women pray at Bensonhurst Park to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the end of Ramadan, in
Brooklyn on June 15.
to Field Hafiz’s Son in July Polls, Vows to Make Pakistan ‘Citadel of Islam’
Neither Good nor Bad, Will Be Hunted Down, Pakistan Reaffirms
Bodies Question Procedural Anomalies in Citizens’ List in Assam; NRC
Secretariat Rubbishes Allegations
Bangladesh Killings Intensify, Why Is The World Keeping Quiet?
Conservative Islamic Party Will Not Oppress Other Faiths
York City's Muslims, Sikhs Experience High Levels of Harassment: Study
to field Hafiz’s Son in July Polls, Vows to Make Pakistan ‘Citadel of Islam’
Reputs Pakistan on Notice for ‘Inaction’ Against Taliban Sanctuaries
to decide if names of Nawaz, Maryam should be on ECL
polish Hamza's boots', will contest election as independent candidate, says
pilgrims reach Lahore to mark Maharaja’s death anniversary
workers’ clash leaves one dead in Mohmand
daily Dawn says govt officials are barring its circulation in Sindh, Punjab and
Balochistan ahead of polls
appreciates Pakistan for hosting millions of Afghan refugees
Bodies Question Procedural Anomalies in Citizens’ List in Assam; NRC Secretariat
Ministry Invokes UAPA, Bans New Offshoots of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State
Muslims in Bangalore Made It An Eid For All To Remember
Official Transferred For 'Humiliating' Hindu-Muslim Couple
Shouldn't Be Used As Political Tool, Say Muslim Bodies
India under fire after complying with anti-Muslim request
Not Linked To Religion, Practised In Muslim Nations’
NSG commandos to be drafted for war on J&K terror
Arabia’s King Salman Demands Extension of Ceasefire in Afghanistan
gives Myanmar deadline over Rohingya case jurisdiction
rules out direct negotiations with the Taliban group
suffer heavy casualties in Sari Pul artillery and airstrikes
UN envoy calls for 'genuine reconciliation' in Myanmar
Court Sentences Islamic State-Linked Cleric to Death
Muslim Rebel Group Close to Landmark Power-Sharing Deal
says no bikini ban on its islands and beaches
Anwar Ibrahim voices support for 'most popular Muslim leader' Erdoğan
us in defending Islam, PAS tells Umno members
cleric’s call for compassion lost in controversy over Jerusalem visit
reopens grisly murder case linked to former PM Najib
Trump’s Muslim Bans Have Impacted US Immigration
mulls plans to hold Congressional hearing on the Muslim Brotherhood
House officials in Egypt to discuss Mideast peace
Quebec mosque shooter could serve life in prison
and Islam Become Hot-Button Issues in Turkey
Doesn't Rule Out Coalition If No Majority
reinforcements roll into Yemen's embattled Hodeida
objects Iran’s joining anti-terror treaty
army shoots down Iranian-made drone near Hodeidah airport
Army inflicts heavy losses among Houthi militias in Sadaa
detains 14 ISIS suspects ‘planning election attack’
gives Turkey first F-35 despite opposition at home
still in control of Hudaydah airport: Yemeni officials
military will continue striking PKK bases in northern Iraq, says Erdogan
‘A Living Example for the Peaceful Coexistence of All Faiths’
Uprising against Ankara-Backed Militants in Afrin
Army Drives ISIL out of 12 Regions in Badiyeh of Sweida
flee as regime steps up shelling in south Syria
Army Imposes Full Control over ISIL-Occupied Region in Southern Deir Ezzur
Fails to Retake Control of Lost Positions in Homs
fill the Mosul airwaves after Daesh radio silence
Army Isolates Terrorists' Key Base in Dara'a
Al-Sham Commander Assassinated as Tensions Soar in Aleppo
Repels Tahrir Al-Sham Offensive in Quneitra
Terrorist Groups Form Coalition in Southern Syria against Army
police in armed clash with pro-Iran Hezbollah militia in Baghdad
Returns Boko Haram Victims to Own Communities
Army Officer Fighting Boko Haram Commits Suicide
own version of Boko Haram is tightening its deadly grip
strongly condemns attacks on Libyan oil ports - State Department
High Court postpones Sheikh Zakzaky's trial
Haftar forces say recaptured two key oil export terminals
attack kills 4 members loyal to Libya's Haftar
coastguard rescues 237 migrants off Tripoli
Kenya Urged to Prevent Al Shabaab Cross-Border Attacks
‘Complicit’ In Israeli Crimes against Palestinians: London-Based Charity
Merkel calls for solutions to Iran’s ‘aggressive tendencies’
say at least 60 refugees died in Mediterranean
by New Age Islam News Bureau
to field Hafiz’s son in July polls, vows to make Pakistan ‘citadel of Islam’
Mumbai-terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's son and his son-in-law are among
265 candidates fielded by the Jamaat-ud -Dawah for national and provincial
assembly seats across Pakistan in the July 25 general election, with the banned
group's political wing vowing to make the country a "citadel of
who also carries a $10 million American bounty on his head for his role in
terror activities, is not contesting the election.
JuD, a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba terror group that carried out the deadly
2008 Mumbai attack, launched its political front Milli Muslim League (MML).
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) denied registration of the MML as a
political party following objections from the Interior Ministry which argued
that the entity was an offshoot of the JuD, led by Saeed, banned by a UN
general elections approaching, the group decided to contest on the platform of
a little known "dormant" political entity, Allah-u-Akbar Tehreek
(AAT), registered with the ECP.
nomination papers of all the MML backed candidates have been accepted by the
Returning Officers during the scrutiny process, the MML said.
nomination papers of 265 candidates - 80 on National Assembly (NA) and 185 on
provincial assembly seats - including that of Hafiz Saeed's son Hafiz Talha
Saeed and son-in-law Hafiz Khalid Waleed have been accepted by the Returning
Officers," a MML official told PTI on.
is contesting from NA-91 seat from Sargodha (about 200-km from Lahore) while
Khalid Waleed from NA-133 in Lahore on AAT's election symbol 'Chair', he said.
is the home town of Hafiz Saeed.
our candidates are contesting on Lahore's four NA seats and 15 Punjab Assembly
seats, apart from these, the MML-backed candidates would be contesting on
Islamabad and Rawalpindi NA seats, he said.
the MML-backed candidates have been fielded in Karachi, interior Sindh and
Kyber-Pakhtunkhawa and other parts of the country," he added.
President Saifullah Khalid said that his party would not leave vacuum in July
25 elections for the secular forces as the country was "created in the
name of Islam."
have entered the political arena not to get power, but to fight corruption,
eliminate politics of opportunism, strengthening ideology of Pakistan and
making the country citadel of Islam," he said.
senior JuD leader, Qari Muhammad Sheikh Yaqoob, who is on the US-designate
terror list, has also been given AAT ticket for NA-125 Lahore. In September
last year, he had contested a bypoll as an independent candidate on NA-120
Lahore seat, from where wife of ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Begum
Kulsoom Sharif had won.
to the US Treasury Department: "Qari Muhammad Yaqoob Sheikh, a member of
LeT's central advisory committee, has held several different leadership
positions in the group since 2006. Sheikh has served as a leader in LeT's
foreign affairs department since 2006, including acting as the department's
deputy director of political and foreign affairs between 2008 and 2009."
AAT was registered with the ECP in 2011 and it got the election symbol after
JuD had formed MML when Saeed was under detention by the Punjab government in
Lahore. Saeed and his four aides - Abdullah Ubaid, Malik Zafar Iqbal, Abdul
Rehman Abid and Qazi Kashif Hussain - were placed under house arrest in Lahore
on January 30 under anti- terrorism act.
JuD was declared as a foreign terrorist organisation by the US in June 2014.
neither good nor bad, will be hunted down, Pakistan reaffirms
The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday reiterated that Pakistan does not
discriminate between good or bad Taliban and would continue to hunt all
Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists indiscriminately.
will continue to hunt ‘all’ the TTP persons if need be,” Foreign Office Spokesman
Dr Muhammad Faisal said when asked to clarify whether the chase would limit to
Pakistan’s territory only or extend to Afghanistan’s soil as well.
at a media briefing at the FO, the spokesman said that the ceasefire truce
between the Afghan government and Taliban on the eve of Eid was a “step in
right direction, which Pakistan supported and welcomed”.
said Pakistan’s position on Afghanistan’s stability was clear and it believed
that the only viable solution lied in an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace
spokesman officially confirmed the killing of terrorist Mullah Fazlullah in
Afghanistan and said that the news was received in Pakistan with relief
especially among the families who lost their loved ones including the martyrs of
Army Public School.
the recent report by the UN High Commission for Human Rights, the spokesman
said that Pakistan was ready to facilitate the visit of international observers
to the areas of Kashmir linked with Pakistan, provided India offered to do the
same. He went on to say that Pakistan had nothing to hide from the world while
India was shying away and was trying to cover its blatant human rights
India really has nothing to hide, it can address its claims of the report being
based on unverified information by allowing the COI and OIC IPHRC access to
IOK,” he said.
Faisal further said that Pakistan welcomed the OHCHR report’s recommendation
for an independent, international commission of Inquiry to assess the situation
in Indian occupied Kashmir which was consistent with several calls by Pakistan
spokesman mentioned that the report was sharply critical of the human rights
atrocities including the use of pellet guns, draconian laws including the Armed
Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the SPA, use of rape to subjugate
dissent, communication blockade and violation of the right to life, health,
education and peaceful protests.
knee-jerk rejection of the report indicates its complete insensitivity to
international law and its deplorable intransigence, which has delayed the
resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute since the last seven decades and
holds the regional peace and development hostage,” he said.
bodies question procedural anomalies in citizens’ list in Assam; NRC
secretariat rubbishes allegations
organisations in Assam have opposed the procedure followed in the update of the
National Register of Citizens (NRC), terming it as a process that lacks
consistency and transparency.
press release issued by the Coordination Committee of Minority Organisations,
Assam, representing 23 groups, has listed twelve questions which they believe
have revealed the 'anomalies' in the exercise undertaken by the NRC
Secretariat. Functionaries of these organisations alleged that the frequent
changing of rules after every month have only thwarted the goal of an
error-free register of citizens.
are cooperating with the updates of the NRC. But the NRC authority is acting
arbitrarily, with new rules and regulations every month. There is a gap between
what is on paper and what is being done by officials," claimed Azizur
Rahman, convener of the coordination committee.
added that a petition has already been prepared for submission to the Supreme
Court next month. "If the petition is not accepted, then we will have to
prepare the next course of action after consultation with our activists and
intellectuals. Everything depends upon what the majority would prefer but we
don’t want any bloodshed," Rahman explained.
exercise, which began three years ago, will be completed on 30 June. The first
draft covering 1.9 crore citizens was published on 31 December last year out of
a total of 3.29 crore applicants. Documents were received from 68.27 lakh
families across the state.
opposition by the Muslim groups on the procedure followed in the NRC also comes
in the midst of sweeping protests in Assam against the Citizenship (Amendment)
Bill 2016, which seeks to give citizenship to some sections of non-Muslims from
neighbouring countries. Local groups are apprehensive that the amendment would
not only nullify the Assam Accord but the entire process of detecting illegal
migrants in the state. Some prominent Muslim leaders in Assam including chief
of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) Badruddin Ajmal have also opposed
detailing the objections against the process followed in the NRC update have
also been submitted by the Muslim groups to the Registrar General of India,
home ministry and the home department of the Assam government. The groups are
yet to receive a response from these departments.
Objections Raised by Muslim Groups
Why hasn’t the NRC Secretariat made the voters' lists published till 1971
NRC Secretariat had said that those who do not have legacy data can give
certified copies of their names in voters’ lists as proof of citizenship. But
why are these copies not being accepted now?
What is the reason that the NRC Secretariat has issued some directives to its
district officials on 1 and 2 May 2018 on the rules and procedures of the
update when they are supposed to be the same as earlier?
Why are the district cells of NRC Secretariat assuming the role of the border
police in detecting illegal migrants?
Why hasn’t the NRC Secretariat issued advertisements informing the people that
anybody born in India as per the provisions in the Citizenship Act 1955,
Section 3, are liable to be included in the register?
Why has the NRC Secretariat not accepted the certificates issued by gaon buras
(village chiefs) if these documents can be used for registration of land and
is the reason that the NRC Secretariat has issued new directions after the
first draft of the register was published on 31 December last year?
Why haven’t DNA tests been carried out on persons with doubtful citizenship
On 2 May last year, the Gauhati High Court had ordered that the border police
must investigate cases of illegal migrants and their relatives detected by the
NRC and forward them to the Foreigners' Tribunal. Why hasn't the NRC
Secretariat made this order public before the draft was published on 31
Why hasn’t the NRC Secretariat declared that another list of citizens whose
names do not find mention in the final list would be subsequently published?
to Firstpost, NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela clarified that the exercise has
been conducted in accordance with law and stipulations laid down by the Supreme
Court in a transparent process. He dismissed several allegations leveled by the
groups as baseless that were being focused upon when the entire exercise is
drawing to a close.
have issues like DNA test and publication of the voters' lists surfaced now
when the exercise was initiated in 2015? What were these groups doing all this
while? There is no change in the rules. We have clear instructions that all
documents have to be matched and this applies to legacy data and electoral
rolls," said Hajela.
coordinator explained that an order of Gauhati High Court on the transfer of
cases to the border police was known only after the first draft was published
on 31 December last year. He explained that the matter was sub-judice since a
writ petition had been filed by some groups on the court's judgment.
agreed that certificates issued by village chiefs were not being accepted as
proof of citizenship since they lacked credibility. He referred to an order of
Supreme Court last year which said that certificates issued by the gaon village
panchayat secretary could be a proof of citizenship if they are supported by
evidence of family linkages. Around 48 lakh claims were made using such
the inclusion of names that do not find mention in the final list, he
underscored the legal process that would be applicable in all the cases and the
policy of entertaining objections after the process has been completed.
Bangladesh killings intensify, why is the world keeping quiet?
killing of secular writer-publisher Shahjahan Bachchu in Munshiganj district of
Bangladesh on June 11 has revived bitter memories of the barbaric murders of
secular bloggers and writers as well as members of minority communities in
Bangladesh. Bachchu was known for his forthright views on religion and other
issues. His killing has broken the lull that persisted for some time, specially
after the gruesome killings of 20 people on July 1, 2016 at the Holey Artisan
Restaurant in Dhaka’s elite Gulshan area at the hands of homegrown Islamic
terrorists of the Jamat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) under the macabre
influence of Islamic State. Of those killed, 17 were foreigners, including
Japanese, Italians and one Indian. They targeted non-Muslims and identified
them by asking them to read the verses of the Quran. It is shocking that while
the UN high commissioner for human rights has demanded the “establishment of a
commission of inquiry to conduct a comprehensive, independent international
investigation into allegations of human rights violations in Kashmir”, it is
silent on the barbaric and cold-blooded murders of freethinkers, bloggers and
writers and members of minorities elsewhere. The silence of the international
community in this regard is appalling too. In 2012, Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina
published The Unfinished Memoir, the autobiography of her father Sheikh Mujibur
Rehman. In it, Mujib has recounted an incident of 1946 when Calcutta was
engulfed in communal conflagrations and Hindus and Muslims were killing each
other. Mujib, then 26, and his photographer friend Yakub met Mahatma Gandhi and
collected some pictures. He writes: “Among the photographs we had collected
were some of Muslim women whose breasts had been cut off, little babies who had
been beheaded, burning mosques, corpses lying in the streets and many such
gruesome scenes from the riots. We wanted the Mahatma to see how his people had
been guilty of such crimes, and how they had killed innocents... There can be
little doubt that the photographs we presented to the Mahatma left a deep
impression on his mind.”
philosophy was firmly rooted in secularism as he had witnessed the bloody
communal riots and seen how his co-religionists from West Pakistan tortured and
killed Bengali Muslims in what was then East Pakistan. Nearly five lakh people
were massacred between 1952 and 1971 in East Pakistan; according to the Awami
League, this figure is 30 lakhs. Bangladesh came into existence in 1971 in the
name of Bengali nationalism. Its citizens had not accepted the Islamic
nationalism which had led to the creation of Pakistan. So there was a bloody
protest when Muhammad Ali Jinnah declared Urdu as the national language of
Pakistan, though only seven per cent of the population knew that language. East
Pakistan rejected this, and demanded parity for Bengali. Students of Dhaka
University led a massive protest. On February 21, 1952, many of them were
killed when the police opened fire on them.
