first class is scheduled to start in May. — Picture courtesy of Elite
70 Terrorists Killed in Intensified Clashes between Rival Groups in Idlib
RM33, 000 an Hour, Mile-High Quran Classes Get 100 Takers
Indian Hindu-Muslim Couples across Four Generations Tell Us How Love Is A Fight
They Didn't Give Up On
Yale and Stanford Sue Donald Trump over His 'Muslim Travel Ban'
Does U-Turn In Palestinian Two-State Solution
gather at rallies across US urging support for refugees
will have strong ties with India, Indian-Americans: Shah
Muslim groups refuse funds from US Government
Trudeau Attempting to Codify Absurdity, That Islamic Terrorism Has Nothing to
Do with Islam
Muslims denied entry to the U.S. after Arabic videos found on phone
calling for a ‘Muslim-Free America’ found at Rutgers University
Arabia Recruits 350 Comorian Militias for Yemen War
of Terrorists Killed, Wounded in Failed Attacks on Syrian Army Positions in
Army Scores More Victories against ISIL in Eastern Aleppo
Ezzur: Unidentified Invaders Steal Entire Arms, Munitions from Largest ISIL
hits Daesh commanders, Baghdadi fate unclear: statement
strikes Syria after ‘Death over Humiliation’ rebel battle
Hariri’s Hezbollah comments lay bare Lebanon’s political divide
al-Wefaq slams regime violence, urges more protests
Terrorists' Attacks against Dara'a Ordered by Persian Gulf Arab States
It Okay For A Christian To Govern Muslims? An Indonesian Election Turns On That
party won't cut ties with DAP to work with Islamist party PAS: Mahathir
test as Muslim Indonesia's capital votes
Why Islamists and the Radical Left Loathe Valentine’s Day
‘Supporter’ Had Mobilised Funds from India, China: Police
Talaq: Would Deal With Only Legal Aspect, Says Sc
NASA Scientist Detained, Forced To Unlock Phone at US Border
gets seat at Afghanistan meet, but will plough a lonely furrow
Minister Narendra Modi asks British MPs to raise collective voice against
needs to shut down terrorism factory: Foreign Secretary Jaishankar
murder trial: Arrest warrant issued against Pakistan jail official
court sends alleged Islamic State financier to four-day police custody
terrorists desperately trying to infiltrate along IB in Jammu, says BSF
Islamists Mark Taseer Killer, Malik Mumtaz Qadri’s Anniversary in Maryland
Warns Against Linking Islam with Terrorism at UN Security Council
including four Levies personnel killed in Mohmand suicide attack
attack: Lal Masjid calls TTP Ahrar anti-Islam group
in Punjab amid mourning for attack victims
lawmaker indicted in illegal weapon, terror cases
Militants Killed In Airstrikes in Southern Uruzgan Province
Commander Linked to Cafe Attack Shot Dead in Bangladesh
of Slain Belgian IS Recruit Visits Bangladesh, Shares Her Pain
terrorists infiltrating Rakhine state?
mulls interference as 28 years pass from Soviet defeat: Ibrahimi
Saudis Killed In Recent Yemen Border Fighting
States Urged To ‘Seize Opportunity’ Of Rouhani Visit
forces shoot down Saudi Arabian drone over Ma'rib
runs informer network in Austria to target critics: MP
including child, killed in car bombing in Yemen's Bayda
withdraws envoy to Egypt over security concerns
Soldiers Kill At Least 101 in Militia Clashes: UN
in prison were terrible': SA Muslim cleric describes 500-day Egypt detention
Church, Others Withdraw Suit against Conversion of Girl to Islam, Marriage
Military Court Sentence 7 Al-Shabaab Militants to Death
Francis Meets Hebrew University Officials to Plan Interfaith Education Program
century in the making, Athens set for first mosque since Ottoman times
Wilders frontrunner as Dutch election campaign begins
Doesn't Stand A Chance, Unless America 'Engages' Russia
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Yale and Stanford sue Donald Trump over his 'Muslim travel ban'
Yale and Stanford are among 17 elite universities that have launched a legal
challenge to Donald Trump’s ban on refugees and citizens of seven
Muslim-majority nations entering the US, saying it has “serious and chilling
schools said the ban threatened their ability to attract international students
and academics they needed to “meet their goals of educating tomorrow’s leaders
from around the world”.
filed the papers on Monday in a New York federal court in support of an
government has argued the case should be dropped since no one was in custody.
Trump signed an executive order at the end of January blocking entry to the US
by people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen.
order stopped Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely and
immediately halted the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days.
widespread outrage, the government amended the order to allow citizens to enter
if they possessed a green card.
universities wrote in a joint statement: “By prohibiting persons from freely
travelling to and from this country, the executive order divides students and
their families, impairs the ability of American universities to draw the finest
international talent, and inhibits the free exchange of ideas.”
Thursday, US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld a lower court's
ruling blocking enforcement of the order. The Trump administration has
indicated it will fight the decision.
the block on the travel ban, the schools said it had already had a negative
effect and argued the potential for harm continued.
the Executive Order is currently limited to seven countries, its damaging
effects have already been widely felt by American universities," the
schools said in their friend-of-the-court brief.
of Maryland university Johns Hopkins – which is among the schools mounting the
legal challenge – said in a message to its supporters that the executive order
“takes our country down the ominous path of erecting barriers not on the basis
of a demonstrated security threat but on the basis of religion".
added: "The order stands in unambiguous opposition to our country's
long-cherished values and ideals.”
the 2015-16 academic year, US universities accepted more than one million
10 per cent of Yale's faculty is international and approximately 65 per cent of
its postdoctoral research community comes from abroad, according to the
from around the world have called for a boycott of conferences in the US in
response to the order. An online petition has accrued thousands of signatures
from academics both inside and outside the country.
than 42,000 scholars, including 62 Nobel Laureates and 813 Members of the
National Academies of including the Sciences, Engineering and Arts have
expressed their opposition to the travel ban, the court document claimed.
reports said that Tahrir al-Sham drove Liwa al-Aqsa (a branch of Jund al-Aqsa
terrorist group) out of the town of al-Tamanna, killing a number of rival
militants and capturing 40 others.
reports said that over 70 militants including several commanders have been
killed in clashes between Tahrir al-Sham and Jund al-Aqsa and its allied groups
in Idlib and Hama in the last two days.
al-Sham Hay'at has pushed Jund al-Aqsa (an ally of Ahrar al-Sham) back from the
towns of Kafr Zita, al-Rakaba, Tal Aas, Kafr Sajneh and Marzita in the last 24
sources had also informed FNA earlier today that tens of terrorists had been
killed and tens of others injured in fierce clashes between Jund al-Aqsa and
the newly-formed Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at in Southern Idlib and Northern Hama.
sources said that at least 46 militants were killed in clashes between Jund
al-Aqsa and Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at in the villages and towns of Tal Aas, Rakaya,
Khan Sheikhoun and al-Tamanna in Southern Idlib and the town of Kafr Zita in
sources went on to say that Jund al-Aqsa executed over 15 terrorists of Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at in Khan Sheikhoun while advancing against Tahrir in the
in January, al-Nusra Front and several militant groups declared forming a new
coalition under the name of Tahrir Al-Sham Hay'at to narrow down widening rifts
amongst their commanders and members.
Al-Nusra Front, Nouralddeen al-Zinki Movement, Jeish al-Sonah, Jabhat
Ansaraldeen and Liwa al-Haq announced that they would act under a united
coalition named the Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at.
five merged terrorist groups act under the command of Abu Jaber Hashem
al-Sheikh, who was one of the commanders of Ahrar al-Sham. The new coalition
led by al-Sheikh is now fighting against Ahrar al-Sham, a rival terrorist group
operating mainly in Northwestern Syria.
resigned from his post in Ahrar al-Sham after he was appointed as the commander
of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at.
number of Ahrar al-Sham's commanders, including the groups' spokesman Abu Yusuf
al-Mohajer, Hesam Salameh and Abu al-Fatah al-Farqali Mesri also joined the new
groups' websites claimed that Al-Nusra Commander Abu Mohammad al-Joulani will
be the top commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at.
al-Sham rejected its affiliation to the new coalition, but websites close to
the terrorist groups have disclosed that Ahrar al-Sham, Faylaq al-Sham, Jeish
al-Izzah, Turkistani party and Liwa al-Tamkin will soon start a new front
called Tahrir al-Syria Front.
terrorists have been attacking positions of other terrorist rivals across
LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Over 100 people have expressed interest in Quran-reading
classes to be held on private jets costing US$7,500 (RM33,000) an hour,
according to the firm offering the service.
Jets director Nik Eleena Zurenee Nik Mustapha said the interest was both local
and foreign, and categorised this as encouraging.
also denied that Elite Jets was using religion for profit, and rejected
criticism of the offered service.
than offer nonsensical services, why don’t we have an Islamic approach. Which
would you rather have?
the rich desire the afterlife, no? Normally, when we hear about the rich, it is
all negative about Islam,” Nik Eleena told ProjekMMO today.
explained that her firm targets the wealthy in Malaysia, Brunei and Saudi
Arabia with the flights, saying it offered them two services in one:
transportation and religious classes.
Eleena also explained that the prices were not fixed at US$7,500 an hour and
depended on the type of aircraft used and seating position, while the total
cost was based on the overall flight time.
said Elite Jets has 30 planes available.
first class is scheduled to start in May.
Indian Hindu-Muslim Couples Across Four Generations Tell Us How Love Is A Fight
They Didn't Give Up On
the world, being suspicious of a religion that isn't ours has become a norm of
sorts. Actually, that was always the norm but some of these bias-keepers would
still balk at owning up to ugly prejudices in public. However, with the ascent
of the Donald Trumps of the world to power, racism and xenophobia has earned
the social media stamp of being acceptable, in want of a better word. With
Trump's attempt to ban immigrants from some Muslim majority countries, the
anti-Muslim rhetoric is at an all-time high.
home, far right groups from all religions have come out to play and frankly,
this is as ugly as it gets. Yet, amid this unbridled anti-Hindu, anti-Muslim
anti-humanity hate-fest, human beings continue being human beings. And some of
them fall in love. With people from another religion they have always been
asked to stay at an arm's length from. We spoke to four Hindu-Muslim couples
from four generations to learn how to keep love afloat in this climate of naked
Haveliwalla*, 19, and Chirayu Fadnis*, 19. Insiya and Chirayu are college
students in Pune
I thought my family was pretty liberal; my parents knew about my previous girlfriends
and we'd often hang out at home with my family. But I can't tell them about
Insiya. When Insiya and I started getting closer as friends, I could see it
bothered my Mum. I hadn't really thought about the Muslim-Hindu thing until one
day my aunt snidely told my mom that she should mentally prepare herself for a
Muslim daughter-in-law. I could see that the comment really pissed her off. It
makes me sad that even my educated, liberal parents could be so narrow-minded
when it comes to Muslims.
My parents don't know either. They don't approve of dating in general, but
dating a Hindu guy would be an absolute no-no. My dad is a businessman, and
growing up, he constantly complained about local Hindu Maharashtrian
politicians making life miserable for small-time Muslim business owners. I'm so
young, I can't even think of being married right now. But when the time comes,
I know my parents will expect me to pick a Muslim guy they've already approved
of. If we're still together at that time, I don't know what I'll do.
It's so weird that we need to hide our relationship, just so that no one
intentionally or accidentally tattles to our parents. Knowing that all this
sneaking around is because of the Hindu-Muslim thing is so regressive.
The funny thing is, we're both atheists. So we don't have any religious
differences. I'm vegetarian, he's not. So he was more upset about the beef ban
than I could ever be. So all this Hindu-Muslim drama is a gift from our
parents, not really our issue at all. Meh.
Kumar*, 30, and Ashfaq Ali*, 34. Devika is a copywriter at an ad agency and
Ashfaq is a management consultant. They've been dating for a year and live in
It was our first vacation together. He'd gone for a shower when suddenly I
heard a yelp of "Astaghfirullah" from inside. That's when it hit me:
holy shit, I was in love with a Muslim man. I was appalled by how much of a
shock it was to my system because up until then, his Muslim identity was a
vague realisation. The day I started thinking of my future in relation to him,
I started noticing and wondering about everything. The fact that his mom wears
a hijab, that his dad prays five times a day, all the times he's slip into Urdu
without thinking everything was filed away in my head.
it came down to choosing a life that would always be at least a little bit
harder because of my partner's religion, I dithered
come from a conservative Hindu family, and I've heard a lot of Islamophobic
talk as dinner table conversations; but dating Ashfaq was what made me see how
much suspicion I'd assimilated simply because there was no escaping it. Without
realising it, I'd come to expect that only fanatics show their
"Muslim-ness". The "normal" Muslims don't look, act or
dress like the "others". It made me keenly aware of all the
micro-aggressions against Muslims that we all partake in, subconsciously.
It's not one-sided. I know enough Muslims who absolutely believe that the
overwhelming majority of Hindus are basically right-wing fanatics who are out
to get them. The constant persecution and hounding has made many Muslims
terribly bitter. Religious differences aside, my parents feel a Hindu girl can
never fit into the family because she will never understand what it feels like
to have people look at you suspiciously all the time.
no longer feel safe saying simple things like "Salaam" while greeting
my parents when I'm within earshot of other people.
When Donald Trump came to power, it shook me up. When someone with that much power
uses it to foster bigotry steer the world towards a holy war under the guise of
ensuring safety, it goes beyond geography. It leaves an imprint on humanity in
a way that might never quite be reversed.
We're a young couple. We dream of building a house, raising a child and
travelling the world together. How do you not feel bitter about a world where
your surname is enough reason to detain you endlessly at airports?
when whole sections of cities won't allow you to buy or rent property? When you
aren't confident that you'll be able to offer your future child the basics of
humanity — the right to live and move in the world with dignity — what is the
point of bringing a new life into the world?
Ahuja, 44, and Zamina Rahman, 42. Ritwik is a Venture capitalist and Zamina is
a housewife. They've been married for 17 years and live in Delhi.
We got married at a time when inter-religious marriages weren't common and
family drama and societal disapproval was a given. His family couldn't understand
why Ritwik would throw away his societal standing and the goodwill of other
upper caste Hindus for a Muslim girl. My family was equally against it. They
thought that being married to a Hindu boy meant a lifetime of insults and
chest-beating about my non-vegetarianism. We'd expected them to behave exactly
got angry when she insisted that embracing her religion was an act of defiance
in an isolationist world, not religious zealotry.
