Rector of Darul Uloom Deoband Maulana. Marghoobur Rahman dies
Local militants eyed in attack on Varanasi Ghat
`Regrouped' IM is suspect, `very different' bomb puzzles police
Telling im signature invaranasi explosion
Not by shrapnel, they were hurt in stampede
Jeddah party scene throbs with drugs, sex
Spanish town bans veils in public buildings
UN urges Afghanistan to protect women’s rights
Suspected killer of MQM leader held
Need for flood aid in Pakistan will continue: UN
Arabs' role in civilization stressed
Danish playground mosque and temples build religious tolerance
Muharram teaches lesson of sacrifice’
Malaysia minister rejects call to end child marriage
Kasab accuses cops of staging encounter to implicate him
Students, teachers caned in Pakistan
Pak agencies caught unawares by India’s nuke tests: Khan
Varanasi Blast triggers a blame game
NATO airstrike kills two Afghan soldiers
Taliban video shows captured US soldier
Afghan Taliban leaders won’t negotiate: former VP
Piece of Mind: The National Goal of Sporting Tolerance
Lumbard book wins best-of-year award
Judge Tosses Suit Seeking to Prevent Targeted Killing of Cleric Who Urged Jihad
Grand Ayatollah Sistani Calls for National Unity in Iraq
Don’t be misled on Halal Food
Khoja Shia Muslims launches ‘40 Islamic Centres in 40 Days’ fundraising appeal
Imams in Germany fear hate attacks against Muslims
Islamic Calendar leaps into its 1432nd year
Saudi man sentenced to 'prayer calls' instead of whipping
Ayodhya Case: Hindu Mahasabha files objection
Al-Qaeda top militant leader arrested in Iraq
Iran's pro-reform daily’s editor arrested
3 killed, 7 wounded in Iraq blasts
Lebanese generals’ detention was ‘illegal’
Kidnapped baby found in Madinah Park
Punjab says governor is missing
Russia, Afghanistan agree to beef up heroin fight
Papers on Taher killing destroyed deliberately: Shafique
A unique bid to bridge the gap
WikiLeaks backers hit MasterCard, Visa
Sex accusers boasted about their 'conquest' of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
How you can help WikiLeaks
US strategy is paying off in Afghanistan, says Robert Gates
Explosion was planned from Pakistan: police
Education must strengthen pluralism: Pratibha Patil
Controversy over “azadi” remark refuses to die down
Iran’s conditions for nuke talks accepted
Libya threatened UK over bomber release
Saudi proposed force to crush Hezbollah
Pak politicians to be ‘careful’ in dealing with US diplomats
Compiled by New Age Isalm News Bureau
ISI is a rogue agency: AQ Khan
December 09, 2010
Branding Pakistani intelligence agencies mainly the ISI as a “rogue agency”, country’s top nuclear scientist AQ Khan has said that it takes orders from the Army chief and not the civilian Government.
Charging that ISI operated outside the law and totally ignored court orders, Khan in a scathing attack on the military intelligence agency said it was being used against politicians and as a “extended arm of the dictators.” Writing in a column in the daily The News, said, “this had led to all the coups staged in the country,” since the military takeover by late dictator Ayub Khan.
“Unfortunately, in our country the performance of the intelligence agencies is anything but commendable and is not something to be proud of.
They have been the extended arm of dictators and been widely branded as rogue organisations,” he wrote.
The intelligence agencies “operate outside the law, are least bothered about the judiciary and totally ignore court orders”, wrote Khan, who was placed under house arrest after he admitted running a clandestine nuclear proliferation ring in early 2004.
In recent months, Pakistani authorities have removed or relaxed some of the restrictions imposed on him.
Referring to a case in the Supreme Court about 11 “missing” terror suspects who are believed to be in the custody of intelligence agencies, Khan wrote the episode “more or less confirms the universal belief that our intelligence agencies are rogue agencies and are above the law and the Constitution.”
Khan wrote that during the regime of former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, “a general, an ISI colonel and eight subordinates forcibly sent us to Bannigala (near Islamabad) and kept us there for 10 hours.”
He added: “During that time our house was totally ransacked, bedrooms, clothes, books, files, etc, searched and many things taken away — all this without any official warrant or court order to do so.”
He claimed his house was bugged with cameras and listening devices.
“In any civilised society such despicable acts are totally unacceptable and are dealt with severely by the courts,” he wrote.
Rector of Darul Uloom Deoband Maul. Marghoobur Rahman dies
Deoband: The new Hijri year 1432 came with a sad news for all at Darul Uloom Deoband and its alumni spread all across the world.
Maulana Marghoobur Rahman, Mohtamim (Rector/ VC) of Darul Uloom Deoband, died today in his hometown Bijnor UP at 10:45 AM. He was suffering from various diseases and was bedridden for past several months. He was 96 and one of the most senior Ulama of Deoband.
Maulana Marghoobur Rahman was born in 1914 in Bijnor. He came to Darul Uloom Deoband in 1929 and studied under guidance of Shaikhul Islam Maulana Hussain Madani and other great Ulama.
He was appointed as Member Shura (Executive Body) of Darul Uloom Deoband in 1962. Later, after Hakimul Islam Qari Muhammad Tayyib, in 1981 he was assigned the post of Mohtamimship which he continued to hold till date.
His janaza is being brought from Bijnor to Deoband. The janaza salah (funeral prayer) will be held in Deoband after Isha at 9 pm and he will be buried at Mazar-e-Qasmi of Deoband tonight.
