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Islamic World News ( 1 Dec 2013, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Tighten Controls on Clerics for the Fear of Inflaming Sectarian Divisions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More than 60% of the students in Orgram Chatuspalli High Madrassa are non-Muslims [Shaikh Azizur Rahman/Al Jazeera]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Arab World

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Tighten Controls on Clerics for the Fear of Inflaming Sectarian Divisions

Saudi prince: Iran more dangerous than Israel

50 killed in air strikes on Syria's Al-Bab in a two-day wave: NGO

Islamist Says Egypt on Precipice as Constitution Takes Shape

Egypt begins revoking citizenship of Hamas leaders

Egypt: Tahrir Square clashes as constitution changes agreed

Ban beggars from mosques, Saudi imams told

 

Mideast

North Yemen fighting kills more than 120

Six Al Qaeda-linked militants, three soldiers killed in Yemen clashes

Palestinian security arrests 20 Salafists in W. Bank: Source

Over half of Turks support forbidding co-ed student housing, poll shows

Iran's Zarif urges Saudi Arabia to work jointly for 'stability'

14 Million Yemeni Citizens Need Humanitarian Assistance

Israeli Arab pleads guilty to Tel Aviv bus bomb

‘Day of rage’ in Israel against plan to regulate Bedouin settlement

 

Pakistan

Fiery protests after 17 Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing members arrested from PU

Pakistan rejects proposal for Taliban office on its soil

Pak govt reviving peace talks with Taliban

Difa-i-Pakistan Council leaders demand end to drone attacks in Pakistan

Hafiz Mohammad Saeed asks Taliban to help defend country

JUI-F opposes Pakistan Protection Ordinance

 

Europe

Turkish PM Erdoğan’s top adviser Yiğit Bulut expects ‘European Spring’

British jihadist funded Syria trip by mugging people with taser

Central African Republic crisis: France sends more troops

No Greek Orthodox school until Athens opens mosque, says Turkish deputy FM

Libya prepared for return of Russian embassy, wants to strengthen ties – Libya FM

 

Africa

Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills 17, Sets Houses Ablaze

Central African Republic: UN Peacekeeping Mission Needed to Avoid Mass Slaughter

 

South Asia

Four policemen killed in Afghan suicide attack

Razakars killed over 500 on AKM Yusuf’s order: Witness

Maldives SC undermining parliamentary independence, says Majlis committee

Afghan president suggests delay in April polls

Bangladesh opposition confirms poll boycott on deadline

 

North America

Rep. Mike Rogers Warns Of Rising Terrorism Threat

No one can guarantee that Taliban won't seize power after ISAF forces move out

Americans ‘are joining Syria’s civil war’

USA denies giving fuel to Afghan security forces

US to destroy Syria's deadliest chemical weapons by hydrolysis

 

India

Madrasas in India Attract Hindu Students

Old India & Pak soldiers light up new peace pipe ‘

41-year-old India-Bangladesh passport regime ends

India to ask Pak to arrest Hizb ul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin

 

Southeast Asia

Federal Court urged to remove paragraph accusing Anwar of homosexuality

Rising HIV Infections among Indonesian Youth Cause Concern

Online database on Muslim converts soon – Bernama

Explain destruction at Malaysia’s richest historical site, opposition MP

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-arabia,-kuwait-tighten-controls-on-clerics-for-the-fear-of-inflaming-sectarian-divisions/d/34689

 

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Arab World

 

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait Tighten Controls on Clerics for the Fear of Inflaming Sectarian Divisions

By Reuters

Dec 2, 2013

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have been quietly reining in their clerics on concerns that preachers could use their influence to stir up trouble and inflame sectarian divisions at a time of high tension over the crises in Syria and Egypt.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home to a powerful conservative clergy, have declined to respond to local media reports in recent months which said nearly 20 clerics had been sacked or suspended.

In Kuwait, which has a relatively open political system compared to other Gulf Arab states, the authorities have resumed the monitoring of sermons, pulled a television preacher off the air and deported a foreign imam.

The developments in the two monarchies follow the dramatic rise and fall in Egypt of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood, which offers a populist religious alternative to dynastic rule and has supporters in the Gulf.

The Egyptian army angered some influential clerics and ordinary citizens in the region in July and August when it overthrew the then president, Mohammad Mursi, a Brotherhood member who remains in prison, and clamped down on his supporters, killing hundreds of people. Both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have pledged to support the new Egyptian government.

“There is a more heightened sensitivity to the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and of political activity in general,” said Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, a Middle East research group.

Kuwait and Saudi Arabia will continue to be “fairly uncompromising of perceived Muslim Brotherhood activities and anyone perceived to be supporting them”.

The war in Syria is aggravating sectarian tensions across the region, with mainly Sunni rebels seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, whose Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

State-affiliated clerics in Saudi Arabia have denounced the Assad government and urged support for Syrians since the beginning of the conflict, and $140 million was raised in a government-organised campaign for Syrian refugees last year.

Some Kuwaiti clerics have been using social media to raise private donations for the rebels and a number have even helped to raise funding for arms.

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

The Muslim Brotherhood is banned in Saudi Arabia and only cautiously tolerated in Kuwait, where members of a local offshoot have made up significant factions in previous parliaments.

What worries both countries – and other Gulf monarchies – is that the Brotherhood espouses an active political doctrine that urges staunch Sunnis to agitate for change.

That flies in the face of traditional Gulf theology, particularly the Wahhabi strain of Sunni Islam practised in Saudi Arabia, which preaches that good Muslims should obey their rulers in most circumstances.

Khalid al-Dakhil, a Saudi political analyst, said he believes many of the outspoken imams in the kingdom who worry the authorities are influenced by the Brotherhood.

“(The Muslim Brotherhood) allege that they do not seek power but in reality they use religion as a cover for their agenda and say that they want to serve Islam,” Dakhil said.

Despite the ban, Saudi Arabia has unofficially tolerated informal meetings of the Muslim Brotherhood so long as they avoid any discussion of politics.

But concern about the movement’s influence has grown more pointed since the Saudi royal family backed Egyptian army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s overthrow of Mursi in July.

Saudi authorities suspended a Riyadh preacher who was filmed in August attacking Sisi in a sermon that provoked a brief scuffle inside the mosque.

In the same month, Kuwaiti Tareq al-Suwaidan, known across the Arab world for his lectures on self-improvement, was fired from his job as a host on a Saudi television show after he identified himself as “one of the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood” during a lecture in Yemen.

