As Suu Kyi
Looks On, Gambia Details Mass Rapes, Killings in Myanmar
Islami Bank in Association with Dmoney Bangladesh Yesterday Launched an
in Assam over CAB, Net Suspended In Tripura
'No Muslim in
India Needs to Worry,' Says Amit Shah On Citizenship Bill In RS
People’ For Advice: World’s Oldest PM Mahathir to Sanna Marin, The Youngest
of Islamic Cooperation’s Rights Body Underscores Role Of Youth In Progress
Comments on India’s Anti-Muslim Legislation, But Urges Adoption of
How Can The
U.S. Dare Lecturing China About Rights Of The Muslims?
US Aims to Revive ISIL in Iraq through Sanctions against Hashd Al-Shaabi
Compiled By New
Age Islam News Bureau
Afghanistan war has claimed 157,000 lives since 2001
Bagram military airbase, damages a medical facility
Kyi told to 'stop the genocide' of Rohingya Muslims in UN court
Aligarh Muslim University students for protesting against Citizenship (Amendment)
protection for persecuted Rohingya Muslims, ask settlers
Waqf Board and
Mosques Prepare Community for NRC, Census 2021
verdict: Shia Board chairman raises objection against allotment of 5-acre land
Lift Martial Law in Muslim-Majority South Philippines
second RM2 billion loans for SRC
Saudi Efforts for
Promotion of Human Rights Lauded
launches training program on education policy
citizens, residents satisfied with health care
devoted to King Faisal to open in London this month
Islamic Bank’s business volume 14.1% up end-November
Call as Part of 'Diversity Event' in Swedish Church Raises Eyebrows
Pensacola jihad, can we finally break with the Saudis?
Anti-Abortion Chief Warned Of Muslims 'Replacing' Christian Europeans
loan, Kyrgyz businessman casts Putin in stone
Record 24 Muslim
MPs Likely To Be Elected To UK Parliament
After Being Told By Football Club They Can Raise Money ‘But Not For Muslims’
after break-in at mosque in Pollokshields
UN experts: Libya
is new focus of Islamic State extremists
sanctions on Islamist rebels in eastern Congo
Pakistani police officer over human rights violations
shooting, US grounds Saudi pilots, restricts military training
Jews and Muslims are learning each other’s language
Six shot dead
in Czech hospital attack, suspect shoots himself
Recruits Over 100 Children of ISIL Terrorists
Senior MP: US
Sending Weapons to Ein Al-Assad Base without Baghdad's Knowledge
prisoner swaps, Iran says US holding 20 Iranians
Ministry Asks Iranian Nationals to Postpone Visit to France
Leaders Arrested in Western Iran
Troops Detrimental to Situation in Afghanistan
conference: Saudi Arabia, UAE ‘promoting US engagement’ in the Middle East
lawmakers submit bill to dissolve parliament
explosions hit Iraq’s south as demos maintain strength
deposed Bashir questioned over 1989 coup: lawyer
Madagascar, killing 9 and making 1,400 homeless
shootout spreads from presidential palace to hotel; 5 Islamic extremist rebels
allow terrorism, militancy: Home Minister
No mosque will
be demolished on riverbanks: Khalid
muslims' suit to bar board from assets dismissed
attack Somali hotel, police say two militants killed
Christians Murdered in Kenya for Refusing to Recite Islamic Creed
Record Statement From Hospital Bed In Dubai In Treason Trial: Pervez Musharraf
Rao Anwar for 'serious human rights abuse' through fake police encounters
Court seeks govt input on charges against Musharraf
Bajwa chairs corps commanders conference
Suu Kyi looks on, Gambia details mass rapes, killings in Myanmar
legal team described mass rapes, the burning of families in their homes and killing
of dozens of Muslim Rohingya children with knives as it set out its genocide
case against Myanmar at the UN’s International Court of Justice on Tuesday.
leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace laureate, looked on impassively as the
alleged atrocities were detailed at the beginning of three days of hearings in
The Hague instituted by Gambia against Buddhist-majority Myanmar in November.
that The Gambia asks is that you tell Myanmar to stop these senseless
killings,” Gambia’s Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said in opening
comments. “To stop these acts of barbarity and brutality that have shocked and
continue to shock our collective conscience. To stop this genocide of its own
people.” Suu Kyi is expected to repeat denials of genocide and argue that
military operations launched in August 2017 were a legitimate counterterrorism
response to attacks by Rohingya militants on security forces.
entered the house with four of my neighbours and three of us had babies,”
Loewenstein quoted from one survivor’s testimony to the UN fact-finding
mission. “There were dead bodies on the floor: young boys from our village. As
we entered the house, the soldiers locked the door. One soldier raped me. He
stabbed me in the back of my neck and in my abdomen. I was trying to save my
baby, who was only 28 days old, but they threw him on the ground and he died.”
More than 730,000 Rohingya fled Myanmar after the military-led crackdown and
were forced into squalid camps across the border in Bangladesh.
UN investigators concluded the military campaign was executed with “genocidal
intent”. Myanmar has previously denied almost all allegations made by refugees
against its troops, including of mass rape, killings and arson, and promised to
punish any soldiers involved in what it says were isolated cases of wrongdoing.
the court, dozens of Rohingya demonstrated to demand justice for victims. Hours
earlier in Yangon, Myanmar’s commercial capital, thousands of people had
rallied in support of Suu Kyi.
like Mother Suu went to the frontlines for our country,” said 58-year-old Myint
Myint Thwin. “Therefore to show our support and that we stand with her we
joined this march.”
feted in the West, Suu Kyi has faced mounting international criticism over the Rohingya
crisis. But she has remained popular at home since coming to power 2016 as part
of the transition to democracy after decades of military rule.
Suu Kyi supporter in The Hague, Moe Moe Hnin, said people abroad have been
“misinformed” about events in Myanmar. “Yes, military dictators have been
committing human rights violations in the whole Burma,” she said. “It is not
Burma, it is not Burmese people or our religion. We are not racist.”
week’s proceedings, before a panel of 17 judges, will not deal with the core
allegation of genocide, but Gambia has requested a court order for Myanmar to
halt any activity that may aggravate the dispute.
tiny, mostly Muslim West African country is arguing that Myanmar’s forces
carried out widespread and systematic atrocities that constituted genocide
during what the army called “clearance operations” against militants. The
tribunal has no enforcement powers, but its rulings are final and have
significant legal weight.
the Bangladeshi refugee camps on Tuesday, hundreds gathered on a hilltop and
chanted, “Gambia! Gambia!”, pumping their fists. Some offered special prayers
at mosques in the camps and many others were fasting. “Our people were killed,
our children were thrown into fire, our women were raped, our houses were burnt
down. All we want is a fair trial,” said Nurul Amin, 30.
Islami Bank in Association With Dmoney Bangladesh Yesterday Launched An
Islami Bank in association with Dmoney Bangladesh yesterday launched an
“Islamic Wallet”, which it terms as the country’s first Shariah- and mobile
phone-based enabler of digital financial services.
mobile app is said to facilitate fast, secure and hassle-free online financial
transactions and account management such as cash-in and cash-out, fund
transfers from bank accounts and cards and access to a range of lifestyle
offers four payment combinations, the bank said in a statement.
is at the person-to-business level such as bill payments and for food delivery,
mobile top-ups, insurance premiums and loan instalments while another is at
person-to-government such as government duties, taxes, fees etc.
is also possible to make business-to-person payments such as payroll and
commission disbursement alongside government-to-person payments such as
subsidies, freedom fighter allowances, social welfare payments and endowments.
bank said the wallet activities would regularly be monitored by a Shariah
supervisory council to ensure adherence with the bank’s Shariah guidelines.
the app at Le Méridien Dhaka, Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir said
Bangladesh’s foreign currency reserve stood at $32 billion while the economy
was the 39th largest in the world.
Chairman Abdus Samad Labu said the bank was working to ensure equity and
justice for sustainable and balanced growth and socio-economic development and
facilitate the formation of a cashless society in Bangladesh.
Director and CEO Farman R Chowdhury said the launch of “Islamic Wallet” would
be one step forward towards fulfilling the dream of achieving a “Digital
Bangladesh” in a Shariah-compliant manner.
said this product would certainly act as a catalyst to achieve the goal of
bringing in more and more of the unbanked and under-banked people under the
banking umbrella as this would offer a full lifestyle solution.
Chowdhury, chairman of Dmoney, said they were proud to have supported the
Al-Arafah in leveraging Dmoney’s technology platform to serve the needs of
Shariah-based customers through a modern banking app.
Senior Executive Vice President Syed Masodul Bari and Dmoney Bangladesh
Co-Founder and Managing Director Aref R Bashir jointly introduced the app’s
rages in Assam over CAB, net suspended in Tripura
Traders were attacked, shops set ablaze in two Tripura districts on Tuesday,
while the streets of Guwahati turned into a veritable battle zone littered with
burnt tyres, stones and teargas shells as protests against the Citizenship
(Amendment) Bill turned violent and virulent in parts of the northeast.
view of the protests against the Bill, internet services have been suspended
for 48 hours from 2 pm in Tripura on Tuesday.
fruit vendor who had opened his stall at Manughat Bazar in Tripura’s Dhalai
district was critically injured when protesters hit him on the head with sharp
weapons, a senior police official said. Three other traders suffered injuries
in separate attacks by protesters, who also set fire to or ransacked shops that
had opened in Dhalai and North Tripura in defiance of a bandh call by tribal
parties. At least eight motorbikes were destroyed in the arson.
Assam, at least 1,000 people were detained by the police during the course of
the 11-hour bandh called by the Northeast Students’ Organisation (Neso), of
which the influential All Assam Students’ Union (Aasu) is a key constituent.
was the epicentre of the agitation, with the police resorting to a cane charge
and firing in the air to disperse groups of protesters targeting state-owned
buses and other government vehicles.
Jalukbari, a group of youths blocked the road that leads to minister Himanta
Biswa Sarma’s residence and shouted slogans against the citizenship bill. They
left only after the police fired blanks to scare them away. Another group
damaged the gate to the residence of the BJP MP from Guwahati, Queen Oja, and
burnt her effigy.
protesters were injured in a clash with police personnel near Dispur, where the
state secretariat and the assembly building are located. The group prevented
education minister Siddhartha Bhattacharya’s convoy from entering the
award-winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua showed solidarity with organisations leading
the campaign against the citizenship bill by announcing that he had withdrawn
his film Bhoga Khirikee (Broken Window), produced by Priyanka Chopra, from the
upcoming Assam film awards .
anguish over political leaders “disrobing the motherland”, he told PTI: “I am
very unhappy at the ongoing situation. This bill should not have happened. We
believed the (BJP) leadership, but they are not trying to understand us. In
such a situation, I do not want to participate in such a programme.”
actor Barsharani Bishaya and several other artistes assembled in the Chandmari
area of the city for a protest.
travellers arriving by train or air during the day, it was a long wait till
evening for private and commercial vehicles to resume plying from the railway
station and the airport. The administration did arrange transport, but not
everyone took the risk of a mid-journey hitch. “We have safely ferried more
than 500 people from the airport to Paltan Bazar. Three buses were pelted with
stones, but no passenger was hurt,” city police commissioner Deepak Kumar said.
Upper Assam, including CM Sarbananda Sonowal's home turf Dibrugarh, the
shutdown was total. Protesters blocked highways in almost every district.
Trains were stopped at Moran in Dibrugarh and Simaluguri in Sivasagar district.
flag of the banned Ulfa was flying outside a lower primary school in Dibrugarh
town until someone reported it to the police. “It was the handiwork of
miscreants,” Dibrugarh SP Gautam Borah said.
Mukti Sangram Samiti leader Akhil Gogoi led a large group of protesters on
motorcycles in the town. He later told reporters: “CAB violates the preamble to
the Constitution. If the Bill is passed (by the Rajya Sabha), we will move the
apex court. We are not going to rest till the Centre repeals it."
the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley, the call for a shutdown evoked partial
response. Protesters who tried to disrupt functioning of government offices,
banks and educational institutions in the towns were rounded up. Only Assam
University postponed examinations that were scheduled for the day.
Manipur, life came to a standstill during the bandh called by the All Manipur
Students’ Union despite home minister Amit Shah announcing in Parliament on
Monday that the Inner Line Permit system would be introduced in the state to
insulate it from the new citizenship law. The announcement had been greeted
with celebrations in Imphal on Monday evening.
Manipur People Against CAB, which had announced a “ceasework” from 1am on
Monday till 3am on Wednesday, called off the agitation and thanked Shah for
bringing the state under the ILP system.
was almost completely shut in protest against the citizenship bill, although
the lone Lok Sabha MP of the National People’s Party (NPP), which is a
constituent of the NDA, voted in favour of it.
MP Agatha Sangma insisted that 97% of the state, which comes under the purview
of the 6th Schedule of the Constitution, would be exempt from the provisions of
the bill, speculation was rife about the fate of the coalition in power in the
state after her vote. The state government led by Agatha's brother, Conrad K
Sangma, had been at the forefront of opposition to the contentious bill.
Arunachar Pradesh, the 11-hour Neso-called bandh kept educational institutions,
banks, markets and commercial establishments closed throughout the day.
Protesters in Itanagar pelted vehicles with stones and burnt tyres on NH 415,
SP Tumme Amo said.
Muslim in India needs to worry,' says Amit Shah on Citizenship Bill in RS
Delhi: The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 (CAB) was tabled in the Rajya
Sabha by the Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday.
the Rajya Sabha, Shah said: “No Muslim in India needs to worry due to this
Bill. Don't get scared if someone tries to scare you. This is Narendra Modi's
government working according to Constitution, minorities will get full
said misinformation have been spread that this Bill was against Muslims of
India. “I want to ask the people saying this that how is this bill related to
Indian Muslims? They are Indian citizens and will always remain. No
discrimination against them,” he added.
parties including the Congress, AIMIM and the Trinamool Congress are against
the bill. The Congress had issued a 3-line whip mandating its members in the
Rajya Sabha to be present during the presentation of the bill.
BJP is certain that it would get support from parties such as the AIADMK, the
YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), the TDP and BJD-- all of which are outside the fold
of the National Democratic Allliance (NDA).
the 245-member Rajya Sabha, the halfway mark is currently 121 as five seats are
vacant bringing down the strength of the House to 240.
bill had an easy passage in the Lok Sabha where the BJP-led NDA has majority.
The Lower House passed the bill 334-106 after a fierce day-long debate on
‘old people’ for advice: World’s oldest PM Mahathir to Sanna Marin, the
Mahathir Mohamad, the world’s oldest serving premier, said on Tuesday it would
be a good idea for the world’s youngest prime minister, Finland’s Sanna Marin,
to ask “old people” for their advice.
34, was the sole candidate for her government’s top post after the resignation
of Antti Rinne following a declaration of no confidence in him by a party in
Finland’s ruling coalition.
we believe in the idealism of young people, it is important also for them to
consider the experience of the old people,” Mahathir, 94, told Reuters in an
there will be a combination of the two, and that would be good.”
has had a swift rise in Finnish politics since becoming head of the city
council of her industrial hometown of Tampere at the age of 27. She will take
over in the middle of a 3-day wave of strikes, which will halt production at
some of Finland’s largest companies from Monday.
led the Malaysian opposition to an unprecedented election win last May. It is
his second stint as Malaysia’s premier, a post he previously held for 22 years
from 1981 to 2003.
of Islamic Cooperation’s rights body underscores role of youth in progress
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) Independent Permanent Human
Rights Commission (IPHRC) called on all member states to bolster their efforts
to integrate the role of youth in achieving the goals of sustainable
a statement issued on Tuesday marking the “International Human Rights Day,” the
rights body said in order to capitalize on the youth potential, the OIC has
proposed a “youth strategy” with particular focus on alleviating poverty,
promoting universal education and ensuring gender equality.
said the energy and creativity of youth are vital for building peace and
OIC body stressed the need to invest in the education and character building of
the youth for a better future.
IPHRC, realizing the importance of youth, held its 2019 annual seminar on the
subject of “Importance of promoting and protecting the rights of youth for
building peaceful democratic societies and sustainable development,” in
Tashkent in October.
withholds comments on India’s anti-Muslim legislation, but urges adoption of
NATIONS, Dec 10 (APP):The United Nations Tuesday withheld comments until the
completion of legislative process involving a controversial bill passed by
India’s lower house that prevents Muslim migrants from neighboring countries
from receiving citizenship, while emphasizing that member states adopt
is a legislation which continuing to go through legislative process … so we
wouldn’t have any comments while the domestic legislative process is being
carried out,” United Nations Deputy Spokesman Farhan Haq said in reply to a
question from APP at the regular noon briefing.
the same time,” he added, “You know what our concern are about making sure that
all governments pursue non-discriminatory laws.”