Bangladesh framed its Constitution in 1972, it embraced the basic tenets of
democracy, socialism, secularism and Bengali nationalism. Later, the junta
government, led by Gen. Zia-ur Rahman, usurped power by having Sheikh Mujib and
several members of his family brutally murdered in 1975. In 1977, the country
introduced sweeping constitutional changes through the Fifth Amendment,
virtually destroying the soul of the Constitution. It substituted “Bengali
nationalism” with “Bangladeshi nationalism”, striking at the very raison d’être
of the new nation erected on the plinth of the Bengali language and culture.
The phrase “Bangladeshi nationalism” has the overt hint of Islamic nationalism,
and this became evident as secularism was replaced with “absolute trust and
faith in Almighty Allah”. In 1988, Islam was declared the state religion.
in 2010, the Bangladesh Supreme Court ordered the restoration of secularism as
a basic tenet of the Constitution. The Sheikh Hasina government brought in the
15th Amendment in 2011 for this, but she did not change Islam as the state
religion. In fact, the amendment reinforced it by inserting a new sentence
above the preamble: “Param karunamoy name shuru korilam” (In the name of the
all compassionate, we begin). It is atravesty that Sheikh Hasina, Mujib’s
daughter, is not following in the footsteps of her father as firmly as she is
world community is maintaining an eerie silence. Global human rights bodies
have spoken up, but only in the context of Rohingya Muslims, pressuring
Bangladesh to permit their entry. In 1990s, a sizeable number of Rohingyas,
facing persecution in Myanmar, crossed over to Bangladesh and settled in
Chittagong district and the Cox’s Bazar region. The irony is that many Islamist
militants are from those Rohingyas who fled to escape persecution. They were
indoctrinated by the Jamat-e-Islami and it is this class of terrorists which is
totally opposed to liberal values and politics. It’s not that Sheikh Hasina has
not done anything, but it is far from being adequate. She got Canadian-born
mastermind Tamim Chaudhary and six of his trusted lieutenants eliminated. He
was sent to Bangladesh by the islamic State with the aim of killing
non-believers, as he himself articulated in a rare interview, “It is not the
methodology of the Khilafat soldiers to send mere threats to enemies of Allah.
Rather, we let our actions do the talking. Our soldiers are sharpening their
knives to slaughter the atheists and apostates of the region.”
these obscurantists, anyone not believing in Allah is a heretic. Thus they
target not only Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, etc, but also Muslims who are
atheists. The government sulks after each incident and invariably blames the
victim for hurting the religious sentiments of the people. It is not at all
serious about protecting Hindus. Irrepressible blogger Arif Jebtik, who faces
death threats for his fearless writings, had explained the Hasina government’s
stand on Hindus to an Indian newspaper thus: “Thaakley vote paabo, gele jomi
paabo.”(If Hindus stay, we shall get their votes, and if they leave, we shall
get their land.)
will the world community wake up? Article 29 of the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights reads: “Everyone has duties to the community in which alone the free
and full development of his personality is possible.” The Universal Declaration
had to be adopted as the United Nations Charter has utterly failed to protect
conservative Islamic party will not oppress other faiths
Malaysia -- The Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS), a conservative Muslim political
group that won an influential position in the May 9 general election, has no
agenda to oppress people of other religions or links to radical religious
groups, according Hadi Awang, the party's president.
won 18 among a total of 222 parliamentary seats -- five more than previously.
That made it the third largest group after Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's
Alliance of Hope coalition with 113 seats, and former Prime Minister Najib
Razak's National Front coalition with 79 seats.
four parties in the Alliance of Hope came together for the general election,
and Mahathir set aside his differences to partner with among others Anwar
Ibrahim, his estranged and imprisoned former deputy prime minister. The
departure of any of the four parties from the coalition would deprive it of its
parliamentary majority, possibly opening the door to PAS involvement and its
political agenda. PAS could potentially hold the casting votes if the ruling
President Hadi Awang told the Nikkei Asian Review that his party's "back
to Islam" mission was intended to return "a spirit of Islam" to
the government. As an example of what that means, he said government leaders
should bear in mind that they will be punished for corruption in the next world
by God, even if they are not charged for it in this world due to lack of
influence in government "does not mean suppressing people of other
religions," he said. "They are free to practice their own religions,
and they are free to worship." He said that "justice for
everybody" is a basic precept of Islam.
said Islamic ideas can fit in with the administration of the multi-ethnic
country with 23% of its citizens Chinese and 7% Indian. He said PAS even has
non-Muslim supporters. "This is proof that non-Muslims can be part of
us," he said.
is an increasing presence of hardline Islamic groups elsewhere in Southeast
Asia, such as Indonesia's Islamic Defenders Front (FPI). FPI appears to be
expanding ahead of next year's presidential election in the world's most
populous Muslim nation. The group has demonstrated against religious tolerance
in government and been involved in violence against non-Muslims.
is careful to distance itself from hardline religious zealots or extremists
such as Islamic State from the Middle East, which has been expanding its
footprint in Southeast Asia and was involved in last year's fighting on
Mindanao in the southern Philippines.
is not part of Islam," Hadi told Nikkei. "It does not represent Islam
Saat, a fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, said that PAS
is a political party whereas FPI remains a movement. "FPI's appeal is more
populist, and its influence on policies centers on lobbying and forging
alliances with politicians," he said. "PAS can change policies in the
states it controls. It can make alliances at political party level, and became
a king maker in some of the states it lost marginally. Even if PAS pushes for
hard-line policies, it may be halted by the federal government," he said,
noting that Mahathir has never supported harsh Islamic laws.
Welsh, an associate professor at Italy's John Cabot University and an expert on
Malaysia, told Nikkei that PAS and FPI share the goal of introducing Sharia law
(Islamic law) to their nations, but PAS's "tactics are different."
PAS will try to influence government policy by using its position and electoral
his interview with Nikkei, Hadi said PAS will not enter a coalition, but
cooperate with other parties on an issue-by-issue basis. "We go on our own,"
he stressed. "Our concept is to cooperate with everybody. If something is
good, whether it is from Alliance of Hope or National Front, we can cooperate.
For something which is negative, we cannot cooperate with anybody."
said his party supports the Mahathir government's decision to scrap a
high-speed rail project connecting Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. "Singapore
benefits more than Malaysia from that particular project," he said.
said an important focus now is on the United Malay National Organization, the
main party in the National Front, which has its presidential election on June
30. "The outcome will determine what sort of opposition pact
emerges," she told Nikkei.
said his party will continue to expand its support base ahead of the next
general election. PAS currently governs two of the 13 states in the country --
Terengganu and Kelantan on the east coast -- and plans to "activate party
branches all over the country." He declined to evaluate Mahathir's new
government on the grounds that it is "too early."
York City's Muslims, Sikhs Experience High Levels Of Harassment: Study
and Sikhs in New York City have experienced a significant level of harassment
in recent years, a new survey published by a city agency has found.
half of Sikh respondents to the study and 42 percent of Muslim respondents
reported experiencing verbal harassment, threats or taunting that referred to
their race, ethnicity or religion.
survey of 3,105 Muslim, Arab, South Asian, Jewish and Sikh New Yorkers,
published Tuesday by the city’s Commission on Human Rights, is an attempt to
capture the experiences of these minority communities, and to quantify how
often bias incidents are reported to community or governmental organizations.
participants, who were all at least 16 years old, were asked about incidents
that occurred between July 2016 and late 2017, “a timeframe that encapsulates
the climate pre- and post-election,” the authors said. The report refers to
policy changes enacted during this time that were “threatening” to some New
York communities. As an example, the commission cited President Donald Trump’s
announcement of a travel ban that affected nationals from several
2 in 5 respondents, 39 percent, said they had been verbally harassed in
reference to their race, ethnicity or religion, with some people ― 27 percent ―
saying that they had experienced this abuse more than once.
9 percent of respondents claimed they’d been physically assaulted because of
their race, ethnicity or religion. Black, predominantly Muslim women living in
the Bronx were particularly vulnerable to bias-motivated assault, with 19
percent claiming they’d been physically attacked.
focus groups conducted before the survey, the researchers found that two
specific incidents were frequently brought up by religious minorities: being
followed by a security guard or salesperson in a store, or being purposefully
pushed or shoved on a subway platform. The commission incorporated questions
about these two situations into its study. The survey found that 18 percent of
participants claimed they were followed by store staff, while 14 percent
reported being shoved on a subway platform.
23 percent of both Muslims and Sikhs reported being followed by store staff.
Sixteen percent of the survey’s Muslim participants said they’d been
intentionally shoved on a subway platform. Specifically, 27 percent of Muslim
Arab women wearing a hijab reported being intentionally pushed.
Fox Cahn, legal director for the New York chapter of the Council on American-Islamic
Relations, said it’s “completely unacceptable” that Muslim New Yorkers who wear
a hijab are encountering these attacks.
we all have been jostled on the subway, let’s be clear that we’re talking about
the number of respondents who report being ‘intentionally shoved,’” Cahn told
HuffPost in an email. “I think that critics need to recognize how dangerous any
physical altercation on our subway platforms can be, and how quickly a shove
can escalate into something life-threatening.”
study also sought to measure how often religious minorities in the city
reported harassment to community or faith-based organizations, the NYPD, the
Commission on Human Rights or other groups. Overall, nearly 71 percent of
participants said they chose not to report bias incidents. The biggest barrier
to alerting a community or governmental organization was respondents’ belief
that no one would take their claim seriously.
said he hopes the fact that so many victims fail to report their experiences is
a “wake-up call” for the city.
city’s human rights commissioner, Carmelyn P. Malalis, said that her agency
plans to use the data from the survey to better address and prevent these
incidents. The commission has launched an ad campaign on social media and on 15
ethnic media outlets to help spread awareness about where people can go for
one in New York City has permission to discriminate against or harass others
because of who they are, where they pray, or what country they come from,”
Malalis said in a statement. “The NYC Commission on Human Rights takes
bias-motivated incidents very seriously and we are dedicated to combating
the FBI found that religious bias motivated 1,538, or 21 percent, of hate
crimes in 2016, the latest year for which federal data is available.
Twenty-five percent of the incidents were anti-Muslim, while 0.5 percent were
the advocacy group Sikh Coalition believes the actual number of hate crimes is
much higher ― since the FBI’s data is based on voluntary reports by U.S. law
enforcement. The Sikh Coalition estimates that the Sikh community in the U.S.
is experiencing an average of one hate crime per week since the start of 2018.
2017 report from CAIR found that the 2016 election coincided with a nearly 600
percent increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims since 2014.
In another blow to the already strained ties between Islamabad and Washington,
the United States on Wednesday announced that it was putting Pakistan on
notice, for one more time.
an official testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Alice Wells,
the senior bureau official for South and Central Asian Affairs, said that the
US expects unequivocal cooperation in ending the sanctuaries the Taliban have
been enjoying in Pakistan — a claim Islamabad vehemently denies.
is on notice that we expect its unequivocal cooperation ending sanctuaries that
the Taliban have enjoyed since the remnants of their toppled regime fled into
Pakistan in 2001,” Ambassador Alice Wells said, acknowledging that Pakistan can
play an important role in the Afghan peace process.
added that the US was also working to end the sanctuary that the ‘Taliban have
enjoyed for decades in Pakistan’.
official expressed that US provided full support to develop the
Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) and repeated
the allegations that “despite some positive indicators, the [US] administration
has not yet seen Pakistan take the sustained or decisive steps that it would
have expected to see 10 months after the announcement of the South Asia
steps which Wells alluded to include arresting or expelling Taliban elements
who will not come to the negotiating table.
ambassador claimed that Trump administration’s conditions-based strategy on
South Asia was yielding positive results because the Afghan security forces
were fighting with renewed confidence.
Afghan troops and Taliban foot-soldiers can pray together, then the Afghan
people have every reason to believe that their leaders can come together and
negotiate an end to this war,” she asserted.
also clarified that the Trump leadership acknowledged a conflict resolution
would come through a negotiated political settlement.
Taliban must renounce violence, break ties with al-Qaida, and accept the Afghan
Constitution including its protections for women and minorities,” Wells
Us official continued that they will support the government and all Afghan
stakeholders for reaching a mutually agreeable negotiated settlement that ends
the Afghan conflict once and for all.
have been signs that the Taliban’s Pakistan-based leaders are debating the
merits of joining a peace process, however, the group has not responded to
President Ghani’s offer of unconditional talks,” wondered Wells.
Trump administration had put Pakistan on notice in August last year and US
National Security Council (NSC) Spokesperson Michael Anton had confirmed the
to newsmen, Anton had said that business as usual with Pakistan was now over.
spokesman threatened that the Trump administration could impose sanctions on
terrorist groups, including the Haqqani network, and any Pakistani officials
‘who are tied to these kinds of groups, you know, in ways that they shouldn’t
US official that visibly sounded rude expressed that the United States was
really patient with Pakistan over the years but it was not getting a good deal
to the notice, the military’s spokesperson had said that allies and partners do
not give notices to each other, neither do they indulge in a blame game.
noted that Pakistan had supported the US before and after 9/11 and the
relations should be kept intact.
Army defeated terrorists within the country, keeping in view the local culture
and geography, similarly, Afghanistan has its own history, culture, and
geography which foreign forces fighting militants must deal with,” Ghafoor
continued that the war in Afghanistan has entered into a final phase and the
US, allied and Afghan forces will have to fight the war.
US wants Pakistan’s role in Afghanistan but we cannot go and fight for them
inside Afghanistan. They will have to complete their tasks in Afghanistan on
their own”, he said in an interview to a private TV channel.
Caretaker Minister for Law and Justice Barrister Syed Ali Zafar said on
Thursday the prime minister had constituted a three-member committee to decide
about placing the names of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter
Maryam Nawaz on the Exit Control List (ECL).
to reporters outside the Islamabad High Court, he said the government had
received an application from the National Accountability Bureau seeking
placement of the names of Mr Sharif and his daughter on the ECL, but no
decision had so far been taken in this regard.
a look: Nawaz, Maryam postpone return due to Kulsoom's health condition,
law minister said the committee comprising Interior Minister Mohammad Azam,
Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar and himself would review the matter once the
two Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leaders returned to the country. He said that
since both were outside the country due to the illness of Begum Kalsoom Nawaz,
the issue of placing their names on the ECL could not be raised at this time.
reply to a question, Mr Zafar clarified that the name of Imran Khan’s friend
Zulfiqar Bokhari had never been on the ECL and, therefore, he could not be
stopped from travelling abroad.
expressed his ignorance about the presence of any law under which the names of
people were placed on the so-called “blacklist”. Mr Zafar said his ministry was
reviewing the matter and looking for the laws regarding the blacklist. However,
he said the practice of putting the names of people on the blacklist had been
going on for a long time.
minister explained that if someone’s name was present in the ECL, he or she could
not go outside the country without the approval of the federal cabinet. He said
the approval of the cabinet was not required for inclusion or withdrawal of a
name from the blacklist.
to a question about the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s demand for removing Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa Governor Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, the minister said anybody could be
removed if the government found interference in and influence on the next
ruled out the possibility of any delay in the general elections and said the
caretaker government would utilise all its energies and resources to ensure
that the elections were held on time and in a free and transparent manner.
“This is our promise with the nation,” he reiterated.
leader Zaeem Qadri on Thursday became vocal about his differences with the
party leadership and announced that he will contest the upcoming general
election from Lahore's NA-133 seat as an independent candidate.
cannot polish Hamza Shahbaz's boots," Qadri said during a press conference
in Lahore. He further announced that two of his aides — Syed Imran Ali Shah and
Asif Raza Baig — would also contest the election independently from PP-166 and
PP-167 constituencies, respectively.
have given my life and money [to PML-N], and spent time in jails for you,"
the press conference, Qadri met senior PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique who
reportedly tried to convince Qadri to rethink his decision of going against the
party. However, the meeting evidently bore no fruit as soon after the meeting
Qadri announced his grievances with the party leadership.
on your employees, boot polishers and masseurs; my election is against you
Hamza Shahbaz," Qadri thundered.
his family's struggles for democracy and the PML-N, he warned: "Hear Hamza
Shahbaz! Lahore is neither your, nor your father's property."
have ruled Punjab for 10 years, bring on the unit that you have made in Punjab
comprising of your employees and contest the election [against me]."
who has reportedly not been awarded the party's ticket, said it was not about
the elections but that his patience had run out because of what has happened in
the province during the past 10 years.
know that you were nowhere to be seen in the last 10 years," he said,
also claimed that one PML-N leader told him that he could not be given the
ticket because he "does not have enough money to contest the
has served as the provincial minister and an adviser to the chief minister, as
well as Punjab government's spokesman. He has also served at important
positions within the PML-N's party structure.
