Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Four Israelis killed in West Bank

Four Israelis killed in West Bank
Military wing of Hamas claims responsibility for attack that killed four Israelis travelling on a highway near 
Israeli rescue services said the victims were two men and two women [Reuters]

The military wing of Hamas has claimed responsibility for a shooting that killed four Israelis near Hebron in the occupied West Bank.

At least one gunman opened fire on a car driving on Highway 60 near the Kiryat Arba settlement on Tuesday. 

The Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, claimed responsibility for the attack in a short statement posted on its website, and said it would be the first in a "series of operations" in the West Bank.

Israseli rescue services said the victims were two men and two women, and that one of the women was pregnant.

This is the first fatal attack on Israelis in the West Bank since June, when one police officer was killed and two others wounded in an ambush. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for that attack.

The shooting comes one day before Palestinian and Israeli officials are scheduled to meet in Washington in an effort to relaunch direct negotiations.

'Against Palestinian interests'

Osama Hamdan, a Hamas spokesman, told Al Jazeera that Hamas had not planned any attacks intended to sabotage the Israeli-PA talks. But Hamdan said he was speaking for the political wing of Hamas, and that the Qassam Brigades could have planned the attack independently.

"We believe that there is no need to do something like this to sabotage these negotiations, because Netanyahu has [already] done this," he said.

Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian Authority prime minister, condemned the shooting, saying it was "against Palestinian interests". He said the PA will "take measures" to prevent future attacks.

Israeli officials have called security one of their top priorities for negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said on Sunday that "the establishment of tangible security measures" was a precondition for talks with the PA. In a statement issued shortly after the shooting, Netanyahu said he directed Israeli security forces to "pursue the attackers without any diplomatic restraint".

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority president, acknowledged Israel's security concerns in an address earlier this week, but said they could not be used as a pretext for a "land grab". Kiryat Arba is built on land seized during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, and is considered an illegal settlement by the United Nations.

'Sabotage the process'

Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organisation's executive committee, told Al Jazeera that the timing of the attack "is related to the beginning of talks".

"There seems to be a pattern each time there is an advance [in the peace process] or the commencement of talks, attacks happen," she said.

"The situation here is unstable, unsecure, and people pay attention when there is violence against Israelis, while the violence Palestinians face at the hands of Israelis on a daily basis goes unnoticed."

PJ Crowley, a spokesman for the US state department, called for Israeli and Palestinian leaders to show "determination" and continue talks despite any violence.

"We are cognizant that there could be external events that can ... have an impact on the environment," he said at a press briefing in Washington.

"We are also cognizant that there may well be actors in the region who are deliberately making these kinds of attacks in order to sabotage the process.

"Not everyone sees this in the same way, and there are those who will do whatever they can to disrupt the process."

The Israeli embassy in Washington issued a short statement in response to the attack. "[It was] clearly intended to derail the peace talks, but we will not be deterred from seeking peace," it said.

Source Aljazeera and agencies


 The Security Council today extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (<"http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unifil/">UNIFIL) for another year, saying its presence there, as well as that of the Lebanese armed forces, is helping to promote stability in the south of the Middle Eastern country.

In a unanimous resolution, the Council said it had determined that "the situation in Lebanon continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security" and had therefore decided to extend UNIFIL's mandate until 31 August 2011.

The Council strongly urged all parties concerned to respect the cessation of hostilities, to prevent any violation of the so-called Blue Line separating Lebanon and Israel, and to cooperate fully with the UN and UNIFIL.

It also urged the Israeli Government to expedite the withdrawal of its army from northern Ghajar, a village that straddles the Blue Line, without further delay in coordination with UNIFIL, which, the Council said, has actively engaged Israel and Lebanon to facilitate the withdrawal.

The Council also reaffirmed its call for the establishment, between the Blue Line and the Litani River, of an area free of any armed personnel, assets and weapons except those of the Lebanese Government and UNIFIL.

It strongly deplored the recent incidents involving UN peacekeepers, emphasized the importance of not impairing the ability of the mission to fulfil its mandate, and called on all parties to abide by their obligation to respect the safety of UNIFIL and other UN personnel.

UNIFIL was originally created by the Security Council in March 1978 to confirm Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese Government in re-establishing effective authority in the area. The mandate had to be adjusted twice due to developments in 1982 and 2000.

Following the 2006 conflict, the Council enhanced UNIFIL and decided that in addition to the original mandate, it would, among other matters, monitor the cessation of hostilities; accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon; and extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilians and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.

Monday, August 30, 2010

SOMALIA: Mogadishu fighting cuts food supplies

SOMALIA: Mogadishu fighting cuts food supplies

NAIROBI, 30 August 2010 (IRIN) - As the latest round of fighting in the Somali capital enters its eighth day, traders and civil society activists warn of food shortages due to the closure of many businesses and markets across the city, increasing pressure on the already food-insecure population.

 Residents in parts of Mogadishu are trapped and unable to access food supplies and services, civil society sources said on 30 August.

 "Many people, particularly in the north of the city and parts of the south, where the fighting has been heaviest, have been stuck in their homes for the past eight days; they have run out of food, water and other essentials and have no access to any help," Asha Sha'ur, a civil society activist, told IRIN.

 The areas most affected are Hodan, Hawlwadaag, Wardhigley (south Mogadishu) and Cabdicasiis, Shibis and Boondheere districts (north Mogadishu).

 "Even those with money are unable to go out and buy what they need because of the constant shelling. They have little choice except to wait and hope that the violence around them ceases."

 However, the majority affected are poor people who buy what they need on a daily basis: "They don't have the means to buy in bulk and store at home." She warned that without a respite, many people "will simply die in their homes".


 Mahamud Haji, a resident of Siigaale area, Hodan district, one of the most contested areas, told IRIN that he and his neighbours had been prisoners in their homes for eight days. "Even the ambulances could not reach us. Some of those wounded died because we could not get them to hospital," he said. He said they were restricting themselves to one meal a day.

 Ali Mohamed Siyad, chairman of Mogadishu's Bakara market traders, told IRIN the current fighting had been among the worst the city had seen, forcing many people to close their businesses.

 "We cannot get food from the port into the market and we cannot provide the retailers in the neighbourhoods. What is happening is taking a heavy toll on those who depend on the markets for a living and those who depend on them for food," he said. "It would not surprise me if people have already run out of food."

 Displaced and desperate

 In recent months, Mogadishu has been a battleground for troops loyal to the government of the western-backed President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, with the African Union force, and armed opposition groups, chief among them Al-Shabab, which now controls much of the south and centre of the country.

