Thursday, February 16, 2006

Highlights 16th February 2006

Muslim Cartoon News Roundup

The mainstream media's coverage of this story is about to wind down. However, emotions remain high and flash points low. Presented for your contemplation, the latest tensions sparked by the Muhammad cartoons. In this post:...more in The Tension

Cry for me Bangladesh

The world's second largest Muslim state -- at 150 million, co-equal with Pakistan, and behind Indonesia -- Bangladesh was well on its way to falling victim to a coalition of pro-al-Qaida politico-religious extremists. Almost unnoticed, they have been gnawing away at Bangladesh's fragile democratic institutions. Prime Minister Khaleda Zia's husband was former president and military strongman Ziaur Rahman. He was assassinated in 1981. Her rival and head of the Awami League is another woman, Sheikh Hasina Wajed. Her father was the country's first prime minister. He was assassinated in 1975. Under Zia's leadership, the Bangladesh National Party has appeased Islamist fundamentalists by including Osama Bin Laden's local fan club in her government. To wit: Jamaat-e-Islami stands for an Islamic republic. BNP coalition partner Islami Okiyya Jote is linked to the pro-al-Qaida Harkat-ul-Jihad-Al Islami, which in turn is linked to Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh, which wants to impose sharia law by force. It is widely believed to be responsible for a countrywide wave of some 500 bombings on Aug. 17, 2005............more in UPI

Clouds over Bangladesh Have Silver Lining

The government heaps the blame on 'a neighbouring nation'. Ms Khalida Zia says sarcastically: 'If the explosives came from across the border, the government must take up the issue with that country.' The real danger is that a substantial part of bureaucracy and police are mixed up with those who indulge in violence. Belatedly, the government has begun action against terrorists but the real culprits still enjoy the support of extremists in the BNP and the Jamiat. Terrorists are instruments of the two parties and they cannot afford to blunt them. Accordingly, the anti-Indian propaganda has got a new edge. The government imagines it can divert towards New Delhi the people's anger against the failure to deal with terrorism. True, the anti-India feeling is more palpable than before. But this is because the ruling BNP has made New Delhi a whipping boy. The coalition believes that the anti-India feeling will give the two parties more votes. Election is only 10 months away. New Delhi looks at the developments helplessly. Woefully, some in the government of India put their faith in Ms Khalida Zia?s son, Mr Tariq, a Sanjay Gandhi in Bangladesh politics. Little do the pro-Tariq elements realise that he was burning midnight oil for getting the BNP back....more in Navhind

Tangail Tangail Tangail

often times bangaldeshi people will hear words in english movies then want me to translate them. this week my host sister wanted to know what "damn Bitch" meant and my bangla tutor inquired about "gigalo" i wish they would stop watching tv so i wouldn't have to explain these things....more from Megamemegameg, Peace Corps Volunteer

Muslim Aid and Terror

I am writing this reply in relation to your recent letter in which raised concerns about "which your client, Muslim Aid UK, suggests that there are “extremely serious and highly defamatory allegations which have no basis whatsoever in fact" in my article, "Bangladesh: Osama's New Haven," which was published by frontpagmag.com on December 29th, 2005. I strongly deny your suggestion that I was guilty of poor sourcing and inadequate investigation of the claims made in the article. I cannot help but believe that your client, Muslim Aid UK, has raised these allegations in an attempt to silence me from reporting on serious allegations of potential abuse and negligence by the charity, issues which I have explored in the public's interest. I believe that these questions should be raised before the Charity Commission UK. For the time being, however, let me respond to some of the particulars in your letter. You note that I said "was helping to finance and promote Islamist terrorism in Bangladesh." In fact, Bangladeshi and Indian intelligence agencies claim that Muslim Aid Bangladesh is one of 10 charities and NGO's helping to finance and promote Islamist militancy in Bangladesh.....more in FrontPageMag

Bangladeshi Infiltration a Serious Threat to Bharat

The problem of Bangladeshi infiltration has ruined the social, political and economic life of Assam. Wicked vicious habits or activities of Bangladeshis for their ultimate goal of greater Bangladesh to exploit natural resources of Assam has affected the sentiments of Assamese, which resulted in protest. Which was the result of growth in Muslim outfits and their activities, appeasement of Muslims, rising crime graph but condition became worst when they started encroaching all sought of lands and also they attacked on Tribles and Bihu team at the time of Bihu to disturb peace and harmony of the region. The process is accelerating day by day.Central home minister for State Mr. Prakash Jaiswal accepted in parliament that more than 50 lakhs Bangladeshi are residing in Assam resulting in a great disaster over all this infiltration has affected each and every aspect of society which is very clear from: The Growth of Muslim populations irrespective of high birth rate, at the rate of 3.18 % per 10 year after 1971,While Hindus are decreasing at the rate of 3.17% per 10 year. In 15 out of 27 district of Assam Muslim population is increasing unexpectedly....more in Sudeshi

Protecting illegal immigrants

The argument that one need not get worked up about the proposed amendment because those arriving from Bangladesh are mere economic migrants looking for jobs, carries little conviction thanks to Bangladesh's emergence as a nursery and exporter of fundamentalist Islamist terrorism under the active patronage of the present coalition Government which is spearheaded by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and which includes the Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh (JeIB). The latter's Amir, Matiur Rahman Nizami, is the Minister for Industries and Secretary General, Ali Ahasan Muhammad Mujaheed, is State Minister for Social Welfare. The JeIB and its student wing, the Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), constitute the fountainhead of fundamentalist Islamist terrorism in Bangladesh. The leaders of terrorist organisations like the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HUJIB), Ahle Hadith Andolan Bangladesh (AHAB), Jamaatul Mujaheedin Bangladesh (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), have risen from the ranks of either JeIB or the ICS or both....more in Daily Pioneer

Alert at dams, power projects

All major dams and power projects in the country, including the Farakka barrage, the Tehri dam, the Indira Sagar dam, the Dulhasti hydroelectric project in Jammu and Kashmir and the Rehand hydroelectric project have been put on high alert. All Central security agencies have been instructed to strengthen security at major dams and power projects following an intelligence warning of possible terrorist attacks. According to sources in the Union home ministry, the Central security agencies have also been asked to strengthen security at all nine major power projects of the National Hydro-Power Corporation in the country. Around 1,500 personnel of the Central Industrial Security Force deployed at the Dulhasti project in Kashmir have been asked to strengthen their intelligence-gathering mechanism and increase long-range patrolling. Sources revealed that new intelligence reports indicated that militants might target this ambitious electrical project constructed on the Chenab river.....more in Asian Age

US agents hunt for Al Qaeda in India

Clandestine American intelligence operatives have been working in deep cover within the Indian territory to help track down al Qaeda operatives and other terrorist groups. Relying largely on human intelligence, these operatives work with paid agents and also seek to infiltrate militant groups in various parts of India, particularly in Jammu and Kashmir. The United States believes that some at least of these groups may have been co-opted by al Qaeda to launch attacks inside and outside India against both Indian and US interests. Indo-US intelligence cooperation scaled unprecedented heights following the attack on the Indian Parliament, just three months after 9/11. And last year's New Delhi bombings during the Diwali festival season have convinced Washington of the extent of al Qaeda infiltration into India....more in Rediff

Keeping Religion Out Of The Army

Meanwhile, the commanders of the Indian army are resisting a government demand that the army tally the number of troops by religion. Previously, the military had been strictly secular, not inquiring about the religion of anyone who joined. The generals want to maintain that, but the politicians want a better idea of how many troops are Moslem. About 14 percent of the Indian population is Moslem....more in Strategy Page

Delhi and Beijing tread warily

All the talk of a "new beginning" in Sino-Indian relations notwithstanding, there is little evidence to support the view that China has recast its foreign policy to build an accommodative relationship with Asia's other rising power - India. If anything, Beijing has unveiled major strategic moves that will in effect isolate India in South Asia and further squeeze India's traditional strategic space in the region, keeping New Delhi tied down with multiple subcontinental concerns. After Pakistan and Myanmar, Beijing is skillfully employing economic and military means to draw Bhutan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives and Sri Lanka into China's orbit. The Chinese military's recent incursions and road-construction activity in Bhutanese territory are aimed at coercing the tiny Himalayan kingdom to end its protectorate relationship with India and move into China's orbit "if Bhutan desires peace and development with the world's fastest-growing superpower". Ignoring Indian pleas not to fish in troubled waters in volatile Nepal, Beijing has gone ahead with arms supplies to the beleaguered monarchy. Nepal's King Gyanendra has been openly playing "the China card" to counter Indian and US demands for an early restoration of multi-party democracy in the Himalayan kingdom....more in Asia Times Online

China-India: Uneasy tango

With the oil-rich middle east remaining volatile and showing little signs of cooling off in the foreseeable future India has been trying to shore up its energy security by hunting for stakes in the oil and gas reserves of some countries in the Third World. China cannot be grudged if it has forged ahead in this competition, especially in Africa where it has invested heavily. There are 700 Chinese-funded projects in the continent of Africa. But then China has also promised to be a partner of India in this race for energy security. The Chinese notion of partnership does not prevent it from grabbing the exportable quota of Myanmar gas before India could get round the fidgety Bangladeshis who are well under the influence of China, and be in a position to receive the gas offered by the military junta of Myanmar.....more in Central Chronicle

Myanmar opposition offers to recognize military rule

Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party has offered to recognize Myanmar's military rule if the generals running the country free its leader and summon a parliament whose election in 1990 they ignored. The proposal would allow the generals to become a legally accepted transitional government while talks are held on moving the former Burma to democracy, the National League for Democracy (NLD) said. There was no immediate response and acceptance appeared unlikely after the generals who have ruled Myanmar in various guises since 1962 extended the house arrest of a top Suu Kyi aide by another year and railed against foreign critics.....more in Boston.com

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