Never Compromised On the Principles of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam Hence Over 16
Crore Muslims in India, Have Nothing to Fear: RSS Leader
Naik Spews Anti-India Hate, Compares Kashmir To Palestine
9/11 Is Our 24/7,’ Say Afghans after 18 Years of War: Those Who Welcomed the
Invasion Question US Intentions and Feel Disappointed
Does Not Specify Islam as Exclusively Sunni and Shafie, Human Rights Commission
of Malaysia Says
Forgotten Camp In Syria Could Be The Birthplace Of ISIS' Revenge Generation
PTI, A Better Law for Pakistan's Christians
Banks Risk Losing Dollar Access under Expanded U.S. Counter-Terror Powers
Of Scotland’s Islamic Tartan Surge Amid Questions Of Religious, National
Jihadists Say Attack On Passenger Bus Was Targeting French Troops
NC Leaders To Meet Omar, Farooq Abdullah: High Court To J&K Govt
of Canterbury Prostrates At At Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Site
hearing: Muslim parties rubbish Nirmohi Akhara's claim on namaz
parties support Akhara’s priestly rights
police foil terror plot, 3 Jaish terrorists arrested
peace process in Afghanistan should have 'full consent' of its people: India
days after lockdown, restrictions lifted from entire Jammu and Kashmir
Ansari case: Statements of witness, case diaries rebut police version
peace process in Afghanistan should have ‘full consent’ of its people: India
Hasina Blames Myanmar for Rohingya Repatriation Failure, Says Country Failed To
Win Trust Of Muslim Minority
proposes 6-month plan to Govt, U.S. and NATO to defeat Taliban
Taliban militants killed, wounded in Ghazni airstrikes and ground operations
bomb attack kills security forces in Afghan capital after collapse of peace
car bomb blast kills four Afghan Special Forces in Kabul
kill 12 Taliban and ISIS-K militants, destroy multiple caches of weapons
Amending Hindu inheritance law demand of time
Ambassador warns of ‘surge in violence’ if U.S.-Taliban talks did not resume
With Shia Islam Not Enough To Justify Raids, Says Rights Group
Include Topic About Shiah In Islamic Education? We Will Discuss With Penang
joins Saudi call for OIC to thwart Israeli annexation plan
Experts Call for Repatriation of IS-Linked Children and Mothers in Syria
US-led coalition may have committed war crimes: UN report
sanctions could extend to allies of Hezbollah in Lebanon: US envoy
Arabia sentences Shia clergyman to 12 years in prison, imposes travel ban on
in Syria has come to end, long-lasting settlement of crisis needed: Russian FM
rejects UN suggestion its Syria air strikes could constitute ‘war crimes’
expected to be 'Black Listed' by FATF in October
PM Imran Khan to visit Saudi Arabia again amidst India-Pak tensions
committed to capacity building of Saudi land forces, says COAS
to blame Pakistan for US setbacks in Afghanistan: Imran
fixes disqualification plea against Fawad Chaudhry for hearing
celebrate 9/11 anniversary, vow to strike America again
urges US govt to press India over situation in occupied Kashmir
New exhibition depicts 'War on Terror from Muslim eyes'
accused of placing spy devices near White House: Report
force posture in Syria unchanged: Pentagon
I do not believe Israelis spied on US
official in 9/11 case to be named: report
offers $5M for information on al-Qaeda leaders
Taliban launch another bombing after Trump warning
arrested at gunpoint in US over 'shameful' claim he supported ISIS settles
Revoke Citizenship From Dual-National Islamic State Recruiter
community calls for change to Muslim portrayal in media
relations have ‘new quality': Putin
Students protest state-appointed Muslim cleric
appoints Muslim ‘freedom of religion’ envoy
on the streets, call for new judicial appointments
Kill Nine Soldiers In Northeast Nigeria
Air Force shoots down three Turkish drones in Misrata
missing in decade-long Boko Haram terrorism in Nigeria: Red Cross
South Sudan leaders vow to seek peace in their troubled nations
intimidation and influence in play as Tunisia faces election on Sunday
decorating historic mosque in South Africa
militants kill 3 KDF soldiers in latest rocket attack
military court hands death sentence, jail term to Al-Shabaab militants
Israel’s Jordan Valley Annexation Plan Means For A Palestinian State
Families Seek Answers over Relatives’ Disappearances
bot gets Facebook ‘hate speech’ suspension
parties vie for Arab vote in bid to oust Netanyahu
adviser criticizes Saudi Arabia for ‘favoring non-Muslims over Turkey’
and Islamic State resume fighting in Yemen
minister: US official said no change on Iran sanctions
PM Netanyahu: Rocket attacks make new war in Gaza inevitable
on a road in southeast Turkey kills 4, wounds 13
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Never Compromised On the Principles of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam Hence Over 16
Crore Muslims In India, Have Nothing To Fear: RSS Leader
DELHI: Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh joint general secretary Krishna Gopal on
Wednesday questioned the view that Muslims "are afraid" in India
while other minorities such as Parsis, Buddhists and Jains, who are fewer in
number, feel secure.
RSS is the ideological mentor of the ruling BJP and Mr Gopal is in-charge of
coordination between the two.
Gopal said India never compromised on the principles of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam
(entire world is one family) and sarve bhavantu sukhinah (all should be happy).
It even wanted Pakistan to prosper, he said.
to an article written by Islamic scholar Raamish Siddiqui that Muslims should
not be afraid as they are more than 16 crore in the country, Mr Gopal said
"it is a big question" why such a mindset exists.
many Parsis are in India... hardly 50 thousand, Jain 45 lakh and about 80 lakh
Buddhists are there...Jews are only five thousand. They are not afraid of
anyone," he said.
are more than 16 crore then why are they afraid... Why and from whom? This is a
big question that the community which ruled the country for 600 years is
afraid... it should be discussed," he said.
Gopal said all other minorities which are lesser in number compared to Muslims
feel secure in India.
RSS leader was speaking at a conference on Mughal prince "Dara Shikoh -
icon of composite culture".
Dara Shikoh as a champion of inclusiveness, Mr Gopal said he was a true Muslim
and translated Upnishads into Persian languages. He underlined that
inclusiveness and unity have always been integral and essential part of Indian
people from various countries and religions came to India and this country made
them their own, he said.
Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, who also addressed the conference, said Aurangzeb
was a "symbol of terrorism", while his brother Dara Shikoh was the
"identity of nationalism".
and oppression committed by anarchist and cruel ruler like Aurangzeb was
glorified by group of Islamic fanatics, Leftist and so-called secular
historians," Mr Naqvi said adding that Aurangzeb's philosophy was to
destroy human values and India's "Sanatan Sanskriti".
same thinking gave birth to terror organisations like Al Qaeda, ISIS,
Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba," he said.
Naik spews anti-India hate, compares Kashmir to Palestine
preacher Dr Zakir Naik has released an anti-India hate statement targeting
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government and its decision to scrap Article
370 in Jammu and Kashmir.
Naik, in the statement, hit out at the Indian government's actions in Kashmir
and warned against a Palestine-like situation building up in the state.
Naik, who is no stranger to controversies and his anti-India stance, said that
Kashmir is another Palestine in the making and "Israel is giving tutorials
to India on Kashmir".
Naik said that Kashmir's current situation is an "action of hatred by the
right-wing extremist Bharatiya Janata Party [BJP] government". Talking of
Article 370, Zakir Naik said that Kashmir was "singled out for being a
his statement, Zakir Naik detested "pumping in a million armed
personnel" and called it an "act of war by the the BJP government
against the biggest Muslim community in the country".
Naik also went on to claim that Kashmiri youth are being arrested and
"sent to undisclosed jails in and outside Kashmir". Zakir Naik,
elaborating his statement said, "Every detainee is reported to being
subject to extreme torture that lasts for hours. There are reports of beating
with sticks and rods and electrocution for hours at a stretch."
are also reports of Indian soldiers firing at and killing women and children
passing by. But as usual, the Indian government continues to deny the deaths
and injuries or any wrongdoing by the Indian military," Zakir Naik
Naik said that the BJP and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh's (RSS) have admiration
for Isreal and how "Israel is giving tutorials to India on Kashmir".
Naik targeted Modi government's decision to scrap Article 370 in Jammu and
Kashmir calling it "Modi government's atrocities on Kashmiris".
Naik in the past has made similar claims in his anti-India hate statements.
Zakir Naik is wanted in India for fuelling terrorism.
reportedly left India in 2016 and subsequently moved to Muslim-majority
Malaysia, where he was granted permanent residency.
Exhausted by protracted fighting and lawlessness, some Afghans had hoped the US
decision to invade Afghanistan to topple the Taliban in response to the Sept.
11, 2001 attacks would lead to peace and stability. Eighteen years on, some of
those who welcomed the invasion question US intentions and feel disappointed.
They argue that the country is more divided and bloody than ever, has weak
government, a rampant narcotics trade and that extremism has soared, with the
nation’s fate looking bleak.
was one of those people who hailed them (the US) because they had created the
perception that they will fight terrorism, bring us democracy, peace and an
accountable government,” Humaira Ayoubi, a former MP from western Farah, told
drove the Taliban from power within weeks. How come 18 years on, despite their
vast resources, technology and military might, the Taliban are back in control
of more ground than the government in my province? Where is the rule of law,
justice, peace and good governance?”
said ordinary people in her constituency who also supported the arrival of
US-led troops at the time now say Washington “has a hidden agenda — it can
easily win the war, but does not want to, because it wants to remain in
former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who came to power with US help after
Taliban’s fall, has claimed that Washington uses “terrorism” in Afghanistan as
an excuse to remain in the country.
leaders say they have no secret agenda in Afghanistan, and do not wish to
maintain a long-term military presence there.
said she and others had clearly told US diplomats and generals that they were
pursuing the wrong policy in Afghanistan by not hitting the Taliban in
3,000 people lost their lives during the Sept. 11 attacks, carried out by a
group of Al-Qaeda operatives who flew planes into the twin towers of the World
Trade Center in New York, and the Pentagon in Washington, DC. A fourth plane,
also bound for the US capital, crashed en route in Pennsylvania.
leaders were protected by the Taliban in Afghanistan, which led to the
subsequent invasion following the attacks. Since then, countless Afghan
civilians have been killed in Taliban attacks and offensives by US and
Paikan, a journalist working for the BBC in Kabul, has tried to point out to
the world the scale of the deaths caused by the war in Afghanistan. On the 18th
anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, he tweeted: “Your 9/11 is our 24/7!”
Ghazikhail, who runs the Center for Studies and Research think tank in Kabul,
said US leaders had given Afghans bogus promises for “justifying” the invasion.
years later, the situation is not like Afghans hoped at the beginning. Women’s
rights, freedom of speech and the freedom of the media were justification for
America’s invasion. Our forces are weak and without NATO and American troops
they cannot defend us,” he told Arab News.
said Afghans needed to know why, despite the continued US presence, the Taliban
had become strong again, and other militant groups such as Daesh had emerged in
a Taliban suicide bomber detonated a vehicle laden with explosives at an Afghan
army outside Kabul on Thursday, killing 4 troops, government officials said.
attack was the first by the group since US President Donald Trump called off
peace talks at Camp David this week.
LUMPUR, Sept 12 — The definition of Islam according to the Federal Constitution
should be left broad and not confined to any one interpretation for the sake of
a peaceful co-existence, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said
commissioner Datuk Seri Mohd Hishamudin Md Yunus said Article 3 of the
Constitution establishes Islam as the religion of the federation, but does not
provide any specify anything beyond that, including denomination or school of
does not say whether it should be Sunni Islam, and if so which mazhab (school
in my personal view it should not be confined to Sunni Islam, especially in
relation to the Sunni-Shiah divide,” Hishamudin, a former Court of Appeal
judge, said during Suhakam's 20th anniversary forum at Istana Hotel.
Malaysia, only the Sunni denomination of Islam and its Shafie school of
jurisprudence are considered official by Putrajaya.
minority denominations such as Shiah and Ahmadi, and also the so-called
“liberal Islam”, are considered deviants.
the constitutional definition of Islam is broad, he said it would be best
interperted in the spirit of the Amman Message, which was issued in 2004.
the time we had a large delegation headed by then prime minister Tun Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi, and he endorsed it.
you look at the message, it tries to reconcile all the various sects in Islam.
We should not go to the extent of saying my Islam is better than yours, or that
you are a heretic. Instead let us all recognise one another,” Hishamudin said.
Message is a statement pleading for the Muslim world to practice tolerance and
unite with each other, issued by King Abdullah II of Jordan. It was
subsequently endorsed by over 200 Islamic scholars from over 50 nations
he also acknowledged that as long as the constitutional definition of Islam
remains broad, issues such as the recent raids by the Selangor Islamic
Religious Department at a Shiah event in Gombak on Saturday will continue into
is unless somebody decides to challenge the definition, and manages to bring it
up all the way to the Federal Court.
Islamic issues fall under the purview of the state governments, it is possible
to bring it to the Federal Court, since the right to exercise one's religion
falls under the Constitution,” Hishamudin said.
so exerting this right, the challenge is not brought to the Sharia Court but
the Civil or High Court instead, leading up to the Federal Court. The
commissioner also noted that up until today, the constitutional definition of
Islam has not yet been challenged in court.
in my personal point of view, the Shiah raids must stop. As long as they
practice Islam in peace and follow the law of not spreading their teachings to
other Muslims, there should be peaceful co-existence.
Message recognised the Shiah Ja'fari and Zaydi mazhabs as valid, so why should
not our state authorities also recognise it as such,” Hishamudin said.
forgotten camp in Syria could be the birthplace of ISIS' revenge generation
Arwa Damon, Kareem Khadder and Brice Laine
Syria (CNN)The market at al-Hol camp is a sea of unidentifiable figures clad in
black, clutching their children's grubby hands as they drag them past those
haggling their wares.
team approaches a group of Iraqi women. Our request to talk to them sparks
debate. "Sisters, don't say anything," one woman warns the rest of
sister, we have a right to speak," another retorts.
talk over one another, pouring out a litany of grievances. The children are
starting to steal. They don't have money. The conditions are wretched. They
want to go home.
is a sprawling encampment for those displaced from the former ISIS territory in
northeastern Syria. Wind and sand blow mercilessly against tents in the
scorching heat of the Syrian summer.
15% of the inhabitants here are foreigners, but the international community has
for months neglected the camp. And as living conditions worsen, nostalgia for
ISIS' rule is beginning to brew.
camp's population rocketed from 9,000 to 70,000 after ISIS made its last stand
in the Syrian town of Baghouz in March. Weeks of battle led to a large outflux
of displaced people, mostly the families of ISIS fighters.
50,000 of the camp's inhabitants are children, and most of the rest are women.
They are the ones who held out in the rapidly shrinking so-called caliphate
until the very end.
while some of the mothers have tried desperately to find a way out of the camp,
many are trying to bring their fundamentalist utopia back to life.
started to notice that the new arrivals were very well organized," says
Mahmoud Karo, who is in charge of the camps in northeastern Syria's Jazira
district. "They organized their own moral police. They are
a cloak of secrecy, the radical women inhabitants have continued to enforce the
draconian laws of the former so-called caliphate.
police women's allegiance to ISIS, punishing those suspected of wavering in their
support for the extremist group.
to fundamentalist dress codes is closely supervised with sometimes lethal
punishment meted out to those who fall out of line.
camp is the best place to develop the new ISIS. There is a restructuring of the
ISIS indoctrination," says Karo. "You can't differentiate between who
is ISIS and who isn't."
down the perpetrators is difficult, he says. The women, cloaked in niqab, are
nearly impossible to identify. They change tents frequently to avoid capture.
Pentagon report by the inspector general, released last month, warned that the
US and its local allies have been unable to closely monitor movements inside
al-Hol. A drawdown of the US military presence in the area has allowed
"ISIS ideology to spread 'uncontested' in the camp," the report
extremism in al-Hol runs parallel to signs of ISIS' resurgence elsewhere in the
attacks in northwestern Iraq, where the group formerly ruled large swathes of
territory, are becoming more frequent, and the group has claimed responsibility
for other attacks in the region in recent months.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has acknowledged the trend, stating last month
that there are "places where ISIS is more powerful today than they were three
or four years ago."
camp officials describe al-Hol as an "ISIS academy." The place is a
toxic blend of those intent on incubating ISIS' ideology and those who want to
leave their past behind.
glaring lack of international involvement and neglect has allowed extremism to
thrive, camp officials say.
10,000 people in the camp are foreign nationals from elsewhere in Asia, Africa,
Europe and North America. Very few have been repatriated. Bringing them back to
their home countries is not something politically popular in Europe and abroad.
in the camp marketplace say their ultimate priority is securing the release of
their detained husbands and teenage sons who are being held by the Syrian
tell my children their father is with the infidels," one woman tells CNN.
the prisoners are released, then maybe our hearts and the hearts of our
children will sympathize with you," she tells us. "But if the
prisoners aren't released, the hatred will grow with the women and
woman says she does not know what has happened to her detained teenage son. The
situation has driven her to the edge of madness.
the men aren't released, the women will become the biggest cell," she
fleeing Deir Ezzor for al-Hol with his wife and children three years ago, Abdel
Qader Mohammed opened a barber shop in a small cement-and-brick room in the
of the camp's first inhabitants, Mohammed arrived before the influx of those
who had stayed on with ISIS as the group made its last stand. He is one of the
few men in the place -- and the only person we met who was willing to speak out
came here to escape ISIS and now we are in a camp full of ISIS," he says.
"We can't talk to the ISIS people here. Even [as] we cut hair, they start
telling us that we are infidels."
one of the tents, a woman says she is desperate to get out of al-Hol's stifling
atmosphere. But there is no rehabilitation program for people in the camp, and
no effort to separate extremists from those who reject ISIS.
Telegram chat group has turned the al-Hol "death camp" into a
rallying cry for ISIS. In Arabic, English, French and Turkish, it details what
they call "atrocities" committed by the "pig enemies of
Islam" and calls on the "lions" -- a reference to extremist
fighters -- in northeastern Syria to "wake up."
July, a woman calling herself Umm Bakr al-Ansariya issued a well-circulated
fatwa, an Islamic decree, demanding that Muslim aid workers wear the Niqab, and
threatened those who defied the order with "punishment by the sword."
the same month, video posted on social media showed the black ISIS flag being
raised in the Syrian section of the camp.
a reaction to the psychological pressure on us," a woman living in the
Syrian section of the camp explains. "They should know that more can be
done than the raising of a flag."
the foreigners' section of the camp, a little girl with a blond ponytail zips
around a playground on a toy scooter. She plays with other children, a mix of
Europeans, Asians and Africans.
you scared of us?" a 23-year-old German woman asks.
I be?" I reply.
am just asking," she says, wondering aloud why her country won't take her
back. She says she no longer wants to live by the rules of the so-called
isn't a camp. It's a prison," she says.
here say they live in fear of the camp's ISIS vigilantes. Another woman tells
us her tent was burnt down. Her friend says she's so afraid of being stabbed
she barely sleeps.
foreign woman strangled her niece for removing her niqab, while another was
beaten for cleaning in front of her tent without a niqab, Karo says.
the camp, a prison controlled by the predominantly Kurdish, US-backed Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) offers a starkly different scene.
ISIS fighters are indulged in painting and creating papier mâché models. Around
a dozen of them crouch over a long table, crafting a miniature football
stadium, houses, cars, animals and flowers.
walls are lined with other creations: a model town with twinkling lights, a
mosque, a church.
making this from nature," detainee Ali Othman says with a chuckle.
