Photo: Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria. Twitter image
destroy Boko Haram, Buhari boasts
‘releases six’ of 27 Druze hostages in exchange for prisoner swap, ransom
Muslim University (AMU) Celebrates Sir Syed Day
Afghan forces assigned to ensure security of parliamentary elections
in Kandahar pushed back by a week after attack
set to vote despite Taliban threats, corruption
Taliban attack threatens Afghan peace talks, stability
in refugee camp kills 6 Rohingya in Myanmar
hunts suspected militants after deadly police raids
on Rohingya: UNSC to meet on Myanmar inquiry report on Oct 24
Pakistani foreign ministers discuss deadly Kandahar attack
Defence Forces fighter jets have bombed Somalia southern region
Haram does not represent Islam, NSCIA insists
al-Thani: Qatar relies on Qaradawi, Brotherhood to instigate crisis
weeks after his disappearance, Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi was killed inside
joint forces successfully shoot down Houthi spy plane
working to resettle group of White Helmets evacuated from Syria
Arabia admits Khashoggi murdered in Turkey, sacks bin Salman’s top aide
than 30 civilians killed in new US-led strikes on Dayr al-Zawr
still present in Raqqah a year after US campaign
Asia-Europe meet, Naidu pushes for global pact against terrorism
& Kashmir: 5 militants killed in 24 hours in Valley
effigy-maker Muslim family setting example of communal harmony in Punjab since
Muslim Forum demands more seats
outrage over journalist’s killing, Pakistani clerics express solidarity with
pushes Afghan Taliban for peace talks
have done more for country than military: Nehal
find held ‘IS men’ sent funds to Afghanistan
U-turn, Mr Prime Minister!' Afghan immigrants demand PM Khan to fulfil
wants Pakistan to impose financial sanctions on designated terrorists
Azizah's Brussels visit boosts Malaysia-EU ties
you in court, Perkasa says, if Batu Kawan MP not probed for sedition
Chinese language without sidelining BM, Anwar advises
Speech and Democracy Under Threat in Indonesia
foil JAD plot to attack Buddhist temples in Tanjung Balai
rights group criticises ‘oppression’ of Palestinians
the pawn in a Mideast showdown over the Sunni Muslim world
Palestinians, including 25 children, injured by Israel amid Amnesty
protest on Gaza-Israel border
envoy to UN condemns Iran’s use of child soldiers
to host four-nation summit on Syria crisis
student wins appeal to enter Israel
Vice President: Iran sponsors terrorism project in region
rights group roasts Tel Aviv at UN, hails Palestinians are 'heroes'
to host Putin, Macron, Merkel to discuss Syria
army recover large cache of Houthi militia armament
on Khashoggi death: Saudi arrests is a ‘good first step’
House: US ‘saddened’ by confirmed Khashoggi death
needs Saudi as counterbalance to Iran: Trump
preacher who encouraged support for ISIS released from UK prison
complicit in Saudi crimes, outrage just for show: Analyst
Is Anjem Choudary Google’s Top Result For ‘Muslim Spokesman’?
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Afghan security and defense officials are saying that 70 thousand security and
defense forces have been assigned to ensure security of the parliamentary
Danesh, Spokesperson of MoI said that 4900 polling centers with more than
20,000 polling stations in 32 provinces of the country is open now with the
exception of Kandahar and Ghazni, and 70,000 Afghan forces are assigned to
ensure the security of Elections.
Ministry of Defense spokesperson Said Ghafoor Ahmad Jawid assured security of
elections and said the sensitive material of the election was handed over
across the country.
morning the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan casted his vote
and started this national process.
provinces, the governors and deputy governors have visited the polling centers
in the early hours of the morning and have called on voters to cast their
votes, according to Government Media and Information Center.
Shah Saqim, IDLG spokesman said that currently voting is ongoing in 32
provinces of the country, and no problems have been reported yet.
spokespersons from the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Ministry of Education
also called on citizens, especially women, to use their voting rights at the
in Kandahar province have been delayed for a week, and soon the election date
will be announced in Ghazni province.
Muhammadu Buhari has boasted that his administration will destroy members of
the Boko Haram sect.
said it was wrong for any individual or group to be killing innocent people and
destroying properties under the guise of doing it for God.
spoke while hosting some entertainers of the Northern Nigerian extraction,
Kannywood, to a dinner at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday evening.
President who spoke in the Hausa language said the Federal Government would not
allow any group hiding under religion to unleash terror on innocent citizens.
said those who are killing in the name of God were either ignorant or they
don’t believe in God.
said, “It is totally wrong for any believer in God to kill innocent people
either in the mosque, church or the marketplace.
cannot be shouting Allahu Akbar (Allah is Great), Allahu Akbar, and be killing
innocent citizens and destroying properties all in the name of God.
is either you don’t know what you are saying or you don’t even believe in the
existence of God Almighty.
has nothing to do with injustice.
now we are confronting them and by the grace of God we will destroy them.”
has released six of 27 Druze hostages it seized during a deadly July attack in
Syria's Sweida province in exchange for a prisoner swap and ransom, a monitor
women and four children from the province of Sweida were released last
night," Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human
Rights, a monitor group, told AFP.
added that the releases were the "first wave" and part of an
agreement sealed with the Syrian government to exchange all the hostages for
"60 ISIS prisoners held by the regime and a ransom of $27 million."
abducted around 30 people -- mostly women and children -- from Sweida in late
July during the deadliest attack on Syria's Druze community of the seven-year
the coordinated assaults on July 25, ISIS waged a series of suicide bombings,
shootings and stabbings that left more than 250 people dead across the
southwestern province, most of them civilians.
province is the heartland of the country's Druze minority, which made up around
three percent of Syria's pre-war population -- or around 700,000 people.
executed a 19-year-old male student among the captives in August and then a
25-year-old female captive in early October. The group said a 65-year-old
female captive also died from illness.
of those kidnapped held protests to demand action by the Syrian government to
between the government's Russian ally and the jihadists for the release of the
captives had stalled.
forces have battled ISIS in the volcanic plateau of Tulul al-Safa in the east
of the province since the July attack.
Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) celebrated Sir Syed Day, the birth anniversary
of its founder, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan on October 17. Former Chief Election
Commissioner of India, Dr S Y Quraishi on Wednesday delivered the commemoration
address as the chief guest on the 201st birth anniversary of Sir Syed Ahmad
Khan at the University's Athletics Ground. "Sir Syed initiated English
education and scientific temper among Indians, which made us world citizens.
Sir Syed's message was not anti-Islam and among his admires were equal number
of non-Muslims and Muslims," said Dr S Y Quraishi.
on the importance of Sir Syed, he said that "no doubt, Sir Syed had
achieved an impossible goal in a short span of time and besides education, Sir
Syed's ideals in other fields also hold significant position. Sir Syed
undertook rational social reforms and was die-hard secularist not only in
letters but in spirit".
the welcome address, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor said that Sir Syed
changed the destiny of the nation by devoting his entire life for education,
plurality and secularism through his versatile writing and farsightedness.
Mansoor pointed out that the supreme interest of Sir Syed's life was education
in its widest sense as he wanted to create a scientific temperament among the
are positive changes and developments in AMU with active cooperation of all
concerned," said the Vice Chancellor adding that Times Higher Education
has ranked AMU as the fifth best Indian University, while National Institute
Ranking Framework (NIRF) has ranked AMU as the 10th best Indian university.
is also among five central universities, who have been granted graded
autonomy," pointed out Prof Mansoor.
has started new courses such as Masters in Architecture, B Voc (Hons) and M
Voc. We are in the process of starting a MBA course in Hospital
Management," he said adding that the University has also increased courses
running through the distance learning mode which includes a Bachelor in
Afghanistan postponed legislative elections in Kandahar province on Friday,
after a Taliban-claimed attack on a US-Afghan security meeting killed a
powerful police chief and threatened stability across the south.
parliamentary ballot would be delayed by one week, a spokesman for President
Ashraf Ghani said in a statement, following an extraordinary meeting of the
National Security Council.
Independent Election Commission would announce the new date, he added.
for the vote in Kandahar, the Taliban’s birthplace, were thrown into turmoil on
Thursday when a gunman wearing a security forces uniform opened fire on a
gathering of US and Afghan officials.
Scott Miller, the top US and Nato commander in Afghanistan, escaped unhurt, but
Kandahar police chief General Abdul Raziq was killed along with the head of the
provincial intelligence unit and an Afghan journalist. Raziq was laid to rest
with military honours.
13 people were wounded in the assault inside the heavily fortified provincial
governor’s compound, including the governor and two Americans. The shooter was
interior ministry said on Friday that three suspects have been detained over
the incident, which the Taliban said had targeted Miller and Raziq.
officials have dismissed the claim that Miller was a target.
made a public appearance in Kabul on Friday, visiting an Afghan security
checkpoint where he described the attack as a “tragic event”.
assessment is that I was not the target. It was a very close confined space.
But I don’t assess that I was a target,” Miller told Afghan broadcaster Tolo
turnout for the election — which is more than three years late already — was
expected to be far lower than the 8.9 million people officially registered,
following the Taliban’s pledge to attack the ballot.
death is likely to deter even more voters from showing up at the more than
5,000 polling centres around the country, which Afghanistan’s overstretched
security forces have been tasked with protecting.
than 2,500 candidates are competing for 249 seats in the lower house, which is
responsible for making laws and supervising the government.
of people have been killed or wounded in poll-related violence so far. At least
10 candidates have been killed.
the threat of violence, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on
Friday urged eligible voters to “exercise their constitutional right to vote”.
poll is seen as a crucial test for next year’s presidential election and an
important milestone ahead of a UN meeting in Geneva in November where
Afghanistan is under pressure to show progress on “democratic processes”.
Afghans will return to the polls for parliamentary elections on Saturday,
hoping to bring change to a corrupt government that has lost nearly half the
country to the Taliban.
in Kandahar, however, will have to wait a week after the province’s police
chief was assassinated, resulting in the vote there being postponed.
the eight years since Afghanistan last held parliamentary elections, a
resurgent Taliban have carried out near-daily attacks on security forces,
seizing large swathes of the countryside and threatening major cities. An even
more radical Islamic State affiliate has launched a wave of bombings targeting
the country’s Shiite minority, killing hundreds. Both groups have threatened to
attack anyone taking part in the vote.
areas where the government still provides relative security, Afghans face a
different array of challenges. Widespread corruption forces people to pay
bribes for shabby public services, and increasingly influential
ultraconservative clerics blame the country’s many ills on years of Western
influence, threatening to roll back the limited gains made by women and civil
society since the 2001 US-led invasion.
of those Afghans brave enough to defy the death threats hope to vote in a new
generation of younger and better-educated leaders. But they fear that former
warlords and the corrupt political elite will cling to power by lavishing
entertainment and cash handouts on impoverished voters.
am still not hopeful it will be fair,” said Saeed Matin, a fruit seller in a
mostly Shiite neighborhood of Kabul who was bundled up against the chilly
autumn evening. He waved off the threats from the Taliban and said he hoped for
new leadership, pointing to campaign posters showing younger candidates.
are young and educated and I wish they could do something, but 100 percent I am
worried the warlords and the corrupt people will not give them a chance,” he
said. “These corrupt people are paying 3,000 Afghanis (nearly $50) for each
vote. They are not interested in the country, only in what they can put in
is ranked among the most corrupt countries in the world by Transparency
International, which last year called efforts by President Ashraf Ghani’s
government to stem runaway corruption “insufficient.” Poor governance has also
confounded Washington’s efforts to find a peaceful exit from the 17-year war –
the longest in American history – which has cost the United States more than
2,400 lives and over $900 billion.
Taliban point to the government’s dysfunction as proof of its illegitimacy, and
have rejected international demands to hold peace talks with the authorities in
Kabul, who they view as Western puppets. They say they will only negotiate
directly with the United States, which they view as an occupying power.
Religious conservatives, even those who have not taken up arms, are
increasingly echoing the Taliban’s rhetoric, saying years of Western influence
have eroded the country’s values – a mix of Islamic teachings and tribal
traditions – causing a breakdown of society.
Wadood Pedram, who heads the Human Rights and Eradication of Violence
Organization, said religious clerics use their weekly sermons in mosques
throughout the capital to rail against Western influence.
society is growing very radical, day by day, because the government has no
control of the mosques and the madrassas (religious schools),” he said. He said
clerics routinely inveigh against women’s participation in the workforce – a
rare bright spot in Afghanistan’s recent history – as well as independent media
and human rights activists.
the widespread pessimism, analysts and activists say the elections – which were
delayed for three years because of insecurity – send an important message to
the Taliban that no matter how unpopular the current government is, the
political system is here to stay.
is very important to indicate to the Taliban that the government is
functioning, the institutions in Afghanistan are functioning and that the
political process … is also functioning,” said Kabul-based analyst Haroun Mir.
“It will be a clear message to the insurgents and to the Taliban that they have
to deal with the political process that is accepted by the majority of the
the heavily fortified offices of the Independent Election Commission, Wasima
Badghisy is working on final preparations for the vote.
