prepare food for Iftar, the sunset meal that breaks the daytime fast, which a
charity organization in Mosul distributes to those in need during the holy
fasting month of Ramadan. (AFP)
Man Breaks Fast To Save Two-Day-Old Hindu Boy
Temple in Kerala’s Malappuram Hosts Iftar Party for Muslims
Rights Council Reveals S. Arabia's Horrible Massacre of Yemeni People
Offered $5bn To Refrain From Carrying Out Nuclear Tests: Nawaz
Brotherhood and Al-Qaeda In Libya Reject French Initiative
Leaders Visit Strife-Torn Rakhine State
Man’s Video Waking up Muslim Neighbours for Sehri Goes Viral in Jammu and
Mob Attacks Muslims At The Time Of Iftar; Forced Them To Flee
attitude towards Pakistan changed after Islamabad's nuclear tests: Nawaz Sharif
attack police picket guarding residential house in Anantnag
loot Rs 1.7 lakh from bank, flee with guard’s rifle
ready to talk with Pakistan if it gives up aiding terror: Naidu
Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj holds talks with her Iranian counterpart Javad
talks, Centre should first accept Kashmir as a dispute: Separatist leader Syed
Ali Shah Geelani
of Ramadan Returns to Iraq’s Daesh-Free Mosul
Senior Religious Leader Calls on Muslims to Find Balance between Outings and
Worship during Ramadan
activists' arrest revives concerns about reform agenda
Militants Continue Blackmailing People in Northeastern Syria
Bases Destroyed in Syrian Army Attack in Hama Province
Intensifies between US-Backed Militants in Northeastern Syria
$5bn To Refrain From Carrying Out Nuclear Tests: Nawaz
Abbasi Seeks National Debate on Civil-Military Ties, Role Of Judiciary
congratulates ‘brave tribes’ on FATA’s successful merger
military prevents ex-spy chief from leaving country
clerics laud Kingdoms efforts for the sanctity of Two Holy Mosques
Afghanistan and China hold strategic dialogue in Beijing
Haram Suicide Bomber Kills Five, Wounds Seven in Konduga
cleric urges sincerity among political leaders
says its participation in Yemen war a ‘moral obligation’
Decides To Relocate Heroin Labs amid Relentless Airstrikes
forces mistakenly kill 9, mostly civilians
drug trafficking sweep leaves 86 dead, 7,000 in custody, including Rohingya
of Afghan Senate Chairman among 17 dead, wounded in Nangarhar raid
Taliban leader killed by own comrade in Nangarhar province
says some Rohingya refugees returned voluntarily
Grows For New Indonesian Anti-Terrorism Bill
Agents Kill Militants Who Helped Fight ISIS-Linked Forces
Amanah doesn’t appeal to rural Malays
Supporters Force Removal Of French Weekly From Newsstands Over ‘Dictator’ Cover
Quran returns to Topkapi Palace
responds to UN’s appeal to assist Palestinians
army raids Palestinian camp after soldier death
of Western Activists, Academics Ready to Testify for Iran in 9-11 Court
says US 9/11 court verdict 'mockery of international law'
Iron Dome shoots down rocket fire from Gaza Strip
killed in Israel strike in north Gaza
says national army just 20 km away from Hodeidah
Allows Islamic State to Keep ‘Multiple Direct Connections’ to U.S. Supporters
guests break fast at interfaith Iftar dinner in Boonton
of A Convert: 'My Connection With Allah Has Become Stronger'
the US commission on international religious freedom from bad to worse
Far-Right Party Holds Anti-Islam Rally In Berlin
To School ‘Ghetto’ Kids In Democracy And Christmas
largest wooden building awaits salvation off Istanbul
grants citizenship to Malian refugee who saved boy in daring rescue
by New Age Islam News Bureau
week, Jawed Alam donated blood to an eight-year-old thalassemic boy.
another such case within a week or so, a young Muslim man in Bihar broke his
Ramadan fast to donate blood to save the life of a newborn, officials said on
broke my fast to save a child because human life is more important than fast. I
will keep the fast later to compensate but human life can't be
compensated," remarked Mohammad Ashfaque who donated blood on Sunday to
save the two-day-old child of Ramesh Kumar Singh and Aarti Devi in Darbhanga
breaks Ramadan fast to save Hindu boy
had given birth to a boy after a caesarean operation at a private clinic in
Darbhanga but the condition of the child deteriorated soon after birth.
doctors asked Ramesh to procure O Negative group blood for the child, he posted
an SOS message on social media, following which Ashfaque contacted them.
I came across the message for help, I simply approached the family and rushed
to the hospital to donate blood. But doctors refused my offer since I was
fasting. So, I broke my fast and consumed fruit juice and some solids,"
said Ashfaque, who is in his late 20s.
week, Jawed Alam donated blood to an eight-year-old thalassemic boy Rajesh to
save his life in Gopalganj district.
Temple in Kerala’s Malappuram Hosts Iftar Party for Muslims
A Hindu temple in Kerala organised an iftar party for the Muslim community as
part of the annual ‘prathishta’ (idol installation) ceremony in the temple thus
giving a boost to communal harmony.
Narasimha Murthy Vishnu temple near Vettichira in Malappuram district hosted an
iftar party for the Muslims who were observing fast in the holy month of Ramzan
last week. The iftar was attended by more than 400 people from both the
event held on May 24 is the second edition of such iftar party being arranged
by the temple committee.
used to distribute food for the residents every year during the ‘prathishta’,
since the Ramzan falls during this time we decided to host iftar so that we can
accommodate all people irrespective of their faiths,” says KP Baiju, the
treasurer for the temple committee.
iftar was noted with the presence of not just Muslims, but even Hindus living
in the locality participated in the event,” says Baiju, who was at the
forefront of organising the iftar.
the iftar party was hosted by the temple, only vegetarian food was being
vishnu temple which was in a critical stage was renovated and the idol was
reinstalled during Ramzan last year with the help of native people and a lot of
Muslims contributed to the cause.
province has been the target of the most horrible and extensive cases of
violation of human rights by the Saudi-led coalition and it has committed over
70 cases of horrible massacres during over three years of aggression against
the region," Head of Yemen's Human Rights and Freedom Council Ali
al-Matmiz said on Monday.
one has yet been able to release the exact number of people killed and wounded
in the province but there are over 8,000 cases," he added.
Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to Mansour
Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at
least 16,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Riyadh's claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters,
Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
to several reports, the Saudi-led air campaign against Yemen has driven the
impoverished country towards humanitarian disaster, as Saudi Arabia's deadly
campaign prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and
blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country.
is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in
need and is seeing a spike in needs, fuelled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing
economy and diminished social services and livelihoods.
offered $5bn to refrain from carrying out nuclear tests: Nawaz
Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif Monday alleged that former US president Bill
Clinton offered him $5 billion to refrain from carrying out nuclear tests in
leaders and other international leaders also asked me not to proceed with the
tests,” claimed the former premier while addressing a ceremony held to
commemorate 20th anniversary of nuclear tests of Pakistan.
would have accepted the money had I been a corrupt man,” said Nawaz.
ousted prime minister went on to say: “Pakistan is an atomic power and no one
can treat it with bad intentions.”
to the Panama case investigation, the former prime minister said that he
appeared before the court for the 75th time on Monday in relation to the case.
speaking to journalists outside the accountability court, the Pakistan Muslim
League-Nawaz (PML-N) supremo remarked that the nation “neither accepts the
plane hijacking case nor the current cases against him”.
termed the plane hijacking case and National Accountability Bureau’s references
against him a ‘joke’.
thrice-elected premier had time and again remarked that he was implicated in a
“false and fabricated case of plane hijacking” and confined to Attock jail in
added that his statements and stance would prove to be victorious. “Victory is
the future of my statements. There is no other option than victory.”
his earlier claims, he said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz was the only
party, which worked for the people. “The performance of all others parties is
next to nothing.”