NEW DELHI: India said on Wednesday a home-grown extremist group with ties to Pakistani militants was behind a bomb attack on a Hindu site, and local media reported two people were questioned over the attack.
Home Secretary Gopal Pillai said traces of explosives were found at the site of Tuesday evening’s blast in the northern city of Varanasi that killed a two-year old girl and injured 37 Indians and foreign tourists.
Pillai said the crude bomb was set off by the Indian Mujahideen (IM), a local group India says has been trained by militants based in Pakistan, including the Lashkar-e-Taiba.
The IM claimed responsibility for the attack in an e-mail to local media, police said. That e-mail was traced to a Mumbai suburb and two people were questioned over it, local media said.
“The main players of Indian Mujahideen are based in Pakistan and they are definitely running the game from there,” Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal told a press conference.
Pillai has said it was “too premature” to say if individuals or groups operating from Pakistan were involved. “The investigation is focusing on the clues we have, on suspicious characters who stayed in hotels there (Varanasi).”
No one has been arrested or detained, said R.P. Singh, a senior police officer said in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh state where Varanasi is located.
India remains jittery about the threat of militant strikes, especially since the Mumbai attacks in November 2008 which killed 166 people and raised tensions with arch rival Pakistan.
New Delhi says Pakistan-based groups aid and train militants to carry out attacks against India, a claim Islamabad rejects.
Investors closely monitor any signs of an escalation in tensions between India and Pakistan, two nuclear-armed rivals who have fought three wars.
The Indian Mujahideen has in the past claimed several attacks, including the 2008 bombings in the tourist city of Jaipur that killed 63 people and a September 2010 attack on a tourist bus outside New Delhi’s main mosque.
Local media said the Indian Mujahideen, in the e-mail claiming the attack, said the blast was retaliation for a court verdict over a disputed mosque site that gave two-thirds of the land to Hindu groups. The blast came a day after the 18th anniversary of the razing of the mosque by Hindu zealots.
The demolition had led to some of the worst religious riots in India and remains a recruitment pitch for militants.
SANJAY SINGH & ANUBHUTI VISHNOI
THE Indian Mujahideen (IM) has regrouped and could be planning more attacks, particularly at religious places, highly placed sources in the government said here today.
The role of the IM in yesterday’s Varanasi blast, these sources said, matches information gleaned through the interrogation of Delhi blast accused and alleged IM operative Shahzad Ahmed in February this year. Ahmed had told Delhi Police that both the Dashashwamedh Ghat and the German Bakery at Varanasi were IM's "future targets." It was this tip-off that was passed on to the UP Police on February 25, a tipoff that the state government today called dated, "not actionable."
The Varanasi blast seemed to have been planned for December 6, the anniversary of the Babri Masjid's demolition, given that the email is dated December 6. However, IM operatives probably could not carry out the attack on the day due to heightened security.
Government sources indicated there could be more terror targets and planned strikes by IM since the email does not specifically mention Va ranasi. Religious places across the country besides the whole set of Lashkar-e-To iba targets like Chabad Houses, German bakeries, Paharganj
hotels and the National Defence College still remained possible terror targets.
As many as 20 identified IM operatives are on the Home Ministry’s radar and while most of them are said to be located in the Gulf and Pakistan, at least “five to six” could be in India, the government sources said.
What is puzzling investigators, though, is the nature of the bomb.
In the 24 hours since it went off, investigators have not found any of the usual IM “signatures” such as ball bearings and nails or remnants of an IED or remains of a battery, wire, detonator, timer or circuit.
What they have collected are samples of soil, pieces of stones and pieces of a white plastic container which has a sticker, with the word “Prince” on it.
While experts don’t rule out that the battery, wire and timer could have been blown into the Ganga by the force of the blast, an official of Agra’s Forensic Science Laboratory said: “One
thing is clear, there were no ballbearings or other such articles in the bomb.” Doctors treating the injured have also found no sign of wounds caused by metal pieces.
Also, there is no CCTV footage because there are no such cameras installed at the ghat. The design of the bomb indicates that those who planted the device had examined the site. The bomb was placed on a staircase made of stone slabs.
“They knew that the explosion would automatically convert the stones’ slabs into projectiles,” said an official.
Incidentally, the attackers also chose that particular area of the ghat where no TV cameras are present. The Gangotri Sewa Samiti and Ganga Sewa Nidhi both organise artis every evening at Sheetla Ghat. The Ganga Sewa Nidhi artis attract bigger crowds and are covered live by a local TV channel, which has a camera permanently set up there. However, the attackers targeted the Gan
gotri Sewa Samiti arti site, about 100 yards away.
Another reason behind the attackers not using metallic objects like ball bearings or nails could be the presence of metal detectors at the entry points of the ghats.
The Uttar Pradesh ATS is looking for some new IM cells.
Salman, an IM operative who was arrested by the UP ATS from Siddharthnagar a few months ago, had told police that IM founder Amir Raza Khan and the Bhatkal brothers — believed to be in Pakistan — had set up fresh teams in India for triggering off blasts.
Salman was among 12 IM operatives, including the Bhatkals and Khan, who had a Rs 1-lakh reward on his head. Of them, Dr Shahnawaz, Ariz alias Junaid, Sajid (Bada), Mohammad Khalid, Mirza Sadab Beig and Asadullah Akhtar alias Asadullah Khan, all belonging to Azamgarh, are still at large.
TELLING IM SIGNATURE INVARANASI EXPLOSION
By Aman Sharma
THE ROLE of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) in the Varanasi blast is becoming clearer.
Shahzad Ahmed, an IM terrorist arrested from UP’s Azamgarh on February 1, had confessed that Dasashwamedh Ghat is a possible future target.
