New Age Islam
Sun Nov 29 2020, 11:46 PM

Islamic World News ( 22 March 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com)

US pastors hold Quran 'guilty' during church 'trial', burn it

Muammar Gaddafi appears in public, vows to fight till the end

Ethnic’ violence claims eight lives in Karachi

12 militants killed in Pak’s Northwest

Militants attack Kurram festival

Bengal worse than Gujarat for Muslims?

Another Iraq in the making?

End Libya violence immediately: Russia, China

Anti-Islamism current in Australia: Study

1,000 people killed, wounded in militant violence Nangarhar this Year

Syrian forces kill 6 protesters

Libya fighting rages as Kadhafi 'looks for way out'

West will end in "dustbin of history": Gaddafi

Turkish PM criticizes airstrikes on Libya as NATO continues debate

Yemen president warns of civil war, US concernedReuters Yesterday

Pakistani workers seek escape after Bahrain attacks

Religious leaders laud President Asif Ali Zardari’s address

'Gaddafi daughter is Claudia Schiffer of North Africa'

France, US agree on NATO role in Libya'

China calls for immediate cease-fire in Libya

India reduces mission in Libya

 ‘It’s God who is king of humanity’

Pakistan to seek EU support on Kashmir

Kingdom: Role model for Islamic finance

Time not ripe for US to leave Kabul

Bangla HC says Zia masterminded cold-blooded murder of Taher

Mail bombs reflect evolution in terrorist methods: President

Turkish military fought AKP, itself in 2003, WikiLeaks cable says

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

Photo: Photo: The Quran being in burnt by US pastors

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/us-pastors-hold-quran--guilty--during-church--trial-,-burn-it/d/4324

 

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US pastors hold Quran 'guilty' during church 'trial', burn it

Mar 23 2011

Islamabad: Pakistan on Tuesday strongly condemned the desecration of the Quran by two American pastors, describing it as a "despicable act" aimed at provoking "dissent and discord among communities and people across the world".

The leadership and government of Pakistan have condemned the "despicable act of the burning" of the Quran by pastors Wayne Sapp and Terry Jones at Florida in the US, said a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

Commenting on this matter, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar said "such a reprehensible act could only be the work of extremists and is evidently designed to provoke dissent and discord among communities and people across the world."

President Asif Ali Zardari too condemned the desecration of the Quran during his address to a joint sitting of parliament this afternoon. "I, on behalf of the people and government, and my behalf strongly condemn the deliberate desecration of the Holy Quran by a fanatic in Florida," he said.

"We condemn this act in the strongest possible words. It is a serious setback to the efforts at promoting harmony among civilised communities throughout the world," he added.

Minister of State Khar said such sacrilegious acts go against the concept of inter-faith harmony. "There could be no justification for such acts. This has deeply hurt the feelings

of the people of Pakistan and Muslims all over the world," she said.

Pakistan expects the US administration, the American people and all civilised societies to take "due cognisance and express their revulsion on this sacrilegious act," the Foreign Office statement said.

"As a strong proponent of inter-faith harmony, Pakistan believes that in troubled times, civilised peoples and societies must resist and oppose any tendency towards extremism of any kind," the statement said.

The US Embassy, in a statement issued on Tuesday, condemned the burning of the Quran in Florida and described it as "an isolated act done by a small group of people that is contrary to American traditions."

The event did not reflect the "general sentiment of respect toward Islam by the people of the US," said Embassy spokesman Alberto Rodriguez.

"The deliberate destruction of any holy book is an abhorrent act," said US Ambassador Cameron Munter.

"The US commitment to freedom of religion and freedom of expression goes back to the founding of our nation and is enshrined in the constitution. We absolutely reject religious intolerance in any form," he said.

The American pastors burnt the Quran on Sunday after the holy book was found "guilty" during a "trial" at a church in Florida.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/765902/

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Muammar Gaddafi appears in public, vows to fight till the end

March 23, 2011

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi made a public appearance near Tripoli, vowing to fight on, as the Western countries led by France were busy creating a new body to take over the lead in the current intervention in Libya, Xinhua reported. Libya's state TV showed that Gaddafi appeared late Tuesday before

The compound, located in Bab Al-Aziziya, was hit by a cruise missile in Sunday night's bombing by Western forces.

In his address, Gaddafi said: "Be it long or short, we're ready for battle."

Hours earlier, heavy explosions and intensive anti-aircraft fire resounded over Tripoli.

According to Xinhua, the blasts appeared to be a new round of airstrikes by coalition forces hitting Tripoli after nightfall, following similar operations starting Saturday that aimed to create a no-fly zone over Libya.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Tuesday that a new political body, not NATO, will take over the responsibility of enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya.

The new body, to be set up as proposed by France, will consist of foreign ministers from countries that are currently participating in the military intervention in Libya, and some Arab states, he said, adding that it could meet soon in London or Paris.

He said the military action will stop only as "the Tripoli regime act with accurate and complete compliance with resolutions of the UN Security Council, as it accepts an authentic ceasefire, and withdraws its troops from where they entered."

On Tuesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his US counterpart Barack Obama agreed via phone on how to use the command structure of NATO to support the military operation in Libya.

"They agreed on the need to continue efforts to ensure the full implementation of 1970 and 1973 resolutions," Sarkozy's Office said in a statement, noting their satisfaction with the coordinated military operation in Libya.

The statement came after French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle has set reconnaissance operation in motion earlier in the day, with two Rafale jets sending back visual information of Libya.

Meanwhile, French Prime Minister Francois Fillion again ruled out an option of sending ground troops to Libya.

"It's not a war against Libya. It's an operation of civil protection as it consisted in protecting Libyans by openly excluding sending forces to occupy the ground," the premier told the National Assembly.

