Category Archives: English section

Father in Law Cutting Off Ear’s and Nose














Father ia law of Time’s disfigured Afghan cover girl is arrested for cutting off ear’s and nose

The father-in-law of a young Afghan woman who said her nose and ears were sliced off at gun-point to punish her for running away from her violent Taliban fighter husband has been arrested.

The 20-year-old woman, simply known as Aisha, gained worldwide attention when she appeared on the August 9 cover of Time magazine.

And now – against the odds – the man who committed the horrific disfigurement has been tracked down and being held in jail in Uruzgan province, the Afghan Interior Ministry said today.

Under orders from a Taliban commander acting as a judge, she was disfigured last year as punishment for fleeing her husband’s home.

Just 18 years old at the time, Aisha said she ran away from the small village to escape her in-laws’ beatings and abuse.

A child bride, Aisha was captured and returned to the village, where her husband, father-in-law and brother-in-law carried out the mutilation, after approval by the local Taliban mullah.

Aisha’s father-in-law, Sulaiman, ‘pointed a gun at her head while the other men, his sons, sliced off her nose’, alleged Brigadier General Juma Gul Himat.

‘Sulaiman then took her amputated nose and proudly showed it off around the village.’

Under orders from a Taliban commander acting as a judge, she was disfigured last year as punishment for fleeing her husband’s home.

Left for dead, she said, she then fled to the safety of a women’s shelter in Kabul run by Women for Afghan Women, which publicised her plight a year later.

Thanks to support from aid groups and the American Embassy in Kabul, and the charity of a hospital in Southern California, Aisha was whisked off to the United States for reconstructive surgery – though there was little hope of finding the perpetrators.

In September, she was fitted with a temporary, prosthetic nose so she could visualise what she would look like and to help build her confidence.

It is rare for the police in Afghanistan to intervene when local villagers impose punishments for social crimes, even severe ones such as flogging and stoning, which are allowed under Sharia law, the legal code of Islam based on the Koran.

There is no Sharia law provision, however, for cutting off nose and ears of a runaway child bride.

‘This is against Afghan-ism, against Afghan and Shariah laws, against every principle in the world, against humanity, so that’s why we wanted to bring him to justice,’ said General Himat.

‘He made a big mistake,’ the general said. ‘He disfigured a creature of God, and he was proud of what he had done.’

District police chief Mohammed Gul said: ‘It would have taken 100 armored vehicles to go in there to that village.’

Sooner or later, though, everyone in the area goes to the bazaar in the Chora district, in south-central Oruzgan Province.

And when Sulaiman showed up, the police were waiting.

According to Mr Gul’s account, the suspect spotted the police at the same time as they spotted him, and made a run for it.

Officers chased him on foot and ran him down after a mile and a quarter, he said.

Mr Sulaiman, who like many Afghans has one name, confessed to participating in the disfigurement.

Aisha is now living in Brooklyn, New York, while she gets treatment for emotional problems from her ordeal.

Doctors at the Grossman Burn Foundation in California said they felt that was necessary before she could have reconstructive surgery there, according to Manizha Naderi, the head of Women for Afghan Women, which has offices in Brooklyn and Kabul.

So far, Aisha has been given a prosthetic nose as a temporary measure.

‘She’s not coming back to Afghanistan to testify,’ Mrs Naderi said. ‘We won’t put Aisha in danger like this.

‘Nobody will guarantee her security in Afghanistan if she comes back.’

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British Minister Reveals Being Gay

Britain’s Conservative prisons minister Crispin Blunt.

Britain’s Conservative prisons minister Crispin Blunt has announced that he is homosexual and this is why he has separated from his wife.

He said that he is “coming to terms with his homosexuality,” the Guardian reported.

The timing of Blunt’s announcement about his sexuality, Friday afternoon, prompted speculation that a weekend paper had been given information and was planning to publish a story about his private life.

The 50-year old Tory MP, who has represented Reigate since 1997, announced his separation from his wife Victoria in a statement on the ConservativeHome website, saying he had “explained the position” to his family.

