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Islamic World News ( 13 Feb 2014, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Swiss Muslim Institutions Oppose Inauguration of Salafi School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judicial Insight: Crown Prince Salman Receiving Brunei’s Delegation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Europe

Swiss Muslim Institutions Oppose Inauguration of Salafi School

Tbilisi Moves Closer to Moscow Vis-à-Vis the North Caucasus

As Hate Crimes Rise, British Muslims Say They’re Becoming More Insular

Mexican Catholics find God in Islam

Denmark to ban Halal and kosher slaughter methods

Exodus of French volunteers for Syria jihad growing: judge

 

Arab World

Mass Rallies in Syrian Cities to Condemn Terrorist Crimes, Support Syrian Army

Syria: Terrorists Commit Massacre in Al-Duwaya Al-Soghra Village in Quneitra

Syrian Children Dying of Hunger as Terrorists Continue Using Them as Their Protection Shield

Iraqi media also characterised by political, sectarian bias

Jihadist recruitment tops security fears in Tripoli, Lebanon

America needs Saudi Arabia

Easy homecoming: Saudis quit Syria war

Gunmen kill two police officers in Egypt's Giza district

Gunmen seize part of Iraq town, historic Baghdad market burns

Rights suggestions not in line with Shariah rejected: Zaid Al-Hussein

Syrian Kurds recruit regime loyalists to fight jihadists

Saudi prince explains why he was in contact with Israelis

 

Southeast Asia

Brunei studying Kingdom’s implementation of Shariah

Islamic authorities remind M'sian students not to celebrate Valentine's Day

No Free Love: Muslim Groups Reject Valentine’s Day

7-man bench likely to hear church’s leave application on ‘Allah’ issue, says lawyer

 

Africa

Tunisia’s new constitution confirms democracy compatible with Islam

Islamist party calls for early election in Libya

Qaddafi son, aides risk ‘kangaroo’ justice

UN says over 70 civilians executed in eastern DR Congo

CAR crisis: The church sheltering Muslims

C. Africa children killed, mutilated: UNICEF

 

South Asia

Chinese police shoot dead 'several terrorists' in Xinjiang - state media

Karzai tells US to 'stop harassing' Afghanistan

Taliban flood back to war-torn Helmand months before British troops pull out

Maldives slides on Press Freedom Index for third consecutive year

Afghan high peace council spokesman calls Osama a martyr, wants US out of Afghanistan

HRW 'seriously concerned' by Thai deportation of Rohingya Muslims

After a 30-year stay, Afghans begin vacating Mattani refugee camp

 

Mideast

Yemen hunts '19 Qaeda' after Sanaa jailbreak

Israel summons Hungarian envoy to express concern over rising anti-Semitism

Iranian Parliament Speaker Warns of Enemies’ Plots to Sow Discord among Muslims

 

Pakistan

Shahbaz urges Indo-Pak militaries not to hamper trade efforts

Pakistan plans to sell JF-17 Thunder combat jets to Saudi Arabia

Unabated terrorist attacks hijack peace talks

Forcibly converting people un-Islamic, says Imran

CID arrests three Qaeda-linked suspects

TTP should refrain from attacks during peace talks: Sanaullah

Gunmen kidnap two senior Pak govt officials in Balochistan

Pakistan for complete halt to US drone strikes

Dialogue, terrorism can’t go together: Nisar

 

North America

Kerry expected to meet victims of terrorism in Israel

U.S. Muslims Again Seek Visa Denial for Gujarat Massacre Figure

Colorado Muslim Society medical volunteers awarded grant for public, a lasting symbol of American Islam

$1.8 million mosque rising at Islamic Centre in west Modesto

Kerry says Obama has asked for new policy options on Syria

 

India

More than 1,600 Indians languishing in Gulf jails

Two Hizb ul Mujahideen militants killed

Muslims not scared of Modi becoming PM: Jamiat Ulama

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/swiss-muslim-institutions-oppose-inauguration-of-salafi-school/d/35757

 

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Europe

 

Swiss Muslim Institutions Oppose Inauguration of Salafi School

Feb 14, 2014

Islamic institutions in Switzerland have warned against issuing permission for inauguration of a school belonging to Salafis.

The Islam Society Supporting Social Development, representing a number of Islamic institutions in Switzerland, warned against permission for the school, 20min website reported.

It said in a statement that the Salafist group behind the school seeks to “brainwash children” and spread its radical ideas in society.

The group said issuing permission for this project would mean allowing children to be brainwashed and that would be worrying.

The planned school will have 25 students aged 4 to 6 but it has yet to receive permission from related authorities.

http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&id=505416

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Tbilisi Moves Closer to Moscow Vis-à-Vis the North Caucasus

Mairbek Vatchagaev

Feb 14, 2014

Georgia’s policy toward the North Caucasus has never been marked by continuity. It experienced ups and downs throughout the ages, according to historical evidence. The Chechens helped the Georgians against the Khazars in the distant past, and the first king of Georgia, Farnavaz, was married to a Chechen. Chechens restored the second Georgian king, Saurmag, to his throne (http://constitutions.ru/archives/2364). Georgia’s Queen Tamar incorporated Chechens and other North Caucasians into Georgia’s sphere of influence though the work of missionaries and the building of churches in the Northern Caucasus (http://www.bogoslov.ru/text/409098.html). The Georgians and North Caucasians fought alongside each other against the Mongol invasion (http://www.iriston.com/nogbon/print.php?newsid=17). The North Caucasians supported Georgian Prince Alexander in his fight against the incorporation of Georgia into the Russian Empire (http://statehistory.ru/books/Kavkazskaya-voyna--Tom-2--Ermolovskoe-vremya/12). Georgians and North Caucasians also fought together against the Bolsheviks (http://www.gazavat.ru/history3.php?rub=25&art=437), and so on.

In more recent times, Georgian politicians have based the country’s policies on the premise that Tbilisi should not irritate Moscow. Moreover, Georgian politicians tried to forge a union with Moscow against the radicals, above all the Chechen separatists (http://lenta.ru/vojna/2004/09/29/saakashvili). However, Moscow showed no appreciation for these overtures by Georgia, which, in turn, started to move toward closer cooperation with the North Caucasian peoples.

Georgian policy changed dramatically following the Russian aggression in August 2008, and then President Mikheil Saakashvili made a statement about supporting the Chechens in their struggle against the Russian government (http://vesti.az/news/17978). A range of decisions were taken to improve Georgia’s special positions in Caucasus regional politics. Perhaps most notable was Georgia’s recognition of the Circassian “genocide” of the second half of the 19th century (http://www.newsru.com/world/20may2011/genotsid.html).

The Georgian government’s logic was not entirely coherent, however. Having recognized the Circassian “genocide,” Tbilisi did not note that the European Parliament had recognized Joseph Stalin’s mass deportation of the Chechens as an “act of genocide” back in February 2004 (http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=TA&reference=P5-TA-2004-0121&language=PL).

Also following the August 2008 Russo-Georgian war, the government of Georgia took several significant steps to make it easier for North Caucasians to travel to Georgia. Visa requirements were lifted for all residents of the North Caucasus, students were invited for study in Georgia at the Georgian government’s expense, and a cultural center was established in Tbilisi, among many other things.

However, after the new government came to power in Georgia in 2012, the policies initiated by the Saakashvili government toward the North Caucasus began to be reversed. The new Georgian government of Bidzina Ivanishvili, and that of his successor Irakly Garibashvili, tried to mollify Russia and discredit the policies of their predecessor. Statements about Georgia’s willingness to help Russia to combat terrorism started to be voiced again (http://www.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/236717/; see EDM, February 12).

Today, the Georgian government has discussed the policy of opening a joint anti-terrorist center in Batumi and Pankisi (http://www.frontnews.ge/ru/news/25340). In theory such a development would allow the Russian security services to be in the position to play a covert role in Georgia again and would eliminate all the previous efforts to restore trust between Georgia and the people of the North Caucasus.

