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Islamic World News ( 2 Aug 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Six Christians burned alive in Pakistan riots

Lubna Hussein: 'I'm not afraid of being flogged. It doesn't hurt. But it is insulting'

Saudi man could face death for sex boast on TV

Schools reopen in NW Pakistan after Taliban offensive

Bloodbath rages as Afghan poll nears

Nigeria: More Than 700 Dead in Last Week's Clashes

Iran Puts Opponents on Trial, but Critics Are Vocal

Obamamania fails to hit most Muslim nations

BEIJING: Islam stands for peace: Imam

Musharraf faces exile in Britain: Report

Saudi Arabia rejects US pleas on Israel

Islamist extremists issue call to prosecute British Queen

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/six-christians-burned-alive-in-pakistan-riots/d/1594

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Six Christians burned alive in Pakistan riots

Ben Quinn, Aug 2, 2009

 

Six Christians were burned alive in Pakistan yesterday when hundreds of Muslims attacked and looted their homes, sparked by rumours that pages from the Qur'an had been desecrated.

The dead, including four women and a child, were killed when Christian homes were torched by hundreds of supporters of a banned Muslim organisation in the Punjabi village of Gojra, in eastern Pakistan.

Tensions have been running high between the two communities over allegations that Christians had defiled pages from the Muslim holy book, despite authorities insisting that the rumours were unfounded.

Television footage from the area showed houses burning and streets strewn with debris and blackened furniture as mobs ran at each other. There were reports in the local media of exchanges of gunfire between Christian and Muslim communities and those rioters had blocked a railway line.

Pakistani authorities named the Muslim group involved in the violence as Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been accused of launching attacks against security forces and carrying out bomb attacks in public places in recent years.

Rana Sanaullah, Punjab's law minister, said that an investigation had been carried out into allegations made during the week that a copy of the Qur'an had been defaced but that no such incident was found to have taken place.

Although the situation had calmed down by Friday, he said yesterday that "some miscreants and extremists entered the city [on Saturday] and pushed people toward armed clashes".

Pakistan's federal minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, said he had visited Gojra on Friday and asked police to provide protection for Christians who were facing threats, but accused them of ignoring his efforts.

Pakistan is a predominantly Muslim nation although religious minorities, including Christians, account for about 4% of its population of 170 million. The communities generally live peacefully alongside one another, but Muslim militants have periodically targeted Christians and churches in recent years.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/02/christians-burned-alive-pakistan

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Lubna Hussein: 'I'm not afraid of being flogged. It doesn't hurt. But it is insulting'

James Copnall

Aug 2, 2009

Lubna Hussein could receive 40 lashes if found guilty on Tuesday of being indecently dressed - by wearing trousers. In her first major interview, she tells James Copnall in Khartoum why she is determined to fight on, whatever danger she faces

Sitting in the restaurant where her ordeal began, Lubna Hussein looks at the offending item of clothing that caused all the trouble and laughs softly. "In Sudan, women who wear trousers must be flogged!" she says, her eyes widening at the thought. The former journalist faces up to 40 lashes and an unlimited fine if she is convicted of breaching Article 152 of Sudanese criminal law, which prohibits dressing indecently in public.

What exactly constitutes "indecent" is not clear. Last month Lubna was among a crowd listening to an Egyptian singer in a restaurant in a swish area of Khartoum when policemen surged in. They ordered Lubna and other women to stand up to check what they were wearing, and arrested all those who had trousers on. Lubna, who was wearing loose green slacks and a floral headscarf, was taken to the police station.

"There were 13 of us, and the only thing we had in common was that we were wearing trousers," Lubna says. "Ten of the 13 women said they were guilty, and they got 10 lashes and a fine of 250 Sudanese pounds (about £65). One girl was only 13 or 14. She was so scared she urinated on herself."

 

Lubna asked for a lawyer, so her case was delayed. Despite the risks, she is determined that her trial should go ahead. Before her initial hearing last Wednesday, she had 500 invitation cards printed, and sent out emails with the subject line: "Sudanese journalist Lubna invites you again to her flogging tomorrow."

The court was flooded with women's rights activists, politicians, diplomats and journalists, as well as well-wishers. During the hearing, Lubna announced that she would resign from her job as a public information officer with the United Nations, which would have provided her with immunity, to fight the case. The judge agreed, and adjourned the trial until Tuesday.

Lubna says she has no fear of the punishment she might face. "Afraid of what? No, I am not afraid, really," she insists. "I think that flogging does not hurt, but it is an insult. Not for me, but for women, for human beings, and also for the government of Sudan. How can you tell the world that the government flogs the people? How can you do that?"

She is determined to face prosecution in order to change the law. "It is not for me. It is my chance to defend the women of Sudan. Women are often arrested and flogged because of what they wear. This has been happening for 20 years. Afterwards some of them don't continue at high school or university, sometimes they don't return to their family, and sometimes if the girls have a future husband, perhaps the relationship comes to an end."

Lubna, a widow in her 30s, says women have faced similar punishments, mainly in silence, ever since President Omar el-Bashir seized power in 1989. For much of the time since then, Sudan has been at loggerheads with the west. It provided shelter for Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, and is still on an American list of countries that sponsor terrorism, although a senior US official said recently that there was no justification for this.

But Lubna says her concerns are not political. Her frustration stems from what she believes is an erroneous interpretation of her religion.

"Islam does not say whether a woman can wear trousers or not. The clothes I was wearing when the police caught me - I pray in them. I pray to my God in them. And neither does Islam flog women because of what they wear. If any Muslim in the world says Islamic law or sharia law flogs women for their clothes, let them show me what the Qur'an or Prophet Muhammad said on that issue. There is nothing. It is not about religion, it is about men treating women badly."

Since news of the case broke, Lubna has been celebrated in the western press. She is bemused by the thought of being seen as a heroine, and even more by the idea - suggested by some British newspapers - that she was targeted because she is a Christian. "I am a Muslim, and a good Muslim," she says.

In response to the articles about her case, the Sudanese embassy in London pointed out there had been next to no coverage of a recent landmark arbitration ruling on the region of Abyei, which is contested by the north and the south following two decades of civil war. Despite fears that it might spark renewed conflict, both sides announced they would respect the ruling.

"The floodgates of expert and non-expert comments on Sudan opened suddenly on 29 July in the wake of an indecency and antisocial behaviour case in Khartoum involving journalist Lubna A Hussein," the statement read. "The case is still ongoing and it wouldn't be appropriate to comment on it. The real question, which is relevant to the deep-rooted Islamophobic and anti-Arab prejudice, is th selective spotlight on Ms Lubna Ahmed Hussein and determined neglect of Abyei dispute's result for eight long days."

Sitting in the Khartoum restaurant as the fierce late-afternoon sun intrudes through the windows, Lubna dismisses the notion that western praise might be a drawback in a country like Sudan. "In Sudan, we like the west," she exclaims, apparently agitated by the idea that people might not realise this. "For many Sudanese, our dream is to go to the west." But the government doesn't always give that impression. "The government thinks differently to the people. The government hopes to be friends with the west, but sometimes they try to look tough, that's all."

Nevertheless, she is worried that the foreign attention on her case could lead to further cultural misunderstandings. "The west really doesn't understand Islam," she says. "Because as Muslims we know that, if the police catch girls and arrest and flog them, we know this is not Islam. But when the government of Bashir does that, the west says: 'Oh, that is Islam.' It presents a bad face of Islam."

Since her initial hearing, Lubna has been bombarded with messages and phone calls from all over the world. Her family has been supportive, she says, perhaps in part because they are used to it: she was first arrested 15 years ago as a campaigning university student, and has been called in by the police on many subsequent occasions, often after writing satirical articles for the newspaper her husband set up, Sahafa

But one phone call from within the country touched her most. "I talked to my colleagues in the court, the 10 who have already been flogged. At the beginning they were very sad, and one of them was in a bad psychological state. But when she saw me on TV and in the newspaper, she called me to say that this was good. In the beginning, her neighbours and her family didn't believe she was flogged just for the clothes she was wearing. So she called me to say thank you."

The issue is rapidly becoming politicised. The Sudan People's Liberation Movement, which represents the mainly non-Muslim south in a coalition government, has called for the law to be changed. Under a 2005 peace deal, sharia law is not supposed to apply to non-Muslims, and not the least controversial among Lubna's statements is that several of the 10 women she says were flogged were non-Muslims.

But, for Lubna, the heart of the case goes beyond the north-south divide and its ramifications. She says nothing in Islam justifies flogging a woman for wearing trousers. "I am not a hero, I just don't have a choice," she says, fiddling with her pale gold headscarf.

When she spoke to the Observer, Lubna was wearing trousers again, this time blue jeans. Will her experience change the way she dresses? "I have trousers, I have dresses, I have traditional Sudanese clothes - I wear what I like. I won't change."

And what will happen if the judge decides, as is still possible, that she was indecently dressed, and sentences her to 40 lashes?

"I will take my case to the upper court, even to the constitutional court," she insists, measuring her words. "And if they find me guilty, I am ready to receive not only 40 lashes, I am ready for 40,000 lashes. If all women must be flogged for what they wear, I am ready to be flogged 40,000 times."

Source:  http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/aug/02/sudan-women-dress-code

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Saudi man could face death for sex boast on TV

Aug 2, 2009

JEDDAH: A Saudi man could face a death sentence in the Muslim kingdom for speaking about his sexual adventures on a talk show aired by a

Lebanon-based television network, lawyers said on Saturday.

The case could further fortify the role of clerics who have been policing an already conservative society to safeguard moral values set according to the Wahaabi school of Islam which bars interaction between unrelated men and women. It would also serve as a blow to liberals pushing for reform in the face of stern resistance from clerics, analysts say.

The police arrested Mazen Abdul-Jawad, 32, on Friday for “publicising vice”, a police spokesman in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah said. “His case will be forwarded to the commission for investigation and prosecution,” said Sulaiman al-Mutaiwea. Lawyers said Abdul-Jawad could face a death sentence or a 20-year jail sentence.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4846626.cms

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Schools reopen in NW Pakistan after Taliban offensive

Aug 1, 2009

MINGORA (Pakistan): Schools reopened in Pakistan's restive northwest on Saturday after nearly three months of being closed due to fighting between the military and Taliban militants, officials said.

Pakistan has been returning families to the districts of Swat and Buner, where troops unleashed a massive summer offensive against the Taliban, with Islamabad claiming to have largely defeated the extremists.

"All schools in Malakand division are open from today," North West Frontier Province education minister Qazi Asad said.

Asad said some 356 schools were damaged during the Taliban insurgency and the authorities were working on an emergency plan to rebuild or hire private buildings.

Meanwhile, tents have been provided to hold classes temporarily, he said.

In the northwest Swat valley's main town of Mingora, children in school uniform were seen going to school early Saturday.

An AFP reporter said children at Government High School Mingora received their lessons in tents, though the attendance was low.

Taliban cleric Maulana Fazlullah masterminded a two-year uprising that ravaged the once idyllic Swat valley beloved by Western tourists.

His father-in-law, Maulana Sufi Mohammad, who was arrested Sunday on the outskirts of Peshawar, brokered a deal to put the three million residents of the wider northwest Malakand region under Islamic law.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4844668.cms

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Bloodbath rages as Afghan poll nears

Subodh Varma, Aug 2, 2009

The players are the same, but the game has become deadlier and they have invented new names to go with it. In Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the nerve centre of the Taliban and the source of opium for 60% of the world’s heroin, US Marines have launched a 10,000-strong offensive called Operation Khanjar (Dagger).

In tandem, the British have launched Operation Panjai Palang (Panther’s Claw). The Taliban, in turn, have announced Operation Puladi Jaal (Steel Net) to take on the US-led offensive — President Obama’s new thrust to the forgotten war in Afghanistan. With the arrival of over 17,000 more troops from Iraq, the conflict looks like escalating in the coming days.

With barely three weeks to go for the August 20 presidential and provincial elections, Afghanistan is on the edge as tension escalates and the country is engulfed in a tide of furious bloodletting. July has been the bloodiest month for the Nato forces, with 67 soldiers dying, the highest since they invaded Afghanistan in 2001.

Nato casualties have already touched 223 in the first seven months of this year, compared to 294 in all of last year. Security incidents — the official description of armed clashes and bombings — increased from 566 per month in 2007 to 741 in 2008, and to 740 in just the first five months of this year, according to the UN secretary general’s quarterly report to the Security Council. Civilian casualties increased from 1,500 in 2007 to 2,118 in 2008, and touched 800 between January and May this year.

Recent Taliban activities show two new features, which have got the military brass deeply worried. One is the increasing use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) — the rigged bombs that were so popular in Iraq. In March this year, IED incidents hit a new high of 361. This increased to 465 in April, and 736 incidents in June. Most Nato casualties are taking place due to this lethal device, which is difficult to locate in the rocky terrain of Afghanistan.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4846630.cms

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Nigeria: More Than 700 Dead in Last Week's Clashes

Aug 2, 2009

Nigerian authorities say more than 700 people were killed in last week's clashes between police and a militant Islamic sect in the country's north.

 Government and health officials have been clearing bodies from the streets of the northeastern city of Maiduguri which saw the heaviest fighting. Government officials say most of the dead have been buried in mass graves.

Police officials continue to search for members of the sect, known as Boko Haram, who are blamed for violence that erupted a week ago after security forces arrested some of the group's leaders.  For five days, the militants attacked police stations, churches and government buildings in four northern Nigerian states.

Later in the week, security forces retaliated with an attack on the group's headquarters.  The Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, was killed Thursday while in police custody.  Officials insist he died in a gun battle near his headquarters in Maiduguri. International human rights groups have called for an investigation into the killing.

Full report at: http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-08-02-voa7.cfm

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Iran Puts Opponents on Trial, but Critics Are Vocal

By ROBERT F. WORTH and NAZILA FATHI, Aug 3, 2009

 

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Iranian authorities opened an extraordinary mass trial against more than 100 opposition figures on Saturday, accusing them of conspiring with foreign powers to stage a revolution through terrorism, subversion, and a media campaign to discredit last month’s presidential election.

The trial, coming just days before President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is to be sworn in for a second term, signalled an intensified government attack on the opposition movement, which maintains that the June 12 election was rigged and continues to muster widespread street protests.

The accusations read out in the courtroom were a broadside against virtually every major figure associated with reform in Iran, going well beyond those actually arrested. State television broadcast images of the defendants, who included a former vice president and a Newsweek reporter, as well as some of the reform movement’s best-known spokesmen, clad in prison uniforms and listening as prosecutors outlined their accusations in a large marble-floored courtroom. Some were shackled.

Opposition leaders angrily disputed the accusations on Saturday and protested that the defendants had had no access to lawyers or to details of the charges against them.

Former President Mohammad Khatami criticized the trial as a sham that would further erode confidence in the ruling Islamic establishment, The Associated Press reported on Sunday, adding that he hoped it would not “lead to ignorance of the real crimes” carried out by authorities following the election.

Full report at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/03/world/middleeast/03iran.html?hp

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Obamamania fails to hit most Muslim nations

Aug 1, 2009

Washington: Obamamania may still be sweeping the world, but not most Muslim nations, says a survey by the Pew Research Centre here. Called Global Attitudes Project, the survey of 24 countries and the Palestinian territories shows that the Muslim world remains largely immune to Obamamania, said Richard Wike, associate director, Pew Global Attitudes Project, in an article for CBS News on Friday.

Thanks to the new President, America’s image is on the rebound throughout much of the world, with more than nine-in-ten in France and Germany posing faith in Mr Obama’s leadership, he said. Because of Mr Obama, ratings for the US itself are up dramatically, with sizeable increases in Latin America, Africa, and much of Asia, Mr Wike wrote. However when it comes to Muslim nations, Mr Obama is viewed more positively there than former President George W. Bush, but America’s overall image remains unchanged, the survey says. In Pakistan, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey and the Palestinian territories, even less than 30 per cent people have a positive view of America, according to the survey. In Egypt and Jordan there has been a slight rise in favourable views about the US since 2008. But in Pakistan, Turkey and the Palestinian territories, America continues to be viewed as negatively as in the final years of the presidency of George W. Bush whose wars in Iraq and Afghanistan antagonised Muslim nations.

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/presentation/leftnavigation/news/international/obamamania-fails-to-hit-most-muslim-nations.aspx

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Islam stands for peace: Imam

Aug 2, 2009

BEIJING, (Xinhua) -- Muslims should bring peace to people and it should never be their practice to injure or kill people, said a mosque imam in Urumqi, recalling details of three men's attempts to incite violence during prayers in the mosque.

Three Uygur men, who disrupted prayers and attacked a security guard in the White Mosque in downtown Urumqi on July 13, were shot by a police patrol after they ignored a warning shot, said a recent report in the People's Daily.

The incident came days after a deadly riot in Urumqi, capital of China's far west Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, which had left 197 dead and 1,600 injured.

Rioters' attempts to incite Muslim worshippers to violence in the name of religion failed, Abdushukur Rehmutura, imam of the White Mosque, told the newspaper.

During a 2:30 p.m. prayer at the mosque on Jiefang South Road, a Uygur man about 40 suddenly stood up among the worshippers and tried to grab the imam's microphone.

Full report at http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-08/02/content_11811529.htm

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Musharraf faces exile in Britain: Report

Aug 1, 2009

LONDON: Former Pakistan president Pervez Musharraf, who has been ruled guilty of illegally imposing emergency two years ago, faces exile in

Britain because his presence may destabilize the country, a British newspaper reported on Saturday.

Musharraf, a former military general who was ousted from power in August 2008, has been in Britain for the past two months and is reported to be on a luxury cruise. He is also reported to have bought an expensive apartment in London.

Now, The Guardian said, he may have to extend his stay in Britain - a move made at the urging of Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Kayani.

It said that although unlikely, Musharraf could be prosecuted on grounds of treason after Pakistan's Supreme Court said this week the former president's imposition of national emergency in 2007 was illegal.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/4845859.cms

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Saudi Arabia rejects US pleas on Israel

Aug 1, 2009

WASHINGTON: Saudi Arabia on Friday accused Israel of not being serious about peace with the Palestinians and rejected US pleas to improve ties with Israel as a way of jump-starting regional peace talks. Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said the “incremental” approach used by the United States to get talks rolling would not work and core issues must be tackled.

“Temporary security and confidence-building measures will also not bring peace. What is required is a comprehensive approach that defines the final outcome and launches into negotiations over final-status issues,” he said at a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

By final-status issues, Saud was referring to matters such as resolving the borders of a future Palestinian state, the fate of refugees, water disputes and the future of Jerusalem.

In blunt language, the Saudi minister said Israel was shifting attention from those core issues by focusing on Jewish settlement building on Palestinian territory.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/saudi-arabia-rejects-us-pleas-on-israel-289

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Islamist extremists issue call to prosecute British Queen

Aug 1, 2009

London: Islamist extremists in the UK have publicly demanded the prosecution of the British Queen for "genocide" as she "applauded" those who "massacred thousands of innocent people", a news report said on Saturday.

Anjem Choudary, 42, and several of his supporters have demanded the prosecution of Queen Elizabeth II, who as "the head of this country" sanctioned British troops to wipe out the civilian population in Afghanistan, the Sun said on Saturday.

Full report at: http://www.asianage.com/presentation/leftnavigation/news/international/islamist-extremists-issue-call-to-prosecute-queen.aspx

 

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/six-christians-burned-alive-in-pakistan-riots/d/1594

 

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Total Comments (1)

  • 1 .

    Dear Editor

     The work you are doing is excellent. I wonder if the entire world stands for one common cause i.e. love and respect to all humanity, one religion.

    Even in any religion I noticed hatred towards other Sect. The Earth and Sky was not borne today. Religion are not created in heaven. People are not borne as criminals. Children borne, are allways innocent.  God has not created this Universe yesterday and created any religion. If a person is borne in a Muslim family, he is muslim, whether poor muslim or rich, black or white, he will remain as such and when he reaches the age of maturity, he will choose his own path where to go.

     It would be wonderful if all people come to one umbrella of love and peace. Today there are so much of hatred, cruelity, ethinicity and what not.

    By Nayyar