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Muslim Women in India Seek Gender Equality in Marriage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ahmadiyyas members of Islamic society, say Indonesian Muslim Ulema
Islamic groups offer reward for arrests for crimes committed in Muslim garb
Lady Gaga warned about offending Muslims during world tour
The legacy of Victorian England's first Islamic convert
Libya Bans Religious Political Parties
Iran Arrests Nobel Laureate's Aide
Crisis Worries Iraqi Kurdish Leader
The Control Factor: Misreading the Jihadist Threat
Dawam Rahardjo: Fighting for pluralism to the end
Amnesty says Muslims in Europe face discrimination
Egyptian Actor Insulted Islam, a Court Finds
Pakistan tests missile days after India's launch
Don't let nukes overshadow Iranian human rights: Iranian Activist
South Sudan president: Sudan has 'declared war'
Turkey Feels Sway of Reclusive Cleric in the U.S.
Sri Lanka Muslims decry radical Buddhist mosque attack
Amnesty International encourages Europe to fight anti-Muslim prejudice
Reports say storms kill 17 people in Bangladesh
Leading Bahrain activist Zainab al-Khawaja detained
Mumbai terror attack: SC reserves order on Ajmal Kasab's plea
India-Pak nuclear clash may trigger global starvation: Study
Turkey says Israel not welcome at NATO summit
Protesters try to shut Libya’s top oil firm Agoco
Iran not building nuclear bomb, Israeli army chief says
V-c 'alcohol ban' comments could prompt attacks on Muslim students
Syria crisis and Bahrain unrest
11 killed in fresh Karachi violence
Lebanese terrorist killed in Syria as Islamists move in
Bomb attack injures Bahrain policemen
Bomb at Train Station Kills 2 and Injures 27 in Pakistan
Pakistan ambassador meets imam of Prophet's Mosque
Pakistan’s top court to deliver verdict in PM case
Zardari for use of carrot and stick in Lyari
IG Sindh police calls for bounty on 34 wanted criminals
Quetta in focus: ‘Terrorists killed in encounter belonged to LeJ’
Stillborn apology: Pakistan, US fail to break logjam
Islamabad: Trilateral forum to review ‘obstacles’ in Afghan
I will appear before SC: PM Gilani
Pakistan asks UNSC to hold Israel accountable for defying Mideast
NATO allies chart Afghan war withdrawal strategy
US eyes options to restart Afghan peace talks
US commits to Afghan security in new pact: Official
Syria’s Assad 'finished,' Tunisian leader says
Egypt army passes law banning ex-PM from vote
Saleh relative resigns as Yemen air force head
Syrian rebels target security officials in capital
US voices concern at Israel outpost authorisation
Yemen air force chief 'agrees to give up post'
Violence in Syria’s Capital Even With a Cease-Fire
Faith at UAB: Islam
Complied by New Age Islam News Bureau
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Muslim Women in India Seek Gender Equality in Marriage
April 24, 2012
By NILANJANA S. ROY
NEW DELHI -- Three years ago, Salma Khatun's husband divorced her in a fit of rage after a quarrel, pronouncing what is known as the triple talaq in the presence of witnesses. The triple talaq is a formula of repudiation. The first two times it is pronounced, it can be revoked, but the third time it makes a divorce binding, according to some interpretations of Islamic law.
Although Ms. Khatun's husband repented the next morning, the head cleric of their mosque in Delhi insisted that the divorce was binding. According to his reading of Islamic law, Ms. Khatun would need to marry another man, consummate the marriage and then divorce before she could remarry her husband.
For more than a decade, Muslim women's organizations in India have been fighting for changes in the body of Islamic law that governs marriage, divorce and the property rights of women. But as the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board held its annual convention in Mumbai last week, the battle lines had never been so starkly drawn. Although the Indian Constitution guarantees equal rights to all citizens irrespective of their religion, Muslims are governed by the Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act of 1937. Attempts to apply a common civil code have often been viewed as interference in the practices of India's largest religious minority.
The Personal Law Board is one of the country's more influential Muslim groups. Its chiefly male membership of clerics and scholars has rejected proposals to change Muslim personal law, and is opposing a demand by women's groups that marriages be legally registered, as is mandatory for non-Muslims.
Zeenat Shaukat Ali, a professor of Islamic Studies at St. Xavier's College in Mumbai and the author of "Marriage and Divorce in Islam," is blunt in her assessment of the current situation.
"We are asking for codification of the legal system within the framework of Koranic law," she said. "The Koran does not support a system that is controlled by the patriarchy, and the government has to treat this matter on a war footing if they truly mean to bring about gender justice."
The changes that women's organizations have been discussing for more than a decade -- with major meetings held across India over the last three years -- include the compulsory registration of marriages with the state, the abolition of the triple talaq on the grounds that violates the Koran and the establishment of a more reliable system of financial support for wives.
"There is no political will to change this law even though we are a secular democratic republic," said Ms. Ali. "Politicians refuse to move ahead because some males have objected."
Her view is echoed by several Muslim women's rights groups. Many of these, like the breakaway All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board, which was founded in 2005, have attempted to introduce changes in their own way. In 2008, this group, led by Shaista Amber, proposed a "shariat nikahnama," or Islamic marriage contract. This called for mandatory marriage registration and proposed more rights to the wife, within the guidelines of Koranic law. The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board dismissed the proposed changes.
Two years later, in 2010, the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, an organization of more than 20,000 Muslim women in 15 states across India, staged marches in the streets of Lucknow to support three women who had assaulted Muslim clerics after their husbands had obtained fraudulent divorce decrees by bribery. Now, the B.M.M.A. is urging legislation to address Muslim family life, arguing that "in the absence of codified law, customary practices that have diverged from the values and principles of the Koran have emerged."
Zakia Soman, a founding member of the B.M.M.A., has spent much of the last three years listening to what Muslim women -- and a growing number of Muslim men -- have said in support of changing the laws.
"The clerics are ignorant about what the Koran has to say on the subject of women's lives," she said. "The Muslim Personal Law Board is not representative of all Muslims. Nobody elected them, and they have very few women in their organization. They don't consider women equal, which is extremely un-Islamic. God doesn't distinguish between men and women.
"In our three years of consultation around the country, nowhere have we found any voice saying we don't need a codified law."
But the larger argument is not limited to the question of family law, important as that might be. What has been raised often, especially in the past year, is the question of whether male Muslim clerics can speak for Muslim women.
Daud Sharifa Khanum, who founded a women's empowerment group called Steps in rural Tamil Nadu State in 1991, wrote eloquently of the dissatisfaction many Muslim women felt: "Many women said that they were very unhappy with the way women were treated by community organizations such as the jamaats, the federations attached to mosques. Women's lives were discussed, problems were addressed, without the women being present."
In 2001, Steps formed a jamaat for women that has a strong presence today, and says it may even build a women's mosque. The mosques, Ms. Khanum has argued, were "not really of the people." Rather, she said, they were "male spaces that discriminated against women."
"We shouldn't forget that the Prophet himself was one of the first feminists," said Ms. Ali, of St. Xavier's. "We need to settle the legal reform debate. Let the clerics and male scholars come and discuss this, with the women's activists on the other side."
Meanwhile, Ms. Khatun's story had a relatively happy ending. Faced with the prospect of marrying a strange man, Ms. Khatun found an innovative solution to her marital troubles. She took her woes to the head cleric's wife, who exerted gentle pressure on her husband until he remembered a loophole that allowed him to declare the divorce -- which neither Ms. Khatun nor her husband wanted -- null and void. But not all Muslim women in similar situations have been this fortunate.
"It was 1,400 years ago that the Koran gave women equal rights," Ms. Soman said wryly.
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/news/world/muslim-women-in-india-seek-gender-equality-in-marriage-632887/
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Ahmadiyyas members of Islamic society, say Indonesian Muslim Ulema
A leader of the country’s second-largest Muslim organization says the Ahmadiyya sect are members of Islamic society despite some of their beliefs differing from more mainstream forms of the religion.
Muhammadiyah secretary Abdul Muti said that acknowledgment was based solely on the will to maintain good relationships with Ahmadi counterparts.
“Muhammadiyah acknowledges Muhammad as the final prophet, which is rather different to them. But that doesn’t change our will to maintain good relationships and improve future cooperation with them,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.
He said Muhammadiyah would stand against any attempt to attack Ahmadi followers after savage displays of violence by a minority of hard-liners in the past five years.
“The government should take this matter seriously. Those who have attacked Ahmadi followers and their assets should be firmly punished,” he said.
Separately, Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin said that Muhammadiyah has never called for the disbandment of Ahmadiyah, despite the group often declaring that the religious sect was heretical.
“We have been telling our followers to disregard anyone who believes that there was another prophet after Muhammad. However, we are against anyone who physically attacks Ahmadi followers,” he said.
The two largest Muslim organizations in Indonesia, the Nahdlatul Ulama and the Muhammadiyah say the disagreement with the Ahmadiyah view on the role of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad should not be displayed through violence. (asa/dic)
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/04/25/muslim-figure-says-ahmadiyah-still-part-islam.html
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Islamic groups offer reward for arrests for crimes committed in Muslim garb
By Laura Cofsky
A recent wave of bank holdups and a homicide committed by men dressed as Muslim women has prompted the Philadelphia-area Islamic community to offer a $20,000 reward for tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of the suspects.
The Majlis Ash Shura, an organization representing the membership of 71 masajids and congregations in the Philadelphia area, was joined by elected officials at a news conference Tuesday at City Hall.
