New Age Islam
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Islamic World News ( 24 Feb 2015, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Saudi Arabia Court Gives Death Penalty to Man Who Renounced His Muslim Faith

 

 

 

Syrian Kurdish militia members of YPG make V-sign next to poster of Abdullah Ocalan, jailed Kurdish rebel leader, and a Turkish army tank in the background in Esme village in Aleppo province, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. (AP)

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Saudi Arabia court gives death penalty to man who renounced his Muslim faith

Syria fighting kills 132 ISIS fighters

Serving teen soldier who fled to fight against ISIS found ‘safe and well’

Islamic State in Syria abducts at least 150 Christians

Iraqi Army Downs 2 UK Planes Carrying Weapons for ISIL

Egypt's Sisi signs law defining 'terrorist entities'

Interior Ministry launches major anti-terror exercise

Syrian Kurdish fighters hand murder suspect to Turkey after catching him in Syria

Syrian minister blames Turkey for looted antiquities

Saudi court jails Qaeda recruiters, OBL associate

Bombings in Baghdad kills 37

Egypt adopts anti-terror law amid crackdown

 

Mideast

Israel and the West to blame for collapse of Middle East, says leading ‘moderate’ authority in Sunni Islam

Palestinian mosque damaged in suspected West Bank arson

Hadi recants resignation; Houthis call him ‘fugitive’

Turkey's top soldier slams opposition leader over Syria operation

Turkish head of religious affairs slams 'Austrian Islam' bill

Jewish settlers torch mosque in W. Bank

PLO blasts US court ruling on Intifada deaths

Hamas decries murder of W. Bank youth by Israel

Palestinians ordered to pay over Jerusalem attacks

Iran pledges support for Iraq in anti-terrorism fight

 

North America

Obama hails Qatar as 'strong partner' against Islamic State group

Muslim Americans are victims of discrimination: Poll

Religious groups back Muslim in US scarf case

U.S. says Iran helped Houthis seize Yemen

US' Kerry warns against fall of Palestinian Authority

Muslims continue Malcolm X's legacy 50 years later

Muslim's case takes 'look' at Abercrombie & Fitch policy

U.S. prisons: Breeding grounds for radical Islam?

Mariam Veiszadeh now the target of US anti-Islam site

U.S. Navy key partner in fight against ISIS, says Lockheed Martin UAE chief

MI5 agents testify at US trial of Pakistani al Qaeda man

 

Pakistan

IS tarnishing Islam’s image, says Bokhari

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to expel nearly 300 Afghan clerics

No link whatsoever between terrorism, Islam: Nisar

Pakistan curbing terror vigorously: Kerry

After ‘Charlie’: Latest Incident of Pakistani Christians Targeted by Muslim Anger

Justice Bhagwandas and some other non-Muslim Pak luminaries

MWL chief urges Pakistan to host anti-terror conference

DG ISI heads to US on official visit

General Akhtar leaves for first official tour of US

Agencies issue terrorism warning in Karachi

Pakistan Anti-Terror Laws Force 100M Cellphone Users to Be Fingerprinted

Pakistan Ex-Ruler Pervez Musharraf Sees Role for Taliban in Afghanistan

US issues travel warning for Pakistan

 

India

Mangalore church attacked by anti-social elements: Minister

Pakistan Has Become 'Paapistan', Says Noted Muslim Cleric

Encouraging Entrepreneurship and Innovation among Indian Muslims

Muslims hardly join pan-Islamic groups, says India

Shiv Sena defends RSS RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's Mother Teresa remarks

BJP, rival party to form government in Indian Kashmir

Afghanistan won't allow anti-India elements on its soil: Envoy

Two militants killed in kashmir's Shopian

 

Southeast Asia

Indonesian Authorities Worried About Return Of Islamic Radicals

Officials concerned ISIS recruiting in Sukabumi

Indonesia's Lombok promotes itself as 'Muslim-friendly' tourism destination

Indonesia, Jordan condemn ISIS

G25 adds Sabah, Sarawak members calling for rational discourse on Islam

Prove Malaysia’s Islamic credentials by pardoning Anwar, says former Umno man

Sarawakian Jill Ireland to block FT religious council from intervening in Allah CD appeal

229 Indonesians face death penalty abroad

Forum plans to set up inter-religious volunteer group

 

South Asia

EU, UN join international chorus of concern over Nasheed’s arrest, terrorism trial

Arrest warrant issued for Bangladesh ex-PM

Top Afghan official in Qatar amid hopes for Taliban talks

Angry crowd threatens to assault Human Rights Commissioners

No link with Burdwan blast: Times of India reports

Prisoners torture by Afghan forces reduced by 14 percent

2 suicide bombers arrested in women’s dress in Herat province

 

Africa

Suicide blasts at Nigerian bus stations leave 24 dead

Tens of thousands flee rising violence in C. Africa, UN says

Sudan's Bashir cites 'breakthrough' in US relations

Algeria rejects proposal for Arab force for Libya

Professor Murder Infuriates Nigeria Muslims

Nigeria: CBN Sets Guidelines for Islamic Finance Advisory Body

‘Spy cables’ reveal SA’s jihad camps

 

Europe

French Muslims Boycott Jewish Event

New Islamic law sparks controversy in Austria

Converts to Islam increase after French attack

Most British Muslims 'oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals'

France to reveal plan regarding its Muslim community

Coexist Slogan Lands Parisian Artist in Hospital

UK Muslims Launch Manifesto at House of Lords

French Muslim leaders skip key Jewish event over ‘criminals’ accusation

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-arabia-court-gives-death-penalty-to-man-who-renounced-his-muslim-faith/d/101694

 

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Arab World

 

Saudi Arabia Court Gives Death Penalty to Man Who Renounced His Muslim Faith

By Richard Spencer

24 Feb 2015

A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced a man to death for apostasy after he filmed himself tearing up a copy of the Koran, a new test case for the country's human rights record just as its most powerful rising prince was visiting Downing Street.

Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the country's security supremo who was recently made deputy Crown Prince – the presumed heir-but-one to the throne – was due to have dinner with Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, on Tuesday night.

He will meet Michael Fallon, the Defence Secretary, on Wednesday and then the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary, Theresa May, on Thursday – a sign of how important Saudi Arabia is held to be across a range of key political issues, from the fight against Islamic State to home-grown radicalisation.

Human rights groups were already calling on the government to raise their concerns with the prince, including the case of the blogger Raif Badawi who was sentenced to 1,000 lashes for criticising the country's religious establishment.

On Tuesday morning, Saudi newspapers reported that the death sentence had been handed down in the town of Hafr al-Batin to a man who had "denounced his faith".

He was not named but was said to have uploaded a video of himself tearing up a copy of the Koran and hitting it with his shoe.

"In the video he cursed God, Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) and his daughter Fatimah and ripped a copy of the Holy Qur'an and hit it with a shoe," the Saudi Gazette quoted an official as saying. "The death sentence was issued after his apostasy was proved."

The death penalty is the standard penalty for apostasy in the Muslim world, though it is rarely carried out, even in Saudi Arabia which still carries out regular executions.

The man in this case has the right to appeal, and can also avoid the penalty by repenting.

However, the timing is embarrassing, on the eve of Prince Mohammed's visit to London and shortly after a visit to the country by the Prince of Wales, who met the new King Salman as well as Crown Prince Muqrin and Prince Mohammed.

The Prince of Wales raised the Badawi case with the king, an intervention which may have had some effect. Mr Badawi received the first 50 of his lashes last month, to worldwide outcry, but has yet to receive any more, with Saudi officials hinting it had been put on permanent hold.

However, human rights groups still fear that Prince Mohammed’s rise to power - he is now likely to be the first of his generation to become king - will herald a hardening of Saudi Arabia’s position on internal reform.

As interior minister he has overseen a widespread crackdown not only on jihadis - which has been welcomed by the West - but also on liberal activists and campaigners for political and women’s rights reforms.

Amnesty International accused the government of "wearing a muzzle" when it came to dealing with Saudi Arabia.

"With the deputy crown prince's visit UK officials should try to exert some real pressure on him over Saudi Arabia's disgraceful human rights record," said Allan Hogarth, its head of policy and government affairs.

"Under the new ruler King Salman, public executions have continued apace, while the free speech activist Raif Badawi remains in jail and is still at risk of being flogged."

A Downing Street spokesman said: "We have consistently raised concerns that we have and will continue to do so at every level because no issues are off the table."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/saudiarabia/11431509/Saudi-Arabia-court-gives-death-penalty-to-man-who-renounced-his-Muslim-faith.html

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Syria fighting kills 132 ISIS fighters

25 Feb, 2015

BEIRUT: At least 132 ISIS fighters have been killed since Saturday in fighting with Kurdish militia backed by U.S.-backed air strikes in the northeastern Syrian province of Hasaka, an activist group monitoring the conflict said.

The Kurdish YPG forces, which drove ISIS from Kobani last month, with the help of U.S.-led airstrikes had seized 70 villages in the offensive, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported overnight.

The northeastern corner of Syria is strategically important in the battle against ISIS because it borders territory controlled by the group in Iraq.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2015/Feb-25/288695-syria-fighting-kills-132-isis-fighters-activists.ashx

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Serving teen soldier who fled to fight against ISIS found ‘safe and well’

25 Feb, 2015

The serving teenage British soldier who traveled to the Middle East to join Kurdish fighters battling Islamic State has been found and is being returned to his unit in Cyprus, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said.

The 19-year-old soldier, who has not been identified, is believed to have been found somewhere close to the border of Syria or Iraq, and is reported to be “safe and well.”

The teen is believed to be the first UK serving soldier to travel abroad to join the fight against ISIS. In November, two former British soldiers were accused of being mercenaries after joining Kurdish fighters in Syria.

The young soldier’s disappearance caused alarm for his regiment, the Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment, when he told his family he was going to Syria because “these guys need our help.”

