New Age Islam
Thu Nov 26 2020, 09:28 PM

Islamic World News ( 22 Jan 2012, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Saudi Arabia needs three more years to change school textbooks: minister

  • Islamist insurgents kill over 178 in Nigeria's Kano
  • Indonesian Charged With Blasphemy for Atheist Post
  • Mumbai 13/7 blasts case cracked, 3 arrested
  • Salman Rushdie to appear via video link at Jaipur Literature Festival
  • Pakistan needs to breed more historians: Ayesha Jalal
  • How Pakistan helps the U.S. drone campaign
  • Hizb-ut Tahrir shows its eerie presence in Bangladesh
  • Expand burka ban, says Muslim group
  • Pakistan amongst the top five overseas Bollywood markets
  • India-Pakistan Test series not possible before 2013
  • Pakistan 'memogate' witness refuses to testify
  • Pakistan hurtles towards 2012 polls
  • Hasan says will back ‘third force’ for Malay-Muslim unity
  • Turkey’s government is the new normal in the Middle East
  • Rushdie: India authorities gave 'false intelligence'
  • Iraq: Qais al-Khazali: In the shadows of resistance
  • Is Liberalism Islamic?: An Interview with Mustafa Akyol
  • Human Rights Watch urges the West accepts Islamists’ ascendence to power
  • US drone strike in Pakistan 'kills five militants'
  • Syria rejects Arab League plan for Assad to step down
  • Four killed in US drone attacks in North Waziristan
  • Naval commander warns against oversimplifying Muslim
  • Bangladesh warning after foiled coup
  • Iran's economic troubles mount as new sanctions are made ready
  • Hamas chief stepping down may result in new direction for Palestine
  • EU Iran sanctions: Envoys 'agree' Iran oil imports ban
  • Egypt's post-Mubarak parliament holds first session
  • Arab League on Syria mission
  • Is the AKP ‘Islamic Kemalist'?
  • Uncertainties lie ahead of Egypt's new People's Assembly
  • Jihad in America – lessons must be learned
  • Strengthen Support for ‘Arab Spring’
  • Q&A with Asef Bayat: 'Not yet a full-fledged revolution'
  • Prince Alwaleed receives Former PM of Pakistan
  • Gilani rules out ‘viceroy security’ Amjad Mahmood
  • Ijaz’s counsel dissatisfied with security measures
  • Syria rejects Arab League call for power change
  • Arab League calls on Assad to cede power, turns to UN
  • Rural Pakistan will overwhelmingly support PTI: Imran
  • Pakistan: Bad heart drugs suspected in 25 deaths
  • Diplomatic thaw in US-Pakistan ties: Daily
  • Pakistan: Suspected US missile strike kills 4
  • The Muslim Brotherhood and Democracy
  • Islamists Win 70% of Seats in the Egyptian Parliament
  • Iranian actress exiled over nude pics in French Mag
  • Nigeria's president visits city where bombings killed 178
  • Can aid salvage US-Pak relations?
  • Arfa in line for highest civilian award
  • Pakistani Police Arrest ‘Fake’ Army General


Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo:  H.H. Prince Faisal Bin Abdullah

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/saudi-arabia-needs-three-more-years-to-change-school-textbooks--minister/d/6447

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Saudi Arabia needs three more years to change school textbooks: minister

23 January 2012

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia needs three more years to change its school textbooks which have been criticised by the US for religious intolerance, the ultra-conservative kingdom's education minister said Sunday.

"Changing the curriculum is difficult and needs three years" before it can be achieved, Prince Faisal bin Abdullah told participants and reporters at the annual Global Competitiveness Forum in Riyadh.

"We are not satisfied with what we've got, but we have big hopes... we need time as this is not an easy duty," said the minister, who is known for his moderate views.

The ministry is working on "developing curricula that would absorb new visions and promote citizenship, tolerance, and openness towards others... as well as promoting the participation of women based on equality (with men) in their abilities," he said.

Saudi Arabia came under criticism by the US State Department following the September 2011 attacks over the lack of religious freedom in its school textbooks, and was accused of promoting intolerance.

An independent US Commission on International Religious Freedom charged in a report in 2007, following a fact-finding mission to the kingdom, that there was little transparency in the textbook revision process and "intolerant and inflammatory elements" remained in them.

It asked the US government to act against the Islamic kingdom's "exportation of extremist ideology and intolerance in education material."

http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hvSJ3WHmKw9VZtulaR6OBA_6TqAg?docId=CNG.ec45d990295490dbd93cb6dfee221d02.51

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Islamist insurgents kill over 178 in Nigeria's Kano

By Mike Oboh

Sun Jan 22, 2012

(Reuters) - Gun and bomb attacks by Islamist insurgents in the northern Nigerian city of Kano last week killed at least 178 people, a hospital doctor said on Sunday, underscoring the challenge President Goodluck Jonathan faces to prevent his country sliding further into chaos.

A coordinated series of bomb blasts and shooting sprees mostly targeting police stations Friday sent panicked residents of Nigeria's second biggest city of more than 10 million people running for cover.

The scale of the carnage makes this by far the deadliest strike claimed by Boko Haram, a shadowy Islamist sect that started out as a clerical movement opposed to western education but has become the biggest security menace facing Africa's top oil producer.

"We have 178 people killed in the two main hospitals," the senior doctor in Kano's Murtala Mohammed hospital said following Friday's attacks, citing records from his own and the other main hospital of Nasarawa.

"There could be more, because some bodies have not yet come in and others were collected early."

The streets were quiet Sunday in Kano, a vast metropolis of wide paved highways, normally buzzing with motorbikes, and sandy alleyways where hawkers sell grilled meat and donkeys pull carts heaped with fruit and vegetables.

Churches, which would usually be filled with worshippers in the religiously mixed city, were largely empty.

Jonathan, a Christian from the south, travelled to Kano on Sunday, visiting hospitals to speak to victims.

"Our coming today is to express our condolence to the good people of Kano over the dastardly acts," Jonathan said at the palace of the Emir, the city's Muslim figurehead.

"Those causing havoc will never succeed ... The federal government will not rest until the perpetrators are brought to book. We will not rest until these terrorist are wiped out," said Jonathan, wearing a traditional northern Nigerian kaftan and hat.

