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Islamic World News ( 20 Apr 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Speaking of fatwas: What about female circumcision?

Pakistan marks Muhammad Iqbal as "Poet of Islam"

Roots of Islamic funamentalism lie in Nazi propaganda for Arab world, book claims

Row over namaz on road in South Delhi

Malaysian lawmaker in trouble over polygamy

France to ban full Islamic veil from public spaces

JEDDAH: ‘Exploitation’ of women during Janadriya denied

India won't scale down activities in Afghanistan: Foreign Minister

Pakistan signs $65 million deal for US warship

Sania, Shoaib to be Pakistan brand ambassadors

Hafiz on tape, Masood on phone to address Srinagar meet

Decapitating the Iraq insurgents

Banned Islamist outfit chief coordinator held in Bangladesh

‘Corruption fuelling terrorism in Indonesia’

‘False Religion’ Is How Long-Time U.S. Aide Now Describes Mideast Peace Process

Top 2 Qaida leaders in Iraq killed

Language trips Afghans posing as Nepalese fliers

'Pak needs to do much more on ending terror'

Indians on death row in UAE allege torture

Omar speaks against human rights violations

China for diplomatic solution to Iran nuclear issue

Zia went into hiding before border guard mutiny: Hasina

Benazir Bhutto’s assassination: 'Indirectly complicit'

Israel hinders mosque renovation

Iran arrests members of a "terrorist group"

East Sudan parties concede defeat, cry fraud

Sunni Iraqi leader on Jordan terrorism list

From Neptune to Gaza: On language, identity and hope

‘Killing’ of Qaeda leaders won’t end Iraq attacks

Beware the coming war by Matein Khalid

Placing Karzai in the hot seat by Fareed Zakaria

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL:  http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/speaking-of-fatwas--what-about-female-circumcision?/d/2736

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Speaking of fatwas: What about female circumcision?

Sheema Khan

April 21st, 2010

Last month, a group of prominent Muslim scholars met in the Turkish city of Mardin to revisit the Mardin fatwa, the 14th-century legal edict written by Muslim scholar Ibn Taymiyya, who lived during the brutal Mongol invasion. While the Mongols eventually embraced Islam, they unleashed terror on their religious brethren. Ibn Taymiyya declared that, although the Mongols were nominally Muslim, they did not rule according to classical Islamic law and, therefore, could be killed. The Mardin fatwa is often quoted by Osama bin Laden and other extremists to excommunicate and murder Muslims who don’t share their views. The fatwa is also used to justify the murder of unarmed combatants.

The scholars declared that these interpretations of the Mardin fatwa are erroneous, that the killing of non-combatants is forbidden. Furthermore, they made it clear that jihad has multiple meanings, one of which is armed conflict. But only a head of state, not individuals, can declare armed jihad, and only as a defensive means against aggression.

The strong opinion followed a remarkable 600-page fatwa issued by an influential Pakistani scholar, Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri, who categorized individuals committing terrorism in the name of Islam to be outside the fold of the faith. He, too, said in no uncertain terms that the killing of non-combatants is forbidden, as is suicide. Suicide bombings, he said, lie outside the bounds of Islam and can in no way be justified. He reiterated this stand by condemning the “black widow” terror attacks in the recent Moscow subway bombings.

These declarations are important in the ideological fight against extremism, for they provide strong ammunition against justifications provided by extremists. Yet, there’s another fatwa of Ibn Taymiyya that deserves no less critical examination, given its harmful implications on the lives of so many.

Ibn Taymiyya advocated female circumcision, ruling that “its purpose is to reduce the woman's desire; if she is uncircumcised, she becomes lustful and tends to long more for men.” Today, many who practise female genital mutilation and infibulation point to this fatwa as justification for this barbarism. There’s no mention of female circumcision in the Koran, while unauthentic narrations relating to this practice are attributed to the Prophet Mohammed. The debilitating effects of female genital mutilation are well-documented, and Muslim scholars must unequivocally condemn this affront to women’s dignity.

Perhaps a conference of scholars – such as the one in Mardin – can be held in Egypt, where Ibn Tayyima’s views hold sway. The United Nations estimates that as many as 90 per cent of Egyptian women have undergone female genital mutilation.

Or given the underlying intent of the ruling – the control of women – such a conference might take place in Saudi Arabia, where a woman is under male guardianship from cradle to grave. Just look at the plight of 24-year-old Nazia Quazi, a Canadian citizen who’s languished in that country since 2007 because her father refuses to sign her exit visa. Despite being a signatory to a number of international human-rights agreements, Saudi Arabia routinely allows cultural patriarchy to trump human dignity, as chronicled in the 2008 Human Rights Watch report Perpetual Minors: Human Rights Abuses Stemming from Male Guardianship and Sex Segregation in Saudi Arabia.

What’s urgently needed is an examination of how women in predominantly Muslim countries are lagging behind. Some compare the condition of Muslim women to that of a collapsed lung, which incapacitates the entire body. A community, a nation, can never reach its full potential if half its members are denied certain rights.

There’s also a connection between the status of women and terrorism. In their book Half the Sky, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn say greater female involvement in society and the economy seems to undermine extremism. Some point to the low level of female education and societal participation as reasons why some Muslim countries have been disproportionately afflicted by terrorism. Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, argues that, when women are educated, they’re more likely to restrain their sons.