The channel’s owner, Saudi billionaire Prince Alaweed bin Talal, criticised him as having “extremist inclinations”.

“Some preachers discuss issues that have nothing to do with their country, but rather harm it,” said Mohammad al-Zulfa, a former member of Saudi Arabia’s Shoura Council, a quasi-parliament appointed by the king to advise on policy.

KUWAIT

In some parts of the Gulf, weekly sermons are approved by the government in advance. In Kuwait, which boasts a relatively free forum for speech and debate, the Islamic Affairs Ministry issues sample sermons but the imams don’t have to use them.

Khaled al-Hais, the government official in charge of overseeing mosques in the district of Hawally near the capital, said clerics were free to talk about most things as long as they don’t refer to people or families or make sectarian remarks.

The government banned the television show of Kuwaiti Sunni Muslim cleric Shafi al-Ajmi in August after one episode on the state channel, after he voiced support for arming Syrian rebels in speeches and on social media and called for the killing of fighters linked to the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah who are fighting on Assad’s side.

Ajmi, who has more than a quarter of a million followers on Twitter, has since been suspended from giving sermons, local media have reported.

The ministry sent out a missive this summer calling on clerics to concentrate on moral issues, and started recording sermons in August after a break of more than a year.

But while the authorities may still have leverage when it comes to sermons, controlling what people say on social media, which is ubiquitous in both countries, is a far more complicated task.

Saudi Arabia monitors Twitter feeds of well-known preachers and Kuwaiti clerics who do not conform to guidelines can risk suspension while foreign clerics can be deported.

Authorities maintain their efforts to manage the message on social media are only aimed at ensuring “consistency” to avoid confusion.

“Preaching should be consistent. One cannot hold one view on the mosque’s podium and then contradict it on (social media) sites,” Abdul Muhsen al-Sheikh, undersecretary in the Islamic Affairs Ministry, told pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat in September.

Hais, the Kuwaiti religious official, said: “Everyone has the freedom to use Twitter and Facebook but we watch what they write, to see if it is similar to what they say (in the mosque).”

Saudi cleric Abdulaziz al-Qassem, a lawyer who supports limited reforms in Saudi Arabia, said it was unlikely that the government would go so far as to insist that imams only deliver government-approved sermons.

With tens of thousands of mosques in Saudi Arabia, and the clergy’s independence and power so strong, such a scenario was not only unlikely but probably impossible to implement.

“The country is barely able to manage the economy and the rule of law,” he said. But he added:

“Preachers are taking part in partisan and factional battles and leaving aside the role of the mosque as a podium for preaching … Mosques have been abducted.”

http://gulfbusiness.com/2013/11/saudi-arabia-kuwait-tighten-controls-on-clerics-2/#.Up0ThNJDsqN

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Saudi prince: Iran more dangerous than Israel

2 December 2013

United States president Barack Obama’s positive approach to Iran following an agreement between Iran and western nations to water-down Iran’s nuclear program in return for lifting economic sanctions has attracted both supporters and critics alike.

The P5+1 negotiations in Geneva last week resulted in a deal between Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China – plus Germany, resulted in the end a decade of tensions regarding Iran’s intention to enrich uranium.

However, the negotiations, which were initiated by the Obama administration in response to an offer of dialogue from the new Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, has distanced the U.S. from its traditional allies in the Middle-East, Saudi Arabia and Israel.

While Saudi Arabia and Israel both remain at odds with each other, they are both united in their animosity toward Iran and have both been the most outspoken critics of the deal. In an interview with Bloomberg’s Jeffrey Goldberg, Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal suggested that Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Muslim world feels more threatened by the Iran than they do by the Jewish state of Israel.

Although the prince is not an official representative of the Saudi Arabian government, and therefore cannot speak on behalf of it, his words are still considered to reflect the general mood in the Saudi camp towards the latest developments.

When asked about the Saudi reaction to a possible Israeli attack on nuclear facilities in Iran, he said, “Publicly, they would be against it. Privately, they would love it.”

Referring to historical relations, he claimed that the Persian Empire had always been against the Arabs, and even after the Arabs and the Persians were united under the banner of Islam, following the Persians’ acceptance of the Shiite branch of Islam, they had constantly demonstrated a stance against mainstream Sunni Muslims. “The threat is from Persia, not from Israel,” he said.

He also added that Iran has been supporting renegade Shiite groups in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Bahrain. However, he also mentioned that Iran has been supporting Hamas in Gaza, which is a Sunni group. Hamas, for Saudi Arabia and Iran, is a meeting point in their shared hostility towards Israel.

Although the prince’s words may and have been interpreted to indicate a potential cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia, what is really taking place in the Middle-East, however, seems not to be about such unholy alliances or sectarian tensions, but a stalemate over political and strategic interests. In a complicated political triangle, however much Saudi Arabia and Iran are united in their anti-Israel stance; Saudi Arabia and Israel are also united in their opposition to Iran.

For the moment, Saudi Arabia seems pleased to sit back and watch Israel and Iran engage in direct conflict with one another, which would most likely result in heavy losses for both of their regional enemies.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=124117

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50 killed in air strikes on Syria's Al-Bab in a two-day wave: NGO

Dec 2, 2013

A two-day wave of regime air strikes on a north Syrian town has killed 50 people, a monitor said Sunday, while in Damascus a mortar round struck the French school without causing injuries.

On the political front, Syria's deputy foreign minister insisted that no solution to Syria's conflict proposed at a January 22 peace conference in Geneva would be implemented without President Bashar al-Assad's approval.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that helicopters on Sunday dropped explosive-laden barrels on the rebel-held town of Al-Bab in northern Syria's Aleppo province, killing at least 24 people, including two women and four children.

Their deaths in a market area of Al-Bab came a day after similar aerial bombardments on the same town that killed at least 26 others.

State news agency SANA, reporting on the conflict in the town, said "Syrian army units destroyed the headquarters of an Islamic (rebel) tribunal in Al-Bab in a special operation," without giving further details.

Large swathes of Aleppo province have been under rebel control for more than a year, and have suffered frequent aerial attacks by the regime.

Meanwhile in Damascus, children escaped a mortar attack on the French school, officials said.

"A mortar shell landed on the chimney of a classroom around 9:00 am (0700 GMT). No one was hurt but the windows shattered and the walls cracked," school receptionist Bashir Oneiz told AFP.

Aline Farah, a nurse at the Charles de Gaulle school in the upscale central district of Mazzeh, said students were in class when the mortar struck.

