New Age Islam
Tue Sep 29 2020, 03:28 AM

Islamic World News ( 25 Apr 2010, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Taliban using poison gas on Afghan schoolgirls?

Kiddie Jihad: Child Bombers Terror's Newest Weapon

Indian writer Arundhati Roy threatened with prosecution under anti-terrorism law

Gujarat Muslims back Modi, flay German team

Clashes in Sudan kill 58, raise tension on border

Palestinian Mother Recounts Detention Of 13-Year-Old Son

World humanitarian values not new to our community: Saif

Azerbaijani leader addresses inter-faith summit

Majority of French Muslims feel stigmatised in veil row

Pak asks India to hand over Kasab

Lebanese demonstrators march for secularism

US drone strike kills 8 in Pakistan: Officials

Muslim swimsuits bare little on Turkish catwalks

UK envoy escapes 'suicide bomb'

Islam: Don't Tread on Me

The Almanac of Al Qaeda

India should robustly support Karzai

Islam about peace, not hatred

Moderating Islam: Revivalism vs re-valuation

Civil marriage not civil war, say secular Lebanese

Divorced woman studying abroad loses son’s custody

Iraq bombings raise specter of Shia militia

Man accused of forcing ‘wife’ into prostitution

Hamas banks on toon for prisoner swap

We shouldn't be cut off from our roots: Javed Akhtar

Indian magistrates can testify before Pakistani courts

Air Arabia plane makes emergency landing in Pakistan

Thousands march in Beirut to promote secularism in politics

Deradicalizing jihadists, the Libyan way

Lebanon needs change two decades after its war

An unexpected leap on the Palestine issue

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/taliban-using-poison-gas-on-afghan-schoolgirls?/d/2760

 

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Taliban using poison gas on Afghan schoolgirls?

Apr 26, 2010

KUNDUZ: More than 80 schoolgirls in northern Afghanistan have fallen ill after a suspected poison gas attack on their school, local authorities said on Sunday, blaming the incident on the Taliban who oppose education for girls. Kunduz provincial spokesman Mahbobullah Sayedi said the latest case occurred on Sunday when 12 girls fell ill at school.

Officials said 47 complained of dizziness and nausea on Saturday, and another 23 got sick last Wednesday. None of the illnesses have been serious.

Sayedi blamed the sickness on "enemies" who oppose education for girls. Provincial police chief Abdul Razzaq Yaqubi also accused the Taliban of orchestrating the attack.

"I was in class when a smell like a flower reached my nose," said Sumaila, 12, one of the girls hospitalised after the alleged attack.

"I saw my classmates and my teacher collapse and when I opened my eyes I was in hospital," she said.

Azizullah Safar, head of the Kunduz hospital, said many of the girls were still suffering from pain, dizziness and vomiting.

The Taliban banned all education for girls when they ruled Afghanistan from 1996-2001 and it remains a disputed issue in much of Afghanistan.

Similar attacks have been carried out in other parts of Afghanistan over the past few years, including areas where there is little presence of the dreaded Taliban.

Yaqubi said 20 girls had fallen ill in a suspected poison attack on another Kunduz school last week.

In the south and east, where the Taliban control towns and villages, girls' schools remain shut, teachers have been threatened and some girls have been attacked with acid.

Despite the attacks, Sumaila said she hoped to return to school, if her father allows her. "I am very scared. My parents were very worried. My father told me that I have learnt a lot. I don't know whether they will still let me go to school after this," she said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/south-asia/Taliban-using-poison-gas-on-Afghan-schoolgirls/articleshow/5857648.cms

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Kiddie Jihad: Child Bombers Terror's Newest Weapon

Erick Stakelbeck

04/26/2010

WASHINGTON – Islamic terrorists are always looking for new ways to escape detection and carry out their attacks. One of their latest ideas is using children as suicide bombers.

The growing phenomenon may soon spread beyond the Middle East to the rest of the world.

The Making of a Child Martyr

Strategies in the global war against Islamic terrorism are taking very different roads in 2010. The Obama administration hopes downplaying Islamic extremism may help when dealing with Muslim countries.

Terror groups, however, are taking extremism to new levels by indoctrinating Muslim children in the deadly art of suicide bombing.

"The state-sponsored illegal recruitment and education of innocent Muslim children to become suicide bombers and child soldiers is occurring throughout the Muslim and non-Muslim world," said Brooke Goldstein, founder and director of The Children's Rights Institute, an organization focusing on human rights violatios against children.

"In Pakistan, thousands of children are being educated in madrassahs," she said. "In Iraq, handicapped children are being blown up at polling stations. In Afghanistan, the Taliban is paying up to $12,000 per child, donated to them by their own families.”

Taliban leaders run training centers where boys as young as 11 years of age learn to be suicide bombers. Some are even younger.

A 6-year-old Afghan boy recruited in 2007 was told that his suicide belt would "explode into flowers."

A Deadly Pioneer

The modern-day pioneer of Islamic child martyrdom was the Ayatollah Khomeini.

He sent thousands of children to clear minefields during the Iran-Iraq War. Khomeini then passed the baton to Palestinian terror groups, who've shown no qualms about sending children to their deaths.

