Claims Uighurs Were Forced Into Islam
Based On Islam Bedrock of Malaysia'
Carried Out Pulwama, We Were Needlessly Blamed: Pak PM Imran Khan
in Bangladesh Safe despite Atrocities against Rohingya Muslims
Convention Demands Special Law on Mob-Lynching
Tells Parl: PM Did Not Seek Trump's Intervention On Kashmir Issue
Filmmaker Charts How American-Muslim Life Has Deteriorated Under Trump
NJ Mayor to Congress: Muslim Women Targets Of Hate, But They Won't Back Down
British PM Has Muslim Ancestors: Report
Back Israel-Occupied Land a Priority, Syria Tells UN Security Council
Official: American Ideology Will Die, Global Operating System to Be Islamic
Israel, Middle East Would Fall To ‘Islamic Extremism,’ Says Netanyahu
Says Militant's Arrest Reveals Plots, New Islamic State Links
Couple Carried Out Philippines Cathedral Bombing, Police Say
Ulama, non-Muslim voters held ‘key role’ in Jokowi’s win
used as approach to disaster mitigation in West Nusa Tenggara
Mediation Offer Over Kashmir Huge Diplomatic Success: PTI
Imran addresses US Congress members, says time for a different relationship
with United States
wants stronger economic, trade ties with Pakistan after Imran meeting: White
relations revived, Trump to visit Pakistan
denies amending Islamic provisions in Constitution
militant groups were operating in Pakistan: Imran Khan
killed, 16 injured in Quetta IED blast: police
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls on PM Imran
Prime Minister Khan says will try to persuade Taliban to meet Afghan government
react angrily to Trump’s boast that the US could ‘wipe Afghanistan off the face
of the Earth’
officials: Airstrike kills 6 in eastern province
forces kill seven civilians in attack on militants
ISIS militants, originally hailing from Pakistan killed in Nangarhar clash
Special Forces storm Taliban leader’s compound in Kunar province
kill 13 militants including ISIS-K terrorists in various provinces
says its fighters will join Afghan security forces after US troops leave
at Indian Minister's Comments over 'Fake' Lynchings
Remarks on Kashmir: PM Modi Must Come To Parliament, Make Statement, Asks Opposition
Muslim Kids Beaten For Not Chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ In Asansol
Nadu man held for ‘criticising’ NIA raids on social media
parties welcome Donald Trump’s offer to mediate on Kashmir
Group Apologises For Calling Four Democrat Congresswomen ‘Jihad Squad’
China's Vassal, Khan Is Xi's Jester, Says Ex-Pentagon Official
Omar Shuts Down Constant Calls For Muslims To Condemn Things
to decide soon on when to release Mideast peace plan: envoy
in US domestic terror arrests linked to white supremacy: FBI
signals prisoners swap agreement with US
World League Chief Honored For Strengthening Ties between Islamic World, Russia
appoints expert to tackle Islamophobia
counters US proposal for Mideast maritime coalition
adds extreme right-wing terrorism to threat level
okays $800M Saudi arms sale 'after Khashoggi murder'
Exhumes Bodies Thought To Be Kurds Killed By Saddam
activists say airstrikes kill 27 in rebel-held town
arrests Islamic State cell, including Baghdadi aide, in Nineveh
Hezbollah Agent Arrested In Uganda With Mossad's Help
says NY Times rejects request to hand over recording of diplomat
issues arrest warrants for 10 Libyans over Imam Musa al-Sadr’s disappearance
troops, Hashd Sha’abi forces purge more areas of Daesh terrorists
'Ready to Strike' In the West Using Sleeper Terror Cells: Report Claims
Vice President: An Int’l Coalition to Protect Gulf Will Bring Insecurity
Mideast envoy under fire at UNSC for attacking intl. law on Palestine issue
takes cash from starving Yemenis
Houthi rebels’ long-range arsenal grows lethal
sent mediator to Iran to ‘plead for their ship to be freed’: Khamenei aide
Saudi Blogger Jeered By Angry Palestinians In Jerusalem Al-Quds
World must press ICC to probe Israeli home demolitions
in Yemen eminently resolvable: UN
Guns, Cash and Terrorism, Gulf States Vie for Power in Somalia
Is Heading In The Right Direction But Much Work Remains, Says US Envoy
hands over 151 repentant Boko Haram insurgents to Borno govt
Least 17 Killed in Bomb Attack in Somalia Capital
troops to join force countering Mali militants
Shiite Muslim protesters and Nigeria’s security forces keep clashing
raps Nigeria’s fatal crackdown on pro-Zakzaky rally, urges cleric's release
‘Malign state’ Qatar condemned for collusion
in Somalia terrorism
to bar return of citizens who fought for ISIS
by New Age Islam News Bureau
heightened pressure regarding their treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang,
the Chinese government has responded with a statement claiming that the ethnic
minority was actually forced into converting to Islam. On July 21, the State
Council Information Office released a white paper which outlined that Uighurs
“endured slavery” which “the Turks” inflicted.
is neither an indigenous nor the sole belief system of the Uighur people,” the
statement alleges. “Conversion to Islam was not a voluntary choice made by the
common people, but a result of religious wars and imposition by the ruling
than anything, they claim that Islam was not a choice made by Uighurs.
white paper also states that Islam is not the only religion that Uighurs
follow. According to the statement, these are merely historical facts. For
instance, the history of conflict between Uighurs and Turks dates back to the
8th century, the report outlines.
Uighurs do have more in common – fundamentally – with the Turks than with
Chinese Han. According to TIME Magazine, the Uighurs have had “deep roots” in
the Xinjiang region, as descendants of Sogdian traders who were integral parts
of the Silk Road. They were once the dominant ethnic group of Xinjiang. In
1933, the Uighurs declared a short-lived independent republic which was quickly
submerged into China’s communist state.
white paper claims that history is being distorted by those who are accusing
China of ethnic cleansing. It stated that the Uighurs have “reflected elements
of Chinese culture” for centuries. That does not seem to be the case.
comes as the Chinese government faces allegations of separating Uighur families
and methodically removing the Islamic faith from their identity. Some of them
have been forced to eat pork or drink alcohol, which is forbidden in the
Islamic faith. Many children have been treated as if they are orphans, taken
from their parents and sent to schools across China. The Uighurs have been
oppressed throughout the Xinjiang region, with so-called re-education camps
being a birthplace for this systematic persecution.
criticism towards the Chinese government has taken a global platform over the
past few weeks. This has included a statement to the United Nations written by
22 countries, all of whom have condemned the treatment of Uighurs in the camps
they have been placed in. China's latest statement appears to be a way to
resist international condemnation.
Pearson, the Australia director at Human Rights Watch, told the ABC that the
statement “is a bizarre, blatant distortion of the facts.” James Leibold, La
Trobe University’s expert on Chinese ethnic minorities concurred, stating it is
“a classic case of China’s ongoing information warfare.” Most critics have
called it propaganda.
media, on the other hand, has praised Beijing’s effort to paint what it a truly
“comprehensive” picture of the Uighur people and their history. China’s Global
Television Network writes that the white paper corrected “the many
misunderstandings of Western countries.” The network can be received by over 85
million people in over 100 countries.
based on Islam bedrock of Malaysia'
Ahmad Fairuz Othman
LUMPUR: Malaysia’s multiculturalism, based on the teachings of Islam, continues
to be the bedrock of the nation’s success.
is the opinion of International Institute of Islamic Civilisation and the Malay
World - International Islamic University Malaysia’s (ISTAC-IIUM) Islam and
Buddhism Programme coordinator Assoc Prof Dr Imtiyaz Yusuf.
said Malaysia was a melting pot of cultures, religions and beliefs that had
enriched the nation’s social fabric and made it conducive for knowledge,
technology and the economy to flourish.
uniqueness came from it giving citizenship to one million non-Malays at the
time of its independence.
became the source of the country’s multiculturalism as no other country had
done that at the time.
framework has worked, and it has to be preserved and further built upon since
there is a new government in power.
is what is expected of them,” said Imtiyaz after a discussion on a book titled
Multiculturalism in Asia, Peace and Harmony at ISTAC-IIUM, here, on Tuesday.
book, which is a collection of writings from prominent intellectuals and
thought leaders from the region, was edited by Imtiyaz, who is known for his
writings on ethnicity and inter-religious relations.
said the Malaysian way of being open to other cultures has allowed the various
races to thrive, while still preserving their linguistic, education and
did right as it included outsiders and gave them citizenship, without driving
them away as what happened to some other countries.
country gave them the right to practise their own language, religions and have
their own schools.
the challenge has since been about accommodating all sides,” he said.
said adherence to the teachings of Islam had played a big role in Malaysia’s
practice of multiculturalism. In this regard, he said, the country had
benefited from its tolerant views on Islam.
in Southeast Asia is very moderate, inclusive and hospitable.
Indo-Malay practice of Islam is what I refer to as the maritime culture of
peoples are surrounded by the sea, and they are welcoming.
know the dangers of the sea. The peoples of these lands welcome foreigners and
outsiders and they are hospitable to them.
is set against a backdrop of the southeast Asian culture, which is very
moderate and inclusive. This has always been the culture.
Chinese and Europeans came to this region and this has something to do with
Islam. It is a very inclusive religion,” he said.
than anything, Imtiyaz believes that the Malaysian approach to foster unity
under its leaders through the years had ensured its socio-economic stability.
one of Asean’s economic power houses, he said, Malaysia became advanced in
terms of human capital and management of natural resources because it thrived
due to its diversity.
said this was in stark contrast to states which were less effective in managing
cited Myanmar as an example, that despite it being an Asean member, the country
continued to lag behind due to infighting, chaos and discrimination.
without the crisis that affected the Rohingyas in Rakhine state, Myanmar faced
an uphill challenge in uniting its multi-ethnic society, he added.
Myanmar, there continues to be infighting among 135 ethnic groups, excluding
does not have the benefit of having stable development.
should take a leaf from leading Asean countries like Malaysia and Thailand on
how to be accommodating to different groups.”
said the long history of enlightened and intellectual statesmen in Malaysia had
gained the nation great respect worldwide, particularly among Muslim countries.
cited the country’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, as
an example of a highly charismatic leader who helped the country to achieve
said the Tunku became a leader at a time when many Asian states were seeking
independence, and he achieved independence in a peaceful manner.
the time of Malaysia’s independence, the leaders in the region were in a different
Abdul Rahman’ leadership was on the same level as people such as Jawaharlal
Nehru, Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein and even Soekarno.
was the kind of leadership that won independence for these countries. This was
the type of leadership that was needed at the time.
paved the way for the next breed of leaders, who comprised people such as Tun
Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who focused on domestic development,” he said.
Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday claimed Pakistan was needlessly blamed for the
Pulwama attack in February, which he said was carried out by a local
disaffected Kashmiri and the Jaish-e-Mohammad that took responsibility also
operated in India. Pakistan was blamed without a reason.
said in response to a question if the current crackdown on terrorists and
militants in Pakistan would continued and if Hafiz Saeed, whose arrest for the
eight time impressed only the US president Donald Trump, would stay in custody
this time, and not be released as in previous instances.
tried first to make light of the question that while the country wants and
needs an independent judiciary he is being asked to predict what it would do.
Without directly answering the Saeed arrest question, he said it was in
Pakistan’s interest to now get rid of all armed militias.
is in Pakistan’s interest, it’s in our interest,” he continued. “The country
has had enough of militant groups.”
prime minister said the security forces were with him on this. “It’s the army
that’s helping us disarm all militant groups.”
was clearly an indigenous thing,” Khan went to say at a think tank, US
Institute of Peace, referring to the Pulwama attack that took place in Kashmir.
“It was a Kashmiri boy radicalized by the brutality the security forces. He
blew himself up. But because this group claimed responsibility, which was in
India as well, Jaish-e-Mohammad is operating in India — but Pakistan suddenly
came in the limelight.”
in Bangladesh safe despite atrocities against Rohingya Muslims
of exemplary religious harmony in Bangladesh
has yet again proven that people belonging to any religion are not harmed in a
backlash to torture and oppression faced by Muslims and others in neigbouring
latest unfolding Rohingya crisis situation that began in late August 2017,
makes this amply clear.
were unprecedented atrocities committed against hundreds of thousands of
Rohingyas, of whom all but a very few are Muslims. Orchestrated by the
Buddhist-led Myanmar security forces and local Buddhists, mobs in Rakhine
forced the Rohingyas to cross into Cox’s Bazar for shelter.
officials, local people, and a senior official of the Bangladesh Buddhist
Federation told Dhaka Tribune there are no reports of any attacks on Buddhists
or their temples in Cox’s Bazar or anywhere else. This, despite the now
well-founded allegations of genocide, ethnic cleansing, killing, rape, and
burning in Rakhine.
same is true in the case of Muslims being killed in India by Hindus on
suspicion of eating beef, with no backlash of any kind against Hindus in Muslim
majority Bangladesh, they said.
very tolerance reflects nothing but the exemplary religious harmony that exists
in the country, they added.
Buddhists and their temples in Cox’s Bazar,
home to a significant number of Buddha
artefacts and statues, were well guarded by the district administration in
support of their local minority religious communities. To make sure there were
no untoward incidents following the recent Rohingya muslim exodus to
Bangladesh, police personnel were assigned to safeguard the minority Buddhist
community of Bangladesh and about 300 of their temples in the Cox’s Bazar area.
there was not a single attack on any of our community or any temple in Cox’s
Bazar. We received full protection from the people and the government,” said
Bhikkhu Sunandatriya, general secretary of the Bangladesh Buddhist Federation.
don’t feel threatened,” he added. “We have been living in such harmony ever
since I can remember.”
a recent visit to Cox’s Bazar, this correspondent found local police to be
vigilant in preventing possible violent situations.
approached, Muslims said there is no reason to mistreat people who have nothing
to do with the atrocities committed by Buddhists in Myanmar.
we are sorry for the Rohingyas Muslims for their sufferings in Rakhine. But we
cannot hold responsible for that, the Buddhists who live among us, ” said Nasir
Ahmed, a small business owner in Ukhiya, an upazila in Cox’s Bazar that hosts a
large number of Rohingya refugees.
we were confident about the tolerance of our people, we were careful so no
attack took place against any Buddhists or their temples. We received
cooperation from all segments of society in this regard,” said Abul Kalam,
refugee relief and repatriation commissioner, the top government official in
Cox’s Bazar to deal with the Rohingya crisis.
have kept some of our limited personnel to keep an eye on the temples. We had
not anticipated any trouble, but we have remained cautious. Between people’s
cooperation and our measures, there was not a single untoward incident,” said
Cox’s Bazar Superintendent of Police, ABM Masud Hossain.
credit goes to the entire community for maintaining harmony, put to the test.
We were vigilant and will remain so in future.”
Convention demands special law on Mob-lynching
of communal, caste and gender violence and kin came together in Mumbai to
question and deliberate upon the recent spate of hate crimes in the country.
They were speaking at a National Convention Against State Complicity in Hate
Crimes organised by left organisation Democratic Youth Federation of India
(DYFI). The family members shared their experiences and described their struggles
to get justice. Among the key speakers were Mohammad Qasim, brother of the
deceased Junaid Khan, Shweta Bhatt, jailed IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, Raju Aage,
father of Nitin Aage who was killed in a caste based violence, Mukta Dhabolkar
and others. The event also saw some key luminaries and intellectuals namely the
actor Naseeruddin Shah, retired judge of the Supreme Court, Justice Gopala
Gowda, activist Ram Puniyani, Vice President of the All India Democratic
Women’s Association (AIDWA), Subhashini Ali and educationist Teesta Setalvad.
at the convention, Mohammed Qasim, brother of Junaid Khan – the 15-year-old who
was lynched by a mob near Ballabhgarh on a train following a dispute over a
seat – questioned why Haryana chief minister has never consoled or promised any
relief to the family after the brutal killing. “We are living in a constant
state of fear. It feels like a sword or a bullet can take our life, any
moment,” he said.
Bhatt, wife of former IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, while speaking at this
convention, appealed to the people to join her fight to free her husband.
Bhatt, who had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court regarding then Gujarat
chief minister Narendra Modi’s role in 2002 riots case, has now been allegedly
framed in a 30-year-old custodial death case. Shweta said, “In 2011, at around
11 am, he deposed against the Nanavati-Mehta Commission. On the same day, at
around 5 pm, they started digging up old cases to frame him and initiate
am travelling across the country, striving for help and support for my husband.
Our tolerance, these days, has been too high. I appeal to you not to be so
tolerant [to injustice],” she added.
Aage, father of Nitin Aage, a dalit boy [then 17 years old] who was allegedly
killed over his affair with an upper caste girl in Ahmednagar, said that the
government ensures that the poor do not get justice. An Ahmednagar court has
acquitted all the accused in this case – who come from dominant upper caste
Maratha from Kharda village. Ascribing this acquittal to their caste, Aage said
when dalits are accused in such cases, they’re sentenced to death – referring
to the Kopardi case verdict.
his sentiment, Satyabhama – a victim of gender and caste atrocity from Latur –
said discrimination was rooted in possession of wealth and political power.
“They have ensured that society boycotts me. They ask people, ‘Does she employ
you at her farm? Does she give you money? If no, why do you support her?’”, she
resolution against hate crimes was passed at the Convention.
resolution highlighted, “The most disturbing aspect of these developments is
the complicity of state machinery. Officials in civil administration and police
forces are coerced to side with the perpetrators. Upright officers who refuse
to surrender are silenced in so many ways.
of them are trapped in false cases like Gujarat cadre IPS officer Sanjeev Bhatt
and some are even physically eliminated like Police Inspector Subodh Kumar
Singh of Bulandshahr who was murdered in choreographed mob violence. From the
Prime Minister who exonerates an alleged terrorist on the ground that she
belongs to the majority community to all those ministers and leaders of the
ruling Parties who have been airing choicest abuses against minorities, the
signal to government officers is Clear :forget your constitutional duties,
behave like you are karyavahaks of the ‘Hindurashtra’.”
tells Parl: PM did not seek Trump's intervention on Kashmir issue
DELHI: External affairs minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday denied US President
Donald Trump's claim that Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought his role as a
mediator on Kashmir even as the opposition raised the issue vociferously and
demanded that the PM personally clarify the matter.
Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha witnessed walkouts by an agitated opposition with
parties indicating that they will raise the issue again on Wednesday along with
other grouses such as the government "pushing through" legislation
without providing adequate time for discussion and debate.
to Trump's statement, Jaishankar said, "I would like to categorically
state that no such request has been made by the prime minister to the US
president." He said outstanding issues between India and Pakistan were to
be dealt with bilaterally under the Shimla and Lahore accords. He added that
any engagement with Pakistan would require an end to cross-border terrorism.
the opposition insisted that only Modi could speak on the issue which referred
to a private conversation between him and Trump. Deputy leader of opposition in
Rajya Sabha Anand Sharma said the country was shocked to hear about the request
for mediation. He said there were all-party resolutions of Parliament that all
issues between India and Pakistan would be settled bilaterally.
have rights as members. There are certain traditions and dignity of the House.
Whenever the prime minister goes out and whenever there is an international
issue, the PM must reply," Sharma said.
leader Shashi Tharoor struck a different note, saying the government had
clarified the matter. "I don't think Trump knows what he is saying. It is
not possible that Modi could have asked something like this as our policy has
been established for years that we do not want any third party mediation,"
he told a TV channel.
Lok Sabha, Congress's Manish Tewari said Trump's claim was an assault on
India's sovereignty. Reading out from the transcript of the US leader's remarks
made in the presence of Pakistani PM Imran Khan, he quoted Trump as saying,
"Such a beautiful name. It is supposed to be such a beautiful part of the
world. But right now, there are bombs all over the place. They say, everywhere
you go, you have bombs and it is a terrible situation."
said since Trump had cited a conversation with Modi in Osaka in Japan, the PM
should tell the House if the statement was true or should say that Trump was lying.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the government had "bowed its
head" before the US which was a matter of shame.
Saugata Roy said Trump's claim was in contravention of the position held by
India against third-party intervention. His remark that Jaishankar should not
speak on the issue triggered a clash, resulting in din. DMK leader T R Baalu
repeated that the PM should speak on the issue.
