New Age Islam
Fri Aug 14 2020, 03:41 PM

Islamic World News ( 14 Sept 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

The Laptop Burqa is clearly a marvellous invention

Will Western beaches be now full of beburqa'd bloggers banging their thoughts out across the world, while enjoying a cooling sea breeze?

Sex talk taboo in Kashmir

Saudi Arabia's War on Terror

Pak modified Harpoon to direct against India: US

Al Qaeda fails to unite Pakistani Taliban

Afghanistan needs popular govt: US

Umrah, the Spiritual journey, beckons New York Muslims

Iraqi al-Qaeda militant says Syria trained him

Israeli ex-PM Olmert indicted for graft

Iran vows to punish torturers 

Iran's president defends cabinet amid scepticism

Iran parliament resumes Ahmadinejad cabinet debate

Somali Islamists warn of possible another "Ethiopian invasion"

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/the-laptop-burqa-is-clearly-a-marvellous-invention/d/1706

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Introducing the nondenominational Laptop Burka

August 30, 2009

 

Will Western beaches be now full of beburqa'd bloggers banging their thoughts out across the world, while enjoying a cooling sea breeze?

 

For those of you in parts of the world where there remain only four or five sunny days--London, New York--the wonderful news that I am about to impart may well be a little frustrating.

However, for those of us in the deserving paradise of the American west coast, this is the sort of joy that only indispensability can bring.

For a man in Seattle named Marc Johnson has invented the perfect solution to laptop usage on a gorgeous sunny day.

The Laptop Burka.

You might be shuddering in the thought that this has religious connotations. But, no. Johnson is not a member of the Seattle Taliban. He is just an inventor who has come up with the ingenious notion of donning a rather all-enveloping burka so that you might be able to blog on the boardwalk or comment in Cannes.

As you can see from the images that I have placed here to bring you excitement, the Laptop Burka is the ultimate in deep-seated privacy, as well as keeping the light at bay for as long as you might be able to breathe your own slightly stale air.

You know that antiglare filters don't work. So this hugely practical item, retailing at a piffling $20, could bring an entirely new meaning to your outdoor life.

Johnson seems to have begun his quest for your heart, mind, and most of your torso with this Craigslist posting. He claims something called Trend Setters has described the Laptop Burka as a "hot new item." He also claims a patent has been filed by axioslawgroup.com. However, this URL seems to engender no Web site.

There is an Axios Law Group in Seattle whose URL is axioslaw.com, so perhaps these are the patent filers. There is certainly a Dylan Adams on the staff, the name Johnson quotes on Craigslist.

No matter. The Laptop Burka is clearly a marvellous invention and I can see the beaches being full of beburka'd bloggers banging their thoughts out across the world, while enjoying a cooling sea breeze.

Chris Matyszczyk is an award-winning creative director who advises major corporations on content creation and marketing. He brings an irreverent, sarcastic, and sometimes ironic voice to the tech world. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET.

Source: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-10321529-71.html

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Sex talk taboo in Kashmir

Srinagar, August 30, 2009

Sajad Ahmad (name changed), a government employee in his late twenties, has been in despair for the past four years.

What worried him was erectile dysfunction — declining erection time. Reading local newspapers and poring over sexologists' advertisements were what he would begin his day with. Securing appointments was a secret affair.

 "This (erection problem) is normal and requires a very basic knowledge of sex life. It happens to everybody," said Arshid Hussain, a medical consultant at Kashmir's sole psychiatric hospital at Bahrar, Government Hospital for Psychiatric Diseases.

 "Ahmad has spent more than Rs 3 lakh to date on something very normal," said Hussain, who is counselling Ahmad now.

There is a ring of silence to matters relating to sex in Kashmir. There are no counselling centres, newspapers avoid discussing the topic, and even within families the birds and the bees do not figure in afternoon conversations.

The result is that people live with myths and "diseases" that don't exist, while doctors turn their ignorance to good account.