Goldstein examined the world of Palestinian child bombers in her award-winning film, The Making of a Martyr. “The state television, the school textbooks, the radio media, their print media, music videos are all teaching these children to become suicide bombers," Goldstein said. "They're teaching them to hate life and love death."

A Growing Global Phenomenon

This phenomenon is spreading through the Middle East to Iraq, the al Qaeda hotbed of Yemen.

"In Yemen, just about 50 percent of all combatants in the war between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels are under the age of 18," Goldstein explained. "A majority of those children are now being targeted to become suicide bombers."

The next battleground may be Great Britain. Due to growing extremism among young British Muslims, the government has started a de-radicalization program called The Channel Project.

"They have 230 children between the ages of 7 and 18 who they are now in the process of deradicalization education," Goldstein said.

In the meantime, she says international human rights groups like Amnesty International have shown little interest in the issue.

http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.6065/pub_detail.asp

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Indian writer Arundhati Roy threatened with prosecution under anti-terrorism law

By Kranti Kumara

26 April 2010

Police in the east Indian state of Chhattisgarh are “exploring” laying charges under the state’s draconian anti-terrorism law against Arundhati Roy, a Booker Prize-winning novelist, essayist and human rights campaigner.

The police initiated their investigation of Roy in response to a complaint filed by one Viswajit Mitra that accused Roy of “glorifying Maoists” in an article published in the March 29 issue of Outlook India. Titled “Walking with the Comrades,” Roy’s 33-page magazine article reports on a clandestine visit she made to Dandakaranya, a forest highland area largely inhabited by tribal people or adivasi, so that she could speak with, and bear witness to, the activities of Maoist guerrillas.

Mitra claims to be “an ordinary citizen.” But he is reportedly a local leader of the Bahujan Samaj Party or BSP, the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh, India’s most populous state.

Chhattisgarh’s director general of police (DGP), Viswa Ranjan, told the press, “The matter shall be investigated before taking any further steps.… I have asked the legal experts to give their opinion and come up with a decision."

That the DGP believes Mitra’s outrageous anti-democratic “complaint” has merit was exemplified by his further remarks. “I do not know,” said Ranjan, “whether Arundhati Roy has been wrongly influenced by others or she is actually a mole in the civil society. How do I know?"

Roy is threatened with prosecution under Chhattisgarh’s notorious Special Public Security Act (2005) or CPSA. The law, which was authored by the Hindu supremacist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), provides a sweeping definition of “unlawful activities.”

Under its provisions, an act or even a written or verbal communication that “poses a danger or fear thereof” to “public order,” or that “has a tendency to pose an obstacle” to “the administration of law,” or that “encourages” disobedience to any law or institutions “set up by law” is unlawful and could result in a seven-year prison term.

The CPSA has been widely condemned by civil liberties groups in India and internationally. They charge that the true target of the legislation is not Maoist insurgents—whose organizations were already proscribed in 2004—but civil libertarians, NGOs and others who have criticized the government and security forces for running roughshod over democratic rights and using indiscriminate violence in suppressing the Maoists. Half a year before the passage of the CPSA, the Chhattisgarh government set up an anti-Maoist militia, the Salwa Judum (“Purification Hunt”) that has been implicated in numerous atrocities, including the burning down of villages suspected of supporting the anti-government insurgency.

The action against Roy comes in the midst of a mounting political-press furore over the Maoist insurgency in the “tribal belt” of east India. Earlier this month, Operation Green Hunt, the nationally coordinated counterinsurgency campaign launched by India’s Congress Party-led coalition government, suffered a major reversal when Maoist guerrillas killed 76 security personnel in Chhattisgarh’s Dantewada District. (See “Indian government suffers reversal in its war on Maoists and tribals”)

In the wake of the Dantewada ambush all manner of calls came from Indian television and press commentators for action to be taken against Roy and others, like the editors of the Economic and Political Weekly, who have denounced Operation Green Hunt, warning that its real purpose is to suppress tribal opposition to the seizure of their traditional lands for mines, dams and other big business “development” projects.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram has himself helped fuel the campaign. In championing Operation Green Hunt, he has repeatedly accused those who have insisted that the exploitative and repressive policies of the Indian elite are the primary cause of the violence now convulsing India’s largest tribal region of turning a blind eye to, if not sanctioning, terrorism.

In an address to India’s upper house of parliament, the Rajya Sabha, on April 15, Chidambaram said, “I think the Human Rights Organisations and the NGOs are living in a fool's paradise. If the [Communist Party of India (Maoist)] overthrows the established authority and seizes power, will they allow any Human Rights Organisation to function in this country? Will they allow any NGO to function in this country? Will there be a Parliament?”

The Home Minister went on take a dig at Arundhati Roy. Puffing himself up in outrage, Chidambaram asked, “Will all those, who write 33-page articles, be allowed to write 33-page articles? Will there be a magazine to publish a 33-page article?”

Significantly, Chidambaram has not called upon Chhattisgarh’s BJP government to immediately drop its investigation of Roy, let alone denounced it for attempting to intimidate and persecute her.

