meets West in the dreamy spire of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies. Top
left, students gather to pray and break their fast during Ramadan. Reuters
Law Board Plans To Open Sharia Courts in All Districts of India
Election: Religious Parties File Record 460 Candidates for National Assembly
Arabia Urges Taliban to Stop War, Recognise Kabul Govt
University, UK’s Oldest Seat of Learning, Now A Place More Muslim Students Are
honours Indian expat for 'green message'
remarks at my farewell considered departure from accepted practice, says former
VP Hamid Ansari
IPS officer’s brother among new Hizbul Mujahideen recruits named on Burhan
Vows To Make Pakistan a Nation Where ‘Justice’ Is Served
advises Bilawal to get rid of Zardari’s baggage if he wants to succeed
Maryam to be arrested at airport, says law minister
candidate holds PTI leader responsible for Bannu blast
multiple layers of TLP’s campaign
honours Abdul Sattar Edhi on his second death anniversary
Soldiers Recapture Um Al-Mayazen Town in Dara’a Province
Militant Commanders Endorse Peace with Syrian Army in Dara'a
Troops, Ankara-Backed Militants Killed in Clashes with Kurds in Northern Syria
of Terrorists Killed in Infighting with Rival Groups, Blasts in Northwestern
US-Backed Militias Killed in Bomb Blast in Eastern Syria
Militia Willing to Hand over Oil Facilities to Damascus Forces
Army on Alert for Dara'a City Liberation Operation
Regime Pounds South, Rebel Evacuations Postponed
court hands death sentence to Daesh militant over killing 16 civilians
Watchdog Accuses Muslim Leader of Incitement
to attend NATO meeting in Brussels
awaits justice for neo-Nazi terror victims
names Pakistani as rapporteur on HR situation in Iran
Militants Killed, Wounded In During Walid-9 Operations: Shaheen Corps
court rules Reuters reporters can face full trial
political coalition share demands regarding the cases of Dostum and Qaisari
militants suffer heavy casualties in Ghazni airstrikes
Draws ‘Red Lines’ On Saudi Nuclear Ambitions
Areas Liberated in Yemen’s Saada amid Houthi Clashes
to remain in Syria to keep Israel out: Official
youth injured by Israeli gunfire succumbs to wounds
Prolongs Compulsory Military Service to 16 Months amid Yemen War
foreign policy challenges Erdogan faces in new term
Afghan Forces Clear IS From Eastern District
military identifies soldier killed in 'insider attack' in Afghanistan
SC ignores int’l law in upholding Muslim ban
coalition commander: Iran influences Syria’s security negatively
Attack’ Kills 6 Tunisia Security Forces
appoints former spy chief as top envoy to US
condemns twin suicide blasts in Somalia capital
Meets Zakir Naik Day after Ruling out His Deportation to India
A Conservative Opposition, Analysts Say Race, Religion Time Bombs for Pakatan
picks Islamic university chancellor as running mate
to axe tahfiz schools ‘baseless’, minister says
school fire victims’ families agree on distribution of funds
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Law Board Plans To Open Sharia Courts In All Districts Of India
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board or AIMPLB, the highest decision making
body on Muslim affairs, plans to open Darul-Qaza (Sharia courts) in all
districts of the country to resolve issues in line with Islamic laws.
proposal will come up for discussion at a meeting of the Muslim Law Board in
Delhi on July 15.
present there are 40 such courts in Uttar Pradesh. We plan to open one such
court in every districts of the country. The objective of Darul-Qaza is to
resolve matters in light of Shariat laws instead of going to other courts,"
senior member AIMPLB, Zafaryab Zilani, told news agency PTI.
that around Rs. 50,000 is spent on running a Darul-Qaza (Sharia court), he
said, "They will be discussing ways to generate resources for this during
a meeting of AIMPLB in Delhi on July 15".
an aim to make lawyers, judges and the common man aware about Sharia law, the
All India Muslim Personal Law Board will also be activating its
Tafheem-e-Shariyat (TeS) committee.
will be activating Tafheem-e-Shariyat committee to make lawyers, judges and
common man aware about Shariat laws. We will be discussing this at the All
India Muslim Personal Law Board meet," Mr Jilani said.
said the Tafheem-e-Shariyat committee has been around for 15 years, and is
entrusted with the task of making lawyers and judges, if possible, aware of
arguments related to Sharia law.
committee was used to organise conferences and workshops all over the country,
with Islamic experts trying to delve in details about Shariat laws and address
queries of participants. It is now felt that the committee should be activated
and more such programs should be held," he said.
issues taken up by the committee in various programs, included "Triple
Talaq and Virasat" (divorce and inheritance) besides others.
about the other matters that will figure in the meeting, he said progress of
the Babri Masjid (mosque) case will be discussed, and future course of action
will be decided. "The Muslim faction does not want delay in the Supreme
Court's decision on the matter as reported in the media," he said.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board meeting comes against the backdrop of
statements by some leaders favouring construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.
are being made on the Ayodhya issue. Some are saying that the decision will
come in a particular month and it will be in favour of a particular side. Such
statements are an attempt to belittle the highest court of the country. This
should be taken into consideration. It will be discussed in the meeting," a
Muslim Law Board member said, according to news agency PTI.
confirmed that the Muslim Law Board has already said it would accept any
decision made by the Supreme Court on the issue.
election: Religious parties file record 460 candidates for National Assembly
Religious parties in Pakistan, including the banned Jamaat-ud Dawa's political
wing, have fielded more than 460 candidates on the National Assembly seats for
the July 25 general elections, breaking all previous records, a media report
Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) has issued the final list of candidates, according
to which, 3,459 candidates will contest on 272 general seats of the National
Jamaat-e-Islami had come up with a long list of candidates in 1970 against the
then nominees of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Sheikh
Mujibur Rahman's Awami League in East (Bangladesh) and West Pakistan, and
Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) had also fielded candidates across the country in
2002, the number stands the highest this time, The Nation reported.
460 aspirants have been fielded separately by MMA, Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan,
Hafiz Saeed-led JuD's political wing Milli Muslim League-backed Allah-o-Akbar
Tehreek and other small entities, the paper said.
candidates might play a decisive role in the victory and defeat of Pakistan
Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) and PPP candidates
on a number of seats.
results would show total religious vote bank in Pakistan besides clearly
narrating the number of well wishers of each party, defining its political
weight and putting it at a bargaining position with mainstream political
parties in future elections, the paper said.
MMA, an alliance of five parties -- Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-F (JUI-F),
Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP), Islami Tehreek and Markazi
Jamiat Ahle Hadith -- representing all schools of thought (Barelvi, Deobani,
Shia and Ahle Hadith), has come up with a list of some 192 plus candidates on
NA seats, mainly focusing on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and Balochistan, the paper
MMA has not introduced any candidate on 65 seats of Punjab's total 141 and
seven of total 61 of Sindh for different reasons.
will not only form government in KP but also emerge powerful parties in
Balochistan, Sindh and the Punjab.
will elect clean leadership on July 25," said Amirul Azeem, JI's central
leader and MMA candidate in Lahore.
Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan, a political wing of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Ya Rasool
Allah, came up with a list of 178 candidates across the country.
by firebrand cleric Khadim Hussain Rizvi, the party gained popularity on the
issue of Khatm-e-Nabuwat and showed surprising results in the by-polls held in
Punjab and KP a few months before the end of the PML-N government's tenure.
TLP, representing Barelvi school of thought, mainly focused on Punjab, but
fielded 16 candidates in KP, 32 in Sindh and six in Balochistan, the paper
leader Pir Ijaz Ashrafi said the people across the country would vote for those
who stood firm to protect the finality of prophethood (Khatm-e-Nabuwat).
amendment had changed the wordings of a clause relating to a candidate's belief
in the finality of the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad, which is submitted at
the time of election by candidates, turning it into a declaration form instead
of an affidavit, which puts a candidate under oath.
then law minister Zahid Hamid resigned after violent clashes broke out between
the TLP supporters and security forces which had left several people dead and
hundreds injured in Islamabad and Rawalpindi.
terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed's Milli Muslim League (MML) mainly focused
on Punjab, although it did not field candidates in important districts of
central and southern Punjab.
MML has failed to get registered as a political party with the Election
Commission of Pakistan, its candidates are contesting on the platform of
Allah-u-Akbar Tahreek (AAT).
's son, son-in-law and 13 women are among 265 JuD candidates contesting on AAT
platform in general elections on national and provincial assemblies seats
who also carries a USD 10 million American bounty on his head for his role in
terror activities, is not contesting the election.
Spokesperson Nadeem Awam said his party was promoting the Pakistan Ideology and
believed in pious politics.
claimed the MML backed candidates will give surprise at many seats.
Samiul Haq's Jamiat Ulema-i-Islami, Sahibzada Hamid Raza's Sunni Tehreek, Shia
group Majlise Wahdatul Muslimeen besides some other small religious entities
also fielded more than a dozen candidates in different areas of the country.
Arabia urges Taliban to stop war, recognise Kabul govt
In an unprecedented move, Saudi Arabia has asked Afghan Taliban to stop
fighting and recognise the government in Kabul as the Kingdom is set to host an
international conference of Islamic scholars this week, which is likely to
issue a decree against the war.
Arabia is holding the International Ulema Conference for peace, security and
national reconciliation in Afghanistan in Jeddah and Makkah on July 10 and 11,
respectively, in collaboration with the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
is the first time Saudi Arabia and the OIC have sprung into action in Afghan
conflict with the clerics’ moot that has also invited angry Taliban reaction, who
insist the United States has pressed Saudis to hold the event as Americans want
through these conferences to “find justification for their military occupation,
legitimise their stooge Kabul administration and thus weaken the resistance of
Afghan Muslim nation being put up against them”.
role of OIC in Afghan peace process had been zero since the US and its NATO
allies invaded Afghanistan in late 2001.
Times has seen the invitation letter sent to scholars in Pakistan and
Afghanistan in which all armed groups in Afghanistan have been declared
terrorists. The letter is signed by Yousef A Al-Othaimeen, OIC
secretary-general and a former Saudi cabinet minister.
invitation says that the main purpose of the conference is to reject the
“erroneous interpretations of Islamic views by terrorist groups operating in
this platform, we call on all armed groups to shun terrorism, recognise the
Afghan government, sit at the negotiation table and participate in political
process,” contents of the letter said, adding the progress and development of
Afghanistan are seriously impeded by the activities of violent and extremist
groups, illegal armed groups and criminals.
says that the OIC is committed to peace, security, stability and development of
all member states, including Afghanistan. It said a number of OIC summits and
Council of Foreign Ministers (CFMs) had mandated the OIC General Secretariat to
organise the conference.
are seemed concerned at the issuance of a possible decree against their
fighting to “undermine the legitimacy of their struggle from a religious
Afghan analyst Nazar Mutmaeen says Afghan war has religious, cultural and
regional aspects and no edict can stop the war.
will have no value when foreign troops are stationed in Afghanistan. Saudi
Arabia should do whatever is practical while keeping in view the religious,
economic, regional, cultural aspects of the Afghan war,” Mutmaeen, who writes
for the Afghan and foreign media, told Daily Times from Kabul on Sunday.
Arabia will not remain an impartial player if it serves the interests of few
countries or accepts demands of some countries,” he said, adding, Saudis must
play an impartial role and maintain a balance approach in relations with the
Afghan government and the Taliban.
from over 30 countries have been invited to attend conference that can be a
major boost for beleaguered President Ghani, whose all offers for the dialogue
have been rejected by the Taliban, who want direct talks with the US.
scholars in a fix:
of the Pakistani scholars, who had participated the clerics’ moot in Indonesia
in May and supported Ghani’s peace plan and condemned suicide attacks in
Afghanistan, are undecided whether or not to join the Saudi conference.
15-member scholars, including Maulana Anwarul Haq, deputy of the “madrassa
Haqqania” Akora Khattak, had attended the Indonesia conference. Anwar ul Haq is
the brother of Maulana Samil ul Haq, who publicly supports the Afghan Taliban armed
resistance. Anwar-ul-Haq’s office did not confirm to Daily Times if he will
senior Deobandi scholar, Peer Aziz ur Rehman Hazarvi, who was part of the
Indonesian moot, confirmed to Daily Times, that he won’t attend the Saudi moot.
Tahir Ashrafi, head of the Pakistan Ulema Council, said he won’t attend the
Saudi conference, citing health reasons.
Fazal ur Rehman Khalil, who heads Ansar ul Ummah group and was also part of
Pakistani delegation at the Indonesia meeting, will travel to the Kingdom for
participants who will attend the conference include the chairman of the Council
of Islamic Ideology and some Pakistani members of the Islamic University
Times could not receive any response of Saudi Embassy to the queries about the
purpose of the conference and the Taliban’s criticism of the conference.
