(Front R-L) Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour
Hadi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Djibouti's President Ismail Omar
Guelleh, Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Emir of Kuwait Sabah
Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Jordan's King Abdullah II, Saudi Arabia's King
Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Sudan's
President Omar Al Bashir, Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and
Mauritania's President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz pose for a group photograph
during the 28th Ordinary Summit of the Arab League at the Dead Sea, Jordan
March 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Hamed
Islam Converts Involved in All Resonant Terror Acts of 21st Century
League Calls for Formation of Independent Palestine State
India’s Only Muslim Majority State, Tops in Population Control
of Nobel Laureate Abdus Salam Gunned Down In Nankana Sahib
Must Reform or It Won't Survive: Imam from the South Australia Islamic
Muslim group draws up imams' charter to fight radical Islam
Jonathan Sacks on clearing scriptural minefields and building interfaith
Muslims, Jews seek new alliances and understanding
FM warns against anti-Turkish sentiments
sends 10 migrants back to Turkey under EU deal
efforts to stop Muslim youths turning to extremism failing
mayor stresses diversity after London attack, but Britons still uneasy
Least 17 Killed In Southern Baghdad Truck Bombing
Mosul, a Huge Blast, Then Screams, Dust and Horror
troops, allies liberate vast area in north-eastern Aleppo
let Daesh represent you: Iraqi FM to Arab states
Air Force Turns Eastern Damascus into Hell for Terrorists
envoy to UN - Syria's Assad 'hindrance to moving forward'
security forces kill two suspected Shi'ite militants
Fail to Prevail over Syrian Army in Hama
Army Continues Raid on Al-Nusra in Eastern Damascus
queue up to benefit from amnesty in Saudi Arabia
protesters rap death, jail sentences for dissidents
Namaskar Similar To Namaz, Says UP CM Adityanath
crackdown on slaughterhouses stirs Muslim unease
train blast: NIA conducts raids in Kashmir, Hyderabad
attack police station in Kashmir’s Kulgam district
attack police party in south Kashmir
files chargesheets against IS module in India
Muslim Youths Utilising Services of Govt. Coaching Centres
from Islam behind Ummah’s Woes: Pir Azmat Ali Shah
says state institutions' concerns regarding Hussain Haqqani 'stand vindicated'
have a greater responsibility to make operation Radd-ul-Fasaad a success
Sharif policies have become threat to the federation: Bilawal
stops extradition of US citizen accused of terror plot
teachers, students won’t be deported, LHC told
Ends Euphrates Shield Military Campaign In Syria
Least 7 Saudi Troops Killed By Yemeni Sniper Fire
FM slams decision to fly Kurdish flag in Kirkuk
says to cut another $2 mln from its UN contribution
could be EU’s most reliable regional partner: Senior diplomat
UN ambassador calls for destruction of all nuclear weapons
Taliban Commanders among 22 Killed In Lashkargah Airstrikes
ISIS Militants Killed In Airstrike in East of Afghanistan
attack as Bangladesh police raid Islamist hideout
catches four more militants
stays sedition case against Khaleda
militants suffer heavy casualties in US airstrike in East of Afghanistan
people working at US Embassy in Afghanistan fired over drugs
MMA fighters’ dispute and challenge spark excitement and frustration
Malaysians Still Lack Knowledge of Religions, Say Academicians
President Praises Tolerance, Diversity in Indonesia
Maybank Islamic looks to home markets to drive growth
hopes all Muslim MPs will support Hadi’s bill
Malaysia transit for European jihadists leaving Syria
Kenya Extends Curfew in Border over Al Shabaab Attacks
activists blast protests against rights group
crash kills 4 in eastern Libya
the Muslim Brotherhood Helps Dictators and Hurts Americans
Student in Florida Is Suspended After Dispute with Muslim Professor
federal judge extends order blocking Trump's Muslim ban
by New Age Islam News Bureau
terrorist act committed on March 22 in London by a former Christian Adrian Elms
(Khalid Masood) still remains a mystery. What urged the native-born British
citizen to convert to Islam, move to the Middle East, and later commit a mass
murder in his own country?
show that about 20 percent of the members of terrorist organizations in Europe
were brought up in another faith. Former Christians and atheists go to war in
Syria, provide financial and logistical assistance to terrorists, and become
2014, the French L'Express newspaper published intelligence data, according to
which 23 percent of jihadists were Christians who converted to Islam in
adulthood. Among the most notorious names are Maxime Hauchard and Michael Dos
Santos, who executed an American hostage, Peter Kassig.
investigation into the latest terrorist attack in London is still underway, but
it remains unclear when Elms (Masood) decided to convert to Islam, practicing
the ultra-conservative branch of Salafism.
newspaper Blic claims that the son of a single mother from Kent county took
part in the Muslim "holy war" against the Serbs in Bosnia in the
early 1990s. However, according to the British Express, in the late 1990s, the
future terrorist experienced serious problems with alcohol and was imprisoned
when he attacked a visitor in a bar while drunk.
Stern magazine argued that he started showing interest in radical Islam while
in prison, however his trip to the Middle East and the life there appeared to
be a decisive factor behind his conversion.
Saudi Arabia, where terrorist acts occur relatively rarely, Masood did not
establish ties with any radical groups, but he absorbed the Islamic doctrine in
its most irreconcilable interpretation.
the reference to his traits of character as a decisive motive behind his
actions is not viewed as convincing by some experts.
apparently, will never understand why he did it," a police representative
commented on the recent terrorist act.
Wednesday, Masood drove at people with a car in London and then tried to enter
the Palace of Westminster armed with a knife, before being shot down by the
police. Due to the incident, four people, including a police officer and the
attacker, were killed and 40 others were injured.
League calls for formation of independent Palestine state
Arab League (AL) has called for the formation of a sovereign Palestinian state
with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital, emphasizing the need for the
resumption of stalled Israeli-Palestinian talks to that effect.
a final declaration issued Wednesday at the end of their annual summit in
Jordan, Arab League leaders called for Israel’s withdrawal from occupied
territories and the formation of an independent Palestinian state based on the
1967 borders as the only way to achieve peace.
Arab leaders denounced all Israeli efforts aimed at changing the legal and
historical situation of holy Islamic and Christian sites in East Jerusalem
al-Quds and called on the world countries not to relocate their embassies to
al-Quds or recognize the city as the capital of Israel.
were apparently referring to US President Donald Trump’s controversial plans to
relocate Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who attended the summit through video
conference, voiced support for a so-called two-state solution as the “only path
to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis” can live in peace.
the summit, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas lashed out at Israel
for undermining a two-state solution by “increasing settlement building and
continues its schemes to take control of East Jerusalem, to change its identity
and character and not to respect the historical status of the holy sites of Islam
and Christianity. Israel uses excuses to justify the continuation of its
occupation, such as the demand to recognize it as a Jewish state. How long will
this occupation and desecration of our holy places continue?” Abbas said.
Arab leaders speaking at the summit also called for concerted efforts to put an
end to violation of Palestinians’ rights by the Israeli regime.
are required to jointly and seriously act to put pressure on the international
community and the [UN] Security Council to reject the inception of an apartheid
system in the 21st century,” Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said
at the conference.
underlined the need “to deal firmly with Israel to force it to stop building
settlements, implement international legitimacy resolutions, end the continuous
violations against the Palestinian people, and lift the unjust siege imposed on
the Gaza Strip.”
AL summit concluded as the Trump administration is reportedly considering
hosting a conference that would bring together Persian Gulf Arab leaders and
Israelis for the first time.
proposed conference, which would convene most probably this summer, would bring
together the Saudi leadership at the crown prince level, other Persian Gulf
Arab leaders and their Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts, Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas.
reports say that Arab world leaders were slated to meet in Washington in April
and May to lay the groundwork for the conference.
last round of the so-called peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians
collapsed in April 2014. Tel Aviv’s settlement activities were among major
reasons behind the failure of the talks.
settlements are considered illegal under international law as they are built on
the occupied territories.
February, Trump spoke of a “much bigger deal,” suggesting that he was ready to
abandon decades of American policy in favor of a “two-state solution.”
India’s only Muslim majority state, tops in population control
& Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state, jointly topped the list of
states in population control.
with West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, J&K recorded a Total Fertility Rate (TFR)
of 1.6 in 2015, which was the lowest among the 22 large states for which data
information was presented in Rajya Sabha on 28th March by Anupriya Patel,
minister of state of health and family welfare. According to data attached to
her reply, as many as 13 of the 22 states have recorded a TFR below 2.1
children per woman, which is referred to as replacement level fertility of a
population. In other words, these states are headed for negative population
to World Health Organization, TFR can be defined in the following manner.
fertility rate (TFR) in simple terms refers to total number of children born or
likely to be born to a woman in her life time if she were subject to the
prevailing rate of age-specific fertility in the population.”
debates in India sometimes suggest that population growth is primarily
influenced by religion. However, data put out by government over the last few
years suggests that regional differences may well be far more important than
religious differences. For example, Census 2011 data showed that Muslims make
up 14.22% of India’s population. In the
states of J&K and West Bengal, Muslims make up 68.31% and 27.01% of the
population respectively. One way of looking at the data is that two of the
three states with lowest TFR have a Muslim population significantly higher than
the national population.
Nadu, on the other hand, is a state where Hindus make 87.58% of the population,
which is higher than their share in India’s population.
another instance which provides evidence to suggest that variation in TFR is
perhaps best explained by regional factors, Patel’s reply showed that it had
fallen to 2 in Odisha, a level below the replacement rate.
Bihar, a state which is often compared with Odisha when it comes to development
measures, the TFR was a much higher 3.2 children per woman.
cousin of Nobel laureate Abdus Salam, Advocate Malik Saleem Latif, was gunned
down on Thursday morning in Nankana Sahib, said police. He was a member of the
Latif was a local leader of Jamaat-e-Ahmadiya in Nankana city.
along with his son Advocate Farhan was on his way to a local court on bike when
he was targeted and shot at.
needs to reform itself of it won't survive, according to Imam Shaikh Mohammad
Tawhidi from the South Australia Islamic association.
Tawhidi has condemned the comments secretly recorded at a Hizb ut-Tahrir
meeting in Sydney that supported the killing of apostates.
with Andrew Bolt on Sky News he said the sacred text outside of the Quran
needed to be 'ditched'.
has to reform otherwise it won't survive, Muslims won't survive and nobody will
survive if it doesn't reform itself,' he said.
reformation I mean getting rid of books such as the (sacred texts) ditch It and
ban it, It should be illegal to have this book.'
Australian Federal Police have been called in to investigate the Hizb ut-Tahrir
meeting in Sydney.
Tawhidi claimed the holy Quran doesn't condone killing people who have left the
holy Quran itself doesn't say kill, it says advise them to come back, and if
they don't want to come back; don't come back.'
asked if he thought the message of the group was incorrect, the Imam agreed the
comments were 'wrong'.
also slammed the comments made by Islamic Friendship Association of Australia
leader Keysar Trad on the Bolt Report, which condoned a man beating his wife.
Trad has lost the plot... The Islamic Friendship Association of Australia needs
a review, it all needs a review,' he said.
current situation of the Muslim community is the presence of very harsh and
very sad to read texts when it comes to the religious side of things.'
