Books and Documents

Islamic World News (21 Nov 2009 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Ram Jethmalani linking Wahhabi Islam with Terrorism angers Saudi ambassador

Jethmalani triggers row with 'God a brothel keeper' remark

Pakistan’s ISI helped Mullah Omar flee from Quetta to Karachi

Mulla Omar in Karachi, claims WT

Pakistan denies that Mullah Omar has shifted base to Karachi with the help of ISI

4 to 10 units of alcoholic drinks a day slash heart disease risk by half

Hijab ‘Bars’ Indonesians from Civil Service

Proud American Muslims deeply heartbroken over Fort Hood shooting

From Pakistan to Philadelphia: A terror suspect's journey

Bangladesh raids Islamist den, arrests 14 militants

Islamic Society suspends participation in Interfaith Conference

Sunni leader in Iraq sentenced to death

 YUSUF ISLAM: Moonshadow music Islam returns to the stage

Muslims, critics have work to do, Islamic scholar says

Afghan govt would fall if NATO withdraws: Miliband

 ‘Kabul, Islamabad should join hands against militants’

Afghanistan is the worst place to be born: UN

Afghan lady Sabera gets justice in India;

wins battle against an Indian Army doctor

Afghanistan announces army upgrade

Kashmir talks futile without Pakistan: FM

Hasan had intensified contact with cleric

Pakistan faces a 'demographic disaster': Report

Pak father-son duo held in Italy for Mumbai attacks

6 nations press Iran to accept nuke plan

Islamic scholar condemns football violence in Egypt

Islam's first superheroes taking the world by storm:

‘The 99,’ the first comic book based on Islamic archetypes is set for television smash

Sufis spread Islam in subcontinent, says Taseer

British movie producer to explore Jesus's India link

Secret text on Shroud of Turin shows it's not fake'

Apocalypse film 'un-Islamic', say clerics

Using ISI money, spy bought his way

How you can eat meat and not kill

Rana and Headley have elite Pak antecedents

Headley chase: Hunt on for mystery woman

Mad dog's Muslim rant exposes hidden pain

Muslims, critics have work to do, Islamic scholar says

 Treat Muslims as equal people, not minorities

Russian Muslim Leaders Condemn Priest's Killing

Women in Iraqi police a sign of progress

PM 'assures' Mahesh Bhatt of justice in son Rahul's case

Muslim publications fail to address the general public

 Japan, Turkey, UK, Saudi Arabia invited to Philippine peace process

Russia's most high-profile antiracism activistTakes On Nationalists In Russian Youth's Civil War

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL of this Page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/ram-jethmalani-linking-wahhabi-islam-with-terrorism-angers-saudi-ambassador/d/2120


Ram Jethmalani linking Wahhabi Islam with Terrorism angers Saudi ambassador: Is God ‘a brothel keeper'?

21 November 2009

NEW DELHI: Senior lawyer and former Union minister Ram Jethmalani's charge that Wahabi sect was responsible for terrorism provoked a walkout by 

Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to India Faisal-al-Trad from an international conference of jurists on global terror here.

Jethmalani alleged that "Wahabi terrorism" indoctrinated "rubbish" in the minds of young people to carry out terrorist attacks. The senior lawyer lamented that India had friendly relations with a country that supported Wahabi terrorism. 

Following Jethmalani's speech, Saudi Arabia's ambassador Faisal-al-Trad was seen walking out of the conference, apparently taking offence at the remarks. 

Organiser of the event Adesh Aggarwala said the Ambassador had walked out but returned after law minister M Veerappa Moily's statement that the views expressed by Jethmalani were not that of the government. 

Moily, in his address, said that terrorism cannot be attributed to any particular religion. 

It was unfortunate that the entire Islam as a religion was being blamed for terrorism, Jethmalani said, adding that "there are also Hindu terrorists and Buddhist terrorists." 

Terming Non-Aligned Movement and Panchsheel as evil, the former Union Minister said India should align with forces of good to combat the forces of evil. "India and its foreign ministers must learn to reassess the doctrines of past." 

He said India's foreign policy establishment should be courageous to shun country's relationships with its "enemies". 

Referring to Jethmalani's comments, Justice Awn S Al-Khasawneh, a judge of the International Court of Justice, asked him not "to make sweeping statements."



Ram Jethmalani triggers row with 'God a brothel keeper' remark


New Delhi: Former union law minister Ram Jethmalani on Saturday kicked up a row at an international conference on terrorism, asking if Islam's jehadi doctrine does not virtually render 'god a brothel keeper', prompting a Saudi Arabian envoy to walk out of the conference.

Addressing the seminar, Jethmalani wondered if the jehadi doctrine, propagating the belief allegedly held by Islam's Wahab sect that Muslims attaining martyrdom while fighting non-Muslims "get a place in heaven and the company of the opposite sex there", does not amount to saying that "god is a brothel keeper".

The self-confessed maverick legal hawk also went on to equate god as someone "suffering with Alzheimer's disease", while advising the Indian government and the international community against trusting god in fighting terrorism.

Jethmalani sends legal notice to Raj Thackeray

"He will not help as he is suffering with Alzheimer's disease," said Jethmalani, while advising the government to junk its obsession with "an irrelevant non-aligned movement" and "join the forces of good to fight forces of evil".

Jethmalani made "the non-mincing" remarks at an international conference of jurists on terrorism, inaugurated by President Pratibha Patil and attended among others by Singapore Chief Justice Chan Sek Keong and Justice Awn S Al-Khasawneh of the International Court of Justice and envoys of several countries.

Jethmalani's remarks caused Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to India Faisal-al-Trad to walk out, while an embarrassed union Law Minister M. Veerappa Moily swiftly sought to distance himself and the government from the controversial remarks.

Justice Khasawneh contradicted Jethmalani on some facts referred to by him on the jehadi doctrine.

Jethmalani made the remark while dwelling upon the need to fight terrorism also at its ideological level.

Malaysia Muslim preacher charged in factional feud

"I am a student of all religions, including Islam, and I have read the Koran several times. I find that the Prophet is a man of peace," said Jethmalani, adding that it nowhere preaches hate and violence.

"But the decline of Islam started in the 17th century when a person named Wahab propagated hate and violence against all non-Muslims by mis-interpreting one shora (verse) of the Koran," said Jethmalani.

"I have read that shora thousands of times, but I have not found anything wrong in it. But, according to Wahab, all other people, including Christians, Jews and Hindus, and even Shias, have forfeited their rights to live," said Jethmalani.

Following Jethmalani's speech, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador Faisal-al-Trad was seen walking out of the conference, apparently taking offence at the remarks.

Organiser of the event Adesh Aggarwala said the ambassador had walked out but returned after Moily's statement that the views expressed by Jethmalani were not that of the government.

Fla. students sent home over for shirts on Islam

Moily, in his address, said that terrorism cannot be attributed to any particular religion.

It was unfortunate that the entire Islam as a religion was being blamed for terrorism, Jethmalani said, adding that "there are also Hindu terrorists and Buddhist terrorists".

Terming the Non-Aligned Movement and Panchsheel as evil, Jethmalani said "India should align with forces of good to combat the forces of evil. India and its foreign ministers must learn to reassess the doctrines of past".

He said India's foreign policy establishment should be courageous to shun any relationship with the country's 'enemies'.

Referring to Jethmalani's comments, Justice Awn S Al-Khasawneh, a judge of the International Court of Justice, asked him not "to make sweeping statements". He also said that the Wahab movement had started in the 18th century and not in 17th century as Jethmalani had remarked.



Pakistan’s ISI helped Mullah Omar flee from Quetta to Karachi

20 November 2009

WASHINGTON: Fearing that Taliban supremo Mullah Omar might be targeted by US drones, Pakistan's ISI has helped him to flee from the border town of Quetta to the mega port city of Karachi, where he has established a new Shura council.

One-eyed leader of the Afghan Taliban recently found refuge from potential US attacks in Karachi with Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) assistance, the Washington Times reported quoting US intelligence officials.

"Mullah Omar travelled to Karachi last month after the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. He inaugurated a new senior leadership council in Karachi, a city that so far has escaped US and Pakistani counter-terrorism campaigns," the officials said.

The paper said the ISI helped Mullah Omar move from Quetta, where they felt he was exposed to attacks by unmanned US drones.

"The development reinforces suspicions that the ISI, which helped create the Taliban in the 1990s to expand Pakistani influence in Afghanistan, is working against US interests in Afghanistan as the Obama administration prepares to send more US troops to fight there," the daily said.

Bruce Riedel, a CIA veteran and analyst on al Qaeda and the Taliban, confirmed that Mullah Omar had been spotted in Karachi recently, the daily said.

"Some sources claim the ISI decided to move him further from the battlefield to keep him safe" from US drone attacks, Riedel was quoted as saying.

"There are huge madrassas in Karachi where Mullah Omar could easily be kept," he said.

Riedel noted that there had been few suicide bombings in Karachi, which he attributed to the Taliban and al Qaeda not wanting to "foul their own nest".

At the same time, the daily said so far there has been no indication that the top Al Qaeda leadership too had moved to Karachi.

Osama bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri are still thought to be in the tribal region of Pakistan on Afghanistan's border, he said.

However, the newspaper said according to intelligence officials, other mid-level al Qaeda operatives who facilitate the travel and training of foreign fighters have moved to the Karachi metropolitan area, which with 18 million people is Pakistan's most populous city.

"One reason, [al Qaeda] and Taliban leaders are relocating to Karachi is because they believe US drones do not strike there," a official was quoted as saying adding that it is a densely populated urban area.



Pakistan denies that Mullah Omar has shifted base to Karachi with the help of ISI

Sat, 21 Nov 2009

Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit has denied reports that Mullah Omar has shifted base to Karachi with the help of ISI.

Afghan Taliban Chief Mullah Omar has fled Quetta and found refuge from potential US drone attacks in Karachi, claims a US newspaper. 