Government sources said Shahzad’s confession to the Intelligence agencies had prompted the Centre to alert the UP Police on February 25 about the threat. “The alert was communicated to the DGP, UP Police. Shahzad had specifically said IM will target Dasashwamedh Ghat and the German Bakery in Varanasi,” a government source said.
The source also said the email received nearly 30 minutes after Tuesday’s blast seemed “authentic” and the “chain of IM’s involvement was complete” based on Shahzad’s confession.
Shahzad, who is in Tihar Jail, is an accused in the Delhi serial blasts. “The five-page email cannot be prepared in a few minutes and it seems authentic and related to the blast, though it came some 30 minutes after the explosion,” the source said.
Full report at: Mail Today
PHOOLRANI, from Madhya Pradesh, was at Sheetla Ghat when the blast rockedit,butescapedtheshrapnel.Sheis now battling for life in the ICU of BHU Medical College. She was injured -from a fall, or a stone hitting her head, doctors say -in the stampede after the blast.Soweremostoftheatleast40people who landed in hospitals.
The injured had fractures, lacerations, abrasions and injuries caused by the impact of some blunt object. Few had burns. Some had cuts caused by flying objects.
None of the victims had metallic objects in his or her body. So the bleeding injuries, doctors believe, were caused by flying pieces of stone blown off by the blast. "Cases of serious direct blast injury are very few," says B K Srivastava, Varanasi's Additional Director of Health. He didn't take a count, he says, "but some 50 percent of the victims had injuries suffered in the stampede".
Full report at: Indian Express
Dec 9, 2010
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia might be an ultra-strict Islamic society , but princes' mansions in Jeddah hide a buzzing party scene replete with alcohol, drugs and sex, according to a leaked US diplomatic memo.
"Behind the facade of Wahabi conservatism in the streets, the underground nightlife for Jeddah's elite youth is thriving and throbbing ," said the November 2009 cable, released by the WikiLeaks website. "The full range of worldly temptations and vices are available — alcohol, drugs, sex — but strictly behind closed doors," it said. "This freedom to indulge carnal pursuits is possible merely because the religious police keep their distance when parties include the presence or patronage of a Saudi royal and his circle of loyal attendants."
Full report at:
Dec 10, 2010
BARCELONA (Spain): A northern Spanish town brought into force on Thursday a ban on Islamic face-covering veils in municipal buildings, the first such decree in the country.
The town of Lleida, population 120,000, approved in July a municipal ban on body-covering burqas or face-covering niqab garments at about 130 locations, ranging from civic centres to swimming pools.
The law, implemented on Thursday, was the first of its kind in Spain, where facecovering Islamic garments are seldom seen despite a sharp rise in immigration from Muslim countries over the past decade.
"I believe the burqa and the hijab, as well as similar garments that completely cover the face are an attack against equality between men and women, they are an attack against women's dignity ," Lleida mayor Angel Ros said.
KABUL: Afghanistan must eliminate widespread traditional customs that harm women and girls, such as child marriage, ‘‘honor killings’’ and giving away girls to settle disputes, a report by the United Nations said Thursday.
The report by the UN mission in Afghanistan found religious leaders sometimes reinforced the customs by invoking their interpretation of Islam.
‘‘In most cases, however, these practices are inconsistent with Sharia law as well as Afghan and international law, and violate the human rights of women,’’ the report said.
Researchers found such practices in varying degrees across the country and among all ethnic groups, based on 150 individual and group interviews this year in 29 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.
‘‘Forced marriage is not a harmful tradition in our culture,’’ a man on the Faryab provincial in northern Afghanistan told researchers. ‘‘I know my daughter’s best interests and since she does not leave the house, she does not understand the world and it will not be possible or acceptable for her to choose her own husband.’’
LONDON/ISLAMABAD: British police on Thursday arrested the suspected killer of Imran Farooq, the self-exiled Pakistani politician whose stabbing death in London sparked riots in Karachi.
Scotland Yard said officers detained a 34-year-old man at his home in the north London neighborhood of Camden for questioning.
“He has been taken to a north London police station where he will be interviewed by detectives,” the police headquarters said.
The man, who was not identified, was also being questioned on suspicion of robbery, police said.
The 50-year-old Farooq was on his way home from work when he was killed in broad daylight on Sept. 16. He was found with head injuries and stab wounds outside his London home and pronounced dead at the scene. Detectives recovered a kitchen knife and a brick used in the attack.
UNITED NATIONS: The aid crisis caused by widespread summer flooding in Pakistan may continue for months, with remaining flood waters not expected to recede for another three to five months, the UN humanitarian chief said Thursday.
Valerie Amos, the undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, recently returned from Pakistan, where she surveyed relief efforts last week.
She told journalists that food, water and shelter are still being provided to millions of people affected by the flooding.
”There is still a great deal to do,” said Amos. ”People are still experiencing an acute emergency situation that requires international attention.”
BEIRUT: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, chairman of the Arab Thought Foundation (ATF), has urged Arabs to play an effective role in the making of human civilization.
Addressing ATF’s annual conference here, he commended the innovative initiatives made by Arabs in various fields that include modern technology.
Prince Khaled also emphasized the importance of interfaith and cultural dialogue initiated by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman opened the conference in the presence of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Speaker Nabih Berri and other senior officials.
“We have decided to hold this conference in Lebanon to express our solidarity with the country and with the hope that Lebanon would be able to overcome its present difficulties and achieve national unity,” Prince Khaled said.