He was taking annual leave at the time of his disappearance, so was not declared Absent Without Leave (AWOL).

The soldier’s unit was given the task of training Iraqi troops in infantry tactics, but it is not known whether he was posted to Iraq for the mission.

One source said the teenager’s family were “over the moon” and confirmed he was “on his way back.”

Full report at:

http://rt.com/uk/235039-awol-soldier-isis-returned/

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Islamic State in Syria abducts at least 150 Christians

BY SULEIMAN AL-KHALIDI

Feb 24, 2015

Islamic State militants have abducted at least 150 people from Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria they had raided, Christian Syrian activists said on Tuesday.

A Syrian Christian group representing several NGO's inside and outside the country said it had verified at least 150 people missing, including women and elderly, who had been kidnapped by the militants.

"We have verified at least 150 people who have been adducted from sources on the ground," Bassam Ishak, President of the Syriac National Council of Syria, whose family itself is from Hasaka, told Reuters from Amman.

Earlier the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 90 were abducted when the militants carried out dawn raids on rural villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority west of Hasaka, a city mainly held by the Kurds.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/02/24/us-mideast-crisis-christians-idUSKBN0LS0MH20150224

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Iraqi Army Downs 2 UK Planes Carrying Weapons for ISIL

25 Feb, 2015

Iraq's army has shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province, a senior lawmaker disclosed on Monday.

"The Iraqi Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL," Head of the committee Hakem al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13931204001534

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Egypt's Sisi signs law defining 'terrorist entities'

25 Feb, 2015

Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi has issued a new law that gives a broad definition of "terrorist entities", part of a sustained government campaign to fight terrorism, the government's official bulletin announced on Tuesday.

The law defines terrorist entities as groups or organisations that "through any means inside or outside the country, seek to call for the disabling of laws, or prevent state institutions or public authorities from functioning, or seek to attack the personal liberty of citizens, or other freedoms and rights granted [to citizens] by the law and constitution, or to harm national unity or social peace."

The new law will also apply to those individuals or entities who seek to carry out these acts against countries other than Egypt.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/123810/Egypt/Politics-/Egypts-Sisi-signs-law-defining-terrorist-entities.aspx

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Interior Ministry launches major anti-terror exercise

25 February 2015

The Saudi government plans to hold a major exercise to sharpen the readiness of its internal security forces in the face of increased terror attacks and the smuggling of drugs and other contraband into the country.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Naif, second deputy premier and minister of interior, will oversee the 21-day event, which will be held in the Northern Province starting Wednesday.

Over 1,500 soldiers and security personnel will take part, from the Border Guard, Special Security Forces, Public Security (special emergency forces and security patrols), Premises Security Forces, Aviation Security, Civil Defense, Command and Control Center of the interior ministry, Supreme Commission for Industrial Security, and the Customs Department.

A ministry spokesman said the main aim of the exercise is to improve the readiness of the country’s security agencies to counter attacks by extremist and terrorist organizations.

The exercises would include a focus on the use of state-of-the-art technology. Personnel would also be checked for fitness levels. The drills include raids on hideouts of terror groups, rescuing civilians during fights between security forces and terrorists, treating the injured and firefighting.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/saudi-arabia/news/709731

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Syrian Kurdish fighters hand murder suspect to Turkey after catching him in Syria

February/24/2015

Kurdish fighters from the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria have reportedly handed over a Syrian refugee, who was being sought in connection to a murder in Turkey, to authorities in the southeastern Turkish province of Şırnak.

Hogir Hadjo, a 24-year-old Syrian refugee who had fled to Şırnak’s İdil district two years ago to escape civil war in his country, was sought by Turkish police over murder allegations.

Hadjo is accused of killing Abdurrahman Gözmen, a 55-year-old bus company manager, in İdil on Jan. 5. He allegedly committed the murder with a pump action rifle in return for 5,000 Turkish Liras, upon the demand of Gözmen’s former business partner.

The Turkish police detained eight people, including Gözmen’s former business partner Şükrü Aşkın, on charges of aiding and abetting murder in raids on Jan. 29, but they failed to find Hadjo.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syrian-kurdish-fighters-hand-murder-suspect-to-turkey-after-catching-him-in-syria.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78816&NewsCatID=509

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Syrian minister blames Turkey for looted antiquities

February/24/2015

The world will have to cooperate with Syria to halt the trade in looted antiquities that helps fund jihadist groups, Syria’s culture minister has said, putting the onus on Turkey to stop the smuggling across their shared frontier.

Syrian Culture Minister Issam Khalil said a U.N. Security Council resolution aiming to stop groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), from benefiting from the illicit antiquities trade would not be effective without the help of Damascus, a pariah to many Arab and Western states since Syria’s war erupted in 2011.

“We have the conclusive documents and evidence to prove our ownership of these antiquities and we also have the will and readiness to cooperate with any serious effort to prevent smuggling of Syrian antiquities abroad,” Khalil said in Damascus.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/syrian-minister-blames-turkey-for-looted-antiquities-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78781&NewsCatID=352

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Saudi court jails Qaeda recruiters, OBL associate

February 25, 2015

DUBAI - A Saudi court has jailed at least 13 men on counts including the recruitment of al Qaeda militants for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States and sheltering Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, Saudi newspapers said on Tuesday.

Most of the 19 hijackers in the Sept.

11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people, and some of the victims’ families are pursuing a lawsuit accusing Saudi Arabia of providing material support to al Qaeda, a charge which Riyadh denies.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/25-Feb-2015/saudi-court-jails-qaeda-recruiters-obl-associate

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Bombings in Baghdad kills 37

February 25, 2015

BAGHDAD - A wave of bomb attacks around Baghdad killed 37 people and wounded dozens more on Tuesday, as at least seven explosions struck in or near the Iraqi capital, police and medical sources said.

In the deadliest incidents, 24 people were killed in two blasts in Jisr Diyala district, southeast of the city.

The sources said the first bomb went off in a commercial area near restaurants, shops and street stalls. Police tried to prevent people gathering at the scene, but shortly afterwards a car bomb was detonated in the same area. Three of the people killed in the second blast were police, they said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/25-Feb-2015/bombings-in-baghdad-kills-37

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Egypt adopts anti-terror law amid crackdown

Feb 24, 2015

Egypt has adopted a new anti-terrorism law amid brutal crackdown on the opposition in the North African country.

Under the law, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has given wide powers to authorities to clamp down on individuals or groups considered to pose a threat to national security.

It says authorities could ban activities and meetings and freeze funds of people identified as “terrorists.”

The law, adopted on Tuesday, also regards as a terrorist entity any organization “or gathering that sows terror among individuals or endangers their lives, freedoms and rights, or undermines national unity, peace or national security.”

Groups that hold back public or private transport or disrupt the performance of public and educational institutions will be also listed as terror groups.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/24/399034/Egypt-adopts-antiterror-law

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Mideast

 

Israel and the West to blame for collapse of Middle East, says leading ‘moderate’ authority in Sunni Islam

February 24, 2015

The leading “moderate” authority in Sunni Islam has blamed Zionism and the “new colonialism” for the collapse of the Middle East, further undermining Western efforts to secure the region’s stability.

Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the premier source of religious authority in Islam, was speaking at a counter-terrorism conference in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as part of efforts to encourage the Muslim world to join forces against terrorism.

However, he seemed to blame Israel and by implication the United States for the chaos in the Arab world. “We face major international plots targeting Arabs and Muslims,” he said. The plots wanted to break up society “in a way that agrees with the dreams of the new world colonialism that is allied with world Zionism, hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder. We must not forget that the only method used by new colonialism now, is the same that was used by colonialism in the past century, and its deadly slogan is ’divide and conquer.’

“It is now exploiting areas of turmoil and sectarian divides. The results of this cunning tampering were that Iraq was lost, and Syria was burned, and Yemen is being torn apart, and Libya has been destroyed. There is still a lot up their sleeves that only God knows, and from which we seek refuge with God.”

http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/02/24/israel-and-the-west-to-blame-for-collapse-of-middle-east-says-leading-moderate-authority-in-sunni-islam/

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Palestinian mosque damaged in suspected West Bank arson

25 Feb, 2015

(Reuters) - A Palestinian mosque was set alight in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday and graffiti in Hebrew at the scene suggested the attack was carried out by a far-right Israeli group, officials said.

No one was hurt in the overnight attack in Al-Jaba'ah village near Bethlehem, during which the mosque's windows were broken and something burning was thrown inside, Mayor No'man Hamdan said.

"God's mercy and people's alertness when the fire started prevented it from consuming the entire mosque. Part of the carpets burned," he told Reuters.

Hamdan said Hebrew slogans had been scrawled on the walls, including "Revenge for the Land of Zion" and "Price Tag", a phrase used by an ultra-nationalist Jewish group that has carried out scores of attacks on Palestinian targets since 2008.

The group has said "price tag" refers to the price the Israeli government would have to pay if it curbs Jewish settlements in the West Bank or accepts a Palestinian state.

Al-Jaba'ah is close to Gush Etzion, a large area of settlements just outside Bethlehem.

Israeli police said they were investigating the attack.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2015/02/25/israel-palestinians-mosque-idINKBN0LT0OE20150225

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Hadi recants resignation; Houthis call him ‘fugitive’

 25 February 2015

SANAA: Yemen’s dominant Houthi group said on Tuesday that President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi had lost his legitimacy as head of state and he was being sought as a fugitive from justice.

Houthi militiamen seized the capital Sanaa in September and laid siege to Hadi’s residence last month, prompting his resignation and leading to a political vacuum.

But Hadi escaped to Aden in southern Yemen last week after a month under house arrest and on Tuesday he officially recanted his resignation. He now holds court guarded by thousands of tribesmen and army loyalists from the mainly Sunni south.

“The higher revolutionary committee is following the suspicious moves by Hadi, who lost his legitimacy to act as president of the Republic of Yemen, and whose reckless acts harmed the Yemeni people,” the Houthi group said, its first official reaction since Hadi fled.

