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English Section

16 Pages

Bi-Weekly

Associated Press

December 6 - January 3 , 2013

Issue No. 45

Saudi gets life sentence over US bombing plot

Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari sentenced to life in jail for plotting attacks on ex-president George W Bush and other targets Muslim Professor Wins US Religion Award

Bosnian-born US citizen Adis Medunjanin sentenced to life in prison over NYCsubway bomb plot

A Bosnian-born US citizen has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in planning a suicide bomb attack on New York City subways in 2009 at the behest of senior al-Qaeda operatives. Adis Medunjanin, 28, was convicted in May by a federal jury in Brooklyn on nine counts, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiracy to commit an act of terrorism, and providing material support to al-Qaeda. Prosecutors had urged US District Judge John Gleeson to give Medunjanin the maximum penalty of life in prison, saying in a pre-sentencing court filing that he “committed a host of heinous crimes aimed at killing and maiming his fellow American citizens in order to alter and take revenge for American foreign policy”. Continue on Page 6

A Saudi national has been sentenced to life in prison for plotting attacks on the Texas home of former US president George W Bush, nuclear plants, and other targets, prosecutors have said. Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari, 22,

was arrested last year after a chemical supplier became suspicious when he tried to order concentrated phenol, a toxic chemical that has legitimate uses but is also a powerful bomb-making tool. The FBI found journal entries

and emails in which he wrote about how he sought a scholarship to a Texas university in order to be able to “target the infidel Americans” and detailed how he would carry out “Jihad”.

CAIRO - A female Muslim professor will be granted a prestigious American award for her book into the growing tendency among Muslim women to wear the hijab (Islamic headscarf). Leila Ahmed, a Harvard Divinity School professor, will be awarded the University of Louisville›s Grawemeyer Award in religion, The Washington Post reported. The prize will be given to the Muslim professor for her 2011 book A Quiet Revolution: The Veil›s Resurgence, from the Middle East to America, in which she explores the reasons behind the growing tendency among Muslim women to wear the hijab.

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Festival Photos & Entertainment

December 6 - January 3 , 2013

Bollywood ‘demigod’ Khan casts spell on Moroccans Bollywood “demigod and prince charming” Shah Rukh Khan whipped thousands of Moroccans into a frenzy at the Marrakesh film festival when he danced to the tunes of movie songs at the Jamaa El Fna square. Khan, 47, popularly known as “King Khan”, was cheered at the square -- a mecca of tourism in Morocco -- where a giant screen was installed to show a preview of his latest Hindi movie, “Jab Tak Hain Jaan” (Till My Last Breath). In its 12th edition, the festival which runs until December 8 in this ochre city, is presenting a “special tribute” to Indian cinema as it celebrates its centenary. “I am pleased to present the star, the icon, the demigod of Indian cinema, Shah Rukh Khan,” said an organizer as the arrival of the star sparked a roar from young fans, who braved gloomy and cold weather to catch a glimpse of him. Khan, who acted in some 80 films, was specially invited for the festival in Morocco, where Bollywood films rank alongside Egyptian movies in popularity. A true showman, he warmed up the atmosphere with more than half-an-hour song and dance performance on stage that had the crowds screaming in appreciation. Later festival organizers screened a preview of “Jab Tak Hain Jaan,” directed by legendary Bollywood filmmaker Yash Chopra who died in October in Mumbai, the home of India’s Hindilanguage movie industry, after more than five decades of movie career. Khan had acted in several box-office hit movies produced and directed by Chopra such as “Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge” (Bravehearts Will Take The Bride Away), “Dil To Paagal Hai” (Heart Is Crazy) and “Daar” (Fear). He has also taken lead roles in other blockbust-

ers such as “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai” (Something Is Happening) and “Kabhie Khushi Kabhie Gham” (Sometimes Joy, Sometimes Sorrow) directed by another popular Bollywood filmmaker Karan Johar. “This is the first time I am seeing Shah Rukh Khan. This is a dream. He was two feet away from me. He is so simple and modest,” Khadija Ariba, a young student, told AFP. “I know all his films. They talk of love, injustice, humanity... things that we speak of. He is the prince of most girls.” For many fans it was an “unforgettable” experience at Jamaa El Fna. “We watch movies on satellite channels and some movie theatres. But to be present here on Jamaa El Fna is unforgettable for me,” said Ouadie El Ouwad. “I left my workplace at 5 pm to see Shah Rukh Khan from close, but once here the place was already packed with people,” said Ahmed, 32, a carpenter. Fifteen films are in the race for the top prize at the festival, including “Touch of the Light” by Taiwanese Chang Jung-Chi, “The Attack” by French-Lebanese Ziad Doueiri and “Like a Lion” by Samuel Collardey of France.

Jokes Child: “Mom, do angels fly?” Mom: “Yes, they do.” Child: “Then why doesn’t our maid fly?” Mom: “But she is not an angel.” Child: “Yes, she is. Dad calls her angel.” Mom: “Does he? All right, you will see her fly tomorrow.

Mike: “Mary has broken our engagement saying I am not rich enough.” Harry: “But you should have told her about your maternal uncle. He is stinking rich and you are his only successor.” Mike: “I did that. That is when she broke off with me and got engaged to my uncle.

Bob wanted to uplift his status in life but his boss was not giving him a raise for quite some time. Exasperated, one day Bob went to his boss and said: “Now you have to give me a raise, otherwise there are three companies after me. Boss (sarcastically): “Oh yes? Which are these companies if I am not being too pertinent?” Bob: “Telephone company, Mortgage company and Electricity company.” Bob got his desired raise.

El Ahly to stay on Egyptian time-zone in Japan

The festival’s jury comprises of Canadian Marie-Josee Croze, American James Gray, Moroccan Jillali Ferhati and French Lambert Wilson. On Friday the festival kicked off with a special ovation for French actress Isabelle Huppert.

Online freedom: Who should control what? We ask if the governments of the world are in danger of over regulating the use of the internet.

Delegates from 193 countries are meeting in Dubai to discuss the future of the internet. They will be negotiating a new International Telecommunications Treaty - which has not been updated since 1988. The main debate at the conference is over internet freedom. The US and Europe want less internet regulation, while countries like Russia and China are accused of wanting more.

But the possibly bigger question of who controls the internet is also in play. The US in particular is criticised for dominating the way the internet is run. Since 1947 a UN body called the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has been in charge of international technical standards. Delegates from 193 countries have regulated everything

from radio frequencies to satellite orbits. Their mission is to make sure networks and technologies easily interconnect. But according to internet giant Google, the ITU could be about to take steps to reduce the free flow of information on the web. It says if proposals being heard at the ITU conference in Dubai are accepted, there will be an increase in censorship and national regulation.

El Ahly football players are requested not to change their sleeping pattern while in Japan, according to a statement on the club’s official website, first reported on Ahram Online. Coach Hossam el-Badry “decided to train the players early this morning and asked them

not to sleep to break the gap between Egypt and Japan Time,” according to the statement.

Club World Cup tournament set between Dec. 6 and 16, in Japan.

Ahly players trained in a public garden in Japan close to the crew hotel, the statement added.

The Egyptian team is set to play its first match with the winners of the match between Japan’s Hiroshima and New Zealand’s Auckland City, Ahlam Online reported.