Rajya Sabha, CPI member D Raja asked if there had been any change in India's
long-maintained position against third-party mediation on Kashmir.
united opposition continued to protest in Rajya Sabha after the House resumed
with finance and appropriation bills taken up for discussion. Congress, CPM and
AAP members trooped into the well, demanding that the PM come to the House.
After another adjournment, the MPs staged a walkout.
filmmaker charts how American-Muslim life has deteriorated under Trump
the last two-and-a-half years, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit
Simchat Torah has shown up every Friday with her colleagues and congregants in
front of the Islamic Center at NYU in Manhattan. With warm smiles and holding
handwritten signs sporting “Shalom/Salaam,” Kleinbaum and friends greet Muslim
worshipers arriving for the afternoon Jummah prayers.
about the power of being an ally,” Kleinbaum told The Times of Israel with
regard to the interfaith work the progressive CBST synagogue has undertaken
with the neighboring mosque.
alliance is only one example of Jewish-Muslim solidarity shown in Adam Zucker‘s
new documentary film, “American Muslim,” premiering this week at the San
Francisco Jewish Film Festival. The film focuses on the experiences of American
Muslims in the Trump era. Zucker’s previous film, “The Return,” was about young
Poles exploring their Jewish roots.
the interfaith encounter is not the central aspect of “American Muslim,” the
documentary challenges Americans of all faiths — or no faith — to consider how
they are standing up (or not) for those targeted by increasing xenophobia and
racism, which has been linked by some to the current administration’s rhetoric
and immigration policies.
Zucker said his own way of responding to his disappointment at Trump’s election
was to pick up his camera and make a film that would introduce viewers to
Muslims, about whom the president had made numerous controversial statements
during his campaign.
this new project, Zucker set about profiling a handful of American-Muslim New
Yorkers of different backgrounds, genders and ages. Finding subjects for the
film wasn’t so easy, given that the 61-year-old Jew didn’t know any American
York has a very large Muslim population, and I am a lifelong New Yorker, but I
hadn’t really met any Muslims,” Zucker admitted.
to Zucker, the fact that he is Jewish did not at all bother the people he
interviewed and filmed.
every American Muslim I spoke to was glad I was there documenting their story.
People felt a need to open up, and working on this film opened up for me an
unfamiliar world that profoundly moved me,” Zucker said.
found the framework for his film on January 27, 2017, when Trump signed a
controversial executive order effectively targeting Muslim migrants. The order
banned foreign nationals from seven predominantly Muslim countries from
visiting the US for 90 days, suspended entry of all Syrian refugees
indefinitely, and prohibited any other refugees from coming into the country
for 120 days.
documented protests against the ban and tracked the trajectory of legal
challenges to it. The film begins with the signing of the original executive
order and ends with the US Supreme Court’s June 26, 2018, decision to uphold a
revised version of the ban targeting most or all nationals from Iran, Libya,
North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen, and government officials from Venezuela
and their families.
is our country. Yet here I am, a US citizen, and I can’t even bring my mother
to America,” lamented a Yemeni-American cell phone store owner whose elderly
parent has decided to return to war-torn Yemen after languishing in Jordan for
several years waiting for permission to enter the US.
of this ban, there are life moments gone forever,” he said.
the Trump administration, refugee admissions to the US from countries included
in the ban have dropped drastically, as some 95% of the waivers requested by
individuals seeking refugee status from those countries have been denied.
According to US State Department figures, 2016, the final fiscal year of the
Obama administration, saw the US admit 9,880 refugees from Iraq; 3,750 from
Iran; 12,587 from Syria; and 9,020 from Somalia. By comparison, the US let in
only 282 from Iraq, 109 from Iran, 347 from Syria, and 97 from Somalia in the
first five months of 2019.
refugee ban is still being litigated in the United States Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit. A preliminary injunction was issued to block most of the
ban, and the court is now deciding whether the government complied with it.
to Melanie Nezer, senior vice president for public affairs at the refugee
assistance agency HIAS, which sued the Trump administration over the executive
order, it is unlikely that anything will change as long as Trump occupies the
families apart is the hallmark of this administration’s policies,” Nezer said.
vibrant, diverse community
was important to Zucker to reflect the diversity of the American Muslim
community, and to dispel misconceptions. More than once, subjects of the film
bemoan the fact that many Americans incorrectly think that all Muslims are
Arabs, and that all Arabs are Muslims. In fact, most Arabs in the US are
there are large Muslim communities in Brooklyn and Queens (as well as in other
parts of the US), Muslims make up only about 1% of the US population. According
to a 2017 Pew Research Center study, “There are 3.35 million Muslims of all
ages living in the U.S. – up from about 2.75 million in 2011 and 2.35 million
Pew report states that three-quarters of American Muslims are either first or
second generation, and 82% of Muslims living in America are citizens either by
birth or naturalization. Of Muslims living in America, 42% were born in the US,
with the remainder having immigrated from all over the world, with no single
country accounting for more than 15% of foreign-born US Muslims.
his credit, Zucker did not turn “American Muslim” into a primer on Islam.
Viewers will not come away more knowledgeable about the Quran or the life of
the Prophet Muhammad. Instead, they will get a better idea of what it means to
be both a proud American and a devout Muslim.
film introduces audiences to Dr. Debbie Almontaser, a veteran Yemenite-American
educator and activist, and a longtime partner to Kleinbaum in interfaith
efforts. With war raging in Yemen and virtually every Yemeni-American family
affected, Almontaser has taken a leading role in fighting the Muslim ban by
organizing her community and speaking at protests.
community activist, Aber Kawas, a young Palestinian-American woman in Bay
Ridge, Brooklyn, also leads demonstrations against the ban, and campaigns for a
Palestinian-American priest running for local government. With her undocumented
father having been detained for three years following 9/11 and then deported to
Jordan, Kawas has personally experienced family separation. In the film she
emphasizes that unlike after 9/11 when American Muslims largely stayed under
the radar, this time they are speaking up and fighting back.
featured personality is Mohamed Bahi, a strapping and charismatic young
Algerian-American who lives in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Married and the father of
a toddler and baby, Bahi founded Muslims Giving Back, an organization that runs
a variety of charity and social programs for residents of the local community —
Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
his programs is Project Transform, which significantly impacts the lives of one
selected immigrant family every month. We see Bahi and a team of helpers —
including his outspoken Egyptian-American wife, who dons a baseball cap over
her hijab — do an apartment makeover for a Syrian refugee family.
film often emphasizes that unlike post-9/11, American Muslims can now rely on a
network of partnerships with interfaith, pro-immigration, and social justice
groups to fight the Muslim Ban.
noted that the support is mutual. After the October 27, 2018 massacre at the
Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Muslims he met while making the film
reached out to him. Kleinbaum said the first call she got after the shocking
crime was from Almontaser.
time to disrupt the narrative of hate that Jews and Muslims can’t get along,”
NJ mayor to Congress: Muslim women targets of hate, but they won't back down
Jaffer made headlines after she became the first female Muslim mayor in New
Jersey, and possibly in the nation, in January. Then came the hate.
of tweets poured in saying that the new mayor of Montgomery would implement
sharia law and warning of a Muslim “invasion” and “jihadist takeover.”
was exhausting. How much of this can you take in?” said Jaffer, noting that she
spent days going through messages and reporting them to Twitter. “There are
some really very dark corners out there and unfortunately our president is
really stoking the hatred.”
bigoted comments directed at Jaffer lay bare the incredible contradiction of
public expectations for Muslim women in America. Muslim women are stereotyped
as oppressed, silent and failing to assimilate. But when these women take
leadership positions in community and government, proving their critics wrong,
they are still maligned for being involved while Muslim.
a pattern that has spanned from a mayor’s office in a New Jersey township up to
Congress, where two Muslim congresswomen, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, have
been called pro-terrorist and un-American, where they’ve had to hire extra
security because of death threats, where their every word is scrutinized and,
female Muslim leaders and organizers said in interviews they would not back
down because of the backlash they or others have faced.
minds at the local level
who has degrees from Harvard and Georgetown University School of Foreign
Service and is a postdoctoral researcher a Princeton University, envisioned a
career in diplomacy.
she grew unhappy with her local representation in Congress, she became involved
in local politics. She saw it an effective way to make a difference by
interacting with residents and building bridges among communities.
are so focused on state and national and international issues that they neglect
the local,” said Jaffer, 36. “A lot of our problems are at the local level
where you meet face to face.”
her community, she heard a handful of negative comments alluding to her faith
and saw fliers calling her ideas “extreme” and “dangerous." But she said
it was mostly outsiders, people who did not know her, who sent her messages of
think locally my being Muslim is not really very relevant,” she said. “It’s
helped start a New Jersey-based group, called Inspiring South Asian American
Women, that promotes civic involvement and public service. She's glad to serve
as an example to others.
British PM has Muslim ancestors: report
The newly elected British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has a Muslim ancestral
history and his grandparents were among the most important figures of the
former Ottoman Empire, according to BBC Urdu.
a recent debate on television in connection with the Conservative Party
elections, Mr Johnson referred to his Muslim ancestors, the report said.
revelation raised many questions as Mr Johnson has often come under criticism —
particularly on the issue of Islamophobia — with previous comments comparing
Muslim women in burqas to “letterboxes”.
to the report, Mr Johnson’s paternal great-grandfather was Ali Kemal, a
journalist and liberal politician of the Ottoman Empire who worked in the
region that is now Turkey.
in 1867 to a mother of Circassian heritage, Mr Kemal’s journalism allowed him
to travel extensively and he visited many countries.
of his destinations was Switzerland, where he met Winifred Brun, an Anglo-Swiss
woman and the daughter of a Margaret Johnson. They married in London in 1903.
Kemal made a move into politics, perhaps foreshadowing his descendant’s similar
acquired strong ‘liberal’ views early in his life, which triggered his exile
from the Ottoman Empire.
when the rule of the Sultan, who had banished Mr Kemal, came to an end, the
latter soon found himself to be one of the most prominent figures in Ottoman
the First World War, the Ottoman Empire was allied with Germany, and so Mr
Kemal’s son and daughter — who were living in England — adopted their
matrilineal surname Johnson.
Kemal’s son Wilfred Johnson (his middle name) married Irene Williams, and their
son was Stanley Johnson, Boris’s father.
2008, Mr Johnson’s took part in the BBC’s Who Do You Think You Are? series,
unearthing his lineage for the first time.
back Israel-occupied land a priority, Syria tells UN Security Council
says at the United Nations that it considers taking back its Israel-occupied
Golan Heights through all possible legal instruments to be a priority for the
al-Ja’afari, Damascus’ envoy to the UN made the remarks to a UN Security Council
session on Tuesday, the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
would endeavor to retake the territory — which has been occupied by Tel Aviv
since 1967 — “through all means, which are guaranteed by the international
law,” the agency cited him as saying.
Aviv, the official said, keeps looting the properties of the Golan’s residents
in order to expand its illegally-built settlements there.
continued occupation of Arab lands represents the most dangerous challenge to
the credibility and prestige of the international law’s rules and conventions,”
the ambassador said.
also took the Security Council to task for failing to implement the resolutions
it passes against the Israeli regime’s continued occupation of Arab territories.
countries, he said, take advantage of this failure to bolster the regime’s
aggressive behavior, he noted, in a pointed reference to the United States.
has endorsed the Golan Heights as Israeli territory, and recognized East
Jerusalem al-Quds in the occupied Palestinian territory of the West Bank as the
denounced the US’s pro-Israeli measures as an attempt at reversing realities
and disavowing legal obligations.
finally said Tel Aviv continued to attack the Syrian territory as means of
invigorating anti-Damascus terrorists.
regime launches regular sorties against Syria, targeting the country’s defenses
or the supplies intended for the foreign forces, who assist Damascus in its
official: American ideology will die, global operating system to be Islamic
American ideology will die in the next 15 years, and the global operating
system will be an Islamic one, a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
(IRGC) strategist said on Tuesday, the semi-official Tasnim news agency
the American ideology dies in the next 15 years, the global operating system
will be an Islamic one,” said Hassan Abbasi, an IRGC officer who heads its
strategic think tank- the Centre for Doctrinal Strategic Studies.
government of the elderly will be set aside and a young, revolutionary
government will be in charge,” he added.
Iran is now so strong that if anyone hits [Iran], it would be impossible for
them to escape and they must receive a response for their action,” said Abbasi.
Israel, Middle East would fall to ‘Islamic extremism,’ says Netanyahu
one to mince his words, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel
is the sole force fending off a radical Islamic takeover of the Middle East,
arguing Tel Aviv is an indispensable defender of the entire region.
shared this insight with a delegation of Arab journalists and bloggers on a
visit to Israel on Tuesday.
have told them one thing I believe in: the only force that prevents the
collapse of the middle east from within it is Israel,” the prime minister said
in a Facebook post quoting his remarks, adding “without Israel, the middle east
would collapse under the yoke of the forces of Islamic extremism.”
the PM’s post only said the attending journalists had come from nations that
“do not maintain any diplomatic relations with Israel,” a Knesset press release
said that the visiting media figures came from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Jordan, the
United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
also said some of the journalists “have expressed their desire for the Arab
public to recognize the state of Israel,” and offered to make additional visits
to strengthen relations, while the Knesset release quoted one delegate as
describing the country as a “dreamland.”
prime minister has previously made overtures to some of Israel’s Arab
neighbors, telling an audience of diplomats in Israel last year that Tel Aviv
was making “gradual normalization with leading countries in the Arab world,”
particularly as a result of the 2015 nuclear accord signed between Iran and
world powers, which Israel and Arab states like Saudi Arabia have slammed as a
“bad deal.” Tuesday’s media visit appears to be another step in that process of
says militant's arrest reveals plots, new Islamic State links
(Reuters) - Indonesian police said on Tuesday a suspected militant arrested
last week was plotting Independence Day bomb attacks and they suspect he was
part of a network behind violence in the Philippines that also has ties to
Islamic State in Afghanistan.
from Indonesia's anti-terrorism unit, Densus 88, arrested the suspect in the
province of West Sumatra last Thursday, national police spokesman Dedi Prasetyo
told a news conference.
suspect, identified as Novendri, was a member of the Islamic State-inspired
Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) group, which was banned in Indonesia last year for
"conducting terrorism" and being affiliated with foreign militants.
believe Novendri was planning bomb attacks including two police headquarters in
the city of Padang in West Sumatra province and other police posts on
Independence Day on Aug. 17, Prasetyo said.
displayed a chart at the news conference, setting out the suspected foreign
links of Indonesian militants including a leader, identified as Saefulah, who
is believed to be based in an area of Afghanistan where Islamic State militants
to Prasetyo, some Indonesian militants had tried to reach Afghanistan after the
defeat of Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
Indonesian on the chart, who was arrested in the city of Bekasi in West Java,
was suspected of planning a suicide attacks in the capital, Jakarta, during
protests in May over a disputed election, said Prasetyo.
also think the network had links to militants in the Philippines and helped a
husband and wife travel there from Indonesia's Sulawesi island.
believe the couple carried out a suicide attack on a cathedral on Jolo island
in the southern Philippines in February in which 22 people were killed.
said Indonesian anti-terrorism officers were working with police from various
countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, Afghanistan, the United States
and Australia in their investigation.
which is the world's biggest Muslim-majority country, is grappling with a
resurgence in militancy.
government scrambled to tighten its anti-terrorism laws after a series of
suicide bombings linked to JAD cells killed more than 30 people in the city of
Surabaya last year.
of people have been detained under the new laws since the beginning of 2019.
Richard C. Paddock and Jason Gutierrez
— A deadly cathedral bombing in the
Philippines in January was a suicide attack carried out by an Indonesian couple
who once tried to reach Islamic State territory and were deported from Turkey,
the Indonesian police said on Tuesday.
married couple, identified as Rullie Rian Zeke and Ulfah Handayani Saleh, went
to Turkey in 2016 with hopes of crossing the border into Syria, the police
said. Instead, they were arrested in January 2017 and sent back to Indonesia.
bombing, consisting of two detonations, struck the Cathedral of Our Lady of
Mount Carmel on the southern island of Jolo, where the government has long
fought Muslim insurgents. At least 23 people were killed and more than 100
wounded in the assault, which took place just as worshipers gathered for Mass.
Through various online bulletins, the Islamic State claimed responsibility.
officials and independent experts have warned that Indonesia and other
Southeast Asian nations face a serious threat from hundreds of returnees who
traveled to Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State. The attack in January
showed that they must also be wary of those who were deported from other
countries before they could reach their destination.
is the first suicide bombing we know of carried out by deportees,” said Sidney
Jones, director of the Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict in Jakarta,
the Indonesian capital. “A few others have been involved in terrorist
activities, but nothing on this scale.”
has been a hotbed of Islamic insurgency and the home of a violent separatist
militia, Abu Sayyaf, that espouses an Islamist ideology. The Philippine
authorities initially blamed Abu Sayyaf for the bombing, and the attackers may
have had the group’s help.
Rullie and Ms. Ulfah were identified during the interrogation of two suspects
who were arrested in Malaysia in May, the Indonesian police said.
Indonesian couple’s role in the Philippine bombing demonstrates the regional
nature of Islamist militants affiliated with the Islamic State who operate
across borders as they pursue their goal of creating a Southeast Asia caliphate
that would include Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.
shows the need for each police force in the region to understand extremist
networks in neighboring countries,” said Ms. Jones, a leading expert on
terrorism in the region.
a year, a couple led their four children on a suicide mission in Surabaya,
Indonesia’s second-largest city, with bombings at three churches on a Sunday
morning that killed all six family members and 12 other people. The Islamic
State claimed responsibility for the attacks.
2017, the authorities identified seven young Indonesian men who joined the
Islamic State, but went to the southern Philippines instead of Syria or Iraq.
They joined the battle against the Philippine government in the city of Marawi,
which was eventually destroyed by the fighting.
bombing of the Jolo cathedral will add to the debate over how countries should
deal with citizens who were arrested in Islamic State territory and are being
held in camps in Syria, Ms. Jones said.
Indonesians and Malaysians have expressed a desire to come home, but there is
no great enthusiasm for bringing them back and as of yet, no clear program for
doing so,” she said.
Rullie and Ms. Ulfah appear to have been stuck with their three children in
Turkey for nearly a year before they were caught and deported. They attended a
short rehabilitation program on their return to Indonesia and were allowed to
go home. The whereabouts of the children were unknown, Ms. Jones said.
country’s largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), and non-Muslim
communities played a crucial role in helping President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and
Vice President Ma’ruf Amin win the April 17 presidential election, analysts
have said. “One of the keys for Jokowi’s and Ma’ruf’s win was the non-Muslim
factor – 97 percent of non-Muslim citizens voted for Jokowi,” Indikator Politik
Indonesia researcher Burhanuddin Muhtadi said during a discussion on Friday,
quoting the results of an exit poll conducted by the pollster. However,
Burhanuddin said it was the NU’s role in getting Muslims to vote that was
crucial in Jokowi’s reelection as, by appointing Ma’ruf, an NU leader, as his
running mate, Jokowi had essentially cemented a permanent pact with the
organization. “Of all ...
West Nusa Tenggara (NTB) administration has released a book on disaster
mitigation in the hope of making religion one way to approach natural disaster
attempt to debunk popular belief that a disaster is the result of God's wrath
that has to be accepted no matter what is being helped by the NTB Disaster
Mitigation Agency (BPBD), with the title Friday Khotbah [sermon]: Disaster in
head of NTB BPBD, Ahsanul Khalik, said that besides advancing a religious
approach, the book is also an attempt to take disaster as a form of faith and
all hope that a disaster could mature the people of NTB to view it as a way to
avoid social issues and to strengthen their faith in Allah SWT,” Ahsanul said.
added that as humans, their duty was to perfect their faith in God, that way
they could also strengthen disaster mitigation and minimize casualties.
said the book launch was very important in making people aware that
earthquakes, landslides, droughts, fires, floods and other natural disasters
were not azab (punishment) from God.
about and mitigation of natural disasters through the religious approach has
proven to be very effective, according to Ahsanul. An estimated 3,000 copies of
the book will be distributed to mosques in remote villages.
mediation offer over Kashmir huge diplomatic success: PTI
The ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) has termed US President Donald
Trump’s offer of mediation over the Kashmir conflict a “huge diplomatic success”
of Pakistan and Prime Minister Imran Khan.
newly appointed central information secretary of the PTI, Ahmed Jawad, in a
statement here on Tuesday said the world was ready “to believe and respect what
Imran Khan says”.
would call it first victory of gaining global credibility, which has come from
low credibility of Pakistan in the past,” the PTI information secretary said.
a joint news conference with PM Khan at the White House Oval Office on Monday,
the US president had expressed his willingness to mediate between India and
Pakistan to resolve the 70-year-old Kashmir dispute if both the neighbouring
countries asked him for it.