“We are seeing a Libya-zation in Yemen. It’s polarized between two competing governments. Thankfully unlike Libya, the competition hasn’t descended into fighting — yet,” said Farea Al-Muslimi, a researcher with the Carnegie Middle East Center.

Sources close to the president told Reuters he is considering declaring Aden as Yemen’s interim capital until Sanaa is taken back from the Houthis. Loyalist army units and tribesmen from Hadi’s neighboring province of Abyan now run the city and much of the south.

http://www.arabnews.com/middle-east/news/709636

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Turkey's top soldier slams opposition leader over Syria operation

February 25, 2015

Turkey’s top soldier has responded to harsh criticism from the nationalist opposition leader over the army’s evacuation of the Tomb of Süleyman Şah.

Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Behçeli strongly criticized Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel for abandoning Turkish soil inside Syria during his parliamentary group meeting Feb. 24 and questioned the top soldier’s loyalty to his country. “Mr. Özel Pasha, what is the homeland for you? Did you skip class when the issue of the homeland was being discussed at the Military Academy?” Bahçeli asked.

Bahçeli also lashed out at the government for the operation, describing it as “cowardly.” “Why is Turkey escaping from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL]?” Bahçeli asked, recalling that it marked the first time since 1922 that Turkish troops had withdrawn from Turkish soil.

In a written statement issued by his office, Özel responded to Bahçeli, describing his words as inappropriate concerning his personality and his ideas saying, “I am of the opinion that he does not have the right to question my conscience on my country, my nation and my flag as a person who has served the Turkish people and its army for the last 46 years.” Özel added that he does not want to engage into polemics with Bahçeli because of his political identity.  

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also slammed Bahçeli over his remarks on Özel: “You cannot now even be a piece of a nail of our Chief of General Staff.”

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkeys-top-soldier-slams-opposition-leader-over-syria-operation-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=78826&NewsCatID=338

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Turkish head of religious affairs slams 'Austrian Islam' bill

25 February 2015

The Turkish head of religious affairs has condemned an Austrian bill which aims to revamp a 1912 law on the status of Muslims in the country.

"Austria will go back 100 years in freedom with its Islam bill," said Mehmet Gormez, Turkey's head of religious affairs, on Tuesday.

"I meet the debate on such a bill with great sorrow," Gormez told reporters in Ankara.

Gormez said the bill would bring limitations and inequality to religious freedom in the country.

Full report at:

 http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/155669/turkish-head-of-religious-affairs-slams-austrian-islam-bill

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Jewish settlers torch mosque in W. Bank

25 February 2015

A group of Jewish settlers have torched a mosque near the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem and sprayed racist phrases against Arabs and Muslims on its walls, a Palestinian official said Wednesday.

"The settlers stormed Al-Jabaa village at 4am and torched Al-Huda mosque," head of the village's council Noman Hemdan told The Anadolu Agency.

"The fire caused considerable damage to the mosque before it was put out by the local residents," he said. "The settlers also sprayed racist phrases against Arabs and Muslims, including 'death to Arabs!' on the mosque's walls," Hemdan added.

Several attacks, called the "price tag," by Jewish settlers targeting Muslim houses of worship have recently been reported in areas across the self-proclaimed Jewish state and the occupied West Bank.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/palestine/155690/jewish-settlers-torch-mosque-in-w-bank

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PLO blasts US court ruling on Intifada deaths

24 February 2015

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has slammed a multimillion-dollar fine levied against the Palestinian Authority (PA) for attacks on Israeli Jews during the Second Intifada.

"The claims in this lawsuit are baseless," Hanan Ashrawi, a leading PLO figure, told a Tuesday press conference convened to respond to the court ruling.

"There is no link between the events mentioned in the case and the decisions of the PLO and PA," said Ashrawi, who testified in the case.

On Monday, a federal jury in the U.S. found both the PA and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) guilty of supporting six attacks in Israel between 2001 and 2004.

The jury ordered the two Palestinian entities to pay $218.5 million to the families of the slain Jews.

The ruling was the result of a lawsuit filed in 2004 under the U.S. Anti-Terrorism Act, which allows American "victims of international terrorism" to seek compensation in domestic courts.

The Palestinian government, however, has said that the U.S. jury overlooked legal precedents indicating that U.S. courts had no jurisdiction over such cases.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/palestine/155655/jewish-settlers-torch-mosque-in-w-bank

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Hamas decries murder of W. Bank youth by Israel

24 February 2015

Palestinian movement Hamas has condemned the killing on Tuesday of a Palestinian youth by Israeli army troops in the southern West Bank.

In a statement, Hamas denounced the act as a "crime" and urged West Bank-based members of the group to respond to "ongoing Israeli violations against Palestinians."

Earlier Tuesday, a Palestinian youth was gunned down by Israeli army troops during clashes that erupted near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, according to a local medical source.

"The man died of gunshot wounds to the shoulder before he could reach the emergency room," the source said.

Israeli army officials could not be reached for comment.

Israeli forces routinely carry out arrest campaigns in the occupied West Bank to search for Palestinians who they claim are "wanted" by the Israeli authorities.

 http://www.worldbulletin.net/palestine/155643/hamas-decries-murder-of-w-bank-youth-by-israel

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Palestinians ordered to pay over Jerusalem attacks

February 25, 2015

NEW YORK - A US jury on Monday found Palestinian authorities liable for six attacks in Jerusalem that killed and injured Americans, awarding victims and their families more than $218 million in damages.

Under the US anti-terrorism act, the damages are automatically tripled, meaning that the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) are liable to pay more than $650 million.

Meanwhile, Israeli troops shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian during clashes Tuesday at a refugee camp in the southern West Bank town of Bethlehem, medics said.

Jihad al-Jafari was killed after Israeli troops entered the Dheishe camp before dawn, sparking clashes with stone-throwing locals, according to medics and witnesses.

During the incident, Jafari went up onto a rooftop and was hit in the chest by a bullet, they said.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/25-Feb-2015/palestinians-ordered-to-pay-over-jerusalem-attacks

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Iran pledges support for Iraq in anti-terrorism fight

Feb 25, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the country will not leave Iraq alone in the fight against terrorism.

The Iranian official made the remark in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Baghdad on Tuesday.

The Iraqi premier, for his part, highlighted Iran’s role in the campaign against terrorism and underlined the need for cooperation among countries in the Middle East to fight the menace.  

Abadi also praised Iran’s assistance to his country in countering terrorism and called for promotion of ties between the two neighboring states in all areas.

The ISIL Takfiri terrorists now control large parts of Iraq and Syria. They have been engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.

In a new report released on Monday, the UN documented massive human rights violations committed by ISIL militants in Iraq in 2014 saying that between September 11 and December 10, at least 165 executions were carried out by ISIL terrorists.

Iran has repeatedly stressed that it will not interfere militarily in Iraq and Syria, but that it will continue to provide support for both countries against ISIL in the form of defense consultation and humanitarian aid.

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/25/399087/Iran-to-help-Iraq-fight-terrorism

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North America

 

Obama hails Qatar as 'strong partner' against Islamic State group

25 Feb, 2015

US President Barack Obama praised Qatar as a "strong partner" in the fight against Islamic State militants Tuesday, as he hosted Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in the Oval Office.

"Qatar is a strong partner in our coalition to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL," said Obama, using another name for the jihadist group.

"We are both committed to making sure that ISIL is defeated, to making sure that in Iraq there is an opportunity for all people to live together in peace," Obama said.

Qatar is host to a large US military base, but the two countries are sometimes uneasy allies.

The White House played down allegations that Qatar has itself has abetted hardline Islamic groups and is a source of terror financing.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/123855/World/Region/Obama-hails-Qatar-as-strong-partner-against-Islami.aspx

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Muslim Americans are victims of discrimination: Poll

Feb 24, 2015

A large majority of Americans believe that Muslims in the United States are victims of discrimination amid recent attacks against the community, according to a new survey.

The poll conducted by Economist/YouGov showed 73 percent of respondents said Muslims face a great deal or a fair amount of discrimination.

The poll also found out African-Americans and Mexican-Americans are next victims of bias with 63 percent and 60 percent respectively.

The recent shooting of three young American Muslim students by a white man in North Carolina sparked debates about discrimination in the country.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and her sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were killed by Craig Stephen Hicks in Chapel Hill on February 10.

Following the incident, police officials announced that a parking dispute was behind the killings. However, they were looking into whether the shooting was related to anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/24/398964/Muslim-Americans-victims-of-bias-Poll

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Religious groups back Muslim in US scarf case

25 February 2015

WASHINGTON: A Muslim woman denied a sales job at an Abercrombie & Fitch Co. clothing store in Oklahoma because she wears a head scarf has won the support of Christians, Jews, Sikhs and fellow Muslims as the US Supreme Court prepares to hear her case.

Various religious and civil rights organizations have filed friend-of-the-court briefs backing Samantha Elauf, who was denied a sales job at the store in Tulsa in 2008 when she was 17.

Their lawyers say employees should not have to ask specifically for a religious accommodation in order to be protected under the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which, among other things, bans employment discrimination based on religious beliefs and practices.

The Supreme Court is due to hear a one-hour oral argument in the case on Wednesday, with a ruling due by the end of June.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/world/news/709591

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U.S. says Iran helped Houthis seize Yemen

24 February 2015

Iran has “contributed” to the Houthi militia’s takeover of Yemen and the collapse of the government there, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday.

Speaking to U.S. lawmakers, Kerry agreed that Tehran’s support for the Houthi militia was “critical” for the rebels, but he added Iranian leaders appeared to have been “surprised” by the events in the Gulf country and “are hoping to see a national dialogue” take place.

The Houthi militiamen seized the capital Sanaa in September and laid siege to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's residence, prompting his resignation and leading to a political vacuum.

