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Islamic World News (11 Nov 2009 NewAgeIslam.Com)



German Head-Scarf Killer Given Life Sentence

Kashmiri Muslim Sayyid Syeed Works for Religious Tolerance in US: drewinspiration from a childhood meeting with Gandhi

Fort Hood Shooting: With Whom Are We At War?

U.S. Muslims also have died to defend us

Christian conservative Radio host questions Muslims in the US military

How much jihad should we endure?

Muslims in military seek a bridge between worlds

Islamic jihad declared again on the U.S.

Hasan and the Big Lie: U.S. "War" Against Islam

Obama’s duty to Muslim soldiers

Islamic conference says homosexuality OK

Iran 'ready to aid Yemeni security'

Yemen Conflict Triggers Flood of Refugees

Iranian cleric: Muslims should denounce extremism

Rah-e-Nijaat eliminates 9 more extremists: ISPR

Taliban expands control of Nuristan

US denies Pakistan nuclear report

By-election in UP, India: Muslim vote shifts back to Congress

Hezbollah rockets can reach main Israeli cities: Army chief

TV footage shows Afghan insurgents with US ammunition

Muslim lawyer ordered not to wear headscarf at Spanish court

Is Iraq the next holiday hotspot?

Prominent member of Awakening movement arrested in Iraq

National Muslim Women's Advisory Group unveils new identity

SMC play depicts women's struggles ‘Unveiled’ explores, counters American stereotypes of Muslim women

Can Indonesia's "Hamburger King" topple McDonald's?

HCJB equips Indonesian radio station in the aftermath of deathly quake

Somali terror suspect arrested in Dutch asylum centre

Body of Missing U.S. Soldier Found in Afghanistan

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this Page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/german-head-scarf-killer-given-life-sentence/d/2083

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German Head-Scarf Killer Given Life Sentence

November 11, 2009

A court in Dresden has sentenced a German self-avowed racist who killed an Egyptian woman in Dresden in July to life in prison.

On July 31, Russian-born Alex Wiens killed Egyptian pharmacist Marwa el-Sherbini in a Dresden courtroom, though not the one where he was sentenced on November 11. The slaying, before a courtroom filled with people, was sudden and brutal.

Wiens stabbed Sherbini 16 times as they both appeared for an appeal hearing over an altercation they had a year earlier in a Dresden playground.

The two had met by chance in the playground when Sherbini asked Wiens to vacate a swing so that her toddler could use it. Wiens responded with a torrent of verbal abuse, calling Sherbini, who was wearing a head scarf at the time, an Islamist, a terrorist, and a whore.

Sherbini subsequently sued him for defamation, and Wiens was fined 780 euros ($1,170). But Wiens took what prosecutors say was premeditated revenge when the two met again at Wiens' appeals hearing.

Wiens smuggled an 18-centimeter-long kitchen knife into the courtroom in his backpack and fatally attacked Sherbini, three months' pregnant with her second child.

Sherbini's husband, Elwy Okaz, an Egyptian geneticist doing research in Germany, was stabbed multiple times as he tried to protect his wife. He also was shot in the leg by a security guard who apparently mistook him for his wife's assailant. It is unclear whether he will ever walk again unaided.

Evidence Of Mental Illness

There had been fears that a decision in the case could have been delayed by last-minute evidence that Wiens had a history of schizophrenia before he moved to Germany in 2003.

The suggestion of schizophrenia came in a faxed statement to the Dresden court earlier this week from the Russian Prosecutor-General's Office.

The statement said that Wiens, at the time known as Aleksandr Igorevich Nelsin, had been exempted from compulsory military service in Russia and was diagnosed in 2000 with "undifferentiated schizophrenia" occurring in worsening episodes.

Up until then, Wiens had been adjudged by German psychiatrists as sane and competent to stand trial.

'Veil Martyr'

Making his closing arguments on November 9, prosecutor Frank Heinrich called Okaz and Sherbini, who came to Germany in 2004, the kind of immigrants that Germany needs. He said that was in sharp contrast to people like Wiens.

"What we definitely don't need are people like the accused, who came here with crude ideas and think they are somehow special because they hold German citizenship."

Wiens was born in Perm and lived there and in Kazakhstan with his mother before both moved to Germany. In statements to the court, Wiens has said that "it is true that I am hostile to foreigners but that was not the motive" for the attack.

Wiens has appeared in court throughout his murder trial wearing a ski mask and dark glasses to completely cover his face. Prosecutors say he has expressed no contrition to the court or the victim's family.

The case has been closely watched in Egypt and the Muslim world, where it is widely cited as an example of German and European intolerance of Islam. The Egyptian press has dubbed Sherbini the "veil martyr" in reference to her wearing a head scarf.

Immediately after the killing, there were protests before German embassies, particularly in Egypt and Iran. Demonstrators said they were incensed by the muted reaction of German officials and media to the case. Iran's ultraconservative "Kayhan" newspaper called on Muslims to carry out a "revolutionary death penalty" against Wiens.

A week after the killing, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed her condolences to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak but did not comment publicly.

Because of the death threats, security at the Wiens trial has been unusually tight. Some 200 police are guarding the Dresden courtroom and the defendant sits behind bullet-proof glass.

http://www.rferl.org/content/German_Court_To_Issue_Verdict_In_HeadScarf_Killing/1875020.html

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Kashmiri Muslim Sayyid Syeed Works for Religious Tolerance in US: drew inspiration from a childhood meeting with Gandhi

By Mohamed Elshinnawi

10 November 2009

Nidal Malik Hasan, the U.S. army officer who allegedly killed 13 people and wounded 31 others at Fort Hood military base in Texas Nov.5, is a devout Muslim. American Islamic organizations expressed shock and condemnation of what they called, "the senseless and appalling act of violence," and offered condolences and prayers to the victims and their families.

Publishing a book about what is in common between religions was the product of ISNA cooperation with Union for Reform Judaism

Among the groups speaking out is the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA, the largest Muslim-American organization in the western hemisphere. Sayyid Syeed, the group's national director, is the focus of this week's American Profile.

Sayyid Syeed's work at ISNA reflects his lifelong campaign to promote tolerance and non-violence, and to bring people of different faiths together in productive dialogue.

Syeed drew inspiration from a childhood meeting with Gandhi

Sayyid Syeed grew up in Kashmir, a mountainous region of the Indian subcontinent where Hindus and Muslims once lived in peace. All that changed after India's independence from Britain and the creation of a predominantly Muslim Pakistan in 1947. Frictions between the two religious communities and their rival claims to Kashmir erupted into violence.

In 1947, Syeed's father took him to a meeting with Mahatma Gandhi, India's beloved champion of non-violent social change, during the Hindu leader's only trip to Kashmir. Syeed, then just six years old, remembers the meeting vividly.

