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Islamic World News (10 Nov 2009 NewAgeIslam.Com)



Iran warning over Saudi attack on Yemeni Shia radicals

Saudis to continue attacks on Yemeni Houthi Shias

Car Bomb Adds to Toll in Northwest Pakistan

Ulema soften stand after meeting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Muslim Personal Law Board was set up with blessings of Indira Gandhi: Shia Board head

Blasphemy laws and religious discrimination, an attack on Pakistan’s future

Iqbal’s thoughts based on philosophy of Quran

Muslim Americans brace for backlash in the wake of Ft Hood tragedy

Despite the spin, the U.S. is under siege from Muslim jihadists

Muslim Mafia Author: Now Is the Time for A 'Backlash' Against Muslims

Muslim Mafia' author ordered to remove documents from Web

British Indian Muslims urge OIC to declare Modi persona non grata

Don't blame Islam for Fort Hood killings, Baptist leader says

Kevin Myers: 'Fear of Islamophobia stopped Hasan's superiors from disciplining him for his jihadist outpourings'

CNN Zeroes-In on 'Right-Wing' Backlash Against Muslims

Corporate US gets to know Muslims

The U.N. Human Rights Council: No Better for Obama's Engagement

An American, and Muslim, tragedy

 Al-Qaida video found at home of terror suspect in Chicago

Israel Trying to Counter Iranian Inroads in Latin America

Colby Cosh: Taking Islam seriously

Jihadists in the military

CAIRO – Nicaragua Mosque Stirs Furore

Lebanese paper says Israel preparing attack on Hezbollah

Independent Investigation Sought in Killing by Federal Agents of a Detroit Muslim Leader

From Berlin to Baghdad

Iran's Ahmadinejad: Capitalism is dead

Ugandan gays and Muslim women: a common struggle to redefine family

Indonesian leader to outline 'strategic partnership' with US

National Muslim Women's Advisory Group unveils new identity

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this Page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/iran-warning-over-saudi-attack-on-yemeni-shia-radicals/d/2080

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Iran warning over Saudi attack on Yemeni Shia radicals

10 November 2009

Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has warned against foreign intervention in the conflict between the Yemeni government and rebels.

Unidentified parties were adding fuel to the crisis, and attempts to help or to take military action would have negative consequences, Mr Mottaki said.

Correspondents say his comments appear to have been intended for Saudi Arabia.

Shortly afterwards, Riyadh promised it would continue air strikes until the rebels moved back from its border.

"We are not going to stop the bombing until [they] retreat tens of kilometres inside [the Yemeni] border," Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khaled Bin Sultan said, according to the AFP news agency.

Saudi forces launched a ground and air offensive on the rebels, known as the Houthis, after a security officer was killed in a cross-border raid by the group in its south-western Jizan region.

The Houthis meanwhile said on their website that Saudi fighter jets had bombed villages on the Yemeni side of the frontier on Tuesday, killing two women and wounding a child.

Strikes also targeted a government building in the village of Shida, they said.

'Be careful'

In Tehran on Tuesday, Mr Mottaki was asked about Yemeni allegations that Iranian religious and media organisations were backing the rebels, who want more autonomy and a greater role for their version of Shia Islam, Zaydism.

Last month, officials in Sanaa said security forces had seized a ship carrying weapons destined for the Houthis at a port in Haja province, and detained its crew. Iranian officials dismissed the story as a fabrication.

"A country which seeks a role to establish peace and stability in all countries in the region... cannot have a role in creating tensions," Mr Mottaki said.

"We strongly warn the regional countries to be careful, to be vigilant," he added.

"Monetary aid, providing arms to extremist and terrorist groups or actually taking action against them and crushing those groups or the people and embarking on military operations - these all will have negative consequences."

In an apparent reference to Saudi Arabia, with whom Tehran has had hostile relations since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Mr Mottaki said there were "certain people who add fuel to some crises".

"Those people should be assured that the smoke and the fire they have ignited will entangle them themselves," he added.

The minister said regional powers should instead try to restore stability in Yemen.

"Any kind of instability in Yemen, any kind of instability in Iraq, in Afghanistan or in Pakistan, they will have their own impact on the whole region," he warned.

The Houthis, named after the family of their leader, complain that their community is discriminated against.

They also accuse Saudi Arabia of supporting the Yemeni armed forces by allowing them to launch attacks from its territory, a charge both countries deny.

The Yemeni government accuses the rebels of wanting to re-establish Zaydi clerical rule, which ended in 1962, and of receiving support from abroad.

The Zaydi community are a minority in Yemen, but make up the majority in the north of the country.

The insurgents first took up arms against the government in 2004, after which government forces killed or captured much of the Houthi leadership.

The government launched a fresh offensive in August 2009, which has precipitated a new wave of intense fighting.

Aid agencies say tens of thousands of people have been displaced.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/8352783.stm

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Saudis to continue attacks on Yemeni Houthi Shias

10 Nov 2009

Saudi Arabia has threatened to continue its offensive against Houthi fighters until they move back from the 'frontier' between Yemen and the kingdom.

"We are not going to stop the bombing until the Houthis retreat tens of kilometers inside their border," Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Sultan said on Tuesday.

He also conceded that Saudi warplanes continue to pound northern Yemen, a week after the offensive launched against the Shia fighters, AFP reported on Tuesday.

Houthis say Saudi forces have expanded the scope of the attacks into civilian areas, pounding residential areas kilometers inside Yemen.

The fighters have also accused Riyadh of using banned phosphorous bombs against civilians.

http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=110913&sectionid=351020206

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Car Bomb Adds to Toll in Northwest Pakistan

By JACK HEALY

November 10, 2009

A car bomb tore through a commercial district in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, killing at least 20 people, according to Pakistani news agencies, and offering a grim marker of the mounting violence around the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar.

Pakistan’s GEO television station reported that a car laden with explosives had driven into a crowded traffic intersection in the town of Charsadda and then exploded. More than two dozen people were reported wounded as the blast ravaged shops and felled electrical wires. Other news reports said bloodied children were seen walking amid broken glass and twisted metal.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, and no word on whether the attackers were among the dead.