284 Sikh pilgrims arrived in Lahore from India via Wagah border on Thursday to
participate in the week-long rituals to mark the 179th death anniversary of
Maharaja Ranjeet Singh.
by their group leader, Sardar Balvinder Singh, the pilgrims arrived at the
Wagah railway station through a special train at about 12:30pm.
were given a warm welcome by the Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) officials,
including Secretary Tariq Wazir, Deputy Secretary Imran Gondal, Public
Relation’s chief Amir Hashmi, Pakistan Gurdawra Parbandhak Committee’s former
chairman Sardar Bashan Singh and others.
really want that both Pakistan and India should have unprecedented friendly
relations with each other. We also desire that there should be no visa for the
citizens of the two countries,” said Balvinder Singh while speaking to the
media on the occasion.
an ideal situation will enable us to visit Pakistan anytime for observing
religious rituals at temples of our spiritual leaders,” he added.
an agreement between India and Pakistan, 500 Sikh pilgrims may visit Pakistan
to mark the death anniversary of Maharaja Ranjeet Singh. This time, according
to an official source, 307 people applied for visa at Pakistan’s high
commission (New Delhi). “The Pakistan High Commission issued visas to all 307
applicants. But 284 of them reached Lahore via Wahga,” an official told Dawn.
tight security, the Sikh pilgrims reached the Lahore railway station. Later,
they left for Hasanabdal to visit the Panja Sahjib temple through another
will stay in Hasanabdal for two days and then reach Nankana Sahib. Here they
will stay for two days for performing rituals at the temple of Baba Gurunanak Dev
Jee. They will also visit temples in Narowal and Aimanabad. And finally, they
will return to Lahore on June 29 to attend the main ceremony in this regard. On
30th, they will return to India,” the official said while giving details of the
10-day schedule of the pilgrims.
the ETPB secretary while speaking to the pilgrims and the media at Wagah
appreciated Pakistan’s embassy for facilitating the pilgrims by issuing them
One person was killed and three others were injured as participants of a
Jamaat-i-Islami rally pelted stones at one another while returning from a party
gathering in Soran Dara area of Baizai tehsil of Mohmand on Wednesday.
residents said Malik Rehman Gul and Ghafoor Khan, the JI activists, brawled
with each other after a party’s corner meeting.
the supporters of the two leaders started pelting stones at one another. In the
melee, one Araf Shah was killed while three others, including Rehman Gul,
Gulistan Khan and Ghafoor Khan, received injuries. The injured were shifted to
a hospital in Bajaur.
newspaper Dawn has been facing disruptions in its circulation in "targeted
cities and towns" for the past month ahead of the July general election,
its management said in a statement on Tuesday.
management of Pakistan's oldest newspaper has also alleged that vans and
hawkers distributing its copies have been denied entry to cantonment areas for
"several months" and government officials in parts of Sindh, Punjab,
and Balochistan are now also stopping them from delivering copies to regular
subscribers ahead of the 25 July polls.
reports are also coming in of officials posted in many cities and towns in
Punjab, arbitrarily summoning newspaper agents, hawkers and salesmen, and
warning them not to distribute copies of Dawn, threatening them with
consequences if disobeyed," it added.
attempts to forcibly deny newspaper access to the citizens a "categorical
violation of the Article 19", Dawn urged caretaker prime minister Nasirul
Mulk, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Bajwa and Chief Justice of Pakistan
Mian Saqib Nisar to take strong notice "without any further delay of this
withstand an engineered election'
Pakistan, Article 19 of the Constitution grants its citizens the right to
freedom of speech and expression, and the freedom of the press. This freedom is
subject to any "reasonable restrictions imposed by law in the interest of
the glory of Islam or the integrity, security or defence of Pakistan or any
part thereof friendly relations with foreign States, public order, decency or
morality, or in relation to contempt of court, (commission of) or incitement to
to Dawn's allegations, former Senate chairman Mian Raza Rabbani said that
"such actions (attempts to intimidate the media) are also denial of the
fundamental right guaranteed under Article 19(A)," Pakistan Today
reported. Article 19(A) grants every citizen the right to have access to
information in all matters of public interest.
added that if this campaign continued, the holding "free, fair and just
elections" will become next to impossible. "Let such forces be warned
that the social and political fibre of Pakistani society and the polarisation
within the Federation cannot withstand an engineered election,” he said.
to Protect Journalists Asia also criticised authorities in Pakistan:
May, several reports stated that copies of Dawn "vanished" from
Balochistan. It was reported then that the distributors were told to stop its
circulation because the newspaper was ‘pro-Nawaz Sharif’.
12 May, Dawn published an interview with the former prime minister which
purportedly did not go down well with the Pakistan’s military establishment;
Nawaz questioned the military’s commitment to curbing terrorism. “Militant
organisations are active. Call them non-State actors, should we allow them to
cross the border and kill 150 people in Mumbai (2008 attack)? Explain it to me.
Why can’t we complete the trial?” Sharif asked in the interview.
Pakistan Army enjoys considerable influence over policy decisions in Pakistan
and has virtually ruled the country for much of its life since it gained
independence 70 years ago.
the Dawn interview, the Press Council of Pakistan notified the newspaper's
editor that the publication has breached the ethical code. Media watchdog
Reporters Without Borders lashed out at the authorities over the reports of
blocking of Dawn's circulation. "It is clear that the military high
command does not want to allow a democratic debate in the months preceding a
general election," it said in a statement.
media organisations cry censorship
from Dawn, journalists and other media organisations have claimed censorship
and acts threatening their freedom ahead of the July election.
6 June, senior journalist Gul Bukhari — known for her criticism of the Pakistan
Army — was abducted for several hours while on her way to record a TV programme
late at night. Another journalist Asad Kharal was physically assaulted in
Lahore the same day.
April, Geo News was blocked in many parts of Pakistan. Reports claimed that
cable operators were being forced to suspend the channel on orders of the
watchdogs such as Amnesty and International Press Institute (IPI) expressed
their concerns over these incidents.
actions deny the public’s fundamental right to receive news and information and
to participate in informed debate about matters of public interest, in
particular the military’s role in civilian affairs”, IPI executive director
Barbara Trionfi said in a letter sent to Mulk, Nisar, Chief Election
Commissioner Sardar Muhammad Raza, Senate chairman Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani, and
the Leader of Opposition Sherry Rehman.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has appreciated the people and
government of Pakistan for hosting millions of Afghan refugees for the last
four decades, reported by Radio Pakistan.
at an event in Islamabad, UNHCR’s Representative, Ms. Ruvendrini Menikdiwela,
urged international community to support Afghan refugees and their host
communities in Pakistan.
the event, Minister for SAFRON, Roshan Khursheed Bharucha said Pakistan has
taken several steps to protect Afghan refugees in the country.
said the growing numbers of displacement globally and shifting humanitarian
focus have impacted Pakistan.
Minister reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to the voluntary, gradual, safe and
dignified return of Afghan refugees back to their country.
Ministry invokes UAPA, bans new offshoots of al-Qaeda and Islamic State
Union Home Ministry has banned new offshoots of the al-Qaeda and Islamic State
under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
al-Qaeda in Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) and Islamic State of Iraq and the
Sham-Khorasan (ISIS-K), an Afghanistan-based affiliate of ISIS, have been
to the ministry’s order, AQIS has been promoting and encouraging terrorist acts
in the Indian Sub-continent and has been attempting to radicalise and recruit
are 39 banned outfits under UAPA, including the Islamic State, Lashkar-e-Toiba,
Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and others.
as Maulana Asim Umar, the chief of AQIS, Sanaul Haq, belongs to UP’s Sambhal.
He was appointed the chief of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent in 2016.
Al-Qaeda’s South Asian wing has been attempting to infiltrate India since September
2014, when the al-Qaeda overall chief Ayman al-Zawahiri announced the formation
of the South Asia branch.
group has had little success and was exposed in 2015, when nearly a dozen of
its operatives, including Muhammed Asif, Abdur Rehman and Abdul Sami were
arrested from Uttar Pradesh, Odisha and Jharkhand. Rehman’s brother was a
suspect in the American Centre blast in Kolkata in 2002. He was later
acquitted. Another attempt to establish AQIS was made in south India when a
group called “Base Movement” (BM) came to public attention with a series of
bomb blasts in 2016.
group existed since 2014 and was responsible for a series of blasts in courts
in Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Three suspects were identified —
Abbas Ali (27), Suleiman Mohd Abdullah (23) and Samsun Karim Raja. The trio
claimed affiliation to AQIS, not Islamic State. According to the ministry, the
ISIS-K, also known as Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP)/ISIS Wilayat
Khorasan, is also promoting terrorism in the Indian subcontinent.
has been committing terrorist acts to consolidate its position by recruiting
youths for “global jihad” and to achieve the objective of establishing its own
“caliphate” by overthrowing democratically elected governments, the order said.
outfit considers India and Indian interests as its targets and is engaged in
radicalising and recruiting Indian youths for terror activities, the ministry
UAPA has strict penal provisions to deal with banned organisations and their
members. In 2016, twenty-two Keralites, including six women and three children,
reached the bastion of Islamic State terror operations in Afghanistan.
Intelligence reports claim that four of them from Kasaragod, including a child,
were killed in bombings by the US. They were identified as Mohammad Mansad,
Shihas, his wife Ajmala and their child.
Muslims in Bangalore made it an Eid for all to remember
Nikhat Fatima, TwoCircles.net
is the month which Muslims all over the world observe with piety and spend the
entire month doing good, praying and being kind and generous. Many of them go
out of their way and spend generously on the poor and the needy irrespective of
their religious background. Ramadan is the month in which Allah has promised to
multiply each sincere act of the believer many folds. Therefore even a small
gesture of kindness in this month has a great magnitude and its reward
ul Fitr- the day when all the Roza/ saum/fasting is completed and Muslims
celebrate it with much pomp and splendour. It is also the time when people
greet each other and gift their loved ones. This year saw Muslims of Bangalore
giving away gifts to unknown yet people who matter in our daily lives.
idea was born in the mind of Tanveer Ahmed resident of Bangalore who shared it
with his friend Ameen e Mudassar, a career expert. And together they contacted around
500 people to contribute and in a short period of four days managed to mobilise
entire planning, execution, organizing and implementing was done in WhatsApp.
Never in my life was I on WhatsApp for non-stop 8-10 hours every day,” said the
finally, on the day of Eid, more than 150 volunteers took to the streets
distributing the sweets and dates to people from all walks of life. These
people were someone we see and run into daily without giving a second thought.
These were police personnel, auto drivers, bus drivers, conductors, and people
from the fire department, temple and church priests, BBMP (Bruhat Bengaluru
Mahanagara Palike) pourakarmikas – who are sweepers, garbage collectors and
Eid gifts to these people was not a mere gesture of generosity but a way of
appreciation and spreading the spirit of Ramadan which is kindness, charity and
love. The day of Eid in Bangalore witnessed the true spirit of Ramadan through
this rare and remarkable act by a group of people who got together to extend
the happiness of Eid and bring smiles on the faces of those people who
contribute to our well being in one way or the other, directly or indirectly.
official transferred for 'humiliating' Hindu-Muslim couple
passport official in the northern Indian city of Lucknow has been transferred
after a couple complained that he harassed them because they were not from the
woman, Tanvi Seth, who is a Hindu, tweeted to the foreign minister, saying the
officer asked her husband, who is Muslim, to convert to Hinduism.
added their passport application was also "put on hold" and they were
"humiliated" by the experience.
tweets had sparked outrage online.
story was picked up by many media outlets and online, prompting the passport
office to take action, reports BBC Hindi's Samiratraj Mishra.
couple's documents were complete and they have been issued their
passports," Lucknow's regional passport officer Peeyush Verma told a news
of an applicant doesn't matter while we're processing passport
between Hindus and Muslims have long attracted censure in conservative Indian
families, but recently there has been an attachment of a deeper, sinister
motive to them.
recent years, they are increasingly being labelled as examples of alleged
"love jihad" - a term popularised by radical Hindu fringe groups, who
accuse Muslim men of participating in a "conspiracy to turn Hindu women
from their religion by seducing them".
Verma added that a report of the incident had been sent to the Ministry of
couple married in 2007 but Ms Seth never changed her name.
her tweets, she had also alleged that the officer told her that it was her
"duty to change your name after marriage".
husband, Mohammad Anas Siddiqui told the Indian Express newspaper that when his
wife refused to change her name, the officer "started shouting at her in
front of everyone".
LUCKNOW: Yoga should not be used as a political tool
or linked to a particular community, top Muslim bodies said today on the eve of
International Day for Yoga.
organisations also said that Yoga should be seen as form of exercise and not
through the prism of religion.
lays special emphasis on physical fitness and considers things related to
fitness as good. Yoga as an exercise is good, but it should not be made
compulsory which may not be acceptable to people of other religions.
most important thing is that Yoga should not be used as a political tool. But,
sadly this practice is going on," All India Muslim Personal Law Board
spokesman Sajjad Nomani told PTI here.
also said that people of every religion and section of society should be
encouraged to celebrate Yoga Day tomorrow.
is unfair to force upon someone any particular exercise. There should be no
dispute vis-a-vis Yoga. People of every religion and section of the society
should be encouraged to celebrate International Yoga Day.
is important that Yoga should be perceived as a rahmat (mercy) and not a
'zahmat' (worry)," the spokesman said.
All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) was of the view that Yoga should not
be linked to a community.
should not be seen as something linked to a particular community. It is related
to the body only. People who have the habit of seeing Yoga through the prism of
religion, actually want to see humanity in a sick state of affairs,"
AISPLB spokesperson Yasoob Abbas said.
said several Islamic nations celebrate International Day for Yoga and people
participate happily in events.
telecom company has been heavily criticized after it failed to defend a Muslim
employee against discrimination from a customer
India has been heavily criticized after it failed to defend a Muslim employee
against discrimination from a customer.
to the BBC, the row began on Monday when Pooja Singh – the customer in question
- tweeted that she had a terrible experience with a call centre employee. When
an Airtel customer service representative with a Muslim name replied, she asked
for a "Hindu representative” as she had "no faith" in the Muslim
employee's "working ethics" since "the Koran may have a
different version for customer service."
hours had passed before another Airtel customer representative – this time, not
a Muslim – responded in compliance with Pooja’s request and offered to
exchange received intense backlash online as many interpreted the move as
extremely anti-Muslim. The former chief minister of Indian-administered Kashmir
denounced the company, saying he would stop using Airtel.
it was widely condemned on social media, Airtel issued a statement on Twitter
claiming to be above discrimination.
many users have continued to criticize the company over the initial response
complying with the discriminatory request.
people have also trolled the customer for her tweet - one called her a
"Hindu bigot" and another referred to her as a
has since responded, claiming that those who have criticized her have only
proven her right.
incident happened a day after Ola, an Indian taxicab aggregator, landed in
controversy when one of its drivers refused to drop a Muslim customer at his
not linked to religion, practised in Muslim nations’
Union home minister Rajnath Singh, who participated in yoga day celebrations at
Raj Bhawan on Thursday said that yoga transcended all religions and was not
limited to Hinduism.
people thought that yoga is only connected with religion. But if it were true,
people from more than 192 countries across the world would not have adopted it.
This also includes 46 Muslim countries. India has recently awarded the
Padmashri to a woman from Saudi Arabia who practises yoga. Prime Minister
Narendra Modi calls it cultural diplomacy,” the MP from Lucknow said.
along with governor Ram Naik, chief minister Yogi Adityanath and deputy CM
Dinesh Sharma, led hundreds of people in an hour-long yoga session at the
governor house lawns.
added that Modi was single-handedly responsible for getting international
recognition to yoga. “The entire world has accepted and adopted it. US is one
of the richest countries in the world and even there, more than 2.5 crore
people practise yoga. It surprises people to know that yoga finds mention even
in the Rig Veda,” he said.
chief minister, who marked a departure from tradition and wore a saffron tshirt
instead of his trademark saffron robe, told the gathered crowd that yoga has
been a way of life for rishis or Hindu seers for centuries.
a few years, people from across the world have become connected with this
tradition. Yoga is an umbrella term which encompasses various other traditions.
All those who practise yoga appear to be at least 10 years younger than they
actually are. This itself explains the connection between practising yoga and
being free of illnesses. By practising yoga regularly, one can save a lot of
money that would have otherwise been spent on treatment of various illnesses.