Imran Khan, tell us, which project have you completed? If there is any project
on social sector and electricity then please tell us.”
continued: “We eliminated terrorism from country, built motorways and made
China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) a reality. He said that the ruling
PML-N government took efforts to restore peace in Karachi and curbed incidents
we were not allowed to perform and could work till 2016.”
in the day, chaos ensued at party’s Youm-e-Takbeer event when a PML-N supporter
was manhandled by PML-N’s security team after he broke the security cordon to
shake hand with Nawaz.
video clipping, the man can be seen moving towards Nawaz and extending his
hand. The security personnel encircled the man and beat him up despite Maryam
Nawaz and the PML-N supremo being visibly distraught at the reaction of the
and senior party leader Saad Rafique later embraced the man.
also denounced the behaviour of the security officers, stating: “Supporters
have a special relationship with their leader.”
28, dubbed as Youm-e-Takbeer, is celebrated every year to commemorate the
historic day when the country conducted the nuclear tests in 1998 as a
response, in self-defence, to the nuclear tests and accompanying hostile
posturing by its neighbour India.
Brotherhood and al-Qaeda in Libya reject French initiative
Libyan High Council of State welcomed France’s invitation to hold a conference
in France on Tuesday to agree on a political roadmap but said it did not want
military figures to participate, in a clear reference to Field Marshal Khalifa
Haftar who is one of the four major figures invited to the talks.
al-Mishri, who heads the High Council of State, said on Sunday that military
figures are not a political party, adding that only three parties must
participate in the meeting and they are Prime Minster Fayez al-Sarraj,
president of the eastern House of Representatives Aguila Saleh and the High
Council of State.
Mishri’s statements, 14 militias in support of political Islam movements, such
as the Brotherhood and al-Qaeda wings, in Tripoli voiced their rejection of the
French initiative because it is a call that aims “to nationalize military
rule,” and asserted the significance of “a civil state and the peaceful
devolution of power.”
leaders visit strife-torn Rakhine State
Charles Bo of Yangoon was among the international and local interfaith leaders
were flown into strife-torn Rakhine State in an effort to better understand the
members of Religions for Peace International were taken to Maungdaw township in
northern Rakhine on May 27 where they visited transit and reception centers
while also meeting with Rohingya, Hindu and Mro communities.
the air, the delegation also saw hundreds of Rohingya villages that were
destroyed during a Myanmar military counter-insurgency campaign waged against
Rohingya militants since September last year. More than 670,000 Rohingya fled
to Bangladesh to avoid the military's campaign, which has been dubbed ethnic
cleansing by the U.N.
Joseph Mg Win, secretary of Religions for Peace-Myanmar, thought the visit was
successful and added that government officials were supportive.
religious leaders, the aim of the visit was to learn the truth after closely
observing the situation and from that give a true message to the people of
Myanmar and to the international community," said Father Mg Win, who is
also head of ecumenism and interfaith commission of Yangon Archdiocese.
with Cardinal Bo and Father Mg Win were Myint Swe, a leading Buddhist layman
from the Ratana Metta Organization, and Muslim layperson Al Haj U Aye Lwin, the
chief convener of the Islamic Center of Myanmar. International members of the
group were Norway's Bishop Gunnar Stalsett of Oslo, who is the honorary
president of Religions for Peace International, and Rev. Kyoichi Sugino, deputy
secretary-general of the group.
day after their visit, Religions for Peace International expressed concern that
excessive use of force by state security could hamper a "peace and
reconciliation process" while acknowledging the authorities had a duty to
maintain law and order.
urged the Myanmar government to conduct "a thorough and transparent"
investigation into what has occurred in Rakhine.
layperson Aye Lwin said it was a positive that the delegation was able to visit
the area and learn more about the government-initiated national verification
cards and resettlement plans for returning refugees.
is a first step and we have many things to do," said Aye Lwin.
added that there are information gaps between the government and Rohingya
refugees in Bangladesh about resettlement efforts and the issuing of national
week, a larger group of 18 members from Religions for Peace International and
Myanmar met with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi in Naypyidaw. Suu Kyi
welcomed the delegation's offer to assist with peace efforts and humanitarian
aid for not only Rakhine State but also other parts of the country experiencing
Man’s Video Waking up Muslim Neighbours for Sehri Goes Viral in Jammu And
video clip has gone viral in which an unidentified elderly Sikh man seems to have
taken the responsibility of waking up his Muslim neighbours in Jammu and
Kashmir’s Pulwama district for Sehri -- pre-dawn Ramzan meal.
21-second video clip, showing the man beating the drum to wake up his
neighbours, is being widely shared on various social media platforms in
Rasool de pyaaro, jannat de talabgaro, utho roza rakho (The beloved of Allah
and his messenger, the seekers of paradise, wake up to start your fast),” the
unidentified Sikh man shouts.
of the netizens lauded the Sikh man, saying he embodied the communal harmony
that has existed in Kashmir for centuries.
is the term used for the drum beaters who go around a locality to wake up its
residents for the pre-dawn meal before start of dawn-to-dusk fast during
task is normally taken up by one of the Muslims from the locality but members
from minority community doing it is rare but not new.
A mob attacked Muslim houses around Iftar (breaking of fast) in the evening and
assaulted several people including women in Koderma district of Jharkhand on
Friday night. As a result, around 20 Muslim families were forced to flee their
homes in the night. The mob also vandalised the Masjid and assaulted the
Muslims who were offering Maghrib prayer there. The incident took place around
6:30 PM on Friday in the Kolgarma village under Koderma police station.
similar incident had occurred in April last year as well. For the past couple
of years, a group of local Hindus has been opposing construction of a Masjid in
the village. The mob reportedly had been pressurizing the Muslims to withdraw
their police complaints over the previous attack. Since the Muslims lodged the
complaint last year, they have been facing a boycott. They are not allowed to
purchase anything from the village shops and to use even public well.
the Friday night incident, the Muslims have filed another complaint with the
police. The complaint stated that the attackers were armed with swords, axes
and lathis. The complaint further stated that a crowd of hundreds of people
barged into the masjid and started beating the people when Muslims were
breaking fast in the masjid, leaving several injured. The injured were rushed
to the Sadar hospital.
Pakistan's ousted prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday claimed that India's
attitude towards Pakistan changed after Islamabad conducted nuclear tests in
carried out nuclear tests in 1998 and it changed the language of its ministers
towards us. But when Pakistan conducted the nuclear tests in its reply suddenly
their attitude changed. Eight months after the nuclear tests, Indian Prime
Minister Vajpayee visited Lahore by bus," Sharif said while addressing a
ceremony here in connection with the 20th anniversary of the nuclear tests.
May 28, 1998, Pakistan had conducted five nuclear tests.
is because of my decision to conduct the nuclear tests that no one could
challenge Pakistan," said the PML-N supreme leader.
further said that he was asked by then US President Bill Clinton not to conduct
nuclear tests and in return he promised to give him $5 billion.
refused that offer and made the country's defence invincible," he said.
told Clinton that since India had carried out nuclear tests we will have to
follow suit. India was making tall claims and we have to tell it that we are
second to none," he added.
said Pakistan's defence had been made strong by an elected prime minister and
not by a military dictator.
was Gen Pervez Musharraf who compromised on Pakistan's interest and not an
elected prime minister," he said.
Terrorists attacked a police picket guarding a residential house in Jammu and
Kashmir's Anantnag district, but the attack was repulsed by the alert sentry.
guard was attacked by terrorists at Thajiwara in Anantnag. The alert sentry
retaliated the fire," a police spokesperson said.
said further details of the incident were awaited.
Two armed terrorists robbed Rs 1.72 lakh from a bank in Jammu and Kashmir’s
Anantnag district and then fled with the rifle of the guard on duty.
police officer said the terrorists targeted Srigufwara branch of the J&K
Bank and looted Rs 1.72 lakh at gunpoint. They also snatched a 12-bore rifle of
the bank's private security guard before fleeing the place.
have asked the public to identify the terrorists by issuing screen grabs from
Reiterating that India is keen on having “good relations” with its neighbours,
including Pakistan, Vice-President M Venkaiah Naidu on Monday said here that
India does not have any problem in holding dialogue with Pakistan if it gives
up its policy of supporting and aiding terror.
is prerequisite for progress [of talks]. If we have tensions, we cannot
concentrate on developmental activities and peace as well,” Naidu said in his
address to a gathering of scientists at the Indian Institute of Integrative
Medicine (IIM) Jammu.
comments came on a day when external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the
media in Delhi that India is ready for talks with Pakistan if it stopped aiding
terrorism. “We are always ready for talks with Pakistan. We have never said we
are not ready for talks. But there is a caveat — terror and talks don’t go
together,” she said. Also, Union home minister Rajnath Singh had said recently
that the Indian government was ready to hold dialogue with the Hurriyat
Conference leadership and Pakistan.
said, “We have no problem with our neighbour and we want to have good relations
with all, including Pakistan”, but added that “we must be willing to have
dialogue with Pakistan but it must give up policy of supporting, aiding,
abetting, training terror”.
people of Jammu and Kashmir to give peace a chance, Naidu said, “I want to ask
people to focus on peace because peace and prosperity go hand in hand, without
peace there cannot be progress.”
DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday held wide-ranging
talks with her Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif during which he sought India's
support in salvaging Iran's nuclear deal with leading world powers in the wake
of the US pull out from it.
said India oil trade with Iran and implementation of the Chabahar port project
also figured prominently in the talks.
Zarif briefed about the discussions that Iran has undertaken with parties to
the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) following the US decision to
withdraw from the agreement," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said
in a statement.
said Swaraj conveyed that all parties to the agreement should engage
constructively for peaceful resolution of issues that have arisen with respect
day-long visit here is part of Tehran's efforts to reach out to major world
powers after the US pulled out from the landmark nuclear deal of 2015 under
which Tehran had agreed to stop its sensitive nuclear activities in return for
the lifting of crippling economic sanctions.
said Zarif sought India's support to the nuclear deal during his talks with
Swaraj. China, Russia and a number of European countries are working to salvage
is India's third largest oil supplier and there were apprehensions about
possible impact of the US decision on India's oil imports.
in the day, Swaraj said India will continue its trade with Iran not
withstanding the US sanctions, adding that New Delhi only recognises UN
MEA said Swaraj and Zarif discussed bilateral, regional and international
issues of mutual interest.
two sides positively assessed the implementation of decisions taken during the
visit of President Rouhani to India. These included bilateral cooperation in
the areas of connectivity, energy, trade and promotion of people to people
contacts," it said. The MEA said the other members of the delegation
accompanying Zarif had separate meetings with their counterparts where they
discussed measures for practical cooperation between the two sides.
Iranian foreign minister visited China, Russia and some European countries in
the last three weeks after President Donald Trump announced Washington's withdrawal
from the nuclear deal.
had struck the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) with the US, the UK,
Russia, China, France and Germany after years of negotiations.
ties have been on an upswing in the last three years.
February, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani visited India during which both
sides agreed to further expand their cooperation in a number of key sectors.
Rouhani's visit, both sides signed nine agreements including one on handing
over Chabahar port's operation to India for 18 months.
mainstream political parties have cautiously welcomed Home Minister Rajnath
Singh’s talks offer to separatists, separatist leaders have said that the
Central government should accept Kashmir as a “dispute” for any serious
are not against dialogue, but if New Delhi is serious, it should first accept
Kashmir as a dispute,” Hurriyat chairman Syed Ali Shah Geelani said. “Dialogue
will not serve any purpose until the ground reality is accepted.”
a seminar at his Hyderpora residence, Geelani said he got to know about the
offer through the media. “If there is no seriousness in the dialogue, it is no
fun,” he said.
Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and pro-independence leader Yasin Malik
did not comment.
political parties welcomed Singh’s talks offer. The ruling PDP urged
separatists and Pakistan to respond positively to it. “Jammu and Kashmir is
likely to witness a promising phase of peace and development as a prelude to
dispute resolution,” PDP vice-president Sartaj Madni said.
National Conference also welcomed the offer. “The fact that the Home Minister
is saying it… is very serious thing… we hope he means it,” party provincial
president Nasir Aslam Wani said.
of Ramadan returns to Iraq’s Daesh-free Mosul
Under the cover of night in the Iraqi city of Mosul, Rayan and Ali break the
silence by drumming to announce suhur, the pre-dawn breakfast during the holy
month of Ramadan.
Daesh group which controlled the city for three years before its ouster last
July had banned drumming, along with other Ramadan traditions that make up the
festive spirit of the dawn-to-dusk fasting month.
since this year’s Ramadan started in mid-May, Rayan Khalidi and Ali Mahboub
have been doing their nighttime rounds, donning traditional keffiyeh
headscarves and jalabiya robes.
Ramadan drummers, known as “messaharati,” are “part of the religious and social
heritage of Mosul,” the now war-battered city which has stood for centuries as
a trading and cultural hub of the Middle East, said 25-year-old Rayan.
the militants of Daesh decreed that such drumming was a sin, under their rigid
interpretation of Islam enforced by its own courts and henchmen.
Mosul residents had a Ramadan much like any other in 2014, when it started just
days after Daesh had proclaimed its “caliphate” spanning tracts of Syria and
descended on Mosul’s tree-dotted parks along the River Tigris in the relative
cool of dusk to share “iftar,” the meal that breaks the daytime fast.
across town, men and women gathered in coffee shops and restaurants, many
clutching nargileh water pipes or smoking cigarettes — that was before Daesh
laid down the law segregating the sexes and banning smoking at the risk of
of Mosul’s restaurants and open-air cafes then closed their doors.
of them stayed open for business after iftar but people were afraid to go for
fear of punishment by Daesh who always found some reason to make arrests,” said
29-year-old housewife Umm Raghed.
is a time for family reunions in Muslim countries, but in Mosul such events
often only come about after several hours of shopping to collect the
ingredients for the elaborate dishes for which the city is famed.
Daesh rule, “women did not have the right to go out, except in cases of extreme
necessity, and even then a woman would have to be accompanied by a man and
fully covered by a black veil,” said Nahed Abdullah, a 32-year-old taxi driver.
Abdelkarim, 26, whose sister was killed when their home was bombed last year,
said the militants had destroyed many of Mosul’s mosques.
we have to pay attention to hear the call for prayers from distant minarets to
break the fast.”
it’s tricky to determine the precise time for breaking the fast, knowing when
to start is impossible, according to Abdelkarim, who is unemployed and lives
amid the rubble of Mosul’s devastated Old City.
don’t have electricity or mobile phones to know the exact time” when the sun
rises and the daily fast starts, he said.
Salman, 45, never experienced life under the militants, having been displaced
before the Daesh takeover in 2014. He returned to find his home and shop both
used to be the best time of year for business. Now I have no source of revenue
and have to survive on charity,” he said.
families wait for the launch of the city’s reconstruction and assistance to
help them get back on their feet, the “Moslawis” have revived another
tradition: long tables set up on the streets to feed the poor.
a beautiful initiative and typical of the people of Mosul who are known for
their sense of solidarity, especially in hard times,” said 45-year-old Umm
to the donations, she was able to serve her children a full meal of chicken,
rice and orange juice at a table in the city’s Bab Lakash district.
senior religious leader calls on Muslims to find balance between outings and
worship during Ramadan
most senior religious leader has urged Muslims not to forget the true meaning
of the holy month and to take the opportunity to embrace family life and
it is dining every night at Ramadan tents or spending too much time at the
mall, a balance must be struck between activities and worship, the Grand Mufti
of Awqaf in Dubai said.
types of activities distract us from the true meaning of Ramadan,” said Grand
Mufti Ali Meshal.
time should be spent on performing worships and helping the needy.”
the holy month, some Muslims move their usual day time activities to the
evenings, staying up late and sleeping during the day.
said those people have misunderstood what the holy month is about.
sleep during the daytime in Ramadan, assuming that fasting is only about
abstaining from food and drinks.”
said this distraction was due to a lack of knowledge about Islam.
are not enthusiastic about learning about the reasons behind fasting.”
painting all Muslims with the same brush, the Grand Mufti said there were still
some who devote their days and nights to worship but those who have allowed
themselves to forget the true purpose of Ramadan were “suffering from
are focusing less on spiritualities and worshipping Allah due to lack of
knowledge about their religion.”
said this could be remedied by attending lectures and reaching out to scholars.
