Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (C)
greets supporters as he arrives at the residence of Turkey's consul general in
Hamburg, northern Germany, on March 7, 2017. (Photos by AFP)
State Plotted To Attack Saudi Royals during Malaysia Visit
Train Blast Marks First IS Attack in India; 10 Injured
Travel Ban Not against Muslims: US Officials
Muslims in Europe Establish Their Own Parties
Orders Rapid Withdrawal of Forces from Iraq's Mosul to Syria's Raqqa
State Flag, Railways Map among Items Recovered from Terror Suspect’s Residence
linked to Ujjain train blast killed as Lucknow encounter comes to an end
Prayer Practice Can Cut Lower Back Pain, Boost Elasticity in Joints
Indian Migrants in Pakistan than In US: Pew Report
of Misuse of Muslim 'Waqf' Property in India as Official Suspended
hired by ISI for train blasts had change of heart
issues notice to Zakir Naik, asks him to appear on March 14
to ‘consider all aspects’ before backing ban on Masood Azhar: Official
Naik Breaches Penal Code, Interfaith Body Says
ISIS footprint in Thailand’s Deep South
as Muslim ban, will Trump decree pass legal muster?
Councillor Slams Photos Labelling Her ‘Attacker’ Of Islamic Bodies
councillor slams photos labelling her ‘attacker’ of Islamic bodies
councillor lodges report over ‘attack Islam’ posts
Clinics Run By Muslims in US Gaining Popularity
revised order still a Muslim Ban, faith groups say
Is Changing Russia Rapidly And Profoundly
Morocco’s apparent pivot to Sub-Saharan Africa means
FM Addresses Supporters from Balcony after Germany Cancels Rally
Muslim Brotherhood Is Creating a 'Parallel Social Structure' In Sweden
Study Calls for Replacing Pentecost with Islamic Eid
Military, Religious Leaders Defecting Al-Nusra-Led Tahrir Al-Sham Hay'at
Army Marching on ISIL Centers East of Newly-Liberated Palmyra
forces retake govt HQ, museum in Mosul
forces quietly take up buffer between Kurds, Turks
interior ministry: ISIS loyalist killed, one other arrested
Kurdish group reach deal on Kirkuk oil flow to Turkey: PUK
calls for Syria’s rejoining Arab League after years of exclusion
Syrian Army Liberates Strategic Town of Al-Khafseh
Sources: US Training Special Forces to Assassinate Hashd al-Shaabi Commanders
FM calls on US to fully remove Muslim travel ban
Soldiers, 5 Terrorists Killed In Swabi Clash
education bill to be passed soon: Baligh
envoys discuss Pak-Afghan ties, CPEC
room in country for terrorism: PML-N
lawyers to file contempt plea against Nisar
calls for National Women Empowerment Plan
Least 2 Dead As Blast, Gunfire Target Military Hospital in Kabul
says standing ready to assist Afghans as deadly attack hits Kabul military
presence in Kabul to have positive impact on security: Dostum
70 artillery rockets landed in Kunar from Pakistan
PM Says Allies' Choice of Syrian Kurdish YPG as Partner Unfortunate
Yemeni children killed in US strike
rejects US moves to seize 9/11 compensation money
Iran is behind terrorism, instability in Middle East
rights groups condemn Israel entry ban on BDS advocates
simulates destruction of Palestine villages to train troops
Eastern Parliament Quits UN Peace Deal with Tripoli
policemen killed in 'terrorist' attack in western Niger
between Libyan smugglers kills 22 migrants
‘A nightmare:’ UN chief urges help for Somalia
President Criticizes New U.S. Travel Ban
by New Age Islam News Bureau
militants linked to Islamic State were stopped just short of attacking Saudi
royals during King Salman’s recent trip to Malaysia, police said, dealing with
a second high-profile plot after a hit squad allegedly led by North Koreans
recently staged a brazen killing at the main airport.
got them in the nick of time,” Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar
teams of militants had planned attacks on the Saudis, he said, but he declined
to give details of their alleged plans. One group comprised four Yemenis,
another an Indonesian and a Malaysian, and a third a lone man from an
unspecified East Asian nation.
without specifying the targets, said the plotters were arrested between
February 21 and 26. Police said two of the men were directed by Muhammad Wanndy
Mohamed Jedi, a Malaysian who joined Islamic State in Syria in 2015, in
preparing a car bomb. The Indonesian arrested had previously been deported to
Turkey after trying to enter Syria, police said.
said the East Asian suspect, believed to have been living in Malaysia on a student
visa since 2011, had suspected links to a regional terrorist group that uses
Malaysia as a transit point and safe haven.
Saudi king has been leading an entourage of up to 1,500 people on a monthlong
tour of Asia to strengthen ties with a region the kingdom sees as an
increasingly valuable economic partner and as a hedge against an unpredictable
was the first stop. The monarch travelled on to Indonesia and now is on a
weeklong holiday on the resort island of Bali before heading to Japan, China
spokesman for Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs didn’t respond to a
request for comment on Tuesday.
foiled plot against the delegation underscores Islamic State’s ongoing campaign
against the Saudi kingdom. The group has called for the downfall of the Saudi
monarchy and, since the militant group’s rise in 2014, its loyalists have
carried out a score of small-scale attacks in the kingdom.
State sees Saudi royals as heretics and enemies in part because of their
longstanding alliance with the U.S. and the West. The Sunni Muslim terror group
has also sought to challenge the Saudi monarch’s role as guardian of Islam’s
holiest sites in Mecca and Medina.
July, a suicide bomber killed four security guards near the Prophet’s Mosque in
Medina, an attack that bore the hallmarks of Islamic State. It was one of three
bombings that struck the kingdom within hours of each other on the eve of the
Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr.
Arabia has confronted the threat of Islamic extremism before. al-Qaeda turned
its wrath against the kingdom in the prior decade, a campaign that was
effectively suppressed by Prince Mohammad bin Nayef, the current crown prince.
Mohammed in 2009 narrowly escaped an assassination attempt by an al Qaeda
suicide bomber who was posing as a reformed jihadist. The prince was slightly
alleged plot revealed Tuesday added to a long list of terror plots with
connections to Malaysia, a fast-developing Southeast Asian hub for business and
transit that has tried to shake a reputation as a haven for terrorists and
January 2000, Kuala Lumpur was site of an infamous planning meeting for the
Sept. 11 attacks of 2001, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation later calling
Malaysia “a primary operational launch pad.”
forces have feared that Islamic State will take root in the region,
particularly among the Muslim populations in Indonesia, Malaysia and the
southern Philippines. In January 2016, four Indonesian militants with links to
Islamic State killed four people in downtown Jakarta. It was the group’s first
attack in Indonesia, the country with the world’s largest Muslim population.
recently was the scene of terrorism of a different sort. On Feb. 13, a hit team
killed Kim Jong Nam, the estranged half brother of North Korean dictator Kim
Jong Un, by smearing his face with a lethal VX nerve agent while he was waited
in a crowded airport departures hall. Police believe four North Korean suspects
in the murder plot escaped to Pyongyang, while three others are said to be in
hiding at the North Korean Embassy.
has since revoked visa-free travel for North Koreans and the two countries have
expelled each other’s ambassadors. Pyongyank is now preventing its Malaysian
visitors from leaving North Korea, and Malaysia has imposed the same
restrictions on its North Korean tourists.
Ngui, Margherita Stancati contributed to this article
train blast marks first IS attack in India; 10 injured
DELHI: In the first-ever strike in India by the so-called Islamic State, a
module radicalised by the deadly terrorist organisation triggered a
low-intensity blast in a train in Madhya Pradesh on Tuesday, injuring 10
morning blast on the Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train at Jabri railway station,
the first instance of a terror strike by an IS module in India, spurred the
Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh police to launch coordinated operations in the
two states. Eight members of the group were arrested, while UP's anti-terror
squad+ was engaged in an operation in Lucknow to capture its leader
in a house in the Thakurganj area of Lucknow, Saifullah fired at the ATS
personnel who tried to arrest him, and an encounter was on at the time of going
in central intelligence agencies as well as MP and UP police confirmed that
that the module owes allegiance to IS, but were not clear whether the directive
to carry out the attack came from an "online handler" of the
international terrorist network currently engaged in a grim battle of survival
in Iraq and Syria. IS is known for its federated way of functioning where it
encourages jihadis loyal to it to select their targets and hit them.
far, intelligence agencies had been able to nip terror plots by IS-inspired
jihadis before they could be executed.
said all the accused have UP links, and on Tuesday morning, one arrest led to
another, before the UP ATS caught up with the gang leader Saifullah.
said three of the accused — Danish, Mir Hussain and Atish Muzaffar — were
arrested from Pipariya in MP. Two more, Mohammad Faisal and Mohammad Irfan, who
are siblings, were nabbed from Jajmau near Kanpur, while another, Alam, was
picked up from Etawah in UP.
member, suspected to be the courier of the explosive which went off in the
train, was injured in the explosion and was arrested from the spot.
want to take Saifullah alive, which led to the hours-long gunbattle. Equipped
with night-vision devices, police were preparing for a night-long stand-off,
and to foil any escape bid by the two heavily armed terrorists.
operation was expected to carry through the night as Saifullah, accompanied by
another armed member of the module kept firing at the police personnel.
top intelligence official told TOI that the blast in the passenger train was a
"trial run" by the module, which was planning major attacks and had
made enough preparations for the same. Intelligence agencies who had been
trying to locate module members who radicalised themselves by accessing online
IS's jihadi propaganda.
Lucknow, the encounter began after ATS commandos broke into the room where
Saifullah had locked himself up. The police action came after specific inputs
from the MP ATS.
first lobbed chilli grenades and tear gas shells into the premises to smoke out
the occupants. However, Saifullah locked himself inside a room and reportedly
opened fire at the commandos.
sources said the house where Saifullah was holed up belonged to a resident of
Malihabad who was currently in the Gulf.
ADG (law and order) Daljeet Chaudhary said police were exercising maximum
restraint in order to nab the suspect alive. "The commandos were in the
process of entering the room by creating a hole in the concrete roof of the
room where the suspect is holed up," he told TOI.
home minister Rajnath Singh inquired from UP DGP Javeed Ahmed about the
is for the first time that an attack has been carried out by IS in India, using
the recruits radicalized from within the country. Previously, IS had tried to
carry out many attacks in Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru,
Hyderabad, through various modules but all such attempts were foiled.
last one year, NIA and police of various states have arrested about 60
Indian-origin IS recruits before they could carry out attacks. These men were
part of at least 6-7 modules, which couldn't carry attacks.
