Tony Blair's sister-in-law converts to Islam after a 'holy experience' in Iran
80 Taliban killed in failed attack on NATO outpost: Official
Indonesia tsunami toll hits 449, with 96 missing: Official
Senior Sunni Cleric Hails Imam Khamenei's Fatwa against insulting Sunni symbols
Oklahoma Strikes Back Against Sharia Law
Saudi Student Punished for Being Shia
Khamenei in Qom: Does It Get Any Better Than This?
Religious status of Islamic Revolution protects nation, Islamic system
Turkish army chiefs boycott ceremony over Islamic headscarf
‘Sharron Angle Was Right to oppose Sharia Law in America’
'Islam in a nutshell' explained at Episcopal church
Symbolism in Obama`s India visit worries Pakistan
Israeli Soldiers Shamelessly Burn Holy Quran
Geelani stoking trouble in the Kashmir valley
Kashmir militants to submit peace plan to interlocutors
Yusuf Islam (aka Cat Stevens), backing Salman Rusdie fatwah, appears at DC 'Rally to Restore Sanity'
Iraqi Main Shia Bloc Rejects Saudi Offer
African Shia Muslims Severely Condemned Persecution of Bahraini Shias
Ex-Gujarat Minister Amit Shah sought Justice Alam's recusal from monitoring Sohrab probe
Yemen arrests parcel bomb suspect
Hamas condemns settlers' assault on Jerusalem church
US sees complexity of bombs as link to al-Qaida group
US requests 25-year sentence for ex-child soldier Khadr
Obama: Parcel Bombs From Yemen Credible Terror Threat
RSS to Press for Modi As Next BJP Chief?
Two soldiers killed in Taliban attack in South Waziristan
ATC releases seven terror suspects
The First Muslim College in America
Islamic Extremist Targets Facebook Users
India, Pak to tone down flag-lowering ceremony
King Abdullah to host Iraq talks
'Palestine not for rent,' says Saeb Erekat
Political change will come in Egypt: ElBaradei
Holbrooke makes right noises in run- up to visit
Al- Qaeda’s mail bomb plot for Chicago foiled
Sanctions 'most ridiculous' act against Iran: Ahmadinejad
Israelis gather to mark 15 years since Yitzhak Rabin slain
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
Saudis Call to Demolish Birthplace of the Prophet and other Sacred Islamic Sites
Oct 31, 2010
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Saudi Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice called to demolish seven sacred sites under the pretext that they are used as grave-worshipping (practices contrary to Wahabbi interpretation of Islam) which is discouraged in Saudi Arabia .
Most prominent Wahhabi clerics support this call alleging that the visit of graves and other holly shrines and sites , is a kind of atheism (Shirk) .
The (CPVPV) calls to :
1- Demolish the Birthplace of the Prophet .
2- Demolish the grave of Amina bint Wahb, the Prophet’s mother
2- Enclose the holy mountain Jabal Al Rahma, (the mountain of mercy) , in the plain of Arafat outside Mecca. The pilgrims go to Mount Arafat for the culmination of the hajj, symbolizing the final judgment at the scene of Muhammad's last sermon 14 centuries ago
3- Enclose Jabal-al-noor (the mountain of light) where the Prophet Muhammad received his first revelation from God on this mountain.
4- Put ban on entrance to the graveyard al-Mu'alla in Mecca which includes the grave of Sayyida Khadija bint Khuwailid, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad .
5- Put ban on entrance to the graveyard of Maimoona which includes the grave of (Maimoona), the last wife of the Prophet Muhammad .
6- Change the name of the Graveyard of Eve
7- Demolish the Mosque of bai'a in Mecca .
Tony Blair's sister-in-law converts to Shia Islam after a 'holy experience' in Iran
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Broadcaster and journalist Lauren Booth, 43 – Cherie Blair’s half-sister – said she now wears a hijab head covering whenever she leaves her home, prays five times a day and visits her local mosque ‘when I can’.
She decided to become a Muslim six weeks ago after visiting the shrine of Fatima al-Masumeh in the city of Qom.
‘It was a Tuesday evening and I sat down and felt this shot of spiritual morphine, just absolute bliss and joy,’ she told The Mail on Sunday.
When she returned to Britain, she decided to convert immediately.