Children playing in Fredericia in a “multifaith” playground with buildings shaped like a Hindu temple, a mosque and a church. Photo: Slim Allagui/AFP
Children skip across the roof of a mosque and play hide and seek in a Hindu temple: This unsual playground is designed to build tolerance as religious relations are cooling in Denmark.
Volunteers from various faiths in Fredericia helped to create the seaside playground, which opened in August in a town proud of its 18th-century role as a refuge for Europe’s persecuted.
There is a green mosque with a golden dome, a red and white brick village church and a brightly coloured Hindu temple.
‘Muharram teaches lesson of sacrifice’
KARACHI: Muharram teaches us the lesson of sacrifice, tolerance and fighting against injustice, Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Information Sharmila Farooqi said in a statement on Wednesday. This is the month in which Imam Hussain (AS) sacrificed his life for Islam rather than surrender to the cruel, Sharmila said. She said foolproof security arrangements had been made in Sindh to avoid any untoward incident. She directed law enforcers to ensure security across the province, especially at sensitive places, during Muharram. She appealed to scholars for playing their due role in creating awareness among the people about peace and harmony. She asked them to take part in maintaining peace in the country because, she said, peace could only be achieved with the help of the ulema, the people and the media. staff report
KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia's law minister on Wednesday shot down calls to ban underage marriage, despite an uproar over the recent wedding of a 14-year-old Muslim school girl.
Siti Maryam Mahmod wed 23-year-old teacher Abdul Manan Othman last weekend in a mass wedding at a major mosque, after being given permission in an Islamic Sharia court.
Malaysian Muslims below the age of 16 are allowed to marry as long as they obtain the permission of the religious courts. Sharia law runs in parallel with civil law in the multi-ethnic country.
Nazri Aziz, a minister in the premier's department in charge of legal affairs, said the government has no plan to review laws allowing for underage marriages because the practice is permitted under Islam.
Copyright © 2010 AFP. All rights reserved.
Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab today accused police of staging a fake encounter at Girgaum Chowpatty to falsely implicate him in the 26/11 attacks and told the Bombay High Court that he had not killed constable Tukaram Ombale.
Facing death penalty for his role in the killing of 166 people in the attacks, Kasab denied his presence at Chowpatty on the night of November 26, 2008.
Lawyer Amin Solkar said prosecution had alleged that there was a scuffle between police and Kasab in which police snatched the rifle belonging to his client after he killed Ombale. A spot panchnama was drawn which showed that a rifle was found on the road near Skoda car in which Kasab was apprehended.
However, the weapon taken away by police from Kasab was not produced before the court, he argued.
Police on Wednesday used batons to disperse a large number of college students and teachers who organised a protest outside the Punjab Assembly in this eastern Pakistani city against the Government’s plan to privatise 26 educational institutions.
Hundreds of students and teachers gathered outside the Assembly while the session was in progress.
Student representatives wanted to meet Punjab Education Minister Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman to express their concern at the proposed privatisation of 26 major colleges in Punjab.
Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were “caught unawares” by a series of India’s nuclear tests in May 1998 despite claims of having informants in “almost every house” near the test site at Pokhran, nuclear scientist AQ Khan has said.
In a column written in The News daily, Khan said he had “voiced my criticism of the performance of our intelligence agencies” when then premier Nawaz Sharif held a meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet on May 13, 1998 to discuss Pakistan’s options in the wake of India’s first three nuclear tests two days earlier. “Despite their claims of having informants in almost every house in Pokhran, and their promises that they would inform us if India made any preparations for tests, we were caught unawares,” Khan wrote in the piece titled “Intelligence agencies and law. If we had had as little as 10 days’ notice, we could have prepared a matching response and could have detonated our devices in as little as an hour,” he wrote. During the meeting on May 13, 1998, Khan said the, then Foreign Minister Gauhar Ayub Khan and Foreign Secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan were “quite vocal” about conducting nuclear tests.
By Piyush Srivastava
Centre claims to have ‘alerted’ the police but state govt refutes it
THE ALL too familiar blame game has begun between the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh and the Centre, with both blaming each other for the intelligence failure that led to Tuesday’s blast in Varanasi.
Union home minister P. Chidambaram, who visited the spot and met blast victims, shifted the responsibility on the state saying it was a failure on the part of the UP government.
“The state ignored specific warnings which were issued about terrorists planning an attack on Varanasi’s ghats. We had also sent a letter to the UP government on February 25, 2010 to share intelligence reports hinting at the possibility of terrorist outfits targeting this particular ghat of Varanasi,” Chidambaram said.
“Since the warning had been conveyed to the state government in advance and that too specifically about a possible strike at Dasashwamedh Ghat, we expected them to take appropriate security measures. It was the result of some security lapse on the part of the state administration,” he added.
KABUL: Afghanistan’s Defence Ministry on Wednesday condemned an air strike by foreign forces, which it said killed two Afghan soldiers and wounded five more south of Kabul.
Civilian casualties and “friendly fire” deaths among Afghan security forces have been a frequent source of friction between President Hamid Karzai’s government and Western military forces in a war now in its tenth year.
The latest incident took place on Tuesday afternoon in the village of Bangram in the Charkh district of Logar province, the ministry said in a statement.
“As a result of a bombardment by international forces, two soldiers were martyred and five were wounded,” it said.
“The Defence Ministry condemns this incident and a joint delegation has been created to investigate the cause and will announce its findings.”