The UN Security Council passed last week a resolution backing to impose a no-fly zone on Libya and "all necessary measures" to protect civilians, but gave no leeway for foreign ground troops to enter into Libya.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Muammar-Gaddafi-appears-in-public-vows-to-fight-till-the-end/H1-Article1-676564.aspx

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Ethnic’ violence claims eight lives in Karachi

MAR 23 2011

KAARCHI: At least eight persons were killed in separate armed attacks on Tuesday, with the violence-prone Orangi Town emerging as the worst-hit part of the metropolis and witnessing five deaths in a day, police and area residents said.

Police claims about the arrest of a key suspect involved in targeted killings and security measures promised by the authorities — both in the centre and the province — have so far failed to be effective, as the deadly violence that returned to Karachi last week continued unabated, claiming more than 43 lives in the last few days.

City police chief Saud Mirza said that “apparently” the fresh spate of killings were executed on ethnic grounds. He said the killing of an activist in Pirabad sparked armed attacks elsewhere that claimed lives of labourers and roadside vendors.

“We have strengthened our position in the affected areas,” he said. “But unfortunately it has been witnessed that unconfirmed reports on the broadcast media spread more panic and scare than the situation on ground warranted. I would appeal to the media to verify news reports before airing them.”

He said the police and the Rangers were holding flag-marches in the affected parts of Orangi Town and facts were being gathered for action against the suspects.

Routine life in Orangi Town became paralysed with businesses staying closed and traffic off the roads after two fatal incidents of firing within half-an-hour left five people dead and more than a dozen others wounded.

A few of the wounded admitted to different hospitals were declared to be in a critical condition by doctors.

The series of gunfire incidents were triggered by an armed attack near a crowded area in Qasba Colony, housing many commercial setups, including restaurants, general stores, auto workshops and dozens of roadside vendors, who gather there daily to earn their living.

“Four armed riders got off their two motorcycles and fired randomly at people engaged in regular business,” said an official at the Pirabad police station. “In the firing, two roadside vendors — later identified as Abdul Rahman and Jamal Ahmed — were killed. Thirty-seven-year-old Abdul Rahman was a resident of Muslimabad No 2 and the father of five while Jamal lived in the Jehangirabad area.”

The firing that also left some five people wounded sparked panic in the area and people ran for safety, he said, adding that the victims were shifted to the Valika Hospital near Banaras Chowk and the Qatar Hospital in Orangi Town. This forced the shopkeepers to pull down their shutters, and people in one of the densely populated neighbourhoods disappeared within a few minutes.

However, gunmen struck again and in the fresh assault left two more youngsters dead and more than half a dozen wounded when they attacked a roadside restaurant near the Metro Cinema, a couple of kilometres from the spot of the first incident. The Pirabad police official said one of the dead was identified as 36-year-old Nazuk Hussain.

“Some seven people wounded in this firing incident are being treated at the Qatar Hospital and the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital,” he said, adding that eyewitness accounts suggested that the firing near the Metro Cinema was carried out by two men on a motorbike.

The firing in Qasba Colony, Orangi Town 10 and 5, Aligarh Colony, Faqeer Colony, Kati Pahari, Frontier Colony and adjacent parts of the town caused the residents to stay indoors and traffic on the newly built Banaras flyover and the road running through the Kati Pahari remained suspended.

Violence cut off Orangi Town from the rest of the city for a seventh time in recent months. Area people said hundreds of industrial workers were unable to return to their homes in different blocks of Orangi Town because of a breakdown of law and order.

“Isolated incidents of firing were also reported, in which a young man was killed near Banaras Chowk. He was identified as Khushhal Khan. A Rangers man also received bullet wounds during the frequent gunfire in the area,” said the Pirabad police official.

In the early hours of the day, a youngster was gunned down on M. A. Jinnah Road. The Arambagh police said the 22-year-old victim, Parkash Rajan, was a resident of Ranchhore Line and was targeted near a well-known medical store on M.A. Jinnah Road.

“It`s not completely clear though the initial findings of our probe suggest that the victim was associated with a political party,” said the official.

Similarly an aged industrial worker was killed in Landhi early in the morning, when he was waiting for a bus to travel to work. The police said that 60-year-old Tahir Zadar was hit by three bullets fired from a very close range near the Hospital Chowrangi within the remit of the Quaidabad police station.

“He was a resident of Gulshan-i-Buner in Landhi and hailed from Swat,” said Inspector Sajjad Haider, the SHO of the Quaidabad police station, who declared the incident a result of personal enmity, but could not explain the reasons for his assertion.

In Federal B Area, a trailer truck came under an armed attack that left one of the men on the heavy vehicle dead and two others wounded.

An official at the Gulberg police station said that four men on two motorbikes fired at trailer truck near Ayesha Manzil when it was heading towards Sohrab Goth.

“The dead has been identified as Moin Khan and the two injured are Lal Hussain and Abdul Hameed. The dead and the injured had been shifted to the Abbasi Shaheed Hospital,” said an official at the Gulberg police station.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/23/ethnic-violence-claims-eight-lives-in-karachi.html

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12 militants killed in Pak’s Northwest

MAR 23 2011

Pakistani security forces on Tuesday pounded terrorist hideouts in the restive Orakzai tribal region and clashed with Taliban fighters in the Northwestern Swat district, killing at least 12 terrorists.

In Orakzai tribal agency, the security forces targeted militant positions near the Afghan border and killed six terrorists, official sources said.

They said another six militants were killed in a clash between troops and Taliban fighters in Swat district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province.

http://www.asianage.com/international/12-militants-killed-pak%E2%80%99s-northwest742

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Militants attack Kurram festival

MAR 23 2011

PESHAWAR: Militants kidnapped 24 tribesmen along with their 15 vehicles from the Baggan area of Lower Kurram Agency and shifted them to their hideout in the central Kurram on Tuesday,

A weekly festival was going on in Baggan when rebels attacked the festival and abducted 20 people along with their 14 vehicles.

