Saudi woman minister needs permission to be on TV

Riyadh, June 08: Saudi Arabia’s first woman cabinet minister cannot appear on television without permission, a newspaper quoted her as saying on Monday.

Noura al-Faiz’s appointment in February as Deputy Minister for Women’s Education was hailed as a big step for the integration of women in conservative Saudi Arabia where a puritanical form of Islam bans women from driving, voting and mixing with unrelated men.

Now, Hamas gets into matchmaking business

Gaza City, June 07: At 29, Tahani is considered a spinster by the standards of deeply conservative Gaza. So in her search for a husband, she turned for help to the best in the marriage business: the Islamic militant group Hamas.

“I gaze at all the men on the street and think, ‘Oh God, isn’t there just one for me?”, said the young woman with dark skin and honey-colored eyes, set off by a maroon headscarf. Her application is among 287 from single women in the files of the Tayseer Association for Marriage and Development in Gaza.

Egypt bans prayer at mosque over Obama visit

Cairo, June 03: Muslims may no longer pray at al-Sultan Hassan, one of Egypt’s most historic mosques, after security forces cordoned the mosque, sparking outrage from the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, in preparation for U.S. President Barack Obama’s trip to Cairo.

Muslim Brotherhood members complained to parliament about the Grand Imam, minister of interior and prime minister for banning the faithful from praying.

” Egypt’s security service has cordoned the whole area around the mosque and has told businesses nearby to close on Wednesday and Thursday ”
Muslim Brotherhood

‘Baghdad will burn’ if photos released: Iraqi PM

Washington, June 02: Presdient Barack Obama’s apparent reversal of his commitment to release photos of Bush-era torture was driven by a bone-chilling assessment of what might happen, delivered by none other than Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Malik, According to a Monday report.

From McClatchy Newspapers:

1/3 EU Muslims suffer discrimination

Cairo, May 30: Nearly one third of Muslims living in the European Union have been discriminated against last year, with ethnic background, not religion, is the main cause of discrimination, a EU report has found.
“On average 1 in 3 Muslim respondents were discriminated against in the past 12 months, and 11% experienced a racist crime,” the EU Fundamental Rights Agency said in a new report.

The report, which surveyed 23,500 members of ethnic minorities and migrant communities, said Muslims were largely discriminated against in the labor field.

Gunman attacks Saudi bus carrying foreigners

Riyadh, May 27: A gunman in a speeding car opened fire on a bus carrying five foreigners in eastern Saudi Arabia, but no one was injured in the incident, the interior ministry said.

The bus was traveling in the Gulf coast petrochemical hub of Jubail when it was fired on from an overtaking car, said ministry spokesman General Mansur Al Turki.

The shots shattered the rear window in the bus but neither the Pakistani driver nor the passengers – three Britons, one Saudi, and one Syrian were injured, he said. The five men all work for the same company, which was not identified.

Iran’s Ahmadinejad wants to debate Obama at UN

Tehran, May 26: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposed on Monday a face-to-face debate with President Barack Obama at the United Nations if he is re-elected next month as Iran’s president.

But he balanced the offer with a sharp rebuke to Washington and its allies over Iran’s nuclear program. He reiterated that Iran would never abandon its advances in uranium enrichment in exchange for offers of easing sanctions or other economic incentives.

The nuclear issue “is closed,” he told a news conference.

Muslim nations link better ties with Israel to peace

Damascus, May 26: Amid reports of an American plan offering Israel ties with Arab and Muslim countries in exchange for talks on all peace tracks, the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) stressed, that relations with Israel would come after solving the Arab-Israeli conflict.

“(Any normalization) will come after the end of the Arab-Israeli conflict,” OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu told a press conference following a three-day meeting of the OIC foreign ministers.

Islamic Idol: Music spreading message of faith

Cairo, May 25: Flames burst from the stage for a grand entrance, and fake fog swirls around a young man in a white robe.

He clutches the microphone, gazes seriously into the camera and then, accompanied only by drums, he sings.

“I accept Allah as my God, His religion as my religion, and His Messenger as my Messenger,” he intones, as the audience, divided into men’s and women’s sections, claps along with the rhythm.

Iran’s says he can stop Israel with ‘one strike’

Tehran, May 24: Iran’s former Revolutionary Guards chief Mohsen Rezai warned on Sunday he could stop Israel with “one strike” and said it would not dare to threaten the Islamic republic if he is elected President.

“My government understands missiles and tanks as well as foreign policy and knows exactly where Israel’s sensitive spots are. It could stop them forever with one strike,” Rezai told a news conference.

Haj becomes costlier

New Delhi,May 19: The cost of performing Haj has gone up by a considerable margin this year.

The lowest financial category allowed for Haj is of Rs 1 lakh this year. Last year, the budget of the same category was Rs 72,000. Facilities for the general class come in the price range of Rs 1.20 lakh and in the deluxe category at the cost of Rs 1.50 lakh.

This huge rise in cost has put lot of hopefuls for the Haj in a spot.

40 killed in Afghan violence

Kabul, May 03: Four civilians, including two children, were killed in a bomb blast in southern Afghanistan, while four Afghan army soldiers and 31 Taliban militants were killed elsewhere in the country, officials said Sunday.
In the latest incident, an eight-year-old girl and a 10-year-old boy and two adult civilians were killed in Gerishk district of southern Helmand province Sunday morning. The bomb that killed them was placed on a motorbike in the main market of the district, Daoud Ahmadi, spokesman for the provincial governor said.

A love letter for Roxana from her film director partner

Tehran, April 22: Convicted by Iran of spying for the US and given an eight-year jail sentence, Roxana Saberi is at the centre of a tense new stand-off between Tehran and the West.
Barack Obama has demanded the release of the 31-year-old journalist, who has dual Iranian and American nationality. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has intervened in the case. And yesterday, an acclaimed Iranian film director stepped forward to proclaim her innocence, denounce her imprisonment as an act which has brought shame on all Iranians and publicly to declare his love for Ms Saberi.

Iran warns Iraq over prolonged presence of US forces

Tehran, March 01: Iran’s supreme leader Saturday warned Iraq over the prolonged presence of US forces in that country, the Iranian media reported.

‘The occupiers are preparing grounds for a long and enduring presence in Iraq and this is a big danger of which the Iraqi officials should be aware,’ Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told visiting Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.