University, UK’s oldest seat of learning, now a place more Muslim students are
Arriving at the University of Oxford to begin her studies, Mahdiyah Rahman
suddenly felt anxious. “I didn’t know how many other Muslim students would be
there. I wasn’t sure what to expect.”
her first week, the 19-year-old student discovered that there were just two
other Muslims in Oriel, the Oxford college where she would eat, sleep and study
during her time at the university. “I was the only one there wearing a
headscarf,” she recalled. Over the summer Rahman had given little thought to
the realities of practicing her faith at university, but standing in the
crowded hall at Freshers’ Fair, surrounded by hundreds of stalls advertising
student clubs and societies, she felt overwhelmed. Then a banner for the Oxford
University Islamic Society (ISoc) caught her eye. “They make you feel like
there’s a community that will look out for you while you’re here,” she said.
“No one who has joined the ISoc ever wants to leave.”
students starting out at Oxford University — an institution steeped in
tradition where the earliest colleges date back to the 13th century — can
struggle with a profound sense of alienation.
lot of the Muslims here are also ethnic minorities, so there is already this
feeling that you’re going to be on the periphery,” Rahman told Arab News.
Historically seen as the preserve of a white, upper-class elite, the student
body has grown gradually more diverse, reflecting the changing character of modern,
multicultural Britain in the country’s oldest seat of learning.
societies such as ISoc allow students to engage with people who share their
values and beliefs, and expand their network outside college life. Attending
some activities during Freshers’ Week, as well as college parties and balls,
can be difficult for Muslim students trying to avoid the alcohol-fueled
atmosphere of university social life.
halal meals in the college dining halls can also be a challenge, as Ayesha
Musa, 19, the ISoc secretary, discovered when she arrived at Jesus College,
Oxford to study medicine.
was a big adjustment — having to be vegetarian,” she said. “I wanted to eat
with people in college and was reluctant to miss out on that social experience
for the sake of getting something different to eat.”
many Muslim students say they are “pleasantly surprised” by provisions made to
accommodate their faith. “Overall I’ve been really impressed,” Musa said. Being
part of ISoc means “you never miss an aspect of practicing your faith the way
you would do at home with your family.”
was surprised by the size of university’s central prayer room, which “even has
described as the “city of dreaming spires” — a reference by British poet
Matthew Arnold to its scholarly atmosphere — Oxford, in southeast England, is
one of the UK’s fastest-growing and most ethnically diverse cities.
account for 10,320 of the city’s population of 151,906, according to a 2011
census — up from 5,309 Muslim residents the previous decade. The findings also
showed that a third of people living here were born abroad, contributing to the
atmosphere of multiculturalism flourishing in the country’s oldest seat of
very cosmopolitan. We live in one of the most beautiful and cohesive places in
the country,” said Imam Monawar Hussein, who founded the Oxford Foundation to
support disaffected young people and is also the Muslim tutor at Eton College,
another of England’s renowned academic institutions.
the university, this is reflected across the departments, where course names
are beginning to reflect the demand for a wider educational experience in
branches of Islamic studies.
theology faculty, one of the oldest and most distinguished in the world, now
offers a paper in Islam, while the Department of Economics has a professor
specializing in the economics of Muslim societies.
is possibly the most international university in the country and the preferred
(higher learning) destination for many around the world,” said Farhan Nizami,
founder director of the Oxford Center for Islamic Studies.
recent years, he said, “the complexion of the Muslim student body has changed,”
with most, he expects, now British citizens rather than overseas students.
up in 1985 to promote the study of Islam and the Muslim world, the center has
been instrumental in broadening the remit of oriental studies at the university
to incorporate Muslim societies outside the Middle East and, increasingly, the
study of Muslims in the West.
year the center, which is under the patronage of Prince Charles, opened the
doors to an impressive new facility that rivals the traditional Oxford colleges
for scale and grandeur.
its domed roofs and columned cloisters opening on to the King Fahd quad — named
after its Saudi benefactor — the building captures the lofty feel of its older
neighbors with a design rooted in Islamic architecture.
wanted a building that would blend with Oxford and sit comfortably here,” said
the center’s white walls, which still have the gleam of fresh paint, different
areas are named
the countries that funded them, including the Malaysia Auditorium. Downstairs,
polished bookshelves laden with volumes are tucked under the well-lit arches of
the Kuwait Library, which is empty on the first day of the summer holidays.
few professors eat lunch in the sunny Oman hall ahead of a guest lecture, part
of a program of prestigious speakers that includes heads of state, members of
the Arab League and royalty. From here, glass doors open out into tranquil
gardens, where a satellite fountain runs between rose beds and down through an
immaculate sloping lawn.
mosque — a gift from the UAE — is one of four in Oxford, where for many decades
Muslims had to make do with makeshift prayer halls, starting with the basement
beneath an Indian restaurant in Jericho, which is one of the oldest quarters of
the eatery is a popular venue for university students, its faded facade now
painted a smart powder-blue and the shabby neon sign replaced by elegant gold
booked by groups from the university reflect the social, religious and ethnic
diversity of Oxford social life, which groups such as ISoc actively promote. “I
know in other universities the Islamic societies can be a bit polarizing and
are sometimes inaccessible to non-Muslims,” but the ISoc, first-year student
Rahman said, is open to all.
often bring my non-Muslim friends along to our events,” she said, adding that
some envy her extended ISoc family. “They offer so much support. After exams I
had messages from at least 20 ISoc girls congratulating me.”
Ramadan, 80 to 90 students congregated every evening to pray together and break
their fast. “I’m a bit sad it’s over, actually,” said Rahman, who found that
the communal atmosphere made up for spending Ramadan away from home — a first
for many students.
society also hosts interfaith events as well as weekly socials and activities
such as the Sisters’ Mocktails Party “to make sure Muslims don’t feel alone and
can socialize with people who have the same values as them.”
is difficult and does require a thick skin,” Rahman said. But looking back on
her first year, the experience of being a Muslim student in Oxford has been
“overwhelmingly positive.” Now she is more daunted by the prospect of a whole
summer away from college and her ISoc friends.
Dubai Municipality has honoured a 10-year-old Indian expat
turned his love for the World Cup into an innovative way to reduce plastic bag
his own Eid money, Faiz Mohammed distributed hand-decorated reusable bags to a
number of groceries near his home in Karama after he grew tired of seeing so
many plastic bags being wasted on home deliveries, the Khaleej Times reported
combat the excess wastage, he distributed the free tote bags in place of
Abdulaziz Saifaie, Director of Dubai's Waste Management Department, on Tuesday
named the youngster one of the Dubai Municipality's Sustainability Ambassadors.
Sustainability Ambassador initiative was launched in 2013 with a view to train students
on how to carry out lectures and workshops on various environmental topics.
fact that this boy didn't use that Eid money to buy a ball, toy, something for
himself, is commendable. He has a good hobby. If his family and community keep
encouraging that, he will have a good future and so will the environment,"
the municipality, Mohammed said he felt honoured to be named a Sustainability
Ambassador, the Khaleej Times reported.
will keep urging friends, family and shop workers about the importance of using
reusable bags in place of plastic ones," he said.
vice-president Hamid Ansari on Saturday said that prime minister Narendra
Modi’s remarks at his farewell, about a year ago, were a departure from
accepted practices. “The Prime Minister participated in this and while being
fulsome in his complements also hinted at what he perceived to be a certain
inclination in my approach on account of my having spent, as he put it, both a
good part of my professional tenure as a diplomat in Muslim lands and in
post-retirement period on minority-related questions,” Ansari told news agency
context, presumably, was my reference in the Bengaluru speech to what I
perceived as ‘enhanced apprehension of insecurity’ and in the TV interview to ‘a
sense of unease creeping in’ among Muslims and some other religious
minorities,” said the former Rajya Sabha chairman who in his last interview
before demitting office had pointed out that Muslims in the country were
experiencing a “feeling of unease”.
has addressed these issues in his new book “Dare I Question? Reflections on
Contemporary Challenges”, a collection of his speeches and writings. Having
served two consecutive terms in the office of the Vice president of India, he
believes the debate on nationalism has wider ramifications for Indian democracy
are a religious minority, like other faith-based minorities… and what was
insufficiently recognised till the Sachar (Committee) report of 2006, is that
many among them also suffer from multiple developmental deficits and therefore
require empowerment through focused affirmative action to enable them to join
others and take their place at the commencement point from which ‘Sabka Saath
Sabka Vikas’ becomes meaningful,” Ansari had said in March earlier this year.
the death anniversary of its commander Burhan Wani, militant outfit Hizbul
Mujahideen has released pictures of over 20 youth who have joined the outfit
since May 21 this year. The pictures include that of Shams-ul-Haq, brother of
an IPS officer. Haq went missing in May this year, a month after seven
militants were killed in an encounter at his ancestral house in Shopian.
pictures that have been posted on social networking sites show young men
wielding assault rifles to announce joining the militant ranks. “We already had
inputs about many youths whose pictures have come out today,” a police officer
told The Indian Express. “For the past two months, they (Hizb) didn’t release
pictures of their new recruits on the social media. Perhaps, they were waiting
for this day”.
police officer said releasing the pictures of so many new recruits
simultaneously seems yet another attempt by Hizbul Mujahideen to glamourise
militancy. “It seems they have deliberately chosen the death anniversary of
Burhan Wani,” he said. “Burhan is the one who first used social media to
attract young men towards militancy”.
most of the new recruits hail from south Kashmir, there are youths from north
and central Kashmir too.
prominent faces among the new recruits include Shams-ul-Haq, Waseem Ahmad
Rather, Tauseef Ahmad Thoker, Irfan Rashid Dar and Feroz Ahmad Dar.
who originally hails from Draggad village in south Kashmir’s Shopian and was
living at Hyderpora in Srinagar, was pursuing a degree in Unani medicine before
he went missing in May.
April 1 this year, seven Hizbul Mujahideen militants were killed in an
encounter in Haq’s ancestral house at Shopian.
Ahmad Rather, a resident of Ashmuji in south Kashmir’s Kulgam, has completed a
Master’s in English and was pursuing a doctorate before he joined the militant
ranks. Tauseef Ahmad Thoker, a resident of Charsoo in Awantipore, holds a
Master’s in Mathematics and a Bachelor’s in Education.
new recruits also include the Special Police Officer Irfan Rashid Dar, who
decamped with his service rifle from Pampore police station on June 27. Dar was
the Personal Security Officer of Pampore’s Station House Officer.
resident of Heff village in Shopian, Feroz Dar has a Master’s in Arts besides a
Bachelor’s degree in physical education.
vows to make Pakistan a nation where ‘justice’ is served
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday continued his
election campaign in Islamabad and said there can be “no justice in a jungle”.
addressing a workers’ convention, he said, “We cannot expect justice in animal
kingdoms,” adding that, “I want to make a Pakistan where there is justice and
work appointments are made on the basis of merit.”
upheld, “We want to make a Pakistan in which humans are valued.”
further vowed, “If given the chance, we will make Chaudhry Rehmat Ali’s
Pakistan on July 25.”
vowed to empower the weak and the neglected, Imran said, “Funds will be
allocated to less developed areas in the budget.”
funds of South Punjab were allocated to Lahore and this is why people of those
areas are demanding a separate province,” he upheld.
further said, “We will progress if we serve the weak.”
as the PTI chairman arrived at the Jinnah Convention Centre, a few people
chanted slogans in favour of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
day earlier, Imran addressed the Ulema Mashaikh convention and urged a state
like Madina should be formed in order to steer the country out of its problems.
about the country’s problems, the PTI chief said that the country’s total debt
had exceeded Rs10,000 billion. He further said that over 250 million children
were not enrolled in schools.
stressed that the law should be the same for the rich and the poor.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) vice chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi has
advised Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to get rid of
his corrupt father and his equally unscrupulous team and follow in the
footsteps of his grandfather Z.A. Bhutto if he truly wants to be a successful
Qureshi, who is also spiritual leader of Ghausia Jamaat said at different
public gatherings in Pithoro, Shadi Palli and Samaro towns on Sunday, said that
PPP was no more a party of martyrs, a party of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto as it had
been occupied by Zardari and his henchmen. Bhutto’s vision had been dumped and
Zardari group was making fool of people to plunder national exchequer once
again, he said.
said that ‘Zardari League’ candidates were facing tough questions from people
and public humiliation wherever they were going to canvass for votes. The next
government would be formed by PTI and it would indeed be a revolution of
development, he said.
said that until Zardari’s politics and money had a free rein there was no hope
of development and change. How surprising, the greedy and the avaricious
coterie had launched a manifesto, calling for controlling poverty and
malnutrition, while the fact was that they were the very cause of poverty and
hunger in Sindh, he said.
said that people of Punjab had taken the right decision by expelling the
corrupt dynasty of Nawaz Sharif. It was now Sindh’s turn to get rid of Zardari
and the likes, he said.