Two senior US intelligence officials and a former top CIA officer told the US newspaper, the Washington Times that that the one-eyed Taliban leader fled to Karachi last month, aided by Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), adding that he has, moreover, inaugurated a new senior leadership council in the city. 

"He (Mullah Omar) inaugurated a new senior leadership council in Karachi, a city that so far has escaped US and Pakistani counterterrorism campaigns. Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, the ISI, helped the Taliban leaders move from Quetta, where they were exposed to attacks by unmanned US drones," the Washington Times quoted intelligence officials as saying on condition of anonymity on Friday. 

The paper went on to say that the development reinforces suspicions that the ISI was working against US interests in Afghanistan as the Obama administration prepares to send more US troops there. 

Meanwhile, former CIA official and expert on Al-Qaeda and Taliban Bruce Riedel also confirmed that the Taliban leader has been spotted in Karachi. 

"Some sources claim that the ISI decided to move him further from the battlefield to keep him safe. There are huge madrassas in Karachi where Mullah Omar could easily be kept," said Riedel. 

In the meantime, Pakistan denied reports about Mullah Omar's presence in the southern port city, terming them 'false and baseless'. 

While speaking to a private TV channel Friday, Pakistan's Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit stressed that Omar was not in Karachi 

He also denied the ISI's involvement in shifting Mullah Omar to Karachi, saying that the Washington Times report was part of international propaganda against Pakistan.


4 to 10 units of alcoholic drinks a day slash heart disease risk by half

Daily Mail

19th November 2009

At last, some good news for those who like a tipple.

New findings suggest drinking can cut the overall risk of heart problems by almost a third in men.

Those who drank the most - four to ten drinks a day - had an even bigger reduction, down by half.

Although the results were less conclusive in women, they still got some benefits, according to Spanish researchers.

The study on people aged 29 to 69 found drinking could protect men from heart disease regardless of whether they drank beer, wine or spirits.

Studies have long suggested moderate drinking protects heart health but experts believe the message disguises other harms caused by excess alcohol, ranging from liver damage to premature death.

Experts are unclear about how alcohol consumption protects heart patients, with one theory being it helps the body metabolise glucose more efficiently as well as reducing blood clotting.

Wine also contains high levels of antioxidant compounds called flavonols which are good for the circulation and red wine increases levels of 'good' cholesterol in the blood.

In the latest study, published in the journal Heart, Spanish researchers questioned 41,000 people on their lifetime drinking habits and how much they had drunk in the year prior to the start of the study.

People were classed as never drinkers, former drinkers, low drinkers (0 to 5g of alcohol a day), moderate drinkers (5 to 30g a day), high drinkers (30 to 90g a day) and very high drinkers (more than 90g a day).

In the UK, one unit of alcohol measures 8g. Men are advised to drink no more than 3-4 units a day (equivalent of a pint  and a half of lager) and women should stay within 2-3 units a day (a 175ml glass of wine).

The number of coronary problems suffered over 10 years was recorded and compared with how much people drank.

The results showed moderate drinkers had a lower risk of 51 per cent compared with never drinkers, it was 54 per cent down in high drinkers and cut by 50 in very high drinkers. Overall risk in men was down more than 30 per cent, said the study.

Public health researchers at the Basque Government, San Sebastian, said the findings were not statistically significant in women, possibly because they experienced fewer coronary events, but they also benefited.

Spain is the world's third largest producer of beer and wine and its people are the sixth biggest drinkers in the world.

However, the country also enjoys one of the lowest death rates from coronary heart disease in the world.

British experts were united in warning drinkers that this was not green light to over-indulge.

Cathy Ross, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation (BHF),  said 'Whilst moderate alcohol intake can lower the risk of having a heart attack, coronary heart disease is just one type of heart disease.

'Cardiomyopathy, a disease of the heart muscle, is associated with high alcohol intake and can lead to a poor quality of life and premature death.

'The heart is just one of many organs in the body.

'While alcohol could offer limited protection to one organ, abuse of it can damage the heart and other organs such as the liver, pancreas and brain.'

Robert Sutton, professor of surgery at the University of Liverpool, said the study had 'several flaws' and should not be taken to suggest high levels of alcohol can improve health.

Martin McKee, professor of European public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said the link between alcohol and heart disease was controversial.

'While there is good evidence that moderate consumption is protective in people who are at substantial risk of heart disease (which excludes most people under the age of 40), we also know that most people underestimate how much they drink' he said.

Nicolay Sorensen, Director of Policy and Communications, Alcohol Concern said 'Any benefits tend to be restricted to certain population groups and certain conditions - it would be wrong to interpret such research as a blanket ‘alcohol is good for you’ message.

'Alcohol is the main cause of death from liver disease and contributes to a surprising range of other illnesses, from cancer to mental ill-health.

'Using alcohol to try and improve overall health would be foolhardy, keeping drinking at moderate levels or below is preferable for all-round protection.'

Professor Paul Wallace, Chief Medical  Adviser for alcohol charity Drinkaware, said 'The findings appear to fly in the face of other high quality evidence which  suggests that above the current Government drinking guidelines, the more people  drink, the greater their chances of developing heart disease.'



Mulla Omar in Karachi, claims WT

Saturday, November 21, 2009

WASHINGTON: Mulla Muhammed Omar, the leader of the Afghan Taliban, has fled Quetta and found refuge from the potential US attacks in Karachi with the assistance of Pakistan’s intelligence, the Washington Times claimed on Friday.

The newspaper, without producing any proof, alleged that Mulla Omar had been residing in Quetta, where the Afghan Taliban Shura had moved from Kandahar after the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.

Two senior US intelligence officials and one former senior CIA officer told The Washington Times that Mulla Omar travelled to Karachi last month after the end of Ramazan. He inaugurated a new senior leadership council in Karachi, the officials said.

The officials, two of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity, accused the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) of helping the Taliban leaders move from Quetta, where they were exposed to attacks by the US drones.

Bruce Riedel, a CIA veteran and analyst on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, alleged that Mulla Omar had been spotted in Karachi recently. “Some sources claim the ISI decided to move him further from the battlefield to keep him safe” from the US drone attacks, said Riedel. “There are huge Madrassas in Karachi where Mulla Omar could easily be kept.”

Riedel also noted that there had been a few suicide bombings in Karachi, which he attributed to the Taliban and al-Qaeda not wanting to “foul their own nest.” A US counter-terrorism official said: “There are indications of some kind of bleed-out of Taliban types from Quetta to Karachi, but no one should assume at this point that the entire Afghan Taliban leadership has packed up its bags and headed for another Pakistani city.”

A second senior intelligence officer, who specialises in monitoring al-Qaeda, said the US intelligence had confirmed Mulla Omar’s move through both electronic and human sources as well as intelligence from an unnamed allied service.



Hijab ‘Bars’ Indonesians From Civil Service

Nov. 21, 2009

CAIRO — A hijab-clad Indonesian woman was denied the right to conduct civil service for wearing the Islamic headscarf, raising eyebrows in the world’s most populous country.

"I was surprised at the requirement," Siti Aisyah, 34, told The Jakarta Post on Saturday, November 21.

The religion teacher has applied to the Karo education administration in North Sumatra for a civil service job.

But to her surprise, she received a “no” answer, with the administration arguing that the Muslim teacher was rejected over her veiled photos.

"I don't know if there is a different requirement in other regions, but we follow national regulations," Daud Sembiring, a member of the Karo civil service recruitment committee, said.

But the hijab-clad woman ridiculed the argument.

"Headscarves are compulsory for Muslim women," Siti said.

Hijab is a code of dress for Muslim women, not a symbol showing ones affiliation.

The Muslim woman is not disappointed by the rejection.

She only hopes the requirement would be removed to help hijab-clad women apply for the civil service.

"I prefer to keep my aurat safe rather than successfully enter the civil service but have to expose it."


The move drew immediate fire in the Muslim country.

Full report at: http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1258711852460&pagename=Zone-English-News/NWELayout#


sFrom Pakistan to Philadelphia: A terror suspect's journey

By Joseph Tanfani

At age 16, as Daood Gilani, he was taken out of Pakistan, where he attended a military school, and brought to Philadelphia by his mother, a well-known Old City nightspot owner.

Today, under the name of David Coleman Headley, he sits in a federal prison in Chicago, charged by the FBI with planning terrorist attacks overseas - including an alleged plot to target the Danish newspaper that in 2005 angered Muslims with a cartoon of the prophet Muhammad.

Federal agents arrested Headley, 49, last month at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago as he prepared to board a plane to Philadelphia, where he still has relatives. Philadelphia was a stopover on a trip to Pakistan, according to the criminal affidavit.

In his luggage, he had a copy of the Danish newspaper's front page and a memory stick that included videos of the paper's front entrance.

"Everything is not a joke," he wrote in an e-mail to fellow classmates at his old military school, according to the federal complaint. ". . . Call me old-fashioned but I feel disposed towards violence for the offending parties."

After his arrest, he admitted to the FBI that he was surveilling the paper and Danish troops stationed nearby in preparation for an attack, the criminal affidavit states.

Headley was being held without bail on charges of conspiracy and providing material support to terrorists, pending a hearing.

Full report at: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front_page/20091119_From_Pakistan_to_Phila___A_terror_suspect_s_journey.html?viewAll=y


Bangladesh raids Islamist den, arrests 14 militants

Sat Nov 21, 2009

 DHAKA, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Bangladesh police said they had raided a secret training centre and arrested 14 suspected Islamist militants on Saturday.

Training materials, communication equipments and jihadi books were also seized during the raid near Jenaidah 250 km (156 miles) west of the capital Dhaka.

"We believe that the training centre has been run by the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and the detained people were new recruits of the group," a senior police officer said without giving further details.