 "It was a miracle that no one was hurt, neither students nor teachers nor employees," she said.

"They were all crying. They were terrified. We took them to an underground shelter," said Farah.

The attack was condemned by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who issued a statement calling it "cowardly".

The school, which is the only foreign school still open in the Syrian capital, has about 220 students, down from a pre-war figure of 900.

It caters both to Syrian students and the children of a few remaining foreigners living in the country despite a brutal 32-month conflict between the government and rebels.

Rebels in rear bases on the outskirts of Damascus regularly fire rockets and mortar rounds into the centre of the capital, with the attacks becoming more frequent and more deadly in the past few weeks.

Elsewhere, the Observatory said at least five regime forces were killed overnight in a suicide car bomb attack at a police checkpoint on the Damascus-Homs highway near the contested town of Nabuk.

The group said a fighter from the jihadist Al-Nusra Front carried out the attack, which came as regime forces try to gain control of Nabuk, as part of an operation to recapture the Qalamoun region.

The army has already captured the towns of Qara and Deir Attiyeh, and a Syrian security source told AFP troops now controlled 60 percent of Nabuk, which lies further south towards the capital on the Damascus-Homs highway.

The Observatory said regime warplanes carried out air strikes on the town on Sunday, and fierce fighting continued there between rebel fighters, including jihadists, and army troops backed by a pro-regime militia and Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah.

The Syrian regime is trying to sever rebel supply routes that run through the mountainous Qalamoun region, north of Damascus, across the nearby border with Lebanon.

Amid the escalation of violence, Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Muqdad said no solution proposed at peace talks next month would be implemented without Assad's blessing.

"The Syrian (government) delegation at Geneva will be working under Assad's directives, and any solutions proposed will have no impact unless Assad approves of them," Muqdad said in remarks reported in the Syrian press.

Under a US-Russian-led initiative, rebels and the Syrian government are scheduled to attend January 22 peace talks dubbed Geneva 2.

The opposition has agreed to attend the talks on condition that they lead to a transitional phase that excludes Assad and his regime.

But government officials and their backers in Iran and Russia insist there should be no preconditions, and Assad has also said he would be willing to stand for re-election in 2014.

Syria's war has killed more than 120,000 people and forced millions more to flee their homes.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/87984/World/Region/-killed-in-air-strikes-on-Syrias-AlBab-NGO.aspx

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Islamist Says Egypt on Precipice as Constitution Takes Shape

Dec 2, 2013

CAIRO — A hardline Islamist leader said the army had driven Egypt to the “edge of a precipice,” as a new constitution likely to ban Islamic political parties was set to be approved on Sunday by the panel that drafted it.

 The 50-member constituent assembly was due to finish voting on a draft that reflects how the balance of power has shifted in Egypt since secular-minded generals deposed Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in July after mass protests against him.

 A major milestone in Egypt's political roadmap, the constitution must be approved in a referendum before new elections which Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, driven underground by aggressive security measures, is unlikely to contest.

 One of Morsi's hardline allies, Gamaa Islamiya leader Assem Abdel Maged, who is wanted on charges of inciting the killing of protesters, predicted things would get worse in Egypt.

 “The army must review its position quickly because the country is on the edge of a precipice,” Abdel Maged told Al Jazeera television in Qatar late on Saturday.

 He fled to Doha after Morsi fell on July 3 and is the first-high profile Islamist in exile to speak publicly since then.

 Abdel Maged, who once shared a prison cell with al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, was jailed for 25 years until 2006 for his role in the 1981 assassination of President Anwar Sadat and other crimes. After his Al Jazeera interview, Egypt's public prosecutor formally asked Interpol to arrest Abdel Maged.

 Egyptian security officials said Abdel Maged had fled to Qatar by sea or via the border with Libya. Qatar is one of the few Arab states that was sympathetic to the Islamists during Morsi's year in power, supplying Egypt with billions of dollars in aid. Now relations between Qatar and Egypt are strained.

 “Constitution of minorities”

 Speaking at a rally before Morsi was ousted, Abdel Maged said that, if this were to happen, Islamists would push for a pure Islamic state in Egypt. Abdel Maged, whose group fought an insurgency that was crushed by former President Hosni Mubarak in the 1990s, is still reviled as a terrorist by his opponents.

 Abdel Maged accused the army of siding with “minorities” - a reference to Christians and secular-minded Egyptians. He said protests would “break this coup,” adding: “This constitution is the constitution of minorities.”

 Egypt has been torn by the worst internal strife in its modern history in the last five months. Security forces killed hundreds of Morsi supporters in the weeks after his ouster, while attacks on the security forces have become commonplace.

 Some 200 policemen and soldiers have been killed in what the military-backed government casts as a war on terrorism. The Brotherhood says it is peacefully resisting the army takeover.

 In a reminder of the tension, protesters set ablaze a police vehicle during a demonstration by Brotherhood sympathizers at Cairo University on Sunday.

 Several hundred protesters then marched to Tahrir Square, epicenter of the 2011 anti-Mubarak uprising. Some waved flags against “the coup” and demanding the release of detainees. One scaled a lamp post and hung a picture of Morsi.

 “With our blood and souls we sacrifice for you, Islam,” the protesters chanted. “The people want to topple the regime.”

 Arwa Tarek, an 18-year-old student who said she opposed Morsi and those now in power, said: “I started protesting as I felt people are no longer free or able to express their views or protest peacefully. Now I feel Mubarak's days were better.”

 Some passersby shouted abuse at the protesters, others waved in support. Police fired teargas to disperse the crowd.

 Criticism of the army-installed government has spread since it passed a law severely restricting the right to protest last week, drawing criticism from the United States, which has withheld some military aid pending progress towards democracy.

 Concern for political freedoms

On Sunday, the prosecutor's office extended for 15 days the detention of a prominent online dissident, Alaa Abdel Fattah, who is being held for calling a protest without permission.

Another prominent activist held on the same charge was released on Sunday a day after he turned himself in. Ahmed Maher, founder of the April 6 movement, is still being investigated for breaking the new law, judicial sources said.

The protest law has reinforced activists' concerns about the future of political freedoms in Egypt, where the anti-Mubarak fostered hopes that democracy could take root on the Nile.

 But the turbulent three years since have made many Egyptians yearn for stability that will give the battered economy a chance to recover.

 The new political roadmap sees parliamentary and presidential elections after the constitution is approved. General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who led the overthrow of Morsi, is widely seen as the frontrunner for the job of president.