"Mahatma Gandhi was so pained to see what was happening in India and Pakistan. And he said, 'Look to Kashmir and see a ray of hope, and I hope that the role of Kashmir will be to promote peace and understanding in the subcontinent.' Mahatma Gandhi's statement and the appreciation of the role of Muslims in Kashmir was sort of the inspiration for me," Syeed says.

Syeed formed the first North American campus group for Muslim students

Dr. Sayyed says he was inspired by the peaceful reconciliation approach the Mahatma Gahndi adopted

Sayyid Syeed came to the U.S. in 1974, one of thousands of Muslim students then flocking to the West in pursuit of higher education and advanced degrees. But Syeed already had a keen sense of his life's mission which was to advocate for tolerance and inter-religious harmony through peaceful dialogue. He became active organizing newly-arrived Muslim students and he founded the first Muslim Student Association in the U.S. and Canada.

In 1984, after earning his Ph.D. in socio-linguistics and becoming a U.S. citizen, Syeed helped engineer the transformation of the Muslim student group into the Islamic Society of North America.

"From the very beginning, our whole program was in a sense, an interfaith program. Many of the activities that we had, whether it was Friday prayers or our Sunday schools, we started from the generous offers given to us by people of other faiths," Syeed says.

The interfaith dialogues included Baptists, Catholics and Protestants. But the major breakthrough, Syeed says, was with the Jewish community.

"With the Jewish community, the problem was the issue of Israel and Palestine. We told our Jewish leaders and friends that it is very critical that the Muslim community in America, which is growing, and the Jewish community should be brought closer so that they can appreciate and respect each other," he recalls.

Staying determined to building bridges between faiths

Syeed says that his efforts to involve Muslim Americans in interfaith dialogues paid off in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

"It is amazing how our colleagues from other faiths were equally disturbed and upset about this extremist misrepresentation of Islam. So that gives us confidence that darkness can be fought by knowledge and education," Syeed says.

He adds the 9/11 attacks created deep suspicions among non-Muslim Americans, but they also gave American Muslims new incentives to work with other faiths to dispel their misconceptions about Islam, and to recognize what he calls the "common legacy" of all faiths.

"It took us some time and it will take more time to invite people of other faiths to the commonalities with Islam, the common message of these Abrahamic faiths [which is] to help everybody understand that all of us are monotheists, all of us are coming from an Abrahamic faith, and we have so much common legacy," Syeed says.

Today, he reflects, much work remains to be done to address the hatred, bigotry and ignorance that still divide communities of faith, and that still spark bloody conflicts around the world, including in his own native Kashmir.  He plans to continue his lifelong mission as a leader and a teacher, promoting a peaceful role for Islam and helping to bridge the gulf between America and the Muslim world.

http://www.voanews.com/english/AmericanLife/2009-11-10-voa35.cfm

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Fort Hood Shooting: With Whom Are We At War?

By Aaron Goldstein

November 10, 2009

When someone shouts "Allahu Akbar" and begins wantonly slaughtering people we have a pretty good idea what their motivations are.

    "The United States is not and will never be at war with Islam."

   — President Barack Obama, Address to the Grand National Assembly of Turkey [1], April 6, 2009, Ankara, Turkey

    "We're not at war with anyone.  We're at war only with people who represent mistruths as truth and that's true of any network whether it's Fox, CBS, or any other network when– when errors of fact are stated or when opinion is offered is fact, we will– we will challenge that."

    – David Axelrod, Senior Policy Advisor to President Obama, November 1, 2009, Interview on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer [2], Washington, D.C.

While David Axelrod insists we are only at war with media outlets and others who tell the public things the White House doesn't want to hear, the last I checked we still have soldiers who are fighting wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq.  And while President Obama insists the United States is not and never will be at war with Islam that doesn't mean Islam isn't at war with us.

We found this out the hard way on November 5, 2009 when a member of our own armed forces, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, shot and killed twelve fellow soldiers and one civilian as well as injuring twenty-nine others at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. It was an act of terrorism pure and simple. If our military is charged with the responsibility of protecting us and if our military bases are not safe from their own ranks then surely the intent is to undermine public confidence in our armed forces. The void created by a loss of public confidence is one filled by feelings of terror.

President Obama can content himself all he wants with false assurances that we ought not to "jump to conclusions" about Hasan or that "we can't fully know what leads a man to do such a thing." But when someone shouts "Allahu Akbar" and begins wantonly slaughtering people we have a pretty good idea of what Hasan's motivations are. When someone praises the murder of Private William Long, an army recruiter in Little Rock, Arkansas, we have a pretty good idea that Hasan has no place in our military. When someone makes an effort to contact al Qaeda leaders to join their cause as Hasan did we have a pretty good idea that we are dealing with someone who is both a terrorist and a traitor.

Those who would attribute Hasan's actions to some sort of made up on the spot, convenient, instant coffee mental disorder or otherwise make excuses for his actions do a grave disservice to the memory of those who died at Fort Hood. In fact, it does a disservice to all our soldiers who have lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq.

So when we take a moment on Veterans Day to remember those who were lost at Fort Hood and those who laid down their lives before them, let us also remember the words of Osama bin Laden. In the fatwa issued in 1998, he wrote:

    We — with God's help — call on every Muslim who believes in God and wishes to be rewarded to comply with God's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it. We also call on Muslim ulema, leaders, youths, and soldiers to launch the raid on Satan's U.S. troops and the devil's supporters allying with them, and to displace those who are behind them so that they may learn a lesson.  (http://www.pbs.org/newshour/terrorism/international/fatwa_1998.html [3])

This fatwa was issued during President Clinton's second term. This fatwa was issued nearly three years before big, bad George W. Bush took the oath of office. This fatwa proves Islamic fundamentalists hated America well before President Bush and will hate America no matter how much President Obama might try to appease and satiate their appetites.

We should remember these words because they are in part what motivated the attacks of September 11, 2001. We should remember these words because they are in part what motivated the attacks against our soldiers serving in Afghanistan and Iraq. We should remember these words because they are in part what motivated Nadal Malik Hasan to fire upon his fellow soldiers and kill his fellow Americans.

http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2009/11/10/with-whom-are-we-at-war/

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U.S. Muslims also have died to defend us

By Leonard Pitts Jr

``Why are these Muslim invaders allowed to carry on freely in this country -- protected by outreach, Obama, and PC mental illness?''

``Simply put, most Muslims in non-Islamic countries have an evil axe to grind and a scurrilous hidden agenda.''

``Muslims should be deported from this country! They offer nothing to Americans!''

This outburst of vituperation from message boards and bloggers is, of course, traceable to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist and American Muslim accused of shooting 13 people dead and wounding 29 others in a rampage last week at Fort Hood, Texas. At this writing, we know next to nothing of why he did it.

