7084News in Brief
- Sep 3 11:30 AMFor Muslim Law Students, Knowledge Is Power
NEW YORK, Aug 31 (IPS) - His name is Junaid Ahmad. He
is 24 years old. And he is among a rapidly increasing
number of first generation Muslim-Americans who have
decided to pursue careers in the law.
Ahmad, who was born in Chicago, Illinois after his
parents emigrated to the United States from Pakistan
in 1973, is a second-year student at William and Mary
Law School in Williamsburg, Virginia. He told IPS he
chose the law over more traditional first-generation
U.S. citizens' choices -- medicine, science and
engineering -- because he cares deeply about human
rights and civil liberties.
Exquisite works of Islamic art come to BC
The art of Islam dances with scripts, arabesques, and
intricate patterns that unfold like blossoms. Perhaps
because of the Koran's edict against idolatry, many
Muslim artists through the ages have invested their
energy not in representational work, but in covering
ceramics, glass, architecture, and textiles with
New Quranic Reference Series Fills Gap in Western
Encyclopaedia of the Quran explores quranic concepts,
Washington With the publication of the fifth and
final volume of the Encyclopaedia of the Quran,
Georgetown University professor Jane McAuliffe
believes she and her editorial contributors have
filled an important gap in Western reference material
on the text that more than a billion Muslims regard as
the word of God.
There really is no first-rate reference work on the
Quran in Western languages, McAuliffe said during a
recent interview with the Washington File. If you
look at a correlative field such as biblical studies
there are dozens of encyclopedias of the Bible or
dictionaries, et cetera, and there was nothing of that
genre available for the Quran. It was an obvious and
a rather big hole in the field.
McAuliffe and her editorial assistants collected
nearly 1,000 articles from quranic scholars around the
world to produce a comprehensive reference work on the
concepts, practices, personalities and places
associated with the Muslim holy text.
Disabled Muslims Lobby for Better Access to Mosques
August 30 - Every Friday afternoon, Betty Hasan-Amin
asks her caretaker to help her tie a brightly
patterned scarf around her head, making sure no
strands of hair escape. In the next room, her husband
finishes his ablution, the ritual washing Muslims
conduct before praying.
At 12:45, the couple departs for the congregational
prayers held at their neighborhood mosque in Atlanta.
Though the mosque is only about 25 minutes from her
home in Stone Mountain, Amin usually leaves more than
an hour before the prayers begin.
Snakes On A Plane, Muslims Off The Plane
Snakes On A Plane was, for a brief moment, the
uber-hyped, internet-propelled, buzz film of 2006.
With a title that is punch-line and plot synopsis
rolled into one, the film provided a study in Barnum
theory in action. Forget relational aesthetics in a
museum, this was the ultimate exercise in audience
participation. Long before the film opened, internet
discussion of the film was at a fever pitch and the
studio capitalized by adding scenes in response. The
most-quoted dialogue from the script actually
originated as an online parody of Samuel Jackson's
pistol-whipping persona ever since Pulp Fiction:
Gaining acceptance in service
When Lt. Abuhena Saif-ul-Islam first arrived at the
Camp Pendleton military base in California, recruits
often asked the Muslim chaplain what the crescent on
his lapel meant. Saif-ul-Islam, a Bangladeshi
immigrant, jokingly told them he was an astronaut.
Nowadays, fewer sailors find the Islamic symbol
unfamiliar. But Saif-ul-Islam, a U.S. Navy chaplain
since 1999, still is questioned often about his
religion during training sessions he conducts at bases
across the nation.
The mystery death, a town in uproar and a $1bn UK
Nasreen Huq was fighting a controversial opencast coal
plan when she died in a car crash. Since then,
conspiracy theories have multiplied and protests
spiralled. Jamie Doward and Mahtab Haider report from
The truth died with Nasreen Huq on 24 April, the day a
car rammed her against a wall, expunging a life in its
48th year. The private conversations she had with
senior government officials in the weeks before her
death went with her to the grave.
But the ghost of the popular human rights activist has
since continued to weave a haunting narrative which
sweeps back and forth between Whitehall and the Indian
sub-continent, and seems to have come straight from
the pages of a John le Carré novel.
Huq, a household name in her native Bangladesh for her
work with the campaign Action Aid, had become
concerned about the activities of a British company
planning to develop an opencast coal mine in the
country's poorest province, a controversial move that,
if approved by the government in the capital, Dhaka,
will lead to between 40,000 and 100,000 local people
losing their homes.