As prisons minister, Blunt is responsible for penal policy and finding savings in the prisons budget as part of this autumn’s departmental spending review.


Zaid:From Shooting Star TO Fallen Star

Just let Zaid Ibrahim go, and the thorn will be removed. He is not worth the pain.’

Ferdtan: Zaid Ibrahim has crossed the line and there is no return. From his statements in the numerous press conferences, he had been firing wildly, even embarrassing his own allies. He came into the party as a shooting star – but now he is more like a fallen star, after being called a traitor, Umno’s trojan horse, a mole, Utusan Malaysia’s supporter and a sore loser.

Most of the rakyat are not partial to any particular leader – we are only partial to the cause of united opposition front to challenge the corrupt BN government. Just don’t meddle and jeopardise the harmony of the front as we don’t take that kindly – whatever your reasons and justifications.

We will react the same if even Anwar Ibrahim were to do something detrimental against the interest of the front. Just let Zaid go, and the thorn will be removed. He is not worth the pain.

MyGosh: This is very sanctimonious of Azmin. If you are a gentlemen, than call for the deputy president elections be postponed until all irregularities are cleaned up. That will be fair and you will gain a lot of respect. We have not forgotten that you tried to undermine the Selangor MB and that you were booted out of East Malaysia. There is no smoke without fire.

Jaguh: Most observers of PKR and its recent debacles forget the fact that Zaid received more than one-third of the member votes for the deputy slot. For whatever the politics of the day dictates, there are still may PKR members behind Zaid and to antagonise each other now is only going to cause a big divide within the party.

I am surprised DSAI (Anwar Ibrahim) has been keeping mum on this issue and even some of his tweets indicate that he is not hands on – he is just relying on comments from friends. This, I must say, is bad leadership.

Azmin has shown that he is a good politician, but at the same time a good leader must also unite the party under these trying times. PKR is seen as disoriented and with GE13 drawing close and if this situation persists, it will drive voters away. In order to realise the struggle we all wish for, for heaven’s sake, close ranks.

Christ Follower: Zaid, it would be better for you to form a new party and join Pakatan and work closely with Anwar and Azmin if you think you can produce results that way. Otherwise, stay independent and strengthen your party with your supporters and see how many state assemblymen and MPs your party can produce in the 13th GE.

Ghkok: What Zaid does after he’s sacked from the party is his own business. Bruised and battered, but determined and defiant as ever, the 400,000 members of the party, joined by millions of others, will continue to fight for justice and reforms, to end 52 years of tyranny and oppression. The journey continues.

Mikey: I think Zaid must form a new party and offer a third choice. It doesn’t matter if it is a mosquito party. PKR cannot disown him and yet want his supporters and the portion of public support that is with him, however little that is.

Sure, it may affect Pakatan in GE13 but that is the growing pains of democracy. Zaid must stop fighting from within for there is also no point destroying PKR.

Peter Chen: Is Zaid trying to get sacked by shooting off his machine-gun mouth so that he can then use his sacking as his excuse in creating even more divisions among those who look forward to giving someone/party/coalition a fair crack at reforming the country?

Fidus Achates: Zaid, go and form that new party and put your money where your mouth is. Let’s see how much support you’ve got. Talk is cheap. Blogosphere support even cheaper. Make my day.
Zaid Ibrahim is fast losing party allies

Mikey: Zaid is not a politician or he would have been more sly and cunning. He has been used because the consummate politicians in PKR knew he could be relied on to speak his mind.

But that may be what attracts a significant portion of the general public to him. The portion that is sick of politicians, of double speak, of toeing party lines, etc. It doesn’t matter what he says is stupid or damages a particular party.

Maitreya: Zaid Ibrahim’s entry into PKR was hailed by many as a very positive development, mainly because it appeared that Zaid had the potential to be a charismatic leader holding Pakatan together in the event that Najib Razak’s gang managed to push through their ugly agenda of putting Anwar away.

