Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said, “Custody of petitioner Maria (girl) cannot be
handed over to her parents, with an objection that she may be compelled for
conversion from Islam to Hinduism.” (Representational)
Sunnis Wrestle With Militants’ Religious Legacy
Narendra Modi Hails Muslim Organisation for Setting ‘Fine’ Example of Unity
Court Allows Muslim Man, 'Hindu' Wife to Live Together
in Burma Leave Scores Dead As Thousands of Rohingya Muslims Flee Ongoing
Troops Backed By Russian Air Force Kill Over 800 Daeshis In Raqqah
Forces Capture Remaining ISIL-Held Neighborhoods in Tal Afar
million pilgrims converge on Mecca for the Hajj
Preparing for Operation in Eastern Syria
finds remains believed to be of soldiers kidnapped by ISIS
regime backs evacuation deal for ISIS at Lebanon border
army, allies advance against ISIS in central Syria
of slain Egyptian forces performing Hajj as King Salman’s guests
finds suspected remains of troops held by Daesh: Official
Narendra Modi Hails Muslim Organisation for Setting ‘Fine’ Example Of Unity
Villagers Lynch Two Muslim Men Who Were On Van Carrying Cows
Finds A Common Mentor in Kerala ‘Love Jihad’ Cases
in Madhya Pradesh Gift Loudspeaker to Temple from Where It Was Stolen
won’t lead to uniform civil code: expert
Of Talks Creates Uncertainty about Pakistan Ties with US
policy change failure of PML-N foreign policy: Elahi
blast martyrs two soldiers in South Waziristan
cannot bring Afghan war into Pakistan: COAS
‘terrorists’ gunned down in Balochistan
sends list of wanted terrorists to KP
Attack in Helmand Leaves More Than 30 People Dead, Wounded
to Taliban has to stop: Gen Nicholson
Francis Laments Persecution of Rohingya Muslims, Prays God 'Saves Them'
Omar’s family members, some Taliban leaders returned from Pakistan
calls Hekmatyar ‘Butcher of Kabul’ amid heightened HIA, Jamiat tensions
Yemenis Seek Revenge from Saudi Arabia
Kilicdaroglu Says President Erdogan Scared of Him
Opp chief vows to defy Erdogan 'threats
chief calls for reopening of Yemen port, airport
clashes in Yemen rebel ranks spark fears of 'strife'
militias prevent Saleh loyalists from leaving Yemen capital
allows no inspection of Iran’s military sites: Leader’s aide
Pledges Support to Stabilize Post-Islamic State Iraq
Special Forces to Join Trump’s Afghanistan Troop Surge: Report
claims responsibility for Brussels attack
half a million march in Barcelona to condemn terror
to loan 430 mln euros to Iraq: ministry
Islamic State threat, Moorish past haunts Spain
Gorka Out, White House Is Nearly Cleansed Of Hard-Liners Against Islam
protesters at Calgary rally outnumbered by anti-racist activists
Ties Like Hamas Dancing With Trump, Says PAS Leader
Vows To Defend Selangor from BN, Umno
to promote halal exports at expo
ties could hurt ethnic Chinese, warns analyst
Africa: Bid to Have Muslim Marriage Declared Legally Valid to Be Heard Court
reporter killed covering S Sudan clashes
Qaeda says senior commander in Somalia al Shabaab affiliate killed
families say govt. responsible for US-backed raid victims
by New Age Islam News Bureau
as the Islamic State group’s rule is being torn down in Iraq, the seeds are
there for it — or a successor extremist group — to rise again one day.
a disquieting fact: There are those among Iraq’s Sunni Muslim minority who find
some good in the group, though they denounce the militants for suffering
inflicted during their nearly three-year rule.
to the words of a young Iraqi who was impressed by an Islamic State cleric — a
compassionate man, Mowafy Abdul-Qader said, recalling his “sweet demeanor” as
he gave lessons on Shariah law.
taught me like he was an angel from heaven. He was accurate and righteous,”
Abdul-Qader said, speaking at a camp for Iraqis driven from their homes during
the past year’s fighting to uproot the militants in northern Iraq. “Because of
people like him, I sometimes felt I was actually living in a real caliphate.”
nearly two dozen interviews with Sunnis living in the camps of the displaced,
The Associated Press heard many variations on the same theme: IS was too brutal
and individual members were corrupt, but its goals to restore morality and
faith were worthy.
direction of Sunni sentiment can have great significance for Iraq’s future.
There are fears militants could take root again if Sunnis’ lives are not
rebuilt or if the Shiites who dominate the government don’t end past
discrimination and give Sunnis a share of political power.
the Sunni militants overran much of Iraq and Syria in 2014, the group’s dream
of an ideal Islamic rule had appeal among some in the community. Iraq’s Sunnis
in general are deeply conservative and feel oppressed under the majority
Shiites. So some saw hope in a group promising to bring morality, uplift Sunni
Islam and implement God’s law, which many felt would ensure justice.
the self-declared caliphate turned into a bloody horror. The group committed
atrocities on a startling scale, including a systematic network of sex slavery
and rape against the Yezidi religious minority and mass killings that targeted
everyone, including Sunnis. Prisoners were shot or beheaded, or even set on
fire, drowned or blown up with explosives.
police were relentless in punishing the slightest transgressions. Punishments
included stoning, beheadings, amputations and whippings. Suspected spies —
including those simply caught with a mobile phone— and policemen or soldiers
were among those dragged into public squares for death. IS members took the
lion’s share of resources, alienating others struggling to get by.
the extremists’ brutality, some now say they reject anyone promising to bring
cannot trust them anymore. We don’t want Islamists to rule us,” said Mohammed
Ibrahim, a government employee in Mosul.
one camp for the displaced, the imam delivering the Friday sermon urged
worshippers not to shun their religion on account of horrors they experienced
under IS. “Return to your true faith,” he said, according to several men who
heard the sermon.
Shaaban, a displaced Mosul resident, said he used to pray five times a day, but
ever since IS took over he hasn’t set foot in a mosque. “It was like military
rule, only religious. Like a checklist: beard, check. Short pants, check. No
of the displaced said the militants’ sermons never addressed the concerns of
the people. Instead, “they admonished us for ‘crying’ over the scarcity of
basic food items like bread and rice,” and told people to endure deprivations,
Abed Ahmed said. Ali Abu Graer, a member of the Shamar, a large tribe in Iraq
and the Gulf region, said IS members sounded like they knew religion well, “but
when you see their actions you wonder who they really are. What do you make of
a people who set a fellow human being on fire in front of your very eyes? What
do you make of a people who kill you because they found that you are in
possession of a mobile phone?”
seemed more conflicted.
outside the tent he shares with his pregnant wife, Mowafy Abdul-Qader recounted
how a passing IS patrol saw that his wife and sister were not meeting the
militants’ dress code as they worked with him at their farm. As their guardian,
he was ordered by the militants to take Shariah lessons from an IS cleric, an
struggled to reconcile the kindly and pious cleric with everything else he saw
from the group.
blood was easy for Daesh. It was easy for them to kill Muslims,” he said, using
the Arabic acronym for IS. Also, he said, the group shut down most university colleges
in Mosul. It’s a sore point because he himself was studying to qualify to teach
Islam in school. “They speak of the glory of Islam, but they destroyed the
education system needed to build the nation of Islam.”
then he, like almost all the others interviewed, said he supported in principle
the group’s imposition of dress codes for women in public, saying it boosted
public morality. Before the militants came, women in Mosul sometimes dressed
unacceptably, including wearing pants, Abdul-Qader lamented.
headmaster Mohammed Jassim said IS revived interest in religion, getting people
to learn more about prayer, fasting and charity. “Young men filled the mosques
after years of religious decline,” he said.
“the actions of many of them ran contrary to what they preached,” he said.
taught people a great deal about our religion,” said another camp resident,
Abed Hamad. He said people began to read and debate Hadeeth, the stories and
sayings of the prophet Muhammad that alongside the Quran are used as a basis of
praised the group’s poets and singers of religious anthems called “anasheed” in
Arabic. The songs were played at kiosks known as “media centers” in IS-held
areas, accompanied by videos of fighting and militants killing captives or
suspected spies. IS “anasheed” extolled the virtues of jihad, ridiculed enemies
and eulogized fallen fighters, all in the elevated poetic language of
traditional religious hymns.
songs are among the traces IS left behind, and new followers might one day
rally round them, much as neo-Nazis embrace Nazi regalia and white nationalists
fly Confederate flags.
one camp for the displaced, a 9-year-old boy could sing an anthem off the top
of his head. It was a light-hearted children’s tune, but with bloody lyrics
listing cities the militants captured: “The soldiers of the caliphate are
brave, the army of the heretics ran away, and now we have Fallujah, Mosul and
the militants have been driven out, the Iraqi government has introduced
standardized Friday sermons for imams to deliver in the mosques of Mosul and
Anbar province, the mainly Sunni region of western Iraq. The policy aims to
ensure no militant ideas or hate speech toward minorities are disseminated.
is the approach governments across the region have taken, denouncing IS as
criminals masquerading as defenders of Islam. Mainstream Muslim clerics say IS
cherry-picked what it wanted from Islamic texts and history and then
misinterpreted those parts to support its rabidly violent practices, while
ignoring everything in the faith that contradicted them.
so-called caliphate will disappear sooner or later, and what it will leave as
its legacy will be a bitter taste for Muslims and non-Muslims alike,” said
Ibrahim Negm, an adviser to Egypt’s grand mufti and the head of a state-backed
center tasked with debunking militant ideology online.
such sweeping denunciations — by clerics whom opponents often dismiss as tools
of government — can underestimate the methods militants use to gain support.
culture left behind by IS will be preserved for a long time,” said Thomas
Hegghammer, director of terrorism research at the Norwegian Defense Research
Establishment in Oslo. He noted that Islamist poetry from the 1960s and anasheed
from Afghanistan in the 1980s are still used among jihadi supporters.
warned that eventually “nostalgia” over the Islamic State group could arise.
will say we had a caliphate, but our enemies destroyed it,” he said. “Muslims
who were too young at its heyday and could not join it will romanticize it ...
It will for a long time be like the notion of a ‘lost caliphate.’”
Narendra Modi hails Muslim organisation for setting ‘fine’ example of unity
Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed Muslim organisation
Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind, saying its volunteers had recently cleaned 22 temples and
two mosques affected by floods in Gujarat, setting a “fine” and “inspiring”
example of unity. He noted that India is a land of diversities which are not
limited to cuisine, lifestyle and attire but can be seen in every walk of life.
“Gujarat saw devastating floods recently. Many people lost their lives. When
the waters receded, there was so much filth everywhere.
is when, in Dhanera in the Banaskantha district of Gujarat, volunteers of
Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind cleaned 22 affected temples and two mosques in a phased
manner,” Modi said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
said the Jamiat volunteers came together and toiled collectively.
volunteers of Jamiat-Ulema-e-Hind set a fine, inspiring example of unity for
cleanliness. If this committed effort towards cleanliness become inherent to
us, our country will certainly take our nation to greater heights,” the prime
his 30-minute broadcast, he pointed out that India has a rich cultural
heritage, spanning thousands of years, and in this context, talked about the
festivals which are replete with diversity.
we look at our cultural traditions, social customs, historical events, there
would hardly be a day left in the year which is not connected with a festival,”
said the Indian festivals follow the almanac of nature and there is a direct
connect with nature. “Many of our festivals are linked straightaway with
farmers and fishermen.”
mentioned festivals like ‘Samvatsari’, celebrated by the Jain community
yesterday, as also Ganesh Chaturthi, Onam, Navaratri in Gujarat, Durga puja in
Bengal and Eid-ul-Zuha. He extended his greetings to the nation regarding these
festival of Samvatsari is symbolic of forgiveness, non-violence and
brotherhood,” Modi said.
Veerasya Bhushanam’, that is, forgiveness is the adornment of the brave. The
one who forgives is valiant. And Mahatma Gandhi always said, that forgiveness
is the quality of great men,” Modi said.
also quoted Shakespeare’s play ‘The Merchant of Venice’, saying it explained
the importance of forgiveness as it spoke about “Mercy is twice blest, It
blesseth him that gives and him that takes”. It means the forgiver and the
forgiven both stand to receive divine blessing.
to Ganesh Chaturthi, he said this mega festival stands for unity, equality,
integrity and honesty. “My heartiest greetings to all of you on the occasion of
Ganeshotsav,” Modi said.
which is mainly celebrated in Kerala, showcases the rich cultural heritage of
the state and gives the message of love and harmony, awakens new hopes and
aspirations, and gives new confidence to the people, he said.
like Navaratri in Gujarat and Durga puja in Bengal are tremendous tourist
attractions, he added.
this series of festivals, Eid-ul-Zuha will be celebrated in a few days from
now. Heartiest felicitations and best wishes to all countrymen on the occasion
of Eid-ul-Zuha,” the prime minister said.
said festivals are symbols of faith and belief and in the ‘New India’, “we
should transform them into symbols of cleanliness as well.”
cleanliness must be insisted upon not just in our homes but in our villages,
towns, cities, states and in our entire country – cleanliness has to be
inextricably linked to our festivals,” Modi said.
court allows Muslim man, 'Hindu' wife to live together
Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of the Islamabad High Court after hearing the case also
asked the police to provide security to the couple.