Muslim organizations, rights groups and others have called the bill a part of
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s push to marginalize India’s 200-million-strong
August 5, Modi illegally annexed Jammu and Kashmir where thousands of troops
poured in, setting up roadblocks, imposing a curfew and imprisoning political
in November, India’s top court settled a politically charged court battle over
the site of Babri Mosque contested for decades between Hindus and Muslims,
ruling in the Hindus’ favour.
the Modi government has turned a blind eye to mob violence against Muslims.
can the U.S. dare lecturing China about Rights of the Muslims?
Andre Vltchek / December 10th, 2019
2019, I have written a long analysis about “the Uygur issue”; analysis which
will be soon published as a book.
some time, I have been warning the world that the West, and the United States
in particular, are helping to radicalize the Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province and
not only that: I clearly mapped movement of the Uyghur radicals through some
countries like Indonesia, towards Turkey, from where they are then injected
into brutal war zones like Idlib in Syria. I worked in Idlib area, with the
Syrian commanders, and I spoke at length with the Syrian internally displaced
people; victims of the Uyghur genocidal attacks.
majority of Uyghur people are Muslims. They have their own, ancient, specific
culture and most of them are, of course, very decent human beings. Northwest
China is their home.
“problem” is that Urumqi, Xinjiang, are located on the main branch of BRI (The
Belt and Road Initiative) – an extremely optimistic, internationalist project
which is ready to connect billions of people on all continents. The BRI is
infrastructural as well as cultural project, which will soon pull hundreds of
millions of people out of poverty and under-development.
is horrified that China is taking a lead in building a much brighter future for
humanity. It is because, if China succeeds, it could be the end of Western
imperialism and neo-colonialism, leading to real freedom and independence for
dozens of until now suffering nations.
Washington has decided to act, in order to preserve the status quo and its
dominance over the world.
one: to antagonize, provoke and to smear China by all means, be it over Hong
Kong, Taiwan, South China Sea or, above mentioned “Uygur Issue”.
two: to try to turn a part of China’s constitutionally-recognized national
minority – Uyghurs – into “rebels”, or more precisely, terrorists.
a member of NATO, offered the U.S. a helping hand. Uyghurs were flown with
their families to Istanbul, with Turkish passports, through hubs in Southeast
Asia. Then, their passports were confiscated in Istanbul. Many Uyghurs were
recruited, trained, and then transported into war-torn Syria. Smaller group
stayed in places like Indonesia, joining jihadi cadres there. When terrorist
groups in Syria were almost thoroughly defeated, some Uyghurs were moved to
Afghanistan, where I also used to work, and investigated.
to say, Afghanistan has a short but important border with China.
all this complex operation? The answer is simple: NATO/Washington/West hope
that the hardened, well-trained Uyghur jihadi fighters will eventually return
home to Xinjiang. There, they would start to fight for “independence”, and
while doing that, they would sabotage the BRI.
way, China would be injured, and its most powerful global project (BRI) would
Chinese government is, naturally, alarmed. It is clear that the West has
prepared a brilliant trap: 1) If China does nothing, it will have to face an
extremely dangerous terrorist threat on its own territory (remember Soviet
Union being dragged into Afghanistan, and mortally injured by Western trained,
financed and supported Mujahedeen? The West has long history of using Islam for
its Machiavellian designs). 2) If China does something to protect itself, it
will get attacked by the Western media and politicians. Precisely this is what
is happening now.
is ready, prepared.
12 September 2019, South China Morning Post, reported:
Senate passes Uygur Human Rights Policy Act calling for sanctions on Chinese
officials over Xinjiang camps
also urges Trump administration to prohibit export of goods and services to
state agents in Chinese region where upwards of 1 million Uygurs are being held
describes move as a ‘gross interference in China’s internal affairs’”
the so-called rights act to interfere in Xinjiang’s affairs is one great
exercise in hypocrisy and intimidation.
us not forget that the United States is treating Muslim people with absolute
spite. It even bans them from entering the country, if they happened to live in
certain nations. It arbitrarily bombs them in Pakistan, Afghanistan and
elsewhere, worrying nothing about the loss of civilian lives. It tortures
Muslims, and it humiliates them at home and even in their own countries.
frankly: by trying to trigger the Uyghur insurgency in China, Washington is
clearly doing a great harm to the Uyghurs themselves, and actually to all
people of Northwest China. It is not just wrong; the United States is
committing crime against humanity.
is a multi-national, multi-cultural country. The Muslim culture is part of
PRC’s identity. I suggest anyone who doubts that to travel to Xi’an, one of
three ancient capital cities of China.
is where the old great Silk Road originated (ancient BRI, one could argue).
Until now it is proud of its tremendous Muslim monuments, as well as of
wonderful Muslim food and music. Every year, tens of millions of Chinese visitors
travel to Xi’an, to understand its legacy, and enjoy its culture. The city is
loved and appreciated, mainly because of its vibrant Muslim identity.
is thorough nonsense that China is ‘anti-Muslim’. Both China (and Russia) are
much more tolerant towards Islam than the West. Historically, and currently.
same nonsense is to claim that China is building “concentration camps” in
position is clear: what the West describes as camps, are “vocational training
centers” where “trainees” can learn Chinese and gain job skills to stop them
becoming victims of “terrorism and religious extremism”. A group of Muslim
Indonesian leaders, which gained access to these so-called ‘camps’ in Xinjiang,
recently told my colleague, that people who spend some time in these
institutions can actually sleep at home, at night.
a Guantanamo Bay, frankly speaking.
self-proclaimed “judge”- the United States – has hundreds of high-security
prisons, scattered all over the country. It is well known fact that throwing
often innocent people to jail is big (privatized) business there, already for
long decades. Millions of people are locked in for nothing. How can a country
with one of the greatest number of prisoners on earth (on per capita basis)
dare to preach anyone about justice? It is actually a great mystery.
is the true purpose of such acts?
answer is easy to define: It is that the determined unwillingness of the U.S.
to share influence on the world, with other, much more humanistic countries,
such as China; it is its unwillingness to compete on the basis of great ideas
more nihilist the U.S. foreign policy becomes, the more it accuses others of
way things function is simple: Washington creates some terrible conflict,
somewhere. When the victim-country tries to resolve the conflict, and so-to
speak ‘extinguish fire’, it is accused of ‘violating rights’ and gets slammed
this has to stop at some point soon. This policy of Washington turns millions
of human lives into agony.
First, in shorter version, published by the China Daily
Expert: US Aims to Revive ISIL in Iraq through Sanctions against Hashd
Dec 10, 2019
(FNA)- A senior Iraqi security expert warned that the US sanctions against
Hashd al-Shaabi (popular forces) are aimed at paving the ground for returning
the ISIL terrorists to Iraq and foment insecurity in the country again.
US wants to force the Iraqi government to retreat Hashd al-Shaabi forces from
the bordering areas of Iraq and Syria by imposing sanctions against them,"
Abbas al-Ardawi told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website on Tuesday.
US is planning to misuse the political crisis in Iraq to interfere in the
country's political and security affairs," he cautioned.
political figures and groups deplored the US Treasury Department for imposing
sanctions on Hashd al-Shaabi leaders, describing the move as clear interference
in Iraq's internal affairs.
see the move as a flagrant violation of our national sovereignty and meddling
in Iraq's internal affairs," Hekmat Fraction said in a statement on
Mohammed al-Rubai'e, the spokesman of al-Sadeqoun fraction's political bureau
affiliated to Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq group, described the sanctions as a futile
sanctions are in vain. We did not and will not have any foreign accounts,"
he wrote on his twitter page on Saturday, adding that the Iraqi popular forces
are like thorns in the eyes of the hegemonic powers and will stand against
US has slapped sanctions on a number of Iraqi leaders over allegations they
were involved in the abuse of protesters.
those targeted by the sanctions is Qais al-Khazali, the head of the powerful
Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) group.
targeted were Khazali's brother Laith al-Khazali, and Hussein Falih al-Lami,
the security chief of the Hashd al-Shaabi, the umbrella grouping which includes
Hashd al-Shaabi group has denied any role in the deaths of protesters, who have
demonstrated against the government for more than two months.
Afghanistan war has claimed 157,000 lives since 2001
11 Dec 2019
long-term Afghanistan war has claimed around 157,000 lives since the US-led
military invasion in the country in late 2001, Washington Post reported on
released 2,000 pages of unpublished ‘confidential’ documents which are the
result of assessments by government officials, diplomats, military officers and
aid workers of the post-2001 war efforts in Afghanistan, many of which were
critical of how the war was conducted—on every level—and how falsely it was
reported up the chain of command and to the public.
documents unveils that an estimated 43,074 Afghan civilians, 64,124 Afghan
security force members and 42,100 Taliban fighters have died so far. Also,
7,295 foreigners–among them 3,814 US contractors, 1,145 coalition forces’
members and 2,300 American soldiers–have also lost lives.
senior National Security Council official said the Obama administration and
Pentagon pushed metrics that portrayed the 2009 decision to surge 30,000 troops
to Afghanistan in an inaccurately positive light:
was impossible to create good metrics. We tried using troop numbers trained,
violence levels, control of territory and none of it painted an accurate
picture,” and “The metrics were always manipulated for the duration of the
Eggers, a retired Navy SEAL and White House official under Bush and Obama
administration, asked in a Lessons Learned interview included in the
did we make the Taliban the enemy when we were attacked by al-Qaeda? Why did we
want to defeat the Taliban?”
also said: “Collectively the system is incapable of taking a step back to
question basic assumptions.”
near Bagram military airbase, damages a medical facility
Wednesday morning explosion near Bagram military airbase has badly damaged a
medical facility which was under construction, a Resolute Support spokesman told
forces conducted an attack on Bargram airfield this morning, targeting a
medical facility being constructed to help the Afghan people who live near the
base”, RS spokesperson said.
attack was quickly contained and repelled by the ANDSF and Coalition partners,
but the future medical facility was badly damaged, he said.
also confirmed that there were no U.S or Coalition casualties and Bagram
remained secure throughout the attack.
individual or group has so far claimed the responsibility for this attack.
comes as it is the fifth day of peace negotiations between the Taliban and U.S
delegations in Doha, Qatar.
has set on the table with the U.S peace delegation to come to an agreement for
a political settlement in Afghanistan.
of violence, Ceasefire and Intra-Afghan talks are the hot topics of the
discussions, sources said.
suggest that Taliban and U.S are likely to reach an agreement soon.
Shaheen, Taliban spokesperson in Doha said on Tuesday that foreign ministers
from a number of countries and representatives of international organizations,
especially the United Nations, will be invited to Qatar during the signing of
Suu Kyi told to 'stop the genocide' of Rohingya Muslims in UN court
peace laureate Aung San Suu Kyi faced calls for Myanmar to "stop the
genocide" of Rohingya Muslims as she personally led her country's defence
at the UN's top court on Tuesday.
civilian leader sat through graphic accounts of mass murder and rape as the
west African state of The Gambia set out its case at the International Court of
Justice in The Hague.
of people back home in Yangon rallied in support of 74-year-old Suu Kyi, whose
silence about the plight of the Rohingya has tarnished her international
reputation as a rights icon.
740,000 Rohingya fled to neighbouring Bangladesh after a bloody crackdown by
the Myanmar military in 2017 that UN investigators have already described as
Myanmar to stop these senseless killings, to stop these acts of barbarity that
continue to shock our collective conscience, to stop this genocide of its own
people," Gambian Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou told the judges.
Gambia accuses Myanmar of breaching the 1948 genocide convention and has asked
the court, set up in 1946 to rule on disputes between UN member states, to take
emergency measures to stop further violence.
genocide is unfolding right before our eyes yet we do nothing to stop it,"
added Tambadou, a former prosecutor at the tribunal into the Rwanda's 1994
day of inaction means more people are being killed, more women are being raped
and more children are being burned alive. For what crime? Only that they were
Kyi, who 28 years ago today was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, is set to speak
in Myanmar's defence on Wednesday. She is expected to argue that Myanmar was
conducting legitimate operations against Rohingya militants and that the ICJ
has no jurisdiction in the case.
'In it together' -
decision to personally lead the southeast Asian nation's case at the court has
proved popular at home, where the Rohingya are widely regarded as illegal
immigrants despite having lived in Myanmar for decades.
Myanmar, flag-waving supporters joined rallies in support of Suu Kyi in several
cities across the country on Tuesday, with some 2,000 people marching through
Yangon and tens of thousands more in Mandalay.
reggae singer Saw Phoe Khwa was among the celebrities who took to the stage in
Yangon, imploring everyone to love each other before breaking into song.
have to stand behind her as she travels to defend our country's dignity,"
said 57-year-old Yangon resident Thant Zin, sporting Suu Kyi stickers on both
Gambia's lawyers however said the appearance of huge billboards across Myanmar
in recent weeks featuring pictures of Suu Kyi with three smiling generals
showed she was "in it together" with the army that once held her
can only be have been intended to show that they are all in it together and
that Myanmar has absolutely no intention of holding its emboldened military
leadership accountable," lawyer Paul Reichler told the court.
group of some 50 pro-Rohingya protesters gathered outside the gates of the ICJ
for the hearing, carrying banners saying: 'Say yes to Rohingya, justice delayed
is justice denied" and "Stop Burma military attack Rohingya."
is the start for our right to justice," said Mohammed Harun, 49, who
travelled from London for the hearings. "It's international justice day
for Rohingya," he told AFP.
small group of Suu Kyi supporters also unfurled a banner outside the court with
the Myanmar leader's face on it saying: " We love you, we stand with
Kyi is the only person who can solve this problem," supporter Swe Swe Aye,
47, told AFP.
'I demand justice' -
74-year-old Suu Kyi was once mentioned in the same breath as Nelson Mandela and
Mahatma Gandhi, having won the Nobel in 1991 for her resistance to Myanmar's
15 years under house arrest she was freed in 2010 and led her party to victory
in elections in 2015, but her defence of the same generals who once kept her
locked up has since caused international condemnation.
case is also being watched in Bangladesh where the Rohingya remain in sprawling
demand justice from the world," said Nur Karima, a Rohingya refugee whose
brothers and grandparents were killed in a massacre in the village of Tula Toli
in August 2017.
judges have only once before ruled that genocide was committed, in the 1995
Srebrenica massacre in Bosnia.
however, faces a number of legal challenges over the fate of the Rohingya,
including a probe by the International Criminal Court -- a separate war crimes
tribunal in The Hague -- and a lawsuit in Argentina.
against Aligarh Muslim University students for protesting against Citizenship
Police have registered an FIR against 20 identified and 200 unidentified
students of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) for protesting against the
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Tuesday. Speaking to ANI, Circle Officer, Civil
Lines Anil Samania gave this information.
by students at Aligarh Muslim University have been going on for the past two
days against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. In view of the protests today, a
large number of Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel have been deployed outside
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, was passed with a majority of 311 votes
against 80 votes in Lok Sabha where 391 members were present and voting.
Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh,
Buddhist and Zoroastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from
Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who entered India on or before December
no protection for persecuted Rohingya Muslims, ask settlers
voice of TV news anchors talking on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB)
passed by the Lok Sabha late on Monday night filled the the shanty of Shobir*,
a Rohingya refugee settled at a camp in Kalindi Kunj, as a few others sat
around intently watching videos on his smartphone on Tuesday afternoon.
Bill, which has been proposed as a measure to extend protection to certain
persecuted religious minorities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, does
not include persecuted Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar.
have faced things you would not believe,” said Shobir. “Children were killed,
daughters raped, our rights seized. No one wants to leave their country and
settle somewhere else like this. We were forced to flee.”
who escaped from Myanmar in 2012, said the same persecution faced by minorities
in other countries was faced by them, if not worse. “We were oppressed in the
Buddhist-majority Myanmar. We couldn’t travel, get married, have children, our
citizenship was taken away,” he said.
go back to Myanmar was “unthinkable” for these people. “You might as well throw
us into the sea,” he said.
of the settlement here live in abject squalor — open defecation on muddy roads,
absence of proper drainage system and fragile makeshift housing which witnessed
a massive fire last year. Despite this, Ramad said they manage alright. “We get
nothing from the government but at least our children get to go to school here.
It’s even worse for our relatives living in Bangladesh.”
National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise, currently under way in Assam, was
also on their minds. “If the NRC is conducted all over India and refugees are
removed, they will all be Muslims,” said a despondent Anwar*. “I am thinking
about my children..They are so young, they don’t even know which country they
live in. Would we have to move again? Where will we go?” he asked.