Sources claimed that the rebels belonged to the Sattar group from Waziristan.

Later, in the same area four more people were picked up by militants along with a vehicle.

Tribesmen termed the recent incidents of terrorism tragic and demanded the government to take notice of the violation of a peace agreement in the region.

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/22/militant-attacks-kurram-festival-24-kidnapped.html

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Bengal worse than Gujarat for Muslims?

Abantika Ghosh

MAR 23 2011

NEW DELHI: These are figures the Left Front should be wary of as it prepares to defend its citadel of 34 years in West Bengal.

An analysis of data on the Muslim community released by the chief economist of the National Council of Applied Economic Research, Abu Saleh Sheriff, reveals that the state's minority has benefited little from development measures. In terms of human development indices, the Muslims have fared very poorly.

Of the 25.2% Muslim population, only 2.1% have government jobs and 50% children are out of school at the primary level. Only 12% go on to complete matriculation. These numbers are all the more astonishing given the fact that Left swears by its secular credentials and positions itself as a protector of minority rights.

Alarm bells have already started ringing, especially after a postmortem of the Left's poor showing in the civic elections last year. An important factor which could have resulted in the dismal performance was Muslim disenchantment. In what may be viewed as the party's efforts to make amends, there is a steep 33% hike in the number of Muslim candidates fielded by Left Front. It has gone up from 42 in 2006 to 56 this time in the 292-member Assembly.

Throughout his lecture, Sheriff — who has also been the member secretary of the Sachar panel — spoke of Gujarat and West Bengal in the same breath. In fact, he used the data to project the Left-ruled state in a far worse light than the state ruled by Narendra Modi, not regarded by many as a benefactor of the minorities. And this comparison appeared all the more relevant because the West Bengal government had gone out of its way to provide shelter to Qutubuddin Ansari, the man who became the face of the post-Godhra riots with his folded hands and tearful eyes.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Bengal-worse-than-Gujarat-for-Muslims/articleshow/7767763.cms

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Another Iraq in the making?

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury

MAR 23 2011

Airstrikes on in Libya as Russia & China slam raids amid shelling by Gaddafi’s tanks

AMID calls from world powers such as Russia and China for an immediate ceasefire and launch of political negotiations, France on Tuesday indicated that it cannot rule out the possibility of sending in troops if the situation warrants.

Though the French foreign ministry said the Russian proposal for a ceasefire in Libya could be discussed at a UN Security Council ( UNSC) meeting on Thursday, sources in the French government did not rule out the possibility of “ boots on the ground”. “ This is technically possible. However, this does not signify any occupation,” a senior French source said. If this occurs, it will be a repeat of Iraq and Afghanistan with the only difference of US allowing European powers to lead the command.

The on- scene commander of the international coalition for Libya confirmed that civilians were under attack by government forces in Misrata.

US Navy Adm. Samuel J. Locklear said the coalition is “ considering all options” in light of the attacks, but he did not elaborate.

Gaddafi’s tanks shelled the rebel- held western town of Misrata and casualties included four children killed when their car was hit, residents said, adding the death toll for Monday alone had reached 40.

Al Jazeera news network said Gaddafi forces were trying to seize the western rebel- held town of Zintan near the Tunisian border in an attack using heavy weapons. Western warplanes attacked a military aircraft belonging to Gaddafi’s forces that was flying towards the rebel- held city of Benghazi, the network added.

Even as Gaddafi’s residence was bombed again on Tuesday, the crew of a US fighter plane had a miraculous escape after their jet crashed in a field, in the first military setback for the coalition.

THE US Air Force F- 15E Eagle came down near Benghazi with suspected mechanical failure during the third night of air strikes on military positions.

The crew were welcomed by the locals. The grateful Libyans queued to thank them and give them juice.

But as the fighting continued, as many as 64 Libyans had been reportedly killed and 150 others injured since Saturday when France, Britain and the US armed by the Security Council resolution launched airstrikes and missiles.

Full report at:

http://epaper.mailtoday.in/epaperhome.aspx?issue=2332011

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End Libya violence immediately: Russia, China

MAR 23 2011

Beijing/Moscow : China and Russia have called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya expressing concern over civilian casualties in the military strikes by allied forces in areas controlled by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. “China noticed reports of civilian casualties from the multinational military action against Libya and is very concerned with this,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a news briefing.

“We urge both sides to do everything to end the violence,” Russia defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov told visiting US Defence Secretary Robert Gates after closed-door talks with him. He added that Moscow believed Libyan civilians had been killed in the Western air strikes.

Both the countries, along with India, Brazil, and South Africa, abstained from last week’s UN Security Council vote approving international military involvement in Libya, which aims to protect civilians against Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

China is opposed to “abuse of force causing more civilian casualties.”

According to reports from Libya at least 64 Libyans had been killed and 150 others wounded by the missiles and bombs fired by the foreign forces over the weekend.

The majority of Libya's civil airports and seaports were destroyed.