"Can you help us?"
says that ISIS held his family hostage in Raqqa, the former seat of their
power, and coerced him to join their ranks. He was tasked with planting bombs
in another town.
day, he received a plastic bag that exploded, taking his right hand. He covers
it with a glove these days. He is serving 20 years, the maximum sentence.
is no death penalty here and prisoners can get early release for good behavior
-- unlike authorities in Damascus and Baghdad, Kurdish forces are banking on
are also trying to separate extremist inmates from those who appear to have
parted ways with their pasts -- a policy that is not being applied in al-Hol.
of the detainees claim they were arbitrarily detained. Others say they are
innocent but were turned in by family members who themselves were members of
ISIS. Some, like Othman, admit to joining but claim they had little choice.
at the al-Houri Rehabilitation Center, scores of teenage boys are either
serving ISIS-related sentences or have been identified as having radical
15, says he joined ISIS when was 12 years old. We're calling him Abdullah to
protect his identity. It is not his real name. He trained for months before
being dispatched on his first mission: to plant explosives at a US base.
brought us sticky bombs to place under the fuel tanks of the vehicles," he
remembers. "We got suicide vests and weapons. We put the vests on and took
our weapons and then wore women's niqabs to hide everything."
operation failed and he ended up in prison. Later, he was transferred to the
rehab center. "I was able to distance myself. It was a mistake. I learned
from it," he said.
children show visible signs of trauma. One child, "Hassan," was the
son of an ISIS emir who used to behead people and give the heads to Hassan to
use as soccer balls. Hassan is not his real name, but one we are using to
protect his identity.
the rehab center, "Hassan" is a recluse; he does not want to be interviewed.
center's administrator, Musab Mohammed Khalaf, does not know if he will ever
rehab center is trying to provide basic psychological support to help Hassan
and others recover. But resources are limited, and the trauma is more than can
be imagined. It's anyone's guess as to how much the ISIS indoctrination can be
removed from a teenage mind.
the situation stays like this and nations don't help, ISIS will come
back," Khalaf warns. "We hear about it, the sleeper cells, they take
advantage of the children, trying to recruit them."
al-Hol camp is a desolate, miserable place nations want to wish away. It stands
as a legacy of yesterday's war.
that is what makes it uniquely dangerous, because if it is allowed to fester,
this sprawling camp contains the seeds of the next war, of ISIS' revenge
story has been updated, and the name of the rehab center has been corrected.
PTI, a better law for Pakistan's Christians
the upcoming session of the National Assembly, the Minister for Human Rights
Shireen Mazari is supposed to present a proposed Christian Marriage and Divorce
Act, 2019 for adoption. If passed, this bill will repeal and replace the
Christian Divorce Act, 1869 and the Christian Marriage Act, 1872.
nearly 150 years, the laws governing Christians in Pakistan might be revised.
Christians may make a mere five per cent of the population of Pakistan, but
these two laws deeply affected the lives of almost all of the four million
strong Christian population in the country, and it is high time that they are
impetus for a change in the law started when in late 2016, a Christian by the
name of Ameen Masih approached the Lahore High Court for relief. His prayer was
not related to any discrimination by the majority community, or lack of basic
rights, or even a plea for protection against an often-misused law. He
approached the court in order to be able to seek a divorce from his wife
without accusing her of adultery.
his petition, Masih contented that while his marriage had broken down, he did
not want to allege that his wife had committed adultery to obtain a divorce. He
prayed that Section 7 of the Christian Divorce Act, which stipulated that the
then Indian courts follow the position of the English Divorce courts, should be
made available to him, under which the provisions of the English Matrimonial
Causes Act 1973 would apply, permitting him to get divorce from his wife on the
grounds of the breakdown of marriage.
7, however, had been omitted from the Act by the Federal Laws Ordinance, 1981
under General Ziaul Haq, and since then the main grounds for divorce for
Christian men remained very limited and largely involved an allegation of
adultery or conversion.
the petitioner argued that such a situation was not only against fundamental
rights, but also forced the petitioners to lie. Masih’s petition brought to the
fore critical issues related to the Christian Divorce Act and the Christian
Marriage Act, those nearly 150-year-old statutes that had continued almost
untouched in Pakistan despite independence.
British and personal law
two laws were the result of British legislation during the Raj. When the
British came to India, they saw it as a set of different religious communities,
ignoring other distinctions of caste, region, ethnicity.
as this ordering was, it gave rise to the notion of personal law in India. This
meant that in ‘personal’ matters — marriage, divorce, custody, inheritance —
the religious law of a particular community would be followed, while in other
matters, common law would prevail.
was, of course, a major limitation for well-formulated codes like the Sharia,
but short of picking the law of a certain religious community wholesale and
imposing it on the rest of India, the British thought that this was the most
suitable manner in which religious sensibilities could be assuaged and also a
common code devised for civil and criminal matters that do not come under the
purview of personal law.
in the years following, the British enacted several personal laws which
governed different aspects for Parsis, Hindus, Muslims and also Christians.
While these were religious pronouncements in a certain sense in that they
regulated affairs according to religious principles, they were not religious
laws per se.
other words, these laws did not obliterate the different emphasises and
interpretations of various sects within a religion, but created a general
parameter within which interpretation of law could occur for members of a
particular religious community. Case law was then supposed to further fine tune
these provisions, and also allow for different interpretations between sects.
terms of Christian personal law, the two major statutes introduced in India by
the British were the Christian Divorce Act, 1869 and the Christian Marriage
Act, 1872. Even though Christians were still a very small number in the British
Indian Empire at that time, their growing numbers through mass conversions, and
issue of irregularities, led to the enaction of these two laws.
English law directly applied to Christians in India. These new laws also
largely followed the then British law, but created a provision for changes to
be made if locally desired. The law on marriage recognised the clergy of the
Church of England, Church of Scotland and the Catholic Church, while allowing
other ministers and even lay people to apply for a licence to solemnise
divorce law, again, reflected contemporary England and only allowed it in the
case of adultery, bigamy, rape, sodomy, bestiality or a combination thereof
with desertion. A section also allowed for a petition for divorce in case of
conversion to another religion by a spouse, recognising the local reality in
to the case of Ameen Masih, Justice Mansoor Ali Shah, the then Chief Justice of
the Lahore High Court, in his judgment declared that since the 1981 law was
under an undemocratic regime, and since no consultations were ever held with
the Christian churches or leaders before its omission, the deletion of Section
7 from the Christian Divorce Act, 1869 was unconstitutional.
he allowed the petition and permitted Masih to divorce his wife relying on the
British law, which permitted it under the irretrievable breakdown of marriage
significantly, Justice Shah noted that while he had taken the views of the
Christian churches in the matter, this law was a state — ie, civil — law that
regulated the affairs of a religious community. Hence, it was in no way
changing Biblical law (as some were alleging) or forcing any church to accept
divorce under its provisions.
next: The spatial politics of Lahore's Hindu temples
fact, the Catholic Church does not recognise divorce at all, and neither this
petition nor even the whole Act of 1869 has ever compelled it to accept the
concept of divorce. Hence, purely religious law within denominations was not at
all affected by this judgement and only the civil aspect was being changed.
the judgement of Justice Shah gave relief to the petitioner, and made life
easier for numerous others, it raised an important point: how could Pakistan,
as an independent country, allow the law of another country to be followed with
respect to the personal law of a certain community of its own citizens?
in Pakistan are Pakistani citizens and almost 100% of them are of local origin.
The small percentage of Anglo-Indians and Goans is also almost wholly Pakistani
born, and so there is no reason for an alien connection for their personal law.
there are still connections between churches in Pakistan and the United
Kingdom, the fact that Pakistani Christians were to be governed by English law
in matters of divorce was not only an affront to their Pakistani identity, but
also infringed upon their fundamental rights where they, as citizens, should
have their laws enacted by their own parliament.
the wake of the Masih case, serious attempts were made by the then government
of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to formulate revisions.
by Senator Kamran Michael, who was also a minister in the PML-N government,
several rounds of consultations were held with Christians. These meetings
started in earnest with a large consultation in Islamabad on August 10, 2016
where 38 people participated in the discussion. This was followed by another
large discussion forum in Lahore on April 4, 2017 where 56 people participated.
due to the increasingly unstable government and the looming elections, nothing
concrete was achieved until the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government took
the new minister for human rights, Shireen Mazari, came to the helm of affairs,
she seriously took up the mantle of finally bringing the changes to light. She
restarted the process of consultations and within a period of just about a year,
held several consultations with Christian leaders over the Act.
in total, the Ministry of Human Rights held nine such consultative meetings
between 2016 and 2019 with members of the Christian community. In all of these
meetings, several issues were raised, many revisions suggested and a number of
amendments noted to the two Acts.
several church leaders and Christian civil society organisations also began to
hold their own consultations. The National Commission for Justice and Peace
(NCJP) formed in 1985 by the Pakistan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, the Church
of Pakistan and the Presbyterian Church in Pakistan led the way in creating a
group of clerics and others, while organisations like the Centre for Social
Justice and others brought together civil society leaders and human rights
advocates together with religious leaders.
by the autumn of 2019, it was clear that a lot of work and thought had been
given to the issue and a new draft for the Christian Marriage and Divorce Act,
2019 was prepared by the Ministry of Human Rights, keeping in view the several
rounds of consultations and suggestions received from Christian leaders and
activists throughout Pakistan.
the consultative process was indeed commendable and the efforts of the Ministry
of Human Rights and Minister Mazari laudable, several issues also came to the
fore during the consultation process which exhibited its fraught nature.
usually an act of this type is shepherded by some members of parliament who
either hail from the particular religious community, or represent it, or have a
keen knowledge, either academic or practical, about it.
this case, the parliamentary leadership fell mainly on the shoulders of the
Christian members of parliament who had been appointed to their seats by party
leaderships. Since these parliamentarians were never actually elected and got
their positions through a party list, from the outset their legitimacy was
they were Christian by religious profession, this was their sole claim to
representation. Almost all of them had no background in either social,
educational or charity work that would make them stand out as natural leaders.
Nearly all of them had risen in the ranks of a party due to patronage rather
than support of the grassroots.
Shunila Ruth herself pointed out this problem at a consultation, and noted that
the only way she can advocate for Christian (and minority) rights is when she
is fully supported by the community. Such support and therefore representation
still needs to be worked on.
almost all these Christian parliamentarians were unable to understand the
nuances of both the Acts and failed to clarify and emphasise the actual nature
of the old Acts and the reasons behind the proposed changes. Of course, this
has to do with the fact that there are only a handful of Christian members of
either the National Assembly or the Senate, and so it would be unfair to expect
them to understand the intricacies of a law which is civil but has religious
State of fear
a major flaw in the process is that it is seen as primarily a religious issue,
and so the consultations have focused heavily on Christian religious leaders.
While it is true that the law will mainly deal with people professing the
Christian faith, yet, as explained above, and very clearly in the judgment of
Justice Shah, these laws are civil laws, not religious ones.
while consultations with Christian religious leaders are fine, depending on
their acquiescence for the proposed changes is not correct. This is because the
proposed changes neither affect the particular law of churches and nor do these
leaders need to accept these changes.
example, the Catholic Church, worldwide and also in Pakistan, does not accept
divorce. Hence, it has never accepted the provisions of the Christian Divorce
Act, 1869 either and nor will it accept any version of it in the future. This
is because Catholics around the world and in Pakistan are governed by the Canon
Law of the Catholic Church. The same is true for most mainline churches, like
the Church of Pakistan and the Presbyterian Church, both of which have their
own canon law that regulates such matters.
as has become apparent, any attempt to get a consensus among various Christian
religious leaders over marriage and divorce is simply futile. This is because
different denominations have very divergent views on the issues of marriage and
example, the Catholic Church, as noted above, does not accept the concept of
divorce under any circumstances. Instead, it uses the concept of annulment
which, after due process, ends the marriage as if it never happened. On the
issue of marriage, the Catholic Church sees it as a sacrament ordained by God,
which can only be dissolved by death.
Church of Pakistan, which largely follows the Church of England, also sees
marriage as a sacrament but allows for divorce under certain circumstances.
However, the Church of Pakistan does not allow for a divorcee to remarry as
long as their earlier spouse is still alive. Some Protestant churches also see
marriage as an indissoluble covenant and only allow divorce on the basis of
adultery. There are also divergent views on remarriage.
while the Ministry of Human Rights wholeheartedly invited a very broad cross
section of the Christian community for consultation, the reality was that very
few of the religious leaders had any real claim of representation, and even
among those who did, their numbers varied widely.
example, the Catholic Church in Pakistan is the largest Christian church in the
country, with over 50pc of the Christian population adhering to it. They are
followed by the Church of Pakistan which claims another 25pc, while the
Presbyterian Church of Pakistan counts another 10-15pc of the Christian
population of the country. The rest of the 15-20pc of the Christian population
is spread over numerous, perhaps even thousands, of small denominations and
house churches, which are almost impossible to count.
bringing all of these religious leaders on the same platform and treating them
the same cannot work as they do not represent a commensurate group of people
and differ greatly in terms of numbers, organisation and stability.
the involvement of NGOs in the process is certainly welcome and essential, but
there are severe limitations as to their ability in helping the process. This
is largely because most NGOs which either focus on Christians in Pakistan or
are Christian-led, focus on issues of human rights.
all such NGOs are ill-equipped to aid in the process of the revision of laws on
marriage and divorce. Very few of them have any lawyers associated with them,
and even then very few legal experts have an understanding of the development
of Christian marriage and divorce laws both in Pakistan and abroad.
the few who have an understanding of such issues are Jennifer Jivan of the
Christian Study Centre in Rawalpindi, Joseph Francis of Centre for Legal Aid
Assistance and Settlement and Peter Jacob of the Centre for Social Justice.
Besides them, and a few others, there are hardly any people in the NGO sector
who have any competence to comment on such issues.
each of the three groups — political leaders, church leaders and the NGOs — had
an expectation that their views would prevail solely, but the job of the
ministry was and is to listen to everyone, propose a law that takes into
consideration all the recommendations instead of allowing one section to
dominate the other, as well as to ensure that the law corresponds well with
Pakistan’s other laws and human rights regulations.
while consultations were and are essential, the ministry has the final say in
the version of the bill that will be presented in parliament. The ministry, of
course, has to explain its position, and perhaps a position paper is due in
this regard, but needs to also ensure that a law is indeed presented in
parliament and enacted.
and revisions of the proposed Act
current draft of the Act brings to the fore some needed changes after
revisions. Major among them is the raising of the marriage age for both men and
women to 18 years. While the determination of marriage age is of some
controversy in Islamic legal circles, Christian thought and theology is
unanimous about the age of consent.
it proposes that both the husband and wife have the same grounds for divorce.
Previously, the husband could only petition the court for divorce when the wife
had committed adultery. Now, there is an allowance for both the husband and the
wife to petition the court for divorce for a larger number of reasons.
first, there were several critical issues that remained unaddressed. However,
once revisions were suggested to the Minister of Human Rights, she immediately
examined them and incorporated the changes in the proposed Act.
speaking, I was amazed at the level of personal interest, keenness and
receptivity the minister showed in this regard. The legislation has certainly
come this far due to the personal efforts of the minster and she must be
commended for it.
5 gurdwaras that could be made part of Kartarpur Corridor
I was deeply involved in these new revisions, let me explain a few of them, all
of which have been accepted by the ministry and incorporated in the proposed
a major revision in the proposed Act was the removal of the definition of a
Christian. While it might be possible to come up with a definition that most
churches accept, the view was that it was not a civil issue and therefore best
left to the individual churches and the conscience of the people.
having seen the experience of the majority community in this country in
defining who belongs to a religion, it was important that such fissures are not
introduced into a small community, where such issues could end up being equally
the revision allowed for the solemnisation of Christian marriages in places
other than a church or chapel. This was added to recognise the present reality
where marriages take place not only in churches but marriage halls, houses and
even in destination weddings.
the proposed Act has removed all references to the Registrar General of Births,
Marriages and Deaths. While this office has historical significance and the
office still remains, the law in force in the country stipulates that a
marriage be first registered at the local Union Council and then at the
National Database and Registration Authority offices.
the registration of Christian marriages, something which the Bishop Emeritus of
Lahore Alexander John Malik had even taken to the Supreme Court, has to be in
accordance with the prevailing law and in consonance with how marriages of
other communities are registered by the state.
in the provision for divorce, the revision introduced the notion of violence as
understood in the modern sense. This was a major human rights intervention in
making the law more equitable and women friendly. There are several instances
where violence is not just physical but psychological, economic and otherwise,
and the recognition of its grave nature is an essential human right.
the definition of violence was introduced in this Act as grounds for divorce,
to include “any offence committed against the human body of the aggrieved
person including abetment of an offence, domestic violence, sexual violence,
psychological abuse, economic abuse, stalking or a cybercrime.”
in the provision for divorce, the revision added that a lack of understanding
of matrimonial rights and obligations could also lead to dissolution of
marriage. Reflecting the provision in Catholic Canon Law, which is also present
in Anglican Canon Law and in the law of other churches, this provision notes
that a lack of understanding of what marriage actually entails, the
responsibilities towards the spouse, children and the family, could also lead
to an end of the marriage. The proposed Act, therefore, not only reflects
similar provisions in the Canon Law but, for the first time, provides it to
Christians in the civil law of Pakistan.
the revision improved the language of the proposed Act and brought it in line
with current terminologies. It removed words like ‘idiot’ and ‘lunatic’ as
grounds for an annulment and replaced it with ‘mental disorder’ to cover a wide
range of mental and psychological issues. This is a recognised ground for
annulment both in the Catholic and Anglican Churches as well as most other
mainline Christian churches throughout the world.
the revision focused on the issue of alimony the woman receives as part of the
interim or final settlement. In the earlier draft, it was fixed at one-fifth,
which was thought to be too less. Raising it to “at least one-fourth”, the
revision ensured that, at the very least, one-fourth of the husband’s income
should go for the upkeep of the former wife and children, and that the court,
keeping in view the reality of the situation, might even increase it as it sees
finally, the revision removed the remnant of Article 7 of the Christian Divorce
Act, 1869 that had survived as Article 49 in the proposed Act, stipulating that
the provisions of this proposed Act were to be read in conformity with the
principles and rules of the Divorce and Matrimonial Causes Court in England.
Since Pakistan is now an independent country with its own laws, and also
because such a reference infers that the Pakistani Christian community is in
some ways foreign, the whole article was deleted.
and some other changes accepted by the ministry in the proposed Act made it
modern, comprehensive and women friendly. This revision was led by an expert
team which included, besides me, Bishop Emeritus of Lahore Alexander John Malik
and Peter Jacob. Several others also gave their input in the process, including
lawyer Jamshed Rahmatullah, Vicar General of Rawalpindi-Islamabad Diocese Asif
John, Fahmida Saleem of the Christian Study Centre, NCJP’s executive director
Cecil Shane Chaudhry and Jennifer Bennette.
strength of this group was that it was a mixed group of religious leaders,
scholars, legal experts and activists who had the expertise and experience to
comment on such proposed legislation. The revision proposed by this group was
not church- or activist/NGO-led. They were led by a deep understanding of
Christian thought, a knowledge of the laws of various churches, decades of
pastoral experience and an ability to work with the ministry to make the
proposed law more comprehensive.
openness with which the Ministry of Human Rights embraced these revisions
certainly shows their eagerness to ensure that a holistic and good law is
presented before parliament.
laws in a country are a work in progress and that is why we have the
parliament. All legislation is proposed and passed with good intentions, but
time, more knowledge and experience mandates its improvement.
proposed Act might still have some minor issues, but those small things should
not keep it from being presented in parliament and passed into law. If there
are critical issues that come up later, amendments can certainly be brought in
at a later stage.
is certainly a historic and much needed legislation and directly affects the
lives of over four million citizens of Pakistan. Any more delay in the
presentation of the bill will only lead to more suffering.
Banks Risk Losing Dollar Access Under Expanded U.S. Counter-Terror Powers
Mengqi Sun and Ian Talley
U.S. plans to use expanded counterterrorism powers to target foreign financial
institutions that facilitate terrorist financing, leaders of terrorist groups
and those participating in terrorist training over the internet, a U.S.
Treasury Department senior official said.
financial institutions should be on notice that the U.S. government will fully
utilize this new authority if they are found to be, in any way, facilitating
the malign activities of U.S. designated terrorist groups, their members and
their supporters,” Sigal Mandelker, the Treasury undersecretary for terrorism
and financial intelligence, said in prepared remarks for a speech Wednesday at
the International Institute for Counterterrorism’s annual summit in Israel.
Trump administration this week unveiled details of an updated counterterrorism
executive order that significantly expanded U.S. counterterrorism powers. The
Trump administration also imposed sanctions on dozens of individuals and
entities allegedly involved with terror groups.
and the U.S. State Department have blacklisted about 400 people and entities
under antiterror authorities over the past two years, representing nearly
one-third of all such designations since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Those
figures underscore the Trump administration’s focus on sanctions as a primary
foreign-policy tool across the geopolitical spectrum.
the newly updated executive order, the U.S. can now impose secondary sanctions
for any person, business or financial institution found to have handled
transactions with all individuals and entities designated as terrorists by the
U.S., Ms. Mandelker said in the speech.
financial institutions at risk of such secondary sanctions include money
services businesses, cryptocurrency exchangers and administrators, in addition
to banks, she said. The action could cut off their access to the world’s
biggest economy and most-used currency critical to most of the world’s trade
executive order also expanded the U.S. government’s ability to swiftly target
alleged leaders and officials of terrorist groups and those participating in
terror training over the internet and other telecommunications platform, in
addition to those participating in terror training camps, she said.
the new rules, the two departments responsible for imposing sanctions no longer
need to develop detailed dossiers tying top officials or agents involved in
terror groups to specific attacks or acts, said Nathan Sales, the State
Department’s top counterterror official.
you’re out in the dark corners of the internet getting bomb-making
instructions, if you’re going to a Hezbollah training camp, that fact alone is
now a sufficient basis for you to be designated under our sanctions
authorities,” he said, referring to the Iran-backed Lebanese group designated
by the U.S. as a terror organization.
