Photo: Speaking at the 16th Hindustan Times
Leadership Summit, Rajnath Singh called terrorism a “crime against humanity”
and said it was not linked to any religion or caste.(HT Photo)
protest against encroachment on holy place
fundamentalists in B’desh threat to NE states’
inmate sues Somerset County Jail alleging religious discrimination
Muslims deserve credit for resisting radicalisation: Rajnath Singh
approach of Indians ensured ISIS, al Qaeda do not find base in India: Mukhtar
tensions rise after court ruling on mosque land
should also come forward to protect cow: Athawale
conversion: delegation of clerics sent to bring the family back into folds of
of Youth Who Joined IS Declared Hostile Witness by Court
Concerned' UN Slams India for Deporting Seven Rohingya Muslims to Myanmar
Muslims living in country not infiltrators, says Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
in Jammu and Kashmir majorly due to Pakistan: Home Minister Rajnath Singh
of Jinnah Yet Again Displayed Inside AMU; Probe Ordered
Muslim groups clash in Jewar
Pakistan minister shares stage with Hafiz Saeed, India protests, summons top
allegation of use of chemical weapons in Kashmir false, malicious: India
urged to promote teachings of Holy Prophet (PBUH)
Sharif appears before accountability court in Lahore for Ashiana case hearing
a page and move forward, Bolton urges Pakistan
journalist from India joins Lahore’s press club
representative to arrive in Pakistan to discuss Afghan conflict
welcomes extension of PoR cards to Afghan refugees
Abdul Qadir felicitates PM on assuming office
Imran joins UN cheif’s ‘Circle of Leadership’ on preventing sexual abuse
present Pakistani opposition leader before judge
Taliban, and foreign militants suffer casualties in Kandahar
strike kills four civilians in Afghanistan
Babunagari announces resignation from Hefazat
soldier assigned to NATO’s RS Mission killed in Afghanistan
official: 2 security forces killed in bomb blasts
Counterterrorism Plan Targets Radical Islam as ‘Primary Threat’
- US headed toward strategic deadlock in Syria
warns of military conflict after Trump pulls out of Iran nuclear deal
Americans think US has failed in Afghanistan: Poll
World League head urges faith leaders to travel to Jerusalem seeking peace
urges Israel to exercise ‘good judgment’ on S-300 delivery to Syria
group chief calls for Muslims to join Christians, Jews in Jerusalem meeting
persecution marks the Yazidis' history
Murad: From ISIS slave to Nobel laureate
Treasury designates Lebanese businessman global terrorist for Hezbollah ties
Crown Prince: We don’t need a new Hezbollah in the Arabian Peninsula
party leader reveals Qatar’s meddling, ‘Brotherhood’ mischief
Egyptian president Morsi says will never recognize Sisi’s coup
rebuttal to Trump, bin Salman says Saudi won’t pay US for kingdom’s security
Jeddah gathering, experts emphasize importance of fighting ‘intellectual
terrorism and extremism’
families demand regime action to free Daesh hostages
mayor shuts down anti-Muslim demonstration
Yazidi ISIS captive, Congolese doctor win Nobel Peace Prize
Considers Trade Sanctions on Myanmar Over Rohingya Crisis
sign of terrorism as man drives car into Berlin cafe: German police
authorities apologize for mistaken jailing of Syrian
Palestinians killed in clashes with Israeli army: Gaza ministry
urges arms ban on Saudi alliance to stop Yemen war
Netanyahu play down differences during Israel visit
missiles kill one, injure many in KSRelief camp in Yemen’s Hodeidah
to come out victorious from Saudi war: Houthi official
Palestinians killed, hundreds injured in clashes with Israeli forces at Gaza
‘Gaza deadlock’ blamed for delay in Mideast
coalition raids kill nearly 50 Houthi militants in Lahij, Al-Baydah
‘will consider referendum on Turkey’s bid to join EU’
Two sons of Yemeni slain president Saleh left for third country
opposition to pick presidential candidate as northwest takes center stage
says 'no' to al-Shabaab defector's run for office
group cries out, says Miyetti Allah, Boko Haram controlling govt, military in
pushes for more inclusive Islamic reforms
police nab eight over radicalisation plans
affairs minister vows end to moral policing
most powerful Islamic body faces scrutiny
gets new Isamic anti-terror agency
Azizah: Caning of single mum gives Islam a bad impression
more night khalwat raids or intrusion into Muslims' private lives says Mujahid
disasters ‘divine reminders’, Muslims in Selangor told in sermon
by New Age Islam News Bureau
in India should be complimented for not letting radicalisation spread in the
country despite consistent efforts to brainwash them, Union home minister
Rajnath Singh said on Friday while castigating Pakistan for not desisting from
its “evil designs” in the context of Kashmir.
at the 16th Hindustan Times Leadership Summit, Singh called terrorism a “crime
against humanity” and said it was not linked to any religion or caste. “Even
Islamic nations have condemned terrorism. Pakistan should take efforts to stop
terrorism. I must compliment Muslims in India that they have not allowed
radicalisation to spread in the country,” Singh said.
home minister said the situation in Kashmir will improve, but expressed dismay
that Pakistan was still indulging in cross-border terror. “Not one, but every
prime minister has tried to improve the relationship with Pakistan,” Singh
Pakistan is continuing to infiltrate terrorists into India. This is a reality.”
said that the general situation in Kashmir is better than it was a year ago.
incidents have come down from 6,000 in 1995 to 360-odd incidents in 2017. His
comments come at a time when the Opposition has blamed the government for a
spurt in violence in the region in recent months.
home minister said he has told security persons not to fire the first bullet,
but if there was any provocation from Pakistan, then the jawans should not
count the number of bullets in retaliatory action.
said there is an “amazing” coordination between the army, central paramilitary
forces and the J&K Police in the state and about 700 terrorists have been
neutralised over the last four years.
government, he said, has launched a pilot project in Jammu & Kashmir and
Assam to replicate an Israel-type border management system that will use the
latest technology and resources to make India’s coastline and borders
breach-proof. “The Comprehensive Integrated Border Management System will be
operated through a command centre and every activity on the borders can be
monitored from one place,” Singh said. “This is a huge development.”
former Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president admitted that the alliance with
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) of Mehbooba Mufti was “not successful”, but
maintained it was the need of the hour after the 2014 assembly elections
returned a hung verdict.
PDP emerged as the number one party and the BJP was the second-largest party.
We thought we should respect the mandate,” Singh said. “That experiment was not
successful.” The BJP pulled out of the government in June and the state is now
under Governor’s Rule.
also said that there has been a 50% decline in Maoist-related activities in the
last four years and the major activities of the Maoists have been restricted to
10-15 districts. “They are now trying to move into urban areas.”
defended the criticism of the government after five activists were arrested in
connection with the Bhima-Koregaon violence in January, and said that the
Supreme Court allowed the Maharashtra police to conduct the probe as it wanted
to. “We have said you may be influenced by any ideology but you can not be
allowed to indulge in violence. You will not be allowed to do that,” Singh
home minister also expressed optimism that a framework agreement with
insurgents in Nagaland will be stitched and claimed there was some forward
movement in it.
on farmer agitations in different parts of the country, he said the government
was committed to solving the issues faced by farmers, and those who staged a
protest at the Uttar Pradesh-Delhi border last week have returned following the
promise that the government will look into their demands – which range from
higher minimum support prices to overturning the ban on 10-year-old diesel
is a crisis of credibility in politics today. We have taken it up as a
challenge. We will not let this crisis of credibility to deepen,” Singh said.
“If we have promised something, then the protesters know we are honest in our
On the call of Hindu Panchayat Election Committee, a rally was taken out on
Friday by the people of the Hindu community people which, marching through
various thoroughfares, reached the local press club where they held a protest
demonstration and chanted slogans.
were holding large banners in their hands against forcible occupation of Hindu
Gaoo Shala allegedly by Hindu community persons and establishment of large
talking to the media, Dr. Aneel Kumar, Kalyan Das, Vijay Kumar, Moti Ram,
Haresh Kumar and others alleged that Gaoo Shala is a very sacred place for the
Hindu community but it is very unfortunate that some big businessmen had
occupied its land and had established warehouses due to which it had lost its
glory and importance.
said that during their previous protest, those encroachers had promised to
vacate the premises but had failed to honor their commitments.
further alleged that Hindu Panchayat Chairman Dr. Dharampal, Rajindar Kumar,
Wali Ram and their other associates had already discharged the elected body of
Hindu Panchayat six months ahead of its scheduled period.
appealed to Sindh government, Hindu MNAs and MPAs to order the removal of the
warehouses established by Hindu businessmen inside the Gaoo Shala immediately.
of Islamist extremism in Bangladesh is not only posing a serious threat to the
country, but also to neighbouring North Eastern States of India, besides West
to journalists at Guwahati Press Club on Friday afternoon through video
conferencing, prominent Bangladeshi journalist Saleem Samad said his country
was witnessing an upsurge of fundamentalist forces, which is now not only a
serious threat to minority communities there, but also to secularists,
intellectuals and even other sects within the Muslim community.
narrated how secularist bloggers are increasingly becoming the target of the
extremist forces in the country. He said Bangladesh was slowly but steadily on
the path of becoming a country of one nationality (Bangladeshi), one language
(Bengali) and one religion (Islam). Samad explained that due to overwhelming
majority of followers of the Sunni sect of Islam in the country and among whose
members a considerable rise of extremism has been witnessed, other minority sects
within the Muslim community like Shias, Ahmadiyas, etc, too fear a serious
threat to their existence.
how a network of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh was busted in West Bengal few
years back, the senior Bangladeshi journalist urged the NE States of India to
remain alert about jihadi elements. He said thousands of Bangladeshi youth were
scattered across the current trouble hotspots of the world, including Syria,
Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Palestinian territories, etc, and fighting
alongside the jihadis.
however, reiterated that currently no militant outfit from NE India has bases
in his country due to the crackdown launched against them few years back.
freedom of expression, particularly press freedom, prevailing in Bangladesh,
Samad said journalists were frequently coming under attack from both State and
non-State actors. He regretted that though 26 Bangladeshi journalists lost
their lives since 1991, not a single accused has been arrested till date.
another significant remark, Samad divulged that none of the Indian leaders
visiting Dhaka had taken up the issue of alleged Bangladeshi infiltrators issue
of Assam with his country’s leaders.
also remarked that update of National Register of Citizens currently on in
Assam was an internal affair of India, and which was the official stand of the
government there too.
advocating people-to-people contact between Assam and Bangladesh, the senior
journalist regretted how the State had missed the bus despite being so closely located.
for starting bus service between Guwahati and Dhaka, besides direct flights
between the two cities, Samad opined that trade and commerce and cultural ties
will help in doing away with many misconceptions prevailing on both sides of
the international divide.
- A Muslim inmate is suing Somerset County Jail, claiming he's been
discriminated against when employees attempted to offer him Kosher meals in
place of Halal.
Long, who filed a federal lawsuit in August, is alleging the jail does not
offer adequate Islamic services, despite its handbook stating it does.
to Long's statement of facts in the lawsuit's filing papers, in May 2018 he
reached out to Deputy Warden Roger Delin concerning the lack of Islamic
explained to Delin that he had never been afforded the opportunity to pray with
an Imam, as the jail's handbook states, and he was not given Halal meals.
Long alleged, tried to organize Ramadan a different way than the Muslim
religion instructs. In July, Delin submitted his letter of retirement to
Sheriff Frank Provenzano.
jail staff, according to the lawsuit, insisted that Kosher and Halal are the
honesty, with my experience in this jail, the administration is biased towards
Muslims," Long wrote. "We can't get prayer rugs, kufees or
is requesting the court waives his fee of filing his lawsuit.
2015 he attempted to file a federal lawsuit with the same allegations, but the
lawsuit was dismissed shortly after because he did not pay the proper filing
2015 lawsuit, Long alleged that Charles O'Neill, the Somerset County Jail
warden, deprived Long of his religious rights over a period of 2 to 3 years by
not offering Islamic services at the jail.
to the lawsuit, O'Neill and the jail "offered Christian services every
week at the jail, but maliciously and wantonly refused to do the same for the
Islamic faith for inmate Long."
lawsuit stated that the jail's handbook indicated Islamic prayer services are
held on Friday in a conference room and Taleem services, or Islamic education
services, are held on Tuesdays, "but nothing ever takes place on those
of North Plainfield, has a long criminal history dating back to 1996, mostly
for drug convictions of heroin and cocaine. His most recent conviction was for
3 1/2 years for third-degree possession of heroin.
addition to his ongoing religious rights lawsuit, Long also settled a third
lawsuit centering around the county jail.
that federal lawsuit, Long alleged his Constitutional rights were violated when
the Somerset County Jail "failed to make proper efforts to diagnosis"
him after he began developing symptoms of MS, including severe headaches,
impaired speaking, hair loss and loss of coordination," according to the
the jail employees prescribed Long Tylenol and offered him a "bottom bunk
pass," according to the lawsuit. Long was ultimately diagnosed with MS
around 19 months after he first complained of symptoms.
who was represented by the law firm Day Pitney, filed his lawsuit against the Somerset
County Sheriff's Office, the corrections division, Sheriff Frank Provenzano,
O'Neill, Somerset County, Somerset County Jail, the medical department,
Freeholder Patrick Scaglione and former Freeholder Peter Palmer.
alleged the defendants deliberately and repeatedly refused to provide him with
requested medical care and failed to establish proper protocols to ensure his
condition was properly diagnosed.
County settled the matter in 2016.
to the agreement obtained by My Central Jersey, the settlement, which occurred
outside of court, comes with no admission of guilt on behalf of the defendants
as well as a dismissal of charges against all of the defendants.
part of the agreement, Long received a $12,500 check.
did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.
2016, the county as been involved with several legal issues centering around
the jail, including a $699,000 settlement to a family whose son died while in
the jail's custody, a 23-year-old inmate who died a year later while detained
at the jail and two jail guards charged with false swearing and witness
minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said Friday the strong nationalistic approach and
culture of the Indian people have successfully defeated terrorist groups like
Islamic State and al Qaeda from finding a foothold in the country.
minister for minority affairs said the people of India have ensured the
subversive activities of the terrorist organisations do not find acceptance in the
have a different culture in our country and that culture does not allow their
activities to be successful. In counties like the US, ISIS has been able to
establish deep roots but not so in India where our culture fights them,” he
of the most dreaded terrorist groups, the Islamic State declared its caliphate
in Iraq and Syria in June 2014. Since then, it has conducted or inspired a
number of attacks, including mass shootings and knife attacks, around the
the US, investigators have said they have found that attackers involved in
planning or carrying out some of the mass shootings in the country were
inspired by the terrorist group.
Indian government has repeatedly said that ISIS has no base in India.
about the possible presence of another terrorist group, the Hizbul-Mujahideen,
in Assam after the arrest of an operative from the state in Uttar Pradesh and
several of his associates in Assam, Naqvi said, “They are isolated cases and do
not have any impact.” “Action against jihadi activities will be taken as per
the law,” the minister said during an interaction with journalists after a
coordination meeting of ministers and government officials of various states in
chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, ministers and senior government officials
from the northeastern states and Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand attended the
the Union minister’s attention was drawn to the alleged failure of state
governments in the northeast in giving benefits to minority communities, Naqvi
said, “All the six notified minority communities will get all benefits”.
said it was a different matter who is a minority or a majority in a particular
state, and cited the example of minority community Sikhs, who are a majority in
Punjab, and Christians, who are a majority in Nagaland.
effort is to include all,” he said.
commitment is empowerment without appeasement, development without
discrimination,” Naqvi added.
said the low literacy rate among minorities, especially women, is a matter of
the entire north and northeast, the rate drops. To address the issue, priority
will be given to increasing the number of schools and scholarships for minority
said the central government previously focussed on selected regions for
development and other regions - especially the northeast and other remote
areas, were neglected.
the Modi government has broken the barriers of regional and social imbalance in
terms of development and connected all the ignored and neglected backward areas
of the country with the mainstream development process,” he stressed.
said the Modi government has demolished the “vote bank politics” and furthered
Union minister promised that the government would establish a “world-class
educational institute” in Assam soon.
Indian Supreme Court’s refusal to revisit a communally-charged 1994 ruling on
the disputed land once occupied by Babri mosque has revived religious tensions
as political leaders strive for unity ahead of the 2019 national election.
justice Dipak Misra and justices Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer agreed in a
2:1 majority judgment that there was no need for a larger bench to re-examine
the 1994 Supreme Court ruling that a mosque was not essential for worshipping
Islam. The latest judgment came from a three-judge bench.
the 1994 Ismail Faruqui three Supreme Court judges decreed that “A mosque is not an essential part of the
practice of the religion of Islam and namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered
anywhere, even in open”. The ruling caused a storm and remains contentious
hardliners demolished the Babri Mosque on December 6, 1992, arguing that it had
been built on the birthplace of Hindu god Ram.
and Muslim parties both claimed victory from the court’s refusal to reopen the
case. The Hindus want a temple honoring Rama to be built on the land originally
occupied by the mosque at Ayodhya in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh;
Muslim parties are staunchly opposed to the idea.
