A Chinese Muslim couple walks by a mosque in Hami,
in China’s farwest Xinjiang region on August 2, 2012. File photo: Stringer/AFP.
Bans Beards and Burqas in Muslim Region as Part of ‘Anti-Extremist’ Crackdown
Kill Themselves with Grenade in B’desh
Organisation Puts out Banners Supporting Ram Temple Construction in Ayodhya
22 Killed In Explosion outside Imambargah in Parachinar Market
Police Arrest Leader of Hardline Muslim Group Ahead Of Blasphemy Protest
threats transform China's Uighur heartland into security state
gives its assurance to Muslim tourists
Muhammadiyah call on members to avoid 313 rally
US-Dollar Sukuk Sale Attracts More Investors
ISIS Militants Killed In Afghan Commandos Operations and Airstrikes
militants killed in an airstrike in Uruzgan province of Afghanistan
involved in major target killings arrested by Afghan forces
Not Singing Vande Mataram, Muslim Councillors in Uttar Pradesh's Meerut Face
To Improve Muslim Education, NCPCR Engages With Madrasas
Assassinate Prominent Minority Activist in Pakistan
military alliance won’t hit Pakistan’s neutrality: FO
‘terrorists’ gunned down in Gujrat operation
religious freedom in Pakistan, US told
to encourage cultural exchanges with Afghanistan: Marriyum
offers to train Iraqi forces
all set to hold sit-in against KE, NEPRA and govt ‘nexus’
Army Destroys 40 Main Military Sites of ISIL in Deir Ezzur
Coalition Claims ISIS Propaganda Team Killed In Iraq Air Strike
least 14 dead in Baghdad checkpoint blast
20 Villages, Towns Freed in Syrian Army Operations in Eastern Aleppo
Fighter Jets Launch Heavy Airstrikes on Terrorists' Positions in Lattakia
Centres in Hama Receive Severe Blow in Syrian Armed Forces' Attacks
Army, Russian Air Force Hit Terrorists' Positions Hard in Homs
Soldiers Readying to Carry out Large-Scale Anti-ISIL Offensive in Deir Ezzur
ministers condemn Iran’s support to Bahrain ‘terrorists’
Cabinet Approves First West Bank Settlement in 20 Years
Yemeni civilians killed in separate Saudi airstrikes
general makes obscene gesture to Yemen war protester
warns Iran over Houthi support, says militias threatening Red Sea
to US: Stop harassing Persian Gulf states
Report Claims Teen Planned Paris-Style Attacks In New York
Administration Appealing Halt of Revised Muslim Ban
Student Union Aims To Educate Students on Islam
for America is anything but a hate group
activist wows SRO crowd at library
to appoint Chief Imam for National Mosque Abuja
Africa: Minister Pandor - Uncle Kathy Was Warm and Loving
community prays in fear since Quebec shooting, mosque president says
official wants ‘Islam law’ to shed light on funding & teachings by
stabbings reported outside Turkish embassy in Brussels
mayor stresses diversity after London attack, but Britons still uneasy
names Islamic State fighters, British cleric to ‘terror’ blacklist
have become less xenophobic but still wary of Islam, study reveals
Muslim anti-Semitism, group says attacks on French Jews down
UK’s ambivalent attitude toward Muslim terror
by New Age Islam News Bureau
bans beards and Burqas in Muslim region as part of ‘anti-extremist’ crackdown
has announced bans on beards and Burqas in its remote violence-wracked Xinjiang
region as part of tighter ‘anti-extremism’ regulations that also prohibit
refusing to watch government propaganda.
is the homeland of the Uighurs — a traditionally Muslim group, many of whom
complain of cultural and religious repression and discrimination.
area has been hit by a wave of deadly unrest, while authorities have stepped up
already-strict controls and organised mass rallies of thousands of military
police to indicate Chinese resolve in crushing security threats.
new regulations, which will come into force on Saturday, outline prohibitions
on growing “abnormal” facial hair or wearing robes that cover the whole body
also ban spreading “extremist ideas”, refusing to watch or listen to government
propaganda on radio or TV, and preventing children from receiving “national
education”, according to the text of regulations published on a government
has for years blamed exiled Uighur “separatists’ for a series of violent
attacks in Xinjiang and warned of the potential for militants to link up with
global jihadist groups.
many independent experts have doubted the strength of overseas Uighur groups,
with some saying China exaggerates the threat to justify tough security
Chinese authorities have restricted granting passports to Uighurs and adopted
measures limiting or banning prayer at home, religious education for children,
and fasting during Ramadan, which rights groups say has fuelled anger in the
controls on the observance of certain Muslim practises, such as growing beards
and wearing headscarves have been irregularly enforced in the past, but the new
regulations are more sweeping and formal.
US think tank said in July that tough Chinese religious restrictions on Muslims
may have driven more than 100 to join the Islamic State.
this month Islamic State militants of the Uighur minority released a video
vowing to return home and “shed blood like rivers” in China, in what experts
said marked the first IS threat against Chinese targets.
the video, a Uighur fighter issued the threat against China just before
executing an alleged informant.
also featured images of Chinese riot police guarding mosques, patrolling Uighur
markets, and arresting men in what appears to be western China. The Chinese
flag is pictured engulfed in flames.
video was released the same day that China held a mass rally of 10,000 officers
the region’s capital Urumqi — the fourth such rally this year in Xinjiang.
one violence-wracked corner of Xinjiang, authorities are offering rewards of up
to 5 million yuan ($730,000) to those who expose terror plots or “struggle,
kill, wound, or subdue” any attackers.
kill themselves with grenade in B’desh
- As many as eight militants blew themselves up with a grenade north of the
Bangladeshi capital rather than surrender, police said on Thursday, the latest
clash in the South Asian country that has seen a rise in violence.
urged the militants, holed up in their hideout in Nasirpur, northeast of the
capital Dhaka, to give themselves up on Wednesday, but instead they detonated
the grenade. “Up to eight militants, including a female, were killed,” Monirul
Islam, the chief of police counter terrorism and transnational crime, told
Monday, Bangladesh army commandos killed four militants in the northeastern
city of Sylhet during a raid on a building where they were holed up.
Saturday, six people, including two police, were killed and more than 40
wounded in two bomb blasts near the militant hideout in the Sylhet building.
State claimed responsibility “for a bombing on Bangladeshi forces in Sylhet”,
the SITE monitoring service said, citing a report on the militant group’s news
agency Amaq that appeared to refer to that incident.
State and al Qaeda have made competing claims over killings of foreigners,
liberals and members of religious minorities in Bangladesh, a mostly Muslim
country of 160 million people.
government has consistently ruled out the presence of such groups, blaming
domestic militants instead.
organisation puts out banners supporting Ram Temple construction in Ayodhya
With the Supreme Court all set to pronounce its verdict on the Ram Temple-Babri
Masjid issue today, a Muslim organization in Lucknow has issued banners
supporting construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
apex court had earlier this month said the Ayodhya dispute is a sensitive and
sentimental issue, adding that the matter should be settled amicably.
apex court while hearing the pla of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader
Subramanian Swamy’s seeking urgent hearing into the matter hadasked all parties
concerned to sit together so as to arrive at a consensus.
apex court had asked Swamy to consult the parties and inform it about the
decision on March 31.
apex court also suggested that a principal mediator can be chosen by it if
required for settling the issue.
the hearing, Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S. Khehar offered to serve as a
mediator if negotiations break down.
asserting that the Muslim front in the Ram Mandir matter will have to choose a
different spot to build a mosque, Swamy said that if nobody would compromise on
the matter then the BJP will pass a legislation.
are not opposing the idea of building a Masjid but not on the same spot, as it
was the same spot where Lord Ram was born. But if they want to argue in the
court that is also fine. We otherwise have other options, the BJP by next year
will have majority in Rajya Sabha and then we can pass a legislation. And then
the Muslim community will not have any Masjid to show for it," Swamy said.
| AP | REUTERS | ALI AKBAR | HASSAN FARHAN
blast outside an imambargah at a market in Parachinar killed at least 22 people
and wounded 50 others, hospital sources told DawnNews on Friday.
have 22 dead bodies here at the hospital and 57 injured, including women and
children,” said Moeen Begum, a surgeon at the hospital.
Khan, the local political agent, confirmed the death toll of the blast that
took place this morning in the crowded Noor market.
we know so far
people killed, 50 injured in explosion
says the blast could be a suicide attack: official
imambargah appears to be the target
claims responsibility for the attack
was the target?
parliamentarian from Parachinar, Sajid Hussain, told Reuters it was a suicide
attack and was preceded by gunfire. “The attack took place in a busy area and a
women's mosque appears to be the target,” he said.
banned outfit Jamat-ul-Ahrar through a video message claimed responsibility for
marketplace is a busy area and has several shops. It is also near one of the
main imambargahs. Firing was also reported in the area before the blast
administrator Zahid Hussain says authorities are transporting the dead and
wounded to nearby hospitals.
said Shias are apparently the target of the attack.
forces have cordoned off the area. The political administration has declared
emergency at all hospitals in the area. An Army medical evacuation helicopter
has also been flown to Parachinar for evacuation of the injured, an Inter-Services
Public Relations (ISPR) statement said.
Hussain, a doctor at the local Agency Headquarters Hospital, told Reuters five
bodies, including a woman and two children, and more than three dozen wounded
had been brought to the hospital and an appeal had been issued for blood
are being brought to us in private cars and ambulances and we have received
over three dozen patients so far,” Hussain told Reuters.
attack is reminiscent of a bombing at a market place early this year, which
resulted in the death over at least 25 people.
January attack was claimed by Lashkar-i-Jhangvi al-Alami along with
Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter Shehryar Mehsud.
army had launched Operation Raddul Fasaad last month following a spate of
terror attacks in the country, which claimed more than a hundred lives and left
hundreds others injured. The operation seeks to eliminate the
"residual/latent threat of terrorism", consolidating the gains made
in other military operations, and further ensuring the security of Pakistan's
of suspected terrorists have reportedly either been killed or arrested in raids
carried out by security personnel since the start of the operation.
is 250 kilometres west of Peshawar and has a population of 50,000. In the wake
of sectarian clashes in 2007 army and paramilitary forces set up several
checkpoints on roads leading to the town.
the tribal region of which Parachinar is the main town, the only part of
Pakistan's border region that has a significant Shia population, has been
racked by sectarian violence.
Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and said the government would keep
up efforts to “eliminate the menace of terrorism”.
network of terrorists has already been broken and it is our national duty to
continue this war until the complete annihilation of the scourge of terrorism
from our soil," he said in a statement.
Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan took to twitter to condemn the blast.
"(I) strongly condemn (the) blast in Parachinar, targeting innocent
people," he said on twitter.