But Hadi escaped to Aden in southern Yemen last week after a month under house arrest and on Tuesday he officially recanted his resignation.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/24/Iran-contributed-to-collapse-of-Yemen-govt-Kerry.html

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US' Kerry warns against fall of Palestinian Authority

25 February 2015

The fall of the Palestinian Authority would seriously impede Palestinian-Israeli peace efforts, Secretary of State John Kerry warned Tuesday.

“If they were to fail, what takes their place? Hamas? Jihad? I don't know,” he asked lawmakers during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations committee. “I just know that as troublesome as they have been in certain respects at many times, that President Abbas remains committed to a nonviolent, peaceful approach to a two-state solution.”

Leading Fatah member Mohamed Shtayyeh said Sunday that the authority is “on the verge of collapse,” citing dire finances. Compounding the governing body’s financial woes is Israel’s refusal to release Palestinian tax revenues, which account for some 70 percent of the authority’s civil servants payroll, Shtayyeh said.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/palestine/155692/us-kerry-warns-against-fall-of-palestinian-authority

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Muslims continue Malcolm X's legacy 50 years later

February 24, 2015

While the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Malcolm X was Saturday, many in the Muslim American community are actively following in his footsteps.

Malcolm X, whose full name was El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz, was 39 when he was shot in the Audubon Theater (now the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center) in Harlem on Feb. 21, 1965, as he was preparing to address several hundred of his followers.

By the time he died, the Muslim leader had moderated his militant message of black separatism and pride, but was still very much a passionate advocate of black unity, self-respect and self-reliance. He had repudiated the Nation of Islam less than a year earlier. Three members of the Nation of Islam were convicted of murder in his death.

Dawud Walid, executive director of the Michigan Chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations, said a new generation of Muslims of all backgrounds are increasingly focused on racial justice.

Full report at:

http://www.detroitnews.com/story/life/2015/02/24/muslim-americans-continue-malcolm-legacy-years-later/23967061/

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Muslim's case takes 'look' at Abercrombie & Fitch policy

Richard Wolf

 February 24, 2015

WASHINGTON – Samantha Elauf didn't look like a typical Abercrombie & Fitch sales associate, or "model," when she applied in 2008 for a job in Tulsa, Okla. That much was clear from the retailer's "look policy."

But whether the preppy clothier's refusal to hire the 17-year-old girl was due to her Muslim religion or simply because she wore a black hijab, or head scarf, during the interview is still being fought out seven years later. On Wednesday, it will be up to the Supreme Court to decide.

Full report at:

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/02/24/supreme-court-abercrombie-muslim/23882405/

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U.S. prisons: Breeding grounds for radical Islam?

By Karen L. Willoughby

24 February, 2015

WHEATON, Ill. (Christian Examiner) – Islam is growing among inmates held in U.S. prisons, but opinions differ as to whether radicalism is a factor.

Europe has a much bigger problem with radicalized Islamic inmates than America, said Manny Mill, a 25-year prison ministry leader. He referred to the recent shooting in Copenhagen, Denmark, by Omar El-Hussein, 22, a man Danish police knew to be a radical Muslim. But, according to the Wall Street Journal, they did not know he would become violent when he was released from a prison two weeks before he attacked a synagogue and free speech event at a cultural center.

"We have many Muslims but I don't see they are from the radical breed here," said Mill, executive director of the Koinonia House National Ministries, based in Wheaton. He was referring to prisons in Illinois and Indiana, where he does most of his personal outreach, though his leadership is national.

Full report at:

http://www.christianexaminer.com/article/u.s.prisons.a.breeding.ground.for.radical.islam/48449.htm

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Mariam Veiszadeh now the target of US anti-Islam site

25th Feb 2015

WHEN Mariam Veiszadeh expressed her relief that a relentless campaign of online anti-Islamic hate was behind her a week ago, little did she know the worst was yet to come.

Yet it set in motion a string of events that would bring her to the brink of tears in realising just how accepting of Muslims the vast majority of Australians are.

The prominent Muslim human rights activist was subjected to a torrent of online abuse from early January, when the unashamedly anti-Islam Australian Defence League seized some of her tweets and used them to inflame bigotry among its 5000 Facebook followers.

Last week, one of the worst alleged offenders, a 22-year-old Ipswich woman, was charged with harassment but in telling her story to Fairfax Media, Ms Veiszadeh could not have envisaged it would ignite the most vitriolic hate campaign against her yet.

The article was seized on by the United States anti-Islam site The Daily Stormer, which urged its vast readership to virtually harass her.

http://www.qt.com.au/news/mariam-veiszadeh-now-target-us-anti-islam-site/2555598/

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U.S. Navy key partner in fight against ISIS, says Lockheed Martin UAE chief

25 February 2015

The U.S. navy “is very well positioned to support” the fight against non-state actors such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the chief executive of defense company Lockheed Martin UAE said on Monday.

“In the last 14 years” the Navy has been “the supporting entity and is in a perfect position to provide a safe and secure maritime base, if not information gathering and sharing to support the Arab coalition,” Bob Harward said during a panel discussion at the International Defence Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) in Abu Dhabi.

Full report at:

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2015/02/25/U-S-navy-should-lead-anti-ISIS-fight-says-Lockheed-UAE-chief.html

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MI5 agents testify at US trial of Pakistani al Qaeda man

February 25, 2015

NEW YORK: Identified only by four-digit numbers to conceal their identities, five British Security Service officers testified Tuesday at the US trial of a Pakistani terrorism suspect charged with plotting to bomb a shopping mall in Manchester, England.

The MI5 agents described weeks of surveillance they conducted on Abid Naseer in 2009, including his movements to and from an Islamic center, a cybercafe and elsewhere, going grocery shopping and riding public buses.

US District Judge Raymond Dearie previously approved a request to disguise the agents in wigs and makeup after prosecutors said a “disclosure of their identities would pose a significant risk to their safety.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1165833/mi5-agents-testify-at-us-trial-of-pakistani-al-qaeda-man

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Pakistan

 

IS tarnishing Islam’s image, says Bokhari

February 25, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Senate Chairman Syed Nayyer Hussain Bokhari has said that Pakistan is against terrorism in all its forms and manifestation which threaten peace and stability in the region.

In a meeting during his visit to Syria with the Syrian Peoples Assembly Speaker Mohammad Jihadal-Laham, he stressed the importance of respecting the country’s sovereignty and assisting it in finding a political solution to the crisis being faced by it, a press release issued here said.

“As member of the United Nations, Pakistan believes in all nations’ right to independent decision-making and rejects foreign interference in sovereign countries,” he said, calling for respecting the will of the Syrian people.

He said terrorist organisations, mainly the Islamic State group, were tarnishing the image of Islam, adding that Pakistan has long suffered from the scourge of terrorism.

He pointed to stringent measures taken to prevent the terrorist organisation from mounting any attack in Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1165785/is-tarnishing-islams-image-says-bokhari

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to expel nearly 300 Afghan clerics

February 25, 2015

PESHAWAR: The Home and Tribal Affairs Department of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Wednesday ordered all commissioners and DIGs to expel Afghan clerics from the province and submit a report over the implementation within seven days.

A home department source old Dawn that there were 294 Afghan peshimams (prayer leaders) in the province and their documentation had been sent to relevant commissioners as part of the National Action Plan.

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government is taking a tough stand against registered and unregistered Afghans after the killing of 150 people, including 134 children, in the December 16 terrorist attack on Army Public School in Peshawar.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1165838/khyber-pakhtunkhwa-to-expel-nearly-300-afghan-clerics

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No link whatsoever between terrorism, Islam: Nisar

February 24, 2015

LONDON: Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Tuesday said there is no link whatsoever between terrorism and Islam.

“Terrorists fulfill the extremists’ agenda but try to project it as Islam’s war,” Chaudhry Nisar said while addressing a press conference here.

He said more than 60 countries participated in Washington summit and unanimously adopted a resolution against the scourge of terrorism.

The Interior Minister said terrorism has devoured over 50,000 lives in Pakistan, stressing for adoption of measures on an international level to stamp out the menace of terror.

He labeled those involved in spreading Islamophobia as a hindrance in the counter-terrorism efforts.

Chaudhry Nisar said the Pakistan-US relations were moving on the path of improvement.

http://www.geo.tv/article-176218-No-link-whatsoever-between-terrorism-Islam-Nisar

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After ‘Charlie’: Latest Incident of Pakistani Christians Targeted by Muslim Anger

February 24, 2015

The publication of Charlie Hebdo's 'memorial edition', with its depiction of the Prophet Muhammad crying, sparked - in one or two countries - a violent backlash against Westerners in general and Christians in particular. It was notable in Niger, where 70 churches were destroyed, Algeria where police and protestors clashed, and in Pakistan.

There, in Karachi, a march in the streets hit the international headlines. However, one incident which only emerged sometime after it happened took place in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of north-west Pakistan. On January 26th, in the city of Bannu, the Pennell High School and College for 1,800 students was working as normal, despite the fact that a protest march against Charlie Hebdo had been called by other school and college students.

Pennell Principal Fredrick Farhan Das told World Watch Monitor that hundreds of protestors, mostly students between the ages of 15 and 18, broke away from their march to storm into the school after climbing up and forcing the main gate open.

Full report at:

http://www.crossmap.com/news/after-charlie-latest-incident-of-pakistani-christians-targeted-by-muslim-anger-16689

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Justice Bhagwandas and some other non-Muslim Pak luminaries

February 25, 2015

Former Acting Chief Justice of Pakistan, the late Rana Bhagwandas, will always stand tall among the most celebrated Pakistani non-Muslims, who have rendered meritorious services for the country in the fields of judiciary, defence, business, sports, medicine, healthcare, arts, education and public service etc. since 1947.

Here follows a brief list of some of the most publicly-acknowledged Pakistani non-Muslims:

The Agra-born Justice Alvin “Bobby” Robert Cornelius (1903-1991) was Pakistan’s fourth Chief Justice from 1960 until 1968.