 The draft constitution widens the already broad privileges enjoyed by the army by requiring the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces for the choice of a defense minister to serve for eight years from when the document is ratified.

 It does not indicate how the minister of defense could be sacked or who has the authority to fire him.

 It also bans political parties formed on a religious basis - language that could result in an outright ban on Islamist parties including the Salafi Nour Party, which has one representative in the constituent assembly.

 The Brotherhood has already been driven underground.

 The new constitution will replace one drafted by an Islamist-dominated assembly and signed into law by Morsi last year after it was approved in a referendum. The new text strips out Islamist-inspired additions introduced last year.

http://www.voanews.com/content/reu-egyptian-islamist-leader-issues-warning-from-exile/1801149.html

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Egypt begins revoking citizenship of Hamas leaders

Dec 2, 2013

The Egyptian authorities have begun revoking the citizenship of Hamas leaders, according to reports in Palestinian and Egyptian media outlets.

The move is seen in the context of intensifying tensions between Egypt and Hamas in the aftermath of the downfall of deposed President Mohammed Morsi’s regime.

Under Morsi’s rule, the Egyptian authorities granted Egyptian citizenship to thousands of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, including top Hamas officials.

One of the Hamas leaders who received an Egyptian passport was Mahmoud Zahar, who was born to an Egyptian mother.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Egypt-begins-revoking-citizenship-of-Hamas-leaders-333663

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Egypt: Tahrir Square clashes as constitution changes agreed

Dec 2, 2013

Police have fired tear gas to disperse supporters of Egypt's ousted Islamist president Mohammed Morsi from Tahrir Square in the capital, Cairo.

The clashes came as a panel amending the constitution adopted during his time in office agreed on text changes.

The revised charter preserves the military's wide-ranging powers - including the ability to try civilians in certain cases.

It will be put to a referendum which is expected to be held in January.

The 50-member panel completed a final draft after two days spent revising the charter adopted under former President Morsi.

Significantly, the timeline for elections has been changed so that it no longer specifies whether parliamentary or presidential elections should be held first.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-25179968

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Ban beggars from mosques, Saudi imams told

Dec 2, 2013

JEDDAH — Mosque imams have been ordered to ban beggars from mosques, according to new instructions from the Makkah Emir’s Office.

Al-Hayat newspaper reported on Sunday that the Ministry of Islamic Affairs has also called on imams to educate the general public about the importance of not giving beggars’ money, which can encourage such practices.

Six government agencies, consisting of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs’ Makkah branch, Makkah Police, Makkah Municipality, Jeddah Municipality, Makkah Anti-Beggary Agency and the Jeddah Anti-Beggary Agency, will be working on the new instructions to ensure this practice stops.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20131202188321

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Mideast

 

North Yemen fighting kills more than 120

Dec 2, 2013

SANAA, (Reuters) - Fighting between Shi'ite Houthi rebels and Sunni Salafis in northern Yemen has killed more than 120 and a government official in charge of enforcing a ceasefire accused the Houthis of breaking the truce, a newspaper said on Sunday.

The latest round of fighting between the Houthis and Salafis has added to the challenges facing U.S. allied Yemen, already grappling with a southern separatist movement and an insurgency by Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda.

Amin al-Hemyari, head of government observers monitoring a ceasefire reached last month, said the death toll among Salafis in the town of Damaj had risen to more than 120, with dozens wounded, the government-run al-Thawra newspaper said.

He said no casualty figures were available for the Houthis.

Clashes started after Houthi rebels, who control most of Saada province, accused the Salafis of massing thousands of fighters, including foreigners, in a religious school in Damaj with the aim of attacking them.

Full report at:

http://www.trust.org/item/20131201171143-jnpjh/?source=hpeditorial

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Six Al Qaeda-linked militants, three soldiers killed in Yemen clashes

2 December 2013

Six suspected al-Qaeda militants and three Yemeni soldiers were killed in clashes in Yemen's eastern region of Hadramout on Monday, the defense ministry said. Last year, the Yemeni army, with US backing, drove al-Qaeda militants and their allies from some of their southern strongholds. But the insurgents have since regrouped and mounted attacks on government officials and installations.

Maintaining stability in impoverished Yemen, which is also struggling with southern separatists and northern rebels, is a priority for Washington and Gulf states because of its proximity to major shipping routes and Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter.

Full report at:

 http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_02/Six-Al-Qaeda-linked-militants-three-soldiers-killed-in-Yemen-clashes-6013/

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Palestinian security arrests 20 Salafists in W.Bank: Source

Dec 2, 2013

Palestinian security forces have arrested 20 Salafists in a series of raids across the West Bank, a security source said on Sunday, denying any of them had ties to Al-Qaeda.

"In the last few days, around 20 people were arrested in Nablus, Jenin and Qalqilya," the senior Palestinian security source told AFP on condition of anonymity, saying those detained "embrace the Salafi ideology but are not affiliated with Al-Qaeda."

His remarks were made a day after as a Gaza-based group affiliated with Al-Qaeda confirmed it was operating in the West Bank for the first time, saying three Palestinians killed by Israel near Hebron last week were its operatives.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/87997/World/Region/Palestinian-security-arrests--Salafists-in-WBank-S.aspx

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Over half of Turks support forbidding co-ed student housing, poll shows

Dec 2, 2013

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s recent criticisms of mixed-sex student housing is widely supported by public opinion, according to a recent poll.

Some 55 percent of poll participants said they were in favor of forbidding such living arrangements while 38 objected to the idea, the MetroPoll research center’s recent study has revealed.

The poll was conducted in 31 provinces across the country between Nov. 23 and 25, with a total of 1263 people having been interviewed.

When asked if they agreed with the Prime Minister’s objection to co-ed student housing, 80 percent of the ruling Justice and Development Party’s (AKP) supporters answered ‘yes’ to the question.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/over-half-of-turks-support-forbidding-co-ed-student-housing-poll-shows.aspx?pageID=238&nID=58827&NewsCatID=341

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Iran's Zarif urges Saudi Arabia to work jointly for 'stability'

Dec 2, 2013

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif appealed Monday to Saudi Arabia to work together with his government toward achieving regional "stability", in remarks to AFP during a visit to Oman.

"I believe that our relations with Saudi Arabia should expand as we consider Saudi Arabia as an extremely important country in the region and the Islamic world," Zarif said.

"We believe that Iran and Saudi Arabia should work together in order to promote peace and stability in the region."

