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Islamic World News ( 25 Sept 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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‘Shoot us, but we will never go back to Pakistan'

'Goli maar do, but we will never go back' Avijit Ghosh & Saurabh Banerjee,

Saudi Interfaith Dialogue Promotes World Peace by Habib Shaikh

Pakistan must end use of terror as state policy: PM

umsam condemns Bannu, Peshawar blasts - Speaker, Deputy Speaker NA condemn blasts in Bannu and Peshawar

Movie review: The latest IMAX movie takes us into the heart of Islam by Katherine Monk

Muslim women in MP score high on literacy

Western media must understand Pak political situation: UK MP

A day after Dallas terrorism arrest, Muslims gather at Capitol for day of prayer by DAVE MICHAELS

Chechnya president sues human rights activist over murder claim by Miriam Elder in Moscow

Car bombs kill 13 in Pakistan

Qantas Worker Sentenced for How-To Jihad Book

Economic talk focus: Terrorism and extremism

Local Muslims angry that plot tarnishes their faith

'A man of war who wants peace' Former Pakistani President Musharraf talks on how to defeat extremism, terrorism in the Muslim world by DAVID WARFIELD

Fiza to move court against Chander Mohan

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this page:‘shoot-us,-but-we-will-never-go-back-to-pakistan-/d/1805


'Goli maar do, but we will never go back'

Avijit Ghosh & Saurabh Banerjee, TNN 26 September 2009


 Rana Ram carries a bit of his pained past in a weathered wallet that's always close to him. It's a photocopy of a grainy clipping from an Urdu newspaper that shows a woman and her child. The caption reads: 'Impressed by Islam, the woman with the baby became a Muslim'.


"This isn't true,'' says Rana, a lean man with expressive eyes. For the last 18 months, he has been crying himself hoarse that the newspaper lied. "No, that's not why Samdi Mai, my wife of 10 years, changed her religion. Ever since my father-in-law switched his faith, we were under pressure from the maulvis and others to become Muslims too."

But Rana, of Sadiqabad tehsil in Pakistan Punjab's Rahimyar Khan district, resisted. Then one day, when he was away tending goats, a fleet of cars filled with bearded men arrived at his house. On his return, he found his wife gone.

The 30-year-old farmhand rushed to the police station only to be told that his wife had converted of her own will.


Someone passed on a message a few days later. It said, "To get her back, you also must become a believer."

Rana, though, wasn't ready to give up. He managed to get back his three-year-old daughter at a village 'court' after paying off the decision-makers. But his wife was 'out of the question'. That's when he decided to take the weekly Thar Express to Rajasthan.

Over the past four years, more than 4,000 Hindus have come to India from Pakistan, hoping never to return. A majority says they lived in constant fear of losing their religion, of worrying that their daughters would be dragged away and converted to Islam. Whenever such traumatic incidents occurred, local authorities just looked away. It was simply a question of 'us' and 'them'.


Laxmi Ram, daughter-in-law of Arjan Ram from Punjab's Bahawalpur district, says her uncle's seven-year-old daughter was abducted and that's the last they saw of her. Kewal Ram, from Punjab's Rahimyar Khan district, says his sister's daughter was converted to Islam by a locally influential man after her husband's death. "I went to every authority, two top minority leaders, one a Hindu, the other a Parsi. But nothing happened. That's when I decided to leave Pakistan, the only home I had known."


Displaced people like Kewal Ram now live in wretched settlements in Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Barmer. And though they are disappointed with the local authorities' attitudes, they say, "Goli maar do, par wapas nahin jayenge."

This exodus from Pakistan is not new. During the 1965 and 1971 wars, Hindus arrived in steady streams from across the border. "The demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992 sparked a violent reaction in Pakistan, forcing many Hindus to flee. In the following years, the rise of extreme fundamentalism in Pakistan further ensured that migration continued," says H S Sodha, president, Seemant Lok Sangathan, which works for refugees across Rajasthan.