Maybe he was a stone cold psychopath like Eric Harris who, with Dylan Klebold, shot up Columbine High in 1999.

Maybe he was deranged and delusional like Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people and himself at Virginia Tech in 2007.

Maybe he was driven by a grudge against the federal government like Timothy McVeigh, who blew up a federal building in 1995.

Maybe he was a terrorist.

Predictably, it is the last possibility that has ignited outrage and condemnation from the usual speak-first, think-later types, employing the usual sweeping half truths and untruths to argue that Muslims are un-American and contribute nothing to this country.

One wonders what they would say, then, to Cpl. Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan, U.S. Army, Muslim, American, killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq.

Or to Spec. Rasheed Sahib, U.S. Army, Muslim, American, accidentally shot to death by a fellow soldier in Iraq.

Or to Maj. James Ahearn, U.S. Army, Muslim, American, killed by a bomb in Iraq.

Or to Cpt. Humayun Khan, U.S. Army, Muslim, American, killed when he approached a suicide bomber in Iraq.

Would they continue in loud ignorance? Or would they simply, finally, shut up?

The latter is probably too much to hope: The majority is often eager to stamp the minority with the worst actions of its worst members. The minority is left to wonder why only its worst are judged emblematic, while its best are forgotten or ignored.

So it is for Muslims, now, sacrifices and service unremembered and unremarked.

Full report at: http://www.miamiherald.com/living/columnists/leonard-pitts/story/1327189.html

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Christian conservative Radio host questions Muslims in the US military

By Jason Hancock

10 November 2009

No one who has “sworn allegiance to Islamic ideology” should be allowed to serve in the U.S. armed forces, Christian conservative radio host Steve Deace said during his show on Monday.

In the aftermath of Major Nidal Hasan’s killing spree at Fort Hood in Texas, questions of whether his actions were inspired by religious fervor are still unanswered. But because Hasan reportedly yelled “”Allahu akbar,” or “God is great,” before opening fire, Deace believes it is a clear example of political correctness getting in the way of protecting American lives.

“I haven’t said we should purge the military of every single Muslim, but I do think we should start asking ourselves a real key question: If someone has sworn a public loyalty to the ideology that brave men and women are fighting against, why are we giving them uniforms and guns?” he said.

Deace compared allowing Muslims to serve to allowing someone to serve in the colonial army who had pledged loyalty to the British crown or to a Nazi sympathizer during World War II.

The problem, he said, is that society is so worried about offending anyone that they are putting everyone at risk.

“This is the problem with political correctness,” Deace said. “I do not believe Islam is a peaceful religion. But I also don’t believe all Muslims are warmongers. I just think if you look at this history and tradition of Islam, to come to the conclusion that it’s a peaceful religion is laughable on its face. “

Deace was particularly upset with two audio clips he played for his listeners. The first was former President George W. Bush saying Christians and Muslims will both go to heaven, “we just have a different routes of getting there.” Deace said this was absolutely untrue, and that Bush was either lying or uninformed of how incompatible the two religions are.

Full report at: http://iowaindependent.com/22144/radio-host-deace-questions-muslims-in-the-military

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How much jihad should we endure?

November 11, 2009

The multiple crimes of Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan have sentenced all of us to a long period of anguished debate about "What we should do about Muslims." That's assuming there will be an urgency to replace our present policy of nothingness tightly wrapped in political correctness.

You hear, "Islam is a religion of peace!" and you also hear "Every page of their Quran exhorts them to 'Kill the infidels – the Christians and Jews!'" I don't recall an argument ever where so much rich ground in the middle has been ignored.

Do you remember the old liberal mantra that "Poverty causes crime." It collapsed. Too many dirt-poor people around the world are honest and too many disgusting thieves strike like cobras out of the middle and upper classes.

Try this! – "Crime expands to fill our willingness to put up with it." And let's lift that over to crimes like the many murders of Maj. Hasan. Jihad also expands to fill our willingness to put up with it.

If it's any consolation, liberal western Europe is worse than we are. They know they've lost control of their Islamic population and they're terrified, helpless and ashamed, from Sweden down through Holland and France and over to Britain and down to Spain. All eyes are on America now.

A jaw-dropping expose on the six-month undercover operation that revealed the true terror-supporting nature of CAIR: "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America." It's also available in electronic form at reduced price through Scribd.

Christianity and Judaism have outgrown their earlier grotesqueries. Islam has simply refused to budge. They remain spiritually flat-tired and broken-axled in the 12th century. It is absurd to say Islam is a religion of peace. It's just as absurd to say all of them want to kill all of us.

Of the more-or-less billion Muslims in the world, there is a large segment that does want to kill us all. They are wildly outnumbered, fortunately, by all the millions of Muslims who don't want to kill anybody but don't want to open their mouths for fear of getting their throats slit. Many Americans have died to save Muslims over the past 18 years in Bosnia, Kosovo, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. We have opportunities inside Islam. Millions of Muslims would love for America to win the war on terror, but they're intimidated; paralyzed. And they get nothing but betrayal from America's president.

Full report at: http://www.wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=115611

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Muslims in military seek a bridge between worlds

By Michelle Boorstein

November 11, 2009

U.S. Muslim service members say they stand out in both their worlds.

Among fellow troops, that can mean facing ethnic taunts, awkward questions about spiritual practices and a structure that is not set up to accommodate their worship. Among Muslims, the questions can be more profound: How can a Muslim participate in killing other Muslims in such places as Iraq and Afghanistan?

Just 3,557 members of the 1.4 million-member U.S. armed forces describe themselves as Muslim, and followers of Islam said the military is just starting to accommodate them by recruiting Muslim chaplains, creating Muslim prayer spaces and educating other troops about Islam.

Active and retired Muslim service members recalled difficulties concerning their religion but said they cannot relate to the extreme isolation and harassment described by Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, the suspect in last week's Fort Hood slayings. They also said they hope the killings do not roll back the progress they have seen.

Joshua Salaam, 36, said superiors told him when he joined the Air Force that he could not take time for regular prayer. He remembered being warned at a briefing for a posting in Qatar not to go to mosques because of potential violence. Once he arrived, other service members told him that Muslims there wore baggy clothes because Islam calls for them to avoid public bathrooms.

"They are the enemy," is how Muslims were sometimes characterized, he said.

But Salaam said he received many awards in the Air Force. He wore his "kufi" -- a rounded cap popular with some African American Muslims--on base and came to like being a "cultural translator" for both sides.

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"As a Muslim growing up in America, we've been doing that our whole lives anyway," he said.

Full report at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/10/AR2009111018598.html

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Islamic jihad declared again on the U.S.

Nov 11 2009

I found it hard to believe what I heard Friday evening when a lady spouted opinion, from the news-anchor chair of a local TV station, about how "horrific" it was that our GI's, preparing to go to, or having safely just come home from a war zone were killed or wounded where no war existed in America--at Fort Hood.