“The UN resolution on no-fly zone over Libya aimed to protect civilians. We oppose abuse of force causing more civilian casualties and more serious humanitarian disasters,” said Jiang.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story-print/765896/

 

1,000 people killed, wounded in Nangarhar this Year

MAR 23 2011

More than 1,000 people were killed and wounded in 157 incidents of violence, including 11 suicide attacks, in eastern Nangarhar province during this Afghan year, which ends March 21, an afghan based news agency reported. Though one of relatively peaceful provinces, Nangarhar is located on the Duran Line, having 22 districts and the busiest Torkham border crossing. The outgoing Afghan year of 1389 (March 21, 2010 to March 20, 2011), saw 38 rocket attacks and 79 explosions in Nangarhar, in addition to clashes between tribes over lands and gun-battles between government forces and insurgents. International and Afghan forces carried out 52 operations across in the province to curb drug smuggling and seize arms. Two suicide attacks on Jalalabad airport, two on Behsud Bridge and an organised suicide attack on Kabul Bank were the deadliest in 1389. District chiefs of Gushta and Surkhrod were among those killed in these attacks. Nearly 70 percent of fuel and food stuff is shipped to Kabul City. Insurgents attacked and destroyed 41 tankers and trucks during the year. A press release from Nangarhar governor’s house confirmed 1000 people were killed and wounded this year in security related incidents. The release said the dead included 193 civilians and Afghan security officials. It put at 331 wounded in attacks from insurgents. Afghan and international forces killed 204 insurgents and wounded 277 others in their operations, the release added. “Insurgents have now opted to carry out roadside and suicide attacks,” Brig. Gen. Ali Shah Paktiawal, Nangarhar police chief, said. The rebels had changed their war tactics, he said, adding it was not possible to prevent suicide attacks even in a developed country. Paktiawal said police had many achievements, including clearing Sherzad district from insurgents, over the year.

Full report at:

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=an&nid=868

 

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Syrian forces kill 6 protesters

MAR 23 2011

Syrian forces killed at least six people on Wednesday in an attack on a mosque in the southern city of Deraa, site of unprecedented protests challenging President Bashar al-Assad's Baathist rule, residents said.

Those killed included Ali Ghassab al-Mahamid, a doctor from a prominent Deraa family who went to the Omari mosque in the city's old quarter to help victims of the attack, which occurred just after midnight, said the residents, declining to be named.

Before the attack, electricity was cut off in the area and telephone services were severed. Cries of "Allahu Akbar (God is the greatest)" erupted across neighbourhoods in Deraa when the shooting began.

It was not immediately clear whether the protesters had any weapons.

The attack brought to 10 the number of civilians killed by Syrian forces during six days of demonstrations calling for political freedoms and an end to corruption in the country of 20 million. The ruling Baath Party has banned opposition and enforced emergency laws since 1963.

No comment was immediately available from the government of Assad, facing the biggest challenge to his rule since succeeding his father Hafez al-Assad in 2000. A wave of Arab unrest has toppled leaders in Tunisia and Egypt.

"Dr Mahamid was shot by a sniper. The phone networks have been disrupted but we got through to people near the mosque on Jordanian mobile phone lines," said one resident. Deraa is on the border with Jordan.

A political activist, who also declined to be identified, said: "The old quarter is in total darkness and it is still difficult to know exactly what happened."

The attack occurred a day after the UN Office for Human Rights said the authorities "need to put an immediate halt to the excessive use of force against peaceful protesters, especially the use of live ammunition."

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=29027

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Libya fighting rages as Kadhafi 'looks for way out'

MAR 23 2011

TRIPOLI: Fighting raged on Tuesday between forces loyal to Moamer Kadhafi and insurgents, despite a UN-mandated no-fly zone and amid reports the Libyan leader may be looking for a way out of the conflict.

As a senior US officer said Kadhafi forces were still attacking civilians, doubts persisted over the best way to continue the campaign to stop Kadhafi, and where it was leading.

However, US President Barack Obama said there has been a "significant reduction" in US flights over Libya, and he expected "clarity" on the future command structure of allied military operations "over the next several days."

He was cutting short a Latin America trip to fly home to meet his security team about the Libya conflict, the White House said.    

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ABC News that people close to Kadhafi have been contacting Libya's allies worldwide to see how they can "get out of this."

"We've heard about... people close to him reaching out to people that they know around the world -- Africa, the Middle East, Europe, North America, beyond -- saying what do we do? How do we get out of this?" she said.  

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said earlier that future actions of the coalition, which began air strikes on Saturday on Kadhafi military installations, depend in part on the embattled Libyan leader.   

Full report at:

http://www.thenews.jang.com.pk/NewsDetail.aspx?ID=13024

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West will end in "dustbin of history": Gaddafi

MAR 23 2011

Western powers pounding Libya's defenses will wind up in the dustbin of history, said leader Muammar Gaddafi as his troops held back rebel advances despite four nights of attacks from the air.

While Western air power has grounded Gaddafi's planes and pushed back his troops and amour from the brink of rebel stronghold Benghazi, disorganised and poorly equipped insurgents have failed to capitalise on the ground and remain pinned down.

The rebels have been unable to dislodge Gaddafi's forces from the key junction of Ajdabiyah in the east, while government tanks dominate the last big rebel hold-out of Misrata. There is big risk of stalemate on the ground, analysts say.

At least two explosions were heard in the Libyan capital Tripoli before dawn on Wednesday, Reuters witnesses said. No anti-aircraft fire could be heard in the city, and no further details were immediately available.

"We will not surrender," Gaddafi earlier told supporters forming a human shield to protect him at his Tripoli compound.

"We will defeat them by any means ... We are ready for the fight, whether it will be a short or a long one ... We will be victorious in the end," he said in a live television broadcast, his first public appearance for a week.

"This assault ... is by a bunch of fascists who will end up in the dustbin of history," Gaddafi said in a speech followed by fireworks in the Libyan capital as crowds cheered and supporters fired guns into the air.

The Libyan government denies its army is conducting any offensive operations and says troops are only fighting to defend themselves when they come under attack, but rebels and residents say Gaddafi's tanks have kept up their shelling of Misrata in the west, killing 40 people on Monday alone, and also attacked the small town of Zintan on the border with Tunisia.

It was impossible to independently verify the reports.