CAB is being viewed as an “injustice” here. “We believed in the virtues of this
country, in India’s democracy,” said Shobir. “But this [CAB] has turned all
that on its head. It is very disappointing.”
wish I weren’t a Muslim,” said Anwar. “That’s the only reason I am in this
situation. If we were Hindu or Christian or something else, we wouldn't have to
face this problem.”
names have been changed)
Board and mosques prepare community for NRC, Census 2021
From Aadhaar cards to death certificates, Muslim families in Karnataka are
compiling a slew of government documents they plan to keep ready ahead of the
National Register of Citizens (NRC). There’s a sense of urgency as the
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, makes its way through Parliament this week.
families have approached notaries for affidavits with their family trees to
community leaders, mosques, their jama’ats and several not-for-profits working
with Muslims have begun educating people about various documents they need to
have in order. The Karnataka Waqf Board issued a circular asking mosques to
ensure that members of the community organise all required documents before the
2021 census begins.
to the circular, administrators of various mosques in the state, many of which
had already begun organising people, are sharing checklists of necessary
documents, including residence proof from or before 1951, land and tenant
records, passport, LIC policies and educational certificates, among others,
with the community.
community is circulating what it calls a “pre-NRC assessment form” to all
Muslims, and mosque administrators claim this helps in preparing a family tree
and establish proof of residence and nativity.
Ibrahim, administrator, Karnataka Waqf Board, in a letter said: “It is proposed
to have a register in every masjid containing the details along with documents
such as birth certificates, voter ID, Aadhaar, ration and PAN cards, etc. The
register shall have all the details, and masjids in cities can also make and
store soft copies.”
Shafiulla Saheb, president, Masjid-e-Sahaba in Electronics City, while stating
there was no clarity yet on what the census questionnaire may seek, said one of
the challenges is that many community members are below the poverty line, most
of whom are daily wage labourers with neither information nor resources to
organise the required documents.
looking at deploying educated volunteers at the mosque and when the census
begins, we’re also telling families to ensure their names are not misspelled.
Sometimes, details are collected in English and census workers need to
translate to Kannada or vice-versa. It’s best that we write all details in both
languages,” he said.
A Mavad, president, Masjid-e-Badr in Okalipuram, said the mosque has already
started sending volunteers door to door to ensure every family associated with
it has all documents.
Ahmed, retired IPS officer and chairman, National Centre for Research &
Development, an NGO, said the upcoming NRC is important and every person must
be diligent with documents. “There is no need for panic. For citizens born till
July 1, 1987, the birth certificate will be the best document,” he said.
told TOI the note by the Waqf Board to mosques is more like a checklist. “More
than the NRC, the exercise is to prepare people for the 2021 census so they
don’t panic at the last moment.” He added that the Minority Information Centre
of the state government can be a nodal centre for information and guidance.
senior government official the exercise is much needed and will help people of
the community to be proactive in organising their documents.
verdict: Shia Board chairman raises objection against allotment of 5-acre land
Raising objections over the allotment of 5-acre land to Sunni Muslims, Uttar
Pradesh Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Wasim Rizmi on Tuesday said that the
land should be given to Shias and not Sunnis as Mir Bakshi was a Shia.
mosque was built by Mir Bakshi on the temple. He was a Shia. Even if the land
is allotted then it should be given to Shias, not Sunnis," he said while
speaking to ANI in Lucknow.
5-acre land should not be given to Sunnis in Ayodhya. The land should be given for
charitable purposes. This is not right," he addded.
a unanimous verdict, the Supreme Court last month cleared the way for the
construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and directed the
Centre to allot a separate five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board to build a
also Rizmi urged Centre to include his community in Citizenship (Amendment)
Bill 2019 claiming that the Shia Muslim community has been facing religious
discrimination in several countries.
want to bring to your notice that Shia Muslims are being subjected to inhumane
treatment and also being killed in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Syria,
Saudi Arabia, and Kenya because of their minority status," he wrote in the
letter, calling Shias a weak section of the Muslim community.
had further stated that the Shia community is being exploited by the Sunni
community for nearly fourteen hundred years.
to lift martial law in Muslim-majority south Philippines
11 December 2019
Rodrigo Duterte has decided to end more than two years of martial law in the
southern Philippines after government forces weakened Takfiri militant groups
there with the capture and killing of their leaders, his spokesman says.
placed the Mindanao region under martial law after hundreds of local militants
aligned with the Daesh group and backed by foreign fighters occupied buildings,
a commercial district and communities in Marawi city starting May 23, 2017, in
the worst security crisis Duterte has faced.
quelled the disastrous siege after five months of intense airstrikes and ground
offensives with the help of American and Australian surveillance aircraft. The
Philippine Congress approved an extension of martial law in Mindanao three
times after Duterte warned that militants continued to recruit fighters and
decided not to further extend martial law, which expires at the end of the
year, after his defense and security advisers provided an assessment that “the
terrorist and extremist rebellion” has been weakened with the losses of the
militants’ leaders and a drop in crime in the region, presidential spokesman
Salvador Panelo said.
(presidential) palace is confident on the capability of our security forces in
maintaining the peace and security of Mindanao without extending martial law,”
Panelo said in a statement. “The people of Mindanao are assured that any
incipient major threat in the region would be nipped in the bud.”
military welcomed Duterte’s decision to follow its recommendation to end
martial law in the south. It added that the military will pursue amendments to
an anti-terrorism law to lessen restrictions on government forces and make it
more potent in countering terrorism.
Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has told Duterte that Takfiri militants can no
longer carry out an attack like the siege on Marawi, which left more than 1,000
people dead, mostly militants, and turned the mosque-studded city’s commercial
and residential areas into a wasteland of burned and pock-marked buildings and
have also made significant progress in efforts to defeat the decades-old
communist insurgency in the region, Lorenzana said.
Marawi attack reinforced fears that the Daesh group was gaining a foothold in
Southeast Asia despite its battle defeats in Iraq and Syria.
politicians argued Duterte’s martial law was unconstitutional because it is an
“extreme measure” that can only be imposed when an actual rebellion against the
government exists. They also feared the move could be a prelude to Duterte
declaring martial law throughout the Philippines.
governments have also expressed concern, but Lorenzana said the martial law
imposed in Mindanao was “mild” compared to the martial rule declared by
authoritarian leader Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines in the 1970s. The Marcos-era
martial law was characterized by widespread human rights violations and alleged
plunder of state coffers.
said businesspeople were reluctant to invest in the south because of martial
bombings by Daesh group-linked militants have rocked the southern province of
Sulu this year, including the first one staged by a Filipino militant, but
Lorenzana expressed confidence that government forces “can maintain the peace
and order there and improve it further, make it more peaceful, without martial
explains second RM2 billion loan for SRC
LUMPUR: Former prime minister Najib Razak told the High Court in his SRC
International trial today that he was informed that the company wanted another
RM2 billion loan as it did not have enough money to support its operations.
said he was told that SRC International had set aside the first RM2 billion from
the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) for “investment purposes”.
second loan was needed because SRC International was carrying out activities in
line with the national energy policy, and to reduce the country’s reliance on
the oil and gas industry,” he said.
court previously heard that KWAP had lent SRC International RM2 billion in
August 2011 and another RM2 billion in February 2012. Both loans were
guaranteed by the government.
questioned by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas on whether, as finance minister, he
had asked the company why it needed another RM2 billion, Najib said SRC
International received the first tranche after about seven months.
said they had immediate plans for investment purposes. I did not ask further
questions,” he said, adding that he had signed the second government guarantee
as Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, the second finance minister at the time, had not been
had signed the first government guarantee in August 2011.
asked if Najib had “acted wrongly” in signing the second guarantee without
checking what had happened to the first round of funds. However, Najib said he
did not agree.
asked if the first RM2 billion could have been misspent, Najib said he was not
informed of such matters by the company directors.
assumed the board should do it. It was their fiduciary duty,” he added.
also disagreed with the testimony of Treasury officer Afidah Azwa Abdul Aziz,
who said SRC International was the “prime minister’s company” and that she was
pressured to rush the relevant paperwork so that the Cabinet could make a
decision on the second government guarantee.
is nothing to say that I owned the company,” he said.
also said he only realised “much later” that RM1.8 billion from the company’s
bank account was transferred to Falcon Private Bank and Julius Baer Group AG in
was not my decision to park the money there,” he said.
hearing continues before High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali.
face six charges of money laundering and criminal breach of trust in the
transfer of RM42 million to his account from SRC International, a former unit
is also accused of abusing his power as prime minister by giving government
guarantees on SRC International’s RM4 billion loan from KWAP.
efforts for promotion of human rights lauded
Dr. Awwad Al-Awwad, president of the Kingdom’s Human Rights Commission, said on
Tuesday Saudi Arabia is keen to play a constructive role to maintain
international peace and security, prevent conflicts and promote a culture of
said this during a meeting with Marielle de Sarnez, who is a member of the
French National Assembly, in Riyadh.
reviewed Saudi efforts in supporting human rights and the ongoing reforms in
the Kingdom with a particular reference to the protection of human rights.
French politician praised the developments taking place in the Kingdom in all
sectors particularly human rights and women’s empowerment.
the occasion of Human Rights Day, which is observed globally on Dec. 10,
Al-Awwad said: “(Protection of) human rights is an issue of great international
concern especially in the light of the rise in wars, intolerance, terrorism,
hatred and racism.”
the Kingdom’s role in humanitarian causes, the rights chief said that Saudi
Arabia has spent more than $86 billion in over 81 countries between 1996 and
on the Kingdom’s keenness to preserve global and regional peace, he cited the
Riyadh agreement between the legitimate Yemeni government and the Southern
Transitional Council as an example.
reiterated the Kingdom’s historical stance on the Palestinian issue.
Human Rights Commission organized on Tuesday a symposium titled “Human Rights,
A Vision for the Future” in Riyadh.
in the field of human rights from inside and outside the Kingdom participated
in this symposium, which was attended by a number of diplomats.
symposium highlighted the Kingdom’s role in protecting and promoting human
rights in accordance with its national and international commitments in this
field. It also shed light on the Kingdom’s cooperation with various human
rights organizations and reviewed the importance it attaches to the
independence of the judiciary, the rule of law, safeguarding the rights of
subjects of law, and respecting the course of justice.
symposium discussed the most prominent developments in human rights during the
reign of King Salman, safeguarding the privacy and rights of children in light
of the digital age, and providing protection to the elderly as well as the
challenges facing providing them with a suitable environment.
Aziz bin Abdullah Al-Khayyal, vice president of the Human Rights Commission,
emphasized in a speech he delivered on behalf of the commission’s president,
Dr. Al-Awwad, that Saudi Arabia, led by King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman, has made strides in the field of human rights.
Arabia works continuously to achieve sustainable development through Vision
2030, in which the youth actively participate and play a major role in positive
social change to contribute to more development achievements,” he said.
Resident Coordinator Nathalie Fustier stressed in her speech that the Kingdom
has made many achievements in the field of human rights and that these efforts
deserve to be saluted.
added that the youth account for 25 percent of the Kingdom’s population and are
the heart of society as they create the future of the next generations.
pointed out that at a global level, all development goals stipulate the
protection of rights, including the rights of young people as they deserve many
advantages and must be provided with the maximum benefits and more than the
well-being and rights they have.
ministry launches training program on education policy
The Saudi Education Ministry has launched a training program titled “Effective
reform foundations for education policies: Research and policymaking,”
presented by the Education Policy Research Center in cooperation with the World
five-day program, taking place on Dec. 9-13, is aimed at people interested in
research and studies on education policies.
program’s topics include managing an effective education system, supporting
teachers, promoting concepts and means to finance education, building
foundations for early childhood education, and strengthening students’
evaluation and curriculums.
Ibrahim Al-Bidyawi, the ministry’s undersecretary for planning and development,
inaugurated the program.
it aims to introduce trainees to the most important issues of education
policies to qualify them as researchers in the field, thus contributing to
building capacities in the field of improving educational policies and
also shed light on the partnership between the ministry and the World Bank,
which aims to implement programs to develop the education system in line with
the Saudi leadership’s aspirations and ambitions.
Saudi citizens, residents satisfied with health care
Seventy percent of Saudi citizens have a positive outlook toward the Kingdom’s
health services, according to a national survey.
the competence of Saudi doctors and nurses was highest among the reasons for
people being confident about the services provided by the country’s Ministry of
results of the study, conducted by the National Center for Public Opinion
Polls, showed that 84 percent of citizens and residents were satisfied with the
ministry’s efforts in combating infectious diseases.
the satisfaction scale, 63 percent of respondents were happy with its handling
of common diseases, 68 percent with the establishment of sophisticated medical
centers, 66 percent with existing medical services, and 69 percent with the
ministry’s representation in the media in terms of promoting its different
services and various awareness campaigns.
the 1,252 people randomly questioned from throughout the Kingdom, 47 percent
gave less-positive feedback about the provision of treatment services abroad,
with 46 percent skeptical about the recruitment of foreign medical staff.
consensus 92 percent gave a positive reaction to the annual medical services
put in place by the ministry during the Hajj season, with 76 percent agreeing
there had been an improvement in service-level provision over the last three
years. However, 11 percent thought the level was weak and 13 percent said they
did not perceive any improvement.
study showed that 65 percent of people surveyed trusted the ministry to improve
and develop medical care services, although 15 percent did not share that
trust, and 19 percent were neutral on the matter.
those quizzed for the opinion poll, 63 percent were men and 37 percent women,
with 91 percent of them being Saudis. The survey was carried out for 24 hours
through a scientific methodology that relied on a direct phone interview with
devoted to King Faisal to open in London this month
An exhibition about King Faisal bin Abul Aziz will open in London this month.
Titled “A life at the Heart of the Twentieth Century,” it commemorates the
100th anniversary of his historic, five-month visit to Britain, Ireland and
France. Still a child at the time, he was the first Saudi royal to visit
exhibition is one of many to be held in Europe to introduce the world to King
Faisal, his personality, history and biography as one of the most prominent
world leaders,” said Prince Turki Al-Faisal, the chairman of the King Faisal
Center for Research and Islamic Studies, which organized the event.
will trace King Faisal’s footsteps, showcasing parts of his journey, some of
the places he visited, the figures he met and the importance of his visit to
the continent in 1919.
event, titled ‘A life at the Heart of the Twentieth Century,’ will run for
three weeks. It will include some of his personal possessions, along with
manuscripts, telegrams, letters, paintings, maps, photographs, articles and
press coverage that documented this historic visit.”
exhibition features seven sections. “Najed” showcases the king’s early life,
while “India” tells the story of the visit that constituted his first contact
with the outside world. “London” documents his visit to the city that was his
first stop during his 1919 visit, while “England, Wales and Ireland,” traces
his subsequent tour of Britain and Ireland.
the battlefields” highlight King Faisal’s visit to the killing fields of Europe
just a year after the end of World War I. “Paris” tells the story of his visit
to the French capital, while “Heritage” explores the positive results and
legacy of his historic trip.
exhibition opens in the Nash Room at 116 Pall Mall on Dec. 20. In addition to
KFCRIS, the official sponsors are the King Faisal Foundation and the Kingdom’s
embassy in the UK. The Family Office Co. and Al-Saad Group for Investment and
Development are strategic sponsors, and Sadco Holding Co. is a gold sponsor.
silver sponsors are the Saudi Petrochemical Company, Al-Rashed Trading and
Contracting Co., Al-Zamil Group and Mohammed Al-Saad Al-Ajlan Sons Co. The
official carrier is Saudia Airlines, and the international media sponsors are
Arab News and Asharq Al-Awsat newspapers.
exhibition has been held in a number of regions in the Kingdom and was hosted
by the Kazakh cities of Astana and Almaty in 2017.
Faisal Islamic Bank’s business volume 14.1% up end-November
Amwal Al Ghad
Islamic Bank of Egypt reported on Tuesday a 14.1 percent year-on-year increase
in business volume to 102.680 billion Egyptian pounds ($6.3 billion) at the end
of November, according to Mubasher.
business volume stood at 90 billion pounds at the end of November in 2018, the
bank’s financial indicators showed.
bank’s assets grew to 100.93 billion 102.680 billion Egyptian pounds at the end
of last November versus 88.48 billion pounds during the same period last year,
according to a statement to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) on Tuesday.
current accounts and savings schemes ran by Faisal Bank rose by 13.4 percent to
84.93 million pounds last month against 74.90 million pounds.
was accompanied by a growth in the number of current accounts and saving
schemes, which totalled 1.717 million.