French Council of Muslim Faith (CFCM) has published a charter regarding the
role of imams in society in a bid to stamp out radical Islam.
document which all practicing imams, or religious leaders, will be encouraged
to sign, recognises the values of the French republic and promotes tolerant
charter project was established in the wake of the November 2015 Paris attacks.
of the values referred to in the 12-point charter is secularism, the separation
of church and state which was invoked when religious symbols were banned in
is home to five million Muslims and Islam is the second religion practiced in
300 of them are on detachment missions from Algeria, Morocco and Turkey.
mosques in France have come under fire for allowing the proliferation of
fundamentalism and radical rhetoric.
charter was set up to promote a religious discourse in line with a middle
ground Islam, respectful of republican values," said CFCM president Anouar
clause guaranteeing good theological training will be added to the charter at a
later stage, he said.
N.C. (RNS) Rabbi Jonathan Sacks made a name for himself as chief rabbi of Great
Britain for nearly a quarter-century, a time of great tumult that included the
Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the influx of millions of Muslims into Europe and the
ongoing pressures to absorb and assimilate newcomers into a mostly secular
chief rabbi from 1991 to 2013, he stressed an appreciation and respect of all
faiths, with an emphasis on interfaith work that brings people together while
allowing each faith its own particularity.
two books, “The Dignity of Difference: How to Avoid the Clash of Civilizations”
and “Not in God’s Name: Confronting Religious Violence,” were well-reviewed,
and last year he was awarded the Templeton Prize
week, he visited Duke University to deliver two public lectures and meet with scholars,
students and clergy. He also took the time to talk to RNS.
interview has been edited for length and clarity.
led you to take on the issue of religiously motivated violence?
was shaken like other people by 9/11. I stood at Ground Zero among the wreckage
with the archbishop of Canterbury, imams from the Middle East and gurus from
India. I said this is going to be the battle of our generation, and I resolved
to write a book on it because you have to think it through. That book was called
“The Dignity of Difference.” I began almost immediately a deeper book, which I
rewrote four times, “Not in God’s Name.” So it’s a combination of 15 years of
thinking about this.
have the political changes of the past year in Europe and the U.S. informed
we’re facing here is a whole series of interlinking factors. First, there’s a
wave of counterrevolutions in the Islamic world — revolutions against secular
nationalism, a process set in motion in Iran in 1979.
all of this is one of the great revolutions in world history: the revolution
brought about by the internet, by instantaneous communication. This is a
revolution at least as great as the invention of printing. It’s affecting
Western economies. It’s behind the presidential elections in the U.S. It lies
behind the Brexit vote. It lies behind the politics of anger in the West. In
any movement of epoch-making change there are winners and losers. The losers
feel people are not taking them seriously, and then there’s the rise of
populism. Populism is the politics of the strong leader.
then there is a third phenomenon, and one is loath to use the phrase, which is
the sense of the decline of the West. You see that in particular in the fraying
of families and communities, which leaves whole swaths of people without the
traditional networks of support. You’re dealing with three big crises. When
they come together, it’s the perfect storm.
does religion play into it?
the Middle East and elsewhere, political protest is taking religious form. We
haven’t seen that in the West since Martin Luther. The great rows in the 16th
and 17th centuries were religious rows. The cliché is right: Those who forget
history are doomed to repeat it. The West has forgotten what religious revolution
looks like. Religion isn’t something you do just in the home or in a house of
worship. You can sometimes take it to the street, and we’ve forgotten how
dangerous that can be.
meeting with clergy this week. Is there any one message you want to convey to
We all have hard texts in our sacred scriptures that have been the source of
estrangement, hatred and violence. For the past few centuries we haven’t
worried about those texts because for the past few centuries no one has taken
religion seriously outside the home and the house of worship. But now religion
has become a factor in world politics. We have not yet cleared the mines from
the minefields. There are hard texts in each tradition which me must confront
and ask ourselves, ‘Can we reinterpret those texts to allow us to live
peaceably and respectfully with people of other faiths?’ That is a job only
Jews can do for Judaism, only Christians can do for Christianity and only
Muslims can do for Islam. But sometimes the sight of someone in one faith
wrestling with that faith can empower you to wrestle with another faith.
Muslim and Jewish leaders are trying to transcend tensions and forge new
alliances as synagogues, mosques, community centers and individuals face
similar threats here and across the U.S.
by a rise in hateful rhetoric and threats since the election of President
Donald Trump, members of both religious communities who have clashed in the
past over Israel and Middle East politics now are sharing meals, discussing
books and visiting each other's houses of worship to offer comfort and support.
New interfaith coalitions have emerged and others that already existed now
boast waiting lists.
how entrenched the historic divisions over Israel have been, many conversations
among leaders are taking place behind the scenes, outside the framework of
organizations, to remove institutional roadblocks. Some individuals who have
publicized their diplomatic efforts have faced rebuke from their own
Aly, a trained social worker and Muslim activist, said Trump's election taught
her that no one can afford to live in a bubble and demonize others.
don't think anybody (in the Muslim community) thought Trump would win,"
she said. "We also didn't realize the rhetoric was going to get so hateful
so quickly. It's always been spread under the surface and just needed a little
bit of itching to get it out. It just makes sense to ally with groups that are
in the same predicament that we are, and the closest allied group are the
Anti-Defamation League says that since Jan. 9, there have been more than 150
bomb threats against Jewish community centers and day schools in 37 states and
two Canadian provinces. And annual data published by the FBI tallied 5,850 hate
crime incidents nationally in 2015, up 6 percent from 2014, with the sharpest
rise in attacks against Muslims and transgender people. Earlier this month,
Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled an initiative to boost the investigation and
prosecution of hate crimes through stronger laws and better education. Though
the effort was intended for the Jewish community, both Jews and Muslims say
they feel a sense of unease.
weeks after the election, librarians at Evanston Public Library discovered
defaced copies of the Quran. In February, a vandal broke a window and put
several swastika stickers on the front door of the Chicago Loop Synagogue and a
man entered the Islamic Community Center of Des Plaines making gestures that
unnerved those inside. Bomb threats made in the past have forced evacuations at
the Hyde Park Jewish Community Center and Chicago Jewish Day School.
attack on a school or an attack on a mosque is actually an attack on all of
us," said Aaron Cohen, vice president of communications for the Jewish
Federation of Metropolitan Chicago.
shared vulnerability has led to initiatives such as the Sisterhood of Salaam
Shalom, a national organization of Jewish and Muslim women whose Chicago
membership numbers about 60. Women meet regularly in groups of between 12 and
20 in art galleries, libraries or one another's homes. Since launching in
Chicago last year, the group now has waiting lists of women hoping to be
assigned to a chapter.'
easy to hate someone you don't know," said Barbara Kantrow, Jewish
co-leader of a Chicago chapter, who said the group allows members "to see
what's real and not true and get out of the rhetoric."
the Loop Synagogue was vandalized, Kantrow took two Muslim women from her
sisterhood chapter to observe morning prayers and deliver a card. Rabia Aman,
26, who also is part of an interfaith book club called Daughters of Abraham,
said it was the first time she'd ever set foot inside a Jewish house of
worship. Though she doesn't agree with her own religious tradition's custom of
separating men and women inside a mosque during prayer, she found it comforting
to see that familiar seating arrangement inside the traditional synagogue.
was a sense of relief to see that there's some unity there — a custom that
connects it to Islam, even though it's not the most progressive," she
said. "It made me realize how much of a struggle there is in all faiths to
move in the right direction. There isn't one faith that's more modern than the
Synagogue President Lee Zoldan said she was stunned by the show of support from
other religious communities. There were so many cards that Zoldan and others
taped them to the windows of the synagogue so passers-by could stop, read them
and snap pictures, creating an ad hoc art installation on the first block of
South Clark Street, she said.
was amazing, especially the Muslim community came out in force," she said.
"It's been an awakening for all of us to see how much they are brothers
and sisters and how much we stand together. In a way, this helped me expand my
solidarity between mainstream Muslims and Jews has been an exception more than
the rule, leaders say, and institutions often define themselves by their
adversaries. With that in mind, a series of conversations has bubbled up behind
the scenes to remove institutional barriers to productive dialogue.
hasn't been easy for Muslims and Jews to sit down at the table," said
Ahmed Murad, an imam on Chicago's Southwest Side. "For now, to develop a
relationship that is long-term and sustained, where there is a trust, to get to
that level, requires coming together."
Aly, the activist, is one of eight Chicago-area Muslims who have been part of
the Muslim Leadership Initiative, a yearlong fellowship at the Shalom Hartman
Institute in Jerusalem, to study Zionism from a Jewish perspective. Not
everyone in the program has publicized his or her participation for fear of
rebuke. Aly quietly added it to her LinkedIn profile to avoid a spectacle but
still drew ire from a few Muslim acquaintances.
be able to see the conflict, to be able to see the world through a different
lens — through a Jewish lens — was really incredibly transformative," Aly
said. "It gives me a language to talk to Jewish counterparts and an
incredible amount of goodwill that just comes out of people knowing I did the
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has warned against the rise of anti-Turkish and
anti-Muslim sentiments in Germany due to the recent political tensions between
Berlin and Ankara.
ahead of a meeting on Wednesday with Turkish-origin lawmakers, Gabriel praised
the contribution of Turkish politicians to the successful integration of their
3 million-strong migrant community, and stressed that the recent tensions
should not harm the well-being of the Turkish community.
of Turkish origin living here in Germany are concerned that recent tensions due
to the referendum and the recent dispute between Turkey and Germany, might
destroy the success of integration, and co-existence achieved in the last 20,
30 years... and again trigger anti-Turkish and anti-Muslim sentiments in our
society," he said.
between Turkey and Germany plunged into a crisis after German authorities
cancelled earlier in March several planned rallies by Turkish ministers and
politicians ahead of Turkey’s April 16 constitutional referendum for a
transition to a presidential system of governance.
the Yes campaign was blocked by authorities, German opposition parties have
publicly backed the No campaign, drawing sharp criticism from the Turkish
government which accused them of interfering in Turkey’s internal affairs.
leaders have depicted bans imposed on planned rallies in Germany as
"fascist" and "neo-Nazi" practices.
has sent back a group of 10 Syrian migrants to Turkey, the Greek Ministry of
Public order and Citizen protection announced Wednesday.
migrants, including five men, one woman, and four children, were transferred to
Turkey's southern Adana province from the Greek island of Lesbos, as part of an
EU-Turkey migrant deal, the ministry said in a statement.
to an EU-Turkey deal to prevent mass migration to Europe, Turkey is to readmit
all irregular migrants crossing into the Greek islands from the country.
France -- France’s attempts to counter the radicalization of its young people
are in turmoil, with a group home intended to turn them away from Islamic
extremism empty, the head of a highly publicized nonprofit convicted of misuse
of public funds, and plans to segregate prison inmates suspected of harboring
jihadi ideas abandoned.
results are both disappointing and unsurprising, according to a French senator
who co-wrote a recent report highly critical of an effort she says was devised
in haste and has been a waste of money.
spread money around because we didn’t have time and we had to communicate
something, we had to show something,” Sen. Esther Benbassa, whose report last
month concluded that the country’s de-radicalization efforts so far were
largely ineffective, said. “The time that this takes to work is long, very
backtracking takes on added significance as recent attacks, including last
week’s rampage in London and the previous week’s attempted on soldiers at
Paris’ Orly airport, were carried out by ex-convicts who may have been
radicalized behind bars.
is not the only country reconsidering how it responds to radicalization.
