Nigerian Imam Urges Christians, Muslims to Unite Against Boko Haram
Boko Haram Used Spiritual Powder to Abduct Girls - Ghanaian Islamic Spiritualist
Kano Blast: Jonathan Orders Probe, Calls Boko Haram ‘Al-Qaeda of West Africa’
Libya undergoing coup attempt: Libyan Pro-Brotherhood group
500 Nigerian hunters with homemade weapons ready to rescue kidnapped girls
I want to cleanse Libya of Muslim Brotherhood: Haftar
US Insists Boko Haram Is Not a Branch of Al-Qaeda
State of Oklahoma owes $303,333 in plaintiffs' legal fees over Sharia law case
CAIR-LA Helps Egyptian Teen Inventor Seek Asylum in U.S.
Israeli American Council to open New York regional office
New York court convicts Abu Hamza in terrorism trial
US moves more forces closer to Libya as unrest grows
Hillary Clinton passed the baton on Boko Haram
20 Taliban militants killed in various operations
Preparations for case against Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami stalled
Upazila Jamaat Ameer arrested with arms, books on jihad
China, Russia See Forcible Interference in Syria Impermissible
How the Poorest Nepali Workers Get Exploited in the Richest Arab Nation
Syrian Soldiers Inflict Heavy Losses on Foreign-Backed Militants in Daraa
Syrian army missile kills 23, including 8 kids
Egypt calls for ending Libya's divisions, rejects foreign intervention
Sisi clear winner in early Egyptian expat results
KSA evacuates all diplomats, closes down embassy in Libya
‘Iqbal’s message is the need of hour for humanity’: Aalami Urdu Markaz
Nitaqat program generates 1.5 million jobs for Saudis
Shoura Council urges steps to protect Arabic language
Saudi king OKs five-year education plan worth $21b
El-Sisi wins 97% of expat vote in Los Angeles: MENA
Is Political Influence Of Barelvi Clerics Waning?
Cross-LoC traders to meet today
2 Indian journalists leave Pakistan after abrupt expulsion
Pakistan makes a pitch for resuming talks
There cannot be precondition for any talks with India, Pakistani envoy says
Balochistan violence claims four lives
Suspected bomber gunned down in Swabi
Karachi: Seven killed in violence
Taliban infighting hampers peace talks
TTP splinter group claims abduction of Chinese tourist
PPP fears emergence of ’77-like situation
25 killed in Yemen army clashes with Shiite rebels: Medics
FM annuls decree ordering Turkish embassies to support Gülenists: Reports
Not all PA civil servants in Gaza want jobs back
Iranian, Iraqi Officials Call for Expanding Judicial Ties
Study finds major gap between upper and lower middle class in Israel
PLO outraged as video shows 'deliberate execution' of two Palestinian teens by IDF
Indonesia’s Presidential Race Set to Move into Overdrive
Jewish rabbi among speakers at Muslim unity convention in Putrajaya
Dyana Sofya made subject of sexism, says DAP
More Gitmo Prisoners Call for Disclosure of Force-Feeding Tapes
Russia would veto referral of Syria to criminal court
Dutch rushing envoy to KSA over anti-Islam spat
Putin to Modi: Together we'll scale new heights
Forgotten migrants who don't sail to Europe from Libya
Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau
May 20, 2014
A Nigerian Islamic leader has urged Christians and Muslims to continue to unite against the Boko Haram group in order to put an end to their activities that include purging society of Western education.
The Chief Imam of the Al-Habibiyah Islamic Society of Nigeria, Alhaji Fuad Adeyemi, made the call at a news conference in Abuja, the Daily Times newspaper reported on May 16.
Many Nigerians are also angry that the government of President Goodluck Jonathan has not done enough to try and rescue the girls.
Adeyemi urged religious leaders and politicians to desist from politicising the abduction of the school girls in Chibok, Borno.
"We are very saddened by the abduction of nearly 300 school girls in Chibok.
"Many of our members have been fasting from that day. We don't care if the girls are Christians or Muslims, they are Nigerians and most importantly, they are human beings," he said.
Some of the girls who were Christians had converted to Islam Boko Haram said to accusations the girls had been forced to change their faith.
The abduction of the girls has raised other issues relating to discrimination in Africa's most populous nation that is roughly split between Muslim and Christian inhabitants.
"When Nigerian states adopt Sharia [Islamic] laws that are in their application blatantly unfavourable to women, it creates an environment in which a terrorist group like Boko Haram believes it has a right to do as it pleases with girls without prosecution," Time magazine reported Monday.
The report said that before 2000, the scope of Sharia law in Nigeria was limited to civil cases.
"Since then, nine northern Nigerian states have adopted Sharia law fully, to include criminal cases as well. A further three northern states have adopted Sharia law in populations where Muslims are the majority."
Sharia is a group of Islamic moral codes and laws that determines acceptable behaviour Muslims and it exists along with civil law in these states.
Meanwhile Adeyemi called on the federal government to continue to explore all meaningful ways to end the insurgency.
Adeyemi said that both Muslims and Christians were the target of the terrorists.
A Ghanaian Islamic spiritualist, Shamuna Ustaz Jibirl, has posted a chilling picture of the over 200 abducted Nigerians girls in a rare revelation.
In a comprehensive revelation contained in a document, he pointed out that two of the girls have so far died and others were in a deplorable state of health.
According to him, from now to July 22, 2014, it is likely that the girls could be located and three of their abductors captured between now and August.