‘Now I don’t eat pork and I read the Koran every day. I’m on page 60.
‘I also haven’t had a drink in 45 days, the longest period in 25 years. The strange thing is that since I decided to convert I haven’t wanted to touch alcohol, and I was someone who craved a glass of wine or two at the end of a day.’
Refusing to discount the possibility that she might wear a burka, she said: ‘Who knows where my spiritual journey will take me?’
Before her awakening in Iran, she had been ‘sympathetic’ to Islam and has spent considerable time working in Palestine. ‘I was always impressed with the strength and comfort it gave,’ she said of the religion.
Miss Booth, who works for Press TV, the English-language Iranian news channel, has been a vocal opponent of the war in Iraq.
In August 2008 she travelled to Gaza by ship from Cyprus, along with 46 other activists, to highlight Israel’s blockade of the territory. She was subsequently refused entry into both Israel and Egypt.
In 2006 she was a contestant on the ITV reality show I’m A Celebrity . . . Get Me Out Of Here!, donating her fee to the Palestinian relief charity Interpal.
She said she hoped her conversion would help Mr Blair change his presumptions about Islam.
KHOST: An Afghan official said on Saturday that 80 Taliban insurgents were killed during a failed attack on a NATO combat outpost near the border with Pakistan.
"Fresh information that we received from intelligence sources shows that 80 Taliban have been killed. The bodies of the militants were left on the battlefield," said Mukhlis Afghan, spokesman for the governor of eastern Paktika province.
NATO said earlier that 30 Taliban had been killed as international troops repelled an attack on the outpost in Barmal district, which sits on the border of Pakistan's lawless North Waziristan tribal area.
A statement from NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) said the insurgents launched the attack at 1.30 am Saturday (2200 GMT Friday) "from all directions" using rocket-propelled grenades, mortars and small arms fire.
Five ISAF soldiers were injured, it said, adding that they kept fighting.
"The coalition forces called for air weapons team and close-air support during the engagement. A coalition aircraft engaged an insurgent firing position with three precision-guided munitions," it said.
"The air weapons team also engaged a large number of insurgents near the outpost," it said, adding: "Initial operational reporting indicates more than 30 insurgents were killed in the failed attack on the outpost."
The proximity of the combat post to the border hints at the possibility the insurgents had crossed from Pakistan, where the Taliban's leadership council is believed to be based.
The insurgency in Afghanistan is now in its 10th year since the Taliban's regime was overthrown in the US-led invasion in late 2001.
Remote border regions have proved particularly volatile in recent years.
JAKARTA: Indonesia on Sunday ramped up efforts to help those on remote islands hit by a devastating tsunami as an official put the latest death toll at 449, with 96 missing and feared dead.
Rescuers trying to reach isolated villages were hampered by torrential rains and heavy seas on Saturday as three-metre-high (10-foot) waves pounded the coastline.
But in a rare piece of good news, 135 people were found alive, hiding on high ground and too afraid of another wave to return to their shattered villages.
"The latest death toll is 449, and 96 people are missing," disaster management official Agus Prayitno said.
"Besides the big group of survivors found yesterday, there were also other individuals who have come to the temporary shelters alive. There were also others who returned to their villages," he added.
Another official, Joskamatir, said the search for the missing was ongoing, although "there's a high likelihood they are dead, mostly buried in sand."
"The weather is better today, there's no rain. So we hope we will be able to send the supplies quickly. We're also expecting two more helicopters to arrive to air-drop relief supplies to remote areas," he added.
The tsunami, which was triggered on Monday by a 7.7-magnitude earthquake, has displaced nearly 15,000 people on the Mentawai islands off the coast of Sumatra.
Emergency services in Indonesia are being further stretched by the continued eruption of Mount Merapi in central Java, where more than 50,000 people have been evacuated.
Senior Sunni Cleric Hails Imam Khamenei's Fatwa
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - "If it weren't for the wise fatwa of the Supreme Leader on the necessity of avoiding insult to the sanctities of other sectors, the Islamic Ummah would be entangled in a new plot which could not be controlled easily," President Ahmadinejad's advisor for Sunni affairs Mowlavi Eshaq Madani said.
He called on the Muslims worldwide to take the opportunity presented by the leader's fatwa and enhance solidarity and unity among all the different Muslim faiths.