Yoga is the balance in one’s life and it is for this balance that everyone must
come forward along with PM Modi and accept yoga as a way of life,” he said.
DELHI: The Centre has decided to deploy National Security Guard commandos in
Srinagar to fortify the counter-terror grid as security forces look to step up
action against terror outfits after the state was placed under governor's rule
with BJP snapping its alliance with PDP.
will be training the state police and other paramilitary forces in special
anti-terror skills, oversee anti-hijack operations at Srinagar airport and
deploy commandos for intelligence-based operations where needed, with the elite
unit being deployed in pinpointed operations.
NSG has been training CRPF as well J&K police for counter-terror
operations, there is a view within the central security establishment that its
equipment, expertise and skills could be put to more active use.
a sizeable force equipped with the latest weapons and equipment for
counter-terror actions, and many feel that its deployment should not be limited
to extraordinary situations like the 26/11 attacks or the Pathankot strike.
They can be actively involved to tackle terrorism in J&K and be a strong
force multiplier. The situation is apt to put their superior training, skills
and arms to use," said an official.
Arabia’s King Salman demands extension of ceasefire in Afghanistan
King of Saudi Arabia Salman bin Abdulaziz has demanded the extension of the
ceasefire by all parties involved in the conflict in Afghanistan.
the announcement of ceasefire by the Taliban and Afghan government during Eid Al-Fitr,
King Salman said hoped that the truce would be renewed and built upon for a
longer period so that all parties could work together to achieve peace for the
Salman further added that the Afghan people, who had suffered so much from the
horrors of war were looking forward to turn the page of the past and to open a
new one based on tolerance and reconciliation, renounce violence and preserve
the lives of innocent people.
comes as President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has said the government is prepared to
extend the ceasefire for one year if the Taliban leadership is ready for a
made the remarks during a meeting with the members of Helmand peace convoy who
arrived in Kabul on Tuesday.
said if the Taliban group for a three day ceasefire then they can agree for a
one year ceasefire as well as he emphasized that the government announced the
ceasefire based on the Fatwa of the religious clerics which reflects the will
of the entire nation.
the Taliban issued a statement late on Sunday and said the fighters of the
group will continue to their attacks on Afghan and foreign forces as well as
against the government.
group has refrained from extending the ceasefire despite the Afghan government
announced late on Sunday that the ceasefire with the Taliban has been extended
for another ten days.
at the International Criminal Court have given Myanmar a deadline to respond to
a prosecution request that they consider hearing a case on the alleged
deportation of Rohingya minorities to Bangladesh.
a decision published on Thursday, the judges asked Myanmar to reply by July 27
to the request made in April that the ICC should exercise jurisdiction over the
700,000 mostly Muslim Rohingya have fled largely Buddhist Myanmar to Bangladesh
after a military crackdown in August 2017 that the United Nations has called
that the crime of deportation is alleged to have commenced on the territory of
Myanmar, the chamber deems it appropriate to seek observations from the
competent authorities of Myanmar on the prosecutor's request," the
world's first permanent war crimes court does not have automatic jurisdiction
in Myanmar because it is not a member state. However, the prosecutor asked the
court to look into the Rohingya crisis and a possible prosecution through
Bangladesh, which is a member.
Fatou Bensouda has argued that, given the cross-border nature of the crime of
deportation, a ruling in favour of ICC jurisdiction would be in line with
established legal principles. However, she acknowledged uncertainty around the
definition of the crime of deportation and limits of the court's jurisdiction.
Alice Wells, the senior bureau official for South and Central Asian Affairs,
has said the United States government is prepared to support, facilitate, and
participate in direct negotiations between the Afghan government and the
an official testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday,
Ambassador Wells said “Our desired outcomes for any peace process are clear and
have not changed. The Taliban must renounce violence, break ties with al-Qaida,
and accept the Afghan Constitution – including its protections for women and
have been signs that the Taliban’s Pakistan-based leaders are debating the
merits of joining a peace process; however, the group has not responded to
President Ghani’s offer of unconditional talks,” she added.
comes as the Taliban group leadership has been emphasizing on direct talks with
the US officials in a bid to end the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan.
only path to rescuing ourselves from all these calamities is for all American
and other occupying forces to leave our country and for an independent,
Islamic, intra-Afghan government to take root. Our Jihad began for this exact
purpose and in conjunction to our armed Jihad, we have kept the doors of
understanding and negotiations open to reach this objective and appointed the
Political Office of the Islamic Emirate as the exclusive avenue of activity in
this regard,” the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Hebatullah Akhundzada said in a
message released ahead of Eid Al-Fitr.
militants were killed during the artillery and airstrikes carried out by the
Afghan armed forces in the vicinity of Sayad district in northern Sari Pul
Ministry of Defense of Afghanistan (MoD) said Wednesday that the latest
artillery and airstrikes left at least 16 militants dead.
source further added that at least 11 militants also sustained injuries and
their five motorcycles along with some weapons and munitions were destroyed.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan military in the North had said earlier that
the artillery and airstrike have left at least six militants dead while six
others have sustained injuries.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
latest operations have apparently been carried out in response to the
coordinated attacks launched by the militants at the end of a three day
ceasefire announced by the Taliban during the Eid days.
new UN envoy for Myanmar has told authorities in her first visit to the country
that those behind atrocities and attacks against persecuted Rohingya Muslims in
Rakhine state “must be held accountable.”
to a UN statement released on Thursday, Christine Schraner Burgener said
credible measures were needed to establish accountability for the violence that
has engulfed Rakhine and driven thousands of Rohingya from their homes.
all discussions, the special envoy underlined the importance of accountability,
which she highlighted was essential for genuine reconciliation," the
UN envoy "urged for credible fact-finding measures" and said the
United Nations was ready to cooperate to establish such steps.
Burgener held talks with Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi and
commander-in-chief General Min Aung Hlaing during a nine-day visit to the
visiting the camps of displaced Rohingya in Rakhine, she also suggested that
authorities hold public meetings with the affected communities to encourage
"reconciliation and healing."
former Swiss ambassador to Germany, who was appointed special envoy in April,
will travel soon to neighboring Bangladesh where 700,000 Rohingya live in
overcrowded camps after being driven from their homes. She also plans to visit
Thailand and China.
United Nations has described the military campaign in Rakhine as "ethnic
cleansing" and is pushing for a full investigation into allegations of
Kyi has come under fire for doing virtually nothing to stop the crimes. Her
government has also snubbed and obstructed UN officials seeking to investigate
the situation and prevented aid agencies from delivering food, water and
medicines to the refugees.
Security Council visited Myanmar and Rakhine state in early May, meeting with
refugees who gave detailed accounts of killings, rape and torching of villages
at the hands of Myanmar's military.
United Nations has said it has strong suspicions that “acts of genocide” have
taken place against the Rohingya.
Rohingya have lived in Myanmar for generations but are denied citizenship and
are branded illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which likewise denies them
court sentences Islamic State-linked cleric to death
An Indonesian court on Friday sentenced to death a cleric linked to Islamic
State, for masterminding from his jail cell a string of deadly militant attacks
across the world’s largest Muslim-majority country.
ruling comes as Indonesia struggles to rein in a rising tide of homegrown
militancy, inspired in part by the extremist group Islamic State, with
parliament approving tougher anti-terrorism laws last month.
Abdurrahman, 46, is considered the ideological leader of Jemaah Ansharut Daulah
(JAD) – a loose grouping of Islamic State sympathizers in Indonesia.
court sentences the defendant to death,” said the judge, Ahmad Zaini, adding
that Abdurrahman had been proved guilty of “carrying out terrorism”.
bowed and touched his forehead to the floor on hearing the verdict, but did not
respond to the judge’s query whether he would appeal against the ruling.
was convicted of planning a 2016 gun-and-bomb attack in the heart of Jakarta,
the capital, that killed eight people, including four attackers.
was also proved to be behind a suicide attack last year that killed three
police officers at a Jakarta bus station and the bombing of a church in
Samarinda on Borneo island that wounded four children.
was serving a sentence in a maximum security prison at the time.
defence team told reporters the sentence was “too harsh”.
himself does not have the desire to appeal because he does not recognise the
court or Indonesian laws,” said Asludin Hatjani, a lawyer for Abdurrahman,
adding that the defence team had a week to consider filing an appeal.
dozens of masked and heavily armed police officers stood guard as Abdurrahman,
handcuffed and wearing an orange prison jacket over a blue shirt and black
trousers, was escorted into the South Jakarta courthouse by counter-terrorism
experts have raised concerns that a harsh penalty for the cleric could trigger
retaliatory attacks by followers.
verdict provides moral support for the counter-terrorism community, but it will
also make Abdurrahman a martyr to the jihadist community, whether he is
executed or allowed to spend years on death row,” Concord Consulting, a risk
advisory group based in Jakarta, said in a note.
bombings last month in Indonesia’s second largest city of Surabaya that killed
more than 30 people and were carried out by families with young children, were
linked to JAD cells and were the country’s deadliest in nearly two decades.
US State department says the JAD grouping is a “terrorist” organisation linked
to numerous attacks.
four years of talks and one deadly setback, the Philippines is finalizing a law
that would offer some autonomy to a flagship Muslim separatist group on the
historically troubled southern island of Mindanao.
houses of the Philippine legislature have passed initial versions of the law,
and President Rodrigo Duterte is to sign a final draft July 23 just before a
state-of-the-nation speech, according to domestic media reports. The law would
give at least one major rebel group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF)
autonomy over land use in a segment of Mindanao, the country’s southernmost
lawmakers may remove some of the clauses that the front wants, said Ramon
Casiple, executive director of Philippine advocacy organization Institute for
Political and Electoral Reform in Metro Manila. The group might protest the law
if too many items are taken out but ultimately they will go along with it, he
MILF might not get what they want,” Casiple said, using the rebel group’s
acronym. “But at the least it would end the MILF rebellion if you’re talking about
the leadership itself.”
years of effort
rebel negotiators, the government and lawmakers have haggled over the law since
the rebel front and the state reached a peace deal in 2014 requiring the Moro
front to lay down arms.
legislation called the Bangsamoro Basic Law, or BBL, would create an autonomous
political entity called the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region. That region would in
turn replace an existing 12,536-square-kilometer tract carved out for Muslim
groups in Mindanao and come with more rights for its inhabitants.
law should inspire the Moro front to shun any further violence, said Enrico
Cau, Ph.D. student in international affairs and strategic studies at Tamkang
University in Taiwan.
of them are looking for war,” Cau said. “President Duterte will say he doesn’t
want to go to war with his own kin, and MILF seems very reasonable. Basically,
they have no reason, no rational reason, not to want peace in the region.”
have lived in the 21 million population Mindanao’s west and outlying islands
for more than 500 years. Many live in poverty and resent the country’s
Christian majority control of resources. About 121,000 people have died in
related conflicts since the 1960s.
Philippine Congress was set to pass a law in 2015 but stopped after the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front ambushed troops near its holdings in Mindanao and
killed 44 commandos. Duterte, himself from Mindanao and in office since 2016,
has pushed for negotiations and told Congress this year to make it an urgent
group peace panel chair Mohagher Iqbal has urged passage of a law that reflects
the peace deal.
only BBL acceptable to us is a BBL compliant to the peace agreement,” Iqbal
said in a video statement posted on the group’s official Facebook site. “The
MILF position is, let the BBL pass Congress and the Senate now.”
are expected to continue until the final signing, Casiple said. The Moro front
and the government would haggle over rights to the autonomous region’s exact
boundaries and rights to any oil and gas discoveries. The proposal calls for
equal sharing of coal, natural gas and petroleum.
has also lowered from 6 to 5 percent the Bangsamoro region’s proposed annual
share of national internal revenue, allotting it $1.1 billion, Philippine media
has said the region would not be allowed to keep a separate military.
sticking point: whether autonomy sharing covers a separate rebel group, the
Moro National Liberation Front. The group has expressed reservations about the
process, and one of its factions plotted a deadly attack in Mindanao in 2013.
Moro National Liberation Front wants the law to allow job placement,
scholarships and permission for its founder, Nur Misuari, to join talks with
the government, a group representative said for this report.
soften my pragmatic attitude against BBL, I only want a scholarship abroad on
skill courses such as beer making, Mandarin language, alternative clean energy,
and whatever that could help me learn new skills to go back to peaceful
mainstream livelihood,” the representative said.
expect the law to omit smaller, more violent Mindanao-based Muslim groups such
as the Abu Sayyaf known for kidnapping foreigners, and the Maute Group that
battled troops for five months in 2017.
left out might rebel, scholars have said in the past. Separatist groups in
Mindanao have shown a pattern of reappearing under new names or locations to
LUMPUR, June 22 — The PAS government in Terengganu stressed that it will not
restrict non-Muslims from donning bikini swimwear on the state’s beaches and
daily Kosmo! reported Terengganu Humanity, Preaching, and Information committee
chairman Mohd Nor Hamzah as saying the decision gelled with the state government’s
stance of being tolerant and maintaining harmony among the state folk.
the decision to dress in bikinis is the right of non-Muslim tourists, and it is
also considered common practice at holiday spots.
also do not plan to implement harsh punishments or restrictions on non-Muslim
visitors including those dressed in bikinis,” he was quoted saying in the
he conceded that authorities may, from time to time, approach the tourists for
“discussions” on the matter, but did not explain what this would entail.
is home to many holiday islands on the east coast of the peninsula, including
Pulau Perhentian Kecil & Besar, Pulau Kapas, Pulau Tenggol, and Pulau
five million visitors were recorded in the state last year, with the local
government aiming at achieving 6.5million visitors, raking in a total of RM6
billion come 2025.
of the Pakatan Harapan coalition that now governs Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim has
voiced his support for President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey's upcoming
70, formerly served as Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's deputy. He
came to Turkey with Erdoğan's invitation upon his release from prison last
month after being sentenced to five years behind bars in February 2015.
release marked the first major success of the newly-elected Pakatan Harapan
92, has promised to hand over the premiership to Ibrahim within a year or two.
an interview with Anadolu Agency, Ibrahim described Erdoğan as "the most
popular leader among Muslims of Malaysia and outside Malaysia because of his
position on Palestine and on what happened to the Middle East."
said he supports Erdoğan in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary
elections in Turkey "because there is one leader who shows courage against
the powers in the world."
few leaders of the world would have that courage to go and fight for
justice," he said.
recalled that the Turkish president invited his wife and daughter to Turkey
while he was in jail.
time [Erdoğan] meets [former] Prime Minister Najib [Razak] or Deputy Prime
Minister Zahid [Hamidi], he always makes it a point to remind [them] about my
release," Ibrahim said, recalling that Erdoğan also invited him to Turkey
as soon as he was freed from jail.
is, of course, a hell on earth, but as I always say, God is kind and
supportive. But the rules are difficult. You lose weight, you become sick, you
have injuries, lots of problems," Ibrahim said.
of us experienced jail. President Tayyip Erdoğan experienced jail and that
makes us more patient, wiser and hopefully a better leader."
voice of courage'
a separate event organized by the Political, Economic and Social Research
Foundation (SETA) in Istanbul, Ibrahim reiterated his praise for Erdoğan as a
leader who speaks against atrocities in the world.
In Tunisia, Pakistan, India every time I speak, I mention [Recep] Tayyip
Erdoğan, [I tell them] 'see him as the sole voice of courage in the Islamic
can agree or disagree [with Erdoğan] politically; it is a different issue. But
he is the one person who has the courage to speak up against atrocities facing
the Palestinians, even the Rohingya [Muslims]," he said.
said every country should be able to make their own future.
do not want my country or myself to be dictated by the western agenda or the
eastern agenda, not by the Chinese, not by the Americans, not by the U.K."
said it should be people of Turkey who "decide the future of Turkey, not
the west or the liberal agenda."
also said: "By all means, criticize president [Recep] Tayyip Erdoğan, by
all means, criticize the policies of AK Party, all the government, all the
opposition, but be consistent."
are you soft on what Trump is doing with the immigrants? Why are you soft on
the atrocities in other countries?" he asked.
recalled he was in prison during the defeated coup of 2016, which left 251
people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured. He said he learned about the coup bid
from a prison officer. "I had no TV, no radio, no newspapers. I just
prayed, read the Quran and prayed and prayed and prayed for the safety for my
brothers and sisters and safety for this great country."
added: "If there is an attempt… to sabotage democracy and democratic
process, I will not compromise.
BHARU: PAS is calling on Umno members to join the party in its struggle to
vice-president Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said PAS’ door was always open to anyone
who could accept the party’s policies.
do not have any plans to draw Umno members to PAS but our doors are always
open. We welcome anyone who can accept our struggle because we have no personal
enemies. We are only enemies in politics.
invite those who aspire to defend Islam to come sit down with us, fortify our
Islamic struggle in Malaysia for the future.
believe many Umno members have high Islamic ideals and are interested to see
Islam succeed, only they had chosen Umno (as the vehicle in the struggle),” he
said after attending a state exco meeting at Kota Darul Naim Complex here,
about Umno’s future, Amar, who is also Kelantan deputy menteri besar, said Umno
should be dissolved as it had nothing left to offer the people.
said Umno no longer had any leader who could revive the party following its
loss in the 14th general election on May 9.
Staquf, an Indonesian cleric and secretary-general of the Jakarta-based
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), the world’s largest Muslim organization, believes that
“rahma,” meaning “compassion” or “mercy” in Arabic, can provide the basis for a
political solution to the conflict between Israel and the Muslim world.
a small group of Indonesian Islamic scholars, Staquf was in Israel from June
10-13, invited to speak at the American Jewish Committee's annual Global
Conference, which was held in Jerusalem. During his stay, Staquf met briefly
with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; spoke at several forums, including at
the Israel Council on Foreign Affairs and the Hebrew University; visited with a
delegation of Women Wage Peace, an Arab-Jewish peace group; and was guest of honor
at a song fest at the Tower of David in Jerusalem’s Old City, where he
delivered a convocation of peace together with a priest and a rabbi.
and Israel do not maintain diplomatic relations, but according to the Israeli
Ministry of Tourism, some 30,000 Indonesians, mostly Christian pilgrims, obtain
visas to visit Israel each year. In addition, several dozen Israelis visit
Indonesia, mostly for business purposes. Staquf repeatedly emphasized that his
was a “private visit.” Yet, given his position as an adviser to Indonesian
President Joko Widodo and Staquf's leadership of the Nahdlatul Ulama — a Sunni
group founded in 1926 and with more than 50 million registered members — his
visit stood to have political implications, especially as Indonesia continues
its efforts to assert itself in world politics, including in attempts to
resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict.
with a gentle appearance, Staquf wore a religious cap and most often dressed in
Western attire, only occasionally wearing an Indonesian-style shirt. He speaks
softly yet decisively.
a metaphor, he explained his concept of rahma to Al-Monitor. “If a person is
sick with diabetes or heart disease, he will not gain any advantage from
medication unless he changes his lifestyle,” Staquf said. “The ‘lifestyle’ of
this conflict must change, too. We have tried everything — negotiations, talks,
maps, and constant conflict. If operationalized as a political tool, rahma
could be a new start.”
visited with Netanyahu, although their meeting was not listed on the prime
minister's official schedule. A knowledgeable source told Al-Monitor that the
meeting had been hastily arranged. The Prime Minister’s Office said in a press
release that Netanyahu had told Staquf, “Muslim states are becoming closer to
Israel because of the common struggle against the Iranian regime and because of
Israeli technology. … The prime minister hopes that there will be progress in
our relationship with Indonesia, too.”
an interview with Al-Monitor, Staquf said, “I am a religious man, but I am not
naive. Political leaders must find solutions, but only if they bring rahma to
their negotiations will they ever find those solutions.”
emphasized that he was not in Israel as a government representative, but that
Widodo was “aware” of his visit. “My country wants to promote relations between
Israel and Indonesia,” Staquf said, “because the conflict is part of complex
world problems that must be dealt with comprehensively in a global manner. But
for there to be full normalization between Israel and Indonesia, the world’s
largest Muslim country, Israel must also address the global context of the
problem and recognize that it must make peace with its Muslim neighbors.”
the interview, as in his speeches, Staquf also expressed his strong support for
the Palestinian cause. “It must be obvious that I stand by Palestine and the
Palestinian people. What else could be expected from an Indonesia Muslim like
me? I stand here on the basis that we all have to honor Palestine’s sovereignty
as a free country.”
visit to Israel, however, was denounced in Indonesia, especially on social
media. Before his trip, the Indonesian government had canceled all Israeli
visas to protest the recent killings of Palestinians by the Israeli military on
the Gaza border. “The Palestinian ambassador to Indonesia personally asked that
I not come,” Staquf said. “They do not understand that my message of rahma is
for the good of the Palestinians.”
Eliraz of the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the
University of Washington and the Truman Research Institute at the Hebrew
University said Staquf’s visit must be viewed in terms of Indonesia's domestic
and international contexts. “Within the Muslim community, there is a struggle
between moderates and conservatives over the nature of Indonesian Islam and its
manifestations in political and social structures, institutions, and culture.
Opposing factions have two very different views for the future of Indonesia:
one side, which Staquf represents, wants to continue the democratic Indonesia
of today, where no religion has primacy over another, while the other wants a
state that reflects the majority Muslim demographic by being governed under
Islamic law. That [latter] side tends to support the Palestinian cause very
Palestinian Authority also denounced Staquf’s visit. Fatah spokesman Osama
al-Qawasmi said in a June 11 press statement, “The participation of an
Indonesian delegation of religious scholars in a conference of the American
Jewish Committee in occupied Jerusalem is a crime against Jerusalem, against
the Palestinians and Muslims in the world, and constitutes support for the
criminal Israeli occupier against our fighting and resolute people.” Qawasmi
demanded that senior Indonesian officials and the Indonesian people “settle the
account with those who have sold their souls to the devil and agreed to serve
as pawns in the hands of the Zionists and Israelis.”
met in Jerusalem with Mohammed Dajani Daoudi, founder of the Wasatia movement,
which is similar to the Nahdlatul Ulama in outlook. Dajani, who in 2014 lost
his position at Al-Quds University after taking a group of Palestinian students
to Auschwitz, responded sharply to the official Palestinian position. “Why do
we not embrace this visit and consider it a step toward peace, reconciliation,
rapprochement and dialogue between religions at a time we are in urgent need of
a glimmer of hope?” Dajani said to Al-Monitor. “Because of our condemnation of
the visit, the Indonesian religious scholars have heard only the Israeli view.
... We did not listen to their ideas and their call for mercy, love and peace.”
a more personal level, Staquf spoke almost ecstatically about his visit to the
Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif, and unusually, had difficulty articulating the
depth of his experience. “Ahh, as a Muslim, to pray at this holy site, just to
be there. … The feeling went into my soul. I do not have words,” Shaquf said.
acknowledged that efforts to bring religion into the political arena could
sometimes be problematic. “Too often, religion is used as a justification for
conflict. In Islam, like in so many other religions, it is possible to
interpret certain texts and hadiths [acts or statements of the Prophet Muhammad]
in a problematic way,” he said. “The Quran and hadiths were written in the
context of reality at the time. They are historical documents that contain the
canons of morality to guide us in spirit. … As the reality changes, the
manifestations of that spirit must change, too.”
said of Shaquf’s teachings, which weave traditional Indonesian tolerance into
Islam, “are very controversial, especially since Indonesia is located on the
geographic periphery, far from the centers in the Middle East considered to be
most central to the development of Islam. He is a very brave man, navigating
very stormy waters, always having to carefully balance between opposing forces,
condemning terrorism while asserting his loyalty to the Palestinian cause. …
But until there is a resolution to the conflict, and a Palestinian state is
established, Indonesia and this form of Islam cannot take a leading role.”
LUMPUR: Malaysian police have reopened an investigation into the grisly murder
of a young Mongolian woman in 2006 which has been linked to the country’s
ousted leader, reports said Friday.
Shaariibuu was shot dead and her body blown up with military-grade plastic
explosives near Kuala Lumpur.
murder was the most shocking aspect in a scandal involving allegations that an
associate of recently toppled Prime Minister Najib Razak arranged huge
kickbacks for the purchase of French submarines in 2002.
case captivated Malaysia for years and there have long been allegations that
Najib — defense minister at the time of the deal — and his wife Rosmah Mansor
were involved. They have steadfastly denied the claims.
government bodyguards were convicted of the killing and sentenced to death. One
subsequently fled to Australia, where he is in detention, and maintains he was
ordered by “important people” to carry out the murder.
father visited Malaysia this week. He met new Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad,
who backed re-opening the investigation, and lodged a fresh police report about
can confirm we are reopening investigations,” national police chief Mohamad
Fuzi Harun was cited as saying by The Star newspaper.
will conduct our duties without fear or favor.”
Paulsen, head of local rights group Lawyers for Liberty, said that Najib should
be among the new witnesses to be interviewed by the police.
want to know why Altantuya was killed and who ordered her killing,” he said.
broke the six-decade stranglehold on power of Najib’s coalition at elections
last month, and voted in a reformist alliance headed by 92-year-old Mahathir.
was the mistress of Najib’s associate, Abdul Razak Baginda, and was alleged to
have demanded a cut in the submarine deal for translating during negotiations.
Razak was cleared in 2008 of abetting the murder.
Trump’s Muslim bans have impacted US immigration
U.S. President Donald Trump came into office in January 2017, he brandished his
pen to make good on a string of campaign promises, including "a total and
complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
2017, Trump signed two executive orders and a presidential proclamation to ban
immigrants from certain Muslim-majority countries – Executive Order 13769 on
Jan. 27, EO 13780 on March 6 and Presidential Proclamation 9645 on Sept. 24.
they've been struck down 10 times by courts and brought five times before the
Supreme Court. Over 90 legal challenges have been filed against the orders.
the well-armed opposition to Trump's so-called Muslim bans, have they still
managed to make an impact?
study by Georgetown University's The Bridge Initiative says they have –
Bridge Initiative found that between 60,000 and 100,000 visas have been revoked
since the first order in January 2017.
was a 13 percent decrease in immigrant visas and 20 percent decrease in
non-immigrant visas issued to citizens of Muslim-majority countries between
March and October 2017.
visas issued to citizens of Arab countries plunged 30 percent in April 2017
compared to the previous year. Non-immigrant visas issued to Iranian nationals
fell by half (52 percent) and for citizens of Somalia, that number decreased 68
visas issued to citizens of countries listed in the March 6 order – including
Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – fell by 55 percent.
to be expected, the religious background of refugees entering the U.S. shifted
drastically in the first half of 2017. In February, 50 percent of refugees were
Muslim and 41 percent were Christian. By June, those percentages had shifted to
31 percent Muslim and 57 percent Christian.
November 2017, less than 10 percent of all refugees resettled in the U.S. were
the countries on the list have changed since the first order, 10 countries in
total have been affected since January 2017: Chad, Iraq, Iran, Libya, North
Korea, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen.
important to note that Chad, Iraq and Sudan were spared Trump's wrath in the
third proclamation, and that the scope of the restrictions on nationals from
North Korea and Venezuela, both non-Muslim majority countries, differ
drastically from others on the list.
has certainly made the most of his controversial orders, referencing the ban 34
times on Twitter, 19 times after terror attacks where initial suspect was a
Trump administration has defended the bans by pointing to a waiver provision
allowing people from targeted countries to seek entry if they meet certain
criteria. However, the Georgetown initiative found that out of 8,406 visa
waiver applications received in December 2017, only two were approved.
final verdict on the legality of the bans is awaited any day now from the
Supreme Court, who heard arguments on the case on April 25. Based on justices'
responses, analysts expect the ban will pass.
United States is mulling plans to hold a Congressional hearing on the Muslim
Brotherhood, sometime between July and early August before the summer recess,
according to two sources who spoke to Al Arabiya English.
Muslim Brotherhood, a banned group in several Arab countries, will be the
central topic of the hearing in which several Washington DC-based analysts are
expected to speak as witnesses.
to political observers, the possibility of the hearing comes as no surprise
especially given the current US administration’s stance against hostile groups
in the Middle East and North Africa.
Bolton, the National Security Advisor under President Donald Trump’s
administration, said in July 2017 that one of the ways to force Qatar to halt
its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the US must designate the group as a
reaction is, ‘Great, let’s take this opportunity and do what we should have
done anyway. Let’s declare the Brotherhood a terrorist organization.’ Having
done that, we turn back to Qatar and say, ‘Now, you follow suit,’” Bolton told
Breitbart News at the time.
same goes for current US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who as a congressman
in the past fought and co-sponsored legislation to designate the Muslim
Brotherhood a terrorist organization.
top-level White House officials arrived in Cairo on Thursday to discuss the
stalled Palestine-Israel peace process and other regional developments.
Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, two top advisers for U.S. President Donald Trump,
arrived in Cairo on Thursday after making earlier stops in Jordan and Saudi
to a diplomatic source at Cairo International Airport, the visit is expected to
last several hours.
visit is expected to include meetings with top Egyptian officials, with whom
they plan to discuss regional developments, especially those pertaining to
Canada (AA): Alexandre Bissonnette, who murdered six people at a Quebec City
mosque last year, should spend the rest of his life in prison, the prosecution
Jacques told Justice Francois Huot that the 28-year-old should be sentenced to
150 years, 25 years for each victim in a shooting spree at the mosque on Jan.
unprecedented crime merits a punishment that reflects its horrible
implications,” Jacques said in a Quebec City courtroom.
would be the longest sentence given since Canada did away with the death
penalty in the 1960s.
men died after Bissonnette went on a shooting rampage inside the Quebec City
mosque in January 2017, injuring five others. Thirty-five people, including
four children, witnessed the shooting that evening.
defense argued that Bissonnette’s sentences should be concurrent, meaning the
25-year sentences would be served together, and that he would spend 25 years in
prison before he would be eligible for parole.
crimes committed by Alexandre Bissonnette are unprecedented,” said prosecutor
Thomas Jacques, qualifying his behaviour as “base and repugnant,” and his
actions as “unspeakable violence.”
said Bissonnette targeted his victims because of their religion, which should
result in a tougher sentence.
was clearly motivated by hate,” he said, suggesting that should be considered
an aggravating factor.
Bissonnette was not charged with terrorism, Jacques said the impact of his
crime on society was identical.
a black eye, a scar on our Canadian values,” he said.
a statement Tuesday, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) urged
supporters to call for the sentencing to be consecutive, meaning 150 years in
prison, effectively a death sentence.
it could do is set a strong precedent that violent acts of Islamophobia and
other forms of anti-religious or racial hatred will be dealt with using the
full force of the law,” NCCM executive director Ihsaan Gardee said in the
statement. “It’s imperative our communities speak out to apply pressure in this
asked supporters to write letters to the editors of their local newspapers to
advocate for the 150-year sentence.
and Islam become hot-button issues in Turkey
just four days, Turkey will be hosting what is arguably the most crucial
election showdown in its contemporary history. Amid increasing economic
uncertainties, waning democratic reflexes and international isolation, the
Turkish electorate is also divided on a deeper, more existential issue: the
role of religion in shaping the minds of the future.
a widely attended rally in Istanbul on Monday afternoon President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan addressed a sea of supporters and vowed to raise “a pious generation of
Muslims,” a consistent commitment from the conservative leader during his 15
years in power.
Turkish president has long revealed his desire to fundamentally reshape Turkey
under a new dogma of religious nationalism, in many ways a direct antithesis to
the cosmopolitan, strictly secular legacy of Kemal Ataturk, the modern
the heart of this transformation lies education, and one of Erdogan’s most
powerful weapons are the so-called “Imam Hatip” – religious schools where the
study of Islam and the memorization of its holy script take precedence.
Erdogan’s rule, religious schools have increased tenfold, now approximating
4,500 and oftentimes replacing regular schools across the country. In the
latest budget proposal, the Turkish government approved to increase the funding
of religious education by 68 percent, which now totals $1.5 billion. By
comparison, the average secular school currently receives less than half the
money that goes to an Imam Hatip.
top of that, school curriculums are being reformed indiscriminately, with a
newly found focus on Islam. It was recently decided that the theory of
evolution will no longer be taught in public schools – according to the
government, it was deemed too complex for the students to follow.
Erdogan’s educational reform has been welcomed with enthusiasm by thousands of
pious Muslims, who feel that his policy is correcting decades of oppression
under secular rule, religious schools have proved to be particularly divisive
parents have been protesting the changes and are scrambling to find new schools
for their children, as unemployment figures are rising throughout the country.