Boko Haram has been blamed for killing hundreds of people in increasingly sophisticated bombings and shootings, mostly targeting security forces, establishment figures and more recently Christians, in the country of 160 million people split roughly evenly between them and Muslims.

MORE ATTACKS ON SUNDAY

Apart from a handful of forays into the capital Abuja, the sect's energies have been concentrated in the majority Muslim north, far from the oil producing facilities along the southern coast that keep Africa's second biggest economy afloat.

A further 10 people were killed Sunday in Bauchi state, which neighbors Kano, when police fought gunmen attempting to rob a bank, the police said. Boko Haram robbed several banks last year to fund its insurgency.

"In the early hours of today gunmen killed 10 people at a military checkpoint and a nearby hotel at Tafawa Balewa local government area," police commissioner Ikechukwu Aduba told Reuters.

"One police officer, an army corporal and eight civilians (were killed) after gunmen were earlier repelled from robbing a bank."

Explosions also struck two churches in Bauchi Sunday, witnesses said, destroying one of them completely, although there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The government has announced a dusk-to-dawn curfew in Kano, an ancient city that was once part of an Islamic caliphate trading riches on caravan routes connecting sub-Saharan Africa with the Mediterranean.

Jonathan, who helped broker a deal that largely ended an insurgency by militants in the oil-rich southeast in 2009, has been criticized for failing to grasp the gravity of the crisis unfolding in the north, and of treating it as a pure security issue that will fizzle out by itself.

Worsening insecurity has led some to question whether Nigeria isn't sliding into civil war, 40 years after the secessionist Biafra conflict killed over a million people, though few think an all-out war splitting the country into two or more pieces is a likely outcome.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned the attacks and called for "swift and transparent investigations" into the killings. European powers and the African Union have also condemned the attacks.

SECT CHANGING

Boko Haram became active around 2003 in the remote, northeastern state of Borno, on the threshold of the Sahara, but its attacks have spread into other northern states, including Yobe, Kano, Bauchi and Gombe.

Boko Haram, a Hausa term meaning "Western education is sinful," is loosely modeled on Afghanistan's Taliban, but analysts say the anger it channels reflects a perception that the north has been marginalized from oil riches concentrated in the south.

The sect originally said it wanted sharia, Islamic law, to be applied more widely across Nigeria but its aims appear to have changed. Recent messages from its leaders have said it is attacking anyone who opposes it, at present mainly police, the government and Christian groups.

"Since 2009 it is an insurgency that has gathered pace almost in slow motion, incrementally - apparently absorbed and accommodated with no clear evidence that government has the capacity, competence or will to turn the tide," said Antony Goldman, head of Nigeria-focused PM Consulting.

"Boko Haram was a work in progress when (former President) Obasanjo, who had a deserved 'no nonsense' reputation, was in power; and it was Yar'Adua, a Muslim President, who ordered a bloody crackdown in 2009. It was a difficult inheritance for Jonathan but the problems have only grown more complex."

Boko Haram's attacks have become increasingly deadly in the last few months.

At least 65 people were killed in the northeast Nigerian city of Damaturu, Yobe state, in a spate of gun and bomb attacks in November.

A bomb attack on a Catholic church just outside the capital Abuja on Christmas Day, claimed by Boko Haram, killed 37 people and wounded 57.

In a Reuters interview in late December, National Security Adviser General Owoye Andrew Azazi said officials are considering making contact with moderate members of shadowy sect via "back channels," even though explicit talks are officially ruled out.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/22/us-nigeria-violence-idUSTRE80L0A020120122?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&rpc=71

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Indonesian Charged With Blasphemy for Atheist Post

January 21, 2012

Indonesian police say a civil servant who posted "God does not exist" on Facebook faces a maximum penalty of five years behind bars for blasphemy.

Thirty-one-year-old Alexander Aan was taken into police custody Friday after his remarks triggered public outcry in West Sumatra province.

He was attacked by a mob on his way to work.

Indonesia, a predominantly Muslim nation of 240 million, recognizes the right to practice five other religions. But atheism is illegal.

Col. Chairul Azis, police chief in the West Sumatran district of Dharmasraya, says Aan was charged because he used the social networking site to spread beliefs that violate the law.

He says Aan also lied on his job application by claiming he was Muslim.

https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inbox/13506127e0e80ddd

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Mumbai 13/7 blasts case cracked, 3 arrested

Jan 23, 2012

MUMBAI: The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of the Mumbai Police on Monday arrested three people in connection with last year's July 13 serial blasts in which 27 people were killed and over 100 injured, sources said.

Claiming to have cracked the serial blasts that rocked Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar in south and central Mumbai, sources said the arrests have been made by Mumbai Police from Bihar, according to IANS.

Two people, Naqi Ahmed and Nadeem Akhtar have been arrested for their involvement in the blasts, Times Now reported.

Indian Mujahideen's Yasin Bhatkal IM was behind the blasts, according to ATS.

ATS chief Rakesh Maria was likely to reveal more details in the case later Monday.

The investigation is being conducted by teams of the Mumbai Police, Maharashtra's Criminal Investigation Department (CID), National Investigation Agency (NIA) and others, with support from the local security agencies in several states.

Three blasts at close intervals, on July 13 last year, shook the country's diamond and gold hubs - Opera House and Zaveri Bazar - and a busy commercial area of Dadar, killing at least 27 people and leaving around 125 injured.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Mumbai-13/7-blasts-case-cracked-3-arrested/articleshow/11602167.cms

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Salman Rushdie to appear via video link at Jaipur Literature Festival

Jan 23, 2012

JAIPUR: British author Salman Rushdie is to address the Jaipur Literature Festival by video link after he was forced to pull-out in person because of protests by Islamic hardliners, organisers said on Monday.

Rushdie's appearance at the Jaipur Literature Festival was cancelled on Friday, with the Indian-origin writer citing alleged threats to his life from underworld gunmen who had been hired to kill him.

Earlier this month, an influential Islamic seminary, the Deoband, had triggered the controversy by calling for him to be denied entrance to the country because of his allegedly blasphemous 1988 novel "Satanic Verses".