Pakhtunkhwa chief minister must ensure availability of all medical facilities
on emergency basis, he added.
police arrest leader of hardline Muslim group ahead of blasphemy protest
police arrested the leader of a hardline Muslim group and several other
activists for suspected treason ahead of a blasphemy protest in the capital
Jakarta on Friday.
police spokesman Argo Yuwono said Muhammad Al Khathath, leader of the Muslim
Peoples Forum umbrella group, was suspected of involvement in a conspiracy to
commit treason and was arrested at a hotel early on Friday.
forum, which includes the Islamic Defenders Front vigilante group, has been
behind a series of huge protests against the minority Christian governor of
Jakarta who is on trial for allegedly blaspheming the Koran.
blasphemy case and the ease with which hard-liners attracted several hundred
thousand to protest against Governor Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama have
undermined Indonesia’s reputation for practicing a moderate form of Islam and
shaken the secular government as well as mainstream Muslim groups.
said four other Islamic activists were also arrested early on Friday. Local
media said one of those men was the deputy coordinator for Friday’s protest.
will compete in a run-off election for governor next week against a former
cabinet minister backed by conservative Muslim clerics. After Friday prayers,
protesters planned to march from Istiqlal Mosque in central Jakarta to the
nearby presidential palace.
times a day, alarms ring out through the streets of China's ancient Silk Road
city of Kashgar, and shopkeepers rush out of their stores swinging
government-issued wooden clubs.
mandatory anti-terror drills conducted under police supervision and witnessed
by Reuters on a recent visit, they fight off imaginary knife-wielding
assailants. Armored paramilitary and police vehicles circle with sirens
says it faces a serious threat from Islamist extremists in this far Western
Xinjiang region. Beijing accuses separatists among the Muslim Uighur ethnic minority
there of stirring up tensions with the ethnic Han Chinese majority and plotting
attacks elsewhere in China.
historic trading post, Kashgar is also central to China's One Belt, One Road
(OBOR) Initiative, President Xi Jinping's signature foreign and economic policy
involving massive infrastructure spending linking China to Asia, the Middle
East and beyond.
worst fears are that a large-scale attack would blight this year's diplomatic
setpiece, an OBOR summit attended by world leaders planned for Beijing in May.
media say the drills, and other measures such as a network of thousands of new
street-corner police posts, are aimed making everyone feel safer.
many residents say the drills are just part of an oppressive security operation
that has been ramped up in Kashgar and other cities in Xinjiang's Uighur
heartland in recent months. (For a graphic on China's Xinjiang crackdown click
well as taking part in drills, shopkeepers must, at their own expense, install
password-activated security doors, "panic buttons" and cameras that
film not just the street outside but also inside their stores, sending a direct
video feed to police.
Uighurs like the owner of an online multimedia company facing one of Kashgar's
main streets it is not about security, but mass surveillance.
have no privacy," said the business owner who, like almost everyone
Reuters spoke to in Kashgar, did not want to give his name. "They want to
see what you're up to."
Chinese security source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters the
new security measures in Xinjiang were not politically motivated, but based on
fresh developments and intelligence. He declined to elaborate.
Xinjiang government and the State Council Information Office, which doubles as
the Communist Party spokesman's office, did not respond to requests for
routinely denies pursuing repressive policies in Xinjiang, and points to the
vast sums it spends on economic development in the resource-rich region. Xinjiang's
gross domestic product last year rose 7.6 per cent, above the national average.
ethnic riots in the regional capital Urumqi in 2009, Xinjiang has been plagued
by bouts of deadly violence.
incidence of attacks reported in state media have actually declined markedly,
both in frequency and scale, since a spate of bombings and mass stabbings in
Xinjiang and southwestern Yunnan Province in 2014.
Chinese state media say the threat remains high and the Communist Party has
vowed to continue what it terms its own "war on terror" against
spreading Islamist extremism.
Xinjiang, this can also be seen at weekly flag-raising ceremonies that Uighurs,
a Turkic-speaking people who formed the majority in Xinjiang before an influx
of Han Chinese, are required to attend to denounce religious extremism and
pledge fealty under the Chinese flag.
one such event witnessed by Reuters in Hotan, a former Silk Road oasis town 500
km (300 miles) southeast of Kashgar, more than 1,000 people filed onto an
open-air basketball court where Party officials checked their names against an
attendance list and inspected their dress and appearance.
you take this off or I'll send you to re-education," said one female
official, pulling back the black hijab worn by a middle-aged Uighur woman to
expose her forehead and hair.
authorities offer 2,000 yuan ($290) rewards for those who report "face
coverings and robes, youth with long beards, or other popular religious customs
that have been radicalized", as part of a wider incentive system that
rewards actionable intelligence on imminent attacks.
lawmakers this week approved legislation extending a prohibition on
"abnormal" beards and the wearing of veils in public places across
the whole region. The new rules come into force on Saturday.
month a video purportedly released by the Islamic State group showed Uighur
fighters training in Iraq and vowing that blood would "flow in
rivers" in China.
architect of the anti-terror drills and other new measures in Xinjiang is Chen
Quanguo, appointed Communist Party boss in the region in August in what
analysts said was an implicit endorsement of his hard-line management of ethnic
strife in neighboring Tibet.
has made his mark swiftly, culminating last month in what state media described
as mass "anti-terror" rallies across Xinjiang's four largest cities
involving tens of thousands of paramilitary troops and police.
of Chen's most visible initiatives has been to build thousands of what the
authorities call "convenience police stations" across Xinjiang and
hire some 30,000 new officers to man them.
are present on almost every intersection in Kashgar, typically just hundreds of
meters apart, in what Chen calls a "grid-style social management"
system he pioneered in Tibet.
state media have praised the initiative as a new benchmark in community-based
policing. Critics, including Uighur and rights groups, say the real purpose of
the convenience police stations is to spy on the population.
are encouraged to use the stations to charge their mobile phones, have a cup of
tea or shelter from the elements.
don't know anyone who has been in there," said one Han Chinese taxi
driver, who only wanted to be identified by his surname Huang, suggesting few
have taken up on the offer to huddle beside the riot police and soldiers that
occupy the stations.
Huang, reflecting the region's simmering ethnic tensions, added that the
increased security made him feel safer.
people think it's too much, that it's just a few Uighurs," he said.
"But if they chop your family, then you'll know."
travellers can now visit Taipei without worrying about halal facilities as the
city is fast becoming a Muslim-friendly destination.
Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia representative James Chang Chi-Ping
said necessary facilities are now easily accessible throughout the city.
100 hotels and restaurants in Taiwan have received halal certification, of
which 45 are located in Taipei.
national scenic areas have facilities such as prayer rooms and Muslim-friendly
toilets,” explained Chang at the Fun Taipei Travel Party press conference,
adding that these measures were expected to provide Muslim visitors with a more
comfortable and pleasant stay in Taiwan.
present at the event were actress Yana Samsudin and director Fadzil Zahari, who
shared their fun experiences in Taipei during their honeymoon and filming of
the television series Romantika two years ago.
is not hard to find halal restaurants, and there is even one at 101 Taipei,
where we dined during our visit,” said Fadzil.
strongly recommended Taipei as a travel destination for Muslim tourists, saying
that Muslim-friendly restaurants and facilities were not a problem during her
visit, and she was already planning to return with her family.
is well known for its beautiful scenery, fine food as well as the people's warm
hospitality and Taipei, the capital city, has been a preferred destination for
2016, the number of Malaysians travelling to Taiwan was more than 474,000.
year, in January and February alone, it reached 74,000, which is an increase of
19.3% compared with the same period last year.
the upcoming 2017 Taipei Universiade happening from Aug 19 to 30, we are
positive this outstanding sports event will attract more Malaysians to Taiwan,”
visiting Taipei during the Taipei Universiade period will receive one
complimentary limited-edition EasyCard that comes with NT$100 (RM14.65) stored
value, upon presenting passport and boarding pass.
Ulama executive board chairman Marsudi Syuhud has called on members of the
largest Muslim organization in Indonesia to refrain from participating in
Friday’s mass rally organized by Islamic group the Muslim People’s Forum (FUI).
a democratic country, holding a rally is permitted but it must comply with the
law,” he told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
said protesters must voice their concerns on a particular issue in a civilized
way. “I personally want NU members to not participate in the rally,” he said.
of supporters of Islamic organizations are set to participate in a mass
demonstration, called the 313 rally, on Friday. The rally is a follow up to
similar protests held last year on Nov. 4 and Dec. 2 against Jakarta Governor
Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama.
Mu’ti, the secretary-general of Muhammadiyah, Indonesia’s second largest
Islamic organization, said the 313 rally must be conducted in a responsible
aspirations and opinions openly to the public via mass media, social media or
other forms of media must be carried out in a responsible way through existing
rules and laws,” he said as quoted by Antara on Thursday.
said legally, there was no problem with the 313 rally because it was in
accordance with the 1945 Constitution, under which all Indonesians had the
right to convey their grievances, verbally or in writing.
said the rally had political content because the protesters were demanding that
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo dismiss Ahok from his position.
Indonesia's latest issuance of US-dollar denominated Islamic bonds attracted
greater investment from funds in the United States, an Indonesian government
official said on Thursday (30/03).
Asia's largest economy raised $3 billion this week from a dual-tranche sukuk
sale, the highest amount the country has ever raised, said Robert Pakpahan,
finance ministry's director general of financing and risk management.
investors bought a total of $790 million of the 5-year and 10-year Islamic
bonds, which were priced at 3.4 percent and 4.15 percent, respectively.
March last year, US investors only subscribed to about $277.5 million of the
$2.5 billion sukuk sold by Indonesia, according to government data. The 5-year
sukuk was also priced at 3.4 percent at the time, while the 10-year sukuk was
priced at 4.55 percent.
rising interest from American investors came despite Indonesia offering a
smaller spread between its yield and that of the US treasury notes.
the past 12 months, there have been two U.S. interest rate hikes and three rate
cuts in Jakarta.
investors became more convinced that sukuk is an instrument they can trust with
the same quality as the conventional ones," Pakpahan said.
Indonesian sukuk is now eligible for JPMorgan's EMBI Global Diversified Index,
Thomson Reuters' publication IFR reported earlier this week, saying the change
had prompted some investors to buy in larger size and made it easier for others
to decide to participate.
said Indonesia will sell two more foreign currency-denominated debts this year
- in euro and yen. The timing of each issuance would depend on many aspects,
including elections in a few European countries, he added.
month, Pakpahan told at an investor conference call that the Indonesian
government expected to sell a total of $5.5 billion worth of bonds to global
markets this year, including the U.S.-dollar sukuk.
