A policeman frisks people entering the shrine of
Hazrat Abdullah Shah Ghazi - Fahim Siddiqi/White Star
Foundation Bangladesh to Invite Imams of Two Holy Mosques to Preach Against
Mark over Security of 160 Shrines across Karachi
of Britain's Islamist Terrorists Came From Highly Segregated Muslim Districts
ISIS Threat, China May Have to Get off Sidelines in Mid East
Government Bans Extremist Organization Ansar Al-Islam
ISIS leader Gul Agha killed in Zabul operations
key Taliban commanders killed in Kunduz airstrike
attack near Afghan border kills five soldiers
Afghan policemen killed in Taliban attack
tribunal orders arrest of 25 leaders of radical Islamist groups
Being Punished For Acts of Others, Says Fazl
unmoved by ‘dismissal’ from council
soldiers, 10 terrorists killed in Mohmand Agency: ISPR
Meet To Support Muslims as Far-Right MP Vows to Close Mosques
anti-terror forces thwart 13 attacks since mid-2013
rally ban on Turkish ministers condemned
to accuse Russia of 'terrorism' in UN court
Saudi Luxury than Largesse for Indonesia
arrests seven for suspected links to militant groups
making it hard to be Muslim, says Siti Kasim
global peace centre in Malaysia reflects true tolerance of Islam, says KACND
Sunni Bloc Angered by MP Who ‘Insulted’ Prophet Mohammed’s Companions
Receives New Saudi Arms Cargo in Southern Yemen
compares German behaviour with Nazi period
al Qaeda militants kill six Yemeni troops, civilian: official
warns of Israel's plan to weaken Iran-Azerbaijan ties
forces kill Palestinian during West Bank raid
snipers kill Saudi soldier in retaliatory attack
bulldozers, tanks cross into Gaza, level Palestinian lands
ISIS Is On Its Last Legs, but Beware Of What Comes Next
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hits back against army’s Aleppo advances, kills 15 in twin suicide attacks
civilians displaced since Mosul operation started: IOM
Army Wins back Energy-Rich Field in Eastern Homs
Arabia's Military Base Damaged in Yemen's Zalzal-2 Missile Attack
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rebels free 127 prisoners captured in fighting
groups condemn Jordan executions
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Afghan security worsens, India’s responsibilities just got bigger
apprehends around 70 fishermen off Gujarat; 3rd case this year
Youth Door-Knock to Answer Questions about Islam
youth group aims to educate Canadians about misconceptions of Islam
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Foundation Bangladesh, an autonomous body under the Ministry of Religious
Affairs, is trying to bring imams of the two most revered mosques of Islam to
Dhaka this month to preach against militancy.
Foundation Director General Shamim Mohammad Afzal told the Dhaka Tribune that
they are expecting imams of Masjid al-Haram and Al-Masjid an-Nabawi to attend
the founding anniversary of IFB on March 22 in Dhaka, and address people on
political parties, however, had failed to successfully invite Dr Sheikh Abdul
Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Sudais, imam of Masjid al-Haram, in July last year.
Dr Sheikh and Ali Bin Abdur Rahman al Huthaify, chief imam of Al-Masjid
an-Nabawi, are highly respected among Muslims all over the world. We hope that
they will accept our invitations and come to Bangladesh to spread awareness
among people against militancy,” said Shamim.
Foundation is planning to arrange a rally on its 42nd founding anniversary at
Suhrawardy Udyan, where Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is also expected to
personnel met the prime minister on February 28 to discuss the event.
the meeting, a four-member representative team from Bangladesh met authorities
of the Royal Embassy of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Dhaka on March 2 to take the
to the team, the Saudi king would have to allow the invitation as the imam of
Grand Mosque is a state post.
Mohammad Abdullah, secretary of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, said: “The
time has not come to confirm their visit yet, but we are trying our best.”
Foundation has been running anti-militancy campaigns by instructing imams and
muezzins in Bangladesh to deliver sermons about
the devastating impacts of extremism.
Rahman Ibn Abdul Aziz Al-Sudais
of Masjid al-Haram
of General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
“Islamic Personality of the Year” in 2005 by Dubai International Holy Quran
Awards. Preaches Islam’s opposition to terrorism and advocates peaceful
inter-faith dialogue. Completed his PhD in Islamic Sharia from Umm al-Qura University.
Bin Abdur Rahman al Huthaify
Imam of Al-Masjid an-Nawabi
lecturer of Islamic Jurisprudence and Tawheed at Islamic University of Saudi
completed his PhD in Islamic law from Al-Azhar University.
Huthaify has also studied forensic sciences.
was the imam of the Quba Mosque. al Huthaify has been the imam of the Prophet’s
Mosque since 1979.
mark over security of 160 shrines across Karachi
Two police mobile vans now guard the main entrance to the shrine of Hazrat
Abdullah Shah Ghazi as the security has been tightened since the terrorist attack
at the shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan on Feb 16.
officers at the shrine in Clifton explained that they received orders from the
office of the inspector general of police who had recently visited it.
Previously security had been beefed up after twin bomb attacks at the Ghazi
shrine in October 2010.
to an estimate, there are 160 shrines across Karachi and around 100 of these
shrines, situated around the shores as well as areas lining the outskirts of
the metropolis, are most visited by the devotees from Sindh and southern
historians and researchers count many of these to be “linked to the city’s
past”, there is an increasing security threat faced by many of these shrines.
Some of the threat is due to the increasing encroachment surrounding the
shrines, as pointed out by an activist Abdul Ghani who works to protect
heritage sites in Karachi’s district west. He spoke about the shrine of Sakhi
Sultan, also known as Baba or Peer Mangho, in Manghopir, which is surrounded by
marble shops and tile makers. According to him, “areas at the back of the
shrine still harbour support for the Taliban who were said to be booted out
during the Rangers-led operation in Karachi”. This led to the fear among
residents that the shrine and groups of gypsies living next to it needed to be
alert, he said.
Gul Hassan Kalmati said that when it was about protection, the shrine of Hazrat
Abdullah Shah Ghazi was among the first ones to receive it. “Many other shrines
are left out as a result though they are just as vulnerable to these threats,”
he added. Mr Kalmati said most of the shrines, such as Hazrat Syed Kutub Alam
Shah Bukhari’s shrine in Eidgah, Hazrat Ghayab Shah Bukhari’s shrine in
Keamari, among others, were filled on Thursdays or around particular month of
the year as part of yearly festivities. The shrine of Hazrat Abdullah Shah
Ghazi, however, “is filled round the year by both Hindu and Muslim devotees,”
to him, as many of the shrines are situated near the shore, these were and
still are frequented by fishermen. Before embarking on a 15- to 20-day journey,
many fishermen used to stop at the nearest shrine, pray, and then leave. The
same routine was repeated on their return from the sea, he said.
also serve as a congregating junction for families and friends, said Mr
Kalmati. It was explained best through the stalls surrounding most shrines of
toys, bangles, apart from the chadors inscribed with religious text, flower
petals and incense sticks.
away from the “simpler times” as Mr Kalmati referred to it, the addition of
caretakers to the shrines increased the tales or legends about each one of the
saints it belonged to. These legends about the ‘karamaat’ of a saint were, and
still are, orally circulated among the devotees, he added.
instance, he said, the shrine of Hazrat Yusuf Shah, brother of Abdullah Shah
Ghazi, in Manora, was said to be the saviour of the sea and to have protected
the sea during the Indo-Pak war of 1965.
his article Another Time, Another Place, published in Herald, architect Arif
Hasan wrote: “We are told by British visitors later that no vessel left or
entered the harbour without depositing some offering at the shrine.” At the
same time, Hasan stated that another British Marine, John Porter, visited
Karachi in 1774 and mentioned the shrine as the “white tomb”.
Baba’s shrine in Gadap is known to organise literary events which are attended
by people from Karachi and other cities every year. Mr Kalmati added that the
dargah was working well without a caretaker because of a 20-member committee
helping with the maintenance of the shrine. “Not having a caretaker helps, as
then, the responsibility is either with the government or a committee of
like-minded people who are invested in maintaining the shrine and not to use it
as a way of earning money,” said Mr Kalmati. As an afterthought, he added that
the money earned could be used to upgrade security at the shrines as well.
“Protecting these shrines should be a priority as they are part of our city’s
history and, whether we agree or not, they provide momentary relief to those
who believe,” he added.
in Dawn, March 6th, 2017
Islamist terrorists are getting younger and an increasing number had no prior
convictions or previous criminal records before carrying out an act of
terrorism or being arrested in the later stages of planning attacks, according
to a major report to be published this week in London.
rising proportion of militants who are so-called “clean skins,” previously
unknown to the authorities, has jumped sharply, posing a growing challenge for
Britain's security services as they scramble to try to prevent acts of
terrorism, says the report's author, Hannah Stuart, an analyst at The Henry
Jackson Society, a British research group.