Critics of Israel 'fuelling hatred of British Jews'
A group of prominent MPs, alarmed at the rise of
anti-semitism in Britain, will accuse some left-wing
activists and Muslim extremists this week of using
criticism of Israel as 'a pretext' for spreading
hatred against British Jews. The charge is made in a
hard-hitting report - by MPs from all three major
political parties - which will be unveiled at a
Downing Street meeting with Tony Blair on Thursday.
Young Muslims held in terror camp crackdown
Police are investigating a network of terror training
camps across Britain which they fear are nurturing a
new wave of home-grown Islamic extremists. The
investigation is linked to raids late on Friday in
which anti-terrorism officers arrested 14 people.
Yesterday police also sealed off a school in East
Sussex run by an Islamic charity, Jameah Islamiyah, in
the grounds of which The Observer understands the
jailed cleric Abu Hamza secretly ran terror camps,
training young militant Muslim men to use firearms.
Abu Ghraib is consigned to the past as US returns
prison to Iraqi control
The notoriety of Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison - a byword
for torture under both Saddam Hussein's regime and the
US occupation - was definitively consigned to the past
yesterday as the American military transferred the
now-empty complex to Iraqi government control.
"Now the prison is protected by Iraqi forces, and the
Iraqi government will look into how to benefit from it
in the national interest," a government spokesman told
a Baghdad news conference. Abu Ghraib, located 20
miles west of the capital, is not expected to be used
as a prison ever again.
14 terror suspects arrested in London
Police have arrested 14 men following anti-terror
raids in south and east London.
The men were arrested late last night and in the early
hours of today on suspicion of the commission,
preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism.
Searches are being carried out at homes in south, east
and north London, Scotland Yard said.
'Why did Blair send my teenage son to fight an illegal
and dishonest war?'
The mother of a British soldier caught up in one of
the bloodiest incidents in Iraq this year has accused
Tony Blair of sending her son to fight an "illegal"
Dani Hamilton-Bing, whose son tried to quell rioters
in Basra after the downing of a Lynx helicopter in May
that killed five British soldiers, attacked Mr Blair
for putting the lives of over-stretched troops in Iraq
and Afghanistan at risk.
Baghdad attacks kill 68 in half an hour
Baghdad experienced one of its worst days of carnage
yesterday when 68 people were killed and almost 300
others injured by co-ordinated attacks in the space of
half an hour.
About 3,500 civilians were killed in Iraq in July, one
of the highest monthly death tolls since the US-led
invasion of 2003, while August was also one of the
most deadly months for US forces, with 64 soldiers and
marines being killed.
Plane catches fire on landing in Iran, killing 29
An Iranian passenger plane carrying 148 people skidded
off the runway and smashed its wing on the ground,
sparking a fire as it landed in the northeastern city
of Mashhad on Friday, killing 29 people in the latest
deadly accident involving a Russian-made aircraft.
$100bn later, Star Wars hits its first missile
The Pentagon claimed a victory for America's missile
defence system last night when a mock warhead was
successfully destroyed in space in a test which cost
$85m (£45m). A target missile was launched from Kodiak
island, Alaska, yesterday morning. Seventeen minutes
later, an interceptor missile left a silo in
California, hitting the target above the Pacific Ocean
at a speed of 18,000mph.
Angry family boycott funeral of Pakistan chieftain
· Burial in desert grave follows five days of riots
· Some doubt coffin contains body of leader
The tribal chieftain killed by the Pakistani army was
buried yesterday in a hurried and mysterious ceremony
likely to foment further unrest following five days of
widespread rioting. A cheap coffin sealed with Chinese
padlocks said to contain the remains of Nawab Akbar
Khan Bugti, 79, was lowered into a desert grave near
his fortress in a remote corner of Baluchistan
Student in plane mutiny faces jail term for fraud
An Asian student who was at the centre of a race row
when he was removed from a holiday flight following a
mutiny from passengers, is a convicted fraudster
facing a possible jail term. Sohail Ashraf, 21, and
his friend Khurram Zeb, 22, were escorted from the
Malaga to Manchester flight last month after other
tourists voiced fears that the men could be
terrorists. The incident provoked accusations of
racism, but suspicions about the motives of the two
men were raised after it was revealed that they had
only been in Malaga for a few hours before flying
home, leading to allegations that the affair had been
a publicity stunt.