Hindu nationalist Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh said the Supreme Court ruling
supports its long-standing claim of having a legal right to construct a Ram
temple where the 15th-century mosque once stood. And the All India Muslim
Personal Law Board stated that the judgment contributed to some “positive
movement in the case”.
court had been petitioned to correct what some saw as a gross error in the 1994
verdict by referring the matter to a full bench. However, Chief Justice Misra —
who retired on October 2 — and Justice Bhushan held that the 1994 ruling was
made only in a specific context of land acquisition and would not affect any
adjudication of the wider dispute over use of the site.
hardliners poised to capitalize
were referring to an appeal against the 2010 Allahabad High Court judgment that
gave Hindus a greater right over the site than Muslims. The high court reached
this conclusion by placing the “faith and belief of the majority — the Hindus”
above the claims of Muslims.
had contended that the mosque should not have been demolished to make way for a
Hindu temple; this action culminated in the Ram Janambhoomi movement (Ram’s
birthplace movement) and has attracted much criticism.
Supreme Court ruling said that a comment by Justice J.S. Verma in the 1994
ruling on the site should be interpreted as relevant only in the context of the
government having the right to acquire land, irrespective of which place of worship
stood on it. Such a right of the state was always present, and wasn’t in
dispute in this particular case.
say that the two judges took a narrow view of the issue and may have given
parties that follow Hindutva (a particularly virulent political ideology of
Hinduism) an upper hand in the dispute. There is also a sense that the apex
court has still not decided the issue.
myopic, says dissenting judge
one dissenting opinion on the bench came from Justice S. Abdul Nazeer, a Muslim
who made out a strong case for referring the matter to a larger bench due to
its seminal importance in Indian politics. It would be “myopic” and
“dangerous”, he said, to classify the case as a title suit or a property
dispute, while ignoring the ramifications it has for millions of Indian Muslims
and its impact on electoral politics.
accepted the arguments of senior counsel Rajeev Dhavan, who has consistently
argued that the matter has great significance for how the judiciary interprets
the cardinal doctrine of secularism. He asked why matters such as the use of
public spaces to celebrate Hindu festivals were referred to a larger court
bench for adjudication, yet the Babri Mosque issue was not. The judge
questioned whether the religious rights of Muslims were less important than
those of Hindus.
Nazeer also pointed out that the 2010 high court judgment, which gave
preference to the rights of Hindus, had been influenced in a substantial way by
the observations in the 1994 ruling.
Dhavan, who is representing most Muslim parties in lobbying the Supreme Court,
labeled its decision “fatally flawed”. Together with the judgment in 1994, it
had “pre-emptively knocked the bottom out of the Muslim case”, he said, adding:
“Worse, Hindu fundamentalists are given a license to trespass into a mosque and
destroy it to claim both prayers in and ownership of the site!”
Advocate Sanjay Hegde has predicted that the Babri to will take centre stage in
the 2019 elections, when incumbent prime minister Narendra Modi will be trying
to secure a second term.
told Asia Times that the case should be referred to a larger constitutional
bench in the interests of judicial propriety and discipline. “The majority
judgment will only fuel fear and doubts in the minds, not only of Muslims, but
also of secular Indians who have faith in the Supreme Court’s impartiality and
commitment to the constitutional ideal of secularism, which is a part of the
basic structure of the constitution,” he said.
Ayyubi, who represented one of the parties in the matter, had earlier said the
Supreme Court must refer the matter to a larger bench. He said that the Supreme
Court did well to clarify that observations in the 1994 case had no effect on
the pending land dispute matter, but said the top court could have gone
further, if only for the sake of bolstering its own image before the population
and for India’s minorities.
Modi making political capital out of the temple issue and casting aspersions on
leaders of the Muslim cause — most notably in a speech delivered for a local
election in 2017 — the dispute will have a crucial impact on the national
Muslims faced atrocities in the name of "gau raksha", Union minister
Ramdas Athawale said Friday, while urging the members of the minority community
to come forward to protect the cow, which is revered by the Hindus.
a book on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, titled "Musalman
Aur Yogi Adityanath", Athawale batted for Hindu-Muslim unity, saying it
was needed to make India a strong country.
Muslims faced atrocities after the (Narendra) Modi government came to power.
Nuisance happened in the name of gau raksha, but Muslims should also protect
the cow as Hindus revere the animal," Athawale said.
Union minister of state for social justice and empowerment asserted that Modi
and Adityanath "are not anti-Muslim", which was reflected in the
prime minister's "Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas" slogan.
also recited a self-composed couplet eulogising Adityanath and asserting that
the people of the country would defeat those driving a wedge between Hindus and
mein chamak raha hai Yogi Adityanath ka tara, Hindu-Musalman ko ladane walon ka
baja denge barah, (Adityanath's star is shining in UP, we will defeat those
pitting Hindus and Muslims against each other)," recited the minister.
said Hindus and Muslims should refrain from fighting over the Ayodhya issue and
wait for the Supreme Court verdict on it, while claiming that there was
originally a Buddhist shrine on the disputed land.
author of the book, Irfan sheikh, a journalist, said he had certain anxieties
over Adityanath's fiery statements, but had a change of heart after seeing him
weeping in Parliament and saying he had not left home and become an ascetic to
face "false allegations".
Spiritual leader of Jamaitul Uloom Ashrafia Maulana Syed Bilal Husain Thanwi
called a meeting of scholars and clerics to discuss the religious conversion of
13 members of a family in Badarkha village of Baghpat. Noting that the issue is
serious, the scholars regretted the incident and said conversion is a major sin
and it is never forgiven. It invites Allah’s wrath. They cited the hardships
faced by the companions (RAA) of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) but they were firm in
their belief. They even sacrificed their lives for the Islam.
of Youth Who Joined IS Declared Hostile Witness by Court
mother of a Kerala youth, who had allegedly joined terror organisation Islamic
State (ISIS) in 2016, has been declared 'hostile witness' by a special court in
Kerala for denying telling the crime branch that her son was getting
to a report in The Times of India, Ashfaq Majeed's mother said that whenever he
used to speak to his friends — some of whom went with him to join IS — he would
tell them to seek advice from 'Arshi bhai'.
Qureshi is the manager of Islamic Research Foundation under whose influence
Majeed had allegedly fled to the IS territory.
being declared hostile for not supporting the prosecution’s case, the mother
was cross-examined by Special Public Prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves. When asked if
Ashfaq had told her that he is joining ISIS, she answered in the affirmative.
Friday, she told the court that in 2016, her son went to Sri Lanka and returned
in a month. After a few days, he again left claiming to be going to Sri Lanka
with his wife and daughter and that he would return soon.
after he left, he called to say that he is not coming back. He said he had lied
as otherwise, they would not let him go," Indian Express quoted the woman
The United Nations voiced alarm on Friday over India's deportation of seven
Rohingya men to Myanmar despite warnings they could face persecution in a
country where the military is accused of genocide against the Muslim minority.
UN refugee agency said it was "greatly concerned" for the safety and
security of the seven men who were returned to Myanmar from India on Thursday.
men, who had been in detention for immigration offences since 2012, were handed
over to Myanmar authorities at a border crossing in India's northeast state of
their deportation, the United Nations had expressed concern that returning the
men ignored the danger they faced in Myanmar, where for decades the Rohingya
have been targeted in violent pogroms by security forces.
said the Indian authorities had not responded to its request that they assess
the men's claims to international refugee protection in the country.
regrets that the agency did not receive a response to this request and was
unable to secure access for a lawyer from a state legal service," agency
spokesman Andrej Mahecic told reporters in Geneva.
continues to seek clarifications from the authorities on the circumstances
under which these individuals were returned to Myanmar," he said.
said the UN agency was "concerned that they did not have access to legal
counsel, were not given the chance to access asylum processing and have their
claims assessed in India”. The UN special rapporteur on racism, Tendayi
Achiume, warned India on Tuesday that it risked breaking international laws on
refoulement — the return of refugees or asylum seekers to a country where they
could be harmed.
Rohingya are despised by many in Buddhist-majority Myanmar, which refuses to
recognise them as citizens and falsely labels them “Bengali” illegal
were concentrated in Rakhine state, the epicentre of a Myanmar army offensive
that over the past year has driven some 720,000 Rohingya Muslims into
Myanmar and Bangladesh have agreed to repatriate the Rohingya, the process has
stalled as Rohingya refugees fear returning to their homes without guarantees
of safety and rights.
assessment done by the UNHCR and UNDP — the UN's development arm — shows
conditions are "not conducive" for a "safe, dignified and
sustainable return", UNHCR's Mahecic said.
there were some villagers who "restarted interactions" with the
Muslim community, there is still "mistrust and fears" between the
second phase was launched on Friday morning in the townships of Maungdaw,
Buthidaung and Rathedaung — all sites of atrocities allegedly spearheaded by
the Myanmar military against the Rohingya. The army has denied nearly all
wrongdoing, insisting its campaign was justified to root out Rohingya
a UN fact-finding mission said there was enough evidence to merit prosecution
of several top Myanmar military commanders for crimes against humanity and
genocide against Rohingya civilians.
Delhi considers the Rohingya a security threat, pointing to intelligence which
it says links the minority group to extremist organisations.
government had ordered last year that all Rohingya inside India — New Delhi
puts the figure at 40,000 — be deported. The Supreme Court is considering a
petition challenging the order as unconstitutional.
Minister for Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Friday said that all
Muslims living in the country are not “infiltrators”. Naqvi, while addressing a
press conference in Guwahati said, “No country can accept the population
explosion of illegal migrants. Every Muslim is not an infiltrator. Indian
Muslims are committed to respect the country and work for its development,” he
said that “illegal infiltrators” were causing “maximum harm to Indian Muslims”
and that action will be taken against illegal migrants as per provisions of the
law. The minister said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has removed “regional and
social imbalance and inequality in terms of development in the country by his
commitment to inclusive growth”.
DELHI: Asserting that terror incidents in Jammu and Kashmir have come down in
comparison to the past, Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday said the
"problem" in the state is "majorly" due to Pakistan which
"is continuously promoting terrorism and sending terrorists in
said the BJP government as well as previous governments had always tried to
improve relations with Pakistan but "there is some compulsion with the
neighbouring country which has been unsuccessful in doing anything over the
issue" despite condemnation by international community.
in Jammu and Kashmir are majorly due to Pakistan. As it has been isolated
internationally, I hope it will change its way at some point. Even Islamic
countries have spoken against it," Singh said at the 16th Hindustan Times
terrorism as a crime against humanity, Rajnath Singh said "the situation
has changed in Jammu and Kashmir as terror incidents have decreased to 370 or
360 cases that was approximately 6,000 in 1995".
that terrorism should not be related to religion and caste, he praised India's
Muslim community for not allowing radicalisation to grow.
to the killing of Border Security Force (BSF) Head Constable Narender Singh on
September 18 in Jammu's Ramgarh sector along the International Border, Rajnath
said "our forces have taken some action over the issue. I said it earlier
and it is not absurd. Something had happened. That's why I said so. I cannot
tell it openly because it will send a wrong message to the international
Home Minister said he always tells the forces that they should never fire first
at Pakistan, "but if they shoot at us then we should not ponder over what
to do and not count our bullets".
if forming government in Jammu and Kashmir in alliance with Peoples Democratic
Party (PDP) was a decision taken in a hurry, Rajnath Singh said: "It was
an experiment that could not be successful".
no any party could get full majority in Jammu and Kashmir assembly elections,
we thought of honouring people's mandate and make a joint PDP-BJP
government," he said.
a suggestion that stonepelters have again come out after the break-up between
PDP-BJP, the Home Minister said "stonepelters never sit inside their
homes. Stone pelting incidents continued even after we formed the government
formation in Jammu and Kashmir. And it has been going on for years."
said he agreed that the situation in Jammu and Kashmir should improve but said
there was good coordination between the army, paramilitary forces and the state
police to provide security to the residents of the state.
Delhi: The Aligarh Muslim University
(AMU) has yet again stoked a controversy after it displayed the picture of
Pakistan founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah at
a photo exhibition in the varsity. Jinaah’s picture was displayed along with
photos of Mahatma Gandhi at the week-long exhibition, organised as part of the
Gandhi Jayanti celebrations.
the University authorities removed the photos and served a show cause notice to
the librarian, who was the curator of the exhibition. A probe was also ordered
into the incident after a BJP MP Satish Gautam demanded the removal of some
group photos in which the Mahatma is seen along with the Pakistan founder.
probe has been ordered as to how these pictures were included in the exhibition
and a show cause notice has been served to the librarian Thursday,” News agency
PTI quoted Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) spokesman Shafey Qidwai as saying.
authorities certainly do not want any controversy on such a matter, keeping in
mind the fact that the campus is functioning peacefully. We are only focused on
our academic schedule,” he added.
NOIDA: Members of two Muslims sects — Deobandi and Barelvi — clashed on
Thursday night over which group’s imam would lead prayers in a mosque on
Kanagadhi road in Jewar. Local Barelvi families alleged that present imam, from
the Deobandi community, asked their kids to stay away, prompting them to bring
their own imam who held the Fazr prayers (early morning) on Friday.
police advised both the groups to form a new committee to run the mosque and
resolve the dispute.
Khan, a resident of the town said there are two mosques in the area in which
one has a Barelvi imam while the other has a Deobandi imam. But, there are no
restrictions on anyone in entering any of them.
a group of people from Barelvi community tried to radicalise people by saying
that the imam sahab have asked a few Barelvi kids to stay out of the mosque,”
he said. However, the imam denied the incident.
a Barelvi follower, who did not wish to be named, told TOI that the latter are
in majority and that’s why they run the mosque as per their rules. So they are
fighting for equal representation, he said.
on Friday lodged a strong protest with Pakistan over a minister in the Imran
Khan-led government sharing a stage with 26/11 terror attack mastermind and
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Saeed, days after the images of the two
emerged. Sources told The Indian Express that a top Pakistan diplomat was
summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs in Delhi on Friday, and a similar
demarche was made in Islamabad by the Indian High Commission.
pointed out that Saeed is a UN-proscribed terrorist, and the US has offered a
$10-million bounty on him. Pakistan’s minister of religious affairs and
interfaith harmony Noorul-Haq Qadri addressed the All-Parties Conference (APC)
organised by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council (DPC), an umbrella coalition of more
than 40 Pakistani political and religious parties that advocate conservative
policies. The DPC supports “Kashmir’s freedom movement”.
was seen seated near Saeed as he addressed the APC in Islamabad on Sunday. A
banner in the background said the conference was in “defence of Pakistan”, and
mentioned “Kashmir” as well as “threats from India”. On Wednesday, even
Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had Qadri “should have been more
sensitive” while sharing the dais with the 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind. “I
will go home and certainly ask him why he did that. I am told it was an event
to highlight the situation in Kashmir,” Qureshi told a Washington audience on
Wednesday when asked about Qadri’s presence on the dais with the
had nothing to do with Lashkar-e-Taiba. There were other political elements
there. He happened to be one of them,” Qureshi said. “I think he (Qadri) should
have been more sensitive, but it wasn’t that he subscribes to his (Saeed’s)
point of view.” The development comes soon after External Affairs Minister
Sushma Swaraj addressed the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) last week
where she strongly condemned Pakistan. Blaming Pakistan for providing safe
haven to terrorists such as Saeed, Swaraj said Islamabad glorifies terrorism
and spreads lies about India.
who had used similar strong language to lambast Pakistan in 2016 and 2017,
accused Pakistan of being an expert in trying to mask malevolence with verbal
duplicity, and then went to draw a parallel between Osama Bin Laden and
Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed, and pointed out how the two have faced
different fate so far.
Friday rejected as false Pakistan’s allegations of reported use of chemical
weapons by Indian security forces in Kashmir, saying “malicious attempts” to
deflect international opinion away from terrorism emanating from the
neighbouring country will not succeed.
also asserted that Pakistan was acting in a highly “irresponsible manner” with
the sole purpose of repeating untruths in the vain hope that the international
community will start believing their falsehood.
Foreign Office spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had Thursday alleged that Indian
forces reportedly used chemical weapons against Kashmiris. In response to a
question by the media regarding the allegations, Ministry of External Affairs
spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said, “We completely reject allegations made by
Pakistan about the reported use of chemical weapons by the Indian security
forces against Indian citizens.”
allegations are not new and are totally unfounded, he said.
has repeatedly stated its complete opposition to the use of chemical weapons by
anyone, at anytime, and anywhere in the world, Kumar said.
is an original signatory to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The
international community has recognised India’s abiding commitment and contribution
to the CWC which is the universal multilateral instrument prohibiting the use
of chemical weapons.
is, therefore, a matter of deep concern that Pakistan repeatedly tries to make
such false allegations,” Kumar said.
Speakers at a two-day Int’l moot on ‘Seerat-un-Nabi’ concluded here on Friday
said that the proactive role of educational institutions is imperative to
promote the teachings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) to have a successful life here
to footprints of 'Seerat-un-Nabi' is only way out to get resolved the
contemporary socio-economic problems, they added in their key-note speeches
during the two-day conference.
speakers deliberated upon ways and means to apply the teachings of Quran and Sunnah
in every-day’s life.
large number of researchers and scholars from home and abroad attended the
event that was presided over by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Yasin Mazhar Siddiqui of
Aligarh Muslim University, India.
was arranged by the Allama Iqbal Open University’s Department of Seerat Studies
in collaboration with Higher Education Commission (HEC). ‘Fiqh-al-Seerah’ and
its contemporary application was the core theme on which speakers gave their
intellectual and academic input. In his welcome address, Vice Chancellor Prof.