1998 and 2010 more than three-quarters of Islamist terrorists were known to
British authorities in one way or another well before their arrests, 48 percent
had come under surveillance by Britain’s domestic intelligence agency MI5. But
the number of terrorists known to authorities has plunged between 2011 and
2015, the proportion known to MI5 more than halved.
from the growing number of "clean skins" in the ranks of British
militants plotting terrorist acts, the 1,000-page report analyzing Islamist
terrorism in Britain since 1998 to the beginning of last year finds there has
been a surge in the number of women joining jihadist groups or radicalizing.
report states, “Eighteen women have been convicted of terrorism offenses ranging
from supportive offenses such as assisting an offender to serious
attack-related offenses such as attempted murder. More than half of the female
cases involved behavior that was supportive of men with whom they have a family
or personal relationship, or was accepted by the trial judge as subordinate to
that of their partner and co-accused.”
accounted for four percent of Islamist-related offenses between 1998 and 2010,
but 11 percent between 2011 and 2015.
report, one of the most comprehensive of its kind in Europe, says the terrorism
threat the country faces continues to be from ‘home-grown” militants rather
than from militants infiltrated into the country or recruited from the ranks of
recent refugees or migrants. According to the study, 72 percent of
Islamism-related offenses in Britain were carried out by British nationals or
people who held dual British nationality.
security services will be particularly concerned that the major threat
continues to be home grown, and that females are playing an ever increasing
role in terrorism,” says Stuart. She and other researchers scoured court
transcripts and media reports as well as other sources to analyze 269
individual convictions or suicide bombings and all of the nearly 400 terrorism
offenses recorded between 1998 and early 2015.
number of Islamism-inspired terrorism offenses in Britain nearly doubled
between 2000 to 2015, according to the report.
and segregation factors
key finding from the study includes the highlighting of a connection between
poverty and radicalization, upending a conventional view that has increasingly
taken hold that Islamist terrorists are disproportionately educated and middle
38 percent of terrorists were unemployed, while 76 percent came from
neighborhoods with above-average deprivation. The report says 48 percent of
British-based offenders were people living “in the most deprived 20 percent of
neighborhoods nationally, commonly referred to as ‘highly deprived.”
crucial finding is that militants come from highly segregated and heavily
Muslim areas, raising new questions about integration. A high concentration of
bombers or those convicted of terrorism-related offenses came from segregated
districts in London and Birmingham. A tenth of all Britain’s Islamist
terrorists come from just five local authority districts in Birmingham, the
most populous British city outside London.
percent of those convicted of Islamist-related terrorism came from London and
half of those most came from just three of the capital’s boroughs in east
London, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Waltham Forest.
the period studied the most common age for an Islamic terrorist was 22. The
Henry Jackson researchers found that 52 percent of Islamist offenders had Southern
Asian ethnic backgrounds, and were most commonly British Pakistani.
month, a senior British counter-terror official, Max Hill, warned that Britain
is facing a level of threat from terrorists not seen since the Irish Republican
Army bombings 40 years ago. He said jihadist strategists were planning
“indiscriminate attacks on innocent civilians” and that the country is facing
an “enormous ongoing risk which none of us can ignore.”
expressed anxiety about the imminent return of hundreds of British jihadists
who have been fighting for jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq and warned British
teenagers as young as 14 years-old are being radicalized by extremist videos
and hate speech online.
Clarke - On Feb. 27, the Islamic State released a slickly produced propaganda
video detailing for the first time “scenes from the life of immigrants from
East Turkistan [i.e. Xinjiang] in the land of the Caliphate.” The video, in
which a Uighur militant exclaims that the Islamic State will “shed blood like
rivers” to avenge Beijing’s “oppression” of Muslims in the Western region of Xinjiang,
provides not only a highly stylized view of Uighur militants’ training with
heavy weaponry and snapshots of their daily life in the “caliphate,” but is
also punctuated by two brutal executions of alleged “informants.”
the direct threat against China and the brutality of the executions has
captured much attention, a close analysis of the video suggests something even
more important: the possible splintering of Uighur militancy.
video demonstrates the intensification of the Islamic State’s threat to China.
In 2014, Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi argued that China was on a
par with states such as Israel, India, and the United States as an “oppressor”
of Muslims. This was followed by the group’s execution of a Chinese citizen,
Fan Jinghui in Iraq in November 2015. The new video adds to this by providing
the first visual evidence of Uighur militants fighting for the Islamic State
and lends greater weight to Chinese claims that hundreds of Uighurs have been
recruited by the group in recent years.
a militant in the video denounces the “apostasy” of the Turkistan Islamic Party
(TIP) — a well-established Uighur militant group that has had a significant
presence in Syria since 2012 — and urges TIP members to defect to the Islamic
State. This leads to a significant implication: it highlights a potential
splintering of Uighur militants between the well established Al
Qaeda-affiliate, TIP, and the Islamic State.
date, TIP has posed the most immediate terrorist threat to China. This has been
based on its close alignment with Al Qaeda, a product of the group’s genesis in
Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the late 1990s. As Al Qaeda itself became
active in Syria with the establishment of Jabhat al-Nusra as its affiliate in
January 2012, TIP also began to release videos about the Syrian conflict and
articles in its magazine, often comparing the struggle of the anti-Assad forces
to that of the Uighurs in China. By 2015 TIP had a well-documented presence on
the battlefield in Syria, with the group releasing a number of videos detailing
its role in combat in Idlib, Jisr al-Shughur, and the Al Ghab plain. There have
also been reports of the establishment of significant settlements of Uighur
fighters and their families (numbered in their hundreds) since 2014 around
Idlib and Latakia.
TIP has remained a steadfast ally of Al Qaeda and its affiliates in Syria,
Jabhat al-Nusrah and its leadership has openly criticized the Islamic State and
rejected the legitimacy of its “caliph,” Baghdadi. Al Qaeda for its part has
widely praised TIP. Ayman al-Zawahiri, for instance, released a video in July
2016 titled “Turkestan: Patience and Then Victory,” that hailed TIP for its
struggle against the “atheist occupier” of “East Turkestan” (i.e. Xinjiang) and
encouraged followers to wage jihad “in any corner of the world, wherever they
may be.” The video provides confirmation that the Al Qaeda-Islamic State split
has now begun to affect Uighur militant groups.
splintering could, however, have contradictory effects. One could be broadly
positive for China; inter-group conflict presaged by the video could distract
and weaken Uighur militants’ ability to carry out attacks against China or its
latter dynamic may already be taking place, discernible in the August 2016
attack against the Chinese embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, and the 2016 New
Year’s Eve Istanbul nightclub attack. In the first of these attacks, the
suicide bomber was revealed to have been an ethnic Uighur who Kyrgyz
authorities subsequently claimed had been travelling on a Tajik passport and
assisted by an ethnic Uzbek with links to the TIP in Syria. The 2016 New Year’s
Eve attack was claimed by the Islamic State, and Turkish authorities
subsequently identified the gunman as an ethnic Uighur with links to Syria.
developments present a major challenge to Beijing. Within Xinjiang, China has
responded to the growing threat with a show of force, including recent
“anti-terror” rallies of thousands of security personnel in major cities such
as Urumqi, Kashgar, and Khotan. Externally, however, the question of how the
activities of TIP and now Islamic State-aligned Uighur militants will affect
Beijing’s approach to Iraq and Syria remain unclear. Ultimately, Beijing may
have to jettison its long-standing aloofness to the crisis in both countries if
China wishes to combat Uighur militancy effectively.
government bans extremist organization Ansar al-Islam
government has banned the extremist organization Ansar al-Islam. Home
Ministry's Department of Public Safety issued a notification in this regard on
Sunday after the law enforcing agency sent a letter to the ministry seeking a
ban on the organization.
notification said activities of the organization are contrary to country's
peace and order. Activities of the organization have already been considered as
a threat to public safety, added the notification.
al-Islam, which claimed itself Bangladesh wing of al-Qaeda and claimed the
responsibility of killing bloggers, is actually the renewed version of
Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) with new name.
Bangala Team which took birth in 2007 was working as a platform for the
believers of al-Qaeda in Bangladesh. At first, the group was involved in study
circle and internet propaganda, but started killing bloggers in 2013. The
militant group first came into light after killing blogger Rajib Haider in
capital's Pallabi on February 15 of the same year. Later, they divided into
different groups and got operative. So far, the group has claimed
responsibilities for 9 murders including bloggers, publishers and students,
current government had earlier banned Ansarullah Bangla Team on May 25, 2015
and Hizb ut-Tahrir on October 22, 2009.
later became affiliated with AQIS that eyes establishing Shariah law in the
founder Osama bin Laden's successor, Egyptian ideologue Ayman al-Zawahiri,
announced the formation of AQIS in September 2014 to carry the group's fight to
India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, and with a special focus on Rakhine state of
US government blacklisted AQIS as a "foreign terrorist organization"
and its leader, Indian-born Asim Umar, a "specially-designated global
terrorist" in a statement issued on June 30 last year.
previous BNP-Jamaat government outlawed Shahadat-e-al Hikma on February 9, 2003,
Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh
(JMJB) on February 23, 2005, and Harkat-ul Jihad al-Islami (Huji) on October
have arrested a number of top leaders of the outfit, but its alleged operations
chief Maj (sacked) Syed Ziaul Haque and spiritual leader Tamim al-Adnani have
group made the first claim on May 3, 2015 after their supporters hacked to
death six targets, including blogger Ahmed Rajeeb Haider and science writer
spiritual leader of Ansarullah Bangla Team (now Ansar al-Islam), Jasim Uddin
Rahmani, was arrested on August 12, 2013 for inciting jihad at mosques. Later,
he was removed from the post of chairman of Markazul Uloom Al-Islamia Madrasa's
management committee at Basila in Mohammadpur.
December 31, 2015, Rahmani was sentenced to five years in prison for inciting
the murder of Rajeeb Haider, while two of his followers to death and four
others to different jail terms for their involvement in the murder that took
place on February 15, 2013.
al-Islam earlier extended support to Harakah al-Yakin or Faith Movement, a
like-minded Rohingya-based militant group that attacked three border outposts
of Myanmar as part of their armed jihad on October 9.
a public statement issued on December 15, al-Qaeda urged the Muslim youths of
Bangladesh to join the fight to avenge the persecution against Rohingyas.
members are campaigning against the indigenous peoples of the country's CHT
region terming them terrorists. They incited further attacks on the Hindus of
Nasirnagar in Brahmanbaria last year during a discussion on Dawahilallah, an
open forum of AQIS.
Ansar al-Islam, total seven organizations have been banned for militant
activities and religious extremism in the country.
six other banned outfits are Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Jagrata
Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), Harkat ul-Jehad al-Islami Bangladesh (HUJI),
Sahadat-e Hikma, Hizbut-Tahrir and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).
key leader of the loyalists of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist
group was killed during an operation of the Afghan Special Forces in southern
to the local government officials, Gul Agha was among at least seventeen
insurgents killed during the operation.
police chief Mirwais Noorzai said Gul Agha was originally a resident of eastern
Nangarhar province and was actively involved in insurgency activities in Zabul
comes as the Ministry of Defense (MoD) officials said Wednesday that seventeen
ISIS loyalists were killed during a special military operation conducted by the
Afghan forces in Arghandab district.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in southern Afghanistan where the
Taliban insurgents and other militants including ISIS loyalists are actively
local residents and tribal elders recently met with the government officials in
Kabul to convey their concerns regarding the growing activities of the terror
group in some restive districts of Zabul.
least three commanders of the Taliban group were killed in an airstrike
conducted by the Afghan Air Force in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan.
