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Thread: Today's Top Islamic News (DAILY)

  1. #1011
    KABUL: Afghanistan's insurgent Taliban marked the eighth anniversary of the US invasion saying they have no "agenda" to harm other countries but would continue fighting as long as America and its allies remain in the troubled nation.

    The Taliban insistence that it would pose no threat to other countries appeared aimed at countering suspicions that the Islamist movement would support al-Qaida's global jihad if they returned to power.

    Supporters of the war fear that al-Qaida would regain its once-dominant position in Afghanistan if the Taliban topple the US-backed Afghan government.

    In an Internet statement today obtained by the SITE Institute, a US group that monitors terror messages, the Taliban said their goal was "independence and establishment of an Islamic system."

    "We did not have any agenda to harm other countries including Europe, nor we have such agenda today," the group said. "Still, if you want to turn the country of the proud and pious Afghans into a colony, then know that we have an unwavering determination and have braced for a prolonged war."

    The statement came on the anniversary of the US invasion that ousted the Taliban for harboring al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.

  2. #1012
    ABUL: A large explosion rocked the center of Afghanistan's capital early on Thursday, near the Indian Embassy and the interior ministry. Atleast three people are feared dead. The Indian Embassy staff is reported to be safe.

    Associated Press reporters heard the explosion in the morning and saw a plume of smoke rising from a site in downtown Kabul.

    An AP reporter at the scene saw two sporty utility vehicles badly damaged, one of them labeled as a United Nations vehicle. The center of the blast appeared to be just outside the Indian embassy. Windows in surrounding shops were shattered.

    The Indian Embassy was earlier targeted in July 2008. More than 20 people were killed in that attack.

    Police officers on the site said they believed it was the work of a suicide bomber, but did not provide further details.

    US and NATO spokespeople said they did not yet have any information on the explosion.

    The Afghan capital has been hit numerous times in recent months by suicide bombers and roadside bombs. The attacks usually target international military forces or government installations, but Afghan businesses and civilians are also often killed or injured.

    In the most recent attack in mid-September, a suicide car bomber rammed into an Italian military convoy on a road leading to the airport. That blast killed six Italian soldiers and 10 Afghan civilians.

    This year has also been the deadliest for Western troops in the country.

    The mounting violence comes at a time US President Barack Obama is considering whether to send up to 40,000 more troops to Afghanistan as requested by his top commander there, General Stanley McChrystal.

    There are now more than 100,000 Western troops serving in Afghanistan, two-thirds of them American.

  3. #1013
    OSLO: US President Barack Obama won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for ``his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy

    Obama wines Nobel Peace Prize and cooperation between peoples,'' the Norwegian Nobel Committee said, citing his outreach to the Muslim world and attempts to curb nuclear proliferation.

    The stunning choice made Obama the third sitting US president to win the Nobel Peace Prize and shocked Nobel observers because Obama took office less than two weeks before the Feb. 1 nomination deadline.

    Obama's name had been mentioned in speculation before the award but many Nobel watchers believed it was too early to award the president.

    ``Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future,'' the committee said. ``His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.''

    The committee said it attached special importance to Obama's vision of, and work for, a world without nuclear weapons.

    ``Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics. Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play,'' the committee said.

    Theodore Roosevelt won the award in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson won in 1919. Former President Jimmy Carter won the award in 2002, while former Vice President Al Gore shared the 2007 prize with the UN panel on climate change.

    The Nobel committee received a record 205 nominations for this year's prize.

    In his 1895 will, Alfred Nobel stipulated that the peace prize should go ``to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between the nations and the abolition or reduction of standing armies and the formation and spreading of peace congresses.''

    Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which are awarded by Swedish institutions, he said the peace prize should be given out by a five-member committee elected by the Norwegian Parliament. Sweden and Norway were united under the same crown at the time of Nobel's death.