Islamic Bank of Egypt posted a net profit of 2.07 billion pounds during the
first nine months of 2019, compared with 1.96 billion pounds during the same
nine months of the preceding year.
addition, the bank’s revenues amounted 4.98 billion pounds, rising year-on-year
from 4.6 billion pounds.
Prayer Call as Part of 'Diversity Event' in Swedish Church Raises Eyebrows
Church of Sweden, Europe's largest Lutheran denomination, has been leaking
members at an alarming rate in recent years.
church in Pajala Municipality in northern Sweden has held an Islamic prayer
call as part of an event called European Festival of the Night.
Muslim prayer call was part of the performance called “A Prayer for Humanity”
with the subheading “We Are All Children of the Earth” arranged by the
Korpilombolo Cultural Association and the peace movement Vox Pacis, which was
founded response to the Muhammad cartoons scandal that hit Denmark in 2005 and
infuriated much of the Muslim world.
from the Muslim prayer calls, the performance included Sami yoik, Syrian,
Arabic and Hebrew sounds, Hindu mantras and Nordic folk music, the Christian
newspaper Världen Idag reported.
and Pajala congregation operations manager Åke Nordlundh saw no problems with
holding Muslim prayer calls in a church.
is not a worship service in the ordinary sense but a diversity event, a
cultural expression of a common desire for peace, regardless of religious
affiliation. It contains religious expressions of various kinds. Some may be
perceived as controversial, but we have reasoned and made a weighted assessment
that it is possible to host it in the church,” Nordlundh told the news outlet.
event in Korpilombolo was supported by the Stockholm Cathedral Assembly.
is my Christian conviction that if I practice daily to deepen my Christian
faith and identity, I can be curious about what other beliefs have to add,”
dean Hans Ulfvebrand said.
to Nordlundh, “a couple people” have criticised of the event. Världen Idag also
reported a negative response from the public, with people voicing their concern
over the church's diversity push.
assured that had it been a worship service, the boundaries would have been set
in another way.
a Christian church only Christian services are held,” Nordlundh said.
the same time, the Church of Sweden is leaking membership at an alarming rate
of about 2 percent a year, which is sometimes ascribed to so-called “church
tax” and the church's overtly liberal attitudes to many social issues, such as
LGBT issues, the migrant crisis and climate change. Earlier this year, Eva
Brunne, the world's first openly lesbian bishop, riled many worshippers by
saying that she had more in common with Muslims than with the “Christian
the Church of Sweden when I turned eighteen. Empirical experience and hindsight
show that it was a very wise decision”, a user reacted to the news of an
Islamic prayer call.
the Pensacola jihad, can we finally break with the Saudis?
Joshua Kaleb Watson, US Navy, died a warrior’s death at Naval Air Station
Pensacola last week, and now the question is how best for the Navy — for
America — to memorialize the young hero.
about with a Silver Star — and a stern warning to Saudi Arabia to stop sending
us radicalized young men who say they want to learn how to fly?
would command attention in Riyadh, which needs reminding that America’s
newfound energy independence is changing the rules of global petro-diplomacy,
was a duty watch officer at the Florida panhandle training center on Friday,
when Mohammed Alshamrani, a Saudi national at Pensacola for training, pulled a
gun and opened fire. Watson deliberately placed himself between the weapon and
Alshamrani’s targets; he was mortally wounded but still managed to direct
arriving police to where they needed to be. Authorities said the aspiring naval
aviator, now forever 23, had saved many lives, and who’s to doubt it?
Watson acted in the highest tradition of the naval service is obvious, and the
Navy doesn’t lack for means to recognize such heroism. It needs to do right by
the young officer, of course, and a posthumously awarded set of gold aviator’s
wings wouldn’t be out of order, either.
for now there is the matter of Alshamrani, and what he was doing at Pensacola
in the first place. It turns out that his radicalization wasn’t exactly a
secret. He allegedly had hosted a dinner party where Islamist snuff videos were
played — and the FBI now has at least 10 fellow Saudi trainees in custody while
it sorts out the details.
its part, in a classic ex post facto barring of the barn door, the Navy on
Tuesday grounded 300 Saudi aviation trainees at three Florida bases as it, too,
at least that’s what the agencies say they are doing. When it comes to Islamist
fanaticism, it’s not always useful to take Washington’s words at face value.
Friday’s butcher’s bill — three dead, including Watson and enlisted sailors
Mohammed Haitham, 19, and Cameron Walters, 21 — was more modest than the 13
lives extracted by radical Islamist Army Maj. Nidal Hasan at Fort Hood, Texas,
10 years ago.
there’s some small comfort to be taken from the fact that it only required
24-plus hours for the FBI to “presume” the Pensacola attack was an act of
terrorism — a sharp departure from the Obama administration’s declaration that
the Fort Hood assassinations constituted “workplace violence.”
steps for little feet, as it were.
other things have changed over the past decade, as well, perhaps not the least
being that America has all but achieved energy independence since then. It no
longer must abase itself before Middle Eastern oil potentates, including, if
not especially, the Saudis.
whole mob has had inordinate influence in the West since the end of World War
II and not just the West. Both Japan and China largely depend on the Mideast
for oil, and that matters a lot.
does stability in the Mideast. There is no need to be reckless.
there is also no need to continue the pretense that Saudi Arabia is in any
meaningful way capable of protecting itself from its regional enemies — a task
America has undertaken to the tune of two conventional Mideast wars in the last
30 years and a special-operations oriented presence in Afghanistan that has
persisted for almost two decades.
training of Saudi military personnel is part of the charade, and while bringing
an end to the practice would largely be symbolic, it also would be noticed.
to the point is the need to inform Riyadh that America will no longer tolerate
its long-standing and well-documented practice of funding Islamist radicals who
agree to stay out of Saudi Arabia but who nevertheless work elsewhere to
destabilize the West.
led directly to 9/11 and to much of the turmoil that followed — and, indeed, to
much of the Islamist violence that plagues the world today. (Count Ensign
Watson and naval Airmen Haitham and Walters as among the latest victims.)
Mideast is a devil’s cauldron, to be sure, and wrong steps can bring terrible
consequences. But what’s the point of energy independence if America is to
continue kowtowing to the energy sheiks?
don’t have to. So enough.
anti-abortion chief warned of Muslims 'replacing' Christian Europeans
11 Dec 2019
chief executive of Obria, an anti-choice and anti-contraception organisation
that has been awarded millions of dollars in grants by the Trump
administration, once said that Christianity was dying out thanks to
contraception and abortion, leading Europeans to be “replaced” by immigrant
reported remarks by Kathleen Eaton Bravo, the founder and chief executive
officer of the Obria Group, raise new questions about the Trump administration’s
controversial decision to award millions of dollars in health and human
services grants to the group, which runs a national network of health centers
opposed to abortion and contraception.
remarks, which were published in a 2015 interview with the Catholic World
Report, shows how xenophobic fears about immigrants from African and Middle
Eastern countries “replacing” white Christian populations have influenced
anti-choice campaigners in the US.
the interview, Bravo was asked whether abortion was getting the attention it
deserved. She said it was not, because abortion had become a political rather
than a moral issue.
realize that it has had a devastating impact on our society, and threatens our
culture’s survival. Take the example of Europe. When its nations accepted
contraception and abortion, they stopped replacing their population.
Christianity began to die out. And, with Europeans having no children,
immigrant Muslims came in to replace them, and now the culture of Europe is
changing,” she said.
idea that white people are being “replaced” by non-whites and non-Christians
has long been a fallacy propagated by white supremacists. The words “you will
not replace us” where chanted by white supremacists in Charlottesville in 2017
and were part of the racist ideology espoused by mass shooters in El Paso and
also said in the interview that the US was bound to follow in Europe’s
only two of the past 40 years have we replaced our population. We’re on the
same track as Europe. The church and family are in crisis,” she said.
Guardian attempted to reach Bravo for comment but she did not return a detailed
message left for her at her office, or an email message sent through the
Obria chief has emerged as a force in the conservative and Catholic anti-choice
movement that has sought to siphon public funds away from healthcare clinics
like Planned Parenthood, which provide reproductive care and abortion services.
received a $1.7m grant from the Trump administration in March 2019 and is due
to receive an additional $3.4m over the next two years. The designation is
controversial because such federal family planning funds – known as title X
funding – was until recently only offered to groups that offered women access
to contraception and referrals and counseling for abortion services.
were already barred from using title X money to directly provide abortions, but
new restrictions imposed by the Trump administration have made it illegal for
staff at health clinics that receive federal funds – which mostly help poor
women – from referring patients to other facilities where they can terminate
Parenthood, which has for years been vilified by anti-choice campaigners,
previously operated about 40% of the clinics that serve poor women, and
received about $60m in family planning funds from the federal government
annually. It left the title X program this year, however, after the new Trump
administration restrictions on counseling and referrals went into effect.
Planned Parenthood said at the time that the move would lead to suffering for
its patients, and that the gag rule was both unethical and illegal.
was highly critical of Planned Parenthood in the 2015 interview, suggesting
that the group promoted a “hook-up” culture and “oral sex, anal sex, and
investigation by the Campaign for Accountability, a not-for-profit watchdog
group, found that Obria’s quest to win grant money from HHS was supported by political
appointees at the department, including Diane Foley, who is in charge of title
X funding. Foley congratulated Bravo in an email after Obria won its 2019
grant, and invited Bravo to have a private call with her to discuss the
did not return a request for comment about Bravo’s remarks.
Huling, CFA’s counsel, told the Guardian that HHS has said that changes to its
title X program were designed to diversify its grant applications. But Huling
said that in reality, the change has given groups like Obria, which do not
provide contraception or abortion-related services, access to federal funds for
the first time, possibly opening the “floodgates” for similar organizations to
win grants that would otherwise have gone to organizations that do provide such
Guardian reported earlier this year that Obria has also received $150,000 in
free advertising from Google, even though the group has run deceptive ads that
suggest its clinics provide abortion services. The ads are designed to attract
“abortion-minded women” to the clinics, even though they cannot obtain abortion
changed its advertising policy in the wake of the Guardian’s report, and has
started publishing information under some of its ads that state whether the
clinics do or do not provide termination services.
Russian loan, Kyrgyz businessman casts Putin in stone
A ski resort in Kyrgyzstan has unveiled a 2.5 metre (8 foot)- high statue of
Russian President Vladimir Putin, after the resort's founder received a $1.2
million loan from a Russian-sponsored development fund.
last month, the monument sees Russia's leader wearing a suit as he looks out
over a barren landscape of rocky valleys and snow-capped peaks, 30 km (18.6
miles) south of the capital, Bishkek.
director Akbar Roziev said he had turned to Kyrgyz banks looking for a credit
line but did not find the terms on offer to his liking, whereas the
Russian-Kyrgyz Development Fund, opened in 2014, extended him a loan at 4%.
didn't know how to express my gratitude," Roziev said, adding that he saw
Putin as a role model. "Thanks to his loan, we now have a (much better)
else can I say? Putin is the man, with a capital M," Roziev said.
fund supporting Roziev's project describes itself as the leading mechanism for
integrating Kyrgyzstan into the Eurasian Union, a foreign policy initiative
promoted by Putin since 2011 which aims to remove barriers to trade, capital
and labour movement between Russia and its ex-Soviet neighbours.
statue joins other monuments of leaders erected by the ski resort, including
one of early Soviet leader Vladimir Lenin.
24 Muslim MPs likely to be elected to UK parliament
A total of around two dozen candidates of Muslim faith are expected to be
elected to Parliament this Thursday in the historic increase in the number of
elected politicians of Muslim faith from mainly Pakistani, Bangladesh and also
of Kurdish backgrounds.
analysis of constituencies, candidates and trends by Geo and The News shows
that more than 70 percent newly elected Muslim MPs will be from British
Pakistani background, followed by Bangladeshis.
number of Muslim and Pakistani candidates will be on the Labour ticket,
followed by the Tories/Conservatives. Around three million Muslims now live in
Britain, making them the second largest faith group after the Christians.
analysis and breakdown shows that the total number of Muslim prospective
parliamentary candidates have gone up from just 47 in 2017 to more than 70 for
this Thursday’s general elections.
Labour Party has given ticket to 33 Muslim candidates with outright or slim
chance of winning. Of these, around 16 look comfortable to win their seats
against the Tory opponents, unless there is a big upset on the Election Day.
number of Muslims on Conservative seats will double from just three in 2017 to
around six or more on Thursday’s election. The Conservative Party has given
tickets to 22 Muslim candidates but only around five are considered to be on
Liberal Democrats never had a Muslim MP and that looks likely to change during
the general election 2019. It’s expected that of the 17 candidates who were
given tickets against Labour and Tory opponents, around two could win their
seats for the first time.
following candidates are participating on Labour’s ticket. Mohammad Yasin in
Bedford; Shabana Mahmood in Birmingham Ladywood; Khalid Mahmood in Birmingham
Perry Barr; Yasmin Qureshi in Bolton South East; Afzal Khan in Manchester
Gorton, Imran Hussain in Bradford East; Naz Shah in Bradford West; Faisal
Rashid in Warrington South; and Dr Rosena Allen-Khan in Tooting. All of them
won in 2017 elections from same seats and all of them look comfortable with the
exception of Tooting seat.
Sultana in Coventry South and Tahir Ali in Birmingham Hall Green have been
awarded ticket on the safe seats and are likely to win.
Ali in Bethnal Green & Bow, Rupa Haq in Ealing Central & Acton, Tulip
Siddiq in Hampstead & Kilburn are of Bangladeshi origin. Three of them were
part of the last parliament while Apsana Begum has been allotted a ticket from
Labour’s safe seat of Poplar & Lime House.
Dogus of Kurdish origin has been awarded ticket from Labour’s safe seat of West
Bromwich which was previously held by Labour’s outgoing deputy leader Tom
Watson. Another strong Labour candidate of Kurdish origin is Faryal Clark who
is contesting from Enfield North, a labour safe seat in North of London.
Ali, Khalil Ahmed and Faiza Shaheen are Labour’s candidates from Pendle,
Wycombe and South Woodford respectively. Conservative party’s Andrew
Stephenson, Steve Baker & Ian Duncan Smith, previously held all three
constituencies. All of them have been running strong campaigns to oust their
Tory opponents. Faiza Shaheen has won support of lots of public figures and
actor Hugh Grant campaigned for her last week in her constituency. This will be
a huge election upset if she manages to unseat Tory grandee Ian Duncan Smith
who lives in a mansion far away from the constituency where has been elected
Muslim vote in general and Pakistani/Kashmiri communities vote in particular
can be decisive in several seats.
on Labour’s ticket from Uxbridge, Ali Milani of Iranian origin is challenging
to unseat the Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative party Boris
Johnson. He has been running an energetic campaign with help from the mass
Corbyn supporting movement called Momentum.
following of Kashmiri/Pakistani origin are set to take Conservative seats:
Sajid Javid in Bromsgrove, Nusrat Ghani in Wealden; and Rehman Chishti in
Gillingham. Nadhim Zahawi in Stratford-upon-Avon is of Kurdish origin he was
also part of the previous parliament.
Bhatti is a new comer and has been awarded a Tory ticket from a safe seat of
Meriden. Imran Ahmed Khan of Pakistani origin and Mo Ali of Somali origin are
having a close fight with Labour’s Marry Creagh and Anna McMorrin from
Wakefield and Cardiff North respectively. Both seats were held be Labour in the
Democrats didn’t award ticket from any of the seats held by party in the
previous elections to any Muslim candidate but have shortlisted Hina Bokhari in
Sutton & Cheam and Humaira Malik in Bermondsey & Southwark. These two
constituencies were held by Lib Dams until 2010 but lost to Conservative party
in 2015 elections.
Liberal Democrat’s Party has been trying to get these two South London seats
back and their chances look good locally. A strong remain vote on Brexit can
win both seats for Lib Dams because of Party’s Anti-Brexit stance.
promising candidate is Kamran Hussain in Leeds North West. Although Brexit
Party and Green Party have awarded tickets to Muslim candidates but they are
unlikely to make any significant impact in the elections.
SNP and Welsh Plaid Cymru parties didn’t give tickets to any Muslim candidate
in this election.
shocked after being told by football club they can raise money ‘but not for
football club has apologised after a charity was told they could raise money on
match days but only 'if it had nothing to do with Muslims’.
