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Hamas Annuls Recent Palestinian Parliament Votes

Mahmud Abbas (file photo) (RFE/RL) 20 February 2006 -- The new Hamas speaker of the Palestinian parliament today ordered a freeze on all decisions made by outgoing parliament last week.

The statement posted on notice boards in the Ramallah-based Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) announced that votes in parliament after last month's general election would be regarded as null and void.

The move covers last week's parliamentary decision to create a court whose judges would be appointed by President Mahmud Abbas.

Abbas is to meet today with Hamas's nominee for prime minister, Ismail Haniyah, to discuss the future government's program.

Also today, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called Muslims worldwide to provide money to the Palestinians.

Israel has moved to isolate a government led by Hamas, which does not recognize the Jewish state.


Islam In A Pluralistic World

Islam In A Pluralistic World

A Muslim woman (left) watches a Christian procession in Madrid in March (AFP)


CONFERENCE ON ISLAM: A major international conference on Islam concluded in Vienna in November 2005 with strong appeals from prominent Muslim leaders to recognize international terrorism as simply "terrorism." Political figures from Islamic countries, including the presidents of Iraq and Afghanistan, argued that it should never be labeled "Islamic" or "Muslim" terrorism because Islam is based on peace, dialogue, and tolerance. "Salaam" -- meaning "peace" -- was the key word of the three-day conference, titled "ISLAM IN A PLURALISTIC WORLD."
Iraqi President Jalal Talibani and Afghan President Hamid Karzai used the word in their remarks to emphasize the peaceful nature of Islam. Other speakers quoted passages from the Koran to the effect that all men and women, regardless of faith, are creatures of God and should live in peace with each other without discrimination...(more)


Listen to Afghan President HAMID KARZAI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media


Listen to UN special envoy LAKHDAR BRAHIMI's complete address to the Vienna conference (in English):
Real Audio Windows Media

THE COMPLETE PICTURE: Click on the image to view a thematic webpage devoted to issues of religious tolerance in RFE/RL's broadcast region and around the globe.