Heaton, a Briton living in Dubai, agreed with the Grand Mufti, saying Ramadan
was more about feeding the soul than feeding the body.
and other activities have no place in Ramadan. For me personally, it’s a time
to pray, do charity work and give more,” said Ms Heaton, who converted to Islam
at age 18.
living in the UAE for 32 years, she says the key to a successful Ramadan is
who want to carry out activities in Ramadan, they can balance it with spiritual
things they can do at home.
my opinion, spirituality is not just about praying. They can be helping others
and spending time friends in a good way. I know a lot of people whose kids get
together and organise a community event, such as Ramadan fridges,” she said.
fellow convert and resident of Dubai, Mathilde Loujayne, said moderation is
is a time to reflect. It’s a month of fasting, not feasting. We have only this
month in the whole year to build a relationship with God. It’s a great time to
feel the poor and those who are unable to prepare lavish meals.”
34-year-old author of Big Little Steps, a women’s guide to Islam, converted to
the religion at age 18 after struggling with the loss of a loved one.
in Islam about moderation. The more you learn about Islam, the more you find
this balance,” she said.
spirit of the month can even rub off on non-Muslims living in the UAE.
Jean, a 31-year-old Australian, is married to an Emirati man and has recently
begun to embrace Ramadan.
did not convert to Islam. However, I have been fasting for the past five years
and I am at the journey of understanding it,” she said.
my husband was the kind of door that opened for me to start looking into Islam,
what it is all about and how can I support him in his spirituality.
Experiencing Ramadan with through him and my in laws has been wonderful."
said she was particularly conscious of wasting food during the holy month.
the panic settles in and we feel like shops going to close or something as
Ramadan starts, we should not cave into that. We need little food to be full
and feel happy,” she said.
Heaton said she too was conscious of her food purchases during Ramadan.
the years, I found that the amount of food consumed is a lot less. When I go to
the markets and see these trolleys piled high and people in a panic. Oh gosh
they think that these supermarkets are going to close.
mother in law pointed out to me saying “we are buying to be giving”.
Saeed, a 38-year-old Emirati, said he finds balance during Ramadan by spending
weekdays with his family and weekends with his friends.
try my best to co-ordinate my time between worshipping God, gathering with the
family and friends.”
of speaking to The National, Mr Saeed was en route to watch a football match,
though he said this midweek outing was an exception.
is a major football game. Everyone will be watching the game.”
compatriot, Mohammed Al Hashemi, was enjoying a cup of coffee with a friend,
when he said: “The current way of approaching Ramadan is quite different than
the old times. Although there are several distractions, a person who wants to
worship God can ignore them all.
Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on women’s rights campaigners, just weeks before the
much-hyped lifting of a ban on women driving + , has revived doubts about its
crown prince’s inscrutable and seemingly erratic approach to reforms in the
Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has seized most levers of power since rising
from relative obscurity, is trying to diversify the biggest Arab economy away
from oil and open up the deeply conservative Muslim country by easing strict
social rules and promoting entertainment.
has won praise at home and abroad for his modernisation efforts, but he has
also provoked unease with an anti-corruption purge last year, when scores of
royals and top businessmen were detained at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh.
were freed after reaching settlements with the government in a secretive
campaign that sent shockwaves through the business community.
arrest this month of nearly a dozen prominent activists, mostly women who for
years urged reforms that are now being implemented and trumpeted abroad, has
further disconcerted Western allies. Diplomats were unnerved that state-backed
media had labelled the activists as “agents of the embassies”.
tough because to date we’ve been encouraging of the Saudi reform agenda,” one
Saudi government seems to be sending a message to friendly governments not to
engage with anyone at all on government-led social reform, even where the
messages we are hearing are supportive of the government and echoing what the
government’s own international PR campaigns are saying.”
official reason for the arrests was suspicious contact with foreign entities
and offering financial support to overseas enemies. No details were provided
and security spokesmen have not responded to requests for comment.
the latest arrests, diplomats in Riyadh have begun questioning how serious the
kingdom is about change. Activists say the move signals that political openness
will not be allowed to follow social liberalisation.
sends a message domestically that don’t even think about opposing any
government policy, but the message internationally is completely different,”
said Kristian Coates Ulrichsen from Texas-based Rice University’s Baker
said it was difficult to assess the “opaque” decision-making process behind the
just have no idea. It reinforces the perception that policymaking now is more
unpredictable and concentrated in the hands of one man who perhaps lacks some
of the decades of experience that his predecessors had.”
Mohammed, 32, surpassed more senior cousins to become heir apparent a year ago,
concentrating power and pushing through rapid change in a country which for
decades was ruled by consensus. He has also taken a more aggressive stance
against arch-rival Iran, beginning a three-year-old war in Yemen and leading a
boycott of fellow Gulf Arab state Qatar.
crown prince’s defenders said he may have had to placate religious
conservatives, who had also been stifled in a previous crackdown on clerics
opposed to social changes like lifting bans on cinemas and women driving.
Shihabi, who runs the pro-Saudi Arabia Foundation in Washington, called the
arrests a mistake and damaging to Saudi Arabia’s image. But Prince Mohammed had
never pretended that political openness was on the cards, he said.
sources said that the refugees in al-Saad Camp in Southern Hasaka are suffering
from shortage of drinking water, food stuff and other life necessities.
sources further said that the camp's residents protested against the militias,
asking for drinking water and ice, but, faced the US-backed militias' attack.
refugee was arrested by the militias, they added.
sources went on to say that those who run the camp steal humanitarian aids
dispatched to the camp and sell them in the black market, adding that the
refugee must pay a large amount of money to buy a cube of ice.
the meantime, a number of young men in the camp have been arrested by the
militias under a forced recruitment plan.
a relevant development earlier this month, tens of residents in the village of
al-Jarniyeh in Western Raqqa took to the main street in the village and
protested against the Kurdish militias' forced recruitment and brutal measures.
artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at the positions and movements of
terrorists the town of al-Latamina and the village of al-Zakat in Northern
Hama, and destroyed several bases, strongholds and military vehicles of
the meantime, the army soldiers carried out a mop-up operation in Southern Hama
and discovered a workshop used previously by the terrorists to make bombs and
army units engaged in heavy clashes with the terrorists who intended to enter
Moharedah region in Northwestern Hama from the village of al-Zalaqiyat on
the artillery and missile units of the Syrian army fiercely pounded Tahrir
al-Sham's moves in areas of clashes as well as the town of al-Latamina al-Zakat
and the nearby areas.
noted that other terrorists were forced to flee the scene.
Kurdish members of Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) exchanged heavy fire with
Liwa Thowar al-Raqqa in several neighborhoods in Raqqa.
clashes erupted after the Kurdish militias broke into a house that belonged to
Abu Awad, an Arab commander of Liwa al-Thowar, near al-Barazi square in Central
sources reported that an American delegation entered the city to end clashes
between two militant groups.
sources further said that a large number of people in al-Romeileh neighborhood
in Raqqa took to the streets and called for expulsion of the SDF from their
town following heavy infighting between the US-backed Kurdish and Arab
sources in Western Raqqa reported on Thursday that people hoisted the Syrian
flag in several villages and towns in the region on Wednesday, provoking the
Kurdish SDF forces to attack the villages of Kadiran, al-Salhabiat, A'ayouj,
al-Jayef, al-Adnaniyeh and al-Mansoureh in Western Raqqa and the two first and
second districts in the town of al-Tabaqah.
SDF fighters also detained a large number of civilians during the raids and
seized the cell phones of most of the young people in the villages of Fatih,
A'ayouj and al-Mansoureh.
Abbasi seeks national debate on civil-military ties, role of judiciary
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi on Monday called for a national debate on
future civil-military relations, the role of the judiciary, accountability and
other state institutions for the country to move forward as he presented a
departing overview of the PML-N government’s five-year performance.
at a news conference along with Finance Minister Dr Miftah Ismail, the prime
minister said the issue of civil-military relations would remain there
irrespective of who formed the next government, besides the role of other
stakeholders like the judiciary, the National Accountability Bureau and the
said that when the judiciary interfered in the working of the executive and NAB
crippled the government functioning, no government would be able to work and
perform. Therefore, he added, there should be a national dialogue on what
should be the role of the judiciary and NAB when the next government came to
should be held responsible if a judicial decision has an impact of thousands of
billions of rupees, and who should be held answerable if NAB cripples the
government departments and no government functionary is ready to take
decisions?” he asked and said the debate should discuss on what extent this
should also be a national dialogue on civil-military relationship,” he said in
response to a question, adding that countries could not be run like this and
governments could not perform.
