The Council of Europe has asked the Islamist government of Turkey to stop
funding Islam overseas for political purposes.
airstrikes killed 3,222 civilians in Syria since 2014: Monitoring group
proposes pre-marriage course for non-Muslims under new minimum age ruling, says
challenges for Bangladesh Catholics
of Europe Wants Turkey to Stop ‘Foreign Funding of Islam’ to Expand Political
must halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia: Amnesty International
Sikhs fear "Islamophobia on Sikhs" being ignored
imam's conviction for supporting terror is upheld
court refers top Islamophobic figure to attorney general
Saudis have answers to Khashoggi case: UK
plans to repatriate children of extremist fighters in Syria
calls for cancelling arms sales to Saudi Arabia
reaction on Khashoggi depends on Saudi steps'
king, crown prince meet Khashoggi family
Politician: PM Determined to Expel US Military Men from Iraq
Army Preparing for Idlib Operation as Terrorists Refuse to Leave Demilitarized
delegates pay tribute to Khashoggi, say ‘terrible act not part of our DNA’
killed by car bomb near Iraq's Mosul
Khashoggi murder and Malaysia’s foreign policy
geography, prominent Indonesian Muslim leader tells Zahid over quake-LGBT
Guan Eng shows Kelantan sought aid, PAS says that’s federalism
calls for flag burners to apologize to 'the faithful'
showing burning of hardline Islamist group HTI's flag sparks controversy in
journalist Yasuda released from militant captivity in Syria: Govt. spokesman
slaps sanctions on Myanmar officers over Rohingya
Reception to PM: Rift in Hefajat
IED expert’s wife, children killed by own bomb in Faryab
soldiers suffer casualties in apparent insider attack in West of Afghanistan
lakh delegates to attend World Sunni meet
lack of upward mobility among Muslims is our democracy’s failure
case: NIA arrests Tamil Nadu man
look after this 300-year-old Lord Shiva temple in Murshidabad
lodges strong protest with Pakistan over killing of 3 soldiers along LoC
still elusive on backing India’s request on listing Azhar as global terrorist
PM Imran Khan hopes ties with India will improve after 2019 elections
Arabia pledges $6bn package to Pakistan
Imran gets in Saudi shows Pakistan’s prestige in Muslim Ummah: Fawad
PM Khan moves to tears at Prophet’s Mosque in Medina
Imran Khan among Top 50 ‘Most Influential Muslims’
top MQM-P leaders indicted in 21 cases of hate speech, conspiracy, terrorism
prime minister calls for peace talks with India
Turkey says the Khashoggi murder unfolded
Saudi Arabia took ‘important step’ in revealing Khashoggi’s killing
Arabia, Bahrain designate Revolutionary Guards and Soleimani as terrorists
minister: Houthis have destroyed 70 percent of Yemen’s sports facilities
busts three terror groups in Khuzestan Province
urges China to support Abbas Mideast ‘peace’ intitiative
teenage boy succumbs to wounds sustained in Gaza border clashes
lightning strike trigger Gaza rocket attack on Israel?
nationalists cut alliance with Erdogan’s party
See reiterates Israel-Palestine two-state solution, Jerusalem status quo
Haram: Norwegian Refugee Council horrified by killing of farmers
king urged to bolster UNESCO resolutions on Jerusalem
and officials at odds over Muslim boy's beard at Christian school
offers to provide Libya with logistical support
appointments characterized by high level of religious discrimination – MSSN
tackles Ekiti governor
to revoke visas for Saudis implicated in Khashoggi’s killing
states join US in designating nine Taliban as terrorists
US-led sanctions target Iran-Taliban ties
We will maintain strategic interests with Saudi Arabia
calls Saudi killing of Khashoggi 'worst cover-up ever'
in numbers on display as Ahmadi Muslim spiritual leader tours US
at Bucks Muslim school blamed on students there
vows US response to Khashoggi's 'brutal murder'
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Council of Europe has asked the Islamist government of Turkey to stop funding
Islam overseas for political purposes.
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, an intergovernmental
organisation which predates the European Union, has called on its members to
“put an end to any foreign funding of Islam which is used for the purpose of
national political expansion into other States under the guise of Islam,”
according to the Stockholm Center for Freedom.
Directorate of Religious Affairs, known as the Diyanet, funds and administers a
huge number of mosques in Europe — almost 1,000 in Germany alone, where Turkish
leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally opened a gigantic ‘mega mosque’ in
Cologne on a recent visit.
many European politicians feel challenging the Islamist politician would be
politically incorrect, there are increasing concerns about how Turkish-funded
Islamic institutions are being used to extend Erdoğan’s influence in the
continent, particularly over the increasingly large Turkish diaspora in Western
Europe and the Balkans.
is some evidence that the Diyanet’s mosques are effectively arms of the Turkish
state, with the German authorities uncovering evidence that their clerics were
spying for Ankara in 2016, with a particular focus on diaspora Turkish
nationals opposed to the Erdoğan regime.
under its new conservative-nationalist coalition, has been one of the few
countries to take robust action against Erdoğan’s religious networks, shutting
down seven Diyanet mosques and deporting around 60 imams and their families as
part of a promised “fight against political Islam”.
response of the Turkish government to Austria’s move against its religious
institutions was apocalyptic in tone, with Erdoğan warning that Vienna was
“leading the world towards a war between the cross and the crescent”.
say they’re going to kick our religious men out of Austria. Do you think we
will not react if you do such a thing?” he added.
Asiatic country with only a small foothold in Europe geographically — a legacy
of the Ottoman conquests — Turkey nevertheless enjoys representation in the
Council of Europe, and tried to sabotage the Parliamentary Assembly’s
resolution against the Diyanet.
efforts were unsuccessful, however, with French representative André Vallini
expressing the concerns of many in Europe about Turkey’s activities, which have
been described as “Islamo-nationalist” in character.
have an organisation with 100,000 people under your president, Mr Erdoğan,”
Vallini said to the Islamist leader’s representative.
understand that many [Council of Europe members] are frightened about what is
said in our countries. We do not even understand the language.”
so-called monitoring group says more than 3,200 civilians have lost their lives
ever since the US-led coalition purportedly fighting the Daesh Takfiri
terrorist group launched its aerial bombardment campaign in the
conflict-plagued Arab country more than four years ago.
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday that as many
as 3,222 civilians have been killed in the air raids.
were 768 people under the age of 18 among the fatalities in addition to 562
US-led air raids also resulted in the injury of hundreds of civilians, some of
whom suffered permanent disabilities and had to have their limbs amputated.
monitoring group noted that the civilians were killed by US-led warplanes in
Syria’s northern province of Raqqah, northeastern province of Hasakah,
northwestern Aleppo and Idlib provinces as well as Dayr al-Zawr province in the
sources, requesting not to be named, told Syria’s official news agency SANA on
Saturday that the death toll from separate aerial assaults conducted by the
US-led coalition purportedly fighting Daesh in Syria’s eastern province of Dayr
al-Zawr had reached 62.
sources said an airstrike targeted the village of al-Susah on the outskirts of
Abu Kamal city, leaving at least 15 civilians, including women and children,
dead and many more wounded.
civilians were also killed and tens of others injured when a US-led aerial
attack pounded Osman ibn Affan Mosque.
at least 10 civilians were killed and many more wounded as US-led military
aircraft struck Ammar bin Yasser Mosque in al-Bubadran village.
US-led coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be
Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from
the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of
world leaders at the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly in New
York on September 29, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said the US-led
coalition had been doing everything it could since the onset of its airstrikes
but combat terrorism and militant outfits wreaking havoc in the Arab country.
described the military alliance as “illegitimate” and censured the “hegemonic
policies” pursued by certain countries against the Damascus government.
BARU, Oct 23 — The Johor government aims to introduce pre-marriage courses for
non-Muslim couples in line with its move to raise the minimum marriage age to
18, said a state executive councillor in charge of woman affairs today.
development and tourism committee chairman Liow Cai Tung said the pre-marriage
course for non-Muslims was among the proposals expected to be raised during a
state executive committee meeting in Kota Iskandar tomorrow.
Muslim, Catholic and some Christian couples, this isn’t an issue as their faith
requires them to undergo a mandatory pre-marriage course first before they can
tie the knot.
for other non-Muslim couples the state government will promote a pre-marriage
course for them which will not be compulsory,” she told Malay Mail when
explained that the course would be designed to assist the new couples on their
new roles and responsibilities after marriage.
present, she said there are existing pre-matrimony courses, but the proposed
state government course will be a general one catering to all non-Muslim
couples, covering all age groups.
meeting, chaired by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Osman Sapian, will look into
issues, concerns and proposals on the new ruling for couples as the new
regulations will cover both Muslims and non-Muslims in the state.
who is also the Johor Jaya assemblyman, said that she was eager to bring-up the
issue of parental consent for non-Muslim couples relating to the new ruling.
aged below 21 needed parental consent if they are to marry. We need to know if
this requirement is still needed,” she said, adding that the executive
committee will discuss if the measure should be retained.
added that tomorrow’s meeting would also touch on the differences between
Muslim and non-Muslim couples in following the new directive.
hopes that the meeting can make clear issues such as the exemption by the Johor
Mentri Besar on reasonable grounds for couples below 18 who wanted to marry.
we are still unclear if the exemption covers all couples or Muslim couples
only,” she said, adding that the executive committee will also gather input
from the Johor Islamic authorities.
said she wholly supports the Federal government and also state government
directive to raise the marriage age to 18 and above.
am for such a move and it’s a positive step for Johor and Malaysia,” she said.
week, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad issued a directive ordering all
state governments in Malaysia to raise the legal minimum marriage age to 18
years for both Muslims and non-Muslims.
October 21, Osman said Johor will abide by Dr Mahathir’s directive.
said previously the marriage age in the state had been fixed at 18 years for
males and 16 years for females.
Catholic Peter* has a well-earned reputation in the southern Bangladesh port
and industrial city of Khulna for being a man of good faith and action.
recently retired from his long-time job with a local non-governmental
only daughter, and two of his four sons, have married.
well as regularly attending church liturgies, Peter leads evening prayers at
despite there being much to be happy about in his life, there is also a measure
first two sons took up three years of priestly formation in a seminary more
than 12 years ago.
wanted to see at least one of them become a priest, but neither lived up their
returning from their seminary, the duo didn't complete their graduation,
despite Peter being a college graduate.
eldest son fell in love with a Muslim girl and got married in court, despite
both families disapproving.
few years later, their marriage was solemnized in the Catholic Church,"
Peter told ucanews.com.
neighbors for several years teased Peter's family over the marriage.
son and daughter-in-law have been living with us since then and we have a
12-year-old granddaughter," Peter said.
other son who went off to the seminary, upon returning to the family home, did
not continue his studies, failed to find a stable job and stopped attending
have tried to change his ways, but he has been reluctant," Peter said
about his son drifting away from faith and family to carouse at night with
of Peter's adult sons is a college graduate and has a job with a marketing
company in the capital, Dhaka. The youngest son is also in Dhaka, where he is
studying for his high school graduation.
they are also no longer interested in church life and activities.
holidays, when they come home, the sons get upset when he asks them to join
church programs and Sunday liturgies.
third son, who works for the marketing company, is 28 years old. He says having
a busy life, including a six-day working week, mitigates against church
weekends I have many important things to do, so I don't have time to go to
church," he told ucanews.com, adding that this did not necessarily make
him a bad Catholic.
don't commit any wrongdoing and I have a value-based life — I don't steal, tell
lies or do harm to others."
Peter feels frustrated about his male offspring moving away from religiosity
and the church.
blames bad companions, a desire for money and modern technology for what he
describes as a "decline of faith" among his sons.
Peter has been always happy about his daughter, both before and after her marriage.
daughter is a perfect girl," he said, adding that she was successful in
her studies, attends church regularly and has a happy family life.
Mintu L. Palma, a family counselor and judicial vicar of the inter-diocesan
matrimonial tribunal based in Dhaka, cites a trend towards alienation of young
Catholics from a life of faith.
most Catholics still go to church, especially on Sundays, he said.
50 and 60 percent of the more than 15,000 parishioners of his Holy Rosary
Church in central Dhaka "actively practiced" their religion.
urban areas, where life is busier and more modern, Catholics tended to be less
adherent to their faith, whereas rural Catholics were more inclined towards the
church and religious life, the priest told ucanews.com.
people wanted to attend church but were "squeezed" by modern family
and work pressures.
Palma said the church has conducted seminars on using modern communications
technologies to help keep Catholics, especially young people, close to their
a Jesuit priest and youth motivator, Father Pradeep Perez, said church programs
for the young were often monotonous and did not reflect modern challenges.
church leaders told young people what "to do and not to do" without
explaining why, the priest noted.
is a philosophical base for church rules and laws," Father Perez said.
example, the church opposed "artificial family planning" because it
limited natural love between men and women.
same goes for mixed marriages," the priest said in relation to
difficulties encountered when couples were not of the same religious faith.
Perez added that youth constitute the future of the church.
young people don't have much say in the decision-making processes of the
church," he said.
must change, or we might end up losing our next generation of Catholics."
and his family have asked not to use their real names.
International has once again called on France to suspend its arms sales to
Saudi Arabia, due to Riyadh's war crimes in Yemen and the display of its
disrespect for human rights, following the killing of dissident Saudi
journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
of Amnesty International France's Program for Responsibility, Yves Prigent,
said on Tuesday that a number of serious human rights violations, including war
crimes and crimes against humanity, have been observed since the beginning of
the conflict in Yemen in 2015.
International France has long been calling on France to halt arms sales to the
Saudis, on account of Paris being a signatory of the Arms Trade Treaty, which
regulates the international trade in conventional arms.
Defense Minister Florence Parly said her country exported 11 billion euros
($12.6 billion) to Saudi Arabia between 2008 to 2017, a figure which was
crucial for French jobs.
arms exports are extremely supervised and analyzed very meticulously. They are
authorized by an inter-ministerial commission placed under the authority of the
prime minister, which follows a case-by-case evaluation which takes into
account numerous criteria, among which is the nature of exported materials, the
respect of human rights, and the preservation of peace and regional
stability," Parly told a senate foreign policy commission hearing.
and more, our industrial and defense sectors need these arms exports. And so we
cannot ignore the impact that all of this has on our defense industry and our
jobs," she added.
is one of the five biggest arms exporters to Saudi Arabia in past years,
Amnesty International said, in the same category as the United States and
Britain. It sells firearms, parts, ammunitions, artillery and maintenance
April, France managed to sign 20 major agreements with Saudi Arabia worth $18
billion, sources have revealed at the end of a trip by Saudi Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman to Paris.