Unfortunately, Zaid’s impatience and arrogant attitude have alienated those of us who remember and appreciate the long hard road Anwar, Azmin and other Pakatan leaders have travelled to plant the seed of hope in our hearts for the flowering of true democracy and justice.

Zaid has never been arrested, persecuted and imprisoned. He rose to national prominence by resigning from his post as de facto law minister under Abdullah Ahmad Badawi when the ISA was abused (once again).

PKR’s electoral chaos are a technical problem. The party has 400,000 members. This is the first time every member has been given the chance to elect party leaders at all levels. Confusion is part of radical change.

Disgusted: It looks like Zaid has kissed his political future goodbye. If he forms a mosquito party called ‘Keadilan Baru’, he will end up like Wee Choo Keong when he left DAP and set up his party. Perhaps he should leave politics and join some NGOs and contribute to them. Perhaps Bersih 2.0 will be a good movement for him to be involved.

In the meantime, he should shut up and not wash further dirty linen in public to save himself from embarrassment. Everyone had high hopes for him in Pakatan, perhaps even serving as a minister should they succeed in getting to Putrajaya, but he has shot himself on the foot due to his impatience and eagerness to go up the political ladder in PKR.

Why did he not go for vice-presidency? Although many do not think much of Azmin as an intelligent-minister material, he has built strong grassroots support in PKR. It is a fallacy to say that the number two man in PKR will be the deputy PM. They must remember there are two other partners in the coalition.

WandererAUS: Zaid may have very sound reasons to reform PKR, but his approach left much to be desired. Perhaps, he has forgotten the meaning of tact and understanding to gain more allies to carry out his reforms. He has given a perception of a non-team player and a potential dictator in the making.

Even if he tried to form a ‘third force’ (an offshoot of PKR), he will fail miserably.

Loo Soon Fatt: Keadilan Baru will end up like Umno Baru. Malaysians are not ready for a third force as this will create more confusion. We have not even succeeded in a two-party system, what more a third force can do. Unless the third force join BN, the majority of opposition voters will not support them as happened to SAPP in Batu Sapi.

Good luck to Zaid and Co.

Cala: I agree with most commentators in this forum. Even if Zaid has reasons to believe that the election so far as seen by him is less than perfect, or for that matter tainted with frauds of votes buying, etc, his behaviour is not acceptable.

“When you are a grown-up, you don’t throw a tantrum if something offends you, you discuss it” (The Free Dictionary). Political struggle is after all a long process, not for the faint-hearted souls. Think Nelson Mandela, think Gandhi.

Ghkok: I don’t care about a third force, fourth force, or 10th force for that matter. In my opinion, anywhere in the world, it is unforgivable and unacceptable for a high-ranking member of a party to openly threaten to set up another party. It is treason. The person must be sacked – immediately.

BTN: Alamak Zaid, just when we thought we could get more reliable ex-members from Umno coming in to help the party to get stronger, now we have you doing a Zahrain Hashim and Zulkifli Noordin. What a bitter disappointment your actions turn out to be.


Umno tidak akan terima Zaid semula

PUTRAJAYA: UMNO tidak akan menerima bekas Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, menyertai semula parti itu, kata Setiausaha Agung UMNO, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

“Zaid, kita buang dia. Kita nak bawa dia balik buat apa?,” kata Tengku Adnan ketika ditanya peluang Zaid sekiranya ingin kembali kepada UMNO. “Dia juga akan bagi masalah. Kita tidak suka orang yang beri masalah. Kita hendak orang yang masuk parti kita, parti komponen Barisan Nasional (BN), orang-orang yang menjiwai perjuangan bukan untuk mencapai sesuatu bagi diri masing-masing,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas merasmikan Majlis Konvo Kanak-kanak Tabika/Taska KEMAS sekitar Putrajaya, di sini hari ini.
Pada 8 November lalu, Zaid telah menarik diri daripada bertanding jawatan timbalan presiden Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) dan meletak semua jawatannya dalam parti itu berikutan dakwaan bahawa pemilihan parti itu tidak telus.

