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Arab League: Likud vote scraps condition for peace talks
By: Sultan Ahmad
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: The Arab League said Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud party's vote against the creation of a Palestinian state essentially scrapped one of the conditions for Arab-Israeli peace talks, and called on Sharon to publicly disassociate himself from the vote.
Talking to reporters in Riyadh, League secretary general Amr Mussa said: "The decision by the extremist Likud party is a very dangerous development because it controls the Israeli government and draws up its policies."
Sunday, the 2,600-member central committee of the right-wing Likud party voted overwhelmingly to block the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Sharon opposed the hard-line motion, saying it would damage ties with Israel's top ally United States, which favors an independent Palestinian state.
Two Palestinian officials martyred during West Bank raid
By: Ahmad Hammadi
HEBRON: Two Palestinian intelligence officials were martyred early Tuesday when Israeli forces made an incursion into the autonomous Palestinian area of Khakhoul north of Hebron.
According to an Israeli army spokesman troops martyred the local commander of the Palestinian Authority's General Intelligence Apparatus, Khalid Abu Knam, and his deputy, Ahmed Abdel Aziz Zomare.
In other parts of the West Bank, soldiers also arrested 14 'wanted Palestinians' overnight, the army said.
Meanwhile, Israeli Premier Sharon said he - not his Likud Party - would set Israel's policy toward the Palestinians. His remarks came after Likud Party ignored his plea and passed a non-binding resolution, rejecting the idea of a Palestinian state.
NATO, Russia to launch new security relationship
By: Special Reporter
ICELAND: NATO and Russia are preparing to launch a new security relationship, reports said on Tuesday.
NATO foreign ministers holding their two-day session in Iceland, and Russia are expected to form new NATO-Russia Council, where Moscow will have a say in decision-making on issues such as security, terrorism and the spread of weapons of mass destruction.
In opening remarks to the NATO meet, alliance Secretary-General George Robertson said the terror attacks on the US were a "wake-up call" for NATO to develop new military capabilities to deal with new threats.
Delay in trade talks with EU disappoints Iran
By: Sheikh Muhammad Khurasani
TEHRAN, Iran: Iran has expressed disappointment on Tuesday with the delay in the start of negotiations with the European Union on a trade and cooperation accord.
State radio said: "If the negotiations had been started, it would have opened great possibilities for widening political relations and the prospect of big markets."
"If the Europeans had signed the document, the international position of Iran would have been strengthened compared to the past," Iran's main daily the moderate Hamshahri said.
EU foreign ministers late Sunday deferred a decision on starting talks with Tehran on the accord for one month.
Dutch professor flays US policies
By: Mohsin Hemani
PESHAWAR, Pakistan: Dr Jan Naderveen Pieterse, professor of sociology at the University of Illinois, Holland said the US strengthened religious organizations to counter communism during the Cold War, but under the new scheme of things, the same organizations have become its enemy.
At a seminar "Globalization and War on Terrorism" which was jointly organized by the Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA), Department of International Relations and Department of political science on Friday, Dr Pieterse told the participants: "Terrorism cannot be overcome with the use of force alone. We need to address the social, political and economic problems of the world. Extreme poverty proliferates terrorism."
Dr Pieterse, critical of the global policies of the US, specifically its war against terrorism, said while commenting on the crisis in the Middle East: "The coalition partners, i.e. US and Israel, robbed the Palestinians of their independence. It is a wanton destruction that evaporated legitimacy of the US war on terrorism. The US policy in the Middle East is biased."
By: Samir Al Haidari
Saturday 18th May, 12, 02
By: Mohsin Hemani
It was early in the morning at four,
Muslims are good folks
By: Charley Reese
Courtesy: AL-ISLAAH PUBLICATIONS
I wish more Americans had an opportunity to get to know Muslims. Then they would not be susceptible to the silly anti-Muslim propaganda that is floated by some right-wing Christians.
Muslims are good folks. One fellow e-mailed me quite convinced that Muslims lop off the heads of every infidel they meet. I've been a guest in the homes of many Muslim friends, and the only thing they lopped off were extra servings of lamb.
People believe such nonsense because they are ignorant of the facts. The oldest Christian communities in the world are in Muslim countries. Some of the oldest Jewish communities in the world are in Muslim countries. The deputy foreign minister of Iraq is a Christian. Saddam Hussein donated $1 million to help build a Christian church in the United States. There are Christians in practically all Muslim countries, and there have been for centuries. I've said all this before, but when lies blow strong, truth bears repeating.
In my travels in Muslim countries, sometimes among the poorest of the poor, I was never panhandled or attacked. As far as crime goes, you'll find cities like Beirut or Damascus or Amman or Ramallah much safer than most American cities.
Islam is not a religion with a hierarchy such as the Roman Catholic Church. In that respect, Muslims are much like Southern Baptists, only more so. Any group of Muslims can build a mosque and hire themselves an imam, or teacher. They are independent. There is no Muslim pope or College of Cardinals. There are no bishops. When an imam somewhere issues a fatwa, which is a sort of formal opinion on a subject, it is not binding. Like Protestant Christians, Muslims interpret their holy writings themselves and consider themselves answerable directly to God - or, to use the Arabic word, Allah.
Most of the disputes in the Middle East are secular and political. Hamas' quarrel with Israelis is not about the fact that they are Jews but about the fact that they occupy Palestine.
The objections some Muslims have to Western culture are the same as those some Christians have. They don't like the violence, the immorality, the pornography and the greed. The conflict one sees between the religious and the secular in some Muslim countries is similar to the conflict in this country between religious and secular folks.
There are 6 million or 7 million American citizens who are Muslims. Muslims have been in this country since the late 19th century. If you don't already, you should make an effort to get to know Muslims. You'll find that they don't fit the stereotypes created by mean-spirited propaganda or superficial news coverage.
Racism is a monstrous injustice because it imposes a stereotype on millions of innocent individuals. The only real solution is education and broad experience. It seems to me that God creates individuals one at a time, and it is the human mind that insists on grouping and classifying them. We should resist that temptation.
Charley Reese can be contacted at email@example.com. © 2002 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.