Zarif's remarks came during a stopover in Muscat as part of a tour he began in Kuwait aimed at assuring Gulf Arab states that a deal Tehran secured with the West on its nuclear programme is in their interest.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/88041/World/Region/Irans-Zarif-urges-Saudi-Arabia-to-work-jointly-for.aspx

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14 Million Yemeni Citizens Need Humanitarian Assistance

Asma al-Mohattwari

Dec 2, 2013

Despite the large presence of United Nations agencies and non-governmental organizations in Yemen, the humanitarian situation in Yemen remains in a state of deterioration. A recent UN report indicates that the fragility of the situation has continued due to extreme poverty, rising living costs and a lack of jobs, which in turn affect food security and livelihoods of millions of Yemenis.

United Nations warned that the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen may lead to the destabilization of the country, noting that half of the Yemeni population need humanitarian aid.

Full report at:

http://nationalyemen.com/2013/12/02/14-million-yemeni-citizens-need-humanitarian-assistance/

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Israeli Arab pleads guilty to Tel Aviv bus bomb

2 December 2013

An Israeli Arab pleaded guilty on Monday to planting a bomb on a Tel Aviv bus a year ago, during Israel's eight-day offensive in the Palestinian Gaza Strip, an Israeli court said. The court accepted a plea deal from Mohammed Mafarja, 19, and convicted him of attempted murder, attempting to assist the enemy and assault, the ruling said.

The bomb detonated as the bus was driving near the Israeli defence ministry, wounding 15 people.

Full report at:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_02/Israeli-Arab-pleads-guilty-to-Tel-Aviv-bus-bomb-1203/

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‘Day of rage’ in Israel against plan to regulate Bedouin settlement

Dec 2, 2013

Thousands of Bedouin demonstrators and their supporters clashed with the police in various locations across Israel on Saturday as they protested a government plan to regulate Bedouin settlement in the Negev desert.

In scenes reminiscent of the Palestinian uprisings in the West Bank, protesters hurled stones at police forces, burned tires and blocked a main road for hours near the Bedouin town of Hura in the Negev. The police used water cannons, tear gas and sound grenades to disperse the demonstrators. Smaller protests were held in the northern cities of Haifa and Taibeh and in East Jerusalem.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/day-of-rage-in-israel-against-plan-to-regulate-bedouin-settlement/article5411324.ece

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Pakistan

 

Fiery protests after 17 Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing members arrested from PU

December 2, 2013

LAHORE: Seventeen male students of Punjab University (PU) – who belong to Islami Jamiat Talba (IJT) - were arrested on Monday, Express News reported.

The IJT is the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).

After students were cleared out of a hostel and some were arrested, agitated students reacted by snatching keys from drivers and blocking roads and underpasses near the university.

Police attempted to take them into custody, but the students hid in blocks in the university. Traffic has been cleared from some roads but others are still blocked despite police efforts.

Students also set a passenger bus on fire after dragging people out of it.

Jamiat members were protesting against a press conference held by the university in which the administration had alleged that members of the party had locked two teachers of the law college in classrooms on November 30.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/639989/police-arrest-17-jamiat-members-from-punjab-university/

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Pakistan rejects proposal for Taliban office on its soil

PTI | Dec 2, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has turned down Afghan President Hamid Karzai's request to allow Taliban to set up an office in the country, according to a media report on Monday.

"Our role (in the Afghan peace process) will remain that of a facilitator and not a leader...allowing the Taliban to open an office in Pakistan will be contrary to our principled position," Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was quoted as saying by an unnamed aide.

Instead, Pakistan and Afghanistan will explore options on an "urgent basis" to open a political office for the Afghan Taliban in Turkey or Saudi Arabia, the aide, who accompanied Sharif on an official visit to Kabul on Saturday, told The Express Tribune.

 Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pakistan-rejects-proposal-for-Taliban-office-on-its-soil/articleshow/26740826.cms

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Pak govt reviving peace talks with Taliban

PTI | Dec 2, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif-led government is at the "conclusive stage" of revival of proposed talks with the Pakistan Taliban, a senior minister has said.

"Yes, we're (almost) at the conclusive stage to resume talks with the TTP," Information minister Pervaiz Rashid was quoted as saying by the Express Tribune today.

"The government has always had a firm belief in reopening peace talks (with the Taliban)," he said.

His remarks came a week after Prime Minister Sharif said that his government is still committed to the revival of proposed talks with Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Rashid said the government would remove any hurdles existing before talks with the Taliban and would press ahead with the initiative without causing any loss to the state.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-govt-reviving-peace-talks-with-Taliban/articleshow/26737561.cms

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Difa-i-Pakistan Council leaders demand end to drone attacks in Pakistan

Dec 2, 2013

ISLAMABAD: Thousands of people rallied in Pakistan's eastern city of Lahore Sunday in protest at continued US drone strikes in the country's troubled northwestern tribal agencies and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province bordering Afghanistan.

Around 5,000 protesters chanted anti-US slogans and called for an immediate end to the drone strikes at the rally organised by the Difa-i-Pakistan Council or Defence of Pakistan Council (DPC), a coalition of around 40 religious and political parties.

The demonstrators chanted slogans calling for the blocking of Nato supplies for Afghanistan which are transported through Pakistan.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1059801/dpc-leaders-demand-end-to-drone-attacks-in-pakistan

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Hafiz Mohammad Saeed asks Taliban to help defend country

Dec 2, 2013

LAHORE, Dec 1: Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) chief and key leader of the Difa-i-Pakistan Council (DPC) Hafiz Mohammad Saeed urged the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) on Sunday to join efforts to “defend Pakistan” if it wanted US drone attacks to stop.

“Pakistan is being hit from both sides (US drone attacks and suicide attacks). So please understand the plans and designs of the enemy and I request you (Taliban) to say that we all will defend Pakistan. And if you do this, I give you guarantee that America will ultimately stop drone attacks,” he said while speaking at a DPC rally on Mall Road against drone attacks and Nato supply.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1059987/dpc-leader-asks-taliban-to-help-defend-country

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JUI-F opposes Pakistan Protection Ordinance

Dec 2, 2013

Chief of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) Maulana Fazl Urrehman expressed reservations over newly promulgated Pakistan Protection Ordinance (PPO) 2013, saying that his party rejects the law.

Speaking to media at Sukkur airport, the JUI chief called for an end to missile strikes in Pakistan. “The nation should get united to stop these attacks which violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.”

