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Islamic World News (08 Apr 2017 NewAgeIslam.Com)


ISIS Militants Hang Dead Bodies from Electricity Poles in War-Torn Mosul
















Don’t Muslims drink milk from cows or look after them? Ask dairy farmers in Jaisinghpur, a hamlet in Haryana’s Mewat district. (HTFILEPHOTO)

 

ISIS Militants Hang Dead Bodies from Electricity Poles in War-Torn Mosul

Fear, Anger Grip a Village Of Muslim ‘Gau Sevaks’

Imam of Makkah's Grand Mosque Asks Muslims to Shed Their Differences

China Punishes 97 Officers for Failing to Crack Down On Muslims

 

Arab World

ISIS Militants Hang Dead Bodies from Electricity Poles in War-Torn Mosul

ISIS Kills Dozens of Civilians Trying To Flee Mosul: Witnesses

ISIL Suffers Heavy Defeat in Clashes with Syrian Army in Eastern Homs

Syrian Army Makes Fresh Advances against Terrorists in Dara'a

Syrian Army Continues to Pound Al-Nusra Positions in Eastern Damascus

Less than 24 hours after US strikes, Syrian jets take off from Shayrat airbase

Gulf Cooperation Council expresses support for US air strikes on Syria

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India

Fear, Anger Grip a Village Of Muslim ‘Gau Sevaks’

Govt Cancels Registration of Zakir Naik’s Trust for Education

Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina accorded ceremonial welcome

‘Deported man mentored Bengaluru blast accused’

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Pakistan

Imam of Makkah's Grand Mosque Asks Muslims to Shed Their Differences

Saudi Minister Terms Military Alliance ‘Victory of Islam’

Pakistan: Member of persecuted Muslim sect shot and killed

Lahore blast handler among 10 killed

Terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan equally painful: Bajwa

Pak-Afghan relations are moving towards rapprochement

Raheel not going to lead a ‘Sunni alliance’: NSA 

ISPR DG briefs Afghan media on Pak-Afghan border situation

Sindh Rangers release pictures of Sehwan Sharif bomber, facilitators

Ahmadi professor shot dead in Lahore

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Southeast Asia

China Punishes 97 Officers for Failing to Crack Down On Muslims

Where Do Malaysian Non-Muslims Go From Here?

BN committed in upholding Islam: Najib

Backlash on Bills shackles political chiefs in Malaysia

Malaysian universities primed for growth in global Halal market

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North America

Majorities of Americans Concerned About Violence against Jews, Muslims

American Private Sector Finding Pakistan an Attractive Market: Envoy

Speakers from Muslim, Japanese American and Jewish Communities Take Part in ‘Vigilance against Injustice’ Event

Why Researchers Say Islam Is the Fastest-Growing Religious Group

Phoenix Muslim community reacts to U.S. airstrikes on Syria

U.S. Withdraws Summons for Twitter Records on Account Critical of Trump's Muslim Ban,

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South Asia

Taliban’s Deputy Governor and 6 Tajik Militants among Dozens Killed in Kunduz

15 ISIS Militants Killed During Hamza Operations In East Of Afghanistan

Constitution bench to hear citizenship plea of Bangladeshi

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Mideast

US Military on Same Side As Al-Qaeda, Daesh In Yemen, Syria: Iran FM

Erdogan spokesman calls for Syrian no-fly zone without delay

Iran: US Army Supporting Al-Qaeda, ISIL in Yemen, Syria

US strike on Syria strengthens regional terrorism: Iran's president

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Europe

Putin Considers US Attack in Syria Aggression against Sovereign State

Moscow Suspends US-Russia Memorandum on Flights Safety in Syria

Swedish prosecutors says man arrested on strongest level of suspicion for terror crime

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Africa

Over 6,000 Flee 'Terrifying' Violence In S. Sudan Town

Sudan imposes new visa requirement on Egypt nationals

Nairobi: Thousands protest demolition of mosque

S. Africa denies breaking rules by not arresting Sudan's Bashir

15 Burkina troops jailed over arms depot raid

Compiled by New Age Islam News Bureau

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islamic-world-news/new-age-islam-news-bureau/isis-militants-hang-dead-bodies-from-electricity-poles-in-war-torn-mosul/d/110698


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ISIS militants hang dead bodies from electricity poles in war-torn Mosul

8 April 2017

ISIS militants have killed dozens of civilians attempting to flee Mosul in recent days, hanging several dead bodies from electricity poles as Iraqi forces fight to retake the city, witnesses said.

Troops are meeting fierce resistance as militants retreat into the Old City, where street fighting is expected in the narrow alleyways and around the mosque where ISIS declared its caliphate nearly three years ago.

A man who spoke to Reuters via telephone said he had found the mutilated body of a relative strung up from an electricity pole in the Tenek district along with three other young men caught trying to flee by the militants.

"Their appearance was shocking. We weren't able to get them down and they have been there for two days," said the relative on condition of anonymity.

The Kurdistan Region security council said the number of people killed by the militants on Monday and Tuesday was as high as 140.

In the Old City, more than 40 civilians were killed when the militants caught them trying to escape, said a resident of the Farouq district where the symbolic Nuri mosque is located.

Another resident of the Old City's Shahwan district said a family of six, including an elderly woman, had also been killed for the same reason.

A woman from the Yarmouk district said she had narrowly escaped death along with her husband and children after the militants caught them trying to flee among a group of around 30 people.

"They took our bags thinking there was gold or money in them and as they were busy checking the contents, we fled through the houses taking advantage of the pitch darkness," said the woman, who is now in an area under the control of the security forces.

"I fear those (families) who stayed in Daesh's grip met a terrible fate".

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/04/08/ISIS-hangs-dead-bodies-from-electricity-poles-in-Mosul.html

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Fear, Anger Grip a Village Of Muslim ‘Gau Sevaks’

Apr 07, 2017

Gauseva (serving cows) is something that comes naturally to Mohammed Yunus. But that is also the sole source of livelihood for his family of dairy farmers.

Yunus spends around Rs 50,000 every month to get the best fodder for his cattle. A ceiling fan in his cowshed gives the bovines much-needed relief from the searing heat in Jaisinghpur, a hamlet in Haryana’s Mewat district.

But for all the care and provisions he has made for his cattle, the 56-year-old cattle-breeder now lives in fear as a recent horror keeps replaying in his mind.

Pehlu Khan, a dairy farmer from his village, was beaten to death by alleged gau rakshaks (cow protectors/vigilantes) near Behror in Rajasthan on Delhi-Alwar highway on April 1.

“I saw him being beaten by a mob. I was numb with fear when I saw Azmat (another villager) lying unconscious on the road and the crowd beating him with hockey sticks,” he recalls, adding, “I still can’t believe how I managed to escape death that day.”

A last-minute decision to take another route turned out to be the difference between life and death for him.

Yunus, Pehlu Khan and his sons, Azmat and others from Jaisinghpur were returning from Jaipur after purchasing milch cattle, when a mob stopped the latter, pulled them out of their pick-up trucks and beat them up. Khan succumbed to injuries, while others like Azmat are bedridden with multiple fractures.

The incident has shocked Muslim-dominated Jaisinghpur and nearby villages, where almost 800 of the 1,000 families are engaged in dairy farming.

Angered residents say that a man from a village of cow lovers was wrongly targeted and accused of smuggling the animal for slaughter.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/fear-anger-grip-a-village-of-muslim-gau-sevaks/story-kIfesgE6SB0n5X6Dy03QxO.html

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Imam of Makkah's Grand Mosque asks Muslims to shed their differences

April 8, 2017

Imam of the Grand Mosque of Makkah Sheikh Saleh Bin Muhammad Al-Talib on Friday delivered a sermon preceding Jummah prayers at the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) centenary celebrations in Azakhel area of Nowshera today.

The imam, calling for unity in the Islamic world, asked Muslims to shed their differences and "be united as one".

"Muslims should all be united. There should be no difference in Aqeedah, or in our beliefs and practices of Islam," he said.

Al-Talib said that the Holy Prophet's (Peace Be Upon Him) first action after migration to Madina was to bring the Mahajireen and Ansar together. The ijtama agrees that it should be compulsory to unite, there shouldn’t be differences in our religion, he said.

Learned scholars believe it is mandatory that there are no differences amongst us, he added.

With additional reporting from Javed Hussain in Islamabad.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Imam-i-Kaaba delivered the above speech. The error is regretted.

https://www.dawn.com/news/1325488/imam-of-makkahs-grand-mosque-asks-muslims-to-shed-their-differences

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China punishes 97 officers for failing to crack down on Muslims

By Elizabeth Shim 

April 7, 2017

April 7 (UPI) -- Police in China's northwest territory of Xinjiang are being penalized for not following orders to monitor the region's Muslim population.

A total of 97 officers in Xinjiang were recently punished for not doing their job, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday.

The cadres in an oasis town in southern Xinjiang, including seven village policemen, were disciplined for not properly spying on locals.

Officers who did not register the precise number of Muslims at congregational prayers or did not know the identities of those who were absent from patriotic gatherings, like weekly flag-raising ceremonies, were penalized, according to the report.

The announcement of disciplinary measures is rare, but is providing insight into how the state maintains what are at times harsh policies against the 2 million Uighur Muslims in the territory.