The message from the District Attorney’s Office and the Islamic community: zero tolerance.
“Philadelphia is a unique city in that Islam is not new here,” said Aliya Khabir, a public relations official representing the national United Muslim Masajid. “It’s up to us to set the tone for how this is addressed.”
Five bank robberies
Since December, there have been at least five bank robberies in Philadelphia in which the suspects wore Muslim clothing. The most recent holdups include a robbery at the Wells Fargo Bank in the 700 block of Adams Avenue and the Sovereign Bank in the 8300 block of Stenton Avenue. On April 18, a suspect dressed in Muslim garb entered an Upper Darby barber shop and fatally shot Michael Turner, 35. Sharif Wynn, 27, of Philadelphia has been arrested.
The clothing, which consists of a loose dress, or abaya, and a head covering known as a niqab, is worn by some Muslim women as a sign of respect for God.
“Whatever happened to the mask?” asked Imam Asim Abdul-Rashid, head of the Masajid of the Delaware Valley, referring to the stereotypical ski mask in crimes.
Both members of the Majlis Ash Shura and Councilman Curtis Jones Jr. said other major U.S. cities have not faced this issue. Jones said he did not believe a single group was responsible for the holdups, but rather that some “not-too-smart criminals” were using the disguise to get closer to their victims.
During the news conference, District Attorney Seth Williams said the recent crimes would not be tolerated.
“We are seeing cowards dressed in the outer garb of Muslim women,” he said. “We will do all that we can to make sure [Muslim] women aren’t degraded in this way.”
Women in jeopardy
Many in the Muslim community consider this a wave of “hate crimes,” because it puts Muslim women in jeopardy.
Amir Imam al-Atharee, a member of the Majlis Ash Shura, said this kind of activity “makes it dangerous for Muslim women and the community.” He is worried that Muslim women, especially those wearing the traditional garb, will be ostracized and targeted, so that they won’t be safe even going to the corner store.
“I would like to ask the perpetrators if they have a mother, a daughter, or an aunt, and if they’d put them in jeopardy with this act,” said Alia Walker, executive director of Earth’s Keepers in Philadelphia.
“We are human beings. To have my peers look at me in some kind of way because of this crime ... it really hurts my heart,” Walker said.
“You put everyone in danger,” Jones said, referring to the criminals. “We’ve been through enough since 9/11 to have this kind of distrust.”
Contact Laura Cofsky at 215-854-2771 or lcofsky@philly.com.
http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20120425_Islamic_groups_offer_reward_for_arrests_for_crimes_committed_in_Muslim_garb.html
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Lady Gaga warned about offending Muslims during world tour
One Indonesian leader calls on Lady Gaga not to wear provocative outfits.
Lady Gaga has been warned about her provocative outfits ahead of her tour of Indonesia in June.
The multi-million-selling artist, who is on a 110-date world tour to promote her album Born This Way Ball, is currently in South Korea.
Indonesia is the world's biggest Muslim nation and Islamic leaders have said her risque outfits will not be tolerated.
"I call on Lady Gaga to respect our cultural and traditional values. Most people here are Muslims and we cannot tolerate her revealing outfits and sexy performances," the Indonesia Ulema Council leader Amidhan told AFP. "It's better for Lady Gaga to cancel her show in this country if she has no willingness to respect our demand. Please do not destroy our nation's morality and ruin our dignity.".
Lady Gaga - Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta - has courted controversy for appearing clad in outfits made of raw meat or on high heels. Big Daddy, the promoters for the concert in Jakarta, said tickets began selling in early March and were sold out within two weeks.
"We have informed Lady Gaga's management (about these concerns), and they said that they will respect the country where she will perform", said Hanny Marpaung, corporate secretary for Big Daddy.
But he added "we still don't have any clue" about what she will wear.
In the Philippines, a youth organisation urged people to stay away from Gaga's May 21 concert, saying it poses a threat to moral values in Asia's largest Catholic nation.
Laurence Pintero, head of the Manila-based Youth for Christ, criticised the government for allowing the concert to take place. "If the government thinks she is a threat, first and foremost they should stop it," he said. "I think we should be bold. We discourage (people from) attending her concert."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/music-news/9225687/Lady-Gaga-warned-about-offending-Muslims-during-world-tour.html
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The legacy of Victorian England's first Islamic convert
By Rahila Bano
On a bleak, wet and windy day in Liverpool the old Georgian, white-stoned building which once housed England's first registered mosque looks quite dull.
The property on Brougham Terrace is just a few miles from Liverpool city centre but, in stark contrast to the newer council building next door to it, the paint is peeling off the front walls and the windows are boarded up, after years of vandalism.
The house, one of three adjoining properties, was once owned by William Abdullah Quilliam, a solicitor and son of a Methodist preacher. In 1887, he became the first Christian to convert to Islam in Victorian England.
Born William Henry Quilliam, he turned to the religion after a trip to Morocco, and adopted the name Abdullah.
Full Report At:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-17827016
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Libya Bans Religious Political Parties
TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Libya's ruling National Transitional Council issued a new law Wednesday that bans parties based on religious principles, the council spokesman said. The surprise move was denounced by Islamists organizing to compete in upcoming elections.
Mohammed al-Hareizi said the provision, included in a law which governs the formation of political parties, was designed to preserve "national unity."
"Parties shouldn't be based on ethnic or religious ideologies," he said. "We don't want the government to be divided by these ideological differences."
Islamists, like most political or religious groups in Libya, were long suppressed by former dictator Moammar Gadhafi. He was killed by Libyan rebels in October after eight months of fighting.
The law comes two months ahead of the country's first general elections to choose a 200-member assembly tasked with writing a new constitution and forming a government.
Full Report At:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/04/25/world/middleeast/ap-ml-libya.html?ref=global-home
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Iran Arrests Nobel Laureate's Aide
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A press watchdog group says Iran has arrested a close associate of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi.
Wednesday's statement by Paris-based Reporters Without Borders says the group "strongly condemns" the jailing of Narges Mohammadi.
Mohammadi was a spokeswoman for Ebadi's now-banned Center for Human Rights Defenders.
Full Report At:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/04/25/world/middleeast/ap-ml-iran-activist-arrested.html?ref=global-home&gwh=CCBAF096BBA8B41BAE73DB02C9C27161
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Crisis Worries Iraqi Kurdish Leader
IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — Time is running out for the Iraqi government to decide on a power-sharing agreement to end a political crisis roiling the country, the president of Iraq's self-ruled Kurdish region warned Wednesday.
Without an agreement, Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said, Iraq could face a political revolt that may scuttle hopes for a unified, stable nation just months after the departure of U.S. troops.
Iraqi opposition parties and Iraqi Kurds in general have run out of patience with feeling sidelined in Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite-led government, Barzani told The Associated Press in a 45-minute interview in his office outside the Iraqi Kurdish regional capital of Irbil.
"There is a very dangerous political crisis in the country," Barzani said. However, he stopped short of predicting whether al-Maliki would be ousted from power anytime soon.
Full Report At:
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2012/04/25/world/middleeast/ap-ml-iraq-kurdish-leader.html?ref=global-home&gwh=3CACFED6CBB66715DE2C4F9629F367E1
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The Control Factor: Misreading the Jihadist Threat
 Ryan Mauro
America needs an "inner jihad" in order to cope with the jihad being waged against us. That's the thought-provoking message of The Control Factor by Bill Siegel, a new book that analyzes the psychological impulses driving the West's misreading and denials of the jihadist threat.
Siegel argues that there's a psychological process, which he calls the "Control Factor," that copes with anxiety and insecurity from a lack of control. This is born into us and is not a reflection of one's nationality, personal strength or intelligence. Other circumstances fostering insecurity, such as America's economic condition, make the Control Factor more powerful.
This is a unique take on the problem. The downplaying of the Islamist threat is often condescendingly chalked up to a willful denial of reality by those who are weak or unintelligent. The Control Factor adds depth by identifying this psychological process so readers can see how it has been in motion since 9/11.
Full Report At:
http://www.radicalislam.org/analysis/control-factor-misreading-jihadist-threat
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Dawam Rahardjo: Fighting for pluralism to the end
Ika Krismantari
No individuals or organizations — or even old age — can stop Muslim scholar Dawam Rahardjo from spreading the spirit of pluralism.
The figure who struggles for the rights of minorities in the world’s most populous Muslim country continues to dedicate himself to the cause and dares to challenge everyone and everything trying to prevent him from striving to create peace among religions in Indonesia.
Even now, at almost 70 years of age, Dawam is still fighting the battle despite his worsening health.
The founder of the Institute for Religious and Philosophy Studies (LSAF) has refused to succumb to old age and diabetes that have taken their toll on his eyesight and his ability to walk.
“I am still doing some monitoring with LSAF. I am also involved in the filing of a judicial review against the blasphemy law as well as taking part in a movement that defends churches, which have been forcibly closed down, so they can be re-opened again,” Dawam said of his hectic schedule during an interview with The Jakarta Post.
Full Report At:
http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/04/25/dawam-rahardjo-fighting-pluralism-end.html
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Amnesty says Muslims in Europe face discrimination
Apr 24, 2012
PARIS: Amnesty International says in a new report that Muslims in 