Rebels Bogged Down

The siege of Misrata, now weeks old, is becoming increasingly desperate, with water cut off for days and food running out, doctors operating on patients in hospital corridors and many of the wounded left untreated or simply turned away.

"The situation in the local hospital is disastrous," said a Misrata doctor in a statement. "The doctors and medical teams are exhausted beyond human physical ability and some of them cannot reach the hospital because of tanks and snipers."

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/latest_news.php?nid=29026

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Turkish PM criticizes airstrikes on Libya as NATO continues debate

MAR 23 2011

Criticizing the Western-led airstrikes in Libya, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed Tuesday that Turkey would never point guns at the Libyan people, a position he said Ankara would make clear to NATO.

Speaking to his party’s parliamentary group amid ongoing debate about how NATO should proceed on the issue, Erdoğan said the United Nations should only head up humanitarian operations, not military ones, in Libya.

“We saw in the past such [military] operations increasing the loss of lives. We’ll of course question and criticize the Paris meeting,” the prime minister said to deputies from his ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, referring to the summit Saturday that preceded France’s launch of the first airstrikes on the crisis-hit North African nation.

“The operation should proceed on legitimate grounds,” Erdoğan said, adding that Ankara’s position would be explained to its NATO allies Tuesday at a meeting in Brussels.

Disagreements on the intervention among NATO member states have largely been eliminated, with Turkey’s reservations taken into consideration, according to news reports from Brussels. The private channel NTV meanwhile reported that Adm. James Stavridis, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe, will visit Turkey on Thursday.

NATO officials met again Tuesday in Brussels after failing to reach a consensus agreement Monday among the alliance’s 28 member states about intervention in Libya. Erdoğan said Monday that his government would give conditional support to a NATO-led operation, as long as it is done to ensure that Libya belongs to its people, not to distribute the country’s natural resources to outside powers, and as long as the intervention does not turn into an occupation.

Full report at:

U.N. Security Council Resolution No. 1973 established a no-fly zone over Libya.

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Yemen president warns of civil war, US concerned

MAR 23 2011

SANAA: Yemen’s president warned on Tuesday that his country would descend into civil war if he is forced to quit and Washington voiced concern about instability in the Arabian state where al Qaeda has a stronghold.

Unrelenting anti-government protests, which first began on Feb. 3, and fresh defections among the ruling elite have added to the pressure on Saleh, a US ally against extremists, to step down immediately after 32 years in power.

But an aide said the president would leave office only after organising parliamentary polls by January 2012 and he refused to hand over power without knowing who would succeed him.

“President Ali Abdullah Saleh said he will hand over power through (parliamentary) elections and the formation of democratic institutions at the end of 2011 or January 2012,” Saleh’s media secretary Ahmed al-Sufi told Reuters.

“Ali Abdullah Saleh does not seek power. Ali Abdullah Saleh will not leave without knowing who he is handing over to.”

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates voiced rare public alarm about the situation in Yemen: “We are obviously concerned about the instability in Yemen.” He added that he was mainly anxious to avoid “diversion of attention” from opposing al Qaeda there.

The opposition movement swiftly rejected Saleh’s offer to stay until January 2012. The coming hours would be “decisive”, Mohammed al-Sabry, a key opposition spokesman, said.

In speeches to army officers and tribal leaders in Sanaa, Saleh said Yemen would face civil war and disintegration because of efforts to stage what he called a “coup” against his rule.

“You have an agenda to tear down the country, the country will be divided into three instead of two halfs. A southern part, northern part and a middle part. This is what is being sought by defectors against the unity,” he said, referring to northern Shia rebels and al Qaeda militants.

“Those who want to climb up to power through coups should know that this is out of the question. The homeland will not be stable, there will be a civil war, a bloody war. They should carefully consider this,” Saleh told army commanders.

SLIDE INTO FAILED STATE

Western countries fear the political crisis could hasten a slide into failed nation status for a country that borders the world’s biggest oil exporter, Saudi Arabia, and major shipping routes. One scenario could see the country split into separate zones along tribal, military or regional lines.

Al Qaeda has already used Yemen to attempt attacks in Saudi Arabia and the United States in the past two years. The Shia Houthi movement has staged a number of revolts against Saleh.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/22/yemen-president-warns-of-civil-war-us-concerned.html

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Pakistani workers seek escape after Bahrain attacks

MAR 23 2011

MANAMA: Javid Eqbal toiled in Bahrain to earn his family’s living, only to be attacked with swords by alleged Shia protesters who loathed Pakistanis for being the foot soldiers of the security forces.

Living in fear of being targeted again, and sheltering at the Pakistani Club in Manama, all he wants now is to get his passport back from his local sponsor and to go home, after at least one Pakistani was killed last week.

Like most Asian workers in the Gulf, he had a low-paid job as a painter.

And on March 13, he and his flatmates became victims of the intensified clashes between the predominantly Shia protesters and police.

That night, Eqbal and his flatmates awoke to find youths breaking into their place, brandishing swords, hammers and steel rods.

“They started beating us after they found out we were Pakistanis,” said Eqbal, despite telling them that they were labourers, not police.

“They said: ‘You people are here to kill us’,” he said, quoting a youth who left him with injuries to the head, chest and feet, before they torched the place.

Eqbal is hiding at the club along with around 300 Pakistani labourers who for the past week have not dared to stay in their homes or go to work.

Dressed in traditional Pakistani garb, he sat in a community room with some 20 others. Next to him lay flatmate Mohammed Waqar with a bandaged arm that revealed a hand covered in oily burns ointment.

He was too worn out to speak. Eqbal said Waqar, who also had head injuries, was burned when their flat was set ablaze.