"Salman Rushdie will address the Jaipur Literature Festival through video conference," Sanjoy Roy, producer of the festival said, adding that he would talk on Tuesday at 3:45pm (10:15 GMT).

Since cancelling his scheduled appearances, Rushdie has accused the Rajasthan Police of fabricating the death threat plot to keep him away from the festival, India's biggest literature event.

In an editorial on Monday, The Hindu newspaper said the author, who was born in Mumbai, was "entitled to a full apology for this shameful episode and to an unconditional assurance that he is welcome in India at any time and place".

The newspaper said that the three men alleged to have been involved in the assassination plot were not a threat and said the episode had "brought about the humiliation of the country".

Rushdie's 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses", which is banned in India, is seen by many Muslims worldwide as a blasphemous work that insults their religion.

Four authors who read excerpts from the book at the Jaipur event to protest the treatment of Rushdie have since left on the advice of the organisers, who faced a police investigation.

Rushdie, who appeared at the Jaipur festival without incident in 2007, spent a decade in hiding after Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa in 1989 calling for his death over the novel.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Salman-Rushdie-to-appear-via-video-link-at-Jaipur-Literature-Festival/articleshow/11601363.cms

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Pakistan needs to breed more historians: Ayesha Jalal

23 January 2012

One of Pakistan’s most acclaimed historians, Ayesha Jalal bemoans the fact that history as an academic discipline has failed to grow in her country, a deficiency that needs to be addressed to spawn a new breed of scholars in the subject.

A professor of History at the Tufts University with as many as seven books to her credit, the Pakistani-American who is an authority on South Asia has chosen to return to Pakistan as a visiting scholar to help address the gap in her own way.

In India to attend the Jaipur Literature Festival, Jalal told PTI during an interaction why she felt that the academic growth of history in India had contributed to the development of a worthy scholarship in this country.

“Of course, there are biases and political agendas too, but India has continued to teach history, as a result of which you have historical scholarship coming from India,” she said.

“I was bemoaning the fact that in Pakistan history has suffered as an academic discipline, and is not taught as is the way in India,” she said.

Jalal’s books include ‘The Sole Spokesman’ and ‘Democracy and Authoritarianism in South Asia’ — works that have tried to trace the history of the subcontinent including the origins and the tortured legacy of the partition.

She has also co-authored Modern South Asia: History, Culture and Political Economy with her husband Sugata Bose, a book that is considered perhaps the first joint exercise by an Indian and a Pakistani in dissecting the history of modern South Asia.

A grand niece of eminent Urdu writer Saadat Hasan Manto, Jalal returns to Pakistan from her base in the United States as a visiting professor at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).

“In my own modest way, I am trying to address this issue by teaching history in Pakistan,” she said.

The author, whose last book ‘Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia’ traced the discourse on jihad in South Asia over centuries, strongly believes that the Taliban has lost support among the people and that Pakistan is a country that is politically more resilient than many would believe.

“The Arab Spring has reinforced the fact that the people are prepared to take up structures of state. In Pakistan, despite military regimes, no ruler has survived more than 11 years; forget about 30 or 40 years. I think Pakistan is politically more resilient than many people believe, all it needs is a chance,” she said.

However, she believes the issues - of pervading injustice and inequity - that have contributed to al qaeda’a rise will have to be addressed to put an end to violence.

The emergence of Imran Khan on Pakistan’s political horizon has made many people take note of the former cricketer’s potential, and Jalal feels it has a lot to do with the prevailing disenchantment and yearning for a change.

“There is a lot of disenchantment in Pakistan, there is anti-incumbency what Indians know very well. Imran Khan’s popularity has much to do with it. People are looking up to him for a change,” she says.

Keywords: Jaipur Literature Festival, JLF 2012

http://www.thehindu.com/arts/books/article2825063.ece

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How Pakistan Helps The U.S. Drone Campaign

23 January 2012

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - The death of a senior al Qaeda leader in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan's tribal badlands, the first strike in almost two months, signaled that the U.S.-Pakistan intelligence partnership is still in operation despite political tensions.

The Jan 10 strike -- and its follow-up two days later -- were joint operations, a Pakistani security source based in the tribal areas told Reuters.

Full Report At:

http://mypress.se/2012/01/22/exclusive-how-pakistan-helps-the-u-s-drone-campaign/

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Hizb-ut Tahrir shows its eerie presence in Bangladesh

Kailash Sarkar

Fifteen months after it was banned, the Islamist outfit Hizb-ut-Tahrir is once again in the spotlight after the army pointed to its involvement in the recent foiled plot to topple the government.

The banned organisation on January 8 circulated provocative leaflets based on fugitive Maj Syed Ziaul Haq's internet message throughout the country, the army said at a press conference on January 19.

The Bangladesh chapter of Hizb-ut-Tahrir was banned on October 22, 2010 for its anti-state subversive activities.

However, instead of ceasing its activities, the outfit tried to bring out processions and hold rallies on several occasions in and outside the capital and advertised several of its publications.

Full Report At:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=219542

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Expand burka ban, says Muslim group

JANUARY 22, 2012

TORONTO - A Muslim group is urging Canada’s immigration minister to extend his recent burka ban beyond the citizenship courts.

The Muslim Canadian Congress honoured Jason Kenney at a hotel in Toronto’s west end Sunday for his decision to ban burkas during swearing-in ceremonies.

But then the group asked the minister to go a step further and introduce legislation requiring any face coverings be removed to work in the public sector or do business with government officials.

Full Report At:

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/01/22/expand-burka-ban-muslim-canadian-congress

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Pakistan amongst the top five overseas Bollywood markets

by Imran Shaukat Khan

23 January 2012

Bollywood superstars Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan and Amir Khan not only rule the Indian box-office, they also have a huge fan base in Pakistan. As per the experts, Pakistan is now one of the top five overseas markets for the Bollywood industry.

Previously Pakistan had put a ban on the Indian films but it was lifted in 2006 and since then Indian films are doing a great business at Pak box-office. Amir Khan’s ‘3 idiots’, Shahrukh Khan’s ‘My Name is Khan’ and Salman Khan’s ‘Bodyguard’ racked in Rs 5 crore, Rs 5.25 crore and Rs 6 crore respectively across the border. Moreover, Shahrukh Khan’s latest movie ‘Don 2 – The King is Back’ is expected to set a new record by crossing Rs 7.25 crore mark.