Like several other banned groups JMB want to turn mostly Muslim Bangladesh of 150 million people to a sharia-based Islamic country.

JMB was blamed for a series of deadly bomb attack in Bangladsesh in late 2005, killing some 30 people -- mostly judges, police and journalists.

The authorities executed six top JMB leaders in March 2007 and police have continued to hunt for group members, often detaining suspected militants following intelligence tips. (Reporting by Nizam Ahmed; Editing by Louise Ireland)



Sunni leader in Iraq sentenced to death

By New York Times

 November 20, 2009

BAGHDAD - A leader of a Sunni Awakening Council was sentenced to death for kidnapping and murder yesterday, setting off charges that the Shi’ite-dominated Iraqi government was trying to weaken the Sunni movement, which is credited with much of the reduction in sectarian violence since 2006.

The Sunni leader, Adil al-Mashhadani, who led the Awakening militia in the impoverished Fadhil neighborhood of Baghdad, was arrested in March on charges of terrorism. A spokesman for the Justice Ministry, Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar, provided no further details.

The Awakening Councils, also known as the Sons of Iraq, are local groups, including former insurgents and Ba’athists, who turned against the insurgency and received pay, first from the Americans and now from the Iraqis. Under their agreement with the government, they have tacit amnesty for past acts of sectarian violence but not for crimes like murder.

Other Awakening leaders had mixed reactions to Mashhadani’s sentencing. “Nobody is above the law,’’ said Nabil Ahmed, an Awakening leader in the Adhamiya neighborhood.

Ahmed Qais, also of Adhamiya, said that Mashhadani had “saved his neighborhood from the killing, displacement, and sectarianism’’ and that the government had falsely imprisoned other Awakening members.

Mashhadani has long been a controversial figure, described by some in Fadhil as a protector, others as a brutal extortionist who buried victims alive.

Other residents said that since Mashhadani’s arrest, insurgent groups had returned to the neighborhood.



YUSUF ISLAM: Moonshadow music Islam returns to the stage

21 Nov 2009

NEVER ONE TO DO THINGS BY HALVES , Yusuf Islam is returning to the stage for the first time in 33 years, not just with a tour but with a musical as well.

"It's very simple," explains promoter Harvey Goldsmith, who first worked with Islam as Cat Stevens back in 1974. "He's written a musical, Moon shadow, which is his passion. So I said we should do some concerts which incorporate a 30-minute preview of the musical."

Moon shadow undoubtedly is Islam's passion, the final realisation of a childhood dream to create a theatrical fantasy to stand alongside the musicals which inspired him in his early years.

"Living in the West End, I got to hear a lot of musicals first- hand," Islam points out. "West Side Story was one of the biggest musical influences in my life. That changed me, because it was about the street - street life."

While he was back home in New Oxford Street, recovering from tuberculosis in 1968, another revolutionary stage show captured his imagination. "The first hippy musical, Hair, was on right across the road from my front door and that was another big impact - the form of the musical itself."

In 1969 he made his first serious attempt at a musical with Revolussia, a tale of life in revolutionary Russia which, although it was never staged, provided one of his best-loved songs, Father and Son.

Discussing his new musical, Yusuf explains, "It's about a boy who lives on a planet of perpetual night-time. He dreams of a world of sunshine and happiness, everything that a wonderful and natural world can offer. In his world, though, everybody has to work hard to pay for light and heat and I realised that fitted perfectly with what a lot of my songs are saying."

Nick Stewart, Islam's music and records manager, says that initial approaches to UMTV about a Moon shadow soundtrack album have met with a favourable response.

Full report at: http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/yb/137995141


Muslims, critics have work to do, Islamic scholar says

By Peter Smith

November 21, 2009

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has strong medicine for American Muslims — and their critics.

American Muslims “should really stop complaining,” start contributing more to society, get to know your neighbours and oppose the dangerous versions of Islam that have migrated to this country.

To critics: Stop demanding Muslims apologize for every act of violence committed by someone in the name of Islam, and recognize that Muslims throughout the world have suffered tremendous violence in recent decades.

One might think such messages would shrink Yusuf’s audience, yet the Islamic scholar has become a much-sought speaker among Muslims — particularly young ones seeking American-accented expressions of their faith.

He delivered these messages to several hundred earlier in November at the annual banquet of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Kentucky. He drew strong applause from the crowd, and many lined up afterward for his book signing.

Yusuf is an American-born convert who studied Islam and Arabic in the Middle East. He founded Zaytuna Institute, an Islamic college in California, and has drawn attention beyond the Muslim world especially after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, when he hailed the murdered fire-fighters and police officers as the true martyrs of that day.

Yusuf quipped during his Louisville speech that as a convert, some view him as “the most dangerous kind” of Muslim and that like many Muslims he’s been subjected to extensive airport screenings.

But past American immigrants such as Yusuf’s Irish ancestors would love to exchange their struggles for “a little searching at the airports,” he said.

“Of all immigrants — with the possible exception of the Hindu migration after the 1965 immigration act — nobody has had it easier than the Muslims,” he said. “If you want to talk about difficulties, talk to the Chinese Americans about their history. Talk to the Japanese Americans about their history. … If you think everybody’s going to embrace and help you and say, ‘Welcome to America,’ you have not read American history. … You have to prove yourselves.”



Afghan govt would fall if NATO withdraws: Miliband

Saturday, November 21, 2009

LONDON: The Afghan government would quickly be overthrown if NATO troops pulled out of the country now, British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said on Friday.

"If international forces leave, you can choose a time -- five minutes, 24 hours or seven days -- but the insurgent forces will overrun those forces that are prepared to put up resistance and we would be back to square one," he told a local newspaper.

At the end of a visit to Kabul for the inauguration of President Hamid Karzai, Miliband said Afghans were "sad that they need anyone, but they are passionate that my goodness they do, because if we weren't here their country would be rolled over."

More than 230 British troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, and British public opposition has grown to involvement in the international coalition fighting the Taliban.

"What we have to do is explain to people that the costs of staying are real but they are less than the costs of leaving," Miliband said.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has insisted British troops are in Afghanistan to protect Britain from terrorism. He said earlier this month that Britain and its allies must not walk away, but expand training of Afghan security forces so they can eventually take over responsibilities from foreign forces.

Miliband said western involvement in Afghanistan would need to continue until the transition to Afghan control was complete.

"My argument is we stay for a purpose, for a period, for progress," he said. "The goal is hard, but the goal is clear."



‘Kabul, Islamabad should join hands against militants’

By Razeshta Sethna

Saturday, 21 Nov, 2009

KARACHI: Kabul and Islamabad should make joint efforts to politically isolate the Taliban, according to Dr Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister of Afghanistan.

Movement of militants across the porous Pak-Afghan border was neither in the interest of Pakistan nor of Afghanistan. However, there were no quick fixes, said Dr Abdullah, who polled 31 per cent of the valid votes cast in the recent Afghan presidential elections, but pulled out of the run-off poll.

In an interview with DawnNews on Friday, he said political will and resolve were needed to deal effectively with the growing insurgency.

Dr Abdullah was of the view that insurgency in Afghanistan had grown so much that the security situation could not be improved without deployment of additional US troops. In an apparent criticism of President Hamid Karzai, he said the international community needed a credible ‘Afghan partner’ to ease the crisis.

About India’s growing involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s concerns over it, the 49-year-old former minister said rather diplomatically that all the three countries needed to curb terrorist violence that affected their peoples.

The Afghans had learnt their lessons the hard way, Dr Abdullah said. They sought good governance, access to justice and development, and security — all of which would contribute to their survival.

About the reasons for not contesting the run-off poll, he said he had proposed certain reforms in the Independent Election Commission to ensure credibility and transparency. One of the conditions was the sacking of Azizullah Lodin, the head of the commission.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/kabul%2C-islamabad-should-join-hands-against-militants-119


Afghanistan Is The Worst Place To Be Born: UN

REUTERS 21 November 2009,

GENEVA: Eight years after a US-led invasion ousted the Taliban from power in Afghanistan, the war-ravaged state is the most dangerous place in

the world for a child to be born, the United Nations said.

It is especially dangerous for girls, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said in launching its annual flagship report, ‘The State of the World’s Children’.

Afghanistan has the highest infant mortality rate in the world — deaths per 1,000 live births, and 70% of the population lacks access to clean water, the agency said.

As Taliban insurgents increase their presence across the country, growing insecurity is also making it hard to carry out vital vaccination campaigns against polio, a crippling disease still endemic in the country, and measles that can kill children.

“Afghanistan today is without a doubt the most dangerous place to be born,” said Daniel Toole, UNICEF regional director for South Asia.

Some 43% of the country is now off-limits to aid agencies due to insecurity, according to Toole



Afghan lady Sabera gets justice in India; wins battle against an Indian Army doctor

Manash Pratim Gohain

20 November 2009,

NEW DELHI: Her's is a love story gone sour and she travelled from Kabul to New Delhi almost a year ago to seek justice. Even as Afghan translator

Bibi Sabera, 20, has won the battle against an Indian Army doctor who allegedly abandoned her after marriage in Afghanistan, she is staying on in India for a pending bigamy case against him.

On Wednesday, the sessions court upheld the trial court's directions to Major Chandrasekhar Pant to pay Sabera a monthly maintenance. Now, Sabera is all set for a longer tryst with the country after this latest victory.

So what has her stay in India been like? "People here have been very kind to me and I can never forget the help I got from all quarters. But I am still waiting for justice. Despite the two court’s ruling in my favour, the Army is yet to take action and there is another case pending. So I would continue to be in India and fight the case. I am also learning about Indian culture,'' said Sabera.

Sabera has alleged that Pant, who was associated with the Indira Gandhi Hospital run by the Indian mission in Kabul, married her during his stay in Afghanistan in 2006. At that time, she was acting as a translator for another doctor but Pant asked for her services, she said. In time, he asked for her hand in marriage. When Sabera's parents refused the match on the ground that they were from different religions and that Pant was much older than her, he converted to Islam to convince her parents.

