it was safe to do so. Crucially, he announced that Britain, which has frozen about 12 billion pounds ($20 billion) of Libyan assets, will soon release the funds.

Germany announced similar plans once the Gaddafi regime is gone. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said that about (euro) 7 billion ($10.1 billion) is frozen in Germany and that the money could be used to help rebuild Libya. "The Libyan people are entitled to this money," he said.

France said the "contact group" of international powers involved in stabilizing Libya would meet next week in Paris. French President Nicolas Sarkozy invited Libya's opposition leader to come to Paris for the talks, his office said.

The contact group's foreign ministers also discussed the situation in Libya during a conference call Monday and confirmed their support for the rebels' National Transitional Council, Italy's foreign ministry said.

France and Britain, backed by the United States, have spearheaded the NATO-led air campaign that began under a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for the protection of civilians.

In Brussels, the European Union vowed in a statement to "keep supporting the country in its democratic transition and economic reconstruction, based on social justice, inclusiveness and territorial integrity." The EU has given (euro) 150 million ($215 million) in humanitarian aid to Libya during the civil war, and in May, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton extended de-facto recognition to the rebels' council by opening a diplomatic office in Benghazi.

Hundreds of people celebrated the advance of rebel troops into Tripoli early Monday by staging a rally in front of the Libyan embassy in Cairo. In the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria, residents pulled down the green Libyan flag from a consulate building and replaced it with the rebel tricolor flag. Libyan expatriates also flocked to embassies in Turkey, Greece, Bosnia and Malta.

Jordan, a strong Arab ally of the US and one of the first countries to recognize the rebels' council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, said any transition should lay the foundations for a "new democratic regime." Jordan's top diplomat Nasser Judeh said his country "hopes for a swift and peaceful transition of power," according to the official Petra news agency.

But leaders also cautioned against the risk of escalating violence as a desperate Gaddafi might try to cling to power. Instead, they said, Gaddafi should face justice and turn himself in to the International Criminal Court.

The court has indicted Gaddafi on charges of crime against humanity, along with one of his sons, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, and Libya's intelligence chief. Libya's opposition leader said Tuesday rebels captured another of Moammar Gaddafi's sons - raising to three the number of the Libyan leader's children, including Seif Gaddafi, in custody.

"There's a great risk that the violence will escalate," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told Swedish news agency TT. "It's a very dangerous situation with various militia groups of young, angry men on the loose and armed with weapons. It would be best if the regime simply surrenders and we get a cease-fire and rid of the weapons."

South Africa - which has criticized the NATO bombing and led failed African Union efforts to mediate between the rebels and Gaddafi - insisted it had sent no planes to Libya to evacuate Gaddafi. It said it had received no request from him for asylum, and was involved in no efforts to extricate him.

"I'm quite amazed that there's even an insinuation that we are facilitating evacuation of anyone," said Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. She said that "for sure, he will not ask to come here" and noted that South Africa is an International Criminal Court member - suggesting that South Africa would have to arrest Gaddafi if he arrived there.

The government of Malta, the tiny Mediterranean island close to North Africa, has also denied reports that Gaddafi is headed there.

France and Britain, backed by the United States, have spearheaded the NATO-led air campaign that began under a U.N. Security Council resolution calling for the protection of civilians.

In Brussels, the European Union vowed in a statement to "keep supporting the country in its democratic transition and economic reconstruction, based on social justice, inclusiveness and territorial integrity." The EU has given (euro) 150 million ($215 million) in humanitarian aid to Libya during the civil war, and in May, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton extended de-facto recognition to the rebels' council by opening a diplomatic office in Benghazi.

Hundreds of people celebrated the advance of rebel troops into Tripoli early Monday by staging a rally in front of the Libyan embassy in Cairo. In the northern Egyptian city of Alexandria, residents pulled down the green Libyan flag from a consulate building and replaced it with the rebel tricolor flag. Libyan expatriates also flocked to embassies in Turkey, Greece, Bosnia and Malta.

Jordan, a strong Arab ally of the US and one of the first countries to recognize the rebels' council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people, said any transition should lay the foundations for a "new democratic regime." Jordan's top diplomat Nasser Judeh said his country "hopes for a swift and peaceful transition of power," according to the official Petra news agency.

But leaders also cautioned against the risk of escalating violence as a desperate Gaddafi might try to cling to power. Instead, they said, Gaddafi should face justice and turn himself in to the International Criminal Court.

The court has indicted Gaddafi on charges of crime against humanity, along with one of his sons, Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, and Libya's intelligence chief. Libya's opposition leader said Tuesday rebels captured another of Moammar Gaddafi's sons - raising to three the number of the Libyan leader's children, including Seif Gaddafi, in custody.

"There's a great risk that the violence will escalate," Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told Swedish news agency TT. "It's a very dangerous situation with various militia groups of young, angry men on the loose and armed with weapons. It would be best if the regime simply surrenders and we get a cease-fire and rid of the weapons."

South Africa - which has criticized the NATO bombing and led failed African Union efforts to mediate between the rebels and Gaddafi - insisted it had sent no planes to Libya to evacuate Gaddafi. It said it had received no request from him for asylum, and was involved in no efforts to extricate him.

"I'm quite amazed that there's even an insinuation that we are facilitating evacuation of anyone," said Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. She said that "for sure, he will not ask to come here" and noted that South Africa is an International Criminal Court member - suggesting that South Africa would have to arrest Gaddafi if he arrived there.

The government of Malta, the tiny Mediterranean island close to North Africa, has also denied reports that Gaddafi is headed there.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Libya-unrest-World-urges-Gaddafi-to-surrender-plans-future/articleshow/9700672.cms

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Tyrant goes but civil war remains

M. K. Bhadrakumar

Aug 23, 2011

THE VISUALS beamed from Tripoli could as well have been from Baghdad in 2003.

The narrative, too, bears uncanny resemblance: a brutal, megalomaniacal dictator finally overthrown, and a wave of euphoria sweeps over an exhausted land. The West appears in the backdrop as the great liberator- cum- benefactor duly taking its stance on the ‘ right side of history’. But if the Iraqi analogy is stretched a little further, it is a matter of time before the narrative withers away and chilling realities take hold.

To begin with, the Libyan opposition is a myth conjured up by the western countries and the ‘ pro- West’ Arab governments.

There are deep splits within the opposition. The tribal divisions and infighting among the various factions are recipe for another round of civil war, as the factions jostle for power. The acuteness of the rifts burst into the open last month when the opposition’s commander- in- chief Abdul Fattah Younes was lured back from the front, taken away from his bodyguards and tortured and killed by rebels belonging to an Islamist faction. Younes’s Obeidi tribe vows vengeance; the Transitional National Council looks helpless; and, the western powers look away in embarrassment.

The rebels have been literally pitchforked into the victory square by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization [ NATO], which time and again intervened to tilt the military balance against Muammar Gaddafi. Even then, it took the Western alliance an awfully long time stretching over 6 months to get its ‘ boys’ into Tripoli.

GADDAFI is still keeping them guessing as to the manner of his grand exit. The stunning truth is that it is now entirely up to Gaddafi to throw in the towel despite having the men and the material to prolong his defiance for a while.

His course of action in the coming hours or days would have great bearing on what follows. If there is going to be heavy bloodshed, revenge acts by the victors over the vanquished will likely follow. In political terms, Gaddafi’s imminent fall doesn’t mean the opposition has won.

Divested of the NATO’s tactical support, the opposition would have lost. The big question, therefore, is going to be about NATO’s future role in Libya. With the mission of ‘ regime change’ successfully accomplished, NATO ought to leave the Libyan theatre. The United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 has been overtaken. But the NATO’s withdrawal is too much to expect.

Libya’s oil has been the leitmotif of the Western intervention. The pro- democracy rhetoric emanating out of London and Paris had all along had a hollow ring. The NATO’s intervention in Libya has stretched the limits of international law and the United Nations Charter. The alliance finds itself in the ludicrous position of seeking the legitimacy for its continued presence in Libya from the shady elements who masquerade as the ‘ democratic’ forces, whose popular support is thin on the ground. It could well turn out to be Iraq and Afghanistan all over again. Resistance to foreign occupation is bound to appear sooner rather than later. Libyan tribes are steeped in the folklore of resistance. Remember, lest it got forgotten that the ‘ oil boom’ of the 1970s, which thrilled the Arab sheikhs to no end and phenomenally transformed their lifestyle, actually had its genesis in Libya, when, fired by nationalism, Gaddafi and his band of young army officers seized power in 1969 to force the Occidental to raise the price of oil. In a manner of speaking, ‘ nemesis’ is catching up with Gaddafi.

THE LIBYAN intervention brought NATO to the eastern Mediterranean and Africa.

This is of a piece with the United States’ strategy to mould the alliance into a global organisation with the capability to act in global ‘ hotspots’ with or without UN mandate.

A pivotal role for the alliance in the ‘ new Middle East’ seems all but certain. There is an ominous ring to the recap of the Libyan chapter by British deputy prime minister Nick Clegg: “ I want to make it absolutely clear: the UK will not turn its back on the millions of citizens of Arab states looking to open up their societies, looking for a better life.” ( The writer is a former diplomat)

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Gaddafi still in Libya: Pentagon

August 23, 2011

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is still believed to be inside the country, even as the rebel forces have entered the capital Tripoli, the Pentagon has said.   "It is probably fair to say we believe he's still in the country. We do not have information that he's left the

country," Pentagon spokesman Col Dave Lapan told reporters.

