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Islamic World News (31 Mar 2014 NewAgeIslam.Com)



US Official ‘Accuses’ Kuwait’s Awquaaf Minister of Funding Terror

 

 

 

 

 

 

Free Syrian Army fighters walk with their weapons in Azaz village, north of Aleppo March 30, 2014. (REUTERS/Hosam Katan)

 

 

 

 

 

 

North America

US Official ‘Accuses’ Kuwait’s Awquaaf Minister of Funding Terror

Egypt's al-Jazeera trial was inspired by America's global war on journalism

Kerry returns to Middle-East to push peace talks

Christie deftly defends appointment of Muslim Judge at RJC meeting

 

Arab World

Uproar over Plans to Buy 300 Years Old Mosque in Saudi Arabia to Build Business

More than 50 Syria rebels, jihadists killed: NGO

Al Qaeda-Linked Saudi Cleric in Syria Praises Fighters from Islamic Caucasus Emirate

Syrian Army Inflicts Heavy Losses upon Terrorists across Country

New magazine, Harvest of the Jihad, focuses on 'jihad and resistance work in Egypt'

Egyptian site may contain riches that rivals Tutankhamun's

Syrian rebels shell area near al—Assad’s hometown

Bahrain jails 16 activists for life

Lebanon army vows to fight ‘terror’ after troops killed

Three held over YouTube appeals in S. Arabia

 

Africa

Nigeria: 20 Boko Haram Suspects Killed in Abuja DSS Attack

Nigeria: Gunmen Kill 19, Abduct 15 in Benue

“We will enter churches and slaughter Christians: Boko Haram

CAR: Ten dead as Chadian troops fire on Christian civilians

Western Nations Issue Strong Statement On South Sudan

Nigeria: Conference - MURIC Alleges Islamophobia

Abductions and Bishr killing ratchets up anti-Warshefana sentiment in Tripoli

 

South Asia

Suicide attack in Logar leaves 4 policemen killed or injured

Maldives Government proposes abolishing Women’s Development Committees

Karzai phones Kerry, levels allegations against Pakistan

‘Jamaat-e-Islami leader and Pak army killed my mother’: Witness

2 more arrest warrants for Hefazat Nayeb-e-Ameer

Maldives to close Dhaka mission tomorrow

Taliban abduct candidate in north: Afghan official

Abdullah Sees Surprise Win Making Him Afghanistan President

 

Mideast

Turkey elects three headscarved mayors in local polls

Israel approves plan to build synagogue near Al-Aqusa

Iran Calls Obama 'Two-Faced' On Saudi Rights

Turkey PM Erdogan claims victory, warns rivals 'will pay price'

Yemen's president urges Iran to stop interfering, supporting separatists

Netanyahu: Israel will be proactive in thwarting attacks from Syria

 

Pakistan

Sindh Assembly demands end to Council of Islamic Ideology

Pakistan to get leftover Afghan war equipment: Defence Secretary

Majority Pakistanis believe, an Imam should be aware of other subjects too

Taliban, Lej, PML-N have covert agreement: Memon

Altaf calls for close Pakistan, India ties

Taliban hint at releasing ‘high-profile people’: Jamaat-i-Islami leader

Pakistan to be recognised as ‘ambassador of peace’ and not as “a trader of war”: Minister

Maulana Ashrafi says Taliban want judicial commission on prisoners

Jamaat-e-Islami brands ‘Pakistan Idol’ an ‘obscene’ programme

 

India

‘He Was With Us For Diwali… Would A Staunch Muslim Feel At Home?’

Largest Indian delegation ever to visit Libya – Indian Ambassador

 

Southeast Asia

Tight security at royal divorce case, former Sultanah of Malaysia barred from court

Why Islamic parties don't win Indonesian elections

Muslim converts deserve Bumi rights as ‘special Malays’, says ex-judge

Pervez Musharraf 'knew' where Osama bin Laden was hiding, new book says

 

Europe

Fury as Fanatic Who Trained 7/7 Bomber Sets Up Islamic Primary School in Britain

Chechen al Qaeda commander, an Ahrar al Sham leader spotted on front lines in Latakia

Rebels in Ingushetia Target Police under New Jammat Leadership

North Caucasus Militants Announce New Leader to Replace Umarov

Number of Muslims in prison doubles in decade to 12,000

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/us-official-‘accuses’-kuwait’s-awquaaf-minister-of-funding-terror/d/66352

 

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North America

 

US Official ‘Accuses’ Kuwait’s Awquaaf Minister of Funding Terror

March 31, 2014

KUWAIT CITY, March 29: The US Undersecretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen has unofficially accused the Minister of Justice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs Dr Nayef Al-Ajmi of longstanding support and funding of terrorism. Such accusations might create an unprecedented crisis that could pose a threat against the government and damage the international reputation of Kuwait.

Minister Al-Ajmi had earlier denied these allegations, describing them as ‘utter lies’, and had promised to respond in detail later. According to Scope News website, the minister eventually admitted implicitly that, “It is my history and I am proud of it ... helping the Yemeni and Syrian poor, displaced, orphans and widows, and sheltering the refugees”.

The website has indicated possibility of his resignation despite the fact that he is currently out of the country for medical reasons. Meanwhile, top sources in the country affirmed, “Kuwait has not yet received any official information regarding the statement issued by Cohen”.

They revealed that as soon as this information is confirmed, discussions with the American side regarding the matter will be initiated.

Meanwhile, the US Ambassador to Kuwait Mathew Tueller said he did not want to comment on the accusations made by Cohen. In response to question posed to him during his attendance at the Pakistani National Day celebration, Tueller said, “We hold continuous discussions with Kuwaiti authorities regarding the ongoing events in the region as well as the joint interests, which includes the fight against terrorism”. He stressed, “One of the important aspects that should be considered is that the governments should deal transparently with this issue of terrorism”.

In addition, Ambassador Tueller denied any connection between the recently concluded Arab League Summit and the US President Barrack Obama’s visit to Riyadh. He affirmed that the visit reflects a clear and strong indication of America’s commitment towards its friends and partners, adding he is confident that the visit will be fruitful.

http://www.arabtimesonline.com/NewsDetails/tabid/96/smid/414/ArticleID/204846/t/US-official-%E2%80%98accuses%E2%80%99-Kuwait%E2%80%99s-Awqaf-minister-of-funding-terror/Default.aspx

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Egypt's al-Jazeera trial was inspired by America's global war on journalism

March 31, 2014

Today, Egypt resumes its trial of the three al-Jazeera journalists it has held in captivity since December on the grounds that their coverage threatened national security. Media outlets, advocacy groups and foreign governments – including the United States – have all condemned the arrests and criticized the proceedings as a bold political move to suppress opposition.

Indeed, even as Washington keeps its distance from the upcoming election, the State Department has insisted upon “the free expression of political views without intimidation or fear of retribution”. Last month, the US, along with other signatories, filed a declaration through the United Nations condemning Egypt for its violent suppression of dissent, including against journalists.