President to Visit Indonesia Next Week, Strengthen Peace-Building Collaboration
Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani is scheduled to visit Indonesia next
week, where he will meet with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to
discuss peace-building efforts in Afghanistan, a Foreign Affairs Ministry
official said on Thursday (30/03).
first official visit to Indonesia on April 5-6 is expected to strengthen
relations between the two countries, Ferdy Piay, director general for South and
Central Asia at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, said.
Afghan president wants to see Indonesia’s experience in conflict resolution as
an example of 'best practice' that can be applied to current troubles in
Afghanistan, in the hopes that our input might support reconciliation processes
there," Ferdy said during a press briefing in Jakarta.
added that Indonesia is eager to continue its ongoing support for
peace-building processes in Afghanistan by enhancing programs meant to
strengthen national institutions.
cited collaboration in police and anti-money laundering training as essential
to supporting peace-building in that country.
is also expected to learn about Indonesia’s counter-terrorism efforts and
deradicalization programs in the hopes of applying new techniques to his own
ISIS militants killed in Afghan commandos operations and airstrikes
least twenty seven militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and
Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed during the operations of the Afghan
Special Forces (Commandos) and airstrikes in eastern Nangarhar province of
201st Silab Corps of the Afghan National Army in Eastern Afghanistan said the
operations and airstrikes were conducted in the vicinity of Kot district.
district was once one of the main strongholds of the loyalists of the terror
group from where they launched their operations in Afghanistan.
the meantime, the 201st Corps of the Afghan Army said the Afghan forces and the
local residents did not suffer any casualties during the operations.
provincial police commandment earlier reported that 24 Taliban insurgents
including four senior leaders of the group were killed in an airstrike in Ghani
Khel district last night.
comes as the Afghan forces are busy conducting clearance operations under the
name of Shaheen-25 operations which were launched more than one ago to suppress
the growing insurgency of ISIS terrorist group in Nangarhar province.
least ten insurgents were killed in an airstrike conducted in the southern
Uruzgan province of Afghanistan.
Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the airstrike was carried out in the vicinity of
the provincial capital Tarinkot targeting a group of insurgents.
further added that twelve insurgents were also wounded and two vehicles along
with a motorcycle in the custody of the militants were destroyed.
the meantime, MoD said at least 18 militants were killed during a separate
operation conducted in Nish district of Kandahar province.
to MoD, a local leader of the group identified as Rahmatullah was also among
militants involved in major target killings have been arrested by the Afghan
National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) personnel.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the two individuals were involved in the
killing of three Special Forces of the Afghan National Police (ANP) forces.
further added that the two individuals were also involved in at least twenty
terrorist attacks in southeastern Paktika province of Afghanistan.
ministry did not disclose further information regarding the exact location
where the two individuals were arrested.
to MoI, the two men were also involved in some other criminal activities, including
kidnappings and roadside bombings.
comes as the Afghan forces have been involved in the annual clearance
operations conducted under name of Shafaq operations.
the Minister of Interior (MoI) Taj Mohammad Jahid said two days ago that another
major operation will be launched under the name of Khalid to retake the lost
Not Singing Vande Mataram, Muslim Councillors In Uttar Pradesh's Meerut Face
MEERUT: Seven Muslim councillors in the civic body in
Uttar Pradesh's Meerut face expulsion for refusing to sing national song
Tuesday, a group of Muslim councillors left the meeting hall of the Municipal
Corporation House while Vande Mataram was being sung.
years, those who do not want to sing along have been allowed to leave the hall
and return after the song is over. For the first time, however, the councillors
are facing tough action. As they were walking out, they were heckled and
taunted by their colleagues.
municipal board was meeting for the first time since a new BJP government led
by Yogi Adityanath came to power 11 days ago.
the row that erupted in the house, Mayor Shrikant Ahluwalia reportedly proposed
that the singing of Vande Mataram must be mandatory for all members and those
who refuse should be expelled.
proposal was not allowed by the Municipal Commissioner.
members say they will move court if needed, as the song is against their
religious beliefs. The Sharia law, they say, does not allow them to sing Vande
Mataram because it glorifies the country as God.
seven Muslim councillors of the House had walked out on Tuesday when other
members started singing the national song. They returned after some time, but I
refused to let them in," Mr Ahluwalia was quoted as telling the Press
Trust of India.
will not allow members who are against the singing of Vande Mataram to sit in
the House. We will even go to jail, if required," he said.
of the councillors facing action, Shaahid Abbasi, said: "We are being
looked at with suspicion even when we ready to lay down our lives for our
Rasheed of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board said, "If you stay and
don't sing, it is fine. But if you leave the room, it seems like a walkout, so
maybe the councillors should consider that."
a house of 80, the BJP has the most members - 45. There are 25 Muslim
councillors in the Meerut civic body.
to improve Muslim education, NCPCR engages with Madrasas
series of consultations initiated by the National Commission for Protection of
Child Rights (NCPCR) has initiated a massive exercise of introspection on the
state of Muslim basic educational institutions much known as Madrasas of the
NCPCR, which as per the provisions of CPCR Act 2005 is mandated to delve into
issues pertaining to children education has been holding consultations in this
regard in Delhi, Ranchi, Kaddapa, Bhopal and Nagpur. More than 500 Madrasas and
thousands of madarsa- going children have been covered under this exercise.
about the initiative, NCPCR member Priyank Kanoongo said, "During the
consultations, there was a consensus over coming up with more madarsa boards
and a need to introspect over slow progress of Muslim educational institutions
when compared to other religious educational institutions. The need to impart
both religious and modern education to madarsa going children was also
though constitute a major component of minority community in India but their
state of education has not been up to the mark. Over the last seventy years,
the government's policy regarding Muslim education has been seen as a whole
part of minority community, which includes Christians, Jains, Budhists and
other communities also.
there is a view that the problems faced by Muslim community as far as education
is concerned is unique and should be dealt with differently. Education to
Muslim children is largely imparted through Madrasas and maktabas, which
requires a different approach altogether.
gunmen in central Pakistan have killed a prominent local leader of the minority
Ahmadi community, a day after a new report spoke of increasing violence against
what is referred to as the country’s most persecuted religious sect.
and community spokespeople said Malik Saleem Latif, a lawyer by profession, was
on his way to a court with his son on their motorbike Thursday in the town of
Nankana Sahib when attackers ambushed them and fired at them from behind.
slain lawyer was the area head of the Ahmadi community and a relative of
Pakistan’s first Nobel laureate, Professor Abdus Salam, who fled the country in
1974 and lived in Britain to protest enactment of a new constitutional
amendment declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslims.
violence came as the Ahmadi sect, in its annual report released Wednesday,
documented an unprecedented increase in deadly attacks against its members and
worship places across Pakistan in 2016.
year ended under great stress and strain for the beleaguered community. Most of
the vicious acts took place in the Punjab [province],” the report said.
attack also occurred in the province, the country’s most populous and the
political power base of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his ruling Pakistan
calls for canceling the discriminatory laws against the community, legislation
was introduced in 1984 that banned Ahmadis from calling themselves Muslims and
building their mosques in the country.
minority group in predominantly Sunni Muslim Pakistan, believes a prophet
(Ghulam Ahmad) followed the Prophet Mohammed, who founded Islam. But that view
runs counter to the Muslim religion's central belief of Mohammad being the last
of God's messengers.
December, thousands of Islamists stormed the only Ahmadi mosque in a village in
Punjab and desecrated the sanctity of the worship place. The attack prompted
authorities to call in troops and paramilitary soldiers to disperse the
authorities later locked the worship place to deter more attacks and have since
ignored calls from the Ahmadi community to reopen the mosque to allow its
members to resume religious activities.
other religious minorities, particularly Christians, also frequently complain
of being targeted by radical Muslims and falsely accused of blasphemy, charges
that carry the death penalty.
The Foreign Office believes that Pakistan’s participation in the Saudi-led
39-nation military alliance will not compromise its long-standing policy of
neutrality in Middle Eastern affairs as the alliance is being built to fight
are talking about two different things. The basic purpose of this force is (to)
counter terrorism,” FO spokesman Nafees Zakaria said at his weekly briefing
when asked if Islamabad had given up the policy of neutrality in the Middle
East by joining the alliance.
he noted that the “terms of reference” guiding activities of the alliance were
yet to be finalised.
of the main objections to Pakistan’s involvement with the alliance pertains to
the lack of clarity about the terms for the force’s employment and engagement.
of reference’ guiding activities of Saudi-led alliance are yet to be finalised:
ambiguity created by the government’s continuous vacillation in public on the
question of whether or not Pakistan was part of the Saudi-led alliance formed
in Dec 2015, the spokesman said: “We are already part of it.”
government has recently allowed former army chief retired Gen Raheel Sharif to
lead the alliance’s military force, which is yet to be formed, as its
Zakaria refused to comment on the development. “I have seen the statement made
by the minister of defence. I don’t think after what has been said by him and
the things which have been discussed in the parliament, I have anything to add,”
about Pakistan’s participation in the regional meeting for peace in
Afghanistan, to be hosted by Russia on April 14, the spokesman said it was in
“accordance with our policy of constructive engagement at all forums relating
to Afghan peace”.
however, noted that the quadrilateral process involving the US, Pakistan, China
and Afghanistan remained “an effective forum”.
has been almost a year that the Quadrilateral Coordination Group members have
not met following the killing of Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a drone
attack in Pakistan.
Zakaria also emphasised the importance of bilateral contacts between Pakistan
and Afghanistan and referred to the recent meeting in London that helped ease
the impasse in ties over terrorist sanctuaries and subsequent reopening of
London meeting between the adviser (to the prime minister on foreign affairs)
and Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmer underscored the importance of
a bilateral cooperation mechanism to address counterterrorism and border
management issues in an amicable manner,” he said.
At least five alleged terrorists have been gunned down during an operation by
the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) in Gujrat district. On a tip-off, the
CTD personnel raided a hideout in Kunjah area. On seeing the police party, the
alleged terrorists opened indiscriminate fire. The CTD retaliated and gunned
down five men allegedly associated with al Qaeda and the TTP while three of
their accomplices fled. Police claimed to have seized a huge quantity of
weapons and explosives from the hideout. The police said that the killed
'terrorists' were planning to target important national installations located
in Gujrat and Kharian areas.