I can help, I would love to be a mediator. If I can do anything to help, let me
know,” said Mr Trump when a Pakistani journalist asked him if he would like to
mediate between India and Pakistan on Kashmir.
Jawad said never a US president and a Pakistani prime minister had such a long
discussion on the Kashmir issue in an open press conference. He went on to add
that the biggest achievement of PM Khan in the US trip was official acceptance
of the Kashmir issue and even offering mediation by the US.
Jawad particularly mentioned the US president’s remarks that “such a beautiful
valley of Kashmir cannot be allowed to be littered with bombs” and termed it a
huge “diplomatic success” of Pakistan.
said the 15-year old stance of Mr Khan for peaceful resolution of Afghanistan
was finally duly endorsed by the US and they considered Pakistan’s role most
vital in the world with regard to Afghanistan.
claimed that Mr Khan’s stance that the resolution of the Afghan issue lied in
peaceful negotiation involving Taliban had finally been accepted at the Oval
to the US president’s comments over press freedom, Mr Jawad said President
Trump did not accept any observations regarding restrictions of media in
Pakistan and called his own media even worse.
he said the US president almost endorsed every view of Mr Khan and supported
his campaign against corruption. He added that PM Khan was emerging as one of
the most respected and favourite Pakistani leader in the world.
Pakistan Peoples Party’s information secretary Dr Nafisa Shah issued a
hard-hitting statement against Mr Khan over his remarks during an interaction
with a US think tank, stating that “Imran Khan should be awarded Goebbels Award
for the lies he told with confidence”.
Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday addressed members of the US Congress at Capitol
Hill, soon after which he departed for Pakistan, wrapping up his three-day
visit to Washington.
premier attended a reception with a large number of senators and members of US
House of Representatives at Capitol Hill on the invitation of Congresswoman
Sheila Jackson Lee, the chairperson of Congressional Pakistan Caucus.
of Prime Minister Imran's address, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she was
introduced to Pakistan during her time at university when another student,
dressed in a sari, told her to read books in the library on Mohammad Ali
Jinnah, through which she had learned about the "greatness of the
said that the relationship between Pakistan and the United States was an
she welcomed the premier, Pelosi thanked Pakistan for the "beautiful
gift" of Pakistani Americans that the country had given to the US.
a joint press conference with Prime Minister Imran, Pelosi said: "United
States values the critical relationship, the partnership with Pakistan."
thanked the premier for his leadership with regards to reconciliation efforts
between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Taliban, and for advancing "enduring
peace in the region".
premier thanked Pelosi for extending the invitation and for giving him a chance
to share Pakistan's point of view.
far, I feel that Pakistan has not really been represented properly in the US. I
feel that it is time to have a different sort of relationship with the US — a
reset," he said.
meeting was also held between Prime Minister Imran and Speaker Pelosi, attended
by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and other officials.
country is behind me'
his address at Capitol Hill, the premier shared that the "whole idea"
of his visit to the United States was for Americans to have a better
understanding of Pakistan.
is not understood here, specifically in the last 15 years when this 'War on
Terror' was being fought in Afghanistan and on the borders of Pakistan.
I hope is that by the time I leave, I would have made people here understand
our point of view."
premier said that Pakistan was now trying its best to get the Taliban on the
table to start dialogue.
has the same objective as the United States of reaching a peaceful solution in
Afghanistan as quickly as possible."
acknowledged that this would not be easy but assured the attendees that
Pakistan would try its best.
whole country is standing behind me — the Pakistan Army, the security forces,
all are behind me. We all have one objective and it is exactly the same
objective as the US: to have a peaceful solution as quickly as possible in
premier said that it was important that he met US President Donald Trump and
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who he had told that moving forward, the
relationship between the two countries has to be based on mutual trust.
will be telling the US what we can do in the peace process.
hope that from now on, our relationship is on a different level [...] it was
painful for us to watch the mistrust between the two countries."
Imran said that 70,000 Pakistanis had been killed in the war and the Pakistani
economy had incurred losses of billions of dollars when the country was
"fighting the US War on Terror".
had nothing to do with 9/11; Al Qaeda was in Afghanistan, there were no militant
Taliban in Pakistan. But we joined the US war.
I blame my government [is] that we did not tell the US exactly the truth on the
said that part of the reason for this was that 40 different militant groups
were operating in Pakistan and the governments weren't in control.
while the US expected us to do more and help [the] US win the war, Pakistan was
at that time fighting for its own existence."
he concluded his remarks, Prime Minister Imran said: "We hope from now our
relationship will be completely different and rest assured, I will make sure
that our relationship is now based on truth, on trust.
The declaration released by the White House stated that the US President Donald
J. Trump showed willingness ‘to strengthen cooperation with Pakistan on issues
that are vital to the peace, stability, and prosperity of the South Asia
region’ during his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Trump and PM Khan discussed a range of issues including counter-terrorism,
defense, energy and trade.
Trump wants to build stronger economic and trade ties with Pakistan, which
would benefit both of our countries, as we make progress on core United States
United States is committed to creating the conditions necessary for a peaceful
to the declaration, President Trump expressed the desire to President ‘to build
stronger economic and trade ties with Pakistan’ which would benefit both
has made efforts to facilitate the Afghanistan peace talks and taken
acknowledgeable steps for regional security and counter-terrorism. It added
that Islamabad has also taken some steps against terrorist groups operating
within the country.
is vital that Pakistan take action to shut down all groups once and for all.”
declaration stated, “The path to a strong and enduring partnership between
Pakistan and the United States lies in working together to find a peaceful
resolution of the conflict in Afghanistan.”
United States and Pakistan enjoy a strong economic partnership while both
countries have set a new record for bilateral trade in 2018 of $6.6 billion.
States exports to Pakistan reached a record high of $2.8 billion in 2018,
supporting approximately 10,000 American jobs. Over the past 15 years, the
United States has been one of the top five investors in Pakistan. The United
States is the largest export market for Pakistan’s goods.”
US energy producers are seeing more and more business opportunities with
Pakistan and the American companies are incorporating cutting-edge technologies
into energy projects throughout Pakistan, it added.
DC: Minister for Foreign Affairs Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said US
President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to visit Pakistan extended to
him by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
foreign minister was addressing a press conference in Washington after three
consecutive meetings between the senior leadership of both countries.
this tour, the thing that I find unique is that these people have seen the US
[Pakistani] community’s closeness to this prime minister. You saw that there
were thousands gathered in the Capital One arena.
in this very room, we have seen extremely powerful prime ministers and
presidents in the past having to address empty chairs.
point is, the people that came there and the love that they expressed — that
was a message from overseas Pakistanis. I have never seen this kind of a show
was a very positive message and we are very happy with it,” Qureshi said.
OF PAK-US RELATIONS:
to Qureshi, the exchanges in all three sessions were frank and Pakistan’s
delegation was able to deliver the message they had come with, “which was to
present Pakistan’s point of view, as there had been a long gap [in discussions
between the two sides] as an interaction of this level had not taken place in
the past five years.
five years, the top leadership of the two countries had not met. Our country
did not have a foreign minister and for five to six years we did not have any
lobbyists appointed here — all of this led to a vacuum in the relationship
between the two sides.”
about the seriousness from both countries towards rebuilding the relationship,
Qureshi said: “We cannot forget the fact that the relationship between the two
countries was such that no door was being opened for us in the time of Alice
Wells and Lisa Curtis. We used to ask for time [for discussions] and they were
not ready to give that to us. That was the level [we were at] a few months ago,
please understand that. Wasn’t our stance the same at the time? Was our Foreign
Office not the same at the time?
that, we have come this far. I am not saying that this sitting has completely
changed the way things were for us. I am saying that a door that was completely
shut for us … a possibility has been created for that door to be opened. We
have come here in all seriousness to rebuild this relationship. The stiffness
that once existed in our relationship has been lessened.
on the trade front, the foreign minister said: “Interactions between two
countries are heavily based on economic ties, which is why it is important that
we now pay attention to economic diplomacy too — like I mentioned yesterday
during my interaction with the investors.
world looks at economics and looks for ways to cater to its own economic needs,
so we will try that we also move forward in that direction.”
asked about US economic assistance which had been withdrawn in recent times,
Qureshi said: “The first thing that we need to see is why the [economic]
programmes had stopped. It was because of the trust deficit that had been built
between the two countries.
that we are making an effort to curb that deficit, we can hope that those
programmes will be reinstated.”
of the FATF and the pressure being exerted on Pakistan, Qureshi said: “The
FATF’s greatest focus is on money laundering. Prime Minister Imran Khan has
openly said that the plight of South Asian countries lies in the fact that the
elite class their takes the money that the country is making and the foreign
assistance it gets and misuses it. They send their money out of the country
through money laundering.
needs to help us out, keep a check on money laundering. Until that happens, the
common man in third world countries will continue to suffer and poverty will
remain on the rise there. These are words used by the prime minister himself
today. He made these comments in today’s sitting. This is his commitment, as
far as money laundering is concerned.
other thing is terror financing. You all know what our stance is on that, we
have paid a hefty price for it. We make very clear cut statements in this
regard today. We have not come here to lie, nor have we come here to make
promises that we cannot keep. There is no point in promising something that you
cannot deliver on — that is what we have been doing in the past. We as a
government will not promise that which we cannot deliver.
said, we want progress in both these things (against money laundering and
terror financing). I don’t know how much political will the previous
governments had in these matters, but one thing is sure, the current government
has a very strong will to move forward in these matters — and we have taken
concrete measures in this regard. We even have told everyone about the measures
we have taken.
there are limitations, but we are trying to get past those. Earlier, there was
neither will nor capacity in this regard — now there is will and capacity is
being built, so we believe there will be progress in this regard.”
REACTION TO KASHMIR MEDIATION:
of India’s reaction to President Trump’s offer to mediate between Pakistan and
India over Kashmir, Qureshi said:
course India has reacted this way, what else can we expect? They are hardly
going to blow trumpets on the offer. India has always reacted this way, they do
not want any sort of interference on the Kashmir matter.
always say that they want bilateral talks on Kashmir, then they never come to
the table for these talks. They do not want mediation and they do not want
stance on the matter is very simple: we want peace, we want peace efforts, we
believe that the only solution to the problem is through talks.”
of the current situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s efforts to restore peace
in its own tribal areas, Qureshi said:
all saw that right before the current [Pakistan] government elected, a new US
policy was announced and in it, Pakistan was primarily blamed for the situation
in Afghanistan. Our point of view is completely opposite to that.
believe that the reasons for the Afghan situation are manifold. The internal
situation within Pakistan plays a great role in their regional situation.
Furthermore, we kept saying and now the world has seen that Pakistan has made
huge efforts on our side of the border and cleansed our own areas. We have
restored peace there and started reconstruction there, because of which, a
number of people that had to repatriate from there have started returning to
Federal Minister for Interior Brig (retd) Ijaz Shah has said that the
government has no intention of amending the Islamic provisions in the Constitution.
to a 15-member delegation of Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) in the federal
capital on Tuesday, the minister said that the government can never think of
changing the law on the belief in the finality of the prophethood.
PUC delegation was led by Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi with Maulana
Nauman Hashir, Maulana Tahir Aqeel Awan, Maulana Asadullah Farooq, Maulana
Aseedur Rehman, Maulana Qasim Qasmi, Maulana Abubakar Sabri, Maulana Afzal Shah
Husseini, Maulana Dawood, Maulana Abid Israr, and Maulana Abdul Hadi in
interior minister declared that the government had decided to link the
registration of seminaries with the Ministry of Education by observing the
status of Wafaqul Madaris Al-Arabia. He clarified that no proposal would be
taken to amend the syllabus of seminaries.
government stands with the ulema and mashaikh to purge the country of
extremists and terrorists,” he said.
stressed that the social justice system of Islam was most effective and
workable for the entire world to seek guidance and implementation.
urged the religious sections of society to propagate the teachings of Islam for
the unity of Muslim brotherhood.
fanning extremism and sectarianism on account of Islam are not friends of Muslims,”
he said adding that the ruling government was pursuing effective and explicit
policies to uphold the interests of Pakistan.
ruler in Pakistan has ever raised voice for implementing a system like the
state of Madina. Pakistan can be transformed on the same pattern when all the
sections of government and society play an effective role in this regard,” he
government is devising a strategy to award degrees to students of seminaries in
order to provide them with better opportunities to excel in life,” he said.
urged the ulema to expose those elements who spread hatred in the society and
deplored that the issuance of fatwas for political gains.
interior minister also revealed that Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin
Salman had included Pakistan in the ‘Road to Makkah’ Project on the special
request of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi maintained that the council,
since its inception, had been struggling for upholding the dignity of Muslims
and values of Islam.
recalled that PUC in collaboration with all the leading religious schools of
thought in the year 2000 had issued a decree against the menace of terrorism
hailed the linking of madaris with the Ministry of Education and stressed that
the council stood by the government to curb those who spread hatred on social
said that the PUC will not only endorse positive undertakings of the government
but also hold it accountable for unconstitutional and anti-Sharia steps.
Successive governments in Pakistan did not tell the truth to the United States,
in particular in the last 15 years, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on
Tuesday, adding that there were 40 different militant groups operating in his
were fighting the US war on terror. Pakistan has nothing to do with 9/11.
Al-Qaida was in Afghanistan. There were no militant Taliban in Pakistan. But we
joined the US war. Unfortunately, when things went wrong, where I blame my
government, we did not tell the US exactly the truth on the ground," Khan
was addressing a Capitol Hill reception hosted by Congresswoman Sheila Jackson
Lee, Chairperson of the Congressional Pakistan Caucus. Lee is also a member of
the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian Americans.
of the reason for this, Khan explained to the lawmakers, was that the Pakistani
governments were not in control.
were 40 different militant groups operating within Pakistan. So Pakistan went
through a period where people like us were worried about could we survive it.
So while the US expected us to do more and help the US win the war, Pakistan at
that time was fighting for its own existence," he said.
said it was very important that he met President Donald Trump and other top
have explained to them that the way forward is: number one, the relationship
has to be based on mutual trust," he said, adding that he would be honest
in telling the US what Pakistan could do in the peace process.
Khan said, was trying its best to get the Taliban on the table to start this
far, we have done pretty well," he said and cautioned the US that the
process was not going to be easy.
not expect this to be easy, because it is a very complicated situation in
Afghanistan. But rest assured, we would be trying our best. The whole country
is standing behind me. The Pakistan Army, the security forces, all are behind
me. We all have one objective and it is exactly the same objective as the US,
which is to have a peaceful solution as quickly as possible in
Afghanistan," Khan said.
his last public engagement before winding up his hectic three-day US tour, Khan
hoped that the US-Pak relationship was now on a different level.
least two people were killed and 16 others injured in an improvised explosive
device (IED) blast on Quetta's Eastern Bypass area on Tuesday evening, police
DIG Abdul Razzaq Cheema confirmed the incident and said that unknown miscreants
had planted the explosive device in a motorcycle and parked it outside a
injured were rushed to Civil Hospital Quetta and an emergency was declared in
Cheema said that two victims of the blast succumbed to their injuries on their
way to the hospital. He added that all the injured were civilians.
said that the culprits and motive behind the attack were yet to be ascertained.
Police and other law enforcement agencies personnel reached the sport and an
investigation was underway.
US Secretary of State Michael R Pompeo called on Prime Minister Imran Khan at
the Pakistan House in Washington DC on Tuesday.
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Foreign Secretary Sohail Mehmood and Ambassador
of Pakistan to the US Dr Asad Majeed Khan were present during the meeting.
meeting comes during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s first official visit to
Washington as premier since his party, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)
assumed power following the July 2018 general elections.
Khan is visiting the US on an invitation from US President Donald Trump, who
hosted him at the White House on Monday.
many other positive statements during the meeting, Trump offered to mediate the
Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan.
will say that we have a very good relationship with India. I know that your
relationship was strained a little bit … maybe a lot,” Trump said.
I can help, I would love to be a mediator. If I can do anything to help, let me
know,” the US president added.
addition, Khan said: “The USA is the most powerful country in the world and it
can play a very important role for peace in the subcontinent.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said he would try meet with the
Taliban in an effort to persuade the group to meet with the Afghan government,
as the United States seeks to end the nearly 18-year-old war.
will meet the Taliban and I will try my best to get them to talk to the Afghan
government,” Khan said during an appearance at the US Institute of Peace in
said a Taliban delegation had wanted to meet him a few months back but he did
not because of opposition from the Afghan government.
United States and the Taliban are getting closer to a deal that is expected to
be centered on a US pledge to withdraw troops in exchange for a Taliban promise
not to let Afghanistan be used as a base for terrorism, officials say.
the Taliban have refused to negotiate with the government, denouncing it as a
US puppet, but in an effort to foster Afghan reconciliation, a 60-strong
delegation of citizens met the Taliban for two days of talks in Qatar from
role in the peace negotiations is a delicate one.
accuses Pakistan of supporting the Taliban, a charge Pakistan denies, saying it
has suffered heavily from the fighting.
United States has also pressed Islamabad to do more to curb militant groups
based in its territory.
as talks continue, the Taliban and the government have continued fighting.
The Afghan government demanded clarification from Washington on Tuesday after
President Donald Trump said that the country “would be wiped off the face of
the Earth” if he decided to win the conflict there.
made his remarks at the White House ahead of a meeting with Pakistani Prime
Minister Imran Khan on Monday in which he sought to mend ties with Islamabad
and seek its help to end the war in Afghanistan, the longest and most unpopular
conflict in US history.
could win that war in a week. I just don’t want to kill 10 million people,”
Trump said, referring to what he claimed were prepared military plans in
I wanted to win that war, Afghanistan would be wiped off the face of the Earth,
it would be gone, it would be over in literally 10 days.”
US leader’s comments could be a blow for President Ashraf Ghani’s government,
which signed a security pact with Washington in late 2014 allowing US-led
troops to stay in Afghanistan and, in 2017, hailed the US after it dropped the
world’s largest non-nuclear bomb in the east of the country.
remarks come amid rising violence in Afghanistan, which has claimed the lives
of hundreds of Taliban, government troops and civilians in recent months. Many
Afghans are asking why the world’s leading superpower has failed to defeat the
insurgents 18 years after the ouster of the Taliban regime.
Afghan government, which relies heavily on US troops and funding in the war
against the Taliban, has sought official clarification over Trump’s comments.
partnership and cooperation with the world, and in particular with the US, is
based on mutual interest and respect,” a statement issued by the presidential
palace said on Tuesday.
Afghan nation has never allowed and will not permit any foreign power to choose
its destiny,” it added.
Afghans, including former government officials, reacted angrily to Trump’s
Nabil, a presidential candidate who served as Afghanistan’s spy chief, said in
a tweet that Trump’s comments should prompt Afghan leaders to set aside their
reply to the insults of #Afg by @realDonalTrump, all Afg politicians, including
Ashraf Ghani and Taliban leaders, should drop their selfishness and announce
that we will make peace among ourselves & there is no need for mediation
for US/Pak,” he said. Modaser Islami, a leading Afghan religious scholar, said
that Trump’s remarks showed “hostility toward Afghans” and questioned if Trump
was “fighting the Taliban, as terrorists or as Afghans? His recent remarks show
he is enemy of latter.”
journalist Bilal Sarwary described the comments as “offensive, stupid and
arrogant,” while another senior journalist called the remarks an “insult to the
entire Afghan nation.”
analyst Wahidullah Ghazikhail told Arab News that Trump’s comments “highlight
Washington’s failure to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan.”
the US wants to strike a deal with the Taliban and Pakistan’s role is key in
the peace process,” he said.
Afghanistan — A joint airstrike by NATO and Afghan forces killed at least six
civilians in eastern Logar province, officials said Monday.
children were among those killed in Sunday night’s attack, and a woman and
three children were wounded, said Mohammad Naser Ghairat, a provincial
councilman in Logar.
blamed the international forces in Afghanistan, saying they carried out the
airstrike in Baraki Barak district. The alliance did not immediately comment on
Poor Ahmadzai, the Logar provincial police chief’s spokesman, said a delegation
had been sent to the area and that an investigation was underway.
can confirm the airstrike and casualties among civilians, including women and
children,” Ahmadzai said.
Taliban, who control roughly half of Afghanistan, said via their Twitter
account that five women and four children were killed by the airstrike in
northeastern Afghanistan, Taliban insurgents overran the district headquarters
of Kuran wa Munjan in Badakhshan province, according to Afghan security
police official from the province said the Taliban had intensified their
attacks on Afghan forces over the last nine days, culminating in the district
headquarters’ capture late Sunday.
said there were casualties on both sides but could not provide an exact figure,
as the fight was still ongoing. The official spoke on condition of anonymity
because he was not authorized to talk to the media.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility and said the group’s
fighters had taken control of the district headquarters.
Ahmadzai, spokesman for the defense ministry, said that Afghan troops were
preparing to retake the district headquarters.
(Reuters) - Afghan government forces mistakenly killed seven civilians,
including children, in an attack on militants south of the capital, a
provincial official said on Monday, the latest victims of a war undiminished by
forces, have been facing Taliban attacks across much of the country, and have
responded with air strikes aimed at killing insurgent leaders, even as U.S. and
Afghan representatives have been negotiating with the militants in Qatar.
seven civilians, including women and children, were killed in Logar province,
just south of Kabul, on Sunday night said Hasib Stanekzai, a member of Logar’s
provincial council. Six people were wounded, he said.
police confirmed the attack on militants by government forces but said they
were investigating the casualties.
to our initial information a number of militants were killed or wounded, but
local people gathered in the area, claiming that a house belonging to a Kuchi
family had been bombed, causing civilian casualties,” said Shahpor Ahmadzai, a
spokesman for Logar police.
are nomadic herders, but some now live in permanent settlements.
who said police were investigating, also said foreign force were involved in
the attack on the militants. Officials with Afghanistan’s NATO force were not
immediately available to confirm or deny their involvement in the operation.
forces, backed by U.S. advisers, have in recent months stepped up their air
strikes and raids to the highest levels since 2014.
latest phase of Afghanistan’s war - which began when U.S.-backed forces the
overthrew the Taliban following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United
States - has intensified despite the most sustained peace talks of the war.
United Nations has repeatedly expressed concern about civilian casualties,
which reached their highest level last year since detailed accounting began
nearly a decade ago.
public uprising forces killed 9 ISIS militants during a clash in eastern
Provincial Government’s media office in a statement said the public uprising
forces clashed with ISIS militants in Bandar area of Achin district on Monday
statement further added that the public uprising forces killed 9 ISIS militants
hailing from Pakistan.
the Provincial Government said the slain militants were original residents of
Bajaur and Orakzai areas of Pakistan.
Provincial Government also added that the four public uprising personnel also
sustained minor injuries during the clash.
Special Forces of the National Directorate of Security (NDS) stormed the
compound of a Taliban commander in eastern Kunar province.
National Directorate of Security in a statement said the NDS Special Forces
conducted the operation in Dangam district.
statement further added that the Special Forces killed Ahmadshah, Taliban
commander who was in charge of a group of 20 militants.
the National Directorate of Security said the Special Forces arrested three
militants during the raid.
security forces conducted airstrikes in various provinces in the past 24 hours
killing at least 13 militants including ISIS Khurasan terrorists.
informed military sources said Wednesday that airstrikes killed 4 Taliban
militants in Ab-e Kamarie district of Badghis.
sources further added that a similar airstrike killed 1 Taliban militant in
Ghormach district of Badghis.
the security forces conducted an airstrike in Qaisar district of Faryab and
killed 1 Taliban militant.
source also added that another airstrike in Giro district of Gahzni province
killed 3 Taliban militants and a similar raid killed 2 others in Khas Uruzgan
district of Uruzgan province.
Taliban political spokesman Suhail Shaheen said on Tuesday thousands of Taliban
fighters would become part of the Afghan army and other security forces after
US and other foreign troops left Afghanistan following a peace deal with the
United States and the Taliban are close to an agreement to end an 18-year-long
Afghan civil war. The deal is expected to be centered on a US pledge to
withdraw troops in exchange for a Taliban promise not to let Afghanistan be
used as a base for terrorism, officials say.
Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad will
travel to Afghanistan and Qatar from July 22 – August 1 to restart talks with
the Taliban in Doha.
have agreed that the army will stay as an institution,” the Taliban spokesman
told Arab News via telephone when asked about the fate of thousands of Taliban
fighters after the peace deal. “The army is required and will remain as a base,
as a foundation but reforms are needed.”
said participants at Moscow’s intra-Afghan conference this month had also
called for reforms in Afghan security institutions, adding that future
intra-Afghan meetings would decide how reforms would be introduced.
of course they (Taliban) will be part of the security system. They have
rendered huge sacrifices for the liberation of the country,” Shaheen said.
another question about whether the Taliban would be part of any future
political system and the government, the Taliban spokesman answered in the
affirmative adding: “But they will not be the part of the present
administration. There will be a new system and a new government and we will
definitely be part of that.”
asked if the Taliban could become a political party when foreign troops
withdrew, Shaheen said: “Our leadership will decide about the future policy.
Our top priority is to end the occupation and second, to establish an Islamic
government and we will take Afghans into confidence. Our leaders will decide as
to how would we work.”
said the Taliban would allow women the right to education, jobs and business
under Islamic principles, adding that they would have to observe the Islamic
had been no curbs on women education during our previous government. But we had
been in the state of war that time and had no financial resources and the
priority had been to maintain security as there had been anarchy and chaotic
situation that time. But we want the world to help us and we will establish
good relations with the world and to solve all our problems under an Islamic
system,” Shaheen said.
said the Taliban neither recognized the present system in Kabul nor the
constitution in its present form.
recognize the constitution as a necessity and want another constitution,”
Shaheen said. “We think other institutions are also necessary but we do not
recognize the present institutions and that is why we are holding intra-Afghan
conferences to discuss how the constitution and institutions should be.”
asked if the Taliban recognized the present democratic system, Shaheen said:
“We believe in an Islamic system.”
said there was a possibility the Taliban and the United Sates could “conclude
certain final points” in the possible peace deal within a month and even before
the Muslim festival of Eid, likely to be celebrated in Afghanistan on Aug. 11.
am hopeful we will reach an agreement before Eid,” he said.
a question about US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s statement that he hoped to
have a peace deal by September 1, Shaheen said he was hopeful an agreement
could materialize even before that as “we want to end bloodshed and destruction
in our country.”
at Indian minister's comments over 'fake' lynchings
of India’s religious minorities have been shocked by a government minister’s
claim that most reports of cow-related lynchings were fabricated.
Abbas Naqvi, the minister for Minority Affairs, said in an interview published
online July 21 that the majority of mob lynchings were “concocted and fake.”
and Muslim leaders, as well as rights activists, say he was in truth defending
his government’s pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is accused of
tacitly approving Hindu violence in the name of protecting the animal revered
by orthodox members of their religion.
“either has no knowledge of this matter or he is trying to shield goons in his
party and allied outfits which are committing these very real crimes,” said
Zafarul Islam Khan, a Muslim who heads the Delhi Minority Commission.
carried out by International rights organizations show that mob-lynching
incidents have risen ever since the BJP came to power in 2014. Most victims
were Muslims accused of cow slaughter or carrying beef, but victims also
included socially impoverished Dalit people and a tribal Christian.
said his office had “documented over 400 crimes” linked to cow protection since
2014. These included lynching, attacking people with weapons and beating them
up on suspicion of consuming or carrying beef or slaughtering or transporting
cows for slaughter.
2015, at least 47 people have been lynched across India in cow-related
incidents, according to Indiaspend, a data journalism website. More than 300
people were attacked, about 70 percent of them Muslims, and the rest mostly
Dalit people or Christians.
activist Ravi Nair said the minister should use his authority to prosecute
those involved in the violence against minorities, “instead of trying to shield
the executive director of the South Asia Human Rights Documentation Center,
wants the government to compensate the families of those killed.
told ucanews.com: “Instead of “playing ostrich with his head in the sand, Naqvi
should use his ministerial power to help the victims of violence.”
leader A. C. Michael wondered how a federal minister “could term murders as
fake and fabricated.”
said Naqvi’s attempt was “a clear indication that BJP wants to shield the
criminals. How could mob lynching be fake? Sadly, people behind such incidents
are being emboldened by such irresponsible utterances.”
a leader heading the federal Ministry of Minority it is his “constitutional
duty to safeguard the interest of minorities instead of ridiculing them,” said
V. Williams, a Christian activist, and leader based in New Delhi said the
global community “is well aware of the facts” and the minister’s words “aren’t
going to undermine the reality.”
police under BJP governments “refuse to entertain complaints from victims of
hate crimes”, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly stating that his
government is committed to protecting the rights of religious minorities, said
is the tenth “Most Dangerous Country to Live” in for Christians, according to
the international monitoring group Open Doors in its latest annual report World
Watch that listed 50 dangerous countries to live as a Christian.
are a tiny minority comprising 29 million — or just 2.3 percent — of India’s
1.3 billion people. In contrast, Hindus form 966 million or 80 percent, while
Muslims account for 172 million or 14 percent.
remarks on kashmir: PM Modi must come to Parliament, make statement, asks
Abantika Ghosh, Pradeep Kaushal |
that Prime Minister Narendra Modi come to Parliament to make a statement on US
President Donald Trump’s claim that he had asked him to mediate on Kashmir, the
Opposition parties Tuesday refused to settle for the statement made in both
Houses by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar who denied that any such
request was made to Trump.
the government is yet to formally reach out to Opposition leaders on extending
the Parliament session,
leaders are against such a move and may even boycott the extended session,
Opposition parties decided not to disrupt the morning sessions during Zero Hour
and Question Hour. On the large number of Bills — there are 19 in all — that
the government is trying to push through, Opposition leaders agreed to move
resolutions on each one, starting with the RTI amendment Bill Tuesday, to send
them to Select Committees.
Opposition staged a walkout while the Bill was being discussed. On the demand
for sending the RTI Bill to the Select Committee, BJD too signed the notice
moved by Trinamool Congress.
will resist the way they are trying to convert the Parliamentary system of
democracy into a Presidential system. We will fight it,” said Trinamool Rajya
Sabha leader Derek O’Brien.
parties have been agitated ever since last Friday when Minister of State for
Parliamentary Affairs V Muraleedharan read out a long list of Bills for which
the Business Advisory Committee allocated time with just five days remaining in
soon as Lok Sabha met Tuesday, members from the Congress, Trinamool Congress
and other Opposition parties were on their feet shouting slogans over the Trump
claim. As the Speaker took up question hour, Congress members were heard
shouting: “We want an answer.” Congress floor leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury
said the Prime Minister should give an answer. The Speaker assured Opposition
members that he would allow them to raise the matter during Zero Hour.
said the remarks made by Trump were serious and insisted that the Prime
Minister personally clarify the matter. The same demand was made by Saugata Roy
of the Trinamool Congress and T R Baalu of the DMK.
Jaishankar rose to make a statement, it was drowned in protests by the
Opposition. He was still reading his statement when the Opposition staged a
the ruckus in the House, Speaker Om Birla said it was a serious issue and there
should not be any politics over the matter. He urged members to rise above
party lines and think about national interest. Parliamentary Affairs Minister
Pralhad Joshi said Opposition members were trying to belittle the image of the
country, which is “highly unfair and uncalled for”.
Minister Amit Shah requested the Speaker to allow Jaishankar to repeat the
statement as it was essential that people hear him clearly. As the Speaker gave
his green signal, Jaishankar read out his statement afresh.
Muslim kids beaten for not chanting ‘Jai Shree Ram’ in Asansol
After the mob lynching of Rizwan, 2 more Muslim children were beaten for not
chanting Jai Shree Ram. Muslims there are living in a state of fear, while school
and markets remain shut.
innocent children who were returning from school at Musaddi locality were
stopped and asked to chant Jai Shree Ram. When they refused they were beaten
and threatened to be killed.
local Muslim youth reached the spot and rescued the minors.
39-year-old man was arrested and remanded in judicial custody for his remarks
in a social media group criticising a recent NIA raid in his village. Police
said they arrested M Thaj, from Muthupettai near Tiruvarur, for his message
criticising NIA raids and attributing political motives to it.
message in question apparently referred to recent NIA raids, held
simultaneously in 14 locations in Tamil Nadu, to probe 14 Muslim youths for
their alleged role in funding an alleged terror module called Ansarullah. After
they arrived from the UAE, the NIA’s decision to bring the suspects in a
special flight to Chennai from Delhi had raised eyebrows.
why Thaj was arrested, M Durai, SP of Tiruvarur, said Thaj has no link to the
case being probed by the NIA. “But his social media post was portraying the NIA
case in bad light. He attributed communal motives to the NIA probe,” Durai
across the political divide in the Valley have welcomed US President Donald
Trump’s offer to mediate to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) tweeted, “Welcome such a positive development
laden with potential to establish permanent peace in the subcontinent. Dialogue
and Diplomacy not warmongering the only means which can deliver some respite to
the people of subcontinent engulfed in raging fires of hatred.”
Conference president and MP Farooq Abdullah congratulated PM Narendra Modi for
seeking the “intervention” of US President Donald Trump. “It is indeed a
welcome step to see the Prime Minister make sincere efforts to solve the issue
that has been lingering around for more than seven decades. Any mediation in
conflict resolution is not a new approach; it is one of the traditional means
of diplomacy that affords the two conflict-ridden countries reach a suitable
solution,” he said in a statement.
the news is true, it is a good news for the people of Kashmir,” Peoples
Democratic Front (PDF) chief Hakeem Yaseen said. “The head of two countries
should now come forward to resolve this issue.” However, Jammu & Kashmir
Pradesh Congress Committee (JKPCC) president Ghulam Ahmad Mir said Trump’s
statement has “exposed” PM Modi’s “policies”. “The statement by US President
has exposed the policy of Modi. If he (Trump) is saying something, he is
talking with full authority…we will not have third party intervention to
resolve all our issues. I guess, today’s need is same, to resolve all the
issues bilaterally,” he said.
group apologises for calling four Democrat congresswomen ‘Jihad Squad’
Rep. Ilhan Omar's face is contorted into an attitude-filled pout and she
appears to be toting a large gun.
her are the doctored images of three other Democratic congresswomen: Reps.
Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Ayanna
Pressley of Massachusetts.
to the movie poster-style picture that was recently shared to an official Facebook
page for Republican leaders in Illinois, the four minority lawmakers are the
stars of "The Jihad Squad."
JIHAD IS THEIR GAME," reads all-caps text on the fake poster. "IF YOU
DON'T AGREE WITH THEIR SOCIALIST IDEOLOGY, YOU'RE RACIST."
meme, which reportedly first appeared Friday on the Facebook page of the
Illinois Republican County Chairmen's Association, has since drawn widespread
backlash from top state leaders in both parties.
Sunday evening, the association's president, Mark Shaw, apologised and
announced that the post had been taken down.
is unclear if the poster was created by the organisation, but its logo was
featured on the image.
couple of days ago, an image which was not authorised by me was posted on the
Facebook page of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen's Association,"
Mr Shaw wrote in a statement. "I condemn this unauthorised posting and it
has been deleted. I am sorry if anyone who saw the image was offended by the
post, Shaw added, "is an unfortunate distraction from the serious debate
surrounding the policies advocated by these four socialist members of the
United States House of Representatives of which I strongly disagree."
poster marks yet another ugly broadside against the congresswomen following
President Donald Trump's racist tweets last Sunday in which he suggested that
the four women of colour should "go back" to the "totally broken
and crime infested places from which they came."
Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley were born in the United States and Ms Omar, a
Somali refugee, became a citizen when she was 17.
than walk back the widely condemned comment, Trump has continued to publicly
rebuke the freshman representatives, who have become collectively known as
"the Squad" - and others have joined in.
a rally in North Carolina on Wednesday, Trump supporters chanted, "Send
her back," at Ms Omar, drawing such fierce backlash that the president
falsely insisted that he tried to stop the crowd.
next day, a Louisiana police officer called Ms Ocasio-Cortez "this vile
idiot" in a Facebook post and suggested that she "needs a
round....... and I don't mean the kind she used to serve," NOLA.com
officer's social media post was condemned by local officials, but they have not
determined whether the words amounted to a credible violent threat, according
to the outlet.
Sunday, Trump again took aim at the women in a scathing tweet, lambasting them
as "weak and insecure people who can never destroy our great Nation!"
Hours later, the president shared a video of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro
railing against the lawmakers during her Saturday show.
the roughly six-minute segment, Ms Pirro, a vocal critic of Ms Omar, warned
viewers about "a plot to remake America by those who hate America,"
and added the "the Squad . . . represents a dangerous assault on
everything we hold dear."
Illinois, however, the state's top Republican leaders quickly agreed that
"The Jihad Squad" meme went too far, joining their Democratic
counterparts in denouncing it.
poster, which is based on the 2013 crime film "Gangster Squad,"
featured unflattering images of the congresswomen. The "jihad"
references were likely directed at Omar and Tlaib, who are the first two Muslim
women to serve in Congress.
strongly condemn evoking race or religion as the basis for political
disagreement," Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party,
wrote in a statement.
rhetoric greatly distracts from legitimate and important policy debates and
further divides our nation."
continued: "My intense disagreement with the socialist policies and
anti-semitic language of these four congresswomen has absolutely nothing to do
with their race or religion. I urge everyone who also opposes them to keep the
rhetoric focused on policy and political ideology."
Morrison, chairman of the Cook County Republican Party, which includes Chicago,
said in a statement that he was "appalled" by the post's "use of
are civil ways to express political differences that do not involve going to
racist extremes," Morrison said, adding that the country "should
instead strive for an intelligent, civil and thoughtful discussion of the
philosophical differences between Republicans and Democrats."
Facebook, the Cook County Democratic Party expressed their support for the
congresswomen and accused the GOP group of sharing a post that
"perpetuates the recent attacks by President Trump, promoting lies and
racism to alienate immigrants, women, and people of colour."
the RCCA president, explained Sunday that the organisation "has a
multi-stage, approval process" for posts on any of its social media pages.
noted that the association's internal review process is now under
"re-evaluation to insure that any content posted in the future represents
the 'big-tent' nature of the Republican Party."
statement was met with mixed reactions as some praised the effort, but many
critics who flooded the group's Facebook page with comments on Sunday found
that the apology fell short.
non apology," one person wrote. "You said the quiet part loud and are
person called the apology "weak."
remember when the Republican Party stood for decency, respect, family values
and the 'moral majority,'" the commenter said. "They sure have come
down from that high ground to take the low road."
China's vassal, Khan is Xi's jester, says ex-Pentagon official
An ex-Pentagon official, Michael Rubin, warned the United States against
falling prey to Pakistan's latest bid to revive relations, stating that the
South Asian country's Prime Minister Imran Khan did not seek a new partnership,
but aimed at continuing a pattern of duplicity, "the cost of which can be
counted in billions of dollars of wasted aid, Chinese backslapping, and
American body bags."
elaborated on this observation in an editorial written for an American
magazine, The National Interest.
Prime Minister Imran Khan hopes that his visit to the White House today will
jumpstart relations with the United States after years of tension. Within the
US political context, President Donald Trump is a polarising figure and his
political opponents usually blame him exclusively for all ills on the
international stage. When it comes to Pakistan, however, they should not.
Pakistan's problems are made in Pakistan and Trump should continue the recent
bipartisan consensus to hold Islamabad responsible," Rubin stated.
then charted the course of the US-Pakistan relationship, which saw Islamabad
become a US ally shortly after its creation in 1947 "largely because Jawaharlal
Nehru rejected US partnership."
India drifted closer to the Soviet Union, Pakistan grew in US strategic
calculations. Between 1954 and 1965, Pakistan received more than USD one
billion in arms sales and defence assistance, a huge amount for the time.
Cooperation only increased after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. It was not
long until Pakistan became the third-largest US aid recipient, after Israel and
Egypt," Rubin added.
American Enterprise Institute's resident scholar, however, highlighted that
despite the close cooperation with Washington, Pakistan grew fiercely
anti-American. He listed Pakistan's nuclear ambitions as one of the reasons.
has a knack for always labelling India the aggressor even when Pakistan -- or
the terrorists it shelters and funds -- start wars. When war between Pakistan
and India erupted in 1965 and again in 1971, Pakistan demanded the United
States come to its aid. Washington instead chose neutrality and placed an arms
embargo on both sides. Pakistani leaders saw this as betrayal since India was
larger and had greater resources. The bitterness of that time colours Pakistani
anti-Americanism today," Rubin wrote.
nuclear ambitions contributed to the tension. Pakistan initiated its nuclear
program in 1955 and participated in the Eisenhower administration's "Atoms
for Peace" program. A decade later Pakistan inaugurated her first nuclear
reactor with US assistance. Pakistani leaders long kept their desire to acquire
nuclear weapons private but that changed in 1965," he stated.
was the year that Pakistani politician Zulfikar Ali Bhutto declared: "If
India builds the bomb, we will eat grass and live, can even go hungry. But we
will get one for our own. We have no alternative." Still, aside from Bhutto's
outburst, the Pakistani government was willing to tell American officials what
they wanted to hear: "Pakistan will neither acquire nor produce a nuclear
bomb," Zia ul-Haq said. His formula - technology but no bomb - became the
mantra for states like North Korea and perhaps also Iran, which sought covert
programs. It also became the reason that an entire generation of American
officials began to see Pakistani officials as duplicitous," Rubin wrote.
overt drive toward and later acquisition of nuclear weapons led to the periodic
imposition of US sanctions suspended or lifted only when Washington needed
something from Islamabad. This reinforced the perception among Pakistani
officials and broader society that the United States was a fair-weather friend
and a selfish partner," the scholar and former Pentagon official said.
coup de grace for anti-Americanism, however, was the decision Pakistani
military and intelligence leaders took upon East Pakistan (Bangladesh)'s loss
in 1971 to embrace and promote Islamist extremism within Pakistani society as a
glue to hold together Pakistan's ethnically-diverse society. The number of
madrasas teaching radicalism exploded. It was Pakistan's fear of ethnic (and
specifically Pashtun) nationalism that led Pakistan to exclusively support
Islamist groups among the anti-Soviet resistance in 1979 when Pakistani
authorities monopolised the distribution of aid," he stated.
the September 11, 2001, terror attacks, the United States needed Pakistan
desperately. On September 22, 2001, Bush waived nuclear sanctions and declared
Pakistan "America's closest non-NATO ally." Former president Pervez
Musharraf publicly pledged to "unstinted cooperation" to the United
States in the fight against terrorism but, privately, Pakistan continued its
support for the Taliban," he added.
put, eliminating the Taliban was not a Pakistani objective and, at best,
Islamabad was agnostic on Al Qaeda. Musharraf partnered with the United States
for four reasons: security, economic revival, the safety of nuclear and missile
assets, and the hope that the United States would support Pakistan on the
Kashmir dispute," Rubin stated, noting that Pakistan's double-game on
terror spelt deadly for the United States. It also destabilizes South Asia and
risks catalyzing Pakistan's descent into state failure. He also outlined
Pakistan's sponsorship of terrorism.
US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) has declared
that 143 Pakistan-based individuals or organizations were guilty of engaging in
terror activity. State Department terror lists are populated with
Pakistan-based or supported groups, even if diplomatic considerations obscure
mention of Pakistan in many of their profiles. Almost two thousand American
servicemen have died in Afghanistan as a result of Taliban attacks and, by
extension, Pakistani actions. In short, this has put Pakistan on the same level
as -- or even a level above -- Iran when it comes to responsibility for the
deaths of American servicemen. That alone is the reason not to forgive Pakistan
or buy into the fiction that Pakistani authorities are not culpable,"
should Congress or the White House do anything to obscure Pakistan's aggression
by proxy toward India and Afghanistan. This year Pakistani-backed terrorists
have taken their terrorism to a new level. On January 22, 2019, Taliban
terrorists - supported by Pakistan - attacked an Afghan army camp in Wardak and
killed more than 120 people," he added.
also mentioned the ghastly February 14 Pulwama terror attack, which claimed the
lives of over 40 CRPF personnel.
February 2019, a member of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terrorist
group attacked a police convoy in Pulwama, Indian Kashmir, killing forty
people. In just the past three years, there have been at least seven major
attacks on Indian targets by Pakistan-based terrorists. Certainly, Pakistani
groups have repeatedly promised to crack down on terrorism, but the record is
clear: they lie," Rubin elaborated.
ministers and allies of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, as well as his
brother Shehbaz Sharif, openly rallied with banned militants. While Trump may
praise Pakistan's recent arrest of the mastermind of the Mumbai terror attacks,
he ignores that Pakistani authorities have repeatedly arrested Hafiz Saeed -
and always released him once the spotlight moved on," the former Pentagon
official pointed out.
the United States prepares to cut-and-run from Afghanistan, Trump and his
allies may believe that now is the time to reset relations with Pakistan. They
are wrong. Under Imran Khan, Pakistan has continued its move to become an
instrument of Chinese strategic policies. Successive Pakistani leaders have
fallen victim to China's debt trap. Thus, even if Khan wished to chart an
independent course, it would have been impossible for him to do so," he
also outlined Pakistan's silence on the Chinese crackdown on the Uighur Muslims
and said, "The simple fact, however, is that Khan willingly casts his lot
with Beijing. The Gwadar Port today is solidly among China's "string of
pearls." For all his cynical embrace of Islam as a political tool rather
than a deep faith, Pakistan has not only remained quiet on China's
mass-incarceration of its Uighur population into concentration and
"re-education" camps but also endorsed China's strategy at the United
recent crackdown on army officials on spurious corruption and other charges
have less to do with countering the country and military's endemic corruption
and more to do with a People's Liberation Army-directed purge of pro-American
elements within Pakistan's army. This undertaking was designed to make the
Pakistani military more acceptable for long-term Chinese partnership. Simply put,
Pakistan is now China's vassal, and Khan is President Xi Jinping's
jester," he said.
further highlighted how Khan continues to fan an anti-American narrative in
Khan feels he has no choice but to kowtow to China. That simply shows his and
Pakistan's weakness. But, Khan had a choice about whether to encourage or
discourage anti-Americans, and he chose to fan its flames. He has encouraged a
consistent anti-American image in Pakistan, and the Pakistani government and
officials continue to suggest the United States is "anti-Islamic"
even as Pakistan receives billions of dollars in US aid. Recent attacks by
Pakistan's proxies in Afghanistan show that Islamabad is not simply
anti-American in rhetoric, but also in action. Khan may relish what a photo-op
in the Oval Office might do for foreign investment, but he should recognize
that what condemns Pakistan to its current plight is its continued use
terrorism as an instrument of foreign policy," Rubin stated.
then observed that Khan's meeting with the US President should be seen in the
same light as those with North Korea, Turkey and Russia.
— Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and other Muslim politicians are constantly being
asked to condemn groups and issues that her non-Muslim colleagues are not asked
to answer for, and she’s tired of it.
on the opening panel at the Muslim Collective for Equitable Democracy
conference on Tuesday, the congresswoman took a question from Ani Zonneveld,
founder of the Los Angeles-based group Muslims for Progressive Values.
Zonneveld asked if Omar and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) would come out and condemn
female genital mutilation.
who has previously voted for numerous bills against FGM both on the state and
federal levels, immediately called the question “appalling.”
often should I make a schedule like this? This needs to be on repeat every five
minutes. Should I do that?” she asked Zonneveld.
today, I forgot to condemn al Qaeda, so here’s the al Qaeda one. I forgot to
condemn FGM. Here that goes. I forgot to condemn Hamas. Here that goes.”
week, President Donald Trump falsely accused Omar of praising the terrorist
group al Qaeda. Omar responded by saying she would not “dignify” the lie with a
response, adding that “it is beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists.
We are no longer going to allow the dignification of such a ridiculous
room at Tuesday’s panel, filled with approximately 100 people attending this
historic gathering of American Muslims in politics, applauded Omar’s response
Omar, who sported a gray dress and a white hijab, was not finished.
am quite disgusted, really, to be honest, that as Muslim legislators we are
constantly being asked to waste our time speaking to issues that other people
are not asked to speak to,” she continued, noting the assumption that Muslims
“somehow support” these issues.
I want to make sure that the next time someone is in an audience and is looking
at me, and Rashida and Abdul and Sam, that they asked us the proper questions
that they will probably ask any member of Congress.”
who was scheduled to speak, was not present. Abdul El-Sayed, who ran in
Michigan’s 2018 Democratic gubernatorial primary, and Sam Rasoul, one of two
Muslim members of the Virginia General Assembly, sat alongside Omar on the
panel. Other panelists included Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim American war
hero killed in Iraq and the man who famously held up the Constitution at the
2016 Democratic National Convention, and Ken Martin, the chairman of the
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.
comments came just an hour after Trump made his latest Twitter attack against
Omar and three other freshmen congresswomen, calling the Minnesota lawmaker “an
America hating anti-Semite.” Trump is scheduled to speak the same day at the
Turning Point USA summit, a nationwide conservative organization of student
Republicans riddled with bigotry and white supremacy, just a few miles away in
D.C. Earlier Tuesday at the summit, Eric Thomas Bolling, a former Fox News host
who was fired after a sexual harassment probe, bashed Omar.
Somali refugee coming over here and becoming a member of Congress, to complain
about the system, that’s just hypocrisy to me,” Bolling told the crowd.
President Donald Trump hopes to decide soon on when to release a plan for peace
between Israel and the Palestinians, his Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt
told the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday.
Trump has not yet decided when we will release the political portion of the
plan, and we hope to make that decision soon,” he said.
also said that the conflict could not be solved on the basis of international
consensus or with references to inconclusive international law and United Nations
supremacist violence is to blame for a spike in US domestic terror arrests,
says Christopher Wray, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
at a Senate hearing on Tuesday, Wray said, “A majority of the domestic
terrorism cases we've investigated are motivated by some version of what you
might call white supremacist violence." However, he added, "it
includes other things as well.”
to Wray, the FBI has arrested nearly 100 people for being involved in
terrorism-related acts domestically so far this year, a figure which is already
higher than that of the entirety of the last year.
report by the Centre for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State
University showed in March that there had been an increase in white supremacist
attacks both in the US and around the world in recent years.
nationalism has reflected a coarsening of mainstream politics, where debates on
national security and immigration have become rabbit holes for the exploitation
of fear and bigotry,” according to the report.
most recent police data, found a spike in many large US cities around election
time 2018 as well,” Brian Levin, director of the centre, wrote in Time
also found Ideologically motivated murders by white supremacists increased in
2018 to 17, from 13 in 2017,” he added.
violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017
turned bloody after a 20-year-old suspected Nazi sympathizer smashed his car
into the counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring
some 20 others.
Donald Trump, who has a strong following among white nationalists, called the
far-right elements partaking in the demonstration as “very fine people.”
after pressure against him piled up, he declared that “racism is evil,”
singling out white supremacists, neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan for the violent
Republican president was heavily criticized both in the country and abroad over
his initial response to the violence in Charlottesville.
the US, many lawmakers, including members of his own party as well as business
executives distanced themselves from him. Also, officials in Britain, Germany,
the UN and elsewhere denounced his remarks.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has signaled for possible prisoners swap agreement
with the United States to exchange detained prisoners in future.
an interview with U.S. broadcaster Fox News, Khan said that so far no
negotiation has taken place, however they could talk on prisoners exchange in
to a question on release of Shakil Afridi, a doctor who helped CIA track down
slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in northwestern Pakistan in 2011, Khan
said they could negotiate some sort of a swap.
are some decisions in a democracy which even a prime minister finds difficult
because we do have an opposition. But this is something that can be negotiated.
As we know the US wants Shakil Afridi and we also have someone in prison in the
US, a frail woman called Aafia Siddiqui, so yes we could negotiate some sort of
a swap," Khan said.
who had been arrested soon after the U.S. operation in Abbotabad and initially
sentenced to 33 years in jail in 2012 however the sentence was later reduced to
10 years following his appeal against the judgment. Even though he was accused
of running a parallel spy network for the CIA in Pakistan, he was never tried
on those charges.
Aafia Siddiqui, who graduated from MIT and did her PhD from Brandise University
in Education, had gone missing in Pakistan in 2004 along with her three minor
children before she was discovered in a U.S military base in Bagram,
Afghanistan in 2008.
2010, Aafia was sentenced to 89 years in prison by a U.S. court for attacking
an American soldier in Afghanistan.
in Pakistan is considered as U.S. spy," Khan explained.
on U.S. operation in Abbotabad in 2011 without Pakistan had taken into
confidence, Khan said his country suffered 70,000 casualties in this fight
while his country always felt that they were an ally of the U.S. and that they
had been given the information about Osama bin Laden, they should have taken
him out, Khan recalled.
were embarrassed as they thought we were an ally of the US and the US did not
trust us, they actually came in and bombed and killed a man [OBL] in our
territory," Khan said.
revealed that it was the ISI [Pakistan spy agency] which gave the information
that led to the location of Osama bin Laden.
about the safety of nuclear arms in South Asia, Khan said his country has one
of the most comprehensive command and control system of nuclear weapons.
is no need to worry about Pakistan's nuclear weapons as we have one of the most
professional armies and one of the best command and control of our nuclear
weapons," Khan told the Fox News.
U.S. knows about our system as we share intelligence with Washington about the
safety system of our nuclear weapons,'' he added.
World League chief honored for strengthening ties between Islamic world, Russia
The Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences has
awarded the secretary-general of the Muslim World League (MWL), Dr. Mohammad
bin Abdul Karim Al-Issa, an honorary doctorate in recognition of his efforts to
strengthen the relationship between the Islamic world and Russia.
Vitaly Naumkin, the director of the institute, who represents one of the most
well-known academic institutions in the world over the past 200 years, talked
about Al-Issa’s career, noting that he has contributed to the promotion of
cultural rapprochement among nations through his visits to countries and his
connections with different cultures and religions.
said that the principles of moderation adopted by the MWL and its
secretary-general contributed to the establishment of security in the world,
noting that these principles addressed extremism and violence.
honorary doctorate was given to Al-Issa for his services in the development of
Islamic jurisprudence and improving official and popular relations between
Russia and the Islamic world, he said.
MWL secretary-general said that he was proud to receive the honorary doctorate
from an institute that is well-known for its dedication and neutrality.
also praised the Russian Federation’s care for Arab and Islamic culture and its
keenness to communicate with the Muslim world, learn its language and
understand its culture.
considered the award to be motivation to work on promoting cultural
communication and exchange between the Islamic world and Russia.
said that the institute has contributed to changing the stereotype of
Orientalism in the Muslim world and has encouraged cultural communication
between nations and peoples.
ceremony was attended by representatives of the Russian presidency, the Duma
and the Senate, as well as high-ranking diplomats, senior academics of
Orientalism, religious leaders and a group of researchers and students.
one of her final acts as prime minister, Theresa May has appointed Qari Asim to
the post of independent expert in charge of tackling Islamophobia.
Asim is the senior Imam at Makkah Mosque in Leeds, UK and Legal Director at the
DLA Piper law firm.
is deputy chair of the British government’s Anti-Muslim Hatred Working Group
and was an adviser to the Independent Review into the Application of Sharia Law
in England and Wales.
government is wholeheartedly committed to ensuring that Muslims are not
targeted for hatred, persecution or discrimination,” said Communities Secretary
Asim’s appointment marks a further step in helping us to achieve that goal and
ensures that we develop an effective definition of Islamophobia which commands
Conservative Party promised to work up its own definition of Islamophobia after
rejecting a definition set out by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on
British Muslims after consultations with community groups, which it says “could
unintentionally undermine freedom of speech, and prevent legitimate criticism
of Islamist extremism, or of unacceptable cultural practices”.
Labour and Liberal Democrat parties both adopted the APPG version.
is vitally important that an effective definition of Islamophobia is proposed
to tackle the shocking rise in Islamophobia in recent years,” Imam Asim said on
am honoured to be entrusted with this role, which will have a far reaching
impact in protecting British Muslims and tackling anti-Muslim hatred.”
May also appointed John Mann, Chairman of the APPG Against Antisemitism, as an
independent adviser on antisemitism.
Mann is, without exception, a key voice on this matter,” said Mrs May.
has frequently campaigned in the House of Commons on this issue and has
tirelessly used his role as a politician to speak out on behalf of victims of
expresses unease and confusion over a proposal made by the United States for
the establishment of a so-called maritime security coalition to patrol the
Middle East region’s waterways.
is absolutely unclear to me what our American colleagues suggest,” Russian
Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa, Mikhail Bogdanov was
quoted by the ITAR-TASS news agency as saying on Tuesday.
United States has not contacted Russia concerning the initiative, he noted,
saying, “They usually contact us and explain what they want, putting forward
has its ‘own concept’
promote our own concept of collective security for the Persian Gulf area. We
will publish it again today,” Bogdanov said.
comments came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington was
“building out a coalition that will patrol the Strait of Hormuz to keep those
shipping lanes, those sea lanes open.” “There’ll be nations from all around the
world that participate in that,” he added.
July 19, the US Central Command issued a statement claiming it was “developing
a multinational maritime effort, Operation Sentinel, to increase surveillance
of and security in key waterways in the Middle East.”
coalition was to be formed “in light of recent events” in the Persian Gulf, the
Tuesday, Japan likewise communicated its opposition to the idea, with Chief
Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga saying Tokyo was not weighing sending military
forces for the proposed coalition.
United States and some of its Western and regional allies have been trying to
blame the Islamic Republic for a series of incidents, which saw multiple
explosions targeting a number of vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of
claim Tehran has been trying to retaliate against Washington’s attempts at
blocking Iranian oil sales throughout the world.
US has been trying to reduce Iran’s oil revenues to “zero” after leaving a
nuclear accord with the Islamic Republic and others last year and returning the
sanctions that the agreement had lifted.
has roundly rejected any part in the incidents, emphasizing the significance of
regional maritime security to international trade.
July 4, British marines mounted an Iranian-operated supertanker in the Strait
of Gibraltar under on the accusation that it was carrying Iranian oil to Syria
in violation of the European Union (EU) unilateral sanctions on the Arab
country. Tehran has denied that the supertanker was bound for Syria.
it became known that the UK had seized the vessel at the US’s request.
Foreign Minister repeated Tehran’s condemnation of the confiscation on Tuesday.
U.K. on Tuesday added extreme right and left-wing terrorism to the public
terrorism threat levels, according to a statement.
U.K. made changes on threat level systems which now reflect the threat posed by
all forms of terrorism, irrespective of ideology.
today, the threat level system described the threat from ‘international
terrorism’, which has become largely synonymous with Islamist terrorism,” said
Sajid Cavid, the home secretary of the U.K.
statement added that there will now be a single national threat level
describing the threat to the U.K.
means, for the first time, the threat from extreme right and left-wing
terrorism will be reflected in the published threat level,” the statement
changes came after an extensive review into the country’s approach to
counter-terrorism following the attacks in 2017.