Apparently, like so many other Americans, she cannot come to grips with the fact that war--Islamic Jihad--has again been declared upon the United States of America in the attempt to replace our Constitution with Sharia (Islamic) Law.

The "news" report then went on to show a Muslim spokesperson, playing the victim, praising the American public for not blaming all Muslims for the massacre. He then gave lip-service condemnation to Major Hasan, a lifelong Muslim, who reportedly shouted "Allahu akbar" (Allah is great) before firing upon the real, unarmed victims.

Hasan is an Islamic Jihadist who managed to infiltrate the Amy, dishonor his oath as an officer and to the medical profession. If he lives, he should be tried, convicted and executed by the military as a traitor and spy.

If the reader would like to read about the extensive infiltration of Muslims into virtually every branch of our government and armed services, a new book was released last month called "Muslim Mafia" by Gaubatz and Sperry. For easy-reading facts about Islam go to scholarly expert Robert Spencer's web site organization, Jihad Watch.

http://www.standard.net/topics/opinion/2009/11/10/islamic-jihad-declared-again-us

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Hasan and the Big Lie: U.S. "War" Against Islam

10 November 2009

When an American-born radical Islamist cleric chose to praise last week's Fort Hood shooting spree by Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan, part of the rationale was that no Muslim could faithfully serve the U.S. armed forces.

To Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki, that's because "The US is leading the war against terrorism which in reality is a war against Islam."

A 2005 Canadian study of radicalism concluded that this theme is a potent tool in recruiting Muslims and turning them into violent extremists.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) report was on youth radicalism and Hasan is a 39-year old with advanced college degrees.

Associates are stepping forward with accounts showing that Hasan was frustrated by what he saw as an American war against his faith.

The Washington Post obtained a copy of Hasan's June 2007 presentation at as part of his residency program at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Among the statements that disturbed his colleagues, Hasan declared that "It's getting harder and harder for Muslims in the service to morally justify being in a military that seems constantly engaged against fellow Muslims."

A student who took an environmental health class with Hasan at Uniformed Services of the Health Sciences in Bethesda describes him as someone who believed the United States was waging war against Islam. At the end of the class, all of the students had to give a presentation. Many wrote about course-related topics such as dry-cleaning chemicals and mold in homes, Lt. Col. Val Finnell said.

But Hasan (who told classmates he was "a Muslim first and an American second,") chose instead to write about the wrongness of the war on terror. A former classmate told the New York Times that Hasan gave a PowerPoint presentation approximately one year ago entitled "Why the War on Terror is a War on Islam."

Hasan has not been charged in the shootings which left 13 people dead. Sources have indicated he will face a military court martial for murder charges that could bring the death penalty.

According to the CSIS report, "the perception that Islam is under attack from the West" is the most important factor in persuading would-be jihadists that they must preemptively and violently defend Islam from these perceived enemies.

According to a summary of the report's findings:

"A few will act on these events and support or carry out terrorism in an attempt to change Western foreign or military policy. These individuals take the violent defense of Islam as a personal goal and religious obligation."

Full report at: Http://www.rightsidenews.com/200911117249/homeland-security/hasan-and-the-big-lie-us-qwarq-against-islam.html

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Obama’s duty to Muslim soldiers

November 11, 2009

By ctucker

During last year’s presidential campaign, it was Colin Powell who spoke most eloquently of the brave service of Muslim soldiers and sailors, not Barack Obama. Cowed by a widespread belief that he was Muslim, Obama was virtually silent on the subject, craven in the face of the demands of electoral politics.

Powell filled the void. Endorsing Obama on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last October, he chastised his fellow Republicans for a rightwing heterodoxy (which has only grown more pronounced since then) and an exclusionary narrowmindedness.

“I have heard senior members of my own party drop the suggestion that (Obama) is a Muslim and might have an association with terrorists. This is not the way we should be doing it in America,” Powell said.

As the interview ended, the former Secretary of State evoked a photograph he had seen of a mother kneeling at the grave of her dead son.

“. . .At the very top of the head stone, it didn’t have a Christian cross. It didn’t have a Star of David. It has a crescent and star of the Islamic faith. . . His name was Kareem Sultan Khan. And he was an American. . .He was fourteen years old at the time of 9/11, and he waited until he could serve his country and he gave his life,” Powell noted.

That sort of powerful testimony is needed even more now, after last Thursday’s bloody rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, apparently carried out by a Muslim Army officer, Nidal Hisan, who was, stunningly, a psychiatrist. As reports surface suggesting that Hisan may have been seduced by radicalism, there will inevitably be more calls for sanctions or restrictions that apply to all Muslim troops.

Obama chose not to use the occasion of  Tuesday’s memorial service  to forcefully speak out against the anti-Muslim bigotry that  — always close to the surface — has bubbled up in certain quarters. Instead, his references to Islam were implicit, if obvious.

Full report at: http://blogs.ajc.com/cynthia-tucker/2009/11/11/3445/?cxntfid=blogs_cynthia_tucker

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Islamic conference says homosexuality OK

By 365gay Newswire

11.10.2009

The Jakarta Post reported today that moderate Muslim scholars see no reason to reject homosexuals under Islam.

The discussion was organized by Arus Pelangi, a non-governmental group.

Scholars said that condemnation of homosexuality by Muslims is based on narrow-minded interpretations of Islamic teaching.

Siti Musdah Mulia of the Indonesia Conference of Religions and Peace said:

“There is no difference between lesbians and non lesbians. In the eyes of God, people are valued based on their piety…And talking about piety is God’s prerogative to judge. The essence of the religion is to humanize humans, respect and dignify them.”

Another speaker at the discussion, Nurofiah of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), said that heterosexuality is a social construction that has ultimately led the majority to ban homosexuality.

Several conservative Muslims also spoke at the discussion, but they condemned homosexuals.

Deputy chairman of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), Amir Syarifuddin said:

“It’s a sin. We will not consider homosexuals an enemy, but we will make them aware that what they are doing is wrong.”

A representative of Hizbut Thahir Indonesia (HTI) asked the attending homosexual participants to repent and force themselves to return to the right path.

However, according to Jakarta, Siti Musdah Mulia, said homosexuality is from God and should be considered natural.

http://www.365gay.com/news/islamic-conference-says-homosexuality-ok/

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Iran 'ready to aid Yemeni security'

November 11, 2009

Iran has said that it is ready to help restore security in Yemen, which is currently engaged in a deadly conflict with an armed Houthi opposition group.

Manouchehr Mottaki, Iran's foreign minister, made the offer on Wednesday, a day after Tehran warned Middle Eastern governments against interfering in the affairs of the the Arab Peninsula country.

"Iran is prepared to co-operate with the government of Yemen and other nations in order to restore security [in Yemen]," Mottaki said at a news conference.