Jacobabad, police claimed to have foiled a terror attempt to target Kushhal
Khan Khattak Express and rounded up a 'terrorist' while planting bomb on the
railway track. Police also seized three kilogram of explosives, an IED device,
wires, ball bearings and other bomb related material from him. In Punjab,
police and Law enforcement agencies carried out search operations in different
areas and apprehended 74 suspicious persons including some Afghan nationals.
a meeting with Knox Thames, the US Department of State’s Special Adviser on
Religious Minorities in the Near East and South and Central Asia, Fatemi said
steps were taken by the government to ensure a more inclusive and progressive
said that while the world was facing increasing xenophobia and hostility
towards minorities, the policies of the government and it's across the board
support has clearly shown that the nation has rejected the politics of hate and
said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Holi message to the members of the Hindu
community, address to religious scholars at Jamia Naeemia and his message on
the occasion of Christmas, all serve to highlight the government’s unflinching
resolve to fully protect the rights of the minorities, as guaranteed under the
constitution of Pakistan.
Pakistan on Thursday dispatched 10,000 MT rice to Sri Lanka in line with the
prime minister’s directive to provide all necessary assistance in the wake of
severe drought in that country.
- State Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage Marriyum
Aurangzeb Thursday said the government will continue to encourage people to
people contacts and cultural exchanges with Afghanistan in a bid to promote
lasting regional peace.
at a Musical Evening with Pakistan and Afghan Artists with the theme
"Celebrating Culture Beyond Boundaries", she said, "we need to
speak language of love and music to promote relations between Pakistan and
based Center for Research and Security Studies (CRSS) and Women and Peace
Studies Organization in Kabul organized the cultural event at Pakistan National
Council of Arts (PNCA) here.
minister said that Pakistan was celebrating 70th anniversary of its
independence this year and it was commendable to foster dialogue through music
said that Pakistan was grappling with terrorism for the last 35 to 40 years and
its army, law enforcement agencies and people have waged a protracted battle to
check terrorism in its tracks.
2013, the government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Interior
Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan have successfully tackled the menace of
terrorism through institutional interventions, she continued.
minister said people especially youth in Pakistan and Afghanistan can connect
and work together by sharing their common culture and heritage. She observed,
"Peace is the only path to bring prosperity and achieve progress in
Pakistan and across the region."
expressed the hope that dialogue among nations would take the region forward
and create conditions for harmony and mutual understanding.
this regard, she said, people to people contacts and cultural exchanges are
very important for fomenting lasting peace in the region and reinforcing
efforts for establishing peace.
Pakistan on Thursday offered training and technical support to the armed forces
offer was made by Defence Secretary Lt-Gen (retd) Zamir-Ul-Hassan Shah to Iraq
ambassador to Pakistan Dr Ali Al-Rahmani during a meeting at the Ministry of
defence secretary expressed Pakistan’s desire for peace and prosperity for the
Iraqi people and its armed forces.
offered assistance in developing training infrastructure and capacity-building
of Iraqi armed forces by the Pakistan army.
proposed the establishment of an institutional framework of staff talk’s forum
between the two armed forces and suggested reciprocal visits by armed forces
delegation for training and logistic establishments and defence production
(retd) Shah also offered PAF services for the development of IT infrastructure
and quality control programme for the Iraqi air force.
- Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi is going to hold a sit-in against what it calls
the nexus between K-Electric (KE), NEPRA and the government on Friday evening
Karachi chief Engineer Naeem-ur-Rehman, in a statement issued here on Thursday
said the demonstration was being held after a long peaceful campaign against
the atrocities being carried out by KE against Karachiites.
the campaign, JI approached NEPRA and the government officials as well as
judiciary for resolution of chronic problems being faced by the people of
Karachi,” Naeem said, and added, “Furthermore, the party also held public
courts in all parts of the city at which a large number of people showed their
helplessness in the face of illegal tactics of the power supply company,
besides criminal silence of regulatory authority.”
said that arrangements for the sit-in had been finalised and a large number of
Karachiites will be participating in the protest. “In this regard, review meetings
have been held at grassroots level,” he informed. JI Karachi chief firmly said
that ‘atrocities’ against Karachiites will not be tolerated anymore.
Syrian and Iraqi military intelligence agencies worked together this week to
destroy the ISIL's largest base in Deir Ezzur province, Iraqi military media
to the report, Iraq's military intelligence unit revealed to their Syrian
counterpart this week details about a large ISIL base in the border-town of
information from their Iraqi allies, the Syrian warplanes bombed and destroyed
the ISIL’s large base in Albu Kamal and inflicted a large number of casualties
on the terrorists.
addition to destroying the base, the warplanes also destroyed 39 other ISIL
sites in Deir Ezzur province, thanks in large part to the Iraqi military
reports said on Wednesday that the army troops struck ISIL's positions and
gathering centers near the Eastern city of Deir Ezzur, destroying the
terrorists' command post and military hardware.
unit of the army engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL and destroyed a command
post and two tanks near the regiment 137th region near the town of al-Jeneina.
the meantime, the army soldiers clashed with ISIL in a power company near
al-Taim oilfield South of Deir Ezzur, destroying two ISIL military vehicles and
killing all the terrorists on board.
coalition claims ISIS propaganda team killed in Iraq air strike
US-led coalition fighting ISIS militants said Thursday that it had killed a
propaganda chief and associates in an air strike in the western Iraqi town of
Al-Ansari was an “important ISIS leader,” said Colonel Joseph Scrocca, a
spokesman for the Baghdad-based coalition. The propaganda official was a leader
in propaganda efforts to recruit foreign fighters and encourage “terror
attacks” in western countries, Scrocca told reporters.
At least 14 people were killed when a suicide bomber detonated an
explosives-rigged vehicle at an entrance to Baghdad, in an attack claimed by
the Islamic State group, officials said Thursday.
blast, which hit the checkpoint at the main southern entrance to the city on
Wednesday night, also wounded at least 36 people, the officials said.
issued a statement claiming the attack, saying it was carried out by a suicide
bomber driving a truck “carrying several tonnes of explosive material.”
militant group overran large areas north and west of Baghdad in 2014, but Iraqi
forces backed by US-led air strikes have since regained much of the territory
security forces are now battling ISIS in west Mosul, the last city in the
country in which the militants hold significant ground.
Mar 30, 2017
sources said that the army soldiers continued their anti-ISIL operations in
Eastern Aleppo and expanded their control over 27 towns and villages around the
city of Deir Hafer, restoring security to over 24 km of the international
Aleppo-Raqqa highway. The sources added that during the operations the Syrian
army inflicted heavy casualties on the ISIL terrorists.
of armored and machinegun-equipped vehicles of the ISIL were badly destroyed in
the attacks, they added.
reports said on Wednesday that the army men continued to break ISIL's defense
lines in Eastern Aleppo and managed to seize back more villages and heights.
army men continued the battle against the ISIL and took control of the Tal
(hill) Mahdum, Al-Sharifah and Kaysumah East of Deir Hafer after intense battle
with the terrorists.
warplanes targeted the terrorists' concentration centers in Kabani town and its
surroundings in the Kurds Mountain, killing and wounding a number of militants.
fighter jets also pounded terrorists' gathering centers during heavy night
raids in the villages of Tafahia and Yunesiya located on an important supply
route between Idlib and Lattakia near the Turkish border North of Lattakia.
raids resulted in the destruction of a convoy of gunmen heading towards the
Lattakia countryside near the Yunesiya crossing, destroying more than 10 SUVs
with heavy machine guns loaded with weapons and ammunition.
the meantime, unofficial reports said that the terrorist groups targeted the
city of Jableh in Eastern Lattakia province with several Grad missiles that
were intercepted by the air defense system at the Humeimim airbase and were
destroyed in the sky near the city before hitting their targets.
warplanes and artillery units hit the movements and concentration centers of
Al-Nusra Front in the villages and towns of Atashan, Skeik, Latamina, Souran,
Taybat al-Imam, Ma'ardes, al-Majdal, Khattab, Qatish, Heybat, Kafar Naboudeh,
Tal Huvash and Jaberiyeh in Northern Hama and inflicted heavy losses on the
the meantime, the army troops continued their attacks on terrorists' positions
in Northern Hama and regained a number of positions near Souran, expanding
control in the vicinity of Ma'arzaf town and Northwest of the town of Qamhana
towards the railway line South of Taybat al-Imam.
close to the terrorist groups confirmed on Wednesday that a sum of 69
terrorists, including several top leaders and commanders, were killed and many
more were wounded in the Syrian Army's ground and air assaults North of Hama
province in the last week.
coordination center of the terrorists confirmed that a sum of 69 militants,
including 10 of their leaders, were killed and dozens more were wounded during
the battle with the Syrian army in several villages North and North-East of
Hama province from March 21 to 28, 2017.
missile units opened heavy fire at terrorists' defense lines in the outskirt of
Talbiseh town, leaving a number of militants dead or wounded.
the army's artillery units targeted the positions of terrorist groups in Tir
Syrian warplanes, meantime, targeted the military sites of the terrorists in
the village of Za’aferaneh and Tir Ma'ala in Northern Homs, while the Russian
bombers raided the positions of the terrorists near the town of Rastan.
said on Friday that the Syrian army's special forces known as 'ISIL Hunters'
thwarted an assault launched by the terrorist group on their positions to the
North of the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs province.
the operations, the army forces, trained by the Russian military experts,
killed 24 militants and wounded 12 others in al-Mazar Mountain and the nearby
sources said that the army's 104th Airborne Brigade and Al-Qassem Group will
lead the assault on ISIL's concentration centers, alongside the 123rd Brigade
of the 3rd Division and 137th Artillery Brigade of the 17th Reserve Division.
added that the army soldiers will attempt to recapture the Deir Ezzur
provincial cemetery and al-Thardah mountain that overlook Deir Ezzur's
strategic military airport.
a number of army soldiers are under seige at the Deir Ezzur Airport as ISIL
maintains control over the main road leading from the provincial capital to the
said on Tuesday that the army troops in a preemptive move targeted the
gatherings and movements of the ISIL terrorists in the Western outskirts of
Deir Ezzur, preventing their move towards the city's districts.
army soldiers stormed ISIL's gathering centers and movements in al-Sonouf hill
near 137th regiment region and foiled their attack on al-Tanmiyeh district in
the Western outskirts of Deir Ezzur city, killing the entire members of the
group and destroying their equipment and bulldozer.