Dr. Shahid Siddiqui underlined the important role of the educational
institutions in projecting the message and teaching of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)
that, he said, are only way out to overcome socio-economic problems of the
AIOU, he said has been actively engaged in disseminating the research-based
knowledge on society-related issues through research journals and national and
international conferences. A series of ‘Khutbat-e-Islamabad has been launched,
by selecting 100 relevant topics on which scholars present their views to
educate students and the young researchers.
University, the Vice Chancellor further said, in the recent years achieved many
distinctions in the field of Islamic Studies. It won five national awards on
promotion of Seerat-un-Nabi’ (SAW) through its research-based academic work.
was for first time that the University was declared the best one among the
higher educational institutions on writing research journal and articles by the
Federal Ministry of Religious Affairs with five awards. Recently, a specialised
research journal on Seerat Studies was launched. It was most significant that
the HEC has awarded three indexing agencies to AIOU for providing free online
access to research articles, facilitating researchers and academicians. These
include one on the Islamic studies.
inaugural session was also addressed by the Dean of Arabic and Islamic Studies
Prof. Dr. Mohyuddin Hashmi and Chairman Seerat Studies Dr. Shah Moeenuddin
Hashimi. They spoke about the objectives of the conference, stating it provides
platform to researchers to update their knowledge on relevant topics of their
studies. Around 100 abstracts and 50 papers were received for presentation
during the conference. Dr. Muhammad Yasin in his presidential address spoke in
detail about the dire need of Muslims’ unity and responsibilities of the
society in taking care of collective well-being, seeking aspirations from the
life and sayings of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). He quoted various sayings of the
Holy Prophet that teach them how to avoid conflict and unrest in the society.
He also highlighted rights of women and minorities in a Muslim Society. He
asserted that Muslims must adhere to the Islamic principles for making the
country ideological strong and prosperous.
Yaseen said Pakistan was the only country that was created in the name of
Islam, therefore the people of this country must keep up the basic human norms
and ethics, as we learn from Seerat-un-Nabi.
Bilal | Ali Waqar
President Shahbaz Sharif — who was taken into custody by the National
Accountability Bureau (NAB) in the Ashiana-i-Iqbal case on Friday — was
produced before an accountability court in Lahore today.
PML-N leader was arrested by the anti-graft body in the Rs14 billion
Ashiana-i-Iqbal housing project scam yesterday, when he was called in for
to the hearing, NAB prosecutor Waris Ali Janjua told DawnNewsTV that the
accountability watchdog will request for a 14-day physical remand of the PML-N
who was kept in a highly-secured lock-up inside the NAB Lahore office, arrived
in court in an armoured vehicle, under heavy security according to DawnNewsTV.
security squad that escorted Shahbaz to the accountability court also included
a fire brigade vehicle, a rescue van and security officers, DawnNewsTV
of police, that were posted inside and outside the accountability court,
refused to let PML-N leaders and workers inside the building. However, PML-N
president's son, Hamza Shahbaz, along with party leaders Malik Ahmed Ehsan and
Malik Ahmed Khan, were allowed inside the courtroom.
spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb and Pervez Malik chanted slogans with PML-N
workers that had gathered outside the court building as early as 7 in the
morning. On Shahbaz's arrival, the emotionally charged workers climbed up on
the armoured vehicle, chanting slogans in Shahbaz's favour and were forced to
get off by the police.
calm the party workers, Hamza directed them to "respect the court and not
chant slogans inside the court".
hearing was originally scheduled to take place inside the chamber but was later
switched to open court following the PML-N lawyers' protest.
cries foul, terms Shahbaz's arrest as "revenge"
to the media outside the accountability court building earlier, Aurangzeb had
accused the government of "using NAB to take political revenge".
[government] had thought that PML-N would break. They thought that brothers
(Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif) will be separated," she said. "They
thought, and they tried, that a forward block will be formed in the
former premier Nawaz termed Shahbaz's arrest as "not just regrettable, but
also ridiculous" and accused the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government of
being responsible for "this worse kind of revenge".
to a NAB notice sent to the former Punjab chief minister on January 16, 2018,
Shahbaz is accused of ordering the cancellation of award of contract of
Ashiana-i-Iqbal to successful bidder Chaudhry Latif and Sons, leading to award
of the contract to Lahore Casa Developers, a proxy group of Paragon City
Private Limited, which resulted in the loss of approximately Rs193 million.
is also accused of directing the Punjab Land Development Company (PLDC) to
assign the Ashiana-i-Iqbal project to the Lahore Development Authority (LDA),
resulting in the award of contract to the Lahore Casa developers, causing the
loss of Rs715m and the ultimate failure of the project.
has also accused Shahbaz of directing the PLDC to award the consultancy
services of the Ashiana-i-Iqbal project to Engineering Consultancy Services
Punjab (ECSP) for Rs 192m while the actual cost was supposed to be Rs35m as
quoted by Nespak.
The White House has said that the United States still believes the inception of
a new government in Pakistan provides an opportunity to “turn a page and move
forward” — towards rebuilding a strong relationship between the two countries.
Oct 2, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi visited Washington on Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo’s invitation. He held separate meetings with Mr Pompeo and
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton before flying back to
Bolton — while briefing the media on the new National Strategy for Counterterrorism
on Thursday afternoon — described the talks as productive but gave few details
of the discussions that Secretary Pompeo and he had in their meetings with Mr
asked if they talked about the suspension of US security aid to Pakistan and the
progress made by Islamabad in the fight against terrorism, Mr Bolton said: “I
discussed that with Foreign Minister Qureshi. We had a very productive meeting.
He had a very productive meeting, I hear, from Mike Pompeo, as well, later in
said: “We certainly talked about the suspension of security assistance and the
importance that we placed on Pakistan renewing an effective campaign against
talks, he said, covered a wide range of other issues, as well. “But I think one
of the things we wanted to stress, following up on Mike Pompeo’s visit to
Pakistan just a few weeks ago, was that we hope with a new government there,
that we might be able to turn a page and move forward.”
Bolton said that Secretary Pompeo and he had two “important opening meetings”
with the Pakistan foreign minister in Washington.
think he believed they were successful, and so we’re going to continue the
discussion and see what conclusion we might be able to reach,” he said.
about Mr Qureshi’s handshake with US President Donald Trump in New York last
week, which some Pakistani media outlets described as a meeting, Mr Bolton
said: “I wasn’t at the luncheon, so I don’t know, but if the foreign minister
had come up to introduce himself and shake his hand, I’m sure the president
would have shaken his hand”.
to another question, Mr Bolton said that Secretary Pompeo and he did discuss
the release of Dr Shakil Afridi — who facilitated the US raid on Osama bin
Laden’s hideout in Abbottabad — with Mr Qureshi.
terms of Afridi, yes, he was the subject of discussion between Secretary Pompeo
and myself, we pretty well covered the waterfront of issues, and we’re glad to
do it,” he said.
Qureshi also addressed this issue at a news conference on Wednesday but
rejected the suggestion that he had offered to release Dr Afridi in an
interview with Fox News.
said you look at Dr Afridi in a certain way. Our people look at Dr Afia
Siddiqui in a certain way. You have expectations. They have expectations too.
They also want Dr Siddiqui’s released.”
Indian journalist Mandira Nayar received the honorary membership of the Lahore
Press Club (LPC) on Friday, as club president Azam Chaudhry delivered the
membership letter to her during her visit to the provincial capital.
is one of granddaughters of late Kuldip Nayar, who was the first Indian
journalist to get this honour in his lifetime. “It’s really a great honour for
me to be a part of this prestigious club,” she said, adding her grandfather was
a seasoned journalist, but no one offered him this (membership) in India.
others, the journalist family has always given us unconditional love,” she
said. “I am lucky that I always received bundles of love here and I have never
felt that I am away from my home,” she said. To a question, she said that she
would continue her grandfather’s legacy – peace mission.
Press Club is an independent institution and we have a membership of
responsible journalists here. So, we know the importance of peace and
coexistence,” said Azam Chaudhry, president of the press club.
am happy that Kuldip Nayar Sahib was honorary member of this respected club,”
he said. being the champion of the South Asian solidarity, Kuldip sahib was
equally loved and respected in Pakistan, and every place where his writings
were published and translated.
said that he (Nayar) was a courageous spokesperson for press freedom as well as
an important promoter of India’s secular tradition.
in Sialkot and educated in Lahore, 95-year-old Kuldip Nayar passed away on
August 23, 2018, in New Delhi.
States (US) Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay
Khalilzad will be arriving in Pakistan on Saturday.
is on a special visit to Afghanistan, Pakistan, the UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia
between October 4 and 14. According to a statement, he will be coordinating and
leading US efforts to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table.
will be working in coordination with the Afghan government and other
stakeholders to reach a negotiated settlement to the conflict.
will be Khalilzad’s first trip after his appointment as the special
representative. However, he recently travelled to Pakistan with Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo during his visit on September 5.
The UN refugee agency welcomed the federal government’s decision to extend the
Proof of Registration (PoR) cards to about 1.4 million Afghan refugees in
Pakistan until June 30, 2019.
decision will provide relief and predictability to Afghan refugees who were
facing uncertainty and anxiety,” said UNHCR Country Representative in Pakistan
met with Advisor to the Prime Minister on Establishment Arbab Shahzad on
appreciated the people and government of Pakistan for hosting Afghan refugees
for nearly four decades.
has been an exemplary host throughout these times,” she said, adding that UNHCR
will continue to support any future government policy which supports voluntary
repatriation in dignity and safety.
said that UNHCR will continue to call for international support to Pakistan for
Pakistani host communities and Afghan refugees living in Pakistan.
also briefed the advisor on the upcoming ministerial conference being organised
by the government of Afghanistan and the United Nations on November 27-28 in
The Custodian of the Holy Shrine of Sheikh Abdul Qadir (R.A), Al-Sheikh Syed
Khalid Abdul Qadir Mansoor Al Gilani called on Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan
at the PM Office on Friday to felicitate him on assuming office.
for Religious Affairs Noor-ul-Haq Qadri was also present during the meeting.
Syed Khalid Abdul Qadir Mansoor Al Gilani while congratulating Imran Khan on
being elected as the prime minister of Pakistan expressed his best wishes for
premier thanked Al-Sheikh Syed Khalid Abdul Qadir Mansoor Al Gilani for his
wishes. He said that Pakistan has the highest respect for Ghous-e-Azam. He also
highlighted the huge contributions of Sufism in the spread of Islam.
Minister Imran Khan joined United Nations Secretary General’s Circle of
Leadership – a body formed to probe sexual crimes perpetrated in UN-led peace
Imran is the 70th world leader to have joined the circle, others including US
President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime
Minister Theresa May.
Circle of Leadership embodies the commitment of its member’s to strengthening
prevention and response against incidents of sexual violence and abuse.
committee was established by UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in a high
profile meeting on Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse held in
September last year.
Pakistan: Pakistan’s anti-graft body has presented the country’s opposition
leader, Shahbaz Sharif, before a judge after it arrested him over links to a
multi-million dollar housing scam.
National Accountability Bureau will seek permission from the judge to hold
Sharif for two weeks for questioning.
development came a day after authorities arrested Sharif in the city of Lahore.
is opposition leader in the lower house of parliament.
is accused of abuse of power during his tenure as the chief minister of Punjab
from 2013 to 2018 by influencing authorities to award contracts for a housing
program to a company with which he had political connections.
least ten militants including three foreigners hailing from Pakistan and four
civilians were killed during the clashes and airstrikes in southern Kandahar
province of Afghanistan.
police spokesman Zia Durani confirmed that the incident took place late on
Thursday evening in Maruf district.
said at least ten militants and four civilians were killed during the clashes
and at least eight civilians sustained injuries.
to Durani, the incident took place in Khogyani village of the district and a
child and three women were among those killed while a child and seven women
have sustained injuries.
the meantime, another local source said the Taliban militants had taken shelter
inside the civilian houses and were targeting the security forces with the
heavy weapons, forcing the armed forces to call in airstrikes which resulted in
the eyewitnesses are claiming that the militants had joined the vehicles convoy
of a wedding ceremony when they came under airstrikes.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the incident so far.
An air strike by security forces killed four people and wounded eight others
who were part of a wedding procession in the Afghan province of Kandahar,
officials said on Friday.
Raziq, the Kandahar police chief, said Taliban militants had mounted an attack
in the Maroof district when security forces responded with an air strike on
[Taliban] tried to flee and got mixed up with villagers at a wedding
air strike killed four civilians, including women and children, and 10 Taliban
militants,” he said.
Ahmad Azizi, the provincial governor’s spokesman, said that Taliban fighters
attacked villages in Maroof district but faced strong resistance by police. He
said one policeman was killed and three others wounded.
Taliban were killed and eight were wounded in the battle, he said. After that,
the militants hid in people’s houses, leading to civilian casualties in the air
strike. Kandahar province, on the border with Pakistan, is a major centre of
opium cultivation and a stronghold of the Taliban.
officials said the incident was still being investigated and it was unclear
whether the casualties had been caused by Afghan or US aircraft, both of which
flew missions in support of the operation.
Nato spokesman said its aircraft were not involved. “I can confirm we did not
participate in any operations near Maroof [district] within the past 24 hours,”
said Col Knut Peters, a Nato spokesman in Kabul.
senior nayeb-e-amir Maulana Mohibullah Babunagari has announced his resignation
from the qaumi madrassah-based platform over his resentment at the failure to
realise their demands.
Hefazat leader told New Age over phone on Friday that he announced his
resignation as their platform was now far from 13-point demands placed to the
government during their movement in 2013.
said that the platform later even forgot to pay respect to their supporters
killed in May 5-6, 2013 when they joined rally at Motijheel in Dhaka.
senior religious preacher said that he placed the resignation through media on
separate interviews with the local journalists, Mohibullah said that some 200
people ‘embraced martyrdom’ in May 5-6, 2013 but none of their demands were met
also expressed his resentment at taking decision by Al-Haiatul Ulya
Lil-Jamiatil Qawmia Bangladesh in contrary to the principles of Darul Uloom
Deoband in India.
also said that he would cut relations with the government recognised combined
Qawmi Madrassah Education Board of Bangladesh.
announcement came after Al-Haiatul Ulya Lil-Jamiatil Qawmia Bangladesh chairman
Shah Ahmad Safi, also the Hefazat amir, on October 1 announced that they would
accord a reception to prime minister Sheikh Hasina for the recognition of Dawra
September 18, parliament passed a bill recognising Dawra Hadith as Master of
Islamic Studies and Arabic.
am aware of the reception,’ Mohibullah said.
formed in January 2010, comprising qawmi madrassah teachers and students,
placed 13-point demands in 2013, including enactment of anti-blasphemy law and
ban on free mixing of men and women.
staged two long marches towards Dhaka and held rallies at Motijheel. However,
the supporters were driven out of the capital after holding the second rally
followed by daylong clashes with the police as its leadership had threatened to
overthrow the government.
Hefazat backtracked on movement, allegedly after negotiation with the ruling
Awami League leaders.
U.S. soldier assigned to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission was killed
during an incident in Afghanistan.
U.S. service member assigned to the NATO Resolute Support mission was killed in
Afghanistan on October 4,” Resolute Support Mission said in a statement.
disclosing further information, the RS Mission said “This incident is under
mourn and honor the sacrifice of our service member,” said Resolute Support and
United States Forces – Afghanistan Commanding General Scott Miller. “We remain committed.”
further details were given regarding the identity and exact location where the
incident took place, with NATO saying “In accordance with U.S. Department of
Defense policy, the name of the service member killed in action is being
withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin is complete. We will share additional information as
Afghanistan: An Afghan official says at least two security forces have been
killed in bomb blasts in the capital.
Mujahid, spokesman for the Kabul police chief, says nine others including six
police officers and three civilians were wounded in Saturday’s attack.
says a roadside bomb hit a military vehicle when police arrived to respond to
an insurgent attack, then a second blast took place in the same area causing
police chief was among the wounded, he said.
groups, namely al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), remain “the primary
trans-national terrorist threat” to the United States despite 17 years of
U.S.-led military efforts against radical Islamist groups, the White House
pointed out in its National Strategy for Counterterrorism unveiled on Thursday.
counterterrorism strategy, released by the White House on Thursday, noted:
seventeen years of armed conflict and significant costs in American blood and
treasure, our efforts to prevent and counter terrorism have met with mixed
success. While we have succeeded in disrupting large-scale attacks in the
homeland since 2001, we have not sufficiently mitigated the overall threat that
remains the foremost radical Islamist terrorist group and the primary
transnational terrorist threat to the United States, despite ongoing United
States and coalition civilian and military efforts that have diminished the
group’s footprint in Iraq and Syria, killed thousands of its members, and
curtailed its global expansion.
with recent assessments, the strategy acknowledged that ISIS branches outside
the Middle East also pose a significant threat to the United States.