In 2008, Sabera arrived in India to find Pant. After a year she feels that her hard circumstances have made her more confident. "I am a lot more confident now, thanks to the friends I made in India. I don't know what would have happened as I knew no one when I came to India. But the support I got here has turned me into a completely different individual.''

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/For-Sabera-half-the-battle-won/articleshow/5248705.cms


Afghanistan announces army upgrade

November 21, 2009

Afghanistan's defence ministry has unveiled plans to expand the national army's size three-fold - a move that will bring the total troop level to 240,000.

The decision, announced on Saturday by Abdul Rahim Wardak, the defence minister, coincides with mounting international concern over the rising level of violence in the country.

It also comes a day after at least 25 people were killed in four separate bombings, including an attack on a regional commander turned politician who survived.

The surge in violence is happening as Barack Obama, the US president, weighs the consequences of sending extra American troops to Afghanistan.

General Stanley McChrystral, the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan, has presented a number of options, including a maximum of 80,000 troops, another option of about 40,000 and a third scenario with some 20,000, according to US media.

There are more than 100,000 Nato-led troops now stationed in Afghanistan, including nearly 68,000 American soldiers.

Karzai criticised

Obama is being pulled in opposition directions by fellow Democrats and Republicans.

The speaker of the House of Representatives said on Friday that there may not be sufficient political support for additional deployment, especially when Washington has an unworthy partner in Hamid Karzai, the Afghan president.

"How can we ask the American people to pay a big price in lives and limbs, and also in dollars, if we don't have a connection to a reliable partner?" Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, told National Public Radio.

"So, you know, the whole thing is let's not just talk about troops. Let's talk about what is the strategy and what are the resources that are needed in that regard."

For his part, Robert Gates, the defence secretary, said Washington must tighten control of Afghan aid contracts as a first step towards stemming rampant corruption.

Full report at: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2009/11/2009112135631774840.html


Kashmir talks futile without Pakistan: FM

Saturday, 21 Nov, 2009

MULTAN, Nov 20: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has warned that dialogue between the government of India and the leadership from occupied Kashmir cannot succeed without engaging Pakistan which is a party to the dispute.

Talking to journalists here on Friday, the foreign minister said Pakistan was not engaged in back-channel diplomacy with India over Kashmir.

He said he had met All Parties’ Hurriyat Conference chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in New York and invited the leadership of occupied Kashmir to Pakistan and a delegation was likely to visit Islamabad after Eid.

Mr Qureshi said he had held an informal meeting with the Indian foreign minister in Kabul where both attended the swearing-in ceremony of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

He said he had made it clear to the Indian minister that Pakistan wanted constructive engagement and meaningful dialogue.

And now it was for India to decide what it wanted in the future because Pakistan was not interested in a ‘photo session’.

Mr Qureshi said he had asked the Indian foreign minister about a roadmap for resumption of composite dialogue handed over to him during an earlier meeting in New York. He said the Indian minister had promised that he would inform Pakistan after discussing the matter with his government but there was no reply yet from his side.

The foreign minister said resumption of dialogue was not only in the interest of Pakistan and India, but also beneficial for the entire region.

Full report at: http://www.dawn.com/wps/wcm/connect/dawn-content-library/dawn/the-newspaper/front-page/kashmir-talks-futile-without-pakistan-fm-119


Hasan had intensified contact with cleric

By Carrie Johnson, Spencer S. Hsu and Ellen Nakashima

November 21, 2009

In the months before the deadly shootings at Fort Hood, Army Maj. Nidal M. Hasan intensified his communications with a radical Yemeni American cleric and began to discuss surreptitious financial transfers and other steps that could translate his thoughts into action, according to two sources briefed on a collection of secret e-mails between the two.

The e-mails were obtained by an FBI-led task force in San Diego between late last year and June but were not forwarded to the military, according to government and congressional sources. Some were sent to the FBI's Washington field office, triggering an assessment into whether they raised national security concerns, but those intercepted later were not, the sources said.

Hasan's contacts with extremist imam Anwar al-Aulaqi began as religious queries but took on a more specific and concrete tone before he moved to Texas, where he allegedly unleashed the Nov. 5 attack that killed 13 people and wounded nearly three dozen, said the sources who were briefed on the e-mails, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the case is sensitive and unfolding. One of those sources said the two discussed in "cryptic and coded exchanges" the transfer of money overseas in ways that would not attract law enforcement attention.

"He [Hasan] clearly became more radicalized toward the end, and was having discussions related to the transfer of money and finances . . .," said the source, who spoke at length in part because he was concerned the public accounting of the events has been incomplete. "It became very clear toward the end of those e-mails he was interested in taking action."

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) said Friday that he would investigate the handling of the e-mails -- 18 or 19 in all -- and why military officials were not aware of them before the deadly attack. Levin told reporters after a briefing from Pentagon staff members that "there are some who are reluctant to call it terrorism, but there is significant evidence that it is."

Bits and pieces of Hasan's communications with Aulaqi have become public since the Fort Hood massacre, but the sources provided the most detailed description yet of the messages. The e-mails will help investigators determine whether Hasan's alleged actions were motivated by psychological deterioration or inspired by radical religious views he found online and through e-mail exchanges with Aulaqi.

The sources said the e-mail correspondence is particularly troubling because Aulaqi, who has been on the law enforcement radar for years, is considered by U.S. officials to be an al-Qaeda supporter who has inspired terrorism suspects in Britain, Canada and the United States. Lawmakers and counterterrorism experts have questioned why no one in the government interceded earlier given Aulaqi's history and Hasan's military position.

Full report at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/11/20/AR2009112004381.html?hpid=topnews


Pakistan faces a 'demographic disaster': Report

21 November 2009

LONDON: Pakistan faces a "demographic disaster" if its leaders fail to invest in a youth population that is disturbingly cynical about democracy, a report claimed today.

The report, commissioned by the British Council, said Pakistan is at the crossroads and its younger generation is losing faith in democracy.

"Pakistan is at a crossroads. It can harness the energy of that generation and collect a demographic dividend. But if they fail to get jobs and are poorly educated, it faces a demographic disaster," said David Steven, an academic, who helped write the report.

The report said the nuclear-armed country is at a critical point, with its population forecast to swell by 85 million, from its current 180 million, over the next two decades.

Half of Pakistan's population are aged under 20, with two-thirds still to reach their 30th birthday.

But they are deeply divided about how the country should be run. Only a third believe democracy is the best system of governance, one third support sharia law, while 7 per cent think dictatorship is a good idea.



Pak father-son duo held in Italy for Mumbai attacks

PTI 21 November 2009

LONDON: Tracing new links to the Mumbai carnage, a Pakistani father-son duo was today arrested from Italy for allegedly managing money transfer to finance phone communications of the attackers following leads from Indian and US investigators.

The two men, who ran a money transfer agency, were arrested in an early morning raid from the northern Italian city of Brescia, police said.

The duo has been identified by the police as Mohammad Yaqub Janjua, 60, and Aamer Yaqub Janjua, 31. They have been accused of aiding and abetting international terrorism as well as illegal financial activity.

On November 25, 2008, a day before the attacks, they transferred USD 229 to activate an internet phone account that was used by the attackers and their accomplices, said Stefano Fonzi, the head of anti-terror police in Brescia.

The funds that enabled the terrorists to be in touch with their handlers in Pakistan were transferred under the identity of another Pakistani man who had never been to Italy and was not involved in the attacks, reports from Italy said.

The two managed a money transfer agency where it is reported to be a common practice to transfer funds using false identities. The Italian police arrested the two men in an early morning raid in Brescia, the police said in a statement.

Italian police started their investigation the following month after being alerted by Indian authorities and the FBI that funds had been transferred from Italy, Fonzi said.



6 nations press Iran to accept nuke plan

Slobodan Lekic

Saturday, November 21, 2009

BRUSSELS | Representatives of six world powers urged Iran on Friday to accept a U.N. plan aimed at delaying its ability to build a nuclear weapon, as the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency warned Tehran not to miss the opportunity to resolve the dispute.

A European Union official said there was no mention of imposing sanctions against Iran for its refusal to halt nuclear enrichment activities at the meeting of senior diplomats from the U.N. Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany.

"These things are a matter of timing, and this was not the right time for it," said the official who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The talks in Brussels involved political directors - foreign ministry officials below ministerial level. The United States was represented by Undersecretary of State William Burns, and Russia by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

The talks came just a day after President Obama said the six nations will develop a package of serious new punitive measures in coming weeks. He did not give details.

On Wednesday, Tehran indicated it would not export its enriched uranium for further processing, effectively rejecting the latest plan brokered by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and aimed at delaying Iran's ability to build a nuclear weapon.

Under the IAEA plan, Iran would export its uranium for enrichment in Russia and France. There it would be converted into fuel rods, which would be returned to Iran about a year later. The rods can power reactors but cannot be readily turned into weapons-grade material.

A statement issued by the political directors expressed disappointment over Iran's failure to engage in intensified talks since a promising meeting on Oct. 1 in Geneva. The West says Tehran agreed in principle to export that amount in one shipment during the Geneva talks - something Iranian officials have denied.

The statement also noted that Tehran had not responded positively to the IAEA proposal.

Full report at: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/21/six-nations-press-iran-to-accept-nuclear-plan/?feat=home_headlines


Islamic scholar condemns football violence in Egypt


Source: The Peninsula

DOHA: Noted Islamic scholar, Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi (pictured), yesterday described as devils those who introduced the game of soccer, while decrying the row between Egypt and Algeria over the World Cup qualifying playoff in Khartoum.

In his Friday sermon, the cleric came down heavily on Egyptians and Algerians indulging in violence in Cairo, Khartoum and Algiers.