Qureshi said that PTI had ousted PPP from Punjab and as a result out of 144
constituencies PPP had not fielded any candidate on 104 constituencies.
urged people to bring about a revolution as they did in 1970. People had always
trusted and voted for PPP without making any demands but the party had
disappointed them time and again, he said.
said the party would organise a power show in Umerkot on July 17 and claimed he
was not in the run for a seat, he just wanted to free people of fear and
corruption of Zardari.
said that work on girls’ college had not been completed over the past 10 years
because its funds had been usurped by PPP. Rs50 million had been spent on the
cricket ground in Umerkot which was unbelievable because 75 per cent amount had
been swallowed up by contractor Sarfraz Shah who was brother of then minister
for culture Syed Sardar Shah.
failed to see the writing on the wall’
Mr Qureshi during his addresses at public gatherings in different villages
falling within the constituencies of PS-54 and NA-221 (Tharparkar) said that he
had always advised Bilawal to part ways with his father but he preferred to be
exploited by Zardari. Bilawal did not take his advice seriously and avoided to
read the writing on the wall, he said.
situation had aggravated so much that now the party faced total alienation even
in southern Punjab, he said, adding PPP had ceased to exist in Punjab, Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces. “When people of Punjab and KP have
changed why not Sindhis,” he said.
Federal law and information minister Ali Zafar has said the government will
implement accountability court’s orders in letter and spirit and arrest ousted
prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz on their arrival at
any airport in Pakistan.
was speaking at “Meet the Press” programme at the Lahore Press Club here on
Sunday Mr Zafar said the (caretaker) government had no mandate to interfere in
the state institutions’ working or criticise their decisions, he said, adding
that anybody having reservations against any court judgment should file an
law enforcement agencies will arrest Nawaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on airport,
if they did not get bail before landing in Pakistan,” Mr Zafar told
said the court’s judgment against the Sharif family would not affect holding of
general elections on July 25.
elections will be held on time and that too in a free, fair and transparent
manner,” he asserted.
a question about the arrest of Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law, Mr Zafar said the
government would extend full support to the National Accountability Bureau
(NAB) to implement court orders that called for retired Capt Safdar’s arrest.
“The law enforcement agencies are on the move to arrest Capt Safdar,” he said.
a later development, Safdar surrendered himself to NAB officials in Rawalpindi,
after leading a protest rally.
regard to putting the names of former president Asif Ali Zardari and his sister
on the Exit Control List (ECL), the minister said it was the government’s
responsibility to properly assess the law enforcement agencies’ requests before
putting names on the list.
that it was a common practice to put names on the ECL just on law enforcement
agencies’ requests, Mr Zafar said the courts had given relief to many and
chided the government for putting people’s names on the ECL without assessing
such requests. “The caretaker government is assessing every request and
questioning investigators about the grounds (on which a request is made) before
putting names on the ECL,” he said.
cabinet committee discussed the law enforcement agencies’ separate requests for
putting some 50 to 60 people on the ECL, he said and added that after
assessment many names were put on the list, while requests for several others
were declined. “It is a two-stage consultative process that helps (the
government) take judicious decisions regarding putting names on the ECL,” he
to a question about PTI chairman Imran Khan’s close aide Zulfi Bukhari, the law
minister said Mr Bukhari was never on the ECL. He was on a temporary ‘black
list’ that could be decided at interior secretary’s level, he claimed.
holding of general elections and permission for giving journalists access to
information, Mr Zafar said the Election Commission of Pakistan was preparing a
code of conduct and the caretaker government would readily implement it.
the need for transparency, he said, the journalists and international observers
would be allowed to monitor the July 25 elections. He said the government had
requested the ECP that local journalists should be allowed access to polling
stations unlike the by-elections. He, however, said the foreign journalists
would be monitored to know whether they were focusing on the elections or
trying to “do some other things” as well.
the construction of dams for water storage, the minister said a 1965 report had
suggested that Pakistan should have constructed 14 to 20 dams. He said the
country needed reservoirs to store water and dams to generate power. “Not
constructing dams is tantamount to throwing diamonds in the sea,” he said.
that Pakistan could construct only two dams since independence, he said most
country’s were spending 20 to 25 per cent of their development budgets on the
conservation, storage and use of water, while Pakistan was spending just five
to seven per cent of it on the most important sector.
said Pakistan was also using 90 per cent of its water resources in agriculture
sector while employing age-old irrigation methods. “Modern systems, including
the drip irrigation, need to be introduced to conserve water,” he said. He also
called for treating sewage for reuse, except for drinking purposes.
committee has been formed to develop a document, which will be left for the
elected government to implement, take action and save water,” he said.
Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) candidate for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Assembly from Bannu
Malik Shereen has held Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)’s Malik Shah Muhammad
Khan responsible for the bomb attack on his convoy on Saturday which injured
him and six other people.
the FIR on Sunday, the MMA candidate for PK-89 has blamed Malik Shah and his
brother Malik Gulbaz Khan for the IED blast in Bannu that left seven people
injured including a Frontier Constabulary worker. The FIR includes charges of
terrorism. Where Shah has previously served as a provincial minister, Gulbaz is
a district member of PTI.
10 pm in Mandhiawala, a slum settlement off Jagawala Road in Hafizabad. About
150 male residents have gathered in an empty plot next to the downtrodden house
of Qari Ahmad Raza, a prayer leader in an area mosque.
the sewage-laden mud carpeting the plot, the men remain occupied with raising
passionate slogans of “Sunniyon K Rehnuma, Waseem Shah, Waseem Shah.”
congregation is a corner meeting held as part of the election campaign of Sayed
Waseem Shah Naqvi, Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan’s (TLP) candidate from PP-70.
bigger parties, we aren’t resourceful enough to offer food at our corner
meetings. This is not a rented crowd. These people are here because they are
dedicated to the cause,” comments Ahmad Raza, before gleefully proceeding to
join in the sloganeering.
sloganeering stops suddenly. Waseem Shah takes the podium and begins his
address with a raging proclamation “The ulema did not come into politics out of
their own self-interest. We were forced to join the fray only after the dignity
of the whole Muslim Ummah was challenged. Our tehreek started with a single
goal to resist Mumtaz Qadri’s arrest. Afterwards it became about avenging his
crowd responds with a thundering chorus of Labaik-Ya-Rasul-Allah (‘O Prophet
(PBUH), we submit ourselves to your will’).
his speeches begin with what he says is the ‘core mission’ of the party, they
are not limited just to that. Very soon, he moves on to secular concerns of the
electorate. At the Mandhiawala corner meeting, he picked common themes from
popular political discourse about prioritising human development over large
infrastructure and making development spending more equitable. “We do not need
roads, we need hospitals and universities. Why is it that we (the people of
Hafizabad) have to go to Lahore for education or for decent medical treatment?
Why do we have to send our children away?” he asks, and continues to assert the
importance of education, calling it the ‘key to our chains’.
to the image of the hardline, illiterate mullah that comes to mind with the
mention of barelvi outfits like the TLP, Waseem Shah is an eloquent speaker who
easily weaves in and out of English, probably because of his brief stint in
London where he studied for his masters in law degree.
of the candidates are campaigning in working class areas, and the peasantry …
the small peasants are being sucked dry by the artis (local loan sharks) and
the dodhis (middle men in milk supply chain) on the one hand, and by the
corruption of the Zarai Taraqiati Bank, on the other,” says Qari Imran, a
retired school teacher and an active TLP campaigner
could have easily stayed in Britain since my wife is British, but I came back
to Pakistan to serve my people,” says Waseem Shah, while sipping tea in the
study room at his ancestral home in Hafizabad. Waseem Shah owns a house in
Lahore’s Defence Housing Authority (DHA), but these days he spends most of his
time canvassing for votes in Hafizabad. Oddly, he is a fan of ‘Bhutto’s style
of pro-people politics’, and believes that the traditional way of
electioneering in Pakistan is skewed in favour of the rich. He admires election
campaigns in Britain for their strong focus on manifestos and policy debates
instead of a focus on personalities. Rather than looking at the TLP as an
extremist or sectarian outfit, Waseem Shah explains it as a ‘movement with
legitimate constitutional demands’.
on blasphemy issues arise out of the state’s failure to uphold its own law. If
the law says that a blasphemer should be hanged, they should be hanged,” he
says in response to a question on Article 295-C of the Constitution, completely
ignoring instances where mobs take the law into their own hands on the call of
clerics as well as where the law gets abused for settlement of personal scores.
Shah’s family enjoys overwhelming influence among barelvi circles in Hafizabad.
His father Pir Shabir Ali Shah was a local imam who rose to prominence because
of his fiery oratory. Pir Shabir remained associated with the Jamiat Ulema
Pakistan (JUP) during the 1970s and 80s, contesting the 1988 election on the
party’s ticket. In 1993 election, Pir Shabir contested for an MPA seat on
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) ticket, albeit unsuccessfully.
the family is running a vast network of Islamic centres, seminaries and mosques
in Hafizabad, besides owning a network of private schools. Waseem Shah talks
with great pride about the fact that he recently got his seminaries affiliated
with the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU). He says that now students from
his seminaries can easily get an equivalence made. Despite this seemingly
progressive outlook, Waseem Shah partakes in all the rituals associated the
custodianship of an influential shrine. His murids kiss his hands and touch his
knees to offer respect whenever they meet him.
in recognition of his influence in the area, even before he joined the TLP,
Waseem Shah was receiving offers from a political heavyweight, Chaudry Liaqat,
to join him and his panel of independents, comprising of Asad Arain and Shoaib
Shah against the PML-N and PTI panels in Hafizabad. A former Q-Leaguer, Liaqat
unsuccessfully tried to get tickets for Hafizabad’s only NA seat from both
PML-N and PTI (his nephew is the PTI’s candidate), before considering the
former MPAs, Arain and Shoaib Shah recently parted ways with Q-League and
however, Waseem Shah convinced the trio to contest the election on TLP’s
tickets. “It was our resilience that brought these heavyweights to our side,
the side of the cause,” he boasts, conveniently missing the underlying
political calculus based on factions and delimitations.
Bhatti explains the alliance in the following words, “Our campaign is a
beautiful marriage of my performance in my traditional stronghold and the
ideologically charged cadres of the Labaik Ya Rasool Allah.” Shoaib Shah
invokes his family’s religious roots, and says, “I am a Sayed and my family is
well rooted in the spiritual tradition of Golra Shareef.”
these explanations by the candidates, there is widespread discontent among the
rank and file TLP workers regarding ‘the moral standing of these candidates’.
In casual conversations at corner meetings, Liaqat, Arain and Shoaib Shah are
often criticised for their decadent lifestyles.
some politically active supporters have a more pragmatic approach. Preferring
anonymity, Rajput*, a former local body councilor from the PML N who is now
actively campaigning for the TLP, says, “Every party has an antibiotic for the
people, be it corruption or the sanctity of the vote. We have
continues, “Apart from the dominant rhetoric, electioneering is pretty much the
same. You need resourceful candidates and you need to be able to tilt the
baradari dynamic in your favour, otherwise you lose.”
is familiar with the dirty art of politics in Pakistan and he has played an
instrumental role in bringing Hafizabad’s Rajput vote bloc, traditionally
allied with the PML-N, to the TLP camp. A majority of the Rajputs in Hafizabad
have historically associated with the Deobandi school of thought, and bringing
them over to a party that showcases it’s barelvi identity is an achievement he
takes pride in. “Hafiz Saeed’s candidate has no social base to campaign in
because we swayed a large portion of the deobandi vote to our side, so now he
is supporting our campaign as well,” Rajput says.
across sectarian, economic fault lines
campaigners in Hafizabad have not only been able to consolidate the
vote’, but they are also making inroads into the local Shia populace.
old friend of Pir Waseem Shah, Liaqat Ali Khunnu, a popular Shia khateeb of the
Muhalla Hussain Pura Imambargah, is an active member of the TLP’s campaign
team, and is playing an instrumental role in swaying the Shia vote in the
party’s favour. TLP has organised several corner meetings in Shia-dominated
neighborhoods like Dhabala on Farooq-e-Azam Road, Muhalla Hussain Pura and
Muhallah Peer Kalay Shah.
enough, the TLP activists have been granted access to a couple of imambargahs
(in Ward 1 and Ward 2) for their campaign.
addition to consolidating the ‘Islamic vote’, the TLP campaign has adopted an
aggressive ‘anti-status quo’ rhetoric. In their speeches and their pamphlets,
party leaders refer to ‘rampant inequality that persists in a society that has
seen years of economic development’. TLP cadre in Hafizabad understands that a
large portion of the society has missed out on opportunities created by
development projects. They lay special emphasis on two particular
socio-economic classes i.e. the urban labouring class and the small
farmers/landless peasants. “None of the candidates are effectively campaigning
in the katchi abadis, working class areas and the peasantry. The most they do
is meet their wadairy (elders). In villages, the small peasants are being
sucked dry by the artis (local loan sharks) and the dodhis (middle men in the
milk supply chain) on the one hand, and by the corruption of the Zarai
Taraqiati Bank, on the other,” says Qari Imran, a retired school teacher and an
active TLP campaigner who was among prayer leaders arrested during a crackdown
on violations of the Loudspeakers Act. They were released followed protest
continues, “The peasantry has become a slave to this [rentier] class and none
of the mainstream candidates want to talk about it.”
few families rule our political system. We want to break free from the
stranglehold of traditional politics and represent the un-represented masses,”
July 8 marks the second death anniversary of Abdul Sattar Edhi, a renowned
Pakistani philanthropist, ascetic, and humanitarian who founded the Edhi
departed noble soul was born on February 28, 1928 in Gujarat before the
partition of the sub-continent. He breathed his last on July 8, 2016 at the age
of 88 in Karachi.
has been honoured with some of the most prestigious awards for his unselfish
devotion to society and humanity, and promotion of peace and interfaith
humanitarian organisations have paid rich tributes to the late Edhi on his second
death anniversary, and observed him as a model for humanity.
the only social worker who has been honoured with a commemorative coin,
established and managed Edhi Foundation, the country’s largest charity
organisation, which transformed lives of many poverty-stricken families of
Foundation is famous for organising the world’s largest volunteer ambulance
network and maintaining homeless shelters, animal shelters, rehab centres and
orphanages across the country.
the Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Hassan Askari released a message on his
anniversary, and urged the general public to follow him as a role model in
promotion of human rights can serve as a noble aspiration for others to follow.