RIYADH - Gulf
ministers meeting in Riyadh on Thursday condemned what they termed Iran’s
support for “terrorist gangs” in Bahrain and urged Tehran to stop fueling
a statement issued at the end of a meeting in Riyadh, the ministers of the Arab
states of the Gulf expressed “condemnation of the provocative and irresponsible
statements, and acts of aggression by the Iranian regime towards the kingdom of
also deplored Tehran’s “support to terrorist gangs” and accused it of “fueling
sectarian strife to harm national unity in the kingdom”. The ministerial
council urged Iran to “abandon politics that lead to nourishing sectarian and
confessional conflicts, and to stop forming and supporting groups and militias
that fuel these conflicts in Arab states”.
and fellow Gulf monarchies have repeatedly accused Iran of meddling in the
kingdom’s internal affairs, a charge that Tehran categorically denies. Bahrain
frequently claims busting terror cells formed by members of its majority Shia
majority. Many have been tried and jailed over charges of belonging to such
tiny kingdom has seen sporadic protests and clashes since security forces
quelled Shiite-led protests in 2011 that demanded political reforms. Bahrain is
strongly backed by neighbouring Saudi Arabia, the heavyweight and regional
rival of Iran.
two countries are at odds in the Syrian conflict, where Iran supports the
regime of President Bashar al-Assad while Riyadh backs the opposition.
cabinet approves first West Bank settlement in 20 years
security cabinet on Thursday approved the building of the first new settlement
in the occupied West Bank in two decades, even as Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu negotiates with Washington on a possible curb on settlement activity.
unanimous vote in favor of construction of the new settlement in an area called
Emek Shilo came after Netanyahu earlier told reporters: "I made a promise
that we would establish a new settlement ... We will keep it today."
result of the vote was announced in a government statement.
officials swiftly condemned the move.
announcement once again proves that Israel is more committed to appeasing its
illegal settler population than to abiding by the requirements for stability
and a just peace," said Hanan Ashrawi, an executive committee member of
the Palestine Liberation Organization.
was no immediate reaction from U.S. President Donald Trump's administration,
which is in discussions with Israel on limiting the construction of settlements
on land Palestinians seek for a state.
settlements, in territory that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, are
deemed illegal by most of the world. Israel cites biblical, historical and
political links to the land, as well as security interests, to defend its
first promised the new settlement at Emek Shilo in February, shortly before
dozens of Israeli families were evicted from another West Bank settlement
called Amona. Their houses were razed after Israel's Supreme Court said they
were built illegally on privately owned Palestinian land.
a new settlement may be a way for Netanyahu to appease far-right members of his
coalition government who are likely to object to any concessions to U.S.
demands for restraints on building.
political sources, however, said the new construction would actually take place
within the boundaries of an existing settlement. The new community would then
be declared its own settlement, a nuance that might be enough to stave off
possible U.S. opposition to the move.
who had been widely seen in Israel as sympathetic toward settlements, appeared
to surprise Netanyahu during a White House visit last month when he urged him
to "hold back on settlements for a little bit".
two then agreed that their aides would try to work out a compromise on how much
Israel can build and where.
Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, this week wrapped up a second trip to the
region aimed at reviving Middle East peace talks that collapsed in 2014.
new settlement would be the first built in the West Bank since 1999. About
400,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank which is also home to 2.8
million Palestinians. Another 200,000 Israelis live in East Jerusalem.
want the West Bank and East Jerusalem for their own state, along with the Gaza
Yemeni civilians have been killed during Saudi airstrikes on residential areas
in the provinces of Sa’ada and Sana’a as the civilian casualties of Riyadh’s
military campaign keeps growing.
to Yemen’s al-Masirah television, a Saudi airstrike on a market in Sa’ada
Province left four people dead and two others wounded on Thursday.
another such attack on the Bani Hareth district of Sana’a Province, a woman
lost her life and a child was injured. Saudi warplanes also pounded Yemeni
homes in the Nihm district of Sana’a Province, killing three people and
wounding two others.
another woman was also killed in artillery attacks by pro-Saudi militias in
response, Yemeni armed forces ambushed Saudi troops in the mountainous areas of
Saudi Arabia’s southern Jizan Province, killing four of them.
Arabia has been leading a brutal military campaign against Yemen since March
2015. The kingdom has also imposed an aerial and naval blockade on its
impoverished southern neighbor.
Saudi aggression, which seeks to restore Yemen’s ex-government to power, has
killed over 12,000 Yemenis, according to the latest tallies.
the past two years, Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement, has been running state
affairs and defending the nation against Saudi aggression, backed by the army
and popular groups.
Thursday, the Yemeni Foreign Ministry slammed the Arab League’s support for the
Saudi-led campaign in Yemen in a declaration issued at the end of its annual
summit in Jordan.
military spokesman Major General Ahmed Asiri has escaped a citizen’s arrest
over the Arab kingdom’s war crimes in Yemen.
footage released on Thursday showed British activist Sam Walton confronting
Asiri on a street in London, where he was due to deliver a speech at a
the video, the activist can be heard saying, “You’re interrupting a citizen’s
arrest,” while Asiri’s bodyguards blocked the attempted arrest.
Saudi general then made an offensive hand gesture towards Walton.
was also reportedly pelted with eggs thrown by protesters before he entered the
venue for the European Council on Foreign Relations meeting.
represents a regime that has killed thousands in Yemen and shown a total
contempt for international law. Asiri shouldn’t be welcomed and treated like a
dignitary, he should be arrested and investigated for war crimes,” Walton said.
States President Donald Trump’s administration has warned Iran again over its
financial and material support of Houthis in Yemen and reiterated the danger
the militias are posing to international waters over the control of the
Bab-el-Mandeb strait. The warnings came Army General Joseph Votel told the
House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday that the US does not want Yemen to
be used as a sanctuary for attacks against the US.
Bab el-Mandeb Strait connects the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean, a strategic
passage for world trade.
am extraordinarily concerned about another contested maritime chokepoint in the
region," Votel said, referring to tensions with Iran over the Strait of
warnings to Congress comes just days after White House officials confirmed that
the Trump administration are mulling US actions in Yemen, specifically against
Houthi militias to liberate the strategic al-Hudaydah port.
defense minister has called on the US to leave the Persian Gulf and stop
harassing regional countries.
General Hossein Dehqan made the remarks on Thursday in response to recent
hostile comments by US officials against the Islamic Republic.
is the US doing in the Persian Gulf? They better leave this region and not
harass the regional countries,” Dehqan said, adding, “Is it acceptable that an
ignorant armed robber breaks into someone’s house and expects to get red carpet
treatment? This is an instance of modern, 21st century barbarism.”
remarks come at a time of increased belligerence shown against Iran by the
administration of President Donald Trump.
Wednesday, US Army General Joseph Votel, who heads the US Central Command
(CENTCOM), said Washington should consider using “military means” against Iran.
described Tehran as “the greatest long-term threat to stability” in the Middle
East and accused Iran of “destabilizing” the region through “lethal aid
facilitation,” using “surrogate forces” and cyber operations.
this month, the US Navy claimed that its aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush had
been "harassed" and "threatened" by Iranian vessels while
passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
report claims teen planned Paris-style attacks in New York
A US citizen of Pakistani origin was planning to carry out Paris-style attacks
on “heavily populated areas” in New York City, revealed a report shared by the
US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with Pakistani authorities.
FBI report, handed over to the interior ministry for extradition of the
18-year-old suspect Talha Haroon, says that he, along with his co-conspirator
and an undercover FBI agent, “plotted to carry out deadly bombings in heavily
populated areas of New York City in the name of the [IS]”.
report claimed that Haroon was stationed in Pakistan in April of last year and
planned attacks on the New York Subway, Times Square and a concert.
report also claimed that Mr Haroon had been associated with the Taliban in the
past and had later switched his allegiance to IS.
FBI report mentioned that IS had claimed responsibility for the following
terrorist attacks: “On or about November 13, and 14, 2015 a group of attackers
carried out attacks in Paris, France which killed approximately 130 people; On
or about March 22, 2016, a group of attackers carried out bombings in Brussels,
Belgium, which killed at least 32 people; On or about June 12, 2016, an
attacker carried out a mass shooting at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida,
killing approximately 49 people”.
the 64-page report did not disclose how the teenager was inducted into IS or
how much funding the terrorist group had committed or provided to the suspects.
report quoted a communication between Mr Haroon with the undercover agent:
“While he (Haroon) did not presently have enough money to buy a plane ticket
from Pakistan to New York City for [the] purpose of carrying out the attack, he
would do everything in [his] power to get a ticket, including selling some of
his personal property.”
report also singled out “an unidentified co-conspirator… being associated with
a certain overseas country, as a prospective contributor to funding for the
attack on New York City”. The report claimed that the unidentified financier
sent “several hundred dollars” for the operation.
report claimed that the suspects wanted to carry out terrorist attacks between
June and July 2016.
investigators mainly relied upon communications between the co-conspirator, the
undercover agent and Mr Haroon, who they believed wanted to kill scores of
FBI report quoted a communication between the co-conspirator and Mr Haroon from
May 12, 2016: “We just walk in with guns in our hands. That’s how the Paris
guys did it. You just walk in and shoot anyone who says anything.”
to Special Agent Oscar M. Gifford of the United States Air Force Office of
Special Investigations, who was a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force
investigating the case: “I believe the co-conspirator’s reference to the ‘Paris
guys’ was a reference to the IS supporters who planned and executed joint terrorist
attacks at various locations, including a concert hall in Paris, France, on or
about November 13 and 14, 2015. Based on my review of open source materials, I
am aware that IS claimed responsibility for the Paris attack.”
report claimed that Mr Haroon wanted to carry out an attack in NYC around June
2016. It said that the suspects “identified multiple potential targets of their
plot to launch terrorist attacks in New York City”. One target was the New York
subway, Times Square was another. The report claimed that the suspects
“discussed plans to detonate a car bomb in Times Square”.
to the report, on or about Sept 22, 2016, the FBI was advised that Mr Haroon
had recently been taken into custody in Pakistan. On Sept 27, Mr Haroon was charged
in a criminal complaint before the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.
complaint charged Mr Haroon on five counts of conspiring to use weapons of mass
destruction, conspiring to commit act of terrorism, conspiring to bomb a place
of public use and public transportation, conspiring to provide material support
or resources to terrorists and conspiring to provide material support to a
designated foreign terrorist organisation.
of the five charges count as a separate offence and each charged offence is
punishable under US law with more than one year of imprisonment.
even though the Islamabad district administration completed the process of Mr
Haroon’s extradition at the request of US authorities, the Islamabad High Court
stayed the extradition on March 27, 2017 with a direction to the federal
government to respond to a petition filed by Mr Haroon’s father.
petitioner had claimed that since Mr Haroon did not commit any offence in the
US, the American government could not seek his custody.
Haroon, the suspect’s sister who is also a US citizen, told Dawn that her
brother had been in Pakistan for 14 months and could not have planned the
series of attacks he was accused of plotting. She insisted that the case
against her brother was baseless.
in Dawn, March 31st, 2017
administration appealing halt of revised Muslim ban
US Justice Department has submitted a notice to appeal a ruling from a Hawaii
federal judge that indefinitely blocked President Donald Trump's travel
restrictions on people from several Muslim-majority countries.
weeks ago, US District Judge Derrick Watson was the first to rule against the
president’s revised executive order, saying that the state of Hawaii had
established that the law could not be enforced because it was unconstitutional.
ruling blocked the travel ban on the grounds that it violates the Establishment
Clause of the Constitution by disfavoring Muslims.