The possibility of opening a joint anti-terrorist center with Russia inside Georgia does not look improbable against the backdrop of the gestures the government of Garibashvili is prepared to make in order to restore relations with Russia. These moves give Georgia little in terms of its development, but they provide Moscow with trump cards to put pressure on the Georgian government.

Since the summer of 2013 Chechen students studying in Tbilisi have complained that Georgian border guards discriminate against them when they enter Georgia from Russia, subjecting them to hours-long inspections at the border. In the last few days, some students were even refused entry into Georgia (http://wordyou.ru/v-rossii/na-xolmy-gruzii-legla-ten-shovinizma.html).

North Caucasians who arrive at the international airport in Tbilisi are made uncomfortable as border guards allow ethnic Russian tourists, businessmen and politicians to pass through, while those with passports indicating they were born in the North Caucasus are subjected to numerous lengthy inquiries. A well-known Dagestani scholar who lives in Moscow recently found himself in such a situation: all his ethnic Russian colleagues received a warm reception in Tbilisi, while he was questioned at the border because of his birthplace.

The official website of Tbilisi’s International School for Caucasus Studies (http://iscs.iliauni.edu.ge/index.php?lang_id=RUS&sec_id=8) has made no announcement about accepting North Caucasians for study during the period of 2014–2016. This program has made it possible for North Caucasians to receive the equivalent of a European Certificate and it will be disappointing for many if the program is discontinued.

The current Georgian government sometimes attempts to use Chechens in their struggle with the previous government of Mikheil Saakashvili. It has used the 2012 Lopota incident—when Georgian special forces became involved in a shootout with an armed group that included ethnic Chechens who had allegedly tried to cross into Georgia from Dagestan—to try to depict its opponents from the United National Movement in a negative light (http://www.georgiatimes.info/interview/80525.html).

A year and a half after the incident, Georgian authorities tried to force a Chechen who resides in the Pankisi Gorge to provide false testimony against the previous government. Saikhan Musaev, 35, who lived in Pankisi and worked as a translator for various non-governmental organizations, revealed that top interior ministry officials tried to force him to provide testimony against former Saakashvili government officials and to plead guilty to a crime he did not commit (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zS_7faJn9s). In his statement, Musaev provided the names and telephone numbers of people in the government who allegedly tried to obtain evidence against the officials who worked in the Saakashvili government. Musaev’s story shows that the Georgian authorities are prepared even to move closer to Russia in order to mar the image of their political opponents inside Georgia.

Thus, we see the North Caucasians once again becoming a bargaining chip in Georgian internal politics. This trend is likely to cause North Caucasians to see Georgia as a country that is not a reliable political ally. More generally, this could undermine the image of Tbilisi as an alternative to Moscow as a center for all Caucasians. The chances for Tbilisi to become such a center could quickly evaporate given the policies adopted by the current Georgian government. While failing to move closer to Russia, Georgia may at the same time experience a rupture with North Caucasians that would reverse all the gains made in the past several years when Tbilisi became a new beacon of education and enlightenment for the beleaguered peoples of the Northern Caucasus.

The Jamestown Foundation

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As Hate Crimes Rise, British Muslims Say They’re Becoming More Insular

Feb 14, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, England — Alum Rock, a neighborhood of Birmingham, looks the way Pakistan might, if Pakistan were under gray northern skies and British rule.

The streets are lively but orderly, with shops that provide the largely South Asian population with most of its needs. The huge Pak Supermarket, with its 10-kilogram bags of spices and rices, is matched by the nearby Pak Pharmacy. Nearly every face is South Asian, and people wear a vibrant mixture of clothing, from Western styles to head scarves, knitted caps and full-face veils, or niqabs.

But the Muslims of Alum Rock, Washwood Heath and Sparkbrook, who make up most of the more than 21 percent of Birmingham’s population who declare Islam as their religion, are newly uneasy, they say. The backlash from the killing of a white soldier, Lee Rigby, in London in May by two fanatical young British Muslims, combined with anxieties about the flow of jihadis between Britain and Syria and the sometimes harshly anti-immigrant tone of leading British politicians have combined to create a new wariness among British Muslims.

“It is a less comfortable country than it used to be,” said Sadruddin Ali, 35, born and raised here.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes are up, the police and Muslim advocacy groups say. In response, many British Muslims say they are becoming more insular and more reluctant to leave their areas of Britain’s big cities, where they are among other Muslims and South Asians.

To many Muslims and non-Muslims, that is a worrying trend in what is considered to be a generally tolerant country as it heads toward the 2015 general election. A divided Conservative Party has a populist, anti-immigration party to its right in the U.K. Independence Party, and even the opposition Labour Party is supporting restrictions on benefits for immigrants.

“There is more hostility and more aggression,” Mr. Ali said.

He mentioned the firebombing of a nearby mosque after the Rigby killing, as well as the fatal stabbing in April of Mohammed Saleem, 82, as he left a local mosque. His attacker was a recent Ukrainian immigrant, who also placed three small bombs outside mosques. In June, a police officer and three other people were stabbed outside another Birmingham mosque.

In other parts of Britain, Mr. Ali said, “I feel a bit intimidated and don’t feel welcome, to be honest.” When he travels, he is often pulled aside at the airport for special questioning, he said, adding that this happened “even when I was cleanshaven.”

Mohammad Naseem, chairman of the Central Mosque in Birmingham, one of Britain’s largest, is 89. Born under British colonialism, he served as a doctor in the British Army and came here in 1959. He said he understands why Muslims are uneasy and defensive these days.

“When you go outside the boundary, you’re not sure where you stand,” he said. He said he sees the new fashion for Islamic head covering and veils less as religious than as a reaction to outside pressure. “When you’re being downgraded or threatened,” he said, “there is a natural reaction to hit back and say, ‘This is my identity.’ ”

In London, anti-Muslim episodes rose from 318 in 2011 and 336 in 2012 to 500 by mid-November in 2013, the police reported. The Greater Manchester Police recorded 130 offenses in 2013 compared with 75 in 2012. The West Midlands Police force, which covers Birmingham, reported in response to a freedom of information act request that there were 26 anti-Islamic hate crimes in 2011, 21 in 2012 and 29 through October 2013.

Tell MAMA, an advocacy group that monitors anti-Muslim episodes nationwide (MAMA stands for “measuring anti-Muslim attacks), said that such episodes had almost doubled in a year, with a surge after the Rigby killing, to nearly 1,000 cases. But the group does not separate online attacks from physical ones.

It is not clear how the current tensions will affect what some analysts say has been a slow but gradual trend of greater racial understanding in Britain, though periodically interrupted by racial and ethnic eruptions of hostility. News media attention to immigration from within the European Union has also helped dilute the focus on Muslims.

“Islamophobia intensifies after big events like 9/11, 7/7 and the Lee Rigby murder, and anti-Muslim hate crimes spike,” said Humayun Ansari, a professor of Islamic history at Royal Holloway, University of London, referring to the July 7, 2005, bomb attacks in London. “Then it actually fades away and dies down to a much lower level of intensity.”

But younger Muslims, like Sameera Hussain, 19, a student who wears a head scarf, said she sometimes got insulting or aggressive comments when she traveled outside her community, things like, “We’ll take your scarf and wrap it around your neck.”

Mohammed Wagas, 18, said he feels he is treated differently by the police, who in his opinion stop Muslim drivers “with nice cars” more often than other people. “Oh, you know, he’s brown, he’s going to be doing drugs, that’s why he’s rolling in a big car.”

Somaya Cheraitia described moving to a predominantly white area; casual insults intensified when she started to wear the niqab two years ago. “I was very different to what they knew, and I was an easy target,” she said. Stones were thrown at her family house and lit firecrackers put through the front mail slot teenagers grabbed her mother’s groceries and spilled them on the ground, yelling: “You’re rubbish anyway.”

Then a group of young women attacked her, she said, some trying to untie her niqab while another set her dog on Ms. Cheraitia, saying, “You’re both of the same breed.” When they managed to uncover her face, she remembers, one said: “Oh, she’s ugly anyway, look.”

She was shaken, and decided to stop wearing the niqab. “It was too much,” she said. “I felt like I didn’t belong, even if it’s your home. It was emotionally draining.” She said: “I wasn’t safe anywhere. I wanted to be strong in my worship to Allah,” but her fear “was too strong,” and she moved back to more comfortable East London less than a year ago.

Mr. Naseem noted that anti-Muslim fear and hatred went back to the Crusades, with pubs called “Turk’s Head” or “Saracen’s Head,” but he attributes most anti-Islam and anti-immigration commentary to political language devised to win votes.

But for all the problems, he said, Britain is seen by many Muslims as offering security and liberty.

“Here, there is a trust in the law, and it is a lawful country, no matter how deceiving the government may be,” he said.

Muhammad Shakeel, 29, is among the many Muslims who are happy to be here. He came from Pakistan five years ago and works in a chicken factory alongside other immigrants, mostly Asian and Polish. Married to a Pakistani woman who has been here 10 years, he thinks Britain is fine.

“It’s not safe in Pakistan,” he said. “It’s very dangerous.” Here in the “Balti triangle,” as the neighborhood known, he feels he can construct a decent life. “There are good rules in this country,” he said. “Some people have prejudice, but mostly they are very nice. This is a safe country.”

Rizwan Syed contributed reporting from Birmingham and London, and Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura from London.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/14/world/europe/as-hate-crimes-rise-british-muslims-say-theyre-becoming-more-insular.html?_r=0

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Mexican Catholics find God in Islam

Feb 14, 2014

Islam has increased its appeal among Catholics seeking spiritual salvation elsewhere.

MEXICO CITY — For almost five centuries Catholicism has been the dominant religion in Mexico.

In 1970, Catholics comprised 96.7 percent of Mexico’s population. By 2010, that number had fallen to 82.7 percent, according to the Pew Research Center. Most of this change is attributed to growth in other Christian denominations. Evangelicals, Protestants and Jehovah’s Witnesses now account for 8 percent of Mexicans who identify with a religion.

And a small yet growing group of converts are seeking spiritual salvation in Islam. In fact, Pew estimates Mexico will be home to 126,000 Muslims by 2030, up from 111,000 in 2010.

Why are some Mexicans leaving the Catholic Church and converting?

The reasons are as diverse as the population. Some question Catholic doctrine and the concept of the Trinity — three Gods in one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit — as opposed to one God in Islam. Others express disgust in ongoing allegations of sex scandals and pederasty that have plagued the church in the past decade. Still others say they want to have a better understanding of Islam.

Martha Alamilla, 23, was born and raised in a Catholic family. Alamilla has always believed in a higher power but, she said, when she began to question some of the principles of the church, she found the answers proffered unsatisfactory.

“There was never a doubt in my mind that God existed,” she said one Friday following prayers at the mosque, “but there were always things that I would ask about my religion that didn’t make sense to me. I always got answers like, ‘well, because,’ and ‘it’s God and God is that way,’ and ‘because God said it was that way.’”

For Alamilla, who has a degree in industrial robotic engineering, these answers only drove her from the church in search of better answers.

Alamilla said that her original perception of Islam was one of terrorism and oppression, but in the course of studying the Koran and meeting Muslims, she discovered a belief system that answers the questions she has been asking.

“I realized it’s a beautiful religion. Everything about it makes sense,” Alamilla said. “There’s an answer to every single question the I’ve ever had in the Koran or in the Sunna.”

After studying Islam for six months, Alamilla officially converted in a ceremony called the Shahada, during which a person professes before two Muslim witnesses that, “There is no god but God and Muhammad is the prophet of God.”

Alamilla said that one of the most common misunderstandings about Islam is that the women are oppressed, aren’t allowed to express themselves and are forced to wear veils or cover themselves. In the course of her studies Alamilla said the she learned that wearing a veil or hijab is optional.

“Every single Muslim I’ve met is a wonderful person,” she said. “Not because they were necessarily born that way but because religion makes then that way.”

Alamilla has embraced her new faith, but revealing her decision to her Catholic family is another story. Her mother and brother know that she has been studying Islam, but she said she is not ready to tell them of her conversion.

“I want to prove to them first with my actions that I’ve changed as a person,” she said. “When I tell them that I’ve converted I want them to see that I’m still the same person but trying to be better.”

Standing off to the side, listening to Martha Alamilla describe her change of faith was Leslie Camarillo.

Camarillo faced a similar loss of faith in the Catholic Church and has been a practicing Muslim for three years. Camarillo said that from the time she was a child she questioned the doctrine of the church.

“I found a hypocrisy about the church when I was a child,” Camarillo said. “Every time I saw figures of fire and flames I was scared and afraid of God.”

Part of the hypocrisy could be found in the concept of the Trinity, she said.

“About this Trinity. How come God is so magnificent that he would want to be human and make himself die but still be immortal in heaven?” she asked rhetorically.

Camarillo doesn’t shy from sharing her personal search for a faith to believe in. Like Alamilla, she grew up in a Catholic household.

“I always thought about God,” Camarillo said in a subtle, quiet tone. “I always thought that there is a master or a God who created everything.”

“I tried many religions. Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity and many others,” she said. “I had a personal life that was like very liberal. I tried many drugs and stuff. It isn’t a bad thing for me because now I know what is good and what is wrong. … I promised myself that once I found a religion that truly answered all my questions without doubt, I will embrace it.”

Camarillo said she sees in Islam lessons she can share with others who are searching for something to believe in.

“I can advise other guys or girls who are searching around,” Camarillo said. “The main thing is that your connection with God is unique.”

According to a paper published in 2011 by Camila Pastor de Maria y Campos, a research professor at the Centro de Investigacion y Docencia Economicas in Mexico City, there are additional reasons some Mexicans are converting to Islam. In her report, “To be a new Muslim in Mexico: the political economy of the faith,”Campos writes that Islam offers a mark of cosmopolitan distinction for some converts, and the wearing of a hijab is considered fashionable by women.

Campos also found that some convert because they find Islam’s egalitarian message appealing, others express a desire to build a religious society in Latin America similar to the Nation of Islam in the United States, and some convert because of marriage.

Said Louahabi has lived in Mexico City for over 20 years and has witnessed first hand the Islam’s growing appeal in Mexico. Louahabi is a multilingual Morrocan national who runs his own language school and at other times works as a translator. He serves as the president of the education center of the Muslim community mosque.

Louahabi recalls a time, in the 1990s, when Mexico’s Islamic community was too small to merit a mosque of even this size. It was a time when most of the Muslims were diplomats and businessman stationed in the capital city.

The Islamic community was made up of “very few local people, mostly foreigners,” Louahabi said. “We were about 80 people, because, honestly, they didn’t know about Islam.”

Louahabi estimates that the there were about 80 Muslims when he came to Mexico City in 1994.

“It took me two months, three months to find a Muslim when I first came to Mexico,” he said.

Today, being a Muslim in Mexico is a wholly different environment, he said.

“Now, the majority are Mexican,” he said. “God brings them. It’s very hard to say why we have become very successful at this time. Almost every Friday we are having people who are embracing Islam. Sometimes five in one Friday.”

Louahabi said that women in Mexico seem to exhibit more interest in Islam than men.

When asked why this is, he responded, “ they [women] have a lot of questions and a lot of doubts that priests from other religions could not answer.”