Abbasi said the people voted his party to government five years ago. And “we
have respected the vote with performance”, he said when asked if the PML-N’s
election slogan would be Nawaz Sharif’s ‘give respect to vote’ narrative or the
performance of the government.
said the political instability had devastating impact on the country and the
performance of the government and counted the 2014 sit-in, the Panama Papers
case verdict and the Supreme Court’s July 28 judgement removing former prime
minister Nawaz Sharif as a few events that gradually hampered the progress,
otherwise the situation would have been much better and financial losses would
have been limited.
to a question about a statement attributed to the secretary of the Election
Commission of Pakistan which suspected elections being held within two months,
the prime minister said he was unaware of the statement but in line with a
summary of the ECP, the government had sent an advice to the president for
election date. “Elections would be held on July 25 and the ECP would announce
the election schedule. The law is very clear,” he added.
Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa congratulated the brave
tribes, especially the tribal youth, on the successful and historic merger of
FATA into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) according to popular sentiments, said a
statement issued by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Monday.
army chief expressed this while meeting a youth jirga of erstwhile FATA.
Bajwa said that mainstreaming FATA will facilitate bringing enduring peace,
stability and socio-economic development of the long-neglected and terrorism
rid area. He commended motivation and passion of the youth in the realisation
of this merger.
COAS said that the state is determined to root out extremism and terrorism for
which the youth has a great role to play. “Focus on your peaceful endeavours,
participate in political and democratic activities. We have achieved peace at a
very high cost of blood and national exchequer and we shall never let it lose.”
jirga acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan Army’s efforts for bringing back
peace, stability and socio-economic development in the area. They also
acknowledged COAS’ special interest towards mainstreaming of erstwhile FATA.
Bajwa emphasised on being aware of inimical forces who wish to exploit fault
lines and try to reverse the gains. “They shall never succeed,” he added.
army chief lauded the youth for their determination and support to Pakistan
Army in a fight against terrorism and valued their views regarding future of
said, “Achievements through sacrifices of brave tribals were being consolidated
while we transit from relative stability to enduring peace.”
military Monday took the unprecedented step of preventing a former spy chief from
leaving the country, after he ignited a storm by co-authoring a book that
touches on Pakistan's alleged roles in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
Lieutenant General Asad Durrani, who headed Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)
from 1990 to 1992, was placed on the Exit Control List (ECL) stopping him from
leaving the country, according to the military spokesman.
has been mired in controversy since last week's release of "The Spy
Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace". He wrote the book with
A.S. Dulat, who headed India's Research and Analysis Wing intelligence agency
-- arch-rivals of the ISI.
is based on a series of discussion between the two on various subjects
including tense relations with India and Pakistan's alleged interference through
proxies in Afghanistan and Kashmir.
US has long accused the ISI in particular of backing militants in Afghanistan,
including the Taliban. Islamabad denies the claims.
of the military, especially its use of proxies in regional conflicts, is seen
as taboo in the country. The military is the most powerful institution in
Pakistan, ruling the country for roughly half its history and operating largely
book also suggests that the Pakistani authorities may have known about the whereabouts
of Osama bin Laden -- an extraordinarily sensitive topic for the military --
and may have later handed over information to the US resulting in the 2011 raid
that killed the al-Qaeda supremo.
Monday Durrani was summoned to the Pakistani military headquarters for
allegedly violating the institution's code of conduct over comments he made in
the book. The military did not specify which comments had prompted the meeting.
then announced a court of inquiry into Durrani's alleged misconduct and said he
had been placed on the ECL, marking the first instance such controls have been
placed on a former spy chief.
controversy comes weeks after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif sparked a
similar firestorm at home and in India by suggesting Pakistani militants were
behind the 2008 attacks in the Indian city of Mumbai.
comments made during a newspaper interview resulted in an official condemnation
from the country's National Security Council.
has called on the council to discuss Durrani's book also.
It is the Muslim world’s responsibility to foil all attacks and conspiracies
against the Two Holy Mosques in Saudi Arabia and Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem,
clerics and representatives of various religious and political organizations
said at a conference on Monday.
conference was chaired by Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi, chairman of the
Pakistan Ulema Council.
clerics lauded Saudi efforts to secure and defend the Two Holy Mosques, and to
support the Palestinian cause.
and practical steps are needed to thwart attempts to divide the Muslim world
along sectarian lines, they said.
catastrophe is being carried out in Muslim countries by fanning sectarian
differences,” Ashrafi told Arab News.
Senior Pakistani, Afghan and Chinese diplomats are in Beijing for a series of
meetings that will also review preparations for the second trilateral meeting
of the foreign ministers.
Secretary Tehmina Janjua represented the country in the Trilateral Strategic
Dialogue on Monday, the Foreign Office spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said.
and Afghan delegations were led by vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuan You and
Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Karzai.
Secretary, Tehmina Janjua also attended the SCO- Afghanistan Contact Group
Meeting in Beijing.
SCO groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, India, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan
her statement, Tehmina Janjua reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to continued
efforts for promoting peace and stability in Afghanistan, the foreign office
spokesman said on his Twitter.
Foreign Secretary also underlined ongoing initiatives of Pakistan for
engagement with Afghanistan in all areas including peace and stability and
promoting economic cooperation and connectivity.
highlighted the measures taken by Pakistan to enhance bilateral trade, transit,
people-to-people exchanges and to deepen connectivity between Pakistan and
Afghan, Chinese and Pakistani diplomats also reviewed preparations for the
second trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers which will be held in Kabul
first trilateral FMs meeting was held in Beijing in December, months after
China brokered the three-party forum when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi
traveled to Kabul and Islamabad in June last year when relations between
Pakistan and Afghanistan had been under pressure after a massive truck bomb
killed nearly 150 people in Kabul in late May.
trilateral mechanism mainly focuses on three key areas – strategic and security
issues, counter-terrorism and security and economic development and
connectivity, the official said.
is also planned to host the Shanghai Cooperation Organization contact group’s
meeting on Afghanistan next month on the sideline of the SCO summit.
SCO revived the Afghan contact group last year to play active role for peace
and stability in Afghanistan as the member countries are concerned of the
continuation of war in Afghanistan.
first meeting of the contact group was held in Moscow last year following its
revival so the SCO could play active role in political solution to the Afghan
Haram Suicide Bomber Kills Five, Wounds Seven In Konduga
least five persons were killed and seven more wounded when a suicide bomber
attacked a community near Konduga on Sunday, Police and rescue team have
Borno Police Commissioner, Mr. Damian Chukwu, confirmed on Monday that four
persons, including the bomber, lost their lives.
said the attacks were on civilians at Mashimairi village, near Konduga town.
the attack didn't happen today; it was yesterday,” he said. Four persons were
dead, including the bombers, while seven others sustained various degree of
rescue teams who evacuated the victims, gave a slightly conflicting casualty
toll, saying five persons were killed while 11 sustained injuries.
persons killed, including two bombers, and seven persons were evacuated to
Maiduguri for special treatment due to their conditions.”
Muslim preacher, Dr Muideen Bello, on Monday in Lagos admonished Nigerian
leaders to be sincere in fulfilling their political promises to the citizens.
said this at a Ramadan lecture organised by the Nigeria Union of Road Transport
WoWorkers (NURTW) with the theme “Who is Trustworthy”.
to the popular Muslim cleric, only the virtues of tolerance, honesty, endurance
among leaders would bring progress to the nation.
is only the truth that can deliver the country, only the truth can save us in
cannot take us anywhere; religious and ethnic tolerance should be our focus as
these will help to foster the desired peace in the country.
should pray for our country as well as our leaders for God to help the leaders
to bring peace and progress in the country.
all, let us have the fear of God,” he said.
speaking, NURTW National president, Alhaji Yassim Najeen, urged members of the
union to avoid being used as instruments of violence during elections.
said that campaigns and elections should not be do or die affair in any decent
is time for everything; aspirants who are not eligible this time should wait
for their time and not be violent,” he advised.
Yinka Ogundimu, a Lagos lawmaker representing Agege Constituency II, also
advised the citizens to imbibe the virtue of tolerance during and after the
said that the virtues of charity and nearness to God should be extended beyond
the Ramadan period to bring about peace in the country.