Namun, Zaid yang dipecat daripada UMNO pada Disember 2008 dan menyertai PKR enam bulan selepas pemecatannya, sehingga kini belum menyatakan untuk kembali ke pangkuan UMNO dan hanya dilaporkan bercadang untuk menubuhkan parti politik yang baru.


Penang Maintains Its Top Tourist Draw

Penang maintains its top tourist draw, disputes Putrajaya’s figures

November 07, 2010

Penang’s tourism, culture, arts and heritage chief, Danny Law Heng Kiang said Penang has maintained its third place ranking for the past two years — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 7 — Penang is among the top three tourist destinations in Malaysia and ahead of historic Melaka, a state government official said today, refuting claims its cultural twin had overtaken the state last year.

Its tourism, culture, arts and heritage chief, Danny Law Heng Kiang said Penang has maintained its third place ranking out of the 13 states for the past two years in drawing foreign tourists, behind the national capital and Pahang.

Yesterday, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen remarked that the south-west state had edged out Pakatan Rakyat-ruled Penang as tourism destination attracting some 8.9 million tourists throughout last year to the latter’s 5.96 million.

“I don’t know where she got the 8.9 million from,” Law told The Malaysian Insider in a phone call from George Town.

He added that Penang had jumped to third spot in 2008 from fourth, after it gained the Unesco World Heritage Site award.

In comparison, Melaka which jointly received the Unesco award, tumbled back to sixth place last year behind Sabah and Kedah after a surge in foreign tourist arrivals pushed it up a step in 2008.

Ng had said the disputed statistics were compiled by the ministry’s research unit.

“The statistics speaks for itself. Tourist arrival in Penang has dropped from 6.3 million in 2008 according to the statistics from our research division,” jet-setting minister was reported saying after opening the revamped Penang Hill funicular train station.

But Law disputed the figures.

Based on his research, Penang drew 5.96 million foreign tourists last year, while Melaka only drew 3.76 million foreign tourists in the same period.

Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam had boasted tourist arrivals in his state have increased four-fold, from 1.7 million in 2000 to 8.9 million last year.

But he did admit that eighty per cent of them were domestic, in an interview with The Malaysian Insider earlier this year, before declaring Melaka a developed state last month.

Law lamented Ng’s seemingly political remark directed at Penang.

The federal minister had said the PR administration should show more initiative to train its tourist guides to be better-informed about Penang’s heritage and history.

Ng had pointed Penang had an international airport with a total of 191 flights from 12 international airlines flying directly into the city weekly.

Law, who is also Batu Lanchang lawmaker, said the federal government should be less focused on highlighting the tourism losses of the states and instead work together to better promote Malaysia as a whole to the world.

“Long-haul tourists, like those in the US, they don’t just come to Penang or Melaka and then go off… they want to know what Malaysia has to offer,” he pointed out.

Law added that Malaysia faced stiff enough competition from other holiday destinations around the region, and cited Bangkok and Bali as examples.

He was confident Penang will remain ahead of Melaka in this year’s race to be the top tourist spot in the country, based on the first quarter tally of foreign tourist arrivals.

He noted that Penang registered 943,491 foreign tourists between January and March this year, compared to Melaka’s 558,668 foreign visitors in the same period.

debra chong

Media is like a ‘gong’, says speaker

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 28 — As the media disseminates a message of unity among people of various races in the country, it should play a more proactive role in enhancing the people’s understanding of the 1 Malaysia concept, a professor said today.

Describing the media as a gong, Deputy Dean at the Faculty of Human Ecology, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Prof Dr Jayum A. Jawan said it functioned according to the rhythm played by the person who hit the gong.

That person, he said, was the media player who should play the important role of hitting the correct music.

