many Black Muslims it is a reminder of the struggles that date back five
decades still prove difficult to overcome today. (AP)
Muslims Say Hajj a Reflection of Their Five-Decade Struggle
Orthodox Islamisation of National Schools Tearing Malaysians Apart
Muslim Rashtriya Manch for Ban on Qurbani
Must Provide Non-Pork Lunches for Jewish and Muslim Students, French Court
Kirkuk Votes to Take Part in Kurdish Independence Referendum
Muslims Say Hajj A Reflection Of Their Five-Decade Struggle
Yorker Accused of Trying to Join Islamic State Group
fighter pilots prepares for more air strikes in Afghanistan
elimination of Syria and Muslim envoys reflects new US priorities
in India Seeks to Seize Zakir Naik’s Local Properties
entrepreneurs sensing opportunities in Pakistan
to Pick Top Young Imam As Talent Show Enters Finals
Malaysia’s opposition end UMNO’s corrupt party-state?
Sells Rp 7 Trillion of Islamic Bonds, Above Target
Ulema Council Seeks Jail Term for Those Giving, Validating Instant Talaq
Muslim Students to Get Scholarships on PM’s Birthday
perform last rites of Kashmiri Pandit lady in Tral
Madrasas under Govt's Scanner, To Be Geo-Tagged Through GPS
'anxious' around Qurbani time, say clerics who met UP DGP for peace assurance
SIMI members get life for bid to murder BJP youth wing activist
Conversion, Marriage: Former SC Judge Turns Down Request to Oversee NIA Probe
Court frames charges against IM’s Yasin Bhatkal, 8 others
Threatening Acid Attacks Sent To Muslims in Bradford
Caught Selling Used Military Aircraft to Bahrain: Report
Fined £1,100 for Muslims ‘Monkeys’ Online Hate Speech
first foreign policy speech, Macron vows to fight ‘Islamist terror’
job creation can quell social unrest: Moroccan PM
US-Led Airstrikes Leave 18 Syrian Civilians Dead In Raqqah
2017: Two million Muslim pilgrims from all over the world head to Mecca
Terrorist Commanders Assassinated in Idlib
Daily: Hamas Turning to Tehran, Damascus
Gov't Forces Tighten Noose on ISIL in Hama
Army, Hezbollah Preparing for Special Operation on Deir Ezzur Border
Fails to Prevail over Syrian Army Positions in Hama Countryside
Tens of Gunmen Receive Gov't Amnesty in Eastern Damascus
rejects Hezbollah's deal to move ISIS to Iraqi borders
criticizes ‘colonial’ role of Iran, Turkey in Syria
Urges Pakistan Not To Turn Afghanistan into Its Regional Rivalry Hub
Execute Two Important ISIS Leaders in Nangarhar Province
Reacts At Ata Mohammad Noor’s ‘Butcher Of Kabul’ Remarks
Taliban leaders Tangna and Haji Gul killed in Laghman airstrikes
killed, 8 wounded in suicide attack in Kabul city
Muslim villages 'burned by Burmese army'
in Bangladesh face expulsion despite UN warning
more Rohingya flee to border as Myanmar violence flares
Keeping an Eye on Pakistanis Who ‘Fought Abroad’
population grows by 57pc
Asks CDA to Avoid Direct Interactions with Foreign Diplomats
terror suspects arrested in Orakzai
Leaving Settlements Means Tel Aviv Not After Peace: Arab League
Rejects US Demand for UN Inspector Visit to Military Sites
Hezbollah has become an instrument of Iran’s drive for regional supremacy
Guardian Council to debate motion passed by Majlis in response to US bans
Settlers Hurl Insult at Islam in Presence of Regime Forces: B’Tselem
urges end to ‘grave violations’ against Yemeni children
Houthi, Saleh forces agree to ease tensions
calls for international action for Rohingya Muslims
Mugabe Bashes SA, Nigeria over Slain Gaddafi
Rescues about 500 Refugees off Western Coasts
fighters in Libya
urges Sudan to protect religious minorities
must investigate disappearance of Shiites, says Amnesty
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Muslims say Hajj a reflection of their five-decade struggle
was 54 years when Malcolm X took the sacred Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj from the
United States to Mecca where images of him wearing the ihram clothing coupled
with his famous black-rimmed glasses would set a precedence of the
African-American Muslim’s image.
as 1.7 million Muslims descend onto to Mecca for this year’s Hajj, for many
Black Muslims it is a reminder of the struggles that date back five decades
still prove difficult to overcome today.
African-American (in the context of the Black Lives Matter movement) reminds
black Muslims about the color of their skin. This often takes the real
attention away from the main message of Islam, which is to submit one’s self
fully to the will of Allah Almighty and being a peaceful person. There is no
subject of color in Islam as a religion,” Imam Abdullah Dibba, who works for
the Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Baltimore city, told Al
Pew survey in 2014 showed 28 percent of Muslims counted in the survey were
black and since 2007, the black proportion had shrunk, while the white and
Asian proportions had grown, mainly due to immigration as most black Muslims
were native US blacks brought to the Americas primarily from West Africa.
is also important to know that since the very discovery of the new World,
Muslims had been coming to America either under servitude or for new financial
opportunities. Since the very first ship sailed from Africa to America full of
Muslims and others alike for the purpose of servitude, the concept of mosques
and prayer areas (in temporary places) was existent in American history,” Dibba
of the ‘Black-Muslim’
there was a time – especially five decades ago during the civil rights movement
– when “American-Muslims” tended to mean “Black-Muslims” who had joined the
Nation of Islam, a Black Nationalist group that gained prominence at the time.
image quickly faded as years passed and many immigrants from the Middle East started
outnumbering the Black Muslims in many communities.
Muhammad, a Muslim public intellectual and an Islamic thinker at Muslim
Empowerment Institute, says the overall American media culture had a role in
the changing of that image.
you look at how Muslim are portrayed in the media, it is mainly Asian and Arab,
and there is a lack of strong black Muslim voices. Instead, you consistently
see our Immigrant Muslim brothers and sisters on the defensive and being overly
apologetic,” Muhammad told Al Arabiya English.
order to give an alternative to this, we need strong, uncompromising, Black
Muslim voices in the tradition of Malcolm X who are unafraid to speak truth to
power and point out the wickedness of white supremacy,” he said.
an extent, there is some truth to that argument. The Washington Post’s Abigail
Hauslohner interviewed Samory Rashid, a political science professor at Indiana
State University who said that the term “Black Muslim” was coined by a
journalist who was neither black nor Muslim: CBS News reporter Mike Wallace. He
used the term in a 1959 TV documentary “The Hate That Hate Produced” about the
Nation of Islam.
young Muslims like Muhammad told Al Arabiya English that they do not
necessarily shun the term completely but have learned to make it as their own.
use the term "Black Muslim" to identify myself to make it clear that
I am not a follower of the mainstream American Muslim establishment but part of
the tradition of black liberating Islam that Malcolm X, Safiya Bukhari, and
Dhoruba Bin Wahad sought hard to establish,” he said.
many scholars say that Black Supremacy that was preached by the older
generation of the Nation of Islam, especially by its founder Elijah Muhammad,
was at odds with the teachings of Islam – one of the first religions to have
they have not realized is that Islam is universal and you can practice it as
perfect as possible following any culture. Islam only requires us to follow the
principle of the Holy Quran as taught by prophet Muhammad (peace be on him),
who did not tell us to follow any specific race or culture,” Dibba commented.
the prevailing and worrisome issue of the rise of White supremacists aside,
some Muslims confess they face another layer of racism, one that is internal
among Muslims themselves.
there is a struggle because there is racism among the Muslim community as well.
I regularly get calls from young Muslims who complain about the anti-Black
racism they face within their own community. It is deeply troubling because
Islam at its core is a religion of racial equality. At one hand there is a lot
of frustration, because there are the Arab, South Asian and White Muslims
marginalizing the Black Muslim community,” Qasim Rashid, a Muslim author and
educator, told Al Arabiya English. But he contends that it’s not all bad news,
especially for the youth.
seeing a revival among the youth were you see Black Muslims taking the lead in
many respects like recognizing the rich history of Islam in America through
Black Muslims,” he said.
both Black and non-Black Muslims make their way onto the sacred lands of Mecca
for the annual pilgrimage, Hajj becomes yet another reminder of what and how
religion plays a huge part in self struggle for equal rights regardless of race
than it being a time of unity for all Muslims, it is a time to purge the
cancers that have crept into our souls and our Umma and pushing past the
disunity and the hatred and finding ways to move forward,” Rashid told Al
Orthodox Islamisation of national schools tearing Malaysians apart
LUMPUR, Aug 29 — The fear of perceived Salafist Islamisation in national
schools by the non-Malay Muslim society, particularly the ethnic Chinese has
the potential to split the country apart, political analyst and Muslim scholar
Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid said today.
as a guest lecturer at Sunway University today, Ahmad Fauzi said that isolating
Malaysians by different ethnicities and religions as they grow up will create a
pre-conceived and ignorant perception of “The Other”, a term he used to
describe persons who do not share the same faith.
pointed out that once these youths are isolated and lack the opportunity to
mingle with other races and gain greater understanding of one another in
schools, they will begin to conceptualise “The Other” as antagonists or enemies
who will attempt to subvert their beliefs.
these children are only taught by teachers who grew up being indoctrinated by
Salafist ideals, then that will be the only thing that they will know. It
becomes worse if the only literature they have available are extremist
will influence their subconscious mentality where they view ‘The Other’ as an
antagonist and it might encourage them to start taking violent steps especially
if they only understand those verses regarding Jihad and are not aware of other
interpretations,” Ahmad Fauzi told Malay Mail Online after giving his lecture
titled “The Very Shades of Islam and Islamists in Malaysia”.
also called Wahhabism, is an orthodox and fundamental Islamic “reform movement”
to restore what it sees as “pure” Islamic worship, and named after 18th century
preacher and scholar Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab.
movement’s dominance grew across the world starting from the 1970s as oil-rich
Saudi Arabia pumped money into its spread through books, scholarships, and
building Islamic education institutions.
Universiti Sains Malaysia professor touched on the topic after a member of the
public asked him to comment on the fact that many Chinese parents are reluctant
to send their children to national schools and what can be done to mitigate the
Fauzi said it would be a daunting task to handle as he believed that many
teachers, civil servants and industry captains in their 20s and 30s grew up
after Salafist discourse crept into the Malaysian education system in the
this in mind teachers are in their 20s and 30s and they have lived through a
system which teaches Islam through a particular mould, especially when Salafi-based
discourse emerged in our curriculum around 1995 and 1996,” he said, adding that
it would be very difficult to change the mindset of folks who refused to keep
an open mind due to siege mentality.
Fauzi also lambasted many Islamists who have hijacked the religion for their
“secular political purposes” as they equate Islamism, which is a political
ideal to create an Islamic state, to Islam as a religion.
said that Islam, in its traditional spiritual form allows for its practitioners
to commit sins and their recourse is to repent, whereas Islamism does not allow
any Muslims to commit any sins and the result is being punished by the State.
will face pitfalls if Islamism is established. People are naturally tempted to
commit sins. People are not angels and are not perfect. An Islamic state will
force people to become pious and it becomes a question of compulsion rather
than voluntary. This is the ISIS discourse,” he said, referring to the terror
group also called Islamic State.
of the worse case scenarios that would erupt from this situation would be the
abandonment of Islam as a religion by those with lax faith.
Muslims, it appears as if there is no choice. We know some Muslims who want to
remain Muslims but have very lax lifestyle and children not educated with
Islamic norms, the role of the state is the best to maintain their Islamicity.
once you enforce the Islamists’ worldview on people, wanting them to behave in
a certain manner, you are encouraging people to leave Islam. They won’t do it
here, but they will do it outside the country,” he said.
Upbeat after Supreme Court stay on triple Talaq, RSS-backed Muslim Rashtriya
Manch has demanded ban on animal slaughter on the occasion of Eid-ul-Azha.
Joint coordinator of the Manch, Khursheed Agha said Qurbani (sacrifice) of the
animal during Eid is a superstition. Raising question on the tradition, Agha
said when Qurbani was not allowed in Islam why are animals sacrificed during
Bakarid. With reference to the Ayodhya dispute, he said if one reads the Holy Qur'an,
one will find it mentioned in clear terms that Muslims cannot offer Namaz
(prayers) at a disputed place.
Islamic verses, UP east coordinator of the Manch, Raja Raees said it is know
that even prophet Ibrahim did not sacrifice any animal, so why do Muslims
sacrifice. "This is not sacrifice but murder of animals," Raees
added. Quoting from religious texts, he said, "Pedh Paudhe, Pashu Pakshi
Allah Ki Rahmat Hain, Un Per Tum Raham Karo (plants, trees, animals and birds
are all God's creation, be kind to them)."
cow slaughter, Hasan Kausar of the RSS outfit's Awadh Prant said Islamic verses
are clear about purity of cow milk and that its flesh if eaten causes
disease."Eating cow meat is, thus, is against the tenets of Islam,"
he said and added that in the 21st century, all bad practices should be removed
from the society . "Like triple Talaq, Qurbani during Bakarid is also
against the tenets of Islam," Kausar said.
French court has ruled that schools must provide non-pork lunches for Jewish
and Muslim students who do not eat it.
city of Chalon-sur-Saone decided in 2015 not to serve pork alternatives for
students that don’t consume the meat, according to the Guardian. Many don’t do
so because of religious reasons, but the ruling judge said that aspect of the
case did not concern him. Instead, he said that the fact that many Muslim
children were going without lunch was not “in the interests of the children.”
Muslim Legal Defense League in France challenged the absence of non-pork meals
in 2015, calling the decision “illegal, discriminatory and a violation of the
freedom of conscience and religion.”
officials said they plan to appeal the decision, and objected to the fact that
it came just before the school year was set to start.
decision comes only a few days before the start of the term. It is materially
impossible for the town of Chalon-sur-Saone to change the operation of a public
service in such a short time without risking the continuity of that service,”
Chalon-sur-Saone Mayor Gilles Platret said in a statement.
mayor argued that not serving pork was in keeping with the French tradition of
Arizona earlier this year, a Muslim mother objected to her daughter’s school
serving her lunches that contain pork, according to Tuscon News Now. The school
said that it was not obligated to cater to a particular student’s religious
observances, and the family could pack the girl a lunch to ensure she would not
inadvertently consume pork. Because the daughter didn’t “wear the traditional
clothes” the school said it wasn’t obvious the second-grader was Muslim and
shouldn’t be served pork.