Mottaki said that the fighting in north Yemen between government forces and the Houthis, who are from the Zaidi sect of Shia Islam, can be resolved by "collective efforts".

"It can restore security, peace and tranquility among the  people of Yemen and the whole region.

"Any measure in contrast of such approach will serve the enemies of Islamic and Arab states. We believe that any approach other than this will not serve the interests of regional nations."

Saudi offensive

The Houthis have been fighting for the last four years for a return to autonomous rule. The group has said that they have been economically and politically marginalised by the Yemeni government in Sana'a.

Attacks by both sides have escalated since August and this week Saudi Arabia, Yemen's northern neighbour, launched an offensive against the Houthis on the countries' border. This followed the killing of a Saudi border guard in a cross-border raid by the Houthis.

Mottaki asserted that regional nations should "seriously hold back from intervening in Yemen's internal affairs".

"Those who pour oil on the fire must know that they will not be spared from the smoke that billows," he said.

Sana'a has previously accused Iran of supporting the Houthis, whereas one of the Houthis' complaints against the government is its closeness to the Saudis.

Hasham Ahelbarra, Al Jazeera's correspondent in north Yemen, said: "In the first reaction to Mottaki the Yemini government rejected any interference in its own affairs.

Full report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/11/20091111124811159617.html

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Yemen Conflict Triggers Flood of Refugees, UN Says (Update1)

By Ed Johnson

Nov. 11 2009

Fighting in northern Yemen between government troops and Shiite Muslim rebels has forced thousands of civilians to flee in recent days, the United Nations said as it called for secure corridors to deliver aid.

“We again appeal for the protection of civilians and secure and unhindered access for humanitarian workers,” Andrej Mahecic, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, told reporters in Geneva yesterday.

The UN says about 175,000 people have been affected by the conflict in the northwestern province of Saada, which broke out in 2004 and escalated in August. The World Food Programme said aid routes are unreliable and this week said their may be “widespread suffering” if it’s unable to re-stock supplies.

Yemen’s government accuses the rebels of trying to reinstall the rule of Shiite imams who were toppled by a republican revolution in northern Yemen in 1962. The Houthi rebels, named after their leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, say they want a greater role for their Zaydi version of Shiite Islam and are revolting against corruption in the government and its alliance with the U.S.

The fighting has spread across Yemen’s 1,500-kilometer (930- mile) border with Saudi Arabia, which began an air bombing campaign against the rebels earlier this month after a Saudi border guard was killed. The rebels said in a statement yesterday they have taken control of the Qatabir district on the border with Saudi Arabia and seized military positions.

Border Crossing

Full report at: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601091&sid=anb6xFN9jWXQ

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Iranian cleric: Muslims should denounce extremism

November 10, 2009

TEHRAN – The director of Iran’s seminaries, Ayatollah Moqtadae, has called on Muslims to denounce extremist groups that regard Shias as infidels and call for their murder.

“A group of extremists who regard Shias as infidels and call for their murder are in fact the enemy’s mercenaries. They neither believe in Islam nor in the Sunni manner, rather they are opposed to God’s prophet,” he said in a meeting with cleric Molavi Abdolhamid Esmaeil Zehi, the Friday prayer leader of Maki Mosque in Zahedan, southeast Iran.

He added Imam Khomeini believed that all Muslims should unite against the enemy and Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is following the path of the Imam and based on this teaching the Qom Seminary ulema are seeking to boost brotherhood among Muslims.

Global arrogance views religion in direct contradiction to its interests and is therefore seeking to undermine Islam but Muslims should deprive the enemies of the opportunity to create division among them because they regard any rift among Shias and Sunnis as a progress, he noted.

Commenting on rumors about the Islamic Republic’s discrimination against Sunnis, Ayatollah Moqtadae said it is the policy of the Islamic Republic to deal with any discrimination and Sunnis are today actively involved in the Iranian society.

Molavi Abdolhamid Esmaeil Zehi said there is no room for Wahhabism in the Sunni community and Sunnis have nothing to do with Wahhabists.

He also said Sunni Muslims have defended the Islamic Republic’s system since the victory of the revolution.

“The Islamic establishment has never differentiated between Sunnis and Shias and we will not allow anyone to act against Shias and the Islamic republic,” he noted.

http://www.tehrantimes.com/Index_view.asp?code=207565

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Rah-e-Nijaat eliminates 9 more extremists: ISPR

RAWALPINDI: At least nine terrorists have been killed and a terrorist was apprehended during the last 24 hours in Operation Rah-e-Nijat.

According to a press release issued from Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Tuesday, the security forces secured Tsappara and adjoining ridges. Search and clearance operations in Sarai Ghundaka, Kandao, Spinkai and Zariwam are under progress.

Security forces cleared area north of Ladha and found a private jail near Bangel Khel and destroyed number of caves, bunkers, towers and observation posts of the terrorists in the area.

During search operation in area north of Ladha, a group of terrorists was engaged, as a result 5 terrorists were killed.

Area domination, clearance and consolidation of positions is under way on Razmak-Makeen axis.

Security forces carried out house to house search in Tauda China Khula and Fort Knoll and recovered huge cache of arms and ammunition. a terrorist has been apprehended while 4 terrorists were killed.

At least nine terrorists voluntarily surrendered to security forces in Maindam, Lakhar and Kabbal during Operation Rah-e-Rast in Malakand and Swat.

Security forces conducted search operation in Roria, Shalpin and apprehended 4 terrorists.

The security forces continued the relief activities, as 9,924 Cash Cards have been issued to displaced families of Waziristan.

Army Field Hospital has treated over 6,020 patients in Dera Ismail Khan, Wanna and Shakai.

http://dailymailnews.com/1109/11/FrontPage/FrontPage11.php

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Taliban expands control of Nuristan

November 11, 2009

Taliban fighters are expanding their control of Afghanistan's Nuristan province, an area they claim to have recaptured from US troops.

A video obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera purports to show Taliban fighters in the Kamdesh district.

Their leaders say they have appointed some local officials and reopened schools.

Sections of the footage also show Taliban fighters brandishing what appeared to be US weapons.

The fighters said they had seized the arms cache from two military outposts in eastern Nuristan, abandoned by US forces last month.

Angela Eggman, a Nato spokeswoman, said it was not clear from the video where or when the weapons were obtained.

"Before departing the base, the units removed all sensitive items and accounted for them," she said.

But General Mohammad Qassim Jangulbagh, Nuristan's provincial police chief, disagreed, saying: "The Americans left ammunition at the base."

Farooq Khan, a spokesman for the Afghan National Police in Nuristan, concurred, saying US forces left arms and ammunition when they moved from the area, which he said was now in fighters' hands.