British government licensed sale of $800 million worth of military equipment to
Saudi Arabia in the six months following the murder of journalist Jamal
Khashoggi, said a U.K.-based group.
to the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), the British government approved
the licenses of $805 million worth of weapons exports to Saudi Arabia from
October 2018 to March 2019, despite condemning the murder of Khashoggi.
was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he
entered Turkey’s Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 to acquire a marriage
offered various conflicting narratives to explain the disappearance before
acknowledging Khashoggi was killed in the diplomatic building while trying to
shift blame for his death on a botched rendition by rogue agents.
foreign secretary said that he condemned the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the
strongest terms, but, in the months that followed, it was business as usual for
the government and the arms companies,” Andrew Smith, director of CAAT, said.
the same time as the Saudi regime was covering up his murder ministers were
approving hundreds of millions of pounds worth of arms,” he added, reminding
that British weapons have played a destructive role in the Saudi-led war in
Yemen in which tens of thousands of people have been killed.
$800 million sale included $685 million worth of so-called ML4 licenses which
refers to the sale of missiles, rockets, bombs, torpedoes and other explosive
devices. Furthermore, another $11 million under the ML10 licenses were approved
which include vessels designed for military use as well as naval equipment.
June, a court of appeal declared that British arms sales to Saudi Arabia were
unlawful after having found that U.K weapons could have played a role in the
deaths of civilians in the war in Yemen.
the court ruling, the government has suspended approvals on any new licenses
but will continue exports under past agreements. The government has said it
will challenge the court’s decision and that the statistics revealed by CAAT
represented arms sales made in the first months of 2019, before the court
has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when the Iran-aligned Houthi
rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.
crisis escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and several Arab allies launched a
devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.
exhumes bodies thought to be Kurds killed by Saddam
Iraq on Tuesday began exhuming the remains of dozens of victims, including
children, likely killed during ex-dictator Saddam Hussein’s campaign against
the country’s Kurds, a forensics official told AFP.
mass grave was uncovered in Tal Al-Sheikhiya, about 300 kilometers (200 miles) south
of Baghdad, said Zaid Al-Youssef, the head of Baghdad’s Medico-Legal
Directorate which is tasked with identifying the remains.
than 70 bodies including women and children, ranging from newborns to 10 years
old” have so far been exhumed, Youssef said.
remains were recovered from the surface layer of the site, he said, but “there
could be a second deeper layer” with additional bodies.
evidence collected indicates they were summarily executed in 1988,” said
Youssef, which coincides with Saddam’s brutal “Anfal” campaign against Iraq’s
operation took place between 1987 and 1988 and saw nearly 180,000 Kurds killed
and more than 3,000 villages destroyed.
female victims were blindfolded and killed by gunshots to the head, but also
have traces on various parts of their bodies of bullets that were fired
randomly,” Youssef said.
grave lies in the southern province of Mutahanna, also home to the notorious
Nigrat Salman prison camp.
Kurds and political opponents of the previous regime were held there, and
survivors shared tales of humiliation, rape and detention of minors as part of
Saddam’s 2006 trial.
has been hit by wave after wave of conflict in recent decades, culminating in
the fight against the Daesh group which ended in late 2017.
years of conflict left grave sites all across the country where the remains of
thousands of victims from Iraq’s diverse ethnic and religious communities have
alone left behind an estimated 200 mass graves that could hold up to 12,000
bodies, the United Nations has said.
are testing remains from the most recent conflict as well as wars dating back
three decades in an effort to identify the fates of missing Iraqis.
to Iraqi authorities, Saddam’s regime forcefully disappeared more than one
million people in the 1980s and 1990s, and many of their families are still
trying to find out what happened to them.
airstrikes hit a busy market in a rebel-controlled town in northwestern Syria
on Monday, killing at least 27 people and turning several buildings into piles
of rubble, according to opposition activists and a war monitor. Shortly
afterward, state media said rebels shelled a government-held village, killing
high death toll marked a sharp increase in the escalation between the two sides
amid intense fighting. Government troops, backed by Russian air cover, have
been trying since April to push their way into the enclave in the northwestern
corner of Syria, near the Turkish border.
by al-Qaida-linked militants and other jihadi groups, Idlib province and
northern parts of the nearby Hama region is the last major rebel stronghold in
the country outside the control of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
struggling campaign also underscores the limits of Syria's and Russia's
airpower and inability to achieve a definitive victory in the country's
long-running civil war, now in its ninth year.
airstrikes took place in the town of Maaret al-Numan and also wounded more than
30 people, according to the reports from the region, which has witnessed
intensive airstrikes and bombardment almost every day for the past three
months. The strikes came in several rounds and caused widespread destruction,
burying several people under the rubble.
after the airstrikes, paramedics were able to remove a little girl alive,
rushing her to a nearby ambulance.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war monitor, called it the
largest single death toll since a Russian-Turkish truce collapsed in late
state news agency SANA said insurgents shelled the village of Jourin in the
northern part of Hama province, killing seven civilians when a shell hit a
moving car. State TV also reported that insurgents shelled the government-held
town of Suqailabiyah, wounding four people, including a child, while a shell
hit a university in the coastal city of Latakia, a government stronghold,
without causing any casualties.
opposition activists said Russian warplanes carried out Monday's airstrikes,
but Russia's Defense Ministry dismissed the reports as a "hoax,"
adding that the Russian air force didn't "carry out any missions in that
area in Syria." There was no immediate comment from the Syrian government.
Observatory, which monitors the fighting on the ground in Syria through a
network of activists, said 37 people were killed, including two children and
three women, in the strike on Maaret al-Numan. It added that the number of
casualties from Monday's airstrike was likely to rise due to the large number
of wounded. The Thiqa news agency, an activist collective in northern Syria,
reported that the strike killed 27 people.
member of the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, said one of
their colleagues was killed in a second airstrike that hit the market.
Sunday, government bombing in Idlib killed at least 11 civilians according to
the Observatory and first responders.
neighboring Turkey, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara would launch
a new offensive into northern Syria if a so-called "safe zone" is not
established and if threats against Turkey continue from the region.
made the comments on Monday as a delegation led by U.S. Special Representative
on Syria, James Jeffrey, was to hold talks in Ankara. The possible safe zone
along the border with Turkey was expected to be on the agenda.
views Kurdish fighters who have fought alongside the United States against the
Islamic State group as terrorists and wants the safe zone established to keep
the fighters away from the border. It has recently been sending troop
reinforcement to its border region.
by Mohammed Ebraheem
(IraqiNews.com) – A group of Islamic State fighters, including an aide to IS
chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, were arrested Monday in the northern Iraqi province
as “Baghdadi’s Men,” the IS sleeper cell confessed to carrying out several
terrorist attacks against foreign embassies and churches in Egypt and Syria,
Alghad Press quoted the Iraqi Military Intelligence Directorate as saying in a
cell members also admitted that they plotted to carry out similar terrorist
attacks against Iraqi civilians and institutions in Nineveh province.
those arrested is a senior aide to IS fugitive leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the
declared victory over Islamic State in December with the help of a US-led
alliance, having retaken all the territory captured by the extremists in 2014
Lebanese citizen suspected of being an undercover Hezbollah agent was recently
arrested at Entebbe International Airport by Ugandan intelligence agencies with
the cooperation of the Mossad.
report published by The Kampala Post on Tuesday said that Lebanese national
Hussein Mahmoud Yassine was arrested on July 7 while boarding a flight to
Lebanon via Addis Ababa. He had arrived at Entebbe International Airport from
Tanzania earlier that day.
to the report, the Mossad informed its Ugandan counterparts about Yassine due
to the close intelligence relationship between the two countries. An anonymous
intelligence source told The Kampala Post that Yassine was recruited to the
terrorist group by a senior Hezbollah official called Ali Wahib Hussein, known
as Abu Jihad.
who is suspected of working for the Hezbollah foreign liaison unit and has
lived and worked in Uganda since 2010, was reportedly tracked for months before
to the intelligence source, Hezbollah instructed Yassine to identify potential
US and Israeli targets for terrorist attacks in Uganda; to recruit other
Lebanese nationals for Hezbollah; and to attempt to recruit Muslim Ugandans to
act as Hezbollah intelligence agents.
source also revealed that Yassine had already identified at least 100 Lebanese
citizens living in the country for potential recruitment, including some
working with telecommunications provider Africell.
US and Israeli governments, which alerted the Uganda government to potential
terrorist suspects, were notified of Yassine’s arrest and demanded his
immediate prosecution, the source said.
has said that its request for the New York Times to hand over an audio
recording of a phone call involving one of its diplomats discussing Qatari
involvement in a recent Somalia attack has been rejected.
News Agency released a statement from the Qatari government’s communication
office saying that it requested the recording to support its investigation
around the incident.
Kayed al-Muhanadi, a businessman linked to the Qatari Emir, was recorded
telling Qatar’s Ambassador to Somalia Hassan bin Hamza Hashem that an extremist
attack in May was carried out to advance Doha’s interests in the country
against the UAE, the New York Times revealed in a report on Monday.
ambassador and al-Muhanadi talked about the bombings in Somalia as citizens and
not as officials,” a statement from the Qatari government read.
Lebanese judge has issued arrest warrants in absentia against 10 Libyan
nationals, including the son of the slain dictator Muammar Gaddafi, over the
disappearance of Lebanon’s prominent Shia leader Imam Musa al-Sadr, who went
missing with two companions more than 40 years ago in Libya.
Tuesday, Investigative Judge Zaher Hamadeh took the measure against Seif
al-Islam Gaddafi, Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi and
Ahmad Ramadan, a top Gaddafi aide and former head of the regime’s intelligence
office, among the other defendants.
daughter of Imam Musa al-Sadr says she strongly believes that her father is
alive and being kept in prison.
documents and evidence show that he is alive and imprisoned as there is no
proof to the otherwise,” Houra al-Sadr said on February 26, 2018.
added that concerted efforts are underway to shed light on the fate of the
is still alive and kept incarcerated. Nevertheless, he has not yet been found
and reunited with us,” she pointed out.
Lebanese parliament speaker also says he has strongly believes that Sadr is
still alive, calling for collective efforts to find out about the fate of the
cleric and his companions.
at a ceremony marking the 39th anniversary of Sadr’s disappearance in Beirut,
Nabih Berri called on Lebanese media outlets to follow up on the clergyman’s
fate, stressing that Lebanese judicial officials were also looking into the
fact-finding mission formed to inquire about the case has, however, been unable
to visit Libya due to violence and political instability in the North African
country, the top Lebanese legislator argued.
Musa al-Sadr was a highly revered Shia cleric of Iranian descent, who founded
the Lebanese Amal (Hope) Movement in 1974. He came to Lebanon in 1959 to work
for the rights of Shia Muslims in the port city of Tyre, located about 80
kilometers (50 miles) south of Beirut.
prominent Shia cleric disappeared on August 31, 1978, during an official visit
to the Libyan capital Tripoli.
was accompanied by Sheikh Mohammad Yaqoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine.
still holds former Libyan officials responsible for the disappearance of the
Gaddafi was deposed and killed in 2011, Lebanon and Iran have repeatedly called
on the Libyan government to launch an investigation into Sadr's disappearance.
Gaddafi, the son of the Libyan dictator, is currently in custody in Lebanon,
facing charges of withholding information regarding Sadr’s case.
army soldiers and members of the pro-government Popular Mobilization Units
(PMU), known in Arabic as Hashd al-Sha'abi, have managed to cleanse more than
two dozen areas north of the capital, Baghdad, and elsewhere in the country of
remnants of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
media bureau of Hashd al-Sha’abi forces announced in a statement on Tuesday
that the volunteer forces, together with Iraqi troops, rapid response teams,
units from the Baghdad Operations Command and members of the Iraqi Federal
Police had purged 30 villages north of Baghdad, and in the provinces of Anbar,
Salahuddin and Diyala.
12th Brigade of Hashd al-Sha’abi cleansed the villages of Sabe'ah, Saleh
al-Ajaj and Ibrahim Badiwi of Daesh extremists, and destroyed a militant
hideout in al-Halabesah village, which lies in al-Nabaei region north of
disposal units of army forces and voluntary fighters also defused several
improvised explosive devices, which Daesh terrorists had planted to slow down
their advances west of Tarmiyah town, located about 25 kilometers north of
fighters from the 8th Brigade of the pro-government forces and the Iraqi
Federal Police could cleanse the villages of Ramadan 14 and Hur al-Aba'iji
besides Sur region of Daesh presence.
of the Joint Operations Command (JOC), Lieutenant General Abdul Amir Rasheed
Yarallah, said in a statement on Saturday that Iraqi military forces had
launched the second phase of a major operation to hunt down the remnants of the
Daesh terror group north of Baghdad and areas nearby.
statement noted that the offensive aims to “to beef up security and stability
in areas north of Baghdad and surrounding areas in the provinces of Diyala,
Salahuddin and Anbar.”
said that units from the Baghdad Operations Command, command operations from
Diyala, Samarra and Anbar, the Federal Police Command, rapid response teams,
voluntary Hashd al-Sha’abi fighters and the special forces regiment of the
Operations Department of the Chief of Staff of the Army as well as the Special
Task Force of the Directorate of Military Intelligence were participating in
army and the voluntary forces began the first phase of the Will of Victory
Operation early on July 7, the military said in a statement, adding that the
operation would last several days and was aimed at securing the province of
Anbar and the central and northern regions of Salahuddin and Nineveh.
press on the hands of our heroic forces that will achieve victory with the will
of its heroes against the gangs of Daesh,” Iraqi Prime Minister Adel
God protect you and make you victorious,” he added.
Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi declared the end of military operations
against Daesh in the country on December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in Mosul, which
served as the terrorists’ last main urban stronghold in Iraq.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
'Ready To Strike' In The West Using Sleeper Terror Cells: Report Claims
tensions between Iran and Britain escalating over the seizure of the Stena
Impero tanker, the U.K.'s Daily Telegraph reported on Monday (July 22) that
British intelligence agencies "believe Iran has organized and funded
sleeper terror cells across Europe including the U.K. and could greenlight
attacks in response to a conflict in the Gulf."
claims refer to Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shi'a group that has been designated as
a terrorist organization—in whole or part—by much of the West. In June, the
same newspaper reported that a devastating cache of explosives, linked to
Hezbollah, had been discovered in London by security agencies back in 2015. The
three tons of ammonium nitrate was "more than was used in the Oklahoma
City bombing that killed 168 people." Hezbollah is sponsored by Iran, and
back in 2015, the U.K. had just signed on to the Iranian nuclear deal. Nothing
was made public at the time.
seizing a British oil tanker was always going to test London's patience and
restraint, but thus far the primary response to the incident has been interplay
in the media. As I've written before, the media plays a part beyond reporting
events. Its anticipated response to events is part of the "enemy's"
planning process. The western media cycle is predictable, manageable, the
thirst for the drip-drip of ever new headlines. And that also links to population
interference through the abuse of social media platforms.
is the hybrid warfare we now face, cyber and physical, military and civilian,
direct and indirect. And on that last point, cue proxies. Iran has already
mobilized its sphere of influence in the Middle East—attacks on Saudi targets
will come to mind, and now speculation inevitably turns to sponsored terrorist
groups operating in the West.
capture of a British tanker by Iran's military arguably justifies a military
response—but conflict is no longer that simple. Iranian quasi-state media
carried footage of Iran's flag being raised above the tanker in Bandar Abbas.
"Make no mistake," Iran's foreign minister warned the U.K. by Twitter
on Sunday (July 21). "Having failed to lure Donald Trump into War of the
Century... John Bolton is turning his venom against the U.K. in hopes of
dragging it into a quagmire. Only prudence and foresight can thwart such
ploys." Also on Sunday, Iranian media reported that Teheran's U.K.
ambassador had warned Britain "against provocation over the seized tanker,
as reports emerged that the British government is considering freezing Iranian
assets and may take other measures as well in a standoff between the two
Daily Telegraph quoted an unnamed intelligence source saying that "Iran
has Hezbollah operatives in position to carry out a terrorist attack in the
event of a conflict. That is the nature of the domestic threat Iran poses to
the U.K." There is clearly a serious and multifaceted terrorist threat in
the U.K., as elsewhere. But, thus far, there has been no spillover from the
latest Middle East conflict beyond the region.
both the physical and cyber domains, Iran can hit non-military targets
(directly or through proxies) in retaliation (or preemptively) for U.S. axis
action in the more conventional sphere. Physically, Iranian action is more akin
to insurgency. And in the cyber domain, as I reported over the weekend, Iran
understands that retaliation against the U.S. (or U.K.) might be akin to throwing
rocks at a tank, but it can hit the vast and under-protected Western corporate
sector at will. An Iranian cyber attack hit high-profile U.K. targets late last
year, and two weeks after U.S. Cyber Command hit Iran's command and control
structure in the aftermath of the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone, came
its warning that an Iranian-led hack was targeting the millions of unpatched
Microsoft Outlook systems."
the physical domain, Iran's proxies in the Middle East have been mobilized for
some time now—the mobilization of sleeper terror cells is in effect no
different. The escalating conflict is multidimensional—cyber and physical,
military and civilian. As we watch and wait to see what happens thousands of
miles from home, the conflict is neither that simple nor that contained. The
threat of proxy terrorist activity on Western soil is the physical
manifestation of the same equation we have already seen in the cybersphere.
this week, Britain anoints a new prime minister, likely Boris Johnson, who is
expected to be closer to the U.S. administration than his predecessor Theresa
May—although Johnson has said that Britain will not support a fullscale
conflict with Iran. Over the weekend, the U.S. president signaled his own
support for Johnson, telling reporters he anticipated a strong relationship
between them. On Iran, though, Johnson has poor form. He badly misstepped as
foreign secretary back in 2017, when he haphazardly stated that British-Iranian
Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was in Iran to teach journalism, rather than on
vacation. Zaghari-Ratcliffe remains imprisoned in Teheran.
the other side of British politics sits Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's
left-leaning Labour Party. Corbyn has railed against the
"demonisation" of Iran and has even presented Teheran-friendly
propaganda on the country's Press TV. Back in 2009, Corbyn described Hezbollah
as his "friends" and invited the group (along with Hamas) to speak at
an event in Parliament.
vice president: An int’l coalition to protect Gulf will bring insecurity
international coalition to protect the Gulf will bring insecurity, Iranian Vice
President Eshaq Jahangiri said on Tuesday, according to the IRIB news agency.
called on Monday for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping
through the Strait of Hormuz, days after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker
in what London described as an act of “state piracy” in the strategic waterway.
is no need to form a coalition because these kinds of coalitions and the
presence of foreigners in the region by itself creates insecurity,” Jahangiri
said. “And other than increasing insecurity it will not achieve anything else.”
solutions that Iran suggests for managing the world are based on logic, because
even the most complicated issues can be resolved through dialogue,” he added.
also said that for “six powerful countries of the world to negotiate with Iran
and reach an understanding means that Iran was able to prove its reasoning, and
that they accepted it, but after leaving the negotiating table they felt like
they were tricked and were worse off.”
Americans to then use force and put pressure on a nation is illogical, but the
people of Iran are proud that they are people of dialogue,” he added.
has been happening these days in the [Arabian] Gulf in relation to Iran has
given a message to the world that through logic, dialogue, reasoning and
manners, it is possible to cooperate with Iran and resolve the issues of the
world and the region.”
would like for our region to be calm and secure. Throughout history, Iran has
been the provider of the region and the [Arabian] Gulf’s security. There is no
need for an [international] coalition and no need for [foreign] powers to come
[to the region]. Whenever these powers have come to a region, they have done
nothing but create insecurity,” Jahangiri said.
stressed that the region’s security can be ensured by Iran with the help of the
rest of the countries of the region, according to IRNA, adding that the way to
do that is for other countries to put an end to their pressure on Iran and
enter talks with Iran, and then they would see what a good region we have.
people of Iran are aware that we are in a very difficult situation … Americans
have increased their pressure during this period, particularly on the economic
sector,” he added.
in recent years, and particularly in the last year, have endured a lot of
are ashamed and know that the people are enduring difficult conditions,” he
President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy faces strong criticism from members
of the UN Security Council, including Washington’s own allies, after he
downplayed the world body’s resolutions on the Middle East conflict and said
the Israeli-Palestinian issue cannot be resolved by relying on “fictions” of
a UNSC meeting in New York on Tuesday, Jason Greenblatt dismissed the notion
that international law and UN resolutions must serve as the foundation of any
solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
said the issue will not be settled by references to international law, which he
comprehensive and lasting peace will not be created by fiat of international
law or by these heavily wordsmithed, unclear resolutions,” he said. “The vision
for peace that we plan to present will not be ambiguous, unlike many
resolutions that have passed in this chamber,” referring to the so-called peace
plan Washington had been developing without Palestine’s consent to end the
also noted that the upcoming plan — which Trump himself calls the “deal of the
century” — would not be based on “fictions of international consensus” as it is
often “nothing more than a mask for inaction.”
let’s stop kidding ourselves. If a so-called international consensus had been
able to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it would have done so decades
ago. It didn’t,” he added.
controversial comments against international law triggered strong rebuttals
from the UNSC’s four other permanent members, namely France, Britain, Germany
Council members, in response, underlined the need for respecting international
law and UN resolutions in efforts to resolve the Palestine issue.
UN Ambassador Christoph Heusgen stressed that UNSC resolutions are binding
under international law, saying, “For us, international law is not menu a la
us, international law is relevant; international law is not futile,” he said.
“We believe in the force of international law; we do not believe in the force
of the strongest.”
representative Karen Pierce also reminded all countries that they “have a
responsibility” to implement UNSC resolutions.
Russia’s UN envoy challenged Greenblatt’s assertions.
international consensus is international law, because Security Council
resolutions are international law — they merely need to be complied with,”
Vassily Nebenzia said. “The matter lies not with a lack of international
consensus; rather the matter has to do with the fact that there is utter disregard
for this internationally-acknowledged consensus by the United States at
French UN Ambassador Nicolas de Riviere emphasized that Paris would support any
peace effort “so long as this aligns with the approach that we have set out
together, so long as this adheres to international law, specifically all
resolutions of the Security Council.”
has worked with Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, on the US
president’s highly-contentious “peace” deal, which the Palestinians have
already dismissed “the slap of the century.”
economic section of Trump’s proposal was released during a Washington-sponsored
conference in Manama, Bahrain, on June 25-26 despite a Palestinian boycott of
FM, a radio station affiliated with the Houthi rebels in Yemen, has announced
that it has managed to raise half a million dollars since the launch of its
crowdfunding efforts last year. The campaign organisers said that more than
half the total amount will be donated to the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah,
which is regarded as a terrorist organisation by the US, the UK, and Gulf
countries. It is no surprise that Hezbollah and the Houthis would support each
other. Both are Iran-backed proxies, which have caused chaos in their home
countries and beyond.
campaign was intended to raise funds for the Houthis’ military spending while
proving that the group could still count on popular support for their cause.
Instead, the fundraising effort has highlighted just how desperate Hezbollah
has become. The organisation is starting to feel the pinch of increased
sanctions from the US and the UK. In February, the UK ceased to differentiate
between Hezbollah’s political and armed factions, and classified the entire
group as a terrorist organisation. Meanwhile, the US has increased economic
sanctions on Hezbollah and last year, the US Department of Justice decided to
designate the group as a transnational crime organisation. US Sanctions against
Tehran have also choked off the Iranian funds the group relies on to survive.
This has forced Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah to launch media fundraising
campaigns in Lebanon, in March. Now, the group seems desperate enough to accept
donations from on of the region’s poorest war-ravaged nations.
MOHAMAD ALI HARISSI
United Arab Emirates (AFP) — From ballistic missiles to unmanned drones,
Yemen’s Houthi rebels appear to have bolstered their fighting capabilities,
posing a serious threat to mighty neighbor Saudi Arabia.
June alone, the Iran-aligned Shiite Houthis launched at least 20 missile and
drone attacks on the oil-rich kingdom, Iran’s regional foe, some resulting in
casualties and damage.
advanced air defenses successfully intercepted most of the strikes but failed
to deal with some, including a drone attack on the vital airport of Abha, in
the south, that killed one person and injured 21 others.
have witnessed a massive increase in capability on the side of the Houthis in
recent years, particularly relating to ballistic missiles and drone
technology,” Andreas Kreig, a professor at King’s College London, told AFP.
current capability is far more advanced than anything the Yemeni armed forces
had before the civil war,” which began in 2014, said Kreig, an expert on the
rebels showed off some of their advanced weaponry at an exhibition held earlier
this month at an undisclosed location to mark the fifth anniversary of their
offensive against the Yemeni government.
distributed by the Houthis showed models of at least 15 unmanned drones and
various sizes of missiles of different ranges.
newest of these weapons were long-range cruise missiles, dubbed “Al-Quds”, and
explosives-laden “Sammad 3” drones that can hit targets as far as 1,500
kilometers (932 miles) away, according to the Houthis.
the sides of the Sammad 3, the phrase “Unmanned Aircraft Force” is printed,
while the cruise missile is marked “Made in Yemen” on its giant body.
has not established from independent sources if these missiles and drones were
manufactured in Yemen.
2014, the Houthis have controlled the capital Sanaa and vast swathes of north,
central and western Yemen.
of the internationally-recognized government with the backing of a Saudi-led
coalition have been trying to retake these territories.
conflict has killed or wounded tens of thousands of people and resulted in the
world’s worst humanitarian crisis, according to the United Nations.
until the end of 2018, the Houthis frequently used ballistic missiles they
captured from Yemeni army depots to attack targets inside Saudi Arabia.
since the start of this year, they have shifted to Qasef 2 drones, a small
booby-trapped aircraft that can evade radar detection but whose range is
most serious attack took place on May 14 when Houthis used seven drones to
target two pumping stations on Saudi Arabia’s key east-west pipeline, shutting
it down for several days.
is the first time the Houthis have demonstrated an apparent capability to hit a
target 800 kilometers in Saudi territory with UAVs (drones),” Jane’s 360, a
defense and security think-tank, said in May.
attack on the pumping stations highlights the persisting risk of Houthis
targeting of hydrocarbon infrastructure in Jeddah, Yanbu, and potentially
cities such as Riyadh,” said Jane’s 360.
said Saudi ports, military installations and airports were also at risk of
kingpin Saudi Arabia spent some $65 billion on arms purchases last year,
becoming one of the five biggest defense spenders alongside the United States,
China, India and France, according to the Stockholm International Peace
Yemeni army retired brigadier, Jamil al-Mamari, believes the “Houthis are not
capable of manufacturing missiles in Yemen… They are only capable of assembling
keep modifying army missiles by boosting their explosive capability and adding
remote control devices,” Mamari said.
rule out the possibility that Houthis may have modified these arms on their
rebels have also launched attacks with explosive-laden boats and tanks, heavy
artillery and anti-tank missiles.
Ibish, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in
Washington, believes Iran has had a hand in developing the Houthis’ armaments.
Houthis “have grown dependent on Iranian and Hezbollah support to maintain
their current war posture”, Ibish told AFP.
current war posture and their missile technology and capability are mainly the
result of direct support from Iran and Hezbollah. So it’s very difficult to
untangle this knot,” he said.
United States and Saudi Arabia have repeatedly accused Iran of supplying
sophisticated weapons to the Houthis, a charge Tehran denies.
has also denied allegations by Riyadh that it had encouraged the Houthis to
attack the kingdom.
has sent a mediator to Iran to discuss the freeing of a British-flagged tanker
seized by the Islamic Republic last week, the head of the Supreme Leader’s
office said on Wednesday, according to the semi-official Tasnim news site.
Mohammadi-Golpayegani provided no details about the British mediator’s trip but
made an ironic reference to Britain’s involvement during colonial times in
country that at one time appointed ministers and lawyers in Iran has reached a
point where they send a mediator and plead for their ship to be freed,”
Mohammadi-Golpayegani said, according to Tasnim.
Saudi blogger jeered by angry Palestinians in Jerusalem al-Quds
Palestinians have jeered and cursed a Saudi blogger who is known to be a huge
fan of establishing formal ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
video clip posted on Twitter showed Mohammed Saud being cursed and jeered as he
was visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds
is part of a six-person media delegation from the Arab world including
representatives from Jordan who are in the occupied Palestinian territories at
the invitation of the Israeli foreign minister.
protesting his visit called him a “traitor”, “animal” and “Zionist trash”, and
also told him to “Go to a synagogue” instead of praying at a mosque.
video clip showed plastic chairs and sticks being thrown at him as he walked in
the market in the Old City.
Twitter timeline is reportedly filled with messages of support for the Israeli
regime and its prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.
one video, he admits he loves Israel and wants diplomatic relations between
Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
report comes as an Israeli delegation is going to pay an official visit to
Saudi Arabia next year, amid the oil-rich kingdom’s warming ties with the Tel
Aviv regime following years of clandestine contacts.
the first time, a Jewish delegation will visit Saudi Arabia in response to the
Muslim World League invitation, said the Saudi secretary general of the League,
Sheikh Muhammad Bin Abdul Karim Issa, who declared the visit will take place in
January 2020,” Israel’s foreign ministry said in a post published on its
Arabic-language Twitter page on May 4.
report came only a few days after Lebanese daily Arabic-language newspaper
al-Akhbar said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had offered Palestinian
Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas 10 billion dollars in return for accepting US
President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for peace between the Israelis
and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century.”
noted that Abbas had turned down the offer, saying supporting the deal would be
“the end of his political life.”
Palestinian Authority chief said political realities prevented him from
accepting the so-called peace plan, emphasizing that he could not make
concessions regarding Israeli settlements, the “two-state solution” and
this year, delegates from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and
Egypt at a meeting of Arab states reportedly opposed bids condemning the
normalization of relations with the Israeli regime.
RT Arabic television news network reported on March 4 that Abdullah ibn
Muhammad Al ash-Sheikh, the speaker of Saudi Arabia's Consultative Assembly,
together with his Emirati and Egyptian counterparts had opposed a paragraph in
the final communiqué of the 29th Conference of the Arab Inter-Parliamentary
Union in the Jordanian capital city of Amman, which demanded an end to efforts
aimed at normalizing ties with Israel and condemns all forms of rapprochement
with the occupying regime.
Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Speaker of the People's Council of Syria
Hammouda Youssef Sabbagh and the Palestinian representative, in return,
supported the decision to reject any sort of ties normalization with Israel,
and stressed the need to keep the piece in the statement.
General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat, has
strongly condemned the recent demolition of a cluster of Palestinian homes in
occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds as war crime, calling on the international
community to push the International Criminal Court (ICC) into opening an
immediate investigation into the incident.
Tuesday, Erekat called on the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle
Bachelet, to implement her mandate under the Human Rights Council resolution
31/36, which demands a database of all business enterprises engaged in Israeli
settlement activity in the occupied Palestinian territory, and to strive for
international protection of Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation.
also slammed the measures taken by Israeli authorities to expel Palestinians
from Jerusalem al-Quds, including land grab, confiscations of identity paper,
revocations of residency status and rejections of family reunification.
Israeli occupation forces, with the support of the Israeli Supreme Court, have
ordered the demolition of these buildings using a security pretext, but the
demolitions in Sur Baher are another example of Israel's illegal policies and
practices aimed at eliminating the Palestinian presence in Jerusalem (al-Quds)
and defending the existence of the Israeli occupation,” Erekat highlighted.
high-ranking Palestinian official further noted that the Israeli regime
continues to “escape punishment time and time again” despite repeated calls for
the international community to intervene and stop demolition of Palestinian
homes, which result in forced displacement.
international community has not only failed to stop demolitions and forced
displacement in Sur Baher, but also failed to hold Israel accountable for its
continued violations of international law. Israel's actions are not only
serious violations of the Fourth Geneva Convention, but are war crimes pursuant
to the Rome Statute of the ICC. Therefore, we call for the urgent cessation of
crimes being committed in the occupied State of Palestine,” Erekat said.
remarks came a day after hundreds of Israeli troops with bulldozers tore down
homes in Sur Baher despite local protests and international criticism.
Spokesman of the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Sufian
Qudah has reiterated his country’s rejection of the Israeli regime's settlement
expansion policies, its land confiscation policy and forced displacement of
urged Israel to immediately halt such practices, emphasizing that such moves
would increase tensions, deepen despair, and have a fundamental impact on the
so-called two-state solution.
the French Foreign Ministry condemned the Israeli regime’s demolition of
Palestinian buildings in Sur Baher.
ministry said in a statement that demolitions in occupied territories run
contrary to international law, particularly the international humanitarian law
and relevant UN Security Council resolutions.
United Nations (UN) says the years-long war in Yemen can be stopped and is
“eminently resolvable” as the warring sides are committed to a UN-brokered
peace agreement reached in Sweden late last year.
December 2018, representatives of the Houthi Ansarullah movement and those of
Yemen’s Saudi-backed former government signed a peace deal in the Swedish
capital of Stockholm. Under the deal, both sides agreed to withdraw their
troops from the ports of Hudaydah, Salif, and Ras Issa, and the city of
Hudaydah, and to allow the deployment of UN monitors.
UN, for its part, also pledged to help in the management of the three key
ports, which will be operating under the control of Yemen’s Red Sea Port
Corporation and local coast guards. The world body also will assist in
inspection of ships.
believe that this war in Yemen is eminently resolvable,” UN Special Envoy for
Yemen Martin Griffiths on Tuesday. “Both parties continue to insist that they
want a political solution and the military solution is not available, they
remain committed to the Stockholm agreement in all its different aspects.”
UN envoy’s comments came as the Houthi movement, which plays a significant role
in assisting the Yemeni army against a Saudi-led military collation, has
unilaterally withdrawn its fighters from the ports, but the forces of the
former regime, backed by the invading coalition, have refused to do the same.
than 70 percent of Yemen’s imports used to pass through the docks of Hudaydah,
a lifeline for the war-ravaged country’s crippled economy. Salif was used for
unloading all main types of grain, and Ras Issa, a vital oil terminal, was used
for exporting Ma’rib’s light crude oil.
three ports held by Houthis have been under tight siege by the former regime
forces for months, pushing tens of thousands of people in Yemen to the verge of
starvation and crippling the country’s economy.
Stockholm deal was sealed in an effort to prevent the humanitarian situation
from further deteriorating and to avert a larger assault by the Saudi-led
coalition on the ports.
unnamed senior Emirati official told reporters on July 8 that the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) — Saudi Arabia’s main ally in the coalition — was planning a
troop drawdown in Yemen in what was claimed to be a shift from a military
strategy to a “peace” plan instead.
earlier on Tuesday, Emirati Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar
Mohammed Gargash claimed the UAE was “not leaving Yemen.”
a coalition of its allies, Saudi Arabia invaded Yemen in March 2015 in an
attempt to reinstall the former regime, which had been friendly to Riyadh, but
whose officials fled the country.
coalition has also imposed a naval blockade of Yemen.
aggression is estimated to have left 56,000 Yemenis dead.
Ronen Bergman and David D. Kirkpatrick
a small car bomb exploded outside a courthouse in the bustling port city of
Bosaso in northern Somalia, local news reports chalked it up to Islamist
militants retaliating for American airstrikes. At least eight people were
wounded, and a local affiliate of the Islamic State claimed responsibility.
attack, however, may have also been part of a very different conflict: one
among wealthy Persian Gulf monarchies competing for power and profits across
the Horn of Africa.
the last two years, war-torn Somalia has emerged as a central battleground,
with the United Arab Emirates and Qatar each providing weapons or military
training to favored factions, exchanging allegations about bribing local
officials, and competing for contracts to manage ports or exploit natural
an audio recording obtained by The New York Times of a cellphone call with the
Qatari ambassador to Somalia, a businessman close to the emir of Qatar said
that the militants had carried out the bombing in Bosaso to advance Qatar’s
interests by driving out its rival, the United Arab Emirates.
bombings and killings, we know who are behind them,” the businessman, Khalifa
Kayed al-Muhanadi, said in the call on May 18, about a week after the bombing.
violence was “intended to make Dubai people run away from there,” he said,
referring to the Emirates’ financial capital. “Let them kick out the Emiratis,
so they don’t renew the contracts with them and I will bring the contract here
to Doha,” the capital of Qatar.
accurate, his claims are striking new evidence of the potential for the
competition among Persian Gulf states to inflame strife across the Horn of
is the most vivid example of the potential destabilization brought by the Gulf
rivalry,” said Zach Vertin, a scholar at the Brookings Institution and a former
American diplomat in the region. “The Gulf sees these states as clients. It is
all about controlling the space: plant a flag in the ground and lock down
territory and relationships before your rival can.”
scramble for power in Somalia and the Horn of Africa is in some ways an
extension of the cold war that has flared across the region since the beginning
of the Arab Spring uprisings more than eight years ago. Qatar and Turkey backed
the uprisings and the Islamist political parties that rose with them. The
United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia opposed the uprisings and the Islamist
parties, and accused Qatar of backing militants.
years ago, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other allied
states cut off commercial and diplomatic ties with Qatar in an effort to
pressure it to alter its policies.
is an impoverished country, but its long coastline offers access to the
region’s fast-growing markets and influence over vital shipping lanes from the
Persian Gulf. An Emirati company manages the port in Bosaso.
about the cellphone conversation, neither Mr. al-Muhanadi nor the government of
Qatar disputed the authenticity of the recording, but both said that he was
speaking as a private citizen and was not a government official.
state of Qatar’s foreign policy has always been one of creating stability and
prosperity — we do not meddle in the internal affairs of sovereign countries,”
the Qatar communications office said in a statement to The Times. “Anybody
doing so is not acting on behalf of our government.”
in the recording of the phone call, which was made by a foreign intelligence
agency opposed to Qatar’s foreign policies, the ambassador expressed no protest
or displeasure at the idea that Qataris had played a role in the bombings.
that’s why they are having attacks there, to make them run away,” the
ambassador, Hassan bin Hamza Hashem, replied.
friends were behind the last bombings,” Mr. al-Muhanadi, the businessman,
assured the ambassador.
al-Muhanadi is known to be close to the emir, Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad
al-Thani. There are photographs of the two of them together and, according to
news reports and text messages provided by the intelligence agency, Mr.
al-Muhanadi frequently travels with the emir.
a brief telephone interview with The New York Times, the ambassador denied
knowing Mr. al-Muhanadi and quickly hung up.
a separate telephone interview, Mr. al-Muhanadi said that he was only a “school
friend” of the ambassador’s. “I am a retired man and a trader,” he said. “I do
not represent any government.”
why he had described the Bosaso attackers as “friends,” Mr. al-Muhanadi said,
“All Somalis are my friends.”
the Bosaso bombing was intended to drive away the Emiratis, it was not the
first attack there directed at them.
February, two assailants disguised as fishermen shot and killed the manager for
an Emirati company involved in running the port. The company, P&O Ports,
said that three other employees were wounded.
militant group Al Shabab claimed responsibility, saying that it had assassinated
the manager because the Emirati company “occupies” the port of Bosaso. “We had
warned him but he turned a deaf ear,” a Shabab spokesman said of the port
manager, Reuters reported. “He was illegally in Somalia.”
the cellphone recording, Mr. al-Muhanadi refers to the government’s contracts
with DP World, the main Dubai company hired to manage ports in Bosaso and a
city in Somaliland province. He says that a relative of the president “is with
me” and will transfer the DP World contracts to Qatar.
Shabab, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, and the Islamic State in Somalia, a smaller
group, consider the Somali government their main enemy. The United Arab
Emirates have carried out military operations against both groups, but it is
unclear why those groups would side with Qatar, which has also supported the
has denied supporting the Shabab or other militant groups. President Trump once
accused Qatar of financing terrorist groups, but when Sheikh al-Thani visited
the White House this month, Mr. Trump called him a friend and Treasury
Secretary Steven Mnuchin praised him for helping combat terrorist financing.
officials say that the charges against Qatar are selective at best, noting that
many Persian Gulf monarchies have struck tactical alliances with hard-line
militants or struggled to clamp down on donations to extremists by wealthy
Gulf states are close military partners of the United States, and Qatar is the
home of a major American air base.
the Gulf states, the United Arab Emirates have moved most aggressively to
spread influence in the Horn of Africa. The Emiratis sent teams of mercenaries
and commandos to Somalia as early as 2012 to combat piracy off the coast, and
they extended military operations to fight the Shabab and other militant
time, the Emiratis established a ring of more than half a dozen commercial
ports or military bases around the Gulf of Aden and the Horn of Africa,
including a major military base at Assab, Eritrea, that was used to launch
operations into Yemen.
a severe famine in 2011, Turkey, an ally of Qatar, donated significant
humanitarian aid, and then followed with extensive commercial investment.