Lapan ruled out the possibility of American troops on the ground, saying that it there is one, it would be that of the NATO or the United Nations.

"If there's going to be some type of transitional mission, that remains to be seen, whether it comes out of the UN or NATO. But we still do not plan any US forces going on the ground in Libya," he said.

More than 5,300 American sorties have been flown as part of Operation Unified Protector; 1,210 were strike sorties and 101 were Predator unmanned aerial vehicle strikes. The targets included air defenses, arms caches and ground forces.

So far the Pentagon has spent about USD 896 million through July 31, in its various military operations related to Libya.

This cost includes amounts for daily military operations, munitions used in the operation, and humanitarian assistance.

From the beginning of the NATO operation through August 19, the United States has sold participating allies and

partners about USD 221.9 million worth of ammunition, repair parts, fuel and technical assistance, Lapan said.

The department has spent about half of a USD 25 million fund to get nonlethal aid to the rebel's Transitional National

Council. It has expended about USD 12.5 million of the USD 25 million draw-down authority for non-lethal aid to Libya, which includes approximately USD 1 million for the MREs.

"Remember, this is not money we've spent, or cost to the DoD. This is the value of the aid only. We have received no

additional requests at this time but will continue to work with the TNC to determine what additional assistance they may

need," he said.

In his speech earlier in the day, US President Barack Obama praised the efforts of American service members for their contributions to

the effort over Libya and in the Mediterranean.

"We also pay tribute to Adm. Sam Locklear [commander of Allied Joint Force Command], and all of the men and women in uniform who have saved so many lives over the last several months, including our brave pilots," he said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Gaddafi-still-in-Libya-Pentagon/articleshow/9704176.cms

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Obama: Libya’s future ‘in the hands of its people’

Aug 23, 2011

CHILMARK, Massachusetts: As rebels celebrated in Tripoli, President Barack Obama declared Monday that Muammar Qaddafi’s long rule is over. “The future of Libya is in the hands of its people,” he said.

Speaking from a rented vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard, Obama heralded US and international military efforts that helped bring about the outcome. But with Qaddafi’s precise whereabouts unknown, Obama cautioned that uncertainty and threats remained.

He urged Qaddafi to surrender and end the bloodshed, and the opposition to seek a just transition into an uncertain future.

“The rights of all Libyans must be respected,” he said. “True justice will not come from reprisals and violence; it will come from reconciliation and a Libya that allows its citizens to determine their own destiny.”

The crumbling of Qaddafi’s 42-year rule was being described by some analysts as vindication of Obama’s much-criticized decision to limit US involvement in Libya and let NATO take control after the US led the initial air campaign in March. Obama stopped well short of declaring a military or political victory, leaving it to a spokesman to credit US strategy and “the president’s robust leadership” with producing “a lot of favorable results.” But the president highlighted NATO’s success after months of doubts about whether the alliance would be able to prevail.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article492439.ece

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Parallels Between Qaddafi and Hussein Raise Anxiety for Western Leaders

By JOHN F. BURNS

Aug 23, 2011

LONDON — Nearly 20 years ago, on the eve of the Persian Gulf war, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi protested when a visiting reporter compared him to Saddam Hussein, rejecting the suggestion that Mr. Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait had caused him to supplant Colonel Qaddafi as the West’s principal nemesis in the Arab world.

“Saddam No. 1 Bad Boy?” he asked incredulously, seated outside his tent in his Tripoli command compound. “No! No! Qaddafi is No. 1. Only Qaddafi!”

As rebels rolled into Tripoli in the past two days, Colonel Qaddafi’s circumstances again drew comparisons to Mr. Hussein. Like the Iraqi leader in 2003, he had vowed to defeat the enemy at the gates of his capital, only to find his outer defenses, including his son Khamis’s widely-feared paramilitary unit, the 32nd Brigade, crumbling under rebel assault and NATO bombs.

In 2003, two of Mr. Hussein’s sons, including his likely heir, fled Baghdad without firing a shot; on Sunday, two other sons of Colonel Qaddafi, including his chosen heir, Seif al-Islam, surrendered quickly to the rebels.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/world/africa/23colonel.html?ref=world&gwh=A7F0E85640F81B002E2C72E87BF9A060

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After Uprising, Rebels Face a Struggle for Unity

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK and STEVEN LEE MYERS

Aug 23, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — With rebels on the verge of ending Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s long reign, the character of their movement is facing its first real test: Can they build a new government of unity and reconciliation, or will their own internal rivalries mean divisions in the new Libya?

Six months after their revolt broke out, the day-to-day leadership of the anti-Qaddafi movement remains an unanswered question, with no figure emerging as the rebellion’s undisputed leader. Even the common struggle against Colonel Qaddafi never masked latent divisions between east and west, between political leaders and fractious militias, and, some say, between liberal public faces and Islamists in the rebel ranks.

The rebels from the western mountains who stormed into Tripoli on Sunday night often roll their eyes at their ostensible political leadership, the Transitional National Council, which is based in the eastern city of Benghazi. Many complained that their national leaders did not give them enough support, even after Western governments began allowing them access to the frozen assets of the Qaddafi government.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/world/africa/23rebels.html

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Islam takes root in land of bikinis and Carnival

August 22, 2011

RIO DE JANEIRO: “As-salam aleikum!” Omar greeted worshippers as he entered Mesquita da Luz, Rio’s first mosque where he had just broken his Ramazan fast at dusk.

Those are some of the only words Omar knows in Arabic, and he quickly continued his conversation in Portuguese with fellow Muslims who mostly, like him, converted recently to Islam in the world’s biggest Catholic country.

In a land known more for its bikinis and extravagant Carnival featuring scantily clad women, a small but growing number of Brazilians of various backgrounds call themselves Muslim.

For decades, it was primarily families of Libyan, Palestinian and Syrian descent who practiced Islam in Brazil.

Omar, who until just four years ago officiated as Catholic priest at a local church, explained why he embraced Islam.

“I found in Islam everything I had always looked for. I met God as he is, with no adaptation,” the 34-year-old graphic designer told AFP.

Wearing a traditional long djellaba robe, he refused to give his official name, instead only revealing his Muslim one: Omar Israfil Dawud bin Ibrahim.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/22/islam-takes-root-in-land-of-bikinis-and-carnival.html

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Now it's your turn, Syrians tell Assad

Aug 23, 2011

BEIRUT: Thousands of antigovernment protesters took to the streets across Syria on Monday after a TV appearance by president Assad, shouting for him to step down and chanting "Gaddafi is gone, now it's your turn Bashar!"

Security forces opened fire in Homs, killing at least one person, a witness said. Crowds there and in several other cities were angered by Assad's remarks on TV and taunted him with warnings that his regime would be the next to unravel, as Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule was crumbling under a rebel advance in Libya. Human rights groups say more than 2,000 people have been killed in the government's crackdown on a five-month-old uprising. The regime has unleashed tanks and snipers in an attempt to stamp out the revolt.

In a now-familiar refrain, Assad promised reforms - including parliamentary elections by Feb - but insisted unrest was being driven by armed gangs & Islamic militants , not reform seekers.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Now-its-your-turn-Syrians-tell-Assad/articleshow/9702314.cms

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US drone attack kills four militants in North Waziristan

Aug 23, 2011

MIRANSHAH: A US drone strike targeting a vehicle in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt on Monday killed at least four militants, local security officials said.

The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles, hitting a vehicle and a guest house of a local tribal elder in the Nurak area of North Waziristan, the Pakistani officials told AFP.

The area is within the notorious tribal badlands that Washington calls a global headquarters of Al-Qaeda.

“The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles at the vehicle and killed at least four militants in the strike,” one security official told AFP on the condition of anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to media.

“A guest house of a local tribal elder was also destroyed in the attack. However, it was not immediately known if there was anybody inside the guest house at the time of the attack,” he added.

Nurak area is 20 kilometers (12 miles) east of Miranshah, the main town of the district of North Waziristan, considered a militant stronghold.

The security official said initial reports suggested that a group of militants were travelling in the vehicle at the time of the attack.

Two other Pakistani intelligence officials confirmed the drone strike and death toll. Washington has called Pakistan’s semi-autonomous northwest tribal region the global headquarters of Al-Qaeda, where Taliban and other Al-Qaeda-linked networks have rear bases from which they launch attacks on Nato forces in Afghanistan.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/22/us-drone-attack-kills-three-militants-in-north-waziristan.html

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Afghan Villagers Stone a Taliban Commander to Death

By RAY RIVERA and TAIMOOR SHAH

Aug 23, 2011

KABUL, Afghanistan — Angry villagers stoned to death a local Taliban commander and his bodyguard in southern Afghanistan after the militants killed a 60-year-old man accused of aiding the government, Afghan officials said.