The attack came one day after a suicide bomber in a rickshaw struck near a group of police officers, killing three people and wounding five others in Peshawar, about 10 miles from the site of Tuesday’s bombing. On Sunday, a mayor who had opposed the Taliban was among 12 people killed in a suicide attack in a cattle market in the village of Mattani, which is also close to Peshawar.

As the Pakistani army presses an offensive against Taliban militants in the lawless border area with Afghanistan, suicide bombers have stepped up attacks on civilians and police officers in northwest Pakistan in an attempt to shake the government.

In the most devastating recent attack, a car bomb gutted a crowded market in Peshawar in late October as the United States secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, arrived in Pakistan for a visit. The blast killed more than 100 people, many of them women and children.

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

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Ulemas soften stand after meeting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

November 9, 2009

In a significant development, Darul-Uloom, Ulemas of Deoband, have changed their 12-year-old stand on Vande Mataram to bring the Hindu-Muslim communities closer. This development took place yesterday after a one-hour long meeting between the Ulema and Spiritual & humanitarian leader- His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder, The Art of Living.

Present at the meeting with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, were Honourable Maulana Margub Urrrehman of Darul-Uloom, Darul Iftah in charge Mufti Habibur Rehman, who issued the fatwa 12 years ago, Mufti Ehsaan Qasmi and Usman Mansoorpuri of the Jamiat Ulema e Hind.

Ulema said that they do not have any objection to the National song and have left it upto the conscience of Muslims who should decide for themselves whether they want to sing the song or not. However, Maulana Khalik Madrasi of Darul Uloom also said that the 12 year old fatwa on Vande Matram cannot be recalled now.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Sri Sri said, "I told them that Vande doesn't just mean puja or prayer but also means thanksgiving. The first lines of Vande Mataram are not objectionable in any way. This issue should not be given more importance. The Country is above all and there should be no rift between the Hindu and Muslims."

Quoting a Supreme Court judgment, Sri Sri also said that no one should be pressurized to sing Vande Mataram.

In continuation of His efforts to bring people together, Sri Sri also urged everyone not to rake up issues that can provoke sentiments of either community and said, "It is important to maintain communication links to avoid misunderstandings. Through peaceful talk and dialogue we can solve any issue and transform any situation. We have to have a progressive outlook."

http://www.indiaprwire.com/pressrelease/other/2009111037253.htm

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Muslim Personal Law Board was set up with blessings of Indira Gandhi: Shia Board head

10 November 2009

By Yoginder Sikand

Lucknow-based Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar is President of All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB). Born in 1936, he is the son of late Maulana Mirza Mohammad Tahir, a noted Shia Muslim scholar. He received a traditional Islamic education at the Sultan ul-Madaris in Lucknow, and then got a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Persian from Lucknow University. He served as Head of the Department of Persian, and, later as Principal, at the Shia Degree College, Lucknow. Yoginder Sikand of TwoCircles.net met him at the recently-held third annual convention of the AISPLB in New Delhi and interviewed him about the AISPLB and its activities.

The recently-held convention of the AISPLB hardly dealt with personal law issues at all, while the name of your organization suggests that Shia personal law should be its principal concern. Instead, the focus of the convention was on stressing a separate Shia identity, demands for reservation or representation of Shias in government services and legislative bodies and so on. This seems odd, doesn’t it?

Actually, our Board’s mandate is not limited only to personal law issues. It also deals with the social, educational, economic and political issues of the Shias of India. We are of the view that the 50 million Indian Shias have been heavily under-represented in all spheres of life, including even in Muslim organizations. We are a marginalized minority within another marginalized minority. Since at present Shia personal law is not a problem and faces no challenges, our convention focused mainly on other community-related issues. One such issue is that of lack of political representation of the Shias. There are hardly any Shias in the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and the state assemblies, because of which our voice does not receive any attention at all. The same is true for Shia representation in government services.

Some critics argue that your Board is a ploy to divide Muslims. What do you have to say about this?

We certainly do not want to divide the Muslims. Those who claim that this is what we are doing do not give any space to the Shias in their own organisations.

I believe Shias and Sunnis (as well as all other Indians—Hindus and others)—must live peacefully together. They must have good social relations and close personal and social interaction. We are all for Muslim unity till this level. At the same time, we cannot deny that the Shias and Sunnis do have certain theological or doctrinal differences. It would be absolutely unrealistic, indeed impossible, to deny these differences or to seek to impose any artificial and unwanted homogenization, which will definitely not work.

Full report at: http://twocircles.net/2009nov10/muslim_personal_law_board_was_set_blessings_indira_gandhi_shia_board_head.html

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Blasphemy laws and religious discrimination, an attack on Pakistan’s future

By Emmanuel Y. Mani

10 November 2009

Fr Emmanuel Y. Mani speaks at a press conference sponsored by AsiaNews titled “Save Christians and Pakistan from the blasphemy laws”. The international community is putting pressure on the Pakistani government to “stop discrimination and violence against religious minorities.” The country needs “a culture of interfaith harmony and peace.”

Rome (AsiaNews) – I am thankful to Asia News for organizing this press conference and I thank you all for  joining this conference on behalf of the National Commission for Justice and Peace, which is a human rights body established by the Catholic Church in Pakistan working since 1985. We engage ourselves in advocacy for rights of religious minorities, labour and women in our country. I have worked with the organization ever since its inception and I am the National Director since 1995.

The particular concern that brings my colleagues and me to Europe is religious extremism and the situation of religious minorities. We would like to inform international public opinion about the institutional injustices against religious minorities, in particular against the Christian community in Pakistan.  We would also like international civil society to realize the dangers involved in divorcing the state of affairs in Pakistan.

In August and September 2009, the media world, including Italian print and electronic media, carried news regarding attacks on Christians in different places in Pakistan. On March 9th, a Church was attacked in a village near Gujranwala by a mob and a Christian woman lost her life as a result. On April 22nd, a Christian settlement and a Church were attacked by armed men in Taisar Town, Karachi. Again, a Christian youth was badly injured and died due to injuries.