Taliban attack on top US and Afghan security chiefs inside a highly secure
compound inAfghanistan is a major coup for the insurgents that threatens to
torpedo peace talks and destabilise the country's south, analysts say.
gunman wearing an Afghan security forces uniform opened fire on a group
including General Scott Miller - the top US and NATO commander in Afghanistan -
and powerful Afghan police chief General Abdul Raziq on Thursday as they ended
a meeting in the southern city of Kandahar. Within seconds Raziq, an
anti-Taliban strongman and key US ally who was credited with keeping a lid on
the insurgency in the south, was dead along with Kandahar's provincial
intelligence chief and an Afghan journalist.
escaped unhurt in the bold attack the militants said had targeted the US
general and Raziq, whom they had previously accused of killing thousands of
Taliban detainees and had attempted to assassinate dozens of times.
interior ministry said Friday three suspects have been detained over the
shooting, which also wounded 13. That the Taliban could mount a deadly insider
assault on top US and Afghan security chiefs in such a secure location has
rattled a country long used to high-profile targeted killings and violence. It
signalled the Taliban could "strike whenever and wherever it wants"
and would embolden the insurgents, said Michael Kugelman of the Wilson Center.
"This attack is a huge blow to stability," he added.
Taliban, which controls or contests swathes of the war-torn country, has made
significant territorial gains and threatened provincial capitals in recent
months as it steps up attacks.
increased aggression had been seen as an attempt by the Taliban to strengthen
its negotiating position in talks with the United States to end the 17-year
representatives have met with US officials at least twice in Qatar in recent
months, most recently on October 12 with newly appointed US envoy Zalmay
Khalilzad, raising hopes for peace. But analysts said the latest attack may
have jeopardised those tentative efforts.
will be questions asked whether the Taliban are really serious about peace
talks," said Rahimullah Yusufzai, an expert on the group.
Analysts Network said the Taliban's claim that the shooter, who officials said
was a member of the wounded provincial governor's security team, had targeted
Miller - something the United States disputes - would complicate the US
position. "It is difficult to imagine how the US government will be able
to defend holding talks with an organisation that claims it attempted to kill
the US supreme commander in Afghanistan," AAN said in a report.
whose power extended beyond Kandahar to neighbouring provinces in southern
Afghanistan, was either "respected or feared" by Afghans, said
military analyst Atiqullah Amarkhail. His death would be demoralising for
beleaguered security forces and leave a dangerous power vacuum that would be
difficult to fill. "It will be hard for the government to find someone who
could replace him as a powerful force against the Taliban," Amarkhail
said killing Raziq was "one of the Taliban's biggest achievements in this
war". "Expect a meltdown in Kandahar," a foreign diplomat told
AFP. "He was the one guaranteeing security in Kandahar." But US
Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday that Raziq's death would not
fundamentally change the security situation in the province. "It's a
tragic loss of a patriot for Afghanistan. But I don't see it having a long term
effect on our area," Mattis told reporters on the sidelines of a security
summit in Singapore.
made a public appearance in Kabul on Friday, visiting an Afghan security
checkpoint where he expressed condolences over the "tragic event".
assessment is that I was not the target. It was a very close confined space.
But I don't assess that I was a target," Miller told Afghan broadcaster
Tolo News. The government is now scrambling to secure the south on the eve of
parliamentary elections that the Taliban has vowed to attack.
spokesman for President Ashraf Ghani said elections in Kandahar would be
postponed for a week following the attack.
for the ballot, already more than three years late, have been marred by bloody
violence and there are concerns that Raziq's death will deter even more voters
from turning up at polling centres around the country.
nine million people have registered to vote for the poll, which is seen as a
crucial test for next year's presidential election.
- A fire in a camp for internally displaced persons has claimed the lives of
six representatives of the Rohingya ethnic minority in Myanmar's western state
of Rakhine, U Thaw Dar, the head of the state's Fire Services Department, said
MORE: Qatari FM calls on COAS Bajwa, discuss regional security
incident occurred in the camp, located in the vicinity of Rakhine's capital of
Sittwe, at around 11:00 p.m. local time on Thursday [16:00 GMT], as a bamboo
matting caught fire. "Fifteen buildings burned down and six people
died," Dar told the Irrawaddy media outlet. Over 880 people have been left
without shelter, they are now temporarily accommodated at their relatives'
houses. Each of the destroyed one-storey buildings had eight rooms. Following
the 2012 clashes between Rohingya Muslims and the Buddhist Rakhine population,
the Rakhine state government opened several camps for internally displaced
persons, which were mostly populated by Rohingyas.
2014, the government has been seeking to close the camps against the backdrop
of tense relations with Rohingya.
authorities are on the hunt for suspected Islamic militants in the wake of
police raids on suspected militant hideouts where two people were killed.
militants — a male and a female — were killed when police counterterrorism
units raided two suspected militant hideouts in Narsingdi district of central
Bangladesh on Oct. 16.
officials also detained two suspected female militants the following day.
are now hunting for 17 suspected militants believed to have links with those
killed or detained, said Abdul Mannan, additional deputy commissioner of Dhaka
Metropolitan Police, the Daily Star reported Oct. 19.
raid is part of an ongoing anti-militancy crackdown in Bangladesh, a moderate
Muslim-majority South Asian country that has seen a sharp rise in Islamic
militancy in recent years.
Albert T. Rozario, former secretary of Catholic bishops' Justice and Peace
Commission, said the latest crackdown signals that weakened militant networks
are trying to regroup.
is a global phenomenon and it is far from over yet," Father Rozario told
ucanews.com. "Militants are hiding, trying to revive and are changing
their tactics to evade security agencies."
militants, pledging allegiance to global terror outfits — the so-called Islamic
State and Al-Qaeda — have since 2013 murdered about 50 people including atheist
writers, liberal academics, gay activists, religious minorities and foreigners
the worst terror attack, five militants murdered 20 people, most of them
foreigners, at the Holey Artisan Bakery café in an upmarket diplomatic area of
Dhaka on July 1, 2016.
response, law enforcers launched a massive anti-militancy campaign that
resulted in more than 50 militants including top leaders being killed and
hundreds of suspects being arrested.
Rozario said that despite such efforts in fighting militancy, Bangladesh has
failed to promote a 'counter ideology', nor reach a political consensus
have a long tradition of religious harmony, yet there are small groups that
back militancy," said Father Rozario.
ruling and opposition parties are yet to reach a consensus that says a strong
'no' to militancy," the priest added.
population rejects militancy
security analyst retired Major General Abdur Rashid told ucanews.com that the
latest crackdown has multiple revelations, both positive and negative.
noted that since the café attack, security forces have enhanced their skills in
security officials are able to intercept 'militancy indicators' before
militants can make any move. That's why we see now and then militant dens being
busted, which was rare before the Holey Artisan attack," he said.
recent events also show that militancy remains a threat, he said.
UN Security Council is scheduled to hear a briefing next week from the head of
a UN fact-finding mission that has accused Myanmar's military of atrocities
against Muslim Rohingya, diplomats said Thursday.
countries including the United States, Britain and France requested the
briefing that is likely to be opposed by China, which has friendly ties with
meeting was scheduled for October 24 despite objections from Myanmar, which has
rejected the findings of the UN inquiry.
fact-finding mission released an explosive report last month that called on the
council to refer the Myanmar situation to the International Criminal Court in
The Hague, or to create an ad hoc international criminal tribunal, as was done
with the former Yugoslavia.
report said that Myanmar's top generals, including Commander-in-Chief Min Aung
Hlaing, must be investigated and prosecuted for genocide in Rakhine State.
has rejected accusations that its military committed atrocities in the
crackdown last year that forced more than 700,000 Rohingya to flee over the
border to Bangladesh.
Ambassador Hau Do Suan said in a letter to the Security Council this week that
his government "strongly objects" to the request to hear the chairman
of the mission.
France, Peru, Sweden, Ivory Coast, the Netherlands, Poland, Kuwait and the
United States requested the meeting that could still be blocked by a procedural
there is no move to block the meeting, the council will hear from Marzuki
Darusman, an Indonesian lawyer who was appointed last year by the UN Human
Rights Council to chair the mission.
its report, the mission said there were reasonable grounds to believe that the
atrocities were committed with the intention of destroying the Rohingya,
warranting the charges of "genocide."
Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin Rabbani discussed the deadly Kandahar attack
with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi during a telephone
Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement said the foreign minister of
Pakistan Shah Mehmood Qureshi called the Afghan foreign minister Salahuddin
Rabbani to express condolences regarding the deadly attack in Kandahar.
statement further added that Mr. Qureshi condemned the attack and conveyed the
Pakistani Prime Minister and Chief of Army Staff’s message of condemnation
regarding the incident.
his turn, Mr. Rabbani said the attack in Kandahar province has been carried out
at a time when Afghanistan is preparing for the parliamentary elections.
further added that the attack indicates that the terror groups are attempting
to jeopardize the elections, however he emphasized that Afghan nation would not
allow the terrorists to do so.
also added that the assassination of Gen. Abdul Raziq and his comrades has
raised some questions and therefore the Afghan government has launched an
investigation in this regard.
Defence Forces (KDF) fighter jets on Friday bombed a town in Somalia’s southern
region, Gedo, officials quoted by Somali online news Halbeeg News have said.
contained in the latest edition of Amisom Media Monitoring bulletin stated that
the incident reportedly took place in Geriley town, which is near Somalia’s
border with Kenya. It was not clear when the alleged bombing took place, damage
inflicted and where the planes were operating from.
officials who spoke to the local media said the warplanes targeted Al-Shabaab
bases. The bomb comes hours after Somali forces clashed with Al-Shabaab
fighters. Neither Somali military nor Al-Shabaab fighters have commented on the
casualties of the fighting.
this week, Kenyan security agencies warned against imminent Al-Shabaab attacks
on areas near Kenya’s border with Somalia.
Intelligence reports noted that Al-Shabaab fighters plan to attack KDF and
police camps in Mandera County. Kenyan Police spokesman Charles Owino said the
agencies operating at the border were put on standby following reports the terrorists
were gathering in El-Adde, in Somalia’s southern region, Gedo. “Security
agencies are also on alert for any possible attack by Al-Shabaab fighters
targeting security installations and any other soft targets along the border
between Mandera and Elwak,” he said.
Uhuru Kenyatta, while presiding over this year’s KDF Day at the Kenyatta
Barracks, Gilgil, said Kenyan troops serving in Somalia will not leave the
war-ravaged nation. He said the KDF troops will continue fighting emerging
terror threats and ensure long-lasting peace.
apex group for Muslims in Nigeria, the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic
Affairs (NSCIA), has reiterated its stand that the terrorists group, Boko
Haram, does not in any way represent Islam. The group also mounted pressure on
the Federal Government to do all in his powers to save the lives of abducted
all girls abducted by Boko Haram including Leah Sharibu.
terrorists’ group had earlier given an October 15 deadline to the Federal
Government to meet its demand, threatening to execute Miss Sharibu if the
demands are not met. The NSCIA reiterated its criticism of Boko Haram’s
activities, according to a document, during the Interfaith Initiative for Peace
Conference in Abuja. The Chief Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters, Sheikh
Mohammed Khalid, who made the pleas on behaklf of the Council, called on the
government “to do whatever it can within its powers to ensure Miss Sharibu is
safely released and reunited with her family.” Addressing the issue, the Chief
Imam of Apo Legislative Quarters, Sheikh Khalid said Miss Sharibu’s abductors
were on their own and that they did not represent Islam.
are here to speak on behalf of the bodies of the two main religions, Islam and
Christianity. We want the world to understand that these people that are
holding our children and other people in captivity are not representing
anything, they are on their own. Islam is not asking them to abduct anybody and
we the Muslims are going to join hands with anybody to do anything possible to
secure Nigerians from their agony.
Fahad bin Abdullah al-Thani, a member of the Qatari ruling family, addressed
questions on his Twitter account about the domestic situation in his country,
including its foreign policy and the harassment the ruling family is facing.
asked if there was any sign of an imminent end to the Gulf crisis with Qatar,
he said “First, I am not talking about the beloved state of Qatar here or its
people. We must differentiate between the Qatari regime and the country itself.
If the crisis continues, no one from Hamad’s bloodline would deserve to govern
the people of Qatar.”
Fahad was also asked about the Qatari people’s opinion on recent Iran-Qatar
relations, to which he answered “Everyone knows the authenticity of Qataris and
how they will not accept [Iran] as their ally.”