Full Report At:

http://www.newspakistan.pk/2012/01/23/pakistan-top-overseas-bollywood-markets/

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India-Pakistan Test series not possible before 2013

23 January 2012

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has admitted that any realistic chance of a bilateral Test series with India would not be possible before 2013.

Chief Operating Officer, Subhan Ahmad told PTI that it appeared with the new ICC Future Tour Program (FTP) to be enforced from April this year that the scheduled Pakistan team's tour to India in March-April in the old FTP is now being shelved.

"It appears as if both boards now have to make a fresh start in the new FTP with India scheduled to tour Pakistan in 2013," he said.

India didn't tour Pakistan in early 2009 in the wake of the Mumbai terror attacks, while Pakistan's tour to India in March-April this year under the old FTP is cancelled due to various reasons.

Full Report At:

http://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/news/item/184399-india-pakistan-test-series-not-possible-before-2013

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Pakistan 'memogate' witness refuses to testify

23 January 2012

Mansoor Ijaz, who claims Pakistani ambassador to Washington wrote secret memo to US military, says he fears for his safety

The US businessman at the heart of Pakistan's "memogate" political scandal will not come to the country to testify, blaming concerns for his own safety, according to his lawyer.

After proclaiming he was prepared to give evidence even at the risk of his own life, Mansoor Ijaz will not turn up for the court appearance on Tuesday.

Ijaz claims the then Pakistani ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani, dictated and asked him to deliver an anonymous "memo" to the American military leadership in May last year, offering to rein in the Pakistani armed forces in return for US support for the civilian government.

Full Report At:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/jan/23/pakistan-memogate-witness-refuses-testify?newsfeed=true

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Pakistan hurtles towards 2012 polls

23 January 2012

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s government has won temporary respite in its bid to cling onto office but early polls are inevitable as the army and judiciary plot to bring down the unpopular president, analysts say.

The power struggle between Asif Ali Zardari’s government on the one hand and the courts and military on the other is by any standards toxic — even in a nuclear-armed country as perennially on the brink of crisis as Pakistan.

No elected government in the history of the country has survived a full term in office and almost from inception the daggers have been drawn for the Pakistan People’s Party administration, led by the most unlikely of presidents.

Yet Zardari has survived nearly four years through nous and cunning. Polls in 2012 may satisfy an army desperate to see the back of Zardari but his prime minister has already become the longest-serving civilian premier in Pakistan.

“2012 is election year,” says political analyst and author Imtiaz Gul, regardless of whether Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani survives contempt proceedings initiated by the Supreme Court.

Millions of voters are fed up with crippling energy cuts, inflation and unemployment, and exhausted by the unpopular US alliance that is blamed for much of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked violence sweeping the country.

“All political parties want early elections,” said Gul.

“There is economic crisis and social instability and the government will therefore see early elections as the only way out.”

The Supreme Court judges demanding that Zardari be reinvestigated for graft in Switzerland could ultimately decide to convict Gilani of contempt, sentence him to jail and disqualify him — as well as Zardari — from office.

The president is also under pressure from a judicial investigation into a secretive memo seeking to overhaul the military leadership after the army was humiliated by a covert American operation on May 2 that killed Osama bin Laden.

But the court’s decision to adjourn until February 1 has bought the government at least two weeks’ reprieve after Gilani was summoned to face contempt charges on Thursday.

Full Report At:

http://pakistan.onepakistan.com/news/breaking/41741-pakistan-hurtles-towards-2012-polls.html

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Hasan says will back ‘third force’ for Malay-Muslim unity

By Yow Hong Chieh

January 22, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Datuk Hasan Ali says he will support any political “third force” if it can unite Malays and defend Islam, following his sacking from PAS a fortnight ago.

The former Selangor PAS chief, who was axed for breaching party discipline, told Utusan Malaysia today he would back any effort to create a viable alternative for Muslims tired of the current political status quo.

Full Report At:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/hasan-says-will-back-third-force-for-malay-muslim-unity

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Turkey’s government is the new normal in the Middle East

By Jackson Diehl

23 January 2012

It would be nice to think that Rick Perry’s withdrawal from the GOP presidential race last week had something to do with the boneheaded remark he made about Turkey recently in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., debate. The exchange with Bret Baier of Fox News easily qualifies as the foreign policy low point of the presidential campaign so far — which is saying something. It also points to a problem in American — and in particular, Republican — understanding of the changing Middle East that is much bigger than Perry.

Baier delivered a mostly accurate but extremely one-sided description of the government of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying that since his “Islamist-oriented party took over ... the murder rate of women has increased 1,400 percent. Press freedom has declined to the level of Russia. [Erdogan] has embraced Hamas, and Turkey has threatened military force against both Israel and Cyprus.” Then he asked: “Do you believe Turkey still belongs in NATO?”

Full Report At:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/tukeys-government-is-the-new-normal-in-the-middle-east/2012/01/19/gIQA5GRaJQ_story.html

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Rushdie: India authorities gave 'false intelligence'

23 January 2012

Author Salman Rushdie has accused authorities in the Indian state of Rajasthan of giving "false intelligence information" of a threat to his life.

Mr Rushdie withdrew from the Jaipur literature festival on Friday, saying that he been told by sources that paid assassins were planning to kill him.

But he later said he believed he had been lied to about the threat.

The Rajasthan government has denied the charge, saying it was "baseless".

Salman Rushdie sparked anger in the Muslim world with his book The Satanic Verses, which many see as blasphemous.

Full Report At:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-16675759

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Iraq: Qais al-Khazali: In the shadows of resistance

21-01-2012

Unlike Muqtada al-Sadr, Qais al-Khazaili and his role in Iraqi resistance to occupation and politics are little known in Western circles.

In his first interview with a media outlet outside Iraq, al-Khazali, leader of the Iraqi movement Asaib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), or League of the Righteous, speaks to Al-Akhbar about the US occupation’s legacy, the current crisis among Iraq’s political leadership, as well as the achievements and political outlook of his organization.

Elie Chalhoub (EC): After years of what you describe as armed resistance, you decided to join the political process. What is the nature of the resistance you engaged in and your accomplishments from your perspective?