On June 29th, a whole Christian settlement in a village near Kasur was set ablaze, affecting more than 60 houses and 100 families. Again on July 30th, about 60 houses belonging to Christians in the village of Korian were turned into ashes by a mob. On August 1st, in the town of Gojra about the same number of houses were burnt. Seven Christians, including women and children, were set on fire while an eighth died due to a heart attack after the mob attacked his house and settlement.  On September 11th, a Christian settlement and a church were attacked; in the middle of the night of September 14 and 15, a Christian youth was extra judicially killed in a jail. He was accused of desecrating the holy Qur‘an.

Full report at: http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=16823&geo=2&size=A

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Iqbal’s is philosophy of Quran

10 November 2009

ISLAMABAD: Allama Iqbal based his thoughts on the Holy Quran and promoted humanity, awakening Muslims from disillusionment, said speakers in a meeting titled ‘Iqbal’s Concept of Welfare State’ on Monday.

It was held to celebrate birth anniversary of the poet of the east. Kokoub Khawja, a senior lawyer, said the vision of Iqbal and his thoughts were instrumental in awakening Muslims from deep slumber. He said Iqbal’s efforts were supplemented by efforts of Quaid Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that led to the birth of Pakistan.

“In fact, Iqbal gave courage to the Muslims and called upon them to pursue knowledge in accordance with Islamic culture,” he said. He termed Iqbal the most influential philosopher.

Hamayon Iqbal Shami, a bureaucrat and philanthropist, said birth anniversary of the great poet was an apt opportunity for the Muslims to realise Iqbal’s ideals and thoughts.

“He neither promoted the western image of Islam nor was he in favour of Talibanization. He painted the real picture of Islam,” he said.

He said, “Welfare state in fact happens to be an Islamic State which promises every person provision of basic rights and necessities of life at their doorstep,” he said.

Dr Sajid Khakwani, an educationist, said Pakistan’s educational system lacked philosophy of Iqbal regarding promotion of welfare state. “Sorrowfully, our educational system does not have a practical concept of life which is widely seen in the teaching of Iqbal,” he said.

He said, “We should reorganise our system, particularly by taking help from Iqbalyat.”

Lubna Farooq, another educationist, appreciated the contribution of Iqbal in different fields of life saying whosoever did not read Iqbal actually could not learn the philosophy behind creation of Pakistan. app

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2009\11\10\story_10-11-2009_pg11_10

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Muslim Americans brace for backlash in the wake of Ft Hood tragedy

November 9, 2009

As soon as it became clear that the suspect in the shooting rampage at Ft Hood claims the Islamic faith, every Muslim organization of note put out a press release condemning the brutal attacks that claimed the lives of 13 soldiers and send more to hospital for treatment. Muslim spokespersons were on every TV channel and newspaper answering questions on what drove Major Nidal Malik Hassan to open fire on the soldiers he was supposed to care for, and to betray the institution that paid for his education and help him become the psychiatrist he is.

There are those, both in the Muslim community and the public at large, who ask why should Muslim organizations and leaders feel compelled to condemn a crime that seems to happen repeatedly and whose perpetrators belong to all faith groups. When a person who happens to be a member of an established religion, say a Christian or a Jew, commits a crime, the media refers to him as a criminal and questions his act. When, however, the one who commits the crime happens to be a Muslim, the media refers to him as a Muslim and question his faith.

It sounds very logical indeed that in normal circumstances Muslim Americans should not feel that they have to issue press releases and convene press conferences every time a Muslim is involved in violence or crime. After all no other faith group do anything close to that. But Muslim Americans do not live under normal circumstances in the post 9/11. Since the infamous terrorist attack hit mainland US, dozens of think tanks and hundreds of pundits, journalists, and talk-show hosts have decided to use their intellectual and oratorical skills to paint Islam and Muslims in the most negative color. Distorting Islam and demonizing its followers is the most recent cottage industry that promotes Islamophobia in the United States and Canada.

Full report at:  http://www.examiner.com/x-27906-Indianapolis-Political-Buzz-

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Despite the spin, the U.S. is under siege from Muslim jihadists

November 9, 2009

The day after the deadliest example of Muslim terrorism to be carried out inside the U.S. since 9/11, President Obama told us not to “jump to conclusions” about the motives of the alleged shooter, in spite of the fact that several eyewitnesses reported that the alleged shooter, Maj. Malik Hasan shouted “Allah Akbar” as he gunned down his fellow soldiers.

On Sunday, in an appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George Casey Jr. also warned the public of drawing any conclusions about Maj. Hasan, and lamented that “It would be a shame — as great a tragedy as this was — it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well.”

Most of us have come to expect such politically correct rhetoric from the mainstream press, but when a top military commander is more concerned with sugar coating the threat posed to this nation by radical Muslims than he is with protecting the public or even his own soldiers…It is a sad day indeed.

Despite the cover-ups and the spinning by government officials and the press, we do have radical Muslim terrorists plotting and attacking inside the United States. If we are to survive, we must open our eyes to the facts and stop worrying about who may or may not be offended.

With 86 percent of Americans identifying themselves as Christians, radical Muslims realize that they will never convert us, and as directed by the Quran, many have now decided to kill us. However, you will never hear that painful truth from the mouths of network anchors, nor from our rather spineless politicians.

What follows is a list of uncovered plots and terrorist attacks perpetrated by Muslim radicals on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001:

-In September 2009, a grand jury indicted Afghan national Najibullah Zazi on a charge of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction. The FBI claims that he was plotting to blow up certain U.S. targets and was in possession of plans for making hydrogen peroxide-based bombs.

Since his arrest, Zazi has admitted to receiving training at a terrorist training camp in Pakistan.

Full report at:  http://www.examiner.com/x-5919-Norfolk-Crime-

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Muslim Mafia Author: Now Is The Time For A 'Backlash' Against Muslims

Justin Elliott

November 9, 2009

A conservative author whose book was touted just last month by four Republican members of Congress is explicitly calling for a "backlash" against American Muslims in the wake of the Fort Hood shootings.

Dave Gaubatz, author of Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld that's Conspiring to Islamize America, made the comment in a semi-coherent interview with the group Family Security Matters.