Kirkuk votes to take part in Kurdish independence referendum
provincial council in Iraq’s ethnically mixed and oil-rich northern province of
Kirkuk has voted to take part in late next month's Kurdish independence
referendum irrespective of Baghdad government’s strong opposition to the
Tuesday, 22 of the 24 present councilors in the 41-member Kirkuk council voted
in favor of holding the referendum.
to journalists afterwards, Kirkuk governor Najm Eddine Karim described the vote
as a “historic event.”
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi described the vote by Kirkuk provincial
council as a wrong move, adding that the planned referendum is illegal and
government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi also lambasted the vote as “illegal and
that don't belong to the semi-autonomous region (of Kurdistan) can't impose
decisions without the federal government's approval, and Kirkuk is one of these
regions,” he pointed out.
the Turkish Foreign Ministry has denounced Kirkuk provincial council’s decision
as “a serious violation of the Iraqi constitution.”
ministry said in a statement that the decision was made amid the boycott of
local Arab and Turkmen blocs, describing the move as “a new episode in the
series of mistakes.”
highlighted that September 25 referendum is a mistake itself, explaining that
persistence on treading a “dangerous path” will neither serve the Middle East
region nor Iraq.
result of the Kurdish independence vote will not be accepted by the international
community, and will not contribute to the establishment of peace and stability
at this critical juncture in the region, the Turkish Foreign Ministry pointed
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told the state-run TRT Haber television news
network on August 16 that Iraq's Kurdistan region plans to hold an independence
referendum next month will lead to "civil war" in Iraq.
Zebari, a close adviser to Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President
Massoud Barzani, told Reuters on August 12 that Kurdish authorities were
determined to hold the referendum on September 25 irrespective of all
June, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi described as untimely the decision
by Barzani to hold the referendum.
have a constitution that we've voted on, we have a federal parliament and a
federal government…The referendum at this time is not opportune,” Abadi said on
has also expressed opposition to the “unilateral” scheme, underlining the
importance of maintaining the integrity and stability of Iraq and insisting
that the Kurdistan region is part of the majority Arab state.
YORK (AP) — A New York City man faced terrorism charges Tuesday accusing him of
trying to support the Islamic State group by travelling to the Middle East to
fight with militants.
unnamed country in the region detained Parveg Ahmed before he could carry out
plans to enter territory in Syria controlled by the Islamic State, according to
a criminal complaint that didn't name the country.
22-year-old Queens resident was returned Monday night to New York, where he was
ordered held without bail on Tuesday in federal court in Brooklyn. His lawyer,
Michael Schneider, declined to comment.
alleged, Ahmed sought to take up arms with violent terrorists who have killed
numerous innocent victims, including Americans," Acting U.S. Attorney
Bridget Rohde said in a statement.
to the complaint, Ahmed first began posting pro-Islamic State messages on
social media in 2014 and 2015. One read, "The side of Good is Islam &
the Caliphate. If you're not with the Muslims, you're ignorantly, irrelevantly,
& arrogantly on the side of Evil," the complaint said.
June, Ahmed and a person referred to only as a confidential co-conspirator
traveled to Saudi Arabia before they were captured, the court papers said. A
cellphone carried by Ahmed contained an unsent message saying, "God
willing, we will join the Jijad very soon" and a farewell to his family
reading, "Please remember all that I tried to teach you."
searching a laptop used by Ahmed also discovered Islamic State propaganda and
sermons by fiery American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a leader of al-Qaida in
Yemen who was killed in 2011, the papers said. The online videos of Al-Awlaki
have been cited in several U.S. cases as being a dangerous influence on
computer contained other lectures by Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal, a radical
cleric arrested last week in Jamaica on a U.S. warrant accusing him of trying
to recruit radicalized Americans for the Islamic State group. El-Faisal had
been the target of a sting carried out by an undercover New York Police
Department officer who communicated with him by email, text and video chat.
convicted, Ahmed faces a maximum 20 years in prison.
2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Airfield: For the fighter pilots at the largest US military base in
Afghanistan, President Donald Trump’s new strategy for the war should mean
escalating an already surging air campaign, and possibly including an
unrestrained offensive against the Taliban.
number of US air strikes in Afghanistan has already dramatically spiked since
Trump took office in January, from 1,074 in all of last year to 2,244 as of
August 20 this year.
a months-long review of his Afghanistan policy, Trump committed the United
States last week to an open-ended conflict in the country and promised a
stepped-up campaign against the Taliban insurgents.
details have emerged, but the pilots in Bagram are preparing for the
possibility they’ll be taking the fight to the Taliban in a way they haven’t
since the US led “combat mission” in Afghanistan was called off at the end of
their targets since then have been Islamic State militants, who are also active
in the country.
the two groups, the Taliban are definitely smarter,” F-16 pilot Maj. Daniel
Lindsey told Reuters. “The Taliban are much harder to kill.”
Islamic State has launched a series of deadly attacks around the country, it
has nowhere near the influence, reach, and community ties that the Taliban has.
those factors that pilots say make the Taliban a more challenging target, and
one that has outlasted years of heavy bombardment.
Taliban is often embedded in the community, but nobody likes the Islamic State,
so they are often separate,” Lindsey said.
many ways, Trump’s policy is less a new plan than the continuation of a slow
slide back into combat for American troops, although officials are quick to say
their mission will remain focused on training and advising Afghan forces.
Thursday, the commander of US troops in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson,
confirmed that his forces would increase air support for Afghan troops.
know the enemy fears air power,” he told reporters in Kabul.
House officials have said that rolling back territorial gains by the Taliban
will be one of the key objectives of the new strategy.
a time after former president Barack Obama declared America’s combat mission
over in Afghanistan at the end of 2014, US forces were restricted from
attacking the Taliban in most circumstances except self-defense.
the group expanded its hold in Afghanistan, however, Obama began to loosen some
of those rules and Trump has gone further in sending US troops back into battle
with their old adversaries.
about the recent effects of US air strikes, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah
Mujahid said the group’s fighters had become used to dodging American bombs.
2010, 2011 and 2012 the US air strikes were successful and we lost many
Mujahideen,” he told Reuters. “But now we have enough experience to avoid
casualties during their strikes by hiding in mountain holes and other places.”
forcing the Taliban to hide and preventing them from massing fighters has in
some cases been credited with helping Afghan security forces hold on to some
cities and blunt Taliban offensives.
also announced that he would “lift restrictions and expand authorities in the
field,” but it remains unclear exactly what that would entail.
US military spokesman in Kabul, Capt. William Salvin, said U.S. forces are
still limited to conducting air strikes in three broad circumstances:
self-defense, counter-terrorism strikes against specific groups, and helping
Afghan troops achieve “strategic effects.”
declined to say whether those parameters might change.
US military does not publicize its rules of engagement, but Lindsey said
compared to when he was a fighter pilot at the height of the troop surge in
Iraq in 2007, the so-called “ROE” in Afghanistan were less restrictive.
guys can complain about it, but most I know don't seem to have any problem
finding Islamic State or Taliban to kill," he said. "If you use the
rules smartly, you'll get the bad guys."
surge in air strikes has led the US Air Force units at Bagram to increase their
maintenance and intelligence efforts, said F-16 pilot Maj. Abraham Lehman.
say ramping up the number of strikes further would require the deployment of
more support staff as well as additional specialized troops on the ground to
coordinate the strikes.
Donald Trump administration is moving in the direction of eliminating at least
30 special envoy positions from the State Department including those assigned
to Syria, to the Muslim communities and to the Organisation of Islamic
move is “not unusual” according to former officials and an envoy who spoke to
The National. Nevertheless, it reflects new priorities and shifting areas of
focus for the Trump team.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson outlined the plans in a letter this week to
Senator Bob Corker, who heads the foreign relations committee,
nearly 70 such [envoy] positions exist within the State Department, even after
many of the underlying policy challenges these positions were created to
address have been resolved," Mr Tillerson wrote to Congress.
believe that the Department will be able to better execute its mission by
integrating certain envoys and special representative offices within the
regional and functional bureaus, and eliminating those that have accomplished
or outlived their original purpose.”
the 66 positions, Mr Tillerson is planning to eliminate nine including the
envoy for the six-party talks with North Korea and the U.S. special envoy to
close Guantánamo Bay detention camp.
of having an envoy to the OIC and a special representative to the Muslim
communities, Mr Tillerson is opting to expand the duties of the ambassador at
large for religious freedom.
envoy to Syria (Syrian opposition) and those who deal climate change,
implementing the Iran deal, global youth would be no more or integrated in
other positions if the plan is approved by Congress.
Serwer, a scholar at the Middle East Institute and a former US Envoy himself to
the Bosnian Federation (1993-1996), had no problem with Mr Tillerson’s plan.
administrations in the past have come in and attempted to reshape the envoys
positions” Mr Serwer told The National. “There are too many of them, and both
previous Presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama have reorganised these
not unusual to reshape which special envoys you want based on your policy
priorities” he said.
for lan Goldenberg, a senior fellow and director of the Middle East Security
Program at the Center for a New American Security, the problem may not be the
immediate act of reorganising or scrapping the envoys positions, rather what it
means for the State Department.
Mr Tillerson is doing is eliminating envoy positions and claiming that this strengthens the
bureaus, but if the Near East Affairs (NEA) bureau remains horribly
understaffed than all he is doing is making the situation worse,” Mr Goldenberg
problem would become in “giving the bureau new responsibilities that it has no
capacity to carry out” he warned.
to the Atlanta Journal Constitution only 18 per cent of political appointments
at the State Department have been filled as of mid-August. Mr Serwer said the
lack of political appointees might be a blessing in disguise for the
Department, “leaving power in the hands of the professionals and career service
the Muslim community and OIC representatives, however, is an indication that
the Trump team “is tone deaf when it comes to engagement with the Muslim
world" said Mr Goldenberg.
in light of all the damage the administration has already done in terms of the
President's anti-Muslim rhetoric” added the expert, who worked in the last
administration for the US special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian peace.
Syria, abolishing the envoy is less of a concern for both Mr Serwer and Mr
they eliminate the Syria envoy but keep Michael Ratney [current envoy] inside
NEA as point on these issues it's the same thing” noted Mr Goldenberg. The plan
is also to keep the U.S. envoy in the campaign against ISIL, Brett McGurk.
Serwer said the approach is in line with the Trump administration’s foreign
policy outlook. There is less focus on Syria but more on countering ISIL, less
on the Muslim world but more on the Gulf rift, he explained.
in India seeks to seize Zakir Naik’s local properties
JAYA: India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) has been asked to submit the
ownership documents of properties belonging to Zakir Naik as part of efforts to
seize all properties owned by the controversial preacher.
to the Hindustan Times, this follows the NIA’s request on July 28 to a special
court in Mumbai for permission to seize Naik’s five properties.
are a flat in Jasmine Apartments in Mazagaon, two flats in Maria Heights in
Mazagaon, a share in property at Crystal Apartments in Mazagaon, land at Pezari
and a shop at Rukaiya Manzil in Dongri.
NIA now has until the court hearing, scheduled for the first week of September,
to submit the relevant documents.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) of India has also applied to a special court in
Mumbai for permission to lawfully seize some of Naik’s properties in Malaysia.
is wanted for questioning in India over money-laundering and terrorism-related
crimes. He fled India in 2016, after a suspect in a terror attack on a Dhaka
cafe in Bangladesh was reported to have been influenced by his speeches.
April 20, the NIA obtained a non-bailable warrant against Naik, claiming that
he had promoted enmity between religious groups in India and incited Muslim
youths to commit unlawful activities and acts of terror.
May, the agency wrote to Interpol, asking that a red notice be issued against
Naik. This would mean that he would be officially declared an international
fugitive and police in any country would be authorised to arrest him.
to the Times of India, however, Naik has denied supporting Islamic jihad and
has alleged he is being persecuted because he is a Muslim.
report said he claimed that his speeches had only promoted peace and that he
had never advocated terror or jihad. He added that he had been delivering
speeches on Islam for the past 25 years across several countries and that he
was respected and welcomed there.
local authorities have denied reports that Naik has been granted Malaysian
citizenship, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi admitted in April that
the controversial preacher had held permanent resident (PR) status for more
than five years.
/ LAHORE: Zhang Yang, a businessman from Chongqing in southwest China, is
searching online forums for fellow entrepreneurs willing to cast aside security
concerns and join him on a scouting mission to Pakistan.
48, is one of a growing number of Chinese pioneers, sensing an opportunity
across the Himalayas in Pakistan, where Beijing has pledged to spend $57
billion on infrastructure projects as part of its Belt and Road initiative.
in the thousands, this second wave of Chinese arrivals are following in the
wake of workers on Belt and Road projects.
investors likely interested in taking majority stake in PSX
are opening restaurants and language schools, while others are working out what
products they could sell to a market of 208 million people, or what goods they
could make cheaply in Pakistan to sell around the world.
lot of industries are already saturated in China,” said Zhang, who has worked
in property, electrical appliances and household goods in China and says he
wants to explore the potential for setting up factories or importing Chinese
development is behind China, so it will hold better opportunities compared to
the new arrivals face dangers, creating a headache for Pakistani security
killing of two Chinese nationals in Balochistan in June highlighted the risks
posed by extremists, who may see them as soft targets.
does not release immigration data, but a source in the foreign ministry said
about 71,000 Chinese nationals visited in 2016.
senior immigration official added 27,596 visa extensions were granted to
Chinese that year, a 41% increase on 2015, suggesting more are staying in the
country for longer.
infrastructure splurge has helped revive Pakistan’s sputtering economy and
deepening ties between the two nations have turned Pakistan into a key cog in
China’s grand plan to build a modern-day Silk Road of land and sea trade routes
linking Asia with Europe and Africa.
the first phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as the Pakistan
leg of this new Silk Road is called, concentrated on infrastructure projects,
the second part will focus on setting up special economic zones and integrating
Chinese firms into the local economy to help Pakistan develop its industries
ranging from mining to agriculture.
has also surged to become by far the biggest source of foreign direct
investment (FDI) for Pakistan, topping $1 billion in 2016-17.
really needs foreign investment and we are not going to miss out on this …,”
said Miftah Ismail, Special Adviser to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. “We
won’t let them (militants) mess with the Chinese.”
receives friendly coverage in Chinese media and regularly features in state
broadcaster CCTV’s programmes on the Belt and Road initiative, which include
promotion of CPEC and interviews with Chinese workers living in the country.