Egypt won the match against Algeria in Cairo nearly a week ago, but due to the points system had to play with them again, in Khartoum, on Wednesday, losing 1-0 to Algeria.

This is the second time Algeria has qualified for the World Cup soccer to be held in South Africa next year. In Cairo, the Algerian football team was attacked after the match, while in Khartoum there was violence between Egyptian and Algerian spectators on Wednesday.

And since then Egyptian businesses and people based in Algiers are being targeted in mob attacks, with Arab leaders calling for calm. Egypt has recalled its ambassador from Algeria for talks and registered protest with the Algerian ambassador in Cairo.

Al Qaradawi, who is respected all over the Arab and Islamic world and heads the global association of Islamic scholars, said he was upset over the development, describing it uncalled for.

“Who introduced this game of soccer,” he wondered, describing them as satanic. Why should people from two brotherly Arab countries fight, that too, over a trivial game?” he quizzed.

“The Israelis must be mocking at us, Arabs. They must be happy hearing of people from two brotherly Arab countries fighting with one another.”

The cleric said people must realise that football is merely a sport and cannot resolve problems like unemployment which is rampant in the Arab world.

“And if by winning the game we enter the paradise, the fight can be justified, but can we enter the heaven if we win a game of soccer?”

Full report at: http://www.thepeninsulaqatar.com/Display_news.asp?section=Local_News&subsection=Qatar+News&month=November2009&file=Local_News200911211367.xml


Islam's first superheroes taking the world by storm

‘The 99,’ the first comic book based on Islamic archetypes is set for television smash

By Matthew Mosley

Daily Star staff

Saturday, November 21, 2009

BEIRUT: Pow! Forbes names “The 99” as one of the top 20 pop culture trends sweeping the globe. Shazzam! “The 99” theme park opens. Kerboom! Endemol begins work on an animated television series featuring “The 99” superhero characters. Slam! “The 99” creator Dr. Naif al-Mutawa is described as one of the 500 most influential Muslims by Jordan’s Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

The seemingly unstoppable rise of “The 99,” Mutawa’s collection of comic-book superheroes, is littered with the kind of accolades that make rivals as green as, well, the Hulk.

On Thursday, the former clinical psychologist appeared at the American University of Beirut (AUB). Invited by the Centre for American Studies and Research (CASAR), Mutawa spoke about the genesis of his supernatural creations.

It’s no coincidence that CASAR issued the invite: funded by the Saudi Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud, CASAR was founded alongside centres in numerous Arab and Western Universities after the calamity of September 11, 2001, to help bridge the cultural divide.

“The 99” similarly rose from the ashes of the World Trade Centre attacks, and aims to produce comics that foster understanding between East and West.

“For me, the attackers were trying to take down Islam under the Twin Towers,” he said of the September 11 attacks. “I had to fight back.”

“The 99” claims to be the first group of superheroes born of an Islamic archetype. “American superheroes all spring from the Judeo-Christian-Greek back story,” he said. “Superman, Batman, Spiderman – like biblical prophets, they are all orphans. They all receive some kind of message from above. They all reject their power before deciding to use it for good.”

Mutawa even made a convincing case that “Waterworld,” the 1995 mega-flop starring Kevin Costner, is a retelling of the Book of Genesis.

 “Hollywood does this again and again,” said Mutawa. “But no-one had ever done this with the Koran.”

Full report at: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp?edition_id=1&categ_id=4&article_id=108956


Sufis spread Islam in subcontinent, says Taseer

November 21, 2009

Daily Times Monitor

LAHORE: Islam preaches peace and the religion was spread in the subcontinent by the Sufis, not by armed men, Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer said on Friday.

Talking to reporters at the FC College, he doubted the methods adopted by the Transparency International in preparing its reports.

“I am not very clear about Transparency International and I seriously doubt this organisation,” he said.

He said corruption was always exploited, and even the country’s print media was actively publishing such stories. He said one thing that was clear was that such reports and figures could not help anybody. To a question, he said that he would not comment on the internal politics of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.

To a question, Taseer said the present government was facing a real tough time but would face all these challenges with courage.

He said youth were the country’s future. He advised students to work hard to meet the challenges of 21st century. He said that Islam and a balanced education taughtf tolerance.



British movie producer to explore Jesus's India link

Shreya Roy Chowdhury

20 November 2009,

NEW DELHI: He's worked with some of the world's finest actors: Alec Guinness, Helen Mirren, Jodie Foster, Judy Davis, Helena Bonham-Carter among

others. But British film producer Kent Walwin's latest project could yet be his most exciting: Young Jesus — The Missing Years, on the years of Christ's life not described in the Gospels, and which, believe some, were spent in India. The cast for the 3D film is yet to be decided.

"Our film is on the Apostolic Gospels. Young Jesus is last seen when he's 13-14 years old. There are references to the Holy Family settling in Nazareth. Next time he appears is at 30 when he begins his ministry. People asked what happened. He was growing in wisdom and stature, but also lived a human life," explains Walwin, who came to the Capital to receive an award.

According to some accounts, Christ travelled to India as a youngster. "Jesus talked in parables and you could take that to India," says Walwin. He adds, "The film will put the question out there. The first act is based on the Gospels. The second will be conjecture. There is freedom for us to see what we can do. There is no written story. The film ends with Baptism," he said.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/British-movie-producer-to-explore-Jesuss-India-link/articleshow/5249185.cms


Secret text on Shroud of Turin shows it's not fake'

AP 21 November 2009,

ROME: A Vatican researcher claims she has found a nearly invisible text on the Shroud of Turin and says the discovery proves the authenticity of the artifact revered as Jesus’ burial cloth.

The claim made in a new book by historian Barbara Frale drew immediate skepticism from some scientists, who maintain the shroud is a medieval forgery.

Frale, a researcher at the Vatican archives, says the faint writing emerged through computer analysis of photos of the shroud, which is not normally accessible for study.

Frale says the jumble of Greek, Latin and Aramaic includes the words “Jesus Nazarene” and mentions he was sentenced to death. She believes the text was written on a document by a clerk to identify the body and the ink then seeped into the cloth. A 1988 carbon dating of a fragment of the cloth dated it to the Middle Ages.



Apocalypse film 'un-Islamic', say clerics

21 November 2009

JAKARTA: Hollywood’s latest doomsday offering ‘2012’ has caused a storm in Indonesia, with conservative clerics condemning it as a “provocation against Islam”.

Screenings have been sold out across the capital Jakarta following the film’s success in North America, where it beat Disney’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ to top the box office honours last weekend. It looks likely to repeat its success in Indonesia, with the world’s biggest Muslim population, judging by the queues at cinemas in its opening days this week.

But while most viewers said they had enjoyed the film’s apocalyptic vision of life after December 21, 2012, when the fulfilment of a Mayan prophecy sees the Earth engulfed by catastrophe, senior clerics were deeply troubled.

The country’s top Islamic body, the National Council of Ulema (MUI), is divided over whether or not to issue a fatwa or religious edict against the film. One local branch has already done so, to little apparent effect. “The controversial things about the film are, first, in Islam doomsday should not be visualised or predicted, it’s the secret of God,” council chairman Amidhan said.

“For the common people, the portrayal of doomsday in this film could distort their faith — that’s what I’m worried about.” He also complained that the film showed mosques being destroyed but not churches, despite sequences depicting the Vatican collapsing and Rio de Janeiro’s monumental Christ the Redeemer statue crumbling to pieces.

“The film shows that everything including Kaaba (Islam holiest shrine) and mosques were devastated except for churches. The film is a provocation against Islam,” Amidhan said.



Using ISI money, spy bought his way

Dwaipayan Ghosh,

21 November 2009

NEW DELHI: Investigation into the trail left behind by an alleged Pakistani spy has revealed that on most occasions he used money, supplied by

pakistani intelligence agency ISI, to buy his way in. Sleuths probing the case of Syed Aamir Ali alias Jabbar, who was arrested from the IGI Airport on November 12, said he stayed at a Paharganj hotel in the capital before shifting to Lucknow about five years ago.

After entering India through Nepal without a passport, Ali reached Delhi via Uttar Pradesh and stayed in a hotel for two days. He developed acquaintance with one Khalil in Delhi. Sources said this friendship came handy for Ali when he shifted to Lucknow.

Khalil introduced Ali to two touts at the passport office. The touts Mohammad Arshad and Chand are in custody of the special cell. It has emerged that the touts had not only arranged passports, but had also arranged an accommodation for Ali after money changed hands. "This money came through Western Money Transfer Union. Even as Ali received the money, he trained himself as a mobile technician to keep a low profile while in India. He opened a bank account to keep part of the Rs 4 lakh payout that he had received,'' said a source.

"A Major taught him how to use the web effectively. This is the reason why Ali never contacted his handler through a cellphone. He was also taught Hindi so that he could mix with the local people. The fact that Ali worked as a small-time electrician in Pakistan only helped his cause,'' said an officer.

According to investigators, Ali reportedly took up the "job of a spy'' as he needed money. Sources claim the accused's father was paid "handsomely.''

Sleuths working on the case claimed they were looking for a laptop belonging to the "accused.'' "We believe it has been passed on to his accomplice. However, we are also looking at some cyber cafes where Ali had gone. We have seized some important records and documents,'' said a senior officer in special cell.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Using-ISI-money-spy-bought-his-way/articleshow/5252689.cms


How you can eat meat and not kill

21 November 2009,

It might be possible to produce steaks in vats without any livestock. Technology will soon advance to the point where it will be possible to grow meat inside labs, without the need for the actual living things that wear it for some time before being killed for it, say scientists.

Even today, it is possible to grow tiny nuggets of meat inside special laboratories around the world, but the existing capabilities do not even come close to the vast amounts needed to satisfy the needs of the general population.

Pork chops or burgers cultivated in labs could eliminate contamination problems that regularly generate headlines these days, as well as address environmental concerns that come with industrial livestock farms, reports Livescience.com.