"Islam's power, greatness and grandeur will be shown to the world once there is unity among Islamic nations," Madani noted.
"Muslims, including Sunnis and Shias and other Islamic sects are facing common enemies. Therefore, they should stick with unity and solidarity in a bid to gain victory over them," he noted.
Full report at:
Oklahoma is well-known as the place where the wind comes whistling off the plains. But most of the country, including most of the state's population, is unaware of its status as a hotbed of seditious activity by radical Islamists. But now families in that great state can rest easy that their legislators are working hard to outlaw sharia law – next month Oklahoma voters will vote on a ballot measure designed to outlaw sharia law, a form of law that would never be permitted under the U.S. Constitution, in the state.
This will, of course provide additional assurances that the state's Muslim citizens, who comprise .81 percent of the state's population, will be unable to hijack the government in the dead of night.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The punishments traumatized the students and inflicted emotional and psychological damage.
The teacher identified as Shaher al-Aatibi, is a hard-line member of the Salafi sect working at the Jafar ibn Abi Talib elementary school in Qatif in eastern Saudi Arabia.
Al-Aatibi repeatedly calls Shia students ‘infidels’ and ‘idolaters,’ saying they support Iran and the late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini.
According to the report, the teacher also physically punishes students over unwarranted issue such as wearing rings, causing a rift among the different tribes of the area.
A 2009 report by the New York-based Human Rights Watch (HRW) criticized the Saudi government over its “systemic state discrimination” against Shia Muslims across the Kingdom.
Jafar ibn Abi Talib elementary school has a total of 600 staff and students, a vast majority of whom are Shia.
Qatif has the largest concentration of Shia Muslims in Saudi Arabia.
1-Over the past few days, foreign and Farsi speaking media outlets have had an extensive coverage of the historical and epic trip made by our Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to the holy city of Qom.
These media outlets include Radio Farda (CIA’s Farsi language radio), Radio America, BBC Radio (of British Foreign Ministry), Radio Israel, Radio Zamaneh (of the Netherlands Foreign Ministry and managed by Elizabeth Cheney – Dick Cheney’s daughter), Al-Arabia (of Saudi Arabia), Jarasnews.com (of British MI6), Balatarin.com (of Manusheh Amir), and News.gooya.com (of CIA), among many others. Examples of their reports include:
-“A reliable source in Qom told the reporter of Radio America that Ayatollah Mousa Shobeiri Zanjani, an influential religious authority, refused to meet with Ayatollah Khamenei.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - Concurrent with the birth anniversary of the 8th Infallible Imam of the Prophet of Islam, Mohammad (PBUH) Household, Imam Reza (AS) on Tuesday, and in an address to glorious and massive gathering of the people of the holy city of Qom, Ayatollah Khamenei said that the Iranian nation's resistance and steadfastness against the enemies and the people's loyalty to the Islamic Revolution are the root causes of the foes' propaganda campaign and hype against people's religion.
Imam Khamenei pointed out that all the ploys of the enemies against the religion of people and their conspiracies against the loyalty of Iranian nation have failed, while noting that the enemies imagined they can separate the people from the sacred Islamic system. But the people's loyalty and commitment has increased day by day.
ANKARA (AhlulBayt News Agency) - Turkish army chiefs boycotted an official ceremony at the Presidential Palace because the President's wife wore an Islamic headscarf, the Press reported today.
The army's top brass were conspicuous by their absence late yesterday, at a banquet thrown by President Abbdullah Gul to commemorate the creation of the modern, secular Turkey in 1923.
The military organised a separate reception at the same time to give the Generals an excuse not to accept the President's invitation, the reports said. The secularist main Opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) also declined Gul's invitation.
Turkey's First Lady has worn the hijab, which covers the head and neck, since adolescence. The boycott was criticised by Prime Minister Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose wife also wears the headscarf.
By Joseph A. Klein
Sharron Angle, the Tea Party Republican Senate nominee running against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, has been roundly criticized by the mainstream press for raising concerns about the imposition of Sharia (Islamic) law in some United States communities. “It seems to me there is something fundamentally wrong with allowing a foreign system of law to even take hold in any municipality or government situation in our United States,” Ms. Angle said.
