the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation passed a resolution making singing of
Vande Mataram compulsory in all schools it runs.(HT)
the Tricolour, a Note on Patriotism
Amanah Wants Muslim Scholars to Resolve Incest
Nobel Laureates Urge Saudi Arabia to Halt Execution of 14 Shias
Israelis Desert Military Service in Occupied Lands: Report
August: A Day of Gratitude and Renewal of Pledges
Yasin among 3 Terrorists Killed In Shopian Encounter
jawans injured in ceasefire violation by Pakistan in Uri
in Kashmir now on the run: Jaitley
Who Shielded Filipino Christians In ISIS-Held Marawi Says He’s No Hero
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kill 25 jihadists in central Syria
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soon to return home to Saudi village as terrorists are expelled and rehab
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ceremony in capital marks Pakistan's 71st Independence Day
hoists 'largest' Pakistan flag at Wagah Border on eve of Independence Day
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of Buddhists protest against aid agencies in Rakhine
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capture control of Ghormach in northern Faryab province
in Kabul city leaves three wounded
calls meeting amid reports of delay in Afghanistan-India air corridor flights
Getting More Difficult To Fight Islamophobia in Europe: UN Official Gün Kut
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
Manoj R Nair
week, a leading Muslim preacher from Mumbai asked mosques and madrassas, or
religion schools, to fly the national flag on Independence Day.
Syed Moinuddin Ashraf, called Moin Miya by his followers, is an influential
figure and his advice on issues ranging from zakat donations during Ramzan and
education are received with great gravity by those who attend his discourses.
He runs the Jamia Qadriya Ashrafiya, which runs madrassas and other charity institutions.
On Sunday, the Jamaat Ulema e Hind, a group representing religious scholars,
asked madrassas to hoist the tricolor from their buildings.
of his followers, who take his advice on ecclesiastical matters, do not know
what to make of this message. “I have reservations about this,” said one of
say that they have had to wear their patriotism more explicitly and express
their nationalism more volubly than other Indians. Kannada writer Bolwar
Mahamad Kunhi, while speaking at a recent event, wondered whether Indian
Muslims, besides praying five times a day as their religious duty, will have to
put their patriotism on display five times a day too.
demands are relentless. After the September 2016 attack on an army camp in Uri,
in which soldiers were killed by terrorists, civil society groups in Mumbai
organised meetings to protest against the incident and to commemorate the dead
soldiers. Most of the groups that gathered in the city for the commemoration
the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation passed a resolution making singing of
Vande Mataram compulsory in all schools it runs. The decision would not have
been very controversial but for the fact that a large number of these schools
offer instruction in Urdu. Muslims have issues with the song because of its
deification of the country and some municipal corporators have protested
against the diktat, explaining that they would sing other national songs.
Around two years ago, the high court of Uttar Pradesh asked the state
government to ensure that Muslim religious schools hoisted the national flag on
Independence Day and Republic Day.
Indians are asking why one group is under persistent pressure to display their
patriotism, but the Muslim organisations that have issued instructions do not
think of it in that way. Maulana Mustkim Azmi, a member of the Jamaat Ulema,
said, “The Hindus can ask temples to display the national flag and the
Christians can ask churches to do that. Moin Miya, as a Muslim, can ask his
community to fly the national flag; there is nothing offensive in saying that.
We have made sacrifices for this country and we have to remind everyone about
Arif Umri, another member of Jamaat e Ulema, said that he did not find these
appeals annoying. “There are two reasons why Muslims need to commemorate these
days more actively. Madrassas used to do it but students now look at these days
as a break from school,” said Umri. “The second reason is that Muslims are
accused of keeping themselves away from celebrations of national pride. If this
is the perception we have to send the message that we too have a stake in the
country’s future as everybody else.”
Jamaat e Ulema has excluded mosques from the list of institutions asked by them
to fly the national flag. “This is because we want the Independence Day
celebrations to be attended by every community and this will to be possible in
a mosque,” explained Umri.
Zeenat Shaukat Ali, former head of the department of Islamic Studies, St
Xaviers College, said that she did not look at the direction as a ‘forced’ one.
“He (Moin Miya) did it voluntarily and not because some organisation asked him
to. He did it from his heart,” said Ali.
is the harm if we start (flying the national flag from religious buildings)
even if we have not done it earlier,” said Ali. “It is a very positive action
because it today’s world it is important to show everyone what is been done,
which should not be. It will silence them (those who accuse Muslims of lacking
in patriotism). You have to meet communities half way; you have to take a step.
Everything today is about what you see, unfortunately,” said Ali.
LUMPUR, Aug 14 — Wanita Amanah (Awan) urged today Muslim scholars to quit
quarrelling on what was permitted in the faith and to think of ways to resolve
head Dr Siti Mariah Mahmud highlighted news reports on a father who was hit
with 600 charges of raping and sodomising his 15-year-old daughter over two
years and a 19-year-old Sarawakian who was allegedly raped by her father,
grandfather and two uncles since she was 13.
full humility, I beg Muslim scholars, please stop fighting among yourselves on
matters that rouse conflict and on what is allowed in religion. Society gets
confused and they lose their guiding light when you all choose to ‘war’ among
the polemic on giving illegitimate children the ‘bin Abdullah’ patronym dies
down, I beg these expert Muslim scholars once again to together think of ways
to prevent and to resolve the problem of incest,” Dr Siti Mariah said in a
Kota Raja MP said religious departments, mosques, religious officials and the
media must be fully mobilised to tackle incest.
cases of family rape, Dr Siti Mariah said a caring community, guarantees of
safety, protection and counselling must be widely promoted to reassure victims.
community, mosque committees, village committees or resident associations, and
schools should not just mind their own business because prevention like this
requires their cooperation and it is the responsibility of all parties,” she
Nobel laureates urge Saudi Arabia to halt execution of 14 Shias
Nobel laureates from across the world have called on Saudi Arabia to hold off
on the execution of 14 Shia citizens convicted of protest-related charges.
an open letter released late Friday, the laureates urged King Salman and Crown
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, his son, to "extend the hand of mercy"
and refrain from ratifying the death sentences.
al-Sweika, a bright 18-year-old student in Saudi Arabia, was on his way to
visit Western Michigan University in 2012 when he was arrested in the airport
in Riyadh. Among his charges is starting a Facebook group and posting images of
a demonstration online," read the letter.
defendant, Ali al-Nimr, was charged with setting up a Blackberry page named
'The Liberals' and posting photos of the demonstrations, inviting people to
participate," it added.
signatories to the letter include anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond
Tutu, Yemeni activist Tawakkul Karman, Iranian lawyer Shirin Ebadi, former East
Timor president Jose Ramos-Horta, US anti-landmine activist Jody Williams,
Indian children's rights activist Kailash Satyarthi, South African former
president F.W. De Klerk, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee, Polish labor
rights activist Lech Walesa and peace activist Mairead Maguire of Northern
International and Human Rights Watch (HRW) have accused Saudi authorities of
getting confessions from the defendants under torture and of failing to hold
fair trials for them.
14 Shia men now face imminent risk of execution after Saudi Arabia’s Supreme
Court upheld their death sentences in mid-July.
to the families of the defendants, they were transferred from Dammam to
Riyadh’s Ha’ir prison on July 15 without any explanation. Some of the
defendants have been kept in solitary confinement without any contact with the
14 men were among 24 defendants in a mass trial known as the “Qatif 24” case.
In June 2016, the Specialized Criminal Court sentenced the Shia men to death.
defendants were convicted based on confessions they later repudiated in court.
They said the confessions were made under torture.
media claim that the 24 men were members of a “terrorism cell,” which targeted
August 4, the Justice Ministry defended judicial authorities’ handling of the
case, arguing that the sentences were reviewed and approved by 13 separate
ministry, however, did not provide any explanation about the allegations that
the confessions were made under torture, and why the judges dismissed the
torture reports without any investigation.
has warned that Saudi Arabia’s execution rate has accelerated since the
country’s leadership change on June 21, saying the kingdom has executed 35
people during the period, compared with 39 in the first half of 2017.
Arabia carried out 153 executions across the kingdom last year. In the most
stunning case of executions in 2016, Saudi Arabia executed on January 2 Sheikh
Nimr al-Nimr along with 46 other people in defiance of international calls for
the release of the prominent Shia cleric and other jailed political dissidents
in the kingdom.
officials execute convicts by sword and then dangle their corpses from a
helicopter to make sure the public could see the result of the execution.
to Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia has one of the highest execution rates
in the world.
has on multiple occasions called on the Saudi regime to abolish its “ghastly”
Israelis desert military service in occupied lands: Report
report has revealed that hundreds of Israeli soldiers have abandoned their
duties without permission, and are intent not to return in a show of
disapproval of the military conscription policies of the Israeli regime.
Hebrew-language news website Walla reported on Saturday that 300 Israeli troops
had left or remained absent from their units over the past week.
report added that Israeli military officials have leveled charges against 60
soldiers, who have been dropped from their unit rolls and listed as deserters.
report came as the Israeli military announced earlier this year that suicide
was the main cause of death among Israeli soldiers, and that 15 troopers - all
of them male - had taken their own lives last year.
army added that four soldiers were killed in the course of military operations,
nine in on-base accidents, seven in off-duty car accidents and six died from
illness or other medical reasons.
43 soldiers were seriously hurt during the course of 2016.
of the soldiers injured or killed were conscripted troops. A smaller portion
were career soldiers, and a handful were reservists who were in service at the
time of their deaths, the Israeli army said.
August: A day of gratitude and renewal of pledges
of Pakistan is the result of the great effort of the Muslims of the
sub-continent against the British imperialism. This effort consists of 200
years. It is not only a blessing of Allah Almighty but also the fruit of a
historical struggle and countless sacrifices. The country that came into being
as a result of Pakistan Movement (that covers the period of scores of years),
has completed 70 years of its freedom in spite of all challenges, dangers,
conspiracies of enemies and weaknesses of its own people. We are grateful to
gift that was bestowed upon us on the 27th of Ramadan will exist and flourish
Insha Allah. The objectives for which the Muslims of sub-continent struggled
hard must be achieved. We should be thankful to Allah for this blessing. At the
same time we should also consider the losses and gains impartially. What were
the real aims of the Pakistan Movement? What were the idea and the vision for
which the Muslims of sub-continent struggled? How much we are close or far from
it? We should analyze our positive and negative aspects honestly. How can we
get rid of our negativity? It is the need of the hour that we should know the
genuine vision, its complete understanding, and concrete planning for its
achievement and determination for an effective and decisive struggle with a new
should keep in mind that the creation of Pakistan was not the result of the
last seven years struggle of Pakistan movement only. But it is the fruit of the
movement that covers the period of 200 years. This movement started when the
British rulers arrived in sub-continent. We can notice three major stages of
to face the imperial rulers militarily and the restoration of the Muslim rule.
the beginning of a political struggle. A struggle for political freedom all
together with the other countrymen, in which Muslims could maintain their
ideological, religious, political and cultural identity and could not be
absorbed in non-Muslim majority. The development of the Two-Nation theory in
comparison with the regional nationalism and the development of such a
political system that could fulfil its requirements, could present an
alternative paradigm of different nationalities of the state. It had become
clear in 1938-39 that Indian National Congress which had remained under the
control of Brahmans from the beginning to the ending, was not ready to accept
this concept till today. Its aim was Hindu nationalism in the name of
secularism. The govts that were made as a result of the elections held under the
law of 1935, proved it practically.
third stage of the movement of the Muslims was started in the same background.