White House reported:
group’s [ISIS] global reach remains robust, with eight official branches and
more than two dozen networks regularly conducting terrorist and insurgent
operations across Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Despite many
setbacks, ISIS maintains a sophisticated and durable media and online presence
that allows it to encourage and enable sympathizers worldwide to conduct dozens
of attacks within target countries, including the United States. The increase
in attacks by persons mobilized to violence in the United States underscores
the ability of ISIS to inspire terrorist attacks.
17 years to the day since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in pursuit of al-Qaeda,
the group still represents a menace to the American homeland.
global network remains resilient and poses an enduring threat to the homeland
and United States interests around the world,” the White House noted.
announcing the new strategy on Friday, Trump’s national security adviser John
Bolton described the new plan as a significant departure from former President
Barack Obama’s approach to combating terrorism, stressing that the current
administration does not shy away from recognizing the menace posed by radical
Islamic extremist ideology.
Islamist terrorist groups still represent the preeminent threat to the United
States. We recognize that there is a terrorist ideology that we’re confronting.
And I think it’s long been the President’s view that without recognizing that
we’re in an ideological struggle, that we can’t properly address the terrorist
is a departure [from the Obama era]. And the reason is that it’s not simply a
unilateral decision by the United States to end this ideological war. It’s not
enough that we find it inconvenient that we’re still under attack. The fact is
the radical Islamic threat that we face is a form of ideology.
plan entails “isolating” jihadi groups from their networks of financial
assistance, boosting American partners’ counterterrorism capabilities, and
enhancing US infrastructure and preparedness, namely along the nation’s
borders, according to Bolton.
last time the White House released a counterterrorism plan was in in 2011.
to the strategy in a statement issued Thursday, President Trump declared:
outlines the approach of the United States to countering the increasingly
complex and evolving terrorist threats and represents the Nation’s first fully
articulated counterterrorism strategy since 2011. It provides the strategic guidance needed to
protect the United States against all terrorist threats, while simultaneously
fostering the agility to anticipate, prevent, and respond to new threats.
by the National Strategy for Counterterrorism, we will use all instruments of
American power to protect our great Nation, and we will defeat our enemies with
the full force of American might.
strategy also identified the world’s “most prominent state sponsor of
terrorism,” Iran, as a major threat facing the United States.
the conditional and temporary U.S. support for the YPG/PKK terror group in
Syria has turned out to be permanent against Iran and Russia, Washington is
moving into a strategic dead end in Syria.
U.S. tactic to work with the YPG/PKK against Daesh, which started during former
President Barack Obama administration and continued in Donald Trump
administration is putting Washington on a path of no return.
from 2014, the U.S. initially provided air support and then arms to the terror
group, with the pretext of fighting Daesh.
officials claimed the support for the group was limited and conditional with
the fight against Daesh and then Washington dispatched more than 2,000 troops
to the region and established airports as well as military bases in the areas
controlled by the YPG/PKK.
military bases in Syria
to local sources, the U.S. has established 13 operational military bases in the
YPG/PKK controlled territories including Hasakah, Raqqah, Manbij, Ayn al-Arab
(Kobani) and Tal-Abyad in Syria.
U.S. has established a military base near the largest oil field in al-Omar and
Daesh's last fortress Hajjin town in eastern Deir ez-Zour province.
the construction of two more military bases in Qamishli started a few months
ago. When completed, the U.S. will have maintained military presence in 18
locations in the country.
addition, the U.S. is said to have so far supplied YPG/PKK with more than 4,000
truckloads of arms and military materials. Besides, U.S. Special Operation
Forces are providing the group with basic combat and internal and border
US-led coalition has also established radar and missile defense systems in
areas controlled by the YPG/PKK.
anti-Daesh fight to strategic confrontation with Russia, Iran
build-ups of the U.S. indicate that it will not pull out of Syria so soon.
officials including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis have been saying that American
troops would stay in Syria until the conditions are set to prevent Daesh to
regroup and UN-led Geneva process comes up with a political solution for the
is more, just recently White House National Security Advisor John Bolton, in
parallel with the Trump administration's anti-Iran rhetoric, said the U.S.
would not withdraw from the region “as long as Iranian troops are outside
has been suggested by many for a long time that the U.S.'s arms and military
build-ups in Syria and its aid to the YPG/PKK shifted from the fight against
Daesh into a strategic confrontation against Iran and Russia.
recent weeks, Syria has become a battlefield between Iran and Israel. Israel
repeatedly bombed the regime's bases which, it claims, are controlled by Iran.
the failure of the S-125 and S-200 air defense systems used by Bashar al-Assad
regime against Israel and the downing of a Russian reconnaissance aircraft in
the Mediterranean Sea, Russia deployed S-300 missile systems in support of the
U.S. central command Commander Gen. Joseph Votel described Russia's move as a
“needless escalation” of the conflict.
addition, Iran launched missiles on several targets in Syria last week,
claiming to have links with the Ahwaz attack.
Pentagon has called the attacks "reckless, unsafe and escalatory” as they
were not coordinated with the U.S. beforehand.
on all these developments military experts point out that the U.S. has been
dragged into a strategic dead end in Syria, where it intervened conditionally
to fight against Daesh.
strategy loses in long-term
its Syria strategy to a terror group like YPG/PKK in Syria might have some
advantages for Washington in the short run, but it is argued that this approach
will leave it alone in Syria in the long-term.
ambassador James Jeffrey, the recently-appointed U.S. special representative
for Syria, was among those who emphasized the handicaps in cooperating with
YPG/PKK in the long-term.
Washington insists on ignoring the warnings made in this regard, especially by
actions such as displacing Arabs in the areas it has occupied and using
violence against people who oppose to the terror group undermine the U.S.
intimidation by the YPG/PKK led to protests in predominantly Arab areas such as
Raqqah, Manbij and Tal Abyad.
YPG/PKK's treatment of residents, who do not support the organization, was
covered in reports of non-governmental and international organizations such as
Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, and it was highlighted that some
of the YPG/PKK actions might even amount to war crimes.
U.S. officials constantly overlooked the questions about these reports, and
disregard the discomfort the YPG/PKK imposes on residents of the areas it
U.S. for its support to YPG/PKK has lost Turkey’s support in Syria to a
though some diplomatic steps Turkey has taken together with Russia and Iran are
implemented to some extent, the U.S. has yet to implement Manbij deal with its
NATO ally, which has led comments as Ankara’s goodwill towards Washington is
the card the U.S. has against Russia and Iran is its own military force, losing
Turkey due to its support with the YPG/PKK shows that the U.S.’s Syria policy
would fizzle out.
yesterday former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in an interview: “It’s
complete folly to think you’re going to threaten the Syrians or the Russians or
the Iranians into anything because they hold more cards than we do.”
US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned of increased risk of war with Iran
after President Donald Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal, saying
regional leaders had privately pressed the White House to take military action.
withdrawing from the historic accord, Trump has "made it more likely that
there will be conflict in the region because there are people there who would
love to have the United States of America bomb Iran," Kerry told the
Council on Foreign Relations on Friday.
a former senator and presidential candidate, played a key role in negotiations between
Iran, the US and other world powers that led to the signing of the nuclear
deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Under
the accord, Iran undertook to limit its nuclear activities in return for
removal of sanctions.
said that Saudi Arabia's late king Abdullah and Egypt's ousted president Hosni
Mubarak had both told him that the US should attack Iran. Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had also asked then US President Barack Obama for
the green light to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, he said.
May, President Trump pulled the US out of that deal despite warnings from other
signatories and pledged to reinstate tough sanctions against Iran.
UN inspectors had repeatedly declared that Iran was in compliance of the JCPOA,
Trump called the deal a disaster for not addressing other issues including
Iran’s missile program and its rising influence in the region.
have increased between the Trump administration and Kerry, who has criticized
the White House’s approach toward Iran as “ill-advised” and based on no “broad
strategy.” The former diplomat has also accused Trump of “making things up”
angered Trump in May following reports that he had secretly met with world
leaders in a bid to salvage the Iran deal ahead of Trump’s announcement to
withdraw from it.
president has been at loggerheads with Kerry ever since, frequently mocking him
see that John Kerry, the father of the now terminated Iran deal, is thinking of
running for President,” Trump tweeted last month. “I should only be so lucky —
although the field that is currently assembling looks really good — FOR ME!”
Washington's withdrawal, Iran has not left the deal yet, but stressed that the
remaining signatories to the agreement now had to work to offset the negative
impacts of the US pullout if they wanted Tehran to remain in it.
half of Americans think the United States has failed to achieve its goals in
Afghanistan after some 17 years into a war that was supposed to end the rule of
Taliban and resolve the issue of terrorism in the South Asian country, a new
survey released by Pew Research Center on Friday showed that 49 percent of
American adults said Washington had mostly failed in fulfilling its objective
while 35 percent said it had succeeded.
16 percent noted they couldn’t say whether the US has succeeded or failed in
the years-long war.
survey shows little difference compared to its previous iterations in 2014 and
2015, when opinions about the US military mission were similarly more negative
than positive among Americans.
was a different story between 2009 and 2011, however, as most people were
optimistic when asked whether the US would be successful.
Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, around 48 percent of the participants
in the survey said they thought the US has succeeded, compared to 28 percent
among Democrats and Democratic leaning independents.
poll from three years ago under then-President Barack Obama showed similar
numbers but in the opposite order, as 42 percent of Democrats said the US had
succeeded while only 29 percent of Republicans held the same view.
new poll also found that while still most Americans (49 percent versus 35
percent) think the US made the right decision to invade Afghanistan after the
September 11, 2001 attacks, the number had steeply declined over the years.
2006, for example, 69 percent of Americans thought former President George W.
Bush had made the right call by attacking Afghanistan versus 20 percent who
opposed the decision.
this year, US President Donald Trump unveiled a new strategy for Afghanistan
that would prolong the military intervention in the country.
In an unprecedented move, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Issa, secretary-general of the
Muslim World League (MWL), has called on faith leaders to travel to Jerusalem
by launching a “peace caravan” made up of religious messengers who are
independent of any political affiliation.
call was made at the opening of the second Conference on Cultural Rapprochement
between the US and the Muslim World in New York on Oct. 4.
convoy should represent the three religions to visit all the holy places in
Jerusalem. The crisis cannot be tackled except by great influential men powered
with logical wisdom and justice,” Al-Issa said to some 400 US, Jewish,
Christian and Muslim leaders and thinkers.
peace initiative by the head of the Makkah-based MWL followed calls for peace
by Jewish and Christian American religious leaders.
Small, president of the Institute for the Study of Global Antisemitism and
Policy, said the greatest victim of antisemitism in America today are Muslims.
Quoting the Jewish writer and Holocaust survival the late Elie Wiesel, Small
said that “while antisemitism begins with Jews it doesn’t end with Jews.”
Allam, the grand mufti of Egypt, focused on the need for a positive
intervention, saying that he hopes to make a “positive contribution in the
effort to place the foundation of a holistic approach to dialogue.”
president of the Emirates Fatwa Council, Abdallah bin Bayyah, spoke about
religion’s approach to tolerating the other. “We want all religions, and their
adherents, to move from simple acknowledgment of the other to the Qur’anic
calling of coming to know one another.”
is noteworthy that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has regularly called on
Muslims and Arabs who can visit Jerusalem to do so saying that visiting a
prisoner is not legitimizing the jailers, a reference to the suggestion that
such a visit represents normalization with Israel.
tackled the label of extremism in his closing speech on the conference’s first
day. “Great religions are not extreme by nature; and at the same time, there is
no religion that is free of extremists who believe that they solely are
privileged with the absolute truth.”
says it hopes the Israeli regime would exercise ‘good judgment’ on Moscow’s
delivery of S-300 missile defense system to the Syrian government as it will be
followed by “additional steps”.
remarks were made by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin in an
interview with Sputnik on Thursday.
declared that the delivery of the S-300 systems will be followed by additional
steps, but did not provide any further details on the steps.
announced the complete delivery of the missile defense system to the Syrian
army by releasing a video on Tuesday.
decision to deliver the system came after the accidental downing of a Russian
Il-20 reconnaissance aircraft with 15 servicemen on board by Syria’s S-200 air
defense systems which were at the time responding to a wave of Israeli strikes
on state institutions in Latakia.
held Israel responsible for the September 17 incident, saying the regime’s
pilots had intentionally used the Russian plane as cover to conduct air raids,
effectively putting it in the cross hairs of the Syrian air defenses.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said last Sunday that Russia went ahead with the
shipment because "the situation has changed, and it's not our fault."
also said that Russia would start to electronically jam aircraft flying in to
attack targets in Syria. "We are convinced that these measures will calm
down some hotheads and keep them from careless actions which pose a threat to
our troops," Shoigu said.
delivery provoked heavy criticism by the Israeli regime, which considers it a
threat to its illegal airstrikes on Syria, and the US, which believes the
shipment “was a needless escalation.”
Army Gen. Joseph Votel, who oversees US forces in the Middle East, claimed the
deployment appeared to be an effort by Moscow to help shield “nefarious
activities” by Iranian and Syrian forces in the country.
again, I think this is a needless, needless escalation,” Votel told reporters
at the Pentagon on Thursday.
also took a swipe at Iran’s presence in Syria, claiming that countries in the
region “had good reason to be concerned about Iran’s activities in Syria.”
believe they are moving lethal capabilities into Syria that threaten neighbors
in the region,” he said.
comments come as the US is known as a source of arms delivered to terrorists in
Syria. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday that the US has
delivered 19,000 trucks of weapons, ammunition, and military equipment to
an international conference in Istanbul, Erdogan urged the US to stop
supporting terrorist groups in Syria by sending them weapons, warning that
these groups will one day grip the US as well.
has been gripped by militancy caused by multiple factions and groups since
March 2011. The ongoing war, fueled by the support coming from the US and its
regional allies, has so far claimed over 400,000 lives and displaced millions
UN is currently providing aid to some 5.5 million people across the country
each month. However, millions of others have fled to other countries, from
Jordan and Turkey to Europe and the US, causing a so-called ‘refugee crisis’.
the US itself has been a main source of such a tragedy in Syria, it has refused
to admit the refugees coming from the Arab country.
White House said on Thursday few of the refugees the United States plans to
admit next year will come from the Middle East.
Secretary-General of the Muslim World League has taken the unprecedented and
potentially controversial step of urging Muslims to form a delegation alongside
Christians and Jewish religious leaders to visit Jerusalem as a step toward peace.
should send a peace convoy that is representative of all three Abrahamic
religions. They should be Muslim, Christian and Jewish and they should visit
all holy sites,” Muhammad bin Abdul Karim Alissa told Fox News in an interview
Thursday. “They should meet everyone and find common ground, and they should
provide fertile ground to find solutions for peace.”
stressed the delegation should be made up of religious leaders from each of the
three faiths, instead of political figures. “They should be independent of
politics, they should have no political agenda whatsoever. They will be more
influential without a political agenda because they are independent,” he said.
should the delegation be viewed as an effort from any particular nation, Alissa
said. “This visit is not from Saudi Arabia and it should not represent Saudi
Arabia," said the former Saudi justice minister. "It comes from the
Muslim world, the Christian world and the Jewish world. It has no relevance to
any country whatsoever.”
said he sees the prospective meeting in Jerusalem as a step toward what will
some day be a more broad cross-faith acceptance of different faiths. For
example, while Saudi Kingdom itself still only officially recognizes Islam in
its laws, Alssa said “without a doubt” the time will come when all people can
go to any country and openly practice whatever faith they choose.
– an outspoken advocate of “interfaith” dialogue – joined Ronald Lauder,
President of the World Jewish Congress, and other faith leaders at the Muslim
World League’s 2nd Annual “Cultural Rapprochement Between the U.S. and the
Muslim World” summit in New York this week.
chief role of this conference is to keep extremists from taking any advantage
of any intellectual holes that they can use to promote their extremist
ideologies and have the opinions of well-established scholars. The extremists
are not happy with this conference,” Alissa said. “We encourage civilized
dialogue with the United States, and this does not make the extremists happy.
We are here to thwart this extremism."
positions reflect a quiet warming of ties between the Sunni Arab nation and
Israel, who have developed a common - and active - adversary in the region in
Iran. While the two countries have no official diplomatic ties, they have
developed an intelligence-sharing channel. Reports since 2016 have circulated
saying the kingdom had begun altering its attitude toward Israel, and has been
condemning rampant anti-Semitism in other Arab nations.
has also been one of the most prominent Muslim leaders in the region who
recognize the abhorrence of the Holocaust, and has consistently rebuked
is seen as an ally of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salam, who has enacted a series
of reforms since being named heir to the Saudi throne in 2017. Although
controversial – particularly in the area of human rights - the prince's reforms
are part of his “Vision 2030” plan, which includes women now legally able to
drive, the reopening movie theaters, with the goal of ultimately returning the
hardline religious country to “moderate Islam.”
quiet Israeli-Saudi alliance is indeed a product of “common concern with Iran’s
meddling and other destabilizing regional forces,” said Nimrod Novik, former
foreign policy senior advisor to then Israeli President Shimon Peres and a
member of the Executive Committee of Commanders for Israel’s Security (CIS), a
network of 280 retired Israeli generals. “Both sides would like to combine
intelligence and operational capabilities in addressing these challenges,”
Novik told Fox News. “However, given internal and other sensitivities, the
Saudis keep urging Israel to provide political cover for it all by making
progress on the Palestinian issue.”
stressed advancements in Saudi-Israeli relations have proceeded slowly, and are
riddled with complexities.