Sameer (name changed), a banker, had learnt that virility meant having to perform more than 18 times a night. He couldn't and thought he was suffering from disease.

 "Sameer visited half-a-dozen doctors to address the problem. But he didn't know that people in France, having the best sex life, do it only 176 times a year," Hussain said. "Kashmir needs counselling centres like in Delhi, where people can learn the basics of sex. It can save people from quacks and help them lead a normal sexual life." Mushtaq Margoob, professor of psychiatry at Government Medical College, Srinagar, says: "Kashmiri society continues to see sexual problems as a venereal disease. They either approach dermatologists or Unani (traditional medicine) doctors. And these doctors don't want to lose business and they exploit them to the hilt."

Sociologists say growing sexual misconceptions are because of conflict and the failure of institutions to evolve.

 "For the past 22 years we failed to create institutions where we can discuss sexual etiquettes. There is no freedom of expression in Kashmir," said Bashir Ahmad Dabla, professor of sociology at Kashmir University.

Religious orthodoxy is often blamed for this. And given the grip of clerics on Kashmir society, it may be too early to expect liberal influences to take root.

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/Sex-talk-taboo-in-Kashmir/H1-Article1-448618.aspx

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Saudi Arabia's War on Terror

31 August 2009

The audacious assassination bid on Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Naif, deputy interior minister and chief of security services, this week serves as a reminder of the grave challenges facing the Middle East's largest and easily most important country.

Although Prince Mohammed has survived the attack with minor injuries, it has shaken the kingdom with King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz himself visiting the deputy minister.

But then Prince Mohammed is not just another member of the ruling family and the government.  The son of second Deputy Premier and Interior Minister Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz and nephew of King Abdullah, he has been the kingdom's face and driving force behind its long and difficult battle against extremism and militancy.

Which is, of course, why the official has long been in the sights of the extremists, especially Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the Saudi arm of the international terrorist group led by Osama bin Laden.

Prince Mohammed is regarded well at home and abroad for his successful campaign and operations against terrorism and extremism in Saudi Arabia. If there has been no major attack in the country since 2006 and hundreds of militants have been arrested or 'reformed,' some credit should obviously go to the security czar. But the fact that the bomber managed to come so close to taking the life of the man responsible for security services in the country shows all is not well on the security front.  This says something about the clear and present danger the country respected as the home of Islam and two of its holiest mosques faces in extremism.  Clearly, Saudi Arabia needs to do more to deal with the menace of militancy.

While no country today can claim to be immune to the threat of extremism, thanks to decades of lopsided Western policies and practices in the Middle East and beyond, Saudi Arabia continues to be a favourite target of Al-Qaeda because of two factors: First, its special status in the Arab and Muslim world; secondly, Osama bin Laden and other top Al Qaeda leaders happen to come from Saudi Arabia.

This makes the kingdom's war on extremism all the more critical and crucial to the rest of the world.  Saudi Arabia just cannot afford to lose this battle for survival.

It is therefore essential that the international community, especially the United States and its Western allies, support the kingdom in this battle that is not just for its own existence but is also for Islam's soul.

The least the world can do to help Saudi Arabia is not attack it time and again for not doing 'enough' to fight extremism.  For this country is as much a victim of terror as, say, the United States.

Source: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/displayarticle.asp?xfile=data/editorial/2009/August/editorial_August62.xml&section=editorial&col=

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Pak modified Harpoon to direct against India: US

Chidanand Rajghatta

30 August 2

WASHINGTON: Pakistan has illegally modified US supplied missiles for potential use against India, Washington has just discovered, in a belated realization that uncontrolled supply of weapons to the dangerously unstable country poses a security threat to the region, including eventually to western forces in Afghanistan.

Judging by a suspicious missile test on April 23 this year, Pakistan has modified the US supplied Harpoon anti-ship missile to strike at land targets, according to American officials, who say the changes are a violation of the US Arms Control Export Act. The test was kept secret not publicly announced by Pakistan.