The latest rush started around 2007. Refugees say fundamentalism has grown dramatically in Pakistan's Punjab. Dina Ram, who now lives in Jaisalmer's Bhil Basti, says older Muslims were more understanding towards minorities. "The younger boys are more fanatical," says this former resident of Rahimyar Khan. And it is not the Taliban at work.

Like Rana Ram, many of the displaced come from Sadiqabad tehsil. Its Rahim Yaar Khan district is too far away for the followers of Baitullah Mehsud, based in Pakistan's remote northwest. Rather, refugees say, a general pro-conversion social climate prevails in rural Punjab that encourages even shopkeepers, neighbours and schoolteachers to urge Hindus to convert. Allurements ("Tumhari shaadi kara denge"), taunts ("Why do you worship idols?"), fear ("Tum dozakh mein jaoge") and veiled threats ("Tumhare liye yehi accha rahega") — every ploy is used to make them cross over to Islam.


There's a class dimension to the problem too. The refugees are among the poorest of the poor. Many originally belong to Rajasthan's border districts; their ancestors had moved westward in search of employment before Partition. Most worked as farmhands for zamindars and then were forced out. Dhapobai from Bahawalpur district, who now lives on Jodhpur's outskirts, says her family changed home 25-30 times. Being rootless, they are at the mercy of the local powers: zamindars and maulvis. Class exploitation combines with religious bigotry to force them to quit Pakistan.

About 100 displaced families live in Kali Beri, 20 km northwest of Jodhpur. The settlement looks like a half-excavated Stone Age ruin abandoned by archeologists. Thorny vilayati babools are everywhere, but there is no sign of toilets, electricity or hope. "Every family has a malaria patient," says Goman Lal, a resident since 1997. "The men work in the stone quarries and do 10-12 hours of backbreaking toil. But they have no complaints. These mines have saved our life and honour."


They live under stacked blocks of unpolished sandstone. Byapari Ram, 32, stays here with his family. His arrival on January 4, 2009 was spurred by Rana Ram's plight. "I feared we would be the next target," he says. His new home is furnished with just a bunch of plastic sacks packed with clothes, and a trunk with his sisters' photographs. "I wish I could get visas and bring them here," he says.


Having fled from religious pressures, the displaced land in further humiliation. When they arrive on the Thar Express, which runs from Karachi to Jodhpur, border officials are rude and demand bribes. Imran Kumar says that at Munabao, the first stop in India, an official confiscated his passport and demanded Rs 7,000. He got away with paying Rs 2,600. "Back there, Muslims troubled us. But I can't understand why even Hindus treat us badly," he despairs.

A majority of the displaced are either Meghwals (SCs) or Bhils (STs). Those in Ramdev Nagar feel the absence of a proper burial ground. Though Hindus, the Meghwals bury their dead. "We have had to fight with other communities. The government has given us jeevan daan but we also need mrityu daan," says Nand Lal, a former driver in Karachi who got Indian citizenship in 2005.


There is another battle. Those on extended long-term visas are legally bound not to leave Jodhpur's municipal limits or travel west of NH-15. But with limited jobs, many slip awayto other towns in Rajasthan.

In December 2008, a high-powered committee submitted its report on ways of improving the lot of these displaced people. But, says H S Sodha, also a committee member, even those with citizenship are not part of any state scheme for SCs. They don't have BPL cards either. "They need better livelihood programmes and comprehensive social security. Land should be more easily made available to them. Those on long-term visas but yet to receive citizenship are not eligible for a driving licence, bank account or insurance scheme. This must change."


Citizenship itself is an issue. Before 2004, the displaced had to stay put for five years to become eligible. This has been extended to seven. Application fees too have doubled. Between 2004-05, 11,327 were granted citizenship. Expectedly, this number dropped to 1,201 in 2005-06 and 1,207 in 2006-07.

However, Naveen Mahajan, DM, Jodhpur, says that the administration is seriously trying to help. "We are preparing the list of those who have got citizenship. Our prime focus will be on BPL cards. We are identifying a piece of land for their rehabilitation in Jodhpur," he says.