“unbearable” situation in Qatar
stated that the internal situation in Qatar is “unbearable.” The problem, he
said, is not only the rising prices but also “the complete isolation the regime
has imposed on its people.”
added: “the people of Qatar have no voice and the regime is responsible for the
also spoke about the validity of rumors that a large number of the ruling
family were prevented from traveling. He said: “The al-Thani family cannot
travel without prior permission. Anyone who did not approve of the regime was
not allowed to travel especially after opposition within the family increased
as they tried to save their country from this dark crisis.”
with al-Jazeera and the “collapse of Saudi Arabia”
Fahad said that ever since Al-Jazeera started broadcasting in 1996, many
Qataris “have opposed its position and involvement in the affairs of other
countries. However, Hamad bin Khalifah supports the channel entirely.”
also tweeted “Hamad bin Khalifah’s goal is the collapse of Saudi Arabia.” To
meet his goal, al-Thani said, bin Khalifah is willing to take up Iran and
Turkey as allies.
added that Saudi Arabia continues to be the “pillar of Arab stability” and has
always been “Qatar’s biggest guardian.”
al-Thani said that the regime tried to tempt him with “excessive bribes"
like they did by buying mercinaries, adding: “But I stand by my principles and
I am not looking for personal gains. If I wanted money or power I would have
got it a long time ago.”
has a hand in any crisis in the world
on Qatari intelligence’s involvement in Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance,
al-Thani said “It is certain the Qatari regime is involved in crises that occur
anywhere in the world, especially if [Saudi Arabia] is affected,” noting that
“all the tragedies that happened to Qatar is because Hamad bin Khalifa relies on Youssef
al-Qaradawi and the Muslim Brotherhood, although the people of Qatar has no
links with this terrorist group.”
added that many Qataris oppose the Hamad regime and want to “remove it.”
al-Thani concluded his series of tweets by thanking the people of Qatar and its
supporters for sending in their questions, and hoped for “the return of its
Arabia on Saturday admitted that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was
killed inside its consulate in Istanbul in a "fist fight", state
media said, two weeks after his disappearance sparked a global furore.
discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate
in Istanbul... devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death," the Saudi
Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor.
kingdom also announced the sacking of a top intelligence official Ahmad
al-Assiri and royal court media adviser Saud al-Qahtani, both top aides to
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has faced mounting pressure over the
journalist Khashoggi, a critic of the kingdom's leadership and a Washington
Post contributor, was last seen on October 2 entering his country's consulate
disappearance had been shrouded in mystery and triggered an international
crisis, with Turkish officials accusing Saudi Arabia of a state-sponsored
kingdom announced that 18 people had been arrested in the ongoing probe.
Saudi king also ordered the setting up of a ministerial committee under the
chairmanship of the crown prince to restructure the kingdom's intelligence
agency and "define its powers accurately", state media said.
before Riyadh confirmed that Khashoggi had been killed, Turkey's President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi King Salman agreed in telephone talks to
continue cooperation in the investigation into the Khashoggi affair.
and Salman "emphasised the importance of continuing to work together with
complete cooperation", said a Turkish presidential source, who asked not
to be named.
United States warned on Friday of a "wide range" of responses should
it determine that Saudi Arabia is behind the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,
as Turkey widened its investigation into the scandal.
Donald Trump said the United States, which is Saudi Arabia's biggest backer,
could impose sanctions over the feared murder of Khashoggi.
top diplomat Mike Pompeo told Voice of America Radio: "We'll certainly
consider a wide range of potential responses."
Trump administration has been notably slow to criticise Saudi Arabia, despite
mounting evidence that Khashoggi, a critic of the petro-state's powerful crown
prince, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Khashoggi case has presented Trump with one of the most acute foreign policy
crises of his nearly two-year-old presidency.
Turkish media have repeatedly claimed that Khashoggi was tortured and decapitated
by a Saudi hit squad inside the diplomatic mission, although Turkey has yet to
divulge details about the investigation.
- The prayer leader at Makkah's Grand Mosque (Imam-e-Ka’aba) called Friday for
"unity" in the face of "fabrications" against Saudi Arabia,
over two weeks after a dissident journalist's disappearance sparked a
accusations, allegations and biased media campaigns will not discourage (Saudi
Arabia) from holding to its principles," Sheikh Abderrahman al-Sadis said
during a sermon accompanying Friday prayers at the mosque in Makkah, the
holiest site in Islam. The kingdom "depends on God alone, then on the
wisdom of its leadership and the unity of its sons to fight false
allegations", he added.
urged Saudis to "depend on the facts and avoid jumping into speculation
and basing positions on... fabrications", adding that a
"campaign" against the kingdom was "a provocation against the
feelings of more than a billion Muslims" around the world.
accompanying Friday prayers at the Grand Mosque are seen as reflecting the
Saudi leadership's take on world events.
joint forces carried out a military ambush against Houthi militias in Yemen off
of the Saudi Arabian border of the Jizan region.
sources confirmed that the troops composed of on the ground forces and marines
successfully completed the operation against the Houthi militias.
forces targeted the Houthis with mortars and artillery, supported by Apache
attack helicopters and Yemeni legitimate forces, and destroyed the Houthis’
resources and supplies as well as killing 20 militiamen.
another operation, the Saudi forces shot down 35 Houthi military tanks and a
spy plane in the Taiz region in southwestern Yemen.
officials say the country is preparing to resettle a group of White Helmets, a
Western-backed volunteer organization which stands accused of working with
Takfiri terrorists and staging false-flag chemical weapons attacks in Syria.
a joint statement released on Friday, Canada's Foreign Minister Chrystia
Freeland and Ahmed Hussen, the country's minister of immigration, refugees and
citizenship, claimed that the White Helmets had been targeted by the Syrian government and its ally,
with a core group of international allies, Canada is working to resettle a
group of White Helmets and their families," the statement read.
"Canada has supported the work of the White Helmets by helping them to
expand, train more volunteers, train more women and save more lives."
statement also stressed Ottawa's "moral obligation to assist" the
so-called aid group.
told The Globe and Mail newspaper that she had been personally engaged in the
resettlement process of the White Helmets.
top Canadian diplomat further noted that for the safety of the so-called
volunteers she could not disclose where they were and when they were coming to
the North American country.
White Helmets was founded in Turkey in 2013 by former British MI5 officer James
its establishment, the group has received at least $55 million from the British
Foreign Office, $23 million or more from the US Office of Transition
Initiatives and untold millions from Qatar.
White Helmets claims to be a humanitarian NGO, but both Damascus and Moscow
have accused the group of having staged the suspected gas attack in the Syrian
town of Douma on April 7.
President Bashar al-Assad described the White Helmets as “a branch of al-Qaeda
and al-Nusra" militant outfits and a “PR stunt” by the US, the UK and
in July, more than 400 White Helmets volunteers were evacuated from Syria to
Israel and then to Jordan, to be resettled later in the UK, Canada, and
that time, Canada expressed its readiness to accommodate 50 of them and their
families, for a potential total of 250 people.
this week, Jordan announced that 279 White Helmets had left the kingdom for
resettlement in Western countries.
Arabia has sacked a top general and arrested several people after confessing
that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Turkish city of
a Friday announcement, Saudi Arabia said that the preliminary results of its
investigation indicate Khashoggi had been killed in a "fight with people
who met him in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.”
to Saudi state TV, the Kingdom has relieved Ahmad al-Assiri, a top general and
close aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from his duties in the
King Salman has also ordered the formation of a ministerial committee with the
Saudi crown prince as head to restructure the General Intelligence Agency.
quoted a person familiar with the Saudi investigation of Khashoggi’s death as
saying that no orders had been issued to kill or kidnap him, but there is
standing order from the General Intelligence Presidency to bring critics back
to the kingdom.
source said orders were "aggressively interpreted" and subsequent
instructions were "more and more unspecific" resulting in death and
attempt to "cover it".
also noted that the Saudi consulate driver was among those who handed over the
body of the dissident journalist to a "local cooperator"; however, it
is not clear what has happened to the body.
person familiar with the investigation also claimed bin Salman "had no
knowledge of this specific operation".
addition to al-Assiri, Saudi Arabia also dismissed four other senior officials,
including Saud al-Qahtani, a top adviser to the royal court.
after news of his arrest, users on Twitter found and reposted a 2017 tweet by
al-Qahtani, in which he said, "You think I'm acting on my own? I'm just an
employee and a faithful servant to my King and his royal highness the crown
‘saddened’ by news of Khashoggi’s death
the White House has acknowledged the Saudi announcement, saying the US is
"saddened" by the confirmation of the journalist’s death.
also said Washington will be closely following the international probe into the
incident, and will advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in
accordance with all due process.
chief 'deeply troubled'
Secretary General Antonio Guterres also reacted to the Saudi announcement,
saying he was "deeply troubled" by the confirmation of Khashoggi’s
death, a UN spokesman said.
least 32 civilians have lost their lives when warplanes of the US-led coalition
purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group carried out a series of
airstrikes in Syria's oil-rich eastern province of Dayr al-Zawr in less than 24
hours, a monitoring group says.
so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that strikes on
the village of Sousa killed 18 civilians including seven children late Thursday
and 14 more civilians on Friday. Dozens were wounded and many remained under
the rubble in the village.
monitoring group said nine Daesh terrorists also lost their lives in the raids.
2014, the US-led coalition has acknowledged direct responsibility for more than
1,100 civilian deaths in Syria and Iraq, but rights groups put the number
killed much higher.
says coalition strikes in Syria alone have killed more than 3,300 civilians.
terrorists had been purged from most regions in Syria only through counterterrorism
operations conducted by government troops and allied fighters from popular
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be
Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from
the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of
northern city of Raqqah is still grappling with the fear of the return of Daesh
terrorists who were forced out as a result of a US-led campaign last year with
reports now emerging that a certain number of terrorist elements are already
present in the city.
said the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) - mostly comprised of Kurdish
fighters - were struggling to stem infiltration by Daesh sleeper cells on a
daily basis amid criticisms that the SDF lacked the expertise to cope.
are exhausted. Every day we don’t know if we will die in a bomb explosion or if
we will go home safe and sound,” Abu Younes told AFP.
said the US-backed forces tasked with securing the city were ill-prepared and
there was plenty of room for the terrorists to sneak in. “There are faults that
enable Daesh to infiltrate the city easily and carry out attacks,” he said.
scared because of the presence of Daesh members in the city,” said another
resident who identified himself as Ahmad al-Mohammad. “The security forces need
to tighten their grip.”
day, we wake up to the sound of an explosion,” said Khaled al-Darwish, another
resident. “We’re scared to send our children to school ... there’s no
security,” he added.
there wasn’t fear about a return of Daesh, there wouldn’t be this increased
military presence,” Darwish, a father of two, said of the city's current
terrorist group had once declared Raqqah as the de facto capital of a caliphate
it started to build in Iraq and later in Syria in 2014 through a campaign of
violence, invasion and extreme brutality against residents. The United States
and its SDF allies claimed victory over Daesh after carrying out a notoriously
ruinous campaign in the city last year.
destroyed our future'
al-Ahmad, a female local, said, “The war has worn us out. Us and our children.
It has destroyed our future."
the city's so-called liberation by the US-led forces, Syria and Russia strictly
criticized the cost-benefit nature of the campaign, which had featured carpet
said "more than 90%" of the city had been razed to the ground due to
"the deliberate and barbaric bombardment," adding that it considered
Raqqah to still be occupied unless it was entered by the Syrian Arab Army.
"Raqqah has inherited the fate of Dresden in 1945, wiped off the face of
the Earth by Anglo-American bombardments," Russian Defense Ministry spokesman
Major General Igor Konashenko also said at the time.
started attacking Syria in 2014. Washington led scores of its allies in a
so-called campaign against the terrorist group later that year without seeking
any permission to that effect from Damascus.
coalition would chronically fail to make any meaningful gains against the
outfit, prompting Russia to question the nature and efficiency of its work.
Daesh was making significant advances despite the unlawful intervention of the
coalition, Damascus asked Russia and Iran, another Syria ally, to join it in
confronting the group.
DELHI: At the 12th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit, India called for an early
conclusion of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism,
stressing peace was a prerequisite for progress and peace and could not be
achieved without combating terrorism.
government also reiterated that connectivity initiatives must meet universally
recognised international norms like respect for sovereignty and territorial
his interventions, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu stated that India valued ASEM
as a platform that brought together leadership of Asia and Europe to exchange
views and address global challenges.
added that terrorism was a major threat to peace and stability. “He drew
attention of the leaders to the challenge that criminal misappropriation of
public assets by economic offenders, was posing threats to the integrity of
financial systems. He expressed the need for international cooperation to deny
shelter to the economic offenders including by enhancing mechanisms for
automatic exchange of information,” said a government statement.
ASEM summit was inaugurated in Brussels on Thursday.
militants have been killed and 10 security personnel injured in three separate
incidents, including an encounter, in the Valley in the past 24 hours. In
another incident on Friday evening, police said militants lobbed two grenades
towards an army camp at Shadimarg area in Pulwama, leading to a gunfight. A
local woman identified as Firdousa was killed in “cross firing”, said police.
officers said they foiled an infiltration bid along the Line of Control by
killing three militants in north Kashmir’s Uri area. They said soldiers
guarding the Line of Control intercepted a group of militants in Boniyar forest
at Uri on Thursday morning and the militants were killed in the ensuing
senior Army officer in Srinagar told The Indian Express Friday that the
operation continued till Thursday evening. “In the search operation after the
gunfight, we recovered three bodies,” the officer said
Army said four AK-47 rifles and four haversacks have been recovered from the
area. “Three #terrorist killed. 04 AK-47 & 04 Haversacks recovered.
Operation in progress,” Srinagar based XV (Chinar) Corps said on Twitter. The
militants have not been identified so far, said the officers.
another incident, J&K police officers said two militants were killed in a
brief shootout with police and CRPF personnel at Kralhar area of north
Kashmir’s Baramulla district on Friday afternoon.
to a J&K police spokesperson, the shootout took place after a passenger
vehicle was stopped at a checkpoint near Kralhar. On being told to show
identity cards, one of the two militants in the car opened fire, said the
spokesperson. “In the brief exchange of fire, both the terrorists were killed.”
policeman was injured in the incident, said police.