It added that African champions el-Ahly are up for the FIFA

Cooking & Recipes Al Kabsa - Traditional Saudi Rice and Chicken “This was the first Arabic dish I ever made and it turned out extremely delicious, a new favorite! Serve Al Kabsa with a fresh mixed cucumber, carrot, lettuce, and tomato salad -- preferably with a little lime vinaigrette. Some fresh pita bread on the side would be nice also. Saudis like their Kabsa with a hot sauce called ‘Shattah’. Enjoy

ingredients Kabsa Spice Mix: • 1/2 teaspoon saffron • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper • 1/2 teaspoon dried whole lime powder • 1/4 cup butter • 1 onion, finely chopped • 6 cloves garlic, minced • 1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces • 1/4 cup tomato puree • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained • 3 carrots, peeled and grated • 2 whole cloves • 1 pinch ground nutmeg • 1 pinch ground cumin • 1 pinch ground coriander • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste • 3 1/4 cups hot water • 1 cube chicken bouillon • 2 1/4 cups unrinsed basmati rice • 1/4 cup raisins • 1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

www.almashreqonline.com

Preparation : 1. Mix together the saffron, cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, white pepper, and lime powder in a small bowl, and set the spice mix aside. 2. Melt the butter in a large stock pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and onion; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken pieces and brown them over medium-high heat until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Mix in the tomato puree. 3. Stir in the canned tomatoes with their juice, the grated carrots, whole cloves, nutmeg, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper, and the Kabsa spice mix. Cook for about 3 minutes; pour in the water, and add the chicken bouillon cube. 4. Bring the sauce to a boil, then reduce the heat to simmer and cover the pot. Simmer until chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 30 minutes. 5. Gently stir in the rice. Cover the pot and simmer until rice is tender and almost dry, about 25 minutes; add the raisins and a little more hot water, if necessary. Cover and cook for an additional 5 to 10 minutes or until the rice grains are separate. 6. Transfer the rice to a large serving platter and arrange the chicken pieces on top. Sprinkle the toasted slivered almonds over the dish.


4

Classified- Arizona

December 6 - January 3 , 2013

Mosques

Hospitals

Phoenix Muslim Community Mosque Address: 1818 N 32nd Street, Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA Phone:602 306 4959 MASJID AL-RAHMA Address: 2426 E McDowell Rd , Phoenix, AZ 85008, USA Phone:602-463-2569 Islamic Center Of North Phoenix Address: 13246 N. 23rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85029, USA Phone: 602-371-3440 Islamic Community Center of Phoenix Address: 7516 N. Black Canyon Hwy, Phoenix, AZ 85051, USA Phone:602-249-0496 Islamic community of anthem Address: Islamic community of anthem Phoenix, AZ 85086, USA Email: onlysarah@hotmail.com

Masjid Omar Bin Al-Khattab Address: 6225 S Mcclintock Dr, Tempe, AZ 85283, USA Phone:480-775 6627

Scottsdale Islamic Center of North East Valley Address:12125 E Via Linda, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, USA Phone:480-612--4044

Peoria Albanian-American Islamic Center of Arizona Address:6724 West Greenway Rd., Peoria, AZ 85381, USA URL:www.greenwaymasjid.com

Mesa Masjid-e-Noor Address:55 North Matlock Street, Mesa, AZ 85203, USA Phone:480-644-0074

Tempe Islamic Community Center of Tempe Address:131 East 6th Street, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA Phone: 480-894-6070 Community Mosque Address: 1797 W University Dr#167, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA Phone:480-829-9465 The AL-Mahdi Benevolent Foundation Address:1016 S. River Dr Tempe, AZ 85281, USA

Mayo Clinic 5777 East Mayo Boulevard Phoenix, AZ 85054-4502 “(480) 515–6296 Mercy Gilbert Medical Center 3555 South Val Vista Dr Gilbert AZ 85297” (480) 728-8000 Chandler Regional Hospital 475 S.Dobson Rd Chandler AZ 85224 “(480) 963-4561 FastMed Urgent Care of Chandler 2875 W. Ray Rd Chandler AZ 85224” (480) 899-3070 Tempe St. Luke’s Hospital 1500 S.Mill Ave Tempe AZ 85281” (602) 968-9411 Mayo Clinic 13400 Mayo Clinic

Chandler Islamic Center of the East Valley (ICEV) Address:425 N Alma School Rd., Chandler, AZ 85224, USA Phone:(480) 264-1330 Masjid Es Salaam Address:1071 North Alma School Road, Chandler, AZ 85224, USA Phone: 480-784-4627

Churches Maronite Catholic Church Address: 5406 E Virginia Ave Phoenix, AZ 85008 Phone: 602-667-3280 Mar Abraham Chaldean Catholic Churc Address: 6816 E Cactus Rd Scottsdale, AZ 85254 Phone: 480-905-1545 Assyrian Church Of The East Address: 8712 N 35th Ave Phoenix, AZ 85051 Phone:602-841-3227 St. George Church Address:6107 W Greenbriar Dr Glendale, AZ 85308 St.Michael Orthodox Church Of Jerusalem Address: 4724 N 35th Ave Phoenix, AZ 85019 Phone: 480-466-2648 St.John of The Desert Melkite Catholic Church Address:3718 E Greenway Rd

Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center 1111 E.McDowell RD Phoenix AZ 85006” (602) 839-2000

Phoenix, AZ 85032 Phone: 602-787-4787 St.Goerge Antiochian Orthodox Church Address: 4530 E Gold Dust Ave Phoenix, AZ 85028 Phone: 602-953-1921 St.Mark Coptic Orthodox Church Address: 525 N 74th St Scottsdale, AZ 85257 Phone: 480-990-2399 First Arabic Baptist Mission 2232 W Campbell Ave Phoenix, AZ 85015 Phone: 602-249-1033 St.Joseph Church 11001 N 40th Street Phoenix, AZ 85028 Phone: 602-966-5120 Persian Christian Church 2012 N Scottsdale Rd Scottsdale, AZ 85257 Phone: 480-231-6542

Scottsdale AZ 85259 “(800) 446-2279 Scottsdale Health Care 7400 E Osborn Rd Scottsdale AZ 85251” (480) 882-4000 Scottsdale Health Care 9003 E Shea Blvd Scottsdale AZ 85260” (480) 323-3000 St Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center 350 W Thomas RD Phoenix AZ 85013” (602) 406-3000 Phoenix Children’s Hospital 1919 E Thomas Rd Phoenix AZ 85016” (602) 933-1000 Arrowhead Hospital 18701 N 67th Ave Glendale AZ 85308” (623) 561-1000 Banner Thunderbird Medical Center 5555 W Thunderbird RD Glendale AZ 85306” (602) 865-5555

Embassies Embassy Of Algeria 2118 Kalorama RD NW Washington DC 20008 Phone:202-265-2800

Embassy Of Qatar 4200 Wisconsin Ave NW Washingion DC 20016 Phone:202-274-1600

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5

Articles

December 6 - January 3 , 2013

Evaluating U.S. Reaction and Performance Toward The Gaza Assault? President Obama Earns His Bones In Gaza President Obama’s response to the assault on Gaza was predictable. The U.S. banking/military/industrial complex (the Warmakers) signaled their unrestricted support for Obama in the months and weeks before the November 7 election. The Federal Reserve Bank announced three stages of massive, unprecedented spending programs, the last being QE-3, given to us only two weeks before the election. Chairman Bernanke pledged to print and spend another $40 billion per month for the foreseeable future to buy mortgage equity. This was the biggest ever election gift to an incumbent, sufficient to swing the close election.(1) Mr. Obama’s Gaza assault response contains two material misstatements that he would hardly have made by accident. He stated repeatedly that Israel was justified because it had a right to defend itself against “missiles raining down over its borders”. Mr. Obama should know that Gaza is a part of Israel, an internal prison, and there are no such borders.