But the brazen political rhetoric out of Cairo continues: that al-Jazeera’s Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed are guilty of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, that the Brotherhood is a terror group, and that counter-terror policy is crucial to democracy at all costs – even at the cost of a free press, that beating heart of democracy.

This rhetoric is not new. Egypt seems to draw inspiration from the very country criticizing it – the United States.

Over the past decade, the US not only detained but tortured al-Jazeera journalists under counterterrorism policies. Now, as its War on Terror diffuses into support for an increasing number of local – and secret – wars on terrorism across the globe, the tactic of imprisoning journalists seems to be catching on.

Ten years ago, the United States also justified its detention of al-Jazeera journalists by claiming a “national security threat”. These arrests could not be cloaked as mere collateral damage in a messy war. The US, then as Egypt does now, made leaping connections between the news network and militants, and specifically targeted those whose coverage did not serve the military’s objectives: Dick Cheney warned that al-Jazeera risked being “labeled as ‘Osama’s outlet to the world’”; Donald Rumsfeld called the network’s coverage of the Iraq war “vicious, inaccurate, inexcusable”.

Over the next several years, US forces arrested and detained al-Jazeera journalists like Sami al Hajj and Salah Hasan Nusaif Jasim al Ejaili. US military forces captured both in separate instances while they were doing their jobs, and tortured them while attempting to establish ties between al-Jazeera and al-Qaida. Neither al Hajj nor al Ejaili received justice for their wrongful detention. After seven years of imprisonment in Guantanamo Bay, the US government released al Hajj to Sudanese authorities, without any reparations. Meanwhile al Ejaili, who was detained at Abu Ghraib, brought a case with other victims against the private military contractor at the prison, alleging it conspired to commit torture and war crimes. But the case was dismissed by the district court. The court perversely ordered al Ejaili and other plaintiffs to pay their alleged torturers for the cost of the suit. The case is pending on appeal.

The reverberations of this misguided War on Terror continue, even if the war has shifted: the Obama administration has famously invoked the Espionage Act more than any other American president, attempting to control press leaks with tactics a report found to be “the most aggressive … since the Nixon administration”.

From a War on Terror to a war on leaks, now comes America’s shadow influence in the global war on journalism: when the US downgraded aid to Egypt after the government violently disbanded protests against the state, for example, it continued to supply the government funds for its counter-terrorism efforts – the same efforts that were used to justify the imprisonment of al-Jazeera journalists in the first place.

No wonder Egypt’s UN delegation questioned those countries signing the recent UN declaration on suppression of dissent:

We call upon the countries that signed to the statement … to consider the credibility of their positions … when they speak about freedom in the work of journalists and illegally follow their activities and throw them in detention camps and secret prisons without trial under the banner of the war on terror.

Now, as the fate of three journalists rests in the hands of a government mirroring US policies, the reality of America’s media crackdown could not be starker. Absent a commitment to a free press and accountability for those journalists who have been wrongly accused, arrested and tortured, the ongoing – if evolving – hypocrisy of US policy will continue to serve as justification for untold future harms. And whenever the war on terror does eventually end, and if the smoke clears, it’s frightening to envision what might remain

http://palestinianpundit.blogspot.in/2014/03/egypts-al-jazeera-trial-was-inspired-by.html

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Kerry returns to Middle-East to push peace talks

World Bulletin / News Desk

March 31, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry broke from his travel schedule for the second time in a week to rush back to the Middle East on Monday to try to salvage Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The U.S.-brokered negotiations faced a crisis at the weekend when Israel, saying it was seeking a Palestinian commitment to continue negotiations beyond an end-April deadline, failed to press ahead with a promised release of Palestinian prisoners.

"After consulting with his team, Secretary Kerry decided it would be productive to return to the region," State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said.

Kerry had interrupted a visit to Rome last week to go to Amman for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to try to convince him to prolong the talks beyond an April 29 deadline for a deal and to press Israel to release the prisoners.

Officials said he was expected to travel to both Israel and the Palestinian Territories in the coming hours.

By returning to the region, Kerry is indicating he believes there is room to save the talks, possibly by a commitment from both sides to extend the negotiations, or to issue a message that U.S. patience is not endless.

Kerry was scheduled to attend a NATO ministerial meeting in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday, and it was not immediately clear whether he would still be able to make the first day.

Direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resumed last July after a three-year break. In the absence of any obvious breakthroughs, Kerry said he wanted a clear framework to enable discussions to continue in the coming months.

Officials have said the two sides remain far apart even on the draft framework. However, the State Department's Psaki said on Monday the Israelis and Palestinians "have both made tough choices" over the past eight months.

"As we work with them to determine the next steps, it is important they remember that only peace will bring the Israeli and Palestinian people both the security and economic prosperity they all deserve," she said.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/132489/kerry-returns-to-middle-east-to-push-peace-talks

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Christie deftly defends appointment of Muslim Judge at RJC meeting

March 31, 2014

Speaking at the Republican Jewish Coalition’s meeting in Las Vegas on Saturday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie responded calmly, but strongly, to a question about Sharia Law, taking the occasion to address lingering concerns about a Muslim judge he appointed in 2011.

“Sohail Mohammed knows as much about jihad as I do, being an Irish-American kid from Newark, New Jersey,” Christie said of the Indian-American judge who immigrated to America as a child. “It is ridiculous and insulting, that because I nominated Sohail Mohammed — that people some how think that means I’m for Sharia Law. It’s crap,” he said to applause. “And I will not ever apologize for making him a judge — in fact, I’m proud of it.”

“Sharia Law won’t come into New Jersey,” Christie continued, “and to suggest otherwise is nothing more than internet blog B.S.”

Much has been made of Christie’s gaffe about “occupied territories,” but I think this exchange was probably more instructive in the long run. If Christie runs for president, this is one of the lingering questions he will have to continue to address. And his ability to defend this appointment — in what might have been a challenging environment — speaks well of his political courage and ability to communicate. The fact that Christie actually garnered some applause is indicative of his ability to do just that.

http://dailycaller.com/2014/03/30/christie-deftly-defends-appointment-of-muslim-judge-at-rjc-meeting/#ixzz2xb2rOTg0

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Arab World

 

Uproar over Plans to Buy 300 Years Old Mosque in Saudi Arabia to Build Business

March 31, 2014

MAKKAH — Residents of the Al-Jummaizah neighborhood have expressed anger after three businessmen offered to purchase and demolish the local Al-Ruwais Mosque, which is 300 years old, to implement a business project.

Ahmed Al-Sinki, a lawyer, said the mosque is important because it is located within the central area near the Grand Mosque.

He said the three businessmen expressed readiness to pay over SR30 million to purchase the mosque.

Al-Sinki said the value of the plots of land close to the mosque exceed SR40 million.

Meanwhile, the director of the Endowments Administration in Makkah Mus’ab Al-Hajjaji denied that his administration knows about plans to demolish the mosque.

He said nobody could dare to purchase a mosque in such a manner.

Al-Hajjaji added: “If we learn that someone has encroached on the area of any mosque, aside from taking the mosque, we will file a lawsuit against him and escalate the matter.”

http://www.saudigazette.com.sa/index.cfm?method=home.regcon&contentid=20140331200375

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More than 50 Syria rebels, jihadists killed: NGO

March 31, 2014

More than 50 rebels and jihadists were killed in fighting in northeast Syria's Hasakeh province as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) overran a town bordering Iraq, an NGO said.

"The number of Al-Nusra Front and rebel fighters killed in battles (Saturday) against ISIL in the strategic town of Markada in the south of Hasake province has risen to 39," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The group said ISIL lost 13 of its fighters as it took total control of Markada.

"Markada is important because it provides ISIL with a supply route from Iraq into the road linking Hasake to Deir Ezzor," said the Observatory.

Oil-rich Hasake and Deir Ezzor provinces border Iraq, where ISIL has its roots.

ISIL has been fighting a war against rebels, including the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, since January across large swathes of western, northern and eastern Syria.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/97908/World/Region/More-than--Syria-rebels,-jihadists-killed-NGO.aspx

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Al Qaeda-linked Saudi cleric in Syria praises fighters from Islamic Caucasus Emirate

March 31, 2014

A popular Saudi cleric who is closely tied to al Qaeda and its official branch in Syria praised the "lions" from the Islamic Caucasus Emirate who are battling Syrian government forces in a city near Aleppo.

Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, the Saudi cleric and a rising star in the jihadist world, lauded the fighters from the Islamic Caucasus Emirate in a short, 1:42 video clip that was uploaded on YouTube by Akhbar Sham three days ago. Akhbar Sham is a Russian-language website that supports the Jaish al Muhajireen wal Ansar (Army of Emigrants and Supporters, or Muhajireen Army), a group of foreign fighters led by commanders from the Caucasus.

Muhaysini praised the members from the Caucasus Emirate for their fighting against Syrian government forces in Shaykh Najjar, an industrial city just outside of Aleppo, according to a translation of the video by Oren Adaki and Boris Zilberman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Full report at:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/03/al_qaeda-linked_saud.php#ixzz2xWaqcix2

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Syrian Army Inflicts Heavy Losses upon Terrorists across Country

March 31, 2014

Units of the Syrian armed forces on Sunday inflicted heavy Syrian Armylosses upon the armed terrorist groups in several areas and foiled terrorists’ infiltration attempts into safe areas.

A military source said that the army units made heavy fire hits targeting terrorists' gatherings in al-Kouz mountain.

"They are surrounding Point 45 and near al-Nisser mountain in the northern countryside of Lattakia, inflicting heavy losses upon them."     

Army units destroyed terrorists’ dens in the towns of Tafas, Nassib, al-N’eimeh and Enkhel and in the surrounding of the National Hospital in Nawa in the countryside of Daraa province, according to a military source.

Full report at:

http://www.almanar.com.lb/english/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=23&frid=23&eid=143328

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New magazine, Harvest of the Jihad, focuses on 'jihad and resistance work in Egypt'

March 31, 2014

The first issue of a new magazine, entitled "Harvest of the Jihad," was posted to the top-tier Jihadi forum Shumukh al Islam on March 27. The magazine, translated by the SITE Intelligence Group, claims to be an "independent, weekly magazine" that provides coverage of "jihad and resistance work in Egypt."

It will be released regularly on Thursdays and will include various statements and events from the past week. "Preparation is ongoing for other sections in the magazine," the magazine said.

The first statement included in this week's issue was Ansar Jerusalem's (Ansar Bayt al Maqdis) statement confirming the deaths of six fighters during clashes with Egyptian security forces on March 19.

Full report at:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/threat-matrix/archives/2014/03/new_magazine_focuses_on_jihad.php#ixzz2xWXn3DKG

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Egyptian site may contain riches that rivals Tutankhamun's

Kounteya Sinha,TNN | Mar 31, 2014

LONDON: A British archaeologist who has worked in Egypt since 1966 has announced the tantalising possibility of a new burial ground in the Valley of the Kings that could contain riches and treasure so vast it would outshine even those found in boy pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb.

Seventy-two-year-old John Romer - who has been part of some of the world's most significant archaeological digs, including those in the Valley of the Kings and Karnak, and successfully excavated the tomb of Ramasses XI - says the cliffs on Luxor's west bank contain the burial site of three priest kings: Herihor, Piankh and Menkheperre.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/uk/Egyptian-site-may-contain-riches-that-rivals-Tutankhamuns/articleshow/32996667.cms

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Syrian rebels shell area near al—Assad’s hometown

Mar 31, 2014

Rebels are shelling areas close to Syrian President Bashar al—Assad’s hometown in the Latakia province of northwestern Syria, a monitoring group said Monday.

“Since the early hours of Monday, Syrian rebels have been shelling the area between Jablaa and Qardaha,” Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Britain—based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told dpa.

Rebels have increased their efforts against the Syrian regime in the north west of the country in recent weeks. The region is the heartland of al—Assad’s minority Alawite sect.

Abdel Rahman said the rockets also fell close to Bassel al—Assad International Airport, an airport serving Latakia. The airport is named after Bassel al—Assad, brother of President Bashar al—Assad, who was killed in a car accident in Damascus in 1994.

Qardaha — a village in a mountainous area in the north west of the country — has a predominantly Alawite population and is the hometown of the al—Assad family which has ruled Syria since 1970.

It is known for its is luxurious villas, largely owned by members of the al—Assad family. It has a mausoleum containing the grave of former leader Hafez al—Assad, the father of Syria’s current president.

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/syrian-rebels-shell-area-near-alassads-hometown/article5854873.ece

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Bahrain jails 16 activists for life

2014-03-31

DUBAI: A Bahraini court on Sunday jailed 16 opposition activists for life and two others 10 years for an attack that wounded two policemen in a village near Manama, a judicial source said.

Authorities in the kingdom, who have been facing unrest since 2011, increased last year the penalties for those convicted of violence, introducing the death penalty or life sentences in certain cases.

Those sentenced on Sunday were charged with “possessing molotov cocktails and using them to attack police” in the village of Athari earlier this month, the source said.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1096731/bahrain-jails-16-activists-for-life

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Lebanon army vows to fight ‘terror’ after troops killed

March 31, 2014

BEIRUT - Lebanon’s army vowed to battle “terrorism” hours after a suicide bomber killed three soldiers at a checkpoint in the east near the border with war-torn Syria.

“The army knows that it is now more than ever targeted by terrorists who want to prevent the establishment of the authority of the state and its attempts to eliminate discord,” the military said in a statement issued late on Saturday. It came as a new security plan came into effect on Sunday aimed at quelling spillover violence from the conflict in Syria.

Lebanon’s north and east have seen clashes between those who support the rebellion against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and those who back Damascus. The army command “will continue to fight and pursue terrorists, and is determined to implement the security plan- whatever the sacrifices”, the statement said.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/international/31-Mar-2014/lebanon-army-vows-to-fight-terror-after-troops-killed

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Three held over YouTube appeals in S. Arabia

2014-03-31

RIYADH: Saudi authorities have arrested three citizens who posted YouTube videos urging the oil-rich kingdom to improve their living standards and criticising “corruption”, activists said on Sunday.

The arrests were made on Saturday, the day US President Barack Obama flew home from Saudi Arabia under fire for not having done more to raise human rights concerns during talks with King Abdullah, activists said.

In one video, a young man identifying himself as Abdulaziz Mohammed al-Dosari addressed King Abdullah saying he has to survive on a low income, and does not own a house or a car.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1096733/three-held-over-youtube-appeals-in-s-arabia

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Africa

 

Nigeria: 20 Boko Haram Suspects Killed in Abuja DSS Attack

March 31, 2014

No fewer than 20 Boko Haram detainees have been shot dead in a shoutout that ensued this morning at the Department of State Security Service in the Asokoro a district of Abuja.

Vanguard learnt that the shoutout erupted when some of the suspected terrorists attempted to free their members and leave the detention facility, which is by the precincts of the Presidential Villa.

Trouble started around 6am during the normal handing over and taking over of duties by DSS detainees' handlers.

A competent source said that as soon as one handlers opened the gate leading to the cell where the detainees were being kept, ten suspected terrorists rushed out, snatched the handler's rifle and used it to shoot him.

Seeing the attack, some DSS handlers are reported to have retreated so as not to be killed by the rampaging suspected terrorists.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201403300082.html?aa_source=acrdn-f0

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Nigeria: Gunmen Kill 19, Abduct 15 in Benue

March 31, 2014

Gunmen suspected to be Fulani herdsmen have killed 19 people and abducted 15 others in different villages of Agatu local government area in Benue state.

The killing , according to a source occurred during the early hours of Saturday in Some remote areas of Agatu Local Government.

The council chairman, Stephen Dutse said the attackers invaded, Olegaje, Ogumogbo, Ejuma and Ogbagaji, headquarter of the local government killing 19 persons and abducting 15 others.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201403300070.html?aa_source=acrdn-f0

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“We will enter churches and slaughter Christians: Boko Haram

March 31, 2014

The Jamaat Ahl as-Sunnah lid-Dawa wal-Jihad, widely known as Boko Haram, has derided the Nigerian Police ‘women’ in a video detailing how the sect attacked Giwa Barracks, Maiduguri on March 14,  2014.

The 24-minute video appears to confirm the sect's sophistication as well as its access to modern weaponry.

The video shows the sect exhibiting their warfare techniques, shooting targets from specialized armed vans, as well as holding and firing grenades from the ground. It also shows the sect's commanders coordinating operations by giving orders.

The footage contains details of how the sect launched attacks from several directions in and around the military barracks. It also shows hundreds of people the sect claimed to have freed from detention by the Nigerian military.

Full report at:

http://saharareporters.com/news-page/boko-haram-derides-nigerian-police-video-says-churches-christians-and-nigerian-state-remai

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CAR: Ten dead as Chadian troops fire on Christian civilians

March 31, 2014

At least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded when Chadian troops opened fire on civilians in Central African Republic's capital Bangui, officials said on Sunday.

The troops were driving into the city, scarred by religious conflict over the past year, to escort a convoy of Muslims back to Chad, having earlier crossed the countries' border some 500 km (300 miles) to the north in about 15 army vehicles.

"When they got to the PK12 neighborhood, they suddenly started shooting. People panicked and started running and ducking for cover," said Sebastien Wenezoui, a spokesman for the country's Christian militia, the anti-balaka.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/03/30/us-centralafrica-chad-violence-idUSBREA2T0EU20140330

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Western Nations Issue Strong Statement On South Sudan

March 31, 2014

The United States, United Kingdom and Norway -- has joined six European nations, Canada and the European Union (EU) to condemn government and rebel forces in the young country for human rights violations and for obstructing U.N. efforts in the war-torn country.

"We the Ambassadors and Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the U.S., United Kingdom, Norway, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and the European Union strongly reiterate our support for the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and its work on behalf of the international community for the people of South Sudan," the 10 nations and EU said in a statement released Friday.

"We strongly condemn the continued obstruction of UNMISS operations by Government and opposition forces and any threats to UNMISS personnel," it said, stressing that "all threats and attacks on United Nations personnel and facilities are unacceptable and may constitute violations of international law."

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201403310334.html?aa_source=sptlgt-grid

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Nigeria: Conference - MURIC Alleges Islamophobia

March 31, 2014

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has decried the attack on Chairman of the National Conference, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, for starting his speech with a prayer in Arabic by a delegate from South-West, Pastor Tunde Bakare.

Director of MURIC, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, said in a statement that Pastor Bakare's attack was unfortunate as his criticism arose from premeditation.

"It is known all over the world that individual Muslims start speeches with a short Arabic phrase in which they seek Allah's guidance in their utterances and Justice Kutigi did not do more than that. MURIC affirms clearly, unequivocally and unambiguously that the revered jurist has every right to do this. Tunde Bakare's outburst was therefore a manifestation of pathological hatred for Muslims and their faith. His behaviour smirked of a gross lack of tolerance for the faith of others and portrays the pastor as an enforcer. Attempting to stop the chairman from using his faith to guide him is an encroachment on the latter's Allah-given and fundamental human right.

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201403281049.html

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Abductions and Bishr killing ratchets up anti-Warshefana sentiment in Tripoli

March 31, 2014

Following yesterday morning’s abduction of a Suq Al-Juma family of six allegedly by men from the Warshefana area, the kidnapping of two other people yesterday by the Warshefana has escalated animosity towards the tribe in Suq Al-Juma, Tajoura and other parts of the capital.

The city’s important Triq Al Sikka (Railway Road) which runs past the Prime Minister’s Office was blocked off for much of the day by forces from Suq Al-Juma and Tajoura protesting the abductions, causing traffic chaos elsewhere in the capital.

Such is the suspicion of the Warshefana at present that today’s murder of Hisham Bishr, brother of former SSC leader Hashim Bishr, both from Suq Al-Juma, has been widely and unquestioningly attributed to them despite the lack of evidence.

Full report at:

http://www.libyaherald.com/2014/03/30/abductions-and-bishr-killing-ratchets-up-tension-between-warshefana-and-suq-al-jumatajoura/#ixzz2xapUYTj2

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South Asia

 

Suicide attack in Logar leaves 4 policemen killed or injured

Mar 31 2014

At least four Afghan policemen were killed or injured following a premature suicide attack in eastern Logar province of Afghanistan.

The incident took place on Monday morning in Charkh district of Logar province, local government officials said.

Khalil Kamal, district governor for Charkh said at least one policeman was killed and three others were injured after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives before reaching the target.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/suicide-attack-in-logar-leaves-4-policemen-killed-or-injured-3510

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Maldives Government proposes abolishing Women’s Development Committees

By Ahmed Nazeer | March 30th, 2014

The government’s proposal for amendments to the Decentralisation Act include abolishing Women’s Development Committees in the islands.

The amendment requires the councils to abolish the committees and to form four new advisory committees – a Women’s Development Advisory Committee, an Economic Committee, a Development Advisory Committee, and an Environment Protection Advisory Committee - that would advise island councils.

According to the amendment, the funds and assets of the existing Women’s Development Committees will be transferred to the council, and will only be permitted for use after consulting with the Women’s Development Advisory Committee.

Full report at:

http://minivannews.com/politics/government-proposes-abolishing-women%E2%80%99s-development-committees-81252

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Karzai phones Kerry, levels allegations against Pakistan

March 31, 2014

KABUL- In a phone call with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Hamid Karzai accused Pakistan of being behind a recent series of attacks and of blocking his government from striking a peace deal with the Taliban, the Afghan president's office.

Karzai routinely makes such accusations against Islamabad, but his tone in recent days has been particularly pointed and direct. They come after three attacks in five days in the capital Kabul, the latest coming on Saturday when assailants fired machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades at the country's electoral commission ahead of next week's general election. Karzai leveled allegation that the attacks were complex in nature and stage-managed by "foreign intelligence agencies," a reference to Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence. US officials confirmed the phone call took place but declined to comment on the conversation.

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/31-Mar-2014/karzai-phones-kerry-levels-allegations-against-pakistan

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‘Jamaat-e-Islami leader and Pak army killed my mother’: Witness

March 31, 2014

A new witness in the trial against Jamaat-e-Islami leader ATM Azharul Islam yesterday claimed that his mother had been killed by gunshot of the accused and the Pakistani Army during the 1971 Liberation War.

Son of a martyr, Mokbul Hossain from Badarganj of Rangpur, placed his deposition at the tribunal 1 as the sixth prosecution witness. After his testimony, defence counsel Abdus Sobhan Tarafder started cross examining him and the tribunal adjourned the trial until today.

“On April 16 of 1971, accused Azhar came with some Pakistani troops to Tekshorehaat railway station. They set fire to every house beside the road. I along with my mother Ajinor Nesa ran towards Dhappara to save life. But at one point she told me to run fast as she could not do so,” Mokbul said.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/law-rights/2014/mar/31/%E2%80%98azhar-and-pak-army-killed-my-mother%E2%80%99#sthash.jV6O4Ljy.dpuf

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2 more arrest warrants for Hefazat nayeb-e-ameer

March 31, 2014

A Chittagong court yesterday issued arrest warrant against Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury, Nayeb-e-Ameer of Hefazat-e-Islam, in two cases filed in connection with grenade blasts at his Lalkhan Bazar madrasa in which three students were killed in October last year.

Metropolitan Magistrate Nowrin Akhter Kakon yesterday passed the order in absentia of the accused in two cases filed for killing and recovery of picric acid, court sources said.

Izhar’s counsel Abdus Sattar said the accused was on bail secured from the High Court till March 27. The defence also pleaded for bail extension although the accused had not appeared before the court due to illness.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/crime/2014/mar/31/2-more-arrest-warrants-hefazat-nayeb-e-ameer#sthash.ta1JQbjc.dpuf

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Maldives to close Dhaka mission tomorrow

March 31, 2014

The Maldives has announced it will shut down its mission in Bangladesh from tomorrow, after operating the centre for six years.

“They informed the foreign ministry that they would close down the mission in Dhaka due to budget constraints,” an official of the foreign ministry said.

After the closure, the country will conduct its operations in Bangladesh from India as the Maldivian Ambassador in New Delhi will be concurrently accredited for Bangladesh, he said.

The Maldives opened its mission in Dhaka on July 2008, while Bangladesh mission in Male was opened in 1998.

Full report at:

http://www.dhakatribune.com/foreign-affairs/2014/mar/31/maldives-close-dhaka-mission-tomorrow#sthash.xWsjkfop.dpuf

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Taliban abduct candidate in north: Afghan official

2014-03-31

KABUL: An Afghan official says Taliban gunmen have abducted a candidate running for a seat in the provincial council and seven members of his entourage.

Governor Abdul Jabar Haqbeen said on Monday that candidate Hussain Nazari and seven others were taken overnight in the northern Sar-i-Pul province.

They were travelling in a taxi to the provincial capital and had no security escort with them. The governor says elders in the area are trying to negotiate with the Taliban to get Nazari and the others released.

Full report at:

http://www.dawn.com/news/1096833/taliban-abduct-candidate-in-north-afghan-official

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Abdullah Sees Surprise Win Making Him Afghanistan President

March 31, 2014

Abdullah Abdullah, who finished second in Afghanistan’s 2009 presidential election, is confident he can win enough ballots on April 5 to avoid a runoff and sign a deal “within a month” to keep US troops in the country.

“God willing, we will have an election which will purely reflect the outcome of Afghans votes and it won’t go to the second round,” Abdullah, 53, said in an interview on March 28 during a campaign stop in the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif when asked about his chances. “I’m not that much concerned about other candidates.”

Full report at:

http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/international/abdullah-sees-surprise-win-making-afghanistan-president/

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Mideast

 

Turkey elects three headscarved mayors in local polls

World Bulletin/News Desk

March 31, 2014

AK Party Chairman Mustafa Ulvi Bezirci said Fatma Toru won the 2014 municipal elections in Meram district of Konya. She became the first headscarved mayor according to the initial results announced by Bezirci in a statement.

Toru was born in 1972 in Konya and graduated from the Department of Surveying Engineering of Selcuk Unversity. She worked in Meram Municipality's Caybasi Urban Transformation Project chief. Fatma Toru is married and has 2 children.

The second succcessful headscarved candidate is AK Party's Havva Yildirim, who was voted in as the head of the municipality of Gudul in Ankara.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/headlines/132435/turkey-elects-three-headscarved-mayors-in-local-polls

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Israel approves plan to build synagogue near Al-Aqsa

World Bulletin / News Desk

March 31, 2014

Israeli authorities have approved a plan to build a Jewish synagogue near the Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Al-Quds (occupied East Jerusalem), the Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said Monday.

"The planned synagogue will be built 200 meters west of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound," the foundation, which is devoted to safeguarding the iconic mosque from Israeli violations, said in a statement.

"The synagogue will consist of a four-story building, topped by a vaulted dome, with an underground space beneath it," the foundation added.

The foundation went on to point out that Israeli authorities had already built roughly 100 synagogues in and around the Old City of Al-Quds.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/todays-news/132491/israel-approves-plan-to-build-synagogue-near-al-aqsa

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Iran Calls Obama 'Two-Faced' On Saudi Rights

March 31, 2014

Iran has accused US President Barack Obama of being "two-faced," after he failed to raise the issue of human rights breaches with Saudi Arabia during his visit there last Friday. Obama promised Saudi King Abdullah that he would not accept a "bad deal" on Iran's nuclear program in the visit.

Iranian General and political commentator Yadallah Jawani accused America and the West of being hypocritical on human rights. As an example, he brought the case of Saudi Arabia, saying it has been ruled for many years by a royal family that breaches the rights of its citizens, and in particular its women.

Jawani pointed the finger at Obama for not mentioning the human rights abuses during his visit, accusing him of hypocritical lip-service for human rights while only advancing his own interests, presumably interests in Saudi oil.

Full report at:

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/179082#.Uzkt6ahdUqM

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Turkey PM Erdogan claims victory, warns rivals 'will pay price'

March 31, 2014

Turkey's Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory for his Islamic-rooted party in Sunday's key local elections and warned his foes they will "pay the price" for plotting his downfall.

"Those who attacked Turkey got disappointed," Erdogan told a jubilant crowd of thousands, speaking from the balcony of his party's Ankara headquarters after months of turmoil marked by street clashes, sleaze claims and an Internet clampdown.

"You have supported your prime minister. I thank you infinitely," Erdogan told the crowd, his voice still hoarse from marathon campaigning for the municipal polls that were seen as a referendum on his 11-year rule.

Full report at:

http://english.ahram.org.eg/NewsContent/2/8/97921/World/Region/Turkey-PM-Erdogan-claims-victory,-warns-rivals-wil.aspx

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Yemen's president urges Iran to stop interfering, supporting seperatists

By REUTERS

March 31, 2014

DUBAI - Yemen's president called on Iran to stop supporting separatists in the south and religious groups in the north of the Arabian peninsula country, which is trying to stabilise after more than two years of political upheaval.

The comments by Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi published in pan-Arab daily Al Hayat newspaper will likely further strain relations with Iran, which has repeatedly denied interfering in Yemen.

"Unfortunately, Iranian interference still exists, whether through its support for the Hirak separatists or some religious groups in northern Yemen," Hadi told Al Hayat, apparently referring to the Shi'ite Muslim Houthi rebels who are trying to capture more territory in the northern part of the country.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Yemens-president-urges-Iran-to-stop-interfering-supporting-seperatists-347000

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Netanyahu: Israel will be proactive in thwarting attacks from Syria

March 31, 2014

Israel will continue to take the initiative in stopping attacks from Syria, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday.

Netanyahu, referring to Friday’s incident on the Golan Heights where the IDF killed two armed gunmen trying to sabotage the border fence with Syria, said the IDF “thwarted an attempt to infiltrate the border and hit people trying to get close to the fence.”

“We will continue to respond to every effort to attack us, and – to the best of our ability, and as part of our policy of initiating action – we will thwart these attacks before they can take place,” he said. “That is the essence of our policy, and it works and is showing results.”

Over the last month Netanyahu has repeated this policy a number of times, following both rocket and missile attacks coming from Gaza and following sporadic incidents along the Golan border as well.

Full report at:

http://www.jpost.com/National-News/Netanyahu-Israel-will-be-proactive-in-thwarting-attacks-from-Syria-346987

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Pakistan

 

Sindh Assembly demands end to Council of Islamic Ideology

2014-03-31

KARACHI: The Sindh Assembly Monday demanded the disbandment of the Council of Islamic Ideology while passing a resolution to stop implementation on the CII's earlier decisions, DawnNews reported.

The resolution was moved by Pakistan Muslim League-Functional's (PML-F) leader Mehtab Akhtar Rashidi.

The Assembly expressed serious reservations over the recent decisions taken by the CII with regards to women.

It moreover demanded of the federal government that any implementation of the CII’s recommendations on underage marriages and DNA tests should be stopped

The CII has come under fire with its controversial statements and rulings.

Earlier this month, the CII had ruled that laws related to minimum age of marriage were un-Islamic and that children of any age could get married if they attain puberty.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1096836/sindh-assembly-demands-end-to-cii

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Pakistan to get leftover Afghan war equipment: Defence Secretary

2014-03-31

ISLAMABAD: Secretary Defence Asif Yasin Malik on Monday said Pakistan would be receiving the United States’ leftover military hardware after the completion of withdrawal of its forces from Afghanistan later this year.

Malik said allied forces had not spoken of handing over equipment to Afghanistan, adding that Pakistan would be receiving the military hardware.

He further said that only after going through the equipment would Pakistan decide what it wants to keep from the remaining supplies.

Earlier, a statement issued by the US-led International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) had said the "United States Forces-Afghanistan does not provide or intend to provide any such equipment, including MRAPs (mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles), from Afghanistan to Pakistan".

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1096837/pakistan-to-get-leftover-afghan-war-equipment-defence-secretary

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Majority Pakistanis believe, an Imam should be aware of other subjects too

March 31, 2014

Islamabad- According to a Gilani Research Foundation Survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan, majority Pakistanis (72%) believe an Imam should be aware of other subjects besides his religious knowledge.

A nationally representative sample of adult men and women, from across the four provinces were asked "should the Imam be aware of subjects like science and technology, English language etc. besides his religious knowledge or not?" Responding to this, 72% said yes and 28% replied no. The study was released by Gilani Foundation and carried out by Gallup Pakistan, the Pakistani affiliate of Gallup International. The recent survey was carried out among a sample of 2616 men and women in rural and urban areas of all four provinces of the country, during Mar 03, 2014 and Mar 10, 2014. Error margin is estimated to be approximately 2-3 per cent at 95% confidence level.

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/31-Mar-2014/majority-pakistanis-believe-an-imam-should-be-aware-of-other-subjects-too

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Taliban, Lej, PML-N have covert agreement: Memon

March 31, 2014

KARACHI- Minister for Information Sindh Sharjeel Memon has claimed that a covert agreement exists between Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and PML-N and they are directly or indirectly together.

Talking to media outside Sindh Assembly session today, the minister said Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Taliban and the PML-N had covert agreement among them adding that centre is carrying out dialogue with terrorists in negation to the law and constitution. Memon said a treason trial of former president Pervez Musharraf was a test of judiciary and the federal government. Independence of judiciary and the government’s courage will come before the public and they would know the truth

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/national/31-Mar-2014/taliban-lej-pml-n-have-covert-agreement-memon

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Altaf calls for close Pakistan, India ties

March 31, 2014

KARACHI - Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Chief Altaf Hussain has lamented that people of Pakistan and India are not mentally close despite close proximity.

“It is my wish and desire that hatred and distance between people of India and Pakistan must change into a relationship of love and friendship,”Altaf Hussain expressed these views while addressing the participants of "Alami Mushaira" organised by MQM’s ‘Ghawara-e-Adab’ at the Lal Qila Ground.

This international Mushaira was organised in the memory of well-known poet Mohsin Bhopali. People had come to attend this event from across the globe, including India, US, Canada and other countries.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/karachi/31-Mar-2014/altaf-calls-for-close-pakistan-india-ties

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Taliban hint at releasing ‘high-profile people’: Jamaat-i-Islami leader

2014-03-31

BANNU: A Jamaat-i-Islami leader and member of the TTP’s negotiating committee, Prof Mohammad Ibrahim, said on Sunday that the Taliban had expressed willingness to release some high-profile people as a goodwill gesture.

Talking to reporters after a training session for JI workers here on Sunday, Prof Ibrahim did not rule out release of Ali Musa Gilani, Shahbaz Taseer and Dr Prof Ajmal Khan, the former vice chancellor of Islamia College University, Peshawar.

He criticised the PPP, Muttahida Qaumi Movement and Awami National Party for their stance on the ongoing talks between the government and the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan and claimed that these parties did not want the process to succeed so that a situation arose for a military operation in North Waziristan.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1096761/taliban-hint-at-releasing-high-profile-people-ibrahim

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Pakistan to be recognised as ‘ambassador of peace’ and not as “a trader of war”: Minister

March 31, 2014

ISLAMABAD - Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Pervaiz Rashid said on Sunday Pakistan would be recognized in the world as “an ambassador of peace” and not as “a trader of war” under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif.

Talking to media persons after launching ceremony of a book, “Dharkan”, here, the minister said the Prime Minister believed in peace and coexistence and it was also evident from his past record.

He said the country’s economy had gained momentum and picked up strength in the last eight months. “The currency has gradually strengthened and even the international monetary organizations are also acknowledging Pakistan’s economy value, which is now on fast track,” the minister asserted.

Full report at:

http://www.nation.com.pk/lahore/31-Mar-2014/pakistan-to-be-recognised-as-ambassador-of-peace-pervaiz

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Maulana Ashrafi says Taliban want judicial commission on prisoners

2014-03-31

ISLAMABAD: Maulana Tahir Ashrafi, chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council, claimed on Sunday that the outlawed Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan had suggested to the government to set up a judicial commission to ascertain facts about detention of what it called non-combatants.

“This is one of the recommendations of Taliban that there should be a judicial commission on the issue of TTP prisoners,” Maulana Ashrafi told this correspondent.

He said the Taliban had made the suggestion during their first meeting with government negotiators in tribal areas last week. He said he urged the government from the platform of Pakistan Ulema Council to set up a judicial commission.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1096768/ashrafi-says-taliban-want-judicial-commission-on-prisoners

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Jamaat-e-Islami brands ‘Pakistan Idol’ an ‘obscene’ programme

March 31, 2014

ISLAMABAD: The Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) has taken strong exception to the airing of what it believes are obscene musical programme on private TV channels in the country, singling out “Pakistan Idol”.

Jamaat-e-Islami, which is known for giving out controversial statements on various issues, categorically ranked the musical competition in the category of obscenity. The party asked the government to explain airing of “obscenity” through such musical contests on TV channels. JI’s lawmaker Sher Akbar Khan, whose calling-attention notice will be taken up by the National Assembly today (Monday), said the Pakistan Idol is spreading obscenity in the country. The Pakistan Idol, which is being telecast by a private TV channel, has been viewed massively, its management claims. It has been aired for the last several months and has recently entered its final phase. Akbar Khan objected to the singing and dancing of young boys and girls in the Pakistan Idol, saying that it has caused grave concern among the public. Full report at:

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/31-Mar-2014/ji-brands-pakistan-idol-an-obscene-programme

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India

 

‘He Was With Us For Diwali… Would A Staunch Muslim Feel At Home?’

March 31, 2014

A bright computer engineering student with a fondness for long hair, Facebook and Urdu poetry, particularly of Allama Iqbal who inspired the movement for Pakistan. His equally shy, harmless and religious batch mate, whom a staunch Brahmin family treated as own son. That’s the verdict of families, friends, teachers, neighbours and acquaintances on 23-year-old Mohammed Maroof Nirban and Waqar Azhar (22), the two alleged Indian Mujahideen operatives arrested last week by the Delhi Police from Jaipur and accused of plotting a terror attack.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-others/he-was-with-us-for-diwali-would-a-staunch-muslim-feel-at-home/

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Largest Indian delegation ever to visit Libya – Indian Ambassador Anil Trigunayat

March 31, 2014

Over 100 Indian companies are registered to participate in the 42nd Tripoli International Fair taking place between 2-12 April at the Tripoli International Fair ground, Indian ambassador Anil Trigunayat revealed today.

The Indian exhibitors will be occupying halls 58, 67 and 70 and this will be the largest ever delegation to visit Libya.

Besides the exhibiting companies, over 15 executives from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) will also be visiting Libya between 5-7 April. The CII is the biggest business confederation in India and this will be the second CII delegation to Libya, following a visit in October 2011. The CII hopes to sign an MoU with the Libyan Business Council on 6 April.

The ambassador explained that the delegation will be focusing on health, education, ITC, Full report at:

http://www.libyaherald.com/2014/03/30/largest-indian-delegation-ever-to-visit-libya-indian-ambassador-anil-trigunayat/#ixzz2xapnUFqn

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Southeast Asia

 

Tight security at royal divorce case, former Sultanah of Malaysia barred from court

March 31, 2014

The Syariah Court of Appeal in Johor Bahru is crawling with police personnel and members of the Johor Military Force where a bizarre divorce case involving the state royal family is being heard.

Former Sultanah Tuanku Zanariah Tuanku Ahmad's is appealing against the divorce from her late husband, which was posthumously done and backdated.

Today, the court is hearing the state Islamic Council's application to be an intervener in the case.

According to Tuanku Zanariah’s lawyer Kamar Ainiah Kamarulzaman, her client and her children tried to enter but were refused. However, the Sultanah’s lawyers were escorted out by the police, with the exception of the lead counsel.

Full report at:

http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=254262:even-

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Why Islamic parties don't win Indonesian elections

31 March 2014

Almost 90% of Indonesians identify as Muslim, with millions not only practicing Islam in their personal lives but joining Muslim mass organisations as well. 'Aspirational pietism' is a growth industry in Indonesia, producing a boom in Muslim fashion, banking and media.

But when it comes to voting, the support for Islam-based parties is surprisingly low.

Candidates from parties that are Islamist in policy or identity do not feature among the frontrunners for president, with Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo from the secular Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) well in front in most polls, followed by candidates from secular parties such as Gerindra, Golkar and the Democratic Party. However, the absence of Islam-based parties among the top contenders does not mean Islam is absent entirely from Indonesian politics.

Full report at:

http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2014/03/31/Why-Islamic-parties-dont-win-Indonesian-elections.aspx

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Muslim converts deserve Bumi rights as ‘special Malays’, says ex-judge

MARCH 31, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 ― Malaysians who convert to Islam should be considered “special Malays” and be given the same special rights accorded to their Bumiputera countrymen, Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah has suggested.

The retired Court of Appeals judge noted that Muslim converts had complained of being given the cold shoulder by government officials just because they are not considered Bumiputera even though their new religion fulfilled a criterion for being “Malay” in the Federal Constitution.

“Converts are ‘special Malays’ which are self-invented by the Constitution,” he was quoted saying by several Malay dailies yesterday after an event in Seremban, Negri Sembilan.

The Federal Constitution defines a constitutional “Malay” as someone who speaks the Malay language, follows the Malay culture, and is a Muslim.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/muslim-converts-deserve-bumi-rights-as-special-malays-says-ex-judge#sthash.L9iwMzPL.dpuf

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Pervez Musharraf 'knew' where Osama bin Laden was hiding, new book says

PTI | Mar 31, 2014

WASHINGTON: Former Pakistani military dictator Pervez Musharraf possibly knew about slain al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and his place of hiding, an eminent British journalist who reported for years from Afghanistan and Pakistan for the New York Times has claimed.

In her latest book, "The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan 2001-2004", journalist Carlotta Gall has sourced her startling revelation to a retired Pakistani general Talat Masood.

"If allowed to proceed, the court cases may unravel some of the remaining mysteries of the Musharraf era," Gall writes in her book.

Musharraf is currently facing treason charges in a Pakistani court, besides other cases.

Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, the book is scheduled to go on sale in April 8.

"One day as he sat at home in Islamabad, the retired general Talat Masood was watching an interview with Musharraf on television, Masood was struck by something the general said. Musharraf was talking about (Osama) bin Laden and as was often the case, he was talking too much," she writes.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pervez-Musharraf-knew-where-Osama-bin-Laden-was-hiding-new-book-says/articleshow/33005939.cms

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Europe

 

Fury as Fanatic Who Trained 7/7 Bomber Sets Up Islamic Primary School in Britain

March 31, 2014

A terror suspect who trained the ringleader of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London has been allowed to set up an Islamic primary school, teaching children as young as three, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

As a member of a banned extremist group, Sajeel Shahid, 38, called for violence against British troops and ran a training camp in Pakistan where known terrorists learned how to make bombs and fire rocket- propelled grenades.

One of his ‘graduates’ was Mohammed Siddique Khan, who led the gang of four suicide bombers on the deadliest terrorist attack ever committed in Britain, killing 52 people on the London Underground and a bus on July 7, 2005.

Shahid also allegedly trained four convicted terrorists who tried to blow up the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent and London’s  Ministry of Sound nightclub in a foiled plot.

The jihadist – who was raised in Britain but spent years in Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks – was detained for three months in 2005 by the Pakistani security forces over his suspected links to Al Qaeda.

Full report at:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2592441/Fury-fanatic-trained-7-7-bomber-sets-Islamic-PRIMARY-SCHOOL-Britain.html#ixzz2xWelebsr

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Chechen al Qaeda commander an Ahrar al Sham leader spotted on front lines in Latakia

March 31, 2014

A prominent Saudi cleric and a Chechen military commander in a unit of the Al Nusrah Front for the People in the Levant, al Qaeda's official branch in Syria, celebrated together after recent heavy fighting against Syrian government forces in a mountainous area in the coastal province of Latakia. An emir of Ahrar al Sham is also seen in the video.

Muslim al Shishani, a Chechen jihadist and Al Nusrah military commander, is seen in a video with Dr. Abdallah Muhammad al Muhaysini, an al Qaeda-linked Saudi cleric, after the Al Nusrah Front overran a Syrian military position in the eastern province. The video was posted on YouTube on March 26.

In the video, hundreds of jihadists are shown walking around the captured outpost as fires, presumably caused by the the fighting, are still burning. A tank and a pickup truck with a machine gun mounted in the bed are seen in the background. Gunfire is heard, but it sounds celebratory.

Full report at:

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2014/03/chechen_al_qaeda_com.php#ixzz2xWavZOr1

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Rebels in Ingushetia Target Police Under New Jammat Leadership

March 31, 2014

On the night of March 11, police officer Batyr Belkharoev was shot while he was driving his car near the village of Sagopshi in Ingushetia’s Malgobek district (http://lifenews.ru/news/128832). He died on the spot, while a relative traveling with him, Magomed Belkharoev, was wounded and taken to the hospital. Ingushetia’s media reported that the incident took place in the city of Malgobek (http://www.habar.org/?cat=8), which is north of the village of Sagopshi.

The story did not end there, however. The police in Ingushetia imposed a special emergency situation to intercept the attacks. Several hours after the incident, traffic police officers attempted to stop a suspicious car at a checkpoint near the village of Zyazikov-Yurt. Police fired at the car when it sped up instead of stopping. The republican interior minister said police fired shots in the air, but that one of the bullets ricocheted off and hit the car, after which the car stopped. It was discovered that a resident of the city of Karabulak and three off-duty police officers were in the vehicle. One of the off-duty police officers in the car was hit by the gunfire from his fellow law enforcement officers and killed (http://www.rg.ru/2011/06/15/reg-kuban/perestrelka-anons.html).

Full report at:

The Jamestown Foundation

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North Caucasus Militants Announce New Leader to Replace Umarov

March 31, 2014

After seven months without any communication from the Caucasus Emirate’s emir, Doku Umarov, the leadership of the North Caucasian rebels’ velayats on March 18 officially admitted the death of their leader (http://kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2014/03/18/103603.shtml).

The North Caucasian jihadists also announced their new leader—Abu Muhammad, who was the Caucasus Emirate’s qadi, or Sharia judge, under Doku Umarov. In a video posted on the Kavkaz Center website, the new rebel leader confirmed Umarov’s death and expressed his condolences (http://kavkazcenter.com/russ/content/2014/03/18/103604.shtml). In his speech, Abu Muhammad said the new emir was chosen by the four emirs of the velayats—Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, and the united velayat of Kabarda, Balkaria and Karachay—and that he himself also participated in the process in his capacity as the Caucasus Emirate’s qadi (http://hunafa.com/?p=1358).

Full report at:

The Jamestown Foundation

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Number of Muslims in prison doubles in decade to 12,000

March 31, 2014

The number of Muslims in the prison population has more than doubled to nearly 12,000 in a decade, figures from the Ministry of Justice show.

The dramatic rise prompted calls for ministers to investigate whether police and the courts are treating Muslims more harshly, with some suggesting the rise is due to Islamophobia.

Muslims represent only 4.7 per cent of the population in England and Wales, according to the most recent Census, yet one in seven prisoners (14 per cent) in England and Wales is a Muslim, according to the statistics.

In some jails the proportion of Islamic inmates is more than one-third, and in Whitemoor, a Category A prison in Cambridgeshire, it is as high as 43 per cent.

Full report at:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/number-of-muslims-in-prison-doubles-in-decade-to-12000-9222237.html

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