The militants, he said, are more spiritual than physical and could be traced to the dreaded late Mohammed Marwa, alias Maitatsine, who also caused a lot of atrocities before being killed in Nigeria.
The militants, he went on, planned bombing places like the US Embassy in Abuja, Yobe, Yobe Girls School, the Jos Prison, Bauchi Central Police Station, Maiduguri Roman Catholic Church and the Kontagora Central Mosque, among other targets.
He had advised the Nigerian authorities to avoid political rallies at this time especially in the night.
On how the girls were captured with such ease, he said, "By my spiritual calculation, the militants who are occultists administered some spiritual powder on them so they could easily be quarantined."
They were immediately taken to Kanamma in Yobe State and kept for 72 hours and subsequently distributed into 10 groups and taken to different destinations, he stated.
He dispelled the speculation that all the girls are in Nigeria, pointing out that some of them were in Chad, Niger, and Cameroon.
Fifteen of them who are in Cameroon, he said, were in Garua, about 72 km away from the Faro reserve, while those in Chad are in Tarso voon behind a mountain range.
In Niger, they were distributed in Dosso, Diffa, Maradi and Damagara, while in Nigeria; he said they were in Kanamma in Yobe State.
Two of those in Chad who come from wealthy families, he said, are currently dead, leaving the total here at 13.
He added that those in Niger were seriously sick from malaria. Of the lot, those in Chad, he said, were in the worst state.
The spiritualist, a native of Bawku, recently gave an insight into the missing Malaysian airliner All the passengers onboard the ill-fated flight, he said, at the time were dead.
He had made a number of appearances or radio and was once hosted by Black Rasta when he made revelations about the last presidential elections.
By Wale Odunsi
The explosion which occurred along the Hausa/Igbo Road in the Sabon Gari area of Kano left at least 10 dead.
Presidential spokesman, Dr. Reuben Abati, yesterday said the president directed the security chiefs to act quickly on the incident.
Abati, who made the announcement via his Twitter handle, wrote: (5:44pm) – “Kano Blast: President Jonathan summoned meeting of security chiefs today (Monday) on arrival in Abuja after Paris Summit.”
(5:47pm) – “President Jonathan today ordered thorough investigations and security chiefs to act quickly.”
(5:50pm) – “President Jonathan calls on Nigerians to remain united against the al-Qaeda of West Africa alias Boko Haram and all enemies of the state.”
On Monday, a second bomb blast was averted as security operatives apprehended a car laden with explosives around Tafawa Balewa area of Kano.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the latest blast, it is almost certain that the Boko Haram sect carried out the attack.
Police authority has however assured that it is on top on the situation.
A group with close links to the Libyan Muslim Brotherhood has denounced what it describes as an attack on the "legitimacy of the ballot box."
The statement, issued by Libya Rebels, came after retired general Khalifa Haftar launched an anti-Islamist offensive in Tripoli and Benghazi on Friday, vowing to cleanse Libya of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist radicals.
"The time for coups is over," the group said, pledging to challenge "dreamers who attempt to win power with tanks."
The Libyan army's chief of staff has announced his commitment to preserving Libya's unity, stating recent events had spurred divisions within the country.
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Traditional hunters armed with homemade guns, poisoned spears and amulets have gathered in their hundreds, eager to use their skills and what they believe to be supernatural powers to help find nearly 300 schoolgirls abducted by Islamic extremists.
Some 500 hunters, some as young as 18 and some in their 80s, say they have been specially selected by their peers for their spiritual hunting skills and have been waiting for two weeks in Maiduguri, the Borno state capital and the birthplace of Boko Haram, to get backing from the military and get moving.
With Nigeria's military accused by many citizens of not doing enough to rescue the girls, the hunters demonstrated their skills to an Associated Press reporter on Sunday. With cow horn trumpets echoing eerie war cries from the screaming and chanting men who twirled knives and swords with dexterity, occasionally stabbing and cutting themselves with no apparent harm. The hunters claimed their magic charms prevented any blood being drawn. They also trust amulets of herbs and other substances wrapped in leather pouches as well as cowrie shells, animal teeth and leather bracelets to protect them from bullets.
The appearance of the hunters from three northeastern states underscores how deeply the April 15 mass kidnapping -- and the government's apparent lack of action -- has affected Nigerian society. It has spawned demonstrations and a tidal wave of commentary in media including social sites like Twitter and Facebook.
A spokesman for the hunters stopped short of actually criticizing the military.
"We're not saying we are better than the soldiers, but we know the bush better than the soldiers," said Sarkin Baka. The hunters said they gathered here at the suggestion of a state legislator.
A military spokesman did not immediately respond to an emailed question from AP on whether it would take advantage of the hunters' local knowledge.
In contrast to the age-old stalking and tracking skills offered by the hunters, U.S. aircraft and camera-carrying drones are searching for the girls. Military teams from America, Britain, France, Spain and Israel with expertise in surveillance, intelligence gathering, counterterrorism and hostage negotiation are also present.
Police say more than 300 girls and young women were kidnapped from a boarding school in the remote northeastern town of Chibok, in Borno state and about 130 kilometers (80 miles) south of Maiduguri, on April 15. A total of 53 escaped and an estimated 276 remain in captivity, according to the police.
They were driven into the nearby Sambisa Forest, according to witnesses. Unverified reports from two federal senators from the region and Chibok residents quoting villagers in the forest and elsewhere indicated some of the girls may have been forced to marry their abductors and some may have been taken across the border into Cameroon.