Full Report At:

http://www.muslimnews.co.uk/news/news.php?sub=2136

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Is Liberalism Islamic?: An Interview with Mustafa Akyol

Haroon Moghul

23 January 2012

by Mustafa Akyol

It seemed a few years ago that the post-9/11 spike in the field of Islamic studies was waning, no doubt accelerated by economic crisis and fatigue with a long, uncertain war. But then the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt brought Islam, Arabs, and the Middle East, back to global attention.

This interest will only continue to grow; the direction of the Middle East will be crucial to how our world turns out in coming decades. And with Islamist parties triumphing in recent elections across a democratizing region, we in America are ever more concerned—and confused.

Full Report At:

http://www.religiondispatches.org/books/politics/5467/is_liberalism_islamic%3A_an_interview_with_mustafa_akyol/

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Human Rights Watch urges the West accepts Islamists’ ascendence to power

23 January 2012

CAIRO — The United States and other Western governments must accept the new reality that Islamists have emerged to fill the power vacuum in the Arab world after a wave of popular uprisings, Human Rights Watch said in its annual report Sunday.

The New York-based group also urged Islamist parties, which have emerged as the biggest winners in recent elections in Tunisia and Egypt and are expected to fare well in Libya, to respect the rights of women and religious minorities, saying they cannot “pick and choose” when it comes to human rights.

Full Report At:

exception/2012/01/22/gIQACBgvHQ_story.html

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US drone strike in Pakistan 'kills five militants'

20 jan 2012

A drone attack in a volatile tribal region of north-west Pakistan has killed at least five suspected militants, officials say.

The attack took place at Degan village in the North Waziristan tribal area, close to the Afghan border.

Full Report At:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16676361

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Syria rejects Arab League plan for Assad to step down

23 January 2012

Syria has rejected an Arab League call for President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy.

The league, meeting in Cairo, also called on Syria to form a national unity government with the opposition within two months.

A government official called the plan "flagrant interference" in Syria's internal affairs, state TV said.

Full Report At:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16676241

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Four killed in US drone attacks in North Waziristan

23 January 2012

Pakistan has criticised the drone program saying it inflames anti-American sentiment and extremism by killing scores of civilians. — Photo by AFP

PESHAWAR: At least four suspected militants were killed in drone attacks in northwest Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal region on Monday, DawnNews reported.

The attacks occurred in North Waziristan’s Dattakhel area.

“A US drone fired two missiles into a vehicle and four militants were killed,” a senior Pakistani security official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/23/us-drone-attack-in-north-waziristan.html

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Naval commander warns against oversimplifying Muslim groups

By Paul J. Nyden

January 21, 2012

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The belief that all Muslims fit into a single category of evil-doers who threaten our national security actually threatens our security. Today, the world has 1.5 billion Muslims. The majority do not even live in Arab countries.

And 90 percent of all Militant Islamic websites available on the internet are in Arabic, while others are available in Malay, Urdu and other languages.

A one-dimensional, irrational hatred for all Muslims has captured the thoughts of many Americans since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon orchestrated by Osama bin Laden, who used militant Islamist ideas to justify his violent actions for many years.

Full Report At:

http://wvgazette.com/Opinion/OpEdCommentaries/201201200112

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Bangladesh warning after foiled coup

By Syed Tashfin Chowdhury

DHAKA - Just two days after the Bangladesh army declared on January 19 that it had foiled a possible coup attempt last month, the government warned "potential conspirators" that they would be tried for sedition if found to have been involved in any such plot.

While addressing the inaugural session of the 110th Judicial Administration training course in Dhaka, Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said on January 21 that any civilian, if found involved in the latest attempt to topple the government, would be prosecuted.

"The trial of army personnel involved in the plot, unearthed by the army last month, will be run by a court set up by the Bangladesh army," he said, adding that "an investigation is on".

Ahmed was referring to retired Lieutenant Colonel Ehsan Yusuf and Major Zakir who were arrested in connection with the

Dilbert

attempted coup and are now being interrogated by the Bangladesh army. Another alleged plotter, a serving major named Syed Zia ul-Haque, is still on the run while nearly 16 other army officials are being kept under strict vigil.

According to a Bangladesh army press briefing on January 19, the army managed to foil the attempted coup that was instigated by "some non-resident Bangladeshis" and "some retired and serving army officers with fanatical religious views" to "thwart the democratic system of Bangladesh by creating disorder in the army".

Yusuf was arrested after he allegedly tried to instigate a serving major to join him in executing his "malicious plan" on December 13, 2011. After the major passed on the matter through his chain of command, the retired officer was arrested under the Army Act, according to a Bangladesh army statement to the media on January 19. Similarly, Zakir was arrested on December 31, 2011, accused of meeting a serving officer to instigate him to actions against the state.

However, as the serving officer informed the proper authority of the matter, "The leave and transfer order of Major Zia, who had recently completed his long-term training, was canceled." Although Zia was informed and ordered to join army headquarters in Dhaka on December 23, 2011, he "remained a fugitive", according to the army statement.

A court of enquiry was constituted on December 28 to investigate the coup attempt.

The army statement continued that to "execute the anti-state conspiracy" through the army, "fugitive Major Zia on January 9 and 10, 2012, sent copies of two imaginary operational orders to different serving officers through e-mail". On January 10, he also contacted "some like-minded officers" working in different formations or studying in different institutions over mobile phone and wanted to know about the preparations of the so-called "military coup".

Full Report At:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/NA24Df02.html

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Iran's economic troubles mount as new sanctions are made ready

23 January 2012

European Union foreign ministers are drawing up a ban on importing Iranian crude oil - adding to economic pressure felt in Iran's streets and bazaars.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has steered Iran on to a collision course with the West and the people are suffering Photo: REUTERS

By Colin Freeman, Chief Foreign Correspondent, Payam Faramarzi and Maryam Sinaiee3:49PM GMT 21 Jan 2012

A golden future beckons for Iranian merchants like Mohammed Fathi - and they are very worried.

Full Report At:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/9029848/Irans-economic-troubles-mount-as-new-sanctions-are-made-ready.html

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Hamas chief stepping down may result in new direction for Palestine

Joshua Mitnick

Jan 22, 2012

Alaska wildlife official faces new allegations of illegal trophy hunting

Why do Alaskans salivate every time a new chain restaurant opens?