ILM (International Learning Movement) charity regularly ask sports clubs if
they can attend matches and raise money at the ground for the charity.
a correspondence, an ILM employee asks Ashville Football Club, “I am a worker
at ILM UK based in Blackburn. Our aim is to provide aid to the poorest people
in the poorest countries.
am writing today to ask permission if we are able to do any collections on
match days outside of the stadium. The money raised here will help are
different projects that we are currently doing and will provide the poorest
with the aid and essentials of life providing them with happy and healthy life
as everyone has the right to live. I will leave a link in the email so you can
access our website.”
reply from Cheshire based Ashville Football Club says, “Hi yes we are
interested as long as it has nothing to do with Muslims.”
charity have complained to both the Cheshire FA and the Football Association.
who are now investigating. But told us they were shocked at the lack of
interest shown by the bodies in dealing with their initial complaint.
Asian Image contacted Ashville FC, Mr Buckley said his e-mail had been hacked
and apologised for any offence caused, He said, “My email and phone has been
hacked with several emails being responded with not very nice replies.
since changed my password and hopefully no more emails will be sent. I send my
apologies for any distress this may have caused.”
FC's teams play in the West Cheshire Football League and Youth Leagues of
appeal after break-in at mosque in Pollokshields
11 December 2019
in Glasgow have released CCTV images of a man they wish to trace who they
believe may be able to assist them in their enquiries into a house breaking
which occurred at the Masjid Noor Mosque on Forth Street, Pollokshields between
11am and 11.30am on Sunday, October 20.
number of low value items were removed from the premises.
man who police believe may be able to assist them with their enquiries is
described as being dark skinned with a shaved head, around 40-45 years of age
and tall. He is seen wearing a black Kufi hat and loose black clothing with no
footwear when entering the Mosque.
Constable Sammy Garcia of Gorbals Police Office said: “As part of our ongoing
inquiries, we’re urging anyone who may recognise this man, or who has any
information about any of this incident, to get in touch with us as soon as
with information can contact Police Scotland on 101 or report this anonymously
to the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
quote incident 2434 of October 20, 2019 in relation to the incident.
experts: Libya is new focus of Islamic State extremists
NATIONS (AP) - U.N. experts say the interference of Chadian and Sudanese
fighters in Libya is "a direct threat" to the security and stability
of the war-torn country, which a leader of the Islamic State extremist group
has declared "one of the main axes" of its future operations.
panel of experts said in a 376-page report to the U.N. Security Council released
Tuesday that the presence of the Chadians and Sudanese "has become more
marked" in 2019 as a result of the intensification of the conflict in
Libya. It said their continued presence as organized groups or as mercenaries
"may lead to further instability."
has been in turmoil since a civil war in 2011 toppled Moammar Gadhafi, who was
later killed. In the chaos that followed, the country was divided, with a weak
U.N.-supported administration in Tripoli overseeing the country's west and a
rival government in the east aligned with the Libyan National Army led by Gen.
Khalifa Hifter, each supported by an array of militias and foreign governments.
launched a surprise military offensive April 4 aimed at capturing Tripoli
despite commitments to attend a national conference weeks later aimed at
forming a united government and moving toward elections. Fighting for Tripoli
has stalled in recent months, with both sides dug in and shelling one another
along the city´s southern reaches with increasingly sophisticated weapons.
the LNA and the eastern government enjoy the support of France, Russia, Jordan,
the United Arab Emirates and other key Arab countries, the Tripoli-based
government is backed by Italy, Turkey and Qatar.
Turkey and the United Arab Emirates routinely and sometimes blatantly supplied
weapons, with little effort to disguise the source" in violation of a U.N.
arms embargo, the report said.
experts identified multiple cases of non-compliance with the arms embargo, the
majority of transfers to Hifter´s LNA from Jordan or the United Arab Emirates
and the majority to the Tripoli government from Turkey.
the panel said, "Neither side has the military capability to effectively
decide the outcome to their advantage."
experts said counter-terrorism operations in Libya against Islamic State and
al-Qaida extremists by the government and Hifter´s forces, and an increase in
activity by the United States Africa Command, continue to disrupt the structure
of both groups and temporarily reduce their capacity to conduct operations.
the panel also reported the new focus on Libya by the Islamic State, also known
as ISIL, quoting a video in July by an Islamic State leader in Libya, Mahmud
Massud al-Baraassi, also known as Abu Musab Allibi. In the video, the report
said, "he highlighted that Libya was now one of the main axes of future
ISIL operations, which are designed to compensate for the loss of ground"
in Libya finances its activities through robbery, kidnap for ransom, extortion
of Libyan citizens and the cross-border smuggling of artifacts and other
commodities," the panel said. "Taxation of human trafficking networks
continues to be a source of funding for ISIL in Libya."
for foreign fighters, the experts named five Sudanese armed groups operating in
Libya - four in support of Hifter´s LNA and one backing the government´s
forces. They named four Chadian armed groups - one supporting the LNA, two
supporting the government, and one with 100 fighters whose factions support
one example, the panel estimated 1,000 Sudanese troops from Sudan's Rapid
Support Forces were deployed to Libya on July 25 by Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo,
initially to guard critical infrastructure so Hifter´s troops could carry out
panel said Sudan and Dagalo, who has command responsibility, both violated U.N.
Associated Press reported last week that Libyan government officials plan to
confront Moscow over the alleged deployment of Russian mercenaries fighting
alongside Hifter´s LNA. U.S. officials also accuse Russia of deploying fighters
through a private security contractor to key battleground areas in Libya in the
U.N. panel of experts, who monitor sanctions against Libya, made no mention of
Russian mercenaries in the report. Several diplomats said they expect the
Russian mercenary issue to be raised in the Security Council.
imposes sanctions on Islamist rebels in eastern Congo
Democratic Republic of Congo (Reuters) - The United States imposed sanctions on
the leader of an Islamist rebel group and five others on Tuesday for perpetrating
serious human rights abuses including mass rape, torture and killings in
eastern Congo, the U.S. Treasury said.
officials have accused the rebel Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), who are
originally from Uganda, of killing more than 100 people in a series of raids on
villages over the last six weeks, hampering efforts to end an Ebola epidemic in
group has been fighting in the dense jungles of eastern Democratic Republic of
Congo since the mid-1990s, where it has carried out massacres, kidnappings and
looting, often in collaboration with other local militias and leaders.
to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), ADF leader Musa
Baluku assisted the group “through recruitment, logistics, administration, financing,
intelligence, and operations coordination”.
ADF “continues to perpetuate widespread violence and innumerable human rights
abuses including the abduction, recruitment, and use of children during attacks
and other violent operations”.
sanctions allow the U.S. government to seize any property or accounts the
fighters have in the U.S. and prohibits anyone in the U.S. from doing business
sanctions will help expose the financial network of ADF rebels around the world
and whether they are involved in money laundering in the region,” Carly Nzanzu
Kasivita, governor of North Kivu province, told Reuters by telephone.
took over the group after its former leader Jamil Mukulu was arrested in
Tanzania four years ago.
then several ADF attacks have been claimed by Islamic State, although there is
a lack of hard evidence linking the two groups said Daniel Fahey, visiting
professor at the U.S. University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
claims are worth noting, but also appear to be aspirational — asserting their
relevance at a time when they have grown weaker and lost territorial control,”
said Fahey, a former member of the UN panel of experts on Congo.
are unlikely to have much impact in the short-term, but they are a sign that
the U.S. government is taking seriously the violence in Beni, and pursuing
non-military means to address it,” he told Reuters by email.
army began large-scale operations to uproot the ADF on October 30, triggering a
surge in alleged reprisal attacks on civilians.
blacklists Pakistani police officer over human rights violations
The US has blacklisted Rao Anwar Ahmed Khan, a retired Pakistani police
officer, for his involvement in serious human rights violations, the US
Department of Treasury has said.
who was an encounter specialist served as the Senior Superintendent of Police
in Malir district of Pakistan's Sindh province, and is accused of extrajudicial
his tenure as the SSP in Malir, Anwar was reportedly responsible for staging
numerous fake police encounters in which police killed individuals," the
department said on Tuesday.
during his service was also responsible for extortion, land-grabbing, narcotics
staged over 190 police encounters in the Malir District that led to the deaths
of over 400 people, many of which were extrajudicial murders,” a senior
administration official told reporters.
was also in charge of a network of police and criminal thugs responsible for
extortion, land-grabbing, narcotics, and murder,” the official said.
US move was welcomed by Pakistan.
of Karachi chairman Nadeem Nusrat has welcomed the US Treasury Department's
decision and said the move is a historic step in safeguarding human rights
behalf of the entire team of Voice of Karachi as well as around 40 million
residents of urban Sindh, I welcome the US Treasury Department's announcement
about the callous butcher Rao Anwar and other individuals involved in abusing
human rights globally,” Nusrat said.
Florida shooting, US grounds Saudi pilots, restricts military training
by Patricia Mazzei and Eric Schmitt
Pentagon has suspended operational training for all Saudi military students in
the United States, indefinitely halting flight instruction, firing range
training and all other operations outside the classroom in the wake of a
shooting last week at Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida by a member of the
Saudi Royal Air Force.
suspension will affect nearly 900 Saudi students across the country, the
Defense Department said Tuesday. Classroom teaching, including language
courses, will continue while Pentagon leaders review vetting procedures for all
foreign military trainees. An estimated 5,200 international students in the
United States will be covered by the security review.
“safety stand-down” was issued pending the results of an FBI investigation into
the shooting Friday that left three young sailors dead and eight other people
wounded. Several lawmakers, including Sen. Rick Scott of Florida and Rep. Matt
Gaetz, whose congressional district includes Pensacola, had called for a review
of foreign military programs and their screening process.
suspension of operational training for hundreds of Saudi military students is
an extraordinary rebuke by the Pentagon, especially at a time when President
Donald Trump has tamped down suggestions that the Saudi government must be held
to account on an array of recent issues.
before the shooting Friday, the White House had been fighting efforts in
Congress to cut military aid to the Saudis, a reflection of anger over the
continuing war in Yemen and the brutal killing in Istanbul of Jamal Khashoggi,
a Saudi dissident and journalist who had been granted legal residence in the
intelligence findings closely tie Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto
leader, Mohammed bin Salman, to the killing.
Defense Department officials, speaking to reporters in a hastily organized
conference call Tuesday night, insisted that suspending operational training
for students from Saudi Arabia — the only country singled out for a broader
review of security procedures governing the international military students —
would be short-term and would not upset the strategic relationship between the
Secretary Mark Esper called his Saudi counterpart, Khalid bin Salman, to
discuss the new limitations on Saudi military students, who are now essentially
restricted to classroom training like English language courses.
was unclear whether the review of security and vetting procedures means that
federal investigators have found something troubling or whether it was merely a
praised the Defense Department’s action on the Saudi trainees.
this point, suspending training just makes sense,” said Rep. Elissa Slotkin,
D-Mich., a former Pentagon official. “We have to maintain the utmost, serious
security standards — and obviously something has gone deeply awry.”
Navy had announced earlier Tuesday that about 300 Saudi aviation students would
be grounded at three bases in Florida. The Pentagon later released a memo from
David Norquist, the deputy secretary of defense, clarifying that the suspension
would apply to 852 Saudis enrolled in all military training programs.
memo described Saudi Arabia an “essential partner” that is working closely with
the United States to investigate the shooting.
Department has trained more than 28,000 Saudi students over the life of our
security cooperation relationship without serious incident,” Norquist wrote.
gave military staff members 10 days to complete a review of policies for
vetting foreign students and granting access to U.S. military bases, although
the Saudi operational suspension will most likely last longer.
said the leadership of the various branches of military service “may take
additional security measures as they see fit.”
latest orders came as investigators released new details about how the
21-year-old gunman, Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani, had acquired the weapon used in
gunman legally purchased the Glock 45 9 mm handgun in late July, shortly after
he had obtained a state hunting license, the FBI said Tuesday.
was issued a hunting license July 11, according to the Florida Fish and
Wildlife Conservation Commission. Nine days later, he purchased the handgun at
a federally licensed firearms dealer in Florida.
ability for a foreign military student to legally buy a gun has come under
scrutiny after Friday’s attack. The gunman used an extended magazine and had
four to six other magazines in his possession when he was killed by a sheriff’s
deputy, a person familiar with the investigation has said.
who travel to the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, as the gunman did, are
prohibited under federal law from having a weapon or ammunition. But the law
also lists several exceptions, including one for those holding a valid hunting
may have qualified to legally buy a gun under other exceptions as well,
according to the FBI’s Jacksonville field office, which is leading the
exceptions are included in the law for accredited representatives of foreign
governments, distinguished foreign visitors designated by the State Department,
and foreign law enforcement officers of a friendly government entering the
United States on official business.
Ron DeSantis, a Republican, called the exceptions a “loophole” in federal gun
laws that should be closed.
a big supporter of the Second Amendment, but the Second Amendment applies so
that we the American people can keep and bear arms,” DeSantis, a former Navy
prosecutor, said at a Sunday news conference in Pensacola. “But it does not
apply to Saudi Arabians.”
remains unknown about the gunman and his motive, although the FBI is treating
the shooting as a presumed act of terrorism. Investigators have received
information that Alshamrani was active on social media. Although they have not
released any specifics, the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi
activity online, found a Twitter account with a name matching the gunman’s
criticizing the United States as “evil.”
Pentagon heightened security reviews at bases around the country Monday, citing
the two shootings that occurred last week on military bases, in Pensacola and
at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard in Hawaii. In the Pearl Harbor attack, the
gunman fatally shot two shipyard workers before killing himself.
Tuesday, Thomas Modly, the acting Navy secretary, awarded posthumous “wings of
gold” to the three Pensacola victims, proclaiming Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson a
naval aviator and Airman Mohammed Haitham and Airman Apprentice Cameron Walters
naval aircrewmen. Five of the injured had been sent home from the hospital by
Monday, with the three remaining patients in stable condition.
French Jews and Muslims are learning each other’s language
7 p.m. on a Tuesday and the temperature is just above freezing – the perfect
setting for a bowl of hot soup on the couch after a long day at work. But some
60 students have instead chosen to be here, at the Lycée Diderot high school,
… Jameeeeela,” says teacher Eugénie Paris, moving around the classroom as her
beginner students bury their heads in notebooks as they try to spell out the
word for “beautiful” in Arabic script.
a little over an hour, the students from the four levels meet in one room to
share drinks and food, before switching classrooms and languages – this time
language double bill is part of the Parler en Paix (Speak in Peace) initiative
– to promote language learning as well as cultural understanding. It’s
something that resonates with the diverse group of students who have registered
for the year – young and old, Jewish and Muslim, Catholic and atheist.
initiatives like Parler en Paix are working to repair relations between
France’s Jewish and Muslim communities, which have been challenged by France’s
debate on laïcité – “secularism” – which has once again come to the fore in
recent weeks. In October, a Muslim woman was asked by a politician at a
regional assembly meeting to remove her veil while accompanying her child on a
school outing. And in early November, Paris and Toulouse held anti-Islamophobia
protests to call for an end to anti-Islamic sentiment. Meanwhile, recent
studies show that anti-Semitic acts are on the rise in France.
yet there is a sense among French people that relations between the country’s
Jewish and Muslim communities are markedly more peaceful than what is portrayed
in the media. Many feel that the term laïcité has gained too much prominence in
political debate. Efforts like Parler en Paix emphasize a desire within the
French public for tolerance and unification; to find common ground – be it
through language learning, cultural events, or trips abroad.
been a real competition between the two stakeholders [Jewish and Muslim] for
their representation towards the state … to address underground issues that
weren’t being talked about.” says Amel Boubekeur, a visiting fellow in the
Middle East and North Africa program at the European Council on Foreign
Relations. “But if you’re talking about the average French person, within
family circles, at work or school, things aren’t so bad. It’s not a problem of
and Jewish-Muslim relations
Jewish and Muslim communities have a long and complicated history that can be
traced back to North Africa more than a century ago. Their relationship often
involved legal status – in 1870, the approximately 40,000 Jews in Algeria were
granted French citizenship while their Muslim neighbors were not. Through World
War I and the Algerian War, the relationship between Jews and Muslims remained
complex, flip-flopping between cordial relations and intermittent violence.
Jews and Muslims have a long history of co-existence despite tensions,” says
Ethan Katz, a history professor at UC Berkeley and author of “The Burdens of
Brotherhood: Jews and Muslims from North Africa to France.” “Historically, Jews
and Muslims have tried at different times to negotiate their different
identities … and the perception of what it means to be French, for both
themselves and others, while maintaining their Jewish and Muslim identities.”
matters further have been France’s laws on laïcité. Initially enshrined in a
1905 law to separate church and state, it has morphed through the years,
influencing laws and legislation, and powering debate. Most notably, it fueled
a 2004 law banning conspicuous religious symbols in the public sphere,
including Jewish kippas, the Muslim veil, and Catholic crosses.
many say France’s laïcité unfairly targets the country’s Muslim population. The
2004 law has been at the root of controversies involving wearing the hijab or
burkini on French beaches or the full-face veil (burqa) while driving. And in
late October, French senators voted to ban veiled women from accompanying their
children on school field trips.
have connected the bans to a climate that fosters xenophobia and anti-Semitism
too. The number of anti-Semitic acts in France rose by 74% in 2018, according
to police figures. And a study conducted for the book “L’an prochain à
Jérusalem” (“Next Year in Jerusalem”) showed that the majority of French Jews
who immigrated to Israel in recent years were overwhelmingly motivated by a
feeling of insecurity.
have to get back to French history,” says Ms. Boubekeur. “Does laïcité mean
that the state is protecting religion or that it should be taken out of the
the political climate may increasingly pit the Jewish and Muslim communities
against one another, there is a desire for healing from a large swath of
society. That’s a major reason why nonprofits are working to unite Jewish and
Muslim communities – and keeping politics out of it. Parler en Paix identifies
itself as nonpolitical, and says that remaining neutral allows for a more
diverse group of students.
see people from very different backgrounds that would probably never have met
if there was a political angle,” says Nicolas Bontemps, the president of Parler
en Paix. “It’s the opposite of what happens at more activist organizations.”
nonprofit Langage de Femmes (Language of Women) also stays away from politics,
while encouraging women from different religious and cultural backgrounds to
join their organization, which holds regular social gatherings, a film club,
and a trip to Auschwitz.
Samia Essabaa and Suzanne Nakache say that the initial obstacle for women
joining the organization is overcoming their personal prejudices.
first thing I hear from some [Jewish] members is ‘Muslims don’t like us,” said
Ms. Nakache, who grew up in a Jewish community in Algeria, during a November
meeting of Anglophone journalists in Paris. “Then on the other side, there will
be women who are in Holocaust denial who go to Auschwitz with us and leave
Essabaa, who is also a high school teacher, says that working with women is a
particularly powerful way of reaching more people. “It’s not enough to work
with young people,” she says. “You need to work with the mothers so that they
can transmit their knowledge to their children.”
respect for others”
Parler en Paix and Langage de Femmes put an importance on social connection. At
Langage de Femmes, members regularly attend an open forum where they can meet
one another and ask questions about other religions or cultures in a
at Parler en Paix, the dinner break midway through the Arab-Hebrew classes is a
chance for students to exchange with open, like-minded people. They argue that
the atmosphere here is a microcosm of what they experience in their daily lives
and not what is presented in the media.
grew up with many Jewish people, in an environment of tolerance,” says Sonia
I., who is Muslim, and did not want to give her last name. “But all we hear
these days about [Jewish-Muslim relations] are negative things.”
have a very diverse friend group,” says Aurelien Bonneil, a university student
who describes himself as nonreligious. He says the classes have helped him gain
a better understanding of both Jewish and Muslim cultures. “I wish we could
move on from talking about religion and how no one gets along.”
some, a more universal understanding of laïcité could repair relations. Others
say a redefinition of the word is in order. Unlike in the U.S., which allows
and even encourages individual expression, some say that the French version of
secularism calls for people to hide their religion, effectively effacing their
identity and fostering resentment.
it really shock people to see a woman wearing a headscarf, or a nun wearing a
cross?” asks Abderrahmane Jebbari, who teaches Arabic for Parler en Paix. “We
say that France is united by universal values … but it’s just as bad to force
someone to wear something as it is to force them to take it off. That’s not
what laïcité should be. It should be a respect for others.”
shot dead in Czech hospital attack, suspect shoots himself
gunman shot dead six people on Tuesday at a hospital waiting room in the
eastern Czech city of Ostrava in an unexplained attack, authorities said.
Police hunting for the shooter said about three hours after the attack that a
man had shot himself in the head in a car they had been looking for. Czech TV
said he died.
found the car, there was shooting heard from the site. We are establishing the
identity of the man who shot himself in the head before the police action,” the
police said on Twitter.
was the worst shooting since the Czech Republic’s deadliest such attack in 2015
when a man shot eight people dead and then killed himself at a restaurant in
the eastern city of Uhersky Brod.
said they received calls about a shooting at 7.19 am (0619 GMT) at the
University Hospital in Ostrava, 350 km east of the capital Prague and near the
border with Poland. Officers were on the scene five minutes later.
director Jiri Havrlant told a televised briefing five people died in the attack
and one died in surgery. Another two were seriously injured but no medics were
hurt, he said.
attack happened in the waiting room of the outpatient clinic and victims had
been shot at close range, he said.
SDF Recruits Over 100 Children of ISIL Terrorists
(FNA)- The US-backed Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia in
collaboration with the American forces have recruited more than 100 ISIL
children aged 12-14 to be used as child soldiers in Hasaka.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency reported on Tuesday that the
children, who are orphans, have been transferred from al-Haul camp in
Southeastern Hasaka to Tal Aswad camp in the town of al-Malekiyeh in
Northeastern Hasaka which hosts nearly 1,800 women and children.
relief workers in the region have voiced concern that the children would be
trained and used by the Kurdish militants as soldiers in war conditions.
sources in Hasaka have also confirmed the report.
reports also said in March that the ISIL terrorist group had restarted training
children for war and suicide operations in a region protected by the US and its
allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir Ezzur in Southeastern Syria.
Arabic-language al-Manar news website quoted sources affiliated to the Syrian
government's armed opposition as saying that the ISIL had again set up a
military base to train what it calls 'The Caliphate's Lion Cubs' in
Southeastern Deir Ezzur near the border with Iraq.
reports said in recent months that the ISIL is recruiting again in Syria with
the US help to attack the Syrian army positions in Deir Ezzur and destabilize
said the child militias training center has been set up under the supervision
of the former commander of ISIL bases in Raqqa, Abu Mohammed al-Fransi, adding
that a large number of Syrian and foreign children had been recruited in there.
MP: US Sending Weapons to Ein Al-Assad Base without Baghdad's Knowledge
(FNA)- A senior member of the Iraqi parliament's Security and Defense
Commission disclosed on Tuesday that the US continues non-stop dispatch of arms
and military equipment to Ein al-Assad base in al-Anbar province without the
American side does not provide the Iraqi government with any information about
the military equipment which continuously enters Ein al-Asad base in al-Anbar
province," Aynas al-Maksousi told the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news
added that the Iraqi security bodies are also unaware of the type and amount of
weapons sent by the US to Ein al-Assad base, cautioning that the secret arms
shipments have caused deep worries among Iraqi people and legislators.
voiced concern that most visits and military measures of Washington in Iraq are
not declared officially.
sources had said in September that tens of military trucks carrying military
equipment were dispatched by the US to Ein al-Assad military base in al-Anbar
Province in Western Iraq from Jordan.
news website quoted a military source in the command center of Hashd al-Sha’abi
(Iraq’s Popular Mobilization) forces as saying that a US military convoy
comprising 108 trucks carrying military vehicles and equipment entered Ein
al-Assad Air Base of Western Iraq from the neighboring Jordan via Erbil border
source underlined that the US military convoy was accompanied by a security
company called ‘Peacock Kingdom’ and backed by the US Air Force.
pointed to the dispatch of military equipment to Ein al-Assad Base by the
security companies, and said that the US soldiers are also dispatched to Ein
al-Assad military air base on US Army airplanes.
for prisoner swaps, Iran says US holding 20 Iranians
Iran said on Tuesday that American authorities are holding about 20 Iranian nationals
in jail, its official news agency reported, a day after Tehran said it was
ready for more prisoner swaps with the US.
prisoner exchange over the weekend saw Iran free a Chinese-American scholar
from Princeton who had been held for three years on widely criticized espionage
charges. It was seen as a rare diplomatic breakthrough between Tehran and
Washington after months of tensions.
told the American side that our figure is more or less 20 but this is not
final,'' IRNA quoted as saying Mohsen Baharvand, an aid to Iran's foreign
minister. The report didn't provide further details on the claim.
to Baharvand, US authorities say that Iran is holding one American national and
five dual US-Iranian nationals. He said Iranian officials didn't have "any
orders'' so far to begin talks on their release, though he suggested this could
be the next "phase'' in indirect negotiations between Tehran and
citizens held in Iran include US Navy veteran Michael White, who is serving a
10-year espionage sentence, as well as environmentalist Morad Tahbaz, an
Iranian with US and British citizenship also initially sentenced to 10 years in
said Iran didn't undertake direct talks with the US for the weekend's prisoner
swap in Switzerland. The two sides only communicated through Swiss officials,
who represent US interests in Iran. Washington and Tehran have had no
diplomatic ties since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
with Western ties held in Iran include two French researchers, Roland Marchal
and dual Iranian national Fariba Adelkhah. Their lawyer, Saeed Dehgan, told The
Associated Press on Tuesday that Iranian prosecutors have defied a judge's
ruling that the two academics could be released on bail.
officials disclosed in July the arrest of Adelkhah, a prominent anthropologist
who often traveled to Iran for her research on post-revolutionary Iranian
society. They said she was arrested on espionage charges.
does not recognize dual citizenship for its nationals.
October, France revealed that Marchal had also been arrested.
have risen sharply over Iran's unraveling nuclear deal with world powers, which
France still supports. US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the
accord over a year ago, before re-imposing crippling sanctions on Iran's
Ministry Asks Iranian Nationals to Postpone Visit to France
(FNA)- Iran's foreign ministry in a statement on Tuesday called on the Iranian
nationals to delay their trips to France due to countrywide strikes and
violence in the European state.
the continued popular protests in the French Republic during the past year and
the general strikes in the past two days and the violence shown during the
protests in different cities of the country, specially Paris, we seriously
recommend the Iranian passengers and tourists to postpone to another time their
trip to the Republic of France to protect their security and health," the
unions are staging a second round of mass street demonstrations as the country
entered its sixth day of a nationwide strike and transport standstill over
proposed plans to change the pensions system.
government’s standoff with unions continued as the prime minister, Édouard
Philippe, said he would stand firm and announce details of the pension changes
on Wednesday, with speculation over possible concessions on the start date in
order to diffuse growing tensions on the streets.
government will be watching Tuesday’s turnout after being caught off-guard by
the scale of last week’s protests when at least 800,000 people took part in one
of the biggest demonstrations of trade union strength in a decade.
the number of protesters has been particularly high in small provincial towns,
echoing the mood of the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) anti-government protests
earlier this year. People are angry not only with pensions but low salaries,
worsening prospects, the state of public services and what one demonstrator
called “the feeling of being forgotten”.
Riot Leaders Arrested in Western Iran
(FNA)- Commander of Kermanshah province's Law Enforcement Police Brigadier
General Ali Akbar Javidan announced that his forces have recently arrested 4
other ringleaders of the recent unrests and riots.
officers could identify 4 ringleaders of the riots in extensive operations
after coordination with the judiciary officials," General Javidan told
reporters in Tehran on Tuesday.
added that the arrested people are aged between 20 to 35, noting that one of
them had fomented insecurity in the town of Javanroud and three others in the
provincial capital city of Kermanshah during the riots.
Javidan said that the detainees are accused of provoking people to riots,
destruction of public properties and attacking the police forces, adding that
29 hunting guns used in the recent unrests have also been discovered in their
relevant remarks last Tuesday, General Javidan announced that 4 suspects who
had collaborated in murdering Major Iraj Javaheri during the recent riots in
the Western Iranian province had been detained.
Iraj Javaheri, one of the officers of Elahiyeh police station, was martyred in
Kermanshah city in clashes with the outlaws and rioters after the riots on
November 16," General Javidan told reporters in Kermanshah.
added that the Iranian security forces identified and arrested 4 culprits
behind the murder of Major Javaheri in Kermanshah city and in another province
in Central Iran.
Javidan said that all arrested suspects had previous records of criminal
perpetration, noting that the murder weapons have also been discovered from
November 15, the government raised Iran’s extremely cheap gas price in order to
moderate the national consumption rate, which stands at 110 million liters per
day, 40 million liters above the maximum domestic requirement.
government also announced a number of aid and subsidiary programs to protect
vulnerable households from the adverse effects of the measure.
price reform, required by Iranian legislature and essential as US-imposed
sanctions seek to deplete Iran's budgetary resources, had been long delayed due
to concerns regarding the move's probable backlash.
measure's adoption prompted initially peaceful protests, but riotous elements,
abusing the situation, quickly entered the scene, destroying public property,
setting ablaze banks and gas stations among other facilities, and opening fire
on people and security forces.
reports and eye-witness accounts showed that the rioters who had taken
advantage of public protests against gasoline price hikes to stir chaos in the
country were armed with different weapons.
protest rallies of Iranian people against the gasoline rationing turned violent
since the first hours of the gatherings after the rioters used weapons.
Foreign Troops Detrimental to Situation in Afghanistan
(FNA)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that foreign forces
in Afghanistan are not going to solve the problems of the war-torn country,
adding that such military deployments have proved to be contributing to the
spread of extremism in the region.
is no military solution in Afghanistan,” Zarif said on Monday, while delivering
a speech at the 8th Ministerial Conference of Heart of Asia - Istanbul Process
presence of foreign forces has never brought stability in our region and has
historically provided a recruiting ground for extremists,” the top diplomat
underlined, warning that the American and NATO troops in Afghanistan will have
detrimental effects for the poor country.
announcement of a timetable for a responsible exit of foreign troops from Afghanistan
would prepare the necessary ground for the Afghan government to promote peace
and reconciliation process at the national level,” Zarif added, noting that the
Afghans have to seek unity and respect to their Constitution for solving their
problems, rather than pinning hope on foreign military forces.
is while, last month, Afghan Ambassador to Tehran Abdolqafour Lival underlined
that Kabul does not want permanent deployment of foreign forces, and reiterated
that there should be an end to foreign military buildup in Afghanistan.
in October, Iran's Prosecutor General Mohammad Jafar Montazeri blasted the
US-led coalition for the soaring increase in production of different illicit
drugs in Afghanistan, warning that the country is also turning into the pole of
Iranian police officials maintain that drug production in Afghanistan has
hugely increased since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.
and western officials blame Washington and NATO for the change, saying that
allies have "overlooked" the drug problem since invading the country
more than 18 years ago.
in his address, Zarif urged Afghans to get united and develop national
consider the 2018 parliamentary and 2019 Presidential elections as crucial
steps envisaged in the Constitution of Afghanistan. We urge our Afghan friends
to settle any differences taking into account the absolute imperative of
keeping Afghanistan’s unity as well as the constitutional arrangements intact,”
he called for Afghans’ solidarity and abidance by constitutional arrangements.
that regard, we support an Afghan-owned and Afghan-led peace process with the
participation of all political groups and factions including the Taliban with
the Afghan government in the center,” the Iranian diplomatic chief called upon
Afghans to promote national dialogue, adding that Tehran is supportive of
“Transparency and inclusiveness would be the
keys to any successful prospect. We also encourage all relevant parties to
participate in such an independent national dialogue and resolve their
differences through constructive engagement and negotiations,” he stated.
would also use every means at our disposal to facilitate a peace process that
would preserve the achievements of the 2001 Bonn Conference, in particular, the
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan as a solid foundation for
any political solution,” the top diplomat voiced concern that previous
achievements may be wasted.
the views of neighboring countries and considering their legitimate concerns
during the process would guarantee that the peace agreement has stronger
supports regionally,” he noted that regional issues are better to be addressed
by regional countries rather than trans-regional players.
believe the United Nations could become active to bring all domestic groups as
well as international partners of the Afghan government under one umbrella to
facilitate this process,” Zarif noted.
Foreign Minister then warned that the ISIL terrorist group is relocating to
Afghanistan, adding that it should not be forgotten that the increasing threat
of the ISIL in Afghanistan has led to “more bloodshed” and introduced
“dangerous sectarian tendencies”.
dangerously, it has radicalized the local armed groups in a competition over
followers and recruits. As no one gained from introducing and supporting Daesh
and other extremists in Syria and Iraq, no one will gain from introducing them
to Afghanistan and Central Asia,” he said, referring to the ISIL with its
original Arabic title.
horrific trend needs to be arrested before it reaches catastrophic proportions.
We firmly believe that we need to form a united front and strongly stand
against Daesh,” Zarif cautioned of consequences of a revival of the ISIL in
in March, Lieutenant Commander of the Iranian Army's Air Force Brigadier
General Ali Shadmani warned China, Russia and other regional states of the US
attempts to relocate the ISIL terrorists to Afghanistan.
in his address, Zarif touched upon poverty and its negative consequences for
security in Afghanistan.
is a very rich country in terms of natural resources and the numerous
capacities it enjoys. Regrettably, its people are deprived of such potential
wealth. With poverty and underdevelopment, we shall never expect a durable
success in the fight against terrorism, drugs or organized crime,” he reminded
that underdevelopment and poverty are encouraging the poor masses of the
country to join criminal cartels and terrorist groups.
is building the third part of the Khaf-Harat railway, connecting Afghanistan to
our railway network and through our network to the region and Europe. This
would help Afghan businesses and traders bring their goods to regional markets
and beyond. We also have provided
traders from Afghanistan easy access to international waters through the
strategic port of Chabahar. The Chabahar-Zahedan railway would complete a major
section of the North-South corridor which connects Afghanistan and
Central-Asian countries to open seas through Chabahar,” he recounted Tehran’s
efforts for bringing development to Afghanistan.
is ready to continue to help the people and government of Afghanistan in their
quest for peace and cooperate with all with the same objective,” Zarif pledged
that Tehran will keep supporting Kabul and Afghan people on their way toward
prosperity and salvation.
month, Assistant to Iranian Foreign Minister and Director General of West Asia
at Iran's ministry of foreign affairs Seyed Rasoul Mousavi underscored that his
country's participation in any talks on Afghanistan depends on the partnership
of the Kabul central government.
September, Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, in a meeting with Iran’s
special Envoy to Afghanistan Ebrahim Taherian, highlighted Tehran’s key role in
restoring peace and stability in the war-torn country.
2015, Retired Lieutenant General Douglas Lute, who served as a top advisor on
the war during the Bush and Obama administrations in the US, told government
interviewers, “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan —
we didn’t know what we were doing,” according to a piece published by the
Washington Post on Monday.
went on to lament the deaths of US military personnel that he blamed on
bureaucratic entanglements between the State Department, the Pentagon and
conference: Saudi Arabia, UAE ‘promoting US engagement’ in the Middle East
DHABI: The transformations taking place in Saudi Arabia and the model adopted
by the UAE will be crucial to moving US-Arab relations forward.
was one of the many insights offered by Norman T. Roule, chief executive
officer at Pharos Strategic Consulting LLC, a GCC- and Iran-focused company,
during a panel discussion at the first SALT Conference in Abu Dhabi.
said what Saudi Arabia is doing, and given what the UAE has done so well, will
promote engagement between entrepreneurs and academics, adding that the people
who actually move societies “are more efficient, in many ways, than
was one of three speakers in the discussion on the “Future of US-Arab
relations”, moderated by Editor-in-chief of Arab News Faisal J. Abbas. The
other two were Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations,
and Dania Koleilat, affiliated scholar at the Issam Fares Institute for Public
Policy and International Affairs.
will deal with the big, heavy, perhaps unsolvable issues, but I have great
hopes for this region,” Roule said, referring to the Gulf countries.
has never been so much education. (It is) a young region aspiring beyond
sectarianism, corruption and the old ways of thinking - and we should be part
of that evolution.”
to him, entrepreneurs will be the future of engagement between the US and the
Middle East. To this end, he suggested, bringing more Americans to the Middle
East – something the three-day SALT Conference has done - will prove vital.
said “there has never been so much people-to-people engagement between the US
and the region as we have today.” Additionally, there is social media, which
“ties together the US and the region in a way that has not happened before.”
the context of Saudi-US relations, Roule said there has been a shift in US
public opinion due to Jamal Khashoggi’s murder. At the same time, he said,
“former or current policymakers say,‘We have a strategic relationship with
Saudi Arabia.’ But they will never explain what that means, or where we should
thinks Saudi Arabia has an enormous role to play in such areas as moderating
Islam worldwide, enhancing the role of women throughout the region, improving
the economies of the Middle East, including Jordan and Israel, as well as
rebuilding broken states, including Libya and Yemen.
needs to be behind that,” Roule said. “It’s unfortunate that policymakers don’t
spend a lot of time talking about where we should go with the Kingdom, but I
agree that the Kingdom doesn’t have a great reputation right now in the
he said he has seen US policymakers make requests to the Saudi leadership to
support a number of regional initiatives.
to right: Faisal J. Abbas, Dania Koleilat Khatib, Richard Haass and Norman T.
Roule discuss the relationship between the Middle East and the US at the first
SALT conference in Abu Dhabi. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
the Iraq war and the Afghan conflict were “anomalies” in how America has
handled the Middle East since 1945. “And in many ways, America’s position in
the Middle East is generally to try to avoid another conflict, to try to
empower our allies to defend themselves, and to work to resolve regional
problems,” he said.
Middle East oil prices are still felt in such places as Ohio, Roule noted, but
added: “There is fatigue in the US over endless peace process efforts that seem
to go nowhere, endless wars in the Middle East, which consume budgets, armies,
calendars and reputations and which never seem to end for anybody. There’s not
a lot of interest in doing that.”
a similar vein, Dr. Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign
Relations, one of Washington’s most influential foreign-policy think tanks,
said that when the Cold War ended 30 years ago, nobody would have predicted
that such a large percentage of American foreign policy would be consumed in
the Middle East, beginning with the Gulf War, which was “thrust” on the US by
“Saddam (Hussein’s) aggression”.
then we ultimately had what I would call wars of choice, in places like Iraq in
2003, and some other issues that we’re dealing with now,” he said.
a general sense that the Middle East absorbed too high a percentage of
America’s national security resources. Our energy interests in the Middle East
and our direct interests are down.”
said there is disillusionment among Americans who think that the return on
investment of the resources the US devoted to the Middle East has not been
particularly good. “We have a domestic society that is more divided,” he said,
“and, internationally, there are several big developments, one of which is the
rise of US-Chinese competition.”
said what is emerging for many as the defining feature of US foreign policy is
a much worse relationship with Russia, a much less certain Europe, problems in
Asia, including China’s rise and North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and global
issues such as climate change.
Middle East has to compete with other regions of the world, other relationships
and other challenges at the global level,” Haass said. “So it’s not surprising
that there’s a dialing down, or a re-evaluation, of how much we are involved in
the region and how we are involved.”
regional “dialing down” by the US was called out by Koleilat, particularly in
the context of the ongoing protests in Iraq and Lebanon. She said "the two
countries have reached a boiling point" as an opinion poll shows strong
majorities supporting a separation of politics and religion.
a Lebanese who specializes in US-Arab relations, Koleilat spoke of a personal
feeling of betrayal over the US administration’s position.
people have realized that sectarianism has led to clientelism, which has led to
corruption, which in turn, had led to state failure,” she said. “Today, we have
gone from 30 to 50 percent of Lebanese below the poverty level and the state is
unable to provide services.”
she said the US could not be expected to engage with protesters, it could still
put pressure on the Lebanese government to reform and change, adding that such
pressure could include withholding of support unless such reforms were
demands of the Lebanese people are very clear,” she said. “We want a
non-political government of technocrats.”
to Koleilat, the US is less interested in the Middle East these days because of
three factors, one of which is American isolationism.
started after the Iraq war. People in the US want to disengage from the
region,” she said.
second factor you have to look at is Trump’s way of conducting foreign policy
in a transactional manner, so you don’t see engagement for the long haul.”
third factor is the strategic value of oil, she said. “I don’t see the doctrine
where the US would say it is ready to use military force to keep the security
of the Gulf,” she said.
if you take these three factors into consideration, there is less American
interest and less engagement, and this (approach) will continue in the future.”
his part, Haass cited Iran as a case where the present US administration has
succeeded in exerting tremendous pressure - more than what analysts had
predicted was possible - through unilateral sanctions.
question is to what end, he said.
are a means, they’re a foreign policy instrument,” he said. “The question then
is what our definition of success and our goal are here.”
said it is unlikely the government in Tehran can be brought down as the system
has proved resilient for four decades now. Rather, the US needs to signal to
Iran and have a conversation about its requirements in the realms of nuclear
technology and missiles, as well as regional and local issues, in order to have
a degree of sanctions removed.
to me is what we used to call diplomacy,” Haass said. “The question is whether
there is a place for diplomacy.
answer is “potentially yes. If not, the danger is we drift towards war because
Iran has shown it is simply not going to absorb economic pressure or warfare
from us. We need to have a diplomatic initiative.”
lawmakers submit bill to dissolve parliament
Israeli legislators submitted a bill Tuesday that would dissolve parliament and
trigger unprecedented third national elections in less than a year.
has been mired in political deadlock for months.
the two largest parties, Likud and Blue and White, unable to form a power-sharing
agreement ahead of a Wednesday deadline, lawmakers from the rival sides
together tabled the bill.
is expected to go to a vote in parliament on Wednesday, setting the date for
the next election on March 2.
the exceptional circumstances that have emerged, and after two adjacent
election campaigns in which no government was formed, the dissolution of the
22nd Knesset is being proposed,” the bill reads.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his main rival Benny Gantz have been able
to form a coalition government after two inconclusive elections. Polls have
predicted the third vote is unlikely to produce dramatically different results.
legislation is something of a formality. The allotted period for forming a
government following September’s election expires at midnight on Wednesday.
Without a coalition deal, elections would have been automatically triggered
later in March.
of this year’s elections, and their subsequent coalition jockeying, have
largely been a referendum on Netanyahu, who was recently indicted for bribery,
breach of trust and fraud in three corruption affairs.
and White’s Gantz has refused to sit in a Netanyahu-led coalition, citing the
long-serving leader’s legal troubles. Netanyahu has refused to step down, still
overwhelmingly backed by his Likud party and his adoring base.
explosions hit Iraq’s south as demos maintain strength
Iraq’s south saw further protests and explosions, as demonstrations against the
government and its Iranian sponsor that erupted on October 1 persist unabated,
according to security sources.
southern city of Amara was rocked overnight by four near-simultaneous
explosions targeting premises of two pro-Iran armed factions, according to
sound grenades targeted two premises and the house of an Assaib Ahl Al-Haq
leader and an improvised explosive device targeted the house of an Ansar Allah
commander,” police said.
Ahl Al-Haq is one of the most powerful groups in Iraq’s Hashed Al-Shaabi
security force, a network of armed groups integrated into the state, of which
Ansar Allah is also a component.
sources reported three wounded by the blasts.
in 2014 to fight IS jihadists who had seized swathes of northern Iraq and
neighboring Syria, the Hashed is made up of mostly Shiite factions, many of
which have been backed by Iran.
to security sources, the attacks were committed against the groups due to their
loyalty to neighboring Iran, whose influence continues to grow in Iraq, in
particular via armed groups that it has long trained and financed.
attacks come shortly after the recent bloodshed in several Iraqi cities, the
latest seeing 24 people killed, including four police officers, on Friday
evening in central Baghdad.
the state and the demonstrators accuse armed men of perpetrating the violence,
the former claiming that it is not possible to identify those responsible,
while the latter point to pro-Iran entities.
October 1, Iraq’s capital and its Shiite-majority south have been gripped by
rallies against corruption, poor public services, a lack of jobs and Iran’s
perceived political interference.
than 450 people have been killed and more than 20,000 wounded during the
unprecedented protest movement demanding an overhaul of the political system.
the holy Shiite city of Karbala, protesters rallied at the police station to
demand information within 24 hours on the death of Fahem Al-Tai, a 53-year-old
prominent civil society activist gunned down in a drive-by shooting on Sunday
evening while returning home from protests.
blocked access to the courthouse to demand proceedings be launched against
local leaders for corruption — a key priority of the protest movement in a
country ranked the 12th most corrupt country in the world by Transparency
Diwaniya, also in the south, protesters blocked the road to the Shanafiya oil
refinery, according to police, demanding employment.
Iraq being OPEC’s second-largest crude producer, one in five of its people live
in poverty and youth unemployment stands at one quarter of the population, the
World Bank says.
from several cities in the south on Tuesday joined thousands of demonstrators
gathered for more than two months in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, which is the
epicenter of the demonstrations in the capital.
came to support our brothers in Baghdad,” said an activist in the movement from
Nassiriya, Haydar Kazem.
deposed Bashir questioned over 1989 coup: lawyer
Sudan’s former president Omar Al-Bashir appeared on Tuesday before a
prosecutors’ committee over the 1989 coup that brought him to power, his lawyer
was “brought to be investigated in the case of the alleged 1989 coup,” said his
lawyer, Mohamed Al-Hassan, who did not attend the hearing.
lawyer also told reporters that in his view the hearing was “not a judicial
matter, it’s a political matter.”
1989, Bashir, a brigadier at the time, seized power in an Islamist-backed coup
that toppled the elected government of prime minister Sadiq Al-Mahdi.
former president was himself ousted by the army in April of this year after
months of nationwide protests against his iron-fisted rule of three decades.
November 12, Sudanese authorities filed charges against Bashir and some of his
aides for “plotting” the 1989 coup. The prosecution established a special
committee for the case.
found guilty, he could face the death penalty or life imprisonment under
is now ruled by a joint civilian and military sovereign council, which is
tasked with overseeing a transition to civilian rule as demanded by the protest
is being held in Kober prison in a separate case, for which he has been on
trial since August, on charges of illegally acquiring and using foreign funds.
verdict is due in that case on Saturday.
Tuesday, Bashir was taken from Kober prison to the prosecutor’s office in a
convoy under strong armed protection.
the hearing, which lasted about an hour, a crowd gathered in front of the
prosecutor’s office, chanting “Kober prison — the best place for you!” and “you
the traditional white Sudanese jalabiya and turban, Bashir raised his hands to
the crowd, before he set off back toward Kober in the convoy.
veteran leader is also wanted by The Hague-based International Criminal Court
on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity over his role in
the war in Sudan’s western Darfur region.
date, Sudanese transitional authorities do not want to extradite the former
leader to The Hague.
hits Madagascar, killing 9 and making 1,400 homeless
MADAGASCAR: Cyclone Belna has hit northern Madagascar, with nine dead and three
missing from the first tropical storm of the season, according to local officials.
blew into the western town of Soalala, where more than 1,400 residents were
made homeless because their houses were destroyed, damaged or flooded, Col
Elack Olivier Andriakaja of the national catastrophe management office, said
displaced have found temporary shelter in primary schools, mosques and district
offices but they need food, said Andriakaja.
government administrative buildings and roads have also been damaged, he said.
food rations will be delivered to Soalala by sea, said officials.
Prime Minister Christian Ntsay will be flying to Soalala to assess the damage.
storm's winds blew off or dislodged the roofs of 80% of the town's residences
and government offices, said Soalala's member of parliament Naina Randriamisa,
who said water is rising across the city.
has been downgraded to a tropical storm as it travels south on the island.
Heavy rains and winds are expected through Wednesday. The cyclone should be
finished by then, according to the meteorology department.
shootout spreads from presidential palace to hotel; 5 Islamic extremist rebels
from the Al Qaeda-linked Islamic terrorist group Al-Shabab attacked the
presidential palace in Somalia’s capital Tuesday, which led to a shootout that
spread from the heavily fortified government complex to a nearby hotel.
five heavily armed Islamic extremist rebels from the group, which is trying to
topple Somalia’s weak United Nations-backed government, were killed by security
forces, The Associated Press reported.
Capt. Mohamed Hussein said that soldiers shot dead three attackers near the
entrance to the presidential residence in Mogadishu, and then killed the last
two near the parking lot of the nearby hotel after they took positions by the
kitchen area, close to the first gate of the hotel compound.
least three people were killed in the firefight at the hotel, which lasted
about two hours and was marked by sustained gunfire punctuated by grenade
blasts, said Ahmed Ali, a Somali police officer.
said 20 others, including government officials, were rescued from the hotel,
frequented by government officials and Mogadishu’s elite.
later claimed responsibility for the attack, according to an announcement on
their Andalus radio station.
rebel assault was carried out completely by gunmen on foot, security officials
security measures, including multiple checkpoints across Mogadishu, have made
it difficult for the rebels to sneak car bombs into the capital city, and have
forced the rebels to stage attacks on foot.
extremists in September staged an attack on a U.S. military base in Somalia,
which is used to launch drone strikes.
all-night siege that lasted more than 14 hours in July was waged by Al-Shabab
extremist militants at a Somali hotel in the southern port city of Kismayo; it
ended with 26 people -- including two Americans -- being killed.
won’t allow terrorism, militancy: Home Minister
Dec 10, 2019 (BSS) – Terming Bangladesh as a role model of curbing militancy
and terrorism, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal today said Islam does not
allow terrorism and militancy.
have successfully controlled militancy following the zero tolerance policy set
by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina,” he said while speaking as the
guest at the closing ceremony of a two-day National Conference on
Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism 2019 at Bashundhara International
Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police
organised the national conference in collaboration with Stop Violence Coalition
Secretariat of UN, USAID and a non-government organisation Rupantar.
by Chief of CTTC and Additional Commissioner of DMP Md Monirul Islam, the
ceremony was also addressed, among others, by Inspector General of Police (IGP)
Dr Mohammad Javed Patwari and DMP Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam as special
is the role model in the world for rooting out militancy, the home minister
said, adding, “Our law enforcement agencies are working coordinately to curb
extremism and militancy.”
said madrasas are not involved in producing militants because militancy has no
place in Islam. “Peace loving people in this country never like militancy. It
is not accepted that militancy and terrorism will exist in this peaceful
country,” he added.
that Bangladesh’s people do not give shelter to militancy, he said incidents of
target killing took place in the country, but people resisted those incidents
have to engage our children in welfare activities so that they cannot get
involved in extremism and violent activities,” the minister added.
urged the people not to believe all internet contents. “We have to use our wit
and knowledge to be sure which internet contents are believable not,” he added.
mosque will be demolished on riverbanks: Khalid
Dec 10, 2019 (BSS) – State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury today
said that any unauthorized mosques which were established on the bank of rivers
will not be demolished.
mosques illegally established on the bank of rivers– Buriganga, Turag, Balu,
Shitalakkha and Dhaleshwari will not be demolished. The mosques will be
beautified and designed. The government will assist in this case. A
sub-committee will be formed after holding meeting with Ministry of Religion,
Islamic Foundation and Home Ministry,” said the state minister.
came up with the comments while addressing a discussion meeting held at BIWTA
Bhaban in the capital’s Motijheel.
of the Ministry of Shipping Md. Abdus Samad, Islamic Scholar Hafiz Abdur
Razzaque, BIWTA Chairman Commodore M Mahbub-ul Islam, among others, were
present at the programme.
Njenga muslims' suit to bar board from assets dismissed
High Court has dismissed an application by Al-Huda Mosque members who sought
orders restraining the mosque’s committee from dealing with its assets.
their application, 21 members of the Kwa Njenga mosque sued the committee and
its chairperson for rampant misapplication and misappropriation of the mosque
revenues; from parking facilities to rental rooms.
members in the application say there has never been any election of the board
since 1992 and the leadership is self-declared.
current leadership has been under discretion and whims of un-elected and a
self-declared chairman against the wishes of the Al-Huda Muslim Community
members,” the application reads.
the application was thrown out on grounds they would not suffer a loss if it
were not to be granted.
they said the mosque lacks a controlling system for efficient management of
donations given by Muslim well-wishers and donors.
the application, the mosque leadership was accused of lacking transparency,
accountability and not involving the mosque members.
decisions on crucial and fundamental issues are handled solely by the self-imposed
chairman and a clique of craftily appointed members,” they said.
21 have accused the committee of chasing congregants from the mosque early last
year and ordering them to pray at their homes.
committee has also been faulted for using police officers to silence members a
majority of whom are arrested and charged with 'imagined offenses' when they
voice their concerns.
defendants (committee) have turned down, ignored, neglected and refused to
consider the request from the 21 members to call for and hold meetings with the
mosque congregations but instead have used the police."
committee was also said to have threatened the mosque community with dire
consequences including expulsion from the mosque.
seeking for the orders, the members termed it 'totally unreasonable and
procedurally unfair for the committee to micromanage the affairs of the mosque
without the input of the mosque membership'.
members pledged to continue fighting for justice until efficient management is established.
attack Somali hotel, police say two militants killed
(Reuters) - Islamist Al Shabaab gunmen attacked a hotel in Somalia’s capital
near the presidential residence on Tuesday and police said they killed two
attackers and rescued dozens of people from inside.
two attackers were killed outside the hotel as they launched the attack, while
two others stormed inside, deputy police commissioner General Zakia Hussen
said, adding security forces had rescued 82 people, including several
warn people against calling their relatives who they think are in the hotel
until the operation is finished,” she wrote on Twitter while fighting still
militant group, which frequently launches bombing and gun raids in Mogadishu in
a bid to topple the U.N.-backed government, confirmed it had attacked the Syl
hotel, which is popular with officials and lawmakers.
group had also attacked the hotel in 2016.
police officer, who only gave his name as Ahmed, said security forces at the
hotel had thought the gunmen were police as they approached, until they started
shooting and hurling grenades. “We exchanged fire at the gate of the hotel,” he
Shabaab’s military spokesman Abdiaziz Abu Musab said the group’s fighters
stormed the hotel compound near the presidential palace. “The compound is home
to enemy officials,” he said.
Abdulle, a witness at a nearby hotel, said he heard gunfire inside the hotel
late into the night on Tuesday.
could see dozens of people being rescued with ladders placed on the back wall
of the hotel. We heard some blasts,” he told Reuters. “The whole area is still
in the Horn of Africa, has been mired in conflict and chaos since 1991, when
clan-based warlords overthrew a dictator.
Shabaab, which once controlled much of the country, was forced out of Mogadishu
in 2011 and has since then lost most of its other strongholds. But its fighters
regularly attack sites in Somalia and neighbouring Kenya, which has troops in
9 Christians Murdered in Kenya for Refusing to Recite Islamic Creed
Michael W. Chapman
least nine Christians were murdered by Islamic extremists in Kenya on Dec. 6
because they refused to recite the Islamic Shadada, a Muslim creed, according
to International Christian Concern (ICC), a human rights organization based in
ICC further reported that similar crimes have occurred in Northern Kenya for
many years, usually carried out by members of the radical Islamic group
December 6, 2019, 11 non-local Christian passengers were attacked while
travelling to Mandera from Nairobi and killed at Kotulo in northeastern
Kenya," said the ICC. "They
were reportedly separated from their Muslim counterparts and killed for failing
to recite the Islamic Shahada."
Kenyan police officer told the ICC that “a passenger bus belonging to Medina
Bus Company, traveling between Wajir and Mandera was attacked by a criminal
gang at around 1730 hours this evening. The attack happened at Maadathe area,
five kilometers to Kotulo. Lives are believed to have been lost.”
to the ICC and its sources, the passengers on the bus were separated by the
Islamist radicals. "Nine of the passengers on the Mandera-bound bus who
could not recite the Shahada were paraded out of the bus and shot dead at close
range by those believed to be al-Shabaab militants," said the ICC. Two bus passengers are still missing and
people killed were Athanus Kiti, Enos Odhiambo, Kelvin Mandela, Wisely Meli,
Tikane Kasale, Leonard Mukanda, Francis Mbuvi, Rodgers Machuka, and Anchari
Okerosi. The two still missing are Emmanuel Barasa and Nathan Bett.
governor of Mandera County in Kenya, Ibrahim Ali Roba, said of the crime, “I am
deeply saddened to learn of the heinous bus attack near Kotulo, Wajir today
around 5:00 p.m. where 10 passengers were killed [or are missing]. I am
informed that the suspected al-Shabaab fighters cowardly segregated non-locals
heading to Mandera from Nairobi. It is extremely sad and humanly disturbing to
learn that, yet again, they segregated locals from non-locals before killing
those they believed to be non-locals.”
ICC further reported two Christian men, Frederick Ngonde and Joshua Obila, were killed in a similar manner in 2018 --
they refused to recite the Islamic creed.
2015, at least 148 students at Garissa University were gunned down by Muslim
extremists, said the ICC. That same year, "a Muslim teacher, Salah Farah,
was shot for defending Christian passengers who were being separated for
execution by al-Shabaab."
2014, "28 teachers traveling to Nairobi for the Christmas holiday were
killed after being forced to recite the Islamic statement of faith,"
reported the ICC.
Johnson, the ICC's regional manager for Africa, said, "We hope that the
government will take effective action to stop the senseless killing of so many
Christians in Kenya at the hands of Islamic extremists like al-Shabaab. We
praise God as the refuge and strong tower that He is for our persecuted
brothers and sisters in Christ who continue to endure so much.”
to record statement from hospital bed in Dubai in treason trial: Pervez
Pakistan's ailing former dictator Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf has informed a
court here that he is ready to record his statement from a hospital bed in
Dubai in the treason trial against him, according to a media report on Tuesday.
who has been living in Dubai since March 2016, is facing treason charges for
suspending the constitution and imposing emergency rule in 2007, a punishable
offence for which he was indicted in 2014.
76-year-old former Pakistan army chief left for Dubai for medical treatment and
has not returned since, citing security and health reasons.
Lahore high court (LHC) on Tuesday resumed hearing of a petition filed
Musharraf requesting to stay the treason case trial against him until he
recuperates and appears before the court, The Express Tribune reported.
newspaper reported that Musharraf, who is currently in Dubai for treatment of a
rare medical condition, recorded a video message from his hospital bed in which
he said that he was ready to record his statement in the case.
judicial commission can come here and hear me out. It must see my health
condition and make a decision. The commission, with my lawyer, must then be
heard in the court," Musharraf added.
has maintained that owing to his deteriorating health, multiple
life-threatening ailments and of his aged mother, he is unable to return to
Tuesday's proceedings, the high court questioned how former the former
president's actions in 2007 fall under the ambit of Article 6 of the
to Article 6, any person who abrogates or subverts or suspends or holds in
abeyance, or attempts or conspires to abrogate or subvert or suspend or hold in
abeyance, the constitution by use of force or show of force or by any other
unconstitutional means shall be guilty of high treason.
person found guilty of high treason as defined in Article 6 of the
constitution, could be punished with death or life imprisonment.
became Pakistan's first Army chief to be charged with treason when he was
indicted on March 31, 2014. He pleaded not guilty to five charges and dismissed
them as being politically motivated.
adjourning the case till December 17, the Lahore high court on Tuesday directed
additional attorney general Ishtiaq A Khan to discuss the matter with the interior
secretary on whether the formal military ruler imposing emergency in 2007
amounts to the abrogation of the constitution.
court further asked whether the complaint could be withdrawn at this stage and
sought the interior secretary's opinion on how the act falls under Article 6.
November 29, the Islamabad high court (IHC), while hearing a petition of the
interior ministry, had restrained the special court from announcing its verdict
in the Musharraf's treason case which it was to hand down on November 29.
a two-page brief order, the IHC asked the special court to hear pleas of all
sides and decide the case "in accordance with the law" while
directing the government to form a new prosecution team for the case by
blacklists Rao Anwar for 'serious human rights abuse' through fake police
United States on Tuesday blacklisted former Malir senior superintendent of
police (SSP) Rao Anwar for engaging in "serious human rights abuse"
by carrying out alleged fake police 'encounters' in which scores of individuals
including Waziristan native Naqeebullah Mehsud were killed, the US Treasury
is among 18 individuals from six countries that the Trump administration has
imposed economic sanctions on for suspected human rights violations. Two others
have been banned from entering the US, including the former consul general of
Saudi Arabia in Turkey for his alleged role in the murder of Saudi journalist
Jamal Khashoggi. Tuesday's announcement was made in connection with
International Human Rights Day.
his tenure as the Senior Superintendent of Police in District Malir, Pakistan,
Rao Anwar Khan (Anwar) was reportedly responsible for staging numerous fake
police encounters in which individuals were killed by police, and was involved
in over 190 police encounters that resulted in the deaths of over 400 people,
including the murder of Naqeebullah Mehsood," the US Treasury said in a
said Anwar "helped to lead a network of police and criminal thugs that
were allegedly responsible for extortion, land grabbing, narcotics, and
to the press release, the former Malir SSP has been designated "for being
responsible for or complicit in, or having directly or indirectly engaged in,
serious human rights abuse".
sanctions freeze the US assets of the 18 designated individuals and prohibit
Americans from doing business with them.
United States will not tolerate torture, kidnapping, sexual violence, murder or
brutality against innocent civilians,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said
in a statement.
is the world leader in combatting human rights abuse and we will hold
perpetrators and enablers accountable wherever they operate.”
had retired from police service while being suspended and facing trial for
killing four men, including South Waziristan youngster Mehsud, in a fake
encounter last year, official sources had told Dawn earlier this year.
protests by the civil society and anger on social media, the Supreme Court had
last year taken suo motu notice and ordered Anwar's arrest. Protests staged by
the Mehsud tribe and the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) had also lent impetus
to the call for justice for Naqeeb.
had gone into hiding soon after demands for his arrest gained traction after it
came to light that Mehsud had been a shopkeeper and an aspiring model from
Waziristan who had settled in Karachi.
was arrested in March 2018 when he finally appeared before the Supreme Court
after eluding law enforcement agencies for over a month. After spending more than
three months in prison, an antiterrorism court granted him bail which led to
military leaders sanctioned
Treasury also blacklisted four Myanmar military leaders, including the
commander-in-chief, in the toughest action taken yet by Washington for alleged
human rights abuses against the Rohingya and other minorities.
sanctions targeted Commander-in-Chief of the Burmese military forces Min Aung
Hlaing, Deputy Commander-in-Chief Soe Win, Than Oo, a leader of the 99th Light
Infantry Division, and Aung Aung, a leader of the 33rd Light Infantry Division,
the Treasury said.
military in Myanmar has denied accusations of widespread abuses and says its
actions were part of a fight against terrorism.
analysts and diplomats have tipped Min Aung Hlaing as a potential presidential
candidate in the next election in 2020, when Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi's
National League for Democracy is likely to face opposition from nationalists
aligned with the military.
political ambitions could be damaged by the sanctions, as well as an earlier US
travel ban and Facebook's decision in August 2018 to remove the army chief's
page that had been his main channel of communication with the public.
US also took action against a notorious militia in the Democratic Republic of
Congo, the Allied Democratic Forces, which is accused of massacring civilians
in an apparent bid to stop them from joining the military. The Treasury
Department slapped sanctions on the group's leader, Musa Baluku, as well as
five other people accused of supporting the group.
also imposed sanctions on five people over abuses in war-torn South Sudan and a
militia commander in Libya.
Treasury also designated one European — Slovak businessman Marian Kocner, who
is accused of ordering the 2018 murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak,
who was probing high-level graft.
High Court seeks govt input on charges against Musharraf
The Lahore High Court on Tuesday sought assistance from the federal ministry of
interior on a legal point whether the imposition of a state of emergency by
former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on Nov 3, 2007 fell within the
definition of abrogation of the Constitution, an offence of high treason.
Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar Naqvi also posed a direct query to Additional Attorney
General Chaudhry Ishtiaq A. Khan whether the complaint against the former
president could be withdrawn in the light of the ‘legal shortcomings’ pointed
out by the counsel for retired general Musharraf.
judge was hearing a petition by the former dictator challenging formation of a
special court holding his trial under charges of high treason and legal flaws
committed in the procedure.
the hearing, Justice Naqvi asked the additional attorney general if declaring a
state of emergency in the country and abrogating the Constitution were two
separate things. He further asked the law officer whether Article 6 of the
Constitution attracted in the Musharraf case.
officer asked if complaint against former military ruler can be withdrawn on
basis of shortcomings as pointed out by his counsel
court would also like to know if the government can withdraw the complaint [in
case] legal requirements are not met,” the judge said to the law officer.
Khan sought time from the court to seek instructions from the interior
secretary on the queries raised during the hearing.
the law officer also submitted the record of the high treason case against
judge allowed time to the law officer and adjourned hearing till Dec 17.
Azhar Siddique representing Gen Musharraf argued that the previous government
had told the Supreme Court that it would file a complaint against the former
dictator and an inquiry would be initiated. However, he said, the complaint was
filed on the direction of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif instead of federal
cabinet’s recommendation. Also the prosecution team was appointed on the advice
of the then prime minister, the counsel pointed out.
argued that the ex-premier had initiated the case over ‘personal grudge’, as
the SC had not ordered the previous government to file the case.
said that Gen Musharraf had been undergoing medical treatment for multiple
diseases in the UAE. The counsel said that the former president had recently
sent a recorded video message from his hospital bed stating that he was ready
to record his statement in the case.
Dec 3, a day after being admitted to the hospital, Gen Musharraf in a video
message said he was ready to record his statement in the high treason case
against him, complaining that he had not been heard and that he was being
former military dictator was booked in Dec 2013 for imposing the state of
emergency on Nov 3, 2007 and suspending the Constitution till the mid of Dec
2007. He was declared a proclaimed offender by a special court in the high treason
last week the three-member special court had said it would announce verdict in
the high treason case on Dec 17 after hearing the arguments of the government’s
new prosecution team.
Qamar Bajwa chairs corps commanders conference
Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa on Tuesday presided
over a corps commanders conference. Director General Inter-Services Public
Relations (ISPR) Major General Asif Ghafoor shared a video from the meeting,
which was held at the General Headquarters (GHQ).
DG ISPR is expected to hold a press conference today (Wednesday) to talk about
the issues that came under discussion during the conference.
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