Lorber, a former top Treasury sanctions official, said the new powers are a
significant change from past authorities not only in making it easier to issue
terror sanctions, but also because now any financial institution found handling
transactions for entities blacklisted as terrorists or their supporters is at
risk being cut out of the U.S. financial system.
is a real expansion of authority,” said Mr. Lorber, now at the Foundation for
Defense of Democracies, a Washington think tank. “While most financial
institutions would not have done business with designated terrorists even
before this new authority, this action makes clear that the U.S. Treasury is
willing to take serious steps to punish those financial institutions that do.”
of Scotland’s Islamic tartan surge amid questions of religious, national
Sales of a specially designed Scottish Islamic tartan are soaring thanks to a
surge of interest linked to timely questions of religious and national
tartan was introduced seven years ago to stand alongside the traditional woolen
fabrics that proudly represent Scottish clans and institutions. It was designed
in 2012 by Scottish Muslim academic, and Arab News columnist, Dr. Azeem Ibrahim
to celebrate the histories of Scotland and Islam, and highlight and promote the
dual heritage of the two communities in an attempt “to overcome religious
intolerance and cultural discrimination.”
mill that weaves the Islamic tartan fabric said that sales have been steady
since it was launched but suddenly increased in the past week after an image
and details of the tartan went viral on social media.
sale of most tartans is a steady trickle, generally, and we normally expect a
few orders a week,” said Nick Fiddes, managing director of DC Dalgliesh, which
describes itself as the world’s only hand-crafted tartan mill. “The volume went
up by four to six times, perhaps. It was very noticeable and we had no idea why
at first. It was quite mysterious.”
sudden interest came after Canadian academic Laura Morlock, who specializes in
religious attire, posted a tweet on Sept. 5 about the tartan.
has officially created a tartan to honor its Muslim citizens,” she wrote. Despite
coming 12 years after the launch of the fabric, the post was retweeted 13,000
times and liked by more than 50,000 people.
said the response to her post suggested that drawing attention to the tartan
must have resonated at a time when Muslim communities in the West, and
particularly the US, are feeling more isolated.
think people responded differently to learning about this because it hits a
nerve at a time when hate crimes (particularly those against religious
communities) are on the rise, and the news is full of federally mandated
nationalistic cruelty around the globe,” she wrote in her blog.
has officially created a tartan to honour its Muslim citizens.
white lines: the 5 pillars of Islam
gold lines: the 6 articles of faith
square: the Kaaba
citizens, Glasgow City Chambers (Attire’s Mind)
image on Twitter
AM - Sep 6, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
said the tartan is part of a Scottish-Islamic venture that aims to bring the
two communities closer together.
is one thing I love about tartans,” he said. “It is saying that Muslims are a
part of Scotland too, due to cultural significance.”
is produced in a variety of colors and patterns of criss-crossed horizontal and
vertical lines and stripes, and forms part of Scotland’s national dress, most
notably in the kilt.
Islamic tartan was essentially the Scottish-Muslim identity being weaved
together in the same way that the tartan is weaved together through its
strands,” said Ibrahim, who is director at the Center for Global Policy in
have been coming to Scotland since the late 18th century, when sailors from
India, Pakistan, Yemen and Malaysia began to arrive in Glasgow on merchant
ships. The Muslim population grew substantially after World War II, and a 2001
census indicated that 42,550 Muslims lived in Scotland at that time. Today the
figure is estimated to be about 75,000.
designing a tartan for this community, Ibrahim consulted some of the top tartan
designers in the country. The theological explanation behind the final design
is that it incorporates several Islamic and Scottish elements. The blue in the
pattern represents the Saltire, Scotland’s national flag and green represents
the color of Islam. There are five white lines to represent the five pillars of
Islam, and six gold lines representing the six articles of faith. A black
square represents the Kaaba in the Great Mosque of Makkah.
the time the tartan was launched there was a debate about independence for
Scotland, and a national referendum on the question of splitting from the rest
of the UK was held two years later.
Islamic tartan brought “a new focus to what it means to be a Scot,” Ibrahim
wrote in 2012. “Muslim communities in Scotland are particularly sensitive to
the complexities of culture, race and religion that are perceived as an
integral part of Scottishness,” he added.
the idea of a Scottish Islamic Tartan seemed to me to be the perfect symbol of
the future generation in particular, for the younger, educated Muslims caught
between two cultures: East and West, traditional and modern. Instead of
conflict, the tartan represents a tightly woven blend of tradition and
was initially puzzled as to why interest in the tartan is on the rise now.
think it is something that nobody ever understands, when things will go viral,”
he said. “A couple of people tweeted it and then it became absolutely nuts and
it has gone all over the world.”
boost in the profile of the tartan comes at a time when the United Kingdom is
preparing for its departure from the European Union. Many believe this
increases the likelihood of a renewed push for Scottish independence, given
that Scotland voted overwhelmingly in the 2016 UK referendum on Brexit to
remain in the EU.
certainly much more interest in people’s identities and people’s affiliations
and about how people feel about their personal (sense of) belonging: what
exactly they belong to,” said Ibrahim.
Islamic tartan was not introduced for commercial purposes, he added, but rather
as a public-relations exercise “to celebrate Scottish-Islamic identity as these
two civilizations have made an immense contribution to humanity.”
man, this was around 7years ago*
(and I use that word v, v loosely) the Scottish Islamic tartan.
importantly symbolic initiative that brought together the various strands of
our multifaceted identities as Scots, Muslims etc.
has aged me. https://twitter.com/LauraBMorlock/status/1169681820855734278 …
PM - Sep 6, 2019
people are talking about this
said he has presented a number of scarfs and ties from the Islamic tartan to
world leaders and dignitaries, including Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan,
Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim and former Nigerian President Olusegun
of the people who appeared in the original promotional images for the launch
tartan was Scottish National Party politician Humza Yousaf, who is now
Scotland’s justice minister.
was an importantly symbolic initiative that brought together the various
strands of our multifaceted identities as Scots, Muslims, etc.,” he said.
jihadists say attack on passenger bus was targeting French troops
(Reuters) – A Mali-based al Qaeda affiliate said a landmine it planted that
killed 14 civilians when it exploded under a passenger bus was intended to
target French troops.
60 people were in the vehicle when it hit the landmine on Sept. 3 as it drove
through a region in central Mali that has become a haven for Islamist militants
despite a five-year-old French military operation to counter them.
Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin (JNIM) – an umbrella group for al Qaeda-linked
militants in West Africa and the Maghreb – said it had not intended to attack
the bus and offered its condolences and sympathy to the relatives of those
deep sadness and grief, we received news about the killing of a group of our
brothers and children,” it said via its media arm, according to U.S.-based
SITE, which monitors jihadist websites.
came as the result of the detonation of a landmine the mujahideen had planted
for patrols of the French occupation,” it said in the statement.
least 24 civilians were wounded in the attack in addition to the 14 dead,
according to the Malian authorities.
by Islamist militants has proliferated in the sparsely populated Sahel in
recent years, with groups linked to al Qaeda and Islamic State using central
and northern Mali as a launchpad for attacks across the region.
NC leaders to meet Omar, Farooq Abdullah: High court to J&K govt
Jammu and Kashmir high court on Thursday directed authorities to arrange a
meeting of two National Conference Parliament members with their detained party
leaders Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah in Srinagar at the earliest.
Sanjeev Kumar asked Srinagar’s deputy commissioner, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, to
convey the dates of the meetings to Hasnain Masoodi and Akbar Lone. He barred
them from sharing details of their meetings with the press.
meeting shall be related to a courtesy call and to know about the well being of
the persons under detention. After the meeting, the petitioners shall not go the
press to share details and deliberations with the detained leaders”, the court
Justice Kumar allowed a petition of Masoodi and Lone seeking directions for
their meetings with their party leaders. It has asked a government lawyer to
seek instruction from the state government regarding the detention of NC
president Farooq Abdullah and his son and party vice-president, Omar Abdullah.
their petition, Masoodi and Lone said they have not been allowed to meet their
former chief ministers, including Farooq Abdullah and Omar Abdullah, were among
hundreds of people detained as a lockdown and communication blackout was
imposed in Jammu and Kashmir on August 5.
curbs were imposed to prevent protests after the Centre abrogated constitutional
provisions under Article 370 that gave Jammu and Kashmir a measure of autonomy
and prevented non-residents from buying property and getting government jobs
there. The Centre also bifurcated Jammu and Kashmir into two Union territories
on August 5.
Abdullah is under house arrest while Omar Abdullah has been detained at a
government building that has been declared as sub-jail. Omar Abdullah’s sister,
Safiya, her children and aunt, Suriya, were allowed to meet him last month.
Another former chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s sister and mother have also met
the detained former chief minister.
50 politicians remain detained at Srinagar’s Centaur hotel that has also been
declared a sub-jail.
Supreme Court late last month allowed Communist Party of India (Marxist)
general secretary Sitaram Yechury to meet his party’s former lawmaker Yusuf
Tarigami, who was under house arrest in Srinagar. Tarigami has since been
shifted to Delhi for treatment on the top court’s instructions.
Of Canterbury Prostrates At At Jallianwala Bagh Massacre Site
Matters India Reporter
Bagh, September 11, 2019: Archbishop of Canterbury Reverend Justin Welby says
he had a deeply humbling experience at Jallianwala Bagh, the site of British
colonial era massacre.
spiritual head of the Church of England visited Jallianwala Bagh in the
northern Indian state of Punjab on September 10 and said the time at the site
provoked “feelings of profound shame.”
massacre took place at Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar during the Baisakhi
festival on April 13, 1919, when the British Indian Army under the command of
Colonel Reginald Dyer opened fire at a crowd staging a pro-independence
least 400 people, including 41 children, were killed and more than 1,000
wounded in the firing.
the presence of a sizable gathering inside the Jallianwala Bagh, the Canterbury
archbishop, who is on 10-day tour of India, read out a prayer seeking God’s
forgiveness for the heinous act.
most senior bishop in the Church of England, prostrated himself to pray in
front of a memorial to the Jallianwala martyrs.
if he would ask British government to seek apology for the Jallianwala Bagh
massacre, the archbishop said, “I think I have been very clear about what I
feel and that will be broadcast in England.”
the massacre misuse of power, the archbishop said, “I came in seeking the
sorrow and repentance suffered at the hands of British soldiers. Again I can’t
speak to government but I can speak in repentance for the sin committed here”.
have no status to apologize on behalf of the UK, its government or its history.
But I am personally very sorry for this terrible atrocity,” the archbishop
recognize the sins of my British colonial history, the ideology that has too
often subjugated and dehumanized other races and cultures,” he said.
here arouses a sense of profound shame at what happened in this place. It is
one of a number of deep stains on British history. The pain and grief that has
transcended the generations since must never be dismissed or denied,” the
archbishop added. He continued, saying that Christ called us “to turn away from
sin — not just repenting old ways but to live in a new way that sought the
kingdom of God.”
Welby went to the Golden Temple where he paid obeisance at the sanctum
sanctorum. He also went to the Akal Takht, the supreme seat of Sikhs.
the visitors’ book, Welby wrote, “It is deeply humbling and provokes feelings
of profound shame to visit this place that witnessed such atrocities hundred
first response is to pray for healing of relatives, of descendants, of our
relationships with India and its wonderful people. But, that prayer renews in
me a desire to pray and act so that together we may learn from history, root
out hatred, promote reconciliation and globally seek the common good,” he
archbishop arrived at the headquarters of the Church of North India’s Amritsar
diocese on September 9.
DELHI: The Nirmohi Akhara's claim that Muslims cannot have a valid title over
the disputed land at Ayodhya as they were not offering regular namaz there from
1934 to 1949 was rubbished by Muslim bodies on Thursday in the Supreme Court
saying benefits of illegal acts cannot be reaped.
Akhara, which was granted one-third of the disputed 2.77-acre Ram
Jamanbhoomi-Babri land by the Allahabad High Court, had told the five-judge
Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi that its possession was
"exclusive" as after the 1934 riots till 1949, Muslims were allowed
to offer Friday prayers only, that too under police protection.
Friday prayers under police protection would not change the legal character of
Akhara's possession and it cannot lead to a conclusion that Hindus and Muslims
both had the "joint possession", the Hindu body had said.
advocate Rajeev Dhavan, appearing for Sunni Waqf Board and others including
original litigant M Siddiq, rebutted the submissions saying that the Muslims
did not pray because they were not allowed to.
(Akhara) cannot commit an illegality and seek to reap benefits from it. Even if
you do not create illegalities, still you cannot reap benefits of such illegal
acts of others," he told the bench also comprising justices S A Bobde, D Y
Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S A Nazeer.
is across board (arguments). Why Muslims did not come to pray? They did not
come to pray because you did not let them," he said.
then referred to the demolition of the disputed structure on December 6, 1992
and said that the Supreme Court had observed that some "miscreants"
then Nirmohi Akahara and others cannot claim benefits, he said.
the outset, Dhavan said that Akhara cannot overcome the legal hurdle that its
1959 lawsuit to re-claim alleged possession over the site from the government
authorities after its attachment was time-barred under the limitation law.
dealt with the submissions of the Akhara that its lawsuit was not time-barred
as the cause of action, such as taking over of the possession by the receiver,
was of the nature of "continuous wrong".
bodies have said that Akhara filed the lawsuit in 1959, almost nine years after
the disputed site was attached by a court-appointed receiver on January 5, 1950
following alleged placing of idols under the central dome of the building by
some miscreant on December 22-23, 1949.
lawsuit should have been filed within six years of the alleged cause of action
which arose in 1950 and hence, the 1959 lawsuit of 'Akhara' was time-barred,
said Akhara cannot claim relief against the magistrate who attached the
property and gave it to receiver.
had the right is not enough. A party should must have a legal right on the
basis of 'continuous wrong'," he said, adding that the terms like
'continuous wrong, belongs, belonging to and possession" have been used by
Akhara to overcome the Limitation aspect.
said Akhara was allowed to pray in outer courtyard of the site in 1885 and they
were not in the possession of the inner courtyard till 1949 when trespass
happened and idols were placed under the central dome.
then dealt with the aspect of adverse possession of the site by Akhara from
1934 to 1949 and said that such a plea has to be set up on "legal"
said there should be specific pleadings in the case by Akhara as to when it
became owner of the site under the doctrine of adverse possession.
the doctrine of adverse possession, a person, who is not the title holder, can
become the owner if his possession is not challenged in courts for a period of
said so far as the inner courtyard was concerned, trespass took place on
December 22-23, 1949 after idols were placed there and Akhara remained in
illegal possession only till January 5, 1950 when the property was attached.
period is small so far as possession of inner courtyard is concerned," he
said adding that this adverse possession doctrine cannot come in for Akhara's
however, supported the submission that Akhara was the 'shebait' of 'Ram Lalla'
and said that it was competent to initiate the suit on behalf of the deity.
asked as to what will happen if Akhara wins the case and the question would be
as to who will own the property either Akhara or the deity through its the next
was referring to the another lawsuit filed by the deity through next friend
Deoki Nandan Agrawal seeking the ownership of the same property.
advancing of arguments would commence on Friday.
DELHI: Locked in a 70-year-old litigation with Hindu parties for ownership of
the 2.77 acre disputed Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land in Ayodhya, Muslim
parties on Thursday came out in strong support of Nirmohi Akhara’s priestly
rights but relegated it to the outer courtyard of the demolished mosque while
claiming the inner courtyard.
bolster its strategy to drive a wedge between the Hindu parties — Nirmohi
Akhara, deity Ram Lalla through next friend, and the suit filed in 1950 by a
worshipper Gopal Singh Visharad — Muslim parties through senior advocate Rajeev
Dhavan told the Supreme Court that there appeared to be a conflict among the
Hindu parties as to who would manage the disputed site in case the SC decided
the matter in their favour.
Nirmohi Akhara succeeds, it gets only ‘sevait’ right and not ownership right.
If the deity gets the right, it cannot manage the place through next friend as
sevait rights are with Nirmohi Akhara. Will Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, which intends
to build a temple at the disputed site, manage the place? But under what
right?” Dhavan asked a bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justices S A
Bobde, D Y Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer.
said the difficult task before the SC was to decide who would get sevait
rights, especially when the Allahabad High Court had dismissed the suit filed
in 1959 by the Akhara, three decades before the deity approached the HC with a
suit through next friend.
the bench told Dhavan that he had already argued in detail about Muslim parties
supporting the Akhara’s sevait rights, Dhavan said, “The Akhara needs a little
more support from someone.” He said the Akhara’s sevait rights could not be
denied as the deity’s next friend had not even listed a single dereliction of
duty in performing priestly rituals by the Akhara.
said in the suit filed in 1885 by a ‘mahant’ seeking ownership and sevait
rights at Ram Chabutra, Sita ki Rasoi and Bhandara in the outer courtyard of
the mosque, a court had denied them the title but allowed them the right to
worship. “There never was any claim from anyone for title over the inner
courtyard of the mosque,” he said.
Jammu & Kashmir police on Thursday foiled a terror plot by arresting three
suspected Jaish-e-Muhammed (JeM) terrorists at Lakhanpur on the Jammu-Pathankot
highway in Kathua district. The terrorists were caught with a huge cache of
arms, which, police said, was being transported to Kashmir in a truck to
“disturb peace in the Valley”.
specific intelligence inputs, the truck loaded with cardboard material was
intercepted at a checkpoint on the highway at 8am. The arms and ammunition
seized from the truck included four AK-56 rifles, two AK-47s, six magazines and
180 live rounds.
senior superintendent of police Sridhar Patil said the three men have been
identified as Ubaid-ul-Islam and Sabeel Ahmed Baba of Rajpora of Pulwama, and
Jahangir Ahmed Parrey of Charar-e-Sharief in Budgam. Patil said the truck, with
registration no. JK13E-2000, is owned by Suhil Ahmed Latoo of Gulshanabad,
Pulwama. It was being driven by one Javaid Ahmed Dar. Police also seized Rs
11,000 in cash from the accused.
sources said the truck passed through several checkpoints spread across the
border districts of Punjab. The possibility of terrorists using the Bamyal
sector of Pathankot, which is close to the international border with Pakistan,
with the motive of entering J&K from Amritsar via Lakhanpur border cannot
be ruled out. However, the Kathua SSP has denied that the truck had come from
Amritsar and had used the Bamyal sector to enter J&K.
inspector general of police (border range) SPS Parmar said a vehicle can also
get into J&K from Himachal Pradesh. “So it is a matter of investigation
where the truck originated from,” Parmar said.
intelligence sources maintained that the area between Bamyal, a village in
Pathankot district, and Hiranagar in J&K is considered to be “safe passage”
for illegal interstate trade. Besides, terrorists are known to use this route.
sources said there are fewer checkposts on the road via Bamyal sector compared
to the newly constructed Amritsar-Pathankot toll road. It is believed that the
Pakistani terrorists who had struck at the Pathankot Air Force base and
Dinanagar police station in 2016 crossed over to India from the Bamyal sector.
DELHI: Days after US President Donald Trump called off negotiations with the
Taliban, India on Thursday said any peace process should have "full
consent" of the Afghan government and its people.
affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India was very closely
following the developments relating to peace initiatives in Afghanistan.
was asked about Trump cancelling a secret meeting with Taliban leaders at his
Camp David retreat last week.
are following the developments including talks between the US and the Taliban
very closely. We are of the view that all sections of Afghan society including
legitimately elected government should be part of the peace process,"
on September 8 said that he cancelled the secret meeting with the Taliban after
it admitted of being behind a terror attack in Kabul which killed a dozen
people including a US soldier.
have supported the election process which is about to unfold later this month. Our
point of view is that any process should respect the constitutional legacy and
it should not lead to any ungoverned spaces where terrorists and their proxies
can relocate," the MEA spokesperson said.
said any process should have full consent of the Afghan government and its
are reasonably confident that any decision on the peace process taken by the US
and the international community will take into account all these
concerns," Kumar said.
has been supporting a national peace and reconciliation process which is
Afghan-led, Afghan-owned and Afghan-controlled.