A spokeswoman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul said a team had been sent to investigate the incident but declined to comment further. Violence in Afghanistan is at its worst since the Taliban were overthrown in late 2001 with record casualties on all sides of the conflict. reuters
WASHINGTON: The Pentagon on Wednesday condemned the release of a video showing a US soldier who was captured in Afghanistan and is believed to have been held by Taliban for the last 18 months. The video released by Taliban shows Specialist Bowe Bergdahl, the only known US serviceman held captive in Afghanistan, with bags under his eyes. Bergdahl’s parents declined to speak with reporters throughout the ordeal, but Idaho National Guard spokesman Col Tim Marsano said, “They have confirmed that the man in the video is their son.” The video, which also shows terrorist attacks in Afghanistan, was released by Manba al-Jihad, a video production affiliated with Taliban. agencies
KABUL: Leaders of Afghanistan’s Taliban will not join a government peace process and force should be the focus of efforts to end their insurgency, a former vice president said in an interview broadcast on Wednesday.
President Hamid Karzai has began a high-profile effort this year to reach out to the Taliban, seeking a political end to a war in its tenth year and increasingly unpopular in Western nations that supply funding and troops.
Amid record numbers of civilian and military casualties, there is a growing sense both in Kabul and abroad that a decisive military victory will not be possible, despite the presence of about 150,000 foreign soldiers.
Ahmad Zia Masood, who served as Karzai’s first deputy president until last year and is a brother of assassinated anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Masood, said efforts to reach a negotiated solution would likely hit a dead end.
I spent last Saturday night at a shopping mall. I suppose there’s nothing special about that, considering many other Jakartans did the same thing over the weekend.
However, something special did happen to me that night. I was reminded of some very important questions that have been on my mind for quite a while now. Namely, where are we heading as a nation? What is our goal?
Strolling through the mall, I was terrified to hear a sudden loud noise coming from the food court. It was a thundering cheer mixed with screams.
My first reaction was to turn around and walk away. I thought a riot of some sort was taking place and I didn’t want to be there.
But it was not a riot. The noise came from people watching Indonesia’s 6-0 win over Laos in the Asean Football Federation Suzuki Cup. The whole food court was united in victory.
"Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition: Revised and Expanded," edited by Joseph E.B. Lumbard, has been cited by the National “Best Books 2010” Awards as the top book of the year in the category Current Events: Political/Social.
The awards are sponsored by USA Book News, an online book-news magazine.
"Islam, Fundamentalism, and the Betrayal of Tradition" contains a collection of essays examining religious, political and historical factors that have led to the rise of Islamic fundamentalism. The revised edition includes a new essay on the role of women in Islam, an updated chapter containing insights into the concept of Jihad, and three fully revised chapters that bring the discussion up-to-date with the current global situation.
Lumbard, assistant professor of classical Islam, researches Islamic intellectual traditions, with an emphasis on Sufism and Islamic philosophy. He is currently researching the development of Sufi theories of love in the early Islamic period and their influence on the Persian Sufi tradition.
By Debra Cassens Weiss
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., has dismissed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the government’s targeted killing of a Muslim cleric believed to be hiding in Yemen.
U.S. District Judge John Bates said the suit, brought by the father of Anwar al-Awlaki, the targeted cleric, cannot go forward because the plaintiff lacks standing and his claims are nonjusticiable under the political question doctrine, according to the opinion (PDF).
Bates said the merits claims in the case raise serious issues of separation of powers and national security. Al-Awlaki has appeared on videos urging Muslims to kill Americans, and he is on a capture or kill list, the Associated Press reports, relying on information from unnamed administration officials. Al-Awlaki, an American citizen, has been linked to the Fort Hood shootings and the would-be underwear bomber.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani has called on all concerned political factions to pool their resources to help form Iraq's next government.
Grand Ayatollah Sistani “has stressed the principle of national partnership,” Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi said following a meeting with the respected clergyman in Najaf, UPI reported on Monday.
Grand Ayatollah Sistani underlined “the need that all political blocs participate in the decision-making process and pay utmost attention to security and services," al-Nujaifi added.
The country held general elections on March 7.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's State of Law coalition and archrival Iyad Allawi's al-Iraqiya secured 89 and 91 seats respectively in the 325-member parliament, both falling shy of the 163 seats required for a majority.
Don’t be Misled on Halal Food
Many Muslims don’t seem to be very aware of the halal concept and their rights to buy and consume halal products, said Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department, Datuk Nasir Tun Sakaran
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Many Muslims don’t seem to be very aware of the halal concept and their rights to buy and consume halal products, said Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department, Datuk Nasir Tun Sakaran.
“As a result, some food traders are taking advantage of the existing situation by placing ‘Halal’ signages on their non-Muslim premises and hire waitresses and cashiers wearing headscarves to attract Muslim customers.
“Therefore, Muslims must be vigilant and be alert on their rights as consumers so that they would not be hoodwinked into eating at such premises,” he said.
Over 40 Shia religious centres including Mosques, Imambarghas and Madrasahs were ruined in the 2010 floods that devastated Pakistan.
“Only those shall maintain Allah’s mosques, who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and establish prayer and give zakat, and fear no one except Allah. They, hopefully, will be among the guided.” (Holy Qur’an, 9:18)
The months of Muharram and Safar offer the annual opportunity to commemorate the martyrdom of Imam Husayn ibn `Ali (AS). In the spirit, of keeping the message of Imam Husayn (AS) alive, The World Federation of KSIMC in Partnership with The Africa Federation, The Council of European Jamaats and NASIMCO are launching the MUHARRAM 1432 APPEAL: 40 ISLAMIC CENTRES IN 40 DAYS.