Baramulla, Imtiyaz Hussain, told The Indian Express that the militants were
foreigners and were affiliated to the Jaish-e-Mohammed. “Nine people were
travelling in the car. The driver told us the two men (militants) boarded from
Sopore town. We have detained the driver for questioning,” he said.
another incident, nine Armymen were injured in an IED blast in south Kashmir’s
Pulwama district Thursday night.
residents alleged that soon after the IED blast, armymen barged into the nearby
homes and beat people up.
the blast, around 11.30 pm, Army personnel knocked on our gate. They then
entered the house and started beating my family members,” a local resident told
The Indian Express over phone. “They even beat up the women.”
local residents said even though district administration and police were
informed about Armymen barging into homes, no help was provided.
on Friday morning, the injured were taken to district hospital, Pulwama. Dr
Abdul Rashid Parra, Medical Superintendent of the hospital, told The Indian
Express that the injured include teenagers and women. Parra further said the
woman killed during the gunfight in Shadimarg was five months pregnant.
Muslim family of artistes from Saharanpur (Uttar Pradesh), who is in the
business of making effigies, has been setting a perfect example of communal
harmony every year since 1997.
family was spotted at Veer Hakikat groundin in Patiala, making effigies of
Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnad on Monday. They have also prepared a separate
effigy against drug-addiction to be fired up on the occasion of Dussehra on
Khan, along with his wife and children have been coming to Patiala and making
effigies of Ravana, Kumbhkarna and Meghnad. He said that even his forefathers
prepared effigies on the occasion of Dussehra for the royal city residents.
family has established a special relationship with the people of Patiala over
the past three generations. I have learnt this art from my father, who was
groomed by his grandfather,” said Khan.
said it was a pleasure to be associated and be a part of another religion for
so many years.
only in Patiala, these artistes and their teams prepare effigies in Chandigarh,
Panchkula, Dera Bassi, and Raipur Rani as well.
effigy of Ravana that has been built is 85 metres tall, Kumbhkarna and Meghnad
are 60 metres tall each while the effigy against drug-addiction is 40 metres
Khan, another artiste said that he has never faced any discrimination due to
his religion. “People give great respect when they see me and my work. Since
last two days, we are sleeping here only near the effigies fearing stray
animals as they could damage the effigies,” he said.
in Rajasthan have demanded ticket from political parties for the Assembly
election in proportion to their percentage in the population. The community’s
representation in the Assembly at present is at a historic low, with only two
MLAs elected on BJP ticket in 2013.
Congress had fielded 15 Muslim candidates in the 2013 Assembly election, but
none of them won. These included sitting MLAs, Cabinet Ministers and popular
community leaders such as Aimaduddin Ahmed Khan, Mahir Azad, Zahida Khan, Amin
Kagzi and Nasim Akhtar Insaaf.
two BJP members in the Assembly at present are Transport Minister Yunus Khan,
elected from Didwana, and Habib-ur-Rahman, elected from Nagaur. The BJP had
fielded four Muslim candidates in 2013.
indications that the Congress would field fewer Muslim candidates this time,
the community leaders have warned that the decreasing representation of Muslims
would be lethal to democratic governance. “A strong and prosperous Rajasthan
cannot be built if the State’s largest minority community is ignored in the
electoral exercise,” the Rajasthan Muslim Forum said. Muslim Forum’s convenor
Qari Moinuddin said political parties should do away with their practice of
nominating the candidates only on the basis of their “so-called winning potential,”
ignoring their criminal antecedents.
the press across the globe condemned the Saudi state for its alleged role in
journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s brutal murder, in Pakistan, a Youm e
Tahafuz-e-Harmain Al-Sharifain was observed on Friday on the call of Pakistan
Ulema Council and Wafaq ul Masajid Pakistan.
purpose was to express solidarity with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
press statement issued on the occasion read, “Clerics and religious scholars
while addressing the Tahafuz-e-Harmain Al-Sharifain Conference urged the
leadership of Muslim Ummah to get united to contain conspiracies being carried
out against Islamic world and Saudi Arabia.
Arabia is center of Muslims’ unity and loyalty and any attack on Saudi Arabia
will be termed as an attack on entire Muslim World.”
continued, “Addressing Tahafuz-e-Harmain Al-Sharifain Conference at Jamia
Masjid Marhaba, Rawalpindi, Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi stated that a baseless
propaganda is being carried out by US administration on alleged killing of a
Saudi journalist adding that elements who aim at imposing sanctions on Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia live in fool’s paradise. He stated that that enemies of Islam
and Muslims after playing havoc in Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen are hatching conspiracies
to target Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
Ashrafi completely ignored atrocities committed by the Kingdom in Yemen, and
proceeded to say, “Some conspiring elements are designing conspiracies to make
differences between Saudi Arabia and Turkey [sic].”
statement cited him as issuing a warning that the entire Muslim world stood
united with the Kingdom and that any aggression against it will be retaliated.
continued, “Saudi Arabia is centre of Muslims’ unity and faith. Muslim world
will not tolerate any threatening conduct and aggression towards Saudi Arabia.
The entire Muslim Ummah lauds services of Khadim e Harmain Al Sharifain and
Crown Prince Amir Muhammad bin Salman for the Muslim world. Saudi Arabia in
every thick and thin has always stand united with Pakistan and facilitated
Pakistan with every possible assistance. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are tied to
each other like body and soul. All the religious schools of thought in Pakistan
are ready to lay any sacrifice for defense, security and stability of Kingdom
of Saudi Arabia. He also lauded decision of the government of Pakistan for
constituting an Investigative committee to streamline coordination between
Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”
statement proceeded to say that in Friday congregations, ulemas and clerics
expose conspiracies being carried out by enemies of Islam and Muslims against
Saudi Arabia and Muslim world.
Abdul Karim Nadeem addressed a congregation in Rahim Yar khan, Allama Abdul Haq
Mujahid in Multan, Maulana Abdul Hameed Watto in Qila Dedar Singh, Qazi
Matiullah Saeedi in Gujrat, Maulana Asad Ullah Farooq in Lahore, Maulana Saad
Zikriya in Karachi, Maulana Idrees Qasmi in Faisalabad, Maulana Abdul Hameed
Sabri in Islamabad, Maulana Asghar Khosa in DG Khan, Maulana Khurshid Naumani
in Bhawalnagar, Maulana Faheem ul Hassan Farooqi in Sheikhupura, Saad Ullah
Ludhyanvi in Toba Tek Singh, Sahibzada Tahirul Hasan in Faisalabad, Maulana
Shakil Qasmi in Okara, Maulana Abdul Ghaffar Hijazi in Lodhran, Maulana Aziz
Akbar Qasmi in Rajanpur. The clerics in Friday congregations with public
consent also adopted resolutions to support Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in face of
Afghan consul general in Peshawar Mohammad Hashim Niazi on Friday declared
talks the only way forward for peace in his country and asked the Afghan
Taliban to try to come to power by contesting election and not by using force.
was speaking to the reporters after attending the funeral prayers held by the
ANP at its Bacha Khan Markaz here in absentia for the victims of the attack at
the Governor’s House in Kandahar.
attack, whose responsibility was claimed by the Afghan Taliban, had killed
provincial police chief Abdul Razik, intelligence chief Abdul Mohmin and
governor Zalmay Wesa.
condemn the tragic killing of our top officials. We call on the (Afghan)
Taliban for peace talks. The Afghan problem can be resolved by talks and not by
force,” the Afghan consul general told Dawn.
envoy, who assumed the office recently, said the Afghan government had appealed
to the Taliban militants time and again to come forward for talks strongly
feeling that the use of force won’t resolve problems and rather, it
deteriorated the situation in Afghanistan.
said there was always ‘give and take’, so Kabul appealed to the Afghan Taliban to
political activities and election, they (Afghan Taliban) should come to power
and serve the people if they want to,” he said.
Niazi thanked the ANP for sharing the Afghan peoples’ grief over the Kandahar
attack and for holding funeral prayers for its victims.
general secretary Mian Iftikhar Hussain and other leaders, including Aimal Wali
Khan, Sardar Hussain Babak and Ilyas Bilour, attended the funeral prayers and
offered condolences to the Afghan officials over the deaths.
Mian Iftikhar, who was vocal in his criticism of terrorism and the Taliban
militants, said the Bacha Khan Markaz was a home for all Pakhtuns, so it held
prayers for Kandahar attack victims to share the grief of Afghan brothers.
want the misunderstanding between Pakistan and Afghanistan to end and
restoration of peace in the region. The people of both countries want peace for
which true talks are the only way forward,” he said praising the Afghans taking
part in elections and standing their ground regardless of the Taliban attacks.
ANP leader said politics was the only way to fight militancy and that the
recent militant attacks were only an attempt to sabotage Afghan elections.
young leader Aimal Wali Khan wondered why other political parties didn’t
respond to the killings in Afghanistan the way his party did.
said the ANP firmly believed that peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan was a
on both sides of the border want peace and those wanting to destroy peace are
their common enemy,” said Aimal, who is the great grandson of Bacha Khan, a
proponent of non-violence.
Former PML-N Senator Syed Nehal Hashmi, who previously faced imprisonment for
his controversial remarks against the judiciary, on Friday criticised the armed
forces while defending the role of politicians in the development of the
politician, addressing a function at the Karachi Medical and Dental College,
alleged that the armed forces had “done nothing for the defence and betterment
of the country” and that the weapons acquired for the defence were “merely
after television channels had broadcast news reports about Mr Hashmi’s
hard-hitting speech, the PML-N launched a damage control exercise and
dissociated from what the former senator had said about the military.
PML-N leader Rana Sanaullah said that Mr Hashmi’s statement had nothing to do
with the party and reflected his personal views.
Investigators grilling three men held for their alleged connection with the
militant Islamic State group found that they had generated funds for the global
militant outfit by committing crimes and sent the money to Afghanistan through
normal as well as informal banking channels.
sources told Dawn on Friday that the law enforcers recently arrested Naeem,
Mukhtiar and Roohullah in the city for their alleged involvement in kidnapping
a resident of Gulistan-i-Jauhar.
resident was released by kidnappers after getting a ransom of over Rs10
million. When he safely reached home, the law enforcers started working on some
leads and finally arrested the three suspects.
investigations, the held suspects had confessed to their involvement in several
cases of kidnapping for ransom.
said they had kidnapped and murdered Abid Sohail in September 2017 and buried
his body in Manghopir.
January 2017, the same group had also kidnapped a member of the Ismailia
community from Karachi. They shifted him to Hub, Balochistan, in the trunk of
their vehicle. However, he managed to escape from their custody. Later, the
police had raided their hideout in Hub area and recovered a suicide jacket and
sources said that this group was involved in at least five to six
kidnapping-for-ransom cases in the city. They generated funds through this
criminal activity and sent the money to the IS head in Afghanistan.
Roohullah and Mukhtiar were involved in sending money abroad through hundi and
hawala. The third suspect, Naeem, was said to be the IS chief in Karachi.
their interrogation, it transpired that several bank accounts had been opened
through which they transferred funds to Afghanistan to carry out acts of
terrorism in Pakistan. The sources said that members of this outfit had been
involved in terror financing in the metropolis for the past many months.
On a recent Sunday Afghans living in the city held a big demonstration at the
Karachi Press Club to echo their demand for the issuance of Pakistani national
identity cards. Holding Pakistani flags and banners bearing pictures of Prime
Minister Imran Khan, who had earlier revived their hopes of getting recognition
of their nationality, they chanted slogans in favour of the Pakistan
Tehreek-i-Insaf government and demanded that immediate measures be taken to get
them out of the desperate situation of neither being here nor there.
announcement made by the prime minister that Afghans and Bengali-speaking
people living in Pakistan would be granted Pakistan’s citizenship has kindled a
ray of hope in members of the two communities. Since then their activists have
been holding demos to draw the attention of the government towards their
unexpected announcement made at a fundraising dinner in Karachi has also
provoked various political parties to issue statements, callously decrying the
idea. Although the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan has also shown its
opposition to the move, Pakistan Peoples Party leaders have been more vocal on
the issue, airing their views at every available forum. Lawyers in Larkana have
also held a demonstration against permanent settlement of ‘aliens’ on Sindh’s
soil. The smaller, ‘nationalist’, groups have also found an opportunity to get
their share of the limelight by taking to the streets or issuing statements.
Sarzameen Party leader Syed Mustafa Kamal favours the grant of citizenship but
apparently only to the Bengalis, most of who have settled in this part of the
country even before the creation of Bangladesh in 1971. Neither they have any
intention to go to Bangladesh, nor is that country keen to accept them as its
citizens. Naturally, Bengalis and Burmese, fused together, consider this
country their homeland.
Afghans, accepted by Sindh as refugees after the invasion of their country by
the Soviet Union in 1979, have taken firm roots here. Many of them have
established their own businesses and built plazas in parts of Pakistan over the
decades and do not fancy going back to the country of their origin, where the
security situation is also unfavourable for such a consideration. Various
international agencies have been helping repatriate them. The Japanese
government has also announced $2.7 million aid for their repatriation. In fact,
thousands have already been sent back to their country whether they liked it or
not. Some of them are compelled by circumstances there to return to Pakistan
and live here as illegal aliens.
Jamaat-i-Islami, led by its chief Senator Sirajul Haq, has welcomed the prime
minister’s statement. The JI has consistently demanded grant of citizenship to
both Afghans and Bengalis living in Pakistan.
Awami National Party, whose supreme leader Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, reverently
called Bacha (King) Khan, is buried in Afghanistan’s city of Jalalabad,
supports the idea of recognising the aliens as Pakistani. Backing the prime
minister’s statement, ANP chief Asfandyar Wali said at a press conference: “It
is a normal practice all over the world that a child born in a country is given
its citizenship. Pakistan should also grant citizenship to Afghans born here.