One thing is for sure: nobody wants to go back. "Sar kalam kar do, wapas nahi jaoongi (You can chop my head off, I won't go back.)," says Chhannobai from Bahawalpur district. Jeobai, the family's female head, takes pride in the fact that "Bacchi bacha ke aayein hain. Yehi bahut hai. (We have saved our daughters. That's enough)."


Rana Ram now lives with his uncle on the city's outskirts. Every morning, he gets up around five, cooks for his kids and readies his eight-year-old son for school before setting out to work in the quarries. It's a tough life. But he doesn't care. "At least I have the freedom to keep my faith and live without fear," he says.

(With inputs from Anindo Dey, Ajay Parmar & Vimal Bhatia)

The great escape

On the midnight of August 15 last year, two young boys fled the bondage of their Muslim landlord and crossed the border to freedom.


The sand was soft and they could scoop it out with their bare hands. But the fence was deeper than they had imagined. It was midnight, August 15, 2008. The Indo-Pak border was floodlit and any moment they could have been caught and sent back to the hell they were trying to escape.


They had walked 20 km, fleeing at noon when everyone had gone for Friday prayers. It was sheer luck that in his rush, the master had forgotten to tie them up. For three years that had been the routine, ever since their father sold them off to the Pakistani landlord for Rs 50,000.

Bhagwan Ram was 14 then and Pahelwan Ram 11. Their mother had died and their father needed the money for his second marriage. So, Bhagwan Ram and his brother became the property of Haji Zamir. For three years, the lads were strapped to a plough and made to till the fields from 6 in the morning till 6 in the evening. Dinner was the Zamir family's leftovers. And, at night, they were tied to their cots.


This was why they were seeking freedom on the midnight of August 15 last year. They had heard of relatives who lived east, "where the sun rose every day", a place called Jaisalmer. So they followed the sun as it slid west, and then the stars and a smelly canal that runs from Rahimyar Khan to the Indian border. On the way, they stopped at Dadi Ka Mazar, and sought dua. If they were to cross the border, dodge BSF bullets, and eventually find their relatives, they would surely need more than just the blessings of Tanot mata, their deity.

But they needn't have been here at all. Their master had given them a choice: "Become Muslims, forget Tanot mata, stop worshipping the boots (idols), and from tomorrow, you will get some money, more rotis, more dal, and maybe later, some land, and even a woman in your bed. And at night, nobody will tie you up. You will be free".


They chose real freedom instead.

When they could dig no further, they pulled at the wires till the gap was wide enough for them to scrape through. They still remember how the barbs dug into their flesh, the blood — but they kept their tryst with the midnight hour and got their independence.


And then, after stumbling along the sand on the Indian side for an hour, maybe more, suddenly the three — their cousin Sumeer Ram had come along too — were overpowered by sleep.

They were woken by the sun beating down on their faces. "A farmer saw us," says Pahelwan. "He asked where we were from. We said we were from Pakistan, and asked for water. He filled our two bottles, but said he would have to take us to the police. That was fine by us. We wanted to tell the police our story. We wanted rotis and dal. We wanted them to take us to Jaisalmer, where every day from our virtual prison in Pakistan, we saw the sun rise."


When they were handed over, the BSF jawans blindfolded them and took them back to the border. "They followed our footsteps," says Sumeer Ram. "They wanted to find out if we were telling the truth." After that, it was a year and three days in a police lock-up at Ramgarh in Jaisalmer. They didn't mind this either. They were never tied up and there was always enough roti and dal. Bhagwan Ram said, "I held the feet of the police officer and told him to shoot me, kill me but not send me back."

Freedom finally came on August 19 this year, when the Union home ministry decided not to deport them. They were released on the guarantee of their grandfather, who lives in Jaisalmer's Bhil basti. He traced them after a local newspaper report about three boys who had run away from Pakistan.

It will be at least another seven years before Bhagwan, Pahelwan and Sumeer can become Indians. Till then, every Monday, they must visit the local police station to prove that they haven't gone back to the hell they managed to escape from.