Lagos State Chairman of NURTW, Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede, tasked members to be
steadfast in their service to God, drive carefully and obey traffic rules
during and after Ramadan.
should endeavour to be careful while driving and avoid breaking traffic rules
at all times.
Defense Minister Awad Ibn Ouf said on Monday that it was Sudan’s “moral
obligation” to participate in the Yemen war alongside the Arab coalition.
has been a part of the Arab coalition since 2015, in an effort to support
Yemen’s legitimate President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi, after Iranian-backed Houthi
militias exiled him from Sanaa.
Ouf discussed the possibility of further cooperation with Saudi Arabia with the
kingdom’s ambassador to Khartoum Ali bin Hassan Jaafar, according to the Sudan
decides to relocate heroin labs amid relentless airstrikes
Taliban group leadership has decided to relocate the drugs and heroin labs amid
relentless airstrikes targeting the main financial streamline of the group.
group has reportedly decided to relocate the labs to mountains and valleys amid
fears that the airstrikes would result to civilian casualties.
latest decision by the group to prevent civilian deaths follows the growing
criticisms that the group faces due to civilian deaths as the majority of the
civilian deaths are attributed to the operations of the group.
shadow governor for Helmand Mullah Manan has reportedly ordered his secretary
to act and relocate the labs from the towns and residential areas to mountains
a walkie-talkie conversation with his secretary shared on a Taliban WhatsApp
group, the Taliban’s shadow governor of Helmand, Mullah Manan, said “due to one
factory hundreds of the public are at risk from bombings and missiles” and
called for facilities to shift to “mountains and valley sides” instead,
according to The Guardian.
Taliban group has so far not reacted regarding the report but the US commander
in Afghanistan Gen. John Nicholson had earlier warned that the air campaign
against the main financial resources of the group would continue.
Officials say Afghan forces killed nine people, mostly civilians, by mistake
during a raid on a house in eastern Nangarhar province.
governor Hayatullah Hayat says Tuesday that eight other civilians were wounded
in the raid late Monday night in Chaparhar district.
said a local police commander was among the dead.
said gunfire had been coming from the house that was raided, but the casualties
were identified as mostly civilians once the operation ended.
investigation was being conducted into how the operation resulted in civilian
Miakhail, a spokesman for the hospital in Nangarhar, also confirmed that nine
dead bodies were brought to the hospital from the raid.
– Bangladesh police have killed at least 86 people and arrested about 7,000
since launching a crackdown on drug trafficking this month, officials said on
Monday, raising fears from rights activists of a Philippines-style war on
Minister Sheikh Hasina approved the anti-narcotics campaign in early May to
tackle the spread of ya ba, as methamphetamine is widely known in Asia, and
worth an estimated $3 billion annually, government officials say.
drug is sourced from Myanmar’s northeast and smuggled into neighboring
recent times, drug dealing has increased and we feel that people should be
alert and motivated to act against it,” Devdas Bhattacharya, a senior police
official, told reporters.
process will continue until it’s eradicated totally.”
said police arrested six people on Sunday, including a 12-year-old boy from
Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim community, who had carried 3,350 ya ba tablets to the
has said an influx last year of Rohingya fleeing Buddhist-majority Myanmar is
partly to blame for soaring methamphetamine use. But many Rohingya say their
young people are being pushed into crime because they cannot legally work or,
in many cases, get access to aid.
86 deaths occurred when police defended themselves in confrontations with
suspected drug traffickers, said Mufti Mahmud Khan, a director of the police
Rapid Action Battalion.
their legal right to save themselves from the attack,” Mufti told Reuters.
rights activists are worried the Bangladesh campaign is taking a page from the
Philippine drugs war, in which thousands of people have been killed in the past
Sheikh Hasina government says it is a protector of human rights, so it should
reform its domestic record, set an example, instead of wishing to be compared
to an abusive regime,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human
said the government “should heed concerns and allegations by families and
activists that several of these deaths could be extrajudicial killings.”
minister Asaduzzaman Khan rejected the rights group’s allegations and denied
that police had carried out any extra-judicial killings. He said dozens of
police had been injured in anti-drug operations.
opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) said the anti-drugs drive was
part of a campaign to intimidate it but Khan also rejected that, saying ruling
party members would not be spared if found guilty of drug crimes.
least seventeen people were killed in a raid conducted by the Afghan forces in
eastern Nangarahr province of Afghanistan, the local officials said Tuesday.
to the officials, the raid was conducted in the vicinity of Chaparhar district
and a number of relatives of Muslimyar are among those killed or wounded.
officials are saying that the raid has left at least nine people dead and eight
provincial government media office confirmed the incident and said a number of
relatives of the Senate Chairman Fazal Hadi Muslimyar are among those killed.
disclosing further information, the provincial government said an investigation
is underway to ascertain the circumstances surrounding the incident.
governor Hayatullah Hayat called the incident as painful and vowed to
thoroughly investigate the incident.
said a delegation comprising high level officials has been appointed to
investigate the incident as he offered condolences to Mr. Muslimyar and other
civilians killed in the raid.
is among the relatively volatile provinces in east of Afghanistan where the
Taliban insurgents and militants belonging to ISIS terrorist groups are
prominent Taliban leader was shot dead by his own comrade apparently due to a
brawl in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said the incident took place
at around noon time today in Shirzad district.
statement further added that the Taliban leader Malik Jaipur was killed after
engaging in a brawl with another comrade in Randchin area.
to the provincial government, a security guard of Malik Jaipur was also wounded
during the clash.
was apparently shot dead by another Taliban commander identified as Lalagi, the
statement said, adding that Malik Jaipur had earlier killed the brother of
another Taliban leader identified as Satar.
provincial government also added that the infighting and tensions have
intensified among the Taliban militants in Nangarhar province during the recent
months and as a result the militants have suffered heavy casualties.
May 28 — Myanmar says dozens of Rohingya Muslims who fled to neighbouring
Bangladesh have returned voluntarily and will be sent to a transit centre
700,000 Rohingya fled mainly Buddhist Myanmar after a violent army crackdown
began last August in the western state of Rakhine, a process that the US and UN
have described as ethnic cleansing.
has said it is ready to take them back and has traded accusations with
Bangladesh over who is responsible for the delay in implementing a repatriation
deal. Critics question its sincerity.
long-persecuted stateless minority have been reluctant to return without
guarantees of basic rights and protections, including the right to return to
their old villages rather than to transit camps.
total of 58 Rohingya have crossed back into Myanmar after they could “no longer
find it tenable” to live in Bangladeshi refugee camps, according to a statement
published in state media Monday from the office of Myanmar’s de facto leader
Aung San Suu Kyi.
were detained for failing to follow proper repatriation procedures until the
decision to “pardon” them and allow them to resettle in Myanmar, the statement
said, adding they would be “temporarily” housed in a transit camp.
returnees entered Myanmar in different stages over the last four months, said
Suu Kyi spokesman Zaw Htay.
did not give any information on the group’s members and Bangladeshi authorities
said they were unaware of any details.
haven’t heard of any such incidents of refugees returning to Rakhine through
their own volition or under their own arrangement from the camps,” Bangladesh
refugee commissioner Mohammad Abul Kalam told AFP.
UN has said conditions in Rakhine are not ripe for repatriation.
Government of Myanmar is busy telling the world that it is ready to receive
Rohingya returnees, while at the same time its forces are continuing to drive
them into Bangladesh,” said UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights
Andrew Gilmour in March.
dignified and sustainable returns are of course impossible under current
group will be the first to be sent to a giant transit camp on the Myanmar side
of the Bangladeshi border established as part of the stalled repatriation deal
reached late last year.
Danny Maheu, the recent spate of suicide bombings that killed at least 31
people at three churches and a police station in the Indonesian city of
Surabaya, brought back haunting memories of a tragic event that changed the
course of his life more than two years ago.
51-year-old policeman and father of two was on traffic duty in Jakarta on Feb.