This is a humanitarian issue and not a political one.”
Khan was reported having said: “The first thing I will do going back [to
Islamabad], God willing, is that we will get those people from Bangladesh, who
are perhaps living here for more than 40 years and their children have grown
older, issued passports and national identity cards.
those Afghans whose children have grown older here, who were born in Pakistan,
they would also be issued passports and ID cards,” he continued. “When you are
born in America, you get the American passport. It is the practice in every
country in the world, so why not here? How cruel it is for them.”
for the hapless communities, under obvious pressure from both allies and
opponents, Mr Khan later said on the floor of the National Assembly that the
final decision to grant citizenship to Afghans and Bengalis would be made only
after taking all parties and “stakeholders” into confidence — a phenomenon
unlikely to happen. Their dream seems be shattered on the cusp of realisation.
prime minister’s statement on granting citizenship to the people of Bengali and
Afghan origin in Pakistan sparked a debate in an assembly session.
issue was raised jointly by the PPP and the Balochistan National Party-Mengal
(BNP-M), one of the government allies, through a calling attention notice.
Nafisa Shah described the PM’s statement as “insensitive” and said that he had
“failed to take the feelings of the locals” of Karachi into consideration.
said that the prime minister made the statement without realising the
“sensitivities” of the metropolis, which she said had fought “civil wars” over
resources. She also demanded that the government prepare data on refugees and
immigrants living in the country before taking any major decision.
foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar also lashed out at the premier over the statement,
calling it “irresponsible”.
Minister Khan must realise that after becoming premier, he does not represent
only his party, but the entire country,” she said. “He can take U-turns as his
party’s head, but not as the prime minister — on such important issues.”
chief Sardar Akhtar Mengal also opposed the proposal and called for a thorough
debate on the issue. He lamented that the government was considering granting
citizenship to Bengali and Afghan refugees on humanitarian grounds but the Baloch
people were not even treated as humans in their own country.
sarcastically remarked that illegal immigrants could continue to live in the
country “simply by paying a Rs500 fine” and go on to accumulate property worth
millions. In a previous session, Mr Mengal had walked out of the assembly
during a debate on the same issue in the presence of the PM.
to the arguments made by the PPP and BNP-M, Human Rights Minister Shireen
Mazari said the government was ready to debate the issue before taking any
decision. She said the PM had met Mr Mengal and assured him that the ruling PTI
would consult all parties before arriving at a decision.
Mazari also criticised the PPP, saying that the party had never bothered to
collect data about the people living in Karachi despite being in power for more
than a decade.
further said that the Citizenship Act of 1951 granted citizenship status to
people born in Pakistan.
you like it or not, it is the law that those born in Pakistan are Pakistani nationals,”
issue was also debated in the Senate, where state minister for interior
Sheheryar Khan Afridi stated that no decision would be “imposed without
national consensus and the matter regarding granting nationality will be
debated in parliament”.
minister for parliamentary affairs Ali Mohammad Khan’s statement was more
sugar-coated. He said: “This is our responsibility to help Muslim brothers in
trouble.” He recalled the sacrifices of the Bengalis in Karachi when they
refused to migrate to Bangladesh after the fall of Dhaka in 1971 and opted to
stay on in what was then West Pakistan. However, he also insisted that there
should be a national consensus on the issue.
a national consensus possible on any disputed issue?
Khan Sahib, you are most people’s last hope. They fear that if you fail, it
will be gloom all around. Don’t disappoint all of them, including those
desperately trying to seek an identity. You have rightly said that it is
“cruel” to deny them what is their right under our own Constitution. Condemned
to live in slums with little amenities, these people face problems at every
step. Without an identity card they cannot get a regular job. They cannot buy a
train or plane ticket. They cannot have their children admitted to proper
schools. I don’t know how they solemnise their marriages without proper
documents as the nikahnama needs ID card numbers.
Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Friday demanded Pakistan impose
“financial sanctions” on the designated terrorists as well as entities, in
addition to other measures against money laundering and financial assistance to
and FATF’s Asia Pacific Group (AGP) delegation recently held talks for a week
and half in the capital. In the last meeting on Friday, the FATF delegation
held talks with Pakistani officials and presented them an initial report.
June 2018, Pakistan made a high-level political commitment to work with the
FATF and APG to strengthen its AML/CFT regime and to address its strategic
counter-terrorist financing-related deficiencies,” the task force said in its
FATF stressed upon Pakistan to implement its action plan to accomplish the
demonstrating that TF risks are properly identified, assessed, and that
supervision is applied on a risk-sensitive basis; (2) demonstrating that
remedial actions and sanctions are applied in cases of AML/CFT violations, and
that these actions have an effect on AML/CFT compliance by financial
institutions; (3) demonstrating that competent authorities are cooperating and
taking action to identify and take enforcement action against illegal money or
value transfer services (MVTS); (4) demonstrating that authorities are
identifying cash couriers and enforcing controls on illicit movement of
currency and understanding the risk of cash couriers being used for TF; (5)
improving inter-agency coordination including between provincial and federal
authorities on combating TF risks; (6) demonstrating that law enforcement
agencies (LEAs) are identifying and investigating the widest range of TF
activity and that TF investigations and prosecutions target designated persons
and entities, and persons and entities acting on behalf or at the direction of
the designated persons or entities; (7) demonstrating that TF prosecutions
result in effective, proportionate and dissuasive sanctions and enhancing the
capacity and support for prosecutors and the judiciary; and (8) demonstrating
effective implementation of targeted financial sanctions (supported by a
comprehensive legal obligation) against all 1267 and 1373 designated terrorists
and those acting for or on their behalf, including preventing the raising and
moving of funds, identifying and freezing assets (movable and immovable), and
prohibiting access to funds and financial services; (9) demonstrating
enforcement against TFS violations including administrative and criminal
penalties and provincial and federal authorities cooperating on enforcement
cases; (10) demonstrating that facilities and services owned or controlled by
designated person are deprived of their resources and the usage of the
task force has also asked Pakistan to provide the first report until November
19. Its team will visit Pakistan next in March or April of 2019. The FATF said
it will closely monitor the implementation of the action plan.
FATF Asia Pacific Group will make the report related to Pakistan public in July
2019, thus Pakistan has six more months to be de-list from the grey list,
according to reports.
is pertinent to mention that in July, the FATF had included Pakistan in its
‘grey list’ upon failure to stop financial aid to terrorists.
nine-member team of the Asia-Pacific Group (APG) on Thursday recommended
various actions to help Pakistan get delisted from Financial Action Task
Force’s (FATF) grey list of countries from September 2018.
APG delegation which is on an 11-day visit to Pakistan has proposed measures in
its report after on-site evaluation of existing legal and institutional
framework to control terror-financing and money laundering in Pakistan, a local
media house reported.
the report presented to the Pakistani government on Friday, it was deliberated
upon all leading government departments and agencies, mainly the Financial
Monitoring Unit (FMU), Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Federal Investigation
Agency (FIA) and Anti-Narcotics force, to answer queries raised in the exit
‘exit report’ from the APG includes 40 suggestions which have been separated
into 11 outcomes performance benchmarks.
report further stated that Pakistan is in conformity with over 50% of the
recommendations. But it wasn’t clear whether it would be enough for Pakistan to
come out of the greylist.
the present meetings held during the APG delegations visit, officials from the
assessment team and agency officials exhaustively deliberated with Pakistani
officials regarding Islamabad’s compliance with international AML/CFT measures,
draft of the technical compliance annexure forward on October 5th, Pakistan’s
answers to these measures and commitment on how it intends to meet the core
issue of the immediate outcomes.
the report said it had been underlined in the previous meetings that Pakistan
was mostly in conformity in regard to legislation of various laws for AML/CFT,
but most issues were linked to its enactment.
report also added the laws were in existence but there were problems related to
structural arrangements for the effective enactment of these laws.
ACKNOWLEDGED PAKISTAN’S STEPS’:
Thursday, Finance Minister Asad Umer said that the FATF had acknowledged
Pakistan’s steps to curb money laundering.
finance minister said that Pakistan was determined to adopt modern ways to stop
money laundering and terror financing.
went on to say that the Pakistani government will continue to cooperate with
the body and take steps in accordance with the directions given by the FATF.
August, the APG as part of the pre-site mutual evaluation identified a series
of deficiencies in Pakistan s anti-money laundering or counter-terror financing
(AML/CFT) laws and mechanisms. The report was sent to Pakistan with
response, Pakistan has provided details of measures taken in compliance with
the recommendations. On October 5, Pakistan received another technical
compliance annexure from the APG which further highlighted deficiencies in the
AML/CFT measures that Islamabad needs to take.
(Bernama): Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says her
official visit to Brussels to attend the Asia-Europe Meeting (Asem) summit has
been fruitful in boosting bilateral ties between Malaysia and the European
Wan Azizah arrived here Wednesday leading the Malaysian delegation to the 12th
ASEM summit on Oct 18 and 19.
is her first visit to Europe since her appointment as Malaysia's Deputy Prime
Minister on May 21 after Pakatan Harapan took over power from Barisan Nasional
in the 14th general election in May.
to the media before returning to Malaysia at the conclusion of her visit, Dr
Wan Azizah said she had fruitful meetings with three heads of government and a
deputy prime minister from the EU as well as highlighted and intervened on
several important issues at the summit.
Wan Azizah held bilateral meetings with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte;
Ireland Prime Minister Leo Varadkar; Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg and her
Belgian counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister Jan Jambon.
brought up the issue of palm oil with all the four leaders and reiterated the
fact that Malaysia still retains 55 percent of its forest cover.
palm oil conforms to international standards and it is mandatory for all
Malaysian palm oil players to be certified sustainable through the Malaysian
Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme," she told Bernama and
RTM at the end of the summit Friday (Oct 19).
Belgium, I also talked about anti-terrorism cooperation and collaboration in
cybersecurity. Jambon said there should be a level playing field for countries
producing edible oils and that there should not be any discrimination in that
meanwhile, expressed interest in working towards enhancing business ties
between both countries and both of us want a more coherent agenda
internationally to build an alliance on the sustainable use of the ocean,"
Ireland, she said, a discussion took place on how Malaysia can be a gateway for
the country to the other Asean states.
Varadkar mentioned future plans of expanding their global footprint, including
having more Irish agencies in Malaysia," she said, adding that Malaysia
also supports Ireland and Norway's bid for a seat at the United Nations
Malaysia remains resolute in seeking justice for the victims of Malaysia
Airlines Flight MH17 that was shot down in 2014, Dr Wan Azizah said she did
touch on the subject with Rutte.
Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is still investigating the disaster.
MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was brought down.
MH17, Malaysia and the Netherlands want a closure for the families and loved
ones involved in the tragedy as soon as possible and we want investigations to
be concluded swiftly. We agreed to cooperate in this matter," said Dr Wan
said the Netherlands and Malaysia agreed that it is even more vital to staying
connected because of this issue and want more cooperation and intelligence
two-day Asem summit had gathered the heads of state/government of 51 Asian and
European countries, EU representatives and the Asean secretary-general.
all the heads of government, I mentioned that I see Malaysia as a country of
Muslim democrats, with a Muslim-majority population changing the government in
a peaceful plus stable manner, taking into account the rights of other races as
well," she said.
her national statement at the second plenary session of the Asem summit on the
topic 'Reinforcing the Multilateral System: Advancing the Asem Partnership on
Global Challenges', Dr Wan Azizah extolled women empowerment, countered the prevailing
anti-palm oil sentiments and showcased what the New Malaysia is all about.
a bilateral meeting with Federica Maria Mogherini, High Representative of the
EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, on the sidelines of the summit, Dr
Wan Azizah secured January 2019 as the month for Malaysia and the EU to sign a
partnership cooperation agreement (PCA). Individual Asean members will first
need to sign a PCA with the EU to qualify for the free-trade agreement (FTA).
Wan Azizah had also highlighted and intervened on several important issues,
such as on countering terrorism as well as on refugees and migration, at the
counter-terrorism, she said Malaysia strongly condemns all acts, methods and
practices of terrorism which have caused the loss of many innocent lives,
injury to countless innocent civilians and damage to public property and
remain committed to tackling the threat of terrorism by addressing its root
causes, and strengthening policies, legal frameworks and enforcement against
such activities," she said.
refugees and migration, she said Malaysia believed that the benefits of
globalisation have to be equally shouldered between governments of countries
from where the refugees and migrants originate and the receiving countries.
are concerned over the influx of irregular migrants into Malaysia which has
resulted in the population of persons of concern numbering 161,146 as of Aug 1,
2018. Such a large number is of concern to us as most of them are likely to be
in the country for a long period of time owing to the slow resettlement
process. And there is also a sizeable number of UN High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR) cardholders in Malaysia with no prospects of
resettlement," she said.
member nations represent 60 percent of the world's population, contribute 55
percent of global trade, 65 per cent of the global gross domestic product and
75 percent of global tourism.
total trade with the EU grew by 17.5 percent to RM175.08bil (US$40.81bil) in
2017 versus 2016, based on Ministry of International Trade and Industry data. -
LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Malay rights group Perkasa will lodge a police report against
Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto for sedition, and will take the matter to court if
no action is taken.
president Datuk Paduka Ibrahim Ali said the NGO will make the report by Monday,
on the grounds that Kasthuri’s push for the government to recognise the United
Nations Declaration on the Elimination of All Forms of Intolerance and of
Discrimination Based on Religion or Belief would allow Muslims in Malaysia to
leave the faith.
will bring it to court if nothing is done to investigate her under the Sedition
Act, as we want to see if the decision to place a moratorium on the Act is in
line with the Federal Constitution,” he said during Perkasa’s forum on the
Monday, Ismaweb, the online portal for conservative Muslim group Isma, ran a
story titled “DAP MP pushes for freedom for apostasy, deviant teachings”, which
also alleged that in Parliament, Kasthuri had referred to recommendations by
the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom to cease
detaining followers of Shi’ite or Ahmadiyyah teachings, which Malaysian Islamic
authorities have declared to be deviant.