Edhi was an invaluable asset and the true identity of Pakistan,” he said while
soldiers recapture Um al-Mayazen town in Dara’a province
army troops have managed to regain control over yet another strategic town in
the country’s southwestern province of Dara’a following the elimination of the
last gatherings of militants in the area.
Sunday, Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing an unnamed military source,
reported that earlier in the day units of Syrian Arab Army, backed by the
allied forces, established their full control over Um al-Mayazen town, located
some 10 kilometers to the east of Dara’a, the provincial capital.
report added that the liberation of Um al-Mayazen came after days of intense
operations against militants’ gatherings and their fortified positions in the
town, situated not far away from Nassib, another town near the Jordanian
border, which was liberated on Friday.
bomb disposal units are now combing the liberated area for hidden ordnance and
explosive devices, which foreign-backed terrorists have arguably planted there
to slow down the advance of army forces.
June 19, the Syrian government has been engaged in a major military campaign to
recapture the militant-held areas in southern Syria near the Jordanian border
and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, including Dara’a province, together
with the neighboring provinces of Quneitra and Suwaida.
recapture of Dara'a is highly important because it borders the occupied Golan
Heights which Israel has used to treat wounded militants that are fighting the
Syrian government since 2011.The territory's return to the Syrian government
control would cut the much-reported collaboration between Israel and the
militants and accordingly deal a blow to Tel Aviv's plans to annex the Golan
Syrian army's advances are also upsetting to US plans in the Arab country where
it is believed to have deployed about 2,000 troops to carve out a statelet in
the country's north with the help of Kurdish militants.
the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported that tens of
thousands of internally displaced people had returned to their homes in
southern Syria since a ceasefire deal signed on Friday between the Russian
military and militant outfits to end airstrikes against their positions.
UK-based monitor also said the returns were continuing on Sunday.
launched its military campaign against Daesh and other terror outfits in Syria
in September 2015 at the Damascus government’s request. Russia's airstrikes
have significantly helped the Syrian forces deal heavy blows to foreign-backed
militants operating in the Arab country.
the truce deal, the government forces were to deploy along the frontier with
Jordan, while militants were to hand over their heavy weapons. The militants
who oppose the deal will be evacuated with their families to the militant-held
northwestern province of Idlib.
ministry said that most terrorist commanders have joined peace agreement with
the Syrian army only a few hours after the start the reconciliation plan in
further said that a major number of terrorist commanders have decided to end
battle and join the peace process with the army following talks with government
the meantime, the terrorist groups in the townships of Jidrou region in Western
Dara'a, including Ankhal, Nawa, Jasem, Nemr and al-Harrah formed a joint
delegation to enter talks with the Russian-Syrian delegation.
formed a joint delegation after militants in Eastern Dara'a laid down arms and
signed the peace agreement with the army.
sources said that terrorists in Western Dara'a have been given only a
48-hour-long ultimatum to decide about peace talks.
Saturday, the army troops imposed control over almost 95 percent of Eastern
Dara'a after government forces drove terrorists out of Nasib border-crossing.
army men managed to capture the strategic Radar and Air Defense Battalion Bases
in Basar al-Harir region East of Dara'a city after they imposed control over
Nasib passageway at the border with Jordan.
army soldiers also freed several regions and townships in Eastern Dara'a,
including Samad, Samaj, Arz al-Atrash, Tisiya, Khirbet Qolo, Abu Qatouneh,
al-Mashafi, Abu Ra'as, al-Samaqiyat, al-Aman, Neda, Maqtala, Khirbet al-Qouta,
Khirbet al-Deir and Khirbet Ma'araba.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that the Kurdish militias targeted a
convoy of the Turkish troops in the village of Kafr Jenah in Shera region,
killing two Turkish soldiers identified as Mohammad Kara and Urhan Damir.
the meantime, Hawar news said that three Ankara-backed militants were killed in
a heavy fighting between the Kurdish militias and Turkey-backed Ahrar
al-Sharqiyah in the village of Shadiyeh in Rajou region.
news further said that a base of Ankara-backed Firqa al-Hamzah in the village
of Satiya in Jandaris region came under attack by an unidentified drone.
Ankara-backed militants engaged in another round of infighting on Tuesday over
their share of the assets looted from civilians' houses and shops in Afrin
which came under occupation by the Turkish troops almost four months ago.
militant groups, affiliated to the Turkish army, exchanged heavy fire in Saleh
al-Ali School in al-Asharfiyeh neighborhood in the town of Afrin over their
share of the civilians' assets and properties they had previously plundered.
the meantime, the Turkish army and allied militant placed their forces on alert
after a hand-made bomb went of near Afrin Hospital in Afrin.
sources said that the ISIL attacked one of the positions of Tahrir al-Sham East
of the town of Saraqib in Idlib province, killing all the 12 militants in the
position, including three Uzbek, Chechen and Turk fighters.
the meantime, a number of Tahrir terrorists were killed in a roadside bomb
blast near the town of al-Dana in Northern Idlib.
a Turkish member of Tahrir was gunned down by unknown attackers in farms West
of Idlib city.
a bomb blast near al-Abrar mosque in Idlib city killed and wounded number of
a field commander of Tahrir al-Sham in Jabal al-Turmmen, was killed by unknown
assailants near the small town of Hazarin in Southern Idlib last week.
the meantime, Tahrir al-Sham captured the town of Sarmin in Eastern Idlib after
heavy fighting with ISIL rival terrorists.
a number of terrorists were killed after a bomb-laden vehicle went off near the
small town of Harza in Northeastern Idlib and also in another blast in the town
of Khan Sheikhoun in Southern Idlib.
bomb-laden vehicle went off near an SDF base in the center of al-Basireh
township in Deir Ezzur province, killing at least 18 US-backed militias,
including a commander.
sources said that the ISIL terrorists were possibly behind the blast.
reports said that Joudi Hasaka, one of the most notorious commanders of the
SDF, was gunned down by unidentified raiders in Western Hasaka.
assailant opened fire at SDF field Commander Joudi Hasaka near al-Tahouneh
region in Jabal Abdul Aziz in Western Hasaka, killing the commander and two of
the meantime, tens of people gathered in al-Nashwa neighborhood's square in
Hasaka and protested against the Kurdish militias, hoisting the Syrian
Arabic-language al-Watan daily quoted some opposition sources as disclosing
that several government delegations have had meetings with commanders of the
Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) that control the Eastern bank of
the Euphrates River, adding that some Syrian military officers, and governor
generals of Raqqa and Hasaka provinces had attended the meetings.
the meantime, some Kurdish-affiliated sources disclosed that a new agreement
has been endorsed by the YPG and the Syrian government based on which the Kurds
will hand over oil facilities to Damascus to the sole exporter of Syria's crude
daily further said that a team of repair and maintenance experts have left
Damascus for the town of Tabaqa in Western Raqqa and entered regions that are
under the control of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) to have
meeting with the managing committee of Tabaqa Dam presided by Mohammad Oso.
the meantime, local sources reported that the Kurdish units have taken photos
of their commander Abdullah Ocalan and the group's flags down from Qanat
al-Sowis street in Hasaka city.
reported on Monday that the Kurdish militia groups were showing strong signs in
their talks with Damascus authorities of their desire to give up their quest
for autonomy and surrender the Kurdish-ruled territories to the Central
government in return for insignificant demands
Al-Watan daily reported that several meetings
were held between senior officials of Damascus government and the Kurdish
militias in the town of Qamishli in Northern Syria and also in Damascus.
an agreement held by the two sides, the Kurdish groups have agreed to take a
number of actions that also include collecting the entire images of Abdullah
Ocalan, one of the founding members of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party,
as well as the Kurdish militias' official signs and flags from all their
territories," the report continued.
went on to say that retreat of all Kurdish militias to Hasaka province and
erecting joint checkpoints to be run by the Kurds and the government forces
across Hasaka province are also among other terms of the agreement.
sources said that the agreement endorsed by the Kurds and the army entails
several more paragraphs that include the presence of the Kurdish militias among
the ranks of the Syrian army, surrender of Tal Kojar and Simalka
border-crossing with Iraq and al-Darbasiyeh and Ra'as al-Ein border-crossing
with Turkey to the Damascus army and delivering control over oil and gas fields
to the Syrian Oil Ministry.
sources further said that, in return, the Kurds have asked for the start of
Kurdish-language courses in the educational program in Kurdish regions and
appointment of a Kurdish official to a high post in the Syrian oil ministry.
went on to say that the Kurdish units already embarked on collecting PYD flags
and the photos of its leader from streets in Qamishli and Hasaka city.
the meantime, other Syrian media outlets said that the Syrian Democratic
forces' decision to hand over Raqqa city to the army will be the first
confidence-building measure between the two sides.
army forwarded a large number of forces and equipment to Dara'a city after its
advances in Eastern Dara'a and liberation of Nasib border-crossing.
sources reported that the army is preparing for an imminent operation to
liberate Dara'a city.
sources further said that only a few villages in Eastern Dara'a are still under
terrorists' control and the region has militarily fallen into the army that
controls almost 95 percent of Eastern Dara'a.
few groups of ISIL and the Al-Nusra front (Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at or the Levant
Liberation Board) are still operating in Southern and Western Dara'a and some
other terrorist groups are active in the Northern part of the province.
regime pounds South, rebel evacuations postponed
forces bombarded southern Syria on Sunday, as the evacuation of rebel fighters
under a ceasefire deal for the region was postponed, a monitor and an
opposition official said.
fighters in the southern province of Daraa announced a ceasefire deal late on
Friday with regime ally Russia to end more than two weeks of deadly regime bombardment.
that deal, rebels who wished to do so were to leave areas in the strategic
southern province to be retaken by President Bashar al-Assad’s regime.
on Sunday morning, regime air strikes killed four civilians, said the Syrian
Observatory for Human Rights.
al-Mayazeen village targeted
warplanes pounded Um al-Mayazeen just five kilometers north of the Jordanian
border, killing three civilians, said the Britain-based monitor.
forces launched an assault on the village,” Observatory director Rami Abdel
Rahman said, two days after they retook control of the key border crossing of
Nassib to the south.
rebel fire on a regime convoy on the highway near Um al-Mayazeen had killed
several soldiers, Abdel Rahman said, without providing a toll.
regime air strike on the rebel-held half of the provincial capital of Daraa
also killed one civilian, he said.
rebel official said the evacuation of opposition fighters and their families to
rebel-held areas in northern Syria was temporarily put on hold.
hundred buses were supposed to arrive but (the operation) has been postponed to
a later date, in around two days,” the official said.
was an exchange of fire between both sides and the first (wave) has been
regime bombardment campaign on rebel-held areas in Daraa since June 19 had
killed more than 160 civilians and displaced tens of thousands of people.
had fled the violence south towards the closed border with Jordan, setting up
makeshift tents for shelter in the arid fields along the frontier.
court in Iraq has handed down death sentence to a member of the
foreign-sponsored Takfiri Daesh terrorist group over his involvement in the
massacre of more than a dozen civilians in the country’s northern province of
Criminal Court of Nineveh issued the verdict against the unnamed defendant on
Sunday after he was convicted of killing 16 people at Mosul General Hospital,
and planting hundreds of bombs east of the provincial capital city of Mosul,
located some 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Baghdad, the Arabic service of
Russia’s Sputnik news agency reported.