Charles E. Carlson

Furthermore, in repeatedly calling Hamas’s rockets “missiles,” he grossly exaggerated Israel’s danger and Hamas’s weaponry. Guided missiles are something the Philistines do not have and never have had. It is the weapon that Israel fired into defenseless Gazan’s homes some 1500 times last week. Just one missile killed 11 Philistines in one home, most of them women and children! A missile is, in the usual military sense of the word, a guided or controlled projectile that normally hits its target, unless there is a human error. Rockets, which Hamas has, are projectiles based on pre-1812 technology and are sung about in the U.S. National Anthem, “and the rockets red glare, bombs bursting in air…” Hamas seems to have a few “Fajr” type rockets, but these also are not missiles, because they are unguided, and therefore not designed for long range bombing. Rockets only hit a human target rarely, by accident. Mr. Obama shamelessly exaggerated Hamas’ capability in order to justify support for Israel’s assault. This is exactly what I would expect him to do, else the Zionist influenced banking fraternity would never have supported him for reelection, and Mr. Romney would be waiting his turn for the White House. (2)

What is the goal of education? When a company does a bad job, it will go bankrupt and close due to insufficient income. Customers judge the company’s performance. But when a public education system does a bad job, nothing happens to the system. In Jordan, it’s very hard to find a family that does not boast at least one doctor or engineer. In the 1980’s, brain drain – the export of well-educated professionals to the Gulf countries – was the prime source of foreign income in Jordan. This emphasis on the science professions is prevalent elsewhere in Asia too. Here in Arizona, we actually have a branch of the Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America. You certainly won’t find such a similar American asso-

ciation for French or Irish Physicians! In fact, our developing-nation-complex brainwashed us so well that we actually now tend to think that unless a child goes into those fields, he or she is a failure. Yet, many of our doctors, engineers, lawyers, technocrats and mathematicians do not necessarily succeed in their personal life. Just over a year ago, the decapitation of a highly successful Muslim TV executive’s wife in New York state rocked the Muslim community. Dr. Aneesah Nadir, a former professor of social work at ASU West and the president of Islamic Social Services Association – USA, actually spearheaded workshops on marriage preparation because of what she saw as a severe breakdown of marital relationships in our community. Another unspoken skeleton is the development of our children’s characters and behaviors. As they grow from cute toddler

Dr. Fawzia Tung to snappy children and rebellious teens, we often resort to quick remedies. Send her/him to an Islamic school! Let them reform him/ her! Today, the divorce rate in Asian countries, though still apparently low, are fast catching up with the rest of the developed world and the country that holds number 1 in the world’s divorce rate: the USA with a whopping 4.95 per thousand people. The American rate of divorce today for a first marriage remains at 50%, while it increases to 67% for a second marriage and rises to 74% for a third. Why is divorce an important indicator of a successful personal and social life? Statistics show a positive correlation between high divorce rates and various crimes, from delinquency, rape and robbery all the way to murder. Moreover, the negative physical and psychological health effects of divorce

Our Children and the Battle of the Supermarket - I Every time four-year-old Khaalid goes to the supermarket with his mother, he asks for a box of candy, and his mother refuses right away. However, a few minutes later, he starts insisting on buying candy, and the mother persists in her refusal, saying to him, “No.” At the mother’s refusal of the child’s request for the third time, Khaalid becomes furious, and his request takes on the form of an order, but the mother continues to refuse. On that Khaalid’s face turns red, he stamps his feet and shakes the shopping cart. The mother threatens to punish him if he does not stop, but he does not give in. Upon asking for candy for the fifth time and the mother’s refusal, Khaalid bursts into anger. The mother looks for a place to hide but she finds herself in the icecream section, while he is weeping, shouting, kicking and striking everything around him. Everybody is staring at them, and the mother cannot take it anymore, so she submits to his will and buys him a box of candy. Both mother and child learn from each other: Dear educator, both you and your children teach each other something of the affairs of family life every day. The things you and your child learn from each other later determine the way you deal with each other and form the basis of the relationship between children and parents.

From a father who is firm in all situations with his child, the child learns, from each situation, that his father is firm and does not accept half-solutions, and thus, he will deal with him on that basis. From a father who is lax in all situations with his child, the child learns, from each situation, that his father is lax, and even if he grows angry once, with the first tear that flows down the child’s cheek, he will forget everything and forgive all mistakes, and thus, the child will deal with his father on that basis. Analysis of Khaalid’s scene: When you reflect on the example of Khaalid and his mother, which is almost typical in our society, you find that both the mother and the child learned from each other. What did the mother teach her child? At first, she was persistent that she would not buy candy. However, after a lot of nagging from Khaalid, she submitted and responded to his request. But (unfortunately) the mother does not know that at the very moment that she lost control over her decisiveness, she taught Khaalid a set of rules which will embitter her throughout her life if she does not change her submissive ways. What did Khaalid’s mother teach her child?

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believe them. After all, the picture of the world that the Fox Network paints is undoubtedly grim. If one were to believe these lies, it is a wonder they can get out of bed in the morning without being stoned to death by a horde of angry Muslims! They consistently have put together a narrative in which Muslims are an enemy, an “us versus them” mentality that is enforced with the strongest language. For most of their viewers, the Fox Network is simply an echo chamber, a friendly presence in their living room that simply repeats back to them the things that they already believe. In this regard, it is harmless. However, the level of discourse has become so hateful that it only takes a single person to

last through as much as three generations. How many wives do you personally know who have never quarreled loudly with their husbands? How many children do you know who never quarrel with their siblings? Do you know any teenager who has run away from home? Do you know any wife who ran away from an abusive husband? Do you know any Muslim baby given away to orphanages? What then is a good index of successful education? The dollar amount of a 30-year-old’s income? The health status of a 40-year-old? The number of children looking after their grandparents? Is the role of education only limited to job preparation? Or does it is supposed also to prepare our children for a successful personal life? Is the education system available in the modern world really helping our children prepare for a successful life? If not, then what is being done to change that?