March, India conveyed to the US that it should not withdraw its troops from
Afghanistan without putting in place an elected "political structure"
to govern the country.
powers such as the US, Russia and Iran have been reaching out to the Taliban as
part of efforts to push the stalled Afghan peace process. India has been a key
stakeholder in the peace and reconciliation process in Afghanistan.
a significant move, India had sent two former diplomats in
"non-official" capacity to a conference on Afghan peace process in
Moscow last November which was attended by a high-level Taliban delegation.
restrictions on movement have been lifted from entire Jammu and Kashmir and
landline phones restored, 39 days after the state was put under a security and
communication lockdown on August 5 after constitutional provisions that gave
the state special status and its permanent residents special privileges were
removed and it was divided into two union territories.
lifted from all areas, traffic movement has increased manifold. Landlines fully
functional, mobile phones considerably working in Kupwara and Handwara,” said
Department of Information and Public Relations, Government of Jammu and
Kashmir, reports ANI.
August 5, large sections of Srinagar and other cities have been barricaded with
barbed wires, streets deserted and shops shuttered. With phone lines dead and
internet services suspended, local residents reported difficulties in reaching
family members and in procuring essential supplies.
government has been gradually lifting curbs and has also ordered opening of
schools but attendance has been thin. Traffic on the roads is gradually picking
up but office attendance is also sparse and shops remain shut, barring the
neighbourhood grocery shops. Political leaders, workers and separatists also
continue to be in detention.
Police said they dropped charges under IPC Section 302 (murder) against the
accused in the death of 22-year-old Tabrez Ansari because it was “not a case of
pre-meditated murder” and that he died following a cardiac arrest, not just a
an analysis of the chargesheet, key testimonies and case diaries raise
questions about this conclusion. Ansari’s uncle Mohammad Masroor Alam, who
rushed to the spot on hearing about the assault, recorded this statement: He
heard a member of the mob shout, “Itna maaro ki mar jaye (Beat him so much that
was among the 24 witnesses whose statements are recorded in the chargesheet
filed in the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court on July 23.
chargesheet also refers to a preliminary report by the board of doctors that
conducted the post mortem, which says if the viscera report does not point to
“poison”, the cause of death was a head injury.
then, case diaries show that police already invoked IPC Section 304 (culpable
homicide not amounting to murder) against the accused when the viscera was sent
to the forensics lab. In other words, they did not rely on the viscera report
while dropping Section 302 from the chargesheet.
the case diaries note: “After viscera report, there is a possibility that there
could be change in IPC sections.”
June 18, a mob in Dhatkidih village of Saraikela-Kharawan district accused
Ansari of theft, tied him to a pole and assaulted him. Video clips of the
attack showed the mob forcing Ansari to chant “Jai Shri Ram” and “Jai Hanuman”
during the assault.
who was taken in police custody on suspicion of theft, died four days later in
a local hospital.
Tuesday, when asked why Section 302 was dropped from the chargesheet,
Saraikela-Kharswan Police SP Karthik S told The Indian Express: “We filed a
chargesheet under IPC section 304 because of two reasons. One, he did not die
at the spot… the villagers did not have any intent to kill Ansari. Second, the
medical report did not substantiate the murder charge. The final post-mortem
report said Ansari died due to cardiac arrest and that a haemorrhage in the
head was not fatal. The second medical opinion said the cause of death was a
combination of cardiac arrest and the head injury.”
key details from the case diaries:
The board of doctors that conducted the post-mortem listed a head injury among
the external injuries, and a blood clot in the brain and “heart chambers filled
with blood” as internal injuries. They reserved their opinion pending forensic
test results and told the police: “Death does not seem to be a possibility due
to these injuries, but it may also happen. The injuries are grievous in
the board was specifically asked what the cause of death would be if poison was
not found in the viscera report, it stated: “The head injury will be the cause
In his statement, Ansari’s uncle Alam said his nephew had called his wife on
June 18 morning. “He informed her that he was tied to a pole and being beaten
up. He pleaded with her to come and save him,” Alam’s statement said. It said
Alam rushed to the village with his younger brother around 6.30 am and saw
Ansari tied to a pole with ropes around his waist and getting beaten. “We got
scared as many people were shouting and we stood 20-25 feet away from him. One
of them was shouting, ‘Itna maaro ki mar jaaye’ (beat him so much that he
dies)’,” Alam told police.
his statement, Alam said Ansari was barely able to move at the police station,
and remained “unconscious”. He only opened “his eyes after much prodding”. Alam
stated that when he met Ansari in jail the next day, he was crying. “He told us
that he had suffered serious injuries on his head and asked us to get his
treatment done,” Alam told police.
The man who shot video clips of the attack, Tinku Mandal, confirmed its
contents to police. He told police that he later deleted the clips due to fear.
“I heard people shouting in the early hours of June 18. I saw that one person
was tied to an electricity pole and people were abusing him. He was being
beaten with sticks, but some were also asking others not to beat him. Ansari
had a phone and was calling someone on it. Villagers asked him to call his two
friends (whom they claimed were involved in an alleged theft bid and had
escaped),” Mandal told police. His statement also says that Ansari “was forced
to chant ‘Jai Hanuman, Jai Shri Ram’.
through night with sticks’
chargesheet, meanwhile, states that police found that Ansari was caught while
he was attempting to commit a theft. It states: “Akroshit graminon dwara usko
bandhkar, raat bhar ewam subah bhi dande se peeta gaya. Usse uski dharmik
bhavna ke virudh ‘Jai Shri Ram, Jai Hanuman’ ka naara lagaya gaya (He was tied
up by the angry villagers, and beaten with sticks the whole night and in the
morning. They forced him to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram, Jai Hanuman’ against his
religious beliefs),” the chargesheet said.
Ansari’s injuries, it mentions the head injury and haemorrhage and states that
the board “kept their opinion reserved on the cause of death and the viscera
has been to the FSL”. It states: “In this incident, till now IPC 304 and other
sections is made out against the accused.”
after US President Donald Trump called off negotiations with the Taliban, India
on Thursday said any peace process should have “full consent” of the Afghan
government and its people.
Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India was very closely
following the developments relating to peace initiatives in Afghanistan.
are following the developments including talks between the US and the Taliban
very closely. We are of the view that all sections of Afghan society including
legitimately elected government should be part of the peace process,” Kumar
have supported the election process which is about to unfold later this month.
Our point of view is that any process should respect the constitutional legacy
and it should not lead to any ungoverned spaces where terrorists and their
proxies can relocate,” the MEA spokesperson said.
are reasonably confident that any decision on the peace process taken by the US
and the international community will take into account all these concerns,”
March, India conveyed to the US that it should not withdraw its troops from
Afghanistan without putting in place an elected “political structure” to govern
a significant move, India had sent two former diplomats in “non-official”
capacity to a conference on Afghan peace process in Moscow last November which
was attended by a high-level Taliban delegation.
Hasina blames Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation failure, says country failed to
win trust of Muslim minority
prime minister has blamed Myanmar for the failure of a recent attempt to
repatriate Rohingya refugees, saying its neighbouring country did not do enough
to win the community's trust.
comments from Sheikh Hasina came three weeks after a fresh push to return the
Muslim minority to Myanmar's conflict-scarred Rakhine state that fell flat when
no-one turned up.
740,000 Rohingya fled their villages in Rakhine following a military crackdown
in August 2017, joining nearly 200,000 already living in squalid camps across
the border in southeast Bangladesh.
seen Myanmar could not win Rohingya's trust in creating a conducive situation
(in Rakhine) for their dignified return," Hasina said in parliament late
had full preparation, but still the repatriation did not start... uncertainty
looms over Rohingya getting back their homes, land and other properties."
Hasina said she had asked other Asian nations including China, India and Japan
to help resolve the crisis.
comments reflect Dhaka's frustration over the lack of a resolution to the
refugee crisis. A previous repatriation offer was rejected by Rohingya leaders
government has also started to crack down on activity in the camps amid a
recent outbreak of violence and rising tensions with locals.
has imposed a virtual internet blackout in the camps in the border towns of
Teknaf and Ukhia by cutting access to 3G and 4G mobile internet networks.
have said 2G networks are too slow for internet use.
leaders have repeatedly said the refugees will not return to their homeland
unless their safety is ensured, their rights and citizenship are granted and
they are allowed to resettle in their villages.
Rohingya are not recognised as an official minority by the Myanmar government,
which considers them Bengali interlopers despite many families having lived in
the country for generations.
First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum says he has proposed a 6-month
plan to government, U.S. and NATO for the defeat of Taliban in North of
Dostum informed in this regard in a video message which he published ahead of
the release of a movie which will depict his role in support of the U.S.-led
invasion in Afghanistan in 2001.
his video message, Gen. Dostum said he has proposed to President Ashraf Ghani,
the National Security Council, the U.S., NATO and international allies to
consider his plan and implement it.
Gen. Dostum said his plan will not need the deployment of infantry forces of
the United States and other facilities to defeat the Taliban group.
Dosum further added that the United States is facing a stalemate in the ongoing
war in Afghanistan.
Gen. Dostum said he prefers a U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in a decent
manner and with achievements, insisting that ‘We have the ability to defeat
Taliban but the President, the U.S. and NATO should trust us.’
other parts of his speech, Gen. Dostum said the purpose of his plan is not to
decompose the North of Afghanistan from the other parts of the country but he
wants to help the U.S. in a similar way he did in 2001 and that he wants the
U.S. to withdraw from the country leaving behind a legacy of victory.
comes as the U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration initiated peace talks
with Taliban nearly nine months ago to end the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan
through political negotiations.
security forces killed or wounded at least 10 Taliban militants during the
operations in South-eastern Ghazni province.
Ghazni Governor’s Office said in a statement that the security forces conducted
the operations in Khwaja Omari district earlier today.
statement further added that the Air Forces also carried out airstrikes during
the operations which killed 8 Taliban militants.
the Governor’s Office said the security forces also wounded 2 Taliban militants
during the operations.
least four members of Afghan security forces have been killed in a
Taliban-claimed bomb explosion that rocked a Kabul district after peace talks
between the US and the militant group collapsed.
to a statement by Afghanistan’s Defense Ministry, the deadly blast occurred
after a bomber detonated an explosives-laden minibus in front of the entrance
to a camp of Special Operations Corps in Chahar Asyab district on Thursday.
explosion also inflicted wounds on at least three others.
ministry said the national defense and security forces would use all force to
continue operations against the Taliban, which are “under unprecedented
pressure in the battlefields.”
after the attack, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement
claiming responsibility for the attack.
week, a similar Taliban attack claimed the lives of at least 10 civilians and
two NATO troops near the US embassy in the capital.
months, the militant group which does not recognize the government in Kabul had
been holding direct talks with representatives of the US government in the
Qatari capital, Doha, to reach a peace deal, but all to no avail.
at a memorial service marking the September 11, 2001 terror attack on
Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said the two sides “had peace talks
scheduled a few days ago” but upon learning about the killing of “a great
American soldier from Puerto Rico and 11 other innocent people”, he had “called
said long-running talks with the Taliban in Qatar were also “dead,” to which
the Taliban responded by threatening to kill more Americans in Afghanistan.
Taliban’s five-year rule over at least three quarters of Afghanistan came to an
end following the US invasion in 2001, but 18 years on, Washington is seeking a
truce with the militants, who still control large swathes of territory.
group, which now controls or have influence in about half of Afghanistan’s
territory, has so far rejected the proposal to lay down arms and instead called
on the US to end the use of force in Afghanistan. It also insists that talks
cannot move ahead until foreign forces leave the country.
car bomb blast kills four Afghan special forces in Kabul
A suicide bomber targeted an Afghan Special Forces base in Kabul on Thursday,
killing at least four commandos, officials said, as violence continued to
escalate following the collapse of peace talks between the United States and
Taliban insurgents. The bomber blew up an explosives-laden minibus at the entrance
to the camp in Chahar Asyab district, killing the four special forces members
and wounding another three, the Defense Ministry said in a statement.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid issued a statement claiming responsibility for the
attack, which he said killed more than 200 commandos. The insurgents routinely
issue exaggerated casualty claims.
said the bomber had been infiltrated into the base well before the attack.
latest attack underscored expectations of an escalation in violence following
US President Donald Trump’s sudden cancelation of the talks with the Taliban
aimed at withdrawing US troops and ending 18 years of war in Afghanistan.
Washington, Trump’s nominee to be the secretary of the US Army said walking
away from the talks was the correct decision.
think that it was the right decision to step back from the table and try to
look at how do you get to a framework to bring a political end state to the
conflict,” Ryan McCarthy told a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
said that he believed that the United States would continue to need not only a
counterterrorism capability, but also the ability to advise and assist Afghan
security forces carried out a series of airstrikes against Taliban and ISIS
Khurasan militants in five provinces killing at least 12 militants.
military officials said Thursday that an airstrike killed 5 Taliban militants
and destroyed a small cache of weapons in Almar district of Faryab.
officials further added that the security forces conducted similar airstrikes
in Sholgarah and Chimtal districts of Balkh which killed a Taliban militant and
destroyed a small cache of weapons.
the security forces killed a Taliban militant by conducting an airstrike in
Giro district of Ghazni.
security forces conducted a similar air raid in Shah Joy district of Zabul
which killed 1 Taliban militant.
government ready to extend necessary support if they come forward in this
regard, he added
Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq has said amendment to
Hindu Law of Inheritance is demand of time as it is essential to ensure Hindu
women’s right to property.
the government will not impose this on the Hindu community. The government is
ready to extend necessary support if they come forward in this regard,” he
minister stated these at a discussion on amending laws in light of the spirit
of Liberation War, organized by Ekatturer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee (EGDNC)
at the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh on Thursday.
over by Justice Shamsul Huda, it was also addressed by Justice AHM Shamsuddin
Chowdhury Manik, Attorney General Mahbubey Alam, Nirmul Committee President
Shahriar Kabir and Advocate Rana Dasgupta, among others.
Pakistani Ambassador to UN Maleeha Lodhi has warned of a ‘surge in violence’ if
U.S.-Taliban talks did not resume soon.
in UN Security Council debate on the situation in Afghanistan, Lodhi said “We
hope the suspension of the peace talks is only a pause and will resume sooner
rather than later as the alternative is a surge in violence, which could push
Afghanistan into even more turbulent and uncertain phase than has been
witnessed so far,” according to Associated Press of Pakistan.
further added Pakistan had always condemned violence and called for all sides
to exercise restraint and to remain committed to the peace process out of its belief
that there was no military solution to the Afghan conflict.
Trump on Sunday announced that he is called off peace negotiations with the
Taliban after the group carried out a series deadly attacks in Kabul which
killed many people including a U.S. soldier.
President Trump on Wednesday issued fresh warnings to Taliban after the
suspension of the talks, emphasizing that the strikes against the group will
during a ceremony to mark the 9/11 attacks, President Trump said “We had peace
talks scheduled a few days ago. I called
them off when I learned that they had killed a great American soldier from
Puerto Rico and 11 other innocent people.”
Trump further added “The last four days, we have hit our enemy harder than they
have ever been hit before, and that will continue.”
with Shia Islam not enough to justify raids, says rights group
JAYA: Rights group Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) today criticised the recent
crackdown on followers of Shia Islam in Selangor and Johor, calling it a
coordinated campaign of harassment by state religious authorities.
director Melissa Sasidaran said the raids, which have seen scores of people
arrested, contravene international human rights laws which guarantees the right
to freedom of religion and protects individuals from discrimination by the
government and any state institution on the grounds of religion or belief.
international standards, limitations on the freedom of religion can only be
justified if they are necessary for the protection of public safety, order,
health or morals or the fundamental rights and freedoms of others.
disagreeing with the teachings and practices of Shia Islam is not a sufficient
ground for these harsh actions,” she said in a statement.
of Shia Muslim followers, including foreigners, were arrested in the raids on
private Shia Muslim functions as adherents observed the Ashura, the death
anniversary of Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad and a central figure
in Shia Islam.
which has a substantial following in Iraq, Iran, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon and
several parts of Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Pakistan, is the second largest branch
state Islamic authorities have declared its teachings “deviant”, with sermons
in Selangor frequently condemning its followers as heretics.
said Article 11 of the Federal Constitution states that every person has the
right to profess and practise his or her religion.
our religious authorities commonly fall back on Article 11(4), which limits the
propagation of any religious doctrine among Muslims, to justify their actions.
interpretation of this which would allow the authorities unbridled and
arbitrary powers to oppress Shia Muslims is erroneous, and amounts to a
disproportionate restriction on freedom of religion,” she said.
added that those who were arrested had not committed any genuine crimes or
caused anyone harm, but had been practising their faith behind closed doors in
raids are an unacceptable intrusion into the lives and dignity of Shia Muslims,”
Malaysia truly is the harmonious, multicultural and multi-religious society
that it claims to be, we must accept the practice of every religion, including
Include topic about Shiah in Islamic education? We will discuss with Penang
SELANGOR, Sept 12 ― Maszlee Malik said today that he will discuss the proposal
by the Penang mufti to include facts about Shiah Muslims in the Islamic
education subject in schools, to counter demonisation against the Muslim
we will discuss with the Penang mufti,” Maszlee said, when met after a townhall
session with undergraduates from the Mara Technological Institute University
Mufti Datuk Wan Salim Wan Mohd Noor was quoted making the suggestion, pointing
out that education is key to solving what he termed as “Shiah-phobia”, and to
be more tolerating towards the community.
is Islam’s second-largest denomination and practised by an estimated 15 per
cent of the 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide, but is regarded as deviant here.
comes as a Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) representative said
that the definition of Islam according to the Federal Constitution should be
left broad and not confined to any one interpretation for the sake of a
week, Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) arrested 23 people at a
Indonesia urged member states of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
to respond collectively to the Israeli prime minister’s vow to annex large
parts of the occupied West Bank if he is re-elected next week.
the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country, described Benjamin
Netanyahu’s vow as “dangerous.”
a statement issued on Wednesday, its Foreign Ministry slammed his plan as
“contradicting international law and various UN resolutions, as well as
threatening the continuation of the peace process.”
on Wednesday, the OIC said at Saudi Arabia’s request, it will hold an emergency
meeting of foreign ministers in Jeddah on Sunday to discuss Netanyahu’s
said in a televised speech on Tuesday that if returned to power in the election
on Sept. 17, he would extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and the
northern Dead Sea.
move would reshape the protracted Israeli-Palestinian conflict and reduce
Palestinian land to enclaves encircled by Israel.
is urging a resolution to the Palestinian issue based on a two-state solution
and internationally agreed parameters,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku
Luthfi Assyaukanie, international relations lecturer at Paramadina University
in Jakarta, told Arab News that Indonesia is “highly regarded by OIC
countries,” and its “role in the politics and foreign policy of other Muslim
states is becoming increasingly important.”
is a vocal supporter of Palestinian independence, which has been part of its foreign
policy since the early 1960s.
regularly quote a 1962 vow attributed to the country’s first president,
Sukarno, that “Indonesia will challenge the Israeli occupation until the
Palestinian nation becomes independent.”
statehood is among Indonesia’s priorities for its 2019-2020 membership in the
UN Security Council.
May, at a council briefing, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi reiterated the
Indonesian government’s stance that “there is no alternative to the two-state
2017, Indonesia fiercely opposed US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s
capital, since the Palestinians see the city as their future capital.
also condemned the consequent relocation of the US Embassy in Israel to
Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.
- U.N. investigators are calling on countries to repatriate thousands of
children and mothers associated with Islamic State fighters interned in Syria’s
Al-Hol displacement camp. The U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria has released
its latest report.
70,000 people, the vast majority women and children under the age of 12, are
languishing at the Al-Hol camp. They fled there after the Islamic State
stronghold of Deir al-Zor was captured by the U.S.-led international coalition
and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
three-member U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria says thousands of children
above the age of 12, who are considered to be of fighting age, are being held
in incommunicado detention by the SDF.
Chairman Paulo Pinheiro says the children are being kept in a secret location with
adults suspected of being fighters for IS, and in conditions that may give rise
to torture or ill-treatment.
find very bizarre this limit of 12. One-hundred-ninety-one member states have
ratified the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the children from 12 to
18, they are children and adolescents ... considered terrorists if they are
more than 12 years old. The Commission
finds this completely appalling," said Pinheiro.
Commission says countries are fearful of repatriating mothers who were involved
with IS militants. At the same time, it
says allowing the children born of these relationships to fester in the camps
would render them stateless, which violates international law.
member, Hanny Megally, tells VOA the risks of not repatriating these children
will have serious consequences for them and society as a whole.
a time when we are saying we want not just to defeat armed terrorists, but also
to deal with the root causes as to why people are radicalized to violence, we
ought to be looking at not creating more grievances that may in the future
create another generation of people who have grievances against us, and against
the people living in their own communities and environment," said Megally.
says countries should move away from policies that favor punishment for those
linked with IS and move toward rehabilitation.
He says peoples’ circumstances differ and tarring everyone with the same
brush is a big mistake.
says the best solution needs to be one that allows people to go back and be
dealt with in their own countries. He
says Western nations have judicial systems that can cope with this.
government forces backed by Russian warplanes may have committed war crimes
while targeting medical facilities, schools, markets and farmland in an ongoing
deadly campaign in northwestern Syria, UN investigators say.
UN Commission of Inquiry on Syria also said on Wednesday that Hay'et Tahrir
al-Sham (HTS), a former al-Qaeda affiliate fighting government forces in the
northwestern province of Idlib, fired rockets indiscriminately and killed
forces carried out repeated air raids in Saraqib in Idlib on March 9, damaging
Al-Hayat women's and children's hospital despite being aware of its
coordinates, the report said.
Children increasingly killed by air attacks in Idlib (1:35)
Idlib on May 14, "pro-government forces air-dropped between two and four
missiles on a fish market and primary school for girls in Jisr
al-Shughour", killing at least eight civilians, it said.
attacks may amount to the war crime of deliberately attacking protected objects
and intentionally attacking medical personnel," the UN report said.
Syrian army denies it targets civilians and says its forces only bomb fighters
associated with "terrorists".
which borders Turkey, is the final rebel stronghold in the country.
late April, Syrian forces, backed by Russia since 2015, began an offensive in
the region in an attempt to capture the strategic area, which lies on a key
highway connecting the capital, Damascus, with the northern city of Aleppo.
week, UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said her office tallied more than 1,000
civilian deaths in northern Syria over the last four months - the majority
caused by air raids and ground attacks by President Bashar al-Assad's forces
and their allies.
report, released Wednesday, also looked into other violations and documented
how civilians continue to bear the brunt of the bloody eight-year war.
@UNCoISyria launched our 18th mandate report to the @UN_HRC today, which
documents how escalated violence and subsequent waves of mass displacement
continue to torment #Syria-n civilians after eight year of conflict. #HRC42
PM - Sep 11, 2019
people are talking about this
continue to be unlawfully detained or kidnapped and often tortured for
expressing political dissent," the report said.
government-controlled areas, civilians, including recent returnees, have been
arbitrarily arrested and detained, harassed, mistreated and tortured."
UN also laid blame on the US-led coalition that has been battling Islamic State
of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) in the country.
said coalition air raids in Syria have killed and wounded many civilians,
highlighting that precautions were ignored and war crimes may have been
by US-led coalition air power in a fight to remove ISIL, the Syrian Democratic
Forces, which include Kurdish fighters, retook the group's last major
stronghold of Hajin in eastern Syria in late December.
coalition's Al-Jazeera Storm operation resulted in a high number of civilian
casualties, including in a series of attacks on January 3 in Sha'fah, south of
Hajin, that killed 16 civilians including 12 children, the UN report said.
indiscriminate attacks that result in death or injury to civilians amounts to a
war crime in cases in which such attacks are conducted recklessly," it
officials could not be reached immediately for comment.
raids by SDF forces backed by coalition helicopter gunships killed and wounded
civilians in Shahil and other parts of Deir Az Zor province, in further
apparent violations of international law, the investigators said.
US sanctions could target allies of Hezbollah in Lebanon, extending beyond
direct affiliates of the Iran-backed Lebanese extremist organization, a US
envoy said on Thursday.
the future we will designate, because we have to, individuals in Lebanon who
are aiding and assisting Hezbollah, regardless of their sect or religion,” the
new US assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs David Schenker
said in an interview with Lebanon’s LBCI television.
asked by the interviewer if this means sanctions will target allies of
Hezbollah, Schenker said “absolutely”, adding that the US is constantly
reviewing its sanctions lists.
proposed targeting of allies of Hezbollah has been a sensitive subject for
Lebanon in the past.
2017, a draft copy of proposed, tighter US sanctions on Hezbollah caused
disquiet in Lebanon because the wording, seen by Reuters, implied the
legislation could target the Shiite Amal movement of parliament speaker Nabih
Berri for investigation.
Maronite Christian President Michel Aoun is also a political ally of Hezbollah.
both Amal and Hezbollah and their associates – the two parties representing
Lebanon’s Shiite population – risked marginalizing a large section of society,
banking and political sources said at the time.
court in Saudi Arabia has sentenced Shia cleric and human rights activist
Sheikh Mohammed al-Habib to 12 years in prison and imposed a travel ban on him,
as the Riyadh regime presses ahead with its heavy-handed crackdown on members
of the religious community.
rights group Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental
organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on
its official Twitter page on Thursday that the Specialized Criminal Court in
Riyadh had passed the ruling on the clergyman and prevented him from traveling
abroad for five years.
sentence of 12 years in prison and 5 years of travel ban that comes after is
the total judgement issued against the human rights defender Sheikh Mohammed
from the (SCC) in #Riyadh.
verdict was announced for the second case on August 25, 2019.
AM - Sep 12, 2019
Prisoners of Conscie's other Tweets
Habib was recently released after three years of arbitrary detention.
July 29, the same Saudi court sentenced an anti-regime activist from the
kingdom’s oil-rich and Shia-populated Eastern Province to death.
and Arabic-language Nabaa television news network reported at the time that the
Riyadh-based tribunal found Ali Al Rabie guilty in a “sham hearing” that fell
short of international fair trial standards.
authorities had also executed two of Ali’s brothers, Ahmad and Hossein, on
April 23 over their political activism.
forces killed Ali's younger brother, Thamer, when they raided al-Awamiyah town,
situated in the al-Qatif region of Eastern Province.
Province has been the scene of peaceful demonstrations since February 2011.
Protesters have been demanding reforms, freedom of expression, the release of
political prisoners, and an end to economic and religious discrimination
against the oil-rich region.
protests have been met with a heavy-handed crackdown by the regime, with regime
forces increasing security measures across the province.
in mid-July, informed sources, requesting anonymity, said that a young Saudi
man had died more than a week after being injured by regime forces when they
raided a district in the province.
Abdullah al-Adam died ten days after regime forces, armed with heavy weapons
and artillery launchers, stormed into the al-Jash district of Qatif onboard
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says he believes the foreign-sponsored terrorism
in Syria has come to an end, and that the need to promote the long-lasting
settlement of crisis both in the war-ravaged Arab country and the entire Middle
East region is highly required.
war in Syria has really come to an end. The country is gradually returning to a
normal, peaceful life. Some hotspots of tensions remain in the territories that
are not controlled by the Syrian government, such as Idlib and the eastern bank
of the Euphrates,” Russia’s Sputnik news agency cited Lavrov as saying in an
exclusive interview with Russian newspaper the Trud on Thursday.
top Russian then pointed to the provision of humanitarian aid for affected
civilians and “promotion of political process on settling the crisis to achieve
stable and long-lasting stabilization of the situation in the country and the
whole Middle East region” as the most important issues regarding Syria.
says war in #Syria ended, points out need to overcome crisis in country
Says War in Syria Ended, Points Out Need to Overcome Crisis in Country
(Sputnik) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov believes that the war in
Syria has come to an end and stressed the need to promote the long-lasting
settlement of crisis both in the Arab...
AM - Sep 13, 2019
people are talking about this
added, “We believe the formation and launch of a committee designed to develop
the constitutional reform will be an important step in advancing the political
process led and carried out by Syrians themselves with the UN assistance.”
fact, its convention will enable the Syrian sides – the government and the
foreign-sponsored armed opposition – to begin for the first time a direct
dialogue on their country's future,” he commented.
went on to say that Russia has taken some steps to “support the efforts of the
Syrian government in its fight against terrorists, who still remain in the
Idlib zone, and promote issues concerning humanitarian assistance and
facilitation of the political process in the context of formation of the
Russian foreign minister later criticized sanctions that the United States and
European countries have slapped on the Syrian government, describing the
measures as fully counterproductive.
has been helping Syrian forces in ongoing battles across the conflict-plagued
Arab country. Syrians continue to recapture key areas from Daesh and other
foreign-backed terrorist groups across the country.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that had been wreaking havoc in the country.
open fire on civilians at Rukban camp
US-sponsored militants have opened fire at displaced Syrians stranded in a camp
near the Jordanian border after the latter demanded that delivered humanitarian
food be distributed among them.
of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Opposing Sides in the Syrian
Arab Republic, Major General Alexey Bakin, said members of the so-called Forces
of Martyr Ahmad al-Abdo militant group have seized a significant amount of
cargo delivered by the United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to the
Rukban camp, and moved the consignment to their base north of the camp.
September 11, militants opened fire with small arms at a market in Rukban to
disperse civilians demanding food,” Bakin said.
United Nations says about 45,000 people, mostly women and children, are trapped
inside Rukban, where conditions are desperate. This is while Geneva-based
international aid agency Doctors Without Borders has put the number at some
March 6, Lavrov said the United States needed the Rukban refugee camp in order
to justify its illegitimate military presence in Syria.
fact that people are not allowed to leave [the camp] and are held hostage makes
one suggest that the US needs this camp to continue justifying its illegitimate
presence there,” Lavrov said.
Washington’s top envoy for Syria rejected Thursday an allegation put forward in
a UN report that some US-led air strikes in the conflict-torn country could
possibly be categorized as indiscriminate attacks, amounting to “war crimes.”
Jeffrey, the US special representative on Syria, dismissed findings published
in a UN report on Wednesday suggesting that the US-led coalition had with a
number of air strikes in the country “failed to employ the necessary
precautions to discriminate adequately between military objectives and
UN Commission of Inquiry, which has been investigating human rights violations
in Syria’s drawn-out war for the past eight years, pointed to a series of air
strikes carried out by the coalition in January in the eastern province of Deir
Ezzor, including one that killed 16 civilians.
Commission finds that there are reasonable grounds to believe that
international coalition forces may not have directed their attacks at a
specific military objective, or failed to do so with the necessary precaution,”
the report said.
indiscriminate attacks that result in death or injury to civilians amounts to a
war crime in cases in which such attacks are conducted recklessly,” stressed
the Commission, which has also suggested in previous reports that US-led
strikes in Syria could amount to war crimes.
Commission has also repeatedly accused the Syrian government and its main
backer Russia, as well as other actors in the conflict of a wide range of war
take extreme care in every military operation,” Jeffrey told journalists in
Geneva when asked about the report.
do not accept the findings of that particular body,” he said.
was in Geneva Wednesday for consultations with the UN envoy for Syria Geir
a seasoned Norwegian diplomat who took over the job in January, is trying to
help create a committee to draft a post-war constitution for Syria.
predecessor, Staffan de Mistura, stepped down after his four years in the post
ended with a year-long abortive push to form the constitutional committee.
Pedersen, who has been consulting extensively with the various Syrian actors,
as well as with countries with influence in the conflict, voiced optimism that
the constitutional committee could soon see the light of day.
his meeting with representatives from Britain, Egypt, France, Germany, Jordan,
Saudi Arabia and the United States Thursday, he told journalists he was
“confident that we are moving forward.
I can have positive news on this in the very near future.”
DELHI: Media reports quoting a Pakistan official indicate that Pakistan's
evaluation by the Asia Pacific Joint Group in Bangkok this week did not match up
to its expectations. The unidentified official indicated that the group asked
complex questions and did not seem to be satisfied.
had placed Pakistan on its Gray List in June 2018, giving it a 15-month action
plan to complete implementation of a 27-point action plan, failing which the
country could be placed in the Black List.
August 2019, a subsidiary body of FATF, the Asia Pacific Group placed Pakistan
in the Enhanced Follow Up List for failure to meet its standards. On 40
compliance parameters, Pakistan was non-compliant on 30. On 11 effectiveness
parameters, Pakistan was adjudged as Low on 10.
has been under the FATF radar for its complicity towards terror groups like
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), Haqqani Network, among others.
In addition, proscribed terrorists like Hafiz Saeed and Azhar Masood are either
regularly seen seeking donations and volunteers for armed rebellions in India,
or making calls for jihad in Kashmir from the inner recesses of GHQ Rawalpindi.
FATF in June, gave a stern message to Pakistan to expedite its action plan for
curbing terror financing by October or face the prospect of getting
blacklisted, which could aggravate problems for its low growth, high inflation
the run-up to the FATF Plenary scheduled to be held in Paris from October 13 to
18 where Pakistan's compliance with the action plan will be assessed, Islamabad
has been engaged in hectic lobbying in a last-ditch bid to influence the
outcome in its favour.
addition, Prime Minister Imran Khan will meet leaders from Japan, Malaysia, New
Zealand, South Africa, Turkey, France, Germany, Britain, and Canada on the
sidelines of 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York
from September 17 to 20.
meetings have also been proposed with the leaders of Indonesia, Australia,
Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, the United States, Mexico, and
Argentina to muster support on issues related to FATF and grey-listing process.
foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi is also scheduled to seek support from
Kuwait, Sweden, South Korea, China, Oman, Qatar, UAE, Russia, Greece Austria,
Spain, Luxembourg, Ireland, Brazil, and other countries on the sidelines of the
UN General Assembly.
the FATF action plan, Pakistan has nothing substantial to show by way of
terror-related seizures in the list of over 900 seized properties of various
terror organisations. Nor were formal terror-financing cases lodged or
investigations completed since February 2018.
Pakistan has been largely non-compliant on all parameters stipulated by the
FATF even though media reports in Pakistan seem to indicate that the country
has reason to hope that things will change due to the Prime Minister fronting
the information blitz. The reality, it appears is different to what Pakistan is
being told by its leaders.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Saudi Arabia later this month,
his third trip to the Kingdom, a media report said on Thursday, amidst the
Indo-Pak tensions over Kashmir.
to Geo News, Khan will travel to Saudi Arabia before his trip to the US to
address the UN General Assembly for the first time on September 27. Khan has
said that he would highlight the Kashmir issue in his speech after India
revoked Jammu and Kashmir's special status last month.
his visit, the prime minister is expected to meet important Saudi leaders, the
this month, Saudi Arabian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir
met with Pakistan Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Raja Ali Ejaz in Riyadh to discuss
Imran's likely visit, The News reported.
Saudi minister, along with the UAE's Minister of Foreign Affairs and
International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan
visited Islamabad on September 4 and discussed the Kashmir issue with Prime
Minister Khan and other Pakistani leaders.
visit by the two ministers came after Prime Minister Khan telephoned Saudi
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Crown Prince of the UAE Sheikh Muhammad
bin Zayed and discussed the Kashmir issue with them.
Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal on Thursday dismissed
media reports that claimed that the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia's
foreign ministers, on their recent trip to Pakistan, had told the government
that Kashmir was "not a Muslim ummah related issue."
insisted that both officials had "expressed solidarity with Pakistan and
support for the Kashmir cause," the Dawn newspaper quoted him as saying.
that the abrogation of Article 370 was its "internal matter", India
has defended imposition of restrictions in Kashmir on the grounds that they
were put to prevent Pakistan from creating more mischief through proxies and
his last visit to Saudi Arabia in June, Khan represented Pakistan at the 14th
Summit of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Makkah.
also visited Saudi Arabia in September 2018 for the first time after becoming
Prime Minister the previous month.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Bajwa on Thursday reaffirmed
Pakistan’s support for capacity building of Royal Saudi Land Forces.
pledge was made during a meeting between the COAS and Major General Talal
Abdullah Al-Otaibi, military adviser to KSA’s defence minister at the GHQ,
Rawalpindi. Saudi ambassador Nawaz Saeed al Malkiy was also present on the
to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the visiting dignitary lauded
Pakistan Army’s contributions towards regional peace and stability.
of mutual interest, regional security and ways to enhance bilateral defence
collaboration including training exchange programme were discussed,” the
two Muslim countries have doubled down on the strategic military partnership.
Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that it is unfair to blame Pakistan for
the setbacks suffered by US in Afghanistan.
an exclusive interview to Russia Today, the premier dwelled on the damage the
country suffered when it decided to side with the US post 9/11.
we not participated in the American war after 9/11, we would not have been the
world’s most dangerous country,” said the premier.
his stance against the US invasion of Afghanistan, the prime minister
reminisced that the Afghan Mujahideen had been trained to fight by Pakistan
with funding coming by America’s Central Investigation Agency (CIA) in the
1980s when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan.
decade later when the Americans come into Afghanistan, the same groups in
Pakistan are supposed to say that now because the Americans are there, it is
not longer Jihad – it is terrorism,” he said while underscoring the
contradiction in rhetoric.
strongly felt that Pakistan should have been neutral,” he continued. “Because
by joining in [Afghan war], these groups turned against us.”
prime minister added that the country lost 70,000 lives and suffered a loss of
over $100 billion to the economy. “And in the end, we were blamed for the
Americans not succeeding in Afghanistan,” he noted. “I felt it was very unfair
this week, US President Donald Trump announced to pull out of the
Pakistan-brokered talks with the Afghan Taliban jeopardizing the prospects of
peace in Afghanistan.
sudden move throws a new challenge for Islamabad at a time when its hands are already
full dealing with other foreign policy issues.
its official reaction to the sudden US move, the Foreign Office called on all
sides for restraint and reminded them of the commitment to pursue peace.
The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Thursday accepted and fixed a petition for
hearing in which the petitioner has sought disqualification of Federal Minister
for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry from holding public office under
Articles 62 and 63 of the Constitution.
has asked Fawad to submit his reply within two weeks.
per the petition, Fawad knowingly concealed details of his assets in nomination
papers submitted to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
land he owns in Jhelum was not declared in his nomination papers with the ECP,”
Minallah, who heard this case said that he is not in favour of dragging courts
in political cases as they should be dealt at political forums.
petitioner told the court that Fawad was not sadiq and amin. To this, Justice
Minallah asked: “Which person is sadiq and amin?”
petition submitted in the court requested the court to disqualify the minister
under Article 62 (1) (f) from holding public office as he had not disclosed
documents containing his proprietary information.
and pro-Al-Qaeda channels on the Telegram messaging app have been inundated
with posts relating to 9/11, including threats and calls for Muslims in the
U.S. to carry out new terrorist attacks, according to a report by the Middle
East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
will give us victory against them and what America awaits in the coming days is
greater and worse than what has passed by the will of Allah [...] America
indeed we along with you are waiting," reads one such post in an
English-language channel, GreenB1rds. "You are a disease which will be
wiped out by the permission of the Allah. Monotheists Brothers in the United
Snakes of America... Prepare and strike....and kill them wherever you find
poster featured a sepia-toned photo of the World Trade Center's twin towers on fire
with ISIS flags in the background. The poster read: "9/11, We call on
every Muslim who believes in Allah and wishes to be rewarded to comply with
Allah's order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and
whenever they find it."
poster shared in the channel featured an image of the Statue of Liberty and the
gun of an ISIS fighter with the caption "Islamic State - the Caliphate -
Soon in America."
posters re-shared in the channel were published by pro-Al-Qaeda channel
Awlaki's Generation. "America cannot, and will not, win," their
entire world knows the American army, despite its large amount of equipment is
very weak on the ground, and that it's [sic] basic tactic in combat is the
bombing which destroys everything and kills the residents, to force it's [sic]
enemy to give up." read one of the posters. "And then they demand
that we not strike them in their countries?"
other one features President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin
superimposed, with the caption, "America, its allies, Russia. and all the
nations of Kufr [unbelievers] are weak in front of the Mujahideen."
poster displayed a smiling Usama bin Laden, with a quote attributed to him:
"The war is between us and the Jews. Any country that steps into the same
trench as the Jews has only itself to blame." Below was the famous Nike
slogan: "Just Do It."
pro-ISIS Telegram channel Al-Furat News released a poster of an ISIS fighter
looking up at the Statue of Liberty in flames as planes fly towards it.