Ministry of Interior (MoI) in a statement said the airstrike was carried out
late on Saturday night in Imam Sahib district.
statement further added that fifteen Taliban insurgents including three
commanders of the group identified as Qari Mazlum, Qari Hejran, and Farooqi
were killed in the airstrike.
least three Taliban insurgents were also wounded in the airstrike, MoI said,
adding that five vehicles and some weapons were also destroyed.
security forces and local residents did not suffer any casualties during the
operation, the ministry said.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in northern Afghanistan where the
Taliban insurgents are actively operating in its various districts and often
conduct insurgency activities.
AGENCY: Three terrorist attacks at border checkpoints along Mohmand Agency were
thwarted by army personnel on Sunday night, resulting in the death of five
to the Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the shoot-out between the
terrorist and armed forces also resulted in at least 10 terrorists being
killed, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed grief over the
loss of soldiers’ lives in the in the incident but emphasised that,
"Terrorists must be denied freedom of movement along the border". He
also lauded the immediate response of the personnel.
one of the agencies of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas, has been a
hotbed of violence during the war on terror.
suicide blast near the main gate of the Mohmand Agency headquarters in
Ghallanai, last month, killed five people including three security forces
personnel were martyred.
the same day, another suicide attacker struck in Mosal Kor area of the agency.
At least five members of the Afghan security forces were killed early Sunday
morning when their checkpoint came under an insurgent attack in northeastern
Kunduz province, an Afghan official said.
Abdul Hamid Hamid, provincial police chief in Kunduz, said a large group of
Taliban fighters attacked the post near the city of Kunduz.
18 insurgents were killed by airstrikes in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz
province, according to a statement released by the Interior Ministry. Three
others were wounded while five vehicles and an ammunition stockpile were
destroyed, the statement added.
key terrorists killed in the operation were involved in planning and
implementing several terror attacks in Kunduz province," said the
in the northern province of Faryab, a district police chief died when a bomb
that had been attached to his car detonated, said Karim Yuresh, spokesman for
the provincial police chief. Another policeman was wounded in the explosion
Saturday evening. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
judicial directive is issued against Islamist groups like Hefazat-e-Islam for
actively instigating violence against the Gonojagoron Moncho.
court has issued arrest warrants against 25 people, including leaders of
Hefazat-e-Islam, in a case lodged against them four years ago for instigating
an attack on Gonojagoron Moncho on February 22, 2013.
Metropolitan 1 Special Tribunal Judge Mohammad Kamrul Hossain Molla ordered the
arrest warrants based on the Shahbagh police station’s charge sheet which
accuses 29 people for the bombing under the Explosives Act.
Oikya Jote Chairman Abdul Latif Nizami and Secretary General Mufti Md
Faizullah, Bangladesh Khilafat Majlish Ameer Mawlana Md Ishaq, Secretary
General Ahmed Abdul Quader and chief Mawlana Abdur Rouf Yusufi, Jamiat
Ulema-e-Islam Executive President Mufti Md Wakkas, Bangladesh Khilafat Andolon
Ameer Shah Ahmedullah Ashraf and Nizam-e-Islam Bangladesh President Abdur Rakib
are among the 25 accused.
being punished for acts of others, says Fazl
Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman has said that
those who trained youths in guerilla warfare and gave weapons in their hands
should accept responsibility for the prevailing disorder in the country. He
said religious seminaries should not be punished for their crimes.
to heads of seminaries, religious scholars and JUI-F workers at a gathering
held at the Hockey Ground here on Sunday, he said targeting religious people
and seminaries for crimes committed by others was a great injustice.
said the JUI-F wanted to promote the rule of law in the country.
Fazl said those indulging in “politics of arms” were neither protectors of
religion nor representatives of the Sharia.
said religious people took pride in the history of the JUI which was replete
with heroic deeds for the independence of the country.
said his party wanted Islamic system in Pakistan and added that only ulema
could guide masses in religious matters.
JUI-F chief said his party represented oppressed sections of the society and it
was the only party which could provide employment opportunities to the youth.
said successive governments during the past 70 years had failed to give
economic stability to the country, adding that during this period the country
had been ruled by landlords and the elite.
people take part in politics only to promote their interests. They try to copy
European models and never use their minds to find out what system suits
said corruption could be eliminated from the country if ulema were given a
chance to run the affairs of the government. When ulema talk about different
issues, people in the establishment and bureaucracy make fun of them. Only the
leadership of the JUI-F could put the country on the right direction, he added.
Maulana said the country was heading towards a new turn. “The slogan of
Pak-China friendship is being raised for over the 70 years, but now this slogan
is about to be translated into an economic reality.”
Chairman of Senate Maulana Abdul Ghafoor Haideri, Leader of the Opposition in
Balochistan Assembly Maulana Abdul Wasey, former governor Syed Fazal Agha and
other JUI-F leaders were present on the occasion.
the term means, Hafiz Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi is known among journalists in
Lahore as a ‘liberal’ maulvi (cleric). His ‘moderate’ stance on issues such as
sectarian violence, militancy and suicide attacks has endeared him to many in
urgent need of a religious scholar who can provide them with breathing space in
today’s Pakistan. He is one of the few religious leaders in the country who
have stood up in recent years to denounce violence by extremist organisations
and to defend people like the little Christian girl from Islamabad, Rimsha
Masih, who was booked on a blasphemy charge.
graduate of the University of Punjab and the Jamia Ashrafia in Lahore, Tahir
Ashrafi gained prominence on account of his active role in the Pakistan Ulema
Council (PUC), a platform created by the leaders of Deobandi, Barelvi, Shia and
Ahle Hadith schools of thought back in 1988 to promote sectarian harmony amid
growing sectarian strife in the country. He has been part of the council since
its inception and was elected its chairman by its Markazi Majlis-i-Shoora or
central executive committee, in 2007. Ever since, the PUC, a Deobandi-dominated
organisation, has under his stewardship issued several (religious) decrees
against suicide attacks, honour killings and activities of the militant Islamic
State group, and in favour of women’s suffrage and prevention of misuse of
the other hand, Hafiz Ashrafi also has the image of a controversial figure. He
has been repeatedly criticised by religious circles for his views and actions
and has faced threats to his life from extremist and militant organisations.
There have been several efforts to remove him from the chairmanship of the
council. The latest such attempt was made by Sahibzada Zahid Mahmood Qasmi last
week at a meeting of the PUC Shoora at a Deobandi mosque-cum-seminary in Faisalabad.
An announcement made after the meeting said that 500 ulema, who had gathered at
Jamia Qasmia, had decided to remove Tahir Ashrafi and replace him with
Sahibzada Qasmi, who has the reputation of a conservative and hard-line
Markazi Majlis-i-Shoora of the Pakistan Ulema Council has dismissed Hafiz Tahir
Ashrafi from the office of the council’s chairman, cancelling his basic
membership from its sub-organisations, and elected Sahibzada Zahid Mahmood
Qasmi in his place,” the statement said.
former chairman has made autonomous decisions on internal and external affairs
without consulting members of the Shoora. Some authentic facts and evidence
have come into notice of the Shoora that show that Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi has made
foreign contacts that were absolutely against Islam, the constitution of
Pakistan and manifesto of the Pakistan Ulema Council,” said the statement
published in newspapers.
the heart of the accusations made against Hafiz Ashrafi was the allegation that
he had “secretly obtained massive funds from the American and German
governments for spying on the students of seminaries in Pakistan” — a charge he
haven’t received any money from any American or German organisation or any
foreign government,” he told Dawn. “I was approached by the Americans who
planned to set up peace committees here. They wanted me to guide them on
different issues. The deal fell through because of difference of views (on the
project). Even the Americans and Germans have issued clarifications about these
Ashrafi wasn’t particularly worried about his “dismissal”.
people who removed me from the chairmanship of the PUC do not have the mandate
to do this. Only a couple of Shoora members actually attended the meeting.
Certain elements have long been campaigning against me because they don’t
approve of my stance on issues like sectarianism, women’s rights, blasphemy
naming anyone, he said the people opposed to his moderate religious views had
tried many times in the past to incite public opinion against him. “When I
speak about interfaith harmony, I am asked to shut up. When I call for
preventing misuse of blasphemy laws, I am threatened. Recently, I was told that
the council should issue a decree against the (missing) bloggers. I refused and
told them that I could not support their demand because it was the job of law
enforcement agencies to investigate such matters. It is not the PUC’s job to
declare every other man and woman kafir (infidel). We must encourage moderate
views and respect the rule of law as taught by Islam.”
soldiers were killed in Mohmand Agency while foiling a terrorism bid on three
border checkpoints on Saturday night, according to Inter Services Public
terrorists were also killed during the exchange of fire between army personnel
meet to support Muslims as far-right MP vows to close mosques
- Hundreds of Dutch citizens met at an Amsterdam mosque Sunday to show
solidarity with the country's Muslim population, as an anti-Islam MP again
vowed to shut mosques and ban the Koran should he win upcoming elections.
200 concerned citizens and organisers representing a broad coalition against
racism in The Netherlands gathered at the central Al-Kabir mosque, saying they
were deeply worried about the rise of discrimination against Muslims in the
very important that we make our voice heard. We as a Muslim community pose no
danger whatsoever to society," said Najem Ouladali, one of the organisers
of the meeting which also included members of Amsterdam's gay and lesbian
fact, we are victims too of Islamic extremism," added another speaker,
Abdou Menebhi, who chairs a Moroccan organisation in The Netherlands.
estimates put The Netherlands' Muslim population between 840,000 to 960,000
people, or around 5.0 percent out of a population of some 17 million people. Most
Muslims are from Turkish or Moroccan descent, according to the Dutch central
during the meeting, which was paused for afternoon prayers, constantly returned
to Dutch firebrand far-right MP Geert Wilders, who is campaigning ahead of
elections on an anti-Islam ticket. The 53-year-old Wilders has courted
controversy with his hardline anti-Islam, anti-immigrant stance and his
incendiary insults against Moroccans and Turks.
has vowed in his party's one-page manifesto that if elected he would ban the
sale of Korans, close mosques and Islamic schools, shut Dutch borders and ban
Muslim migrants. Support however for Wilders and his extreme stance seems to
have withered in recent days according to the latest polls. "We believe that what Wilders is doing
is very dangerous to our society," Ouladali told AFP after the mosque
meeting, speaking in Dutch.
van der Valk, a researcher at the University of Amsterdam told the meeting
incidents of hate crimes against Muslims were on the rise in The Netherlands.