Agencies

Khaalid’s mother taught her child three rules: • The first rule: The word “No” is of no significance. The mother’s reactions went as follows: No, No, No, No, Yes. What the child learnt here is that when his mother says “No”, it does not mean refusal, but it means “Ask again and again, and nag more than once. When your behavior becomes unbearable, I will change my refusal into acceptance.” This resembles magic: that refusal turns into acceptance. In this way, the mother taught her child to persist in his negative behavior. You should know, dear parent, that your children have to know that when you say “No”, it means “No” and nothing else. When you say “No” to your children, you indeed want them to stop doing something. The word “No” should not be subject to discussion. However, as a lot of fathers and mothers are susceptible to changing their mind often, the children have learnt to wail, implore and throw a tantrum until they get what they want. When the word is changeable, the child’s mind records that, while it is supposed to be placed in the part of the brain that responds without thinking. According to Dr. Michele Borba, (a pediatrician), parents should not give in if their child

What Happens When People Actually Believe the Fox Network If there is one American television network that makes consistent, hateful, anti-Muslim remarks, it is the Fox Network. Both the pundits on this American network and their counterparts in the British right-wing media also owned by Rupert Murdoch have consistently filled the airwaves with racist, hateful speech. They have often been called out for their lies, exaggerations, and misleading “news” reporting; however, they show no signs of stopping their campaign against Islam. While one understands to a certain extent that the Fox Network caters to a certain political view, the lies that some of their pundits and reporters consistently tell are so outrageous, that it is impossible to understand how any sane person can

It is impossible to understand political events in the U.S. without first recognizing that the U.S. is a war-based economy and has been for a long time. War is an objective, not a necessity. The bankers who backed Obama are hooked on war as a means of distributing an unfathomable volume of newly-printed dollars being spewed out of the FED through the giant banks. This author thinks the banking fraternity, in league with world Zionism, is seeking ways to widen its war-making to Iran and Asian Islam, having successfully vilified Muslims in the eyes of most Americans. Those Americans who will look at facts must be shown that independent Arab Islam states are the present targets of the war based economy, and have been since 1990. (3) We must conclude President Obama will not enforce the cease fire fairly and the U.S. media will not report it fairly. Therefore, the victims and the growing number of Americans who understand the problem must bypass the U.S. media. Fortunately, the Internet and thousands of cell phones are not yet Zionist controlled. The best hope for help is from carefully selected U.S. churches and humanitarian mission organizations, some of which are already listening. (4) charlesecarlson.com

resorts to screaming and nagging, or asks for something illogical, or tells you to do something (unacceptable). You should stop the discussion immediately and tell him decisively that by no means would you accept that behavior, and ask him to be polite and set another time for a logical discussion about the demand. When the child realizes that you mean what you say, you will have made a drastic change in behavior. • The second rule: Good utilization of his moments of anger Certainly, the mother did not do so intentionally, but this is what actually took place. Khaalid learnt that shouting and nagging give very effective results. If you cry and shout at the top of your voice for a sufficient amount of time, you will have the box of candy. The candy is the prize you get for shouting. • The third rule: She does not mean what she says The mother taught her child that she never means what she says. Although she threatens (to punish), she never carries out her threat. She ordered him to keep quiet otherwise she would punish him severely, but what did she do? Instead of punishing him severely, she rewarded him by buying him candy. (To be continued)

By Islamonline team

believe the lies for something terrible to happen. If what the pundits on the Fox Network say is true, then we are truly in a state of war. After all, imagine that president Obama is a “secret Muslim” and that, instead of being a religion of peace, Muslims are all vile terrorists that are intent on spreading Shariah law by force to every corner of the world. Imagine for a moment that what the pundits are saying is true, that Muslims are after you and your family. That Muslims are not building a community center in New York City because of they need it, but because they want to mock the victims of the September 11th attacks, that American Muslims fully support terrorists that are intent on bombing Ameri-

can society. In this case, wouldn’t it be a moral imperative to go to war with every Muslim you know? While the idea should be ridiculous to everyone, as the massacre in Norway illustrates, it only takes a single crazy individual that truly believes the lies for terrible consequences to happen. While the killings in Norway were directly the fault of the madman that perpetrated that hateful act, the hateful rantings of a dishonest, corrupt media have their share of the blame. They are playing with fire. They incite hateful, violent acts in order to gain viewers and line their pockets with cash. However, to believe their extreme lies fully will always result in extreme acts of desperation and violence.


6

National

CAIR Seeks Federal Charges for Threat of Texas Mosque Shooting Spree Al-Mashreq-agencies: (SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS, The San Antonio, Texas, chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-San Antonio) today called on federal law enforcement authorities to consider bringing charges against a man arrested Tuesday for vowing to “shoot as many people as possible” at a local mosque. The man arrested for allegedly making the terroristic threat, 44-year-old Christopher Bane, reportedly said he was going to use a .45 caliber handgun to kill Muslims at the mosque. Bane was charged with a Class B misdemeanor. “The terroristic threat allegedly made by this individual requires more serious charges

than a single misdemeanor,” said CAIR-San Antonio President Sarwat Husain. “We urge federal law enforcement authorities to consider more serious charges that will send a message to all those who might consider such an attack on a house of worship.” She also suggested that Bane’s bail be raised substantially due to the deadly nature of the threat. Husain said CAIR’s New York chapter recently called on the FBI to investigate an apparently bias-motivated assault on a Queens man of Afghan heritage who was stabbed repeatedly outside a mosque by an attacker shouting anti-Muslim comments.

CAIR Asked SUBWAY to Apologize to La. Muslim Barred from Restaurant Al-Mashreq-agencies: a retired 63-year-old U.S. citizen of South Asian heritage who lives in New Orleans reported to CAIR that on November 21, 2012, he and his wife stopped at the SUBWAY restaurant in Shreveport, La. Before ordering, they went to the restrooms in the facility. The husband exited the restroom first and went outside the restaurant to wait for his wife in anticipation of re-entering to order their food. While his wife was still inside the restaurant, the victim attempted to re-enter, but was blocked at the door by a female SUBWAY employee who allegedly asked him “Are you Muslim?” When the victim replied that he is indeed Muslim, the SUBWAY employee reportedly responded, “We can’t serve you.” The employee then went inside the restaurant and locked the door behind her. Fearing for his wife’s safety and distraught at the violation of his civil rights, the man called 911. When the Shreveport Police Department arrived, an officer went inside the SUBWAY restaurant and later came out to tell the victim that the manager was “scared” of him and that he “better leave.” [NOTE: The victim is 5’6” and weighs approximately 155 pounds. He wears an Islamic cap, called a “kufi,” and a beard for religious reasons. His wife, a teacher, wears an Islamic headscarf, or “hijab.”] In a letter to SUBWAY President and CEO Fred DeLuca, CAIR National Legal Counsel Nadhira Al-Khalili wrote in part: “Louisiana Revised Statutes 51:2247 states that it is a ‘discriminatory practice for a per-

son to deny an individual the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of a place of public accommodation, resort, or amusement, as defined in this Chapter, on the grounds of race, creed, color, religion, sex, age, disability, as defined in R.S. 51:2232(11), or national origin.’ According to the law, a place of public accommodation ‘means any place, store, or other establishment, either licensed or unlicensed, which supplies goods or services to the general public.’” Al-Khalili’s letter cited Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination on account of religion in places of public accommodation and service. She also referred to the company’s diversity policy that claims SUBWAY “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind on the basis of race, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, creed, religion, color or national origin.” CAIR requested that SUBWAY (1) investigate this troubling incident, (2) offer a formal written apology to the victim and his wife, (3) institute policy changes that will ensure that this type of incident does not occur in the future, (4) offer compensation to the victim and his wife for the humiliation and emotional distress caused by the SUBWAY employee and the police, and (5) participate in a corporate religious sensitivity program for franchise managers. A copy of the letter was sent to Chief Willie L. Shaw, Jr. of the Shreveport Police Department and to the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division.