French companies have always been among the main suppliers of modern weaponry
to Saudi Arabia and Paris has already reached military deals worth around 20 billion
with the Saudis.
of those weapons have been used in Saudi Arabia’s more than three years of war
on its southern neighbor Yemen. Rights groups have repeatedly called on Paris
to stop the provision of arms and instead impose pressure on Saudis to stop the
part of the increasing arms sale, Riyadh has been procured with French tanks,
armored vehicles, munitions and artillery and navy ships over the past years.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of resigned president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back to power and crushing the
country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Legal Center for Rights and Developments in Yemen, in a statement released on
October 15, announced that the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign against the
impoverished and conflict-plagued Arab country has resulted in the death of
15,185 civilians, including 3,527 children and 2,277 women.
arms sales control policy strict: Gauvin
foreign ministry deputy spokesman Olivier Gauvin said on Monday that France's
arms sales control policy was strict and based on case-by-case analysis by an
made the remarks in response to a question whether Paris would heed Berlin's
call to suspend weapons sales to Riyadh after Khashoggi's killing.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said earlier on Monday that the killing of Washington
Post journalist is a "monstrosity" and vowed that Berlin would not
sell arms to Riyadh while the issue remains unclear.
long insisting that Khashoggi had exited the consulate alive, Riyadh finally
admitted on October 20th that he had been murdered inside the mission, blaming
the killing on a “rogue operation.” Saudi officials alleged that “discussions”
at the mission had turned into “a brawl,” resulting in the journalist's murder.
Sikhs have expressed concerns that the UK government's updated strategy to
combat hate crime may be failing to fully acknowledge the problem of
"Islamophobia on Sikhs", or attacks on the community members for
being mistaken as Muslims.
Network of Sikh Organisations (NSO), a representative body for gurdwaras and
Sikh organisations across the UK, says that despite repeated interventions the
government's new "refresh" of its Action Against Hate strategy to
combat hate crimes fails to fully take into account attacks on the "Muslim
government is unwilling to address the wider ramifications of Islamophobia on
Sikhs, or the 'Muslim looking other'," the NSO said in a statement.
simple acknowledgment that Sikhs face Islamophobia would have allayed concerns.
Like us, many will be right to ask the government why ministerial 'round
tables' are the preserve of Jews and Muslims," it notes.
NSO intervention comes as the UK concluded its National Hate Crime Awareness
Week over the weekend with an announcement of a review into whether additional
offences such as misogyny and ageism should be brought into the ambit of hate
review coincided with the release of latest figures indicating that religious
hate crime, or people being targeted for their religious beliefs, had
registered a surge in Britain over the past few years.
the NSO believes that the government's current focus on religious groups is
"far too narrow", and all faiths should be treated with
"parity" when it comes to tackling prejudice.
believes that despite being subject to serious violence and hostility since the
9/11 attacks in the US, the UK government's National Hate Crime Plan "has
managed to marginalise British Sikhs yet again".
of the hate crimes described as Islamophobic are directed against Sikhs out of
ignorance or mistaken identity," NSO Director and House of Lords peer
Indarjit Singh said during a Parliamentary debate on the issue last week.
Sikhs have not been called 'Bin Laden' at some time or other, and some have
been violently attacked. We heard about the gurdwara in Leeds being defaced and
partly burned and, only a couple of months ago, a gurdwara in Edinburgh that I
had recently visited was firebombed," he said.
the House of Lords debate on the motion 'This House takes note of the
challenges posed by religious intolerance and prejudice in the United Kingdom',
Lord Singh stressed that he did not "begrudge" the protection that
Jews and Muslims receive against hate crime but that the government must be a
"little more even-handed to non-Abrahamic faiths in both policies and
and Hindu groups have been lobbying over the issue for some time and in January
last year, the UK government responded with a specific policy to help these
communities report hate crime via True Vision, a police-funded website designed
to combat hate crime. However, the NSO claims the project is yet to be fully
government's Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG),
which is leading on the initiatives against hate crime, said that funds had
been allocated through the True Vision project and that police is working with
a number of Sikh groups on a dedicated reporting page for the site, as well as
awareness raising exercises.
ministry added that it was committed to continuing its engagement with Sikh
communities through roundtable discussions and is also considering other ways
to encourage reporting and support victims of anti-Sikh hatred in its refreshed
Hate Crime Action Plan.
government abhors all forms of hate crime, including that directed at Sikhs.
The refreshed Hate Crime Action Plan to tackle race and religious crime applies
equally to Sikhs as it does other religions and races," said UK Faith
Minister Lord Nick Bourne.
Anti-Muslim Hatred working group will be addressing the issue of Sikhs being
mistaken for Muslims and being subjected to hate crimes. We are absolutely
clear that no one, of any race or religion, should be subjected to hate
crime," he said.
US appeals court on Tuesday upheld the conviction and life prison sentence
given to a London imam for supporting terrorism.
2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals said there was overwhelming evidence against
Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, 60. At trial, he was referred to by his alias, Abu Hamza
court also ruled that Mustafa's 2012 extradition to the US from England did not
come with conditions preventing his incarceration at the Supermax prison in
is missing both hands. His lawyers said he belongs at a prison better suited to
people with disabilities.
lawyer for Mustafa did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.
was convicted in 2014 of ensuring there were satellite communications for
kidnappers during a 1998 attack that killed four tourists in Yemen, of
supporting plans to open an Al Qaeda training camp in Bly, Oregon, and sending
someone to an Afghanistan training camp.
the 1990s, he led London's Finsbury Park Mosque, reportedly attended by
September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid.
Mustafa denied meeting them.
2nd Circuit said it found no reason to reject rulings made by the trial judge regarding
evidence offered by prosecutors.
audio and video recordings of Mustafa encouraging religious violence,
justifying the kidnapping and enslavement of non-Muslims, praising Osama bin
Laden, and applauding murderous Al Qaida attacks in and outside the United
States were probative of Mustafa's culpable intent in engaging in the charged
crimes," the three-judge appeals panel wrote.
evidence of terrorist literature and military equipment seized from Mustafa's
London residence and the Finsbury Park Mosque that he led was also probative of
Mustafa's intent to support terrorism and to do so through violence," they
judges rejected Mustafa's argument that he should have been permitted to
testify that years of solitary confinement explained his poor memory and
difficulty at expressing himself from the witness stand.
noted that the trial judge let him testify that he had not spoken to more than
one person at a time during over a decade of confinement and that his
imprisonment had negatively affected his memory.
2nd Circuit was also not particularly critical of the fact that jurors were
told about his earlier convictions in England for soliciting murder. During
oral arguments this year, two appeals judges were critical of the fact.
top far-right Islamophobe Tommy Robinson has walked free from the court at the
Old Bailey after a judge referred his case to the Attorney General.
whose real name is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, stood before Nicholas Hillard QC on
Tuesday, having previously been jailed for committing contempt by filming
individuals involved in a criminal trial before the trial had taken place.
May 2017, Robinson had filmed four men outside of a court who were later
convicted of raping a teenage girl.
35, was subsequently sentenced to thirteen months and ten months for contempt
of court in May this year but has appealed both contempt rulings claiming that
his live broadcasts outside of courts hearings contained information already in
the public domain.
judges in an appeal court quashed the Leeds ruling, stating the judge in the
initial court should not have commenced contempt proceedings resulting in
Robinson’s release from prison. They also ordered that the case be reheard for
allegations to be examined and, following a short appearance at the Old Bailey
in September, the case had been adjourned until today.
at the Tuesday retrial, within minutes of Robinson’s appearance, Hillard
referred the case to the Attorney General, Conservative MP Geoffrey Cox,
claiming the case was too complicated.
of Mr Yaxley-Lennon would be necessary for a proper examination of the
allegations. All the evidence must be rigorously tested,” said Hillard.
think it necessary to look at quite a lot of the detail of what Mr Yaxley-Lennon
said in the broadcast [featuring the alleged contempt] as to come to the
overall picture as to what happened,” said the judge.
satisfied in the light of the issues as they now appear, as they emerged from
the statement of yesterday, that cross-examination of Mr Yaxley-Lennon is
necessary for a proper and thorough examination and resolution of the case that
is in the public interest,” he added.
who has been jailed in the past for fraud, was granted bail but could find
himself back behind bars if he is found to have breached the rules of court
proceedings and prejudiced trials with contempt by publishing details of court
cases on social media platforms.
maximum sentence for contempt is two years imprisonment plus a fine. Laws
around contempt of court are designed to ensure that free trials take place,
and to avoid media trials.
of supporters gathered outside the Old Bailey in Central London while Robinson
addressed the crowd claiming that he should never have been jailed in the first
first rose to prominence after founding the "English Defense League"
while anointing himself the group’s de facto leader. Since leaving the group in 2013, Robinson
claims to oppose ‘political Islam’ while his critics point out that Robinson
frequently levels slurs at all Muslims and only focuses on grooming gangs and
crimes where Muslims are perpetrators.
figures show that far-right nationalism is the fastest growing threat to
national security in the UK and that white people are the largest ethnic group
of those committing terror offences.
British government has further pressed the Saudi government over the case of a
dissident journalist who was killed earlier this month in Turkey, saying new
allegations raised by Turkish authorities showed that it was only Riyadh that
could clarify the issue.
Minster Theresa May’s spokesman said Tuesday that a statement by Turkish
President Tayyip Erdogan earlier in the day on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi
on October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul showed that Saudis has more
facts to reveal about the mysterious case.
Erdogan’s statement this morning underscores the fact there remain questions
which only the Saudis have the answers to,” said the spokesman.
remarks to his ruling party members, Erdogan criticized Riyadh’s contradictory
reports in the days following Khashoggi’s disappearance, saying Ankara will not
stop its investigation until all major questions in the case are answered.
don’t they still produce the body of the person after their admission? Who is
the ‘local cooperator’ that a Saudi official pointed at as the person who took
the body? You should reveal who this local cooperator is,” asked Erdogan.
comments came days after Saudis finally admitted the death of Khashoggi in the
Istanbul mission, although they stopped short of providing evidences on how he
around the world have pressed the Saudis to come up with better explanations on
the case. The same British government spokesman has said on Monday that Saudis
were supposed to provide the world with “urgent clarification” on how Khashoggi
was killed. The official said Riyadh’s account on Khashoggi’s murder entailed
remains an urgent need for clarification of what happened beyond the hypotheses
raised so far in the Saudi investigation,” the spokesman told reports.
France is working to bring back children held by Syrian Kurdish forces and
belonging to suspected French extremist militants, but will leave their mothers
to be prosecuted by local authorities, French officials said.
like other European nations, has been wrestling with how to handle suspected
militants and their families seeking to return from combat zones in Iraq and
Syria, as well as those in detention, after Daesh surrendered huge swathes of
territory under military pressure.
has suffered a series of deadly militant attacks over the past three years and
is grappling with the threat of homegrown militancy as well as the risks posed
by fighters slipping back across French borders.
government policy has been to refuse to take back fighters and their wives,
France has said it needed to determine the situation of minors.
authorities are now entering an active phase of evaluation on the possibility
of repatriating minors,” one French official said.
60 women, including 40 mothers with about 150 minors, have been reported in
Syria by families in France. The large majority of the children are under the
age of six.
cross-checking information with Kurdish authorities and the International Red
Cross, Paris has located a number of them in Kurdish-controlled northeastern
are being put into place to repatriate children on a case-by-case basis,
including those born in Syria, the officials said. Their return would depend on
mothers agreeing to be separated from their children.
is in the best interest of the children,” said one of the officials.
is concerned that if these minors are left in Syria, they could eventually also
first children could return by year’s end, although the complexity of the
situation may push the timeline.
in December 2017 repatriated three children belonging to a French woman who was
sentenced in June by an Iraqi court to life imprisonment for her allegiance to
kept her youngest child with her in detention in Iraq.
case was easier for France given Baghdad has a functioning legal system unlike
in Kurdish northern Syria, which is outside the control of the Syrian
for the number of French extremist fighters in the Levant region have varied
between 500 and 700 over the years.
calls for canceling arms sales to Saudi Arabia
Serife Cetin and S.Ahmet Aytac
should take Germany as an example and stop the selling of weapons to Saudi
Arabia, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said on Tuesday.
to local VRT radio station, De Croo called on his country to stop selling arms
to Saudi Arabia over the gruesome killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
arm export decision was taken by the regional parliaments, therefore, they
don’t have authority other than to advise. We shouldn’t hide behind the EU. We
should take Germany as an example and stop the arms sales to Saudi Arabia,” De
the arm exports would also contribute to prevent dozens of people from losing
their lives in Yemen every day,” he added.
Walonia region -- one of the three main regions of Belgium -- led the sales to
Saudi Arabia with over $153 million euros last year.
announced on Sunday that it would stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia amid doubts
over Riyadh’s explanation on the killing of journalist Khashoggi.
Angela Merkel demanded urgent clarification on Khashoggi’s killing, saying: “As
far as arms exports are concerned, those can’t take place in the current
the U.S. Congress is expected to ban the arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite the
opposition of President Donald Trump.
would cancel the defense agreement valued of $15 billion with Saudi Arabia,”
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters at the parliament in
was last seen on Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia on Saturday claimed
Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed on Tuesday that all information and
evidence that has been revealed so far showed that Khashoggi was the victim of
a premeditated, "savage" murder.
the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several
officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he
was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified
individuals have since left Turkey.
European Union’s reaction to the killing of Jamal Khashoggi will depend on the
next steps that will be taken by the Saudi authorities, the EU foreign policy
chief said on Tuesday.
at the EU Parliament, Federica Mogherini said the EU has "asked Saudi
Arabia to shed light on the events of Oct. 2 through a full, credible,
transparent and prompt investigation".
have also asked Saudi Arabia for full collaboration with the Turkish
hope that everyone will work towards the goal of establishing the facts. This
is the starting point," Mogherini said, adding that the investigation must
be driven by the search for truth and not by geopolitics.
said the confirmation of Khashoggi's death was a first step towards the truth
and towards accountability.
the explanations offered so far by the Saudi authorities leave many doubts and
many questions unanswered.
the Foreign Affairs Council last week, Mogherini said all 28 Foreign Ministers
of the EU member states agreed to demand a credible and transparent
are working on further steps and statements to be taken together," she
a columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi
Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia last week claimed
Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with family
members of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Riyadh on Tuesday, state media
Saudi rulers met with Khashoggi’s son Salah and brother Sahel at the royal
palace, state-run news agency SPA reported.
report said King Salman and Prince Mohammed offered their condolences to the
family of the Saudi journalist.
— a Washington Post contributor and critic of the crown prince — was killed
after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2.
more than two weeks of vehemently denying Khashoggi was dead, the Saudi
government on Saturday said he was killed in a fight inside the consulate and
said the murder was not state-sanctioned.