Britain’s contentious Prevent program, which seeks to identify residents at
risk of being radicalized, has come under criticism by rights groups and an
expert for the United Nations who said it stifles free speech.
experiments with preventing radicalization were conceived during a literal
state of emergency following the extremist attacks on the staff of Charlie
Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket in January 2015 and the Paris bombings
and shootings that left 130 dead 10 months later. The ad hoc attempts focused
on the prison system, a key incubator for many would-be jihadis, and programs
that tried to target those already on the path to extremism.
did not go as hoped.
Imloul, the former head of a de-radicalization program that had support of the
French Interior Ministry, was convicted of misuse of funds this month after
trial testimony showed she had government funds for the organization deposited
directly into her account.
received a four-month suspended prison sentence, although her lawyer says the
60,000 euros ($65,000) she received from the government was a drop in the
bucket for what the program needed. The program operated out of an apartment
and used university students instead of trained professionals to counsel
families of young people who had left for Syria, according to the trial
in February, the last occupant of a residential program in the Loire Valley
wine country that was meant to rehabilitate extremists was convicted of
of the area, who were promised before the group home opened in September that
none of the occupants posed a danger, were infuriated to learn that one young
man was linked to the same jihadi network as one of the suicide bombers who
attacked the Bataclan concert hall in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015.
a capacity of 25, the manor house never had more than nine voluntary
participants at any given time since it launched in September. It’s now empty
and the government is focusing its resources on prevention, hoping that will
prove more effective - or at least not counter-productive.
the northern city of Lens, 600 local high school students recently were bused
to the Colisee theater to watch a live performance of “Djihad,” a play about
three young Muslims who come to regret their decision to go to Syria but who
also feel rejected by Europe.
play, which uses comedy to reach an audience often impervious to preaching
adults, opened days before the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo and the
Hyper Cacher grocery store. It has been running continuously ever since. Its
current home theater is in Paris, across the street from La Bonne Biere bar,
which was attacked in November 2015.
Ismail Saidi is a native of the Molenbeek neighborhood in Brussels that was
home to many of the attackers who struck Paris that night, including the
ringleader of the Islamic State cell and the only attacker known to have
survived, now awaiting trial in France.
is not one single solution, because each of these people is a particular case.
Each one has his own path that led him to this place,” Florian Chauvet, one of
the lead actors in “Djihad,” said. “It’s a question of what French society is
failing to provide to these young people that they say ‘My life has no meaning
here, so I’m going to try to find meaning in my death.’”
hope is that the story will raise doubts in the minds of anyone considering the
same course, but the essential problem is measuring success, said Muriel
Domenach, who leads the new effort to reboot France’s anti-radicalization
has seen more of its citizens join extremist groups in Syria and Iraq than
anywhere else in Europe. The main way to measure if the country is making
progress in its fight to change that is the rapid decline in young people
leaving, said Domenach, who was the consul general for France in Istanbul when
French departures were at their height.
now, though, she attributes the drop as much to the Islamic State group’s war
zone losses as anything else.
(RNS) A long mound of roses, bouquets and Union Jacks — arranged neatly on the
sidewalk — stretches toward the gates of Parliament.
been brought there by Britons and visitors since the March 22 attack on
Westminster Bridge, in which a terrorist drove a car into pedestrians, killing
three and injuring dozens, and fatally stabbed a police officer.
tribute outside Westminster Palace, the seat of Parliament, suggests that many
Britons perceive the attack as an assault on democracy itself.
stand together in the face of those who seek to harm us and our way of life,”
Sadiq Khan, London’s mayor, said in a video after the attack.
mayor said that the atrocity highlighted through its victims what a diverse
city Britain’s capital has become. The dead and injured included a British
national of Spanish extraction, a tourist from Utah, as well as people from
France, South Korea and Romania and schoolchildren from Liverpool.
said “terrorists … hate the fact that here in London Christians, Jews, Muslims,
Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus — those who are part of organized faith and those who
aren’t — don’t simply tolerate each other, we respect each other.”
a Muslim, represents the contemporary diversity of Britain and particularly its
capital, and the extent to which people of faiths other than Christianity have
become prominent, and accepted, figures in British society.
yet Britain is not entirely a nation at ease with its diversity.
is our last blind spot,” said Sayeeda Warsi, who was Britain’s first Muslim
years ago, it was race and nation of origin that was controversial in Britain.
1990, during the Thatcher era, Norman Tebbit, a prominent Thatcherite
lieutenant, proposed a “cricket test” for immigrants — a suggestion that people
coming from some Commonwealth nations supported their native countries’ cricket
teams rather than the English team of the very English summer sport.
the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States and then the July 7, 2005,
bombings in London, all perpetrated by Islamic jihadists, religion became the
issue for some in Britain.
himself passes the cricket test, and then some. The son of a Pakistani bus
driver, he grew up in the working-class London suburb of Tooting and then
worked as a solicitor before running for office. He left the House of Commons
to campaign for election as mayor in 2016.
first Muslim mayor of a Western capital, he has been vocal about improving
community relations and has suffered opprobrium from both extremists from his
own faith and the British far-right. As well as being open about his Sunni
Muslim identity, Khan also speaks regularly of his patriotism, appearing at a
football match last weekend supporting the England team.
memories are long. Ever since the London bombings, in which suicide bombers
killed 52 people and injured 700 on three Tube trains and a bus, it is
noticeable that the last empty seat in a carriage is always the one next to a
Muslim carrying a rucksack.
who served as minister for faith and communities under former Prime Minister
David Cameron, said British Muslims suffer hostility all the time.
is socially acceptable,” she said.
has just published a book, “The Enemy Within,” in which she recounts tales of
anti-Muslim prejudice but is optimistic, given that previous enemies within, such
as Roman Catholics, have now been assimilated into British society. The
downside, though, is that assimilation took 300 years from the English
Reformation to Catholic emancipation.
argues that the British government’s Prevent strategy, first introduced by
Labour in 2003 and which orders all public-sector workers such as doctors and
teachers to prevent people being drawn into terrorism, is counterproductive and
told The Sunday Times in an interview a few days before the latest attack that
the way Muslims are treated is “McCarthyistic.”
Muslims see is daily vilification. They’re sick to death of this giant LED
spotlight following them around everywhere,” she said.
least 17 killed in southern Baghdad truck bombing
least 17 people have been killed and some 60 more injured after an
explosive-laden truck exploded at a security checkpoint in southern Baghdad.
police said on Wednesday night that the incident occurred when the vehicle’s
driver detonated the explosives while waiting to pass through the checkpoint.
other vehicles waiting to pass through the checkpoint were also severely
damaged in the blast.
group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, but such incidents are
usually claimed by the Daesh terrorist group, which is battling against Iraqi
troops in Mosul, its last bastion in the country.
forces edge closer to Mosul main mosque
Iraqi troops have increased their control around western Mosul’s al-Nuri mosque
during operations to the retake the northern city.
leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, announced the forming of the group’s so-called
caliphate from the mosque in 2014.
police forces have imposed full control over the Qadheeb al-Ban area and the
al-Malab sports stadium in the western wing of Old Mosul and are besieging
militants around the al-Nuri mosque," said Federal Police Forces Commander
Lieutenant General Raed Shaker Jawdat.
helicopters have been circling the city and attacking terrorist-held positions
around a train station that has been the scene of fierce fighting for the last
to fleeing residents, heavy gunfire can be heard from all from the Old city
area, where the terrorists are hiding amongst civilians and using the tight
streets and alleyways and snaking roads to their advantage.
numbers of civilians have so far managed to escape the city, but thousands
remain and are being used by the terrorists as human shields.
forces have been operating in the Old City area for several weeks, but they
have faced tough resistance and progress has been slow.
troops and volunteer Hashd al-Sha’abi forces drove Daesh militants from the
eastern part of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city, earlier this year. The fight
has now moved to Mosul’s densely populated western neighborhoods.
Mosul, A Huge Blast, Then Screams, Dust And Horror
in his Mosul home, Abu Ayman suddenly felt the ground rock as if struck by an
earthquake when a massive explosion tore through his street, filling the room
with dust and shattered glass. Then came the screams and cries from next door.
account describes horrific scenes after the blast that may have killed more
than 200 people on March 17, as the battle to recapture Iraq's second city from
Islamic State advances though the cramped and densely populated western
outside, Abu Ayman said, he saw several houses on the street flattened and
severed limbs scattered in the rubble. Frantic residents scrambled to pull
relatives out of the collapsed homes, where they had sheltered from
ran to my next-door neighbour’s house and with others we managed to rescue
three people, but at least 27 others in the same house were killed, including
women and children of relatives who fled from other districts," he said.
pulled some out of rubble, using hammers and shovels to remove debris. We
couldn't do anything to help others as they were completely buried under the
risk of civilian casualties in western Mosul was always high as Iraqi
government forces and their allies stage the assault. Tens of thousands of
residents are trapped in homes around the Old City, where local people say
jihadist fighters are using them human shields or herding them into buildings
military commanders supporting the Iraqi forces acknowledged on Tuesday that a
coalition strike probably played a role in the civilian deaths in the al-Jadida
district, but said Islamic State could also be to blame.
what happened on March 17 remains far from clear, but if confirmed those high
casualties would mark the worst loss of Iraqi civilian life in a single
incident since the 2003 US-led invasion, and risk damaging the Shi'ite-led
government's efforts to keep the war from alienating Mosul's Sunni population.
officials said there were air strikes in the vicinity of the al-Jadida blast
that day. But Iraqi officials have been more cautious, suggesting there was no
evidence a strike hit the collapsed building, which they say may have been
rigged with explosives by Islamic State.
spoke to several eyewitness at the scene of the al-Jadida blast, where rescue
workers were still pulling bodies from the wreckage on Wednesday, hampered by a
lack of heavy equipment and the threat from Islamic State drone bombs.
slow recovery may partly explain why casualty figures have varied considerably.
Rescue efforts started only days after the explosion. One health official of
Nineveh province, whose capital is Mosul, said 250 bodies had been recovered by
Tuesday night. That differs from earlier Iraq military figures of 61.
residents and eyewitnesses say Islamic State fighters were in and around the
al-Jadida area the day of the explosion as they battled with Iraqi forces. Air
strikes began to target Islamic State positions to clear the way for troops,
they said. Several blasts hit the area behind the local hospital.
were locked inside our houses as bombing intensified. The air strikes targeted
four streets just behind Rahma hospital and Fathi mosque," Abu Ayman said.
"A few fighters were moving from house to house, using the holes they made
before to avoid detection from the air."
describe the explosion that flattened or damaged at least one large building
and other homes around six tight alleyways.
was a black Friday," said Ahmed Obeida, another eyewitness. "It
started with a huge blast that shook the walls of my house followed by series
of blasts. We waited for three hours and after the bombing stopped, I went
outside and saw that many houses were destroyed. We entered one house and saw
body parts, legs and heads in the rubble."
were still looking on Wednesday into whether the families were forced into the
buildings that collapsed by Islamic State to cause civilian casualties
deliberately or whether they had fled there, seeking shelter as they were
caught up in the street-by-street fighting.
local official and an eyewitness said families and relatives from other
districts appeared to have packed into one building because it had a large
basement that would safely hold many people.
saw fleeing families entering the large house, taking shelter in the basement.
It was two-storey house and is the only one in the neighborhood with a large
basement," said a local resident. "We started to hear blasts getting
closer and suddenly I felt my house was about to collapse. It was a very
powerful blast. I couldn't believe we were still alive."
Yassin, who fled from al-Jadida along with thousands of displaced residents,
also said the blast happened in a crowded area near the Fathi mosque.
"People were all sheltering in basements, looking for a place to hide. It
was a random bombardment," he said.
other accounts from local officials offer a different view of why the residents
were packed into one building.
al-Dawoodi, head of the Nineveh human rights council, said his team had made a
field visit, finding that militants had forced residents into a bunker, and
opened fire on helicopter gunships to provoke a coalition airstrike.
government forces, backed by allied fighters from popular defense groups, have
liberated dozens of areas in the northwestern province of Aleppo from Takfiri
Daesh terrorists as they continue to score victories in arduous battles against
extremists across the country.
unnamed military source told Syria's official news agency SANA that Syrian
troops and their allies had established full control over Dayr Hafir city,
located 50 kilometers east of the provincial capital city of Aleppo, on
source added that Syrian forces also retook 27 villages on the outskirts of
Aleppo 24 kilometers of the highway linking Aleppo to the Daesh-held northern
city of Raqqah.
in the strategic and mountainous region of Qalamoun, Syrian government forces
and fighters from the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement thwarted an
infiltration attempt by Nusra Front, also known as Jabhat Fateh al-Sham,
reported that a number of militants were killed and injured in the process.
opposition, Russian diplomat agree on ceasefire reinforcement
delegates from the foreign-sponsored and armed Syrian opposition have met with
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov in the Swiss city of Geneva,
and agreed on shoring up a shaky ceasefire that took effect in December last
said the ceasefire, which is supported by Russia, Iran and Turkey, is “more or
less being maintained,” but major powers need to do more to ensure its
we need the support and involvement of all parties, including external players,
not only the three guarantors, but some other countries who also have influence
on the parties on the ground,” the Russian diplomat told reporters.
remarks come as Russia plans to hold the next round of ceasefire talks in the
Kazakh city of Astana in the first week of May.
spokesman Salem al-Muslet has suggested that envoys affiliated with militant
groups in Syria would likely boycott the negotiations.
the beginning of this year, Iran, Russia and Turkey have mediated three rounds
of peace negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition groups in
first round, which took place in January, brought together representatives from
the Damascus government and opposition groups for the first time during six
years of conflict, paving the way for the resumption of the stalled UN-led
negotiations on the Syria crisis.
trio have agreed on the establishment of a mechanism to support the truce, underlined
the importance of maintaining the national sovereignty of Syria, and stressed
that to the conflict in the Arab country will be resolved through political
Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Ja’afari has called on Arab countries to help
Baghdad in its fight against Daesh and not to allow the Takfiri terrorist group
to introduce itself as their representative.
made the remarks on the sidelines of an Arab League (AL) summit in the
Jordanian city of Sweimeh on Wednesday.
world has hailed Iraq’s achievements on the battlefield, he said, adding that
Baghdad does not want Arabs to send their sons to Iraq to be killed like Iraqi
Baghdad wants the Arab states to help it in its campaign against Daesh, whose
members have come to Iraq from over 100 states, the top Iraqi diplomat stated.
us, so Iraq would not hear your voice from the tongue of Daesh that has come to
Iraq from your countries, Ja’afari said addressing the Arab countries.
further called for financial, political and media support to prevent Daesh
comeback after its defeat, and stressed that the threat of Daesh will not fade
away after the liberation of the Iraqi city of Mosul.
leaders attend the 28th Ordinary Summit of the Arab League in the Jordanian
city of Sweimeh on March 29, 2017. (Photo by Reuters)
Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi called for Arabs’ united stance on
defending the sovereignty of the country during his speech to the summit.
further noted that relations between the Arab countries should be based on
mutual interests and non-interference in their domestic affairs.
should end regional conflicts: Lebanon president
Lebanese President Michel Aoun urged the Arab League to bring an end to
regional hostilities, stressing that the region can no longer wait for solutions
to come from outside.
Arab League's role today is to stop bloodbaths and extinguish fires," Aoun
said in an address at the summit.
regret at the current state of affairs in the Arab world, he also underlined
Lebanon's eagerness to play a role in promoting dialogue to end regional
wanted to come here and talk about cooperation and future plans," the
Lebanese president said, adding, "Unfortunately, the sounds of bombs and
killing scenes have dominated everything else."
stresses support for Palestinian statehood
the 22-member pan-Arab body stressed its support for an independent Palestinian
state while condemning the Israeli regime for settlement construction in the
King Abdullah II, who hosted the summit, said the creation of a Palestinian
state remained the basis of any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
is continuing to expand settlements and wreck chances of peace... There is no
peace or stability in the region without a just and comprehensive solution to
the Palestinian cause through a [so-called] two-state solution," he said.
month, Washington signaled that it would no longer insist on the two-state
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, marking a significant shift in
the US foreign policy on the subject.
divisions among Arab leaders
AL summit highlighted divisions among Arab heads of state.
King Mohammed VI did not attend the conference, providing no reason for its
non-participation in the event.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi left the summit during a speech by
Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.
pictures posed on social media showed some of the Arab leaders sleeping during
picture shows Djibouti's President Ismail Omar Guelleh sleeping at the Arab
to the military source in Damascus, the Syrian Air Force has conducted over 45
airstrikes in Jobar, targeting the movements and hideouts of Tahrir al-Sham
Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board) and Faylaq al-Rahman.
source added that the airstrikes have specifically concentrated on Jobar, where
the Syrian Army’s 105th Brigade of the Republican Guard is currently engaged in
a fierce battle with the terrorists.
the meantime, local sources in Eastern Damascus said that the Syrian Army is
currently on the move inside Jobar, as they attempt to once again besiege the
neighboring district of al-Qaboun.
today, reports said that the army troops stormed the defense lines of the
Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation
Board) in the Northeastern outskirts of Damascus city, inflicting heavy
casualties on the terrorists.
army soldiers started clashes with Al-Nusra Front terrorists in al-Qaboun
district, killing and wounding a number of terrorists.
sources reported that the army's missile units are now targeting the positions
of Al-Nusra in al-Qaboun with short-range surface-to-surface missiles.
ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said on Wednesday that Syria's
President Bashar al-Assad is a "big hindrance in trying to move
forward" to find an end to the country's six-year conflict.
not going to go back into should Assad be in or out, been there, done that,
right, in terms of what the US has done," she told the Council of Foreign
Relations. "But I will tell you that he is a big hindrance in trying to
move forward, Iran is a big hindrance in trying to move forward."
Russian and Iranian military support, Assad has the upper hand in a war with
rebels who have been trying to topple him with backing from states including
Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United States. A US-led coalition has also been
targeting Islamic State militants in Syria.
is one of those situations where the US and Russia could definitely talk and
say 'OK, how can we get to a better solution.' But the issue of Assad is going
to be there," Haley said.
peace talks are currently being held in Geneva. Haley said UN mediator Staffan
de Mistura "desperately" wants the United States to be part of
finding a solution for the conflict in Syria.
security forces killed two men who opened fire on police during a raid on a
farm in eastern Saudi Arabia used by militants to plot and prepare for attacks,
the interior ministry said on Wednesday.
Mokhtar Brigades, a little known Shi'ite Muslim militant group based in
neighbouring Bahrain, identified the two men as Meqdad al-Nimr and Mohammed
al-Nimr, describing them as "martyrs".
said security forces came under fire while conducting a search in a farm
outside the town of Awamiya.
source of gun fire was dealt with immediately and neutralised and the mission
was completed successfully," the statement said, adding that four other
people with a history of involvement in "terrorist and criminal acts"
had been arrested.
policemen or innocent citizens were hurt in the raid, it said.
posted photos of one of the two men with two bullet holes in the back and one
in the head.
sources said that terrorists of Ahrar al-Sham began a new assault on army
positions in the villages of Tal al-Malah, Al-Jabin and along the
Mahardah-Suqaylabiyah road to break through the government forces' positions.
added that the terrorists fired several missiles on the Northern neighborhoods
of the town of Mahardah and targeted the town of al-Suqaylabiyah North-East of
Hama province with mortar rounds.
sources went on to say that the army troops and aircraft pounded the positions
of Ahrar al-Sham terrorists after they began their military assault codenamed
army and its allied forces with the support of country’s artillery and air
force engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists in various areas in Hama
countryside, near the newly liberated towns of Qamhana and Mahardah and managed
to repel their offensive.
to army reports, Ahrar al-Sham suffered major casualties in the attack.
sources said on Tuesday that a notorious field commander of the Idlib Free Army
was killed in the Syrian Army troops' advances against the terrorist groups in
added that the army has also destroyed branches of the terrorists' tunnels that
run from Cherry Company towards the Harasta highway.
reports said on Tuesday that The Syrian Army's artillery and missile units
opened heavy fire at the positions of the Al-Nusra Front East of the capital,
destroying a large missile depot of the terrorists.
of missiles depoted by the Al-Nusra Front were destroyed in the army's
artillery and missile attacks on the terrorist group's positions in Jobar district.
120mm cannon of the Al-Nusra was also destroyed in the attack, military sources
added that the Syrian Air Force meantime launched heavy strikes on terrorists'
positions in a region between Ein Terma and Zmelka and also their positions behind
Nahr (river) Tora in Jobar.
of expats with residency and labor violations thronged passport department
(Jawazat) offices across the Kingdom on Wednesday, the first day of a
three-month amnesty period allowing these violators to leave the Kingdom
without paying any fines or facing any penalties.
authorities have made elaborate arrangements to cope with the rush and assist
can benefit from the amnesty by booking an appointment for processing exit visa
formalities through the Ministry of Interior website (www.moi.gov.sa).
the website’s passports section, users should click on “BOOK AN APPOINTMENT”
then enter residence ID (iqama) number and date of birth. The system will fix
an appointment for visit. This has come as a big relief to thousands of
expatriates who were in a dilemma till Tuesday.
Makkah region, which has the largest number of visa violators in the Kingdom,
is equipped to deal with the rush of applicants.
Gen. Abdul Rahman Al-Harbi, director of Makkah regional Jawazat, was personally
supervising arrangements at the expatriate affairs at the security complex in
Shumaisy on Wednesday.
is working as planned,” Mohammed Al-Hussain, spokesperson of Makkah region
Jawazat, told Saudi Gazette.
Qunfudah and Rabigh are other offices where applicants can approach besides
Shumaisy, he said.
missions have also made appropriate arrangements to assist their nationals.
Philippine consulate in Jeddah and embassy in Riyadh have been running camps
for the past three days to help applicants.
Riyadh region, passport offices have been equipped in Malaz in the city,
Al-Kharj, Wadi Dawassir, Al-Majmah, Dawadmi, Al-Zulfi, Afif, Shaqra and
Al-Quyaita to receive applicants.
the Eastern Province, arrangements have been made in Dammam, Al-Khafji, Al-Ahsa
and Hafar Al-Batin, according to Talal Al-Sholhoub, spokesperson of Directorate
General of Passports in Riyadh.