It was a rare reversal of brutality aimed at the Taliban and, some Afghan officials believe, suggests a growing sense of security in an area where the insurgency has lost ground to NATO forces in the last two years. The stoning happened in the Nawa District of Helmand Province, a verdant agricultural area along the Helmand River Valley, now considered one of the safest places in the volatile south as a result of a heavy influx of American troops and aid dollars.

“People won’t tolerate the Taliban’s barbaric actions anymore,” said Dawoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the governor of Helmand Province. “They will stand against them whenever they are harmed.”

The stoning occurred a day after insurgents in the northeastern province of Kunar stoned, hanged and shot two Afghan National Army soldiers returning from leave, Afghan officials said. The attacks were unrelated and happened far away from each other, but they underscored the grisly nature of the insurgency even as NATO officials say overall violence in the country is beginning to show a sustained downward trend for the first time in five years.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/world/asia/23afghanistan.html?_r=1&gwh=5D3918C8EB902CF2BDC260D533DB4F52&ref=global-home&pagewanted=print

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UN says 600 die in South Sudan clashes — TV

Aug 23, 2011

CAIRO: Clashes in South Sudan have left 600 people dead and hundreds wounded, Al Arabiya television reported on Monday, quoting the United Nations.

The UN has reported deadly tribal clashes in recent days in South Sudan, signalling instability just weeks after the region gained independence.

The fighting is often sparked by disputes over cattle — a vital part of the indigenous economy.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article492254.ece

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Syria unrest: UN says 2,200 killed in protest crackdown

Aug 23, 2011

More than 2,200 people have been killed since the Syrian government's crackdown on protesters began in March, says the UN high commissioner on human rights.

Navi Pillay said the new toll included 350 deaths reported since the beginning of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Later, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said it was "troubling" that President Bashar al-Assad had not kept his word about halting military operations.

Several people were killed in Homs as crowds welcomed a UN humanitarian team.

On Sunday, Mr Assad insisted that his government was in no danger of falling and warned that any foreign military intervention would backfire.

'Indiscriminate attacks'

Opening an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, Ms Pillay said: "The gravity of ongoing violations and brutal attacks against the peaceful protesters in that country demand your continued attention."

She went on: "As of today, over 2,200 people have been killed since mass protests began in mid-March, with more than 350 people reportedly killed across Syria since the beginning of Ramadan."

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14620671

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Israel and Hamas agree Gaza truce, officials say

Aug 23, 2011

Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist group which governs the Gaza Strip, say they have agreed to a ceasefire after five days of violence.

The latest clashes began when militants crossed into southern Israel and killed eight Israelis on Thursday.

Subsequent Israeli air strikes on Gaza killed 15 Palestinians. One Israeli was killed in rocket fire from Gaza.

The Quartet of Middle East peace mediators - the UN, US, EU and Russia - has called for restraint.

Informal truce

A Palestinian official said that Hamas had agreed to ensure that the ceasefire was recognised by smaller militant groups in Gaza - which were responsible for most of the rockets fired at southern Israel in the past few days.

Prior to the announcement, Israeli media reported that 12 rockets launched from the Gaza Strip landed in southern Israel overnight. No injuries resulted.

But on Monday, Gaza's Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) - last to agree to the truce - agreed to halt rocket fire against Israel as a "temporary" measure "for the sake of the Palestinian people".

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14614731

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125 killed in South Sudan cattle raid

August 22, 2011

JUBA: South Sudanese officials say 125 people were killed in a cattle raid during which tribesmen stole 2,000 cattle in the country’s east.

Jonglei state Governor Kuol Manyang Juuk said that eight villages were destroyed when warriors from the Murle tribe in Pidor county attacked the Lou-Nuer tribe of Uror county on Thursday.

Justice Minister John Luk Jok says he saw bodies strewn across the scene of the raid.

The two tribes frequently clash over land and cattle.

South Sudan became the world’s newest nation in July after voting to separate from the Arab north.

Decades of fighting with the north left South Sudan as one of the poorest and least developed places in the world, with conflict in nine of its 10 states.

http://arabnews.com/world/article491671.ece

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12 more killed in Karachi; violence revisits Orangi

By S. Raza Hassan

August 22, 2011

KARACHI, Aug 21: Twelve more people on Sunday lost their lives to the ongoing wave of violence in the city as targeted killings and roadside dumping of bodies after brief kidnappings showed no sign of abating.

The latest spate of killings has taken the five-day death toll to 85.

While some victims were kidnapped before being murdered and thrown by the roadside in different localities on Sunday, Orangi Town remained the most disturbed part of the city with at least half a dozen of deaths, police said.

The violence had erupted when the bodies of five young residents of Lyari had been found in PECHS and its neighbouring areas at the dawn of Aug 17. Since then the city has witnessed frequent use of rocket-propelled grenades in Lyari and its adjoining localities besides roadside dumping of gunny bags containing bodies with gunshot wounds and torture marks.

In what appeared to be a targeted killing incident, two activists of the Pakistan People’s Party were attacked by armed men riding a motorbike in Sector 13 of Orangi after sunset on Sunday.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/22/12-more-killed-in-city-violence-revisits-orangi.html

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19 NATO oil tankers torched in Balochistan

August 22, 2011

QUETTA: Unidentified gunmen torched 19 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) oil tankers near the Dasht area of Balochistan on Monday.

The gunmen opened fire on the oil tankers, causing them to catch fire. No casualties have been reported so far.

The fire brigade was dispatched from Quetta after the incident.

Earlier, armed men had torched five oil tankers carrying fuel for Nato forces in Dasht.

Around 40 Nato oil tankers were parked near a fuel station close to a police check post on the National Highway, about 15 kilometres from Quetta, when a group of armed men on motorbikes opened indiscriminate fire on the tankers.

Most supplies and equipment required by foreign forces in Afghanistan are shipped through Pakistan, although US troops increasingly use alternative routes through Central Asia.

The Karachi-Quetta-Chaman Highway is used to transport military hardware and other logistical equipment, and the Mehmood Kot-Quetta-Chaman Highway is used for fuel supply transfers.

Taliban and al Qaeda-linked militants frequently launch attacks on NATO supply vehicles in the northwest and southwest Pakistan area bordering landlocked Afghanistan.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/236927/19-nato-oil-tankers-torched-in-balochistan/

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Ramadan in Greenland: The only Muslim in the island fasts for 21 hours

August 22, 2011

Nuuk: Wassam Azaqeer, a Lebanese, who lives in a country surrounded by icebergs called “Greenland”, is the only Muslim in this state who is fasting daily for 21 hours with full determination.

Greenland is the largest island in the world; lies between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean; a self-governing province of Denmark.

According to an Arab TV report, Wassam Azaqeer, who is living in Greenland from the past several years and has been called “Arab Columbus” as he is the only Arab Muslim who not only managed to live in Greenland-despite the long and difficult journey, but also running a successful business in the capital city of Greenland called Nuuk.

Wassam, is running his own restaurant where he receives 200 customers each day.

The month of the Ramadan, this year, came in summer so Wassam has to fast for 21 hours and after Iftaar he only got 2 hours to prepare Suhur - the pre-dawn meal to start next fast.

In these 2 hours Wassam, also has to offer the Maghrib and Isha prayers.

Wassam says that he is very proud Muslim to be living on a state where he is the only one fasting and praying in the name of Allah.

He says he sometimes think about going to Lebanon in this holy month but he stops himself by thinking that if left Greenland, there wont be anyone to fast and pray on this land.

http://www.ummid.com/news/2011/August/12.08.2011/only_muslim_in_greenland.htm

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Brush with fame for J& K brave hearts

By Arjun Sharma

Aug 23, 2011

IT’S GOING to be a double bill bonanza for the people of Jammu & Kashmir when a special episode of Kaun Banega Crorepati ( KBC) is telecast on August 25.

The popular game show will see two brave hearts take the hot seat — Stanzin Youtso, a gritty young woman who lost her family in last year’s flash floods in Ladakh and Ruksana Kausar, who shot dead a terrorist in Rajouri.

From her devastated Saboo village in Ladakh to the hot seat in front of superstar Amitabh Bachchan, it was not an easy journey for the 22- year- old Stanzin, who lost her family in the deadly floods.

She became the first woman from Ladakh to take part in KBC and went home rich by winning a hefty amount running into lakhs, but the amount cannot be disclosed till the episode is aired. The programme was shot on August 18 in Mumbai.

“ Sitting in front of Amitabh Bachchan whom I have seen only on television was like a dream come true. I was a bit conscious in the beginning but he made me comfortable,” Stanzin said.

The high of sharing screen space with the superstar and winning a prize as well, brought a smile on the face of Stanzin a year after that fateful night which left her orphaned.

The cloudburst late in the evening on August 5 destroyed her entire village snuffing out the lives of her father Tsering Angchok, mother Tsewang Spaldon, brother Tsering Namgyal and sister Nilza Angmo. Stanzin survived only because she was away in Jammu where she studies.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Pak man in US kills wife with Indian GF's help

Chidanand Rajghatta

Aug 23, 2011

WASHINGTON: This was one India-Pakistan collaboration that wasn't needed; it resulted in cold-blooded murder, rather than staunching bloodshed.

In a case that has stunned a placid suburban New Jersey community, a slick young Pakistani-American man allegedly plotted with his Indian girlfriend to kill his Pakistani wife. They pulled off the hit alright , but police was ripped open the case in no time.