Arizona amongst the worst-run 5 states in America Al-Mashreq-agencies: debt per capita: $2,188 (12th lowest) Budget deficit: 39.0% (3rd largest) Unemployment: 9.5% (tied13th highest) Median household income: $46,709 (21st lowest) Pct. below poverty line: 19.0% (tied-8th highest) Between 2006 and 2011, the value of homes in Arizona tumbled by 35%, more than every state except for Nevada. The state also had the nation’s second-highest foreclosure rate in 2011, with one in every 24

homes in foreclosure. In the aftermath of the financial crisis, Arizona had some of the nation’s largest budget shortfalls. In fiscal 2010, the state had a shortfall of $5.1 billion, equal to 65% of its general fund. In fiscal 2011, Arizona’s budget deficit was 39.0% of its general fund, the third-highest in the nation. In the recent state elections, residents voted on several measures intended to shore up the state’s finances. Voters rejected the continuation of a sales tax hike, while approving the restructuring of the state’s property tax assessment system.

December 6 - January 3 , 2013

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Bosnian-born US citizen Adis Medunjanin sentenced to life in prison over NYC-subway bomb plot Najibullah Zazi, Medunjanin’s accused co-conspirator, was arrested in September 2009, just days before Medunjanin and a third member of the plot, Zarein Ahmedzay, planned to carry out what US Attorney General Eric Holder called “one of the most serious terrorist threats” to the US since the September 11, 2001 attacks. During the sentencing on Friday, Robert Gottlieb, a lawyer for Medunjanin, described him as a bright young man with a loving family who had fled to the US from Bosnia when he was a child. Members of his extended family sat quietly in the back of the courtroom, some of them wiping away tears. When asked if he would like to make a statement, Medunjanin, recited several Quranic verses in Arabic. He then delivered a speech about the plight of Muslims and the poor across the world, and denied having anything to do with the subway plot. Gleeson said it was difficult to believe that three men who went to high school in Queens, New York, could become pawns in an al-Qaeda plot. “This was not a fringe character in our society,” he said. Subways targeted During Medunjanin’s trial, prosecutors described how the three made a plan to travel overseas with the intent of joining up with Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. They made it to Pakistan, where they

were introduced to an al-Qaeda facilitator. That facilitator took them to meet with senior al-Qaeda operatives, who provided them with military training and persuaded them to return to the US to carry out an attack in New York City. After their return, the three met to discuss their plans for a suicide attack, and settled New York City subways as a taregt. Zazi began to assemble explosive devices at his family’s home in Colorado, and drove to New York City with the materials in September 2009, prosecutors said. The plan was aborted when Zazi and Ahmedzay became suspicious that

they were being monitored. After federal agents searched Medunjanin’s home in January 2010, Medunjanin got into his car and sped erratically across the Whitestone Expressway in Queens, crashing his car into another vehicle in what prosecutors described as a last-ditch attempt to fulfill his suicide mission. “Adis Medunjanin sought martyrdom for himself and death for innocent New Yorkers as part of al-Qaeda’s plan to spread terror within our shores,” US lawyer Loretta Lynch said in a statement. Both Zazi and Ahmedzay pleaded guilty and testified against Medunjanin during his trial. Zazi, 27, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 14, and Ahmedzay, also 27, will be sentenced on May 10.

Two marches for Gaza in less than a week

in Arizona

Al-Mashreq-agencies: on Friday, November 23, 2012, a second march in solidarity with Palestine and the Gaza strip took place in Downtown Tempe Arizona. Despite the cease fire, the occupation is still there; said Lina Bearat one of the organizer. The march was called for CARAMA-Coalition of Arabs & Muslims in Arizona, SJP-the Student for Justice in Palestine and other local groups Continue From Page 1

Muslim Professor Wins US Religion Award Hijab: What’s It All About? Hijab Handout Clears US Misconceptions American Team Don Hijab to Support Captain I thought this was going to be connected with fundamentalist Islam, or patriarchal Islam, she said. Ahmed, 72, found out that some Muslim women opt to don the hijab to assert their identity and as symbol of activism. They wanted a way of saying, ‘I’m proud to be Muslim and I want to show you, you shouldn’t have prejudices against Muslims.’ The Egyptian-born professor found that other women used their hijab to trigger a debate in their societies about their styles of dress as well as social justice and service. But the majority of women wear the hijab because it is an obligation under their religion. Many women wear the hijab because they believe that God requires them to, Ahmed said. Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations. The headscarf came under world spotlight after France banned it in public places in 2004. Several European countries followed suit. Ahmed wrote several books about women and Islam. In her 1992 book Women and Gen-

der in Islam, she argues that the oppressive practices of women in the Middle East are due to patriarchal interpretation of Islam rather than the religious itself. The Grawemeyer Awards are five awards given annually by the University of Louisville. The prizes are presented to individuals in the fields of education, ideas improving world order, music com-

position, religion, and psychology. The religion award is presented jointly by the University of Louisville and the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. The first Muslim to win the award was Eboo Patel, founder and director of the Interfaith Youth Core in Chicago, in 2010.The United States is home to a Muslim minority of six to eight million. www.almashreqonline.com


7

National

December 6 - January 3 , 2013

Obama faces huge challenge in setting up insurance exchanges

Continue From Page 1

Saudi gets life sentence over US bombing plot Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari sentenced to life in jail for plotting attacks on ex-president George W Bush and other targets

Al-Mashreq-agencies: the Obama administration faces major logistical and financial challenges in creating health insurance exchanges for states that have declined to set up their own systems. The exchanges were designed as the centerpiece of President Obama’s signature law, and are intended to make buying health insurance comparable to booking a flight or finding a compatible partner on Match.com. Sixteen states - most of them governed by Republicans - have said they will not set up their own systems, forcing the federal government to come up with one instead. Another five states said they want a federal-state partnership, while four others are considering partnerships. It’s a situation no one anticipated when the Affordable Care Act was written. The law assumed states would create and operate their own exchanges, and set aside billions in grants for that purpose. The Hill HIGHLIGHTS With the reelection of President Obama, the Affordability Care Act known as ObamaCare will begin its implementation. The exchanges, a hallmark feature of President Obama’s 2010 Affordable Care Act, will allow households and small businesses to buy a private health plan. Many will get help from the government to pay their premiums. Though states must declare by Dec. 14 whether they intend to operate their own exchanges starting in January 2014, there is no penalty for launching a staterun exchange after 2014 It’s not just the numerous legal challenges to the birth control mandate that are gumming up the works in the implementation of Obamacare, but conservatives are still litigating the health care

law itself. This time, instead of challenging the constitutionality of health care reform, conservatives are challenging the federal government’s ability to administer subsidies for health insurance coverage in the multi-state exchange. Conservatives argue only state exchanges can give out these subsidies, and that if a state chooses not to set up an exchange then there’s no way for citizens in that state to get a subsidy to pay for their insurance in the federal exchange. Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) is expected to opt not to set up a state Obamacare exchange. This is the right decision for Ohio. The President’s health care law is unworkable and unsustainable. Rejecting the health insurance exchanges, and equally as important, the Medicaid expansion, are two opportunities states have to push back on this law and instead push forward on a better health reform agenda for Ohio. These exchanges are used in the law to funnel subsidies to government-controlled health plans. Some proponents of the law will undoubtedly criticize the Governor’s decision. But, there are more practical and sound reasons why opting not to adopt a state exchange is best for the states