Bonn (Germany): Imams have told a top German official that Muslims in Germany fear they may suffer hate attacks.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere responded with a condemnation, telling the panel of Islamic clergy in Bonn: "Arson attacks and graffiti on mosques can have no place in our society."
One of the imams had just told him that attitudes to Islam were "generally more negative in Germany than in adjacent countries" and added that Muslims were worried there would attacks on mosques.
The minister, who oversees Germany's official negotiations with the Islamic community, about 5 per cent of the population, described his first meeting with a group of imams as a chance to "swap notes".
Malegaon: As the crescent appeared over the horizon once again after completing the full circle December 07 yesterday, it brought along with it, the New Year for Muslims world over.
“The new moon that appeared yesterday brought along with it the month of Moharram al-Haram. The month of glory and resurgence”, says Rehnuma Tabassum, a student into the Islamic studies, adding, “Moharram al-Haram is the first month of the Islamic Calendar, which is based on lunar system."
"With this, the Islamic Calendar, popularly known as the Hijari Calendar has leaped into its 1432nd year", she added.
Earlier, Muslims in their respective Provinces, following the Arab tradition during those times, were used to count the days and months – with sighting of the new moon and counting the days thereafter without following any particular calendar or dating system as such. The system, however, had its own disadvantages that began to surface after the Islamic State spread to new areas.
Riyadh: A court in the Saudi district of Badr sentenced a man Wednesday to perform prayer calls at a local mosque for one month, Saudi newspaper al-Riyadh reported.
The man had been convicted of covering up details of a theft and was given the sentence as an alternative to the standard punishment, whipping.
In addition to performing the call to prayer five times a day, the man has been ordered by the court to memorize a section of the Islamic holy book, the Koran.
The sentence has been used by a large number of Saudi judges in cases where they believe a convict has a high chance of rehabilitation into society.
Saudi Arabia follows strict Islamic laws, or sharia, which often employs corporal punishment for criminal offenses.
Lucknow: The Hindu Mahasabha, one of the parties in the Ayodhya title suits, has filed an objection relating to the judgement of the Allahabad High Court on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.
The Hindu Mahasabha filed the objection on December six before the Lucknow Bench of the Court, Sabha's counsel H S Jain told PTI here today.
The objection is likely to come for hearing before the Court on December 10, he said.
Mahasabha is respondent in suit number four of the Sunni Central Waqf Board and suit number five of Bhagwan Ram Lala Virajman.
On September 30, the Allahabad High Court had ruled that the 2.77 acre disputed land in Ayodhya be divided into three parts among Hindus and Muslims.
It had also held that the place where the makeshift temple of Lord Rama currently exists belongs to Hindus.
Iraqi security forces have arrested a senior militant leader with links to the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq network in the southeastern Wasit province, police say.
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - Iraqi security forces have arrested a senior militant leader with links to the al-Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq network in the southeastern Wasit province, police say.
The self-styled leader of the militant group, identified as Arif Naji Zugheir al-Ujeily, was caught on Tuesday in Wasit province, 180 kilometers (112 miles) southeast of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, after police received a tip-off on his location, an Iraqi police source told Aswat al-Iraq news agency on condition of anonymity.
The local leader of al-Qaeda in Iraq was wanted for his role in a series of deadly terror attacks in Wasit and other Iraqi provinces.
TEHRAN: The editor of Iran's leading pro-reform newspaper, Sharq, and two senior journalists have been arrested a few months after the daily reappeared following a three-year ban, opposition websites reported on Wednesday.
Sharq Editor in Chief Ahmad Gholami and his political and international editors were taken from the newsroom by security forces, the Saham news website said. It did not say if any reason was given for their arrest.
The newspaper resumed publishing in April after a three-year ban that reformists regarded as an attempt by rulers to silence critics of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Its Wednesday edition, which like many Iranian newspapers led with the arrest in London of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, did not mention the detention of its own senior staff.
Sharq was closed in 2007 for publishing an interview with a "counter-revolutionary" poet abroad.
BAGHDAD: A car bomb outside a restaurant killed three people north of Baghdad on Wednesday, while a roadside bomb wounded seven Iranians on a bus traveling to an important Shiite religious festival, officials said.
The explosives-packed car, which blew up in the town of Taji, some 20 km north of the capital, also wounded 16 people, police and hospital officials said.
The Iranians, meanwhile, were driving through the Sunni neighborhood of Dora in Baghdad early Wednesday when their bus was hit by a roadside bomb, officials said. The Iranians were traveling to Baghdad from the city of Karbala, the officials added. Hundreds of thousands of Shiites are expected to visit Karbala and other shrines across Iraq in the coming days for the 10-days of Ashoura.
Sunni insurgents in Iraq have frequently targeted Shiite shrines and large religious festivals, and killed thousands of people since 2004. They have also attacked Iranians, very few of whom were allowed to visit Iraq’s religious sites under Saddam.
Wednesday’s attack comes four days after bombings near a Shiite shrine in Baghdad killed eight Iranians.
BEIRUT: Four Lebanese generals detained over the killing of Rafik Hariri were held without legal basis, a UN investigator told US diplomats three years before they were freed, the Daily Star newspaper said on Monday.
The English-language daily’s report, which cited leaked diplomatic cables from the US Embassy in Beirut, is likely to fuel perceptions in Lebanon that the international investigation into Hariri’s 2005 assassination was flawed and politicized.
The leaked documents could not be found on WikiLeaks sites and the Daily Star said it obtained them exclusively.
The newspaper also revealed that the investigators were frustrated by “insane” internal UN bureaucracy and a lack of cooperation even from countries publicly supporting the investigation. The UN sleuths were also eager to obtain US satellite imagery.