Everything about the case stank from the time Kashif Pervaiz , 26, reported to the police about how his wife Naazish Noorani, was gunned down by three armed men as they were strolling with their three-year old son in the suburb of Boonton after a family Iftar dinner last Tuesday. He said the men, one black, one white and one unknown, had called them terrorists before shooting at them. He took bullets in his shoulders and leg, while Naazish , 26, was shot through the heart and died almost instantly . The child was unhurt.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pak-man-in-US-kills-wife-with-Indian-GFs-help/articleshow/9702293.cms

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Libya: Gaddafi forces battle on after rebels enter Tripoli

22 August 2011

Heavy fighting broke out near Muammar Gaddafi's compound in Tripoli on Monday as the rebels battling to overthrow the Libyan dictator met opposition from forces still loyal to him.

Following a euphoric night, during which the rebels swept into the capital and appeared to be edging their six-month struggle towards triumph, clashes were reported near Tripoli's port and in the vicinity of Gaddafi's complex, known as Bab al-Aziziya.

Tripoli remained tense and anxious, with foreign journalists in the city hearing gunfire and explosions, while groups of loyalists appeared to be fighting back.

A rebel spokesman, Muhammad Abdel-Rahman, told the Associated Press that tanks had begun firing from Gaddafi's compound early in the morning and said troops loyal to him were still a threat. As long as Gaddafi's whereabouts were unknown, he added, the "danger is still out there".

Later, Moammar al-Warfali, whose family home is next to the compound, told AP there appeared to be only a few tanks belonging to the remaining Gaddafi forces that had not fled or surrendered.

"When I climb the stairs and look at it from the roof, I see nothing at Bab al-Aziziya," he said. "Nato has demolished it all and nothing remains."

A rebel spokesman told al-Jazeera that pro-regime forces controlled an estimated 15-20% of Tripoli. On Sunday night, the rebels claimed they had extended their influence over 95% of the capital.

Full report at:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/22/libya-gaddafi-forces-battle-rebels?CMP=NECNETTXT8187

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More Clashes After Rebels Sweep Tripoli

By KAREEM FAHIM and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

August 22, 2011

TRIPOLI, Libya — Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s grip on power dissolved with astonishing speed on Monday as rebels marched into the capital and arrested two of his sons, while residents raucously celebrated the prospective end of his four-decade-old rule. Colonel Qaddafi’s precise whereabouts remained unknown and news reports said loyalist forces still held pockets of the city, stubbornly resisting the rebel advance.

In the central Green Square, the site of many manufactured rallies in support of Colonel Qaddafi, jubilant Libyans tore down posters of him and stomped on them. The rebel leadership announced that the elite presidential guard protecting the Libyan leader had surrendered and that their forces controlled many parts of the city, but not Colonel Qaddafi’s leadership compound.

The National Transitional Council, the rebel governing body, issued a mass text message saying: “We congratulate the Libyan people for the fall of Muammar Qaddafi and call on the Libyan people to go into the street to protect the public property. Long live free Libya.”

Officials loyal to Colonel Qaddafi insisted that the fight was not over, and there were clashes between rebels and government troops early on Monday morning.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/23/world/africa/23libya.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&gwh=580A205AFAF861EA499BDB3C9FBBAD20&pagewanted=print

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Germany, France urges Libya’s Qaddafi to step down

August 22, 2011

BERLIN: Germany and France urged Muammar Qaddafi to step down immediately as rebels advance on the Libyan capital of Tripoli.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in an interview with ZDF television that it would be “good if he would give up as quickly as possible” to avoid further bloodshed.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said: “We hope this is the turning point; we hope that the last days of this unjust regime have begun.”

He told reporters that “every day earlier that Col. Qaddafi leaves the country is a good day for Libya and the Libyan people.”

Germany has not participated in NATO airstrikes in Libya but recognized the rebels’ National Transitional Council in June as Libya’s legitimate representative.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged Qaddafi to “spare his people further useless suffering” by stepping down immediately.

Sarkozy underscored France’s “full support to complete the liberation of their country from oppression and dictatorship.”

He said the outcome of the 6-month-long conflict “is no longer in doubt” and called on Qaddafi to order regime loyalists to put down their arms to prevent further bloodshed.

France was among the early supporters of the rebels’ National Transitional Council and is heavily involved in NATO’s airstrike mission there.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article491783.ece

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“Gaddafi has three options”

August 22, 2011

Libyan government tanks shelled parts of central Tripoli on Monday after rebels swept into the heart of the city, meeting little resistance.

Crowds took to the streets to celebrate what they saw as the end of Moammar Gaddafi’s four decades in power.

The whereabouts of the Libyan leader were unknown, but rebels held two of his sons, Saif al-Islam and Mohammed.

Despite euphoria among rebels and their backers in Tripoli and elsewhere, a rebel spokesman, identified on Arab network Al Jazeera as Nasser, said government troops still controlled “about 15 to 20 per cent of the city”.

United States President Barack Obama said Libya was “slipping from the grasp of a tyrant” and urged Gaddafi to relinquish power to prevent more bloodshed.

“Without question the end is near but we’re not there yet – parts of Tripoli are still controlled by Gaddafi troops, including the hotel where journalists are staying,” said Freddy Gsteiger, a correspondent for Swiss Radio DRS.

“There’s still resistance in the important oil city of Brega, but a favourable turn of events for Gaddafi is basically out of the question – his army has been largely destroyed, his supply lines have been cut off on all sides.

Full report at:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/specials/the_arab_spring/Gaddafi_has_three_options.html?cid=30956570

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Gaddafi's whereabouts remain a mystery

Aug 22 2011

Cairo : The whereabouts of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, who has ruled the oil rich nation uninterrupted for 42 years remained a mystery as rebel forces swept into the capital Tripoli to jubilant crowds.

Al-arabiya quoting its correspondent in the Libyan capital said that Gaddafi was in the Tajura-Cardiac hospital. But said there were no reports on whether Gaddafi was undergoing treatment in the hospital or simply taking refuge.

But diplomatic sources quoted by BBC reported that the Libyan strongman was in Tripoli in his Bab al-Aziziya command and control centre.

The Bab al-Aziziya compound has been regularly pounded by NATO airstrikes and most of the buildings in the compound have been flattened.

Rebel sources said that Gaddafi had constructed a number of deep bunkers in the complex where he could take cover.

Al-arabiya quoting Ibrahim Saad, secretary general of the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, that the whereabouts of Gaddafi were known to rebels and that an announcement about the matter would likely be made within hours.

The opposition forces have captured two of the Libyan dictator's sons. Saif al-Islam, who along with his father faces charges of crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. Another son, Mohammad, was under house arrest.

Mohammad Gaddafi was captured in dramatic circumstances while giving an interview to Al-jazeera.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/gaddafis-whereabouts-remain-a-mystery/835375/

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World to Gaddafi: Surrender

Aug 22 2011

Tripoli : World leaders said the end was near for the regime of Moammar Gaddafi and called on the Libyan leader to relinquish power, after rebels took control of most of the Libyan capital.

US President Barack Obama said Libya is "slipping from the grasp of a tyrant'' and urged Gaddafi to relinquish power to prevent more bloodshed.

"The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people,'' Obama said in a statement from Martha's Vineyard, where he's vacationing. He promised to work closely with rebels.

Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini said “the only path Gaddafi must take is that of surrender.''

British Prime Minister David Cameron cut short a vacation to chair a meeting Monday of the country's special security committee on Libya. His office said Sunday that it was clear "the end is near for Gaddafi,'' and called on him to “go now to avoid any further suffering for his own people.''

In Denmark, Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen said "the Libyan people's struggle for freedom has gone into the play-offs.''

Full report at:

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/world-to-gaddafi-surrender/835362/

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If Libyan rebels force Gadhafi’s fall, can they fill the power vacuum?

By William Maclean

August 22, 2011

LONDON: Now that Tripoli has risen, the main uncertainty is not whether Moammar Gadhafi’s rule will survive, but whether the rebels can prevent Libya descending into chaos after he has gone.

There is no doubt Gadhafi’s end is closer. With small groups of rebels fighting inside the capital and bigger rebel units battling their way toward the city, the veteran ruler is under unprecedented pressure days just days ahead of the Sept. 1 anniversary of the 1969 coup that brought him to power.

Assuming Gadhafi does fall, the rebels will quickly have to fill a power vacuum. The main rebel group, based in Benghazi in the country’s east, consists of former government ministers who have defected, and longstanding opposition figures, representing a range of political views including Arab nationalists, Islamists, secularists, socialists and businessmen.

Far from monolithic, their military forces are a patchwork of armed groups, former soldiers and freelance militias, including self-appointed neighborhood gangs and former members of an Islamist guerrilla group crushed by Gadhafi in the 1990s.

The challenges they face will be huge. The economy is in turmoil, communications are disrupted, public services are damaged and heavily armed groups are likely to remain at large.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2011/Aug-22/If-Libyan-rebels-force-

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Syrian gunmen kill two after Assad speech - activists

By Mariam Karouny

August 22, 2011

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Supporters of President Bashar al-Assad shot dead two people in Syria on Monday, activists said, hours after he dismissed Western calls to step down and warned that any military action against his country would backfire.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said loyalist gunmen known as 'shabbiha' who were celebrating after Assad's comments on Syrian television opened fire in Masyaf, west of the city of the central city of Hama, killing two people and wounding four. They also attacked shops belonging to Assad opponents, it said.