(AP) — Over the past centuries, the Yazidi community, one of Iraq's oldest
religious minorities, has repeatedly been subjected to brutal attacks leaving
thousands of its members dead. One of their worst subjugations occurred four
years ago with the rise of the extremist Islamic State group.
committed genocide and other crimes against the Yazidi minority in Iraq as
their power in the country peaked in the summer of 2014.
of Yazidi women were captured, taken as sex slaves and subjected to horrific
abuse by the extremists. Some managed to flee, including newly laurelled Nobel
Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad who told the world of the horrors she and her
5,000 Yazidi men were killed by IS when the Sunni militant group took control
of Iraq's northwest four years ago.
3,000 Yazidis still remain missing, most thought to have been killed in the war
that rolled back IS control in Syria and Iraq over the past three years.
isolated religious minority, the Yazidis have been persecuted for centuries.
Many Muslim sects consider them infidels; many Iraqis falsely see them as
worshippers of Satan. They speak Kurdish and their traditions are amalgamated,
borrowing from Christianity, Islam and the ancient Persian religion of
August 2014, IS militants swept into Sinjar, the ancestral homeland of the
Yazidis near the Syrian border, after capturing the northern city of Mosul and
declaring an Islamic caliphate across large areas of Iraq and neighboring
of thousands of Yazidis escaped to Mount Sinjar, where most were eventually
rescued by U.S.-backed Kurdish forces.
November 2015, Kurdish militias with close support of U.S.-led coalition
aircraft, drove IS out of Sinjar.
IS rose to power, the Yazidis were the subjects of one of the deadliest single
attacks after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. On Aug 14, 2007, four suicide
truck bombs targeted Yazidi villages north of the country, killing some 400
people and wounding many more. The attack was carried by out by the Islamic
State in Iraq, IS's predecessor.
Nadia Murad survived the worst cruelties ever inflicted on her people, the
Yazidis of Iraq, before becoming a global champion of their cause and winning
the Nobel Peace Prize.+
Friday, Murad and Congolese doctor Denis Mukwege were jointly awarded the prize
for their "efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of
war," Nobel committee chairwoman Berit Reiss-Andersen said in unveiling
the winners in Oslo.
25-year-old Murad, her thin, pale face framed by her long brown hair, once
lived a quiet life in her village near the mountainous Yazidi stronghold of
Sinjar in northern Iraq, close to the border with Syria.
when the so-called Islamic State jihadist group stormed across swathes of the
two countries in 2014, her fate changed forever and her nightmare began.
day in August that year, pick-up trucks bearing the black flag of the jihadists
swept into her village, Kocho.
fighters set about killing the men, taking children captive to train them as
fighters and condemning thousands of women to a life of forced labour and
Murad and her friend Lamia Haji Bashar, joint recipients of the EU's 2016
Sakharov human rights prize, continue the fight for the 3,000 Yazidis who
remain missing, presumed still in captivity.
fighters wanted "to take our honour, but they lost their honour,"
said Murad, now a United Nations goodwill ambassador for survivors of human
is an evil she personally experienced during a harrowing three months.
being captured by IS fighters, Murad was taken by force to Mosul, the de facto
"capital" of the IS's self-declared caliphate.
her ordeal she was held captive and repeatedly gang-raped, tortured and beaten.
jihadists organised slave markets for selling off the women and girls, and
Yazidi women were forced to renounce their religion.
the jihadists, with their ultra-strict interpretation of Islam, the Yazidis are
seen as heretics.
Kurdish-speaking community follows an ancient religion, revering a single God
and the "leader of the angels", represented by a peacock.
thousands of Yazidis, Murad was forcibly married to a jihadist, beaten and
forced to wear makeup and tight clothes – an experience she later related in
front of the United Nations Security Council.
first thing they did was they forced us to covert to Islam", Murad told
AFP in 2016.
by the violence, Murad set about trying to escape, and managed to flee with the
help of a Muslim family from Mosul.
with false identity papers, she managed to cross the few dozen kilometres
(miles) to Iraqi Kurdistan, joining crowds of other displaced Yazidis in camps.
she learnt that six of her brothers and her mother had been killed.
the help of an organisation that assists Yazidis, she joined her sister in
Germany, where she lives today.
has since dedicated herself to what she calls "our peoples' fight",
before a well-known spokeswoman even before the #MeToo movement swept the
Yezidis numbered around 550,000 in Iraq before 2014, but some 100,000 have
since left the country.
others have fled and remain in Iraqi Kurdistan, reluctant to return to their
traditional lands. Slight, and softly-spoken Murad has now become a global
voice, campaigning for justice for her people and for the acts committed by the
jihadists to be recognised internationally as genocide.
she and the Yazidis have won a high-profile supporter -- Lebanese-British
lawyer and rights activist Amal Clooney, who also penned the foreword to
Murad's book, "The Last Girl", published in 2017.
same year, the UN Security Council committed to helping Iraq gather evidence of
in contrast to all the tragedies that have befallen her, recent pictures on
Murad's Twitter feed show happier times.
August, she announced her engagement to fellow Yazidi activist Abid Shamdeen.
struggle of our people brought us together & we will continue this path
together," she wrote.
US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC)
designated Lebanese businessman Muhammad Abdallah al-Amin who owns seven
companies that are headquartered in Lebanon as a Specially Designated Global
Terrorist (SDGT) and imposed sanctions on him and all his seven companies.
to the Treasury, the companies which Amin owns or runs are: Sierra Gas S.A.L.
Offshore, Lama Foods S.A.R.L., Lama Foods International Offshore S.A.L.,
Impulse S.A.R.L., Impulse International S.A.L. Offshore, M. Marine S.A.L.
Offshore, and Thaingui S.A.L. Offshore.
is Muhammad Abdallah al-Amin?
is a Lebanese businessman and merchant whose father Abdallah is a former Member
of Parliament and minister. Abdallah, who was affiliated with the Baath Party,
was the labor minister in the 1990s.
to the US Treasury, Muhammad al-Amin was sanctioned for covering several of
Hezbollah’s special financial operations and for providing material support to
Hezbollah insider and financier Adham Husayn Tabaja who was sanctioned by the
US on June 6, 2015.
is an Iranian-proxy, and this Administration is focused on exposing and
disrupting its terrorist funding networks. We are exerting extraordinary
pressure on Hezbollah financiers like Tabaja to halt their pernicious
activities in Lebanon and beyond,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the
Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
action should serve as a warning that we will impose consequences on anyone
engaging in business relationships with al-Amin or other Hezbollah support networks.
Treasury has taken more actions against Hezbollah this year than ever before,
and we are fully committed to shutting down this terrorist network.”
kept funds in his name for Tabaja in a Lebanese bank and he was the liaison
between Tabaja and banking officials. Al-Amin also helped Tabaja circumvent the
US sanctions and their repercussions.
Treasury added that al-Amin has also been involved in financial activities with
Muhammad Fallah Kallas who was sanctioned by OFAC on October 20, 2016 because
he provided financial services to or in support of Tabaja through his work for
Tabaja’s company, Al-Inmaa Engineering and Contracting.
Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, in an interview with Bloomberg, in response
to a question regarding Yemen and how he sees the conflict evolving and when it
will end, said: “We hope it will end as
soon as possible. We don’t need that on our border.”
crown prince further added: “But of course, we don’t need to have a new
Hezbollah in the Arabian Peninsula. This is a red line not only for Saudi
Arabia but for the whole world.”
bin Salman stressed: “No one wants to have Hezbollah in a Strait (in reference
to the Strait of Hormuz) through which about 15 percent of the world trade goes
through. We will continue to pressure them. We hope they’ll get ready as soon
as possible to have negotiations and to have a deal,” in reference to the
interview with Bloomberg which took place at the royal palace in the Saudi capital
Riyadh on Wednesday and released late on Friday, touched on a wide range of
to whether the Yemeni conflict had strained Saudi relations with allies like
the UK, crown prince Mohammad bin Salman said: “Mistakes happen in all wars.
Any war mistakes will happen, painful things will happen. We will try to solve
it as soon as possible.”
an interview with Al Arabiya English, Sidi Mohamed Maham, the head of the
Mauritanian Union party for the Republic, criticized the Qatari regime for
accusing his country of fighting Islam and for describing the country’s
president Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz, as a military ruler.
Islamic Republic of Mauritania, known for its contributions to spreading Islam
and promoting Islamic civilization, is now accused of fighting Islam by the
Qatari regime, which has done nothing in this regard. It is ridiculous,” he
Qataris are not a role model to talk about democracies. Qatar is known for
the coups in their government. As for
describing the Mauritanian president as a military ruler, we regard this as an
honor as he exercises his powers as an elected president by the Mauritanian
people in 2014 by an overwhelming majority ,” he added.
Maham stressed that the Mauritanian democracy is rooted in its surroundings,
saying: “Qatar does not have anything to do with either serving Islam or
respecting democracies,” he said.
influence very limited
described Qatar influence in Mauritania as very limited, saying: “Mauritania
is strong. It is not Libya or Syria. It
is governed by a strong regime, and it
is a democratic country where people are free, and all Qatari attempts at
intervention in the country have failed.”
are those who go by Qatar orders in Mauritania
added: “This does not mean that there are no figures who follow the order of
the Qatari regime and carry out its instructions. However, these people cannot
appear openly in front of the Mauritanian people because they are immune to the
climate of freedoms and the democratic process that is entrenched in
Mauritania. All Qatari attempts to meddle in the Mauritanian issues have
failed. there are no political prisoners in Mauritania and freedom of the press
is guaranteed and not confiscated, yet their bad intentions are clear towards
the state of Mauritania.”
of those involved in dealing with Iran and Qatar “possible”
explained that the legal accountability of the figures associated with Qatar
and Iran is possible, noting that: “The President has made clear statements in
this regard and stressed that the issue is under process and when it comes up
for legal prosecution, the government will be strict in this regard and the
judiciary will act.”
to what extent it is possible that the Mauritanian parliament and his party
(ruling party) will submitt a draft law banning and prohibiting those belonging
to the Muslim Brotherhood and demanding the accountability of the figures
involved with Qatar and Iran, Maham said: “Everything is possible and we do not
want to rush the judicial proceedings. It will move in time.”
Egyptian president Muhammad Morsi has declared that he will never recognize
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's coup against him, according to his son
former president was further quoted to have emphasized that his position of
defiance was “out of respect for the Egyptian people and their choices,” the
London-based news site Arabi21 reported on Thursday.
statements were made after Egyptian authorities allowed Morsi’s family to visit
him in a short 25-minute session, being the third such meeting since he was
imprisoned as an aftermath of the coup that was staged on July 3, 2013 by his
then-defense minister Sisi.
country’s first democratically elected president now faces a death sentence and
numerous imprisonment terms on charges of endangering national security,
insulting the judiciary and even espionage cooperation with Hamas, Hezbollah
in March, a panel of UK legislators and attorneys had asserted that Morsi, who
has diabetes and liver disease, is likely to face “premature death” in prison,
due to low poor prison conditions and inhumane treatment.
crackdown on the former Egyptian ruler and his political party, the Muslim
Brotherhood, has sparked widespread outrage around the world as rights
campaigners and governments criticize the Sisi administration for collectively
imprisoning the party's members.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says Riyadh “will pay nothing” to the United
States for the kingdom's “security,” in rebuttal to US President Donald Trump
who recently said King Salman would not last in power “for two weeks” without
US military support.
we will pay nothing for our security. We believe that all the armaments we have
from the United States of America are paid for, it’s not free armament,"
the Saudi crown prince said in a Bloomberg interview conducted on Wednesday and
published on Friday.
made the comments in response to a question whether Riyadh needed to pay
Washington more for its security.
since the relationship started between Saudi Arabia and the United States of
America, we’ve bought everything with money,” he further said, adding that
since Trump came to power, the kingdom decided to purchase over 60 percent of
its needed armament from the US “for the next 10 years.”
33-year-old crown prince went on to say that Saudi Arabia had agreed to buy
$110 billion worth of US weapons and signed investment deals worth billions
more, some “$400 billion” in total, since Trump took office in early 2017, and
described the deals as “a good achievement" for Trump.
included in these agreements are that part of these armaments will be
manufactured in Saudi Arabia, so it will create jobs in America and Saudi
Arabia, good trade, good benefits for both countries and also good economic
growth. Plus, it will help our security,” Bin Salman further noted.
interview came a day after Trump told a cheering crowd of supporters at a rally
in Southaven, Mississippi, that Saudi King Salman would not last in power
unless the US provided military support for the Arab kingdom.
protect Saudi Arabia. Would you say they're rich? And I love the King, King
Salman. But I said 'King — we’re protecting you — you might not be there for
two weeks without us — you have to pay for your military,'”, Trump said.
Saturday, Trump said at a rally in West Virginia that although the Saudis “have
got trillions of dollars”, “we don’t get what we should be getting” from them.
He also stressed that with the support of Washington Saudi Arabia is “totally
safe”, but “without us, who knows what’s going to happen.”
on how he would regard Trump's humiliating and harsh rhetoric against Saudi
Arabia, bin Salman said, "I love working with him," referring to the
controversial remarks as a "bad issue" offset by "99 percent of
good things." His response, however, prompted the interviewer to say that
“it seems to be a little bit more than one percent.”
year, Trump signed the largest arms deal in history with the Arab country
despite warnings that he could be accused of being complicit in the regime's
war crimes in Yemen.
Wednesday, Saudi Arabian Military Industries’ (SAMI) Chief Executive Andreas
Schwer said he expected to finalize the first partnership deals with South
African arms companies by the end of the year, without mentioning the initial
partners by name.
December, Russia said it was working with Saudi Arabia to finalize the
agreement to sell the S-400 Triumf, the latest Russian long-range anti-aircraft
King Salman made a four-day trip to Moscow in March 2017. During the visit,
Russia also agreed to sell Riyadh a Kornet-M anti-armor system, Tos-A1 rocket
launcher, AGS-30 grenade launcher, and Kalashnikov AK-103, according to the
information office of Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical
Saudi Arabia relies heavily on the US in its brutal war on Yemen. Washington
has deployed a commando force on the Arab kingdom’s border with Yemen to help
destroy arms belonging to Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Washington has also provided logistical support and aerial refueling.
A training course in Jeddah this week warned about the danger of children’s
channels targeting society and emphasized the importance of promoting
intellectual security and protecting society from insidious ideologies.
200 media professionals, teachers, and bankers attended the course, which is
part of the global project Qaweem, launched by the Union of News Agencies (UNA)
of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in partnership with the Distance
Learning and Training Co. (DLT).
Al-Moabi, one of the project’s educational experts, warned about the dangers
posed by children’s channels. “International studies concluded that the media
greatly influence the formation of an individual’s culture and behavior,
especially negative behaviors in the lives of children and the youth.”
bin Ali Azhar, DLT chairman and CEO and deputy chairman of the UNA board of
trustees, pointed out that since UNA was established by the late King Faisal
after the attempt to burn down Al-Aqsa Mosque, its mission has been to fight
terrorism, extremist ideologies, and Islamophobia.
said: “As part of our social responsibility toward our country and our role as
a strategic partner of several international organizations, we have launched
courses for fighting intellectual terrorism and extremism at UNA’s training
center to protect society.”
The families of Druze hostages held by Daesh rallied for a third day on Friday
to demand action by the Syrian regime to free them, witnesses said.
terrorists abducted around 30 people — mostly women and children — from the
southwestern province of Sweida in late July during the deadliest attack on
Syria’s Druze community of the seven-year civil war.
Friday, a handful of people gathered for a sit-in at the regime’s provincial
headquarters in Sweida, said a reporter in the city.
protests began on Wednesday, a day after families learned that Daesh had
executed a 25-year-old female captive, said Nour Radwan, the head of news
began protesting to “demand that the government intervene immediately to free
the hostages,” he said.
protester said he was not related to the Druze hostages but had joined the
sit-in to show support.
who are related to them are always here, and there are large numbers that come
in solidarity,” he said, though adding that the numbers were lower on Friday.
demanding the return of the hostages. That’s not a tall order,” he said.
between the regime’s Russian ally and the terrorists for the release of the
Druze captives had stalled, but Radwan said they resumed on the first day of
of the protest on Thursday published online by Sweida24 showed a few dozen men
and women in front of the provincial headquarters.
gathered on the building’s front steps around neatly lined up photographs of
the missing, and a sign that said: “We demand the hostages be returned alive.”
forces have battled Daesh in the volcanic plateau of Tulul Al-Safa in the east
of the province since the July attack.
said the terrorists had demanded $1 million in ransom for each of the 27
hostages, as well as an end to the regime’s offensive against them in Tulul
Al-Safa and the release of 48 wives of Daesh terrorists from regime custody.
the July 25 attack, Daesh killed more than 250 people, most of them civilians,
in a wave of suicide bombings, shootings and stabbings across Sweida province.
kidnapped around 30 people — mostly women and children — at the same time.