Increasingly, bioengineers are growing nerve, heart and other tissues in labs. Recently, scientists even reported developing artificial penis tissue in rabbits. Although such research is meant to help treat patients, biomedical engineer Mark Post at Maastricht University in the Netherlands and his colleagues suggest it could also help feed the rising demand for meat worldwide.

Stem cells are considered the most promising source for such meat, retaining as they do the capacity to transform into the required tissues, and the scientists pointed to satellite cells, which are the natural muscle stem cells responsible for regeneration and repair in adults.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/science/How-you-can-eat-meat-and-not-kill/articleshow/5252918.cms


Rana and Headley have elite Pak antecedents

Chidanand Rajghatta

19 November 2009,

WASHINGTON: Emerging profiles of Pakistani expatriates Tahawwur Hussain Rana and Daood Gilani a.k.a. David Headley, the two principal accused in a transcontinental terror plot, show they belonged to elite Pakistani families rooted in the military and the diplomatic world, far removed from the clichéd image of indigent madrassa recruits that is often associated with Pakistani terrorism. It appears they are both in the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed/ Mohammed Atta/Omar Sheikh mould - Pakistani transplants in the west who struggled to come to terms with liberal western outlook.

That they both went to Hasan Abdal Cadet College, an elite boys’ military residential school in Pakistan that counts generals and diplomats among its alumni is well known through the FBI affidavit. But it now emerges that while both Rana and Gilani migrated to the west in their teens, they retain considerable influential family connections in Pakistan. Two of Rana’s brothers are said to be serving officers in the Pakistan army; and Gilani’s pedigree is as privileged - he is the son of a now deceased diplomat Saleem Gilani.

The discovery that two expatriates well-entrenched in America but having active military-diplomatic connections in Pakistan has sent alarms through security establishments because of how easily they could move between the two worlds. On Thursday, in a calculated leak the US media, American officials directly linked the duo to a former Pakistani military officer, though, the New York Times reported circumspectly, ''they have long suspected connections between extremists and many members of the Pakistani military.''

The Pakistani military's connections to terrorism are rather more direct, best illustrated in reported telephone intercepts that show both current army chief Ashfaq Pervez Kayani and his predecessor Pervez Musharraf (during the Kargil infiltration) endorsing terrorists and their tactics. Washington is still coy about outing Pakistan on this matter, but for the first time, US officials are sending out unmistakable signals that they know the Pakistani military is involved in terrorist activities and will not hesitate to call them on this.

Full report at: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Rana-and-Headley-have-elite-Pak-antecedents/articleshow/5248465.cms


Headley chase: Hunt on for mystery woman

Dwaipayan Ghosh

20 November 2009

NEW DELHI: The probe into LeT operative David Coleman Headley's visit to several Indian cities is now trying to zero in on a mystery woman who

had allegedly been in touch with Headley while he was in Delhi and Mumbai. The woman is thought to be a close associate of Amir Raza Khan, who helped set up Indian Mujahideen in the country, and is one of the prime accused in the Delhi serial blasts on September 13, 2008.

"The call records of Headley suggests he was in touch with a number of women in India. However, he was particularly contacted by this woman whenever he came to Delhi," said a source.

The woman is also reported to be active in arranging for hideouts in Bangladesh, Pakistan and a few other countries for Raza. "The woman is from Kolkata, but later shifted to New Delhi. This shows that along with Riyaz Bhatkal, Headley knew about each IM operative carrying out terror operations from Indian soil," a police source said.

According to NIA sources, Raza had formed the Asif Raza Commando Force (ARCF) that carried out the shooting outside the American Centre at Kolkata in 2002. After Kolkata Police arrested its local operatives, Asif Raza (Amir's brother) was killed in an encounter in Rajkot by the Gujarat police. Raza then fled to Dubai and is believed to be in constant touch with LeT bosses based in PoK and Karachi.

"The fact that Tahawwur Hussain Rana and his wife came to India from Dubai and interviewed 'candidates' at Ahmedabad and Kochi and again went back there on November 2008 shows that Headley and Rana used bases outside the subcontinent to stay in touch," added the source.

Full report at:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Headley-chase-Hunt-on-for-mystery-woman-/articleshow/5249190.cms


Mad dog's Muslim rant exposes hidden pain


November 21, 2009

So the mad dog of the Middle East is after Berlusconi’s beauties. And not just one or two high paid hookers. Colonel Gaddafi  wants them in their hundreds and he’s happy to pay around 50 Euro’s a piece. Which sounds cheap, if it’s sex he’s after; but he’s not. He’s after the soul of their sex.

The story doing the international rounds this week about the crazy Libyan despot’s attempts to convert Italian women to Islam is funny. But like much tragi-comedy, beneath the slapstick lurks something that makes us very uncomfortable, even while we laugh.

Having ruled his fiefdom with unchallenged power for some 40 years, Gaddafi remains utterly contemptuous of the West; its traditions, rule of law, and its various religions. Most importantly, he is contemptuous of Western women.

He ranted like a demented fool during his last appearance in the US, demanding to know who killed JFK. And at an international gathering earlier this year he roared into the microphone that he was the one and only “king of kings of Africa and imam of Muslims”.

But this week, while attending a United Nations global food summit, Gaddafi grabbed the headlines not for raving, but for chasing girls. On the face of it that’s hardly shocking, particularly given the craggy faced 67 year old tyrant insists on travelling with 40 female bodyguards: all of whom are young, beautiful, and supposedly virgins. But it wasn’t his sexual urge that led to 200 women patiently sitting before him; it was Gaddafi’s mad and dangerous spiritual urge.

The crazed Libyan leader who celebrates appalling acts of violence and mayhem, wanted to turn these women away from their “Christian” god, and their “wrong” religion, and towards Islam instead. “God’s religion is Islam” he reportedly bellowed at the surprised young crowd.

Full report at:http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/mad-dogs-muslim-rant-exposes-hidden-pain-20091121-irvj.html


Muslims, critics have work to do, Islamic scholar says

Shaykh Hamza Yusuf has strong medicine for American Muslims — and their critics.

American Muslims “should really stop complaining,” start contributing more to society, get to know your neighbors and oppose the dangerous versions of Islam that have migrated to this country.

To critics: Stop demanding Muslims apologize for every act of violence committed by someone in the name of Islam, and recognize that Muslims throughout the world have suffered tremendous violence in recent decades.

One might think such messages would shrink Yusuf’s audience, yet the Islamic scholar has become a much-sought speaker among Muslims — particularly young ones seeking American-accented expressions of their faith.

He delivered these messages to several hundred earlier in November at the annual banquet of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Kentucky. He drew strong applause from the crowd, and many lined up afterward for his book signing.

Yusuf is an American-born convert who studied Islam and Arabic in the Middle East. He founded Zaytuna Institute, an Islamic college in California, and has drawn attention beyond the Muslim world especially after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, when he hailed the murdered firefighters and police officers as the true martyrs of that day.

Yusuf quipped during his Louisville speech that as a convert, some view him as “the most dangerous kind” of Muslim and that like many Muslims he’s been subjected to extensive airport screenings.

But past American immigrants such as Yusuf’s Irish ancestors would love to exchange their struggles for “a little searching at the airports,” he said.

“Of all immigrants — with the possible exception of the Hindu migration after the 1965 immigration act — nobody has had it easier than the Muslims,” he said. “If you want to talk about difficulties, talk to the Chinese Americans about their history. Talk to the Japanese Americans about their history. … If you think everybody’s going to embrace and help you and say, ‘Welcome to America,’ you have not read American history. … You have to prove yourselves.”

Catholics, he said, built hospitals, charities and schools so good that Protestants began sending their children to them.

“Now Catholics are part of this country,” he said.

And Muslims will be, too, he said, “when we open the free clinics in the worst part of town, when we start feeding people, when we start taking care of our African-American brothers.”

Full report at:http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20091120/NEWS01/911200387/Muslims++critics+have+work+


Treat Muslims as equal people, not minorities

November 21, 2009

John Kiernan

The Times Union's editorial on the tragic events at Fort Hood preaches calm and restraint while stating the politically correct conclusion: Maj. Malik Nadal Hasan was suffering "an utter collapse of an individual soldier's mental stability."

That statement demonstrates the editorial writer had already formed an opinion without the benefit of serious investigation while chiding the public not to jump to conclusions.

The reason for writing the editorial seems clear -- to further the myth that there are no radicals in Islam, only victims.

As information becomes more available, we learn that the major had anti-military and anti-American feelings. He claimed his nationality was Palestinian. He exchanged e-mails with an al-Qaida linked mullah in Yemen. We know that he purchased two guns and went through the required waiting period. We know that he gave away all his possessions before the murders, saying he would no longer need them. We also know that you legally cannot claim to have post-traumatic stress disorder because people tell you what combat is like.

The editorial writer asks what can be done to stop these acts. The answer is really quite obvious.

Drop the PC stuff. Islam is a religion, not a race. Do not treat Muslims as minorities. There are 1.5 billion of them around the world. Treat them as people, as Americans.

If a Catholic solider had written 20 e-mails to the IRA and if he had preached against America, I assure you he would have never gotten through the FBI check to purchase those weapons.

Until we eliminate the political correctness that has penetrated our culture, no one will be safe. Our country will not grow and become what the founders believed, that all men are created equal.



Russian Muslim Leaders Condemn Priest's Killing

November 20, 2009

MOSCOW -- A spokesman for the Spiritual Directorate of Muslims in Russia's European Territories has condemned the killing of Orthodox Priest Daniil Sysoyev in Moscow, RFE/RL's Russian Service reports.

Speaking to journalists in Moscow, Damir Gizatullin said that "a genuine believer of whatever confession could not commit such a horrendous crime."

Sysoyev was shot dead on November 19 by a masked individual in Moscow's St. Thomas Church.

Investigators say Sysoyev's death could be connected to his missionary activities.

Sysoyev actively propagated Orthodox Christianity among ethnic Tatars and other Muslim minorities in Russia.

One of his websites, "Orthodox Tatars," was devoted to propagating Orthodox Christianity among Tatars.

Some of his colleagues acknowledge that Sysoyev actively worked to convert Muslims to Orthodoxy.

Father Ioann, who worked with Sysoyev at his church, told RFE/RL that Sysoyev was working with Muslims and non-Orthodox Christians, "trying to bring them to Orthodox Christianity," and that he was not the only priest at the church doing such work.

A catechist at the church who identified herself only as Tatyana told RFE/RL that Sysoyev had converted many Muslims and baptized them in the church.

"He baptized Wahhabis. Some people suspect that maybe this [killing] was revenge for that, but no one knows yet. We won't talk about that," she said.

She said Sysoyev had received numerous e-mail threats and that he had reported the threats to the police.

Father Ioann also cautioned against jumping to the conclusion that the shooting was connected with Sysoyev's conversion of Muslims.

"We don't have the right to put forward any versions right now because we do not know who did this," he said.

Sysoyev himself came from a family of Christianized Tatars, and recently published a book titled "Marriage To A Muslim," in which he argued that Orthodox women should not marry Muslims.



Women in Iraqi police a sign of progress

By John Hughes

Saturday, Nov. 21, 2009

Ever seem to you that the news from the Middle East is always bleak? Well, take heart. From Iraq, where the United States sought to plant seeds of democracy, there is evidence of some budding.

The good news is that Shiites and Sunnis and Kurds have been trying to resolve tough procedural issues over oil rights and shares of seats in parliament, not with guns and bombs in the streets, but in parliament itself. Despite some glitches, the aim is to enable a landmark national election to go forward in January. Whether or not they make that deadline, this is democracy in action, albeit fragile democracy.

But even more significant news, a major step for women, went largely unnoticed outside Iraq. Fifty women graduated alongside male classmates as senior officers in the national police force. In next year's class, there will be 100 of them. The jobs are among the highest-paying in Iraq. The majority of the women in this year's class finished law school. There have been some women in lower police ranks, but they have not until now been eligible for the elite officers' corps.

Although the world's attention has latterly moved from Iraq to Afghanistan, this new recognition of women in a male-dominated Arab world is important. As Tom Friedman, now a columnist, but with long experience in the region, said: Transforming Iraq will impact the whole Arab Muslim world. Change in Afghanistan will just change Afghanistan.

Full report at:http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705346105/Women-in-Iraqi-police-a-sign-of-


PM 'assures' Mahesh Bhatt of justice in son Rahul's case

Anil Singh

21 November 2009

MUMBAI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has replied to filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt's letter appealing to him for justice and assured him that the points he had raised would be considered.

Bhatt had written to the PM on November 15, saying that the agencies investigating the David Headley case had been grossly unfair to his family and him. On Friday, he received a letter dated November 16 from Jaideep Sarkar, private secretary to Manmohan Singh, saying, ``The PM has told me to acknowledge your letter and inform you that the Home Minister has been told to look into the matter.''

``The PM's prompt response is heartwarming and it gives me hope, now that a conscientious man is aware of my plight,'' said a relieved Bhatt.

TOI was the first to carry an interview with Bhatt and his daughter Pooja on November 15 where they spoke about feeling let down by the security establishment in the manner in which Bhatt's son Rahul and his friend Vilas Varak were being portrayed as suspects rather than as a dutiful citizens who had volunteered to provide information on a terrorist.

``God help us if our sense of fair play is not the strongest of our feelings. An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. I with great anguish, urgently bring to your notice that the security agencies of our nation, who were completely on the wrong track as far as the Headley investigation was concerned, and were clueless to the identity of `Rahul' in the case, have been grossly unfair to my family and myself,'' Bhatt wrote to the PM.

Bhatt had let out steam in the missive to the PM asking him, “Is this how India rewards its civil society when it risks everything to stand up for the country's honour and security?''

Full report at:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/PM-assures-Mahesh-Bhatt-of-justice-in-son-Rahuls-case/articleshow/5255431.cms


Muslim publications fail to address the general public

Dr MM Basheer

21 November 2009

Kochi: Majority of the Muslim publications cannot present matters addressing the general public, opined Dr MM Basheer. He was speaking after releasing the special 60th anniversary edition of the ‘Prabodhanam’ weekly in Calicut on Friday.

Mr Basheer said that majority of the publications could not present public affairs in a wide angle keeping their own stand. Publications should inspire to work and relate Islam with other societies in the wide Islamic perspective. But majority of them are hard to understand and deal with subjects in a trivial manner. He added that publications should promote cultural, art and literary works too.

Writer UK Kumaran received the first copy of the anniversary special edition. Jamat e Islami state assistant amir Sheikh Muhammed Karakunnu delivered the main speech. TK Ubaid, editor of the ‘Prabodhanam’ weekly, presided over the session. O Abdurahman (editor of ‘Madhyamam’ daily), Navas Poonoor (editor of ‘Chandrika’ periodical), VM Ibrahim (Executive Editor of ‘Madhyamam’), Sadrudheen Vazhakkad (magazine editor of the anniversary edition), EKM Pannoor, PC Basheer and Fausiya Shams also spoke. Ashraf Keezhparamba (executive editor) welcomed the audience and K Hussain delivered the vote of thanks.

‘Prabodhanam’ is the weekly publication of the Jamat e Islami in Kerala. The weekly is the first publication run by Muslim management to complete sixty years in the state. The Jamat has organised various programmes that last a whole year from August 2009 to August 2010 on the occasion.



Japan, Turkey, UK, Saudi Arabia invited to Philippine peace process


Nov. 21 2009

The Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front have invited Japan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia to form part of the International Contact Group (ICG) that will guarantee all agreements in the peace process of the two negotiating parties.

    In a statement on released on Saturday, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said of the four states that have been officially invited to join the ICG, only the UK, Japan and Turkey have showed positive signs that they are interested.

    Saudi Arabia, the MILF said, has yet to response to the official invitation sent through its ambassador in Manila.

    "The MILF top leadership has followed up the matter from the Kingdom's Foreign Ministry," MILF vice-chairman and chief negotiator Ghazali Jafaar said.

    Last month, the Philippine government and the MILF said they are ready to hold formal peace negotiations in Malaysia anytime following the signing of three confidence-building agreements crucial to the resumption of talks.

    Malaysia is the facilitator of the peace talks which collapsed in August last year after the botched signing of the controversial Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD).

    The government and MILF peace panels are just waiting word from the Malaysian government for the resumption of formal peace talks.

    The MILF, which the Philippine military says has 11,000 fighters, is the largest group battling for self-rule in Mindanao. A final peace agreement is expected to end more than four decades of Muslim rebellion in Southern Philippines. 



Russia's most high-profile antiracism activist Takes On Nationalists In Russian Youth's Civil War

November 21, 2009

He was a former punk rocker called "the Bone breaker." He was known for organizing underground bare-knuckle boxing matches. And he was one of Russia's most high-profile antiracism activists.

Ivan Khutorskoi had survived a few attacks by militant nationalists -- once with a knife, once with a razor, and once with a screwdriver. But the burly 26-year-old's luck ran out on November 16 when he was shot dead in the stairwell of his apartment on the outskirts of Moscow.

A day later, Khutorskoi's allies in Russia's growing antifascist movement, known as "Antifa," struck back.

Scores of Antifa activists descended on the headquarters of the pro-Kremlin youth group Young Russia -- which Antifa members say has ties to extreme nationalists. The activists smashed windows with metal rods, threw stones and garbage, and clashed with Young Russia members.

Observers say they expect the violent struggle between Antifa activists and militant nationalist youths to escalate:

"This isn't a game. What is going on between Nazis and Antifa is a full-fledged war," Ilya Yashin, a youth leader with Solidarity, the anti-Kremlin group whose founders include Garry Kasparov, tells RFE/RL's Russian Service.

"At this time it is like a partisan war with guerrillas fighting in an urban jungle. But it is a real war nonetheless."

This emerging war, analysts say, pits two highly politicized and increasingly militant youth camps, each with starkly different visions of Russia's future, against each other.

The nationalist groups, whose ranks number in the tens of thousands, say they want a "Russia for Russians" and have long been targeting foreigners, ethnic minorities, and antiracism activists with brutal -- and often lethal -- attacks.

Ultranationalists march in Moscow to mark National Unity Day on November 4.

The Antifa activists, whose numbers are considerably smaller, have a more cosmopolitan vision for their country and have forged ties with antifascist activists abroad.

In the past they employed a defensive strategy, simply seeking to protect minorities from attacks.

But as their ranks have grown, they have increasingly become targets themselves.

"A few years ago, they couldn't even fight. Now no antifascist leader can feel safe when they enter their apartment block. Any one of them can get a bullet in the head or suffer a blow with a metal pipe," Yashin says.

Rights Activists Concerned

But recently, Antifa began taking the fight to their enemy, staging their own attacks against known nationalists.

And that is a prospect that has disturbed some veteran human rights activists, who agree with Antifa's antiracism agenda and message -- but not their recent turn toward violence.

On November 19, a group of human rights luminaries -- including Lyudmila Alekseyeva of the Moscow Helsinki Group, Aleksandr Cherkasov of Memorial, Lev Ponomaryov of For Human Rights, and the liberal clergyman Gleb Yakunin -- issued an appeal to Antifa "not to succumb to provocations, to renounce violence, and not to become a bargaining chip in a dirty game."

Full report at: http://www.rferl.org/content/Antifa_Takes_On_Nationalists_In_Russian_Youths_Civil_War/1883674.html

URL of this Page: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/ram-jethmalani-linking-wahhabi-islam-with-terrorism-angers-saudi-ambassador/d/2120



  • Ram Jethmalani linking Wahhabi Islam with Terrorism


    Saeen Ram Jethmalani  is from a town [Shikarpur - Sindh] near my hometown [Jacobabad - Sindh], and he is very wrong. Sadly he is not very different from Mullahs due to their sweeping statements.


    Jamat-e-Islami, Qazi Hussain Ahmed, & SAUDI-INDIA TIES


    These dazed and confused Political Mullahs have no idea of International Politics, International Relations and Trade Relations when they miserably try to defend Pakistan and Pakistan's National Interest through Islamic Lense. Please go through the public statements issued by two Chiefs of Jamat-e-Islami and then read the details about Saudi-India Diplomatic and Trade Relations while keeping in mind the Rampant and Deviant Statements of Jamat-e-Islami Chiefs on Diplomatic Relations with Non-Muslim States.

    Qazi Hussain Ahmed, Former Amir (Chief) Jamat-e-Islami

    Qazi sees international conspiracy against nuclear Pakistan GEO TV Updated at: 1719 PST, Sunday, May 10, 2009 http://www.geo.tv/5-10-2009/41789.htm SIALKOT: Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) former Amir Qazi Hussain Ahmed on Sunday said that international conspiracies were being hatched against Pakistan due to its nuclear capability. Addressing a news conference here, he said that United States, Israel and India were behind these conspiracies against nuclear Pakistan. He regretted that Pakistan is an ally of non-Muslim states instead of Muslim nations. Ahmed underscored that the country needed to end its alliance with the U.S. to resolve all of its problems. Former JI Amir further said that “The United States wants to see Indian dominance in this part of the world.”

    Syed Munawar Hassan, Amir (Chief) Jamat-e-Islami

    The JI Ameer stated this while addressing a large rally of party activists on The Mall on Sunday [Military action may lead to martial law, says Munawwar By Our Correspondent LAHORE Monday, May 11, 2009 - The News International http://thenews.jang.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=176929] Speaking on the occasion, the JI Ameer said Pakistan at the moment was facing three enemies in form of US, Israel and India which were the centre of evils. Terming India a state full of conflicts, Munawwar said “India was the name of contradiction and conflict.” The JI Ameer stressed that focus should be made on the eastern border of the countries and a strict check must be kept on the evil designs of India. “Our army should concentrate on the eastern borders of the country”, said the JI Ameer.


    New Delhi, January 21-26, 2006.

    2006 News Story

    King Abdullah receives a warm welcome in India 01/26/2006


    King Abdullah, Prime Minister Singh and President Abdul Kalam at National Day

    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz is currently on a state visit to India, the first such visit by a Saudi king in more than 50 years. The visit aims to expand energy cooperation and trade relations with India, one of Asia’s fastest growing economies. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh broke protocol by personally receiving King Abdullah at the airport January 22, a sign of how much importance India attaches to the royal visit, the Arab News reported. King Abdullah was also the guest of honor at India’s Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi today. King Abdullah and the Prime Minister held official talks yesterday after a ceremonial reception at the presidential palace, which included a 21-gun salute.

    King Abdullah and Prime Minister Singh

    The talks focused on long-term security cooperation, including fighting terrorism, international crime and energy security. The two nations signed a number of agreements, including a Memorandum of Understanding on fighting terrorism, an accord to avoid double-taxation, and a convention to promote bilateral investment. Following their meeting, King Abdullah and the Prime Minister opened a Saudi business exhibition, where Saudi and Indian businessmen signed 10 economic agreements. Yesterday evening, King Abdullah met with Indian President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam at the presidential palace in New Delhi. In remarks, the King offered his thanks for the warm reception, and expressed optimism that his visit to India would be a vital step towards closer cooperation between the two nations. “India’s economic growth has attracted world attention. We are happy that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be one of India's major trade partners,” King Abdullah said. “Moreover, the Kingdom is also happy to host more than 1.5 million Indians who are contributing to the progress, development and prosperity of the two countries.”

    King Abdullah and President Abdul Kalam

    King Abdullah also expressed the hope that India would continue its supporting international efforts to achieve a fair and comprehensive resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Speaking to Saudi reporters in New Delhi Monday, Indian Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed described King Abdullah’s visit as “important and historic.” He said India attached great importance to the visit, which would further strengthen longstanding relations between India and Saudi Arabia, the Arab News reported.

    King Abdullah discusses trade in India

    Oil Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar said that India would extend an offer to Saudi Aramco to collaborate on a Hindustan Petroleum refinery project in Visakhapatnam in India’s southern Andhra Pradesh region. Aiyar also said he hopes to discuss bilateral issues with Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi, who is part of King Abdullah’s delegation. “The issue of hydrocarbon cooperation is also a component of bilateral talks that are going to be held between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the Saudi king,” Aiyar said, as quoted in the Arab News. “So far as the oil component of our energy security is concerned, we have a strong assurance from Saudi Arabia that any incremental requirement will be met by them,” he said. Aiyar also said that a 26 percent dependence on Saudi Arabia is optimal and that now there is a need to diversify oil sources. Saudi Arabia accounts for nearly a quarter of India’s total oil imports, which amount to around 1.9 million barrels per day.

    King Abdullah at ceremonial reception

    In an interview with India’s NDTV channel over the weekend, King Abdullah discussed bilateral relations between the two countries, as well as a number of regional and international issues of common interest, including energy and terrorism. The King underscored the friendly relations between Saudi Arabia and India, and said that he hopes India and Pakistan resolve their differences peacefully. Everything can be achieved through dialogue, he said. He also said he believes India can play a role in the Organization of the Islamic Conference, possibly as an observer, like Russia. On oil, King Abdullah said that Saudi Arabia has the capability to meet the petroleum needs of India and other countries. He remarked that the Kingdom prefers lower oil prices because higher prices are not in the interest of developing countries. In the interview, King Abdullah also said that Saudi Arabia’s friendly relations with China and India would not affect its good relations with the United States, which has been a friend of the Kingdom for over 60 years. In addition, he stressed Saudi Arabia’s staunch opposition to terrorism.

    OIC: Saudi king hopes Pakistan will sponsor India by Our Correspondent


    NEW DELHI, Jan 22: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has expressed the hope that Pakistan would sponsor India’s membership as an observer of the OIC even as he called on the two countries to resolve their differences. In a rare interview to India’s NDTV news channel King Abdullah did not name Kashmir as the dispute but left no doubt that he was seriously concerned about the issue. “I do believe that India can play a role in such an organisation, just like Russia does. Russia has an observer status in the Organisation of Islamic Conference and I believe that it will be very beneficial if the application of India could be put forth by a country such as Pakistan,” said the king.

    Asked whether his country’s ties with Pakistan had impeded relations with India, the monarch said: “You are correct. The issue of Pakistan has had an impact on Saudi-India relations. I believe that the conflict that exists, the complication that exists, do not help the image of either country.” He said Pakistan is a “brotherly country and friendly country with which we have great ties.”

    On the other hand, he said, India is a friendly country with which the kingdom has historic ties. “There is no doubt that the relationship of Saudi Arabia with Pakistan is a great relationship.”

    He said Saudi Arabia was not funding terrorism directly or indirectly against India or any other country through its funds in Pakistan.

    About his present visit to China, he said ties with China and India were not to come about at the expense of the United States its old ally and solid friend.

    Hinting at a deeper partnership with India, King Abdullah admitted that current oil prices were too high and thus hurting developing countries. He said Saudi Arabia had the ability to meet any requirement that India may have for its energy security.

    “We want to strengthen the link between India and Saudi Arabia with regards to energy and the ability to provide energy to India over the long term. From our perspective I personally feel that the current price of oil is too high.

    “The price is damaging to developing countries who subsequently have to suffer. The price needs to be at a more moderate level. With regards to the export of crude oil to India, we would like to provide India’s requirement of energy in the future,” he said.

    He also said he would like to move ahead with reforms in all areas, such as women’s rights. But he felt his country needed to be ready for this.

    The king will arrive in New Delhi on Jan 24 and will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations.

    SAUDI-INDIA TRADE RELATION [Muslim Country and Non-Muslim Country]

    From January 1991 to 2004, Government has approved 26,588 foreign collaboration (technical & financial) proposals with a corresponding foreign direct investment of Rs. 2,497.18 crore (US $ 67.15) billion and Cumulative inflows of FDI during 1991-2004 (up to November) is Rs. 131,387 Crore (US $ 32.15) billion.

    The tables given below indicate the year-wise figures of foreign Investment approved with Saudi Arabian companies since 1991.

    (* Updated up to November 2004)

    (Inflow is 9.22% of the FDI approved)

    The Industry-wise break-up of foreign direct investment and technical collaboration approved for Saudi Arabian companies during 01.08.1991 to 30.11.2004 is at Annex. I.

    Details of FDI cases approved for Saudi Arabia during 01.08.1991 to 30.11.2004 is at Annex-II.

    India-GCC Trade

    Note: Imports figures for 200-2001 onwards do not include import of Petroleum Products (27100093) and Curde Oil (27090000)

    Source: Directorate General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce & Industry,Government of India.

    Trade between India and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    (From 1999 to 2007)

    List of Indian Companies Participated in Saudi Arabia’s


    List of Saudi Companies/ Government Departments participated in the

    “Saudi Arabia in India” Exhibition


    By Aamir Mughal -

  • While Mr. Jethmalani may not have been "politically correct", he did say some things that needed to be said. There may be many good things in Wahhabism, but its intolerance and its assertion that only Wahhabism is correct Islam, are noxious. Trying to force Wahhabi beliefs on all Muslims, even by using violence and murder, is wrong. Huge amounts of Saudi monies pouring into spreading a creed that preaches hatred, exclusivism, intolerance and violence have been destabilizing to the Muslim world as well as to the West. They have made Islam a religion of death.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin -

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