2015 incidents involving discrimination have almost doubled and there were at
least 54 incidents involving mosques - like threatening letters displaying Nazi
symbols she said.
has been a worrisome rise in this kind of activity in our country," Van
der Valk said.
across earlier across the Dutch capital, the firebrand Wilders again vowed to
close mosques, should he become prime minister after the vote, seen as a key
litmus test of the rise of populist and far-right parties ahead of other
national elections to be held across Europe later this year.
mosques may be more difficult but you can do it," Wilders told journalists
in an industrial suburb of Amsterdam earlier at a press meeting.
have to change the Constitution. It takes time, certainly in Holland... but I
am a lawmaker and if anyone can change the constitution and propose this, it's
me," Wilders said.
10 days before elections Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) appears to have
slipped into second place behind the Liberal party of incumbent Prime Minister
Mark Rutte after months of leading the opinion polls.
am confident we will all have excellent results," Wilders told a gaggle of
mainly foreign journalists, referring also to France's far-right presidential
hopeful Marine Le Pen.
if that will not be the case, the genie will not go back into the bottle...
certainly things will change in Europe," he insisted.
an odd press conference, Wilders gathered reporters from international organisations
in a street in an Amsterdam industrial area, surrounded by a heavy security
detail of uniformed and plain-clothed police officers.
by the polarising debate over immigration, and initially by the victory of
Donald Trump in the US presidential race, Wilders had been leading polls since
late last year.
the latest collated polls by the Dutch website Peilingwijzer (Poll indicator)
from seven different agencies on Saturday showed Rutte's VVD party would now
win 23 to 27 seats in the 150-seat lower house of parliament, with the PVV set
to garner 22-26 seats if elections were held today.
security forces have thwarted 13 terrorist attacks in less than four years,
mostly thanks to information provided by the public, the country's most senior
anti-terrorism official said Monday.
Rowley, assistant commission for London's Metropolitan Police, said security
and intelligence agencies are dealing with more than 500 investigations at any
terrorism threat to Britain is categorized as "severe" — meaning an
attack is "highly likely" — as authorities faced "some big
operational challenges," Rowley said in an interview with local media.
said military success against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria is
"welcome" though that alone is "not going to eradicate the
terrorist problem." Al-Qaida and off-shoots of both groups remained a
threat, he said, but "extreme right-wing groups" have also become a
focus of police efforts in recent months.
number of people leaving Britain to fight with extreme Islamist groups has
fallen, he said. Up to 800 people are believed to have left Britain to fight in
Syria and Iraq. It is not known exactly how many have returned home, though
some experts say it could be up to half, with some 50 killed.
majority (of our work) is actually people in this country who are
radicalized," Rowley said. "Sometimes they are in contact with people
overseas and they are looking to radicalize others in this country and
potentially conduct attacks."
attention on home-grown far-right extremism follows the killing of lawmaker Jo
Cox last June, ahead of the Brexit referendum on Britain's European Union
Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE)’s Turkey Group president has
termed the ban on Turkish ministers from addressing their community in Germany
ahead of April 16 referendum in Turkey as a violation of human rights.
call on the Council of Europe to do its duty," Talip Kucukcan told Anadolu
Agency ahead of the PACE Political Affairs Commission meeting in Paris on
repressive mindset against our ministers can never be associated with the
values of the Council of Europe. Therefore, we will raise this issue during
today's PACE Political Affairs Commission meeting in Paris," Kucukcan
official petition has already been filed at the commission highlighting the
unjust ban, he said.
is one of the missions of PACE to protect lawmakers of member countries, he
said, adding Turkey would do its best to prevent discrimination against its
ministers and elected representatives.
is a strong Turkish diaspora in Europe with a potential 2.5 million voters.
Kucukcan said the ban on addressing this community is a direct violation of
freedom of speech as well as the right to assembly.
Turkish ministers and other government officials have been stopped from
addressing their community abroad to brief them about the proposed
constitutional reforms, politicians from other Turkish political parties have
been able to visit Europe and meet the expat community, Kucukcan noted.
he urged the Turkish community to go to ballot boxes and vote in the upcoming
April 16, a referendum will take place in Turkey on constitutional reforms,
including the crucial change to a presidential system of governance.
statement comes after the municipality of Gaggenau in southwest Germany revoked
last week its permission for Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag's rally for
April 16 referendum, citing concerns about overcrowding. This prompted Bozdag
to cancel his planned visit to Germany.
cancellation by the Gaggenau municipality has drawn strong criticism from the
will seek to convince the UN's top court Monday that Moscow is "sponsoring
terrorism" in a bloody conflict involving separatist pro-Russian rebels,
as tensions escalate in war-torn eastern Ukraine.
representatives will also ask the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to take
emergency measures ordering Russia to stop its alleged funnelling of money,
weapons and personnel into the east, and to halt what it called
"discrimination" of minorities in Russian-occupied Crimea.
is also seeking compensation for attacks on civilians in nearly three years of
has long denied arming the rebels and has hit back that the case was just
motivated "by political interests".
has also claimed that Kiev in fact had "shown a lack of will to hold a
lodged its case against its former Soviet master at the court based in The
Hague in mid-January, saying it has protested for several years against
Moscow's alleged financing of separatist rebels battling Ukrainian government
now "respectfully requests the court to adjudge and declare that the
Russian Federation bears international responsibility by virtue of its
sponsorship of terrorism... for the acts of terrorism committed by its proxies
in Ukraine," it said in papers before the court.
three years of conflict have claimed some 10,000 lives in eastern Ukraine --
and led to Russia's seizure of Ukraine's southern peninsula of Crimea in 2014
-- pushing ties between Moscow and the West to their lowest point since the
talks between Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Russian counterpart
Vladimir Putin over the past month have proved "fruitless", the
Ukrainian presidency said in a statement Thursday.
Upsurge in fighting
he talks come amid an upsurge in violence which
killed 35 people in early February, centred around the government-held town of
Avdiivka near rebel bastion Donetsk.
also "brazenly defied" the UN Charter by seizing Ukraine's southern
peninsula of Crimea, and then attempted to "legitimise its act of
aggression" by holding an "illegal referendum", Kiev said in its
accuses Russia of discriminating against Crimean minorities such as Tatars and
ethnic Ukrainians including conducting what it termed a campaign of
"cultural erasure" against these groups.
wants Russia to "make full reparations for... acts of terrorism the
Russian Federation has caused, facilitated or supported," it said,
including the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 shot down by a
missile over rebel-held eastern Ukraine in 2014.
Saudi luxury than largesse for Indonesia
his nine-day visit to Indonesia, the first by a Saudi Arabian monarch in 47
years, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saudi and his 1,500-strong entourage have
lavished far more on accommodation than the kingdom spent in direct investment
to the world’s largest Muslim country for all of last year.
was a mere US$900,000, down sharply from US$30.4 million the previous year and
far less than the US$2.1 million it cost to install bulletproof glass in the
presidential suite of Jakarta’s Ritz Carlton Hotel where the 81-year-old king
stayed before heading to the resort island of Bali.
fleet of six jumbo jets and a Hercules cargo plane brought the delegation from
Riyadh, carrying food, two mobile lifts and other supplies weighing “459 Toyota
Avanzas” – the media’s strange choice of measurement that works out to be 546.7
all that – and the presence of 10 Saudi ministers and 25 princes – the signing
of a US$1 billion deal to fund what were vaguely described as “various
development projects” was a clear disappointment for the expectant Indonesians.
was a drop in the bucket compared with the US$7 billion state-owned Saudi
Aramaco oil company agreed to invest in a half-share of a Petronas
petrochemical complex during the monarch’s state visit to neighboring Muslim
majority Malaysia as part of a month-long Asian tour.
was also a far cry from the US$25 billion in deals officials had said were to
be signed during the visit, including US$6 billion for the expansion of the
Cilacap oil refinery on Java’s south coast that had been the subject of a memorandum
of understanding between the two sides signed in May 2016.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi was left to lamely explain that Aramco and
Indonesia’s state-run Pertamina oil company had yet to even establish a formal
joint venture to expand the refinery’s capacity from 340,000 to 370,000 barrels
was disappointed, too. It had forked out US$500,000 on a lavish reception,
complete with new carpets and banks of flowers. Yet the king spent only 20
minutes there, during which he delivered a brief two-minute speech in Arabic.
there were several conduits for Saudi religious aid, although by the late 1970s
worry about the kingdom’s impact on how Islam is practised led to the former
dictator Suharto’s government directing that all external aid run through the
major charity, Al Haramain, was closed in 2004 after allegations surfaced that
it had channeled money to militant groups then engaged in a bloody bombing
campaign. Among the targets were the Ritz Carlton and the JW Marriott, two of
the four luxury hotels booked out by the Saudi delegation.
Saudi funding currently comes through either LIPIA or the home-grown Indonesian
Society for the Propagation of Islam (DDII), which has proved a key factor in
Indonesia’s Islamic revival and its interaction with Saudi Arabia and the
the years, it has grown into a strictly conservative organization with the sort
of strong anti-Shiite, anti-Christian and anti-Ahmadiyah views that dovetailed
with the Saudi agenda of countering Iran’s global influence after the 1979
DDII has built mosques, hospitals, and orphanages, distributed Qurans and other
Islamic materials, aided local religious schools, trained religious leaders and
awarded scholarships to Saudi Arabian and other Middle Eastern universities.
scholar Ben von der Mehden says it has also sought links with other Islamic
organizations at home and abroad, including the Muslim Brotherhood,
international Islamic youth groups and even elements of the homegrown Jemaah
Islamiyah terror network.
LIPIA graduates tend to gravitate toward mosques in urban areas and in
university cities, they have not normally been the advocates of violent Islam,
who come mainly from a small radical minority of the country’s 13,000 Islamic
Wahhabi-Salafi tenets may be more widespread than they once were, but von der
Mehden says there are impediments to their expansion, starting with the rural
tradition of melding local beliefs into Islam, a syncretic mix to which the
doctrinaire Saudis are strongly averse.
