U.S. President Barack Obama hosts the annual Iftar dinner celebrating the
Muslim holy month of Ramadan in the East Room of the White House on July 22,
Qaeda Warns Saudi Crown Prince Over ‘Sinful Projects’
White House Iftar Won't Mask Trump's Contempt for Muslims
Vandalised In Haryana's Karnal, Protesting Against the Volume of the
Loud-Speaker during Namaz
Abdul Aziz Addresses Friday Congregation In Lal Masjid After Three Years
and World Religious Leaders for Peace in Rakhine
in the US Over Qatari Documentary Glorifying Bin Laden
Arabia establishes Royal Commission for Mecca City and Holy Sites
of Prophet's Holy Mosque named Islamic Personality of the Year
Army Opens Heavy Fire at Terrorists' Positions in Dara'a Province
Kurdish Militias Killed, Held Captive in Turkish Forces' Operation in Northern
Popular Forces Storm ISIL's Positions in Eastern Syria
UAE call for a broad international coalition to combat terror
Vetoes UN Resolution Denouncing Violence against Palestinians
Academy To Get New Human Rights Hearing In Dispute Over Muslim Prayer
lists Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) as foreign terrorist organization
US Police Trainers Thrive In Unregulated Industry
court orders new human rights hearing for Calgary school prayer space dispute
of activists brings Saudi-Canadian relationship into question
Groups to Boycott RSS Iftar Party in Mumbai
HC Allows Muslim Teenage Couple to Stay Together
registers case against 8 'ISIS sympathisers' from Kerala
Demolished Structure in Ayodhya Where Hindus Offered Prayers: Digvijaya Singh
Bodh Gaya blasts: Special NIA court sentences five convicts to life
Decision on Holding Iftar: Pejawar Seer
Alert In Kashmir over ‘Militant Plot’ To Target Security Installations
to discuss ways out of Iran sanctions with EU
Deep Roots, Pakistani Sikh Community Faces Fresh Wave Of Taliban Attacks
Catholics Spread Joy to Disabled Muslims
High Court declares 8 provincial constituencies in Quetta null and void
kill official, wound 3 guards in Pakistan tribal area
ISIS-K Militants Killed In Nangarhar Artillery Strikes
among 4 dead, wounded in Kabul city blast
and Myanmar Agree Outline of Rohingya Return Deal, No Details
hopes dialogue with Pakistan will help in Taliban peace
Moral, Religious Values in Education System: Malaysian Minister
Care for Muslim Migrant Workers during Ramadan Wins Praise
Arrests 15 for Jihad Weapons Hoarding Plot
academic calls for intellectual freedom
seeks Catholic ally in fight against radicalism
To reform Jakim, fortify National Islamic Affairs Council
Muslims Accuse Bavaria of Double Standards over Crucifix Order
Spiderman's French Fairy Tale Sparks Migrant Pride and Envy
Vows To 'Send Home' Half A Million Undocumented Immigrants
pilot found alive 30 years after shot down in Afghanistan
making progress on protecting Iran trade: French FM
Mozambique’s Smuggling Barons Nurtured Jihadists
says air strike kills 12 militants in Somalia
shoot dead 12 fleeing refugees in Libya: UN
Haram: What Global Amnesty Watch Said About Activities Of Nigerian Troops, Idps
In North East
Treaty on Counter-Terrorism Comes Into Effect in Turkey
Dhabi within Range Of Yemeni Missiles: Army Spokesman
army creates plan to liberate Hodeidah
forces fatally shoot Palestinian nurse in anti-occupation rally
arrest over 60 suspects across Turkey over Gulen network affiliation
400 Palestinian prisoners to go on hunger strike in Israeli jails
army continues push against Houthis in Hajjah
to push hard line on Iran during Europe trip
court rules to extradite suspected terrorist to Turkey
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Qaeda warns Saudi crown prince over ‘sinful projects’
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has warned Saudi Arabia’s reformist Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman over his “sinful projects”, in a bulletin released
Mohammed has spearheaded a string of policy changes in ultraconservative Saudi
Arabia, including reinstating cinemas and allowing women to drive.
new era of Bin Salman replaced mosques with movie theatres,” the Yemen-based
militant group said in its Madad news bulletin, picked up by the SITE
“substituted books that belonged to the imams... with absurdities of the
atheists and secularists from the east and the west and opened the door wide
for corruption and moral degradation,” it said.
militant group AQAP has flourished amid a complex war in Yemen, where Saudi
Arabia heads a military alliance battling Houthi rebels.
its statement, AQAP slammed April’s WWE Royal Rumble event in the Saudi coastal
city of Jeddah, near Makkah.
disbelieving wrestlers exposed their privates and on most of them was the sign
of the cross, in front of a mixed gathering of young Muslim men and women,” it
corruptors did not stop at that, for every night musical concerts are being
announced, as well as movies and circus shows,” SITE quoted it as saying.
in southern Yemen is the target of a long-running drone campaign by the United
States, which regards it as the most dangerous branch of the extremist group.
conflict has left nearly 10,000 people dead, tens of thousands wounded, and
millions on the brink of famine. The United Nations has called Yemen world’s
worst humanitarian crisis.
Arabia and its allies intervened in the war between Yemen’s Houthi rebels and
the government of now-exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi in 2015.
have landed on a United Nations blacklist over the killing and maiming of
Houthi rebels, linked to Iran, have also come under fire for neglecting to
protect civilians and targeting the press and minorities. The rebels have
controlled the capital Sanaa since 2014.
many of the millions of Muslims observing Ramadan in the U.S. could tell you, a
key aspect of the holy month is reflecting on the morality of actions by
examining the intentions that inspired them.
it comes to President Trump, we know his intent regarding Americans who are
Muslim: Scapegoating the community in order to stir up fear and anxiety among
his base. Even before he took office, his approach to the American Muslim
community has always been abundantly clear.
as his "Muslim Ban" is reviewed by the Supreme Court, Trump may be
trying to change his tune. But some context is needed. Last year, President
Trump decided not to celebrate Eid al-Fitr (the Muslim holiday marking the end
of Ramadan) at the White House, which is the first time in two decades that a
president did not commemorate the Islamic holy month of fasting with an Iftar.
Instead, Trump issued a statement focused on terrorism during Ramadan.
this year, as the Supreme Court decides whether the Travel Ban is rooted in
anti-Muslim bigotry, Trump decided to recognize Ramadan by issuing a statement
acknowledging Muslims humanely. This turn of events is hardly coincidental.
Washington Post reports that The White House may hold a relatively small iftar
on June 6, with a few dozen people invited. The hypocrisy is clear: How can
Trump appear friendly to the Muslim community after calling for “a total and
complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States"?
actions go beyond rhetoric: He’s tried three times to follow through on his
campaign promise. The president cannot praise the Constitution as a document
that “fosters religious liberty and respects religious practice” while he
actively undermines both.
Supreme Court is currently reviewing Trump v Hawaii, the Muslim Ban case––and
like lower courts, the Supreme Court Justices are deciding whether to hold
Trump's anti-Muslim statements against him.
the end of April, the president declined to walk back or apologize for past
biased remarks about Muslims. Now, we see a perfectly-timed attempt to dilute
Trump's clear history of anti-Muslim bigotry by "connecting" with Muslims
over an iftar.
would be naive to view this apparent change of heart toward Muslim Americans as
anything other than an attempt to divert attention from his previous
Trump’s anti-Muslim agenda extends beyond his attempts to enact a Muslim ban.
The cabinet and West Wing are chock-full of officials who hold anti-Muslim
views. This climate of fear and bigotry has resulted in a rise in hate crimes
targeting Muslim Americans based on how they pray and the color of their skin .
a Muslim woman myself, I do not want to live in a constant state of fear
because I wear hijab. Knowing that we have a leader who promotes hateful
rhetoric is harmful to my people, and that rhetoric directly jeopardizes the
safety of our home here in the United States.
should fear for their safety because of their religion, and the president has a
responsibility to protect religious freedom, not stoke these fires of religious
the White House’s possible Iftar is concerning, the Trump administration should
withdraw his hateful statements and follow them up with apologies. His actions
should align with his words, and only then can there be connection with the
local Muslim community.
half-a-dozen Muslim men were allegedly beaten up and a mosque was vandalised by
the locals protesting against the volume of the loud-speaker during Namaz in
Haryana's Karnal district on Wednesday. A case has been registered under
different sections of the Indian Penal Code in this connection.
group of young men in Karnal's Newal village allegedly barged inside the mosque
around 9 p.m., beat up the people offering Namaz and also destroyed the loud
speakers. The young men also issued threats to the the ones offering prayer.
“Those offering Namaz were beaten up without any provocation. It is not the
first incident in Karnal. Many such incidents of attack on Muslim community
have happened in the past. We don't get much help from the police on several
occasions,” said local leader Inaam Khan.
House Officer, Kunjpura Police Station, Inspector Raj Kumar, said that a case
was registered on charges of voluntarily causing hurt, criminal intimidation,
unlawful assembly and rioting. He said that it was a “minor altercation” over
loud speaker and that no arrests were made so far.
Abdul Aziz addresses Friday congregation in Lal Masjid after three years
being on the fourth schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act, Maulana Abdul Aziz
addressed the Friday congregation at Lal Masjid after more than three years
when he was removed from the mosque in a bid to curb elements spreading hate
his address, the Lal Masjid cleric questioned why the authorities barred him
from approaching Lal Masjid saying he and his followers were not violating any
law. He also called for implementing Sharia law in the country. Though Aziz
addressed the congregation, the prayers were led by Siddique, according to a
last time he led Friday prayers at the mosque was on December 24, 2014. He was
then barred from leading Friday prayers at the mosque due to law and order
concerns as civil society members gathered outside the mosque to protest
against him and the terrorist attack on APS that killed over 150 people, mostly
school children in 2014.
the PML-N government is gone and we also did not announce it beforehand,” the
spokesman said. He confirmed that Aziz was still placed under observation as
his name was included in fourth schedule but insisted that it did not bar him
from leading prayers and delivering sermons.
and world religious leaders for peace in Rakhine
national and international religious leaders are calling for peaceful
reconciliation of the various groups involved in Myanmar’s ethnoreligious
strife.A few days ago, Card Charles Maung Bo, archbishop of Yangon, led a
delegation representing Religions for Peace (RFP) to Rakhine State in western
Myanmar.Between May 26 and 28, top members of the world’s largest and most
representative interfaith organisation visited the areas around the cities of
Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine, and Maundaw.Violence broke in the area in
August 2017, following a series of attacks by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation
Army (ARSA) and the consequent response by Myanmar’s security forces.The
delegation arrived in Maung Taw on the first day accompanied by top government
officials, such as Religious Affairs Minister Thura U Aung Ko and Rakhine Chief
Minister U Kyaw Aye Thein.The city is on the border with Bangladesh, where some
700,000 Muslims and hundreds of Hindus found refuge in the Hla Hpo Khaung Kya
camp after fleeing violence. This is one of the newly built facilities to
accommodate returning refugees.The visitors were welcomed by U Khin Maung Tin,
deputy minister of the State Counsellor Office, which is headed by Aung San Suu
Kyi.Project engineer and Maung Taw district administrator U Ye Htut briefed the
delegation about the plan to host the refugees, how the camp is being built and
how refugees will be received. He answered their questions. At the end of meeting,
the delegation drove around to see things closer.The group then headed to the
Taung Pyo Lat Wae camp, where they were briefed by its administrators, deputy
director U Soe Tun and director U Ko Thaw of the Ministry of Labour, population
and immigration. The latter provided information about the camp, the
registration process, and the issuance of RV cards.The delegation later visited
the friendship bridge between Myanmar and Bangladesh and some government
offices where officials provided information about immigration, biometric data
collection and healthcare for refugees.The religious leaders met with Hindu
victims of ARSA at Maung Taw district General Administration Department (GAD)
meeting hall.They heard the former hostages tell their stories about their
captivity and the conditions in the camp. RFP president U Myint Swe gave them a
cash donation.Afterwards, Card Bo and the other members of the delegation left
for Pan Taw Myae, a recently rebuilt Muslim majority village where the local
administrator briefed them about local social and economic conditions. The
visitors also quizzed the local official about primary and Islamic education in
the village.Finally, the RFP delegation visited two other villages, inhabited
by ethnic Myo and Kain Gyi.At the start of the crisis, the terrorists attacked
the Myo population, which thanks to government support was able to rebuild its
settlement. The meeting focused on food security, education and peaceful
coexistence between the two communities.After this meeting, the interfaith
group returned to Sittwe.The Rakhine visit by the RFP shows the commitment of
religious leaders to the difficult path of reconciliation in Myanmar. On 25
May, Aung San Suu Kyi and Myanmar’s Foreign Minister received Card Bo and the
other 18 members of the RFP delegation (pictures 2 and 3).The latter handed
over a ‘Letter to the Peoples of Myanmar’ to State Counsellor Suu Kyi – it
contains a joint appeal for peace and development in the country.Earlier in the
week, between 22 and 25 may, Card Bo hosted Buddhist, Christian, Hindu and
Muslim leaders in Yangon for a meeting centred on understanding the religious,
cultural, political and socio-economic challenges that await the nation and to
find a shared response, convinced that only dialogue and common action can open
the path to peace.--Asia News
in the US over Qatari documentary glorifying Bin Laden
announcement related to repeat telecast of a Qatari documentary on Osama Bin
Laden is meeting anger and condemnation in the United States with questions
being raised about Doha’s position on terrorism.
Thursday, social media team at Al Jazeera English promoted the controversial
network’s hagiographic documentary about 9/11 mastermind and Al-Qaeda chief
Osama Bin Laden.
2011 production, which was released just months after the US raid that killed
the Al-Qaeda leader, focuses on Bin Laden’s life “through the eyes of the
people who knew him.” Some US outlets and sites said that Al Jazeera’s
promotion of Bin Laden “serves to remind readers of Qatar’s long, shadowy
history of pro-terrorist activity.”
and financial support
Conservative Review site said: “Fast-forward to present day, and Al Jazeera’s
state sponsor still engages in endless amounts of nefarious activity. While
Doha claims to be a US ally, the country’s leaders simultaneously continue to
provide ideological and financial support to terrorist organizations, such as
the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, the Iranian regime, Hamas, and countless more
Jazeera’s media and security experts have also come in for criticism as they
have been accused of misrepresenting information under the pretext of freedom
of expression and accuracy.
warn that this is part of a master plan, since it is not just about
broadcasting inaccurate information through its television channel, but also
through its other platforms, most notably under Al Jazeera Arabic’s
“encyclopedia” section on their website.
Jazeera encyclopedia identifies the founder of Al-Qaeda terrorist organization
Osama Bin Laden as a “Saudi jihadist”. Although his page on the encyclopedia
refers to his “involvement" in terrorist acts, the predominant picture
that is depicted points to a person with a cause to defend which may earn some
level of sympathy.
months ago, users on Twitter have been sharing a two-minute video from Sept.
11, 2001, showing prominent Al Jazeera anchorwoman Khadija Benguenna justifying
the attacks on New York’s Twin Towers as a result of US foreign policy.
that these operations and attacks that happened today are considered what we
can call a result of America’s foreign policy,” Benguenna said while she
anchored rolling coverage of the attacks in September 2001.
is a longtime news presenter with Al Jazeera and was anchoring the rolling
coverage of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, at the time.
in the days following the attacks, the New York Times dispatched the late Fouad
Ajami to Qatar to get to the bottom of what was going on with bin Laden’s
Ajami found was stunning — the Qataris practically worshipped the AlQaeda leader,
turning the Doha headquarters of Al Jazeera into an Osama Bin Laden fan zone,
according to the report.
channel’s graphics assign him a lead role: there is Bin Laden seated on a mat,
his submachine gun on his lap; there is Bin Laden on horseback in Afghanistan,
the brave knight of the Arab world,” Ajami wrote.
huge, glamorous poster of Bin Laden’s silhouette hangs in the background of the
main studio set at Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha, the capital city of
Qatar.” Bin Laden was just as enchanted with Al Jazeera’s coverage, pointing to
the Qatari network as the future for Islamist advocacy.
his notebook that was recovered by US troops during the raid on Bin Laden’s
Abbottabad compound, the Al-Qaeda leader wrote: “Al Jazeera, thank God, carriers
the banner of revolutions.” — Al Arabiya English
Arabia’s King Salman bin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud issued a royal order
establishing a Royal Commission for Mecca City and Holy Sites, where the
Commission shall have a board of directors under the chairmanship of the Vice
President of the Council of Ministers and the Commission's members shall be
appointed by an order issued by the President of the Council of Ministers.
royal order issued stipulated that the appointment of members of the Board of
Directors of the Royal Commission for Mecca City and Holy Sites. The members
are Governor of Makkah Region, Minister of Interior, Deputy Governor of Makkah
Region, Dr. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Qassabi, Minister of Hajj and Umrah, Minister
of Economy and Planning, Yasser bin Othman Al-Rumyan, Eng. Ibrahim bin Mohammed
Al-Sultan and Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Tunisi.
Huzaifi has been leading Muslims in prayers and teaching them Islam in one of
the most sacred spots on earth.
imam and preacher of the Prophet's Holy Mosque, Sheikh Dr. Ali bin Abdurrahman
Al Huzaifi is the Islamic Personality of the Year of the 22nd edition of the
Dubai International Holy Quran Award (DIHQA), 1439H/2018.
Mohamed Bu Melha, Adviser to the Ruler of Dubai for Cultural and Humanitarian
Affairs and Head of DIHQA Organising Committee, made the announcement in a
press conference late Thursday evening at the Dubai Chamber.
Award has honoured a long list of esteemed Islamic characters and entities over
its 22 years in appreciation to their records in serving Islam, Muslims and
holy Quran worldwide."
Imam and Preacher of the Prophet's Holy Mosque, Sheikh Dr. Ali bin Abdurrahman
Al Huzaifi has been leading Muslims in prayers and teaching them Islam in one
of the most sacred spots on earth, the Prophet's Holy Mosque.
has been leading prayers and preaching at the Prophet's Mosque for years that
his name has been attached with these great services in the hearts and minds of
beautiful, slow and deep recitation of the holy Quran is so appealing and inspiring
that worshippers listen carefully, think deeply, and spiritually interact with
the verses he recites, Bu Melha added.
is one of leading imams of the Prophet's Holy Mosque and his name is always
remembered when talking about this holy mosque. His smooth and humble
recitation of the holy Quran touches the hearts and souls of Muslims
Dr. Al Huzaifi has a PhD from Al Azhar University. "He teaches several
Sharia sciences, mainly the Qiraat 'Schools of Quran recitation' at the Islamic
University in Madinah."
also chairs the scientific committee that revises the Quran copy of the Madinah
Mus'haf, Bu Melha said. "He is also a member of committee in charge of
recording the recited Mus'hafs at the King Fahd Holy Quran Printing Complex."
army's artillery and missile units shelled the defenses of the Free Syrian Army
(FSA) and Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra
Front) in the Al-Lijat region for the first time in several weeks.
the Syrian Army’s attack was meant to fracture the front-lines of the militants
before they launch their long-awaited offensive in Southern Syria.
Syrian Army has already mobilized thousands of soldiers to participate in the
upcoming Southern Syria offensive; however, the majority of these troops have
deployed to Quneitra and Sheikh Meskeen region of Dara’a.
groups in the Southern provinces of Dara'a and Quneitra formed a new coalition
on Sunday amid the Syrian Army's preparedness to launch an imminent large-scale
operation to end militancy in the Southern part of the country.
army dispatched a large number of fresh forces and a large volume of military
hardware to Dara'a city and its countryside and Quneitra province in recent
days as a prelude for kicking off an imminent operation against the terrorist
groups in Southern Syria.
the meantime, the army issued last warnings to the terrorists, calling on them
to lay down arms and join reconciliation plan.
announced on Thursday that a sum of 4,500 Kurdish militias have been killed or
held captive in the Ankara forces' Operation Olive Branch in Afrin.
Euphrates Shield took place from August 2016 to March 2017 in Northern Syria
along the Turkish border.
news quoted a well-informed source as reporting on Monday that the Police
Academy in Sivas province embarked on training a sum of 3,000 terrorists from
different parts of Syria.
further said that the Turkish army planned to deploy the militants under the
name of the Free Police in Afrin region.
the meantime, field sources reported that the Turkish army appointed Rami
Talas, one of the commanders of Jeish al-Islam, as the chief of the new group
also called as the Afrin police.
al-Shaabi, for the third time in the last two weeks, scored direct hits on the
ISIL inside the Syrian town of al-Dashayshah, which borders Iraq’s Anbar
terrorists were attempting to take advantage of the poor weather to cross over
into Iraqi territory.
Iraqi Armed Forces have repeatedly targeted ISIL's positions along the
Syrian-Iraqi border lately, killing and wounding a large number of the
terrorist group’s combatants.
Joint Operation Command announced in a statement earlier last month that the
Iraqi fighter jets bombed and destroyed an ISIL command base in Dashisha region
in Southern Hasaka.
statement further said that the air raid was ordered by Commander-in-Chief of
the Armed Forces Haydar al-Ebadi and coordinated by Joint Operation Command,
adding that Iraqi F16 jets struck ISIL's base in Southern Hasaka, destroying it
and the United Arab Emirates called on Friday for the formation of a broad
international coalition against terrorism and agreed to strengthen political
and defense cooperation and to turn the Middle East into a zone free of weapons
of mass destruction.
bilateral talks in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Abu Dhabi Crown
Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, signed the Declaration of the
Strategic Partnership between Russia and the United Arab Emirates: “Both sides
are convinced that the unprecedented proliferation of terrorism and extremism
as well as structures and organizations that threaten the security of States
and their sovereignty requires the entire world community to take resolute and
collective measures away from the exercise of double standards and the
principle of selectivity and in conformity with international law and the
Charter of the United Nations.”
document stressed that Russia and the UAE call for “the formation of a broad
international coalition to combat terrorism and extremism based on respect for
the sovereignty of States, which suffered directly from terrorist operations.”
and the UAE stressed that countries and
institutions should play a leading role in countering terrorism and extremism
and preventing their spread regionally and internationally, while adhering to
the principle of sovereign equality of all countries.
and the UAE also pledged that they would “contribute to ensuring the security,
integrity and prevention of cyberspace for the purposes of disseminating the
ideology of extremism.”
two sides express their determination to promote and develop political
cooperation on bilateral, regional and international issues, including within the
framework of the Russia-GCC strategic dialogue, the Russian-Arab cooperation
forum and other platforms,” the statement said.
document pointed out that Russia and the UAE will encourage the exchange of
visits between heads of state, rrime ministers, members of parliament, as well
as periodic consultations between the two foreign ministries, arranging
contacts and relations between their regions and coordination within the
framework of the United Nations.
vetoes UN resolution denouncing violence against Palestinians
YORK: The United States vetoed on Friday a Kuwaiti-drafted United Nations
Security Council (UNSC) resolution that condemned Israel’s use of force against
Palestinian civilians, underlining Washington’s differences with friends and
foes alike over the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
a second, US-drafted resolution that blamed Hamas for the violence and upheld
Israel’s right to defend itself failed to attract any other country’s support
when it was put to vote in the 15-member council.
the council majority, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the
two votes showed it was willing to blame Israel and unwilling to blame Hamas,
the group that dominates Gaza.
is now completely clear that the UN is hopelessly biased against Israel,” she
said in a statement.
Russia, China, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Bolivia, Peru, Sweden, and Equatorial
Guinea joined Kuwait in voting in favour of the first draft. Britain, the
Netherlands, Poland, and Ethiopia abstained. Only the United States voted
be adopted, a Security Council resolution needs to receive at least nine votes
in favour and no vetoes by any of the permanent members - the United States,
Britain, France, Russia and China.
the United States voted in favour of the second draft resolution, while there
were three negative votes and 11 abstentions.
least 116 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza border
protests since March 30. The largest number of killings occurred on May 14, the
day the United States moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
international condemnation of its use of lethal force, Israel said many of the
dead were militants and that the Israeli army was repelling attacks on the
border fence between Israel and Gaza. Washington has maintained Israel’s right
to defend itself and refrained from joining calls for Israeli restraint.
and their supporters said most of the protesters were unarmed civilians and
Israel was using excessive force against them.
the years, the United States has vetoed a number of Security Council
resolutions critical of Israel. In December, it vetoed an Egyptian-drafted
resolution calling on President Donald Trump’s administration to reverse its
decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Academy to get new human rights hearing in dispute over Muslim prayer
complaint by two Muslim students who were not allowed to pray at a
non-denominational private school in Calgary is headed back to the Alberta
Human Rights Commission.
Court of Appeal of Alberta ruled Friday the original decision five years ago by
a commission tribunal, which ordered Webber Academy to pay a $26,000 fine for
discriminatory behaviour, included a number of errors.
error the tribunal made was in assessing the level of accommodation that was
being asked of the school.
tribunal began its decision by determining the issue was not a request for
'prayer space,"' reads the 15-page Appeal Court decision released Friday.
"Clearly, the students required space to pray and Webber Academy was being
asked to provide space, whether dedicated or not."
two students — Sarmad Amir and Naman Siddiqui — were in grades 9 and 10 in 2011
and told the tribunal that praying is mandatory in their Sunni religion. They
said the school told them their praying, which requires bowing and kneeling,
was too obvious and went against the non-denominational nature of the academy.
human rights tribunal ruled the school's policy was too rigid and it could have
accommodated the students without going against its secular status.
decision was upheld by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench. The school then took
the matter to the Court of Appeal.
says no space for prayer
Court of Appeal said a new hearing is also required because Webber Academy has
raised new issues under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms which should be
school's president, Neil Webber, was happy with the ruling and said he hopes to
preserve the secular nature of the school, which has about 1,000 students.
welcome students and families of all faiths and beliefs, but we think it's
fundamental to our families and students that this be an educational institution
where no religious practices are allowed," Webber said.
said Friday the school has always made it clear to incoming students and their
parents that there is no space in the school for praying.
in our 21 years of operations, we have had two requests for prayer space — one
from a Catholic family which we denied and the other from a Muslim family which
date has been set for the new hearing.
U.S. Department of State has amended the designation of al-Nusrah Front, an
al-Qaida affiliate in Syria, to include Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) and other
aliases have been added to al-Nusrah Front’s designations as a Foreign
Terrorist Organization [FTO] under Section 219 of the Immigration and
Nationality Act, and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist [SDGT] under
Executive Order 13224,” the State Department said in a written statement on May
January 2017, al-Nusrah Front launched the creation of HTS as a vehicle to
advance its position in the Syrian uprising and to further its own goals as an
al-Qaida affiliate, said the State Department, adding that since January 2017,
the group has continued to operate through HTS in pursuit of these objectives.
Coordinator for Counterterrorism Ambassador Nathan A. Sales noted that “today’s
designation serves notice that the United States is not fooled by this al-Qaida
affiliate’s attempt to rebrand itself. Whatever name Nusrah chooses, we will
continue to deny it the resources it seeks to further its violent cause.”
US police trainers thrive in unregulated industry
early May, a former FBI agent named John Guandolo travelled to a Baptist church
on the outskirts of the Texas city of San Angelo to teach local law enforcement
officers a course on Islam and militant threats to the United States.
courses are routine. Across the country, American cops take classes on
everything from knife defence and tactical entry to LGBT awareness, impartial
policing and de-escalation techniques. These courses fulfill yearly training
hour requirements officers need to meet and help them better serve the public.
wherever Guandolo goes, controversy often follows. Civil rights groups consider
him to be a propagator of anti-Muslim conspiracy theories whose goal is not to
educate, but to promote distrust of Muslim Americans.
has called Islam “barbaric and evil”. On his Twitter account, he posts images
of airport security staff he believes to be Muslims, calling them terrorists,
and of American mosques he believes to be part of a vast, subversive and secret
Islamic conquest of the United States. These views dominate his classes.
shouldn’t be training any cops with his beliefs,” said Heidi Beirich, the
director the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which monitors
hate groups in the US. “He shouldn’t be training anybody.”
complaints about Guandolo, the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the body
responsible for overseeing police training programmes, refused to issue
training credit for the course, saying it "provided no training value for
law enforcement attendees" and was an "overly broad characterisation
of an entire subset of the population".
is only the most visible member of a cottage industry that spreads anti-Islam
sentiment among law enforcement officers under the guise of counter-terrorism
law enforcement officers around the country required to meet state requirements
on training hours every year, there is great demand for private companies and
individuals that offer such courses.
demand, coupled with a lack of oversight on the federal and state level, has
created room for Guandolo and similar figures to operate and prosper.
March, the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police pulled support for a similar
training course instructed by former police chief David Bores that the American
Civil Liberties Union called “inflammatory, hateful and potentially
group called Sharia Crime Stoppers offers “certified law enforcement training”
sessions that teach that the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the US
government and that mosques in America are a symbol of conquest.
more legitimate-looking training companies may not be immune to biased
training. Blue Shield Tactical Systems offers courses on de-escalation and
leadership alongside terrorism. One of its terrorism trainers, however, has
written about how Muslim communities are infiltrating America with the aim of
taking it over.
anti-Islam trainers have learned to keep a low profile to avoid the kind of
blowback that Guandolo regularly faces, Islamophobia watchers in the US worry
that the industry of anti-Islam trainers is larger than it appears.
just have this really toxic and really dangerous environment where Muslim
individuals, Muslim communities are stigmatised and criminalised and real bias
is being trained and taught to law enforcement,” said Kristin Garrity Sekerci,
a senior research fellow at Georgetown University’s Bridge Initiative, which
focuses on combating Islamophobia.
local law enforcement departments show an enormous demand for outsourced
training, many courses and their instructors face little to no vetting or
Texas Commission on Law Enforcement (TCOLE) found that Guandolo’s course in San
Angelo was inappropriate only after it sent one of its employees to it. In
refusing to issue credit for the course, the commission said it lacks the
ability to pre-screen classes.
approximately 1.8 million hours of training conducted each year, the vast
majority without controversy, TCOLE simply does not have the resources to do
so,” the commission wrote in a letter to the Texas Observer. “We therefore
place a great deal of trust in, and responsibility on, its training providers.”
is not an exception to the rule. Maki Haberfeld, an expert on police training
programmes and a professor at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice,
said private police training is a largely unregulated industry, with no federal
oversight and very little state regulation.
result, she said, is unqualified trainers teaching local law enforcement.
of them have no background as police trainers, but they’re part of the way
American police forces are trained,” Haberfeld said. “It’s really up to the
police chief or the head of the police academy who will deliver training.
There’s absolutely no regulation of it.”
it’s who you know, who the commissioner knows, how much they charge. It’s very
concerning,” she added. “It’s not that they are specifically looking for some
anti-Islam police trainers, it’s just part of the dysfunctional approach to
that Islam is the enemy
recordings which recently surfaced cast a light on what Guandolo taught local
the San Angelo class, an audio recording by the Texas Commission on Law
Enforcement showed that Guandolo told law enforcement officers that the vast
majority of Islamic centres in the US were fronts for the Muslim Brotherhood.
also said that “moderate” Muslims will turn militant if told to do so; that
Muslims are obligated to lie to non-Muslims; and that there was nothing
particularly more “extreme” or “radical” about the Islamic State (IS) group
than Islam as it is practiced by everyday Muslims.
a video of a class in Arizona last year that was secretly filmed by Al Jazeera,
Guandolo sought to paint mosques in America as vehicles of conquest.
what’s a mosque? Don’t say a Muslim church - I hear that all the time,” he
said. “A mosque is claiming land. Think of a mosque as a mixture of an
embassy…a military outpost, an Islamic university or school and a house of
prayer all wrapped in one. That’s what a mosque is.”
combating Islamophobia say these kinds of lessons pose a real danger to Muslims
living in the communities that these law enforcement officers serve.
you imagine, after somebody takes this three-hour indoctrination course of
hating Islam, the next time that officer would stop a Muslim family with a
broken taillight? What would happen as a result?” said Ibrahim Hooper, a
spokesperson for the Council for American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil
rights group that is regularly accused of being a terrorist front by Guandolo
and other law enforcement trainers.
just designed to create fear and division and promote bigotry and intolerance.”
crimes against Muslims have spiked in recent years, rising by 15 percent in
2017, according to CAIR. And Beirich, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s
Intelligence Project director, says anti-Muslim training renders Muslims even
more at risk.
think having somebody sit in a room for a few hours and listen to the complete
demonisation of Muslims that Guandolo believes cannot be a good thing,"
complaint by two Muslim students who were not allowed to pray at a
non-denominational private school in Calgary is headed back to the Alberta
Human Rights Commission.
tribunal began its decision by determining the issue was not a request for
‘prayer space,’” reads the 15-page Appeal Court decision released Friday.
“Clearly, the students required space to pray and Webber Academy was being
asked to provide space, whether dedicated or not.”
human rights tribunal ruled the school’s policy was too rigid and it could have
accommodated the students without going against its secular status.
decision was upheld by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. The school then took
the matter to the Court of Appeal.
school’s president, Neil Webber, was happy with the ruling and said he hopes to
preserve the secular nature of the school, which has about 1,000 students.
welcome students and families of all faiths and beliefs, but we think it’s
fundamental to our families and students that this be an educational
institution where no religious practices are allowed,” Webber said.
in our 21 years of operations, we have had two requests for prayer space — one
from a Catholic family which we denied and the other from a Muslim family which
Imam Syed Soharwardy, founder and president of the Islamic Supreme Council of
Canada, said there’s no reason the school cannot allow students to pray.
were not asking for a dedicated place. They were asking for somewhere they
(would be) allowed to perform the prayer,” he said Friday. “And that place
could be in a corridor ... maybe in a room.”
detainment of former University of British Columbia student and women’s rights
activist Loujain Al-Hathloul could put a damper on Canada-Saudi Arabian
relations, say legal experts.
Cotler, a human rights lawyer and former federal justice minister, says the
arrest of Al-Hathloul and the current Saudi human rights record bring into
question the reformist message of the country’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin
Salman and the very basis of international trade agreements the country has
think the investments and trade are out of mutual trust and respect, and it
won’t work if the trust is not there and the respect is not there,” Cotler
said. “If he continues to arrest human rights activists like Loujain, then he
won’t get what he is seeking.”
such agreement is a $15-billion contract Canada signed in 2016 to provide armed
vehicles to Saudi Arabia. Despite defending the deal, Cotler said, the Canadian
government has already brought concerns to the crown prince through briefings
about the country’s human rights cases.
stark difference between the crown prince’s statements and Saudi Arabia’s
current human rights record threatens his credibility as a leader and in
international trade, Cotler said.
recent years, the crown prince has spread the message of Muslim “reform,” and
recently pledged to loosen bans on women driving and attending sports matches —
but at the same time he’s cracked down on activists within the country.
own credibility is on the line at this point, he can’t continue to affirm
matters relating to women’s rights and then arrest not just Loujain but also 11
women’s rights activists,” Cotler said.
plight is similar to that of Raif Badawi, a blogger who is now serving a
10-year sentence in Saudi Arabia with punishment of 1,000 lashes, he said. Both
activists were arrested for things that the crown prince was supporting on the
international stage — women’s rights and freedom of speech.
Davidson, executive director of Vancouver-based Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada,
described Saudi Arabia’s recent human rights message as “completely false,” and
said Canada’s current trade relationship with Saudi Arabia is surprising given
the circumstances. She referred to the takeover of the Canadian Wheat Board by
a Saudi company, as well as the $15-billion armed vehicles purchase.
about their human rights record, I’m surprised at the relationship that Canada
has with Saudi Arabia, and the extent to which they have become powerful in
Canadian affairs,” she said.
said he believes that the campaign for both Al-Hathloul and Badawi will be
growing in Canada, putting increased pressure on the Saudi government.
Recently, Badawi was granted honorary citizenship by the city of Montreal,
which Cotler said is only the beginning of a long-term campaign to free Saudi
Groups To Boycott RSS Iftar Party in Mumbai
Some Muslim groups have called for a boycott of RSS-sponsored Iftar party on
June 4. Community leaders and activists said the Iftar by Rashtriya Muslim
Manch (RMM), a wing of the RSS headed by Indresh Kumar, is hypocrisy as the
main outfit backs anti-Muslim campaigns of love jihad, mob lynching in the name
of cow vigilantism. They said this Iftar was a "ploy" to garner
Muslim votes in the 2019 elections.
will be RSS's first Iftar in Mumbai being hosted at Sahyadri Guest House.
"Muslims in the name of love jihad and cow vigilantism. Muslims should
stay away from such dinners till the time the RSS drops its anti-Muslim
policies," said M A Khalid of All India Milli Council.
a landmark verdict, the Kerala High Court on Friday declined to separate an
18-year-old boy and 19-year-old girl who were in a live-in relationship, saying
it cannot close its eyes to the fact that such relationships have become
rampant in society.
division bench of justices V Chitambaresh and K P Jyothindranath pronounced the
judgment while dismissing a habeas corpus petition filed by the girl’s father.
The Supreme Court had recently held that an adult couple has a right to live
together without marriage while asserting that a 20-year-old Kerala woman, whose
marriage had been annulled, could choose whom she wanted to live with.
his petition, the girl’s father alleged that his daughter was in the illegal
custody of the boy. Both the girl and the boy are Muslims and hail from
Alappuzha district. Dismissing the plea, the bench said it cannot close its
eyes to the fact that live-in relationships have become rampant in society and
such partners cannot be separated by the writ of habeas corpus.
bench, while considering the fact that she stayed with the boy for quite some
time and she is a major, allowed her to continue living with the youth.
Supreme Court has held that live-in relationships were now even recognised by
the legislature and they had found a place under the provisions of the
Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005.
observations came while the apex court was hearing a plea filed by one
Nandakumar against a Kerala High Court order annulling his marriage with
Thushara on the ground that he had not attained the legal age of marriage.
of Child Marriage Act states that a girl can’t marry before the age of 18, and
a boy before 21. The high court had also granted the custody of Thushara to her
father after noting that she was not Nandakumar’s “lawfully wedded” wife.
DELHI: The NIA has registered a case against eight Kerala men the stringent
Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for allegedly sympathising with banned
terror group ISIS, a senior official said on Friday.
National Investigation Agency (NIA) took over the case from the Kerala police
which had last year booked the eight people in Malappuram district of the
state police had alleged they were "members" of ISIS or 'Daesh' and
"supported" the organisation by travelling or preparing to travel
from Bahrain to Syria for joining the terror group, the official said.
said the ISIS was waging war against a country that has friendly relations with
booked were Shaibu Nihar, Manzoor, Mansoor, Shahnad, Fajid, Ashraf Moulavi,
Safeer and Muhadis, the agency said.
demolished structure in Ayodhya where Hindus offered prayers: Digvijaya Singh
Congress leader Digvijaya Singh on Friday said that in 1992, karsevaks
demolished a structure in Ayodhya where Hindus offered prayers.
touched upon the demolition of Babri Masjid when asked about his views on the
Ram Janmabhoomi issue in view of state Congress’s `Unity Yatra’ which started
from the Raja Ram temple at Orchha in Tikamgarh district yesterday.
linking it (Congress’s choice of Raja Ram temple to start its Yatra) with
Ayodhya, you all are dwarfing Raja Ram’s importance,” Singh said.
am coming here for the last 40 years. Don’t connect it with the controversial
Ram Mandir issue,” he said.
special NIA court in Patna sentenced all the five convicts in the 2013 Bodh
Gaya blasts to life imprisonment Friday. The court, which pronounced the
verdict last week, had to defer the pronouncement of quantum of sentence owing
to defence’s persistent efforts to delay the proceedings.
court of additional district judge Manoj Kumar Sinha awarded the punishment to
all five Indian Mujahideen militants — Umer Siddiqui (39), Azaharuddin Qureshi
(25), Imtiyaz Ansari(35), Haider Ali (30) and Mujibullah Ansari (28). They were
held guilty under IPC sections 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 153A (promoting
enmity among different groups on grounds of religion, sect and place of birth)
and various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and
Explosive Substances Act.
Final Decision on Holding Iftar: Pejawar Seer
Tirtha Swami of Pejawar Mutt said on Friday that he was planning to organise
Iftar for members of the Muslim community for Id-ul-Fitr, but he had not taken
a final decision on it.
to journalists here, the seer said that when the ‘Souharda Koota’ (Iftar) was
held in the outer precincts of the Sri Krishna Mutt/Temple last year, some
people criticised it while others welcomed it.
seer said that he was holding talks with Muslim leaders on this. But they were
not showing much interest because of the row last time. If they agree and a
decision is taken, it would be held at the Govinda Kalyana Mantap Hall near
Bhujanga Park here, he said.
seer said that he was not trying to appease anybody. But he wanted harmony
between Hindus, Muslims, Dalits and all other communities. There is no change
in his stand on the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya. Even some Muslim
leaders have agreed for the construction of the Ram temple, he said.
want both majority and minority communities to be treated in an equal manner.
Some time back, I had said that if necessary, there should be some amendments
in the Constitution for this purpose. At no point, I had called for a change in
the Constitution. But an unnecessary controversy was generated over it. I do
not want any kind of discrimination,” he said.
why the National Democratic Alliance had not moved on the Ram Temple, the seer
said that the matter was in the courts. While the Ram temple was needed, more
essential than this was the cleaning of the Ganga. The construction of the
temple could come later, he said.
alert in Kashmir over ‘militant plot’ to target security installations
personnel in Kashmir have been placed on high alert in the wake of inputs that
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants may try to target their installations on the
seventeenth day of Ramzan, which coincides with the Battle of Badr.
Battle of Badr was a key battle in the early days of Islam and a turning point
in Muhammad’s struggle with his opponents among the Quraish in Mecca.
reportedly picked up wireless chatter indicating that some militants were
planning to target security installations either in south Kashmir or Srinagar
on that particular day. “Security forces have been placed on high alert with
special instructions in light of these strong inputs. There were inputs of a
similar attempt last year too, but the militants could not pull off the attacks
due to increased cover,” a senior police officer familiar with the development
inputs suggested that the attacks were supposed to be carried out by foreign
militants affiliated to the JeM. “According to reports reaching us, militants
in south Kashmir were assigned the responsibility of targeting the camps on the
seventeenth day of Ramzan. We are not going to take any chances, and security
has been beefed up,” said an officer deployed in south Kashmir.
have already issued an advisory to its officers in charge of security
installations, and asked them to follow the standing operating procedure in the
eventuality of a terror attack. Additional security personnel have been
deployed, and vigil is likely to be stepped up in such areas especially after
dark. Additional bullet proof vehicles have been deployed close to police camps
as well as highways. Special barricades and check posts have also been set up
at various locations in the Valley to thwart militant movement.
have been several attacks on police and Army personnel after the Centre
announced a unilateral Ramzan ceasefire earlier this month. An army soldier was
killed and three others were injured in two separate attacks in south Kashmir’s
Pulwama and Shopian districts. In spite of this, security forces refrained from
launching any cordon-and-search or search-and-destroy operations against
militants during this period.
seven militants were killed in two operations conducted in north Kashmir’s
Kupwara district since the ceasefire call. Army officers said all of them were
foreigners who attacked an army patrol after infiltrating into the Valley.
injured in militant attacks
militants targeted the CRPF and the house of a Tral legislator – injuring two
paramilitary jawans and two civilians – in three separate incidents across
south Kashmir on Friday.
plans to send a top delegation to Europe next week to explore ways to continue to
trade with Iran despite US sanctions.
the top of the agenda would be preserving the current mechanisms for Indian
companies to pay to Iran for their oil purchases through EU banks.
delegation would comprise officials from the finance, petroleum and foreign
ministries and would start discussions for a week with EU officials from
Monday, India’s media quoted government sources as saying.
week, India joined voices of criticisms against US President Donald Trump’s
efforts to reimpose sanctions against Iran.
country’s Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj said New Delhi would only abide by
sanctions imposed by the United Nations but not those imposed by any other
country, such as announced by the US against Iran.
put India in league with many other countries – particularly those from the
European Union – that have already made their opposition to Trump’s anti-Iran
has taken a position, which is different this time. This time we are in the
same boat," the India Times quoted an unnamed official as saying.
Indian delegation would visit France, Germany, Britain and Brussels to meet
governments and bankers. Currently India settles oil payments in euros through
Germany's EIH Bank.
not only oil imports, we (European nations and India) are also impacted by
concomitant things like banking. We will discuss all these and the way
forward," the official added.
a related front, the India Times said
state refiner Bharat Petroleum Corp had requested an extra one million barrels
of oil from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) for June.
move by BPCL indicated that refiners were trying to frontload their purchases
from Iran ahead of a November US deadline for re-imposing sanctions on the
country's petroleum sector.
this point of time Iranian crude is attractive ... it is faring better than
spot cargoes and other crudes," the daily quoted an official as
has agreed to provide almost free shipping to Indian refiners in 2018/19, an
incentive that significantly reduces the landed cost of Iranian oil compared to
rival regional grades, it added.
deep roots, Pakistani Sikh community faces fresh wave of Taliban attacks
is mourning the death of Charanjit Singh, a beacon of interfaith harmony who
was gunned down on Tuesday in broad-daylight in the heart of Peshawar,
provincial capital of country’s Khyber Paktoonkhaw province.
murder of a minority Sikh human rights activist has caused uproar in Pakistan
highlighting the government’s failure to protect its minorities. Unfortunately,
this is not the first attack of its kind and going by the recent pattern, the
community continues to be a target of such attacks.
eye witnesses, police said gunmen riding on a motorcycle forced their entry
into a grocery shop and killed the owner of the shop and fled from the scene.
identified the deceased as Charanjit Singh, 52, a well-known human rights
activist and member of the country’s minority Sikh community. Motives behind
the murder is not yet known. Singh’s killing has sparked countrywide protests
attended by the minorities, members of civil society and students.
police source said deceased was an outspoken critic of the Taliban and militant
groups and a die-hard supporter of Pakistan military, which has recently
quelled militancy from country’s tribal areas bordering the porous
are investigating the case. Will share finding with media after probe
concludes,” Shaukat Khan, city police chief told Al-Arabiya English. Pakistan’s
minorities are experiencing another wave of fear and terror following the
family had moved to Peshawar city a couple of decades ago from Pakistan’s
tribal areas bordering Iran and Afghanistan after al-Qaeda backed Taliban and
other militant groups went on a rampage there.
2013-14, as many as 500 Sikh families had migrated from tribal areas to
Peshawar considering it relatively a safe place.
and relatives say Charanjit Singh was a vocal supporter of Pakistani military’s
efforts to crackdown on extremists, which may have prompted them to carry out
attack. Thousands attended Charanjit’s funeral held on Wednesday.
of the civil society and peaceful yet emotional Sikh community members
protested against Singh’s murder demanding government to take steps to ensure
protection for minorities.
also urged the government to form a judicial commission to probe Singh’s murder
and bring the culprits to justice. “Protection of citizens is the prime
responsibility of the state institutions. It must ensure it at any cast,”
Bhagal Singh, deceased’s close relative said.
was the second high profile attack on a prominent Sikh personality in Pakistan.
In April 2016, gunmen killed Sardar Soran Singh, provincial Minister for
Minorities Affair. Singh, 46, was the first Sikh in the Khyber Paktoonkhaw
Provincial Assembly and an advocate of interfaith-harmony.
record shows as many as eight prominent members of the Sikh community have been
killed in act of target killings in Pakistan’s Khyber Paktoonkhaw since 2013.
February 2010, Pakistani Taliban kidnapped and killed two members of the Sikh
community. Police found one dead body from Khyber tribal region, located a
short distance from the provincial capital of Peshawar, while another body was
found in the Aurakzai Agency.
is home to most of the country’s little over 40,000 strong Sikh community.
Sadly, this small community has been the target of militant organizations for
last few years.
of the Sikh businessmen have shops in Peshawar’s Scheem Chowk area where Sikh
traders and businessmen are feeling terrorized following Charanjit’s murder.
”Every time someone walks into my shop, I prepare for the worst as I don’t know
if it’s a customer or an assailant,” Sardar Lal Singh told this correspondent.
like Sardar Singh believe government and security agencies have abandoned them.
Yet they don’t imagine migrating. Sikhs see Pakistan as the place where their
religion took roots. The founder of Sikhism, Guru Nanak, was born in 1469 in a
small village near Lahore.
500-year-old religion was founded in what is now part of Pakistan, a
Muslim-majority country of nearly 200 million people. Most Sikhs had migrated
to India post-partition but keep visiting Pakistan each year for pilgrimage.
report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
(USCIRF) revealed on Tuesday that banned outfits are targeting minorities in
2017, religious minorities in Pakistan, including Hindus, Christians, Sikhs,
Ahmadis…continued to face attacks and discrimination from extremist groups and
society at large,” the report states, adding that as many as 231 people were
killed and 691 injured in such incidents in Pakistan last year.
December 2017, the State Department named Pakistan as the first, and only
country on its “Special Watch List,” a new category created by December 2016
amendments to IRFA.
Catholics spread joy to disabled Muslims
Catholic organization distributed gifts to disabled Muslim students at a
pre-Eid ceremony in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.
Dorothea Center for Special Children (DCSC) hosted the ceremony for 35 mentally
and physically handicapped students and their parents at the Ambassador Hotel
on May 31.
students, aged 6-18, offered garlands to speakers who said prayers before
urging the need for interfaith events during the Islamic fasting month of
director Khalid Shahzad called for the implementation of a jobs quota for
people with special needs.
to the Disabled Persons (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance passed in
1981, any company employing more than 100 people has to reserve 2 percent of
jobs for people with disabilities. However, the law is hardly implemented, said
only solution is to make disabled people more independent," he said.
said Muslim families do not allow DCSC's Catholic staff to leave without food
during home visits even at Ramadan. "True acceptance is vital for
interfaith harmony," he said.
Tahir Sindhu, a Catholic, spent his last day as Punjab's minister for
minorities and human rights with DCSC students. The Punjab Assembly dissolved
on May 31.
Rehman, vice-president of Special Olympics Pakistan, told ucanews.com that
inter-religious seminars and events have become an annual tradition in
gifted children deserve all the support, especially because they are better
than normal athletes. Our teams have won hundreds of medals in world
games," Rehman said.
Asad | Syed Ali Shah
Balochistan High Court on Friday declared delimitation of eight provincial
electoral constituencies null and void in Quetta.
divisional bench comprising Justice Naeem Akhtar Afghan and Justice Abdullah
Baloch ordered the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) to re-conduct
delimitation in view of apprehensions and reservations of political parties.
constituencies include PB-24, PB 25, PB 26, PB 27, PB 28, PB 29, PB 30 and PB
32 — all located in Quetta district. However, there was no complaint about PB
number of constituencies in Quetta jumped from six to nine following the 2017
census. Almost all political parties had expressed reservations regarding the
recent delimitation by ECP in Quetta district.
Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) leader Nasrullah Zarai, Hazrat Omar and Malik Yaseen
had challenged the delimitation.
court also ordered the inclusion of union council Sorod from PB 44
Awaran/Panjgoor into PB 43 Panjgoor.
order was passed by the divisional bench of the BHC on Friday.
asks ECP to settle delimitation issue of 10 districts on June 4
Islamabad High Court (IHC), while hearing a petition regarding the delimitation
of constituencies, on Friday asked the ECP to decide the disputes on June 4.
court, disposing of identical petitions against the delimitation of
constituencies, directed the petitioners to approach the ECP to redress their
grievances on the said date.
Justice Farooq this week decided on 110 petitions in which the petitioners had
challenged the ECP’s notification regarding delimitation of their respective
Farooq on Friday set aside delimitations of district Abbottabad — which was
challenged by outgoing deputy speaker of National Assembly Murtaza Javed Abbasi
— Zhob, and Jhang. He upheld the ECP’s decision on Sialkot and Multan’s
Wednesday, IHC had declared the delimitation of Kharan, Ghotki, Kasur,
Sheikhupura, Bahawalpur and Haripur void.
Tuesday, IHC set aside the delimitation of constituencies in four districts –
Jhelum, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh and Lower Dir.
court had remanded all these cases back to the Election Commission of Pakistan
(ECP) for rehearing.
has so far set aside delimitation of 14 constituencies while almost an equal
number of decisions of the ECP in this regard have been upheld by the court.
there are still 16 petitions pending before the IHC, which have been fixed for
hearing on June 4.
the written order, Justice Farooq observed that ECP “while hearing the matter,
has to take into account that the population variation should not be more than
10 per cent, however, where such is the case, reasons have to be given under
section 21 (3) & (4) of the Elections Act, 2017”.
to the petitions, the delimitations were made in violation of Section 20 of the
Elections Act, 2017 since the changes were not made ‘clock-wise’ and the
population factor and the geographical compactness were not taken into account.
It was contended that by virtue of change, a population difference of 25 per
cent had resulted in some constituencies.
ECP maintains that the delimitations that have been carried out in accordance with
Section 20 of Elections Act. Any changes made were for the purpose of bringing
the delimitation of two constituencies in line with the law.
court noted that under the scheme of delimitation, after the committee prepares
and approves its proposal, the matter is to be forwarded to the ECP which
scrutinises the same and can suggest alterations. If it does so, the matter is
referred back to the committee for reconsideration of the amendment suggested.
the commission is satisfied that the approved proposal for delimitation is
convenient to the public then it publishes the same along with its report in
the official gazette.
are then invited from the voters registered in the constituencies for changing
the approved proposals. In this regard, while considering the representations,
the ECP has to see, whether any amendment or change can be made and if it does
feel so, it can be ordered accordingly, the court order states.
to Justice Farooq, ECP although followed the rules related to the delimitation
of constituencies, while making the changes, “provided no reasons for altering
the approved proposals”.
Pakistan: A Pakistani official says gunmen have shot and killed one of his
staff and wounded three security guards in the restive tribal region along the
Ayaz Khan, the top administrator in North Waziristan, says Hamidullah Khan’s
vehicle was ambushed in a mountainous area late Friday night, and that a fourth
guard is missing. The two are not related.
Ahrar, an offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban, claimed responsibility for the
number of tribal officials have been assassinated in recent months as residents
return to the area following a yearslong military offensive aimed at rooting
out extremist groups.
least nine militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
Khurasan (ISIS-K) terrorist group were killed in Afghan army operations in
eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement the militants were killed
during the artillery strikes pounding the hideouts of the terror group in Haska
statement further added that the four hideouts of the terror group were
destroyed during the artillery strikes.
to Nangarhar governor’s office, the operations are still being conducted in
Haska Mina district to suppress the loyalists of the terror group.
comes as the US Air Force had earlier carried out an airstrike on a main
compound of the ISIS militants in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan,
leaving at least 17 militants dead.
provincial government media office in a statement said the latest airstrike was
carried out in the vicinity of Haska Mina district.
to the provincial government, the hideout of the terror group was targeted late
on Wednesday night in the vicinity of Awghaz area.
provincial government also added that several weapons and munitions belonging
to the terror group were also destroyed in the airstrike.
least four people including archeologists were killed or wounded in an
explosion in Kabul city earlier this today, the security officials said.
incident took place in the vicinity of Bani Hesar area of the city after an
explosion ripped through the vehicle of the archeologists.
Kabul Security Commandment officials confirmed that one archeologist was killed
in the blast and three others including their driver were wounded.
officials further added that the wounded individuals have been shifted to the
hospital for treatment but there are no reports regarding their health
Ministry of Information and Culture also confirmed that one archeologist was
killed and two others were wounded along with their driver in the explosion.
spokesman for the Ministry of Information and Culture Mohammad Sabir Momand
confirmed that the archeologists were on their way to Logar province when their
vehicle was targeted in the blast.
The United Nations said on Thursday (31/05) that it had struck an outline deal
with Myanmar aimed at eventually allowing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya
Muslims sheltering in Bangladesh to return safely and by choice.
August 2017, about 700,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled a military crackdown in
mainly Buddhist Myanmar, many reporting killings, rape and arson on a large
scale, UN and other aid organizations have said.
the conditions are not conducive for voluntary return yet, the MoU [memorandum
of understanding] is the first and necessary step to support the government's
efforts to change that situation," the UN High Commissioner for Refugees
(UNHCR) said in a statement.
government said in a brief statement late on Thursday the MoU would be signed
"soon" and UN agencies would "support access to livelihoods
through the design and implementation of community-based interventions."
civilian government spokesman Zaw Htay said he had nothing to add to the
and Bangladesh agreed in January to complete the voluntary repatriation of the
refugees within two years but differences between the two sides persist,
impeding implementation of the plan.
a separate statement on Thursday, Myanmar's government said it would set up an
independent commission to investigate "the violation of human rights and
related issues" in Rakhine State following the army operation there in
response to attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security posts.
commission will be assisted by international experts, the statement said
the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, senior UNHCR official George William Okoth-Obbo
told reporters after a five-day visit to Rohingya refugee camps along the
border that conditions in Myanmar did not yet allow a "safe and
said an immediate challenge for humanitarian agencies was to relocate 200,000
Rohingya refugees threatened by seasonal monsoon flooding and landslides to a
United Nations and aid agencies have described the crackdown on the Rohingya as
"a textbook example of ethnic cleansing," an accusation Myanmar
Security Council asked Myanmar in November to ensure no "further excessive
use of military force" and to allow "freedom of movement, equal
access to basic services, and equal access to full citizenship for all."
Afghanistan says peace and reconciliation is one of the key aspects of the
newly launched bilateral dialogue mechanism with Pakistan.
Shams, Afghanistan’s Deputy Ambassador in Islamabad, points out that objectives
of the latest round of negotiations are to reduce violence and stop bloodshed.
was speaking days after President Ashraf Ghani sent a high level delegation to
Pakistan to discuss implementation of the Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for
Peace and Solidarity, or APAPPSm that also calls for ‘effective actions against
fugitives and the irreconcilable elements’, posing security threats to either
countries also committed to deny use of their respective territory by any
country, network, group or individuals for anti-state activities against either
country, in reference to the Taliban and others groups in both countries.
National Security Adviser Haneef Atmar, who is considered as the second
powerful man in the Afghan ruling set-up, led talks with Army Chief General
Qamar Javed Bajwa on May 27.
new dialogue mechanism with Pakistan is aimed at making joint efforts either to
stop or reduce violence and bloodshed in Afghanistan. So the Afghan side called
for urgent implementation of whatever both sides have agreed upon in the
APAPPS,” Shams told Daily Times on Friday.
Afghan diplomat declined comment on the specifics of the recent discussion
among senior Pakistani and Afghan military and security officials, and said
that more discussions will be held on ways to ensure peace and stop violence in
the region. He was confident about Pakistan’s “flexible” approach, which he
said led to “consensus and understanding” on several issues.
sides have committed to take action against irreconcilable elements and Atmar
reiterated his commitment that Afghanistan will honour its promises and we hope
Pakistan will also act in line with the spirit of the APAPPS,” the Afghan
said the security officials concerned and the joint working groups will review
the possible measures. He, however, refused to offer more comments.
Kabul attaches high hopes that the new dialogue with Pakistan could pave the
way for peace with the Taliban, the insurgents have not shown willingness to
join the reconciliation with the Kabul administration.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid quickly rejected as “baseless claim” remarks by
top U.S. forces commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, that Taliban
leaders are holding secret talks with the government on a possible ceasefire.
categorically reject this baseless claim made by General Nicholson. The policy
of Islamic Emirate regarding talks and negotiations had been frequently
announced and it does not have any secret layers. Talking to impotent parties
during the presence of occupying forces is pointless,” Mujahid said in a
General Nicholson is making such fabricated statements to divert attention from
his failures and to keep the Washington media busy with false claims instead of
exposing the failed Trump strategy for Afghanistan to the American people,” he
Kabul, an official of the High Peace Council claimed contacts with certain
Taliban but did not confirm any negotiations with the insurgents.
have stepped up attacks since they launched their spring offensive in late
April and also overran few districts including the centre of western Farah
province. Last month, the insurgent group killed dozens of police and other
security officials when they launched attacks on two districts in Ghazni
province, which Afghan defence experts call a gateway to Kabul. Taliban have
also increased their operations in northern parts of the country.
the other hand, U.S. forces in Afghanistan say they have conducted a series of
precision strikes over a ten-day period, May 17-26, killing more than 70 senior
strikes represent one of the largest blows to Taliban leadership in the last
year,” said U.S. Army Gen. John Nicholson, U.S. Forces-Afghanistan and Resolute
Support commander on May 30.
largest of these strikes came on May 24, when four High Mobility Artillery
Rocket System (HIMARS) rockets destroyed a known Taliban command and control
node in Musa Qal’ah during a high-level meeting of Taliban commanders, the
Resolute Support mission said in a statement.
Dr Md. Mahmudul Hasan
the initial dust has now settled and Dr Maszlee Malik assumed the education
minister portfolio, it is perhaps timely to reflect on his suitability for the
Maszlee is an academic with decades of affiliation with a university and has
memberships and fellowships with research institutions and think tanks. Therefore,
many must have thought that his appointment as education minister would make
perfect sense. But it did not to some commentators and petitioners. They did
not see the logic and did not welcome Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s
their opinion, Dr Maszlee’s PhD in good governance from a reputable Western
university, plurilingual repertoire and shuttling between the academic
disciplines of Islamic jurisprudence and political science did not give him an
the Simpang Renggam Member of Parliament was sworn in as education minister on
May 21, opposition to his appointment were clichéd terms and banal vocabulary.
His critics attached labels such as “Islamist”, “Salafist”, and “defender of
Zakir Naik”, “supporter of extremism” and “Muslim Brotherhood sympathiser”.
What they seemed to oppose is his “Islamic leanings” and possible inculcation
of Islamic values in the education system of a Muslim-majority country.
may be debates about how religion is taught in Malaysian schools of various
levels and what changes the new education minister should make; but, dismissing
the need for religious (Islamic) teachings in public education amounts to a
denial of the reality of educational and social life. The petitioners against
Dr Maszlee are not mindful of the fact that an educational system imbued with
Islamic values can be a panacea for a multitude of problems such as corruption,
sexual misconduct, smoking and other addictions, substance abuse, poor work
ethics and other dangerous behaviours.
was a campaign to malign the character of Dr Maszlee and to associate him with
“indoctrination” and “radicalisation”. This is unfair. Dr Maszlee may be a
newbie in active politics, but he has a long career of research, teaching and
the fact that humanity is in the grip of a worldwide crisis in education, it is
untenable to regard religion as irrelevant to the education system. It is
worrisome to conscientious scholars both in the East and West that education
has been increasingly confined to professional skills and training for
professor Harry Lewis, in his book, Excellence without a Soul: How a Great
University Forgot Education (2006), sums up the crisis in modern education:
“Society is going to hell in a handbasket, and the great universities are going
to get there first”.
to Lewis, modern educational institutions largely “feed students candy rather
than tougher stuff that will strengthen their ethical bones”. Teachers and
lecturers “treat a course like a tube of toothpaste: they squeeze out a little
bit of material every day … and they try to ensure that the tube is empty at
the end of the term, clenching the tube in both fists during the last week if
educational attainments are driven by selfish reasons such as greed for money
and status, lust for power and other materialistic ends. Most students choose
university degrees for reasons of career concerns only. As a result, “the
relationship of the students to the college” has become “increasingly that of a
consumer to a vendor of expensive goods and services”. Sadly, the accumulation
of wealth and reckless material aggrandizement seems to have become the sole
reason for the pursuit of education. As a result, compassion, honesty,
integrity and all other cherished and treasured values are gradually
disappearing from society. Eventually, sufferers will not be only a certain
religious group, rather the entire humanity.
am not suggesting that education should be otherworldly and out of touch with
contemporary society and its structures. What I argue for here is the
integration of moral and religious values in pedagogical practices. The best
way to address the educational crisis is the integration approach to embrace the
faith and learning. This involves inculcating religious and universally
accepted moral values in teaching and learning.
this respect, Dr Maszlee’s Islamic background should be a reason to celebrate,
not a cause for concern. Time will tell us about the extent of his success or
failure as education minister. To pass judgment on the basis of his “religious
leanings” only is ill-considered and hasty.
a final note, those who seek to dichotomise Islam and education should bear in
mind that the first revelation that Prophet Muhammad received from God is the
command to: “Read!” (Quran, 96:1).
to Quranic verses 2:251, 3:48, 12:37 and 18:65-66, all prophets invariably
received the inestimable blessing of knowledge from God; and the term ilm
(knowledge) and its derivatives appear hundreds of times in the Quran. What is
more, Prophet Muhammad famously said: “I have been sent as a teacher.”
scope of this article does not allow me to elaborate more on the Islamic
concept of education. However, suffice to say that, contrary to the charges of
rigidity and backwardness, Islamic education and Islamic world view
interpretations — being organic and fluid — can be oriented towards specific
life domains without compromising the basic principles of Islam.
Md. Mahmudul Hasan is with the Department of English Language and Literature,
International Islamic University Malaysia
Bangladeshi national Kadir Mohammed Abdul, working as a construction worker
while fasting during the month of Ramadan can be challenging. So it helps that
he has employers who recognise his and his fellow workers' efforts.
the management of Lendlease Retail, as it has done for the past three years,
organised an Iftar, or breakfast, session. About 240 migrant workers broke fast
together with the Member of Parliament for Marine Parade GRC, Associate
Professor Fatimah Lateef, in the session held at Wisma Geylang Serai for the
first time. Previously, it was held at the Paya Lebar Quarter project site
Kadir, 33, who led the evening prayers this year, was heartened that the company
has been organising this annual event.
was very lucky to lead the prayers this year. I am also happy that the company
takes time out to care for us.
were allowed to leave work at 4pm today, instead of 7pm, so that we can prepare
for this event," said Mr Kadir.
also lets its Muslim workers opt for evening or night shifts instead of working
during the day.
are also provided special stickers for their hard hats so that other colleagues
are more conscious of their safety while on site.
hope that the campaign has helped raise awareness of the sacrifice of migrant
workers," said Mr Richard Paine, managing director, Paya Lebar Quarter by
continued progress is only possible with everyone's hard work and dedication,
and we hope to be able to celebrate this month together as a family here."
the iftar, the workers were served a chicken briyani meal by Assoc Prof Fatimah
and four Lendlease executives.
MP said: "It is wonderful to know that Lendlease has put in a lot of effort
in looking after our Muslim workers here during the month of Ramadan.
in Malaysia reportedly detained 15 suspected terrorists — including a student,
a housewife, six Malaysians, six Filipinos, and a Bangladeshi restaurant owner
— on Friday for allegedly smuggling firearms into the Muslim-majority country
and plotting attacks on several non-Muslim places of worship.
to the Washington Post, National police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the
Bangladeshi restaurant owner, 41, was believed to be involved in smuggling
weapons for terrorists. Meanwhile, the African couple, who are in their early
20s and whose country of origin was not disclosed, were reportedly suspected of
having ties to the Islamic State.
African couple were reportedly detained in April and have been deported.
Malaysian and six Filipinos, aged between 22 and 49, were held in April in
Sabah state on Borneo island for being part of a militant cell collecting
firearms to wage ‘jihad’ in Marawi city in the Philippines,” the Washington
Post reported. The publication noted that “Marawi was the scene of a six-month
militant siege last year.”
reportedly said one of the six Malaysians detained is a 17-year-old student and
suspected Islamic State member who made six Molotov cocktails that he planned
to use against churches and Hindu temples in Kuala Lumpur.
of the detained Malaysians was a 51-year-old woman who allegedly planned to ram
a car into a crowd of non-Muslims at a voting center during the country’s
general elections on May 9. “In addition, the suspect also planned to drive
into non-Muslim worship places using a car filled with gas cylinders as
explosives,” Harun reportedly said.
senior intelligence source told Channel News Asia that the woman was the
“mastermind” of the terror plot and said, “She exhorted her fellow ideological
supporters … to reject the democratic system (in Malaysia) and to choose a
Caliphate system instead.” The sources reportedly added, “She got the idea of
using a car to attack non-Muslims from Islamic State (IS) attacks in France and
the UK where terrorists used cars to run over people.”
The country’s intellectuals should be given the freedom to voice their opinions
Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Institute of Ethnic Studies principal research fellow
Professor Dr Mansor Mohd Noor said today that intellectuals were reluctant to
express themselves freely in writing and during debates because they were
afraid it could jeopardise their careers.
debate and write not because we want to worsen the situation but because we
have to learn from history,” he said, after a discussion titled “Religion, Pas
and the 14th General Election” at UKM.
(academicians) are conducting surveys on the disintegration of political
parties in Taiwan and India.
same thing happened in the country when people were transferred or fired, or
criticised by party veterans and former cabinet members who had left the party.
the current government does not practice openness, they will face the same fate
as the previous government.
why we need to empower civil society and non-governmental organisations so that
they can speak up and offer constructive criticism,” he said, adding that it
was crucial if the country was to be strong, peaceful, united and prosperous.
on efforts to strengthen the role of Islamic scholars, Mansor said they had to
explain the relevant Islamic principles before calling for the punishment of
on religion, especially when the community is facing an issue, always revolves
around what is halal and haram, not Islam,” he said.
also freely label other people as Salafi, Sunnah Wal Jamaah and Wahabi.
weakness of the religious scholars lies in the fact that many of them discuss
current issues from the legal viewpoint and not on the basis of Islamic
senior Indonesian government official has appealed to an influential Catholic organization
to help foster national unity, amid what he said were growing threats to the
country's secular constitution and philosophy by extremist groups.
a May 30 gathering to mark the 60th anniversary of the Association of
Indonesian Catholic Intellectuals (ISKA), Moeldoko, the presidential chief of
staff, said radical groups were trying to destroy the very foundations the
country was built on. He was speaking about Indonesia's 1945 constitution and
its national philosophy, Pancasila, that promotes secularism and the principle
of unity through diversity.
is happening scares me. I have just read [an] article about a young girl who
became radicalized by learning about extreme Islamic teachings from the
internet," Moeldoko, who like many Indonesians only goes by one name, told
the gathering in Jakarta. He was referring to 18-year-old Dita Siska Millenia,
arrested on May 12 near a police detention center in Depok, West Java, and
scene of a deadly riot by terrorism suspects three days earlier.
girl was allegedly planning to stab a policeman with scissors.
hope the ISKA, as an organization with a strong commitment to promoting
national unity, can really become this nation's pillar of strength to continue
national development," he said.
hope ISKA will get rid of the terms 'majority' and 'minority.' We need to think
about how to build togetherness. National unity is the only thing which can
make Indonesia a big country," he said.
ISKA is a member of Geneva-based Pax Romana ICMICA, a U.N. affiliated
international association of Catholic organizations, groups and individuals
primarily engaged in dialogue between the Christian faith and cultures.
such it is heavily involved in the promotion of human rights and democracy,
culture and education, social cohesion and eradication of poverty, and inter
cultural and inter-religious dialogue.
chairman Vincentius Hargo Mandirahardjo said the organization has and always
will be at the forefront in dealing with issues threatening national unity.
cannot stay silent when our nation is facing threats such as radicalism and
fake news stoking religious sentiments. We are very concerned about this
situation and will continue to be in the front line," he said.
need to voice our commitment over and over again. If we don't, then who else
will?" he said, adding the government will have the organization's full
support in this regard.
Paulus Christian Siswantoko, executive secretary of the bishops' Commission for
Laity, said ISKA members have many thoughts and ideas they can share with
others because of the influence and connections the organization has.
is hoped ISKA can really help people understand the current situation, to act
wisely and to find solutions to issues such as radicalism and
intolerance," he said.
LUMPUR, June 1 — PKR’s religious bureau has supported today Putrajaya’s move to
reform the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), including
appointing a committee to review the federal agency’s role.
a statement, it said the Council of Malay Rulers is responsible for Islamic
affairs in each state, and the existing National Islamic Affairs Council, that
should supervise federal religious agencies, must be reinforced.
is unfortunate, if there is an institution and agency labelled with Islam that
is implicated with various issues that tarnish Islam’s image,” the bureau’s
chairman Senator Muhammad Nur Manuty said.
as breach of trust, delay, cruelty, wastage, declaring others infidels, too
quick to punish and label, treating customers roughly, not pro-active, and
buried in a comfort zone.”
week, Dr Mahathir announced that a new committee will be formed to evaluate the
role of Jakim. It will include religious scholars and non-religious experts.
Muslims Accuse Bavaria of Double Standards Over Crucifix Order
(REUTERS) - Muslim groups in Germany accused the Bavarian government of double
standards on Friday as a new order requiring government buildings in the mainly
Catholic southern region to display a crucifix went into effect.
is no ban on Muslim women wearing a headscarf in Germany, though some states
have restrictions on headscarves and other Muslim religious clothing in
courtrooms and schools.
Soeder, Bavaria's premier of the arch-conservative Christian Social Union (CSU)
party, introduced the decree on crucifixes in April, drawing a furious reaction
from opposition politicians and prominent clerics.
believe that religious symbols and values are important for society,"
Burhan Kesici, the head of the Islamic Council organization, told Reuters.
to rulings such as that in the Bavarian capital of Munich last March which
banned headscarves in court rooms, Kesici said perceiving headscarves as
something negative while celebrating and imposing crosses in public spaces
amounted to "double standards".
Muslims don't have a problem with the cross or with valuing religion in the
social life. However, government neutrality must remain protected," Aiman
Mazyek, the head of another Muslim organization, told Reuters.
doesn't work is to accept Christian symbols while banning Islamic, Jewish and
other symbols in public," Mazyek said.
4 million Muslims live in Germany, making them the largest religious minority
government offices and departments in Germany's wealthiest and most
conservative state are obliged to hang a cross in their entrance area under the
new rules. Schools, museums, and theatres will be recommended to place one.
Spiderman's French fairy tale sparks migrant pride and envy
the French migrant workers' hostel where "Spiderman" Mamoudou Gassama
was sleeping on a floor before becoming a folk hero for saving a child, his
exploits have triggered a wave of pride tinged with envy.
week television crews swarmed the center in the eastern Paris suburb of
Montreuil to find out more about the 22-year-old Malian who was captured on
video scaling an apartment block to bring a child hanging from a balcony to
residents were unaware the shy youth was living at the hostel and happy to see
him hailed for his bravery by President Emmanuel Macron and being placed on a
fast track to French citizenship.
lives here? It's incredible," said Adama Kone, a 35-year-old Mauritania
all-male facility, which has an official capacity of 430 but houses many more,
is part of a network of hostels built to accommodate a wave of migrant workers
arriving from Africa starting in the 1960s.
his arrival in France in September 2017 after travelling the Mediterranean migrant
route, Gassama was given a mattress on the floor in a room occupied by his
54-year-old brother Birama and three relatives from his home village of Yaguine
in western Mali.
modest room, furnished with just two bunk beds and a television placed on top
of a fridge, was once occupied by Mamoudou's father, according to Birama.
was glued to the television on Monday as footage of Mamoudou meeting Macron in
the gilded settings of the Elysee Palace was being played on a loop.
a foreigner I am really pleased," he said.
could have fallen and died. He's a true hero."
should be jealous'
residents of the hostel -- home to migrants from Mali, Senegal and Mauritania
-- described a grim existence in France, under pressure to find work to support
families at home who live off remittances.
corridors of the shelter are cluttered with camp beds and cooking stoves, and
window ledges act as larders.
migrants live in hope of eventually gaining the right to stay -- hopes
nourished by official statistics which show that in 2017 alone 30,000 were
Macron on Monday reiterated he would abide by his tough stance on immigration.
his decision to naturalise Gassama as an "exceptional" move to honour
an "exceptional act" he warned: "We cannot give (papers) to all
those who come from Mali or Burkina Faso" -- two countries from where
thousands set out each year across the Mediterranean to Europe.
estimated 300,000 immigrants are living illegally in France, according to the
president should regularise everyone," said Mamoudou, a 26-year-old Malian
who claimed to be a childhood friend of the "Spiderman".
should be jealous of him," he added, "to motivate ourselves to do
something just as brave."
he was not hopeful of a rapid change in policy.
many young migrants he saw his only hope in pulling off an exceptional feat
like that of Gassama or fellow Malian national Lassana Bathily, who was granted
French citizenship for helping hide hostages during a jihadist attack in Paris
in January 2015.
took Galadio Diakite, a 50-year-old Malian still living in the hostel after
three decades in France, 11 years to obtain residency.
vows to 'send home' half a million undocumented immigrants
Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini has pledged to deliver on his campaign
promise to deport half a million asylum seekers from the country.
declared on Friday that one of the new government’s top priorities would be to
“send them home,” signaling to keep a campaign pledge which could result in
some 500,000 undocumented refugees leaving Italy.
doors in Italy for good people and a one-way ticket for those who come to Italy
to create commotion and think they will be taken care of. ‘Send them home’ will
be one of our top priorities,” he said.
also said he would seek to convert refugee reception centers into detention
centers and use public funds for mass deportations.
head of Italy's far-right League, a nationalist party which is part of the
ruling coalition, took the tough approach hours after the new government was
approved by the Italian president, Sergio Mattarella.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was sworn in on Friday as the head of the first
populist government in a European Union founding member. Conte’s government,
which has been forged by the anti-establishment Five Star Movement and the
far-right League party, has raised concerns in some EU member states.
53-year-old is to lead a government that intends to cut taxes and boost welfare
spending, while seeking to overhaul EU rules on immigration and budgets.
has launched a string of schemes to tackle its worst refugee crisis since World
War II. The continent has been hit since 2014 by an unprecedented influx of
refugees who are fleeing conflict-ridden zones in North Africa and the Middle
East, in particular Syria.
blame major European powers for the mass exodus, saying their interference has
led to a surge in conflicts and terrorism in troubled regions, forcing people
to flee their homes.
700,000 refugees have landed in Italy over the past four years.
- A Russian pilot who was missing presumed dead after his plane was shot down
three decades ago during the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan has been found
alive and wants to come home, Russian military veterans said Friday.
is still alive. It’s very astonishing. Now he needs help,” the head of the
paratroopers’ union Valery Vostrotin told RIA Novosti state news agency.
who heads the Russian side of a Russian-US joint commission on prisoners-of-war
and soldiers missing in action, declined to name the pilot for reasons of
man was shot down in 1987 and is likely now to be over 60, the deputy head of
veteran’s organisation Battle Brotherhood, Vyacheslav Kalinin, told the news
agency, adding that he now wants to come home.
suggested that the pilot could be in Pakistan, where Afghanistan had camps for
prisoners of war.
Novosti reported that during the course of the war between 1979 and 1989, 125
Soviet planes were shot down in Afghanistan.
Soviet troops pulled out in 1989, around 300 soldiers were listed as missing.
Since then some 30 have been found and most returned to their home countries.
business daily reported that only one Soviet pilot was shot down in 1987,
naming him as Sergei Pantelyuk from the southern Russian Rostov region, who
went missing along with his plane after taking off from Bagram airfield, now a
US air base, north of Kabul.
head of a local veterans’ organisation said that his mother and sister are both
Pravda tabloid also traced Pantelyuk’s 31-year-old daughter who was born months
before her father went missing.
Frants Klintsevich told RIA Novosti that this was far from the only such case.
He said that he had met a former Soviet soldier on a trip to Afghanistan a few
years ago who refused to give his name and spoke Russian with difficulty and
said it was too late for him to go back.
Soviet soldier Bakhretdin Khakimov, who was interviewed by AFP in 2015, was one
of those who opted to remain in Afghanistan. He was seriously wounded and was
nursed back to health by local people and then converted to Islam.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says the European Union has made some
progress on measures to protect the bloc's companies from US sanctions on Iran
but they are still insufficient.
have moved forward on one point, which is the implementation of a European rule
that dates from 1996 which we have modernized and allows us to protect our
firms against this American pressure, but that is not enough,” he told France's
there is still a need to create financial mechanisms away from the dollar, in
euros or other currencies, that will help firms dealing with Iran, and for
Tehran to be able to export its oil, he added.
1996 rule allowed Europe to protect its companies from sanctions imposed by US
on Cuba and other countries.
comments come as France, Germany and Britain, as three European signatories to
the Iran nuclear agreement, known as the JCPOA, are scrambling to protect their
businesses from new American sanctions following US President Donald Trump's
withdrawal form the deal.
reinvigoration of that regulation could also facilitate efforts to save the
JCPOA from constant US threats of banning companies from its market of they
engage in business with Iran.
countries affected by unilateral US sanctions, like Russia, have also proposed
the use of euro or other currencies in transactions with the EU.
US has used its lobby to prevent such a decision as skirting dollar in the
relatively large amount of economic activity between Russia and the EU could
seriously undermine Washington’s global clout.
on Friday quoted Western diplomats as saying that the remaining parties to the
Iran nuclear deal have warned the United States that its decision to withdraw
from the pact jeopardizes non-proliferation efforts.
pulling out of the 2015 deal, Trump triggered the revival of sanctions against
the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), which oversees the Arak heavy
water research reactor and the Fordow fuel enrichment plant.
the deal, the Arak reactor was to be redesigned to render it unable to make
plutonium under normal operation, while the Fordow plant was to stop enriching
uranium and be converted into a nuclear, physics and technology center.
restoration of U.S. sanctions on AEOI would expose non-US companies to the risk
of punishment by the United States for dealing with it, including Chinese
state-owned China National Nuclear Corp. and Russia's Rosatom, which are doing
nonproliferation work respectively at Arak and Fordow.
a meeting in Vienna last Friday, the non-US parties to the deal - Britain,
China, France, Germany, Russia and Iran - discussed the subject extensively,
with Beijing and Moscow stressing their concerns, Reuters quoted European
diplomats as saying.
by young Islamist militants in northern Mozambique are fuelled by a mix of
poverty and corruption, writes Joseph Hanlon.
the most recent attack, 10 people were decapitated with machetes in Palma
district in the country's northerly Cabo Delgado province.
than 300 people have been detained by the police and army since the first
attack in the port town Mocimboa da Praia on October 2017.
northern Mozambique has a long history of trade and movement of people with the
rest of East Africa, and people in this area are traditionally Muslim.
offshore discovery of one of the largest natural gas fields in Africa in 2010
triggered dreams of wealth, but so far there has been little impact locally.
will not be produced in the region until 2022 and there will be no serious
government revenue until 2028 or later.
is currently offshore exploration work being done and onshore construction of
infrastructure. But as is common with mega-projects of this kind, few local
opportunities have materialised.
unemployment therefore remains very high, as in the rest of Mozambique.
2015, poorly educated and marginalised young men, many of them itinerant street
traders in Mocimboa da Praia, formed small groups and began to organise around
a rudimentary form of Islamic fundamentalism.
blamed both the mosques and the Mozambican state for their plight, and decided
to challenge both.
marched into local mosques wearing shoes and carrying knives as an intentional
sign of disrespect of what they saw as "degenerate Islam". Local
people called them "al-Shabab", simply local Arabic for youth, or
just "the Shababs".
small cells realised the need to look outside both for weapons and religious
training, and found surprising allies.
has become increasingly corrupt in recent years and its coastal north has
become a major centre for ivory, timber, heroin and ruby smuggling - with the
involvement of police and other government officials.
smuggling barons incorporated the militant young men into their networks and
paid them well.
nearby border with Tanzania is not controlled and there has always been a
movement of people. This has increased with more people smuggling - mainly from
Kenya, Somalia and the Great Lakes through Mozambique to South Africa.
were already young Tanzanian men in the Mocimboa da Praia street trading
community who became part of the groups.
the 2012 killing in Kenya of Muslim cleric Aboud Rogo Mohammed (accused of
supporting al-Shabab in Somalia), his followers came under pressure and moved
built a presence in Kibiti, Tanzania, and crossed the Ruvuma River into Cabo
Delgado by 2015.
incomes made from smuggling, religious networks, and people-traffickers, the
extremist cells paid to send young men to Tanzania, Kenya and Somalia for
military and Islamic training.
income also helped bring radical clerics to Mozambique.
Mozambique, they hired a sacked policeman and two dismissed border guards to
provide military training.
study of these groups based on a month of fieldwork by Mozambican Islamic
cleric Sheik Saide Habibe and researchers Salvador Forquilha and João Pereira
was reported in Maputo on 22 May.
structure remains one of small cells, of 10 to 30 people, who are linked but
only loosely, the study found.
of the attacks appear to have been done by a single group.
loose guerrilla format makes it difficult for the army and police to find these
is now a large presence of army and riot police in three districts of Cabo Delgado.
They have been accused of heavy handed tactics and of killing local people.
helicopters and a navy ship shelled the village of Mitumbate near Mocimboa da
Praia on 23 and 24 December 2017 with at least 50 casualties.
were accused of supporting the young Islamist militants.
shelling was in response to an ambush of a riot police convoy on 17 December,
which was going from Mocimboa da Praia to Mitumbate, in which the riot police's
national director of reconnaissance was killed.
growing role of young Islamic fundamentalists and incidents like mosque
invasions had been reported to local and provincial police and officials since
the response has been to turn a blind eye - partly not to rock the boat and
jeopardise their own jobs by giving bad news to their superiors, and partly
because the young militants have the support of the smuggling barons.
commentators have pointed to the attacks' similarity to common guerrilla
tactics, and also to the actions of the Renamo guerrilla movement in Mozambique
when it first started in the late 1970s.
is no overt political agenda and the first step is to establish a presence
through fear, including atrocities such as the recent beheadings.
the same time, they need to recruit new members and gain local support, and
this is apparently being done through family links.
the final goal is to encourage overreaction by the government, which they hope
will turn communities against the government and toward them.
of that appears to be happening in coastal Cabo Delgado.
Mozambique will have municipal elections on 10 October and national elections
which has governed since independence, is facing a growing backlash, in part
because of the lack of rural development and the failure to create jobs -
exactly what is at the heart of the Islamist youth militancy.
Cabo Delgado has always voted overwhelmingly for Frelimo, the opposition - both
Renamo and Mozambique Democratic Movement (MDM) - has also done well in these
time will tell whether the impoverished region's lack of development, jobs,
growing corruption and heavy-handed response to extremism will help the
opposition in the polls.
could also be the toxic recipe needed to help grow these nascent extremist
: A US air strike in Somalia killed 12 militants from the Shabaab, an Al-Qaeda affiliate
that launches regular attacks on targets in the African nation, the United
States Africa Command said on Friday.
said US forces conducted the strike on Thursday in conjunction with Somalia’s
government about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Mogadishu.
Shabaab was pushed out of Somalia’s capital in 2011, and subsequently from
other towns and cities, by soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia
the Islamists still hold sway in large parts of the countryside. They launch
regular gun and bomb attacks on government, military and civilian targets in
Mogadishu as well as ambushes on military convoys and outposts.
commandos often carry out operations side-by-side with the American forces that
train them. Air assaults and missile strikes have increased in recent months.
UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says people smugglers shot dead more than 12 refugees
who were attempting to flee a camp in Libya last week.
incident, previously reported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) and local
sources, took place in the town of Bani Walid, south of Tripoli, on May 23.
traffickers in Libya reportedly killed more than a dozen people and wounded
many others after a group of some 200 Eritreans, Ethiopians and Somalis, being
held captive, attempted to escape," the UNHCR said in a statement on
Friday, noting that those murdered "were shot".
survivors spoke of torture abuse and exploitation at the hands of traffickers -
some being held in captivity for up to three years," the statement added.
Walid is a hub for smugglers to bring refugees from Libya’s southern
sub-Saharan neighbors to the coast, from where they are shipped by boat to
smugglers and kidnappers control around 20 detention centers in the town,
telephoning the refugees' families to demand ransoms.
the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Muammar Gaddafi, chaos-ridden
Libya has become a major transit hub for refugees trying to reach Europe.
of thousands of asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution have made the
perilous journey through Libya and across the Mediterranean Sea to Italy. Many
have perished en route.
Haram: What Global Amnesty Watch said about activities of Nigerian troops, IDPs
in north east
Ameh Comrade Godwin
Global Amnesty Watch, GAW, an international human rights organization, has
spoken on activities of troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole currently fighting
Boko Haram terrorists in north eastern part of Nigeria.
of GAW, David Falt, while speaking during a visit to the headquarters of
Operation Lafiya Dole, called on other international bodies to come to the aid
of the country.
to Falt, GAW decided to visit Nigeria in order to witness activities of the
troops and condition of the Internally Displaced Persons in the region.
his speech, the GAWA boss said, “The Global Amnesty Watch has been in town for
sometimes now and having worked extensively to examine the war against terror
in Nigeria, it will be out of place not to visit the theatre of operations to
pay our complement to the Nigerian troops.”
reality however is that I am here after an extended field trip of affected
areas and attending the International Conference on Terrorism here in Nigeria.
Participants and experts at the conference assessed the war on terrorism in the
past three years, which incidentally covers the period the present
administration has been in office.”
is a method of evaluation I recommend experts in conflict monitoring and
resolution to return to, on the ground assessment. Advancement in technology
has internet connectivity means that international organizations are able to
remotely monitor conflicts, conduct interviews and exchange documents and other
these are fraught with downsides, with the greatest minus being the ease with
which they can be easily manipulated for mischief – satellite images that have
been doctored, interviews with composite personalities that do not exist but were
created to mislead researchers, videos, pictures and audios that have been
edited to alter the contexts are few of the pitfalls that have compromised the
reports of organizations that otherwise see themselves as reputable.”
while expressing his reservation on the recent reports against the Nigerian
Military by an agency, stated that the limited number of staff deployed as
human intervention to mediate technology used on the field have proven even
less reliable than the process they are meant to moderate.
Global President applauded the Nigerian Military saying “One must commend the
Army leadership for instilling the highest level of respect for rules of
engagement and human rights in the course of fighting terrorists.
has done well in this fight. The kind of destabilization in other places with
ISIS and al-Qaeda has been averted for Nigeria because the Army at some point
did the right thing by adopting a Nigerian approach to a global problem that
surfaced in your country. It is working, even though there are forces that
prefer things turn out differently.”
charged the Army not to relent or else things will degenerate again, especially
in the case of groups in their formative stages of becoming terrorist
world is looking up the Nigerian military. This is why the Nigerian military
must shun every form of distraction when carrying out their duties.
must continue to ensure that troops comply with rules of engagement and respect
human rights so that those working to place obstacle in the way of the war on
terrorism would not have substantiation for their allegations. This much is
owed to the civilian populations that have come to rightly depend on the
military for protection from terrorists. We commend your protection and appeal
that you do not let them down for any reason.”
treaty on counter-terrorism comes into effect in Turkey
Additional Protocol of the first international treaty on foreign terrorists,
which was signed in the Latvian capital Riga in 2015, was put into force in
Turkey on June 1.
Additional Protocol of the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of
Terrorism, the first international treaty addressing the foreign terrorist
fighters phenomenon that was signed in Riga on Oct. 22, 2015, has been recently
ratified by our country and came into force in Turkey as of today,” the Turkish
Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
reminded that the protocol had been signed by 40 member states of the Council
of Europe and the EU.
with Turkey, the number of states which ratified and enforced the protocol
reached 12, it added.
significantly contributed to the drafting and prompt signing of the Additional
Protocol, which not only stipulates strengthening the cooperation among the
members of the Council of Europe, but also obligates them to criminalize a
number of acts, such as taking part in an association or a group for the
purpose of terrorism, receiving terrorist training, travelling abroad for the
purposes of terrorism and organizing, financing or facilitating such travels,”
the statement said.
that Turkey would continue to support international efforts against terrorism,
which it described as “a major threat to global peace and security,” it said
the country had already been combatting several terrorist organizations at the
Dhabi within range of Yemeni missiles: Army spokesman
army spokesman has warned the UAE that its capital, Abu Dahabi, is "no
longer safe" from missiles fired in retaliation for the Saudi-led military
campaign on the impoverished state.
now on Abu Dhabi is no longer safe, it will be within our ballistic missiles'
range," Brigadier General Sharaf Ghaleb Luqman said in a statement carried
by Yemen's official Saba news agency on Friday.
also urged investors in Abu Dhabi to take his warning seriously.
UAE is a key member of a Saudi-led invasion that began in March 2015 in support
of Yemen’s former Riyadh-friendly government and against the Houthi Ansarullah
offensive has killed and injured over 600,000 civilians, according to the
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights.
in his statement, the spokesman said the Yemeni army would confront the
military escalation by the UAE forces in the country's western coast in
army supported by popular committees has recaptured most of the areas in the
western coast," he said. "Islands and areas, where the occupation
forces of the Saudi-UAE-led coalition are stationing, will be a cemetery."
remarks came amid a recent military build-up by the UAE-backed forces in
Yemen's western port city of Hudaydah and the Socotra Island.
further rejected reports of advances by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's
northern Sa'ada Province as false.
Arabia has also imposed a blockade on Yemen, which has halted humanitarian
deliveries of food and medicine to the conflict-ridden state.
Western countries, the US and the UK in particular, are accused of being complicit
in the aggression as they supply the Riyadh regime with advanced weapons and
forces regularly target positions inside Saudi Arabia in retaliatory attacks
against the Riyadh-led military operation.
Saudi soldiers slain in Yemeni attack
Friday, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported that Yemeni
forces had attacked Saudi military positions in the kingdom's southwestern
Jizan region, killing five soldiers.
Yemeni army's artillery unit also targeted Saudi army positions in the same
region, the report said.
Yemeni army has devised a plan that consists of three axes to liberate
Hodeidah, Yemen’s Hodeidah Governor al-Hassan al-Taher told Asharq Al-Awsat
plan stipulates entering from the city’s southern side while closing off the
southeastern part of the road that leads to the Bajil district to prevent the
Houthi militias from receiving any reinforcements.
exit from the northern side will also be opened to give Houthi militants a way
to escape while a new front towards the international airport will be opened as
intelligence forces have also detected the posts of Houthi fighters and their
to Taher, the airport will be one of the first posts that the army will handle.
young Palestinian nurse has been killed when Israeli military forces opened
fire on a group of protesters taking part in an anti-occupation rally near the
border between the besieged Gaza Strip and occupied territories.
medical sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 21-year-old Razan
Ashraf al-Najjar was attending to wounded Palestinian demonstrators east of
Khan Yunis, located about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Gaza City, when
Israeli troopers fired indiscriminate shots, Arabic-language Palestine al-Yawm
news agency reported.
was critically wounded as a result, and succumbed to her grave gunshot wounds
least 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the “Great
March of Return” began in Gaza Strip on March 30. Fourteen children are among
the fallen Palestinians.
13,300 Palestinians also sustained injuries, of whom 300 are in a critical
occupied territories have witnessed new tensions ever since US President Donald
Trump on December 6, 2017 announced Washington's recognition of Jerusalem
al-Quds as Israel’s “capital” and said the US would move its embassy to the
dramatic decision triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian
territories and elsewhere in the world.
status of Jerusalem al-Quds is the thorniest issue in the decades-long
Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
May 17, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Israeli regime
should be brought before the International Criminal Court for the recent Gaza
should be taken to the International Criminal Court [over the killing of
Palestinians]. Since third parties cannot do it, Palestine needs to initiate
this,” Cavusoglu said in an interview with state broadcaster TRT.
a final communiqué issued following an emergency meeting in Istanbul on May 18,
the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) condemned the May 14 massacre of
dozens of Gazans as "savage crimes committed by the Israeli forces with
the backing of the US administration."
also urged the UN to "form an international investigation committee into
the recent atrocities in the Gaza Strip, and enable the committee to initiate
police forces have arrested at least 61 people across the country on suspicion
of affiliation to a movement led by the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah
Gulen, whom the Ankara government accuses of having masterminded the July 2016
coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that 30 people were
arrested in the capital Ankara after the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office
issued arrest warrants for 43 suspects.
20 suspects were arrested after the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office in
Istanbul issued arrest warrants for 38 people over suspected affiliation to
sources said that 18 of the suspects are on-duty soldiers, while the remaining
two are cadets.
eleven on-duty soldiers were arrested as part of probe into Gulenists’
infiltration into Turkish military.
an Istanbul court has handed down aggravated life imprisonment to eight
defendants for their role in the failed July 2016 coup attempt.
were among 90 soldiers, who tried to take over Istanbul province during the
the failed coup attempt, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had
seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in
charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
has since accused Gulen of having orchestrated the coup. The opposition figure
is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the
government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army,
police and the judiciary.
has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically-motivated
slanders,” he said in a statement.
77-year-old cleric has also called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his
followers, a move he says is aimed at “weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to
President Erdogan and his regime.”
officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen,
but their demands have not been taken heed of.
which remains in a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in
suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to have played a role in
the failed coup.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including
military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended
from work over the same accusations.
of Palestinian prisoners currently being held in Israeli jails and detention
facilities are expected to launch a hunger strike next week in protest against
their detention without charge or trial.
of the Palestinian Authority’s Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe,
said in a statement that some 500 Palestinian inmates have been boycotting
Israeli courts since February, and demanding an end to Israel's policy of
administrative detention – a controversial form of imprisonment that allows
Israeli authorities to detain individuals indefinitely without charge, trial or
access to counsel.
added that the detainees would be “escalating measures” in early June, and
would be launching a widespread hunger strike.
administrative detainees are calling upon people from all walks of the
Palestinian nation to support their action, the Palestinian official said.
further noted that he expects Israeli authorities to “exercise unprecedented
repression and isolate the inmates” during the strike.
than 7,000 Palestinians are reportedly held at Israeli jails. Hundreds of the
inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative
detention, a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli
detention facilities without trial or charge.
Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to
inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at the administrative
detention policy and their harsh prison conditions in Israeli jails.
The Yemeni National Army, backed by the Arab Coalition, liberated positions on
the outskirts of the Hajjah province from the Iran-backed Houthi militia on
Friday, Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.
armed forces’ media center said that heavy losses were inflicted on the
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Europe Monday to push
his uncompromising stance on Iran to leaders eager to salvage the nuclear
agreement after the United States withdrew.
a fierce opponent of the agreement and the Iranian regime, will meet in turn
with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and
British Prime Minister Theresa May.
France and the United Kingdom are three of the signatories of the 2015 Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) between world powers and Iran, aimed at
keeping Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
European leaders have been scrambling to preserve the landmark deal after
slamming President Donald Trump’s May 8 decision to withdraw.
fallout from America rejecting the accord is likely to dominate the talks, with
Netanyahu expected to firmly oppose European efforts to sustain it.
will discuss with them ways to block Iran’s nuclear aspirations and Iran’s
expansion in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said on Monday of his European
meetings, noting the issues were “crucial to Israel’s security.”
years lobbying against the 2015 deal, the decision by close ally Trump to ditch
the accord has been greeted as a major triumph by Netanyahu.
Israeli leader has brushed aside European insistence that the agreement is the
best option to prevent Tehran getting the bomb, claiming that it in fact
brought Tehran closer to becoming a nuclear power.
also argues that a cash influx into Iran following the lifting of international
sanctions as part of the accord has fueled the expansion of Tehran’s military
influence in the region, especially in neighboring Syria.
while the US retreat from the deal is a personal victory for Netanyahu, it also
represents a leap into the unknown for Israel and the broader Middle East.
foes Iran and Israel have been kept at bay for decades, an unprecedented May 10
escalation in Syria that saw Israel bomb alleged Iranian targets after blaming
Tehran for a rocket barrage, has sparked fears of open war.
Iranian departure from southern Syria alone will not suffice,” Netanyahu said
long-range missiles that Iran is working to station in Syria will endanger us even
beyond the range of several kilometers from southern Syria; therefore, Iran
needs to leave Syria altogether.”
Europeans have acknowledged concerns over Iran’s regional role and its
ballistic activities, but sought to maintain the JCPOA while creating a
separate arrangement on these issues.
to what the US and Israel say, Europe insists the 2015 agreement works and Iran
has abided by it.
is no alternative,” the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on
May and Macron are still waiting for the Israelis and Americans to present
another way to curb Iran’s nuclear program, but are under no illusions it will
happen in next week’s meetings, according to a European diplomat.
on other issues, the Europeans have emphasised their cohesion on the JCPOA,
fearing that ripping it up could benefit hard-liners in Iran and push Tehran to
resume large-scale uranium enrichment.
that happens, the fear is it will once again make striking Iran a real option
Thursday, a former Mossad chief said that in 2011 Netanyahu had ordered him and
the military chief of staff to prepare an attack on Iran within 15 days.
to Tamir Pardo’s interview on the Uvda television program, such a directive
could either mean “he really means it,” or be a means to deliver a message, for
example to the US, and perhaps drive it to take action.
major issues look set to be left on the sidelines in the talks with European
Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in the spotlight after the worst military
flare-up in Gaza since a 2014 war raised fears this week of yet another
full-blown conflict in the beleaguered Palestinian enclave.
exchange of fire came after scores of Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli
troops during protests and clashes along the Gaza border.
along with other subjects, such as bilateral relations or the rise of
anti-Semitism in Europe, it will likely remain overshadowed by Iran.
of any progress on the conflict with the Palestinians are low.
Greek court on June 1 ordered the extradition of a suspected far-left terrorist
Kaya, a suspected member of the outlawed Revolutionary People’s Liberation
Party-Front (DHKP-C) was arrested in February while trying to enter into
to Greek judicial procedures, the final decision about Kaya, against whom there
is an Interpol red notice, is to be made by Greek Justice Minister Stavros
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