This reporting was made possible through a fellowship funded by the Luce Foundation and administered by the International Center for Journalists.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/belief/mexico-islam-muslim-catholic-church-religion

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Denmark to ban Halal and kosher slaughter methods

14 Feb 2014

Denmark's Agriculture and Food Ministry has announced that as of Monday the Jewish and Muslim traditional method of animal slaughter will be banned in the country, following similar measures already in place in Poland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

A new law requires that all animals are stunned before being slaughtered, which is contrary to Islamic and Jewish teachings. This means that observant Muslims and Jews living in Denmark will no longer be able to purchase their meat from local butchers, and will have to buy imported halal and kosher meat instead.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/128887/denmark-to-ban-halal-and-kosher-slaughter-methods

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Exodus of French volunteers for Syria jihad growing: judge

Reuters

Feb 14, 2014

PARIS (Reuters) - Growing numbers of French youths are leaving to fight with Islamist rebel groups in Syria as a first wave of volunteers returns home and steps up a recruitment drive for jihad, a top anti-terror judge said on Wednesday.

Several Western European countries are struggling to contain a trend that has seen as many as 2,000 youths travel to Syria to combat President Bashar al-Assad's government since a rebellion started nearly three years ago.

With Europe's largest Muslim population, France has become a major center for recruitment and judicial authorities are grappling with a fresh wave of adolescent volunteers, some of whom are as young as 15 years old.

"Major events like the use of chemical gases have inspired many people" to join Islamist groups in Syria, said Marc Trevidic, an investigating judge specialized in counter-terrorism and Islamist radicalization.

Full report at:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-france-syria-20140212,0,6417888.story

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Arab World

 

Syrian Children Dying of Hunger as Terrorists Continue Using Them as Their Protection Shield

14 Feb 2014

TEHRAN (FNA)- As the Saudi-backed terrorists in Syria continue using the civilian population as a shield to protect themselves, children are dying of hunger and the UN allows Riyadh and Washington to continue their all-out support for these terrorists.

http://english.farsnews.com/player.aspx?nn=13921124000261

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Mass Rallies in Syrian Cities to Condemn Terrorist Crimes, Support Syrian Army

14 Feb 2014

 Huge masses of citizens on Thursday staged rally in al-Nairab camp in Aleppo to condemn the terrorist groups' crimes and foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs.

In Hama countryside, the citizens of Qimhaneh village, in a similar rally, condemned the terrorist massacre committed by al-Nusra Front in Maan town and expressed support to the Syrian Army, SANA reported.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921124000626

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Syria: Terrorists Commit Massacre in Al-Duwaya Al-Soghra Village in Quneitra

14 Feb 2014

Terrorists from the al-Nusra Front committed a massacre in the village of al-Duwaya al-Soghra in Quneitra’s Southern countryside, claiming the lives of 8 civilians.

One of the locals told SANA that large numbers of terrorists flying the banner of al-Nusra Front attacked the village on Wednesday afternoon, detaining dozens of locals and torturing them before killing 8 civilians, 7 of them from one family.

He said that the terrorists attacked the village because its people repeatedly refused to harbor terrorists and criminals and wouldn’t let their village become a staging ground for massacres and crimes against neighboring villages.

He added that the terrorists also mutilated the victims’ bodies before stealing around 350 sheep and leaving.

A source at Mamdouh Abaza Hospital said that the hospital received eight bodies showing signs of torture and severe trauma.

In a statement to the news agency, Quneitra Governor Maan Salah Eddin denounced this heinous massacre, saying that facts prove that terrorists kill indiscriminately and target all Syrians in all areas.

He asserted that the people of Quneitra will remain united in confronting terrorism and supporting the Syrian Army in its heroic battle against terrorist groups.

Cabinet condemns the massacre...

The Cabinet denounced with the strongest terms the massacre which was committed by al-Nusra Front terrorists in the village of al-Duwaya al-Soghra.

Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi said that this massacre and the other ones will not dissuade the government from moving forward in combating terrorism.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921124000426

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Iraqi media also characterized by political, sectarian bias

Feb 14, 2014

Media outlets in Iraq have undoubtedly turned into platforms for marketing and propaganda, despite their claims of objectivity. The political authorities have been using the media widely, sometimes transforming it from a “fourth estate” into a medium for state propaganda. This is common in countries that do not have serious laws to protect the freedom of access to information. As a result, independent media outlets are either not allowed to give objective media coverage, or they become rumor mongers, as there is no way for them to get accurate information.

The big picture in Iraq is complex in this regard. Articles on Iraq speak of high rates of killing and persecution of journalists, a weak and useless law protecting journalists, a lack of access to information and an intensive propaganda war.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/02/iraq-media-truth-authority-propaganda.html#ixzz2tKQb0YF2

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Jihadist recruitment tops security fears in Tripoli, Lebanon

February 14, 2014

TRIPOLI, Lebanon: The watchful eyes of Army troops were transfixed on pedestrians as well as passing vehicles along Abdel-Hamid Karami Square in the northern city of Tripoli.

Their heavy presence was an indication that the military is expecting more security incidents that could either target their units or public centers, such as the Tripoli Serail or the Justice Palace.

In anticipation of the worst, the military has reinforced patrols with more tanks, giving one entering the troubled city the impression that it has become a war zone.

Information available about the security situation indicates that something dangerous is brewing in Tripoli and that it is related to the dynamics on the ground in embattled Syria. Residents express paranoia over the instability in the city, which includes bouts of arbitrary killings, assassinations, thefts and stray bullets. Recently however, it’s the growing number of young men involved in the fighting in Syria that has inspired fear for many residents.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Lebanon-News/2014/Feb-14/247323-jihadist-recruitment-tops-security-fears-in-tripoli.ashx#ixzz2tLv9kpPo

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America needs Saudi Arabia

14 Feb 2014

The official visit of US President Barack Obama to Saudi Arabia next month, which had been sounded off by media, is not an unusual news. It is a confirmation of the durable ties between the two countries since the notable meeting between Kind Abdul Aziz and US president Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1945. The visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry shortly before underscored the importance of Saudi Arabia in maintaining stability in the Middle East. Stabilizing the volatile situation in the region is of paramount importance to both countries far beyond the oil issue.

The volatile situation in the Middle East is crucial challenge to both countries and, despite their disagreements on some issues that prompted the Kingdom to refuse to take its turn at the presidency at the United Nations (UN) Security Council, the United States is taking a positive measure to regain the trust of Saudi Arabia for the sake of regional stability that is being  threatened by aggressive forces that want to saw hatred, conflicts and division in the Middle East in their bid to achieve regional hegemony. Stability in the region will only come with the cooperation by all Gulf states.

Full report at:

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140214195678

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Easy homecoming: Saudis quit Syria war

14 Feb 2014

Several young Saudis who had gone to Syria on their own to fight alongside opposition forces have returned home.

The Saudi Embassy in Turkey facilitated their return, Saudi Ambassador to Ankara Adel Mirdad said, adding: “All Saudi (fighters) who returned through Turkey were young men and did not include any women.”

The ambassador put the average age of the Saudi fighters at 20 years. “This indicates that they were misguided (by extremist groups),” Mirdad said. “We received several calls from the relatives of these Saudis and we have informed them that the moment they arrive in Turkey. We will make arrangements for their travel to the Kingdom,” he added.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/525691

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Gunmen kill two police officers in Egypt's Giza district

14 Feb 2014

Two police officers have been killed in a drive-by shooting in the Saqqara district of Giza, west of Cairo, Al-Ahram's Arabic news website reported.

There has been a wave of attacks on army and police personnel since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

In late January, an aide to the interior minister was shot dead in a drive-by shooting when he was leaving his home in Giza.

Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim escaped an assassination attempt in September.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/1/64/94211/Egypt/Politics-/Gunmen-kill-two-police-officers-in-Egypts-Giza-dis.aspx

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Gunmen seize part of Iraq town, historic Baghdad market burns

14 Feb 2014

Gunmen seized part of a northern Iraqi town and nearby villages Thursday, while bombs killed at least two people at a historic Baghdad market and set it ablaze, officials said.

The takeover in and around the Salaheddin provincial town of Sulaiman Bek comes as gunmen control all of one major city and part of another in the western province of Anbar in a stand-off that has lasted for weeks and displaced hundreds of thousands of people.