The group has come under stricter scrutiny since a knife attack in February killed eight people, and a bomb blast in December led to five deaths.

Village police are also implementing forceful measures or blackmailing villagers as crackdowns take place at a local level.

Authorities who are resorting to bullying methods are being punished, according to the state announcement.

Mosques in the region are being required to install surveillance cameras and lax enforcement of the latest rules was raised as an issue by the state, according to the Post.

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2017/04/07/China-punishes-97-officers-for-failing-to-crack-down-on-Muslims/6331491588537/

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Arab World

 

ISIS kills dozens of civilians trying to flee Mosul: witnesses

April 8, 2017

Islamic State militants have killed dozens of civilians attempting to flee Mosul in recent days, hanging several dead bodies from electricity poles as Iraqi forces fight to retake the city, witnesses said.

Troops are meeting fierce resistance as militants retreat into the Old City, where street fighting is expected in the narrow alleyways and around the mosque where Islamic State declared its caliphate nearly three years ago.

A man who spoke to Reuters via telephone said he had found the mutilated body of a relative strung up from an electricity pole in the Tenek district along with three other young men caught trying to flee by the militants.

"Their appearance was shocking. We weren't able to get them down and they have been there for two days," said the relative on condition of anonymity.

The Kurdistan Region security council said the number of people killed by the militants on Monday and Tuesday was as high as 140.

In the Old City, more than 40 civilians were killed when the militants caught them trying to escape, said a resident of the Farouq district where the symbolic Nuri mosque is located.

Another resident of the Old City's Shahwan district said a family of six, including an elderly woman, had also been killed for the same reason.

A woman from the Yarmouk district said she had narrowly escaped death along with her husband and children after the militants caught them trying to flee among a group of around 30 people.

"They took our bags thinking there was gold or money in them and as they were busy checking the contents, we fled through the houses taking advantage of the pitch darkness," said the woman, who is now in an area under the control of the security forces.

"I fear those (families) who stayed in Daesh's grip met a terrible fate".

http://nation.com.pk/international/08-Apr-2017/isis-kills-dozens-of-civilians-trying-to-flee-mosul-witnesses

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ISIL Suffers Heavy Defeat in Clashes with Syrian Army in Eastern Homs

Apr 07, 2017

The army men, supported by the Russian fighter jets, engaged in heavy clashes with ISIL North of al-Sukri region, and seized vast areas, including al-Sukri mines and Hadad farms South of Palmyra.

The ISIL has reportedly suffered heavy loss and damage in the clashes.

The army's artillery units, meantime, targeted the positions and movements of ISIL around al-Masoudiyeh village in Eastern Homs.

The army soldiers also clashed with ISIL South of Palmyra and took back control over Camel Racing Track along the road from Palmyra to al-Sawaneh Khneifis 20km South of Palmyra.

Well-informed military sources said earlier today that ISIL terrorists struck the Syrian Army troops' strongholds after the US navy's missile units targeted Shayrat airbase in Southwestern Homs on Thursday night.

The sources said that capitalizing on the US missile strike, the ISIL terrorists stormed the Syrian Army's checkpoints near the strategic town of al-Furqalas.

The ISIL has yet to make any gains near al-Furqalas, the sources added.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960118000534

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Syrian Army Makes Fresh Advances against Terrorists in Dara'a

Apr 07, 2017

The army aircraft pounded terrorists' positions in al-Sibeh neighborhood and al-Bajabjah street in Dara'a city, inflicting heavy casualties on the militants.

In the meantime, the army soldiers engaged in heavy fighting with terrorists South of al-Manshiyeh in Dara'a al-Balad district, imposing full control over Syriatel tower and three buildings.

Also, the army troops repelled an Al-Nusra Front (also known as Fatah al-Sham Front or the Levant Liberation Board) offensive on their positions in Dara'a neighborhoods on Wednesday, while artillery and missile units of the army targeted the movements of the terrorists in several flanks to cover their comrades in the city.

A well-informed source said that 15 militants of Al-Nusra were killed, two of their tanks were destroyed South of al-Masri square and a machinegun-equipped vehicle of the terrorists was also destroyed West of the city's old costumes in the failed attack.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960118000560

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Syrian Army Continues to Pound Al-Nusra Positions in Eastern Damascus

Apr 07, 2017

The missile units targeted badly the Al-Nusra's concentration centers in al-Qaboun district in the Northeastern outskirts of Damascus city.

The artillery units meantime targeted terrorists' centers in Jobar district and Ein Terma region.

Local sources reported that fierce clashes are now underway between the army soldiers and terrorists in several fronts in al-Qaboun, while the army's artillery units are targeting terrorists' defense lines in the same district.

Also, sources in Southern Syria said that the army cut off terrorists' supply route between the villages of al-Hamidiyeh and Jabata al-Khashab in Quneitra province.

They added that the terrorists deployed in the villages of al-Horiyeh and al-Hamidiyeh opened heavy machinegun fire at residential areas and army positions in the town of al-Ba'ath and in the vicinity of Khan Arnabeh town in Quneitra.

Reports said earlier today that the Syrian government forces continued to push deeper into the rebel-held district of Barzeh as militants rained the capital with mortar shells.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960118000501

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Less than 24 hours after US strikes, Syrian jets take off from Shayrat airbase

8 April 2017

Syrian warplanes have reportedly taken off from the air base targeted by US air strikes, less than 24 hours after it was pounded by dozens of Tomahawk missiles.

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Syrian army jets had taken off from the base to carry out strikes on rebel-held areas near Homs.

Military officials had "done the impossible" in order to continue using the base for sorties, the Observatory added.

The London-based monitoring group uses sources on the ground to keep track of events in the country.

The strikes were in reaction to what Washington says was a poison gas attack by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that killed at least 70 people in rebel-held territory. Syria denies it carried out the attack.

Satellite imagery suggests the base houses Russian special forces and helicopters, part of the Kremlin's effort to help Assad fight ISIS and other militant groups.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2017/04/08/Syrian-jets-take-off-from-Shayrat-airbase-hours-after-it-was-attacked-by-US.html

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Gulf Cooperation Council expresses support for US air strikes on Syria

7 April 2017

The Gulf Cooperation Council has expressed its support of the US air strikes on military targets in Syria in retaliation for a suspected chemical weapons attack on a rebel-held town that killed scores of civilians.

The council’s secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani said in a statement that the Gulf the US strikes at the Shayrat airfield in Homs province will force the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to halt indiscriminate attacks on his civilians and breaking international law, including the use of banned chemical weapons, in doing so.

The Pentagon said 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles were fired from two warships at the base from where US officials believe Tuesday's attack in Khan Sheikhoun had been launched.

Al Zayani expressed the support of the GCC countries for US President Donald Trump’s vision aimed at ending the chaos, killing and destruction in the Middle East and combating terrorism in order to restore stability and security to the region and end the suffering of its people.

Full report at:

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/features/2017/04/04/Syrians-relive-the-horror-We-poured-water-on-them-what-were-supposed-to-do-.html

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India

 

Govt cancels registration of Zakir Naik’s trust for education

Bharti Jain

Apr 8, 2017

NEW DELHI: The government has cancelled the registration of controversial televangeist Zakir Naik's NGO IRF Education Trust under the Foreign Contributions Regulation Act (FCRA), making it ineligible to receive donations from abroad.

The cancellation order dated March 29, 2017, says the FCRA licence of IRF Education Trust, which runs the Islamic International School at Mumbai and Chennai, was being scrapped under Section 14 of the Act "in public interest and in the interest of maintaining harmony between religious, social, linguistic and regional groups, caste or communities".

The order comes months after Zakir Naik's main NGO, Islamic Research Foundation, was declared an "unlawful association" under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The home ministry said that as IRF Educational Trust was closely linked with IRF with "overlapping activities and functions" and also because both the NGOs were controlled and managed by the same person, Zakir Naik, it was satisfied that acceptance of foreign funds by the IRF Educational Trust "is likely to prejudicially affect integrity and sovereignty of India and is also likely to be detrimental to the public interest and harmony between-...communities".

Earlier, the home ministry had issued a show-cause notice to the NGO asking why impermanent FCRA registration of IRF Educational Trust should not be cancelled under Section 14 of FCRA.

However, no reply was received even after lapse of more than 30 days.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/govt-cancels-registration-of-zakir-naiks-trust-for-education/articleshow/58074517.cms

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Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina accorded ceremonial welcome

Apr 8, 2017

NEW DELHI: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was on Saturday accorded a ceremonial welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi received Hasina. She was then accorded the ceremonial guard of honour.

In a special gesture on Friday, Modi personally received his Bangladeshi couterpart at the airport. Hasina is on a four-day official visit to India.

This is her first bilateral visit to India in seven years. She last visited the country in January 2010.

Full report at:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/bangladesh-pm-sheikh-hasina-accorded-ceremonial-welcome/articleshow/58077179.cms

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‘Deported man mentored Bengaluru blast accused’

By Johnson TA

April 8, 2017

Amzad Khan (37) from Rajasthan, who was arrested by the NIA this week following his deportation from Saudi Arabia, was a virtual mentor in Islamic State ideology to former Indian Mujahideen operative Alamzeb Afridi (31), investigation has revealed. Afridi is accused of carrying out a blast at Bengaluru’s Church Street on December 28, 2014, which killed one person.