Sattar al-Biraqdar, spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council, said the
convict has confessed to the execution of the civilians, and placing 250 explosive
devices across the town of Bartella.
noted the Daesh terrorist had also participated in terrorist attacks against
government forces, namely in the area of Ain al-Safra.
senior Iraqi judicial official stressed that the death sentence against the
Takfiri was passed in accordance with Article IV of the Anti-Terrorism Law.
June 30, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the
commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, pledged to hunt down Daesh militants across
Iraq after recent attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist group.
will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill
them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,” Abadi
declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on
December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister had formally declared victory over
Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban
stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of
fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
Watchdog Accuses Muslim Leader Of Incitement
prominent watchdog group on antisemitism in France filed a police complaint
against a leading Muslim community leader for alleged incitement to hatred of
National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism, or BNVCA, filed the
complaint Thursday against Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris
and the president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, BNVCA said in a
unusual move against Boubakeur, a highly respected representative of French
Muslims, follows his defense Monday of an imam from Toulouse who was filmed
speaking during a sermon about Israel’s demise and a war in which Muslims would
imam, Mohammed Tataï, “protests firmly and in good faith” the controversy that
last month grew around the video of his sermon from December, Boubakeur wrote
in a statement Monday. Tatai also “apologizes to anyone who was accidentally
offended by the pulling out of context” of the sermon, Boubakeur added.
B’rith France condemned the sermon in a statement on June 27, drawing the
attention of media to the video’s existence.
the video, which Tatai’s own mosque posted on YouTube, he says, “The Prophet
Muhammad told us about the final and decisive battle: ‘Judgment Day will not
come until the Muslims fight the Jews. The Jews will hide behind the stones and
the trees, and the stones and the trees will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of
Allah, there is a Jew hiding behind me, come and kill him – except for the
Gharqad tree, which is one of the trees of the Jews.’” BNVCA also complained to
police against the imam.
an interview for the La Dépêche du Midi daily, Tatai said the video “takes what
I said out of context.” He told the daily that during the sermon, he also said
that “we must do everything not to arrive” at a Muslim-Jewish war, but the
assertion was not recorded in the video.
said Tatai “engages in efforts that promote coexistence” between followers of
Touboul, the president of the Toulouse-region branch of the CRIF umbrella of
French Jewish communities, rejected Tatai’s statements about lacking context
and condemned both the sermon and its defense by Boubakeur.
will not continue to engage in dialogue with the imam, the Jewish community
leader told the daily.
can we engage in dialogue with someone who wishes for our death?” Touboul
Recep Tayyip Erdogan will attend his first major international summit since
getting reelected on Wednesday when he attends the NATO heads of state and
government meeting in Brussels.
NATO meeting will take place for the first time at the new alliance
the meeting, Erdogan will meet and hold bilateral meetings with a number of
world leaders, including American President Donal Trump, French President
Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
is expected that Erdogan and other leaders will discuss the support YPG/PKK
terror group receives from some NATO member countries and the S-400 missile
system that Turkey is getting from Russia.
is also expected to meet European Council head Donald Tusk, European Commission
President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Parliament President Antonio Tajani.
has called for justice for the victims of neo-Nazi terrorist group NSU ahead of
a verdict in a major trial that revealed “institutional racism” problem in
hope that the result of the NSU trial would meet the expectations of all who
want an end to such racist and xenophobic murders, and demand a fair decision
that would satisfy people’s conscience,” Turkish Ambassador Ali Kemal Aydin
told Anadolu Agency on Sunday.
want to trust the German justice system,” he added.
NSU killed eight Turkish immigrants, a Greek citizen and a German policewoman
between 2000 and 2007 -- but the murders remained long unsolved, although the
suspects were under the radar of a German intelligence agency since late 90s.
a five year-long trial of the suspects, the NSU’s last surviving member Beate
Zschaepe and four suspected accomplices, the Higher Regional Court in Munich is
set to deliver its ruling on Wednesday.
underlined that families of the victims, their lawyers and many experts still
believe that the NSU was not a three-member group, but had ties to a larger
network of far-right extremists.
questions still remain unanswered,” he said, referring to speculations of a
possible role or involvement of security or intelligence officials.
said the court’s ruling would also be significant for future efforts to uncover
facts about the NSU, its motivations and possible links.
shadowy neo-Nazi group was only revealed in 2011, when two members -- Uwe
Mundlos and Uwe Bohnhardt -- reportedly committed suicide after an unsuccessful
bank robbery and later police found guns and propaganda in their apartment.
has so far denied any role in the killings and tried to lay the blame on her
scandal surrounding the NSU has led to widespread criticism of police and
security agencies in Germany, which were accused by opposition parties for
tolerating right-wing extremists, stereotyping and discrimination against
2011, Germany’s police and intelligence services excluded any racial motive for
the murders and instead treated immigrant families as suspects in the case,
questioning them over alleged connections with mafia groups and drug
recent revelations have shown that German domestic intelligence agency had
dozens of informants who had contacts with the NSU suspects, officials insisted
that they had no prior information about the NSU terror cell and its suspected
role in the killings.
The United Nations has appointed Javaid Rehman, a British-Pakistani legal
scholar, as UN Special Rapporteur on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran.
Rehman succeeds Asma Jahangir who passed away in February at age 66. Mr
Rehman’s appointment was announced on Saturday during the 38th session of the
UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).
UN special rapporteur can hold office for six years at most. Tehran has always
rejected reports of the rapporteurs on the Situation of Human Rights in Iran as
biased, politically motivated and invalid.
claims that UN rapporteurs mostly use sources opposed to the Islamic republic
system for their reports on the situation in the country.
1984, the UNHRC appointed Andrés Aguilar of Venezuela as its first special
representative to Iran. Tehran refused to engage with him and he eventually
resigned, saying he was doing so because he was “unable to persuade Iranian
officials to cooperate with him in any way”.
May, the UNHRC issued a list of three candidates — Javaid Rehman of Pakistan,
Miloon Kothari of India and Antonio Stango of Italy — and eventually selected
Rehman is professor of international human rights law and Muslim
constitutionalism at Brunel University in London.
has advised international human rights bodies, tribunals and courts on human
rights issues, including the prohibition of torture, counterterrorism and minority
a human rights advocate, Mr Rehman has engaged with a range of stakeholders at
the United Nations, the Council of Europe,
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and the South Asian Association of
has also advised non-governmental organisations in the United Kingdom of Great
Britain and Northern Ireland and in Pakistan on substantive legal issues as
well as on implementation mechanisms, appeal procedures and advocacy campaigns.
militants killed, wounded in during Walid-9 operations: Shaheen Corps
least sixty four militants were killed or wounded during the ongoing military
operations, Walid-9 operations, in three northern provinces.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said the militants were
killed or wounded during the operations in Balkh, Faryab, and Baghlan
to a statement released by Shaheen Corps, at least 38 militants were killed in
total in the past 24 hours in the three provinces while 26 others sustained
statement further added that 22 of the militants were killed during the
operations in Chamtal district of Balkh where at least 16 others sustained
to Shaheen Corps, at least 10 militants were killed and at last 7 others
sustained injuries during the operations in Almar district of Faryab province.
Corps also added that 6 militants were killed and at least 2 others sustained
injuries during the operations in Dahan-e-Ghori of Baghlan province.
weapons, munitions, vehicles, and motorcycles were also destroyed during the
operations, the Shaheen Corps added in its statement.
to Shaheen Corps, the operations are being with the support of the Afghan Air
Forces which are providing close-air support to the ground forces.
anti-government armed militants including Taliban insurgents have not commented
regarding the report so far.
Myanmar (AP) — A judge in Myanmar ruled Monday that the prosecution of two
Reuters journalists charged with illegally possessing official information can
go to a full trial.
case of Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo went through several months of hearings to
determine if there was enough evidence to support the charges, which the
two had been working on stories about the Rohingya crisis in western Myanmar,
where state security forces are accused of carrying out massive human rights
abuses that caused about 700,000 of the Muslim ethnic Rohingya to flee across
the border to Bangladesh.
charges they are facing carry a punishment of up to 14 years in prison.
urged the authorities to release the two.
are deeply disappointed that the court declined to end this protracted and
baseless proceeding against Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. These Reuters journalists
were doing their jobs in an independent and impartial way, and there are no
facts or evidence to suggest that they've done anything wrong or broken any
law," Stephen J. Adler, Reuters' president and editor-in-chief, said in a
decision casts serious doubt on Myanmar's commitment to press freedom and the
rule of law," it said.
members of the new political coalition, Coalition for the Salvage of
Afghanistan, on Sunday shared their demands regarding the cases of Gen. Abdul
Rashid Dostum and Nizamuddin Qaisari.
leaders of the political coalition, Ata Mohammad Noor and Mohammad Mohaqiq,
appeared in a press conference with Enayatullah Babur Farahman, the Chief of
Staff Gen. Dostum’s Office, to declare their stance regarding the recent
members of the political coalition once again criticized the government for its
recent steps, specifically the arrest of Nizamuddin Qaisari and preventing the
return of Gen. Dostum from Turkey.
said the government must take immediate steps to resolve the case of Gen.
Dostum as he emphasized that no one has the right to keep a person in exile.
also called the detention of Nizamuddin Qaisari by security forces a move
against the law.
member of the coalition Mohammad Mohaqiq said Gen. Dostum is being kept in
exile without the decree or verdict by any court or the parliament.
said “Until now we were demanding that Gen. Dostum must return but after this
we are saying that we will bring Gen. Dostum back to the country.”
Chief of Staff Gen. Dostum’s Office Enayatullah Babur Farahmand warned that the
protests and unrest would expand to the other provinces if immediate actions
are taken to free Nizamuddin Qaisari.
Taliban militants suffered heavy casualties during the airstrikes conducted in
southeastern Ghazni province of Afghanistan in support of the ongoing
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in a statement said the airstrikes
were conducted in Khumar Khel and Esa Khel areas of Moqor district.
statement further added that the airstrikes were conducted as part of the
ongoing Palang Sahra military operations which are jointly being conducted
against the anti-government armed militants.
to Thunder Corps, at least 41 militants were killed and at least 17 others
sustained injuries during the airstrikes and military operations.
Dshk heavy machine guns installed on pickup type vehcles were also destroyed
during the airstrikes along with a rocket launcher and PKM machine gune,
Thunder Corps said, adding that the dead bodies of at least three militants
were left behind by the other militants.
the meantime, the Thunder Corps said a militant was killed during a separate
clash with the security forces in Khair Kot district of Paktiak province and a
Ak-47 assault rifle, a motorcycle, and Pakistani national identity card were
draws ‘red lines’ on Saudi nuclear ambitions
has reportedly drawn a number of “red lines” it expects the US to observe
regarding a deal being finalized for the sale of nuclear reactors to Saudi
to Israel's Channel 10 News, Israeli officials have realized that they would
not be able to thwart the deal because of billions of dollars which it would
bring in profit to the US.
energy minister and top nuclear official Yuval Steinitz met with his US
counterpart Rick Perry in Washington and presented him a series of steep
demands about the need to keep a strict tab on the kingdom's activities.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman raised eyebrows when he told CBS in May that
his country was prepared to pursue nuclear weapons.
announcement sparked uproar around the world as it raised fresh worries about a
country which is home to the extremist Wahhabi ideology, having inspired such
terrorist groups such as Daesh, Nusra Front and al-Qaeda.
the outcry, a Saudi journalist with ties to the royal family, Louai a-Sharif,
released a video statement aimed at Israelis and delivered in Hebrew.
the video statement, a-Sharif said that any potential nuclear weapons program
in his country would not target Israel.
Steinitz made it clear to Perry that Israel wanted to prevent uranium
enrichment in Saudi Arabia, know all the details of the deal in advance and be
consulted on the planned location of the nuclear reactors.
Israel sought full coordination and transparency on the negotiations and
requested the US provide all the fuel to the reactors with the precondition
that the spent fuel was removed from Saudi Arabia so that it would not be
Mohammed, who also serves as Saudi defense minister, is the architect of an
ambitious plan to flesh out the kingdom's military muscle.
May, he oversaw the signing with the US of an agreement worth $350 billion over
10 years and $110 billion that will take effect immediately to prop up Saudi
supply of sophisticated weapons to Saudi Arabia and its allies has been
disturbing to Israel which fears its perceived "qualitative military
edge" in the Middle East might be eroding.
is widely known to be the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East,
with hundreds of nuclear warheads in its arsenal.
officials have tried to solace those fears by suggesting that the kingdom was
on the same page with Israel with regard to perceived Iranian threat.
says it plans to build 16 nuclear power plants over the next quarter century in
a bid to reduce its consumption of gasoline and free up more for export.