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/pakistan-news-newspaper-daily-english-online/national/01-Dec-2013/jui-f-opposes-pakistan-protection-ordinance

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Europe

 

Turkish PM Erdoğan’s top adviser Yiğit Bulut expects ‘European Spring’

Dec 2, 2013

The prime minister’s chief adviser Yiğit Bulut has said he expects a “European Spring” to break out in the near future, suggesting that Europe is in decline.

“I expect a ‘Spring’ in Europe. When you look at the history of Europe, whenever assets shrink, the state subsidies decrease, and the shared pie became smaller, Europe falls out with itself,” Bulut told a conference on Nov. 30 in the German city of Cologne.

He said that everyone was expecting a “Spring” in Egypt, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan or in Central Africa, but they were looking in the wrong place.

“The unemployment rate in North Rhine-Westphalia is 29 percent. Why? Because mines have been shut down as part of a EU strategy. Those people are not like us socially. In the Anatolian-Islamic synthesis, we eat the chicken that we brought from the village, and we can handle ourselves for a length of time. But Europeans don't have this in their culture. So I don’t expect an 'Arab Spring' in Europe, but I expect a ‘Spring’ in Germany, France and Italy,” Bulut was quoted as saying by the Anadolu Agency.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkish-pm-erdogans-top-adviser-yigit-bulut-expects-european-spring-.aspx?pageID=238&nID=58801&NewsCatID=338

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British jihadist funded Syria trip by mugging people with taser

Daily Mail

Dec 2, 2013

A BRITISH man who was killed fighting alongside al- Qaeda- linked extremists in Syria funded his trip by mugging people in an affluent area of London, Daily Mail has learned. Choukri Ellekhlifi, 22, threatened victims with a taser- style high- voltage stun gun and forced them to hand over valuables including designer watches and mobile phones.

He lived in London until a year ago when he skipped bail and travelled to Syria to join a group of Islamic extremists waging war on President Assad’s regime. Now it has been revealed that he was one of three British men killed as their group attacked pro- government forces near the city of Aleppo on August 11.

The trio were part of a group of 10 British jihadists who joined up with 20 other Britons to fight with the al- Nusra Front, which is allied to al- Qaeda.

Ellekhlifi had joined the rebels under a pseudonym but his true identity became clear after police compared mug shots taken after his arrest for the street robberies with a photo of British fighters in Syria that emerged last week. Another man pictured with him, Mohammed el- Araj, 23, from Ladbroke Grove, West London, was killed two weeks later during a fire fight.

Full report at:

Mail Today

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Central African Republic crisis: France sends more troops

Dec 2, 2013

The first reinforcements to the French force in the Central African Republic (CAR) are deploying in a bid to restore order after a rebel takeover.

Some 200 troops have arrived, with another 500 expected imminently.

Some former rebel forces have reportedly been leaving the capital, Bangui, as the French troops arrived in the city.

More than 10% of the 4.6 million population have fled their homes since Michel Djotodia seized power in March.

He is the country's first leader from the minority Muslim community. Muslim-Christian sectarian attacks have led to warnings of a genocide.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25182454

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No Greek Orthodox school until Athens opens mosque, says Turkish deputy FM

World Bulletin / News Desk

2 December 2013

Turkey’s Deputy Foreign Minister Metin Kulunk has refused to resume the Greek Orthodox Halki Seminary until Greece reopens the Fethiye Mosque in Athens.

“Have no doubt, Turkey has not taken a step to re-open Halki Seminary and it will not take a step until Greece, who did not hold up the promise it gave in Lausanne, opens the Fethiye Mosque in Athens,” Kulunk said in a Western Thrace Turks Solidarity Association meeting in Germany.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=124124

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Libya prepared for return of Russian embassy, wants to strengthen ties – Libya FM

2 December 2013

In an exclusive interview to the Voice of Russia Libya's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Abdelaziz expressed his hope that the Russian embassy would resume its work in Tripoli as soon as possible in order to "restore and strengthen ties". The diplomats will "return not to the actual embassy building, but to one of the well protected hotels", the minister said.

A few days ago Russian Ambassador Ivan Molotkov announced that a “vanguard group” would travel to Libya before the end of the year in order to work on the issue regarding the Russian embassy’s reopening in the country. The diplomats left Tripoli in October, when clashes between armed groups took place there.

Full report at:

 http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_12_02/Libya-prepared-for-return-of-Russian-embassy-wants-to-strengthen-ties-Libya-FM-8003/

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Africa

 

Nigeria: Boko Haram Kills 17, Sets Houses Ablaze

Dec 2, 2013

Insurgents suspected to be members of the Boko Haram Islamic sect on Friday evening invaded Sabon Gari village of Damboa local government area of Borno State and killed 17 residents and burnt down over 100 houses, shops, motorcycles and vehicles.

The Sabon Gari Main Market was also burnt down and property worth millions of naira destroyed. A report claims that the villagers killed two of the attackers with the assistance of some vigilante groups, while three others who fled to Damboa town were arrested.

Sabon Gari is off Sambisa Game Forests on the Maiduguri-Damboa-Biu federal highway.

LEADERSHIP Sunday gathered that the whole village was deserted as the houses and shops went in flames without any assistance from security men or fire fighters.

A resident who did not want his name mentioned told LEADERSHIP Sunday that the terrorists invaded the community at 11:35pm using several motorcycles and Hilux Toyota vehicles, and fired gunshots on fleeing residents, set houses, shops and vehicles ablaze.

 Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201312010111.html?aa_source=acrdn-f0

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Central African Republic: UN Peacekeeping Mission Needed to Avoid Mass Slaughter

2 DECEMBER 2013

The UN Security Council has no time to waste to authorize a robust peacekeeping force for deployment to the Central African Republic to protect civilians from the violence and chaos engulfing the country, Amnesty International said today.

This week, the Security Council is expected to give French and African Union troops on the ground an initial mandate to rein in the security forces and armed groups responsible for spiralling human rights violations and abuses. But a full-fledged UN peacekeeping operation may be necessary to overcome the current crisis.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201312020229.html?viewall=1

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South Asia

 

Four policemen killed in Afghan suicide attack

Dec 2, 2013

An Afghan official says a suicide truck bombing has killed four police officers in an eastern province.

Wardak provincial spokesman Attaullah Khogyani said the attack took place early on Monday next to the police headquarters building in Nirkh district, a Taliban stronghold near Kabul.