Thursday, it was reported that Kasthuri planned to lodge a police report
against Isma and is mulling legal action against the group if it does not
apologise within 48 hours for the allegedly defamatory article.
strongly denied Isma’s claims, adding that she has never spoken against Islam,
and accused Isma of propagating hatred.
today, Ismaweb released a statement, saying it refused to retract the article
and that it would stand by its contents, claiming that it had found the
references and facts contained within to be accurate.
PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim today urged Malaysians to master the Chinese
language as it is the economic language of the region but without sidelining
the Malay language.
said Bahasa Malaysia remained the official language of the country but
Malaysians needed to empower themselves with other languages.
challenge is to have more knowledge, a better attitude and being inclusive to
raise our standards, ” he said at a seminar organised by the Islamic Youth
Movement (Abim) titled “Visions of Islam in New Malaysia”.
former Abim leader also said there should be no discrimination between
different races or classes and that Muslims should speak up when the rich
discriminated against the poor.
made his name as a firebrand student leader in the seventies, when he wielded influence
among the youths, mobilising thousands of university students in large-scale
was until he was roped in by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who was then
into his first stint as the nation’s leader to join the ruling Umno in 1981,
quickly rising to become Mahathir’s deputy, before the two fell out in 1998.
Anwar’s entry into the government, Abim had largely remained apolitical, and
concentrated on educational and socio-religious activities, including building
Islamic schools and welfare centres.
veteran Lim Kit Siang was also present at the event.
added that previously he had spoken against certain aspects of the New Economic
Policy (NEP) not because he wanted the support of the Chinese and DAP but to
improve on the implementation.
truth is I had spoken up against NEP since 1979 as it was sidelining the poor
and benefiting the rich. Read my speech made at Abim.”
the fall of Suharto, Indonesia has made significant steps toward becoming a
more open and free country. It is now seen as something of a beacon of peaceful
and pluralistic democracy in a region that still remains a stranger to liberal
government. Its multiple free and fair elections since the return of democracy
in 1998 have been lauded by many, the establishment of a true separation of
powers between three independent branches of government is rightfully praised,
and its ripe environment for foreign direct investment is seen as a clear
symbol of a politically stable country. At the same time, Indonesia still
struggles to ensure some basic tenets of a strong and prosperous democracy.
Nowhere is this point illustrated more forcefully than on the issue of free
is a country where, since independence in 1945, the right to free speech has
been subject to attack from both the political system itself and conservative
Islamic groups. Contrastingly, moderate Islam in Indonesia must be given the
credit it deserves for its role in recent Indonesian history. It was the two
major Islamic organizations, Nahdlatul Ulama and Muhammadiyah, that challenged
the one-man dictatorship of Suharto, sufficiently weakening the roots of his
control enough for the students and business elites of the country to topple
him from power after a 32-year reign.
was 20 years ago. Twenty years of democracy has allowed for a flourishing of
new ideas, movements and change. Groups that had previously been sidelined by
the bureaucratic state for over a generation have now contributed to
Indonesia’s civil society organizations’ high ranking in both values and
participation. While this has certainly been good for Indonesian democracy and
has contributed to the country’s open international image, it has also allowed
extreme views to crowd into the
mainstream. For example, Indonesia’s intelligence agency states that at least
1,300 members of the Islamist hardline group Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia are in
“senior posts in the civil service, universities, the military and police.” To
add to this, there are already signs of the political class seeking to return
to the Suharto days of impunity from public criticism and judicial prosecution.
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moderate and democracy-supporting Islamic groups such as Nahdlatul Ulama and
Muhammadiyah are having their moral authority challenged by more conservative
Islamic platforms such as the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI). Politicians are
also increasingly trying to silence those who seek to criticize them; one
example is the MD3 law passed in February, which weakened anti-corruption
most notorious legal instrument of repression in the country has long been the
draconian blasphemy law. This law, dating back to 1965, has been used to
silence criticism of Islam, and the MUI now more than ever has attempted to
employ it as a political weapon. The most recent and high profile case was the
2016 conviction of then-Jakarta Governor Basuki “Ahok” Purnama. He sentenced to
two years imprisonment for blaspheming Islam. Even more recently, in 2018, a
Buddhist woman was sentenced to 18 months in prison for stating that the
loudspeaker of a nearby mosque was too loud. In both cases, the MUI was a
strong and powerful public voice demanding the full application of the law. The
culmination of this new political assertiveness came when President Joko
Widodo, a leader once criticized by the MUI for supporting “liberal
secularism,” recently chose the head of the MUI, Ma’ruf Amin, to be his vice
presidential candidate in the upcoming 2019 election. Their ticket is expected
a country where major Islamic organizations have for the most part stayed out
of politics, the MUI’s decision to enter politics, and Widodo’s decision to
pander to the most extreme conservative Muslims by electing a man who has
called female genital mutilation an “honor for women,” is a step backward
toward greater political and Islamic control over the rights of Indonesian
people to say and do what they so choose.
may not be any major organization advocating for the abolition of democracy and
establishment of an Islamic state in Indonesia, but that does not mean that
organized conservative Islam in Indonesia does not pose a serious threat to the
country. Religious, ethnic, and other minorities still face great persecution
at the hands of the MUI. Vice presidential candidate Amin himself has drafted
fatwas against Shia groups, the Ahmadiyah religious minority, as well as the
LGBT community, whose activities he has called for the criminalization of. Along
with the MUI, Amin has played a key role in the legitimization of intolerance
toward norms of democratic freedoms; such dangerous rhetoric has at times
resulted in violence. Perhaps even more worrying, Amin has created an
atmosphere for politicians to adopt a similar rhetorical tone, often in support
of their own political interests.
February, the People’s Representative Council (DPR) passed a law that gave the
House Ethics Council the capacity to take legal action against those who
“degrade the honor of the DPR or DPR members.” The term “degrade” was left
purposely ambiguous. Critics point out that the new law will work to take
impetus away from the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK), an institution
that enjoys record amounts of public confidence and trust and retains a near
100 percent conviction rate. Accordingly, any new investigation of a member of
parliament would need prior approval by the House Ethics Council. While Widodo
refused to sign the law, it nonetheless came into effect after the 30-day grace
period due to a lack of veto power. The Constitutional Court in June was,
however, able to declare invalid the most controversial articles of the law,
which would have allowed the “House (of Representatives) to criminalize
North Sumatra Police have claimed that two suspected terrorists killed in a
raid in Tanjung Balai on Thursday had planned to attack Buddhist temples and
police stations in the racially and religiously diverse municipality.
National Police's Densus 88 counterterrorism squad found seven makeshift bombs
containing nails, improvised firearms, ammunition and seven containers of
explosive powder from the two suspects.
planned to attack temples, police stations and other vital installations in
Tanjung Balai,” North Sumatra Police chief Insp. Gen. Agus Andrianto told
reporters on Friday.
Balai has seen rising sectarian tension in recent years following a 2016
incident in which a Buddhist woman of Chinese descent was accused of defaming
Islam for complaining about the loudspeaker of a local mosque.
incident triggered a riot that led to the burning of several Buddhist temples.
The woman, Meiliana, was convicted of blasphemy and sentenced to 18 months in
prison in August this year.
said that the two suspects, identified only as AN, 26, RI, 23, were shot dead
after a shootout on Jl. Jumpul in Teluk Nibung district on Thursday afternoon.
“They attacked the officers by firing shots.”
police believed that both suspects were members of Jemaah Ansharud Daulah
(JAD), the country’s largest pro-Islamic State group, which is responsible for
a number of terror attacks, including the Surabaya bombings that killed dozens
have investigated this terror cell after one of its members was killed [in
Tanjung Balai] in May,” Tanjung Balai Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Irfan Rifa
head of Israel’s leading human rights group strongly criticised Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu’s government during a contentious UN Security Council
meeting on Thursday for what he called its “supremacy and oppression” of the
UN Ambassador Danny Danon responded, accusing Hagai El-Ad, director of
B’Tselem, of staging “a circus” in the council and then in Hebrew telling him:
“Shame on you! You are a collaborator!”
drew a rebuke from Britain’s UN Ambassador Karen Pierce who complained that
council members could not understand Danon’s remarks in Hebrew, which is not
one of the UN’s official languages. AP obtained a translation after the council
opposes Israeli settlements in the West Bank and has documented abuses
committed by Israeli soldiers, sparking accusations of treason by Israeli
hardliners. The rights group has also angered Israeli leaders because it
accepts funding from foreign donors including the European Commission and
because it airs its criticism in international venues like the United Nations.
told a recent meeting with Christian media outlets that he defined B’Tselem as
was invited to address the UN’s most powerful body by Bolivia, which holds the
Security Council presidency this month, and he used his speech to decry “the
indignity, the outrage, the pain of the people denied human rights for more
than 50 years.”
described how Israel is fragmenting Palestinian land, separating Gaza from the
West Bank, walling off east Jerusalem which the Palestinians want as their
future capital, and how Israeli courts legalize demolitions of Palestinian
homes and the relocation of people.
Israeli government is “quite expert at constructing this facade of legality which
has been very successful at allowing us not to have to deal with any
international consequences,” El-Ad said. And this has enabled Israel to
continue “oppressing millions while it somehow is still being considered a
said ongoing efforts to legislate against Israeli human rights organizations
“now go hand-in-hand with the routine in which opposition to the occupation is
being equated with treason.”
to president Netanyahu I say this: You will never silence us, nor the hundreds
of thousands of Israelis who reject a present founded on supremacy and
oppression and stand for a future built on equality, freedom and human rights,”
urged the world to “let Israel know that it will no longer stand idly by, that
it will take action against the continued dismantling of the Palestinian
Danon said B’Tselem was invited by Bolivia, “a country with a terrible human
rights record to defame our strong democracy _ but it actually had the opposite
effect” and proved “the strength of Israel’s vibrant democracy.”
challenge you all, all of you, to find a Palestinian or a Bolivian who could
dare defame his government at the Security Council,” Danon said. “At best he
might be thrown in jail but he would more likely end up dead.”
then accused Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of inspiring a “rampant
culture of hate” during his 13 years in office and “enabling an imminent war”
between Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Israel.
from a peace partner, Mahmoud Abbas is the obstacle for peace,” he said.
deputy UN Ambassador Veronica Cordova Soria, who presided over the meeting, had
a message for El-Ad when she spoke.
behalf of this council I want to apologize for the way he was mistreated
today,” she told members. “We’re not here to discuss Bolivia’s human rights.”
fallout over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death has shed a rare light not only
on a deep political divide in Saudi Arabia but on a quiet, long-running contest
between Turkey and Saudi Arabia over which country – and which ideology –
should lead the Sunni Muslim world.
rivalry has its roots in the Arab Spring revolutions of 2011, which split Sunni
Muslims in the Middle East into two broad camps. The first – which cheered the
uprisings and the subsequent election of leaders affiliated with an Islamist
political movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood – is led by Turkish
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose Justice and Development Party has links
to the movement. Turkey provided financial and diplomatic support to the
Brotherhood-affiliated governments that emerged after the revolutions that year
in Tunisia and Egypt.
second grouping of Middle Eastern states – comprised of those terrified of the
changes rippling across the region – is centred on the ultraconservative Saudi
royal family, which declared the Brotherhood a “terrorist” organization. Saudi
Arabia and its allies backed the 2013 coup that ousted Brotherhood member
Mohamed Morsi’s post-Arab Spring government in Egypt, effectively imposing
military rule in the country.
his first column for The Washington Post last year, after he left Saudi Arabia
for self-imposed exile in Virginia, Mr. Khashoggi wrote that Saudi Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman “despises the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Khashoggi joined the Brotherhood in his youth and used his column at the Post
to argue that Western leaders needed to deal with the group if they wanted to
see democracy in the Middle East. Many of the thousands of other Arab
journalists and dissidents who took refuge in Turkey after the coup in Egypt
and the collapse of the Arab Spring elsewhere are also tied to the Brotherhood.
Mr. Erdogan’s Istanbul – which Mr. Khashoggi was visiting ahead of his planned
marriage to a Turkish doctoral student – Arab dissidents can criticize their
governments and continue their political activities in a way that would be
impossible at home.
a message has been sent: They are not safe – even here, under Mr. Erdogan’s
are two competing visions for the Middle East that have come head to head over
Khashoggi,” said Suat Kiniklioglu, a former Turkish parliamentarian who is now
a visiting academic at Oxford University’s Middle East Centre. “There is a
polarization between the monarchies, who want the status quo, and the
Brotherhood, who want change. Jamal Khashoggi was the personification of that
in the Saudi case.”
police believe Mr. Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered shortly after he
entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Turkish media have reported
that a 15-man “hit team” – headed by an intelligence agent frequently
photographed in the entourage of the Crown Prince – was sent from Riyadh
specifically for the assignment.
Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor said Mr. Khashoggi died in a fight
at the consulate, adding that 18 Saudi nationals were arrested and two senior
officials were fired over the incident. The statement marked the first time
since Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance that the Saudis admitted to his death.
fury over Mr. Khashoggi’s alleged murder has been apparent from the outset. Mr.
Erdogan’s government has kept up the pressure on Riyadh, and on Crown Prince
Mohammed in particular, by leaking grisly new details about the investigation
on a near-daily basis. The jarring headlines about what the Saudis allegedly
did to Mr. Khashoggi – and the clear insinuation from Turkish officials that
they believe the Crown Prince was behind it – have snarled U.S.-Saudi efforts
to find a diplomatic way out of the crisis.
say the regional power struggle explains why Turkey – not often regarded as a
bastion of media freedom – has made such a big deal out of what happened to Mr.
the past two decades, I have monitored many cases of journalists who were
murdered in Turkey,” said Erol Onderoglu, a Turkey representative of Reporters
Without Borders. “I can easily say that this is the first case where Mr.
Erdogan is so vocal in bringing light to the case and giving support to the
Guven, a Turkish journalist who has been repeatedly pushed out of work because
of her refusal to self-censor, said Mr. Erdogan’s behaviour in the crisis has
been driven not by freedom-of-speech concerns but by anger that Mr. Khashoggi,
a journalist who had interviewed the President multiple times, appears to have
been killed under his nose in Istanbul.
is not just any country. Turkey has Erdogan as its President, and his style of
politics, and [the Saudis] still sent their men and did this,” she said. “It
was very embarrassing."
Khashoggi cheered the Arab Spring revolts in his writing and was scathingly
critical of the coup in Egypt, which the House of Saud stood behind. “It would
be a mistake to defy the power of history with the illusion that the powerful
can forge deals and plan the future away from the peoples,” he wrote in the
newspaper Al-Hayat shortly after the coup. “The one-man era is over.”
in Saudi Arabia, where Crown Prince Mohammed would emerge in 2017 as the
kingdom’s de facto ruler – an iron-fisted one. In one of his first acts after being
appointed King Salman’s heir, the Prince initiated the shocking blockade of
Saudi Arabia’s tiny neighbour Qatar, which hosts and funds the Al Jazeera
television network, an outlet blamed by Saudi royals for helping foment the
remains in near-complete isolation today, with Saudi Arabia and its neighbours
closing its airspace and blocking overland trade from reaching the emirate of
2.6 million people. Qatar’s most steadfast ally in the standoff has been
Turkey, which sped up a deployment of troops to a military base it had built on
the peninsula amid rumours that Saudi Arabia might invade to depose Emir Tamim
bin Hamad Al Thani.
showdown over Qatar is just one arena in which Ankara is jousting with Riyadh.
The battle for influence stretches from the Western Balkans to Central Asia and
has seen the two countries go on rival mosque-building sprees in countries such
as Bosnia-Herzegovina and Kyrgyzstan in an effort to spread their influence –
as well as their differing interpretations of Islam: Turkish-built mosques
generally preach a more moderate, mainstream form of the religion, while
Saudi-trained imams promote the ultraconservative Wahhabi strain.
and Saudi Arabia are also at odds over the U.S.-Saudi-Israeli desire to confront
Iran – a country to which Turkey has strong economic ties – as well as the
Trump administration’s murky peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Saudi Arabia has quietly gone along with steps such as the U.S. embassy’s move
to Jerusalem, which Mr. Erdogan’s government loudly opposed.
where Mr. Erdogan and the Saudi royals agree – as in Syria’s civil war, where
they share an interest in removing President Bashar al-Assad, an aim that now
appears out of reach – their proxy armies on the ground have often fought each
when they weren’t battling government forces.
after his move against Qatar, Crown Prince Mohammed carried out another power
play at home, ordering the roundup of some 200 Saudi princes and businessmen
and holding them for two weeks inside the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Riyadh until
they paid billions of dollars they had allegedly attained through corruption.
Among the detainees was Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, who had appointed Mr.
Khashoggi the editor of a 24-hour news channel he had founded.
Khashoggi’s own political space also began to close. He was barred by the
33-year-old Crown Prince from writing about politics, even on his Twitter
account. Eventually, he went into self-imposed exile in the United States,
where he fully embraced his status as a dissident and contributed regular
opinion columns to The Washington Post that were frequently critical of the
Istanbul – and Mr. Erdogan’s alternative model of Islamist politics – still
drew him back east. Some reports have suggested that Mr. Khashoggi was
considering splitting his time between the United States and Turkey after
getting married. His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, has said Mr. Khashoggi, who would
have turned 60 last week, felt safe in Turkey.
now clear he wasn’t. In the wake of his disappearance, other Arab dissidents
are feeling less comfortable about their own situations in Turkey.
Saleh, the leader of the Syrian Civil Defense – the rescue group better known
as the White Helmets – said his own organization, which is fiercely opposed to
the Assad regime, has “good relations” with the Turkish government. But many of
the 3.5 million Syrians living in Turkey were already rattled, Mr. Saleh said,
by last year’s murder of Orouba Barakat, an opposition journalist who was
stabbed to death, along with her daughter, in their Istanbul apartment by
there’s fresh concern in the wake of Mr. Khashoggi’s apparent death.
130 Palestinian protesters, including 25 children, have been injured by Israeli
fire during anti-occupation protests at the Gaza border, according to the Gaza
Health Ministry, amid Amnesty International's condemnation of Israel's newly
proclaimed "zero tolerance" towards protesters.
Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra announced that four medics and journalists
have also been wounded, one critically, as a result of the Israeli violence on
Friday. Earlier today, Amnesty published a statement warning of the proclaimed
Israeli "zero tolerance" policy against the border demonstration,
fearing that it may "lead to more Palestinian deaths."
are serious fears that this policy will further sanction the use of deadly
force against unarmed protesters during today’s demonstrations, and that
Israeli forces will be given carte blanche authorization to carry out
large-scale, unlawful killings escalating the bloodshed. Israel has repeatedly
used lethal force unnecessarily and excessively against unarmed protesters in
shameless violation of international law,” said Amnesty's Middle East and North
Africa Deputy Director Saleh Higazi.
the Israeli announcement of an intensified crackdown, witnesses at the Friday
protests reported the deployment of many armored vehicles.
have been running high near the border fence since March 30, which marked the
start of a series of protests dubbed “The Great March of Return.” Protesters
have assembled along the fence every Friday ever-since, demanding the right of
return for those driven out of their homeland at the hands of the Zionist regime.
clashes in Gaza reached their peak on May 14, the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day, or the Day of Catastrophe, which coincided this year with
Washington's relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to occupied Jerusalem
than 190 Palestinians have so far been killed and over 20,000 others wounded in
the renewed Gaza clashes, according to the latest figures released by the Gaza
of Palestinians were hit by Israeli gunfire Friday as thousands protested near
Gaza’s border with Israel, the health ministry in the enclave said.
calls to avoid an escalation in violence, the demonstrators largely kept their
distance from the fortified frontier fence.
at least 115 Palestinians were injured -- 77 by live fire -- in clashes with
Israeli soldiers, the health ministry in Gaza City said.
fired from Gaza on Wednesday had brought the territory’s Hamas rulers and
Israel closer to a wide scale confrontation.
March, Palestinians have moved right up to the border fence every Friday and
occasionally breached it, leading to clashes in which more than 200
Palestinians and one Israeli have been killed.
thousands again gathered for the latest protests in northern Gaza, the
demonstrators largely remained at least 100 meters from the border.
AFP correspondent said Hamas security officials in at least one location were
seen discouraging protesters from nearing the fence.
and balloons equipped with incendiary devices were launched across the border
into southern Israel, and the Israeli army said one of its aircraft targeted a
group of men launching balloons.
Egyptian security delegation visited the Gaza Strip on Thursday and encouraged
Hamas leader Ismail Haniya to calm the protests, an Egyptian official said.
Nations envoy Nickolay Mladenov, in a tweet, also urged all sides “to exercise
restraint, to proceed in a peaceful manner, and to avoid escalation”.
Wednesday, two rockets were fired from the Palestinian enclave at Israel, with
one destroying a house in the southern city of Beersheba.
Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley condemned the Iranian
Revolutionary Guards and the Basij Resistance Force’s use of child soldiers to
fight along with the regime’s forces in the region.
a speech to the Security Council at a meeting held to discuss the situation in
the Middle East, Haley said Iran was recruiting and training children as young
as 12 “to fight and die in Iranian aggression abroad.”
Basij Resistance Force is a trained military wing of the Iranian Revolutionary
added that since 2015, the Iranian regime has used the Basij to recruit and
train Iranian children to fight in Syria to support the Assad regime.
comments came two days after the US announced new sanctions on the Basij and 20
vast network provides financial infrastructure to the Basij’s efforts to
recruit, train, and indoctrinate child soldiers who are coerced into combat
under the IRGC’s direction,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Turkish official says a summit between the leaders of Turkey, France, Germany
and Russia will be held in Istanbul this month to discuss the conflict in
spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, in a written statement Friday said a summit will take
place on October, 27.
and Turkey reached an agreement last month to set up a demilitarized zone
around the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib preventing a government
says all aspects of the Syrian conflict are expected to be discussed, including
the situation on the ground, the Idlib agreement as well as efforts for a
lasting solution to the conflict.
Palestinian-American student who was barred from entering Israel under a law
against foreign activists who support boycotts of the state over its
Palestinian policies was given permission to stay in the country by the Supreme
Court on Thursday.
its ruling, the court criticized Israeli authorities for denying entry to Lara
Alqasem, 22, saying their decision gave “the unavoidable impression” that she
was barred for her political opinions.
was refused entry when she flew to Israel on a study visa earlier this month.
Security officials cited her role as president of a small local chapter of
Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of Florida.
decision to prevent her entry into Israel is supported by a 2017 law that bars
the entry of foreigners who publicly support boycotts over Israel's policies
towards the Palestinians.
ruling, seen by Reuters, overturned a lower court decision that had backed the
decision by Israeli authorities.
said she was relieved by the court's decision. Her lawyers called the ruling “a
victory for free speech, academic freedom, and the rule of law.”
Security Minister Gilad Erdan, who had denied Alqasem entry, said the
government would look into the implications of the ruling.
Vice President General Ali Mohsen Saleh said that Iran is supporting and
sponsoring terrorism and sabotaging projects in the region through the Houthi
militias, which caused suffering for the Yemenis and targeted neighboring
his meeting with the Governor of Saada province Hadi Tarshan, the Yemeni Vice
President asserted that the political leadership and the Arab coalition
supporting the legitimacy in Yemen, will continue efforts to eliminate the
Houthi coup militias.
praised the military progress made by the Yemeni National Army backed by the
Arab coalition in many fronts in Saada, according to Yemeni news agency.
leading Israeli human rights group blasted Tel Aviv in a meeting of the UN
Security Council for its “supremacy and oppression” of the Palestinians, whom
it described as "heroes".
group B’Tselem’s director Hagai El-Ad delivered a scathing speech against the
regime after being invited to the podium by Bolivia, which holds the Council’s
presidency this month, during a Council meeting.
will never silence us, nor the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who reject a
present founded on supremacy and oppression and stand for a future built on
equality, freedom, and human rights,” he said, addressing Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Associated Press reported.
decried “the indignity, the outrage, the pain of the people denied human rights
for more than 50 years,” referring to Palestinians’ mistreatment at the hands
of Israel since 1948, when the regime proclaimed existence.
said the regime was fragmenting Palestinian land, separating the Gaza Strip
from Tel Aviv-occupied West Bank, walling off East Jerusalem al-Quds, which the
Palestinians want as their future capital, while its courts were legalizing
demolitions of Palestinian homes and the relocation of people.
façade of legality’
Israeli regime is “quite expert at constructing this façade of legality, which
has been very successful at allowing us not to have to deal with any
international consequences,” El-Ad said.
this has enabled Israel to continue “oppressing millions while it somehow is
still being considered a democracy,” the group’s leader said.
finally urged the world to “let Israel know that it will no longer stand idly
by, that it will take action against the continued dismantling of the
group opposes the settlement construction, which Israel has been undertaking in
the West Bank since 1967, when it occupied the territory. It has also
documented abuses committed by Israeli forces against the Palestinians, rubbing
Israeli officials up the wrong way.
UN envoy Danny Danon responded, accusing the group’s leader of setting up “a
circus” at the Council.
then told him in Hebrew, you “serve our enemies. They use you against us. The
IDF (Israeli military) soldiers are guarding you and you are coming here to
defame them. Shame on you, you lousy collaborator." Britain’s UN
Ambassador Karen Pierce objected, saying Council members could not understand
Hebrew, which was not the world body’s official language.
outgoing US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley called El-Ad's speech
"distorted" and "one sided."
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is to host Russian President Vladimir Putin as
well as his French peer Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for
talks over Syria later this month.
summit would be held in Istanbul on October 27, Turkish presidential spokesman
Ibrahim Kalin was cited by state-run Anadolu news agency as saying on
event would seek efforts to find a "long-lasting solution" to the
crisis in Syria as well as the situation in the northwestern Syrian Idlib
province, he added.
had previously planned to host the international summit in September.
is the last stronghold of Takfiri terrorists and militants in Syria which has
successfully ended their dominance in other provinces.
September, the Syrian government was about to stage a wholesale
counter-terrorism operation in the province. Russia, an ally of the Syrian
government, and Turkey, which sides with anti-Damascus militants, however,
announced a plan to create a de-militarized zone in the province, where the
outfits would be disarmed and ultimately ordered to withdraw.
plan prevented the Syrian operation.
Istanbul summit is to go underway as al-Qaeda-lined Takfiris and even
Turkish-backed militants in Idlib have said they would refuse to either hand
over their weapons or leave the area.
the groups started targeting neighboring Syrian provinces of Aleppo and Hama
with heavy mortar fire, killing several Syrian soldiers.
Yemen’s national army has announced several combing operations in sites where
Houthi militias have been defeated, one of which was in the Hali directorate
east of Hodeidah.
statement from the Giants Brigades in the Yemeni army, said that forces
affiliated to their brigades carried out combing operations in a large number
of farms adjacent to the area of Al-Hali, where Houthi militia was located.
statement added that during the operation, army forces found of a large cache
of 120-caliber mortar shells and other shells that the Houthis had hidden in
sewage pipes of several military sites where they were positioned.
Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia’s announcement that suspects are in
custody in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a “good first step” and said
he would work with Congress on a US response.
president spoke to the media at a defense roundtable in Arizona hours after
Saudi Arabia claimed that Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor last seen on
Oct. 2, was killed in a “fistfight” at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The
kingdom also said that 18 suspects were in custody and that intelligence
officials had been fired.
by a reporter whether he thought Saudi Arabia’s explanation for Khashoggi’s
death was credible, Trump said, “I do. I do.” But he said before he decided
what to do next, he wanted to talk to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable,” Trump said.
Regarding the Saudi arrests, he said, “It’s a big first step. It’s only a first
step, but it’s a big first step.”
Capitol Hill, lawmakers including Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham expressed
skepticism of the Saudi account, which was vastly different than that given by
Turkish officials, who had said an “assassination squad” sent by the kingdom
had killed and dismembered Khashoggi.
we were told Mr. Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket
denial of any Saudi involvement,” Graham, R-S.C., tweeted Friday. “Now, a fight
breaks out and he’s killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown
a prominent journalist and royal court insider for decades in Saudi Arabia, had
written columns critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the kingdom’s
direction while living in self-imposed exile in the US. He went to the Saudi
consulate to obtain paperwork for his upcoming marriage.
Saudi `explanation’ for murdering journalist and Virginia resident Jamal
Khashoggi in a consulate_a fistfight gone wrong_is insulting,” tweeted Sen. Tim
Kaine, the 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee. “Since the Trump
Administration won’t stand up against atrocity, Congress must.”
Rep. Adam Schiff of California said Saudi Arabia’s claim that Khashoggi died in
a brawl wasn’t credible.
Khashoggi was fighting inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, he was fighting
for his life with people sent to capture or kill him,” said Schiff, the ranking
member of the House intelligence committee.
Kingdom and all involved in this brutal murder must be held accountable, and if
the Trump Administration will not take the lead, Congress must,” Schiff said.
a statement Friday night, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders
said the US will closely follow international investigations into Khashoggi’s
death and will advocate for justice that is “timely, transparent and in
accordance with all due process.”
Friday, Sanders said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had spoken to the crown
prince and briefed the president and John Bolton, Trump’s national security
adviser. Trump dispatched Pompeo earlier in the week to Saudi Arabia and Turkey
to speak to officials about the case.
White House said Friday it was “saddened” after confirmation that journalist
Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside a Saudi consulate.
the first US response to Saudi Arabia's admission, White House spokeswoman
Sarah Sanders said merely that Washington “acknowledges the announcement.”
will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this
tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent and in
accordance with all due process,” she said.
are saddened to hear confirmation of Mr. Khashoggi's death, and we offer our
deepest condolences to his family, fiancee and friends.”
US president Donald Trump had reiterated on Friday night the importance of the
said that Saudi Arabia is a great ally and that the importance of Saudi-US ties
need to be taken into account.
President Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia functions as a counterbalance to Iran
in the Middle East region and this has put Washington in a “complex” situation
with regards to Riyadh’s explanation about dissident journalist Jamal
[Saudis] have been a great ally in the Middle East. We need them as a
counter-balance to Iran. So it's not the simplest solution. It's not the
simplest situation to be in,” Trump said Friday.
remarks came after Riyadh admitted that Khashoggi, who had gone missing after
entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, was killed in a
"fight with people who met him” inside the building.
told reporters that he found the account “credible” although he had to talk to
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to clear up a few more things.
whether he would stay true to his pledges of punishing the perpetrators of the
apparent murder, Trump said the situation needed to be handled with care
because billions of dollars in arms sales were at stake.
Arabia has been a great ally but what happened is unacceptable,” Trump said.
would prefer if there is going to be some form of sanction, or what we may
determine to do if anything,” the president said. “But I would prefer that we
don't use as retribution, canceling the $110 billion-worth of work, which means
reports citing Turkish officials state that the anti-Riaydh journalist was
ambushed, tortured, killed and dismembered under direct orders from bin Salman.
incident has grown into a public relations nightmare for the kingdom and the
crown prince in particular.
an attempt to contain the damage, Riyadh said it had sacked several officials,
including Ahmad al-Assiri, a top general in the General Intelligence Agency
(GIA) and a close aide to bin Salman.
— An Islamic preacher was released Friday from a British prison after serving
less than half of a 5-1/2-year prison sentence for encouraging support for the
Islamic State group.
Choudary, 51, left the high security Belmarsh prison in southeast London but
will be subject to strict supervision. Prime Minister Theresa May says authorities
are equipped to supervise Choudary.
from Ilford in east London, is expected to wear an electronic tag, face a
nighttime curfew and be barred from contacting anyone who has been charged with
extremist-related offences unless he receives prior approval from authorities.
He qualified for early release because of time served before his conviction.
addition, Choudary's name has been added to a U.N. sanctions list, which means
the government can freeze his assets and bar him from travelling.
has been one of the most high-profile faces of radical Islam in Britain for
years, leading groups under names including al-Muhajiroun, Islam4UK and Muslims
people who attended Choudary's rallies and events have been convicted of
violent attacks, including the two al-Qaida-inspired killers who ran over
British soldier Lee Rigby and stabbed him to death in 2013.
he was charged under the Terrorism Act, the firebrand preacher gained attention
for headline-grabbing activities that provoked outrage but stayed on the right
side of the law. They included protesting outside the U.S. Embassy on the
anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks and burning memorial poppies on Britain's
annual Remembrance Day honoring slain service members.
he ran into trouble in 2014 after his name appeared on an oath circulating
online that declared the legitimacy of the "proclaimed Islamic Caliphate
State." Choudary said the oath was made without his knowledge.
former head of counter-terror policing, Mark Rowley, told the BBC that while
Choudary was a "significant arrest," it would be prudent not to
overstate his significance.
the end of the day, he is a pathetic groomer of others," Rowley said.
"That is what he has done in the past. He is not some sort of evil genius
we all need to be afraid of."
West is complicit in Saudi crimes and its outrage is just for show, says Daniel
Patrick Welch, an American writer and political analyst.
a minor reshuffling of some heads will take place in Saudi Arabia over the
killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but no heads would roll,
Welch told Press TV in an interview on Friday.
Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt on Friday warned there would be “consequences” if
Saudi authorities were found to have been involved in the assassination of
Thursday, US President Donald Trump said he believes dissident Khashoggi is
dead, and that the consequences should be severe for those who carried out the
this is really turning out to be the story that wouldn’t die, right? The idea
that the Brits are going to have consequences for the Saudis if it turned out
to be true which everyone now knows that it’s true that they killed Khashoggi,”
know, on the one hand, of course, it’s true that you can’t imagine if a New
York Times journalist was killed in Venezuela in the Russian consulate or
something that there would be instant drone bombing everywhere,” he added.
the outrage is completely fake because of the refusal to look at this
completely cynical engagement with these head-chopping lunatics—both those in
the kingdom and those in Washington and London—these cabals have been in
cahoots for a very long time and that’s not going to change,” the analyst
said,” he noted.
mean the US will throw anybody under the bus if it’s gets too costly or if they
need to change like Henry Kissinger said: ‘no permanent alliances, only
permanent interests.’ But I don’t see this as being counter to US needs. It’s a
minor flap in the scheme of things,” the commentator said.
fake opposition domestically wants to make a case of this ridiculous outrage
having said nothing for years about the US helping to destroy Yemen, you know,
about the famine. This is one journalist. It is sad. There are millions of
people under famine now because of the regime links between the US and the
kingdom of Saudi Arabia. And this goes back decades. It’s completely
bipartisan,” he observed.
there is no reason to expect that there would be any serious consequences
because of it…maybe a minor reshuffling of some heads but no heads would roll
literally,” Welch concluded.
who was also a US green card holder, entered the Saudi mission on October 2 in
order to obtain the necessary paperwork for marrying his fiancée. That was the
last time he was seen.
to The Washington Post, to which Khashoggi was a contributor, US intelligence
intercepts already prove that he was killed and dismembered by Saudi agents in
a hit job directly ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saudi rulers are weighing blaming a top intelligence official close to the
crown prince for the assassination, three people with knowledge of the Saudi
plan said Thursday, according to The New York Times.
blame will be assigned to General Ahmed al-Assiri, a high-ranking adviser to
the crown prince, but American intelligence agencies are increasingly convinced
that bin Salman was behind Khashoggi’s murder.
officials say they are in possession of audio and video recordings that prove the
murder and incriminate Saudi diplomats.
has listed hate preacher Anjem Choudary at the top of its search results for
‘British Muslim spokesperson’, it has emerged.
anti-terror police chief Sir Mark Rowley pointed out the issue on BBC Radio 4’s
Today programme on Friday and a Google search by HuffPost later confirmed
Choudary remained top of the search engine’s listings.
cleric was released from prison earlier today after receiving a
five-and-a-half-year sentence in 2016, for leading an extremist network linked
to violent jihadists – including one of the killers of soldier Lee Rigby.
Choudary’s incarceration, Sir Rowley, who retired earlier this year, said: “It
was a significant arrest and it was good to put him in prison.
I think we have to be careful not to overstate his significance.
the end of the day, he is a pathetic groomer of others.”
Google results add to ongoing concern Choudary receives unwarranted attention
from the media and is wrongfully dubbed a ‘spokesperson’ when he is not widely
considered as such, with many arguing his divisive rhetoric is not an accurate
reflection of Islam.
concern has long been held by campaigners, with criticism both online and
offline spanning years.
H.A Hellyer, senior non-resident fellow at the Atlantic Council and the Royal
United Studies Institute in London, told HuffPost the Google ranking was
plays directly into the worst possible ways of misrepresenting extremists,” he
search engine’s power is tremendous, and this is reckless in the extreme – as
well as just plain wrong. Choudary has been out of the public eye for a while
now – and pretty much every British Muslim didn’t miss him.”
Ahmedi, a 24-year-old British Imam at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Morden,
slammed the idea that Choudary should be regarded as a representative of Islam.
Choudary is no credible spokesperson for the teachings of Islam. He totally
misrepresents the peaceful teachings of Islam,” he told HuffPost.
was always shocking to see how one like Anjem Choudary freely preached hatred
on main stream media for a very long time before being imprisoned. The media
continually gave him wide-scale opportunity to spew hatred and a completely
false understanding of Islam.
created unwarranted fear of Muslims and Islam and many non-Muslims, who hold a
negative view of Islam, have since expressed that their understanding of Islam
came from people like Anjem Choudary, after having seen them on TV talking
added: “The authorities, media, and society at large should take this
opportunity to once again reflect upon the role it has played in this and
continues to play. Sadly the media has given far-right extremists opportunity
in the recent past to broadcast their hateful views.
must be realised that the more we spread hatred and hateful views within
society, the further hatred will spread, and the more we spread peace and talk
about kindness and cohesion, the more society will be adorned with these
values. We all have a major responsibility in suffocating extremist thought by
denying them publicity.”
Twitter back in 2011, Tim Easton wrote: “Rent a quote Anjem Choudary is
spouting complete bollocks yet the media still portray him as some kind of
2015, Paddy_stani wrote: “Anjem Choudary is as much a spokesperson for ordinary
Muslims as the leader of the KKK is for Christians .. Which is not at all!”
earlier this year William Baldet, Consultant for the Office for Security and
Cooperation in Europe, tweeted: “Important point by @NewDayStarts on
#newsnight, if the media present ppl like Anjem Choudhury as a spokesperson for
Muslims then this will inevitably fuel anti-Muslim bigotry.”
was due for automatic release after reaching the halfway point of a five-and-a-half-year
sentence, when time spent on remand is taken into account.
a leading figure in the now-banned group al-Muhajiroun (ALM), the former
solicitor had previously stayed on the right side of the law for years.
the rest of the sentence period, he will be subject to a strict supervision
and MI5 are expected to be among a host of agencies involved in monitoring him
in the community.
his release, Choudary was photographed arriving at an address in north London.
is thought he will initially be placed in a probation hostel and will have to
comply with more than 20 licence conditions.
are a number of standard requirements, including maintaining good behaviour,
receiving visits from and keeping in contact with his supervising probation
officer, and not travelling outside the UK without prior permission.
addition, Choudary will be subject to a bespoke package of further measures
while on licence.
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