Derek Wang, Deputy Chief Executive of Infoshare, an Islamabad-based consultancy
assisting Chinese entrepreneurs and businesses, said security was the number
one concern of Chinese newcomers.
is taking the threat seriously. Guards and police with automatic rifles shield
Chinese-staffed offices and language schools.
Chinese investment, technical education on a roll
to pick top young Imam as talent show enters finals
Lumpur - A hugely popular Malaysian TV search for young new Islamic leaders
stages its finale on Friday, after gaining worldwide attention and igniting new
enthusiasm for the religion among Muslim youth.
Young Imam show has seen 10 finalists hit the prime-time stage to recite verses
from Islam's holy book, wash corpses and slaughter sheep according to Muslim
rules, and persuade youngsters away from sex and drugs.
the reality-TV formula made popular through shows such as American Idol in the
US and The X Factor in Britain, the 10-week series has eliminated eight contestants.
two young men will fight it out to win the Young Imam title.
final challenge consists of the Young Imam finalists presenting a religious
sermon, reciting the Koran in rhythmic tones, singing religious hymns and
answering questions related to Islamic law," Izelan Basar, channel manager
with cable network Astro Oasis, told AFP.
play a broad role in Malaysia - where more than 60 percent of the 28 million
population are Muslim - including leading prayers at the mosque and counselling
shows' creators, who had a goal of making Islam more appealing to young people,
have been thrilled by its success. The official Facebook page has nearly 52 500
fans and the discussion board is crowded with comments.
1 000 guests, including the country's top clerics and religious affairs
minister, have been invited to the finals of the show at a convention hall
beside the National Mosque in the capital Kuala Lumpur.
90-minute programme will be aired live over the Astro Oasis network from 9pm
(1300 GMT) and giant screens have been placed outside the hall to allow fans
who could not enter to watch the show.
the series began in May, the 10 finalists, who were chosen from over 1 000
candidates, have been quarantined in a mosque dormitory and banned from using
phones, the Internet and television.
show - in which the contestants face written and practical tests on the
religion each week - has become a major hit after it attracted worldwide
interest and even the attention of young women and prospective mothers-in-law.
two finalists, religious teacher Hizbur Rahman Omar Zuhd and religious scholar
Muhammad Asyraf Mohamad Ridzuan - who are both married - said they were looking
forward to the finals.
I win or lose, I am grateful that I have learned a lot of things through this
programme," Hizbur, 27, a graduate of the prestigious religious school of
Al-Azhar University in Cairo, told Malay daily Harian Metro.
to God, I will try my best (in the finals) and focus on my preaching work after
this," 26-year-old Muhammad Asyraf, who like Hizbur was clad in a smart
black suit and matching skullcap, told the same newspaper.
winner will get a trip to Mecca to perform the hajj pilgrimage, a scholarship
to al-Madinah University in Saudi Arabia, and a job at a mosque.
sole judge who wields the weekly axe is a former grand imam of the national
mosque, who said the young imams have a duty to safeguard Islam and teach
Muslims to live harmoniously with other faiths.
are going to become good role models," Hasan Mahmood told AFP previously.
rising popularity of the show comes against a background of concern among
Malaysia's ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities over rising
"Islamisation" of the multicultural country and fears that tolerance
towards Christians, Hindus and others is diminishing.
simmering row over the use of the word "Allah" by non-Muslims saw
attacks on 11 churches and the dumping of severed pigs' heads at two mosques in
opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) is busy preparing its manifesto for
the 14th General Election (GE14) to be held by August 2018 at the latest. PH
cannot afford to repeat past mistakes and publish a strategically ambiguous
election manifesto as a simple public relations exercise — it needs to produce
a transition pact that clearly spells out what its victory would change and
what it would not.
Prime Minister Najib Razak inspects the United Malays National Organisation
(UMNO) youth during the annual assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, 10, December, 2015 (Photo: Reuters/Olivia Harris)
is a one-party state which has been ruled by the Malay-nationalist United
Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and its coalition partners since
independence from Britain in 1957. Malaysia is also a polarised society where
the majority Malay-Muslims and the minority Chinese, Indian and Bornean
non-Muslims have largely opposing views on Islamisation and pro Malay-Muslim
fundamental contradiction has helped UMNO’s party-state to survive previous
challenges since the opposition has never been able to win favour with both
blocs. In 1990, the opposition won the Chinese vote, but lost the Malays due to
their fear of losing political and religious dominance. In 1999, the opposition
won the Malay vote, but many Chinese feared an ethnic riot if UMNO performed
badly. In 2013, the opposition coalition won 51 per cent of the total vote, but
its Malay-Muslim support was only around 40 per cent. Thanks to partisan gerrymandering,
the UNMO-led Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition held on to power by a margin of 44
toward the coming election PH is aiming to win more Malay votes. The inclusion
of Mahathir Mohamad (formerly of UMNO and prime minister between 1981 and 2003)
as PH’s new chairman is a game changer. He fills the void left by the
Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS) which now collaborates with UMNO to pursue its
agenda to expand Syariah law.
now hope for a tsunami of Malay voters to sweep UMNO away. But there is a catch
to such optimism: communal incoordination risks foiling the opposition
coalition once again.
UMNO’s further shift to ultra-nationalism after 2013, Chinese votes appear
unlikely to swing back to BN. But with Mahathir evading talk of concrete
reforms, many Chinese who fear PH turning into a BN 2.0 may stay home on
election day offsetting any potential Malay swing to PH.
opposition coalitions have tried this sort of strategic ambiguity before.
Instead of taking clear positions on Islamisation and the pro-Malaya New
Economic Policy, they seized upon salient issues such as corruption and good
governance. But ambiguity is neither strategic nor possible this time around.
UMNO will continue — with the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party’s help — to warn
Malays that both Islam and Muslims are under threat. If PH responds by leaning
towards the Malays, more Chinese votes risk being lost.
populist and catch-all promises like repealing the Good and Sales Tax, a better
strategy for PH would be to enter into a transition pact with citizenry on how
it would manage regime change should it win. Such a pact should separate the
pro-Malay/Muslim policies which UMNO holds its ethnic constituency at ransom
with from the party-state, dismantle those features of the political system
which prevent genuine electoral competition and enable corruption, and find
better alternatives in inter-communal policies.
terms of making politics competitive, both the authoritarian and majoritarian
features of the party-state need to be eliminated.
dismantle authoritarianism, three institutional reforms are indispensable.
First, civil and political liberties must be reinforced to emphasise the
freedoms of expression, assembly and association. PH must also commit to media
freedom and to no detention without trial.
there must be judicial and prosecutorial reforms regarding the appointment,
promotion and retirement of judges as well as the establishment of an
independent prosecution separate from the attorney general.
political impartiality of the state apparatus — bureaucracy, police and the
military — must be enforced. State agencies and officials must be checked by
independent anti-corruption and ombudsman institutions with real regulatory
teeth. Such reforms may produce a majoritarian democracy, but leaves the risk
of democratic winner-takes-all politics which will likely further tear at
Malaysia’s bipolar social wounds. Hence, two more institutional reforms are
needed to dismantle majoritarianism.
electoral, parliamentary and cabinet reforms must be enacted — this includes a
more proportional electoral system and a term limit on prime ministership.
Powers need to be devolved to the states, the senate should be directly elected
and local elections restored. These reforms will end a concentration of power
at the top of the leadership, the root cause of the 1MDB scandal.
the same time, PH should also promise to avoid sweeping change without national
consensus on divisive issues like the pro-Malay ethnic preferential policy,
Islamisation as well as language and education. These issues should be
deliberated by broad-based consultative bodies to produce new policy
alternatives, which may be modified to become party manifestos in the 15th
General Election (GE15).
of repeating ‘strategic ambiguity’, PH should make clear that GE14 will only be
a ‘transition election’ from the party-state while the ‘founding election’ for
a new Malaysia will be GE15, when playing field is level.
The Ministry of Finance sold Rp 7 trillion ($524.82 million) of Islamic bonds
at an auction, above the indicative target of Rp 5 trillion, its financing and
risk management office said on Tuesday (29/08).
weighted average yield for Islamic T-bills maturing in February 2018 was
5.37394 percent, lower than the 5.47094 percent yield at the last auction on
project-based sukuk maturing in May 2019 had a weighted average yield of
6.39480 percent, lower than the previous auction's 6.75994 percent.
weighted average yield for the project-based sukuk maturing in May 2021 was
6.66883 percent, down from 7.01993 percent in the previous auction.
weighted average yield for the project-based sukuk maturing in August 2023 was
7.04945 percent, compared with 7.21905 percent at the last auction.
project-based sukuk maturing in November 2031 had a weighted average yield of
7.61844 percent, lower than the 7.84993 percent yield at the last auction.
Ulema Council seeks jail term for those giving, validating instant talaq
Sunni Ulema Council, a key Muslim body, has written to the union law ministry,
demanding jail term for those giving or validating instant talaq, which the
Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional.
Council’s position is at odds with the Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind’s hardline view of
the Supreme Court verdict. The Jamiat members dominate the All India Muslim
Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
regional president Matinul Haq Osama Qasimi has been on record that no
interference will be tolerated in the shariyat (codified Islamic laws) and the
body was studying the order before it goes for a review. The Jamiat is studying
the apex court order before it seeks a review.
Sunni Ulema Council’s first demand is that if a man gives his wife instant
talaq, he should be made liable to fork out 10 times the Mehr, an essential
payment the groom agrees to make at the time of nikah (marriage) to the woman.
amount is mentioned in the nikahnama (marriage contract). The two parties,
along with their witnesses, sign it.
the same time, the talaq giver should face two years’ imprisonment and be
liable to pay a fine of Rs 2 lakh.
demand is that any cleric who validates triple talaq should face imprisonment
of a year and a fine of Rs 1 lakh, which should be paid to the divorced woman.
Mohammad Salees, general secretary of the Ulema council, said:
have told the law minister that without tough laws, the decision of the Supreme
Court will be lost and this practice (instant talaq) will continue.”
practice has darkened the innumerable lives of women and children. It is time
to weed it out through law and awareness within the Muslim community,” he said.
August 2015, the council and many other bodies representing Muslim women had
taken up the issue of instant talaq with the All India Muslim Personal Law
Board (AIMPLB), asking it to initiate proactive measures for its complete
form of talaq has no sanction from the Quran or the Hadith whatsoever. Sadly,
the board didn’t act nor did it care to respond to us,” Salees said.
practice flourished because of the self-centred clergy which has ensnared
people. The Supreme Court decision is heart-warming but still a lot has to be
done,” he said.
council has suggested that the government should constitute a committee of
Muslim clerics and intellectuals with a mandate for abolition of this practice
and complete adoption of the process of divorce as explained in the Quran, the
holy book of Muslims.
our demands are met, these will deter Muslim men from divorcing women.Even if
they do go for divorce, the financial part at least will help them (the
women),” he said.
Muslim students to get scholarships on PM’s birthday
facility aimed at uplifting the economically backward
total of 300 economically backward Muslim students would be awarded the
Narendra Modi Scholarship on the Prime Minister’s 67th birthday on September
17, the Forum for Muslim Studies and Analysis (FMSA) announced on Tuesday.
scholarship was constituted by the FMSA, an Aligarh-based group of Muslim
intellectuals, in May last year.
Mohammad, the director of the FMSA, said: “The Prime Minister is concerned
about the problems of the minority community. I constituted the scholarship in
his name because it will empower the minority community educationally. Once
empowered, these students will make our country proud.”
year, a total of 100 students were awarded the scholarship of ₹5,000. But,
given the enthusiastic response it received, the FMSA decided to increase the
number of beneficiaries to 300.
year, more than 22,000 Muslim students had applied for the scholarship, 16,000
of whom were girls. It only showed the extent of desire among Muslims to study.
So, we decided to modify the scholarship amount to ₹3,000 and increase the
number of beneficiaries to 300,” said Mr. Mohammad.
added that the aim of the scholarship was to “carry forward the commitment of
the Prime Minister to Sab Ka Saath, Sab Ka Vikas”.
form for the scholarship has been uploaded on www.jasim.org. Students of
classes XI, XII, graduation and post-graduation are eligible to apply. The last
date for submitting the form is September 10.
a Kashmiri Pandit lady, Neelam (32) died of heart attack here at Batnag area of
Tral in Pulwama district on Tuesday, her Muslim neighbours immediately rushed
towards her house to console her family.
not only mourned at her demise, but also performed her last rites. According to
the family of the deceased, Neelam by
Tuesday morning complained of severe chest pain and within ten minutes
expired. Her death evoked a hysterical
reaction from her kids. The neighbors mostly Muslims thronged Neelam’s house to
console her family including her two little kids.
according to her husband, Ashok Kumar died due to cardiac arrest. “Since
yesterday evening she was not feeling well. I was planning to take her to Sub
District Hospital Tral but she died within no time,” Ashok said.
who clung to his roots and refused to leave the valley during 90s runs a bakery
shop outside his house at Batnag market. Shedding tears Ashok was seen being
consoled by his Muslim associates.
the news of her death broke, locals were inconsolable. A tearful Mohammad
Yousuf Naik said: “She was just like my mother and used to treat me like her own son.”
from adjoining villages Tral-I-Bala, Tral-I-Payeen reached her house to
participate in her last rites.
least three Muslim women in her neighborhood fainted when they saw Neelam lying
dead. “It is a tragic loss for our colony as we lost a polite and a dear friend. We will always miss her, “ said
Lovely, Neelam’s childhood friend.
their relatives from Jammu would reach Tral , the Muslims had kept all the
arrangements ready for the last rites.
next door neighbour Bashir Ahmed Bhat says: “This is our primary duty to help
our neighbours irrespective of their religion. Ashok is our neighbour and Islam
teaches us to fulfill the rights of neighbour.”
days after the Yogi Adityanath government launched a portal for the Uttar
Pradesh madrasas, the state government has announced geo-tagging for the
to a report in The Times of India, all madrasas across the state will be
geo-tagged through a GPS-based service in an attempt to weed out fake students
report states that the order issued on 31 July by the Adityanath government
also asked the madrasas to share maps of classrooms, photographs of the
building and teachers' banking details.
institutes have also been told to upload each employee's Aadhar details to the
newly launched portal. The government made it mandatory for the madrasas to be
registered on the portal, India Today reported.
this new system, 10,000 more accredited madrasas have to provide their
information, including photographs of employees. At present, around 8,000
madrasas in Uttar Pradesh are recognised by the government body Uttar Pradesh
Madrasa Shiksha Parishad. Among these, 560 are fully aided by the state.
madrasas also have to keep records of all functions conducted in their
institutions. Ahead of the Independence Day, the state government had directed
the madrasas to hold celebrations and videograph the event.
have repeatedly questioned the move. "If it is only in madrasas, does it
mean that our patriotism is being suspected?" asked All India Muslim
Personal Law Board member Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahli.