If Roy has earned the enmity of the India’s bourgeois establishment, it is because she has forthrightly rejected and punctured their hypocritical claims to be waging war to bring development and democracy to the tribal peoples. A talented writer, she speaks movingly of the plight of the adivasis, who have been both abandoned and abused by the Indian state, and spells out the base profit interests that lie behind the Indian government’s drive to reassert its fiat over Chhattisgarh and the entire eastern tribal belt.

Writes Roy, “Over the past five years or so, the Governments of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa and West Bengal have signed MOUs (Memorandums of Understanding) with corporate houses, worth several billion dollars, all of them secret, for steel pants, sponge-iron factories, power plants, aluminium refineries, dams and mines. In order for the MOUs to translate into real money, tribal people must be moved. Therefore, this is war.”

Roy notes that the tribal people’s opposition, including oft-times violent opposition, to the state long predates the Maoists and rightly observes that it is the decades of brutality, neglect and displacement to which the tribals have been subjected that have caused a significant section of them to rally behind the Maoists’ armed struggle.

She is less perceptive when it comes to dealing with the politics of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). But she is far from uncritical.

Even if Roy were entirely laudatory of the Maoist insurgents, her reportage and commentary should fall under constitutionally protected speech. But the Indian elite, no less than that of the US, has invoked a purported “war on terror” over the past decade to justify a wholesale assault on democratic rights and increasingly criminalize dissent.

Roy is far from the first person to run afoul of Chhattisgarh’s draconian CPSA. Scores of people critical of the Chattisgarh government have been thrown in jail, some of them for years. Leaders and other members of NGOs active in tribal areas bringing basic services the government has failed to provide appear to have been singled out for arrest and prosecution under the CPSA.

The most infamous of these victims is Dr. Binyak Sen, a popular doctor who provides medical care to the most downtrodden and politically marginalized. He is the vice-president of an NGO named People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).

Dr. Sen was arrested in May 2007 on trumped-up charges after he treated a jailed Maoist leader and was detained for more than two years in Chhattisgarh’s central jail. He was only released after a sustained domestic and international protest campaign caused India’s Supreme Court to intervene and order him freed on bail. However none of the charges against Binyak Sen have been dropped and India’s Congress Party-led government has signalled its support for his prosecution.

During a rally in August 2008 to celebrate the release of a documentary filmmaker and journalist Ajay who had spent 90 days in jail in Chhattisgarh on bogus charges of having “links with the Maoists,” University of Delhi Sociology Professor Nandani noted the climate of fear pervading the state. Out of fear of prosecution under the CPSA, news organisations routinely black out reports of Salwa Judum brutality. Another independent law researcher, Usha Ramanathan, noted the medieval character of the law, which includes a provision making it “illegal” to criticize its provisions.

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2010/apr2010/aroy-a26.shtml

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Gujarat Muslims back Modi, flay German team

Rathin Das

Apr 26, 2010

A fortnight after Chief Minister Narendra Modi wrote to the Prime Minister protesting against uncharitable remarks by a German parliamentary delegation, a newly-floated organisation of Muslims has come out in support of the Chief Minister.

The United Force for Peace & Harmony has condemned the delegation’s derogatory comments about the alleged ‘persecution’ of Muslims in Gujarat under Modi. “Such remarks would widen the rift among communities in Gujarat,” said Parsoli Corporation chairman and managing director Jafar Sareshwala.

He, along with some other prominent Muslims, has formed the United Force for Peace & Harmony.

Parsoli Corporation is known among the Muslim community for running a share-broking entity that deals with what he calls ‘Shariat-compliant’ business houses. Sareshwala’s family had suffered huge losses during the 2002 post-Godhra riots but he virtually rose from the ashes to rebuild his business empire, which provides devout Muslims with options to invest in

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/251656/Gujarat-Muslims-back-Modi-flay-German-team.html

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Clashes in Sudan kill 58, raise tension on border

Apr 25, 2010

KHARTOUM: Clashes between south Sudan's army and Darfuri Arab tribes killed 58 people, raising tension along the north-south border as results of the first open elections in 24 years are released, officials said on Sunday.

Sudan's oil-producing south was allowed to keep a separate army and form a semi-autonomous government in a 2005 peace deal ending more than two decades of civil war with the north.

Southerners will vote in a referendum on Jan. 9, 2011 on independence.

"There was movement from the Rizeigat (tribe) and from the SPLA (the southern Sudan People's Liberation Army). I can't tell you who attacked who first but they clashed," Rizeigat Arab tribal leader Mohamed Eissa Aliu told Reuters from South Darfur.

"It happened on Friday and those killed from the Rizeigat were 58 and 85 injured," he said, adding the attack was in Balballa, South Darfur, which borders Western Bahr Al-Ghazal in the south.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article47093.ece

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Palestinian Mother Recounts Detention Of 13-Year-Old Son

25 April, 2010

Bethlehem – Ma’an – "He was shivering and crying hard, he grabbed onto my nightgown and looked at me terrified, as sniffer dogs and armed soldiers scrabbled around me," the mother of 13-year-old Ahmad Salim As-Sabah described.

As-Sabah was taken from his family home in Tuqu, south of Bethlehem, at 2am Thursday morning after invading the home and demanding all of the children wake from sleep and present themselves before armed soldiers, accompanied by dogs.