Christian by faith, Cornelius was commissioned into the Indian Civil Service and was appointed Assistant Commissioner in West Punjab.

He had started his judicial career in the Lahore High Court in 1943, later joined the Justice Department.

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-6-303727-Justice-Bhagwandas-and-some-other-non-Muslim-Pak-luminaries

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DG ISI heads to US on official visit

Mateen Haider

February 25, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar left for USA Wednesday on his first ever visit to hold talks with top US intelligence officials on regional security, Afghanistan and counter terrorism.

"The DG ISI [has] proceeded to USA for an official visit," a short statement from Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

"During the visit he will meet his counterparts and discuss issues related to intelligence," the ISPR spokesman said.

According to sources, Gen Rizwan will meet senior officials at the National Security Council (NSC) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Chief John O. Brennan.

Earlier in November last year, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Raheel Sharif visited the US where he held talks with senior US military commanders and defence officials.

During his visit, the COAS had also called on the US Central Command (Centcom) chief General Lloyd J. Austin who had praised the Pakistan Army for its commitment, professionalism and achievement in the fight against terror as well as the ongoing Zarb-i-Azb operation.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1165827/dg-isi-heads-to-us-on-official-visit

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General Akhtar leaves for first official tour of US

February 25, 2015

Islamabad- Director General Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Lieutenant General Rizwan Akhtar left for USA today on his first visit to hold talks with top US intelligence officials on regional security, Afghanistan and counter terrorism.

"The DG ISI [has] proceeded to USA for an official visit," a short statement from Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said.

"During the visit he will meet his counterparts and discuss issues related to intelligence," the ISPR spokesman said.

According to sources, the delegation headed by ISI chief Akhtar is expected to hold meetings with top officials of Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

The two sides will bring into discussion the strategy of war against terrorism and sharing of relevant intelligence.

http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Feb-2015/general-akhtar-leaves-for-first-official-tour-of-us

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Pakistan curbing terror vigorously: Kerry

February 25, 2015

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State John Kerry told a Congressional hearing Tuesday that Pakistan has displayed a “vigorous commitment” to defeat violent extremists groups following last December’s terror attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.

Testifying before Senate Appropriations Committee on the Obama administration’s request for State Department’s $50.3 billion discretionary funding in the FY2016 Budget, Secretary Kerry told lawmakers that the United States intends to spend $3.4 billion to “reinforce our partnerships and diplomatic engagement with Afghanistan and Pakistan.” The United States is working with Islamabad to counter terrorist groups that threaten the two countries’ shared security, he said. “Last month, I met with the country’s leadership for our annual Strategic Dialogue and found – in the wake of the December 16 terrorist attack on the military school that murdered 132 children – a vigorous commitment to take on and defeat violent extremist groups.”

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Feb-2015/pakistan-curbing-terror-vigorously-kerry

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Agencies issue terrorism warning in Karachi

February 25, 2015

Karachi- Intelligence agencies have warned the Sindh police of a probable terror attack in Karachi employing a truck today.

According to the sources, Sindh police received a note from the intelligence agencies. Terrorists might be in the uniform. The number plates of two suspected trucks have also been mentioned. Police have started checking on check-posts.

http://nation.com.pk/karachi/25-Feb-2015/agencies-issue-terrorism-warning-in-karachi

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Pakistan Anti-Terror Laws Force 100M Cellphone Users to Be Fingerprinted

February 25, 2015

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — New anti-terror laws will see 100 million cellphone users in Pakistan forced to submit their fingerprints to a national database or get cut off from the network.

The measures were imposed in response to the Taliban's recent school massacre in Peshawar and will see every cell user in the country compelled to link their SIM card to their fingerprint by April 12 or face disconnection.

"The Peshawar attackers were communicating [via cellphone] with their handlers across the border in Afghanistan," a security official told NBC News on Tuesday on condition of anonymity. "We have to take those advantages away from them."

Full report at:

http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/pakistan-school-massacre/pakistan-anti-terror-laws-force-100m-cellphone-users-be-fingerprinted-n311571

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Pakistan Ex-Ruler Pervez Musharraf Sees Role for Taliban in Afghanistan

By NATHAN HODGE and  SAEED SHAH

Updated Feb. 24, 2015

KARACHI, Pakistan—Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, whose administration once backed the Taliban in Afghanistan, said Kabul must share power with the extremist group and block Indian influence if it wishes to see peace.

The former military ruler told The Wall Street Journal in an interview this week that Afghan President Ashraf Ghani ’s September inauguration presents a new opportunity for reconciliation between Kabul and the Taliban and related insurgent groups.

“Ashraf Ghani is a balanced man,” he said. “I think he’s a great hope. And Pakistan and India both must stay away, and not to have this kind of a proxy war going on there.”

Given his close links to defense and intelligence officials, Mr. Musharraf’s remarks offer a window into official Pakistani thinking on the peace process, a policy that is often obscured by careful diplomatic language.

Full report at:

http://www.wsj.com/articles/pakistan-ex-ruler-pervez-musharraf-sees-role-for-taliban-in-afghanistan-1424818065?tesla=y

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US issues travel warning for Pakistan

Feb 25, 2015

WASHINGTON: The US has warned its citizens to defer non-essential travel to Pakistan due to a threat posed by foreign and local militants throughout the country.

The US continues to provide consular services for all its citizens in Pakistan, Geo news reported a statement from the state department.

"The US consulate general in Peshawar no longer offers consular services and the US consulate general in Lahore remains temporarily closed for public services," added the statement.

Travel warnings have also been issued for Americans in Saudi Arabia and Algeria.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/US-issues-travel-warning-for-Pakistan/articleshow/46366076.cms

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India

 

Pakistan Has Become 'Paapistan', Says Noted Muslim Cleric

February 24, 2015

A prominent Muslim cleric today dubbed Pakistan as "paapistan" (the land of sinners) and stressed that it deserves this sobriquet due to the violence taking place there every day.

At a function in Lucknow, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, one of the country's tallest Shia clerics, said: "Pakistan in no longer Pakistan, it has become 'paapistan' (land of sinners)... killings are taking place there on a daily basis."

The neighbouring country, he said, could have been Pakistan (the land of the pious) at one time "but no longer."

"Medical science is there to treat human beings when they become ill, but it is different in case of humanity," Maulana Sadiq further said. "When humanity becomes sick among Hindus, it produces people like Asaram and when the same happens among Muslims, people like Hafiz Saeed and Mullah Umar take birth in Pakistan."

Maulana Sadiq is the vice president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and a noted scholar widely respected for his progressive views. 

Saeed, the founder of terror organization Lashkar-e-Taiba who has a $10 million bounty on his head, gets a free run in Pakistan.

While Pakistan claimed to have frozen his assets ahead of the visit of US President Barack Obama's visit to India last month, the US said there was no confirmation of a ban on the other organization Saeed heads - the Jamaat-ud-Dawa.

http://www.ndtv.com/india-news/pakistan-has-become-paapistan-says-noted-muslim-cleric-742109

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Mangalore church attacked by anti-social elements: Minister

Feb 25, 2015

MANGALORE: A church was attacked here by some "anti-social elements", Karnataka health and family welfare minister UT Khader said on Wednesday.

The minister, who visited the site in the morning, told IANS that he hoped the culprits will be nabbed soon.

"Some anti-social elements threw a stone and damaged the glass of a statue to create insecurity and panic in society," Khader told IANS.

The minister said the site was littered with cigarette butts and hinted that the group might have been small.

He said police is looking for the culprits and that other citizens have also joined the operation.

"It is between good society and bad society. All 90 per cent of the good society will join against them," he said.

Khader said the church, located beside a graveyard in an isolated place, is 250 years old and was renovated 10 to 15 years ago.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Mangalore-church-attacked-by-anti-social-elements-Minister/articleshow/46366790.cms

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Encouraging Entrepreneurship and Innovation among Indian Muslims

Feb 25, 2015

Some of you would have noticed that India is at the cusp of an unprecedented entrepreneurial revolution. Innovation and entrepreneurship are the buzz words in the social and business circles. Several platforms such as NEN (National Entrepreneurship Network) have been created by the govt. and non-government agencies alike to promote and support budding entrepreneurs.

Unfortunately not many among our community are aware of these opportunities or have access to such platforms. This might be due to lack of information, lack of confidence and lack of direction or simply because our community doesn’t have an entrepreneurial culture.

Muslims have had a good share of conventional businesses such as brass in Moradabad and leather in Kanpur etc. but not enough is done to encourage the new age technology driven businesses based on innovative ideas. The very basic understanding of being innovative seems to be missing. Innovators are not born, they are made. It is a shift of mindset. Shift from complaining about problems to finding their solutions. And this shift is achieved by having the right environment around fresh and young minds. Creating the right culture.

Full report at:

http://www.milligazette.com/news/11798-encouraging-entrepreneurship-and-innovation-among-indian-muslims

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Muslims hardly join pan-Islamic groups, says India

February 24, 2015

New Delhi, Feb 24: Many have accused the Indian government of taking a soft approach towards sympathizers of the ISIS.

The Intelligence Bureau (IB), which often deals with an iron fist against persons trying to join terror outfits abroad, too has changed the manner in which it functions.

Earlier any persons remotely associated with a terror outfit abroad would be given the harshest treatment. However, in the recent months we have seen a completely different approach where the police as well as the rest of the security agencies have counseled youth who try joining terror outfits and give them a chance to live a normal life.

Muslims hardly join pan-Islamic groups:

A presentation that was given before the International Delegation in the United States of America, India said that there are hardly any case of the Muslim community members joining violent pan-Islamic groups.

Full report at:

http://www.oneindia.com/india/muslims-hardly-join-pan-islamic-groups-says-india-1664126.html

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Shiv Sena defends RSS RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's Mother Teresa remarks

Feb 25, 2015

MUMBAI: Defending RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks about Mother Teresa, Shiv Sena on Wednesday said he had spoken the "bitter truth".

