King Abdullah offers to rebuild demolished homes in Gaza

 Click here: IINA – King Abdullah offers to rebuild demolished homes in Gaza

Jeddah – Safar 30 1429/ March 08, 2008 – Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz has ordered the reconstruction of all demolished Palestinian homes in Gaza as a result of Israeli attacks, Health Minister Dr. Hamad Al Manie said in comments published yesterday. Al-Manie made this statement while addressing a press conference in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh on Thursday in the presence of Palestinian and Egyptian health ministers. “The king has ordered the reconstruction of Palestinian houses at the expense of the Saudi government,” Al-Jazirah Arabic daily quoted the minister as saying.

Al-Manie did not say how many Palestinian homes would be rebuilt under the program. However, he pointed out that King Abdullah’s humanitarian gesture was in line with Saudi Arabia’s unwavering support to the Palestinian cause. Saudi Arabia is an ardent supporter of the Palestinians. Saudi Arabia has strongly condemned the Israeli aggression on unarmed Palestinian civilians in Gaza, using “unpaid weapons of mass destruction” it has. Five days of Israeli airstrikes and ground incursions in Gaza last week have killed at least 123 Palestinians, mostly women and children. The aggression translated into further threats by Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai to unleash a “bigger Holocaust” on Gaza. More than 350 Palestinians, mostly civilians, were wounded in the offensive with many of them left to die as Israel impeded ambulances. Last Tuesday night, Israeli occupation troops shot dead a Palestinian baby girl and a senior Hamas member in Gaza.

Vatican and Muslims to establish permanent dialogue

Click here: Reuters – Vatican and Muslims to establish permanent dialogue

By Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – The Vatican and Muslim leaders agreed on Wednesday to establish a permanent official dialogue to improve often difficult relations and heal wounds still open from a controversial papal speech in 2006. A joint statement said the first meeting of “The Catholic-Muslim Forum” will take place on November 4-6 in Rome with 24 religious leaders and scholars from each side.

Pope Benedict will address the group, the statement said. The announcement came after a two-day meeting at the Vatican with five representatives of Muslims who had signed an unprecedented appeal to the Pope to begin a dialogue.

“We emerged with a permanent structure that will ensure that the Catholic-Muslim engagement and dialogue continues into the future,” said Professor Aref Ali Nayed, director of the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center in Amman, Jordan.

Danish Muslims protest Prophet Mohammad cartoon

Click here: Reuters – Danish Muslims protest Prophet Mohammad cartoon

COPENHAGEN, March 7 (Reuters) – Around 1,000 Danish Muslims demonstrated peacefully in Copenhagen on Friday against the reprinting of a satirical cartoon of the Prophet Mohammad in Danish newspapers last month.

On Feb. 13, a number of Danish newspapers published the cartoon — one of 12 that prompted riots in many Muslim countries in 2006 — in solidarity with the artist after three men were arrested on suspicion of planning to kill him. The organisers of Friday’s protest said in a statement that while they valued freedom of speech, they also wanted the Danish government to react more forcefully against humiliation of religious symbols.

A number of other Western newspapers have also reprinted the cartoon, which depicts the founder of Islam with a bomb in his turban. Many Muslims consider any depiction of the Prophet offensive. Islamists held demonstrations in Pakistan’s main cities on Friday to protest at the republication of the drawing. A number of protests have been held in Muslim countries in the last three weeks, but none as violent as in 2006 when more than 50 people were killed in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

The Netherlands on Thursday raised its terrorism threat warning level ahead of the launch of a film about Islam by a right-wing politician who has described the Koran as a “fascist” book. (Reporting by Martin Burlund, Writing by Kim McLaughlin)

Somalia: ‘Muslims Are Being Massacred’ – Mayor

Click here: AllAfrica.com – Somalia: ‘Muslims Are Being Massacred’ – Mayor

Dobley

The mayor of a town in south Somalia which was the target of a U.S. air strike last week says that al Qaeda has never set foot in the town. Ali “Dheere” Hussein, the mayor of Dobley, told the BBC Somali Service that the U.S. bombing killed innocent civilians.

“The only thing I see here is innocent people being massacred,” Mayor Ali Dheere said, referring to a house hit by U.S. missiles on March 3. The mayor said that the Somali Transitional Federal Government did not contact Dobley officials, even to send condolences to the families of the deceased.

He said there is no hospital in Dobley town to treat the wounded civilians, so “we took them to the pharmacy since the [Kenya] border is closed.” Mayor Ali Dheere said the U.S. bombing was “wrong and intentional,” since the people of Dobley did not harm the U.S.

“I here about al Qaeda only from the U.S. government and the Somali President [Abdullahi Yusuf],” the Dobley mayor said. Asked about the intention of the U.S. bombing, Mayor Ali Dheere said, in his opinion, that “Muslims are being massacred.”…