Saudi Interfaith Dialogue Promotes World Peace

Habib Shaikh, 26 September 2009

JEDDAH — The interfaith dialogue initiated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz would contribute to strengthening world peace and stability, according to Abdullah Al Turki, secretary-general of the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL).

In a statement on the occasion of the fourth interfaith conference, which opens in Geneva on September 30 with the participation of religious leaders and intellectuals from several countries, Al Turki said the Geneva meet is a continuation of efforts that began in Makkah to promote interfaith dialogue. “King Abdullah’s interfaith dialogue initiative aims at disseminating human values, promoting coexistence of the people of different faiths, spreading the values of peace and security, fighting evil in the world and promoting cooperation between communities,” he said.

The first interfaith conference was held in Makkah, the second in Madrid and the third at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The Makkah conference, which was held on June 4, 2008, brought together about 500 Muslim leaders from around the world in order to set an agenda for the building of better relations between Muslims and followers of other faiths.

On July 16, 2008, the MWL invited nearly 300 religious, political and cultural leaders from 50 different countries to Madrid. “If we want this historic encounter to succeed, we must look to the things that unite us: Our profound faith in God, the noble principles and elevated ethics that represent the foundation of religions,” King Abdullah told the Madrid conference.

Al Turki, who left here on Thursday for Geneva at the head of a high-level Saudi delegation to organise the conference, said the two-day event at Geneva InterContinental would discuss a number of papers under the theme “The Impact of King Abdullah’s Initiative in Disseminating Human Values.” Nearly 166 religious leaders, academics and other prominent personalities from around the world, including the US, the UK, China, Italy, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Japan and the Philippines, will take part in the event, which is scheduled to be opened by the president of Switzerland.

Full Article at:


Pakistan must end use of terror as state policy: PM

26 September 2009

PITTSBURGH: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said Pakistan must give up the use of terrorism as a "state policy" and bring the perpetrators of

the Mumbai attacks to book, as it will encourage India to "walk an extra mile" to improve ties with the neighbour.

Addressing a press conference here at the conclusion of the G20 Summit, the prime minister said enough evidence had been given to Pakistan regarding the involvement of its nationals in the Mumbai terror attacks Nov 26 last year.

"We sincerely hope they (Islamabad) would very firmly carry out the due process of investigation and bring the culprits to book. If that is carried out, we will move an extra mile to normalise our relations," he said.

"The only obstacle is Pakistan must give up its old attitude of using terror as an instrument of state policy," he said, adding Islamabad had also accepted that those behind the Mumbai attacks were Pakistani nationals.

Manmohan Singh said there was no change in India's stand on Pakistan since the Sharm-el-Sheikh talks with his counterpart Yousuf Raza Gilani, a position he has made clear in the Indian parliament.

Full Article at:


umsam condemns Bannu, Peshawar blasts - Speaker, Deputy Speaker NA condemn blasts in Bannu and Peshawar

Pakistan urges OIC for a proactive role in projecting Muslim causes

ISLAMABAD, Sep 26 (APP): Pakistan on Saturday urged the 57 member Organisation of Islamic Conference to play a proactive role in projecting the Muslim causes and in facilitating just and peaceful solution of disputes involving them.  In a statement by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi at the annual coordination meeting of the OIC Foreign Ministers at New York, the Foreign Minister said Pakistan would continue to play its role in making OIC a truly effective and vibrant organization in line with aspiration of 1.5 billion Muslims throughout the world.

Qureshi thanked the OIC for its “consistent support” to the Kashmiri people’s just struggle for their right to self-determination.

“We are confident that the Muslim Ummah would continue to support the Kashmiri brethren for a just and durable solution of the Kashmir dispute,” he said in a statement released here by the Foreign Office.

He said Pakistan remains committed to a just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council Resolutions which sanctify Kashmiri people’s right to self-determination.

“We are extremely concerned on the continued human rights violations and mass arrests in Indian Occupied Kashmir, the foreign minister said.