Assad faces growing Western calls to step down over his crackdown on more than five months of pro-democracy protests in which the United Nations says around 2,000 civilians have died.

No country has proposed the kind of action against Syria which NATO forces have carried out in support of Libyan rebels seeking to topple Muammar Gaddafi. But the West has called on Assad to step down and Washington has imposed new sanctions.

Assad said Syria would not bow to external pressure, which he said could only affect "a president made in the United States and a subservient people who get their orders from outside."

Full report at:

http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/news/international/Syrian_gunmen_kill_two_after_Assad_speech_-_activists.html?cid=30806380

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Families of Ain al-Hilweh mobilize against gun violence

By Mohammed Zaatari

August 22, 2011

SIDON, Lebanon: After recent violent clashes, residents of the refugee camp of Ain al-Hilweh are taking new measures to protect themselves and their homes from gunbattles.

Residents are setting up iron gates at the entrances of their neighborhoods and narrow alleyways that can be closed to protect their homes from gunmen who use these pathways during battles inside the camp.

Armed clashes erupted two weeks ago between local groups in Ain al-Hilweh camp, wounding six people and causing extensive damage inside the camp. The clashes were the most violent in a year and pitted gunmen from Fatah against Islamists from Jund al-Sham, which is allied to the Al-Qaeda-inspired group Fatah al-Islam.

According to Palestinian resident Mahmoud Shanaa, who was setting up an iron gate at the entrance of one of the camp’s alleyways, “the heinous acts committed by fighters forced the establishment of these gateways.”

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2011/Aug-22/Families-of-Ain-al-Hilweh-mobilize-against-gun-violence.ashx#ixzz1Vkswg1p8

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Rebels say Tripoli's fall 'imminent', urge Nato to help with Apache assault helicopters

Aug 22, 2011

DUBAI: Libyan rebels said victory in Tripoli was imminent on Sunday and urged NATO to join the final battle with Apache assault helicopters.

"We will enter Tripoli in a few hours. Between now and tomorrow we expect it to fall in our hands," said rebel commander Abdelhakim Belhaj.

And Aref Ali Nayad, the rebel National Transitional Council's envoy to the United Arab Emirates, told reporters in Dubai: "We expect victory tonight."

The battle for Tripoli, which is the stronghold of Gaddafi's regime, has left "hundreds dead and thousands wounded," he said.

Insurgents, Nayad added, have formally requested NATO deploy more assault Apache helicopters to assist them in combat.

"The Apaches are very precise and we are in great need of their intervention. We made a formal request last night," he said.

In Benghazi, rebels said an operation dubbed "Mermaid" was underway in the capital with the goal of isolating the veteran leader and forcing his surrender or departure.

The regime in Tripoli retorted that "thousands" of professional and volunteer troops were ready to defend the capital against NATO-backed rebels.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Rebels-say-Tripolis-fall-imminent-urge-Nato-to-help-with-Apache-assault-helicopters/articleshow/9686845.cms

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Former PM Salim Hoss hails rebel assault on Libyan capital

August 22, 2011

BEIRUT: Former Prime Minister Salim Hoss praised Monday the liberation of Libya, describing Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi as a “model of flagrant rule.”

“The liberation of Libya from Gadhafi’s tyranny is a great achievement, keeping in mind the cost of martyrs among the people,” Hoss said in a statement released Monday.

Hoss described as “shocking” the number of people killed in the uprising to overthrow Gadhafi.

Libyan rebel fighters poured into Tripoli Sunday and on Monday morning controlled most of the capital in their struggle to oust autocratic ruler Gadhafi. The whereabouts of Libyan leader are unkown but the rebels say they have captured his two sons, Saif Al-Islam and Mohammad.

“Thugs like Gadhafi do not fear God and no one can deter them. Gadhafi was not the only rogue leader in the Arab world.” Hoss said. “He was a model of flagrant rule.”

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Local-News/2011/Aug-22/Hoss-hails-rebel-assault-on-Libyan-capital.ashx#ixzz1VktB87Hf

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Young Pakistanis turn to music to beat bombers

August 22, 2011

LAHORE: Against a backdrop of militant bombs and bullets, wealthy young Pakistanis are turning to the beat of modern music to help bring social change to their troubled Muslim nation.

“I love how when you enter the place, you’re completely transformed,” said DJ Faisal Big at a recent all-night rave in a brick factory courtesy of London’s Sound Ministry. “It doesn’t feel like Pakistan - definitely not the Pakistan you see on the media.” The one-off sound ministry event cost $100 dollars, an expensive night out in the impoverished country - but the mini-revolution has spread far beyond the brick factory doors.

Organisers persuaded the famous London nightclub, billed as the home of dance music and celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, to send over a DJ to lead a club for one night only.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\22\story_22-8-2011_pg7_14

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Growing up Muslim after Sept 11 test of faith

August 22, 2011

FULLERTON: In many ways, Yousaf Salama is a typical teenager: He lives for football, worries about acne and would rather dash off to see “Captain America” with friends than spend one more minute with his mother.

He’s aware, however, that his actions in particular can have greater meaning. Yousaf is a Muslim, one of only two in an all-boys Catholic prep school in Southern California. He has been asked if he’s a terrorist and routinely shrugs off jokes about bombs and jihad. “Sometimes I feel like I take it upon myself to be a better example,” he said on a recent evening after returning for a weeklong football camp.

Yousaf, whose father is from Egypt and mother from the US, is among thousands of children who navigate every day the subtle and complex challenges that come with growing up Muslim in a deeply traumatised post-September 11 America. Some were still in diapers and others in grade school when hijackers crashed planes into the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon a decade ago, but their childhoods have been deeply touched by the pain and anger of a nation struggling to come to terms with a day that, for them, represents the worst perversion of their faith.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\22\story_22-8-2011_pg7_32

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Pakistani accused of slitting prostitute's throat in Dubai

August 22, 2011

The 29-year-old man, however, did not speak in court when the charges were read out to him as he only knew Pashto.

DUBAI: A Pakistani allegedly slit a prostitute’s throat thrice and robbed her in a flat in Muraqabbat area of Dubai, the Court of First Instance was told on Sunday.

A policeman said that the knife which was found at the site of the murder had helped them track the suspect.

It was reported that the barcode on the knife led the police to the shop where it was bought from and the CCTV footage at the shop showed the suspect buying the knife.

The UAE-based daily, Gulf News had reported that the prosecutors have requested for a capital punishment for the suspect.

The 29-year-old man, however, did not speak in court when the charges were read out to him as he only knew Pashto.

Therefore, the court adjourned the hearing until a Pashto language translator is made available to the court.

According to the prosecution’s confession records, the accused –mentioned as AK – said that the Uzbek woman made him drink alcohol and stole AED6000 from him one evening when he was with her.

After several attempts of asking for his money back and refused, he murdered her.

“She deserved to die”, AK said “I grabbed her from behind and slit her throat thrice”.

The body was found after her Afghan husband has called his Pakistani friends to locate her because after finding her phone switched off.

The mobile phone of the deceased was later confiscated from AK.

http://tribune.com.pk/story/236945/pakistani-accused-of-slitting-prostitutes-throat-in-dubai/

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Taslima tweets herself to new controversy in Nepal

Aug 22 2011

Kathmandu : Controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen had to cancel her visit to Nepal to attend the country's first literature festival after her contentious tweet generated negative buzz here.

"I am sad, but I had to cancel the flight as I did not want any unpleasant incident to happen in Nepal," Nasreen, who has been living in exile since 1994, wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter yesterday.

Nasreen, 48, who currently resides in New Delhi, was to arrive in Kathmandu on Saturday to attend the literature festival, but she missed her flight at the Delhi Airport as she forgot to bring her Swedish passport.

"My Nepali friends, I missed my flight to go to Kathmandu today. I forgot to bring my passport as I didn't consider Nepal a foreign country!" she wrote on her Twitter page.

The comment offended many of her Nepali followers on the micro-blogging site who ridiculed her lack of knowledge about world geography and expressed anger over what they said was her assumption that Nepal was a part of India.

The organisers of the four-day festival asked Nasreen to cancel her trip as they were unable to guarantee her safety in the wake of possible protests by some Nepalese activists.

"As people protested through Twitter regarding her views, she decided to cancel the flight on our advice," Director of the Nepal Literary Festival Ajit Baral said.

"We advised Nasreen not to visit Nepal at this moment as we could not provide her safety in the wake of possible protests by some Nepalese activists," Baral said.

"Some people were even planning to show black flag upon her arrival here," he said.

Nasreen was to speak about her book 'My Writing Life' during the four-day literary festival that has drawn some 60 literary personalities from Nepal, India and abroad.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/taslima-tweets-herself-to-new-controversy-in-nepal/835376/

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Gilani rules out military action to tackle Karachi bloodbath

Aug 22 2011

Lahore : Pakistan Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani has ruled out the military action in Karachi, saying it is not a solution to the ongoing bloodbath, as the problem can be tackled by other means.