14, 2016 when Islamic State-linked militants struck, killing four innocent
people. Among the dead was his colleague. Four of the militants were also
lost his right leg in an explosion, but he has since returned to work albeit in
a limited capacity.
terrorist attacks have targeted policemen, including a recent riot by terrorist
inmates at a police detention center in Depok, West Java, and on the Surabaya
police station, and another in Sumatra's Riau province.
say the police are a target because they are stumbling blocks to terrorists
achieving their goal.
the sad reality is police have limited powers to fight terrorism, Maheu said.
are various ways to improve the effectiveness of police, the most powerful
being through the law, he added.
could happen if Indonesian legislators approve a stalled anti-terrorism bill,
which gives police greater powers to arrest suspects, the policeman said.
new law is needed to prevent more terrorist attacks from happening," said
a policeman he says he is saddened by the fact that police can only arrest
terrorists in most cases after something terrible has happened.
anti-terrorism bill was initially drafted following the attack that disfigured
it has remained in limbo for nearly three years due to conflicting views on
several key points, including the maximum period of pre-trial detention allowed
and military involvement in counter-terrorism activities.
say the bill will give police the power to block financial support for
extremist groups and individuals, detain suspects for longer periods without
trial, revoke passports of Indonesians suspected of undertaking training in
terrorism abroad, and enhance the ability to monitor suspects.
to Al Chaidar, an expert on terrorism from Malikussaleh University in Aceh,
said this new law is needed now more than ever with many Indonesian jihadists
who joined IS in Syria and Marawi having returned home following their defeats
firm and strong law is important in fighting terrorism," he said.
estimated about 1,200 Indonesians joined IS in Syria and around 500 had
returned home and were ready to launch attacks.
Police spokesman Setyo Wasisto recently told media that more attacks are
cells have awoken from their slumber and are ready to launch bigger
attacks," he said.
much can be done to prevent them because the existing law only has teeth after
a crime is committed.
2003 anti-terrorism law prohibits police from arresting and detaining terrorist
suspects," Wasisto said.
of Representatives Speaker, Bambang Soesatyo, told media recently that the bill
will be passed soon.
Arifin Husein, a moderate Muslim from Nahdlatul Ulama, the biggest Islamic
organization in Indonesia with over 90 million members, said if this does not
materialize, President Joko Widodo could issue a decree in lieu of law to
prevent terrorism acts and eradicate their cells.
hoped the new law would prevent radical groups from growing bigger and
to the Wahid Institute in 2017, about 11 million people among Indonesia's 230
million population were thought to harbor radical views.
Agustinus Ulahayanan, executive secretary of the bishops' Commission for
Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs said the bishops all want this bill
it was drafted in 2016 he conveyed this message to parliament. But
disagreements among different groups have delayed the bill, allowing terrorists
to consolidate and move forward.
have often blamed the police for not doing their job. The fact is the law works
against them, he said.
I know is] the bill is human rights friendly," he told ucanews.com, and
people should not be afraid if it enhances the scope of police work in
police need a legal umbrella to arrest terrorists. It will protect them from
accusations of violating human rights," said Communion of Churches in
Indonesia spokesman Jeirry Sumampow.
want legislators to fulfill their promise," he added.
Toni Togar, a former terrorist and member of the Jamaah Islamiyah group, a
branch of al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia and the group responsible for the 2002
bomb attacks in Bali, disagreed, saying Indonesia would descend into chaos if
the bill is passed.
more authority to police and military in fighting terrorism will create more
human rights abuses," he said.
the Bali bombings, which killed 202 people, there have been more than 440 bomb
attacks in Indonesia, including the church bombings in Surabaya this month.
of alleged terrorists have also been arrested, including 172 detained in 2017,
and more than 80 up until May of this year.
— Nine militants from a group that helped the Philippine Army hunt down Islamic
State-linked fighters in the country’s south have been killed in a firefight
with the police, their colleagues said Monday.
victims, members of military wing of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, or
MILF, were rounded up on Friday by government agents taking part in President
Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs.
men had identified themselves as MILF fighters in their encounter with
government forces, but were still stripped of their firearms and killed,
according to a complaint that the group filed to a committee monitoring a
cease-fire between MILF fighters and the government.
the men were disarmed, “they were deliberately shot by the operatives, which
resulted to their instant death,” the MILF complaint read, adding that at least
three others, including a woman, were also wounded.
municipal police commander, Chief Inspector Sunny Leoncito, said the government
forces had been seeking to arrest two men in a drug case, both of whom were
believed to have been killed in the raid. But what was to have been a routine
antidrug operation turned into an hourlong gun battle on the outskirts of the
town of Matalam.
militants who survived later surrendered and gave up their firearms, including
two sniper rifles, several assault rifles and handguns, as well as a
rocket-propelled grenade. However, the government operatives did not find drugs
on the fighters.
MILF spokesman, Vol Al-Haq, said the group would file a “strong protest” with
the government over the killings. He said he believed that a brief firefight
occurred with the government agents before the MILF fighters identified
themselves, and that they might have believed they were being attacked by
another armed group.
they surrendered, they were massacred,” the spokesman said, adding that the
group was demanding an impartial investigation jointly carried out with a third
party or a nongovernmental organization.
don’t deal in drugs and never have,” he said. “Even before the assumption of
Duterte as president, we already had our own program that discourages illegal
activities, including drugs.”
Moro Islamic Liberation Front is the largest of many guerrilla groups in the
southern Philippines and has about 12,000 armed fighters. It fought the
Philippine Army for independence in the southern third of the island of
Mindanao, but in 2014, after nearly 17 years of war, it dropped its bid for
independence to settle for autonomy.
four years since the signing of a peace deal, the Philippines Congress still
has not passed a law creating the autonomous region that would be governed
primarily by the group’s officials.
MILF has kept its end of the bargain, and last year helped the army hunt down
militants tied to the Islamic State who had escaped after attacking the
southern city of Marawi for five months, leaving scores dead.
did not field fighters to join the army in Marawi; instead, an elite MILF
jungle unit battled Islamic State-linked fighters in another area of the
month, the group warned it would not disarm as planned under the peace deal if
Congress failed to pass the autonomy law. Mr. Duterte has promised to push the
law through Congress, which is dominated by members of his party.
Senate and the House of Representatives previously failed to pass the law,
largely on fears that giving the minority Muslims greater power in the
mineral-rich but impoverished south could lead to more violence.
particular, a clash in 2015 between the MILF and a police commando unit left 44
officers dead after they strayed into a rebel-held area as they were hunting a
wanted Malaysian terrorist.
Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, of the army’s Sixth Infantry Division, which has
jurisdiction over Matalam, said the government was trying to contain the
situation and would help investigate the episode.
Khidhir Bin Abu Bakar
JAYA: Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) failure to beat PAS in its strongholds in the
recent election indicates that Amanah’s brand of Islamist politics has little
traction with rural Malays, according to a political scientist.
Fauzi Abdul Hamid, a professor at Universiti Sains Malaysia, told FMT he
believed it was hard for Amanah to make inroads into Malay heartlands because
its message didn’t fit into the context in which Islam is viewed strictly as a
professor Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid.
noted that Amanah’s agenda was to present Islam the way the Quran describes it
– as a “mercy to mankind”.
as long as Malayness and Islam are closely tied to each other, Amanah must find
another way to make inroads into the Malay heartlands,” he said.
acknowledged that Amanah was stronger than PAS in multiracial areas and places
where middle-class Malays predominate, but he questioned whether this served
its true purpose as a coalition partner.
remain relevant as an Islamic political party in Malaysia, he added, Amanah had
no choice but to make a deeper impact in rural Malay areas.
the Malay belt areas like Kelantan, Terengganu and even Kedah, PAS did better
as a party than any of the Pakatan Harapan parties,” he said. “The Amanah setup
has no appeal where there is a Malay hegemony.”
supporters force removal of French weekly from newsstands over ‘Dictator’ cover
of the Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan have purportedly made it a tough
week for the French magazine Le Point by forcefully removing the advertisements
for the weekly from newsstands in France over a controversial cover that
described the Turkish leader as a “Dictator.”
weekly wrote on its website on Monday that it had suffered harassment and
intimidation by purported supporters of Erdogan, who had been depicted as a
“Dictator” on its cover of Thursday’s issue.
a week of harassment, insults, intimidation and anti-Semitic slurs and threats
towards us on social media, now has come the moment when supporters of the AKP
[Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party] are attacking symbols of freedom of
expression and diversity in the press,” Le Point said.
the weekend, police were deployed in the Pontet, the most populous suburb of
the southern city of Avignon, after a group of alleged pro-Erdogan activists
attempted to either remove or cover up advertisements for the left-leaning
magazine at newsstands. Videos of the incident were widely circulated on social
media on Friday evening and into Saturday.
another poster of Le Point cover was lashed out at another newspaper kiosk in
the southeastern town of valence on Sunday, the purported footage of which has
been embedded below.
its latest edition, the French weekly published an investigation into the
Turkish leader, wondering in an editorial, “Is Erdogan a new Hitler?”
presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin reacted to the cover in a tweet, saying,
“We know the attacks. We know what their purpose is. People and the oppressed
people see what's happening.”
also said that “The days of Turkey receiving orders from the West are over. You
cannot bring these days back by saying 'Dictator'.”