several European countries face discrimination in hiring and daily life 
because of rules targeting their customs.
The report pays special attention to national laws or local rules against 
wearing headscarves or face-covering Islamic veils in countries such as 
France and Belgium.
The human rights group spoke to Muslims who have had trouble getting 
jobs or had to change schools because of discrimination.
It notes the rise in political movements that target Muslims or Muslim 
practices.
The report comes after far right leader Marine Le Pen scored a 
surprisingly strong third-place showing in France’s presidential elections. 
Her anti-immigrant platform singled out Muslim practices for criticism.
http://arabnews.com/world/article616302.ece?service=print
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Egyptian Actor Insulted Islam, a Court Finds
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
24 Apr 2012
CAIRO — A court found Egypt’s most popular comic actor guilty on 
Tuesday of insulting Islam in roles in films mocking religious hypocrisy, 
alarming liberal-minded artists and intellectuals already anxious about 
the growing power of Islamists here after the ouster of President Hosni 
Mubarak.
The court fined the actor Adel Imam about $170 and gave him a 
suspended sentence. Mr. Imam is expected to appeal. Although laws 
criminalizing insults to Islam or Christianity have been on the books for 
years, convictions have been relatively rare, especially in the context 
of popular movies.
Full Report At:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/world/middleeast/egyptian-actor-
guilty-of-insulting-islam-in-films.html?ref=world&pagewanted=print
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Pakistan tests missile days after India's launch
By SEBASTIAN ABBOT,
25 Apr 2012,
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan successfully launched an upgraded ballistic  missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead Wednesday, days after its  neighbor and archenemy India conducted its own missile test, the  Pakistani military said.
The Hatf IV Shaheen-1A missile was fired into the sea, the military said  in a written statement.
It was described as an intermediate-range missile having a longer range  than its predecessor, the Shaheen-1, which is believed to fly up to 750  kilometers (465 miles).
"The improved version of Shaheen-1A will further consolidate and  strengthen Pakistan's deterrence abilities," said Lt. Gen. Khalid Ahmed  Kidwai, who witnessed the launch and is responsible for the country's  nuclear program.
Full Report At:
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5helggsCFfClKJpW 0Q_jHPsMK2iJA?docId=ddcb288557c44104a1eda96407098365
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Don't let nukes overshadow Iranian human rights: Iranian Activist
By AFP
April 25, 2012
CHICAGO: Iran’s nuclear ambitions should not prevent world leadersFrom pressing the Persian nation to respect human rights and open its 
Government to democracy, Nobel Peace Prize winner and exiled Iranianactivist Shirin Ebadi said Tuesday.
“I’m very glad that both governments of Iran and the United States  have stated that the negotiations that recently took place in Istanbul  on the issue of nuclear energy have been successful,” Ebadi told theWorld Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago.
However, Ebadi said, she objects to any efforts to “shake the hand of friendship with a government that for the past 30 years has been fighting human rights.”
The Iranian government “neither likes peace with its own people nor is interested in listening to what the people have to say,” Ebadi said through a translator.
“In any negotiations with the government of Iran, democracy and human rights should be the subject of negotiations.”
The peace and democracy movement in Iran is very strong despite recent crackdowns, Ebadi said.
Full Report At:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/369681/dont-let-nukes-overshadow-iranian
-human-rights-ebadi/?print=true
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South Sudan president: Sudan has 'declared war'
Nairobi, Kenya,
April 25, 2012
South Sudan's President said its northern neighbor has "declared war" 
on the world's newest nation, just hours after Sudanese jets dropped 
eight bombs on his country. President Salva Kiir's comments, made on 
Tuesday during a trip to China, signal a rise in rhetoric between the 
rival
nations, who spent decades at war with each other. Neither side has 
officially declared war.
Sudan and South Sudan have been drawing closer to a full-scale war in 
recent weeks over the unresolved issues of oil revenues and their 
disputed border. The violence has drawn alarm and condemnation from 
the international community, including from US President Barack Obama.
South Sudan won independence from Sudan last year as part of a 2005 
peace treaty that ended decades of war that killed 2 million people.
The UN Security Council was briefed on the situation late Tuesday and 
members demanded "an immediate halt to aerial bombardments by the 
Sudanese armed forces and urged an immediate cease-fire and return 
to the negotiating table," Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the United 
Nations and the current council president, told reporters at UN 
headquarters in New York.
Full Report At:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/Africa/South-Sudan-presid ent-Sudan-has-declared-war/Article1-845804.aspx
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Turkey Feels Sway of Reclusive Cleric in the U.S.
By DAN BILEFSKY and SEBNEM ARSU
ISTANBUL — When Ahmet Sik was jailed last year on charges of plotting to overthrow the government, he had little doubt that a secretive movement linked to a reclusive imam living in the United States was behind his arrest.
“If you touch them you get burned,” a gaunt and defiant Mr. Sik said in an interview in March at his apartment here, just days after being released from more than a year in jail. “Whether you are a journalist, an intellectual or a human rights activist, if you dare to criticize them you are accused of being a drug dealer or a terrorist.”
Mr. Sik’s transgression, he said, was to write a book, “The Army of the Imam.” It chronicles how the followers of the imam, Fethullah Gulen, have proliferated within the police and the judiciary, working behind the scenes to become one of Turkey’s most powerful political forces — and, he contends, one of its most ruthless, smearing opponents and silencing dissenters.
Full Report At:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/world/middleeast/turkey-feels-sway-of-fethullah-gulen-a-reclusive-cleric.html?_r=1
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Sri Lanka Muslims decry radical Buddhist mosque attack
COLOMBO, 3 Jumada Al-Thani/24 April (IINA)-The main umbrella group of Sri Lankan Muslims says radical Buddhists are trying to damage peaceful co-existence between the country’s main ethnic communities.
The statement came three days after hardline Buddhists tried to storm a mosque, after which the government said it would be demolished and relocated.
Buddhists in the central town of Dambulla have defended their actions.
But the issue has provoked anger among some prominent Muslims.
The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka said it was “deeply concerned” at the attempted destruction of the mosque in Dambulla last Friday.
It said the building was lawfully registered and was 50 years old.
The council said that radical Buddhist elements – against the will of the majority – were consistently undermining ethnic co-existence. It called on leaders of Sri Lanka’s majority Buddhist faith to re-establish good ties.
Mohamed Saleemdeen, a board member of the mosque, denied it was an illegal building.
Full Report At:
http://iina.me/wp_en/?p=1007938
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Amnesty International encourages Europe to fight anti-Muslim prejudice
PARIS –  European laws on what girls and women wear on their heads are encouraging discrimination against Muslims and against a religion that has been part of Europe's fabric for centuries, Amnesty International says in a new report.
Extremist political movements targeting Muslim practices for criticism have enjoyed a rise in several European countries -- as witnessed by French far right leader Marine Le Pen's surprisingly strong showing in presidential elections this week.
In that climate, the Amnesty report released Tuesday lists a raft of examples of discrimination against Muslims from Spain to the Netherlands and Turkey, spurred on by laws viewed as anti-Islam.
The report, titled "Choice and Prejudice," pays special attention to national laws or local rules against wearing headscarves or face-covering Islamic veils. France and Belgium ban them outright, as do some towns in Spain and elsewhere.
"Amnesty International is concerned that states have focused so much in recent years on the wearing of full-face veils, as if this practice were the most widespread and compelling form of inequality women in Europe have to face," the report says.
Proponents, such as French President Nicolas Sarkozy, say face-covering veils imprison women and violate France's values of equality. France also bans headscarves in schools.
Full Report At:
 http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/04/24/amnesty-international-encourages-europe-to-fight-anti-muslim-prejudice/#ixzz1t3iRCxKT
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Reports say storms kill 17 people in Bangladesh
Dhaka, April 07, 2012
News reports say storms with heavy rains and strong winds have killed at least 17 people and injured dozens more in Bangladesh.
Dhaka's Prothom Alo and Janakantha newspapers say Friday's storms damaged mud-and-straw huts and felled trees in 10 of the country's 
The reports say most of the deaths occurred from lightning. Some victims were buried under their collapsed houses.
Official confirmation of the reports was not immediately available.
Rainstorms are common in Bangladesh, a tropical delta nation of 160 million people.
http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/bangladesh/Reports-say-st orms-kill-17-people-in-Bangladesh/Article1-836785.aspx
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Leading Bahrain activist Zainab al-Khawaja detained
25 Apr 2012,
A prominent pro-democracy activist in Bahrain has been detained for seven days after being arrested for allegedly insulting police, rights  groups say.
Zainab al-Khawaja was held on Saturday night after sitting in a road  leading to the Bahrain International Circuit, a day before the Formula 1 
Grand Prix.
She was demanding the cancellation of the race, the end of the crackdown on dissent, and the release of her father.
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja has been on a hunger strike in prison for 76 days.
Activists said Zainab al-Khawaja was arrested while sitting peacefully in 
the middle of a main road in protest at the detention of her father, and 
that she had been charged with disrupting traffic and insulting an  officer.
Her sister, Maryam, said: "I can guess it's because nobody really believes in the legal system. Zainab's mentality is you can only bring  about the fall of the regime when you stop treating it as a  government.
Full Report At:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17824795?print=true
--------