NIA, government sources said, will be brought into the Ujjain investigation.
travel ban not against Muslims: US officials
Trump administration officials today defended a revised travel ban that prevents
people of six Muslim-majority countries from entering the US, saying the order
is not aimed at Muslims but is an effort to safeguard the nation from foreign
is not a Muslim ban in any way, shape or form,” a senior administration official
told reporters during a conference call after President Donald Trump signed the
revised executive order.
is a temporary suspension on the entry of nationals from six countries that
have either failed states at this point, or that are state sponsors of terror;
that we don’t have the ability to make safe, adequate screening and vetting
determinations for nationals under current procedures because of those
weaknesses,” said the official, who did not want to be identified.
are dozens and hundreds of millions, if not one-point-something billion Muslim
individuals — followers of the Islamic faith, who are not subject to this
executive order, who are free to come to the United States under our visa and —
and admissions regime, the same way that they were a week ago, four weeks ago,
four months ago, four years ago for the most part,” the official said.
this is not in any way targeted as a Muslim ban and we firmly want to make sure
that everyone understands that very, very important provision,” the official
House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters at a news conference that
Trump concluded that these actions are necessary to protect the US from those
who, unfortunately, wish to do harm to the country.
the new order there will be a 90-day suspension of travel to the US by
nationals from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, during which the
Department of State and Homeland Security will conduct a review to determine
how it can improve the screening process for foreign nationals seeking to enter
governments simply cannot or not adequately supply satisfactory information
about their own nationals. In the absence of adequate information from these
governments, the President has had to act to protect the security of the
American people,” Spicer said.
explained that after the original executive order, Iraq’s government took steps
to increase their cooperation with US immigration authorities and improve their
vetting process, leading them to be removed from the list of countries covered
by the temporary travel suspension.
or European territories have 11 political parties founded by Muslims or with
mostly Muslim membership.
in France, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Bulgaria, and Greece were founded
to counter the rising tide of Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims
New Movement for the Future Party (NBZ) was founded by Adnan Dincer to become
the voice of minorities in the country.
is no party in the country that works to solve the problems of
minorities," he said.
the contrary, other parties in the country have an anti-minority attitude, he
for this reason that our political party was needed. NBZ was established to
serve this need," he said.
"Denk" (Think) party was formed due to the 2015 expulsion from the
Labor Party of two MPs, Tunahan Kuzu and Selcuk Ozturk, for refusing to support
Deputy PM Lodewijk Asscher’s integration policy.
two Dutch MPs of Turkish origin formed a new political party called Denk.
party also includes other Dutch MPs.
party was founded to make minorities heard in the Netherlands," said party
leader Tunahan Kuzu.
Turkish-Muslim Equality and Justice Party (PEJ) was formed to defend the rights
of Muslims who face discrimination in the country.
PEJ – founded by a joint Turkish-Muslim initiative – was eliminated in the
first round of provincial council elections held in March 2015, but still won
thousands of votes in four cities and 10 cantons just two months after its
chair Sakir Colak told Anadolu Agency that the party’s aim is to fight
injustice and inequality.
are not just a Muslim or a Turkish party," he said, adding that they want
justice for other foreigners as well.
similar French parties are the Union of French Muslim Democrats (UDMF) and
Party of the Muslims of France.
are two mostly-Muslim parties active in Spain's North African territories of
Ceuta and Melilla, both bordering Morocco.
Coalicion por Melilla party was formed in 1999 in Melilla, and the Coalicion
Caballas was formed in 2011 in Ceuta.
are three majority-Muslim parties in Bulgaria.
Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) party was formed in 1990 by Ahmet Dogan.
Democrats for Responsibility, Freedom and Tolerance (DOST, or “close friend” in
Turkish) was founded by Lyutvi Mestan in 2016.
was expelled from the MRF following a speech defending Turkey and NATO over the
November 2015 downing of a Russian warplane along the Turkish-Syrian border.
People's Party of Freedom and Dignity was also formed by Kazim Dal and Korman
Ismalov in 2012.
Party of Friendship, Equality and Peace was founded in 1991 by Dr. Sadik Ahmet.
party has about 6,000 members. Party leader Mustafa Alicavus said its aim is to
give minorities a voice.
sources said that commander of Jeish al-Khilafeh (army of the Caliphate) have
received an order from the ISIL leadership to pull their forces back from Mosul
city in and move towards Raqqa.
added that ISIL's military command in Raqqa has meantime ordered the rest of
commanders of the group in Iraq's Nineveh province to gather their forces as
soon as possible and move towards Raqqa after setting fire to their command
posts and positions. The Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi made a scheduled
trip to the front-lines in the Northern city of Mosul on Tuesday in order to
inspect the Iraqi forces battling the ISIL terror organization in the
of Iraqi prime minister meeting with soldiers from the Iraqi Army and Federal
Police were published by local media outlets, Al Masdar reported.
media also said the Iraqi prime minister also visited the liberated areas of
visit to Mosul marks the first time in nearly three years that any Iraqi Prime
Minister has traveled to the Nineveh province located in Northwestern Iraq.
visit by the Iraqi prime minister came as latest reports said elite Iraqi
forces dislodged ISIL militants from the main government buildings in Mosul on
Tuesday, their last major city stronghold in Iraq.
the government complex would help Iraqi forces attack the militants in the
nearby old city center and mark a symbolic step towards restoring state
authority over Mosul, even though the buildings are destroyed and not being
used by the ISIL militants.
battle for Mosul, which started on Oct. 17, will now enter a more complicated
phase in the densely populated old city where, the Iraqi military believes,
several thousand militants are among the remaining civilian population.
State flag, railways map among items recovered from terror suspect’s residence
nearly 12-hour long encounter in Lucknow’s Thakurganj ended in the killing of a
suspected Islamic State terrorist belonging to the Khorasan module on Wednesday
morning. The suspect was identified as Mohammad Saifurullah, a resident of
Kanpur. After all efforts to persuade Saifurullah failed, the Uttar Pradesh
Anti Terror Squad, around 2.30 am, stormed into the house he was holed up in
and neutralised the suspect. The mopping-up operation saw the ATS recover arms
and several rounds of ammunition, among other things from the suspect’s
pistols, 650 rounds of ammunition, 50 fired rounds, explosives materials,
Islamic State flag, gold, cash, passports, SIM cards, mobile phones,
walkie-talkies and a railway map have been recovered from the Lucknow house
where the suspected terrorist was found. The ATS swiftly moved in to nab the
suspect after receiving specific inputs from the Telangana Police. While
conducting combing operations in the area, the suspect opened fire at the
security personnel and locked himself inside the house he was living in.
terrorist was killed as an encounter in Lucknow’s outskirts ended early this
morning after almost 12 hours of security operation. The terrorist has been
linked with the Bhopal-Ujjain train blast and is said to be responsible for
injuring at least 10 people–three are in critical condition– in the IED blast
near Jabdi station in Shajapur district of Madhya Pradesh earlier on Tuesday.
Additional Director General of Police Daljit Chaudhary also said that earlier
reports of two terrorists being holed up inside a building were false.
Read: Lucknow encounter: 6 from UP held after train blast, 2 holed up
suspect killed has been identified as Mohammad Saifurullah alias Ali, a
resident of Kanpur. He opened fire at security personnel who were combing the
area after receiving a tip-off about the presence of a few suspected
terrorists. Subsequently, civilians residing nearby were evacuated from the
Terror Squad IG Assem Arun told news agency ANI that the neutralised terrorist
was a member of the ISIS Khorasan module and that the room was being checked
from the paramilitary forces had been rushed to assist the ATS in capturing the
Pradesh police said within hours of the blast, three men were held as they
stepped off a bus near Pipariya in Hoshangabad district and their questioning
revealed the locations of other suspects in Kanpur and Lucknow. This
information was shared with central intelligence agencies which, in turn,
alerted Uttar Pradesh police.
UP police, in a press release, said that three persons were arrested by the
Madhya Pradesh Police in Piparia and two of the arrested were from Kanpur,
while one is form Aligharh.
Prayer Practice Can Cut Lower Back Pain, Boost Elasticity In Joints
complex physical movements of the Muslim prayer ritual can reduce lower back
pain if performed regularly and properly, claims a recent research.
paper was published in the latest issue of the International Journal of
Industrial and Systems Engineering.
times a day, roughly 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, bow, kneel, and place their
foreheads to the ground in the direction of the holy city of Mecca, Saudi
Arabia, as part of the Islamic prayer ritual, the Salat.
Indian migrants in Pakistan than in US: Pew report
DELHI: More Indian migrants live in Pakistan than in the US, according to a
startling new finding by US think tank Pew Research Centre.
to half of India's migrants live in just three countries. About 3.5 million
Indians live in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is the top destination
country for Indian migrants, Pew said. "Over the past two decades,
millions of Indians have migrated there to find employment as laborers,"
has the second-largest number of Indian migrants, with 2 million, and the US
has almost another 2 million, Pew said. It didn't offer any analysis for the
figures to do with Pakistan.
while India is the top source of international migrants, with one-in-twenty
migrants worldwide born in India, according to Pew, it is also one of the
world's top destinations for international migrants.
overwhelming majority of India's immigrants are from neighboring countries such
as Bangladesh (3.2 million), Pakistan (1.1 million), Nepal (540,000) and Sri
Lanka (160,000)," Pew said.
of misuse of Muslim 'waqf' property in India as official suspended
(Thomson Reuters Foundation) - India's Maharashtra state has suspended a former
head of a Muslim organization in charge of land endowments, amid growing
concern that "waqf" land and property set aside for religious or
charitable use is being illegally sold on to developers.
state land department, in an order last week, said Naseem Banu Patel misused
her power as chief executive in declaring waqf land endowed for religious or
charitable purposes, as non-waqf for sale to a developer.
mobile phone was switched off. She had stepped down as chief executive but was
still an officer on the waqf board. The board's current chief executive, A.R.
Qureshi, said he did not wish to comment.
is an endowment of land or property by a Muslim for a religious, educational or
charitable purpose. Under Indian law, it cannot be transferred or sold, and
must be used for the community's welfare.
is estimated that waqf boards in India hold nearly 500,000 registered
properties and tracts of land, making them among the top landowners in the
several state boards have been accused in recent years of selling waqf land to
developers and private buyers for low rates in return for illegal kickbacks as
demand for land soars.
properties are meant for the welfare of the entire community," said Salim
Baig, a social worker who has filed lawsuits against waqf boards.
few bad managers are ruining the purpose of these lands, and the entire
community is suffering, as a result."
will have the world's largest Muslim population by 2050, according to a recent
forecast by the Pew Research Center.
the community, which makes up about 13 percent of India's population, lags the
national average on indicators such as education, employment and political
state last week launched a survey to determine the extent of waqf properties
DELHI: Two Indian "bombers", recruited by ISI conduit Shamshul Hoda
to plant explosives in a pressure cooker on a railway track at Ghorasahan in
Bihar in October last year, had a change of heart over killing hundreds of
Ram and Deepak Ram, who were later murdered after Hoda decided that there were
unreliable, reached the railway track on the appointed day but turned their
backs on what would be an "anti-India" act. The men who were
reportedly associated with Maoists in Bihar previously, realised they didn't
want to be foot soldiers of an "ideology" plotting the terrorist
attacks against India. The National Investigation Agency was able to piece
together the details of the dead men's motives after questioning Hoda and his
deputy Brij Kishore Giri who are being held in Nepal as well as other accused
such as Uma Shankar Patel, Rakesh Yadav and Motilal Paswan in Bihar. NIA is
also probing the possibility that the ISI wanted to pass off the attack as the
work of Hindu radicals.
run Ram (27) and Deepak Ram (18), who had already taken the money from Hoda,
felt they may have committed small crimes but baulked at killing train
passengers for Pakistan's agencies. They also seemed to have become conscious
of their religious identity and demurred, backing out of the plot," said a
senior NIA officer. Soon after they were called to Nepal and bumped off.
said this didn't stop ISI from carrying out its plans to attack Indian
railways. The main ISI player in the ring - Safi Shaikh alias Chacha - an important
handler of ISI's fake Indian currency supply from Dubai, stayed in touch with
Hoda and Giri. These two in turn contacted Bihar based Uma Shankar Patel,
Gajender Sharma, Rakesh Yadav and Motilal Paswan.
DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today issued notice to controversial
Islamic preacher Zakir Naik asking him to join the investigation at its
headquarters in New Delhi on March 14.
is believed Naik is staying in Saudi Arabia to evade arrest after perpetrators
of the Dhaka terror strike last year claimed they were inspired by him. The
51-year-old preacher has been booked along with unnamed officials of his
Islamic Research Foundation for promoting enmity between different groups on
grounds of religion. He's also been accused of indulging in acts prejudicial to
the maintenance of harmony beside various sections of the Unlawful Activities
Prevention Act (UAPA).
the Enforcement Directorate (ED) today questioned Naik's sister in connection
with a money laundering probe against him and others.
said Naik's sister Nailah Noorani met the Investigating Officer of the case at
the agency's office here during which her statement was recorded under the
provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
said the agency wanted to grill Noorani about the alleged fund transactions in
her account and the firms associated with her.
central probe agency had registered a criminal case against Naik and others
last December after taking cognizance of an NIA complaint filed under the UAPA.
Communist Party of China official said on Tuesday that Beijing was “considering
and investigating” India’s proposal to get Pakistan-based terrorist leader
Masood Azhar listed on the UN terror catalogue.
Xiangwu, however, said China had to look into all aspects of backing the move
“considering whether if we were to support this decision will it grow into a
bigger problem for China”.
didn’t elaborate any further while speaking to IANS on the margins of the 19th
Asian Security Conference at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analyses
has been seeking to blacklist Azhar, the Jaish-e-Mohammed chief, after
Pakistani terrorists attacked the airbase at Pathankot in Punjab on January 2
last year, killing seven Indian security personnel.
has blocked the move at the United Nations, apparently not to harm its strong
ties with Pakistan.
Chinese official, however, acknowledged that terror camps in Pakistan were a
matter of concern for China because Taliban was training members of the Uighur
militant group, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM).
Taliban sanctuary, there is a China camp which has around 320 Uighur
terrorists,” Ma said, acknowledging that Islamabad has been cooperating with
Beijing in its fight against the separatist group that China blames for violent
unrest in its far western region of Xinjiang.
group fights for an independent state and has bases in Pakistan and
said Pakistan had been repatriating Uighur militants and “will repatriate all
Naik breaches Penal Code, interfaith body says
LUMPUR, March 8 ― An interfaith body has joined the Opposition towards Indian
preacher Dr Zakir Naik, claiming today the televangelist of committing several
offences in the Penal Code by provoking non-Muslims.
Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and
Taoism (MCCBCHST) said it is disappointed that authorities have allegedly
ignored warnings against Dr Zakir, and called for his visa to be withdrawn.
teachers of religion that are sponsored even by State authorities that has a
tendency to incite hatred, odium and contempt on the practices, rituals and
food of other religio-ethnic groups is totally unacceptable.
threatens to the way of life of all peace loving people and our mutual
co-existence we have enjoyed for decades in our beloved nation,” the group said
in a statement here.
said Dr Zakir has contravened Sections 298 in the Penal Code that deals with
“deliberate intent to wound the religious feelings of any person”, and 298A on
causing “disharmony, disunity, or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will” on
grounds of religion.
offences are punishable by jail between two and five years.
Council supports freedom of speech and expression but any discourse touching on
religion and beliefs should be subject to the parameters set forth in the Penal
Code generally and more specifically to the bar of public reason and civility,”
week, a group of 19 human rights activists filed a civil suit against the
Malaysian government, accusing it of failing to protect the country from
Salafist preacher Dr Zakir.
suit, among others, sought a government declaration that Dr Zakir was a threat
to national security, called for a ban to prevent him from entering the
country, and for him to be arrested and deported immediately.
group, comprising plaintiffs from different religious and ethnic backgrounds,
said Dr Zakir was an “undesirable person” and “a preacher of hate” who was
currently roaming free in Malaysia.
ISIS footprint in Thailand’s deep south
Southeast Asian Muslims began to join Islamic State (ISIS) in 2014, there have
been no credible reports that ethnic Malay Muslims from the insurgency prone
region of southernmost Thailand have joined forces with the global jihadist
appeared to change when Malaysian police said on February 7 that one of six
alleged ISIS members arrested for possessing bomb-making materials in
Malaysia’s northern Kelantan state bordering on southern Thailand in late
January was a member of the separatist group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN),
the main insurgent group fighting Thai security forces in the region.
Muslims from Thailand’s southernmost provinces of Pattani, Narathiwat and Yala,
known as the “deep south,” share an ethno-religious connection with the
majority of Southeast Asia’s ISIS-linked jihadists, who hail mainly from
Malaysia and Indonesia. But BRN is known to shun ISIS’ brand of Salifi
jihadism, including its ambition to establish a global Islamic caliphate, and
is driven instead by a desire for self-determination and liberation from Thai
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to two security sources familiar with the situation, Thai authorities alerted
their Malaysian counterparts over a year ago that the ISIS suspect, 40-year-old
Uzman Jeh-umong, a Thai national, was hiding in Malaysia’s Kelantan state.
Since his capture in February, Malaysia has so far refused Thailand’s request
for his extradition, Thai authorities say. Sources close to the separatist
movement, meanwhile, claim the ISIS suspect has been released.
and Malaysian security officials have a long conflicted history over the
handling of Malay Muslim separatists who use Malaysia as a sanctuary and
operational planning ground. Thai authorities often gripe that their Malaysian
counterparts, especially those across the border in Kelantan, where Malays
speak a dialect nearly identical to the one spoken on the Thai side,
consistently ignore Thai calls to crack down on separatists in their territory.
authorities have been tight-lipped on the recent alleged ISIS-related arrests.
Nor have they revealed details to the media about Uzman or the other five
detainees, who Thai authorities believe are all BRN insurgents, but not tied
claim instead that Uzman is a leader of Runda Kumpulan Kecil (RKK), BRN’s
commando units, in the southern town of Yala and four districts of adjacent
Songkhla province. At the same time several sources suggested that with the
rising number of ISIS recruits in predominantly Muslim Malaysia it is possible
that some ethnic Malay separatists from Thailand may have communicated with
Malaysian ISIS members.
has intensified counter-terrorism efforts to stop ISIS from making deeper
inroads in the country. On March 5, Malaysian authorities revealed that seven
men, including an Indonesian, were arrested in late February for being involved
in ISIS-inspired terrorist activities.
sources suggest that certain Malaysian authorities may be prone to play up
ISIS’ threat to divert public attention from the corruption scandal that has
rocked Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government. Najib has been accused of
siphoning more than US$1 billion from a state-run development company into his
personal bank accounts. Najib has denied any wrongdoing.
Prime Minister Najib Razak speaks about the threat of terrorism during the
opening ceremony of the 26th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, April 27,
2015. Malaysia is hosting the summit from April 26 to 27, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur
and Langkawi. REUTERS/Olivia Harris - RTX1AE77 Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib
Razak speaks about the threat of terrorism in Kuala Lumpur. Photo:
some BRN members are known to have personal ties to pan-Islamist groups, the
insurgent movement has blocked outside terror groups, including the
Indonesia-based Jemaah Islamiyah, from establishing bases or launching attacks
from their controlled areas. JI was responsible for the 2002 Bali bombings in
Indonesia that claimed more than 200 victims, mostly Western tourists, and
bombing attacks on international hotels in Jakarta.
partly why security sources believe BRN, which to date has avoided the
anti-Western ideology and rhetoric of other radical Islamic regional groups,
would still likely rebuff any ISIS requests to establish a presence and recruit
from the restive region. “It’s their conflict,” said one retired Thai general
with experience in the region. “They don’t want other groups involved.”
there have been rumors circulating among some locals that a handful of Malay
Muslims from Thailand’s southernmost region have traveled to Syria to fight for
ISIS and that Malaysian ISIS members have used Thailand as a transit point on
their way to Syria or Iraq.
deputy police chief Sriwara Rangsipramanakul publicly confirmed in November an
Australian intelligence report that claimed Thais had provided financial
support to ISIS and that over 100,000 Thailand-based Facebook users had visited
ISIS-related online communities last year. A day later, Sriwara retracted his
statement, saying the information came from Australian, not Thai, sources and
that there was no ISIS movement in Thailand.
graffiti is seen on a road near Pattani June 6, 2014, one of three southernmost
provinces of Thailand where government troops have fought Muslim insurgents
since 2004. The war has killed more than 6,000 people. The Thai military closed
Media Selatan and thousands of other radio stations when it seized power in a
May 22 coup. Many journalists and activists in southern Thailand fear the
military will use the coup to roll back on their hard-won freedoms. Graffiti
reads "Hey Siamese - bring back our rights" Picture taken June 6,
2014. REUTERS/Andrew RC Marshall (THAILAND - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST) -
RTR3UBRU Separatist graffiti on a road near Pattani says: “Hey Siamese – bring
back our rights,” referring to Thailand’s former name Siam. Photo:
Reuters/Andrew RC Marshall
Thai authorities acknowledge that monitoring of social media traffic shows some
ideological support for ISIS in the conflict-ridden minority region, where some
7,000 people have been killed in violent incidents since 2004. However, they
say there is still no evidence to indicate that Malay Muslims from Thailand
have joined or collaborated with ISIS.
and photographs found on the computers and phones of suspected BRN separatists
since the conflict escalated in 2004 have shown that some draw inspiration from
are also concerns that passport forgery networks active in Thailand have
produced fake travel documents for Southeast Asian jihadis headed to fight in
Syria and Iraq, according to one Thai official who requested anonymity.
authorities would clearly prefer that BRN has no association whatsoever with
ISIS. That’s because any proven links would bring unwanted Western government
scrutiny of the Thai military’s handling of the southern conflict.
authorities in the region have long been accused of rights abuses against
insurgent suspects and using the conflict as cover for illicit activities like
fuel and human smuggling.
cage made of barbed wire and bamboo sticks that Malaysian police said was used
to hold migrants is seen at the abandoned human trafficking camp in the jungle
close the Thailand border at Bukit Wang Burma in northern Malaysia May 26,
2015. Malaysian police forensic teams, digging with hoes and shovels, began the
grim task on Tuesday of exhuming the bodies of dozens of suspected victims of
human traffickers found buried around jungle camps near the Thai border.