Indonesians also equate Wahhabis and Salafis with fanning hate-speech,
fanaticism and violence, while local mass Muslim organizations such as
Muhammadiyah and Nahdlatul Ulama seek to weaken their influence in the mosques
and schools under their umbrellas.
from the discomfort felt over the so-called “Arabization” of Indonesia,
attitudes towards the Saudis themselves have not helped revelations in news
reports of sexually abusive employers ill-treating Indonesian maids and, more
recently, the kingdom’s failure to compensate the families of pilgrims killed
in the 2015 haj disaster.
countries will always remain bound by their shared belief in Sunni Islam, the
million Indonesians who work in Saudi Arabia and the 221,000 Indonesians who
will make the pilgrimage to Mecca this year, the country’s highest quota.
number of Saudis visiting Indonesia is only a tiny fraction of that number,
most of them heading for Hindu-populated Bali, where the king’s delegation
spent five days in an environment whose only similarity to their homeland ends
with the sea and the sand.
despite all the comforting talk last week about tolerance, religious harmony
and the evils of extremism, moderate Indonesian Muslims are more worried about
how Saudi Arabia’s conservative teachings may be eating away at the country’s
a society where conformity has become the norm, once those beliefs have been
implanted they are nurtured by the same hardline groups that are trying to
ensure the ongoing trial on blasphemy charges of ethnic-Chinese governor Basuki
Purnama will lead to his conviction.
Arrests Seven for Suspected Links to Militant Groups
Lumpur. Malaysia has arrested six foreigners and one Malaysian for suspected
links to militant groups including Islamic State, the police chief said on
Southeast Asian nation has been on high alert since suicide bombers and gunmen
linked to Islamic State launched multiple attacks in Jakarta, the capital of
neighboring Indonesia, in January 2016.
grenade attack on a bar on the outskirts of the Malaysian capital, Kuala
Lumpur, in June last year wounded eight people. Islamic State claimed
responsibility for the attacks, the first of such attacks on Malaysian soil.
has arrested hundreds over the last few years for suspected links to militant
the latest arrests made between Feb. 21 and Feb. 26, one Malaysian and one
Indonesian were detained for planning to launch a large-scale car bomb attack
using a "vehicle borne improvised explosive device," before leaving
to join IS in Syria, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said in a
Reporters | March 6, 2017
lawyer and activist says PAS is neglecting other aspects of Islam in its push
to strengthen the shariah courts' powers.
JAYA: PAS’s efforts to give wider powers to shariah courts are only making it
difficult to be a Muslim in Malaysia, says lawyer Siti Kasim.
at a talk on the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal
Jurisdiction) Act in Ipoh last Friday, Siti said the Islamist party put too
much emphasis on punishment and neglected other aspects of the religion.
a report by The Star, the lawyer, who is also an activist, said Islam was a
merciful and beautiful religion.
also supposed to be easy to practise. They (PAS) are making it hard to be a
Muslim,” she said.
religious people, PAS members should be compassionate.”
president Abdul Hadi Awang, through a private member’s bill tabled last year,
has been pushing to increase the maximum punishment for shariah offences to 30
years’ jail, 100 lashes of the cane and RM100,000 for fines.
court punishment is currently capped at jail terms not exceeding three years,
whipping of not more than six strokes of the cane, or a maximum of RM5,000 for
move to amend the act has drawn protest from both sides of the political
divide, who fear the plan would ultimately pave the way for the implementation
of Islamic capital punishment, or hudud, in Kelantan.
last week, Siti said Malays should not be afraid to challenge Hadi and his
shariah bill, The Star said.
a counter-rally to a PAS-organised gathering to garner support for the bill,
Siti said that Malays were the most oppressed group in Malaysia.
to a crowd of about 200 people on Feb 18, she added that the situation would
only get worse if PAS’s proposed amendments went through.
it’s truly God’s law, I will not go against it. But I know for sure that this
is not God’s law, this is Hadi’s law,” she said.
counter-rally, organised to oppose PAS’s pro-shariah gathering on the same day,
was helmed by NGO Bebas.
The establishment of a global peace center under the King Salman Center for
Global Peace in Malaysia is another of the Kingdom’s contributions to spread
the message of Islam and peace, said Faisal bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar,
secretary general of the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND).
King Salman’s visit to Malaysia, both countries agreed to establish the center
in coordination with the Saudi Ministry of Defense, the Center for Security and
Defense at the Malaysian Ministry of Defense, the Malaysian University of
Islamic Sciences and the Makkah-based Muslim World League (MWL).
KACND chief said the center is considered a practical translation of the
tolerance of Islam and its permanent call for the spread of peace and
Salman Center for Global Peace will contribute to unifying Islamic and global
efforts to spread stability in the region, which has suffered much from wars
and terrorism, he said.
Kingdom, led by King Salman, and resting on its religious, political and
economic positions in the hearts of Muslims, has never spared any efforts in
undertaking its historic role and realizing cooperation and fraternity between
Islamic countries, and preserving their security and stability, he said.
Islamic world needs to unify their ranks, renounce extremism and terrorism, and
clarify the true image of Islam. Muslims are advocates of peace, love and
coexistence, he pointed out.
a related development, a group of scholars in Egypt expressed appreciation for
King Salman’s call for dialogue between religions and cultures during his
recent visit to Indonesia.
Ahlus Sunnah Iranian parliamentary bloc has demanded an investigation into MP
Javad Karimi Ghoddousi’s alleged insults of the companions of Prophet Mohammed.
a letter the bloc submitted to Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani on Saturday, the
bloc voiced anger of Ghoddousi’s statements made on Friday “insulting” the four
successors of Prophet Mohammed and making “false claims” about Sunnis, the
Iranian Labor News Agency reported.
bloc voiced the importance of investigating Ghoddousi, who is a representative
of Mashhad, over the “insults and fabrications” made.
to semi-official sources, there are between 10 and 20 percent of Sunnis in the
country, which has a total population of 79 million.
24 news channel quoted local Yemeni sources as saying that a truck carrying a
large number of weapons and ammunition moved to the Lodar region in Abyan
province and delivered its cargo to al-Qaeda.
to the sources, the truck was loaded in one of the Saudi-led coalition bases in
Ma'arib province and sent to the Northern parts of Abyan province.
al-Qaeda-affiliated Ansar al-Shari'ah terrorist group received the cargo of
weapons and ammunition, according to the report.
this week, a Yemeni intelligence source disclosed Saudi Arabia's attempts to
reinvigorate al-Qaeda terrorist group in Abyan province through excessive arms
shipments and aids.
al-Qaeda terrorists have received a cargo of weapons sent by the Saudi
mercenaries stationed in Ma'arib, near Akad heights in Lodar city of Abyan
province," the source told FNA on Tuesday.
to the Yemeni activists in the Southern parts of the country, the forces loyal
to General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar (fugitive president Mansour Hadi's deputy
commander of armed forces) have sent the arms to al-Qaeda after the terrorist
group's recent defeats in different cities of Abyan province, the source added.
al-Qaeda terrorist group is fighting against the Yemeni army and popular forces
in Yemen, while multiple reports and documents show that the terrorists are
operating for the Saudi army after working out a deal last year.
sources in Yemen disclosed earlier this month that several members of the
al-Qaeda terrorist group, including a senior commander, have been killed in an
ambush operation of the Yemeni army and popular forces in Ta'iz province.
- Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany on Sunday of "fascist
actions" reminiscent of Nazi times in a growing row over the cancellation
of political rallies aimed at drumming up support for him among the 1.5 million
Turks living in Germany.
Chancellor Angela Merkel's office had no immediate comment on the remarks but
the deputy leader of her Christian Democratic Union party said the Turkish
president was "reacting like a wilful child that cannot have his
authorities withdrew permission last week for two rallies by Turkish citizens
in German cities, at which Turkish ministers were to urge a "Yes"
vote in a referendum next month on granting Erdogan sweeping new presidential
row has dragged relations between the two NATO partners to a new low. At the
same time, public outrage is mounting in Germany over Ankara's arrest of a
you have no relation whatsoever to democracy and you should know that your
current actions are no different to those of the Nazi period," Erdogan
said at a rally in Istanbul. "When we say that, they get disturbed. Why
are you disturbed?"
says he needs the proposed new powers to tackle Kurdish rebels, Islamist
militants and other political enemies in a land with a history of unstable
coalition governments. Critics argue a "yes" vote in the April 16
vote would abolish checks and balances already eroded over 15 years of his
Minister Nihat Zeybekci, who had one meeting cancelled last week, said he would
speak at rallies with Turkish citizens in the cities of Leverkusen and Cologne
harsh words bring to the foreign political arena the heated climate in Turkey
since a failed army attempt to topple the president in July. Mass arrests and
dismissals in professions from the military to academia, journalism to science,
have been heavily criticised in the West.
will talk about Germany's actions in the international arena and we will put
them to shame in the eyes of the world," Erdogan said.
don't want to see their fascist actions," Erdogan he added. "We thought
that era was in the past, but apparently it isn't."
says the meetings were cancelled by local authorities on security grounds.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim spoke on the phone with Merkel on Saturday, in
what he called "a good and productive meeting". The two countries'
foreign ministers are due to meet this week.
remarks - he is a man admired by many for his rhetorical flourishes - could win
support among many of those who see Turkey threatened by militant attacks and
abandoned by putative allies. But they may damage economic ties at a time when
Turkey faces rising unemployment and inflation.
percent of Turkish exports go to Germany. Germany accounts for about 11 percent
of Turkish imports.
al Qaeda militants opened fired on a Yemeni military checkpoint in the southern
province of Abyan on Sunday, a security official and residents said, killing
six troops and a civilian.
attack comes after the United States launched several days of air strikes
against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), one of the most active
branches of the global militant group.
forces dubbed the "security belt" are deployed in the provinces
around the southern port city of Aden which is the base of the country's
internationally recognized government.
of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says enemies are irked
by close relations between Iran and Azerbaijan, warning of the Israeli regime’s
efforts to undermine the two countries' mutual ties.
evil Zionist regime [of Israel] is making efforts more than all enemies to
weaken the brotherly relations between Iran and Azerbaijan,” the Leader said in
a meeting with the visiting Azeri President Ilham Aliyev in Tehran on Sunday.
Khamenei added that in response to enemies' plots, Tehran and Baku must try to
protect their friendly relations.
Leader hailed Azerbaijan’s very positive stances on the Islamic Republic,
including its position on the Iranian nuclear issue.
political circles and communities, the Azeri government has always stood by
Iran and these positive stances bring the two countries closer than ever to
each other,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.
the meeting, which was attended by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Aliyev
said Tehran and Baku enjoy cultural, historical and religious commonalities.
efforts to sow discord between Iran and Azerbaijan, the two countries have
high-level relations and the enemies bids to undermine such ties would be
futile, he added.
Azeri president said Tehran and Baku signed 20 documents for cooperation in
2016, adding that the volume of trade exchanges showed a 70-percent increase in
comparison with the previous year.
however, expressed dissatisfaction with the current volume of trade exchanges
and said the two countries are implementing joint projects, including a railway
Iranian and Azeri presidents signed an agreement in Tehran on Sunday to work
toward completing their portions of a planned freight railway route from Europe
to South Asia and also agreed to link the two countries’ rail systems.
young Palestinian man has been killed as clashes broke out between Israeli
forces and Palestinian youths in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.
Israeli forces stormed the Qaddura Refugee Camp in central Ramallah in the
early hours of Monday and fired tear gas and live ammunition at youths there,
al-Aqsa satellite television said.
TV channel quoted Palestinian sources as saying that the victim was shot dead
by Israeli forces at his home in Ramallah.
Photos of the young man’s house were also released, showing traces of
media, however, alleged that soldiers killed the Palestinian man after he
opened fire on them.
to al-Aqsa, two young Palestinian men were injured when Israeli soldiers fired
live ammunition while several others suffered symptoms of tear gas inhalation.
army soldiers, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, have shot
dead a Saudi trooper in the kingdom’s southwestern border region of Jizan in
response to Riyadh’s deadly airstrikes against their conflict-stricken country.
forces and their allies targeted the Saudi soldier in the al-Moannaq military
camp of the region, located 969 kilometers south of the capital, Riyadh, on
Sunday afternoon, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.
troops and Popular Committees fighters also launched a number of artillery
shells at al-Beit al-Abyaz military base in the same Saudi region, though no
immediate report of casualties was available.
Yemeni soldiers and allied fighters fired a domestically-manufactured Zelzal-2
(Earthquake-2) missile at a camp belonging to Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to
resigned Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Saudi soldiers in the Alab
border crossing of Saudi Arabia's southwestern region of Asir.
Saudi warplanes carried out a series of airstrikes against al-Khawkhah district
of Yemen’s western coastal province of Hudaydah, with no immediate word on
fleet of Israeli bulldozers and military vehicles has crossed the border fence
into the besieged Gaza Strip and flattened private Palestinian lands, as the
Tel Aviv regime’s illegal construction activities continue in the occupied
least four Israeli armored Caterpillar D9 bulldozers, accompanied by a number
of tanks, entered eastern part of the town of Fukhari in Gaza's southern
governorate of Khan Yunis during the early hours of Sunday.
to local sources, the invading convoy, dispatched from Israel's Sofa military
post, advanced scores of meters into the Palestinian territory along the
separation fence, relying on potential support from the artillery unit being on
alert inside the base.
number of Israeli surveillance aircraft were also reported to have flown at low
altitude over the area while the bulldozers were busy leveling the lands. No
gunfire or shelling was reported.
Israeli regime has long been conducting daily incursions into Gaza and in the
vicinity of the so-called buffer zone, which lies on both land and sea sides of
forces often fire at those Palestinians, who work in the vicinity of the zone.
Tel Aviv has not yet made clear the exact demarcation of the designated zone.
The practice has in effect devastated much of the agricultural and fishing
sectors of the besieged coastal enclave.
supreme leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, has admitted his
terrorist government’s core territory in Iraq is lost. In what he dubbed his
“farewell address” al-Baghdadi urged his local fighters to blow themselves up
if they were defeated in battle and his foreign fighters to go home and wreak
havoc. The latter threat will put almost all major countries, India included,
on alert. But this will be more than balanced by the sense that the IS is on
its last legs.
entities have lined up as many powerful enemies as the Islamic State. Donald
Trump, Vladimir Putin and every sensible world leader has called for their
defeat. Even within the Islamic world, at least publicly, all governments have
treated it as a political and theological heresy. The IS has acted deliberately
as an outlier in the international system. It was the anti-nation state, driven
by an apocalyptic version of Islam, using barbaric governance practices and
openly promoting terrorism across the world. The surprise has been how long it
has taken the international community to destroy this obvious threat. The deep
divisions among West Asia’s regional powers – and the reluctance of the United
States to take a leadership role – are among the main reasons for IS’s survival
these past few years.
the past year, the IS’s fortunes have turned. On the military side, it faces
two separate assaults: a Russia-backed offensive in Syria and a US-backed Iraqi
assault on its east, with Iran providing ballast to both actions. Its finances
have also suffered thanks to the fall in oil prices. The steady stream of
foreign fighters has become intermittent as countries, most notably Turkey,
have tightened their borders. But the drawn-out battle for the Iraqi city of
Mosul is a reminder that the IS remains a formidable fighting force and it
could be many months before its government will fall.
it is important to recognise that the sense of marginalisation among Sunni
Arabs will remain, especially if non-Sunni and non-secular regimes come back to
power in Iraq and Syria. The IS has already made plans to survive by
disappearing into the Iraqi-Syrian hinterland. More importantly, the alienation
and anger it represents will remain alive on the Internet and “lone wolf”
terrorism will continue for the foreseeable future. Terror analysts have also
noted that Al Qaeda, quietly but surely, has begun to reassert itself in the
areas where the IS has been forced out of. Al-Baghdadi’s farewell address is
welcome. But a new version of the IS leader will emerge if the broader problems
afflicting West Asia are not addressed.
army soldiers engaged in non-stop clashes with the ISIL terrorists and pushed
them back from the settlements of Sabha Salmah, Tabareh Kalash and Abu Hanaya,
killing 30 terrorists, including ISIL's emirs of execution Khalaf al-Hossein
and Abu Zeid Tunisi (from Tunisia) and the Australian Commander of ISIL's Ansar
group, Abu Obeideh Osratliayee.
Sunday, the Syrian pro-government forces deployed in their positions in Qasr
al-Hadleh, Tal Ma'ez and al-Attawiyeh stormed ISIL's defense lines in the towns
of Samiyeh, Khirbet Ashini and al-Saqiyeh, driving terrorists out of the three
reports said the ISIL suffered tens of casualties in the attack.
- Tens of thousands of civilians have fled offensives against the Islamic State
group in Iraq and Syria, where the jihadists are battling to keep what remains
of their territory, the UN said Sunday.
overran large areas of both countries in 2014, declaring a
"caliphate" in territory it controlled, but the jihadist group has
since lost ground to Iraqi forces and faced advances from different groups in
intense fighting in recent days, the thousands of displaced have been seen
arriving in areas outside IS control, many hungry and terrified after years
under jihadist rule. In Iraq, the offensive by US-backed Iraqi forces to retake
west Mosul from IS has displaced more than 45,000 people in little more than a
week, the UN migration agency said.
neighbouring Syria, more than 26,000 people have been forced to flee fighting
in the country's north in the same period from February 25, UN humanitarian
agency OCHA said. Before the battle for Mosul was launched in October, a
million-plus civilians were thought to still live inside Iraq's second city,
which is IS's last major bastion in the country.
forces backed by US air strikes in January retook the eastern side of the city,
which is divided by the river Tigris, before setting their sights on its
smaller but more densely populated west.
launched a major push to recapture west Mosul from IS on February 19, retaking
the airport and then pushing up into the city from the south.
escaping the battle for west Mosul have arrived in droves at sites for the
displaced in the past week, the International Organization for Migration said.
Saturday, Iraq's minister of displacement and migration criticised UN-led
efforts to aid those displaced by the fighting, while the UN said that such
assistance is the "top priority".
than 200,000 are currently displaced as a result of the Mosul operation, while
more fled but later returned to their homes, according to the IOM.
twin Islamic State group suicide attacks killed 15 people in Syria's northern
province of Aleppo, where the jihadists have faced simultaneous assaults in
recent weeks, a monitor said on Sunday.
attacker detonated a car bomb near the IS-held town of Deir Hafer, killing
eight fighters with regime forces late Saturday, the Syrian Observatory for
Human Rights monitoring group said.
claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it "was carried out by fighter
Abu Abdullah al-Shami with an explosive-laden vehicle".
Hafer lies on a key road linking Aleppo city to the IS-controlled town of
Khafsah, which holds the main station to pump water into Aleppo, and further
east to the jihadist group's de facto capital Raqa.
of Aleppo city have been without mains water for 48 days after the jihadists
cut the supply.
Sunday, Russian and regime warplanes bombarded IS positions in support of
Syrian troops, which had advanced to nine kilometres (less than six miles) from
Khafsah, the Observatory said.
were just six kilometres from the pumping station, Observatory head Rami Abdel
United Nations on Sunday said 26,000 people had fled the fighting since late
February, while the Observatory said as many as 30,000 had been displaced.
a second attack, IS said a fighter "detonated his suicide belt" in
the rebel-held town of Azaz, also in Aleppo province.
Observatory said the suicide attack in the town "killed seven fighters and
wounded several others, some of them in critical condition".
January, a massive tanker truck bomb ripped through a market in Azaz, killing
48 people and wounding dozens, the Observatory said.
was suspected that IS was behind that attack.
conflict broke out in March 2011 with protests against President Bashar
al-Assad, but has escalated into a complex conflict that has killed more than
strikes on the northwestern province of Idlib on Sunday killed six people,
including five members of the same family, the Observatory said.
raids on the town of Kafranbel also wounded 21 people.
Syria, OCHA said 26,000 people had fled areas where government forces backed by
Russian air power have been waging a fierce offensive against IS.
areas lie east of the town of Al-Bab, which Turkey-backed rebels seized from IS
on February 23 after several months of fighting in another advance on the
UN agency said the nearly 40,000 people displaced from the town since November fled
north to areas controlled by other rebel forces.
have sought refuge in areas around Manbij, a town controlled by the US-backed
Syrian Democratic Forces.
AFP correspondent in Manbij said that long queues of families were still
forming at checkpoints leading to the town on Sunday.
trucks full of children and women wearing full black veils were being searched
by SDF personnel before being allowed to enter.
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said Saturday that 30,000
people had been displaced by the government's offensive on IS.
push is aimed at IS-held Khafsah, the main station pumping water into Aleppo.
of Syria's second city, under full regime control since December, have been
without mains water for 48 days after the jihadists cut the supply.
high-profile NGO says more than 200,000 civilians have been displaced since the
onset of the operation to liberate the northern Iraqi city of Mosul from
Takfiri Daesh terrorists.
a report released Sunday, the Geneva-based International Organization for
Migration (IOM) said the total number of those displaced from Mosul since
October 2016 has surpassed 206,000.
Iraqi army, backed by allied popular fighters, launched the Mosul liberation
battle in mid-October 2016, and managed to claw back the eastern half of the
city some 100 days later in January.
last month, they began engaging the terrorists in the western side of Mosul,
the Daesh terror group’s last urban stronghold in Iraq.
IOM further said the number included 45,000, who have fled the western sector
of Mosul since February to the sites set up for the displaced.
March 3, the UN refugee agency reported that about 4,000 people are escaping
Mosul’s embattled west on a daily basis.
a strategy to hold onto Mosul, Daesh has been using civilians as human shields
to slow Iraqi army advances.
to the civilians who have managed to flee Mosul, the Takfiri terrorists have
resorted to brutal executions or inhuman torture tactics to prevent people from
escaping the city or cooperating with government troops.
Mosul bridge under army control
Sunday, Major General Haider al-Maturi of the Federal Police Commandos Division
told The Associated Press that the troops were facing the heaviest clashes yet
since the start of the push to liberate the western side.
terrorists sent at least six explosives-laden cars towards the troops, which
were all destroyed before reaching them, he noted.
Yahya Rasool, spokesman for the Iraqi Joint Operations Command (JOC), also told
state-run television that the forces were advancing from the south and the
southwest toward the heart of Mosul.
army troops and resistance forces engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL and drove
the terrorists out of Jazal oilfield, inflicting tens of casualties on the
sources said pro-government forces are about to reinvigorate security of
Palmyra by widening security in areas around the city.
relevant developments in the province on Sunday, the army troops engaged in
fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists in the Southeastern outskirts of Palmyra
and seized back the city's military airport and an area stretching over 2km
North of the airport, killing and wounding a number of militants.
sources said that the army men then clashed with ISIL terrorists in a region
near the wheat silos and continued to advance against the terrorists towards
the Northeastern outskirts of Palmyra.
sources added that simultaneous with ground forces' advances, the Syrian Air
Force and the army's artillery and missile units targeted ISIL's positions and
concentration centers near the wheat silos and near the two oilfields of
al-Sha'er and Jazal Northwest of Palmyra.
of ISIL terrorists were killed and several command posts, positions and
military vehicles were destroyed in the attacks.
and Kremlin both declared on Thursday that the Syrian Army, backed by the
Russian Air Force, took back the key city of Palmyra from the ISIL terrorist
press secretary Dmitry Peskov stated that Russian Defense Minister Sergey
Shoigu reported to the commander-in-chief, President Vladimir Putin, that the
historic city of Palmyra in Homs province was liberated.
after Moscow declared the liberation of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Homs
province, the General Command of the Syrian Army also confirmed the report.
Syrian army forces broke the ISIL defense lines in Palmyra on Wednesday night
and entered the ancient city after liberating the Palmyra Triangle and Castle,
cutting off the ISIL supply routes towards the historic city.
to reports, the ISIL terrorists evacuated most parts of the city on Thursday
after planting bombs in its houses and roads.
kicked off a large-scale operation on December 8 with thousands of forces in
Homs province to take control of Palmyra that was liberated by the Syrian Army
in March 2016.
ISIL took control over some energy fields and strategic heights and approached
Arabia's Alab military base in Assir province came under Yemen's Zalzal-2
military base sustained heavy losses in Yemen's missile attack.
a relevant development on Sunday, the Yemeni army and popular forces continued
their advances in the Central part of Yemen, killing and injuring tens of ISIL
terrorists in fierce clashes in al-Bayda province.
least 17 ISIL terrorists have been killed and 20 others have been wounded in
tough battle with the Yemeni forces in al-Bayda province," the
Arabic-language media outlets quoted informed security sources as saying.
sources noted that Yemeni army and popular forces killed the 17 ISIL terrorists
in Homeh al-Hasm, Leqah, al-Ashash and al-Jamri villages located in
on Saturday, the Yemeni army and popular forces' artillery units targeted the
positions of the Saudi-backed militants in Midi and al-Jawf regions.
Riyadh-hired mercenaries sustained heavy losses in the Yemeni forces' artillery
attacks on their military positions in Wadi Harab region of Al-Jawf province.
the Yemeni army and popular forces' artillery units also struck the positions
of the Saudi-backed militias in the Northern part of Midi desert.
on Wednesday, the Yemeni forces targeted and destroyed Saudi Arabia's strategic
military base with a Zalzal-2 missile in Najran province in the Southwestern
part of the kingdom.
military positions of the Saudi army in Rajla military base in Najran province
were destroyed in Yemen's missile and rocket attacks.
Yemeni army also fired several Katyusha rockets at Rajla military base.
video released by the Yemeni army shows the moment the Zalzal-2 missile hits
Rajla military base.
army troops in Southwestern Homs regions that border the Damascus province
traced the movement of tens of ISIL terrorists who had left their positions in
al-Qalamoun region in Northeastern Damascus to join their comrades over a 100
miles away to the East in Palmyra that are retreating from the region.
army units inflicted heavy casualties on the terrorists and drove them back
from Southwestern Homs territories, aborting their planned movement.
field source in Homs province said that ISIL suffered heavy defeats in Palmyra
and is now fueling war in al-Mokhram and Jubb al-Jarrah by rocket attacks on
villages in the region.
source added that ISIL also has stormed several military posts of the army in
Tal al-Qatari region to cut off the road from al-Salamiyah in Hama to Homs to
cover its heavy defeats in Palmyra.
said earlier today that the army soldiers continued to hit ISIL's positions
Southeast of the newly-liberated city of Palmyra (Tadmur), capturing the city's
military airports with the aerial back up of the country's Air Force.
army troops engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL terrorists in the Southeastern
outskirts of Palmyra and seized back the city's military airport and an area
stretching over 2km North of the airport, killing and wounding a number of
100 tons of chemical substances that the ISIL used to make explosives in Mosul
has been confiscated from the terrorist group," Hashd al-Shaabi security
large amount of the chemicals have reportedly been discovered in Koukajli
region in the Eastern part of Mosul city.
relevant remarks on Saturday, Iraqi Volunteer Forces Spokesman Ahmad al-Assadi
voiced Hashd al-Shaabi's readiness to start fresh military operations to seize
back all regions to the West of the city of Mosul in Nineveh province.
the grounds have been prepared for regaining control of Tal Afar we (Hashd
al-Shaabi) are waiting for Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to determine
which military units will take part in the operations in Western Mosul,"
Al-Assadi told FNA in Baghdad.
reiterated that the first phase of the Iraqi volunteer forces' operations in
regions to the West of Mosul ended after seizing back 113 square kilometers of
territories and taking back tens of villages as well as cutting the terrorists'
Hashd al-Shaabi with all its units and groups has taken all the measures for
starting the second part of the sixth phase of military operations to liberate
the territories to the West of Mosul which includes the strategic Tal Afar
region," al-Assadi added.
pointed to Hashd al-Shaabi's support for other military forces participating in
the Mosul liberation operations, and said, "The Iraqi volunteer forces
will continue their support for the Iraqi Federal Police and counterterrorism
units in a bid to pave the way for seizing back the remaining regions in
first part of the sixth phase of Mosul liberation operation in Western and
Eastern flanks of Tal Afar ended with winning back 12 villages, killing 207
ISIL terrorists and freeing 1,200 Iraqi citizens on February 26.
a relevant development on Friday, the Iraqi military forces continued to
advance in Nineveh province and seized back a strategic region in the Western
part of Mosul city.
Ethnicity In Islam, Lagos State Commissioner Urges Muslims
Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Alhaji Abdul-Lateef Hakeem, has
called for an end to ethnicity in Islam and enjoined unity among Muslims in the
gave the advice on Sunday at the turbanning of Alhaji Ghazali Adepoju as the
Chief Imam of Iponri Housing Estate Central Mosque, Surulere, Lagos.
succeeds the late Alhaji Bisiriyu Sanusi who died three years ago.
turbanning ceremony was performed by Chief Imam of Lagos, Alhaji Garuba Ibrahim
who urged the new Imam to be a symbol of unity among Muslims.
to the commissioner, the fear of Allah is more important than one’s tribe or
people are dividing Islam into different groups for their selfish interests and
this is causing disunity in the religion.
says we should observe congregational prayers so that the rich will be able to
help the poor that is the essence of worshipping together.
will also ensure good relationship with one another,” the commissioner said.
also urged believers to be functional Muslims by assisting the needy.
chairman of the occasion, Alhaji Tajudeen Olusi, said that misinterpretation of
the religion had led to war in many Islamic countries.
are waging wars against one another because of lack of understanding of Islam.
is a religion of peace and we should all work towards achieving this virtue,”
after his turbanning, the new Imam promised to ensure unity and equity among
Muslims in the community.
of the occasion was the inauguration of a nursery school within the mosque
ceremony was graced by political and religious leaders, including former Deputy
Governor of Lagos State, Alhaja Lateefat
Okunnu and Sole Administrator of Surulere Local Government, Mr Sheriff Balogun.
-A prominent Sudanese rebel group has released 127 prisoners it had captured in
fighting with government forces, most of them soldiers, the military said on
rebel Sudan People's Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N) had captured the
prisoners in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, where the group has been
fighting Sudanese government forces for years.
released prisoners include 109 soldiers and 18 civilians, army spokesman
Brigadier Ahmed Khalifa al-Shami said in a statement.
Sudanese army recognises this as a positive step towards achieving peace in the
country," he said.
minority rebels in Blue Nile and South Kordofan have been fighting government
forces since 2011, accusing President Omar al-Bashir's Arab-dominated
government of politically and economically marginalising the two regions.
in the two areas and in Darfur have left tens of thousands of people dead and
announced a unilateral ceasefire in June 2016 in all three conflict zones,
which it extended by six months in January.
rights groups have condemned Jordan's recent execution of 15 people, saying the
hanging had been carried out in "secrecy and without transparency."
Hadid, the deputy director of Amnesty International's regional office in the
Lebanese capital, Beirut, said the executions on Saturday were
scale of … mass executions is shocking and it's a big step backwards on human
rights protection in Jordan," media outlets quoted Hadid as saying.
Leah Whitson, the Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said in a
statement, "Whatever image of strength Jordan wishes to project, the death
penalty will never deter terror attacks and murder, or make the citizens of
the terror attacks of the last two years shows that reinstating the death
penalty in Jordan has done nothing to reduce the incidents of such violent
attacks," Whitson added.
Momani, a Jordanian government spokesman, said on Saturday that a total of 15
people had been hanged at dawn in Swaqa Prison.
spokesman said 10 of the people had links to terrorist groups.
executed people had reportedly been involved in six different incidents
spanning from 2003 to 2016.
2 militants killed in 15-hr long Tral encounter
DELHI: A specially trained policeman was martyred and six security personnel,
including an army major, were injured in an encounter with militants in Tral
area of south Kashmir's Pulwama district on Sunday.
of the militants was a Hizbul Mujahideen operative identified as Aaquib Bhat,
popularly known as Aaquib Maulvi, who was active in the area for the last three
years. The other militant, Saif-ul-lah alias Osama, was a Pakistani terrorist
working with Jaish-e-Mohammed, official sources said.
police constable, Manzoor Ahmed Niak of Uri, was also killed after he took on
the militants head on during the operation which began at 6 PM last night and
continued till 9 AM, officials said.
holed-up Bhat had called his father in the wee hours of the morning and bid his
final goodbye to him, they said. He was a local resident and his ancestral
house was at Hyena in Tral area itself.
forces had received an input about the presence of two militants in the
residence of a carpenter after which police, army and CRPF threw a cordon
first contact was established with the militants at around 6 PM and after that
there was an intermittent exchange of fire.
town, which had shot into prominence because of Hizbul Mujahideen militant+
Burhan Wani, was tense and people had started pouring on to the streets to try
and provide an escape for the holed-up militants.
were hurled at the security forces engaged in counter-insurgency operations but
the situation was brought under control by police and CRPF who chased the mob
away, officials said. Strict restrictions were imposed in the area over the
movement of people.
these clashes, some of the miscreants snatched an INSAS rifle of a CRPF
Army Major identified as R Reshi suffered a bullet injury and was rushed to the
base hospital where his condition was stated to be out of danger now.
DELHI: This week's latest terror attacks in Kabul show once again how the
Taliban remains Afghanistan's greatest security threat. Condemning the attacks,
India said, "We reiterate our resolve to work with Afghanistan to bring
perpetrators of terrorist violence to the justice they deserve wherever they
Washington this week, foreign secretary S. Jaishankar met the new US NSA, HR
McMaster on Wednesday, where both discussed Afghanistan and the way forward.
Last week in Beijing, Jaishankar found the Chinese eager to talk about
Afghanistan as well.
has returned to centrestage of India's foreign and security policy, as two key
crises rear their heads - a tottering government of Ashraf Ghani beset by
numerous political problems, and secondly, a renewed threat by Taliban which
has found fresh oxygen from apparent political endorsement by a new regional
bloc, led by Russia and China.
government is in trouble, and there is talk in Kabul of a "jirga"
that could look for a political alternative, though nobody wants to precipitate
political forces within and outside Afghanistan are looking at former president
Hamid Karzai, who occupies a growing political space in Kabul at present. In
fact, sources said, it was an acknowledgment of Karzai's growing importance
that prompted China to reach out to India, given India's close relations with
Karzai. In the past few weeks, Islamabad too has tried to re-engage Karzai, a
man they had actively opposed when he was president.
greater concern to India is the new apparent re-alignment of powers in the
region, which could adversely impact India and Afghanistan, while giving an
upper hand to the Taliban and their sponsors in Pakistan. While the US has been
absorbed in domestic politics, Russia, China, Iran, Turkey and Pakistan have
made common cause by raising the spectre of Daesh/ISIS in Afghanistan, trying
to create an opening to begin political negotiations with Taliban as a "friendly
force" to keep out Daesh (ISIS). The new informal grouping, all on the
wrong side of the US, could use their anti-US positions to make common cause
Shaida Abdali, Afghan ambassador to India told TOI, "We should not be
repeating the mistakes of the 80s and 90s, to use one set of radical extremists
against another." It's a return to the good-terrorists-bad-terrorists
narrative, so skillfully played by Pakistan in the region. "We know the
Daesh in Afghanistan, like the Taliban, have their roots in Pakistan,"
Abdali said. "India and Afghanistan have to defuse this and work together
with true and sincere allies for genuine peace and cooperation between big
powers in the region."
mainly comprise disaffected TTP cadres and other militants displaced by Pak
army's Zarb-e-Azb operations. There are no Arabs in it yet, though some Uzbek
militants have been seen. In fact, recent reports point to steady whittling
down of their numbers as they are targeted by drones and air attacks.
was given a seat at the Moscow meeting in February, an afterthought of sorts.
The meeting called for Taliban to talk directly with Kabul government and
decided to bring Central Asian states into the tent. On the sidelines though,
Russia, China and Iran are also talking to the Taliban - China and Iran have
maintained ties with the Taliban, Russia, through its forceful presidential
envoy, Zamir Kabulov, is pushing the same idea, i.e., try to co-opt some
Taliban, while going after the really hardline groups. This is not new -
America used to push this idea of the good-Taliban-bad-Taliban, until they
discovered that Pakistan's role with the Taliban made that impossible.
new grouping has significant power in Afghanistan, even China, which has a more
mercantilist approach. While China is very sensitive to Pakistan's interests in
Afghanistan, it obviously prefers to keep its options open by engaging India.
This is not new either - in January 2013, former NSA Shivshankar Menon met the
Chinese and Russians in Moscow in a similar initiative, which died later.
India's role is more important, in both restraining old allies Russia and Iran
from falling for the Pakistan line, as well as working harder with the US to
The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency on Saturday seized 10 to 12 boats with
around seventy fishermen on board in the Arabian sea off the Gujarat coast, a
fishermen's association said.
fishermen who manged to escape informed us that PMSA seized 10 to 12 boats with
some 70 fishermen on board," said Manish Lodhari, secretary of National
boats were seized near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), he
said, adding that these boats were mostly from Okha and Mangrol on Gujarat
youth door-knock to answer questions about Islam
youth fanned out across Canada on Sunday, knocking on doors and handing out
flyers to try to counter misconceptions about Islam at a time when they say
fear of their religion is rising.
initiative had been planned for weeks but happened to fall one day after
rallies across Canada by those opposed to a Liberal MP’s Parliamentary motion
to condemn Islamophobia, known as M-103.
Chaudhry of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association Canada braved the cold
temperatures with his group in Barrie, Ont., Sunday morning as they knocked on
doors and offered to answer neighbours’ questions.
said that although the youth group does ongoing outreach, this particular
initiative is especially important after six Muslim immigrants were shot to
death on Jan. 29 at a Quebec City mosque.
a lot of misconceptions people have been getting about Islam,” Chaudhry said.
“We’re trying to give people the idea that (ISIS) is not Islam. It is a
religion of peace.”
added that he was born in Canada and he wants his neighbours to understand that
although he has Islamic values, he also shares their Canadian values.
added that the response from neighbours in the Barrie area had so far been
amazing because a lot of times people are afraid Islamophobia is becoming a really
big problem,” Chaudhry said. “It makes us feel that people don’t fear Islam,
they fear these extremist groups.”
Choudhry, spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama'at Canada, told CTV News
Channel that he believes it is important for Canadians to meet ordinary
Muslims, rather than just hearing from imams.
an opportunity for Canadians to ask some questions about their faith, to
challenge them, to know what exactly about their Canadian identity is important
to them and how they reconcile that with being a Muslim,” he added.
said outreach is important, because Canadians may not be aware that the
Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association Canada is assisting in the fight against
Islamic State radicalization, with their Stop the Crisis campaign.
said there’s “no denying” that anti-Muslim sentiment, as well as anti-Semitism,
is on the rise in North America and Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Canada wants to be
on the front line of fighting against it.
Forum Research poll of 1,304 randomly-selected Canadians taken in December
found 28 per cent agreed they had “unfavourable” feelings toward Muslim people,
while 54 per cent said they had “favourable feelings” and 17 per cent said they
number with “unfavourable” feelings toward Muslims was much higher than those
with unfavourable views of First Nations (16 per cent), Asians (10 per cent),
Jewish people (nine per cent) and black people (eight per cent).
margin of error for the survey was reported as ±3.1 percentage points, 19 times
out of 20.
Canadian Muslim youth group has launched “Islam Understood,” a campaign looking
to dispel misconceptions around their religion.
than a dozen members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association came together on
Sunday to hand out information in Toronto’s downtown core.
whole point is very simple. We want Muslim youth – the same youth that took a
lead role,that took part in the various de-radicalization effort across Canada
to talk to everyday Canadians and help remove misconceptions,” said Safwan
Choudhry, spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association.
Sahi was going door-to-door in the Bloor and Christie neighbourhood and said
his messages were well-received.
feedback has been incredible,” Sahi said.
such a kind response and warm response. Everyone wants peace and to get along.
We come across several people who really appreciate the message of peace we are
Choi, a resident living in the neighbourhood, said he was happy to have the
group knock on his door.
are not knowledgeable on things – including myself – I’m not really familiar
with Islam,” Choi said.
I can get some information, I can learn something about it and we would be more
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