Amzad, who operated in the virtual world under the identity of Ayan Khan Salafi, is one of the three persons named by NIA in a chargesheet filed in the Bengaluru blast case last year. His arrest is expected to throw light on the identity of the third accused, who operated in virtual world as Abdul Khan. Abdul allegedly provided Afridi, the main accused in the case, with the knowhow to build a bomb and the impetus to carry out the blast.

Abdul is believed to be Shafi Armar alias Yusuf al Hindi (30), a former Indian Mujahideen operative based abroad who has recruited dozens of Indian youths in the name of the Islamic State and its Indian affiliate the Junood-ul-Khilafa-Fil-Hind since 2014. NIA has not identified Abdul as Shafi Armar in its chargesheet in Bengaluru blast case. Amzad’s arrest is expected to help in this direction since Ayan Khan Salafi is known to have worked in tandem with Shafi Armar, sources said.

Amzad’s arrest is also expected to strengthen the theory that the Bengaluru blast was the first Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack in India.

The NIA, in a note announcing the arrest on Thursday, said Amzad was a principal character in the conspiracy hatched by Shafi Armar to create the Junood-ul-Khilafa-Fil-Hind, whose members “pledged their allegiance to the ISIS for carrying out subversive activities in India’’.

Full report at:

http://indianexpress.com/article/india/deported-man-mentored-bengaluru-blast-accused-4604478/

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Pakistan

 

Saudi minister terms military alliance ‘victory of Islam’

ZULFIQAR ALI

April 8, 2017

AZAKHEL (Nowshera): Saudi Religious Affairs Minister Sheikh Saleh bin Abdul Aziz has said that Pakistan-Saudi Arabia military alliance is a “victory of Islam” and its main objective is “renaissance of Islam”.

Addressing a well-attended public meeting on the first day of centenary celebrations of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (F) here on Friday, he said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would jointly take on the enemies of Islam and Harmain Sharifain (the holy places in Saudi Arabia).

Imam-i-Kaaba Shaikh Saleh bin Muhammad Ibrahim led Friday prayers after the speech of the Saudi minister.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, diplomats and political leaders were present on the occasion. Organisers expect that three to four million people would attend the three-day events in Azakhel.

Former army chief retired Gen Raheel Sharif has been recently nominated commander of the Saudi-led 39-nation military alliance. Pakistan is member of the alliance.

The Saudi minister termed the military alliance a formidable force to counter terrorism and warned that there was no room for violence and terrorism. “Pakistan-Saudi alliance will pull out eyes of the enemy,” he said.

An emotionally charged crowd, responding to the speech of the minister, raised slogans pledging that they were ready to sacrifice their lives to defend the holy sites.

Imam-i-Kaaba leads Friday prayers on first day of JUI’s centenary celebrations

The minister said that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were like “one heart and two souls” which were cooperating with each other in the fields of science, technology, defence, economy, education and culture.

The presence of a high-level delegation of Saudi Arabia dominated the first day of the centenary proceedings. The Friday congregation, led by the Imam of the Grand Mosque, attracted thousands of faithful from different parts of the country, particularly Peshawar Valley.

“I came here from Lakki Marwat just because of the Imam-i-Kaaba. I am not interested in the JUI-F,” said Najeeb Ullah.

“How is it possible to stay at home when the Imam-i-Kaaba is leading prayers in Azakhel?” said Qari Shah Hussain, a blind cleric from Peshawar.

The Imam-i-Kaaba said in his sermon that Islam is a religion of peace and the path to correction lies only in the Holy Quran and the ways of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him).

“Allah has made the Muslim the best nation,” he said and urged people to hold fast to God and refrain from divisiveness. He prayed for the Muslims suffering in Syria and Palestine.

Maulana Fazlur Rehman, in his welcome address, denounced terrorism in the region and said that the JUI-F would never tolerate violence and militancy. “We reiterate today that the JUI denounces violence in any shape and in any place,” he said, adding that time had come to highlight Islamic teachings and values.

He warned against “victimisation of people associated with religion and sects” on the pretext of operation against terrorists. He said that security of Saudi Arabia was paramount and stressed the need for eliminating the menace of sectarianism. He expressed concern over a “growing inclination towards terrorism and extremism” among people.

Heavy rush and mismanagement marred the events on the first day of the centenary celebrations. Thousands of people could not offer the prayers due to the rush and the traffic jam on Grand Trunk Road.

Accommodation and other basic facilities for the participants from Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas were inadequate. The ground has been covered with canopies. A large number of canopies crumbled due to late-night heavy downpour and speedy winds.

Horse-mounted guards of the Ansar-ul-Islam, security wing of the JUI-F, resorted to light baton charge to disperse the crowd.

According to the organisers, around 25,000 volunteers of Ansar-ul-Islam have been deployed in and around the venue besides police force.

Published in Dawn, April 8th, 2017

https://www.dawn.com/news/1325678/saudi-minister-terms-military-alliance-victory-of-islam

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Pakistan: Member of persecuted Muslim sect shot and killed

07 Apr 2017

Gunmen on a motorcycle shot dead a man from a persecuted Muslim sect in eastern Pakistan on Friday, police said, in the second such drive-by attack in recent days.

Ashfaq Ahmad, a 68-year-old veterinarian, was driving with his family in Lahore when two shooters blocked his way and opened fire, killing him on the spot.

Local police, who confirmed the victim was from the minority Ahmadi religious group, said they were still investigating possible motives for the murder.

"We are trying to ascertain if it was a target killing or if there was any other reason behind it," local police official Qaiser Aziz told AFP.

Ahmadis were legally declared non-Muslims by Pakistan in 1974 for their belief in a prophet after Mohammad, and long persecuted in the deeply conservative country.

A spokesman for the Ahmadi community in Pakistan condemned the shooting, terming it a targeted killing, in a statement Friday.

Full report at:

http://news.iafrica.com/worldnews/1047632.html

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Lahore blast handler among 10 killed

IMRAN GABOL

April 8, 2017

LAHORE: Ten suspected militants of the Jamaatul Ahrar, including Anwarul Haq, the handler of Feb 13 bomb attack on The Mall, were killed in an operation by the Punjab police’s Counter-Terrorism Depart­ment (CTD) on Friday night.

According to a spokesman for the CTD, a team from Lahore was taking five arrested suspects, including Haq, to Manawan for seizing weapons and explosives when they were attacked at about 1.15am near Ring Road by nine “terrorists”.

Examine: Punjab’s militancy problem

The attackers got the arrested suspects freed and fled towards the Ravi river in the Manawan area.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1325675/lahore-blast-handler-among-10-killed

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Terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan equally painful: Bajwa

April 8, 2017

RAWALPINDI: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa recently told a senior defence official of Afghanistan he grieved for Afghan victims of terrorism as much as he did for such victims from Pakistan, the chief military spokesman told a visiting delegation on Friday.

According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations, the army chief met the Afghan defence attaché in London during his visit to the United Kingdom earlier this week.

ISPR chief Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor told the Afghan media delegation that Gen Bajwa had reassured the defence attaché that every Afghan was dear to him like every Pakistani. “I am as hurt for every Afghan who is a victim of terrorism as much as I am for every Pakistani,” said the COAS, according to the ISPR chief.

The meeting between the COAS and the Afghan defence official came after the March 15 meeting between Sartaj Aziz, adviser to the prime minister on foreign affairs, and Afghan National Security Adviser Hanif Atmar that was also held in London. That meeting, arranged by the UK, was part of an effort to defuse tensions between the two countries over alleged terrorist sanctuaries.

The 13-member media delegation visited the office of the ISPR chief. Representatives of the Pakistani media were also present during the meeting.

They were given a detailed briefing about the Pak-Afghan border and efforts made by Pakistan thus far to improve the situation.

The statement said that the aim of the visit was to let Afghan media know efforts by Pakistan on the war against terrorism, which is a “common threat to both brotherly countries”.

Full report at:

https://www.dawn.com/news/1325612/terrorism-in-afghanistan-pakistan-equally-painful-bajwa

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Pak-Afghan relations are moving towards rapprochement

08-Apr-17

Ahead of the multi-nation Moscow peace initiative centred on Afghanistan, behind-the-scenes activity between Islamabad and Kabul seems to be picking up. The mid-March London meeting between Sartaj Aziz and Hanif Atmar, the Afghan National Security Advisor (NSA), seems to have set the ball rolling on two major issues that have dogged the bilateral relations. London paved the way for Afghan leaders' quiet agreement on a multi-tier border management mechanism, a Pakistani demand stone-walled by Kabul for quite some time on the pretext that "terrorists don't use regular border crossings."

Secondly, thanks to the Afghan ambassador Omar Zakhilwal's proactive diplomacy, both countries may be heading towards the resumption of formal dialogue before the Moscow meeting. An unusual sense of urgency is evident from Zakhilwal's shuttle between Kabul and Islamabad. Quiet messaging by major Pakistani stakeholders also underscores the same: don't let the post-London opportunity slip away.

Politically loaded circumstances, too, demand swift action for resumption of formal contacts on the way to restoration of trust and initiation of counter-terrorism cooperation based on the border-management mechanism, which foreign diplomats in Islamabad, too hail as a major step forward. Background briefings with Pakistani and foreign diplomats entail quite a clear picture. They appreciate Kabul's limitation in a politically extremely volatile situation, yet they argue that while the Afghan leadership has to be mindful of the domestic audience (opposition to any formalization of the border i.e. Durand Line), it does carry a responsibility of honoring the trilateral understanding on border management reached at London.

