The US has reacted angrily after a judge ordered that 17 Chinese Muslims held at Guantanamo Bay should be released into the United States.
District Judge Ricardo Urbina said the US could not hold the 17 as they were no longer considered enemy combatants.
The Uighurs were cleared for release in 2004 but the US says they may face persecution if returned to China.
The White House said the ruling could set a precedent that would allow "sworn enemies" to seek US entry.
The government says the 17 also pose a security risk if released into the US.
Lawyers for the Bush administration have argued that federal judges do not have authority to order the release into the US of Guantanamo detainees.
Analysts say the ruling is a rebuke for the US government and could set the stage for the release of dozens more detained at the military jail in Cuba.
Lawyers for the prisoners said it was the first time a federal court had ordered the release into the US of any Guantanamo prisoners.
Judge Urbina had presided over a hearing to consider appeals by the 17 who were seeking to be freed and allowed into the US.
They have been held at Guantanamo for nearly seven years.
The judge said there was no evidence that they were "enemy combatants" or a security risk.
"Because the constitution prohibits indefinite detentions without cause, the continued detention is unlawful," he said.
He ordered that they be brought to his courtroom for a hearing on Friday and he scheduled another hearing for the following week to decide where the Uighurs should be permanently settled.
Members of the Uighur community in the Washington DC area have offered to take them in.
The Washington DC courtroom was packed with dozens of Uighurs and human rights activists who cheered and applauded at the decision.
Justice department attorney John C O'Quinn's request to delay the detainees' release pending a possible appeal was denied by the judge.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said the ruling "could be used as precedent for other detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, including sworn enemies of the United States suspected of planning the attacks of 9/11, who may also seek release into our country".
Some detainees at the military prison fear torture or persecution if they return to their home countries, according to the New York-based Center for Constitutional Rights.
The US has maintained that if they cannot be returned home and no other country will take them, they should stay at Guantanamo.
The 17 Uighurs had been living in a camp in Afghanistan during the US-led military campaign that began in October 2001.
They fled into the mountains and were held by Pakistani authorities who handed them over to the US.
Beijing has demanded that all Uighurs held at Guantanamo be repatriated to China.
Many Muslim Uighurs from Xinjiang in western China want greater autonomy for the region and some want independence.
Beijing has waged a campaign against what it calls their violent separatist activities
SANAA: Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh announced yesterday the dismantling of a “terrorist cell” which he said was linked to Israeli intelligence services.
Saleh gave no details but sources close to the investigation said he was apparently referring to a six-member cell arrested on suspicion of involvement in a deadly attack against the US Embassy in the Yemeni capital last month.
“A terrorist cell was arrested five days ago and will be referred to the judicial authorities for its links with the Israeli intelligence services,” Saleh was quoted as saying by the Saba news agency.
He said the group operated under the “slogan of Islam.” The Yemeni president made the statement during a meeting with politicians, tribal leaders, security and military officials at Al-Mukalla University in the southeastern province of Hadhramout.
Saleh did not say how many people were arrested or explain his allegation that the cell was linked to Israeli intelligence.
“Details of the trial will be announced later,” he told the gathering. “You will hear about what goes on in the proceedings,” Saleh said, urging Yemen’s political parties to close ranks and cooperate to confront acts of terrorism, Saba reported.
Although Saleh said the group was arrested five days ago, sources close to the investigation said he is believed to have been referring to six men rounded up in Sanaa after the Sept. 17 attack on the US Embassy that left 18 people dead.
Militants detonated a booby-trapped car before firing a volley of rockets at the heavily fortified embassy in the second attack targeting the mission since April.
The Interior Ministry said on Sept. 22 that security forces were holding six key suspects over the attack, including a militant who claimed responsibility for the strike.
The ministry said a total of 50 people were arrested in connection with the attack, in which six assailants were killed.
In Jerusalem, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry called Saleh’s accusations “totally ridiculous.” “To believe that Israel would create Islamist cells in Yemen is really far-fetched. This is yet another victory for the proponents of conspiracy theories,” Igal Palmor said.
In August, Yemeni security forces arrested five suspected Al-Qaeda militants in Hadhramout, days after the authorities revealed they had uncovered a new “terrorist” cell near the port city of Al-Mukalla.
In recent months, the Arabian Peninsula country has seen a series of attacks on security services and oil installations claimed by groups linked to Al-Qaeda. ¬
The U.S. 'has threatened' to topple the government of Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki if he refuses to sign a controversial security deal.
US Deputy Secretary of State, John Negroponte has warned al-Maliki that he had to sign the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the United States or he will be ousted, the Iraqi web site al-Morsad reported, citing Western diplomatic sources.
According to the report , Negroponte told the Iraqi Prime Minister that Washington would not allow Baghdad to delay the agreement and nobody inside the Iraqi government or outside it would be permitted to endanger Washington's interests.
The US official added that US troops were not being killed in Iraq to let some people hinder the finalization of the deal.
The US has been seeking to sign the deal which would provide it with permanent military bases inside the country and grant immunity from legal prosecution to the US forces inside their bases.
Iraqi religious and political leaders, however, see the agreement as a humiliating deal which would turn Iraq into a de facto US colony.
