Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Indonesia / Palestine / Pakistan

Indonesia: About 2,000 protesters from Muslim, student, and labor groups showed up to protest U.S. policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying it was Bush who was spreading terror.
Indonesia, where Islam is firmly rooted and democracy is still emerging, is a religious and political laboratory for the policies Bush says are the answer to Islamic-based terrorist movements.
Nearly 90% of Indonesia's 238 million people are Muslims. That amounts to approximately one-sixth of the Muslim world. After four decades of authoritarian rule, the nation's first democratic elections were held seven years ago; Yudhoyono was elected in 2004.
It is a base of the terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiah and has increasingly cooperated with the U.S. in counter-terrorism efforts, particularly in the wake of bombings in 2002 and 2003.

Palestine: In the first incident of its kind, hundreds of neighbours surrounded the home of Mohammed Baroud and climbed on its roof after he received a call from the Israeli army informing him he had 30 minutes to vacate his home before it was destroyed by missiles.

The Israeli air force called off its strike because of the risk of killing a large number of civilians.

Nizar Rayan, a Hamas member who led the Jabalya protest, said Palestinians would continue to rush into every house to be threatened by bombardment. "We will pay with our lives to protect the houses of the fighters so they can resist the enemy assured that their homes are being protected," he said.


Pakistan: The Pakistani government has submitted another bill in parliament to protect women's rights, officials say.

The bill seeks to make forced marriage a crime and safeguard women's right to property and inheritance.

It seeks to outlaw some local customs that prevent women from marrying and hence bearing children who may claim her share in ancestral property.

It also criminalises forced marriages, including those in which young girls are given away in marriage to settle murder feuds, he said.

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