Fugitive on FBI’s most wanted list arrested

Authorities arrest Joe Luis Saenz, suspected by US intelligence of being a hit man for drug cartels Al-Mashreq-agencies: one of

the FBI’s “ten most wanted fugitives” was arrested in Mexico and returned to Los Angeles to face charges of murder, kidnapping and rape, US officials have said. Reputed gang member Joe Luis Saenz was taken into custody on Thursday in Guadalajara following a joint operation with the Mexican government, said Bill Lewis, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office. Saenz returned to Los Angeles on Friday evening, while Mexican officials said they expect extradition proceedings to begin in the coming days. Investigators said Saenz shot and killed two rival gang members in July 1998 to retaliate for an assault on one of his associates. Saenz suspected Sigrieta Hernandez, his girlfriend and the mother of his daughter, was going to tell police about the slay-

ings, investigators said. He is accused of kidnapping, raping and killing Hernandez less than two weeks later. Saenz is also believed to have killed Oscar Torres at his home in October 2008 because he failed to repay $600,000 in drug money after police seized the cash during a traffic stop. Authorities said they have videotape from a surveillance camera at Torres’ house that shows Saenz killing Torres and wounding another person. Saenz, who is about 37, was believed to be hiding in Mexico, working as an enforcer and hit man for a Mexican drug cartel. Saenz had been on the FBI’s most wanted list since 2009, putting him among the ranks of Osama bin Laden and other notorious criminals. There was a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest.

An Egyptian court imposes ‘Blasphemy’ Death Sentences against 8 American Defendants and CAIR Repudiates CAIR- the council on American Islamic Relations today repudiated death sentences handed down by an Egyptian court for charges linked to the anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims” that attacked the Prophet Muhammad. An Egyptian court reportedly found the defendants, most www.almashreqonline.com

of whom live in the United States, guilty of harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information. Capital punishment decisions must be approved or rejected by Egypt’s top religious authority. A final verdict is due on Jan. 29.

One email he sent himself with the title “targets” contained the names and home addresses of three members of the US military who had been stationed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.

with a backpack bomb and had emailed himself instructions on how to convert a mobile phone into a remote detonator and how to booby-trap a vehicle using household items.

may well have gone undetected were it not for the keen observations of private citizens,” Sarah Saldaña, US attorney for the northern district of Texas, said in a statement.

Another, titled “Tyrant’s House,” listed Bush’s address in Dallas.

Aldawsari was lawfully admitted to the US on a student visa in 2008 and was enrolled at South Plains College near Lubbock, Texas at the time of his 2011 arrest.

“This case, in which private citizens paid attention to details and notified authorities of their suspicions, serves as a reminder to all private citizens that we must always be observant and vigilant, as there are some who intend to cause great harm.”

The FBI also found evidence that Aldawsari was looking into using dolls to conceal explosives, targeting a nightclub

“Khalid Aldawsari, acting as a lone wolf,

Calls mount to ban Hamas from Twitter

An evangelical group says Hamas access to Twitter violates the United States’ ‘material support’ laws an evangelical Christian group in the United States has filed a petition calling for Twitter and the US government to “ban Hamas from Twitter”. The group argues that Hamas, the hardline Palestinian group currently ruling the Gaza Strip, is listed as a “Foreign Terrorist Organisation” by the US government, and federal law prohibits providing “material support” to such groups. The group, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), says that “when it comes to Israel’s military campaign, there is little that we here in America can do to help. But when it comes to this second conAl-Mashreq-agencies:

flict - the so-called ‘twitter war’ - there is something important we can do.” This follows a letter sent by seven Republican congressmen in September, calling on the FBI to order Twitter disable accounts affiliated with Hamas, Hezbollah, and al-Shabaab, which operates in Somalia. The recent conflict in Gaza led Congressman Ted Poe, who represents a district in eastern Texas, to claim the congressman’s request had been vindicated, according to The Hill, a political newspaper focusing on the US Congress. “Allowing foreign terrorist organisations like Hamas to operate on Twitter is enabling

the enemy,” he wrote in an email on Wednesday. Gaza tweets Both Hamas and the Israeli military were highly active on Twitter during the recent conflict in Gaza. The Israeli military used Twitter to explain their operations, even tweeting a link to a video showing its assassination of Ahmed Jabari, Hamas’ military chief. Although Hamas does not have an official Twitter feed, its military wing, Al Qassam Brigades, does. “We told you #IDF that our blessed hands will reach your leaders and soldiers wherever they are, ‘You opened the Gates of Hell

on Yourselves’”, reads one such tweet. David Cole, a professor at Georgetown University’s law school, suspects that CUFI may have a strong legal case. In an article for the Daily Beast, he wrote that “the ‘material support’ law is written so broadly that it makes virtually anything one does to or for a designated group a crime, even if it has no link to terrorist activity of any kind.” Cole, who frequently writes on civil liberties issues, argues that “the more appropriate campaign should be directed at Congress, to amend the ‘material support’ law to limit its draconian reach”.

Right-wing US politicians pressured banks to blockade WikiLeaks Al-Mashreq-agencies: hardright U.S. politicians were directly behind the extrajudicial banking blockade against WikiLeaks, according to documents released by the anti-secrecy organization. In the heavily redacted documents leaked from the European Commission, MasterCard Europe admits that Senator Joseph Lieberman and Congressman Peter T. King both “had conversations” with MasterCard in the United States over cooperating on the blockade. Lieberman, the chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs, is revealed boasting of instigating Amazon’s cutting of service to WikiLeaks.

Senator Lieberman tried to introduce the SHIELD Act into the Senate and advocated for prosecuting the New York Times for espionage in connection with WikiLeaks’ releases. Rep. Peter King, current chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, tried to formally designate WikiLeaks as a foreign terrorist organization, have its staff listed as ‘enemy combatants’, and have WikiLeaks put on a U.S. Treasury blacklist. On 13 January 2011 the U.S. Treasury announced it would not do so because there was no evidence that WikiLeaks should be on such a list. While Lieberman and King were unsuccessful in these methods of legally cutting

WikiLeaks from its popular donor base, they were successful in doing so extra-legally via VISA and MasterCard, which together hold a monopoly of 97 percent of the market of EU card payments. VISA Europe is registered in London and is owned by a consortium of European banks. MasterCard Europe is registered in Belgium and has similar ownership, but the Commission papers show that European control of VISA Europe and MasterCard Europe is a fiction. The papers reveal that the instructions to blockade WikiLeaks’ operations in Europe came directly from VISA and MasterCard in the United States. Ownership would normally imply control, but VISA and Master-

Card Europe are essentially controlled by confidential contracts with their U.S. counterparts, a hidden organizational structure that the Commission calls an “association of undertakings”. Julian Assange said: “There is no sovereignty without economic sovereignty. It is concerning that hard-right elements in the United States have been able to pressure VISA and MasterCard, who together hold monopoly over the European market, into introducing a blockade that the U.S. Treasury has rightly rejected. These unaccountable elements are directly interfering in the political and economic freedoms of EU consumers and are setting a precedent for political censorship of the world’s media.

US to become biggest oil producer by 2020 International Energy Agency says US will produce more oil than Saudi Arabia and become nearly self-sufficient by 2035

Al-Mashreq-agencies: the United States will become the world’s largest oil producer by around 2020, temporarily overtaking Saudi Arabia, as new exploration technologies help find more resources, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has revealed. In its World Energy Outlook released on Monday, the energy watchdog also predicted that greater oil and natural gas production - thanks partly to a boom in shale gas output - as well as more efficient use of energy will allow the US - to become nearly self-sufficient around 2035. The US currently imports some 20 per cent of its energy needs. This would be “a dramatic reversal of the trend seen in most other energy-importing countries,” the Paris-based IEA said in its report. “

“Energy developments in the United States are profound and their effect will be felt well beyond North America - and the energy sector.” Rebounding US oil and gas production is “steadily changing the role of North America in global energy trade,” the IEA said. Shifting exports For example, oil exports out of the Mideast will increasingly go to Asia as the US becomes more self-sufficient. That will increase the global focus on the security of strategic routes that bring Middle East oil to Asian markets. Tensions between Iran and Western powers have raised concerns that oil exports from the Persian Gulf could be blocked in a potential conflict over Tehran’s alleged

plan to develop nuclear weapons. The IEA added that global trends in the energy markets will be influenced by some countries’ retreat from nuclear power, the fast spread of wind and solar technologies and a rise in unconventional gas production. The agency concluded that despite the rising use of low carbon energy sources, huge subsidies will keep fossil fuels “dominant in the global energy mix.” “Taking all new developments and policies into account, the world is still failing to put the global energy system onto a more sustainable path,” the IEA said. Global energy needs are forecast to increase by a third by 2035, with 60 per cent of the additional demand coming from China, India and the Middle East.


8

International & Business

Qatari poet jailed for life to appeal

Muhammad Ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami’s lawyer says he will appeal against the verdict next week Al-Mashreq-agencies: a Qatari poet, who has been sentenced to life for comments said to be critical of the Qatari leadership, will take his case to an appeal court, his lawyer Najeeb al-Naimi has said. Muhammad Ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami, 36, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Thursday for what is said to be attempts to destabilise the country. Bashar Jaafari, the Syrian ambassador to the United Nations, criticised the Qatari government for the harsh sentencing. “The international community must admit that there is international terrorism in Syria supported by states, states that claim to want to protect human rights in Syria, states which do not hesitate to condemn a poet to a life sentence merely because he had the temer-

ity to write a poem condemning the emir of his country,” Jaafari said on Friday. Al-Ajami, who has been largely held in solitary confinement, spoke to the Reuters news agency in the presence of prison guards and others. “The Emir is a good man,” he told the agency. “I think he doesn’t know that they have me here for a year, that they have put me in a single room. “If he knew, I would be freed,” he said. “This is wrong,” al-Ajami said. “You can’t have Al Jazeera in this country and put me in jail for being a poet.” Al-Naimi said he would appeal next week against the verdict, which was handed down after six hearings. The poet was arrested in November 2011.

Twitter enables internetless posts in Syria Following an Internet blackout that began on Thursday, micro-blogging service allows users to call in tweets Al-Mashreq-agencies: Google and Twitter have reactivated a voice feature for Syrians to send out tweets during internet blackouts. Friday’s announcement of the reinstating of the voice-tweet programme marks the first use of the technology since authorities in Egypt shut down the internet for several days in 2011. “Those who might be lucky enough to have a voice connection can still use Speak2Tweet by simply leaving a voicemail,” David Torres, a New York-based Google developer said. Torres acknowledged that many Syrians may not be able to use the service because telecom networks have also been affected by recent communication blackouts. Correspondents for the AFP news service noted that Internet and telephone communications, including mobile phones, were cut in the capital since Thursday.

The service allows people with a telephone connection to compose and send a 140-character tweet by speaking on their phones. Those able to dial out can leave messages on several phone numbers: +90 212 339 1447 or +30 21 1 198 2716 or +39 06 62207294 or +1 650 419 4196 , “and the service will tweet the message,” Torres said. “No Internet connection is required, and people can listen to the messages by dialing the same phone numbers or going to twitter.com/speak2tweet.” Activists accused the government of Bashar al-Assad, Syrian president, of preparing a “massacre” when the telephone lines and Internet first went down on Thursday. Authorities explained the cut was due to “maintenance” work. Washington branded it as a desperate move on part of Damascus.

Egypt’s new Coptic pope enthroned Pope Tawadros II, 60, was elected after the death of Shenouda III in March - who led the church for 40 years Al-Mashreq-agencies: the new

pledged to work for the good pope of Egypt’s Orthodox of Egypt, with its Muslims Coptic church was enthroned and Christians alike. in an elaborate ceremony Egypt’s Christians make up lasting nearly four hours, at- about 10 per cent of the natended by the nation’s Mus- tion’s estimated 83 million lim prime minister and a host people, making them the of cabinet ministers and largest single Christian compoliticians. munity in the Middle East. Pope Tawadros II, 60, was Christians have long comelected November 4, but the plained of discrimination, official enthronement cer- particularly in the last four emony was held on Sunday decades as the country’s at the Coptic cathedral in Muslim majority moved toCairo. ward religious conservatism. He replaced Shenouda III, The rise to power of Iswho died in March after lamists after the ouster nearleading the ancient church ly two years ago of authorifor 40 years. tarian leader Hosni Mubarak The packed cathedral repeat- has deepened their concerns, edly erupted into applause as amid increasing attacks tarthe ceremony progressed. geting their churches and The ceremony’s climax businesses. came when the papal crown Vatican Radio said he exwas placed on Tawadros’ pressed hope that relahead before he sat on the tions between the Catholic throne of St Mark, the Cop- Church and the Coptic Orthodox Church will contic church’s founding saint. Tawadros did not address tinue to grow both “in a the televised ceremony, fraternal spirit of collaborabut had a brief speech read tion” as well as “through a on his behalf by one of the deepening of the theologichurch’s leaders in which he cal dialogue”.

December 6 - January 3 , 2013

Israel halts Palestinian tax transfer

Thousands of PA government salaries to be hit by move which follows Palestinians› successful bid for upgraded UN status Al-Mashreq-agencies: Israel has halted the transfer of tax and tariff money it collects for the Palestinian Authority (PA) in response to their successful bid for UN nonmember observer state status. Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s finance minister, said on Sunday that the government would use the money it was to transfer to the Palestinians to pay down their debt to the Israel Electric Corporation and other Israeli bodies. “I have no intention of transferring the taxes due to the Palestinian Authority this month,” Steinitz said. “They will be used to pay the PA debts to the Israeli electricity company and other bodies.” Without the transfer, the PA will not have the money to pay government salaries. Al Jazeera’s Nicole Johnston, reporting from Ramallah, said 150,000 public service employees rely on the money.

The move is the second such act by Israel. On Friday, it announced it would press ahead with plans to build thousands of settler homes on illegally occupied territory. Johnston said the new settlements would mean a 25km journey from Bethlehem to Ramallah would be more than quadrupled to 120km as Palestinians would be forced to circumvent the settlements. This move, said Johnston, would make it “very difficult for Palestinians to have any kind of a contiguous state” in the future. Previous freezes Ahead of the UN vote, Israel’s government had warned the Palestinians and the international community that it would react harshly to an upgraded status for the Palestine, accusing them of leapfrogging negotiations and disregarding peace accords. The Palestinians say the up-

graded status does not contradict any effort for new talks, pointing out that negotiations have been on hold since late September 2010.

erned by the 1994 Paris Protocols with the Palestinians.

Every month, Israel transfers tens of millions of dollars in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports.

The UN victory for the Palestinians was a diplomatic setback for Israel, which was joined by only a handful of countries in voting against upgrading the Palestinians’ observer status at the UN to “non-member state”, like the Vatican, from “entity”.

The tax revenues constitute a large percentage of the Palestinian budget and are gov-

Israel has frozen payments to the PA before, usually during times of diplomatic tension.

Syrian rebel attack on school kills 29 students, teacher: TV Al-Mashreq-agencies: A rebel mortar attack on a school in a camp for displaced people near Damascus on Tuesday killed 29 students and their teacher, Syrian state television reported, calling it a “horrific crime.” The mortar smashed into Bteiha school in Wafideen camp about 20 kilometers (15 miles) northeast of Damascus, the report said.

Wafideen is home to some 25,000 people displaced from the Golan Heights by the Israeli occupation since 1967. “They were killed by a mortar launched by terrorists,” said the broadcaster, using the Syrian regime’s term for rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in the country’s raging civil war.

Battles east of Damascus have grown especially bloody in past days as troops try to push back rebels in the Eastern Ghouta region as they inch closer towards the capital.

ings in the Wafideen camp.

On Tuesday alone, a total of 16 people were killed in violence in the province of Damascus, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which also reported the kill-

The army meanwhile shelled several towns and villages in the outskirts of Damascus, both southwest and east of the capital, it said.

The Britain-based watchdog also reported raging battles on Tuesday at a checkpoint near the strategic road linking Damascus to the international airport.

Yasser Arafat’s body exhumed in Ramallah

Move part of probe into Palestinian leader’s death after Swiss scientists found traces of polonium on his clothing Describing the complexity of the task facing investigators in an interview to Al Jazeera on Tuesday, Dr Rebecca Hsu, a forensic pathologist based in the US state of Arizona, said: “Exhumations are always extremely difficult. You are dealing with the added problem that a time period has passed.”

Al Jazeera sources said Yasser Arafat’s remains have been reburied, just hours after being exhumed as part of a probe into his death. The same sources said the forensic pathologists were “not able to fully remove the body from the tomb,” so they took samples from portions of it. Because Arafat’s remains were not fully removed, Palestinian authorities could not do a proper military funeral as was expected. The Palestinian Authority will hold a press conference on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the exhumation. Arafat died of a stroke in 2004, but the underlying causes of death remain a mystery. Earlier, sources told Al Jazeera that Palestinian doctors collected samples with the help of an international teams from France, Russia and Switzerland. Three doctors, three forensic scientists, the health minister, the justice minister, and heads of the lawyers and doctors syndicates were reportedly present during the exhumation. Al Jazeera’s Clayton Swisher also reported that the Palestinian attorney general, with the help of French prosecutors, had started interviewing dozens of Palestinian officials close to Arafat about the conditions the leader was living under before his death in 2004. Three teams of international investigators travelled on Monday to the muqataa, the Palestinian Authority (PA) headquarters, where Arafat is buried. Al Jazeera investigation A nine-month investigation by Al Jazeera found elevated levels of the substance in Arafat’s final personal effects. The findings, which were broadcast in July, suggest that there was also a high level of polonium in Arafat’s body when he died, raising fresh questions about what killed the longtime Palestinian leader. The cause of Arafat’s death has long remained a mystery. Some reports speculated that he died from AIDS, cirrhosis of the liver, or other diseases, but medi-

cal experts who studied his final medical records told Al Jazeera that he was in good health until he suddenly fell ill in October of 2004. Many Palestinians have long believed that Arafat was poisoned by Israel, a charge Tirawi repeated on Saturday. French legal experts have also begun to gather evidence on the case in preparation for a possible trial, including testimony from people in the West Bank, according to Palestinian officials. The teams are operating under a near-media blackout imposed by the PA, which had promised a transparent and open investigation. None of the investigators contacted over the past few days was willing to speak on the record. And late on Monday, the PA said it would not allow lawyers representing Arafat’s widow, Suha, to attend the exhumation, without offering any reason for its decision. On Monday night, workers with hand tools drilled through more than four metres of concrete over Arafat’s body. Investigators also collected several samples on the way down to look at polonium levels. The whole process was to take about 10 hours. French, Swiss and Russian scientists The French team includes three scientists - a toxicologist, a pathologist and a generalist who works on legal medicine. The Swiss team, from the Institut de Radiophysique in Lausanne, conducted the forensic analysis in the initial investigation. The PA also asked experts from

Russia to conduct their own independent analysis. “One of them is from an organisation dealing with judicial medical experts, and the others are specialists connected to radiation,” a source familiar with the Russian team said. Only a handful of officials from the PA and Fatah were on hand for the exhumation. Arafat’s family was not present, according to Palestinian officials. It is unclear what condition Arafat’s body will be in eight years after his death. Samples collected from bones and organs offer the best chance of finding evidence of polonium. Al Jazeera’s investigation studied the items Arafat had with him when he died: his comb, his toothbrush, even his iconic kaffiyeh, all of which were variously stained with his blood, sweat, saliva and urine. The items were provided by Suha Arafat. Arafat’s belongings were analysed by the Institut de Radiophysique, which discovered high levels of polonium-210. Further tests found that most of the polonium was “unsupported,” which means that it did not come from natural sources. But even if it is present on Arafat’s body, very little of the radioactive element will remain at this point. Polonium-210, the isotope found on his personal effects, has a half-life of 138 days, meaning that half of the substance will decay every four-and-a-half months. Scientists say that eight years is about the limit for recovering a useful sample, and a longer delay would have made it impossible to recover a workable sample.

Hsu said Investigators “must be very cautious” in how the body is removed and how samples are obtained “so that nothing that was not present initially is then added and perhaps mistaken for the original damage”. ‘Certain people in certain positions’ It will take months for the scientists to finish analysing the samples they collect. Researchers will have to wait through at least one half-life to study the decay in their samples: Natural polonium replenishes itself after decaying, while unsupported polonium does not. Once they finish their work, the French courts will determine how to proceed. Arafat died in a French military hospital, giving the French legal system jurisdiction over the case. Suha Arafat asked a French court to open a murder investigation earlier this year, and the court granted that request in August. A team of French judges has already begun collecting Arafat’s medical records and other evidence. The group interviewed Suha Arafat earlier this month. Tirawi also said that the investigators had gathered testimony in the West Bank from “certain people, in certain positions”, but declined to offer any detail about their identities. The French team has refused to speak to the press, and a team of Palestinian and French security agents prevented reporters from approaching them in their hotel. “They publicly praise Al Jazeera for the investigative breakthrough that breathed life into what was otherwise a very cold case, while at the same time they chase us around Ramallah to keep us from doing our jobs,” said Al Jazeera’s Clayton Swisher, who produced the investigation. www.almashreqonline.com


Al-Mashreq December Issue