The Two-Nation theory was presented literally and practically as a new
political destination of Muslims, namely the division of India and the
establishment of Pakistan as an independent Islamic state. The movement of
Pakistan had two indivisible and inseparable aspects. First was the political
freedom and second was that the basis of this freedom was Islamic ideology,
culture and civilisation. That’s why in order to understand the idea of
Pakistan and the objectives, nature and identification of Pakistan Movement, it
is necessary to study the following documents.
The presidential address of Allama Iqbal in 1930.
The Resolution of Lahore on 23rd March, 1940.
The presidential address of the Quaid-i-Azam, the resolution of the convention
of the elected members of national and provincial assemblies on 7 April, 1947
and the speech of the Quaid-i-Azam.
The resolution of objectives was passed by the first elected constituent
assembly on 3rd March, 1949 and the speeches of the PM Liaqat Ali Khan and the
dignified members of assemblies which were a part of Pakistan Movement. (The
movement of objectives is a summary of the ideology of Pakistan Movement and is
a beginning and a part of the constitution of Pakistan.)
rules should be observed to make Pakistan an Islamic, democratic and welfare
state in this background.
The complete and exact awareness of the idea of Pakistan and its true destination.
The first and the foremost need of this vision is a total clarity and focus. It
can determine our destination. It is our identity. The struggle for freedom was
launched for the protection and development of this identity. Finally, the
freedom was achieved. Millions of people sacrificed their lives, property and
honour for this purpose. The Muslims that were left in India laid a great
sacrifice for Islam and the freedom for their Muslim brothers when they decided
to live under the domination of Hindus.
The achievement of a territory is necessary to protect the freedom and
independence. That is why free nation and free territory are compulsory for
each other. The first requirement of the national security is the defence of
the national border. The defence of the country and ideology go side by side
with the personality and identity. Military power as well as political,
economic and moral power is necessary as a power of competition. It will be
quite dangerous for our national security if we’ll show any weakness in it. It
ensures the political and social stability, internal peace, protection from
external dangers and the complete usage of the resources for the prosperity and
the progress of the population.
The third requirement is the protection and the development of this vision,
national security and interests. Fresh policies should be adopted in all fields
of life. The plan of action should be fair and transparent.
Necessary institutions should be established and developed in order to get the
aims and the benefits of these policies. If there will be the rule of law and
the Constitution, then the institutions will be supreme and the
responsibilities can be taken properly.
The basic requirement for the achievement of these aims is that groups of people
should be prepared at institutional levels. Education is a key to it. When the
whole population will make progress in the fields of education, morality and
ability, then a nation will develop. By securing and strengthening the freedom
and the identity, this progress can be made more fruitful. It has a role in
shaping the society, environment, civilization and culture.
The last decisive requirement is the selection of the honest leadership, the
system of accountability and consultation at every level.
six points guarantee for the freedom, independence, stability and progress of a
nation and a country. The root cause of all the problems of Pakistan is our
negligence, weakness, contrast and contradiction about all the above mentioned
points or rules. We followed these rules to some extent. We kept our existence
and made progress because of these rules.
has completed its seventy years. I would like to present the following
important points before the nation for the progress of the country.
August is a day of celebration. We should be thankful to Allah Almighty that He
has blessed us with freedom. We should try to lead our life according to the
teachings of Islam individually as well as collectively.
August is a day of accountability for us. We should analyse whether we have
fulfilled the promise that we have made with this nation and the country. If
not, then who is responsible for it?
August is a day of the renewal of the pledges. We should consider our
weaknesses and then promise again that we’ll compensate for our shortcomings of
Yasin among 3 terrorists killed in Shopian encounter
Though the Jammu and Kashmir police is yet to identify the third slain
terrorist, local sources said, Hizbul Mujahideen operational aid Yasin Yatoo
alias Mehmood Ghaznavi was among the three Hizb terrorists killed in a night
long gunfight on Saturday at Zainpora in Shopian district of south Kashmir.
is a resident of Chadoora in Budgam district and had joined militancy in 1997
after crossing the POK for arms training.
in a statement said that the three Hizb terrorists were killed in an encounter
with the security forces at Awneera village of Zainapora Shopian.
on a specific information, Shopian police along with 03 RR, 14 Battalion and
177 Battalion of CRPF launched a cordon and search operation at Awneera village
in the jurisdiction of Police Station Zainapora in Shopian. During the search
operation, terrorists hiding in the area fired upon the joint search party. The
fire was retaliated, ensuing an encounter," the statement said.
and ammunition were recovered from the encounter site. "Five army
personnel were injured during the encounter and were shifted to hospital for
treatment. Two of them later succumbed to injuries.
the time of withdrawal of the CASO party from the encounter site, the
terrorists fired indiscriminately upon army vehicles in which one person namely
Mohammad Syed of Shopian was injured. He was shifted to hospital for
treatment," the statement added.
DELHI: Pakistani troops on Sunday violated the ceasefire along the Line of
Control (LoC) in Uri sector of Jammu and Kashmir by opening fire at Indian
posts, resulting in injuries to three soldiers, officials said.
Pakistani troops opened fire at Indian positions at Baaz Post in Uri in
Baramulla district at around 8:30pm, defence spokesperson said.
Indian troops returned the fire strongly and effectively, he added.
said three soldiers suffered bullet injuries in the firing and were admitted to
the 92 Base Hospital of the Army in Srinagar.
was the seventh ceasefire violation by Pakistan in the past 48 hours.
in the day, Pakistani troops violated the ceasefire four times in Rajouri
district of Jammu and Kashmir.
border shelling started in Kalal, Khori, Manpur and Ganiah villages of
Nowshera," DC Rajouri Shahid Choudhary said in a tweet.
Saturday, an Army soldier was martyred while another was critically injured as
Pakistan resorted to ceasefire violation in Krishna Ghati sector of Poonch
district of Jammu and Kashmir.
another incident, yesterday, a civilian was killed during unprovoked shelling
in state's Mendhar sector.
two armies have repeatedly exchanged heavy fire this summer along the winding
LoC that has left many soldiers and civilians dead on both sides.
DELHI: Terrorists in the Kashmir Valley are now on the run and they cannot
continue to terrorise the people for decades, defence minister Arun Jaitley
said on Sunday, maintaining that the government's priority was to clean up the
Kashmir Valley of armed militants.
said the terrorists in Kashmir were "now under great pressure" and
the financial crunch caused by demonetisation and the action taken by National
Investigation Agency (NIA) on illegal foreign fundings have checked illegal
activities in Jammu and Kashmir in large scale.
who was participating in a television programme, however, refrained from making
any comment on the standoff between India and China in the Dokalam area near
the Bhutan trijunction, just saying "let us have full faith on our
no big militant can dream of committing terror acts and continue to terrorise
the Valley for decades, but today their life shelf has dwindled to a few
months. I will specifically praise the Jammu & Kashmir police for working
hard (towards eliminating terrorists)," he said.
said the country faced two serious threats -- one with respect to Jammu and Kashmir
with maximum incidents happening from across the border, and second being the
problem of Left-Wing Extremism in central parts of the country.
independence, Pakistan has never agreed that Kashmir is an integral part of
India. That has been their unfinished agenda. They tried conventional war. But
India's capability was way ahead in the conventional war. The wars of 1965,
1971 and Kargil clearly proved this," he said.
said in the 1990s, they started changing their strategies and resorted to
encouraging terrorism inside the country.
is domination of our forces on the Line of Control (LoC) and the international
border and it is difficult for terrorists to cross them," he said at the
India TV Conclave 'Vande Mataram'.
defence minister said that there was a move by the security forces to clean up
the Valley of armed terrorists.
said the money received by terrorists and other such groups has been squeezed
post-demonetisation and there has been the effect of the actions taken by the
NIA against foreign funding allegedly used for subversive activities.
there was an encounter (earlier), hundreds and thousands would come out to
throw stones. Many a timeHe, terrorists would escape under the protection of
stone throwers. This is now becoming a history.
who were coming in hundred and thousands, today their number is limited to 20,
30 and 50. For the first time in the history, we have been they have started
looting banks," he said.
said the terrorists are under tremendous pressure. "They are on the run.
Their number is also declining. Security forces are dominating them ," he
said India has been by and large free from the threat of the ISIS. "There
may be some isolated or exceptional incidents but there has been no influence
defence minister expressed concern over some instances of glorifying the acts
of terrorists or Maoists.
to shouting of 'anti-India slogans by some in Jawaharlal Nehru University last
year, he expressed concern over the association of mainstream political parties
with those raising such slogans.
said a disturbing trend is coming up where efforts are being made to show the
Indian state as helpless.
questions on India's defence production, Jaitley said his ministry was working
out ways to boost domestic production for the defence sector.
who shielded Filipino Christians in ISIS-held Marawi says he’s no hero
media outlets in the Philippines and abroad have called him a Muslim hero,
Norodin Lucman says there is nothing heroic about his act of saving at least 64
Christians from ISIS militants in the city of Marawi.
who has studied Islamic Jurisprudence in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, told Al Arabiya
English that he was just doing his duty because Islam teaches that no one’s
life was more valuable than someone else’s.
was not playing the hero. It just so happened that I was at my house in Marawi
city when the fighting first broke out. I knew there were some Christians
working on nearby houses as carpenters and construction workers and I told my
people to bring them to my house to avoid the cross-fire,” Lucman, a former
politician and Muslim clan leader, said.
rebellion in the city of Marawi had just broken out by Filipino extremists who
pledged allegiance to ISIS, and the militants, many of them youngsters, were
executing any Christians they came across who could not recite a word of
Islam’s holy Quran.
Lucman and his Muslim employees thought the fighting would only last a few
days. Along with the 44 Christians taking refuge inside his house, they
numbered around 74 individuals with only a week’s worth of supplies to sustain
them. They rationed the food supplies but began to worry once the battles
entered the twelfth day and Lucman ran out of water.
quickly became clear that they were in a life or death situation and that was
when the Muslim clan leader decided they had to evacuate the city. He slowly
taught the Christian group, made up of both men and women after Christian
families in the surrounding neighborhoods joined him, in reciting the Islamic
phrase “Allahu Akbar”, or “God is Great” in English.
men carried the children while the women were dressed with their heads covered
in the hijab. Snipers on roof-tops proved risky as they made their terrifying
walk to freedom. They approached a bridge that would lead them to the other
side of town to complete safety when they came across an ISIS militant who
blocked their path.
for them, the militant recognized Lucman given his years of reputation as a
Muslim clan leader in the southern Philippines. They would walk to freedom
abandoning the Middle East
ISIS-linked Maute terrorist group, along with the much more established
extremist group of Abu Sayyaf, launched a rebellion with an attack on Marawi on
May 23, displacing around 389,300 individuals as of July 1.
battle for Marawi has killed at least 562 extremists, 45 civilians and 128
state troops, according to the Philippines’ Armed Force Spokesperson Brig. Gen.
Asia observers say that the militant onslaught that began 12 weeks ago came as
no surprise given ISIS’s major losses in the Middle East, especially in Iraq’s
Mosul and Syria’s Raqqa.
despite those loses, extremist groups are increasingly looking toward the east
in countries like the Philippines and Indonesia as al-Qaeda remain steadfast in
holding hotspots in West and Northern Africa.
