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 Saudi Government Fires Al-Watan Editor

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PostSubject: Saudi Government Fires Al-Watan Editor   Mon Jul 18, 2011 11:56 pm

Saudi Government Fires Al-Watan Editor

Riyadh: An editor whose newspaper was in the forefront of a campaign against Muslim extremism was removed from his post. No reason was given for the dismissal of Jamal Khashoggi, who had joined the Al-Watan newspaper. Staffers at the paper said Al-Watan's manager fired Khashoggi, but that the decision came from the Information Ministry. Under Saudi press laws, the government approves the hiring and firing of newspaper editors. Newspapers are privately owned, but government guided. Al-Watan has run a number of stories, editorials and cartoons critical of extremists and the way in which the country enforces its religious values.The newspaper published many critical articles in the wake of the May 12 attacks in Riyadh that killed 34 people, suggesting that Muslim fanaticism, long tolerated in the country, led to terrorism.

Khashoggi writing about fanaticism, said: ''It's time we treated the affliction and held those who strayed accountable.'' Many fear the dismissal of Khashoggi, 45, will send a message to other newspapers that the government will no longer tolerate such criticism. Many Saudis who had hoped that their country was on a path towards change following the terror attacks were disappointed by the news of Khashoggi's dismissal. ''This is a bad sign,'' said Turki al-Hamad, a prominent writer. Based in the southern city of Abha, Al-Watan has won a wide readership since its launch in 2000 owing to its liberal editorials and a policy of promoting a higher profile for women in conservative Saudi society.

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NWFP adopts Salwar-Kameez as School Uniform

Salwar Kameez as Uniform at last accepted by Assembly in PakistanPeshawar: The provincial assembly of North West Frontier Province dominated by the Islamic party, MMA, has passed a resolution whereby the salwar-kameez would be the uniform in all schools from the next academic session. It will apply to non-government schools too. The resolution was moved and adopted hurriedly. The Opposition parties walked out of the house. Two ministers belonging to the MMA abstained from the voting. The bill in its initial form had held the trouser-shirt as an 'un-Islamic dress' and a symbol of slavery. But on the Opposition's insistence, the terms of 'un-Islamic' and symbols of slavery were removed from the resolution. Jamaat-e- Islami Pakistan's senator and senior minister Sirajul Huq said trousers may not be an Islamic dress, but Islam does not oppose it anyway. Bahseer Billour, a member of the Awami National party asked the house to remove the portrait of Pakistan's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah from the house as Jinnah has been pictured while wearing trousers. He also raised a poser as to what would happen to the police uniform if the salwar-kameez were to be introduced in schools. Naseer Yavar, vice-president of the association of private educational institutions known by its acronym PEIMA said that PEIMA would oppose the move.

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Islamic Pen Sold for £1.1m at Auction

London: A rare Islamic pen case bought by a trader for £2,000 has sold for more than a million pounds at an auction following a bidding war between two of the world's richest men. Antiques dealer, Stephen Birbeck bought the 13th century jewel encrusted Islamic Persian case on a trip abroad. He later sold it to a company for £30,000, reports The Mirror. The buyers then decided to auction it at Sotheby's where agents for the Sultan of Brunei and the Amir of Qatar battled to buy it. The case, which had been given a guide price of £200,000, was eventually bought by the Amir for £1,125,600. Birbeck, from Torquay, Devon, said colleagues believe he made the killing on the deal. "The trade knows that I bought it and they think it is mine”. He is hoping to get some compensation from the company which bought the case from him. A Sotheby's spokesman said: "We are delighted with the sale. It achieved the highest price for a piece of Islamic Persian metalwork at the auction.”

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Scholars' Symposium in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia will host an international Islamic Scholars Symposium, in July this year, and the main topic for discussion would be on how to face the contemporary challenges of globalisation facing the Muslim Ummah. It is expected that around 600 scholars from various parts of the Muslim world would be taking part in the symposium. The symposium would be held in the city of Putrajaya, and the Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Muhammad is expected to inaugurate its proceedings, said Nakhai Ahmed, chairman of the organising committee of the symposium, who added that among the prominent guests expected at the seminar is Dr. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, the Sheikh of Azhar.

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Attack on Jame Mosque

London: Jame Mosque in Reading was attacked last fortnight in the latest Islamophobic incident to afflict the country’s 1.6 million Muslim community, reports The Muslim News. Speculation was that the backlash could have been caused by all the media hype about the latest suicide-bombing against Israeli atrocities in the occupied territories being carried out by a British citizen. The Imam at Jame Mosque Yasir Hafiz told The Muslim News that he discovered a window was broken when he woke for morning prayers at 4.30 am and later the Mosque called the police. He said it was a particularly malicious attack because the window was double glazed. Reading has a high ethnic-mix, with Muslims making up 4 per cent of the residents, according to the latest census. There is also a sizeable Jewish population. The Mosque itself may also be an easy target for students being near to the city’s university. Secretary of the Mosque, Bashir Choudhury, described the attack as a disgrace.Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed Versi, accused the media of launching a new witch-hunt against Muslims. “The press has again been linking Islam with terrorism, when this is certainly not the case”,he said. He also criticised broadcasting organisations, in particular the BBC, for again focusing on extremist groups and falsely portraying them as being representative of the Muslim community.

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Sultana Freeman Sues State on Veil Issue

Sultaana Freeman reads from the Quran, on the witness on May 27, 2003
in the Orange County courthouse in Orlando,
Fla. Freeman is going to court against the state to fight
to wear a veil that covers most of her face for her driver's license photo.

(AP Photo/Red Huber, Pool)

Sultana FreemanOrlando Fla: Sultana Freeman, is suing to keep her veil on for her driver's license photo. She took the stand saying Florida's insistence on photographing her face violates her religious rights. "I don't unveil ... because it would be disobeying my Lord," said Sultaana Freeman, 35. Freeman, a convert to Islam previously known as Sandra Kellar, wore her veil for the photo on the Florida driver's license she obtained after moving to the state in 2001.Recently she received a letter from the state warning that it would revoke her license unless she returned for a photo with her face uncovered. Freeman claims her religious beliefs require her to keep her head and face covered out of modesty and that her faith prohibits her face from being photographed. Her attorneys argued that state officials did not care that she wore a veil in the photo until after the Sept. 11 attacks, an allegation the state denies. "This is about religious liberty. It's about whether this country is going to have religious diversity," said Howard Marks, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida. Assistant Attorney General Jason Vail argued that having an easily identifiable photo on a driver's license is a matter of public safety.

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