US and Saudi Arabia discussed possible nuclear cooperation during the
administration of former US President Barack Obama.
talks were frozen, however, after the Saudis refused to accept the “gold
standard” which bans Riyadh from enriching uranium or reprocessing spent
nuclear fuel to extract plutonium.
reports have said US President Donald Trump, who has described Saudi Arabia
"a big purchaser of equipment and lots of other things", had shown
willingness to drop that requirement.
areas liberated in Yemen’s Saada amid Houthi clashes
Yemeni army liberated new areas in the Kataf district, east of the Saada
Governorate, and killed 10 Houthis after violent clashes with the militia.
to an Al Arabiya English correspondent, the army, with the support of the Arab
coalition, managed to gain control of the al-Zour and Khashba Mountains, as
well as cut off Houthi militia supply lines in the al-Atfain and al-Muleil
front east of Saada.
to sources, 10 Houthi militias were killed and many others were injured during
the operation, while various weapons and mechanisms were seized.
Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen confirmed the continuous progress of
the Yemeni National Army, supported by Arab coalition forces on all fronts of
the fighting over the last three days, which resulted in heavy losses for
coalition also confirmed the death of 341 Houthi militias in the past 72 hours.
senior Iranian official says Iranian military advisers will continue their
presence in Syria to help the Arab country defeat an all-out foreign-sponsored
Amir-Abdollahian, the Iranian parliament speaker's special adviser on
international affairs, stressed that Syrians would not permit the Zionists in
their homeland following the collapse of the Daesh terrorist group.
Zionist regime tries to gain dominance over Syria after Daesh, but resistance
forces and military advisers from the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue
their presence alongside Syria to counter terrorism, " he said in a
meeting with Palestinian Ambassador to Tehran Salah al-Zawawi.
Syrian people will not allow the country to be turned into the hotbed of
Zionist terrorists once again," Amir-Abdollahian noted.
the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets inside Syria
in an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering defeats at
the hands of Syrian government forces.
Aviv has also been providing weapons to anti-Damascus militants as well as
medical treatment to the Takfiri elements wounded in Syria.
has been offering military advisory support to Syria at the request of the
Damascus government, enabling its army to speed up its gains on various fronts
against terror outfits.
also said Tehran will keep up its "decisive support" for the
resistance and will not give in to pressures as regards the Palestinian issue
and Israeli threats against the security of the regional countries.
for his part, warned that Israel's right-wing Likud party, led by Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, is seeking to control the Muslim world.
further said the US is exerting economic pressure on some regional countries to
advance the plans of President Donald Trump, who himself is implementing the
will of the international Zionism.
role in Syria is reported to be addressed at the July 16 meeting between Trump
and Russian President Vladimir Putin, in the Finnish capital, Helsinki.
Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, said last weekend that the summit
offered the possibility of a “larger negotiation on helping to get Iranian
forces out of Syria."
a deal, he said, would amount to “a significant step forward” in promoting
Washington's interests in the region.
spokesman Dmitry Peskov, however, rejected reports that Iran's role in Syria
would be raised at the Helsinki summit.
young Palestinian man has died, nine years after being shot by Israeli military
forces during clashes between a group of Palestinian protesters and the latter
in the southern part of the occupied West Bank.
Ramallah-based Fatah movement reported that Yacoub Fayiq Nassar, a local resident
of Fawwar refugee camp, died on Sunday morning.
was shot by Israeli forces in 2009, which left him paralyzed from the waist
down and eventually requiring leg amputation.
injury prompted him to also suffer from renal failure, which became severe in
recent months and is thought to have caused his death.
refugee camp, which is located six kilometers southwest of al-Khalil (Hebron),
has endured much violence at the hands of Israeli troops.
years ago, Israeli forces laid siege to the camp as collective punishment for a
shooting attack on an Israeli car nearby. Medicine for the elderly and food for
needy, could not enter the camp in the wake of the clampdown.
extends detention of female Palestinian lawmaker
authorities have extended the detention without trial of prominent Palestinian
legislator and senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of
Palestine (PFLP), Khalida Jarrar, for another four months.
large number of Israeli troopers raided Jarrar’s home in the central West Bank
city of Ramallah, located 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of Jerusalem al-Quds,
on July 2 last year, and arrested her.
husband, Ghassan, said Israeli forces seized computers during the raid.
internal spy agency, Shin Bet, later announced in a statement that Jarrar was
arrested along with a Palestinian activist for “promoting terror activities,”
without providing any further information.
is one of the most outspoken critics of the Israeli occupation and has
repeatedly slammed the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities against Palestinians.
Israeli regime has been denying the lawmaker the right to travel outside the
occupied Palestinian territories since 1988. She campaigned for months in 2010
before receiving the permission to travel to Jordan for medical treatment.
August 2014, Jarrar received a “special supervision order” from the Israeli
military, instructing her to leave Ramallah to the West Bank city of Ariha
she set up a protest tent outside the Palestinian Legislative Council in
Ramallah, where she lived and worked, until the controversial order was
overturned later in September that year.
forces last arrested the Palestinian lawmaker on April 2, 2015 after storming
her house in Ramallah. She was released from prison on June 3, 2016 on a
suspended sentence of 12 months within a five-year period.
prolongs compulsory military service to 16 months amid Yemen war
United Arab Emirates (UAE) has extended compulsory military service for Emirati
nationals from 12 to 16 months amid the Abu Dhabi’s involvement in the
Saudi-led military campaign against Yemen, which has claimed the lives of
thousands of innocent civilians and reduced the impoverished Arab country’s
critical infrastructure to rubble.
general command of the armed forces ... announced the extension of the legal
period for national service ... to 16 instead of 12 months,” state news agency
WAM reported late on Saturday.
UAE introduced mandatory military service in 2014 for Emirati men. It also
allowed the optional participation of women, who can serve only nine months
upon approval of their legal guardians.
who hold a high school diploma or its equivalent will serve 16 months instead
of 12, while those who do not have a high school qualification continue to
serve for two years.
Associated Press reported last month that Emirati officers have tortured and
sexually abused hundreds of detainees at their detention centers in Yemen.
report highlighted that the inmates, who are held without charges, have been
sodomized, raped, probed and stripped down in at least five prisons.
one case, detainees suffered sexual abuse at Beir Ahmed prison in Aden on March
10, when fifteen Emirati officers ordered prisoners to undress and lie down for
cavity checks, claiming they were looking for contraband cell phones.
prisoners who resisted were beaten until they bled, and threatened with barking
tortured me without even accusing me of anything. Sometimes I wish they would
give me a charge so I can confess and end this pain,” said a prisoner, who was
detained last year and has been in three different jails.
worst thing about it is that I wish for death every day and I can’t find it,”
UAE is Saudi Arabia’s key partner in its deadly war against Yemen.
Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights announced in a statement on March 25 that the
Saudi-led war had left 600,000 civilians dead and injured since March 2015.
United Nations says a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in need of food aid,
including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger.
high-ranking UN aid official recently warned against the “catastrophic” living
conditions in Yemen, stating that there was a growing risk of famine and
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to take a tough line with the West on key
foreign policy issues including the Syria conflict, Russian relations and
migrants in his new term, but he may also show signs of compromise.
policy will be immediately on the agenda after Erdogan’s inauguration Monday,
as the president heads this week to a NATO summit in Brussels where talks are
expected with leaders including US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor
are the five foreign policy issues Erdogan will need to address during his new
and the United States have been at loggerheads over a number of issues, from
American support for a Syrian Kurdish militia despised by Ankara to
Washington’s failure to extradite Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused by
Ankara of ordering a failed 2016 coup.
new Erdogan administration will carry on these negotiations with the hope of
fixing the relationship with the US,” said Ozgur Unluhisarcikli, Ankara office
director of the German Marshall Fund of the US.
of the stumbling blocks is US backing for the Syrian People’s Protection Units
(YPG), deemed “terrorists” by Ankara and linked to the outlawed PKK militants
who have waged a bloody insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
analysts say Washington has been willing to make concessions despite the
tensions, as shown by the US delivering its first shipments of F-35 stealth
fighter jets to Turkey last month.
and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have forged an increasingly strong
alliance based on seeking peace in Syria after patching up relations poisoned
by Turkey’s downing of a Russian war plane in 2015.
has been particularly concerned by Ankara’s decision to buy Russian S-400
surface-to-air missile batteries, which are not compatible with NATO’s defense
a frequent guest of Erdogan in Turkey, swiftly congratulated the Turkish
strongman on his re-election, saying that the result showed his “great
Jenkins, Istanbul-based non-resident senior research fellow at the Silk Road
Studies Program, said “ultimately Erdogan is going to have to choose between
the US and Russia –- and he will pay a price whichever he chooses.”
the Syrian war erupted in 2011, Turkey has been a fervent opponent of President
Bashar Assad’s regime and ruled out any form of direct dialogue with Damascus.
with Turkey already hosting 3.5 million Syrian refugees, Ankara has focused
more on border security and helping those displaced go home.
Stein, resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said Turkey has already
found a “formula” with the Assad regime.
works through Russia to achieve its interests -— and those interests don’t
include regime change,” he told AFP.
between Turkey and the European Union have been particularly strained since the
crackdown that followed the attempted overthrow of Erdogan in July 2016, with
EU member states calling on Ankara to lift the state of emergency.
veteran Turkish diplomat Ozdem Sanberk said he believed an era of compromise
would start and “relations will reach a more healthy ground than before.”
and the EU agreed to a deal in 2016 to curb the influx of migrants into Europe
which has been criticized by rights groups, but has helped slow down arrivals.
who raised eyebrows in the West when he threatened to send millions of migrants
to Europe, was sidelined from the agreement but so far it has remained in
the past few years Erdogan has pressed what Ankara calls a multi-vector foreign
policy and championed the Palestinian cause and those of Muslim minorities
around the world.
has hosted Muslim leaders several times, including earlier this year for a
summit aimed at coordinating a united Islamic response to the US decision to
recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
countries who rapidly congratulated Erdogan on his re-election were symbolic of
Ankara’s foreign policy stance, with leaders such as Venezuelan President
Nicolas Maduro and Sudan’s President Omar Al-Bashir, who have pariah status in
the West, among the first to hail his win.
Afghan forces clear IS from eastern district
and Afghan Special Forces are completing an operation to clear Islamic State
fighters from a remote district in Nangarhar, the eastern province where they
have their main stronghold in Afghanistan, officials said on Saturday.
operation in Deh Bala, on the border with Pakistan, began at the end of April
and was largely complete in early June but final mine clearance operations are
still under way, said Lt. Col. Josh Thiel, from the US First Special Forces
was one of the main green zones that did two things. One, it provided money,
finance, logistics to ISIS (Islamic State) and we’ve taken that away from
them,” he said. “Additionally, ISIS was using this as a site to prepare and
move high-profile attacks on Kabul and Jalalabad.”
operation, involving three companies of Afghan commandos supported by US air
strikes and American Special Forces teams, began with troops arriving by
helicopter and setting up an operations base near the village of Gargari, where
the Islamic State fighters were trying to establish a local capital.
days of heavy fighting ended in early June with 167 Islamic State fighters
killed and large quantities of equipment captured.
US military has identified the American soldier killed during an apparent
“insider attack” in southern Afghanistan.
Department of Defense said in a press release issued on Sunday night that Cpl.
Joseph Maciel was 20-year-old and from South Gate, California.
US-led Resolute Support Mission (RSM) announced that Maciel was killed and two
others were wounded on Saturday.
Pentagon did not identify the two wounded US troopers but said they were in
to the Department of Defense, Maciel was deployed to Afghanistan from Fort
Benning, Georgia, which straddles the Alabama and Georgia border, near
Columbus, Georgia, and he was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry
Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division.
was reportedly deployed in February to Afghanistan to help provide security for
the brigade’s military advisers. No other details of the attack were provided.
Maciel was an excellent soldier beloved by his teammates and dedicated to our
mission,” Lt. Col. David Conner, Maciel’s battalion commander, said in a statement
to the news website Military.com
insider attacks, in which a member of the Afghan National Security Forces
(ANSF) attacks US service members, have taken place every year since 2008. The
Afghan province that has seen the highest number of attacks is Helmand, south
of the country and a major Taliban stronghold.