"They knocked violently at the door," Umm Mohammad recounted, "when we opened the door they asked us about our children, we thought about the, Ahmad our youngest is only 13-years-old, and Mohammad is the oldest and just 17, we wondered if they would be taken, and the soldiers suddenly said 'bring them to us.'"

Full report at:

http://www.countercurrents.org/maan250410.htm

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World humanitarian values not new to our community: Saif

26 April 2010

 The UAE leadership has been keen on ensuring justice for all ?the nationalities since the foundation of country, said the Deputy Prime ?Minister and Minister of Interior Lieutenant-General Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Receiving the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, here in his office on Sunday, Shaikh Saif expressed his pleasure about her visit, especially noting that the UAE has signed the agreements and protocols on human rights in the light of its sustained efforts to eradicate all forms of racial discrimination and human trafficking.

Shaikh Saif underlined that “the world humanitarian values are not ?new to our local community, our ?Arab heritage and our religious teachings that call for solidarity among human beings”.

The meeting tackled the efforts of the UAE to boost human rights through the country’s clear policies on safety, security and good living conditions to all the nationalities. It also discussed the UAE efforts to provide good living conditions for workers in line with the protection of labour rights.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/April/theuae_April652.xml&section=theuae&col=

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Azerbaijani leader addresses inter-faith summit

Ilham Aliyev

26 April 2010

President Ilham Aliyev has said that Baku will become a centre of inter-religious dialogue.

'I hope such events will further continue in Baku and Baku will be entitled to call itself a world centre of inter-religious dialogue,' he told the opening of the Baku summit on inter-religious dialogue on Monday, according to Interfax-Azerbaijan.

The president said that Azerbaijan had always been famous for its tolerance of different faiths and nationalities, so it was entirely appropriate that the summit should be held in Baku.

'Representatives of different religions have always lived here as one family. The meeting of religious leaders in Baku has already become a tradition,' the president said.

'I do not doubt that this remarkable event will have good results.'

He said that Azerbaijan pinned great hopes on the transformation of Baku into a centre of inter-religious dialogue. The head of state said that Azerbaijan was a natural bridge between East and West, recalling that last year Baku had been capital of Islamic culture, and hoped that Baku would be a European capital of culture in the future. The president said Azerbaijan fully ensured freedom of religion along with other rights and liberties.

Full report at:

http://www.news.az/articles/14171

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Majority of French Muslims feel stigmatised in veil row

April 26, 2010

* Woman recently fined for ‘driving while wearing a burqa’

* Nantes mosques’ association worried, says act goes against values of republic

NANTES: Muslims in the French city where a woman was fined for driving wearing a burqa complained of being stigmatised by the affair on Sunday as the political repercussions rumbled on.

With the government planning to ban wearing the burqa in public, the fining of the French woman took a political turn when a minister threatened to punish her Muslim husband for offences including polygamy.

“The Muslims of Nantes...are worried by this systematic stigmatisation which goes against the values of the republic,” the collective of Nantes mosques said in a statement.

The association “considers that the stopping of a driver is a judicial procedure and is angry at how such an event has been turned into being all about Islam”.

The woman has challenged the fine as a breach of her human rights.

President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government said last week it would push ahead with a ban on wearing a burqa in public, despite a warning from state legal experts that such a law could be unconstitutional.

Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010\04\26\story_26-4-2010_pg7_3

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Pak asks India to hand over Kasab

Apr 26, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has asked India to hand over Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving 26/11 gunman, so that it can complete its own trial of seven suspects linked to the terror attack. "We have sought India's help that he (Kasab) should be handed over to us so that the trial here can go forward," Pakistan foreign ministry spokesman Abdul Basit said on Sunday.

The request for handing over Kasab and Fahim Ansari, an Indian acccused of helping the attackers, was included in Pakistan's response to the three Indian dossiers given during the February 25 foreign secretary talks in New Delhi. Foreign ministry officials delivered the six dossiers on Sunday to the deputy Indian High Commissioner Rahul Kulshreshth, said Basit.

When asked how India could extradite Kasab and Ansari, Basit replied: "It is not extradition per se. It is a legal requirement since the court has asked that Kasab be produced before it."

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Pak-asks-India-to-hand-over-Kasab/articleshow/5857577.cms

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Lebanese demonstrators march for secularism

By Borzou Daragahi,

April 26, 2010

They had no blessing from the government. No politician in a big black SUV bankrolled them. None of the television stations controlled by political parties publicized their efforts.

And no cleric preached their cause at the pulpit.

Yet on Sunday morning, thousands of Lebanese, drawn by a largely informal campaign on Facebook and other Internet sites, marched through the heart of Beirut to demand that religion be excised from politics, a rare assertion of secularism in a region increasingly defined by religious identity.

"I don't believe religion and politics should be mixed," said Amer Saidi, 28, a student of political science at Lebanese American University, who joined as many as 5,000 people beneath a gleaming blue sky for what many considered the nation's first "secular pride" demonstration. "Religion should not be used as a political tool."

Saidi said he was born a Shiite Muslim but considers himself agnostic. He vowed to strike his religion from his national identity card, an option recently permitted by Interior Minister Ziad Baroud, a champion of nonprofit organizations and other civil groups that organized the march.