Abdul Mahdi is determined to expel the foreign military men, specially the
Americans, from Iraq," Ali Al-Sonaid said on Tuesday.
said that the Iraqi prime minister will be committed to security agreements
with all countries based on Iraq's needs and security conditions.
said that protection of Iraq's sovereignty and territorial integrity,
opposition to the presence of foreign forces and assignment of a timetable to
expel them are among Abdul Mahdi's priorities.
elected Iraqi President Barham Salih named independent Shiite candidate Adel
Abdul Mahdi as prime minister-designate, ending months of deadlock after an
inconclusive national election in May.
former vice president, oil minister and finance minister, Abdul Mahdi had 30
days to form a cabinet and present it to parliament for approval.
faces the daunting tasks of rebuilding much of the country after four years of
war with the ISIL and balancing foreign relations.
army detected terrorists' bases and positions, in which heavy weapons are
deployed in Idlib province.
army has specified the strongholds of heavy arms, tanks, cannons, missiles and
mortar launchers in demilitarized zone mentioned in Sochi Agreement.
the meantime, a field commander said that the terrorists are still
reinvigorating their positions and are dispatching more military hardware to
the demilitarized zone, adding the terrorists have continued targeting the
Syrian army, and government forces are ready to counter them.
commander said that a group of Ajnad al-Sham, deployed near a Turkish
monitoring post in the small town of Sarman, pounded the Syrian Army positions
in the town of Kafraya in Eastern Idlib, pursued by a heavy fight between the
army and the terrorists. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR)
reported on Sunday that Turkey failed to convince terrorist groups to withdraw
from the demilitarized zone mentioned in the Sochi Agreements that covers parts
of Lattakia, Idlib, Hama and Aleppo provinces a week after the agreement's
deadline of October 15.
the meantime, al-Watan pointed to the failure of Turkey in expelling terrorists
from the demilitarized zone, and said that the Syrian Army's artillery units
pounded the movements of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at terrorists that tried to prevail
over the army's positions in al-Latamina region in Northeastern Hama and in the
village of al-Zarzour in Southeastern Idlib.
number of Tahrir al-Sham terrorists were killed or wounded in the army's
Speakers at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh did not shy away
from addressing what could otherwise have been the elephant in the room: The
death of Jamal Khashoggi.
speakers had pulled out of the event over the death of the Saudi journalist in
the Kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. Khashoggi’s death was the result
of a “rogue operation” by people acting beyond the scope of Saudi authorities,
Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said on Sunday.
speakers due to attend the FII — mostly those from Western organizations — had
pulled out due to allegations the Saudi government was complicit in Khashoggi’s
speakers at the FII on Tuesday tackled the issue head-on, calling the death
“abhorrent” and promising justice.
are difficult days for us in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We are going through
a crisis, of sorts, resulting from the very regrettable and abhorrent incident
that took place in Turkey,” Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told the
in the Kingdom can justify it or explain it. From the leadership on down, we
are very upset about what has happened,” he added.
king has made it clear that there will be an investigation, justice and
retribution to those responsible.”
prominent Saudi business executive Lubna Olayan also remarked on the case,
saying that the “terrible acts reported in recent weeks are alien to our
culture and DNA.”
said that, despite the ongoing “crisis” due to the case, the ambitious reforms
that Saudi Arabia is undertaking would continue.
Kingdom is in the midst of a historic transformation of unprecedented
proportions, and the train has moved, and it has moved deliberately toward a
transformation journey that will not be stopped,” he said.
Iraq: A car bomb attack Tuesday killed six people and wounded 26 more at a
market in a town near Daesh's former Iraqi capital of Mosul, medics said.
of the scene posted on social media showed a devastated market in the town of
Al Qayyarah, 60 kilometres (40 miles) south of Mosul, with wounded being
evacuated as bystanders watched on.
attack killed six people and wounded 26," doctor Abdelmoneim Majid
al-Tabu, who heads the town's health service, told AFP.
Qayyarah was held by Daesh after they swept through northern Iraq in 2014.
militants were ousted from the town in 2016, almost a year before they were
driven out of Mosul.
growing international outrage over the brutal and gruesome murder of Saudi
journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah
reiterated that “Malaysia’s bilateral relations with Saudi Arabia remain
strong”, to quote one local report covering Putrajaya’s response to the
killing. He was further quoted as saying that, “We are a friendly nation. We
look at the big picture.” There was not even a hint of concern.
Malaysians, no doubt, found his comments deeply troubling.
Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, however, quickly set the record straight: not
mincing any words, and dismissing all that “big picture” nonsense, he asserted
that Khashoggi’s killing was “an extreme and unacceptable act of tyranny” that
“cannot be condoned”. He added that it is not something that the Pakatan
Harapan (PH) government can accept.
to Turkish authorities, the murder of Khashoggi was carried out by a
professional team of Saudi officials who lay in wait for him at the Saudi
consulate in Istanbul. After being overpowered, he was reportedly dismembered
while still alive by a forensic specialist (part of the Saudi team) and his
remains disposed of.
official Saudi narrative of the murder has been anything but credible. After
insisting for days that Khashoggi had left the consulate alive, the Saudis,
faced with mounting evidence of their complicity, now admit that Khashoggi was
indeed killed in the consulate. However, they conveniently maintain that it was
the work of rogue agents acting without official sanction.
familiar with the way the Saudi kingdom operates insist that such an operation
could not have been carried out without the knowledge of Crown Prince Mohammad
Bin Salman (also known as MBS), the real power behind the throne. The prince has,
in fact, a history of rash and reckless behaviour.
it is, Khashoggi’s murder has shocked the world. Even some of Jeddah’s
strongest supporters were disturbed by the sheer barbarity of it all and are
demanding a full and transparent investigation. In the meantime, many senior
business and political leaders are boycotting the ongoing “Davos in the desert”
conference (a key initiative of MBS) while both the German chancellor and the
Canadian prime minister have called for a ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia.
foreign policy that reflects the new Malaysia
such circumstances, the foreign minister’s reiteration of business as usual
with the Saudi government was clearly inappropriate.
than that, it is an indication that the foreign ministry has yet to think
through what the new Malaysia stands for and how best to reflect the values and
hopes of a free and democratic society premised upon respect for the rule of
prime minister’s UN speech and his pledge to ratify all outstanding UN human
rights conventions should have been seen as an indication of Malaysia’s new
commitment to human rights, among other matters. It is one thing for the
foreign ministry to table the prime minister’s speech in Parliament and declare
it to be our policy; it is quite another to give it full expression in the
positions we take on international issues.
limits of Islamic solidarity
one of the things that needs to be addressed going forward is the lack of a
consistent human rights dimension in our foreign policy. Out of a misguided
sense of Islamic solidarity, we have, for example, tended to keep silent when
Muslim despots target their own people.
now, we remain largely ambivalent to the carnage that Saudi Arabia (with US and
UK support) is inflicting on Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the world.
More than 10,000 Yemeni civilians have been killed while millions are on the
brink of what the UN warns might be the “largest famine the world has seen for
many decades”. What the Saudis are doing to Yemen is nothing short of a crime
against humanity; silence is simply not an option anymore.
MBS now working with the hawks in Washington and Tel Aviv to plot regime change
in Tehran, things are about to get a lot worse. Hasn’t the slaughter and
destruction in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria been enough? Have we learned
nothing of the horrendous consequences of regime change? How many more
bombed-out cities, how much more death and destruction do we need to see before
we demand that the Saudis and their backers in Washington stop this madness?
they came to power, many PH leaders expressed outrage against the carnage in
Yemen and pressed for the withdrawal of all Malaysian armed forces support
personnel from the Saudi-led coalition. There was no talk then about “big
principled foreign policy
his remarks on the Khashoggi murder, Mahathir has sent a clear message that
there are limits to Islamic solidarity, that a principled foreign policy
obliges us to speak out against injustice and to actively promote the cause of
peace in the world.
days when we close our eyes to human rights abuses and war-mongering for the
sake of political expediency are now over. The foreign ministry, like other
ministries, must rise to the challenge of Malaysia Baru and give expression to
the values that premise it. The people expect no less.
JAYA: One of Indonesia’s most prominent Muslim leaders gave a brief lesson in
geography to Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after the Umno president blamed the recent
earthquake and tsunami in central Sulawesi, which left thousands dead, on the
homosexual activities of the people there.
Syafii Maarif, the former chief of the 30-million strong Muhammadiyah, the
second largest Islamic organisation in Indonesia, also expressed surprise that
such a statement could come from an “important person” like Zahid.
are people in Indonesia too who argue that way, but these are insignificant
individuals. Yet here we have an important person in Malaysia saying this,” Syafii
who is also the parliamentary opposition leader, had asked Mujahid Yusof Rawa,
the minister in charge of Islamic affairs, about efforts by the Malaysian
Islamic Development Department (Jakim) to counter the lesbian, gay, bisexual
and transgender (LGBT) lifestyle.
former deputy prime minister said he feared that Malaysia would face the wrath
of God if it tolerated the group, adding that what happened in Sulawesi was
divine retribution for the increase in “LGBT activities”.
a result, the entire area was destroyed. This is Allah’s punishment,” Zahid
told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
7.5-magnitude quake on Sept 28 triggered 11m-high tsunami waves that smashed
into the coastal city of Palu. More than 2,000 bodies were recovered with 5,000
more believed to be buried in the ruins.
of Sunday, Indonesian authorities said some 220,000 people had lost their
homes, with an estimated loss of US$1 billion.
83, who has written extensively on Islam and is a recipient of the Ramon Magsaysay
Award, regarded as the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize, reminded Zahid that
Indonesia was located within the “ring of fire”, an area covering some 40,000km
in the Pacific Ocean which is active with earthquakes and volcanos.
are geographical factors involved,” he said.
also said it was not right for Zahid to conclude that the earthquake was a
divine punishment, adding that it should instead be seen as an opportunity to
help fellow humans by channelling aid and assisting the thousands of victims in
rebuilding their lives.
we have sinned, we seek forgiveness from God. But never link it to the
tsunami,” said Syafii.
LUMPUR, Oct 24 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang acknowledged today
that Kelantan needed RM24.5 million in federal aid to pay civil service
salaries this year, but insisted this was part of Malaysia’s federalism.
said Kelantan was a member of the Federation of Malaysia, under which Putrajaya
has specific duties towards the state governments from which it also derives
economic benefits and value.
we are not asking for charity.
is the responsibility and priority of the central government to repay the
resources that been taken from the state,” he said to reporters at Parliament
Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) has called on the people who burned a black flag
bearing an Islamic creed in Arabic to apologize for their action.
MUI is concerned and regrets the burning of the flag with the tauhid text, as
it has caused an uproar among the Islamic faithful," MUI secretary-general
Anwar Abbas told a press conference at its Central Jakarta headquarters on
Tuesday. "The MUI requests that the perpetrators apologize and openly
admit their mistake to the Islamic faithful," he said.
tauhid, or tawhid, is the core of the Islamic faith and expresses the belief in
Allah as the one and only God.
flag-burning incident occurred on Monday during the National Santri (Islamic
students) Day celebrations in Garut, West Java, when an unidentified individual
raised a black flag bearing the tauhid.
also: Suspected HTI flag burning sparks controversy among Muslims
men, alleged to be members of the Barisan Ansor Serbaguna (Banser) youth wing
of the largest Muslim organization, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), took down the flag
and burned it, apparently because they thought it was the flag of the banned
Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI).
video of the flag burning went viral and drew outrage from many Muslims, who
deemed it an insult to Islam.
have detained and interrogated three people in connection with the incident,
but none have been charged with a crime.
deputy chairman Zainut Tauhid said the council would leave it to the police to
determine whether the burned flag indeed
represented the HTI.
(JAKARTA POST/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A video depicting members of Indonesia's
largest Muslim organisation burning what is believed to be the flag of a
hardline Islamist group has sparked controversy.
the two-minute clip that went viral on Monday (Oct 22), individuals wearing
uniforms of a civilian security unit under the youth wing (Banser) of
Indonesia's largest Muslim organisation are seen setting a black flag bearing
the Islamic creed of Hizbut Tahrir Indonesia (HTI) on fire.
is a banned Islamist group that calls for the establishment of a caliphate
ruled by syariah law.
of other people wearing the same uniform were watching over the burning. When
the fire started engulfing the flag, members started singing the Banser
incident occurred during a National Santri Day rally in Garut, West Java, on
netizens were outraged by the video, saying the flag burning was a blasphemous
act. The flag had contained the text of the tauhid, which is the core of the
Islamic faith and expresses the belief in Allah as the one and only God.
Banser members that burned the tauhid flag utter La Illaha Illallah (Syahadah)
upon their death, while they burned the sentence when alive?" Twitter user
@CakKhum tweeted on Monday, while sharing the video.
Java Governor Ridwan Kamil was among the first officials to respond to the
video. The governor tweeted on his Twitter account @ridwankamil on Monday that
he regretted the incident.
were supposed to burn the symbol of an organisation that had been banned by the
government, but in my opinion, (the act) triggered a different interpretation.
Let's express our views in an acceptable manner. Our nation needs that,"
Ridwan's statement was echoed by Mr Zainut Tauhid Saad, the deputy chairman of
the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), who said Banser should be more aware of
what it was committing to avoid triggering conflict among Muslims.
also urged people not be provoked by the video. "It shouldn't be
exaggerated because it might trigger further misunderstanding," he said,
as quoted by Antara.
Jusuf Kalla has also weighed in, saying on Tuesday that the police were
investigating the case.
Garut Police have apprehended and questioned three people for their alleged
involvement in the flag burning. Police chief Budi Satria Wiguna said the
police were also looking for another individual who allegedly brought the flag
to the rally.
suspect it was an HTI flag, although we need to investigate it further,"
he said, as quoted by kompas.com.
youth wing GP Ansor chairman Yaqut Cholil Coumas said he was collecting more
information from officials of the wing's Garut chapter regarding the incident.
He added that GP Ansor would punish the implicated members if they were found
high-ranking Japanese official says freelance journalist Jumpei Yasuda, who was
captured by members of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as al-Nusra
Front, Takfiri terrorist group in northern Syria three years ago, is believed
to have been released and is now in Turkey.
Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference on Tuesday night that
Qatari authorities had informed Japan that Yasuda had been released.
added that the 44-year-old Japanese journalist was at an immigration facility
in the southern Turkish city of Antakya, and that Japanese Embassy workers were
highlighted that Tokyo was making checks to confirm that the man was in fact
Japanese government spokesman went on to say that the possibility that it was
him was very high, adding that the government had already notified Yasuda’s
wife of the release.
wife voiced hope over the news.
the information is true, I want to tell him, ‘You did it, you’re free. Everyone
has been waiting for you,'” she was quoted as saying by Japan’s official news
went missing in June 2015 after he crossed into Syria’s Idlib province from
neighboring Turkey to cover the foreign-sponsored militancy in the Arab
was later taken hostage by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham militants. The extremists
reportedly sought a $10 million ransom for his release.
March 2016, footage of a man believed to be Yasuda reading out an English
message to his family and home country was posted online
months later, another video was uploaded. It showed a bearded man that appeared
to be the missing journalist holding a sheet of paper with a handwritten
message that said in Japanese, “Please help. This is my last chance.”
July, two videos were posted online in which a man believed to be Yasuda
appealed for help.
one of them, the man is seen clad in an orange jumpsuit and kneeling in front
of a wall, as two black-clad militants wearing balaclava-like masks stand
behind him wielding machine-guns.
July 17, a Syrian journalist working for pro-government Sama television channel
lost his life while covering territorial advances made by government forces and
allied fighters from popular defense groups in battles against foreign-backed
Takfiri terrorists near the Lebanese-Syrian border.
official news agency SANA reported that Mustafa Salamah was killed as army
troops and their allies were moving deeper into Tal Mashara area in the eastern
countryside of Syria’s strategic southwestern province of Quneitra.
was fatally shot as government troops and allied fighters were engaged in
fierce exchanges of gunfire with Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists.
Australian government has announced sanctions against five military officers in
Myanmar who are accused of leading brutal atrocities against minority Rohingya
Muslims in the Southeast Asian country.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne unveiled the sanctions on Tuesday, also saying
that the army officers were “responsible for human rights violations committed
by units under their command.”
identified the five as Aung Kyaw Zaw, Maung Maung Soe, Aung Aung, Than Oo, and
Khin Maung Soe.
punitive measures include asset freezes and bans on their entry into Australia.
of the targeted officers are believed to have quit their positions since
carrying out the cruel operation against the minority Muslims.
has been no official reaction so far from Myanmar’s authorities to the measures
announced by Canberra.
of thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or
raped by Myanmarese soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and
August 2017, when many of the surviving members of the community started
fleeing to Bangladesh en masse.
United Nations (UN) has concluded that the atrocities constitute genocide.
move came just over a week after Myanmar’s extremist Buddhists waged a rally in
the city of Yangon to express support for the military’s state-sponsored
crackdown campaign against Rohingya Muslims, vowing to “fight back” any
international attempt to punish their top generals for the atrocities.
thousand anti-Muslim and pro-military Buddhists marched through Yangon on
October 14, holding portraits of Myanmar’s military chief, General Min Aung
Hlaing, who has been referred by the UN to the International Criminal Court
(ICC) for prosecution.
last week, the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced
that mostly female Rohingya Muslim refugees are being sold into forced labor to
make income for desperate families living in squalid border camps in
added that it had identified 99 cases of human trafficking since September
2017, warning that realistic figures are probably much higher.
Nurul Hayat Chowdhury
have surfaced within the Hefajat-e Islam over a proposed public reception to
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, prompting the Islamist group's senior nayeb-e-ameer
Mohibullah Babunagari to resign.
proposal that threw Hefajat into the crisis came from none other than its
undisputed supremo, Shah Ahmad Shafi.
October 1, he announced the plan to accord a reception to Hasina as a gesture
of gratitude for the passage of a bill recognising top Qawmi degree
Dawra-e-Hadith as equivalent to master's in Islamic studies and Arabic.
15-member committee was also formed to organise the programme.
insiders say, several leaders are not supporting this because of the
“government's role” on May 5, 2013, when Hefajat activists got involved in
deadly clashes with law enforcers and ruling party men, turning Motijheel and
Paltan areas into a battlefield.
that day, Hefajat had organised a huge gathering at Motijheel Shapla Chattar to
press home its 13-point demand, including a law ensuring capital punishment for
activists went on the rampage setting fire to hundreds of shops, vehicles and
police checkpoints, which led law enforcers to swing into action to flush them
out in a raid after midnight.
the incident, 83 cases were filed against 3,416 people, and most of its front
leaders went undercover fearing arrest.
things would drastically change in the days to come. The Islamist group got
close to the AL and the government, getting benefits, including land, according
to a number of its leaders.
now remains almost silent over its 13-point demand as, insiders say, the
government has convinced it to refrain from taking to the streets pressing for
leaders also no longer speak of what they earlier called “brutal action of May
5”. The organisation earlier even said the government had carried out
"mass killing of its men” in the Shapla Chattar operation, a claim it has never
been able to prove.
Hefajat Ameer Shafi himself has started to praise the government.
addressing a programme in Chattogram, he said, "I am not an Awami League.
People say I have become Awami League. It's wrong. Even if I become Awami League,
I have no objection. Because there are people in the Awami League who love
in the Qawmi madrasa-based organisation said Mohibullah Babunagari resigned
from his post on October 3 amid feuds within the party high-ups.
to The Daily Star on Friday, Mohibullah said the decision about the PM's
reception was not taken in any meeting and nobody talked with him about the
was formed to materialise its 13-point demand. Now the organisation has no
activities to press for those,” he added.
nayeb-e-ameer of Hefajat, Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury, told this paper on
Friday that Mohibullah had resigned from his post protesting the decision to
accord a public reception to the prime minister.
[Mohibullah] resigned in protest at the plan to accord a public reception to
the PM. Many other leaders support him,” he said, mentioning that 150 Islamic
scholars had submitted a memorandum to Shafi demanding cancellation of the
has shifted from its 13-point demand, based on which the organisation was
formed,” he again said, adding there was no protest after the “Shapla Chattar
was stained with the blood of Hefajat men”.
unidentified people distributed several hundred leaflets at Al-Jamiatul Ahlia
Darul Ulum Muinul Islam in Chattogram's Hathazari, known as the Hefajat
leaflets denounced Shafi's son Anas Madani for using the Hefajat ameer to serve
his purposes and questioned why the people who were earlier termed “enemies of
Islam” are now being treated as friends.
number of other leaders alleged that the government “managed” Hefajat, which
was very much anti-Awami League at the time of its formation, to keep it from
Mufti Fayzullah, joint secretary of Hefajat, said there was no internal
conflict in Hefajat and they are on the right track.
grabbed the spotlight as a force opposed to Gonojagoron Mancha, spearheading
the 2013 Shahbagh movement for highest punishment to war criminals. It took the
centre stage after the February 15 brutal murder of blogger Rajib Haider.
to The Daily Star, a number of Hefajat leaders in Dhaka admitted the Hefajat
became “bankrupt” by receiving undue benefits from the Awami League government.
have come to know that some top leaders, including Anas Madani, elder son of
Hefajat Ameer Shah Ahmed Shafi, Organising Secretary Azizul Haq and Joint
Secretary General Moinuddin Ruhee joined hands with the Hasina government after
getting undue advantages,” said a Hefajat leader, also a central committee
member of Khelafat Andolon, in May 2014.
added that the government had completed all formalities regarding a lease of 33
acres of railway land to Hefajat.
anonymity, another Hefajat leader said he has come to know that those leaders
even received money from the government as part of an understanding not to act
against the administration.
to the opposition of a section of top Hefajat leaders, including those three,
we could not launch any major protest programme regarding the May 5 crackdown,”
said a Hefajat leader.
to this newspaper a few days back, a minister admitted that the government has
succeeded to tame Hefajat by giving benefits to some of its top leaders and
through negotiations since 2014.
himself admitted in a programme held on October 1 that some people of Awami
League donated a huge amount of money for the development of their madrasa.
to local sources, Anas Madani, who is a teacher at the Hathazari madrasa, got
rich after the incident of Shapla Chattar.
reportedly built five multi-storey buildings on 20 kathas of land in Eidgah and
Chandraghona areas. Local sources say the price of one katha land in the areas
was at least Tk 40 lakh during the construction of buildings in 2014.
two-storey building has also been constructed and soil test has already been
done for a 10-storey building on the madrasa campus, sources added.
least three family members of a Taliban group member was killed in an explosion
triggered by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in northern Faryab province
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the
incident took place inside the house of a famous Taliban IED expert identified
statement further added that Sadruddin was busy in making an IED when it went
off prematurely, leaving his wife and two children dead.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban have not commented
regarding the incident so far.
Taliban militants and other militants including ISIS often use improvised
explosive device as the weapon of their choice to target the security forces
and government officials.
in majority of such attacks the ordinary civilians are killed while in some
cases the Taliban militants are themselves blown up in premature explosions.
elements must immediately end the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of
all improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in areas frequented by civilians, said
UNAMA in a special human rights report released few days earlier.
least three NATO soldiers were killed or wounded in an apparent insider attack
in western Herat province of Afghanistan.
NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in a statement said the incident took place
Resolute Support service member was killed in Herat province today,” the
other Resolute Support service members were wounded in the incident. Initial
reports indicate the attack was committed by a member of the Afghan security
forces,” NATO added in its statement.
further details were given regarding the identities of the soldiers killed or
wounded in the attack.
the meantime, the Ministry of Defense of Czech Republic has confirmed that one
of its soldiers has been killed and two others have sustained injuries in Herat
statement further added that the incident has taken place in Shindand district
of Herat province.
Stage is set for a three-day World Islamic Sunni Iitimaa (WISI) being organized
in the city from October 26 to 28. More than one lakh delegates from India and
abroad are likely to attend this conference organized to mark the 100th Urs of
Imaam Ahmed Raza Khan at KDK College ground, Wardhaman Nagar.
event has been organized by Munazzamah Falaahiyyah, an organization which works
for social, religious and academic welfare of the Sunni community. Giving details
of the event, Shariq Sheikh Razavi, president of Munazzamah Falaahiyyah said, “Imaam
Ahmed Raza Khan is highly revered in our community as he is known as a
revivalist. People like him come once in a century and they are known as
revivalist as they help in bringing back to the religion many of its practices
which have got diluted or are forgotten over the years.”
150 scholars from India and abroad will attend the conference which will focus
on subjects like spreading teachings and preaching of Sufism, inculcating
patriotism in youth, loving the younger and respecting the elders, striving to
declare Nagpur as a clean, green and peaceful city and most importantly,
propagating the literary works of Imaam Raza Ahmed Khan.
motto of the conference is ‘Follow Sufism, not terrorism’.
highlight of the event will be release of a biography of Imaam Raza Ahmed Khan
in various languages. “Sufism prescribes life which is beneficial to mankind,
so the purpose of the conference is to reach these peaceful tenets laid down in
Islam and propagated by the Imaam to all communities,” Razavi said.
notable among the speakers will be Sheikh Noor Al Ain Qadri from Tanzania,
Hazrat Dr Hasan Raza Khan from Patna, Hazrat Mannan Raza Khan from Bareilly
Shareef who belongs to the family of the Imaam, Hazrat Sayyed Moin Ashraf Kachhauchha
Sharief, Uttar Pradesh and Hazrat Sheikh Abu Bakar from Kerala. Representatives
of famous dargahs of India will also be present.
October 26, a special conference will be organized for women which will be
attended by 50 women scholars from different cities.
minister Devendra Fadnavis and union transport minister Nitin Gadkari will be
the chief guests at a special seminar on ‘Sufism and humanity’ and ‘Role of
Muslim community in nation building’ to be held at Hotel Orient Taibah at 10am
on October 27. Hazrat Dr Sayyed Fazlullah Chishti from New Delhi will address
300x80 sq feet dome has been put up at the venue to accommodate the delegates
for which no charges will be taken though food will be provided at a nominal
rate, Razavi said.
has been a hall mark of growth and democracy. The myth of mobility is one of
the moral myths of the growth century around the legend of Horatio Alger. Even
Benjamin Franklin’s moral adages were tips for upward mobility. The study of
mobility once caught in acts of storytelling has now become a methodological
conscious exercise. The search for certified indices of mobility is acute, and
a study by Sam Asher, Paul Novosad and Charlie Rafkin is a methodologically
self-conscious about mobility. The research focuses on upward mobility of an
inter-generation kind and the insights it offers are revealing. In fact, in its
neutrality, the Asher study amplifies its political implications.
study focusses not on the income, but educational mobility. The three findings
must be stated explicitly. Firstly, if one separates Muslims and the SC/ST from
the rest of the population, upward mobility for the rest of the population is
happily comparable to the United States. Secondly, upward mobility has improved
significantly for the SC/ST population. Almost all the mobility gains that have
accrued are a result of political mobilisation. Oddly the upper classes have
not suffered though they have mobilised against affirmative action. It is the
third finding which is devastating to swallow. Intergenerational mobility has
been negligible for Muslims. It is as if democracy in an electoral sense has
worked more for OBCs and SC/STs but not for Muslims. Neither liberalisation nor
democracy has offered much to Muslims in terms of opportunity. The Asher study
is based on educational mobility because economic income data has been sparse.
Educational mobility can be measured more precisely than income mobility. While
parsing the data one also finds that mobility in urban areas is significantly
higher than rural areas. The gap between urban and rural is equivalent to the
gap between upper castes and SCs. The gap is also higher in the North rather
than the South.
study argues that the historical and political marginalisation of Muslims is
significant. It emphasises that the political mobilisation around communities
explicitly work against Muslims. The discrimination is overt. A paper in the
Economic and Political weekly estimated that displacement from riots is the
second biggest demographic displacement after dams. Studies of riots especially
in Gujarat reveal that victims unlike earlier do not return to their homes.
Violence not only breaks the mentality of hope but prevents a consolidation of
income which mobility requires.
policy has been as relevant as violence. Group strategies have targeted people
belonging to the SCs/STs. Asher states that he can cite no major policy which
specifically works on the amelioration of Muslim disadvantages. This is a point
that social critique has to recognise and discuss. Muslims in India face the
stark fact of stagnation, if not downward mobility.
DELHI: A man, who helped an ISIS sympathiser procure a passport on forged
documents, has been arrested by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on
Tuesday, the agency said.
Ahamed (30), a resident of Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu, was arrested and produced
before a special court Tuesday here, which subsequently gave his 7 days remand
to the NIA, it said.
is an alleged conspirator in the case and had facilitated procurement of an
Indian passport for VK Shajahan alias Shajahan Velluva Kandy in the name of
Mohammed Ismail Mohideen "on the basis of forged documents", the NIA
said in a statement.
an alleged sympathiser of the terror group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and
Syria), was arrested by the central agency in July last year after he was
deported by Turkish authorities "in connection with his involvement in
Communal harmony is the essence of Murshidabad’s Bhattabati village. The
ancient 300-year-old terracotta Shiv Mandir is the place where all religious
boundaries fade away. The temple of Lord Shiva, who is worshipped here as Baba
Ratneswar, is being looked after by the Muslims of this village, who not only
perform the daily tasks but also look after its upkeep.
Azarul Sheikh and Sadek Sheik, who work in tandem with Ananta Hajra and Asim
Das in seeking donations for the Shiv temple for different festivals and its
restoration work. Religion for these men is not a barrier at all.
distance of Bhattabati village is just 5 kms from Lalbag Sadar Ghat. When
leaflets for donations are printed, names of Noor Selim, Azarul, Sadek find
place alongside Ananta Hajra and other Hindu devotees.
was in the year 1494 when Sultan Alauddin Hussain Shah became the ruler of
Bengal. During his time atleast 1200 Brahmin families came to settle in Bengal
from Karnataka. It’s not known who exactly built this temple. But it’s assumed
any family member of Second Kanungo Jaynarayan built this Shiv temple.
present condition of the temple is not good. The exclusive terracotta
craftsmanship has whithered away with time.
original Shiv Linga which measured about five feet in height was once stolen.
Later it was recovered by police of Nabagram. Citing security reasons that Shiv
Linga is now in police custody.
keeper of Mandir Committee, Ananta Hajra said, "We are very poor people.
Most of the Hindu families have left the village. Without the help and
assistance of Muslim brothers of this area it wouldn’t have been possible to
continue puja and other works of the temple.’
summoned a senior official of the Pakistan High Commission here Tuesday and
lodged a strong protest over the loss of lives of three of its soldiers during
an infiltration bid by Pakistani terrorists in the Sunderbani sector of Jammu
and Kashmir two days ago.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in a statement, said it also condemned in
the strongest terms such a provocative action by Pakistan, which revealed the
neighbouring country’s complicity in aiding and abetting terrorism and exposed
the hollowness of its deceitful claims of promoting a constructive engagement
with India and desire for peace.
Pakistan High Commission official was summoned to the MEA and a demarche was
made, lodging a strong protest over the loss of lives of Indian soldiers during
the cross-border infiltration bid by Pakistani terrorists in the Sunderbani
sector on October 21, the statement said.
was informed that two Pakistani armed intruders have been killed by the Indian
security forces during the ensuing firefight and the government of Pakistan
should take custody of the dead bodies of its nationals,” the MEA said.
heavily-armed Pakistani intruders and three Indian soldiers were killed in a
gunfight Sunday after the Army foiled the infiltration bid along the Line of
Control (LoC) in the Sunderbani sector.
Army had also warned Pakistan Monday to restrain the terrorists operating from
also conveyed to the Pakistani side Tuesday its grave concern over the
continuing incidents of unprovoked ceasefire violations by the Pakistani forces
along the LoC and the International Border (IB).
repeated calls for restraint and adherence to the ceasefire understanding of
2003 for maintaining peace and tranquillity, Pakistan forces have carried out
1,591 incidents of unprovoked ceasefire violations along the LoC and IB in 2018
so far,” the MEA said.
was also asked to abide by its bilateral commitment not to allow any territory
under its control to be used for supporting terrorism against India in any
manner, it added.
in parts of Valley
A shutdown was observed in Srinagar and several districts of south Kashmir on
Tuesday to protest against deaths of seven civilians in an explosion at an
unsanitised encounter site, and killing of three militants at Laroo in south
Kashmir’s Kulgam district, on Sunday.
Joint Resistance Leadership, including Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar
Farooq and Yasin Malik, had announced that they will hold a protest sit-in on
Tuesday at Lal Chowk in Srinagar against the killings.
on Tuesday made it clear that there is no change in its position on India’s
request to list Pakistan-based JeM chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by
the UN and said it will decide on the issue on the “merits of the matter”.
on Monday asked China to support the pending application in the UN to designate
Azhar as a global terrorist during the first India-China high-level meeting on
bilateral security cooperation which was co-chaired by Home Minister Rajnath
Singh and Zhao Kezhi, State Councilor and Minister of Public Security, China,
in New Delhi.
veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has repeatedly
blocked India’s bid at the United Nations to list Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Azhar
as a global terrorist. When asked to comment on India’s request, Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said she has to check the specific
details of the talks between the two ministers.
per to India’s request for the listing of Masood (Azhar) we already stated our
position for many times,” she said. “On the counter terrorism issue, China has
always actively participated in international anti-terrorist operations. We
have always made our decisions and judgements on the merits of the matter
itself,” she said.
will continue to step up the security cooperation to uphold the regional peace
and stability with parties,” she said.
is accused of several deadly terrorist attacks in India, including one on the
Uri military base in Kashmir in 2016 in which 17 security personnel were
killed. China has blocked India’s efforts to designate Azhar under the Al-Qaeda
Sanctions Committee of the UN Security Council citing lack of consensus among
the members of the Council.
Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday said he hoped to resume efforts to improve
ties with India after next year’s general elections there.
thing Pakistan needs more than any other country right now is peace and
security,” Khan was quoted by Reuters as saying. Khan said he had tried to make
peace with India but his efforts were not reciprocated.
September, India called off a meeting between foreign minister Sushma Swaraj
and her Pakistani counterpart which was to take place on the sidelines of the
UN General Assembly the same month. The MEA cited the killing of security
personnel in Jammu-Kashmir and Pakistan issuing a postage stamp “glorifying”
slain Hizbul Mujahideen commander Burhan Wani.
had said that India was just looking for excuses to avoid holding talks before
next year’s Parliament elections.
Monday, referring to incidents of violence in Kashmir, Khan, in a tweet, said
that time has come for India to realise that it must move to resolve the
Kashmir dispute through dialogue in accordance with the UN Security Council
resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people.
condemn the new cycle of killings of innocent Kashmiris….by Indian security
forces,” he tweeted.
to Khan’s remarks, MEA Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the Pakistan leadership
should look inwards and address its own issues. He said Islamabad should stop
supporting and glorifying terrorists and terror activities against India and
its other neighbours.
remarks made by Pakistan’s Prime Minister in his tweet today are deeply
regrettable. Instead of making comments on India’s internal affairs, Pakistan
leadership should look inwards and address its own issues.
would serve the interest of the people of the region by taking credible action
against all kind of support to terrorism and terror infrastructure from all
territories under its control rather than supporting and glorifying terrorists
and terror activities against India and its other neighbours,” Kumar said.
is in Saudi Arabia to seek loans to reservice debt and shore up Pakistan’s
economy. “What we are hoping is that we do a bit of both, get a loan from IMF
and other loans from friendly governments,” Khan told an audience at an
investment conference in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh.
has already asked the IMF to open negotiations for the country’s second
potential bailout in five years.
who took office in July, has also been seeking alternatives to the tough conditions
the IMF is likely to impose for loans. Khan is in Saudi Arabia for the second
time this month seeking to shore up financial aid as the country reels from a
looming balance of payments crisis.
After weeks of speculation, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday stepped forward with a $6
billion bailout package for Pakistan’s ailing economy.
package includes $3bn balance of payments support and another $3bn in deferred
payments on oil imports.
in this regard were signed on the sidelines of the second edition of the annual
Future Investment Initiative (FII) Conference in Riyadh. It showcases economic
and investment opportunities in Saudi Arabia as it pursues Vision 2030 for
diversifying its economy. The Pakistani delegation was led by Prime Minister
was the prime minister’s second visit to Saudi Arabia in five weeks. The
primary objective of both trips was to seek financial assistance to deal with
impending balance of payments crisis.
Foreign Office in a statement said: “A MoU was signed between the Finance
Minister Asad Umar and the Saudi Finance Minister Muhammad Abdullah Al-Jadaan.
It was agreed Saudi Arabia will place a deposit of USD 3 Billion for a period
of one year as balance of payment support.”
was further “agreed that a one year deferred payment facility for import of
oil, up to USD 3 Billion, will be provided by Saudi Arabia. This arrangement
will be in place for three years, which will be reviewed thereafter”.
imports 110,000 barrels of crude per day from Saudi Arabia. Taken at the
current price, the oil imports from the kingdom amount to around $3bn in a
which is facing the current account deficit of $18bn, had earlier this month
sought assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to deal with the
aggravating balance of payments problem. An IMF mission is scheduled to visit
Islamabad on Nov 7 for talks on the size of the loan facility that Pakistan
could be requiring.
Khan had in an interaction with the media recently said that the country could
immediately need around $12bn to address with the problem.
Arabia has in the past also helped rescue Pakistan’s economy from dire
situations on a number of occasions. The Kingdom had last time in 2014 gifted
Pakistan $1.5bn to beef up its foreign exchange reserves.
Saudi package may provide breathing space to the government for dealing with
economic challenges, but would not be enough to avoid the IMF facility. It is
believed that improved foreign exchange reserves would strengthen Pakistan’s
negotiating position in talks with the Fund.
situation could further improve if China also makes some commitments to rescue
its ‘all-weather friend’. PM Khan is scheduled to travel to China on Nov 3.
talks with Mr Khan, the Saudi government reaffirmed its interest in setting up
an oil refinery in Pakistan. Talks on setting up of the refinery had started
during the prime minister’s visit to the Kingdom last month. Later a Saudi
delegation visited Pakistan for studying the prospects of the project.
Arabia confirmed its interest in this project, and a MoU will be signed after
obtaining cabinet approval,” the Foreign Office said.
agreement for setting up of refinery near Gwadar is expected to be inked
between the Pakistan State Oil and Saudi Aramco soon.
at the FII Conference, the prime minister while identifying lucrative
investment opportunities in the tourism sector, minerals, coal and gas
exploration, and Information Technology said Pakistan needed two oil refineries
to meet demand.
officials and businessmen during their meetings with Mr Khan showed interest in
mineral resources development. The prime minister pointed out the presence of
vast reserves of untapped mineral wealth of Pakistan. He said the reserves
could not be exploited in the past due to terrorism and corruption, but things
were changing now.
Saudi delegation would be invited to visit Pakistan for an exploratory trip
after consultations between the federal and provincial government of
Balochistan, the FO said.
held bilateral discussions with King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince
Mohammad bin Salman.
crown prince, the FO said, accepted Mr Khan’s suggestion for reduction of visa
fee for Pakistani workers. It described the decision as “a significant step
towards enhancing Pakistan’s workforce in Saudi Arabia, as well as facilitating
travel of people from both countries”.
Khan in his speech at the FII Conference said that his government would once
again offer peace talks to India after the coming elections in the neighbouring
what we are hoping is that we wait until the elections then again we will
resume our peace talks with India,” he said as he recalled that he had soon
after coming to power offered dialogue to India. He said Pakistan’s offer was
had last month cancelled a meeting of the foreign ministers of the two
countries on the margins of UN General Assembly session barely 24 hours after
agreeing to it.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday stated that
amount of respect Prime Minister Imran Khan gets in Saudi Arabia shows
Pakistan’s prestige in Muslim Ummah and how much importance is being given to
the premier by Ummah.
very busy day is ahead for the prime minister,” Fawad wrote.
the second tweet, Chaudhry wrote that Imran Khan will attend a Question and
Answer session at the conference and then will meet Saudi King Shah Salman,
Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman and Saudi ministers.
minister will also meet the Saudi businessmen and investors,” Chaudhry stated.
Minister Imran Khan arrived in Saudi Arabia on Monday to attend the Future
Investment Initiative Conference (FIIC) in Riyadh, saying his country was going
through the worst debt crisis of its history “so we are desperate at the
prime minister arrived in Madina alongwith Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood
Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and
PM’s Adviser on Commerce Razzak Dawood. The delegation was received by Madina’s
Governor Prince Faisal bin Salman and Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Pakistan
Nawaf Al Malki.
video that shows Prime Minister Imran Khan moving to tears while making dua at
the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina has gone viral.
Khan reached Saudi Arabia for the Future Investment Initiative (FII)
Conference, being held in Riyadh from October 23-25.
Monday, he offered prayers at Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) Mosque along with his
delegation, comprising Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Finance Minister
Asad Umar, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry and Adviser to PM on Investment
Abdul Razak Dawood.
delegates can also be seen in the video posted on the premier’s official
FII Conference is now an annual feature in Saudi Arabia. The first FII was held
last year, with the participation of 3,800 people from 90 countries.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been included in the Top 50 of World’s
Most Influential Muslims list of 2019.
Imran has bagged the 29th prestigious spot in the coveted list.
list, ‘World's 500 Most Influential Muslims’ is prepared annually by the
Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is ranked first place on the list, while Saudi
King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al-Saud was ranked second in being the most
influential Muslim, while Jordanian King Abdullah II Ibn Al-Hussein was ranked
book has been published annually by The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre
in Jordan's capital Amman since 2009, and its 10th edition for the year 2019
was published this month.
sets out to ascertain the influence some Muslims have on the Ummah (worldwide
Muslim community), or on behalf of the Ummah, according to the book.
with Imran Khan, there are three more Pakistanis on the influential list.
Justice Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani (6); Haji Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab, Amir of
Tablighi Jamaat (14); and Maulana Tariq Jameel, Scholar and Preacher (40).
profile in the book
August 2018 Imran Khan was sworn in as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan. It
had been a long journey.
Long Journey: When the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party won the 2018 General
Elections, it was the culmination of a 22-year journey for Imran Khan. He had
founded the PTI in 1996 hoping to oust the ‘political mafias’ ruling Pakistan.
He garnered national support over the next two decades and in 2013 had become
the second largest in the country by popular vote, before eventually winning in
A crackdown on corruption and bringing accountability to the forefront are his
major pledges. He has already implemented cut-backs in extravagant government
expenditure and is using his personal credibility to fundraise for a dam.
Imran Khan started fund-raising for a cancer hospital soon after his mother
died from cancer. His appeal within Pakistan and to the dias-pora Pakistani
community raised enough funds to open the Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer
Hospital and Research Centre in 1994, in Lahore. It is a hugely successful
project with 75% of patients receiving free treatment. He also spearheaded a
successful project to build Nama University, which provides scholarship
assistance to over 90% of its students.
Sporting Legend: Imran Khan played professional cricket for 22 years and is
recognised as one of the game’s finest all-rounders. His ability to lead and
unite an often disparate team, culminated in Pakistan winning the 1992 world
cup. It is this ability and success that many hope can be replicated in the
Life: His three marriages have all attracted considerable media attention. The
first to Jemima Goldsmith, the second to Reham Khan, and the third to his
current wife Bushra Maneka.
50 Muslim Influentials
Recep Tayyip Erdogan (President of the Republic of Turkey)
Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al‑Saud (King of Saudi Arabia)
Abdullah II Ibn Al‑Hussein (King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan)
Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Ali Khamenei (Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of
Mohammed VI (King of Morocco)
Sheikh Muhammad Taqi Usmani (Religoius Scholar)
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hussein Sistani
(Marja of the Hawza, Najaf, Iraq)
Al‑Habib Umar bin Hafiz (Director of Dar Al
Mustafa, Tarim, Yemen)
Dr Sheikh Ahmad Muhammad Al‑Tayyeb Grand Sheikh of Al‑Azhar
University, Grand Imam of Al‑Azhar Mosque)
Salman Al‑Ouda (Saudi scholar and educator)
Abdullah bin Bayyah (President of the Forum for Promoting Peace in Muslim
Qaboos bin Sa’id Al‑Sa’id (Sultan of Oman)
Prince Muhammad bin Salman(Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia)
Muhammad Abdul-Wahhab (Amir of Tablighi Jamaat, Pakistan)
General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al‑Nahyan (Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi)
Joko Widodo (President of Indonesia)
Muhammadu Buhari (President of Nigeria)
Dr Ali Gomaa Former (Grand Mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt)
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamid Al‑Thani (Emir of Qatar)
Dr KH Said Aqil Siradj (Chairman of Indonesia’s Nahdlatul Ulama)
Mu’minin Sheikh As-Sultan Muhammadu Sa’adu Abubakar III (Sultan of Sokoto)
Ahmad Tijani bin Ali Cisse (Leader of the Tijaniyya Sufi Order)
Hasan Nasrallah Secretary-General of Hezbollah
Habib ‘Ali Zain Al Abideen Al‑Jifri (Director General of the Tabah
Hamza Yusuf Hanson (Teacher and Co-Founder of Zaytuna College)
Abdul-Aziz ibn Abdullah Aal Al‑Sheikh (Grand Mufti of the Kingdom of
Munira Qubeysi (Leader of the Qubeysi)
Ghannouchi (Tunisian Politician)
Khan (Prime Minister of Pakistan)
Dr Yusuf Al‑Qaradawi (Head of the International Union
of Muslim Scholars)
Masoud (Preacher and Televangelist)
Mahmood Madani (Leader and Executive Member of Jamiat Ule-ma-e-Hind, India)
Amr Khaled (Preacher and Social Activist)
Usama Al‑Sayyid (Al‑Azhari
Shah Karim Al‑Hussayni, The Aga Khan IV (The Aga Khan)
Luthfi bin Yahya (Preacher)
Abdul-Malik Al‑Houthi (Leader of the Houthis)
Mahmud Effendi (Turkish Scholar and Preacher)
Tariq Jameel (Pakistani Scholar and Preacher)
Yacob (President of Singapore)
Muhammad Al‑Yaqoubi (Scholar)
Dr Seyyed Hossein Nasr (Philosopher and University Professor)
Mohamad (Prime Minister of Malaysia)
Uthman Taha (Calligrapher)
Muqtada Sadr (Scholar and Politician)
Dr Aref Ali Nayed (Scholar)
Tamimi (Palestinian Activist)
An antiterrorism court on Tuesday indicted six leaders of the Muttahida Qaumi
Movement Pakistan (MQM-P) in 21 cases pertaining to allegedly facilitating a
hate speech of party founder Altaf Hussain, conspiracy against the state and
law enforcers, terrorism and other charges.
senior leaders, including Dr Farooq Sattar, now Mayor of Karachi Wasim Akhtar,
Rauf Siddiqui, Khwaja Izharul Hasan, Qamar Mansoor, Rehan Hashmi, Amir Khan,
Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Rashid Godil, Gul Faraz Khattak, Salman Mujahid, Abdul
Qadir Khanzada, Khushbakht Shujaat, Shahid Pasha, Qamar Mansoor and Kunwar
Naveed, with nearly 200 party workers, have been booked in identical cases.
arrest warrants for the MQM founder have been issued in some of these cases.
26 identical FIRs were registered against them under sections 120-A (definition
of criminal conspiracy), 120-B (punishment for criminal conspiracy), 121
(waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against Pakistan),
122 (collecting arms, etc, with intention of waging war against Pakistan), 123
(concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war), 123-A (condemnation
of the creation of the state, and advocacy of abolition of its sovereignty),
109 (abetment) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), Section 25 of the Telegraph
Act read with Section 7 of the Anti-Terrorism Act, 1997 at different police
stations in the city.
Tuesday, the ATC-I judge was set to frame charges in 21 cases against around 20
MQM leaders, who had been named by the complainants. Six of them — Dr Farooq
Sattar, Wasim Akhtar, Rauf Siddiqui, Khwaja Izharul Hasan, Qamar Mansoor and
Rehan Hashmi — were present.
judge read out the charges against them. All of them pleaded not guilty and
opted to contest the charges. The court summoned the witnesses on the next date
to record their testimonies and fixed the case on Nov 13.
the meanwhile, the court also confirmed interim pre-arrest bail of Dr Sattar,
Rauf Siddiqui, Amir Khan, Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui, Khwaja Izharul Hasan and
Mayor Wasim Akhtar, who was on post-arrest bail, in these cases.
the last hearing, the court had amalgamated 21 identical FIRs on the request of
the defence since the same set of allegations was levelled against the party
leaders. According to the prosecution, the MQM Rabita Committee leaders had
allegedly facilitated and listened to highly provocative speech of the
London-based MQM chief against the security establishment and sovereignty of
the country, inciting the people to seek support and arms from India and its
spy agency Research and Analysis Wing to wage war against the state and others.
MQM chief had allegedly made such a speech at a function organised by the
Rabita Committee at the party’s headquarters, Nine Zero, on July 12, 2015, it
added. All the FIRs are said to have been registered three days after the
the ATC-II judge once again deferred indictment of the MQM leaders and workers
in two identical cases pertaining to allegedly listening to the provocative
speech of the MQM chief on Aug 22, 2016 outside the Karachi Press Club that
triggered a violent protest, arson attacks and ransacking of media houses.
Tuesday the court was set to frame charges. MQM leaders, including Dr Farooq
Sattar, Amir Khan, Kunwar Naveed, Qamar Mansoor and Khawaja Izharul Hasan, were
present, but co-accused Ashraf Noor, Hasan Alam, Jahangir, Arshad and others
visibly irked the judge, who cautioned that he would order arrest of all the
suspects to ensure their presence before the court, in case they failed to show
up on the next date of hearing.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday vowed to hold peace talks with
arch-rival India following elections in the neighboring country, after a
similar offer from the former cricketer was “rebuffed.”
made the announcement during a speech at the Future Investment Initiative (FII)
in Riyadh. The leader launched a charm offensive targeting potential investors
as Pakistan seeks to secure funds amid a yawning balance of payments crisis.
I won the elections and came to power, the first thing I tried to do was extend
a hand of peace to India,” Khan told the audience, saying the overture was
later “rebuffed” by Delhi.
what we are hoping is that we wait until the elections then again we will
resume our peace talks with India,” he added, referring to nationwide polls
scheduled to take place by mid-May.
September India pulled the plug on a rare meeting between its foreign minister
and its Pakistani counterpart on the sidelines of a UN summit — a move that was
termed “arrogant” by Khan and unleashed a barrage of insults from both sides.
has long accused Pakistan of backing militants in Kashmir, a Himalayan
territory divided between the two countries but claimed in full by both since
independence in 1947.
has stationed about 500,000 soldiers in the portion of Kashmir it controls,
where separatist groups demand independence or a merger with Pakistan.
also told the FII event that his country looks forward to a strong investment
partnership with Saudi Arabia, including on energy projects.
needs two oil refineries to meet demand, Khan said, and talks are underway with
Saudi investors about the projects.
the panel discussion Khan discussed investment, a corrupt-free Pakistan and
“Naya Pakistan.” Naya Pakistan refers to a return to the principles of the
country’s founding fathers: Truth, justice, meritocracy, the welfare state and,
above all, the education of its people. He said it was particularly important
to raise female literacy in Pakistan.
has been in power for 60 days but has inherited a massive debt. “We need to
increase our exports because we have a shortage of foreign reserves,” he said.
is looking for mix of loans from the International Monetary Fund IMF and
“friendly governments” to address the shortfall.
priorities were fighting corruption and creating jobs, Khan added, saying
clamping down on money laundering was a major priority for the government.
is what makes a country poor,” he said. “It’s the difference between the
developing world and an underdeveloped country. Corruption does two things; it
destroys institution and diverts money from human development.”
100 million people below the age of 35, Khan said unemployment and housing were
big pressures on the government but that Pakistan has embarked on an ambitious
program to build five million homes in the next five years. He said the
information technology sector could be an area where Pakistan could improve its
exports and provide new jobs.
is a country with potential. We have lost our way since the 60s but now
Pakistan is ready and our biggest resource is the youth. And today is the best
time to invest,” he said.
gold, copper reserves, zinc, gas, unexplored gas and tourism were areas that
investors would be interested in, Khan said.
is a vast amount of mineral wealth in Pakistan. We have some of the largest
gold reserves in the world, as well as reserves of copper and zinc. Tourism is
also a vital sector and has flourished in recent years.”
said that Pakistan had now “controlled terrorism.”
need peace and stability and when Afghanistan’s situation settles, terrorism
will end and the investments will grow to the central Asia region.”
said he admired China for tackling two problems that were the main issues
facing Pakistan — poverty and corruption.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday described in detail for the
first time how the “political murder” of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was
planned and carried out by a team of 15 Saudis.
a Washington Post contributor living in the United States since 2017, was
killed on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for
paperwork ahead of his marriage to his Turkish fiancee.
is, according to Erdogan, how the murder plot unfolded leading up to and
including the day of the murder.
AM (0850 GMT)
goes to the Saudi consulate for marriage-related paperwork. After this visit,
the plan for Khashoggi’s murder is put into action. Some consulate employees
urgently return to Saudi Arabia for “preparatory work”.
PM (1330 GMT)
three-man Saudi team arrive in Istanbul on a scheduled plane and go to their
hotel after which they go to the Saudi consulate.
the same day, another team of Saudi officials from the consulate carry out a
reconnaissance of Belgrade Forest in Istanbul and the northwestern province of
AM (2245 GMT)
second three-man team arrive on another scheduled plane in Istanbul and go to
their hotel. The third team of nine men including generals arrive in Istanbul
on a private plane on the same day and go to a different hotel.
to 11:00 AM (0650 to 0800 GMT)
15 men arrive at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul separately. They then destroy
the consulate’s camera system’s hard disc, Erdogan says.
receives a telephone call confirming his appointment to finalise the marriage
paperwork that day.
PM (1008 GMT)
enters the consulate, arriving at the building with his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz
who waits outside. He is never heard from by his friends or family again.
PM (1450 GMT)
contacts Turkish officials to say that Khashoggi has been held or “something
bad” has happened to him. A Turkish investigation is opened into the case.
this point, based on security camera footage, Turkish officials believe that
Khashoggi has not left the building.
PM (1520 GMT)
of the 15 Saudis leave Turkey on a private plane. The team of 15 includes
security and intelligence officers as well as forensic experts.
PM (1950 GMT)
more of the Saudis leave Turkey on another private plane.
of the men, attempting to look like Khashoggi, and another individual leave on
a scheduled plane for Riyadh.
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that the 18 suspects should be tried
in Istanbul over Khashoggi murder and called for independent commission to
investigate the matter.
who was speaking to members of his AK Party in parliament, also said he is
confident of King Salman’s cooperation in the probe and said he does not doubt
Saudi King Salman’s sincerity.
Turkish President confirmed the Saudi explanation in the incident of Jamal
Khashoggi and described the arrest of the accused as an important step.
confirmed that there were was a team of fifteen people that made up the Saudi
negotiating team who came to Istanbul. They met Khashoggi at the consulate,
killed him and then hid their crime from the Saudi leadership.
asked in his speech about the location of the body, which was handed over to a
local collaborator, and this was announced by Riyadh, and is working to uncover
multilateral action, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have designated four individuals
and entities - previously designated by the US Treasury - on their terror list
for providing sponsorship and financial and material support to the Iranian
were namedas follow:
Abdul Reza Shahlai
Iranian Revolutionary Guard
Arabia’s State Security Presidency and the Terrorist Financing Targeting Center
sanctioned and designated 9 individuals associated with the Taliban and their
a collective effort to identify, tackle and share information related to
terrorist financing networks and their activities of mutual concerns, including
threats emerging from countries supporting terrorism and terrorist
organizations, and in coordinating among Terrorist Financing Targeting Center
Members to take actions including designating and other measures against the
terrorists and their financial networks, TFTC co-chair (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
and United states of America) , as well as the other T FTC Members ( Kingdom of
Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, the State of Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman,
and the State of Qatar), a statement on SPA read.
labeled the following Taliban figures including Iranian facilitators as follow:
Mohammad Ebrahim Owhadi
Razzavi Abdullah Samad Farugui
Abdulaziz Shah Zamani
action is the third collective TFTC designation action since the center was
announced on May 21, 2017. The TFTC is a bold and historic effort to expand and
strengthen TFTC members cooperation to counter terrorist financing,
coordination to disrupt funding of terrorism, sharing the information and
capacity building to target the financing networks and the related activities
that pose threats to the TFTC members national security.
Houthi militia’s kidnapping of national football team player Walid al-Hubaishi
has sparked wide anger among Yemenis. The terror group has committed several
violations against sports and sport players. The incident of Hubaishi has shed
light on the matter.
an interview with Al Arabiya, Nayef al-Bakry, Yemen’s minister of youth and
sports, said: “the Houthi militias commit several violations aimed at
destroying the sports infrastructure in Yemen.”
incident is not their first attempt, there have been numerous abuses committed
by militias against individual athletes or sports facilities since their coup
against legitimacy,” he added.
minister noted that there are about 11 players who have been killed by the
Houthis, in addition to arresting several players, some of whom had been
released and others are still under their detention. The militias even prevent
the families of the detained players from seeing them.
said “we condemn the arrest of players; sports are separate from politics.” He
mentioned how sports facilities have been used by the militias for weapon
storage, and as camps to train its fighters.
said 70 percent of the sports facilities were partially or completely damaged,
because of the war launched by the Houthis on the Yemeni cities.
minister noted that there several challenges facing sports and athletes in
Yemen, among them is exploiting the energies of youth in war.
are those who exploit young people in the northern and southern governorates.
Unfortunately, the deaths among youth in Aden have increased due to this
misuse, especially because they are unemployed.” But amid all of this, the good
news is that sports are gradually returning to Yemen, the minister revealed.
says it has dismantled three terrorist groups, which were planning attacks on
Muslims during the annual Arba’een pilgrimage, in southwestern Khuzestan
during a visit to the Shalamcheh border with Iraq, Iran’s Intelligence Minister
Mahmoud Alavi said that members of the terror outfits had been detained.
recent days, three terrorist teams were identified in Khuzestan and their
members, numbering 15, were arrested,” he told reporters.
detainees had said that they were planning to conduct bomb attacks, hurt and
kill Arba'een pilgrims, Alavi added.
year, millions of people from across the world flock to Iraq’s holy city of
Karbala to mark 40 days since the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein, the
third Shia Imam, at the hands of the tyrant of the time, Yazid I, back in the
September 22, a deadly terror attack targeted an Iranian military parade in
Ahvaz, Khuzestan’s provincial capital. Daesh, along with the al-Ahwazia
terrorist outfit, claimed the assault.
response, Iran later rained surface-to-surface ballistic missiles on positions
of Daesh in eastern Syria.
has called on China to play an active role in the so-called Middle East peace
process and back President Mahmoud Abbas’ initiative for ending the conflict
Israel, which seeks to replace the US with an international mechanism as the
mediator in the decades-long conflict.
a post on his Facebook page on Tuesday, Palestinian Prime Minister Rami
Hamdallah said that he had raised the issue in a meeting with Chinese Vice
President Wang Qishan in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
talks, Hamdallah said, focused on “enhancing joint cooperation and the latest
political developments, including the Israeli violations against our people and
the US unilateral moves to support such violations.”
also praised Beijing for its “continued” support for Palestine in several
fields and the so-called two-state solution.
called China to support President Abbas’ peace initiative and to hold an
international peace conference in which China will be a key sponsor,” he added.
presented his "peace" plan in an address to the United Nations
Security Council back in February.
initiative calls for holding an international peace conference with the
participation of both the Palestinian and Israeli sides as well as the active
regional and international parties. It further underlines the need for
establishing a multilateral mechanism in line with international law in a bid
to settle the Palestinian issue.
the Palestinian WAFA news agency reported that Hamdallah had complained during
the meeting about efforts by Israel and the US to undermine Israeli-Palestinian
talks and the so-called two-state solution, denouncing Tel Aviv’s illegal
settlement construction activities in the occupied lands and Washington’s
recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s “capital.”
also urged China to exert pressure on Israel to “halt its violations and honor
international laws and resolutions.”
for his part, stressed that China stands with the Palestinian people and their
on Tuesday, the Chinese official held talks with Israeli President Reuven
Rivlin. He is set to co-host the 4th meeting of the China-Israel Joint
Committee on Innovation Cooperation together with Israeli Prime Minister
lays claim to the whole Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community
views the city’s eastern sector as occupied territory and Palestinians consider
it as the capital of their future state
President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel
last December and moved the American embassy to the ancient city in May.
contentious move sparked angry reactions by the Palestinians and drew the
criticism of the international community.
formally declared that the Palestinians would no longer accept the US as a
mediator to resolve the conflict because Washington was “completely biased”
towards Tel Aviv.
a deaf ear to Palestine’s objections, the Trump administration has been busy
drawing up its own “peace” plan, which it calls “the deal of the century.” It
is yet to unveil the proposal, which is reported to be hugely pro-Tel Aviv.
have already rejected Trump’s plan, with Abbas calling it “the slap of the
gives ultimatum to US’
on Tuesday, Israeli media reported that Alon Ushpiz, the foreign inistry’s
political director, had told the parliament that if Trump does not present his
plan for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, France’s President Emmanuel Macron
will put forward a proposal of his own.
was further quoted as saying that Paris is waiting out November’s midterm
elections in the US.
a spokesman for the French embassy in Tel Aviv rejected the reports, saying,
“The embassy does not know what the reporter is talking about.”
Palestinian teenager has died after succumbing to wounds he sustained at an
anti-occupation protest near the border between the besieged Gaza Strip and
for the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, said in a statement that
17-year-old Montaser Mohammed Ismail al-Baz succumbed to his Israeli-inflicted
gunshot wounds at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday evening.
had been shot and injured in the head during a “Great March of Return”
demonstration east of Deir al-Balah city, located over 14 kilometers (8.7
miles) south of Gaza City.
sources said Israeli snipers were targeting the Palestinian protesters,
shooting five of them in the foot and abdomen.
sources added that a series of explosions were also heard in the area.
development came only a day after Israeli forces attacked hundreds of peaceful
Palestinian protesters, who were taking part in a march in the Gaza Strip
northern town of Beit Lahiya to protest the 12-year-long Israeli-imposed
blockade on the coastal enclave. Dozens of people were struck with live
210 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation
protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Over 22,000 Palestinians
have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US embassy
relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries,
garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8
votes against and 45 abstentions.
resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals
within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and
well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,”
including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
A theory that a lightning strike triggered Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza
last week gained traction in Israel on Tuesday and might explain the Israeli
military’s limited response.
rockets were launched from the Hamas-ruled enclave on Oct. 17. But the group
took the unusual step of denying it had carried out an attack. Israeli cabinet
minister Tzachi Hanegbi said there was reason to believe that was true.
of the rockets wrecked a house in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba,
causing no casualties, the other landed in the Mediterranean Sea. Israel
responded with air strikes that killed a militant in Gaza.
afterwards, video appeared on social media showing lightning illuminating the
night sky in Gaza and then two flaming rockets streaking into the air.
best-selling daily, Yedioth Ahronoth, reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu’s security cabinet now believed the lighting set off a
about the report, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, a member of the security
cabinet, told Israel Radio: “I won’t discuss security cabinet meetings and I
don’t know which ministers are chatting with journalists, but I can say that as
far as we know, Hamas did not intend to fire those rockets.”
officials had no immediate comment.
The head of Turkey’s main nationalist party has announced it won’t go ahead
with an electoral alliance it had forged with Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan’s ruling party.
Tuesday in parliament, Devlet Bahceli of the Nationalist Movement Party, or
MHP, said it would field its own candidates in the March 2019 local elections.
split with the ruling Justice and Development Party comes amid conflict over an
amnesty for certain prisoners that the nationalists have proposed.
will now chart our own path. We do not plan to ally,” Bahceli said as his
was a key part of Erdogan’s electoral alliance in this summer’s parliamentary
and presidential elections. Erdogan’s party failed to reach parliamentary
majority and must rely on the nationalist lawmakers.
Holy See has reiterated its unwavering support for a fair, durable and early
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, through the resumption of
negotiations aimed at reaching a Two-State solution, with Israel and a
Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security within
Bernardito Auza, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New
York made the call in an address on Thursday to a UN Security Council debate on
the situation in the Middle East and the Palestinian question.
aspirations of both peoples
expressing grave concern over facts on the ground, the Vatican diplomat called
on both sides to demonstrate wisdom, responsibility and the political will to
reach a historic peace agreement that would meet the legitimate aspirations of
both peoples. “Persevering dialogue based on good will ,” he said, “must
replace inflammatory rhetoric, violence and conflict.” “Innocent civilians must never be the target
of terror or overwhelming military actions,” he stressed.
that states in and outside the Middle East have exacerbated the
Israeli-Palestinian discord and the intra-Palestinian divisions for their own
interests, Arch. Auza urged these states to rather facilitate and sustain the
quo" for Jerusalem status
status of Jerusalem has been a painful issue between Israel and the
Palestinians. Palestinians want East
Jerusalem as the capital of their future independent state, whereas Israel has
declared the whole city to be its “united and eternal” capital.
the UN, Arch. Auza reiterated the Holy See’s support for the historic “status
quo” of Jerusalem, in line with UN resolutions, rejecting any unilateral
measure aimed at changing it.
asserted the Holy See’s stand that the Holy City be a place of convergence and
peace and that the followers of the three monotheistic religions of Judaism,
Christianity and Islam be guaranteed free and unhindered access to the Holy
Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) says it is horrified by the killing of at least
12 farmers in Kalle village, Borno state, northeast Nigeria this weekend.
level of violence registered lately in Northeast Nigeria is alarming. Farmers
have been easy targets. These attacks risk making people too afraid to
cultivate their land and may worsen the existing food crisis,” said Anja
Riiser, NRC’s Area Manager in Maiduguri.
should be able to cultivate their land and return to their families alive,” she
latest attack against farmers underscore the vulnerability of rural
communities, even as the authorities are encouraging displaced people to return
home to rebuild their lives.
were on the farms when about 15 armed men surrounded us,” Haruna, who escaped
the attack, told NRC. “They took the men to a tree and started slaughtering
them like animals. They repeatedly said they will not allow any of us harvest
the crops we cultivated this year,” he added.
least 1300 persons are reported to have fled after the attack and many have
taken refuge at a displacement camp in Maiduguri. Families and friends of the
slain farmers said they are too scared to return to their farms.
children and I stood by as they killed my husband. I cried and pleaded for
their mercy but they didn’t listen. I will never return to the farm again,”
Indagiju told NRC.
attacks on farmers risk worsening the existing food crisis in Northeast
Nigeria. It is estimated that 2.9 million people are facing acute food
insecurity in the north-eastern states of Adamawa, Yobe, and Borno where
violence has been on the rise. Crops have been destroyed and food stores
looted, while farmers have either been killed or forced to flee their fields.
parts of Borno State may experience emergency levels of food insecurity in the
coming months, according to the latest forecast by Famine Early Warning Systems
Network, with elevated risk of famine in several areas.
is an urgent need for measures to protect farmers against attacks and looting,
so they can safely cultivate their lands and feed their families,” said Riiser.
“However, these measures to protect farmers should not translate into a
restriction of their movements.”
An estimated 7.7 million people in the three most affected states of Borno,
Adamawa and Yobe now depend on humanitarian assistance for their survival.
Conflict will restrict the otherwise favourable main season production
prospects, according to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network.
NRC is currently providing life-saving assistance including food and livelihood
support to help stabilize the living conditions of over 130,000 families
displaced from their homes in northeast Nigeria.
In 2018, NRC distributed seeds and farming implement to over 4,000 households
in several farming communities in Borno State to help them rebuild their lives
Religious and political figures in Jerusalem urged Jordan’s king to coordinate
with the Palestinian president and the UN to obligate Israel to implement
resolutions passed by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) regarding the city.
call came in an open letter to King Abdullah in his capacity as custodian of
Jerusalem’s Muslim and Christian holy sites.
a UNESCO fact-finding mission arrives in Jerusalem too late, it may not find
real facts to be documented,” the letter said.
mission will find only an altered status quo, faked history, and important
monuments and archaeological layers would be removed or Judaized.”
Kailani, director of the Hashemite Fund for the Restoration of Al-Aqsa Mosque,
told Arab News: “The issue of Jerusalem is always a high priority for the king,
and Jordan will be studying the appeal from all aspects before making a
decision as to the next steps.”
Issa, secretary-general of the Muslim-Christian Committee and a signatory to
the letter, told Arab News: “This appeal reflects clear Christian-Muslim unity
in the face of continued and daily Israeli violations, especially in and around
expressed hope that the issue will reach the International Criminal Court
(ICC), but said: “Unfortunately, US hegemony has rendered many of these
institutions totally impotent.”
latest UNESCO resolution on Jerusalem — sponsored by Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon,
Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Sudan — said: “The Old City of Jerusalem and its
walls, a site inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and on the List of
World Heritage in Danger, is the sacred city of the three monotheistic religions
— Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”
Benoni-based private Christian school has come under fire for refusing to allow
a Muslim pupil to grow his beard in line with Islamic practices.
Star reported on Tuesday that the boy's family believes the school, Ashton
International College in Benoni, is "racist" and acting
activist Yusuf Abramjee recently tweeted on the alleged claims of Islamophobia
at Ashton International College and Jeppe High School for Girls, according to
is quoted as saying that the Grade 8 boy, 13, had reached puberty and wanted to
grow his beard in line with the "Hanafi School of Islamic Jurisprudence,
which obliges all males who have reached the age of puberty to grow a
reported the matter to the Gauteng education department.
the school told The Star that it was "an independent Christian
school" and that parents were aware of the school's ethos.
Act provides for religious observance
Brown, its executive director, said in a statement that the school was
Christian and private and that parents signed and agreed to the school's ethos.
parents reportedly tried to make an official submission to the school, but it
school declined the application or request, and allegedly gave the parents an
ultimatum that he either shaves off his beard or leaves the school,"
Abramjee told IOL.
parents are reportedly not having this and have stated that they would take the
matter to court.
a legal opinion by advocate Charles Ledwaba, the department of basic
education's director of legislative services, quoted by The Star, the South
African Schools Act provides for religious observance in line with the
Constitution. This applies to both public and private schools.
earlier reported that legal action against Jeppe High School for Girls, over a
controversial policy forbidding Muslim pupils from wearing hijab with their
school uniforms, was on hold for now.
issue is a complaint from seven Muslim pupils at the school, who say they are
being discriminated against in the school's code of conduct.
Muslim pupils are allowed to wear hijab to school, they have a separate school
uniform from the one worn by other pupils.
girls are allowed to wear a black head scarf and cloak but these do not
indicate that they represent the school or allow them to display their
achievements in the way that their blazers do.
girls want to be able to wear their uniforms, along with head scarves and black
pants, for instance, or another combination of the uniform that would allow
them to show that they represent the school while wearing hijab.
school instituted disciplinary action against the girls when they wore their
version of the uniform without permission.
Ambassador to Libya Beatrice Le Fraper du Hellen has voiced her country’s
readiness to provide the troubled North African country with security and
logistical support, according to Libya's Tripoli-based Interior Ministry.
a Tuesday meeting with Interior Minister Fatih Ali Bashagha (held at the
ministry’s Tripoli headquarters), Du Hellen extended an offer of French
logistical support, especially in the fields of border security and
surveillance, the ministry said in a statement carried on its official Facebook
to the same statement, Du Hellen also voiced France’s desire to enhance the two
countries’ bilateral ties, particularly in terms of security.
for his part, expressed his satisfaction with the meeting, describing it as
“the beginning of real security cooperation, especially in terms of upgrading
the efficiency of Libyan police and security personnel”.
also called for the activation of all agreements and MoUs signed between Libya
and France, going on to ask for the latter’s assistance in reducing the flow of
irregular migration from Africa to Europe via Libya.
has remained dogged by turmoil since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising
led to the ouster and death of long-serving President Muammar Gaddafi after
more than four decades in power.
Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) B-Zone on Tuesday alleged that the
first set of appointments by Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State was with
high level of religious discrimination against Muslims in the state.
in a statement signed by Barrister Qaasim Odedeji (Amir/Zonal Coordinator), Alh
Abdul Jalil AbdurRasaq (Secretary) and Engr Bashir Momoh (Public Relations
Officer), a copy of which was made available to DAILY POST in Ibadan described
the appointed of Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff and Chief
Press Secretary (all Christians) as “a breach of trust and clear departure from
the principles of objective policy embedded in the 1999 constitution”.
association said, “Fayemi is holding the position for the second term. In his
first term in office, he appeared a bit fair to the Muslims in comparison to
his predecessors in office.
attitude of Fayemi endeared him to Muslims in Ekiti State and beyond who saw in
him a sense of fairness and a true demonstration of what a “Right Activist” and
leader of civil society organization that he was before turning a politician
Dr Fayemi got an overwhelming support of Ekiti Muslims who constitute about 40
per cent of the entire population of Ekiti state in his bid to return to office
in 2014 and 2018 governorship elections.
is also important to state that the position of the Muslims as stated above was
paid for when Ayodele Fayose won the 2014 election and did not hide his hatred
for the Muslims in words and actions. Therefore, it was not surprising that
Fayemi got the Muslims’ support in 2018 election despite various antics
employed by Mr Fayose to secure the Muslim’s votes by hook and trickery.
is, therefore, a breach of trust and clear departure from the principles of
objective policy embedded in 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of
Nigeria when Dr John Kayode Fayemi named his Secretary to State Government,
Chief of Staff and Chief Press Secretary with all of them Christians making
Ekiti government now fully Christianized.
MSSN B-ZONE, covering the entire 17 States of Southern Nigeria including Ekiti
State, rejects this appointments and considers them unfair, irresponsible,
discriminatory and insensitive to the highest order. It is an attempt to paint
Muslims as non-existent in the politics of Ekiti State. Is Fayemi claiming that
there are no Muslims who are qualified to hold those positions within the fold
of his party in Ekiti State? How come no such discrimination is seen in any
other South West states where Muslims are a clear majority.
wonder if Fayemi is now initiated into the club of the people of his faith who
find religious solace in the marginalization of Islam and the Muslims? Or
perhaps he has an accord to subjugate and marginalize Muslims? With who he
might have had such accord is also a thing of wonder. Could it be the Christian
Association of Nigeria? Or is it just that Dr Fayemi has developed so much
disregard for Muslims?
the above background, we call on the leadership of APC in Nigeria and in
particular Ekiti State to prevail on Dr Fayemi to, as a matter of urgency,
reverse the recently-made appointments and reconstitute same in a fair and
however, urged Fayemi to consider equity and fairness in his subsequent
appointment of commissioners and advisers among others.
said, “We also call on Dr Fayemi to consider equity and fairness in his
subsequent appointment of Commissioners, Advisers, Chairmen and Members of
Boards and Parastatals.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday that the Trump
administration will be revoking visas for Saudi individuals who are suspected
in being involved in the killing of prominent writer Jamal Khashoggi.
at the State Department, Mr Pompeo said “we have identified at least some of
the individuals responsible" for the killing. He did not name names but
added that the US would be taking “appropriate actions” to make it clear that
it "does not tolerate this kind of ruthless action”.
Pompeo announced that the administration would start by “revoking visas” for
those implicated in the killing and that they include members of the
intelligence services, the foreign ministry, the royal court and other Saudi
ministries where the US suspects involvement. Both former Saudi officials Saud
Al Qahtani and General Ahmed Assiri had visited the United States before they
were dismissed from their positions last Friday.
penalties won’t be the last step,” Mr Pompeo said. The State Department is
consulting with the Treasury on applying Magnitsky Act sanctions and targeting
individuals involved with further sanctions. The US Senate foreign relations
committee urged the White House two weeks ago to trigger the Magnitsky Act and
authorise an investigation and later on sanctions in the Khashoggi case.
Pompeo said the US has “identified at least some of the individuals
responsible” and is still gathering information. The director of the Central
Intelligence Agency Gina Haspel held meetings in Turkey on Tuesday to assess
Ankara’s intelligence in the case.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is in Saudi Arabia and has met Crown Prince
Mohammed bin Salman. This comes after Mr Pompeo visited Riyadh last week to
consult with Saudi officials.
US President Donald Trump said he is waiting for "all the facts"
about the case before announcing further action, reiterating that the killing
of Khashoggi was a terrible thing.
The United States, Saudi Arabia and five other Gulf states sanctioned nine
Taliban functionaries on Tuesday, claiming they were working with Iran to
undermine the stability of Afghan government.
targeted individuals, including two Pakistanis and four Afghans, were
designated global terrorists by all seven member states of the Terrorist
Financing Targeting Centre (TFTC). The TFTC — which includes the US, Saudi Arabia,
Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — was formed in
US Treasury Department said in Washington that the action allows the
governments to freeze property or interest in property of these individuals
under their jurisdiction.
Treasury said that some of the targeted individuals were “facilitating Iranian
support to bolster” the Taliban while others were “Iranian regime sponsors”.
TFTC has (been)… disrupting and exposing key Taliban members who are involved
in suicide attacks, and other lethal activities,” said US Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin. “We are also targeting key Iranian sponsors providing financial
and material support to the Taliban.”
official US statement said the designations support President Trump’s South
Asia Strategy. The first on the list is Mohammad Ebrahim Owhadi, an alleged
officer of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF),
who allegedly concluded an agreement with the Taliban deputy shadow governor for
Herat, Abdullah Samad Faroqui, for providing military and financial assistance
in return for Samad’s forces attacking the Afghan government in Herat. Esma’il
Razavi was designated for acting on behalf of the IRGC-QF and for providing
financial, material, or technological support and other services to the
Samad Faroqui, Iran’s alleged Taliban partner, was also designated for
accepting weapons and military aid from Iran. Samad allegedly also visited a
training camp in Birjand, Iran, where the IRGC-QF was training Taliban fighters
to attack a proposed pipeline in Afghanistan.
Daoud Muzzamil, a former Taliban deputy shadow governor for Helmand, is now the
shadow governor for Farah Province. In early 2017, Daoud was appointed a leader
of the Taliban’s Quetta Military Commission.
Rahim Manan is the Taliban shadow governor for Helmand, who allegedly provided
a large number of Taliban fighters to attack Afghan government forces.
Barich is the Taliban shadow minister of foreign affairs and manages Taliban’s
relations with Iran.
Aziz, an alleged Pakistan-based narcotics trafficker, provides funds to the
Taliban Quetta Shura and travels to the Gulf to collect money for the Shura.
Ibrahim, a member the Taliban’s Military Commission, was a Defence Ministry
official during the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan.
The US Treasury and allies in the Gulf took aim at Iran’s support for the
Taliban on Tuesday with new sanctions against nine individuals from both
Riyadh-based Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre (TFTC) said the sanctions
aimed to “expose and disrupt Taliban actors and their Iranian sponsors that
seek to undermine the security of the Afghan Government.”
list included two Iranian Revolutionary Guard officials identified as
Mohammad Ebrahim Owhadi and Esma’il Razavi.
to a TFTC statement the two involved in providing training, financial and
logistical support to the Taliban.
said Owhadi arranged a deal in 2017 with a top Taliban official in
Aghanistan’s Herat Province in which the Revolutionary Guard would provide
military and financial support to the Taliban in return for them attacking
government forces in Herat.
provided similar support to other Taliban groups across the
Iran-Afghanistan border, the statement said.
named were the Taliban’s deputy shadow governor for Herat, Abdullah Samad
Faroqui; Mohammad Daoud Muzzamil. who holds the same position in Helmand
province, Naim Barich, who manages Taliban-Iran relations, and three other
senior Taliban officials.
blacklist also included Abdul Aziz, accused of paying the Taliban for
protection for his narcotics trafficking and gemstones businesses.
provision of military training, financing, and weapons to the Taliban is yet
another example of Tehran’s blatant regional meddling and support for
terrorism,” said US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Tuesday that his country will maintain
strategic interests with Saudi Arabia.
added at a press conference that there are anticipated US actions against the
defendants in the case of Jamal Khashoggi. “We will hold accountable those
involved in the murder of Khashoggi”, he said.
said he was taking appropriate steps in the case of the death of Khashoggi,
noting that the visas to the United States of those involved in the case will
President Donald Trump has blasted Saudi Arabia’s efforts to hide the killing
of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s diplomatic mission in
Istanbul as the “worst cover-up ever,” but again indicated that he would not
end arms sales to the Washington’s Middle East ally.
– a US resident, The Washington Post columnist, and a leading critic of Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman – entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s Istanbul
on October 2 to obtain documents for his pending marriage, but he never left
the mission. Saudi officials originally said Khashoggi had left the diplomatic
mission unharmed, before announcing on October 19 that he had been killed
inside the building in what they described as an altercation.
had a very bad original concept, it was carried out poorly and the cover-up was
the worst in the history of cover-ups,” Trump told reporters at the White House
on Tuesday. “They had the worst cover-up ever.”
said the killing and the subsequent cover-up by Saudi Arabia were "a total
fiasco," adding, "There should have never been an execution or a
cover-up, because it should have never happened, whoever thought of that idea,
I think, is in big trouble. And they should be in big trouble.”
US president also expressed opposition to the idea of halting arms sales to Saudi
Arabia, saying that Washington would be "hurting ourselves" if it
turned away from Riyadh and refrained from going forward with arms sales to the
said he still looked for all the facts before making a final decision on
whether to punish the Saudis and that he would continue to work with Congress
on the issue.
terms of what we ultimately do, I’m going to leave it very much — in
conjunction with me — I’m going to leave it up to Congress,” Trump said, adding
that he hoped a decision would be bipartisan.
and Democratic lawmakers have thrown their support behind sanctions on the
Saudi government in response to Khashoggi's case.
more than two weeks of lies and denials, Riyadh claimed on Saturday that
Khashoggi had died during a "brawl" inside the Saudi consulate in
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismissed on Tuesday the Saudis' account of
Khashoggi's killing and said the 59-year-old had been murdered in a preplanned
operation directed by top Saudi officials.
Saudi administration has taken an important step by admitting to the murder.
From now on, we expect them to uncover all those responsible for this matter
from top to bottom and make them face the necessary punishments,” Erdogan said
in a speech in parliament.
the person who gave the order, to the person who carried it out, they must all
be brought to account,” he added, stopping short of mentioning the Saudi crown
prince who is suspected of having ordered the killing of the dissident
on Tuesday, US Vice President Mike Pence said the Saudi killing of the
Virginia-based journalist “will not go without an American response” and that
Gina Haspel, the CIA director, was in Turkey to review evidence in the case.
want to assure the American people: we’re going to get to the bottom of it.
This brutal murder of a journalist, of an innocent man, of a dissident will not
go without an American response and, I expect, without an international
response,” Pence said at an event hosted by The Washington Post.
the killing “barbaric,” Pence stressed that the US president would ultimately
decide whether to impose economic sanctions on Saudi Arabia once all the facts
if Washington would sanction members of Saudi Arabia's royal family if they
were found to have been complicit in Khashoggi’s murder, the US vice president
said that was a decision for the American head of state.
however, stressed that whatever the US response to the murder case, the
president will keep in mind the importance of relations between Washington and
comments on Tuesday came shortly before Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told
reporters at a press conference that the US was revoking visas from Saudis
involved in the Khashoggi's killing. He further noted that sanctions were also
US State Department "will continue to seek all relevant facts, consult
with Congress and work with other nations, and work to hold accountable those
responsible for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi," Pompeo said.
State Department is working with the Department of Treasury to "review the
applicability of global Magnitsky sanctions to those individuals," the US
secretary of state said, vowing that the penalties "will not be the last
word on this matter from the United States; we will continue to explore
additional measures to hold those responsible accountable."
the Magnitsky Act, the assets of those individuals sanctioned by the US
administration are frozen and they are barred from doing business with
Americans or receiving US visas.
called the murder of the Washington Post columnist "ruthless," and
described it as the silencing of the press.
US secretary of state also noted that his country would continue a "strong
partnership" with Saudi Arabia.
(RNS) — It was nearly 10 on a weeknight, but a crowd of men, women and children
numbering in the hundreds surrounded the Baitur Rehman Mosque in Silver Spring,
Md., chattering loudly with excitement. The group had been gathering for hours
outside the sprawling building on a bucolic road outside Washington to await
the arrival of its spiritual leader, the khalifa, or caliph, of the Ahmadiyya
Muslim Community, who traveled last week (Oct. 16) from the United Kingdom to
pray with them.
a caravan of black SUVs pulled up. As a sharply dressed, turbaned man emerged
from a vehicle flanked by several layers of security, the masses erupted: Men
and women shouted slogans and “Allahu akbar!” as the khalifa, Mirza Masroor
Ahmad, walked briskly past. Dozens of children belted songs in Urdu while
frantically waving flags and signs of welcome.
Masroor Ahmad led a few brief prayers inside the mosque and disappeared into
the SUV, the euphoria was over. But attendees said the experience would stay
with them for much longer.
was amazing, because usually I just see him on TV,” said Mansur, 11, as he
gripped the tiny American flag he had waved during the ceremony. Asked to
describe the experience of seeing Masroor Ahmad, often called His Holiness, in
person for the first time, he said, “It just felt like a lot of blessings just
came shooting into me.”
scene repeated several times over the next few days as Masroor Ahmad continued
his three-week whirlwind tour of the United States, visiting members of the
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and meeting with political leaders to spread a
message of peace and dialogue.
Ahmad’s followers are a small subset of Islam that claims around 10 million to
20 million devotees worldwide. The group’s theology closely resembles that of
most Sunni Muslims, save for an important distinction: Ahmadi Muslims believe
that their founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, who died in 1908, was the Mahdi of Islam,
a Messiah figure prophesied to appear and usher in the end times and the
peaceful triumph of Islam. Masroor Ahmad, the founder’s great-grandson, was
elected in 2003 as the fifth caliph.
belief has led to persecution from other Muslims in various parts of the world
such as Pakistan, where many consider Ahmadis to be apostates — and where their
current caliph, Masroor Ahmad, was raised. But the group’s centralized
hierarchy under the caliph has allowed it to broadcast — literally, as the sect
operates its own television stations — a unified message of peace and
interfaith dialogue worldwide.
by Religion News Service how Ahmadis should respond to violence or threats,
from Muslims or others, Masroor Ahmad insisted that members of his community should
hold fast to a message of peace that echoes the slogan plastered across many
signs during his visit: “Love for all, hatred for none.”
see, we cannot force them,” he said during a news conference in Philadelphia,
referencing those who wish violence on the Ahmadi. “We are only responsible for
ourselves. … We can only try to make them understand, if they understand. But
the true teaching of Islam is love, peace and harmony.”
Ahmad has visited the U.S. at least three times before, in 2008, 2012 and 2013,
but this latest trip is his most extensive, including stops in Philadelphia and
Baltimore, where he inaugurated new mosques in each city, and Houston.
Everywhere he goes he has been greeted by adoring crowds of Ahmadis.
the caliph’s tour has also included outreach to non-Muslims. After dedicating
the Philadelphia mosque, he delivered remarks to a banquet that included many
non-Muslim guests and luminaries, during which Mayor Jim Kenney offered Masroor
Ahmad the key to the city. In Baltimore, at another massive banquet, he met
with U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, along with local elected officials.
message of peace and love is desperately needed, now more than ever before,”
Cardin told the banquet crowd at the Hilton Baltimore. “And you inspire us by
your presence and your words here in Baltimore, that we all can do better.”
his speeches, Masroor Ahmad stresses the need for interfaith dialogue and
cooperation and rails against isolation and “meeting only with members of our
own particular community.” At the banquet in Philadelphia, he talked about how
Ahmadis assisted local Jews after their cemetery was desecrated by vandals in
local members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community went to offer their support to
the Jewish community, and to stand in solidarity with them after that
despicable crime,” he said. He added that the assistance was Ahmadis “merely
doing what our religion has taught us,” which is to “stand shoulder to
shoulder” with others “in their time of need or distress.”
the past few years, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has forged political
relationships with members of both major U.S. political parties.
2014, then-U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, and U.S. Rep. Jackie
Speier, a California Democrat, who had both received awards from the Ahmadiyya
Muslim Community in the past, co-founded the congressional Ahmadiyya Muslim
Caucus and tasked it with focusing on the global persecution of Ahmadi Muslims
and other religious minorities. Johnnie Moore, a member of the U.S. Commission
on International Religious Freedom, spoke at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s
annual convention in the United Kingdom in August.
the caliph’s visit comes just before U.S. midterm elections, a contentious
political season that has seen a spike in anti-Muslim rhetoric from
politicians, he took no sides, only urging his followers to elect people who
are “humble” and prioritize serving others.
is a saying of the prophet of Islam that the leader of the nation is the
servant of the nation,” he said. “So we only choose the person who can better
serve, or at least if we feel he can better serve the nation.”
humility was something of a theme during Ahmad’s visits to the Mid-Atlantic
states and despite the fanfare Ahmadis were quick to put things in perspective.
Basir Jamil, 25, who volunteered to provide security and other assistance in
Baltimore, said that the caliph’s illustrious role didn’t distract from
individual Ahmadis’ personal connection to the divine.
on Tuesday said three boys who attend a Muslim school in Bucks County were
responsible for a fire there Monday afternoon.
Township police said the fire at the United American Muslim Association school
in the 5200 block of Emilie Road was caused by three boys, ages 10 to 14.
fire, which started in a second-floor storage room filled with boxes of paper
towels, was reported around 4:30 p.m. and required a response by several fire
companies and the Levittown-Fairless Hills Rescue Squad.
one was injured in the blaze, which was declared an arson by the Bristol
Township Fire Marshal's Office. The Philadelphia office of the Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said on Monday that it was joining
determined that it was not a hate crime, nor was there any malicious intent
against the school, Bristol Township police said in a statement.
investigation was ongoing and the Bucks County District Attorney's Office was
reviewing the case for possible charges.
Vice President Mike Pence vowed Tuesday that Washington would take action in
response to the "brutal murder" of columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
called Khashoggi's disappearance and death "an assault on a free and
independent press" while addressing a conference hosted by the Washington
Post, the newspaper for whom Khashoggi wrote.
administration is determined to use all means at our disposal to get to the
bottom of it," Pence said.
denying knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts for over two weeks, Saudi Arabia
on Saturday said he was killed during a fight inside its Istanbul consulate.
body has not been recovered, nor has Riyadh explained its shifting narrative on
confirmed CIA Director Gina Haspel is now in Turkey reviewing evidence in
going to follow the facts. We're going to demand that those responsible are
held accountable," he said.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier Tuesday laid out his country’s initial
findings in its investigation, saying Khashoggi's murder was "premeditated."
said all information and evidence that has been revealed showed Khashoggi was
the victim of a brutal murder.
teams explored Istanbul's Belgrad Forest and the northwestern province of
Yalova before murdering Khashoggi, Erdogan said.
to Erdogan's announcements, Pence said Turkey's assessment "flies in the
face of earlier assertions that have been made by the Saudi regime, and again
it underscores the determination of our administration to find out what
world is watching. The American people want answers, and we'll demand those
answers are forthcoming," he said. "As we demand that those
responsible for this barbaric act, we will also do so in the light, and in the
context of America's vital national interests in the region."
asked if he had seen any intelligence linking Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin
Salman to Khashoggi's disappearance, Pence said he did not "want to speak
about any intelligence I've seen."
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