Mumbai terror attack: SC reserves order on Ajmal Kasab's plea
Apr 25, 2012,
NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday reserved its order on Pakistani terrorist Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab's plea challenging his conviction and death sentence in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.
A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad reserved its verdict after a marathon hearing, spanning over two and a half months, of arguments by the prosecution and defence counsel in the terror mayhem, which involved random firing by Kasab and other mercenaries, killing 166 people.
During the argument, Kasab contended that he was not given a free and fair trial and that he was not the part of any larger conspiracy for waging war against the nation.
Full Report At:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Mumbai-terror-attack-SC-reserves-order-on-Ajmal-Kasabs-plea/articleshow/12865586.cms?prtpage=1
--------

India-Pak nuclear clash may trigger global starvation: Study
April 25, 2012
More than a billion people around the world could face starvation if a 
nuclear war breaks out between India and Pakistan, according to a new 
report which said the "nuclear famine" will be an "unprecedented" 
disaster that would bring an end to modern civilisation. The report 
released by
International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) said 
a nuclear "confrontation" between the South Asian neighbours, even if 
it is restricted to the region, would cause major worldwide climate 
disruption driving down food production in China, the US and other 
nations.
"New evidence that even the relatively small nuclear arsenals of 
countries such as India and Pakistan could cause long lasting, global 
damage to the Earth's ecosystems and threaten hundreds of millions of 
already malnourished people demands that action be taken," said Ira 
Helfand, author of the study.
Full Report At:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/WorldEconomy/India-Pa
k-nuclear-clash-may-trigger-global-starvation-Study/Article1-845816.a
spx
--------