Full report at:

http://www.latimes.com/news/custom/topofthetimes/topstories/la-fg-lebanon-secular-20100426,0,2493672.story

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US drone strike kills 8 in Pakistan: Officials

Apr 26, 2010

MIRANSHAH: A US missile attack destroyed a suspected Taliban-linked hideout in Pakistan's northwest tribal belt on Monday and killed at least eight militants, local security officials said.

It was the second such strike in 48 hours, as the United States pursues Taliban fighters and other al-Qaida-linked groups that have carved out strongholds in the rugged North Waziristan district on the Afghan border.

Three missiles struck a compound mid-morning in the Khushali Toorkhel area, about 25 kilometres (15 miles) east of Miranshah, North Waziristan's main town.

"The target was a militant compound belonging to followers of a local rebel commander Haleem Khan, and the US drone fired three missiles," a senior Pakistani security official said.

"Eight militants were killed and several others sustained injuries in the strike," another security official said. Officials initially put the death toll at four, but said it was likely to rise.

Pakistani security officials said most of the dead were militants from the Mehsud tribe in neighbouring South Waziristan, from which top leaders and many footsoldiers in Pakistan's main Tehreek-e-Taliban faction are drawn.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/US-drone-strike-kills-8-in-Pakistan-Officials/articleshow/5859814.cms

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Muslim swimsuits bare little on Turkish catwalks

26 April 2010

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Hair driers blast air and racks of clothing clatter past as organizers make their final preparations for a fashion show.

Some of the backstage bustle is downright comical. Short Turkish women, carefully wrapped up in trench-coats and brightly-colored Muslim headscarves, struggle to help towering, leggy models from Slavic and Latin countries change in and out of outfits.

This is not your typical fashion show. The show is highlighting Islamic women’s clothing — even though very few of the models working here are Muslim.

“Listen, I’m coming from Venezuela [where] we are always walking in shorts, t-shirts, flip-flops. Not afraid to show it. But here it’s totally different,” said Cristina Buderacky, a model who stood more then six feet tall in a peach-colored lycra outfit that resembled a pair of long-sleeved pyjamas with blousy trousers.

Full report at:

http://updatednews.ca/?p=15915

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UK envoy escapes 'suicide bomb'

26 April 2010

A suspected suicide bomber has carried out an attack near the convoy of the British ambassador to Yemen in the capital, Sanaa.

Ambassador Tim Torlot is safe, UK officials confirmed. One person - believed to be the attacker - was killed, say Yemeni security sources.

The UK Foreign Office said it had closed the embassy to the public.

No group has claimed the attack, but Yemeni and UK officials believe it bears the hallmarks of al-Qaeda.

There are mounting fears that Yemen is becoming a leading al-Qaeda haven.

Previous attack

Mr Torlot was reported to have been on his way to the embassy when the attack happened in an area of eastern Sanaa said to be popular with militants.

Witnesses said the bomber was a young man who was wearing a school uniform, apparently as a disguise, the Associated Press new agency reports.

Full report at:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8643419.stm

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Islam: Don't Tread on Me

By Robert Maginnis

04/26/2010

The U.S. Army and the Comedy Channel – which broadcasts the cartoon “South Park” -- share a common fear: alienating Muslims.  And, giving in to that fear, last week both exorcised views that threatened to alienate Muslims.  Those actions empowered Islamic radicals, trampled freedom of speech and ignored legitimate criticism of Islam that endangers American security.

 The Army rescinded an invitation for Christian evangelist Franklin Graham to speak at a Pentagon National Day of Prayer event.  That decision was a reaction to criticism from groups like the Council of American-Islamic Relations that complained Graham “calls Islam evil and claims Muslims are enslaved by their faith.”  

 On the same day the creators of the television cartoon “South Park” received threats for airing a program depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad in a bear costume.  But the follow-on cartoon in the series bleeped out the name “Muhammad” for the bear because of an Islamic threat.   The cartoonists said the Comedy Channel – not they – had decided to bleep out the name.

 Full report at:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=36700

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The Almanac of Al Qaeda

BY PETER BERGEN, KATHERINE TIEDEMANN

04/26/2010

In December 2007, al Qaeda's No. 2, Ayman al-Zawahiri, made a little-noticed nod to the fact that his organization's popularity was taking a nosedive: He solicited questions from jihadi forum participants in an online question-and-answer session. It looked like a rather desperate gambit to win back al Qaeda’s dwindling support. And it was. Since the September 11 attacks, the terrorist organization and its affiliates had killed thousands of Muslims -- countless in Iraq, and hundreds more in Afghanistan and Pakistan that year alone. For a group claiming to defend the Islamic ummah, these massacres had dealt a devastating blow to its credibility. The faithful, Zawahiri knew, were losing faith in al Qaeda.

Zawahiri's Web session did not go well. Asked how he could justify killing Muslim civilians, he answered defensively in dense, arcane passages that referred readers to other dense, arcane statements he had already made about the matter. A typical question came from geography teacher Mudarris Jughrafiya, who asked: "Excuse me, Mr. Zawahiri, but who is it who is killing with your excellency's blessing the innocents in Baghdad, Morocco, and Algeria? Do you consider the killing of women and children to be jihad?"