Sarah Palin helped Newt Gingrich win in South Carolina. Is Florida now calling?

Hamas’ political chief is stepping down after nearly 16 years, leaving the militant Palestinian group with a potential leadership battle just as Islamist allies elsewhere in the Middle East are enjoying momentum from election victories.

Khaled Meshal, who headed Hamas’ headquarters in Damascus, recently informed the group’s leadership council that he won’t stand for reelection, said a Hamas spokesperson in Gaza. It is unclear exactly why Mr. Meshal is choosing to step aside and who is likely to succeed him.

Recent upheaval in the Middle East has been a mixed bag for Hamas. On the one hand, it has empowered groups like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which controls nearly half of the new parliament, prompting Hamas leaders to boast about an "Islamic Spring" and emboldening backers in the West Bank. But the very same regional changes have cast it adrift from its headquarters in Syria and prompted Meshal to suggest non-militarized confrontation with Israel, to the chagrin of some in the movement.

The outcome of the Hamas leadership change could impact relations with Israel and the US, which consider it a terrorist group, and the rest of the international community.

"It is important to see whether this vacuum will be filled by the moderates or a hawk, because this will affect the future of Hamas and Palestinian politics," says Mohammed Dejani, a political science professor at Al Quds University who believes the Muslim Brotherhood victory will force Hamas to mellow.

Islamic Spring misread?

Full Report At:

http://www.alaskadispatch.com/article/hamas-chief-stepping-down-may-result-new-direction-palestine 

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EU Iran sanctions: Envoys 'agree' Iran oil imports ban

23 January 2012

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton: "Tehran should come to the table"Continue reading the main story

European Union ambassadors have agreed the details of an oil embargo against Iran over its nuclear programme, diplomats say.

Full Report At:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16674660

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Egypt's post-Mubarak parliament holds first session

23 January 2012

The first Egyptian parliament elected since President Hosni Mubarak resigned last February after a popular uprising is holding its inaugural session.

Islamists dominated the elections held for the People's Assembly over the past three months, winning 73% of the seats.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice party won 235 seats, the ultra-conservative Salafist Nour Party 121 and the moderate al-Wasat Party 10.

The chamber is expected to elect a speaker and two deputies on Monday.

Liberal and secular parties polled badly, with the New Wafd securing 38 seats, the Egyptian bloc 35 and the Reform and Development Party 10.

The Revolution Continues, a group formed by youth activists behind the uprising that ousted Mr Mubarak, won only seven seats.

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says liberals fear the Muslim Brotherhood and the ruling military council will strike an agreement to entrench the army's privileges and the Brotherhood's control over Egyptian society.

The assembly will select a 100-member panel to draft a new constitution that will be put to a referendum before a presidential election in June.

The Muslim Brotherhood's General Guide, Mohammed Badie, said in December the FJP would form a broad coalition if it won the elections.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16677548

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Arab League on Syria mission

23 January 2012

The head of the Arab League's monitoring mission in Syria, Mohammed al-Dabi, is holding a news conference in Cairo.

His briefing comes after Syria rejected an Arab League call for President Bashar al-Assad to hand over power to his deputy.

The league also called on Syria to form a national unity government with the opposition within two months.

A government official called that plan "flagrant interference" in Syria's internal affairs, state TV said.

The UN says more than 5,000 people have been killed in violence related to anti-government protests that began in March 2011.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-16678955

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Is the AKP ‘Islamic Kemalist'?

23 January 2012

In feedback to my recent analyses of Turkey's politics I received the following message from a reader abroad: “I still seek to understand why things have come to this in Turkey.

Can you understand why the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been so slow to dismantle Kemalist laws and infrastructures? They have been in power long enough to do so. Must one conclude that they are indeed ‘Islamic Kemalists' who have been brainwashed by so many years of ‘the strong state' that they do not see how to govern otherwise?”

My responses to the highly relevant questions raised above are the following: The AKP is a mass party that brings together various mindsets. It is true, however, that the founding and leading cadres of the party share a common political orientation. That orientation surely involves Islamic values and sensitivities. But can the AKP be labeled Kemalist? Not from most perspectives, but yes from a certain perspective.

Full Report At:

http://www.todayszaman.com/columnist-269258-is-the-akp-islamic-kemalist.html

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Uncertainties lie ahead of Egypt's new People's Assembly

23 January 2012

by Tian Dongdong

CAIRO, Jan. 21 (Xinhua) -- Chairman of the Egyptian High Judicial Election Commission Abdel-Moez Ibrahim announced the final results of the People's Assembly (lower house) polls on Saturday, with the Muslim Brotherhood's (MB) political arm Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) taking the lion's share.

Almost one year after ex-President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, the Egyptian people who had shed their sweat and blood in the Tahrir Square, epicenter of the country's nation-wide protests, finally harvested their first-ever democratic parliament elected with their full participation.

Full Report At:

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/world/2012-01/22/c_122615533.htm

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Jihad in America – lessons must be learned

by Craig Masters

23 January 2012

This past Friday the non-partisan, non-sectarian organization, "Act! for America," presented an informative lecture on the increase in successes of the multi-faceted Islamic jihad in America. The meeting was held at Johnson's Corner restaurant and was presented by a team of speakers brought to the area by the Colorado Conservative Union.

The presentation entitled, " Jihad in America, Under the Radar Across the Nation" began with a brief introduction of "Act! for America." The organization is nationally recognized as non-partisan, non-sectarian and founded by Lebanese immigrant, Bridgitte Gabriel. Gabriel became an outspoken activist against Sharia Law and the Muslim Brotherhood after watching the destruction of her home and so much more of Lebanon by violent jihadists attempting to force Sharia Law upon the non-Muslims in Lebanon. The mission of the organization is to educate Americans about the truth of the threat of radical Islam to the freedom of all people in the world who would choose not to live under Sharia Law. The organization's speakers make no apologies for their frank descriptions of the bad things that happen in war - any war, all wars. And they make it clear that whether the politically correct Americans accept it or not, Islam is in a war to win - not to coexist.