    The committee has taken a wide interpretation of Nobel's guidelines, expanding the prize beyond peace mediation to include efforts to combat poverty, disease and climate change.


  4. #1014
    Obama award sad - NI Nobel winner

    Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize
    Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan Maguire has criticised the decision to give this year's award to US President Barack Obama.
    The Nobel committee said Mr Obama had created a new climate in international politics and made extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy.
    However, Mrs Maguire said she was "very sad" to hear of the award.
    Mrs Maguire won the 1976 Nobel award along with fellow Belfast peace campaigner Betty Williams.
    "President Obama has yet to prove that he will move seriously on the Middle East, that he will end the war in Afghanistan and many other issues," Mrs Maguire said.
    "The Nobel committee is not meeting the conditions of Alfred Nobel's will, because he stipulated that the award is to be given to people who end militarism and war and are for disarmament."
    But SDLP leader Mark Durkan said the committee "rightly highlights the president's extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples".
    "Since his election as US president, President Obama has touched and inspired people all around the world.
    "He has been a sign of positive progress, not just in the United States but in terms of international leadership," Mr Durkan said.
    Former SDLP leader John Hume and former Ulster Unionist leader David Trimble won the 1998 peace prize after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement.


  5. #1015
    Obama's Nobel win: Full citation

    The following is the text of the official announcement that US President Barack Obama has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize:
    The Norwegian Nobel Committee has decided that the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009 is to be awarded to President Barack Obama for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.
    The Committee has attached special importance to Obama's vision of and work for a world without nuclear weapons.
    Obama has as president created a new climate in international politics.
    Multilateral diplomacy has regained a central position, with emphasis on the role that the United Nations and other international institutions can play.
    Dialogue and negotiations are preferred as instruments for resolving even the most difficult international conflicts.
    The vision of a world free from nuclear arms has powerfully stimulated disarmament and arms control negotiations.
    Thanks to Obama's initiative, the USA is now playing a more constructive role in meeting the great climatic challenges the world is confronting.
    Democracy and human rights are to be strengthened.
    Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future.
    His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population.
    For 108 years, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has sought to stimulate precisely that international policy and those attitudes for which Obama is now the world's leading spokesman.
    The Committee endorses Obama's appeal that "Now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges".


  6. #1016
    US media on Obama Nobel award

    The surprise decision to award the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize to President Barack Obama has prompted a flurry of reaction from US media commentators.