Watson's initial decision was designed to last only a couple of weeks.
Wednesday night however, Watson agreed to convert that decision into a
longer-term preliminary injunction, extending his previous temporary
Thursday, the Justice Department announced to file an appeal to the 9th US
Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, which had already ruled against the
initial travel ban.
Justice Department strongly disagrees with the federal district court's ruling.
The President's executive order fails squarely within his lawful authority in
seeking to protect our nation's security, and the department will continue to
defend this executive order in the courts," a department spokesperson said
in a statement.
Student Union aims to educate students on Islam
Ayoub, a sophomore majoring in law, history and culture, was surprised by the
student body’s willingness to learn about Islam.
helped plan the Muslim Student Union’s 10th annual Islam Awareness Week, which
started on Monday and brought renowned keynote speakers such as scholars Dalia
Mogahed and Ustadh Usama Canon to campus.
who serves as secretary of the MSU, is extremely passionate about educating
others on the religion and said she hopes to create a sense of community and
hope is to create conversation where there would not have been within the
student body in particular,” Ayoub said. “For us, it’s about connecting to our
student body, so that other students are aware that we’re here and that we
contribute quite a bit to our community on campus.”
Muslim population at USC has only grown over the past few years, and the USC
Office of Religious life estimates that there are up to a 1,000 Muslim students
means that the Muslim population makes up 2.3 percent of the student body;
these Muslim students being both American-born and from Muslim-majority nations
such as Indonesia.
Student Union President Aamna Asif, a junior majoring in health and human
sciences, explained that the week is one of the most important events of the
year for the organization, and that the central goal this year is to inform
students on how to navigate and comprehend Islam.
are a lot of misconceptions about our religion and the events that we’re
holding this week are aimed to clear up some of those misconceptions,” Asif
activities such as dinners with Muslim speakers, mosque sermon visits and
calligraphy workshops, Asif hopes to continue developing a stronger Muslim
community and to foster a diverse, yet unified identity in the larger USC
feel like there’s this whole other side to Islam, the actual side of Islam that
no one knows about,” Asif said. “We’re trying to get those people that want to
learn, that want to be informed, instead of formulating their opinions on what
a select few people that don’t know anything about the religion have to say
light of the current presidency and political climate, Ayoub explains that she
hopes the event will raise support from other students.
recent FLORIDA TODAY article by J.D. Gallop centered on an organization called
ACT for America, citing the Southern Poverty Law Center’s (SPLC) allegation
that the group is “anti-Muslim.”
currently has over 1,000 neighborhood-based chapters in the United States that
meet periodically to discuss and inform concerned Americans with updates about
threats and acts of terrorism around the world. Locally, the Space Coast
Chapter meets in Viera once a month, often inviting knowledgeable authorities
as guest speakers including moderate Muslims, former Muslims, politicians and
intelligence experts on terrorism worldwide.
to the article, the SPLC broad-brushes the ACT chapter in the same breath with
the Ku Klux Klan in Cocoa as “hate groups.” It’s not uncommon for contradictory
folks to arbitrarily throw around labels such as “racists,” or “Islamaphobic,”
categorizing everyone as bigots in the likes of Hitler or the KKK. Truth is,
the ACT chapter in Viera, whose meetings I occasionally attend, opens all their
meetings with an announcement that ACT does not discriminate nor condemn the
Islamic religion or peaceful Muslims. They specifically focus on the extremist
elements that pose a danger to civilization and to America. They merely inform.
is that similar to the KKK?
to thereligionofpeace.com, which tallies terrorism around the world, there have
been over 30,000 acts of Islamist-based terror attacks in which innocent people
were killed en masse since the 9/11 attacks in 2001. These brutal, senseless
assaults have one common denominator: radical Islamic. In the month of February
alone, Islamic murderers were responsible for 166 attacks, worldwide, in which
1008 innocents lost their lives, including many Muslims
facts are not concocted from thin air. If anything, people of our community
should be ever grateful that a number of dedicated Americans volunteer their
time and effort to provide fellow citizens a wealth of knowledge about this
murderous blight on society. What’s the alternative? Pretend it doesn’t exist?
Islam in the 30,000-plus attacks since 9/11 would be like ignoring Germany, in
general, during the rise of Nazism. Sure, most Germans were good people, but
they didn’t matter in the scheme of things. The violent minority prevailed and
50 million people lost their lives in WWII. We cannot ignore the Islamic
connection to terrorism when facts clearly tell the truth.
is led by a brilliant Lebanese-born woman named Brigitte Gabriel, who is well
known to news pundits, schools and lecture circuits around America. Ms. Gabriel
grew up during the purge of Christians in Lebanon in the 1970s and eventually
migrated to the United States to work as a freelance journalist. She is a
high-energy phenom who has lived through terrorism in her lifetime, understands
radical Islam from the inside, speaks several languages, has written several
books and is now a passionate American whose primary goal is to inform people,
and their representatives, of the dangers that lurk from Islamic extremism.
I’ve heard her speak; I have read her books. She does not preach hatred or
anything close to it. Rather, she identifies how and when Islamic radicalism is
cloaked in legitimacy. Her books are powerful.
Deen, a spiritual activist, lawyer and author, gave a 40-minute talk Thursday
night to a standing-room-only crowd of more than 100 people at the
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library.
are some things the native of Sri Lanka offered to the appreciative Corvallis
City Club audience about being a Muslim woman in America:
are challenging times. There is so much to say and some aren’t speaking. Hate
has gone viral. It’s gone global. This is a defining moment, for American and
her father’s influence: “He always said 'what can I do today to help someone?’
All of us flow to the same sea. We are all diverse.”
19th-century black leader Frederick Douglass: “It’s hard to repair all the men,
but you can raise strong kids.”
story is possible only in America. You make the time to come to listen to me.
This is about you making time and being willing to come listen to something
the sixth anniversary of 9/11, when she picked up her 7-year-old at school: “He
was sobbing. And when I asked him what was wrong he asked me ‘mommy, are we
terrorists?’ The words he used are really very important. It made me take a
fresh look at what is happening. It was a defining moment in my life.”
is damaging us is when we put all Muslims into one group and say all Muslims
are here to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. It is a
showing a slide of a chariot and its team of horses with the headline “be the
change”: “I’m the driver. I am responsible for what I am saying and doing.”
the media: ‘Imagine a world in which our leader says something so positive that
we can open our newspaper and have a smile on our face. We can change the
conversation. We can change the energy.”
the Dalai Lama: “If peace is to come, it will be led by women.”
love this country. It has given me the space to spread my wings and let my
voice be heard.”
her change of career from attorney to activist: “My son had been born and I was
staying at home with him. And I thought ... how can I leave a legacy? We have
plenty of lawyers. We need more peace-making. It was a very profound feeling.”
are sick. They think it is necessary to kill for what they believe. It is a
perverted vision of how to live.”
are all going through a journey. With social media, something happens 1,000
miles away and we see it in our living from. We didn’t used to see it.”
can we have a civil discourse? It’s hard to change ourselves. You don’t resolve
it in one day ... and every enemy is someone you don’t know.”
delay from controversies over the appointment of a Chief Imam for the National
Mosque Abuja has become of concern to the Muslim Ummah. It is evident that the
politics which has marred the selection process has nothing to do with Islam.
In Islam, there is no vacuum in leadership. It is over two years that the Chief
Imam of the Mosque, Ustaz Musa Muhammad, died at the age 68.
Since then, it is very worrisome that the
leadership of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) in
consultation with the Muslim elite in Nigeria has been unable to appoint a
Chief Imam to replace him. How much more of time is required to fill this very
sensitive position for the benefit of the Muslim Ummah of Nigeria? However, it
is discouraging that Muslims have been at loggerhead over the selection
basically on personal interests, whims and caprices.
The National Mosque even before the demise of
Ustaz Muhammad, who was the pioneer Chief Imam, had three deputies, who
conscientiously were appointed to strike a balance. They are all PhD holders
appointed in July 2012 after thorough screenings for which the pioneer Chief
Imam was also requested to undergo. They are Dr. Sheikh Ibrahim Ahmad Maqari,
Sheikh Ahmad Onilewura and Dr. Muhammad Adam Muhammad. The three have been
leading the Friday prayers in turn for such a long time that the need for the
appointment of one of them is ripe. However, it was Sheikh Maqari who led the
first Jum’at service after the death of the Chief Imam. He also conducted the
wedding of the daughter of President Muhammad Buhari, Zara.
Sheikh Muhammad, from Jos, capital of Plateau
State, had spent over 30 years as the Chief Imam having been appointed in 1985
when the Mosque was ready for use. The then President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari
described him as an inspirational leader who preached love among men and women
and fought hard to diminish cleavages and divisive tendencies in Nigeria.
Since 2015, there have been insinuations that
a new Chief Imam would be appointed. There was a time the news flickered that
an Imam has been appointed which the Secretary General of NSCIA, Prof. Is-haq
Oloyede dissipated, saying that the three deputy Imams would be acting on
rotational basis till when the Abuja National Mosque management committee
headed by Etsu Nupe, Alhaji Yahaya Ibrahim, would meet and make recommendations
to the NSCIA before a new and substantive Chief Imam would be appointed. It is
believed that politics has taken over the process. It is quite possible that
the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the NSCIA, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad
Abubakar has received the report from the Abuja National Mosque management
It is worrisome why the controversies have
persisted while the method of choosing an Imam or leader in Islam is stated in
the Qur’an, clearly exemplified by noble Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and adhered to
by the companions and the guided salaf. The Imam can be chosen by consensus (ijma’),
by consultation and the exchange of views among the prominent members of the
Muslim community or by the Imam nominating his own successor as it happened in
the case of Umar who was appointed by Abu Bakr without any objection being
raised by the Muslims.
In Fiqh as-Sunnah volume 2, page 56, the one
who should be Imam is the one who is the most versed in the Qur’an. If two or
more people are equal in this regard, then it is the one who has the most
knowledge of the sunnah. If they are equal in that, then it is the one who
performed the migration first. If they are equal in that, then it should be the
Abu Mas'ud al-Ansari reported Allah's
Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The one who is most versed in
Allah's Book should act as Imam for the people, but If they are equally versed
in reciting it, then the one who has most knowledge regarding Sunnah if they
are equal regarding the Sunnah, then the earliest one to emigrate; it they
emigrated at the same time, then the earliest one to embrace Islam. No man must
lead another in prayer where (the latter) has authority, or sit in his place of
honour in his house, without his permission.