Full Report At:

http://www.greeleygazette.com/press/?p=13006

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Strengthen Support for ‘Arab Spring’

JANUARY 22, 2012

(Cairo) – Many democracies have allowed their ties with repressive allies to temper their support for human rights in the Arab Spring protests, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2012. For reasons of principle and long-term interest, governments should stand firm with the people of the Middle East and North Africa when they demand their basic rights and work to ensure the transition to genuine democracies.

Full Report At:

http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/01/22/world-report-2012-strengthen-support-arab-spring

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Q&A with Asef Bayat: 'Not yet a full-fledged revolution'

Rana Khazbak

Sun, 22/01/2012 - 12:59

Asef Bayat, a professor of sociology and Middle Eastern studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign who previously taught at the American University in Cairo, has been studying social movements and revolutions in the Middle East since long before the Arab uprisings began a year ago. The Iranian scholar has written extensively on political sociology, social movements, urban space and politics, contemporary Islam, and the Muslim Middle East. His areas of focus include the Iranian Islamic Revolution, Islamist movements in comparative perspective since the 1970s, and the non-movements of the urban poor, Muslim youth, and women.

With the one-year anniversary of the start of Egypt’s revolution approaching, many are questioning whether the revolution has succeeded or failed, and how to situate the events of the past year in the context of other revolutions. Egypt Independent recently discussed these issues and more in an extensive online conversation with Bayat.

Egypt Independent: What is your overall evaluation of the Egyptian revolution so far in terms of achieving its goals?

Full Report At:

http://www.almasryalyoum.com/en/node/613106

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Prince Alwaleed receives Former PM of Pakistan

23 January 2012

The meeting began as H.E. Shaukat Aziz thanked the Prince for giving him the opportunity to meet with him. During the meeting, the two discussed general issues related to their respective countries. The two also discussed a number of general local, regional issues and the global economic climate as well as philanthropic issues, in addition to HRH's investments.

Full Report At:

http://www.ameinfo.com/287621.html

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The Muslim Brotherhood and Democracy

by Yacov Ben Efrat

23 January 2012

Excerpts from a lecture given at Beit Ha'am, a social and political center opened at Rothschild 69, Tel Aviv, following the wave of Israeli social protests in the summer of 2011. Yacov Ben Efrat is Secretary-General of Da'am – the Workers Party.

he title of this lecture suggests a contradiction. The Muslim movements are religious, basing themselves on Sharia law, and oppose democracy. Their source of authority is the Koran, while the source of democracy’s authority is human reason, individual and collective will – the people. Nonetheless, this month we celebrate one year since the Arab Spring began, and in amazement we follow the revolutions sparked by the Arab youth. These youth demanded regime-change for justice and freedom, but when change is translated into the ballot, the Muslim factions come out strong.

Full Report At:

http://challenge-mag.com/en/article__320

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Islamists Win 70% of Seats in the Egyptian Parliament

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK

January 21, 2012

CAIRO — Egyptian authorities confirmed Saturday that a political coalition dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood, the 84-year-old group that virtually invented political Islam, had won about 47 percent of the seats in the first Parliament elected since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak. An alliance of ultraconservative Islamists won the next largest share of seats, about 25 percent.

Supporters of a Salafist party took pictures of politicians in Giza on Thursday.

A makeshift classroom at a Cairo mosque where the Muslim Brotherhood runs a literacy program.

Full Report At:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/22/world/middleeast/muslim-brotherhood-wins-47-of-egypt-assembly-seats.html?_r=1

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Iranian actress exiled over nude pics in French Mag

23 January 2012

More world news: Dotcom is an extreme flight risk: NZ courtYear of the Dragon roars into AsiaGingrich moves to Florida savouring winEx-prisoner too fat for jail clothes sues for $1mGiffords to resign from Congress this weekNigerian president visits site of attacksCroats vote in favour of EU membershipRussian daredevils leap into cooling towerOccupy Auckland

An Iranian actress has caused a storm of controversy on Facebook and been exiled from her homeland for posing nude in a French magazine.

Full Report At:

http://www.news.ninemsn.com.au/world/8407005/iranian-actress-exiled-over-nude-photo

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Nigeria's president visits city where bombings killed at least 157

23 January 2012

NEW: Nigerian president: "A terrorist attack on one person is an attack on all of us"

"We don't know what's going to happen next," a Kano resident says

Authorities lift a curfew imposed in Kano after the attacks

The number of deaths is expected to rise, a military official says

Lagos, Nigeria (CNN) -- Nigeria's president toured his nation's second largest city Sunday after blasts there killed at least 157 people, and left the police headquarters and other government buildings in charred ruins.

"The message I had for the people of Kano is the same message I have for all Nigerians: A terrorist attack on one person is an attack on all of us," President Goodluck Jonathan said in a post on his official Facebook page after the visit.

Jonathan stopped by several attack sites in the northern city, met with the wounded at a hospital and spoke with victims' families.

Authorities have lifted a daytime curfew imposed in Kano after the bombings, which hit eight government sites Friday.

But an overnight curfew remained between 7 p.m. to 6 a.m., according to residents

Shell-shocked residents wandered the streets, looking for loved ones. Others hid behind barricaded doors, too scared to leave for fear of more attacks.

"That's the scary part, not knowing," said Faruk Mohammed, 27, who lives near one of the bombed police stations. "We don't know what's going to happen next, no one thought this would ever happen here. There's a general sense of despair."

 Curfew in Kano after deadly attacks Boko Haram's terrorizing of Nigeria

The attacks paired bomb blasts with shootings on various sites including police stations, the passport office, state security headquarters and the immigration office.

During the attack, assailants entered a police station, freed detainees and bombed it, authorities said.

They later canvassed the area in a car led by motorcycles, spraying targets with gunfire.

"I counted at least 25 explosions ...," Mohammed said. "Then it went deathly quiet. Kano is a bustling city ... I've lived here for years and it has never been quiet, even at night. But after the bombings stopped, the only noise you could hear were dogs barking."

The number of deaths is expected to rise because hospitals are not equipped to deal with the influx and severity of the injuries, according to a military official who did not want to be named because he is not authorized to talk to the media.

About 50 people were injured and search-and-rescue operations are ongoing, a Red Cross information officer said.