Embassy officials in Riyadh made elaborate arrangements to receive a large
number of amnesty seekers.
Ahmad Javed personally interacted with the visitors and officials to ensure a
hassle-free service to all.
protesters have clashed with regime forces during rallies held across the
sheikhdom against death sentences and hefty prison terms handed down to
opposition figures and political activists.
Wednesday night, Bahraini forces fired tear gas to disperse protesters who had
taken to the streets in different areas, shouting slogans against the ruling Al
protesters were also chanting slogans in solidarity with the people in Yemen,
who have been under deadly Saudi attacks for two years.
in the day, Bahrain’s Criminal Court sentenced two activists to five years in
prison and another to two years over accusations of planting explosives in the
Bilad al-Qadim suburb of Manama.
Bahrain’s appeals court sentenced five people to five years’ imprisonment for
fleeing a prisoner transfer vehicle.
Isa, one of the leaders of the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, which was
Bahrain’s largest parliamentary bloc before it was dissolved by the Manama
regime, was also sentenced to 10 years in jail on charges of funding a
“terrorist group.” Isa has categorically denied the charge.
court also sentenced two other regime opponents, namely Mohammed Ibrahim Al
Tawq and Mohammed Radi Abdullah, to death.
court handed down life sentence to five other activists, and stripped the
nationality of four of them. Two others also received 10-year jail terms and
were stripped of their nationality. Other revolutionaries also received
sentences ranging from six months to 10 years in prison.
of people have lost their lives and many others gotten arrested in the
Namaskar similar to Namaz, says UP CM Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath Yogi+ on Wednesday said Surya Namaskar
has many similarities to the Namaz offered by Muslims.
was addressing a gathering on the inaugural day of the three-day UP yoga
bodies have opposed yoga and Surya Namaskar calling it anti-Islam and stating
that their religion does not permit any such practice.
Ayush ministry for holding yoga mahotsavs in various districts and promoting
yoga in a big way, CM Adityanath Yogi said, "holding such programmes
earlier in India would have been treated as communal."
someone telling the Union Government before 2014 about holding a yoga
mahotsav," Yogi said adding, "without doubt the person coming up with
such asn idea would have been dubbed communal".
all will have to decide, who actually is communal," Yogi said and added,
"during Surya Namaskar, if one closely observes all the postures it would
be clear that they are very similar to the Namaz offered by Muslim
is such a wonderful coordination between the two, but never before had any
effort been made to bring them together, as some people find benefit in votes
and not in yoga. Those who have divided the society on the lines of caste,
creed and religion cannot believe in yoga," the chief minister said.
progress one has to be disciplined, and to ensure discipline, one has to
maintain self-discipline, which is only possible with yoga," CM Adityanath
various state governments decided to make yoga and Surya Namaskar compulsory in
schools last year, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) had
launched a nationwide campaign against it.
crackdown on unlicensed slaughterhouses in India's most populous state has
spread to others ruled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's party, as Hindu
hardliners press a political agenda that risks alienating the country's Muslim
years right-wing Hindu groups have demanded an end to the slaughter of cows,
which are considered holy in Hinduism.
most of the beef produced in India comes from buffalo rather than cattle,
prompting some critics to suggest the latest move is motivated by politics and
Tuli - spokesman of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, the ideological parent of
the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) - said on Wednesday the party
is only implementing "the rule of the land" in Uttar Pradesh state.
it is legal, nobody has a right to stop it. But if it is illegal, why should
this be allowed to function?" Tuli said.
closure of the abattoirs was launched after Modi appointed Yogi Adityanath as
chief minister of Uttar Pradesh following BJP's landslide victory in state
elections this month.
ordered the closure of slaughterhouses operating without licences soon after
taking over on March 18.
other BJP-ruled states - including Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Uttarakhand,
Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh - have since followed suit, ordering the
shutdown of meat-processing factories.
crackdown mostly affects the country's Muslim community, which dominates the
meat industry and makes up 14 percent of India's 1.3 billion people.
Faheem Qureshi, president of the Muslim All India Jamiatul Quresh Action
Committee that represents the cause of meat-sellers, said his organisation was
considering legal action.
we respect Hindu sentiments and are against cow slaughter," Qureshi said.
"But this is being carried out only for political gains."
move by a number of state governments has also led to "a huge sense of
apprehension in the minority section", said Neerja Chowdhury, a political
debate is beyond legal and illegal. Only recently cow vigilante groups have
burned down slaughterhouses, creating an environment of insecurity,"
Chowdhury said, referring to a series of attacks in Uttar Pradesh.
on the interrogation of the three men arrested for the March 7 Bhopal-Ujjain
train blast, the National Investigation Agency has conducted raids in Kashmir
and Hyderabad to trace two men with whom they allegedly had contact. Atif
Muzaffar, allegedly the key brain behind the group, and Syed Mir Husain, told
interrogators that Atif had established contact with an “18-year-old Kashmiri”
youth over a messaging service called Telegram. “Atif told me that now we are
in direct contact with the Islamic State (IS). When I asked him how it happened,
he told me that one 18-year Kashmiri boy who works for the IS contacted us
through Telegram and informed that he was not doing jihad but secretly sharing
video/news, intimidation messages etc related to the IS in India”, Husain
purportedly told the officers.
NIA source said teams had raided some places in Kashmir in an attempt to trace
this person, but had so far not located him. The source refused to divulge the
person’s name, but said the NIA had “vital leads” about him. NIA sources
revealed that in February 2016, when Atif was exploring possibilities to cross
into Pakistan, he had gone to Srinagar and stayed in Hotel Manora Palace near
the Dal Lake. “He used a copy of his passport as ID proof for staying in the
hotel. He stayed there for five days and visited Gulmarg, exploring
possibilities to cross into Pakistan. It was during this visit that he met this
18-year-old Kashmiri youth who subsequently remained in touch with Atif over
the messaging service Telegram,” the NIA source said.
same person provided Atif the contact number for Abu Hashim, a suspected
Syria-based IS handler, the NIA found out from Atif and Husain. “Abu Hashim
told Atif he was a Pakistan national and had recently shifted to Iraq. He added
that he worked for Abu Bakar Al Bagdadi and handled IS publicity through media
in Mulk-E-Sham (Syria)”, Husain told his NIA interrogators. The NIA intercepted
“chat-messages exchanged between Atif and Abu Hashim” in which the Hashim asked
Atif to make videos related to bomb blasts, murders and loot to convince him
that the group led by Atif had done “some work”, the source said.
on Wednesday opened firing on a police station in south Kashmir’s Kulgam
district but no one was hurt in the attack, police said.
gunmen fired five to six rounds towards the police station at Yaripora in the
district at around 5.50 PM, a police official said.
said the militants fled from the spot, mingling with protestors who were
demonstrating against the killing of three civilians in security forces firing
in Chadoora area of Budgam district on Tuesday.
DELHI: Terrorists on Wednesday attacked a police party at Yaripora village of
south Kashmir's Kulgam district, Police said.
opened fire upon a police party outside Yaripora police station today
evening," a senior police official told TOI
were deployed to control stone pelting in the area," the official added.
official also said that no one was injured in the attack.
police has launced massive search operations in the area.
DELHI: The National Investigation Agency has filed two separate chargesheets
against IS suspects working in Tamil Nadu-Kerala module.
first chargesheet is against Tamil Nadu-based Subahani Haja Moideen, the second
Indian to have fought alongside the so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria.
Kalyan-based Areeb Majeed was the first Indian. The second chargesheet has been
filed against seven Kerala ISIS module members.
first reported by TOI, Moideen had met the 2015 Paris attacker, Omar Ismail
Mostefei, several times in Mosul and was trained by a French national - Abu
Suleiman Al-Francisi, who could be Abdelhamid Abouud, mastermind of Paris
was also best friends with Pakistani national Mohammad Ghani Usman, a bomb
making expert of Lashkar-e-Toiba, who was arrested by the Austrian authorities
near Salzburg in December and later charged for Paris attacks conspiracy by
Kerala ISIS module members planned major attacks on RSS leaders, senior Kochi
HC judges, politicians and foreigners last year under a banner called Ansarul
Khilafa and leadership of Shajeer Mangalessary (who is said to be based in
IS members, sources said, had prepared a list of at least eight RSS
office-bearers and Kerala HC judges.
Muslim youths utilising services of govt. coaching centres
commission chairman says special funds are getting wasted
Haneefa, Chairman of the Kerala State Commission for Minorities, expressed
disappointment over the poor participation of minority community youths in
various government-sponsored training programmes for clearing competitive
Haneefa told The Hindu during a sitting here on Wednesday that special funds
sanctioned by the Union and State governments for the purpose were proving to
be a waste with the lackadaisical approach of the targeted group.
are exclusive coaching centres and sub-centres in every district to train
minority community youths to prepare for Public Service Commission
examinations, but only very few make use of the opportunity.” Hence, many PSC
openings were remaining underutilised by the targeted communities.
Haneefa revealed that there were even youths who approached the commission in
search of job openings at the government sector without taking any personal
pain to undergo training at any of the government-supported centres. “This kind
of a lethargic and casual approach would take themnowhere in the highly
competitive social environment.” The laxity was most visible in the Muslim
community, he said.
the Christian minorities have taken up the openings very positively and the
community is offering warm support to the trainees,” he observed.
-Deviation from teachings of Holy Quran and Prophet (SAWW) is the main cause
behind backwardness of the Muslim Ummah.
Sharif caretaker Pir Azmat Ali Shah stated while addressing the annual meeting
of Darul Uloom Jamia Saeedia Rizvia here the other day.
pointed out that it is bounden duty of Ulema to struggle for unity of Muslim
Ummah rather producing conflicts on the basis on minor differences. There is no
other way except unity and national integration to thwart evil designs of
anti-Islam and anti-Pakistan forces, he pointed out.
also condemned blasphemy on social media, saying no Muslim can tolerate the
blasphemous content on social networking sites in the name of freedom of
expression. He demanded stern action against bloggers involved in committing
blasphemy on social media. TWO HELD: Two impersonators, posing self to be an
army major and police sub-inspector, were arrested separately on charge of
extorting money from two persons here the other day.
to a police source, the accused identified as Rashid Nisar of Faisalabad,
posing self to be an army major had sold a car to Tanveer Iqbal on Rs0.8
million whose documents were later proved bogus.
information, the police arrested the accused and registered a case against him.
Nazar Muhammad, posing self to be police sub-inspector extorted Rs100,000 from
Nooran Bibi of Mohallah Dostpura Solangi Awan for providing employment to her
brother. The police arrested the accused and registered a case against him.
Army's public relations wing, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), on
Wednesday stated that the claims made by Hussain Haqqani, Pakistan’s former
ambassador to the US, regarding the issuance of diplomatic visas in a recent
op-ed in an American news
army's media wing further stated that: "The veracity of concerns about
[Haqqani's] role in the entire issue also stands confirmed."
an article published in The Washington Post earlier this month, Haqqani had
defended US President Donald Trump's team's contacts with Russia during and
after the 2016 US presidential elections, saying he also had established
similar relations with members of the Obama campaign during the 2008 elections.
wrote that the friends he made in the Obama campaign team were “able to ask,
three years later, as National Security Council officials, for help in
stationing US Special Operations and intelligence personnel on the ground in Pakistan”.
how he responded to those requests, the former ambassador wrote: “I brought the
request directly to Pakistan’s civilian leaders, who approved. Although the
United States kept us officially out of the loop about the operation, these locally
stationed Americans proved invaluable when Obama decided to send in Navy SEAL
Team 6 without notifying Pakistan.”
SEAL Team 6 had flown deep into Pakistan by helicopter and killed Al Qaeda
leader Osama bin Laden in his Abottabad compound on May 2, 2011.
ISPR Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, who tweeted the ISPR's concise statement on the
matter, seemed to also be referring to the Memogate scandal, when Hussain
Haqqani's 'loyalty to the country' first became 'suspect'.
had made national headlines in 2011, when Pakistani-American businessman
Mansoor Ijaz claimed to have received a message from Haqqani to deliver a
confidential memo to then US Admiral Mike Mullen.
'memo' allegedly talked of a possible military takeover in the aftermath of the
Abbottabad raid and sought 'help' from the US for the PPP government at the
time in 'reigning in the military and intelligence agencies', exposing a rift
between the then civilian government of Pakistan and the country's powerful
some analysts had questioned the logic of the claims made by Ijaz, suggesting
that the affair was a conspiracy to embarrass the government or remove Haqqani.
eventually had to resign from his position following the scandal.
Political analysts have called for more transparency in Pakistan's ongoing
counter-terrorism efforts, while noting that the civilian set-up needs to step
in to ensure sustainable results.
Operation Radd-ul-Fasaad (RuF) kicked off in February, the ISPR has been
driving the narrative, providing updates on progress made. These have been
mostly focused on the number of militants killed or picked up, the networks
dismantled as well as the Army's own losses.
to the ISPR, there have been: more than 35 far-reaching joint search and
intelligence-based operations (IBOs) conducted by the Punjab Rangers, regular
police and intelligence agencies. These resulted in the detention of 171
suspects including 26 Afghans in last three weeks. The areas covered include DG
Khan, Lahore, Kasur, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Sialkot, Shakargarh, Attock and
Sheikhupura. In addition, 5 high-value targets belonging to Tehrik-e-Taliban
Pakistan were killed in Orakzai Agency, while 20 ferraris surrendered in
latter confessed to being supported by India's Research and Analysis Wing.
contrast, the government is nowhere to be seen. It is alarmingly quiet on the
broader issue of militancy and the long-term means of combating it.
to senior journalist, Ejaz Haider, the way that RuF is being conducted provides
a perfect example of how organisations opt for piecemeal problem-solving. This,
he said underscored the lack of any comprehensive solution on the table.
literature is clear on the fact that organisations 'satisfice'. They don't
optimise." Another good example of this, he added, was the extension of
military courts. "This is an easy way out because not much work has been
done to reform the criminal justice system."
former head of Pakistan's National Counter Terrorism Authority concurs that the
anti-terrorism drive is anchored to the military. Tariq Pervez says this
renders anti-terrorism in Pakistan predominantly kinetic in nature. Success,
therefore, is measured exclusively in terms of arrests, killings and raids.
"This is a lopsided approach, resulting in short-term gains." He went
on to warn that "unless the breeding grounds for militancy are addressed,
no matter how many are arrested or killed, more will keep joining the
'cause'". He emphasised that the government would have to focus on establishing
a counter-narrative as well as other non-kinetic measures, while strengthening
the civilian institutions.
also voiced concerns over the lack of procedural verification processes when it
comes to supporting ISPRS gains. Dr Ayesha Siddiqua, author and defence policy
expert, noted the opacity of the military operation. "How does one
evaluate RUF when there are no independent means of verification? We are told
people are being caught but does this include meaningful targets? Do we even
have a consensus on what the threats are?" Highlighting the glaring
civilian gaps in the counter-terrorism strategy, Dr Siddiqua pointed out that
the Directorate of Internal Security - that was envisioned as part of the
National Internal Security Policy announced by the Interior Minister in 2014
-plays less of a role than the apex committees.
Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that
policies of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have become a threat to the Federation
by creating ripples among federating units and pitting them against each other.
"Instead of adopting uninformed policies, Nawaz Sharif was trying to
appease some specific circles in parts of Punjab. Approval of 97 gas provision
projects worth Rs 37 billion in particular areas amounts to axing the
Federation and inciting provinces against each other," the PPP Chairman
said in a statement on Wednesday. Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said that even the
historic city of Umerkot of Sindh province has not been provided gas despite
the payment by the provincial government to the gas company. Nawaz Sharif
government rejected several requests from Sindh government for provision of
domestic gas connections in its rural and urban areas. But all such requests
were turned down on the pretext of the moratorium.
A high court has temporarily barred the extradition of a US citizen of
Pakistani origin who is accused of planning a terrorist attack in New York, a
lawyer said Wednesday. Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court
suspended the extradition order against Talha Haroon, 19, who is currently
jailed in Rawalpindi pending his repatriation. Lawyer Tariq Asad, who
petitioned the Islamabad High Court against the order, said he had won a stay.
Siddiqui also summoned officials from the interior ministry for the next court
hearing on April 11, according to an order seen by AFP. "The allegation
was that he was planning an armed operation against a public place in New York
with IS," Asad said, referring to the Islamic State group. He said Haroon
had returned from the US to Pakistan more than a year ago.
- The federal government Wednesday assured the Lahore High Court that it would
not deport the Turkish national teachers and students of PakTurk International
the proceedings, Attorney General Ashtar Ausaf appeared in the court and said
that Turkish national teachers and students had moved applications to the
United Nations to declare them refugees. He said the government before the
decision of the UN would not deport them to Turkey.
the reply of the federal government, Justice Syed Mazahar Ali Akbar of the LHC
disposed of the petitions.
Ali Seker and others had filed the petitions and submitted that they had been
living in Pakistan against ‘NGO’ category and respect the law and had clean
record. They said that interior ministry had refused to extend their visas and
did not disclose any reason.
ends Euphrates Shield military campaign in Syria
says it has "successfully" ended its seven-month Euphrates Shield
military campaign in northern Syria.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim did not rule out new military operations and did
not say whether Turkish troops would now leave Syria.
launched the offensive last August to push Islamic State militants away from
its border and also to stop the advance of local Kurdish fighters.
Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due to visit Turkey.
Euphrates Shield has been successful and is finished. Any operation following
this one will have a different name," Mr Yildirim said after Wednesday's
meeting of the country's security council.
24 August, Turkish troops, tanks and planes crossed the border in what Ankara
said was the operation to push back IS militants from a 100km (60 miles)
stretch of the border.
army and Turkish-backed Syrian rebels have captured several towns, including
Jarablus, finally moving south to the strategic town of Al-Bab.
Turkish operation was also aimed at preventing Kurdish YPG militias from
crossing the Euphrates River westwards and linking up with mainly Kurdish areas
is concerned that Syrian Kurds will try to establish self-ruling territories
similar to Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region.
considers YPG units to be the Syrian extension of the Kurdish PKK group, which
has been fighting an insurgency in south-eastern Turkey for decades.
on Thursday, Mr Tillerson will meet President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and other
senior Turkish officials in Ankara.
visit comes as bilateral relations have plummeted in the past 18 months, the
BBC's Mark Lowen in Turkey reports.
are growing, principally over who should be involved in retaking the Syrian
stronghold of Raqqa from IS.
wants the US to drop its alliance with Kurdish fighters, but Washington says
they are the most effective force, our correspondent says.
Turkish government is also expected to push Mr Tillerson on its extradition
request for Fethullah Gulen, the cleric living in Pennsylvania whom Ankara
blames for last year's attempted coup.
US insists it remains a judicial, rather than political decision.
least 7 Saudi troops killed by Yemeni sniper fire
snipers have killed some seven Saudi troops during retaliatory operations
carried out on the kingdom’s soil.
of the Saudi soldiers were picked off on Wednesday in the southwestern border
region of Jizan, while two more were shot in Najran.
latest kills bring the tally of Saudi forces killed by Yemeni troops in March
attacks by the Yemeni forces against Saudi targets are carried out in
retaliation for Riyadh’s military aggression that was launched in March 2015
against its impoverished neighbor.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has criticized a decision in the northern
Iraqi city of Kirkuk to hoist the Kurdish flag over government buildings and
remarks came a day after the Kirkuk Provincial Council voted in favor of a
motion to fly the regional flag on public buildings in the province. Most Arabs
and Turkmens boycotted the vote.
don’t approve of the voting held by the regional administration,” Cavusoglu
said in an interview with the state-run TRT Haber television news network in
Ankara on Wednesday.
a step will not help Iraq’s future, stability and security at a time when Iraq
is fighting Daesh. We don’t support this step and we want everyone to act
responsibly,” he added.
oil-rich Kirkuk province is part of the disputed areas claimed by the Kurds and
both Arabs and Turkomans. The Kurds want to incorporate Kirkuk into their
semi-autonomous region, but the central Iraqi government is fiercely opposed to
top Turkish diplomat argued that “it would not be correct to change that
region's ethnic composition,” noting that “fait accompli” or “unilateral steps”
would bring no benefit.
located 236 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, lies in a zone with an
enormously diverse population that has been multilingual for centuries.
Turkmen, Arabs and Assyrians lay conflicting claims to the region, and all have
their historical accounts and memories to buttress their claims.
criticism came a day after Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi condemned the
Kurdish move, saying it would encourage change in the composition of Kirkuk and
lead to friction between local communities.
an act is incongruous with national unity in Kirkuk, and conflicts with the
spirit of understanding and solidarity among city residents,” Nujaifi said in a
said on Wednesday it would cut a further $2 million from its already reduced
contribution this year to the United Nations in protest at resolutions taken
against it at the world body’s various forums.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who also holds the post of foreign minister,
instructed the ministry to cut the funds and use the money as aid for
developing countries who support Israel at international organizations.
is the second such cut this year after Israel said in January it was reducing
its contribution by $6 million. Wednesday’s further cut means that of its
planned commitment of $11.7 million for 2017 Israel will pay the UN only $3.7
million, the foreign ministry said.
decision was made because of the “hostile resolutions adopted a few days ago by
the UN’s Human Rights Council,” part of the Foreign Ministry’s statement said.
this month, US President Donald Trump’s administration said it was reviewing
its participation in the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council, seeking reform
of its agenda and an end to its “obsession with Israel”.
move is part of Israel’s drive with its friends, led by the United States, to
repair the obsessive anti-Israel bias at the United Nations and its agencies,”
the statement added.
$6 million cut in funding was made in protest at a UN Security Council
resolution that demanded an end to Israeli settlement building on land
Palestinians want for an independent state.
senior Iranian diplomat says the Islamic Republic could be the European Union's
most reliable partner in the Middle East region.
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi made the remarks in a Wednesday
interview with ISNA.
Iran has proved to be an independent country that relies on its own people and
capacities, enjoys economic and cultural capabilities, and can be trusted for
its steadfastness and stabilizing [role]", Qassemi said.
has been making great efforts to fight terrorism, violence and sources of
instability in the region, he added.
said that political and economic relations between Tehran and the EU had
improved as a result of the conclusion of the Iranian nuclear agreement – known
as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) – and consultations between
the two sides over different issues.
is capable of fulfilling the economic demands of the EU as it can provide an
intact market for investment following the removal of sanctions against the
country under the nuclear deal, Qassemi said.
the JCPOA, which was signed between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries on July
14, 2015, Tehran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in
exchange for the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against the
parties to the deal started its implementation in January 2016.
in his remarks, Qassemi warned that the EU was in a state of crisis and might
even collapse as Europe was facing several challenges, including the conflict
in Ukraine, economic woes, refugee crisis, rise of far-right nationalist
parties, Brexit, and terror threats.
ambassador to the UN Gholamali Khoshroo has called for the total eradication of
reiterated Iran's call during a UN conference aimed at creating a nuclear
weapons ban treaty in New York on Tuesday.
as a victim of chemical weapons, strongly feels the danger posed by the
existence of weapons of mass destruction and is determined to engage actively
in international diplomatic efforts to save humanity from the menace of nuclear
weapons,” he said. Khoshroo stressed that Iran is committed to its
Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) obligations, which include negotiations based on
effective nuclear disarmament measures.
added that several countries continue to ignore international calls and
treaties for nuclear disarmament and even continue to increase their nuclear
stockpiles. “They do not have political determination to abandon doctrines of
nuclear deterrence and nuclear terror,” he went on to say.
Taliban commanders among 22 killed in Lashkargah airstrikes
least four commanders of the Taliban group were killed in airstrikes conducted
in Lashkargah city, the provincial capital of southern Helmand province.
Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the airstrike was carried out in the past 24 hours
in the vicinity of Lashkargah city.
further added that six militants were also wounded in the airstrike and two
vehicles along with 8 motorcycles and five hideouts of the militants were
to MoD, the militants were targeted in the vicinity of Ainak area.
comes as MoD said Tuesday that two Taliban commanders identified as Mullah
Toryalai and Mullah Ahmad also famous as Zabiullah were killed along with 19
other militants in a similar airstrike on Monday.
militants were targeted in the vicinity of Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand.
is among the volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the Taliban
insurgents are actively operating in its various districts and frequently carry
out insurgency activities.
ISIS militants killed in airstrike in East of Afghanistan
least three militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
(ISIS) terrorist group offshoot operating in Afghanistan have been killed by
the Afghan security forces in eastern Nangarhar province.
Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the ISIS loyalists were killed in the past 24
hours in the airstrikes conducted in the vicinity of Achin district.
further details have been disclosed by MoD regarding the airstrikes and it is
yet not clear if the airstrike was carried out by the Afghan Air Force or the
US forces based in Afghanistan.
is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the
anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their insurgency
activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.
the Afghan and US forces conducted regular strikes against the loyalists of the
terror group in this province.
police came under grenade attack when they raided two suspected Islamist
extremist hideouts on Wednesday, days after a major anti-militant drive in
which 10 people were killed.
said counter-terrorism officers raided two houses in Moulvibazar district in
the northeast after receiving a tip-off that extremists were sheltering there.
stand-off ensued, with those inside the houses throwing grenades, local police
chief Rashedul Islam told AFP.
one of the houses, we suspect there are eight to nine of them,” he said, adding
the houses were owned by a Bangladeshi-origin British citizen.
raids came after army commandos stormed a five-storey building in the nearby
city of Sylhet, triggering a violent three-day stand-off.
least four extremists died and another six people including two police officers
were killed when two bombs went off on Saturday near a crowd watching the
Islamic State group claimed the twin bomb attacks but the government has
rejected the claim, instead blaming a banned homegrown Islamist organisation.
has been a resurgence of extremist attacks in recent weeks in the
Muslim-majority nation of 160 million after a relative lull since five
IS-linked gunmen killed 22 people including 18 foreign hostages at a Dhaka cafe
on July 1.
has also claimed at least two of three other incidents this month in which
attackers blew themselves at security checkpoints, including one targeting an
elite security force tasked with tackling Islamist militancy.
received bomb making training in Chittagong
Action Battalion arrested four suspected New Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh
(JMB) members from Dohar upazila on Tuesday.
Uddin, 20, his younger brother Mahfuzur Rahman, 16, were arrested from Moura in
Dohar upazila on Tuesday morning. Taibur Rahman, 18, was arrested from Narisha
and Faisal Ahmed Sanil, 20, was arrested from Georgepara, Dohar after RAB was
tipped off by the other three.
the press at a briefing on Wednesday, Jahangir Hossain Matubbar, commanding
officer of Rab 10, said their primary interrogation had revealed that Misbah
had provoked his younger brother Mahfuz to join the Sarwar-Tamim militant
were employed as mechanics at a local garage. Mahfuz used his technical
expertise to make and supply small arms to the group. Misbah received bomb
making training in Chittagong.
were also able to learn that Faisal had left home on March 26 to join the
militant group and that a general diary had been filed in this regard with
Keraniganj Model police station on March 27.
case was filed against Khaleda for her comment on the number of Liberation War
High Court on Wednesday stayed the trial proceedings of a sedition case against
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia for next six months.
case was filed against Khaleda for her comment on the number of Liberation War
bench of Justice Md Miftah Uddin Choudhury and Justice ANM Bashir Ullah also
issued a ruling asking the government and plaintiff to explain why the order of
trial court for accepting the case should not be scrapped. The bench asked the
respondents to come up with their explanation within four weeks.
sedition case was filed in January last year by a Supreme Court lawyer Momtaz
Uddin Ahmed Mehedi with the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court. It also sought
arrest warrant against Khaleda Zia.
chairperson filed a petition challenging the legality of the trial proceedings
against her in the case in January this year.
case was filed with the approval of Ministry of Home Affairs. On August 10,
2016, the court took the complaint in cognizance. April 10 was fixed for the
further hearing. Khaleda is currently on bail in the case.
Taliban insurgents suffered heavy casualties in an airstrike conducted by the
US forces in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial police commandment said the US forces targeted the Taliban
insurgents in Khogyani district late on Wednesday night.
famous as Adal, the shadow district chief of the group for Khogyani, was killed
along with three other senior commanders, the source added.
to the police commandment of Nangarhar, the three commanders killed in the
airstrike have been identified as Gul Mohammad famous as Haji Barakat, Usman
least four militants also sustained injuries in the airstrike, the police
the Afghan and US forces conducted regular strikes against the anti-government
armed militants including the loyalists of ISIS terrorists terror group in this
least six people working at the Embassy of the United States of America have
been fired over drugs, it has been reported.
individuals were reportedly fired for using or possessing drugs after a
thorough investigation was conducted.
State Department official has told The Associated Press that the firings
followed an investigation into allegations of misconduct.
The official further added that those who were
embassy employees have been fired and others who were contractors for the
embassy have been removed from the contract.
further details were given regarding the circumstances that led to the launch
of the investigation which eventually led to the firing of the individuals.
comes as there has been a sharp rise in opium cultivation, production and
smuggling across the country during the recent months.
to the last survey report, there has been a 43 per cent rise in opium
cultivation in Afghanistan.
and frustrations have shed shadow over the challenge fight of the two key Mixed
Martial Arts (MMA) fighters as majority believe the fight has links to internal
dispute among the two with each representing their respective clubs.
social media has been rife with the news since MMA fighter Baz Mohammad Mubariz
accepted to fight Ahmad Wali Hotak, with both stars having major achievements
during the recent years.
the critics are saying that the potential fight may have also links to ethnic
differences among the two fighters.
relevant department overseeing the MMA sports in the Afghan government has
reportedly banned the fight.
decision was apparently taken after the two fighters exchanged heated remarks
against each other on social media with Mubariz accusing Hotak of working for
an Afghan entrepreneur based outside the country and who has arranged major
fights for the two including other MMA fighters mainly in Russia.
Malaysians still lack knowledge of religions, say academicians
JAYA: Despite rapid technological advances, Malaysians are still lagging behind
in terms of religious tolerance and understanding, say academics.
Tunku Abdul Rahman (Utar) Assoc Prof Dr Charanjit Kaur said the only way to
overcome this is to have more open inter-religious dialogues within the
from her personal experience, the lecturer for Gender and Religious Studies
said most of her students still lack understanding of other religions.
I asked them to study about Islam, they said no directly. And why is this? I
believe that this is caused by their upbringing and environment.
is ironic that while most of them are tech-savvy, they’re still lacking in
knowledge about other religions, what more the ones practised by the minority,”
she said at a roundtable discussion on religious tolerance organised by the
Academy for Civilisation Studies and hosted by PKR Senator Dr Muhammad Nur
Manuty here on Tuesday.
is still frowned upon to have an open debate or forum on religion as Malaysians
prefer to remain quiet and just accept even if they don’t agree with
something," she said.
Hindu Sangam chairman Datuk A. Vaithilingam said while he agrees that there
should be tolerance in religion, he prefers the term "understand".
you tolerate, it means you accept it even though you don’t like it. I believe
understanding others is better than tolerating.
must be open. We know Islam is the religion of the federation and we accept when
official functions start with their prayers, while we do our own silent
prayers,” he said.
on Buddhism, Taylors University senior lecturer Vijaya Samarawickrama said the
religion has been misunderstood due to Myanmar Buddhists’ persecution of Rohingya
are peace loving, and people have been asking us about what is happening in
political reasons the Burmese people have, we cannot condone our Buddhist monks
wearing yellow robes picking up sticks and beating up people.
is not which one can be a member of. One must be practising to be called a
Lama once said, ‘Even if you are holding my robe, that doesn’t make you a
Buddhist if you don’t practise’,” he said.
Director of the Centre for Religion and Society of Malaysia Theological
Seminary Rev Dr Sivin Kit suggested that an inter-religious dialogue should
also discuss standing in solidarity with others from different faiths, and not
said this while referring to the plight of the family of missing Pastor Raymond
had organised a vigil for him in Seremban to pray for him, and the Buddhists
came, our Muslim friends from Abim and Ikram came."
from Islamic perspective, chairman of the Academy for Civilisation Studies Dr
Ghazali Basri believed that the term "tolerance" should at least be
practised by the Muslim audience.
think it is a very basic element in understanding other faiths. We need to
sacrifice some things we do not like because Islam is a mercy to all,” he said.
French President François Hollande praised the Indonesian government during his
first visit to the country on Wednesday (29/03) for its ability to maintain a
policy of tolerance amid great religious and ethnic diversities.
visit by Hollande, who was touring Southeast Asia this week, was the first by a
French president to the world's largest Muslim-majority democracy in three
has become an example of tolerant diversity, an inspiration to us,"
Hollande said during a press conference at the State Palace in Jakarta.
said France has a different but similar model that embraces the principles of
freedom and tolerance.
concept of Islam that flourishes in Indonesia embraces a way of living
together, Hollande said, something that France could do well to emulate. France
and Indonesia must not discriminate against any religion, while at the same
time keep combating terrorism, he added.
Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said Indonesia and France are working closely to
find solutions for a wide range of international issues, including
peacekeeping, combating extremism and terrorism, as well as Palestinian
have agreed to continue efforts to create peace for the Palestinians and the
Israelis through a two-state solution," Jokowi said.
added that Indonesia and France have also formed partnerships in several
important sectors, including maritime, creative economy, defense, tourism and
sustainable urban development.