Full report at:

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/04/26/the_almanac_of_al_qaeda

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India should robustly support Karzai

April 26, 2010

Afghan President Hamid Karzai's arrival in New Delhi on Monday can be seen as of a piece with the 'new thinking' in Indian foreign policy in recent months.

The revival of traditional ties with Russia, the inclination to move away from futile finger-pointing toward meaningful interaction with China, signs of a course correction on Iran -- tendencies that seemed tentative are indeed gaining traction and assuming a purposive direction in diplomacy.

The timing and estimations behind New Delhi's invitation to President Karzai merit attention. No doubt, the Afghan situation is nearing a turning point. The foreign minister-level meeting of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation held in Tallinn, the Estonian capital, on Friday officially set in motion a process to roll back the alliance's operations in Afghanistan.

While this would be a natural process and not a 'run for the exit', as NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen put it, the political reality is that the Western allies have reached agreement on basic guidelines for commencing the hand-over of responsibility for security to the Afghan forces on a case-by-case basis within this year.

Full report at:

http://news.rediff.com/column/2010/apr/26/mk-bhadrakumar-on-hamid-karzais-india-visit.htm

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Islam about peace, not hatred

April 26, 2010

Muslim terrorist, Arab jihadist, Islamic militia. In recent years, these words have almost become synonymous with each other in the daily news. With the onslaught of news coverage of the Middle East, all the news about Islam and Muslims seems to be bad.

All Americans see on their televisions are visions of turban-clad men screaming “Allahu Akbar” and women covered in black veils from head to toe.

But what is this religion and who are these people? Does this religion really condone these awful things we see?

To answer these questions, we must first start with the simplest way of defining things: definitions.

Islam means “to submit to the will of God” in Arabic, with its counterpart Muslim meaning “one who submits to the will of God.” Therefore, Islam is the religion and Muslims are its followers.

Full report at:

http://www.cw.ua.edu/2010/04/14/islam-about-peace-not-hatred/

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Moderating Islam: Revivalism vs re-valuation

April 26, 2010

Worryingly, Islam remains a criticized religion. People tend to have a far negative view of it. A censorious view of Islam is worrying because it has a direct bearing on how Muslims are viewed and accepted.

More than 4 in 10 Americans (43%) feel “a little” prejudiced toward Muslims — more than twice the number with a similar feeling against Christians (18%), Jews (15%) and Buddhists (14%), a recent Gallup Center for Muslim Studies survey report (titled “Religious Perceptions in America: With an In-Depth Analysis of U.S. Attitudes Toward Muslims and Islam”) has found. Click here.

The report is being shared with high-level policymakers, religious leaders and academics by the Muslim West Facts Project (MWFP), a non-profit partnership between Gallup and the Coexist Foundation. MWFP disseminates key poll findings of Gallup’s Muslim Centre to opinion leaders.

Full report at:

http://blogs.hindustantimes.com/they-call-me-muslim/2010/04/25/moderating-islam-revivalism-vs-re-valuation/

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Civil marriage not civil war, say secular Lebanese

By ALISTAIR LYON

Apr 26, 2010

BEIRUT: About 3,000 people marched in Beirut on Sunday to demand a secular system in place of the Muslim-Christian sectarianism that permeates politics, employment and family status matters in Lebanon.

"Civil marriage, not civil war" was among the banners carried by the mostly young, educated protesters who gathered in response to a campaign on Internet social networking sites. It was Lebanon's first such demonstration in favor of secularism.

Many wore white T-shirts with "What's your sect?" written on the front and "None of your business" on the back.

Lebanon, whose five million people are split into 18 sects, developed a power-sharing system enshrined in a 1943 national covenant which gave Christians a majority in Parliament and said the president must be a Maronite Christian, the prime minister a Sunni Muslim and the speaker of Parliament a Shiite Muslim.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article47126.ece

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Divorced woman studying abroad loses son’s custody

By WALAA HAWARI

Apr 26, 2010

RIYADH: Jawaher was divorced following a turbulent three-year marriage. She was, in line with Shariah, given custody of her son, a ruling that was accepted by the boy’s father.

But when Jawaher was granted a scholarship, her ex-husband filed a suit against her, demanding their son be stopped from accompanying her.

“The judge ruled in favor of my ex-husband, and his excuse was that ‘should a parent move from the place where the marriage contract is signed then he/she loses custody over the children.’ This was according to a fatwa that I am not aware of,” said Jawaher, sobbing that she has been separated from her son.

Lawyer Sultan bin Zahem said the issue of child custody seems to be dependent on judges. He added that there are no specific bylaws in the Kingdom’s civil marriage law, something that allows judges to derive their own conclusions.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article47250.ece

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Iraq bombings raise specter of Shia militia

25 April 2010

 In offering to help Iraqi security forces to fight insurgents after a wave of deadly bombings in the capital, a Shia cleric is sending a clear signal to the govt: If you don’t protect us, we’ll protect ourselves.

Muqtada al-Sadr’s statement raised the fearful specter that he might be considering reactivating his once-powerful militia known as the Mahdi Army, a move that would play into al-Qaida in Iraq’s efforts to spark sectarian war.

Al-Sadr’s aides, however, insisted on Saturday that the cleric wasn’t threatening to send armed men onto the streets but was offering to help the government forces, who have been widely criticized for failing to protect the people as U.S. troops pull back.

The move comes as al-Sadr seeks to consolidate political power among Iraq’s Shia s after a strong showing by his followers in March 7 parliamentary elections. The cleric, a staunch opponent of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, has emerged as a power broker who could play a key role in deciding the country’s next leader.

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2010/April/middleeast_April388.xml&section=middleeast

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Man accused of forcing ‘wife’ into prostitution

26 April 2010

 A man allegedly forced his wife into prostitution by beating and intimidating her, a court heard on Sunday. It was alleged that his brother too was involved in beating and intimidating the woman for their profit.

The 29-year-old Iraqi man, who is in provisional detention in the central prison, faced the charge of human trafficking in the Court of First Instance as he is believed to have lured the woman to enter the UAE as his wife to work as a dancer and then forced her to have sex with men for money. His other brother is absconding.

The Iraqi woman, aged 26, told the prosecutors that in March last year, the brother of the two accused visited her parents’ house in Iraq where he suggested to her mother that she be taken to work in Dubai. She was offered a job as a dancer in the UAE and for that Dh2,500 was to be sent to her mother each month. He also finalised her travel documents.

In Oman, the defendant welcomed her and they stayed in a hotel. The following day, they went to the Immigration and Residency Department where she was made to sign on her residence document. She was given a card of which she had no clue about what it was. The accused later took it from her. From there, she was taken by road to an apartment in Abu Hail in Dubai.            

Full report at:

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/theuae/2010/April/theuae_April640.xml&section=theuae

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Hamas banks on toon for prisoner swap

Apr 26, 2010

GAZA CITY: The armed wing of the Islamist Hamas movement on Sunday broadcast a grim cartoon warning Israel over the fate of the captured soldier for whom it has demanded hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

The three-minute three-dimensional cartoon depicts the father of captured soldier Gilad Shalit visibly aging as he walks through empty city streets past billboards of former and future Israeli leaders vowing to free his son.

In the end the soldier is shown returned in a flag-draped coffin as part of a prisoner exchange, just before his father, Noam Shalit, wakes up from the dream and realises there is still time to bring his son back alive.

Messages accompanying the cartoon warn that if Israel does not reach a prisoner exchange deal, Shalit will meet the fate of Ron Arad, an Israeli pilot who went missing when he flew a mission over southern Lebanon in 1986.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Hamas-banks-on-toon-for-prisoner-swap/articleshow/5857690.cms

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We shouldn't be cut off from our roots: Javed Akhtar

Apr 26, 2010

BANGALORE: The complete disconnect between vernacular languages and today’s middle class is a dangerous trend, feels noted poet and lyricist Javed Akhtar.

He was in the city on Sunday to release the special edition of ‘Desha Kala’, a quarterly Kannada literary magazine.

“I don’t dispute the fact that we need English and it is an international language. Upper-class children who study in English-medium schools grow up with a world-view, but they are rootless. If you cut the language, you cut the culture. And when you cut the culture, you cut the sense of identity. On the other hand, children studying in vernacular medium grow up imbibing local culture, but they tend to be parochial and narrow-minded. what we have is only roots and branches. What we don’t have is the complete tree,” he said.

Akhtar explained how Urdu language is misinterpreted: “There’s this commonly misplaced notion about Urdu belongs to a certain religion. In reality, this is not the case. It depends on geography and the people.”

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bangalore/We-shouldnt-be-cut-off-from-our-roots-Javed-Akhtar/articleshow/5857510.cms]

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Taliban warn Pak media against 'ignoring' their viewpoint

Apr 26, 2010

ISLAMABAD: The Taliban have warned the Pakistani media for "the last time" against "ignoring" the group's viewpoint and claimed that newspapers and television channels were hiding the truth and working as an ally of army.

Pakistani Taliban 'spokesman' Muhammad Umar issued the warning through an e-mail sent to journalists in Peshawar hours after militants attacked an army convoy in North Waziristan tribal region, killing seven soldiers and injuring 16 others yesterday.

Umar, who described himself as "a spokesman for the Taliban Media Centre" in North Waziristan, said: "Why is the media only conveying the army's point of view? Is this proof that the media is also working as an ally for the government and the army? Or they are being forced to hide the truth?"

"This e-mail should be considered a last warning for the media of Pakistan. If the media doesn't stop working as an ally of the government and the army, the Taliban would have to treat the media as they want to be treated," he said.

Umar said the media could either be with "the terrorists or the truth."

The Taliban have issued threats to the media in northwest Pakistan on several occasions in the past two years.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Taliban-warn-Pak-media-against-ignoring-their-viewpoint/articleshow/5852387.cms

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Indian magistrates can testify before Pakistani courts

J. Venkatesan

Apr 26, 2010

NEW DELHI: The Indian magistrates who recorded and confirmed the confessional statement of Ajmal Kasab, key accused in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, can testify before the Pakistani court trying seven other men accused of involvement in the attacks if they volunteer to do so, senior Indian advocates say.

Pakistan on Sunday requested the testimony of the Indian magistrates, saying it would strengthen its case against the Lashkar-e-Taiba operatives facing trial in a Rawalpindi anti-terrorism court.

Defence lawyers there have challenged the admissibility and relevance of Kasab's confession.

Senior lawyers told TheHindu that the Indian government could favourably consider the request, noting that the law allowed for this testimony to also be provided in writing rather than only in person.

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2010/04/26/stories/2010042654301200.htm

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Air Arabia plane makes emergency landing in Pakistan

April 26, 2010

An Air Arabia flight, carrying 165 passengers from Dubai to Chittagang in Bangladesh, made an emergency landing at Pakistan's Karachi airport soon after fire broke out in the cargo section of the plane.

Spokesman of the Pakistani Civil Aviation Authority said that all the passengers were safely evacuated after it was landed at the Jinnah International Airport on Sunday.

The plane crew contacted the Karachi air traffic control as soon as the fire alarm alerted them of the danger. The plane safely landed and the team of fire brigade immediately controlled the fire, Xinhua reported.

So far, it is not clear that whether the passengers would travel by the same plane to Chittagang or would be provided alternative flight.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Air-Arabia-plane-makes-emergency-landing-in-Pakistan/H1-Article1-535766.aspx

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Thousands march in Beirut to promote secularism in politics

By Patrick Galey

 Apr 26, 2010

BEIRUT: Thousands marched on Lebanon’s Parliament Sunday in a bid to promote secularism in Lebanon’s sectarian political system.

Demonstrators closed the main road from Beirut’s seafront as Lebanese of all ages and confessions waved flags, wielded banners and chanted pro-secular messages.

Lebanese expatriates also gathered on Sunday in front of their countries’ embassies in Paris, Montreal, Sydney and Sao Paulo in the first internationally coordinated project of its kind.

The march was organized over the Internet by five Lebanese who together formed the grassroots group Laique Pride. They had hoped for 2,000 participants in the march, a figure easily surpassed as hundreds turned out in the sun.

Slogans such as “Civil marriage, not civil war” and “What about freedom of opinion?” could be read from huge placards in between Lebanese flags. Dozens of protesters wore white T-shirts with “What’s my religion?” on the front and “None of your business” on the back.

Omar Habib, 29, carried a fluorescent banner with skull and crossbones. “Sectarianism: danger,” it read.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=2&article_id=114207#

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Deradicalizing jihadists, the Libyan way

By Omar Ashour

Apr 26, 2010

“The enemy of yesterday is the friend of today … it was a real war, but those brothers are free men now.”

By these words, presidential scion Seif al-Islam Gadhafi referred to the leadership of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) in a new conference on March 23, 2010, attended by Western ambassadors and guests to mark the release of LIFG leaders and discuss the major transformation of Libya’s largest Jihadist movement.

Established in 1990, the LIFG was modeled along the lines of the Egyptian Al-Jihad organization: secretive, elitist, paramilitary, and aiming for a decisive action to topple the regime. A brutal crackdown followed and the LIFG led a three-year insurgency mainly based in eastern Libya. This included three attempts to assassinate Colonel Moammar Gadhafi in 1995 and 1996. The confrontations left 165 Libyan officials dead and 159 injured. The LIFG lost 177 members, including its top commander in Libya and four of its Consultative Council members. By 1998, the Consultative Council of the LIFG decided to impose a three-year ceasefire in Libya that was to have been reviewed in 2001. However, the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks changed all the calculations.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=114199#

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Lebanon needs change two decades after its war

By Fadia Kiwan

Apr 26, 2010

Since the parliamentary elections in Lebanon last June, which kept the Western- and Saudi-backed March 14 coalition in power and ushered Saad Hariri to the premiership, there has been an air of appeasement among the country’s political leaders. This mood among politicians should be seen as a window of opportunity.

Parliamentary and electoral developments in the last few years have highlighted like never before the extent to which political expression in Lebanon hinges on sectarian representation. Nor is this an incidental state of affairs, but a systemic one: In the Shiite community power rests predominantly in the hands of the Hizbullah-Amal duet; the Hariri family and its Future Movement control the Sunni community; Walid Jumblatt and his Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) still head the Druze community; and the Christian community is under the sway of either Samir Geagea’s Lebanese Forces party (which belongs to the March 14th coalition) or Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement (allied with the Hizbullah-led March 8 alliance).

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=5&article_id=114104#

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An unexpected leap on the Palestine issue

By Sam Bahour

Apr 26, 2010

US President Barack Obama is about to take a political leap on the Palestine-Israel issue. Many US presidents took similar leaps and each and every one of them fell flat on their faces. The leap is the launch of a new American peace initiative that promises, yet again, to bring the stubborn Palestinian-Israeli conflict to an end.

Obama would be well advised to learn from all the other infamous US initiatives as he frames his own. There is absolutely nothing ground-breaking in a fresh US peace initiative. Palestinians and Israelis have been on the receiving end of so many such plans that they can usually accurately predict the content before they receive them.

But this time expectations are not so clear. The way Obama has been dealing with this issue since taking office has been far from traditional. The hope is the substance of his upcoming initiative will veer away from the traditional, given that the traditional also means failure and more bloodshed and suffering for both sides.

Full report at:

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=10&categ_id=5&article_id=114165#

 

URL:http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/taliban-using-poison-gas-on-afghan-schoolgirls?/d/2760


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