It illustrates the scope of the security problems the country faces, the reach of militant groups and the inability of the armed forces to bring them under control.

The Sulaiman Bek violence began when militants armed with light and medium weapons attacked army positions and overran the town centre early on Thursday, local official Talib al-Bayati said.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/94189/World/Region/Gunmen-seize-part-of-Iraq-town,-historic-Baghdad-m.aspx

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Rights suggestions not in line with Shariah rejected: Zaid Al-Hussein

14 Feb 2014

Zaid Al-Hussein, deputy president for the Human Rights Commission (HRC), said Saudi Arabia has received 225 recommendations from the International Council for Human Rights in Geneva. He disclosed this during the presentation of its second comprehensive report about the position of human rights in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom has rejected some of these recommendations because they contradicted Shariah laws. He said the commission has filed 75 recommendations that are related to human rights for the consideration of higher authorities.

The HRC said it will watch the implementation mechanisms of the recent resolution which was approved by the Council of Ministers, related to criminalizing terrorism and its financiers. The commission said that some of the system’s articles have been improved and others canceled, but overall, the system has been formed in a better way.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/525621

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Syrian Kurds recruit regime loyalists to fight jihadists

Feb 14, 2014

According to local Arab and Kurdish sources, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) has been enlisting Arab loyalists in its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), in a bid to boost its credibility among Arabs and join efforts with the Syrian regime on the battleground against the opposition. This military strategy was reportedly accompanied by some intense consultations held in Qamishli between the regime and its Arab allies immediately before the formation of the PYD-led autonomous government on Jan. 21.

On Nov. 2, Rihab News reported that the Arab Brigade of the Free Patriots joined the YPG in Ras al-Ain, northwest of Hassakeh. The brigade's commander Hawas Jammo and another of its fighters, Osama Jasim al-Karot, are known to be regime collaborators who attacked anti-regime demonstrators in 2012, according to the Rihab News report and local Kurdish activists and journalists who spoke with Al-Monitor.

Full report at:

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/02/pyd-kurds-syria-regime-assad-autonomy.html#ixzz2tKQPN34Y

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Saudi prince explains why he was in contact with Israelis

14 Feb 2014

Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal sought to explain why he was in contact with Israelis at the Munich Security Conference last month in an article published on Thursday in the Saudi newspaper Al Riyadh.

Faisal said that when he is at international conferences, which are open to all, he sometimes is posed questions from Israelis in the audience – both government officials and ordinary citizens.

These contacts have raised questions, so “in this article I want to clarify my perspective… even if it was a mistake by me and of the devil,” he wrote.

He then went on to explain how “our Palestinian brothers” have been suffering from injustice, brutal wars, occupation and so on, and that Saudi Arabia is making persistent efforts to support the Palestinian cause.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Saudi-prince-explains-why-he-was-in-contact-with-Israelis-341435

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Southeast Asia

 

Brunei studying Kingdom’s implementation of Shariah

14 Feb 2014

Brunei has sought Saudi Arabia’s assistance in the implementation of Shariah criminal law in the island country, stating that the Kingdom, which had the expertise, was unparalleled in implementing the Shariah criminal law.

Brueni’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah had announced the government’s move to enforce introduction of the Shariah Penal Code in a phased manner from April this year.

Following the announcement, a high-power delegation of 18 members led by Brunei’s Religious Affairs Minister Mohamemd Abdul Rahman, visited the Kingdom to study the methods of implementation of Shariah criminal law. The delegation returned to Bandar Seri Begawan on Wednesday after the five-day visit.

Official sources told Arab News on Thursday that the delegation met with Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz to discuss subjects of mutual interest. The delegation comprised representatives from Islamic Religious Council, Attorney General’s Chambers, State Mufti’s Office, Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Information Department, Royal Brunei Police Force, Prisons Department and Ministry of Health, said an official from Brunei Embassy.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/525641

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Islamic authorities remind M'sian students not to celebrate Valentine's Day

February 14 2014

Ahead of Valentine's Day, the Selangor Islamic authorities are on a drive to remind Muslim youth about a religious edict, or fatwa, forbidding them from celebrating the occasion.

State mufti chief assistant Mat Jais Kamos said the authorities did not want Muslim youth to get caught up in Valentine's Day.

"The celebration emphasises the relationship between two individuals rather than the love between family members or married couples," the New Straits Times quoted him as saying as department officials distributed leaflets outside a Shah Alam secondary school to remind Muslims of the 2006 ruling issued by the state fatwa council.

Some students were caught by surprise by the pink-coloured leaflets titled "Hukum Valentine's Day" (Valentine's Day guidelines), Malaysia Insider reported.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/02/14/islamic-authorities-remind-msian-students-not-celebrate-valentines-day.html

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No Free Love: Muslim Groups Reject Valentine’s Day

14 Feb 2014

Jakarta. As couples the world over celebrated Valentine’s Day on Friday, vocal opposition to the holiday mounted in Indonesia over concerns of morality and religion, as it does every year.

In Bandung, West Java, at least 20 activists with the Indonesian Muslim Student Action Union (Kammi) urged Indonesian Muslims to avoid celebrating Valentine’s Day.

“Valentine’s Day should be strictly rejected and [not] celebrated by young people by committing immoral deeds such as premarital sex,” Jabar Zurniawati, the head of Kammi’s women’s empowerment division, said on the sidelines of the rally, as quoted by news portal Detik.com.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/no-free-love-muslim-groups-reject-valentines-day/

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7-man bench likely to hear church’s leave application on ‘Allah’ issue, says lawyer

14 Feb 2014

The Catholic Church's leave application on the "Allah" case before the Federal Court on March 5 is likely to be heard by a seven-man bench.

One of the church's lawyers, S. Selvarajah, said Federal Court senior assistant registrar Mohd Izuddin Mohamad had written to him yesterday asking for two additional sets of documents that had been filed previously.

"We take it that an enlarged bench will be constituted to hear the leave application pegged on key constitutional issues," he said.

In the past, Selvarajah said he had filed six sets of documents in dealing with Federal Court matters.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/7-man-bench-likely-to-hear-churchs-leave-application-on-allah-issue-says-la

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Africa

 

Tunisia’s new constitution confirms democracy compatible with Islam

14 Feb 2014

Tunisia’s new constitution, which came into effect on Monday, has the potential to show the world that Islam is compatible with democracy and should serve as inspiration to neighbouring countries still engulfed in conflict. It is regarded as one of the most progressive constitutions in the Arab world.

However, it is not the constitution itself that will demonstrate Islam’s compatibility with democracy. Time will tell whether Tunisia will truly accept what democracy represents: freedom, equality and human rights. The reaction and implementation of Tunisia’s new constitution will be the true test of the abilities of a progressive constitution in a Muslim world.

The Jakarta Post’s intern Arielle Milecki spoke with Tunisian Ambassador to Indonesia Mourad Belhassen about what a new constitution meant for the future of Tunisia.

Question: How has the new constitution been digested by the people?

Answer: Generally speaking it was well received. It is the result of a compromise between those who are in touch with our roots, history and our Muslim identity and the secularists and modernists who want Tunisia to usher in a new era of modernity and progress.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/02/14/new-constitution-confirms-democracy-compatible-with-islam.html

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Islamist party calls for early election in Libya

14 Feb 2014

The Justice and Construction Party, Libya's second largest party, has called for early election in the crisis-stricken country.

In a Friday statement, the Islamist party called on the General National Congress (GNC) to call early election "to widen the scope of national consensus and maintain social peace".

The party underlined the need to protect "the democratic path, peaceful power rotation and freedom of expression".

"We seek to create political consensus inside and outside the GNC," leading party member Bayan al-Hurizy told Anadolu Agency.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/128879/islamist-party-calls-for-early-election-in-libya

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Qaddafi son, aides risk ‘kangaroo’ justice

14 Feb 2014

TRIPOLI: Human Rights Watch called on Libyan authorities Thursday to provide proper defense counsel to slain dictator Muammar Qaddafi’s son and top aides to ensure they receive a fair trial.