The US charge, which has set off a new outbreak of tensions between Washington and Islamabad, was made in an unpublicized diplomatic protest in late June to Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani and other top Pakistani officials, the New York Times reported on its website on Saturday. The United States has also accused Pakistan of modifying American-made P-3C aircraft for land-attack missions, another violation of United States law, it said.

Expectedly, Islamabad has denied it fiddled with the Harpoon, and claimed it developed the missile itself. But Pakistan, it is famously said, does not even have the capability to make a tow-truck, let alone a missile. Its inventory is largely made of knock-offs of Chinese and North Korean missiles, and it now appears to have pilfered an American design to no great surprise.

 

What is surprising though is the timing of the leak in the US media, which appears aimed at questioning, if not torpedoing, efforts by sections of the Congress and the Obama administration to urgently supply even more economic and military aid to Pakistan, ostensibly to help in its war against extremists.

 

Critics of the five-year, $ 7.5 billion US aid package to Pakistan, which Congress is scheduled to take up next month, say Washington is bankrolling a basket case that has been selective and dishonest in its fight against extremist elements that it nurtured in the first place. Even US government reports have suggested Pakistan is using American arms to bulk up for a confrontation with India, even as many extremists remain state guests.

 

There is a strong demand in Washington for certifiable benchmarks before Congress signs off on the package, including scaling down its confrontationist posture against India, which the Pakistan military, long used to uninhibited expenditure, is resisting.

 

In the latest case, the Harpoon was originally sold to Pakistan as a defensive anti-ship missile, but it has been converted into weapon to strike targets on land. The NYT quoted American officials as saying that while the weapon in the latest dispute is a conventional one, the "subtext of the argument is growing concern about the speed with which Pakistan is developing new generations of both conventional and nuclear weapons."

 

In fact, the country's nuclear arsenal is said to be expanding faster than any other nation's, and it is making heavy investments in both nuclear and conventional weapons that experts say have no utility in the battle against insurgents. In other words, the build-up is still directed against India. "There's a concerted effort to get these guys (Pakistanis) to slow down," an unnamed senior administration official told the paper. "Their energies are misdirected."

 

However, at least one expert has contested the reading of the US officials on the Harpoon issue, saying Pakistan could not have modified the older-generation missiles (which were supplied during the Reagan era), which did not have the range for a land-attack. Pakistan, the expert said, already has more modern land-attack missiles that it developed itself or acquired from China. In an effort to clear the air, Islamabad is said to have taken the unusual step of inviting US officials to examine its Harpoon inventory.

The remarkable aspect of the whole episode is Pakistan's willingness to spend billions of dollars on weapons when the international consensus is that it faces no threat from India, particularly at a time it is reduced to begging for foreign aid to rescue the country from collapse. Even its long-standing allies China and Saudi Arabia have mostly turned their backs on Pakistan, leaving Washington and London to save it.

But the US and the so-called Friends of Democratic Pakistan (FoDP) appear to be holding Islamabad to a higher standard this time, insisting on knowing where and how it is going to spend aid money, before loosening the purse-strings. The NYT story appears to be part of the plan to seek greater accountability.

 

Pakistani officials returned empty-handed from a recent FoDP meeting in Turkey, bitterly complaining about countries not meeting the $ 5.7 billion commitment they had made to Islamabad at a previous meeting in Japan. Another FoDP meeting is scheduled to be held in New York on September 23, by which time even the US Congress is expected to demand that Pakistan redirect its energies on meeting the internal threat from extremism, rather than prepare to confront India.009

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/news/world/us/Pak-modified-Harpoon-to-direct-against-India-US/articleshow/4950648.cms

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Al Qaeda fails to unite Pakistani Taliban

August 31, 2009

LAHORE: Negotiations between the Taliban of Mullah Nazir group and the supporters of Baitullah Mehsud group have failed despite the reconciliatory efforts of Al Qaeda and the Afghan Taliban, Dunya TV reported on Sunday. There has been a growing strain in the alliance between the Mehsud and Nazir and Hafiz Gul Bahadur groups since Taliban from Mehsud's group killed 18 members of the other groups, the channel reported. It said Al Qaeda, in collaboration with Afghan Taliban, had initiated dialogue between the groups to end their differences. However, according to the channel, the negotiations fell apart after Mullah Nazir demanded eight members of the Mehsud group be placed in his custody for killing his men.