REUTERS/Damir Sagolj TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1EKMD A cage made of barbed
wire and bamboo used to hold migrants in the jungle close to Thailand’s border
at Bukit Wang Burma in Malaysia. Photo: Reuters/Damir Sagolj
and diplomats believe that if Bangkok continues to balk at a formal negotiation
process that works toward autonomy for the region, then a younger generation of
separatist hardliners could be tempted to join or work with ISIS, raising the
risk of large-scale terror attacks on Thai tourist areas. Although BRN
insurgents carried out bombings in areas popular with foreign tourists in 2015
and 2016, the attacks did not cause mass casualties.
The American Civil Liberties Union and others are already lining up to
challenge President Donald Trump’s revised ban on refugees and travelers from
six mainly Muslim countries.
can they succeed in overturning a measure that was deliberately crafted to
remove the red flags raised by US courts? That may be more difficult.
time there is unlikely to be a backdrop of airport chaos and mass detentions to
help lawyers make the case that people’s rights are being trampled.
White House has rolled out a process that aims to avoid a repeat of the
confusion caused by its first travel ban, which was imposed with no notice and
little preparation one week into Trump’s presidency.
new order suspends US entry for all refugees for 120 days, and the issuing of
new visas for nationals of Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen and Sudan for 90
similar to the first travel ban, it has been changed in significant ways to
pass muster with the courts.
one, the new restrictions don’t go into effect until March 16, giving travelers
10 days to prepare for the changes.
the new order exempts permanent US residents and visa holders, and allows for
waivers on a case-by-case basis. It also drops Iraq from the list countries
targeted by the ban.
administration’s strategy appears designed to address the kind of situations
that ignited public outrage and made the travel ban politically radioactive.
was the case of an Iranian baby who could not travel for specialized medical
treatment in the United States. That could now be dealt with using a waiver.
students and Silicon Valley executives were stranded abroad, and entire
families were detained at airports. As long as they have visas, they should no
longer face that risk under the new rules.
federal judge who blocked the first ban was persuaded by the argument of two
state attorneys general that it was causing “irreparable harm.” It’s less clear
those arguments would prevail the next time around.
are carefully reviewing the new executive order to determine its impacts on
Washington State and our next legal steps,” Washington state Attorney General
Bob Ferguson said Monday.
said he was still concerned, but needed two or three days to decide on next
next wave of legal challenges will have to directly confront the question of
whether the immigration order constitutes a Muslim ban, an issue that the
courts have so far set aside.
the White House may have made changes to the ban, the intent to discriminate
against Muslims remains,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Jadwat, director of the ACLU’s Immigrant Rights Project, said Trump “has
recommitted himself to religious discrimination, and he can expect continued
disapproval from both the courts and the people.”
administration has tried to make it harder to prove religious discrimination by
stripping out language that would have given preference to religious minorities
once refugees are allowed in again.
had said the preference benefitting Christians underscored that the ban was
directed at Muslims.
believe the new order will withstand legal challenges as it’s drafted in a
fashion as to not be a religious ban, but a ban on individuals coming from
compromised governments and failed states,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, a
Republican who often criticizes the White House.
TOWN, March 8 — A Muslim DAP city councillor has lodged a police report yesterday
over images spread on social media labelling her an “attacker” of Islamic
Abdul Rashid said today an image of her taking her oath as a councillor were
doctored to say she had pledged to “attack” Islamic institutions, especially
the federal Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), on behalf of DAP.
said the photo was shared on Facebook by an account named “Johny Wick”.
another Facebook page called “Darul Ehsan Leaks”, with 17,000 followers, a
picture of her and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng with the same wordings
believe this was posted after my commentary piece criticising Jakim was
published,” the DAP Wanita’s assistant publicity secretary told a press
conference at the Penang DAP headquarters here.
said her commentary was only to remind Malaysians not to condone hatred, and to
tell Jakim to be more responsible especially with reports of “hate-filled”
sermons in mosques recently.
TOWN, March 8 — A Muslim DAP city councillor has lodged a police report
yesterday over images spread on social media labelling her an “attacker” of
TOWN: A DAP city councillor in Penang has lodged a police report over a banner
labelling her as “an attacker of the Islamic institution” which appeared on two
separate Facebook posts recently.
Abdul Rashid, who is the DAP Wanita’s assistant publicity secretary, said the
banner materialised after she wrote a comment piece critical of the Islamic
Development Department (Jakim) and its “negative rhetoric” in sermons.
was uploaded in posts by “Johny Wick”, a private account in the social
networking website, and another by a page called “Darul Ehsan Leaks” which has
about 17,000-odd followers.
Wick posted Syerleena’s picture at her oath-taking ceremony as a councillor in
the Penang Island City Council, accompanied with the words “saya bersumpah akan
serang Institusi Islam khususnya Jakim demi DAP” (I swear I will attack Islamic
institutions, especially Jakim, for the sake of DAP.)
other post by Darul Ehsan Leaks featured a collage comprising Syerleena’s
picture and that of DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, with the same words on
attacking “Islamic institutions”.
was said in these pictures is not true and is slanderous,” Syerleena said after
lodging the report at the George Town district police headquarters here.
opinion piece only sought to remind Malaysians that Islam is a beautiful
religion and one that should not condone hatred,” Syerleena said in a press
conference at Penang DAP’s headquarters here today.
said there were many reports of sermons in mosques being “hijacked by
hate-filled rhetoric” and Jakim should be more responsible over the messages
years, we have heard reports of sermons that single out women and demonise
those who are not afraid to speak out against misogyny perpetuated by
type of negative messaging needs to stop,” she added.
Amanah Youth deputy chief Saiful Azwan Abdul Malik said it was obvious that
DAP’s detractors were trying to paint the party as anti-Islam, thereby proving
they had run out of ideas.
clinics run by muslims in US gaining popularity
Hundreds of Christian hospitals and clinics run across the United States named
after Christ and crosses and mercy, but joining them now are about 25 free
clinics nationwide run primarily by Muslims.
of these hospitals and clinics, like the Al-Shifa Clinic in San Bernardino,
Calif, or the Muslim Community Center Medical Clinic in Silver Spring, Md, have
been around for years and there a few others which have opened within the past
year at a time when the Muslim religion is under siege, a report in Washington
to the American Muslim Health Professionals’ task force on health
affordability, these hospitals and clinics, mainly run by Muslims, do not get
any government funding and treat anyone regarding of their religion.
report mentioned a mosque in Northern Virginia, which was bustling at the
weekend with people, including women, old men and children, including those
from countries whose citizens have been banned from travelling to the United
States in a move President Trump says is aimed at keeping the potential
you walk into the mosque’s offices, you see a large mural with Arabic writing
translated into English: “Peace Be Upon You,” the report said. As with other
Muslim-run hospitals and clinics, medical service at the All Dulles Area Muslim
Society’s branch in Virginia’s city of Chantilly is free.
ADAMS Compassionate Healthcare Network has been open for nearly three years and
has treated hundreds of patients, including refugees, day laborers and military
veterans, the report said.
- A wide spectrum of American religious organizations and leaders came forward
Monday to denounce President Donald Trump’s revised executive order on
immigration as “discriminatory and unconstitutional.”
an initial version of the order, issued Jan. 27, resulted in confusion, protests
and numerous legal challenges, the Trump administration was forced to issue a
new, significantly scaled back travel ban.
new version makes it clear that people with dual nationality, green cards, and
current visas aren’t affected by the ban. It also strikes Iraq off a list of
Muslim-majority countries from which some nationals will be barred from the US
for 90 days. Religious minorities will no longer be prioritized for admission
and Syrian refugees are no longer barred indefinitely although they will still
be affected by a blanket ban on refugee resettlement that will last for 120
days. The new order still cuts the refugee resettlement programme in half,
capping it at 50,000. The ban will go reportedly go into effect on March 16.
organizations representing Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, and other
interfaith activists responded to the new order on Monday with many saying that
the order was still a Muslim ban in disguise.
Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights organization,
called the order a “Muslim Ban 2.0.”
cancels Toronto talk
'travel privileges' review
father of a fallen US army captain who made headlines during the American
election campaign for taking on Republican candidate Donald Trump has cancelled
a speech he was set to deliver in Toronto, Canada, after being notified that
his travel privileges are under review, according to media reports. Khizr Khan,
an American of Pakistani origin who famously offered up his copy of the US Constitution
to the billionaire presidential hopeful who vowed to implement a ban on Muslims
entering the US, was scheduled to speak at a luncheon hosted by Ramsay Talks, a
Toronto-based speaker series hosted by Bob Ramsay, on Tuesday.
on Monday, organizers of the luncheon issued a statement saying that Khan would
not be travelling to Toronto. "Late Sunday evening Khizr Khan, an American
citizen for over 30 years, was notified that his travel privileges are being
reviewed," Julia McDowell of Ramsay Inc. was quoted as saying. The
statement goes on to quote Khan, saying he offered his sincere apologies for
the cancellation. "This turn of events is not just of deep concern to me
but to all my fellow Americans who cherish our freedom to travel abroad. I have
not been given any reason as to why," the statement quotes Khan as saying.
circumstances of the reported travel review aren't clear. Neither Khan nor
Ramsay Inc. would provide specifics about what the review entailed or say more
about the "turn of events." Asked who issued the notice of review to
Khan, Bob Ramsay told CBC News, "I don't know exactly who it was, but I do
know for sure that it was American."
a statement, US Customs and Border Protection said it does not contact
travellers in advance of their travel out of the United States.
respect to Global Entry or trusted traveller membership, CBP's engagement is
about the status of membership in the program, not any particular travel
itself," the statement said, adding that any US citizen with a passport
can travel without trusted traveller status.
agency would not comment on Khan's claim, citing privacy considerations.
to its events page, Khan's Ramsay Talk was to focus on what could be done about
"the appalling turn of events in Washington - so that we don't all end up
week, Muslim morals police began patrolling the streets of Moscow to warn the
faithful against violating the norms of their religion
just one of the ways in which “Islam is changing Russia” rapidly and radically.
an essay for Warsaw’s Dzennik newspaper, Michał Potocki catalogues this and
other ways in which Islam is now transforming the Russian Federation in
profound and unexpected ways
are now three million Muslims in the Russian capital, one in every four of its
residents even though the Russian government continues to insist that there are
fewer than 300,000 and allows only four mosques to function in the city proper.
