Islamic World News(05 Nov 2016 NewAgeIslam.Com)
Tunisia Sacks Minister for Questioning Wahhabism
















File photo shows 23-year-old Munir al-Adam, who suffers from visual and hearing impairments and is to be beheaded by Saudi Arabia.

 

Tunisia Sacks Minister for Questioning Wahhabism

Hard-Line Strain of Islam Gains Ground in Indonesia, World’s Largest Muslim Country

ISIL Brainwashed Kids to Become Next Generation of Extremists

Saudi Arabia to Behead Disabled Man over Taking Part in Rally

Ummah United For Defence of Harmain-Al-Sharifain: Pakistan Ulema Council

 

Africa

Tunisia Sacks Minister for Questioning Wahhabism

Saudi, Iran Stoke Sunni-Shia Tensions in Nigeria: Experts

Al-Shabab represents most immediate threat to Somalia: UN report

Three US troops shot dead in Jordan

African Countries Oppose Appointment of UN Gay Rights Envoy

Ugandan Muslims Burn Home Where Boys Threatened With Violence Took Refuge

A Nigerian sultan’s quest for peace

Nigeria frees Muslims accused of murder over blasphemy

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Southeast Asia

Hard-Line Strain of Islam Gains Ground in Indonesia, World’s Largest Muslim Country

Starbucks Brews another Storm with ‘Islamic’ Cup

What Malaysia Can Learn from Indonesia’s ‘Islam Nusantara’ In Fight against IS

Rally turns violent in Jakarta as protesters attack police

Malaysia: Halal industry vital to becoming a developed nation by 2020

Indonesian president delays visit to Australia after Jakarta clash

Muslim protesters in Jakarta demand arrest of Christian governor for alleged blasphemy

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Arab World

ISIL Brainwashed Kids to Become Next Generation of Extremists

Saudi Arabia to Behead Disabled Man over Taking Part in Rally

ISIS Bomb Kills 12 Iraq Civilians, Including Children, Fleeing Hawijah

Syrian Army, Popular Forces Ward off Terrorists' Large-Scale Operation in Aleppo

Syrian Army Continues to Beat Terrorists Back from Northern Hama

Egypt Morsi trial judge escapes car bombing

Militant shelling wounds two Russian troops, Syrian journalist

Sudanese jailed for harbouring terrorist

Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Repels Attacks on Gov't Positions in Eastern Damascus

Syria: Terrorists Fail to Prevail over Gov't Positions in South-eastern Damascus

Terrorist Groups Continue to Block Civilians' Exit from Aleppo City

Syrian Army Intensifies Attacks on Terrorists in South-western Damascus

Commander of Terrorists' Anti-Aircraft Regiment Killed in Aleppo

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Pakistan

Ummah United For Defence of Harmain-Al-Sharifain: Pakistan Ulema Council

Blasphemy Accusation from Pakistan Creeping In Indonesia Catch Violence

Four in race to be next Pakistan army chief, General Raheel Sharif to step down by end of tenure: Report

Relative hid among bodies as London banker was killed in terrorist shooting in Pakistan

Pakistan making strides for regional peace, American group told

Jamaat to file additional ToRs in SC

JI to move SC against ‘KE’s sale’

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India

Most Indians Fighting For IS Based In Raqqa, Says IS Groups’ Fighter

Evidence Not Believable, Court Said In Case Linked To 3 of Killed SIMI Men

Pathankot Terrorists Who Sparked Ban on NDTV India May Never Have Existed

SIMI Encounter: MP Govt Ordered 5 Probes in 5 Days

Report of envoy recall from Pak fabricated, says government

Pakistan army personnel replacing Rangers as border heat escalates

India-Bangla committed to root out terrorism: Rajnath

Chief Minister’s ‘Changing Stance’ Worries Muslims in MP

4 Indians saved from burning vessel in Egypt

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South Asia

Rights Groups Claim Myanmar Govt Obstructing Reporters from Covering Rakhine Crisis

11 Killed, Bride among 12 Wounded In an Explosion in Faryab

Hindus in Bangladesh Baffled By Motive behind Muslim Mob Attacks

Foreign diplomats urge Myanmar to probe rights violation

US confirms death of top Al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan

Hindu temple set afire in Thakurgaon

Call to amend personal law sparks debate in Sri Lanka

Journalist killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan

Explosion in Kabul leaves one wounded

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Mideast

Turkey Detains Pro-Kurdish Lawmakers; Car Bomb Leaves 9 Dead, 100 Wounded

Iran Admits To Arming Houthis with Missiles

UN envoy’s plan for Yemen stalls

Asiri reacts to CNN photo of starvation in Yemen

Iran: Suspended, reduced sentences to Saudi embassy attackers

Kurdish-Led SDF: No Turkish Partnership in Imminent Offensive on ISIL Capital in Syria

Yemeni Missiles Changing Power Balance

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North America

New York Police on Alert after Warning of Terror Attack before Election

Australian protests over Syrian refugee housing

America’s “Arab Spring”

Police say he made death threats to Muslims. His defence: America’s ‘toxic national discourse.’

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Europe

Swiss Court Upholds Ban on Islamic Kindergarten

Greece nabs 15 anti-Islam protesters

Germany summons Turkish envoy to protest arrest of pro-Kurdish MPs

France evacuates new refugee camp in Paris

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/tunisia-sacks-minister-for-questioning-wahhabism/d/109021

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Tunisia Sacks Minister for Questioning Wahhabism

Nov 4, 2016

Tunisia has sacked its religious affairs minister following his parliamentary speech where he said Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia, was the source of terrorism.

The Tunisian government said in a statement on Friday that Prime Minister Youssef Chahed had decided to relieve Abdeljalil Ben Salem of his duties for "attacking the foundations of diplomacy."

Ben Salem said during a parliament session on Thursday that he had "dared" to question the Saudi envoy to Tunis as well as the secretary general of the Arab Interior Ministers' Council, who is a Saudi national, about the Saudi Wahhabism being a "vehicle for terrorism."

"I say to Saudis... reform your school because terrorism has historically come from it," the private Mosaique FM radio station quoted the Tunisian minister as saying.

Wahhabism is freely preached by Saudi clerics backed by the regime in Riyadh. The Daesh Takfiri terrorists and other terrorist groups use the ideology to declare people of other faiths “infidels,” justifying the killing of those people.

The Tunisian minister later issued a statement, saying that ties between Tunis and Riyadh were "completely harmonious."

Tunisia has experienced violence since the 2011 uprising that ousted the country’s dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, who was in power for over two decades.

The country has also been affected by the growing instability in neighboring Libya, which has been in chaos since former dictator Muammar Gaddafi was toppled and later killed in 2011.

Tunisian law enforcement agencies fear further terrorist attacks in the country as an estimated 3,000 Tunisian terrorists are believed to be within the ranks of Daesh in Iraq, Syria and elsewhere, and they could bring trouble when they return home.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/04/492111/Tunisia-minister-Wahhabism

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Hard-Line Strain of Islam Gains Ground in Indonesia, World’s Largest Muslim Country

Nov. 5, 2016

JAKARTA, Indonesia—The biggest street protest in years shook this sprawling capital on Friday, in a stark display of the more conservative, militant strain of Islam taking hold in the world’s largest Muslim country.

Police estimated that 100,000 people turned out for a rally called by hard-line Muslim groups against the capital’s Christian governor, whom they accuse of having committed blasphemy.

The protest was peaceful during the day but scuffles broke out after nightfall. Some protesters threw plastic bottles and rocks at police and struck their riot shields with sticks. Police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse them. A local news portal said that two police trucks were set on fire near the presidential palace.

Turnout was lower than some organizers had predicted, after the nation’s largest Muslim organizations this week discouraged their members from attending.

President Joko Widodo had met with other political leaders amid calls for calm, but critics say he has been too slow since taking office in 2014 to respond to deepening tensions for fear of being labeled anti-Muslim.

In a recent interview, Mr. Widodo, who is himself a Muslim, said religious and political leaders had a responsibility to “cool temperatures down,” and he vowed to protect minorities. “My government won’t tolerate any discrimination,” “We are one of the most tolerant countries in the world,’’ Mr. Widodo told The Wall Street Journal.

The Jakarta governor’s bid to win re-election in February is building into a test.

“Religiosity is rising, especially among the middle class,” said Yon Machmudi, an Islamic politics expert at the University of Indonesia. “A sense of identification is increasing.’’

Protesters were taking aim at Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, known as Ahok, who is the most prominent politician among the country’s often-persecuted ethnic Chinese minority—and one of the country’s few Christian lawmakers. He was elected deputy governor in 2012 and elevated to the top job in 2014 after his boss, Mr. Widodo, was elected president.

Some hard-liners had tried to block his ascentthen, saying Muslims shouldn’t be governed by a “kafir,” or nonbeliever.

The blunt-spoken Mr. Purnama, 50 years old, also has irritated many with a brash, get-things-done manner that conflicts with Javanese traditions of polite compromise.

Mr. Purnama, now running for re-election with high approval ratings, angered the groups again by citing a verse of the Quran in a public address in late September. He has apologized and said he would cooperate with a police investigation, but has since been the target of protests.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla met a group of protest leaders and said afterward that police would pursue a blasphemy case against Mr. Purnama. Local media reported that Mr. Purnama said he would meet with investigators Monday. The maximum penalty for blasphemy is five years’ imprisonment.

Scattered outbreaks of violence were reported as small groups dispersed into neighborhoods, including in North Jakarta, where they looted a minimart. About a hundred police officers guarded the complex where Mr. Purnama resides.

Shortly after midnight, Mr. Widodo appeared on television, saying that legal action concerning Mr. Purnama would be swift and transparent, and asked protesters to return home. He also said he deplored the violence that took place after the rally and that “political actors” had taken advantage of the situation. He didn’t elaborate.

Mr. Widodo on Saturday postponed a planned three-day visit to Australia that was to begin Sunday, according to Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s office. Mr. Turnbull said in a statement that Mr. Widodo called him to postpone the visit and that the security situation in Jakarta required the president’s personal attention.

Nearly 90% of Indonesia’s 250 million people are Muslim. The Southeast Asian nation—some 18,000 islands straddling the Pacific and Indian oceans—has a long tradition of moderate Islam in a culture influenced earlier by Hinduism and Buddhism.

But the tenor has changed in recent years. Head scarves for women, once rare, are now widely worn and Islamic schools are expanding.

An effort to outlaw cohabitation and sex between unmarried people fizzled in 2013 but has returned this year, with proponents asking the Supreme Court for a constitutional prohibition.

Religious hard-liners staged antigay rallies early this year, and the government threatened to block websites it says promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lifestyles. Netflix ran into trouble with Indonesia’s state-owned telecom provider in part because of complaints over some content.

A movement to ban alcohol is gaining steam and sales have been banned from convenience stores. Travel to Mecca for the minor pilgrimage of umrah, once a relatively uncommon undertaking for middle-class Indonesians, is newly popular.

Security experts say the rising conservatism paves the way for potential violence, pointing to some religious hard-liners who have rebranded themselves as cells of Islamic State.

In January, Indonesia suffered its first Islamic State-linked attack, with militants receiving funding from the terrorist group via a Syria-based Indonesian who once studied with a hard-line group in central Java. There have been sporadic attacks since then, including one last month where an Islamic State sympathizer stabbed three police officers.

“What we’ve seen in the last 18 months to two years is increasing crossover from organizations that started out nonviolent-but-hard-line to organizations which are now committed to using violence,” said Sidney Jones, director of the Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict.

Still, Islamic parties have done poorly in elections since the downfall of longtime dictator Suharto in 1998. Indonesia has been one of the most stable democracies in the region after overcoming a wave of terrorism and sectarianism in the early 2000s.

Many of those at Friday’s protest had ridden for hours on trains and buses from other parts of Java island. They gathered at the Istiqlal mosque, the country’s largest, before marching toward the presidential palace.

A 27-year-old from Pemalang in central Java said that, while Mr. Purnama isn’t his governor, he was seeking justice for Islam. Asked about comments from extremists about killing Mr. Purnama, he said: “It is an expression of how upset we are.”

Security forces took up positions behind barbed wire around nearby government offices. Authorities said around 20,000 police and military personnel were on duty. There were no immediate reports of violence.

Streets in the famously congested city of 10 million people were relatively devoid of traffic as many workers stayed home. Many shops and offices closed.

http://www.wsj.com/articles/hard-line-strain-of-islam-gains-ground-in-worlds-largest-muslim-country-1478248172

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ISIL brainwashed kids to become next generation of extremists

November 4, 2016

IRBIL, Iraq — Karam Kahlid was 18 and working at an orphanage in Mosul when the Islamic State conquered the city more than two years ago.

The militants first burned the orphanage’s books, except the Qurans. Then they beat the children and, finally, indoctrinated them into extremism.

“The children were so afraid and very obedient,” said Kahlid, who escaped Mosul in June and now lives in a refugee camp in the semi-autonomous Iraqi province of Kurdistan.

“The Islamic State forced them to watch their violence, trained those older than 8 to use weapons. They forced them to wear Afghani outfits. I was obliged to shorten my pants, not to shave and keep away from television,” added Kahlid, who was raised in the orphanage where he worked.

He said he tried to counter the Islamic State’s fighters influence over the children. He told them that the militants killed other children’s mother and fathers. They didn’t like being orphans, so they shouldn’t doom other kids to the same fate, he stressed.

“I told them, ‘You have to remember when you first came to this place, you were lonely and broken. You know what a tragedy means. Do not let others feel like that,’” he said. “I told them that injustice is the worst thing ever.”

Despite Khalid’s pleas, many of the orphans became child soldiers. Now, as Iraqi forces surround Mosul, and U.S.-led coalition airstrikes pound entrenched Islamic State positions in Iraq’s second-largest city, Khalid fears that his former wards and other child soldiers will die in an imminent bloody fight that could last weeks or longer.

At least 300 children have died in fighting around Mosul, according to the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a watchdog group. The children were part of what the Islamic State called “Caliphate Cubs.”

The Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS, has pressed Iraqi children into military service since the militants seized Mosul and other parts of Iraq in 2014. The terror group has showcased children in many gruesome propaganda videos aimed at Western audiences. They show children executing alleged spies and driving vehicles packed with explosives on Iraqi and Kurdish fortifications.

Last year, the United Nations documented how Islamic State militants burst into high schools in the Hay al-Tamin region of eastern Mosul and abducted youths who were sent to military training camps in Tal Afar in western Iraq and Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital in Syria.

The militants use children to bolster the ranks of their fighters and also to season a new generation of extremists, according to a report by Israel-based International Institute for Counter-Terrorism.

Those who have worked with these children still worry about them after they are freed from the militants.

“The children rescued from (the Islamic State) were highly influenced by them or severely suffering from psychological trauma," said Abu Yousif, 38, an Irbil-based psychotherapist who was displaced from Mosul and has worked with children recruited and brainwashed by the militants.