"The objective of missionaries who came to India has been to convert people here to Christianity," an editorial in Sena mouthpiece Saamana said.

"Muslims forced religious conversions with sword... Christians did it with money and in the guise of service," it alleged.

"Bhagwat has done national service by speaking the truth on what missionaries do," the Sena said.

"We have respect for the work mother Teresa did. Several social figures have done such service. However they did not carry out religious conversions," it said.

"What the RSS chief has said will give boost to the 'ghar wapasi' campaign. We congratulate him," the Sena said referring to VHP's programme to "reconvert" people into Hinduism.

Bhagwat has come under fierce attack from Christian institutions and non-BJP parties for his controversial remarks that conversion to Christianity was the main objective behind Mother Teresa's service to the poor.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Shiv-Sena-defends-RSS-RSS-chief-Mohan-Bhagwats-Mother-Teresa-remarks/articleshow/46364772.cms

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BJP, rival party to form government in Indian Kashmir

Feb 25, 2015

An Indian official says the ruling Hindu nationalist party and another rival party will govern the Muslim-majority state of Jammu and Kashmir, amid ongoing violence in the disputed region.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has agreed to form a coalition government with the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) to administer the Jammu and Kashmir State in India, BJP President Amit Shah said after meeting with the PDP's chief, Mehbooba Mufti, in New Delhi on Tuesday.

“In a few days, Jammu and Kashmir will have a BJP and PDP alliance government… This alliance is not for power-sharing but it is to win the hearts and minds of the people of Jammu and Kashmir," Shah said.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.in/Detail/2015/02/25/399069/BJP-to-help-form-govt-in-Indian-Kashmir

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Afghanistan won't allow anti-India elements on its soil: Envoy

Feb 25, 2015

KOLKATA: Afghanistan will never allow its territory to be used for any anti-India activity, Afghan ambassador Shaida Mohammad Abdali said here and dismissed apprehensions that withdrawal of Nato forces may allow the Taliban to make a comeback.

"We can assure that we would never allow Afghanistan to go back to the dark era of Taliban or use of its territory for any kind of anti-India activity. India is a dear friend of Afghanistan. We have paid a heavy price to make sure that Afghanistan is not a home to terrorists and anti-India elements," Abdali told PTI in an interview here.

"We have fought against this menace and it will not return. No anti-India activity will again come back to our country. Afghanistan will not revert to it. It is a new Afghanistan. The Taliban has destroyed our institutions and we have done very hard work in last 13-14 years to rebuild our economy, our institutions," Adbali said.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Afghanistan-wont-allow-anti-India-elements-on-its-soil-Envoy/articleshow/46366902.cms

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Two militants killed in kashmir's Shopian

Feb 25, 2015

SRINAGAR: Two unidentified militants were on Monday killed in an encounter with security forces in south Kashmir's Shopian district.

"Two militants have been killed. The operation is still going on," Superintendent of police, Shopian, Altaf Khan told PTI.

The encounter began on Tuesday after security forces received specific intelligence input about the presence of militants in Hef Shermal area of Shopian, 52kms from here.

As the joint team of police and army began a search operation in the area, the hiding militants opened fire on them triggering an encounter.

Khan said the operation was halted for the night but the gunfight resumed this morning and two militants were gunned down in the early hours.

"We believe one more militant is still trapped and the firing is going on," the SP said.

The identity and group affiliation of the slain militants are yet to be ascertained, the officer said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Two-militants-killed-in-kashmirs-Shopian/articleshow/46365110.cms

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Southeast Asia

 

Indonesian Authorities Worried About Return Of Islamic Radicals

BY ANTHONY KUHN

FEBRUARY 24, 2015

Radicals from Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, have traveled to Syria to join ISIS. Some of them seek to establish a new Islamic state that would extend ISIS's caliphate.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The self-declared Islamic State has been very successful at attracting recruits from many corners of the globe. As we're about to hear, that includes Southeast Asia. Muslim radicals in Indonesia have been traveling in growing numbers to join ISIS in Syria. And as NPR's Anthony Kuhn reports from Jakarta, there is concern about what could happen if and when these fighters return home.

ANTHONY KUHN, BYLINE: Last year, a Muslim militant from East Java traveled to Syria. Indonesian media identified him as Salim Mubarok at-Tamimi. From Syria, he posted a video in which he threatens Indonesia's military and police.

Full report at:

http://www.npr.org/2015/02/24/388796159/indonesian-authorities-worried-about-return-of-islamic-radicals

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Officials concerned ISIS recruiting in Sukabumi

February 24, 2015

SUKABUMI, Indonesia – The Sukabumi Military District Command in West Java on Monday (February 23rd) said it believes the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is recruiting new members in the region, local media reported.

"According to our intelligence reports, there are several groups, which are believed to have recruited and disseminated ISIS view here, and we are closely monitoring their existence," Sukabumi Military District Commander Sarifudin told Antara.

He said some ISIS recruiters were locals who tried and failed to go to Syria. Sarifudin said they acted as if attempting to visit relatives in Malaysia before going on to the Middle East, according to The Jakarta Post.

Sarifudin added that his district command had a list of suspected ISIS members but would neither disclose how many nor where they are located.

http://khabarsoutheastasia.com/en_GB/articles/apwi/articles/newsbriefs/2015/02/24/newsbrief-06

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Indonesia's Lombok promotes itself as 'Muslim-friendly' tourism destination

25 February 2015

Just a short hop from the Indonesian holiday hotspot of Bali, a Saudi tourist and his family listen to the call to prayer as the sun goes down on Lombok, the self-styled “island of 1,000 mosques”.

Lombok is at the centre of an Islamic tourism drive in Indonesia, which has the world’s biggest Muslim population and is hoping to boost the number of visitors from wealthy Middle Eastern countries.

While aiming to continue to attract Western tourists who flock to its pristine beaches, the island is also seeking to promote its Islamic heritage, from numerous places of worship to shrines dedicated to ancient Muslim preachers.

Full report at:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/feb/25/indonesias-lombok-promotes-itself-as-muslim-friendly-tourism-destination

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Indonesia, Jordan condemn ISIS

February 25, 2015

The chairman of Indonesia's People Consultative Assembly (MPR) and Jordan's ambassador to Jakarta both agreed last week that the actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) do not represent Islam.

"ISIS' actions are not reflecting Islam. We are also concerned about the increasing violence in Jordan," MPR Chairman Zulkifli Hasan told reporters on Saturday, February 21st.

He added that the terror group's actions were damaging Islam .

"We are afraid that the continuous violent actions by ISIS will cause Islamic phobia to grow, especially in the West," he told Khabar after the press conference.

Jordanian Ambassador Walid Al Hadid, who met with Zulkifli on February 17th in Jakarta, praised Indonesia's transition to democracy, noting how Islam and democracy co-exist in the world's largest Muslim country.

"We hope we can see Indonesia's smooth transition of power in the Middle Eastern countries," he said during the conference, praising Indonesia for its heritage of religious diversity and tolerance . "Indeed Indonesia has inspired many other Muslim countries."

Imam Mahmuddin, a religious cleric in Jakarta, said he hopes the world will be wise enough to differentiate between Islam and ISIS.

Full report at:

http://khabarsoutheastasia.com/en_GB/articles/apwi/articles/features/2015/02/25/feature-01

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G25 adds Sabah, Sarawak members calling for rational discourse on Islam

25 February 2015

They are Datuk Amin Satem (pic), the brother of Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem, and from Sabah, Datuk Dr Johan Ariffin, brother-in-law of Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, and Asgari Stephens, the son of Sabah's first chief minister Tun Mohammad Fuad Stephens.

The Star quoted Amin as saying that many in Sarawak agreed with the views of the G25, who want Islam and Shariah law to be implemented in Malaysian society in line with the Federal Constitution, and who were against extremist views in race and religion.

Amin said he hoped that the G25 could "influence our political leaders and indicate to them that in history, we have always been a multicultural society and progressing quite well.

“We want to impress upon the prime minister that we are supporting the 1Malaysia policy, and let’s practise it," the English daily quoted him as saying.

Amin, who was former president of the Sarawak Chamber of Commerce and Industry, also said that the group members, even though retirees, had a lot to offer the younger generation who could learn from "history and the past".

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/g25-adds-sabah-sarawak-members-calling-for-rational-discourse-on-islam

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Prove Malaysia’s Islamic credentials by pardoning Anwar, says former Umno man

25 February 2015

A former Umno minister is supporting the pardon appeal by jailed opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, calling it a chance for Malaysia to prove its high shariah ratings, of which compassion is a core principle.

Datuk Zaid Ibrahim took to Twitter this morning to urge the prime minister to support Anwar's appeal for a royal pardon, saying that it would win him support at home and abroad.

He also urged the clerics in Islamist party PAS to support the appeal for a pardon in order to showcase its mercy and compassion.

In his tweet, Zaid said: “As an Islamic state with high ratings on maqasid as shariah, compassion is core principle. Pardon Anwar to prove it.

“In fact the prime minister should support the application. It will get him good marks at home and abroad.”

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/prove-malaysias-islamic-credentials-by-pardoning-anwar-says-former-umno-man

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Sarawakian Jill Ireland to block FT religious council from intervening in Allah CD appeal

BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

25 February 201

Sarawak Christian Jill Ireland will oppose an application by the Federal Territory Islamic Council (MAIWP) to intervene in Putrajaya's appeal against a High Court ruling ordering the return of eight CDs containing the word "Allah".

Her lawyer Annou Xavier said an affidavit in reply would be filed in the Court of Appeal, ahead of a hearing on March 5 on whether to allow the council's application.

"We will be filing the papers this week outlining why our client is against the council being made party to the suit," he told The Malaysian Insider.

It is believed that Ireland's main ground of opposing the application is planked on the basis that the council did not have any legal interest.