"You will be destroyed," reads the poster.
physical "caliphate" was later crushed in Iraq and Syria, though its
militants are still active and carrying out attacks.
recent U.N. report said the "immediate global threat posed by Al Qaeda
remains unclear" but warned that some would-be ISIS recruits could turn to
the older organization. Al Qaeda militants, meanwhile, have taken a lower
profile, using regional conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen to entrench
themselves. The Yemen branch has been the most active, exploiting the chaos of
the civil war to carry out bombings, shootings and assassinations in an effort
to expand its footprint.
As resentment against India’s annexation of Kashmir grows, a US lawmaker has
urged the Trump administration to “weigh in” while another asked India to let
Kashmiris decide their future.
is very much a matter for the administration and the administration has to take
it more seriously,” said Senator Tim Kaine, a member of the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee. “At the end of the day we do need the administration to
have been very dismayed with what’s happening in Kashmir. I strongly disagree
with what Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi has done,” said Congressman Don Beyer,
a Virginia Democrat who is also a former US ambassador to Switzerland.
Mr Modi with other autocratic leaders in the world, Mr. Beyer said: “You see
this happening with autocratic leaders all over the world, dividing people,
setting one religion against another, setting one race against another.”
two lawmakers were talking to journalists on Wednesday after an event in the
memory of the 9/11 victims. Referring to UN resolutions and pledges by both
India and Pakistan to hold a referendum in Kashmir, Mr. Beyer said: “In
Kashmir, years ago it was decided that its future will be decided by a vote of
the people and that’s not happened.”
congressman also rejected India’s Aug. 5 decision to annex Kashmir and called
it an inappropriate military incursion.
this annexation, I strongly disapprove. More Americans will stand up to this
inappropriate military incursion,” he said.
Kaine, who is also a former governor of Virginia and chair of the Democratic
National Committee, indicated that Kashmir was one of the key issues that US lawmakers
had taken up with the administration since they returned from the summer recess
earlier this week.
have just come back from the recess and what I am starting with is meetings
with my colleagues and representatives of the governments so we can promote
more stability,” he said.
Kaine said that as a member of the Senate’s panel for foreign relations, he has
scheduled meetings with representatives of various governments — including the
US administration — to understand the situation.
said he was doing so “because it’s unacceptable what’s happening” in Kashmir
and “we need to figure out if there’re steps that we can take to bring tensions
two statements reflect a growing realization in Washington that India may be
the world’s largest democracy, but what it has done in Kashmir is not only
undemocratic, it’s also illegal and violates international norms and treaties.
insiders say that while Indian officials might have dropped hints that they may
be taking some administrative measures in Kashmir, they did not tell Americans
that they were going to merge the occupied valley with the union.
has added to Washington’s annoyance with the Indian action and reflects in US
President Donald Trump’s repeated offer to mediate between India and Pakistan.
Umar A Farooq
has been 18 years since the 9/11 attacks, an event that drastically changed the
geopolitics of the Middle East, catapulted the United States into forever wars
and sparked the global fight against so-called "radical Islamic
US President Donald Trump and other American politicians marked the anniversary
on Wednesday with somber messages, elsewhere in Washington, Muslim-American
activists launched an art exhibit illustrating how the US-led "War on
Terror" has affected Muslim communities worldwide.
by the Justice for Muslims Collective (JMC), a Washington-based coalition that
challenges structural Islamophobia, the temporary exhibition featured a visual
timeline depicting how US policies and programmes implemented since the 11
September attacks have harmed Muslims both in the US and abroad.
work of art for each year between 2001 and 2019 was on display in a room at the
True Reformer Building, a community space on U Street, a historic thoroughfare
that is often referred to as the heart of African-American culture in the
goal was to create visuals - with the wonderful help of artists - that would
demonstrate how deeply rooted Islamophobia has been throughout the 'War on
Terror'," Maha Hilal, the JMC director, said on Wednesday as the
exhibition was opened to the public.
timeline begins in 2001 with the attacks on the World Trade Center buildings in
New York, and the subsequent Patriot Act, a piece of legislation signed into
force by then-President George W Bush in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks that
was used to surveil US citizens, specifically targeting Muslims.
then moves on to various key moments in the US's so-called "War on
Terror", including the US invasion of Afghanistan, the torture of Iraqi
prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq at the hands of American soldiers, and
the opening of the Guantanamo Bay detention centre.
exhibition also delves into Washington's use of deadly drone strikes in
Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, various cases of entrapment of Muslim Americans
and the creation of the Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programme during
former US President Barack Obama's administration.
was introduced as a means of curbing efforts by extremists to recruit and
radicalise individuals. Alongside law enforcement agencies, NGOs, and mental
health providers, the programme involves monitoring communities for risks of
it has been widely criticised for not providing concrete ways to prevent the
spread of extremism, for overwhelmingly targeting Muslim communities and for
treating Muslims as inherently suspicious.
someone who loves, or loved, Obama, it's really difficult to see him culpable
in so much of what's led us to the current day CVE," said Sarah Khan, a
Muslim-Canadian curriculum developer in Washington, who attended the opening
programme] was opened under his administration, and so many of the drone
attacks were released by his executive orders as well," Khan told MEE.
'light' to people who suffered
images from the timeline were drawn by 18-year-old Zaynub Siddiqui, a student
at the University of Maryland, and then digitised by graphic designer Maura
Dwyer of The Sanctuaries DC, an interfaith community arts space that oversaw
the construction of the timeline.
into the exhibition, visitors are met with a row of posters on easels, set up
in front of each wall.
poster is a mashup of drawings that depict what happened in a specific year in
the timeline so with each step you move closer to the present day.
said it took her longer than she expected to draw the pieces because each time
Hilal sent her a description of the issue she wanted her to capture, she was
horrified by its brutality.
would take me at least 15 to 20 minutes to look at the [descriptions] and then
have to draw them," she said, before breaking into tears as she looked
around the room at the artwork she created.
hope this project is used to educate people and I hope it helps our ummah
[community] and it brings light to the people who suffered so immensely,"
Siddiqui told MEE.
the exhibition in Washington was temporary - the images were only on display
for the 9/11 anniversary on Wednesday - Hilal said she hopes it can be shown
countrywide to shed light on how the US government has normalised ill-treatment
of Muslims, while also demonstrating how Washington's scapegoating of Muslims
has been integrated into the country's national security infrastructure.
of the reasons we created our timeline was to root a public memory of the 'War
on Terror' from Muslim eyes in American consciousness," she told MEE.
said there are myriad examples of how the state has used violence against
Muslims during the "War on Terror".
pointed to the abuse of predominantly Muslim detainees at Guantanamo Bay, where
many were subjected to force feeding, waterboarding, sleep deprivation and
2017, an independent UN human rights investigator also said torture was still
taking place at Guantanamo despite the US banning "enhanced interrogation
techniques" more than a decade ago.
Yee, a former US army captain who was the Muslim chaplain at Guantanamo, wrote
in his memoir that "Islam was systematically used as a weapon against the
prisoners", the New Yorker reported in April.
that context, Hilal said the artwork aimed to disrupt "the state's
narrative on what does or doesn't constitute violence, who gets to live, and
who has to die, and what it means to create an entire apparatus to criminalise,
dehumanise, and harm Muslims".
the curriculum developer, added that the exhibit made clear just how
destructive the "War on Terror" has been for Muslims.
US government has concluded within the past two years that Israel has been
placing surveillance devices near the White House and other sensitive locations
around Washington, DC, according to a US media outlet.
contrast to other instances of foreign spying, however, President Donald
Trump’s administration has not rebuked Israel, and there were no consequences
for the regime’s behavior, Politico reported on Thursday, citing three former
senior US officials with knowledge of the matter.
phone eavesdropping devices, called IMSI-catcher, or stingrays, are essentially
a "fake" mobile towers used for intercepting mobile phone traffic and
tracking location data of mobile phone users.
devices were likely intended to spy on President Donald Trump, one of the
former officials said, as well as his top aides and closest associates --
though it’s not clear whether the Israeli efforts were successful.
is reputed to be lax in observing White House security protocols. POLITICO
reported in May 2018 that the president often used an insufficiently secured
cell phone to communicate with friends and confidants.
New York Times subsequently reported in October 2018 that “Chinese spies are
often listening” to Trump’s cell-phone calls, prompting the president to slam
the story as “so incorrect I do not have time here to correct it.”
report said that in May 2018, officials at the US Department of Homeland
Security discovered evidence of the surveillance devices around the US capital,
but weren’t able to attribute the devices to specific entities.
based on a detailed forensic analysis, the FBI and other intelligence agencies
working on the case felt confident that Israeli agents had placed the devices,
according to the report.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a statement on the report,
calling the accusation “a blatant lie.”
spokesperson for Israel’s embassy in Washington, Elad Strohmayer, also denied
that Israel placed the devices. “These allegations are absolute nonsense.
Israel doesn’t conduct espionage operations in the United States, period,” he
former US officials with deep experience dealing with intelligence matters scoff
at the Israeli claim.
former senior intelligence official noted that after the FBI and other agencies
concluded that the Israelis were most likely responsible for the devices, the
Trump administration took no action to punish or even privately scold the
Israeli government. “The reaction ... was very different than it would have
been in the last administration,” this person said, adding, “With the current
administration, there are a different set of calculations in regard to
former senior intelligence official criticized how the administration handled
the matter, remarking on the striking difference from past administrations,
which likely would have at least issued a formal diplomatic reprimand to the
foreign government condemning its actions.
not aware of any accountability at all,” said the former official.
was not the first time Israel has been accused of spying against its close
ally. In 1986, Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish American citizen and US Navy analyst,
was found guilty of espionage on behalf of Israel.
was sentenced to life in prison but freed in 2015 by then President Barack
Obama. His spying activities continue to be a source of discomfort for US
officials, with the US government refusing his request to immigrate to Israel.
full scope of Pollard’s activities have never been fully disclosed.
has been described by former US Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger as one of
the most damaging spies ever to operate in the United States.
accounts over the years suggest that Pollard, who worked at the US Naval
Intelligence Center for Counter Terrorism in Maryland, handed files to the
Israelis, including documents relating to Arab troops, the Palestine Liberation
Organization and alleged chemical and biological warfare programs conducted by
Iraq, Libya and Syria.
U.S. force posture in Syria remains unchanged, Pentagon spokesman Sean
Robertson told Anadolu Agency on Thursday.
we are working to implement the President's direction to withdraw troops from
Syria in a deliberate an coordinated manner, Force levels will be dictated by
conditions on the ground," Robertson said.
regarding the numbers or timelines would not be discussed "for security
reasons," he said.
New York Times reported earlier Thursday that the Pentagon is poised to send
nearly 150 troops to northeastern Syria "to conduct ground patrols with
to the formation of a safe zone along the Turkish border in Syria, Robertson
said: "The United States has taken steps to implement the provisions of
the security mechanism rapidly and in some cases ahead of schedule."
are committed to working closely with our Turkish Ally precisely to enhance our
cooperation, coordination, and consultation," he added.
Aug. 7, Turkish and U.S. military officials agreed to set up a safe zone in
northern Syria and develop a peace corridor to facilitate the movement of
displaced Syrians who want to return home. They also agreed to establish a
joint operations center.
agreement also envisaged setting up necessary security measures to address
Turkey's security concerns, including clearing the zone of the terrorist
YPG/PKK, a group the U.S. has sometimes been allied with, over Turkey’s
U.S., which considers the PKK a terrorist organization, changed the YPG’s name
to the Syrian Democratic Forces in July 2017 to dissociate it with the PKK.
President Donald Trump said Thursday he does not believe Israel planted
surveillance devices near the White House in an attempt to capture his cellular
don't believe that. No, I don't think the Israelis were spying on us,"
Trump told reporters at the White House. "I really would find that hard to
in the day, an investigation by the FBI and other U.S. agencies concluded
Israel was responsible, Politico reported, citing three former U.S. officials
familiar with the matter.
was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible,” one official told the
news outlet on condition of anonymity.
spokesperson from the Israeli embassy in the U.S. immediately denied the
allegations and called them ''absolute nonsense."
doesn’t conduct espionage operations in the United States, period," Elad
Strohmayer told Politico.
relationship with Israel has been great," Trump said.
later added: "Anything is possible," but repeated he does not believe
StingRay devices were discovered near the White House and other "sensitive
locations" in the nation's capital.
mimic cell towers in a bid to fool cellular telephones into passing location
and other identifying information, as well as call and data information.
also said he believes Iran's leadership wants a meeting with the U.S.
can tell you that Iran wants to meet," he said.
Monday, Trump said he could meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the
upcoming UN General Assembly meetings in New York.
have been running high between the U.S. and Iran since Washington unilaterally
withdrew from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal last year. The deal was the outcome
of protracted negotiations between Tehran and the five permanent members of the
UN Security Council, plus Germany and the EU.
Trump administration has reportedly agreed to reveal the identity of a Saudi
Arabian official who played an organizational role ahead of the Sept. 11, 2001,
terrorist strikes on the U.S.
Wall Street Journal newspaper reported Thursday that the Department of Justice
agreed to disclose the name of the individual, threatening a diplomatic rift
with a key Middle Eastern ally.
the “exceptional nature of the case,” the FBI said it would identify the Saudi
official but rejected calls to release any additional information, answering a
request related to a law case, the newspaper reported.
for relatives of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks previously asked the government
to disclose the name of the individual, which appeared in a document from a
2012 FBI probe into the tragedy.
individual is believed to be a Saudi official who allegedly assisted two of the
hijackers in southern California in the run-up to the hijacking of passenger
jets, which shocked the world 18 years ago this week.
Saudi government has repeatedly denied any connection to the strikes. Some 15
of the 19 attackers were Saudis and al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was from a
prominent Saudi family.
U.S. on Thursday announced $5 million rewards for information on three senior
leaders of an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria.
State Department said in announcing the cash payments under its Rewards for
Justice program that it wanted information leading to the identification of
three senior Huras al-Din leaders -- Abu Abd al-Karim al-Masri, Faruq al-Suri,
and Sami al-Uraydi.
individuals have been active in al-Qaeda "for years," the department
said, and remain loyal to its leader Ayman al-Zawahiri.
is an Egyptian national, and is a former member of Huras al-Din's shura
council. Al-Suri, who is also known as Samir Hijazi and Abu Hammam al-Shami,
fought in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and later trained al-Qaeda fighters in
Iraq, the State Department said.
Taliban bombed an army base in Kabul on Thursday, stoking fears of an
escalation in Afghanistan's war a day after US President Donald Trump vowed to
hit the insurgents "harder than they have ever been hit before".
Trump's warning at a 9/11 commemoration ceremony came after the Taliban
threatened to step up violence in response to his sudden decision to suspend
peace talks after nearly a year of negotiations. Calling off of talks
"will harm America more than anyone else”, the Taliban said after the
president announced his decision on Saturday.
Taliban have claimed a number of attacks across Afghanistan since then. On
Wednesday the group fired several rockets at the US Embassy in Kabul although
no casualties were reported. Thursday's attack by a suicide car bomber killed
four soldiers at a commando base in Chahr Asiab district.
Afghan officials said the security forces had registered greater success
against the Taliban despite the militants steadily increasing their attacks
during the peace talks.
on casualties, we have had the lowest civilian and [security forces]
casualties, while we have inflicted a greater number of Taliban casualties
including in their high ranks,” a senior security official told The National,
speaking on condition of anonymity.
said security forces had made territorial gains as well, including certain northern
districts that had been under Taliban control for many years. “In the north,
they have been targeting Baghlan, Badakhshan, Takhar and Kunduz, but we have
also had a lot of achievement. We have been to the provinces where we have
never been in the last 14 years; we retook several districts from Taliban
control in Paktia, Badakhshan and other parts of the country,” he said.
have predicted more violence, not only because of the collapse of the peace
talks but also because of the presidential election scheduled for later this
is clear that violence will escalate at this stage; both sides have have
indicated that. But also because there is still some hope for peace,” said Omar
Sadr, a security analyst in Kabul.
recent remarks by [US Secretary of State] Mike Pompeo, it seems they are still
interested in a deal with Taliban; so escalation of violence is expected as a
way for both parties to increase pressure to gain more out of the bargaining,”
security official said the future situation would depend on the Taliban. “The
Taliban can’t achieve anything by taking innocent lives for their so-called
leverage. If they don’t agree to intra-Afghan talks then yes, we will hit them
harder,” he said, echoing the US president.
Trump’s words also resonated among ordinary Afghan troops, who have been at the
receiving end of the increasing Taliban violence. “We support Mr Trump’s
decision and hope he will stand by it. I agree with him: the Taliban must be
killed because they don't want peace,” said a soldier based in the
north-western province of Faryab.
Emirati man arrested at gunpoint at US hotel after a false report he supported
ISIS has settled a lawsuit that claimed the incident was motivated by racism.
Al Menhali was the victim of “the worst aspects of American Islamophobia and
racism” when he tried to book a room at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Avon,
Ohio, three years ago.
reception staff were suspicious because he was wearing a kandura, ghutra and
making phone calls in Arabic, his lawsuit said.
incident in June 2016 saw armed police storm the hotel, the Fairfield Inn and
Suites, pin Mr Al Menhali to the floor at gunpoint, search him and detain him.
Officers rifled through his wallet and even removed his shoes.
sued Marriott International, the hotel franchise operator, in 2017. Mr Al
Menhali reached a settlement on Wednesday shortly before the court case was due
happy with the American people but not the American court,” he said following
the outcome, according to media in Ohio. He added that what happened to him had
destroyed his life.
Gilbert, one of his lawyers, was highly critical of the way hotel staff treated
are pleased to obtain a significant settlement on behalf of Mr Al
Menhali," he said.
happened to him was a shameful example of how ignorance and intolerance still
remain in this country, in this case, because of how he dressed and the
language he spoke.
that a resolution has been reached, Mr Al Menhali and his family can find
closure and move forward with their lives.”
incident drew international attention in 2016, with police releasing bodycam
footage of the arrest, as well as of the Avon mayor and police chief later
making an apology to Mr Al Menhali.
the wake of the arrest, the UAE advised its citizens to avoid wearing national
dress abroad for their own safety and diplomats expressed concern to US
after making the arrest, realised Mr Al Menhali was innocent after they spoke
to a hotel staff member, Alexis Silva, who admitted she had been “freaked out”
by his appearance, “weird” clothing, and the fact that he had two phones.
to court documents, Ms Silva had texted her sister, father and mother claiming
a man was at the hotel, wearing a headdress who was professing allegiance to
family members called police and a SWAT team was dispatched to the scene.
Al Menhali collapsed as police were trying to explain what had happened and he
was taken to hospital.
settlement he received was “confidential,” his legal team said. His wife,
Taghrid Milki, had also sought damages for the suffering the incident had
case against police officers was dismissed last year.
to The National in 2016, Mr Al Menhali, who had been in the US for medical
treatment, said: “They were brutal with me. They pressed forcefully on my back.
I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest.
- Switzerland has revoked the citizenship of a man convicted of helping recruit
jihadist fighters, invoking a law allowing dual nationals to be stripped of
their Swiss passports for conduct detrimental to national interests or
the Swiss federal immigration office said this was the first time it had made
such a move under the 66-year-old law, other Western nations have also stripped
citizenship of people linked to extremist violence in the Middle East.
year, Australia revoked the nationality of an Islamic State (IS) recruiter,
despite some concerns the move would leave him stateless, while Britain in
February stripped a 19-year-old teenager of citizenship on security grounds.
Swiss office did not release the other nationality of the man, who is in prison
after receiving a multiple-year sentence for crimes including membership in a
terrorist organization, spreading IS propaganda and seeking to convince
fighters to participate in jihadist violence in the Middle East.
man, likely to be expelled from Switzerland after his eventual release from
prison, still has the opportunity to appeal, the immigration office said,
without identifying him.
someone's citizenship has been withdrawn, Switzerland can deny entry to them if
deemed a security threat.
Swiss government has had several cases in which it proposed revoking
citizenship from those with multiple nationalities, including a 19-year-old
Swiss-Italian man it identified in 2016 as having been a suspected IS jihadist.
that case, Swiss authorities suspended proceedings after concluding the man,
Christian Ianniello, had likely died after traveling from the city of
Winterthur to Syria to join the group in 2015.
revoked dozens of passports for security reasons during World War II and the
years thereafter, but this is the first time it has done so based on the
citizenship law effective since 1953.
the 18th anniversary of the attacks on Sept. 11, members of the Burlington
Masjid and Elon communities came together for one goal: to bridge two
Al-Qaeda, the Islamic-extremist terrorist group, claimed responsibility for the
devastating attacks, some Americans began to fear all Muslims –– today known as
Islamophobia. In 2001, hate crimes against American Muslims were six times
higher, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report.
Burlington mosque, in collaboration with the Oaks neighborhood, Multifaith
Scholar program, Truitt Center and more, hosted Muslimedia, a dinner dedicated
to discussing media coverage of Muslims and how it can fuel the stereotype
around people of the faith.
Sayed, a member of the Burlington Masjid, said the mosque is trying to break
through the stigma that all Muslims are dangerous.
trying to overcome it by setting a new profile, making it by ourselves and
presenting it to the community and others around us,” he said. “That this is
really the true profile of a Muslim.”
called on the nearly 85 people at the event to help the mosque accomplish their
the missionaries that carry this message and spread it,” he said. “When they go
back home to their states or cities, or even in the school, making the school
more open and more diverse.”
Walker, an Elon senior and Multifaith Scholar, partners with the mosque as part
of her studies.
all neighbors, we’re all in this area together and I think that getting to know
the people in your community is huge,” Walker said. “For me a big part of my
Elon experience has been branching out.”
is researching Islamophobia in the airline industry. She said holding the event
on Sept. 11 helped participants think differently of the Muslim community.
gives us a new conversation to have on this day that can be challenging for
people,” Walker said. “I think to have a new conversation, open doors is really
important as we move forward in the United States.”
Sayed, Shahar Sayed’s son and member of the Burlington Masjid, said he
understands how the stereotypes around Muslims have an impact.
they’re hearing a bunch of negative things happening to Muslims just because of
who they are and what they believe, they felt like you know we should hide, you
know just try to blend in more,” Moneeb said.
the anniversary of an event that fueled hate towards the group, Moneeb believes
people need to look beyond what they see on the outside — or in media.
event like that should push us to be better,” he said. “To push us to be more
aware of who’s around us and what is really a Muslim, what is really a
Christian. Know a person not just by their religion, know them by who they
Mabe, an officer for the Burlington Police Department, stepped foot into the
Burlington Masjid for the first time. As a police officer, Mabe said he
realizes how his profession also plays a role in how groups of people are
treat everybody the way they should be treated no matter race, religion or
anything like that,” Mabe said. “That’s the way I was raised, that’s the way I
Moneeb, the first step to breaking any stereotype starts with saying hello.
between Moscow and Tel Aviv have gained a "new quality," Russian
President Vladimir Putin told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on
will say upfront that it is largely due to your efforts that our relations have
acquired a new quality in both security and military cooperation issues,” Putin
said during a meeting with Netanyahu in the coastal city of Sochi in the wake
of a controversial election pledge by the Israeli leader to annex the occupied
West Bank. “We all know how important this is, especially considering the
persisting threat from international terrorism."
that Netanyahu had a "fairly detailed discussion" with Defense
Minister Sergey Shoygu and top executives of the Russian defense ministry,
Putin said further details "concerning this area" will be discussed.
Russian president said the two countries maintained "regular contact"
in almost every area, adding that "considerable" growth in trade
between Russia and Israel was recorded in 2018.
to upcoming Knesset elections on Sept. 17, Putin said his country is not
uninterested in the future of Israeli parliament members and Russia considers
more than 1.5 million former Soviet citizens living in Israel as
we are not indifferent as regards to future Israeli MPs, let me be straight
about this. We are hoping they will be responsible politicians that will
certainly maintain all recent achievements in bilateral relations and will move
forward with us in developing Russian-Israeli ties," he said.
referring to the invitation of Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to visit Israel
at the beginning of next year in conjunction with Holocaust Remembrance Day,
Putin said he will visit Israel "with great pleasure."
in a high school of Greece’s Turkish minority prevented the entrance of a
Greek-appointed mufti (Muslim cleric) by calling him an “unwanted” person,
according to local media.
Thrace region of Greece is home to a Muslim-Turkish minority numbering around
minority has the right to elect its own muftis according to international
treaties, however, the Greek state does not recognize this and appoints the
Millet newspaper reported that Greek-appointed mufti of Komotini, Cihat Halil,
tried to enter Medrese-i Hayriye, a minority secondary-high school, on
Wednesday, in order to attend the opening ceremony of the 2019-2020 school
the students built a human barrier at the entrance of the school to bar the
entrance of Halil.
a video shared at the Facebook account of Millet over the incident, Halil tried
to convince the students but the students response was “We do not want you”.
Halil used the backdoor to enter the school.
appointed by the Greek state, Halil is trying to impose his authority on the
their protests, nearly all of the students went out of the school and refused
to attend the opening ceremony. There were only 15 students attending the
election of muftis by Muslims in Greece is regulated by the 1913 Treaty of
Athens, a Greek-Ottoman Empire pact which was implemented by Athens in 1920.
in 1991, in violation of international law, Greece annulled its law
implementing the 1913 treaty, and unlawfully started to appoint the muftis
muftis appointed by the Greek state have since usurped local Muslims’ right of
jurisdiction over family and inheritance matters.
majority of Muslim Turks in Western Thrace do not recognize the muftis
appointed by the Greek state and instead rightfully elect their own muftis.
will have a new envoy dedicated to overseeing efforts to bring faith
communities together and promote religious tolerance.
Minister Boris Johnson appointed Rehman Chisti to the position of envoy for
Freedom of Religion & Belief on Thursday.
will replace Foreign Office minister Tariq Ahmad and is tasked to oversee
foreign office support for persecuted Christians alongside wider issues of
Rehman was previously Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party.
delighted to appoint Rehman as my new Special Envoy and look forward to him
building on the important work we have already done on this issue,” said Mr
UK will always be a passionate advocate for greater tolerance, respect and
someone whose family came to the UK when I was six years old, and my father had
taken up a role as an Imam, my family and I have always been able to openly and
freely practise our faith,” said Mr Chisti.
want to ensure every citizen around the world is able to enjoy this basic
right. Freedom of Religion, practice and belief is one of the foundations of a
arrived in the UK in 1984 from Pakistan and has since lived in Gillingham and
Rainham, on the outskirts of London.
of Sudanese rallied in the capital Khartoum on Thursday in the largest protest
since the country’s transitional government was announced, demanding the chief
of the judiciary and general prosecutor be removed because of alleged ties to
ousted autocratic former president Omar al-Bashir.
Forces for the Declaration of Freedom and Change, the umbrella coalition
representing different pro-democracy parties and groups, called for a
“million-man march” to pressure the joint civilian-military Sovereign Council –
formed last month as part of a power-sharing deal between protesters and the
generals – to appoint judges known for their competence as well as political
generals had previously dismissed nominations put forward by pro-democracy
protesters for Sudan’s two top judicial posts.
and legal reforms should be a top priority during the transitional period;
however, we have seen inaction on the part of sovereign council to appoint a
new head of the judiciary and a new general prosecutor,” Ahmed Rabie, a leader
of the Sudanese Professionals’ Association, said. The group has spearheaded
protests since al-Bashir was still in power.
Sovereign Council, comprised of five military members and six civilians, is
expected to rule the country along with a cabinet and a legislative body for a
little more than three years. Last week, Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, a
longtime economist, announced the make-up of his cabinet after several weeks of
announcement of transitional state institutions came following pressure from
the United States and its Arab allies amid growing concerns the political
crisis could ignite a civil war.
Sudanese revolution does not only aim at changing a president or bringing in
new ministers but it aims at restructuring the Sudanese state,” said Rabie.
“Hence, it is illogical to have officials belonging to the ancient regime on
top of the state’s civil and judicial apparatuses.”
incumbent judiciary chief and public prosecutor were appointed by the military
council, which took over the helm of state after ousting al-Bashir in April.
Under the terms of the power-sharing deal, the military council was dissolved
and replaced by the Sovereign Council.
Thursday’s rallies, protesters waving Sudanese flags chanted: “The people want
the martyr to be avenged,” in reference to those killed during the crackdown.
They also raised banners reading: “The appointment of new judiciary chief and
public prosecutor is a revolutionary demand.”
militants killed nine Nigerian soldiers in an attack on a military base in the
northeast of the country, three soldiers and an official from a security agency
said on Wednesday.
decade-long insurgency in the northeast, started by Islamist group Boko Haram
in 2009, has claimed more than 30,000 lives. A breakaway faction that pledges
allegiance to Islamic State has become the dominant group in the insurgency,
carrying out attacks on military bases over the past year.
soldiers and security officer, all of whom spoke on condition of anonymity,
said Islamist militants attacked troops on Tuesday at a military base in
Gudumbali - a town in Borno, the state worst hit by the insurgency.
said nine soldiers were killed in the attack and 27 were missing.
Libyan Air Force announced on Friday that three Turkish drones have been
destroyed in Libya’s Misrata, adding that all aircraft positions in the city
have also been destroyed.
a statement, the air force said that two drones were downed in the area around
the al-Jufra airbase in Hun, and a third drone was downed in the Kufra
Libyan National Army announced early on Friday that a Turkish drone which
attempted to target al-Jufra air base was shot down, an Al Arabiya
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says more than 20,000 people,
mostly children, have gone missing as a result of a decade-long militancy by
the the Takfiri Boko Haram terrorist group in northeast Nigeria.
a statement issued on Thursday, ICRC President Peter Maurer said nearly 60
percent of those missing were children and that it was the highest number of
missing persons registered with the organization in any country.
parent's worst nightmare is not knowing where their child is. This is the
tragic reality for thousands of Nigerian parents, leaving them with the anguish
of a constant search," Maurer said at the end of a five-day visit to
have the right to know the fate of their loved ones, and more needs to be done
to prevent families from being separated in the first place," he added.
the visit, Maurer spoke with family members affected by conflict in the
northeastern cities of Maiduguri and Monguno, many of whom have missing
also met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, senior government officials,
civil society and business leaders.
Red Cross said that some families were often separated while fleeing attacks,
while others have had loved ones kidnapped or detained and do not know their
ICRC works with the Nigeria Red Cross and other Red Cross and Red Crescent
societies in the region to trace missing people by showing photographs, calling
out names and going door-to-door in camps and communities," the statement
far, 367 cases have been solved since ICRC received its first cases in 2013,
underscoring the immense challenges that come with finding missing people and
reconnecting them with their families in Nigeria," it said.
Haram and its Daesh-supported ISWAP splinter group have intensified attacks on
civilian and military targets in recent months, despite the Nigerian
government's insistence that the terrorists have been defeated.
army chief Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai admitted that humanitarian efforts
were being hampered.
swathes of the northeast of the country remain completely inaccessible to
humanitarian organisations. People have also been displaced by fighting many
times, making them harder to find," he added.
observers allege that certain Nigerian officials are profiting from the unrest
via corruption and have little interest in ending the bloodshed.
groups have also accused some Nigerian security forces of abuses in the fight
against Boko Haram, including extra-judicial killings and mass arrests.
is "no longer an option" for Sudan and South Sudan, their leaders
agreed Thursday during talks which focused on border disputes and the oil
trade, but also resolving protracted conflicts in both nations.
new prime minister Abdalla Hamdok met with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir
on his first official visit since becoming premier, following the overthrow of
am very delighted to be here in my second home, Juba. We are looking for a very
strategic, very distinguished relationship between our two nations, and the sky
is the limit for this relationship," Hamdok said upon his arrival.
the two-hour meeting, South Sudan's Foreign Minister Awut Deng said the two
leaders had discussed issues that had never been resolved under the 2005 peace
deal that ended two decades of war with Khartoum and paved the way to South
Sudan's independence in 2011.
includes the demarcation of the border between the two nations, trade issues
and the movement of citizens.
think the time has come for us in the two countries to silence the guns. War is
no more an option for our people. We need to have peace, and sustainable peace
in our two countries," said Deng.
can only do this in an environment where all of us have agreed to come out with
a road map and work for peace."
Sudan plunged into its own war two years after independence that has left
almost 400,000 dead and displaced millions.
have also remained high between Khartoum and Juba over border disputes and the
oil trade, however the two nations are increasingly moving to normalize ties.
are brothers and sisters. We have been one country and now we are two countries
but we are still one nation and we hope to develop our relations," said
Sudan's Foreign Minister Asma Mohamed Abdalla.
say the two nations have been pushed together by the grinding war in South
Sudan -- which has defied several peace attempts -- and an economic crisis in
Sudan, which was hard-hit by the collapse of the south's oil industry.
worsening economic crisis sparked nationwide protests that triggered the fall
of Bashir's last moves before his ouster was to broker a peace deal between
Kiir and his rival, rebel leader Riek Machar, at a time when much of the world
had wearied of trying to solve the crisis.
the 2018 peace deal has stalled as Sudan has been roiled by its own crises in
are anxious to see if Khartoum's new government will push Kiir and Machar to
advance on the implementation of the deal.
two men met this week in Juba for the first time in five months, with a
power-sharing government meant to be set up by November.
a further sign of rapprochement between the two countries, Kiir offered in 2018
to mediate peace talks between Khartoum and rebels in the Blue Nile, South
Kordofan and Darfur conflict zones.
Blue Nile and South Kordofan fought alongside the south for independence,
however were left north of the border in 2011 and have continued their own
insurgency against Khartoum.
in Darfur also waged a long war over marginalization in the western region.
has vowed to end these conflicts which have left thousands dead and millions
week armed groups from those areas held talks in Juba which ended Wednesday in
the signing of a deal on "pre-negotiation principles" with Khartoum.
Media magnate Nabil Karoui’s run for president was testing the rules of
Tunisia’s young democracy even before he was put in custody last month charged
with tax fraud and money laundering.
his unlicensed news channel broadcasts footage of him doling out aid to the
poor, Karoui, 56, is campaigning from behind bars, denying accusations he
attributes to political chicanery.
Tunisia holding only its third free vote since its 2011 revolution, Karoui’s
candidacy has raised questions over what role money and the media should play,
and brought accusations that the government is interfering with the judicial
he beats the 25 other candidates to the presidency, but is then convicted and
barred from office, it could prompt outrage among his voters — and a political
crisis in Tunisia.
with the first round of voting this on Sunday, and a second round due in
October or November, no date has yet been set for a verdict that would declare
him guilty or innocent, though a lesser hearing on Friday may release him for
opinion polls put Karoui ahead of the other candidates who include liberal
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and the moderate Ennahda party’s Abdelfattah
rarely mentions Karoui by name, but says his own campaign is aimed at combating
“media mafia” and “adventurers who threaten the democratic transition.”
in the political establishment see Karoui as a populist illicitly using his TV
station and charity for political gain.
allies in turn paint his arrest and other moves that threatened to curb his
influence as part of an undemocratic conspiracy to keep him from office and
marginalize poorer Tunisians they say he champions.
and foreign election monitoring groups have complained that he was unable to
take part in a recent televised debate, arguing that it breached his right to
speak to voters on equal terms with rivals.
arguments over his candidacy were on full view in the impoverished Kabariya
district of Tunis this week, when a small group of youths threatened Karoui
supporters handing out leaflets, forcing them to scramble back into their cars.
Chaouachi, a Karoui campaign officer, said the intimidation of his volunteers
in Kabariya showed he was being targeted by powerful forces.
arrest, a run-in with the media regulator and an ultimately unsuccessful
parliamentary bill that would have kept him from running, were also evidence of
a campaign against him, Chaouachi said, blaming the prime minister.
and other government officials have said Karoui’s arrest was a purely judicial
decision and that the government had no part in decisions taken by the
independent media regulator.
Kabariya incident took place in a wasteland where groups of children were
playing amid piles of garbage prowled by street dogs, and where several
residents had earlier said they planned to vote for him.
cares for us. Nabil Karoui is the only one to help Kabariya. All Kabariya will
vote for him,” said Mohammed Ali, a casual laborer in black t-shirt and jeans.
woman, who did not give her name but said she planned to vote for Karoui based
on his charity’s largesse there, added simply: “I’ll vote for whoever pays me.”
of poorer Tunisians are not sold on Karoui, however. “We are not stupid. We are
poor, but he cannot buy us with his money,” said Habiba Riahi, 41, a teacher
standing in a Tunis shop.
had built a media company with his brother before the revolution, but rose to
prominence after it as his Nesma TV backed secular parties against the moderate
Ennahda, helping them win elections in 2014.
national popularity, however, is based on the charity he founded in 2016 to
combat poverty, which he named for a son who died in a road crash, and on his
television station’s news program.
combines critical coverage of the government with reports about Karoui’s own
philanthropy, showing him visiting forgotten parts of Tunisia to give food,
bedding and blankets to the poor.
media regulator ordered it taken off air, leading to a police raid on its
headquarters, which the channel said was aimed to silence a critical voice. It
continues to broadcast, still without a license.
set the stage for another battle as Parliament passed an amendment to the
electoral law to stop candidates benefiting from charitable associations or
foreign funding in the year before an election.
Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) is currently carrying out works to
decorate a historic mosque in South Africa with ornamental Turkish calligraphy.
interior decoration of Noor el Hamidiye Mosque -- built in Cape Town in 1884 --
is underway after renovation efforts were completed in the 135-year-old mosque
a few years ago, Mehmet Akif Sekerci, TIKA’s coordinator in South Africa, told
hope to complete the decoration in two months,’’ he said in an interview in the
of Soweto Mosque
year, TIKA also renovated another historic mosque in Soweto township in
Soweto Mosque was severely damaged in 2002 when suspected right-wing extremists
bombed the Dlamini area which is close to the mosque.
are very grateful to the Turkish government, which refurbished our mosque, and
the people of Soweto appreciate this very much,” said Luqmaan Mogapi, head of
communications at the mosque.
in 1984, the mosque was the first in Soweto which was home to many
anti-apartheid activists, including the late President Nelson Mandela.
late Winnie Mandela was our guest of honor at the opening of the mosque in
August 1986,” said Mogapi.
Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid activist and the second wife of
said many famous Muslims visited the mosque, including the late legendary
boxing champion Muhammad Ali.
Renovation of hospital in Lesotho
in South Africa for two years, TIKA has carried out several development
projects in the country and the southern region of the Africa continent at
Matsoso, an administrative assistant at TIKA, told Anadolu Agency that the aid
agency renovated and provided equipment at a maternity ward at Scott Hospital
in Lesotho last year where the king of Lesotho was born.
also partnered with South African authorities to help refurbish orphanages,
particularly those for children born with HIV/AIDS.
Kenya Defense Forces troops were among five people killed on Thursday in the
latest Al-Shabaab attack on the Kenya security forces in North Eastern.
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militants launched a rocket propelled grenade that destroyed ironically, an
armoured vehicle, injuring over 20 security forces along Elwak in Mandera.
teams were travelling between Farhama and Elram when their two armoured
vehicles and a lorry were hit by the rocket fired by suspected Al Shabaab
attack badly damaged the vehicles, killing three KDF soldiers and two ASTU
personnel. Those injured were evacuated to Nairobi for treatment.
is a shame that they died in such an attack in a vehicle that is supposed to protect
them. It raises questions on the suitability of these carriers,” said an
official aware of the incident.
not clear how the grenade could destroy a vehicle that is meant to be resistant
to such attacks. President Uhuru Kenyatta procured armoured vehicles in 2016.
attack came at the time when it emerged that Kenya has lost majority of troops
in Somalia. At least 1,800 AMISOM soldiers have been killed by Al-Shabaab.
politics between Somalia and Kenya escalated recently, with the former opposing
the latter's bid to have Al-Shabaab listed as a terrorists group.
Dahir Osman, Somalia’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, argued
that Al Shabaab can be tamed through existing UN Security Council resolutions,
as long as there was a regional co-operation on it.
urge [the] Kenyan government to implement existing Security Council resolution
751 targeting AS (al-Shabaab), including the ban of illegal charcoal trade in
Somalia, which is the lifeline of AS to finance its operations in the region,”
Mr Osman tweeted on Wednesday.
member of the militant group Al-Shabaab was today sentenced to death while
another one was jailed for life after a military court found them guilty of
involvement in a deadly market bombing in the capital, Mogadishu.
two were identified as Hassan Ali Maalim Bare (HassanBoy) and Sayid Adan Nur
military court in Mogadishu accused Hassan Ali Maalim Bare (Hassan Boy) and
Sayid Adan Nur (Istin Boy) of being the masterminds behind the killing of seven
innocent civilians on 26 November 2018
in a market in Kawo Godey neighborhood of Wadajir district of Mogadishu.
third suspect, Muhidin Mohamed Ahmed Khalif (C Jey), was accused of being a
member of the Al-Shabaab after he allegedly gave a false name to the
court today sentenced Hassan Ali Maalim Bare (Hassan Boy) to death while Sayid
Adan Nur (Istin Boy) was sentenced to life in prison. However, the court
ordered the release of Muhidin Mohammed Ahmed Khalif (C Jey).
judge noted that the defendant can appeal the case.
Israel’s Jordan Valley annexation plan means for a Palestinian state
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s threat to annex the Jordan Valley
and the northern Dead Sea area of the occupied West Bank has left Palestinian
development planners in disarray.
threat, if implemented, will rule out the two-state solution as a political
concept, and have serious implications for a Palestinian state’s viability with
regard to water, agriculture, natural resources and tourism.
vowed on Tuesday that if he is returned to office in the Sept. 17 election, he
will “immediately” extend “Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and
northern Dead Sea.” The Jordan Valley accounts for about one-third of the West
polls indicate that Netanyahu’s Likud party is neck and neck with the
opposition Blue and White party, and may struggle to form a coalition. His
controversial pledge could get him the backing of right-wing parties.
Ishaq, director general of the Applied Research Institute, said the land that
Netanyahu referred to in his televised speech accounts for a big chunk of the
the standpoint of Palestinian agriculture, this is the breadbasket,” Ishaq told
65,000 Palestinians and 11,000 Israeli settlers live in the Jordan Valley and
northern Dead Sea area, according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem.
main Palestinian city is Jericho, with about 28 villages and smaller
who advises Palestinian officials, said Netanyahu’s threat, if carried out,
would kill off the possibility of a viable Palestinian state.
put, this will deny us our water rights in the Jordan River, and limit our
potential for mining
national resources and for recreational tourism in the Dead Sea,” he added.
Ishaq put the potential annual income from these activities at an estimated $2
Israeli annexation plan stunts the sustainability, contiguity and integrity of
a future Palestinian state,” he said.
plan leaves it without any control over the borders with Jordan, and converts
Palestinian areas into an entity comprising cantons that won’t survive.”
Palestinians of the right to derive financial advantage from Dead Sea minerals
would amount to a major economic blow, Ishaq said.
present, Dead Sea minerals are being divided between Jordan and Israel. Each
country earns an average of $1.5 billion annually,” he added.
Meo, publisher of the tourism monthly This Week in Palestine, said access to
the Dead Sea and the Jordan Valley is vital for the development of Palestinian
tourism. “There’s huge potential for tourism here that would be destroyed,” he
told Arab News. --------
expressed concern that the absence of internal tourism will exacerbate existing
only opening for us is to the east, and now that’s being blocked,” he said. “We
can’t get to Gaza and we can’t travel to Lebanon. Every time we discover a
strategic opening, they (the Israelis) shut it.”
threat “will cause more tensions. This is short-sightedness on the part of the Israelis,”
destroying the small signs of hope, the Israelis are building up more pressure
inside a veritable pressure cooker. They’re unable to understand that it will
eventually bring about an explosion.”
captured the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from Jordan in the 1967 war.
More than 2.5 million Palestinians now live there, in addition to nearly
700,000 Jewish settlers.
families seek answers over relatives’ disappearances
100 days behind bars over accusations of belonging to a Turkish “terrorist
organization,” Mustafa Yilmaz was relieved to be back with his wife and
daughter and allowed to return to work. But his problems were far from over. On
Feb. 19, six weeks after his release, he disappeared.
wife, Sumeyye Yilmaz, says CCTV footage shows him being confronted outside
their home after leaving for work and taken by two men before a black van
fears he is now being held by “deep state” operatives and possibly tortured.
is one of 28 men that rights activists and lawmakers say have been disappeared
by security forces since a failed coup in July 2016.
of them have since reappeared — either they turned up in the custody of the
authorities or near a mountain somewhere in Turkey — but Yilmaz and two others
are still missing.
activists and MPs say that many of the 28 were tortured — the government says
it has a zero-tolerance policy toward torture.
is my partner not being released? What do they want to do? Is he still alive?”
Sumeyye, 27, said in an interview with AFP, as their two-year-old daughter
the first few days he was taken, my daughter would ask ‘Where is he?’ But now
she has stopped. She’s a child, she’s forgetting,” she said, through tears.
33, was one of six men who disappeared within a few days of each other in
Ankara, Istanbul, the southern city of Antalya and the northwestern province of
Edirne in February.
of them had been accused of ties to an Islamic organization run by US-based
cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara claims ordered the 2016 attempted coup.
July 28, the families were told that four of the missing were being held by
Ankara police. Yilmaz and another man, Gokhan Turkmen, were not among them,
which hit Sumeyye particularly hard.
period after July 28 was like hell for me,” she said. Both Mustafa and Sumeyye
were accused of ties to the Gulen group — a charge that has seen tens of
thousands of people arrested or stripped of their jobs since the coup bid. The
couple denies the claims.
Mustafa, a physiotherapist, was arrested last October and sentenced to six
years in prison. He was out pending an appeal when he disappeared.
nightmare began for Sumeyye when she received a call from her husband’s
employer at around 11:00 a.m. to say he had not shown up for work.
she called hospitals, and even at one point feared he could have run off.
she became suspicious when the authorities showed little interest, and she says
the police are still not doing enough to find her husband.
effective investigation ... or procedure has been started,” Sumeyye said,
adding it was “still not too late” to find him.
Rights Watch says the six men taken in February were “forcibly disappeared” and
the four who re-emerged have been denied lawyers.
said their wives had described them as traumatized.
Omer Faruk Gergerlioglu, of the pro-Kurdish leftist Peoples’ Democratic Party
who spearheaded a social media campaign to try to find the six, said he
believed they had been tortured. “They were in a wretched state. When the
families asked where they had been, the men said: ‘Close this issue, leave it
alone’,” said Gergerlioglu.
who took them wanted “to interrogate them for a long time,” he added. The four
men have since been formally charged over suspected Gulen links.
assume that the goal here is to spread terror” among suspected Gulen
supporters, said Ozturk Turkdogan, head of the Turkish Human Rights
our main suspect is the state,” he added.
said the disappearances often followed a similar pattern, particularly the use
of black VW Transporters, according to CCTV images or witnesses.
by AFP, no comment was provided by the Ankara public prosecutor’s office and
police, while the Interior Ministry did not respond to requests.
of missing people have been rare in Turkey since the 1990s, and activists are
concerned by the rising number since 2016.
the four men’s reappearance, another case has come to light. The family of
father-of-three Yusuf Bilge Tunc, 35, have said he was taken by unknown
individuals on Aug. 6.
was accused of Gulen ties — claims which he denied — and fired from his job at
the state agency overseeing the defense industry.
family says police claim to have no information on his whereabouts, but that
one officer suggested he had run off.
the sake of argument, let’s say that there was a problem between us ... why
would he not say anything to his parents?” asked Tunc’s wife, who did not wish
to be named.
most painful thing in the world is not knowing what has happened to him.” Like
Sumeyye, they have appealed for help from the European Court of Human Rights
and the UN.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party was found on
Thursday to have violated Facebook’s hate-speech policy after a post from his
account saying Arabs “want to destroy us all.”
media reported that the post which said Israeli Arabs “want to destroy us all —
women, children and men” appeared on Netanyahu’s official Facebook page and was
subsequently removed by Likud.
careful review of the Likud campaign’s bot activities, we found a violation of
our hate speech policy,” a Facebook statement said, referring to an automated
also found that the bot was misusing the platform in the time period allowed to
contact people. As a result, we temporarily suspended the bot for 24 hours.
Should there be any additional violations, we will continue to take appropriate
Likud spokesman told AFP that the freeze went into effect on Thursday morning
and would not affect the party’s online election campaign.
who is fighting an election battle for his political survival, said the message
had nothing to do with him.
wasn’t me. It was one of the workers at our election headquarters,” he told
“That mistake was fixed quickly.”
logically: Do you think I would really write such a thing?“
have friends in Arab countries and I have respect for human beings regardless
of whether they are Jewish or Arab, Muslim or Christian.”
has long faced accusations from critics that he has demonized Israel’s 1.4
million Arab citizens with his political rhetoric.
the Sept. 17 vote looming, he and Likud drew outrage from opposition parties
with a push for last-minute legislation that would allow party officials to
bring cameras to polling stations.
critics labelled it a naked attempt to depress turnout among Israel’s Arab
population, as it could intimidate many into staying away.
Challengers to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in next Tuesday’s
election have courted Israel’s Arab minority, hoping that a strong turnout from
this unlikely source could tip the scales in their favor.
centrist Blue and White party headed by former armed forces chief Benny Gantz
has plastered Arab towns with campaign posters.
has appeared on Arabic language television, hoping to capitalize on the growing
number of Arab voters ditching Arab parties in favor of other challengers.
is a change in strategy from the previous election,” said Ram Ben-Barak, a Blue
and White candidate and former deputy director of the Mossad intelligence
agency who is leading the campaign to woo Arab citizens. Blue and White is
currently pollling neck-and-neck with Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party and
make up 21 percent of Israel’s population. But frustration with disunity among
Arab-dominated parties and dismay over what they see as Israel’s discriminatory
practices against them helped push the community’s turnout to a 20-year low in
the last parliamentary election in April.
failed to form a governing coalition after that race, leading to a new
than 28 percent of Arab voters cast ballots for mostly-Jewish party lists in
the April election, up from about 17 percent four years earlier, according to
Arik Rudnitsky, a researcher at the Israel Democracy Institute.
of those votes went to Blue and White and the left-leaning Meretz party, data
showed. Ben-Barak says the extra votes will help limit right-wing gains.
will still serve Blue and White if they vote for others but will serve twice if
they vote for us,” Ben-Barak said.
Arabs still vote for parties led by members of their community, which comprises
mainly descendants of the Palestinians who remained in their homes or were
internally displaced after the 1948 war that surrounded Israel’s creation.
Odeh, who leads the Joint List coalition of four mostly Arab parties, said
Netanyahu’s pre-election pledge is part of his “right-wing apartheid vision.”
consists of “erasing the civilian status of the Arabs in Israel” and “annexing
the (Palestinian) territories.”
announcement on Tuesday that he plans to annex the Jordan Valley drew
condemnation from Arab lawmakers, who regularly speak out in support of
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, territory Israel captured in
the 1967 Middle East War.
despite the bid to win Arab votes, Gantz’s Blue and White has given no
indication it was trying to differentiate itself from Netanyahu on this issue.
told Army Radio on Thursday: “I am in favor of leaving the valley in Israeli
hands in any possible scenario.”
annexation does not factor heavily into the Arab minority’s political agenda,
which focuses on issues of discrimination, inequality and crime in their own
communities, according to the Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab
holding Israeli citizenship, many Arabs say they face discrimination in areas
such as health, education and housing. Poverty among Arab citizens is 47
percent, compared with a national average of 18 percent, according to Israel’s
National Insurance Institute.
Mossawa Center rights group says Israel’s state budget often favors Jews,
allocating more funds to Jewish localities, schools, and institutions than to
Likud party counters that its 15 billion shekel ($4.2 billion) “is more than
any government has ever invested in the Arab society,” according to Eli Hazan,
Likud’s foreign affairs director.
a rallying cry to right-wing supporters on election day in 2015, Netanyahu
famously declared that Arabs were flocking to polls “in droves” to defeat him.
turnout fell by a third to 49 percent in April’s election, the lowest since 1999,
the Israeli Democracy Institute said. Overall turnout was about 69 percent.
sent election monitors equipped with body cameras to Arab polling stations
during that contest, alleging voter fraud in what Arab politicians called an
attempt at voter intimidation.
failed on Wednesday to pass a bill which would allow cameras in all polling
stations next week. As the measure was debated on the Knesset floor, Odeh
pulled out his cellphone and appeared to begin filming Netanyahu inches from
his face, getting the lawmaker kicked out of the chamber.
prime minister has incited against Arabs like Benjamin Netanyahu,” Odeh told
Reuters at a campaign event in Tira, an Arab village in central Israel.
Joint List ran on two separate tickets in April and saw their total
representation in the 120-member Knesset fall from 13 to 10. This time, the
Joint List has reunited in a bid to increase turnout.
we vote 65 percent and above, we will beat Netanyahu and the right-wing
government,” Odeh said.
in August said he would join a center-left coalition -but only under a series
of conditions, including resuming peace talks with the Palestinians and
canceling a law passed last year which declared Israel the “nation-state” of
the Jewish people.
refuse to join any government that treats us as second-class citizens in our
homeland,” Odeh said.
no Arab party has ever served in a governing coalition, meaning they have
little say in shaping Israeli policies. With most Israeli parties having ruled
out forming a coalition with Arab parties, some Arab lawmakers are advocating a
different approach to having their voices heard.
don’t have a psychological barrier to being in government,” said Issawi Frej,
an Arab politician in the left-wing Meretz party, which has joined the
Democratic Union list backed by former prime minister Ehud Barak.
has struck a chord with some Arabs who say they are tired of being expected to
vote only for Arab parties that have little prospect of joining a ruling
senior adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticized Saudi
Arabia on Thursday for “favoring the Europeans and non-Muslims” over Turkey and
other Muslim countries after the recent visit of the Saudi Arabian foreign
minister to Cyprus.
does the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia benefit from this visit and establishing this
relationship with Southern Cyprus, the Roum (Rum), which Turkey does not
recognize?” Yasin Aktay, a senior adviser to Erdogan and the Turkish AK Party,
asked during an interview on state-broadcaster TRT Arabi channel.
is a term used by Turks to refer to the people and countries of Greek Orthodox
Arabia should not have recognized this country but as a Muslim country and as
part of the Organization of Islamic Countries, we were waiting and wishing for
them to recognize the state of Turkish Cyprus (Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus) which is a Muslim country. They take the Europeans, the Roum and the
non-Muslims as friends of theirs but are moving away from Muslims. This is
surprising,” he added.
Arabia’s Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf began an official visit to Cyprus on
Wednesday where he met with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades. They reviewed
bilateral relations, as well as the latest developments at the international
said there’s “high interest” in developing relations “on all fronts” with
Cyrpus, given the European Union member country’s geographic location and
longstanding ties with the Arab world.
Foreign Minister Christodoulides described the visit - the first by a top Saudi
official - as historic, noting that the two countries shared a common vision.
to AFP, Cyprus has been divided on ethnic lines since Turkish troops occupied
its northern third in 1974, following a Greek Cypriot coup sponsored by the
military junta - then in power in Athens - seeking union with Greece. Turkey
continues to maintain a sizeable military presence in the north of the island.
Turkey, which has no diplomatic relations with Cyprus, is the only country
which recognizes the breakaway state in the north of the island.
Aktay also accused Saudi Arabia of “moving away from Muslims.”
this country is responsible and takes responsibility of being the custodian of
the Two Holy Mosques, so they should be more keen to protect the interests of
the Ummah (Islamic community) and Muslims,” Aktay said. The Kingdom's role as
custodian of the Two Holy Mosques includes facilitating the Islamic pilgrimage
of Hajj for approximately 2.3 million Muslims from around the world.
also said that Saudi Arabia should approach solving the problems of the Islamic
world with “more rationality” and that Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister
al-Assaf’s visit to Cyprus was in conflict with its regional role.
visit to the Roum and this challenge to Turkey from this policy is not worthy
of the Kingdom to do so. They should take a more rational stance and should
realize that Turkey is not an enemy to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Turkey
wants to advise her as a true brother and friend to establish justice,” he
previously accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of “treason” over what he called
“normalization” with Israel, despite the Gulf countries having no diplomatic
ties with Israel - while Turkey has had diplomatic ties with the state since
1949, with relations booming in the 1990s.
sporadic raids against each other over the summer, al Qaeda in the Arabian
Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State in Yemen (IS-Y) have engaged in open
warfare in Yemen’s Al Bayda since late August.
Aug. 27, the two groups have claimed a combined 29 attacks against each other
in Al Bayda’s Qayfa region. This region has seen fierce fighting between the
two in the past and has historically been a critical area for AQAP.
sides have said its men have taken and retaken territory, launched improvised
explosive device (IED) attacks against one another, sniped opposing militants
and attacked various positions via mortars and rockets.
has been responsible for the majority of claims (23), while IS-Y has mainly
reported its men repelling AQAP assaults. The heaviest days of fighting have so
far been Sept. 1 and Sept. 9, in which the majority of the claims were
State photo reports of the fighting appear to back up the claims that its men
have repelled AQAP assaults. Many of the photos detail dead bodies and captured
renewed fighting has mainly taken place in Qayfa area and its surrounding
villages, including Al Hamida, Al Zoub, Sarar, Awaja, Liqah, Al Najd, and Abu
Ghayth. FDD’s Long War Journal has attempted to map out the fighting above.
AQAP has accused IS-Y of working with Houthi militants, which have indeed
historically operated in the Qayfa region, against its forces. In return, IS-Y
has accused AQAP of working with Yemeni military forces against its men.
latter accusation repeated an earlier claim made in the Islamic State’s weekly
Al Naba newsletter last week. In that issue, the unnamed emir of IS-Y’s Al
Bayda Province said that “AQAP coordinates with the army of the tyrant
emir then stated that AQAP has been weak against the Houthis and have not
actively targeted the insurgent movement.
said, the two jihadist groups have reported attacks against both the Houthis
and the UAE-backed Security Belt forces in recent weeks.
latest spate of open conflict between AQAP and IS-Y is the heaviest fighting
between the two since April. In that fighting, which also occurred in Qayfa,
dozens of fighters on both sides were killed.
to April, the two engaged in sporadic outbursts of conflict and propaganda
videos since the the overall infighting between AQAP and IS-Y began in the
Qayfa region in July 2018. Both sides also engaged in taking prisoners during
this period, a practice that has continued into recent months.
the years prior, the two groups operated within an apparatus of uneasy
cohabitation amid various propaganda campaigns. This degradation largely tracks
with how the relationship between al Qaeda and the Islamic State elsewhere has
played out, such as in Syria and Somalia.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said Thursday a visiting senior US treasury
official told him that sanctions against Iran would remain in full force.
just finished an excellent working meeting with Sigal Mandelker, the
undersecretary of the treasury,” he wrote on his Twitter account.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that continued rocket fire
from Gaza is making another war against militants in the coastal strip
inevitable, his latest headline-grabbing announcement just days before Israel
heads to parliamentary elections.
divulged that advanced plans were in place to strike Gaza and said he would
decide the optimal timing of the offensive, given the Gaza Hamas rulers’
unwillingness or inability to stop the daily barrages.
Israeli leader has been criticized for failing to respond harshly to the
rockets, which have been frequently sending residents of southern Israel
scurrying for cover. Netanyahu himself was whisked away by bodyguards from a
campaign event on Tuesday when Palestinian militants fired rockets toward the
area where he was.
withdrew from the Gaza Strip in 2005 and Hamas militants overtook the territory
by force two years later. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars and engaged
in several other rounds of violence over the past decade.
do not wage war unless it is a last resort and I don’t risk the lives of our
soldiers and citizens just to get applause,” Netanyahu said in an interview
with Kan Reshet Bet Radio. “We will probably have no choice but to set out on a
big campaign, a war against the terror forces in Gaza.”
won’t start it one minute before we are ready, and we are preparing for a
‘different war’,” he added, shortly before flying to Russia for a lightning
meeting with President Vladimir Putin.
was Netanyahu’s first major interview to a mainstream media outlet in a
frenetic campaign in which he has been dictating the agenda with a dizzying
array of maneuvers. Just this week, he has alleged fraud in Arab voting areas
and has pushed for legislation to place cameras in polling stations on election
also claimed to have located a previously unknown Iranian nuclear weapons
facility and vowed to annex the heart of the West Bank if he wins re-election.
pledge to extend Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley sparked
international condemnation. A spokesman for the UN secretary-general said that
if it were carried through it would be a “serious violation of international
UN statement comes after Saudi Arabia, a regional power that has grown closer
to Israel in recent years, condemned the move, along with several others who
warned it could inflame the Middle East and eliminate any remaining Palestinian
hope of establishing a separate state.
Turkish officials say Kurdish rebels have detonated an improvised explosive
device on a road in southeast Turkey, killing four people and wounding 13
local governor’s office said the explosion Thursday on a road near the town of
Kulp hit a vehicle carrying villagers who were returning home after gathering
wood. The private DHA news agency said the explosion caused the driver to lose
control and the vehicle veered into a ditch.
Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, has waged a more than three-decade old
insurgency in Turkey’s mostly Kurdish southeast region. The conflict has killed
tens of thousands of people since it started in 1984.
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