The Pentagon said the closing of the outposts in Nuristan was part of plans by General Stanley McChrystal, the US and Nato commander in Afghanistan, to shut down isolated units and focus on more heavily populated areas.

Afghanistan review

The developments come as Barack Obama, the US president, is due to meet military and national security advisers to discuss sending more troops to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Full report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/11/2009111152756126460.html

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US denies Pakistan nuclear report

November 11, 2009

The US government has rejected a report that Washington has a team ready to secure Pakistan's nuclear arsenal due to fears that the country is unstable.

Ian Kelly, a state department spokesman, dismissed the report by Seymour Hersh in the New Yorker which said that the US has a special force in place that would move to secure Pakistan's nuclear weaponry in the event of a crisis.

"The US has no intention of seizing Pakistani nuclear weapons or material – we see Pakistan as a key ally in our common effort to fight violent extremists and to foster regional stability," Kelly said.

He said the US was "working very closely with Pakistan on a number of important initiatives regarding regional security".

"We do provide them with assistance, as you know," he said, but added: "We have confidence in the ability of the Pakistani government to provide adequate security for their nuclear programmes and materials."

Rapid response force

Hersh, a Pulitzer prize-winning writer, said in his report that the US and Pakistan have agreed on a security protocol allowing a special US team to assist in the guarding of Pakistan's nuclear armaments.

"There certainly is a rapid response force; I'll take it a step further – it is called a 'Tailored Fest'," he told Al Jazeera on Tuesday.

"I just wish they would not deny stuff that is actually publicly available if you know where to look for it. It is a force that [will act] in case of any nuclear incident or any other terrorism-related incident.

"The men, and the women, who I assume will work on it include not only US state department counter-terror people but also the CIA, the FBI and other special operators, as a unified team.

"They have to report within four hours of a crisis to Andrews air field [in Washington DC] and be sent on their way."

Full report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2009/11/200911110442955448.html

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By-election in UP, India: Muslim vote shifts back to Congress

Subodh Ghildiyal

11 November 2009

NEW DELHI: Mulayam Singh Yadav was routed in his backyard on Tuesday, with Raj Babbar defeating his daughter-in-law in Ferozabad vacated by son

Akhilesh and BSP romping home in Bharthana and Etawah assemblies, which form part of the belt synonymous with the Yadav chieftain.

Mulayam's rout sounds like a death rattle because of the clinical nature of his defeat.

Babbar, an SP rebel and without the attributes of caste or religion on his side, trounced Dimple Yadav in Ferozabad. Unthinkable. A BSP Yadav, Shiv Prasad, defeated Pradeep Yadav with ease in Bharthana. It was no ordinary assembly seat, vacated by Mulayam after he entered Lok Sabha in May, and awarded to the man who quit Kannauj LS to facilitate Akhilesh's political plunge. Etawah till now was a no-go area for Mayawati.

What came out of bypoll results was a decimation of Yadav family and caste, with Congress and BSP sharing the spoils. Political circles reacted with obvious amazement. AICC general secretary Digvijay Singh said SP was disintegrating and prophesied that BSP and Congress would be the main players in 2012 assembly contest.

Partisan claims apart, the defeat is portentous as it, like never before, portrays Mulayam as vulnerable even in his den.

The SP supremo has ruled Chambal like a fief. Strongarm tactics apart, he wasthe tallest leader in the Yadav belt where his Mandalite image helped him consolidate other OBCs and his Babri heroism rallied Muslims around.

The Tuesday heroes, ironically, are all loyalists-turned-rebels who showed that Yadavs could challenge their tallest leader in his borough or, like a Punjabi Babbar, win without caste appeal.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Mulayam-routed-Muslim-vote-to-blame/articleshow/5216662.cms

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Hezbollah rockets can reach main Israeli cities: Army chief

10 November 2009

JERUSALEM: Lebanon's Hezbollah has rockets capable of reaching major Israeli population centres, Israel's army chief of staff Lieutenant General

Gabi Ashkenazi said on Tuesday.

Addressing parliament's foreign affairs and defence committee, Ashkenazi said the Shiite militia had tens of thousands of rockets, including some with a range of more than 300 kilometres (116 miles), public radio reported.

This would put the cities of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem within range, as well as the Jewish state's secretive nuclear reactor at Dimona.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a 34-day war in July-August 2006, which killed more than 1,200 people in Lebanon, mostly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

Ashkenazi also warned that militant groups in Lebanon and Gaza were using the current calm on the border to rearm.

"A false calm currently reigns on Israel's southern and northern borders, where the enemy is preparing for a new confrontation," he was quoted as saying.

The Israeli army chief's comments came a day after Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri formed a new national unity government with two Hezbollah ministers among its 35 members.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/middle-east/Hezbollah-rockets-can-reach-main-Israeli-cities-Army-chief-/articleshow/5216015.cms

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TV footage shows Afghan insurgents with US ammunition

Amir Shah\Deb Riechmann

November 11, 2009

Television footage broadcast on Tuesday showed insurgents handling what appears to be US ammunition in a remote area of eastern Afghanistan that American forces left last month following a deadly fire fight that killed eight troops. The US military said the forces that left the area said they removed and accounted for their equipment.

The Al-Jazeera broadcast video showed insurgents handling weapons, including anti-personnel mines with US markings on them, but it was unclear when the video had been filmed. The television station reported that insurgents said they seized the weapons from two US remote outposts in Nuristan province.

The ammunition could be used against US and Afghan forces, although the amount shown was not extensive. However, the footage will no doubt be used by insurgent propagandists to promote their ‘victory’ over the Americans and encourage their supporters.

Separately, NATO officials said international forces and the Afghan National Police seized 5,000 components used in roadside bombs and 250 tons ammonium nitrate fertilizer, which is often used in making explosives. Fifteen people were detained in Sunday's raid on a warehouse in Kandahar.

Full report at: http://www.dailypioneer.com/214847/TV-footage-shows-Afghan-insurgents-with-US-ammunition.html

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Muslim lawyer ordered not to wear headscarf at Spanish court

11 Nov 2009

Madrid - A Spanish female lawyer has filed a complaint against a judge who ordered her to leave the courtroom because she was wearing the Muslim headscarf, press reports said Wednesday. Moroccan-born Zoubida Barik Edidi, 39, was assisting a colleague at a trial related to Islamist terrorism at the National Court on October 29, when Judge Javier Gomez Bermudez told her she could not stay in the room because of the headscarf she was wearing with her gown.

Barik replied she had been to other trials with her scarf on. "I am the one who gives orders here," Gomez Bermudez answered.

Barik has filed a complaint at the judges' organ CGPJ, accusing Gomez Bermudez of discrimination and abuse of power, and arguing that Spanish law did not prohibit lawyers from covering their heads.

One of Spain's most prominent judges, Gomez Bermudez conducted the trial of Islamist extremists whose train bombings killed 191 people in March 2004.