“You can get the desired results through the optimal use of Rangers and police”, The Nation quoted Gilani, as saying.

He said he was aware of rumours about army deployment in Karachi.

He clarified that the army would be deployed in Karachi only at the provincial government’s request.

The government will provide all possible assistance to Sindh to restore law and order in Karachi, he added.

The pressure mounted on President Asif Zardari and the government after the chief of the Army staff, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani offered military assistance in restoring peace in the city.

Kayani told the media after a gathering in Rawalpindi Saturday that the military could help control the situation in Karachi, if the government so willed.

Though Gilani admitted that the Rangers’ morale was low the moment due to the recent incidents, ‘they were patriotic and performing their duties diligently’.

He assured that all culprits involved in the Karachi violence would be brought to book, irrespective of their party affiliation and added that all matters must be resolved through consensus.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/gilani-rules-out-military-action-to-tackle-karachi-bloodbath/835316/

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BBC reporter alleges torture by Tajik authorities

Aug 22 2011

Dushanbee (Tajikistan) : The lawyer for a BBC reporter on trial in Tajikistan for allegedly belonging to a banned radical Islamic group says her client was tortured shortly after his detention in June.

Fayzinisso Vokhidova said Monday that security services officers beat up veteran BBC Central Asia service journalist Uronboi Usmonov and stubbed out cigarettes on his wrists.

She says Usmonov refrained from talking about the alleged torture earlier for fear of worsening the mistreatment.

Security services could not immediately be reached for comment.

The BBC says the charges against Usmonov are unfounded and that any meetings he had with members of Hizb ut-Tahrir were for purely journalistic purposes.

Usmonov's case has drawn widespread international criticism, including from the United States and the European Union.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bbc-reporter-alleges-torture-by-tajik-authorities/835357/

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Seven more killed in Karachi

August 22, 2011

KARACHI: Even the presence of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani could not stop the violence in Karachi as seven more people were killed in different areas of the city on Monday, DawnNews reported.

Four employees of the Karachi water board were gunned dead and another injured as unknown assailants targeted them in the Garden area.

Earlier today, two bodies were found dumped in PIB Colony and the graveyard of Landhi’s Ismail Goth area.

A body was also recovered from the roof top of a building situated in the area of Gulshan-i-Iqbal Block six.

The deceased was identified as Mehtab Khan by his identity card which was found in his pocket. He was a resident of a nearby area.

Police said that the incident could be the result of a personal enmity.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/22/two-more-found-dead-in-karachi.html

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Assad defies global outcry,says he is not quitting

August 22, 2011

Beirut: Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday the unrest sweeping the country had become more militant in recent weeks but he was confident the protests could be controlled.

As for the security situation (it) has become more militant in the recent weeks and specially last Friday.We are capable of dealing with it.. (I) am not worried, he said during an interview broadcast on Syrian television.

Syria is under intense international pressure,with the United States and European allies calling on him to quit and imposing new sanctions in protest at his crackdown,which the United Nations says has killed 2,000 civilians.

Arab states and regional power Turkey have also ratcheted up criticism of Assad after he sent tanks and troops into some of Syrias biggest cities to crush dissent during the holy month of Ramzan,which started on August 1.

Meanwhile,a UN team has arrived in Syria to assess humanitarian needs in the country,a UN official said.

We welcome the fact that the government has approved the humanitarian mission, said the official.

The team will assess the humanitarian situation,condition of basic social services and identify initial assistance needs that could be addressed through a rapid response.

She did not say which areas the team would visit,but said the mission would continue until Thursday.

Times of India

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Woman killed in crossfire in Kashmir

August 22, 2011

A woman was killed and another civilian was injured in “crossfire” between militants and army in Handwara area of Kupwara district.

The woman Saleema, who was evacuated to a hospital in Srinagar, succumbed to her injuries, hospital sources said.

A defence Spokesman said two civilians were injured in the firing last night after which the operation was stopped to evacuate the injured.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article2382102.ece

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'India using 9/11 as excuse for stirring up trouble in Balochistan'

August 22, 2011

Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) chief Hafiz Saeed on Sunday said the only issue he had with New Delhi was related to Kashmir and reiterated that terrorism was “un-Islamic”. In an exclusive interview to Geo News, a Karachi-based news channel, he charged India with using 9/11 as a pretext to enter Afghanistan and use its territory to stir trouble in Balochistan.

Mr. Saeed said he favoured the resolution of the Kashmir issue through dialogue, but that New Delhi had time and again displayed its unwillingess to resolve the matter under any circumstances.

“Our issue with India is specific to Kashmir and the way it has treated the Kashmiri people. From the Kashmir issue stems the water problems facing Pakistan and the construction of dams by India on rivers running into Pakistan. And, we speak openly against it,” the JuD chief said. He said the world recognised Kashmir to be a flashpoint.

‘UNFAIR'

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2379798.ece

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Pakistan: Family cases — a terrible predicament

By Malik Asad

August 22, 2011

ISLAMABAD, Aug 21: Seeking divorce and custody of four-year old son, it was Robina Khalid’s first appearance in a district court – a shock she was not ready for.

“Everyone was gawking at me. Their eyes were probing me. It was embarrassing,” Robina told Dawn as she appeared in the

civil court of Judge Shabana Hameed Mughal in the capital for the dissolution of her five-year old marriage.

She had only heard about “courts” or saw the “proceedings” in the movies – never thought that one day she would have to

appear before a court.

“Any respectable woman would never wish to go to court unless she is forced by circumstances.” For her the court’s environment was unpleasant. “It was overcrowded and one cannot stand there properly.”

When her son Majid saw handcuffed criminals at the premises of district courts, he asked questions for which Robina had no answers.

After her first visit to the court, she demanded “exclusive courts” to deal with the family matters.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/08/22/family-cases-a-terrible-predicament-2.html

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Israel's regret for Egyptian soldiers killing not enough: Cairo

August 22, 2011

Thousands of angry people rallied outside the Israeli Embassy and a Government building here for the second day on Sunday with an Islamist group calling for jihad against the Jewish State, as Cairo said Tel Aviv’s regret for the killing of five Egyptian soldiers was not enough.

“The Israeli statement was positive on the surface, but it was not in keeping with the magnitude of the incident and the State of Egyptian anger toward Israeli actions,” the State-run MENA news agency said quoting a Cabinet statement.

“Egypt affirms its solicitude for maintaining peace with Israel, but Israel must also assume responsibility for protecting this peace,” it said.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/362419/Israels-regret-for-Egyptian-soldiers-killing-not-enough-Cairo.html

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US 'deeply disappointed over Iran hikers' sentence: Clinton

August 22, 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday she was “deeply disappointed” over the eight-year prison sentence given to two Americans who have said they had strayed unwittingly into Iran.

“We are deeply disappointed that Iranian judicial authorities have sentenced Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal to eight years in prison,” Clinton said.

“We continue to call and work for their immediate release — it is time for them to return home and be reunited with their families.”

Tehran prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi on Sunday confirmed that Iran has sentenced two American hikers to eight years in prison each for illegal entry and espionage, Iranian media reported.

Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, both 29, were arrested with fellow American Sarah Shourd, 32, on the unmarked border between Iran and Iraq on July 31, 2009. Shourd was freed on medical grounds in September and returned to the United States.

The trio claim they were hiking in Iraq’s northern province of Kurdistan when they innocently strayed into the Islamic republic.

Clinton added in her statement that: “I join President Obama and the people of the United States in expressing our unflagging support for Shane, Joshua, Sarah and their families during this difficult time.”

Washington has vehemently denied Tehran’s charge that the three were spies and has repeatedly called on Iran to release Bauer and Fattal.

But Iran’s Jafari Dolatabadi said Sunday that charges of illegal entry and espionage against the American hikers had been “proven” in the court, the official IRNA news agency reported.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/362401/US-deeply-disappointed-over-Iran-hikers-sentence-Clinton.html

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Fourth case in New York naming ISI in Mumbai terror attacks

August 22, 2011

In the fourth such case, an American survivor of the 2008 Mumbai attacks has filed a lawsuit against ISI officials, including its chief Ahmed Shuja Pasha, along with leading LeT figures, charging the Pakistani spy agency of being involved in the planning and execution of the terror strike.

The case filed in New York city against the ISI chief by Linda Ragsdale on August 12 prompted the court to issue summons to the ISI and the officials named, following which it was decided to merge all the four cases in the city.

Kevin J Wash, of the Locke Lord Bissell and Liddell, represented ISI, and asked the court to consider the same response as submitted in the other three cases.

Besides Pasha, and other ISI officials, the case names Lashkar-e-Taiba leaders behind the Mumbai terror attacks -- Hafiz Mohammed Saeed, Zaki ur Rahman Lakhvi, Sajid Mir and Azam Cheema -- as the defendants.

A resident of Tennessee, Ragsdale was shot in her back by one of the LeT terrorist at the Oberoi Trident hotel in Mumbai. She, however, survived that attack.

"During the planning and execution of the Mumbai attack, defendants ISI, Pasha, (Nadeem) Taj, (Major) Iqbal and (Major Samir) Ali (as well as other officials, agents and employees of ISI) were extreme and outrageous.