Securing borders is the foremost responsibility of every country, diplomats concurred.

Even a little cooperation in border management would possibly amount to a clear departure from Kabul's covert and overt position thus far; most of them insisted that counter-terrorism cooperation was contingent upon military action against Afghan Taliban/Haqqani network in Pakistan. This demand, accompanied by deadly terrorist attacks on either side of the Duran Line, yielded little results except precipitating tensions and injecting more bitterness in relations that led to the 32-day arbitrary closure of the border on February 17.

The closure, as businessmen point out, cost Afghans some 49 million dollars, while Pakistani businesses lost some 170 million dollars - a sad reflection on the state of relations between the so-called conjoined twins.

The situation requires Pakistan to indulge in some deep introspection on its treatment of Afghanistan - articulated recently by Gen. Nasir Khan Janjua, the National Security Advisor. 'We should not think about Afghanistan with anger and must work to fix the relationship', Janjua underscored on the sidelines of a conference on March 27.

Pakistan's new lenient visa policy for Afghan nationals, too, reflects the realization that for too long Pakistani officials looked at it only as a refugee issue. Now, following intense lobbying by civil society groups and intelligentsia, Pakistan has a much more matter-of-fact approach, the first big step towards looking at it as an issue linked to Pakistan's socio-political and economic interests as well as critical for its image abroad. For too long, Pakistani policy makers failed to relate the policy on refugees as Pakistan's own problem.

Secondly, latest geo-political developments underscore some bitter realities; an unfolding fierce contest between the US, that provides nearly $six billion a year for the Afghan Security Forces, and the Moscow-China-led regional peace initiative that has now coopted almost a dozen countries, including regional powers such as Iran and India.

This competition should ideally also trigger realization among key stakeholders that following active Iranian, Chinese and Russian contacts with the Afghan Taliban, the policy of dumping everything at Pakistan's doorstep and blaming it for all ills of Afghanistan, has lost relevance.

Full report at:

http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/08-Apr-17/pak-afghan-relations-are-moving-towards-rapprochement

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Raheel not going to lead a ‘Sunni alliance’: NSA 

08-Apr-17

ISLAMABAD: National Security Adviser (NSA) Lieutenant-General (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua on Friday assured General (r) Raheel Sharif was a well-wisher of Iran and his possible role as chief of Saudi-led military coalition will not hurt Tehran's interests.

Addressing a conference, Janjua said the former army chief's decisions as head of the Saudi-led military coalition will not be against Iran or Saudi Arabia. "Sharif is not going to lead a Sunni alliance." Pakistan and Iran appear to be at odds over the possible role of the former army chief in Saudi-led counter-terrorism alliance as Tehran has voiced its concerns over Islamabad's decision to give the greenlight to Raheel to lead the multi-nation coalition. Janjua said that the perception that Pakistan is a dangerous country at the 'centre of global terrorism' is far from the reality. "The world thinks we are interfering in Afghanistan... [that] our economy is damaged... [that] we are playing a double-game regarding the Taliban... [that] Pakistan's nuclear assets are not protected," he said, adding that the true picture of Pakistan was not being presented adequately before the world. In fact, "Pakistan is a beautiful country with countless honeymoon resorts", he said. The national security adviser said it is unfortunate that allegations had been hurled against Pakistan without ascertaining the facts. "Did Pakistan form Al Qaeda and Daesh?" he asked, using the Arabic acronym for the militant Islamic State (IS). Janjua also said Pakistan has fought for Afghanistan's existence, adding: "We have been confronting difficulties [in this regard] for the past 40 years.

Full report at:

http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/08-Apr-17/raheel-not-going-to-lead-a-sunni-alliance-nsa

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ISPR DG briefs Afghan media on Pak-Afghan border situation

08-Apr-17

RAWALPINDI: A thirteen-member Afghan media delegation - currently on a trip to Pakistan -visited the Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) office on Friday, where it was given a briefing by Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on the Pak-Afghan border situation.

According to a statement issued by the ISPR, the main objective of the interaction was to let the Afghan media know about the efforts made by Pakistan in the war against terrorism.

The director general of the military's media wing shared with Afghan and local journalists the details of a meeting between Afghan Defence Attache at the United Kingdom with Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa during his visit to the UK. The army chief, while expressing his views, said that every Afghan was dear to him, just like every Pakistani, the ISPR DG said in a statement.

"Every Afghan is dear to me as every Pakistani, I am as hurt for every Afghan who is a victim of terrorism as much as I am for every Pakistani", the statement quoted the COAS as saying,

The delegation also visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of States and Frontier Regions, Ministry of Commerce, Higher Education Commission and the FC Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Headquarters. The delegation was briefed by heads of ministries that they visited.

Full report at:

http://dailytimes.com.pk/pakistan/08-Apr-17/ispr-dg-briefs-afghan-media-on-pak-afghan-border-situation

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Sindh Rangers release pictures of Sehwan Sharif bomber, facilitators

April 08, 2017

Sindh Rangers have released pictures of the suicide bomber and facilitators of Sehwan Sharif blast, reported Waqt News.

The bomber and other suspects can be seen clearly in the pictures taken from CCTV footage.

According to Rangers officials, the facilitators visited the Lal Shahbaz Qalandar Shrine on February 15. They saw the whole place in detail, sources added.

The officials have urged masses to cooperate with authorities in recognizing these suspects. "Rs5million will be given to any one who will identify these persons and his/her name will be kept secret,” the official stated.

A suicide bomber attacked a crowded Sufi shrine in Sehwan on February 16, killing at least 83 people and wounding dozens more in the deadliest of a wave of bombings across the South Asian nation this week.

Islamic State, the Middle East-based militant group which has a small but increasingly prominent presence in Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, the group's affiliated news agency AMAQ reported.

The attack on the famous Lal Shahbaz Qalandar shrine in the town of Sehwan Sharif comes as the Taliban and other rival militant groups carry out their threat of a new offensive.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Apr-2017/sindh-rangers-release-pictures-of-sehwan-sharif-bomber-facilitators

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Ahmadi professor shot dead in Lahore

April 08, 2017

LAHORE - A veterinarian doctor of Ahmadi community was killed in a brazen gun-attack in Lahore’s Sabzazar neighbourhood Friday afternoon, in an apparent faith-based attack.

Police said it was too early to say if Ashfaq Ahmed, a 68-year-old retired professor of the University of Veterinary Sciences in Lahore, was target killed by some anti-Ahmadi militant group.

However, Saleem Uddin, a spokesman for the Jamat-e-Ahmadiyya Pakistan said Prof Ashfaq was an active member of the Ahmadiyya community and “he was targeted simply because of his faith”.

The deceased, who had a doctorate degree in food and nutrition, was riding in a car along with his grandson and a friend to offer prayers at a worship place in Iqbal Town when he was targeted on the busy road in broad daylight.

An eyewitness told the police that a motorcyclist fired a single bullet from a pistol at point blank range as the car was moving slowly due to the dug up road near Shah Fareed Chowk.

“The victim sustained a bullet in the head and died on the spot,” a police investigator said. His body was moved to the morgue for autopsy. The attacker was wearing a helmet and he fled instantly after the fatal assault.

“Other (two) persons in the car remained unharmed,” Jamat-e-Ahmadiyya spokesman said. “We strongly condemn the killing of second Ahmadi within 10 days,” Saleem said.

The deadly shooting comes just days after another member of Ahmadi community was shot dead in Nankana Sahib district of Punjab. Malik Saleem Latif advocate, a cousin of Nobel winning physicist Abdus Salam, was shot dead near his home in Nankana on March 30.

A police officer said they were investigating the shooting keeping in mind different aspects of the killing. “Apparently, it was an incident of target killing. Investigators are working on this case and the killers would be brought to justice,” the officer said, requesting his name not be mentioned.

Who are Ahmadiyya?

The Ahmadi or Qadiyani are followers of Mirza Ahmad Qadiani. They were declared non-Muslims by the government in 1974 after the parliament of Pakistan passed a law. The legislation was done to set this community aside from the Muslims, as Ahmadis do not have a firm belief in finality of Hazrat Muhammad (SAW)’s prophethood.

As a consequence they were barred from claiming Quran to be their holy book and show any association with the mainstream Islam. So, on many occasions, they have been arrested in the country for reading the Holy Quran, holding religious celebrations and having Quranic verses on rings or wedding cards.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/national/08-Apr-2017/ahmadi-professor-shot-dead-in-lahore

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Southeast Asia

 

Where Do Malaysian Non-Muslims Go From Here?

April 8, 2017

By A. Vaithilingam

I am totally disappointed with the deferment of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Bill which would have put a stop to the unilateral conversion of children to Islam.

As many of us may remember, eight years ago in 2009, the cabinet had made this proposal. Unfortunately, the proposal was shelved after the strong vocal opposition from various quarters, including the Mufti of Perak.

I am surprised that the BN leaders of the component parties were not prepared to meet the complaint by the same person now. Other Muslim leaders who objected had done so within a month of the announcement of the proposed amendments. Yet, the government seemed to be ready to ignore their protests.