While the Mardin fatwa initiative is commendable, it’s incomplete. Theological pronouncements against terrorism must go hand in hand with a resolve to better the condition of women in Muslim societies.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/speaking-of-fatwas-what-about-female-circumcision/article1540876/

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Pakistan marks Muhammad Iqbal as "Poet of Islam"

By Ubaid ur Rahman

21 April 2010

Pakistan on Wednesday observes the 72nd death anniversary of great poet-philosopher Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal with due reverence and solemnity. Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal gave the vision of an independent state for the Muslims of British India that led to the creation of Pakistan.

One of the most prominent leaders of the All India Muslim League, Allama Iqbal encouraged the creation of a "state in north-western India for Muslims" in his 1930 presidential address. After studying in England and Germany, Iqbal started law practice, but concentrated primarily on writing scholarly works on politics, economics, history, philosophy and religion.

He died on 21st April 1938 at the age of 60. To mark the day, special programmes, seminars and debate competitions will be held to pay homage to the services of Dr Iqbal. In Lahore.

The newspapers have published special editions while TV channels would air different programmes to mark 72nd death anniversary of Dr Allama Iqbal. Bang-e-Dara, Baal Jabreel, Zarb-e-Kaleem and Payam-e-Mashriq are his great books. Allama Iqbal is best known for his poetic works, including Asrar-e-Khudi-which brought a knighthood- Rumuz-e-Bekhudi, and the Bang-e-Dara, with its enduring patriotic song Tarana-e-Hind. Iqbal was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilisation across the world, but specifically in South Asia.

Who is Muhammad Iqbal?

Iqbal was born in1938 in Sialkot. He received his early education in Sialkot and Lahore later on, he studied law in England and Germany. His primary focus was on the creation of works on politics, religion, economics, philosophy and history. He also composed a number of poems and is well-known for his poetic works like Rumuz-i-Bekhudi, Asrar-e-Khudi and Bang-i-Dara among others. He is held in high honor in Afghanistan and Iran and he is fondly called as Iqbal-e-Lahori, which means Iqbal of Lahore.

His poetry in Urdu, Arabic and Persian is considered to be among the greatest of the modern era.He gave the vision of an independent state for the Muslims of British India that led to the creation of Pakistan.

Among his 12,000 verses of poem, about 7,000 verses are in Persian. In 1915,he published his first collection of poetry, the Asrar e Khudi (Secrets of the Self) in Persian. The poems delve into concepts of ego and emphasise thespirit and self from a religious, spiritual perspective. Many critics have called this Iqbal's finest poetic work.

Iqbal's philosophy

In Asrar e Khudi, Iqbal has explained his philosophy of "Khudi," or "Self." He proves by various means that the whole universe obeys the will of the "Self." Iqbal condemns self destruction. For him the aim of life is self realization and self knowledge. He charts the stages through which the "Self"has to pass before finally arriving at its point of perfection, enabling the knower of the "Self" to become the viceregent of Allah.

A very strong supporter of the revival of Islam around the world, he also advocated for the cause that the spiritual and political resurgence of Islam was very essential. He delivered a famous set of lectures in India that was compiled and published as Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam.

Iqbal was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilisation across the world, but specifically in South Asia; a series of famous lectures he delivered to this effect were published as "The Reconstruction of Religious Thought in Islam." Iqbal's poetic works are written mostly in Persian rather than Urdu.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/news_detail.php?id=57430

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Roots of Islamic funamentalism lie in Nazi propaganda for Arab world, book claims

By Allan Hall in Berlin

21 Apr 2010

Roots of Islamic funamentalism lie in Nazi propaganda for Arab world, book claims Photo: PA "Your only hope for rescue is the destruction of the Jews before they destroy you!" Hitler said in a 1942 message, one of thousands broadcast across the Middle East in an attempt to woo the Arab world.

In a broadcast aimed at provoking an anti-Semitic uprising in Egypt, he said: "A large number of Jews who live in Egypt, along with Poles, Greeks, Armenians and Frenchmen, have guns and ammunition.

"Some Jews in Cairo have even asked the British authorities to set up machine guns on the roofs of their houses," he claimed.

But the Nazi's wartime broadcasts had remained a largely hidden chapter in the history of the war until the transmissions were unearthed by a US scholar, who believes they have fuelled continuing unrest in the Middle East.

"The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians would have been over long ago were it not for the uncompromising, religiously inspired hatred of the Jews that was articulated and given assistance by Nazi propagandists and continued after the war by Islamists of various sorts," said Jeffrey Herf, a history professor at the University of Maryland.

In his new book, "Nazi Propaganda for the Arab World", Mr Herf argues that Nazi propagandists offered a message that neatly dovetailed with underlying prejudice.

"Islamic fundamentalism, like European totalitarianism in the 20th century, was and is a mixture of very old and very modern elements.

"It is also a product of a mixture of some indigenous currents in the history of Islam with the hatred of democracy, liberalism and the Jews that were so central to National Socialism.

Mr Herf uncovered 6,000 transmissions, produced under the propaganda minister Josef Goebbels and sent around the Arab world from 1939 to 1945.

The transcripts of the broadcasts were made by the American embassy in Cairo during the war, and classified until 1977 in Washington. But it was not until two years ago that Mr Herf became the first scholar to be given access to the files.

The Nazis relied on radio broadcasts - translated into Arabic - to sew propaganda because of high illiteracy in the Arab world at the time. Although radio ownership was small, it was commonplace for cafes and bazaars to draw large crowds to listen to broadcasts.