Nigeria's military insists that it is diligently searching for the girls and says near-daily aerial bombardments of the forest that began in mid-January were stopped to avoid accidentally hitting the girls.
"Our troops are out there combing the forests and all other possible locations searching for our fellow citizens. International support is also there assisting the process," Mike Omeri, a government spokesman, said Friday.
Some parents of the abducted girls say villagers in the Sambisa Forest tell them they haven't seen a uniformed soldier in the forest.
Pogu Bitrus, a Chibok community leader, said the savannah type openness of most of Sambisa, a national game reserve, should make it easy to survey from the air, though the extremists are believed to have camps in densely forested parts. The insurgents recently bombed the only bridge linking Borno state to Cameroon and Chad, where they have hideouts in mountain caves and another forested game reserve.
Leaders from Nigeria's neighboring countries including Benin met at a French-organized summit this weekend in Paris to coordinate curtailing the insurgency that threatens the region. British, U.S. and European officials also attended.
Meanwhile, the hunters say they are reaching the end of their patience.
"We are seasoned hunters, the bush is our culture and we have the powers that defy guns and knives; we are real men of courage, we trust in Allah for protection, but we are not afraid of Boko Haram," said one elderly hunter, Baban Kano. "If government is ready to support us, then we can bring back the girls. But if they are not, they should tell us so that we can disband and return to our homes and family."
I want to cleanse Libya of Muslim Brotherhood: Haftar
A retired Libyan general has said he wants to cleanse Libya of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist radicals.
Khalifa Haftar blamed them for widespread lawlessness in the country.
He told Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper the he had arrested 40 people who had allegedly been helped and given fake passports by the Brotherhood.
The operation, dubbed Al-Karama (dignity), was launched because the "Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is the driving forces behind extremists arriving in Libya."
"This opened the eyes of Libyans," he added.
Haftar said the offensive had been in the planning for two years. It started in the eastern city of Benghazi on Friday and swept into Tripoli where the General National Congress or parliament was occupied on Sunday.
Gunmen loyal to the general set fire to an annex of the parliament before withdrawing to the airport.
He was joined on Monday by Colonel Wanis Abu Khamada, a respected commander of an elite army unit.
The United States Government has disclosed that the Islamic sect, Boko Haram was not affiliated to the global terrorist organisation, al-Qaeda.
This is coming following a declaration by President Goodluck Jonathan during the France security summit on the menace of the insurgent group on Saturday, that the Boko Haram sect was the “al Qaeda of West Africa.”
However, the US said the Boko Haram sect has no link with al-Qaeda.
A statement by the US Consul General in Lagos on Monday quoted the US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman, as saying this on the sidelines of the summit hosted by French President Francois Hollande in Paris on Saturday.
Sherman, who spoke to journalists alongside US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and the US State Department Counter terrorism Coordinator, Tina Kaidelow, said UN sanctions on Boko Haram could be as quick as this week.
She said, “Boko Haram is its own terrorist group, and the United States has designated Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organisation. In this day and age, there is probably no terror group that does not have some links somehow, even if tenuous, to some other organisation. But for the most part, we treat Boko Haram as its own terror organisation.
Full report at:
The bill has come due for the state’s effort to keep international law and Sharia law out of Oklahoma courts.
It wasn’t cheap.
Oklahoma must pay $303,333 for attorneys’ fees of the plaintiffs who challenged a measure approved overwhelmingly by voters on Nov. 2, 2010, U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled May 14.
The Oklahoma Legislature put the measure on the ballot.
Miles-LaGrange found it an unconstitutional infringement on individual rights.
Plaintiff Muneer Awad, an Oklahoma City Muslim man, said in the lawsuit that the measure would stigmatize him and others of his faith, limit the results they can receive in court and prevent his will from being probated in Oklahoma because his will references Sharia law, the Islamic law system.
On May 14, Miles-LaGrange approved a plaintiffs’ motion for attorney fees, costs and nontaxable expenses.
Diane Clay, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma attorney general’s office, which represented the state in the case, said her office does not compile a total of expenses it incurs in such legal defenses.
The Greater Los Angeles-Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA) today said it is assisting an Egyptian teenager seek asylum in the United States after he was initially barred from travelling to Californiafor the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair because of charges brought by coup regime authorities in that nation.
Abdallah Assem, 17, was arrested last month in Cairo on charges of "illegal protesting" and burning several police vehicles. The teen inventor, whose work CAIR LA Helps Egyptian Teen Inventor Seek Asylum in U.S.is focused onhelping those who have paralyzed arms and legs, denies the charges against him and said he had no part in the pro-democracy protest that was taking place in the area where he was arrested. He was released from detention pending investigation and allowed to travel to the science fair.
NEW YORK – The Israeli American Council will be opening its regional office in New York City this week, as part of a huge expansion with eight offices opening across the US, including in Boston, Miami, and Las Vegas.
The office will focus on providing programming and resources for the estimated 200,000 Israelis who live in and around New York City, including between 5,000 and 12,000 in New Jersey.
The IAC is a nonpolitical umbrella group for Israeli communities in the US, dedicated to uniting the estimated 800,000 Israelis in America and keeping Israeli culture alive. It was founded in 2007 and is based in Los Angeles. It is currently looking at Philadelphia, Washington and Phoenix as its next possible expansion points.
Its chairman, Shawn Evenhaim, told The Jerusalem Post that the IAC expands to cities as needed.