“These are simple people earning bread and butter for their families,” said Malik Fiaz, a member of the community who helped to interpret as most workers could not speak English.

“The problem is that Pakistani policemen are put on the front lines” of riot police in clashes with Shia demonstrators.

“This is not their own choice. This is their job. They have to obey orders,” he said, acknowledging that many Pakistanis serve in the Bahraini police.

Many Pakistanis, as well as Sunni Arabs, have been naturalised in Bahrain, infuriating the Shia majority which believes that many are given citizenship to tip the demographic balance in the kingdom ruled by the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty.

There are reportedly more than 50,000 Pakistanis in Bahrain, many in the police and security services.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/22/pakistan-workers-seek-escape-after-bahrain-attacks.html

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Religious leaders laud President Asif Ali Zardari’s address

MAR 23 2011

MULTAN: Chairman Madarass Board Pakistan Mufti Abdul Qavi on Tuesday appreciated the address of President Asif Ali Zardari, in which he strongly condemned the act of US Padari (Priest). Mufti Abdul Qavvi said that the President Asif Ali Zardari had rightly expressed the sentiments of not only of Pakistanis but also Muslims across the world. Chief of Wafaq Ul Mudarass, Qari Hanif Jalandhary also appreciated the address regarding demand of President Asif Ali Zardari to United Nation to take action against the act of US priest. Qari Hanif Jalandhary also stressed upon the incumbent government to convene meeting of OIC in order take concrete action against the priest. Nazim of Jamat-e-Islami Multan Professor Iftikhar also called for practical steps to punish the priest who committed blasphemy.

http://www.thefrontierpost.com/News.aspx?ncat=cn&nid=1236

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'Gaddafi daughter is Claudia Schiffer of North Africa'

MAR 23 2011

The Arab media describes Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's only daughter Aisha as the " Claudia Schiffer of North Africa", a media report said on Tuesday.

Aisha has stopped dying her hair blonde these days, but she looked perfect as she stood amid the crowd in her father's compound, according to the Telegraph. Apart from one widely reproduced picture, in which she sported blonde locks and a trout pout, she rarely ventured into the public eye.

It was taken before 2006 when she married her cousin, an army colonel. Since then she has maintained a low profile, despite her role (terminated last month) as a UN goodwill ambassador and head of Libya's largest charity group Wa'tassimu .

Aisha seems relatively mild mannered compared with her seven brothers, although there may not be much she can do for them now as her elder brother Saif declared to fight till the last man. But she can keep looking good in the front line, the Telegraph said.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Gaddafi-daughter-is-Claudia-Schiffer-of-North-Africa/articleshow/7768173.cms

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France, US agree on NATO role in Libya'

MAR 23, 2011

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and US counterpart Barack Obama, who spoke on the telephone on Tuesday, "have agreed on how NATO's  will be used to support the coalition" in Libya, Paris said.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/France-US-agree-on-NATO-role-in-Libya/H1-Article1-676560.aspx

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China calls for immediate cease-fire in Libya

MAR 23, 2011

China called Tuesday for an immediate cease-fire in Libya where the U.S. and European nations have launched punishing airstrikes to enforce a U.N. no-fly zone.

All parties must "immediately cease fire and resolve issues through peaceful means," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said at a regularly scheduled news conference, citing unconfirmed reports that the airstrikes had caused civilian deaths.

China was one of five countries that abstained from last week's vote on the U.N. resolution to allow "all necessary measures" to stop Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's assault on rebel-held towns. It was approved with the backing of the United States, France and Britain.

Beijing has been sharply critical of the airstrikes that hit Libyan air defenses and forces for a third night Monday. The Foreign Ministry registered "serious reservations" about the resolution, and on Monday the country's most important political newspaper compared the Western airstrikes against Libya to the U.S.-led invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In places such as Iraq "the unspeakable suffering of its people are a mirror and a warning," the Communist Party's flagship newspaper, People's Daily, said in a commentary.

China has historically opposed foreign military interventions as part of its long-standing policy of staying out of countries' internal affairs.

Jiang said China, one of five veto-wielding permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, only opted not to oppose the resolution out of consideration for the support shown for the measure among Arab and African nations.

Full report at:

http://www.dailypioneer.com/326046/China-calls-for-immediate-cease-fire-in-Libya.html

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India reduces mission in Libya

Indrani Bagchi

MAR 23, 2011

NEW DELHI: India has downsized its mission in Libya following military strikes there even as Parliament on Tuesday came out strongly against regime change that appears to be inherent in UN Security Council Resolution 1973.

After a resolution in Lok Sabha, which was passed unanimously, India appeared to have hardened its stance against the western intervention in Libya. "What is happening in a country, within their internal affairs, no external powers should interfere in it," finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said.

"Nobody, not a couple of countries, can take that decision to change a particular regime," Mukherjee said. "Whether a regime will change or not will depend on the people of that particular country, not by any external forces."

Foreign secretary Nirupama Rao reflected the toughening of the country' stand when she said that India along with other members of the Security Council — China, Brazil, Russia and Germany -- which abstained from last week's voting on Libya, made up 40% of the world population.

Indian ambassador in Tripoli Mani Meklai is now assisted by seven officials; five others have been sent back. MEA sources said India is waiting for an assessment from its envoy about whether to further reduce its mission size.

Later, replying to the finance bill debate, Mukherjee referred to the impact of the West Asia crisis on India's oil supplies. "Its not just the price issue, but also the availability. I hope normalcy will be restored soon."

India's strident opposition to Libya attacks found a responsive interlocutor in Germany. Christoph Huesgen, German national security adviser, met his Indian counterpart Shivshankar Menon to discuss Libya, Af-Pak, Japan and other strategic issues as a prelude to the May visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel. It is learnt that Huesgen shared Germany's unease about what the endgame in Libya would be.