When 9/11 happened, we'd been married for about a year. Earlier, our parents
were upset by our choice of life partners, but after 9/11, they were ashamed.
My mother thought my wife had destroyed my life and career growth prospects.
Her mother was terrified that my family would make me divorce Zamina and send
her back to them. I have to admit, there were times when I resented her Muslim
identity and the baggage that her name carried.
begged her to take my name so we'd have it a little bit easier. I got angry
when she insisted that giving up Islam would mean giving in to Islamophobia,
that embracing her religion was an act of defiance in an isolationist world,
not religious zealotry. A part of me did think of Muslims as "these
people" and "inclined to terrorism".
Islam and terrorism became synonymous, and anyone associated with it in any way
felt the repercussions.
There were times when I almost decided I didn't want to be married to the
Islamophobic jerk he was becoming; that if you just scratched the surface, all
Hindus really did think they were better than Muslims and we deserved what was
happening to us. But then I gave his behaviour context. 9/11 changed the course
of our life in a way none of us could have seen coming. He was on the brink of
landing a job at a major consultancy firm in USA, but after 9/11 there was no
way we could move there.
daughter is 14, and a few months ago, a classmate of hers asked her if Zamina
had married me for love jihad.
I genuinely believed that our daughter would grow up in a world that wasn't as
splintered as the one we were forced to build our lives in. In the last few
years, there's been an unprecedented eruption of selfishness and not just
'me-first', but 'me-only' kind of thinking. What is this "love jihad"
nonsense? Our daughter is 14, and a few months ago, a classmate of hers asked
her if Zamina had married me for love jihad.
Ahmed, 60, and Taufiq Ahmed, 64. Neelima and Taufiq own a perfume business in
Mumbai. They've been married for 42 years and have two sons.
My parents moved to Mumbai from Punjab after the Partition. I was born here.
Neelima and her family lived across the street from us. There were constant
skirmishes and fights breaking out in our mohalla (colony). Hindus would spit
on the road every time they had to deal with a Muslim. My people constantly
wondered whether they had made the right choice by staying in India.
My Hindu name was not this. I changed it to Neelima after the nikaah. When I
was a kid, we were strictly forbidden to talk to Muslim people. But slowly,
things got better. Taufiq's sister was in my high school. We were 14 then. She
and I were not allowed to go to each other's houses, but our parents knew we
loved him, but I was scared my dad would kill him if he found out about us.
I liked Neelima from the start. We hardly ever spoke, but I thought she liked
me. She was 17 when I finally worked up the courage to slip her a note telling
her I loved her. The next day, she said yes. It was the best day of my life.
When Taufiq proposed to me, my parents were desperately searching for a rishta
for me. I loved him, but I was scared my dad would kill him if he found out
Her rishta was almost finalised when we finally told our parents we wanted to get
married. It was a nightmare. Her parents beat her up and locked her in the
house. Mine beat me up and threatened to throw me out of the house and the
converted to Islam. Sometimes I think I could do it because I was young and
stupid. If I was older, shaayad himmat nahi kar paati.
We ran away and got married with the help of one of his friends when I
overheard my parents making plans to leave Mumbai and go back to our village in
Gujarat. I converted to Islam. Sometimes I think I could do it because I was
young and stupid and so thrilled to be in love. If I was older, shaayad himmat
nahi kar paati. (Maybe I would not have had the courage.)
Initially, our parents disowned us. I had anticipated that. I had some money
saved up, so we rented a house in a chawl close-by. We had no contact with our
parents for a few years.
mother was terrified that Taufiq would marry other women if I didn't give him a
I got pregnant when I was 21. I wrote my mother a letter to tell her. I thought
she wouldn't reply, but she did. She would hide from my father and come to meet
me sometimes. She would still not enter our house but at least I had a mother
again. She was terrified that Taufiq would marry other women if I didn't give
him a son.
My mother was overjoyed when we had a son, but abba was still not ready to
forgive us. He finally caved with the birth of our second son, three years
later. By this time, I had saved enough money to start the perfume business.
Neelima would leave the kids with my mother and help me at the shop for a few
hours every day.
or Muslim, men are too selfish and egoistic to bend for their women.
In those days, it was very unusual for a woman to be involved in her husband's
business. I think my mother was so shocked and proud that she finally forgave
Taufiq. But my dad never forgave me for ruining his izzat in the community.
Eventually, my parents accepted Neelima as their daughter-in-law. My mom grew
to love her the way she loved my sister. Seeing the way she worked so hard to
fit into my family made me fall in love with her more. I don't know if I could
have done it for her family. Hindu or Muslim, men are too selfish and egoistic
to bend for their women.
My father died 15 years ago, angry with us. It breaks my heart that my sons
never got to know their naana. I don't regret the choices I made, but
sometimes, I miss the girl I used to be. Between being Lakshmi and Neelima,
Hindu and Muslim, I forgot to be me. Now, I feel neither Hindu, nor Muslim. It
makes me wonder, kya aapka mazhab hi aapki pehchaan hai? (Is your religion your
does U-turn in Palestinian two-state solution
White House signaled a sharp break with decades of support for a two-state
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict Tuesday, on the eve of Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to the White House.
senior White House official said the United States would no longer seek to
dictate the terms of any eventual peace settlement, but would support what the
two sides agree to together.
two-state solution that doesn't bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to
achieve," the official said on condition of anonymity.
is the goal, whether that comes in the form of a two-state solution if that's
what the parties want, or something else if that's what the parties want."
going to be up to them, we are not going to dictate what the terms of peace are
going to be," said the official.
Trump hosts Netanyahu at the White House on Wednesday, and is expected to
express his desire to help broker a solution to the conflict.
has already tapped son-in-law Jared Kushner and lawyer Jason Greenblatt to lead
his peace drive.
major questions remain about how Trump will achieve that goal.
the better part of half a century, successive US governments -- both Republican
and Democrat -- have backed a two-state solution. It was the basis of peace
talks at Oslo and Camp David.
since coming to office in late January, Trump has sought to show that the
United States is an unwavering ally of Israel and tried to draw a contrast with
the policies of President Barack Obama.
won re-election in 2015 by insisting he would not accept the creation of a
Palestinian state, a vow that considerably soured relations with the Obama
often warned that Israeli settlement construction could make a two-state
solution impossible, and that a one state solution would put the future of the
Jewish state in question.
has shied away from criticizing Netanyahu's settlement policies as an
impediment to peace, instead offering Israel some scope to build on land
already under development.
construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond
their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal," the
White House said in a statement earlier this month.
Erakat, a senior Palestinian official, said it was not enough for Trump to say
settlements were "unhelpful" but he must order an end to new
arrived in Washington on Monday, dined with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
on Tuesday and after his White House talks with Trump on Wednesday will meet
from winning support for policies that will help him at home, the Israeli
leader will also want to get the measure of Trump's appetite for better
relations with Russia.
has signaled his willingness to work with Russia to defeat the Islamic State
group in Syria.
could de facto mean furthering the goals of Russian allies Bashar al-Assad and
sees Iran and its Lebanese ally the Hezbollah militia as its greatest
existential threat, a view shared by the leaders of the main Sunni Arab states
of the region.
Ross, a US diplomat who worked on Middle East policy under both Republican and
Democratic administrations, said Netanyahu's diplomatic goals would at first be
wouldn't oppose a rapprochement with Moscow in itself, but would urge
Washington to use this as leverage to push Russia away from Iran.
he'd like to see is a distancing of Russia from Iran within Syria, maybe more
of a move towards Turkey and less towards Iran in Syria," Ross told
reporters on Monday.
appears to have back-pedaled on a campaign threat to tear up Obama's Iran
nuclear deal, which Israel bitterly opposed, but his administration has
"put Iran on notice."
appears to mean a more robust stance against military provocations and a
determination to impose tough sanctions on Iran's missile program and covert
support for militants.
expect Trump and Netanyahu to get on well in public. Both have much to gain
politically from marking a clean break from the Obama years.
personal chemistry aside, the pair will only make the relationship a success if
it overcomes the disagreement that poisoned ties under Obama.
YORK (JTA) — Over 100 years ago, Barnett Levine was greeted by the New York
skyline and the Statue of Liberty as he arrived in the United States, having
fled anti-Semitism and pogroms in his native Poland.
Sunday, his grandson saw those very same sights when he joined about 700 others
in this city’s Battery Park downtown at a rally protesting President Donald
Trump’s executive order banning all refugees from the country for 120 days.
am the grandchild of four immigrants who came here when the gates of the United
States were wide open and they made a life here,” Harold Levine, a 60-year-old
marketing consultant, told JTA. He added: “I think that it is the duty of the
Jewish community to pay this forward to other immigrants who are trying to come
to the United States.”
rally was organized by HIAS, formerly known as the Hebrew Immigrant Aid
Society, part of an initiative by the immigrant resettlement group called the
National Day of Jewish Action for Refugees.
president issued his order last month, which also banned citizens of seven predominantly
Muslim countries for 90 days. On Thursday, a federal appeals court ruling
upheld a stay on the ban, a move praised by Jewish groups, including HIAS.
attended rallies on Sunday as part of the HIAS initiative, including in Boston,
Washington, D.C, and other major cities, a representative for the group told
JTA. The demonstrations had more than 20 co-sponsors, including the
Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Committee, American Jewish World
Service, the Union for Reform Judaism and the Conservative movement’s
Hetfield, the CEO of HIAS, said the rallies were a rare moment of joining
together in support of refugees.
haven’t seen anything like this since I got my start [with HIAS] in 1989, which
was at the height of the Soviet Jewry movement,” he said. “This is a
galvanizing moment like that, but the difference is that then we were standing
up for Jews, and now we are standing up as Jews.”
the New York rally, participants braved icy wind, hail and rain to join in
chants of “When refugees are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back”
and “Never again means never again for everyone” between speeches by rabbis and
clergy members, politicians and leaders of Jewish groups. Among the speakers
were Mayor Bill de Blasio; Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.; Jonathan Greenblatt,
national director of the ADL, and Sana Mustafa, a Syrian refugee.
Boston, speakers at a rally with several hundred participants included City
Councilor Josh Zakim, whose father, the late Lenny Zakim, was the longtime
director of the New England Anti-Defamation League; Imam Faisal Khan, director
of religious affairs at the Islamic Center of Wayland, and Fred Manasse, a
child Holocaust survivor who was brought to the U.S. by HIAS.
— even those given by non-Jewish speakers — were peppered with references to
Jewish history and traditions.
this city we believe we can live in harmony,” de Blasio said in New York.” It’s
not perfect, but we believe we can do something that the whole world is
struggling to do, that we can all be together … people of all religions and
backgrounds, that is what we’re fighting for — doesn’t that fit beautifully the
profound Jewish concept of tikkun olam, of healing the world?”
who told JTA that the rally was “one of the main reasons” for his visit to New
York, talked in his speech about the MS St. Louis, a ship with 900 Jewish
refugees from Germany that tried to enter the United States and other countries
but was turned away. He called the incident “a shameful time in our country.”
of our officials who worked with this stuff knew about it. We can’t say we
didn’t know — we knew,” said Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress and
a front-runner to lead the Democratic National Committee. “We didn’t want to
get involved, we wanted to just mind our own business, we just kind of thought,
‘Oh, this is not our issue.'”
ritual featured prominently. At one point during the New York rally,
representatives of 10 of the co-sponsoring groups went on stage and tore pieces
of cloth, mimicking a Jewish ritual in which mourners rend their clothing. The
tearing was done to remind attendees of refugees who had died before being able
to reach safety, as well as those who are now facing dangerous circumstances.
addition to co-sponsoring the New York event, the ADL on Sunday also launched a
campaign to rally opposition to Trump’s executive order urging people to share
on social media their family stories of coming to the U.S. and tagging posts
remember that we were once strangers, too, that Jewish refugees fleeing Nazi
Germany and oppression during the Holocaust were often denied entry with claims
eerily similar to some of the claims that are being made today to deny entrance
to refugees, and we think that’s wrong,” Greenblatt told JTA on the phone
before the rally.
at the rally said they were compelled to attend for a variety of reasons, both
personal and historical.
Under President Donald Trump, India and Indian-Americans will have a strong
relationship with the US as he would be their "best friend" in the
White House, a top Indian-American with the administration has said.
Shah, a 32-year-old who supports Trump's communications team shape his media
portrayal and narrative, said Trump as President and as presidential candidate
went an extra mile to attract Indian-Americans to the Republican Party as a
majority of them were supporters of the Democratic Party.
It worked," Shah told PTI.
think this President has had a pretty notable outreach to the Indian-American
community, both during the campaign and afterwards," he said.
pointed out that Trump appointed Indian-American Nikki Haley as the US envoy to
the United Nations - a Cabinet post - in a first for the community under any
of his first international conversation was with the Prime Minister (of India).
So I think, there is a recognition on the President's part on importance of the
US-India relationship and the contribution that Indian-Americans have made to
the United States," he said.
whose parents migrated to the US in the 80s, was the Director of Opposition
Research in the Republican National Committee, before he moved to the White
a team of researchers, Shah played a key role in digging up information on
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. He was the backbone of all anti-Clinton
research during the presidential campaign and getting inside the White House at
a young age is said to be a reward for the behind-the-scenes player.
said Trump's agenda would be great for Indian-Americans. "The economic
vision he has, the emphasis on economic reforms, cutting up red tape,
regulations, fixing our healthcare system, all these things are going to have
huge impact for all Americans including Indian-Americans."
YORK : Muslim groups in US while protesting against Trump have rejected the
to details, Islamic schools and organizations have refused the funds aimed at
combating violent extremism.
Angeles’s South California Islamic Centre comes on second while receiving
annual funds from the government.
this, Unity Productions Association also returned $4lac funds in protest which
were for the preparation of a training film against extremism and violence.
is pertinent to mention here that the fund begin in Obama regime in 2011 to
behalf of the 105,000 members of the Institute for Canadian Values and like
minded citizens, we oppose the Liberal Motion 103. As the western world moves
away from nonsensical political correctness, Canada is digging in. Recent
elections in the UK and America show that people are tired of ignoring the
elephant in the room, the fact that radical Islam is the greatest threat to
peace. Of course no reasonable person
believes that all Muslims are a threat, but no reasonable person would state
that Islamic terrorists have nothing to do with Islam. Also Canada already has hate speech laws
protecting everyone, including Muslims.
of the ICV Dr. Charles McVety states “Motion 103, along with it coinciding
Petition E-411 are nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to quell criticism
of Islam. These documents were
introduced together and are one sided as they only mention one faith, Islam.
Not only is the motion unfair, it is also factually wrong as they state “an
infinitesimally small number of extremist individuals” do not reflect
Islam. Al Jazeera conducted an Arabic
poll and the result was “overwhelming support for the Islamic State terrorist
group, with 81% voting ‘YES’ on whether they approved of ISIS’s conquests in
YORK -- Canadian citizens Fadwa Alaoui and her cousin Fadela Boutaleb were off
on one of their quick shopping trips across the border, this time to celebrate
Alaoui’s 5-year-old son’s last chemo treatment.
when they arrived at the U.S. border in Highgate Springs, Vermont, the women
say they were asked repeated questions about their religion, illegal under us
told me, ‘you are Muslim, right?’ I answered ‘yes,’” she said. “That was the
first time that I was asked unexpected questions.”
said they were told to hand over their cell phones and passwords, and officers
looked at several inspirational speeches and prayer videos
says she was asked “do Moroccans like Americans?”
nearly five hours of waiting, they were denied entry.
border officer said “they found videos that were a concern, against [the
U.S.],” according to Alaoui.
PLAINFIELD, N.J. — A New Jersey Muslim Civil Rights organization is calling for
increased security for Muslim students after a poster calling for a
“Muslim-Free America” was found Monday at Rutgers University.
posted was taped to the wall of a building on campus that is used by Muslim
students for programs and daily prayers. It was reported to the Chancellor of
the University and Rutgers University Police are investigating.
the New jersey chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-NJ)
is stepping in.
hatred and the implicit call for genocide targeting American Muslims exhibited
in this poster must not be tolerated,” said CAIR-NJ Executive Director James
Sues. “All Americans must be able to practice their faith and worship as they
choose without fear of harassment or intimidation. The diversity of the student
body at Rutgers University has long been a source of pride and inspiration, and
the University administration must not allow narrow-minded bigots to tarnish
its reputation and intimidate its students.”
added that an identical poster had also been found on the University of Texas
said that CAIR has noted an unprecedented spike in Islamophobic rhetoric and
anti-Muslim incidents nationwide in recent months, and particularly since the
November 8 election.
to the sources, Riyadh pays 1,000 euros to the Comorian militias every month to
fight for the country in Yemen.
sources said using the Comorian forces is part of the Israeli-US plan to
recruit military men from different African countries, including Senegal,
Djibouti and Eritrea, to fight against the Yemeni army and Ansarullah forces.
said in September that Riyadh has transferred nearly 5,000 militants from a number
of terrorist groups from Aden port to Eritrea's Assab port to go under military
trainings and then be sent to the Saudi provinces bordering Yemen.
terrorists, some of whom are from the Al-Qaeda, will be dispatched to Najran,
Jizzan and Asir provinces to fight against the Yemeni army and popular forces
and prevent their further advances in Southern Saudi Arabia," the sources
added that the Yemeni forces' advances deep inside the Saudi territories have
frightened the Saudi officials more than the ballistic missiles fired from
Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive
president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so
far killed at least 13,100 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters,
Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has drove the
impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster.
source said that the army troops have warded off a large-scale operation of the
al-Nusra and other terrorist groups, codenamed Al-Mowt Wa La Al-Mazelah (death
better than surrender), to prevail over the government forces' positions in
al-Manshiyeh neighborhood, killing or wounding over 200 terrorists.
military source added that over 2,000 terrorists, backed up by tanks, missiles
and artillery fire and suicide attackers, stormed the army's positions in
al-Manshiyeh neighborhood to take control of entire Dara'a, but sustained a
major defeat and retreated after they lost over 200 comrades in the battle.
army men also targeted several bomb-laden suicide vehicles of terrorists before
reaching government forces' positions, he said.
army soldiers also targeted several command centers of the terrorists and
inflicted major losses on their tanks and military vehicles.
said earlier today that the army troops engaged in fierce clashes with
terrorists in the Western districts of Dara'a city and managed to push them
back from more positions and buildings.
army men, backed up by the army's artillery units and aircraft, engaged in
non-stop clashes with ISIL North of the terrorist-held town of Deir Hafer and
seized back the village and hill of Bayjan and the village of Moshreheh Abu
reports said ISIL has suffered heavy casualties and its military hardware also
sustained major damage in the attack.
the army men engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL near Kuweires airbase and
recaptured the towns of al-Mansoureh Jadideh and al-Mansoureh (Khirbet
al-Jahash) Northeast of the town of Sarhan on Monday, inflicting major losses
on the terrorists.
sources said the ISIL depot was located in al-Arzi neighborhood in Central Deir
Ezzur, adding there are indications that the raiders have been the security
members of the ISIL.
sources added that ISIL has intensified security measures and its forces went
on alert, arresting tens of Deir Ezzur civilians and subjecting them to
sources pointed out that the stealing is the first event of this kind in
ISIL-held regions in Deir Ezzur.
sources went on to say that ISIL is about to collapse after the defeats the
terrorist group has recently received in battle with Syrian Army troops in Deir
sources in Eastern Syria disclosed on Monday that ISIL executed a field
commander of the terrorist group after his forces suffered heavy defeats in battle
with Syrian Army troops in the Southern outskirts of the city.
The Iraqi air force has targeted a meeting of commanders from Daesh that its
leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi may have been attending, a statement said on
was not clear in the statement sent by the Joint Operations Command
coordinating the fight against the militants in Iraq whether the world´s most
wanted terrorist had been hit.
intelligence cell monitored a convoy that the statement said transported
Baghdadi from the area of Raqa, the militants main Syrian stronghold, across
the border to the Al-Qaim area in western Iraq.
statement said Iraqi air force F-16 jets struck a meeting of top Daesh
commanders on February 11 but provided no additional information on Baghdadi´s
direct strike on the meeting location led to the death of 13 Daesh
commanders," said the statement, which provided a list of names.
Iraq-born Baghdadi, who proclaimed a "caliphate" straddling Iraq and
Syria in June 2014, was not one of those names.
Iraqi military has reported Baghdadi killed or wounded on numerous occasions
since it launched a counter-offensive to regain the territory lost to Daesh
almost three years ago.
military said dozens of other Daesh militants were also killed in other strikes
in the same area as part of the operation last week.
health is unknown, but the Pentagon said six weeks ago that he was still alive
and leading Daesh as it tries to defend the remnants of its crumbling
the statement issued on Monday, the Iraqi military claimed that Baghdadi had
come to the border area to discuss with his commanders "the setbacks
taking place in Mosul".
is Iraq´s second city and the largest ever held by IS.
strikes Syria after ‘Death Over Humiliation’ rebel battle
jets pounded rebel-held areas of the Syrian city of Deraa on Tuesday for a
second day in the first such intensive bombing campaign since Moscow's major
intervention in Syria more than a year ago, rebels and witnesses said.
groups on Sunday stormed the heavily-garrisoned Manshiya district in a battle
dubbed "Death rather than Humiliation" saying the campaign sought to
obstruct any army attempts to capture a strategic border crossing with Jordan.
army's control of the rebel held crossing and swatches of territory in the
southern strip of the city would sever the rebel link between the eastern and
west parts of the city.
Syrian army said the "terrorists" had failed to make gains and its
troops had inflicted many casualties.
media said the armed insurgents showered civilian districts of the southern
city with mortars, wrecking many homes.
opposition fighters are drawn from both moderate Free Syrian Army groups and
members of a newly formed alliance - Tahrir al Sham - spearheaded by a faction
that was once al-Qaeda's official affiliate.
rebel source said there were at least 30 Russian sorties on Tuesday, thwarting
further rebel gains in the heavily defended enclave that had allowed them so
far to secure significant parts of the Manshiya.
the regime began to lose control of some areas ... the Russian jets began their
operations," said Ibrahim Abdullah, a senior rebel commander.
fighting also spread across other parts of the city as rebels fired mortars on
government controlled parts of the city. Ground-to-ground missiles were also
deployed from army barracks to pound rebel held quarters of the city, residents
battles inside the city are the most intense since an alliance of mainstream
rebels, known as "The Southern Front" who are backed by Western and
Arab foes of President Bashar al Assad launched an unsuccessful large scale
military campaign to capture the whole city in 2015.
Prime Minister called Hezbollah’s arms illegitimate on Tuesday after its
President said the group’s military wing was vital to its security, spelling
out the country’s political divisions more clearly than at any time since they
staunch Hezbollah ally, Michel Aoun became president in October in a
power-sharing deal that saw Saad al-Hariri, Lebanon’s leading Sunni Muslim
politician, appointed premier in a unity cabinet including nearly all Lebanon’s
powerful arsenal wielded by Sh’ite Iranian-backed Hezbollah outside the state’s
control has long been a subject of controversy, with several major political
parties calling for the group’s disarmament, while others support it.
has become deeply embroiled in the war in Syria, where its forces are fighting
in support of President Bashar al-Assad.
Lebanese state has adopted a policy of official neutrality towards the
conflict. Hariri said on Tuesday that, despite sharp disputes over Hezbollah’s
arms, “the consensus on the role of the army, legitimate forces and the state”
will not compromise on the fundamentals ... our view of the Assad regime and
its crimes, our stance towards the illegitimate arms and ... Hezbollah’s
involvement in Syria,” he said at a ceremony in central Beirut marking the 12th
anniversary of his father’s assassination.
said in an interview with the Egyptian channel CBC last week that Hezbollah’s
arms “do not contradict the state... and are an essential part of defending
long as the Lebanese army lacks sufficient power to face Israel, we feel the
need for (Hezbollah’s) arsenal because it complements the army’s role,” he
whose fighters played a major role in Israel’s withdrawal from southern Lebanon
in 2000, backed Aoun’s election. In addition to its powerful military wing, the
group wields strong political influence.
main Shia opposition group, the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, has
denounced violent measure taken by Manama regime against peaceful protesters,
calling for the continuation of rallies in the Persian Gulf country.
to Arabic-language Bahrain Mirror news website, al-Wefaq’s Deputy Secretary
General Sheikh Hussein al-Daihi on Tuesday urged negotiations under the
supervision of the United Nations and a referendum in the island.
also accused the Al Khalifah regime of having violated all political, civil and
religious rights of the citizens, who are seeking their legitimate rights.
further appreciated the people’s patience, resistance and sacrifice inspired by
al-Wefaq’s spiritual leader, Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim.
Bahraini regime has taken measures to cover up its crimes, but such moves have
all failed, the al-Wefaq official said, noting that the financial and political
support provided by the regime’s allies has also had no results.
July 17, 2016, the Bahraini High Administrative Court ordered the dissolution
of al-Wefaq and the seizure of its funds, drawing widespread criticism.
erupt in protests marking revolution anniversary
on Tuesday, demonstrators clashed with police in the Bahraini capital and
female Bahraini protester holding a photo of Shia cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim,
and another protester confront riot police armored personnel carrier during a
demonstration to mark the 6th anniversary of the February 14 uprising, in the
village of Sitra, south of Manama, Bahrain February 14, 2017. (Photo by
protests were held to mark the 6th anniversary of a popular uprising in the
said Tuesday’s rallies were brutally suppressed by the authorities.
slogans such as "Revolution until victory" and "No forgetting
the martyrs," many of the protesters held up pictures of those killed in
the 2011 crackdown.
fired tear gas and stun grenades at the demonstrators in the capital Manama.
protesters burn tires and block a road as police armored personnel carrier
arrives during a protest to mark the 6th anniversary of February 14 uprising in
the village of Sitra, south of Manama, Bahrain February 14, 2017. (Photo by
has been the scene of almost daily demonstrations against the Al Khalifah rule
over the past six years.
Persian Gulf Arab states didn’t favor convergence between Syria and Jordan and
therefore, they ordered the terrorists to launch military operations in
Dara'a," the source was quoted as saying by Lebanon's Hadath News on
to the report, the Syrian army could repel the al-Nusra (Fatah al-Sham) Front
terrorists' offensive against Dara'a.
news sources affiliated to the militants said that the Jordanian forces have
not allowed the wounded al-Nusra terrorists to cross the border for treatment.
a military analyst said the battles in Dara'a would end with the victory of the
Syrian army and resistance forces given the international tendency towards a
political settlement of the Syrian crisis.
said on Monday that the army troops repelled a large-scale offensive of
al-Nusra Front on government forces' positions in the Southern city of Dara'a,
killing 20 terrorists including their emir.
army soldiers fended off Nusra's attack on their positions in al-Manshiyeh
neighborhood, killing 20 terrorists and wounding tens more.
Field Commander Abu Rayan Ordoni was amongst the killed terrorists.
bomb-laden suicide vehicles were also destroyed in the failed attack.
on Monday, Syrian army troops warded off a large-scale offensive of the
terrorists on government forces' positions in the Central and Western parts of
Dara'a city, killing 45 militants of al-Nusra Front, including several field
it okay for a Christian to govern Muslims? An Indonesian election turns on that
Indonesia — On a blisteringly hot day a few months ago, I joined a crowd of
worshipers at Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia,
seating about 200,000. After Indonesia secured its independence from the
Netherlands in 1949, the looming modernist building was envisioned as a
monument to the country's extraordinary religious diversity: Istiqlal was
designed by a Christian architect and is directly across from Jakarta
I arrived, Abdullah Gymnastiar, a Muslim televangelist, began his sermon. When
he congratulated London for selecting Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, as mayor, I thought
I was settling into the type of preaching that gives Indonesia — which has more
Muslims than any other country, but also influential Christian, Buddhist and
Hindu minorities — its reputation as a land of tolerant Islam.
that’s not what I got. Gymnastiar, who is known as Aa Gym, noted the irony that
London, a majority-non-Muslim city, had selected a Muslim mayor, while Jakarta,
one of the world’s largest Muslim-majority cities, was being led by Basuki
“Ahok” Purnama, a Christian of Chinese descent. He said many people found a lot
to admire in Ahok, especially his war against incompetence and corruption in
the city’s bureaucracy. Nonetheless, Aa Gym said, he could never vote for Ahok
in this month's gubernatorial elections. Why not? “Because my ID says I’m from
Bandung, not Jakarta,” he said, referring to a different city. He laughed, as
did the audience.
one can deny that Aa Gym gives a good sermon. But then he got serious. The
reason he couldn’t vote for Ahok was that the Koran commands Muslims to have
Muslim leaders, Aa Gym said — and as a Muslim, he could never vote for a
Christian leader. He advised those listening to follow his example.
Wednesday, the citizens of Jakarta go to the polls in an election that will be
an important referendum on tolerance in Indonesia. Ahok, who assumed the
governor's job about two years ago when his predecessor, Joko “Jokowi” Widodo,
became president, has risen higher than any other ethnic Chinese Christian
politician since Indonesia transitioned to democracy in 1998. But
ultratraditional Muslims have resisted him from the start of his term and
turned out in force to protest his inauguration.
since Ahok advised Jakartans late last year to disregard teachings derived from
the Koran that suggest Christians should not lead Muslims, more moderate
Muslims have turned on him, too, viewing it as arrogant for him to comment on
their religion. Hard-line groups drummed up anger against him. After huge
protests against Ahok rocked Jakarta, authorities began prosecuting the
governor on blasphemy charges. If convicted in March, he could be sent to
prison for up to five years, regardless of whether he wins Wednesday's
of Ahok’s opponents in the election have emphasized their Muslim identity in a
bid to unseat the governor. Although he is a far-from-perfect candidate and is
criticized for his eviction of slum dwellers, the race for governor has hinged
on Ahok’s identity rather than policies. Most voters still see him as highly
effective, but polls suggests it's unlikely that he’ll receive the 51 percent
he needs to triumph in a three-way race. Assuming he doesn’t get a clear
majority, there will be a runoff in April.
election is “a point, a very important point, in the decline of religious
freedom in Indonesia,” said Andreas Harsono, Human Rights Watch’s
representative in Indonesia. “It’s an important test.”
LUMPUR: Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said his new party
will not cut ties with opposition party Democratic Action Party (DAP) in order
to work with Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) - an Islamist party also being
"courted" by Dr Mahathir's former party UMNO in a potential election
Mahathir had given PAS a month to decide if it would work with Parti Pribumi
Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), but PAS president Hadi Awang rejected this offer,
saying PAS would not work with any party working with the DAP.
course we will work with other opposition parties (over PAS alone)," Dr
Mahathir said, when asked about PAS' decision at a news conference on Tuesday
is not the biggest opposition party," he said. "DAP has 39 seats. PAS
has less than 26. So we can't give up 39 seats in order to get the support of
less than 26."
had voted to cut ties with former coalition-mate DAP in 2015 after a
falling-out over PAS' push to strengthen shariah courts in Muslim-majority but
multi-ethnic Malaysia. The mainly-Chinese DAP feared PAS' proposed legal
amendments would pave the way for an Islamic criminal code in Malaysia.
comments to media this week, Mr Hadi said his party will also be reviewing its
alliance with opposition party PKR, which is in a coalition with DAP - Pakatan
Tuesday, Dr Mahathir said Bersatu and the opposition needed DAP the same way
UMNO needed the non-Malay Muslim parties in the Barisan Nasional ruling
Mahathir said he foresaw problems for PAS if it chose not to work with the
opposition as "at the federal level, they have never succeeded in winning
even a quarter of the seats".
have tried to resolve this, we have been very patient," Dr Mahathir said
of efforts to enter talks with PAS.
- Jakarta's Christian governor who is standing trial for blasphemy was
Wednesday fighting to cling on to his job in a high-stakes election seen as a
test of religious tolerance in Muslim-majority Indonesia.
Tjahaja Purnama faces two prominent Muslim challengers in the race to lead the
teeming capital of 10 million, as local elections take place around the
the stakes in the Jakarta vote have been raised by allegations that Purnama,
the city's first non-Muslim governor for half a century and its first ethnic
Chinese leader, insulted the Koran.
claims drew hundreds of thousands of conservative Muslims onto the streets of
Jakarta in major protests last year, and Purnama has been put on trial in a
case criticised as unfair and politically motivated.
has not been barred from running for re-election but his lead in opinion polls
was dented for a period, and the vote is now seen as a test of whether
pluralism and a tolerant brand of Islam in the world's most populous
Muslim-majority country are being eroded.
is a battle between those who promote tolerance and those who promote
intolerance," Ismail Hasani, research director of rights group Setara
Institute, told AFP.
opened at 7:00 am (0000 GMT) and were due to close at 1:00 pm (0600 GMT).
early vote tally released in the afternoon should give an indication of how the
candidates have performed although official results will not be announced until
mid-March, and the vote is likely to go to an April run-off.
Purnama does win the vote and is convicted of blasphemy, which could see him sentenced
to up to five years in prison, he would not automatically be barred from
holding office and could avoid jail for a long time by filing successive
and ethnic tensions have made for a dirty race with "fake news"
flooding social media, and thousands of security forces were deployed in the
capital on election day.
"fake news" has mainly targeted Purnama, and included claims that a
free vaccination programme he backed was a bid to make girls infertile and
reduce the population.
police spokesman Argo Yuwono said that officers were stationed at polling
stations across the city and had not reported any problems in early voting.
willing, the election today will go smoothly," he said.
governor's opponents are Agus Yudhoyono, the son of a former president, and
ex-education minister Anies Baswedan, who also has powerful political backers.
100 other local elections will take place on Wednesday but the race in the
capital is the most hotly contested, with the top job in Jakarta seen as a
stepping stone to victory in the 2019 presidential polls.
February 14, is Valentine’s Day, the sacred day that intimate companions mark
to celebrate their love and affection for one another.
you’re thinking about making a study of how couples celebrate this day, the
Muslim world and the milieus of the radical Left are not the places you should
be spending your time. Indeed, it’s pretty hard to outdo Islamists and
“progressives” when it comes to the hatred of Valentine’s Day. And this hatred
is precisely the territory on which the contemporary romance between the Left
and Islamic Supremacism is formed.
train is never late: every year that Valentine’s comes around, the Muslim world
erupts with ferocious rage, with its leaders doing everything in their power to
suffocate the festivity that comes with the celebration of private romance.
Imams around the world thunder against Valentine’s every year — and the
celebration of the day itself is literally outlawed in Islamist states.
year, for example, the Islamabad High Court in Pakistan banned the celebration
of Valentine’s Day in public places, and at an official level, and prohibited
all electronic and print media from covering any festivities or mentioning of
the occasion. Several cities across Muslim-majority Indonesia, meanwhile,
banned people from celebrating the day. In the city of Surabaya, a group of
school students, which included many girls wearing the hijab, denounced
Valentine’s Day. In Muslim-dominant Malaysia, the group The National Muslim
Youth Association directed females not to use emoticons and perfume in a
pre-Valentine’s Day message.
‘supporter’ had mobilised funds from India, China: Police
Islamic State (IS) supporter Mohammad Iqbal, who is in the custody of the
Rajasthan police, had allegedly mobilised funds from India and China for the
terror organisation, police said on Tuesday. Iqbal alias Travel Haq had allegedly
transferred money from China and through hawala from India to Dubai, Additional
Director General of Anti-Terrorist Squad Umesh Mishra told reporters in Jaipur.
allegedly used to transfer funds to IS operative Jameel Ahmed who was arrested
by the ATS from Sikar in November last year, Mishra said. His name cropped up
during the interrogation of Jameel following which he was arrested by Tamil
Nadu police earlier this month. “Jameel and Iqbal were in touch on social
networking sites. Iqbal used to transfer funds to Jameel who was based in
Dubai. From Dubai, he further transferred the money to the IS in countries like
Turkey, Lebanon,” Mishra claimed.
accounts of his social networking sites and his foreign visits are being probed
to ascertain further details, the police official said. Iqbal was brought to
Jaipur from Chennai on production warrant on Sunday and was placed under arrest
yesterday. He was produced before a local court where the magistrate remanded
him to police custody for four days, till February 18.
Delhi: Supreme Court on Tuesday said it would decide issues pertaining to
“legal” aspects of the practices of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and polygamy
among Muslims and would not deal with the question whether divorce under Muslim
law needs to be supervised by courts as it falls under the legislative domain.
(lawyers for parties) sit together and finalise the issues to be deliberated
upon by us. We are listing it day after tomorrow for deciding the issues,” a
bench comprising Chief Justice J S Khehar and Justices N V Ramana and D Y
bench made it clear to the parties concerned that it would not deal with the
factual aspects of the particular case and would rather decide the legal issue.
are not interested with facts at all. We are only interested in dealing with
the legal issue,” the bench said.
apex court said that the question whether divorce under Muslim Personal Law
needs to be supervised by either courts or by a court-supervised institutional
arbitration falls under the legislative domain.
court, meanwhile, allowed the lawyers to file small synopsis of cases
pertaining to alleged victims of triple talaq.
Centre had earlier opposed the practice of triple talaq, ‘nikah halala’ and
polygamy among Muslims and favoured a relook on grounds like gender equality and
Ministry of Law and Justice referred to constitutional principles like gender
equality, secularism, international covenants, religious practices and marital
law prevalent in various Islamic countries.
to a batch of petitions including the one filed by Shayaro Bano challenging the
validity of such practices among Muslims, the Centre first dealt with the right
of gender equality under the Constitution.
Nasa scientist detained, forced to unlock phone at US border
Indian-origin Nasa scientist has said he was detained and forced to unlock his
PIN-protected work phone at the US border by custom officials.
Bikkannavar, 35, said in a post on social media that US Customs and Border
Protection officers wanted his cell phone and password -- before they would let
him through at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport.
my way home to the US last weekend, I was detained by Homeland Security and
held with others who were stranded under the Muslim ban,” Bikkannavar wrote in
a Facebook post.
initially refused, since it’s a (Nasa)-issued phone and I must protect access,”
born in Pasadena, designs technology for space telescopes like the enormous
James Webb telescope that’s set to be launched into orbit in 2018.
to be clear -- I’m a US-born citizen and Nasa engineer, travelling with a valid
US passport. Once they took both my phone and the access PIN, they returned me
to the holding area with cots and other sleeping detainees until they finished
copying my data.”
spent a few weeks away pursuing his hobby of racing solar-powered cars.
a member of a Chilean team, he visited Patagonia in early January under the
returned after Trump took office and issued the executive order on travel into
the United States.
about Bikkannavar should have caused concern for CBP - he’s a natural-born US
citizen, enrolled in a programme that allows individuals who’ve already passed
background checks to quickly enter the country.
addition, he has never visited the countries on the immigration ban, and he’s
10-year employee of a major US federal agency.
don’t know what to think about this. I was caught a little off guard by the
whole thing,” Bikkannavar told media here in a phone call.Bikkannavar detailed
his experience on Facebook, explaining his absence to friends and coworkers.
episode, aside from the profiling it ostensibly involved, also put him in a fix
with his employers, because he was required to protect access to the phone.
DELHI: A ministry of external affairs delegation led by joint secretary Gopal Baglay
will participate in the latest regional conference on Afghanistan hosted by
Russia on Wednesday, though the first such conference in December had kept
India — and Afghanistan — out.
muscled its way into the conference, after NSA Ajit Doval travelled to Russia
at the end of Janaury to meet Russian security council secretary Nikolai
Patrushev, a confidant of President Vladmir Putin, where he is believed to have
laid out India's interests in Afghanistan. It was only after this meeting that
India was included, as was Afghanistan. Afghanistan had protested its exclusion
the last time.
Moscow appointed its presidential envoy on Af-Pak, Zamir Kabulov, there has
been a clear divergence between India and Russia on the future of Afghanistan.
has leaned much closer to the Pakistan view that the Taliban are a legitimate
player in Afghanistan, and should be pushed for negotiations with the Ghani
has maintained that Taliban remains the main problem in Afghanistan and peace
in Afghanistan can only come when Pakistan stops support and sanctuary for the
and Iran back Pakistan's view — both countries have kept contacts with Taliban
alive using them to fight a bigger enemy, US. Russia has joined this mix. In
the past year, Russia has strengthened its off-line contacts with Taliban.
too supports a peace dialogue and reconciliation between the Afghan government
and Taliban, but where the international "red lines" are maintained.
Russia, Pakistan, China and Iran have less difficulty with a power-sharing
agreement between Kabul and the Taliban. This means India will plough a lonely
furrow in the talks in Moscow.
week the MEA spokesperson, confirming the Indian participation, said,
"India has always believed in close and constructive cooperation for
peace, stability, security and development in Afghanistan. To this end, we
actively participate in several bilateral and multilateral consultations.... We
look forward to the valuable opportunity to discuss with other regional
countries all aspects of the situation in Afghanistan." The Indian
position is bolstered by the US, which remains the biggest outside combat force
a recent interview, the top US general in Afghanistan, Gen Nicholson was
critical of the new Russian role. "Russia has been legitimising the
Taliban and supporting the Taliban," he said. "Meanwhile, the Taliban
supports terrorists. I'm very sorry to see Russia supporting the Taliban and
DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday drew attention of the visiting
British parliamentarians to growing radicalization, extremism and terrorism by
urging them to raise a collective voice against these global problems. Prime
minister’s appealed to British lawamakers came after last month, UK Parliament
had discussed a resolution on Kashmir. India has been maintaining that
cross-border terrorism, emanating from Pakistan and territories held by it, is
blocking any resolution of the Kashmir issue and holding up talks between the
hosting an eight-member delegation of British MPs, Prime Minister Modi said
that the relations between India and UK have strong bipartisan support in both
countries, and called for enhanced interactions between the Parliamentarians of
an eight-member delegation of British Parliamentarians here, he described India
and UK as natural partners in the global fight against terrorism.
PMO statement issued after the talk, PM urged the visiting Parliamentarians to
"continue to raise their collective voice against terrorism, extremism and
Prime Minister's emphasis on terrorism during his interaction with British MPs
assumes significance as the UK Parliament had discussed on January 20 a
resolution on Kashmir in the context of "escalation of violence and
breaches of international human rights".
Pakistan needs to shut down "terrorism factory" and there is now
international concern about it, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar today said.
also asserted that India has not given up on SAARC, but it will keep looking
for other opportunities for regional integration "since SAARC is
on ties with China, Jaishankar said "it does not help to duck issues"
and admitted that there was a need to invest more to manage the relationship
was speaking during a discussion on "Political change and economic
uncertainties" at the Gateway Dialogue event, co-hosted by Ministry of
also cautioned against "demonising" US President Donald Trump.
"Don't demonise Trump, analyse Trump. He represents a thought process.
It's not a momentary expression," he said.
has been facing criticism over his controversial immigration policy.
said that western countries may not be open about Pakistan and terrorism
problem but they have concerns.
countries may not be open about Pakistan and terrorism problem but they have
concerns. The issue really here is whether Pakistan is willing to take
need to shut down terrorism factory," he said.
thinking on Pakistan is necessarily security-centric because the fact is we can
live in a situation of a very little threat but not in a situation of terrorism
on and off, which will be the case as long as the factory keeps running,"
in the past was seen as our problem but now it's a bigger problem. There is
today international concern (on terrorism)," he said.
said India's multilateral engagement is not just good "for branding
purposes but it also works in India's interest".
are approaching multi-polarity. Everyone is playing everybody," he said.
a greater role for India on the international scene, he said time has come for
the country to take a lead on global stage since the major countries are
a time when horizons of a lot of major countries are getting narrower...If the
major (countries) are pulling back there is a space out there and it is in our
interest to use that space. In my views, we should be looking at the more
powered position in an international forum," he said.
also said that India should not give up on SAARC.
haven't given up on SAARC. We can't and we shouldn't," India's top
it comes to regional integration, we will keep looking for other opportunities
since SAARC is stuck," Jaishankar said.
a time when major powers are rethinking their multilateral engagement, India's
track record stands out," he added.
that Japan has a big role to play, Jaishankar said, "Our view of the
(bilateral) relationship in the past has been narrow."
bigger Indian economy is in the strategic interest of Japan," he said.
multilateralism, he said, "Multilateralism is not because we are good guys
but because it serves our interest."
Pakistani court has issued a bailable arrest warrant against a top jail
official for failing to appear before it in connection with the 2013 murder
case of Indian national Sarabjit Singh. The court’s order came after the Deputy
Superintendent of Kot Lakhpat jail, where Sarabjit was murdered by two inmates,
did not appear before it despite repeated summons.
additional district and sessions judge here yesterday directed the Lahore
police chief to ensure the appearance of Deputy Superintendent on February 17.
judge said there had been “little” progress in Sarabjit’s case.
the hearing, the judge admonished the jail authorities for not cooperating with
the court and also issued bailable arrest warrant for the Deputy
Pakistani death row prisoners – Amir Tamba and Mudassar – had allegedly
attacked Sarabjit in the jail resulting in his death.
judicial commission of Justice Mazhar Ali Akbar Naqvi of Lahore High Court had
initially investigated Sarabjit’s murder case before the trial kicked off in
the sessions court.
recorded the statements of some 40 witnesses in the case and submitted its
report to the government which is yet to make its findings public.
one-man commission had also issued notices to Sarabjit’s relatives through the
foreign ministry to record their statements and produce any evidence they had
regarding his death.
Jaipur court on Tuesday sent alleged Islamic State (IS) financier Mohammad Iqbal,
32, in four-day police custody. Iqbal was arrested from Tamil Nadu-Andhra
Pradesh border on February 4. Rajasthan Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) Chief Umesh
Mishra claimed that Iqbal has confessed to sending money to Islamic State
he used to send it is a part of the investigation. He had a hawala network and
was also involved with gold and currency smuggling rackets in various
countries, including India, Myanmar and Bangladesh,’’ he said. “He was a
had allegedly used Western Union to transfer money as well. Mishra claimed that
the IS’s ideology had influenced Iqbal through social media and that he had
contacted them on his own in 2014. He added that Iqbal was interested to be a
part of IS with his family at one point.
it is unclear if he shared his plans with his wife and two children or if they
knew about his activities. ATS Inspector General Biju George Joseph claimed
that Iqbal was in touch with Islamic State fighters Abu Saad al-Sudani, who was
killed in Syrian airstrikes in April last year, and Abu Usamah Somali. He said
that Iqbal had tried to enter Turkey by obtaining Schengen visa but could not
officials claimed that Iqbal had expressed his interest to send money to IS.
But Sudani purportedly asked him not to do so directly but to send it through
Jameel Ahmed, who was arrested from Sikar in November last year. The agencies
came to know about Iqbal after Ahmed’s arrest and have since been trying to
locate him. Ahmed did not know much about Iqbal beyond his social media
could not be identified for quite some time. When Ahmed was caught, he had
revealed that he came in contact with an Indian. But he, too, did know the real
name of this person, who went by names of ‘Travel Haq’ and ‘Travel to Haq’ on
social media, including Kik,” Mishra said. Ahmed never met Iqbal or knew his
name. But Iqbal had transferred money to him for the IS cause.
Border Security Force (BSF) on Tuesday said terrorists were being staged in
Pakistani villages along the International Border (IB) here as they were
desperately looking to infiltrate into Indian territory to launch attacks.
are inputs about the presence of terrorists in Pakistani border villages
desperately looking for infiltration into Indian territory,” said Deputy
Inspector General (DIG) BSF Dharmendra Pareek.
said BSF troops were extremely vigilant and prepared to foil any such emerging
threat and nefarious designs from across the border.
DC: February 14, 2017. (Ahmar Khaan, Israel Voice) Punjabi Muslims from
Pakistan, avowed enemies of Israel and India, Sunday observed the first death
anniversary of a condemned Islamist who killed a secular politician six years
anniversary of Malik Mumtaz Qadri, a sunni bodyguard who shot his boss Punjab
governor Salman Taseer 27 times with a kalashnikov assault rifle, was held
Sunday in the Maryland town of Windsor Mill, 43 miles from Washington DC.
participants collectively read the Koran—the Muslim bible— to bless the soul of
the killer and sang hymns in praise of Muhammad, prophet of Islam. The ritual
gave credence to the Trump administration argument that Muslims are bad news
for the US.
main reason Qadri killed Taseer was that the secular politician, a rarity in
Punjab – stronghold of the jihad loving, nuclear armed Pakistan army that even
today calls the shots in the country’s politics—was that the politician had
been lobbying for the freedom of a Punjabi Christian Aasia Bibi, who was
sentenced to death on a charge of blasphemy.
to published reports, Aasia Bibi, a Roman Catholic farmhand in a village in
Sheikhupura, 30 miles from the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s hometown of
Lahore, drank water while working in sweltering heat June 2009. But she did so
from a container that was used mostly by Muslim female farmhands.
in Pakistan, “Land of the Pure,” do not allow non-Muslims such as Christians
and Hindus, to drink water or eat from the same utensils as they look upon
non-Muslims as impure and inferior human beings.
Aasia Bibi’s Muslim female workers objected and snatched the water bowl from
her hands in sizzling heat, she reportedly told them that Jesus was a kindred
soul compared to Muhammad, who hailed from present day Saudi Arabia and who
critics say propagated Islam at the point of sword.
altercation between the women led to Aasia Bibi being arrested, charged with
blasphemy and sentenced to death. Non-Muslims have no avenue for justice in
Pakistan where Shariah law supersedes the statute books. To help her fight
against the injustice, Governor Taseer went to meet with her in prison,
infuriating his bodyguard Qadri. The killer later explained Taseer was
patronizing a “Gustaakh-i-Rasool” – person who insults Prophet Muhammad—and
thus deserved death. A Christian leader Shahbaz Bhatti was also killed within
two months of Taseer assassination for trying to help Aasia Bibi. The woman’s
fate still hangs in the balance as her case is pending in the Supreme Court of
son of the slain governor Shahbaz Taseer was also abducted by the Islamists and
remained in their captivity for four years, but freed one week after Qadri was
Muslims, especially from Punjab and Bihar in India, are some of the most
bigoted followers of the religion of Islam and had played a big role in
partition of India in August 1947, saying Muslims cannot live in a Hindu
majority country India.
are spreading the same Punjab Muslim virus here on US soil that shows no regard
for human life,” president of Pakistan Christian Congress, Dr Nazir S. Bhatti,
Monday night fumed over the reverence jihadis from Punjab showed to Qadri in
Windsor Mill. “Christians lives in Pakistan have always been worse than slaves
for decades and instead of improving it is getting worse than ever.”
attributed the plight of Christians as a bye-product of Pakistan’s state terror
against people of other religions and even Muslims that are not Punjabis such
as Afghans, Baloch, Sindhis and mohajirs. He said Pakistan is emboldened in
committing human rights violations because of support from China. “Last year
when India tried to get Masood Azhar, leader of the terrorist outfit
Jaish-i-Muhammad, banned in the United Nations, China intervened to bail the
terrorist out,” he said.
Shaukat Aziz Siddiqi of the Islamabad High Court (right) is seen kissing Malik
Mumtaz Qadri when he was a lawyer.
Muslim lawyers treated Qadri as a folk hero, turning out in hundreds during his
court hearings and one them Shaukat Aziz Siddiqi was seen kissing him
passionately during one such hearing. Siddiqi, who later was promoted as a
judge of the Islamabad High Court by the Punjabi rulers of Pakistan, Monday
ordered shutting down all Valentine’s Day celebrations in the Pakistan capital
to Pakistan’s former ambassador to the United States, Husain Haqqani, the State
Department had been granting waivers to Pakistan even though the United States
Commission for International Religious Freedoms (USCIRF) recommended
appropriate fiscal actions to stop violations of human rights of minorities in
main reason why such Islamists continue to flourish in Pakistan is that they
enjoy the support of the powerful military and intelligence services. However,
the main fountainhead of Islamist violence is the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, but
US policy makers close their eyes to the misdeeds of the Islamic monarchy as
the US needs oil.
Friday, the new CIA director Mike Pompeo conferred the George Tenet medal to
Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef for his services for “peace,” though
Saudis, who are sunnis, are behind the worst genocide of Shias in the world.
this time there are about 3.5 million Muslims in the US and many of the
terrorist activities have been carried out by Muslim immigrants with Pakistan
links in recent years.
has warned against linking Islam or any other faith with terrorism, while
calling for fully analyzing and understanding the terrorist threat in all its
complexities. “The global campaign against terrorism cannot be reduced to a
slogan slandering Islam or any other religion or race,” Ambassador Maleeha
Lodhi told the UN Security Council on Monday, as she reiterated Pakistan’s
commitment to do its part in eliminating the scourge of terrorism. Speaking in
a debate on addressing the danger of terrorist attacks against critical
infrastructure, she also underscored the need to examine the reasons why
terrorism — despite a global campaign against this menace — continues to evolve
in new and more virulent forms and ideologies and across ever extending
geographic regions, threatening peace and security.
this regard, the Pakistani envoy underscored the need to address the underlying
causes that create terrorist recruits – unresolved internal and inter-state
conflicts, illegal use of force, external aggression and intervention, foreign
occupation, denial of self-determination, political and economic injustice and
the marginalization and alienation of communities and groups. “It is only by
addressing these underlying causes can the world community erode the appeal of the
narratives of hate and hostility which provide the oxygen for the existence and
growth of terrorism.” In her remarks, Ambassador Lodhi said Pakistan was
suffering from “region-based and supported” terrorist acts aimed at destroying
and disrupting the life of the people, but the country was determined and fully
capable of repelling such state sponsored terrorism. Pakistan’s resilience had
been tested many times, she said, emphasizing that a multi-pronged strategy —
the military-led Zarb-e-Azb operation — had helped to destroy terrorist
organizations and constrain their ability to carry out lethal attacks.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday pushed Tunisia's prime minister to
speed up the returns of rejected asylum seekers, as Tunis rebuffed criticism
that it was blocking repatriations.
German leader has been battling to get Tunis to take back its citizens, with
the issue taking on greater urgency since the deadly assault on a Berlin
Christmas market in December.
militant attack which claimed 12 lives has been blamed on Anis Amri, a Tunisian
whose asylum application had been rejected half a year earlier, but could not
be expelled because of Tunisian bureaucratic delays. But ahead of the meeting
in Berlin, Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed threw out any criticism.
thing that I must say very clearly: the Tunisian authorities have not made any
mistakes," Chahed told Germany's biggest selling daily Bild. "Anis
Amri was no terrorist when he left Tunisia in 2011, there were no signs that he
had been radicalised. "With regards to the identity documents, here too,
the Tunisian authorities acted correctly," he said.
said "cooperation with Germany works very well now" but threw the
ball back in Berlin's court. "We need from the German side clear evidence
that we are really dealing with Tunisians," he said, estimating the number
of his fellow citizens concerned by possible expulsions from Germany at around
1,000. "Illegal immigrants who use false identity documents make it
difficult and delay the process."
has been under pressure to reduce the number of asylum seekers in Germany,
after the country took in over a million migrants and refugees since 2015.
While most refugees from war-torn Syria have qualified for temporary safe
haven, applicants from Tunisia as well as Algeria and Morocco generally have
not, because their countries are considered stable. Last year the success rates
for asylum requests was 3.5 percent for Moroccans, 2.7 percent for Algerians
and just 0.8 percent for Tunisians.
A day after the Jamaatul Ahrar faction of the TTP said the Lahore attack was
part of its ‘Ghazi operations’ likening it with the killing of Abdul Rashid
Ghazi, the deputy imam of Lal Masjid, the mosque administration distanced
itself from the group calling it anti-Islam and anti-state entity.
blast that took place on Monday in Lahore killed over 10 people, including two
senior police officials, and injuring more than 70 others.
attack: Defence analysts hold authorities responsible
TTP Ahrar has said in a statement that the attack was part of its ‘Ghazi
operations’, linking it with Abdul Rashid Ghazi, who was killed in the 2007
military raid on Lal Masjid.
‘Shuhada Foundation,’ which represents Lal Masjid and deals with the cases of
the students killed in the bloody stand-off, strongly condemned Ahrar for
naming its activities after Abdul Rashid Ghazi and dubbed the outfit anti-Islam
Ehtesham Ahmad, spokesman for the foundation, said Ahrar has no relations with
Islam and Pakistan and is “carrying out terrorist activities in Pakistan at the
behest of the Indian agency RAW.”
terrorism by the TTP Ahrar is not only destabilising Pakistan but is also
defaming Islam and Jihad,” he said in a statement.
said Rashid Ghazi had “sacrificed his life for the supremacy of Islam and
opposed oppression until his death.
Following Monday’s horrific suicide attack on The Mall which claimed 13 lives
and left over 100 people injured, Punjab’s law enforcement agencies have
launched a province-wide crackdown on banned militant organisations.
body parts of the suspected suicide bomber have been sent for DNA test to establish
involved in the investigation into the incident said that senior police
officials were the main target of the suicide bomber who blew himself up during
a protest by chemists.
said that Jamaat-ul-Ahrar (JuA), an offshoot of the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan,
which claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement, had attached a
photograph of the bomber to the statement. Earlier, the group had done so after
carrying out a terror attack on Gulshan-i-Iqbal Park 11 months ago.
Provincial Intelligence Centre of the Punjab Home Department has issued a
letter directing police high-ups to beef up security in different cities of the
body parts sent for DNA test; operations to target areas of ‘Afghan/Pathan community’
letter has been circulated among the divisional commissioners, regional police
officers, capital city police officer of Lahore, deputy commissioners, city
police officers and district police officers.
officer privy to the development told Dawn that the crackdown was ordered on
the basis of intelligence reports suggesting that militants might have planned
similar attacks in other cities.
Home Department has directed law enforcement agencies to ensure extreme
vigilance and heightened security.
operations [must] be conducted in all targeted areas, particularly where the
Afghan/Pathan community is residing,” the letter reads. It recommends thorough
snap checking at police check-posts and says that abandoned or unidentified
vehicles should not be allowed to be parked near public places.
jams must be avoided by intelligent use of traffic police staff as [they] can
become a serious security hazard,” the letter says.
Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) official told Dawn that initial
investigations into the Mall attack suggested that the suicide bomber was quite
young and had approached the site of the blast from Regal Chowk on foot.
might have been briefed about his exact target right before the suicide attack
and his handlers might have gathered information about the presence of senior
police officers at the spot from TV coverage of the protest by chemists, the
initial investigation was based on the modus operandi of the bomber and the
militant organisation that had claimed responsibility for the attack.
official confirmed that law enforcement agencies had received a particular
threat alert regarding The Mall attack which described police official as the
main target. In the wake of the alert, a joint combing and intelligence-based
operation was launched in the city but no significant arrests were made, he
Capital City Police Officer Amin Wains also said that the terrorists had
targeted senior police officials, not the protesters.
Traffic Officer retired Captain Ahamd Mobin and acting DIG (operations) Zahid
Nawaz Gondal were killed in the suicide attack.
were more than 150 traders, pharmacists and chemists at the protest camp when
the attack took place, Mr Wains said. The bomber walked to the police officials
and blew himself up.
An anti-terrorism court indicted on Tuesday a Muttahida Qaumi Movement lawmaker
in explosive and illicit weapon cases.
Rangers had arrested Mohammad Kamran Farooq, a member of the Sindh Assembly, in
December in the Garden area for allegedly carrying a hand grenade and an
the ATC-IX judge read out the charges against him, he pleaded not guilty and
opted to contest the cases.
court summoned the prosecution witnesses to record their evidence on March 7.
MPA was booked in two cases under Section 4/5 of the Explosive Substances Act,
1908 and Section 23(i)(a) of the Sindh Arms Act, 2013 read with Section 7 of
the Anti-terrorism Act, 1997 on a complaint of the Rangers at the Nabi Bakhsh
to the prosecution, the lawmaker in his confessional statement recorded before
a judicial magistrate on Dec 31 had not only admitted to have been carrying a
grenade and a unlicensed weapon but also disclosed his and other MQM leaders’
involvement in the May 12 mayhem, Tahir Plaza arson attack, China-cutting and
MPA in his statement also implicated MQM-Pakistan chief Farooq Sattar as one of
the perpetrators behind the May 12 carnage, it added.
fire case to be heard in prison
authorities informed an anti-terrorism court on Tuesday that the trial of the
Baldia factory fire case would have to be conducted inside the prison due to
sector in-charge of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement Abdul Rehman, alias Bhola, and
Zubair, alias Charya, along with their absconding accomplices have been booked
for allegedly setting fire to a multi-storey garment factory in Baldia Town
over non-payment of protection money in September 2012.
250 workers were burnt alive in the tragic incident.
militants killed in airstrikes in southern Uruzgan province
least 20 militants were killed in a series of airstrikes conducted in southern
Uruzgan province of Afghanistan.
to the local security officials, the militants were targeted in the vicinity of
Tarinkot city, the provincial capital of Uruzgan.
governor’s spokesman Dost Mohammad Nayab confirmed that several airstrikes were
carried out against the militants in this province.
further added that the militants were targeted in strikes conducted both by the
Afghan forces and the foreign based in the country.
said at least 20 militants were killed during the airstrike conducted recently
to Nayab, the airstrikes are being carried out as part of clearance operations
against the militants which were launched few days ago.
says at least 43 militants have been killed or wounded since the operation was
launched a few days ago.
anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not
commented regarding the report so far.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the
Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to the insurgent groups are actively
operating in its various districts.
to the local officials, the militants have intensified attacks in this province
during the past six months and have conducted numerous attacks on government
compounds and security posts.
Bangladesh police on Tuesday shot dead a militant commander of a banned Isamist
outfit and a close aide of one of the masterminds of the deadly Dhaka cafe
attack in which 22 people, including an Indian girl, were killed.
Musa alias Abu Jar was killed in a "gunfight" with police which
acting on a tip-off raided a house in the northern city of Bogra.
other militants fled the scene leaving wounded Jar at the scene while doctors
declared him dead as we took him to the (nearby) hospital," Zaman said.
Jar was a close aide of neo-JMB leader Jahangir Alam alias Rajib Gandhi, one of
the masterminds of deadly Dhaka cafe attack who was arrested last month,"
Bogra's district police chief Asaduz Zaman told reporters.
said the 32-year-old Jar was the northwestern commander of the neo-JMB
(Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh). Polce said Jar was involved in the murders
of a Muslim and a Christian businessman. However, both the murders were claimed
two people, including an Indian, were killed when militant stormed the upscale
Holey Artisan Bakery and Kitchen restaurant in Dhaka's diplomatic zone on July
1 last year. ISIS had claimed responsibility for the cafe attack. But police
believe that New-JMB, which is close to the ISIS, was involved in organising
son Sabri was just an ordinary teen growing up in Belgium, until he began to
become reclusive and serious about Islam, Saliha Ben Ali recalled.
18-year-old Belgian boy of Tunisian heritage drifted away from his family and
could not resist the lure of radicalism that his mother is fighting against
today as the founder of a Brussels-based NGO, the Society Against Violent
Extremism (S.A.V.E.) Belgium.
son, who vanished in August 2013, ended up being killed in Syria in December of
that year, she said. He died fighting for the Islamic State (IS) extremist
group, against which Ben Ali has since “declared war,” as she told the French
newspaper Le Figaro last year.
was very much curious. Thousands of questions whirled inside him. He fell prey
to the wrong people at the wrong time, and could not recover,” Ben Ali told a
seminar at Dhaka University on Tuesday.
Ali has made it her mission to fight against the indoctrination of young minds
by radical groups such as IS, and is visiting Bangladesh this week to spread
this message in the predominantly Muslim country that has seen a rise in
Islamic radicalism, where scores of youths from across the social spectrum
apparently joined local extremist groups.
Ali said she wanted to make mothers in Bangladesh aware of changes she noticed
in Sabri before she lost him.
from radical groups “spread venom in the name of religion. They find
conspiracies in everything,” Ben Ali said.
told the story of how she lost her son, while appearing on a panel titled “Campaign
to Counter Violent Extremism: Learning from S.A.V.E. Belgium,” organized by the
American Center in Dhaka and the Innovation for Well Being Foundation, a
Bangladeshi NGO that promotes mental health nationwide.
are identified after getting involved with militancy, but the question is why
should they become involved?” said Bangladeshi journalist, Julfikar Ali, who
spoke at the seminar.
alone can’t fight militancy. Militants don’t only fight with machetes, bombs or
grenades. They are also radicalizing social and cultural sectors into
fundamentalism. They have taken on a mission to ruin the secular values,” he
speaker, Mekhla Sarkar, a professor at the National Mental Health Institute,
explained some of the psychology behind the appeal of radicalism to young
youngsters get involved with militancy, they are always very curious at that
age. They want to show heroism. They want to prove that they are now grown and
mature enough,” he said.
and family members need to listen to them with patience.”
her visit to Bangladesh, Ben Ali will meet with families who have lost children
to radicalism or whose children have gone missing and are feared to have been
recruited into extremist ranks. She also will meet with police officials and
representatives of various ministries.
Tuesday, she told her audience in Dhaka how her son grew into a frustrated
youth, after he dropped out of high school and could not land a job.
tried to enlist in the Belgian military, but it wouldn’t take him, she said,
alleging that her son was a victim of anti-Muslim discrimination.
lamented to me that he could not secure a job even though he knew three
languages. He was always under vigilance. While boarding a bus, police used to
frisk him. He could not escape police surveillance while coming out of cinemas
along with his girlfriend,” Ben Ali said.
have been living in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, along the Bay of Bengal, since as
early as 11th century and they grew significantly in the 15th; but they are now
living there amid persistent confrontation with the rulers and Buddhist
hardliners who tend to establish full control on the land pushing them towards
the persecution on the Myanmar’s multi-cultural Muslims – collectively
identified as Rohingyas – has increased manifold over the last couple of years,
now the international community and the armed Islamist groups have come forward
with just the opposite sets of solutions.
majority of Rakhine Muslims do not support the armed struggle that they have
been witnessing since the partition of India since they have to face the
aftermath, brutal assaults by the military and other law enforcement agencies,
and stricter rules.
government, rights groups and individuals from Bangladesh are pressing the
Myanmar government to recognise the Muslims as their citizens while the local
and regional militant groups have declared all-out jihad as they consider it as
the perfect time to avenge the recent atrocities carried out by the Myanmar
military since the October 9 attacks on its border police.
Rohingya militant group Harakah al-Yaqin (Faith Movement, HaY) claimed
responsibility for the pre-planned attacks that killed nine policemen.
RSO has been blamed for occasional attacks on security forces in northern
Rakhine State, for example deadly attacks on Border Guard Police patrols in
northern Maungdaw in February and May 2014
from the October 9 attacks, 11 additional strikes were carried out by the
Rohingya militants all over the infected areas killing seven members of the
army and wounding three others, the Myanmar government claims.
al-Qaeda affiliate was formed after the 2012 sectarian violence in Rakhine with
Muslim youths from Myanmar and the Bangladeshi Rohingya camps.
Read- Myanmar to execute Rohingya man for raid on police post
to the United Nations, some 69,000 Muslims have taken shelter in Bangladesh
since October to save their life. These people are narrating horrific stories
of mass murder, torture, rape and arson attacks by the military.
confrontation between the Muslims of different origins and Buddhists living in
the Rakhine State led to a massacre during the World War II, and later the
Muslims “fled to the north, where they were the majority, and Rakhine Buddhists
moved south,” according to a recent report of the International Crisis Group
(ICG) on the Rohingya insurgency.
mujahidin rebellion erupted in April 1948, a few months after independence. The
rebels initially explored the possibility of annexing northern Rakhine State to
East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), but Pakistan rejected this.
then sought the right as full citizens in an autonomous Muslim area in the
north of the state and an end to discrimination by the Rakhine Buddhist
officials who replaced the colonial administrators, the report states.
whole region of Rakhine State is separated from the rest of the country by the
Yuma range running north to south.
response to the rebellion, the immigration authorities placed restrictions on
the movement of Muslims from northern Rakhine to Sittwe, the state capital.
“Some 13,000 Muslims who fled during the war and were living in refugee camps
in India and East Pakistan were not permitted to return; those who did were
considered illegal immigrants,” the ICG says.
Read- Inside the Rakhine State insurgency
rebels then targeted Rakhine Buddhist interests as well as the government,
quickly seizing control of large parts of the north and expelling many Buddhist
villagers. Law and order almost completely broke down, with two communist
insurgencies (Red Flag and White Flag) in addition to the mujahidin, as well as
Rakhine nationalist groups, including the (Marxist) Arakan People’s Liberation
Party, in the south of the state.
embattled Burmese army, facing ethnic insurgencies across the country,
controlled little of Rakhine other than Sittwe. In the violence and chaos,
relations between Buddhist and Muslim communities deteriorated further,” says
the ICG report. “Many moderate Rakhine Muslim leaders rejected the mujahidin
insurgency, even vainly asking the government for arms to fight back.”
Myanmar Army launched a massive offensive, Operation Monsoon, in 1954 that
captured most of the mujahidin mountain strongholds on the then East Pakistan
border. “The rebellion was eventually ended through ceasefires in 1961 and
defeat of remaining groups, leaving only small-scale armed resistance and
screengrab of a recent YouTube video shows Ata Ullah, the alleged spokesperson
of Harakah al-Yaqin Dhaka Tribune
1961, the government established a Mayu Frontier Administration in northern
Rakhine, administered by army officers rather than Rakhine officials. But a
military coup the following year led to a more hardline stance toward
minorities, and the Mayu Frontier Administration was dissolved. This prompted
attempts to re-form the mujahidin movement that failed to gain significant local
military crackdown named Operation King Dragon began in 1978 as the mujahideens
began to regroup. In 1974, the Rohingya Patriotic Front armed group was formed,
inspired by the rise of pan-Islamist movements in the world, from the remnants
of earlier failures.
split into several factions, one of the more radical of which became the RSO
armed group in 1982 when the government refused to recognise the Rohingya
Muslims as citizens.
Read- ‘We will fight until the last drop of blood’
RSO split again in 1986, giving rise to the Arakan Rohingya Islamic Front
(ARIF) splinter; in 1998, the two groups formed a loose alliance, the Arakan
Rohingya National Organisation.
the 1980s and 1990s, the RSO had small bases in remote parts of Bangladesh near
the Myanmar border but was not thought to have any inside Myanmar,” the ICG
RSO has also become something of a Rohingya militant brand that anyone can use,
regardless of connections to the original organisation.
its highest-profile attack, in April 1994, several dozen fighters entered
Maungdaw from Bangladesh, including a group landed by boat in Myin Hlut
village-tract, south Maungdaw.
Read- Rohingya refugees begging on streets
April 28, bombs they planted in Maungdaw town caused damage and several
civilian injuries, and fighters followed up with attacks on the town’s
outskirts. The group did not receive strong local support, and the security
forces, alerted by informants, quickly defeated them.
RSO lost much of its strength by the end of the 1990s, though it kept an
organisational structure in Bangladesh and did training and occasional small
attacks on Myanmar security forces into the early-2000s.
Myanmar military intelligence report, cited in a US diplomatic cable in 2002,
made the “generally plausible” claim that 90 RSO/ARIF members attended a
guerrilla-war course, and 13 also participated in explosives and heavy-weapons
courses in Libya and Afghanistan in August 2001.
current Russian leaders are still thinking to interfere in Afghanistan despite
28 years pass from the bitter defeat of the former Soviet Union forces in the
country, an Afghan lawmaker said Tuesday.
Speaker of the Lower House of the Parliament, Wolesi Jirga, Abdul Rauf
Ibrahimi, made the remarks during a gathering in Kabul to mark the 28th
university of the withdrawal of Soviet forces.
said the current Russian leaders are unfortunately still thinking to interfere
despite 28 years have passed and are keen to weaken the democratic system of
Afghanistan by supporting the Taliban group.
further added that the defeat of the Soviet forces in Afghanistan 28 years ago
must not be repeated by those thinking to interfere and must consider it as a
remarks by Ibrahimi came as reports have emerged recently suggesting the
growing establishment of relations between Russia and the Taliban group.
top US commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson said last week that
Russia has become more assertive over the past year, overtly lending legitimacy
to the Taliban to undermine NATO efforts and bolster belligerents using the
false narrative that only the Taliban are fighting ISIL-K.
Saudis killed in recent Yemen border fighting
- At least 12 Saudi soldiers have died on the southern border since early
February, according to an unusual series of official reports released as the
country fights Yemeni rebels.
separate dispatches since February 5, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) has carried
photographs of funerals for the "martyrs" it said died
"defending the southern borders."
most recent report, published late on Monday, named Jaber Haroubi as the latest
soldier to be killed.
also quoted the father of another military casualty, Mohammed al-Manjahi, as
saying he was proud of his son.
Saudi-led coalition began air strikes over Yemen in March 2015 to support the
internationally recognised government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in
the fight against Iran-backed Huthi rebels.
Huthis, allied with former members of the security forces loyal to ex-president
Ali Abdullah Saleh, have carried out retaliatory rocket strikes and engaged in
firefights along the border.
have also launched ballistic missiles further into the kingdom.
earlier AFP tally of reports by the Saudi interior ministry and civil defence
department found that at least 115 civilians and soldiers had been killed on
the southern border since coalition operations began.
total has now reached at least 127.
Western diplomat told AFP last week that more than 100 members of the Saudi
armed forces had likely been killed since the coalition intervened nearly two
coalition's spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment on the
media have previously reported on funerals for dead troops. But this month's
series of dispatches, including photographs of slain soldiers' families bearing
coffins, is unusual.
said the director of the Border Guards, Awad al-Balwi, last Wednesday paid
tribute to two of his men killed in the Jazan region on the frontier.
were among the best," SPA said he told the dead men's families while
conveying condolences in their villages.
Saudi interior ministry regularly gives details of casualties among its Border
Guard troops but other military services normally do not.
on Monday reported that separate funeral prayers were held for five other
soldiers killed on duty in the south.
were no details of how they died.
rebels' Almasirah television website said on Monday that insurgents killed an
unspecified number of Saudi soldiers during an advance "towards the
mountains surrounding Jazan".
latest losses came as Yemeni government forces claimed full control of the Red
Sea coastal town of Mokha on Friday and prepared a push further north into
and military sources in Yemen on Monday reported renewed clashes in Mokha as
well as the coastal town of Midi, which is just over the border from Jazan.
reported eight rebels and three pro-government troops dead in fighting on
loyalist troops died on Tuesday when a coalition air strike hit their convoy
north of Mokha in "error", a military source said.
war in Yemen has left thousands dead and millions struggling to feed
themselves, a toll which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in Riyadh
on Sunday left him heartbroken.
ceasefires brokered between government and rebel forces by the UN have failed,
while UN-backed peace talks have repeatedly broken down.
states urged to ‘seize opportunity’ of Rouhani visit
- A top Iranian official called on the Gulf Arab states on Tuesday to seize the
opportunity of a visit by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Oman and Kuwait
to improve ties, warning that a chance like this would "pass like a
will visit Oman and Kuwait on Wednesday on his first visit to the Gulf states
since taking power in 2013.
six Arab members of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), especially Saudi Arabia,
accuse Iran of using sectarianism to interfere in Arab countries and build its
own sphere of influence in the Middle East. Iran denies the accusations.
regional initiative to accept invitation of leaders of Oman and Kuwait signals
the need for Islamic friendship and restoration of regional ties," Hamid
Aboutalebi, the Iranian president's deputy chief of staff, tweeted on Tuesday.
regional initiative is an opportunity that our regional friends should seize.
Opportunity passes like a cloud. Take advantage of the good opportunity,"
Arabia and Bahrain cut diplomatic relations with Iran in January 2016 after
protesters torched the Saudi embassy in Tehran. Kuwait, Qatar and the United
Arab Emirates recalled their envoys in a show of solidarity with Riyadh, but
Oman only expressed regret over the attack, highlighting its better ties.
has traditionally resisted Gulf Arab states' efforts to close ranks against
Iran. It helped to mediate secret US-Iran talks in 2013 that led to a historic
nuclear deal signed in Geneva two years later.
foreign minister paid a rare visit to Tehran late in January to deliver a
message to Rouhani on the "basis of dialogue" between Gulf Arab
states and Iran.
said Kuwait was among at least 10 countries to have offered to mediate in Iran's
escalating feud with Saudi Arabia.
Iranian president will meet Oman's Sultan Qaboos in Muscat on Wednesday before
travelling on to Kuwait on the invitation of its ruler, Emir Sheikh Sabah
al-Ahmad al-Sabah, Rouhani's deputy chief of staff for communications, Parviz
Esmaeili, was quoted as saying on Monday by state-run Press TV.
ambassador to Kuwait, Alireza Enayati, was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying
that "on this one-day visit regional issues as well as bilateral
cooperation will be discussed".
Netanyahu visit, Trump will show a welcome Israel policy shift from Obama
no event better illustrates the foreign policy shift in Washington than the
reception Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will get when he arrives
Wednesday for his first U.S. visit since the election of Donald Trump.
the hard-line Mr. Netanyahu and President Obama famously had trouble getting
along, Mr. Trump has become known for his forthright and repeated vows to prove
“there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally.”
the general mood will be warm, there could be moments of tension. Mr. Trump and
his aides have appeared to criticize the Netanyahu government for its
accelerated policy of Jewish settlements on land Palestinians want for an
independent state, signaled that the U.S. for now will abide by the Iran
nuclear deal, and slow-walked Mr. Trump’s promise to move the U.S. Embassy to
on a symbolic level, both sides will be looking to show that tensions of the
recent past are gone.
President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu have a very big stake in wanting
to demonstrate that whatever problems were with the last administration, they
are now gone, said Dennis Ross, who served as the top U.S. diplomat to the
Israeli-Palestinian peace process in the George H.W. Bush and the Clinton
Netanyahu told reporters in Jerusalem that he would handle ties with the U.S.,
in a “prudent manner,” but he offered few specifics.
alliance between Israel and America has always been extremely strong. It’s
about to get even stronger. President Trump and I see eye to eye on the dangers
emanating from the region, but also on the opportunities,” Mr. Netanyahu said
as he boarded a plane to Washington, The Associated Press reported.
say Mr. Trump may use Mr. Netanyahu’s visit to announce the listing of Iran’s
Revolutionary Guard Corps — the powerful branch of the Iranian military charged
with protecting the principles of the country’s Islamic revolution — as a
terrorist organization. At a minimum, the two men are expected to make a joint
public condemnation of Iran’s recent activity across the Middle East.
Netanyahu, who was first elected in 1996 and has since been in and out of power
in Israel through successive U.S. administrations, will also be putting some
heavy issues on the table, including Mr. Trump’s expressed desire to cooperate
with Russia in defeating the Islamic State in Syria, where Tehran and Moscow
are working together in support of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
is [not] against seeing U.S.-Russian cooperation,” Mr. Ross said, but he wants
to be sure “that whatever comes out of Syria, it can’t be a new front that
Israel faces on its border with the [Iran] Revolutionary Guard and with
two leaders are also expected to discuss the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace
process, which repeatedly frustrated the efforts of the Obama administration
and former Secretary of State John F. Kerry.
president-elect, Mr. Trump slammed the Obama White House for breaking with
practice and refusing to block a December U.N. Security Council resolution
condemning Israeli settlement construction in Palestinian areas of the West
Bank. The move was widely seen as a sign of Washington’s growing impatience
with Mr. Netanyahu and settlement policies.
Trump may stand with Israeli hard-liners on the issue. The president’s son-in-law,
Jared Kushner, now a top White House aide, along with David Friedman, Mr.
Trump’s nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Israel, have deep ties to the Israeli
the Trump White House surprised many last week by suddenly issuing a warning to
Israel that the construction of new settlements “may not be helpful” to peace
efforts — a move that suggested Mr. Trump’s wider view of the situation could
be similar to traditional American foreign policy.
White House has said the issue will be on the table Wednesday, but analysts
contend that efforts will be made to avoid the appearance of any friction.
if the two men disagree on Israel’s policies, we are likely to see a return to
where disagreements between allies are discussed quietly and respectfully,
behind closed doors,” said Jonathan Schanzer, vice president of research at the
Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank.
Netanyahu visit, Trump faces difficult test on Israel this week
Trump this week could become the latest president to backtrack on a
campaign-trail promise to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem. Or he could become the first president to make good on that pledge,
at the risk of unleashing chaos in America’s relationship with the Arab world.
the embassy would mean that the U.S. formally recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s
capital, undermining Palestinian hopes of anchoring a future state in the
eastern part of the city — and thereby potentially making it impossible to
restart stalled Middle East peace talks. Already, Arab allies have warned Trump
against the move, while Israel has encouraged him, at least in public.
decision could come by Wednesday, when the unpredictable president hosts
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. A day later, the
Senate Foreign Relations Committee will grill Trump’s pick to be U.S.
ambassador to Israel, bankruptcy lawyer David Friedman.
from Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement have downed a Saudi Arabian drone over
the war-torn country’s central province of Ma'rib.
to Yemeni military sources, the unmanned aerial vehicle was shot down while
engaged in operations over the province’s Sirwah district.
Saturday, nearly a dozen civilians lost their lives when Saudi military
aircraft carried out an airstrike against a residential neighborhood in Yemen's
southwestern province of Ta'izz.
to the United Nations humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, the
Yemeni conflict has claimed the lives of 10,000 people and left 40,000 others
senior Austrian opposition lawmaker has accused Turkey of running an informer
network via its embassy in Vienna aimed at targeting the critics of President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan and promoting his policies.
Tuesday, Peter Pilz, from the Austrian Greens party, said at a news conference
that he had sent documents regarding the activities of the network, run by the
umbrella group ATIB, to the police.
ATIB is headed by the religion attaché at Turkey's embassy, Fatih Mehmet
Karadas, and oversees the activities of dozens of mosques across Austria.
ATIB umbrella group is an instrument of hard, ruthless and, in my view, legally
unacceptable Turkish government politics in Austria," Pilz told a news
noted that the Turkish government sends imams to work for the ATIB to collect
information in particular about followers of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen,
whom Erdogan has accused of plotting an attempted coup in Turkey last July.
denies any involvement in the abortive coup, which claimed the lives of at
least 240 people. However, the Turkish government has arrested tens of
thousands of people over suspected ties with the US-based cleric.
umbrella organization also monitors Turkish Kurds, Turkish opposition
politicians and journalists in Austria, Pilz added.
combo file photo shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, and
US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.
to the comments by the Austrian lawmaker, the Turkish government and the ATIB
issued separate statements, denying the accusations.
absolutely reject these allegations. We urge Austrian officials to act with
reason and to refrain from statements that would harm Turkish-Austrian
relations and the peace of the Turkish community in Austria,” the Turkish
Foreign Ministry announced in a statement.
another statement, the ATIB said that as an Austrian body it did not tolerate
any foreign interference.
people, including a child, have been killed in a bomb attack in Yemen’s central
province of Bayda.
to Yemen's official Saba news agency, the bombing was carried out near a
checkpoint in the center of the town of Rada' on Tuesday, when Yemeni soldiers
fired at an advancing car, suspected of carrying explosives, to bar it from
striking itself against a nearby sports and culture club.
huge blast killed the assailant on the spot and claimed the lives of a fighter
with the Houthi Ansarullah movement and a child. It also injured at least eight
explosives-laden car was heading to target the club, in which a ceremony was
held in commemoration of martyrs from the Yemeni army and the Ansarullah
explosion also damaged a nearby school and shattered the windows of houses that
were in the vicinity of the blast site.
individual or group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it was
carried out in a province where Takfiri terrorists belonging to Al-Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) are present.
bomb attacks are not uncommon in the war-torn Yemen, where the Daesh Takfiri
terrorist group and AQAP have gained footholds.
search under the rubble of damaged houses following Saudi airstrikes on the
outskirts of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, February 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
has also been severely bombarded by warplanes belonging to its northern
neighbor Saudi Arabia, which launched a full-scale war against Yemen in March
2015. The campaign has killed at least 11,400 Yemenis, according to the latest
internal spy agency, Shin Bet, says the regime has temporarily withdrawn its
ambassador to Egypt, citing security concerns in the North African country.
to security considerations the return of the foreign ministry embassy staff to
Cairo has been restricted," the agency said in a statement released on
Tuesday without elaborating on when the pull-out took place.
Britain's Daily Telegraph said Israel's ambassador to Cairo, David Govrin, had
been pulled out of the diplomatic mission at the end of last year.
to the report, the envoy is currently working from Jerusalem al-Quds while Tel
Aviv hopes that he will be able to return to his post soon.
has been wracked by a series of terror attacks.
Daesh-affiliated militant group operating in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula has
recently stepped up its assaults, taking advantage of the chaos created
following the ouster of the country’s first democratically-elected president
Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
is situated in the northeastern extremity of Egypt and adjoins the occupied
territories and the blockaded Gaza Strip on the east.
Israeli mission reopened in September 2015 after four years of closure.
soldiers kill at least 101 in militia clashes: UN
targeting the Kamwina Nsapu militia group in central Democratic Republic of
Congo killed at least 101 people between Feb. 9 and Feb. 13, including 39 women,
the UN said on Tuesday.
soldiers fired indiscriminately with machine guns when they saw the militia
fighters, who were armed mainly with machetes and spears, human rights
spokeswoman Liz Throssell said, citing sources in the country.
are deeply concerned at the reported high number of deaths, which if confirmed
would suggest excessive and disproportionate use of force by the
soldiers," she said.
have died and tens of thousands have been uprooted in central Congo in recent
months in battles between security forces and the militia, who are seeking to
avenge the death of their leader Kamwina Nsapu.
was killed by the Congolese armed forces last August, after vowing to rid
Congo's Kasai-Central province of all state security forces, accusing them of
abusing the local population.
appears that since then the militia have become radicalized and they are
attacking state institutions, what they see as the symbols of the state. The
actual roots of the conflict are very deep and very complex," Throssell
authority of some customary chiefs is recognized by the government and can be
passed from father to son, but Kamwina Nsapu was not officially recognized.
say militia violence in Congo, a tinderbox of conflicts linked to land,
ethnicity and mineral resources, has been exacerbated by President Joseph
Kabila's failure to step down when his constitutional mandate expired in
did not have an estimate of the total size of the Kamwina Nsapu militia, but
said there had been several attacks involving over 100 militia members.
have a lot of popular support," she added.
of the militia fighters are children but Throssell could not confirm if
children were among the dead. The majority of the dead were thought to be
militia members, but 39 women were caught in the firing line and killed during
an incident in a market on Feb. 9, she said.
clashes took place in and around the town of Tshimbulu, about 160 km (100
miles) south of the provincial capital Kananga, she said.
who heads the Al Tawheed Islam Centre in Lenasia‚ Johannesburg‚ was said he was
thrilled to be back in the country. The centre‚ which has branches across the
country‚ caters to orphans‚ the homeless and the impoverished.
had spent almost 500 days in Egyptian custody after he was detained without
charges in December 2014.
was detained when he entered Egypt with his family to attend his daughter’s
engagement. On arrival at Cairo International Airport‚ he and his son Bilal
were taken into custody.
were interrogated separately about their political affiliations and questioned
whether they were members of the Muslim Brotherhood‚ which Egypt’s government
has declared a terrorist organisation. Bilal was released 20 hours later.
66-year-old was released in March last year under house arrest.
who holds dual Egyptian and South African citizenship and has lived in South
Africa for 25 years‚ arrived in Johannesburg on Sunday.
feel safe and at peace in South Africa. It was very difficult in Egypt.
Conditions inside the prison were terrible. I had to sleep on a blanket on the
floor in a small room with many people. I fell in the bath and injured my back
and received no treatment except one painkiller a week. I received no help from
the courts‚” he said.
said he had gone with his family to Egypt to get his daughter married and was
surprised when he was taken and interrogated.
Church, Others Withdraw Suit Against Conversion of Girl to Islam, Marriage
Evangelical Church Winning All, ECWA, and Trustees of Stefanos Foundation have
withdrawn a suit filed before a Katsina High Court against conversion of a
teenage girl, Habiba Ishaku, to Islam.
News Agency of Nigeria reports that the girl had eloped, embraced Islam and
married one Jamilu Lawal in Wawar-kaza village of Kankara Local Government Area
of Katsina State.
girl had also written a letter to the court to disassociate herself from the
suit purportedly instituted on her behalf and put her age at 18 years.
in the case were the Katsina State Government, Katsina Emirate Council and Jamilu
the proceedings on Tuesday, the court informed the counsel about a letter sent
by the counsel to the plaintiff, Bawa Yakubu, urging the court to discontinue
with the suit.
the letter, Mr. Yakubu told the court that the decision was necessitated by the
amicable settlement between the parties involved facilitated by Governor Aminu
therefore, urged the court to strike out the case.
his submission, the counsel to the state government and the emirate council,
Abu Umar, urged the court to ask the parties involved to honour the resolution
and "dismiss" the case.
Nasir, counsel to Habiba's husband, Jamilu Lawal, said that Habiba was at
liberty to convert to Islam from Christianity at her will.
judge, Baraka Wali, adjourned the sitting to February 17 for ruling on the
Mohamed Olad Hassan
military court in northern Somalia town of Bosaso has on Monday sentenced seven
suspected al-Shabab Islamist militants to death.
Haji Aden, the Chairman of Puntland's military court, said, the militants are
proved to have been part of a high profile assassination against Puntland
earlier accused the militants of having carried out coordinated assassinations
against Puntland officials.
all the court proceeding including hearings and the presentation of evidences
the court sentences these seven men to death,” Aden said. “They can take an
appeal within 30 days otherwise the sentence will be carried out.”
the court, before the sentence were announced, some of the defendants shouted
“We are innocent!”
defendants' lawyers said, “The sentence was unfair and no credible evidences
were brought before the court.”
past three months suspected militants killed three senior Puntland officials in
Bosaso port city, the commercial hub of Puntland.
Francis meets Hebrew University officials to plan interfaith education program
Pope Francis met with officials from Hebrew University of Jerusalem to develop
and plan an interfaith educational program seeking to promote civic opportunity
and dialogue among youths from the Middle East and around the world.
to organizers, the initiative will be an international conference hosted by the
Vatican’s Pontifical Scholas Occurentes program and Hebrew University’s Truman
Research Institute next summer, and will “bring together youth, educators and
academics to Jerusalem under the banner of ‘The Culture of Encounter Through
scholars and organizations dealing with social issues, as well as researchers
from around the world, are expected to join the participants at Hebrew
University “to discuss the promotion of peace and a better future, and the role
of academia in social action.”
can bring us together and teach us to create the bonds of friendship. With the
intuition of Scholas and the intelligence and history of the Hebrew University,
I am sure that this will produce great changes in the world,” Pope Francis
University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson said, “The Hebrew University and
its Truman Institute are excited to work with Pope Francis and Scholas to
foster encounters between young people, academia, and the real world, towards
progress and peace. This project is aimed at building a better future for the
half a million Muslims are set to get their first official mosque in more than
city has not had a formal mosque since it drove out occupying Ottomans in 1833,
and deputy foreign minister Ioannis Amanantidis told parliament last year that
it was the only European capital “to be deprived of such a religious space”.
years Muslims have resorted to praying in hundreds of makeshift sites, in
crowded basements or dark warehouses targeted by racist attackers.
May, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras declared building a mosque long overdue. The
government, he said, would push ahead “out of respect for the Muslim residents in
our capital, but also because we are obliged to actively defend our values.”
new mosque – a 1,000 square metre building without a minaret, split over two
levels – is expected to be ready in April in an old naval base in an
industrial, rundown part of Athens.
need the mosque for our new generation, for our youth ... to feel equal in law,
equal in society,” said Greece’s Muslim Association spokeswoman Anna Stamou, a
Greek who converted to Islam.
prayers in the underground garage where she and her family went were recited in
Arabic and Greek. Men knelt down to pray on its humid crimson carpet,
ventilation pipes barely above their heads.
to build a mosque began in 1890 with an act of parliament, but all fell
through, including one timed for the 2004 Olympics. The latest effort split the
ruling coalition and Tsipras’s right-wing partners voted against a bill to
speed up construction. Critics say Athens, kept afloat by international funds
since 2010, cannot spare the 800,000 euros to build it.
Dawn, the ultranationalist party third in popularity in polls, says migrants
are burdening state resources at a time of crisis. Others still associate
mosques with Turkey, its Muslim neighbour and longstanding rival.
months last year a dozen Greek nationalists occupied the mosque site and set up
a homeless centre, calling it “a hot spot for Greeks” drawing a contrast with
centres on Greek islands for mainly Muslim refugees and migrants arriving from
still on the compound’s boarded up gate are stark: “No mosque,” graffiti reads.
for the Dutch election kicks off on Wednesday with anti-Islam leader Geert
Wilders frontrunner in a vote that will test the anti-establishment sentiment
that swept Britain out of the European Union and Donald Trump into the U.S.
a eurosceptic, anti-immigration fan of Trump has dubbed the March 15
parliamentary election the start of a "Patriotic Spring" in Europe,
where French and German voters go to the polls in May and September.
Trump's win and the Brexit vote, it will not be a shock if Wilders and his
Party for Freedom win, he has led in opinion polls for most of the past two
years and the fragmented political landscape means a coalition government of four
or more parties is all but inevitable.
main rival, Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the conservative VVD Party, is banking
on a strengthening economic recovery to restore popularity lost during the
austerity years of 2012-2014.
party is expected to get 20 percent of the popular vote, compared to Rutte's 16
percent. A simple majority of just over half is generally sought to govern, but
all but one party have ruled out sharing power with Wilders, whose policies are
seen by many as offensive and sometimes unconstitutional.
are 31 parties competing for votes, with 14 likely to win at least one seat in
the 150-member Dutch parliament. The next three largest parties command no more
than 10 or 11 percent of the vote.
overwhelming majority of Dutchmen basically do not vote for (Wilders),"
said Kristof Jacobs, a teacher at Radbout University in Nijmegen.
a victory for Wilders is unlikely to lead to the Netherlands leaving the
European Union, closing the border to Muslim immigrants or reinstating the
Dutch currency, policies only his party endorses.
December, Wilders was convicted of inciting discrimination against Moroccans
for leading a chant of "Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!" at an election rally in
Wilders' PVV party finishes first but is unable to form a government, Rutte
will be left trying to forge a centrist coalition with several parties that
share little more than opposition to Wilders.
that case "we will stay put and manage the country until there is a new
coalition," Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said on Tuesday.
"That could even last for up to four years."
proposal that America engage Russia to fight Islamic terrorism is beyond folly.
Russia’s recent intrusion into America’s electoral process may flag caution.
But that is woefully insufficient. The proposal is either willed ignorance or
studied reality reversal.
the proposal dismisses Russia as the overarching existential threat to our
existence, both as a free democratic society and physically. For all its
savagery, ISIS is not an existential threat, whether to the U.S. or to Europe.
ISIS beheads individuals. The Kremlin decapitates entire democratic processes.
Russia has and is everything ISIS does not and is not. Russia remains, as was
the Soviet Union, the largest country on earth, including an entire third of
Asia. It seamlessly projects its power across 11 times zones, from Europe to
the Sea of Japan to miles within the U.S. border. Its combined
nuclear/conventional/chemical/biological arsenal transcends anything we can
USSR was established as the quintessential terrorist state, and was never
merely a “state sponsor” of terrorism. Its terror was organized, methodical and
above all hyperbolic, eclipsing anything that ISIS can engineer. The very
reason for it all was to establish the structure that would destroy the West,
more specifically the greatest Satan of them all (as is for ISIS), the United
of contrition or apology, Putin embraces that legacy. He is the Darwinian
product of 450 years since the founding of the first secret police, the
Oprechnina. “Superior negotiating skills” will not reverse that DNA spiral.
Russia thus has a huge asset that ISIS does not. Our visceral reaction against
ISIS is absolute. But Putin’s worship of Stalin and adoption of his tactics
triggers no comparable reaction in the West. To better understand the point,
consider a former Gestapo officer presiding over a Germany that never admits or
repents, but instead glorifies Hitler and its Nazi past, and invades Denmark
and Holland as “threats” to its security.
the proposal requires that we engage Russia to assist (how, exactly?)
countering a secondary danger whose (i) very creation Russia enabled, aided and
abetted, that (ii) it continues to promote, and that (iii) it continues to be
the beneficiary of. ISIS’s genome was engineered by Moscow as “Arab
Nationalism” in the 1970s and 1980s, training and directing the terrorist
assault on the West. The 1972 Munich Olympics. The bomb attack in Brussels on
General Alexander Haig, commander of NATO. The bombing of the U.S. Marine
barracks in Beirut in 1983. The attack on the USS Cole.
Patrice Lumumba “Friendship” University seconded foreigners to embed Moscow’s
agenda in their own countries. Yassar Arafat was one, the KGB’s makeover receiving
the Nobel Peace Prize. Iran’s Ayatollah Khomenei was another. There were
thousands. Home-grown, non-Arab terrorists were even better: Venezuelan Carlos
the Jackal, Germans Ulrike Meinhoff, French terrorist Regis Debray and former
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi. All were either direct KGB agents or KGB
never renounced its imperatives in birthing and sustaining Islamic terrorism,
Putin declaring at the 2003 conference of the Islamic Conference Organization
that Russia was Islam’s historical defender. Alexander Litvinenko was the
ex-KGB officer who defected and who in 2005 was assassinated by Moscow in
London using Polonium 210—nuclear warfare in Magna Carta’s front yard. He had
revealed that Ayman al-Zawahiri, the head of al-Qaeda, had been trained by the
KGB in Dagestan, a region currently controlled by Russia and that was tied to
the two Boston Marathon bombers. We know that Al-Zawahiri planned 9/11 with
Osama Bin Laden. More recently, the KGB has supplied recruits for ISIS from its
North Caucasus and Central Asia regions.
Islamic terror” serves Russia’s purpose perfectly. Why should Putin refuse its
benefit? The smoke had not cleared from the Boston Common before Putin called
President Obama to intone his sympathy. Particularly for Americans (and,
importantly, as much viscerally as cerebrally), the bombing by two Chechen
brothers rebranded Putin’s genocidal war against Chechnya as a campaign against
“Islamic terrorism” (Chechens are conveniently Muslim). This, in turn, neutralized
Litvinenko’s revelation that the Russian apartment bombings (which were Putin’s
pretext for that genocide) had been the work of Putin himself. We were thereby
relieved of any moral tug that we may have had over Moscow’s assassination of
Litvinenko. At the end, we were presented with seeming proof of Russia’s common
cause with America in fighting “Islamic terror.” With preceding circumstances,
motive, opportunity and benefit established, history will show the Kremlin’s
advance knowledge of the two Tsarnaev brothers’ intentions, and that it could
have prevented the Boston horror. It willfully did not. If a dirty bomb
explodes in Friendship, Maine, or thousands in Topeka simultaneously die from
“natural causes,” the last cry heard may be “Allah Akbar.” We should then well
ponder if that’s as far as it goes.
the proposal eviscerates America’s values and principles—its greatest weaponry
in the world—by endorsing their denial. Russia’s “common interest” is not with
Washington. It’s with ISIS. How many attacks by ISIS have there been in Russia?
Precisely. Russian fundamentalism is at one with radical Islamic
fundamentalism: the subversion and destruction of Western values and its
societal structure. Both market a vitriolic anti-Western ideology, a faux
morality playing the “Western society is immoral” card. Both Russia and ISIS
are propelled to kill. For both, it’s more than a duty. It’s an entitlement.
Heads of teenagers sent in a wooden box to their mothers, death for a cartoon,
the hacking off of limbs, the terrorization of civilians, the use of women and
children as human shields, locating active firepower in nursery schools and
hospitals, castration of prisoners. No, not ISIS, but more than 10,000
innocents killed by Russia in Ukraine and more than 2 million Ukrainian
refugees. And Russian incendiary bombs vaporizing toddlers in Aleppo? If
America confronts ISIS by embracing ideologues sharing the same murderous
purpose and record, our worldwide credibility will suffer even more, and
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