The timing of the deferment was accompanied with the tabling of the motion to introduce a Private Member’s Bill by Abdul Hadi Awang of PAS. This caught us totally by surprise, especially as the prime minister had announced that it was withdrawing plans by the government to introduce its own bill on the same topic. We were also given the impression that the Speaker would not have enough time to allow Hadi’s motion to be tabled.

Non-Muslims are once again victims of “fake” or false impressions given to the public that the issue on unilateral conversion will be discussed and settled in the latest session of the Parliament. Poor Indira Gandhi has to wait now until July or August this year. Even more disappointing is that the IGP is unable to locate her child as ordered by our own courts.

In 1988, the non-Muslims were told that Act 121(1A) was to protect Muslim women against Muslim fathers because they go to civil court after losing their cases in shariah court. I remember then the non-Muslims were assured that they would not be affected by the changes in 121(1A). But now our non-Muslim mothers have lost their protection when their babies are snatched or grabbed and 121(1A) is being abused to give powers to the police to protect the Muslim convert fathers.

And Hadi says the amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 will not affect the non-Muslims. What happens when a Muslim and a non-Muslim are caught jointly in a criminal act? Will they be tried in two different courts with different types of punishments for the same offence when they are both Malaysians?

Sexual offences must have a number of qualified witnesses in a shariah court, whereas non-Muslim accused will be tried in a civil court using witnesses and modern scientific evidences! But for a joint offence one may go free while the other may be punished with a high sentence. Yet they are citizens of the same country.

Where do we the non-Muslims go from here?

A. Vaithilingam is the former president of the Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST).

With a firm belief in freedom of expression and without prejudice, FMT tries its best to share reliable content from third parties. Such articles are strictly the writer’s (or organisation’s) personal opi

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/2017/04/08/where-do-non-muslims-go-from-here/

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BN committed in upholding Islam: Najib

April 8, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR: Although much has been said about the position of Islam in the country, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the Barisan Nasional (BN) government remains committed in supporting Islam in line with the Federal Constitution.

The Prime Minister said this was in line with Article 3 of the Federal Constitution which clearly stated that Islam is the religion of the Federation but other religions may be practiced in peace and harmony.

He said if we were to delve deeper and look at it in totality the government had done a lot to ensure Islam continued to grow and the Muslims in the country are protected.

“For example, in Budget 2017, I announced an allocation of RM50 million for government-aided religious schools and RM50 million for registered ‘pondok’ Islamic religious schools.

“For the first time too, the government allocated RM30 million to synchronise tahfiz education through the National Tahfiz Education Policy. This is an important step in determining that Tahfiz al-Quran institutions continued to flourish and grow,” he said in his latest blog post titled “Islam Under the Barisan Nasional.”

Najib said the BN-led federal government realised that Quran and Tahfiz Al-Quran education were significant ingredients in preserving Islam, especially in generating Islamic scholars to counter accusations and slander made by extremists against Islam.

“This is also one of the measures taken by the government to curb the spread of extremism in Malaysia.

Full report at:

http://www.nst.com.my/news/2017/04/228465/bn-committed-upholding-islam-najib

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Backlash on Bills shackles political chiefs in Malaysia

Shannon Teoh

April 8, 2017

The deferment of two controversial Bills, despite Parliament sitting for an entire month, has laid bare how Malaysia's tense inter-religious ties have forced politicians to stand still rather than move towards uniting the multi-ethnic nation.

Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) president Abdul Hadi Awang was allowed at short notice on Thursday to propose a controversial Bill to strengthen Islamic courts, to the surprise of many.

This was after Barisan Nasional, the 13-party ruling coalition led by Umno, decided last week not to sponsor Datuk Seri Hadi's amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act.

This was due to non-Muslim concern that it would lead to further Islamisation at the cost of their civil liberties, despite assurances by PAS that only Muslims would be affected.

The widespread view is that the Speaker of the House, an Umno leader, could have easily blocked Mr Hadi's Bill from being raised at all.

But that wasn't the only surprise on Thursday involving the issue of religious rights.

Amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act that would stop Muslim parents gaining custody of unilaterally converted children without their non-Muslim spouse's consent was also dropped, causing outrage from civil society. The Straits Times understands that the draft was ready more than a month ago.

Analysts believe that the second Bill was pulled as Umno, after deciding not to take over Mr Hadi's Islamic Bill, cannot afford to be seen by conservative Malay Muslims to be supporting amendments clamoured by non-Muslims.

Said S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies' senior fellow Yang Razali Kassim: "Umno has shown that when push comes to shove, it cannot be depended (upon) to uphold Islam. If the marriage reform Bill goes through (as well), this cannot be good for Umno. Especially not before a general election."

A source involved in the drafting of amendments to the Law Reform Act told The Straits Times that when the Bill was ready, the minister-in-charge of national unity Joseph Kurup promised that the fix was not part of a package deal with the Syariah Bill.

"According to the minister, it was a done deal," the source said.

The changes in the second Bill would have put an end to a slew of unilateral conversion cases that have raised communal tensions in recent years.

One example is that of Ms Indira Gandhi, who is in an eight-year battle with her former husband who converted to Islam. He unilaterally converted their children to Islam, and then snatched their youngest daughter, before winning custodial rights in the Syariah Court - a parallel legal system that runs alongside the civil courts.

Mr Hadi and Perak Mufti Harussani Zakaria have been among those protesting against changes to the Law Reform Act, saying the proposed amendments would be unconstitutional and run counter to a 2009 religious edict declaring that children of converts automatically become Muslims.

Full report at:

http://www.straitstimes.com/asia/se-asia/backlash-on-bills-shackles-political-chiefs-in-malaysia

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Malaysian universities primed for growth in global Halal market

Apr 8, 2017

By: Lee Lian Kong

Source: StudyInternational.com

Muslims are expected to make up more than a quarter of the world’s population by 2030. As their numbers grow, so will the global demand for Islamic products and services.

The Muslim consumer market is huge and relatively under-served in the conventional marketplace, but world economies are fast joining the rush for a slice of the pie in this lucrative multitrillion-dollar industry. Quartz reports the global Islamic market in 2013 was already worth a staggering US$3.6 trillion; come 2020, that figure is expected to balloon to over US$5 trillion.

For the young and uninitiated, this inevitably means one thing: opportunities abound as the need for more trained experts in anything Islam-approved or “halal” will experience stark growth in the coming years.

No country is more ready than Malaysia to supply the manpower for this through its universities.

Halal is an Arabic word that means “permissible” – a halal product or service is thus one that is done in line with Islamic law.

For decades, Malaysia has been a pioneer in this line of business, building a halal component for each level of the supply chain and coming up with Shariah-compliant products for almost everything, from food items to even toiletries such as toothpaste.

These goods and services were then exported to both the Muslim and increasingly, the non-Muslim world.

Now, there is a new export to add to this list: graduates.

“The halal market is a huge market, huge industry,” said Dr Mohamad Aizat Jamaludin of the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) to Study International during the Malaysia International Halal Showcase in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday.

The assistant professor is part of a faculty that is training specialists both on and off campus on Shariah law and the halal industry skills related to it.

On its campus, situated north of Malaysia’s capital city, Dr Aizat and his colleagues teach students from countries such as South Korea, China and Egypt.

These foreign students make up the majority (60 percent) of students in the three postgraduate courses offered by IIUM, i.e. PhD in Halal Industry, Masters in Halal Industry Management and MSc in Halal Industry Science.

Outside university grounds, Dr Aizat and his team from the school’s International Institute for Halal Research and Training (Inhart) are also bringing their expertise in areas such as “halal auditing”, to countries like South Korea, and soon, to China and Canada.

And the knowledge exchange does not stop there.

IIUM students also have plans to bring their knowledge gained here back to their home states.

One of them is Park Mingyu, who hopes to use what he learned in Malaysia to build a more sustainable and efficient halal industry system back home in South Korea.

According to the Sun Moon University alum, the halal industry in South Korea is solely focused on profit, instead of one that is putting in place a “halal ecosystem” based on policies.

“I hope to foster sustainability and efficiency … especially by bringing Malaysian cases into the Korean environment,” Park said.

Abderrahim Chennin, on the other hand, wants to take up one of Inhart’s postgraduate programmes, so he can return to Algeria to set up a research group that fuses Shariah law with tourism marketing.

Full report at:

https://muslimvillage.com/2017/04/08/123210/malaysian-universities-primed-growth-global-halal-market/

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North America

 

Majorities of Americans concerned about violence against Jews, Muslims

April 8, 2017

For the first time, a majority of Americans has voiced concern about violence against Jews, polling by the Anti-Defamation League shows.

While 52 percent of Americans surveyed said they were disturbed about such violence, an even higher percentage — 76 percent — said they were concerned about violence against Muslims.

The ADL commissioned two surveys to determine the mood of the country, one in October 2016 and another from January through February, as part of its ADL Global 100 project.

It found that more than 8 in 10 Americans — 84 percent — say it is important for government to be involved in combating anti-Semitism, an increase from 70 percent in 2014.

“The good news in this research is that today a large majority of Americans do not subscribe to common anti-Semitic stereotypes,” said ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt. “It’s also encouraging that a record number of Americans are concerned about violence against the Jewish and Muslim communities, and are troubled at how intolerance has infected our politics.”

The survey found a slight increase in Americans with anti-Semitic views, totaling 14 percent of the population. That figure, which was 12 percent in 2013, is based on responses to 11 questions that might indicate “anti-Semitic propensities.”

In a separate question, 30 percent of Americans said they believed that “Jews were responsible for the death of Christ,” an increase from 25 percent in 2013.

Researchers found that most Americans do not view President Donald Trump as personally anti-Semitic but almost half (49 percent) said he should have done more to discourage anti-Semitism during the presidential campaign.

For the first time, the ADL looked at the attitudes of U.S. Muslims about Jews and their own place in American society. About a third (34 percent) were found to hold anti-Semitic views, compared with 55 percent of Muslims in Europe and 75 percent of Muslims in the Middle East and North Africa.

The vast majority of Muslim Americans (89 percent) are concerned about violence directed at them and U.S. Muslim institutions and 64 percent said they didn’t believe the government was doing enough to keep them safe. While 72 percent said they didn’t believe they needed to hide their faith, 66 percent said they felt less safe since Trump’s election.

Full report at:

http://www.stltoday.com/lifestyles/faith-and-values/majorities-of-americans-concerned-about-violence-against-jews-muslims/article_f5edb75f-51be-5949-a98f-52c30da1ea7f.html

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American private sector finding Pakistan an attractive market: Envoy

April 08, 2017

islamabad - United States Ambassador to Pakistan David Hale said DFriday the American private sector was finding Pakistan to be an increasingly attractive market.

Delivering remarks at the opening of the two-day ‘Business Summit’ here, he said the US and Pakistan were closely aligned on the key goal of Pakistan’s economic development, and that innovation is key to achieving this goal.

The summit was organised by Nutshell Forum in collaboration with the Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms.

Ambassador Hale said: “We work together fostering economic growth, increasing bilateral trade, improving the investment climate, protecting intellectual property and promoting entrepreneurship.”

Highlighting the untapped potential for growth in the US-Pakistan economic relationship, Ambassador Hale observed that American companies were increasing their presence in Pakistan.

He said: “From some of our largest manufacturers and infrastructure companies, to small and medium services companies, the American private sector is finding Pakistan to be an increasingly attractive market.

American business leaders praise the quality of people that they work with, and the interest that Pakistan’s business community has shown in American products.”

He added, “The biggest challenge – for Pakistan as well as for America and all other economies – is for governments to be flexible enough to facilitate and support the new business models and innovation that entrepreneurs are developing in such a fast-changing global economy.”

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/islamabad/08-Apr-2017/american-private-sector-finding-pakistan-an-attractive-market-envoy

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Speakers from Muslim, Japanese American and Jewish communities take part in ‘Vigilance Against Injustice’ event

SAMANTHA PAK

Apr 6th, 2017

On Sunday, members of various communities came together in Redmond in an effort to educate people on historical events so as to not repeat the mistakes of the past.

The event, “Vigilance Against Injustice,” was co-hosted by the Muslim Association of Puget Sound (MAPS) in Redmond and Islamic Center of Bothell (ICOB) and featured speakers from the local Muslim, Japanese American and Jewish communities. They discussed the lessons learned from the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II as well as the Holocaust in Europe, drawing parallels to present-day bigotry and fears against various minority groups.

ICOB director Ryan Welton and lead organizer for the event said the current political and social climate in this country surrounding Muslims, Latinos, Jews and other minority groups “bears stark resemblance to the vitriol and attitudes that prevailed in both America and Europe leading up to World War II, culminating in the tragedies of the Holocaust and the incarceration of Japanese Americans.”

“We wanted to draw attention to what has come before us so that we can try to understand that those occurrences were not isolated events that could never happen again,” he said. “Our situation now is not as bad as what those groups experienced at the height of their persecution, but the whole point is that we should never allow it to get that bad in the first place.”

Welton said if people could take away one thing from Sunday’s event, it would be to pay attention to the rhetoric, language and actions employed by those who persecuted Jews and Japanese Americans in the 1930s and 1940s and look at what is being said and done to the Muslims, immigrants and other minorities in this country today.

Full report at:

https://www.redmond-reporter.com/news/speakers-from-muslim-japanese-american-and-jewish-communities-take-part-in-vigilance-against-injustice-event/

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Why Researchers Say Islam Is The Fastest-Growing Religious Group

By Antonia Blumberg

04/07/2017

Muslims are on track to become the world’s fastest-growing major religious group in the years ahead, according to a new analysis of data from the Pew Research Center.

Christians make up the largest religious group in the world, at 2.3 billion people. Muslims make up the next biggest group, at just under 2 billion. But the global Muslim population is relatively young, with a high fertility rate and a low death rate.

In an analysis released Wednesday, Pew estimates that in the five-year period between 2030 and 2035, the Muslim birth rate will overtake the birth rate among Christians, with 225 million babies born to Muslim families in those years, compared to 224 million among Christians.

From that point, the birth gap is only expected to increase. Between 2055 and 2060, Pew estimates, there will be 232 million births among Muslims compared to 226 million births among Christians.

The total Christian population will still be larger well into the century, and it will continue to grow rapidly in some regions, like sub-Saharan Africa. But, Pew notes, “the same cannot be said for Christian populations everywhere.”

In recent years, Christians have accounted for roughly 37 percent of the world’s deaths ― largely due to the advanced age of Christian populations in some parts of the world.

“This is especially true in Europe, where the number of deaths already is estimated to exceed the number of births among Christians,” Pew notes. “In Germany alone, for example, there were an estimated 1.4 million more Christian deaths than births between 2010 and 2015, a pattern that is expected to continue across much of Europe in the decades ahead.”

By the final decades of the 21st century, Pew predicts, there will be more Muslims than Christians in the world.

Meanwhile, the world’s share of people who are religiously unaffiliated is expected to drop.

Full report at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/islam-fastest-growing-religious-group_us_58e6c7fee4b0cdad578e6071

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Phoenix Muslim community reacts to U.S. airstrikes on Syria

April 8, 2017

It's a story that's rocked the world: images of young children dying after a chemical attack in Syria this week.

President Donald Trump responded Thursday by launching missiles at a Syrian airbase.

The events in the Middle East have had a profound impact on the Valley's Muslim and Syrian communities.

Usama Shami is president of the Islamic Community Center of Phoenix.

He also has family in Syria.

"Regardless of faith, regardless of ethnicity, when you see something like this happening to innocent children - innocent people - regardless of country - people have compassion," said Shami. "They don't like to see that stuff happen."

Usami said there is significant support for what President Trump did, taking a stand against the Syrian government.

Steve Arkawi was born in Syria, but now lives in Paradise Valley.

"All over the Syrian community, people were very happy to see President Trump take action against that brutal regime," said Arkawi.

According to Arkawi, what's going on in Syria is no different from what happened in Nazi Germany during World War II.

Arkawi hopes the U.S. air strike Thursday night is just the beginning.

"This criminal, Riad al-Asaad, he's worse than Hitler," said Arkawi. "Assad should be stopped one way or another. We're counting on this government to do something to help the Syrian people."

Full report at:

http://www.azfamily.com/story/35100755/phoenix-muslim-community-reacts-to-us-airstrikes-on-syria

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U.S. Withdraws Summons for Twitter Records on Account Critical of Trump's Muslim Ban, So Twitter Drops Lawsuit

APR 7, 2017

Twitter today dropped a lawsuit it filed on Thursday against the U.S. Homeland Security Department, after saying the DHS withdrew its summons for records about who is operating a Twitter account critical of President Donald Trump.

In its now-abandoned lawsuit against the government, Twitter said they couldn't unmask the identify of who was behind the @ALT_uscis account because of Constitutional protections for free speech.

Whoever is behind the account has not said who they are, but the format of the account implies that it is one of many rogue accounts set up by U.S. government employees in various agencies who were fearful of chaos and disruption as the Trump regime took over.

The lawsuit says the account "claims to be" the work of at least one federal immigration employee.

The "U.S. CIS" in @ALT_uscis refers to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The account describes itself as "immigration resistance."

Twitter attorney Mark Flanagan said in court papers a U.S. Justice Department lawyer told Twitter about the withdrawal of the summons on Friday, so the government's demand "no longer has any force or effect."

Here's a PDF of that document.

Full report at:

https://boingboing.net/2017/04/07/twitter-vs-dhs.html

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South Asia

 

Taliban’s deputy governor and 6 Tajik militants among dozens killed in Kunduz

Apr 08 2017

The shadow deputy provincial governor of the Taliban group for the northern Kunduz province has been killed along with dozens of other insurgents in northern Kunduz province.

According to the local government officials, the militants were killed in the vicinity of Dasht-e-Archi district.

Provincial police chief General Abdul Hamid Hamidi confirmed that Mullah Assadullah Mazlumyar, the shadow deputy provincial chief of the group for Kunduz was killed in airstrikes conducted in Mullah Quli area of Dasht-e-Archi.

Gen. Hamidi further added at least fourteen Taliban insurgents were also killed in the airstrikes.

However, the 209th Corps of the Afghan National Army in the north, in a statement said at least 17 insurgents including Mullah Mazlumyar and six Tajikistanis were killed.

In the meantime, another official in the north put the number of the militants killed in the airstrikes to 24 insurgents.

The 209th Shaheen Corps also added that 11 insurgents were killed and six others were wounded during a separate operation in Sayad district of Sar-e-Pul province.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/talibans-deputy-governor-and-6-tajikistanis-among-dozens-killed-in-kunduz-02526

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15 ISIS militants killed during Hamza operations in East of Afghanistan

Apr 07 2017

At least fifteen militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group were killed during the ongoing Hamza military operations in eastern Nangarhar province.

According to the local officials, the militants were killed in the past 24 hours in Achin district during the clearance operations and airstrikes.

The provincial government media office in a statement said Thursday at least thirty ISIS militants were killed during the Hamza operations since Wednesday.

The statement further added that three more ISIS militants were also killed and five others were wounded during the Shaheen military operations in Ghani Khel district.

 The provincial government also added that 700 hectares of land were also cleared of poppy during the ongoing campaign to eradicate opium cultivation in this province.

Nangarhar is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their insurgency activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.

Both the Afghan and US forces conducted regular strikes against the loyalists of the terror group in this province.

Full report at:

http://www.khaama.com/15-isis-militants-killed-during-hamza-operations-in-east-of-afghanistan-02524

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Constitution bench to hear citizenship plea of Bangladeshi

7 Apr 2017

The issue of forced exodus owing to alleged religious persecution of minorities, including Hindus, from Bangladesh and their plea for Indian citizenship will be heard by a Constitution bench during the summer vacation, the Supreme Court said today.

The 2012 PIL will now be taken up along with other petitions relating to questions including whether the children of illegal Bangladeshi Muslim migrants can avail the benefit of Indian citizenship in Assam.

A two-judge bench had earlier asked the Centre to detect and deport all illegal migrants who have come to Assam after March 25, 1971 and hold discussions with the Bangladesh government to ensure that illegal migrants are sent back.

It had also decided to keep monitoring the work of border fencing to ensure no foreigner comes to India illegally.

However, the court in December 2014 had referred to a five-judge bench the issues relating to the cut-off date for granting citizenship to illegal Bangladeshi migrants and the status of children of such illegal migrants under the existing law.

A three-judge bench headed by Chief Justice J S Khehar today decided to tag the PIL seeking citizenship or refugee status to thousands of displaced persons of minorities including Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians due to their alleged religious persecution in Bangladesh with the cases of illegal Muslim migrants in Assam.

During the brief hearing on the PIL filed by NGO 'Swajan' and others, Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that the Bill on granting Indian citizenship to members of religious minorities of Bangladesh is pending in the Parliament.

The bench, also comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and S K Kaul, said that the present plea should be heard together with similar other petitions and fixed April 19 for framing of issues to be deliberated upon by a Constitution bench during the summer vacation.

A Constitution bench consists of a minimum of five judges.

The petition filed by the NGO had stated that in spite of a specific mandate of Section 2 of Immigrants (Expulsion from Assam) Act, 1950 protecting from expulsion victims of civil disturbances, no measures have been taken either by the Centre or the Assam government to provide "ameliorative" steps for displaced persons.

Full report at:

http://www.dnaindia.com/india/report-constitution-bench-to-hear-citizenship-plea-of-bangladeshi-2386559

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Mideast

 

US military on same side as al-Qaeda, Daesh in Yemen, Syria: Iran FM

Apr 7, 2017

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has censured the recent US airstrikes against Syria, saying the United States is fighting on the same side as al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups in Yemen and Syria.

“As the only recent victim of mass use of chemical weapons (by [former Iraqi dictator] Saddam [Hossein] in the '80s, Iran condemns use of all WMD (weapons of mass destruction) by anyone against anyone,” Zarif said in a post on his Twitter account on Friday.

He emphasized that Washington helped Saddam in its chemical weapons attack against Iran, but the US has twice in the current millennium used "bogus" chemical weapons allegations to use military force, including in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the current strikes against Syria.

The top Iranian diplomat added that it is high time to stop “hype and cover-ups.”

Dozens of people were killed in a chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun in the northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday.

The United States and its allies were quick to accuse the Syrian government forces of carrying out the attack. The Syrian army said, however, that “it has never used them (chemical weapons), anytime, anywhere, and will not do so in the future.”

US warships deployed to the Mediterranean carried out an airstrike on an army airbase near Homs by firing some 60 Tomahawk missiles at the Shayrat airfield southeast of Homs early Friday.

US military attack cover for supporting terrorists

Meanwhile, during the weekly Friday Prayers in Tehran, a senior Iranian cleric said the US carried out the military attack on Syria as a cover to support terrorists.

Addressing Western powers, particularly the US, Ayatollah Mohammad Emami Kashani said, “You have founded and nurtured terrorists and Israel and are now falsely claiming the Syrian government has used chemical weapons.”

Syria has no chemical weapons: Iran MP

Furthermore, a senior Iranian lawmaker said the Syrian government has relinquished all its chemical weapons stockpiles and is not in possession of no such arms, stressing that Iran and Russia would not keep silent on the “unwise” US strikes in Syria.

“Such an unwise move by the US will undoubtedly have serious consequences because countries such as Russia and Iran will not remain silent in the face of such measures which are at odds with the interests of the region,” Chairman of the Iranian Parliament's Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi said on Friday.

He pointed to the Syrian army’s “superior position" in the fight against terrorists and its liberation of the northwestern city of Aleppo and some other areas, saying, “A country which is winning the war, will not conduct such an act (carry out a chemical attack).”

The Iranian legislator added that the US and its regional and European allies’ claim of the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons was only a pretext to cover up their failures in Syria over the past six years.

US strikes on Syria aim to boost terrorism: Shamkhani

Meanwhile, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) said the US “criminal” attack against Syria was a violation of international regulations and a clear indication of Washington’s fixed policy of using terrorism as a means to achieve its own political objectives in the crisis-hit Arab country.

“Undoubtedly, such measures will further complicate political and security equations in Syria and [lead to the] creation of dangerous and unpredictable precedent,” Ali Shamkhani said.

The moves would, however, “fail to have any impact on the  motivation of the Syrian government and nation in their resolute fight against terrorism backed by the Western-Zionist-Arab front," he added.

He emphasized that Iran is closely and carefully monitoring developments in Syria and would strongly and resolutely continue down the path of combating terrorism through close consultation with its partners and regardless of the suspicious conduct by some Western countries and their regional allies.

The SNSC secretary also said the Islamic Republic has repeatedly stressed the importance of collective and international efforts to stop the flow of weapons of mass destruction to terrorists.

Shamkhani said there is no ground and justification for the Syrian government to use chemical weapons and called for the formation of an independent fact-finding group to determine the motives and reasons for the chemical weapons attack in the town of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province earlier this week.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/04/07/517088/Iran-US-Syria-Mohammad-Javad-Zarif-Daesh-alQaeda-Twitter

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Erdogan spokesman calls for Syrian no-fly zone without delay

April 8, 2017

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said on Friday it was necessary to enforce a no-fly zone and create safe zones in Syria without delay, calling U.S. missile strikes against a Syrian air base a positive response to "war crimes".

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/07-Apr-2017/erdogan-spokesman-calls-for-syrian-no-fly-zone-without-delay

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Iran: US Army Supporting Al-Qaeda, ISIL in Yemen, Syria

Apr 07, 2017

"The US is fighting on the same side of Al-Qaeda and the ISIL terrorist groups in Yemen and Syria," Zarif wrote on his Twitter account on Friday.

He reiterated that as the only recent victim of massive use of chemical weapons (by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hossein in the 1980s, Iran condemns use of all weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) by anyone against others.

Zarif reiterated that Washington helped Saddam in its chemical weapons attack against Iran, but the US has twice in the current millennium used "bogus" chemical weapons allegations to use military force, including in the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the current strikes against Syria.

The top Iranian diplomat added that it is high time to stop “hype and cover-ups.”

Dozens of people were killed in a chemical attack in the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun in the Northwestern province of Idlib on Tuesday.

The United States and its allies were quick to accuse the Syrian government forces of carrying out the attack. The Syrian army said, however, that “it has never used them (chemical weapons), anytime, anywhere, and will not do so in the future.”

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960118000688

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US strike on Syria strengthens regional terrorism: Iran's president

Apr 7, 2017

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has censured the US for a recent missile strike against an airbase in Syria, saying the aggression will boost terrorism in the region and strengthen lawlessness and instability in the world.

“I call on the world to reject such policies, which bring only destruction and danger to the region and the globe,” Rouhani said in a post on his Twitter account on Friday night.

The Iranian president’s comments came after the US military pounded the Shayrat airfield southeast of Homs with 59 Tomahawk missiles in the early hours of Friday, marking the Pentagon's first direct attack against the Arab country since the beginning of the foreign-backed conflict in 2011.

“US aggression against Shayrat strengthens regional extremism and terror, and global lawlessness and instability, and must be condemned,” Rouhani further said.

On US President Donald Trump’s order, US warships in the Mediterranean carried out the strike on the military facility in response to an alleged chemical weapons attack in the town of Khan Shaykhoun in Idlib province earlier this week. Damascus has categorically denied carrying out a chemical attack.

Washington and its allies were quick to accuse Damascus of conducting the attack. The Syrian army said, however, that “it has never used them (chemical weapons), anytime, anywhere, and will not do so in the future.”

“The tragedy of Khan Shaykhoun is horrifying & must be condemned. It reminds Iranians, victim of chemical weapons for years, [of] the attacks in Sardasht,” Rouhani added, referring to a tragic chemical bombing of the northwestern Iranian city of Sardasht by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein back in 1987, during the Iraqi-imposed war on Iran. The chemical attack killed over 100 Iranian civilians and injured hundreds of others.

Full report at:

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/04/07/517137/Iran-Syria-US-strike-Hassan-Rouhani-chemical-Shayrat-airbase

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Europe

 

Putin Considers US Attack in Syria Aggression against Sovereign State

Apr 07, 2017

"President (Vladimir) Putin regards the US attacks on Syria as an aggression against a sovereign state in violation of the norms of international law, and under a trumped-up pretext at that," Pesov told Sputnik.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also sees the latest US missile strikes on a military airfield in Syria as an attempt to distract from the mounting civilian casualties in Iraq, the Kremlin added.

"Putin also sees the attacks on Syria by the US as an attempt to divert the international community's attention from the numerous casualties among civilians in Iraq."

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) had confirmed that Syrian armed forces do not possess chemical weapons, the Kremlin cited Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying Friday while warning of the danger of ignoring terrorist use of chemical weapons.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in a statement after the US attack that there were no discussions or prior contacts between the United States and Moscow ahead of the missile strike on the Syrian base.

"The fact of the destruction of all chemical weapons stockpiles has been recorded and confirmed by the OPCW, a specialized UN unit," Peskov told reporters.

"At the same time, in Putin's opinion, total disregard for the use of chemical weapons by terrorists only drastically aggravates the situation," Peskov said.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960118000361

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Moscow Suspends US-Russia Memorandum on Flights Safety in Syria

Apr 07, 2017

"The Russian side suspends the Memorandum on preventing incidents and ensuring flights safety during operations in Syria signed with the US," the ministry said, TASS reported.

"We’re urging the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to discuss the current situation," the ministry said.

The ministry claims the strike was prepared in advance. Washington has made decision on missile strike on Syria prior to developments in Idlib province, the statement said.

The US strike in Syria is an attempt to distract attention from the situation in Iraq’s Mosul, the statement said.

"Undoubtedly, the US strike is an attempt to divert attention from the situation in Mosul where hundreds of civilians lost their lives due to actions, including by the US-led coalition, and the humanitarian disaster is mounting ," the ministry said.

Full report at:

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960118000400

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Swedish prosecutors says man arrested on strongest level of suspicion for terror crime

April 8, 2017

Swedish prosecutors said on Saturday a man detained in connection with a truck attack in the capital had been arrested on the strongest degree of suspicion of committing a terror crime.

Sweden's legal system has several degrees regarding the strength of suspicion.

Full report at:

http://nation.com.pk/international/08-Apr-2017/swedish-prosecutors-says-man-arrested-on-strongest-level-of-suspicion-for-terror-crime

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Africa

 

Over 6,000 Flee 'Terrifying' Violence In S. Sudan Town

07 April 2017

More than 6,000 people have fled fighting in southern South Sudan, with refugees recounting the slaughter of civilians by armed forces, the United Nations refugee agency said Friday.

Fighting between government forces and rebels erupted on Monday in the town of Pajok in the country's southern Equatoria region, a previously peaceful part of the country that has seen a surge in conflict in recent months.

According to a statement from the UNHCR over 6,000 people have fled into the northern Ugandan district of Lamwo since the attack while many others were hiding in the bush trying to find their way to safety in Uganda as main roads were blocked by armed groups.

"People fleeing the recent incident claimed that the town came under an indiscriminate attack by the South Sudan armed forces," the statement said.

"Refugees told the UNHCR team on the ground in Lamwo terrifying stories of violence and abuse against civilians. Many have witnessed their loved ones shot dead or slaughtered like animals," UNHCR spokesman Rocco Nuri told AFP.

"Families fled in all directions. Those unable to run were reportedly shot dead, including the elderly and people with disabilities."

A local pastor who fled Parjok on Wednesday, and asked not to be named, told AFP soldiers had entered the town in tanks "and suddenly we saw shooting and we just had to run."

Both he and regional Anglican Bishop Oringa Benard reported that some 135 people had been killed, however this could not be independently verified.

"The mission has received reports of fighting between SPLA (government) troops and the opposition there and is trying to follow-up on reports of civilians killed in the area," the statement by UNMISS said.

UNMISS urged the government to immediately allow it access "so it can fully implement its mandate, including to protect civilians and report on human rights violations."

South Sudan government spokesman Michael Makuei confirmed to AFP that its forces had attacked Pajok.

"As you know Pajok has been in the hands of the rebels so what happened was government forces went there and fighting ensued and so the civilian population that has been staying with the rebels had to run away," he said.

"I don't know the figure (of those who might have been killed or injured) but in any fighting there must be casualties."

Uganda currently hosts more than 832,000 refugees from South Sudan, including over 270,000 in the Bidibidi refugee camp which in eight months has gone from an empty patch of land to the world's biggest refugee camp.

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/187564/over-6000-flee-terrifying-violence-in-ssudan-town

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Sudan imposes new visa requirement on Egypt nationals

07 April 2017

The Sudanese authorities on Friday announced that Egyptian men between 16 and 50 years old would henceforth require entry visas to enter the country, according to Sudanese officials.

Previously, Egyptian nationals had been allowed to enter their southern neighbor visa-free.

Sudan’s Interior Ministry received the order -- which went into effect “immediately” -- from the Sudanese cabinet on Thursday, Sudanese police spokesman Omar al-Mukhtar told Anadolu Agency.

The new restriction, al-Mukhtar pointed out, will not apply to Egyptian women seeking to enter Sudan.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Qareebullah al-Khader confirmed the decision, which, he said, had been agreed to in advance between Khartoum and Cairo.

“There is a preexisting visa agreement between the two countries that requires men between 16 and 50 years old to obtain entry visas," al-Khader told Anadolu Agency.

He refrained from providing details, however, as to when the agreement had been reached or why it had not gone into effect earlier.

Several years ago, Egypt imposed a similar entry visa requirement on male Sudanese nationals of the same age bracket.

The move comes amid tensions between the two countries, especially over the disputed Halayb Triangle region and Sudanese support for an Ethiopian Nile dam that Egypt opposes.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/187575/sudan-imposes-new-visa-requirement-on-egypt-nationals

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Nairobi: Thousands protest demolition of mosqu

07 April 2017

Thousands of the Muslim faithful in Kenya Friday protested a plan by to demolish their mosque in the capital Nairobi to pave the way for road construction.

The mosque accommodates more than 2,500 Muslims, and after Friday prayers local believers marched to where officials from the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (KURA) had parked road steamrollers, excavators, and forklifts, among other equipment.

“We strongly condemn this move to have the mosque demolished,” Sheikh Hamid Chandhry told reporters.

“The committee of Jamia Mosque, which is the custodian of the mosque, legally acquired the title deed in 2005, making it the sole and legal owner of the land where the mosque is built.”

Chandhry said that even though there is an ongoing court case, KURA wants to go ahead and demolish the mosque, claiming that the house of worship lies along a right-of-way for the state, meaning the state can destroy the mosque and offer no compensation.  “We are disturbed, as the mosque is an important religious center for the community living in Parklands and its demolition will amount to an affront to freedom of worship as enshrined in the constitution,” he added.

Mosque officials told Anadolu Agency that KURA has declined to offer any form of compensation if they were to agree to a relocation.

“They should either compensate us or give us an alternate land. The mosque legally owns the land and it should be compensated,” said Sheikh Salim Mohammed.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/187553/over-6000-flee-terrifying-violence-in-ssudan-town

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S.Africa denies breaking rules by not arresting Sudan's Bashir

07 April 2017

South Africa on Friday denied it had flouted international law by refusing in 2015 to arrest visiting Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir wanted by war crimes judges on charges of genocide in Darfur.

South African legal advisor Dire Tladi argued there "was no duty under international law on South Africa to arrest the serving head of a non-state party such as Mr Omar al-Bashir."

Despite two international arrest warrants issued in 2009 and 2010, Bashir remains at large and in office amid the raging conflict in the western Sudanese region of Darfur.

He faces 10 charges, including three of genocide as well as war crimes and crimes against humanity in the western Darfur region.

The deadly conflict broke out in 2003 when ethnic minority groups took up arms against Bashir's Arab-dominated government, which launched a brutal counter-insurgency.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/187539/safrica-denies-breaking-rules-by-not-arresting-sudans-bashir

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15 Burkina troops jailed over arms depot raid

07 April 2017

A military tribunal on Thursday jailed 15 Burkinabe soldiers for up to 17 years each over a failed raid on an arms depot last year.

The soldiers on trial included 10 members of the former elite presidential guard (RSP) of ousted leader Blaise Compaore.

They were found guilty of taking the arms which were allegedly to be used to attack Ouagadougou military prison in order to release former RSP head General Gilbert Diendere and other soldiers jailed for their alleged involvement in a failed coup in September 2015.

The coup bid was thwarted by street protesters and support from the army, which attacked the plotters' barracks.

Thirteen other soldiers were handed 10-year jail terms.

The military prosecutor has sought prison terms of up to 20 years for the accused.

The convicted troops have complained of being tortured to extract confessions.

Full report at:

http://www.worldbulletin.net/africa/187518/15-burkina-troops-jailed-over-arms-depot-raid

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