Mr. Khogyani says the truck bomb was extremely large and destroyed the headquarters. He says another 17 members of the security services were injured, four critically.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/four-policemen-killed-in-afghan-suicide-attack/article5414167.ece

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Razakars killed over 500 on AKM Yusuf’s order: Witness

Dec 2, 2013

A prosecution witness Sunday said war crimes accused AKM Yusuf ordered the killing of 500 unarmed Hindu people in Khulna in 1971. Shudhangshu Mandal, 59, the 13th witness, said he had heard this from Shahadat Kazi and Siddique Master, members of the Peace Committee, which collaborated with the Pakistani occupying army during the war. He also held Yusuf responsible for many other killings, arson attacks and forced deportations of people; as Yusuf had addressed meetings of the Peace Committee and instigated the collaborators to commit crimes against humanity. Shudhangshu, who was a freedom fighter in 1971, also told the International Crimes Tribunal 2 how he and the villagers fled to India. Following his testimony, junior defence counsel MH Tamim began cross examining the witness, as his senior colleague was not present. The questioning remained incomplete and the tribunal set Monday for further proceedings.

Full report at:

 http://www.dhakatribune.com/law-amp-rights/2013/dec/02/razakars-killed-over-5000-yusuf%E2%80%99s-order-witness#sthash.v8E9R6oa.dpuf

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Maldives SC undermining parliamentary independence, says Majlis committee

By Mariyath Mohamed | December 1st, 2013

The Parliamentary Privileges Committee has on Sunday passed a motion submitted by Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) MP Imthiyaz Fahmy regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to void four articles in the Parliament’s Privileges Act.

Meanwhile, fellow MDP MP Hamid Abdul Ghafoor’s prosecution for failure to attend the Criminal Court was overturned in the High Court today. Hamid had claimed parliamentary privileges in his defence.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/supreme-court-undermining-parliamentary-independence-says-majlis-committee-72539

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Afghan president suggests delay in April polls

2013-12-02

KABUL: Afghan President Hamid Karzai has suggested delaying April elections to avoid heavy snow, organisers said, an idea that will rattle the United States and critics who fear he may be trying to drag out his second and final term.

Karzai is barred by the constitution from running for a third term and has so far refrained from backing any of the candidates, although he is widely expected to support his elder brother Qayum, seen as one of the front runners.

But Karzai has also refused to sign a pact that would keep thousands of US troops in Afghanistan after next year when most international troops pull out.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1060019/afghan-president-suggests-delay-in-april-polls

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Bangladesh opposition confirms poll boycott on deadline

December 2, 2013

DHAKA: Bangladesh’s 18-party opposition coalition confirmed Monday it would boycott a general election scheduled for January just hours before a final deadline for nominations, plunging the volatile country into political uncertainty.

“There is no question of us filing nominations for the January 5 election under the present circumstances. We’re not going to take part in the January 5 elections,” Shamsher Mobin Chowdhury, a vice president of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), told AFP.

Monday is the last day for nominations with the final cutoff at 05:00 pm local time.

Chowdhury said the BNP and its 17 smaller allies including the country’s largest religious party would only change their mind “if the polls are organised by a non-party, neutral government”.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/640020/bangladesh-opposition-confirms-poll-boycott-on-deadline/

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North America

 

Rep. Mike Rogers Warns Of Rising Terrorism Threat

Dec 2, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The terrorism threat against the United States is increasing and Americans aren't as safe as they were a year or two ago, the leaders of the House and Senate intelligence committees said.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein said there are more terrorist groups than ever, with more sophisticated and hard-to-detect bombs. The California Democrat said "there is huge malevolence out there."

Rep. Mike Rogers said there's enormous pressure on U.S. intelligence services "to get it right, to prevent an attack."

The Michigan Republican said that job is getting more difficult because al-Qaida is changing, with more affiliates around the world. He said those are groups that once operated independently of but have now joined with al-Qaida.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/01/mike-rogers-terrorism_n_4367735.html?utm_hp_ref=politics

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No one can guarantee that Taliban won't seize power after ISAF forces move out

2 December 2013

By the end of next year, the bulk of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) will have pulled out of Afghanistan, leaving it to the local army and police to maintain order. That task, however, may prove too hard for them to cope with, which means that the Taliban may regain control of some areas or the entire territory.

Meanwhile, the relationship between Washington and Kabul has been marred by yet another scandal.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai refused to put his signature under a strategic partnership agreement with the United States even after it won the approval of the Loya Jirga, or the "Grand Assembly of the Elders." The US responded with threats to freeze financial aid to and consider a "zero option" withdrawal that will see all US troops removed from the strife-torn country. The Afghan government will then have no one but itself to rely upon in security matters. Observers doubt that Karzai or his successor could be up to the task, which makes the Taliban's comeback fairly predictable, Alexei Martynov, Director of the International Institute for New States, told the Voice of Russia.

Full report at:

 http://voiceofrussia.com/2013_12_02/No-one-can-guarantee-that-Taliban-wont-seize-power-after-ISAF-forces-move-out-next-year-from-Afghanistan-expert-9835/

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Americans ‘are joining Syria’s civil war’

Dec 2, 2013

RALEIGH, North Carolina // US officials say Americans are joining the bloody civil war in Syria, raising the chances they could become radicalised by Al Qaeda-linked militant groups and return to the US as battle-hardened security risks.

The US State Department says it has no estimates of how many Americans have taken up weapons to fight military units loyal to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad in the conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people over two-and-a-half years. Other estimates – from an arm of the British defence consultant IHS Jane’s and from experts at a nonprofit think tank in London – put the number of Americans at a couple of dozen. The IHS group says Al Qaeda-linked fighters number about 15,000, with total anti-Assad forces at 100,000 or more.

Full report at:

http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/americans-are-joining-syrias-civil-war#ixzz2mMVOhNg2

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USA denies giving fuel to Afghan security forces

World Bulletin / News Desk

2 December 2013

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has accused the US of refusing to provide fuel to Afghan security forces as a way of pressurizing them into signing a disputed security agreement.

"The cutting of fuel supplies and support services to the Afghan Army and Police is being used as a means of pressure to ensure Afghanistan signs the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA)," said a statment from the President.

The BSA would authorize a further 10-year US residual military presence in Afghanistan to continue to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces. It will enable over 15,000 US troops to stay in Afghanistan as NATO/ISAF forces.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=124128

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US to destroy Syria's deadliest chemical weapons by hydrolysis

2 December 2013

The White House announced that the States would provide an American vessel with the technology capable of destroying the weapons at sea. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the group overseeing the dismantling of Syria's chemical-arms program, said the US would "neutralize Syria's priority chemicals" such as mustard gas and sarin.