Ahead of Eid-ul-Azha, a section of Muslim clergy on Tuesday said the community
is filled with anxiety over the matter of fulfilling their religious duty of
qurbani (sacrifice) on the festival. The concern, said clerics, arose from the
number incidents of cattle vigilantes taking law in their hands, primarily
against the minority community, across the country in the recent past.
be assured there is law and order around the festival, a delegation met DGP
Sulkhan Singh in Lucknow on Tuesday. Led by Imam of Eidgah, Maulana Khalid
Rasheed Farangi Mahali, the delegation demanded there neither be obstruction in
the movement of sacrificial animals for the festival, nor any lapse of law and
will be celebrated on Saturday and the sacrifice ritual will continue to be
observed for the next two days. "We met the DGP with a memorandum of
demands for tight security around the festival because the community is worried
in the light of incidents of lawlessness in the recent past," said Maulana
Khalid, who is also chairperson of Islamic Centre of India. He added that
sacrifice is every Muslim's religious duty and security must be ensured against
any untoward incident.
delegation also comprised president of Jamat-e-Islami eastern UP and its
secretary Mohammad Naim and Shahid Ali, respectively, besides All India Sunni
Board president Maulana Mohammad Mushtaq and Sajjadanasheen of Dargah Shahmina
Shah, Sheikh Rashid Ali Minai.
SIMI members were on Tuesday sentenced to life imprisonment by a Bhopal special
court for attempted murder of a Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) activist in
Madhya Pradesh’s Khandwa town in 2009. While BJYM president Pramod Tiwari had
escaped unhurt, a BJYM activist was critically injured in the attack that took
place on the night of January 2, 2009. There were seven accused in the murder
case, but four of them were killed in an alleged encounter near Bhopal last
all other cases involving Madhya Pradesh’s SIMI activists, this case was also
shifted to Bhopal and the accused were produced in court through video
conferencing. Besides Abu Faisal — who was the key conspirator in the attack
and is facing trial in other terror-related cases — Abdullah Hussain and Raquib
were sentenced to life imprisonment for attempt to murder Dubey. The trio were
also sentenced to 10 years in jail for the attempt on Tiwari’s life by Special
Judge Girish Dixeet. Both the sentences will run concurrently.
conversion, marriage: Former SC judge turns down request to oversee NIA probe
Supreme Court (SC) judge R V Raveendran has turned down the request to
supervise the National Investigation Agency (NIA) investigation into Kerala
resident Hadiya’s conversion to Islam and her marriage with a Muslim named
Shefin Jahan. An SC bench comprising former Chief Justice J S Khehar and
Justice D Y Chandrachud had asked Raveendran to oversee the probe on August 16.
is a matter between the court and myself,’’ Raveendran said while confirming
that he had turned down the request. Sources said that Raveendran has stated
that he would not be in a position to oversee the probe. The NIA will now
approach the court to appoint another judge.
SC had initially considered appointing former judge K S Radhakrishnan to
supervise the probe. But it reconsidered the choice after Jahan’s lawyers
suggested that someone from outside Kerala should be appointed to ensure a fair
Delhi court today put Indian Mujahideen (IM) operative Yasin Bhatkal and eight
others on trial in two cases relating to the 2010 Jama Masjid blast. Additional
Sessions Judge Sidharth Sharma said there was enough evidence against them and
framed the charges.
accused persons pleaded not guilty and claimed trial. The court issued
production warrant against accused Azaz Saikh, who could not be produced from a
Mumbai jail where he is lodged. Besides Bhatkal, those who were put on trial
include Gauhar Aziz Khomani, Gayur Ahmad Jamali, Mohd Adil, Mohd Irshad Khan,
Mohd Aftab Alam, Kamal, Assadullah Akhtar and Zia-ur-Rehman.
accused Modh Qateel Siddiqui died during the pendency of the case, advocate M S
Khan, who appeared for the accused, said.
police had earlier filed charge sheet against eleven suspected IM members in
connection with the blast case, alleging that they had carried out the strike
to deter foreign nations from participating in the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth
bomb fitted in a car had exploded near the historic Jama Masjid here on
September 19, 2010, soon after two suspected IM operatives had opened fire at a
bus from which foreign tourists were descending near a gate of the mosque.
Taiwanese tourists had sustained bullet injuries in the firing incident for
which a separate case was lodged. Two seperate cases were filed in this regard.
While the first was about the blast, the second one was on the firing incident.
The police had earlier said that the IM operatives had planned that foreign
tourists found near Jama Masjid would be randomly shot at and a bomb blast
would be executed there for maximum casualty. It had alleged that Bhatkal had
prepared a pressure cooker fitted with improvised explosive device, which was
planted in the car parked outside the mosque.
threatening acid attacks sent to Muslims in Bradford
have launched a hate crime investigation after anonymous letters threatening
acid attacks on Muslims were posted in Bradford.
Yorkshire police said they were taking the threats “extremely seriously” and
had increased patrols in Hanover Square, a mainly Muslim inner-city area where
at least two residents received the letters last week.
literature shows an image of a sword and the St George’s flag with the words:
“Kill scum Muslims”. It questions why Muslim women wear burqas then states: “We
are now going to do acid attacks on anyone who wears the funny black masks
around your square & Bradford & other places.”
alleges that “three of ur male pigs” were grooming four white girls, then
states: “We know who the three male pigs are they are walking dead pigs.”
carried out extra patrols over the bank holiday weekend on Hanover Square, in
the Manningham area of Bradford near the city centre. Naz Shah, the Bradford
West MP, said she had reported the letters to police on Saturday.
Qayd, 27, one of the recipients of the letter, said his mother was afraid that
she would be targeted and that the threats had come “completely out of the
was shocked. My mum wears a burqa and she goes to town regularly so I was concerned
for her. When I explained it to her she realised the severity of it and was
afraid. You start wondering whether it’s safe to go out on their own.”
said the letter was delivered by second-class post and had a Lancashire
postmark, but that he believed it had been sent by someone who knows Hanover
Square and its residents.
recipient, who did not want to be identified beyond his first name, Shoab, said
the letter could raise tensions before a planned English Defence League (EDL)
march in Bradford on Saturday, which coincides with Eid celebrations.
said: “The police mentioned the EDL will be marching. It can worry you if you
really think about it – what if they’re something to do with it? But the EDL
have come and gone before, sometimes something tends to happen. It could erupt,
could be Friday or Saturday – a lot of times we’ll all be out to families,
people go out to restaurants in the town centre. There’s always that chance
something could happen.”
the Masjid Nimrah mosque, which broadcast a call for prayer on Monday
lunchtime, Masood Ahmad, 43, said the threats had concerned residents.
“Everybody’s shocked. There’s a lot of women in the street wearing the burqa,”
he said. “I didn’t know about the EDL [march] but if this spreads out it might
create a problem. It might be chaos here.”
letters follow a sharp rise in Islamophobic hate crime after the terror attacks
on Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge. The spike in anti-Muslim
incidents is thought to have fallen to normal levels following a surge of 500%
in Greater Manchester in the month after the arena bombing.
West Yorkshire police spokeswoman said: “A thorough investigation has been
launched and officers are working with the local community and partners to
identify and prosecute those responsible for this despicable crime.
understand the impact hate crime and hate incidents can have on our communities
and on individuals, and crimes of this nature will not be tolerated.”
Murtuja, the chair of advocacy group Just Yorkshire, which was set up to
restore race relations after the Bradford riots in 2001, said he was extremely
concerned that Muslims were having to shave their beards or remove hijabs as a
result of Islamaphobic threats.
is a time for calm heads and people in positions of power, locally and
nationally, need to become more visible in their stance towards protecting the
human rights of all communities, including the Muslim community.”
caught selling used military aircraft to Bahrain: Report
government of UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been caught selling used
military aircraft to Bahrain and other countries it officially categorizes as
human rights violators.
Ministry of Defence (MoD) has sold at least two former Royal Air Force (RAF)
C-130J Hercules transport aircraft from under a government-to-government deal
worth up to £30 million, the i News reported Monday.
aircraft, capable of tactical operations, parachute insertions and the air
dropping cargo, are likely to be dispatched to Saudi Arabia as part of
Bahrain’s contributions to the Riyadh regime’s brutal military aggression against
has sent F-16 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia to support Yemen operations, so I
think that’s how these C-130s will be used, as well as hunting safaris for the
King,” an aviation source with knowledge of the sale told the British news
MoD retired the aircraft after a major military and security review in 2015.
The ones purchased by Bahrain are currently undergoing refurbishment by
Marshall Aerospace Group at Cambridge airport, where the aircraft have been
seen sporting the Bahrain air force’s camouflage.
Smith, a spokesman for the Campaign Against Arms Trade, said the deal was an
“unequivocal statement of political and military support for the Bahraini
these aircraft are used to aid the Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen then it can
only intensify the humanitarian crisis,” he argued.
UK has also been providing the Manama regime’s security forces with training
and intelligence in its heavy-handed crackdown on a years-long popular uprising
against the ruling Al Khalifah family.
Bahrain, May’s government has inked major military deals with other repressive
regimes in the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia itself.
one of the biggest suppliers of weapons to Riyadh over the past 40 years,
London has provided Tornado and Eurofighter Typhoon jets along with training to
Saudi pilots participating in the Yemen war, which has killed over 12,000
has been heavily criticized for striking government-to-government deals as a bid
to hide the real amount of its weapons exports to other countries.
in his 70’s in Sweden has been given a fine of over £1,000 by a court after he
made disparaging remarks about Muslims on social media.
pensioner, who lives in the Swedish city of Gothenburg, was convicted by a
court last week on charges of hate speech against Muslims online. The comments
were made on a Swedish Facebook page which has around 4,000 members, and the
man is alleged to have called Muslims “monkeys” and said: “The only good Muslim
is a dead Muslim,” SVT reports.
court imposed a fine of 12,000 Swedish krona, or around £1,166, on the man
after finding him guilty.
speech crimes in Sweden have existed for many years but since the height of the
migrant crisis in 2015, there have been more and more arrests and fines.
Earlier this year, Sweden proposed to expand the definition of hate crimes to
include “gender expression and identity”.
the cases are speech that has been made online as was the case with a
70-year-old woman in Dalarna who “expressed a disparaging view of refugees” after
she claimed that migrants “set fire to cars, and urinate and defecate on the
Swedish government has also publicly made it clear that it does not endorse
critics of mass migration after earlier this year creating a “blacklist” of
politicians, political commentators, internet celebrities, and others by
blocking them from the official Swedish Twitter account.
on the blacklist was the Israeli ambassador to Sweden who commented on the move
saying: “Now that Israel‘s MFA and ambassador are blocked – Sweden is much
safer in reading Iran and others, that were not blocked.”
Fighting “Islamist terrorism” is France’s top foreign policy priority,
President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday, vowing to make his country a leading
power in an unstable, increasingly polarised world.
security for our citizens means that the fight against Islamist terrorism is
our first priority,” Macron told some 200 French diplomats gathered in Paris.
“There’s no place for naivety, nor for fear of Islam that confuses Islamism and
Islamic,” he said, adding that guaranteeing the security of the French was the
“raison d’etre” of the country’s diplomacy. Since early 2015, France has
suffered a series of terror attacks that have claimed more than 230 lives,
making it the country worst affected in western Europe.
armed forces are in action as part of the US-led international coalition
fighting IS in Syria and Iraq, while French soldiers are also fighting
jihadists in west Africa.
who took power in May on a promise to boost France’s international standing,
said he would work with the various powerbrokers in the Middle East — including
arch-rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia — to try eradicate the jihadist threat.
have chosen [their camp]. It’s a mistake. The strength of our diplomacy is to
speak to all sides,” he said in the first major foreign policy speech of his
five-year term.The 39-year-old also insisted there was no alternative to the
2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which saw sanctions eased on the Islamic republic
in exchange for curbs to its nuclear programme. It has been fiercely opposed by
US President Donald Trump who has called it a “terrible” deal.
is no alternative to the non-proliferation agenda. It enables a constructive
and demanding relationship with Iran,” Macron said, underlining one of many
policy disagreements between him and the US leader.
with weak approval ratings, Macron was looking to burnish his foreign policy
credentials with the speech, which is a fixture on France’s political calendar.
won kudos for making a bold start on the international stage, using frank and
uncompromising language with both Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin
within his first weeks in office. He raised human rights with Putin and spoke
out against Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris
accord on fighting climate change before later rolling out the red carpet to
the Republican leader.
youngest-ever president has also irked some European partners, notably Poland,
which he accused of “going against European interests in many areas” last week.
Tuesday, Macron singled out Venezuela for condemnation in far stronger terms
than his European allies, accusing President Nicolas Maduro of creating a
“dictatorship” in the crisis-hit South American country.
dictatorship is trying to survive at an unprecedented humanitarian cost,” he
said, echoing the tough US position on the country.
week the White House piled financial pressure on Caracas, restricting access to
vital US capital markets.
also fleshed out his plans for deepening the integration of the European Union,
which he placed at the heart of his successful election campaign at the head of
a new centrist political party. “We should imagine a Europe of several formats:
going further with those who want to advance, while not being held back by
states which want... to progress slower or not as far,” he said.
Prime Minister Saadeddin al-Othmani said Monday that ongoing social unrest in
the northern Al-Rif region would only subside when the nation’s youth had
adequate job opportunities.
made the remarks while giving a speech at the first meeting of the
government-run Ministerial Committee for Employment, which convened in capital
Rabat on Monday to discuss means of developing the national employment sector.
government must create enough jobs to prevent vulnerability and
marginalization,” al-Othmani said, stressing that highly unemployment rates
continued to pose a “real problem” for the country’s young people.
prime minister’s comments come amid ongoing social unrest in Morocco’s northern
Al-Rif region, where for the last 10 months young demonstrators have demanded
jobs and an end to perceived government corruption.
government is looking for solutions to the unemployment problem,” al-Othmani
said. “We want to facilitate the creation of jobs for young people.”
the launch of several past initiatives, government efforts to reduce
unemployment over the past decade have met with limited success,” he conceded.
to Morocco’s state-run High Commission for Planning, the national unemployment
rate stood at 9.3 percent for the second quarter of this year -- up from 9.1
percent in the same period last year.
the last 10 months, Morocco’s northern Al-Rif region -- especially the flashpoint
city of Al-Hoceima -- has been rocked by protests by local youth demanding jobs
and stepped-up regional development.
several occasions, demonstrations have been forcibly dispersed by security
forces, leading to injuries -- and at least one death -- among protesters.
unrest first erupted last October when a local fisherman, Mohsen Fikri, was
crushed to death by a garbage truck in Al-Hoceima while protesting attempts by
police to confiscate his fish.
US-led airstrikes leave 18 Syrian civilians dead in Raqqah
than a dozen civilians have been killed after the US-led coalition purportedly
fighting the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group carried out a series of aerial
assaults in Syria’s militant-held northern city of Raqqah.
so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that eight people were
killed on Tuesday, when US-led warplanes pounded Hadiqa al-Baydha neighborhood
in the city, located about 455 kilometers (283 miles) northeast of the capital
development came only a day after 10 civilians, including six men and four
women, lost their lives in US-led aerial attacks against residential
neighborhoods of Raqqah.
Observatory said the victims were all members of an internally displaced family
from the ancient city of Palmyra.
Britain-based monitoring group noted that Monday’s fatalities took to 816 the
number of civilians, who have lost their lives in US-led airstrikes against
Raqqah between June 5 and August 28. The figure included 204 children and 131
Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in two separate letters
sent to UN Secretary General António Guterres and rotating President of the UN
Security Council Amr Abdellatif Aboulatta on August 24, stated that the US-led
coalition was perpetrating war crimes and crimes against humanity through
aerial bombardment of residential neighborhoods.
Syrian Foreign Ministry also stressed that the military alliance was using
internationally-banned white phosphorus munitions in flagrant violation of
international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be
Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from
the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of fulfilling its declared aim of
city of Raqqah, which lies on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was
overrun by Daesh terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for
most of the Takfiris’ administrative and control tasks the following year.
is estimated that some 300,000 civilians are trapped inside Raqqah, including
80,000 displaced from other parts of Syria. Thousands have fled in recent
months, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs believes about 160,000 people remain in the city.
June 6, the US-backed militiamen from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces
(SDF) said they had launched an operation aimed at pushing Daesh out of Raqqah.
million pilgrims have arrived at the holy city Mecca for the Islamic pilgrimage
of Hajj - the largest of its kind in the world.
year, the first day of the pilgrimage will be on 30 August and it will end on 4
September, Saudi Arabia’s High Judicial Court confirmed.
complete one of the pillars of Islam, all Muslims are required to make the
pilgrimage at least once in their lifetimes if they have the means to do so.
from Iran will once again be allowed to attend this year after authorities
lifted a ban on its citizens from travelling to its middle eastern rival.
had barred from making the journey last year, following a stampede in 2015 that
killed more than 2,400 pilgrims, including 464 Iranians.
disaster sparked bitter recriminations between the two nations over Saudi
Arabia’s custodianship of the holy sites of Mecca and Medina.
have risen as both states supported opposing sides in conflicts in Syria, Yemen
90,000 Iranians are expected to attend the pilgrimage this year, the director
of the Hajj at Iran’s Hajj and Pilgrimage Organisation told state media.
has also opened its borders to Qatari pilgrims.
Salwa border had been shut after Saudi, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates
cut diplomatic ties with Qatar in June, after accusing the state of supporting
extremist Islamist groups.
officials in Saudi Arabia have said they are ready to deal with another
stampede or any outbreak of disease this year.
to the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper, unknown assailants fired at an
FSA-affiliated Jeish al-Izza terrorist group's field commander named Abdo
Shokat and his assistant Yahya al-Kharboutli near the road leading to the
village of Moqa near Khan Sheikhoun city in Southern Idlib.
al-Izza issued a statement, accusing the Syrian army and its allies of the
assassination attempt, noting that Jeish al-Izza is not pursuing a hostile
approach against other groups in Northern Syria.
the sources affiliated to the terrorists in Idlib said that Jeish al-Izza has
accused the Syrian army because it is afraid of al-Nusra Front (Tahrir al-Sham
Hay'at or the Levant Liberation Board) - which is the main culprit behind such
assassinations - and its annihilation by al-Nusra.
reports said that the terrorist groups have intensified assassination
operations in Idlib after Doha and Riyadh displayed their differences and
differences between Saudi Arabia and Qatar surfaced, Abdullah Muhammad
al-Muhaysini, the commander and Mufti (religious leader) of Tahrir al-Sham
Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board), called on other terrorist groups to merge
with al-Nusra Front under this pretext that Riyadh wants to withdraw support
for the militants and will surrender all of them to the US at the end.
also asked Yasser Abdolrahim, one of the FSA commanders, to join al-Nusra but
he didn’t comply with the demand.
escaped an assassination attempt after rejecting al-Muhaysini's proposal and
threatened him of revenge.
sources also underlined that the terrorist groups in Idlib are facing a
deplorable situation as assassinations have increased, adding that al-Nusra is
using the darkened ties between Doha and Riyadh and wants to persuade other
terrorist groups, including the FSA, to merge with al-Nusra by annihilation of
tensions in relations between Hamas and Tehran on the crisis in Syria, the
Hamas leaders have decided to revive the ties that they had with Iran before
2011," the Arabic-language al-Akhbar wrote in an analysis on Tuesday.
there are signs showing that Hamas has no problem with the establishment of
relations with Damascus," it added.
Arab daily underlined that election of Hamas's former chief in the Gaza Strip,
Ismail Haniya, as the head of the Palestinian resistance group and Sinwar,
freed in a 2011 prisoner swap with Israel after more than 20 years in jail, as
Hamas' new chief in the Gaza Strip following an internal election also caused
certain changes in the group's strategies.
said on Monday that it has restored relations with Iran and is gearing up for
future hostilities with Israel.
told reporters that Iran is now “the largest backer financially and militarily”
of Hamas’s armed wing. It was his first meeting with journalists since taking
up his post in February.
said that with Iran’s help, Hamas is accumulating military power in preparation
for a battle for “the liberation of Palestine”.
is “developing our military strength in order to liberate Palestine,” Sinwar
said, but he also stressed that it does not seek war for now “and takes every
effort to avoid a war… At the same time we are not afraid of a war and are
ready for it.”
army men clashed with ISIL and drove them out of the town of al-Tayebeh and
several positions overlooking Abu Hakfah hill, East of Tal (hill) al-Albawi in
military source said that ISIL lost a number of militants in the army attack,
adding that the army has tightened noose on the terrorists in Eastern Hama.
said earlier today that the Syrian Air Force bombed heavily the remaining
positions of ISIL in Eastern Hama, inflicting heavy casualties on the
fighter jets targeted ISIL's defense lines in the town of Aqayrabat and the
villages of Rasm al-Abd, Um Meil and in the depth of Badiyeh (desert) , killing
and wounding a large number of terrorists and destroying their equipment.
a military source said that ISIL has been trying to retreat towards Deir Ezzur
after suffering heavy defeats in Aqayrabat region in recent days but they faced
heavy bombardments of the warplanes.
the meantime, the terrorist groups deployed in the outskirts of al-Latamina
town in Northern Hama violated the ceasefire by targeting the army's positions
source said that the pro-government troops are making final preparations to
storm the strategic T-2 Pumping Station along the Western borders of Deir Ezzur
military source reported that ISIL is facing shortage of fighters in al-Sukhnah
region in Eastern Homs while the Syrian pro-government forces have deployed a
large number of troops in the same region.
local sources reported that the army soldiers, backed up by Syrian and Russian
warplanes, have recaptured several points along the al-Sukhnah-Deir Ezzur
Highway, liberating over 30km of territory.
sources further said that the army units has managed to advance to the
outskirts of Haloubah following the liberation of Kasrat al-Faraj, Wadi
Al-Buwayb, and Jadidat Al-Huwayz regions, reminding that Haloubah is an
important town located along the Sukhnah-Deir Ezzur Highway.
well-informed source said earlier today that the army soldiers carried out a
night attack on ISIL's positions in Tal (hill) al-Qariya around Deir Ezzur's
airbase, killing or wounding a number of terrorists and destroying their
source added that the army seized all the weapons of the ISIL in the attack.
army units engaged in fierce clashes with Al-Nusra terrorists after they
launched simultaneous attacks on pro-government forces' positions in the
villages of Tal Dareh, Qabah al-Kurdi, Zahrah al-Dibeh and al-Rabiyeh
South-East of Hama city and managed to fend off their offensives.
army soldiers further carried out a rapid counter-attack and took back all lost
land in the village of Tal Dareh, killing and wounding a number of Al-Nusra
the meantime, the army's artillery units pounded Al-Nusra positions in
al-Satahaiyat and al-Madajen regions near Tal Dareh, inflicting several
casualties on the terrorists.
Arab media outlet reported on Monday that the ISIL terrorists were trying hard
to lift the Syrian Army troop's siege on their last stronghold in Badiyeh
(desert) in Eastern Hama and flee towards terrorist-held regions in other
Arabic-language al-Hadath news quoted a field source as saying that the ISIL
terrorists stormed the army positions in the villages of Salba, al-Makiman and
Jana al-Albawi in Eastern Hama to boost their defense lines to prevent further
advances of the army men in Aqayrabat region.
sources said that 500 gunmen that had handed over their weapons to the Syrian
Army and applied for government pardoning in Tal Decoh, Ba'ar al-Qasab, Sis and
Mak'houl regions in Eastern Ghouta and in the village of al-Hawayan in marginal
part of Badiyeh (desert) East of Damascus province, received government's
amnesty and returned to normal line.
Russian Defense Ministry said in its latest report last week that militants in
more regions handed over their weapons to relevant officials and joined the
peace agreement with the Syrian Army.
Russian ministry's statement said that militants in over 2,202 regions, town
and villages have thus far laid down arms and joined reconciliation plan with
the Syrian government and army.
Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi rejected Hezbollah's deal to move ISIS elements
from the Lebanese borders to the Syrian-Iraqi ones.
militias have allowed elements of ISIS to ride buses to get out of Jroud and go
to Deir al-Zour under an agreement involving the Syrian regime amid
controversial accusations that Hezbollah is making deals at the expense of the
militias in Lebanon was lately accused of the obstruction of national political
will and the undermining the efforts of Lebanese institutions. It was against
negotiations with ISIS and Nusrah groups and eventually got involved in the
for the abducted soldiers, Hezbollah launched a battle called clearing Jroud
from terrorists, set the launching date, before retreating and making a deal
with the so-called terrorists and opening a safe route for their retreat.
pushed the state to hand three of the security prisoners in Roumieh prison in
exchange for a number of its fighters who were received as heroes.
Lebanese decision to eliminate ISIS in Jroud, came with regional and
international blessing. It was met with many obstacles and criticisms by Hezbollah,
who refused again to negotiate with ISIS, but then facilitated the exit of ISIS
fighters and their families to Deir al-Zour in front of the whole world.
most prominent scene was that ISIS fighters turned themselves in to Hezbollah
instead of the Lebanese army.
the army was on its way to eliminate ISIS in Lebanon and restore the authority
of the state, a cease-fire agreement was imposed, abandoning its precondition
to know the fate of its abducted soldiers; the agreement was made by Hezbollah
and the Syrian regime.
final battle scene looked as such; Hezbollah won by getting out its captured
fighters from Al-Nusra, the latter moved to a secure area, while ISIS for the
first time got out safe and strengthened its front in Deir al-Zour.
United Arab Emirates urged Iran and Turkey on Monday to end what it called
their “colonial” actions in Syria, signaling unease about diminishing Gulf Arab
influence in the war.
to regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia, the UAE opposes Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad and his backer Iran, and is wary of Turkey, a friend of Islamist
forces the UAE opposes throughout the Arab world.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan urged “the exit of those
parties trying to reduce the sovereignty of the Syrian state, and I speak here
frankly and clearly about Iran and Turkey.”
was speaking at a news conference with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, whose
country helps Assad militarily.
Iran and Turkey continue the same historical, colonial and competitive behavior
and perspectives between them in Arab affairs, we will continue in this
situation not just in Syria today but tomorrow in some other country,” Sheikh
six-year-old war in Syria has dragged in regional and international players who
have sought to advance their interests there: Iran has sent troops and military
support to shore up Assad's rule as he has battled mostly rebels backed by
Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states.
Syrian army and its allies have regained lost territory with the help of
Russian air strikes since 2015. At the same time, ISIS is being pushed back
from strongholds in Eastern Syria by the Syrian army and a rival offensive by
Kurdish and Arab rebels backed by the United States.
expanded Kurdish influence along its border with Syria, US ally Turkey has
grown increasingly uneasy about the rebels' armed thrust.
and Iran have discussed possible joint military action against Kurdish militant
groups, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday.
and Sheikh Abdullah said they agreed on a need for a negotiated end to the war.
Russia is helping shepherd talks in the Kazakh capital Astana which has already
produced “de-escalation” zones to reduce combat in three parts of Syria.
said Russia hoped that efforts to unify the positions of Syria's disparate
opposition would aid the peace process.
urges Pakistan not to turn Afghanistan into its regional rivalry hub
leader of Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin Hekmyat has urged the regional countries,
specifically the neighboring Pakistan to refrain from efforts aimed at turning
Afghanistan into its regional rivalry hub.
a meeting with the Sikh and Hindu Afghan nationals, Hekmatyar said “We want
peace in Afghanistan and the region and the neighboring countries should help
Afghanistan in bring peace and stability.”
further added at a time only Afghanistan was burning in the flames of war but
today the fire has further spread into the other countries.
leader of Hezb-e-Islami warned that the fire and flames of war will further
spread and will cover the whole region if peace does not return to Afghanistan.
said “We want peace and friendly relations with all in the region and I have
urged the Pakistani and Indian Ambassadors not to bring their rivalry into
comes as the Afghan officials have long been insisting that Pakistan harbors
the anti-government armed militants, specifically the Taliban and Haqqani
network leaders who are planning and coordinating attacks in Afghanistan.
has long feared regarding the role of its arch rival India in Afghanistan and
often blames the country for using the Afghan soil to plan attacks inside the
execute two important ISIS leaders in Nangarhar province
Taliban insurgents have executed two important leaders of the Islamic State of
Iraq and Syria Khorasan in Nangarhar province.
to reports, the two local ISIS leaders were initially arrested by the Taliban
insurgents and were executed on charges of killing civilians and Taliban
provincial government in Nangarhar also confirmed the execution of the two ISIS
statement by the media department of Nangarhar government said the two ISIS
leaders were executed in the restive Bati Kot district.
statement further added one of the slain ISIS leaders was identified as Qadir
who was in charge of a group of fifty fighters and was arrested from Bati Kot
district where he was executed shortly after his apprehension.
other ISIS leader detained and executed by the Taliban insurgents has been
identified as commander Nasir who was arrested from Momand Dara area.
to Nangarhar government, the two ISIS leaders were involved in the killing of
dozens of the local residents and Taliban insurgents.
reacts at Ata Mohammad Noor’s ‘Butcher of Kabul’ remarks
Hezb-e-Islami led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar harshly reacted at the remarks of
Balkh governor Ata Mohammad Noor, calling the Chief Executive of
Jamiat-e-Islami a ‘Warlord’ and slave of the outsiders.
party published an article in response to the criticisms of Ata Mohammad Noor
and questioned his accusations, specifically the slave of Iran accusation,
calling Noor slave and defense attorney of Iran.
party also added that the speech delivered by Noor on Sunday proves that he is
a slave and works for the outsiders.
says its leader expects good relations with all the foreign countries and
specifically with the regional States, warning that the party will stand
against any moves that are against the interests of the country and its
religion and the criticisms by Hekmatyar have always been directed to such
regards to the question of Noor regarding the whereabouts of Hekmatyar during
the war, the party said Hekmatyar was inside the country and has returned and
lives with dignity among his people and supporters.
party compared Noor to an empty Pepsi bottle who has been thrown away after
used by the outsiders.
latest exchange of heated criticisms among the two prominent parties are on the
rise during the recent months and specifically after Hekmatyar used strong and
hitting words against the Jamiat-e-Islami leaders and figures.
on Sunday called Hekmatyar the ‘Butcher of Kabul’ as he renewed his stance
against the latest upheavals, mainly involving the heated exchange of words
between the two prominent political parties.
prominent local leaders of the Taliban group were among at least fourteen
militants killed in airstrikes conducted in eastern Laghman province of
in the 201st Silab Corps of the army in the East are saying that the militants
were targeted in the past 24 hours during the counter-terrorism clearance
officials further added that the insurgents were attempting to smuggle weapons
and ammunitions when they were targeted.
least four insurgents were also wounded and several weapons and ammunition were
destroyed in the airstrikes, the officials said.
anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not
commented regarding the reports so far.
is among the relatively calm provinces in East of Afghanistan but the
anti-government armed militant groups have increased their insurgency
activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.
least eight Taliban insurgents including their key local commanders were killed
in a drone strike conducted by the US forces in this province earlier this
least five people were killed and eight others were wounded in the suicide
attack in Kabul city this morning.
Ministry of Interior spokesman Najib Danish confirmed the final toll hours
after the incident took place close to Massoud Square.
further added that a security guard of a private bank where the incident took
place was also among those killed.
said at least five people have been killed in total and eight others have
group or individual has so far claimed responsibility behind today’s attack
which followed four days after a deadly attack in the city left around thirty
incident on Friday took place close to Khair Khana area o the city after a
number of armed insurgents belonging to the ISIS terrorist group stormed a
groups have accused the Burmese army of burning down villages and shooting
Rohingya Muslim civilians as part of a crackdown on insurgents in Rakhine
has driven thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing towards Bangladesh for safety,
along with a smaller exodus of ethnic Rakhine Buddhists, where they face
growing danger of sickness and attempts by the Bangladesh authorities to send
Burmese government has blamed Rohingya insurgents for the violence, including
launched coordinated attacks last week against police patrols, with the
government giving an official death toll of 96, although the actual number is
likely to be higher.
the government, in official statements, and its critics, in posts on social
media often accompanied by video clips, said there was widespread burning of
buildings and even whole neighbourhoods in Maungdaw township in northern
terrorists blew out improvised bombs, set fire the villages and attacked the
police outposts in Region-2 of Maungtaw yesterday from the morning to
afternoon," an English-language statement issued by the Information
Times, an online news website serving the Rohingya community, said Burmese
troops and border guard police burned down 1,000 homes in actions beginning
Saturday and continuing on Monday.
sides' claims are difficult to verify, because the government denies most
journalists access to the area.
York-based Human Rights Watch said satellite photos appear to show widespread
burning in 10 areas of northern Rakhine.
the causes of the fires could not be ascertained, it noted that it
"compared the locations of these fires with witness statements it has
collected and media reports, and found a correlation with some reported incidents
where residences have allegedly been deliberately burned."
group urged the government to "grant access to independent monitors to
determine the sources of fires and assess allegations of human rights
Rohingya insurgent group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA, took
responsibility for Thursday night's attacks on more than 25 locations, saying
they were in defence of Rohingya communities that had been brutalised by
government forces. They vowed to continue to defend the communities.
treatment of around 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya in Burma has become the biggest
challenge for national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been accused by Western
critics of not speaking out on behalf of the long-persecuted minority.
Rohingya have faced severe discrimination and were the targets of violence in
2012 that killed hundreds and drove about 140,000 people — predominantly
Rohingya — from their homes to camps for the internally displaced, where most
has sent 550 of them back since Monday
Muslims fleeing to Bangladesh from escalating violence in Myanmar face the
growing danger of sickness and attempts by the Bangladesh authorities to send
them home, despite a United Nations plea that they be allowed to seek shelter.
series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security forces in the
north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Friday has triggered a fresh exodus to
Bangladesh of Muslim villagers trying to escape the violence.
least 109 people have been killed in the clashes in Myanmar, according to the
government, most of them militants but including members of the security forces
border guards told Reuters they had sent about 550 Rohingya back across the Naf
river that separates the two countries since Monday, despite an appeal by U.N.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for Dhaka to allow Rohingya to seek safety.
patrols were also trying to block people from crossing the frontier.
top UN human rights official, Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, called on Myanmar on
Tuesday to ensure its security forces refrained from using disproportionate
force, adding that the political leadership had a duty to protect all civilians
turn of events is deplorable. It was predicted and could have been prevented,”
National Security Adviser Thaung Tun said at a news conference that Myanmar had
come under attack and had the full right to defend itself. He added that
“security personnel have been instructed to make sure that innocent civilians
are not harmed”.
is already host to more than 4,00,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled
Buddhist-majority Myanmar since the early 1990s. Dhaka has asked the U.N. to
pressure Myanmar over its treatment of the Muslim minority, insisting it cannot
accept any more. Still, more than 8,700 have registered in Bangladesh since
Friday, the UN said.
BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) - Nearly 9,000 Rohingya Muslims, many sick and
fearing for their lives, have fled the worst violence to grip northwest Myanmar
in at least five years, while thousands more are stuck at the Bangladesh border
or preparing to reach it in coming days.
series of coordinated attacks by Rohingya insurgents on security forces in the
north of Myanmar’s Rakhine state on Friday and ensuing clashes triggered the
Rohingya exodus, while the government evacuated thousands of Rakhine Buddhists.
United Nations, while condemning the attacks, pressured Myanmar to protect
civilian lives without discrimination and appealed to Bangladesh to let those
fleeing the military counteroffensive through.
situation is very terrifying, houses are burning, all the people ran away from
their homes, parents and children were divided, some were lost, some are dead,”
Abdullah, 25, a Rohingya from Mee Chaung Zay village in Buthidaung region told
Reuters by telephone, struggling to hold back his tears.
said he was preparing to flee.
least 109 people have been killed in the clashes with insurgents, according to
the government, most of them militants but also members of the security forces
treatment of about 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya in Myanmar has become the
biggest challenge for national leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been accused by
Western critics of not speaking out on behalf of a minority who have long
complained of persecution.
Rohingya are denied citizenship in Myanmar and regarded as illegal immigrants,
despite claiming roots there that go back centuries.
violence marks a dramatic escalation of a conflict that has simmered since
October, when a similar, but much smaller, series of Rohingya attacks on
security posts prompted a fierce military response. The United Nations said
security forces likely committed crimes against humanity in that offensive.
a Rohingya villager still in Myanmar, said four out of six hamlets in his
village had been burned down by security forces, prompting all residents to
flee toward Bangladesh.
and thousands of terrified villagers gathered at the Kyee Hnoke Thee village at
the foot of the Mayu mountain range.
with his wife and five-year-old daughter Abdullah they cooked sticky rice,
fetched plastic sheets and empty water bottles, preparing for a 20 km (12
miles), days-long trek in the monsoon rain through the mountains to the border.
am waiting for all of my relatives to leave together with my family as soon as
possible,” said Abdullah.
is already host to more than 400,000 Rohingya refugees who have fled
Buddhist-majority Myanmar since the early 1990s.
has asked the United Nations to pressure Myanmar over its treatment of the
Muslim minority, insisting it cannot accept any more. More than 8,700 Rohingya
have registered in Bangladesh since Friday, the United Nations said.
another 4,000 people were stranded in no man’s land between the two countries
near Taung Bro village, where temporary shelters stretched for several hundred
meters on a narrow strip between the Naf river and Myanmar’s border fence.
Rohingya trying to enter Bangladesh were sick and at least six have died after
making the crossing, an aid worker said, adding that fear of being caught and
sent back meant some refused to seek help.
Shaheen Abdur Rahman, a doctor at the Cox’s Bazar hospital in Bangladesh said
15 people have been admitted there since last week, all with gunshot wounds
varying from grazes to one with bleeding in his lung. Four very serious cases
were referred to the regional city of Chittagong.
also included fractures that could be from beatings or accidental falls while
fleeing, he said.
don’t discriminate. Everyone coming to this hospital, whether they’re
Bangladeshi or not from Bangladesh, we provide due service to them....we know
there’s unrest in the neighboring country so we are ready for this,” said
officials have said the country had come under attack and it had the full right
to defend itself, adding that “security personnel have been instructed to make
sure that innocent civilians are not harmed”.
keeping an eye on Pakistanis who ‘fought abroad’
The National Counterterrorism Authority (Nacta) has begun the process of
compiling data on Pakistan-based individuals that are suspected of involvement
with terrorist organisations abroad, the National Assembly Standing Committee
on Interior was told on Tuesday.
chief Ihsan Ghani said the authority had completed the task of data compilation
on suspected militants who had fought in conflict zones such as Yemen, Iraq or
are in the process of having the data verified from federal and provincial
departments,” he told the committee during a briefing on the status of
implementation on the National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism and
verification process would help sift those who went to these areas to earn a
livelihood from those who posed an actual threat.
point of the exercise was to minimise the blowback on Pakistan once these
suspected fighters returned to the country after groups such as the so-called
Islamic State (IS) began losing ground in Iraq.
Nacta chief detailed measures to choke terrorists’ financial networks, saying
that a task force had been established under the authority to coordinate
efforts in this regard.
on updating the list of those individuals who were placed on the Fourth
Schedule of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) 1997 was also shared with the committee.
The bank accounts of around 5,000 of the more than 8,000 individuals on the
list had been frozen, he said, while they could no longer be issued passports
or gun licences.
Ghani revealed plans to develop a mobile phone app to assess hate speech, where
local authorities could upload any suspected speech on the app, which would
relay it to the authority for vetting. He also apprised the committee of a
national policy to counter violent extremism, which had been approved by the
addition, an official of the interior ministry told the participants about
plans to re-validate all existing arms licences and confiscate all unlicensed
weapons across the country. A committee, chaired by Prime Minister Shahid
Khaqan Abbasi himself, would review the policy on prohibited bore weapons, the
The population of the seven Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) has
grown by 57 per cent over the past 19 years despite the fact that most
residents have moved to settled areas because of military operations against
militants in the region.
to the provisional figures of the 2017 census compiled by the Pakistan Bureau
of Statistics, the population of Fata stands at five million as compared to
3.2m of the 1998 census.
slightly over 1m people, Bajaur Agency becomes the most populated tribal agency
with an increase of 84pc from the 595,227 people who lived there in 1998.
Agency comes second with 986,973 residents with an increase of 80.5pc from
546,730 people in 1998.
Agency is third with 619,553 residents with more than 38pc increase in its
population from 448,310 people in the last census.
Waziristan ranks fourth with 679,185 residents with a growth of 58pc from
429,841 people in 1998.
Waziristan comes fifth with a population of 543,254 with a 51pc increase from
361,246 people who lived there in 1998.
Agency ranks last in the seven tribal agencies with 254,356 residents compared
to 225,441 in 1998, registering an increase of 12.8pc. It is the only tribal
agency which posted the least growth in its population perhaps because of the
migration to the settled areas.
Frontier Regions (FR) are a group of small administrative units lying
immediately to the east of the tribal agencies. The overall administration of
these regions is also controlled by the Fata secretariat.
Asks CDA to Avoid Direct Interactions With Foreign Diplomats
Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) on Tuesday directed the Capital Development
Authority (CDA) not to directly entertain foreign diplomats.
said all communications and visits of diplomats to the CDA and the Metropolitan
Corporation Islamabad (MCI) offices should take place through the Foreign
senior officer of the ISI met Mayor Sheikh Anser Aziz, who is also the acting
chairman of the CDA, at the CDA headquarters.
meeting was held a day after Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost visited the
CDA headquarters and held a meeting with the mayor.
today an ISI officer held a meeting with me. He discussed some security-related
issues,” the mayor told Dawn.
asked about any instruction from the ISI, the mayor said: “The officer told me
not to entertain diplomats directly and involve the Foreign Office in the
process. We are already following this protocol.”
in the CDA said the Iranian ambassador visited the CDA headquarters to get a
property issue of the embassy in F-6 sector resolved.
don’t remember the exact issue but I think the Iranian embassy wants to renovate
its building in F-6. I have already nominated my focal person who is dealing
with the embassy staff,” the mayor said.
a CDA officer on the condition of anonymity said the meeting between the ISI
officer and the mayor was already planned and had nothing to do with the visit
of the Iranian diplomat.
officer of the CDA added that there were chances that the ISI officer had also
discussed the reconstruction of the US embassy building in violation of the
bylaws as recently pointed out by auditors.
CDA is the custodian of Diplomatic Enclave which houses embassies and foreign
missions. The embassies often interact with the CDA for resolving their
CDA also allocates land for the embassies and being regulatory body approves
their building plans. Currently, the civic agency is in hot water for its
failure to stop the violation of bylaws in the reconstruction of the US embassy
building as highlighted by the Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP).
AGP report said the CDA board in June 2012 had decided to increase the floor
area of the building. It had also decided that the number of storeys would be
report said it was decided that before the implementation of the decision the
case would be forwarded to the Cabinet Division for the approval of the prime
minister. The board had also decided to hold on the no-objection certificate
(NOC) for the embassy building till a final decision by the prime minister.
federal auditors said the building control directorate of the civic agency had
approved the building plan of the US embassy in January 2012, covering
1,734,212.23 square feet for eight floors in contradiction of the bylaws. But
the civic agency in June the same year decided that the revision of the building
bylaws would be forwarded to the prime minister.
auditors said though an approval by the prime minister was pending, the
construction of the embassy building was started and was now near completion.
The Frontier Corps on Tuesday arrested at least 19 suspects and seized a huge
cache of arms and ammunition from their possession. The arrests and recovery
were made during an operation conducted under the Operation Raddul Fasaad in
Orakzai Agency. The seized weapons are included RPG-7, rounds of mortars and
rockets of different origins. The FC officials arrested six suspected
terrorists and 13 facilitators and destroyed their seven hideouts in the
agency. In addition, the Frontier Corps is also establishing new posts to deny
any space to terrorists and their facilitators with the assistance of local
leaving settlements means Tel Aviv not after peace: Arab League
Arab League has said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent
remarks about never leaving settlements show that the Tel Aviv regime does not
League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit made the remarks on Tuesday, and “strongly
denounced” Netanyahu’s remarks.
Gheit considers this stance, which is utterly rejected, as something that
cannot come from a person who seeks peace,” read a statement released by the
Monday, Netanyahu vowed to never uproot any West Bank settlement, saying the
Tel Aviv regime would never remove any of the more than 100 Jewish settlements
in the territory that Israel captured in 1967.
have returned here for good," Netanyahu said at a Monday ceremony in
Barkan, a settlement in the northern West Bank. "There will be no more
uprooting of settlements in the Land of Israel. Settlements will not be
Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has also
slammed Netanyahu's comments and urged Washington to intervene.
call upon the US administration to deal with these provocations," which he
said hinder peace efforts by the United States and are "an attempt to
return things to square one."
early August, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat denounced the Trump
administration for silence on the expansion of settlements in the occupied
territories as well as failure to prop up the two-state solution. Erekat said
such a conduct had encouraged the Israeli regime to continue its “apartheid”
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem
rejects US demand for UN inspector visit to military sites
has dismissed a US demand for UN nuclear inspectors to visit its military bases
as “merely a dream” as Washington reviews a 2015 nuclear agreement between
Tehran and six world powers, including the United States.
President Donald Trump has called the nuclear pact - negotiated under his
predecessor Barack Obama - “the worst deal ever”. In April, he ordered a review
of whether a suspension of nuclear sanctions on Iran was in the US interest.
US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, last week pressed the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to seek access to Iranian military
bases to ensure that they were not concealing activities banned by the nuclear
military sites are off limits...All information about these sites are
classified,” Iranian government spokesman Mohammad Baqer Nobakht told a weekly
news conference broadcast on state television. “Iran will never allow such
visits. Don’t pay attention to such remarks that are only a dream.”
US law, the State Department must notify Congress every 90 days of Iran’s
compliance with the nuclear deal. The next deadline is October, and Trump has
said he thinks by then the United States will declare Iran to be non-compliant.
terms of the deal, the international nuclear watchdog can demand inspections of
Iranian installations if it has concerns about nuclear materials or activities.
its decade-long stand-off with world powers over its nuclear program, Iran
repeatedly rejected visits by UN inspectors to its military sites, saying they
had nothing to do with nuclear activity and so were beyond the IAEA's purview.
has changed its priorities over the years and has turned its attention to other
regional conflicts to achieve Iran’s goals, a report in American newspaper The
New York Times has claimed. According to the report, Hezbollah is not just a
power unto itself, but is one of the most important instruments in the drive
for regional supremacy by its sponsor: Iran.
Times noted that Hezbollah, which grew under Iranian directives in the 1980s as
a resistance force against the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, quickly
changed its priorities to turn its attention to other regional conflicts to
achieve Iran’s goals and objectives.
30 years, Hezbollah has expanded its scope of operations and increased its
training to become an expanding force and tool for Tehran, said the report.
has been engaged in every battle involving Iran, sending hordes of its members to
fight in Syria in support of the head of the Syrian regime, Bashar al-Assad,
group has also sent hundreds of fighters and trainers to Iraq, as well as
provide support to the Houthi militias in Yemen.
Guardian Council will discuss a motion approved by Iranian lawmakers in
response to the terrorist and adventurous US measures in the region, the body’s
Ali Kadkhodaei said on Tuesday that the Guardian Council plans to debate the
motion during its session on Wednesday.
August 13, Iranian legislators overwhelmingly approved the motion in response
to US sanctions, voting to boost spending on Tehran's missile program and the
Islamic Revolution Guards Corps' defense mechanism.
plan would require Iran's government and Armed Forces to draw up a strategy to
counter US violations of human rights around the world, and to support Iranian
bodies and individuals affected by US sanctions.
motion would also allocate over $260 million each to Iran's ballistic missile
program and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ Quds Force, which has sent
military advisers to Iraq and Syria to fight terrorists.
measure came after US President Donald Trump signed into law a bill passed by
the Congress to impose new sanctions on Iran over its missile program in early
argues that Washington's new sanctions violate a 2015 nuclear deal, known as
the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), both "in letter and
says its missile program does not breach the United Nations Resolution 2231
which endorsed the nuclear deal.
and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the United States,
Britain, France, China and Russia - plus Germany signed the JCPOA on July 14,
2015 and started implementing it on January 16, 2016.
the agreement, limits were put on Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for,
among other things, the removal of all nuclear-related bans against the Islamic
UN Security Council later unanimously endorsed a resolution that effectively
turned the JCPOA into international law.
President Hassan Rouhani on August 15 warned that Tehran can go back to
conditions before the conclusion of the JCPOA within hours if the US continues
to violate the terms of the agreement and impose new sanctions against the
new US administration officials should know that the failed experience of
threats and sanctions forced their predecessors to come to the negotiating
table. If they prefer to return to those times, Iran will definitely return to
a situation much more advanced than the start of the [nuclear] negotiations,
not within months and weeks, but in a matter of hours and days,” Rouhani said
in a televised speech at the parliament’s open session.
settlers hurl insult at Islam in presence of regime forces: B’Tselem
Israeli human rights organization has captured a video showing Israeli settlers
verbally abusing Palestinians and swearing at the holy religion of Islam as
well as Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the presence of regime forces.
B’Tselem video, released on Tuesday, shows the Israelis from the settlement of
Kiryat Arba using obscene language through a loudspeaker against a Palestinian
woman, who is a local volunteer for the group, and is filming the incident from
took place in the al-Hariqah neighborhood of the southern West Bank city of in
al-Khalil (Hebron) on August 24.
group of Israeli forces were present at the scene when the settlers threatened
the Palestinian woman with violence for hours and insulted Islam, the video
woman said the settlers turned the music up during the evening prayer time and
started mocking the prayer and hurling insults at Prophet Muhammad.
settlers began to use foul language and call out obscenities concerning me,
Islam, and especially Prophet Muhammad. The Israeli soldiers and police did
nothing to stop them,” she said, adding that it was not the first time that
such incident happened as she had documented similar behavior by Israeli
settlers about a year ago.
in al-Hariqah has become intolerable. The military repeatedly raids the
neighborhood and the settlers assault and harass us. As a Muslim, I was
extremely offended by the insults hurled at the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). As a
woman, I felt terrible hearing the foul language directed personally at me for
filming them,” she pointed out.
warplanes have reportedly bombed a checkpoint near Yemen’s capital of Sana’a,
killing at least seven people, mostly civilians.
said the strike, which targeted the security checkpoint in the Bani Matar
District in Sana’a Province.
checkpoint was being manned by Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement,
which has been running state affairs and defending the nation against the Saudi
said the fatalities included five civilians in a taxi and two armed personnel
manning the site.
strike made the taxi careen into a nearby gas station, setting it alight and complicating
rescue operations, they added.
reports said an oil tanker had been hit by the air raid.
March 2015, the Saudi regime and its allies launched a military campaign
against Yemen with the aim of reinstalling its former president, Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi, who had earlier resigned amid an internal political conflict and
fled to Riyadh.
its tallies released in February, Yemen’s Legal Center for Rights and
Development said the Saudi war had killed over 12,000 civilians, including
latest Saudi air raid comes days after its warplanes bombed a hotel north of
the capital, massacring 60 civilians.
violations against kids must end’
another development on Tuesday, the United Nations children’s fund urged an
immediate halt to the “grave violations” against children in war-torn Yemen.
from Sana’a, UNICEF Representative for Yemen, Meritxel Relanom, said 1,721,
children have been killed, while almost 3,000 others have been either maimed or
seriously injured since early 2015.
really need to put a stop on the grave violations against children in the
country,” said the UNICEF official.
only way” to do this, she added, is to implement a peace agreement, negotiated
between “all the parties in the conflict” and the “alliances of those parties
in the conflict.”
rounds of UN-backed peace talks on Yemen have yielded no result as the
Saudi-led war continues to wreak havoc on the poorest Arab nation.
Earlier this week, dozens of rights groups
from around the world, including Human Rights Watch, urged the UN Human Rights
Council to launch an independent investigation into the rights violations
committed in Yemen since the Saudi-led military coalition invaded the country.
of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and loyalists of former president Ali
Abdullah Saleh say they have agreed to ease tensions following their recent
clashes in the capital city of Sana’a.
Monday, delegations headed by Aref al-Zouka, chairman of Saleh's General
People's Congress (GPC) and the Houthi Ansarullah group's official spokesman
Mohammed Abdulsalam held a meeting in Sana’a in an attempt to resolve their
two sides decided to "remove all causes of the tensions that occurred in
the capital Sana’a and to return the security situation to what it was before
the activities last week," the two groups said in a Tuesday statement.
statement noted that both sides agreed to close ranks and to "unify
efforts to confront the [Saudi-led] aggression."
mounted between the two allied forces following a Saturday armed conflict in
Sana’a which led to the death of two Houthi fighters as well as a senior
official from Saleh's GPC party.
agreement comes against the backdrop of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to create rift
between the two political factions which have been allied against the continued
Saudi-led war on the country.
August 17, the Foreign Policy magazine said it had obtained a new confidential
draft report by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, saying that Saudi
airstrikes had killed 502 Yemeni children and injured 838 others since 2015.
same report by the UN also revealed that the Saudi war, despite Riyadh’s
overwhelming military superiority, had failed since it was “no closer” to
achieving its declared objective.
March 2015, Yemen has been under heavy airstrikes by Saudi warplanes as part of
a brutal war against the Arabian Peninsula country in an attempt to crush the
popular Houthi movement and reinstall the former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur
Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
than 12,000 people have been killed since the onset of the campaign, and much
of the country's infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories,
has been ravaged. The Saudi war has also triggered a deadly cholera epidemic
across Yemen, dragging the impoverished nation to the brink of a widespread
United States and Britain have been providing the bulk of the military ordnance
used by Saudi Arabia in the war. London has licensed 3.3 billion pounds' worth
of weapons since the beginning of the war.
has demanded the international community take immediate action to help Rohingya
Muslims in Myanmar, with top officials voicing their concern over the suffering
of the minority community.
strongly condemn those attacks and oppression against Rohingya Muslims in
Myanmar. The attack targeting Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and civilians on Aug.
25 is really unacceptable,” Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said at a press
conference with his Maldivian counterpart Mohammed Asim on Aug. 29.
have been following the process from the very beginning, not just watching it.
We are in contact with the whole world. Our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and
Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım are following the process in person,” Çavuşoğlu
added, highlighting the need to find a “well-established” solution.
there were also serious attacks against Rohingya Muslims. The problem is
systematic. Our Rohingyan brothers have been systematically under oppression
and have been deported,” he said.
must find an essential solution. It cannot continue this way. This oppression
and inhumane treatment cannot continue like this. The whole world should be
sensitive,” he added.
said Ankara was engaging in diplomatic efforts with the U.N., the U.S., and the
Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
these international organizations should take concrete steps,” he urged.
EU Minister Ömer Çelik called on the international community to take action.
is not acceptable that international organizations are just standing by and
watching the massacres in the northern Rakhine state of Myanmar. The massacres
are just being watched, as if international law and institutions do not exist.
This crime against humanity has turned into genocide,” Çelik tweeted on Aug.
organizations should not be just standing by and watching the massacres,
described as a slow-burning genocide. The U.N. and EU institutions should act
immediately to stop this massacre by resorting to swift and effective means,”
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also strongly condemned the violence in Myanmar late on
on state-run broadcaster TRT Haber, Erdoğan accused the world of being “blind
and deaf” to the oppression of the Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state, vowing
that Ankara would raise the issue at all international organizations.