21-year-old Hindu woman who converted to Islam has been allowed by a Pakistani
court to live with her Muslim husband after she insisted that she embraced the
new faith willingly and refused to go with her parents.
family of Maria, whose Hindu name was Anooshi, had claimed that she had
allegedly been kidnapped before being forcibly converted to Islam and married
to a Muslim man, The Express Tribune reported.
Maria recited Arabic prayers in the court to prove her willful conversion to
Islam, reiterating that no one pressured her to change her religion, the report
along with her husband Bilawal Ali Bhutto had sought protection from the high
court owing to threats for marrying out of their free-will.
the court asked Maria to meet her parents, she refused. But on the direction of
the court, she met them at the office of personal secretary of the judge for
around 40 minutes.
mother submitted to the court that her daughter be handed over to them so that
they may be able to persuade her. She also expressed fears that Bhutto may
abandon Maria after some time.
my view," Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui said, "custody of petitioner
Maria cannot be handed over to her parents, with an objection that she may be
compelled for conversion from Islam to Hinduism."
case they succeed in their efforts, Justice Siddiqui noted, it will further
endanger the life of the young lady.
Muslim League's (N) member and patron of the Pakistan Hindu Council, Ramesh
Kumar Vankwani, said that "this tendency is merely an effort to enter into
the marriage contract" which needs the attention of the court as the trend
was disrupting the very fibre of the society.
added that the concept of "Karo-Kari" (killing the couple for
dishonour to family) is alien in the Hindu community.
and that Maria's apprehension of being killed
the court asked if he was ready to take custody of both the petitioners, he
replied that only Maria's custody be handed over to him for counselling.
Siddiqui concluded in the order that the petitioners may live together while in
Islamabad and that local police shall ensure their security.
of the couple enhanced
The family of Maria, whose Hindu name was Anooshi, had claimed that she had
allegedly been kidnapped before being forcibly converted to Islam.
Maria says she embraced Islam on her own will and no one pressured her to
change her religion, > She along with her husband Bilawal Ali Bhutto has
sought protection from the high court owing to threats.
Her mother has asked the court to grant her custody whereas she has refused to
go with her parents.
in Burma leave scores dead as thousands of Rohingya Muslims flee ongoing
have died in clashes between Burmese authorities and Rohingya insurgents,
sending thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing across the border to Bangladesh.
violence has seen civilians killed, buildings burned down and land mines
planted after insurgents launched attacks against police posts last week.
death toll from the violence has reached 104, the vast majority being
militants, plus 12 members of security forces and several civilians, according
to a Reuters tally based on official figures.
for the Rohingya suggest many more civilians have died in army attacks on
villages, but they have not given a total.
for more violence, thousands of Rohingya – mostly women and children –
attempted to cross the Naf river separating Burma and Bangladesh and the land
reporters at the border heard gunfire from the Burmese side, which triggered a
rush of Rohingya towards the no man’s land between the countries.
hundred Rohingya got stuck at one border point in Bangladesh’s Bandarban
district, barred from moving farther by Bangladeshi border guards.
2,000 people have been able to cross into Bangladesh so far, according to
estimates by Rohingya refugees living in the makeshift camps in Bangladesh.
is overwhelmingly Buddhist, but about 1.1 million Muslim Rohingya live in the
northern part of Rakhine state, where the violence is taking place.
treatment of the Rohingya population has emerged as the biggest challenge for
national leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate has been accused by Western critics of not speaking
out for the long-persecuted Muslim minority.
Rohingya insurgent group, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, or ARSA, took
responsibility for Thursday night’s attacks on more than 25 locations, saying
they were in defence of Rohingya communities that had been brutalised by
Suu Kyi’s office accused the insurgents of “torching police outposts and
monasteries, killing innocent people and planting mines”. ARSA, meanwhile,
accused the army of using civilians as human shields.
government refuses to recognise Rohingya as a legitimate native ethnic
minority, calling them Bengalis to push the position they are mostly illegal
immigrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, though many can trace family in Burma
Rohingya endure apartheid-like conditions as they are denied citizenship and
face severe restrictions on their movements.
Rohingya were the targets of violence in 2012 that killed hundreds and drove
about 140,000 people – predominantly Rohingya – from their homes to camps for
the internally displaced, where most remain.
government forces backed by Russian air support have killed over 800 members of
the Daesh terrorist group during operations aimed at liberating Raqqah.
to the Russian defense ministry on Sunday, the latest round of operations in
Raqqah saw the defeat of “most capable and best armed group of Daesh in the
Euphrates River valley.”
the operation, 800 terrorists, 13 tanks, 29 pickup trucks with high-caliber
machine guns mounted on them, and mortars and artillery pieces totaling nine
have been destroyed,” it added.
operations were centered around the town of Ghanem Ali located in eastern
Raqqah, where Daesh had launched an operation over the past few days to seize
Russian ministry notes that the troops involved in the operations are currently
moving towards Dayr al-Zawr, where the terrorists are concentrated.
city of Raqqah, which lies on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was
overrun by Daesh terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for
most of the Takfiris’ administrative and control tasks the following year.
is estimated that some 300,000 civilians are trapped inside Raqqah, including
80,000 displaced from other parts of Syria. Thousands have fled in recent
months, and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian
Affairs believes about 160,000 people remain in the city.
Iraqi soldiers and Hashd al-Shaabi pushed ISIL back from al-Sana'yeh
al-Shamaliyeh region and al-Askari neighborhood.
commander of Qademoun Ya Nineveh announced that ISIL has just kept control over
al-Ayaziyeh region and its nearby villages, adding that the army is advancing
army men and Hashd al-Shaabi combatants had earlier freed al-Mo'arez and Tal
Afar Bawabah regions and the village of al-Rahmah.
reports said on Saturday that the army soldiers and Hashd al-Shaabi fighters
managed to impose control over the neighborhoods of al-Rabi'a, al-Qadesiyeh 1
and 2, al-Aroubeh 2, al-Salam, Hassan Kouy region, al-Qala'a neighborhood in
the Central part of Tal Afar, al-Bowari and al-Mothana 2 neighborhoods.
the Iraq pro-government forces managed to take control of the villages of
Akabat, Mosheirefeh Tah, Ein Salbi, al-Hamrah, Bokhour, Marisheh, Mazireh,
Zambar, and al-Mazareh 1, 2 and 3 in Tal Afar countryside.
Iraqi forces are now on the threshold of a final victory in Tal Afar city
following new advances against ISIL.
million Muslims from across the globe are converging on Mecca in Saudi Arabia
for the Hajj pilgrimage, a religious duty and for some pilgrims the journey of
a lifetime. This year sees the return of pilgrims from Shiite Iran, regional
rival to Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia, and comes with the Gulf mired in
political crisis and Islamic State group jihadists squeezed in Iraq and Syria.
so excited because many people dream of coming to this place,” said 47-year-old
Eni from Indonesia, her face framed in a sand-coloured veil trimmed with lace.
“We feel more religious when we leave this place,” she said.
is the world’s most populous Muslim nation, and it also provides the largest
number of pilgrims for the Hajj. Eni’s compatriots throng Jeddah airport 80
kilometres (50 miles) west of Mecca, as tens of thousands of pilgrims pass
through the gateway to the Hajj every day. But Eni is almost oblivious to the
hubbub that surrounds her as she studies her Koran in the oppressive heat,
pearls of sweat beading her face.
my first pilgrimage I felt I wanted to come back to feel myself close to him,”
she said of the Prophet Mohammed before returning her attention to Islam’s holy
Hajj is one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith, which every Muslim is
required to complete at least once in a lifetime if he or she has the means to
do so. “This year we expect around two million pilgrims,” Abdelmajeed Mohammad
Al-Afghani, director of Hajj and umra (lesser pilgrimage) affairs, told AFP.
Iranians are back after not attending in 2016 following a deadly Mecca stampede
the previous year that killed nearly 2,300 pilgrims.
was the worst catastrophe in the history of the Hajj, with 464 people from the
Islamic republic among the dead. Following the disaster, Tehran railed against
Saudi Arabia’s organisation of the pilgrimage. The two countries then severed
diplomatic relations in January 2016 after the Saudi embassy in Tehran was
ransacked by a crowd protesting against the execution in the kingdom of a
Shiite religious dignitary.
say that neither Riyadh nor Tehran has any wish to prolong the dispute. “To
politicise an event like this does no good,” according to Slimane Zeghidour,
author of “La vie quotidienne à La Mecque: De Mahomet à nos jours” (Daily Life
in Mecca from Mohammed to Today).
of the Hajj being politicised have marred the region for some time. For nearly
three months, the Gulf has been embroiled in its worst ever political crisis,
with Saudi Arabia and its allies facing off against Qatar, which they accuse of
being too close to Iran and backing extremism.
of Deir Ezzur's Military Council Ahmad Abu Khouleh announced that the SDF
fighters will launch a large-scale operation against ISIL in Deir Ezzur in
coming weeks, adding that the SDF operation in Raqqa will be continued too.
Khouleh said that the SDF fighters had already experienced fight against ISIL
in Deir Ezzur province and managed to take control of several towns, adding,
"The total number of the council members stands at 4,000 who are mostly
move might enrage the Syrian government and its allies. Damascus has not yet
shown any reaction to the statements.
Arab media outlet reported earlier this month that tens of US soldiers and Free
Syrian Army (FSA) militants have arrived in al-Shadadi region to participate in
an imminent operation against ISIL in Deir Ezzur.
Arabic-language al-Ahd news website reported that a military column, including
200 US soldiers and 100 FSA fighters arrived in al-Shadadi region in Southern
further reported that special forces affiliated to the Syrian al-Qad movement
headed by Ahmad al-Jarba intend to join the newly-arrived forces in al-Shadadi
to participate in Deir Ezzur battle.
moves came after the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces refused to cooperate
with al-Jarba's forces.
top Lebanese security official said Sunday that authorities had located human
remains believed to belong to troops kidnapped by ISIS three years ago.
announcement came hours after the Lebanese army declared a ceasefire deal with
ISIS along the border with Syria in exchange for information on the missing
head of the General Security agency, Major General Abbas Ibrahim, said ISIS
militants who had surrendered led his agency and the Lebanese army to the
have removed the remains of six bodies. We are expecting the number to go up to
eight,” he told reporters gathered in downtown Beirut.
believe that these remains belong to the soldiers.”
troops were among 30 soldiers and police kidnapped by ISIS and al-Qaeda’s
former Syrian affiliate when they overran the Lebanese border town of Arsal in
were killed by their captors and a fifth died of his wounds while 16 were
released in a prisoner swap in December 2015.
army has said the missing troops were its “top concern” in its offensive
against an estimated 600 ISIS militants in the hilly border region.
missing troops were numbered at nine, but Ibrahim on Sunday only referred to
the bodies of eight people and did not give details on a ninth.
said the remains would be subject to DNA testing to ensure their identities but
that he was “almost certain that the case is closed.”
top official spoke in downtown Beirut after informing the soldiers’ families of
Syrian army has agreed to a deal between ISIS and Hezbollah that allows the
transfer of ISIS militants from the Syria-Lebanon border into eastern Syria,
state media said on Sunday.
the successes our armed forces and (Hezbollah) achieved in the western Qalamoun
... the deal arranged between Hezbollah and the terrorist Daesh group has been
approved,” Syrian state television said, citing a military source.
remained unclear whether the deal includes ISIS militants only on Syria’s side
of the frontier or on Lebanese territory too.
Syrian army and allied forces have captured one of the last major ISIS enclaves
in the central Syrian desert, a monitor and a Hezbollah military media unit
said on Saturday.
pocket of territory totals around 2,000 square km (770 square miles), said the
media unit run by Hezbollah, which fights alongside Syrian government forces in
this week, the army and its allies encircled the ISIS militants after advancing
southward to join up with their forces near al-Sukhna town in Homs province.
The enclave extends from the west of al-Sukhna into nearby Hama province.
Syrian army -- supported by Russian air power and Iran-backed militias --
secured al-Sukhna this month. It was the last major town in Homs province that
Syrian Observatory for Human rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said the army
has seized dozens of hills and positions in that region in central Syria.
the only significant ISIS presence remaining in Homs was another nearby enclave
on the provincial border with Hama, also under siege by the army and its
allies, the monitoring group said.
the past year, ISIS has lost ground to various separate enemies including
Syrian government forces with their allies, and US-backed militias.
first batch of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz’s guests from families
of Egyptian police and army victims have arrived in Makkah to perform Hajj.
291 guests were received by an official in charge of the king’s guests,
Abdullah Al-Medlaj, and a number of other officials, the Saudi Press Agency
head of Lebanon's internal security agency says eight Lebanese soldiers who had
been in captivity of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group since 2014 are almost
Abbas Ibrahim told reporters gathered in downtown Beirut on Sunday that the
army had retrieved the remains of six soldiers so far and was digging for the
said DNA testing would be carried out to determine the identities of the
have removed the remains of six bodies. We are expecting the number to go up to
eight," Ibrahim said, adding, "We believe that these remains belong
to the soldiers."
army earlier announced a ceasefire in its operation against Daesh terrorists
near the country’s border with Syria to help start negotiations over the fate
of the captive soldiers.
ceasefire took effect at 7:00 a.m. local time (0400 GMT) on Sunday, a week into
the offensive. The Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah and the Syrian army
had also announced a ceasefire in their offensive against Daesh on the Syrian
side, namely the west mountainous region of Qalamoun .
Lebanese soldiers were among 30 troops and police kidnapped by Daesh and
terrorists linked to al-Nusra Front, a former affiliate of al-Qaeda, in August
2014 when they briefly overran the Lebanese border town of Arsal.
Takfiri group currently holds nine Lebanese soldiers but on Sunday Ibrahim only
spoke of eight bodies.
Lebanese army says it has captured most of a mountainous area on the border
with Syria during an operation aimed at purging the region of Daesh terrorists.
by Hezbollah, the army on August 19 began a long-anticipated operation in Jurud
Ras Baalbek and Jurud al-Qaa areas on Lebanon's eastern border. The push is
meant to clear an area of 120 kilometers from elements of Daesh.
army operation came shortly after Hezbollah launched its own battle in Jurud
Arsal. Hezbollah managed to inflict huge losses on terrorists linked to
admitted defeat after six days of fierce fighting and handed over five
Hezbollah fighters in return for evacuation of its members to a region in
villagers lynch two Muslim men who were on van carrying cows
beat to death two Muslim men who were on a vehicle transporting cattle in the
early hours of Sunday morning, an assault the police said could have been
instigated by so-called cow protection vigilantes.
attack took place at a village in Jalpaiguri district, around 622 kilomteres
from Kolkata, shortly after 2:30am on Sunday.
the second case of cow-related lynching in West Bengal in the last two months
after three Muslim youth were beaten to death in June.
attacks, ostensibly under the pretext of protecting cows, have increased in
recent months with critics pointing the finger at Bharatiya Janata Party. The
Prime Minister’s party has been accused of going soft on such attackers, since
protection of the cow is seen as a largely Hindu agenda.
place of the attack was Dadon, a small village just 15 kilometres from Dhupguri
town in Jalpaiguri. On being informed, the police rushed to the spot and found
the bodies of the two victims who appear to be in their mid-thirties,” said a
district police official. The area where the incident took place is close to
the Indio- Bangladesh border at Falakata.
victims were identified as Hafizul Sheikh, a resident of Dhubri, Assam, and
Anwar Hussain, a resident of Patlahawa village in Cooch Behar district of West
was not clear if they were cattle smugglers or legitimate traders who purchased
the cows from a nearby cattle market. “We are also investigating if this
lynching was because of spontaneous rage of the villagers or conducted by any
organised group under the garb of public rage,” the district police official
additional director general (law & order), Anuj Sharma, did not comment on
the issue but a senior police official said on condition of anonymity that cow
vigilante groups have become increasingly active in certain pockets in north
are yet to make any arrests.
to the statement by the driver, who escaped the attack, the group lost its way
while passing through the area and started driving in circles.
that alerted local villagers, who first tried to stop the van. When the driver
tried to dodge them and speed out, the villagers blocked the way and forced
them to stop. Though the driver somehow managed to escape, the two victims
could not and were ultimately lynched by the angry villagers”, a police officer
finds a common mentor in Kerala ‘love jihad’ cases
DELHI: NIA's preliminary probe into a "love jihad" case on the
instructions of the Supreme Court has revealed a common link with another such
instance where the "mentor" who persuaded Hindu girls to embrace
Islam is a woman associated with the radical group Popular Front of India (PFI).
NIA report, based on an probe by Kerala Police in Akhila Asokan alias Hadiya
case as well as its own preliminary inquiry into the "forced
conversion" of one Athira Nambiar from Palakkad, had led the SC to ask the
agency to probe the alleged conversion and marriage of Hindu girls in Kerala
through allurement and radicalisation.
has cited common accused in the two cases. Athira was supposedly lured by
Akhila's "mentor" Sainaba into embracing Islam with the help of
activists linked to Islamic outfits PFI, SDPI and Markazul Hidaya
'Sathyasarani'. Some of Sainaba's associates figure in both cases.
this story in Malayalam
SC direction comes after it was moved following the Kerala HC's annulling of
Akhila's marriage to Shafin Jahan. It was alleged that PFI activists took
advantage of emotionally vulnerable girls who were at odds with their families
and convinced them to convert to Islam.
Akhila sent four separate letters to her father and senior Kerala Police
officers in January 2016 claiming she had converted of her own free will, her
name was spelt differently in them. NIA said this indicated that the letters
were merely signed and not written by her. This was also the case withAthira.
vehemently denies any forced conversion, citing Akhila's statement that she had
embraced Islam out of her own free will. "Akhila was drawn to Islam after
watching her college friends. Sainaba only helped her realise her wish to
pursue Islam," PFI public relations secretary Shafiq Rehmantold TOI.
has said that Sainaba, with whom Akhila stayed before her marriage was arranged
with Shafin, is the president of National Women's Front, PFI's women's wing.
With the support of Sathyasarani office-bearers, Sainaba and her husband Aliyar
had arranged Akhila's marriage without informing the girl's parents or the
Kerala HC, who had entrusted her with Akhila's custody at the time.
link between the two cases is Mohammad Kutty, a PFI-SDPI activist who had
approached Akhila's friend's father Aboobacker, along with Sainaba and Aliyar,
to take Akhila away from her family for pursuing Islamic studies. Kutty and
Sainaba are co-conspirators in the Athira case.
was also arrested for illegally confining Athira.
NIA report is said to have mentioned four criminal cases against Shafin, as
well as his association with SDPI. He was also in touch with Manseed Muhammad,
a chargesheeted accused in Islamic State's Omar Al-Hindi module case probed by
Akhila and Shafin claim they had met through waytonikah.com, the probe found
that neither had visited each other's profile until after their marriage.
marriage proposal came through Muneer, another SDPI activist.
NIA is understood to have informed the SC that Akhila's "conversion"
and marriage were not isolated incidents but part of an organised effort by
Kerala-based PFI, SDPI andSathyasarani.
per the NIA report, Kozhikode-based Therbiyatul Islam Sabha (TIS), recognised
by the Kerala government, had issued a "conversion certificate" to
Akhila in 2016 stating she had successfully completed its Islamic course on
July 25, 2016. However, it was found that she never studied at TIS, but only
took the exam held after the course.
was also revealed that persons involved in sheltering Akhila in January 2016 —
Sainaba, Muhammad Basheer, Muhammed Kutty, Nasarudeen — are all connected with
Sathyasarani and PFI-SDPI.
found that Sainaba, with 11 others linked to PFI, SDPI and Sathyasarani, had
hatched a conspiracy from May 2016 to lure Athira. She was persuaded by Sainaba
to convert to Islam and advised to marry a Muslim so the court proceedings
would not be a problem.
in Madhya Pradesh gift loudspeaker to temple from where it was stolen
four months after singer Sonu Nigam sparked a controversy by tweeting remarks
against the use of loudspeakers for ‘azaan’, Muslims in this town gifted a
sound system to a temple after it was stolen a few days ago.
about the move, Saed Khan, local corporator and president of Harda district
Wakf committee, said he passed by the Hanuman temple on the outskirts of Harda
days ago, thieves broke into the temple and stole the loudspeaker. For the past
few days, whenever I passed by the temple, there was no sound of devotional
songs. I felt bad and asked the priest of the temple if anyone had brought a
new one. When he said no, we bought a new amplifier and gifted it to my Hindu
brothers,” he said.
if some people have made controversial remarks about the use of loudspeakers in
mosques and temples, I just want to say that in India, people have never
objected to such things...” said Khan.
this month, the Muslims in Harda under the leadership of Khan gave a respectful
burial to a dead cow after its carcass remained unattended.
the recent Supreme Court judgment banning triple talaq was welcomed by most of
the Muslim community in the country, it has kicked up apprehensions that the
order will be misconstrued to pave way for the Uniform Civil Code (UCC).
lawyer at the apex court brushed away the apprehensions on Sunday explaining
the SC judgement in detail at a discussion organised by the Muslim Educational
Society (MES) on Sunday.
ban on triple talaq,” he said, “was based on tenets from Holy Quran. The Court
identified that the triple talaq system prevalent in the country was against
the teachings of the scripture, was ‘unislamic’ and hence was not part of the
personal law. The court has noted that triple talaq need not be kept up as it
was not part of the personal law. This statement shows that the personal law
was constitutional and would hence be kept up”.
talaq was deemed unconstitutional as it was one-sided and shut doors on
arbitration before dissolving a marital relationship. Even All India Muslim
Personal Law Board admitted in an affidavit at the Supreme Court that triple
talaq was against theology.
judgement is only pertaining to triple talaq, asking Parliament to construct
laws to replace it. If the government misuses this opportunity to impose a
Uniform Civil Code, any one can approach the court with a Public Interest
Litigation challenging it, Mr.Abhilash said.
also said that even with simple majority in Parliament a government had no
power to impose UCC without the consent of all communities.
president of Ithihadul Subbanil Mujahideen (ISM) A.I Majeed Swalahi said that
all progressive Muslim organisations were against triple talaq, though they
were scared to discuss it in the open. “It is a historical judgement. Don’t
belittle it with unwanted rumours. Debates are important for a democratic
process,” he said.
of talks creates uncertainty about Pakistan ties with US
The talks between Pakistan and the US on the new American strategy for South
Asia got another setback on Sunday when Washington learned from Islamabad that
Pakistan would like to reschedule talks with a senior US official that were to
begin on Monday.
visit of acting Assistant Secretary [Alice] Wells has been postponed on
Pakistan’s request. It will be rescheduled at a mutually convenient time,” a
senior State Department official told reporters on Sunday.
rescheduling of Ms Wells’ visit was the second such request from Islamabad in
less than a week. Pakistan had earlier requested rescheduling of visit to
Washington of its Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, who was expected in the US
capital on Aug 25 on an invitation from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
a third visit, that of a delegation led by senior White House National Security
Council official Lisa Curtis, will also be rescheduled. Ms Curtis, who played a
key role in formulating the new US strategy for South Asia, was expected to
arrive in Islamabad this week.
proposed talks on three levels — cabinet, foreign affairs and security — were
aimed to explore how the United States and Pakistan could rebuild their
relations under the guidelines set by President Donald Trump in his Aug 21
Trump used that speech to announce the new strategy, which denounced Pakistan
for allegedly allowing terrorists to maintain safe havens inside its territory.
It also gave India a bigger role in Afghanistan, stoking fears in Islamabad
that India would use this opportunity for stirring troubles in the bordering
areas of Pakistan.
strategy also suggested that punitive actions could be taken against Pakistan
if it did not stop alleged cross-border attacks on US and Afghan troops.
State Department had announced on Saturday that Ms Wells would arrive in
Islamabad on Monday for talks on the administration’s South Asia strategy. This
would have been her second visit to Islamabad in less than a month.
Wells, who is also Washington’s acting Special Representative for Afghanistan
and Pakistan, made her “introductory trip” to Islamabad on Aug 3 and 4, when
she met Foreign Minister Asif, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, Finance
Minister Ishaq Dar, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General
Zubair Hayat. She also visited New Delhi during that trip.
Islamabad reached out to its allies, particularly China, for consultations on
the US strategy, observers in Washington warned that the new policy would push
Pakistan further away from the United States.
Miller, who was Washington’s special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan till
June, warned that the US decision to give a greater role to India in
Afghanistan would “significantly antagonise the Pakistanis” as it “pushes the
Pakistanis’ most sensitive buttons”.
possibility that the new strategy could also cause Islamabad to close the US
supply route to Afghanistan was also raised at a news briefing by a senior US
official who acknowledged that Washington still counted on the lines of
communications on ground that passed through Pakistan. President Trump’s
decision to enhance US military presence in Afghanistan increases the
importance of this supply line.
to a question, the US official said that while developing the new strategy, the
United States did consider the threat posed to ground lines of communications
to Afghanistan that ran through Pakistan if India got more involved in
ground lines of communications in Pakistan are very important to the US. The
United States has had gone through periods where it had to rely more on
Northern routes, which [are] more expensive and not the best option,” the
official said. “So, we do count on those lines of communications in Pakistan.”
Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) senior leader and former deputy prime minister
Ch Parvez Elahi said on Sunday that change in the US policy about Pakistan is a
result of the failure of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) foreign policy.
to a students’ delegation at his residence, Pakistan case about the war on
terror is strong in every respect because of this even China and Russia in this
regard have termed US President’s criticism of Pakistan improper, but the
problem is that the present government has no international vision.
soldiers were martyred and three injured in a landmine blast in South
Waziristan's Barmal area on Sunday.
forces jeep was patrolling the area during a search operation when it struck a
landmine planted on the roadside, security officials said.
personnel died on the spot while three were critically injured. The injured
were moved to Field Hospital, Wana.
began a search operation in the area following the incident but no arrests were
statement from the army's media wing, Inter-Services Public Relations, named
the two martyred soldiers as Sepoy Attaur Rehman and Sepoy Imran Ali.
Assuring cooperation to Afghanistan, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa
said that Pakistan cannot bring Afghan war into Pakistan.
Quadrilateral Counter Terrorism Coordination Mechanism (QCCM) in Dushanbe,
Tajikistan on Sunday, the army chief said terrorism is a multinational threat.
He said Pakistan has indiscriminately eliminated all safe havens of terrorists
on its soil.
meeting was attended by senior military leadership of member countries,
including Gen Bajwa, Gen Li Zuocheng (China), General Sobirzoda Imomali
Abdurrahim (Tajikistan) and General Sharif Yaftali (Afghanistan), the ISPR
four leaders welcomed the QCCM initiative and expressed hope that an inclusive
and cooperative regional approach will prove best for eradication of terrorism.
highlighted achievements of Pakistan in fight against terrorism for eliminating
terrorists' safe havens from its soil. He said that terrorism being a
transnational threat can only be defeated through intelligence sharing and
coordinated effective border management.
participants also signed an outline cooperative mechanism which will come into
force after its endorsement by respective governments.
sidelines of the event, COAS met Afghan CGS Gen Sharif Yaftali. Afghan
situation was discussed candidly sharing concerns.
said that Pakistan has already cleared all its areas indiscriminately and has
started unilateral border security measures including fencing. Besides border
security management other key factor for enduring peace is dignified
repatriation of Afghan refugees.
army chief reassured Afghan side that Pakistan is open to any suggestion that
facilitate peace in Afghanistan. In this spirit, he offered to form a
Pak-Afghan army working group to jointly work and formulate security
recommendations for government level discussion aimed at addressing mutual
concerns. Afghan CGS agreed to the proposal and thanked COAS for his relentless
efforts towards peace.
Ministry officials and military leadership of all four countries have had held
several staff level consultations over the last few months to formulate agenda
points for conduct of this event, said the Inter Services Public Relations
(ISPR), the army's media wing.
arrival, the COAS called on the Tajik Defence Minister Sherdil Mirzo and
Chinese Chief of Joint Staff General Li Zuocheng.
the next two days the forum will discuss regional security environment and way
forward in relation to situation in Afghanistan and Counter Terrorism efforts.
week, Gen Bajwa reacted strongly to President Donald Trump's accusations that
Islamabad takes billions of dollars in aid from Washington and helps militants
plotting deadly attacks against American troops in Afghanistan.
are not looking for any material or financial assistance from USA, but trust,
understanding and acknowledgement of our contributions," General Qamar
Javed Bajwa told the US ambassador in a meeting at Pakistan army's headquarters
announcing his long-awaited Afghan policy, Trump harshly criticized Pakistan,
asserting Washington is paying Islamabad "billions and billions of
dollars", but the South Asian nation is sheltering the terrorists US
forces are fighting on the other side of the border. Bajwa in his meeting with
Ambassador David Hale reiterated that peace in Afghanistan is as important for
Pakistan as for any other country. "We have done a lot towards that end
and shall keep on doing our best, not to appease anyone, but in line with our
national interest and national policy," noted the top general.
Security forces on Sunday killed two terrorists and destroyed four of their
hideouts in an operation against extremists.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said that the FC Balochistan had
conducted intelligence-based operations in Kahan, Dera Bugti and Chattar/ Uch
an exchange of gunfire, two terrorists were killed. In another operation in
Turbat, FC Balochistan (South) foiled terrorist activity as it arrested two
facilitators of terrorists," it said.
the Punjab government on Sunday shared a list of 69 most wanted terrorists with
a head money between some $500 to 100,000 with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK)
province. The Punjab government has asked KPK government to take action against
the terrorists, as they are believed to be hiding in the northwestern province.
- The Punjab government has forwarded a list of most-wanted terrorists to the
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government, sources informed on Sunday.
to officials, the list has been shared with law-enforcing agencies and
intelligence agencies as well. A total
of 22 most-wanted individuals have been added in the list’s ‘first category’.
The head money for individuals in the first category is between Rs 10 million
and Rs 5 million. In category two, which
comprises 27 terrorists, the head money is Rs 2 million, Rs 1 million and Rs
total of 20 religious extremists have been placed in category three.
head money is Rs 3 million, Rs 2 million, Rs 1 million and Rs 0.5 million.
the list, 37 terrorists are said to be associated with various other groups.
Punjab government has set prize money for their arrest as well as information
leading to their arrest.
attack in Helmand leaves more than 30 people dead, wounded
thirty people were killed or wounded in a suicide attack in southern Helmand
province of Afghanistan late on Sunday evening.
to the local government officials, the incident took place in the vicinity of
Nawa district after a suicide bomber detonated his explosives.
governor’s spokesman Omar Zwak confirmed that a suicide bomber targeted an
armored vehicle of the security forces at around 6:30 pm local time.
said preliminary reports indicate at least thirteen people were killed and more
than nineteen others were wounded in the attack.
the meantime, another security official said civilians and security personnel
were among those killed or wounded in the attack.
group including the Taliban insurgents has so far claimed responsibility behind
comes as at least seven people were killed and more than forty others were
wounded in a similar attack in Lashkargah city, the provincial capital of
Helmand on Wednesday.
Taliban insurgents group had claimed responsibility behind the attack.
is among the volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where numerous deadly
attacks have been carried out by the Taliban insurgents during the recent
Afghan security forces with the support of the foreign forces also conduct
regular operations to suppress insurgency of the Taliban.
- The commander of US forces and NATO in
Afghanistan General John Nicholson said on Saturday that the US knows the
Afghan Taliban leadership resides in Quetta and Peshawar.
an interview with Afghan media outlet TOLOnews, Gen Nicholson said that the
issue of outside sanctuaries has to be addressed but that it was “being
addressed in private between the US government and the Pakistani government -
but it does need to be addressed.”
for terrorists and insurgents has to be reduced, has to be stopped,” he
am primarily focused on activities inside Afghanistan,” but other officials are
looking into the issue of sanctuaries in Pakistan, he said.
to him, the issue of sanctuaries was a serious one and one that needed to be
Quetta Shura, Peshawar Shura, these shuras are identified by cities inside
Pakistan, we know Afghan Taliban leaders are in these areas,” he said.
asked whether the Taliban leadership in Quetta and Peshawar and other major
Pakistan cities “shouldn’t sleep in peace from now on”, he said: “I won’t put
words in the (US) President’s mouth but he definitely conveyed this message.”
said that following US President Donald Trump’s announcement earlier this week
on his new war strategy, he, Nicholson, as a commander, has a new policy — “one
based on conditions and not time.”
said: “It gives us additional capabilities. We have a direction now provided by
the US policy that is being supported by NATO.”
the issue of general security in Afghanistan, Nicholson said the “civilian
casualties is a real tragedy”.
whether a diplomatic solution could be found, the General said this was a
possibility but that a significant military effort inside the country would be
carried out and that together the US would work with the Afghan government to
increase its military capabilities.
Taliban cause the vast majority of civilian casualties and even though they
have stated that it is their objective to reduce civilian casualties they have
infact increased civilian casualties. This is one of the points that we need to
put on the table with the Taliban. They are not acting in the best interests of
the Afghan people."
know the Taliban receives the majority of its financing from narcotics
traffic,” he said, adding, that the organisation has become a group that brings
misery and hardships to the people.
if he sees the Taliban as a terrorist organisation, Nicholson said: “They do
terrorist activities and they enable terrorists.”
an example, he pointed to the Taliban links in the past to al Qaeda.
whether he had a mandate to go out and kill the Taliban, Nicholson said: “It is
our mandate to put military pressure on the Taliban.
he said that the US wants a peaceful solution in Afghanistan but that the
“Taliban need to know they cannot win militarily.”
said that he hopes they enter the peace process.“In the meantime, we will put
increasing pressure on them inside the country and on the external
terms of developing the military, he said that the special forces will be
doubled and with the growth of the Afghan airforce, the Taliban will lose.
said that these special forces commandos have never lost a battle against the
Taliban and with an expanded force they will retake the majority of territory
either outside government’s control or territory that is being contested.
said that as these forces expand their control, coupled with pressure on
external sanctuaries, the Taliban will get to a point where it realises it
cannot win militarily and will have to enter into a reconciliation process.
terms of security leadership and the high turnover of Defence and Interior
Ministers, Nicholson said that the issue of leadership is an important one but
gave credit to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani who changed leaders this summer.
Nicholson said ,however, that corruption was still a problem – particularly
that relating to fuel contracts and personnel.
spring of next year every soldier and every police officer will be
biometrically registered, he said. On the fuel contract issue, he said that
these contracts have been pulled back in under the US forces control in order
to cut down on corruption.
said that the Attorney General’s office was also making progress in terms of
cracking down on corruption but that the US forces will keep an eye on this
said that young leaders were meanwhile emerging — leaders who were energetic
and were being taken seriously.
Francis laments persecution of Rohingya Muslims, prays God 'saves them'
Francis decried the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmarand prayed that
they receive “full rights” on Sunday.
pontiff said there was “sad news about the persecution of the religious
minority of our Rohingya brothers.”
of Rohingya are trying to flee into Bangladesh after escalated deadly violence
at home. Last week, Rohingya militants attacked police and border outposts, and
security forces responded.
asked the faithful in St Peter's Square to pray that God “saves them” and they
Myanmar bishop recently said Francis will “most likely” visit Myanmar, while
the Vatican has said only a pilgrimage is being considered.
family members of the Taliban group found Mullah Mohammad Omar and several
leaders of the group have reportedly returned from Pakistan.
provincial police chief of southern Kandahar province Gen. Abdul Raziq informed
the return of the Taliban leaders as he was speaking to reporters in Kandahar
late on Saturday.
Raziq further added that some family members of Mullah Omar and at least
fifteen leaders of the group have returned to Kandahar.
providing further information regarding the identities of the returnees, Gen.
Raziq said some of the high ranking leaders of the group are also among those
who have returned and some of them have previously served as governors and in
other high posts when Taliban regime was in power.
the meantime, Gen. Raziq said the Taliban leaders and family members of Mullah
Omar were encouraged by the local officials in Kandahar to return and rejected
any other party’s involvement in the process.
Taliban insurgents group has not commented regarding the report so far.
provincial governor of the northern Balkh province and chief executive of
Jamiat-e-Islami Ata Mohammad Noor has called the Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin
Hekmatyar the ‘Butcher of Kabul’ as he renewed his stance against the latest
upheavals, mainly involving the heated exchange of words between the two
prominent political parties.
during a gathering in northern Samangan province, Noor called on Hekmatyar to
return to the original place from where he has returned, pointing towards the
caves once used by the militants and militant leaders to hide during the
further added that Hekmatyar has started to insult Jamiat-e-Islami since he
returned to the country.
also added that Hekmatyar has a history of sparking tensions and used to spark
violence among the Jihadi leaders and political parties during the civil war.
chief of executive of Jamiat-e-Islami said Hekmatyar has lost his everything
and even used girls to carry out a suicide attack, calling it the first ever
use of women for the suicide bombings in the country.
other parts of his speech, Noor asked the government to refrain from hatching
conspiracies as he was apparently pointing towards the controversial case
involving the Balkh provincial council member Asif Momand.
Yemenis seek revenge from Saudi Arabia
relatives of the Yemeni civilians killed in a recent Saudi-led airstrike have
laid their loved ones to rest, vowing to mobilize and take revenge from the
Saudi-led coalition waging war on their country.
least 60 civilians died in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition on a hotel
in the Arhab district of the capital Sana’a on Wednesday.
buried the bodies of 22 of the victims on Sunday. A large convoy of emergency
services vehicles were seen transporting the bodies, which were later buried in
a funeral attended by a large number of people.
buried them today. All these people coming here proves how angry the Yemeni
people are at this crime committed against them,” said Abdullah al-Mosheki, a
relative of one of the victims.
of my sons were martyred in the Arhab massacre by the Saudi aggression, they
were civilians though and they used to work in agriculture,” said another
individual, Ahmad al-Jehizei.
appealed to the international community and the United Nations “to hold the
perpetrators of this crime accountable and punish them for it.”
relative at the funeral, Ahmad Zaeid, said the Yemeni civilians were growing
will mobilize ourselves and our forces to fight on the front and take revenge,”
Arabia has been leading a group of its allies in a non-UN-sanctioned war on
Yemen since March 2015. Yemeni sources say at least 12,000 people have died in
the war so far.
Saudi regime has come under criticism over mounting civilian casualties. While
coalition forces are receiving military assistance from the United States and
the United Kingdom — including in the form of intelligence sharing and target
acquisition — they have been increasingly hitting civilian targets.
officials have said that incompetent Saudi pilots, fearing ground fire, have
been flying their jets too high to be able to deliver weapons accurately.
Thursday, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Sana’a to
condemn the airstrike in Arhab.
UN has said it would be investigating the Saudi-led airstrike; but it is
unclear what impact its potential findings would have on the Saudi-led
two days after the attack in Arhab, another Saudi-led airstrike in Sana'a
killed 14 civilians. The Friday bombing targeted residential buildings in the
Faj Attan neighborhood of the city.
Saturday, the Saudi-led coalition admitted that the airstrike in Faj Attan had
been caused by a “technical mistake.”
the coalition has remained defiant about the deadly airstrike in Arhab, saying
it hit a legitimate military target.
from the thousands of civilian casualties, the Saudi-led war has also caused a
cholera epidemic and shortages of food across Yemen. Millions of people face
disease, hunger, and displacement caused by a war that Saudi Arabia seems
unapologetically determined to continue.
Kilicdaroglu says president Erdogan scared of him
main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu has dismissed threats against him by
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saying the head of state is obviously scared of
him and struggles to contain his rise in the Turkish politics.
is definitely shying away and scared of me” said Kilicdaroglu, leader of
Turkey’s Republican People's Party (CHP), in comments released Sunday.
said that Erdogan’s nearly daily speeches in which he threatens the CHP leader
with legal actions over CHP’s increased dissent shows that the president is
suffering from "Kilicdaroglu illness."
sees me as a threat. He is from time to time delivering speeches that contain
threats but we will not be frightened off by their threats,” Kilicdaroglu told
the Agence France-Presse as part of an interview.
CHP leader’s comments come in the middle of a meeting he is chairing to study
rights violations that has occurred in Turkey since a failed coup against
Erdogan last summer. More than 150,000 people have either been arrested or
discharged from jobs on allegations of having links to coup plotters.
so-called “Justice Congress”, being held in the western Canakkale region, comes
nearly two months after Kilicdaroglu concluded a 450-kilometers Justice March
from Ankara to Istanbul to draw attentions to Erdogan’s massive post-coup
crackdown. Analysts say the two events have successfully managed to influence
the public opinion against Erdogan and created a fresh momentum for the CHP in
its quest to end Erdogan’s almost one and a half decades of rule as premier and
the interview with the AFP, Kilicdaroglu said the fact that Erdogan attacks him
in nearly every public speech shows the president has clearly become worried
about CHP’s justice-seeking movement. The opposition leader said, however, that
he would not be deterred by Erdogan’s threats of legal action.
- Turkey's main opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu vowed to press on with an
intensifying campaign for justice in defiance of "threats" by
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing him of ruling as a dictator.
head of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), told Agence France-Presse
in an interview he believed that Erdogan feared his movement and consequently
was attacking him in nearly every public speech. The CHP leader, who analysts
until now rarely saw as posing a major challenge to Erdogan, threw down a new
gauntlet to the president this summer with a nearly month-long march
complaining of injustice in Turkey in the wake of the July 15, 2016 failed coup
weekend, he kicked off a four-day "justice congress" highlighting
violations in the unprecedented crackdown that followed the failed coup, in a
bid to build on the momentum of that march. "Let him (Erdogan) threaten as
much as he wants, we are right. We will defend justice, democracy, judicial
independence and media freedom to the end because we are right," said
sees me as a threat. He is from time to time delivering speeches that contain
threats but we will not be frightened off by their threats," the CHP
leader said in front of his trailer at the outdoor event in the western
Canakkale region. Erdogan has lambasted Kilicdaroglu in speeches and even
darkly hinted that the CHP chief could himself face judicial proceedings.
CITY - UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Sunday urged warring parties in
Yemen to allow humanitarian aid into the country amid a political stalemate
that has seen violence spill into Sanaa. "We are doing are best to create
the conditions for the present stalemate to be overcome," Guterres said
after talks in Kuwait, which is leading mediation efforts in crises across the
comments come after tension between Yemeni ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh and
his ally Abdul Malik al-Huthi, who control the capital Sanaa, escalated into
armed clashes that left two rebels and a pro-Saleh colonel dead late
Saturday. Since 2014, the Saleh-Huthi
alliance has fought the UN-recognised government of Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi for
control of the impoverished country. Witnesses in the capital said the
ex-president's forces had spread in southern parts of the city near the
presidential offices, which Saleh still holds despite resigning in 2012.
- A Yemeni colonel loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and two rebels
have been killed in Sanaa, in an unprecedented escalation of violence between
the allies that Saleh's party warns threatens to push the capital into all-out
anti-government alliance between Saleh and rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Huthi
has crumbled over the past week, with the two accusing each other of treason
and back-stabbing. Witnesses in the capital, which Saleh and Huthi jointly
control, said the ex-president's forces had spread in southern parts of the
city near the presidential offices, which Saleh still holds despite resigning
said the forces had deployed in Sabaeen Square and the district of Hadda.
Saleh's General People's Congress party said in a statement on Sunday that
"remaining silent on the incident would open the door to strife that would
be difficult to contain".
Khaled al-Rida, the deputy head of foreign relations in the GPC, was killed in
the clashes between supporters of Saleh and Abdul Malik al-Huthi late Saturday,
the statement said. A source within the
GPC said the clashes erupted at a Huthi rebel checkpoint in Hadda after a
dispute between fighters manning the checkpoint and armed supporters of Saleh
who were driving by.
rebel-run Saba news agency said two members of the Popular Committees, a tribal
alliance largely dominated by the Huthis, were also killed. Saleh and Huthi
joined ranks in 2014 in a shock alliance that drove the internationally
recognised government out of Sanaa and into the southern province of Aden.
its inception, analysts have viewed the alliance as a tactical move by both
sides, with rebels exploiting Saleh's political power and the former president
benefitting from the Huthi's guns on the ground.
in the past week, a war of words between Saleh and Huthi has escalated, with
Saleh hinting that his allies were merely "a militia" and the rebels
warning the former president was a "back-stabber" and
"traitor" who would "bear the consequences" of the insult.
most recent clashes have added fuel to the fire, with the GPC statement
accusing a "group that knows no morality or oaths" of being behind
the colonel's killing -- a thinly-veiled reference to the Huthis. The Huthis
reportedly suspect Saleh has been negotiating with a Saudi-led military
coalition that supports the Aden-based government.
meanwhile, is said to be displeased with the Huthis' newfound power in the
capital, where they run a number of key offices. The Saudi-led coalition
entered Yemen's war in March 2015 in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour
Hadi's government against the Iran-backed rebels and Saleh.
war has since then pushed the country to the brink of famine, and killed more
than 8,400 civilians -- including in coalition air strikes. The coalition on
Saturday claimed responsibility for an air strike in the Yemeni capital that
killed 14 civilians the previous day, which it called a "technical mistake".
militias issued a circular to all its security posts and checkpoints in Sanaa
and its major entrances stipulating that members of parliament, commanders in
the General People’s Congress and figures close to ousted President Ali
Abdullah Saleh cannot leave the capital.
sources close to the Houthis said that in addition to these orders the Houthis
ordered more military patrols and set several security check points in Sanaa’s
neighborhoods as well as on the southern side of the capital and near Saleh’s
house in Al-Komaem area in Hedda Street.
to eyewitnesses, armed Houthi members were stationed in front of the General
People’s Congress headquarters in Hedda and in its buildings near Saleh’s home.
Armored vehicles and dozens of armed Houthi fighters were also stationed around
the Charter Institute building which is affiliated with the General People’s
the past hours, Houthis arrested dozens of Saleh loyalists and General People’s
senior adviser to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali
Khamenei says the historic nuclear agreement signed between Iran and the P5+1
group of countries in 2015 allows no inspection of Iran’s military sites.
foreign and domestic official and not even unauthorized officials of the
Iranian Armed Forces are allowed to inspect Iran’s military sites without
Ayatollah Khamenei's permission, Major General Hassan Firouzabadi, who advises
the Leader on military affairs, said on Sunday.
slammed recent comments made by US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, who called
on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to request access to Iranian
military sites, in what has been regarded as an attempt by Washington to
undermine the nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
said Haley was the US agent to hatch a “new plot and she is lying.”
top military official urged Washington to stop hatching new plots, saying,
"Through this puppetry, [US President Donald] Trump wants to divert the
world's attention from racist conflicts in America, but he will fail in this
seditious effort as well."
at a news conference in New York on Friday, Haley said the IAEA had to use
every possibility there was under the JCPOA.
IAEA is tasked with monitoring Iranian compliance with the deal, a basically
technical matter that falls within the agency’s area of expertise. The IAEA has
consistently verified that Iran is in compliance since the deal started being
implemented in January 2016.
pledges support to stabilize post-Islamic State Iraq
France will help reconstruction and reconciliation efforts in Iraq as it
emerges from a war against Islamic State, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le
Drian said on Saturday after talks with Iraqi officials in Baghdad.
is a main partner in the U.S.-led coalition helping Baghdad fight the militants
who seized parts of Iraq and Syria in 2014. The coalition provided key air and
ground support to Iraqi forces in the nine-month campaign to take back Mosul,
Islamic State’s capital in Iraq.
city’s fall in July effectively marked the end of the “caliphate” declared by
Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over parts of Iraq and Syria. Iraqi
forces were close to taking back full control of IS’s northwestern stronghold
of Tal Afar on Saturday.
are present in the war and we will be present in the peace,” Le Drian told a
news conference in Baghdad with French Defence Minister Florence Parly and
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari.
if our joint combat against Daesh is not finished, it is entering a phase of
stabilization, of reconciliation, of reconstruction, a phase of peace,” Le
Drian said, calling Islamic State by its Arabic acronym.
the talks, Iraqi Prime Minister Hayder al-Abadi urged France to invest in Iraq,
“at the economic, commercial and investment levels”, according to a statement
from his office.
will grant a 430 million euro ($513 million) loan to Iraq before the end of the
year, a French diplomatic source said.
on Saturday, the French ministers met Kurdish President Masoud Barzani in
Erbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdistan region, whose Peshmerga fighters
have played a prominent role in the fight against Islamic State.
Drian said that France will continue to support the Kurdish Peshmerga,
according to a statement by the Kurdish presidency. The Kurdistan Regional
Government’s (KRG) plan to hold an independence referendum next month was also
discussed by both parties, according to the Kurdish presidency.
and other western countries are worried that the referendum to be held on Sept.
25 could ignite fresh conflict with Baghdad and neighboring states with
sizeable Kurdish communities, mainly Iran and Turkey.
the meeting with Abadi, the French delegation “expressed its commitment to a
unified Iraq,” according to the Iraqi premier’s statement.
to the meeting in Erbil, a diplomat familiar with French policy said Le Drian
and Parly would convey to KRG President Massoud Barzani the French position in
favor of an autonomous Kurdistan that remains part of the Iraqi state.
the meeting with Barzani, Le Drian called for continued dialogue between Erbil
and Baghdad to reach a mutually satisfactory solution over the referendum,
according to the Kurdish presidency's statement.
Baghdad, the French ministers and Jaafari did not mention the fate of families
of French citizens who fought with Islamic State, found in Mosul and other
areas taken back from the militants. Several hundreds French nationals are
believed to have joined the group.
special forces to join Trump’s Afghanistan troop surge: Report
troops from the Special Air Service (SAS), a special forces unit of the British
Army, are gearing up to return to Afghanistan as part of US President Donald
Trump’s new strategy to boost troop levels in the war-torn country, according
to a new report.
sources within the British military say Prime Minister Theresa May is ready to
authorize a “significant uptick” in SAS activities in Afghanistan in order to
step up the fight against Taliban and other extremist groups wreaking havoc in
the country, The Sunday Times reported.
from SAS, operatives from the Special Boat Service have been playing a key role
in a “scoping exercise” to determine the type of equipment that could be sent
the White House has yet to make an official request, the British government
expects to hear from the Pentagon about the Trump administration’s plans to
increase troop levels soon.
special forces are clearly a key element of our military capability in this
kind of operation,” said a senior Whitehall official.
drones and aircraft might also be deployed to Afghanistan, the report added.
military chiefs have obtained “compelling information from credible human
intelligence sources” that show Afghanistan might quickly succumb to the
Taliban if US troops leave the country.
intelligence has been reportedly produced by members of the UK Defense Human
Intelligence Unit — a secret army unit that runs agents in war zones.
said earlier this week that he would prolong the US-led military intervention
in Afghanistan, which he once described as a “complete waste” of time and
who had previously called for the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan,
argued that his "original instinct was to pull out," but that he was
convinced by his national security team to take on the Taliban militants.
new policy reflects a significant shift in his approach to Afghanistan since taking
Defense Secretary Michael Fallon hailed Trump’s announcement. He has already
discussed Britain’s capabilities with his American counterpart, James Mattis.
Takfiri Daesh terrorist group has claimed responsibility for a recent attack in
the Belgian capital of Brussels that left three soldiers injured.
an online statement on Sunday, the Takfiri terrorist group claimed that the
assailant who attacked a group of soldiers with a knife in Brussels on Friday
had been a member of the outfit.
attacker, a Belgian citizen of Somali origin, was shot dead by the troopers. He
was also carrying a fake gun.
Federal Prosecutor’s Office said the man had been known to police for assault
charges but had had no previous terror-related offenses.
often claims attacks by assailants who have no known links to the group.
has been on high alert since Daesh bombers attacked Brussels’ airport and metro
in March 2016. Thirty two people were killed and hundreds more injured in that
which is mainly active in Syria and Iraq, has conducted a string of attacks
across Europe over the past years.
last week, a van rammed into a multitude of people in the center of Barcelona
in Spain, killing at least 13 and injuring more than 120 others.
day later, in the seaside resort of Cambrils, 100 kilometers away from
Barcelona, five terrorists drove a car into pedestrians before being fatally
shot by security forces. One of the pedestrians died and six others sustained
injuries in the attack.
half a million people have taken to the streets in the Spanish city of
Barcelona to condemn violence following recent terrorist attacks in Spain.
demonstrators — some 500,000 by police estimates — participated in the march on
Saturday to show unity in the face of car rampages in Barcelona and Cambrils
that left 14 people dead and more than a hundred others injured last week.
workers, police officers, firefighters, and city officials were at the front of
the procession, aiming to send the message that peace would prevail over terror
and that the city was tolerant of diversity.
marchers carried signs and banners that read, “No to Islamophobia,” “The best
response: Peace,” and “I’m not afraid.”
have to say we are not afraid, but you obviously feel it can happen to you at
any time and that is scary. But fear cannot beat us and we cannot stand still.
We have to show that we keep living, that is what we have to do,” a
King Felipe VI, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, and representatives of all major
Spanish political parties also joined the Saturday march.
rallies were held in cities across Spain, including Madrid, Valencia, Vigo, and
van rammed into a multitude of people in the center of Barcelona on August 17,
killing at least 13 and injuring more than 120 others. The Moroccan driver,
Younes Abouyaaqoub, fled the scene after the attack but was later declared to
have been shot dead by police.
is to grant a 430-million euro loan to Iraq whose economy has been weakened by
low oil prices and its fight against extremists, a French foreign ministry
official said on Saturday.
Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian made the announcement during talks in Baghdad with
Iraq's Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and said the 430 million euros
($512-million) would be released before the end of 2017, the official told AFP.
was present from the beginning of the battles against Daesh (ISIL group) and
will be present as well during time of peace," said Le Drian, who was
accompanied by Defence Minister Florence Parly.
Drian also handed Abadi an invitation from French President Emmanuel Macron to
visit by France's foreign and defence ministers come as Iraqi forces announced
the ouster of the ISIL group from the centre of Tal Afar, one of the
extremists' last remaining stronghold in the north.
advance, just days into an assault on the strategic town, comes six weeks after
Abadi declared victory over IS in second city Mosul, where the extremist group
declared its "caliphate" in 2014.
the plane to Baghdad, Le Drian said that Iraq now faced the dual challenge of
"a war that is coming to an end and the beginning of the stabilisation and
is a key member of the US-led coalition that has been battling IS in Iraq and
forces have carried out air and artillery strikes in support of Iraqi
operations against the extremists, who have lost much of the swathes of
territory they had seized in 2014.
which refused to take part in the 2003 American-led invasion that brought down
dictator Saddam Hussein, is keen to participate in the reconstruction of Iraq.
rhetoric could hardly be more menacing. “Spain is the land of our forefathers,
and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah,” it declares.
the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition in 1478, it adds, “Spain has done
everything to destroy the Koran ... Spain is a criminal state that usurps our
land.” It goes on to claim Muslims have been “burned alive” in the Iberian
nation and demands that faithful jihadists should set out to kill Spanish
“infidels” by “reconnoitring airline and train routes for attacks” and
“poisoning food and water with insecticides”.
source for this demented diatribe is of course Islamic State. Thankfully, there
is most of the time a great gap between what the evil Islamist terrorist
organisation’s monstrous propaganda machine churns out and what it actually
succeeds in doing.
after the appalling attack carried out by Islamic State militants on
Barcelona’s historic Las Ramblas, it puts into context why Spain is now
emerging, ahead of virtually any other European nation, as the focus for an
intensified jihadist onslaught as the terrorists, having lost Mosul and facing
defeat in Raqqa, seek to show they are an undiminished threat.
will recover al-Andalus, Allah willing,” a recent Islamic State video in
Spanish (one of many recently produced in the language) boasts. “Al-Andalus” is
the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France that formed
the caliphate established and governed by the conquering Muslim Moors between
711 and 1492.
would be easy to dismiss such mindless blather. And, indeed, it is to the
credit of successive Spanish governments since the immediate post 9/11 period
that, apart from the massive al-Qa’ida attack that devastated the Madrid rail
system in 2004, killing 192 people and leaving hundreds more injured, Spain has
been mostly free from the sort of persistent Islamist terrorism that has
targeted France, Belgium and Britain.
while much of the rest of Europe, led by Germany — initially, at least — rolled
out the red carpet for refugees arriving from Syria and North Africa, Spain
has, until now, been deliberately far more circumspect and determined to hold
the line. When the original flood of 1.26 million mainly Syrian refugees made
their way across the Mediterranean in 2016, and countries across Europe were
being asked to absorb them, Spain ended up with only 1.3 per cent of the total.
was in line with a trend dating back to Madrid’s accession to membership of the
EU in 1985 which has seen the inflow of migrants arriving in the country come
mainly from the Catholic countries of Latin America and Europe. As the Elcano
Royal Institute of Strategic and International Studies in Madrid has noted,
Muslim immigration — and integration — in Spain is “not assured”.
may deny it, but well-placed sources familiar with government processes in
Madrid indicate that successive governments have deliberately sought to
discriminate in favour of migrants from Catholic countries rather than Muslim
makes sense in an Catholic country. But Elcano has also reported “Muslim
immigrants in Spain continue to encounter obstacles to the practice of their
religion on a range of fronts, including the building of mosques and the
practice of burials”.
like other countries across Europe, is facing increasing levels of
radicalisation among its 1.6 million Muslims. This is frequently spurred on —
as was seen in the Barcelona outrage — by the insidious activities of radical
imams operating in small, isolated communities as well as by Spanish jihadists
returning from the so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq determined, it seems,
to avenge the defeat of the Moors and re-establish al-Andalus, wacky though
that looks as a concept.
recent years, Spanish authorities have arrested hundreds of suspected Islamist
radicals and there seems little doubt that the jihadists are likely to
confront a fierce response to their actions from Spain’s security forces. The
rapid and deadly reaction by police to the Barcelona attack showed the
exceptional competence of the Spanish security forces, which are highly rated
have a long history of confronting terrorism dating back to the 1960s when
Spain was faced with attacks by the ruthless ETA Basque separatist movement.
For almost 50 years, from 1961 to 2011, Spanish security authorities dealt with
almost 3500 ETA terrorist attacks that claimed more than 800 lives and left
3300 people wounded. The one on Christmas Eve, 1973, on which I reported at the
time as an Iberia-based correspondent — the spectacular blowing up of the car
carrying then Prime Minister Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco in the heart of Madrid
— was a political assassination that shocked the world and raised serious
questions about Spain’s ability to deal with terrorism.
protracted but ultimately highly successful battle against ETA, however,
provided Spanish security forces with invaluable experience that they have
successfully used since the 2004 Madrid train bombing to keep a tight rein on
the development of Islamist terrorism (ETA gave up the fight in the face of
insurmountable security force pressure on the terrorists in 2011).
this success and prolonged absence of any significant Islamist terrorism in
Spain before the Barcelona attack, Islamic State’s overheated propaganda
increasingly shows that the Iberian nation has remained firmly in the jihadist
crosshairs. After 9/11, then conservative prime minister Jose Maria Aznar
boosted Spain’s international standing by strongly supporting George W. Bush’s
invasion of Iraq. He provided both diplomatic and strategic support for the
operation and a photograph of him standing shoulder to shoulder with George
Bush and Tony Blair in the Azores in March 2003 is said to have infuriated
Osama bin Laden.
did well to support the fight against terrorism: it subsequently emerged that
Mohammed Atta, the pilot of the first aircraft that struck the World Trade
Centre on 9/11, was in Cambrils, the town linked to the Barcelona attack,
shortly before 9/11.
the 2004 bombing of the Madrid railway system, bin Laden declared the attack to
be “only part of the settlement of old scores with the Crusader Spain”.
participation, too, in the US-led coalition fighting Islamist terrorism in both
Afghanistan, post 9/11, and Iraq has enraged Islamist leaders. So has its
membership of NATO.
the Spanish government has adopted a less activist role in the Middle East,
refusing to join coalition airstrikes in Syria. But the Madrid government
remains strongly supportive of its allies so the jihadists continue to see it
as a major target for terrorism.
it is the historical imperative generated by Spain’s Moorish Muslim past and
the determination to re-establish the Al-Andalus caliphate that is now
spurring the growth of Islamist radicalism as more Islamic refugees flood into
the country after Madrid’s years of maintaining some of the best border
security in Europe. Close to 16,000 people from North Africa and Syria
officially crossed into Spain last year, twice the number that arrived in
2015. While official figures show that fewer than half those have been
successful in their applications for asylum, the belief is that far more
arrived in the country illegally, especially from Morocco.
recently, Spain was regarded as having some of the lowest rates of Islamist
radicalisation seen anywhere in Europe, with the Elcano Royal Institute of
Strategic and International Studies reporting that “Islamic radicalisation
among Arab immigrants is low in Spain compared to what has been observed in
Belgium, the UK, France and Germany”.
has, however, gone a long way towards upending assessments that all is well
and untroubled with Spain’s Islamic community, with clear evidence emerging of
links to migrant source communities in North Africa and indications of how
first and second generation Muslims living in Spain have fallen easy prey to
the wiles of extremist Salafist imams doing the evil work of Islamic State
CIA has shown increasing signs of concern about the growth of radicalism,
reportedly warning Spanish authorities two months before the attack that the
city was emerging as a potential target, even highlighting Las Ramblas as the
most likely location for a deadly vehicular assault.
the torrent of incendiary Islamic State propaganda in Spanish (some security
assessments are that in the space of only a few months Islamic State has issued
no fewer than 26 new propaganda videos in Spanish — more than for any other
country), with its menacing calls for “the recovery of al-Andalus”, this is
hardly surprising. There is no doubt that, as the Spanish terrorism analyst
Florentino Portero has said, “Islamic State is answering military defeats (in
the Middle East) with more terror (in Spain)”.
issues like the way, in predominantly Catholic Spain, ancient mosques have been
converted into cathedrals — most notably the magnificent “mosque-cathedral” in
the ancient city of Cordoba, Europe’s most important Islamic heritage site —
have come to the fore as a major aspect of Islamic State’s drive to stir up
Muslim sentiment and seek the (unlikely) reinstatement of the city as the
historic city as the centrepoint of a new Islamic caliphate.
mosques of the Moorish caliphate, too, have been converted into cathedrals and
churches and are now part of the Islamic State push to highlight what it sees
as the evil perpetrated by the infidel “Crusaders” against Islam.
will recover al-Andalus, Allah willing,” Islamic State has declared. “Oh, dear
Andalus! You thought we forgot about you. I swear by Allah we have never
forgotten you. No Muslim can forget Cordoba, Toledo or Xativa. There are many
faithful Muslims who swear they will return to al-Andalus ... Spain is the land
of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah.”
to the New York-based Gatestone Institute, a recent Islamic State document
includes a list of grievances against Spain for alleged wrongs done against
Muslims since the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 when the Christian
forces of King Alfonso VIII of Castile routed the Almohad Muslim rulers of the
southern half of the Iberian Peninsula. More than 100,000 Muslims were killed
in the battle, a key victory in the Catholic Monarchs’ Reconquista of Spain.
is the currency of Islamic State’s madness. It would be hard to overstate the
potential impact of such propaganda on minds corrupted and inflamed by the
insidious subversion of imams hellbent on seeing the restoration of
that has emerged following the Barcelona attack has shown the nature and extent
of the mass destruction that had been sought by its evil instigators.
horrifying as the mowing down of innocent men, women and children in the name
of Islam on Las Ramblas was intended to be, evidence that has emerged of a
major bomb factory in the nearby seaside town of Alcanar and the intention to
cause mass casualties, including the destruction of major Barcelona monuments
and buildings like Antoni Gaudi’s magnificent La Sagrada Familia, under
construction since 1882, showed the extent of the intended evil.
prime minister Jose Maria Aznar, who did so much when in office between 1996
and 2004 to combat terrorism and ensure Spain’s security, got it right in our
pages earlier this week when he spoke out against “appeasement” with terrorism
and forcefully litigated the argument that “for us not to be defeated, we must
actually defeat them”.
must be conscious of the threat and we must seek to truly quash that threat in
all its aspects,” Aznar argued in calling for “all the instruments of the state
based on the rule of law that exists (or creating those that do not exist) to
effectively and irremediably defeat the terrorists operatively and
ideologically, while also activating all political and civil forces and all
diplomatic, technological and even military resources if required.”
is far from alone in the terrorist challenge it faces. But its historical past
and the extremists’ belief that they can somehow restore the former al-Andalus
caliphate to its glory in Cordoba — and in so doing defeat the “Crusaders” —
presents it with a challenge, the importance of which to the global war against
Islamic extremism cannot be overstated.
other country in Europe presents a similar historical background, and none is
more likely to be more purposefully targeted by the insidious evil of the
Islamist extremists. All the experience and hard lessons gained in the
extraordinarily tough years of fighting the ETA terrorists is going to be put
to the test. So, too, most crucially, is the country’s success in maintaining
strict border controls on migration and the flow of refugees from jumping-off
points, particularly in North Africa’s Sahel region, that are known to fester
with Islamist militancy.
the face of it, the notion so fiercely espoused by Islamic State — “We will
recover al-Andalus” — looks crazy. But the trouble is that the mad men who
perpetrated the unutterable evil wrought in Barcelona, and the scheming radical
Salafist imams who sent them on their way, believe it, and will undoubtedly —
through their manipulation of those they convince — cause many more innocent
casualties in pursuit of that goal.
Gorka out, White House is nearly cleansed of hard-liners against Islam
White House today is nearly devoid of the hard-liners who arrived in January
wanting to use the bully pulpit to expose radical Islam as the root cause of
Gorka, a scholarly but intense voice on the need for Islam to reform itself,
exited Friday after a number of other like-minded thinkers were shown the door.
Mr. Gorka was a cable news regular who took joy in bashing Mr. Trump’s critics,
exodus began with retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who had planned to use
his national security adviser role for the Gorka-type message. Next were a
cadre of his people on the National Security Council staff. Then chief
strategist Steve Bannon left the White House and returned to fighting his wars
at Breitbart News Network.
see the cleansing as a victory for Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, Mr. Flynn’s
successor as national security adviser.
an Army strategist and prominent public speaker, the historian-warrior has
expressed a consistent theme that the Islamic State terrorist organization, al
Qaeda and other ultraviolent Muslim groups do not reflect Islam.
is much the same argument made by President Obama, who saw himself as a
personal defender of Islam.
have held out hope that President Trump, as commander in chief, will counter
the McMaster culture.
the White House shift from the Gorkas and Bannons came into even sharper focus
last week when Mr. Trump delivered his first prime-time TV address to the
nation. His speech on how to win in Afghanistan against a collection of violent
Islamic groups never mentioned the word “Islamic,” only the generic term
pointedly did not refer to ‘Islamic terrorists,’ but only to ‘terrorists,’ for
the very first time,” said Robert Spencer, who runs the nonprofit Jihad Watch.
“He campaigned on the promise that he would deal honestly with the motivating
ideology behind the jihad threat. He has betrayed that promise.”
an interview, an administration official who asked to speak not for attribution
told The Washington Times that critics such as Mr. Spencer and Mr. Gorka are
missing the point.
Trump announced not a retreat but rather a war plan against Islamic extremists.
Mr. Gorka mentioned the missing words as motivation to leave.
fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of
radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of
your presidential campaign has been lost,” Mr. Gorka said, according to The
administration official told The Times that neither Mr. McMaster nor any other
official made a conscious effort to leave out the words “radical Islamic
terror.” If Mr. Trump wanted those words in the speech, then they would have
been included, the official said.
was not a deliberate omission in any sense,” the official said. “It’s not
something anyone thought about.”
Bannon wanted U.S. troops out of Afghanistan, a nexus of Islamic terrorism.
find it extremely odd that the same people who are complaining he didn’t use
that special phrase in his speech are also complaining about the policy, which
is to go and fight and kill and blow up radical Islamic terrorists,” the
administration official said. “So we’re upset that the talismanic three words
are not there, and we’re upset about the policy which is to go and kill the
people the talismanic three words signify.”
terrorism or ignorance
his presidential campaign, Mr. Trump called for withdrawing U.S. military
forces from Afghanistan. His Aug. 21 speech was a commitment to a continued
American presence without a timetable for leaving.
its core, that speech was a call for war against the Taliban, the Islamic State
and al Qaeda, the administration official said.
kind of the great triumvirate of radical Islamic terrorists,” the official
in Mr. McMaster’s tenure, the president overruled his objections to uttering
the phrase “Islamic terrorism.”
president will use it when he wants,” the official said. “I’ll make a
prediction here that may turn out wrong: You will hear Trump use the phrase
‘radical Islamic terrorism’ again. He will use it. It’s one of his phrases.”
Mansoor is a McMaster ally and retired Army colonel who served in Iraq and
teaches at Ohio State University.
before the Gorka departure was announced, Mr. Mansoor told The Times: “With
Bannon gone, certainly McMaster’s views hold more sway, but with Sebastian
Gorka still in the West Wing, unanimity is still elusive.”
the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, conservatives have adopted a view that,
to defeat Islamic terrorists and their ideology, the U.S. has to label them for
what they are: extremists within the religion who rely on its scholars, mosques
and money to justify and spread death.
Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s founder, studied at a seminary in Iraq.
authorities on Aug. 19 raided the home of an imam who is suspected of
supervising the Barcelona van attack for which the Islamic State claimed
McMaster takes a well-documented view diametrically opposed to Mr. Spencer’s
is a cycle going on where groups like ISIL, who use this irreligious ideology,
this perverted interpretation of religion, to justify violence. They depend on
ignorance and the ability to recruit vulnerable segments of populations to
foment hatred, and then to use that hatred to justify violence against
innocents,” Mr. McMaster said last year at the Center for Strategic and
is a McMaster theme.
use that hatred, then, to justify violence against innocent people,” he said in
2014 at the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs. “So to break
that cycle, ultimately I think you have to address the ignorance. I think the
long-term, multigenerational battleground is a battleground of education.
say they do not believe the “ignorance” label fits al-Baghdadi, who skillfully
used Islamic scholarship to justify mass killings. They also say it does not
fit the thousands of educated Muslims who flocked to Syria to join the Islamic
State and support its killings.
al-Baghdadi has a Ph.D. in Islamic studies,” Mr. Spencer told The Times.
word “ignorance” is popular among Islamic activists to label people such as Mr.
Spencer, who, he said, “note how Islamic jihadis use the teachings of Islam to
justify violence and make recruits among peaceful Muslims.”
is a theologically charged term in Islam, as the pre-Islamic period of any
nation is known as its time of ‘ignorance,’ or ‘jahiliyya,’” Mr. Spencer said.
“McMaster is no doubt being heavily propagandized by representatives of these
groups, as his language reflects theirs.”
News acquired Islamic State personnel files on about 4,000 foreign fighters who
entered Syria. Far from being poor and uneducated, the cadre included 629
businessmen, 76 police and military personnel, 103 skilled white-collar workers
including lawyers and engineers, 69 information technicians and 28 media
the size of the Islamic State recruiting pool provides for a larger number of
occupational [backgrounds] present and therefore more diverse resources
available to Islamic State leaders,” said the Combating Terrorism Center at the
U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York.
his Aug. 21 speech, Mr. Trump referred to “terrorist” or “terrorists” 18 times
but never labeled them Islamic.
referred to “a terrorist group called ISIS” in one instance and in another
“designated foreign terrorist organizations.”
Spencer contends Mr. Trump has retreated on other issues.
in place is an Obama-era “Countering Violent Extremism” program that awards
money to nonprofit groups and generally ignores the jihad threat. The study of
jihad ideology is still downplayed in law enforcement and intelligence
Department of Homeland Security canceled CVE grants to some organizations and
has been working behind the scenes to direct more attention to Islamic
cannot defeat the enemy without knowing the enemy, and under Trump so far we
still refuse to make any effort to know the enemy,” Mr. Spencer said.
Maginnis, a retired Army colonel and author of a counterterrorism book, said
Mr. McMaster reflects the politically correct thinking permeating military
who really studies the Islamic trilogy — the Sera, Hadith and Koran — will come
away with a thorough appreciation for the faith’s radical and militaristic
thinking,” said Mr. Maginnis, whose book “The Deeper State” appears Oct. 1.
“Unfortunately, many in the U.S. military have been subjected to the
politically correct view that leaves them intellectually dishonest about the
facts of Islam and that faith’s violent history, much less the implications it
has for contemporary terrorism.”
Obama administration’s last National Military Strategy, which is the Joint
Chiefs of Staff chairman’s guidance to all commanders on threats and how to
defeat them, did not mention Islamic terrorism. Instead, it used the generic
term “violent extremist organizations.”
Corps Gen. Joseph Dunford, the current chairman, said his strategy is not to be
released publicly in any form.
commanders had pressed his staff to include a discussion of Salafist Islamic
teachings and how they influence the Islamic State and other Sunni Muslim
40 self-proclaimed "Alberta patriots" protesting a
"tyrannical" Canadian government were met by hundreds of
counter-protesters on the steps of Calgary City Hall on Sunday.
rally, called both "Deployment Day" and "Deplorable Day" by
organizers on Facebook, was spearheaded by the North American Freedom Fighters
(NAFF), formerly known as the Canadian Combat Coalition.
event was billed as an anti-government rally and also a "tribute" to
Canadian veterans and those fighting to "protect our freedoms as
some members of the group are also members of the Worldwide Coalition Against
Islam (WCAI), a group that marched on city hall for an anti-Islam rally in June
despite being denied a permit by the city.
of the Calgary chapter of NAFF declined to speak to CBC News and Radio-Canada,
calling the media outlets "fake news."
believe it is a temporary thing'
NAFF and WCAI gathering was outnumbered by counter protesters from Voices -
Calgary's Coalition of Two-Spirit & Racialized LGTBQIA+, as well as the
Calgary Anti-Fascist Action.
Millare, a member of Voices, said the theme of the NAFF's rally was
disingenuous and the group uses veterans and religion "to mask their
important to come here and be counted," Millare said Sunday. "We're
here to fight for everyone's rights. Human rights are inherent in all of us.
We're born with it, but some people think they're better."
Alghoul attended the counter-protest with her young daughter Fatima Choudhry to
educate her daughter on the anti-Islam movement, but also show "the amount
of support" Muslims have from the community.
said she thinks the increase of anti-Muslim rhetoric from some Canadians won't
believe it is a temporary thing and it will fizz away," Alghoul said.
"Because I think what we have in Canada is much stronger than what [hate
groups] are promoting."
arrests or injuries
of the "patriot group" Canadian Three Percenters were on-hand at the
Welling, president of Alberta Three Percenters, said the group attended the
rally to provide security for both sides and is a neutral party.
we believe in, strongly believe in, is freedom of speech," Welling said.
said members of the Alberta Three Percenters offered security and to
"protect" both protesters and counter-protesters. The offer was
denied by anti-racism activists but accepted by the NAFF.
said his group co-operated with the Calgary Police Service.
ties like Hamas dancing with Trump, says PAS leader
JAYA: A PAS leader has likened the apparent cooperation between Umno and PAS
prior to the 14th general election (GE14) to a “careful dance” between militant
Palestinian resistance outfit Hamas and billionaire US president Donald Trump.
party’s Kuala Terengganu division leader Wan Sukairi Wan Abdullah was quoted by
the South China Morning Post (SCMP) yesterday as saying that the parties were
being cautiously friendly towards each other.
equals Hamas,” he was quoted as saying. “And Umno equals Donald Trump. The two
friendliness is a new strategy born out of mature politics,” he added.
are working together for the sake of the people and Islam. That is important.”
of the two parties have over the last year presented themselves to be working
together on issues related to Muslims.
has supported a private member’s bill in Parliament by PAS president Abdul Hadi
Awang on intensifying certain shariah punishments for Muslims.
Hadi and Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is Umno president, have also put up a
united front in condemning violence perpetrated against the Rohingya people in
May, Hadi was quoted as saying that although they had different stands, PAS and
Umno were working together for “joint interests”.
cooperation today is mature politics, politics without any quarrels, politics
that champion joint interests. In politics, one can have differing opinions but
for any issue that involves joint interests, we must work together,” he said.
that month, Najib, in his speech at Umno’s 71st anniversary celebration, had
openly displayed a growing affection for PAS which was the party’s enemy in the
did this by citing excerpts of the speech made by Hadi to show how the two had
and would continue to unite on issues concerning public interests.
SCMP report yesterday said while the strategy might deliver Malay votes for
Najib, it would also bring the risk of losing Chinese and Indian support.
quoted Oh Ei Sun, principal adviser to the Pacific Research Centre, as saying
that prioritising Islamic voters would “be extremely harmful” to Malaysia’s
would also inadvertently nurture a hot bed for misguided religious extremists
and fundamentalists to spread their twisted versions of intoxicating
ideologies,” he was quoted as saying.
Mustafa Ishak, a professor of politics and international studies at Universiti
Utara Malaysia, was cited in the report as commenting that both PAS and Umno
benefitted through their cooperation.
issues of race, ethnicity, the Malay language and especially Islam are close to
the heart of the Malays,” he was quoted as saying.
working together to uphold Islam, either through the implementation of shariah
law or strengthening the position of Islam within the administration, this
serves both parties well,” he added.
vows to defend Selangor from BN, Umno
JAYA: PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man has vowed to ensure Barisan
Nasional does not regain Selangor in the next general election (GE14).
party’s official mouthpiece, Harakah Daily, yesterday reported Tuan Ibrahim as
saying the party will continue to defend the state from Umno, and it will also
contests in states where it managed to win seats in the last general election
severing political ties with PKR in May, PAS still has three representatives in
the Selangor Exco which is led by PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Ibrahim’s statement comes days after his party shot down any prospect about
discussing seat allocations for GE14 with PKR.
week, PAS vice-president Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah was reported to have said that
the Islamist party had severed political ties with PKR in May.
there is still room for discussion, as of now we won’t negotiate with PKR.
PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says she wants to discuss seat negotiations
with PAS for GE14, we’ll make it simple. Don’t contest where we are
contesting,” he was reported to have said.
Selangor PAS said it will be challenging both Wan Azizah and her deputy Azmin
in GE14 as part of its plans to contest in 42 state seats in Selangor.
to that, Wan Azizah said she has not ruled out discussing seat allocations with
PAS for GE14.
Azizah had stressed that the main objective was to topple BN at the federal
there is anything that can help us achieve that, we will give it a try,” she
was reported as saying.
is not part of PH, which comprises PKR, DAP, PPBM and Amanah.
- Exporters from Malaysia, the world's largest producer and exporter of halal
food products, are going to showcase its multi-billion dollar halal industry
that last year recorded $9.79 billion (RM42 billion) worth of Halal exports
worldwide - at the 9th edition of the Halal Expo Dubai to be held on Sept.
18-19 at the Roda Al Bustan Hotel near Dubai International Airport.
is a global leader in Halal food products as well as a hub for Islamic finance.
Malaysia will be represented by 15 strong ready to export entrepreneurs that
will sit under the Malaysia's national pavilion at the Halal Expo Dubai that
will widen the choice of halal products for local importers and consumers in
the UAE and the Gulf.
Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industries is leading the country's
participation at the Halal Expo Dubai - the only such exhibition in the UAE.
The participants represent Halal food, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals sectors.
Muslim expenditure on food and beverage (F&B) was estimated at $1.12
billion in 2014 and potentially rising to $1.58 billion in 2020. Muslim
expenditure makes up 16.7 percent of global expenditure on F&B in 2014.
Malaysia's external halal F&B sector is of critical importance, as F&B
was Malaysia's top halal export (RM19.5 billion) in 2015, followed by palm oil
derivatives (RM11 billion) and halal ingredients (RM5 billion).
ranks first on Thomson Reuters' Halal Travel indicator. Muslim global
expenditure on travel is estimated at $142 billion or 11 percent of global
expenditure, and is projected to rise to $233 billion in 2020.
the Muslim market for pharmaceuticals and cosmetics is valued at $54 billion or
seven percent of global expenditure. The cumulative average growth rate (CAGR)
for this sector is 6.8 percent between 2014 and 2020. Malaysia ranks just
behind Singapore and Egypt on this metric.
products exposition always evokes a strong interest amongst Malaysian producers
of Halal products due to the country's leadership in this sector. Malaysia, a
pioneer in the global Halal movement, will demonstrate its leadership in Halal
food, beverage, Halal cosmetics and Halal pharmaceuticals products at Halal
Expo Dubai this year,” Shahid Bin Abu Bakar, Consul of Agriculture, Consulate
General of Malaysia, said.
UAE is one of the Malaysia's largest trading partner among the GCC countries
with a total trade around Dh21.6 billion.
Expo Dubai is a major international exhibition to showcase Halal products and
services. It will help strengthen bilateral trade between the two Muslim
countries,” Abu Baker said. “Our participants expect to increase their network
of customers in the region at the Halal Expo.”
Fairs and Exhibition LLC is organizing Halal Expo - an international exposition
to highlight the growth in the ethical, moral and halal and healthy living,
products and services.
Expo Dubai is the largest and most comprehensive Business-to-Business (B2B)
halal exposition in the Middle East for the $2.3 trillion global halal
industry. The event, which attracted participation from 13 countries in its
previous edition and registered 3,700 trade visitors from 40 countries, expect
larger trade participation where buyers and sellers of halal products and
services are expected to do brisk business.
Ahmed, Director of Orange Fairs and Events, organizer of the Halal Expo Dubai
2017, said “we are extremely delighted to welcome the Malaysia Pavilion at the
Halal Expo. Halal expositions are incomplete without Malaysia's participation.”
Pavilion will help create greater consumer awareness on the global Halal
products, Halal standards and the benefits of consuming clean, green and Halal
products - a trend that is fast spreading worldwide.”
Expo Dubai focuses on a number of business verticals, including, halal food,
halal beverage, halal fashion, halal cosmetics and personal care products,
halal travel and tourism, halal hospitality, halal banking and finance.
JAYA: Although China claims to be the protector of overseas Chinese, its
consequent “meddling” in local politics could end up harming the interests of
Chinese Malaysians, a research analyst has warned.
Xin Ying, who is attached to the Malaysia programme at the S Rajaratnam School
of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University, pointed out
that the status of the ethnic Chinese community in Malaysia is “very sensitive”
to begin with.
a commentary carried by Singapore daily TODAYonline, she referred to incidents
such as the pro-Malay “Red Shirts” rally at Petaling Street two years ago.
incident, which took place in September 2015, saw protesters targeting mostly
Chinese traders in the area which is known as Malaysia’s “Chinatown”.
Besar Umno division chief Jamal Md Yunos, who led the Red Shirts movement, had
also said that Chinese Malaysians could always return to their “homeland” in
China if they were dissatisfied with their lives in Malaysia.
also recalled the quote from Kinabatangan MP Bung Moktar, “Cina balik Cina”
(Chinese go back to China), and Prime Minister Najib Razak’s use of the term
“Chinese tsunami” following the 2013 general election in which Barisan Nasional
suffered a serious loss of support.
it is not improbable that the interference of China would give opportunistic
Malay politicians more ammunition to single out and isolate Chinese Malaysians
further,” she said.
added that with China’s increasing influence in the country, Chinese Malaysians
are “as wary as they are welcoming”.
China’s big investments in Malaysia’s schools and economy, she said such moves
could be viewed both positively and negatively as Chinese Malaysians are
treading a fine line in the political sphere.
was not helped by comments such as those of China’s ambassador to Malaysia,
Huang Huikang, who after the Petaling Street rally had warned that China “will
not sit idly by as others infringe on the national interest of China”.
ethnic Chinese in Malaysia would rather co-exist peacefully with the other
ethnic communities than be shielded by a ‘protector’ in a society already
divided along ethnic cleavages,” she said.
also pointed to the ongoing South China Sea disputes, adding that if a
geopolitical conflict occurs, the Chinese Malaysians will be further pushed
into a difficult position.
should be aware of the ethnic Chinese’s sensitive position in Malaysian
politics, given the complex and fragile nature of nation building in a
big powers like China need to be careful to prevent the further fragmentation
of Malaysian society,” she said.
mega projects in Malaysia include the RM55 billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL)
project and the KL-Singapore High Speed Rail (HSR) project which is expected to
cost over RM60 billion.
ECRL will create a 250km land bridge which could undercut the Melaka Straits
trade route by bypassing Singapore, while the 350km HSR will cut travel time
between KL and Singapore to just 90 minutes.
is also involved in the RM43 billion Melaka Gateway project which features a
deep-sea port to be built by 2019 on Pulau Melaka off the coast of Melaka.
as an attempt to compete with Singapore, the project includes a cruise terminal
and a waterfront district with hotels and a giant observation wheel.
class action suit to have Muslim marriages declared legally valid in South
Africa will be heard in the Western Cape High Court on Monday.
matter, which was filed in 2014, was deferred to be heard together with a
matter which raises similar issues, applicant, the Women's Legal Centre (WLC),
court previously ordered the consolidation of a further matter pending before
the court, which similarly highlights the plight of Muslim women, the WLC said.
are several matters that are pending at a number of courts across the country.
This is testament to the fact that Muslim women are struggling to assert their
rights because their Muslim marriages and the consequences arising therefrom
are not legally recognised," the centre said in a statement.
have no option but to plead their cases with the courts and the
Siraj Desai, Gayaat Salie-Hlophe and Nolwazi Boqwana have been appointed to
hear the matter.
to the non-profit law centre, legal steps to ensure fairness between the
spouses, as well as ensuring children's rights, when civil or customary
marriages break down, do not exist in Muslim and religious marriages.
customary marriages were given full legal recognition, the historical basis for
not recognising polygynous marriages fell away," attorney Hoodah Abrahams-Fayker
said in a statement when the application was first heard in September 2016.
courts have already found the lack of inclusion of Muslim marriages to be
discriminatory in respect of inheritance and spousal dependent's claims, but
legislation is needed to recognise them for all purpose."
are also often approached by women who cannot get a divorce because it is
dependent upon the husband to agree when the wife seeks a divorce. Even where
the religious bodies intervene, they have no power to compel a husband to
adhere or to enforce an agreement reached."
centre argues that there is no judicial oversight with Muslim divorces, as
there is in civil and customary divorces.
would rely on arguments that a range of constitutional rights were being
violated, including the right to equality.
- An American journalist has been killed while covering clashes between
government and rebel forces in restive South Sudan, local officials and the US
mission in Juba said on Sunday. Christopher Allen, a freelance reporter and
photographer, was embedded with insurgent troops when fighting broke out in
Kaya, near South Sudan's southern border with Uganda. A spokesman for the US embassy told AFP that
"an American citizen" had died in the clashes, which also killed 18
A senior commander in al Shabaab, Somalia’s al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist
rebels, was killed last month in a U.S. airstrike, the group said on Saturday
in an online statement.
said at the time that its military and allied foreign troops had killed the man
identified as Ali Moahmed Hussein or Ali Jabal, believed responsible for
did not disclose the nationality of the foreign troops, but American soldiers
have in the past taken part in such raids.
cowardly American enemy planes tried to strike him. The first missed him and
the second hit, making him a martyr,” said the al Qaeda statement circulated on
said last month that Ali Jabal’s death would “reduce al Shabaab’s ability to
conduct senseless acts of violence against the people of Somalia, its East
African neighbors, and the international community.”
insurgents have carried out frequent attacks in the capital Mogadishu as they
bid to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government and drive out African Union
families refuse to bury the bodies of 10 loved ones, including three children,
who were recently shot dead when the army supported by US troops carried out an
operation in the village of Bariire.
families say they will not go on with the burial until the government takes
responsibility for the killings.
village is located about 50 kilometers from the capital Mogadishu, and the
operation was carried out on Friday.
Nur, the deputy governor of the Lower Shabelle region, said on Sunday that the
bodies would be stored until the government compensated the bereaved.
refused to bury them because the government has denied and it still has not
directly admitted it killed the civilians," Nur said. “The government
should admit it killed the civilians and then compensate."
said authorities had converted a refrigerated lobster truck into a mortuary to
hold the bodies.
elders and ambulance drivers who ferried the bodies confirmed that the dead
were stored in the truck.
government wants the bodies buried prior to investigation but we will not. We
shall have the bodies inside the truck even for a month," said Mohamed
Hussein, a village elder.
Friday, the US Africa Command confirmed that American troops had been involved
in the Bariire operation in a supporting role and that the command was probing
reports of civilian casualties.
military initially said all the dead were members of the Takfiri al- Shabab
militant group but later acknowledged some civilians had died.
government says it has formed a team to investigate the deadly incident.
Amin Jesow, a lawmaker, said those killed were farmers who had armed themselves
against a rival group.
Mohamed, a cousin of one of the slain people, urged the government to admit
would you feel if your own government kills your brothers and labels them as
militants?" he asked. "We want them to admit, apologize and
compensate. Otherwise there will be no peace."
troops were unwittingly drawn into clan fighting in the area. The Bariire
operation is likely to draw questions about Washington's growing footprint in
the African country.
US Navy Seal was killed in Somalia in May, the first combat death there since
White House has granted the military broader authority to carry out strikes in
Somalia against al-Shabab militants.
has been torn apart by civil war since 1991.
an al-Qaeda-aligned militant group, was forced out of the capital by African
Union troops in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and carries
out attacks against government, military and civilian targets.
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