Despite their mushrooming across Turkey, more than seven out of 10 slots in
Imam Hatip schools are still vacant.
clever move, Erdogan’s main rival in Sunday’s elections – and, coincidentally,
a former teacher at a religious school – Muharrem Ince pledged that under his
presidency religious studies would no longer be compulsory.
parents desire more religious education for their children they will be able to
choose it, but without compromising on other parents’ decisions,” he declared
in a passionate election speech last Sunday, while addressing a cheering crowd
of Alevis, one of Turkey’s most significant religious minorities.
retired physics teacher, Ince has placed particular emphasis on education
during his explosive campaign. He has vowed to shape a generation of scientists
and engineers that will usher the country to the digital age, and promised to
transform Erdogan’s mammoth presidential palace into a university.
remains to be seen, perhaps as early as Sunday, what kind of future Turkish
voters envision for their children.
doesn't rule out coalition if no majority
: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he does not rule out forming
a coalition in parliament if his ruling-party led alliance does not win an
overall majority in tight polls this weekend.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) - running together with its junior partner
the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the so-called People's Alliance - is
expected to win the most seats in Sunday's dual parliamentary and presidential
some analysts believe the AKP-led alliance will fail to win a majority in the
600-seat parliament in the face of a strong challenge by the opposition, which
has formed its own election pact.
the People's Alliance gets over 300 seats, the issue of (coalitions) is
finished," Erdogan said in an interview with Kral FM and Kral Pop Radio
it is under 300, then we could seek a coalition. That's a separate
matter," Erdogan said.
comments were the first clear acknowledgement in the campaign by Erdogan that
his election alliance may not be able to win an overall majority in parliament.
Erdogan did not indicate with which party he could form a coalition or how
difficult the task could be.
can be formed. But the possibility of one coming into existence is very, very
small," he added.
main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) has allied with the Islamic
Saadet (Felicity) Party and the new Iyi (Good) Party for the elections. All
these parties are currently staunchly anti-Erdogan.
pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) is not part of any alliance but
despises Erdogan who it accuses of launching a crackdown on its leaders and
the polls, Turkey's parliamentary system will transform into an executive
presidency following constitutional changes approved by a referendum in April
changes will expand the powers of the president but also increase the size of
Turkey's parliament from the current 550 MPs to 600.
the parliamentary majority would be seen as a blow to Erdogan, who also faces
presidential elections on the same day.
- Reinforcements rolled into Yemen's Hodeida Thursday as the army and its
regional allies set their sights on the city's port held by rebels who have
vowed to fight to the end.
sources said the army, backed by troops from the United Arab Emirates, had been
sending backup troops to the area ahead of a major offensive to close in on the
Red Sea port.
preparations are in their final stages for the advance on the port," a
military source told AFP, requesting anonymity.
Iran-allied Huthi rebels have refused to cede control of Hodeida port, the
entry point of three quarters of imports to impoverished Yemen.
Huthis have controlled the port since 2014, when they drove the government out
of the capital and seized much of northern Yemen and a string of Red Sea ports.
June 13, Yemen's army and its allies launched their offensive to clear Hodeida
of the rebels, raising UN concerns for vital aid shipments and food imports
through the city's docks.
pro-government forces announced the capture of the Hodeida airport on Wednesday
airport had been disused but it housed a major rebel base just inland from the
coastal road into the city.
leader Abdulmalik al-Huthi on Wednesday night called for reinforcements to
repel the advance of the UAE-backed government forces, after ongoing fighting
left nearly 350 people dead in one week.
residents are now bracing for what they fear will be devastating street
fighting, as tanks and buses carrying uniformed troops roll through the empty
streets of the once-bustling city.
Hodeida offensive, dubbed Operation Golden Victory, is the most intense
battlefront in the already-brutal Yemen war which has left millions displaced.
Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei announced his objection of Iran’s joining an
International treaty put forward by the global Financial Action Task Force
a speech to members of parliament on Wednesday, Ali Khamenei advised them to
prepare their own draft law. The Iranian parliament has failed last month to
pass a law based on requirements by the global Financial Action Task Force
“FATF” to fight money laundering and financing terror.
of these treaties have useful parts, it's not a problem" Aytollah Ali
Khamenei said in a speech to members of parliament, according to a transcript
published on his official website.
said: "The solution for this issue is that the parliament should make up
its own law. For example, a law for fighting money laundry. There is no need
for us to accept things that we don't know where they will end up" as
reported by Reuters.
hardliners considered “FATF” law a “colonial” treaty and will ban Iran’s
continuous support for allied militias under accountability of terrorist
the European countries are pressing the Iranian government during talks to join
“FATF” which is considered part of the clauses in the Iranian nuclear deal,
which Iran has failed to implement.
Yemeni Army shot down an Iranian-made drone belonging to the Houthi militias
near Hodeidah airport, the second incident in last few days, when it shot a
similar one in the western coast of the port city of Hodeidah.
Yemeni al Amalikah brigade said in a statement that the drone was shot down
near Hodeidah International airport, publishing pictures of the Iranian
made-drone used by the Houthis to spy on the Yemeni legitimate army positioned
in liberated Hodeidah airport.
a report published by a London’s research center for armed conflict pointed out
that Iran’s technologies have reached the Houthis by teaching them how to use
drones. They had previously said it was locally made, but later it was proved
that these drones were Iranian-made and were smuggled in for the Houthi
militias, along with other weapons, among them ballistic long-range missiles, according
to the report.
Yemeni legitimate army, with the backing of the Arab coalition, advanced on
Thursday in the city of Sadaa in an operation named ‘Beheading the Snake’
headed by military General Abdulkareem al-Sadee.
coalition-backed brigade liberated the villages of Roqi, al-Gharza, Haram,
Rubaan and other military camps in a combing operation of Houthi militia
pockets which is still going on.
Yemeni army, backed by the Arab coalition, liberated new positions in Almalahiz
front in Az Zahir district in southwestern Sadaa governorate, the stronghold of
Yemeni army inflicted heavy losses among the Houthis at many locations in
authorities Friday detained in Ankara 14 suspected members of ISIS accused of
planning an attack on elections this weekend, the state-run Anadolu news agency
14, all foreign nationals, were detained in simultaneous morning raids on their
residences in the capital, the news agency said.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan will seek a new mandate as well as a parliamentary
majority for his ruling party in Sunday’s polls, which are expected to take
place under tight security.
report said large amounts of material were seized in the raids. But it gave no
details on the nature of the attack’s timing and location, or the nationality
of the suspects.
was in 2015 and 2016 hit by a string of attacks blamed on ISIS, as well as
Kurdish militants, that claimed hundreds of lives.
United States has delivered the first of the six F-35 warplanes it has
contracted to give to Turkey, despite domestic opposition over Ankara’s
decision to buy the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft missile system.
Lockheed Martin officially handed over the first plane to Turkish officials
during a ceremony in Fort Worth, Texas, various media outlets reported on
second plane will be brought "at a later date" to Luke Air Force Base
in Arizona, said Lieutenant Colonel Mike Andrews, a Pentagon spokesman. The
remaining four will be staying in the US until 2020.
which is a NATO member, has been a partner in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter
project, a consortium financing the warplanes, since 1999.
Washington’s disappointment, the country is also to start taking delivery of
the Russian surface-to-air defense system between by early 2020. For now,
Russia is producing the defense systems for Turkey under a loan agreement
concluded between the countries last December.
senators have opposed F-35's delivery in the light of Ankara's plans to
purchase the Russian systems.
a defense budget bill approved on Tuesday, the Senate demanded that F-35 sales
be scrapped if Turkey went ahead with its S-400 purchase plan.
effort by the government of the Republic of Turkey to further enhance their
relationship with Russia will degrade the general security of the NATO
alliance, and NATO member countries, and degrade interoperability of the
alliance," the bill reads.
both chambers of the US Congress approve that version of the bill, US President
Donald Trump's administration will be obliged to exclude Turkey from the F-35
project, remove from the aircraft all parts made in Turkey, and ban the Turkish
F-35s from leaving US territory.
close ties with Russia are just one bone of contention in the Turkish-American
officials say the airport in the strategic port city of Hudaydah is still under
the control of the Houthi Ansarullah movement, rejecting reports that the
facility had fallen to the hands of Saudi-backed forces.
army spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman on Thursday dismissed claims
that the invaders had gained ground in Hudaydah as he showed photos of enemy
armored vehicles blown up in the city.
also hailed the Yemeni fighters' achievements in the country's western coast as
Yemeni fighters, Luqman said, have been fighting against Daesh and al-Qaeda
militants in Hudaydah's al-Durayhimi district, and have surrounded all
Saudi-backed forces and mercenaries in the al-Jah neighborhood.
mercenaries have two choices, either to surrender or die, he pointed out.
remarks came after Saudi commander Brigadier Abdul Salam al-Shehi claimed on
Wednesday that the Hudaydah airport had been “completely cleared” and was
“under control” of his forces.
spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam stressed that the aggressors had been defeated in
Yemen's western coast despite possessing numerous weapons and enjoying
financial and media support.
further described the invaders' battle as "a mass suicide," saying
the offensive is aimed at killing Yemenis and end their sovereignty.
Yemeni people will not give in to any pressure, Abdulsalam said, emphasizing
that Houthi fighters had foiled the enemies' "foolish" plots with a
Mohammad al-Bukhaiti, a top figure in the Houthi movement’s Supreme Political
Council, released a video from the Hudaydah airport that purportedly showed
claims of the Saudi-backed forces' presence there were false.
enemies have suffered heavy blows and been forced to retreat eight kilometers
off the airport, he added.
the al-Duraihimi district, Bukhaiti said, 20 armored vehicles belonging to the
Saudi-backed forces had been destroyed and 10 more seized. Yemeni drones had
also destroyed six armored vehicles.
Hudaydah airport lies just eight kilometers from the city’s port, through which
three-quarters of Yemen’s imports pass, providing a lifeline for millions of
down spy drone, Emirati reconnaissance plane
Thursday, Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported that Yemen's
air defense system had shot down an enemy spy drone in the northwestern Sa'ada
on Thursday, Yemeni sources said an Emirati reconnaissance plane was shot down
near Saudi Arabia's southwestern Jizan region, killing the crew.
added that the plane was returning to its base after carrying out an aerial
operation in Yemen's western coast.
media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command quoted Yemeni military sources as
saying that the Emirati jet, which had two pilots, was brought down by Yemeni
air defense system.
by Saudi-led airstrikes, Emirate forces and militants loyal to the former
Yemeni government launched the Hudaydah assault on June 13 despite warnings
that it would compound the impoverished nation’s humanitarian crisis.
Houthis and allied armed forces, however, have managed to inflict heavy losses
on the invaders.
UN says fierce clashes in the port city have driven 5,200 families from their
Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging a war against Yemen since early
2015, claims that the Houthis are using Hudaydah for weapons delivery, an
allegation rejected by the fighters.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his country’s military forces will continue
aerial attacks against the positions of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)
militant group in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region.
have struck 10 critical points in Qandil. We have also finished off a number of
[PKK] leaders who were in a meeting,” Erdogan said at an election campaign
rally in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sanliurfa.
Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Turkish forces were making progress in
their military operation against PKK militants in northern Iraq, and had seized
400 square kilometers of land.
military operation against [the] PKK in the Qandil Mountains is progressing
step by step,” Yildirim said in an interview with Turkish-language CNN Turk
television news network.
forces have advanced 40 kilometers in the area and established control there.
It is estimated to be 400 square kilometers,” he added.
Turkish prime minister then pointed to the recent Turkish airstrike against a
gathering of high-profile PKK figures in the Qandil Mountains, saying, “An air
raid was carried out on the terror network’s premises. We know that there are
significant losses, and the details will become clear over time.”
Turkish General Staff, in a statement released on June 17, announced that
Turkish fighter jets had bombarded Qandil region, neutralizing 35 Kurdish
militants in the process.
Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that
the militants were killed, captured or surrendered.
militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated
southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.
along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a
terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an
autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July
2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out
operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and
‘A Living Example for the Peaceful Coexistence Of All Faiths’
The UAE has shown the world how people of all faiths and nationalities can live
together in peace, which is in line with the teachings of Islam, according to
Dubai’s leading religious scholar.
exclusively to Arab News, Dr. Mohammed Al-Kobaisi, grand mufti of the
Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities of Dubai, said that
Islam includes the principles of peaceful coexistence and cooperation among all
people for goodness and righteousness, to benefit everyone.
UAE put these principles into practice and legalized the system in such a way
that it not only became a case study but a reality that many people live here,”
have more than 200 nationalities who are witnessing that and are a testimony to
Almighty has said repeatedly that all mankind are made from one single male and
female, and they are made into races and tribes to know one and other. Prophet
Muhammad (peace be upon him) also repeated the same by saying: ‘Oh mankind you
are all from Adam,’ and there is no distinction or superiority over Arab or
non-Arab, neither white over black or black over white, except by righteousness
and good deeds.”
said these principals of peaceful coexistence are deeply rooted in the
teachings of Islam.
worldwide abide and practice them,” he said. “The UAE has made huge advancement
in this area. It works on multiple levels: The education system, preaching
within guidelines, the legal system and many others. All these put together
make it a beautiful reality that all people in the UAE enjoy and benefit from
the practice (of treating everyone equally.)”
grand mufti said Muslims who live with non-muslims or in non-Muslim countries
must be especially responsible with their behavior as they face particular
first (challenges) are those that Muslims are facing with regard to their faith
and other worldly matters,” he said. “The other major issue is their reaction
towards these (challenges) — their own behavior.”
added that like it or not, every Muslim is an ambassador of Islam, and how each
individual acts and presents himself or herself affects the perception and
image of all Muslims.
this regard) Islam actually stands out among many other religions,” said
Al-Kobaisi. “If a non-Muslim does something, it does not reflect on his
religion but if a Muslim does, then it usually reflects on the image of Islam.
why the messenger of Allah, Prophet Muhammad, has guided us that we need to
stand out among people with our characters, behaviors and morals. A Muslim
should be known immediately as a Muslim because he is peaceful, respects the
system and laws, is helpful to his community and neighbors, is truthful, and
does not lie or cheat.”
said this etiquette of Islam is very important everywhere but becomes even more
crucial when dealing with non-Muslims.
you are representing Islam,” said Al-Kobaisi. “Even if you are not a good
Muslim, they will take it that this is what actual Muslims do. So you need to
be careful and represent the real Islamic values. Muslims should always be
ready to cooperate for the goodness and benefit of society.”
to social media outcry over Dubai-based Indian origin chef Atul Kochhar’s tweet
on Islam, Al-Kobaisi said such issues should be considered on two levels.
a person who is living as a guest in a country should respect local cultural
values and customs to ensure a peaceful coexistence.
does not make sense for a person living as a guest to attack local customs and
traditions — let alone religious values or Islam at large, categorizing all
Muslims and Islam through a narrow prism based on false information they read
somewhere,” he said.
second consideration is legal, given that the UAE has strict laws governing
public comments, online or otherwise, about religion and anyone who breaks them
can be prosecuted.
for how Muslims should react to such cases, Al-Kobaisi said they should realize
that the person involved is either ignorant or does not have the right
the particular case of the chef, he said it is the duty of Muslims to educate
him and share the real values of Islam, while offering forgiveness when
should forgive him and guide, if we realize that his opinion was based on wrong
information and wrong experiences he had in the past,” he said.
if a person doing such things deliberately to disturb the peace in society, or
to gain attention or sympathy, then the case should be referred to the authorities
who will deal with it according to the rule of law, he added.
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.
reports from the town of al-Bab in Northern Aleppo also said that the residents
of the region are enfuriated over the Turkey-backed militants' crimes,
plundering and infighting, and plan to stage similar protests.
sources reported on Monday that a number of gunmen were killed or wounded in a
fresh wave of tensions and infighting between two Ankara-backed militant groups
in the town of Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo.
sources said that the al-Shamiyeh Front engaged in fierce clashes with the
militants of the Free Police, both affiliated to the Turkish army, in a Park in
sources said that the clashes left two al-Shamiyeh gunmen dead as well as a
number of casualties among civilians
army forces continued clashes with remnants of the ISIL terrorists in
Northeastern Badiyeh of Sweida on Thursday, and captured Tal Qabr Sayah, Tal
al-Zahaya, Tal Darbas, Tal al-Zabab, Tal Lathawi, Tal al-Kheyal, Tal Um
al-Janbaris, Tal al-Zars, Tal Ali, Tal al-Habariyeh and Khabrat Hawi Hossein.
the Syrian army's artillery and missile units targeted the terrorists'
positions in the region, inflicting heavy damage and tolls on them.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian army troops stormed the
remaining pockets of ISIL in the Eastern Badiyeh of Sweida and managed to make
remarkable advance against terrorists in three flanks.
army men engaged in fierce clashes with ISIL in Rasm al-Hatiti flank and
captured Wadi Shatayeb Suleiman, Tal Lathawi, Souh al-Majidi, Arazi Joweis and
Wadi al-Sahal regions.
units of the army soldiers stormed ISIL in a region between al-Shaqiyeh and
Khirbet al-Ambashi and seized control over Tal Qabr Sayah, Rasm Abu Rour and
army men further advanced and drove ISIL out of Khirbet al-Ambashi.