The Imam must possess all the qualities
required of a believing Muslim. Apart from the moral and physical requirements,
the Imam must be the most knowledgeable, most wise, most courageous, most
generous, and most God-fearing. Having a PhD is not the issue. The three deputy
Imams should undergo series of screenings to get one Chief Imam for the
Nigerian Muslim Ummah. Merely as an observer and a worried Muslim on this
lingering matter, I have monitored their sermons and Islamic activities and
found them worthy. I think there is no need for an Imam from outside the three.
But however, there are assurances that the recitation/knowledge of the Qur’an,
composure during Friday activities and knowledge in the fiqh of prayer and
sunnah cannot be equal. One should, therefore, be appointed and the two remain
deputies. If there be the need for more deputies, the committee saddled with
that responsibilities should do justice.
Three of them, I repeat, are exceptionally
qualified. But some things uncommon reveal of Sheikh Ibrahim Maqary. His Arabic
accent is uncommon; why not for an associated professor of Arabic. His sermons
often depict scholarly insights. He conducts the Friday sermons without papers,
a style of best Imams in the home of knowledge - Egypt, where he graduated from
Al-Azhar University, Cairo. No student of Islamic knowledge can undermine the
position of Al-Azhar in the preservation of Islamic library. Students who
studied well in Al-Azhar University are exceptionally and credibly wonderful.
They are like the day and nothing can be more convincing and intellectually
compelling to admit.
Part of the controversies over the appointment
of the chief Imam is resulting from the fundamentalism and Islamic sect each of
the three deputies professes and belongs to. That is by the way. The seat of
the Imam transcends sects. The appointed must be for all Muslims of Nigeria. Term
and conditions for the position must be spelt out so that the chosen would sign
to accept the offer. And peradventure the bond is violated, the law should
And we pray and yearn to have a Chief Imam for
our National Mosque as soon as possible, an Imam who will be humble not pompous
and arrogant; energetic and vibrant not weak, nationalistic not tribalistic,
generous not selfish, humane not insensitive, forbearing not overbearing; and
the one who is abreast with Nigerian and global politics not conservative and
— Ahmed 'Kathy' Kathrada is remembered by most as a man of great integrity, for
never being silent about what he stood for and his courage to speak truth to
and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor is one of those who gathered to pay
tribute to Kathrada, who was laid to rest at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg
on Wednesday. Minister Pandor remembered Uncle Kathy, as he was affectionately
known, as a warm and loving person.
Minister spoke to SAnews just after the burial of the struggle stalwart.
was a very approachable person. Everyone could approach him, young or
old," said the Minister.
said Kathrada had no pride or vanity. "He had brilliant humour, by the
way. People are not talking about that. He told brilliant jokes."
said Kathrada was in the liberation movement with her parents, particularly her
father, Joe Mathews.
would meet, even after they have retired, for tea just to reflect on the good
old days and the struggle, but also what needs to be done.
also remembers Kathrada as a fellow Member of Parliament. "He never gave
us problems. When he had to be in Parliament, he was always there. I feel that
he is a man who would always do his duty and go beyond it. He has always shown
commitment in all that he has done, and he executed what needs to be done with
funeral was attended by people from all walks of life, including various faith
based organisations. Muslim rites were observed at the Heroes Acre in Westpark
former Presidents of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki and Kgalema Motlanthe, sat near
Kathrada's coffin in a marquee that covered over a thousand mourners at the
mosque president walked into court, and averted his eyes from the man
handcuffed in the prisoners’ box who is accused of firing on worshippers after
their evening prayers, killing six of them and leaving a community in turmoil.
Yangui insisted on attending the court appearance on Thursday of Alexandre
Bissonnette, the 27-year-old who faces six counts of first-degree murder in the
January shooting at Quebec’s Grand Mosque. When Mr. Yangui entered the
courtroom, the slightly built Mr. Bissonnette turned his head toward the door
and followed Mr. Yangui with his eyes. Mr. Yangui did not return the gaze.
Muslim community is still scarred from the attack, he said, unsettled by fears
that people remain at physical risk in their house of worship.
are terrified,” Mr. Yangui said to reporters outside court. “When I go to the
mosque these days, I can’t pray properly. I always have the feeling there’s
somebody behind me who will shoot me.”
court appearance by Mr. Bissonnette was brief – it lasted about six minutes –
and took place after intense security procedures requiring visitors to empty
their purses and pockets and pass through a metal detector. Mr. Bissonnette,
who also faces five counts of attempted murder while using a restricted
firearm, changed lawyers and will be represented by a legal-aid team.
former Laval University political-science student, dressed in a loose black
sweatshirt, appeared alert and scanned the public-seating area several times
from his glassed-in enclosure.
the legal process slowly continues, the Muslim community struggles with the
shooting’s aftermath. Mr. Yangui said one young girl insists on sleeping with
the clothing of her father, who was killed in the assault. Worshippers at the
mosque are careful to keep their sons close by when they attend prayer
mosque has also formed groups to keep watch while others pray.
of the Centre Culturel Islamique de Québec have been in touch at least three
times with provincial police, once to report a threatening letter and twice
when suspicious men have shown up at the mosque. Mr. Yangui noted that mosque
members had spotted Mr. Bissonnette several times before the Jan. 29 shooting.
have become more vigilant,” he said.
Yangui said he hopes the Crown will follow through with terrorism-related
charges against Mr. Bissonnette.
got six dead. We’ve got 17 orphans. We’ve got six widows. We’ve got 39
survivors who aren’t living their lives normally,” Mr. Yangui said. “We’ve got
a very heavy toll.”
man, Aymen Derbali, remains in intensive care with a bullet lodged in the back
of his neck, and another man injured in the rampage was readmitted to hospital
this week, the mosque president said.
political figures called the mosque rampage a terrorist act, Mr. Bissonnette
has not been charged with terrorism-related offences. Police continue their
Charbonneau, a lawyer who is part of a team giving pro-bono legal support to
the Muslim cultural centre, says prosecutors have to prove offences meet the
legal definition of terrorism to lay such charges. That includes searching for
clues from such things as Mr. Bissonnette’s computer as well as his social and
family life that might offer evidence “related to his intentions,” Mr.
next court date has been set for May 29 to allow the Crown to complete its
disclosure of evidence. The Crown said Mr. Bissonnette will not need to be
present for his next court date.
Deputy Finance Minister has called for the introduction of an “Islam law” which
should enable more transparency in the Muslim community's affairs by setting up
an official mosque registry and encouraging imams to conduct services in
Spahn, member of Chancellor Merkel’s ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) party,
has called for significant changes in the way Islam is being practiced in
Germany, the Funke Media Group reported on Thursday, according to Die Zeit.
introduction of an “Islam law” the politician argued, would insure transparency
into wider Muslim community practices, in a country whose imams often come from
abroad and are financed from foreign sources.
particular, Spahn called for language tests for the Islamic clerics, adding
that it is important for imams to deliver teachings in German to help diminish
prejudice against Muslims.
imported imams lead to social disintegration,” he said, adding that Catholic
sermons could be understood by everyone, unlike those held in Turkish or
Arabic. German sermons, the politician said would also help the German
authorities to know “what happens in mosques”.
also demanded that mosques in Germany be registered since at the moment
authorities don’t know “how many mosques there are in Germany, where they are
or who finances them.”
deputy finance minister said currently, there is no central representative for
Muslims living in Germany and that the current Islamic associations in the
country only represent a very conservative form of religion.
speak only for a minority of Muslims. They are the wrong partners,” said Spahn.
get the proposed law on the road, Spahn urged the federal government to
allocate money for training imams, religion teachers and counsellors.
will be a hard debate, but I would rather we finance this than that the money
comes from Turkey or Saudi Arabia,” he said, adding that an additional “church
tax” for Muslim communities could be imposed.
say at least three people have been stabbed outside the Turkish embassy in
Brussels stabbing leaves ‘three people injured’ outside, Al Arabiya’s news
correspondent has reported.
nationals are currently taking part in a referendum that will decide whether to
hand President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power.
March 29, 2017
(RNS) A long mound of roses, bouquets and Union Jacks — arranged neatly on the
sidewalk — stretches toward the gates of Parliament.
been brought there by Britons and visitors since the March 22 attack on
Westminster Bridge, in which a terrorist drove a car into pedestrians, killing
three and injuring dozens, and fatally stabbed a police officer.
tribute outside Westminster Palace, the seat of Parliament, suggests that many
Britons perceive the attack as an assault on democracy itself.
stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and our way of life,”
Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, said in a video after the attack.
mayor said that the atrocity highlighted through its victims what a diverse
city Britain’s capital has become. The dead and injured included a British
national of Spanish extraction, a tourist from Utah, as well as people from
France, South Korea and Romania and schoolchildren from Liverpool.
said “terrorists … hate the fact that here in London Christians, Jews, Muslims,
Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus — those who are part of organized faith and those who
aren’t — don’t simply tolerate each other, we respect each other.”
a Muslim, represents the contemporary diversity of Britain and particularly its
capital, and the extent to which people of faiths other than Christianity have
become prominent, and accepted, figures in British society.
yet Britain is not entirely a nation at ease with its diversity.
is our last blind spot,” said Sayeeda Warsi, who was Britain’s first Muslim
years ago, it was race and nation of origin that was controversial in Britain.
1990, during the Thatcher era, Norman Tebbit, a prominent Thatcherite
lieutenant, proposed a “cricket test” for immigrants — a suggestion that people
coming from some Commonwealth nations supported their native countries’ cricket
teams rather than the English team of the very English summer sport.
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and then the July 7, 2005,
bombings in London, all perpetrated by Islamic jihadists, religion became the
issue for some in Britain.
himself passes the cricket test, and then some. The son of a Pakistani bus
driver, he grew up in the working-class London suburb of Tooting and then
worked as a solicitor before running for office. He left the House of Commons
to campaign for election as mayor in 2016.
first Muslim mayor of a Western capital, he has been vocal about improving
community relations and has suffered opprobrium from both extremists from his
own faith and the British far-right. As well as being open about his Sunni
Muslim identity, Khan also speaks regularly of his patriotism, appearing at a
football match last weekend supporting the England team.
memories are long. Ever since the London bombings, in which suicide bombers
killed 52 people and injured 700 on three Tube trains and a bus, it is
noticeable that the last empty seat in a carriage is always the one next to a
Muslim carrying a rucksack.
who served as minister for faith and communities under former Prime Minister David
Cameron, said British Muslims suffer hostility all the time.
is socially acceptable,” she said.
has just published a book, “The Enemy Within,” in which she recounts tales of
anti-Muslim prejudice but is optimistic, given that previous enemies within,
such as Roman Catholics, have now been assimilated into British society. The
downside, though, is that assimilation took 300 years from the English
Reformation to Catholic emancipation.
argues that the British government’s Prevent strategy, first introduced by
Labour in 2003 and which orders all public-sector workers such as doctors and
teachers to prevent people being drawn into terrorism, is counterproductive and
told The Sunday Times in an interview a few days before the latest attack that
the way Muslims are treated is “McCarthyistic.”
Muslims see is daily vilification. They’re sick to death of this giant LED
spotlight following them around everywhere,” she said.
than Islam causing terrorism, said Warsi, those who engage in it already have
convictions, are alienated from their families or are confused about their
of these at least were true of Khalid Masood, a convert to Islam who drove the
car used in the Westminster attack and who was shot dead by a policeman after
United States — The US State Department named British radical Islamic cleric
Anjem Choudary and the Islamic State group’s “Beatles” execution squad member
El Shafee Elsheikh to its “designated terrorist” lists on Thursday.
two were among seven backers and foreign fighters of jihadist groups added to
the State and Treasury Department blacklists of “specially designated global
terrorists,” which place them under global financial sanctions.
added to the lists include Mark John Taylor of New Zealand, who joined the
Islamic State in 2014; Trinidadian Shane Dominic Crawford, another IS foreign
fighter; and Tunisian-born Swede Sami Bouras, whom the State Department called
a member of Al-Qaeda involved in planning suicide attacks.
included were Muhammad Bahrun Naim Anggih Tamtomo of Indonesia and Muhammad
Wanndy Bin Mohamed Jedi of Malaysia.
is a Syria-based planner and financier for Islamic State, while Jedi works with
IS in Syria and Iraq to recruit new fighters from abroad.
is the only one of the seven not at liberty. The former lawyer of Pakistani
descent was jailed in September 2016 for encouraging support for IS jihadists.
also British, is a member of an Islamic State “execution cell” dubbed “The
Beatles”, which is accused of multiple beheadings of captives, according to the
jihadist terrorist attacks and the refugee crisis an annual survey measuring
levels of racism in France has revealed the French are becoming more tolerant
of minorities, and that there has been a drop in the number of racist and
survey, carried out by the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights
(CNCDH), revealed on Thursday the French were more tolerant to minorities
compared to previous years.
annual survey by the rights commission linked to the government is carried out
to get an idea of levels of racism, xenophobia and intolerance in the country.
the studies of the last three years suggested levels of racist acts were on the
rise, the 2017 survey has shown a decrease.
despite the extremely tense context of the tragic terror attacks, we can see
the continuation of an appeasement and an openness," the report read.
what you may think, fear of terrorism has created more national cohesion than
it has demolished."
comments and behaviour is being deemed to be more intolerable by the
the stats show that the number of reported acts of anti-Semitism and
Islamophobia dropped 45 percent in 2016, compared to the previous year - in
which they'd skyrocketed by 22 percent.
group said that there were 1,125 such incidents in 2016, compared to 2,034 in
2015, which was the highest number since the surveys began.
acts dropped 58 percent from 2015 to 2016, with 182 acts reported over the
acts dropped 58.5 percent over the same period, with 335 acts reported compared
to 808 in 2015.
report suggested that the drops were due, in part, to the decision taken after
the Paris terror attack of January 2015, to station soldiers outside
"sensitive" areas like mosques, synagogues Jewish schools.
the drop in reported acts of racism, the president of the CNCDH, Christine
Lazerges, noted that the stats only showed the tip of the iceberg.
estimated that only 6 percent of racist abuse is actually reported to the
authorities, and only 3 percent is registered as a complaint," she told
French, meanwhile, appear to becoming more tolerant towards people of different
races for the fourth year in a row.
the group's index of tolerance, which aims to provide an overall look at levels
of racial tolerance via the survey responses, showed that France is currently
at a near-record high level of acceptance since the surveys began in 2000.
54 percent of French people consider themselves "not racist at all",
compared to 43 percent in 2014 - with the new score marking another record high
since the survey began 17 years ago.
survey also noted that immigration wasn't even a primary concern for the
French, with just 3.8 percent of respondents saying it was their "main
worry". It was unemployment that came out on top at 21 percent, followed
by terrorism at 18 percent.
the improvements, there are still divisions between whom the French are
actually tolerant towards.
people, the black community, and Asians are the minorities remain the
minorities that are the best accepted," the report read.
from the ROma community, it is the Muslims who are the least accepted."
study showed some 46 percent of French people thought Islam was a threat to
Islamic religious practices also provoked negative attitudes with some 58
percent of respondents saying they were against the wearing of the headscarf.
However that reflects a drop of 22 percent on the previous year.
was also a drop in negative attitudes towards halal food and Ramadan and some
79 percent of French people believe Muslims should be able to practice their
religion in "good conditions", albeit 59 percent opposed the idea of
"facilitating the practice of Muslim worship in France".
authorities recorded a 58 percent drop last year in anti-Semitic incidents,
according to a report that identified only far-right perpetrators and
questioned the existence of a new anti-Semitism by Muslims over Israel’s
annual report by the National Consultative Commission on Human Rights published
Thursday on its website counted 335 anti-Semitic incidents in 2016 compared to
808 the previous year — the sharpest drop on record since 2001, when the SPCJ
security group of the Jewish community documented a 71% decrease to 219 cases.
Data by SPCJ, which has not published its annual report, usually correspond
with those published by the commission.
commission also reported a 57% drop in anti-Muslim attacks to a total of 182
incidents in 2016.
to the report, the decrease in attacks of Jews “is primarily due to security
measures applied by the authorities as part of the Vigipirate plan.” The plan,
which involves the deployment of thousands of troops around Jewish institutions
and heavily Jewish neighborhoods across the country, was initiated in 2015
following the slaying of four Jews at a kosher store near Paris by an Islamist.
report questioned the “new anti-Semitism thesis” proffered by the National
Bureau of Vigilance Against anti-Semitism, a nongovernmental watchdog group run
by former policemen — that most anti-Semitic attacks in France since 2000 have
been committed by people with an immigrant background from Muslim countries who
target Jews over Israel’s actions.
of anti-Semitism have termed the phenomenon “new anti-Semitism,” describing a
situation in which the ancient hatred of Jews is justified as a political act
of opposition to Israel’s policies or existence.
Merah, a jihadist who murdered four Jews in Toulouse in 2012, has said he was
acting to avenge the deaths of children in Gaza, as did Amedy Coulibaly, the
Paris kosher shop killer who shot four hostages in 2015.
report, however, did not mention religiously motivated attacks on Jews by
significant part of the anti-Semitic acts (actions and threats) pertain to
neo-Nazi ideology, whereas in most other cases the perpetrators’ motivations
are difficult to ascertain,” it said.
again the world witnessed British ambivalence toward Muslim terror. The United
Kingdom looked on in shock when 52 year old Khalid Masood killed four people
and wounded 29 on March 22 in front of the Parliament building.
wasn’t the first lethal attack motivated by the Islamic views of terrorists in
the UK. In 2005, bombings in the London Metro and on buses killed 52 people and
injured hundreds more. In 2013,
British soldier Lee Rigby was 'mutilated, almost decapitated and
murdered' by Michael Adebowale, 22, and Michael Adebolajo, 28, who ambushed him
outside the military barracks in Woolwich, South East London.
ambivalence toward terror is apparent. Despite the horrific nature of earlier
events, terrorist supporters are welcome at the House of Lords. On October 27,
2016, a meeting there was hosted by Baroness Tonge, a former Liberal Democrat
MP and now an independent peer.
the horrific nature of earlier events, terrorist supporters are welcome at the
House of Lords.
attendees of the meeting were members of the Palestinian PRC (Palestinian
Return Centre). The gathering launched a campaign for Britain to apologize
on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour declaration of 1917 in which Britain
pledged support for a home for the Jewish people in Palestine. Without reproach
or redress from Baroness Tonge, who chaired the meeting, Israel was compared to
ISIS and it was claimed that Jews provoked their own genocide.
March 15 House of Lords Commissioner for Standards, Lucy Scott-Moncrieff,
delivered a verdict that the Baroness acted on her honor despite overwhelming
evidence to the contrary. A few weeks earlier Rabbi Abraham Cooper,
Associate Dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, wrote to the Commissioner
drawing inter alia attention to a letter Tonge sent to the British Jewish defense
organization, Community Security Trust. In this letter she claimed that Israel
was the cause of anti-Semitism. Furthermore she wrote that the CST, an
organization of British Jews, is obliged to condemn Israeli actions. Cooper had
written an article about Tonge’s letter some time earlier. Her statement
implied that Jewish people who cannot vote in Israel are to be held responsible
for its actions.
Lords Commissioner should have taken yet another issue into account. The United
Kingdom was the first country to accept the anti-Semitism definition of the
International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) for domestic use. If one
applies its terms to various statements that Lady Tonge made over the years,
one can identify a variety of anti-Semitic remarks. One example of
anti-Semitism from the IHRA definition is: “Holding Jews collectively
responsible for actions of the state of Israel.” Tonge’s letter to the CST
comes down to that.
example: In 2004 Tonge said if she were Palestinian she would consider becoming
a suicide bomber. This fits another example of anti-Semitism from the IHRA
definition – “calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews
in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion.”
also used a contemporary anti-Israeli version of the old blood libel by calling
for an inquiry into invented charges that Israeli medical teams harvested
organs when they came to Haiti in 2010 to help people in the aftermath of the
aspect of the meeting chaired by Lady Tonge in the House of Lords concerns her
invitees, the Palestinian Return Centre. Dutch veteran journalist Carel
Brendel, has investigated the background of the PRC in detail. He quotes
the 2011 intelligence service report of the German Ministry of the Interior
which writes that “Hamas does not operate openly in Europe. Instead it uses,
for instance, the Palestinian Return Centre in London as a forum.” Brendel
also quotes intelligence reports of the federal states of Berlin and North
Rhine-Westphalia with similar conclusions. Brendel reports that two of the key
figures of the conference identify with Hamas and are seen as loyal supporters
by the organization.
Daily Telegraph points out that the PRC in the UK is related to the Muslim
Association of Britain, the Muslim Brotherhood’s main declared British
affiliate. They also share directors. The PRC has regularly hosted Hamas
leaders at its previous annual conferences.
2011 the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center published a
document about the PRC. It begins by stating: “The Palestinian Return Centre
(PRC) is a Palestinian center for anti-Israeli propaganda, established in
London in 1996. It is affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and some
of its senior figures are Hamas activists who found refuge in Britain. Its
foundation was based on rejection of the Oslo Accords and a strong denial of
the right of the State of Israel to exist.”
UK is not the only country that looks away from the terror-supporting character
of the PRC. The Dutch government also remains silent about the upcoming
“Palestinians in Europe” conference led by the PRC in Rotterdam scheduled to
take place on April 15. That however requires another analysis.
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