 A local journalist told IRIN the current fighting was the worst the city had seen since May 2009, when Islamist insurgents mounted an offensive aimed at overthrowing the government. That offensive displaced more than 100,000 people.

 According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), since 5 July some 36,000 people have been displaced.

 "About 15,700 have been displaced within the city, while 20,400 managed to leave the city," said Roberta Russo, UNHCR-Somalia spokeswoman.

 "The level of despair of the innocent men, women and children living in Mogadishu is extreme. Most of the people remaining there simply don't have the means to escape from what they describe as hell."

 She said women who managed to flee the city "told me that many don't even have the means to bring their loved ones wounded by the fighting to hospital, nor to bury them once they die".

 Injuries increase

 Medical sources told IRIN the number of injured seeking help was growing daily.

 Ali Muse, who runs the city's ambulance service, told IRIN his teams had collected 69 bodies and more than 213 wounded from various parts of the city in the past seven days. Almost all were civilians.

 "We are receiving many families, including very small children," said Mohamed Yusuf, director-general of Madina Hospital, adding that most of the injuries were shrapnel wounds.

 He said the hospital had sufficient drugs to deal with the influx but manpower and fuel were increasingly becoming a problem.

 Yusuf said he had been working for more than seven days with little or no rest. He said the generators powering the hospital were working 24 hours a day "and we are very short of fuel. If we don't get enough fuel we may not be able to help those who need surgery."



New York, Aug 30 2010  4:10PM
Providing health services to millions of people affected by the massive flooding in Pakistan remains a priority for humanitarian agencies, as a large numbers of those affected by the disaster continue to seek treatment for diseases such as diarrhoea, skin infections, respiratory problems and malaria, the United Nations health agency says.

Medical needs have been rising even as assessments indicate that some 400 of the more than 1,000 health facilities in flood-affected districts have been damaged or destroyed by floodwater, the UN World Health Organization (<"http://www.who.int/en/">WHO) reported in an update released yesterday.

According to the latest epidemiological data, some 3.7 million people are reported to have received some form of medical treatment between 29 July and 23 August. Of those, 500,000 were cases of acute diarrhoea, 517,000 involved acute respiratory infections, there were 693,000 cases of skin infections and 94,000 suspected cases of malaria.

The number of suspected malaria cases is rising in Balochistan and Sindh provinces, compared to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, according to WHO.

UN spokesperson Martin Nesirky told reporters in New York that it could take months before the clinics and health centres, schools and other public infrastructure destroyed by the massive floods can be restored. Most of those affected are also not expected to regain their capacity to support themselves any time soon, Mr. Nesirky added.

In a related development, the heads of three UN agencies will separately visit Pakistan this week to review ongoing humanitarian work among flood-affected communities.

Those travelling to the country are Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Children Fund (<"http://www.unicef.org/">UNICEF); Josette Sheeran, the Executive Director of the UN World Food Programme (<"http://www.wfp.org/">WFP); and Irina Bokova, the Director-General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (<"http://www.unesco.org/new/en/pakistan-flood-response/">UNESCO).

WFP reported that it has reached over 2.5 million of the flood-affected people with food rations during the past month. The agency will begin delivering 1,500 metric tons of rice per day this week, it added.

Meanwhile, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (<"http://ochaonline.un.org/">OCHA) said that the $459 million response plan for Pakistan has now received $291 million in commitments and an additional $21 million in pledges.

The head of the UN Environment Programme (<"http://www.unep.org/">UNEP), Achim Steiner, has donated a $70,000 international leadership prize awarded to him to the Pakistan flood emergency response.

Mr. Steiner was awarded the 2010 Tällberg Foundation prize at a ceremony in Stockholm yesterday for "principled pragmatism" and "leadership that walks the talk".

He said he had "been deeply touched not only by the scale of the disaster but also the extraordinary efforts of local communities and organizations in mobilizing relief efforts while support from the international community was being deployed."

Mr. Steiner said will immediately transfer the funds to the Sarhad Rural Support Programme – a national non-governmental organization (NGO) which has mobilized flood relief and rehabilitation effort for the affected communities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Somalia has a role model for success on its doorstep

Somalia has a role model for success on its doorstep

A young boy leads al-Shabab fighters on military exercise in northern Mogadishu, Somalia
Torn between violent extremists and a puppet government, Somalia could look to Somaliland for a lesson in nation building

Ioan Lewis
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 26 August 2010 14.00 BST
Article history

A young boy leads al-Shabab fighters on military exercise in Suqaholaha neighborhood in northern Mogadishu, Somalia. Photograph: Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP

The escalating war for control of what is left of Somalia, between the al-Shabab extremists and the African Union puppet "transitional federal government", offers little hope of peaceful resolution. Al-Shabab is now deeply entrenched and, with the help of foreign jihadists, virtually controls all southern Somalia.

However contentious, their viciously anti-feminist interpretation of fundamentalist Islam brooks no opposition and is consequently far from popular, even outlawing watching sports contests and football on television. More significantly, it also strikes at the roots of traditional Sufi Somali Islam with its cults of local and international, saints whose graves are now regularly desecrated. This is very much in the uncompromising spirit of Salafi Saudi Arabia which serves as al-Shabab's model of correct Muslim behaviour and, more importantly, provides the money that feeds its Somali enthusiasts. It thus has a very strong grip on the impoverished young Somali males who constitute the principal foot soldiers carrying al-Shabab's banner and are, in effect, mercenaries.

Somali society is extremely fragmented along kinship lines and, to a degree most foreign observers fail to appreciate, lacking in political centralisation. The familiar African chiefs are largely absent in this highly individualistic world where the individual's loyalties are a matter of competing blood-ties. Such bonds cut across membership of al-Shabab whose leaders, however, tend to belong to the Hawiye clan-family, based in central southern Somalia. The Somali historian Said Samatar aptly described their predecessors, the Union of Islamic courts, as a "fragile coalition of clans wrapped in an Islamic flag to look respectable"; al-Shabab similarly relies heavily on kinship ties to maintain solidarity and confront its enemies.

The underlying loyalties here are, as is usual in the Somali world, fluid and readily subject to fission. External pressures, especially from non-Islamic sources, normally provoke internal solidarity. This, of course, is a major reason why external force, intended to replace al-Shabab by less extreme forms of Islam, will almost certainly fail. Indeed, radical change in the al-Shabab regime is only likely to be achieved by subtle internal initiatives and the problem would be how to design and implement these. The perceived oppressive character of al-Shabab provides abundant opportunities for currents of Somali disaffection to grow and multiply.