Kidnapped baby found in Madinah park
MADINAH: Saudi authorities have found the newborn baby boy, Anas, in a Madinah park on Wednesday after an unknown person kidnapped him last Sunday.
The boy is reportedly in good health and has been taken to Madinah Maternity and Children's Hospital.
Informed sources told Arab News that the son's father received a SMS message saying the child is in Azizia's Baeejan Park. "A relative of the child then went to the park and found the child there," one source said.
Police are now looking for the person who sent the message in order to find the culprit behind the kidnapping of the baby. The child is now with his mother at the hospital, the source said.
ISLAMABAD: Wednesday will remain a funny day in Pakistan's politics. The government of Punjab officially announced that its governor, Punjab Salman Taseer, was missing.
In a press conference, Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah told journalists that "the governor has proceeded to Dubai without issuing any notification and in his absence Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal will act as the governor as directed in the Constitution."
Iqbal was a chairing session of Punjab Assembly when the law minister raised the issue in the house.
Speaker Rana Iqbal immediately adjourned proceedings hoping to take over as governor.
But the governor's house told him that "the governor has proceeded to Sukkar."
Taseer, who normally does not get furious, was over these matters very angry, saying "I am not answerable to these jokers."
He said if he has to go abroad he will first seek permission from the president and issue a proper office order.
Being an owner of Daily Times and Business Plus TV channel, Taseer said, "We have our own media network but why should I dance at the tune of these jokers."
MOSCOW, Dec 8 : Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan agreed with Russia on Wednesday to step up efforts in fighting the Afghan heroin trade which kills at least 30,000 Russians a year.
“We are neighbors linked by the same piece of land, and we have the potential to strengthen our work in fighting a global menace,” Russia’s anti-drugs tsar Viktor Ivanov told his Central Asian counterparts.
The quartet of heroin-inflicted countries signed an agreement to destroy opium crops and drug-making labs, as well as exchange information on drug trafficking and dealers.
Russia is struggling to contain a potentially crippling heroin crisis. The world’s largest per capita heroin consumer, with at least 2 million addicts, Russia is now facing an HIV/AIDS epidemic that is spreading amongst drug users from dirty needles, Western health officials say.
Law minister Shafique Ahmed, at the opening session of a seminar at the National Museum on Wednesday, said that documents on the killing of Colonel Taher were destroyed deliberately and in a planned manner.
‘The documents of the secret trial of sector commander Colonel Abu Taher could not be found though the court is asking for them,’ he said.
The minister also said that the undemocratic governments which had seized power destroyed a huge stock of important documents in their own interest. He urged those concerned to recover as many of the documents as possible.
Speakers at the seminar demanded enactment of a law on preserving records properly in the archives of the country.
Full report at: Bangladesh News
It can neither be condemned, nor be condoned k n govindacharya, on babri demolition what we have witnessed in past 16 years is degradation of the spirit of governance zafar saifullah, ex-cab secy, on post-babri situation.
IN THE backdrop of the Varanasi blast, two erstwhile heavyweights of Indian polity -K N Govindacharya and former Cabinet Secretary Zafar Saifullah -met at India International Centre in New Delhi on Tuesday for an informal dialogue on the topic, "peace."
As it turned out, the conversation was dominated by the demolition of Babri Masjid and its aftermath.
Govindacharya, a career RSS man who was also a general secretary of the BJP in 1992 when the disputed structure was demolished, recalled how the mob in Ayodhya ignored the advice of BJP leaders on the dais not to be violent.
NEW YORK: The websites for Visa and MasterCard were inaccessible for parts of Wednesday, likely the result of attacks by WikiLeaks supporters who are angry that the credit card companies had stopped processing donations to the organization.
Both MasterCard and Visa said that cardholders' accounts were not at risk and that people could continue using their credit cards throughout the day.
Supporters of the WikiLeaks, which has released thousands of classified government documents in recent weeks, said they would attack companies and groups hostile to the site and its founder. An Internet group operating under the label "Operation Payback" claimed responsibility for the MasterCard and Visa problems in messages on Twitter and elsewhere.
The two Swedish women who have brought sex charges against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange boasted about their relationship with him days before going to police.
Based on information available on various websites quoting police and court files, and reports in the Swedish media, here's an account of what happened.
The story goes back to August this year, when Assange was in Stockholm to speak at the invitation of Sweden's Social Democratic Party.
The event organizer was 31-year-old Anna Ardin, press secretary of the Brotherhood Movement, which is an adjunct of the Social Democratic Party. Ardin, who has been described as a feminist, leftist and animal rights activist, previously worked at the Uppsala University, handling equality issues for the students' union.
Although Amazon has stopped providing its servers for hosting Wikileaks and EveryDNS, the domain name firm, has refused to translate the Wikileaks.org address into an IP address, the whistleblower website has so far managed to survived despite its founder's arrest in the UK.
Wikileaks has survived by using multiple IP addresses and over 500 mirror sites created by volunteers. But to survive a superpower's wrath, it needs donations to pay for computers, expert programmers and other bills.
If you want to contribute you can log in to https://donations.datacell.com/ and donate to Wikileaks by using your credit card. There is a catch. Your card should not be using the payment networks of Visa or Mastercard as these companies have stopped processing donations to Wikileaks.
KABUL: Defence secretary Robert Gates on Wednesday said he was "convinced" the US strategy in Afghanistan was paying off, a year after President Barack Obama ordered in reinforcements.
Signalling the outcome of a White House review of the war due out this month, Gates said his visit to key battlefronts over two days confirmed that the Taliban was losing ground and under mounting pressure.