The New York-based watchdog said that during visits by its staff last month, both Seif Al-Islam Qaddafi and former spy chief Abdullah Senussi had complained that they had no representation at all during interrogations and pre-trial hearings in their prosecution for gross abuses during the 2011 uprising.

Former premiers Al-Baghdadi Al-Mahmudi and Bouzid Dorda said they did have lawyers but that they had been unable to meet them in private to prepare their defense and had been denied access to the evidence against them.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/news/525561

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CAR crisis: The church sheltering Muslims

Andrew Harding

February 14, 2014

Father Xavier Fagba wandered past the wooden pews inside St Peter's Parish Church in the small, shabby town of Boali in the Central African Republic, and patted a few children's heads before settling down to help a tearful six-year-old girl who had stubbed her toe.

In a country busily ripping itself apart in a bloodthirsty cycle of revenge, Father Fagba and his congregation are a remarkable exception - an unlikely group now bound together by a messy combination of high ideals and the purest desperation.

The crowds sheltering inside his church - families camped out in the aisles, luggage piled high on the altar, bags of food in the font, Christmas bunting still hanging from the rafters - are all Muslims seeking sanctuary, convinced that if they leave the compound they will be killed on the spot on the dusty streets of Boali.

Full report at:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-26169941

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UN says over 70 civilians executed in eastern DR Congo

14 Feb 2014

More than 70 men and women have been summarily executed in the restive eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN mission in the country (MONUSCO) said.

"The reports received by MONUSCO suggest that the summary executions were allegedly committed mainly by armed groups to spread terror among the population. The majority of the victims were killed with machete," MONUSCO said in a statement.

The killings are said to have happened in late January and early February.

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/9/94191/World/International/UN-says-over--civilians-executed-in-eastern-DR-Con.aspx

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C. Africa children killed, mutilated: UNICEF

February 14, 2014

BANGUI: The UN children's agency on Friday said it was horrified at how children are being maimed and killed, including by beheadings, in the sectarian violence engulfing the Central African Republic.

"There is no future for a country where adults can viciously target innocent children with impunity," said Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF regional director for west and central Africa.

UNICEF officials in the region "are horrified by the cruelty and impunity with which children are being killed and mutilated" and are "increasingly targeted because of their religion, or because of their community", the organisation said in a statement.

At least 133 children have been killed and maimed, some of them in horrific ways, in the past two months and UNICEF has verified cases of children intentionally beheaded and mutilated.

"Impunity must end," Fontaine said.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/International/2014/Feb-14/247356-cafrica-children-killed-mutilated-unicef.ashx#ixzz2tLvUkjQS

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South Asia

 

Chinese police shoot dead 'several terrorists' in Xinjiang - state media

February 14, 2014

Chinese authorities shot dead "several terrorists" during an "attack" in Xinjiang on Friday, state media said, the latest violent incident in the restive far-west region home to mostly Muslim ethnic minority Uighurs.

"Several terrorists were shot dead by police during a terrorist attack Friday afternoon," the Xinhua news agency said, without immediately providing any further details.

Xinjiang police and information officers reached by phone declined to comment to AFP.

The vast region has for years been hit by occasional unrest carried out by Uighurs, which rights groups say is driven by cultural oppression, intrusive security measures and immigration by Han Chinese.

Full report at:

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_14/Chinese-police-shoot-dead-several-terrorists-in-Xinjiang-state-media-6239/

------------

 

Karzai tells US to 'stop harassing' Afghanistan

2014-02-13

ANKARA: Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday said Washington should respect his country's judicial authority after the release of 65 alleged Taliban fighters triggered US condemnation.

“Afghanistan is a sovereign country. If the Afghan judicial authorities decide to release the prisoners, it is of no concern to the US and should be of no concern to the US,” Karzai told reporters in Ankara.

“I hope that the United States will stop harassing Afghanistan's procedures and judicial authority”.

The release of the prisoners on Thursday dealt a new blow to he relationship between Kabul and Washington, already badly strained by Karzai's refusal to sign an accord allowing some US troops to remain in Afghanistan after Nato's withdrawal this year.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1086797/karzai-tells-us-to-stop-harassing-afghanistan

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Taliban flood back to war-torn Helmand months before British troops pull out

Feb 14, 2014

The Taliban have flooded back into war-torn Helmand, setting up training camps and drug-smuggling projects just months before our troops pull out.

It comes despite hundreds of British soldiers losing their lives in the battle to rid Afghanistan’s toughest region of the extremists .

A senior source said: “It is shocking how quickly it appears the Taliban are regaining a foothold, although experts feared this would happen.

“It is clear the insurgent group has been planning to re-establish control for some time and is reinvigorated by the plans for a Nato withdrawal.

Full report at:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/afghanistan-taliban-flood-back-war-torn-3143529#ixzz2tKS8AUba

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Maldives slides on Press Freedom Index for third consecutive year

By Zaheena Rasheed | February 13th, 2014

The Maldives has dropped to 108th place in the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) Press Freedom Index for 2014, marking a decline in press freedom for the third consecutive year.

The index reflects the degree of freedom that journalists, news organisations and netizens enjoy in each country and the efforts made by authorities to ensure respect for this freedom.

In February 2013, opposition aligned broadcaster Raajje TV reporter Ibrahim ‘Asward’ Waheed was nearly beaten to death, whilst the station’s offices and equipment were destroyed in an arson attack in October.

Maldives is ranked between Fiji and the Central African Republic. Fiji, at 107, experienced a coup in 2006, and the Central African Republic, at 109, is in the midst of a civil war following a coup in 2013.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/maldives-slides-on-press-freedom-index-for-third-consecutive-year-77554

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Afghan high peace council spokesman calls Osama a martyr, wants US out of Afghanistan

Feb 14 2014

A senior Afghan high peace council official blamed US for growing instability in Afghanistan and called for withdrawal of US troops from the country.

The remarks by Mawlavi Shahzada Shahid comes as the US aid in various sectors continues to Afghanistan, despite the relations have been strained recently.

Mawlavi Shahid also called Osama bin Laden, the former chief of al Qaeda network, a martyr and said the main reason behind the war in Afghanistan and the region is US.

Shahid called United States a selfish country and insisted that there was no need for the presence of US in Afghanistan after the death of Osama bin Laden.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/afghan-hpc-spokesman-calls-osama-a-martyr-wants-us-out-of-afghanistan-2787

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HRW 'seriously concerned' by Thai deportation of Rohingya Muslims

14 Feb 2014

Human Rights Watch reacted with "serious worry" Friday to news that Thailand deported 1,300 Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar three months ago under the supervision of an unnamed "NGO."

Thailand's immigration bureau commissioner told local newspaper the Bangkok Post on Wednesday that all 1,300 Rohingya detained in immigration detention centers in Thailand had been sent back to Myanmar authorities “in a clear and transparent manner” under the supervision of an “NGO (non-government organisation) working on protecting the rights of minorities”.

“We don’t even know what NGO he (bureau commissioner Pharnu Kerdlarpphon) is referring to,” Sunai Pasuk, Thailand's Director for Human Rights Watch, told the Anadolu Agency on Friday.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/128894/hrw-seriously-concerned-by-thai-deportation-of-rohingya

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After a 30-year stay, Afghans begin vacating Mattani refugee camp

 February 14, 2014

PESHAWAR: Almost all Afghan families settled for the past 30 years at Mattani Refugee Camp have evacuated the premises, according to the focal person for Peshawar district administration, Muhammad Fawad.

Of the 33 families wanting to get repatriated to Afghanistan, 28 have already left while five others will be relocated within the next few days.