A very important local factor will be the positive demonstration effect provided by the existence of the adjacent Somaliland Republic. Although largely officially ignored by the UN and OAU, this state based on the former British Somaliland Protectorate had initially joined Somalia, but in 1990, at the climax of the collapse of dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre's brutal regime,broke away to reassert its independence. Despite being regarded in Somalia as a sort of phantom limb, with virtually no external help, this state has built itself up by a remarkable series of internal peace agreements and democratic consolidation to its current situation as a functioning democracy. This has been achieved by local self-help and without the massive international effort devoted, with such striking lack of success, to restoring governance in Somalia.

Somaliland has just had its second successful presidential election (and changed president in a peaceful process validated by international observers). Its people are Somalis like their kinsfolk in Somalia, but by a judicious combination of traditional and modern politics, have successfully established a viable modern government and associated institutions. Despite internal and external pressures and with fewer economic resources than Somalia, these have demonstrated remarkable viability and have, so far, been blessed by an impressive degree of political stability. Its time now to learn from Somaliland's success and see how to emulate it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Should Somaliland allow the formation of a unionist party?

Should Somaliland allow the formation of a unionist party?
By Bashir Goth
August 28, 2010

Ludicrous idea, isn't it? How can I suggest such a treacherous idea when I am known as an unflinching advocate for Somaliland's independence and sovereignty? How could I dare even to utter the ugly U-word which I have denigrated so forcefully and irrevocably in many of my writings?  I can see jaws dropping with bewilderment, devoted readers unbelievably double checking the source, and some of those already besotted with cynicism against the loyalty of clans on the fringes of Somaliland jumping to conclusion as soon as they see the title without reading any further and saying with a great sense of satisfaction: "Hey, gotcha? We knew all along that he was a unionist in disguise?"  Likewise, I can see also unionist "Somalilanders" getting ecstatic about my rebellious approach. 

Before anyone jumps to any conclusions, I would like to point out that Somaliland has chosen democracy as its system of government. And democracy entails equality and freedom for all citizens. Under the tree of freedom come its many branches such as freedom of speech, freedom of assembly and freedom of religion. Under the umbrella of this system of democracy and freedom comes also one's right for dissent among many other rights. Any tax paying citizen should have the right to challenge the political system and be able to express his/her political opinion in a peaceful way. Democracy is not only about conformity, or herd mentality, or even about seeing only different shades of the existing system; but it is also about calling for dismantling the existing system and taking the nation's destiny to a completely different direction if need be. It is therefore the right of every citizen to demand and promote the political system he/she sees as suitable for the country. 

If the Kulmiye government opens the gate for the creation of many political parties as the party's leadership promised during the election campaign, I can envisage many parties carrying different ideologies and diverse political orientations coming to the political scene. Other than the plethora of clan-based parties that will choke the party pipeline, one can anticipate the arrival of some ideology- based parties such an Islamic party, a secular party, a liberal party, a social-democratic party and most probably a communist party.  With the onset of such unfettered democracy I don't see why it should still be a taboo to create a unionist party, demanding Somaliland's reunification with Somalia.

In Somaliland today there is a strange and unfounded fear of anyone expressing an opinion for union. Strange because Somaliland has adopted democracy as a political system and democracy is indivisible. You cannot deny citizens to demand their democratic rights to hold and express opposing views; and unfounded because the people of Somaliland have made their choice to abandon the union and reclaim their sovereignty with their own free will. Therefore to punish and criminalize people for calling or publicly advocating for the Somali union is an insult to the intelligence of the people of Somaliland. If anything, it shows insecurity and paranoia about the sustainability of the Somaliland project. 

The absurdity is that any Somali from anywhere in the world, particularly Somalis from Ethiopia, Djibitouti, Kenya and even Somalia can enter, stay and do business in Somaliland, but Somalilanders who happened to have participated in the politics of Somalia cannot attend even the burial of their own relatives in Hargeisa, Borama, Buroa or any other place in Somaliland. Somalis who hold high political posts in Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti are welcomed in Somaliland even though they uphold their respective governments' official position of rejecting the recognition of Somaliland, but Somalis who hail from Somaliland by birth are treated as criminals and thrown into prison if they step on the soil of their homeland and are not even allowed to visit their ailing mothers.  Their only crime is that they oppose the secession of Somaliland. This makes Somaliland democracy and freedom a cruel joke, at least to the families of the victims of such an absurd reality.

And finally, here is the beef.  Yes, I am a firm believer in Somaliland's sovereignty and independence and will remain a staunch advocate for its recognition. The people of Somaliland underwent great suffering and yet still found the courage and willpower to invest a priceless amount of energy, time and wisdom in creating a country from scratch and establishing such an admirable model of democracy in Africa. And despite its lack of recognition, I want to see Somaliland determined to uphold its constitutional democracy and hopefully one day be a guiding light for African countries as well as others professing democracy yet denying their citizens basic rights. Obviously, neither I nor any sound human being would like to see Somaliland's achievements go up in flames for someone's fantasyland dreams, but I also strongly believe that Somaliland has attained a high degree of political maturity to democratically and peacefully challenge and defeat anyone that confronts its legal rights at the ballot box. Hence, I resent seeing my beautiful Somaliland that stands on unshakeable democratic pillars, behaving like a banana republic by incarcerating and denying its citizens the exercise of their political rights. And that includes allowing the minority unionist individuals to raise their voice and form their own party. We all know that such dissenters do not stand a chance of winning any votes, but giving them a political platform may contribute to deflating their argument and saving their lives from dying in the hellfire of Mogadishu.

Bashir Goth
Email: bsogoth@yahoo.com




Ahmed Arwo


As we are in the last ten days of Ramadan which includes the Night of Power (Laylatul Qadr), we have to reflect on their virtue and spiritual assets. There are many fictions and fabrications in relation to this night specifically and to the last ten days of Ramadan in general. There are stories about surprise encounters of saints and prophets in disguise, mostly as beggars in the most detesting and disgusting shape and clothing. There are others who celebrate the greatness of this night in worldly festive mood with music and dance, similar to the Christmas, and even distribute surprise gifts to children and poor families, in a manner near to that of Father Christmas.


I do not want to indulge myself into innovations and misinterpretation of this glorious night, lest I may distract those of weak hearts from this special night full of Allah's mercy and forgiveness. May Allah make us those who endorse this night in prayer and dikr, as prescribed by Allah and his Messenger. Let us commit ourselves to commemorate this ten nights in accordance to the conduct of the Prophet and his companions.


The following article by one of the greatest scholars of Islam, Sheikh Salman al-Aodah (may Allah reward him his mercy in respect of his unreserved efforts in spreading the correct principles and practices of Islam), will guide us to the proper way of honouring last ten days of Ramadan. The article is posted in its authenticity and entirety, without any change in shape and form from www.islamtoday.com.


Sheikh Salman al-Aodah said:-


The last ten nights of Ramadan are very special. The first of these nights occurs on the eve of the 21st day of Ramadan. In other words, it is the night that commences after the completion of the 20th day of fasting. Sometimes there are only nine nights, whenever the month of Ramadan lasts for only 29 days. Nevertheless, they are still traditionally referred to as "the last ten nights".

The last ten nights of Ramadan are very special. These are the nights that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would spend in constant worship. Among these nights is Laylah al-Qadr – a night more blessed than a thousand months.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to single these nights out for worship and the performance of good deeds. He would exert himself in worship during these ten nights more than any other nights of the year.

`Â'ishah tells us: "During the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would tighten his waist belt and spend the night in worship. He would also wake up his family." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1920)]

`Â'ishah also says: "I had never known Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) to read the entire Qur'ân in a single night, or to spend the whole night in prayer up until the morning, or to spend a whole month in fasting – except in Ramadan." [Sunan al-Nasâ'î (1641) and Sunan Ibn Mâjah (1348)]

When we say that the Prophet (peace be upon him) spent the whole night in worship, we should qualify it. This is because he would spend some time eating dinner, partaking of his pre-dawn meal, and other similar activities. However, he would spend most of the night in worship.

Waking Up the Family

`Â'ishah informs us that the Prophet (peace be upon him) used to wake up his family during the last ten nights of Ramadan. Indeed, he used to wake up his wives for prayer throughout the year, but that was so that they could pray for a small fraction of the night.

We know this, because Umm Salamah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) woke her up one night and said: "Glory be to Allah. What has been sent down of trials during this night? What has been sent down of treasures, so that the denizens of the bedchambers will be awakened? O Lord! To be clothed in this world by naked in the Hereafter." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1074)]

During the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Prophet (peace be upon him) would wake up his wives to pray for a much longer portion of the night than during the rest of the year.

Exerting Oneself in Worship

`Â'isha tells us: "The Prophet would exert himself in worship during the last ten nights more than at any other time of the year." [Sahîh Muslim (1175)]

The great jurist, al-Shâfi`î declares: "It is Sunnah for one to exert greater efforts in worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan." [al-Majmû` (6/397)]

When `Â'ishah tells us that the Prophet (peace be upon him) would "tighten his waistbelt", she is speaking figuratively. The phrase means to set about to devote oneself fully and wholeheartedly to the task at hand.

Seeking Out Laylah al-Qadr

One of the greatest distinctions of these ten special nights is that one of them is Laylah al-Qadr – the Night of Decree. This is the greatest night of the year – better than a thousand months. This means that a Muslim can earn more rewards on Laylah al-Qadr than he would if – excluding this special night – he were worship his Lord for eighty-four years straight. This is one of the immense favors that Allah has bestowed upon the Muslim community.

Ibrâhîm al-Nakha`î says: "Good works performed on this night are better than those performed consistently for a thousand months."

Abû Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Whoever spends Laylah al-Qadr in prayer, believing in Allah and seeking His reward, will be forgiven all of his past sins." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1802) and Sahîh Muslim (760)]

Belief in Allah, in this hadîth, means not only to believe in Allah, but to believe in the reward that we are promised for observing prayer on this night.

Laylah al-Qadr
is on one of the odd nights. `Â'ishah relates that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Seek out Laylah al-Qadr in the odd nights during the last ten nights of Ramadan." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1913) and Sahîh Muslim (1169)]

It is most likely one of the last seven odd nights. Ibn `Umar relates that Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: "Look for it in the last ten nights. If one of you falls weak or unable to do so, then he should at least try on the seven remaining nights." [Sahîh Muslim (1165)]

The most likely candidate for Laylah al-Qadr is the 27th night of Ramadan. This is indicated by the statement of `Ubayy b. Ka`b: "I swear by Allah that I know which night it is. It is the night in which Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) ordered us to observe in prayer. It is the night on the eve of the 27th of Ramadan. Its sign is that the Sun will rise in the morning of that day white without exuding any rays." [Sahîh Muslim (762)]

A Muslim should seek out this special night by spending the last ten nights of Ramadan engaged in various acts of worship. These include reciting the remembrances of Allah, reading the Qur'ân, and begging Allah's forgiveness.

It is best for us to strive hard on all ten nights, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The way we "look for" Laylah al-Qadr is by engaging in extra worship.

When the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Look for it in the last ten nights" he did not mean that we should literally "look for" signs and indications that distinguish Laylah al-Qadr from other nights. The things that distinguish Laylah al-Qadr from other nights are part of the Unseen.

Allah says: " Surely We revealed it on a blessed night. Surely We ever wish to warn (against evil) – On this night, every wise matter is made distinct." [Sûrah al-Dukhân (3-4)]

Allah says: "Laylah al-Qadr is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with every decree. (This night is) peace, until the rising of the dawn." [Sûrah al-Qadr (3-5)]

These are the ways in which Laylah al-Qadr is special. They are not things that we can see with our eyes. No one after the Prophet (peace be upon him) can see the angels.

Observing a Retreat in the Mosque (I`tikâf)

Observing a retreat in the mosque is of the best things we can do during the last ten nights of Ramadan. `Â'ishah tells us: "The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to observe a retreat in the mosque during the last ten nights of Ramadan up until he died. His wives continued to observe this practice after his death." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1922) and Sahîh Musli (1172)]

The practice of i`tikâf is a strongly recommended act. It is defined as remaining in retreat in the mosque for the express purpose of worship. The purpose of doing so is to devote one's heart exclusively to Allah. The person engaging in i`tikâf keeps this intention close to mind and seeks Allah's blessings. He should not forget the reason why he is observing this retreat.

A person observing i`tikâf does not leave the mosque except for what is absolutely necessary (like going to the bathroom). While in the mosque, he should busy himself with the remembrance of Allah. He should make sure to offer the remembrances of the morning and evening and the prescribed remembrances for the five daily prayers. He should perform all of the Sunnah prayers and all other recommended prayers, like the Duhâ prayer. He should read as much of the Qur'ân as he can.

He should spend less time eating and sleep as little as possible. He should avoid unnecessary talk. However, he should engage in advising his fellow Muslims and in enjoining them to truth and to patience.


It is encouraged for us to be extra generous during the last ten nights of Ramadan, without being extravagant or ostentatious in our giving. Ibn `Abbâs relates that: "Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) was the most generous of all people in doing good, and he was at his most generous during the month of Ramadan. Gabriel used to meet with him every year throughout the month of Ramadan, so the Prophet could recite the Qur'ân to him. Whenever Gabriel met with him, he became more generous than a beneficial breeze." [Sahîh al-Bukhârî (1902) and Sahîh Muslim (2308)]

Al-Nawawî states [al-Majmû` (6/398)]:

Generosity and open-handedness are strongly encouraged in Ramadan, especially during the last ten nights. By doing so, we emulate the example of Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) as well as of our Pious Predecessors. Also, this month is noble, and good works carried out in this month are more blessed than they are at any other time. Also, during this month, people are preoccupied with fasting and worship, and this distracts them from their livelihood, so they might need some assistance during this time. END.



Let us pray for peace in our homeland and that of all Muslims.



Ahmed Arwo


“Guddidii Loo Saaray Dayntii Cawil Way Soo Celiyeen Arintii.....

"Guddidii Loo Saaray Dayntii Cawil Way Soo Celiyeen Arintii, Laakiin Wali Arin Dhamaatay Maaha Hawshaasi, Waana Arin Baadhitaan Danbe U Baahanaysa"

Wasiirka Maaliyada Eng. Maxamed Xaashi

Hargeysa, August 27, 2010 (Haatuf) – Wasiirka Maaliyada Somaliland, Eng. Maxamed Xaashi Cilmi ayaa sheegay in guddidii loo saaray dayntii Wasiirkii hore Ee maaliyada Mr. Cawil uu sheegay in lagu leeyahay Wasaarada Maaliyada ay soo celiyeen, isla markaana aanay ahayn arin dhamaatay.

Maxamed Xaashi waxa kale oo uu sheegay in isbedelka ku yimid lacagta doolarka ay tahay wax caadi ah oo mar marka qaar marna kor u kaco marna hoos u dhac ku yimaado.

Wasiirka Maaliyadu waxa uu sidaasi ku sheegay Waraysi uu xalay khadka Telefoonka uu kual yeeshay Wargeyska Haatuf, waraysigaasina waxa uu u dhacay sidan:-

S: Ma ku talo jirtaan xukuumad ahaan in aad is waafajisaan Doolarka iyo Miciishada kala socda ee aan wada socon?

J: Horta Doolarku mar mar uu iska kaco iyo mar uu hoos u dhacaaba way jiraan, hada waxa iskhilaafkooda keenaya waxa weeyi, waxa aad hada inooga dhoofa xoolaha nool ee aynu u iibgeyno Caalamka, markaa waxa farabatey doolarkii, Baddiina wali may furmid oo doonyihii way maqan yihiin wali, kolkaa xaalado badan oo caynkaas ah ayaa jira taas ayaana keenaysa isbadbadalka doolarka.

S: Waxa dhacday bishii dhawayd in aad shaqaalaha dawlada qaarkood musharaharkii ay Somaliland-ta ku qaadanayeen aad ku siiseen Doolar arimahaas maxaad tafaasiil naga siinkartaa?

J: Arintaasi way jirtaa, shaqaalaha aanu mushaharka Doolarka ku siinayna waa kuwa bariga ee aanay lacagteenu gaadhin, waayo shaqaalaha dawlada ee deegaanadaas aanay lacagteenu ka socon wax kale oo lagu siiyaa musharka ma jiraan.

S: Waxa nagu maqaala ah, in aad cashuurtii dawlada ee awal lagu qaadi jiray doolar aad ka wada dhigteen Shiling Somaliland, arimahaas maxaa ka jira?

J: Figrad sidaas aad sheegtey ahi ma jirto, laakiin waxa jira Ashyaa doolar lagu qabto iyo qaar lagu qabto Somali, Doolarka waxa lagu qabtaa wixi Dakada, Maraakiibta ka yimaada iyo Airport-ka ka yimaada, kuwaas Doolar baynu  ku qabanaa, xoolaha Xoolaha dhoofa iyo Shidaalkana Doolar ayaa lagu qabtaa oo aanu ku qabanaa, kuwaa Acount-ka gaara ayaanu u furnay oo Doolarka ah, wixii kalena Somali ayaa lagu qabtaa, waxa jira oo aanu imikana bixinaynay mushaharkii shaqaalaha ee isgaadh-gaadhay, markaa waxa laga yaabaa in lacag intii hore ka badani ay suuqa soo gashay mar qudha ileyn sadex bilood oo mushahar ah ayaanu bixinay oo isgaadh-gaadhay.

S:Tan iyo intii uu Madaxwayne Axmed Siilaanyo kuu magacaabay xilka wasaarada Maaliyada waxa soo xarooda dakhli ka badan kii markii hore ku soo dhici jiray qasnada dawlada, xagee ayaa la odhan karaa wuu u leexan jiray dakhligaas wakhtigii dawladii Rayaale talada dalka haysey?

S:In badan ayaan hore uga hadlay arimahaas, Madaxwaynihii hore ee Somaliland lacagta dakada isagaa qaadan jiray, lacagta shidaalkana isaga ayey jeebkiisa ku dhici jirtey, Xoolaha dhoofaya lacagta ka soo xarootana isaga ayaa qaadan jiray, lacagta Airport-kana isaga ayey jeebkiisa ku dhici jirtey iyo faraqa qiimaha $2 waxa u dhaxeeya, markaas xukuumadii hore waxaas oo dhan iyada ayaa qaadan jiray, anaguna cashuurtii maanu kordhine soo ururinteedii ayuun baanu xooga saarney oo aanu kordhinay.

S:Waxa aad magacawdey Agaasimkii Kastamka iyo Agaasimkii Dakada, kalsooni intee leeg ayaad ku qabtaa masuuliyiinta aad u magacawday in ay xilkooda u gudan doonaan sida ugu macquulsan ee dalka iyo dadkaba u dan ah?

J:Waxa aan xooga saarayaa in aad anigu xafiiska cid walba uga horeeyo oo aan daba galo cida aan shaqadeeda si fiican u gudanayn.

S:Maanta madaxwaynaha somaliland Axmed Maxamed Siilaanyo waxa masuuliyiinta uu magacaabay ka mid ah Maareeyihii dakada Berbera, kaslooni intee leeg ayaad ka qabtaa masuulkaasi in uu ka leexdo dhabihii dawladii hore ee Rayaale?

J:Horta dakada oo ah meesha dhaqaalaha ugu badani dalka ka soo baxo, dhaqaalaha ka soo baxaa dawladii hore qasnadeeda kumuu dhici jirin ee waxa uu toos u gali jiray jeebka Madaxtooyada, markaa waxaan aad ugu hanwaynahay in aanay wax walba sidi hore u dhicin oo ay dhabaha saxda ah maraan, masuulkan cusubna waxaan ka rajaynayaa wada shaqayn wanaagsan, waxa aananu ku rajo waynahay in aan la arag wax kooto ah.

S:Waxa aad hore uga dhawaajisay in aad shaqaalaha dawlada mushaharka u kordhin doontaan, arimntaa maxaa  idiinka meel yaala ilaa hada?

J:Arintaas waxa ka wayn oo aanu hada la rafanaynaa sidii loo bixin lahaa wixii hore.

S: Dayntii uu wasaarada ku wareejiyey wasiirkii kaa horeeyey Xuseen Cali Ducaale, Gudidii loo saaray wax natiijo ah wali ma ka soo saareen waxa laga yeelayo arintaas?

S: Gudidii arintaas loo saaray way soo celiyeen arintii, laakiin wali arin dhamaatey maaha hawshaasi, waana arin baadhitaan danbe u baahanaysa, baadhitaankaasna ka hortagi maayo.

S:Waxa la sheegeyaa in xukuumadu wasiirkii hore ee Maaliyada Cawil ay ka xayirta socdaalada dibada, arintaas maxaad tafaasiil naga siin kartaa?

J:Xayiraadaas anigu wali maan maqal, kamana war hayo arintaas.


Anigoo ku hadlaaya magaca reer Cabdi Carwo iyo kan xaaskayga Amaal Cumar Carte waxaan tacsi u dirayaa ehelka, ubadka, tafiirta kale, gacalka, qaraabada, xigaalka, xito iyo asxaabta uu marxuumku ka tegay meel kasta oo ay joogaanba . Sidoo kale waxaan  tacsi u dirayaa Shacbiweynaha Soomaliland, gaar ahaan halgamayaashii SNM.

Cabdilaaahi waxuu ahaa tiir ka mida kaabayaashii ay ku taagnayd halgankii ummadda Soomaliland ee ay horseedka ka ahayd ururkii halganka ee SNM. Waxuu yahay dhamac iftiimaysa oo ku xardhan taariikhda qaranka Soomaliland. Lama ilooban iyo dhacdo muujisay geesinimada SNM kuna noqotay jab iyo hoog taliskii faashiga ahaa, waxay ahayd dharaartii sida badheedhka ah xabsiga loogala baxay Muj. Cabdilaahi Askar.
Alle ha u naxariistee Marxuum  Cabdilaahi Askawaxuu ku geeriyooday magaalda Hargeysa maanta oo Axad ah 29 August 2010.
 Waxaan Illaahay uga baryayaa inuu marxuum Cabdilaahi u naxariisto oo uu janatal fardows ku abaal mariyo, innagana dhammaan inaga siiyo samir iyo Iimaan.

Axmed Xasan Carwo
409 64 21

Crisis Group reports published this week:

Crisis Group reports published this week: 

Kosovo and Serbia after the International Court of Justice Opinion
26 August
The development of more realistic, if not yet fully public, attitudes in Kosovo and Serbia suggest a win-win resolution of their dispute is feasible if both sides promptly open talks with the aim of reaching a comprehensive compromise. 

The Pogroms in Kyrgyzstan
23 August
Without prompt, genuine and exhaustive measures to address the damage done by the pogroms, Kyrgyzstan risks another round of terrible violence.

Saturday, August 28, 2010



An independent United Nations human rights expert has called on all Somalis to help prevent the kind of bloodshed witnessed this week when 33 people were killed during a hotel bombing in the capital, and to assist in bringing those responsible to justice.

"I urge a grassroots effort to prevent a repetition of this atrocious act," said Shamsul Bari, the Independent Expert on the situation of human rights in Somalia, referring to the 24 August attack on the Muna Hotel in Mogadishu.

Four members of Somalia's Transitional Federal Parliament died in the attack, which was strongly condemned by UN officials and the Security Council, and is the latest act of violence to hit the strife-torn Horn of Africa nation.

"This deplorable attack once again demonstrates that the extremists will stop at nothing in their desperate attempt to seize power by force," said Dr. Bari.

"However, the perpetrators of these desperate acts during the holy month of Ramadan will never win the hearts and minds of Somali people," he added.

Violence in Mogadishu has led to some 3,000 conflict-related casualties so far this year and uprooted around 200,000 people from the city, which has been the scene of ongoing clashes between Government troops and Islamist militant groups, including Al-Shabaab.

"I appeal to the international community, as a matter of urgency, to rethink and renew its commitment to giving the protection of civilians and their access to humanitarian assistance the highest priority in Somalia," said Dr. Bari.


New York, Aug 27 2010  6:10PM
Independent United Nations human rights experts today voiced serious concern at last weekend's execution in Equatorial Guinea of four men over their alleged involvement in an armed attack on the country's presidential palace last year.

Three former military officers and one civilian were executed after a military trial in which they were found guilty on charges of treason and terrorism, according to a <"http://www.ohchr.org/en/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=10293&LangID=E">statement issued in Geneva by two members of the UN Working Group on the use of mercenaries.

The working group's Amada Benavides de Pérez (chairperson) and José-Luis Gomez del Prado, who visited Equatorial Guinea in the days before the execution, said they strongly condemned it, noting it "follows a summary trial that severely lacked due process."

Mrs. Pérez and Mr. Gomez del Prado also voiced concern that the sentence was carried out the same day as it was issued, denying the defendants – José Abeso Nsue, Manuel Ndong Anseme, Alipio Ndong Asumu and Jacinto Michá Obiang – any possibility of appeal.

"The [working] group could not obtain information on how the four men, who had taken refuge in Benin, were brought back into the country. They appear not to have been subjected to formal extradition procedures."

Mrs. Pérez and Mr. Gomez del Prado issued a series of preliminary recommendations to authorities in Equatorial Guinea, including "full information in a transparent manner" regarding all matters connected to the armed attack by alleged mercenaries on 17 February 2009.

Two other civilians were each sentenced in the same trial to 20 years' imprisonment, even though a civil court had acquitted them over the same events earlier this year.

Seven Nigerian nationals were arrested by the Government over the same attack and the working group said it had received information that two had since died in detention while the other five have been jailed for 12 years.

"It has also received information that the Nigerian embassy has not been granted access to them, nor officially been informed of their arrests, the charges held against them, the status of proceedings and the death of two of them."

The independent experts criticized the "lack of transparency regarding these trials," despite repeated requests from the working group to visit the detainees and access the judicial decisions.

The statement said this "points to severe shortcomings in the implementation of international human rights standards in the administration of justice by the Government of Equatorial Guinea."

Turning to the attempted coup d'état in 2004 and its aftermath, the working group members said they considered the case to be "a clear example of the link between the phenomenon of mercenaries and PMSCs [private military and security companies] as a means of violating the sovereignty of the State."

The mercenaries involved in the coup attempt were mostly former personnel of PMSCs or in some cases still employed by a PMSC.

While President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo last year pardoned all foreigners linked to the incident, "a number of reports indicated that [the earlier] trials failed to comply with international human rights standards and that some of the accused had been subjected to torture and ill-treatment."

During their five-day visit to Equatorial Guinea, Mrs. Pérez and Mr. Gomez del Prado held meetings in Malabo, the capital, with Mr. Obiang and numerous senior officials of the executive, judiciary and legislature, as well as with representatives of the UN, political parties, the diplomatic corps, civil society and PMSCs.

The two experts noted that Equatorial Guinea, which has important natural resources such as oil, has experienced several coup attempts involving mercenaries, paramilitaries and ex-combatants from neighbouring countries.

"In this regard the working group believes that in addition to the right and the duty of States to defend its borders and natural resources, the Government would reduce its vulnerability to mercenary attacks by promoting and strengthening democracy, economic, social and cultural rights and development in general as well as good governance.

"Therefore the group calls on the Government to ensure free political participation, the independence of the judiciary and a transparent and efficient administration of justice."

Other preliminary recommendations include: calling on the Government to develop laws criminalizing the presence of mercenaries; inviting the country to accede to a 1989 convention against the recruitment, use, financing and training of mercenaries; and grant both the Nigerian embassy and the Red Cross immediate access to the Nigerian detainees.



Serious human rights violations were committed during the demonstrations held in Côte d'Ivoire in February following the dissolution of the Government and the national electoral authority, according to the United Nations mission in the West African nation.

"Among the violations, we recorded abusive and extrajudicial executions, physical violence, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment of people arrested, as well as illegal arrests and detentions committed by agents of the Defence and Security Forces of Côte d'Ivoire (FDS-CI)," said Simon Munzu, head of the human rights division at the UN mission, known as <"http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/unoci/">UNOCI.

The report of UNOCI's investigation, which was released on Thursday, noted that 13 people died and at least 94 were injured during the demonstrations, which were organized by the Rally of Houphouetists for Democracy and Peace (RHDP) after President Laurent Gbagbo dissolved the Government and the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

The President's actions followed a period of rising tensions after voter registration for the country's presidential elections – which were supposed to have been held as far back as 2005 but have been repeatedly postponed – were suspended.

Mr. Munzu told a news conference in Abidjan yesterday that, in addition to the deaths and injuries, many cases of physical violence, plunder and destruction of private and public property were committed by demonstrators. The report estimates that the demonstrations resulted in damage valued at $1.8 million.

"The conclusions of the investigation into the events of February should serve as a lesson in order to avoid past errors in this pre-electoral period," said Mr. Munzu.

The report makes a number of recommendations to the Government, political party leaders, the UN and the international community.

For example, it invites the UN to examine all requests for a waiver of the arms embargo on Côte d'Ivoire to help the country import anti-riot materials, "since the lack of these materials leads the law enforcement forces to resort to firearms," the mission said in a news release.

A new Government and IEC were established following the events in February, and it was announced earlier this month that the elections are now scheduled to be held on 31 October.

UNOCI was established by the Security Council in 2004 to facilitate the peace process in Côte d'Ivoire – which became split by civil war in 2002 into a rebel-held north and Government-controlled south – including those related to elections, disarmament and all aspects of the reunification of the country.

The mission has been providing logistical and technical assistance for the preparations for the presidential elections.



The United Nations Human Rights Council's international, independent fact-finding mission of high-level experts inquiring into the Gaza flotilla incident on 31 May has wrapped up a week-long visit to Turkey.

The three experts interviewed Government officials and witnesses who provided first-hand information on the incident, according to a press statement issued today by the Council in Geneva.

Technical and legal experts accompanying the mission also held meetings with forensic and judiciary officials and inspected the ship Mavi Marmara, which was part of the flotilla.
The team now heads to Jordan on Sunday for a seven-day visit in which they will interview witnesses based in Jordan and neighbouring countries.

The 47-member Council voted in early June to dispatch the mission to inquire into the incident regarding the flotilla, which had departed Turkey and was bound for the Gaza Strip. It is slated to present its report at the Council's next session in September.

Judge Karl Hudson-Phillips, a former judge with the International Criminal Court (ICC), chairs the mission, and the other members are Sir Desmond de Silva, a former chief prosecutor at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL), and Shanthi Dairiam, a former member of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.

Also expected to deliver a report in September is Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's panel of inquiry into the incident.

That four-member panel, which started discussions earlier this month on how to carry out its work, is not designed to determine individual criminal responsibility, but to examine and identify the facts, circumstances and the context of the flotilla incident.

As part of that, the panel will receive and review the reports of national investigations into the incident and request clarifications and information as it needs from national authorities.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


New York, Aug 25 2010  1:10PM
Commending the efforts undertaken so far to combat piracy off the coast of Somalia, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today stressed that more can be done, as the Security Council debated legal options to help bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.

"Over the past three years, the international community has made concerted efforts to combat the problem, including by establishing a Contact Group and deploying significant naval assets to the region," he <"http://www.un.org/apps/sg/sgstats.asp?nid=4738">told the Security Council as it met to discuss the issue.

"Nonetheless, we can do more," he added. "In particular, we need to implement the existing legal regime, so the fight against piracy in international waters is effective.

In a report released last week, Mr. Ban identified seven options for furthering the aim of prosecuting and imprisoning persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea, which has been a growing problem in recent years.

In the past seven months there have been 139 piracy-related incidents off the coast of Somalia, he noted. Thirty ships have been hijacked, and 17 ships and 450 seafarers are being held for ransom.

The first option presented in the report is to enhance ongoing efforts to assist regional States to prosecute and imprison those responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea.

The second would involve locating a Somali court, applying Somali law, in a third State in the region.

The third and fourth options would involve assisting a regional State or States to establish special chambers, embedded in the State's national court structure, to conduct piracy trials.

Option five would require active engagement by the States of the region and the African Union to establish a regional tribunal to address the scourge of piracy.

Option six would be an international tribunal – analogous to existing "hybrid" tribunals – with national participation by a State in the region.

Option seven would be a full international tribunal, established by the Security Council acting under Chapter VII of the Charter.

Mr. Ban emphasized that achieving substantive results in combating piracy – whether through a new or existing judicial mechanism – will require political and financial commitment from Member States.

"We will need both to establish the mechanism and ensure that it has the capacity and resources to prosecute a large number of suspects, while ensuring due process," he stated. "Furthermore, in considering the establishment of such a mechanism, a host State will need to be identified.

"This, in turn, will require adequate arrangements for transferring those convicted to third States for their imprisonment.  This is particularly relevant given the large number of suspects apprehended at sea."

To further explore these issues, the Secretary-General announced that he intends to appoint a Special Adviser on Legal Issues Related to Piracy off the Coast of Somalia.

UN Legal Counsel Patricia O'Brien noted a number of challenges associated with achieving and sustaining substantive results in the fight against piracy off the Somali coast.

These include the large number of suspects, the fact that any judicial mechanism would be addressing a symptom of the situation in Somalia, not its causes, and the lack of any defined completion date for the mechanism's work.

"It is for these reasons that sufficient political and financial commitment by States would be necessary, not only to establish a new mechanism, but also to sustain it."

The Council welcomed the report containing the possible options, and deemed it vital to find long-term solutions to the problem of prosecuting suspected, and imprisoning convicted, pirates.

"The Security Council strongly believes that persons responsible for acts of piracy and armed robbery at sea off the coast of Somalia, including those who incite or intentionally facilitate such acts, should be brought to justice," the 15-member body said in a presidential statement adopted at today's meeting.

Speakers at the meeting also stressed that effectively tackling piracy and armed robbery off the coast of Somalia will require a sustained response, not only at sea, but also on land where piracy originates.

Therefore, it is vital to support efforts to achieve peace and stability in Somalia, which continues to be plagued by fighting between Government forces and rebel groups, and remains the scene of one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world with 3.2 million people – more than 40 per cent of the population – in need of aid.
Aug 25 2010  1:10PM


The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (<"http://www.unesco.org/new/en/unesco/">UNESCO) has condemned the murder of Indonesian television journalist Ridwan Salamun and called on authorities in the South-East Asian nation to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Mr. Salamun was killed on 21 August while covering a clash between villagers in Tual, Malaku, Indonesia.

According to the network International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX) and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA), he was hacked several times by angry villagers and later died of his wounds in a hospital.

"When journalists are covering events, whatever their nature, they should be guaranteed absolute immunity," UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said in a news release.

"Their impartiality as witnesses should be inviolable. Because independence is inherent to their profession, they must be assured that they will not be perceived as taking sides.

"I call on Indonesian authorities to make every effort to elucidate the circumstances of this murder, and ensure that justice is done," she stated.
Aug 26 2010  9:10AM

What the Qur'an Teaches-2

What the Qur'an Teaches: What punishment for turning away

We adorned the sky nearest to the earth with lights, and made them secure. Such is the design of the Almighty, the All-Knowing. If they turn away, say: 'I warn you of a thunderbolt like the thunderbolt that struck the Aad and Thamud.' There came to them, from all directions, messengers saying: 'Worship none but God.' They answered: 'If our Lord had wished, He would have sent down angels. We will never believe in your message.' (Clearly Expounded; Fussilat: 41: 12-14)

In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Then, He applied His design to the sky, which was but smoke; and said to it and to the earth: 'Come, both of you, willingly or unwillingly.' They both said: 'We do come willingly.' So He decreed that they become seven heavens in two days, and assigned to each heaven its task. We adorned the sky nearest to the earth with lights, and made them secure. Such is the design of the Almighty, the All-Knowing.

What the Qur'an teaches


In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Say: Do you indeed disbelieve in Him who has created the earth in two days? And do you claim others to be His equals? It is He who is the Lord of all the worlds. He it is who placed on the earth firm mountains towering above it, and bestowed His blessings on it, and measured out its varied provisions in four days, ensuring equity for all who seek (such provisions). Then, He applied His design to the sky, which was but smoke; and said to it and to the earth: 'Come, both of you, willingly or unwillingly.' They both said: 'We do come willingly.' (Clearly Expounded; Fussilat: 41: 9-11)

What the Qur'an teaches


In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful 
A book, the verses of which have been clearly spelled out as a discourse in Arabic for people of knowledge. It gives good news as well as a warning. Yet, most of them turn away, so that they do not hear. They say: "Our hearts are veiled from whatever you call us to, and in our ears is deafness, and there is a barrier between us and you. So do you what you will, and so shall we." Say: "I am but a human being like yourselves. It has been revealed to me that your God is the One and only God. Therefore, take the straight path to Him and seek His forgiveness. Woe to those who associate partners with Him and who do not pay the obligatory charity, and who refuse to believe in the life to come. Those who believe and do good deeds shall have an unfailing reward. Say: "Do you indeed disbelieve in Him who has created the earth in two days? And do you claim others to be His equals? It is He who is the Lord of all the worlds." (Clearly Expounded; Fussilat: 41: 3-9)

What the Qur'an teaches: Moses' secret exposed

In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Next morning, he was in the city, fearful, vigilant, when he saw the man who sought his help the day before again crying out to him for help. Moses said to him: 'Indeed, you are clearly a quarrelsome fellow.' But then, when he was about to strike the one who was their enemy, the latter exclaimed: 'Moses! Do you want to kill me as you killed another man yesterday? You want only to become a tyrant in the land, and you do not want to be one who sets things right.'  (The Story, Al-Qasas: 28: 18-19)

What the Qur'an says: Source of divine revelations

In the name of God, the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful Ha. Mim. A revelation from the Lord of Grace, the Ever Merciful: a book, the verses of which have been clearly spelled out as a discourse in Arabic for people of knowledge. It gives good news as well as a warning. Yet, most of them turn away, so that they do not hear. They say: "Our hearts are veiled from whatever you call us to, and in our ears is deafness, and there is a barrier between us and you. So do you what you will, and so shall we." Say: "I am but a human being like yourselves. It has been revealed to me that your God is the One and only God. Therefore, take the straight path to Him and seek His forgiveness. Woe to those who associate partners with Him."(Clearly Expounded; Fussilat: 41: 1-6)