Supreme Court’s opinion last month in Trump v Hawaii, affirming Donald Trump’s
Muslim ban, has permitted the United States to act in flagrant violation of
the guise of deferring to the president on matters of national security, the
5–4 majority disregarded a litany of Trump’s anti-Muslim statements and held
that the ban does not violate the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause, which
forbids the government from preferring one religion over another. Neither the
majority nor the dissenting opinions even mentioned the US’s legal obligations
under international human rights law.
travel ban violates two treaties to which the United States is a party: the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the International
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. It also
runs afoul of customary international law.
of these treaties and customary international law prohibit the government from
discriminating on the basis of religion or national origin. Trump’s Muslim ban
v Hawaii ‘signals strongly that international law in general, and international
human rights law in particular, no longer binds the United States in federal
courts’, Aaron Fellmeth, professor at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, wrote
me in an email. ‘Fortunately, it does not squarely hold that, but the effect
may prove to be the same. For now, the Supreme Court appears determined to be
complicit in U.S. human rights violations and cannot be relied upon as a check
on the Executive Branch.’
case that the Supreme Court ruled on involved the legality of Trump’s third
travel ban. Issued by Trump in a ‘Proclamation’ on September 24, 2017, the
third iteration of the ban restricts travel by most citizens of Libya, Syria,
Iran, Yemen, Chad, Somalia and North Korea. The ban forbids everyone from Syria
and North Korea from obtaining visas. Nationals from the other six countries
have to undergo additional security checks. Iranian students are exempted from
the ban. The ban also forbids Venezuelan government officials and their
families from traveling to the US.
than 150 million people, roughly 95 percent of them Muslim, are affected by the
prior iterations of the ban restricted travel of citizens from only
Muslim-majority countries. After federal courts struck them down, Trump
appeared to cosmetically added Venezuela and North Korea to avoid charges of
Justice Sonya Sotomayor, joined by Ruth Bader Ginsburg, wrote in her dissent,
‘it is of no moment’ that Trump included ‘minor restrictions’ on North Korea
and Venezuela — two non-Muslim-majority countries. Travel by North Korean
nationals was already restricted and the ban only bars travel by Venezuelan
officials and their families.
never addressed international law
of the justices on the Supreme Court ignored significant international law
arguments in their majority and dissenting opinions in spite of an amicus brief
signed by 81 international law scholars, including this writer, and a dozen
non-governmental organizations. The amicus brief drew attention to the travel
ban’s violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and
the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination,
both of which the United States has ratified.
of a treaty not only makes the United States a party to that treaty, its
provisions also become part of US domestic law under the Supremacy Clause of
the Constitution, which says treaties ‘shall be the supreme law of the land.’
international law arises from the general and consistent practice of states. It
is part of federal common law and must be enforced in US courts, whether or not
its provisions are enshrined in a ratified treaty. Courts have a duty to rein
in federal executive action, which conflicts with a ratified treaty.
Trump v Hawaii, the high court concluded that the ban did not violate the
Immigration and Nationality Act. The international law scholars argued in their
Immigration and Nationality Act and other statutes must be read in harmony with
these international legal obligations pursuant to the Supremacy Clause of the
Constitution and long established principles of statutory construction requiring
acts of Congress to be interpreted in a manner consistent with international
law, whenever such a construction is reasonably possible.’
the Court did not construe the legality of the travel ban in light of US treaty
obligations and customary international law.
the scholars argued that the primary thrust of the ban is to prohibit Muslims
from entering the United States and thus constitutes religious discrimination.
By singling out specific countries for exclusion, the ban also makes a prohibited
distinction on the basis of national origin.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights prohibits distinctions
based on religion or national origin, which have ‘the purpose or effect of
nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by all persons,
on an equal footing of human rights and fundamental freedoms’, the United
Nation Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the International
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, has said.
the Covenant does not generally ‘recognize a right of aliens to enter or reside
in the territory of a State party… in certain circumstances an alien may enjoy
the protection of the Covenant even in relation to entry or residence, for
example, when considerations of non-discrimination, prohibition of inhuman
treatment and respect for family life arise’, the Human Rights Committee
Covenant also prohibits discrimination against the family: ‘The family is the
natural and fundamental group of society and is entitled to protection by
society and the State.’ Immigrants and refugees who flee their countries of
origin and come to the United States to reunify with their families are
protected by the Covenant against discrimination based on religion or national
origin. They need not be physically present in the United States to enjoy these
non-discrimination provisions of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
also constitute customary international law. In 1948, the United States
approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is part of customary
international law. The declaration forbids discrimination based on religion or
national origin, guarantees equal protection of the law, and shields family
life against arbitrary interference.
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial
Discrimination also prohibits discrimination based on religion or national
origin and doesn’t confine its non-discrimination provisions to citizens or
resident non-citizens. While the Convention ‘does not speak specifically to
restrictions on entry of nonresident aliens’, the scholars’ amicus brief
states, ‘The general language of [the Convention Against Racial Discrimination]
expresses a clear intention to eliminate discrimination based on race or
national origin from all areas of government activity.’
parties to the convention ‘shall not permit public authorities or public
institutions, national or local, to promote or incite racial discrimination.’
Parties are required to outlaw speech that stigmatizes or stereotypes
non-citizens, immigrants, refugees and people seeking asylum.
nature of travel ban
though the Supreme Court majority held that the ban did not violate the
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, much evidence exists to the
Establishment Clause says, ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an
establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ That
means ‘one religious denomination cannot be officially preferred over another’,
according to Supreme Court case law.
quoting a few of Trump’s anti-Muslim statements, Chief Justice John Roberts
noted, ‘the issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements’ but
rather ‘the significance of those statements in reviewing a Presidential
directive’, that is ‘neutral on its face’ because he text doesn’t specifically
mention religion. Roberts said the Court was ‘addressing a matter within the
core of executive responsibility’, adding, ‘We must consider not only the
statements of a particular President, but also the authority of the Presidency
wrote that the Court could consider the president’s statements ‘but will uphold
the policy so long as it can reasonably be understood to result from a
justification independent of unconstitutional grounds.’ Courts must give great
deference to the president in immigration matters and will uphold his policy if
it has any legitimate purpose, Roberts argued. ‘The entry suspension has a
legitimate grounding in national security concerns, quite apart from any
religious hostility’, he said.
spent seven of the 28 pages of her dissent listing more than a dozen statements
by Trump denigrating Muslims. She cited, in Trump’s words, the policy’s initial
purpose as a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United
States.’ But that policy ‘now masquerades behind a façade of national security
concerns’, Sotomayor wrote.
quoted a Trump adviser who said, ‘When [Donald Trump] first announced it, he
said, “Muslim ban.”’ Sotomayor also listed Trump’s declarations that ‘Islam
hates us’, ‘we’re having problems with Muslims coming into the country’, and
‘Muslims do not respect us at all.’
said president Franklin D Roosevelt ‘did the same thing’ with his internment of
Japanese Americans during World War II, Sotomayor noted. Trump told a story
about General John J. Pershing killing a large group of Muslim insurgents in
the Philippines with bullets dipped in pig’s blood. When he issued his first
ban, Trump explained that Christians would be given preference for entry as
refugees into the United States. He also retweeted three anti-Muslim videos.
all the relevant evidence together’, Sotomayor wrote, ‘a reasonable observer
would conclude that the Proclamation was driven primarily by anti-Muslim
animus, rather than by the Government’s asserted national security
justifications.’ The Proclamation, she added, ‘is nothing more than a
is hope that the most abhorrent effects of this case can be mitigated. Yale law
professor Harold Hongju Koh wrote on Scotus blog that transnational actors —
including nation-states, international organizations, non-governmental
organizations, multinational enterprises and private individuals — will invariably
file litigation in international fora based on international law to lessen the
impact of the ruling in Trump v Hawaii:
they have done against other Trump policies, other transnational actors will
invoke what I have called “transnational legal process” to contest and limit
the impact of the court’s ruling. As they did after losing the Haitian
interdiction case at the Supreme Court 25 years ago, litigants will surely seek
out international fora to make arguments against the travel ban based on
commander of special operations for the US-led coalition, James Jarrard, told
Al Arabiya English that international forces will remain in Syria until a
political process has been recognized in the country to establish peace and
ongoing activities in the country are not helpingin normalizing the situation
in the war-torn country, he said.
warned about the role played by Iran , saying that it is not helping create
stability and are supporting activities that create violence.
also hinted at parties seeking to disrupt the alliance’s relationship with
Syria’s Democratic Forces (SDF).
to Al Arabiya reporter Huda al-Saleh, he said: “The SDF are very close to
liberating all of the terrain in north-east Syria. The world owes them
gratitude for that accomplishment.”
77 organizations, “this is the greatest coalition that has been formed in the
history of the world to defeat the evils of
ISIS, but we have a small number of those countries helping here in
northern Syria, and so any assistance from these countries will be helpful,” he
added that the US-led coalition will provide internal security force training
so that the ISIS will never return to this part of the country.
is no confrontation with the Russians but there is deconfliction to make sure
the forces are working separately but together for the goal of defeating
regards to the disputes between the United States and NATO allies, Jarrard said
there is no reason for disagreements as the countries work towards the same
attack’ kills 6 Tunisia security forces
members of Tunisia’s security forces were killed Sunday in a “terrorist attack”
near the border with Algeria, the interior ministry said, the country’s
deadliest such incident in over two years.
Tunisia-based division of Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) late on Sunday
claimed responsibility for the assault.
attack comes as Tunisia is hoping for its best tourist season since a spate of
jihadist attacks in 2015 sent visitor numbers plunging.
national guard border patrol in the Ain Sultan area of the Jenduba border province
“was hit in a landmine ambush that killed six agents” at 11:45 am (1045 GMT),
the ministry said in a statement.
spokesman General Sufyan al-Zaq said the blast was a “terrorist attack” and
that assailants had “opened fire on security forces” after the mine exploded.
operations” were under way, said Zaq, who had earlier told AFP that eight
guards were killed in the attack.
said in a statement its “mujahadeen detonated an explosive device on the two
vehicles of the enemy and clashed with them”, claiming that nine soldiers were
killed, according to the SITE group that monitors jihadist online activity.
are aware that the war on terrorism will be long,” interim Interior Minister
Ghazi Jeribi said on state TV, adding that three security forces were also
wounded in the attack.
will go into their (the terrorists) dens and we will avenge the Tunisian
people,” said Jeribi, who was ordered to go to Jenduba.
memorial service for the victims is to be held on Monday in Tunis.
attack is likely to exacerbate an ongoing political crisis in Tunisia, where
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, who recently fired the previous interior
minister, is facing heat from his own allies.
are regular attacks along the Algerian border, but this was the first time in
two years security forces suffered such a loss.
foreign ministry “strongly condemned the terrorist attack”, while the European
Union offered its condolences and pledged its “full support” to Tunisia “in the
fight against terrorism”.
foreign affairs ministry also condemned the attack and said it would “stand
with the Tunisian people and authorities at this difficult time”.
Tourism ‘recovery’ –
assault marks the bloodiest attack in Tunisia since a March 2016 attack on
security installations in the town of Ben Guerdane on the Libyan border.
attack killed 13 security forces and seven civilians.
tourism industry is still rebounding from a string of devastating attacks in
2015, including one at the National Bardo museum in Tunis and another targeting
a beach resort in Sousse that together killed 59 foreign tourists and a
May, Tourism Minister Selma Elloumi Rekik said the industry had made a “real
are coming back to Tunisia because there is security… we are at the same level
(of security) as any European city,” she said.
the 2011 uprising that toppled dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, jihadist
attacks in Tunisia have killed dozens of members of the security forces and
Ben Ali’s fall, “at least 127 militants and 118 soldiers, national guardsmen,
and police officers have been killed in the northwest”, according to figures
compiled by analyst Matt Herbert and published in June by the Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace.
new attack shows that there are still pockets where security problems have not
been solved,” he told AFP on Sunday, while stressing “the vast majority of
Tunisia remains safe”.
country has been under a state of emergency since November 2015, when an
IS-claimed suicide bombing in Tunis killed 12 presidential guards.
President Omar Al-Bashir Sunday appointed Sudan’s former spy chief as
Khartoum’s top envoy to Washington, state media reported, in a bid to boost
bilateral relations that have improved since last year.
Atta, who formerly headed the country’s powerful National Intelligence and
Security Service (NISS), has been appointed as Khartoum’s new charge d’affaires
to Washington, the official SUNA news agency reported.
Bashir has asked me to work hard to improve relations between the two
countries,” SUNA quoted Atta as saying after he met Bashir earlier on Sunday.
appointment comes at a time when relations between Khartoum and Washington have
entered into a new phase after last year’s lifting of decades old US sanctions
the sanctions were lifted, Washington kept the East African country in its
“state sponsors of terrorism” list along with North Korea, Iran and Syria.
and Sudanese officials are now engaged in discussions on how to remove Khartoum
from the blacklist, and Atta is expected to play a crucial role in these
July 4, US Charge D’Affaires in Khartoum, Steven Koutsis, vowed to work with
Sudan to remove it from the US “terrorism” blacklist.
pledge to you that this embassy will work with all its energy and focus to
create the conditions for Sudan’s removal from the list,” he said at a ceremony
marking the July 4 celebration at the US mission in Khartoum.
had previously traveled to Washington when he was head of NISS and had been
part of Khartoum’s team that negotiated the lifting of trade embargo.