“We look forward for an early resumption of a meaningful and uninterruptable dialogue between Pakistan and India to resolve all outstanding disputes including the Kashmir issue dividing our two countries.”

Foreign Minister Qureshi termed terrorism as a scourge of the present time and said Pakistan as a frontline state has paid a heavy price in confronting this menace.

“More than two thousand soldiers have laid down their lives in the line of duty. And we have lost our most popular and charismatic leader, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed, to a terrorist’s bullet.”

He said the tragedy has only solidified our resolve to uproot terrorism and extremism from our society and the region at large.

Qureshi said terrorism does not grow in vacuum. “It nourishes on ignorance, deprivation, injustice and helplessness. Lingering political disputes resulting from historical injustices, add fuel to fire.”

“We must address the root causes which are creating this monster. We also need to ensure social justice, quality education and provision of economic opportunities to our young people to give them hope for a better future,” he stressed.

The foreign minister said Palestinian tragedy was festering extreme discontent in the Muslim world and called for an early end to their sufferings.

Their legitimate aspirations for dignity, self-determination and a sovereign State of Palestine with Al Quds al Shariff as its capital must be honoured.

Foreign Minister Qureshi pointed to the trend of terming Islam and Muslims as Islamo-fascists and terrorists.

Full Article at:


Movie review: The latest IMAX movie takes us into the heart of Islam

By Katherine Monk, September 25, 2009

VANCOUVER - While there’s no doubt many North Americans may hear the name Ibn Battuta and conjure a happy tune from Lion King, the story of the noted 14th century Moroccan explorer continues to shape our current reality.

Battuta was a law student living in Tangiers when he was stricken by a powerful dream. He had a vision of travelling across a great desert, to a great city, across a thin thread of sea and on to Mecca.

The journey would be no cakewalk. It would take months and threaten his life at several turns, but Battuta not only lived to see Mecca, he went on to travel around the globe, racking up more than 75,000 miles of camel tracks and keeping detailed records of his voyages in a tome called The Rihla.

This movie focuses on his first foray into the unknown as it retraces the exact route of his trek to Islam’s holy city, and home to the Kaaba, the sacred black stone sitting at the centre of the Grand Mosque.

The travelogue scenery is compelling in itself since the images are so huge, and the crew finds untainted swaths of natural landscape. We can easily imagine what the route looked like, and how fraught with danger it would have been given the presence of looters, thieves and territorial nomadic tribes — not to mention endless miles of arid desert.

The real pay off, and what makes this film rather unique, is the footage of modern day Mecca brimming with pilgrims. The first film to be granted aerial access over the Holy Mosque and the Kaaba, Journey to Mecca features several time lapse shots of pilgrims circling the holy grounds seven times in what appears —from the sky — to be a reflection of the cosmos on earth.

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Muslim women in MP score high on literacy

PTI 25 September 2009

BHOPAL: The literacy percentage among Muslim women in Madhya Pradesh is much higher than their counterparts in other North Indian states, according to the Madhya Pradesh Muslim Education Society (MPMES).

Madhya Pradesh has topped the figure with 60.1 per cent literacy among the Muslim women which was much better than other states including Assam, West Bengal, U P, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand and Rajasthan as per the census of population 2001.

The MPMES President and former Madhya Pradesh Mimister, Ibrahim Qureshi told PTI that due to the active role of women in the field of education and social work in Madhya Pradesh the Muslim women literacy rate has topped the list with 60.1 per cent among all other North Indian states.

The Muslim population in Madhya Pradesh is only 6.4 per cent of the total population and the literacy percent for Muslims in the State was 70.3 and this was achieved only by the active participation of women in the state, he said.

Jammu and Kashmir has a maximum Muslim population of 67.0 per cent but the women literacy rate was only 34.9 per cent with seventh position among North India states and much less than Madhya Pradesh.

Full Article at:


Western media must understand Pak political situation: UK MP

September 26, 2009

LONDON: A British member of parliament has urged the Western media for a greater understanding of Pakistan’s difficult internal political situation, and said it is the extremist ideology of militant Islamism that is responsible for the ‘Islamophobia’, not Pakistan or it’s people.

Denis Macshane, who represents Rotherham in the House of Commons, also called on broadcasters and newspapers in Britain and Europe to make concentrated efforts to understand the religion of Islam. Macshane told delegates in Berlin at a conference on ‘Muslims and the Media in Europe’ on Thursday that thousands of his Muslim constituents in South Yorkshire were tolerant and peace-loving people, who simply wanted respect for their religion and the right to lead a decent family life.

“It is quite wrong to brand Muslims because a number of ultra-ideological fanatics chose to invoke their faith to do bad things. It is like condemning Catholics for what the Irish Republican Army did when it killed innocent people or blaming Nazism on the German people. We need to separate Islam the religion from Islamism the ideology,” he added. “I am concerned about the anti-Pakistan tone of much reporting in the West. Pakistan, for all its problems, has an independent press and independent lawyers as well as competing political parties that defeat the fundamentalist Islamists in open elections,” he said. “Pakistan needs more trade, more jobs and more support from Britain and the EU, especially on asking India to contribute to a solution of the Kashmir problem,” he added. app

Full Article at:\09\26\story_26-9-2009_pg7_38


A day after Dallas terrorism arrest, Muslims gather at Capitol for day of prayer

September 25, 2009


WASHINGTON – Thursday's arrests of Hosam Maher Husein Smadi and another man who the FBI says planned to blow up an Illinois building in a separate incident occurred a day before a Muslim national prayer gathering was scheduled to be held at the Capitol.

The event Friday was supposed to attract about 50,000 people, but the group appeared to be smaller, perhaps only as many as 5,000. It barely filled the wide, sloping lawn that faces the National Mall. Police at the event declined to give a crowd estimate.

Rows of men wearing prayer caps knelt on mats, facing the massive edifice of the Capitol. A few Christian protesters shouted at them to abandon Islam.

"America is not perfect, but it's one of the best places in the world to live," the imam said, during a long, somewhat rambling speech that touched on the right of Muslim women to wear a hijab and the downfall of Eliot Spitzer.

Several people who attended said they were moved by the opportunity to show Americans there is nothing to fear about Islam.

Thursday's arrests didn't seem to cast a pall over the event, as several people said they constantly fight misunderstandings about their religion.

In the weeks leading up to the event, some conservative Christian groups claimed such events were threats to the West's Christian identity.

One of them, the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, wrote on its Web site: "There is a strong and influential movement in the Muslim community that is positioning Islam to gain world dominance in the social, political, financial and religious sectors of nations."

Full Article at:


Chechnya president sues human rights activist over murder claim

Miriam Elder in Moscow

Saturday 26 September 2009

Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's president, is suing human rights group Memorial over claims of his 'political guilt'.

The reputation of Chechnya's Kremlin-appointed leader, Ramzan Kadyrov, was under question in a Moscow court today, as he launched a defamation suit against the leader of Russia's leading human rights group, Memorial.

Kadyrov is seeking 10m roubles (£207,800) in damages from Oleg Orlov, the chairman of Memorial, in the wake of the row over the kidnapping and murder of a human rights activist, Natalia Estemirova, in Grozny in July. Orlov had accused Kadyrov of being guilty of the murder, explaining in his defence today that he meant "political guilt".

"I didn't speak of his involvement, I spoke of his guilt. These are two different things," Orlov told the court.

Kadyrov did not attend the hearing. His lawyer, Andrei Krasnenkov, called no witnesses and did not question defence witnesses. "Human rights activists are miserable people," he said outside the court.

Russia's human rights community hopes the hearing will further expose the autocratic Kadyrov's alleged oversight of atrocities they say are committed almost daily in Chechnya, from kidnappings and extrajudicial killings to torture and house burnings.

Full Article at:


Car bombs kill 13 in Pakistan

Saturday, 26, Sep 2009

At least 13 people have been killed in north-west Pakistan and dozens wounded in two car bomb attacks.

The attacks came two days after Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan threatened more suicide strikes in the region if the army continued with its military offensive.

Seven people were reportedly killed in an explosion outside a bank affiliated with the army in the city of Peshawar, while earlier another blast went off outside a police station.

"It was a very big explosion. I could see smoke rising from the scene," Asad Ali, a resident, told Reuters.

Two days ago, Qari Hussain Mehsud, who trains suicide bombers, reportedly issued a warning.

"We have enough suicide bombers and they are asking me to let them sacrifice their lives in the name of Islam.

"But we will send suicide bombers only if the government acts against us," he added. The Taliban was ousted from the Swat Valley in July in a huge offensive by the Pakistani army.



Qantas Worker Sentenced for How-To Jihad Book

September 26, 2009

A court sentenced a former Qantas Airways baggage handler on Friday to 12 years in prison for publishing a do-it-yourself jihad book on the Internet. A New South Wales Supreme Court jury found the former employee, Belal Khazaal, 39, guilty of making a document that could assist terrorism. The 2003 book is not linked to a known attack. Mr. Khazaal, who is wanted in Lebanon, his homeland, on terrorism-related charges and lives in Sydney, denied the charge and said the book was never intended to incite terrorist acts. The 110-page book contained instructions on detonating bombs, shooting down planes and assassinating senior officials of the United States and Australian governments.

Full Article at:


Economic talk focus: Terrorism and extremism

By JOHN EBY, September 26, 2009

BENTON HARBOR – Terrorism is like leaves on a tree, Pakistan’s former president said. Even if a branch is chopped off, leaves keep growing back so long as its roots remain.

So it is with evergreen political disputes which seem irresolvable – Israel and Palestine in the Mideast, India and Pakistan in Kashmir and Russia and Chechnya.

Pervez Musharraf led off The Economic Club of Southwestern Michigan’s 67th Speaker Series Thursday night at Lake Michigan College Mendel Center and had suggested Muslim countries are “double jeopardy” because the “perception” is that the West is targeting Islam by design.

Musharraf said it is also wrong to suggest that Islam “teaches terrorism.”

He cited other “root causes” as poverty and illiteracy fueling ongoing political disputes.

Musharraf, who as Pakistan president for seven years from 2001 to 2008, held what Time magazine called “the most dangerous job in the world,” survived two assassination attempts in the war on terror against the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

And no, he said of Osama bin Laden, “I really don’t know if he’s dead or alive” eight years after the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington.

Musharraf explained how the Taliban is not a “monolith” with a unified command structure that can be captured or “eliminated.” Osama bin Laden is more likely a “symbol” than a leader sending specific directives.

He said Pakistan’s greatest enemy is not the West, but whether it is India or the Taliban shifts as threats change.

“We will not allow Pakistan to be treated like Lebanon,” he said. “We will never compromise on our security. Cover our backs.”

Musharraf offered his unique perspective on “the most important issue confronting” the world, his region in South Asia and Pakistan itself – terrorism and extremism.

They are “inextricably linked,” he said, defining the latter as a “state of mind” against an invisible enemy.

Victory in Pakistan is “imperative” if the West is to prevail over extremism and terrorism, he said, and solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict would help diffuse radicalism in the Muslim world.

Though terrorism has been a problem throughout history, Musharraf said, the destructive power of explosives coupled with the “new dimension” of indoctrinated young suicide bombers makes the ramifications of LDCs (low-density conflict) “very serious.”

Pakistan is a “victim,” not a “perpetrator,” Musharraf asserted, adding he is “eminently qualified” to speak on terrorism and extremism.

It is clear that targeting innocent people is terrorism.

Full Article at:


Local Muslims angry that plot tarnishes their faith

By DARREN BARBEE, Sep. 26, 2009

Area Muslims were angered and upset Friday that their religion had yet again been "taken hostage," this time by a teenager who federal agents say was an apparent lone wolf who plotted to destroy a Dallas skyscraper in the name of jihad.

Tarrant County Medical Examiner Dr. Nizam Peerwani, a Muslim, said he is greatly concerned about the extremist views held by Jordanian national Hosam Maher Husein Smadi.