- Thousands of civilians have fled "intensified" regime bombardments
of rebel-held areas in southern Syria in the past three days, a monitor said
Thursday, as fears mount of a full-blown assault.
Bashar al-Assad has set his sights on retaking rebel-controlled parts of
southern Syria, whether through negotiations or a military operation, and has
been amassing troops there in recent weeks.
far, no deal has been struck to avert fighting over the southern opposition
stronghold that borders Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
Thursday, a Britain-based war monitor said the regime had ramped up its
bombardment of Daraa province, leading thousands to flee for their lives.
than 12,000 civilians have fled their homes in the last three days after regime
forces intensified their shelling and air strikes on eastern" Daraa, the
Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.
civilians fleeing areas including Nahta, Al-Herak and Basr al-Harir were
"heading to nearby villages under rebel control not affected by the
bombardment near the Jordanian border" to the south, Observatory head Rami
Abdel Rahman said.
fighters control around two-thirds of Daraa, which borders Jordan, but the
regime holds a sliver of territory in the centre of the province.
Islamic State jihadist group also holds a pocket of ground in the province.
areas in eastern Daraa bombarded in recent days lie on a strip of land flanked
by regime-held territory to the east and west.
media activist in Basr al-Harir told AFP thousands had escaped their homes in
areas near his village.
villages have fled," Mohammad Ibrahim said.
UN humanitarian coordination office (OCHA) reported that 2,500 people had fled
one of these areas, Nahta, as of Wednesday.
said the United Nations was "concerned about reports of an escalation of
violence in Daraa... which is endangering civilians and causing hundreds of
families to become displaced".
is largely considered to be the birthplace of the Syrian uprising in 2011 that
eventually spiralled into civil war after a brutal crackdown, and the regime
retaking it would be a symbolic victory.
news agency SANA, using its customary term for rebels, said the army was
shelling positions of "terrorists" in Al-Herak and Basr al-Harir on
Thursday, and had killed a number of them.
the neighbouring province of Sweida to the east, two civilians were killed on
Thursday in rebel bombardment of the provincial capital of the same name, SANA
a string of military victories against rebels earlier this year near Damascus,
the regime has turned its attention to ousting rebels from areas of southern
include parts of Daraa and the neighbouring province of Quneitra to the west,
which is largely controlled by rebels and borders the Israeli-occupied Golan
Quneitra and Sweida are included in a "de-escalation zone" agreed by
the United States, Russia and neighbour Jordan last year.
week, the US State Department warned Damascus against any military action in
the de-escalation zone.
an interview with Iran's Al-Alam television channel also last week, Syria's
Assad said contacts were ongoing between Russia, the United States and Israel
over the southern front.
are giving the political talks a chance, but if they fail, there will be no
choice but liberation by force," he said.
regime has retaken large parts of Syria from the opposition since Russia
intervened militarily on its side in 2015.
this year, Assad scored a major victory by retaking the former rebel bastion of
Eastern Ghouta outside Damascus, after a blistering assault and a string of
so-called evacuation deals.
regime blitz displaced tens of thousands of civilians.
sources reported that the army forces won back control of a region extending
from areas near the T2 station in Southeastern Homs to Mo'eizileh region in
Southern Deir Ezzur which was occupied by the ISIL.
added that 1,200sq/km of lands have been purged of terrorists by the army,
saying that the army forces killed over 50 militants in the operations and
destroyed their military equipment.
a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian army troops stormed the
strongholds of the remaining pockets of ISIL terrorists in Western Deir Ezzur
and Eastern Homs, and managed to restore security to more regions at the border
army men managed to advance against ISIL in a vast region some 45km wide and
60km long in Eastern Homs after purging Ba'ar Atshan, Wadi al-Lawizeh and Tal
Shadid regions of terrorists.
army men further managed to reinvigorate security of a large region between T2
Oil Pumping Station in Southwestern Deir Ezzur and T3 Oil Pumping Station in
Eastern Homs and between Humeimeh and al-Wa'ar Dam up to the borders with Iraq.
army forces engaged in clashes with the ISIL terrorists who had earlier
attacked their positions in Awiraz Dam in Eastern T3 oil pumping station, East
of Homs, inflicting heavy tolls on them. There is yet no report on the precise
number of ISIL casualties, but early reports said more than 40 terrorists have
been killed in the clashes.
the army units in Badiyeh (desert) region of al-Sukhnah in Eastern Palmyra
launched missile and artillery attacks on a group of ISIL terrorists in Badiyeh
al-Sukhnah in Eastern Palmyra (Tadmur), killing all its members and seizing
their military equipment.
field sources underlined the terrorists' failed attempts to retake control of
the areas lost in the past two days, noting that the army forces warded off
their offensives and inflicted heavy damage on them.
a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian army troops, backed up by the
country's Air Force, fended off a number of attacks by the ISIL in Badiyeh of
the ancient city of Palmyra in Eastern Homs, inflicting major losses on the
army men fended off ISIL's attacks in Humeimeh region, near T2 Oil Pumping
Station, al-Wa'ab Dam, al-Mo'ayzeliyeh, near Awiraz Dam and East of T3 Oil
Pumping Station in Eastern Badiyeh of Homs.
army men inflicted heavy casualties on the terrorists and forced their
remaining pockets to retreat.
During the Daesh group’s rule in Mosul, radio stations were banned and replaced
with broadcasts of militant propaganda. Today, young Iraqis are filling the
budding presenter is Nour Tai, who at 16 years old faces the microphone with a
confident tone and a professional style.
hosts a weekly program on One FM, a Mosul station launched in February that
broadcasts a mix of music, entertainment and current affairs debates.
career began a year ago thanks to a talent show organized by Al-Ghad, a station
in the Kurdish city of Irbil which hosted many of those displaced from Iraq’s
said at the time that she was passionate about radio because “it touches
want to be part of it,” she said.
now sits in the One FM studio, accompanied by her father, as a degenerative
illness left her blind three years ago.
says her aim is to “give people hope, especially those who suffer from a
want to tell everyone that we can all contribute something and that we can realize
our dreams,” she says from the cramped studio.
launch of One FM came six months after Iraqi forces declared victory over Daesh
following three years of brutal militant rule in Iraq’s second city.
had shut down independent radio stations and anyone caught tuning in could
expect severe physical punishment.
emergence of stations such as One FM is a step in the city’s transformation
since Daesh was ousted following a vast, months-long operation.
presenters are busy 24 hours a day, producing and broadcasting shows which are
also filmed for broadcast on the radio’s website and social media accounts.
channel is run by volunteers who bought the necessary equipment by pooling
their savings, some selling their own belongings to fund the station.
Al-Qaissi, One FM’s head of communications, says their aim is to “denounce
violence and extremism, and broaden people’s minds.”
is a need to “erase the terrorist ideology and end the sickness of our society,
such as sectarianism and racism,” the 28-year-old says.
Al-Jaffal, 30, says the militant occupation “created a vacuum of thought.”
my program, I try to promote ideas of coexistence, of mutual understanding, and
of acceptance of the other,” says Jaffal, who worked as a journalist prior to
the Daesh takeover in 2014.
FM is not the only ambitious new station on the local airwaves.
residents who took refuge in Irbil after the Daesh takeover of their city
launched two stations: Al-Ghad and Start FM.
Iraqi forces drove the militants from Mosul, One FM was launched and Mosul FM
started broadcasting from the nearby region of Dohuk.
means it has more radio stations than the two state-run channels it had under
former dictator Saddam Hussein.
currently broadcast analogue signals and can only reach Mosul and its
US invasion in 2003 brought a multitude of new options for listeners, although
these were co-opted by American occupying forces or political parties.
period before the Daesh offensive was risky for journalists and presenters in
Mosul, who were regularly targeted by Al-Qaeda and other militant groups.
Salem, a sociologist, says the new stations will need government supervision to
ensure that this time they are not misused for political or religious purposes
— “especially as some of their funding sources are unknown.”
the streets of Mosul, the radio shows bring a distraction from the struggles of
life in the war-scarred city.
driver Mohammad Qassem, 27, says the music and entertainment shows are a
welcome addition to his long days.
army units, backed by artillery fire, continued clashes against the terrorists
in Northern Dara'a on Thursday, regaining control of the two towns of Mosaikeh
sources reported that the army forces have isolated al-Lajah, one of the most
important terrorist bases, from other villages in the South and East of Dara'a,
fully surrounding the town of Basar al-Harir.
the army's artillery units pounded the terrorists' positions in the town of
Nahetah, the town of al-Harak in Northeastern Dara'a and the town of Basar
al-Harir in South of al-Lajah in Northern Dara'a, destroying several terrorist
points and military equipment and killing and wounding a number of militants.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian army troops continued to
advance in Northern Dara'a, seizing control over several points and inflicting
major losses on the terrorists.
army men engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorists in al-Lajah flank near
the Masikeh and al-Dalafeh townships in Northeastern Dara'a, capturing several
the meantime, other units of the army stormed terrorists' positions in Basar
al-Harir settlement in Western Sweida and managed to advance against them.
army's artillery and missile units, meantime, pounded terrorists' positions in
Basar al-Harir, al-Lajah in Northeastern Dara'a and near the small town of
al-Harra and Kafr al-Shams region in Western Dara'a, inflicting major losses on
sources in Western Aleppo reported on Thursday that unknown assailants attacked
Tahrir al-Sham commander Abu Ahmad al-Sharoukh at the entrance of
al-Mohandeseen region, and killed him.
Tahrir al-Sham terrorists gained control of farms near the village of al-Jineh
in Western Aleppo, erecting several checkpoints at its entrances.
sources said that Tahrir al-Sham and Syria's Tahrir Front militants are now on
alert in the region, adding that the latter has given a one-day ultimatum to
Tahrir to leave the region.
a number of Syria's Tahrir Front terrorists were killed in a bomb explosion in
the village of al-Saharah in North of the town of al-Artab.
have heightened in the region and the militants.
a similar development on Tuesday, Mohammad Soleiman, a notorious commander of
Syria's Liberation Front, was gunned down by unknown assailants in Aleppo
province, local sources reported.
Soleiman, the senior commander of Syria's Liberation Front, was assassinated by
unidentified raiders near the village of Sheikh Ali, the sources in Western
went on to say that a fresh wave of tensions has covered terrorist-held regions
in Aleppo and Idlib, adding that the terrorist groups' commanders have kept
fighters on alert in the Northern provinces.
further said that Faylaq al-Rahman and Jeish al-Ahrar have embarked on
arresting people after assassination of Khalil Ismayeel Arsan, the deputy
commander of Jeish al-Ahrar in Jobas in Eastern Idlib.
sources said that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at has put its militants on alert and set
up more checkpoints after assassination of tens of its members and commanders
Syrian army forces engaged in fierce clashes with Tahrir al-Sham militants who
had attacked a number of military bases in the town of al-Ba'ath in Northern
Quneitra from the village of al-Hamidiyeh on Thursday.
army units killed and wounded a large number of militants during the clashes,
destroying their weapons and military equipment.
terrorists fled towards al-Hamidiyeh and adjacent areas after the heavy defeat.
army troops also pounded the terrorists' moves in the road between the two
towns of Masharah and Naba'a al-Sakhar in Quneitra, killing and wounding a
number of militants.
the terrorists targeted civilians' houses in the village of Jaba in Northeastern
Quneitra with mortar fire, killing one civilian and wounding 10 others.
a relevant development on Tuesday, the Syrian army troops engaged in heavy
fighting with terrorists in Northern Quneitra and repelled their attack.
army men exchanged heavy fire with terrorists deployed in Un Bateneh region and
fended off their attack on the village of Jaba and Tal Koroum Jaba in Northern
terrorists suffered heavy casualties and retreated after leaving behind their
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.
sources stated on Tuesday that the terrorist groups in Dara'a province set up
new operation rooms and launched an offensive as the Syrian Army is preparing
for an imminent major operation to end militancy in the Southern part of the
of Firqa al-Soud al-Sunah terrorist group Abu Omar al-Zaqloul said gunmen of
the Southern Front and other groups deployed in Dara'a have embarked on setting
up operation rooms to face the army's imminent attack.
the meantime, the terrorists, deployed in Dara'a al-Balad and Mokhim al-Nazehin
districts in Dara'a city, launched artillery and missile attacks on residential
areas in the neighborhoods of al-Sahari, al-Matar, Shamal al-Khat and
al-Kashef, killing a child and wounding several others.
residential units were also destroyed in terrorists' attack on al-Dhahiyeh
region in Dara'a city.
terrorists of Eastern Dara'a launched missile attacks on several neighborhoods
in Sweida city.
police surrounded the headquarters of an Iran-backed militia and detained one
of its members after an armed clash Wednesday left three people wounded in
Baghdad, a security official said.
shootout erupted after a police patrol in the Iraqi capital stopped a car, only
for a convoy of Hezbollah Brigades members to arrive, an interior ministry
official said on condition of anonymity.
men in five vehicles opened fire and the police responded. Two policemen were
wounded and one of the members of Hezbollah Brigades,” he said.
police then quickly surrounded the militia headquarters “where the fighters had
holed up”, the official said, closing down one of Baghdad’s main thoroughfares.
siege was lifted after the “person behind the shooting” was arrested, the
flare-up in violence was rare for the Iraqi capital, which has seen clashes
drop off dramatically since a sectarian conflict over a decade ago.
of the authorities in Baghdad, the Hezbollah Brigades are also fighting on the
side of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
group was targeted Sunday in air raids laid at Israel’s door that reportedly
left some 50 people dead in eastern Syria, where forces on the ground are
battling ISIS remnants.
returns Boko Haram victims to own communities
2,000 persons displaced by Boko Haram violence were on Tuesday returned to
their communities in Nigeria’s northeast after years of living in camps, the
returnees are mainly internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Guzamala local government
of Borno state who had been quartered at the Bakassi camp in state capital
IDPs numbering about 2,043 individuals, making up 378 households, constitute
the first batch of IDPs who willingly expressed the desire to return to their
communities to resettle and resume their traditional occupation of farming and
fishing, as well as other socio-economic activities,” army spokesman Onyema
Nwachukwu said in a statement, following a ceremony flagging off their
said modalities for their return had been worked out by the army and the local
authorities, while security has been beefed up to help the returnees commence
their socioeconomic activities in their communities.
meaning Nigerians and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are urged to
support returnee IDPs with farming implements and other relief materials to
enable them settle back quickly into their respective communities,” said army
commander Rogers Nicholas as quoted in the statement.
government's claim of victory over the militants, analysts have warned that
most remote villages remain unsafe and cautioned against forcing IDPs to return
to their ancestral communities.
estimates -- including UN’s -- say the Boko Haram crisis has claimed over
20,000 lives and displaced at least 2.5 million people across the three states
of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe that were mostly hit by the violence, with millions
of others affected by the insurgency or in need of humanitarian help.
Army officer fighting Boko Haram commits suicide
Nigerian Army captain on deployment in the North-east has committed suicide,
PREMIUM TIMES can report.
officer flipped his rifle towards own stomach and opened fired. The incident
occurred at the 7 Division Medical Centre in Maiduguri on June 18, military
was referred to the facility for medical examination and treatments.
TIMES is withholding the officer’s name because it is not clear whether his
family members have been notified.
was drafted to the North-east as part of the war against Boko Haram from the
Nigerian Army 22 Armoured Brigade in Ilorin.
brigade has notified appropriate authorities of the development, including the
the officer killed himself, he threatened shooting a storekeeper at the medical
centre armoury, who fled for safety.
the scare, the captain killed himself. He was rushed for treatment, but passed
on shortly thereafter.
officer was attached to troops operating in Mafa Local Government Area, Borno
State, the heart of Boko Haram onslaught. He collected his gun from the armoury
on June 18, saying he was returning to Mafa to join his team the next day.
nature of his ailments prior to the suicide could not be ascertained before
this story was completed.