LUMPUR, March 30 (Reuters) - Maybank Islamic Bhd, the Islamic unit of
Malaysia's largest bank, is turning to what it considers its home markets for
growth, in particularly Indonesia where it manages $2 billion worth of assets
and is aiming to compete head-on with domestic Islamic banks.
bank could grow beyond its core markets of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia,
but expansion in other markets would be opportunistic, chief executive officer
Mohamed Rafique Merican told Reuters.
said that the bank will focus on domestic growth in the three core markets
"while drawing liquidity and funding from opportunistic markets such as
the Middle East, Turkey, and other ASEAN markets...such as Brunei and the
Maybank Islamic has not tapped the Philippines market although its parent,
Malayan Banking Bhd (Maybank) already has a presence there.
expect ASEAN's growth will generate significant demand for sharia-compliant
products and services especially within the core economies of Indonesia and
Malaysia in which we are present and are leaders in this industry," he
remains a key market for the bank, after Malaysia which accounts for 90 percent
of the bank's business.
see quite a number of positive developments for the sharia banking industry
there," Rafique said, noting that the Indonesian government intends to
grow Islamic assets in the banking industry from a five percent share to about
already have representation there, and we feel that we have a compelling
proposition, so we would want to have the ability to compete as if we are a
local player," Rafique said.
LUMPUR: Rantau Panjang MP Siti Zailah Muhd Yusoff hopes all Muslim MPs will
support the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 after the prime
minister announced yesterday that the government will not take up the bill.
hope other MPs will support the bill after the government said it will not
table it. I hope the government will ask other Muslim MPs to support the bill,”
we supported the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 without looking at
the party, I hope other Muslims MPs will support the bill,” she said at the
Parliament entrance today.
if PAS felt cheated by the government which had earlier said it would table the
bill, she said they were used to being kicked around.
JAYA: The police believe that militants from Europe are using Malaysia as a
an interview with Channel NewsAsia (CNA) yesterday, Malaysia’s
counter-terrorism operations chief said one French citizen may have done it to
cover his tracks after leaving Syria, where he is believed to have joined the
Islamic State terror group.
Khan Mydin Pitchay, who is principal assistant director of the Special Branch’s
counter-terrorism division, was quoted as saying that the French citizen behind
the May 2014 Jewish Museum of Belgium shootings made his way to Malaysia from
Istanbul, Turkey, after leaving Syria.
March 18, 2014, the suspect (Mehdi Nemmouche) left Syria via Istanbul,
Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong before entering Brussels via Frankfurt.
arrived in Malaysia on a flight. He was on transit here and did not meet with
anyone. He came here to hide his tracks that he had been to Syria,” Ayob Khan
told the Singapore-based regional news network.
flight route traversing five countries had previously been reported following
the attack in Brussels, where the French-Algerian jihadist had opened fire
inside the museum with a Kalashnikov rifle, killing an Israeli couple, a French
woman and a Belgian man.
is reportedly awaiting trial for murder in connection with the Brussels attack.
Khan’s statement on the terror attack in Brussels involving a French citizen,
comes in the wake of a two-day visit by Francois Hollande to Malaysia, where
the French president and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak discussed closer
cooperation in the fight against extremism and global terrorism.
Kenya Extends Curfew in Border Over Al Shabaab Attacks
Kenyan government has extended 12-hour curfew in border region of Mandera for
three months following Al-Shabaab terror attacks in the remote region that
Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said in a gazette notice issued on Tuesday
that the curfew that begins on Wednesday remains effective until June 28.
order was first imposed on October 27, 2016 after the Somali militants killed
at least 12 people at a guest house and left six others injured.
County Commissioner Fredrick Shisia called on the residents to continue
observing the new directives.
has been a terror flashpoint, having witnessed repeated deadly attacks. Shisia
said security agents have increased border patrols to thwart any border
incursion by Al-Shabaab militants from Somalia.
said the directive aims at boosting the efforts by the government towards
taming terrorism activities in the entire region.
faithful had earlier requested the government to change timings on the curfew
on grounds it is affecting prayers.
order said towns affected by the curfew between 6:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. include
Mandera Town, Omar Jillo, Arabia, Fino, Lafey Kotulo, Elwak and the environs
extending to 20 km from the Kenya-Somalia border.
of prominent civil rights activists on Wednesday held a rally in the Nigerian
capital Abuja to condemn attempts to "intimidate" Amnesty
International, a week after hundreds of protesters asked the group to leave the
credible civil society organizations march, there are no borrowed uniforms and
there is no sharing of money,” Chidi
Odinkalu, former law professor at Harvard in the U.S. and veteran of Nigeria’s
anti-military struggles, said.
activists insisted that "Amnesty International was being targeted by
Nigerian authorities for exposing the truth", apparently claiming that
last week's protests had been orchestrated by Abuja.
Mahmud, another prominent activist, said calls on Amnesty International to
leave the country were “not acceptable”, adding that the rights group had
helped to protect the rights of Nigerians over the years.
are all beneficiaries of the campaign of Amnesty International and I give you
an example. In 1991 when I was the president of the NANS (National Association
of Nigerian Students) I was arrested by the Ibrahim Babangida adminstration
[between 1985 and 1993] under decree number II,” Mahmud said.
II was a military piece of legislation and we were detained by the then chief
of military staff. Amnesty along with other human rights groups -- CLO (Civil
Liberties Organisation) -- held a national and international campaign for my
release and for other students who were detained across Nigeria.
read in our papers that some hired thugs stormed the office of Amnesty
International here in Abuja to demand their repatriation from Nigeria and their
forcible removal from Nigeria. Not acceptable,” he added.
people were killed when an aircraft crashed over a house in Libya's eastern
city of Tobruk on Wednesday, according to a local military official.
plane went down due to a "technical" error, the official said on
condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.
said an Air Force commander was among those killed in the crash, the second such
incident in eastern Libya this month.
this month, a military plane crashed in eastern Libya after carrying out
airstrikes against opponents in the eastern city of Benghazi.
has been locked in a state of violence and turmoil since 2011, when a bloody
popular uprising ended with the ouster and death of longtime strongman Muammar
The Muslim Brotherhood Helps Dictators And Hurts Americans
his upcoming visit to Washington, Egypt’s President Abdul Fatah el-Sisi, who
rose to power after a military coup in 2013, is expected to seek the Trump
administration’s commitment to criminalize his political opposition by
designating the Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
Muslim Brotherhood, a political movement that originated in Egypt in 1928, that
has since publicly condemned ideologically motivated violence, is the primary
political challenge to Egypt’s ruling military elite.
here is where Arab authoritarianism and American Islamophobia converge.
Ted Cruz (R-TX) – who has emphasized the need to “call the enemy by its name” –
introduced The Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act in early January
2017; while it is the most recent in a series of legislative attempts to render
the Muslim Brotherhood terrorists, others are lobbying the White House to sign
a related Executive Order criminalizing the group.
its face, this effort is part of the conservative battle against “radical
Islamic terrorism,” highlighted during the president’s inauguration address and
his speech to Congress. In recent months, the president’s advisors have
repeatedly referenced the Muslim Brotherhood in this context. U.S. Secretary of
State Rex Tillerson, for example, has equated the group with al-Qaeda. Senior
White House strategist Steve Bannon described the Muslim Brotherhood as “the
foundation of modern terrorism.” In his prior capacity as a member of Congress,
now CIA Director Mike Pompeo supported a bill that would have designated the
group a terrorist organization. And, Sebastian Gorka, who serves as Deputy
Assistant to the president, linked al-Qaeda to the Brotherhood’s ideology
promoting religious governance.
for all of the rhetoric about eradicating “radical Islamic terrorism,” the
Muslim Brotherhood has never been linked to
terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.
terrorists designations abroad, such as in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, have been
largely politically motivated attempts to silence a formidable opponent
advocating for social, religious and political reform.
I’ve written elsewhere, criminalizing the Muslim Brotherhood is widely viewed
as a means to shutter U.S. Muslim civil society. (For more, see this related
resource from the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding) Anti-Muslim
extremists, who now enjoy ties to key operatives within the Administration as
well as members of Congress, have long claimed (falsely) that American Muslim
organizations, such as the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the
Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), are nothing more than a front for the
Muslim Brotherhood. By rendering the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist
organization, such organizations would potentially be labeled as ‘guilty by
association,’ which would impact each adversely.
is important to recognize, however, that it’s not just these groups – which
you’ve probably never heard of – that will be hurt. It’s the individuals they were created to
serve as well. CAIR, for example, is the
nation’s largest American Muslim civil rights group. When an American Muslim student is bullied,
their parents call CAIR. When an
American Muslim woman is physically assaulted because of her religious attire,
she calls CAIR. When a mosque is
vandalized, its leaders call CAIR.
Criminal prosecutions against CAIR, as a so-called front for the Muslim
Brotherhood, don’t just undermine the
institution, but the ability of American Muslims to realize their legal rights
all want a safer America, but Americans who are Muslims should not be singled
out on account of who they are or what they believe. Our government has a responsibility to
protect its citizens from politically motivated violence. It has a responsibility to prevent such
tragedies and to bring perpetrators to justice.
In doing so, it also has a responsibility to ensure that
counter-terrorism measures remain true to our values and the rule of law.
essence, our laws require that the war against terrorism can’t be used
opportunistically to justify the repression of religious minorities and their
Student in Florida Is Suspended After Dispute With Muslim Professor
small liberal-arts college in Florida has suspended a Christian student who has
been clashing with his Muslim professor for weeks, the Orlando Sentinel
College, in Winter Park, Fla., suspended 20-year-old Marshall Polston after his
religious-studies professor filed a “protection against stalking” request. Mr.
Polston told the Sentinel he felt discriminated against by his professor, Areej
Zufari. Mr. Polston received a failing grade on an essay for a course in Middle
injunction request filed by Ms. Zufari cites a lengthy email sent by Mr.
Polston, who later told the Sentinel he had made no threats against his
teacher. In the email, Mr. Polston said Ms. Zufari had an agenda “to silence me
H. Cornwell, Rollins’s president, told the newspaper that the issue is more
than a simple disagreement and that the college would “never ever ever” suspend
a student just over a difference of opinion.
injunction request details past conflicts between Mr. Polston and his
professor. College officials are reported to have met with Mr. Polston early on
about complaints that he was disrupting class and being combative. The conflict
resumed after Mr. Polston received the failing grade on his essay.
U.S. federal judge who halted President Donald Trump's revised ban on refugee
resettlement and arrivals of people from six mainly Muslim countries has
extended his order blocking its implementation.
says the policy discriminates against Muslims and hurts the state's
tourist-dependent economy. The implied message in the revised ban is like a
"neon sign flashing 'Muslim ban, Muslim ban'" that the government
didn't bother to turn off, state Attorney General Douglas Chin told the judge.
first ban and the revised one have both been criticized as amounting to a ban
on entry of Muslims into the U.S.
attorney general Chin praised the court ruling.
a preliminary injunction in place, people in Hawaii with family in the six
affected Muslim-majority countries - as well as Hawaii students, travelers, and
refugees across the world - face less uncertainty," he said.
we understand that the President may appeal, we believe the court's well
reasoned decision will be affirmed," he added in a statement.
his first order, Watson ruled it was plausible "to conclude that targeting
these countries likewise targets Islam" given their Muslim populations
ranging from 90.7 percent to 99.8 percent.
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