The Premier had earlier declared that any agreement with the United States should consider the country's sovereignty and national interests.
Source: Press TV
RAMALLAH, October 10, 2008 (WAFA)-Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) wounded on Friday four international activists and arrested three others in Ni'lin village, west Ramallah.
Hundreds of international activists and famers of Ni'lin village planed to take part in harvesting olives. The IOF rushed to the scene in an attempt to prevent the participants from harvesting olives. They fired gas bombs and sonic grenades at participants and wounded four of them, one an Israeli activist was hit with gas bomb in the abdomen and arrested three others. Source: AJP
DOHA — Muslims from around the world are coming together in the Qatari capital, Doha, on Sunday, October 12, to save Israel-occupied Al-Quds, home to Islam's third holiest shrine.
"Al-Quds is actually facing a real threat of judaization and obliteration of its Islamic identity," Faisal Mawlawi, leader of Lebanon's Islamic Group, and co-founder of Al-Quds International Institution (QII), told IslamOnline.net.
"All Palestinian factions, especially Fatah and Hamas, have to do their utmost to unite the Palestinians, as well as the whole Arabs and Muslims for the Al-Quds cause."
The two-day QII conference brings together more than 300 Muslim dignitaries from 47 countries.
Leading among notables attending are Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, president of the International Union for Islamic Scholars, Iranian presidential adviser Ali Akbar Velayati and former Al-Quds Bishop Attallah Hanna.
"There is a real danger threatening the Al-Aqsa Mosque as well as the holy city of Al-Quds," said Yoonis Allie, South Africa's executive member of the QII.
"Muslims all over the world must work together to save their sanctities in Palestine."
The AII is a non-profit organization established in Lebanon in 2001 with a permanent headquarters in Al-Quds.
The AII's board of trustees features a cohort of Arab and Muslim figures, who seek to keep Al-Quds cause alive and pass it on from one generation to another.
Muslim leaders warned that the holy city is falling victim to a systematic Israeli judaization policy.
"Peoples of South East Asia and Indian sub-continent are very concerned about the dangers Al-Aqsa Mosque is facing now," said Abdul-Ghafar Aziz, deputy leader of Pakistan's Islamic group Jamaat-e-Isalm.
Abdul-Rasheed Al-Turaby, the head of Jamaat-e-Islami Kashmir, and board member of the QII, also sounded the alarm.
"Backed by the Americans, Israel wants to eliminate the Islamic existence in Al-Quds and the whole Palestinian state," he said.
"Al-Aqsa Mosque is facing a real collapse threat."
Israel captured Al-Quds in the 1967 six-day war and later annexed the city, in a move not recognized by the international community.
The city is home to Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Muslims' first Qiblah [direction Muslims take during prayers] and the third holiest shrine after Al Ka'bah in Makkah and Prophet Muhammad's Mosque in Madinah, Saudi Arabia.
Its significance has been reinforced by the incident of Al Isra'a and Al Mi'raj — the night journey from Makkah to Al-Quds and the ascent to the Heavens by Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him).
Al-Quds is also home to some of the holiest Christian worship places, including the Jerusalem Church and the Greek Orthodox Church.
Israel has been working hard over the past years to Judaize the holy city and change its Islamic identity.
It has been adopting a series of oppressive measures to force the Palestinians out, including systematic demolition of their homes.
"The cause of Muslims' third holiest sanctity of Al-Aqsa is in the heart of the Indonesian people that believe it's facing a devastating threat by the Israeli occupation," said Hidayat Nur Wahid, Indonesia's Chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly (the higher parliament chamber).
GAZA CITY: Leaders of several Palestinian groups in the Gaza Strip yesterday vowed to retaliate for anti-Arab violence in the northern Israeli city of Acre.
Abu Abeer, spokesman of Al-Nasser Brigades, the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), told reporters that the group would respond to “the crimes against our Palestinian brothers” soon.
Clashes between Arabs and Jews erupted in Acre on Wednesday evening after an Arab motorist entered a predominantly Jewish area during the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Yesterday marked the fifth consecutive day of violence with Jews torching an empty Arab house.
Israeli media reported yesterday that police have arrested some 54 people from both communities involved in rioting.
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told police to show “zero tolerance” toward rioters. “The scenes from Acre since Yom Kippur and over the past several nights have been very distressing,” Olmert told the weekly Cabinet meeting.
The National Brigades, the military wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, promised an appropriate response.
“The Palestinians are one nation be it in Gaza, the West Bank or Israel. We can never accept these attacks on our brothers in Akka (Acre), which is aimed at forcing them to leave their city,” a statement issued by the group said.
The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) denounced the Israeli police action of releasing Jewish youths while keeping Arabs in detention as racist. The PLO called for immediate international intervention to protect the Arabs, whom “Israel is treating as “second class citizens.”
LAHORE — Plums of thick black smoke billowed up into the sky as thousands of burning CDs littered the famous Hall Road street in the city of Lahore. This was not a short-circuit fire or the action of an angry mob. The CDs, mostly porn, were being set ablaze by shopkeepers themselves.
"We had received letters from unidentified persons, presumably Taliban or their local supporters, who warned us to immediately close down this business," Taseer Ahmed, a local shopkeeper who has been selling such CDs at Hall market for the last ten years, told IslamOnline.
"You all are informed to close down this abhorrent business immediately otherwise you will solely be responsible for the further consequences, including blowing up your shops," read one of the letters.
Under threat of attack, many traders voluntarily torched all their stock of CDs to send a message of compliance to the suspected Taliban.
"Of course, the letters had frightened us. You cannot simply rule out the possibility of bombings here, especially when no part of the country is safe," Taseer said.
Suspected militants have blown up numerous music and CD shops in different parts of the Northwestern Frontier Province (NWFP), which borders Afghanistan, in the last two years.
Various musicians and singers have fled the NWFP and have taken refuge in other parts of the country after receiving life threats from suspected Taliban.
Taseer notes their business flourished during the past few years.
"Five years ago, it was a tiny business. We used to keep a few porno CDs."
The trader claimed governments under liberal Pervez Musharraf had helped their business, for its own interest.
"Earlier, we used to be very careful while selling or renting such CDs because of frequent raids conducted by the concerned officials, but in recent years we had a roaring business as officials turned a blind eye to our business."
Lahore, Pakistan's second populous city, is the hub of the film industry.
Many of the shop owners were burning their CDs after failing to find a protection, even through the government.
"I admit that I am doing this just because of the pressure. If this had not been the case, I would have continued my business," admitted Taseer.
Like most of his fellow traders Furqan Ahmad believes they have no other option but to bow to the Taliban demand.
"We don’t think that the government is capable of providing protection to us when it cannot protect itself," he told IOL.
Ahmad says that after receiving the threat letters, traders and shopkeepers convened a meeting to chalk out a joint strategy.
"We decided to approach the police and local administration and we did," he explains.
"But what happened was that for days, none of the police or city officials even bothered to visit us.
"Later, police officials told us that they have only 20,000 policemen for the nearly 10 million population of Lahore and most of them have already been deployed to provide security to political and government figures and therefore they won’t be able to provide permanent security to the traders," added Ahmad.
"Then we again called the meeting and decided that we should act in accordance with the letters because there was no other option left.
"When the government itself is struggling against Taliban, who will pay attention towards common traders like us."
Abdul Hadi, another shopkeeper, he has been under family pressure to quit this business.
"When my mother came to know that I am involved in this business, she became very angry. I had been hiding this from her because she is a religious woman," he told IOL.
"I know it would have been much better if I quit this business not because of the Taliban pressure but because of the fear of Allah and the order of my mother. I didn’t do that. But all I can say is that it’s never too late."
CAIRO — When Havva Yilmaz donned the hijab at the age of 16, she did not realize she was making a life-changing decision that will mould her character and turn her into a fighter for rights and liberties in Muslim but strictly secular Turkey.
"Before I decided to cover, I knew who I was not," Yilmaz, now 21, told the International Herald Tribune on Tuesday, October 14.
As a High school teen, she was confused about her character and identity.
"There was no sincerity," recalls Yilmaz. "It was shallow."
It was the hijab that helped her find herself.
"After I covered, I finally knew who I was."
But in a country like Turkey, where religion is a thorny issue that is usually confined to the private and hijab is banned in schools and universities, her decision was met with a storm.
Her parents were angry because she had to drop out of school and her classmates stopped calling her.
Hijab, an obligatory code of dress in Islam, has long been a controversial and highly divisive issue in overwhelmingly Muslim but secular Turkey.
It has been banned in public buildings, universities, schools and government buildings since shortly after a 1980 military coup.
Last June, the highest court annulled a law introduced by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK) that eased restrictions on hijab on campus on the ground it breached Turkey's secular system.
After dropping out of school, a defiant Yilmaz started attending a political philosophy reading group and studying the works of famed western thinkers and philosophers.
She took sociology classes in a free learning center.
With her new confident self and strong religious identity, Yilmaz gradually found her way into the forefront of political and rights activism in her country.
She campaigned to allow hijab on campuses.
When the AK proposed the hijab bill, Yilmaz marched with two of her friends into a hotel in central Istanbul.
"The pain that we've been through as university doors were harshly shut in our faces taught us one thing," she told assembled reporters inside.
"Our real problem is with the mentality of prohibition that thinks it has the right to interfere with people's lives."
The heartfelt speech drew national attention that Yilmaz and her friends were invited on TV talk shows and gave radio and newspaper interviews.
Yilmaz is one of Turkey's growing number of young activists, whose fight is not solely about Islam.
Far less bothered by the religious and ethnic differences that divide older generations, they are demanding equal rights for all minority groups.
Yilmaz and her fellows have formed the Young Civilians, a group that satirically criticizes issues like the state's stand from Kurds, the country's biggest ethnic minority.
Although the hijab campaign ended up unsuccessfully with the June court ruling, Yilmaz will never give up the fight.
"What we did was worth something. People heard our voices," she said.
"If we work together, we can fight it."
she is v.true...hijab has always been an issue in many countries...finding the identity through hijab...i must say that is v.attractive sentence..
thanks 4 sharing.