Western diplomatic sources here said the UN Resolution 1973 did not forbid putting ground troops in Libya if the situation warranted it. "It's not what we would want," they added. But it gave a glimpse of where the airstrikes could be headed. The UN resolution, they pointed out, also specified that there was an arms embargo only on Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, but not the rebels.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-reduces-mission-in-Libya/articleshow/7766679.cms

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‘It’s God who is king of humanity’

MAR 23, 2011

I request you all not to use these titles. The real king is Allah the Almighty and we are His slaves,” King Abdullah said, while receiving Islamic scholars, ministers, senior officials and tribal leaders at his palace in Riyadh.

The king also told his audience that he was not able to receive them and shake hands with them standing because of his health problems.

“God willing, I will be able to do that after some days or months,” he said.

King Abdullah had earlier banned citizens from kissing his hands or that of any member of the royal family out of reverence, saying it “is something alien to our values and ethics and is refused by free and honest souls.”

Speaking at the occasion, Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh, the Kingdom’s grand mufti, commended the king for announcing a spate of welfare programs worth SR500 billion.

“It gives a message to the whole world that this country is founded on Islam and will stay firm upholding its tenets without deviation,” he said.

“It also shows that the reforms in the Kingdom are according to Islamic teachings. They are neither imported from outside nor dictated by outside forces,” the mufti said. He highlighted the cohesion between the Saudi leadership and people “who cooperate with one another and reject sedition and strife, and stand by the truth.”

Saleh Al-Asheikh, head of the Summary Court, praised the king for taking drastic measures to fight corruption. Fahd Al-Obaikan, who spoke on behalf of the Riyadh people, thanked the king for announcing the social welfare programs. Abdul Kareem Al-Harbi, who spoke for the people of Hail, underscored the unity of Saudis.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article326182.ece.

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Pakistan to seek EU support on Kashmir

Anita Joshua

MAR 23, 2011

ISLAMABAD: As India and Pakistan prepare for resumption of “full spectrum dialogue” from this month, Islamabad has decided to send a six-member team under the aegis of the Special Committee of the Parliament on Kashmir to Germany, Belgium and Poland to “win their support on the Kashmir issue”.

The visit was cleared by Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Monday. According to the Prime Minister's Office, the European Union is increasingly gaining political and economic importance in world affairs. The delegation will be led by Special Committee chairman Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman and will include four other members of the National Assembly besides an unnamed Kashmiri leader from the All Parties Hurriyat Conference.

In a related development, addressing the Joint Session of Parliament on Tuesday, President Asif Ali Zardari said: “Full spectrum dialogue process has been resumed with India. We seek a just settlement of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the U.N. resolutions while respecting the aspirations of the people of Kashmir.”

Full report at:

http://www.hindu.com/2011/03/23/stories/2011032361751900.htm

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Kingdom: Role model for Islamic finance

MAR 23, 2011

JEDDAH: The present status and future of Islamic economy, especially finance and banking, was the focus of deliberations on the final day of the 11th Jeddah Economic Forum on Tuesday.

The panelists of a session on Islamic finance and banking were of the view that Saudi Arabia, which has made rapid strides in Islamic finance, could be a role model in promoting it among both Islamic and even non-Islamic countries.

They said the global economic slowdown, witnessed in the past couple of years, was an eye-opener to most of the advanced countries as they felt that they might not have been in such a mess if they had adopted Islamic finance.

They all agreed that Islamic finance is growing but it needs a regulatory authority to ensure full Shariah-compliance.

Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Saleh Kamel felt that Islamic economy had not been treated fairly. “Islamic economy cannot find the place that is due to it unless it is introduced as a subject in schools and universities,” Kamel said.

“It (Islamic economy) is ordained by Allah and the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the rules and regulations are there to guard against malpractices like usury and conduct Shariah-compliant financial and banking transactions,” Kamel said.

He said that Islamic banks had been in operation for 38 years but a shortage of experts had delayed their worldwide expansion.

“We require scholars and experts so that all the rules and regulations related to Islamic finance and banking are unified and individual banks or institutions do not have their own interpretations,” he said.

He was, however, hopeful that the value of Islamic financial assets would reach $4 trillion from the current $1 trillion by 2020.

He appealed to the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) to set up a Shariah control supervisory board in line with measures adopted in countries such as Malaysia and Sudan.

He hinted that the giant Islamic bank, Al-Kabeer Islamic Bank, will be launched by the end of this year.

Full report at:

http://arabnews.com/economy/article326197.ece

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Time not ripe for US to leave Kabul

MAR 23, 2011

NEW DELHI: The US announcement of its proposed military pullout from Afghanistan had boosted anti-American forces in the country, President Asif Ali Zardari told Senator John Kerry and added that Washington could not afford to keep that time-line for troop withdrawal from Kabul, according to WikiLeaks cables partly published by The Hindu on Monday.

Based on a meeting in February last year, the cable to Washington by US Ambassador in Pakistan Anne Patterson gave an account of Mr Zardari’s economic worries and his perception of Iran’s role in the region.

“Kerry asked Zardari what effect President Obama’s announcement of a US drawdown date had had on the possibility of success in

Afghanistan. Zardari answered that it had given a boost to those fighting against the United States, but that they ‘live in illusion’.”

The cable added: “Zardari doubted that the US would actually leave Afghanistan in two and a half years, adding that ‘no one can afford that’.

Kerry asked if dialogue with the Taliban was possible. Zardari gave a qualified yes: in specific regions, like Quetta, dialogue might be possible, but on a larger scale it was not.”

Mr Kerry asked to what degree events in Iran have an impact in Pakistan. Mr Zardari said Iran needs to be engaged, and recounted his visit to Iran as an emissary of the free world.

Mr Kerry noted that with the December mosque bombing in Rawalpindi, Pakistani terrorism had changed, Ms Patterson said. “He asked if

Pakistan was going to commit to doing whatever it takes to get rid of extremism. Zardari replied that he was thinking of the future and what will win people away from extremism in 10 or 15 years. He added, however, that he was ‘fighting a war on a shoestring budget’.”

Mr Kerry said the Pakistan government needed to rebuild the conflict-affected areas as soon as possible. “He explained that new roads, power plants, and health clinics need to go in quickly or any progress made in vanquishing the militants and extremists would be lost. Zardari agreed but added that the war went beyond these areas. He explained that when a US soldier leaves Afghanistan, he no longer fears for his life; when a Pakistani soldier leaves the conflict areas, however, he has to worry that militants might target him in his home in Punjab or Sindh.”

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/2011/03/22/time-not-ripe-for-us-to-leave-kabul-zardari-in-wikileaks.html

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Bangla HC says Zia masterminded cold-blooded murder of Taher

MAR 23, 2011

The trial and execution of freedom fighter Col Abu Taher in 1976 was masterminded by the then chief martial law administrator, Gen Ziaur Rahman, the High Court said yesterday declaring the military tribunal and the trial illegal and unconstitutional.

"The so-called trial and execution of Colonel Abu Taher was a cold blooded assassination which was masterminded by a person no other than Ziaur Rahman," the court said after weeks of hearing on pleas by Taher's family and others to call the entire trial illegal.

Col Taher was a sector com mander during the 1971 Liberation War of Bangladesh. His supporters say he had a role in the soldiers' uprising on Nov 7, 1975 that saw Ziaur Rahman's release from confinement in Dhaka Cantonment.

Taher was later arrested and put to trial by a military tribunal that sentenced him to death on charges of mutiny and treason. He was executed on July 21, 1976.

Sixteen others including politicians Sirajul Alam Khan, ASM Abdur Rab, Maj (retd) Zia Uddin, Hasanul Huq Inu, Sharif Nurul Ambia, and Mahmudur Rahman Manna were also tried on the same charges and sentenced to various jail terms.

Delivering a judgment on four separate writ petitions, the HC bench of Justice AHM Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik and Justice Sheikh Md Zakir Hossain yesterday said, "Ziaur Rahman is not available now to face the murder charge as he is already dead, Abdul Ali will be prosecuted for killing Taher under the order of Ziaur Rahman." Abdul Ali is the only living judge of the military tribunal.

Senior judge of the bench Justice Shamsuddin Chowdhury Manik announced the verdict saying, "The so-called pretentious trial of Colonel Abu Taher, Hasanul Huq Inu, Mahmudur Rahman Manna, Major (retired) Zia Uddin and others was a hoax, a sham, and a fiction."

"The sentence passed by the fake tribunal is hereby set aside and quashed, as if it is set that such fictitious and farcical trial never took place."

The court ruled that Col Taher will be treated as a martyr and a patriot instead of a traitor, and the others tried and convicted on false sedition charges will be treated as patriots as well. The court directed the authorities to amend relevant records to that effect.

Family members of Taher and Hasanul Huq Inu were present in the courtroom during the delivery of the verdict. US journalist and writer Lawrence Lifschultz, who had covered the trial of Taher in 1976, was also present.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=178777

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Mail bombs reflect evolution in terrorist methods: President

MAR 23, 2011

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says the recent spate of mail bombs were signs of the changing face of terrorism in Indonesia.

"We are also seeing persistent acts of terrorism, and the growing capacity of terrorist groups to mutate, adapt and present us with new challenges – such as the mail bombs in Indonesia," the Yudhoyono said in his opening speech at the Jakarta International Defense Dialog (JIDD).

The President officially opened the three-day international dialog which was intended to address security and defense issues, especially those affecting the Asia-Pacific region.

The changing approach, in particular the use of mail bombs, was seen last week when four explosive-containing packages were sent to various social and political figures.

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2011/03/23/mail-bombs-reflect-evolution-terrorist-methods-president.html

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Turkish military fought AKP, itself in 2003, WikiLeaks cable says

MAR 23, 2011

Allegations that the Turkish military was discussing a coup within its top command section in 2003 received support Tuesday from the latest U.S. diplomatic cable published by WikiLeaks’ Turkish partner, daily Taraf.

The long title of the cable, dated June 6, 2003, was: “Defining the Republic of Turkey: The chief of General Staff and the government are fighting between each other and within themselves.”

The secret report written by former U.S. Ambassador to Ankara W. Robert Pearson in 2003 makes it clear that U.S. diplomats believed top generals Aytaç Yalman, Şener Eruygur, Çetin Doğan, Hurşit Tolon, Fevzi Türkeri and Tuncer Kılınç were preparing a memorandum and were opposed by then-Chief of General Staff Gen. Hilmi Özkök.

Doğan is the top suspect in the ongoing “Sledgehammer” (Balyoz) alleged coup-plot case while Eruygur and Tolon are suspects on trial in the Ergenekon case, an investigation into an alleged gang also accused of attempting to stage a coup. Gen. Yaşar Büyükanıt, another top commander at the time who became the chief of General Staff in 2005, was playing both sides, according to Pearson’s evaluation.

A pro-Eurasia, pro-status-quo group that was also against transparency in military expenses was unhappy with the social changes occurring in Turkey that led to the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, coming to power. This group of generals believed Özkök was “too soft” on the AKP, a party they perceived as both ineffective and Islamist, the cable revealed.

Full report at:

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=turkish-military-fought-akp-itself-in-2003-wikileaks-cable-says-2011-03-22

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/us-pastors-hold-quran--guilty--during-church--trial-,-burn-it/d/4324


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