This propaganda campaign comprised an important chapter in the history of the war," Mr Herf said.

"The Arab language propaganda produced in wartime Berlin was a significant chapter in the longer history of radical Arab nationalism and militant Islam."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/religion/7613925/Roots-of-Islamic-funamentalism-lie-in-Nazi-propaganda-for-Arab-world-book-claims.html

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Row over namaz on road

Rahul Tripathi & Abhinav Garg

Apr 21, 2010

NEW DELHI: Residents of Aravali Apartment in Alaknanda in south Delhi and people offering namaz at a local mosque are locked in a dispute over the devout occupying road space and blocking traffic in the area.

The residents had filed a contempt petition against Delhi Police after the Delhi high court passed an order in January last year asking the cops to ensure that the prayers were offered within the walls of the mosque. However, on Tuesday the HC dismissed the contempt petition after getting an assurance from the police that the area beyond the mosque boundary will be kept free of the namazis.

The Madni mosque is located at Gate no. 10 of Aravali Apartment and more than 600 people offer prayers every Friday, forcing closure of the road. Recently, more than 300 cops were deployed to prevent the namazis from coming to the road but they have pleaded that it's not possible for them to make this arrangement every Friday.

"The problem of namazis spilling over on to the roads is not limited to Madni Mosque. We face this problem all over Delhi. The mosques do not have the capacity to accommodate so many people due to which they are forced to offer prayers on the road. We have to close down one carriageway near Mata Anandmai Marg every Friday. A lot of our manpower is being wasted on these arrangements," said a senior police officer.

He claimed they have been making efforts to comply with the high court order. "Between February and March 2010, we have detained 113 people for encroaching on the road while offering prayers. They were booked under section 65 of Delhi Police Act," the officer added. The cops had also called a meeting with 23 representatives of the Muslim community after which notices were put up around the mosque about the high court order.

Meanwhile, representatives of the mosque too had filed a contempt petition against Delhi Police and the residents for not allowing them to offer prayers. A complaint has also been sent to the ministry of home affairs.

Speaking to TOI, the Imam of the mosque, Mufti Nasimuddin Qasmi, said, "We have been forced to go on to the road to offer prayers. The place where we used to offer prayers has been taken up by the residents for parking. It is the courtyard of the mosque and namazis have the right to offer prayers there. We have been cooperating with Delhi Police."

RWA vice-president R G Gupta said, "When the allotments of the flats were made, the mosque did not exist. It came up during the construction of the apartments and has been made in connivance with the contractor."

After receiving an assurance from the police, Justice G S Sistani made it clear in his order on Tuesday that they would be bound in future by the assurance given in court that the HC's orders will be complied with.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Row-over-namaz-on-road/articleshow/5837954.cms

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Malaysian lawmaker in trouble over polygamy

By JULIA ZAPPEI

Apr 20, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR: A ruling party lawmaker and his second wife pleaded guilty Tuesday to entering into a polygamous marriage without official consent amid a debate in Malaysia over Islamic morality among politicians.

Lawmaker Bung Mokhtar Radin and actress Zizie Ezette A. Samad pleaded guilty in a lower Islamic Shariah court in central Selangor state to getting married without the consent of a registrar, said a court official, who declined to be named due to protocol.

Polygamy - although not widely practiced - is legal among Malaysia's roughly 20 million Muslims, provided marriages are registered in an Islamic court.

Bung, 50, and Zizie, who is in her early 30s, married in December last year - confirming monthlong speculation in the local press of their liaison. Zizie has been quoted by The Star as praising Bung's first wife as a "very good" woman.

Each faces a possible 1,000-ringgit ($300) fine and jail sentence of up to six months. Sentencing has been set for May 18. Five friends and relatives pleaded guilty to abetting Bung. They face the same penalty as Bung and Zizie, said the couple's lawyer, Amli Embong.

Muslim men can marry up to four wives under the country's Islamic law, which governs civil matters for Muslims.

Non-Muslims, who account for about a third of Malaysia's population, are not subject to Islamic law.

Morality among public officials recently became a hot topic in Malaysia after an opposition candidate for Parliament acknowledged consuming alcohol in the past.

Muslims in Malaysia are banned from drinking alcohol. They can face fines, jail terms and caning if found guilty of the offense.

Zaid Ibrahim, who is running for Parliament in a special election on Sunday, made the admission last weekend. He said he has repented but added that ruling party coalition members were guilty of doing the same thing.

http://arabnews.com/world/article45406.ece

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France to ban full Islamic veil from public spaces

Apr 21, 2010

PARIS: The French government is drawing up a law to ban the full-face Islamic veil from all public spaces, despite a warning from experts that it could face a legal challenge, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

The spokesman for President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, Luc Chatel, said the bill would be presented to ministers in May and would go beyond a mere ban on women wearing the niqab and the burqa while dealing with French officials.

"We're legislating for the future. Wearing a full veil is a sign of a community closing in on itself and a rejection of our values," he said.

Last month, the State Council -- France's top administrative authority -- warned Sarkozy against a full ban on the veil, suggesting instead an order that women uncover their faces for identity checks or for state business.

Full report at:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/europe/France-to-ban-full-Islamic-veil-from-public-spaces/articleshow/5840473.cms

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JEDDAH: ‘Exploitation’ of women during Janadriya denied

By MUHAMMAD HUMAIDAN

Apr 21, 2010

JEDDAH: There were no attempts to take advantage of women working at the Janadriya festival, according to the event’s director- general on Monday.

Saud Al-Roumi strongly denied allegations by some newspapers and web sites that there were “ethical violations” against women during the National Festival For Heritage and Culture.

“These allegations are totally untrue and uncalled for. There was nothing of the sort during the festival or after that,” he told Arab News.

Al-Roumi slammed claims published by Kuwaiti writer and poet Misfir Al-Dousari in a Kuwaiti newspaper.

Full report at:  http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article45393.ece

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India won't scale down activities in Afghanistan: Krishna

April 21st, 2010

Ruling out any scaling down of India’s reconstruction activities in Afghanistan, the government on Wednesday told parliament that although 17 Indians have been killed there so far, its commitment to rebuilding the war-torn country was not shaken.

The government also underlined that it has reviewed and enhanced security measures for over 3,500 Indians involved in different reconstruction projects in Afghanistan.

India has “no plan to scale down” its activities in Afghanistan, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna told the Lok Sabha.

The minister informed parliament that nine Indians lost their lives in 2008 including seven in the terror attack on its embassy in Kabul, one in 2009 (a private firm employee) and seven in 2010 (in a terror attack on a hotel). No Indian was among those killed in Afghanistan in 2007, he said.

Full report at:  http://beta.thehindu.com/news/national/article406986.ece

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Pakistan signs $65 million deal for US warship

Apr 21, 2010

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has signed a $65 million deal with the United States for the "hot transfer" of refurbished American frigate USS McInerney by August 31.

The contract for the "hot transfer" of the USS McInerney, a Perry-class guided missile frigate, was signed by senior officials of the two countries here on Tuesday. Under the agreement, the Pakistan Navy will take over the vessel on August 31.

The sale of the frigate, which would be inducted into the Pakistan Navy as PNS Alamgir at a ceremony in the US, was approved by the United States Congress in September 2008.

Commissioned in 1979, the frigate would be handed over after a refurbishment that includes anti-submarine capability that has been paid for with the foreign military aid provided by the United States to friendly countries. On completion of the refurbishment in January next year, the vessel will sail to Pakistan to join the country's naval fleet.

Pakistani officials described the deal to acquire the warship a major "milestone" towards further strengthening the wide-ranging Pakistan-US relationship.

Full report at:  http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Pakistan-signs-65-million-deal-for-US-warship/articleshow/5838889.cms

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Sania, Shoaib to be Pakistan brand ambassadors

Apr 21, 2010

New Delhi: Tennis player Sania Mirza and her Pakistani cricketer-husband Shoaib Malik will be declared brand ambassadors of Pakistan's Population Welfare Ministry.

Pakistan has announced that the two “superstars” would be its ambassadors to help the country control the rising population.

“When they reach Pakistan, they will be designated brand ambassadors at an official function,” Population Welfare Minister Firdous Aashiq Awan told journalists at an Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India meet here. The Minister was present at their marriage in Hyderabad.

“It is up to her”

Asked if she would like Sania to play for Pakistan, Ms. Awan said, “It is up to Sania.”

Post-marriage, Sania and Shoaib are expected to settle in Dubai.

In an interview to PTI, Sania said tennis remained on top of her agenda and that she was focussing on doing well in the October 3-14 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, followed by the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

http://www.hindu.com/2010/04/21/stories/2010042161350800.htm

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Hafiz on tape, Masood on phone to address Srinagar meet

RIYAZ WANI

Apr 21, 2010

Srinagar : Lashkar-e-Toiba founder Hafiz Saeed, Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar and Hizbul Mujahideen supremo Syed Salahuddin will address a seminar on the “Kashmir issue” in Srinagar on Wednesday, say organisers.

The seminar is being organised by a little known body called Human Rights Forum. Its leader, Muhammad Ahsan Antoo, spent five years in prison before being released in 2009.

The chairmen of both factions of the Hurriyat, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Syed Ali Shah Geelani, have been invited to the seminar, titled ‘Role of pro-freedom leaders vis-a-vis Kashmir issue’.

The participation of Saeed, Azhar and Salahuddin has been kept mostly under wraps. Azhar and Salahuddin will address the seminar by phone, the organisers said.

Antoo said he has already received an audiotape of Saeed’s address, which would be played at the seminar. In the tape, Saeed draws a parallel between the “struggles” in Afghanistan and Kashmir, and seeks their simultaneous resolution.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/hafiz-on-tape-masood-on-phone-to-address-srinagar-meet/609084/

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Decapitating the Iraq insurgents

Apr 21, 2010

The timing was certainly fortuitous. In an interview Sunday, Gen. Ray Odierno, the U.S. commander in Iraq, said he was confident that the U.S. withdrawal would proceed on schedule with 45,000 troops leaving by the end of August, when the U.S. will no longer be conducting combat operations.

One of the reasons for Odierno's confidence, he said, was a steady and significant degrading of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, or AQI. On Sunday, that Islamic terrorist group was degraded even further in what Odierno called "potentially the most significant blow to AQI since the beginning of the insurgency."

The blow came when Iraqi forces, backed by the U.S., killed Abu Ayyub al-Masri, who in 2006 replaced his slain predecessor, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, as military commander of AQI. Also killed was Abu Umar al-Baghdadi, who fancied himself "Prince of the Faithful" and would have been leader of the Islamic State of Iraq if AQI had ever taken over. Masri's deputy and al-Baghdadi's son were also killed and an additional 16 suspected AQI operatives were taken prisoner.

Full report at:  http://www.dailynewstribune.com/opinions/editorials/x53548513/Editorial-Decapitating-the-Iraq-insurgents

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Banned Islamist outfit chief coordinator held in Bangladesh

Anisur Rahman

Apr 21, 2010

Globally banned Islamist outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir’s Bangladesh unit chief coordinator, a professor at the elite Dhaka University, has been arrested on charges of instigating “subversive activities” in the country, officials said. “We brought him under our custody for questioning” as Mohiuddin Ahmed was remanded in custody for three days on an order by a Dhaka court, a police official said.

He said Ahmed, a professor of business administration of premier Dhaka University, was faced with two cases for his alleged attempts to reorganise the outfit which was banned in October last year “in the interests of public security”.

Court officials said Ahmed was escorted to the downtown court complex under heavy security escorts soon after his arrest from his residence in central part of the city while Metropolitan Magistrate Roksana Begum granted three days for interrogation against a police prayer for 14 days.

Full report at:  http://www.dailypioneer.com/250476/Banned-Islamist-outfit-chief-coordinator-held-in-Bangladesh.html

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‘Corruption fuelling terrorism in Indonesia’

April 21, 2010

JAKARTA: Indonesia has succeeded in dismantling a major new al-Qaeda-style terrorist network but corruption and complacency threaten to unravel its gains against home grown extremists, a think tank said on Tuesday.

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group (ICG) also warned against calls for Indonesia to mimic Singapore’s harsh internal security measures with a new intelligence bill due for debate this year. 

“The bottom line is that the government is taking terrorism seriously, but much more needs to be done for political will to translate into effective action,” the ICG said in a report entitled “Jihadi Surprise in Aceh”. 

“The Indonesian police, at both local and national levels, deserve credit for their fast work. But no one should be complacent that the job is over.” Police have arrested 48 alleged terrorists and killed another eight, including Dulmatin, one of the region’s most wanted men and a key figure in the 2002 Bali bombings, since raiding a terrorist training camp in Aceh province, Sumatra island, in February.         

Full report at:  http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=235277

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‘False Religion’ Is How Long-Time U.S. Aide Now Describes Mideast Peace Process

By YOUSSEF IBRAHMIM

April 21, 2010

An architect of the America’s Middle East peace process, who over the past 30 years served both Republican and Democratic administrations, is describing the continued pursuit of mediation among Palestinians and Israelis as “a false religion,” a pointless effort that will only meet with failure.

“I am no longer a believer,’’ Aaron Miller asserted in an article published in Foreign Policy and in an interview aired last night on CNN prime time news program with John King.

Mr. Miller, who since 1978 has played a key role in several administrations and became a senior advisor to several secretaries of state, said the United States has far too many other priorities in the Middle East including two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a serious preoccupation with Iran’s impending status as a nuclear power to expend more energy on the Mideast peace process. He also argued that in terms of strategic priorities, peace between Israelis and Palestinians ranks far below the America’s policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

Mr. Miller described the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians as moribund and predicted that it would be a loosing proposition for President Obama. He noted that the logic behind the exercise now is an unthinking and automated process, which he described as “a sort of catechism we all could recite by heart among State Department officials” instead of as a strategic necessity. He said he has concluded that the Arab-Israeli conflict is ‘’intractable’’.

Full report at:  http://www.nysun.com/foreign/false-religion-is-how-long-time-us-aide-now/86921/

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Top 2 Qaida leaders in Iraq killed

Apr 20, 2010

BAGHDAD: The top two al-Qaida figures in Iraq, who had direct links with Osama bin Laden, were killed north of Baghdad, dealing the organisation a “potentially devastating blow”, the US army said on Monday.

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri were killed on Sunday in a series of operations 10km southwest of Tikrit, the home city of now executed dictator Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi PM Nuri al-Maliki, holding pictures of both men before and after their deaths, said al-Qaida was now “bleeding... and severely weakened”, and that a major threat to the country’s security had been removed. He said Baghdadi and Masri’s identities had been confirmed after medical tests.

He said Baghdadi and Masri were killed in a house in an operation that had yielded significant evidence that had also helped them foil future attacks.

“During the operations computers were seized with emails and messages to the two biggest

terrorists, Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri,” Maliki added.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Top-2-Qaida-leaders-in-Iraq-killed/articleshow/5833675.cms

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Language trips Afghans posing as Nepalese fliers

Apr 21, 2010

KOLKATA: Immigration officers at the Kolkata airport arrested six Afghanistan residents on Tuesday while they were trying to leave the country posing as Nepalese with forged passports.

The six — Karim Ali, Kasim Ali, Fayez Ali, Golam Reza, Muhammad Yasin, Mohammed Ismail — were booked on a Kingfisher flight to Bangkok. When they reached the airport on Tuesday morning, the immigration official on duty suspected that the passports were forged.

"When we typed the passport number in our dedicated software system, it revealed that the passports were fake. None of the six even remotely resembled a Nepalese person," said a senior immigration official.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata-/Language-trips-Afghans-posing-as-Nepalese-fliers/articleshow/5838195.cms

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'Pak needs to do much more on ending terror'

Apr 21, 2010

Describing cross-border terrorism as a "core" concern, India on Tuesday said Pakistan would have to do "much more" in addressing it before other aspects of the relations can be pursued.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna told the Lok Sabha that India wanted to have good relations with Pakistan and in the recent past efforts have been made to "open up" talks with the neighbour to convince it that "once the question of terrorism is addressed by Pakistan, then certain other things will follow".

He was replying to a debate on Demand for Grants for the Ministry of External Affairs during which the opposition slammed the government's foreign policy as "hazy and directionless" and said India should not look up to the US in dealing with Pakistan over terrorism.

Responding to the views expressed by opposition members, including Murli Manohar Joshi (BJP), Krishna contended that security considerations were part of the country's foreign policy.

Full report at:  http://www.dailypioneer.com/250666/Pak-needs-to-do-much-more-on-ending-terror.html

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Indians on death row in UAE allege torture

Apr 21, 2010

Seeking justice, 17 Indian youth on the death row in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have alleged before human rights activists from India that they have been framed in the murder case of a Pakistani national after being tortured.

Representatives of a Punjab-based NGO, Lawyers For Human Rights International (LFHRI) who recently returned after meeting the 17 Indians sentenced to death in Sharjah, Tuesday alleged here that the youth were tortured and were not being given proper legal aid.

A two-member team of LFHRI had visited Dubai and Sharjah April 13-14 and met the prisoners and also held a meeting with lawyers who are fighting their case.

"We had a two-hour meeting with 17 Indians and we came across a very sorry state of affairs. The apathy of prisoners revealed a total miscarriage of justice," alleged LFHRI general secretary Navkiran Singh while talking to reporters here.

The 17 Indians, aged between 17 and 30 years, were sentenced to death by a court in Sharjah for killing a Pakistani man and injuring three others in January 2009 following a fight over illegal liquor business.

Full report at:  http://www.dailypioneer.com/250464/Indians-on-death-row-in-UAE-allege-torture.html

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Omar speaks against human rights violations

Khursheed Wani

Apr 21, 2010

Embarrassed by the recent killing of a 70-year-old beggar who was passed off as “elderly militant” by the Army, the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah on Tuesday sought to instill confidence in people living in frontier Kupwara district. 

“The blood of innocent people in Jammu and Kashmir is not so cheap that those responsible will be allowed to go scot free,” Abdullah said at a public rally at Kalamchakla village in Langate pocket of the district.

The State has initiated inquiry into the killing of Habibullah Khan who was allegedly killed in fake encounter in Rainawari forest of Kupwara last week. His relatives identified him through photographs published in local newspapers.

Abdullah spoke tough at a time when Army Chief General VK Singh has arrived in Jammu and Kashmir on his maiden trip. He is meeting the Chief Minister in Jammu on Wednesday. Union Minister Dr. Farooq Abdullah has said that Omar would take the issue of beggar’s killing with the Army Chief.

“We will ensure justice to every sufferer as has been done by us in various such cases during the last 15 months”, Omar said adding, “No compromise at all will be made on the issue of human rights violations”.

Archrival and former Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed has also castigated his government for alleged human rights violations and “prevailing lawlessness in the state”.

“We are perturbed at the unabated violation of human rights. The 70-year-old Habibullah Khan of Kupwara and the teenaged Zubair of Sopore are only the latest mascots of the insensitive, cruel and repressive handling of the situation here,” Mufti said.

Rubbishing the PDP accusations, Omar said that his government believes in deeds rather than slogans. He maintained that his six years of Government will be known as the period of development, progress and welfare.

http://www.dailypioneer.com/250536/Omar-speaks-against-human-rights-violations.html

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China for diplomatic solution to Iran nuclear issue

Apr 21, 2010

China on Tuesday said it will continue to press for a diplomatic solution to resolve the Iranian nuclear issue and gave no sign of giving up its opposition to US-backed move to impose fresh UN sanctions on Tehran.

China still regards dialogue and talks as the best method in settling the Iranian nuclear issue, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said here.

Representatives of the five permanent members of the UNSC — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States — and Germany, discussed possible steps over fresh sanctions on Iran last Thursday in New York.

“Such discussions does not mean that the door for dialogue and talks has been closed,” she said.    

http://www.dailypioneer.com/250479/China-for-diplomatic-solution-to-Iran-nuclear-issue.html

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Zia went into hiding before border guard mutiny: Hasina

April 20, 2010

Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has hinted at a probe against opposition leader Khaleda Zia who she says was "hiding for three days" before the country's border guard troopers mutinied in February last year.

Repeating a charge that she had made on the floor of the National Assembly last year, Hasina told a meeting of her party leaders on Monday: "Why she went out from her residence riding a black-tinted glass car just before the BDR mutiny? Did she know what will happen at Pilkhana?"

Pilkhana is the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) headquarters located in the heart of the national capital. On Feb 25 last year, thousands of troopers stationed there entered an officers' meeting and gunned down several of them, including the force commander, Major General Shakil Ahmed.

Seventy-one people, including 57 Bangladesh Army officers on deputation to the BDR died in the two-day mutiny that took place within six weeks of Hasina's taking power. The troopers rebelled over low wages and poor working conditions.

Media reports said Hasina asked of her arch political rival: "She was in a secret place for three days after hiding just before the BDR mutiny on February 25, 2009."

"Where have you been? How did you know what will happen there? What was in your mind?"

She said there is a need for further investigation regarding the opposition leader's movements on that particular day. "The reason why the opposition leader hid and the secret place should be brought into light."

Hasina alleged that the opposition leader, her family members and her finance minister earned black money during their tenure, The Daily Star reported on Tuesday.

"If you didn't steal how did you amass black money?"

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/bangladesh/Zia-went-into-hiding-before-border-guard-mutiny-Hasina/Article1-533522.aspx

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Benazir Bhutto’s assassination:'Indirectly complicit'

Shamshad Ahmad

April 21, 2010

What an irony that it took Shaheed Benazir Bhutto's party and its government nearly two years-and-a-half only to know that she died because the "security arrangements" for her were "fatally insufficient and ineffective" and that subsequent official investigations into her death were "prejudiced" and amounted only to a "whitewash."

Benazir Bhutto had herself been publicly voicing apprehensions about the inadequacy of her security. She addressed a letter to President Musharraf before her return to Pakistan in October in which she had even named individuals whom she suspected of plotting to kill her. According to the PPP, she addressed another letter to Pakistan's interior secretary on Oct 26, highlighting her security concerns and seeking foolproof security arrangements.

This sordid tale was further compounded by a story CNN's Wolf Blitzer had hoped he would never have to report -- an email sent to him by Benazir Bhutto through an intermediary eight days after her narrow escape from the bombings of Oct 18 in Karachi. She wrote that if anything happened to her, "I would hold Musharraf responsible," and that because of inadequate security "I have been made to feel insecure by his minions."

Joseph Biden, then chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a leading presidential candidate, released a letter that he and two of his Senate colleagues wrote to President Musharraf at Ms Bhutto's request soon after the Oct 18 attack on her in Karachi. In it he had urged him to give her "the full level of security support afforded to any former prime minister," including bomb-proof vehicles and jamming equipment.

In a television interview after the Dec 27 tragedy, Senator Biden deplored that the appeal failed to evoke a response and that the Pakistani government was "indirectly complicit" in the assassination because it failed to provide adequate security to her. "I'm not saying had she had the protection she would have lived, but it sure bothers me that she did not have the kind of protection she needed," Biden said.

Not only was Ms Bhutto riding an old and defective vehicle and was without a proper security cordon around her vehicle, but those within her own party who were responsible for her security also did not ensure adequate protective cover for her despite the gravity of the known threat to her life.

Full report at:  http://thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=235253

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Israel hinders mosque renovation

By MOHAMMED MAR'I

Apr 21, 2010

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian Ministry of Waqf and Religious Affairs on Tuesday said that the Israeli occupation authorities barred Palestinian Authority (PA) from renovating Al-Ibrahimi Mosque (the Cave of the Patriarchs) in Hebron.

The ministry said in a press statement that the "occupation authorities prevented Palestinian laborers hired by the ministry from renovating some parts inside the mosque and its external wall." It added that the Israeli move is an "assault on the PA's religious and national duties."

According to the ministry, Al-Ibrahimi Mosque is the fourth holiest mosque in Islam in terms of religious importance and prestige.

Full report at:  http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article45335.ece

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Iran arrests members of a "terrorist group"

Apr 21, 2010

TEHRAN: Iran said on Tuesday it had arrested members of an extremist group in the west of the country who had planned to carry out "terrorist attacks" in the Islamic state, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar said the group, identified and arrested by the Intelligence Ministry, was armed and guided by American forces, IRNA reported.

Mohammad-Najjar did not identify the group or say whether those detained belonged to Kurdish separatist groups, based in mountainous areas close to the borders with Iraq and Turkey.

Iranian security forces often clash with guerrillas from the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK), an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which took up arms in 1984 for an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.

Like Iraq and Turkey, Iran has a large Kurdish minority, mainly living in the country's northwest and west.

Tehran sees PJAK, which seeks autonomy for Kurdish areas in Iran and shelters in Iraq's northeastern border provinces, as a terrorist group.

Sectarian violence is relatively rare in Iran, whose leaders reject allegations by Western rights groups that it discriminates against ethnic and religious minorities.

Iranian officials often accuse the United States and Israel of supporting "terrorists.” The United States dismisses such allegations.

The Islamic Republic is locked in a dispute with the United States and its allies over its nuclear program which Washington fears will allow Tehran to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies any such intention.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article45440.ece

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East Sudan parties concede defeat, cry fraud

Apr 21, 2010

KHARTOUM: Two parties in Sudan's underdeveloped east on Tuesday accused the president's party of using fraud and intimidation to secure election victories across their region, as the US White House said the vote had been beset by "serious irregularities.” Sudan is holding its first open polls in 24 years as part of a peace deal that was supposed to bring the oil-producing nation back to democracy after decades of civil war.

Much of the opposition boycotted the proceedings before voting started citing irregularities, and observers have already said the elections did not meet international standards.

Officials are still counting in many areas, but the few results they have announced point to a big win for the National Congress Party (NCP), led by President Omar Bashir.

The United States had already said the elections were neither free nor fair, and redoubled its criticism on Tuesday.

"Political rights and freedoms were circumscribed throughout the electoral process, there were reports of intimidation and threats of violence in South Sudan, ongoing conflict in Darfur did not permit an environment conducive to acceptable elections, and inadequacies in technical preparations for the vote resulted in serious irregularities," the White House said in a statement.

Full report at:  http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article45438.ece

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Sunni Iraqi leader on Jordan terrorism list

By ABDUL JALIL MUSTAFA

Apr 20, 2010

AMMAN: Jordan's influential Muslim Brotherhood movement on Tuesday criticized the government for putting Iraqi Sunni leader Muthanna Al-Dhari on the terrorism list, saying the step was taken in response to US pressure.

"This is a hostile classification which lacks legitimacy, because Muthanna Al-Dhari adheres to ethical standards in the struggle against American occupiers," the movement's official spokesman Jamil Abu Bakr said in a statement.

Muthanna, who visits Jordan frequently, is son of Hareth Al-Dhari, head of the Iraqi Scholars Association, which is campaigning to ensure a withdrawal of the US-led military coalition.

According to local reports, Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh has notified the Finance Ministry and other major financial institutions to place Al-Dhari on the Unified Terrorism List in compliance with instructions from the UN Security Council.

"We don't see any justification for the government's capitulation to such international pressures which are being exercised by proxy on behalf of hostile powers," Abu Bakr said.

He voiced hope that the government would reconsider its decision. "Al-Dhari and his likes deserve backing because they fight for a just cause," he added.

The Muslim Brotherhood is Jordan's major opposition political gathering, sympathetic of Iraqi groups, which seek an eviction of the US forces from the neighboring country.

Jordan currently hosts about 500,000 Iraqis who fled the country for safety after the 2003 invasion.

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article45333.ece

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From Neptune to Gaza: On language, identity and hope

Apr 21, 2010

Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune.” — Noam Chomsky

My name is Ramzy Baroud, and I am from Neptune.

In actual fact, I am a Palestinian from Gaza. And I am a Palestinian from other places too, places that no longer exist.

Sometimes it’s not who you are, but where you come from that shapes your identity, your moral convictions, your sense of purpose, your priorities in life, and eventually who you become.

We Palestinians are cursed in many ways, but blessed in others. We live in a constant state of physical loss and spatial bewilderment. We know where we belong physically and territorially, but we cannot actually be there. The authorities have decided that we don’t belong where we have always belonged, the place with which we have always identified. That is the curse: the sense of loss and constant search for the place. But that very curse represents the essence of our blessing as well: the search for meaning, value, sense and purpose.

Full report at:  http://arabnews.com/opinion/columns/article45391.ece

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‘Killing’ of Qaeda leaders won’t end Iraq attacks

21 April 2010

 BAGHDAD - The purported killing of two top Al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders will send shockwaves through the jihadist network but mid-level commanders must also be removed if attacks are to stop, analysts said Tuesday.

Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayub al-Masri — both linked with Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden — died in a shootout on Sunday near Tikrit, the home town of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, according to Iraqi and US officials.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki and the US military said on Monday that Baghdadi and Masri were killed in a raid on a safehouse which yielded computers filled with emails and messages to bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Witnesses to the joint Iraqi-US operation told AFP that helicopters circled overhead, American ground troops surrounded a house and gunfire broke out before the sound of a huge explosion rocked the area.

Full report at:  http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/April/middleeast_April295.xml&section=middleeast

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Beware the coming war Matein Khalid

21 April 2010

 The July 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah transformed both Lebanese and Arab politics. Hezbollah emerged as the heroic champion of resistance to Israeli aggression across the Arab and Islamic world. While Hassan Nasrallah claimed “divine victory”, Hezbollah lost its autonomy to operate in south Lebanon to units of UNIFEL and the Lebanese Army.

Israel lost its psychological aura of invincibility in the Middle East when its troops were unable to defeat Hezbollah in the village battlefields and rock strewn hills of south Lebanon even though the northern Galilee border is calm for the first time since the late 1960’s. Unfortunately, the balance of power between Hezbollah and Israel is unstable and the calculus of deterrence cannot last.

Israel has myriad strategic reasons to launch a preemptive strike against a resurgent Hezbollah. Despite Ehud Olmert’s brutal Dahiya doctrine, Israeli warplanes were unable to terror-bomb the Shia militia into submission, unable to kill or capture its high command. In fact, Israel’s devastating aerial firepower only turned Nasrallah into the first truly popular Arab war hero since President Nasser during the Suez war in 1956. Hezbollah’s defiance of Israel narrowed the Sunni-Shia cleavage in the Arab world created by the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

Full report at:  http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/opinion/2010/April/opinion_April122.xml&section=opinion&col=

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Placing Karzai in the hot seat :Fareed Zakaria

20 April 2010

 President Barack Obama keeps saying that he intends to win the war in Afghanistan. “There will be difficult days ahead, but I am absolutely confident that we will succeed,” he promised in this year’s State of the Union address.

And yet his administration is undermining its own chances of success by constantly criticizing, weakening, and undercutting America’s only credible partner in the country, Hamid Karzai.

For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the Afghan president is ineffective and corrupt. Even if the allegations are all true, there’s an overriding reason to support him: there is no alternative. A foreign power can’t hope to run a successful counterinsurgency campaign without a local ally who has at least a modicum of mass appeal.

In Afghanistan, that means a major figure from the country’s dominant ethnic group, the Pashtuns, and one who’s willing to make common cause with the United States.

Karzai is the most popular, most credible politician who fits that description. Despite his many flaws, no one satisfies the criteria better than he does. And he’s the country’s elected president—reelected in a process that was, after some controversy, endorsed by the United Nations and other international institutions.

Full report at:  http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/opinion/2010/April/opinion_

 

URL:  http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/speaking-of-fatwas--what-about-female-circumcision?/d/2736


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