The council has since filed an application seeking to intervene, giving the following reasons:

* That MAIWP has the right to regulate how non-Muslims pray and the materials they use, including audio and texts.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/sarawakian-jill-ireland-to-block-ft-religious-council-from-interfering-in-a

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229 Indonesians face death penalty abroad

February 25 2015

The Foreign Ministry stated on Tuesday that there were 229 Indonesians abroad facing capital punishment for various crimes.

“Most of them are in Malaysia with 168 cases, Saudi Arabia with 38 and China with 15,” stated the ministry’s directorate for Indonesian nationals’ protection and legal aid as quoted by Antara news agency.

The directorate also revealed that 131 of the cases were related to drugs, while 77 of them were related to murder.

“Regarding the drug cases, 112 are in Malaysia, 15 in China, two in Laos, one in Singapore and another one in Vietnam,” the directorate stated.

The Foreign Ministry had handled 9,290 legal cases abroad as of September 2014, with most of the cases relating to migrant workers and ship crewmembers. (***)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/25/229-indonesians-face-death-penalty-abroad.html

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Forum plans to set up inter-religious volunteer group

February 25 2015

The West Java Religious Harmony Forum (FKUB) plans to establish a group of inter-religious volunteers to help victims of natural disasters and with community activities.

"I want to set up an inter-religious volunteer group for any activities that are beneficial to the public, including to help disaster victims," West Java FKUB secretary Rafani Ahyar said on the sidelines of inter-religious camping activities in Jatinangor, Sumedang, West Java, as quoted by Antara news agency on Wednesday.

Rafani said the volunteer group would be assigned to help disaster victims by distributing basic necessities.

"It will be wonderful to have inter-religious volunteers to deal with humanity issues," he said.

He said that disaster mitigation could not be fully entrusted to the government as it required cohesiveness among all elements of society. (hhr)

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/02/25/forum-plans-set-inter-religious-volunteer-group.html

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South Asia

 

EU, UN join international chorus of concern over Nasheed’s arrest, terrorism trial

February 25th, 2015

The United Nations (UN) and European Union (EU) have joined a growing international chorus of concern over former President Mohamed Nasheed’s arrest and surprise trial on terrorism charges.

In a statement today, the UN urged “fairness and transparency in regards to the legal proceedings” against the former president.

The Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jens Toyberg-Frandzen in a telephone conversation with Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon, “stressed the need for full respect for due process and transparency” in Nasheed’s trial.

He also appealed to the government to allow peaceful political dissent and to engage with the opposition in the interest of long-term political stability in the Maldives, the statement read.

At a first hearing yesterday, a visibly injured Nasheed appeared in court with his arm in a makeshift sling and repeatedly asked for medical attention and legal counsel.

Presiding Judge Abdulla Didi denied Nasheed bail and gave him three days to appoint a lawyer and answer charges.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/eu-un-join-international-chorus-of-concern-over-nasheed%E2%80%99s-arrest-terrorism-trial-92965

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Arrest warrant issued for Bangladesh ex-PM

25 Feb 2015

A Bangladeshi court has issued an arrest warrant for opposition leader Khaleda Zia for failing to attend hearings for graft charges, amid growing political turmoil in the country.

Dhaka's anti-corruption court Judge Abu Ahmed "issued the warrant against her" despite her house arrest since January, her lawyer Sanaullah Miah said on Wednesday.

"There is no justice in the country," Miah told reporters outside the court, protesting against the decision.

Zia is charged with embezzling $650,000 in two corruption cases dating back to her time as premier in 2001-2006 that could see her jailed for life if found guilty.

Authorities have confined the former two-time premier since early January when she called on her supporters to enforce a nationwide transport blockade in efforts to topple the government of her bitter rival Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

The protests have unleashed deadly violence across the country leaving more than 100 people dead.

Zia, 69, has called the embezzlement charges politically motivated and aimed at destroying her Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).

The opposition leader also faces unrelated charges over the ongoing violence.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/southasia/2015/02/arrest-warrant-issued-bangladesh-pm-150225061136694.html

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Top Afghan official in Qatar amid hopes for Taliban talks

February 25, 2015

ISLAMABAD - Afghanistan’s top security adviser is holding talks with senior leaders in Qatar in a bid to launch peace talks in the oil-rich Gulf state with the Afghan Taliban, reports said.

The Taliban negotiators based in Qatar use their political office to contact representatives of other countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan.

There is no official word if Afghan National Security Adviser, Hanif Atmar, plans to meet the Taliban leaders in Doha. He has, however, met the Qatari prime minister, the Qatari state media reported on Tuesday.

“The Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al-Thani met Atmar along with the delegation accompanying him during their visit to Qatar,” the Qatar News Agency reported.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/25-Feb-2015/top-afghan-official-in-qatar-amid-hopes-for-taliban-talks

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Angry crowd threatens to assault Human Rights Commissioners

By Zaheena Rasheed | February 25th, 2015

A group of five angry middle-aged men entered the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) offices at 10:00am on Tuesday and threatened to assault the five commissioners.

According to HRCM member Jeehan Mahmoud, the group was unhappy over a statement issued by the commission on Monday condemning the police’s mistreatment of former President Mohamed Nasheed at the Criminal Court.

The HRCM statement had condemned the police’s disproportionate use of force against Nasheed, and urged the state to immediately extend medical attention and access to a lawyer.

The commission said it was “investigating the police’s brutal treatment of the former president.”

Jeehan said the group threatened to harm the five commission members and demanded a meeting immediately. When HRCM staff declined, the group threatened to harass the members on the street.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/angry-crowd-threatens-to-assault-human-rights-commissioners-92977

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No link with Burdwan blast: Times of India reports

Times of India reports on Saradha scam fund

February 25, 2015

India's National Investigation Agency in its charge sheet to be submitted to a court may not mention the alleged involvement of Saradha chit fund scam money in Burdwan blasts, The Times of India reported yesterday.

“There is no money trail between Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), which carried out the blasts, and Saradha scam money or any member of Trinamool Congress. It would be too far-fetched to link any contribution, if at all, made to Jamaat-e-Islami in Bangladesh by anyone in India even though Jamaat-e-Islami and JMB are known to have links,” the newspaper said, quoting an unidentified NIA officer privy to investigation details.

The NIA officer, according to The Times of India, said, “The agency is also charge-sheeting the accused for conspiracy to execute terror attacks in India. There is no evidence to prove that the bombs were meant for attacks in Bangladesh except for the fact that the JMB is an outfit opposed to the Hasina government and has carried out attacks in Bangladesh earlier.”

The charge sheet, set to be filed next month, is likely to also remain silent on the alleged transport of bombs from West Bengal to Bangladesh for there is little evidence to make such claims, it said.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/no-link-with-burdwan-blast-66560

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2 suicide bombers arrested in women’s dress in Herat province

Feb 25 2015

The Afghan national security forces arrested two would-be suicide bombers following an operation in western Herat province of Afghanistan. (File Photo)

According to local security officials the two suicide bombers had disguised themselves in women’s dress and were looking to carry out suicide attacks.

A spokesman for the Afghan National Army (ANA) Commando Forces in Herat province Mehdi Rezaye said the two suicide bombers were arrested from Guzara district.

Rezaye further added that the suicide bombers were looking to carry out attacks on some military and government targets on airport road in Herat province.

He said the detained bombers have confessed to their crimes and are currently in security forces custody.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/2-suicide-bombers-arrested-in-womens-dress-in-herat-province-9335

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Prisoners torture by Afghan forces reduced by 14 percent

Feb 25 2015

The torture of the conflict-related detainees by the Afghan national security forces has been reduced by 14 percent with the formation of the new administration.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said Wednesday that the decrease was noted after comparing the latest findings with the previous reporting period.

UNAMA said findings are based on interviews with 790 conflict-related detainees between February 2013 and December 2014 and with Afghan security, police and judicial officials, and analysis of documentary, medical and other information.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/prisoners-torture-by-afghan-forces-reduced-by-14-percent-9334

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Africa

 

Suicide blasts at Nigerian bus stations leave 24 dead

25 Feb 2015

Suicide bombers have struck two bus stations in different parts of northern Nigeria, killing at least 24 people and wounding scores.

In the first explosion, a suicide bomber rushed onto a bus in the town of Potiskum before setting off a blast that killed at least 12 people and injured at least 20 others.

"The bus had just loaded with passengers on its way to Kano when a huge explosion happened inside the bus at exactly 11:40am," a drivers' union official told the AFP news agency.

Waziri Danu, who lives in the area, told AFP he was at a carwash nearby when he heard a huge explosion and saw fire and smoke coming from the motor park.

"I and people around rushed to the place and we saw a bus engulfed in flames... It is not likely if anyone in the vehicle has survived."

In the second attack, two suicide bombers launched a coordinated strike on a major bus station in the city of Kano, killing at least 12 people and wounding many more, police spokesman Ibrahim Idris said.

The explosions triggered fires that destroyed two buses and a car, Idris said.

Ambulances carried bodies and the wounded to hospitals in Kano, Nigeria's second largest city.

Full report at:

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/02/deadly-blast-rips-nigeria-bus-150224113536869.html

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Tens of thousands flee rising violence in C. Africa, UN says

25 February 2015

The United Nations says some 50,000 people have fled their homes in the Central African Republic over the past three months as violence keeps surging across the country.

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, said Tuesday that some 30,000 people have been displaced inside the country as the violence has experienced a surge since the beginning of the year.

UNHCR spokeswoman, Karin de Gruijl, who was addressing journalists in the Swiss city of Geneva, also said that 20,000 more have sought refuge in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo since December.

“There is just total lawlessness, and the civilian population is being caught in the middle,” de Gruijl said.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/02/24/399025/Violence-causes-mass-exodus-in-CAR-UN

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Sudan's Bashir cites 'breakthrough' in US relations

February 25, 2015

Presiden Omar al-Bashir has said that there has been a development after U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy and Human Rights Steven Feldstein arrived in Khratoum on a one-week visit upon an invitation from the Sudanese Foreign Ministry.

 Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has said that ties between his country and the United States were seeing a "breakthrough" after years of enmity.

"Sudanese diplomacy managed to break the barrier in dialogue with the U.S. Congress," al-Bashir said during a meeting with representatives from the Sudanese community in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) late Tuesday.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/155695/sudans-bashir-cites-breakthrough-in-us-relations

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Algeria rejects proposal for Arab force for Libya

25 February 2015

Algeria has rejected a proposal to create an Arab regional force to intervene in crisis-hit Libya, an Algerian diplomatic source has said.

"The proposal includes formation of a ground force to intervene in Libya," the source, requesting anonymity, told The Anadolu Agency.

He said the proposal was tabled following the decapitation of 21 Egyptian nationals by militants affiliated with the Daesh militant group in Libya's eastern city of Darnah.

"But the proposal was rejected because intervention in other countries violates the code of the Algerian army," the source said.

Daesh is the Arabic acronym for the ISIL, which last year overran vast swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/155662/algeria-rejects-proposal-for-arab-force-for-libya

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Professor Murder Infuriates Nigeria Muslims

24 February 2015

CAIRO – A leading Nigerian Muslim group has denounced the extra-judicial murder of a Nigerian professor that was ignored by mainstream Nigerian media, demanding the quick arrests of perpetrators.

“There is no justification for this type of violence against anyone under any circumstance,” the Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) said in a statement sent to OnIslam.net on Monday, February 23.

“Even at times of war, distinction is made between combatants and innocent inhabitants who by no fault of theirs happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Professor Ahmed Mustapha Falaki of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria was brutally murdered by mobs on Saturday February 14, 2015, as police stood watching.

According to MPAC, the late Professor of Agronomy was on an official assignment when his car was snatched by gunmen at Fala village.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/africa/483337-professor-murder-infuriates-nigeria-muslims.html

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Nigeria: CBN Sets Guidelines for Islamic Finance Advisory Body

24 FEBRUARY 2015

Nigeria's central bank has issued guidelines for an advisory body that will oversee Islamic banking in the country, becoming the latest regulator to opt for a centralised approach to the industry.

Nigeria is home to the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa with over 80 million Muslims, and authorities are trying to establish the country as the African hub for Islamic finance.

Traditionally, Islamic banks have practised self-regulation when ensuring that their products follow religious principles. But a centralised model of supervision is increasingly being favoured across much of the world.

Countries including Bahrain and Morocco have opted for such a format, which can help to limit differences between products, speed the design of new products and boost investor confidence.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201502241265.html

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‘Spy cables’ reveal SA’s jihad camps

February 25 2015

Johannesburg - Businesses in South Africa have allegedly been used as fronts to help forward the Iranian revolution, and there are jihad training camps at Zakariyya Park in Lenasia, and at a farm in Port Elizabeth and in KwaZulu-Natal.

This is according to a National Intelligence Agency document from January 2010, which looked at the Iranian Intelligence Service’s operations in South Africa.

The document is part of a large batch of leaked, classified documents from South Africa’s State Security Agency and some foreign spy agencies which were published on Al Jazeera on Monday night.

The document gives an overview on Iran’s activities in South Africa. Iran is a key supplier of oil to South Africa.

Full report at:

http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/spy-cables-reveal-sa-s-jihad-camps-1.1823136#.VO2R5XyUd5s

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Europe

 

French Muslims Boycott Jewish Event

24 February 2015

PARIS – French Muslim leaders boycotted a dinner hosted by the country's most prominent Jewish group on Tuesday, February 24, in reaction to its leader accusing young Muslims of being the source of all violent crimes.

"All violence, and we must say this, all violent acts today are committed by young Muslims," Roger Cukierman, the head of Jewish umbrella group, Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF), said in an interview with French radio station Europe 1 earlier on Monday, Reuters reported.

“Of course, that's a small minority of the Muslim community and the Muslims are the first victims.”

To further anger Muslim leaders, he added that the far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen was "blameless" when it comes to anti-Semitism.

"I think that all of us in the Jewish world are aware that behind (National Front leader) Marine Le Pen - who is blameless on a personal level - there are all the Holocaust deniers," Cukierman said.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/483349-french-muslims-boycott-jewish-event.html

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New Islamic law sparks controversy in Austria

25 Feb, 2015

The Austrian parliament is expected to pass on Wednesday a law that either strengthens - or weakens - the Islamic religion's status, depending on whom you talk to. Alison Langley reports from Vienna.

To the ruling coalition, the Islam Law could be a model for other European countries, according to a parliamentary statement by the Social Democrats of Austria and Austrian People's Party.

For detractors, "Austria once was called a model in dealing with its Muslim population. I hope it can hold, but it's really questionable," Carla Amina Baghajati, a spokeswoman for the Islamic Religious Community (IGGOe), told DW.

At issue is an update of a 1912 law introduced by Habsburg Emperor Franz Josef when Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia & Herzegovina. The rules gave Muslims many of the same rights, like religious education in state schools, as Catholics, Protestants and Jews.

But the Islamic community felt it didn't go far enough. So a decade ago, they began to push for changes, in part because Protestant and Jewish laws were more exhaustive in their rights. The 100-year old Islamic Law was only a page and a half long. It was also because more and diverse Muslims were moving to the Alpine state.

Full report at:

http://www.dw.de/new-islamic-law-sparks-controversy-in-austria/a-18276225

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Converts to Islam increase after French attack

24 February 2015

According to a news article in 5pillarsuk.com,  the number of people accepting Islam in France has increased significantly after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, with imams reporting a growing number of people coming to take the Shahada at mosques.

“It makes me want to go to Islam and to show everyone that this is not what Islam is about,” a young Muslim convert to Islam was quoted by RTL Radio a week ago.

According to the radio station, the Great Mosque of Paris issued 40 reversion certificates to Islam.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/world/155637/converts-to-islam-increase-after-french-attack

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Most British Muslims 'oppose Muhammad cartoons reprisals'

25 February 2015

The majority of British Muslims oppose violence against people who publish images depicting the Prophet Muhammad, a poll for the BBC suggests.

The survey also indicates most have no sympathy with those who want to fight against Western interests.

But 27% of the 1,000 Muslims polled by ComRes said they had some sympathy for the motives behind the Paris attacks.

Almost 80% said they had found it deeply offensive when images depicting the Prophet were published.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-31293196

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France to reveal plan regarding its Muslim community

24 February 2015

The French government is preparing to announce on Wednesday its plan regarding the Muslim community in France.

Ways to promote dialogue with France's Muslims, providing security for them, training Imams and funding mosques are the highlights of the plan due to be revealed Wednesday after the weekly ministerial meeting, said French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on Tuesday.

A month and a half after the attacks in Paris that killed 17 people, attacks against Muslims have risen, making their protection an important goal for the government, Cazeneuve told reporters after a meeting with several representatives of the Muslim community.

"During the month of January alone, there were more anti-Muslim acts in France than there were throughout 2014," Cazeneuve told reporters. "They must be condemned with the greatest firmness."

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/news/155675/france-to-reveal-plan-regarding-its-muslim-community

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Coexist Slogan Lands Parisian Artist in Hospital

24 February 2015

PARIS – Combo, an artist, has become a household symbol of tolerance after being badly beaten for covering a wall in a Paris street with graffiti calling for coexistence between the three Abrahamic faiths: Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

"I am not afraid. I am aware there is a risk, but I am optimistic. There is always a risk of getting hit by a car or choking on a pistachio nut," the artist told Spanish news agency Efe, IANS news agency reported on Tuesday, 24 February.

Street artist Combo was physically assaulted in eastern Paris earlier in February after refusing to take down one of his artworks, French newspaper Le Monde reported.

On a wall in the Porte Dorée neighborhood, the 28-year-old put up a picture of himself wearing traditional garb, common in Arabic-speaking countries, standing next to a graffiti of the word "coexist".

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/483347-coexist-slogan-lands-parisian-artist-in-hospital.html

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UK Muslims Launch Manifesto at House of Lords

By Farrukh I. Younus

24 February 2015

LONDON – With the upcoming political elections in the UK a new initiative the Muslim Manifesto, was launched at the House of Lords on February 23rd.

“I have been in politics for 38 years, I have never come across the Muslim community actually trying to set their own agenda, to see what they need,” Lord Nazir Ahmed told the House of Lords on Monday, February 23, at the session attended by OnIslam.net correspondent.

“Britain is one of the greatest countries in the world, where we have in law equality, we are equal members of society… We have nearly 3 million Muslims in this country, they are 4.4% of the population, there are 40 constituencies at least that can be swung with the Muslim vote.

“I’m not saying for one minute, and I would never advise the Muslim community to vote for one party. But what I say is that when you have hustings meetings, you invite the candidate, you give them the Manifesto, you ask them the questions, he who answers your questions correctly, vote for him, or for her, not for a party, as that would be a mistake. We are supporting candidates,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.onislam.net/english/news/europe/483345-uk-muslims-launch-manifesto-at-house-of-lords.html

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French Muslim leaders skip key Jewish event over ‘criminals’ accusation

February 24, 201

Leaders of the French Muslim community boycotted a major event hosted by the country’s largest Jewish group, CRIF, after its leader said that young Muslims are behind “all violent acts” in France.

Roger Cukierman, president of Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF), made the controversial comments just hours before French President François Hollande was due to give a speech at the annual dinner hosted by the Jewish group.

"All violence, and we must say this, all violent acts today are committed by young Muslims. Of course, that's a small minority of the Muslim community and the Muslims are the first victims," Cukierman told Europe 1 radio station on Monday.

He also supported the use of the term “Islamo-fascism,” introduced by French Interior Minister Manuel Valls earlier this month.

Full report at:

http://rt.com/news/235103-muslim-jewish-dinner-boycott/

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URL: http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-arabia-court-gives-death-penalty-to-man-who-renounced-his-muslim-faith/d/101694

 

 

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