    Barack Obama said he was humbled and surprised to win the award
    Conservatives have been quick to ask what concrete achievements Mr Obama has made to be worthy of the prize - and some liberals have asked the same question. This selection reflects some of their views.
    Political commentator Mark Halperin, writing in Time magazine's The Page blog, thinks the award may be a boon to Mr Obama's opponents.
    "Barack Obama's critics have long accused him of being a man of 'just words', rather than concrete actions and accomplishments. The stunning decision to award him the Nobel Peace Prize for, basically, his rhetoric, will almost certainly infuriate his detractors in America more than it will delight his supporters."
    Nicolas Kristof, of the New York Times, reflects the view of many commentators when he asks what Mr Obama has done to deserve the award.
    "So what do you think of President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize? I'm nonplussed - I admire his efforts toward Middle East peace, but the prize still seems very premature. What has he done??? Shouldn't the Nobel Peace Prize have a higher bar than high expectations? Especially when there are so many people who have worked for years and years on the front lines, often in dangerous situations, to make a difference to the most voiceless people of the world?"
    Michelle Malkin, a conservative commentator, is much more scathing.
    "Isn't it so fitting? From community organiser to Illinois state senator (present!) to US Senator for 143 days before moving into the White House, and now, the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize - not for anything he's actually done, but for the symbolism of what he might possibly accomplish sometime way off in the future. It's the final nail in the Nobel Peace Prize Committee's coffin."
    Fox News turns to Tommy De Seno, who blogs at, for his take on what Mr Obama has done to merit the prize. He runs through his early days in office.
    "President Obama has broken new ground here. Nominations for potential winners of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ended on February 1. The president took office only 12 days earlier on January 20. Let's take a look at the president's first 12 days in the White House according to his public schedule to see what he did to deserve a Nobel Peace Prize: January 20: Went to a parade. Partied..."
    Another conservative pundit, Peter Wehner, blogging for, thinks Mr Obama is being rewarded for not just acknowledging but agreeing with the negative views of the US held by many overseas.
    "Barack Obama has given voice to what many of the world think about America - and it's not flattering. That much of the world - composed as it is of autocrats and dictators and weak and wobbly defenders of human rights and human dignity - isn't happy with the United States is not news. What is news is that an American president would validate many of those charges. I find that deeply disquieting. The Norwegian Nobel Committee, not surprisingly, considers it worthy of its highest honour."
    The Washington Post's David Ignatius is more positive, arguing that Mr Obama's work to build America's international relations has real value.
    "The Nobel Peace Prize award to Barack Obama seems so goofy - even if you're a fan, you have to admit that he hasn't really done much yet as a peacemaker. But there's an aspect of this prize that is real and important - and that validates Obama's strategy from the day he took office... America was too unpopular under Bush. The Nobel committee is expressing a collective sigh of relief that America has rejoined the global consensus. They're right. It's a good thing. It's just a little weird that they gave him a prize for it."
    Susan Davis, in the Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire blog, comments on Mr Obama's reversal of fortune on the world stage.
    "Exactly one week after President Barack Obama suffered an embarrassing defeat before an international body to secure his hometown of Chicago with the 2016 Games, he stuns the world and wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Obama won for his diplomatic efforts - and he remains popular overseas - but reactions about the merits and timing of the honour were immediate."
    Tom Matlack, blogging for the Huffington Post news site, says Mr Obama's merit is in being an inspiration to the common man.
    "Our president aspires to greatness, no doubt about that. So far he hasn't been great. Many things he wants to get done have proven a thousand times more complicated than he ever could have imagined, from health care to Afghanistan. But when the congressman on Capitol Hill shouted out 'liar' in prime time, our president showed that even if he isn't yet great he most certainly is a Good Man that we can all be proud of. In the end that's why he was awarded the Nobel peace prize."


  7. #1017
    World leaders react to the Nobel Peace Prize announcement

    US President Barack Obama has won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for his "extraordinary efforts" to build diplomacy and promote nuclear disarmament.
    Since coming to office in January, President Obama has pursued an international agenda that includes a push to restart peace talks in the Middle East and negotiations over Iran's controversial nuclear programme.
    Here is a round-up of world reaction to the award as reported by news agencies.
    We are entering an era of renewed multilateralism, a new era where the challenges facing humankind demand global common cause and uncommon global effort. President Obama embodies the new spirit of dialogue and engagement on the world's biggest problems: climate change, nuclear disarmament and a wide range of peace and security challenges.
    It confirms, finally, America's return to the hearts of the people of the world... you can count on my resolute support and that of France.
    In a short time he has established a new tone, creating a willingness for dialogue and I think we all should support him to make peace in this world possible. There is a lot do but a window of opportunity has been opened. His advocacy of a world free of nuclear arms is an aim we all need to make real in the next few years.
    I am really pleased. I want to congratulate him from my heart. I've seen the world changing since President Obama took office. It was outstanding when he made the speech in Prague calling for a nuclear-free world.
    President Obama has made extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and co-operation between peoples.
    He has also demonstrated his strong commitment to help build peace and defend fundamental human rights, including through the atlantic alliance. This honour is well deserved.
    There is nobody today in my view who is more deserving of that peace prize than Barack Obama. In less than a year he brought a radical change in the way we look at ourselves, in the way we look at our world. He is restoring the basic core values that every one of us should live by - dialogue, respect, democracy, due process, human rights, a security system that does not depend on nuclear weapons. His dedication to these values rekindles hope that, finally, we could have a world at peace with itself.
    We have no objection if this prize is an incentive to reverse the warmongering and unilateral policies of the previous US administration and if this encourages a policy based on just peace.
    The appropriate time for awarding such a prize is when foreign military forces leave Iraq and Afghanistan and when one stands by the rights of the oppressed Palestinian people.
    We congratulate Obama for winning the Nobel. His hard work and his new vision on global relations, his will and efforts for creating friendly and good relations at global level and global peace make him the appropriate recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
    We have seen no change in his strategy for peace. He has done nothing for peace in Afghanistan. He has not taken a single step for peace in Afghanistan or to make this country stable.
    We condemn the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama. We condemn the institute's awarding him the peace prize. We condemn this year's peace prize as unjust.
    You have already inspired so many people around the world, and I know that this award also expresses the hope that your presidency will usher in a new era of peace and reconciliation. Nowhere is such a peace needed more than in the Middle East, a region that has been long marked by terror and bloodshed.
    I look forward to working closely with you in the years ahead to advance peace and to give hope to the peoples of our region who deserve to live in peace, security and dignity.
    We hope that he will be able to achieve peace in the Middle East and achieve Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders and establish an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as its capital.
    We are in need of actions, not sayings. If there is no fundamental and true change in American policies toward the acknowledgment of the rights of the Palestinian people, I think this prize won't move us forward or backward.
    I am happy. What Obama did during his presidency is a big signal, he gave hope. In these hard times, people who are capable of taking responsibility, who have a vision, commitment and political will should be supported.
    He's not even finished a year in his first term of office of a relatively young president. It's an award that anticipates an even greater contribution towards making our world a safer place for all.
    So soon? This is too soon. He has not yet made a real input. He is still at an early stage. He is only beginning to act.
    This is probably an encouragement for him to act. Let's see if he perseveres.
    It is a bold statement of international support for his vision and commitment to peace and harmony in international relations. It shows the hope his administration represents not only to our nation but to people around the world.
    I think it's extremely well deserved. I think it will take some time before people put together all the different moves that linked his speech at the UN on the abolishing of nuclear weapons, his shift on the missile defence programme in Eastern Europe and the movement of Russia to joining the international consensus that confronted Iran to abide by the non-proliferation treaty.
    I think that it is kind of foolish to think that the Nobel Prize isn't politicised - it's not a humanitarian prize, it's a prize in recognition of change in the world to contribute to peace, sometimes its a recognitions of visions for peace. He is facing huge contradictions as well - he is going to be sending 40,000 new American troops into Afghanistan just as he receives the Nobel Peace Prize? I think that is a contradiction that needs to be seriously looked at.
    Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to Obama is a way of encouraging him to not renege on the universal principles that he has championed.
    We would have preferred a human rights defender like Oleg Orlov from Memorial in Russia or Natalia Estemirova [human rights activist murdered in Chechnya].


  8. #1018
    Obama was woken very early by staff bringing news of the award

    US President Barack Obama has said he was "surprised and deeply humbled" to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, less than 10 months into his presidency.
    Speaking at the White House hours after the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee named him as a surprise winner, he said the award should be a "call to action".
    The world faced challenges that "cannot be met by one person or by one nation alone," Mr Obama said.
    The committee said he won for efforts to boost diplomacy and co-operation.
    "Only very rarely has a person to the same extent as Obama captured the world's attention and given its people hope for a better future," the Norwegian committee said in a statement.
    "His diplomacy is founded in the concept that those who are to lead the world must do so on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population."
    Long-term goals
    Standing in the Rose Garden to make his first public statement since being woken early by aides bringing news of the award, Mr Obama stressed that his win was just the beginning of his work.

    Why did he win??? because he's not President George W Bush and has steered American foreign policy, or at least its strategy if not its aims, in an opposite direction
    Mark Mardell
    BBC North America editor

    Read Mark's thoughts in full
    He said he did not feel he deserved to be in the company of some of the "transformative figures" who had previously received the award.
    Some of his aims, particularly the goal of universal nuclear disarmament, would be difficult to achieve even within his lifetime, let alone his presidency, Mr Obama said.
    And he sought to deflect some of the global surprise at his win, describing the award as "affirmation of American leadership on behalf of aspirations held by people in all nations".
    "I know that throughout history the Nobel Peace Prize has not just been used to honour specific achievements," he said.
    "It's also been used as a means to give momentum to a set of causes. And that is why I will accept this award as a call to action, a call for all nations to confront the common challenges of the 21st Century."
    The White House has said that the cash prize that accompanies the award will be distributed among several charities.
    Public bemused
    There were a record 205 nominations for this year's peace prize. Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Chinese dissident Hu Jia had been among the favourites.


    Paul Reynolds
    BBC News, London

    The award is certainly unexpected and might be regarded as more of an encouragement for intentions than a reward for achievements.

    After all, the president has been in office for a little over eight months and he might hope to serve eight years. His ambition for a world free of nuclear weapons is one that is easier to declare than to achieve and a climate control agreement has yet to be reached.

    Indeed, the citation indicates that it is President Obama's world view that attracted the Nobel committee - that diplomacy should be founded "on the basis of values and attitudes that are shared by the majority of the world's population".

    Obama rewarded for world view
    Instead the committee chose Mr Obama, who was inaugurated less than two weeks before the 1 February nomination deadline.
    While there was support for the decision, notably from world leaders, many others expressed scepticism.
    In the US the chairman of the Republican National Committee, Michael Steele, asked a simple question: "What has President Obama actually accomplished?"
    Attributing Mr Obama's win to his "star power", Mr Steele said it was "unfortunate" he "outshined tireless advocates who have made real achievements working towards peace and human rights".
    Iran's foreign minister said the decision to give the award was taken too "hastily".
    "A good timing for the award would be when US troops have pulled out of Afghanistan and Iraq and the United States is standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people," Manouchehr Mottaki told the Mehr news agency.
    But he said that if winning the prize encouraged the US president to reject the "warmongering" policies of previous administrations, Iran had no opposition to it.
    A large majority of remarks from BBC viewers, listeners and website users also expressed surprise.
    Senior Democratic figures rebuffed Mr Steele's remarks, with former Vice-President Al Gore, a joint recipient of the award in 2007, calling Mr Obama's win "extremely well deserved".

    Worldwide reaction to Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize

    "I think that much of what he has accomplished already is going to be far more appreciated in the eyes of history," Mr Gore said.
    But spokesmen from anti-US Islamist groups such as the Taliban and Hamas focussed on the present, saying they had seen no evidence yet of improvements in security for people in their regions and as such opposed the award.
    'New climate'
    Since taking office in January, President Obama has pursued an ambitious international agenda including a push for peace in the Middle East and negotiations over Iran's nuclear programme.
    Asked why the prize had been awarded to Mr Obama less than a year after he took office, Nobel Committee head Thorbjoern Jagland said: "It was because we would like to support what he is trying to achieve".
    He specifically mentioned Mr Obama's work to strengthen international institutions and work towards a world free of nuclear arms. The statement from the Nobel Committee said Mr Obama had "created a new climate in international politics".

    Those qualified to nominate candidates include members of national governments, international judiciary, academics and previous prize winners
    Five Norwegians are chosen by Norway's parliament to sit on the Nobel Committee
    The committee compiles a shortlist of between five and 20 candidates
    The shortlist is considered by the Nobel Institute's permanent advisers, mainly Norwegian academics
    The Nobel Committee chooses the winner
    Details of the nominations and selection process are kept secret for 50 years

    World reacts to Obama peace prize
    Profile: Barack Obama
    However, critics say he has failed to make breakthroughs. Domestically, Mr Obama has been working to tackle an economic crisis and win support for healthcare reform.
    Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, a former winner, said the prize was a way of encouraging the US leader early in his presidency.
    Mr Obama is the first US president to win the prize since former US President Jimmy Carter in 2002. Theodore Roosevelt won the prize in 1906 and Woodrow Wilson won it in 1919.
    The prize was invented by the Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite Alfred Nobel, and was first awarded in 1901.
    As Sweden was at the time united with Norway, Nobel designated the parliament in Norway to elect the peace prize committee. Swedish academies are responsible for other prizes.
    The prize-giving ceremony for the peace award is due to take place on 10 December in the Norwegian capital, Oslo. Mr Obama has indicated he will attend.


  9. #1019
    Japan's Obama City erupts in joy over Nobel Peace Prize
    AFP 9 October 2009, 07:47pm IST

    TOKYO: The small Japanese port city of Obama hailed Friday its namesake, US President Barack Obama, who was earlier sensationally awarded the

    Nobel Peace Prize just nine months into his term.

    "I knew he was talking about world peace, but I cannot believe this has come so soon," Seiji Fujiwara, a local tourism official who led a support campaign for the US president, told Jiji Press.

    Obama means "small shore" in Japanese, and the residents of the small central city of 32,000 people have rallied behind Barack Obama since his presidential campaign as a junior senator.

    President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, with the jury hailing his "extraordinary" efforts in international diplomacy and to hasten nuclear disarmament.

    In 2008 supporters in Obama City followed the US presidential election race closely, putting up posters wishing him luck and making sweets bearing his likeness.

    It was Barack Obama himself who first drew attention to the connection.

    He told Japan's TBS network in 2006 that, when he flew into Japan, a passport control officer said he was from Obama City.

    His Nobel Prize award has further inspired Obama residents.

    "We want to create banners to celebrate the award and put them up at our shopping arcades and at the city hall," Fujiwara said.

    "He is going to visit Japan in November. We enthusiastically invite him to visit our city," he said.

    Obama City mayor Koji Matsuzaki also paid tribute.

    "For a city that supported him, there is no greater joy than this," he said in a statement.

  10. #1020
    Cuba hits at Obama 'lip service' and Nobel Prize
    Fri, 09 Oct 2009 19:21:29 GMT

    President Obama on Friday won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2009.
    The peace prize which was awarded to Barack Obama for his international diplomacy initiatives has met with criticism in Cuba, where the word is the president of the United States has been rewarded solely for the "promises" he has made.

    An official Cuban website, Cuba Debate, did not hide the dismay of the country's socialist, anti-US government with the win, saying Obama should be grateful for his "promises and good intentions" while with only nine months in power, the first African-American US president has "little concrete results" to boast about.

    Cuba Debate, which regularly publishes articles by the former Cuban leader Fidel Castro, also referred to the massive 680-billion-dollar defense bill ratified by the US Congress just the day before Obama became the third sitting US president to win the lucrative peace prize.

    Obama "has begun pulling US troops out of Iraq, but America remains mired on the Afghan front, where the situation is deteriorating rapidly and more civilians are dying now than ever," the website argued Friday after the Norwegian Nobel Committee said it honored the president for his "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," AFP reported.

    "His attempts at peace in the Middle East, which became one of his priorities, are stalled," the website added. "The serious crisis humanity is facing needs more than good intentions."

    President Obama, who said he was "surprised" and "humbled" by the prize and called it a "call to action," has taken some steps to improve ties with the communist island.

    The White House has lifted travel and money transfer restrictions on Cuban-Americans with relatives in the Caribbean nation.

    Yet, there remains a long way toward normalcy between the two former Cold War foes as it appears the Obama administration is following in former President George W. Bush's footsteps in dealing with Cuba and refusing to lift the longstanding US embargo on the island.


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