Muslims commit far fewer crimes per capita than other residents do. They form
25 percent of the population but make up only three percent of the police
of Russia’s non-Russian republics – Ingushetia, Chechnya, Daghestan,
Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachayevo-Cherkessia – have Muslim majorities, and two
others Bashkortostan and Tatarstan are approaching that figure.
nationalities are growing 60 to 90 times faster than the all-Russian average,
with Chechens increasing by 1.82 percent a year, for example, while the
all-Russian figure is only 0.02 percent.
decades, Morocco’s foreign and economic policies have focused on Europe. But
now, the kingdom is increasingly looking south. On January 30, Morocco was
re-admitted into the African Union. And it wasted no time in applying for full
membership in the Economic Community of West African States, a 15-member bloc with
a combined GDP of $735bn (Dh2.6tn).
roots of Morocco’s pivot to western Africa hark back to the early Trans-Saharan
trade. The kingdom also has linguistic and religious commonalities with the
region with which it now seeks closer ties. Morocco shares a common language
with eight francophone members of the economic community, as well as an ancient
Sufi tradition with Muslim-majority countries in West Africa. These links may
facilitate Morocco’s co-operation with bloc members at the political and security
his accession to the throne in 1999, King Mohammed VI has emphasised stronger
economic links with the region, signalling a long-term economic strategy
towards sub-Saharan Africa by undertaking an annual diplomatic tour of Africa,
and signing multiple bilateral agreements across the continent. The early stage
of this strategy involved developing a series of public partnerships in
infrastructure-related areas, such as electricity, sanitation, and
telecommunications. Rabat also gave its backing to private investments in
sub-Saharan Africa through pro-active economic diplomacy and treaties to avoid
double taxation with eight West and Central African states.
policies helped increase trade and foreign direct investment between Morocco
and sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, from 1999 to 2014, trade flows have seen an
average annual growth rate of 14.7 per cent. Meanwhile, Morocco’s foreign
direct investments in sub-Saharan Africa has represented about 63 per cent of
the kingdom’s total outward direct investment between 2008 and 2013. The past
15 years have also seen Moroccan banks expand their continental network to 11
sub-Saharan African countries, making Morocco a prominent financial hub in the
despite this, there are several impediments to the kingdom’s regional trade
relations. Also, Morocco believes its ties with the sub-Saharan Africa remain
far below potential. Indeed, sub-Saharan Africa represents only 2.7 per cent of
Morocco’s total trade flow, and, according to the United Nations Conference on
Trade and Development, the country is only ranked 45th on the list of the
region’s trade partners.
disappointing results are due to various internal and external factors, such as
the lack of efficient transport infrastructure throughout the region, Morocco’s
insufficient diversification of its export production, and the country’s
incomplete adaptation to sub-Saharan African demand. The absence of an
effective and comprehensive legal framework, and the persistently high level of
protectionism among sub-Saharan countries are also to blame. Moreover, Morocco
has to reckon with strong international competitors increasingly attracted to
fast-growing African markets.
willingness to address these issues has recently led Morocco to enter the third
phase of its African economic strategy, which is to enhance deeper regional
integration in West and Central Africa. Morocco’s Economic Community of West
African States application can, therefore, also be understood as an attempt to
consolidate its sub-Saharan economic policy in a changing global context
characterised by Europe’s economic sluggishness, energy insecurity and
Rabat’s moves on the economic front also seem to be influenced by geopolitical
and security concerns. The kingdom sees the resurgence of Al Qaeda in the
Islamic Maghreb – in Mali and the broader Sahel region – as a serious challenge
that warrants greater, multilateral security collaboration with West African
countries. Membership of the economic community will also give Morocco an
important framework to expand its diplomatic and security interests in Africa.
Morocco, the Polisario Front, an armed group that seeks independence from Rabat
in Western Sahara, remains a key national issue. Through membership of the
economic community, the kingdom seeks to counter-balance the influence of
countries that back Polisario in other African institutions such as the AU and
its Peace and Security Council.
recent moves towards the continent may indicate that it is no longer willing to
let the Western Sahara conflict define its Africa policy. Instead, Rabat is
trying to gradually consolidate its narrative on the conflict through
multilateral security and economic regional co-operation.
FM addresses supporters from balcony after Germany cancels rally
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has been forced to address supporters from
the balcony of Turkish consul's residence in Hamburg after Germany cancels a
rally he was to address.
on Tuesday, German authorities cited safety regulations and annulled a Hamburg
event where Cavusoglu was supposed to deliver a speech aimed at gathering
support for an April constitutional reform referendum.
the rally was canceled, some 200 of Cavusoglu’s supporters gathered outside the
consul’s home, where he criticized the German government's democracy.
"Please, don't give us lessons in human rights and democracy," he
Turkish foreign minister made the remarks amid a spat between Ankara and Berlin
over Germany’s cancellation of events aimed at drumming up support for the
April 16, Turkey will hold a referendum aimed at abolishing the office of the
prime minister and giving more executive powers to the currently largely
ceremonial position of the president.
want to say to our German friends, please, stop these bad practices," said
Cavusoglu. "Germany should not intervene in our elections and our
referendum," he added.
are blocking 'yes' voters and supporting 'no' voters in our referendum,"
Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel rejected Cavusoglu's claims, stressing that
"In our legal system, local authorities are generally in charge of
Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused Germany of reverting to
Nazism after it canceled several rallies. A remark that the German Chancellery
described as “absolutely unacceptable.”
from Germany, the Netherlands has also introduced a ban on pro-Erdogan rallies.
Recently, Austria called on all European Union countries to enforce a ban on
any pro-Erdogan campaigning ahead of the Turkish referendum.
Muslim Brotherhood Is Creating A 'Parallel Social Structure' In Sweden
Muslim Brotherhood is creating a 'parallel social structure' in Sweden with the
help of 'political elites' who foster a culture of silence, a damning
government report has found.
document claims that the Brotherhood is building a 'parallel society' within
the Scandinavian country, which can help the Islamist group to achieve its
in 1826, the Muslim Brotherhood aims to organise Muslims politically in order
to create a global, Sunni Islamic Caliphate.
group is arguably the largest Islamist organisation in the world and has in the
past been linked to mainstream Islamic institutions, including to the Muslim
Council of Britain.
organisation has been accused of fostering links to militants and is classed as
a terrorist organisation by the governments of Bahrain, Egypt, Russia, Saudi
Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
research focused on Muslim Brotherhood members both in Egypt and in Europe.
of the damning document about the group has sparked a row in Sweden, with
critics labelling the report 'conspiratorial' and claiming it misrepresents Islam.
report, which was published on Friday, was commissioned by Sweden's Civil
Contingencies Agency (MSB), which is part of the country's Ministry of Defence.
paper's authors claim the Brotherhood is working to increase the number of
practising Muslims in Sweden, which they say encourages tension with the
secular society and puts community cohesion in jeopardy.
authors also claim the organisation is targeting political parties, NGOs,
academic institutions and other civil society organisations.
aim to build a parallel social structure competing with the rest of the Swedish
society the values of its citizens. In this sense, MB's activists pose a
long-term challenge in terms of the country's social cohesion', the report
document, edited by Magnus Norell, claims that as migration to the country
increases, so the problems will intensify.
from Africa and the Middle East is likely to continue in coming years, both in
form of relatives and refugees', it says.
that MB's goal is to increase the number of practising Muslims in Swedish or
European territory, there is a great likelihood that a 'tug of war' will occur
between the majority community and the Islamic community with the MB's
report further claims that those who criticise the group run the risk of being
branded racist or Islamophobic.
study calls for replacing Pentecost with Islamic Eid
main think tank published a report in February calling for the replacement of
Easter and Pentecost with Islamic and Jewish alternatives.
BEACH, FLA) On Wednesday February 22nd, 2017 French think-tank Terra Nova
published a report titled “The Emancipation of Islam in France” calling.
Nova, which New York based think-tank Gatestone Institute labeled as “France’s
main think tank that provides ideas to the governing Socialist Party,” suggested
in the report that French authorities should replace two Christian holidays —
Easter and Pentecost — with an Islamic holiday and, to be ecumenical, a Jewish
order to treat all the denominations equally, it should include two important
new holidays, Yom Kippur and Eid el Kebir, with the removal of two Mondays that
do not correspond to particular solemnity,” Alain Christnacht and Marc-Olivier
Padis wrote in the study.
Gatestone Institute commented that this move would see Catholic Easter and
Christian Pentecost sacrificed “to keep the ever-elusive multicultural peace.”
review the Episcopal Conference of France rejected Terra Nova's proposal, but
the Union of Islamic Organizations of France — known for close association with
the Muslim Brotherhood — endorsed it and called for the inclusion of the
Islamic holidays of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
Observatory of Secularism, an organization created by French President François
Hollande to coordinate secularist policies,
previously endorsed this idea as early as 2013, adding they would like
to eliminate further Christian holidays to make way for the Islamic, Jewish and
must replace two Christian holidays to make way for the Yom Kippur and
Eid," Observatory of Secularism member Dounia Bouzar was quoted by
France24 as saying in September of 2013.
sources said that after the vast defection of Ahrar al-Sham's commanders to
Tahrir al-Sham in recent weeks, now the top Mufti (religious leader) of Tahrir
al-Sham, Abdul Halim Atwan, announced his defection from the Hay'at and
declared that joining the Hay'at "is Haram (religiously forbidden)".
added that Abdul Razaq al-Mahdi, one of the most important Muftis of Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at has also cut off ties with the collation over clashes between
Tahrir al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham.
sources went on to say that Head of the political bureau of Nouralddeen
al-Zinki Yaser Ibrahim al-Yusuf and politburo member Haji Mustafa that had
previously joined Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at have also both defected the Hay'at over
sources in Northwestern Syria, meantime, said that clashes have intensified
between Tahrir al-Sham's terrorists and Ahrar al-Sham in Idlib province, after
the former struck several positions of the latter, adding Ahrar al-Sham also
laid siege on a spinning factory that was recently captured by Tahrar al-Sham
in January, the Al-Nusra Front (Fatah al-Sham Front) and several militant
groups declared forming a new coalition under the name of Tahrir Al-Sham Hay'at
to narrow down widening rifts amongst their commanders and members.
Al-Nusra Front, Nouralddeen al-Zinki Movement, Jeish al-Sonah, Jabhat
Ansaraldeen and Liwa al-Haq announced that they would act under a united
coalition named the Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at.
five merged terrorist groups act under the command of Abu Jaber Hashem
al-Sheikh, who was one of the commanders of Ahrar al-Sham. The new coalition
led by al-Sheikh is now fighting against Ahrar al-Sham, a rival terrorist group
operating mainly in Northwestern Syria.
resigned from his post in Ahrar al-Sham after he was appointed as the commander
of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at.
number of Ahrar al-Sham's commanders, including the groups' spokesman Abu Yusuf
al-Mohajer, Hesam Salameh and Abu al-Fatah al-Farqali Mesri also joined the new
groups' websites claimed that Al-Nusra Commander Abu Mohammad al-Joulani will
be the top commander of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at.
al-Sham rejected its affiliation to the new coalition, but websites close to
the terrorist groups have disclosed that Ahrar al-Sham, Faylaq al-Sham, Jeish
al-Izzah, Turkistani party and Liwa al-Tamkin will soon start a new front
called Tahrir al-Syria Front.
terrorists have been attacking positions of other terrorist rivals across
army men engaged in an intense battle with ISIL and seized full control over
Ameriyeh settlement and Palmyra prison.
army soldiers purged the regions near the Palmyra airport and deployed troops
in an area only 21km away from Arak oilfield.
the meantime, military sources said that the army forces are now advancing
against ISIL East of Palmyra airport towards the regions of Bayareh Mohammad
Batmaan and Bayareh Ham'ah al-Motlaq, adding that the government forces are
just 10km away from the silos.
sources disclosed earlier today that the Russian military experts have trained
a large number of Special Forces of the Syrian Army known as ISIL Hunters to
fight against terrorists in Eastern Homs and in the Western territories of the
newly-liberated Palmyra (Tadmur) city.
Arabic language al-Watan daily reported that the Russian forces kicked off
training a large number of the army's special forces called ISIL Hunters to
maintain security to government facilities, ammunition depots and airbases in
daily added that ISIL Hunters played a significant role in the liberation of
Palmyra from terrorists.
ISIL Hunters were trained by the Russian Special Forces in Lattakia, the daily
said, adding that they are experts in guarding government facilities in desert
regions, arms and ammunition depots and military airports and fight against
terrorists in oil and gas fields.
the meantime, Russia has kicked off training 100 pilots of the Syrian Air Force
on the new models of Mig fighter jets, al-Watan went on to say.
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
- Iraqi forces said Tuesday they had seized the main government offices in
Mosul and its famed museum as they made steady progress in their battle to
retake the city's west from militants.
of the advances came on the third day of a renewed offensive against the
Islamic State group in west Mosul - the largest remaining urban stronghold in
the "caliphate" declared by the militants in 2014.
by the US-led coalition bombing IS in Iraq and Syria, Iraqi forces began their
push against west Mosul on February 19. The advance slowed during several days
of bad weather but was renewed on Sunday.
advances have brought government troops and police closer to Mosul's densely
populated Old City, where hundreds of thousands of civilians are believed to
still be trapped under IS rule. Iraq's Joint Operations Command said in a
statement that federal police and the elite Rapid Response unit had been able
to "liberate" the headquarters for the Nineveh provincial government.
They also seized control of the Al-Hurriyah bridgehead, it said, in a step
towards potentially relinking west Mosul with the city's east, which government
forces seized from the militants earlier in the offensive.
the bridges crossing the Tigris in Mosul have been damaged or destroyed, and
Iraqi forces would either have to repair them or install floating bridges to
reconnect the two banks of the river, which divides the city.
said Tuesday that security forces had also managed to recapture the Mosul
museum, where the militants destroyed priceless artefacts, releasing a video of
their rampage in February 2015.
video showed militants at the museum knocking statues off their plinths and
smashing them to pieces. In another scene a jackhammer was used to deface a
large Assyrian winged bull at an archaeological site in the city.
militants' attacks on ancient heritage in Iraq and Syria have sparked
widespread international outrage and fears for some of the world's most
important archaeological sites.
museum was on a police list released Tuesday of sites recently recaptured from
IS, which also included Mosul's central bank building, which the militants
looted along with other banks in 2014, seizing tens of millions of dollars.
sites recaptured during the last few days include the provincial police
headquarters, the courts complex and the water and electricity directorates.
recent fighting in west Mosul has forced more than 50,000 people to flee their
homes, according to the International Organization for Migration.
the number who have fled is still just a fraction of the 750,000 people who are
believed to have stayed on in west Mosul under IS rule.
from the chaos of the civil war in neighbouring Syria, IS seized control of
large parts of Syria and Iraq in mid-2014, declaring its Islamic
"caliphate" and committing widespread atrocities.
US-led coalition launched air strikes against the militants in both countries
several months later and has backed both Iraqi forces and fighters in Syria
militants have been pushed from most of the territory they once seized but
remain in control of key bastions including west Mosul and the caliphate's de
facto Syrian capital Raqa.
Syrian fighters have turned over several villages in the country’s north to
government forces under a deal to avoid conflict with Turkey, a spokesman told
AFP on Tuesday.
Manbij Military Council, part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces,
announced the planned handover last week.
villages and points on the western side of the town of Al-Areima have been
handed over to the border guards of the Syrian regime,” Manbij Military Council
spokesman Sherfan Darwish told AFP.
said the handover was carried out “with the goal of curbing Turkey’s expansion
and its occupation of Syrian territory, and to... prevent the shedding of civilian
declined to give further details but the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a
Britain-based monitor of the war, said the handover had happened on Monday and
involved fewer than 10 villages.
director Rami Abdel Rahman described the handover as “for show.”
of the Manbij Military Council simply put on army clothes and raised the Syrian
flag to avoid friction with the Turks,” he told AFP.
was no mention in Syrian state media of the handover to government forces.
Manbij Military Council, part of the Kurdish-Arab SDF, first announced the
handover last week, marking the first time that US-supported fighters had
proposed ceding territory to regime forces.
Council said the deal had been agreed with Russia to “protect the line dividing
the Manbij Military Council and the areas under the control of the Turkish army
and Euphrates Shield.”
Shield is the name of the operation Turkey launched inside Syria last August
targeting the Islamic State group and the SDF, which is dominated by Kurdish
fighters that Ankara sees as “terrorists”.
handover plan was announced after Euphrates Shield forces attacked several
villages under SDF control east of the town of Al-Bab last week.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that the operation’s next target
would be Manbij -- a former ISIS bastion that is now under SDF control.
Monday, Ankara stepped back from that threat, saying it would not act without
cooperation from Russia and the United States.
profusion of forces operating in Syria has led to a deeply complex battlefield
and tensions between different parties.
agreement between the central government in Baghdad and a Kurdish party, which
had recently disrupted oil flow from the northern Iraqi region of Kirkuk to
Turkey, has enabled the resumption of the process.
Rasul, head of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) that controls Kirkuk’s
oil fields, said his group has reached a deal with Prime Minister Haider
al-Abadi on Tuesday, Reuters reported.
the agreement, crude will continue flowing from the region through a pipeline
to a Turkish export terminal on the Mediterranean en route to global markets.
week, PUK forces stormed the state-run North Oil Company (NOC) in Kirkuk, which
resulted in briefly stopping oil exports in an effort to force Baghdad to meet
its demand for a share of the revenue.
Talabani, a key PUK lawmaker in the Iraqi parliament, said local authorities
were unhappy that neither Baghdad nor the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional
Government (KRG) was prepared to build a local refinery “so that the people of
the province can have a share of the petrodollars.”
Kurdish group also called for the 2016 Kirkuk oil sharing deal between Baghdad
and the Kurdistan region “to be canceled within a week.”
Rasul said that Tuesday’s “agreement ended the problem and there is no deadline
anymore” to shut the pipeline, without providing further details.
huge Kirkuk oil field can pump around 150,000 barrels per day and has been
exporting the output to global markets via Turkey.
on Wednesday, Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi said the country had added a
processing unit to the Kirkuk oil refinery, increasing the plant’s capacity by
10,000 barrels per day.
Iraqi foreign minister has called on the Arab League (AL) to end its suspension
of Syria’s membership in the 22-member pan-Arab body, stressing that Arabs
should reach a consensus on resolving the Syria crisis.
in an address to a meeting of AL foreign ministers in the Egyptian capital,
Cairo, on Tuesday, Ibrahim al-Ja’afari said that Syria’s absence from the Arab
League could not be tolerated anymore.
does not only represent Arab governments, but also Arab nations and thus should
bring an end to the Syria conflict, Ja’afari added in remarks broadcast live on
state-run Iraqi TV.
weakening of an Arab country is tantamount to the weakening of all Arabs, he
said, emphasizing that if Arabs cannot unite on Syria, they can at least agree
on settling the crisis there.
suspended Syria's membership in November 2011, citing alleged Damascus’s
crackdown on opposition protests. Syria's envoy to the group denounced the move
as "illegal and a violation of the organization’s charter.”
which has been excluded from a revised US travel ban, decries the prohibition
in its entirety, calling on Washington to respect the dignity of the six other
Muslim-majority states and remove them from the blacklist.
in January, US President Donald Trump ordered an entry ban on citizens of Iraq
as well as Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.
order was met with massive domestic and international backlash before being
blocked through legal proceedings at a federal court. On Monday, however, Trump
signed a new executive order affecting the nationals of all those countries
Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Ja’afari reacted to the new measure during an Arab
League ministerial meeting in Cairo on Tuesday.
is a right decision [to exclude Iraq] but I expect the US government to lift
the ban on the other six countries,” he said. “These nations should have been
entitled to dignity and sovereignty and their people should have been
respected. Democratic countries are supposed to open up to them,” he added.
US took Iraq off the list after Baghdad started sharing certain data on
individuals with Washington, and accommodated a Washington-ordered visa vetting
criticizing the executive order were Somalia, Sudan and UN High Commissioner
for Refugees Filippo Grandi.
soldiers, 5 terrorists killed in Swabi clash
- Security forces on Tuesday morning killed five terrorists while two security
personnel including a captain were also martyred during an intelligence-based
operation in district Swabi.
to the Inter-Services Public Relations, security forces carried out the
intelligence-based raid as part of the ongoing operation Raddul Fassad in
Malikabad village on a tip-off about the presence of militants in a compound.
militants opened fire on the security forces, killing Captain Junaid and Sepoy
Amjid on the spot. In the exchange of fire, five terrorists were also killed.
The security forces besieged the compound before the firing took place with the
terrorist hiding in the compound, the ISPR said.
the five slain terrorists, three were identified as Majid alias Khalid, a
resident of Menai, tehsil Topi, Yousaf alias Chota Khalid, a resident of
Malikabad and Jawad, a resident of Malakand.
two other terrorists, whose identity could not be ascertained, were presumably
Afghan nationals. It has been learnt that the terrorists were planning to
target educational institutions and judicial complexes.
security forces have launched Raddul Fassad against militants throughout the
country after a sudden rise in terror incidents. Several militants have so far
been killed and arrested during the operation.
Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa said that the sacrifices of our
security personnel will not go in vain. According to ISPRE, the army chief said
that the terrorists will be brought to justice at all costs.
- The Minister of State for Federal Education and Professional Training,
Muhammad Baligh ur Rehman said on Tuesday that soon a bill of compulsory Quran
education at schools will be passed from the parliament as it is one of the
prime focus of ministry.
minister was addressing a two-day international conference on ‘Role of Islamic
Universities in Teaching of Arabic to Non-Native speakers’ at Islamic
International University (IIUI).
minister said inclusion of teaching of Quran with Nazra and translation in the
curriculum at different level of school education is the prime focus of the
a bill of compulsory Quran education at schools will be passed from the house
parliament,” he said.
government is also speedily working to prepare a comprehensive national
curriculum with the help of provinces,” the minister said.
minister added that curriculum will be designed in line with the contemporary
needs by focusing on character building, civic sense and national unity.
conference was organised by the Faculty of Arabic of the university faculty
members presented around 50 papers to explore ways of promotion of Arabic
minister maintained that Islam was complete code of life and government was
focused on providing contemporary education to youth integrated with teachings
about the improvements in the higher education, the minister furthered that
government, in terms of grants to universities through Higher Education
Commission (HEC), has increased the funding from Rs 41 billion to Rs 91
minister also hailed the IIUI and its services, and said that it has always
shown presence of foreign students at its campuses which were a distinction,
while he also termed IIUI as the most vital institution which can play pivotal
role in promotion of education.
- US diplomats serving in different countries in an unusual congregation here
the other day discussed various global and regional changes taking place with a
special focus on Pakistan, diplomatic sources informed The Nation. The sources
told this scribe, that various US envoys serving at Dhaka, New Delhi, Beijing,
Moscow and Kabul including the host ambassador assembled in a sitting to
discuss the situation in Pakistan in particular. During the meeting the current
rapidly deteriorating Pakistan-Afghanistan ties remained at the top of the
agenda. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its regional and future
importance also came under discussion. The participants of the meeting also
discussed the growing Indian influence inside Afghanistan and clash of
Pak-India interests inside the war-torn country.
Abbas is a correspondent for Waqt News
- Leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) Sukkur chapter Dilwar
Khan and Shahzad Aasi on Tuesday said that there was no room in the country for
those involved in killing innocent people in the name of sectarianism and
terrorism. In their joint statement they
said that the country was facing big challenges which the PML-N government had
the capacity to overcome through effective policies.
said that the government of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif had succeeded
in destroying the network of terrorists and the world had acknowledged that
Pakistan was sincere in its efforts to eradicate terrorism.
said that the country's economy was improving and measures taken were being
praised by international economic institutions adding that the present
government had taken a number of steps to overcome the electricity and gas
crises that country was facing in the past.
The Balochistan's legal fraternity on Tuesday requested the Supreme Court to
start contempt of court proceedings against Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar
Ali Khan over his contemptuous remarks against Quetta Inquiry Commission (QIC).
commission was formed to probe the tragic incident at Civil Hospital Quetta
that claimed 73 lives.
Balochistan Bar Council and Balochistan High Court Bar Association submitted
that they would, nevertheless, file a separate contempt application against the
minister under Article 204 read with Section 3 and 4 of Contempt of Court
Khan filed a 17-page reply to the objections raised by the Interior Ministry.
such contemptuous act has been done none other than Minister of Interior
himself, therefore, it is requested that he may kindly be proceeded against by
this Hon'able Court to explain his position and held for contempt of
court," the reply stated, adding that nevertheless a separate contempt
application under Article 204 would also be filed.
Saudi interior ministry on Wednesday reported that an ISIS loyalist was killed
by security forces, while one other arrested in Riyadh.
ministry spokesperson said that the incident happened on Tuesday at 6pm when a
security patrol was inspecting an apartment in the al-Rayan neighborhood in the
of the people occupying the apartment was suspected as being an ISIS loyalist
and had been reported to authorities.
forces were met with resistance when they attempted to arrest the suspect which
led to his death,” the spokesperson said, adding that no other people were
harmed during the operation.
Syria: US-backed Syrian fighters have turned over several villages in the
country's north to government forces under a deal to avoid conflict with
Turkey, a spokesman told AFP on Tuesday.
villages and points on the western side of the town of Al-Areima have been
handed over to the border guards of the Syrian regime," Manbij Military
Council spokesman Sherfan Darwish told AFP.
said the handover was carried out "with the goal of curbing Turkey's
expansion and its occupation of Syrian territory, and to... prevent the
shedding of civilian blood."
director Rami Abdel Rahman described the handover as "for show."
of the Manbij Military Council simply put on army clothes and raised the Syrian
flag to avoid friction with the Turks," he told AFP.
Council said the deal had been agreed with Russia to "protect the line
dividing the Manbij Military Council and the areas under the control of the
Turkish army and Euphrates Shield."
Shield is the name of the operation Turkey launched inside Syria last August
targeting the Islamic State group and the SDF, which is dominated by Kurdish
fighters that Ankara sees as "terrorists".
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said last week that the operation's next target
would be Manbij -- a former IS bastion that is now under SDF control.
on Monday, Ankara stepped back from that threat, saying it would not act
without cooperation from Russia and the United States.
said on Monday it had sent additional troops into Manbij to deter rival powers
from targeting each other rather than IS.
is obviously a really complicated situation," said Pentagon spokesman Navy
Captain Jeff Davis.
Syrian troops freed the town after heavy clashes with the ISIL terrorists and
inflicting heavy tolls on them.
military source said that the army first retook control of the Western and
Northern villages near the town, including Kharbat al-Shabab, Ma'aradha
al-Kabirah and Dakhira towns, and then heavily pounded the ISIL positions
inside al-Khafseh with missiles and artillery fire.
to the source, street clashes with the terrorists started after the army's
missile and artillery attacks.
added that the remaining ISIL members fled towards Maskanah region and the
adjacent areas from the South after the army won back control of the town.
a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian army soldiers continued to
advance against ISIL in vast areas in Eastern Aleppo and captured territories
only 2km away from the facilities pumping water to Aleppo city.
army troops stormed ISIL's positions and drove the terrorists out of the towns
of Qasr al-Ahmar, Abajeh, Jubb al-Qahwa and the farms of al-Ebadeh, Abajeh and
Abu Tineh, deploying forces at positions only 3km away from al-Khafseh town and
2km away from Water Pumping Facilities near Lake Assad.
Monday, the army men pushed back ISIL terrorists from more strongholds and
deployed in a region only 7km away from al-Khafseh town and 6km from the main
water pumping facilities close to Lake Assad.
city's water pumping facilities are located South of al-Khafseh town.
Arabic website of Skypress quoted the sources as saying that the US forces have
trained nearly 400 elite Iraqi forces and formed the Tiger Unit with 50 of them
to assassinate Hashd al-Shaabi commanders, specially those who are opposed to
the US army's presence in Iraq.
forces have been trained by the US intelligence officers and technical
engineers to find the location of all commanders too," they added.
report came after Commander of Asa'eb al-Haq Movement affiliated to Iraqi
popular forces of Hashd al-Shaabi said last month that the US forces have been
trying hard to evacuate ISIL commanders from the besieged city of Tal Afar West
photos surfaced in the media displaying US forces assisting ISIL terrorists,
Javad al-Talaybawi said that the Americans are planning to take ISIL commanders
away from Tal Afar that is under the Iraqi forces' siege.
the meantime, member of Iraqi Parliament's Security and Defense Commission
Iskandar Watut called for a probe into photos and footages displaying US planes
airdropping aid packages over ISIL-held regions.
further added that we have witnessed several times that US planes dropped
packages of food stuff, arms and other necessary items over ISIL-held regions,
and called on Iraq's air defense to watch out the US-led coalition planes.
disclosed in February that the US military planes helped the ISIL terrorists in
Tal Afar region West of Mosul.
saw several packages dropped out of a US army aircraft in the surrounding areas
of the city of Tal Afar in Western Nineveh province and six people also came
out of a US plane in the ISIL-controlled areas," the Arabic-language media
quoted a number of eyewitnesses as saying.
- US diplomats serving in different countries in an unusual congregation here
the other day discussed various global and regional changes taking place with a
special focus on Pakistan, diplomatic sources informed The Nation. The sources
told this scribe, that various US envoys serving at Dhaka, New Delhi, Beijing,
Moscow and Kabul including the host ambassador assembled in a sitting to
discuss the situation in Pakistan in particular. During the meeting the current
rapidly deteriorating Pakistan-Afghanistan ties remained at the top of the
agenda. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and its regional and future
importance also came under discussion. The participants of the meeting also
discussed the growing Indian influence inside Afghanistan and clash of Pak-India
interests inside the war-torn country. The sources mentioned that the growing
Pak-Russia ties were also subject of the discussion during the unusual US
diplomatic congregation. Pakistan’s importance and aspects of its regional
security were also discussed by the participants. The US Embassy Spokesperson, Fleur Cowan,
when contacted, confirmed the meeting, adding that “it was an internal
working-level annual meeting to foster professional development.”
commission was formed to probe the tragic incident at Civil Hospital Quetta that
claimed 73 lives.
On the eve of International Women's Day, former president Asif Ali Zardari
called for devising a National Women Empowerment Plan as well as strengthening
the National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) for the emancipation of
women and ending discrimination against them.
a message on the occasion, he said that equal rights for women is a most basic
human right and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) will never allow the
perpetuation of discrimination against women or their exploitation in the name
leader, Benazir Bhutto, led from the front the fight of women to break the
glass ceiling," he said, adding, "The party assures the women of
Pakistan of our full support in their struggle against all forms of
exploitation and discrimination."
believed the struggle for gender equality, ending discrimination and
exploitation, and giving a voice to women will make Pakistan more tolerant,
harmonious and secure. "We salute and express gratitude to the brave and
courageous men and women engaged in this struggle," he affirmed.
this occasion I call for the formulation of a National Women Empowerment Plan.
I also call for strengthening the NCSW to enable it to play its role
effectively in protecting and promoting the rights of women," he stated
two decades ago, Pakistan ratified the UN Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and is required to submit to the
UN during this year the periodic report on its implementation. "It would
be most appropriate if the year 2017 is made the year for the formulation of
the National Women Empowerment Plan," he said.
PM says allies' choice of Syrian Kurdish YPG as partner unfortunate
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Tuesday it was unfortunate that some of
Turkey's allies had chosen the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia as a partner in the
fight against Islamic State in Syria.
comments, at a news conference, were made as the military chiefs of Turkey, the
United States and Russia met in the southern Turkish province of Antalya to
discuss regional security, notably in Syria and Iraq.
- Two children, aged 10 and 12, were killed in a suspected US air strike
targeting al-Qaeda in central Yemen, a provincial official said on Tuesday. The
children had been tending a herd of goats on a mountain outside the village of
Yakla, in Baida province, when the strike hit on Sunday, the official said.
There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon. The United States has
conducted more than 40 strikes against Al-Qaeda in Yemen since stepping up its
air war against the militants on Thursday.
Iran said Tuesday it was "completely unfair" for US lawyers to try to
seize its overseas assets as compensation for the victims of Sept. 11, 2001.
2012, a New York judge ordered Iran to pay $7 billion in damages to the
families and estates of victims from the 2001 attacks, arguing the country had
aided Al-Qaeda by allowing the group's members to travel through its territory.
Iran rejects the accusation and refuses to pay the money, the lawyers are now
trying to access $1.6 billion of Iranian money frozen in a Luxembourg bank,
according to a report in The New York Times on Monday.
opponents of the Islamic republic of Iran ... have tried to broaden a US
domestic law – which is completely unfair and baseless – to apply outside
America," said deputy foreign minister Majid Takht Ravanchi, according to
the IRNA news agency.
of dollars in Iranian assets were frozen in the US and Europe as part of
efforts to push Tehran into a nuclear deal with world powers, which was finally
signed in July 2015.
of Iran's assets remain frozen despite the deal, in part due to ongoing
compensation cases – not just for the 2001 attacks but also the bombing of a
U.S. Marines barracks in Lebanon in 1983 that killed 241 American personnel.
frozen money in Luxembourg belongs to the period before the (nuclear)
negotiations and Iran's (central bank) lawyers are engaged in consultations to
obtain it," said Ravanchi.
coalition spokesman Ahmed Asiri says Iran is the reason behind terrorism and
instability in the Middle East.
a seminar organized by the Saudi embassy in Norway, Asiri called on Iran to
admit that it supports and funds the Lebanese Party Hezbollah and acknowledge
that by establishing Shiite militias in Yemen - the Houthi militia - it’s
attempting to create a model that resembles Hezbollah on the southern borders
of Saudi Arabia.
added that the international community was aware that Hezbollah was one of the
most dangerous terrorist groups in the region, as it smuggles weapons and drugs
across the world to fund its activity in Lebanon and Syria.
rights groups have censured the Israeli regime’s recent law, which bans
supporters of the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS)
movement from entering the occupied territories.
a joint statement on Tuesday, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in
Israel (Adalah) and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) described
the law as “blatantly anti-democratic.”
are not sure what was the need for the new law, apart from saying Israel does
not want BDS supporters here. This law violates the most basic tenets of
democracy,” the statement read.
Monday, the Israeli parliament (Knesset) passed an anti-boycott bill following
a 46-28 vote. The legislation, which had passed a first reading in the Israeli
parliament in mid-January, denies entry permits and temporary residency permits
to anyone who has publicly called for a boycott of Israel or represents an
organization that has called for such a boycott.
statement further said, “This law is expected to pose a particularly serious
blow to countless Palestinian families living in Israel and in East Jerusalem
(al-Quds), whose members hold a temporary residency status or a temporary
military-issued permit. These individuals will now be vulnerable to a
revocation of their status and permits based upon their political opinions.”
two groups had sent a letter to the Knesset prior to the adoption of the
controversial law, urging the chamber to vote against the bill.
a similar stance, Israeli rights group B’Tselem also criticized the ban, with
its executive director, Hagai el-Ad, saying “border control should not be used
as thought control.”
reacting to the law was Israeli NGO Peace Now, which denounced the restrictive
measure as undemocratic.
law “will not prevent boycott but rather, deteriorate Israel’s international
standing and lead Israel towards international isolation,” the organization
BDS movement was initiated in 2005 by over 170 Palestinian organizations that
were pushing for “various forms of boycott against Israel until it meets its
obligations under international law.”
is using simulated villages to train its forces to destroy Palestinian homes
and deal with ensuing protests, says a report.
Tuesday, the Middle East Monitor website published footage originally
broadcasted on Israel’s Channel 2 that showed Israeli soldiers practicing
facing protesters, raiding and demolishing homes in fake Palestinian
to the report, these drills have been going on for about a week in order to
ready soldiers “to face Palestinian protesters while demolishing houses in
occupied West Bank has seen an unprecedented rise in the demolition of
Palestinian homes this year, with the number of buildings destroyed in the
first half of 2016 standing well beyond the total number of demolitions carried
out in all of 2015.
to a United Nations report, Israel has made over 1,383 Palestinians homeless
since January as a result of demolitions in the occupied territories, compared
to 688 Palestinians internally displaced during the entire 2015.
the beginning of the year, at least 168 Palestinian homes have been destroyed,
displacing 276 people.
eastern parliament quits UN peace deal with Tripoli
eastern parliament voted Tuesday to withdraw its support for a United Nations
peace deal and Government of National Accord, an escalation in the fractured
country’s split that stokes concerns recent violence could intensify.
Ablaihig, spokesman for the Tobruk-based, internationally recognized House of
Representatives, said the body voted to annul its previous acceptance of a
presidential council and the UN-backed government currently led by Prime
Minister Fayez al-Serraj in Tripoli.
decision comes as Libya’s rival power centers are sliding closer to open
conflict, with breakaway militias backed by western Libyan factions seizing oil
terminals from the east’s strongman general, whose forces have vowed to take
Tobruk body called on all Libyan parties to condemn militias that occupied the
two key terminals in what it described as “terrorist attacks,” saying it was
suspending its participation in peace talks until they did so.
militias, which oppose the parliament, say they intend to take the eastern city
of Benghazi and drive Field Marshal Khalifa Hifter from the area. Hifter’s army
is allied to the parliament, while the Tripoli government opposes him.
GNA unity government is not legitimate any more, as well as its presidential
council and anything to do with this entity,” Ablaihig said, urging the
international community to lift an embargo on weapons sales to the Libyan army
forces have deployed more troops in preparation of a counterattack to drive out
the militias, known as the Benghazi Defense Brigades, which are comprised of
Islamic militants and former rebels recently defeated by Hifter’s forces in
Benghazi, Libya’ second largest city. They are also joined by militiamen from
the western city of Misrata, and a day earlier announced their intentions from
in the day, the Tripoli government said that the oil terminals had been
abandoned by the Benghazi Defense Brigades and that its forces were moving to
occupy the facilities. It denied it had any relationship with the Brigades,
saying they were involved in a separate fight with Benghazi that should be
officially took control of the oil terminals,” Brig. Gen. Mohamed Algosri told
The Associated Press. “Now the forces will be formed and deploy to the oil
Italian Embassy tweeted its support for the move, describing the deployment as
“a step in the right direction” that should end the fighting.
under the command of Hifter who were driven out of the oil facilities said they
had redeployed to the east around the town of Brega and had been fighting
skirmishes in recent days as they attempted to reconnoiter the opposing lines
under air support.
official at nearby Ajdabiya hospital said seven more of Hifter’s troops were
killed in fighting near Ras Lanuf on Tuesday, bringing that side’s total losses
to 39 killed over the past four days.
descended into chaos with its 2011 civil war, which ended with the killing of
longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi and led to the current split.
ambassadors have condemned the escalation of violence and called for an
immediate cease-fire. Egypt on Tuesday condemned the seizing of the oil
installations more singularly, saying that “elements linked to Al-Qaeda” were
involved in the attack, which it said posed “serious risks” for Libya.
attack on a police post west of Niger has left at least four officers dead.
security source said Monday that the attack, which took place a day earlier,
struck Wanzarbe, a town located in the western region of Tillaberi.
provisional toll is four police officers killed in a clear terrorist attack on
Sunday night," said the source, adding that the assault targeted a police
government of Niger on Saturday declared a state of emergency in Tillaberi and
other areas near the country’s border with Mali and Burkina Faso.
and neighboring Tahoua region have witnessed several deadly attacks by
militants from MUJAO, a terror outfit mainly operating in West Africa region.
Most of those attacks have targeted army posts and refugee camps, including a
late February assault in Ouallam, Tillaberi, which killed 16 soldiers and
wounded 18 others.
October, a daring attack on a refugee camp in Tahoua also left 22 soldiers
say at least 43 people were killed in militant attacks in Tillaberi and Tahoua
between October 2016 and February this year.
is a northern neighbor to Nigeria, where the Boko Haram Takfiri terror group
launched bloody militancy against the government seven years ago.
- Fighting between rival people-smuggling gangs on Libya’s Mediterranean coast
has killed 22 people, the International Organization for Migration said on
dead were thought to be migrants rather than smugglers because they were
sub-Saharan Africans, IOM spokesman Joel Millman said. More than 100 people
were wounded, he told a news briefing in Geneva, citing information from
colleagues in Libya.
latest deaths come in addition to the 140 bodies found on Libyan beaches so far
this year, while there have been 477 deaths at sea on the route from Libya.
far this year 15,760 migrants have arrived in Italy, up from 9,101 in the same
period of 2016, while almost 3,000 migrants have been rescued at sea and
brought back to Libya, Millman said.
number of migrants setting off for Italy by boat from Africa has risen more
than 50 percent so far this year, after half a million people arrived during
the past three years.
is promising to send more migrants who do not qualify for asylum back home,
either by force or with their consent.
is creating all kinds of activity in the smuggling industry, and apparently
that activity has reached the level of violent shootouts that left 22 killed in
the last couple of days,” Millman said.
also said 62 Syrians also showed up among migrants arriving in Italy. Syrian
refugees have mainly gone to Europe via Turkey and Greece, a route which was
effectively blocked last year by a deal between the European Union and Turkey.
Fewer than 200 Syrians made the trip from Libya to Italy last year.
nightmare:’ UN chief urges help for Somalia hunger crisis
Somalia (AP) — Visibly shocked by the suffering of malnourished Somalis and
cholera victims during an emergency visit, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio
Guterres on Tuesday urged international support to alleviate Somalia’s
worsening hunger crisis.
single person we have seen is a personal story of tremendous suffering. There
is no way to describe it,” Guterres said after seeing skeletal men, women and
children in a cholera ward in Baidoa, 243 kilometers (151 miles) northwest of
the capital, Mogadishu.
prolonged drought has caused widespread hunger, and the shortage of clean water
has resulted in cholera.
his first field trip since becoming the U.N. chief, Guterres said Somalia’s
famine crisis requires a massive response. He said 6 million people, or almost
half of the country’s population, need assistance.
are dying. The world must act now to stop this,” he tweeted on his arrival in
this Horn of Africa nation.
need to make as much noise as possible,” Guterres said. “Conflict, drought,
climate change, disease, cholera. The combination is a nightmare.”
Baidoa’s cholera wards, adults and children had sunken eyes and protruding
ribs. Because of the cholera-induced diarrhea, medical workers sprayed the
wards with chlorine to disinfect the areas.
also visited a camp with hundreds of families displaced by the drought and
Somalia’s battle against the Islamic extremists of al-Shabab. He saw hungry
families seeking shelter under flimsy plastic.
have nothing. This is not a shelter, we barely get any food here and we have no
protection. It’s not safe, I am suffering,” said 34-year-old Deira Mohamed Nor,
with her 10-month-old baby girl Dahiro Ishaak Hussein, who is sick with
malaria. Nor said she recently lost one of her children to diarrhea.
said he was moved by the misery.
makes me feel extremely unhappy with the fact that in today’s world, with the …
the richness that exists, that these things are still possible. It is
unbelievable,” Guterres said. He wore personal protection armor and was
surrounded by African Union peacekeepers and bodyguards to protect against
possible suicide bombings and attacks by the extremists who plague Somalia.
is part of a massive $4 billion aid appeal launched last month for four nations
suffering from conflict and hunger. The others are Nigeria, Yemen and South
Sudan, where famine already has been declared in two counties.
over the weekend announced its first death toll since declaring a national
disaster last week, saying 110 people had died in a 48-hour period in a single
the U.N. chief, Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed said: “My first
priority is to address this drought crisis, and my main priority is to make an
appeal to the international community to help us.”
is one of the six Muslim-majority countries affected by the revised travel ban
ordered by U.S. President Donald Trump. Mohamed took Guterres’ visit as an
opportunity to speak out against it.
we will prefer to see that this travel ban should be lifted and, of course, we
have to communicate with the U.S. government because as everyone knows we have
a large Somali community in the United States who I’m sure have contributed to
the U.S. economy,” said Mohamed, in response to press questions. He himself has
dual Somali-U.S. citizenship.
new president is criticizing the revised U.S. travel ban, telling journalists
that "definitely" he would prefer it be lifted and reminding the
United States that it has a large Somali community.
revised ban temporarily bars new visas for citizens of six predominantly Muslim
countries including Somalia, but Iraq is no longer on the list.
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