August, Daesh executed a 19-year-old male student among the captives.
65-year-old Syrian woman among the hostages also died, with her Daesh captors
telling negotiators she had died of an illness.
swept across large parts of Syria and Iraq in 2014, declaring a “caliphate” in
territory it controlled.
its self-declared state has since crumbled, and in Syria the terrorists have
seen their presence dwindle to parts of the vast desert that stretches from the
capital to the Iraqi border and a small pocket in the Euphrates Valley.
forces are battling to expel the terrorists from that pocket around the town of
Hajjin in the province of Deir Ezzor. The families of Druze hostages held by
Daesh rallied for a third day on Friday to demand action by the Syrian regime
to free them, witnesses said.
the July 25 attack, Daesh killed more than 250 people, most of them civilians, in
a wave of suicide bombings, shootings and stabbings across Sweida province.
mayor of Utrecht city in the Netherlands shut down an anti-Muslim demonstration
late Friday by the far-right Pegida political movement in front of Ulu Mosque.
the demonstration, members of Pegida, or the Patriotic Europeans Against
Islamization of the West, made speeches insulting Islam.
brawl broke out between Pegida members and residents after the speeches and one
university student was injured.
Mayor Jan van Zanen ordered the demonstration to be shut down for security
reasons an hour after it began.
Aydemir, president of the Ulu Mosque Foundation, told Anadolu Agency that
anti-Islam statements by Pegida members led to the provocation of a group of
Muslims and a brawl broke out.
have been living here for 38 years, and this is the first time I have
experienced such an incident,” Aydemir added.
Nobel Peace Prize on Friday was awarded to a Congolese doctor and a Yazidi
former captive of ISIS for their work to highlight and eliminate the use of
sexual violence as a weapon of war.
Mukwege and Nadia Murad “have made a crucial contribution to focusing attention
on, and combating, such war crimes,” the Norwegian Nobel Committee said in its
Mukwege is the helper who has devoted his life to defending these victims.
Nadia Murad is the witness who tells of the abuses perpetrated against herself
has treated thousands of women in Congo, many of whom were victims of gang
rape. Armed men tried to kill him in 2012, forcing him to temporarily leave the
is one of an estimated 3,000 Yazidi girls and women who were victims of rape
and other abuses by the ISIS army. She managed to escape after three months and
chose to speak about her experiences. At the age of 23, she was named the UN’s
first Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking.
2018 prize is worth 9 million Swedish kronor ($1.01 million). Last year’s Nobel
Peace Prize winner was the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
the European Council president Donald Tusk said on twitter: "I
congratulate both winners of this year’s #NobelPeacePrize. They have my deepest
respect for the courage, compassion and humanity they demonstrate in their
president Barham Saleh said: Nobel for Murad is an ‘honour for all Iraqis,”
while the outgoing Iraqi government said: "Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi
congratulates Iraqi citizen Nadia Murad on winning the Nobel Peace Prize."
other Nobel prizes this year, the medicine prize went Monday to James Allison
of the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Tasuku Honjo of
Kyoto University, whose discoveries helped cancer doctors fight many
advanced-stage tumors and save an “untold” numbers of lives.
from the United States, Canada and France shared the physics prize Tuesday for
revolutionizing the use of lasers in research.
Wednesday, three researchers who “harnessed the power of evolution” to produce
enzymes and antibodies that have led to a new best-selling drug won the Nobel
Prize in chemistry.
winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, honoring Alfred Nobel,
the founder of the five Nobel Prizes, will be revealed on Monday.
Nobel literature prize will be awarded this year due to a sex abuse scandal at
the Swedish Academy, which choses the winner. The academy plans to announce
both the 2018 and the 2019 winner next year - although the head of the Nobel
Foundation has said the body must fix its tarnished reputation first.
The European Union is considering trade sanctions on Myanmar over the Rohingya
crisis, potentially stripping the country of tariff-free access to the world's
largest trading bloc, three EU officials said.
sanctions, under discussion at the European Commission, would include Myanmar's
lucrative textile industry and potentially put at risk thousands of jobs there
but would not come into effect immediately, giving the EU leverage to stop what
the West says is ethnic cleansing of Muslim Rohingya.
by triggering a six-month review process on whether to impose trade sanctions,
which could be reversed if Myanmar met humanitarian and democratic targets, the
bloc would mark a significant shift in policy.
impetus for the move was a UN report in August, which accused Myanmar's
military of carrying out killings of Rohingya with "genocidal
intent." That, and the rare US step of putting sanctions on two entire
military units, have put an onus on the European Union to act, officials said.
are concerned about the impact on the population from our potential measures,
but we cannot ignore a UN report describing the military campaign as
genocide," said one EU official of the debate within the European
Commission, the EU executive responsible for the bloc's trade policy.
now, the European Union has imposed travel bans and asset freezes on several
members of the Myanmar military, but has shied away from slapping sanctions on
Myanmar's commander-in-chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, who the United
Nations said should be prosecuted along with five others for genocide and
crimes against humanity.
has rejected the UN findings as "one-sided." It says military action,
which followed militant attacks on security forces in August last year, was a
legitimate counterinsurgency operation.
government spokesman Zaw Htay did not answer telephone calls seeking comment on
the possible EU move on Wednesday (03/10). He said last month he would no
longer speak to the media over the phone, only at a biweekly conference.
officials believe the formal threat of losing tariff-free access would quickly
hit foreign investment in the apparel industry, where European manufacturers
take advantage of relatively low labor costs in Myanmar.
this duty-free access is a measure of last resort, but we must act if other
measures are not delivering," said one EU official involved in the
light of the deteriorating situation on the ground, the Commission is currently
assessing possible ways of escalating its political and economic
response," a Commission source said.
firms sourcing apparel from Myanmar include retailers Adidas, C&A, H&M,
Inditex, Next and Primark.
groups say the targeted EU sanctions so far have not forced the military or
civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi to protect civilians, resettle refugees or
stop attacks on press freedoms that have included the imprisonment of two
Reuters reporters for breaching a law on state secrets.
European Parliament last month called for the Commission to review Myanmar's
the Commission there are differences, with the EU trade chief Cecilia Malmstrom
leaning towards starting the process of imposing trade sanctions while the EU's
top diplomat Federica Mogherini is more cautious because of EU policy to avoid
economic sanctions that can hurt ordinary citizens, the officials said.
President Jean-Claude Juncker has yet to take a position, they said. A Commission
spokesman declined to comment.
exports to the European Union were worth €1.56 billion ($1.81 billion) in 2017,
nearly 10 times their value in 2012, after which the bloc gave Myanmar
"Everything but Arms" trade status.
status means it can sell any goods tariff-free to the bloc, except weapons. The
EU is Myanmar's sixth-largest trading partner and an important source of
foreign direct investment.
clothing industry is its top export earner after oil and gas, generating more
than $2 billion in exports and 450,000 jobs last year, according to the Myanmar
Garment Manufacturers Association.
sanctions would end an economic opening granted to support Myanmar's transition
to democracy after Suu Kyi emerged from 15 years of house arrest under military
rule and led her party to take both the parliament and the presidency.
more limited option for the European Union could be to exempt textiles, an
official said, but given the size of the sector, that would significantly
reduce the impact of EU sanctions. Clothing and footwear are worth more than
three-quarters of Myanmar's exports to the bloc.
the United States and the European Union want to spur economic development to
underpin democracy and diminish China's influence. Crushing the economy with
trade sanctions could allow China to dominate Myanmar, officials said.
imposed sanctions on four military and police commanders and two army units in
August. New sanctions are under consideration for half a dozen other
individuals and at least two military-run businesses, US officials have said.
US State Department report released last week accused Myanmar's military of
waging a "well-planned and coordinated" campaign of mass killings,
gang rapes and other atrocities against the Rohingya, but stopped short of calling
it genocide or crimes against humanity.
State Department officials told Reuters, however, that those findings could be
used to justify further targeted US sanctions or other punitive measures.
appears to be little US appetite, though, for re-imposing broad economic
sanctions lifted by former President Barack Obama as the country shifted from
decades of direct military rule toward a democratic transition.
A man drove a car into a cafe in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin,
injuring several people but there are no indications that the incident is
terrorism-related, German police said on Friday.
to the initial findings of our colleagues on the scene, the driver had health
problems,” Berlin police said on Twitter, giving no further details.
are no signs of terrorism,” a police spokesman said, adding that it was more
likely to have been an accident caused by the driver losing control because he
Authorities in western Germany are apologizing for mistakenly jailing a Syrian
man who died following a fire in his cell after more than two months in
Rhine-Westphalia state’s interior minister, Herbert Reul, said Friday that
police officers failed to check the 26-year-old’s identity carefully enough
when he was arrested in July over an unpaid fine for theft. Authorities were
actually seeking a Malian man who had used the Syrian’s name as a pseudonym.
agency dpa reported that Reul apologized to the man’s family and said “we must
do everything so that a case like this is not repeated.”
Syrian suffered severe burns in a fire that broke out in his cell in
mid-September and died two weeks later. Officials last week said he’d been
Palestinians including a 14-year-old boy were killed by Israeli fire on Friday
on the Gaza border, as clashes erupted with security forces during protests,
the enclave's health ministry said.
Hafez al-Sersawi, 14, and 24-year-old Mahmud Akram Mohammed Abu Samane, both
died after being shot in the chest during demonstrations east of Gaza City,
ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said.
al-Rakab, 28, died after being shot in the head near Khan Yunis in the south of
the Gaza Strip, Qudra said.
further 376 people were wounded, including 126 who had been shot, according to
health ministry figures.
were in a critical condition including a medical volunteer.
did not detail how many of those hurt were shot and how many suffering from the
affects of tear gas.
Israeli military said around 20,000 Palestinians took part in Friday’s protests
at numerous points along the Gaza border, continuing a series of demonstrations
which began in March.
explosives and stones were launched at Israeli soldiers posted behind the
barrier which separates Gaza from Israel, the military said.
forces responded with live fire and an aircraft also carried out two strikes in
Gaza, the military said.
European Parliament has passed a resolution through which it has called for an
urgent ban on all sales of weapons to a Saudi-led coalition which is pressing
ahead a deadly war on Yemen since 2015.
resolution which was passed by show of hands on Thursday also urged all sides
to end the Yemen war which started in 2015 to restore its Saudi-allied former
coalition and the forces loyal to the ex-Yemeni officials “have been accused of
shelling highly populated areas, including hospitals, schools, and other
civilian targets,” the European Parliament said in a statement as published on
MEPs call on all parties to the conflict to cease hostilities immediately,” the
statement added. "They strongly condemn the ongoing violence, attacks on
civilians and demand that independent investigations into alleged human rights
abuses and humanitarian law violations should be carried out.”
resolution backs the United Nations, the European Union, and efforts by member
states to help end the conflict and provide support to those affected by it.
“Only a political, inclusive and negotiated solution to the conflict can
restore peace and preserve the unity [...] of Yemen,” the statement added.
MEP Angela Vallina said the resolution “was directed at certain EU countries
which do not yet respect this measure: for example, the UK, France, Sweden or
and lethal weapons against civilians have been used daily and have already
caused thousands of deaths as well as the suffering of millions more from
extreme famine,” Vallina concluded.
US and the UK back the Saudi-led alliance in its war on Yemen which has killed
more than 15,000 people, providing it with various types of support, including
bombing coordinates, logistical provisions, and aerial refueling.
largest arms suppliers to Riyadh are the US with $8.4 billion worth of sales
since 2014, followed by the UK ($2.6 billion), and France ($475 million).
leaders of Israel and Germany put on a display of unity in Jerusalem on
Thursday, even as the two states continue to grapple with gaping disagreements
over Iran and the Palestinians.
Chancellor Angela Merkel was in Israel for two days of joint government
consultations, the seventh such trip since Israel and Germany established the
tradition a decade ago.
and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared together at a press
conference where they played down their differences. Netanyahu welcomed
European efforts to address Iranian “aggression” in Europe, and Merkel agreed
to prod the Palestinian leader over Israeli claims that he is to blame for the
standstill in peace talks and a worsening situation in the Gaza Strip.
agree on most things, and we disagree on something. So what?” Netanyahu said.
“We have a very strong alliance.”
gingerly addressing the gaps, the sides remain strongly divided over Europe's
support for the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran.
says the deal, which curbed Iran's nuclear program, does not include enough
safeguards to prevent the Islamic Republic from developing a nuclear weapons
capability. Netanyahu lauded President Donald Trump for pulling out of the deal
this year, which Merkel and other world leaders helped negotiate.
has also criticized Europe for moving forward on the Iran deal even as Iran was
accused of terror plots in Europe.
whose rapport with Netanyahu has been cool at times, maintains that Israel will
be best served by keeping the Iranian nuclear deal intact, contradicting
Netanyahu's demand that it be scrapped and stiff sanctions imposed instead.
earlier downplayed differences on Iran, saying the sides were “absolutely in
agreement” on preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear arms, specifying that the
agreement itself was in dispute.
has also continued to champion the traditional approach to Middle East
peacemaking, calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state and for
Israel to refrain from taking unilateral steps, such as settlement
construction, that could undermine peace prospects.
contrast, Trump has largely held off from criticizing Israeli settlement
activity in the West Bank, recognized Jerusalem as its capital and moved the US
Embassy there. He also has cut funding to the Palestinians and fully pinned the
blame for stalled Mideast peace talks on them.
on Thursday the criticism was restrained, with Merkel again advocating for the
establishment of a Palestinian state but agreeing to speak to Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas - following Netanyahu's request - over charges that he
is stymieing any new peace talks and plunging Gaza into greater crisis.
have promised the prime minister that in the aftermath of the German-Israeli
consultations, I will call the Palestinian President [Mahmoud Abbas]. I will
inform him and also ask him some questions which also have to do with the
situation in Gaza,” she said. “I have heard from the prime minister that we
also need to encourage the Palestinian side that they come to the negotiating
table and I will do this.”
has also been among the European countries calling on Israel to refrain from
carrying out its plans to demolish a West Bank hamlet that Israel says was
illegally built. On Thursday, however, she said the issue was “an Israeli
decision” and strongly denied reports that she had threatened to call off the
trip if the demolition went forward.
has offered to resettle the 180 Bedouin Palestinian residents of the Khan
al-Ahmar encampment a few miles (kilometers) away. But Palestinians and their
European backers say the demolition is aimed at displacing Palestinians in
favor of settlement expansion and would deal a devastating blow to hopes for
is Israel's largest trading partner in Europe and for the past few decades has
been perhaps its staunchest supporter.
was established three years after the end of World War II, and the German
government has paid billions in reparations to Holocaust survivors and
positioned itself as a leader in combatting anti-Semitism. Under Merkel, it has
been perhaps Israel's strongest European ally.
began the second day of her trip with an emotional tour of the Yad Vashem
Holocaust memorial and museum.
by Yad Vashem Chairman Avner Shalev, Merkel took special notice of an exhibited
letter that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler sent deployed German soldiers in which he
tried to boost their morale by saying they were fighting “a war of existence, a
war against communism and its perpetrators, the Jews.”
then participated in a memorial ceremony for the 6 million victims of the
Jews in Germany suffered from hatred and violence that the world did not know
was possible,” she wrote in the memorial's guest book. “What came later is a
crime that has no equal - the teardown of civilization - the Holocaust.”
there, she went to a different ceremony in Jerusalem where she was granted an
honorary doctorate from Haifa University and answered questions from local
students. She also met Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and toured an innovation
exhibit of Israeli and German companies with Netanyahu.
was accompanied by much of her Cabinet, a large business delegation and a new official
in charge of combatting anti-Semitism. The visit focused on economic issues,
with an emphasis on innovation, technology and development projects.
the latest of the pro-Iranian Houthi militias’ crimes against humanity and the
Yemeni people, a brutal missile attack by the militias targeting displaced
Yemenis in Bani Jaber camp in Hodeidah, left one woman dead and several others
camp is under the supervision of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief
Centre, known as KSRelief.
a statement, KSRelief condemned the attack, saying such actions revealed the
Houthi militias’ blatant disregard for the principles of human rights and
international humanitarian law.
Humanitarian center called on the United Nations and its organizations to stand
firmly against the attack, which they said was meant to prevent humanitarian
aid from reaching the camp’s displaced residents.
will come out victorious from the economic and military war led by the regime
in Riyadh against their nation, says the chairman of the Supreme Revolutionary
Committee of Yemen, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi.
during a protest in Sana’a on Friday, Houthi said, “We are with the honorable
peace.” The Yemeni people, he stated, will defeat the "tyrants" of
also welcomed the European Union’s stance against the war in Yemen, saying the
Yemeni people will stand beside whoever wants to stop the aggression.