Islamist group Boko Haram -- whose name means "western education is sacrilege" -- claimed responsibility for the blast in a phone call to the Daily Trust, according to journalists at the newspaper.

Full Report At:

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/01/22/world/africa/nigeria-attacks/?hpt=hp_t2

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Ijaz’s counsel dissatisfied with security measures

23 January 2012

ISLAMABAD: After a meeting with Inspector General of Police (IG) Islamabad Bin Yamin Khan on Monday, Mansoor Ijaz’s counsel Akram Shaikh expressed his dissatisfaction regarding security measures adopted by government agencies for his client, DawnNews reported.

Full Report At:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/23/ijaz%E2%80%99s-counsel-dissatisfied-with-security-measures.html

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Syria rejects Arab League call for power change

23 January 2012

DAMASCUS: Syria on Monday rejected an Arab League plan for President Bashar al-Assad to transfer power to his deputy, calling the initiative a “flagrant interference”, state TV quoted an official as saying.

“Syria rejects the decisions taken which are outside an Arab working plan, and considers them an attack on its national sovereignty and a flagrant interference in internal affairs,” the official was quoted as saying.

Full Report At:

http://www.dawn.com/2012/01/23/syria-rejects-arab-league-call-for-power-change.html

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Arab League calls on Assad to cede power, turns to UN

23 January 2012

CAIRO: The Arab League on Sunday asked the UN to support a new plan for resolving the crisis in Syria that sees President Bashar al-Assad transferring power to his deputy and a government of national unity within two months.

Assad should "delegate powers to the vice president to liaise with a government of national unity," to be formed in two months, according to a statement read by Qatari premier Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al-Thani after Arab foreign ministers met in Cairo to determine the fate of their observer mission.

Deployed since December 26 to oversee an Arab League peace plan, the mission has been widely criticised for its failure to stem the government's bloody crackdown on democracy protesters.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said Riyadh had pulled its observers from the mission because the Syrian government had "not respected any of the clauses" in the Arab plan aimed at ending the crisis.

The Arab League agreed, however, to extend the mission and boost the number of observers, according to the final statement.

"We will inform the United Nations of all the resolutions of the Arab League... for its approval," Sheikh Hamad said.

The League's secretary general Nabil al-Arabi, who attended Sunday evening's news conference, explained that the request to support the United Nations was designed to "give more weight" to the Arab initiative.

The Arab foreign ministers urged "the Syrian government and all the opposition factions to engage in a serious dialogue under the auspices of the Arab League, within a period of not more than two weeks, to be able to achieve the formation of a unity government bringing together those in power and the opposition."

Full Report At:

http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-32038-Arab-League-calls-on-Assad-to-cede-power

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Rural Pakistan will overwhelmingly support PTI: Imran

January 23, 2012

Imran’s speech focuses on criticising the PPP and PML-N for failing to deliver for rural masses. PHOTO: EXPRESS

KARACHI/BHALWAL: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan appears determined to respond to every criticism of his ‘tsunami’.

“They say that PTI is a party popular only in urban Pakistan. But tell me what you see; has there ever been this big a rally in Bhalwal?” he asked thousands of his supporters who had gathered in Sargodha’s small town on Sunday.

Full Report At:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/325695/rural-pakistan-will-overwhelmingly-support-pti-imran/

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Pakistan: Bad heart drugs suspected in 25 deaths

January 23, 2012

By The Associated Press

ISLAMABAD - (AP) -- A government health official says bad drugs are suspected of killing at least 25 heart patients over the last month in the Pakistani city of Lahore.

Full Report At:

http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/pakistan-bad-heart-drugs-suspected-in-25-deaths-1.3471753

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Diplomatic thaw in US-Pakistan ties: Daily

Jan 23, 2012

ISLAMABAD: The ties between the US and Pakistan are witnessing a diplomatic thaw but it won't be back to business as usual, said a daily.

An editorial in the News International Monday said that all the indicators are that "we are slowly returning to something resembling normalcy in our relations with the US".

Full Report At:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Diplomatic-thaw-in-US-Pakistan-ties-Daily/articleshow/11599404.cms

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Pakistan: Suspected US missile strike kills 4

January 23, 2012

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan - (AP) -- A suspected U.S. drone fired missiles at a house and a vehicle in northwestern Pakistan on Monday, Pakistani intelligence officials said, killing four alleged militants in an attack that could signal the program is picking up steam after strained relations halted strikes late last year.

Full Report At:

http://www.newsday.com/news/nation/pakistan-suspected-us-missile-strike-kills-4-1.3471766

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Can aid salvage US-Pak relations?

January 22, 2012

Syed Mohammad Ali

Its internal implications, apart from the memogate scandal has led to the appointment of a new Pakistani ambassador to the US, who has just taken charge of her responsibilities in Washington, at a time when relations between the two countries are severely strained. Last year was a particularly difficult one for Pakistan-US relations. There was continuing US pressure on Pakistan to do more to prevent cross-border terrorism, alongside a growing suspicion of alleged Pakistani complicity with militant groups to maintain strategic leverage vis-a-vis Afghanistan. Collateral damage caused by US drone strikes has not done much to lessen US resentment within a country whose citizens feel that they have had to face the brunt of violence and economic uncertainty in the ‘war against terror’.

Full Report At:

http://www.sananews.net/english/2012/01/can-aid-salvage-us-pak-relations/

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Arfa in line for highest civilian award

January 22, 2012

Arfa, who completed her MCP course at the phenomenally young age of nine, was already a recipient of the President’s Award for Pride of Performance and the government’s Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal. She had also been given the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award.

LAHORE: Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said on Sunday that the government is considering conferring the highest civilian award on Arfa Karim, the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional who passed away in Lahore on January 14.

Full Report At:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/325478/gilani-announces-highest-civilian-honour-for-arfa-karim/

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Pakistani Police Arrest ‘Fake’ Army General

23 January 2012

KARACHI, Jan 21, (AFP): Pakistan police have arrested a man who spent three years posing as a general to grab land and solicit favours from the government in a country where the military holds formidable power, police said Friday.

Full Report At:

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/saudi-arabia-needs-three-more-years-to-change-school-textbooks--minister/d/6447


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