In assigning collective blame for the Fort Hood killings, Gaubatz said:

    Politicians, Muslims, and law enforcement are concerned about a 'backlash' against Muslims. Now is the time for a professional and legal backlash against the Muslim community and their leaders. Muslims know what materials are being taught in their mosques and they know many of the materials instruct young Muslims to kill innocent people who do not adhere to Sharia law. If Muslims do not want a backlash, then I would recommend a "house cleaning." Stack every Saudi, al Qaeda, Pakistani, Taliban, Hamas, and Muslim Brotherhood piece of material from their mosque and have a bonfire. Tell the American, Jewish, and Muslim community this hatred will no longer be allowed in their mosques.

All of this might be dismissed as the ranting of a fringe lunatic, but for the fact that Gaubatz's work has been circulated and endorsed by prominent Republican officials.

Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC) wrote the foreword to Muslim Mafia, which came out last month. And she is the leader of a group of four House Republicans -- including Myrick, John Shadegg (AZ), Paul Broun (GA), and Trent Franks (AZ) -- pursuing the book's claims of Muslim intern "spying" on Capitol Hill.

Just last week the Denver Post published an op-ed by former congressman Tom Tancredo outlining the supposed revelations in Gaubatz's book.

Gaubatz's comments aren't particularly surprising, coming from a man who has called President Obama "Muslim" and questioned the loyalty of the two Muslim members of Congress.

http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2009/11/muslim_mafia_author_now_is_the_time_for_a_backlash.php?ref=mp

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Muslim Mafia' author ordered to remove documents from Web

By MICHAEL DOYLE

Nov. 09, 2009

A federal judge has taken the rare step of ordering self-described anti-terrorism investigator Paul David Gaubatz to remove from his Web site some 12,000 documents that his son allegedly stole from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly also ordered Gaubatz to return documents used in his book, "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Seeking to Islamize America," which was co-authored by Paul Sperry and portrays the council as a subversive organization that's allied with international terrorists.

The 15-year-old nonprofit civil rights and advocacy organization says its goals are to "enhance understanding of Islam" and "empower American Muslims."

"The record ... supports a finding that defendants have unlawfully obtained access to, and have already caused repeated public disclosure of, material containing CAIR's proprietary, confidential and privileged information," Kollar-Kotelly concluded last week.

The Internet publication ban lasts until Nov. 18, by which time the judge will have held another hearing. Even if it's temporary, though, the restraining order issued last Tuesday is one of the rare occasions when a judge has ordered an author to erase published material.

"It's unusual," Lucy Dalglish, the executive director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, said Monday, "but I think with the Internet we'll be seeing more of these kinds of cases in the future."

Dalglish added that the judge's publication-restricting order is narrowly written, noting that you "don't usually see situations where they have allegations like this."

Gaubatz said Monday that "the lawsuit was expected," and he questioned whether Council on American-Islamic Relations officials "deny the accuracy of the book or the documents" cited.

Full report at:  http://www.kansascity.com/437/story/1558875.html

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British Indian Muslims urge OIC to declare Modi persona non grata

9 November 2009

New Delhi: British Indian Muslims have urged Organisation of Islamic Countries to declare the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, persona non grata and instruct its member countries to ask their ambassadors in New Delhi neither to accept any invitation by him nor to extend one to him.

In its four page memorandum sent to OIC Head office, Jeddah, Turkish Foreign Ministry, Indonesian Foreign Ministry, Indonesian Embassy in London and New Delhi, Council of Indian Muslims—UK (CIM) has urged the 25th OIC Committee for Economic and Commercial Cooperation being held in Istanbul, “to declare the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi persona non grata, who, according to Indian newspapers, has been invited for a visit by one of OIC member country, Indonesia.”

“Earlier in November 2008” the memorandum reads, “a similar invitation was extended to him by the government of Qatar but the visit was later cancelled. Recently in 2009 Sultanate of Oman also extended its hand to honour this mass murderer of Muslims. However, after online signature campaigns and protests by the Indian Muslims and justice loving non-Muslims, Government of Oman clarified that it had nothing to do with the invitation and a non Omani company working there had invited Modi on its own initiative.”

Full report at:  http://twocircles.net/2009nov09/british_indian_muslims_urge_oic_declare_modi_persona_non_grata.html

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Don't blame Islam for Fort Hood killings, Baptist leader says

By Bob Allen

November 09, 2009

NORMAN, Okla. (ABP) -- At least one Baptist leader cautioned against attempts to blame the Nov. 5 Fort Hood massacre on the accused assailant's Islamic faith.

Bruce Prescott, executive director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists, said Nov. 8 that assuming Nidal Hasan, an army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 and wounding 31, acted because of his religion is comparable to judging Christianity by the acts of Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.

"The problem is with the individual. It's not with the faith," Prescott said on his weekly "Religious Talk" radio program. "We wouldn't paint everyone with the same broad brush within our own faith, and we shouldn't do it with others."

Prescott's guest on the broadcast -- aired on KREF radio and podcast on his personal blog -- was Razi Hashmi, executive director of the Oklahoma Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

Hashmi said he hoped reports that Hasan is a devout Muslim would not result in a backlash of Islamophobia.

"This is really, really upsetting, because this really violates the tenets and the principles of my faith, and I believe of Islam," Hashmi said. "It is very unfortunate that this happened, but we shouldn't use it as an issue of religion, and it shouldn't be framed in that way. I think it concerns some greater issues, such as mental health and the harmful consequences of war. There are many Muslims that proudly and patriotically serve in the American military."

Full report at:  http://www.abpnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4553&Itemid=53

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Kevin Myers: 'Fear of Islamophobia stopped Hasan's superiors from disciplining him for his jihadist outpourings'

November 10 2009

By KEVIN MYERS

I imagine a lot of American Muslims over the weekend will have felt like the Irish once did in London after an IRA bombing there: let this massacre not be by one of ours, dear God. But it was. Fort Hood was the work of Nidal Malik Hassan, an American Muslim. Not an immigrant, not a September 11 kamikaze intruder, but the home-grown product: the all-American boy who turned on his own people and his own army for politico-religious reasons.