European Parliament on Thursday passed a resolution through which it has called
for an urgent ban on all sales of weapons to a Saudi-led coalition which is
pressing ahead with a deadly war on Yemen since 2015.
resolution, which was passed by show of hands, also urged all sides to end the
Yemen war, which started to restore its Saudi-allied former authorities.
to the deterioration of the Yemeni rial, the Houthi official said the stability
of the country’s currency would be achieved after the aggressors change their
decision to transfer the Central Bank from Sana’a to Aden.
protests also took place in the northwestern city of Sa’ada, with the
participants chanting slogans in condemnation of the Saudi economic war on
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a deadly military campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Yemen’s
former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, back to power.
aggression has killed some 15,000 people and injured thousands. More than 2,200
others have died of cholera and the crisis has triggered what the United
Nations has described as the world's worst humanitarian disaster.
Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire and hundreds more have sustained
injuries at anti-occupation rallies along the border between the besieged Gaza
Strip and Israeli-occupied territories.
Friday evening, the Palestinian protesters threw rocks from behind clouds of
black smoke of burning tires at Israeli troops, who responded with tear gas and
spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health, Ashraf al-Qidra, said in a statement
that 12-year-old Faris Hafez al-Sarasawi and Mahmoud Akram Abu Sama'an, 24,
were fatally shot during “The Great March of Return” protests east of Gaza
Fathi al-Raqab, 28, succumbed also to his Israeli-inflicted gunshot wounds at
the Nasser Medical Complex. He had been shot and injured during a demonstrators
east of the city of Khan Yunis, located about 25 kilometers south of Gaza City.
statement added that another 376 protesters were also injured. A total of 192
demonstrators were admitted to hospitals and medical centers across Gaza Strip
to receive medical treatment.
further noted that 126 people were struck with live bullets. Seven wounded
protesters are said to be in a critical condition in hospital.
went on to say that Israeli military forces directly targeted a Palestinian ambulance
with a gas grenade east of Gaza, without causing any casualties.
Mohammed Hazem al-Masri suffered injuries when a tear gas canister hit him in
the head east of Jabalia refugee camp.
200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces ever since anti-occupation
protest rallies began in the Gaza Strip on March 30. Over 21,600 Palestinians
have also sustained injuries.
Gaza clashes reached their peak on May 14, on the eve of the 70th anniversary
of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), which coincided this year with the US
embassy relocation from Tel Aviv to occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds.
June 13, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, sponsored by
Turkey and Algeria, condemning Israel for Palestinian civilian deaths in the
resolution, which had been put forward on behalf of Arab and Muslim countries,
garnered a strong majority of 120 votes in the 193-member assembly, with 8
votes against and 45 abstentions.
resolution called on UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres to make proposals
within 60 days “on ways and means for ensuring the safety, protection, and
well-being of the Palestinian civilian population under Israeli occupation,”
including “recommendations regarding an international protection mechanism.”
deadlock’ blamed for delay in Mideast peace plan
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has been sidelined, isolated and humiliated
by the US administration. But the embattled Palestinian leader may have the
final say in determining the fate of the White House’s long-awaited vision for
recent weeks, Abbas has thwarted a series of internationally backed initiatives
aimed at rehabilitating the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
Gaza expected to be the centerpiece of the US peace plan, Abbas has given
himself a virtual veto over the expected American initiative. The deadlock over
Gaza appears to be a key reason behind the repeated delays in unveiling the
US is trying to use the humanitarian situation in Gaza as a tool to implement
its plan,” said Mohammed Ishtayeh, a top Palestinian official.
say that Gaza is an integral part of the Palestinian lands, and solving the
problems of Gaza should be in the context of a broad political framework.”
all of its talk about bringing a new approach to Middle East diplomacy, the
Trump White House is running into a familiar obstacle that has confounded its
predecessors and the international community for over a decade: The Hamas
militant group’s continued control over Gaza.
American refusal to work with Hamas, which it brands a terrorist group, and its
inability to oust it, has made it virtually impossible to move forward on the
diplomatic front — a weakness that Abbas now appears to be exploiting.
has two main concerns. First, he fears that any interim cease-fire deal in Gaza
will deepen Hamas’ control over the territory.
after Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his attacks on
the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, Abbas fears the US is trying to remove
sensitive issues from the negotiating agenda. For him, Gaza is the last
obstacle preventing the US from forcing what he sees as an unacceptable plan on
is left for this administration to give to the Palestinian people? Humanitarian
solutions?” Abbas said in an address to the UN General Assembly last week.
a militant group that opposes Israel’s existence, seized control of Gaza from
Abbas’ forces in 2007. Despite three wars with Israel, an Israeli-Egyptian
blockade that has devastated the economy and international isolation, Hamas
remains firmly in control.
says there can be no progress on the diplomatic front until he regains control
of Gaza. Attempts to reconcile with Hamas have repeatedly failed, leaving the
Palestinians divided between rival governments in the West Bank and Gaza.
seeks an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East
Jerusalem — areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. The two-state
solution has widespread international support.
since taking office, President Donald Trump’s Mideast team, led by his
son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, has backed away from the two-state
solution. Although the Trump team has refused to reveal details of its plan,
the Palestinians fear the US is plotting to impose a “mini state” that would
consist of Gaza and only small pieces of the West Bank.
senior Palestinian officials confirmed that Abbas has been working behind the
scenes to scuttle UN and Egyptian attempts to forge a cease-fire between Israel
and Hamas or to carry out large infrastructure projects that would bring relief
to Gaza’s beleaguered population.
the officially recognized Palestinian representative, Abbas’ government
continues to coordinate the movement of goods through Israeli-controlled
crossings into Gaza. This has given him the ability to block large-scale
projects, even when approved by Israel.
which has come under fierce international criticism over Gaza’s dire state, has
in recent days seized on Abbas’ moves, perhaps to deflect attention from its
Thursday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused Abbas of “choking”
Gaza, warning it could “lead to very difficult consequences.”
Palestinian officials also said Abbas has relayed messages to the US through
his Arab allies that there can be no peace plan that excludes him from Gaza.
officials said Abbas fears various plans under consideration will end up
entrenching Hamas and freezing him out of Gaza.
believes there can be no significant progress in Gaza without a reconciliation
deal that brings him back to power in the territory. The talks have repeatedly
broken down over Hamas’ refusal to disarm.
week, another set of Egyptian-brokered talks ended inconclusively, according to
people close to the talks.
yesterday, we did not reach any result worth mentioning,” said Mahmoud Zahar, a
senior Hamas official in Gaza.
accused Abbas of taking “retaliatory” action against the people of Gaza.
has taken a series of measures against the territory, slashing the salaries of
thousands of former government workers in Gaza and cutting fuel subsidies to
pay for electricity, all in an effort to step up pressure on Hamas.
measures, combined with the decade-long blockade, have sent Gaza’s economy into
freefall. The increasingly desperate Hamas has stepped up mass protests along
the Israeli border in hopes of pressuring Israel to ease the blockade. Nearly
150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire, yet Israel shows no signs of
lifting the closure.
his address to the UN General Assembly last week, Abbas threatened to tighten
the screws even harder, warning he could not “bear any responsibility” for Gaza
if the deadlock with Hamas continues.
the same time, Israel and international donor nations were meeting on the
sidelines of the assembly to discuss ways to improve conditions in Gaza.
talks, like similar meetings in recent months, ended inconclusively.
Greenblatt, the White House’s Mideast envoy, blamed Hamas for the dire
conditions in Gaza and said the US. “will not fund a situation that empowers
he also voiced frustration with Abbas, urging other countries to be “direct and
frank” in pushing the Palestinian Authority to forge a “new, sustainable path.”
Gaza conundrum is just the latest obstacle for the US peace plan.
Palestinians cut off ties with the White House after Trump declared Jerusalem
to be Israel’s capital and moved the US Embassy there.
Trump administration has also cut hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to the
Palestinians, including $300 million for the UN agency for Palestinian
refugees, and shuttered the Palestinians’ diplomatic mission in Washington.
the US of being unfairly biased toward Israel, Abbas has already said he will
not consider the American peace plan.
acknowledged the challenge ahead at the donor meeting. Refusing to say when his
plan would be released, he pleaded for all sides to consider the proposal.
Arab coalition jets killed around 50 Houthi militants in raids in Lahij and
Al-Baydah provinces in southern and central Yemen, Saudi state-news channel
military official said that the raids targeted the Houthi militia in Jabal
Al-Madwar, which has a strategic view of the highway linking Lahij and southern
Taiz, killing 30 militants.
at least 17 Houthis were killed in clashes along Al-Baydah while trying to
infiltrate Yemeni army positions.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would consider putting Turkey’s
long-stalled bid to join the EU to a referendum, signalling exasperation with a
process he says has been waylaid by prejudice against Muslims.
direct vote on whether to continue Turkey’s candidacy for EU membership could
potentially end Ankara’s negotiations for accession, which formally began in
2005, and increase its distance from the West.
countries, particularly Germany, have been critical of Turkey and Erdogan in
the aftermath of an attempted coup in 2016. The sweeping security crackdown
that followed the failed putsch has seen more than 100,000 people jailed and
dozens of media outlets shut down. Erdogan has fumed over what he sees as a
lack of support from the West.
is 2018 and they (the EU) are still keeping us waiting,” Erdogan said at a
forum in Istanbul.
is for us to go to 81 million people and see what decision the 81 million
people give,” he said, referring to Turkey’s electorate.
said that if the decision to hold a referendum were taken, measures could be
put it on the table with colleagues and discuss it as party chairman and after
that, the moment one has said ‘ok’ we will immediately take our step,” he said.
are European countries where they squeeze two or three referendums into one
year. Actually, one has to get used to referendums.”
has long accused EU member states of harboring anti-Muslim sentiment, saying
that the bloc is uneasy at the prospect of having a majority Muslim country as
Jordanian government said the two sons of slain former Yemeni president Ali
Abdullah Saleh did not enter Amman, but rather left to a third country via the
a statement issued by the Jordanian foreign ministry, it said that Salah and
Moudin, sons of Saleh, left in the UN plane from Yemen’s Sanaa to Amman in
Jordan and stayed in the transit area for an hour, before continuing their
flight to a third country.
ministry did not name the third country.
Arab coalition supporting the legitimate Yemeni government played a major role
on Thursday, by facilitating and securing the safe transfer of the Saleh’s
sons, who were detained since December 2017 by the pro-Iranian Houthi militias.
(Reuters) - Nigeria’s main opposition party, which this weekend selects its
candidate to challenge President Muhammadu Buhari in an election in February,
is aiming to make his northwestern power base a main battleground in the
do so, however, it needs to secure the backing of powerful figures in the
northwest and to ensure the party does not fracture over its choice of
candidate, analysts said.
of the 13 candidates for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) nomination
defected from Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in recent months.
have ties with states in the northwest, mostly as current or past governors,
bolstering the party in a traditional Buhari stronghold.
stake in the primary election is the chance to face him in a presidential
contest which will determine who controls a country that is Africa’s top oil
producer, has one of the continent’s biggest economies, and plays a key role in
regional wars against Islamist insurgents.
northwest, the most densely populated region in the country of 190 million
people, is shaping up to take center stage in the race.
past elections, Buhari got almost half of his vote from the northwest and the
region will be even more important this time,” said Malte Liewerscheidt, West
Africa analyst at Teneo Intelligence.
lot of people from other regions who voted for Buhari first-time in 2015 are
likely to turn their back on him.”
region is traditionally the center of the Muslim voter base as Nigeria’s three
most senior Islamic leaders - the sultan of Sokoto, the emir of Kano and the
emir of Gwando - are based there.
a northern Muslim, who won the 2015 election at the fourth attempt, took 1.9
million votes in Kano state compared to 215,779 secured by Goodluck Jonathan, a
unofficial agreement aimed at rotating power between the mainly Muslim north
and mostly Christian south, means a northern candidate is likely to be selected
by the opposition.
northerners in the primary contest include the governor of northwestern Sokoto
state Aminu Tambuwal, former Kano governor Ibrahim Shekarau, ex-Kaduna governor
Ahmed Makarfi, and former Sokoto governor Attahiru Bafarawa.
that the PDP remains united, this could put them back on the map in the
northwest, a region where the party scored on average merely 16 percent in
2015,” Teneo’s Liewerscheidt said.
national publicity secretary Kola Ologbondiyan dismissed the suggestion that
supporters of unsuccessful candidates may not back the person selected.
are all going to work together to ensure the victory of our candidate,” he
dent in Buhari’s popularity can largely be attributed to the economy.
entered its first recession in 25 years in 2016, mainly caused by lower oil
prices and attacks in the Niger Delta crude production region.
emerged from recession early last year but growth remains sluggish and
inflation has remained high, above the central bank’s single digit target
impact of the economic downturn of recent years is, for some on the streets of
the north’s commercial hub Kano, a reason to reject Buhari.
went back under Buhari, there’s no progress or development,” said Yusuf Yakubu,
who left Buhari’s party in June 2017 and joined the PDP.
you go to the market, the traders will tell you the economy has collapsed under
this administration. There is really nothing Kano can hold up and say ‘This is
how we’ve benefited under Buhari’,” he said.
many others on the streets of the city felt that the president, who is from the
neighboring state of Katsina, should be given a second term.
government has issued a sharp "no" to the candidacy of a high-level
al-Shabab defector for a regional presidency.
statement by the internal security ministry says Mukhtar Robow is not eligible
to run for the leadership of the South West region because he is still under
is the highest-ranking official to have ever quit the al-Qaeda-linked
al-Shabaab. He surrendered to the government last year after the United States
cancelled a $5 million reward offered for his capture.
announced his candidacy for the regional presidency this week.
caused a minor sensation shortly after the massive truck bombing in Mogadishu a
year ago when photos showed him donating blood for victims. He also called the
bombing that killed well over 500 people an "irreligious" and
Nations Youth League, BNYL on Friday alleged that Miyetti Allah and Boko Haram
members control all arms of government and the military.
made the allegation while insisting that Miyetti Allah was plotting to “impose
their loyalists” on the people of the South East.
body was faulting the call by the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, that
election should be boycotted in the South East, come 2019.
statement signed and sent to DAILY POST by BNYL leader, Princewill Chimezie
Richard said the “leadership of the movement met in Calabar on the 28 September
where they insisted that the people of the South-South and South East will
participate in the general election.”
warned people of the South East and South South of the consequences of the
election and the boycott of consensus in the region.
said, “It is wrong to tell our people to boycott election, census and every
political activity in the South East and South South.
preaching boycott are they ready to occupy the Government Houses and political
offices in the East because I don’t see any sense after boycotting a Fulani
loyalist will take over all political structures and use that to intimidate our
not embark on actions that will expose to public ridicule. Biafra itself is
part of Political activities because it involves political emancipation”.
IPOB’s proposed referendum for November, BNYL said, “They should know that
referendum does not work without being politically and economically in control
of your land.
many Biafra loyalists are in authority, but you have the Miyetti Allah and Boko
Haram in Government offices and they are in control of the Military, this
struggle is far beyond agitations.
Allah are warming up to impose their loyalists on us in our region, and our
boycott will only pave way for that, and when that happens we should expect
more Python Dance.
can push those who are hindrances to our cause aside and bring fresh blood in
using every means, we cannot boycott the political class in this struggle”.
also said that even if the Igbos decide to boycott the election, the
South-South are yet to be convinced as to what benefit will it add to the
in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa speaks about the
need for reforms in the governance of religious affairs of Islam and
label do you give yourself as a Muslim?
am a Muslim who wants to live with my faith, practise what my religion taught
me in a contemporary world with dynamic changes and adapt myself to the
surroundings. Being a Muslim politician, I am in a bigger framework committed to
my faith, but that will never stop me from being a citizen to the country and
to the world.
you a conservative, a liberal, an extremist or someone who just calls himself a
kind of Islam does the Pakatan Harapan government intend to practise?
one is to protect freedom of belief and faith, and also to respect others as
long as it is not against the law, as enshrined in our constitution.
government has a narrative on how Islam is presented to the people – what we
call the “compassionate Islam” or rahmatan lil alamin (compassion for all)
because this dictates you to be inclusive.
two is to be compassionate and number three is to be progressive.
talk about rahmatan lil alamin and inclusivity. Are you talking about both Muslims
3 states that Islam is the official religion of the Federation and in the same
article, all faiths are free to practise.
do not think myself as being isolated in that big frame or that I do not relate
to other faiths.
practise freedom and being a Muslim, you have to also protect other people’s
freedoms. I am committed to protecting the freedom of other faiths.
the Barisan Nasional era, your portfolio was seen as a moral guardian. Do you
intend to keep to that role?
would have two categories of your moral issues. One is the personal sphere,
which is individual, and the other is your public sphere.
believe that in every religion, there is a moral principle. Where governance is
concerned, we clearly define the line between the personal sphere and the
say you commit something within your personal, individual sphere, I do not
interfere, although it could be to my standard that is wrong.
concern is when those personal spheres encroach into the public spheres, where
there is then a concern of sensitivity, legality or criminality. Then the
government comes in, not because we want to be a moral police but because we
want to secure the public sphere.
you are talking about moral policing, you are talking about interfering with
the private sphere, which we do not intend to do.
say someone commits adultery behind closed doors, which is khalwat. Now your
officers can break down the door and arrest them. Will this change?
would advise all agencies under me, especially the enforcement officers, to not
interfere with the personal sphere. This issue of enforcement of what you call
khalwat has been misused – not all of it, but there have been times where it
has been exploited and misused.
enforcement of khalwat falls within the state judiciary and is not exactly
under my jurisdiction, but we can have a platform where we meet all state
directors of departments of Islamic affairs and share the concerns of the
federal government on these issues.
have inherited a ministry of people who have always seen themselves as moral
guardians of Muslims. How are you going to change the mindsets of these
have taken serious measures in reforming the so-called “moral policing” of the
Big Brother who watches everything – what you do in your room and whether you
are being a good Muslim in your house.
have already made inroads to implementing a policy in all the federal and state
Islamic administration agencies under my jurisdiction, where all agencies,
especially the Department of Islamic Development of Malaysia (Jakim), will
adopt compassionate Islam, discussing how it can be implemented and
will not be easy. There will be people who resent these ideas, even among the
administrators. I tell them, “You might have your own interpretations, but you
should respect the policy we are embarking on today.”
are you going to do away with 60 years’ cultural ideas that the Muslim man has
the last say over Muslim women who make the majority?
example, when you talk about child marriage, you will have different views. The
views that affect the public is of the muftis’ - they have their own views and
could be more powerful than even the minister and even the Prime Minister. They
have influence. Then again, you also have different parties who can help you to
get your ideas across, for example, the royals or the King. I would have to
talk to them because the muftis are under them, using all the interest parties
to reduce the tension between opposing ideas and opinions about Islam from
influential figures. I resort to discussion and consultation, but at the end of
the day, I am the government, I am not a mufti. I don’t just issue edicts -
this is haram or this is halal or this is sinful. I have to bring it to the
parliament for discussion. In the end, I might even take a stand which is
against the fatwa but within the light of the bigger interest which is being
provided by the syariah.
bound by state laws, the royalties, the muftis, the religious and cultural
beliefs, are you a toothless tiger with an advisory role?
with people does not mean we are weak. Before I make a decision, I have to
respect the process. I can resort to something more drastic – okay, child
marriage at 18, finish! – I may have strong opinions but being a minister, I
have to take an exit clause.
is the exit clause?
someone marries before they turn 18, is that a crime? If it is, how would you
separate the couple and protect the welfare of the child?
would say, “You are too slow, you don’t want to do it because of the backlash.”