Defence Headquarters and the 7 Division spokespersons did not return requests
for comments Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
incident occurred seven months after a soldier opened fire on a captain,
killing him before killing himself. That sparked renewed fears about post
traumatic stress disorder amongst troops combating insurgents.
military said the matter would be investigated, but the outcome remained
Cabo Delgado province is being held to ransom by an Islamist guerrilla
movement. After months of skirmishes between police and members of the Al
Sunnah wa Jama’ah, the region has now erupted into full violence.
mid-May, 35 people have died in a series of brutal attacks. Various people have
been beheaded, hundreds of houses have been burnt and residents have been
advised to be cautious.
8 June local staff at Anadarko, an international oil and gas company, refused
to go to work because they feared an attack.
company then asked its foreign staff not to leave their compound. The US
embassy also asked its nationals to leave the province immediately.
state has in recent months responded forcefully to the emergence of this
threat. Hundreds of men and women have been arrested. Some mosques have been
closed and others have been destroyed.
some areas, Muslims have been discouraged from wearing religious garb. This has
prompted some sheikhs to warn that Mozambique’s government must not alienate
all Muslims because of a fringe group’s activities.
are economic as well as religious and security issues at play. Cabo Delgado
province borders Tanzania and is home to 2.3 million people, 58 per cent of
whom are Muslim. In the past few years massive oil and gas reserves have been
resources are set to lead to the development of a multibillion dollar industry
in Cabo Delgado, and a rosier future for Mozambique’s economy as a whole.
prospect of a full-scale war has alarmed many people. The state, civil society
and oil explorers are worried about what the violence will mean.
did it reach this point? Several factors – social, economic and political –
have allowed an Islamist insurgency to develop in the north of Mozambique. Most
are local issues rather than the outcome of an international, cross-border
birth of Al Sunnah wa Jama’ah is very similar to what was seen with Boko Haram
in Nigeria. It started as a religious sect which transformed into a guerrilla
Sunnah wa Jama’ah is Arabic for “people of the Sunnah community”. The group is
also known as Al-Shabaab (The Youth), even though it has no connections with
the Somali movement of the same name.
is estimated that the movement now has between about 350 and 1,500 members who
are organised in small cells along the coast of northern Mozambique.
sect’s initial goal was to enforce sharia law. It tried to do so by withdrawing
from society and the state whose schooling, health system and laws it rejected.
Such posture led to much tension.
suggest that the movement also calls itself “Swahili Sunna” (Swahili path) to
reflect a dream to restore the Swahili grandeur of the 19th century when
sheikdoms and sultanates dominated the area.
the movement’s lofty ideals, some analysts still argue that it is motivated by
greed rather than grievance. The group is even said to have become involved in
illegal mining, logging, poaching, and contraband, making millions of dollars a
week through these criminal activities.
these assertions are not backed by hard evidence and it’s difficult to imagine
that a guerrilla group which would make $3m (£2.3m) a week still fights with
only machetes and very few guns.
genesis of the current crisis has its roots in the militarisation of the Al
Sunnah wa Jama’ah in 2016. In that year, tensions with other Muslims and the
state increased and the movement began to prepare for armed action.
October 2017 a group of 30 men attacked three police stations in Mocimboa da
Praia. They killed two policemen, stole arms and ammunition, and occupied the
town. Promising not to harm the residents, the guerrillas eventually withdrew
to set up military bases in the forest.
scholars have suggested that the group is part of a broader international
Islamist terrorist network. It is true that there are cross-border linkages at
play: Mozambique’s police have said that the guerrillas received military
training in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
I would argue that Mozambique’s new guerrilla movement is primarily a local
phenomenon with very specific historical and social dynamics. The movement
emerged within a particular religious, social and ethnic group known as the
feel they have been marginalised for decades by migration into their area, a
lack of economic development, and their neighbours’ political clout.
if the movement sustains its current levels of violence, oil and gas firms
might move processing plants offshore. This would probably lead to a loss of
jobs locally. Violence could also lead to a displacement crisis as hundreds
flee the area.
Mozambican state has responded to the latest crisis by entering into security
agreements with the governments of Tanzania, DRC and Uganda; by setting up a
regional military command; and by moving more troops into the north.
the state and its partners need to also devise non-military measures.
United States on Wednesday strongly condemned recent attacks on Libyan oil ports
by militia loyal to Ibrahim Jathran and called for “all armed actors” to
withdraw immediately from oil installations, the US State Department said.
United States believes these vital Libyan resources must remain under the
exclusive control of the National Oil Corporation and the sole oversight of the
Government of National Accord,” the statement said.
high court in Nigeria’s central state of Kaduna has postponed the trial of
Muslims Cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky. The decision was made following a
hearing held amid tight security. Our correspondent Danjuma Abdullahi has more
loyal to Libya’s military strongman general Khalifa Haftar say they have
managed to recapture two main oil export terminals in the northeast of the
country from rival militia forces.
al-Mesmari, a spokesman for the self-styled Libyan National Army, said Thursday
that LNA forces had now full control over the Ras Lanuf and al-Sidra terminals,
both located about 650 kilometers east of Tripoli on the Mediterranean.
came a week after forces loyal to Ibrahim Jadhran, a militia commander based in
eastern Libya, attacked terminals.
National Oil Company (NOC) said on Wednesday that more than a week of fierce
fighting had caused the Ras Lanuf and al-Sidra terminals to close. It also said
that the violence had slashed the output by almost a half.
has seen a reduction by 450,000 barrels per day, plus 70 million cubic feet of
natural gas, equivalent to $33 million in sales based on market prices,"
Sanallah said, adding that fires caused by the clashes inflicted heavy loss on
teams are still dealing with the aftermath of the blaze and are trying to
ascertain the extent of the damage to the terminal,” Sanallah noted.
Ras Lanuf and Al-Sidra terminals had been under LNA control since 2016, when
Haftar ordered an offensive to purge Jadhran’s Petroleum Facilities Guard
forces who had dominated the region since the ouster and killing of long-time
dictator Muammar Gaddafi in 2011. That enabled Libya to re-establish the
badly-needed oil exports from the Mediterranean ports.
LNA is currently the dominant force in eastern Libya although groups like the
Benghazi Defense Brigades and those loyal to Jadhran continue to challenge
a general under Gaddafi, has been mostly opposed to United Nations efforts to
establish a unity government in Libya. He has openly challenged the rule of one
such administration in the capital Tripoli since it was established in 2015
while his forces continue to remain close to the rival government and
parliament in the east of Libya.
members of security forces loyal to Libya's eastern-based commander Khalifa
Haftar have been killed in the city of Derna after an attacker drove his
booby-trapped vehicle toward a group of soldiers.
spokesman for Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) said the assailant was
bearing a white flag as he drove toward the troops on Wednesday.
al-Mismari added that the white Chevrolet approached the troops in central
Derna and asked to leave the combat zone, but the bomber set off explosives
packed into the vehicle when he got close.
is the only major city in eastern Libyan that has remained alien to LNA. It has
been under the LNA siege for almost two years and the Derna Protection Force
(DPF) has been mostly in control.
gain more support for its massive ground offensive, LNA has labeled DPF as a
group linked to al-Qaeda, saying the Derna operation is aimed at purging the
city of terrorists. DPF, however, has brushed aside those claims and says it is
resisting Haftar’s push to dominate the entire Libya through military
assistance from certain countries.
a general under former dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has been mostly opposed to
efforts by the United Nations to establish a unity government in Libya. He has
openly opposed the rule of one such administration in the capital Tripoli since
it was established in 2015 and continues to remain close to the rival
government and parliament in the east of Libya.
coastguard has rescued more than 230 undocumented migrants off the country’s
northern shore, the Libyan Navy said Friday.
statement by navy forces affiliated with the National Consensus Government said
237 undocumented migrants, including women and children, were saved in two
separate operations off the coast of Al-Qaraboli city.
operations were carried out 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) and 26 km (16 miles)
north of the city, it said, adding the majority of those rescued were Somalian
were later transferred to an asylum center in Tripoli's Tajura district after
receiving necessary humanitarian aid.
785 migrants have died in the Mediterranean Sea this year while trying to sail
to Europe, according to the UN Migration Agency (IOM).
to the Libyan Navy, 16,000 undocumented migrants were rescued in 2017.
since the collapse of the central authority in Libya in 2011, the country’s
northwestern coast has become a hub for illegal migration to Italy and other
countries in Europe.
MPs from Northeastern yesterday urged the government to strengthen security on
the Kenya-Somalia border to prevent more attacks by al Shabaab.
Sunday eight security officers were killed after their vehicle hit an
improvised explosive device in Bojigaras, Wajir. They were five Administration
Police officers and three police reservists.
militants made off with six AK-47s, two G3 rifles and at least 540 bullets.
Shabaab militants have claimed responsibility for the attack. In a video
released on Monday night, they claimed they had killed more than 10 security
officers and injured 23.
one-hour-long video in Arabic features multiple attacks over six months in
Lamu, Mandera and Wajir. The purpose of the video, it said was "to honour
slain fighters". They include an unidentified Briton killed while fighting
life of militants in Boni Forest is also featured.
launch attacks in Kenya to pressure the government to withdraw its troops from
Amisom, the peacekeeping force in Somalia.
attack police and security agents, non-local teachers and quarry workers, among
calling for more security included legislators Adan Keynan (Eldas), Rashid Amin
(Wajir West), Mohammed Omar (Wajir South), Amed Kolosh (Wajir East) and
nominated Senator Farhiya Haji.
spoke during a press conference at Parliament Buildings.
agents have done a good job in Somalia in dealing with al Shabaab and we should
not allow remnants of the militant group to cause havoc in our country,"
said leaders from Northeastern support all government efforts to fight the
are ready to work with the state to secure the lives of our people. We are also
asking the locals to cooperate with the security agencies and report to
authorities whenever they see people they suspect to be criminals," Keynan
Haji said anyone facilitating the movement of the militants should be punished.
She urged residents to share information with security officials.
‘complicit’ in Israeli crimes against Palestinians: London-based charity
London-based charity has said the British government is “complicit in the
violence” perpetrated against Palestinians as it continues to provide arms to
charity War on Want made the comment in an interview with The Independent on
Monday, denouncing a recent move by the UK government to abstain from a United
Nations vote on Israeli violence in the besieged Gaza Strip.
vote condemned Israel’s “use of any excessive, disproportionate and
indiscriminate force” against peaceful Palestinian protesters.
abstaining from this vote, the UK government has yet again refused to commit to
the protection of Palestinians’ human rights as they are targeted with the
brutal and unlawful use of force by the Israeli military,” Ryvka Barnard,
senior campaigns officer for War on Want, told the British newspaper.
make no mistake, the UK is not sitting aside and remaining neutral. While the
world calls for violent attacks on Palestinians to end, the UK government
continues to approve arms exports to Israel, making it complicit in the
violence,” she added.
UN General Assembly adopted the resolution last month with 120 votes in favor,
eight against and 45 abstentions, including Britain, Switzerland and Germany.
resolution condemned the “use of live ammunition against civilian protesters,
including children, as well as medical personnel and journalists” and
underscored its “grave concern at the loss of innocent lives.”
UN convened a special meeting after more than 100 Gazans were killed by Israeli
snipers in six weeks of protests dubbed the "Great March of Return,"
which began on March 30 and climaxed on May 15, coinciding with the 70th
anniversary of Nakba Day (Day of Catastrophe), when Israel was created.
UK said it "could not support a resolution that was partial and
imbalanced. Such investigations heightened the risk on both sides,"
calling on Israel to conduct its own independent inquiry into the atrocities
of thousands of people have been protesting along the border between the
besieged Gaza Strip and Israeli-occupied territories, calling for Palestinian
refugees and their descendants to be allowed to return to their homes now
inside Israel. Israeli forces killed at least 62 Gazans in a single day of
protests that coincided with the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to
occupied Jerusalem al-Quds on May 14.
that the use of lethal force may constitute war crimes, Human Rights Watch said
in a statement on Wednesday that the overwhelming majority of those killed and
wounded in the Gaza protests were unarmed.
New York-based rights group said eyewitnesses reported seeing Palestinians shot
from a great distance from border fences without posing any immediate threat to
has sold record amounts of weapons to Israel over the past year, new data
shows, prompting backlash from human rights groups amid the Tel Aviv regime’s
ongoing crackdown of Palestinian protesters.
year, the government of Prime Minister Theresa May granted £221 million worth
of arms licenses to military contractors exporting to Israel, the Campaign
Against Arms Trade (CAAT) revealed Saturday.
is almost 3 times the previous year’s figure of £86 million and a significant
increase from the £20 million in arms licenses in 2015.
UK has also ignored international calls to halt its weapons sales to Saudi
Arabia over the course of its deadly war against Yemen, which began in 2015 and
has put the poverty-stricken country on the verge of a humanitarian disaster.
views arms deals with Israel and Middle Eastern countries as one of the main
pillars of its economy after it quits the European Union in 2019.
Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday said European countries shared concerns
over Iran’s ballistic missile program and called for solutions to its
“aggressive tendencies” in the Middle East.
aggressive tendencies must not only be discussed, but rather we need solutions
urgently” she said after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah in Amman.
remained party to the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Tehran in
exchange for curbing its atomic program, after US President Donald Trump
withdrew from it in May.
said on Thursday that while European countries wanted to maintain the 2015
accord, they shared concerns over Iran’s ballistic missile program, its
presence in Syria and its role in the war in Yemen.
Syria, Iran is a big military supporter of President Bashar al-Assad, sending
some of its own forces there and backing Shi’ite militias from Lebanon and Iraq
who are fighting on the ground. Gulf and Western countries accuse Tehran of
arming the Houthi group in Yemen, which it denies.
also voiced support for Jordanian concern about Iranian activity in
southwestern Syria, near its border and that of the Israeli-occupied Golan
Heights, where Tehran’s ally Damascus is ramping up a military operation.
live not just with the Syria conflict, but also we see Iran’s activities with
regard to Israel’s security and with regard to Jordan’s border” she said.
Merkel said earlier this month after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu that the question of Iran’s regional influence was “worrying,
especially for Israel’s security”.
who met Netanyahu on Monday and spoke by phone with Trump’s son-in-law and
regional envoy Jared Kushner on Tuesday, said there could be no peace in the
Middle East without a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.
United States is preparing a new peace plan, which has not yet been made
public, but has already angered Palestinians by recognizing Jerusalem as the
capital of Israel.
this month appointed a new prime minister after the country’s biggest protests
in years over taxes and price increases pushed by the International Monetary
Fund. Merkel said reforms should be balanced and “not hit the wrong people”, as
reported by Reuters.
another development, Merkel promised a $100 million loan to troubled Jordan,
where mass protests over austerity measures forced the prime minister to resign
earlier this month. the Associated Press reported.
chancellor said Germany will provide the $100 million loan in addition to
bilateral aid of 442 mln US dollars this year, as reported by the Associated
Press. She said she hopes the additional funds will help Jordan carry out
economic reforms sought by the International Monetary Fund.
least 60 refugees were killed after their rubber dinghy sank in the
Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya last week, survivors have said.
40 survivors from the boat, which capsized on June 12 off the coast of Libya,
were among more than 500 refugees on board the Diciotti, an Italian coastguard
ship, which docked Tuesday night at the Sicilian port of Pozzallo.
interviewed by volunteers from the human rights association Medu in Sicily said
their boat was transporting 117 people, which would put the death toll at more
the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) NGO put the toll slightly lower at 60, also
citing accounts from survivors, who said 100 people were aboard the dinghy.
the time of the accident, the US Navy came to the aid of drowning refugees,
reporting spotting about 12 bodies in the water but it was unable to locate
them after the rescue.
have never seen such frightened and traumatized eyes after a landing,"
said Teo di Piazza, coordinator of MSF psychologists. "The people had no
most recent refugee arrival in Sicily comes as several European leaders will
hold talks on asylum issues in Brussels on Sunday.
refugee crisis escalated last week after Italy and Malta turned away Aquarius
rescue ship carrying 629 refugees and kept it waiting in international waters
between the two countries for over 30 hours with limited food and drink
supplies and in bad weather conditions, facing potential death.
eventually offered to take in the ship amid safety fears due to deteriorating weather
conditions and offered its port in Valencia as a place for the asylum seekers
to land in Europe.
has faced its worst refugee crisis since World War II. The continent has been
hit since 2014 by an unprecedented influx of refugees fleeing conflict-ridden
zones in North Africa and the Middle East, in particular Syria.
the past five years, more than 600,000 refugees have reached Italy by risking
their lives on rickety human smuggler boats at the sea. Some 500,000 of them
are still staying in the country.
to the UN migration agency (IOM), over 3,000 refugees lost their lives crossing
the Mediterranean in 2017.
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