The method chosen for the disposal is hydrolysis—breaking down the agents with a mix of heated water and chemicals like bleach.

Hydrolysis is a reaction of a target compound with water, an acid or a base in which some bond is broken in the target. The destruction of chemical agent is often referred to as chemical neutralization – a reaction between an acid and a base to form salt and water.

Full report at:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2013_12_02/US-to-destroy-Syrias-deadliest-chemical-weapons-by-hydrolysis-0297/

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India

 

Madrasas in India attract Hindu students

World Bulletin / News Desk

 02 December 2013

A report has revealed that as many as 15% of children attending traditional Islamic madrasas for education in India are in fact Hindus.

After Islamic madrasas accepted to incorporate the Indian national curriculum into their institutions, their success at not only teaching Islamic theological sciences, but also the secular sciences such as Mathematics, English, Biology and Physics, have earned them a good reputation throughout the state of West Bengal.

Although when the change was made in 2007 to ‘modernize’ Islamic madrasas in India, many Muslims protested against the idea, the change has now allowed the image of madrasas to change. Especially after 9/11, madrassas were viewed with suspicion by Muslims and non-Muslims alike, but now, due to the success graduates have enjoyed in their chosen careers, they are viewed as normal schools.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/?aType=haber&ArticleID=124131

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Old India & Pak soldiers light up new peace pipe ‘

By Jugal R. Purohit in New Delhi

Dec 2, 2013

VETERAN soldiers from Indian and Pakistani armed forces started their annual peace initiative in the national capital with a discussion where they called for a paradigm shift in the relations of the two neighbouring countries.

Organised under the aegis of India Pakistan Soldiers’ Initiative (IPSI), the event saw the Indian chapter hosting an 18- member strong delegation of retired Pakistan armed force members and their families.

“Both our populations today have far less of collective memory of India and Pakistan being a part of one dominion. This, in my understanding, is a conducive climate for peace. However, from what I have observed, Indians in their thoughts remain frozen in the psyche of the 60s. But Pakistanis have moved on to the 21st century,” Congress MP and IPSI Chairperson Mani Shankar Aiyar, a former diplomat, said at the event on Friday.

Full report at:

Mail Today

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41-year-old India-Bangladesh passport regime ends

TNN | Dec 2, 2013

AGARTALA: The 41-year-old India-Bangladesh passport regime in the Northeast and in West Bengal came to an end on Sunday following an instruction by the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to the concerned state governments.

Those who have been already a passport under the old system will be able to use it until the expiration date. This special passport, which allowed travel to Bangladesh with a locally issued visa, was introduced after the independence of Bangladesh in 1971 for the easy movement of people between the two countries.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/41-year-old-India-Bangladesh-passport-regime-ends/articleshow/26714666.cms

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India to ask Pak to arrest Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin

Deeptiman Tiwary,TNN | Dec 2, 2013

NEW DELHI: For the first time, India will officially ask for legal assistance from Pakistan to arrest Hizbul Mujahideen chief Syed Salahuddin. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), which filed a chargesheet against the Pakistan-sponsored Kashmiri militant group leader on Saturday, is now preparing to send a judicial request to Pakistan for his arrest. A red corner notice will also be issued soon against Salahuddin who has been declared a proclaimed offender.

The agency has filed a chargesheet against Salahuddin in a 2011 case of terror funding where money was allegedly pumped into his outfit from Pakistan through overground NGOs.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-to-ask-Pak-to-arrest-Hizbul-Mujahideen-chief-Syed-Salahuddin/articleshow/26707654.cms

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Southeast Asia

 

Federal Court urged to remove paragraph accusing Anwar of homosexuality

Dec 2, 2013

The Federal Court today heard that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's reputation was grossly tarnished when it acquitted him for sodomy in 2004 but at the same time inferred that he had homosexual tendencies.

Anwar's counsel Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah told a five-man Federal Court bench that a paragraph in the judgment had been continuously used by his client's political opponents to run down the former deputy prime minister.

"This has caused serious injustice and damage towards the applicant," said Sulaiman, in applying to remove the contentious paragraph in the 2004 judgment by the Federal Court.

He said every time the opposition leader filed a defamation suit to clear his name, opponents would rely on the judgment as their defence.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/federal-court-told-to-remove-paragraph-accusing-anwar-of-homosexuality

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Rising HIV Infections among Indonesian Youth Cause Concern

Dec 2, 2013

Measures taken to minimize the impact of HIV infections in Indonesia is proving to be successful with a decline in the number of AIDS-related deaths this year, but the number of infections among the nation’s youth have continued on an upward trend, a government official said.

Health Minister Nafsiah Mboi said the number of AIDS-related deaths declined from 3.21 percent of people infected with the virus last year to only 0.30 percent by June this year as the government continues to encourage people to take HIV tests as a step to prevent the development and transmission of the disease.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/rising-hiv-infections-among-youth-cause-concern/

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Online database on Muslim converts soon – Bernama

Dec 2, 2013

The Malaysian Islamic Development Department, or Jakim, will launch e-muallaf next year, a database on Muslim converts.

Its deputy director-general (Human Development) Datuk Razali Shahabudin said one of the aims of having the database was to detect the action of some converts who were claimed to have gone through conversion a number of times, besides updating the information on converts.

"After this, no one can deceive the Islamic Religious Department and the database will also ensure that the converts will not be overlooked in the Islamic missionary programme," he said after opening the two-day National-Level Muslim Converts Convention in Kota Bharu, yesterday.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/online-database-on-muslim-converts-soon-bernama

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Explain destruction at Malaysia’s richest historical site, opposition MP

Dec 2, 2013

An opposition lawmaker today demanded Putrajaya and first-term Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir break their silence over the destruction of historic ruins in Lembah Bujang in Kedah by a developer.

Padang Serai MP N. Surendran said that the destroyed tomb or candi No. 11 was a tangible part of the country’s history, adding that it was impossible to comprehend the fact that the area was not gazetted as a historical site.

Lembah Bujang, or Bujang Valley, is Malaysia’s richest archaeological area. It sprawls over approximately 224 square km and is situated near Merbok, Kedah, between Gunung Jerai in the north and Sungai Muda in the south.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/mukhriz-najib-should-explain-destruction-in-lembah-bujang-says-opposition-m

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/saudi-arabia,-kuwait-tighten-controls-on-clerics-for-the-fear-of-inflaming-sectarian-divisions/d/34689

 

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