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Russia holds air combat manoeuvres in North Caucasus

Source : Thomas Grove | Reuters
MOSCOW | 18 Jul 2011

Russia began large-scale air force training manoeuvres in the North Caucasus on Monday in a step towards boosting security against an Islamic insurgency raging in the region, a newspaper reported.

The exercise is the largest of its kind in the predominantly Muslim region of Kabardino-Balkaria in 15 years and will involve fighter jets and combat helicopters, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily quoted air force spokesman Vladimir Drik as saying.


On the rise in Tajikistan, Islam worries an authoritarian government

Source : Michael Schwirtz | The New York Times
DUSHANBE : Tajikistan | 16 Jul 2011

Islam is blossoming in Tajikistan. Beards are in style. Headscarves, too. Bazaars are doing a booming trade in prayer rugs, religious audio recordings and gaudy clocks featuring Muslim holy sites.

After decades of enforced secularism, the people of this impoverished former Soviet republic have been flocking to their traditional religion with all the zeal of born-again movements anywhere in the world.


Syrian activists say up to 30 killed in 24 hours

Source : Associated Press
BEIRUT | 18 Jul 2011

The discovery of three mutilated corpses set off a wave of sectarian bloodshed that killed up to 30 people over the weekend in central Syria, a dangerous escalation in violence stemming from the country’s four-month-old uprising, activists said Monday.


Israeli navy takes over Gaza-bound ship

Source : Amy Teibel | AP
JERUSALEM | 19 Jul 2011

Israeli naval commandos on Tuesday seized control of a French ship attempting to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip, reporting no resistance during the takeover in international waters.

The navy boarded the ship after the pro-Palestinian activists on board ignored calls to change course.


No Russian refuge for Qaddafi

Source : Agencies
MOSCOW | 18 Jul 2011

Russia’s foreign minister says his country will not offer asylum to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi if he steps down.

Sergey Lavrov was asked about the possibility at a news conference Monday and said “the answer is negative.”

Russia’s envoy for Africa Mikhail Margelov visited Libya in June and said that Qaddafi has lost his legitimacy.


Arab Spring not Islamist uprising, says Muslim intellectual

Source : Robert Sibley | Ottawa Citizen
OTTAWA | 18 Jul 2011

The future of the Arab Spring is "unpredictable," and, indeed, hopes for democracy in the region could be derailed if the political situation becomes too divisive, says a prominent Muslim intellectual. "It is a very difficult reality we have now in these countries (Egypt and Tunisia)," says Tariq Ramadan. "The polarization . could in fact stop the democratic process itself."


No plans to ban niqabs at schools — Dagestani leader

Source : RIA Novosti
YESSENTUKI | 14 Jul 2011

The wearing of face-covering Islamic garments by female students is not favored in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Dagestan, but there will be no ban on such veils, Dagestani leader Magomedsalam Magomedov has said.

"We are not introducing any bans [on full-face Islamic veils], but this is not our traditional cloth, and we are not in favor of wearing niqabs at schools and universities," Magomedov said.


UAE to donate 3 mln barrels oil to Yemen: minister

Source : Reuters
SANAA | 16 Jul 2011

The United Arab Emirates has pledged 3 million barrels of oil to Yemen, which faces a fuel crisis due to attacks on a pipeline during widespread political unrest, a Yemeni deputy minister said on Saturday.

Deputy Information Minister Abdo Al-Janadi, speaking to reporters, did not give details about the delivery of the oil from the UAE, the world’s third-largest crude exporter.


US is ‘real enemy’ of Pakistan, says Iran’s top leader

Source : AP
TEHRAN | 16 Jul 2011

Iran’s state TV says the country’s supreme leader has told Pakistan’s president that the United States is Pakistan’s real enemy.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei spoke Saturday during a meeting with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. It was Zardari’s second visit to Iran in less than a month.

Khamenei has the final say on all state matters in Iran.


OIC, West pledge to combat intolerance

Source : Siraj Wahab | Arab News
ISTANBUL | 16 Jul 2011

In what can rightly be described as a seminal step in relations between the Muslim world and the Western world, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the leading nations of the Western world led by the United States and the European Union agreed Saturday to take concrete steps to combat intolerance, negative stereotyping and discrimination, incitement to violence, and violence against persons based on religion or belief.


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