It is not about that. If they are married without the proper permission, how
would you face this?
these consultations are ongoing, child marriages continue to happen. What do
you do then?
had only been in office for one month when the child marriage case in Jeli came
up. I told them we needed an impromptu SOP now because if you want to enact the
law or amend a law, it would take months.
ordered the Department of Syariah Judiciary of Malaysia to come up with it
(SOP) as soon as possible since I have the authority. We told all judges that
in cases of underage marriage, they should follow the SOP.
we were doing the firefighting, another case happened in Tumpat. We found that
the judge did not follow the SOP. So, that was not our fault as we had taken
about the issue of tahfiz (religious schools) where they have to be registered
under you and many sexual offences have taken place?
the one in Kepong (where the teacher sexually abused the students), I had to go
down and look at it. I said the school should be closed. While I do not have
the power to close any tahfiz, we do have another alternative.
have Kuala Lumpur City Hall and the fire department, where they can close down
premises that are not properly registered. I then called all the interested
parties and law officers – do something. We will amend the Administration of
Islamic Laws (Federal Territories) Act 1993 involving the administration of
religious schools, not only to control them but also to shut them down.
you going to look at all tahfiz in the country or wait for cases to happen?
are many tahfiz which are not registered with us but we can’t stop them because
I don’t have the power. Then, there is the issue of ignorance of the law.
is the issue of state authority. They say I am already registered with the
state authority and they are not obliged to follow the Federal curriculum. In
the longer term, we are not just looking at the law, we are also looking at the
curriculum to produce integrated tahfiz graduates. Under Jakim’s Darul Quran,
we tie up with universities to enable them to get their degrees.
is your stand on the caning of women and the syariah courts’ tendency to punish
sexual offenders and disadvantaged people?
the case of musahaqah (sexual relations between women) in Terengganu – the
Cabinet discussed it seriously and the Prime Minister had a strong opinion on
it. I have been asked to deliberate. We cannot be seen to be interfering with
as the federal government, we do have a strong opinion on this. The caning
in a more compassionate manner with mitigation factors: is he or she a
first-time offender? Do you have to take extreme measures?
have another looming case of the possible caning of the single mother caught
for prostitution. How are you going to influence these syariah judges?
is not really totally up to the judges – they have to follow the procedures of
the court. We might need more intensive training for the judges, to see that
their judgments will reflect the perception of Islam. I also feel bad that the
states were are competing with one another. In Terengganu, hundreds turned up
to watch the two women. Then, Kelantan said we want to do it in the stadium and
then Pahang said we also want to do it publicly. The whole thing is hijacked
into something where punishment in Islam is about competing and who gets more
witnesses in caning the offender. Where is the rahmah? Where is the compassion?
Where is the justice?
are you going to reform the hardened judges in the syariah courts – who may
argue this is written in the Quran and books of Islam?
is only one way to do it – confront it, debate it with these people. This is
Islam, there is nothing that is not Islam here. So, debate, talk and discuss.
have to get them on a platform with their ideas and opinions. At the end of the
day, you have to put your foot down where you want the new policy, set an
agenda and have a timeline. We have the bigger society supporting us. By
concurrently doing this, we will have a reformed Islamic administration.
LUMPUR, Oct 6 — The federal police’s counter-terrorism division arrested seven
foreigners and one Malaysian late last month on suspicion of planning to
destabilise the local democracy and spreading religious extremism.
to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Mohd Fuzi Harun, early investigations
showed the suspects planned to instill views that trousers, tertiary education
in non-religious institutions, and workplaces without gender segregation to all
be haram or forbidden in Islam.
investigations by police and shared information with foreign intelligence
agencies revealed that the foreigners have links to a madrasah in Dammaj, Yemen
that was founded by Syeikh Muqbil Hadi Al Wadi’i, an extremist Salafi jihadist.
madrasah in Yemen is a stronghold of the Salafi jihadist ideology that permits
the killing of non-Muslims as well as Muslims not aligned with them and
consequently deemed unbelievers; it also labelled democracy as Thoghut (against
Allah’s law),” he said in a statement.
the group arrested, the IGP said six foreigners — one from the Americas and
five from Europe — were picked up from a religious centre in Perlis. One
suspect is believed to have undergone weapons training in Yemen, but all are
believed to be linked to the Islamic State group.
Middle Easterner was also arrested in Kuala Lumpur, also at a religious centre
where he is believed to have been spreading extremist ideology to Klang Valley
Malaysian was detained in Muar, Johor, where he worked as a trader. The suspect is an alumni of the
religious school in Perlis where the six above were arrested.
the arrests were made on September 24.
is not the first time foreign Salafi jihadist elements have used Malaysia as a
launchpad to spread the ideology and recruit new members.
modus operandi was used by Abdullah Sungkar and Abu Bakar Bashir, leaders of
the Jemaah Islamiah terrorist group to infiltrate Malaysia in 1985 and form
Islamic centres in Negri Sembilan and Johor to spread the ideology,” Mohd Fuzi
JAYA, Oct 6 — The Pakatan Harapan government will shun enforcement seen as
moral policing for areas under its jurisdiction and will instead pursue a
policy of “compassionate Islam”, said Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa.
minister in the Prime Minister’s Department who is in charge of Islamic affairs
told The Star in an interview that the government has no intention to interfere
in Malaysians’ private lives and will focus instead on matters that affect
say you commit something within your personal, individual sphere — I will not
example, consumption of alcohol is wrong for a Muslim, but if you consume it
within your sphere, then as part of the government, I will not interfere,” he
said in the interview.
minister said his attention will only be drawn by matters that appear in the
public sphere and which have implications on any community’s sensitivities, are
of questionable legality, or outright criminal.
of these, he pledged that the authorities will not intervene.
minister said he has advised all agencies under his purview to avoid
enforcement on matters that occur in the privacy of Malaysians’ homes.
include the controversial khalwat or close proximity enforcement, which he said
was open to abuse and exploitation.
enforcement of khalwat falls within the states’ jurisdictions and it is not
exactly under my jurisdiction, but we can have a platform where we meet all
state directors of departments of Islamic affairs and share the concerns of the
federal government on these issues,” he said.
said the government is pursuing the ideology of “rahmatan lil alamin” or
compassionate Islam, which he described as progressive and respectful of
others’ beliefs and freedoms.
Mujahid conceded that this planned shift will face resistance from the the
religiously conservative, especially among the civil servants whose work it is
to enforce Islamic law.
new government intends to rein in the country's most powerful Islamic agency
and its huge financial budget, but needs to tread carefully so as not to offend
the country's Muslim majority.
move to review and reform the work of the Malaysian Islamic Development
Department (Jakim) is part of sweeping moves taken by Prime Minister Mahathir
Mohamad's government, with top changes at several government agencies and
companies, and with their budgets under scrutiny.
the government needs to tackle Jakim with tact, observers say, as many
Malaysian Muslims see it as a key agency that looks after their interests, even
as there is some suspicion in the community that the month-old Pakatan Harapan
(PH) government might water down Malay-Muslim rights.
trains teachers who work in mosques and Islamic institutions, prepares the
weekly Friday sermons in Malaysia, ensures that food outlets serve halal dishes
with its certification, and streamlines Islamic family laws among the 13 states
and three federal territories, among other things.
and its unit, the Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi), were allocated
RM1.03 billion (S$348 million) in funds by the Najib Razak administration in
the 2018 Budget, with RM810.9 million alone for Jakim, an increase of 8.8 per
cent from last year.
November 2015, in response to public questions over its large budget, then
Deputy Minister in charge of Islamic Affairs Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki highlighted
another role played by Jakim - to protect the religion from "radical
ideologies". He said: "The Islamic State (in Iraq and Syria),
liberalism and pluralism such as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
(lifestyles) are the examples of radical ideologies which belittle the
the agency's critics, Jakim is a hotbed of conservatives who barely tolerate
the rights of "liberal" Muslims and non-Muslims.
Dr Mahathir said last month that the review would determine if Islam was being
portrayed by Jakim as a "cruel, harsh and unreasonable religion".
is actually not Islam. We seem to be thinking up ways, which are not Islamic,
in order to show that Islam is a religion that is harsh in its implementation.
We seem to prefer force, as opposed to Quranic teachings, which say there is no
compulsion in Islam," he added.
idea of a review of the Islamic body has received condemnation from
conservative Malay Muslims. Some have warned that any attempt to touch Jakim
will anger the Malay majority, spelling trouble for Dr Mahathir's government.
There is even speculation that Jakim might be shut down.
Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia newspaper wrote: "The question of shutting down
Jakim should not exist in PH's vocabulary even if pressured by others. Instead,
religious institutions like Jakim should be upheld to protect the Muslim
community's interests." How PH frames the fight to trim Jakim's powers
could determine how many Malay voters who chose Malay opposition parties Umno
or Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) at last month's polls would switch to the new
government at the next polls.
Merdeka Center estimated that the four-party PH attracted 25 per cent to 30 per
cent of Malay votes in the May 9 general election, against 35 per cent to 40
per cent who voted for Barisan Nasional, and 30 per cent to 33 per cent who
has made the news in recent years for the wrong reasons, giving the impression
it is run by overzealous officials. Last year, one of its officers angered
Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar after he criticised the ruler's decree to
close down a launderette in Muar that would accept only Muslim customers.
2016, fast-food chain A&W had to change the name of its "Coney Dog"
hot dog to "Chicken Coney" or "Beef Coney" to apply for
halal certification, which Jakim controls.
Ulema Council, the top Islamic clerical organization, has established its own
counter-terrorism division in a bid to prevent extremist radicalization of
aims to do so in collaboration with schools, tertiary institutions and
academics as well as government bodies such as the National Agency for
Tauhid Sa'adi, deputy chairman of the Ulema Council, said the Islamic
counter-terrorism division is a follow-up to an ad hoc team established with
the same aim in 2003.
emphasis would continue to be on imparting a "true understanding" of
Islam, particularly among youth, as well as addressing intolerance, extremism
new agency intends to publicize the dangers of false information and hoaxes
propagated through social media platforms.
our young generation uses smartphones and because of that they are highly
exposed to hoaxes," Sa'adi said. "If they are not equipped with
knowledge to filter out false information, they will be easily influenced by
are to be used to disseminate facts and promote social cohesion.
21, a Muslim youth, said he would welcome help to "decipher
information" on the internet, not least material aimed at sowing
Antonius Benny Susetyo, a member of a presidential task force involved in
promoting national unity, praised the Ulema Council for establishing the new
agency. He said it is very important to prevent the manipulation of religion to
foment extremism. Al Chaidar, a terrorism expert from Malikussaleh University
in Aceh province, said he expected that the Ulema Council would issue fatwas
(Islamic pronouncements) against terrorism.
cautioned that the new Islamic counter-terrorism agency would only be effective
if it developed a clear action program.
JAYA: The caning of a single mother who was guilty of prostitution has given a
bad impression of Islam, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
Wan Azizah, who is Deputy Prime Minister and Women, Family and Community
Development Minister, reiterated that Islam is not a cruel religion that metes
out heavy punishment and humiliate others.
officers from the Welfare Department are speaking to the woman's family and
looking into ensuring the welfare of her child is taken care of,” she said in a
statement on Friday.
said the Welfare Department officers found that the woman has two children, one
from her previous marriage and another with her partner.
the woman’s application for welfare aid in 2016 was rejected.
woman in question was found to be fit and able to work,” Dr Wan Azizah
said the Ministry is looking into the whereabouts of the father and the details
of their divorce.
do not wish to interfere in court matters but the welfare of women and children
are my priority,” she said.
Sept 28, judge Rosdi Harun sentenced the 30-year-old divorcee to six months in
prison and six strokes of the rotan for attempting to prostitute herself at a
hotel in Terengganu.
sentencing came just 24 days after two women were caned six times each for
having same sex relations.
to Dr Wan Azizah, the Cabinet viewed that the caning of the two women convicted
of lesbian sex, gave a bad impression of Islam.
Dr Wan Azizah said they respect the Syariah Court’s decision.
LUMPUR: No more knocks on the door in the middle of the night and no more
breaking down of doors by the religious authorities investigating reports of
khalwat or other alleged wrongdoings.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa insists
that what Muslims do behind closed doors is none of the government’s business.
say you commit something within your personal, individual sphere – I will not
example, consumption of alcohol is wrong for a Muslim, but if you consume it
within your sphere, then as part of the government, I will not interfere.
concern is what goes on in public that encroaches on sensitivity, legality or
criminality. Only then does the government come in, not because we want to be
moral police but because we want to secure the public sphere,” he said.
Mujahid, who is in charge of Islamic religious affairs, admitted that he faced
an uphill task in changing the image of the ministry.
had to put out fires from the moment he stepped into his office, including
dealing with LGBT issues, underage marriage, public caning in syariah courts
and sexual abuse in tahfiz.
an exclusive interview with The Star, Dr Mujahid said he was trying to change
the mindset of what he described as “conservative religious” civil servants who
wanted to uphold the sanctity of Islam with their own understanding.
government’s narrative of Islam will translate into our policies, all the
Islamic judiciary activities, all our relations with other faiths.
Islam does not harm the people’s interests or importance of national unity and
harmony,” he added.
Mujahid also condemned the breaking down of doors to arrest khalwat offenders
and hoped it would be a thing of the past with reforms.
issue of enforcement on khalwat has been misused and exploited in some cases.
It is important that they (enforcement officers) do not interfere with the
individual sphere,” said Dr Mujahid.
such raids fall under the state jurisdictions, he is engaging the religious
agencies at state levels to convince them to adopt the stance of the federal
vice-president of Parti Amanah Negara also hoped to do away with the Big
reality is that in Malaysia, even though it is an Islamic affair, there will be
a point where you will have to confront problems relating to non-Muslims.
LUMPUR, Oct 5 — Muslims in Selangor were told in today’s Friday sermon that
some disasters are not natural, but instead “divine reminders” in response to
“cruelty” committed by humankind.
Quranic verses, the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) said this
“cruelty” can take the form of vices and sins, listing illicit sex, lesbian,
gay, bisexual and transgenders (LGBT), and not covering up as some of the
verse explains that we are always under the observation of Allah the creator.
Whatever calamity that befalls humans must have its reason whether realised or
is certain, no ruin is imparted but for humans’ own cruelty,” said the sermon
delivered to mosques in the state.
cruelty is defined as idolatry towards Allah, and all forms of vices and sins
done by humans, including missing prayers, ‘zina’, LGBT, drinking alcohol,
gambling, revealing the ‘aurat’, taking usury, and so on,” it added.
sermon also lamented that some quarters are defending drug abuse, usury,
consensual sex and the menace of LGBT as just personal vices and sins that
should not be punishable by law.
cited Quranic verses 28:59 and 11:82 to 83 to back its argument.
that not all disasters that happen are merely natural disasters. Instead, there
are also disasters that are reminders from Allah,” it said.
week, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami on the west coast of Sulawesi
island struck the city of Palu.
official death toll stands at 1,424 in the small city of 370,000 people.
the seismically active Pacific Ring of Fire, Indonesia has long been vulnerable
to quakes and tsunamis.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism