Muslim and a Jewish man rides a tandem together during a bicycle tandem tour of
Jews and Moslems against anti-Semitism and hatred of Muslims in Berlin, Sunday,
June 24, 2018. (Markus Schreiber/Associated Press)
Hindu-Muslim 'Urs' Of 'Pirs' Reinforces India's Inter-Faith Bond
Saeed Urges Youth to Play Its Role in Protecting Nation's Ideology at Party's
Social Media Moot
Friday Sermon as an Educational Tool for Unity in Multi-Faith Malaysia
Umar All Praise For Turkish President Erdogan
Muslims in Berlin Team Up On Bike Rides against Hatred
to Put Rohingya Refugees under Surveillance
Board Chief Donates For Ram Temple
seek to ensure low-key funeral of terrorists in J&K
Clashes Might Break Out In Karnataka If Haj Bhavan Named After Tipu Sultan: BJP
Leader KG Bopaiah
encounter: LeT commander among two killed, one surrenders
denies allegation of preventing Indian envoy from visiting Gurdwara
Seeks Votes to Impose Sharia In Country
Provincial Govt Destroyed KP's Economy: Maulana Fazl
elections: Independent candidate declares over Rs 400 billion in assets
militancy threat to 2018 general elections should not be taken lightly
workers, elders protest Fata-KP merger
unable to ascertain if contestants have ties to terrorism
Umno Youth Chief Pledges Moderate Approach to Islam
Erdogan’s win a victory for the Islamic world
Muslim Group Wants Action against Tourists Caught Dancing At Mosque
Java Catholics have faith in Muslim mayor
relations: A lesson in the pitfalls of authoritarianism and autocracy
contest being fought in Indonesia's most populous province
Urged To Unite To Counter US 'Economic War'
Religious Leaders Hail Erdogan’s Victory
proclaimed winner of Turkey’s presidential election
election victory speech, Erdogan says Turkey will advance in Syria
fires Patriot missile at drone from Syria, but misses target
forces launch missile attack on Saudi capital
and his party win Turkey's presidential and parliamentary elections
Troops Sent To Back YPG/PKK Terrorists in Syria
arrests 10 ultra-right suspects over plot to attack Muslims
migrants in boats off Libya' as Italy tells rescue ships to stop
Prince William heads for historic Middle East tour
Commander Hopes Pakistan Will Persuade Taliban to Join Peace Talks
of Grand Mosque of Mecca Urges For Extension Of Ceasefire In Afghanistan
airstrikes target militant compounds in Badghis after last week’s major attack
leader responsible for recent deadly attacks in Jalalabad has been killed
Backtracks from Supporting Militants in Southern Syria
ISIL Commander, Aides Hunted in Baghdad
Army, Allied Militants in Panic over Kurds' Attacks in Northern Syria
militiamen join Syrian army units to fight Daesh, Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
censures US financial support to White Helmets
Al-Shaabi Commander Dismisses JOC's Statement on US Attack
Army Driving Wedge between Terrorist-Held Regions in Dara'a Province
Air Defences Foil New Houthi Missile Attack on Riyadh
rebels say US tells them it won’t intervene in south Syria
claims fires anti-aircraft missile at drone from Syria, forces retreat
US Especial Forces Seize Key Town from Al Shabaab
Dead in Nigerian Communal Clashes, Govt Terms Violence as 'Deeply Unfortunate
announced as death toll rises in Ethiopia attack
coast guard picks up almost 1,000 migrants in one day
says unable to host new wave of Syria refugees
faults CAN on recruitment of Ex- Boko Haram members into Army
Reported Syria Cease-Fire Violations
Court poised to rule on Trump travel ban, other cases
Canadians Need To Know About Our Peacekeeping Mission in Mali
by New Age Islam News Bureau
the growing perception of rising communal tiff in the country, a 75-year-old
tradition of joint 'Urs' of two Muslim 'Pirs' with a Lord Hanuman idol
overseeing the last two days of function from his perch near the Dargah here,
has reinforced the intrinsic, inter-faith, Hindu-Muslim bonds.
five-day 'urs' (the death anniversary function) of Muslim 'Pirs,' Syed Pahalwan
Karamshah and Judian Baba, equally revered by the two communities, was kicked off
here on June 19 with holding of a joint cultural function at the dargah on the
first day, both by the Hindus and the Muslims.
as "Salana Urs Evam Jawabi Kirtan tournament" and held by the
'Hindu-Muslim Bhaichara samiti,' the first day's prayer of the function was
followed by a popular two-day Qawwali contest, coinciding with the 'urs' (death
anniversaries) of Syed Pahalwan Karamshah and Judian Baba respectively on June
20 and 21, 'Samiti' Chairmain Rustam Bhai told PTI.
last two days of function saw holding of 'jawabi kirtan tournament,' comprising
of joint singing of Hindu Bhajans at the Dargah, said Rustam Bhai.
event has been going on at least for the last 75 years, and has been an example
of Hindu-Muslim amity, which seems to be fast disappearing from our social
fabric. The five-day event started on June 19, and jawabi qawwalis were held on
June 20 and June 21," he said.
time Qawwali troupes from Madhya Pradesh and Nagpur came to participate in the
event. Subsequently jawabi kirtans were held on June 22 and June 23 in which
troupes from Allahabad, Hathras and Madhya Pradesh participated," he
is an unique event, where the Hindus and Muslims participate together and
reinforce the deep bond amongst themselves. Through this event, we would pray
to the Almighty that peace may prevail across the country and people of
different religions live amicably," he explained.
member Raj Kumar said, "At a time when communal animosity seems to be
raising its ugly head (in the state), this may provide some solace to us, as
members of both the communities (Hindus and Muslims) join hands and virtually
immerse themselves in divine music emanating from the programme venue."
added, "An idol of Lord Hanuman is also installed barely a few metres from
the dargah (within the programme venue), and people from different walks of
life come and offer prayers at the idol of Lord Hanuman. In fact, before the
jawabi keertan commences, prayers are offered to Lord Hanuman and his blessings
idol of Lord Hanuman stays at the programme venue for last two days, and
flowers, fruits and other items are offered to Him, Raj Kumar said.
asked to recall the situation in the vicinity of the Dargah on December 6,
1992, when reports of demolition of Babri Masjid came in, Raj Kumar said,
"Even at the height of Ram temple movement, communal amity among the local
Hindus and Muslims remained intact."
want to send a message of peace, goodwill, religious bonhomie and communal
amity through this event to the society," Raj Kumar said.
also drew attention towards Hanuman Chaalisaa being played, hours before the
grand finale, as organisers geared up to give final touches to the event on the
last day of the event.
patron Sunil Tantua who was also present at the programme venue said that the
event will go a long way in helping to strengthen the social fabric and bond
among Hindus and Muslims.
Saeed urges youth to play its role in protecting nation's ideology at party's
social media moot
Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) emir Hafiz Muhammad Saeed has urged the youth to play their
due role in protecting ideological boundaries of the country.
enthusiasm the youth showed at the time of creation of Pakistan needed to be
instilled again,” he said while speaking at social media workshop of the Milli
Muslim League (MML), JuD’s political face, which is taking part in the next
month elections from the platform of Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek.
Friday sermon as an educational tool for unity in multi-faith Malaysia
Islam is "ugama rasmi" or the official religion in Malaysia, it has
to play a major role in nation building with respect to forging racial and
religious harmony. The Friday sermon serves as an informal "teacher"
to all Muslim males in Malaysia, and what it says or does not say and how it
says it is of paramount importance to the construction of the social and
political web of the country.
Friday sermon is a 1,500 year old legacy of the Prophet Muhammad himself to
mould Muslim society into being the best kind of humanity there is. It used to
be that each mosque would have a khatib who was knowledgeable in Islam write
the sermon and preach about good habits, practices and acts in relation to
achieving the status of mukminun or a high spiritual believer.
the present day, Muslim countries such as Malaysia have a Department of
Religious Affairs that would prepare the sermons and require that the elected
khatib reads from it. The exceptions are mosques that are not under the
jurisdiction of the department and which were run by the Tabligh, political
parties or luminaries such as the the late Harun Din who passed away recently.
The main focus of this essay is to suggest better ways for the sermons to be a
force in educating Muslims to be larger than their parochial "Islamic
self" which is borne of the traditional mindset of the villages and
settlements. Malaysia is a nation and a state with half the population
subscribing to a belief system different than Islam. At the moment, the sermons
serve only to educate Muslims in a narrow context which results in an
"isolated mindset" concerning their worshipper's relationship
vis-a-vis the world.
have taken the liberty of reading 110 sermons produced in 2015-2017 by the
Selangor Department of Religious Affairs to check if:
Other races or religions are mentioned in a derogatory manner;
Extremist groups and acts of extremism such as bombings, killings, shouting or
speaking about other races or religions in a derogatory way are mentioned;
Values and goodness of other faiths similar to those of Islam are mentioned to
inculcate understanding and mutual respect.
respect to the first, I have established that sermons do not include derogatory
remarks about another race or religious belief. This is a positive and
excellent factor that will preserve religious and racial harmony. Furthermore,
each sermon ends with a repeated message of reminding Muslims to preserve the
racial and religious harmony in the country.
respect to the second, I could only find one sermon dealing with the Islamic
State, a known terrorist organisation (IS: Pengganas Bertopengkan Islam,
November 27, 2015). I found only three other sermons that mention IS and its
atrocities in passing. There was no mention of each atrocity as they occurred,
such as the Orlando shooting on June 12, 2016 which left 50 dead; the Nice
lorry attack that killed 84 people; the Egypt church bombings on April 9, 2017
that left 44 dead; and the Manchester Arena concert bombing on May 22, 2017
that killed 22 people. I checked the dates of the incidents and tracked down
the sermons that were read in the following weeks.
have also not found any reference to the "Cina-babi" incident of the
Red Shirts rally on September 16, 2016, or the "kafir harbi
"pronouncement of the Pahang mufti who had called for death to all who
opposed the RUU 355 shariah amendments proposed by PAS, on June 22, 2016.
respect to the third, not a single sermon mentioned that other religions shared
the values of Islam.
a tragedy, show humanity
Friday sermon writers should consider seriously giving time and emphasis to
each heinous act committed in the name of Islam. Although sermons are prepared
beforehand, in the age of the internet, there is no excuse for not dealing with
such atrocious acts as the killing of innocent human beings under the guise of
religious piety. When the Friday sermon is silent on the matter, most Muslims
will not think twice about it nor discuss it with their friends and family. In
this manner, Muslims can never exercise their ihsan attitude of compassion for
all if they were not made aware of this incident. Even though the media might
report a heinous acts, if the Friday sermons do not make mention of it then
there are many negative implications of such a silence. The silence of the
Sermons can be interpreted as a kind of indifference about the deaths of
non-Muslim which would make the Muslim totally apathetic about the fate of
others. From the perspective of the non-Muslim they might be wondering if
Muslims subscribe to decent human values or, worse, if the Muslims somehow
‘agree’ silently to these acts of aggression.
it is imperative that the khatib through a well written khutba or sermon take
time to explain the events and the message of hatred and sin of killing
innocent lives as extolled in the Quran and the hadith.
sermons must also deal with the events occurring at home, such as the Cina-babi
name calling and and the call for Bible burning. There was absolutely no
mention of this and the message of silence would make it seem that the official
position is of agreement or indifference. Both positions are totally
unacceptable if the nation is to forge ahead in the future with more meaningful
issues other than the tired rhetoric of Malay-Chinese or Islam-Christian
antagonism. The sermons must clearly rebuke those practicing religious and
racial slurs or extremist acts of burning churches or desecrating cemeteries
perpetrated. The Prophet had never taught such acts of "devotion" to
Islam by desecrating properties or shouting racial slurs.
that other faiths share Islam's values
respect to the third issue, this is where the Friday sermon can do the most
good. iIn a multi-faith and multi-cultural nation like Malaysia, the people
must understand each others’ belief systems and tolerate or celebrate each
others’ difference. The primary and secondary as well as the tertiary
educational system of this country have failed to deliver this fundamental of
character and attribute in the citizenry. With the existence of Islamic
religious schools and non-Malay vernacular schools that promises total
isolation from one another’s belief and culture, this is a recipe or a time
bomb to disaster in race and religious management in this country. The Friday
Sermon can deal with the similar values of spirituality and social
consciousness that exists in all teachings such as Buddhism, Confucianism,
Taoism, Hinduism, Christianity and others. If the force of the Friday sermon
can be used then many Muslims would look more kindly on other races and
religious adherents and we would have a more peaceful country.
Friday sermons also never dealt with such actions by civil movements like the
Green Planet movement, the Red Cross or the Human Rights Watchers. Although
there may some small differences between the attitudes of these organisations
with Islam, there are many more good acts and things that can be celebrated
together. If Muslims were to share these ideas and thoughts with these many
groups, then the stigma of being an isolated religion can be dispelled.
compassion, love and acceptance
have found that the Friday sermons deal with three things generally; the acts
of rituals, the meaning of Islamic history and the Muslim as a loyal citizen
and a productive worker. There is hardly any sermon that deals with compassion
for humanity and tolerance of others. In my random sampling of hundreds of
religious lectures by Muslim ustaz, the topic would be rituals and history.
Again the subject of compassion to all human kind is not a favourite topic. It
seems that Muslims have been educated that forms of devotions such as solat,
fasting, performing the haj supersede all other concerns; that if these forms
were perfect, one can go to heaven. In my understanding of Islam, these acts of
devotions must result in the attitude of compassion and tolerance as well as
love for all and it is those that would determine once place in the hereafter.
Prophet Muhammad has shown much compassion and tolerance in his life. He did
not take any action against the Taif people who pelted him with stones. He did
not hang or behead any citizen of Mecca when he liberated it as the head of of
10,000 strong Muslims. The Meccan leaders and relatives had mistreated him and
his family in the most despicable manner and yet he bore them no malice or
sought vengeance .
my random listening of many sermons, lectures and speeches by non-Muslim
personalities who are Buddhists, Christians, Hindus or Atheists, these people
concentrate on the issue of compassion, tolerance and love for all and never
mention anything of formalistic rituals as acts of devotions that supersede
acts of the heart. The Muslim scholars give speeches, sermons and teachings
that are of the opposite content.
the 21st century, Islam is at a crossroads. It will either be accepted as a
civilised faith or it will be shunned as a faith that tolerates and encourages
atrocities against others. It can be known also as a religion that is self
indulgent of its own virtues. It can be known as a religion that rejects all
teachings and lessons of human civilisation and accepts only its own sources of
teachings. It will be the most parochial, narrow, intolerant and non-accepting
of all. Unless Muslims are educated by teachings in schools or mosques to be
what the Prophet Muhammad wants, as a mercy to mankind, Islam will not have a
bright future. The Friday sermon is a key educational tool to transform a
selfish, intolerant and dispassionate Muslim into a human being that shines
with forgiveness, acceptance and love for all mankind. – June 25, 2018.
Umar all praise for Turkish President Erdogan
Hurriyat Conference (M) Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has congratulated President of Turkey,
Recep Erdogan, on winning the 2018 Presidential elections.
Umar called him “an ardent supporter of Kashmiris right to self-determination.”
Recep Erdogan had 52.9 percent of the vote with 93.7 percent of the votes
counted in Turkey’s presidential election on Sunday, TRT World reported.
main opposition’s presidential candidate, Muharrem Ince, was runner up in the
election results at 30.6 percent votes.
Muslims in Berlin team up on bike rides against hatred
Jun 24 (AP) Some 25 Jews and Muslims teamed up on tandem bicycle rides through
the German capital today in a protest against growing anti-Semitism and attacks
on Muslims in the country.
were rabbis and imams, others included women in headscarves and Jewish
community members donning skullcaps from Berlin and beyond who shared the bikes
on a tour through the city.
Elias Dray, one of the organizers of the ride that started at Berlin's
Holocaust memorial, said the interfaith tour was intended to boost contacts
between Jews and Muslims and other Germans.
often prejudice in places where there's little contact," said Dray, who
works as a community rabbi in the Bavarian town of Amberg. "Anywhere it's
a big gain to get to know Judaism and Islam." He rode a tandem together
with Berlin Imam Ender Cetin. They and others wore white vests with the words:
"Jews and Muslims for respect and tolerance." In addition to the 25
interfaith-bikers, dozens of people joined the bicycle tour through Berlin's
downtown in a show of solidarity.
has been on the rise in Germany lately and while attacks on Muslims have
rising tensions come as Germany grapples with an influx of more than 1 million
mostly Muslim migrants, along with the rise of a nationalist party, the
Alternative for Germany, which was elected to Parliament last year for the
first time. Its leaders are known for their openly anti-Muslim stance, while
anti-Semitism has also featured in their statements, but less often.
further complicate things, some of the newly arrived Muslim migrants have added
a new strain of anti-Semitism by holding Jews responsible for the
of bullying of Jewish children by Muslim immigrant kids in schools across the
country have scared many Jews, while Muslim women among others often report
slurs and discrimination against them for wearing headscarves.
these tensions, Imam Cetin said, "the majority of Muslims and Jews want to
live peacefully together." "It must become a natural thing that we
live together in this city and, that we can be able to express our religion
openly," Cetin added. (AP) CPS CPS
to put Rohingya refugees under surveillance
administration in Jammu and Kashmir state plans to impose stricter surveillance
on Rohingya refugees following a call by Hindu groups to evict them from the
sensitive Indian region bordering Pakistan.
decision comes after an early June instruction from the federal government run
by the pro-Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to check activities of refugees
in the Muslim-dominated state.
and agencies will record the biometric details and activities of the Rohingya,
a state government official told ucanews.com on June 18.
reports said the federal Home Ministry had written to the state chief secretary
asking not to allow the movement of Rohingya Muslims beyond certain locations.
letter said Rohingya are involved in crimes, anti-national activities, money
laundering and procuring fake or fabricated Indian documents, according to a
report on website greaterkashmir.com.
to government figures, 1,219 Rohingya families comprising 5,107 people live in
Jammu and Kashmir. Among them, 4,912 hold UNHCR cards giving them refugee
groups claim the number of refugees could be much higher as hundreds of
thousands of Rohingya fled their native Rakhine State in Myanmar following
violence and discriminatory treatment in the Buddhist-majority state.
Myanmar government refuses to accept them as natives and considers them as
migrants from Bangladesh. Estimates say some 40,000 have arrived in India,
mostly living in the slums of big cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad.
pro-Hindu parties accuse Rohingya refugees of sheltering separatist militants,
allegedly funded by Pakistan, and being involved in terrorism and illegal
instruction came when a coalition of the BJP and the regional Peoples
Democratic Party was ruling the state. The BJP withdrew support for the
government on June 19, resulting in the state coming directly under federal
leaders have been demanding immediate repatriation of all Rohingya refugees,
saying they support Muslim groups fighting to free the region from Indian rule.
leader Kulvinder Gupta accused the Rohingya of being involved in the February
suicide attack on Sunjuwan army camp that killed 10 people — six army
personnel, one civilian and three insurgents.
state president Ravinder Raina supported the government move. "Our stand
is very clear. We want Rohingya to move out of the state. The situation is
already volatile and the presence of such suspicious elements could put the
state at risk," he told ucanews.com.
Muslim groups have objected to such assertions, terming them as part of a
deeper conspiracy against Muslims.
refugees have already lost everything and now the government is inventing new
ways to harass them," said Shakeel Ahmad, a social activist based in
said surveillance is a ploy to coerce refugees to leave. "It is no longer
political. It has now been made an administrative issue and a problem of
national security. Such a process will expose the refugees to greater threats
and intimidation," he said. Rights activists and officials said the change
of government will only make the move against the Rohingya tougher as the state
now comes directly under federal rule.
the administration has to report to New Delhi about actions taken," said a
senior state government official who asked to remain anonymous.
Ahmad Khan, a senior lawyer and rights activist, told ucanews.com that
"the core focus" of the BJP will be its anti-Muslim stance because it
can turn that into votes in the 2019 general election.
stricter the action the BJP takes against these already ill-fated Rohingya, the
more it will hope for good Hindu votes. This is what it has been doing so
far," Khan said.
board chief donates for Ram temple
Chairperson of the UP Shia Central Waqf Board (UPSWB), who recently also formed
a political party donated Rs 10,000 for the construction of the Ram temple in
Ayodhya while visiting the temple construction workshop on Sunday. Rizvi was in
Ayodhya to meet and greet Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, the president of
Ramjanmbhoomi Nyas, on his birth day.
also said that extremist Muslims are free to "debar me from Islam for
this, like they always do.' Rizvi said that his contribution was only a
beginning and once the construction for the Ram temple at the disputed site
begins, several secular Muslims would and should be donating huge sums of
my status, I have made my first contribution for Ram temple," he said
while addressing the media in Ayodhya.
DELHI: While there is no change in policy under governor's rule in Jammu and
Kashmir on handing over bodies of local terrorists killed in anti-terror
operations to their families, J&K police are ensuring that their funerals
remain uneventful with only close relatives and limited number of people from
the village in attendance.
bodies of all four Islamic State-influenced terrorists killed in Anantnag on
Friday were handed over to their respective families. Mobile internet services
in the home village/town of the slain terrorists as well as adjoining areas
were suspended to rule out efforts to mobilise large crowds by playing on
emotions. Access routes to the village were monitored by J&K police
personnel to ensure that outsiders did not converge in huge numbers at the
funeral site. As a result, the funerals of all four terrorists, including two
from Anantnag and one each from Srinagar and Pulwama, were understated, quiet
affairs with no open celebration of their 'martyrdom' or flashing of Islamic
State flags," an officer of the security establishment in J&K said.
contacted, J&K DGP Shesh Paul Vaid acknowledged that a "lot of
effort" had gone to ensure peaceful last rites of the four ISJK
terrorists. He added that J&K police was following standard operating procedures
for cordon-and-search operations by making sure that terrorists engaged in
encounters were given a fair opportunity to surrender before being neutralised.
"That is why in the encounter in Kulgam on Sunday, one of the terrorists,
a local Kashmiri who had joined Lashker-e-Taiba barely two months ago, agreed
to surrender along with his weapons," Vaid said.
is a view within BJP that bodies of local Kashmiri terrorists killed in
counter-terror operations should not be handed over to their families and
instead be buried at the village/town where the encounter took place. This,
argue some party leaders, will ensure that funerals do not become a forum to
eulogise slain terrorists as 'martyrs', fan hatred against security forces,
radicalise young Kashmiris gathered at the funeral site and recruit them into
clashes might break out in Karnataka if Haj Bhavan named after Tipu Sultan: BJP
leader KG Bopaiah
row over plans to rename ‘Haj Bhavan’ in Bengaluru after Tipu Sultan, the
18th-century ruler of the Mysore kingdom, shows no signs of ending with BJP
leader K G Bopaiah saying his party wanted it renamed after late President APJ
party leaders, including B S Yeddyurappa, who is our state BJP president, want
Haj Bhavan renamed after Abdul Kalamji, instead of Tipu Sultan,” he told PTI.
a former Speaker, fears that communal clashes might break out across Karnataka
if the state government renames Haj Bhavan after Tipu Sultan.
BJP leader was replying to a query on Minority Welfare and Wakf Minister B Z
Zameer Ahmed Khan’s June 22 statement that he would discuss with the chief
minister the demand for renaming of Haj Bhavan to ‘Hazrat Tipu Sultan Haj
had said that officials at a recent Haj committee review meeting told him there
were several requests to rename the Haj Bhavan, which accommodates Haj
pilgrims, and that he would discuss it with the chief minister.
BJP is opposed to the plan to rename Haj Bhavan, saying it was a building for
the entire Muslim community and not just for Tipu’s followers.
BJP leader and former deputy chief minister R Ashoka had said Haj Bhavan was
among the development projects of the Yeddyurappa government and that Congress
was now trying to ‘hijack’ it by naming it after Tipu.
militants, including a top Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) commander, were killed during
a gunfight with security forces, while another “surrendered” in Kulgam district
of south Kashmir on Sunday, police said.
to the police, the terror outfit’s divisional commander, Shakoor Ahmad Dar, was
killed in the operation. Categorised as A+ militant, Dar was on a list of
most-wanted militants that was released by the security agencies recently. A
resident of Tengpora in Kulgam, he had joined militant ranks in September 2016
after the killing of Hizbul commander Burhan Muzaffar Wani. DGP S P Vaid has
confirmed that Dar was the divisional commander of LeT.
second militant killed in the gunfight has been identified as Muaviya, a
joint team of J&K Police, Special Operations Group (SOG), Army and the
paramilitary forces had cordoned off Chadder village in Kulgam’s Qaimoh on
Sunday following inputs about presence of militants in the area. As the
security forces started combing operations in the village, the militants opened
fire at the security forces, which triggered a gunfight, the police said.
third militant, who was injured in the gunfight, “surrendered” before the
forces. Police sources identified him as Shakir Ahmad, a local, who had joined
militant ranks two months ago.
forces once again motivated a local youth, who had recently joined the
terrorist cadre, to surrender today in Kulgam,” said Defence spokesman Col
several youths from Qaimoh and surrounding villages took to streets and lobbed
stones at security personnel soon after they launched search operations. Yawar
Ahmad (23), resident of Gassipora, was killed as security forces opened fired
to quell protests. Over two dozen protestors were also injured in the clash.
the allegations that Indian High Commissioner Ajay Bisaria was denied access to
a famous Sikh Gurdwara near Islamabad, Pakistan on Sunday said the diplomat had
agreed to cancel his visit following the protests by the Sikh pilgrims against
the release of controversial movies in India.
response from Islamabad came a day after India summoned Pakistan’s Deputy High
Commissioner in New Delhi Syed Haider Shah and lodged a strong protest over the
denial of access to its envoy in Islamabad and consular officials to visit
Gurdwara Panja Sahib and meet visiting Indian pilgrims.
to the incident, Indian envoy Bisaria said he was not allowed to meet the
Indian pilgrims and added that the matter has been taken up with Pakistan. “I
was not allowed to go in to meet with the Indian pilgrims (visiting the
Gurdwara Panja Sahib near Islamabad) which is a normal diplomatic duty of an
envoy. It has been taken up at all levels. We hope such things are not
repeated,” Bisaria was quoted as saying by ANI.
Delhi also conveyed to the Pakistan side that preventing the Indian High
Commission officials from discharging their consular responsibilities was in
violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations of 1961, and the
1974 bilateral Protocol on visit to religious shrines. This was the second
consecutive time Pakistan has denied access to the Indian High Commissioner to
meet the Indian pilgrims.
in the day, Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal tweeted that Sikh
pilgrims “were protesting against maltreatment in India & release of
controversial movies.” He said the Indian high commissioner agreed to cancel
his visit after being informed about the heightened pilgrim sentiments.
also said that more than 300 Indian Sikhs are visiting Pakistan for the death
anniversary of Raja Ranjit Singh and a special train was arranged from Attari
to Wagah for the Sikh yatris “who are always welcome to Pakistan for their
religious and cultural ceremonies”.
seeks votes to impose Sharia in country
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal central leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman said on
Sunday that the Islamic world was adhering great hopes from Pakistan and the
day was not far when Pakistan would come up to their expectations to lead the
change will come through the imposition of Islamic laws in the country and if
Muttahida Majlis Amal was given the opportunity in July 25 elections, we will
impose Islamic Sharia in the country,” he said while addressing the first ever
election rally in Peshawar.
congratulated the success of Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkish is presidential
elections and hoped that the Turkish president would keep up his efforts for
the unity of the Islamic world. He said that alliance of the religious
political parties was the need of the hour and through this alliance, the
religious parties would succeed to form a government.
urged the masses to consider their vote as a sacred trust and elect those who
were really sincere to the country. He said that the economy Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa
has baldy suffered during the PTI government tenure and it would take time to
restore the old glory of the Peshawar city.
said that their rivals were preaching western agenda in Pakistan but they would
not succeed in their mission. He said that the MMA would foil the designs of
those who put hurdles in the way of imposing Islamic laws and were introducing
western culture to the country.
want to make Pakistan more modern, developed and true welfare Islamic state,”
the MMA leader said. He said that they would lay the foundation for an
independent and sovereign country, where everyone will get free and speedy
said that western powers want to snatch their freedom and push them towards
anarchy but with the help of Allah Almighty, no one could defeat the Islamic
ideology and Muslims could better defend their life and honour.
on the rally, JI chief Sirjul Haq said the ‘status-quo’ politics has nurtured
since the inception of the country. He said the country’s debt had escalated to
$185 billion during last 70-years. He alleged the rulers had received loans in
the name of Pakistan but accumulated it in their foreign accounts.
said corruption was rampant in the country. He added that major issues like
energy crisis, provision of clean drinking water, best health and education
facilities to everyone and establishment of better road-infrastructure raimed unresolved.
added that the MMA would generate employment opportunities for the youth and
those who were unemployed would be given special allowances while five percent
of the budget would be allocated for education.
have failed to establish Pakistan as an independent and sovereign country
during last 72 years,” he lamented. He said that the MMA’s prime objective was
to make Pakistan a true Islamic welfare country, followed by elimination
interest-based economic system, raising the core issues of Kashmir and
Palestine, bringing back the looted national wealth to the country as well as
the provision of other basic amenities to the masses.
said that the MMA was Islamic alliance aimed to make Pakistan an Islamic
welfare state and get the country rid of international agents.
provincial govt destroyed KP's economy: Maulana Fazl
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman claimed that the
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's economy has been completely destroyed by the previous
a public rally at Ring road, Rehman said that the PTI government indebted the
people of the province by Rs325 billion.
Muslim world looks towards Pakistan for the resolution of persisting
issues," he said to a charged crowd, adding, "change will only come
if we raise the flag of Islam in
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam F chief also congratulated Tayyap Erdogan on the recently-held
polls in Turkey.
Jamaat-e-Islami Chief Siraj-ul-Haq addressed the gathering, saying that the
public needs to get the country rid of corrupt mafia through vote.
said that the leaders of the parties included in the coalition don't have their
names in Panama.
JI emir said that the National Accountability Bureau failed to hold accountable
corrupt people and now public will do it.
said that the coalition will implement Shariah in the country even if its given
a-day to govern the country.
need real democracy here not a Lotacracy," he said.
introduces 12-point election manifesto
June 5, the revived religious political parties’ alliance had announced its
12-point manifesto for general elections 2018.
a press conference, the MMA leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that the
alliance’s manifesto includes implementation of Nizam-e-Mustafa (PBUH),
safeguarding all Islamic provisions in the constitution, empowered parliament,
ensuring free and fair judiciary and devolution of power.
dignified and independent foreign policy will be ensured in the country if the
people of Pakistan choose MMA in coming polls,” Rehman added, “new provinces
should not be made on ethnic and linguistic basis but the alliance won’t oppose
any movement calling for new provinces.”
MMA leader said that education, provision of employment and abolition of
unnecessary direct and indirect taxes, and subsidy on necessity items have been
prioritised by the alliance.
said that the religious alliance would ensure construction of new dams,
effective mechanism for generation and distribution of power and will make a
concrete strategy to counter India’s aggression over water supply to Pakistan.
stand for giving employment opportunities to the native population in CPEC
projects and for farmer-friendly policies," he said.
to a question over the ongoing case in the Supreme Court on his security
protocol, Rehman challenged Chief Justice of Pakistan to swap his security
protocol with him.
An independent candidate contesting the National Assembly and Punjab province
elections in Pakistan has declared around Rs 403 billion in assets, according
to a media report.
Hussain Shaikh, contesting from NA-182 and PP-270 in Muzaffargarh, claims that
he owns land comprising almost 40 per cent of Muzaffargarh city as well as the
Lang Malana, Taliri, Chak Taliri and Latkaran areas, Dawn reported.
claims that the land had previously been disputed, but a Supreme Court bench
comprising the chief justice, Justice Faisal Arab and Justice Umar Atta Bandial
recently decided in his favour in a case that had went on for around 88 years,
the paper said. Shaikh said the land
owned by him was worth approximately Rs 403.11 billion.
nomination papers also state the worth of the previously disputed land at
between Rs 300 and Rs 400 billion, in addition to other pieces of land valued
in tens of millions of rupees.
is now the richest candidate according to details of assets declared in the
nomination papers that have come forward so far.
have been numerous successes in the long fight against militancy and the
country is undeniably more stable and secure than it was just a few years ago.
But two events in recent days have indicated that past and present achievements
will not automatically guarantee continuing and future success in the long war.
killing of several militants in South Waziristan, who according to security
officials allegedly returned to Pakistan from Afghanistan along with other
recently returning refugees, has underlined the difficult of fully securing a
region where a major military operation was carried out nearly a decade ago.
the banned TTP in exile quickly identifying and seemingly arriving at a
consensus for a new leader, Noor Wali Mehsud, has underlined that the mere
elimination of a senior militant leader will not necessarily lead to an
unravelling of the group. Indeed, the Pakistani security and intelligence
apparatus will need to be on the highest alert in the days and weeks ahead. New
militant leaderships often need to demonstrate a willingness and ability to
launch terrorist attacks and the case of the current TTP head may be no
upcoming general election and what is expected to be frenetic campaigning in
the final weeks ahead of the election will surely be the target of militants.
challenge for the state to hold elections in a climate relatively free from the
threat of militant violence will be immense. But the accumulated experience of
a decade of regularly scheduled elections, counter-insurgency campaigns and
counterterrorism operations ought to help the state in providing stability and
is hoped that the ECP and the caretaker governments will work closely and
effectively with political parties to coordinate election-related activities.
Mutual cooperation is in everyone’s interest.
path to addressing the longer-term threat that the TTP presents is clear.
Reciprocal steps between Pakistan and the Afghan government, supported by the
US in particular, for regional peace and stability are needed.
US has helped Pakistan by eliminating several successive Pakistani militant
chiefs in drone strikes, but it has been inconsistent in its policies in the
region and has put too much of an onus on this country to ‘do more’ at all
short-lived Afghan Taliban ceasefire at the end of Ramazan, however,
illuminated the possibilities of peace in Afghanistan. The memorable images of
Afghan government officials and security personnel embracing members of the
Afghan Taliban demonstrated, albeit briefly, that a better future for
Afghanistan is within grasp.
KOTAL: Activists of Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F and tribal elders affiliated with
Fata Grand Alliance demonstrated here on Sunday against the merger of the
tribal region with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
on the occasion, JUI-F candidate from NA-43 Mufti Ejaz, Malak Salahuddin,
Mirajuddin Shinwari and Malak Abdur Razzaq said that the merger plan would
deprive tribal students of their legitimate quota in educational institutions,
professional colleges and of jobs.
said the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government in connivance with the federal
government wanted to unlawfully take control of unexplored natural resources of
speakers said the merger was imposed on the people at the behest of some
foreign powers and that the tribesmen would not succumb to any pressure. They
said the tribesmen wanted either an independent legislative council or a
separate province instead of the region’s merger with KP.
said the tribesmen would start demonstrations in Fata and all major cities of
Pakistan if the merger plan was not reversed.
The Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) lacks a proper mechanism to determine
if candidates contesting in the upcoming general elections are included in the
Fourth Schedule list (involvement/suspicion for involvement in terrorism), a
local media outlet reported on Sunday.
National Counterterrorism Authority (NACTA) which holds the relevant data and
the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) which analyses the candidates, has not
yet been approached by the ECP.
chief Ihsan Ghani accused provincial home departments, arguing that they held
the updated data while an ECP official blamed the FIA, saying that the agency
should know if someone is placed on the list.
meeting between ECP and NACTA official was agreed to but the subject of the
discussion was to determine security threats against particular candidates.
an FIA official said that the agency had not yet been requested by the ECP to
provide information on candidates placed on the Fourth Schedule list.
list from May, 2018 shows that a total of 7,779 people and 4,808 bank accounts
were mentioned in the list.
Umno Youth chief pledges moderate approach to Islam
LUMPUR: Newly-elected Umno Youth chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki (pic) said
he faced an "uphill battle" when campaigning for the post.
was a daunting and uphill battle as I was considered as an outsider to the
when I announced my candidacy, everyone volunteered and teamed up to form
WhatsApp groups. It was a very organic machinery," he told reporters at a
press conference at the Umno headquarters at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC)
here on Sunday (June 24). The results of the party youth wing polls is an
indication that grassroot members wanted change, he noted.
Asyraf, who was a deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department in charge
of Islam, vowed to adopt a moderate approach towards Islam.
has been preaching Islam, but not the version preached by PAS.
need to explain to the people that we have never preached an extreme version of
Islam," he said.
cited Sabah as example of where Umno has to adopt a more "flexible
approach" in managing the state.
is not all Islam in Sabah as you can see the different faces of Malaysia.
new Tenom Umno Youth leader (in Sabah), for example, is a Christian," he
Umno losing ground in the polls, Dr Asyraf opined the party lost support
because it was viewed as arrogant and corrupted.
the people were complaining about the high cost of living, some people were
living in luxury.
it is right or wrong, that has become the perception of the people," he
stressed that leaders "must not only be clean but seen to be clean"
by the rakyat.
noted that Umno is now the Opposition and owes a responsibility to the rakyat
to be an effective check and balance to the new Pakatan Harapan government.
new Wanita Umno chief Dr Noraini Ahmad thanked the outgoing chief Tan Sri Shahrizat
Jalil for her contributions to the wing.
is the backbone of Barisan, and I vow to continue the legacy that was left
behind by Shahrizat," she said.
will face a hard challenge, and work to return the trust of the rakyat to Umno,
the party we love," said Dr Noraini.
are no longer the government, but we will continue moving forward," she
JAYA: PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has hailed Turkish President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan’s recent electoral win as a “victory for the Islamic world”.
a letter congratulating Erdogan on winning a second term in the recent
presidential election, Anwar said Turkey’s progress and its place in the world
would be more assured under Erdogan’s “dynamic stewardship”.
am also convinced that your victory is also a victory for the Islamic world in
portraying a modern and progressive face of Islam that embraces change while
not compromising on the values of our faith and the fundamental teachings of
the Holy Prophet,” he said.
also congratulated the people of Turkey for their peaceful participation in
their nation’s democratic process.
resounding mandate given by the people is a testament to your leadership of not
only Turkey, but the region during trying times,” he said.
am convinced that your commitment to democracy, the continued betterment of the
Turkish people, the promotion of peace and the eradication of subversive
elements which were key election promises by the AK party contributed greatly
to your victory this second time around,” he added.
Erdogan, the Turkish government has either taken over or shut down media
organisations, while thousands of people have been detained since a coup
attempt in 2016.
to a referendum last year, Erdogan will assume major new powers under Turkey's
new constitution, among them the power to directly appoint top public officials
and to intervene in the country's judiciary.
critics say this would place too much power in the executive, undermining the
checks and balances needed for a properly functioning democracy.
however argues that he needs this kind of authority to address the country’s
economic woes and to defeat Kurdish rebels.
Anwar said Erdogan’s declaration of “one nation, one flag, one country, one
state” in his victory speech is the true mark of a statesman in bringing
together opposing sides after a hard-fought election.
you know, we here in Malaysia too are going through an unprecedented chapter in
our nation’s history following the victory of my coalition party for the first
ranks and uniting different factions is our first task in taking our nation
Muslim group wants action against tourists caught dancing at mosque
KINABALU, June 24 —The Pertubuhan Penyatuan Islam Sabah (PPIS) has called for
appropriate action against the two tourists who were caught dancing in a viral
video taken in front of the Kota Kinabalu City Mosque.
president Datuk Nani Sakam said the association had also lodged a police report
against the tourists at the Kota Kinabalu police headquarters here today.
lodged a police report today to urge relevant quarters especially the Sabah
Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry to take appropriate action against
the two individuals,” he told reporters after lodging the report.
took more than 17 years for St. Clara Church to get its permit and final
approval from the municipal authorities in Bekasi, West Java.
of those who fought hard to get support from local Muslims was Antonius Giri
Martanto, who now sits on the parish council. He said it was quite an ordeal.
legally build a church in Indonesia one requirement is to win approval from
local Muslims, which means gathering at least 60 signatures as an endorsement
groups, however accused us of many things to stop us being becoming legal,
including forging the signatures," he told ucanews.com.
a result local Catholics' efforts to build a church dragged on for years.
they were rewarded when the Mayor of Bekasi, Rahmat Effendi, finally approved
the permit in 2015. It paved the way for the construction of the church and
54, was elected mayor in 2013, but despite harboring hopes of change, Catholics
were also wary because previous mayors were not willing to defy hardliners.
Effendi was made of sterner stuff and "looked into our appeals personally
and led the signature verification team," Martanto said.
wanted to know every detail of the permit application process to make sure it
abided by a 2006 joint ministerial decree on the establishment of worship
places, which stipulated the 60-signature rule.
discovered that the original signatures collected by church officials in 1999
were valid, not fabricated as claimed by hard-line groups.
even as construction of St. Clara Church began, groups such as the notorious
Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) continued to protest. During a protest in March
2017, several people were injured, including five policemen.
confronted the hardliners and defended the church, saying it would be better to
shoot him rather than demand he revoke the permit.
commitment won the overwhelming support of Catholics, according to Martanto,
adding that they will be fully behind him in upcoming elections on June 27.
has a population of 2.4 million, mostly Muslims, while Protestants comprise
196,000 and Catholics about 71,000, of which 9,400 go to St. Clara Church.
years ago, according to a study by the Setara Institute for Democracy and
Peace, Bekasi ranked second worst, or 93rd on a list of 94 of Indonesia's most
also in West Java province was the worst.
Effendi has transformed the city's bad image.
year Bekasi's ranking improved significantly, coming in at 53, while nearby
Jakarta dropped due to Muslim protests against former Christian governor Basuki
to Walili, a researcher at the Setara Institute, the improvement was down to
Effendi who stood up to defend the constitutional rights of the people.
the rights of the St. Clara Catholics was a bold move considering the level of
intolerance minority religions faced by hardliners who wanted to make Bekasi a
kota santri, or Muslim city, he said.
more local leaders like are needed, he added.
being elected mayor, Effendi has pledged to make Bekasi a city of tolerance and
peace, and eliminate the oppression by the majority over minorities.
to Effendi "diversity is irresistible and everyone must accept and live
year the National Human Rights Commission (Komnas HAM) presented him with an
award his for his "unceasing efforts to transform Bekasi into a
multi-religious friendly city."
Manan, head of the local chapter of the Interfaith Harmony Forum also praised
Effendi for transforming the city and educating people about diversity.
Pati Stefanus Ginting of the Synod of Gospel Churches of Indonesia, said
Effendi is a true leader who wants to serve and make all people safe.
once said that he is like a bus driver, who does not ask people's ethnic, race
or religion when he picks them up, but just drives them to their
destination," he said.
says he steadfastly defends Indonesia's pluralistic society because it is a
God-given reality for its people.
said public office to him is a means to promote the so-called Islam of
rahmattan lil alami, or Islam for all mankind.
conviction is that the Prophet Muhammad was asked by God to mend the broken
behavior of people, and this applies even up to now," said Effendi.
inspires me to continue to stand for something fundamental for other
strongly criticized other Muslims who think that they are better than others
and take the law into their hands, which he said were acts of anarchy.
by nationalist parties
June 27, about 160 million Indonesians will head to the polls to elect 17 new
governors as well as more than 150 district heads and mayors.
is seeking a second term and many issues such as unemployment, education and
poverty need to be addressed.
for Christians, freedom of religion is a major concern and they are pinning
their hopes on Effendi who is supported by parties defending pluralism, including
the Golkar Party and President Joko Widodo's Indonesian Democratic Struggle
rival, however, is supported by more Islamic-centered groups, such as the
Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) and Great Indonesia Movement Party (Gerindra),
led by former presidential candidate, Prabowo Subiyanto.
May, the PKS was accused of harboring extremists.
electing a new mayor, voters in Bekasi will also elect new West Java governor.
The province is known as a stronghold for conservative and radical Muslims, and
recorded the most acts of intolerance in Indonesia according to a 2016 study by
the Wahid Foundation.
Dr. James M. Dorsey
former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak was the main loser in last month’s
election upset that returned Mahathir Mohamad to power as his country’s
anti-corruption crusader. Yet, Mr. Razak is not the only one who may be paying
the price for allegedly non-transparent and unaccountable governance.
is Saudi Arabia with a Saudi company having played a key role in the 1Malaysia
Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal in which Mr. Razak is suspected to have
overseen the siphoning off of at least US$4.5 billion and the Saudi government
seemingly having gone out of its way to provide him political cover.
attention has focussed largely on the re-opening of the investigation of Mr.
Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, both of whom have been banned from travel
abroad and have seen their homes raided by law enforcement, Saudi Arabia has
not escaped policymakers’ consideration. Mr. Razak has denied all allegations
geopolitical fallout of the scandal is becoming increasingly evident. Defence
Minister Mohamad Sabu suggested this week that Malaysia was re-evaluating the
presence of Malaysian troops in Saudi Arabia, dispatched to the kingdom as part
of the 41-nation, Saudi-sponsored Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition
ATM (Malaysian Armed Forces) presence in Saudi Arabia has indirectly mired
Malaysia in the Middle East conflict… The government will make a decision on
the matter in the near future after a re-evaluation has been completed,” said
Mr. Sabu, who is known for his critical view of Saudi Arabia.
a commentary published late last year that suggests a potential Malaysian
re-alignment of its Middle Eastern relationships, Mr. Sabu noted that Saudi
wrath has been directed “oddly, (at) Turkey, Qatar, and Iran…three countries
that have undertaken some modicum of political and economic reforms. Instead of
encouraging all sides to work together, Saudi Arabia has gone on an offensive
in Yemen, too. Therein the danger posed to Malaysia: if Malaysia is too close
to Saudi Arabia, Putrajaya would be asked to choose a side.”
a city south of Kuala Lumpur, is home to the prime minister’s residence.
Sabu went on to say that “Malaysia should not be too close to a country whose
internal politics are getting toxic… For the lack of a better word, Saudi
Arabia is a cesspool of constant rivalry among the princes. By this token, it
is also a vortex that could suck any country into its black hole if one is not
careful. Indeed, Saudi Arabia is governed by hyper-orthodox Salafi or Wahhabi
ideology, where Islam is taken in a literal form. Yet true Islam requires
understanding Islam, not merely in its Quranic form, but Quranic spirit.”
coming to office, Mr. Sabu has said that he was also reviewing plans for a
Saudi-funded anti-terrorism centre, the King Salman Centre for International
Peace (KSCIP), which was allocated 16 hectares of land in Putrajaya by the
Razak government. Mr. Sabu was echoing statements by Mr. Mahathir before the
potential strains in relations with Saudi Arabia, Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, Mr.
Mahathir’s newly appointed anti-corruption czar, who resigned from the
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in 2016 as a result of pressure to
drop plans to indict Mr. Razak, noted that “we have had difficulties dealing
with Arab countries (such as)…Saudi Arabia…”
investigation is likely to revisit 1MDB relationship’s with Saudi energy
company PetroSaudi International Ltd, owned by Saudi businessman Tarek Essam
Ahmad Obaid as well as prominent members of the kingdom’s ruling family who
allegedly funded Mr. Razak.
will not have been lost on Saudi Arabia that Mr. Mahathir met with former
PetroSaudi executive and whistle blower Xavier Andre Justo less than two weeks
after his election victory.
three-part BBC documentary, The House of Saud: A Family at War, suggested that
Mr. Razak had worked with Prince Turki bin Abdullah, the son of former Saudi
King Abdullah, to syphon off funds from 1MDB.
foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir came to Mr. Razak’s rescue in 2016 by declaring
that US$681 million transferred into the prime minister’s personal bank account
was a “genuine donation with nothing expected in return.”
Malaysian election as well as seeming Saudi complicity in the corruption
scandal that toppled Mr. Razak has global implications, particularly for the
United States and China, global powers who see support of autocratic and/or
corrupt regimes as the best guarantee to maintain stability.
is a lesson that initially was apparent in the 2011 popular Arab revolts that
toppled the leaders of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.
rollback of the achievements of most of those revolts backed by autocratic
leaders in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates bent on reshaping the
Middle East and North Africa in their mould has contributed to the mayhem,
violence and brutal repression engulfing the region.
addition, autocratic rule has failed to squash widespread economic and social
discontent. Middle Eastern states, including Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon
Iran, and most recently Jordan have witnessed
protests against rising prices, cuts in public spending and corruption.
public dissatisfaction, bubbling up in several countries, is a reminder that
even more urgent action is needed,” warned Christine Lagarde, the managing
director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
if held at all, more often than not fail to serve as a corrective in the Middle
East and North Africa because they are engineered rather than a free and fair
reflection of popular will. Elections in countries like Iraq and Lebanon serve
as exceptions that confirm the rule while Iran represents a hybrid.
a result, street protests, militancy and violence are often the only options
available to those seeking change.
that backdrop, Malaysia stands out as an example of change that does not
jeopardize stability. It is but the latest example of Southeast Asian nations
having led the way in producing relatively peaceful political transitions
starting with the 1986 popular revolt in the Philippines, the 1998 toppling of
Suharto in Indonesia, and Myanmar’s 2010 transition away from military
is true even if Southeast Asia also demonstrates that political transition is a
decades-long process that marches to the tune of Vladimir Lenin’s principle of
two steps forward, one step backwards as it witnesses a backslide with the rise
in the Philippines of President Rodrigo Duterte’s authoritarianism, stepped up
jihadist activity, the 2014 military coup in Thailand, increasingly autocratic
rule in Cambodia, the rise of conservatism and intolerance in Indonesia, and
the plight of the Rohingya in Myanmar.
anything, Malaysia constitutes an anti-dote.
hottest contest in Indonesia's regional polls on Wednesday is being fought in
province is home to more than 30 million voters - some 21 per cent of 152
million who will vote on Wednesday - and is where opposition leader Prabowo
Subianto won more ballots than President Joko Widodo in the 2014 presidential
race before the former lost the national popular vote.
the gubernatorial contest is a four-way race, the front runners are clear:
Bandung mayor Ridwan Kamil, 46, and his running mate, Tasikmalaya regent Uu
Ruzhanul Ulum, 49; and the pair of veteran actor Deddy Mizwar, 63, and
Purwakarta regent Dedi Mulyadi, 47.
Ridwan/Uu pair is backed by political party NasDem, founded by Mr Joko's
closest ally and media magnate Surya Paloh, as well as the National Awakening
Party (PKB), United Development Party (PPP) and the nationalist Hanura Party.
Ridwan earned a master's degree in urban design from the University of
California, Berkeley. In 2006, he was the Indonesian winner of the British
Council's Young Creative Entrepreneur award, and was awarded architect of the
year by Elle Decor magazine three years later.
1994, he was selected as a Singapore International Foundation-Asean fellow and
spent time at the National University of Singapore (NUS). "My stint as an
exchange student in NUS was the first time I had ventured out of
Indonesia," Mr Ridwan wrote in an article published by The Jakarta Post in
architect was based in New York, San Francisco and Hong Kong, and has worked on
major projects around the world. His projects include being involved in
planning work to develop an urban area in Singapore that would later be known
as the Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade.
Deddy/Dedi pair is backed by Golkar, Indonesia's second-largest political
party, and former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's Democratic Party.
Deddy was until recently West Java deputy governor and widely believed to be
the vote-getter in his electoral win with governor Ahmad Heryawan five years
ago, when they were backed by the Islam-leaning Prosperous Justice Party (PKS).
actor, who regularly plays the role of an Islamic cleric in movies and
advertisements, had earlier hoped to get the backing of PKS and Mr Prabowo's
Gerindra for the polls, but never saw it realised.
Ridwan/Uu and Deddy/Dedi pairings are seen to be largely inclined to support Mr
Joko's re-election bid next year.
latest poll by Saiful Mujani Research Centre showed the Ridwan/ Uu pair with
43.1 per cent support, and Deddy/Dedi with 34.1 per cent.
urged to unite to counter US 'economic war'
Vice President Es'haq Jahangiri has called on all Iranians to close ranks and
counter a "serious economic war" launched by the United States
against the Islamic Republic.
Americans, in their opinion, have begun a serious war against our country, thinking
they can succeed in crippling our economy so that Iran, in the words of the US
president, is forced back to the negotiating table," Jahangiri said
President Donald Trump has left a landmark nuclear deal with Iran and called
for fresh negotiations to include the Islamic Republic's missile capabilities
and its role in the Middle East, which Tehran has rejected.
the circumstances, all state officials including the government, Majlis, the
elite and political currents and all Iranian people are required to unite
against the big plot which has started and help pass this stage with dignity
said one of the areas "on the enemy's agenda to strike" is Iran's
transportation sector, where aviation, shipping and indemnity insurance are the
first to come under sanctions when the US reimposes them on the country.
month, Trump announced Washington’s exit from the 2015 nuclear deal, officially
called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and vowed to impose “the
highest level” of economic bans on the Islamic Republic.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also threatened Iran with the “strongest
sanctions in history” if it did not comply with a list of steep demands,
including ending uranium enrichment.
further underlined the need for swift action and decision-making in the the
industry and commerce sectors because they deal with the people's immediate
the JCPOA, Tehran agreed to put limits on certain aspects of its nuclear energy
program in exchange for the lifting of all nuclear-related sanctions.
has said it will remain committed to the deal for the time being, pending
negotiations with other signatories to the JCPOA to see if Tehran’s interests
are protected under an accord without the US.
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said on Saturday that the Islamic
Republic expects the European Union to put forward by the end of June its
package of proposals to save the multilateral agreement.
religious leaders hail Erdogan’s victory
leaders of non-Muslim communities in Turkey congratulated President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan on his success in presidential and parliamentary elections on
Armenian Catholic Archbishop Levon Zekiyan, Vicar of Armenian Patriarch of
Turkey Aram Ateshian, the head of the Jewish Community of Turkey Ishak
Ibrahimzadeh, Turkish Syriac-Catholic Church Patriarchal Vicar Orhan Canli, the
head of the Armenian Foundations Union Bedros Sirinoglu, chief rabbi of the
Jewish community in Turkey Ishak Haleva are among the religious leaders who
to unofficial results, with 96.31 percent of ballots counted, Erdogan received
52.68 percent of the vote.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won Turkey’s landmark election Sunday, the
country’s electoral commission said, ushering in a new system granting the
president sweeping new powers which critics say will cement what they call a
presidential and parliamentary elections, held more than a year early, complete
NATO-member Turkey’s transition from a parliamentary system of government to a
presidential one in a process started with a referendum last year.
nation has entrusted to me the responsibility of the presidency and the
executive duty,” Erdogan said in televised remarks from Istanbul after a
near-complete count carried by the state-run Anadolu news agency gave him the
majority needed to avoid a runoff.
early Monday, Supreme Election Council head Sadi Guven said 97.7 of votes had
been counted and declared Erdogan the winner.
said that based on unofficial results, five parties passed the threshold of 10
percent of votes required for parties to enter parliament.
Erdogan supporters waving Turkish flags gathered outside the president’s
official residence in Istanbul, chanting, “Here’s the president, here’s the
has been served!” said Cihan Yigici, an Erdogan supporter in the crowd.
of jubilant supporters of the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, or HDP,
also spilled into the streets of the predominantly Kurdish southeastern city of
Diyarbakir after unofficial results from Anadolu showed the party coming in
third with 11.5 percent of the legislative vote — surpassing the 10 percent
threshold needed to enter parliament.
HDP’s performance was a particular success since presidential candidate
Selahattin Demirtas, eight more of its lawmakers and thousands of party members
campaigned from jails and prisons. HDP says more than 350 of its election
workers have been detained since April 28.
imprisoned Demirtas, who has been jailed pending trial on terrorism-related
charges he has called trumped-up and politically motivated, was in third place
in the presidential race with 8.3 percent of the vote, according to Anadolu.
waved HDP flags and blared car horns. One party supporter, Nejdet Erke, said he
had been “waiting for this emotion” since morning.
insisted the expanded powers of the Turkish presidency will bring prosperity
and stability to the country, especially after a failed military coup attempt
in 2016. A state of emergency imposed after the coup remains in place.
50,000 people have been arrested and 110,000 civil servants have been fired
under the emergency, which opposition lawmakers say Erdogan has used to stifle
new system of government abolished the office of prime minister and empowers
the president to take over an executive branch and form the government. He will
appoint ministers, vice presidents and high-level bureaucrats, issue decrees,
prepare the budget and decide on security policies.
Turkish Parliament will legislate and have the right to ratify or reject the
budget. With Erdogan remaining at the helm of his party, a loyal parliamentary
majority could reduce checks and balances on his power unless the opposition
can wield an effective challenge.
president’s critics have warned that Erdogan’s re-election would cement his
already firm grip on power and embolden a leader they accuse of showing
increasingly autocratic tendencies.
apparent win comes at a critical time for Turkey. He recently has led a
high-stakes foreign affairs gamble, cozying up to Russian President Vladimir
Putin with pledges to install a Russian missile defense system in the
said the results carried on Anadolu misrepresented the official vote count by
the country’s electoral board. The main opposition party that nominated him for
the presidency, the CHP, said it was waiting for an official announcement from
the country’s electoral board.
also declared victory for the People’s Alliance, an electoral coalition between
his ruling Justice and Development Party and the small Nationalist Movement
Party, saying they had secured a “parliamentary majority” in the 600-member
unofficial results for the parliamentary election showed Erdogan’s Justice and
Development Party, or AKP, losing its majority, with 293 seats in the 600-seat
legislature. However, the small nationalist party the AKP allied with garnered
though we could not reach out goal in parliament, God willing we will be
working to solve that with all our efforts in the People’s Alliance,” Erdogan
president, who has never lost an election and has been in power since 2003,
initially as prime minister, had faced a more robust, united opposition than
ever before. Opposition candidates had vowed to return Turkey to a
parliamentary democracy with strong checks and balances and have decried what
they call Erdogan’s “one-man rule.”
combative president, Erdogan enjoys considerable support in the conservative
and pious heartland, having empowered previously disenfranchised groups. From a
modest background himself, he presided over an infrastructure boom that
modernized Turkey and lifted many out of poverty while also raising Islam’s
profile, for instance by lifting a ban on Islamic headscarves in schools and
critics say he has become increasingly autocratic and intolerant of dissent.
The election campaign was heavily skewed in his favor, with opposition
candidates struggling to get their speeches aired on television in a country
where Erdogan directly or indirectly controls most of the media.
a 54-year-old former physics teacher, was backed by the center-left opposition
Republican People’s Party, or CHP. He wooed crowds with an unexpectedly
engaging campaign, drawing massive numbers at his rallies in Turkey’s three
main cities of Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir.
will continue to "liberate Syrian lands" so that refugees can return
to Syria safely, President Tayyip Erdogan said in an election victory speech on
to supporters from the balcony of his ruling AK Party's headquarters in Ankara
after Sunday's presidential and parliamentary elections, Erdogan said Turkey
would also act more decisively against terrorist organizations.
won a new mandate in presidential elections in the first round of voting by
winning more than half of the votes, the chief of Turkey's election authority
Recep Tayyip Erdogan received the absolute majority of all valid votes,"
the head of the Supreme Election Committee (YSK) Sadi Guven told reporters in
Ankara, without giving further details or numbers after Sunday's polls.
released by Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency based on data from the YSK
also gave Erdogan a clear majority of votes.
won 52.5 percent in the presidential poll while his main rival Muharrem Ince,
of the secular Republican People's Party (CHP), was on 31.7 percent, Anadolu
news agency said, based on a 99 percent vote count.
Israeli military says it fired a Patriot missile at an unmanned aircraft that
approached its airspace near the Syrian frontier in the Golan Heights.
army said on Sunday that the missile did not hit the drone, and the aircraft
“retreated from the border.”
was not immediately clear who launched the drone, but in February Israel shot
down what it said was an Iranian drone that entered its airspace. It bombed
Iranian targets in Syria in response.
troops have launched an offensive against rebel forces in southwestern Syria,
near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
has expressed concerns about Iranian troops supporting Syrian President Bashar
Assad’s forces, and says it will not allow a permanent Iranian military
presence in Syria.
troops have targeted the Saudi capital Riyadh with a ballistic missile attack
while the kingdom claims to have intercepted the missiles.
Arabic-language al-Masirah television network on Sunday announced that the
missiles had hit Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Defense Information Center and
several other key locations in the city.
Saudi military claims to have intercepted the missiles.
ballistic missiles fired by Huthi were intercepted over Riyadh," state-run
al-Ekhbariya television said, without specifying whether there were any
casualties or damage.
Houthis have fired salvos of missiles at Saudi Arabia in recent months,
including the capital Riyadh, while the kingdom launched thousands of
airstrikes on Yemen, killing hundreds of civilians at hospitals, schools and
frequently reports intercepting missiles fired from Yemen, but various reports
have pointed out that US-made Patriot interceptors were repeatedly failing
against the counterattacks.
Houthi movement, which is a significant aid to the Yemeni army in defending the
country against the invading forces, has been running state affairs in the
absence of an effective administration during the past three years.
Arabia and its allies launched the war on Yemen in March 2015 to reinstall the
former Saudi-backed Hadi regime and crush the Houthi movement.
Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party have claimed
victory in Turkey's presidential and parliamentary elections.
people have given us the job of carrying out the presidential and executive
posts," said Erdogan in a speech from Istanbul on early on Monday.
hope nobody will try to cast a shadow on the results and harm democracy in
order to hide their own failure," he added.
country's main opposition party initially said that Erdogan would fall well
short of a first-round victory, but after the results were announced that it
would carry on its democratic struggle "whatever the result."
99 percent of votes counted in the presidential race, Erdogan had 52.5 percent.
across the country of 81 million people officially closed at 5 pm (1400 GMT).
There are no exit polls in Turkey and initial results are expected during the
were cast in 180,065 polling places across the country.
by Turks living abroad who cast their ballots in 60 countries at 123 embassies
and consulates will be counted at the same time in the capital Ankara.
main opposition presidential candidate Muharrem Ince said on Sunday Turkish
citizens should protect ballot boxes against possible fraud by President
Erdogan's ruling AK Party.
called the snap elections, bringing forward a vote that was expected to be held
in November 2019.
candidates were vying for the Turkish presidency. If a candidate wins just over
50 percent of the vote, he will win the presidency, but if not, there will be a
runoff on July 8.
won the last presidential election in 2014 after completing two terms as prime
April 2017, 51 percent of Turkish voters endorsed constitutional changes backed
by Erdogan, which grant new executive powers to the president and scrap the
post of prime minister.
of the reforms argue that they will modernize the country, but opponents fear a
possible authoritarian rule.
troops sent to back YPG/PKK terrorists in Syria
troops are continuing their support in eastern Syria for the YPG/PKK terrorist
group, according to local sources.
in the province of Deir Ez-Zor told Anadolu Agency on Sunday that the Italian
army sent 20 more soldiers to the area on Saturday evening.
to the sources -- requesting anonymity due to security concerns -- Italian
soldiers first traveled early this month from Iraq to the city of Al-Hasakah
before heading to Deir Ez-Zor.
soldiers were sent to the U.S. military base in the oil-rich Al-Omar region,
the sources said.
Italian soldiers, whose number is unknown, include military advisors who
supported U.S. and French forces in anti-Daesh terrorist group operations.
date the soldiers have not participated in any military operations against
Daesh terrorist group has been besieged in two separated border areas near the
Iraqi border, particularly near Deir Ez-Zor and Al-Hasakah.
May, the YPG/PKK, backed by the U.S. and France, began an anti-Daesh operation.
However, no gains against Daesh have yet been made.
its more than 30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the terrorist PKK has
taken some 40,000 lives. The YPG/PKK is its Syrian branch.
Jun 24 (AFP) Ten people with links to the radical far-right have been arrested
by anti-terrorist police in France over an alleged plot to attack Muslims,
judical sources said today.
arrests were made Saturday in operations across France but mainly on the
Mediterranean island of Corsica, the sources told AFP.
suspects had an "plan to commit a violent act targeting people of the
Muslim faith," one source close to the probe said.
source said the gang was looking to hit "targets linked to radical
has been hit by a string of jihadist attacks since early 2015, often by people
who have become radicalised or claim to have acted in the name of the Islamic
- Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini on Sunday told foreign
charities to stop rescuing migrants off Libya even as one group said 1,000
people were on boats in distress in the Mediterranean. With Italy - long the
frontline in Europe's migration crisis - vowing a new hardline stance, Salvini
told the aid groups to back off and let the Libyan coastguard take care of
the Libyan authorities do their work of rescue, recovery and return (of
migrants) to their country, as they have been doing for some time, without the
ships of the voracious NGOs disturbing them or causing trouble," he said.
ports are and will be closed to those who aid human traffickers," he said.
group Proactiva Open Arms said it had received "seven or eight"
messages alerting them to boats in distress in the Mediterranean on Sunday.
"Combining all the notifications, it would add up to 1,000 people"
near the coast of Libya, spokeswoman Laura Lanuza told AFP.
she said the Italian coastguard had told the group they "weren't
needed" and "the operation was being handled by the Libyan
the Libyan coastguard coordinates this effort, all these people will be sent
back to Libya," she said. The Libyan coastguard said it had rescued 97
migrants on Sunday and "other operations are under way", but did not
give further details.
recent weeks, Italy's new populist government has cracked down on foreign
rescue ships operating in the Mediterranean. Salvini has repeatedly accused the
charities of being complicit with human smugglers. "These boats can forget
about reaching Italy, I want to stop the business of trafficking and
mafia," Salvini said Saturday. The Italian coastguard also sent a message
to rescue boats operating in the Mediterranean Friday informing them it would
no longer be coordinating rescue operations in the Libya search and rescue
now on, under the Solas Convention (Safety of life at Sea), captains who are at
sea in the area near Libya will have to turn to the Tripoli Centre and the
Libyan Coast Guard for help," according to the message cited in the
groups, which have been chartering boats to rescue migrants, point to the very
difficult conditions for migrants in Libya as they attempt to reach Europe on
the perilous Mediterranean crossing.
once played an important role coordinating rescue missions but but Salvini
wants to drastically reduce Italy's involvement.
this month Salvini triggered an EU-wide row when he barred the Aquarius rescue
ship, chartered by French charity SOS Mediterranee, carrying around 630
migrants, from docking in Italy. Nearby Malta also turned the boat away and the
ship was later accepted by Spain.
other ships carrying hundreds of migrants - the German NGO ship Lifeline and
Danish container ship Alexander Maersk - are currently in the Mediterranean
awaiting instructions on where they will be allowed to dock.
Italy and Malta have refused to take them in.
mayor Ada Colau called on the Spanish government to help.
now more than 1,000 people adrift in seven boats and Italy intends to leave
them in the hands of Libya, where people are tortured, raped and
enslaved," she said on Twitter.
urged her own country to "help save lives" and said the migrants
could would be welcomed in her city.
is offered as a safe harbour."
William flies to Jordan Sunday on a trip that will see him become the first
member of Britain's royal family to pay an official visit to both Israel and
the Palestinian territories.
36-year-old Duke of Cambridge touches down in Amman for a first leg billed as a
chance to bond with Jordan's Crown Prince Hussein bin Abdullah, 23, a fellow
graduate of Britain's Royal Sandhurst Military Academy.
second in line to the British throne will then head to Israel Monday evening to
begin his history-making visit to the Jewish state and occupied West Bank.
will hold talks with both Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
Palace has underlined the “non-political nature of His Royal Highness's role --
in common with all royal visits overseas”.
the region is a minefield of sensitivities.
visit comes at a particularly volatile time after US President Donald Trump
recognised Jerusalem as capital of Israel and moved Washington's embassy there,
sparking Arab outrage and deadly clashes.
governed the region under a League of Nations mandate for almost three decades
until Israel's independence 70 years ago, and is still blamed by both sides for
sowing the seeds of a conflict that continues to wrack the region.
of William's arrival, the official schedule's reference to east Jerusalem as
“in the Occupied Palestinian Territories” sparked particular anger among some
right-wing Israeli politicians.
visits by British royals take place at the request of the UK government, but
statements from the prince's household have given little explanation for the
timing of this trip.
has long pushed for an official visit by a member of the British monarchy.
members of William's family -- including his father Prince Charles -- have made
unofficial visits to Israel and east Jerusalem in the past.
the trip, William will have plenty of reminders of the British role in the
Jerusalem he will stay at the King David hotel, which was Britain's
administrative headquarters during its rule of Palestine prior to Israeli
statehood in 1948.
1946 militant Jews waging violent resistance against British rule bombed the
building, killing and wounding scores of people, many of them British civil servants
or military personnel.
packed schedule will also see William meet with young people, British
servicemen and Syrian refugees while in Jordan.
Israel he will lay a wreath at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.
will visit the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and pay tribute at the tomb of his
great-grandmother Princess Alice of Greece, who was honoured by Israel for
sheltering Jews during World War II.
commander hopes Pakistan will persuade Taliban to join peace talks
commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission and the US forces in
Afghanistan General Nicholson has said that he is hopeful that Pakistan will
persuade Taliban to join peace talks.
Nicholson made the remarks during a visit to eastern Nangarhar province of
Afghanistan where he met with the provincial government officials to discuss
peace process, Afghan government’s ceasefire initiative, fight against ISIS,
and upcoming elections, according Nangarhar governor’s office.
said direct negotiations have not taken place with the Taliban group members
but diplomatic efforts are underway to persuade the Taliban group to
participate in peace talks.
NATO commander welcomed the recent announcement by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
and said he is hopeful that Pakistan will also step up efforts for the Afghan
peace and reconciliation process.
Nicholson also hailed the recent contacts between the Afghan and Pakistani
officials and called it a major effort for the Afghan peace process.
regards to the fight against ISIS loyalists, Gen. Nicholson said the coalition
forces remains committed to support the Afghan government in the fight against
the terror group.
governor of Nangarhar Hayatullah Hayat said a meeting was organized in the
presence of the provincial military officials to discuss the security of
elections, ceasefire with the Taliban, and fight against ISIS group.
further added that Gen. Nicholson has promised to support the Afghan government
regarding the security related issues.
of Grand Mosque of Mecca urges for extension of ceasefire in Afghanistan
Imam of the Grand Mosque of Mecca Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais has urged the
Afghans to extend the ceasefire after the successful declaration of a ceasefire
during Eid days.
his speech during the Friday prayers, Sheikh Al-Sudais said the Afghans must
consider the national interests of their country more than any other interests
and extend ceasefire in a bid to pave the way for intra-Afghan cooperation,
preserve the achievements of the country and contribute in reconstruction of
further added that the declaration of ceasefire was welcomed by the leadership
of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and they have demanded for the extension of
ceasefire by all parties involved in the conflict in a bid to pave the way for
peace and stability for the Afghan nation.
also added that the Afghan nation faces major issues due to the years of war
and the Islamic World supports the closure of the previous chapters and start
of a new chapter based on tolerance that would prevent further bloodshed,
prevent violence, and preserve the lives of the innocent people.
Afghan Air Force has carried out a series of heavy airstrikes targeting at
least four compounds of the anti-government armed militants in Badghis
Ministry of Defense (MoD) in a statement said the airstrike were carried out in
the vicinity of Bala Morghab district.
statement further added that four compounds of the anti-government armed
militants were targeted during the airstrikes.
to MoD, the airstrikes were carried out in Noorzai, Barekzai, Ishaqzai, and
Alizai villages, and as a result at least four compounds of the militants were
Ministry of Defense also added that the militants have suffered heavy
casualties during the airstrikes but did not elaborate further.
said an investigation is underway and reports regarding the militants
casualties will be disclosed later.
comes as the anti-government armed militants launched a coordinated attack on
security posts in Bala Morghab and Aab Kamari districts last week.
senior leader of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Khurasan (ISIS-K) has been
killed during an operation of the Afghan Intelligence, National Directorate of
provincial government media office in a statement said Sunday that the ISIS-K
leader Adam Khan was killed on Saturday night in the vicinity of Chaparhar
statement further added that the Special Forces of the Afghan Intelligence
conducted a raid in Safari area of the district, leading to the killing of Adam
Khan, a prominent ISIS-K leader, who was involved behind the recent attacks in
to the provincial government, the recent deadly attacks in Jalalabad were
planned and carried out under the leadership of Adam Khan.
provincial government mainly pointed towards the attack on Jalalabad cricket
ground, customs department, medical faculty, and education directorate, which
were carried out by Adam Khan.
National Directorate of Security in Nangarhar has said that Adam Khan has also
carried out a number of attacks in other parts of Jalalabad city.
NDS Special Forces also confiscated some weapons, motorcycles, and munitions
during the operation, the provincial government added in its statement.
copy of a message sent by Washington to heads of the FSA terrorist group, which
was seen by Reuters and other media outlets, said the US government wanted to
make clear that “you should not base your decisions on the assumption or
expectation of a military intervention by us”.
US message also told the militants it was left to them alone to take the right
decision on how to face the Syrian army’s military campaign based on what they
saw was best for themselves and their people.
in the United States government understand the difficult conditions you are
facing and still advise the Russians and the Syrian regime not to undertake a
military measure that violates the zone,” the message also said.
United States has supported the FSA with millions of dollars worth of arms and
paid monthly salaries to thousands of rebels in the course of the seven-year
war under a military aid program run by the Central Intelligence Agency.
analysts believe the aid has dropped after US President Donald Trump decided
last year to shut down the program.
the Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news channel reported that a wave of chaos and
collapse has started among the terrorist groups in Southern Syria after the US
declared its position and backtracked from supporting them.
terrorist groups affiliated to the FSA had earlier this month formed a
coalition in Quneitra and Dara'a against the Syrian army after the latter's
rapid advances in several points in Southern Syria.
sources reported on Wednesday that the operations room of al-Bonyan al-Marsous,
Ras al-Safouf, Tohid al-Safouf, Sad al-Qazat, Death Triangle, Sad al-Baqa and
Nasr al-Mobin terrorist groups in Dara'a were merged.
added that the 'Central Operations Room in the South' will plan and command the
military operations against the army in Southern Syria.
reports from Quneitra province said that the FSA terrorists have formed a
united operations room named al-Nasr al-Mobin with the aim of fight against the
Syrian army had in a short time retaken control of several terrorist positions
in Northern Dara'a.
sources in Dara'a said that the militants in the region are in deep fright and
have asked comrades in other regions to help them repel the army attacks.
Iraqi police reported that its forces launched an attack on ISIL in the town of
al-Sharaqat North of Baghdad, killing Abu Salam Araqi, a notorious field
commander of the ISIL nom de guerre Asab of Daesh (ISIL), and five of his
police further said that Abu Salam was a mastermind in ISIL, adding that he was
behind planning ISIL's bomb operations.
Salam and his aides were killed in a hideout in al-Sharaqat Jazeera.
tv reported earlier today that he Iraqi military conducted an airstrike against
the Daesh (ISIL or ISIS) Takfiri terrorist group in Syria's Eastern Deir Ezzur
province, killing 45 terrorists.
F-16 jets carried out a successful airstrike that targeted a meeting of Daesh
leaders ... in … Hajin area within Syrian territory. The operation resulted in
the complete destruction of the targets, and the killing of around 45
terrorists," the military's joint operations command said in statement on
"deputy war minister", one of its “media emirs", the personal
courier of Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the group’s chief of police
were among those killed, the statement added.
houses linked by an underground tunnel were also destroyed, it said, adding
that the airstrike was carried out based on "intelligence" and at the
request of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
Iraqi Air Force has carried out several such raids against the Takfiri militant
group in Syria since last year.
sources said that the Ankara forces have started closing off all the streets
across the town of Jandaris in Northeastern Aleppo.
sources pointed to anguish felt by the Turkish soldiers and their allied
militants over the Kurdish militias' surprise attack, adding that the Ankara
forces prefer not to wear military uniforms to avoid becoming the target of
sources further said that the Kurdish militias launched eight heavy offensives
against Turkish troops and their allied militants in the region in the past
the meantime, local sources in Rajou in Afrin reported that the Ankara forces
have plundered three power generators and telecommunication masts.
sources also claimed that the Ankara forces have stolen the entire assets of
the people in Sheikh Balou in Rajou as well.
sources in Northern Aleppo reported on Thursday that the popular uprising was
triggered after a number of militants affiliated to the Turkish army killed a
member of a family and wounded several others in a move to steal their
properties and car.
the protest rallies, the people of Afrin called on the Turkish army and
Ankara-backed militants to leave the region.
from the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) have joined forces with Syrian
government forces in the country’s southern de-escalation zone to fight
foreign-sponsored and Takfiri Daesh and Jabhat Fateh al-Sham, formerly known as
al-Nusra Front, militant groups.
Russian Defense Ministry announced in statement that the Turkish-backed
militiamen had forged an alliance with Syrian army troops in 11 districts of
the southern Syrian provinces of Quneitra and Dara'a over the past 24 hours,
and have managed to repel a string of militant attacks.
foils Jabhat Fateh al-Sham attack in Hama, further advances in Dara’a
Syrian army soldiers, supported by allied fighters from popular defense groups,
have thwarted an assault by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terrorists on military posts
near Ziblin village in Syria’s west-central province of Hama, inflicting heavy
losses on the Takfiris.
forces and their allies also targeted militant positions in the province,
destroying many vehicles belonging to foreign-backed terrorists. Some of the
pickup trucks were equipped with heavy machineguns.
army units continued military operations against terrorist redoubts in the
eastern part of Dara’a province.
official news agency SANA reported that government forces carried out attacks
against the gatherings of terrorist groups affiliated to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham
in the Lajat area, killing and injuring scores of terrorists.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups that are wreaking havoc in the country.
has been helping Syrian forces in an ongoing battle in the province of Dayr
al-Zawr as the Daesh terrorist group struggles to keep its last positions in
Russian military assistance, which began in September 2015 at the official
request of the Syrian government, has proved effective as the Syrians continue
to recapture key areas from Daesh and other terrorist groups across the country
with the backing of Russian air cover.
May 21, the General Command of the Syrian Army and Armed Forces announced in a
statement that complete security was restored to Damascus and its countryside
after al-Hajar al-Aswad district and al-Yarmouk camp had been totally purged of
has strongly denounced a recent decision by the administration of US President
Donald Trump to resume financial support for the so-called civil defense group
White Helmets, which has been blamed for staging suspected chemical attacks in
the Arab country.
Syrian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that the additional
financial support was a clear piece of evidence that Washington has been
playing a leading role in supporting anti-Syria militants since 2011.
Syrian Arab Republic condemns the recent US decision to provide USD 6.6 million
in financial aid to the White Helmets terrorist organization,” the Syrian
Foreign Ministry statement read.
attempts to embolden the White Helmets have shamelessly exposed its
relationship to the terrorist organization, the statement added.
in the statement, the ministry blamed the United States and its Western allies
for using the organization to practice terrorism, particularly in alleged
chemical attacks that were staged to tarnish the image of the Syrian government
and prolong the conflict.
White Helmets are part of the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, the statement said.
and Russia have accused the volunteer group of having staged a gas attack in
the town of Douma in Syria's Eastern Ghouta on April 7.
President Bashar al-Assad has also described the White Helmets as "a
branch of al-Qaeda and al-Nusra" militant groups and a “PR stunt” by the
United States, Britain and France. One week after the Douma incident, the trio
launched a coordinated missile attack against sites and research facilities
near Damascus and Homs with the purported goal of paralyzing the Syrian
government’s capability to produce chemicals.
Trump has authorized the release of $6.6 million in previously frozen funding
for the organization. US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert recently
said Washington "strongly supports" the White Helmets.
in March, Trump ordered the State Department to suspend $200 million in
recovery funds for Syria, including aid to the White Helmets, amid a review of
the future of the US role in the war-torn Arab country.
JOC's statement which said that the forces who were targeted at the Syria-Iraq
borders were stationed outside Iraqi territories and had no relations with Hashd
al-Shaabi was hasty and wrong," Abu Muhandis was quoted as saying by
Shafaq news in a press conference on Sunday.
explained that the forces who were targeted by missiles were members of Hashd
al-Shaabi who had been deployed in the defense line created since al-Qa'em
operations, adding that Iraq's joint operations command center had in its
latest meeting in the holy month of Ramadan underscored the necessity for
maintenance of this defense line.
US-led coalition warplanes on Monday bombed a Syrian army base near the town of
Albu Kamal in Southeastern Deir Ezzur in a move deemed as flagrant support for
the ISIL terrorists who plan to attack the government forces in the region.
state news agency, SANA, quoted a military source as saying earlier today that
the fighter jets bombed an army base in al-Harra settlement Southeast of the
border town of Albu Kamal.
number of forces were killed or wounded in the air raid, the news agency
sources said that the army has sent a large convoy of forces and equipment to
the small town of Deir al-Bakht in Northwestern Dara'a, adding that the convoy
included 140 military vehicles carrying a large number of elite troops.
sources said that the army convoy arrived in the Death Triangle Region among
Damascus, Dara'a and Quneitra provinces.
sources further said that the army's artillery and missile units pounded
terrorists' positions in the town of Basr al-Hariri, adding that the government
forces are planning to drive a wedge between Northeastern Dara'a and other
militant-held regions in the province.
the meantime, local sources said that other units of the army intend to launch
fresh attacks and advance in militant-held regions in al-Qariyeh Sharqi and
Saudi Arabia’s air defense forces intercepted and destroyed two ballistic
missiles over Riyadh on Sunday, launched by Iran-backed Houthi militia in
in the Saudi capital shook and there were at least six loud blasts, bright
flashes in the sky and puffs of smoke above the city. There were no reports of
Iran-backed rebels’ news outlet Al-Masirah boasted that the missiles had struck
the Saudi defense ministry and other sites in the capital.
Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the
rebels, denied that the defense ministry had been hit.
attacks were the latest in a series of missile launches targeting densely
populated residential areas of Saudi Arabia, including Riyadh and the southern
cities of Jazan and Najran, close to the border with Yemen.
latest missile attack on Riyadh has brought new urgency to the military
operation by forces from the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen to capture the Red
Sea port city of Hodeidah.
port is a lifeline for humanitarian aid to Yemen, but it is also a conduit for
the supply of Iranian weapons to the Houthis, including missiles fired at Saudi
coalition has produced evidence to show that, as well as arms and ammunition,
Tehran illegally smuggles missile parts to the Houthis through the port. They
are then reassembled and launched at Saudi cities from sites in northern Yemen.
coalition military operation began two weeks ago to dislodge the Houthis from
Hodeidah and halt the supply of weapons and missile parts.
Sunday, coalition forces moved closer to the city center.
was fierce fighting near Hodeidah University, about 3 km west of the city
center, on the coastal road linking the city’s airport to the port.
forces took control of the airport last week and have been consolidating their
hold in the area as UN efforts continued to reach a political deal that would
avert a full military assault on the port.
Hodeidah would allow the coalition to cut the supply line to the Houthis in the
capital, Sanaa, and the militias are devoting all their resources to retaining
is a heavy deployment of armed Houthis in the city and new check points have
been set up in neighborhoods where there are supporters of the Tehama
brigades,” said one resident. The Tehama are a Yemeni faction from the Red Sea
coastal plain who are fighting with coalition forces to restore Yemen’s
coalition has pledged a swift military operation to take over the airport and
seaport without entering the city center, to minimize civilian casualties and
maintain the flow of goods.
civilians have been injured or made homeless in the fighting. The medical
charity Medecins Sans Frontieres has received 151 injured people in recent days
at Al-Thawrah Hospital, the main public medical facility serving Hodeidah, and
expects to receive more as the fighting moves toward the city.
are 86 beds in Al-Thawrah and we desperately need more. We hope to set up a
field hospital with 20 beds in the next two weeks,” said Caroline Seguin, the
charity’s program manager for Yemen.
battle for Hodeidah is reaching the point of no return,” the International
Crisis Group said in a conflict alert.
United States has told Syrian rebel factions they should not expect military
support to help them resist a Russian-backed government offensive to regain
opposition-held parts of Syria bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan
copy of a message sent by Washington to heads of Free Syrian Army (FSA) groups,
which was seen by Reuters, said the US government wanted to make clear that
“you should not base your decisions on the assumption or expectation of a
military intervention by us”.
United States had earlier warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his
Russian allies that violations of a “de-escalation” zone agreed by the United
States and Russia last year would have “serious repercussions” and pledged
“firm and appropriate measures.”
toughly worded statements coming from the administration had raised the hopes of
the Western-backed opposition of a possible American military intervention in
the event the Syrian army’s several days long bombing campaign broadens to an
all-out offensive across the southwest.
US message also told the rebels it was left to them alone to take the right
decision on how to face the Syrian army’s military campaign based on what they
saw was best for themselves and their people.
United States has supported the moderate mainstream FSA faction with millions
of dollars worth of arms and paid monthly salaries to thousands of rebels in
the course of the seven-year war under a military aid program run by the
Central Intelligence Agency.
claims that it has fired an anti-aircraft missile at an unmanned aerial vehicle
(UAV), which was approaching the northern borders of the occupied Palestinian
territories from Syria, saying the projectile missed its target but forced the
pilotless plane to turn back.
Israeli military said in a statement on Sunday that it had launched “a Patriot
aerial defense system missile” toward a drone, “approaching the Israeli border
from Syria”, earlier in the day, implying that the projectile had missed its
target since “a hit was not identified.”
statement did not provide further details. However, Israeli settlers in and out
of the city of Safed, in the Upper Galilee region, reported hearing an
explosion and witnessing a white smoke trail in the sky. They also began
sharing photographs and videos showing the white trail left behind, apparently
by the Patriot launch.
the Syrian government’s central military media quoted an unnamed government’s
commander as saying that earlier in the day a drone had been targeted by an
Israeli anti-aircraft missile. He added that the aircraft had engaged in
ongoing operations by the Syrian army in Quneitra province near the
Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
Israeli regime waged a full-scale war against Arab territories in 1967,
occupying the West Bank, Lebanon’s Shebaa Farms, and the mountainous Golan
on May 10, Israel conducted what it called its most intensive airstrikes on
Syria in decades. According to Russia's Defense Ministry, Israel had used 28
warplanes in its airstrikes on Syria and fired 70 missiles. Both Damascus and
Moscow said that the Syrian army managed to shoot down over half of the
Tel Aviv regime, at the time, claimed that its assault was a response to a
barrage of 20 rockets fired from Syria at Israeli military outposts in Golan.
the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets in Syria in
what is considered an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been
suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces.
has been providing weapons to anti-Damascus militants as well as medical
treatment to the Takfiri elements wounded in Syria.
US especial forces seize key town from Al Shabaab
army forces, along United State Especial Forces have launched joint military
oĂensive against targets held by Al Shabaab in Arare town.
coalition forces reportedly captured Arare town, without Ąghting, after the Al
Shabaab militants retreated, a military oćcer, who asked to be unnamed said.
says the Somalia forces and US troops had moved into the towns, meeting with
have captured Arare town. But this operation will continue untill Al Shabaab
militants are elaminated”, he said.
was no immediate comment from Al Shabaab over the claims.
this month, a US soldier was killed and 4 others were also injured in mortar
and ambush attack by Al Shabaab near Kismayo town.
dead in Nigerian communal clashes, govt terms violence as 'deeply unfortunate
pesidency late Sunday announced a “deeply unfortunate killings across a number
of communities” in central Plateau State as one report cited police as saying
86 people were dead in clashes between mostly Muslim herders and Christian
Muhammadu Buhari appealed for calm as the military and police tried to end the
bloodshed, and said “no efforts will be spared” to find the attackers and
prevent reprisal attacks.
government did not announce a death toll. But the independent Channels
Television cited a Plateau State police spokesman, Mathias Tyopev, as saying 86
people had been killed, with at least 50 houses destroyed, in violence that
appeared to have started overnight.
clashes between herders and farmers in central Nigeria are a growing security
concern in Africa’s most populous country, which is roughly split between
Muslims in the north and Christians in the south.
fighting between herders and farmers by some accounts has been deadlier than
Nigeria’s Boko Haram extremist insurgency, which continues to carry out attacks
in the northeast.
extremist threat has been cited as one cause of the growing tensions in central
Nigeria as herders — also feeling the effects of climate change — are forced
south into more populated farming communities in search of safe grazing.
widespread security issues pose a major challenge to Buhari, a Muslim former
military ruler who won office in a democratic transfer of power in 2015, as
elections approach next year.
few details emerged immediately of the latest killings, Nigerians for hours
Sunday on social media shared a growing sense that something awful had
in the day the Plateau State governor, Simon Bako Lalong, announced a 6 p.m. to
6 a.m. curfew after saying had woken up to the “shocking news” of the attacks.
In a series of message posted on Twitter he gave few details about “this
ABABA - The death toll from a grenade attack on a pro-government rally in
Ethiopia's capital climbed to two on Sunday, a cabinet minister said, as police
announced arrests over the blast. "I'm so sorry to learn that we have lost
another Ethiopian victim of yesterday's attack," health minister Amir Aman
tweeted. "My sincere sympathy and condolences to the family, friends and
all Ethiopians." The blast occurred in a packed public square as
Ethiopia's new prime minister Abiy Ahmed was wrapping up a speech before tens
of thousands of people.
ensuing chaos injured more than 150 people and marred an event meant to build
public support for Abiy's ambitious reform agenda. State-run Ethiopian News
Agency reported police had arrested six people suspected of involvement in the
blast, but gave few details.
organiser Seyoum Teshome on Saturday told AFP police grappled with someone
attempting to hurl a grenade at the prime minister as he concluded his speech.
explosive detonated amid the scuffle, though most of the injuries were caused
in the ensuing panic, he said.
Saturday evening, the prime minister visited hospitals where victims of the
attack were being treated, his chief of staff said on Twitter, while on Sunday
one of Addis Ababa's largest football teams organised a blood drive for the
group has publicly claimed responsibility for the attack, a rare instance of
violence in the heavily policed capital.
attacks were reported last year in the northern city of Gondar, but it was
unclear if those incidents were connected to Saturday's blast.
took office in April after years of anti-government unrest that pushed his
predecessor to resign and the government to declare a nationwide state of
has since announced plans to liberalise the economy and reconcile with neighbouring
also lifted the state of emergency and released scores of jailed dissidents.
is completely controlled by the secretive Ethiopia People's Revolutionary
Democratic Front (EPRDF), and it is unclear how much support Abiy has within
42-year-old former government minister and army officer is the first prime
minister in modern Ethiopia from the country's largest ethnicity the Oromo,
which spearheaded the anti-government protests.
Abiy is popular, anti-government fervour still remains.
Libyan coast guards picked up 948 African migrants on inflatable boats in
several operations and also recovered 10 bodies on Sunday, officials and a
witness at a naval base said.
operations brings the number, since last week, of mainly African migrants
trying to head to Italy but brought back to Libya to almost 2,000.
western coast of Libya is the main departure point for thousands of migrants
fleeing wars and poverty and trying to reach Europe.
number of crossings has dropped sharply since July 2017 when an armed group
expelled human traffickers from a smuggling hub after an Italy-backed deal.
coast guards picked up illegal migrants in different groups. The first group is
97 on one inflatable boat and the second group is 361 migrants on two
inflatable boats,” Naval forces spokesman Ayoub Qassem told Reuters.
second group was taken to Khums town,” Qassem said, adding that the two groups
included 110 women and 70 children.
witness watching the arrival of another coast guard ship at Tripoli’s Abu
Sittah naval base said a third group included 490 migrants picked up off
Qarabulli town. Among them were 75 women and 20 children.
plunged into chaos following the NATO-backed uprising that toppled Muammar
Qaddafi in 2011, with many armed groups and two administrations vying for
migrants try to head across the Mediterranean toward Italy, hoping they will be
picked up by ships run by aid groups and taken there, although many drown
before they are rescued.
this month, Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini vowed to no longer let
charity ships offload rescued migrants in Italy, leaving one ship stranded at
sea for several days with more than 600 migrants until Spain offered them safe
said Sunday it would be unable to host a new wave of Syrian refugees, as troops
loyal to Damascus prepare an offensive for the war-torn country’s rebel-held south.
large number of Syrians we’re hosting in terms of financial resources and
infrastructure does not allow for the reception of a new wave of asylum
seekers,” Jumana Ghanimat, minister of state for media affairs, told AFP.
650,000 Syrian refugees have registered with the United Nations in Jordan since
fleeing their country’s seven-year war which was sparked by peaceful
anti-government protests in 2011.
estimates the actual number is closer to 1.3 million people and says it has
spent more than $10 billion (8.5 billion euros) hosting them. “Jordan has not
and will not abandon its humanitarian role and its commitment to international
charters, but it has exceeded its ability to absorb (more refugees),” said
Ghanimat, who also serves as a spokesperson for the government. “Everyone
should cooperate to deal with any new wave of displacement within Syria’s
borders,” she said, adding Jordan would work with “concerned organisations” to
find an arrangement for the displaced inside Syria.
comments came as Syrian government forces ready an offensive to retake the
southern provinces of Daraa, Quneitra and parts of Sweida, still mostly held by
Syria is a strategically vital zone: it borders both Jordan and the
Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, and also lies close to Damascus.
neutralizing rebel strongholds on the edge of the capital earlier this year,
President Bashar al-Assad is now turning his attention to the south.In recent
weeks, regime forces have dropped leaflets over Daraa and Quneitra, warning of
impending military operations and calling on the rebels to surrender.
is in close contact with Washington and Moscow to maintain an agreement to
reduce the escalation in southern Syrian,” Ghoneim said. She said the kingdom was
“following the current developments in southern Syrian to reach a formula that
protects Jordanian interests along the border and the waves of asylum seekers”.
National Inter-Faith and Religious Organizations for Peace (NIFROP) has faulted
recent claim by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) that President
Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Nigerian Army and the Police to recruit
rehabilitated Boko Haram members into their ranks.
Adebayo Oladeji, Special Assistant on Media to the CAN President, Rev Dr.
Samson Olasupo Ayokunle, said last week it had information that a number of
ex-insurgents were allegedly being considered for recruitment into the Police
to the claim, NIFROP in a statement by its National President, Bishop Edward
Chanami, said it is worried that religious groups are now being deployed as
canon fodder by political clerics.
group said Oladeji’s claim is targeted at stirring the fire of hatred among
to him, the claim was the handiwork of the devil and not deserving of being
associated with any group that professes faith in God.
said, “There is none of the testaments in God’s name that promotes the kind of
wicked lie contained in the misleading claim. We can only thank God that the
sectarian crisis that those behind this lie hoped to trigger did not
materialize while praying that Nigerians will continue to be discerning and not
allow themselves to be deceived into engaging in self destruction.
rips reported Syria cease-fire violations
U.S. said Thursday it is "deeply troubled" by the Syrian regime's
reported violations of a cease-fire governing southwestern Syria, warning of
"serious repercussions" if Russia fails to hold Damascus to account.
regime military and militia units, according to our reports, have violated the
southwest de-escalation zone and initiated airstrikes, artillery, and rocket
attacks," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.
United States continues to warn both the Russian government and the Assad
regime of the serious repercussions of these violations and demands that Russia
restrain pro-regime forces from further actions within the southwest
de-escalation zone," she added.
de-escalation zone Nauert is referring to was agreed to by the U.S., Jordan and
Russia in July 2017.
forces along with Iranian-backed militias launched an operation against
opposition groups in southwestern Daraa province on Wednesday, killing eight
civilians, according to the Syrian civil defense, also known as the White
Abadzayd from a civil defense unit in Daraa told Anadolu Agency 15 more
civilians were also injured in the attacks targeting rural areas in northern
and eastern part of the province.
Daraa operation had targeted an area declared a “safe zone” and a de-escalation
zone -- where fighting is supposed to be prohibited.
of southwestern Syria is incorporated in the zone and Nauert said Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo emphasized to his Russian counterpart, Sergey Larov, during a
telephone call last weekend "the critical nature of mutual adherence to
this arrangement and the unacceptable nature of any unilateral activity by the
Assad regime or Russia.”
added: “The United States expects all parties to respect the ceasefire, protect
civilian populations, and avoid broadening of the conflict. We remain committed
to maintaining the stability of the southwest de-escalation zone and to the
ceasefire underpinning it.”
(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court, winding down its nine-month term, will
issue rulings this week in its few remaining cases including a major one on the
legality of President Donald Trump’s ban on people from five Muslim-majority
nations entering the country.
nine justices are due to decide other politically sensitive cases on whether
non-union workers have to pay fees to unions representing certain public-sector
workers such as police and teachers, and the legality of California regulations
on clinics that steer women with unplanned pregnancies away from abortion.
justices began their term in October and, as is their usual practice, aim to
make all their rulings by the end of June, with more due on Monday. Six cases
remain to be decided.
travel ban case was argued on April 25, with the court’s conservative majority
signaling support for Trump’s policy in a significant test of presidential
has said the ban is needed to protect the United States from attacks by Islamic
militants. Conservative justices indicated an unwillingness to second-guess
Trump on his national security rationale.
courts had blocked the travel ban, the third version of a policy Trump first
pursued a week after taking office last year. But the high court on Dec. 4
allowed it to go fully into effect while the legal challenge continued.
challengers, led by the state of Hawaii, have argued the policy was motivated
by Trump’s enmity toward Muslims. Lower courts have decided the ban violated
federal immigration law and the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on the
government favoring one religion over another.
current ban, announced in September, prohibits entry into the United States by
most people from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.
a significant case for organized labor, the court’s conservatives indicated
opposition during arguments on Feb. 26 to so-called agency fees that some
states require non-members to pay to public-sector unions.
who decide not to join unions representing certain state and local employees
must pay the fees in two dozen states in lieu of union dues to help cover the
cost of non-political activities such as collective bargaining. The fees
provide millions of dollars annually to these unions.
Canadians need to know about our peacekeeping mission in Mali
troops are set to join the UN peacekeeping mission in Mali, a country that's
been torn apart by violence since 2012.
will be teaming up with around 13,000 authorized international troops as part
of the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA)
that's trying to stabilize the landlocked West African country amid an ethnic
and jihadist insurgency.
UN peacekeeping and French-led counterterrorism efforts that began in 2013 and
a peace deal signed in 2015, Mali remains a "war zone," according to
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
to the UN, 170 peacekeepers have been killed there since 2013, making it one of
the organization's deadliest peacekeeping missions to date.
mission has 57 partner countries and is based in the northeastern city of Gao.
groups in the conflict
Charbonneau, an associate professor at Laurentian University and an expert in
peacekeeping and military intervention in francophone Africa, says the groups
involved in the conflict can be divided into two categories: those that signed
the 2015 peace agreement and those that didn't.
signatories include the Malian government; Platform, a pro-government
coalition; and Co-ordination of Azawad Movements (CMA), a pro-separatist
alliance that includes the Tuaregs, a traditionally nomadic ethnic group that
has long felt marginalized and excluded in the country.
Platform and CMA are armed groups without representation in the legislature.
non-signatory groups, Charbonneau says, are "fluid in membership" and
include militias, bandits, jihadists and gangs. Members of each group are not
mutually exclusive, further complicating counterterrorism efforts.
Sahel is also an important player in the conflict. Developed in 2014, its
members — Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger and Mauritania — support the French
history of violence
former French colony, Mali became independent in 1960. It moved from a
single-party state to a multiparty democracy in 1991 in the wake of
anti-government riots. But a lack of autonomy and services for the sparsely
populated northern region remained a problem.
2012, the anger in northern Mali boiled over as Tuareg rebels waged an
insurgency against the Malian government in Bamako, located in the south. The
Malian military took over the state and deposed President Amadou Toumani Touré
for failing to quell the Tuareg rebellion.
rebels and other insurgents took advantage of the chaos and seized control of
the north, but French troops and airstrikes pushed the rebels back in January
2013, allowing the Malian government to regain control.
UN authorized the MINUSMA peacekeeping mission three months after the
French-led counterterrorism efforts began.
2015, Mali declared a state of emergency as attacks spread to the south,
particularly in the Sikasso region.
focus a lot on terrorism in the north of Mali in the Sahel, while the actual
problems within Mali right now are in the centre where you have a lot more
people living there," Charbonneau said. "This is where it is really,
really worrisome and yet the focus is still on the north and terrorism."
the coalitions remain factious, and the violence has only intensified. Northern
jihadist groups have unified while Platform and CMA continue to splinter.
al-Qaeda-linked Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims, for example, was
formed in 2017 and has since captured territory in the north.
said two big problems that help fuel the conflict are the lack of state
services, including a functioning and impartial justice system and the army's
"history of human rights abuses."
also the fact the government has yet to successfully implement the 2015 peace
is definitely a lack of leadership within the government of Mali,"
March, Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan and Foreign Affairs Minister
Chrystia Freeland announced Canada would deploy an aviation task force to Mali
for a period of 12 months.
task force will include up to 250 troops, two Chinook helicopters to provide
needed transport and logistics capacity and four Griffon helicopters to provide
armed escort and protection.
suspects the task force will have little interaction with people on the ground.
However, he does anticipate the separation of roles between the peacekeeping
mission and French-led counterterrorist operation could be a challenge.
climate could also be an issue, he said.
definitely takes a toll on equipment to fly around in that region," he
said, referring to the heat and dust storms.
of course, there is always the threat of violence.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia
News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim
News, Women in Islam, Islamic
Feminism, Arab Women, Women
In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism