image. Credit: PTI, The Gujarat government is using a mandatory online form to
identify Muslim students
Discover 7,500-Year-Old Temple City in Kuwait
Government is Asking Muslim Students to Identify Their Religion, Parents Say
University VC Alleges Army Enrolling Jihadis, Faces Removal Petition
Looking At Tools at Its Disposal to Convince Pakistan to Crack Down On
Shabab Gunmen Kill Cleric, 9 Others at Religious Centre in Somalia
of the Indonesian Mosque Council Urges High-Ranking Officials to Lead Govt
Mosques amid Extremism
Terrorists in Afrin Using Civilians as Human-Shield
praises Saudi Arabia’s leadership in supporting Arab, Islamic nations
opposition leader: Iranian militias behind chemical attack on Aleppo
Dozens dead in clashes between US-backed forces and ISIS
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strikes militants behind 'chlorine' attack on Syria's Aleppo
US-led airstrikes kill over dozen Syrian civilians in Dayr al-Zawr
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
discover 7,500-year-old temple city in Kuwait
in Kuwait have uncovered a 7,500-year-old temple city in the northern coast of
Kuwait Bay, according to Polish archeologists.
discovery includes a temple and public plaza, indicating that a complex and
advanced society may have existed in the area over seven millennia ago.
archeological team, led by Professor Piotr Bielinski of the Polish Centre of
Mediterranean Archaeology (PCMA) at the University of Warsaw, discovered the
ancient structures at the Bahra 1 dig site.
suggest that it was a building with a cultic (religious) function and it
combines elements of the Ubaid culture", said Professor Bielinski.
little is known about the Ubaid civilisation, it is believed that they were the
first agricultural settlers in the region, which would later be known as Sumer.
Bielinski added that the spacing between the building "indicates town
planning, which is very surprising at a site with such an early date".
Bahra 1 site in eastern Kuwait is the largest discovered Ubaid settlement in
the Arabian Peninsula.
investigation into the buildings could prove that they are the oldest of their
kind ever discovered.
least ten other structures and at least 16,000 pottery fragments have been
found at the same site.
Delhi: The Gujarat government is using a mandatory online form to identify
Muslim students appearing for their 10th and 12th standard Board examinations,
Ahmedabad Mirror reported on Friday.
online form asks the students whether they belong to the minority category.
Once the student chooses the category, the form gives two further categories to
identify themselves with: ‘Muslim’ and ‘Others’.
newspaper pointed out that although Gujarat has at least four other religious
minorities – Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains – the Gujarat government is
asking only Muslim students to identify themselves.
year, around 17.5 lakh students write the Board exams in Gujarat, conducted by
the Gujarat Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (GSHSEB).
students’ parents who came to know of the discrepancy fear it is a deliberate
attempt on the part of the Gujarat government to collect data on Muslim
student’s father who wanted to remain anonymous told the Ahmedabad Mirror, “The
forms are usually filled by the school administration. I came to know after I
went to school to fill up my child’s form and saw that they had asked if we
belong to the minority. When we clicked on “yes”, it offered two options:
“Muslims or Others”. This left me wondering if the data gathered from online
forms could be misused for something else. This has raised fear in me.”
read: Oversight During RTE Implementation in Gujarat Has Bred Feelings of Caste
Ahmedabad-based Muslim restauranteur, whose son is appearing for his 12th
Science examinations, told the Ahmedabad Mirror, “I am scared. Before 2002, a
similar exercise was initiated by the Gujarat government where every police
station was asked to identify Muslim businesses in their locality. My
restaurant was singled out and burnt. It was revealed that rioters had used the
census collected by the government and police. I am scared for my son now. Why
is Gujarat government keen to know if the student is Muslim or not. What is the
chairman A.J. Shah told the newspaper that the same form had been in place
since 2013. “I have seen this form in this format for past two years. There are
other questions that seeks student’s information including whether s/he is
differently abled. So far, nobody has complained to me about details of Muslim
MLA Jignesh Mevani called the action “unconstitutional”. The Constitution does
not allow any discrimination on basis of religion. “The BJP can’t be trusted to
put that data to any good, and thus, this gathering of data is also extremely
worrisome. Moreover, it is very disgusting that they are reaping such divisive
seeds in young minds. This action of the government is extremely disturbing and
should be immediately rescinded,” told Ahmedabad Mirror.
leader Hardik Patel said, “On one hand, BJP talks about nationalism and, on the
other hand, it is show-casing its divisive nature. It is shocking that the BJP
government is asking Muslim students to identify their religion. The BJP must
treat all citizens equally and not discriminate on the basis of religion. It is
the government, not the education department, which is at the helm of such
university VC alleges army enrolling jihadis, faces removal petition
The Vice Chancellor of a leading university in Pakistan has come under fire for
allegedly making controversial remarks against the country's powerful army
saying that terrorists were making up to its top ranks.
petition was filed Saturday with the Punjab province Governor and Chancellor of
the University of Punjab Chaudhary Muhammad Sarwar, seeking the removal of the
varsity's VC Niaz Ahmed for the remarks.
the petition filed by one Muhammad Ali said that Ahmed, in a speech on campus,
had claimed that the Pakistan Army was facing the challenge of terrorists
making up to its top ranks.
terrorist had made up to high rank in the Pakistan Army. In fact, he was
working for the Taliban and had killed many of soldiers during the Swat
Operation (in 2009)," Ali alleged.
also said that the VC further claimed that "in Swat, there was an army
major, who went on leave three-to-four times and every time he told his
subordinate soldiers not to retaliate to the Taliban's firing as per an
understanding (undercover deal) between Taliban and the Army.
petitioner said the VC instead of narrating stories of valour of the Pakistan
Army martyrs, mentioned an incident which has no relevance.
also said that slogans against the Pakistan Army were written on one of the
underpasses at the varsity's campus but the VC did not take any action, and
alleged that he patronises activists of Islami Jamiat Tulaba.
spokesperson Khurram Shahzad told PTI that the Vice Chancellor "did not
meant anything that could harm repute of the institution of the army which is
defending the boundaries of Pakistan".
said in the ceremony, the Vice Chancellor highlighted the sacrifices of the
Pakistan Army in 1965 war and his speech was taken out of context as all
allegations against him are "baseless".
looking at tools at its disposal to convince Pakistan to crack down on
Except for designating Pakistan as a state sponsor of terrorism, the United
States is looking at all possible tools at its disposal to convince Islamabad
to crack down on terrorist groups, a senior US official has said.
focus of the discussions has not been on designating Pakistan a state sponsor
of terrorism, rather how to use other tools at our disposal to convince
Pakistan that it is in its interest to crack down on terrorist groups,"
the administration official told PTI.
has a stark choice: Cooperate and enjoy the benefits of close relationship with
the US and the rest of the world, or face international isolation if it chooses
not to change its behaviour," the official said in response to a question.
past week, US President Donald Trump – in an interview to Fox News, on twitter
and in interaction with White House reporters – accused Pakistan of doing
nothing for the US in the fight against terrorism and reiterated that till the
time Islamabad changes its behaviour, his administration will continue to
suspend all assistance to it.
want Pakistan to help us. We're no longer paying $1.3 billion to Pakistan.
We're paying them nothing because that's what they've done to help us.
Nothing," President Trump told reporters at the White House on November
on November 18, in an interview to Fox News, Trump alleged that people in
Pakistan knew that Osama bin Laden was living in a mansion near their garrison
city of Abbottabad, but they did not tell the US and kept on accepting billions
of dollars in aid.
the same time, he said that his administration hopes to have a "good
relationship" with Pakistan.
on the condition of anonymity, his administration officials say they are
looking at ways through which they can convince Pakistan to change its
August, when Trump announced his South Asia Policy, White House officials had
listed out some of these tools, like reviewing the major non-NATO ally status,
or visa ban on officials having links with designated terrorist groups,
adopting a tough posture against Pakistan at major international forums like
the International Monetary Fund.
January this year, Trump had announced to suspend all its security assistance
to Pakistan. Last week, Pentagon said that so far it has suspended $1.66
billion in security assistance to Pakistan after Trump's January directive.
the United States has not been thinking about designating Pakistan a state
sponsor of terrorism, a demand being made by several American lawmakers
including those from the ruling Republican party.
four countries have been designated as state sponsor of terrorism. These are
Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria.
media reports suggests that US is considering Venezuela in this list.
in its latest Country Report on Terrorism, the State Department listed Pakistan
among countries that provide safe havens to terrorists. President Trump and top
US officials have expressed their frustration over the fact that Pakistan has
not been taking concrete steps in this regard.
Al Shabab gunmen and a suicide car bomber struck a religious center in central
Somalia on Monday, killing a cleric and at least nine of his followers, a
police officer said.
militants killed 10 people including the cleric, teenagers and women who lived
inside the camp,” Police Major Abdirahman Abdullahi told Reuters by phone from
the central city of Galkayo.
between security forces and Al-Shabab still goes in the center, the toll may
rise,” he added.
Shabab, an Islamist group fighting to topple the Somali government, told
Reuters they were responsible for the attack.
car bomb rammed into the center of the man who insulted the prophet. Our
militants are now inside and fighting goes on,” Al Shabab spokesman Abdiasis
Abu Musab told Reuters.
of Galkayo and a regional official said Abdiweli may have also been targeted
because his center hosts mostly youths who play music and dance.
Shabab said last year the cleric had referred to himself as the Prophet, an
accusation denied at the time by Abdiweli.
cannot know the figure of casualties right now. Al Shabab had threatened him
many times,” Abdirashid Hashi, the governor of Mudug region, told Reuters.
Shabab is fighting to establish its own rule based on its harsh interpretation
of Islamic law. The group controls small sections on Mudug region, but it does
not include Galkayo.
north has been very peaceful and the question is how armed militants with a
suicide car bomb entered the town,” Police Captain Nur Mohamed told Reuters from
President Jusuf Kalla has urged high-ranking government officials who have a
deep understanding of Islam to lead government office mosques, following a
recent study that found that dozens of mosques at government offices in Jakarta
have been promoting extreme Islamic teachings.
who also serves as the chairman of the Indonesian Mosque Council (DMI), said
the appointment of high-ranking officials would prevent the spread of extreme
teachings. At present, low-ranking officials lead most government office
mosques in Jakarta.
appointments will serve as a filter [of the teachings of each mosque],” Kalla
said during the council’s meeting in Jakarta on Sunday, as quoted by
this week, State Intelligence Agency (BIN) spokesman Wawan Hari Purwanto,
revealed that imams at 41 places of worship in government offices in Jakarta
alone were preaching extremism to their congregations, who are mostly civil
servants, AFP reported.
number was based on a study released in July by the Nahdlatul Ulama’s
association of Islamic boarding schools and social development (P3M).
to the report, at least 17 clerics were found to be expressing support or
sympathy for the Islamic State (IS) movement, and were encouraging their
congregations to fight for the Islamist group in Syria and Marawi, the
Philippine city that was overrun by foreign IS fighters last year.
to the report, Kalla said the council would ask for more information from
representatives of the mosques. “We will ask each mosque, especially the ones
located at government offices, to evaluate [their system].” (kuk)
Arabic-language service of Hawar news reported on Sunday that the militants
have also planted bombs in the houses of civilians to detonate them if the
Turkish army approaches them.
reports said that a military convoy of the so-called National Free Army
affiliated to the Turkish army has recently arrived in Afrin to help end
infighting among the Ankara-backed militants.
informed source said that Ankara plans to quell the terrorist groups which
oppose Turkey's policies in Northern Syria, adding that these clashes would
spread from Afrin to the Northern parts of Aleppo, including al-Ra'ei and
a relevant development last Sunday, the Turkish army and its allied militants
engaged in intense infighting in occupied Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo.
Turkish army commandoes assisted by a number of their allied militants started
fierce clashes with Tajamo'a al-Sharqyah, another Ankara-backed militant group,
in the occupied town of Afrin.
army and its allied militants further closed off the entire roads to Afrin and
laid siege on several neighborhoods, while heavy exchange of fire was reported
in al-Filat street.
clashes inflicted a number of causalities on both sides and also on civilians.
clashes came after some of the Ankara-backed militants refused to obey Turkish
troops' military orders in region.
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed praised Saudi Arabia’s leading role
in supporting Arab and Islamic nations, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
foreign minister said Bahrain continued to stand with Saudi Arabia under King
Salman’s leadership and the Kingdom’s role in improving security and stability
in the region.
comments came as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits Bahrain on his
tour of the Arab region which began earlier this week.
prince landed in Manama on Sunday for the second leg of his tour after visiting
militias were behind the chemical attack targeting Aleppo, and they seek to
abort the Sochi deal in Idlib, the head of the High Negotiations Committee,
Naser al-Hariri, told al-Hadath news channel.
High Negotiations Committee is an umbrella body which was created to represent
the Syrian opposition in the planned Geneva peace talks in 2016.
comes after government shelling killed nine people on Saturday in Syria’s
rebel-held Idlib, while state media said insurgent shells wounded dozens in
Aleppo causing breathing problems.
deal to create the demilitarized zone staved off an army offensive against the
Idlib region, including nearby parts of Aleppo and Hama provinces.
this month, Moscow accused insurgents of trying to wreck the deal, while rebels
accused the Syrian army and its allies of attacking the region.
Abdul-Razzaq, the military commander of the National Liberation Front (FNL),
said that the opposition had no chemical gases or capabilities to launch them.
“This is a lie, the revolutionaries do not have a chemical weapon or
laboratories to equip it, and they do not have most of the means of use,” he
said in a tweet.
Iranian presence in Syria and in the south in particular is unprecedented. Iran
has recently established many military sites, headquarters, training centers
and others," said Hariri, who was recently re-elected as head of the
clashes between ISIS extremist group and US-backed forces in eastern Syria
killed dozens of civilians and fighters in the past two days, a monitoring
the help of US jets and special forces, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)
alliance is battling the remnants of ISIS in an enclave near the Iraqi border.
SDF restored positions it had lost to attacks in recent days, the Syrian Observatory
for Human Rights said. Battles raged on the eastern bank of the Euphrates river
SDF did regain back a lot of territory lost the other day,” Colonel Sean Ryan,
spokesman for the US-led coalition, told Reuters. “Both sides took casualties.”
security forces are securing the border so no fighters can escape, he added.
SDF, which the Kurdish YPG militia leads, has seized vast territory from the
jihadists across northern and eastern Syria, where some 2,000 US troops are
officials were not immediately available for comment.
self-proclaimed caliphate has crumbled after different offensives in Iraq and
Syria, but its fighters still operate in the desert border region and mount
state news agency SANA said coalition warplanes killed 14 people “in a new
massacre” in al-Shaafa village. Air strikes had killed 20 other people,
including nine children, in the nearby town of Hajin, it said a day earlier.
US-led coalition says it seeks to avoid civilian casualties and investigates
any allegations. Colonel Ryan said on Saturday that strikes were limited and
had not affected civilians.
UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights put the death toll at 31 civilians
in the past two days, as well as 50 ISIS and 79 SDF fighters.
released a graphic video overnight showing its militants beheading a hostage
and threatening the families of SDF fighters.
media outlet Amaq on Saturday said the extremists staged attacks on two fronts,
killing dozens of Kurdish milita fighters and taking 30 others hostage.
Egyptian court on Sunday upheld death sentences for nine people convicted of
the murder of a top prosecutor in a car bombing three years ago, a judiciary
Barakat was killed in June 2015 when a bomb struck his convoy in Cairo after
extremist calls for attacks on the judiciary to avenge a crackdown on the
years later, an Egyptian criminal court sentenced 28 people to death for their
involvement in his murder, with only 15 defendants present in court for the
verdict at the time.
Sunday, Egypt’s court of cassation confirmed the death sentence for nine of the
15, while reducing the sentences of the six others to life imprisonment, the
judicial source said.
verdicts of the other defendants were not considered because they had been
sentenced in absentia.
one claimed the attack against Barakat but the authorities pointed the finger
at members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood of ousted president Mohamed
has carried out airstrikes against militants it held responsible for firing
shells filled with chlorine gas at Syria’s northern city of Aleppo.
Defense Ministry Spokesman Major General Igor Konashenkov said on Sunday that
Russian strikes had destroyed all of militant hideouts and targets in the
strikes were carried out by Russian air force planes," Konashenkov said in
comments reported by TASS state news agency.
pointed out that Russia carried out strikes after finding evidence they could
use such weapons again.
spokesman said Russia had warned Turkey of the bombing raid in advance via a
in his remarks, Konashenkov pointed to repeated warnings from Russia that
the so-called White Helmets volunteers
in Idlib were staging chemical attacks in order to blame them on the Syrian
government forces. The group is a Western-backed organization which stands
accused of working with Takfiri terrorists and staging false-flag chemical
weapons attacks in Syria.
militant attack hit al-Khalidiya neighborhood in the government-held city on
Saturday, foreign news agencies and state television reported, saying close to
100 people have been hospitalized.
said most of those admitted to hospitals have breathing problems and blurred
vision. State TV showed footage of medical professionals treating men and women
on hospital beds.
said the chemical attack had been launched from an area in the Idlib
de-escalation zone controlled by the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as
al-Nusra Front, Takfiri terrorist group.
a statement, Russia's Ministry of Defense said it planned to talk to Turkey
about the incident since Ankara was a guarantor of how the militants there
upheld a ceasefire.
the past, the United States and its allies have been using as pretexts to carry
out missile strikes against Syria.
first such attack came in April 2017, when US President Donald Trump ordered US
Navy warships in the Mediterranean to fire a total of 59 Tomahawk cruise
missiles at a Syrian airbase.
a year later, Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, and British Prime
Minister Theresa May authorized a joint missile attack against alleged chemical
weapons manufacturing sites inside Syria.
latter attack, which came in response to what the US and its allies had
insisted was another chemical attack in Douma on the outskirts of Damascus, saw
105 cruise missiles being fired from sea and air at Syrian government targets.
finished dismantling its stockpiles of chemical weapons in 2014 under a joint mission
led by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical
than a dozen civilians have lost their lives and sustained injuries when the
so-called US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist
group carried out a number of aerial attacks in Syria's troubled eastern province
of Dayr al-Zawr.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Syria’s official news agency
SANA that the airstrikes targeted the town of al-Shaafah, which lies in the Abu
Kamal district of the province, on Sunday evening, leaving 14 people dead.
sources added that the victims were all members of the same family.
development came only a day after twenty civilians, including women and
children, were killed in US-led coalition airstrikes against the town of Hajin.
sources, requesting anonymity, told SANA that nine children and eight women
were among the dead after the strikes targeted a local market.
on Saturday, SANA reported another coalition strike in the same province, where
11 civilians, including three women and five children, were killed.
November 13, the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates condemned a
recent airstrike by the so-called US-led coalition against the eastern town of
al-Shaafah, which left more than 60 people dead and injured, arguing that the
massacre clearly pointed to the fact that members of the military alliance had
no respect for moral values, international rules and regulations besides the
lives of innocent civilians.
ministry, in two separate letters, addressed to United Nations Secretary
General Antonio Guterres and the rotating president of the UN Security Council
Ma Zhaoxu, called on the Security Council to fulfill its responsibilities and
stop US-led aerial assaults.
also asked the world body to propose an international, independent and
impartial mechanism to investigate the crimes being perpetrated by the
so-called US-led coalition.
letters noted that the coalition was deliberately targeting Syria civilians and
making use of internationally banned weapons, including white phosphorus bombs,
ministry stressed that the so-called US-led coalition airstrikes were meant to
kill as many Syrian people as possible, prolong the ongoing Syrian conflict,
destroy the country’s infrastructure and undermine its sovereignty and
territorial integrity in flagrant violation of all UN Security Council
resolutions on Syria.
Build Up, An Open "Challenge" To Court: Says Muslim Law Board
Terming VHP's "Dharm Sabha" and visit of Shiv Sena President Uddhav
Thackerey to Ayodhya an open "challenge" to Supreme Court, All India
Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Sunday said a situation is being created
against the Muslims.
is not the matter of giving a mosque but its a matter of principle that how
many mosques will we have to sacrifice gradually. If we talk to someone, it
will withdraw and another one will come. Sri Sri Ravishankar had offered that
we should construct a big mosque outside Ayodhya. But later he cornered
himself. Just imagine, what had happened, we entered into an agreement with
him," AIMPLB General Secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani said while talking to
dharm sansad and visit of Mr Thackerey and similar such programmes, a situation
is being created against Muslims and its also an open challenge to the
judiciary (SC)," he said.
Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav's statement that Army should be brought in
Ayodhya, Rehmani said "his demand is not unjustified especially keeping in
mind the role of the state police and biased action against Muslims."
such a scenario, it seems Akhilesh is disappointed with the police and has
demanded deployment of Army there. Government will be responsible for communal
tension, if any," he added.
Yadav had on Friday said, "The Supreme Court should take notice of the
situation in Uttar Pradesh. It should seriously consider the matter and bring
in the Army, if required... as the BJP and its allies can go to any
talks to resolve the Ayodhya issue, Mr Rehmani said, "as far as talks are
concerned we are asked to make mosque outside Ayodhya. This is like dictating
is no talk like "kuch tum peeche hato, kuch ham" (Both compromise a
little), he added.
that "compromise on Babri mosque" has many drawbacks, Mr Rehmani
said, "First, it will be said that if Muslims can leave claim of a mosque
when why not on second, third, fourth and so on..Secondly, even if maximum
Muslims parties sign for giving mosque's land what's the guarantee that
non-signatories will not raise for another mosque."
whether attempts to rake up temple issue is becoming successful, Mr Rehmani said:
"There is not doubt the Hindu brothers are taking is as a pure politics.
But certainly the foundation movement on which Hindus are being targeted is
the time will tell, how much it succeeds," he added.
Rehmani said a AIMPLB meeting is proposed in Lucknow on December 16 in which
the present situation in Ayodhya will be
discussed, though it is not in the agenda.
however, ruled out any need for emergent meeting of AIMPLB on the issue.
In another blow to Pakistan-based Lashker-e-Taiba and Hizbul Mujahideen, six of
its terrorists, including a Pakistani involved in slaughtering of civilians,
were killed in an encounter on Sunday, along with a soldier and a civilian, in
a village of South Kashmir's Shopian district, police said.
police said that based on a credible input about the presence of terrorists in
Batagund area of Kapran of Shopian district, a cordon and search operation was
launched in the night jointly by the police and security forces in the area.
the searches were going on, the terrorists fired upon the search party which
retaliated effectively leading to an encounter.
one jawan of 34 RR sustained injuries in the exchange of fire. He was evacuated
to the hospital and is stated to be stable now," the police said.
jawan identified as Nazir Ahmad of 34 RR who was grievously injured in the
final phase of the encounter has succumbed and attained martyrdom," the
militant was identified Mushtaq Ahmad Mir of Shopian who, the police said, was
involved in motivating innocent youths into the terrorist fold and also
demanding money from public for strengthening Lashker cadre.
others were identified as Mohammad Abass Bhatt and Khalid Farooq Malik, from
Shopian, Umar Majeed from Kulgam, Mohd Hameed Wagey and a Pakistani terrorist,
was an intelligence based operation in which six terrorists were eliminated.
They were involved in gruesome killing of civilians and security forces,"
Inspector General of Police (Kashmir range) Swayam Prakash Pani said after the
have been able to made a considerable dent in terror groups operating in the
Valley," Pani said.
days back, a module of six terrorists of these two terror groups was eliminated
in Bijbehara in South Kashmir which included one man, who was wanted in
assassination of journalist Sujaat Bukhari.
another encounter, a Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist code named 'Waseem' was killed
in a separate encounter with security forces at Khrew in Awantipura district of
the Shopian encounter, the Pakistani terrorist code named Kafeel was involved
in the killing of a civilian who was kidnapped from Shopian and his throat was
slit. The video of this gruesome act was uploaded on social networking sites.
the killed six terrorists were wanted by the law for their complicity in a
series of terror crimes, including attacks on security establishments and
civilian killings in the area. With their elimination, all notorious terrorists
of the belt have been successfully eliminated," the police said.
per the police records, Mushtaq Ahmad Mir alias Hammad had a long history of
terror crimes since 2014. He was a close associate of terrorist commander
Zeenat-ul-Islam and was involved in several terror attacks on security
establishments and civilian killings.
Abass Bhatt was earlier convicted for a murder case and sentenced for five
his release in April 2016 he joined terrorist ranks and was involved in several
terror-related crimes and according to police records he was involved in the
recent spate of gruesome killings of civilians in Shopian, including the
decapitation of 19-yearsold Huzaif Ashraf.
was wanted for killing of young officer trainee Lt Omar Fayaz, advocate Imtiyaz
Khan and four police personnel at Shopian in August this year and many other
civilian killings in the area.
Majid Ganai, who had escaped from Batmaloo encounter and whose photo was
recently circulated on social media showing him near clock tower Lal Chowk, was
involved in the killing of several policemen and civilians in the area since
was involved in Pombai Bank guard attack case in which four policemen and two
banks guards had lost their lives in 2017.
Waseem Wagay alias Saifullah was involved in several terror crimes in the area and
attacks on the security establishments. He was part of a terror group involved
in the killing of four police personnel in August this year at Shopian and so
was Khalid Farooq.
The police here claimed on Sunday to have arrested three suspected terrorists
at a checkpoint in Srinagar's Lal Chowk in the afternoon with the help of the
Delhi Police special cell.
police spokesman said Srinagar Police, acting on specific inputs, busted an
IS-inspired module and arrested three terrorists with the assistance of the Delhi
a naka, a party of Srinagar police intercepted motorcycle-borne terrorists who
were moving through the Kothi Bagh area.
acting swiftly, apprehended the motorcyclist and the other two
associates," the spokesman said.
police said it had recovered three grenades and two pistols from the operatives
who, they said, belonged to a newlycreated outfit called Islamic State of Jammu
and Kashmir (ISJK). Two mobile phones, an "ISIS black flag" and a
Pulsar motorcycle were also seized.
spokesman identified the terrorists as Tahir Ahmad Khan (24) of Chandrigam, in
Tral; Haris Mushtaq Khan (23), a resident of Wathoora in Budgam; and Asif
Suhail Nadaf (22), a resident of Rainawari, Srinagar.
registered a case, FIR No 93/2018 PS Kothi Bagh, under RPC Section 307, and
Secs 16 and 18 of the ULA (P) Act read with Sec 7/25 of the IA Act, in this
regard. Further investigation in the matter is in progress," the spokesman
aka Abu Bakr, was a student of Jamia Millia Islamia in New Delhi and had quit
studies to join the terrorists in 2017, a Delhi police statement said. He had
graduated in the arts and had been pursuing a master's in art at the
university. The group used chat applications like Telegram and Threema for
encrypted communication within their ranks.
arrests, the police said, had averted a grenade attack in Srinagar. The police
said the three men had dug a big ditch in an apple orchard in Awantipora area
which they had converted into a bunker where they would hide and stash away
arms and ammunition. They had stocked the "bunker" with ready-to-cook
food, an LPG cylinder and utensils.
arrests come two months after two ISJK members from Shopian were arrested from
near Red Fort in Delhi. They had given valuable intelligence on the other
members of their module after which the police began a follow-up operation.
the intelligence developed by a team led by ACPs Lalit Mohan Negi and Hriday
Bhushan, the J&K SOG laid a trap near the tourist reception centre in
Srinagar. The terrorists were spotted and asked to surrender but they tried to
escape after throwing a grenade at the police team. They were overpowered and
arrested," a senior police officer said.
yielded valuable information and raids were conducted at over a dozen hideouts
of this module, leading to the picking of six overground workers for
ISJK is believed to behind several attacks on security personnel in the valley.
In July, three CRPF personnel were injured when the group lobbed a grenade at
them in Anantnag. A sub-inspector and a police informer were killed in other
the tenth anniversary of the 26/11 attacks, the United States on Monday offered
a reward of $ 5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of
any individual who was involved in planning or facilitating the assault. A
total of 166 people, including Americans, were killed after 10 LeT terrorists
unleashed a wave of violence in Mumbai in 2008. Nine of the attackers were
killed by the police while lone survivor Ajmal Kasab was captured and hanged
after he was handed a death sentence by a court.
is an affront to the families of the victims that, after ten years, those who
planned the Mumbai attack have still not been convicted for their involvement,”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement. “We call upon all
countries, particularly Pakistan, to uphold their UN Security Council
obligations to implement sanctions against the terrorists responsible for this
atrocity, including Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and its affiliates.”
stand with the families and friends of the victims, whose loved ones were lost
in this act of barbarism, including six American citizens. The barbarity of
26/11 shocked the entire world,” he said, expressing solidarity with the
survivors of the attack. The United States, Pompeo said, is committed to seeing
that those responsible for the attack face justice.
announcement was the third such cash reward made available by the Department of
State Rewards for Justice (RFJ) Program. “The United States is committed to
working with our international partners to identify and bring to justice those
responsible for the 2008 Mumbai attack,” it said. Earlier the department had
announced a bounty of $10 million for Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LeT) founder Hafiz
Mohammad Saeed and $2 million for Hafiz Abdul Rahman Makki, another senior
leader of the group.
State Department said anyone with information on this incident can contact the
RFJ office via the website, e-mail (email@example.com), phone
(800-877-3927 in North America), or mail (Rewards for Justice, Washington,
D.C., 20520-0303, USA). Individuals may also contact the Regional Security
Officer at the nearest US embassy or consulate. “All information will be kept
strictly confidential,” it said.
marks the tenth anniversary on Monday of the Mumbai terror attacks that left
166 people dead and hundreds more injured.
November 26, 2008 militants from Pakistan unleashed a wave of violence across
India’s financial capital that lasted three days and played out on TV news
channels around the world.
struck several targets in a series of co-ordinated attacks, including luxury
hotels, the city’s main railway station, a restaurant popular with tourists and
a Jewish centre.
ten attackers -- who were armed with AK-47 assault rifles and hand grenades --
belonged to Pakistan-based militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
police force will remember the more than a dozen officers who were killed, many
while fighting the militants, in a ceremony starting at 09:30 am (0400 GMT).
of the victims will lay wreaths at a police memorial honoring the dead. The
chief minister of Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, will
attend the ceremony.
are also expected to pay their respects at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus where
Mohammed Kasab, the only gunman caught alive, and another attacker killed
almost 60 people and wounded at least 100 others.
Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel will hold a private service to remember the 31
people who died there.
60 hours four attackers shot dead guests and hotel staff, detonated explosives
and set parts of the building -- including its famous dome -- on fire.
dramatic scenes were beamed live on television as Indian commandos battled the
heavily armed gunmen and guests tried to escape out of windows using bed
security forces only retook control of the hotel on the morning of November 29.
than 30 people also died at the Oberoi and Trident hotels in a 42-hour siege
involving shootings, explosions and hostage-taking.
hostages -- including the rabbi and his pregnant wife -- were also killed at
Nariman House, a Jewish cultural and religious centre.
The Ministry of Religious Affairs (MORA) on Sunday suspended a Rs40.22 million
Madrassah Reforms Project grant to religious seminaries.
ministry secretary has informed the chief secretaries of all provinces about
the grant’s suspension in this regard.
heads of all the madaris have strongly condemned the move and asked the
religious affairs minister to intervene.
to sources at the ministry, the government has stopped the grant that was being
released to madaris for modern education for the last 16 years.
further informed that the ministry had released grants to 240 madaris after
verification last year.
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Sunday welcomed India's decision to send two
of its ministers to attend the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kartarpur border
crossing, Radio Pakistan reported.
foreign minister said the Indian response to the peace initiative taken up by
Pakistan has been positive.
Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking of the
4-km-long corridor connecting Dera Baba Nanak in India’s Gurdaspur district
with Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan. The corridor will provide visa-free
access to the Indian Sikh pilgrims to the shrine.
dormant due to the tense relations between the two countries since 1988, the
proposal to construct the corridor providing visa-free access to Sikh pilgrims
had been renewed by Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa in August this year.
the Pakistan government had invited Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma
Swaraj, Indian Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, Congress leader Navjot
Singh Sidhu besides 17 Indian journalists to the Nov 28 Kartarpur corridor
invitation was accepted with "unalloyed joy" by Sidhu, who termed the
development as "historic". Who added that he had lodged an
application with the Ministry of External Affairs for permission to attend the
day will indeed break ground," Sidhu said in his letter. "As our two
nations take this first step, the Kartarpur Spirit can make pilgrims of us all,
venturing out on a journey that breaks the barriers of history and opens the
borders of the heart and the mind."
the chief minister of Indian Punjab thanked Qureshi for the invitation but
declined it in a letter addressed to the foreign minister.
had earlier excused herself from attending the ceremony, citing "prior
commitments" but had announced that India's Minister for Food Processing
Industries Harsimrat Kaur Badal and Minister of State for Housing and Urban
Affairs Shri Hardeep Singh Puri will attend the ceremony in Kartarpur Sahib as
representatives of the Indian government.
a late night tweet on Saturday, Swaraj had said, “We hope that the Government
of Pakistan will expedite construction of the corridor in order to ensure that
our citizens can pay their respects at the Gurudwara Karatpur Sahib using the
corridor as soon as possible.”
expressed confidence that Kartarpur Corridor would attract members of Sikh
community to Pakistan from across the world including the United States and the
said the Sikh community will be greeted here amid sentiments of love and would
take back positive image about Pakistan and its people.
the idea was shared by the army chief with the Congress leader and Indian
Punjab minister Navjot Singh Sidhu during his visit to Pakistan in August for
attending Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony, the Pakistan government announced
the date for the groundbreaking ceremony of the corridor only this week after
the Indian Union cabinet agreed to avail the offer of the passageway in view of
the 550th birth anniversary of the founder of the Sikh faith, Shri Guru Nanak
Dev Ji, next year.
Sikhs across the world want good relations between India and Pakistan as
tensions between the two neighbours prevent them from visiting some of their
holiest shrines, says the American Sikh community.
the Sikhs in North America, there’s an almost universal welcome for Pakistan’s
decision to open the Kartarpur crossing and build a corridor between the two
Punjabs to facilitate visits to Gurdwara Kartarpur Saheb.
we happy? Happiness is a small word. We are absolutely thrilled and
congratulate Pakistan for taking this historic decision,” said Sardar Jasbir
Singh, chairman of ‘Sikhs of America’ — the largest Sikh organisation in North
is a big khush khabri (good news) from Pakistan,” said Baljinder Singh Shammi,
a former president of the Sikh Association of Baltimore. “We have been working
for it for decades. Finally, it happened.”
Wednesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan will perform the groundbreaking of the
4km-long corridor, which will provide visa-free access to Indian Sikh pilgrims
to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan.
which is about four kilometres from the Dera Baba Nanak shrine in Punjab’s
Gurdaspur district, was established by the Sikh Guru in 1522. The first
Gurdwara, Kartarpur Sahib, was built here, where Baba Guru Nanak is said to
Sikh wants good relations with Pakistan. We have very strong ties with the
neighbouring country,” said Jasbir Singh. “Every day, we pray for Pakistan. We
cannot do otherwise because some of our holiest shrines are there. Pakistan is
also the main source of Punjabi culture and literature.”
Singh, who is also adviser to President Donald Trump on religious diversity,
said Republican Pakistani leader Sajid Tarar “worked tirelessly with the North
American Sikh community” to make this happen.
Tarar said he decided to work on this project because he believed it would help
improve relations between South Asia’s two nuclear powers. “It is not just the
Indians or Pakistanis who want good relations between these two countries. All
peace-loving people across the globe want this,” he said.
Singh also welcomed India’s positive response to the Pakistani proposal. “We
want India and Pakistan to be like the United States and Canada,” he said. “We
want to have breakfast in Amritsar and dinner in Lahore.”
Gurdwara Punja Sahib echoed with religious slogans of Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa,
Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh on Sunday morning as pilgrims from across the world
poured into the third most sacred place of Sikh religion in Hassanabdal to
celebrate the 549th birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev.
3,800 Indian Sikh pilgrims, 148 from United Kingdom, seven from UAE and
thousands of Sikh and Hindu devotees from various parts of the country,
especially Fata and interior Sindh, arrived at the gurdwara to perform their
rituals which include Akhand Path, Ashnan, Matha Teak and Kirtan.
security measures were taken in and around the gurdwara where dozens of
officials from the security agencies were deployed.
to the media, leader of the Indian pilgrims Marjeet Singh lauded the role of
the Pakistani government in opening Kartarpur corridor. He said with the
opening of this corridor, the Pakistani government had won the hearts of
millions of Sikhs living on the other side of the border. The number of
pilgrims had also increased compared to last year, he added.
Singh, leader of Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Parbandhak committee, lauded the steps
taken by the Pakistani government for the upkeep and restoration of gurdwaras,
adding that the latest step of opening the corridor would further cement
relations between Pakistan and the Sikh community.
added that the opening of the Kartarpur corridor would be a gift for the Sikh
community by the governments of both sides. He said over 10,000 Sikh pilgrims
would visit Pakistan on the occasion. He stressed the need for opening more
corridors between the two countries, especially in Kashmir.
Singh, contingent leader from the Bhai Mardana Sikh committee, said every
religion taught love, tolerance and respect for humanity. He appreciated
Pakistani government’s efforts for ensuring religious freedom for minorities
and safeguarding sacred places and gurdwaras of the Sikh community.
leader of female contingent from India Manmohan Kaur expressed her displeasure
over the mismanagement by the railways department as a result of which over 113
pilgrims were left behind at Nankana Sahib.
said despite prior information, additional coaches were not attached to the
trains. When the pilgrims protested, they were sent by buses after waiting for
several hours in the cold weather. She said visa-free entry to Gurdwara Darbar
Sahib Kartarpur would be a great facility for Sikh pilgrims.
to mediapersons, Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) Deputy Secretary Shrines
Imran Gondal said mismanagement was due to the negligence of the railway
authorities and the pilgrims’ displeasure was communicated to the relevant
said the government had decided to open a new cross-border corridor to allow
Sikh pilgrims from neighbouring India to visit their gurdwara in Pakistan. He
said this corridor would formally be inaugurated by Prime Minister Imran Khan
on November 28 while Punjab Governor Mohammad Sarwar would host a reception in
honour of the Indian Sikhs in Lahore on the 27th.
Sindh government has invoked the 1960 Maintenance of Public Order (MPO) law to
detain 156 leaders and workers of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) for 30 days.
MPO was promulgated by the governor of the then West Pakistan on Dec 2, 1960,
during the martial law of Gen Ayub Khan. Since then this controversial law has
regularly been used and misused by the successive governments.
to police officials and documents obtained by Dawn on Sunday, the detainees
were held after accusing them that they were in the 'habit' of creating an
adverse law and order situation by blocking main roads and causing immense
inconveniences to the citizens.
of them were arrested on Friday night over staging protest sit-ins in Karachi
and other parts of Sindh soon after the arrest of their leader, Khadim Hussain
Rizvi in Lahore.
government has issued orders to this effect on the request of police
officials said that Sindh Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Syed Kaleem Imam
on Saturday had written a letter to Sindh Home Secretary Abdul Kabir Kazi,
requesting him to issue detention orders under Section 3 of Maintenance of
Public Order, 1960.
deputy inspector generals (DIGs) of Karachi’s West and East Zone and four DIGs
of Hyderabad, Sukkur, Shaheed Benazirabad, and Mirpurkhas, respectively, had
submitted their reports to the Sindh IGP, suggesting that TLP workers be
detained under the relevant law to avoid any mishap and untoward incident.
senior police official told Dawn that the home secretary had then issued orders
for the detention of leaders and activists of the TLP, numbering a total of
156, of which most were apprehended from Karachi.
to the detention orders issued by the home secretary: “The members of
Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) are in the habit to harass the general public,
instigating mobs against honourable Supreme Court of Pakistan in the judgement
of Aasia Bibi case and challenging the writ of the State by blocking the public
thoroughfares, damaging the public property and creating panic among the
orders continue to state: "They will create [an adverse] law and order
situation and cause harassment amongst the general public, which will become
[a] potential danger to public peace.”
under Section 3 (1) of the West Pakistan Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance,
1960 "the held workers of the religious party shall be detained for a
period of thirty days from the date of their arrest".
custody shall be placed under the care of the superintendent of the Central
Prison in Karachi. The detained shall be at liberty "to make a
representation to the provincial government against this order", the
orders further state.
official added that apart from the detention of 156 leaders and workers of the
TLP under MPO, 44 others have been arrested under Section 7 of the
Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997, as they had allegedly resorted to violence near the
Quaid's mausoleum on Friday night.
Republican lawmakers challenge Trump over murdered Saudi journalist
US Republican senators have again rejected President Donald Trump’s defense of
Saudi Arabia after the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with some
lawmakers from his party saying Congress must take additional action.
vowed last week to remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia and said it was
not clear whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew about the plan to
kill Khashoggi on October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
CIA believes bin Salman ordered the killing of Khashoggi, a US resident since
2017 and a columnist for the Washington Post who was critical of Saudi Arabia’s
de facto leader.
the US president has cast doubt on the CIA assessment, telling reporters that
the intelligence agency had not formed a definitive conclusion.
disagree with the president’s assessment. It’s inconsistent with the
intelligence I’ve seen,” which implicates the crown prince, Republican Senator
Mike Lee of Utah said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
cited the Khashoggi killing as another reason why he has pushed against helping
Saudi Arabia’s war effort in Yemen.
this month, the United States imposed economic sanctions on 17 Saudi officials
for their role in the killing of Khashoggi and senators from both major US
political parties introduced legislation that would suspend weapon sales to
Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi and for its devastating military campaign in Yemen.
Representative Adam Schiff, a Democratic from California, has promised
investigations on the Khashoggi case as well as whether Trump’s personal
financial interests are dictating his Saudi policy.
is in line to become chairman of the House of Representatives Intelligence
Committee when Democrats regain control of the lower chamber of Congress in
the president is not being honest with the country about the murder of Jamal
Khashoggi,” Schiff said on CNN’s “State of the Union” program. “What’s driving
initially denied knowledge of Khashoggi’s disappearance, then offered contradictory
Senator Joni Ernst said it was very likely that bin Salman was involved in the
murder, while acknowledging Saudi Arabia’s importance as a strategic partner
for the US.
if there are indicators that the prince was involved in this murder then we
need to absolutely consider further action.”
Senator Ben Sasse, a frequent Trump critic, criticized Trump’s stance on
Khashoggi’s killing as weak.
the realist case is a different thing than being so weak that we failed to tell
the truth, Sasse said on “Fox News Sunday.” Crown Prince Mohammed “contributed
to murdering somebody abroad and it is not strength to sort of mumble past
that. Strength is telling the truth even when it’s hard.”
Republican senators, including Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul and Bob Corker, have
been unsparing in their assessments of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in
never thought I’d see the day a White House would moonlight as a public
relations firm for the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” Corker, chairman of the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee, wrote on Twitter after Trump’s comments on
makes backing MbS ‘sound easy’ after Khashoggi’s death
is not easy for US President Donald Trump to simply turn a blind eye to
probable implication of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the murder of
dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, says a US senator,
Independent Senator Angus King slammed Trump's statement last week on Saudi
Arabia during an interview on CBS on Sunday, saying it "was amazing
because it made it sound easy."
do have to make these difficult decisions, but so far what they’re doing is
giving a pass to this guy, and I think it gives a pass to dictators around the
world," he added. "That’s the danger. It undermines our values and
the authority of our values across the planet.”
CIA has reportedly concluded that the crown prince ordered the killing.
don’t have to be the CIA to put things together and say, ‘how could this have
happened without the prince being involved?’ He’s in total control," King
Republican Senator Mike Lee has said he has seen intelligence reports
suggesting bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s assassination at the Saudi consulate
in Istanbul last month.
disagree with the president’s assessment. It’s inconsistent with the
intelligence I’ve seen," Lee said on NBC. "Intelligence I’ve seen
suggests that this was ordered by the crown prince."
further called for an end to US support for the monarchy’s bombardment of
unauthorized, unconstitutional war from our standpoint is not something we
ought to be fighting," he said. "This is not an ally that deserves
this kind of military intervention, especially because there’s been no
connection between the safety of the American people and our involvement in
Representative Adam Schiff also said he had been briefed by the Central
Intelligence Agency about the Saudi plot, calling Trump “dishonest.”
have been briefed by the CIA, and while I cannot discuss the contents of the
briefing in any way, I can say that I think the president is being dishonest with
the American people," Schiff said on CNN. "I don't know why. It's
certainly not atypical… Frankly, the president has been dishonest with the
country about a great many things. But I think what is most important here is
we need to speak up for democratic values."
has thrown his support behind the monarchy and bin Salman, citing economic
relations with Riyadh and particularly his $110 billion deal with the kingdom.
causes our standing in the world to plummet. It telegraphs to despots around
the world they can murder people with impunity, and that this president will
have their back," Schiff said. "As long as they praise him, as long
as they do business with him potentially, and that cannot be the guiding
principle behind our foreign policy."
Republican Senator Ben Sasse also slammed Trump for his unconditional Trump for
Saudi on the pretext of trade.
you want to make a hardcore, realist case that there are places and times when
ours and Saudis' interests temporarily align, and sometimes you have to work
with bad guys in the world, there’s a coherent, realist case to be made
there," Sasse said on Fox News. "Making a realist case is a different
thing than being so weak that we fail to tell the truth… (The crown prince)
contributed to murdering somebody abroad, and it is not strength to sort of
mumble past that. Strength is telling the truth even when it’s hard."
is among senators briefed by the intelligence authorities on the matter.
report is really clear, and the president should be stronger," Sasse said.
"That was a weak statement."
Iowa Republican Senator Joni Ernst (pictured above) declined to criticize Trump
over his response.
do think we need to look into [the Khashoggi killing] further… And we need to
understand where the investigations are leading us. And I'm anxious to hear
from a number of our intelligence agencies on this,” she said. "Now, Saudi
Arabia is a great strategic partner for us… It is an important country when it
when it comes to the Middle Eastern region. We know that they are great
projection platform for us. We understand that. However, we also are a very
strong nation when it comes to human rights when it comes to the rule of law.
And if there are indicators that the prince was involved in this murder then we
need to absolutely consider further action."
was meanwhile hailing his good ties with Riyadh and the low oil price.
great that oil prices are falling (thank you President T),” the president
wrote. “Add that, which is like a big Tax Cut, to our other good Economic news.
Inflation down (are you listening Fed)!”
Arabia has acknowledged the murder, yet left many questions unanswered.
Muslim women have scored significant victories in the 2018 U.S. Midterm
elections with both Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib from Minnesota and Michigan
winning their seats for Congress. Indeed, the dust has begun to settle on the
U.S. midterm elections, and American Muslims over all have registered some
significant gains at all levels of elected offices. "The Rise of American
Muslim Changemakers: Political Organizing in the Trump Era," a report on
the midterm elections prepared by CAIR, Jetpac, and MPower Change identified
276 Muslims who ran for public office in this cycle, 177 men and 99 women or 64
percent and 36 percent, respectively.
to the recently published report, the total number of Muslims elected to office
was 131, an impressive percentage just below 50 percent of all the candidates
who ran ended up winning. This represents a very high and unique success rate
considering the current cynical and Islamophobic atmosphere permeating the
country. For Muslims and political parties alike, understanding and situating
this development in the midterm elections is essential and what lessons can be
deducted to better prepare for the 2020 cycle?
key race that garnered most national attention from American Muslim communities
is that of Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, who ran for the Michigan governor's office but
lost. However, what is significant is that Dr. El-Sayed ran in the election
while unapologetically Muslim: "Yes, I'm 33 years old. Yes, I'm
Egyptian-American. Yes, I'm Muslim. We past that? Great. Now let's start
talking about solutions to problems Michiganders face." Running for the
governor's office of a major state is a significant development no matter what
the results and for a new comer into the political process.
the positive side, the next Congress will have the first Somali-American
member, Ilhan Omar, who came to the U.S. more than two decades ago as a refugee
and now has risen to the highest echelons of America's political elite. The
same attitude of Dr. El-Sayed was evidenced in Ilhan Omar's campaign and
readiness to embrace her Muslim identity as a decisive and guiding epistemic throughout
Ilhan Omar, who will be the first woman in hijab and one of the first two
Muslim women to be elected to Congress in 2018, demonstrated this unapologetic
and natural attitude. Ilhan began her acceptance speech in Minnesota on the eve
of Nov. 6, with a universal Islamic greeting "As-salaam aleikum,"
then followed it by saying "Alhamdulillah, Alhamdulillah,
Alhamdulillah," three times. Ilhan's greetings and Islamic expressions of
gratitude garnered some negative reactions from the expected Islamophobic
corners, but for the most part, it was celebrated in Minnesota and across the
country. On the eve of the elections, Congresswoman-elect Omar posted on
Twitter: "Congratulations to my sister @RashidaTlaib on your victory! I
cannot wait to serve with you, inshallah," which also used the Islamic
term "God Willing," one of the most commonly used phrases among
Muslims. Here, the entry of Ilhan and Rashida into Congress reflects a shift
not only concerning winning or losing elections but the arrival and inclusion
of Muslims on their own cultural and epistemic terms.
election of Rashida Tlaib
second positive outcome was the election of Rashida Tlaib, the daughter of
Palestinian immigrants, who before the 2018 victory became the first Muslim
woman member of Michigan's state legislature a decade ago. A self-professed and
unapologetic progressive, Tlaib is a grassroots organizer and a vocal critic of
President Donald Trump and "was arrested two years ago for disrupting a
Trump speech in Detroit."
her part, Rashida Tlaib's victory witnessed another aspect of the emerging
unapologetically Muslim, the identification rhetorically and culturally with
her Palestinian background. "I ran because of injustices and because of my
boys, who are questioning their identity and whether they belong. I've never
been one to stand on the sidelines," Tlaib said during the campaign.
Rashida's victory celebration reverberated and became "a source of pride
for Palestine and the entire Arab and Muslim world," her uncle Bassam
Tlaib commented after the election. In Detroit, Rashida's mother, family, and
friends celebrated and danced and viewed the election of the first Palestinian
American to Congress as a step in the right direction to represent both the local
district's concerns and Palestinians in the diaspora.
a political and organizational perspective, the 2018 midterm elections are a
turning point for the American Muslim community due to the national scope and
extensive mobilization at a grassroots level. More importantly, CAIR, Jetpac,
and MPower Change report show that the American Muslim community was able to
bring about "a significant rise in voter turnout." Furthermore, the
"newly activated political base translated into direct political support
in the form of votes, finance, or in-kind contributions," which turned to
$16.2 million raised between the 2016-2018 election cycle, a critical
qualitative and quantitative shift in the strategic investment of the
community. The ability to raise such amounts for an election cycle gives the
community an independent source of funding and readiness of Muslim candidate to
take bolder positions while running for office. Elections and politics boil
down to votes and funding for campaigns, the American Muslim community has
demonstrated the ability to bring both into contests across the country.
spectrum of Muslims running for office included African-Americans,
Palestinians, Somali, Syrians, Pakistanis, Afghans, Latinos and other diverse
sets of candidates that represent the changing demographics landscape in the
country and reflect the potential for Muslims future political horizons.
Indeed, the Muslim "political candidates were grassroots oriented,
non-institutional, and often faced opposition from established political
actors," but the wind of change that brought about victory at the ballot
box will force political parties to reassess their strategies in the lead-up to
the 2020 election cycle. The Republican Party has lost the American Muslim
community and other minorities with their appeal to whites, old men and the
uneducated population identity constructs.
a note of caution is essential as this midterm election reflected a normal
pattern in the U.S. election cycle since the party that holds the White House
often loses seats in the Congress and Senate to the opposition party, the
Democratic Party in this case. The challenge for the American Muslim community
is whether it can continue to engage and activate the "new political
bases" for the foreseeable future and sustain this drive financially. The
report points out that "most American Muslim candidates reported that
Trump-era Islamophobia motivated them to enter formal politics," and
"their faith motivated their agenda, but did not define or limit it."
Consequently, questions must be asked as to how the community harnesses the
mass mobilization, grassroots organizing and financial contribution beyond a
Trump's presidency and would a total embrace of the Democratic Party be
sufficient for American Muslim empowerment.
road ahead for the American Muslim community is tough and challenging, but the
bold entry of Muslim candidates into the electoral fray and winning as Muslims
is a significant development in the current Islamophobic social imaginary
dominating the public discourse. Muslim "candidates reported that their
faith values guided their social justice orientation by prioritizing human
welfare and social equity" which moving forward, possibly, could be
translated into a unique Muslim brand of social justice and engagement. Not to
imply that a total shift to the Democratic Party is a safe harbor, far from it,
as Democrats have exhibited as much Islamophobia and marginalization of
communities of color as Republicans but they are far more sophisticated in using
liberal discourses and demanding conformity on all issues.
the age of Trump's Muslim ban, the Democratic Party today has embraced Muslims
as a counter-narrative to white supremacy and nationalism, but the community
must be aware that the utilitarian embrace is fraught with inherent
contradictions and could be ephemeral or only momentary. The contradiction
includes the insistence on Muslims acceptance of certain social norms, support
of militarism, uncritical adoption of neoliberal economic modalities,
interventionist foreign policy and the never-ending unconditional support for
army kills 12 IS militants after attack
- Libyan army and security forces killed 12 Islamic State militants near the
southeastern town of Tazerbu after a deadly attack Friday, said a military
source late on Saturday. “Joint forces of military battalions and security
elements chased a number of remnants of the terrorists, who were hiding in the
uninhabited site west of Tazerbu,” the source said.
number of armed vehicles were destroyed, and weapons and ammunition were
confiscated, it added.
small oasis town of Tazerbu witnessed a deadly attack on Friday when dozens of
gunmen on armed vehicles targeted its police station and a number of government
buildings. 8 people were killed and more than 15 others were injured.
terrorists also took dozens as hostages before they withdrew from the area. The
source said the army issued orders to “respond to and eliminate the terrorists
who attacked Tazerbu and killed innocent people.” The UN Support Mission in
Libya on Saturday condemned the attack, calling on parties in the conflict to
“immediately cease targeting civilians and civilian objects in compliance with
International Humanitarian Law.”
is one of the most important groundwater sources supplying western and central
Libyan cities with water.
border guards kill 4 trying to enter kingdom
border guards killed four people and detained two others attempting to sneak
into the kingdom Sunday, the army said, adding that it had also foiled two bids
to smuggle drugs.
infiltration operation was foiled after watching six people attempt to cross
the Jordanian (border)," an unnamed military official said in a statement.
rules of engagement were implemented leading to the death of four and the
wounding of two others who were transported to the relevant authorities."
the army said "two bids to smuggle a large quantity of drugs" had been
the first operation, border guards confiscated 362,000 tablets of Captagon, a
popular amphetamine, and 50,000 tablets of Tramadol, a powerful opiate-based
the second, they seized 28 bricks of hashish and 72,000 Captagon tablets.
statement did not specify which neighboring country the smugglers or the
infiltrators were coming from.
army regularly announces that it has foiled attempts to infiltrate or smuggle
drugs into the kingdom from neighboring Syria.
650,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the United Nations in Jordan since
fleeing their country's seven-year war, which started with anti-government
protests in 2011.
estimates the true number of refugees is closer to 1.3 million.
authorities have arrested and imprisoned dozens of militants trying to sneak
across the border to fight in Syria.
is one of the most commonly used drugs among fighters in the Syrian war.
dozens of drug traffickers have also been detained by Jordanian authorities.
— Famous Islamic cleric, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, has warned that the continuous
detention of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria ( IMN) also known as
Shiite, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, portends serious security threat to the
in an interview with THISDAY in Kaduna yesterday, Gumi called on the federal
government to release the IMN leader to avoid compounding the security
challenges facing the country.
said the government must learn some lessons from how the Boko Haram insurgency
has been in detention since December 2015, following a clash between his
followers and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State. Over 350 members of the
IMN were allegedly killed during the clashes.
continuous detention, despite a court judgment ordering his release has led to
frequent protests which often resulted in clashes with security agencies.
advised the federal government to release Zakzaky to avoid the emergence of
at what we are facing now. Shi'ites are getting more militant. I have seen
video clips of Shi'ites attacking and throwing stones at police officers.
"This is a very serious development. Now they are not afraid of security
agents, they want to revenge. In trying to revenge, they may start looking for
weapons that would be effective.
are dealing with Boko Haram and now Shi'ites are coming up. I have been
suggesting that their leader should be released. Look at the leader of
(Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, when he was released, the
South-east became calm.
he were still in incarceration, the situation there would have been
serious," Gumi said.
further, the Islamic cleric said the government must respect the court, order
to him, Zakzaky is beginning to recognise the authority of the country.
should release Zakzaky, moreover they are covered by the court and the court
ordered for his release.
is beginning to realise and recognise the authority of the country because if
he is granted bail and he accepts bail conditions, it means he recognises the
when you continue to incarcerate them, they will develop resistance. This is
exactly how Boko Haram started. So the problem is being manhandled," he
however, regretted the position of some Sunni Muslims who, because of sectarian
differences, seemed to be applauding the government for incarcerating the IMN
am not Shi'ite and I don't support some of the things the Shiite does, but as
Nigerians, we have to support them humanely.
recalled that prior to the clashes between the Shiite and the army in Zaria in
2015; he had cause to openly advise the Shiites to stop blocking roads.
a year before they were attacked, I wrote an open letter to the Shiite leaders
advising them to stop blocking roads.
told them if they continue blocking roads, something bad will happen one day. I
have been advising the Shiites and the government to do the right thing. Let
them release him and let him fulfill the bail conditions.
fighting on the frontlines of the Boko Haram conflict in northeastern Nigeria
have released a video claiming at least 100 soldiers died in a recent attack
and deploring the poor state of their equipment.
the five-minute video seen by AFP on Saturday, a soldier narrating in the
background shows the burnt shells of several tanks and vehicles at the Metele
base, which was attacked by the IS-affiliated Islamic State West Africa
Province on November 18.
least 43 soldiers were killed in the attack according to military and civilian
sources, though the army disputes the death toll.
video came as it emerged Saturday that around a dozen girls had been kidnapped
by suspected members of Boko Haram in border villages in southeastern Niger.
underscored growing desperation among troops, who in June protested at being
redeployed to the remote Lake Chad region after fighting Boko Haram jihadists
for years without relief.
less than 100 plus soldiers died here. Many are missing in action, they are
nowhere to be found," said the soldier in the video, which was obtained by
AFP from a military source who confirmed its authenticity.
the weapons they bring here. These are not working," he said as the
footage revealed the charred remains of tanks and other military equipment.
are outdated vehicles, they are not working. They just keep them here for
formality," said the soldier.
they are killing us every day," he said. "The situation is getting
video shows the sprawling camp in the middle of the desert, 260 kilometres (161
miles) from the Borno state capital of Maiduguri.
was no immediate response from the army on the release of the video.
than 27 000 people are thought to have been killed in the nine-year Islamist
insurgency that has triggered a humanitarian crisis and left 1.8 million people
video, the first public glimpse of the base since it was attacked, shows piles
of blackened zinc sheets that were the living quarters of the troops.
effects and cooking pots lay scattered across the ground as soldiers move
around the debris under a bright blue sky.
Monday, ISWAP said it had killed "more than 40 Nigerian soldiers" in
Metele and carted away "four tanks" along with other vehicles and
Friday, the jihadist group claimed that its fighters killed 118 Nigerian soldiers
in five attacks on military bases across the northeast in the past week.
Nigerian military broke its silence late Friday evening to confirm that the
Metele base had been attacked.
said in a statement that while it is "true" there was an attack, it
observed that "several social media, print and online publications have
been brandishing false casualty figures."
President Muhammadu Buhari said on Saturday in a statement that he was in
"deep shock" over the Metele attack.
are ready to give them all the needed support in terms of equipment and
manpower to succeed in ending the renewed threat," said Buhari.
the coming days, I am engaging the military and intelligence chiefs in
extensive discussions on the next steps we shall be taking."
has reported at least 17 attempts to overrun army bases since July.
have been claimed by the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP).
attacks have been seen as a sign of a hardline takeover in the faction by more
radical commanders and have stretched the army at a time when soldiers are
complaining of fatigue.
‘millennials party’ draws fire for comments on sharia bylaws
Nov 26 — Police in Muslim-majority Indonesia have questioned the head of one of
its newest and most progressive parties, who is battling accusations of
“Islamophobia” from rival politicians, after she said her party opposed the
growth of bylaws based on religion.
is officially secular and has a tradition of pluralism but Islam has
increasingly crept into politics in a country home to significant Christian,
Hindu and other religious minorities.
Natalie set up the Indonesian Solidarity Party (PSI), often dubbed the
“millennials party”, in 2014 to offer an alternative for young voters
disillusioned by traditional parties often run by an entrenched elite.
a speech this week attended by President Joko Widodo, Natalie, who is ethnic
Chinese, spoke out against intolerance, saying PSI would not support local
regulations based on Islamic law or Christian scripture.
want to return back to the constitution so that there is a guarantee for all
citizens, whatever their background, or religion they believe, or faith they
have,” said Natalie, whose party is part of a coalition backing Widodo’s bid
for a second term in 2019 elections.
questioned Natalie following a complaint filed by Eggi Sudjana, a lawyer and
politician of an Islamic party, who told Reuters her comments breached laws on
hate speech and attacked religion. He urged her to apologise.
rival politicians also accused her of “Islamophobia”, while defending the
adoption of bylaws based on sharia or religious values.
police are still investigating to determine if any law was broken, said
spokesman Argo Yuwono.
a party statement, Natalie said that during six hours of questioning she had
told police her speech referred to “a willingness to implement equality and
justice for all citizens before the law”.
also said it was based on an academic study showing how religion-based rules
could affect women and minority groups.
only province in Indonesia allowed to enforce Islamic law is Aceh, but other
regions have adopted bylaws enforcing elements of sharia.
bylaws were divisive, said Muhammad Abdullah Darraz, director of the Maarif
Institute, which promotes religious and cultural harmony, who defended Natalie.
have witnessed identity politics recently emerging and it has the potential to
divide the unity of the nation,” he said.
state ideology includes national unity, social justice and democracy alongside
belief in God, and enshrines religious diversity in a secular system of
religious and political tension has spiralled in the last few years after
Islamists led hundreds of thousands in Jakarta protests against the capital’s
then governor, an ethnic Chinese Christian charged with insulting the Koran.
Tjahaja Purnama, a Widodo ally, lost his bid for re-election in 2017 to a
Muslim rival after a radical group, the Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) agitated
against him for months. He was jailed for two years over blasphemy. — Reuters
Missionary and Chinese secondary schools in the state have separate canteens
serving purely halal food out of respect for Muslim students, and there is
nothing wrong with this, says MP for Kota Melaka Khoo Poay Tiong (pic).
said halal sections were made available some 15 years ago to cater to the
rising number of Muslims students in missionary schools, purely to give an
option for those students.
are about five missionary schools in the historic city with halal sections, and
parents were fine with their existence.
Chinese secondary school in my constituency also allocates a caterer for Muslim
students and the school is fine with it," he said when interviewed here on
Sunday (Nov 25).
said these canteens could be patronised by non-Muslims too and there were no
seem to be turning everything into a racial rhetoric and I hope we move on and
respect the religious obligations of other communities.
existence of the separate canteens had never segregated the students, the
ex-students, both Muslims and non-Muslims, maintain their brotherhood, that's
the strength of Malaysians," he said in response to a report on a news
portal on the existence of dual canteens at missionary schools here.
said it's more crucial now to focus on economic growth of the state without
wasting time on adverse issues being brought up again after a few decades.
was asked to comment on the canteen issue seven years ago.
maintained the same stand as it's right for Muslims to consume halal items and
parents or the school managements have no issues," he said.
Action Group for Parents in Education (Magpie) chairman Mak Chee Kin said
separate canteens have been there for some time and there have been no
said dual canteens also elicit healthy competition between operators, where
students could enjoy cheaper prices and better quality food.
only concern of Magpie is on the attitude of some teachers who often try to
influence the minds of students with bigoted ideologies.
we hope the Education Ministry will also look into the need for vegetarian
sections at schools," he said, adding that the dual canteens were
encouraged under the Barisan Nasional government.
CONTINUES to see the uproar over its creation of concentration camps holding as
many as 1 million ethnic Uighurs and others as a public-relations problem. In
recent days, the government issued another white paper claiming it is
protecting religious freedom and culture in the autonomous northwestern
province of Xinjiang, despite evidence that it has corralled much of the Muslim
population into spartan camps for forced brainwashing. When Western nations
repeatedly brought up the camps on Nov. 6 at China’s five-year United Nations
human rights review in Geneva, a top Chinese official dismissed the claims as
“seriously far from the truth.”
is why recently introduced bipartisan legislation in Congress is vitally
important. China’s leaders have dissembled for a year and cannot be allowed to
escape accountability for the massive indoctrination and internment drive.
Exposure of the camps — by witnesses, scholars, nongovernmental organizations
and Western governments — has been extremely important. But China’s leaders are
not shamed. They are old hands at repression, having built the system known as
laojiao, or reeducation through labor, that existed outside the regular prison
system and was widely used for punishing dissidents and petty criminals until
it was closed down in 2013. Now it has been resurrected for use against the ethnic
Uighurs, big time.
Uighur Human Rights Policy Act of 2018 — introduced with bipartisan sponsors,
including Sen. Marco
Rubio (R-Fla.); Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the
Foreign Relations Committee; and Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.) in the
House — calls for creating a U.S. special
coordinator for Xinjiang to respond to the crisis, as well as paving the way
for applying Global Magnitsky Act sanctions on specific Chinese officials
responsible for the human rights violations. That includes Chen Quanguo, the
party secretary overseeing the imprisonment.
legislation, if enacted, would mandate a report to Congress identifying Chinese
firms contributing to the camps and ubiquitous surveillance systems in
Xinjiang, perhaps leading to the sanctioning of these companies, and would
empower the FBI to track down Chinese officials responsible for harassing
Uighurs in the United States. When Uighurs outside China have protested what is
happening, their relatives in Xinjiang have been hauled off to camps and other
locations, as happened to relatives of six U.S.-based journalists for Radio
needs to act to fill a vacuum left by the Trump administration, which has said
and done little about the Xinjiang repression. In Beijing, in an initiative led
by Canada, 15 Western ambassadors have sought a meeting with Mr. Chen to
express concern, but the United States did not join. It should. Most of the
world’s majority-Muslim nations have been unconscionably mute about the repression;
the United States should stand with other liberal democracies.
ambush police convoy in Afghanistan, killing 20
Afghanistan: An Afghan official says that at least 20 policemen were killed
when the Taliban ambushed a police convoy in western Farah province.
Qaneh, a member of the provincial council in Farah, says four policemen,
including the deputy provincial police chief, were wounded in the attack on
Sunday afternoon near Lash wa Juwayn district.
council member, Abdul Samad Salehi, says the convoy was on its way to the
district to introduce newly appointed district police chief when it came under
says the newly appointed chief was also killed.
Taliban, who in recent years have taken over nearly half of Afghanistan,
claimed responsibility for the attack.
was the latest in a series of brutal, near-daily Taliban assaults on Afghan
military and security forces throughout the country.
in Myanmar’s Rakhine state opposes refugees return
in Myanmar's troubled Rakhine state demonstrated Sunday against the planned
repatriation of Rohingya Muslims from Bangladesh, referring to them as
100 people led by Buddhists monks marched through the state capital Sittwe
holding red banners and chanting slogans.
will be no benefits to us or our country if we accept the Bengalis," one
monk said, according to a live video streaming of the protest.
is a derogatory term for the Rohingya in Myanmar that falsely implies they are
newcomers from Bangladesh.
demonstration comes 10 days after Bangladesh and Myanmar were supposed to
officially start repatriating members of the Rohingya minority who had fled
violent military operations in August 2017.
refugees in Bangladesh said Myanmar's armed forces raped women, murdered their
relatives and burned down their houses in a bid to drive them permanently out
of the country after decades of persecution.
deal to bring them back was struck a year ago but Rohingya in the Bangladesh
camps fear returning without guarantees of citizenship, safety, and equal
access to healthcare and education.
also are wary of hostility from the non-Muslim residents in Rakhine.
Buddhist protesters in Sittwe on Sunday reflected that view, holding signs that
included calls for authorities to not "allow resettling (of) the runaway
refugees" in parts of northern Rakhine state.
Rapid Action Battalion or RAB arrested Enamul Haque, a PhD student of a South
Korean university, on Saturday.
RAB said Enamul, an operative of the Jamaat-e-Islami’s student front Islami
Chhatra Shibir, ran at least 22 such fake websites and used to donate most of
the money from the sites to the organisation's fund.
started a case against him under the Digital Security Act at Kamalapur Railway
Sunday, Judicial Magistrate Rajib Hasan granted three days when investigator
Sub-Inspector Mizanur Rahman produced Enamul in the court and sought a 10-day
sought bail but the judge rejected his plea, court police’s Inspector Md
Asaduzzaman told bdnews24.com.
to case dossier, Enamul published the fake news by counterfeiting websites to
belittle the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Prime
Minister Sheikh Hasina, and members of her cabinet.
fears over spread of fake news have grown ahead of the general elections,
several news publishers recently alleged that their websites had been faked
with almost the same look, but extra letters in the URL or address of their
information ministry’s rumour identification and prevention cell also recently
identified fake news on the Bangabandhu satellite that went viral on the social
report titled “Bangabandhu satellite went missing” on the social media and
other online portals is a rumour, according to a statement from the ministry.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani left Kabul for Switzerland to participate in an
international conference on Afghanistan.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, in a statement said President Mohammad
Ashraf Ghani left for Switzerland, accompanying a delegation of high level
government officials, to participate in Geneva conference on Afghanistan.
statement further added that President Ghani would deliver a speech during in
the conference and would also meet with officials of the participating nations
on the sidelines of the conference.
two-day Geneva conference on Afghanistan will kick off on Tuesday and would be
attended by the officials and representatives of the international community,
including regional countries as well as international organizations.
conference would focus on Afghan government’s commitments to the nation and
international community as well as the progress made in this regard.
coalition forces have rejected refuted rumors suggesting that the U.S. forces
were involved in the arrest of the uprising commander Alipur in Kabul.
spokesman for the U.S. military in Afghanistan Colonel David Butler has said
neither U.S. Forces nor Resolute Support had anything to do with the arrest
Butler further added that National Directorate of Security will also confirm
comes as rumors started to surface following the arrest of commander Alipur
suggesting that the U.S. forces were involved in his arrest.
had earlier said that Commander Alipur was detained by the National Directorate
of Security forces from Qala Qazi area of the city on Sunday morning.
Afghan Military in the North has reported a progress in the ongoing joint
clearance operations being conducted in Dasht Archi district of Kunduz
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said at
least 69 militants have been killed since the launch of the operations which
kicked off four days ago.
statement further added that the operations are jointly being conducted by the
10th Kandak of Afghan Special Forces and 09th and 05th Units of the National
Directorate of Security.
54 militants have been killed during the operations over the past four days and
at least 15 others have sustained injuries, the statement added
least 13 commanders of the Taliban group are also among those killed, the 209th
Shaheen Corps said, adding that the Afghan forces have also discovered and
defused 33 landmines while two mortars, a Dshk heavy machine gun and two
motorcycles have been destroyed during the airstrikes.
late, Myanmar State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has been a punching bag for all
leaders from the West and the East- the Christian and the Muslims. The US Vice
President Mike Pence could not let go of such an opportunity in a bilateral meeting
with her on the sidelines of the 33rd annual summit of the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Singapore on November 14. The Myanmar leader
rightly rebuffed criticism from Pence (and also other leaders) over her
government’s treatment of ethnic Rohingya Muslims.
was “anxious to hear about progress” in resolving the crisis stemming from a
retaliatory military crackdown in Rakhine state that the United Nations (UN)
has called ethnic cleansing.”The violence and persecution by military and
vigilantes that resulted in driving 700,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh is without
excuse,” Pence said and was eager to know how Myanmar will enable the Rohingya
to voluntary return home.
criticised the arrest and conviction of two Reuters journalists as deeply
troubling and emphasized the importance of a free and independent press. The US
Vice President attended ASEAN and the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation forum in Papua New Guinea in Trump’s stead. Suu Kyi gave a
befitting reply to Pence, saying it was good to exchange views, but that “we
understand our country better than any other country does. I’m sure you will
say the same of yours, that you understand your own country better than anybody
else. So we are in a better position to explain to you what is happening, how
we see things panning out.”
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed was not far behind. He had made an unusually
harsh public criticism of Suu Kyi earlier, saying that as a former political
prisoner, she should better understand suffering. He said the treatment of the
Rohingya was “indefensible”. The nonagenarian Islamist Prime Minister who is
hosting and shielding India’s fugitive religious bigot and fundamentalist Zakir
Nayak under silliest pretexts deserves a fitting rebuff.
government and most of the nation’s Buddhist majority regard the members of the
Muslim minority as “Bengalis” who migrated illegally from Bangladesh.
do not acknowledge the Rohingya as a local ethnic group even though they have
lived in Myanmar for generations. As Bangladesh authorities ready plans to
repatriate 2,200 Rohingya refugees to Myanmar the UN officials urge caution
fearing danger to their lives. The UN human rights office has received reports
of rights violations in Rakhine state, “which include allegations of killings,
disappearances and arbitrary arrests”. Some 130,000 people, including many
Rohingya, remain internally displaced in central Rakhine. The UNHCR also has
also advised against the returns. All these reflect public anger against
vast landscape right from Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh and
Myanmar down to Malaysia and Indonesia were once populated by peace loving
people with rich local cultures and resplendent religious traditions like
Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, and Buddhism that taught tolerance.
sword-wielding Muslim invaders ran over the entire region totally destroying in
the process cultures and religions nurtured over millennia. Neither the UN nor
the west nor the Muslim nations prophesising proselytising religions like
Christianity and Islam understand the depth of public anger against the
invaders accumulated over centuries.
synagogues, viharas were destroyed, people of other faiths mercilessly
beheaded, women folk defiled and syncretic religions obliterated through mass
conversions by fear of word. The arrogant religion degraded the people of other
faiths as Kufaars and unleashed hell on them.
in Ayodhya (India) and Rakhine (Myanmar) is reflective of peace-loving
religions reaching the elastic lag end of their tolerance with hooliganism.
centuries-old patience is now wearing thin, as the pent up anger bursts forth
to the surface.
police arrested the Palestinian governor of Jerusalem for the second time in as
many months, a spokesman said Sunday, after reports of an investigation related
to a land sale.
Gheith was arrested in east Jerusalem overnight, police spokesman Micky
Rosenfeld said in a statement, without providing further details.
security forces would not comment beyond saying the arrest had to do with
will be brought for a remand hearing in the Jerusalem magistrate’s court later
in the day and details of the allegations against him may be released then.
October 20, Gheith was detained for two days of questioning before being
released, with Israel’s Shin Bet domestic security agency saying it was over
“illegal activity by the (Palestinian Authority) in Jerusalem”.
was also taken for questioning a number of times in recent weeks and his office
was raided on November 4.
media have reported that authorities have been investigating the governor
following the PA’s arrest of a man in October accused of being involved in
selling property in east Jerusalem to a Jewish buyer.
sales are considered treasonous among Palestinians concerned with Israeli
settlers buying property in east Jerusalem.
among Israelis, there have been calls for authorities to free the man arrested
by the PA over the sale.
newspaper Haaretz has reported that the man is a Palestinian with US
Hallaq, a senior advisor to the Palestine Liberation Organization in Jerusalem,
told AFP that he believed the latest arrest was part of Israeli efforts to
pressure the Palestinian leadership to release the man.
occupied east Jerusalem in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move
never recognized by the international community.
considers the entire city its capital, while the Palestinians see the eastern
sector as the capital of their future state.
Authority activities are barred from Jerusalem by Israel.
a result, the PA has a minister for Jerusalem affairs and a Jerusalem governor
located in Al-Ram, just on the other side of Israel’s separation wall from
Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank.
confirmed that Houthi militias have taken advantage of a truce they have broken
in the city of Hodeidah and sent reinforcements to push further into the
strategic Yemeni city.
to local sources, the militias fired tens of rockets towards residential
neighborhoods south and east of the city.
the militias also attacked military concentrated areas in an attempt to regain
some of the land it lost in the past few days.
coalition planes launched dozens of raids targeting militants on the northern
lines of the city of Hodeidah and areas connecting Hodeidah with the
governorates of Hajjah and al-Mahwit and Sanaa through the Directorate of
Alduha and al-Qanbar.
information minister Moammar al-Eryani said on Sunday that the Yemeni
government called on UN special envoy Martin Griffiths to visit the
Houthi-ravaged city of Taiz.
visit, according to the minister, would be crucial in stopping any further
damage caused by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia on infrastructure and
residential complexes in the city.
civilian death toll has skyrocketed due to the grenades, mortar shells, and
snipers used by the Houthis.
a series of tweets al-Eryani said that “Taiz is off the UN’s radar despite its
destitute humanitarian situation”. He also added that “this humanitarian crises
is due to the harsh seize witnessed for four consecutive years as a result of
the international community’s neglect to put an end to it”.
also said that the Yemeni province of Taiz was the most impacted by the war
which was sparked by the Houthi militias.
has the largest population among other governorates, and it has witnessed the
highest magnitude of suffering.
spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement says the uptick in Saudi-led
airstrikes on the strategic port city of Hudaydah will eventually frustrate
efforts by United Nations Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths to rekindle peace
talks in Sweden next month.
military aircraft have bombarded Hudaydah 35 times over the last 12 hours. This
came as Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi have targeted several areas in the port city with missiles and
artillery rounds, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network cited
Mohammed Abdul-Salam as writing on his official Twitter page on Sunday.
noted that the increase in the extent of Saudi-led attacks on Hudaydah have
exposed the main motives of the Riyadh regime and its regional allies, warning
that the process will only destroy peace efforts of the UN special envoy to
on Sunday, Saudi warplanes launched two airstrikes against a farm in the
al-Durayhimi district of the Yemeni province. There were no immediate reports
about possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.
warplanes also carried out ten aerial assaults on al-Garrahi and al-Tuhayat districts
in Hudaydah province, with no immediate reports of casualties.
a meeting with Griffiths in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Thursday, the leader
of the Houthi Ansarullah movement stressed the importance of credibility and
the will of the Saudi-led military alliance to push for a political solution to
the Yemeni conflict away from fallacies that it employed during the previous
round of negotiations.
al-Houthi added that people from all strata of the Yemeni society were
suffering from the Saudi-led military aggression alongside the sea, land and
air blockade on the Arab country.
Ansarullah leader also praised positive initiatives and practical steps, which
seek to ensure a political solution to the Yemeni conflict.
then demanded an immediate end to the Saudi-led aggression, the removal of
economic sanctions, which have forced the Yemeni riyal to plunge drastically
against foreign currencies, and the ease of humanitarian aid deliveries.
this week, the administration of Hadi announced that it would take part in the
proposed peace talks in Sweden next month, hours after the chairman of the
Supreme Revolutionary Committee of Yemen, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, said
Ansarullah fighters were halting their retaliatory attacks as a goodwill
measure to speed up “peace” process.
says that he has received “firm assurances” that the warring Yemeni parties
would attend talks in the Swedish city of Stockholm.
has presented a draft UN Security Council resolution on Yemen, and called on
parties involved in Yemen’s crisis to restart peace negotiations.
conflict in Yemen can only be resolved though an inclusive political process,”
the draft resolution said.
draft sets a two-week deadline for warring Yemeni parties to remove all
barriers to humanitarian aid, to halt attacks on civilian areas and allow
unhindered access to the strategic port city of Hudaydah.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of Hadi back to power and crushing the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement.
to a new report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED),
a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far
claimed the lives of around 56,000 Yemenis.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a
record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million
threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering
from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.
army forces, supported by allied fighters from Popular Committees, have hit a
military base in Saudi Arabia’s Asir region with a domestically-manufactured
high-precision ballistic missile in retaliation for the regime's campaign of
military aggression against the impoverished nation, a report says.
Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, citing an unnamed military
official from the missile unit of the Yemeni army, reported that the military
base, located in al-Alab border crossing, had been hit with the short-range and
solid-propellant Badr P-1 missile on Sunday.
added that the projectile had struck the designated target with precision,
leaving an unspecified number of soldiers either killed or wounded. The
explosion also inflicted damage to the hardware and equipment of the base.
month, the Yemeni army unveiled its domestically-designed missile, which is an
upgrade of Badr-1 short-range ballistic missile, intended to precisely hit
specific targets, minimize collateral damage and increase lethality against
designated targets. The Badr P-1 missile has a pinpoint accuracy of 3 meters, the
on Sunday, Yemeni army hit a Saudi-led military base in Nihm district in
Yemen’s west-central province of Sana’a, inflicting casualties on the Saudi
enemy and caused material damage to the base, another report by al-Masirah
a coalition of its allies, most prominently the UAE, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen
in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former President Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi, who had resigned amid popular discontent and fled to the Arab
aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with
a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen.
the onset of the imposed war, the Yemeni army, backed by fighters of the
country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, has been defending the
impoverished nation against the brutal aggression. The coalition is also
resolute to crush the movement as another goal in its war on Yemen, which is
teetering on the edge of famine.
than three and a half years into the war, Saudi Arabia has achieved neither of
its objectives. Riyadh had declared at the start of the invasion that the war
would take no more than a couple of weeks.
in June, the Emirati forces, backed by armed militia loyal to Hadi, launched a
full-scale offensive against the Houthi-held Hudaydah, which is currently under
a tight siege imposed by the invaders. The so-called liberation operation,
however, failed to achieve its objective, which is overrunning the vital port
and defeating Houthi fighters, backed by those from the Popular
the past several months, humanitarian organizations have warned that military
operations against Hudaydah threaten to cut off essential supplies to millions
of Yemeni people. More than 70 percent of Yemen's imports pass through
coalition claims Houthis are using Hudaydah for weapons delivery, an allegation
rejected by Ansarullah fighters.
Yemen’s national army, backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition, foiled an attempt
by Houthi militia to infiltrate areas in the Hays district in the southern
countryside of Hodeidah province, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
Houthis tried to infiltrate through a valley in the outskirts of Hays, but our
forces thwarted the attempt and inflicted heavy casualties on the militia and
their equipment,” Yemen’s army media center said.
SPA reported that the Houthis continued “criminal operations” and “violations
against civilians in the province.”
statement added that the Houthi militia had shelled several civilian houses
with mortars, causing severe damage, displacing dozens of families.
experts: Khashoggi’s death used to further destabilize Middle East
November 2018 T
prominent experts expressed their views over continuing media uproar about the
murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
op-eds and analysis in many international media outlets concluded that the
Middle East has been undergoing a “dramatic realignment, dividing itself
between those regimes that support extremism and those that oppose it, and the
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), has been at the forefront of these efforts
Downer, the former Australian FM, wrote an op-ed in the Financial Times, saying
“The real crime was that Khashoggi was backed alone by Muslim Brotherhood
supporters, namely the Qatari regime and the Turkish government.”
in the heated rhetoric is the larger issue of stability in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia plays a crucial role and is strategically important to maintaining
a balance of power as Downer notes.
the 2018 Halifax International Security Forum, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of
the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, commented on the Saudis’ critical importance,
noting: “Saudi Arabia has been an important partner to regional security in the
past. I expect they will be in the future. … Their cooperation, their
interoperability, in my judgment, is a good thing. Their cooperation,
interoperability, capability if you will, would be a stabilizing force on the
region. Has been a stabilizing force in the region.” Jeff Carlson who is a CFA
charterholder, wrote an opinion in theepochtimes. He said “You can in
government be swept up in the prevailing media narrative, and if you design
your foreign policy on that basis, you will achieve nothing. “
added “There are players, such as Turkey and Iran, who stand to gain from a
weakening or destabilizing of the U.S.–Saudi relationship.
Radio Sputnik discussed the issue with James Dorsey, a senior fellow at the
Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
no doubt that there is a motive. The question is: what is the Turkish goal? Is
the Turkish goal to basically significantly weaken Saudi Arabia and undermine
its credibility, and in doing so strengthen Turkey’s regional position, as well
as its negotiating position vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia and possibly the United
in an analysis to the Atlantic, Cagaptay, the author of The New Sultan: Erdoğan
and the Crisis of Modern Turkey, said “Erdoğan, who has portrayed himself as a
leader of the Muslim world, has another goal: that of Islamic unity.”
piece added “One way to achieve that unity is through an end to the Saudi-led
Arab boycott of Qatar. Turkey, along with Iran, has supported Doha during the
more-than-year-long embargo imposed on Qatar by its fellow Arab states for,
among other things, its alleged support of Islamist groups. Many of those
groups are linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, which most Arab states regard as a
terrorist organization, but which Erdoğan openly supports because of its
espousal of political Islam.”
Detained After Shooting Near Austrian Embassy in Turkey
authorities detained two people following a drive-by shooting near the Austrian
Embassy in capital Ankara early Sunday.
governor's office said in a statement the two suspects were detained and their
weapon confiscated. It said the suspects were thought to be under the influence
of alcohol after having drunk late into the night.
governor's office said the suspects shot into the air from a moving car near
the Austrian Embassy at 0400 am (0100 GMT). There were no reports of damage or
Anadolu news agency said they were in a white car and security forces briefly
closed down roads near the embassy in Ankara. According to the agency, crime
scene investigators found many shell casings overnight.
from the night showed police at the scene and numerous police cars.
is unclear if the embassy was the target. All was normal in the area Sunday
August, three bullets hit the gate and reinforced window outside the U.S.
Embassy in Ankara in a drive-by shooting. No one was injured. The U.S. embassy
is located on the same boulevard as the Austrian one, about 130 meters (427
Intellectuals Oppose Controversial Islamist Preacher’s Visit to Morocco
Abdelkafi “is known for his extremist sermons that incite hatred towards the
followers of the two religions,” said the group’s statement, referring to
Judaism and Christianity.
67-year-old preacher is expected to give two religious lectures on November
24-25 at the Mohammed V theater in Rabat. Al Joud Islamic association invited
the preacher and organized the lectures.
“No to hatred and extremism,” the petition said that “nothing justifies the
arrival of this controversial preacher to Morocco,” calling on organizers to
“cancel the visit.”
signatories also stressed Ablelkafi’s
“admiration for the Nazi criminal Adolf Hitler.” The Egyption, the petition
elaborated, is a “misogynist preacher,
known for his many sermons discriminating against the Muslim woman”.
to the group, Sheikh Abdelkafi’s visit constitutes an “insult to our non-Muslim
fellow citizens, an affront to Moroccan women and a categorical denial of open
and tolerant Islam.”
intellectuals have called for restraint, declining to sign the petition.
Moroccan author Mohammed Ennaji, who opposed the petition, argued that the
controversial Egyptian Sheikh should be granted his right to exercise his
freedom of speech.
should respond to the preacher “with analysis and criticism, not with
prohibition, unless he calls for violence,” Ennaji wrote on his Facebook page.
official of Al Joud association told AFP that the invitation is programed.
There is “nothing hateful in the preaching of Sheikh Abdelkafi.”
intellectuals also called on the Moroccan Ministry of Culture to “ensure that
institutions under its supervision do not serve as a platform for events and
stakeholders advocating extremism, hatred, racial or religious supremacy,
exclusion, and violence “.
(REUTERS) - Bosnian police have arrested an Islamist militant for terrorism
offences in Bosnia, prosecutors said on Friday, and a Balkan news service said
the man was believed to assisted a 2011 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo.
state prosecutor's statement said the man was taken into custody at Sarajevo
airport and was also suspected to have fought for Islamic State and rival
Syrian militant group Nusra Front, an ex-al Qaeda affiliate, in Iraq and Syria.
added that the detainee had been under investigation on suspicion of forming a
terrorist group in Bosnia.
sources close to the investigation, the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network
(BIRN) said the arrested man was believed to have assisted in the attack on the
U.S. Embassy in which a Bosnian gunman shot and wounded a police guard before
being wounded by a sniper and then apprehended.
gunman, also an Islamist militant, was jailed for 18 years after his conviction
but his term was reduced to 15 years in 2013 after he apologized for the
Muslims generally practice a moderate form of Islam but some have adopted
radical Salafi Islam from foreign fighters who came to the country during its
1992-95 war to fight alongside Muslims against Orthodox Serbs and Catholic
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