"I will go back convinced that our strategy is working and that we will be able to achieve key goals set out by President Barack Obama last year" and endorsed by NATO allies at a November summit, Gates told a joint press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
"The bottom line is that in the last 12 months, we've come a long way, making progress that even just in the last few months has exceeded my expectations," he said.
Mumbai: A day after the Indian Mujahideen (IM) sent an e-mail to some media houses claiming responsibility for Tuesday's Varanasi blast, the police claimed on Wednesday that the blast was planned from Pakistan and the Bhatkal brothers (Riyaz and Iqbal) were involved in it. The police have also traced the e-mail to an address at Navi Mumbai.
“The main players of IM are based in Pakistan, and they are running this. Even the Bhatkal brothers are definitely there,” Mumbai Commissioner of Police Sanjeev Dayal told journalists here.
Both Riyaz and Iqbal Bhatkal, thought to be in Pakistan now, are suspected to be involved in the German Bakery blast too.
As for the origin of the mail, Mr. Dayal said: “The e-mail has been traced to an address at Navi Mumbai. It was sent from an unsecured Airtel broadband WiFi connection.” He refused to name the owner of the connection, saying the person was innocent and his connection was used without his knowledge.
A PERFECT PRESENT:President Pratibha Patil handing over a certificate to a student at the convocation of Manipal University on Wednesday.
Manipal: President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday said the country's education system should strengthen adherence to secularism, inclusiveness and pluralism.
The President was speaking as chief guest at the convocation of Manipal University here.
Ms. Patil said these great values were enshrined in the country's Constitution and developed by its civilisation. “These give strength and sustenance to our diverse multicultural, multireligious and multilingual society. We are a democratic nation, which means there must be willingness to listen to the other's point of view, and to have respect for differing perceptions,” she said.
Peaceful and prosperous nations were indeed, predicated on an educated and well-informed population. She reminded the students that the large youth population of the country had a unique demographic advantage in terms of manpower availability for building the nation. “The energy of the youth and their enthusiasm must be guided into productive work,” she said.
SRINAGAR: The controversy over an “azadi” remark made by Congress Minister Sham Lal Sharma continues to hog the headlines here. The ruling National Conference has also objected to Mr. Sharma's comment linking what he said to senior NC leader Sheikh Mustafa Kamal's remark about Jammu and Kashmir's relations with New Delhi.
Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, however, refrained from making a direct comment on the issue. “Due notice has been taken of the Health Minister's statement in the appropriate quarters. Please, allow them to examine the statement and in what context it was made. Whatever action has to be taken will follow the examination of the statement,” he told journalists on the sidelines of a school function in Jammu on Wednesday.
However, the NC reacted strongly to Mr. Sharma's statement made on Tuesday that what he had said at a public meeting in Kathua a few days ago was in reaction to Mr. Kamal's “venom against the Congress.”
The six world powers negotiating with Iran over its contested nuclear programme have accepted Tehran’s conditions for the talks, the country’s chief negotiator said in a report on Wednesday.
“They joined the talks maintaining their own view, but Iran said the talks should continue based on Iran’s conditions. So they have shown serious change,” Saeed Jalili said of the talks that resumed this week.
“We frankly asked that talks should be for the sake of cooperation, and they accepted. If they remain committed to this agreement, then the talks have been successful,” he said in an interview carried on State television’s website.
After a 14-month break, the talks on the Islamic republic’s nuclear programme resumed in Geneva this week, with an agreement to meet again in Istanbul at the end of January despite clear differences.
The British Government feared a furious Libyan reaction if the convicted Lockerbie bomber wasn’t set free and expressed relief when they learned that he would be released on compassionate grounds, leaked US diplomatic cables show. A cache of cables from the US Embassy in Tripoli describes the run-up to the decision to free Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi, a former Libyan agent whose freedom on August 20, 2009, sparked jubilation in Libya but roiled relations between London and Washington. Critics of the decision on both sides of the Atlantic have alleged that British officials were motivated by commercial interests — including those of energy company BP PLC — when they moved to free al-Megrahi in the 1988 attack on Pan Am Flight 103.
Saudi Arabia proposed deploying an Arab military force backed by US and NATO airpower to Lebanon two years ago to crush Hezbollah and prevent the militant group — and its patron Iran — from taking power in Beirut, leaked US Government documents show.
The proposal — made by Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal during talks with US diplomat David Satterfield in May 2008 — was never acted on, but it reflects concerns in Riyadh and other Sunni Arab capitals about the growing influence of Shiite Iran in the region.
In the meeting, Saud said that a “security response’’ was needed to Hezbollah’s challenge to the Lebanese Government of then Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, warning that a Hezbollah “victory in Beirut would mean the end of the Siniora Government and the ‘Iranian takeover’ of Lebanon,’’ according to a US diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks. The talks took place just days after Hezbollah, which is the strongest military force in Lebanon, briefly seized control of large parts of Beirut in fighting with pro-Government supporters.
The ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) feels that the disclosure of US diplomatic cables have been beneficial to return of popular rule in the country as it has forced the military to clarify its position regarding democracy, a party leader has said.
“Our Government feels strengthened now,” the PPP leader, who did not want to be identified, told PTI.
One of the secret cables quoted former US envoy Anne Patterson as saying that army chief Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani had conveyed to her that “regardless of how much he disliked (President Asif Ali) Zardari, he distrusted (PML-N chief) Nawaz (Sharif) even more”.
The cable also revealed that the army chief had considered the possibility of removing Zardari last year.