Obviously, most American Muslims want to live in peace with their fellow Americans. But within, it seems, all "moderate" Muslim communities are some fundamentalists who hold the local franchise for the global grievance of Islam. And no one really knows what such Islamic fundamentalists want, because the demands change according to whatever market the local Islamic franchisee is operating in.

But at bottom, jihad -- the holy struggle -- is the key liberator which enables the Muslim fundamentalist to depart from the rules of the society in which he is living.

Jihad can be formed as a result of the teachings of an imam, but it boils down to a personal contract between Allah and the believer, based on an extreme interpretation of Islam. This effectively declares: "If you feel very strongly that the rules in the Holy Koran about never injuring the innocent, and always respecting women and children, and respecting the rights of the kaffirs to remain non-believers, are subordinate to jihad, then these rules do not apply to you.

Moreover, if you feel specifically enjoined to break these rules in pursuit of jihad and martyrdom, the reward shall be paradise and all the blissful wherewithal of the heavenly hereafter."

This notion of a personal contract with Allah, that authorises a believer to break even the most civilised and civilising laws of the Koran, is a sure-fire recipe for murderous irrationality and social anarchy.

Full report at:  http://www.independent.ie/opinion/columnists/kevin-myers/kevin-

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CNN Zeroes-In on 'Right-Wing' Backlash Against Muslims From Pajamas Media

November 9, 2009

On Monday’s American Morning, CNN’s Carol Costello highlighted a column on the “right-wing” Pajamas Media website during a report on a possible backlash against Muslim soldiers, but omitted how the author of the column is a noted feminist, and that her only “right-wing” credential is her focus on Islamic misogyny.

Anchor John Roberts introduced Costello’s report, noting that  apparently “many people [are] fearing a backlash against America’s Muslim soldiers” after the shooting rampage at Fort Hood on November 5. The CNN correspondent featured the mother of a Muslim army corporal who was killed in the line of duty in Iraq during the segment.By Matthew Balan

This mother, according to Costello, is “worried there will be a backlash against Muslim American soldiers. She knows some are already reaching conclusions as to why Major Nidal Malik Hasan allegedly opened fire on his fellow soldiers.” As an example of someone “reaching conclusions,” the correspondent quoted from a column by Phyllis Chesler of Pajamas Media: “The right-wing website, Pajamas Media, is an example. Phyllis Chesler writing, ‘I knew in my bones that the shooter or shooters were Muslim. We must connect the dots before it's too late.’ The suspicion about Muslims, even those born in the United States, intensified after 9/11.” The quote comes from a November 5 column on the conservative website.

Costello did not explain during her report that Chesler is a professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at the College of Staten Island, and has written 13 books, mainly on feminist subjects, including “Patriarchy: Notes of an Expert Witness” and “Feminist Foremothers in Women’s Studies, Psychology, and Mental Health.” In a 1998 interview with Time magazine about feminism, she defined the ideology, in part, as “a woman’s body is her own, and she should not be invaded against her will by a rapist , nor should she be prevented from having an abortion.” Clearly, Chesler is no huge “right-winger,” as Costello would have one believe.

Chesler’s contributions to Pajamas Media, which date back to May 2008, largely focus on subjects related to Islam’s subjugation of women, such as “honour” killings and bans on the burqa. Her personal website has an entire section devoted to the subject of “honour” killings. One might conclude that her personal stances on these issues lead CNN to label her “right wing.”

Full report at:  http://newsbusters.org/blogs/matthew-balan/2009/11/09/cnn-zeroes-right-wing-backlash-against-muslims-pajamas-media

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Corporate US gets to know Muslims

Sharmila Devi

November 09. 2009

PISCATAWAY, NEW JERSEY // Getting corporate America to recognise the purchasing power of Muslims, rather than running scared because of stereotypes, was difficult but not impossible, said Michael Hastings-Black, the co-founder of the Desedo Advertising Agency, which specialises in minority markets.

Addressing more than 200 delegates at the American Muslim Consumer Conference recently, he recounted a tale illustrating the high passions generated by a television advert last year by Dunkin’ Donuts, which did not even specifically address Muslims.

The commercial was pulled after viewers complained about an item of clothing that the non-Muslim celebrity chef, Rachel Ray, happened to wear – the keffiyah.

In the eyes of the complainers, the headscarf was a terrorist symbol. The controversy “caused big brands to pause” already meagre attempts to include or address Muslims in any marketing campaigns, Mr Hastings-Black said.

But, he said, large corporations as well as niche Muslim companies now have new opportunities to tap into the estimated US$170 billion (Dh624bn) American Muslim market through social media. Such websites as Facebook and YouTube, plus blogs and instant messaging provided valuable means of communicating directly with the large and diverse US Muslim community, which also had the chance to create and define its own identity, he said.

“To shop is to be American,” he said. But marketing campaigns along with Hollywood movies often perpetuate stereotypes.

“New media allows a more accurate depiction of minorities. Dialogue is supplanting monologue.”

Full report at:  http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091110/FOREIGN/711099875/1002

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The U.N. Human Rights Council: No Better for Obama's Engagement

By Brett D. Schaefer and Steven Groves

November 9, 2009

Abstract: The record of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights was a disgrace. Three years ago, the commission was replaced by the Human Rights Council, and its record has been equally dismal. The Obama Administration sought a seat at the council in an attempt to reform the council from within. Evidence from the first council sessions with the U.S. as a member demonstrates that the Obama Administration has failed to improve the human rights body. "Defamation of religions" resolutions continue to threaten free speech around the world. Brutal regimes continue to influence council deliberations. Israel remains unfairly targeted. The Heritage Foundation's Brett Schaefer and Steven Groves discuss recent developments at the council and urge President Obama to stand up for human rights in the U.N. and pursue fundamental changes that would improve the performance of the U.N.'s premier human rights body.

The United Nations Human Rights Council was created in 2006 to replace the U.N. Commission on Human Rights that had failed to hold governments to account for violating basic human rights and fundamental freedoms. During negotiations to establish the Human Rights Council, many basic reforms and standards to ensure that the council would not simply be a repeat of the commission did not receive sufficient support in the General Assembly. As a result, the council has been no better -- and in some ways, worse -- than the commission it replaced.

