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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The mystery of Dr Aafia Siddiqui, Three Clergymen, Three Faiths, One Friendship, Islamic Banks, Ahmed Rashid,

Three Clergymen, Three Faiths, One Friendship It sounds like the start of a joke: a rabbi, a minister and a Muslim sheik walk into a restaurant. The three say they became close not by avoiding or glossing over their conflicts, but by running straight at them. But there they were, Rabbi Ted Falcon, the Rev. Don Mackenzie and Sheik Jamal Rahman, walking into an Indian restaurant, and afterward a Presbyterian church. The sanctuary was full of 250 people who came to hear them talk about how they had wrestled with their religious differences and emerged as friends.

Islamic banks launch standard wakala agreement - KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Malaysian and UK Islamic banks signed off on a standardised wakala deposit agreement on Tuesday, which some bankers said could help the industry reduce its reliance on the controversial commodity murabaha structure. Lenders such as Malaysia's Maybank Islamic, Bank Islam and CIMB Islamic, UK's Gatehouse and Indonesia's PT Bank Syariah Muamalat agreed to use the template for interbank and corporate wakala deposit placements, said an Islamic banking body.

Two quotes from Ahmed Rashid

1:Viewers may well ask where is the passionate debate about the real issues that people face - the crumbling economy, joblessness, the rising cost of living, crime and the lack of investment in health and education or settling the long-running insurgency in Balochistan province.

2: One notable channel which also owns newspapers has taken it upon itself to topple the elected government. Another insists that it will never air anything that is sympathetic to India, while all of them bring on pundits - often retired hardline diplomats, bureaucrats or retired Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) officers who sport Taliban-style beards and give viewers loud, angry crash courses in anti-Westernism and anti-Indianism, thereby reinforcing views already held by many

the frown
they say
honesty is best
then why the frown
when i replied
to your query
'how do i look?'

The mystery of Dr Aafia Siddiqui Amid the blizzard of allegations about Siddiqui, the most crucial voice is yet to be heard – her own. The trial, due to start in January, has suffered numerous delays. The longest was due to a six-month psychiatric evaluation triggered by defence claims that Siddiqui was "going crazy" – prone to crying fits and hallucinations involving flying infants, dark angels and a dog in her cell. "She's in total psychic pain," said her lawyer, Dawn Cardi, claiming that she was unfit to stand trial. But at the Texas medical centre where the tests took place, Siddiqui refused to co-operate. "I can't hear you. I'm not listening," she told one doctor, sitting on the floor with her fingers in her ears. Others reported that she refused to speak with Jews, that she manipulated health workers and perceived herself to "be a martyr rather than a prisoner". Last July three of four experts determined she was malingering – faking a psychiatric illness to avoid an undesirable outcome. "She is an intelligent and at times manipulative woman who showed goal-directed and rational thinking," reported Dr Sally Johnson.


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