Associated Press | New York | May 20, 2014
An Egyptian Islamic preacher, Abu Hamza al-Masri, whose fiery sermons before and after 9/11 attracted extremists to his London mosque, was convicted on Monday in a trial by a New York court.
Born Mustafa Kamel Mustafa, 56-year-old cleric Hamza, was accused of providing material support to terrorist organizations by enabling hostage takers in the Yemen kidnapping to speak on a satellite phone, by sending men to establish an al-Qaida training camp in Oregon, and by sending at least one man to training camps in Afghanistan.
He was extradited in 2012 from England, where he led London’s Finsbury Park Mosque in the 1990s, reportedly attended by both September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and shoe bomber Richard Reid but Mustafa denied that he ever met them.
The United States has increased the number of Marines and aircraft stationed in Sicily who could be called upon to evacuate Americans from the US embassy in Tripoli as unrest in Libya grows, two US officials said on Monday.
About 60 more Marines and another four Osprey aircraft, whose tilt-rotar engines allow it to land like a helicopter but fly like an airplane, were being sent to Naval Air Station Sigonella in Sicily from their base in Spain.
That brings the total number of Marines stationed as a precaution in Sicily to around 250, the two officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Their location in Italy moves them closer to Libya, speeding response times.
Hillary Clinton took to Twitter to excoriate Boko Haram's kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls, using the now-ubiquitous hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. If there's any natural enemy of the girl-hating, anti-education Nigerian terror group, it should be Clinton, who made promoting women's rights around the globe her priority as secretary of state.
At a forum in New York a few days after her tweet, she said the kidnapping "is abominable, it's criminal, it's an act of terrorism, and it really merits the fullest response possible."
Strong words. Stalwart sentiment. It sounded like the fierce denunciation by a woman who would have used every tool at her disposal to combat Boko Haram when she was in power. Except that when she had the chance, Clinton refused to designate the terror group as a terror group.
May 20 2014
At least 20 Taliban militants were killed in various military operations conducted by Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours.
Defense ministry spokesman, Gen. Zahir Azimi said Afghan national army soldiers participated in a joint military operation which was launched in Pechargam district of Nangarhar province on Tuesday morning.
Azimi further added that preliminary reports suggest at least ten Taliban militants were killed during the operations which is still being conducted in the area.
He said at least four Taliban militants were killed during a separate operation in Marjah district of southern Helmand province.
The escalating power struggle within the prosecution team of the international crimes tribunal has now made uncertain the filing of the war crimes case against the Jamaat-e-Islami.
Since April 30, there has been a chief prosecutor and an acting chief prosecutor of the team.
Acting chief prosecutor Syed Haider Ali had a notice issued asking the prosecutors of the case to give him the probe report and other documents, apparently ignoring the fact that Chief Prosecutor Ghulam Arief Tipoo had joined work after medical leave.
The prosecutors, who were assigned to the Jamaat case, declined to give the documents to the “acting chief”. However, the seven-member prosecution team dealing with the case stopped working yesterday after receiving the notice.
Upazila Jamaat ameer arrested with arms, books on jihad
Police on Sunday night arrested Damurhuda upazila ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami from his residence at Gulshanpara village in the upazila headquarters and seized two firearms, several books on jihad and leaflets from the spot.
The arrestee, Shariful Alam alias Milton, 40, is an assistant professor at Damurhuda Abdul Wadud Shah Degree College in Chuadanga and chairman of Damurhuda Union Parishad (UP).
Shikdar Moshiur Rahman, officer-in-charge (OC) of Damurhuda Police Station, said acting on tip-off, a police team raided the Jamaat leader's house while he along with 17 to 18 other activists of the party were holding a 'secret' meeting at around 7:30pm.
China and Russia stressed absolute rejection of forcible interference in Syria.
"Russia and China find any attempts at an external forcible interference in Syria impermissible," Presidents of Russia and China Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping said in a joint statement at the end of their talks in Shanghai on Tuesday, SANA reported.
The two presidents said in the statement "Russia and China support efforts taken by the Syrian government and the international community for a successful finalizing of the process of destroying the chemical weapons of Syria".
A 24-year-old Nepali man queues by the boarding gate at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu. Along with his 30 kg suitcase, he carries a much heavier load - a $1,700 loan to be paid back to the recruitment agency, pending school fees for his children, promised gold bangles for his wife and hospital expenses for his aging parents. Doha, Qatar, is going to be his big break, his chance to put an end to generations of poverty his family has endured. Or so he thinks. Soon, his hopes of realizing his dreams among the bright lights of the booming foreign city are going to be replaced by the dark image of reality - a dusty sheetless mattress in a stuffy overcrowded bedroom, a cockroach-infested kitchen without clean drinking water, long hours of unpaid work under a deadly 50-degree sun (122 degrees fahrenheit) and a life of slavery. But he doesn't know that yet. The agency did not tell him.
Syrian soldiers killed more foreign-backed militants in another phase of their operations in Daraa countryside.
Army destroys a tunnel with all militants inside it in Daraa
Army units destroyed a tunnel with all militants inside it in al-Sibeh neighborhood to the West of al-kark neighborhood in Daraa al-Balad.
A military source told SANA that units of the armed forces targeted militants' concentration camps surrounding al-Khalil Mosque and the post office in Daraa al-Balad, in Etman town roundabout, to the East of al-Center in al-Nua'imeh, al-Msaikeh and to the South of al-Khawabi in Daraa.
Syrian activists say a surface-to-surface missile fired by the military has slammed into an impoverished residential area in a rebel-held town in the north, killing 23 people, including eight children.
A local activist who uses the name Abu al-Hassan said on Tuesday that the attack on the town of Marea took place overnight, while people were sleeping in their homes. He says that among the 23 killed was a family of 10 people, including eight children.
Al-Hassan says he wasn't aware of any fighting taking place in the area. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported the attack on Marea.
Rights groups and local activists say Syrian military forces often indiscriminately strike rebel-held areas with projectiles that can't be targeted properly, overwhelmingly killing civilians.
The Egyptian foreign ministry on Monday announced its rejection of foreign intervention in Libya, calling on the neighbouring country's domestic parties to "end divisions and stop bloodshed."
The statement came after the Libyan army decided to impose a no-fly zone last Saturday, a direct challenge to retired general Khalifa Haftar, who has been using airpower to press a campaign against Islamist militants.
On Friday, his paramilitary force, backed by warplanes and helicopters, pounded Islamist militiamen in Libya's second city and fought pitched battles with the ex-rebels.
Prime Minister Abdullah Al-Thani denounced Haftar's forces as "outlaws" and called on all parties to observe restraint.
But Haftar vowed to continue his war against Islamists, blamed for attacks that have killed dozens of members of the security forces, judges and foreigners since the end of the uprising in October 2011.
20 May 2014
Former Egyptian army chief Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is a clear winner in the early results of the presidential election’s expat vote, his campaign announced on Monday night.
The numbers showed overwhelming support for Sisi in comparison to his rival, leftist politician Hamdeen Sabahi. More than 300,000 Egyptian expats voted from Thursday through to Monday, the foreign ministry announced.
“According to the campaign, Sisi garnered 97 percent of valid votes in Australia (4,672 out of 4,816 and 33 invalid ballots), 93 percent in New Zealand (41 of 44 valid votes) and likewise in China's Shanghai (66 of 71 valid votes),” Egypt’s Ahram newspaper reported.
“Sisi also took 77 percent of votes in the Philippines' Manila (30 out of 39) and 91 percent in Indonesia's capital Jakarta (59 out of 65),” the report added.
In London, the Egyptian embassy announced that Sisi won 90.6 percent of the vote.
Full results are expected to be released later today.
RIYADH – Saudi Arabia closed its embassy in Tripoli on Monday and evacuated all its diplomats over “security” concerns in Libya, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.
Saudi Ambassador to Libya Mohammed Mahmud Al-Ali told SPA the Kingdom also closed its consulate in the North African country “due to the current circumstances and the security situation.”
He said all diplomats in Libya were flown out of Libya in a decision made “in coordination with the Libyan side.”
The mission will reopen and the diplomats will return “when the situation stabilizes in the Libyan capital,” he added.
JEDDAH – “Iqbal is a poet of humanity. Iqbal has a special place among the world poets who bear a message for humanity. His message should be imparted to the new generations that lack knowledge about the circumstances when Iqbal’s poetry with its great message gave hope to the oppressed people of the countries under the yoke of colonial repression,” said Dr. Muhammad Suhail Umar in his address at the Iqbal’s Message seminar organized by Aalami Urdu Markaz, Jeddah.
“Iqbal’s poetry has different layers of meanings. Iqbal, like Rumi, is not only relevant but also is able to reject the effect of the seditious materialistic Western thought. Maulana Rumi’s Masnavi, with good or bad translations in English and other Western languages, is still sold like hot cakes in the United States. The reason behind Masnavi’s popularity is the hope that lies in its message.”
The government’s Nitaqat program has doubled the number of jobs for Saudis since it was introduced three years ago, from 723,894 to over 1.46 million, a Ministry of Labor official revealed recently.
This was the government’s most successful Saudization program to date, said Ahmad Al-Humaidan, undersecretary for labor affairs at the ministry. Al-Humaidan was delivering a paper on the challenges facing the economy at a scientific conference at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah.
He said wages have also risen. The number of those who earn less than SR3,000 has decreased from 356,806 employees to only 109,654, while those earning more than SR3,000 increased from 376,087 to over 1.3 million.
The Shoura Council has demanded protection mechanisms for the Arabic language, the mainstay of the Kingdom’s national identity.
This came during a Shoura Council meeting held in Riyadh on Tuesday, where Saud Al-Sabie, a council member, discussed recommendations put forth by a special committee to study the draft bill of a law to protect the Arabic language in the Kingdom.
Council members also demanded a law requiring all foreign schools to include special programs for the Arabic language in their syllabus.
The council also demanded financial and administrative support for the King Abdullah International Center for Arabic Language Service.
The council meeting discussed the provisions included in the draft bill, such as the need for government and non-governmental agencies to use Arabic for their names and in their activities.
Saudi King Abdullah has approved a five-year plan worth more than $21.33 billion (80 billion riyals) to develop the kingdom’s education sector, the country’s state news agency said Monday.
The Saudi Press Agency said King Abdullah approved the executive working program in order to meet the goals of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Project for Promoting General Education.
"The total cost for the next five years exceeds SR80 billion in addition to what has been allocated annually for the ministry,” the SPA said.
King Abdullah also approved the establishment of a ministerial committee to supervise implementation of the program, the agency added.
The official news agency MENA reported Tuesday that the former army chief carried the expat vote in Los Angeles with 5752 out of 5905 valid votes, 97 percent.
Hamdeen Sabahi garnered 139 votes, 3 percent of total voter turnout.
MENA had earlier reported that Egyptian expats who voted in the capital of the US in Washington DC voted overwhelmingly for the former army chief: El-Sisi 2404, Sabahi 187.
Is political influence of Barelvi clerics waning?
Mrigank Tiwari,TNN | May 20, 2014
BAREILLY: The Modi wave that swept through the Hindi heartland, including Rohilkhand, this election seems to have weakened the influence of the Ulema belonging to the Barelvi school of thought in the region. The Ulema had thrown their weight behind the BSP, which failed to get a single seat in Parliament this time.
Reacting to the saffron party's victory at the hustings, well known Sunni leader and scholar Taqueer Raza opined " Aisa dekha gaya hai ki jab bhi aandhi aati hai to kai ped gir jaate hain aur aisa is baar bhi huwa hai. Par iska yeh matlab hargiz nahi ki ped kamzor tha (It has been seen that many trees are uprooted during a storm but this does not mean that they are weak and infirm)."
He blamed BSP supremo Mayawati for her indecisive attitude which cost the party dear. "Had she announced at the outset of the polls that her party is not going to support BJP, the picture would have been different. Her delay left the Muslim community in a state of dilemma and it was ultimately left with no option except supporting the Samajwadi Party to check Modi's march."
Sanjay Khajuria,TNN | May 20, 2014
JAMMU: Cross-Line of Control (LoC) traders would meet for the first time after March 2013 at Chakkan-da-Bagh in Jammu & Kashmir's Poonch district on Tuesday.
The meetings proposed earlier had been stalled due to escalation of tensions along the LoC last year.
Officials said 49 traders — 25 from Jammu & Kashmir and 24 from PoK — would participate in the meeting to discuss trade and pending payments.
Poonch deputy commissioner Sajad Ahmad Khan said, "These meeting were supposed to be held quarterly but could not be held due to the tensions." Khan said they hoped it would become a routine affair to resolve issues of the traders.
Press Trust of India | Islamabad/ Wagah | May 20, 2014
Two Indian journalists posted in Islamabad on Monday left for home after their abrupt expulsion even as India has taken up the issue with Pakistan.
Press Trust of India’s Snehesh Alex Philip and Hindu newspaper’s Meena Menon left early for India after they were given time till May 20 to leave Pakistan. Meanwhile, Indian Deputy High Commissioner in Islamabad Gopal Baglay took up the issue with Pakistani government.
While there has not been any reason assigned for the sudden expulsion of the scribes, it is learnt that Pakistan is cut up with India over denial of visas to 500 Pakistani pilgrims to visit the shrine of Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer earlier this month.
It is also understood that Pakistan is aggrieved that India has not granted visa to the son of a senior official with their national carrier, PIA.
Pakistan High Commissioner to India Abdul Basit says it would be essential to build on past work and take irreversible steps forward.
As India prepared for a change of regime, Pakistan on Monday stressed that the two countries had no option but to talk to each other and normalise relations for their mutual benefit.
A renewed effort to pick up the dialogue process was made by Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, Abdul Basit, while hosting a delegation of the Press Club of India at the High Commission here. He said it would be essential to build on past work and take irreversible steps forward.
Referring to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s telephone call to Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi on Friday, Mr. Basit said Islamabad was committed to a result-oriented dialogue process.
PTI | May 20, 2014
NEW DELHI: Pakistan on Monday said India should not shy away from dealing with "contentious" issues like Jammu & Kashmir which need to be resolved for the two countries to move on.
Pakistan's high commissioner to India Abdul Basit also said first four-five months of the new government will be important and will determine how the bilateral ties will go forward.
"It (J&K) is an important issue and government of India has to fulfil its commitment given to the world. It is part of the composite dialogue. We should not shy away from contentious issues. When we will deal with each of the issues, we will be able to move forward," he said in an interaction with members of the Press Club of India.
Basit said there was a national consensus in Pakistan to have normal friendly relations and Islamabad was willing to engage with the new government in New Delhi.
"But there cannot be precondition for any talks," he said, adding Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the new government in India have come to power with decisive mandate and they were in a position to take "decisive decisions".
QUETTA: At least four people were killed and one person was injured on Tuesday in separate incidents of violence in different areas of Balochistan.
Three people were killed during an armed clash between two tribes in Balochistan's remote Jhal Magsi district, Levies personnel claimed.
A Levies official who requested anonymity since he was not authorised to speak to media told Dawn.com that firing erupted between two tribes in Kot Magsi area of the district.
The two tribes had an old enmity in the area over distribution of land.
"There were dozens of armed men in Kot Magsi as intense exchange of fire continued", he said.
SWABI: Local police on Tuesday claimed to have gunned down a suspected suicide bomber at the main gate of Shah Mansoor Police Lines in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swabi area.
Police sources said that the suspected attacker opened fire at the main gate, injuring one policeman on guard at the gate. The police personnel retaliated, killing the attacker on spot.
District police officer Swabi Sajjad Khan said that the attacker was carrying a pistol and ammunition but was not wearing a suicide vest.
In a separate incident, a school situated on Peshawar’s Ring Road was slightly damaged in an improvised explosion device (IED) attack. The IED was planted near the school’s boundary wall.
The bomb disposal squad cleared the school after conducting a search operation and no casualties were reported.
Karachi- At least seven people were killed in different parts of Karachi as fresh wave of violence hit the city home to at least 20 million people and commercial hub of the country.
According to reports, two brothers and a prayer leader of a local mosque were killed. Police said that two men identified as Amanullah Qadri and Ameenullah Qadri were gunned down in Orangi Town. The deceased were associated with the Sunni Tehreek. A man was stabbed to death in Khairabad area of Orangi Town. The slain was identified as Qari Barkat.
Two bodies were found in Gulbahar area of the city while a body was recovered from Orangi Town 10 area. Police said that a woman was gunned in Bihar Colony area of Lyari. The body was shifted to the Civil Hospital Karachi for identification and medico-legal formalities. Nine people were gunned down on Monday in different parts of the metropolis, home to at least 20 million people and commercial hub of the nuclear armed nation.
ISLAMABAD - Weeks of infighting between Taliban groups have hampered stop-start peace talks with Pakistan's government, sources said Monday, as the insurgents' leader vowed to continue fighting until Islamic law was enforced in the country.
Two factions of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the umbrella grouping for disparate militant groups, have been locked in bloody clashes since at least March.
The fighting has claimed more than 90 lives in the tribal areas along the Afghan border and has now forced the TTP's commander-in-chief Mullah Fazlullah to appoint a mediator to try to end the feud, militant sources told AFP.
"The infighting has forced the Taliban leadership to postpone peace talks for the time being," a TTP insider told AFP on condition of anonymity.
PESHAWAR: A Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) splinter group, of the Hakimullah Mehsud faction claimed responsibility on Tuesday for the kidnapping of Chinese tourist Hong xu Dong from Dera Ismail Khan on Monday.
The abducted Chinese tourist had been travelling from Lahore to Balochistan via Khyber Paktunkhwa. He was kidnapped from the Darban area of Dera Ismail Khan. Security forces had recovered a cycle from Garah Mehmood along with the belongings of the tourist from the spot.
ISLAMABAD: The opposition senators, mainly from the PPP, expressed fears on Monday that a 1977-like situation was being created in an attempt to wrap up democracy.
The PPP’s parliamentary leader, Raza Rabbani, warned that the federation would cease to exist in its present shape if attempts to change the democratic set-up succeeded.
The senators also questioned the government’s “inaction and silence” over the prevailing situation in the wake of the ongoing fighting between media groups and launching of a movement by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) against the alleged rigging in last year’s general elections.
“This time, the federation, and not the constitution, is at stake,” warned Mr Rabbani while initiating a debate on the political situation.
Eleven Yemeni soldiers and 14 Shiite Huthi rebels were killed Tuesday during clashes in a stronghold of the insurgents in the north of the country, medics said.
Dozens of other combatants were wounded in the gunfight that erupted on the western outskirt of Amran city, the medics at Amran hospital said.
A military source said earlier that three soldiers were killed in the clashes which broke out when rebels attacked an army position in the area.
A 2003-dated decree ordering Turkish embassies abroad to support and facilitate the activities of the Fethullah Gülen community has been annulled upon the instruction of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, two Turkish newspapers have reported.
Newspapers Cumhuriyet and Zaman said the decree annulling the 2003-dated decree was sent to Turkish embassies and consulates several weeks ago. The first decree was signed by then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül during the first months of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government with the demand of support from National View Organizations and Turkish schools operated by the Gülen community.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Fatah and Hamas have agreed to allow 3,000 employees from the Palestinian Authority (PA) who were abstaining from work to return to their duties at the various ministries in Gaza. But this agreement has raised grave concerns among the employees, who fear losing the side work that has provided them additional streams of income over the past seven years.
Following Hamas’ military takeover of Gaza in June 2007, the PA ordered its employees in all government and security institutions of the Gaza Strip to completely stop work, but said they would continue receiving their salaries.
Senior Iranian and Iraqi judiciary officials in a meeting in Tehran on Tuesday underlined the need for expanding judicial cooperation between the two Muslim states.
During the meeting in the Iranian capital today, Iranian Prosecutor General and Judiciary Spokesman Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie and Iraqi Judiciary Chief Medhet Al-Mahmoud explored avenues for bolstering and reinvigorating judicial ties as well as exchange of judicial information between the two friendly and brotherly countries.
The Iraqi judiciary chief arrived in Tehran on Saturday and met with senior Iranian officials, President Hassan Rouhani, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, head of the judicial power Sadeq Amoli Larijani, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani and Justice Minister Mostafa Pour Mohammadi during his four-day stay in Tehran.
The wealth disparities between Israel’s upper and lower middle class are significant and growing, according to a Taub Center study released Tuesday.
The lower middle class, which accounted for 40 percent of the population, had a monthly per capita wage range of NIS 1,950 and NIS 5,000, while the upper middle class, which accounted for 29 percent of the population, fell under the much wider range of NIS 5,100 to NIS 12,540.
“The long-term goal should be a unification of these two groups into a single large and strong middle class. In order to achieve this, the gaps between the lower middle and upper middle class must be narrowed,” said Bar-Ilan University’s Zoya Nisanov, who authored the study.
The biggest factor explaining the difference in the groups was the number of wage earners in the household: smaller percentages of families in the upper middle and upper classes had just one income.
The Palestine Liberation Organization on Tuesday condemned what it called “the deliberate execution” of two Palestinian teenagers last week who were killed by IDF soldiers.
The condemnation comes as video footage has emerged of the incident. The clip, which was obtained by Defense for Children Palestine, shows two youths being shot during what appeared to be a lull in clashes between rock-throwing demonstrators and soldiers near the Ofer Prison in Beitunia, not far from Ramallah.
“The images captured on video show unlawful killings where neither child presented a direct and immediate threat to life at the time of their shooting," said Rifat Kassis, executive director of DCI-Palestine. "These acts by Israeli soldiers may amount to war crimes, and the Israeli authorities must conduct serious, impartial, and thorough investigations to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes."
Indonesia’s Presidential Race Set to Move Into Overdrive
Jakarta. Monday’s declaration of two tickets running in July’s presidential election evokes at least two questions: Do hopefuls Joko Widodo and Prabowo Subianto have anything different to offer the Indonesian voters? Secondly, will their respective running mates boost their chances of clinching the country’s top position, or will they be the cause of the candidates’ downfall?
Joko and former Vice President Jusuf Kalla declared their election bid at the historical Gedung Juang in Menteng, Central Jakarta, on Monday morning, ending speculations as to who Joko would pick as his running mate ahead of the July 9 presidential poll. The declaration came just a day before Tuesday’s registration deadline at the General Election Commission (KPU).
Moderation and the need for peaceful co-existence will be the main themes at the upcoming International Muslim Unity Convention in Putrajaya next month, where Muslim scholars as well as a Jewish rabbi are among the speakers who will speak out against extremism.
The main agenda of the convention titled "Highway to Muslim Unity and World Peace" is to promote interfaith dialogue among people from all backgrounds, including Muslims and Jews.
Organiser of the convention Ramadhan Foundation chairman and founder Shaykh Muhammad Umar ibn Ramadhan warned that the world as well as Malaysia was facing dangerous times and that the biggest danger to peace and harmony today was extremism and terrorism.
"For too long, the voice of Islam has been undermined by extreme and narrow-minded people, like Osama bin Laden in the past. We need to reclaim the image of Islam from these kinds of people.
The DAP's candidate for the Teluk Intan by-election Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud has been a subject of sexism, said her party.
Its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Dyana's looks have been the focus of her candidacy and campaign rather than her merits.
He said even before she was formally nominated as candidate, she had been attacked by Barisan Nasional bloggers who spread purported photos of Dyana in a bikini.
"When we nominated Ram (DAP's Bukit Gelugor by-election candidate Ramkarpal Singh), nobody put out photos of him in swimming trunks," he said in a press conference at the state legislative assembly building today.
LONDON - May 19 - Two more hunger-striking prisoners at Guantanamo Bay have today gone to court to preserve tapes of their force-feedings, after a US judge intervened on Friday to ensure the preservation of similar footage in the case of hunger striker Abu Wa’el Dhiab.
Legal charity Reprieve and lawyer Jon B. Eisenberg today submitted motions to the DC District Court on behalf of Ahmed Rabbani, a father of three from Pakistan, and Emad Hassan, from Yemen. The men, who have been held without charge or trial since 2002, are seeking to halt their abusive force-feeding and harsh punishment – part of the military’s efforts to break a long-standing hunger strike at the prison.
Russia would veto a draft U.N. resolution to refer the Syrian war to the International Criminal Court if it comes to a vote in the Security Council, the Interfax news agency quoted Gennady Gatilov, the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister as saying on Tuesday.
The announcement came after France circulated a draft resolution to U.N. Security Council members on May 12 that seeks to refer the three-year-old civil war to the ICC for possible prosecution of war crimes and crimes against humanity, Reuters news agency reported.
Russia had already voiced opposition to a referral, but Gatilov’s remarks were the clearest warning yet of a veto.
The Dutch government is sending an envoy to Riyadh this week for high-level talks after the Kingdom slapped indirect sanctions on the European country because a far-right Dutch politician had insulted Islam and Saudi Arabia.
Maurice Pourchez, first secretary for economic and cultural affairs at the Netherlands Embassy in Riyadh, said that Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans had told the country’s official television outlet that he would send the executive director for political affairs to the Kingdom.
“Timmermans has also expressed his desire to visit Saudi Arabia shortly to strengthen relations,” the official said.
Pourchez emphasized the growing economic relations between the two countries. Trade between Saudi Arabia and the Netherlands stands at 6 billion euros (about SR31 billion) with Saudi exports to the country reaching nearly SR20 billion.
Putin greets Modi; hopes to improve ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes he and Narendra Modi can push bilateral ties to new heights, just as the two countries did last time when BJP was in power.
In his message of congratulations to Mr. Modi, the Russian leader recalled that it was with a BJP government that he had signed the “historic” Declaration of Strategic Partnership.
Mr. Putin “highly praised the traditionally friendly relations between Russia and India that are based on the Declaration of Strategic Partnership, which was signed when BJP was in power and which defined the course of bilateral cooperation for years ahead,” according to the Kremlin.
Europe is not the only place where sub-Saharan African migrants aim to start a new life. For years, oil-rich Libya was a magnet but with the country teetering on the edge of chaos they are finding it is no longer a promised land for jobs.
Instead, many migrants encounter a society often hostile towards them and a government ill-equipped to deal with an influx of eager, but also illegal, workers.
After travelling over 1,000 treacherous miles across the Sahara Desert, Abocar, a young man from Mali, arrived in Libya hoping to make money for his family and eventually return home.
"It's very difficult to find work. There are too many immigrants. I crossed through Algeria and had to pay a lot of money for a guide," Abocar told Reuters near a busy road where he sits day after day hoping to find a job.
"Nigerian Imam Urges Christians, Muslims to Unite Against Boko Haram." ...
God bless such imams!