President was in Russia when the insurgency in his country’s south erupted and
immediately cut his state visit short. Soon after, the expected happened when Duterte
declared martial law in the Mindanao region.
fear that Duterte’s actions would mean a similar return of Philippines’ dark
past when former President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial laws during the
1970s that were marked by grave human rights abuses, violence, and corruption.
his tale of bravery, Lucman continues to maintain he is no hero. “I wasn’t
playing the hero, honestly. Just like my story, there are other stories of
Muslim employers in Marawi who refused to abandon their Christian employees
throughout the ordeal,” he told Al Arabiya English.
who was born in the southern island of Mindanao, credits his studies in Islamic
Jurisprudence at Umm al-Qura University in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. He credits the
university for instilling in him what he says arer the true teachings of Islam.
Perhaps ironically, Lucamn’s time at the university coincided with al-Qaeda
mastermind Osama bin Laden’s tenure as a student.
studied in Mecca. I studied in Cairo. We were taught that Muslims and Christians
were brothers in religion. The Quran even says that we have to protect people
from other religions as part of humanity,” he said.
whole ordeal just goes to show that the fighting in the Philippines is not
between Muslims and Christians as many people were quick to stand up and defend
their countrymen,” Lucman said.
Malaysian government has vowed to “hunt down” atheists and warned anyone caught
propagating godlessness could face prosecution, after a photograph of an
atheist club meeting in Kuala Lumpur went viral.
of the Kuala Lumpur chapter of Canada-based Atheist Republic have gone into
hiding in recent days after senior government ministers called for an
investigation into whether any Muslims were involved, and one prominent cleric
warned that the punishment for apostasy under the Islamic Hudud penal code —
although not in Malaysia — was death.
issue is the latest in a string of conservative Islamic debates to dominate
public discourse in the Southeast Asian nation with the ruling UMNO party, besieged
by financial scandals, obliged to call a general election by the middle of next
recent weeks the government has banned several academic books discussing
moderate Islam, set up a cabinet committee to increase the power of sharia
courts and withdrawn a clause in proposed legislation that would have prevented
a child’s conversion to Islam without the consent of both parents.
month, the state government of Kelantan moved to make caning a public spectacle
for sharia-law infringements.
observers suggest the recent dominance of Islamic dogma in Malaysian public
discourse is part of a government strategy to cement the support of the
country’s majority Malay Muslims — its core constituency — ahead of imminent
general elections, as well as to divert attention from the continuing scandal
related to more than $US4.5 billion ($5.7bn) in losses by state investment fund
is always a convenient issue to elicit emotional support which hopefully
translates into political support,” Malaysian political analyst and academic Oh
Ei Sun told The Australian yesterday. “If you portray yourself and your
administration as the defender of the faith, then in many pious voters eyes
they must support you.”
the weekend the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) — the
country’s main religious watchdog — said it was “constantly monitoring” atheist
groups and would investigate whether any Muslims were involved. “Jawi also has
a number of action plans to address the issues as a whole. Providing treatment
and solutions to these problems will be the key focus,” director Abdul Aziz
in the week Shahidan Kassim, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department,
said atheism was against the Malaysian constitution, which enshrines a belief
in God and defines all ethnic Malays, almost 60 per cent of the population, as
suggest we go all-out to hunt down these groups and we ask the media to help us
identify them because this is a religious country,” Mr Shahida said, adding
there was “no one without a religion” in Malaysia.
is not illegal in Malaysia but Muslims who leave the faith can be charged with
apostasy under state sharia laws.
even non-Muslims could face charges under the country’s non-propagation laws if
it can be proven they sought to spread atheism.
formerly Muslim Atheist Republic member told The Australian yesterday he knew
of fellow members who had received death threats in recent days.
had deactivated their social media accounts and some were taking medication to
cope with the stress. “Some were called by family members to seek religious
guidance to ‘repair their faith’ and I have heard of one person being
questioned by police,” he said. “Some religious vigilante blogs are going as far
as accusing us of treason.”
said he “lived multiple lives”, hiding his atheism from family and telling only
Poh Kaw Lik of the Malaysian Atheist, Free Thinkers, Agnostics and Friends
Association said this was typical of most former Muslim members, who faced
months in a re-education camp if reported to authorities.
Between Philippine Extremists, Government-Backed Separatists Kill 25
(Reuters) - Fighting between government-backed separatist rebels and
pro-Islamic State militants have killed at least 25 people in the southern Philippines,
the army said on Monday, as the military battles to restore order on the
troubled island of Mindanao.
provided artillery support for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a
Muslim rebel group with which the government has signed a peace agreement, to
try to tackle Islamist extremists, spokesman Colonel Gerry Besana said.
MILF and the government have agreed to work together to thwart several militant
groups in Mindanao that have pledged allegiance to Islamic State.
island of 22 million people and roughly the size of South Korea is under
martial law at least until the end of the year, as President Rodrigo Duterte
tries to extinguish a growing threat of radical Islam taking a hold and turning
the southern Philippines into a magnet for foreign extremists.
a graphic on pro Islamic State groups in Philippine south, click
MILF is opposed to radical groups and sees them as undermining its legitimate
quest for greater autonomy for Muslims in parts of Mindanao, to end nearly 50
years of conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people and displaced 2
on reports from ceasefire monitors, the two sides suffered 25 casualties,
including 20 from the ISIS-inspired group," Besana said, referring to
Islamic State by another acronym.
said 10 MILF were wounded and were being treated at a military hospital.
conflict started on Aug 7 when extremists from Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom
Fighters (BIFF) attacked two villages in Maguindanao and their homemade bombs
killed five MILF fighters.
MILF responded and clashes lasted six days, with the military firing howitzer
cannons in support, Besana said.
government and MILF have agreed on a Bangsamoro Basic Law, which needs
legislative approval, to create an autonomous region for the Moro minority in
the Philippines with its own executive, legislature and fiscal powers.
BIFF is a breakaway faction of the MILF that disagrees with the peace process
and wants an independent Islamic State in the south.
military is concerned about the possibility that the BIFF, though smaller and
less organized, could join forces with larger, more powerful militant group,
Dawla Islamiya, better known as the Maute group.
Maute group, with the support of armed elements of another group, Abu Sayyaf,
has held the commercial heart of Marawi City through more than 80 days of
clashes and air strikes by the military that have left 700 people dead and
displaced some 600,000.
officials on Monday estimated about 20-40 militants were holed up in Marawi and
believed to be holding scores of hostages as human shields, complicating
efforts for a military aided by American technical support to retake the city.
JAYA: PAS leaders responded to the ruckus at PPBM’s Nothing to Hide forum
yesterday by invoking its now familiar battle cry of “mature politics”, while
expressing hope police would investigate the matter professionally.
want political leaders and the people to strive for a more mature form of
politics in line with the country’s development,” said PAS deputy president
Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
lies and provocations do not fit into current Malaysian culture,” he said.
in recent times has been promoting its slogan of “mature politics” to describe
its friendlier approach with long time rivals Umno.
“Nothing to Hide” forum yesterday was thrown into chaos after projectiles were
hurled at the stage as Mahathir spoke to the crowd who packed the Dewan Raja
Muda Musa in Shah Alam.
have arrested three youths aged between 17 and 19, after they were detained by
organisers on suspicion of infiltrating the crowd wearing fake PPBM T-shirts.
Ibrahim said police must investigate the matter thoroughly to ensure such
incidents would not recur.
PAS leader, Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Aziz called for rational response to
differences of opinions, while also invoking “mature politics”.
hope police will investigate and act swiftly,” he told FMT.
JAYA: Some 350 foreigners were rounded up in a special operation by the federal
Special Branch counter-terrorism division focusing on shops in Nilai 3, Negeri
of the suspects are believed to be linked to the Islamic State of Khorasan
province (ISKP) organisation, whose members have been in hiding in this
country, reported NST Online today.
said the ISKP is a branch of the Islamic State (IS) and operates in the border
areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
the three-hour operation, a total of 742 shops were checked by various
division’s principal assistant director Ayob Khan Mydin Pitchay said the
operation was a follow-up to that undertaken at Masjid India here on Aug 6.
said it was based on the intelligence from the operation at Masjid India that
led police to believe the foreigners had moved to Nilai 3 to assimilate
themselves with other foreigners.
said those rounded up included nationals from Pakistan, Afghanistan,
Bangladesh, and Nepal.
said all the suspects were taken to the Sepang district police headquarters for
will be checking their backgrounds using the database of the Interpol Foreign
Fighters Terrorist List as well as the Counter Terrorist List.
was earlier reported that Turkey had turned away 30 foreign fighters who were
prevented from entering Syria to fight alongside IS. They are believed to have
Kurds stick to independence vote despite US call to delay it
Kurds are sticking to a plan to hold an independence referendum on Sept. 25,
despite a US request to postpone it, a high-ranking Kurdish official told
Reuters on Saturday.
United States and other Western nations are worried that the vote could ignite
a fresh conflict with Baghdad and turn into another regional flashpoint.
Turkey, Iran and Syria, which together with Iraq have sizeable Kurdish
populations, all oppose an independent Kurdistan.
date is standing, Sept. 25, no change,” said Hoshyar Zebari, a close adviser to
Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani, after US Secretary of
State Rex Tillerson asked Barzani to postpone the referendum.
made the request in a phone call with Barzani on Thursday, Zebari said.
the issue of the postponement of the referendum, the President (Barzani) stated
that the people of the Kurdistan Region would expect guarantees and alternatives
for their future,” said a statement issued on Friday by the Kurdistan Regional
Government (KRG) presidency, after Tillerson’s call.
US State Department said in June it was concerned that the referendum will
distract from “more urgent priorities” such as the defeat of ISIS militants.
self-proclaimed “caliphate” effectively collapsed last month, when US-backed
Iraqi forces completed the takeover of the militants’ capital in Iraq, Mosul,
after a nine-month campaign in which Kurdish Peshmerga fighters took part.
hardline Sunni militants remain however in control of territory in western Iraq
and eastern Syria. The United States has pledged to maintain its backing to
allied forces in both countries until the militants’ total defeat.
Kurds have been seeking an independent state since at least the end of World
War One, when colonial powers divided up the Middle East, but their territory
ended up split between modern-day Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria.
whose father led struggles against Baghdad in the 1960s and 1970s, told Reuters
in July the Kurds would take responsibility for the expected ‘yes’ outcome of
the referendum, and pursue its implementation through dialogue with Baghdad and
regional powers to avoid conflict.” We have to rectify the history of
mistreatment of our people and those who are saying that independence is not
good, our question to them is, ‘if it’s not good for us, why is it good for
you?’,” he said in an interview in the KRG capital, Erbil.
has been led by Shi’ites since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, a Sunni, by the
US-led invasion of 2003.
country’s majority Shi’ite community mainly lives in the south while the Kurds
and Sunni Arabs inhabit two corners of the north. The center around Baghdad is
officials have said disputed areas, including the oil-rich Kirkuk region, will
be covered by the referendum, to determine whether they would want to remain or
not in Kurdistan.
Kurdish Peshmerga in 2014 prevented ISIS from capturing Kirkuk, in northern
Iraq, after the Iraqi army fled in the face of the militants. They are
effectively running the region, also claimed by Turkmen and Arabs.
Iran-backed Iraqi Shi’ite militias have threatened to expel the Kurds by force
from this region and three other disputed areas - Sinjar, Makhmour and
- A commando operation backed by Russian warplanes and helicopters has killed
25 members of the Islamic State jihadist group in central Syria, a monitor said
by regime ally Russia, Syria's army has waged a months-long offensive to
recapture the vast desert region that stretches from the country's centre to
the Iraqi and Jordanian borders.
Saturday, "25 IS members were killed and others wounded in a commando
operation by Syrian regime forces with air support from Russian warplanes and
helicopters" in the northeast of Homs province, the Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights monitoring group said.
members of the regime forces were also killed, it said. A military source said
the operation occurred "20 kilometres inside Daesh (IS) terrorist
raid allowed regime forces to seize control of three villages in the area,
official news agency SANA reported the source as saying. The army has captured
swathes of territory from the jihadists in the province. According to the
Observatory, IS now controls just dozens of villages in the east of Homs.
Syrian "Badiya" is a large stretch of desert that extends over around
90,000 square kilometres (35,000 square miles) of territory. Since 2015, much
of the Badiya has been held by IS, but Syria's army has been chipping away at
it since May. Last week, the Observatory said regime forces had ousted IS from
Al-Sukhna, the last jihadist-held town in Homs province.
army and Russia this weekend confirmed its full recapture. "The liberation
of Al-Sukhna from IS terrorists opens up possibilities for Syrian government
forces to launch an assault and free the city of Deir Ezzor," a Russian
army statement said.
jihadists hold the majority of the vast desert province of Deir Ezzor including
most of its provincial capital. The recapture of Deir Ezzor "would largely
-- if not completely -- mark the end of the fight against IS," Russia's
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu on Sunday told the Russia 24 television channel.
forces have more than doubled the territory they control in Syria over the past
two months, he said. Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are also
fighting the jihadists in the south of neighbouring Raqa province.
US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance meanwhile is battling to retake the provincial
capital, Raqa city, from IS. The jihadists also hold the majority of the vast
desert province of Deir Ezzor including most of its provincial capital.
army soldiers engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL along the road connecting the
village of al-Baqaliyeh to Panorama base in Deir Ezzur outskirts, killing a
number of terrorists and destroying their military equipment.
the meantime, the army men clashed fiercely with ISIL and repelled their attack
in surrounding of Tamin Brigade base in Southern outskirts of Deir Ezzur,
inflicting heavy casualties on the militants.
the army aircraft pounded ISIL's centers and movements West of Deir Ezzur in
the regions of al-Mawared, Huweija Kateh, al-Thardah crossroad, Deir Ezzur
airbase, the neighborhoods of al-Huweiqa, old airport and al-Omal and in the
villages of al-Baqaliyeh, al-Jnainiyeh, al-Shoula and al-Shamitiyeh, killing a
number of them and destroying their vehicles and equipment.
reports said on Sunday that the army forces regained control of 30km of al-Sukhnah-Deir
Ezzur road as they advanced in several areas in Raqqa towards Deir Ezzur.
Syrian soldiers continued to advance after clashes with ISIL terrorists in the
Eastern parts of al-Sukhnah on Sunday, taking back control of a 30-km area in
al-Sukhnah-Deir Ezzur road which includes regions like Talat Saniyat,
al-Tayyebeh, Wadi Abu Talleh and Wadi al-Rahibeh.
local sources reported army's control over Wadi Qotoub region in Southeastern
Damascus, stressing that the Syrian troops have advanced almost 15km towards
Deir Ezzur after driving terrorists out of Southeastern Raqqa.
Syrian army soldiers continued clashes with ISIL terrorists in the Eastern and
Western parts of al-Sukhnah on Sunday and established full security in the town
after winning back control of the nearby hills.
the army's artillery and missile units as well as the air forces launche heavy
attacks on ISIL positions in the deserts near al-Sukhnah.
Syrian Army, supported by the Russian Air Force, fully liberated al-Sukhnah
from ISIL earlier this month, opening the road to the besieged enclave of Deir
was the last major town held by ISIL in the Syrian province of Homs.
liberation of al-Sukhnah from ISIL gives the Syrian government forces the
chance to advance and unblock the city of Deir Ezzur,” according to the Russian
Residents will soon be able to return to their homes almost three months after
an escalation in security operations to clear terrorists and criminals from
Al-Musawara, a village in Al-Awamiyah in Qatif.
Saudi Special Security Forces (SSSF) in control of the area since Friday,
construction crews have been able to begin repairing homes and businesses
damaged in the clashes that forced 428 families to flee.
May, development work on a shopping and recreation project in the village had
to be halted after construction workers came under heavy arms fire from
militants. A bulldozer driver and a two-year-old child were killed.
SSSF officers moved to restore order they were met with heavy arms fire,
including rocket propelled grenades and improvised explosive devices, from
abandoned buildings. Residents were forced to flee as the attacks grew more
aggressive and deadly.
were calling asking for help to escape,” said Fahd, an officer in Al-Musawara.
“We rescued many families. Some of them told us that any time they stepped out
of a building they would be shot at. The terrorists were not allowing them to
a single day, a police officer was killed and six others wounded when their
patrol came under fire.
July 22 and July 30, at least five people were killed as security forces began
to flush out the remaining terrorists and criminals.
the next stage of the development began in May of this year, the demolition
stage, the village had to be completely unoccupied. As demolition works began,
construction workers were being shot at,” said Essam Abdulatif Al-Mulla, acting
mayor of Qatif. “Terrorists and criminals escalated their assault and at that
the police began a mandatory evacuation.”
several years of clashes in Qatif, 28 police officers have been killed and 195
wounded, the Interior Ministry says. In addition, 21 Saudi citizens and seven
expatriates have been killed, and 109 Saudis and 26 expatriates injured.
Wednesday, after an intense campaign by security forces, Al-Musawara was
declared 90 percent safe and by Friday it was declared completely free of
terrorist and criminal elements.
area is now empty and demolition of the most damaged areas, which became a
hideout for terrorists, wanted individuals and criminals, can begin.
is living in illusions," Salehi told reporters on Sunday following a
cabinet meeting, 3 days after he was reappointed as the AEOI head by President
about his priorities as the AEOI head, he said, "My most important
priority in the AEOI is making powerful progress in industrial nuclear
also described discovery and exploitation of nuclear materials, building
nuclear propellants, research and development (R&D), production of a new
generation of centrifuges and radio medicine as other priorities of the AEOI.
expressed the hope that Iran would turn into a regional hub of radio medicine
in West Asia in the next four years.
relevant remarks in October, Salehi announced that the country is producing
over 25 radio drugs and exporting them to a number of Asian, African and
present, we have more than 25 radio medicinal drugs and we export them to
Egypt, Iraq and other nearby states as well as Germany," Salehi told
reporters on the sidelines of a forum in Tehran.
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Awqaf for the Department of Hajj and Umrah in
Yemen, Mukhtar al-Rabash, said that the Houthi militias and militants loyal to
ousted president Saleh had seized the passports of over 2,000 pilgrims and obstructed
the departure of hundreds of others from areas under their control.
said in a statement to the Yemeni official news agency that the checkpoints of
the coup militias confiscated the passports of many of the pilgrims, which
caused delay to the schedule of Hajj arrivals toward Mecca as agreed with Saudi
UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Sheikh Ahmed said in his statements in Tehran
that the military option to the Yemeni crisis is not a solution, and that the
peaceful solution is the only solution.
on the visit of Ould Sheikh Ahmed to Iran, Houthi leader Mohammed al-Bekhiti
said that it aims to seek legitimacy to allow him to continue his mission,
accusing him of not being objective and biased towards the alliance.
was the fourth stop of the UN envoy to Yemen, without the emergence of any new
feature or penetration for the crisis.
Sheikh Ahmed went to Tehran in order to get Iranian pressure to push the Houthi
militias to respond to peace efforts.
the indicators are indicating the opposite, as the Houthi leaders are still
launching criticizing campaigns against Ould Sheikh Ahmed.
al-Bekhiti, a member of the political council of al-Houthi militias, commented
on the visit of the UN envoy to Iran by saying that he went to Tehran to seek
legitimacy to continue his mission and renewed his accusation for Ould Sheikh
Ahmed of bias towards the Arab alliance stressing that they cut off
communication with him.
UN envoy said in Tehran that the military option is not a solution to the
Yemeni crisis, and that a peaceful solution is the only solution.
Yemeni officials have revealed that the Houthis blocked China's efforts to
restore the UN envoy's communication with the coup in Sana’a.
Foreign Minister Abdulmalik al-Makhlafi revealed that the Houthis have foiled
the efforts of the Chinese ambassador in Yemen to manage the communication with
Ould Sheikh Ahmed. Al-Makhlafi explained that the Houthis retreated and refused
to continue the role of China in this mission.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has predicted that the country’s strained ties
with Berlin will improve after Germany's parliamentary election in September.
from Europe is about their internal politics," Erdogan said in a Saturday
televised speech in the western city of Isparta.
and Austria did this before, we see that Germany follows the same strategy. I
believe that this situation will improve after elections," he added.
is set to hold parliamentary election on September 24, with Chancellor Angela
Merkel running for a fourth term.
relations have been strained over the past year since the coup attempt of July
2016 in Turkey and Ankara’s crackdown on opposition since then.
is angry at Germany for granting asylum to officers Turkey says were behind the
has also leveled accusations against Berlin over giving sanctuary to outlawed
Kurdish militants and allowing their sympathizers to stage anti-Turkey rallies
for its part, has toughened its stance toward Ankara following the arrests of
22 German citizens who have been taken into custody in the ensuing crackdown.
Nine of those are still in prison, including the recently jailed journalists
Deniz Yucel and Mesale Tolu.
row intensified after Turkey refused to allow German lawmakers to visit
military personnel at Incirlik Air Base and another base in Konya, located some
50 kilometers south of the Turkish capital Ankara.
refusal to grant access to German lawmakers came after Berlin blocked visits
and speeches by senior Turkish officials to members of Turkish diaspora in
Germany ahead of an April referendum in Turkey.
July 20, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that Germany would review
state guarantees for foreign investment in Turkey and would urge businesses
against putting their money there. Gabriel said that Berlin would also review
its support for EU financial flows to the long-time aspirant to membership of
has been engaged in suppressing the media, activists and opposition groups, who
are believed to have played a role in the failed putsch.
Iranian foreign minister and UN envoy for Yemen have stressed the importance of
finding comprehensive political solutions to end the humanitarian crisis in the
impoverished war-torn Arab country.
a meeting in Tehran on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif
and the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed
discussed the latest developments in the country that is reeling from a deadly
UN envoy arrived in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Saturday to discuss the
Yemeni conflict with Iranian officials.
in the day, Cheikh Ahmed held talks with Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for
Arab and African Affairs Hossein Jaberi Ansari.
the meeting, the Iranian diplomat said the Islamic Republic supports all
efforts by the UN aimed at putting an end to the war in crisis-hit Yemen.
Iranian diplomat expressed deep concern about the severe humanitarian crisis in
UN envoy, for his part, informed Jaberi Ansari about the latest developments concerning
the humanitarian situation in Yemen as well as his recent talks to revive
efforts aimed at finding a political solution to the Yemeni crisis and called
on Iran to support such bids.
two officials also exchanged views about new initiatives for a solution to the
political stalemate in Yemen.
has been facing war by a Saudi-led coalition since March 2015. Leading a number
of its vassal states, Saudi Arabia launched the military aggression on Yemen to
eliminate the Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall a Riyadh-friendly former
president. The war, however, has failed to achieve either of the goals,
morphing into a protracted conflict and causing a humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
talks between Yemen’s warring sides have also failed to end the conflict so
Islamic State Khorasan Province, the Middle Eastern group's affiliate in
Afghanistan and Pakistan, released a statement claiming the attack, according
to the US-based monitoring group SITE
powerful blast targeting a military vehicle on Saturday night killed at least
15 people and wounded 32 others in southwestern Pakistan, officials said, in an
attack claimed by the Islamic State group.
blast occurred at a bus stop in Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province,
and the area caught fire soon after the explosion.
statement by the Pakistani military said the explosion targeted an on-duty
vehicle and set several other vehicles on fire.
explosive was used. As a result nearby vehicles caught fire. Fifteen people
including seven civilians were martyred,” the statement said.
home minister Sarfraz Bugti and government spokesman Anwar ul Haq Kakar
confirmed the death toll and put the number of wounded at 32.
Islamic State Khorasan Province – the Middle Eastern group’s affiliate in
Afghanistan and Pakistan – released a statement claiming the attack, according
to the US-based monitoring group SITE.
suicide motorbike bomber was behind the blast, the statement said.
local affiliate has been known to work with Pakistani militant groups in previous
Bugti said firefighters were still working to put out the blaze. The nature of
the blast could not immediately be determined but an investigation was
underway, he said.
Mamnoon Hussain, Chief of the Army Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa and deposed Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif all condemned the attack.
blast came two days before Pakistan’s 70th Independence Day, and the military
chief said it was an effort to mar celebrations.
resolve won’t succumb to any challenge,” he said in a statement.
in past have carried out big attacks on Independence Day and other events of
State militants and the Taliban have attacked Quetta city in the past.
which borders Iran and Afghanistan, has oil and gas resources but is afflicted
by Islamist militancy, sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Muslims and
a separatist insurgency.
has given decision in favour of Nawaz: Mushahid
Minister for Climate Change Mushahidullah Khan said on Sunday that US, Israel
and some other world powers were against the political stability, economic
progress of the country and CPEC.
passed these remarks while talking to media in Lahore after condoling with the
family of late PML-N leader Tariq Gill.
said that some black sheep were making their efforts to hatch the conspiracy
through any think tanks, NGOs or other channels. He said the alleged
conspirators considered Nawaz Sharif as their enemy and such elements were used
for intrigues against democracy and the most popular leader was sent home
to a question, federal minister said that the former prime minister would chalk
out his future line of action within a few days. About terming the Panama case
verdict a judicial coup, he said former PTI president Javed Hashmi and not the
PML-N had talked of the judicial coup. Replying to a query about amending the
Constitution to abolish Articles 62 and 63 used to disqualify Sharif, he said
constitutional amendments were a norm in democracies and that the step was
necessary for strengthening the Constitution itself and democracy and that new
social contracts and social experiments are made in democracies.
Dr Tahirul Qadri’s sit-in threat, he said these were the people who come here
to spread chaos in the country. “While in Canada they would forget Islam and
Pakistan but come here and use these names to collect money and go away.”
Referring to Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani’s recent statements, Mr Khan
said like Mr Sharif Mr Rabbani also talked of supremacy of parliament and
democracy about which the ex-PM promised to support.
the nation had given the decision in favour of former prime minister Nawaz
Sharif and now other institutions should also consider it. He said Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman had once said that now judicial coup would
happened, adding that snubbing parliament was illegal.
said that the public verdict should be accepted, “and if they are not happy,
then no decision should be imposed on them”.
said that a vital democracy would ensure respect for the forces and courts. The
minister said that conspiracies could be made at international level from time
to time. He said that in fact some foreign think-tanks wanted to weaken the
country especially when three continents are being linked through
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects. “Pakistan is the only nuclear power
which is hard to digest for the world,” he added. “The world considers Nawaz as
responsible for a nuclear Pakistan,” he said.
alleged the former president Pervez Musharraf spoiled situation in Balochistan
by killing Nawab Akbar Bugti, while Nawaz Sharif set the situation right
through his political wisdom. “Nawaz also played role in restoration of peace
in Karachi,” he added. Mushahid alleged that Imran Khan and Dr Tahirul Qadri
were tools of foreign forces and people knew it well that they were enemies of
the nation and the country.
said that he was a witness to rallies of Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) leader
Altaf Hussain and Pakistan People’s Party leader Benazir Bhutto, but no rally
could be compared with the rally of Nawaz Sharif as it was bigger than all
those rallies. The minister said that Nawaz Sharif had done a great job.
ceremony in capital marks Pakistan's 71st independence day
began celebrating its landmark 70th Independence anniversary on Monday with
commemorative ceremonies held in cities across the country.
main ceremony of the day is being held at Islamabad's Convention Centre, where
President Mamnoon Hussain hoisted the Pakistani flag. Prime Minister Shahid
Khaqan Abbasi, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang — who is the chief guest — and
all three chiefs of the armed services are present at the ceremony.
day began with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital along with a 21-gun
salute in each provincial capital.
hoisting ceremonies were held in the provincial capitals and district
headquarters, and change of guard ceremonies were held at Mazar-i-Quaid and
Chairman Senate Raza Rabbani and speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq laid a
floral wreath on the memorial of forgotten heroes of democracy inside the
friendship will stand the test of time'
the ceremony at the packed Convention Centre, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Yang
congratulated Pakistan on its 70th Indepence Day.
said China and Pakistan have stood by each other in difficult times and
"this friendship will stand the test of time and grow with coming
friendship is higher than the mountains, deeper than the oceans, stronger than
steel and sweeter than honey," he said, adding that China will work to
strengthen strategic cooperation with Pakistan.
from the president and PM
his message on occasion of Pakistan's 71st Independence Day, President Mamnoon
Hussain urged the nation to reiterate the resolve to always uphold the values
of determination and dedication for the objective of development of Pakistan.
us join hands for development and prosperity of the motherland by keeping aside
our differences. Let us promote love and harmony by overcoming hatred and
misgivings and secure the future of our nation by turning despondency into hope
in order to celebrate freedom in its true sense,” he said.
Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in his message emphasised the need to strengthen
the state institutions so that they can play their prescribed role within the
limits of law and the constitution.
of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa hoisted the largest national
flag in the history of Pakistan at Wagah Border on the eve of Pakistan's 70th
flag, made entirely in Pakistan, was hoisted on a 400-feet pole at midnight.
The size of the flag is 120 feet by 80 feet.
reported that the flag is the highest one in South Asia and the 8th highest in
flag was hoisted at a ceremony held to mark Pakistan's 70th anniversary. The
hoisting was followed by grand fireworks and an address by Gen Bajwa.
"Some 77 years ago, Pakistan resolution was passed in the same city
[Lahore]. Pakistan came into being on the night of 27th Ramazan — it was a
blessed night," said the army chief.
the country is progressing on the path of the law and the Constitution. All
Institutions are working properly. We will make Pakistan the country of
Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal," he said.
have rendered many sacrifices — we will never forget our martyrs. We will
execute each and every terrorist in Pakistan. I want to tell our enemies, whether
they are in the in east or west, that your bullets will end but not the chests
of our jawans [soldiers]."
Pakistan's "internal and external challenges", the COAS said, "I
assure you that we will never let you down. Any power that will aim to weaken
Pakistan, the Pakistan Army and all other institutions will foil their
Air Force is also going to hold its largest-ever show today (Monday) in
Islamabad which will feature aerobatic teams from Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
day will begin with a 31-gun salute in the federal capital along with a 21-gun
salute in each provincial capital. Flag hoisting ceremonies will be held in the
provincial capitals and district headquarters, and change of guard ceremonies
at Mazar-i-Quaid and Mazar-i-Iqbal.
Nawaz Sharif is now talking about amending the Constitution for his selfish
motives, forgetting that he had been using it for his own benefit for the last
three decades, says Tahirul Qadri, chief of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek.
to his party men, he said the “GT Road mission” had only taken veil off their
faces. The man, along with his party, stands exposed. The party, which has used
the constitution for personal enrichment – both administrative and financial --
now wants to amend it because they are caught in its web.
Sharif should tell the nation how he rose from the finance minister of Punjab
to the prime minister of Pakistan instead of crying foul over his exit from
power now. The corrupt mafia has damaged the social fabric of the country
beyond redemption and is crying hoarse.
dead in Burkina Faso restaurant 'terrorist attack'
people have been killed and eight injured in a “terrorist attack” on a
restaurant in Burkina Faso's capital, the government said Monday.
said three gunmen arrived at a Turkish restaurant in a pickup truck on Sunday
evening and opened fire on customers seated outside.
government then launched a counter-assault, with gunfire heard into the night.
terrorist attack at Istanbul restaurant on Ouagadougou's Kwame Nkrumah Avenue
claimed 17 victims, their nationalities are yet to be confirmed, and eight
people are injured,” a government statement said.
minister Remis Dandjinou said it was not known how many assailants were
are confined to one part of the building they attacked. Security and elite
forces are conducting an operation,” he said on television.
paramedic told AFP that one of the victims was a Turkish national.
evacuated 11 people but one of them, a Turk, died on arriving at hospital,” the
paramedic said, declining to be named.
evacuated civilians from the area before launching the counter-assault, with
the heavy exchange of fire becoming more sporadic as the operation went on.
soldier had said there were hostages on the first and second floor of the
two-storey building housing the Turkish restaurant.
mayor of Ouagadougou and government ministers were on the scene, he added.
Faso, a poor landlocked nation bordering Mali and Niger, has seen a string of
attacks claimed by jihadist groups in recent years.
December 2016 a dozen soldiers were killed in an assault on their base in the
north of the country. And in October that year there was an attack that killed
four troops and two civilians.
worst attack was an assault on a hotel and cafe in central Ouagadougou in
January 2016 that killed 30 people including several foreigners.
from the Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) group attacked the Splendid
hotel and the Cappuccino restaurant opposite, both popular with Westerners,
sparking a protracted standoff with security forces.
named the three gunmen responsible and published photos of them, dressed in
military fatigues and wielding weapons.
hotel and cafe attack came weeks after jihadists claimed an assault on a top
hotel in Bamako, capital of neighbouring Mali, that killed 20 people.
kidnap former Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan
sources said that unknown gunmen kidnapped former Libyan Prime Minister Ali
Zeidan while he was in a hotel in the Libyan capital Tripoli.
to the sources, an armed group raided the hotel “Al-Sharq” in downtown Tripoli,
where Zeidan lives, and taken him to an unknown destination.
is the second time Zeidan has been kidnapped. He was abducted by gunmen when he
was prime minister in 2013 and was freed hours later.
a delay, Sudanese officials are broadly optimistic that more than 20 years of
US sanctions against Sudan will soon end.
the United States decided to delay the full lifting of economic sanctions
against Sudan until September 12, a number of signs suggest improving
Laskaris, Deputy Commander of US Africa Command, visited Khartoum last week to
discuss joint counter-terrorism concerns and other issues.
visit comes as the two countries have already agreed to a resumption of defense
attaches for the first time since the 1990s this summer.
last three years have been very busy but, in the long term, we expect things
with the Trump Administration to continue the policy of Obama towards Sudan,” said
Sudan’s ambassador to the United States Ambassador Muawiya Othman Khalid.
previously held diplomatic positions in Cairo and Doha.
his last month in office, President Obama removed sanctions on Sudan contingent
on certain conditions. The demands include cooperation on counterterrorism as
well as sincere Sudanese efforts to end internal conflicts.
have changed in the Sudan, it’s a different country than it was in the early
1990s when it was a known sponsor of terror and the removal of sanctions is a
logical consequence of improvements from Sudan,” said former US Senator Robert
Torricelli (D-New Jersey) who in the early 1990s as a US congressman worked on
legislation tied to Sudan.
has focused significant diplomatic resources on persuading Washington in recent
officials and diplomats have been frequent visitors to Washington. They have
been consistently making the case to the new administration that Sudan is a
strong partner in the war on terror and regional security concerns.
June, the government hired the public relations firm Squire Patton Boggs to
lobby on behalf of Khartoum.
Finance Minister and Speaker of the Parliament and a host of other officials
have visited Washington in recent months to make their case.
supporting continued sanctions include an unlikely alliance of lobbyists,
evangelical Christian groups, and Hollywood stars like George Clooney and
others who remain unconvinced with Sudan’s shift in policies is enough to
warrant the end of sanctions.
United States isn’t the only country which is experiencing a new political
President Omar Hassan al-Bashir has announced plans to step down from office in
2020 as part of a slow shuffle towards a more inclusive and multi-party
year Sudan named Hassan Saleh its first Prime Minister in 28 years, and a
cabinet reshuffle brought new faces to his cabinet.
reforms are part of a National Dialogue and peace process which began in 2014
and have mostly ended the conflict in Darfur. But in the Nuba mountains,
despite peace efforts, conflict still simmers.
a result of these reforms, Ibrahim Ahmed Omer who served as Sudan’s speaker of
parliament for over a decade was made to retire by the ruling National Congress
Party. In a swan-song appearance at the National Press Club in Washington D.C.,
Omer pointed out that sanctions mean the United States is missing out on
economic opportunities in Sudan.
as they say, is a court investor and won’t come unless money is safe and the
experience of these other countries show that the money is safe,” he said.
“…the West should lift all sanctions on the Sudanese people in order to end
poverty and improve the economic situation it is losing,” he said.
noted that despite sanctions, China, Indonesia, and Malaysia and Arab countries
have been investing in Sudanese the gold, precious minerals, and oil sectors
officials have grown tired of working closely with Chinese officials. According
to one source, Chinese officials have vastly under-reported gold excavations in
Sudan to avoid paying certain taxes.
decision to continue the review period for a further three months is
frustrating for Sudan.
made clear, the country has worked hard to fulfil the American demands and
believes it is in full compliance with the demands to lift sanctions.
Eldin Mahmoud Abbas Mukhtar, Sudan’s Minister of Finance until May, is quick to
point out that Sudan has worked hard to reach its current position.
maintain this favorable position, Sudan is working to prove its compliance with
US directions regarding anti-terrorism issues, finance, and anti-money
laundering. We are cooperating on all standards, rules and regulations and we
have created organs to supervise transactions in the stock exchange and real
estate, and we are always improving these regulatory efforts,” he said during
his final interview while in office.
Minister also revealed to the Financial Action Task Force (on Money Laundering)
an intergovernmental organization, the Sudan is committed to combating money
United States’ decision to restore relations was partly due to Khartoum's
dramatic diplomatic shift regarding Tehran. After Damascus, Khartoum was long
viewed as Iran’s biggest ally in the Arab world. That policy has changed over
the last decade as Sudan has slowly broken away from the Iranian camp.
shift has been most visible in the ongoing conflict in Yemen. Sudan has been
one of the largest military contributors to the operation.
deputy al-Shabaab leader and spokesman Sheikh Mukhtar Robow, known as Abu
Mansoor, has surrendered himself to Somali government earlier on Sunday,
was taken from the southwestern region of Bakol by Somali Defense Minister
Abdirashid Abdullahi, and deputy National Intelligence and Security Agency
(NISA) commander and arrived in capital Mogadishu on Sunday afternoon,
according to authorities.
media reported that Abu Mansoor is in Somalia's state house in Mogadishu to
meet Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed and the prime minister.
least 19 people including 13 al-Shabaab militants were killed after the
militant group stormed in Abal village last week.
is Abu Mansoor's stronghold located 390 kilometers (242 miles) southwest to
California: When Moina Shaiq realized even her friends were scared to ask her
about her religion for fear of offending her or sounding uneducated, she put an
advertisement in a California newspaper: “Questions and answers about being
ad offered ideas for questions: Are women oppressed in Islam? What is the
Islamic view of terrorism? How does Islam view other religions?
set up shop at a coffee house in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Fremont,
hoping for good attendance, but brought her laptop to do some work in case no
one showed. To her surprise, about 100 people turned out that day last year,
and her “Meet a Muslim” program was born.
was over overwhelming,” said Shaiq, a mother of four and grandmother. “Fremont
is so diverse, you will see women in hijab on the streets all the time. I
didn't think people here would be interested or even need to know about
has since spoken about being Muslim and answered questions at dozens of
libraries, pizza parlors and coffee shops in the San Francisco Bay Area. She
recently expanded Meet a Muslim to churches, service clubs and private homes,
and traveled to Arizona and Atlanta with the program.
gives the talks once or twice a week on her own time and her own dime to break
programs emerged after 9/11, when many Muslims felt the need to engage with
their fellow Americans to dispel negative perceptions of their faith. They've
seen a resurgence with a recent uptick in anti-Muslim crimes.
this year, for instance, Muslim and former US Marine Mansoor Shams traveled the
country with a sign that read "I'm a Muslim and a US Marine, Ask Me
Anything.” In Cambridge, Massachusetts, Mona Haydar and her husband set up a
booth outside a library in 2015 with coffee, doughnuts and a sign that stated
“Ask a Muslim.”
said she started her program to educate people about her faith and culture
while addressing people's misconceptions and stereotypes.
explains the importance of the hijab (head scarf) or niqab (face covering), the
differences between Sunnis and Shias (the two main sects of Islam), the rights
of women in Islam, and what it's like to be an American Muslim today.
a recent Rotary club meeting in Fremont, a man asked how she thinks people can
combat Muslim extremism. "This is where you start," Shaiq said.
"You understand what the faith is."
anti-Muslim incidents across the US include arson attacks, vandalism,
harassment and school bullying. In May, authorities in Portland, Oregon, say a
man killed two men and wounded a third after they tried to stop his anti-Muslim
herself has faced threats at her events. One man in Atlanta warned he would
"slit her throat" if she said something he didn't like. He listened
to the discussion, never asked a question and then left. "That was
scary," Shaiq said.
leaders consider the incidents part of a deeply alarming trend that came to the
forefront in last year's presidential election with far-right activists
portraying Islam — and all Muslims — as a threat.
see echoes of these far-right views in President Donald Trump's efforts to ban
entry into the US from six Muslim-majority countries and in his claims of
dangers posed by immigrants and Muslim refugees. Trump has said his policies
are critical for protecting national security.
like Meet a Muslim are important at "this time of heightened fear and
xenophobia," said Zainab Arain, who works to monitor and combat
Islamophobia with the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington,
D.C.-based Muslim advocacy group. "An effective way to push back against
that, especially at a local level, is to gather people and have them get to
know one another."
American Muslims, however, have struggled to see the benefit of these efforts
when they see community members having the same conversations they had almost
16 years ago. "It's just not a good use of time. The likelihood of changing
a bigot's mind is so low," said Asha Noor, a racial justice activist based
Noor and other critics say the focus should be on policy change. For Shaiq, her
program is about sharing a message of love, compassion and peace.
at her talks spikes following news events that include Muslims, and the
discussion often gets spirited, even tense and angry. “I want to proactively
educate my fellow Americans that Muslims are humans just like they are,"
Shaiq said. "They have the same needs as anyone else.”
It is an exciting but unpredictable time for US-Saudi Arabia relations, and
Edward Burton is at the heart of it. “I think one can say the reset button has
been officially and earnestly pushed by both sides,” he said.
a political scientist and lawyer by training and a one-time diplomat as
commercial attache in the US Embassy in Riyadh, is now president and chief
executive of the US-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC), based in
Washington and which also has offices in Riyadh.
council’s aim is to maintain and promote economic and commercial ties between
the two countries, and to encourage reciprocal bilateral investment. It was set
up in 1993, and Burton took over in 2006.
the years, our council has evolved from being primarily a public-information
provider and business-event organizer, to a full-service
corporate-membership-driven consultancy,” he said. It counts 400 of the biggest
names in business in the US and the Kingdom on its membership roll.
also important to understand that we are a bilateral council, which means we
not only assist American companies in entering the Saudi market, but we also
assist Saudi companies to do business in the US,” he added.
the moment, business is buzzing. The visit of US President Donald Trump to
Riyadh in May and the billions of dollars of deals signed then were seen as
heralding a new age in the relationship between the two countries, which was
sometimes strained under previous US administrations.
is somewhat difficult to understate the level of enthusiasm held generally by
Saudis for what is being viewed as a new beginning for relations with the US,
owing not only to President Trump’s visit to the Kingdom, but a much broader
and more meaningful engagement with Saudi Arabia by the new administration,”
is a renewed sense of optimism and real intent to extend the already formidable
and deep economic and commercial ties companies and public-sector entities
share between the two countries. American companies that have been doing
business in Saudi Arabia for decades are putting their investment capital into
the Kingdom’s economic roadmap that will take it to a new Saudi Arabia under
Vision 2030. Today, the two nations enjoy a special partnership centered upon
the pillars of security, energy cooperation, and mutually beneficial business
ties,” he added.
there is a cloud on the horizon of this generally benign outlook: The
diplomatic and commercial standoff between the Anti-Terror Quartet — Saudi
Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt — and Qatar over Doha’s alleged funding of
points out that the USSABC does not usually involve itself in political issues,
unless they directly impact business relationships, but he does offer a
personal perspective as a former top-level diplomat in the region.
held ‘top secret’ security clearance during my time (in the diplomatic) post
and was entrusted with various levels of classified information on a variety of
subject matters, but then and now, no security clearance is required to
understand that Iran has posed a real threat to peace and security for a number
of nations in the region, including Saudi Arabia. I witnessed first-hand and
close-up the horrible impact terrorism has wrought within Saudi borders,” he said.
Burton does not rule out an escalation in the confrontation — “every nation has
the sovereign right to guard its borders and protect itself from harmful
influences and threats from any neighbor,” he said — he does not think it will
affect crucial trading relationships in the region. “I foresee no negative
impact in terms of business relations,” he emphasized.
economic transformation underway in the Kingdom has certainly caught the
attention of the US business community, but what of ordinary Americans? Are
they beginning to see Saudi Arabia in a new light?
United States is such a large and diverse country, I know it is somewhat
unrealistic to expect most Americans to be aware of the profound economic and
societal changes occurring in the Kingdom today,” Burton said. But there has
been a trickle-down effect from the increasingly frequent visits to the US by
top Saudi policymakers, especially those by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
business and political leaders are cognizant of what’s happening in the
Kingdom. But, also, these well-publicized visits by Saudi leaders are widening
the attention span of ordinary Americans as to the tremendous changes occurring
in Saudi Arabia today,” he said.
Riyadh meetings in May — held during Trump’s visit to the Kingdom — were deemed
a great success by all sides, but some industry skeptics cast doubt on the
ultimate practicality of the huge deals announced at the time, questioning
whether there was a real determination to see them through to fruition.
does not see it like that, instead believing that there is a new determination
to implement these and other transactions. “My optimism is based upon the Saudi
realization of how important follow-up is to having future successes
materialize … the Saudi CEO Summit featured numerous business deals that had
been in the works and in the negotiation phase for some time prior to the
actual summit,” he said.
are in contact with some of our member companies that signed deals in Riyadh
during the May summit. These companies are working to implement the agreements
that were inked. These deals have their own timelines, but we are confident
that with the proper attention, they will all come to contribute to the
economic and employment gains aspired to for such deals in Saudi Arabia.”
in the defense sector dominated the Riyadh announcement, which Burton thought
was only to be expected, given the fact that “Saudi Arabia is the United
States’ largest foreign military sales customer.”
future business will not be limited to military hardware, he said. “Given the
priorities as outlined in Vision 2030, there are so many other industry sector
opportunities for global competitors to take advantage of that it almost defies
brevity in description.
the stalwart mainstays of the Saudi industrial and business base — such as oil
and gas, petrochemicals, medical and health care, real estate, consumer goods
and foodstuffs — we view broad-based industrial manufacturing and
infrastructure development as areas holding particular promise for long-term
profit potential for competitive US companies,” Burton said.
sees opportunities especially in domestic manufacturing, which has grown by 15
percent over the past year, with an emphasis on “localization” — focusing on
developing industrial clusters that employ Saudi citizens and which source
their suppliers from the local market.
points to the growing power of cities like Dammam in the Eastern Province as an
industrial ecosystem for manufacturing and distribution, and increasing
American commercial partnerships.
US firms like Dow Chemical and Bechtel are already prominently involved in
Saudi industry, and American companies have big shares of the markets for
construction and transport projects, second only to Saudi firms themselves.
is more work to be done by Americans in energy and utilities projects, where US
partners lag behind South Korean and some European countries, Burton pointed
of the energy sector inevitably turns to the oil industry, and the big question
on the minds of many business and financial people in the US and Kingdom is:
Where will Saudi Aramco choose to list its shares in the initial public
offering (IPO) being planned for next year, in what will be the biggest share
flotation in history, with up to $100 billion of equity to be listed on global
exchanges as well as on Riyadh’s Tadawul.
IPO process is getting down to the crucial issue of whether the New York Stock
Exchange (NYSE) or London Stock Exchange (LSE) would be the better venue in the
West. Recent reports suggest that, while some advisers think London is the
better market, with the LSE showing signs of flexibility to accommodate
Aramco’s record-breaking share issue, the final decision will be as much a
political one as an investment choice. The US-Saudi “reset” would seem to give
New York the upper hand in this regard.
is well aware of the importance of the decision. “The IPO is the most
anticipated event in global equity markets in recent history. The speculative
milieu of this event is fostering its own brand of urban legend within the
world’s financial services community,” he said.
added, “I would not presume to add to the speculation, as only those very high
up in Saudi leadership, Saudi Aramco and those financial services firms hired
by the Kingdom are truly in the know.” However, he believes there are a couple
of safe assumptions on the subject.
NYSE is one of the world’s leading securities markets in the running to offer a
piece of Saudi Aramco for the first time to the public. Other exchanges such as
the LSE are also in hot pursuit of this historic business. These are two of the
most developed and mature global equity markets in the world offering access to
a definitive phalanx of capital investing elites,” he said.
for Saudi Aramco, an international listing of what is expected to be around 5
percent of its assets means the type of investor scrutiny the company is not
used to historically. It will need to come out displaying the kind of
transparency many Saudi companies are unaccustomed to routinely offering.
essential information such as precise oil reserves and full financial
disclosure will be the order of the day for Saudi Aramco if compliance to the
rules of exchanges such as the NYSE and the LSE are to be observed.
example, a listing on the NYSE would mean Saudi Aramco would have to undergo a
complete audit by the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Perhaps a bridge
too far for the world’s largest oil company. There is talk of the LSE somewhat
relaxing its stringent rules to accommodate the Saudi Aramco listing, however,
that remains to be seen,” he added.
Two American soldiers have been killed while conducting combat operations in
Iraq, the US military said Sunday, adding that “initial reports indicate the
incident was not due to enemy contact.”
other soldiers were wounded, it said in a statement, without providing further
details. It did not identify the soldiers.
Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of US forces battling the Daesh (Islamic
State) group in Iraq, said the coalition “sends our deepest condolences to
these heroes’ families, friends and teammates.”
than 5,000 US troops are taking part in the war against Daesh in Iraq,
according the Pentagon. The vast majority operate within heavily guarded bases,
collecting and sharing intelligence with Iraqi forces and providing logistical
as the fight has evolved over the past three years, more and more US troops are
operating close to the front lines. In addition to the two troops killed
Sunday, five other US troops have been killed in Iraq in the fight against
Daesh, including two in the battle to retake the northern city of Mosul.
than 1,200 Iraqi forces were killed in the battle for Mosul and more than 6,000
wounded, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said earlier this month.
a dream to study abroad became a dream of jihad
the confessional statement given to Dhaka Metropolitan Judge Md Golam Nabi on
April 1, Ferdous described how he got involved with militancy
militant Ferdous Ahmed, a follower of New JMB’s mastermind Sarwar-Tamim, made a
failed attempt to flee to Syria a few months ago. Rapid Action Battalion (RAB)
members arrested him before he could flee. He was shown arrest in an
Anti-Terrorism Act case filed with Badda police station on March 21.
the confessional statement given to Dhaka Metropolitan Judge Md Golam Nabi on
April 1, Ferdous described how he got involved with militancy.
son of the managing director of Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank, appeared for
Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinations in 2003 and Higher Secondary
Certificate (HSC) in 2005 from Syedpur Cantonment Public School and College.
giving the statement, he said: “I moved to Dhaka to take coaching in university
admissions tests in 2005 and got enrolled in BSC at Daffodil International
University in 2007 as I did not get a chance in a public university.”
said he started praying five times a day and joined Tablig after joining the
about his friend Anwarul Elom, he said: “I frequently visited him at Buet and
asked him to join Tablig.
agreed to join Tablig. One day we meet Wali Zaman after praying at the
university’s Titumir Hall.
told Wali that Anwarul studies in Chemical Engineering and was interested in
joining Tablig. Wali took us on a three-day Chilla [pilgrimage], along with
some other students from Buet.”
said they went to Jamaat Kalabagan Lake Circus Mosque and from there the
journey of their friendship began.
suspected militant said they only went to Talig once together but they remained
in contact with each other.
said: “I went to Chilla [pilgrimage] after completing my education in 2011 and
started looking for a job after returning to Dhaka, but I could not find one.
In 2012, Anwarul came to me and asked me to leave Tablig. He said Talig was a
suggested that I listen to Jashim Uddin Rahmani’s lecture. Anwarul got mad when
I told him that I will listen to only the Aleems of Talib. He stopped all
contact with me.”
to Ferdous, he came to know a senior member of Tablig named Amin Beg through
Facebook in 2014.
was a frequent writer on Facebook and Ferdous often had conversations with him
on the social networking site.
seeking Amin’s help to get a job, Ferdous got a chance at Ilmenau University of
Technology in Germany for masters.
said: “I told my father that I want to go to Germany for masters and I needed
Tk8 lakh for that, but he refused to give me the money.
I told Amin about it, he offered to give me the money and suggested that I
should go to Malaysia for studies.
also said I should listen to Anwar al-Awlaki’s lectures and I did what he
told the court: “In September, I saw a dream and shared it with Alim. He
suggested that I should go to Turkey and he will bear all the expenses and then
I started looking for universities in Turkey.
asked another friend of mine Ruhul Amin to suggest a name of a university in
Turkey and he gave me the Skype ID of his former university mate who was
pursuing education at ATILIM University.
said: “I showed the offer letter to Amin. He asked me to study in Turkey for
the time being and later move to Syria when the situation was favourable. He
told me that Muslims living there are being tortured and IS [Islamic State] is
carrying out jihad against such torture. He asked me to join them and I agreed
to do so because he [Alim] was funding my education and I had lost interest in
life due to my family problems.”
that he decided to dedicate his life for the Muslims living in Syria, he said:
“I was refused a visa when I applied at the Turkey Embassy in 2015 and then
Amin suggested I move to Saudi Arabia and assured to help me in this regard.”
suspected militant who was detained by the elite force said he met Wali Zaman
regarding a job and discussed the situation of Muslims in Syria. He also
suggested Wali listen to Anwar al-Awlaki’s lectures.
said: “Out of the blue, my friend Anwarul called me up one day for an important
work. He talked to me about Syria and IS when I meet him in Farmgate. We again
developed a mutual understanding when I told him that I was also trying to go
the other hand, Ferdous’ chances of going to Turkey or Saudi Arabia disappeared
after Amin Beg’s arrest in April 2015.
to the statement, Ferdous started the process of applying for Canadian
citizenship following the suggestion of his mother and even shaved off his
beard and started wearing trousers and shirts to avoid immigration problems.
said: “I asked my father for Tk50, 000 to apply for immigration but he refused
again. My father told me to kill him and take all his money and go wherever I
wanted to. This sort of a reaction was unwarranted. I lost all hope.”
added saying that Anwarul offered to take him to Turkey.
said: “Anwarul said his earnings from teaching would be enough for both of us.
We meet Wali Zaman about this.
the three of us rented a two-storey flat in Badda in December 2015, which was
owned by one Amzad Hossain.”
introduced Ferdous and Anwarul to five others-Abu Kashem, Deen Islam, Salman
and Mohsin—who were also trying to go to Syria.
June 2016, Ferdous called up his mother and told her that he wanted to die. He
also talked about how he wanted to go abroad but his father refused to give him
wanted to return to a normal life but that was not possible because my parents
would humiliate me if I did so. My father wanted me to apply for BCS and get a
job at a bank, but I was not smart enough to do that.”
that Salman invented a powder with Acitol last December, he said: “Wali brought
5mg powder to our house in Badda. We tested the powder by lighting a
Anwarul’s friend Jony also made a circuit which was never used in any
do not know what happened to the circuit. I, along with Walim, Abul Kashem,
Humayun, Deen Islam, Salman and Anwarul often went to restaurants on the 300ft
road. Last February, we also went on a picnic near Jamuna Bridge.”
ended by saying: “Wanting to go to Syria was a mistake which ruined my life. I
love my parents and siblings a lot and want to return to a normal life.”
have risen once again in Rakhine since seven Buddhists were found hacked to death
in the mountains in the north of the state in July
of Buddhists took to the streets in western Myanmar on Sunday to protest
against aid organisations they accuse of giving support to Muslim Rohingya
militants, police and a protest leader said.
monks and members of the Rakhine ethnic group held demonstrations in 15 towns,
including the Rakhine state capital of Sittwe, demanding that aid agencies
leave the western state immediately, Htay Aung, a self-described leader of the
protests, told reporters by phone.
will protest again and again until we get our demands. If the government fails
to act, that is their responsibility,” he said.
have risen once again in Rakhine since seven Buddhists were found hacked to
death in the mountains in the north of the state in July.
government said it had discovered forest encampments that proved Muslim
“extremists” were responsible for the killings, and the military sent
additional forces to the area this week.
one suspected militant camp last month, biscuits originating from the United
Nations’ World Food Programme were discovered. Ethnic Rakhine Buddhists have
long accused UN and other aid organisations of favouring the Rohingya with aid.
state was plunged into violence in October, when Rohingya insurgents killed
nine border police, sparking a crackdown in which government security forces
were accused of raping, killing and torturing Rohingya civilians.
1.1 million Rohingya Muslims live in Rakhine, but are denied citizenship and
face restrictions on their movements and access to basic services. About
120,000 remain in camps set up after deadly violence swept the state in 2012,
where they rely on aid agencies for basic provisions.
shared online of Sunday’s protests showed saffron-robed monks holdings signs
reading, “We don’t need terrorist supporter group,” and calling for the UN and
international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) to “get out”.
Aung said the protesters demanded that the government rid the state of Muslim
militants, quickly verify the citizenship credentials of Muslims and allow
Rakhine Buddhists to form armed militias.
Major Cho Lwin estimated that about 600 people protested in Sittwe.
least five Taliban insurgents were critically wounded while they were making
Improvised Explosive Devices in a mosque in eastern Nangarhar province of
provincial government media office in a statement said the incident took place
in a mosque in Momandara district.
statement further added that five other suspects were also arrested during
separate operations in Jalalabad city, Behsud, and Chaparhar districts.
anti-government armed militant groups including the Taliban insurgents have not
commented regarding the report so far.
Taliban insurgents frequently use explosives materials for the roadside
bombings and car bombings to target the government staff and security
in majority of such incidents the ordinary civilians are targeted besides such
bombings incur casualties to the security personnel and in some cases the
Taliban militants themselves are killed or wounded.
Taliban insurgents have captured the control of Ghormach district in northern
Faryab province after days of heavy gun battle.
local security sources confirmed that the control of the district fell to
Taliban control earlier today after heavy clashes.
are no reports regarding the casualties as a result of the clashes so far.
comes as the Taliban insurgents briefly took control of Kohistan district in
Faryab province last month.
the Afghan forces managed to retake the control of the district center by
launching a coordinated operation almost three days after it was captured.
anti-government armed militant groups, specifically the Taliban insurgents have
stepped up their insurgency activities across the country amid growing
pressure by the Afghan security forces
and the international community to root out their activities.
latest attack by the insurgent groups in the northern Sar-e-Pul province that
led to the mass killings of scores of civilians sparked an outrage in
Afghanistan as well as internationally after a key area, Mira Olang, fell into
the hands of the militants.
explosion took place in Kabul city earlier tonight targeting a vehicle in the
vicinity close to the first police district of the city.
Ministry of Interior officials confirmed that the incident took place in Deh
Afghan area of the city, targeting a civilian vehicle.
spokesman for the Ministry of Interior Najib Danish confirmed that a magnetic
bomb planted in a Toyota Corolla type vehicle went off in Deh Afghan area,
leaving three people wounded.
are bi reports regarding the health condition of those wounded in the
group including the Taliban insurgents has so far claimed responsibility behind
comes as the anti-government armed militant groups have been attempting to
carry out large attacks across the country, including the key cities and
provinces as they attempt to expand their insurgency.
militant groups carried out some large attacks in Kabul city including a
coordinated attack on Iraqi embassy in Kabul nearly two weeks along with a
suicide attacks on foreign forces convoy that left several people dead or
wounded, including ordinary civilians.
Afghan security forces earlier foiled a series of attacks planned by the
Taliban insurgents in Kabul city by arresting a group of at least three
insurgents in connection to the attacks plot.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani chaired a meeting amid reports the newly-launched
Afghanistan-India air corridor initiative facing delays in flights.
Office of the President, ARG Palace, said the deputy chief of the chamber of
commerce and industries Khan Jan Alokozay briefed the meeting regarding the
issues being faced to execute more flights as part of the initiative.
the initial flights between the two countries as successful, Alokozay said
changes in flight schedules have started to have bad affect on fresh fruits
waiting for the export.
Ghani instructed the relevant authorities to start negotiations with Kam Air
for fixing the flight schedules for exports after hearing to the briefings of
the related officials.
also instructed that necessary measures should be taken in a bid to prepare 80
to 100 tons of fresh fruits for export by coordinating with the private sector.
to ARG Palace, President Ghani also instructed the Ministry of Finance and Customs
House officials to assist with the allocation of necessary funds and take steps
to provide necessary facilities in a bid to expedite the process as part of the
air corridor initiative.
Ghani also instructed the relevant authorities to take immediate steps in a bid
to ascertain the main problems available to execute more flights.
is getting more difficult to fight Islamophobia in Europe: UN official Gün Kut
is becoming more difficult to fight Islamophobia in Europe, as mainstream
political parties compete for votes with the far-right, Gün Kut, a member of
the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD)
since 2010, has told the Hürriyet Daily News.
extreme right-wing views started to gather public support, some center-right
parties started to embrace some of the rhetoric that is normally used by extreme
right in order to prevent the fleeing of their fringe voters toward the extreme
right. Meanwhile the center-left, which usually supports these anti-racist
efforts, has become more silent in order not to lose fringe voters.
have been working for at least two decades on international commissions to
combat racism. Tell us your general observation about the evolution of this
on the basis of color, ethnicity, nationality and language exists everywhere,
but it takes various forms and varies in intensity. The problem may be getting
worse over time but there are also more and more solutions provided. So it is a
mixed bag of results. Unless intense efforts are exerted on tackling the
issues, things are going to get much worse. If there has been slight
improvement it’s thanks to these international mechanisms.
talk about our region, Europe and the Middle East.
the end of the Cold War there was a very strong support from governments to
deal with these issues. There was a huge pressure for all Council of Europe
member countries to establish or improve their legal infrastructure to deal
with racism. So while on the one hand over the past 20 years we can observe the
rise of extreme right movements in Europe, at the same time governments have
made huge progress in establishing a well-designed legal infrastructure.
as extreme right-wing views started to gather public support, some center-right
parties started to embrace some of the rhetoric that is normally used by
extreme right in order to prevent the fleeing of their fringe voters toward the
extreme right. Meanwhile the center-left, which usually supports these
anti-racist efforts, has become more silent in order not to lose fringe voters
to the center-right. Eventually, this has carried some elements of the extreme
right into political power. Once they are in power the political support for
mechanisms that fight racism in Europe has weakened.
do you think new developments like migration factor in?
racist tendencies become a part of political projects they have a learning
curve. These parties and movements tend not to make the mistakes they made
before. So for example it is almost impossible to find official anti-Semitic
statements from extreme right parties in Europe. They are very careful to avoid
being labelled anti-Semitic. This is not because they are not anti-Semitic but
because they have learned that this path will lead them to trouble. So they
avoid it and instead they accuse all Muslims of being anti-Semitic. This is
because whenever elements of Muslim communities, especially in Western Europe,
protest Israel that protest may turn into an anti-Semitic event.
is ironic that extreme right political parties and movements in Europe, which
have anti-Semitic origins, now condemn Islam as an anti-Semitic political
project. These movements also say they are keen on preserving women’s rights,
but this is merely a political tactic because again it is through that issue
that they can legitimately criticize Muslim groups, especially politically
organized Islamic or Islamist group in Europe, over the place of women in
it is a very difficult situation. These extreme right political parties base
themselves on seemingly very legitimate grounds, which strengthens their
position. That is why it is becoming more difficult to fight Islamophobia in
Europe. That is why even more mainstream center parties have embraced this
anti-Muslim rhetoric. As a result, Islamophobia has become one of the worst
issues of discrimination in Europe. It has been further exacerbated by the fact
that there has been a huge population movement toward Europe, which came almost
immediately after the worst economic crisis Europe has ever experienced.
don’t see an improvement coming in the future. This will remain a problem as
there is less political will to combat racism.
immigrants are there to stay, especially Muslims.
will likely be a bleeding wound. Things will continue like this. Mechanisms and
institutions are working but at the same time the situation is worsening. That
is why these institutions have to work harder.
about the situation of Turkish communities in Europe? To what degree are they
subjected to discrimination?
are not a homogeneous community. We can divide them into two groups. Those who
are willing to integrate and those who are not willing to integrate. The first
ones tend to be successful professionals who can face discrimination because
they have different names, different looks. But they can manage the situation.
The second face double or triple discrimination. Their main problem is
unemployment, but if you don’t speak the local language how can you blame the
other party for not giving you a job?
is a two-way street, and in Europe there is a problem on both sides. For the
second group, the results are lower levels of education, school dropouts,
persistent unemployment and petty crime. The net result is marginalization.
Prejudices develop and it becomes a vicious circle.
do you see Turkey’s situation?
was never one of the European states where racism became a part of mainstream
political life, in the sense that racism did not bring votes in Turkey. Because
of Turkey’s historical and social background, Turks are almost - not fully but
almost - color blind.
this does not mean there is no discrimination. Discrimination comes in many
shapes and forms. Racial prejudice is skin deep in Turkey. It’s not necessarily
visible but it can emerge at unexpected moments.
the last 20 years Turkey has made a lot of effort to improve its institutions
and its legal infrastructure, and for example for the first time ever we have
seen people having to answer to judges at court for saying things like “dogs
and Armenians cannot enter.” So there are serious problems but things are not
at the same level or context as in Western Europe. There is improvement but
there is lots of room for improvement.
about the fact that Turkey has been hosting many migrants, including 3.5
there are huge population movements like this, there are problems on both
sides: There are difficulties faced by the people who have left everything
behind and also difficulties faced by the local community. Turkey is coping
much better than many other places in the world. Despite all the problems of
discrimination, bordering racism at times in the media and in political
rhetoric, the overall management of the situation is still exemplary in Europe.
But this should not lead us to think we have nothing to do. If you think there
are no problems, then problems can develop into crises.
it comes to international mechanisms, to what degree has Turkey been
has always been very cooperative. It has been defensive at times but supportive
of international institutions. Turkey was among the three states to propose the
establishment of the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI).
From the start Turkey was very keen on helping the ECRI and increasing its
powers, and over the last two years Turkey has made huge financial
contributions to the ECRI.
To Face ‘Islamist Terror Threat For Next 30 Years,’ Says Former Spy Chief
UK might “face an Islamist terrorist threat for the next 30 years,” warns
country’s former spy chief. According to Jonathan Evans, who resigned as
Director General of MI5 four years ago, threat of Jihad to the country was a
“generational problem” and won’t be going away anytime soon. “I think that we
are going to be facing 20, 30 years of terrorist threats,” Evans told BBC.
has been rocked by four Jihadi terror attacks this year. The worst of which
took place at the London Bridge in the beginning of June, where three Islamic
terrorists drove a van into passers-by and subsequently went into a stabbing
spree, killing 8 and injuring 48 others. Most of these assailants come from
Britain’s vast migrant Muslim population.
Telegraph reported former spy chief’s grim assessment:
Evans, who stepped down as director general of the spy agency in 2013,
described the threat as a “generational problem” which will take decades to
Evans, who now sits in the House of Lords as a crossbench peer, told BBC Radio
4’s Today programme: “I think on the terrorism side we are at least 20 years
into this. My guess is that we will still be dealing with the long tail in
another 20 years time.
think this is genuinely a generational problem. When I left MI5 in 2013 if I
had been asked I would have said that I thought that we probably were over the
worst of the al-Qaeda threat. (…)
think that we are going to be facing 20, 30 years of terrorist threats and
therefore we need absolutely critically to persevere and just keep doing it.”
majority of the UK’s 3 million-strong Muslims population originates from the
Indian Subcontinent, mainly Pakistan and Bangladesh. Islamist mobilisation that
began in these countries in the late 70s and led to the formation of Islamic
terror groups such as Taliban and Al Qaeda has radicalised parts of the
country’s immigrant Muslim population.
growing demographic strength has encouraged the migrant Muslims to assert their
political will on the country as well. According to a survey conducted by the
UK broadcaster Channel 4 last year, 23 percent of British Muslims expressed public support for
the introduction of Sharia Law to the country. Though a third of them were
totally down with male polygamy, over half of them wanted homosexuality to be
having to do without Sharia Law, which includes social pastimes such as public
stoning of women and cliff-jumping for gay people—albeit without the safety
cord, nearly 90 percent of the Muslim respondents agreed that “Britain was a
good place for Muslims to live in”.
at least Multiculturalism is working for someone. Maybe not so much for the
female Muslim victims of child marriage, genital mutilation or ‘honour’
killings, but Europe’s political elite and media are too busy celebrating their
imported diversity to care about such nitty-gritty.
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