In September, Gomez Bermudez ordered a witness to take off her burka in order to testify. The burka, however, covered the witness entirely, while Barik's scarf only hid her hair.

Copyright DPA

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/294215,muslim-lawyer-ordered-not-to-wear-headscarf-at-spanish-court.html

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Is Iraq the next holiday hotspot?

11 November 2009

By Tamsyn Kent

At one time Iraq was a regular stop for British travellers. Early flights to imperial India refuelled in the port city of Basra. But the fact that all the country's major cities have been ravaged by years of warfare now make it a more difficult sell.

Even so, for the first time in a decade, the head of Iraq's tourism board is in London to attend the World Travel Market to promote the country as a holiday destination.

"Tourism will help regenerate Iraq," says the tourist board chairman, Hammoud al-Yaqoubi. "We want to prove that Iraq still exists and maybe we can change people's minds about it."

But Foreign Office advice is not to travel to most of Iraq at all. But for the intrepid there is a wealth of cultural monuments.

Known as the birthplace of civilisation, Iraq has thousands of historic sites of note. Landmarks include the ancient cities of Ur and Babylon. According to some historians, the Garden of Eden is 50 miles (80km) north of Basra.

Inside Iraq, there are those who believe, despite the obvious challenges, that tourism has the potential to transform the country. It will help to rebuild confidence and create economic opportunities. After more than six years of conflict Iraq seems an unlikely place for a holiday. But could its status as the birthplace of civilisation see tourists flocking?

For most travellers it will, undoubtedly, be years before Iraq becomes a destination of choice. But as the country stabilises its advocates believe its potential is beginning to emerge.

There is one British holiday company already offering package trips to Iraq. Hinterland Travel, based in Yorkshire, is run by Geoff Hann who has been visiting the country for 30 years.

He has not been able to offer trips since October 2003 because of the escalation in violence, but after restarting tours in March he has led four successful expeditions there. There are at least another five planned for 2010.

"The mood in Iraq was upbeat, vibrant and improving daily," he says of last month's tour.

Full report at: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/8352234.stm

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Prominent member of Awakening movement arrested in Iraq

By Caesar Ahmed

November 10, 2009

Paramilitary leader Mustafa Kamal Shibeeb, a Sunni who hopes to become a lawmaker, had escaped arrest with the help of U.S. and Iraqi forces. An Interior Ministry unit detains him on murder charges.

A Sunni paramilitary leader and budding politician who had been trying to avoid arrest on murder charges since the summer has been jailed by Iraqi security forces, authorities said Monday.

Brig. Gen. Mustafa Kamal Shibeeb was taken into custody last week in connection with the deaths of five known members of the group Al Qaeda in Iraq who were killed in 2007 in Baghdad's Dora neighborhood, where Shibeeb commanded paramilitary fighters better known as the Awakening.

Shibeeb's forces played a key role that year in defeating Al Qaeda in Iraq in Dora and the Baghdad suburb of Arab Jabour, from which militants had launched dozens of car bombings and suicide attacks in the capital.

On Thursday, an elite unit from the Interior Ministry detained Shibeeb without the knowledge of the U.S. military or Iraqi army units in the area that had previously prevented his arrest.

The U.S. military had counseled Shibeeb to hire a lawyer and contest the murder case in court and had worked to keep him out of jail.

They worried that if Shibeeb was arrested or fled the country, Al Qaeda in Iraq might exploit the vacuum.

U.S. support notwithstanding, Shibeeb has blamed the military for failing to protect leaders of the Awakening movement from prosecution in Iraqi courts, despite the group's role in helping reestablish order in the country.

U.S. officials point to the pledges of the Iraqi government to incorporate Awakening fighters into the state security forces and other jobs, but Shibeeb and others have taken little comfort in those promises. Instead, they have seen the continuing incarceration of their fellow Awakening leaders. Many in the movement who left the insurgency to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq had believed that they would be granted immunity.

Full report at: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-iraq-arrest10-2009nov10,0,1254557.story

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National Muslim Women's Advisory Group unveils new identity

10 Nov 2009

A new identity and website for the Government-backed National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group, which advises on issues to empower Muslim women, has been created by Studio North.

The logo will be used as part of a wider campaign to support events as part of a road show imitative called Our Choices which will visit Dudley, London, Manchester, Cardiff and Middlesbrough.

Manchester-based Studio North created the name to illustrate the messages of empowerment and choice which is based around 12 female role models from the Asian community which have been successful in a non-traditional manner from the Muslim community.

The campaign will use photographs of each of the women to raise awareness of their chosen career paths in an effort to inspire others, while the website will feature news and information on forthcoming events.

Nick Wright, partner and creative director at Studio North, said: “The work that the NMWAG does is of huge importance and will directly help many young Muslim women realise their true dreams and aspirations. It has been fantastic to be part of the campaign and we are sure ‘Our Choices’ will go from strength to strength.”

What are your thoughts on this story? Comment below

http://www.thedrum.co.uk/news/2009/11/10/11902-national-muslim-women-s-advisory-group-unveils-new-identity

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SMC play depicts women's struggles ‘Unveiled’ explores, counters American stereotypes of Muslim women

By Alicia Smith

November 11, 2009

“When we think about women and Islam, the first thing that comes to mind is what media has traditionally portrayed — images of oppression. However, these images never address the diversity within the Muslim population nor their different experiences,” Larisa Olin Ortiz, director of Multicultural Services, said. “Prejudice gets in the way of building authentic relationships across difference and unfortunately these stereotypical images contribute to cultural misunderstandings.”

The solo play demonstrates the challenges faced by four Muslim women. Three of the women are Americans, living in a post-9/11 world.

With her play, Malik aimed to reveal their true personalities as well as to accurately depict their faith.

“The images I see of Muslim women are stereotypical and often very offensive. I was influenced to write this play by the women of my community,” Malik said in an interview with On The Go Online. “I wanted to unveil who they really are, what their faith is really about and what living in these times is like. I wanted to share with Americans’ cultures and languages that are so rich and beautiful.”

Ortiz said she hoped the play would help students overcome misunderstandings about people of different cultures and faiths.

“The first step to challenging these generalized views of ‘others’ is to be exposed to diverse voices within groups who may share certain identities,” she said.

In the performance, Malik portrayed women from different walks of life. Her character Maryam was a Pakistani-American who was married with two children. Maryam’s troubles began when a man told her to take off her hijab, the traditional headdress of the Islamic faith. Cursing and screaming at her, the man assaulted her.

Full report at: http://www.ndsmcobserver.com/news/smc-play-depicts-women-s-struggles-1.894525

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Can Indonesia's "Hamburger King" topple McDonald's?

By Sara Schonhardt

November 11, 2009

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Would you buy a burger from a one-eyed pirate named Toni Jack? That's the hope of one Indonesian entrepreneur, whose roguish answer to Ronald McDonald also claims his burgers are “better than that one.”

The slogan is Bambang Rachmadi’s attempt to differentiate his new brand from the world’s largest hamburger chain – a company he held majority rights to until McDonald’s sold his stake in March.

Bambang, the self-described hamburger king of Indonesia, claims he was not notified of the sale of his $135 million in assets, which a company spokeswoman described as “personal." He is pursuing legal action against the corporate behemoth.

In the meantime, Bambang has transformed his 13 owner-operated McDonald’s into Toni Jack’s, a step he said was necessary to save the jobs of about 800 employees.

So last month, a McDonald's in central Jakarta disappeared under a black tarp with the Tony Jack’s logo: a pirate whose hat bears a burger crossed by a fork and spoon.

The haste of the changeover is evident by the covering and the shadow of an M on the outside of the building. The restaurant’s new colours – orange, green and black – are in stark contrast to McDonald’s more cheerful red and yellow.

For years Bambang sought to separate his McDonald’s chains from their American association. When anti-U.S. protests broke out over the war in Afghanistan in 2001, the franchise owner instructed restaurant managers to display pictures of him and his wife in full Muslim dress to appeal to religious groups that claimed fast-food chains were a corrupting influence on Indonesia, the world’s most-populous Muslim nation.

Full report at: http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/indonesia/091110/can-the-hamburger-king-indonesia-topple-mcdonalds

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HCJB equips Indonesian radio station in the aftermath of deathly quake

11 November, 2009

After a magnitude 7.6 earthquake hit the island of Sumatra in Indonesia on September 30, a great deal of relief work ensued. Doctors were brought in, food aid was distributed, and shelter was provided; provision of basic needs is expected after such a traumatic event.

But another development a bit less expected came quickly in the aftermath of the tragedy as well: a radio station.

The birth of a radio station in the wake of such a wide scale tragedy may seem random, but it could not have been more necessary. The station was created after the quake by local believers in order to provide informative updates and inspirational music for those affected.

There are very few believers in Sumatra. According to Partners International, only 100 to 300 of the 9 million Minang people in Western Sumatra are believers. The majority of the populous is Muslim.

The introduction of a Christian radio station, therefore, is an immensely important step forward. It provides Christians a platform not only to speak the love of Christ, but also to use the power of music to bring peace to those who have suffered and draw them to the Lord.

HCJB Global recently returned from a trip to the Padang area of Sumatra, a region which suffered gravely from the effects of the quake. HCJB passed out 20 solar-powered radios set to this Christian radio station and also donated equipment to the station, providing training for those working there.

After almost two months, the need for relief work is beginning to die down, but the need for a Savior is still prevalent. The station will likely hold onto listeners gained after the quake, even after relief work ends. Those affected are suffering the traumatic effects of the quake and undoubtedly need a place to turn for solace.

Pray that this radio would be the comfort its listeners need by providing the peace and hope of Jesus Christ. Pray that many would come to know the Lord as they experience the love of His followers via radio.

To learn more about HCJB's work in Indonesia, click here. To learn more about the tragic effects of the quake, click here.

http://www.mnnonline.org/article/13489

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Somali terror suspect arrested in Dutch asylum centre

11 November 2009

Dutch police have arrested a Somali asylum seeker whom the Americans suspect of aiding international terrorism.

The 43-year-old Somali was arrested at an asylum seekers facility in Dronten on Saturday night. The United States has requested his extradition.

The US suspects the Somali of aiding international jihad. He allegedly arranged the purchase of weapons for terrorists and aided others in travelling to Somalia for training in a camp run by the Al-Shabaab militia.

The Somali was detained for a 60-day period pending a decision about his extradition to the US. A spokesperson for the public prosecutor's office says a Rotterdam court will decide whether or not he will be extradited, but the ultimate decision lies with the justice minister.

The justice minister can decide against extradition even if the court has no objections. He can also add conditions, for instance that the suspect will not be given the death penalty. According to the prosecutor's office the death penalty is not an issue in the Somali's case.

The suspect resided in Minneapolis in the US and probably arrived in the Netherlands in December 2008. The justice ministry is unable to explain for now how he could have entered the asylum procedure in the Netherlands.

In 2007 the Netherlands extradited another terror suspect, Wesam al D., a Dutch national from Amersfoort, to the US. Al D. was sentenced to 25 years in prison for his involvement in attacks on US military in Iraq. He was allowed to serve his sentence in the Netherlands.

http://www.nrc.nl/international/article2410944.ece/Somali_terror_suspect_arrested_in_Dutch_asylum_centre

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Body of Missing U.S. Soldier Found in Afghanistan

By ALISSA J. RUBIN

November 11, 2009

KABUL, Afghanistan — A week after two American soldiers disappeared in northwest Afghanistan, the body of one of them has been found by a military dive team, a NATO spokesman said Wednesday.

The two men disappeared while trying to recover supplies that had fallen into a river in Badghis Province on Nov. 4, news agencies reported.

Shortly after the soldiers went missing, a Taliban spokesman said that militants had recovered the bodies of two drowned soldiers — a claim that now appears to be false.

It was unclear how the military dive team had located the soldier, or exactly where his body had been found. The NATO-led international security force said it continues to search for the other missing soldier.

Both were paratroopers with the Fourth Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division.

A joint Afghan-American rescue mission that went to search for the soldiers last week was attacked by local Taliban forces. When an airstrike was called in by the Americans, at least seven Afghan soldiers and police officers were killed, as well as one civilian travelling with them, according to the Afghan Defence Ministry.

NATO has not yet confirmed that an airstrike was responsible for the deaths. The alliance said it was investigating whether the airstrike killed people and whether it injured five American soldiers as well as a number of Afghan servicemen at the scene.

In the aftermath of the airstrike, local elders said they secured a promise from the Taliban not to attack the search party while it was trying to recover the bodies.

In another episode, a suicide bomber on a motorcycle attacked a NATO convoy Wednesday as it passed through a bazaar in Shahjuy, a town on the main road between Kandahar and Kabul. A woman was killed, and three civilians and two NATO soldiers were wounded, said Gulab Shah Alikhail, the deputy governor of Zabul Province. The bazaar has often been a target of insurgents.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/12/world/asia/12afghan.html?hp

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TOTAL COMMENTS:-   1


  • Ashok Chowgule

    Date: 2009/11/12

    Subject: Iranian cleric: Muslims should denounce extremism

    To: Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com

     Dear Sultanji,

    Pranam,

    This item which was posted on your website talks ONLY about Sunnis discriminating against the Shias.  It does not talk about extremism in general.

    Namaste

    Ashok Chowgule, Vice-President Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)


    By Ashok Chowgule, Vice-President, VHP -



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