"This extreme and outrageous conduct included, but was not limited to foreseeing that plaintiff Ragsdale would be irreparably traumatised when hostages at the Oberoi Trident Hotel, such as plaintiff Ragsdale, would be shot," said the complaint filed on behalf of Ragsdale.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/362571/Fourth-case-in-New-York-naming-ISI-in-Mumbai-terror-attacks.html

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Khairnar & Darul Uloom flay Anna’s graft fight

Aug 22, 2011

ON A day when the Darul Uloom Deoband distanced itself from the “ disputed” Anna Hazare movement, Mumbai’s former deputy municipal commissioner G. R. Khairnar also made scathing remarks against the anti- corruption crusader.

While the Islamic seminary made it clear that it had nothing to do with the so- called mass movement and hinted that it was politically motivated, the original “ Mr Clean” and Mumbai’s “ Demolition Man” — who has observed Anna’s work from close quarters — did not make any flattering comment on the social activist.

Himself a man of impeccable record and unquestionable integrity, Khairnar said: “ I don’t think Anna can be compared to Jaya Prakash Narayan or Mahatma Gandhi. There is a huge difference… it’s almost like the earth and the sky.” Khairnar had the opportunity to see Anna at work when the latter first raised the issue of corruption against the then Maharashtra chief minister Sharad Pawar. “ A lot of people told me that I should meet him, so I went to Ralegan Siddhi. However, the visit was an eye- opener.

What I saw was quite different from the public perception and the way media eulogised him,” Khairnar recalled.

Full report at: Mail Today

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Religious lines blur for Annas cause

Prerna Sodhi and Aniruddha Ghosal

Aug 22, 2011

New Delhi: Once upon a time,Ramlila Maidan separated the Walled City from New Delhi two worlds within one with one symbolizing life frozen in time and the other representing growth and progress.Today,this ground has unified people from diverse backgrounds,cultures and religions in the war against graft.And these crusaders have now decided to celebrate the spirit of communal harmony at this very ground.

On Sunday,Team Anna declared that Janmashtami will be celebrated in a big way on Monday at the ground where Muslims will also open their r o z a.

For ages now,Ramlila Maidan has hosted Hindu religious functions attended by Muslims.This is inarguably a legacy of the Mughals,who had started the custom of celebrating all Indian festivals with the masses.But this time,it is happening at a grander scale.

A large number of fasting Muslim volunteers have been seen feeding hungry protesters at the venue.Iqbal,23,a volunteer in one of the kitchens,was seen distributing food to the supporters on Sunday.I have kept my r o z a,but that does not deter me from feeding all these people who come here to support Anna.It is a fight that cuts across social barriers, he said.

Full report at: Times of India

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UN rights body to pressure Syria on brutal crackdown

Aug 22, 2011

GENEVA: The UN Human Rights Council will pressure the Syrian regime today to halt attacks and allow an independent probe into alleged violations during its brutal crackdown on anti-government protests.

The council, which meets in an emergency session, will consider a draft resolution that "deplores the continued indiscriminate attacks on its population" and seek an immediate stop to "all acts of violence."

The resolution also highlights the need to "urgently dispatch an independent international commission of inquiry... to investigate violations of international human rights law in Syria since July 2011."

Investigators would be asked "to establish the facts and circumstances which may amount to such violations and where possible, to identify those responsible, with a view of ensuring that perpetrators of violations are held accountable."

Twenty-four members of the council, including EU states, the United States and all four Arab countries -- Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, had requested the special session on Syria.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/UN-rights-body-to-pressure-Syria-on-brutal-crackdown/articleshow/9692227.cms

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Bishops condemn Islamic banking, FG’s approach on Boko Haram

By Gbenga Faturoti

Aug 22, 2011

Catholic and Anglican Bishops weighed in on economic and security matters at the weekend, as both groups criticised the approach of President Goodluck Jonathan to the menace posed by Boko Haram in the North, and expressed concern over Islamic banking.

Over 20 Bishops of the Anglican Communion who congregated at St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Ogharefe    Delta State at the First Synod of the Anglican Diocese of Sapele condemned the introduction of Islamic banking.

They urged Abuja to review the conditions for the approval of non-interest banking and make all possible amendments that would ensure the interest of every religious group in Nigeria is protected.

They also tasked political leaders to remember that if they do not alleviate the sufferings of the masses, then their service is not of God.

A communique signed by the host of the meeting, Blessing Erifeta,  and the Synod's Clerical Secretary, T. O. Usikaro, condemned Boko Haram extremism, the murder of National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members in the North, and ritual killing and kidnapping across the land. 

Full report at:

http://www.independentngonline.com/DailyIndependent/Article.aspx?id=39320

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Worshippers throng mosques for 'qiyamullail'

By BADEA ABU AL-NAJA & MD RASOOLDEEN

August 22, 2011

MAKKAH/RIYADH: The Grand Mosque in Makkah is filled to the brim with worshippers these days as hundreds of thousands of pilgrims have come from all over the world to perform Umrah and attend taraweeh and qiyamullail prayers, seeking the blessings of Lailat Al-Qadr (night of power).

The Civil Defense department in Makkah gave Arab News a rare opportunity to take aerial photos of the Grand Mosque on the 21st night of Ramadan on Saturday sitting in their helicopter and at the initiative of Maj. Gen. Muhammad Al-Harbi, commander of aviation in the Kingdom.

The S92 model helicopter was piloted by Capt. Abdul Aziz Al-Dhufyan and 1st Lt. Ziyad Al-Otaibi.

The helicopter had come from Jeddah and was flying at a height of 4,000 feet at a speed of 80 knots.

The trip covered the central region of Makkah and the Arab News photographer was able to take shots of the whole of Makkah from various angles. The camera focused on the newly established Makkah Clock on the King Abdul Aziz Endowment Tower.

The helicopter flew over the Misfala, Kuday, Ajyad, Hafair, Hajoun and Aziziya areas that were crowded with vehicles carrying pilgrims and worshippers. The pilots gave instructions to Civil Defense ground staff based on information they had on traffic in various parts of the city.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article491821.ece

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Ex-Gitmo inmate takes Australia to UN

August 22, 2011

SYDNEY: An Australian who spent more than five years in Guantanamo Bay and pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism is going to the United Nations to challenge US ally Canberra’s handling of his case.

David Hicks, 35, was captured in Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks and spent five-and-a-half years in the US-run prison at Guantanamo Bay before being convicted by a Military Commission of providing material support for terrorism.

He was sentenced to seven years’ jail, all but nine months of which was suspended, and was transferred from Guantanamo to an Australian prison in 2007 to serve out his term, subject to a 12-month gag order.

The former Outback cattleman is now appealing to the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee, seeking compensation and an apology from Australia for upholding and enforcing what he claims was an unlawful charge and penalty. It is his first major challenge to his detention and conviction under the controversial Military Commission system.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2011\08\22\story_22-8-2011_pg7_11

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Four killed in Nigeria ethnic attacks-govt official

August 22, 2011

JOS, Nigeria: Four people were shot dead in religious attacks in central Nigeria, a local politician said on Sunday, the latest in a series of clashes in a region where hundreds have been killed this year.

Muslim members of the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group carried out two separate attacks on Saturday in two mainly Christian villages around the city of Jos in Nigeria’s central “Middle Belt,” local council chairman Emmanuel Lomang told Reuters.

The police confirmed the attacks took place, but said it was too early to say how many people died.

Jos is a former tin-mining hub on a rocky highland between the mainly Muslim north and largely Christian south of Africa’s most populous nation. It has been a flashpoint for sectarian violence over the past two decades.

Hausa-Fulanis, who make up more than a quarter of Nigeria’s population, say it is hard for them to obtain controversial forms that identify the holder’s origin, which are required for school places, bank loans and certain forms of employment.

Christian ethnic groups meanwhile resent what they see as increasing encroachment by northerners on their ancestral lands.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/world/article491808.ece

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Savings drive growth of Islamic banking in Indonesia

August 22, 2011

Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim country with a population of over 210 million, ought to have a natural fit with Islamic banking, finance and insurance. Indeed, the mobilization of domestic savings through Islamic banking is expected to help drive the growth of the Indonesian banking industry, according to Indonesian Vice President Boediono.

However, the latest statistics on the sector shows that Indonesia has a long way to go in emulating the success of its neighbor, Malaysia. While Islamic banking assets have grown by 38 percent per year in 2005-2009, and 47 percent last year, it has started with a very low base. During this period the number of Islamic banking account holders however did increase from 300,000 in 2001 to 8.5 million at the end of June 2011.

For Indonesia, the global sukuk market in particular has become an alternative source of funding for infrastructure and other investments. Indonesia has already issued a debut international sovereign sukuk and a number of rupiah-denominated sukuk for the domestic retail market. The latest foray of the Indonesian Ministry of Finance into the Islamic capital market is set for August 2011 when the government is due to issue 1 trillion rupiah of debut Islamic treasury bills with a six-month tenor.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/islamicfinance/article491730.ece

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Somali rapper K’naan visits famine-struck homeland

August 22, 2011

MOGADISHU, Somalia: Somali-born rapper K’naan brought his waving flag back home Sunday, promising to help his countrymen as they struggle with a devastating famine that has killed tens of thousands of children.