US pushes for sanctions on Iran after deadline passes
Iran and the US are locked even more firmly on a
collision course after the United Nations formally
declared that Tehran had failed to meet an
international deadline to halt uranium enrichment,
opening the way for sanctions by the Security Council.
After Iran's latest, studied acts of defiance,
including the opening of a heavy water plant at the
weekend, yesterday's verdict from the Vienna-based
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was a
foregone conclusion. "Iran has not suspended its
enrichment-related activities," a report said, nor had
Tehran addressed "long outstanding verification
issues". Indeed, according to the IAEA, Iran had
started a new round of enrichment on 24 August, a week
before the deadline.
Coordinated Baghdad blasts kill 64
Baghdad residents were today clearing rubble and
recovering bodies after at least 64 people died in a
series of coordinated blasts last night. A number of
mainly Shia districts in the capital were attacked.
The blasts - caused by car bombs, rockets, mortars and
explosives left inside flats - injured more than 280
people, police said today. The death toll has risen
from around 50 in the aftermath of the attacks, after
more bodies were found today.
Scottish schoolgirl 'happy' in Lahore
A 12-year-old girl from the Western Isles who is at
the centre of an abduction investigation said today it
was her "own choice" to go to Pakistan with her
Smiling and appearing happy, Molly Campbell appeared
at a news conference in Lahore sitting between her
father, Sajad Ahmed Rana, and her sister Tahmina, 18.
Muslim anger over plans for Freddie Mercury party
A beach party to honour Freddie Mercury in Zanzibar,
his birthplace, has come under fire from Muslim
leaders. Azan Khalid said Mercury, who died of Aids in
1991, violated Islam with his flamboyant lifestyle.
Mr Khalid vowed to stop a restaurant holding a party
on Mercury's birthday on September 2. But the manager
of Mercury restaurant, named after the singer,
insisted it would go ahead. "Our main idea is to
promote tourism," Simai Mohammed said. Zanzibar's
semi-autonomous government has asked Tanzanian
state-owned media not to write about Mercury's
birthday because of the row.
Democrats to Sweep US Polls: Analysts
WASHINGTON With US President George W. Bush's low
approval ratings and public dissatisfaction with the
Iraq war, gas prices and the country's direction,
analysts expect Democrats to wrestle control of the
House of Representatives and make significant gains in
"I don't think the question any longer is can
Democrats win control of Congress, it's can
Republicans do anything to stop it?" Amy Walter, House
analyst for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report
newsletter, told Reuters on Sunday, September 3.
Sistani Helpless to Prevent Civil War
AN-NAJAF, IRAQ -- Iraq's most revered Shiite scholar
Grand Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani has said that he is
helpless to prevent a civil war in Iraq, lamenting
that he no longer as an influence on Shiites who have
switched allegiance to militant groups and death
Asked whether Ayatollah Sistani could prevent a civil
war, his spokesman Ali Al-Jaberi replied: "Honestly, I
think not. He is very angry, very disappointed,"
Britain's The Daily Telegraph reported Sunday,
Maliki Challenges Kurds on Flag
BAGHDAD The controversy spared by Kurdish leader
Massoud Barzani's decision to fly down the Iraqi
national flag showed on sign of abating on Sunday,
September 3, with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki
setting himself on a collision course with Kurdish
leaders and a defiant Barzani bashing their critics.
"The present Iraqi flag should be hoisted on every
inch of Iraqi soil until parliament makes a decision
as laid down in the constitution," Maliki said in a
statement issued by his office and cited by Reuters.
The statement not only defended the national tricolor
but implied that the Kurds' own flag was illegitimate.
Barzani, the president of Iraq's autonomous Kurdish
region, has earlier this week banned the flying of the
national flag over government buildings across
In US, Khatami Urges Dialogue with the Other
CHICAGO In the first such visit by a high-level
Iranian figure in decades, former Iranian president
Mohammad Khatami called for a constructive dialogue
between Islam and the other, denouncing extremists who
hijacked the Muslim faith.
"The dialogue can help to bring these two communities
together," Khatami told a group of Muslim minority
leaders at a suburban Chicago mosque in his first
pubic appearance in the US, reported Agence
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