Fawad told The Express Tribune that a two-phase plan was chalked out by the district administration to shift Afghan refugees from Mattani and Jabba Jail camps to Garhi Chandan. In the first phase, families residing at Mattani camp were to be shifted, while 179 families living at Jabba Jail refugee camp will be relocated in the second phase.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/671429/after-a-30-year-stay-afghans-begin-vacating-mattani-refugee-camp/

--------------

Mideast

 

Yemen hunts '19 Qaeda' after Sanaa jailbreak

AFP, Friday 14 Feb 2014

Yemeni security forces were on Friday hunting down 29 inmates, including 19 suspected Al-Qaeda members, who broke out of jail in a deadly assault in the capital.

The official Saba news agency cited an interior ministry statement as saying 29 people convicted "of various terrorist and criminal charges" escaped when a blast breached the facility's outer wall on Thursday.

Security officials said the two-pronged assault began when an explosives-laden vehicle slammed into the eastern gate just after sunset.

Gunmen simultaneously attacked guards at the main entrance, creating a diversion that allowed some prisoners to escape through the hole.

"Nineteen of those who broke out are accused of committing terrorist acts," a ministry spokesman told Saba, adding that security forces were trying to track down the fugitives.

He said the vehicle bomb blew a five-metre (16-foot) hole in the outer wall before the assailants opened up with grenades on several guard posts.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/94220/World/Region/Yemen-hunts--Qaeda-after-Sanaa-jailbreak.aspx

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Israel summons Hungarian envoy to express concern over rising anti-Semitism

14 Feb 2014

The Foreign Ministry summoned the Hungarian ambassador to Jerusalem on Thursday, in a rare move to voice Israel’s “deep concern” over growing anti-Semitic incidents in the country.

Rafi Schutz, the ministry’s deputy director-general for Europe, told Ambassador Andor Nagy that Israel was also worried about anti-Semitic statements in the political arena that call into question Hungary’s willingness to deal truthfully and courageously with its past.

He said there were worrying trends toward re-writing the history of the Holocaust and the role that Hungary’s anti-Semitic wartime leader Miklos Horthy played in it, as well as a forgiving attitude by some government officials toward anti-Semitic trends.

Schutz cited a recent conference held in Budapest’s House of Terror museum that he said tried to “rewrite history” and Horthy’s cooperation with the Nazis. He also bewailed the intention to build a new memorial marking the German occupation of Hungary in March 1944, while ignoring the Hungarian cooperation in the deportation and destruction of the Jewish community.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Israel-summons-Hungarian-envoy-to-express-concern-over-rising-anti-Semitism-341417

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Iranian Parliament Speaker Warns of Enemies’ Plots to Sow Discord among Muslims

14 Feb 2014

Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani warned the Islamic countries of enemies’ plots to stir sectarian strife among Muslims.

Enemies are seeking to divert the Islamic uprisings' attention from main issues through creating artificial obstacles like Takfiri groups, Larijani said in a meeting with a visiting media group from Tunisia in Tehran on Wednesday.

Underlining the need for unity among Muslim countries, Larijani said the enemies should not be allowed to take advantage of sectarian differences among Muslims to damage their regional and international interests.

Full report at:

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13921124000662

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Pakistan

 

Shahbaz urges Indo-Pak militaries not to hamper trade efforts

2014-02-14

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, speaking to the Guardian in an interview, said "security agencies" in both Pakistan and India were one of the two main "blockages" holding back plans to liberalise trade.

Urging the militaries on both sides not to hamper trade efforts, Sharif said "security agencies on both sides need to really understand that in today's world, a security-led vision is obviously driven by economic security".

"Unless you have economic security you can't have general security," he added.

The emphasis on an economically prosperous region was a reiteration of earlier statements made by Shabaz's elder brother and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

"If we remain hostage to our past then we will go nowhere," the younger Sharif emphasised Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1086966/shahbaz-urges-indo-pak-militaries-not-to-hamper-trade-efforts

--------------

 

Pakistan plans to sell JF-17 Thunder combat jets to Saudi Arabia

Press Trust of India | Islamabad

Pakistan today said it is looking to sell JF-17 Thunder combat jets and trainer aircraft to Saudi Arabia, but rejected reports it was in talks with the oil-rich nation for nuclear cooperation. Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud is scheduled to visit Pakistan during February 15-17. The visit is expected to focus on deeper security and defence cooperation between the two sides.

Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told a weekly news briefing that defence cooperation would figure in the Crown Prince’s interactions and that Pakistan was eyeing Saudi Arabia as a market for military gear. “Certainly, defence cooperation would figure in the talks. The army chief would be calling him separately,” she said.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/asia/pakistan-plans-to-sell-jf-17-thunder-combat-jets-to-saudi-arabia/

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Unabated terrorist attacks hijack peace talks

February 14, 2014

ISLAMABAD - Unabated terrorist attacks across the country once again come in the way of the government and Tehreek-i-Taliban nominated teams' meeting here on Thursday as the government team, through a letter, asked the TTP nominated team to first halt violence for meaningful peace talks.

Sources said that the continuous terrorist attacks have virtually imperilled the peace initiative and pushed the government and TTP teams in a dead alley with government not at all ready to proceed further with the peace process in the given situation where the terrorists are continuing with their nefarious activities and targeting the innocent people and law enforcement officials.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/islamabad/14-Feb-2014/terror-hijacks-peace-talks

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Forcibly converting people un-Islamic, says Imran

2014-02-14

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan on Friday said forcibly converting people to Islam was a violation of Quran and Sunnah, DawnNews reported.

He was speaking in relation to the recent pronouncement of the Pakistani Taliban against Ismailis and the Kalash, a polytheistic people living in the picturesque Chitral Valley in northern Pakistan.

In a 50-minute long video released on Feb 2 on the TTP media wing's website, the Pakistani Taliban announced an “armed struggle” against the Kalash and Ismaili Muslims. The narrator warned the Kalash, who are thought to number only 3,500, to convert to Islam or face death.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1086976/forcibly-converting-people-un-islamic-says-imran

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CID arrests three Qaeda-linked suspects

2014-02-14

KARACHI: The CID has arrested three men associated with an organisation working under Al Qaeda in Karachi, DawnNews reported.

The men — Junaid Alam, Armaan and Hassan — are said to be associated with Ashaab, a group working for Al Qaeda.

Explosive material and a large quantity of ammunition was also recovered from the suspects’ possession.

Raja Umar Khattab, in-charge of CID's anti-terrorism cell, said the men were active at the University of Karachi and in private universities across the country's financial capital from where the group recruits religiously-inclined students.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1086983/cid-arrests-three-qaeda-linked-suspects

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TTP should refrain from attacks during peace talks: Sanaullah

February 14, 2014

LAHORE: The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) should refrain from attacks on innocent people while peace talks are in progress, said Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan on Friday.

“Pakistanis are their (TTP’s) countrymen, their brothers and sisters,” he told the media in Lahore, adding that even though the peace negotiation committees have not agreed to a ceasefire yet, the TTP should refrain from attacking their own countrymen.

Full report at:

http://tribune.com.pk/story/671698/ttp-should-refrain-from-attacking-innocent-countrymen-during-peace-talks-sanaullah/

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Gunmen kidnap two senior Pak govt officials in Balochistan

PTI | Feb 14, 2014

KARACHI: Armed men on Thursday kidnapped two senior Pakistan government officials, including a deputy commissioner, after overpowering their security men in the volatile southwestern Balochistan province.

The incident took place near Tump town in Kech district of the province where militants and separatists have carried out brazen attacks on security and government officials and installations.

A senior police official in Quetta, Mir Zubair said the deputy commissioner and assistant commissioner of Kech district in Turbat were kidnapped after the gunmen overpowered their security men.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Gunmen-kidnap-two-senior-Pak-govt-officials-in-Balochistan/articleshow/30359551.cms

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Pakistan for complete halt to US drone strikes

February 14, 2014

UNITED NATIONS - Pakistan told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the current pause in US drone strikes on its border regions has given “respite” to civilians there, and emphatically called for a complete cessation in the use of the remotely controlled aircraft.