The rapper, who left Somalia as a child more than two decades ago to settle in Canada, made a brief visit to Mogadishu on Sunday. He was mobbed by famine refugees who tried to shake his hand or hug him as he toured Mogadishu’s Banadir Hospital and met with malnourished children.

“I came to Somalia to see the situation here and give any donation I have to the people and anything else available,” he said, speaking in Somali. “I will do all I can to help my people in Somalia.”

He did not perform his hit song “Wavin’ Flag,” which tells of the difficulties he faced growing up in the lawless, impoverished Horn of Africa nation. A version of that song was used for a Coca-Cola campaign when South Africa hosted the 2010 World Cup.

The United Nations says more than 3.2 million Somalis need food aid. The US says 29,000 Somali children under age 5 have died.

Full report at:

 http://arabnews.com/lifestyle/offbeat/article491787.ece

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Broken dreams: Ukraine marks 20 years of independence

Anya Tsukanova

August 22, 2011

KIEV, August 21, 2011 (AFP) - Ukraine on Wednesday marks 20 years since its declaration of independence from the USSR with its sovereignty intact but its people still far from the dream of creating a prosperous society anchored in Europe.

A tumultuous two decades has seen prime ministers jailed, punches slung in parliament and the iconic "Orange" uprising that spectacularly ousted an elite who would later return to power in a modernised guise.

For many Ukrainians, independence has been a crushing disappointment with the country mired in corruption bad even by ex-USSR standards and hit by a bitter west-east divide that even raised fears about the state's future viability.

Symbolically, Independence Day itself will be no harmonious party, with mass street protests expected against the arrest of former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the main foe of President Viktor Yanukovych.

Full report at:

http://www.mysinchew.com/node/62527

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"The problems with Islamic Fundamentalism are the Fundamentals of Islam"

August 22, 2011

I've been meaning to post this video of a talk by Sam Harris for some time; just not sure who to tip the hat to, I think maybe BCF.

It's significant to me in that Harris is not one of your "usual suspects" who criticise Islam; one of those so often dismissed as being "far right".  Sam Harris certainly is not that.  And there are few enough on the Left who dare criticise Islam, that he's significant.  And he does a fine job of slicing into its core problems:

"The Koran is a profoundly mediocre book" (so true), "anyone who says that Islam is a religion of peace is delusional" (ditto); "this book [the Koran] offers precious little rationale for living in a sane and pluralistic global civilisation" (ditto, a fortiori)

There's also a great and longer talk at the TED conference by Harris, a wonderful presentation on the nonsense of moral equivalence: "all religions are the same" and all that guff:

http://thebattleoftours.blogspot.com/2011/08/problems-with-islamic-fundamentalism.html

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Making Space for Women at Friday Prayer

August 22nd, 2011

Can women attend Friday prayer? This question is rising a? m?re women attend service.

"Why ?h?uldn't women c?m? to th? Friday prayer? Why sh?uldn't women benefit fr?m th? light ?f God?" asked Ayfer Aynali, a housewife, aft?r attending Friday prayer in the women's section at Yeni Valide Mosque ?n Istanbul.

According to Islamic law (fiqh), Friday prayer ?t the mosque ?? a religious duty ?nly f?r men, wh?le women ?re n?t required t? attend. However, m?ny people are beginning t? remind of th? era ?f th? Prophet Muhammad, dur?ng wh?ch women used to attend Friday prayer.

"If the Quran i? read well ?nd carefully, it ?s understood th?t the term 'believers' includes ?ll of us, both men and women," ??ys Aynali, adding that ?h? do?? not accept the mainstream idea th?t Friday prayer ?? a gift ?nly t? men.

http://dailynewscorner.com/making-space-for-women-at-friday-prayer/4131/

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Built at the advent of Islam in the subcontinent, buried by us humans

By Samia Saleem

August 22, 2011

KARACHI: Last year, when the floods displaced millions of people in Sindh, the graveyards and tombs of ancient noblemen, saints and scholars at Makli Hill turned into a resting place, albeit temporary, for the living. Approximately 35,000 displaced people surged to the necropolis to take refuge. As feared, this human activity took its toll on the heritage site.

Now, in order to study the damage caused by this influx, and the recent rains, the Heritage Foundation dispatched its teams to the 10 sq km site.

“The conditions are very poor,” said Yasmeen Lari, who is the chief executive and chair of the foundation. According to her, of the several clusters from four historic periods, only some were identifiable while the others were anonymous. “Without further investigation into historical records, it is not possible to determine their antecedents,” she said.

Less than half of the structures, which are in varying stages of destruction and damage, are mentioned in historical records. The original list that was prepared when the world heritage list was made, does not cover all the structures that still exist.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/236558/damage-assessment-built-at-the-advent-of-islam-in-the-subcontinent-buried-by-us-humans/

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Town’s new Islamic centre is welcomed by Muslims

By David Jenkins

August 22, 2011

THE opening of a new Islamic education centre in the heart of Weston has been welcomed by the town’s Muslims.

The Mercury reported recently how the community facility has opened in the former Avon Tandoori restaurant in Waterloo Street.

A previous application to open elsewhere in the town was abandoned after the plan provoked a prejudiced outcry, but Muslims in Weston say they are pleased they at last have somewhere to meet.

Younis, of Alfred Street, had found it difficult to regularly travel to the nearest mosque in Bristol while managing a full-time job.

He has welcomed the opening of the new centre, with its main entrance in Palmer Street, which is much closer to home.

Younis, 62, met his wife, Samira Lhaggazi, while on holiday in Morocco in 1981 and then converted to being a Muslim the following year, when he married her, and moved to Weston a decade ago.

Full report at:

http://www.thewestonmercury.co.uk/news/town_s_new_islamic_centre_is_welcomed_by_muslims_1_999437

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Daunted Afghans find refuge in former foe Russia

August 22, 2011

Afghans in Russia now make up the third-largest overseas Afghan community after Pakistan and Iran, and the largest community of immigrants from a country other than the former Soviet Union. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

MOSCOW: Signs in Dari decorate the creaky lifts of a Moscow hotel heaving with Afghan merchants and schoolchildren who have found refuge in a former foe.

Although still haunted by the decade-long war in which 15,000 Soviet troops were killed, Russia has renewed interest in Afghanistan, quietly allowing the local Afghan community to thrive as a gesture of goodwill.

“The Russians now welcome us. It is not like before,” said Ghulam Jalal, who heads the Centre for Afghan Diasporas, an organisation that finds work for Afghans in Russia and keeps their culture and languages alive.

Worried by intensifying violence in the NATO-led war against Taliban insurgents, Russia is flexing its muscles by proposing business and development plans in Afghanistan, which borders much of ex-Soviet Central Asia, viewed by Russia as its traditional sphere of influence.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/236916/daunted-afghans-find-refuge-in-former-foe-russia/

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Women empowerment, poverty cut help check extremism in Bangladesh

August 22, 2011

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni has said achievements made by Bangladesh in social sector particularly in women empowerment and poverty alleviation, which she claimed greatly contributed to halting extremist trends in society.

“This also helped the country become a role model in the Muslim world for its democratic credentials and moderation,” she remarked while interacting with five senior US journalists at the foreign ministry yesterday.

The senior US journalists are currently visiting Bangladesh to attend the 2011 Senior Journalists Seminar titled “Bridging Gaps between the United States and the Asia Muslim World”.

The programme was sponsored by the East-West Centre, USA and organised by the BCDJC, Dhaka. The journalists represent CNN, Los Angeles Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Fox News Channel, The Gazette and the East West Centre.

Dipu Moni touched on a range of issues including Bangladesh's relations with the outside world, South Asia, challenges of climate change, Bangladesh's role in the international arena, strengthening of the democratic institutions, women empowerment and their historical role in the society and impressive progress in the social sector including wide social safety nets.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=199651

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Kerala set for country's biggest Ramadan gathering Friday

August 22, 2011

Malappuram (Kerala): More than six lakh people are expected Friday at the largest Muslim prayer congregation at Swalath Nagar, near Malappuram, which is ready to host the annual Ramadan month event for the 25th time.

This mammoth congregation in the month of Ramadan is considered the third biggest congregation of Muslims in the world after Makkah and Madina.

All arrangements are in place as Ma'dinu Ssaqafathil Islamiyya (MSI) prepares to host the congregation, according to MSI chairman Sayyid Ibrahimul Khaleelul Bukhari, who said that the numbers at the Silver Jubilee congregation would be the same as last year.

"This time we will take a pledge against terrorism and alcoholism and pray for peace and harmony on the Shab-e-Qadr, the holy night of the month of Ramadan ," Bukhari said. "This unique gathering spreads the message of harmony, tolerance, love and affection."

"Here, people congregate in search of the blessing of the greatest night, called Shab-e-Qadr, Night of Power (Lailathul Qadr), which is compatible to thousand months," said Bukhari.

Full report at:

http://www.ummid.com/news/2011/August/22.08.2011/biggest_ramadan_gathering.htm

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/saif-al-islam-gaddafi-says-rebels--trapped-/d/5300


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