Source: Daily times monitor

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Afghanistan needs popular govt: US

By Anwar Iqbal

29 Aug, 2009

WASHINGTON, Aug 28: Afghanistan needs a government which is not corrupt, builds a legal and legitimate economy and enjoys the confidence of the people, according to the US State Department.

Philip Crowley, Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs, made these remarks while commenting on a media report that the US had advised Afghan President Hamid Karzai not to select Gen Mohammad Fahim as his running mate and was considering sanctions against the northern warlord.The New York-based Human Rights Watch has called Gen Fahim one of Afghanistan's "most notorious warlords", pointing out that he still ran armed militias that gave cover to drug traffickers and other criminals.

Full Report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/international/afghanistan-needs-popular-govt-us-989

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Umrah, the Spiritual journey beckons Muslims from the Lower Hudson Valley

By Suzan Clarke

August 31, 2009

Muslims from the Lower Hudson Valley are preparing to visit Islam's holiest site for a joyous religious pilgrimage called the umrah.

The umrah is viewed as a smaller scale version of the hajj, which is the major spiritual journey of the religion. In both pilgrimages, worshippers journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to pray seven times around the Kaaba, a stone building at the site of the Great Mosque.

Performing the hajj is required of every healthy and financially able Muslim as part of the five pillars of the religion. Unlike the hajj, which takes place once a year at a specific time that is set according to the lunar calendar, the umrah can be undertaken at any time and is not mandatory.

Even so, eight Rockland congregants from the Islamic Center of Rockland are eagerly looking forward to their journey next month, in part because they will be going during the final days of Ramadan, the most sacred time of year.

Full Report at: http://www.lohud.com/article/2009908310329

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Iraqi al-Qaeda militant says Syria trained him

31 August 2009

BAGHDAD - Iraq aired a confession from a suspected al Qaeda militant on Sunday who accused Syrian intelligence agents of training foreign fighters like himself in a camp before sending them to fight in Iraq.

The videotaped accusations, aired by Baghdad security spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi in a news conference, could worsen a row between Iraq and Syria over accusations that Syria supports Islamist militants responsible for attacks in Iraq.

Iraq and Syria recalled their ambassadors last week after Baghdad demanded Damascus hand over two alleged masterminds of bombings in Baghdad that killed almost 100 people, mainly at two government ministries.

The tape featured a man who called himself Mohammed Hassan al-Shemari, 29, from Saudi Arabia, who was arrested in Diyala province on suspicion of being a leader of al Qaeda in Iraq.

He was detained before last week's bombings but the Iraqi government nonetheless used him to illustrate accusations against Syria. It was not possible to independently verify his story.

Full Report at: http://www.khaleejtimes.com/DisplayArticle08.asp?xfile=data/middleeast/2009/August/middleeast_August768.xml&section=middleeast

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Israeli ex-PM Olmert indicted for graft

31 August 2009

JERUSALEM: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was indicted on three counts of corruption on Sunday, becoming the first ex-premier to face criminal charges, the attorney general's office said.

 "The attorney general... has decided to press charges against former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert," the office of Attorney General Menahem Mazuz said in a statement. "The charge sheet was presented today in Jerusalem district court."

The 61-page charge sheet accuses Olmert of "fraud, breach of trust, registering false corporate documents, and concealing fraudulent earnings," related to three of the scandals that dogged him when he was in office.

A spokesman at Mazuz's office said that the 63-year-old Olmert becomes the first former prime minister in Israeli history to face criminal charges.

There was no immediate comment from Olmert. His personal secretary Shula Zaken was also indicted on several counts, the statement said.

Olmert resigned in September over the corruption allegations but remained in office as caretaker until late March, when the hawkish Likud party head Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in following Feb. 10 elections.

Olmert was indicted for allegedly unlawfully accepting gifts — including cash-stuffed envelopes — from the Jewish-American businessman Morris Talansky, and for multiple-billing foreign trips in the so-called Rishon Tours affair.

Full Report at: http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=125943&d=31&m=8&y=2009&pix=world.jpg&category=World

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Iran vows to punish torturers

August 31, 2009

TEHRAN: Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed last night that Iran will prosecute anyone who has committed "crimes" against people harmed in post-election unrest, state television reported.

Speaking in the wake of allegations that detainees have been raped and tortured, Khamenei was quoted as saying: "All those who have been hurt in these (post-vote) incidents should know that the system does not intend to compromise. "If a bad deed or crime has been committed those behind it will be dealt with rightfully and legally," the supreme leader said.

He also indicated that members of the security forces who took part in the post-election crackdown were not immune from prosecution.

Meanwhile, in a fresh blow to embattled President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, top conservative MPs yesterday came out strongly against his proposed cabinet line-up, as the parliamentary vetting process began.

Full Report at: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=258647

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Iran's president defends cabinet amid scepticism

August 31, 2009

PRESIDENT Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has defended his proposed cabinet ministers against accusations by lawmakers that they don't have the necessary qualifications and are simply unquestioning loyalists.

His appearance before parliament marked the beginning of what is expected to be a contentious confirmation process for the 21 cabinet nominees that is scheduled to end with a vote tomorrow.

Ahmadinejad is forming his new government while still under attack by the pro-reform opposition, which claims his re-election in June was fraudulent. But he is also under pressure from fellow conservatives, who have long lambasted the president for hoarding power by putting close associates in key posts.

Reformist lawmakers, according to Agence France Presse (AFP) yesterday, led the attack, criticising the background of many of Ahmadinejad's cabinet picks and also the president's lack of a detailed plan to improve the country's beleaguered economy. Many such policy debates have been sidelined during the post-election turmoil.

Full Report at: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/world/article02/indexn2_html?pdate=310809&ptitle=Iran%27s%20president%20defends%20cabinet%20amid%20scepticism

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Iran parliament resumes Ahmadinejad cabinet debate

Aug 31 2009

Iran's conservative-dominated parliament resumed a debate for the second straight day on Monday on cabinet nominees proposed by embattled President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, state radio said.

The three-day debate on the 21-member cabinet line-up began on Sunday with several powerful conservative lawmakers dealing a blow to Ahmadinejad by openly opposing his nominees.

"Sixteen nominees have no experience required for the ministries they have been nominated for," said top conservative MP Ahmad Tavakoli as parliament kicked off the debate on Sunday which culminates Wednesday in a vote of confidence.

His views were backed by some other top conservative MPs, a sign of increasing opposition to Ahmadinejad's plans even from his own support base.

Ahmadinejad's re-election triggered the worst crisis in the Islamic republic's history and has divided the country's clerical groups.

Full Report at: http://www.africasia.com/services/news/newsitem.php?area=mideast&item=090831045409.5q0jhbql.php

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Somali Islamists warn of possible another "Ethiopian invasion"

31 Aug, 2009

 MOGADISHU, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Somali Islamist rebels on Sunday said Ethiopian troops were amassed along the border with Somalia and poised to invade into the chaotic east African country.

Hundreds of Ethiopian troops backing Somali government forces on Saturday reportedly took control of the main central Somali town of Beledweyn from an Islamist rebel group that was holding it but both governments strenuously deny the reports of Ethiopian involvement.

    "The Ethiopian enemy forces have entered Beledweyne and are planning to again invade other regions along the border with Somalia where they amassed large numbers of its troops," Muse Abdi Arale, Secretary for Defence for the Islamist rebel group of Hezbul Islam, told reporters in Mogadishu.

Full Report at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-08/31/content_11968489.htm

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/the-laptop-burqa-is-clearly-a-marvellous-invention/d/1706

 

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