Turkey opened a major military base and training program in Mogadishu, the
Somali capital, in 2017.
Somali government initially sought to stay neutral in the regional cold war.
in April 2018, the Somali authorities seized $9.6 million in cash from an
Emirati jet at the Mogadishu airport. Emirati officials said the money was
intended to pay the salaries of Somali soldiers and police officers under
Emirati training. Somalia accused the Emiratis of planning to use the money to
buy influence or otherwise destabilize the country.
an apology, the United Arab Emirates retaliated by cutting off cooperation with
the Somali government, suspecting it of siding with Turkey and Qatar. The
Emiratis shifted their support and operations to two northern provinces
antagonistic to the central government — the breakaway province of Somaliland
and the semiautonomous province of Puntland, which includes Bosaso.
Emirati company DP World said in 2017 that it had agreed to invest $336 million
under a 30-year contract to expand and run the port in Bosaso. The company
pledged $440 million the previous year to develop a port in Somaliland.
moved quickly to capitalize on the Somali government’s rupture with the United
Arab Emirates by fortifying its own ties. The month after the cash seizure,
Qatari officials told Reuters that they were providing $385 million in
infrastructure, education and humanitarian assistance to Somalia. In January,
Qatar said it was also providing 68 armored vehicles to help the government
fight the Shabab and other extremists.
Shabab have fought against both sides in the inter-Arab cold war. The group has
attacked Turkey for backing Somalia and its military. In May, the Shabab
claimed responsibility for a car bomb that killed a Turkish construction
engineer said to be working at the Turkish military training facility in
2013, the Shabab attacked the Turkish Embassy, killing three people and
wounding nine others.
confirmed, the claim of the Qatari businessman, Mr. al-Muhanadi, would suggest
that Qatar had at least tacitly condoned the attacks by extremists in Bosaso
even as it helped the government fight extremists in Mogadishu. A former
Defense Department official said he would not be surprised if Qatar was trying
to play both sides to its own advantage.
Bacon, a Somalia specialist at American University in Washington and a former
counterterrorism analyst for the State Department, suggested that Qatar did not
need a deep relationship with the Shabab in order to hire local extremists for
a more limited task, as “a proxy to conduct some attacks and disrupt the
government of Qatar said it would investigate Mr. al-Muhanadi’s call to the
ambassador. “He will be held responsible for his comments, which we reiterated
do not represent our principles,” it said in a statement. “Somalia is an
important partner for the state of Qatar, but we do not interfere in their
the telephone interview, Mr. al-Muhanadi blamed the Emiratis for the trouble in
talk to our friends from the simple people of Somalia,” he said. “They know
that the Emiratis are responsible for destruction.”
El-Naggar and Eric Schmitt contributed reporting.
is heading in the right direction but much work remains, says US envoy
US Special Envoy for Sudan Donald E. Booth on Tuesday said that leaders of the
military government and the opposition in the African nation are moving toward
a reconciliation, but added “there is a lot” that still needs to be done.
who was appointed by President Donald Trump in June, is charged with leading
the US efforts to support a political solution to the current crisis that
reflects the will of the Sudanese people.
sides in Sudan agreed a political power-sharing deal on July 17 that set out a
39-month period of transition, led by Sudan’s new “Sovereign Council,” before
constitutional changes can be made. Under the agreement, a military general
will lead the council for the first 21 months, a civilian for the following 18
months, and then elections will be held.
political declaration really addresses the structure of a transitional
government and not the entire structure,” Booth said. “(The July 17 agreement)
has put off the question of the legislative council. It is a document that is
the beginning of a process. We welcome the agreement on that but there are
still a lot of negotiations to be conducted on what the Sudanese call their
envoy said he expects the Sovereign Council “will have to address what the
functions of the different parts of the transitional government will be,” such
as the roles and powers of “the sovereign council, the prime minister, the
cabinet and, ultimately, the legislative cabinet. Who will lead that
transitional government is still undecided.”
crisis in Sudan came to a head in December 2018 when President Omar Al-Bashir
imposed emergency austerity measures that prompted widespread public protests.
was overthrown by the Sudanese military in April 2018 as a result of the unrest
but the protests continued. Demonstrations in Khartoum turned violent on June 3
when 150 civilians were killed, sparking nationwide protests in which nearly a
million people took part.
said these protests had changed the dynamics in Sudan, forcing the military to
negotiate with the people.
3rd of June was a signal of the limits of people power,” he said. “But then
there was the 30th of June, in which close to a million people took to the
streets outside of Sudan and I think that demonstrated the limits of the
military power over the people.”
have asked whether individuals might face prosecution for past human-rights
violations, including Lt. Gen. Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, better known as Gen.
Hemeti, who was appointed head of the ruling transitional military council in
April after Al-Bashir was removed from power. Booth said this would be a
decision for the new transitional government.
has to recognize that General Hemeti is a powerful figure currently in Sudan,”
he said. “He has considerable forces loyal to him. He has significant economic
assets as well. So, he has been a prominent member of this transitional
military council. But he has been one of the chief negotiators for the forces
of Freedom and Change.
will have to wait and see what type of agreement they will come up with…we
don’t want to prejudge where the Sudanese will come out on that. It is their
country and their decision on how they move forward. Our goal is to support the
desire for a truly civilian-led transition.”
noted that although sanctions on Sudan have been lifted, the designation of the
nation as a state sponsor of terrorism remains in force. He also said he
expects the pressures and restrictions on journalists covering Sudan’s
transition to ease as progress continues toward redefining Sudan’s government.
you can see, there is still a lot that the Sudanese need to do,” said Booth.
“But we fully support the desire of the Sudanese people to have a civilian-led
transitional government that will tackle the issues of constitutional revision
and organizing elections, free and fair democratic elections, at the end of the
added that the US is working with other governments in the region to build
support for the transitional process, including expanded religious freedoms, an
end to the recruitment of children for military service, and improving Sudan’s
Nigerian Army on Monday handed over 151 repentant Boko Haram insurgents to
Borno Government for rehabilitation and reintegration into the society.
Shafa, the Coordinator, Operation Safe Corridor, made the disclosure during the
handing over of the repentant insurgents at the Bulunkutu Rehabilitation
Shafa disclosed that the 151 male repentant insurgents comprised 132 adults and
19 minors, who completed 52 weeks of de-radicalization process at its centre in
said that the clients were exposed to formal literacy classes, skills
acquisition and Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) as well as drug and
psycho-therapists during their training.
Shafa explained that the Operation Safe Corridor was designed to encourage Boko
Haram insurgents to surrender, provide de-radicalization and rehabilitation
programme, to enable them to rejoin the society.
clients confessed their past misdeeds; denounced membership of Boko Haram
group, asked for forgiveness and took an oath of allegiance to Nigeria. I
believe they are now good citizens to rejoin the society,” he said.
Shafa lauded the state government for its support and efforts to assist the
repentant insurgents to reintegrate into the society.
Umar Kadafur, the state deputy governor commended the federal government over
implementation of Operation Safe Corridor to rehabilitate and reintegrate
repentant insurgents into the society.
Kadafur said that the state government had adopted effective measures to accept
the insurgents willing to voluntarily surrender and to create an enabling
environment for them to rejoin the society.
said that the state government had also directed community leaders to sensitize
their people on the need to accept the rehabilitated insurgents, and warned
against infringement on their rights.
deputy governor added that the state government would support rehabilitated
insurgents to set up their business, to enable them to engage in productive
activities and contribute to the development of the society.
Dandija and Kyari Buguma, some of the repentant insurgents, thanked the federal
government for the amnesty granted to them and called on the insurgents still
in the bush to surrender.
— At least 17 people were killed and 28 others wounded when a bomb went off
outside a hotel near the international airport in Somalia's capital Mogadishu
on Monday, medical officials said.
Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group al Shabaab, which is trying to topple Somalia's
weak U.N.-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack.
city's Madina hospital received 17 bodies and 28 people with injuries, 12 of
them in a critical condition, said Mohammed Yusuf, the hospital's director.
blast went off at the first checkpoint on the road that leads to Mogadishu
airport, said Farah Hussein, a shopkeeper who witnessed the attack.
troops will be deployed in Mali next year to join in the world’s deadliest
peacekeeping operation, the Ministry of Defence has announced.
250-strong force will provide a long-range reconnaissance capability for the
United Nations deployment in the troubled African country which has struggled
to decisively counter Islamic militants, armed separatists and traffickers.
deployment is likely to place British troops in combat situations, facing risks
of ambushes and roadside bombs in remote and hostile environments.
UN is operating alongside a French-led force that has been fighting Islamic
militants in Mali for six years. The mission is known as one of the most dangerous
undertaken by the organisation anywhere in the world. More than 170 people
deployed by the UN have been killed there between 2013 and February.
Mordaunt, the defence minister, said it was right that “in one of the world’s
poorest and most fragile regions we support some of world’s most vulnerable
people … UK service personnel will work with our partners in the region to help
promote peace by combating the threat of violent extremism and protecting human
rights in Mali”.
which occupies a key location in the centre of the restive Sahel, was plunged
into chaos in 2012 when Tuareg separatists and Islamic extremists joined forces
to take control of much of the north of the country. French forces intervened
the following year to halt their advance and 4,000 French troops remain there.
UN security council later deployed peacekeepers, which have been targets of a
fierce insurgent campaign. A 2015 peace deal signed by Mali’s government and
separatist groups failed to end the violence and instability has since spread
across the region. More than 200,000 people have been displaced in Mali since
the start of 2019 and about 600 killed in a series of militia attacks. Islamic
extremists have staged assaults on high-profile targets in the capital, Bamako,
and in neighbouring Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast. There is also violence in
neighbouring Niger, where four US servicemen were killed in an ambush by
Islamic militants in 2017.
Senegal — A high-ranking police officer,
a journalist and protesters are among the dead after a rally to free a minority
religious leader from detention turned violent this week in the Nigerian
capital, Abuja, marking another dark chapter in a series of murky
death toll remained uncertain Tuesday following the latest clashes between
state security forces and supporters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN),
a Shiite Muslim group that wants the government to release Ibrahim el-Zakzaky.
said 3,000 of his followers gathered in the capital Monday with weapons. Demonstrators
said they came to advocate for their leader, who has been a voice for religious
dissent since the 1980s and was arrested in 2015 on a murder charge that his
supporters view as fabricated.
side accused the other of sparking violence.
heavily armed protesters defying all sense of decency violently attacked
innocent citizens and Police personnel on duty,” police spokesman Frank Mba
said in a statement.
Ibrahim Gamawa, a Shiite protester, denied that, saying police opened fire on
demonstrators without provocation.
deposited 15 corpses at the mortuary,” he said in an interview.
bloodshed raises questions about the government’s use of force at a time when
religious protests in the country are expected to intensify. Demonstrators say
they won’t stop taking to the streets — no matter the consequences — until
Zakzaky is free.
troops patrol the streets of Abuja during clashes between members of the
Islamic Movement in Nigeria and police. (Kola Sulaimon/AFP/Getty Images)
was killed in Monday's protest?
Police Commissioner Usman Umar was fatally shot, and two other officers were
injured, Mba said.
reporter Precious Owolabi also died in the gunfire, his channel confirmed late
Monday, setting off an outpouring of grief on social media. One local anchor
who reported the story cried on the air.
is unclear how many protesters died in the demonstration.
President Muhammadu Buhari expressed condolences Tuesday on Twitter to the
families of Umar and Owolabi. He called the IMN’s protest “violent.”
want to reassure residents of Abuja in particular and the country in general to
go about their lawful activities without fear,” he wrote. “The leadership of
our security and law enforcement agencies are taking action to safeguard the
nation against such mindless attacks.”
is the Islamic Movement in Nigeria?
is practically half Christian and half Muslim. Most of the country’s Muslims,
who largely live in the north, are Sunni, including Buhari.
in the Shiite minority oppose the secular government altogether, and the IMN is
the movement behind that sentiment. It claims to have 2 million
members, but analysts say that figure is unverified.
Boko Haram — the extremist group concentrated in Nigeria’s northeast that is
trying to build an Islamist state through violence — IMN supporters say they
have tried to pursue peaceful dissent. They say they do not want to hurt
civilians or soldiers.
is Ibrahim el-Zakzaky?
supporters have lately focused their distress on the detention of Zakzaky, who
was arrested in 2015 after the government said he led a mob that attempted to
kill an army official while blocking a military convoy in northern Nigeria’s
Kaduna state. (The murder charge against Zakzaky is related to the death of
another soldier in the chaos.)
350 IMN members were killed in a crackdown in the days that followed, according
to Amnesty International.
Rights groups say Zakzaky, who is being held with his wife, deserves a speedier
increasing spate of protests by the group is a cry for justice that authorities
would do well to heed,” Anietie Ewang, Nigeria researcher at Human Rights
Watch, said in a statement last year.
Shehu, a spokesman for Buhari, said Kaduna state must decide Zakzaky’s fate in
court. The government will enforce what the regional power decides — “whatever
its outcome,” he said.
constitution does not give power to the president to stop investigations or
ongoing trials by the courts,” Shehu added. “He, however, has the power of
pardon upon conviction.”
raise their hands after police dispersed members of the Islamic Movement in
Nigeria from a street in Abuja on Tuesday. (Afolabi Sotunde/Reuters)
have the IMN's protests turned violent?
Shiite protests followed Zakzaky’s arrest, and tensions between the IMN and the
government have been building for years. It’s hard to know exactly what happens
when the two forces tangle, said John Campbell, a former U.S. ambassador to
by the security services are often inaccurate, sometimes intentionally so,”
Campbell said. “Sometimes because they themselves do not know the real story.”
make statements on the basis of fact,” Mba, the police spokesman, said in a
text message. “We only speak on matters that are empirically verifiable.”
November, the IMN said 42 of its members were killed by military forces in
Abuja clashes. The Nigerian army seemed to defend its response on Twitter that
week with a quote from President Trump.
Watch and Make your Deductions,” read the tweet, which featured a video clip of
Trump saying: “Anybody throwing stones, rocks . . .
we will consider that a firearm because there is not much difference.”
want to throw rocks at our military, our military fights back,” Trump said in
his Nov. 1 comments.
Nigerian army later deleted the tweet.
the Shiite protester at Monday’s demonstration, said he expects relations
between the IMN and the government to worsen.
has condemned Nigeria’s deadly crackdown on supporters of senior Muslim figure
Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who has been jailed for over four years, renewing the
call for the cleric’s release and his “immediate” access to medical services.
on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi expressed grave
concerns about Monday’s deadly clashes between Nigerian forces and supporters
of Zakzaky in the capital, Abuja.
also censured the use of force during the demonstration, which left six people
further referred to the deteriorating health condition of Sheikh Zakzaky, who
has been imprisoned since 2015, and a medical report saying that the clergyman
and his wife are in urgent need of medical care abroad.
Nigerian officials are expected to transfer Zakzaky out of the detention center
as soon as possible and take action for his access to decent and immediate
medical services," he said.
Iranian spokesman also underlined the importance of preserving security and
stability in Nigeria and resolving problems through dialog in the African country.
a session of the Parliament (Majlis) on Tuesday, 198 Iranian lawmakers also
issued a statement, calling for Sheikh Zakzakhi’s swift release.
statement called on all Islamic states and international bodies as well as the
Nigerian government and parliament to help facilitate the freedom of Sheikh
Zakzaky and his wife and give them access to medical care.
said Monday’s protest started peacefully with participants chanting “Free
Zakzaky, but the demonstration turned violent after police fired live
ammunition and tear gas canisters at protesters.
Zakzaky, who is in his mid-sixties, lost his left eyesight in a 2015 raid by
security forces, that left more than 300 of his followers and three of his sons
dead. His wife also sustained serious wounds.
has been kept in custody along with his wife and a large number of his
followers ever since.
state’ Qatar condemned for collusion in Somalia terrorism
Qatar was accused on Tuesday of being a “malign state” after evidence emerged
that Doha colluded in Islamist militant attacks in Somalia targeting the assets
of other Gulf states.
phone conversation between Khalifa Kayed Al-Muhanadi, a Qatari businessman
close to Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, and Hassan bin Hamza
Hashem, the Qatari ambassador to Somalia, show’s Doha’s involvement in
Al-Shabab terrorism in the Somali port of Bosaso, which is operated by the
Dubai company DP World.
bombings and killings, we know who is behind them,” Al-Muhanadi says in a
recording of the conversation leaked to The New York Times. “Our friends were
behind the last bombings.” The attacks were “intended to make Dubai people run
away from there,” he said. “Let them kick out the Emiratis, so they don’t renew
the contracts with them and I will bring the contract here to Doha.”
ambassador replies: “So that’s why they are having attacks there, to make them
President Donald Trump has accused Qatar in the past of financing terror.
However, on a visit by Sheikh Tamim to the White House this month, Trump said
the emir was a friend, and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin thanked Qatar for
combating terrorist financing.
world may be surprised by Doha’s sponsorship of terrorist attacks but Qatar's
neighbors are not, Salman Al-Ansari, founder of the Saudi American Public
Relation Affairs Committee, told Arab News.
is why the Anti-Terror Quartet of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt have
operated a diplomatic, trade and travel boycott of Qatar since June 2017, he
“Qatar will do whatever it can do to unleash
and support the terror ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and all the other groups
that stem from it,” he said. “It exploits any instability in any country to
support terrorist militias to advance its evil interests.
intelligence leak surely shows that the world is fed up with the two-faced
Qatari policies. I expect more leaks against Qatar in the coming days.
world has the right to see the full picture and to name things by their names.
Qatar is a malign state and needs to be confronted with nothing but
decisiveness and strength.
has been trying its best to control the Horn of Africa through terrorist groups
and to allow Iran to destabilize shipping lanes in the Red Sea.”
official Qatari response to the leaked phone conversation indicated fear,
Al-Ansari said, and the “Qatari businessman” was obviously a Qatari government
it’s true that he doesn’t represent the government, then why did the Qatari
ambassador hear the news about the success of a terror operation without
objecting to it?
is poised to bar its citizens who have fought for the ISIS militant group from
returning home for up to two years, under new laws discussed in parliament
controversial legislation would give hardline Home Affairs Minister Peter
Dutton the ability to invoke “exclusion orders” to prevent suspected terrorists
from returning to the country.
is based on similar legislation introduced in the United Kingdom, where a judge
is tasked with deciding whether to impose an exclusion order.
told parliament in early July the bill targets 230 Australians who travelled to
Syria and Iraq to fight for ISIS, 80 of whom he said were still in active
have been raised that the Australian proposal could be unconstitutional and
places too much power in the minister’s hands, with the opposition Labor Party
calling for it to be referred back to a parliamentary intelligence and security
committee for further consideration.
shadow home affairs minister Kristina Keneally said in a statement the
opposition would support the bill but wanted a scheme that was “constitutional,
keeps Australians safe and that withstands High Court challenges”.
is one of several controversial measures being considered by parliament in the
first legislative sitting week since Australia’s conservative government was
re-elected in May.
proposals include repealing the so-called “Medevac” law that allows sick asylum
seekers and refugees held in Pacific camps to be brought to Australia for
opposition has to date appeared reluctant to back a repeal of the law, with
Labor leader Anthony Albanese telling Sky News on Tuesday he did not believe
the government had made a case for change.
are some 90 people (who) have been brought to Australia under the Medevac
legislation,” he said.
900 (who) have been brought to Australia by the government itself prior to the
Medevac legislation being there.”
United Nations and human rights groups have roundly condemned Canberra’s
hardline approach to the nearly 900 refugees who remain on Nauru and Papua New
Guinea’s Manus Island.
Australia has defended its policies as humanitarian in nature, saying hundreds
of people have drowned at sea trying to reach the country and that it is
deterring people from making such journeys.
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