Anticipating this outcome, the Bush Administration voted against the resolution creating the council and decided not to seek a seat at the Geneva-based council in 2006. Based on its subsequent disappointing record, the U.S. again declined to seek a seat in 2007 and 2008. The Bush Administration also withheld a portion of its contribution to the U.N. regular budget (equivalent to the part of the U.S. contribution allocated to the council), and distanced itself from the council's proceedings except in instances of "deep national interest."[1]

Full report at:  http://www.heritage.org/Research/InternationalOrganizations/bg2339.cfm

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An American, and Muslim, tragedy

BY MOHAMMAD SHAKIR

The breaking news about Fort Hood made me cringe.

Like most Muslims, I hoped the shooter would be a Smith or Jones, while some smirked and gleefully waited for a Muslim name to say, I told you so.

Once again, this incident would highlight the polarized social relations in American society amid a national tragedy.

American Muslims would be uncomfortable by intense media scrutiny, while others would have a field day maligning Islam and blaming Muslims.

And both would be wrong.

If Major Nidal Malik Hasan were Robert Stewart, who committed mass killings at a nursing home in North Carolina, or Mike McLendon, who massacred his former co-workers in Alabama, it would be another tragic episode requiring a routine investigation and short-lived news coverage.

But the dynamics of this tragedy are much different and demand a full and thorough investigation for many unanswered questions: The alleged shooter did not just kill his co-workers; he killed the individuals who made a selfless commitment to defend the homeland, and thus all Americans.

The U.S. Army is no ordinary institution that would promote an individual to the rank of major without appropriate training and serious screening. Hasan was not only a trained officer, but also a trained physician -- a mental-health caregiver.

It is bad enough if he were just another ideologue who fooled the system to become an officer.

It is far more harmful and dangerous if he cracked after listening to the horror stories from combat-stressed soldiers returning from a questionable conflict in Iraq.

The suicide rate among veterans underscores the need to look into the state of mental health of all military caregivers.

Also, there is a matter of trust.

The soldiers facing the enemy trust that their backs are protected by comrades in uniform. This sacred trust is what makes our military a cohesive unit of fellow soldiers regardless of race, religion or ethnicity.

Full report at:  http://www.miamiherald.com/opinion/other-views/story/1325241.html

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Al-Qaida video found at home of terror suspect in Chicago

Nov. 9 2009

CHICAGO, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Federal investigators found a video containing a speech by Osama bin Laden in the North Side home of a Chicago man charged with helping plot the assassination of a Danish cartoonist, local media reported Monday.

    In a court filing late Friday, federal prosecutors said investigators found a DVD at the home of Tahawwur Rana that featured bin Laden and was a testimonial to four jihadi "martyrs."

    According to a report by Chicago Sun-Times, what was also recovered in Rana's living room was a DVD titled "Bombing of Denmark Embassy" that U.S. federal prosecutors said helps explain Rana's plans to target the Danish cartoonist and his newspaper in retaliation for publishing a controversial image in 2005 of the prophet Mohammed.

    The DVD was produced by As Sahab Media, which prosecutors described as al-Qaida's media wing. The 45-minute video features a full-sized Danish flag set in flames, according to prosecutors, and calls for "violent action to retaliate against Denmark."

   The video also features a computer-simulation of the 2008 attack on a Danish Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, according to the court filing made in advance of a hearing set for Tuesday in federal court in Chicago in Rana's bid to be released on bail pending trial.

    Federal prosecutors, who maintain that Rana is a flight risk, say that among those appearing on the video is Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the third-ranking member of al-Qaida.

    "A sophisticated computer-generated simulation of the June 2008attack on the Danish embassy then followed, showing the white car being driven into the Danish embassy, followed by an explosion," prosecutors say in the filing.

Full report at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-11/10/content_12420481.htm

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Israel Trying to Counter Iranian Inroads in Latin America

November 10, 2009

CNSNews.com) – Israel’s ceremonial president has launched another diplomatic push for support in Latin America, making a state visit to its two largest countries just weeks before Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is due for another of his frequent visits to the region.

Brazil and Argentina are home to two of the world’s ten biggest Jewish communities, yet President Shimon Peres is the first Israeli head of state to pay an official visit to Argentina in 20 years and to Brazil since the 1960s.

Peres, who recently turned 86, has played an increasingly active role in drawing attention to Jerusalem’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear programs and Ahmadinejad’s anti-Israel rhetoric.

“With this visit, President Peres will try to strengthen and increase strategic, diplomatic and economic relations with these two Latin American countries of fundamental importance,” Peres’ office said in a statement.

It said that in his meetings with the two countries’ presidents, ministers, lawmakers and Jewish communities, Peres would “address Iranian infiltration in the continent.”

As the U.S. has sought to contain Iran in recent years over the nuclear issue, Tehran has found diplomatic and economic openings in Latin America, thanks primarily to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his leftist allies in Bolivia, Ecuador and elsewhere.

Chavez has voiced support for Iran’s nuclear program, and last September – during one of his regular visits to Tehran – offered to ship gasoline to Iran in the event its gas imports are targeted by international sanctions. Iran relies on imports for some 40 percent of its gas requirements.

On Sunday, Chavez announced on his weekly TV and radio broadcast that Ahmadinejad would pay another visit to Venezuela before the end of 2009. He defended the alliance, saying that Iran, like Venezuela, was being attacked by “the empire” – the United States.

“We are accused of exporting terrorism, but they are the killers,” he added, in a comment presumably referring again to Americans.

In contrast to his cozy ties with Iran, Chavez has become stridently critical of Israel, and last January broke off diplomatic ties with the Jewish state while expelling Israel’s ambassador in Caracas.

Full report at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/56925

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Colby Cosh: Taking Islam seriously

November 10, 2009

Colby Cosh

It is hard to put one’s finger on what was so irksome about U.S. Army Chief of Staff George Casey’s appearance on ABC’s Sunday political talk show, This Week with George Stephanopoulos. General Casey was present to make reassuring noises in the aftermath of a mass shooting at Fort Hood in Texas, the largest military installation on U.S. soil. The general discouraged premature speculation that would presuppose a particular outcome of the investigation into the motives of the killer, Major Nidal Hasan, and expressed support for the thousands of American Muslims in uniform. It is hard to object to either of these things — hard, indeed, to find anything specific to object to at all in his comments.

Yet I was left feeling a certain distaste with Gen. Casey’s appearance, and it took me considerable reflection to realize what bothered me: It was largely a matter of what he didn’t say. For example, Stephanopoulos presented Casey with some of the already-abundant evidence that soldiers who worked with Hasan had recognized him as an unstable anti-American religious fanatic, and had been discouraged from saying anything by fears of being accused of racism. Casey deflected the question in the manner of a corporate chief, suggesting that it is too soon to speculate on whether Hasan was a politically motivated terrorist or someone who, to use Stephanopoulos’s phrase, “just snapped.”

Full report at: http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/11/10/colby-cosh-taking-islam-seriously.aspx

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Jihadists in the military

Nov. 10, 2009

By CAL THOMAS

By now, the script should be disturbingly familiar. Whether in the Middle East, or increasingly in America, a fanatical Muslim blows up or goes on a shooting spree, killing many. This is quickly followed by "condemnations" from "Muslim civil rights groups," like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). We are then warned by the president and some newspaper editorials not to jump to conclusions, or to stereotype. Yasser Arafat wrote this script, which he used with great success throughout his bloody career as a terrorist.

Suddenly, the issue of gays in the military doesn’t seem as important as jihadists in the military.

If you were an enemy of America, not only would you fight overseas and develop nuclear weapons (Iran), you would also engage in an even more effective strategy by striking at America’s underbelly. This is our most vulnerable region because we now tolerate virtually everything, indulge in political correctness and subscribe to a bogus belief that if radical Islamists can see we mean them no harm, they will mean us no harm.

The federal government at all levels has hired and promoted Muslims to influential positions. It requires "sensitivity training" for federal employees, including those who work at the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Last week, the House Judiciary Committee, dominated by liberal Democrats, defied the White House and removed from the USA Patriot Act a tool for tracking non-U.S. citizens in anti-terrorism investigations. As our enemies grow stronger and more emboldened, they see us becoming weaker and less committed.

No amount of evidence — from Koran verses urging the killing of "infidels," to cries of "God is great," reportedly shouted by the alleged Ft. Hood shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan — will cure our self-deception. Sun Tzu famously wrote that all war is deception. But it takes two to deceive and the United States is behaving like a willing partner.

Full report at: http://www.star-telegram.com/242/story/1749990.html

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Lebanese paper says Israel preparing attack on Hezbollah

Roee Nahmias

11.10.09,

A-Nahar reports officials in Lebanon were warned about upcoming attack by international source

Official sources in Lebanon told the country's A-Nahar daily that they received warning from an international defense organization according to which Israel was planning to launch an extensive attack on Hezbollah.

Tuesday's report said the attack would not focus only on southern Lebanon, as in previous wars.

It said the threat was founded on Hezbollah's perseverance in smuggling weapons into Lebanese territory, evidence of which was discovered by Israel on the arms ship Francop.

Britain's ambassador to Lebanon, Frances Guy, denied having any knowledge of the alleged Israeli threat. "You journalists are always looking for trouble," she reportedly said.

"If it's true, it is unfortunate," she said when pressed, but stressed her disavowal of knowledge.

Earlier Tuesday IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi warned that Hezbollah is currently armed with thousands of missiles, some of which could reach the southern city of Dimona.

Some of them have a range of 300 km and some of them have a range of up to 325 km," Ashkenazi said, adding that the missiles were ready for use.

"There is a paradox – one hand there is calm, but when you peek over the fence you can see armament and empowerment. If Hezbollah carries out a retaliatory attack for (Imad) Mugniyah it will force Israel to respond and this will lead to deterioration," he said.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3803196,00.html

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Independent Investigation Sought in Killing by Federal Agents of a Detroit Muslim Leader

John Chapin

November 9th 2009

Ron Scott, head of the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, said on November 2 that he is concerned about the killing of the Muslim prayer leader, Imam Luqman Ameen Abdullah on October 28. Abdullah, formerly known as Christopher Thomas, had led the Masjid Al-Haqq mosque in Detroit. Abdullah was shot dead by FBI agents in the suburban Detroit locale of Dearborn after he allegedly fired at and killed a police dog. A federal affidavit described Abdullah, his son, and accomplices as Islamic extremists wanted for numerous violations of federal law, as well as operating a theft ring. According to Scott, “We’re concerned about the excessive force,” adding “We want to see an independent investigation.” See affidavit here.

Abdullah’s family said that he was shot 18 times, while the medical examiner’s office would only say he was shot multiple times. Andrew Arena, special agent in charge of the Detroit FBI office, said agents acted appropriately.

According to a federal affidavit, Abdullah believed he and his followers were soldiers at war against the government and non-Muslims. "He told his followers it is their duty to oppose the FBI and the government and it does not matter if they die," FBI agent Gary Leone said in an affidavit unsealed on October 28, the day of the raid. "He also told the group that they need to plan to do something," apparently, “violent jihad.”

Abdullah and eleven others were charged with conspiring to commit several federal crimes, including illegal possession and sale of firearms, tampering with motor vehicle identification numbers, theft from interstate shipments and mail fraud. Nine of the suspects are currently in federal custody, and two others remain in Canada and are fighting extradition to face justice in the United States. "We're not any fake terrorists, we're the real terrorists," Abdullah once boasted to an undercover informant, according to the affidavit.  

Full report at: http://www.thecuttingedgenews.com/index.php?article=11761&pageid=&pagename=

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From Berlin to Baghdad

By Fouad Ajami

NOVEMBER 9, 2009

Will the peoples of Islam tear down their walls as the people of Central and Eastern Europe tore down theirs?

For all its menace and fanfare, Eastern European communism, one of its countless chroniclers observed, left the theater of history on tiptoe. The simple, surprising end came 20 years ago, Nov. 9, 1989, when an apparatchik of the German Democratic Republic read out a note announcing that the border that had cut through Germany would be opened for "private trips abroad." The Berlin Wall had fallen.

A mere two years earlier, in November 1987, there was a celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, and even Mikhail Gorbachev—the fourth Soviet leader in three years—gave the appearance of normalcy. But it was too late for such pretense. The subjugation of that "other Europe" had come to an end.

"Gorbachev's role, though honorable, has been exaggerated," British historian Norman Davies writes in his monumental book, "Europe: A History." "He was not the architect of East Europe's freedom: he was the lock-keeper who, seeing the dam about to burst, decided to open the floodgates and to let the water flow. The dam burst in any case; but it did so without the threat of a violent catastrophe."

There were the Hungarians, in October of 1989, on the 33rd anniversary of the crushing of their national rebellion, abolishing the entire ruling Communist apparatus. There were the people in Prague again, a mere two decades after the snuffing out of their freedom, launching their Velvet Revolution. Poland wrote its own distinctive history. Its national church never faltered—a gifted primate of that church, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, rose to the papacy and helped steer his nation's history freedom's way. Its shipyard workers led a movement that made a seamless transition from workers' rights to the cause of national freedom.

Full report at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704402404574523991364216158.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

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Iran's Ahmadinejad: Capitalism is dead

By Scott Peterson

At an Islamic economic summit in Turkey, Iran's President Ahmadinejad called for a new world order – a bid, perhaps, to deflect attention from protests at home and nuclear talks abroad.

November 9, 2009

Istanbul, Turkey - Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sought to bolster the Islamic Republic's regional standing at an economic summit for Muslim leaders in Turkey on Monday, by declaring that a "new era is starting" after the "definite defeat" of capitalism.

Analysts say that Iran has had a legitimacy deficit since a disputed presidential election and weeks of violent street battles in June, and is now trying recover lost diplomatic ground.

"They've had a real crisis, of both confidence and appearance in regional fora," says Anoush Ehteshami, a professor of international relations at the University of Durham in England. "And I think Turkey provides a very neat way forward for them, given that in many Arab circles, Ahmadinejad is not very welcome."

Ahmadinejad, one of the few heads of state to attend the committee meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference here, swept into Istanbul with his entourage to repay the recent visit to Iran of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who spoke of the Iranian president as his "friend."

Iran is under pressure from the West to agree to a UN-brokered nuclear swap deal for enriched uranium, though Tehran has sent mixed signals about whether it will accept. But more important for Ahmadinejad in Turkey was portraying Iran as a regional leader determined to create a new world order and dethrone Western powers.

"We have to draw up programs based on Islamic economic thinkers. That way we can guide people to happiness, security, justice and honesty," Ahmadinejad said. "Change is a must."

Fending off 'bunker mentality'

Full report at: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/1110/p06s04-wome.html

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Ugandan gays and Muslim women:a common struggle to redefine family

Cassandra Balchin

9 November 2009

What have gay rights activists in Christian-majority Uganda and Muslim women fighting for family law reform in Asia got in common? You’d be surprised…

On 14 October 2009, an “Anti-Homosexuality Bill” was tabled before the Ugandan parliament. The Bill not only provides extreme punishments for lesbians and gays but also anyone who supports their human rights or fails to report a ‘suspected homosexual’ to the authorities. According to Article 1.1, the Bill’s main purpose is to “protect the traditional family”. This is a catchphrase common to many variants of Christian fundamentalism across the world and is often code for homophobic positions. For example, the ‘Culture & Family Issues’ section of the Concerned Women for America’s website focuses almost entirely on critiquing homosexuality as ‘unnatural’ and against the Bible. The Family Life Network is also the name of one of Uganda’s foremost anti-gay organisations, which shares its name with an American evangelical group.

Although separated from Uganda by geography, history and culture, family law reform activists in Muslim contexts will only too easily recognise the Ugandan situation. They too confront narrow definitions of ‘family’, the call to preserve ‘the family’ as a way of obstructing advance in human rights especially women’s rights, and barely concealed state opposition to a redefinition of family relationships. In both contexts, political expedience or the influence of politicised religion obstruct progress. Christian fundamentalists, especially those associated with evangelical and Pentecostal churches, currently have considerable influence on Ugandan public policy, not least because of the strong support from First Lady Janet Museveni who is a fervent born-again Christian. The Bill apparently has the support of Minister for Ethics and Integrity Dr James Nsaba Butoro even though the Kampala High Court in December 2008 issued a landmark ruling upholding the fundamental rights of two lesbians.

Full report at: http://www.opendemocracy.net/5050/ugandan-gays-and-muslim-womena-common-struggle-to-redefine-family

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Indonesian leader to outline 'strategic partnership' with US

9 November 2009

Indonesia's president hopes to discuss a new "strategic partnership" with the United States when he meets US President Barack Obama in Singapore on the weekend, an official said Tuesday.

Indonesia's president hopes to discuss a new "strategic partnership" with the United States when he meets US President Barack Obama in Singapore on the weekend, an official said Tuesday.

Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to meet Obama on Sunday on the sidelines of a summit of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal told reporters.

"I believe the president has proposed that there will be a strategic partnership between Indonesia and the US. This has received a good response by the US government," Djalal said.

Senior officials from both countries were drafting a document outlining "practical measures to raise the relationship between Indonesia and the US to a higher level", he added.

"Top officials of Indonesia and the US are finalising the content and not just the concept. We're moving towards that. It will be more clear after the meeting," he said.

Indonesia's Muslims make up 88 percent of the country's 234 million people, making the vast archipelago the most populous Muslim-majority country in the world.

It is also the third-biggest democracy after India and the United States, and the largest economy in Southeast Asia with a growth target of at least 7.0 percent by 2014.

As such it is seen as a key partner for the Obama administration's plans to re-engage with the Asia-Pacific region and with the Muslim world.

The White House last week announced Obama would hold the first meeting between a US president and leaders of all 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Myanmar Prime Minister Thein Sein, in Singapore on Sunday.

Full report at: http://news.malaysia.msn.com/regional/article.aspx?cp-documentid=3698255

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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 roadshow 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.”

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

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