Mugabe Bashes SA, Nigeria Over Slain Gaddafi
Mugabe has expressed bitterness over African countries that voted in favour of
a decision by western countries to invade Libya resulting in the killing of
President Muammar Gaddafi.
opening the 67th World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Committee for Africa
Summit in Victoria Falls Monday, President Mugabe who was the guest of honour,
castigated the killing of "innocent" people by "greedy and
envious" world leaders.
also spoke at length about the killing of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein adding
that he (Mugabe) had no respect for former Britain and America leaders Tony
Blair and George Bush after they connived to kill him (Hussein) on unfounded
claims of Iraq having weapons of mass destruction.
of envy that Iraq has huge deposits of oil underground with one man Saddam
Hussein sitting on the massive wealth, they decided to attack him.
they said if we just go and attack him like that the world will be on us. Let's
contrive something to attack him with, then they thought of saying we are
destroying weapons of mass destruction, Saddam Hussein has weapons of mass
destruction," said President Mugabe speaking off the cuff.
said it was known that Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, adding that
Zimbabwe also had similar problems with the Blair government.
said Hussein had managed to usher peace in his country after managing to unite
the Suni and Shia muslim groups.
weakness of our world system is that when innocent countries are attacked, we
fold our arms," he said.
man had managed to unite his country but he is killed. When they discovered
that there were no weapons of mass destruction, tonnes of oil had been sucked.
if that lesson was not headed in Iraq, they came to Libya, to Gaddafi. Yes he
may have been a dictator but he was a friend of his people, a lover of his
people, one who desired that his people should develop and not live in poverty
and had managed to draw water from underneath our world to create a huge
massive dam for the benefit of his country which is semi desert.
became friends with us, he wanted to democratise the African Union to be better
politically and economically united," lamented President Mugabe.
was referring to the 2011 United Nations Security Council Resolution, which
authorised the imposition of a no-fly zone on Libya in response to that
country's civil war.
UNSC had initially failed to garner the necessary two-thirds majority, but
African countries were later persuaded to vote in favour of the resolution.
Africa, Nigeria and Gabon were among the non-permanent members who voted in
support of the resolution.
Mugabe said Africa sought the support of Russia and China.
the matter came to the UNSC. The whites said he must be attacked and China and
Russia said no. The matter could not have proceeded any further because of the
necessary two-thirds majority, with Russia and China abstaining.
it came to us the poor Africans. The poor Africans, sometimes not thinking well
about the consequences of those attacks. So, what did we have? Quite
disgraceful and shameful thing," added the Africa's longest serving
said African countries, including Zimbabwe, pleaded with China and Russia to
exercise their veto, but the two said the best they could do was to abstain in
light of the three African members and the Arab contingent's support of NATO.
Mugabe, who is a former African Union chair, lamented lack of humanitarianism
among some leaders who he said kill their own people for having different
religious and political views.
appealed to WHO's new director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is
Ethiopian, to represent Africa with African values.
the pride that Africa has and we know he will not let us down but will try to
make Africa meet giant steps in health because we are dying possibly the most.
and children are dying because of us leaders sometimes, because of our
ambition, because of certain concepts we have, maybe religious and because of
selfishness, we have the drive to kill.
am a Catholic and Catholicism is not different form the other religions Methodist,
Anglican, the beliefs are the same, commandments are the same. Where is that
humanitarianism that we were taught in our religion to love one another?"
said Africans should live in harmony and show love to each other.
said he was worried that Nigeria, a great nation with grand status, failed to
trace the 200 school children abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.
rescues about 500 refugees off western coasts
Libyan coast guard has carried out three separate rescue missions off the
western coasts, saving about 500 refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean
Libyan naval forces spokesman said on Tuesday that about half of the refugees
were rescued off the two coasts of Tripoli and Sabratha.
were mainly from the sub-Saharan countries although people from Egypt, Morocco
and Tunisia were also on board, the spokesman said.
guards rescued early morning today 140 illegal migrants west of Tripoli and
another group of 164 migrants were rescued off Sabratha including seven women
and six children,” said the spokesman.
said another 150 refugees were rescued later in the day off Tripoli.
rescues, almost large is size, are the latest to come from a refugee crisis
that continues to grip North Africa and Southern Europe.
of thousands of people have dared the risky journey through the central
Mediterranean to the north to the Italian coasts over the past years.
flow was overshadowed by even a bigger exodus that began to hit Europe’s
eastern shores in 2015 as more than a million, mostly from war-torn countries
of the Middle East, crossed into the continent from the Greek shores. A deal
between Turkey and the European Union in March next year caused the
Turkey-emanated flow to ebb but at the expense of a fresh surge in illegal
travels in central Mediterranean.
has been the main embarkation point for refugee trips across the route as many
parts of the country still suffer from lawlessness, which came after the ouster
in 2011 of long-time dictator Muammar Gaddafi.
by the UN-backed International Organization for Migration shows about 600,000
refugees have reached Italy by sea from North Africa since 2014, and more than
12,000 have drowned while trying.
Muslim population in North Africa was always going to be fertile ground for the
so-called Islamic State (or Daesh) as it sought to establish an alternative
caliphate as a back-up to Iraq and Syria.
hailed as the democratic success story from the carnage of the ‘Arab Spring’,
nonetheless became the source of the single largest group of foreign fighters
to join Daesh in Iraq, Syria and, later, in Libya.
formed an important contingent within Daesh in Syria after defecting from Al
Qaeda. Exploiting the chaos that followed Gaddafi’s overthrow, many of those
returned to Libya as part of a plan by Daesh to establish a North African
North African contingents have been linked to several attacks on Westerners,
including the mass shooting at a beach resort in Tunisia in 2015 in which 38
people died. And, just recently, the atrocity in Barcelona and the coastal
resort of Cambrils, which was carried out by Moroccans.
with North African origins now pose the greatest threat in Europe.
if defeated on the battlefield in Iraq and Syria as seems likely, Daesh will
attempt to reinvent itself and to re-group. Some Daesh fighters are already
trying to exploit the lawless space in Libya. Others are looking for new bases
in south-east Asia.
attacks suggest that North African extremists are being recruited for action in
Europe. Moroccans, Libyans and Algerians crop up frequently in intelligence
watch lists of suspects. Several security service experts are rightly nervous
about terrorist infiltration of the migrant exodus to Europe.
recent bloody attacks in Barcelona (and in Turku in Finland) have shown that
Islamist terrorism is likely to engage the West for another 20 or 30 years. It
is, as the former head of MI5 in the United Kingdom has said, a generational
concern for Malta is that hundreds of retreating Daesh fighters from Iraq and
Syria are regrouping in Libya, a lawless failed State. The jihadist group is
now looking to North Africa to rebuild a “caliphate” that is shrinking in Syria
was driven from its Libyan stronghold of Sirte in December last year and the
remaining fighters have retreated to desert camps in the south. There are now
believed to be almost 1,000 Daesh members across the country. The majority are
gathering south of Sirte, which was the de facto capital of their Mediterranean
stronghold until nine months ago, having at its peak about 6,000 fighters,
presence in Libya is a matter of considerable concern to the West. But it is of
course of especial worry to Malta as Europe’s southern frontline State. Although Malta has been spared acts of
terrorism, it would be foolhardy to assume that we are immune. The mass
shooting at the beach resort of Sousse in Tunisia two years ago, aimed solely
at slaughtering European tourists, could easily happen here.
is for the Security Services and the Malta Police Force to track terror
financing and monitor suspects and new arrivals to Malta from North Africa.
Absolute vigilance at our sea and air borders to guard against any attempted
infiltration by terrorists under guise of migrants, refugees or visitors from
Libya, North Africa or the Middle East will be key. In the light of recent
truck- and van-driven attacks in Barcelona, Berlin, Nice and London, they must
also recommend how to plug weak spots in our national infrastructure.
celebration of Valletta, City of European Culture, 2018 could be an attractive
target for those who hate fanatically everything about Western culture. The
types of attack which were perpetrated in Nice, Berlin, London and Barcelona,
using low-tech weapons such as vans or trucks or knife attacks, could easily be
repeated in Malta. It is not being alarmist to say we need to be prepared.
knife-wielding van-killers of Daesh are desperate men who believe that they
have found the soft underbelly of the West. The war against them must be waged
through good intelligence. Dangers cannot be abolished. But mitigation is both
possible and affordable. Mitigation is what we can aim for and realistically
has to be vigilant, from front-desk employees at car rental companies to the
immigration police at frontier control. Should we introduce special
restrictions or checks on van hire or any high-powered vehicle for that matter?
Certainly, drivers wanting to rent vehicles should face tougher checks than
those applied today. More personal details could be required by rental
companies and the information that is already collected (names, addresses,
financial details) could be checked against criminal watch lists held by the
it comes to taking effective mitigation measures against trucks or vans mowing
down people in the street, the first point to note is that it is only famous
places that offer the jihadist their infamous “victories”. Terrorists know that
to mow down a midday crowd outside, say, Downing Street guarantees worldwide
coverage, whereas running down a bus queue in an unfamiliar northern town in
England will be less of a media sensation.
are doing this to shock. High-shock value targets are at a premium for
terrorists. We should, first, identify the high-value targets in Malta, and
then do more to protect them. We all know our famous places in Malta. They are
those places where tourists gather in numbers: Mdina, Valletta, St Julian’s,
Sliema promenade, Paceville, Buġibba and any of our major exposed beach
resorts, such as Mellieħa Bay.
we can take simple mitigation measures to protect these vulnerable areas. With
no more than the tasteful use of old-style iron bollards, plus a few gates with
keys for emergency services, it will prove perfectly possible to terror-proof
such areas. We can, and must, avoid the use of ugly concrete blocks. Except in
emergencies, wrought iron, cast iron, or even wood (for example, concrete
blocks encased in wooden seating or wooden plant holders) could be used.
Italy, concrete barriers are being installed to stop terrorist trucks attacking
its most popular landmarks. Barriers have appeared in central Milan, and busy
tourist streets in Palermo are also due to receive new barriers. Large concrete
flower pots will be guarding the entrance to Via del Corso, Rome’s main
shopping street, and Via dei Fiori Imperiale.
would be foolhardy to think that what has happened elsewhere in Europe cannot
happen here. Malta’s geo-strategic position and its proximity to North Africa,
within 200 or 300 miles of Libya and Tunisia and on the main route through the
central Mediterranean, make us especially vulnerable.
Sudan — After he met with Christian leaders and attorneys, the Trump
administration's head of humanitarian aid on Tuesday urged Sudan's government
to improve protections for religious minorities and human rights.
Green, the administrator of the United States Agency for International
Development, said he had received "assurances" on religious
protections from the government in the overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim country,
though he offered no details of his discussions on the issue with Prime
Minister Bakri Hassan Saleh and Foreign Minister Ibrahim Ghandour.
is a conversation that will take place," he told reporters after meeting
with Bakri and Ghandour, "...to prepare ourselves for a decision coming in
Green insisted that talks on religious freedoms and human rights are not linked
to conditions the United States demands Sudan meet before an Oct. 12 deadline
for deciding whether to permanently lift decades-old sanctions against the
country. President Barack Obama outlined the conditions when he temporarily
suspended sanctions in January. They include more humanitarian access,
cooperation on counterterrorism and steps to address domestic conflicts
of State Rex Tillerson would like to apply more pressure on Sudan to improve
its record on human rights and religious freedoms, which he has singled out for
criticism in the past. Leery of appearing to move the goalpost after Sudan has
already started to make progress on the original set of conditions, U.S.
officials are increasingly raising the issue in the context of future actions
expected if Khartoum hopes to improve relations with Washington.
in Sudan have long complained of unfair and discriminatory behavior toward
them, both by the government and in society at large.
Christians in Sudan, except for the well-off and established Coptic community,
are from tribes in southern Sudan. Generally they are poor and marginalized.
When the separate nation of South Sudan became independent in 2011, the
government forcibly pushed many Christians to go there. But as South Sudan has
descended into war and chaos, many Christians have returned to Sudan.
the government estimates that Sunni Muslims make up 97 percent of the
population, while Christians insist that is an exaggeration. Christians are
close to 20 percent of the population, they say.
constitution promises freedom of religion, and the government denies that it
discriminates or persecutes religious minorities. But many Christians say they
have been ignored, disrespected and worse. According to the State Department's
latest religious freedom report, churches in Sudan have been demolished over
land disputes, permits for new churches have been denied and church leaders
have been arrested. Proselytizing can be considered evidence of the crime of
officials have consistently raised concerns over human rights and religious
freedom whenever they talk with Sudanese officials.
administration hopes the impending decision on sanctions against Sudan could
eventually create more space for Christians to practice their faith as they see
International on Wednesday called on Nigerian authorities to investigate
unexplained disappearances, as the rights group highlighted a pro-Iranian
Shiite religious movement that claims 600 of its members are missing.
International is calling on the Nigerian authorities to investigate all cases
of enforced disappearances and bring all those suspected of criminal
responsibility to justice,” the group said in a statement.
to figures provided by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), at least 600 of
their members’ whereabouts is not known.”
than 350 IMN followers, led by firebrand cleric Ibrahim Zakzaky, were killed in
clashes with the military in the northern town of Zaria in December 2015.
started on December 12 of that year when Zakzaky’s supporters refused to allow
the chief of army staff’s convoy to pass through the town, sparking violence.
who was shot and injured leaving him partly paralysed and blind in one eye,
remains in protective custody, according to the military.
has repeatedly been imprisoned for alleged incitement and subversion.
has been in conflict with the Nigerian government for years, seeking to foment
an Iranian-style Islamic revolution in the country’s Sunni Muslim-majority
marking the International Day of the Disappeared, also hit out at
disappearances of young men “often seized by the military after being accused
of affiliation to the armed group Boko Haram”.
said hundreds of other civilians had disappeared in the restive northeast
during the jihadist group’s brutal eight-year insurgency. Many more are being
held illegally in “secret detention”, it charged.
families of the victims of enforced disappearance have already waited too long
for answers,” Amnesty’s statement said. “They deserve justice, truth and
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