“The media players must determine the situation. They must have their own plan and be educated to move out from the narrow perspective of their own communities and promote the 1 Malaysia concept, instead of their own communities,” he told the ‘Mass Media Towards 1Malaysia’ forum held in conjunction with World Development Information Day (WDID) here.

Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) Editor-in-Chief Datuk Yong Soo Heong was moderator of the forum.

The idea of media as a ‘gong’ was collectively supported by other speakers at the forum.

Berita Publishing Editor-in-Chief Datuk A. Kadir Jasin Kadir said the young generation was more vulnerable and easily influenced by information disseminated through mass media.

“This is where people as media players have to play their role to spell out the 1 Malaysia concept clearly to the audience, especially the young generation,” he added.

Radio Televisyen Malaysia head of policy and research Dr Syafiq Alfonse also supported the idea, saying it was important to deliver accurate information on 1 Malaysia to the public.

He said, this was to ensure that no one with personal interest would take advantage by exploiting the concept introduced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Astro Awani media strategist Suhaimi Sulaiman, who spoke on the topic, ‘Face to Face Communication Towards 1Malaysia’, said “how the gong was beaten was important because the way the news was reported would affect the audience”.


Italy the next European country to ban burka after government recommendation

by nick pisa
Italy is set to become the next European country to ban the burka after a government report ruled in favour of the proposed legislation.

MPs from the anti-immigration Northern League party, a member of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s ruling right wing coalition, have presented the proposal in a bill.

It comes just weeks after France banned the wearing of burkas and other forms of face veils – a decision which prompted al Qaeda terrorists to vow revenge.

An Interior Ministry report now being considered by the Constitutional Affairs Commission says that if introduced the law should make clear burkas and other face coverings were being banned not for ‘religious reasons but for security reasons.’

As part of their investigation the Interior Ministry heard from several leading Muslims on the use of the burka and several pointed out there was no mention of its use at all in the Koran.

Ejaz Ahmed, of the Italian Islam Committee said: ‘The use of the burka and the niqab does not have its origins in the Koran – in fact it is not even mentioned in the Koran.

‘The burka has nothing to do with religion and was being worn even before Islam was founded – it was worn by the Romans, Byzantines and Persians and wearing it is not a religious obligation.

‘There is no connection between the burka and the niqab with the Islamic religion – the burqa should be banned to respect women’s dignity and the safety of the public given that in Pakistan many suicide bombers have hidden devices under burkas.’

However others from the Islam Committee ruled that the burka was part of Muslim culture.

Ahmad Gianpiero Vincenzo said: ‘The government risks inflaming Islamophobia by introducing this law.

‘They think that by saying it is for public safety they are washing their hands of it but any ban of the burka will simply be exploited.’

The Interior Ministry report to the Commission said: ‘The law should consider public safety and consider that wearing such clothing prevents immediate recognition by the forces of law and order and, if necessary being described by witnesses.

‘Recognition of a person must be guaranteed especially in light of the risk from international terrorism.

‘The law should avoid any reference to Islam or religion in order so as not to fuel controversy.’

Italy has more than one million Muslims but it is rare to see women wearing the full burka.

There have been incidents, especially in northern cities such as Milan and Verona, where women wearing it have been asked to remove at least the face veil.

Technically it is illegal to be seen in public wearing anything that prevents immediate identification and there have been several cases in recent months of zealous officials fining burka wearing women.

Earlier this year Amel Marmouri, 36, was fined £430 for wearing a burka at her local post office in Novara and her husband Ben Salah Braim said he would keep her indoors rather than let her go out uncovered.

There has also been a backlash against the ‘burkini’, a bathing costume that is suitable for Islamic dress.

Several Muslim women who have used swimming pools wearing burkinis in Italy have been asked to leave, with officials claiming the garments are ‘unhygienic’.

The Northern League’s proposal aims at amending a 1975 law, introduced amid concern over domestic terrorism, which bans anyone wearing anything which makes their identification impossible.

The Constitutional Affairs Commission is expected to report back later in the autumn and the law is unlikely to go through parliament until next year at the earliest.

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