The press got all over Angle for expressing such concern and for the examples that she used to support her point. It appears that one of the examples she cited, Frankford, Texas, has not existed since 1975. Her other example was Dearborn, Michigan, which does have a large Muslim population but, as its mayor has assured us, is in no danger of succumbing to the rule of Sharia law anytime soon.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The Rev. J. Edwin Bacon, rector of All Saints Church in Pasadena, had just returned from vacation when he heard about a Florida pastor who was threatening to burn copies of the Koran, Islam's holy book.
"I was disgusted," said Bacon, whose Episcopal church is known for its progressive stance on many issues, interfaith relations among them. He said he thought: "Rather than burning Korans, we should be studying them."
The Koran burning never took place. But from Bacon's reaction was born "Islam 101," a speaker series that ended Saturday with a lecture by Dr. Maher Hathout, senior advisor to the Muslim Public Affairs Council and a leading voice of Muslims in Southern California.
By Baqir Sajjad Syed
ISLAMABAD: The government is in two minds about US President Barack Obama`s visit to India, especially over the symbolism hidden in the decision to pick Mumbai`s Taj Hotel for starting the trip as it was the focal point of the Nov 2008 terrorist strikes on the city. New Delhi has all along been blaming Islamabad for the siege, albeit in diplomatic jargon.
Mr Obama is likely to make a statement on the war against terror from the hotel.
Anxious eyes in Islamabad will meticulously examine how the American president manages ties with India without impacting on long-term partnership with Pakistan. Dawn
Senior officials in background interviews with confirmed that they had been reassured by the Americans that, unlike the British prime minister`s allegations of terror export from Pakistan during his visit to India, there would be no brazen anti-Pakistan remarks.
(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) - During an overnight attack on a Palestinian family in the occupied West Bank, Israeli soldiers have reportedly burnt the Muslim holy book.
Sahar Beida said on Monday that she and her daughter had been confined in different rooms by Israeli soldiers who were there to arrest her husband Ismail.
"When I came out I was shocked to find our Qur'ans were on the front step and had been burned," she said.
"They took the Qur'ans from the house and burned them in the alley," the 40-year-old mother added.
GEELANI STOKING TROUBLE IN THE VALLEY
AHEAD of US President Barack Obama’s visit to India, the hardline faction of the Hurriyat Conference has called for intensification of protests in Kashmir.
“ The forthcoming visit of the American President to India has drawn the attention of the world to South Asia, particularly Kashmir. So it is all the more imperative for us to highlight the atrocities being perpetrated on us by India more and more forcefully,” Hurriyat Conference chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said on Saturday. “ The objective is to put across a message to the world that the resolution of the 63- year- old Kashmir issue cannot be delayed anymore,” he added.
Full report at: Mail Today
NEW DELHI: Militants in Jammu and Kashmir have expressed their willingness to present a "peace plan" during their meeting with the group of interlocutors appointed by the Centre, a move seen as "something important" by Dilip Padgaonkar, who led the three-member team.
Giving details about their meetings with those from militant groups, Padgaonkar said, "The first time we met guys from terrorist organisations. They said would you mind coming again once. We need to talk to you. So we went a second time."
"And the second time, during an hour and a half, something quite surprising took place which was one of those guys who acted as spokesperson of one of these organisations said to us that they would like to submit to us also a peace plan," he said in an interview to a TV channel.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - It’s a curious choice, to put it mildly, given Yusuf’s alleged support of the fatwah against Salman Rushdie. All audio of the words he used to allegedly support the fatwah (which he has strenuously insisted he did not do) has been removed from YouTube, apparently at the crooner’s behest.
And here’s Salman Rushdie’s own take, in a 2007 letter to the Telegraph, on what Yusuf meant:
Cat Stevens wanted me dead
However much Cat Stevens/Yusuf Islam may wish to rewrite his past, he was neither misunderstood nor misquoted over his views on the Imam Khomeini fatwa against The Satanic Verses (Seven, April 29). In an article in The New York Times on May 22, 1989, Craig R Whitney reported Stevens/Islam saying on a British television programme “that rather than go to a demonstration to burn an effigy of the author Salman Rushdie, ‘I would have hoped that it’d be the real thing’.”
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - The National Alliance, Iraq's main Shia bloc, has turned down a Saudi offer to host all-party talks to resolve months of deadlock over forming a new Iraqi government.
The offer was turned down on Sunday after some politicians voiced fears over foreign interference. Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah had a day earlier volunteered to host the talks in November.
The National Alliance, a coalition of Shia blocs, including that of incumbent prime minister,
Nouri al-Maliki's coalition, said that a deal in Baghdad was close after the highest court ordered parliament to resume sessions last week.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - I have followed the events in Bahrain over the past two months and have been shocked by the news that our brothers are ill-treated in prisons.
We in the Shia Islamic Movement and indeed the entire Muslims in Nigeria express our solidarity with these brothers, especially the religious scholars like Sheikh Mohammad Habib Al Miqdad, Sheikh Saeed Al Nouri, Sheikh Mirza Al Mahroos, Sheikh Abdul Hadi Al Makhowdar and Sayyed Aqeel Al Sari.
The reports by the international human rights bodies like Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have caused enormous anxiety among Muslims in Nigeria. These acts are crimes and the perpetrators have committed crimes against humanity.
Shah sought Justice Alam's recusal from monitoring Sohrab probe
NEW DELHI: Call it a coincidence, destiny or unavailability of judges due to the Diwali break in Supreme Court -- the hearing of CBI's appeal seeking cancellation of Amit Shah's bail landed before the same Bench which is monitoring the CBI probe into the Sohrabuddin fake encounter case.
The Bench comprising Justices Aftab Alam and R M Lodha took over monitoring of the probe after the earlier Bench comprising Justices Tarun Chatterjee and Alam had ordered CBI to take over investigations into the fake encounter case from the state police on a petition filed by the victim's brother Rubabuddin.
But, Shah through counsel Ram Jethmalani had expressed serious reservations over the January 12 order of SC transferring the probe to CBI and had on September 1 sought its review.
SANAA: Yemeni security forces on Saturday arrested a woman believed to be involved in sending explosive packages bound for the United States, a security official said.
The arrest was the first in the case, which has triggered an international security alert after two packages containing bombs -- both sent from Yemen and addressed to synagogues in Chicago -- were intercepted in Britain and Dubai.
"National security forces have just been able arrest the woman," the official said, adding that the woman had been traced through a telephone number she left with a cargo company.
Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh said earlier that security forces had surrounded a house at an undisclosed location where a young woman believed to have sent the packages was taking refuge. He gave no other details about the woman.
DAMASCUS (AhlulBayt News Agency) - Hamas condemned on Saturday the extremist Jewish settlers' assault on a church in the western sector of occupied Jerusalem last night, holding the Israeli occupation authority (IOA) fully responsible for such a "disgraceful" act.
The movement said in a statement that the crime was reminiscent of the IOA "racist policy" that is hostile to heavenly religions and of the Judaization scheme of Jerusalem.
Hamas called on the Palestinian people to stand up to such racist practices, and asked the international organizations to assume their responsibilities and pressure the IOA to halt its incessant crimes against the Palestinian people and their Islamic and Christian holy shrines that violated all international laws, norms, and ethics.
Mark Mazzetti and Robert F. Worth
WASHINGTON: The powerful bombs concealed inside cargo packages and destined for the United States were expertly constructed and unusually sophisticated, American officials said Saturday, further evidence that al-Qaida's affiliate in Yemen is steadily improving its abilities to strike on American soil.
As investigators on three continents conduct forensic analysis of the two bombs and try to piece together a foiled terrorism plot, American officials said evidence was mounting that the top leadership of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, including the radical American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was behind the attempted attacks.
GUANTANAMO BAY (CUBA): US prosecutors on Saturday requested an extra 25 years in prison for former child soldier Omar Khadr, saying a stiff sentence for the Canadian detainee would "send a message to al-Qaida."
Khadr, in a deal with US authorities to avoid a life prison sentence, pleaded guilty last Monday to throwing a grenade that killed a US sergeant in Afghanistan in 2002, when Khadr was 15 years old.
"The world is watching," prosecuting attorney Jeffrey Groharing told Khadr in closing arguments a sentencing hearing before a special military tribunal at the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
"Your sentence will send a message to al-Qaida and others whose aims and goals are to kill and cause chaos around the world."
Oct 31st, 2010
Security officials in Britain and Dubai intercepted two parcel bombs being sent from Yemen to the United States in a “credible terrorist threat,” US President Barack Obama said on Friday.
The parcels were bound for “two places of Jewish worship in Chicago,” Mr Obama said. The Anti-Defamation League, a prominent Jewish organisation, earlier warned of a danger to US Jewish institutions from packages mailed from Britain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Suspicion fell on Al Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula, which had taken responsibility for a failed plot to blow up a US passenger jet on Christmas Day in 2009.
The group, thought to include Yemenis and Saudis, is affiliated with Al Qaeda, whose militants killed about 3,000 people using hijacked planes in the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.
RSS To Press For Modi As Next BJP Chief?
Is Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi the next BJP chief? At least this is the opinion of a majority section within the RSS which wants Mr Modi, a Hindutva icon, to play a major role in the 2014 general elections.
Unhappy with the BJP’s performance in the recent past and miffed with the infighting in the party, the Sangh is of the view that someone with Modi’s “managerial skill” can help the BJP in not only putting its house in order but also consolidate its lost Hindu votes. The RSS, it was learnt, is also unhappy with BJP chief Nitin Gadkari’s performance who completed one year since his appointment to the top post.
Two soldiers killed in Taliban attack in SWA
PESHAWAR: Terrorists attacked a military checkpost on Saturday, killing two soldiers in a restive tribal district on the Afghan border, a security official said. The attack took place in the Border area, 30 kilometres of Wana, the main town in South Waziristan district. “Militants attacked a military checkpost in South Waziristan and killed two soldiers,” a senior security official in the area said on condition of anonymity. Another security official confirmed the attack and casualties. Pakistan launched a major ground and air offensive in South Waziristan last year to clear the area of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), which has been blamed for some of the country’s worst violence.
RAWALPINDI: The Judge of Special Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Rawalpindi, Malik Akram Awan, on Saturday ordered the release of seven suspects arrested for their alleged involvement in suicide attackson FC checkpost and special branch owing to a lack of evidences. The suicide attack was carried out against FC checkpost located at Sector F-7/3, Margalla Road near Jinnah Super market on April 4, 2009. Six personnel of the FC were killed while many others were injured in the attack. The second attack was carried out on branch of special police in Aabpara police station area and as a result, one policeman was killed. Police had presented three accused, including Khurram Shehzad, Muhammad Awais and Khairullah Mehsood, in the court in special branch attack case. All the accused were found not guilty and were released owing to a lack of evidence and not presenting witnesses in the court.
The First Muslim College in America
A symbol of purity and light: logo of Zaytuna College, America's first Muslim college | The Arabic word for olive is zaytun. Qur'anic and Biblical scriptures have deemed the olive an extraordinary fruit due to its many benefits, and call the olive tree a symbol of purity and light. Thus, it is only fitting that the first Muslim college in the United States, carrying the light of knowledge and leadership, is bestowed with the name Zaytuna College.
The college's very existence in America repudiates notions of Islam as an exclusively Eastern ideology. Its presence instead indicates that Islam and Muslims can be authentically American, and can contribute to the nation's sociological, political and cultural advancement.
Court documents filed last week reveal Islamic extremists have obtained personal contact information on members of the defiant Facebook group “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” Zachary Chesser, who provided the information, pled guilty to “communicating threats” and renounced jihad, but the damage was done. Prosecutors say he “seriously endangered the lives of innocent people who will remain at risk for many years to come.”
This lasting effect makes it all the more frustrating that authorities did not charge him sooner. He had made very similar threats against the producers of South Park weeks before. The case highlights the urgent need for better legal tools to protect free speech from extremist intimidation.
October 31, 2010
Indian and Pakistani border officials on Saturday decided to tone down the flag-lowering ceremony at the Wagah border post — an event marked by displays of aggression that has become a major draw for tourists on both sides of the frontier since 1959.
Addressing the media after five-day talks in Lahore on border issues, India’s Border Security Force Director General Raman Shrivastava and Pakistan Rangers official Maj Gen Muhammad Yaqoob Khan announced that both sides had decided to end their “aggressive approach” to the flag-lowering ceremony.
Khan said both sides had decided to “cool down the process of lowering their flags”. Both border forces have also decided to exchange information on prisoners and to take steps for their release, he said.
JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Saturday invited Iraq's political parties for talks in Saudi Arabia after Haj in an attempt to break a political deadlock and help them form a unity government in the war-torn country.
“I invite his Excellency President Jalal Talabani ... and all parties that took part in the elections and the political process to your second country Saudi Arabia, to Riyadh, after the blessed Haj season,” King Abdullah said in his appeal to Iraqi leaders.
He said the talks would be held under the auspices of the Arab League in order to seek solutions for all outstanding problems that stand in the way of forming a unity government in Baghdad, adding that it would be a good opportunity for reconciliation to restore Iraq’s security, peace and stability.
By MOHAMMED MAR’I
RAMALLAH: The Palestinian Authority on Saturday rejected a US offer that Israel lease lands in East Jerusalem and from the future Palestinian state for 40-99 years.
Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator, said in a press statement that the “land of Palestine is not for rent.”
On Friday, the London-based Arabic-language Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper said that the US administration and Israel discussed the land rental proposal to overcome some obstacles that face a peaceful solution to the Middle East conflict.
According to the report, Israel would hire the land in East Jerusalem and the future Palestinian state’s eastern borders with Jordan for 40 or 99 years.
Erekat accused Israel of fueling debate on that issue as “trial balloons.”
VIENNA — Former UN nuclear chief Mohamed ElBaradei blasted Egypt’s “authoritarian” government and insisted political change was coming, in an interview Saturday with the Austrian daily Kurier.
“The more unpopular this regime becomes, the more it realises how much it is hated, the most authoritarian it becomes,” ElBaradei told the newspaper, according to a German transcription of the interview published Saturday.
“That’s untenable in the long term, change will come,” the Nobel Peace Prize winner promised.
“The timing only depends on when people will be able to throw off this culture of fear that the regime has created.”
By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury
AF- PAK special envoy Richard Holbrooke is not exactly India’s favourite US official from the Obama administration. His tendency to extend his mandate beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as his unsolicited remarks have almost made him persona non grata, with the government refusing to host him a couple of times.
However, now that just a week is left for US President Barack Obama’s maiden visit, Holbrooke has reached out to India and tried to allay its concerns about the Af- Pak region.
On Saturday, he acknowledged the role India was playing in Afghanistan — an admission that Delhi would get to safeguard its interests in the area.
Explosives found in jets carrying cargo sent from Yemen
AMERICAN and Yemeni authorities are searching for the terrorists who tried to mail two bombs from Yemen to Chicago-area synagogues in a brazen plot that heightened fears of a renewed al-Qaeda terror offensive against the US and other western countries.
Authorities on three continents thwarted the attacks when they seized explosives on cargo planes in the United Arab Emirates and England on Friday.
The plot sent tremors throughout the US, where after a frenzied day searching planes and parcel trucks for other explosives, officials temporarily banned all new cargo from Yemen. US officials said they were increasingly confident that al-Qaeda’s Yemen branch, the group behind the failed Detroit airliner bombing last Christmas by Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab (who was trained in Yemen), was responsible. President Barack Obama called the coordinated attacks a “credible terrorist threat”.
TEHRAN: Imposing sanctions on Iran has been the "most ridiculous and failed" move adopted by the world powers, the country's hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said.
"Imposing sanctions on Iran was the most ridiculous political decision ever. It was a failed thing from the beginning," Ahmadinejad said yesterday in an interview broadcast live on state television.
Ahmadinejad, who has repeatedly dismissed UN and other unilateral sanctions imposed on Iran over its nuclear programme, reiterated that the punitive measures were like "torn paper" which failed to hurt Iranians.
TEL AVIV: Tens of thousands of Israelis packed a central Tel Aviv square on Saturday night to pay tribute to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 15 years after he was gunned down by an Israeli extremist.
The rally in the square where Rabin was killed has become an annual pilgrimage for many Israelis. With the passing years, however, the memory of the shooting that devastated Israel has faded, and this year marked the first time the ceremony was not broadcast in full on every Israeli TV news station. Organizers said that in a reflection of the changing times, the current format of speeches and musical performances will be altered in coming years.
But those who turned out Saturday used the occasion to honor Rabin's memory and call for peace. Some in the crowd held candles or waved Israeli flags, while others carried aloft banners calling for peace and tolerance.