"That is because they have witnessed killing, lashing, torture and rape," he said. "The children I worked with were so broken and hostile at the same time. ... These children are like a time bomb in society," he said.

Abu Omer, an Iraqi intelligence official, said Iraqi forces were already prepared for the grim task of fighting Caliphate Cubs.

The Islamic State "has been working hard to create a generation of young boys to serve as suicide bombers,” he said. "They will push them to blow themselves up to defend Mosul.”

The children were a sign of desperation as the Islamic State’s numbers dwindle under a multinational onslaught from Libya to Syria to Iraq, Omer said.

"In the past they were counting mostly on foreign militants for suicide attacks,” he said. “Now it's time for the generation they created (to take over).”

The situation for children in Syria is probably even worse than in Iraq.

The observatory estimated that the Islamic State was using thousands of soldiers in Syria, including 4,000 in Deir Ezzor in the eastern part of the country. Those numbers might even be low. The U.N. noted that about 700,000 children, many of them orphans, are among the refugees within Syria because of the country’s 5-year-old civil war.

As Iraqis wait and see how their government’s progress against the Islamic State in Mosul will proceed, Kahlid in Irbil lives with the guilt of leaving many of his former charges behind.

He says memories of the night when the Islamic State first entered Mosul keep running through his mind. The Iraqi army had fled. The other orphanage caretakers decided to follow them. Khalid and a friend stayed.

“We decided not to leave the children alone. We took care of them with great love,” Khalid said.

He fled Mosul only after Islamic State fighters flogged him for refusing to join their cause. Today, he works for a local foundation that provides humanitarian assistance to refugees. He hopes that someday he might help some of the children he once cared for in Mosul.

“I want the war to end so I can go back to the orphanage — I miss it and the children," he said. "Until then, I look at their photos in an album we made so as not to forget their faces. … And I see them in my dreams every night."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2016/11/03/isil-brainwashed-children-become-next-generation-extremists/93253762/

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Saudi Arabia to behead disabled man over taking part in rally

Nov 5, 2016

Saudi Arabia intends to behead a disabled man on charges of alleged participation in anti-government protest rallies, a rights group warns.

The kingdom’s secretive Specialized Criminal Court in the capital Riyadh sentenced Munir al-Adam to death for alleged “attacks on police” and other offences that it said occurred during demonstrations in Eastern Province in late 2011.

The 23-year-old is partly blind and was already partially deaf at the time when the Saudi forces arrested him. Adam, however, says he is now totally deaf in one ear as a result of being brutally beaten by police while in custody.

In a statement, Adam’s family strongly rejected the verdict, saying he had been tortured into confessing.

Adam, a steel cable worker, also said that he had only signed a document admitting to having committed the announced offenses after being repeatedly beaten by security guards. He also said he had been accused of “sending texts” to organize anti-government protests while he was too poor to own a cell phone.

'Appalling case'

Reprieve, a UK-based international human rights organization, has already expressed its deep concern over Adam’s case.

“Munir Adam’s appalling case illustrates how the Saudi authorities are all too happy to subject the most vulnerable people to the swordsman’s blade – including juveniles and people with disabilities,” said Reprieve's Death Penalty Team Director Maya Foa.

“Like so many others, Munir was arrested for allegedly attending protests, and tortured into a ‘confession’ – he was beaten so badly that he lost his hearing. It’s a scandal that Munir now faces beheading on the basis of a bogus statement that he has since recanted,” she added.

Described by his family as a kind and simple young man, Adam was reportedly arrested in February 2012 for taking part in demonstrations in his home town of Qatif the previous year, when he was only 18 years old.

Foa added that concerns for the fate of Adam come shortly after the highly-criticized re-election of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Riyadh has been under fire for having one of the world’s highest execution rates. The Saudi authorities do not even spare mentally disabled people from the death penalty. Moreover, most executions are performed in public places and in some cases decapitated bodies are left hanging in public squares as a deterrent.

“In Saudi Arabia, where people are routinely sentenced to death after grossly unfair trials, we have seen a dramatic surge in the number of executions in the past two years which has shown no sign of abating in 2016,” Sara Hashah, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa spokesperson, said in a statement in July.

“Saudi Arabia’s authorities must end their reliance on this cruel, inhuman and degrading form of punishment immediately,” she added. 

Beheading with a sword is the most common form of execution in Saudi Arabia.

Eastern Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011. Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination against the oil-producing region.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/05/492184/Saudi-Arabia-Munir-Adam-beheading-Qatif-UN

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Ummah United For Defence Of Harmain-Al-Sharifain: Pakistan Ulema Council

November 5, 2016

Lahore—Speakers addressing a rally that held here on Friday to express solidarity with Saudi Government for defence and security of Harmain-Al-Sharifain said that entire Muslim Ummah is united for defence and security of Harmain-Al-Sharifain stating that missile attack at Makkah and Medina by extremists and terrorists testified it that these anti-Muslim elements are intentionally targeting Holy places of Muslims. Amidst this scenario, Muslim Ummah should design cohesive strategy and constitute a united front to contain conspiracies of Houthi terrorists groups, ISIS and elements supporting these terrorists’ organisations.

People of Pakistan will not dare to lay any sacrifice for defence and security of Harmain-Al-Sharifain. It was also decided unanimously in aegis of Pakistan Ulema Council to arrange Harmain-Al-Sharifain Defense Conference in Islamabad on 11 November.

Chairman Pakistan Ulema Council Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi addressing the rally said that terrorists’ organisations are targeting Islamic countries and specifically making attacks at Holy places of Muslims in the world. ISIS and Houthi terrorists groups have no linkage with Islam adding that any Muslim even can’t think to make attack at Makkah and Medina.

He also pointed out that owing to mounting tension between Iran and Arab world and due to increasing foreign intervention in affairs of Arab world, the entire Muslim world is grieved. Pakistan and Qatar with assistance of Saudi leadership should come forward to devise strategy to overcome prevailing challenges of Ummah, said Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi. Chairman Pakistan Ulema Council Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Ashrafi also said that issues of sectarian violence are also being fanned to sabotage unity of Muslim world. After foreign adventurism, in Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Iraq, anti-Islam elements are waging conspiracies against Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Leadership of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia should keep check on elements fanning misunderstandings between Saudis and Pakistan.

Maulana Muhammad Ashfaq Lahori, President Pakistan UIema Council, Lahore addressing on this occasion said that Makkah and Medina are centres of Muslims loyalty and Muslim youths should get ready for defense and security of Harmain-Al-Sharifain. He also made it clear that nothing is dear to Muslims more than Makkah and Medina.

Secretary Information Pakistan Ulema Council Punjab Maulana Ashfaq Patafi said that Houthi tribes have challenged 1.5 billion people of Islamic world by making missile attack at Makkah.

The seminaries and mosques from all over the country affiliated with Pakistan Ulema Council also adopted a resolution here in Friday sermons to denounce Houthi tribes’ missile attack in Makkah and lauded services of Saudi government, and security forces of Saudi Arabia for defence and security of Harmain-Al-Sharifain. The resolution also urged on government of Pakistan to endorse cooperation and unity with Saudi Government at all levels of defence and security.

http://pakobserver.net/ummah-united-for-defence-of-harmain-al-sharifain-puc/

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Africa

 

Saudi, Iran stoke Sunni-Shia tensions in Nigeria: experts

Nov 05, 2016

Northern Nigeria has become the latest battleground in the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, after violent clashes between supporters of rival groups from the two main branches of Islam.

Members of the Izala movement, backed by mainly Sunni Saudi Arabia, last month attacked the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), which is sympathetic to Shia-majority Iran.

IMN ceremonies in at least four northern cities to mark the annual Shia day of mourning, Ashura, were targeted, with the worst riots in Kaduna, an Izala stronghold. At least two IMN supporters were killed.

Witnesses and local media said mobs who looted and set fire to homes and businesses over two days shouted “No more Shia”.

Sectarian tensions in Nigeria’s Muslim-majority north had already been running high, especially in Kaduna, after the state government banned the IMN as an unlawful group and a security threat days earlier.

That followed a recommendation from the judicial inquiry it commissioned to investigate clashes in Zaria city last December in which soldiers killed more than 300 IMN members.

Those clashes and the recent escalating tension indicate that the proxy Saudi-Iran conflict — well-known in places such as Lebanon, Yemen and Syria — is now being played out in Nigeria, experts said.

“It is a fact that Saudi Arabia has been financing anti-Shia campaigns in many areas of the world,” political scientist Abubakar Sadiq Mohammed, from Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, told a foreign media agency.

“If the attacks against the Shia escalate, of course, Iran will support them and Saudi Arabia will support the attacks on Shia.”

Izala leader Abdullahi Bala Lau has been accused of stoking anger by declaring that Nigeria’s constitution only recognises Sunni Islam.

His group has close relations with Riyadh and Nigeria’s government while its satellite television station, Manara, also broadcasts fiery anti-Shia rhetoric.

Leaders from Saudi Arabia and Iran both contacted Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari after the Zaria attacks.

Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani called for restraint and accused “a group” of “sowing the seeds of discord among Muslims in Islamic countries” in what was seen as a clear reference to Saudi Arabia.

Nigerian media reported that Saudi King Salman backed Abuja’s crackdown on the IMN, describing it as a “fight against terrorism”.

The militants of Boko Haram have killed at least 20,000 people in northeast Nigeria since taking up arms against the government in 2009.

Riyadh has largely refrained from openly backing Nigeria’s fight against the ultra-conservative Salafist rebels but Mohammed noted it was “quick to do so in the case of IMN”.

“The responses of Iran and Saudi to the Zaria clashes belie sectarian undercurrents,” he added.

In March, Saudi clerics attended an Izala-organised conference on “deviant Islamic ideologies” in Nigeria and have since been preaching in the country.

In May, Iran’s envoy to Nigeria called for the release of IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky and described his detention as “unfair”, straining diplomatic ties. He was later recalled to Tehran.

A senior Nigerian security officer said IMN’s religious beliefs were immaterial but its alleged disregard for law and order was an issue, as was its lack of recognition of the Nigerian state.

IMN started out as a student movement in 1978 and morphed into a Sunni revolutionary group inspired by the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979.

The group switched to Shia Islam in 1996 due to Zakzaky’s close association with Iran, worsening mutual resentment with conservative Wahhabists, including Izala, which was founded in 1978 by a Saudi-trained cleric.

Islamic history expert Dahiru Hamza said Izala’s focus had up to then been against those in the mystical Sufi tradition, whose beliefs they considered heretical.

“They shifted their focus on Shias  who were getting more organised and challenging the Salafi influence by winning more converts in the territory under the Salafi control,” he added.

Izala received funding from Saudi Arabia and wealthy adherents, allowing it to establish mosques and schools. It also encouraged members to participate in politics, gaining government allies.

Izala’s preaching against IMN and Shia Islam has increased since last December. It openly supported the military crackdown in Zaria and even called for harsher action.

Lau dismisses claims he is fuelling tensions as a smear campaign.

At least five northern states have followed Kaduna’s example in banning the IMN from holding public processions.

“The ordinary people took the ban on IMN as a ban on Shia (Islam) because IMN is the more prominent Shia group due to its public activities like a street procession,” said the editor of the Shia newspaper Ahlulbayt, Muhammad Ibrahim.

“This worried us because we saw how Izala followers were spreading the information that the government banned Shia and the people began to believe it.”

http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2016/11/05/foreign/saudi-iran-stoke-sunni-shia-tensions-in-nigeria-experts/

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Al-Shabab represents most immediate threat to Somalia: UN report

Nov 4, 2016

A UN report has warned that the Somalia-based al-Shabab Takfiri militant group is still capable of conducting large-scale attacks despite the “prevailing” rhetoric of successful counter-terrorism efforts.

The al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group carried out six sophisticated assaults on hotels in the Somali capital Mogadishu between November 2015 and June 2016, the report by UN sanctions monitors said on Friday.

"Contrary to prevailing narratives of successful counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism efforts, the monitoring group assesses that the security situation has not improved in Somalia," the report stated.

The Takfiri militant group "represents the most immediate threat to peace and security in Somalia and continues to be a destabilizing force in the broader East and Horn of Africa region," said the report, which was submitted to the United Nations Security Council earlier this week.

Al-Shabab is fighting to topple the government in Mogadishu. The battle between Somali government forces and the militants has continued since 2006.

In 2011, al-Shabab was driven out of Mogadishu and other major cities by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), but the militants keep carrying out attacks against civilians and troops in the country.

The group has a long record of attacks in Kenya in revenge for the country’s contribution to the African Union mission in Somalia.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/04/492167/Shabab-threat-Somalia-UN-report

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Three US troops shot dead in Jordan

November 05, 2016

AMMAN - Three US troops were killed in a shooting outside a military training facility in Jordan on Friday, a US official said.

"A total of three US service members died today in the incident in Jordan," the official said in Washington.

"The service members were in vehicles approaching the gate of a Jordanian military training facility, where they came under small arms fire," the official added.

"Initial reports were that one was killed, two injured.

The two injured service members were transported to a hospital in Amman, where they died.

" "We are working with the Jordanian government to gather additional details about what happened.

Earlier, the Jordanian army said the shooting took place at the gate of Al-Jafr base in southern Jordan after the car carrying the US trainers failed to stop.

It said that a Jordanian officer was also wounded.

"An exchange of fire occurred Friday morning at the gate of the Prince Feisal Air Base in Al-Jafr when a car carrying trainers attempted to enter the gate without heeding the guards' orders to stop," it said in a statement, quoting a military source.

The army said an investigation was under way to determine the causes of the shooting.

An American defence official described the incident as "green on blue", a military term for when friendly forces attack US personnel.

"But we can't say for the moment if it was a deliberate" act to kill US personnel or "some kind of misunderstanding," the official told AFP.

The death of three American troops in Jordan could prove very embarrassing for Amman, a key recipient of US financial aid and member of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group in neighbouring Syria and Iraq.

US forces have trained a small group of vetted Syrian rebels in Jordan, and American instructors have trained Iraqi and Palestinian security forces in Jordan as well over the past few years.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/05-Nov-2016/three-us-troops-shot-dead-in-jordan

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African Countries Oppose Appointment of UN Gay Rights Envoy

5 NOVEMBER 2016

African states have drafted a resolution, calling for the suspension of the UN's new LGBTI investigator. The 54-member Africa group says concentrating on gay rights takes away from other issues, including racism.

Speaking on behalf of African countries, Botswana's ambassador told a General Assembly human rights committee on Friday that the council should not be looking into "sexual orientation and gender identity".

"Those two notions are not and should not be linked to existing international human rights instruments," said Charles Ntwaagae.

The 54-national African Group said it opposes the creation of an independent investigator to investigate human rights violations against Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) people.

The group is concerned that gay rights issues would take precedence over "other issues of paramount importance, such as the right to development and the racism agenda."

Experienced rights champion

International law professor Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand was appointed in September by the UN Human Rights Council.

Muntarbhorn's three-year mandate to fight anti-gay crimes was approved despite strong objections from several Muslim countries.

His appointment was made after research revealed how hundreds of LGBTI people have been killed and thousands injured in recent years due to their sexuality. Muntarbhorn is due to carry out country visits, and raise allegations of rights violations with UN members.

Some African filmmakers dare to break the silence surrounding the gay community in Africa. They portray the hopes and struggles of Africa's LGBT. The Afrikamera film festival takes the stories to Berlin's silver screen. (04.11.2016)

Persecution of homosexuals in Africa hinders fight against AIDS

Life is dangerous for Africa's gays and lesbians, despite a resolution from the African Commission for Human Rights. The UN warns that the persecution of homosexuals is hindering the fight against AIDS. (18.07.2014)

Push to reintroduce Ugandan anti-gay law

A Ugandan anti-gay law thrown out on a technicality could be re-submitted to the country's parliament as early as next week. Several anti-gay legislators want a prompt fresh vote on the measure without lengthy debate. (06.08.2014)

Full report at:

http://allafrica.com/stories/201611050006.html

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Ugandan Muslims Burn Home Where Boys Threatened With Violence Took Refuge

November 4, 2016

Muslims in a village in eastern Uganda on Sunday (Oct. 30) gutted the home of a Christian family for housing two boys threatened with violence for leaving Islam, sources said.

Stephen Muganzi, 41, told Morning Star News that the two teenaged boys sought refuge with him on Oct. 16 in Kobolwa village, Kibuku District after their parents earlier in the month learned of their conversion, began questioning them and threatened to kill them. The two boys, ages 16 and 17, had secretly become Christians nearly seven months before.

An area pastor told Morning Star News that Muganzi appeared terrified when he showed up at his church building with his family after fleeing the enraged mob.

“The life of my family is at stake,” Muganzi told the pastor, he said. “Where am I going to take them? I have lost everything that was in the house.”

After the boys had fled their homes and the parents began searching for them, Muganzi had begun receiving threats, he said.

“I started receiving threatening messages in my phone accusing me of converting the boys to Christianity, as well as housing them in my house without the parents’ permission, but I did not take it very seriously,” Muganzi said.

The boys’ fathers (names withheld, like those of the boys, for security reasons) organized a group of sharia (Islamic law) vigilantes to punish them for apostasy, and the mob, including the boys’ fathers, set fire to Muganzi’s house, he said.

Connect with Christian News

“At around 6 p.m., I saw a group of people moving towards my house and immediately recalled the warning, and I signaled my family to take refuge,” he said. “As the attackers drew nearer, I noticed that some of the people wore Islamic attire. There and then I also ran for my life. After 20 minutes, we saw fire coming out of my homestead. I then knew that the Muslims had burned my house.”

The church sent one of the elders to check on the extent of damage, who reported, “The loss is enormous.”  Muganzi and the boys have sought shelter elsewhere.

The elder discovered leaflets left behind by the attackers.

“Be informed that we are not yet finished with you,” one read. “Expect more, worse things are on the way.”

Food Project Attacked

Also in eastern Uganda in predominantly Muslim Nalidi village, Pallisa District, a mob of armed jihadists recently injured 27 Christians working at a food-producing project because people were coming to Christ through the outreach, sources said.

As they harvested rice, 16 of the 27 wounded Christians were seriously injured when the Islamists, invoking jihad in Arabic, descended on them at 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 6, an area source said.

“The Muslims attacked us while shouting in Arabic, “We are fighting for the cause of Allah,” survivor John Supete said from his hospital bed.

Full report at:

http://christiannews.net/2016/11/04/ugandan-muslims-burn-home-where-boys-threatened-with-violence-took-refuge/

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A Nigerian sultan’s quest for peace

04.11.2016

When he ascended to the Sultanate of Sokoto a decade ago, many feared Sa’d Abubakar III -- a former army brigadier general -- would lack the political finesse and appeal to make the role a success.

However, 10 years on Abubakar, the 20th sultan of Sokoto in northwest Nigeria, has smoothed relations between Nigeria’s near-100 million Muslims, to whom he is the spiritual head, and the largely southern Christians and has built a reputation as a consensus builder.

“You have led by strong values and you have worked hard to break parochial barriers,” Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, also a Christian pastor, said Thursday as he praised Abubakar’s efforts to build bridges between faiths.

“You have developed deep friendships with... Christian leaders and leaders of all faiths locally and internationally.”

As the sultan said in a speech on Thursday at a symposium held in his honor, he inherited a wide array of challenges -- Muslim-Christian relations were at a particular low with clashes between herdsmen, who are mostly Muslim, and farmers in central Nigeria.

In a bid to resolve these tensions, which were often exploited by political factions, Abubakar travelled the country and abroad giving speeches on brotherhood and religious tolerance while disavowing extremism.

In October last year, he was named among the world’s 50 most influential Muslims.

“[Sultan Abubakar] is actually a peacemaker, a peace builder and this is a traditional ruler and a religious leader par excellence [he] understands relationships, humanity and… is willing to use his office to mend and fix the broken, damaged and dented relationships that Muslims and Christians were having in the past,” Joseph Hayab, spokesman for the Christian Association of Nigeria, told Anadolu Agency.

“I must confess that he is one person I cherish because of his commitment to peace, dialogue and interfaith understanding.”

Abubakar inherited a crisis of confidence between the Muslims in the north and their brethren in the south, especially in the southwest where many Islamic scholars boast large followings.

Muslim divisions

In the years before his coronation, Muslims in the north and south were divided over issues such as the dates of Ramadan. The sultan established a national moon-sighting committee with members drawn from across the Muslim community to unify the date of Eid and bring Nigerian Muslims together.

Observers say he needs to rally Muslim scholars to decide on whether to use the sighting of the moon by the naked eye or to adopt technology to judge the start of holy festivals.

Disu Kamor, executive chairman of the Muslim Public Advocacy Center, said Abubakar “succeeded in building strong and long bridges of understanding and brotherhood.”

However, substantial obstacles remain, not least the religious extremism espoused by group such as Boko Haram.

Full report at:

http://aa.com.tr/en/africa/a-nigerian-sultan-s-quest-for-peace/678708

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Nigeria frees Muslims accused of murder over blasphemy

November 4, 2016

A court in northern Nigeria has freed five Muslim men accused of killing an elderly Christian woman for alleged blasphemy. The court in the city of Kano discharged the five men on Thursday on the legal advise of the prosecution. “The legal advice presented to the court, dated June 24, states that there is no case to answer as the suspects are all innocent and orders the court to discharge all the suspects,” the judge said in his ruling.

The five men were accused, along with six others who are on the run, of killing 74-year-old Bridget Abahime on June 2 after she allegedly insulted Islam.

The suspects had pleaded not guilty of the charge.

The victim, an ethnic Igbo trader from the southeast and wife of a pastor, was beaten to death, sparking outrage across the country with President Muhammadu Buhari calling the killing “utterly condemnable”.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/nigeria-frees-muslims-accused-of-murder-over-blasphemy-3737346/

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Southeast Asia

 

Starbucks brews another storm with ‘Islamic’ cup

November 5, 2016

PETALING JAYA: There are people easily offended in the United States as there are in Malaysia it would seem based on the latest controversy involving Starbucks and their year-end festive season cup design.

After being slammed by Christian conservative groups across the US late last year for coming up with a simple red-coloured cup, seemingly to symbolise a particular festival (or holiday) without so many words, Starbucks have come under fire again this year.

Starbucks revealed the new design to the media on Tuesday, and not surprisingly, many people kicked up a firestorm on social media with some going as far as saying it was promoting Islam, The Huffington Post reported.

The global coffee chain’s new design of a green cup with a white spot where its iconic logo normally appears, is titled “a symbol of unity”. There are pencil-line sketches of people all around the cup.

But instead of unity, in terms of the diverse people that the brand brings together in their love for coffee, Starbucks is being criticised for having a design that echoed the colours of the flag of the Arab League.

According to the Huffington Post, some people went further, suggesting the cups were linked to the so-called Islamic State (IS).

One commenter on social media said: “The giant coffee chain is calling this year’s monstrosity the “unity” cup… Hmm, what else is unified…. Isis!!?! The unified caliphate of the Islamic State!”

Like in Malaysia, the usual rhetoric and outrage is also followed by a call to boycott, with some suggesting the move because Starbucks are into “political brainwashing”.

Last year, Christian evangelicals in the US called the red-coloured Starbucks cup a declaration of “war on Christmas”.

One particular rant on Facebook by a Joshua Feuerstein was even viewed 16 million times.

“Starbucks isn’t allowed to say Merry Christmas to customers.“Do you realise that Starbucks wanted to take Christ and Christmas off their brand new cups? That’s why they’re just plain red,” Feuerstein wrote.

Even The Washington Post weighed in on the national scandal, saying: “Starbucks certainly didn’t seem to anticipate this… in many ways, the cups seemed designed to be unremarkable.”

A statement by Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO, said: “The green cup and the design represent the connections Starbucks has as a community with its partners (employees) and customers.

“During a divisive time in our country, Starbucks wanted to create a symbol of unity as a reminder of our shared values, and the need to be good to each other.”

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/11/05/starbucks-brews-another-storm-with-islamic-cup/

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What Malaysia can learn from Indonesia’s ‘Islam Nusantara’ in fight against IS

BY SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID

November 5, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 5 — For Indonesia, the world's largest Muslim country, the concept of “Islam Nusantara” has played a crucial multi-faceted role in helping suppress Islamic radicalisation.

But most importantly, the concept — coined by the later former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid or popularly knows as Gus Dur — has helped circumvent the cultural threat that comes with radical Islam.

What makes Islam Nusantara effective ammunition against extremists is its identity, which forms the concept's core ideology.

Abdurrahman's daughter, Alissa Wahid, who is now carrying on her father's legacy in promoting Islam Nusantara, explained that the politics of identity help drive recruitment for extreme groups.

This means it is crucial that moderates prevent hardliners from monopolising the discourse on identity.

“But in the context of Indonesia it gives a sense of belonging, a sense of identity because one of the key strategies of the hardliners is identity politics; like, if you are a Muslim, you have to do this and this.

“Now the Islam Nusantara gives them a sense of identity that gives the people or common public the power to say 'I am different from Saudi Muslim and it's okay',” she told Malay Mail Online after giving a talk on extremism here.

Islam Nusantara is founded on four principles: moderation, tolerance or openness, balance or justice, and the moral uprightness. These principles are adopted from Islam itself.

But Alissa said adopting Islamic values does not mean one must also adopt Arabic culture wholesale.

And the idea of Islam Nusantara — with the emphasis on “nusantara”, a term to describe not only the Indonesian and Malaysian archipelago, but of its polity and civilisations — helps Indonesians understand that indigenous Muslims have moulded Islam to suit local custom for over a hundred years.

Full report at:

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/what-malaysia-can-learn-from-indonesias-islam-nusantara-in-fight-against-is

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Rally turns violent in Jakarta as protesters attack police

November 05, 2016

JAKARTA - A massive demonstration by tens of thousands of Indonesian Muslims against Jakarta's governor turned ugly Friday as they burned police cars and officers were injured in angry clashes.

The violent scenes - just metres from the presidential palace and city hall - marred an otherwise peaceful rally against Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian accused of blasphemy.

Three officers were injured as radical protesters hurled stones and bottles at police, who responded with tear gas, national police spokesman Boy Rafli Amar told AFP.

"I hope the injuries are not serious, they have been taken away from the scene," he said.

"The latest situation is we're persuading the protesters to go home, and some have started to leave, especially after we fired tear gas.

But some still refuse.

Police had earlier declared the much-hyped demonstration against Purnama, in which 50,000 protesters gathered at the city's largest mosque before taking to the streets in a huge show of force, a largely peaceful affair.

Authorities took no chances in the lead up to the protest, deploying 18,000 officers and extra soldiers across Jakarta amid fears that radical elements could infiltrate the march.

The demonstration appeared to be dying down by dusk as thousands began leaving the protest zone.

But as night fell mobs of hardliners, draped in the white uniforms favoured by Indonesian extremist groups, ran amok and attacked police, who hit back with tear gas, water cannon and truncheons.

Gangs torched police vehicles in front of the presidential palace, an AFP correspondent at the scene reported.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/05-Nov-2016/rally-turns-violent-in-jakarta-as-protesters-attack-police

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Malaysia: Halal industry vital to becoming a developed nation by 2020

Nov 5, 2016

By: Izham Shah Datuk Arif Shah

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 3 — Malaysia is in the final round of its sprint to become a developed nation by 2020. As we are reaching that defining moment, there are more challenges that we will be facing which requires proactive measures by both the government and the private sector.

The Malaysian government has developed and created policies and action plans towards achieving Vision 2020. The New Economic Model (NEM), Halal Industry Master Plan (HIMP) among others are examples of the blueprints and action plans launched by the Malaysian government in achieving the goal of becoming a developed nation.

The halal industry is increasingly becoming an important economic driver in contributing to the nation’s GDP. Across the globe, halal industry is worth more than US$2 trillion (RM8.3 trillion) with the global Muslim population of around 1.6 billion (23 per cent of the total world’s population).

The halal industry is expected to grow in parallel to the growth of the Muslim population. According to a report by Halal Industry Development Corporation (HDC), in year 2030, the global Muslim population will increase to about 27 per cent of the world’s total population which accounts for up to two billion Muslims.

In recent years, the halal industry has attracted a growing number of interests across the globe. The major players in this particular industry are not just limited to Muslim-majority countries but also includes non-Muslim-majority countries namely China, Japan, United States (US), Brazil and United Kingdom (UK) to name a few.

Non-Muslim majority countries like the UK is importing £18 billion (RM92.7 billion) worth of food per annum and the US halal market size is estimated at US$18 billion. China is also preparing itself to become the net importer of halal food and beverages in the next 10 years. Malaysia on the other hand is one of the major exporters of halal F&B and the largest exporter of halal ingredients globally.

Malaysia is perceived as the global leader in halal industry, largely thanks to the country’s proper halal ecosystem that is equipped with comprehensive and proactive policies as well as frameworks to develop the halal industry.

These initiatives highlight the commitment and dedication of the government towards improving and developing the industry. Malaysia is also well-known for its diversities in terms of race, culture, food and ingredients.

Halal in Malaysia is well-regulated by the government with Jabatan Kemajuan Islam Malaysia (Jakim) and HDC spearheading and leading the halal regulatory and industry development. The collaborations among ministries and government agencies are seen as among the key efforts in promoting and uplifting our halal industry to be seen as the leader globally.

Full report at:

https://muslimvillage.com/2016/11/05/120860/malaysia-halal-industry-integral-becoming-developed-nation-2020/

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Indonesian president delays visit to Australia after Jakarta clash

Nov 5, 2016

Indonesia's President Joko Widodo on Saturday postponed his visit to Australia due to a security situation in the Indonesian capital following violence at huge protest by Muslims against Jakarta's governor, a Christian they say insulted the Koran.

Both governments issued separate statements on Widodo's decision to remain in the country.

"Looking at the latest situation and condition in Indonesia that require the presence of the president, President Joko Widodo decided to postpone his scheduled state visit to Australia," a statement from his office said.

At a news conference held in the early hours of Saturday, Widodo lashed out at "political actors", whom he did not name, for stoking a huge protest by Muslims that briefly turned violent on Friday night.

Full report at:

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-indonesia-protests-idUSKBN12Z1JU

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Muslim protesters in Jakarta demand arrest of Christian governor for alleged blasphemy

Nov. 4, 2016

JAKARTA, INDONESIA — Tens of thousands of hard-line Muslims marched Friday on the centre of the Indonesian capital to demand the arrest of its minority-Christian governor for alleged blasphemy.

Fearing violence, police put on a show of force supported by soldiers and public order officers, while embassies closed, some shops shuttered and Jakarta’s normally traffic-clogged streets were nearly empty of cars.

The predominantly male demonstrators, most wearing white shirts and skull caps, massed at the Istiqlal Mosque for the protest following weekly Friday prayers and marched on the nearby presidential palace. Large protests also took place in other cities including Medan on Sumatra, Makassar in Sulawesi and Malang in East Java.

Associated Press reporters witnessed members of an Islamic student group throwing plastic water bottles and other objects at riot police, but generally the massive demonstration appeared to have gone off without major incident.

The accusation of blasphemy against Jakarta Gov. Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese and minority Christian who is an ally of the country’s president, has galvanized his political opponents in the Muslim-majority nation of 250 million, and given a notorious group of hard-liners a national stage.

The Islamic Defenders Front, a vigilante group that wants to impose Shariah law, is demanding Ahok’s arrest after a video circulated online in which he joked to an audience about a passage in the Qur’an that could be interpreted as prohibiting Muslims from accepting non-Muslims as leaders. The governor has apologized for the comment and met with police.

“We are here because we want to defend the verses of God that have been abused by Ahok,” said Nasrullah Achmad, who came from Bekasi, a Jakarta satellite city, with dozens of others from his Islamic study group. They raised clenched fists and shouted “God is Great.”

“Only one thing can stop us: Ahok’s arrest,” said Achmad.

Some protesters snapped selfies of themselves wearing headbands emblazoned with “Arrest Ahok” and others cheered as speakers denounced him with hate-filled language. Many held aloft flags and banners with slogans such as “Ahok is an enemy of Islam.”

Blasphemy is a criminal offence in Indonesia and prosecutions have increased in the past decade though most people practice a moderate form of Islam. Amnesty International documented 106 convictions between 2004 and 2014 with some imprisoned for up to five years.

Full report at:

https://www.thestar.com/news/world/2016/11/04/muslim-protesters-in-jakarta-demand-arrest-of-christian-governor-for-alleged-blasphemy.html

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Arab World

 

ISIS bomb kills 12 Iraq civilians, including children, fleeing Hawijah

5 November 2016

A bomb blast on Friday killed 12 civilians, among them women and children, who had fled the ISIS-held Hawijah area in northern Iraq, officials said.

The deaths highlight the extreme danger faced by civilians trying to flee areas held by ISIS, who may be targeted by the extremists as they seek to escape and then have to navigate bombs the militants have planted.

Hawijah is a town in Iraq's Kirkuk province that was seized by ISIS along with swathes of other territory in the summer of 2014.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/05/ISIS-bomb-kills-12-Iraq-civilians-inclusing-children-fleeing-Hawijah.html

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Syrian Army, Popular Forces Ward off Terrorists' Large-Scale Operation in Aleppo

Nov 04, 2016

The terrorist groups have declared the start of the second phase of their large-scale operations to lift the army's siege of the militant-held districts of Aleppo. The second phase, codenamed Azwat Abu Omar Saraqib, started after the first phase, 'Great Epic Operation' with around 16,000 militants attacking the Western and Southwestern Aleppo districts from last Friday to Wednesday, ended with a major defeat and loss of nearly 2,500 fighters for the terrorists.

Syrian solider and popular forces repelled terrorists' offensives on their positions in Zahiyeh al-Assad district, Military Academy, Menyan neighborhood and New Aleppo district, killing at least 17 and wounding several more today.

Syrian soldiers also fended off terrorists' attack and targeted two BMP vehicles of them in the 3,000-units housing complex, while a bomb-laden suicide vehicle and a machinegun-equipped vehicle of the militant were targeted by the Syrian government forces in the New Aleppo districts.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950814000588

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Syrian Army Continues to Beat Terrorists Back from Northern Hama

Nov 04, 2016

The Syrian army soldiers seized two more points from Jeish Al-Izza, building a larger buffer-zone at the Northern side of Souran.

Meantime, the Syrian Armed Forces pushed forward North of the town of Ma'an after capturing more hilltops along the M-5 Highway (Aleppo-Damascus Highway).

The Syrian military forces reached the outskirts of both Morek and Lahaya, which are located just South of the Idlib provincial border.

In relevant developments in the province on Thursday, the Syrian army and popular forces fended off a terrorist group's attempt to enter Hama city and seized their suicide belts and ammunition.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950814000770

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Egypt Morsi trial judge escapes car bombing

November 05, 2016

CAIRO - An Egyptian judge in one of the trials of ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi escaped unharmed when a car bomb exploded in Cairo on Friday, police officials said.

The officials said the bomb in the eastern Nasr City district had targeted judge Ahmed Abul Fotouh as he was driving by, adding that the blast injured no one.

The attack came days after a roadside bombing targeting a police convoy in Cairo killed a passerby.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/05-Nov-2016/egypt-morsi-trial-judge-escapes-car-bombing

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Militant shelling wounds two Russian troops, Syrian journalist

Nov 5, 2016

Foreign-backed militants in Syria have fired rockets at a humanitarian corridor established by Syrian and Russian forces in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo, wounding two Russian troops and a Syrian journalist.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that shelling targeted the western part of the key Castello Road in Aleppo during a unilateral humanitarian ceasefire on Friday.

The 10-hour-long truce took effect at 0700 GMT on Friday, the second such temporary truce announced in the city by Russia and Syria.

The corridor attacked by the militants was one of a total of eight passageways established to allow civilians and militants not affiliated to terrorist groups to leave Aleppo’s militant-held east.

The journalist wounded in the Friday shelling worked for Syrian state TV.

The Russian Defense Ministry said that “around 50 representatives of Russian, Western and Arab media” had to be evacuated from the area and online monitoring of the humanitarian corridor had to be temporarily suspended because of the shelling.

Syria’s state news agency (SANA) said the militants sought to prevent civilians from leaving by shelling the corridor, the second time they did so in the past month.

One Aleppo resident who managed to leave said people inside were being prevented from leaving the city by the terrorist groups of Ahrar al-Sham and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as Nusra Front.

Meanwhile, Fadi Ismail, an official in Syria’s reconciliation ministry who is based in Aleppo, said “250,000 civilians” had been trapped in the militant-held areas of Aleppo.

Moscow said on Thursday that Russia and Syria were giving the ceasefire another try in an attempt to “prevent senseless casualties.”

Foreign-backed militants, however, have ignored the gesture and last week used the pause to launch one of their most ferocious offensives in order to break an army siege on eastern Aleppo.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/05/492207/Syria-Aleppo-militant-shelling-humanitarian-corridor

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Sudanese jailed for harboring terrorist

5 November 2016

JEDDAH: The Special Criminal Court in Riyadh sentenced a Sudanese national to three years in prison for harboring fugitive Nawaf Al-Anzi who had killed two policemen in Jeddah.

The Sudanese will be deported to his country after his prison term ends. Security personnel nabbed Al-Anzi in his hiding place in April 2015.

On April 28, a tip to the security forces enabled them to arrest Al-Anzi after storming his hiding place in Al-Ramah camp, east of Riyadh.

Al-Anzi opened fire, leading to a shootout during which he was wounded.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1006791/saudi-arabia

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Syria in Last 24 Hours: Army Repels Attacks on Gov't Positions in Eastern Damascus

Nov 05, 2016

The Fatah al-Sham terrorists' attacks to capture the government forces' positions in the Eastern Ghouta in Damascus province were fended off by the strong defense of the Syrian military men.

Meantime, the Syrian army and popular forces continued their military advances in other parts of Syria, including Dara'a and Aleppo, over the past 24 hours.

Tens of terrorists were killed and dozens more were injured during the Syrian army's operations in Syria's key provinces.

Damascus

Syrian army troops repelled a major attack by the terrorists on their positions in Western Ghouta after inflicting a heavy death toll on invading foes.

The Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly the al-Nusra Front) sustained a great loss in fighters and military grid and was forced to retreat at the end of a major assault on the positions of the Syrian army in Southwestern Damascus.

Hama

Syrian army troops pushed back terrorists' attacks on their key positions in Northern Hama and won back land in separate clashes in a nearby region.

Syrian Army men drove terrorists out of Zahrat al-Aliyeh region and some parts in the Northwest of Tal Bazam region in a Friday raid.

In the meantime, other army units fended off terrorists' attack on their positions on Souran bridge from the al-Tibeh direction and a separate assault by another militant group who sought to open their way from al-Zareh village to al-Madajen, inflicting major casualties on the militants.

Aleppo

The government forces repelled Jeish al-Fatah's offensives in the Western part of Aleppo city, and inflicted heavy casualties on the militants.

The terrorist groups have declared the start of the second phase of their large-scale operations to lift the army's siege of the militant-held districts of Aleppo. The second phase, codenamed Azwat Abu Omar Saraqib, started after the first phase, 'Great Epic Operation' with around 16,000 militants attacking the Western and Southwestern Aleppo districts from last Friday to Wednesday, ended with a major defeat and loss of nearly 2,500 fighters for the terrorists.

Syrian solider and popular forces repelled terrorists' offensives on their positions in Zahiyeh al-Assad district, Military Academy, Menyan neighborhood and New Aleppo district, killing at least 17 and wounding several more today.

Syrian soldiers also fended off terrorists' attack and targeted two BMP vehicles of them in the 3,000-units housing complex, while a bomb-laden suicide vehicle and a machinegun-equipped vehicle of the militant were targeted by the Syrian government forces in the New Aleppo districts.

Homs

Syrian warplanes carried out several combat flights over terrorists' positions in, at least, four different regions in Northern Homs, inflicting major damage and heavy casualties on the militants.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950815000352

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Syria: Terrorists Fail to Prevail over Gov't Positions in Southeastern Damascus

Nov 04, 2016

The Fatah al-Sham Front (formerly the al-Nusra Front) sustained a great loss in fighters and military grid and was forced to retreat at the end of a major assault on the positions of the Syrian army in Southwestern Damascus.

On Thursday, the Syrian army units, supported by their allies, continued operations to liberate Khan al-Sheih region in Southwestern Damascus and won full control of Khirbet al-Abbasiyeh district.

According to a field commander, the army and popular forces also could advance in the Eastern parts of Khirbet al-Abbasiyeh region.

"After clashes with Ahrar al-Sham and Fatah al-Sham, the pro-government military forces regained control of Khirbet al-Abbasiyeh in Western Ghouta of Damascus, leaving a large number of terrorists dead and wounded," the commander said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950814000827

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Terrorist Groups Continue to Block Civilians' Exit from Aleppo City

Nov 04, 2016

"Civilians in Bostan al-Qasr have gathered near the government-established corridor in an effort to flee the war-hit districts, but militant snipers are opening fire at them to force them to leave the area," the sources said.

Meantime, reports said earlier today that government forces repelled Jeish al-Fatah's offensives in the Western part of Aleppo city, and inflicted heavy casualties on the militants.

The terrorist groups have declared the start of the second phase of their large-scale operations to lift the army's siege of the militant-held districts of Aleppo. The second phase, codenamed Azwat Abu Omar Saraqib, started after the first phase, 'Great Epic Operation' with around 16,000 militants attacking the Western and Southwestern Aleppo districts from last Friday to Wednesday, ended with a major defeat and loss of nearly 2,500 fighters for the terrorists.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950814000806

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Syrian Army Intensifies Attacks on Terrorists in Southwestern Damascus

Nov 04, 2016

The Syrian Armed Forces resumed their military operations in Western Ghouta, targeting farms located just North of Khan Al-Sheih.

The army soldiers captured most of Khan Al-Sheih's Northern outskirts, leaving only a small distance between their frontline and the town.

In relevant developments in the province on Thursday, the Syrian army units, supported by their allies, continued operations to liberate Khan al-Sheih region in Southwestern Damascus and won full control of Khirbet al-Abbasiyeh district.

According to a field commander, the army and popular forces also could advance in the Eastern parts of Khirbet al-Abbasiyeh region.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950814000672

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Commander of Terrorists' Anti-Aircraft Regiment Killed in Aleppo

Nov 04, 2016

The terrorist groups confirmed on their websites that Liwa Soqour al-Sham's commander, Abdul Rahim, was killed in the Western part of Aleppo.

In the meantime, Commander of Fatah al-Sham Front (the al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group previously known as the al-Nusra Front) Ahmad Abdul Rahman Baradeyee was also killed in clashes with the Syrian army in the Western part of Aleppo before the humanitarian pause started.

The Russian government's 10-hour humanitarian pause in Aleppo went into effect at 8 o'clock this morning.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950814000736

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Pakistan

 

Blasphemy accusation from Pakistan creeping in Indonesia catch violence

Nov 05, 2016

November 4, 2016. (PCP) “An infidel cannot govern Muslims” “Jail for Christian Governor on Blasphemy” were chanting slogans thousands of Muslim extremist protestors on using Quranic verses in his speech which hardline term as blasphemy.

According to AP, Indonesia's president blamed political meddling for violence in the capital Jakarta on Friday that killed one person and injured seven following a protest by hard-line Muslims demanding the arrest of the city's minority-Christian governor for alleged blasphemy.

Indonesia, with a population of more than 250 million people, is the world's most populous Muslim nation. Most people practice a moderate form of Islam but a vocal minority wants to impose a stricter interpretation.

MetroTV reported that a mob tried to enter the housing complex where Jakarta Gov. Basuki "Ahok" Tjahaja Purnama lives in northern Jakarta but were stopped by police, who fired tear gas. Setiyono said rioting in north Jakarta involving the looting of a convenience store and damage to police vehicles had been brought under control but live TV footage showed a standoff continuing between police and a mob in the area.

Ahok, a Christian Governor of Jakarta, who is seeking a second term as Jakarta governor, is popular with the city's middle class. He is adored as a blunt speaker who doesn't tolerate corruption and articulates a vision of making the chaotic, dysfunctional city more like clean, orderly and efficient Singapore.

The incidents on Blasphemy accusations in Indonesia started from 2007, when Churches were attacked ad later Ahmadiyya Musims became target of violent Muslim mobs.

The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is first Muslim state to impose death penalty on accusation on blasphemy which was later adopted by Egypt in 1991 and then by Indonesia.

Islamic Republic of Pakistan is witnessing violence at peak on accusation of blasphemy against religious minorities which creeping in Indonesia and other Islamic states.

http://www.pakistanchristianpost.com/detail.php?hnewsid=6169

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Four in race to be next Pakistan army chief, General Raheel Sharif to step down by end of tenure: Report

November 4, 2016

The military high command in Pakistan has forwarded the dossiers of four main contenders for the post of army chief, once incumbent General Raheel Sharif superannuates at the end of this month. The dossiers have been forwarded to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. According to the London-based The Nation newspaper, the contenders for the post are Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal Ramday, commander of XXXI Corps, who led a 2009 operation to drive the Pakistani Taliban militant movement from Swat Valley near the Afghan border, Lieutenant General Zubair Hayat, Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant General Ishfaq Nadeem Ahmad, commanding officer in the eastern city of Multan, and Lieutenant General Qamar Javed Bajwa, who heads the army’s Training and Evaluation Wing.

Lt. Gen. Ramday is considered among the front-runners, in part because his family has been associated with Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (PMLN) party for many years. He is also seen by some security officials as being popular with General Sharif.

“He’s perhaps as liked by Raheel Sharif as he is by Nawaz Sharif,” said a senior security official based in Islamabad, who declining to be named.

However, neither the prime minister nor General Sharif has commented publicly on his chances of becoming the next Chief of Army Staff.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/world/world-news/four-generals-in-race-to-be-next-pakistan-army-chief-3737577/

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Relative hid among bodies as London banker was killed in terrorist shooting in Pakistan

4 November 2016

The full horror of a terrorist massacre in which a retired London banker was shot and killed as a relative “played dead” to survive can be revealed today.

Two gunmen on a motorcycle murdered Naiyyar Mehdi Zaidi, 60, two of his brothers and three other victims when they opened fire at a Shia Muslim gathering in Pakistan.

Mr Zaidi’s daughter-in-law Qaisra Khan, an Islamic art expert and former British Museum curator, told how one relative, Murtaza Ali Zaidi, had to pretend to be dead after being hit in order to avoid being killed.

A family friend, Asad Rizvi, bravely tried to tackle the gunmen, who were wearing tactical body armour in Monday’s attack, but was shot in the face.

Ms Khan told the Standard: “Murtaza was shot in the shoulder. He saw it all. He stayed down because if he’d stood up he’d have been shot again.

"He stayed down with the deceased. The perpetrators were in full bullet-proof gear. One of the men who survived tried to tackle them and he was shot under the chin.

“They put the gun under his face and fired. But he survived and is recovering well, amazingly.”

Mr Zaidi, a keen gardener who worked at Habib Bank AG Zurich before retiring about a year ago, had travelled to Karachi to prepare for another son’s wedding next summer. He was due to return to the UK on November 7.

The group was standing outside a prayer meeting for women at a private residence in the city when the two gunmen drove past and tried to gain entry.

As the guards closed the gates, the pair began firing.

Also killed were brothers Nasir Abbas Zaidi, who is a US citizen,  and Pakistani national Baqir Abbas Zaidi, along with distant relative Mohammad Zaki Khan, young driver Mohammad Nadeem, who had just got married, and a woman who has not been identified.

Two other Zaidi brothers are recovering in hospital — Tahir Abbas, who is a wealthy businessman from Pakistan, and Nadir Abbas.

It had been suggested the gunmen may have been targeting Tahir Abbas, but Ms Khan, 38, who is a Sunni Muslim, said she believed that it was in fact a sectarian attack targeting the Shia gathering.

Full report at:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/family-hid-among-bodies-as-london-banker-was-killed-in-terrorist-shooting-in-pakistan-a3387121.html

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Relative hid among bodies as London banker was killed in terrorist shooting in Pakistan

4 November 2016

The full horror of a terrorist massacre in which a retired London banker was shot and killed as a relative “played dead” to survive can be revealed today.

Two gunmen on a motorcycle murdered Naiyyar Mehdi Zaidi, 60, two of his brothers and three other victims when they opened fire at a Shia Muslim gathering in Pakistan.

Mr Zaidi’s daughter-in-law Qaisra Khan, an Islamic art expert and former British Museum curator, told how one relative, Murtaza Ali Zaidi, had to pretend to be dead after being hit in order to avoid being killed.

A family friend, Asad Rizvi, bravely tried to tackle the gunmen, who were wearing tactical body armour in Monday’s attack, but was shot in the face.

Ms Khan told the Standard: “Murtaza was shot in the shoulder. He saw it all. He stayed down because if he’d stood up he’d have been shot again.

"He stayed down with the deceased. The perpetrators were in full bullet-proof gear. One of the men who survived tried to tackle them and he was shot under the chin.

“They put the gun under his face and fired. But he survived and is recovering well, amazingly.”

Mr Zaidi, a keen gardener who worked at Habib Bank AG Zurich before retiring about a year ago, had travelled to Karachi to prepare for another son’s wedding next summer. He was due to return to the UK on November 7.

The group was standing outside a prayer meeting for women at a private residence in the city when the two gunmen drove past and tried to gain entry.

As the guards closed the gates, the pair began firing.

Also killed were brothers Nasir Abbas Zaidi, who is a US citizen,  and Pakistani national Baqir Abbas Zaidi, along with distant relative Mohammad Zaki Khan, young driver Mohammad Nadeem, who had just got married, and a woman who has not been identified.

Two other Zaidi brothers are recovering in hospital — Tahir Abbas, who is a wealthy businessman from Pakistan, and Nadir Abbas.

It had been suggested the gunmen may have been targeting Tahir Abbas, but Ms Khan, 38, who is a Sunni Muslim, said she believed that it was in fact a sectarian attack targeting the Shia gathering.

Ms Khan, who called her father-in-law “my friend, my guide”, said: “There have been quite a few attacks on ladies’ gatherings recently. The whole thing is horrific.

“I can’t even identify with these people being Muslim. It was a private house so how did they know what was happening?”

She said she felt an obligation now to speak out against the sectarian divisions and try to stop the “deep-rooted” problems transferring to  the UK.

“My father-in-law was very open-minded,” she went on. “I am Sunni and he had no problem with that. He was a really well-loved person and a wonderful human being.

“He would have wanted to be re- membered but also for people to recognise that all this (sectarian hate) has to stop.”

Full report at:

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/family-hid-among-bodies-as-london-banker-was-killed-in-terrorist-shooting-in-pakistan-a3387121.html

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Pakistan making strides for regional peace, American group told

05-Nov-16

WASHINGTON: The Pakistani society has undergone a dynamic transformation during the past three years through consolidation of democracy, free media and independent judiciary, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States Jalil Abbas Jilani told American-based Women’s Foreign Policy Group on Thursday night.

At a dinner at the Pakistan Embassy, attended by prominent women leaders, activists and corporate executives from Washington, Ambassador Jilani briefed the group about the measures taken by Pakistan for peace and stability in South Asia. Spouses of several congressmen and diplomats are also members of the Women’s Foreign Policy Group. The ambassador underlined that that despite some differences, Pakistan and the US shared a commitment to democracy, human rights, economic growth, and respect for international law being essential to long-term regional as well as global peace, stability, and prosperity.

“Pakistan would continue to strive for peace in the region and around the world and looked forward to continued US cooperation and support,” he added.

Giving a historic overview of the US-Pakistan relationship, Ambassador Jilani informed the group about the inherent strength and resilience of the bilateral ties based on the shared objectives of democracy, mutual respect, peace and prosperity. These common goals, ambassador emphasised, had held the two countries together in some of the most testing times in the recent history.

The ambassador also shared with the audience the dynamic transformation of the Pakistani society in the last few years reflected through consolidation of democracy, free media and independent judiciary.

Addressing some of the security related concerns projected through the local media in the US, the ambassador briefed the group about the extremely positive results of Pakistan’s effective military operations in the border region to eliminate terrorist outfits of all shades and colours.

Full report at:

http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/05-Nov-16/pakistan-making-strides-for-regional-peace-american-group-told

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Jamaat to file additional ToRs in SC

November 05, 2016

LAHORE - The Jamaat-e-Islami has decided to file additional ToRs in the Supreme Court seeking indiscriminate accountability of all those who have got bank loans written off and whose names appeared in the Panama leaks.

The JI’s ToRs will also seek action against those who were known within the country and abroad for corruption, corrupt practices or concealment of assets.

The decision was taken at a meeting between held yesterday JI chief Senator Sirajul Haq and his counsel Muhammad Asad Manzur.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/lahore/05-Nov-2016/jamaat-to-file-additional-tors-in-sc

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JI to move SC against ‘KE’s sale’

November 05, 2016

KARACHI - Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi Engr Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman has announced approaching judiciary against KE’s sale without repaying due amount to people of Karachi.

He announced this on Friday while addressing an open house public hearing held at the Karachi Press Club (KPC) in connection with the atrocities being imposed by the KE management.

He also announced knocking the doors of apex court against the KE’s proposed sale.

JI leader said that for more than one year a petition of JI against the KE has been in pending before an honorable court.

He added that the situation itself is a question on the credibility of the judicial process in the country.

He said that people would compel KE’s goons to runaway by forces if they do not mend their ways.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/karachi/05-Nov-2016/ji-to-move-sc-against-ke-s-sale

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India

 

Most Indians Fighting For IS Based In Raqqa, Says IS Groups’ Fighter

Neeraj Chauhan

Nov 5, 2016

NEW DELHI: Islamic State group's fighter Subahani Haja Moideen, an Indian who trained in Iraq in 2015 and met some of the Paris attackers, has informed Indian intelligence agencies that most youngsters from India who joined IS are based in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de-facto capital of the self-proclaimed caliphate.

Based on his interaction with another IS senior member from India, who he was in touch with regularly during his five-month stay in Mosul last year, Moideen came to the conclusion that most Indian recruits are in Raqqa. Intelligence agencies are trying to verify his claims as their assessment suggests many Indians, including 22 from Kerala, are fighting for the IS in Afghanistan.

More than 60 Indians are said to have joined the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi-led terrorist organisation since 2014 and some have been killed in the war there. An estimated 7,000 to 10,000 IS fighters are based in Raqqa while other IS fighters and their families are moving to Raqqa with Iraqi forces pushing them out of Mosul and nearby areas. US and allied forces are presently preparing to march to retake the oil rich Raqqa from the IS.

Top government officials say Moideen, the most battle-hardened recruit from India, has provided interesting details about life of an IS fighter inside its territory.

TOI accessed exclusive details of his interrogation. Moideen claims that once a foreign fighter, like him, reaches IS territory in Iraq or Syria, he is kept in a group of other foreign fighters — in his case numbering 22-25.

Moideen says he entered Iraq from the Turkish city of Urfa by cutting a barb wire at the border along with other fighters from Jordan, Germany, Europe, UK, France, Lebanon, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who were travelling with their families, in April 2015.

From there, they were taken to Tel Abaid town of Syria where they were kept in small houses. "We were given food twice a day — once before 10 am and second meal after sunset.

The day usually began very early in the morning when we pray, and then do exercise. After that we have to attend the two hours religious class everyday which is taken in Arabic and also translated in English," Moideen says.

After the religious class every day, three senior IS members delivered the 'baith' (oath) of loyalty to recruits, six at a time, in the name of Al Baghdadi. The classes are held only for a couple of weeks.

After that, the men were taken to Mosul to the IS' military training camp. Moideen was kept in a group named Umar Ibnu Khatab Khatiba, headed by a French national with the given name of Abu Suleiman Al-Francisi.

His group, as first reported by TOI, also had Pakistani national and former Lashkar-e-Taiba veteran bomb maker Mohammad Ghani Usman, arrested from Austria earlier this year and charged for Paris attacks 2015.

The arms training is extensive which covers learning how to use AK rifles, grenades, rocket launchers and even war tactics. The fighters, Moideen says, practice stripping and assembling weapons, most of which are dummies.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Most-Indians-fighting-for-IS-based-in-Raqqa-says-IS-groupss-Subahani-Haja-Moideen/articleshow/55255416.cms

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Evidence not believable, court said in case linked to 3 of killed SIMI men

November 5, 2016

by Kaunain Sheriff M

MORE THAN a year before eight SIMI activists were killed in an encounter on the outskirts of Bhopal Monday, a Khandwa court held that the evidence in a 2011 case against three of them was “not believable”. Coming down harshly on Madhya Pradesh police and the investigating officers, the court acquitted one of them, Akeel Khilji, under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The other two, Amzad Ramzan Khan and Mohammed Saliq, had been declared “proclaimed offenders” by then.

In its judgment, the court also questioned the jurisdiction of the investigation officer to carry out the probe under UAPA, and pulled up police for not sending key pieces of evidence for forensic analysis. Khilji was arrested on June 13, 2011 — on charges of causing enmity between religions and under the UAPA — and acquitted on September 30, 2015.

The court had also acquitted Abdullah, the brother of Zakir Hussain who was also killed in Monday’s encounter, and Khilji’s son Mohammad Jaleel in the same case, under various sections of UAPA and IPC sections 153(A), pertaining to “promoting enmity between two groups”; 153(B) relating to imputations and assertions deemed harmful to national integration; and, 124 (A) on sedition.

The last rites of four of the eight SIMI activists killed this week were conducted in Khilji’s house in Khandwa on Thursday. Khilji had been awaiting trial in Bhopal’s Central Jail after being charged in at least three cases — two under the UAPA and another “for promoting enmity”.

According to the police chargesheet in the 2011 case, Khilji and “10-15” other members of SIMI had “assembled at Khilji’s house and conspired to carry out a big attack”. The police had raided Khilji’s house on June 13 and recovered “SIMI literature” and CDs from the house that were termed as “provocative”.

After a four-year trial, the Khandwa court had acquitted all the accused charged under the UAPA. Referring to a witness, the judgment by additional sessions judge Avnindra Kumar Singh read: “Hardev Singh Gaur has deposed that when he reached the site, he heard voices saying ‘Jihad Jari Rahega’ (Jihad will continue). Irrespective of whether they are captured, they have to carry out such an act so that nobody will dare arrest a SIMI member. If a SIMI member is arrested or apprehended, then we will spread terror…

“He also deposes that a pamphlet, dated March 29, talks about a Russian intelligence report to destroy Muslims…However, Gaur’s claim of having heard all this at Akeel’s house has not been supported by another witness. When a large police force was with him, it’s obvious that Gaur would not be the only person to have heard these voices from inside. Therefore, the claims of provocative talk in support of SIMI does not seem believable.”

On purported SIMI literature and “provocative” CDs submitted by police, the court ruled, Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/evidence-not-believable-court-said-in-case-linked-to-3-of-killed-simi-men-3738020/

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Pathankot Terrorists Who Sparked Ban on NDTV India May Never Have Existed

November 5, 2016

THE Government’s decision to order a punitive black-out of NDTV India, for disclosing allegedly sensitive information on the Pathankot airbase attack, pertains to a group of two terrorists who investigators are yet to conclude actually existed, records with The Indian Express show.

The Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, on Wednesday, ordered NDTV India off-air through November 9, saying its broadcast “revealed strategically sensitive details”. The Government claims NDTV India correspondent had potentially compromised national security by saying, in a January 4 near-live broadcast, that “two terrorists are alive, and there is a weapons depot near where they are. The soldiers, the National Security Guard officers, who are exchanging fire with the terrorists, are concerned that if the terrorists reach the weapons depot, it will be difficult to eliminate them”.

The bodies of these terrorists were, however, not recovered from the burned-out building where they were suspected to be hiding. No weapons or ammunition were found in the building either. Four terrorists had been killed earlier during the attack.

Home Minister Rajnath Singh had, on March 16, 2016, told Parliament that forensics tests on charred material found in the building “makes it clear that those inside the building were two terrorists”. However, in its May 21 issue, this newspaper reported Indian and international forensics experts, who studied the forensic tests, obtained exclusively by The Indian Express, as saying the samples appeared to be inconclusive, and bearing signs of contamination.

The reports failed to corroborate government claims that the charred material recovered from the Pathankot base were the remains of two unidentified terrorists. They only showed that there was male DNA in the remains— but gave no indication of how many individuals the genetic material did not come from, nor that it came from two distinct males. The charred remains, tests showed, inexplicably contained genetic material from multiple individuals.

The National Investigations Agency had, on March 21 — five days after the Home Minister’s statement — issued a notice seeking information on the “terrorists who were killed inside Air Force Station Pathankot while they were carrying out terrorist attack on 2nd January 2016”. This document, though, only used four photographs.

NIA documents shared with Pakistani investigators who visited India to study the case also referred to only four terrorists, all killed before January 4.

Rule 6(1)(P) of the Cable Television Networks Regulation Act makes it illegal for Indian news broadcasters to transmit live coverage of an ongoing counter-terrorist operation, allowing them only to use statements of a designated official spokesperson during this period.

Neeti Sarkar, the Director of Broadcasting in the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, contended in the November 2 order imposing punishment on NDTV India that the journalist’s comments amounted to live coverage of the operation.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/pathankot-terrorists-who-sparked-ban-on-ndtv-india-may-never-have-existed-3738025/

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SIMI encounter: MP govt ordered 5 probes in 5 days

Nov 5, 2016

BHOPAL: After the jailbreak on Diwali night and "encounter" of eight SIMI suspects on Monday, the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government has so far announced five different probes into the incident — the latest being the judicial inquiry headed by a retired high court Justice S K Pandey.

Immediately after the jail-break, chief minister Chouhan announced the first investigation by former DGP Nandan Dubey on security lapses in the high-security prison on Monday morning. By evening, Chouhan announced a second investigation — this time by National Investigating Agency (NIA).

Talking to reporters, the chief minister had said that since SIMI and terrorism are issues affecting the nation and not just limited to Madhya Pradesh, NIA would conduct its own investigation.

By this time, opposition Congress with senior functionaries like Digvijaya Singh and Kamal Nath began questioning the veracity of the encounter. On Tuesday morning, Congress began demanding an independent judicial probe into the encounter while home minister Bhupendra Singh remained in denial mode.

Bhupendra Singh categorically told reporters that only the jailbreak would be investigated and there was no need for a probe into the encounter. By then the combat video had gone viral and broadcast by news channels.

The government was in a dilemma and there was another announcement by DGP Rishi Kumar Shukla who said, "It is required by law that the state CID will investigate the encounters for a fair probe." This was the third probe ordered.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/SIMI-encounter-MP-govt-ordered-5-probes-in-5-days/articleshow/55255303.cms

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Report of envoy recall from Pak fabricated, says government

Nov 5, 2016

NEW DELHI: The government has described as fabricated a Pakistan media report that it was looking to scale down ties with Islamabad by recalling India's high commissioner Gautam Bambawale.

A media report had claimed on Friday that India and Pakistan were likely to recall their top diplomats from their missions at Islamabad and New Delhi, respectively.

"It is totally speculative and nonsensical," a government source said, referring to the Pakistan media report. India has so far not recalled the eight officials, four of them holders of diplomatic passports, whose identities were made public by the Pakistan foreign office over their alleged involvement in terrorist activities in Pakistan.

"This is a procedural issue and we will take a decision at the right time," said an official. Sources said that the eight Indian officials were likely to return to India on Sunday. India has already said that by divulging their identities, Pakistan has jeopardized the safety of the Indian officials.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Report-of-envoy-recall-from-Pak-fabricated/articleshow/55254792.cms

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Pakistan army personnel replacing Rangers as border heat escalates

Rohan Dua & Neeraj Chauhan

Nov 5, 2016

R S PURA/SAMBA (JAMMU)/NEW DELHI: In what seems to be a sign of escalating tensions, Pakistan army personnel are being increasingly deployed along the 190km international border in Jammu at border outposts and camps usually manned by the Pakistan Rangers. The change in deployment has been noted by the Border Security Force and is seen as a clear departure from the practice of specialized paramilitaries, instead of armies, guarding the borders in Jammu, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Bengal.

Top sources in BSF and the government confirmed that the Pakistani army had deployed soldiers and weaponry at the Rangers' posts, placing regular Pakistan troops face to face with the BSF. "It's difficult to say if the Pakistani army has taken control of the Rangers' posts at IB but there is certainly a lot of movement, with many vehicles regularly bringing soldiers and arms. This has been going on for the past 8-9 days," said a senior official.

There is no intelligence input on what the Pakistani army is doing exactly, but the intent seems to be to beef up military presence along the international border.

The change ties in with New Delhi's assessment that the Pakistani army will continue to provoke hostilities until the end of the month, when chief General Raheel Sharif is due to retire. "General Sharif may be hoping to leverage the tension he has created on the border to determine the choice of his successor," said a senior government functionary in Delhi. The Indian Army is in charge along the line of control (LoC) in Jammu & Kashmir, where the boundary does not have official recognition and is disputed. The BSF has gathered information on the rank and number of Pakistani regulars, and is linking their presence to the firing and shelling directed at Indian civilians along border areas.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/pakistan/Pak-army-personnel-replacing-Rangers-as-border-heat-escalates/articleshow/55253890.cms

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India-Bangla committed to root out terrorism: Rajnath

Nov 4, 2016

NEW DELHI: India and Bangladesh are committed to root out terrorism, no matter from where it originates, and address other concerns like human trafficking and fake currency, Home Minister Rajnath Singh said today.

He made the remarks during a meeting with a Bangladesh delegation led by Minister of Disaster Management and Relief Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya who voiced Dhaka's concern over terror attacks in Pathankot and Uri.

In an apparent reference to Pakistan, Singh said India and Bangladesh have no difference of opinion on where from terrorism originates and how to eradicate it from the South Asian region, an official release said.

Thanking Bangladesh for its crackdown on Indian insurgent groups operating from its soil, Singh said both countries also have an understanding on addressing various issues of concern including human trafficking and fake currency.

Chowdhury Maya sought India's help in weather forecasting and real-time sharing of satellite imagery and remote sensing data so that the risks of disasters such as floods and cyclone can be minimized.

He also sought training for Bangladesh personnel in earthquake Rescue Operations.

The Home Minister assured India's all help and sharing of all weather inputs besides extending training facilities to Bangladesh disaster response forces at the Gujarat Institute of Disaster Management and other premier institutions.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/India-Bangla-committed-to-root-out-terrorism-Rajnath/articleshow/55251744.cms

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Chief minister’s ‘changing stance’ worries Muslims in MP

Nov 05, 2016

Chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s “changing stance” has taken the minority community by surprise but they feel it is not in Chouhan’s inherent nature and he is working under tremendous pressure from the RSS which “does not want to spare Madhya Pradesh and use it as its laboratory.”

Killing of eight 8 SIMI members, who allegedly escaped from the Bhopal Central Jail in the wee hours on October 31, by the police has raised several questions against Chouhan’s leadership which had earlier instilled a sense of confidence in Muslims.

“Chouhan has been the chief minister for the past 11 years. He never indulged in any politics to marginalise the Muslims in the society. His stand on the issues related to cows, love jihad, etc has always been a balanced one. He never discriminated between Hindus and Muslims while doling out the benefits of his govt’s schemes,” said Mohd Mahir, convener of MP Muslim Vikas Parishad.

However, he added, the CM’s stance had been changing for the past three months or so which was much obvious given his stand on the Balaghat episode in which members of the minority community were implicated under false charges under the pressure of RSS.

“Now, a similar thing — rather a horrible thing — like the encounter establishes it beyond doubt that Chouhan is blindly following the RSS line,” he said.

However, Muslims still believe that despite the Balaghat incident and the Bhopal encounter, they will not completely lose faith in Chouhan.

“In the encounter, several were innocent beyond doubt. But still we will keep a watch on Chouhan’s further steps to decide our future course of action,” said Mohd Mahir.

Mufti Irfan said, “We are surprised to see how Chouhan, who has been nice to the minority community since he assumed office, has changed his position. We wondered what had gone wrong with him when he asked the people at the Lal Parade ground to raise hands in support of the encounter.”

Full report at:

http://www.hindustantimes.com/bhopal/chief-minister-s-changing-stance-worries-muslims/story-yGbtIWbpJl1gANZ9IlOe4N.html

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4 Indians saved from burning vessel in Egypt

November 4, 2016

Four Indians have been rescued from the cargo vessel MV Navi Moon, which caught fire at Marsa Alam in Egypt, and are being brought back home, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Thursday.

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/4-indians-saved-from-burning-vessel-in-egypt/article9301824.ece

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South Asia

 

Rights groups claim Myanmar govt obstructing reporters from covering Rakhine crisis

By Mizzima

5 November 2016

Several international human rights groups have spoken out over what they allege is Myanmar government obstruction and harassment of journalists trying to cover the Rakhine crisis, including concern over the dismissal of a journalist working for a leading media outlet.

The Committee to Protect Journalist (CPJ) has issued a statement saying security officials in Myanmar should stop obstructing and harassing journalists attempting to report on the conflict in the country's Rakhine State.

The call comes as the Myanmar government allowed US, EU and UN representatives to visit the troubled area.

The CPJ claims the “censorship” comes amid widespread allegations of military abuses, including allegations of sexual violence, perpetrated as part of an intensified counterinsurgency campaign along the country's border with Bangladesh.

The CPJ notes that border guards and military officers in mid-October blocked journalists and photographers from several news organizations from traveling north of the state's Kyikanpyin police station to areas in the Maungdaw Township, where joint military-police security operations are underway.

Security officials told reporters they could not travel to the area because it was unsafe for journalists. Military officials also ordered journalists to delete photographs they had taken of the aftermath of an October 9 attack on a border guard post that killed five police. The reporters refused to comply and drove back from the military checkpoint, declining to tell officers their names or the media outlets that employ them, according to the CPJ.

"Myanmar's democratically elected government should assert civilian control over its security forces and command senior officers to allow journalists to freely and safely report on the evolving crisis in Rakhine State," said Shawn Crispin, CPJ's senior Southeast Asia representative. "The best way to prove or disprove allegations of rights abuses is to allow independent media to probe the accusations. If the government truly has nothing to hide, then there is no need to restrict media access to the areas in question in northern Rakhine State.

Nongovernmental organizations, rights groups, and international media have all alleged that soldiers have committed rights abuses in security sweeps, including alleged arbitrary arrests, killings of unarmed civilians, arson, and the rape of women in blockaded areas of Maungdaw Township, news reports said. Reuters reported that "dozens of Rohingya Muslim women" had been raped or sexually assaulted by soldiers, based on interviews it conducted with victims and rights groups.

Presidential spokesman Zaw Htay has denied the reports, claiming the allegations are part of an insurgent "disinformation campaign."

Journalists who have probed the rape allegations have come under official fire. Fiona MacGregor, an investigative editor at the Myanmar Times, was singled out by Zaw Htay for being biased against the government and in favour of local Muslims soon after she reported, on October 27, allegations made by a local rights group that claimed security forces raped around 30 ethnic-Rohingya women in a single village on October 19.

The presidential spokesman also reposted comments made on social media by former minister of information Ye Htut calling for a police investigation into MacGregor and her newspaper's reporting on the allegations. MacGregor told CPJ she believed Zaw Htay sought to stifle reporting on the allegations.

On Monday, the Myanmar Times fired MacGregor for breaching company policy against damaging national reconciliation and damaging the paper's reputation by publishing the article alleging the rape of ethnic-Rohingya women and other opinion and analysis articles she had recently written about military and government actions in Rakhine State, MacGregor told CPJ.

In an open letter, MacGregor has expressed her concern over press freedom in Myanmar, and about the hate speech directed against her and the Myanmar Times.

She wrote: “I have written extensively on gender based violence in conflict and the wider impact of conflict on civilians in different parts of this country. Allegations of rapes and other human rights abuses by members of the Myanmar military are a matter of national and international concern and were highlighted by the outgoing UN secretary general in his last annual report.”

Douglas Long, editor of The Myanmar Times, told CPJ by email that MacGregor was fired for violating employee obligations outlined in the company's handbook related to complying "with all reasonable and lawful instructions, policies, procedures and legal requirements." Long wrote, "The extent of direct government pressure [on the paper to fire MacGregor], if any, is unclear."

Phil Robertson, Deputy Director, Asia Division, Human Rights Watch, expressed his concern over the MacGregor case.

"The Burmese government's intimidation of journalists reached a new low in its campaign against Myanmar Times journalist Fiona MacGregor and her reporting on alleged sexual abuses by security forces in Rakhine state. What are they trying to hide? Rather than trying to shut down reports that it doesn't like, the government should respect press freedom and permit journalists to do their jobs by investigating what is really happening on the ground," he said in a comment sent to Mizzima.

Myanmar's government has given access this week to foreign diplomats and aid workers in northern Rakhine State. Foreign diplomats including the US and Britain ambassadors and EU and U.N. officials were invited by the government early this week to check the three-week surge in violence.

"We hope that this is the first step for greater access for us to resume humanitarian assistance," US Ambassador to Myanmar Scot Marciel told media.

UN coordinator Renata Lok-Dessallien urged the government to launch an independent investigation into allegations of human rights abuses following her two-day trip to the region.

"The allegation of gender-based violence is worrying and we expressed this to the government, but we discussed mainly how to resume humanitarian assistance in the region," she told reporters on Friday, after being asked about reports of rape.

http://www.mizzima.com/news-domestic/rights-groups-claim-myanmar-govt-obstructing-reporters-covering-rakhine-crisis

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11 killed, bride among 12 wounded in an explosion in Faryab

Nov 05 2016

At least 11 civilians were killed and 12 others were wounded in an explosion in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan, local officials said Friday.

The officials further added that the incident took place after the vehicle of civilians struck an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted by militants on a roadside.

Provincial governor’s spokesman Jawid Didar confirmed the incident and said at least 11 civilians were killed and 12 others including the bride were wounded.

He said several women and children were among those wounded and the incident took place as the civilians were on their way to a wedding ceremony.

No group inlcuding the Taliban insurgents has so far claimed responsibility behind the incident.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/11-killed-bride-among-12-wounded-in-an-explosion-in-faryab-02204

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Hindus in Bangladesh baffled by motive behind Muslim mob attacks

2016-11-05

The rampaging, arson and looting were initially said to be related to 'communal hatred', but the temporary expulsion of ruling Awami League's three local leaders over the attacks has brought the political connection to the incidents to the fore.

Rajib Deb, a resident of Nasirnagar's Banikparha, says whatever the reason behind the attacks, the Hindus in the area are feeling helpless.

"Some say there is a political reason. Whatever it is, what is our crime?" he asked. "We are in great panic."

Dakkhinparha housewife Pranati Sarker saw a portion of her home torched in the latest attack on Friday. "We don't know who set the fire. We are in fear of what will happen now. We don't understand what is happening and why it is happening," she said.  

Protests erupted across the country, including the capital, after the first attack on Oct 30. At least 15 temples and hundreds of houses were vandalised and looted that day. Earlier on Friday, several houses and a temple were torched amid 'tight security'.  

The protesters are demanding removal of local MP and Fisheries and Livestock Minister Sayedul Hoque. The three expelled Awami League leaders are known to be his followers.

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has asked the people from minority groups to 'overcome fear', saying the government is 'not unmoved' by the attacks.

Speaking at a programme on Friday afternoon, he said there was 'nothing to worry' when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is by their side.

Full report at:

http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2016/11/05/hindus-in-bangladesh-baffled-by-motive-behind-muslim-mob-attacks

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Foreign diplomats urge Myanmar to probe rights violation

Nov 5, 2016

Foreign diplomats have called on Myanmar's government to launch a transparent inquiry into human rights violations in the western Rakhine state, home to many Rohingya Muslim minorities.

The diplomats, including those from the European Union and United Nations and the US, made the request on Friday following a two-day visit to the region, where security forces stand accused of rape, torture, extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and burning of homes.

“Given the large numbers of allegations of human rights violations, we urge the government to form an independent and credible investigation committee that can look into the allegations and establish the truth," said Renata Lok-Dessanllien, the UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Myanmar.

EU Ambassador to Myanmar Roland Kobia also confirmed the people’s suffering and called for “human rights to be protected of all communities,… transparency to be ensured and communication, and … access to humanitarian aid.”

He further expressed the international community’s readiness to help find a “long-term solution that addresses … the root causes of the issues” and brings peace to the troubled region.

Rakhine, home to about 1.1 million members of the minority Rohingya Muslim community, has been the scene of communal violence since 2012.

The state was again in the spotlight on October 9, when gunmen attacked three police outposts in the town of Maungdaw near the Bangladeshi border, reportedly leaving nine police officers dead.

Myanmar’s government blamed the incident on a Rohingya group, adding that the assailants made off with dozens of weapons and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Myanmar's civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi said her government will not place blame for violence in Rakhine before investigators have gathered all the evidence.

According to the UN, Rohingyas are one of the most persecuted minorities in the world. The government denies full citizenship to the community and imposes severe restrictions on their movement, branding them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, even as many trace their lineage in Myanmar back generations.

Many of the Muslims have been killed while tens of thousands have been forced to flee as a result of attacks by Buddhists.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/05/492206/Myanmar-Rakhine-Rohingya

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US confirms death of top Al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan

Nov 05 2016

The United States confirmed the death of a top leader of the Al-Qaeda terrorist network in eastern Kunar province of Afghanistan.

Pentagon said Friday that the Al-Qaeda leader Faruq al-Qatani was killed in the drone strikes carried out in Kunar last month.

Al-Qatani, considered as the terror network’s leader for the region, was targeted along with another Al-Qaeda leader Bilal al-Utabi in a series of drone strikes on 23rd October.

There are no reports regarding the fate of al-Utabi with Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook saying the fate of Utabi remains unclear.

However, the provincial governor officials and the Afghan intelligence confirmed the death of both the leaders in the airstrikes last month.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/us-confirms-death-of-top-al-qaeda-leader-in-afghanistan-02203

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Hindu temple set afire in Thakurgaon

November 05, 2016

Criminals set fire to a temple and vandalised an idol of Kali in Pokati Paschimpara village of Thakurgaon Sadar upazila early yesterday.

Chakra Mahon, president of the temple committee, said devotees left the temple around midnight after performing hari-kirtan (Hindu religious song), reports our Thakurgaon correspondent.

Devotees, who went to the temple for worship in the morning, found that the idol was badly damaged and the temple was set on fire.

Some local Hindus said the criminals carried out the attack on the temple as part of recent attacks on temples elsewhere in the country.

The attack panicked the religious minority community people, they said.

Superintendent of Thakurgaon police Farhad Ahmed visited the spot.

Leaders of Bangladesh Puja Udjapan Parishad's district unit, including its President Arunangshu Datta Tito and General Secretary Tapan Kumar Ghosh, visited the temple.

Tito told The Daily Star that people who want to destroy communal harmony in the area vandalised and set fire to the temple.

He also demanded that the real culprits be brought to book immediately after an investigation.

Full report at:

http://www.thedailystar.net/backpage/hindu-temple-set-afire-thakurgaon-1309813

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Call to amend personal law sparks debate in Sri Lanka

MEERA SRINIVASAN

November 5, 2016

A call to amend Muslim Personal Law in Sri Lanka has sparked a debate within the community, with some seeking change “from within” and others pushing for a broader constitutional reform.

The debate intensified with Law Minister Saga Ratnayaka’s recent remarks that amending the Muslim Marriage and Divorce Act was part of international protocol required to obtain EU trade concessions, or the ‘Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) Plus’ that Sri Lanka hopes to get. “The EU should not dictate how we need to reform our law,” said Rasmin, additional secretary of the Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamaath, whose members held a protest in Colombo following the Law Minister’s statement.

Observing that Muslim Personal Law needs to be reformed by leaders within the community, he said much of the confusion was because people misinterpret Muslim laws. “You see the same sort of confusion in India,” he told The Hindu on Friday.

Muslims constitute about 10 per cent of Sri Lanka’s population, and are predominantly Tamil-speaking.

N.M. Ameen, President of Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, said there is certainly a need to amend the marriages Act, but this has to be done in consultation with the Muslim religious leadership and the community.

There is a long-pending demand for reform of the Personal Law in Sri Lanka within the Muslim community, according to Vijay Nagaraj, head of research at Law and Society Trust, a Colombo-based legal research firm. A committee that was set up by the government in 2009 to look into the matter is yet to come out with any report.

Clearly, there is strong resistance to reforming Personal Law from other sections within the Muslim community, he said. “While one recognises that serious questions arise with the linking of trade and human rights, those citing GSP + as reason to resist reform only want to ensure that status quo prevails.”

Full report at:

http://www.thehindu.com/news/international/call-to-amend-personal-law-sparks-debate-in-sri-lanka/article9306815.ece

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Journalist killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan

November 05, 2016

LASHKAR GAH - A journalist working for Afghan television station Ariana News was killed by a roadside bomb in the southern province of Helmand on Friday, his employer said, adding to a growing toll on media workers in Afghanistan this year.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/05-Nov-2016/journalist-killed-by-roadside-bomb-in-afghanistan

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Explosion in Kabul leaves one wounded

Nov 05 2016

One person was wounded in an explosion in Kabul city after a magnetic bomb explosion ripped through a police vehicle in the center of the city.

Kabul police officials confirmed the incident and said the driver of the police vehicle sustained injuries in the attack.

The officials further added that the incident took place in Parwan area of the city after a magnetic bomb attached to the vehicle of Kapisa police was detonated.

Police officials also added that an investigation is underway regarding the incident as no group has far claimed responsibility behind the attack.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/explosion-in-kabul-leaves-one-wounded-02206

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Mideast

 

Turkey detains pro-Kurdish lawmakers; car bomb leaves 9 dead, 100 wounded

5 November 2016

DIYARBAKIR: A car bomb killed nine people and wounded more than 100 in southeastern Turkey’s largest city on Friday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, hours after police detained the leaders of the mostly Kurdish region’s biggest political party.

The blast struck near a police station in Diyarbakir where some of the party leaders were being held in a terrorism probe. It tore the facades off buildings and firefighters were searching for people trapped by debris.

A spokesman for the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Parliament’s second-biggest opposition grouping, said the detention of its two leaders and at least nine other lawmakers risked triggering civil war.

Yildirim told reporters that elected officials who incite and encourage terrorism must face legal proceedings and that they were detained because they had refused to give testimony.

The arrests will heighten concern among Western allies about a deepening crackdown on dissent under President Tayyip Erdogan and about political stability in Turkey, a NATO member and a buffer between Europe and the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

The arrests, which drew swift condemnation from the European Union, come as Turkey has detained or suspended more than 110,000 officials in the wake of a failed July coup. Turkey is considering reintroducing the death penalty, and earlier this week journalists from a leading opposition newspaper were detained.

“Very bad news from Turkey. Again. Now HDP members of Parliament are being detained,” the European Parliament’s Turkey rapporteur, Kati Piri, said on Twitter of a country that is seeking membership of the EU.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said she was “extremely worried” by the arrests and had called a meeting of EU ambassadors in Ankara.

Southeastern Turkey has been rocked by political turmoil and violence for more than a year after the collapse of a cease-fire with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group, which has waged a three-decade insurgency for Kurdish autonomy.

Access was blocked to social media, including Twitter, Whatsapp, YouTube and Facebook, an Internet monitoring group said, and a reporting ban was imposed on coverage of the blast. Asked about the measures, Yildirim said the situation would go back to normal “once the danger is removed.”

The lira hit a new low against the dollar of 3.14 after the arrests, while the cost of insuring Turkish government debt against default hit its highest in over a month.

“The reports of increased crackdown and talk of the reintroduction of the death penalty raises concerns about the future trajectory of FDI flows and even EU accession,” said Manik Narain, an emerging markets strategist at UBS in London.

Erdogan and the ruling AK Party accuse the HDP of links to the PKK, which is deemed a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. The HDP, which won more than 5 million votes in the last general election a year ago, denies direct links.

The government introduced a nationwide state of emergency after a failed military coup on July 15 which gave it broad powers to round up suspects linked to the putsch. More than 110,000 civil servants, soldiers, police, judges and other officials have been suspended or detained, as have journalists.

The authorities have also used the emergency powers to round up pro-Kurdish opposition activists and politicians, including Diyarbakir’s joint mayors, who were detained late last month, and has closed all major Kurdish media outlets.

Police raided the Ankara house of Figen Yuksekdag, HDP co-chairwoman, and Selahattin Demirtas, the party’s other leader, in Diyarbakir. A court official said the prosecutor was seeking the formal arrest of Demirtas and that both he and Yuksekdag were in court after police questioning.

“I will not hesitate to be held accountable in front of a fair and impartial judiciary. There is nothing I cannot answer for,” Demirtas said in a statement to the prosecutor, which was shared by HDP lawmaker Besime Konca.

“But I refuse to be an actor in this judicial theater just because it was ordered by Erdogan, whose own political past is suspicious,” he said.

In a statement on Twitter, still accessible in Turkey through virtual private networks (VPN), the HDP called for the international community “to react against the Erdogan regime’s coup,” while party spokesman Ayhan Bilgen described the detentions as an attempt to provoke a civil war.

Police also raided and searched the party’s head office in central Ankara. Police cars and armed vehicles had closed the entrances to the street of the HDP headquarters.

A group of protesters chanting slogans tried to reach the party offices, but were stopped by police before they could enter the street, a Reuters witness said.

The HDP is the third-largest party in the 550-seat Turkish Parliament, with 59 seats. Parliamentarians in Turkey normally enjoy immunity from prosecution, but the immunity of many lawmakers, including HDP deputies, was lifted earlier this year.

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1006816/middle-east

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Iran admits to arming Houthis with missiles

5 November 2016

Fars news agency, which is affiliated with Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, said Friday that Houthi missile units pounded the Yemeni forces’ military positions in the capital city of Sanaa on Friday with the ballistic “Zalzal-2” missile.

It added that forces’ gathering in the center of the Malah region of Sanaa came under attack by the ballistic Zalzal-2 missile, according to the news agency’s army source.

“It was a precision missile strike and [it] hit the target,” the source said without expanding on the damage and toll inflicted.

The agency quoted “a prominent analyst” Seyed Sadeq al-Sharafi as saying that militias “are developing their missile power to target Riyadh and Dubai in the future, after they increased their missile and military capabilities and expanded the range of their military operations against the enemies.”

The Zelzal-2 is an Iranian developed long-range unguided rocket in use by the Iranian military, Hezbollah and the Houthis.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/05/Iran-admits-to-arming-Houthis-.html

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UN envoy’s plan for Yemen stalls

5 November 2016

The United Nations’ special envoy for Yemen arrived in Sanaa to discuss his roadmap during his second visit to the capital in less than a week.

The UN said in a statement Friday that Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed arrived in the capital on Thursday and that he will meet with members of the diplomatic corps and others to discuss ways to alleviate the humanitarian suffering and assess the best ways to address the country’s economic crisis.

“Negotiating peace frameworks is a tremendous undertaking under the best of circumstances,” added the special envoy. “It requires an unequivocal determination of the parties to reach a negotiated settlement to put Yemen on the path to peace and that’s what we are aiming for.”

Meanwhile, Yemen’s legitimate and internationally-backed government reaffirmed its refusal to discuss fundamental national topics concerning the future of the presidency office and the government with putschists.

In a press statement, the Deputy Premier and Minister of Civil Service Abdulaziz Jabbari, following a meeting on Friday with the US Ambassador to Yemen Matthew H. Tueller, said that talks about the institution and presidency cannot be accepted, except through the ballot box and popular will, the Saudi news state agency SPA reported.

The Yemeni official’s remarks came in response to a recent peace roadmap presented by Ismail Ould Cheikh which was rejected by the Yemeni government as it was perceived to be flawed and granted the coup a political advantage.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/05/UN-envoy-s-plan-for-Yemen-stalls.html

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Asiri reacts to CNN photo of starvation in Yemen

4 November 2016

Arab coalition spokesman Ahmed Asiri stressed during an interview with CNN that the bloc’s role was to protect the lives of Yemeni people, as he reacted to a photo presented by Christiane Amanpour portraying the starvation being experienced in Yemen.

Amanpour, the Chief International Correspondent for CNN, asked General Assiri if he had seen the picture, which she said showed an 18-year-old woman on the brink of starvation in Yemen.

Amanpour suggested both sides of the Yemeni war were probably behind blockade-like conditions that prevented aid from reaching those in need.

General Asiri responded, explaining the photo had been taken in Taiz, a city besieged by Houthi militias.

“I'm sure this photo was taken in Taiz, which is a siege by Houthi. Maybe people forget Taiz today,” he told CNN.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/11/04/Iraqi-forces-advance-towards-Mosul.html

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Iran: Suspended, reduced sentences to Saudi embassy attackers

5 November 2016

Jeddah: Iranian state-owned media has published reports that Tehran sentenced protesters accused of attacking Saudi Arabia’s embassy and consulate in response to the execution of a Saudi Shiite preacher earlier this year to up to six months in prison.

Some of the defendants were handed sentences of three or six months in jail for the January attack while others were acquitted, their lawyer Mostafa Shabani was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.

However, Arab News sources confirm that several of the attackers were issued pardons, while others were given sentences, which were suspended.

The source, which has access to the judiciary in Tehran, said that the secret verdict, which was issued a few days ago, was meant to “only ease international pressure and satisfy global public opinion that Iran actually did something about these attacks.” “Any informed Iranian would tell you that such protests, attacks on a police-protected building would have never happened without Tehran’s knowledge and blessings,” said the source. He elaborated that “Iran is particularly known for government-backed incidents involving embassies.”

Several of the accused were immune to civilian prosecution and were sent to special Iranian religious courts.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1006821/middle-east

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Kurdish-Led SDF: No Turkish Partnership in Imminent Offensive on ISIL Capital in Syria

Nov 04, 2016

SDF's Spokesman Talal Sallo asserted that his forces do not plan on coordinating with the Turkish Army to liberate the city of Raqqa.

“The issue of Turkey’s partnership came under discussion with the (US-led) coalition and resolved definitively. There will be no Turkish participation in the Raqqa operation,” he said.

“We are ready. We have the sufficient number of fighters for this campaign and we will start it soon,” Sallo added.

Late in October, Salou blasted the US-led coalition for shrugging off supply of necessary arms and equipment to the Kurdish forces to help them take back the Syrian province of Raqqa from the ISIL.

"The SDF's main goal is liberating Raqqa from the ISIL, which needs arms, logistic support and military supply from the international coalition to suppress the ISIL and free Raqqa," Salou told FNA at the time.

"The SDF forces have asked the international coalition for help but received no response yet and the SDF cannot step onto major battle like Raqqa with its meager military possibilities," he added.

Elsewhere, Salou said that the SDF did not coordinate its operations in any region with Turkey.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950814000536

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Yemeni Missiles Changing Power Balance

Nov 04, 2016

"When the Yemenis fired the Borkan-1 missiles on Jeddah, some kind of power balance and deterrence was created, since with this action, the Yemeni forces showed that the war has entered a new phase and they made the enemy understand that extensive regions inside Saudi Arabia are now within their reach," Ahmad al-Shami said on Friday.

He, meantime, stressed that the Yemeni army and popular forces merely target the Saudi military bases and they have and will never attack the civilians.

In relevant remarks on Wednesday, another prominent analyst said that the Yemeni forces are developing their missile power to target Riyadh and Dubai in the future.

"The Yemeni forces have increased their missile and military capabilities and expanded the range of their military operations against the enemies," Seyed Sadeq al-Sharafi said.

Noting that continued war in Yemen will further complicate the situation of the Saudis and make the Yemeni forces stronger, he said, "The range of the army and popular committees' missiles has increased to hit targets in Jeddah, meaning that they are likely to hit targets in Riyadh and beyond as well as Dubai and other sensitive regions soon in future."

Sharafi expressed confidence that the balance of power is changing and the Saudis' failure is imminent, and said, "The Saudis are moving towards full collapse, while the Yemeni nation is going towards victory and gaining more power in the military and defense fields."

His remarks came after the Yemeni army and popular forces launched a Borkan-1 ballistic missile attack from Sa'ada province to a Saudi Airbase in Jeddah late October.

Yemeni soldiers and their allies fired a Borkan-1 (Volcano-1) missile towards King Abdulaziz International Airport, located 19 kilometers North of the Western Saudi port city of Jeddah, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.

A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, later told the official Saba news agency that the 12.5-meter-long missile had hit its target accurately and left massive destruction at the airport.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950814000376

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North America

 

New York Police on Alert After Warning of Terror Attack Before Election

By WILLIAM NEUMAN and WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM

NOV. 4, 2016

The Police Department will be on heightened alert in coming days in response to a warning about possible terrorist activity that could occur the day before the presidential election, Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Friday.

He stressed that the information about the possible threat, passed on several days ago by federal authorities, was very vague, but that officials were nonetheless taking precautions.

“It’s not at all clear how credible this is, and it’s not overly specific information so far,” Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, said during his weekly radio appearance on WNYC. “We are watching carefully. We are certainly in a vigilant position.”

The city was informed of the possible threat in a routine intelligence bulletin from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security, according to a federal law enforcement official who was not authorized to discuss the matter and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The unclassified bulletin said that the terror group Al Qaeda might be planning attacks for Monday, the day before the election, in three states, New York, Texas and Virginia, the official said. He said that officials were skeptical about the credibility of the information.

The bulletin mentioned no specific cities or locations. Such bulletins are issued periodically, often before major events.

Mr. de Blasio said the department was already planning heightened security measures because of several high-profile events over the next several days.

The New York City Marathon is Sunday. On Tuesday, both the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and the Republican nominee, Donald J. Trump, will hold their election-night gatherings in Manhattan.

Full report at:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/05/nyregion/new-york-police-on-alert-after-warning-of-terror-attack-before-election.html

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Australian protests over Syrian refugee housing

5 November 2016

Several hundred people rallied in the suburbs of Melbourne on Saturday, after a proposal to house refugees locally drew protest by far right anti-Islam groups and counter protests.

Political debate around Australia’s hardline policy towards asylum seekers has been heated recently, with the conservative government last week announcing plans to permanently ban asylum seekers who attempted to reach Australia by boat from permanently entering under any visa category.

Dozens of people belonging to the anti-Islam groups rallied on Saturday against a proposal to house 120 refugees from Syria and Iraq, at a housing facility for elderly citizens in the Melbourne suburb of Eltham.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/world/2016/11/05/Right-wing-Australians-protest-Syrian-refugee-housing-.html

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America’s “Arab Spring”

November 4, 2016

Nonie Darwish | Gatestone Institute

President Obama appears to have been told that if all these secular dictators could be brought down, a magnificent Arab Spring would blossom. This was, it seems, precisely the goal of the Muslim Brotherhood: to get America’s help to topple the dictatorships — then mostly military and secular — but then to replace them with themselves, Islamists.

After Egypt took down the Muslim Brotherhood, the goal of establishing the Islamic Caliphate in Egypt simply moved to Syria, the only Arab nation where a secular Muslim leader had survived the Arab Spring.

Promoting Islam also seems to have been a major factor in Obama’s equation for America. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed suit, hosting several closed-door conferences on “Defamation of Religion,” to suppress free speech and internationally criminalize any criticism of Islam with fines and prison. She would rather blame terrorism on free speech than on the violent tenets of Islam.

This escalating subversion should be reason enough for all Western democratic countries permanently to part company with the United Nations. Its history of corruption is neither new nor surprising, or that it is run anti-democratic “club of dictators” whose interests are opposite to ours.

The goals of U.S. President Barack Obama in the Middle East ended the rule of most of the “secular” Arab leaders in the area. His views may have come, partly at least, from propaganda on why Muslim people supposedly lacked freedom there. Obama appears to have been told that if all these secular dictators could be brought down, a magnificent Arab Spring would blossom.

Full report at:

http://www.rightsidenews.com/editorial/us-opinion-and-editorial/americas-arab-spring/

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Police say he made death threats to Muslims. His defense: America’s ‘toxic national discourse.’

By Travis M. Andrews

November 4

Mark Feigin is a nice guy.

He really is, his lawyers said.

In a statement released last Friday, his lawyers stated, “Mark Feigin is a good, decent man. He has no criminal record and he is not a danger to anyone. He has worked as a Chinese translator, as a screenwriter and as a real estate developer.”

His record and résumé aside, police claim that in September the Agoura Hills, Calif., resident called the Islamic Center of Southern California in Koreatown, threatening to kill its members.

[California man who threatened to kill had a stockpile of weapons and a ‘hatred for Muslims’]

The threats, according to Los Angeles police Cmdr. Horace Frank, stemmed from the 40-year-old’s “hatred for Muslims and his belief that Muslims will destroy the United States.”

Police arrested Feigin on Oct. 19 on charges of making terroristic threats.

When they did, they found in his house at least nine guns — shotguns, pistols and rifles — along with many modified high-capacity magazines and thousands of rounds of ammunition, according to The Washington Post.

Some were registered to him; many were not.

(Feigin’s fascination with guns seems to predate this incident. Journalists at NBC4 uncovered a flier made by Feigin, a real estate agent, promising a free AR-15 assault rifle to anyone who purchased a home from him.)

He allegedly called the center at least twice. The first came on Sept. 19, and was “peppered with vulgarity and espoused hatred toward the Muslim faith.”

The next day “the male caller threatened to kill the person who answered the phone along with other members of the center,” Frank said, according to The Post.

Since his arrest, Feigin’s lawyers have argued that it was “all an unfortunate misunderstanding.”

Robert Sheahen, one of his lawyers, admitted to the Los Angeles Times that Feigin “made some intemperate comments,” but he’s a nice guy. They weren’t his fault — instead, they were the fault of the current presidential election.

“If anything,” the statement read, “Mr. Feigin was a victim of the toxic national discourse of this political season.”

Feigin’s attorneys told the LA Times that he had been exposed to a torrent of alt-right media coverage. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the alt-right movement this way on its website:

The Alternative Right, commonly known as the Alt-Right, is a set of far-right ideologies, groups and individuals whose core belief is that “white identity” is under attack by multicultural forces using “political correctness” and “social justice” to undermine white people and “their” civilization. Characterized by heavy use of social media and online memes, Alt-Righters eschew “establishment” conservatism, skew young, and embrace white ethno-nationalism as a fundamental value.

Full report at:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2016/11/04/toxic-national-discourse-of-politics-responsible-for-mans-death-threats-against-muslims-his-lawyer-says/

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Europe

 

Swiss court upholds ban on Islamic kindergarten

November 05, 2016

ZURICH - Switzerland's highest court has upheld the canton of Zurich's decision to refuse permission for an Islamic society to open a religious kindergarten, saying its plans did not fulfil the legal requirements for such schools.

The Federal Court's ruling highlights increasingly tense relations between traditionally Christian Swiss society and a Muslim minority that makes up around 5 percent of the population.

The lower house of parliament in September narrowly backed a ban on face veils, a step widely supported in opinion polls.

A school's decision this year to let two Muslim pupils not shake their teachers' hands added fresh fuel to a debate about integration of immigrants.

The "al Huda" society had sought since 2013 to open a kindergarten and appealed against local authorities' refusal to grant permission.

The Federal Court said it had rejected the appeal.

"Overall, the kindergarten concept does not guarantee that the children to be taught will be nurtured in a manner comparable to that of a public school," said a court summary of the verdict published on Friday.

"There is also a lack of commitment to the humanistic and democratic values of public schools.

It said teachers of Arabic and the Quran at the planned kindergarten did not have recognised certificates and were over-represented on the faculty, making up a quarter of the staff.

Kindergarten organisers did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

After earlier legal setbacks, the group said local authorities had treated them unfairly and it hoped the high court would resolve the issue quickly and justly.

http://nation.com.pk/international/05-Nov-2016/swiss-court-upholds-ban-on-islamic-kindergarten

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Greece nabs 15 anti-Islam protesters

5 November 2016

ATHENS: Fifteen protesters have been arrested in Athens for staging an occupation at a site where a mosque is due to be built with state funds for mostly migrants and refugees. Police said the occupation started two weeks ago but ended early Friday when riot police were sent to the area to make the arrests shortly after dawn. The protesters face charges of public disturbance offenses.

Full report at:

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1006616/world

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Germany summons Turkish envoy to protest arrest of pro-Kurdish MPs

Nov 4, 2016

Germany has summoned Turkey’s envoy in Berlin to protest the arrest of about a dozen pro-Kurdish lawmakers, amid domestic and international pressure against Ankara over its harsh crackdown.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier warned the Turkish government on Friday against using the fight against terrorism as a pretext to silence the opposition.

"The fight against terrorism must not be a justification for politically silencing the opposition, or even bringing them behind bars," Steinmeier said.

He also stated that Ankara’s unjustified crackdown could have a detrimental impact on Turkey’s relations with the European Union.

"I think now it is up to the ones responsible in Turkey to be clear about what direction it wants to go and what this will mean for relations of Turkey with the EU," he said.

The remarks came after Turkish police arrested Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag, the co-leaders of the Peoples' Democratic Party, also known as the HDP, and nine lawmakers of the party earlier on Friday.

Ankara has accused the HDP lawmakers of spreading terrorism propaganda in support of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has even gone further and repeatedly described the HDP as the political wing of the PKK.

In reaction to the recent arrests, the PKK threatened to intensify its attacks in Turkey. Murat Karayilan, one of the PKK’s senior commanders, said in a video message on Friday that it was "very important" for the Kurdish people to react against the detentions of the HDP lawmakers.

The Turkish government continues its crackdown on pro-Kurdish elements and individuals suspected of involvement in the July 15 coup attempt.

In the capital Ankara, police clashed with demonstrators protesting against the detention of the HDP lawmakers.

The police used pepper spray and rubber pellets to disperse the demonstrators.

There was tight security in the Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakir, where pro-Kurdish demonstrators had gathered.

The pro-Kurdish protests are being held in defiance of a state of emergency in the country that bans demonstrations.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/04/492109/Germany-Turkey-envoy-to-protest-the-arrest-of-about-a-dozen-proKurdish-lawmakers-amid-domestic-and-international-pressure-against-Ankara-over-its-

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France evacuates new refugee camp in Paris

Nov 4, 2016

Police in France have started evacuating refugees from a makeshift camp in northeastern Paris that had recently become a shelter for many of the asylum seekers evacuated from a bigger camp in the port city of Calais.

At least 600 police officers started the evacuation early Friday, escorting the refugees to dozens of buses that will take them to holding centers in and around the French capital.

The refugees will remain in the centers until their requests for asylum are processed.

A spokeswoman for the Paris prefecture said all the refugees will be moved out on Friday.

“The evacuation operation is running smoothly so far,” she said.

The Paris camp, made of tents across several streets, was home to around 3,000 refugees, almost half of whom had arrived just a week ago when police completely demolished the camp in Calais — which was derogatorily referred to as the “Jungle” — late last month.

Authorities said over 6,000 people were evacuated from the camp in Calais to lodgings in towns and villages across the country, where their eligibility for asylum will be assessed.

The refugees, who lived in appalling conditions in tents and temporary shelters in Calais, were unwilling to leave the camp because it was close the Channel Tunnel, which they could use to reach the United Kingdom.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/11/04/492084/France-refugee-camp-Paris-Calais

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URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/tunisia-sacks-minister-for-questioning-wahhabism/d/109021

 

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