Turkey says Israel not welcome at NATO summit
24 April, 2012
ISTANBUL: Turkey has refused to allow Israel to take part in a NATO 
summit next month because the Jewish state has not apologised for the 
2010 killing of Turkish activists in a raid on a ship taking aid to 
Palestinians, a Turkish official said on Monday.
Relations between the regional powers deteriorated sharply after Israeli 
commandos raided the Mavi Marmara aid vessel in May 2010 to enforce 
a naval blockade of the Gaza Strip and killed nine Turks.
"We did not give our consent on that issue," a Turkish official told 
Reuters when asked if Turkey was blocking Israel's participation in a 
NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21.
He said Turkey was still seeking an official apology and compensation 
for the victims of the Mavi Marmara raid.
"NATO is an alliance and even though Israel is not a member its 
attendance means... positive dialogue with NATO and all its members 
and without sorting this issue out we deem it not appropriate for Israel 
to be around," the official said.
Full Report At:
http://paktribune.com/news/Turkey-says-Israel-not-welcome-at-NATO
-summit-249267.html
--------

Protesters try to shut Libya’s top oil firm Agoco
Apr 24, 2012
BENGHAZI, Libya: Protesters gathered outside Libya’s largest oil 
company for a second day on Tuesday demanding more transparency 
over how the country’s new rulers are spending its money and more 
jobs for the youth.
Spokesman for the Arabian Gulf Oil Company (Agoco) Abdel Jalil Mayuf 
said the protesters were preventing employees from entering the 
building, attempting to halt work for a second day in a row.
“We cannot get inside. They are protesting against the authorities, 
they want money,” he told Reuters on Tuesday.
Highlighting the continued risks months after the ouster of Muammar 
Qaddafi, the group of 50 protesters, some of them unemployed youth 
who had fought in last year’s war, blocked the Agoco office entrance 
gate in the eastern city of Benghazi.
Full Report At:
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article616337.ece?service=print
--------

Iran not building nuclear bomb, Israeli army chief says
25 Apr 2012,
The head of the Israeli military has said he does not think Iran will 
develop nuclear weapons.
Chief-of-Staff Lt Gen Benny Gantz made the statement in an interview 
with the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz.
He said he believed international pressure was beginning to bear fruit, 
and Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had not yet made 
the final decision to build a nuclear bomb.
Gen Gantz was quoted as saying: "I don't think he will go the extra 
mile".
This year was criticial for Iran, he added, warning: "We're in a period 
when something must happen.
Full Report At:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17837768?print=true
---------

V-c 'alcohol ban' comments could prompt attacks on Muslim students, London Met Islamic groups claim
25 April 2012
By David Matthews
Two Islamic societies at London Metropolitan University have launched a scathing attack on “undemocratic, ill devised and misleading remarks” by the vice-chancellor, who proposed banning alcohol from parts of the campus in case it offended Muslims.
In a joint letter to Malcolm Gillies, the Islamic Society and Shia Muslim Society said that his “divisive and irresponsible” plan has led to confrontations on campus and could lead to Muslim students being attacked.
“There has never been a demand for an alcohol ban on campus from Muslim or non-Muslim students,” the letter says.
Full Report At:
http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?sectioncode=26&storycode=419743&c=1
--------

Syria crisis and Bahrain unrest
24 April 2012,
• Both the US and the UK have suggested they are losing patience with 
Kofi Annan's peace initiative amid continuing reports of breaches in the 
ceasefire. The UK warned of "robust" action against Syria if Annan's 
mission failed. The US said it won't wait 90 days if Syria continues to 
flout the initiative. Russia urged the international community to stick by 
Annan's plan.
• Ahmad Fawzi, spokesman for the UN-Arab League envoy to Syria, has 
expressed "great concern" about reports that opposition areas are being 
targeted by government forces after visits by UN monitors.
• Tunisia's president, Moncef Marzouki has warned Bashar al-Assad that 
he is "finished" and will leave Syria "dead or alive". In an interview with 
al-Hayat newspaper Marzouki urged Assad to go now. "It is best for you 
and your family to leave alive because if you decide to leave dead, this 
would mean that you will cause the death of tens of thousands of 
innocent people," he said.
Full Report At:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/middle-east-live/2012/apr/24/syria-cri
sis-bahrain-unrest-live
--------

11 killed in fresh Karachi violence
25 Apr 2012
Bureau Report
KARACHI: Eleven people were killed in the city on Wednesday in a new 
wave of targeted violence that has claimed 14 lives in the last 24 
hours. The violence began late on Tuesday night and sporadic killings 
continued to take place throughout the day. Many of the casualties 
occured following attacks on tea stalls.
SHO Kamal Naseem informed The News that two bodies bearing torture 
marks and stuffed in gunny bags were found on Wednesday morning 
near the Dental College, Block-M, North Nazimabad. The deceased were 
identified as Mian Gul, 25, and Sardar Wali, 26. They were ANP 
activists.
The body of a young man with torture marks was found in Gosht 
Market, Karimabad, on Wednesday morning. The deceased was 
identified as Amanullah Baloch, who was working at Pakwan House 
situated in the Jauharabad area.
Full Report At:
http://dailymailnews.com/0412/19/FrontPage/index.php?id=4
--------

Lebanese terrorist killed in Syria as Islamists move in
Apr 25, 2012,
Lebanon's most wanted militant Islamist terrorist has been killed while 
planting bombs for the rebel movement in Syria, raising fresh concerns 
about the growing influence of radicals in the opposition to the Assad 
regime.
Abdel-Ghani Jawhar was said by security sources quoted in the 
Lebanese media to have been killed in Qusair, near the embattled city 
of Homs.
According to one report, he blew himself up when a bomb he was 
preparing detonated prematurely.
He was the head of Fatah-al-Islam, a militant group that had fought 
the Lebanese army and other militias. It is alleged to have loose ties 
with al-Qaeda and is certainly part of a wider network of militant Sunni 
groups whose involvement in the Syrian opposition has alarmed 
potential Western backers and the opposition itself.
Full Report At:
http://www.dnaindia.com/world/report_lebanese-terrorist-killed-in-syria
-as-islamists-move-in_1680352
------------

Bomb attack injures Bahrain policemen
25 Apr 2012,
A bomb explosion has wounded four members of Bahrain's police force - two of them seriously - during clashes with protesters, officials have  said.
Police said the injured men had been protecting firefighters investigating  a blaze inside a shop in the mainly Shia village of Diraz on Tuesday  night.
During the operation a "terrorist" bomb was detonated nearby, they  added.
Tensions have been rising over the worsening condition of an imprisoned  activist who has been on hunger strike.
Abdulhadi al-Khawaja is protesting against the life sentence he received  from a military court in June for allegedly plotting against the state.
'Empty hospital room'
Mr Khawaja's wife, Khadija, told the BBC that she had not been able to  speak to him by telephone as usual on Tuesday.
Full Report At:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17838725?print=true
--------

Bomb at Train Station Kills 2 and Injures 27 in Pakistan
By WAQAR GILLANI and DECLAN WALSH
24 Apr 2012
LAHORE, Pakistan — A bomb exploded inside the busiest railway station 
in this eastern Pakistani city late Tuesday afternoon, killing at least two 
people and injuring 27, police officials said.
The blast ripped through the waiting area of Business Express, a new 
luxury train service linking Lahore to the port city of Karachi. A train 
carrying hundreds of people, the Awami Express, had just pulled in when 
the bomb went off, causing panic throughout the station.
A security guard was among two people immediately killed; several 
others were critically injured and taken to a hospital.
The Lahore police chief, Aslam Tareen, said that a device containing 13 
to 18 pounds of explosive had been planted in a bag left inside the 
waiting area.
Full Report At:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/world/asia/bomb-kills-2-at-train-s
tation-in-lahore-pakistan.html?ref=world&pagewanted=print
--------

Pakistan ambassador meets imam of Prophet's Mosque
By MADINAH: ARAB NEWS
Apr 25, 2012
Pakistan Ambassador Muhammed Naeem Khan visited imam of the 
Prophet's Mosque Sheikh Abdur Bari Al-Zubaidi in Madinah on Monday.
Al-Zubaidi very warmly received the ambassador and they discussed a 
number of matters related to bilateral relations between Pakistan and 
Saudi Arabia.
Khan conveyed the best wishes of President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime 
Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani to Al-Zubaidi and requested him to 
pray for the solidarity and prosperity of Pakistan. The ambassador said 
the relationship between Pakistan and the Kingdom is deep rooted.
Full Report At:
http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article616486.ece?service=print
--------

Pakistan’s top court to deliver verdict in PM case
By ZARAR KHAN
Apr 24, 2012
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Supreme Court is expected to deliver its verdict 
later this week in a contempt case against the prime minister that could 
see him losing his job, the premier’s lawyer said Tuesday.
A guilty verdict could also result in Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani 
serving up to six months in prison for his refusal to reopen an old 
corruption case against the president, his political ally.
That could stoke fresh political turmoil at a time when Pakistan is trying 
to patch up its relations with the United States and is grappling with a 
weak economy and a bloody Taleban insurgency.
But even if Gilani is forced to step down — a process that could take 
months — the deeper political impact could be limited since the ruling 
coalition has the majority in parliament needed to elect a new prime 
minister.
Full Report At:
http://arabnews.com/world/article616340.ece?service=print
--------

Zardari for use of carrot and stick in Lyari
Shamim Rahman |
25 Apr @012
Presiding over a special meeting held at Bilawal House to review the law 
and order situation and a development package for the strife-torn area, 
the president emphasised that law and order be maintained without fear 
or favour with the help of the law-enforcement agencies. He also asked 
party workers to refrain from taking the law into their own hands.
The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, 
PPP lawmakers and local party leaders, including Faisal Raza Abidi, 
Nabeel Gabol, Rafique Engineer, Mohammad Saleem Hingoro, Ismail 
Brohi, Shakoor Shad, Arshad Naqvi, Kausar Aamir, Ghulam Mohammad, 
Khalil Hoth and Taimour Siyal, besides the president’s spokesman 
Senator Farhatullah Babar.
President Zardari expressed concern over recurring violence in Lyari 
over the last few months and said that residents of the PPP bastion 
were peace-loving people but some elements were out to disturb the 
peace.
Full Report At:
http://dawn.com/2012/04/25/zardari-for-use-of-carrot-and-stick-in-lya
ri/
--------

IG Sindh police calls for bounty on 34 wanted criminals
25 Apr @012
KARACHI: Inspector General (IG) Sindh police Mushtaq Shah on Tuesday 
claimed to have arrested several miscreants from different areas 
including Lyari in Karachi and called for placing bounty on 34 most 
wanted criminals, DawnNews reported.
Speaking in a press conference at Karachi police head office, Shah said 
that during the operation in Lyari, 123 suspects including members of 
“gang war” were arrested by the police.
Seven betting dens have also been raided and closed up, he added.
Moreover, the IG Sindh police said that five target killers and six 
extortionists have also been arrested from various areas of the 
metropolis.
http://dawn.com/2012/04/24/ig-sindh-police-calls-for-bounty-on-34-w
anted-criminals/
--------

Quetta in focus: ‘Terrorists killed in encounter belonged to LeJ’
April 25, 2012
QUETTA: Two terrorists killed in an encounter near Hazara Town on 
Monday have been identified as key members of the banned outfit 
Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ).
The group has claimed responsibility for a number of attacks targeting 
Shia Muslims in the province.
“They belonged to LJ and were identified as Hafiz Naseer and Hafiz 
Wazir Ali alias Ali Sher Haideri, the spokesperson of the banned outfit,” 
city police officer Amir Mohammad Dasti told The Express Tribune on 
Tuesday, adding that the government had earlier announced a bounty 
on Hafiz Naseer.
According to police, the LJ spokesperson had introduced himself as Ali 
Sher Haideri to the media while claiming responsibilities for several 
sectarian target killings in Quetta.
“Several cell phone numbers of media outfits were recovered from 
them,” an official told the media.
Full Report At:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/369520/quetta-in-focus-terrorists-killed-in-
encounter-belonged-to-lej/?print=true
--------

Stillborn apology: Pakistan, US fail to break logjam
By Kamran Yousaf
April 25, 2012
ISLAMABAD:
Indefinitely delaying the much-anticipated reengagement process 
between the two allies, Pakistan and the US have ended up in a 
deadlock over the issue of a public apology for last year’s deadly Nato 
airstrike.
The formal apology is one of the key preconditions set by Pakistan’s 
parliament to revive cooperation with the US and reopen Nato supply 
routes blocked since the airstrike at Salala which killed two dozen 
Pakistan Army soldiers.
However, Pakistani officials have now disclosed that Washington is 
reluctant to accept the demand.
The apparent hesitation on part of the Obama administration to tender 
a public apology over the incident has led to a stalemate, said a 
Pakistani diplomat, familiar with the development.
Full Report At:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/369513/stillborn-apology-pakistan-us-fail-t
o-break-logjam/?print=true
--------

Islamabad: Trilateral forum to review ‘obstacles’ in Afghan
By Tahir KhanApril 25, 2012
ISLAMABAD:
Top Pakistan, Afghan and US diplomats will meet in Islamabad on April 
27 to discuss the “obstacles” in the peace and reconciliation process in 
Afghanistan, the country’s ambassador in the capital, Omar Daudzai, 
revealed on Tuesday.
Daudzai told The Express Tribune that the core group will also review 
the progress in the Afghan peace process achieved so far.
The trilateral forum was revived last month when senior diplomats from 
the three countries met in Dushanbe, Tajikistan after nearly a 
seven-month deadlock over the assassination of Afghan peace envoy 
Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani.
Full Report At:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/369588/huddle-in-islamabad-trilateral-foru
m-to-review-obstacles-in-afghan-peace/?print=true
--------

I will appear before SC: PM Gilani
25 Apr 2012
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani said he would appear 
before the Supreme Court on April 26 (Thursday) which is when the 
verdict of the contempt of court case will be announced.
Prime Minister Gilani is chairing the meeting of the federal cabinet during 
which he remarked that the decisions of the judiciary were always 
respected. Members of the cabinet also welcomed Prime Minister
Gilani’s decision to appear before the Supreme Court and expressed 
confidence in his leadership.
On Wednesday the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict in Prime 
Minister Gilani’s contempt of court case. The seven member bench had 
also directed Prime Minister Gilani to appear before the court on 
Thursday.
http://www.thenews.com.pk/article-46047-I-will-appear-before-SC:-P
M-Gilani
--------

Pakistan asks UNSC to hold Israel accountable for defying Mideast 
peace bids
25 April, 2012
UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan has called on the UN Security Council 
(UNSC) to hold Israel accountable for its continued defiance of 
international efforts to bring about a just settlement of the Middle East 
dispute.
"Flying in the face of the international community's will, Israel continues 
to implement policies in defiance of international law, and work towards 
undermining the basis of the two-state solution," Ambassador Raza 
Bashir Tarar, the acting permanent representative of Pakistan to the 
UN, told the Security Council.
"Its, Israel's, efforts to redraw the map of Palestine through 
continuation of illegal settlement activity, continued persecution of 
Palestinians and reluctance to accept the 1967 borders as the basis for 
negotiations, is taking the region to a state akin to a powder keg," he 
said in a debate on the Middle East situation.
Full Report At:
http://paktribune.com/news/Pakistan-asks-UNSC-to-hold-Israel-accoun
table-for-defying-Mideast-peace-bids-249294.html
--------

Nato allies chart Afghan war withdrawal strategy
25 Apr2012
BRUSSELS - Nato allies sought Wednesday to ensure a smooth 
withdrawal from Afghanistan and reassure Kabul that the West would 
financially back Afghan forces once foreign combat troops are gone in 
2014.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defence Secretary Leon 
Panetta met with their European and Canadian counterparts as the 
alliance fine-tunes the final phase of a pullout from the increasingly 
unpopular war. The talks aimed at preparing a NATO summit in Chicago 
on May 20-21 follow a weekend Taliban onslaught in Kabul that 
underscored the insurgency’s resiliency even as officials insist that 
militants are on the back foot. Afghan forces are gradually taking over 
control of security in the country, with the goal of being in the lead 
nationwide next year to enable most of the 130,000 foreign troops to 
leave by the end of 2014.
Full Report At:
http://dailymailnews.com/0412/19/FrontPage/index.php?id=7
--------

US eyes options to restart Afghan peace talks
By Reuters
April 25, 2012
WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama’s administration, seeking to 
revive stalled Afghan peace talks, may alter plans to transfer Taliban 
detainees from Guantanamo Bay prison after its initial proposal fell foul 
of political opponents at home and the insurgents themselves.
As foreign forces prepare to exit Afghanistan, the White House had 
hoped to lay the groundwork for peace talks by sending five Taliban 
prisoners, some seen as among the most threatening detainees at 
Guantanamo, to Qatar to rejoin other Taliban members opening a 
political office there.
In return, the Taliban would make its own good-faith gestures, 
denouncing terrorism and supporting the hoped-for talks with the 
government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Full Report At:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/369677/us-eyes-options-to-restart-afghan
-peace-talks/?print=true
--------

US commits to Afghan security in new pact: Official
April 24, 2012
KABUL: The United States has committed to ensuring Afghanistan’s 
security for at least 10 years after most of its troops pull out in 2014, 
the Afghan deputy foreign minister said Tuesday.
“That is a very important aspect of this relationship,” Jawed Ludin said 
in response to a question about US military commitment in a draft 
strategic partnership pact agreed on Sunday.
But the agreement should not be seen by neighbouring countries as a 
threat to their own security and would be “a force for good for the 
whole region”, Ludin told a group of foreign journalists.
“We have made it very clear in this document that this can’t be used 
against a third country and this will not affect the security of 
Afghanistan’s neighbours,” he said.
The full text of the document, which still has to be signed by US 
President Barack Obama and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai, has 
not been released and a US embassy spokesman said Tuesday details 
would not be discussed before it was final.
Full Report At:
http://tribune.com.pk/story/369233/us-commits-to-afghan-security-in-
new-pact-official/?print=true
--------

Syria’s Assad 'finished,' Tunisian leader says
By ROMULO TANGBAWAN
Apr 24, 2012
BEIRUT: Bashar Assad’s international allies must realize the Syrian 
president is “finished” and persuade him to step down to avoid further 
bloodshed, Tunisian President Moncef Al-Marzouki said in a newspaper 
interview published on Tuesday.
“The Russians and Chinese, and the Iranians must understand that this 
man is finished and they cannot defend him. They must persuade him to 
leave power and hand over to his deputy,” Marzouki told the regional 
Arab newspaper Al-Hayat.
Assad “will go one way or another ... dead or alive,” he added.
Addressing the Syrian leader directly, he said: “It’s better for you and 
your family to leave alive, because if you decide to leave dead, that 
means that you have caused the deaths of tens of thousands of 
innocents. Enough blood has been shed.”
Tunisia, whose peaceful revolution a year ago sparked the Arab Spring 
uprisings that saw off autocratic leaders in Egypt, Libya and Yemen, 
offered to give Assad political asylum in February to stem the violence 
in Syria, where the United Nations says government forces have killed 
9,000 people.
Full Report At:
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article616318.ece?service=print
--------

Egypt army passes law banning ex-PM from vote
Apr 24, 2012
CAIRO: Egypt’s ruling military has approved a law that bans top Hosni
Mubarak-era officials from running for the presidency, excluding his last
prime minister and further depleting a field reduced by the 
disqualifications of other front-runners.
A copy of the law published on the website of the state-run Al-Ahram 
newspaper said the legislation would take effect from Tuesday. It 
showed that the bill had been printed in the official gazette, confirming 
that the legislation drafted by the Islamist-dominated parliament had 
been approved by the military.
The law denies political rights to anyone who served as president, vice 
president or prime minister in the decade prior to Mubarak’s removal 
from power on Feb. 11, 2011. It further applies to anyone who served 
in top posts in the ruling party.
Full Report At:
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article616357.ece?service=print
--------

Saleh relative resigns as Yemen air force head
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Apr 24, 2012
SANAA: A half-brother of former Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh has 
quit as air force commander, having previously refused to do so in a 
challenge to new President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, a UN envoy said 
on Tuesday.
“The handover has taken place as stated in the decree issued by the 
president,” Jamal Benomar told reporters in Sanaa. “It was a smooth 
handover with no conditions whatsoever.”
Hadi replaced nearly 20 officers this month, including air force chief 
Mohammed Saleh Al-Ahmar, who besieged the capital’s airport, 
grounding all flights, in protest at the decision.
Ahmar’s capitulation is Hadi’s first successful move to distance Saleh’s 
relatives from power and restructure the armed forces, threatening the 
vested interests of Yemen’s old guard.
Full Report At:
http://arabnews.com/middleeast/article616356.ece?service=print
--------

Syrian rebels target security officials in capital
24 April 2012
Rebels seeking to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad killed three 
regime officers in separate attacks Tuesday around Damascus, activists 
and state media said, the latest violence targeting the security forces 
used by the government to quash dissent.
A bomb hidden in an army truck also exploded in the capital, wounding 
several people.
The persistent bloodshed has tarnished efforts by a U.N. team of 
observers to bolster a truce that the international community sees as 
the last-chance to prevent the country from falling into civil war.
U.N. monitors visited the restive Damascus suburb of Douma on 
Tuesday, their second visit in two days. Activists reported shelling and 
gunfire in the area on Tuesday. Amateur videos posted online also 
showed smoke rising into the sky after an explosion as well as men and 
young boys dashing for cover as gunfire is heard nearby.
Full Report At:
http://www.khaleejtimes.com/kt-article-display-1.asp?section=middleea
st&xfile=data/middleeast/2012/April/middleeast_April323.xml
--------

US voices concern at Israel outpost authorisation
25 Apr 2012,
The US has said it is concerned about reports that the Israeli 
government has decided to make legal under Israeli law three West 
Bank settlement outposts.
A state department spokeswoman said diplomats were "seeking 
clarification", but stressed they did "not think this is helpful" to the 
peace process.
The US does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement 
activity.
The Palestinians also condemned the decision to "formalise the status" 
of Bruchin, Rechelim and Sansana.
About 500,000 Jews live in more than 100 settlements built since 
Israel's 1967 occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The 
settlements are considered illegal under international law, though Israel 
disputes this.
Full Report At:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17836400?print=true
--------

Yemen air force chief 'agrees to give up post'
25 Apr 2012,
Yemen's air force chief is reported to have finally agreed to give up his 
post after months of pressure on him to go.
Gen Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar was sacked on 6 April from the post he 
had held for nearly three decades as part of a restructuring of the 
armed forces.
But he refused to accept the decision of President Abdrabbuh Mansour 
Hadi.
At one point, forces loyal to Gen Ahmar - a half-brother of former 
President Ali Abdullah Saleh - closed down Sanaa's airport for one day 
in protest.
Several flights were affected, and the general reportedly threatened to 
shoot down any planes using the airport unless he was reinstated.
US warning
President Hadi's decision to replace nearly 20 senior officers in the 
armed forces - including Gen Ahmar and the head of the Presidential 
Guard, Gen Tariq Mohammed Abdul Saleh - was agreed by Yemen's main 
political parties.
Full Report At:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17825776?print=true
--------

Violence in Syria’s Capital Even With a Cease-Fire
By NEIL MacFARQUHAR and HWAIDA SAAD
April 25, 2012
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Three members of the Syrian security services used 
to suppress antigovernment dissent were killed in and around Damascus 
on Tuesday, according to the official media and activists, one of 
several indications that the cease-fire arranged under United Nations 
auspices continued to wobble. In addition, a small bomb exploded 
outside an Iranian culture and travel center in the center of Damascus, 
the capital, wounding four people but not causing much damage.
Government forces followed the pattern established since the 
cease-fire, resuming attacks where the United Nations had just visited, 
while soldiers remained largely quiet in the places where the unarmed 
monitors were walking around. The Damascus suburb of Douma, which 
staged a massive anti-government protest when the observers visited 
Monday, was shelled heavily on Wednesday morning, activists said.
Full Report At:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/26/world/middleeast/violence-in-syri
as-capital-even-with-a-cease-fire.html?pagewanted=print
---------

Faith at UAB: Islam
Apr 25, 2012
“I think [the religion] students here know least about is Islam,” says Hakeem Abdul, senior student and president of the Muslim Student Association.
The words “Islam” and “Muslim” are both derived from the same Arabic word for “peace.”
Muslims believe that God, or Allah, does not have personal relationships with each individual person, so each person must obey His commandments in order to prove allegiance to Him.
Islamic tradition teaches that Allah revealed Himself to the prophet Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years. Muhammad recited new laws every day and had some of his companions record them. After Muhammad’s death, these teachings were compiled together and are referred to as “The Quran.”
Islam teaches that salvation should be viewed as a reward, not a gift, for those who submit to and obey Allah’s will.
Full Report At:
http://studentmedia.uab.edu/2012/04/faith-at-uab-islam/
URL:  http://newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/muslim-women-in-india-seek-gender-equality-in-marriage/d/7144


TOTAL COMMENTS:-   4
  • "Libya Bans Religious Political Parties"

    That would be a good example for Egypt to follow. Even Pakistan and India can learn from it.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/25/2012 2:37:46 PM
  • Indonesia's second-largest Muslim organization says the Ahmadiyya sect are members of Islamic society. This is sensible and shows maturity. We Muslims need to learn to emphasize and expand on points of agreement rather than picking and magnifying differences.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/25/2012 2:27:55 PM
  • AMPLB's decisions cannot be considered valid unless 50% of the members of the Board are women.
    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/25/2012 2:18:00 PM
  • “Ahmadiyyas members of Islamic society, say Indonesian Muslim Ulema.” Now what will fanatics do? Stop counting Indonesians too as Muslims and thus be deprived of the numbers and strength that they feel so proud of. But that way whatever gain they get by converting ones and twos non-Muslims to Muslims will be of no significance in front of this colossal loss. The positive aspect of this development is that now they can flaunt that how liberal and tolerant Muslims are. For more please read: A leader of the country’s second-largest Muslim organization says the Ahmadiyya sect are members of Islamic society despite some of their beliefs differing from more mainstream forms of the religion. Muhammadiyah secretary Abdul Muti said that acknowledgment was based solely on the will to maintain good relationships with Ahmadi counterparts. “Muhammadiyah acknowledges Muhammad as the final prophet, which is rather different to them. But that doesn’t change our will to maintain good relationships and improve future cooperation with them,” he told The Jakarta Post on Tuesday.Separately, Muhammadiyah chairman Din Syamsuddin said that Muhammadiyah has never called for the disbandment of Ahmadiyah, despite the group often declaring that the religious sect was heretical. “We have been telling our followers to disregard anyone who believes that there was another prophet after Muhammad. However, we are against anyone who physically attacks Ahmadi followers,” he said. The two largest Muslim organizations in Indonesia, the Nahdlatul Ulama and the Muhammadiyah say the disagreement with the Ahmadiyah view on the role of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad should not be displayed through violence.
    By sadaf - 4/25/2012 12:03:53 PM

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