US had imposed sanctions on Khartoum in 1997 over its alleged support to
Islamist militants. Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden lived in Sudan between
1992 to 1996.
on Saturday condemned the terrorist attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu.
least nine people, including three al-Shabaab attackers, were killed when twin
bomb blasts targeted the Interior Ministry building in Mogadishu on Saturday.
have learnt with great sorrow that many civilians lost their lives and were
injured as a result of terrorist attacks perpetrated in Mogadishu," the
Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
condemn these heinous terrorist attacks aiming to undermine the security and
stability of Somalia, wish God’s mercy upon those who lost their lives, convey
our condolences to their families and wish speedy recovery to the
wounded," the statement added.
ministry also said that Turkey "will continue to stand by the Somali
people and its Government in the fight against terrorism and in providing
attackers were killed by security forces in the gun battle between militants
and security forces, according to state media.
meets Zakir Naik day after ruling out his deportation to India
the Islamic preacher would be akin to deporting Uighur Muslims to China, says a
strategist of the country’s ruling party.
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has met Zakir Naik, wanted in India for alleged
terror activities and money laundering, and a ruling party strategist has
stoutly defended the government’s decision not to deport the controversial
Muslim preacher, Malaysian media reported on July 8.
meeting, which may not go down well in New Delhi, took place on July 7, a day
after Dr. Mahathir ruled out deporting Dr. Naik unless he breaks Malaysian
laws. Dr. Naik has permanent residency status in Malaysia, .
can confirm that Naik went to see Tun (Mahathir) this morning (Saturday),” Free
Malaysia Today reported quoting a source as saying.
is unclear as to what Dr. Naik discussed with Dr. Mahathir in their first
meeting since the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition assumed power in Putrajaya,
the report said. The meeting, which was unscheduled, was said to be brief, it
meeting between Dr. Naik and Dr. Mahathir comes a day after the Prime Minister
gave the clearest indication yet that the Malaysian government would not deport
Dr. Naik, who is wanted in India over allegations of money laundering and
had been intense media speculation in India that the Malaysian government would
act on an extradition request made in January. The Ministry of External Affairs
confirmed on July 4 that an official request had been made.
on July 6, Dr. Mahathir said that the government would not deport Dr. Naik as
he has been granted Malaysian permanent resident status, unless he causes
trouble in the country.
a strategist of Malaysia’s ruling Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has
defended Dr. Mahathir’s decision not to deport Dr. Naik to India, saying doing
so would be akin to deporting Uighur Muslims to China. PPBM strategist Rais
Hussin said he personally could see no wrong in Dr. Naik’s activities and
him would be akin to deporting Uighur Muslims to China, he said, referring to
China pressing Malaysia for the extradition of 11 Uighur men who entered
Malaysia illegally in 2017 after their dramatic escape from a jail in Thailand.
accuses separatist extremists among the Uighur minority of plotting attacks on
China’s Han majority in the restive far western region of Xinjiang and other
parts of China. But rights groups have accused China of rights abuses in
Xinjiang and imposing tight control on the religion of Uighurs, a charge denied
Rais also took issue with criticism of Dr. Naik on social media. He said the
Indian Islamic preacher had his own way of articulating his views through
Naik’s detractors — those with “a mob mentality” — should debate him rather
than asking him to be deported to India, he said. Mr. Rais also questioned the
motives of the Indian authorities whose action, he said, might not be grounded
January, India made a formal request to Malaysia to deport Dr. Naik, wanted by
India for allegedly inciting youngsters for terror activities through his hate
speeches. India also has an extradition treaty with Malaysia.
Rais also said that it was unfair of some Malaysians to compare the country’s
attempts to bring back convicted killer Sirul Azhar Umar and businessman Low
Taek Jho with Malaysia’s stand on deporting Dr. Naik to India.
was found guilty of murdering Altantuya Shaariibuu, while Jho Low is implicated
in grand theft in relation to the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad case. How does
that compare to Naik’s comparative debates on religion?” Mr. Rais was quoted as
saying. In 2009, Sirul was convicted in Malaysia and sentenced to death for the
sensational murder of a Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu.
Naik has also accused the media in India of subjecting him to a campaign of
vilification over the past two years. He said “fake news” about his deportation
would be exposed. “Most of the articles published against me will be proved as
having no basis and that they were false,” he said in a new video message
through his Facebook page.
Naik is being probed under terror and money laundering charges by the National
Investigation Agency (NIA). He left India in July 2016.
NIA had first registered a case against Dr. Naik under anti-terror laws in 2016
for allegedly promoting enmity between different religious groups. Dr. Naik is
also under investigation for issuing alleged hate speeches that inspired a
deadly terror attack on a popular cafe in Bangladesh capital Dhaka in 2016.
a conservative Opposition, analysts say race, religion time bombs for Pakatan
Syed Jaymal Zahiid
LUMPUR, July 9 — Conservatives who are now the vanguard of the political
Opposition could pose a genuine threat to Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) rule and
progressive politics if the newly-elected government botches handling race and
religion issues, analysts warned.
to derail the current administration by exploiting communal prejudices are
already visible, they said, pointing to the rapid spread of nativist propaganda
that aimed to stoke fear among the majority of Malay voters who are on the
Umno, PAS won many Malay majority seats. For the first time since 1957, it is
majority Malay-Muslims,” Datuk Denison Jayasooria, political analyst with
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, told Malay Mail.
some sections are dwelling on race and religious issues post GE14 there are
already attempts to derail the democratic process.
space is open now so all groups have freedom to raise their view this will be a
challenge to the new government,” he added.
and PAS control over 80 seats in the Dewan Rakyat and each rule two largely
rural and super Malay-majority states; the former kept Perlis and Pahang while
the Islamist party retained Kelantan and won Terengganu.
also nearly bagged as many seats as PH in Kedah and had enough support to tilt
the balance in Perak.
both parties are technically enemies, they have a power base that share common
characteristics — poor, conservative and religious.
and other analysts Malay Mail spoke with said this demographic group may not
necessarily identify with pro-Malay racism, but fear the erosion of traditional
values to so-called “liberal” forces.
analyst pointed out too that this group was the key that helped propel PH into
power, but stressed that it would be wrong to assume that these Malay voters
are entirely progressive and open to the kind of cosmopolitan politics espoused
by the four-party coalition.
as the new government pushes for structural reform and make way for a more open
democratic space, it will face enormous challenges in trying to contain these
fringe but vocal groups from exploiting the freer political environment to stir
racial suspicion, they added.
the contrary, PH’s core support is typically multiracial, urban and middle
class. Despite enjoying a significant surge in Malays support that led to its
shock 14th general election victory, they mostly came from lower-income Malay
fence-sitter voters frustrated by their economic condition, not so much due to
push for progressive politics or greater civil liberties.
is evident in the backlash that followed the debacle over Tommy Thomas’
appointment as Attorney-General or the uproar after Minister of Finance Lim
Guan Eng’s move to issue a translated press statement in Chinese.
the latter case, pro-Malay groups linked to the former ruling Malay party Umno
were said to have succeeded in drawing Malay ire by harping on Thomas’
ethnicity and Christianity, and also his article in support of the Catholic
Church over its legal tussle to use the Arabic term “Allah” to describe God in
its Malay-language Bibles.
furore over Lim’s Chinese statement on the other hand led to the revival of
past allegations of a conspiracy for a Chinese power takeover, an accusation
that some political analysts said have stuck with the DAP and was only
partially allayed after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his all-Malay party, Parti
Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, joined PH last year.
both instances, Malay backlash were evident on social media and included those
who professed to have backed PH on May 9.
whether or not the fearful sentiment is shared by majority of the Malays is
debatable. As the May 9 polls and past elections have indicated, economic issues
always trumped over communalism, argued Penang Institute executive director,
Ooi Kee Beng.
of the opposition from now on will come from that front, and it won’t be based
on fear necessarily but on the fact that that constituency can still be exploited
until and unless the new government manages to improve the socio-economic
conditions of the lower 40 per cent including all ethnic groups,” he said.
shared a similar view, but noted that PH has so far been unable to keep its
pledge to lower prices of basic goods even after rolling back the goods and
services tax (GST).
for PH is to address cost of living issues and B40 concerns in a way that no
community feels left behind..while PH addresses GST but it has not had the
impact on the low income,” he said. The term B40 refers to the bottom 40 per
cent of income earners nationwide.
cost of living pressure was the decisive factor in almost all past elections,
but some political analysts have argued there were instances where race and
religion played the rare decider.
“Allah” case, for example, was cited as having swung Malay voters back to Umno
and Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election.
still, both Jayasooria and Ooi believe it is still early to suspect the new
administration’s ability to tackle delicate and sensitive issues. They feel Dr
Mahathir has so far done well to contain communal fear without compromising
it looks now, I think it will manage things quite well. It is very early days
yet, and the transition so far has gone very smoothly. This is not only thanks
to the government but to the goodwill of many other actors,” Ooi said.
PH was cautioned against taking the threat posed by groups that will attempt to
harp on communal prejudices lightly. Jayasooria said the trick will be in
rolling out laws to safeguard racial harmony and effective media campaign not
only as a means to educate, but also to empower moderate voices.
has not addressed ethnic and religious issues, they must explain terms like is
Malaysia an Islamic state etc,” he said.
Mohamed Shaheem Ali Saeed, chancellor of the Islamic University of Maldives,
was announced Saturday night as the running mate of President Abdulla Yameen.
pick was unanimously endorsed by the Progressive Party of Maldives council.
urge everyone to unite behind President Yameen and for scholars, youth and all
women of the country to work towards winning this election in one round,”
Shaheem tweeted after the announcement.
a press briefing with the party’s new running mate, MP Abdul Raheem Abdulla
said the PPM leadership was pleased with his assurances of loyalty to the
was ready to begin campaign trips across the country as soon as arrangements
are made, the PPM deputy leader said, adding that he will resign from the
chancellor post and officially sign for PPM tomorrow.
choice of a prominent scholar shows his love of Islam, he said.
in 2013, an appeal to religious-nationalist sentiment has been part of the
PPM’s campaign, with the president insinuating that the country’s 100 percent
Muslim status would be threatened by an opposition victory.
was appointed Islamic minister by former president Dr Mohamed Waheed and
retained his post as when Yameen took office in November 2013.
founding member of the religious conservative Adhaalath Party, he resigned from
Yameen’s cabinet in May 2015. After announcing his retirement from politics,
Shaheem was appointed vice chancellor of the newly established Islamic
University of Maldives in July 2015.
resignation from the cabinet came after the arrest of Adhaalath Party president
Sheikh Imran Abdulla during a mass anti-government protest. He was later
convicted of terrorism.
in Gaaf Dhaal Maamendhoo, the 41-year-old holds a PhD in Islamic fiqh. He
pursued higher education in shariah at the Islamic University of Malaysia and
Islamic University of Medina.
LUMPUR, July 9 ― The suggestion by a former minister to shut down tahfiz
schools ― which teaches Quran memorisation ― in Malaysia has has no basis or
rationale, Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa said today.
a Sinar Harian report, the minister in the Prime Minister's Department in
charge of religious affairs said that the suggestion by Tan Sri Zainuddin
Maidin has no “concrete excuse”.
consider that as a statement that has no issues whatsoever. Why do we have to
close tahfiz schools? I'm asking him,” he reportedly said.
also said that closing down tahfiz schools will not solve any problems.
there are weaknesses in terms of curriculum or security, we must monitor to
improve them, not close them down,” he added.
made the suggestion, which has caused controversy, claiming that such schools
do not give hope for the new generation of Muslims.
schools in Malaysia are largely outside the purview of the Education Ministry,
instead reporting to the religious departments in order to operate. Many
utilise their own syllabuses and teaching methods to educate students.
LUMPUR, July 9 — The families of victims who perished in the Darul Quran
Ittifaqiyah tahfiz centre fire at Kampung Datuk Keramat here, have agreed that
70 per cent of the public donation be distributed among the next-of-kin of the
deceased and those injured, while another 30 per cent will go to the tahfiz
Welfare Association of Malaysia (Pertama) chairman Zamzuri Zakaria, whose son
Muhammad Aidil Aqmal, 10, died in the tragedy said, the amount to be
distributed was as first promised by the centre’s principal, Mohd Zahid Mahmood
following the incident.
meeting was held today to come to an agreement on how the public funds should
be divided and the decision made today would be tabled for discussion between
the next-of-kin and the tahfiz centre management before the fund distribution
is managed by a lawyer,” he told Bernama after chairing the meeting here
tahfiz centre fire tragedy which took place on Sept 14 last year, resulted in
the death of 21 students and two teachers.
16-year-old boys were jointly charged with murdering and causing the deaths of
the 23 victims,
Zahid had earlier reported that he was informed the auditing process of the
donations collected following the fire, had completed and would be distributed
after Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
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