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Burma has imposed a state of emergency in Meiktila following three days of communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims.

A statement announcing the decision on behalf of President Thein Sein was broadcast on state television.

Thein Sein said that the move would enable the military to help restore order in the riot-hit town, south of Mandalay.

At least 20 people are reported to have been killed since the violence began, but exact figures are unclear.

Meiktila MP Win Thein said scores of mostly Buddhist people accused of being involved in the violence had been arrested by police.

He said that he saw the bodies of eight people who had been killed in violence in the town on Friday morning.

Burma has imposed a state of emergency in Meiktila following three days of communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims

Burma has imposed a state of emergency in Meiktila following three days of communal violence between Buddhists and Muslims

The disturbances began on Wednesday when an argument in a gold shop escalated quickly, with mobs setting mainly Muslim buildings alight, including some mosques.

Fighting in the streets between men from rival communities later broke out.

Meanwhile people in Meiktila said they are affected by food shortages because the main market in the town has been closed for the last five days.

At least 56 people have been killed and hundreds of homes torched since Sunday, as clashes spread in Burma’s Rakhine state.

Several were killed overnight as violence erupted despite a night-time curfew in at least two towns.

The latest clashes are the first serious outburst of violence since June when a state of emergency was declared in Rakhine after 90 people were killed.

But tensions remained high between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Muslims.

It is unclear what prompted the latest clashes. The Rakhine Buddhists and Muslims blame each other for the violence.

Clashes erupted in the Ratha Taung township late last night but this later spread to the Kyauk Taw township, where security forces opened fire, reports say.

Rakhine state spokesman Win Myaing said on Thursday that the total death toll since violence flared up again on Sunday had reached 56.

More than 1,000 houses have been torched since then and police have deployed reinforcements in the townships of Min Bya and Mrauk Oo, where curfews are now in effect.

It was the rape and murder of a Buddhist woman by three Muslims in May that set off the initial unrest.

A mob later killed 10 Muslims in retaliation, although they were unconnected with the earlier incident, and the violence escalated after that.

In June, about 90 people were killed as clashes spread across the state.

The houses of both Buddhists and Muslims were burnt down and thousands of people fled. Muslims throughout Burma have abandoned plans to celebrate the festival of Eid al-Adha because of the violence.

There is long-standing tension between the ethnic Rakhine people, who make up the majority of the state’s population, and Muslims, many of whom are Rohingya. The Burmese authorities regard the Rohingya as illegal immigrants and correspondents say there is widespread public hostility to them.

In August Burma set up a commission to investigate the violence between Buddhists and Muslims in the west of the country. Authorities earlier rejected an UN-led inquiry.

 

World-famous Turkish pianist Fazil Say has appeared in court in Istanbul charged with inciting hatred and insulting the values of Muslims.

Fazil Say is being prosecuted over tweets he wrote mocking radical Muslims, in a case which has rekindled concern about religious influence in the country.

Fazil Say, who denies the charges, said recently he was “amazed” at having to appear before judges.

Rejecting an acquittal call, the court adjourned the case until 18 February.

Prosecutors brought the charges against Fazil Say in June. He faces a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison although correspondents say any sentence is likely to be suspended.

The indictment against him cites some of his tweets from April, including one where he says: “I am not sure if you have also realized it, but if there’s a louse, a non-entity, a lowlife, a thief or a fool, it’s always an Islamist.”

Fazil Say has appeared in court in Istanbul charged with inciting hatred and insulting the values of Muslims

Fazil Say has appeared in court in Istanbul charged with inciting hatred and insulting the values of Muslims

Dozens of the pianist’s supporters gathered outside the courthouse with banners, one of which called on the ruling Islamist-based AK Party to “leave the artists alone”.

Fazil Say has played with the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and others, and has served as a cultural ambassador for the EU.

Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s minister in charge of relations with the EU, suggested the case against him should be dismissed, saying the court should regard his tweets as being within “his right to babble”.

However, Egemen Bagis also criticized the pianist for “insulting people’s faith and values”.

 

It has emerged that barbaric textbooks which were handed out in Saudi Arabian schools teach children how to cut off a thief’s hands and feet under Sharia law.

The shocking books, paid for and printed by the Saudi government, also tell teenagers that Jews need to be exterminated and homosexuals should be “put to death”.

Recent editions were obtained by the Institute for Gulf Affairs in Washington, D.C., which says they should raise fears in the West over the use of jihadist language.

Barbaric textbooks which were handed out in Saudi Arabian schools teach children how to cut off a thief's hands and feet under Sharia law

Barbaric textbooks which were handed out in Saudi Arabian schools teach children how to cut off a thief's hands and feet under Sharia law

The books were published and handed out to 9th and 10th-graders despite Saudi Arabia’s promises to clean up textbooks in the kingdom.

Ali Al-Ahmed, director of the Institute for Gulf Affairs, told Fox News: “This is where terrorism starts, in the education system.

“They show students how to cut (the) hand and the feet of a thief.”

The textbooks were printed for the 2010-2011 academic year and translated from Arabic by the institute.

In one, for ninth-graders, students are taught the annihilation of the Jewish people is imperative.

One text reads in part: “The hour (of judgment) will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. There is a Jew behind me come and kill him.”

According to the translations, women are described as weak and irresponsible.

Ali Al-Ahmed said the textbooks also call for homosexuals to be put to death “because they pose a danger at society, as the Saudi school books teaches”.

“If you teach six million children in these important years of their lives, if you install that in their brain, no wonder we have so many Saudi suicide bombers.”

The Saudi Embassy in Washington D.C. was approached for comment, but there was no immediate response.

[googlead tip=”patrat_mediu” aliniat=”stanga”]A website forum, which is frequently utilized to spread Al-Qaeda’s dispatches, has posted a death threat against David Letterman.

 

The jihadist website post, which was issued by frequent commenter on the forum, has threatened David Letterman, urging Muslim followers to “cut the tongue” of the Late Show  host because of a joke the comic made on his CBS show.

According to the SITE Intelligence Group, a private company for sites monitoring service, that tracks extremists websites online activity, the threat was posted Tuesday on the Shumuka al-Islam forum, a popular Internet destination for radical Muslims.

 

David Letterman was death threatened on a Jihadist website

David Letterman was death threatened on a Jihadist website

 

The poster, who identified himself as Umar al-Basrawi, was reacting to what he said David Letterman did after the US military announced on June 5 that a drone strike in Pakistan had killed al Qaeda leader Ilyas Kashmiri.[googlead tip=”lista_mica” aliniat=”dreapta”]

 

Umar al-Basrawi wrote:

 

“Is there not amongst you a Sayyid Nosair al-Masri (may Allah release him) to cut the tongue of this lowly Jew and shut it forever. Just as Sayyid (may Allah release him) did with the Jew Kahane.”

 

[googlead tip=”vertical_mic”]Al-Basrawi also wrote that David Letterman had made reference to both Osama bin Laden and Kashmiri and said that Letterman had demonstrated on his neck how Kashmiri died.

Sayyid Nosair al-Masri was tried for the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1990.

According to Adam Raisman, SITE analyst, the Shumukh-al-Islam forum is a site where messages from Al Qaeda frequently first appear online in the United States.

“It’s a clearing house for Al-Qaeda material. It gets the most Al-Qaeda supporters,” he said.

Adam Raisman ranked the threat as more worrisome than the “warning” posted against South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone last year.

“This was a more explicit threat,” he said.

“It was direct and to the point.”

 

David Letterman, who is not Jewish, apparently made jokes on the accused terrorist leader Ilyas Kashmiri death, who was killed by an US airstrike in Pakistan on June 5. The forum contributor said Letterman put a hand to his neck and demonstrated the “way of slaughter.”

 

“He showed his evil nature and deep hatred for Islam and Muslims, and said that Ilyas Kashmiri was killed and he joined bin Laden,” he wrote.

 

“We ask Allah to paralyze his tongue and grant the sincere monotheists his neck.”

 

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The news was first reported by Stars and Stripes.

SITE group is now trying to find out more information about the commenter, who has more than 1,200 messages on the forum. Adam Raisman also advised David Letterman to take “as much precaution as he would with an obsessed fan.”

There was no comment from CBS or Letterman.