"We condemn all of this," Peerwani said. "It’s certainly a very great concern to us not just as Muslims but as Americans."

Smadi apparently had no connection to local Muslim communities.

Jamal Qaddura, a Tarrant County Republican Party precinct chairman and chairperson of the Tarrant County Community Forum — made up of community leaders, elected officials, the FBI and other law enforcement — said he was briefed Friday morning by the FBI.

"They informed me that this individual, he has no connection to the Dallas Fort Worth Muslim community whatsoever," Qaddura said. "He has not made any contact or visited any mosque in the Dallas-Fort Worth area or any mosque, period."

Qaddura congratulated authorities for a job well done. "This is an Arabic Timothy McVeigh," he said.

Others decried the acts of the man who the government says sought out cohorts to help him kill innocents. The Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations said Smadi "is not known in our community" and condemned all forms of terrorism.

Full Article at:


'A man of war who wants peace'

Former Pakistani President Musharraf talks on how to defeat extremism, terrorism in the Muslim world

By DAVID WARFIELD - H-P Staff Writer

Published: Friday, September 25, 2009 1:13 PM EDT

BENTON TOWNSHIP - Leading Pakistan for much of the last decade, Pervez Musharraf had what Time Magazine called "the world's most dangerous job."

With the fight against al-Qaida and other Islamic militants raging across the border in Afghanistan, and radicalism simmering within his own country, Musharraf had a close-up view of the War on Terrorism.

The army general-turned Pakistani president had to walk a delicate balancing act - to be a loyal U.S. ally while simultaneously keeping radicalism at bay on the domestic front.

Speaking to the Economic Club of Southwest Michigan Thursday, Musharraf shared his thoughts on the fight against "extremism and terrorism" in Pakistan, Afghanistan and throughout the Muslim world.*

"Extremism and terrorism are the most important issue facing my country, the region and the world," Musharraf said, "and are inextricably linked to each other."

If the West is to succeed in crushing terrorism and extremism, "victory in Pakistan is imperative," Musharraf said.

Bringing a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict will help to quell radicalism around the Muslim world, he said. He called that a responsibility of U.S. diplomats.

Diffusing conflicts in Kashmir and Chechnya are also necessary, he said.

To extinguish radicalism at its roots, Musharraf said, the West must help Muslim countries wipe out illiteracy and poverty.

The poor and illiterate - especially young men - are the most easy targets for radicalizing by those who promise that "heaven awaits" for suicide bombers, Musharraf said.

Many terrorists in recent years, including those behind the 2005 London attacks and last year's mass shootings in Mumbai, had roots in Pakistan, but "Pakistan is a victim of terrorism and extremism, and not an exporter," Musharraf told the Economic Club.

"Pakistan is a victim of what is happening in Afghanistan," he said.

Musharraf gave a history lesson, arguing that it was three factors over three periods of recent history that created the mess in Afghanistan and the ensuing instability in Pakistan.

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Fiza to move court against Chander Mohan

IANS 25 September 2009

MOHALI: Anuradha Bali aka Fiza, who converted to Islam to marry former Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan, on Friday said she would move court against her estranged husband for violating marriage laws.

"After our 'nikah' (Muslim marriage) last year, Chander Mohan also married me according to Hindu rituals as he wanted to see himself dressed up like a Hindu groom. This is an offence as per Hindu Marriage Act, which says that nobody can marry second time and it amounts to rape," said Fiza, while addressing reporters at her residence here, on Friday.

"Being a lawyer, I was aware about this law but I abided by his directions as I wanted to behave like a decent wife. However, he ditched me and spoiled my life. I am not going to spare him and I will move court to teach him a lesson," she said, showing their photographs that were clicked while solemnising Hindu marriage.

Chander Mohan, who was holding the high-profile post of state deputy chief minister, had suddenly disappeared October last year and re-emerged early December with a new name Chand Mohammad, a new religion and a new wife.

He was dropped from the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government for remaining absent from work for over 40 days.

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