"What we have called for, and what we continue to call for, is a halt, a stop, a cessation in the use of armed drones," Ambassador Masood Khan said in an open debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.

The Pakistani envoy said the drone attacks have violated Pakistan's sovereignty, killed hundreds of civilians and radicalised more people.  The use of armed drones has thus been “counterproductive”, he added.   In his speech, Masood Khan also said that civilian protection was an integral part of 95 per cent of peacekeeping missions around the world, and, by now, that mandate was widely recognised.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/14-Feb-2014/pakistan-for-complete-halt-to-us-drone-strikes

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Dialogue, terrorism can’t go together: Nisar

14 Feb 2014

KARACHI - Referring to the recent terror attacks and the ongoing talks between the Taliban and the government, Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan has said that dialogue and terrorism cannot go together.

During his one-day visit to the City on Thursday, he held meetings with the Sindh government and the law enforcement agencies to review the law and order situation in wake of ongoing targeted operation. He also heard the complaints of the MQM delegation about the alleged extrajudicial killings of their workers.

Nisar declared that the Sindh government and the federal government are on the same page to continue and expediting the targeted operation. He said whether they were the security agencies or the Sindh Police, they must abide by the law and not get themselves indulged in overriding the law in their action against the criminals.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/karachi/14-Feb-2014/dialogue-terrorism-can-t-go-together-nisar

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North America

 

Kerry expected to meet victims of terrorism in Israel

14 Feb 2014

US Secretary of State will meet with terror victims on next trip to Israel; NGO Almagor head wants Kerry to understand the victims' plight.

In an apparent attempt to reach out to Israelis who are opposed to the US-brokered talks between Israel and the Palestinians, US Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to meet with victims of Arab terrorism from the Almagor organization on one of his upcoming trips to Israel.

According to Almagor head Meir Indor, US officials this week promised the meeting would take place. Indor said he wanted Kerry to see the victims of terrorism and their families so he would understand their plight.

US officials have also been meeting with right-wing MKs and leaders of organizations over the past two weeks. For instance, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro has met family members of terrorism victims from Almagor and with coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud).

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/International/Kerry-expected-to-meet-victims-of-terrorism-341432

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U.S. Muslims Again Seek Visa Denial for Gujarat Massacre Figure

Feb 14, 2014

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today sent a letter to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice asking that an Indian official accused of complicity in the massacre of Muslim civilians in that nation again be denied a visa to travel to the U.S.

Recent news reports indicate that supporters of Narendra Modi, chief minister of India's state of Gujarat, hope to have him attend the upcoming second World Gujarati Conference in Edison, N.J., on August 29-31, 2008.

Following anti-Muslim riots in 2002 that left more than 1000 civilians dead, senior officials in Gujarat said they had been directed by Modi to allow the massacres to run their course. Modi allegedly called the riots "anticipated Hindu reaction" and "a natural outpouring." Modi's administration has in the past distributed a social studies textbook praising Adolf Hitler.

The Washington Post has reported: "Human rights investigators found that the anti-Muslim violence had been encouraged and in some cases assisted by [Modi's] government." (4/19/04) A citizens panel, which included retired Indian Supreme Court judges, said the anti-Muslim rioters had acted "with the deliberate connivance and support" of the Gujarat state government. (Washington Post, 12/16/02)

Full report at:

http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/3069-u-s-muslims-again-seek-visa-denial-for-gujarat-massacre-figure.html

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Colorado Muslim Society medical volunteers awarded grant for public, a lasting symbol of American Islam

Feb 14, 2014

The Colorado Muslim Society has received a $20,000 grant for a public health initiative to identify cultural barriers in the Muslim community hindering awareness of health issues, such as prevention of chronic illness, officials announced this week.

The society received the Medical Reserve Corps Challenge Award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials( NACCHO) in partnership with the Office of Surgeon General.

The Colorado Muslim Society Medical Reserve Corps is made up of health professionals and other volunteers who donate time to promote community health and to respond to medical emergencies and crises. The unit coordinator is retired university professor Mohamed Hamdy.

The NACCHO awards fund Medical Reserve Corps units to create innovative projects in their communities that can be replicated nationally. The projects must align with one of four focus areas: chronic-disease prevention, community resilience, partners for empowered communities and mental and emotional well-being.

Full report at:

http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_25134602/colorado-muslim-society-medical-volunteers-awarded-grant-public

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$1.8 million mosque rising at Islamic Centre in west Modesto

Feb 14, 2014

MODESTO — The two minarets sit like stubs now, but will look exotic once they’re erected on top of the new building at the Islamic Center of Modesto in west Modesto. To Imam Ahmad Kayello, they are exciting symbols of the future, topping a beautiful mosque where his community can grow, worship and enjoy fellowship, and where non-Muslims can learn more about Islam, a religion often vilified in the West.

The long-awaited project, an 18,000-square-foot, $1.8 million two-story building, broke ground last year, six years after it had received unanimous approval from the Stanislaus County Planning Commission. Kayello said the purchase of additional land behind the current facility at 1445 Carpenter Road and a change in the plans and design delayed the project.

Among other changes, he said, the community decided to complete the entire project rather than build it in phases.

Full report at:

http://www.modbee.com/2014/02/12/3186126/minarets-to-top-new-mosque-in.html#storylink=cpy

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Kerry says Obama has asked for new policy options on Syria

February 14, 2014

BEIJING: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday that President Barack Obama has asked for possible new policy options on Syria given the worsening humanitarian situation there.

"He has asked all of us to think about various options that may or may not exist. The answer to the question: have they been presented? No, they have not. But that evaluation, by necessity, given the circumstances, is taking place at this time," Kerry told reporters during a visit to Beijing.

"And when these options are ripe and when the president calls for it, there will undoubtedly be some discussion about them."

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2014/Feb-14/247365-kerry-says-obama-has-asked-for-new-policy-options-on-syria.ashx#ixzz2tLvi4OUp

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India

 

More than 1,600 Indians languishing in Gulf jails

14 Feb 2014

More than 1,600 Indians are languishing in jails of different Middle Eastern countries, the Parliament was informed on Thursday.

Approximately 1,400 Indians are lodged in Saudi Arabia alone, Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said in a written reply in Rajya Sabha.

Indian missions in Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have reported that there are cases of illegal migrant workers, but their exact number was not available, he said.

The data revealed that around 106 Indians are in jails in Oman, 72 in Qatar and 34 in Lebanon.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/more-than-1600-indians-languishing-in-gulf-jails/article5687082.ece

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Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants killed

14 Feb 2014

Two Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in an encounter with the police and security forces in Shopian, South Kashmir, on Thursday.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Vijay Kumar told The Hindu that the District Police of Shopian and the Rashtriya Rifles carried out the operation on a tip-off. The police were told that the militants were hiding in an orchard at Pinjora. Mr. Kumar said the militants were identified as Arshid Ahmad Sheikh of Haripora and Abid Ahmad Rather of Vehil. However, the Army identified the duo as Arshid Ahmad alias Ashraf and Shabir Gujjar.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/two-militants-killed/article5686858.ece

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Muslims not scared of Modi becoming PM: Jamiat Ulama

 14 February 2014

Guwahati, February 14: The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind today said it was not worried about the safety and security of Muslims if Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister.

"We are not worried about any Modi. Even if 50 Modis come, we are not afraid. We are not afraid of anyone," Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind President Maulana Syed Arshad Madani told reporters here.

He was asked whether there was any fear among Muslims if Modi became Prime Minister on account of the Gujarat riots.

Modi was given a clean chit by an Ahmedabad court after the SIT report did not name him of involvement in the Gujarat riots of 2002.

Full report at:

http://www.siasat.com/english/news/muslims-not-scared-modi-becoming-pm-jamiat-ulama

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/swiss-muslim-institutions-oppose-inauguration-of-salafi-school/d/35757

 

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