Point’s controversial issue comes ahead of the presidential election in Turkey,
set for June 24, with the Turkish president running for a second term.
announced snap elections on April 18, saying holding the votes more than a year
earlier than planned was needed to enable his party to make the constitutional
changes narrowly approved in a last year referendum, which will give him
sweeping new powers.
has also faced increasing criticism over his championing of the presidency
system as many fear it could lead to his authoritarian rule in the Anatolian
fears have been exacerbated by an ongoing crackdown against people whom the
government deems as linked to a failed coup two years ago or those alleged to
have helped Kurdish militancy in the country.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara to have
masterminded the coup, while more than 110,000 others, including military
staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended from work
over the same accusations since Erdogan intensified the crackdown following the
15th century Quran written by calligraphist Sukrullah Khalifah was returned to
Istanbul's Topkapi Palace Museum by a collector on Thursday.
Quran was written in 1494 in Istanbul and kept in Topkapi Palace Museum until
1964. When it was then transferred to Bursa Archaeology Museum, the Quran was
was rediscovered when calligraphist Ziya Aydin bought the Quran from a
bibliophile several years ago.
Quran’s new owners, brothers Ali Sami and Ahmet Aydin, decided to return the
Quran to the museum after being reached by Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister
Numan Kurtulmus, according to the chairman of Topkapi Palace Museum, Mustafa
Sabri Kucukasci who spoke to reporters.
Disaster and Emergency Management Authority (AFAD) has donated $1.2 million --
through a campaign launched in Turkey -- to the World Health Organization (WHO)
with a view to providing the Gaza Strip with urgent medical assistance.
donation was disbursed to Gaza after an agreement was signed between Erman
Topcu, Turkey's charge d'affaires in Jerusalem, and Mahmoud Dahir, director of
the WHO's office in Gaza.
to Anadolu Agency on Monday, Topcu condemned recent Israeli violence against
unarmed demonstrators in the Gaza Strip
of Palestinians were killed during these recent terrible incidents [in Gaza],
especially on May 14,” he said, going on to point out that another 13,000 had
been injured by Israeli army gunfire.
that the UN had requested urgent assistance following the carnage, Topcu
pointed out that Turkey had answered the appeal by disbursing $1.2 million
least 165,000 Palestinian medical patients and injured will directly benefit
from this aid, while 350,000 others will be able to make use of it indirectly,”
to Topcu, Turkey has already received messages of gratitude from both the UN
and the Palestinian leadership.
the aid we’re sending isn’t restricted to this disbursement alone,” he said.
“All our state institutions swung into action following the recent incidents
Turkish Aid Agency (TIKA) is also coordinating with the Palestinian Health
Ministry and has begun providing badly-needed medical equipment,” he added.
to Topcu, the Turkish Red Crescent also sent medical supplies to its
Palestinian counterpart in the immediate wake of the violence.
humanitarian crisis in Gaza is nothing new; it’s been underway for a long time.
According to the UN, Gaza will be uninhabitable by 2020,” he warned.
went on to point out that some 30,000 Palestinians had received food aid from
TIKA since the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan began earlier this month.
has delivered more than 20,000 food-aid packages throughout the West Bank and
Gaza,” he said.
added that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), of which Turkey
currently holds the rotating presidency, had made it a priority to improve the
socioeconomic conditions faced by occupied East Jerusalem’s Palestinian
to TIKA, we have launched a project to provide financial support to needy
families and shopkeepers in East Jerusalem’s Old City district,” he said.
noted that many Turkish people, as well as Turkish state agencies, were
currently present in Palestine.
people visiting Jerusalem and the Al-Aqsa Mosque aren’t just going for tourism;
they also stand with the people there,” he said, adding that Turkey was
providing Palestine with both humanitarian and political support
will continue to support the Palestinian cause,” he asserted.
for his part, thanked Turkey for its swift response to the UN’s appeal for aid.
WHO announced it was in urgent need of $1.1 million to meet Palestine’s medical
needs and Turkey responded in the nick of time with a $1.2-million donation,”
people were injured during the recent violence in Gaza,” he said. “We hope this
aid will mitigate the pain they feel.”
pointed out, however, that a further $19 million was needed to meet Gaza’s
rapidly mounting medical costs.
has been high in the Palestinian territories since the U.S. relocated its
embassy earlier this month from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, sparking condemnation
and protest across the Arab and Muslim world.
Mar. 30, more than 115 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army gunfire --
and thousands more injured -- during ongoing anti-occupation protests in the
eastern Gaza Strip.
- The Israeli army raided a Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank
Monday, AFP journalists said, in an apparent hunt for suspects in the killing
of a soldier.
of Israeli troops entered the Amari Refugee Camp in Ramallah in the early hours
of Monday, closing off all the entrances, AFP journalists said.
least 13 Palestinians were lightly or moderately injured during the raid as
clashes broke out, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, with soldiers firing
tear gas and bullets. Residents said a number of Palestinians were arrested,
though there was no immediate confirmation or statement from the army.
forces later withdrew from the camp. It came days after an Israeli soldier was
killed during a raid inside the camp. Sergeant Ronen Lubarsky, 20, of the
Duvdevan special forces unit, was struck on the head by a stone block thrown
during an arrest raid Thursday and died early Saturday.
media said the block was a granite slab dropped from a third-floor window.
Those responsible were not arrested at the time. Amari is located inside
Ramallah, seat of the Palestinian Authority, in an area theoretically under the
full control of the Palestinian government.
forces regularly carry out night raids in Palestinian-governed parts of the
West Bank to arrest suspects they accuse of militant activities against Israel.
home to around 6,000 Palestinians according to the United Nations, is a regular
flashpoint where Israeli raids have sparked fierce clashes in the past.
Palestinian was killed by Israeli tank fire into northern Gaza on Monday, the
health ministry in the Hamas-run enclave said. It named the dead man as
Mohammed al-Rudeia, 30, and said another man was wounded.
army spokeswoman told AFP that two Palestinian men tried to breach the border
fence "with the intention of carrying out an attack".
said the pair were captured but other Palestinians on the Gaza side fired at
Israeli soldiers, without causing injuries. "In response we attacked with
a tank a nearby lookout post," she said.
said the tank strike targeted an observation point belonging to an armed group.
statement by Hamas's military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, hailed
Rudeia as a "fighter", an accolade usually only given to its own
Monday the health ministry announced the death of a Palestinian injured in
clashes with Israeli forces. Nasser al-Areenee, 28, was shot a "number of
days ago" east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, the ministry said,
without giving further details.
least 121 Palestinians have been killed during weeks of unrest since March 30,
when Palestinians began calling to be allowed to return to their historic
homelands inside Israel.
president Mahmud Abbas left hospital on Monday after eight days of treatment
for pneumonia that led to intense speculation over the 83-year-old's condition
and who will eventually replace him.
in a suit as usual and walking without assistance, Abbas gave a short statement
on being discharged, saying he planned to be back at work in his office as
normal on Tuesday.
to God, I left the hospital today in good health and return to work starting
tomorrow," he said, speaking vigorously and with his two sons by his side.
thanked all international leaders who had called about his health and wished
hospital stint came at a time of heightened US pressure on Abbas and the
analysts said Abbas would now seek to refocus on work and downplay talk of
stepping down. He is expected to preside over a meeting of the central council
of his Fatah party on Tuesday.
to be a heavy smoker, Abbas was admitted on May 20 to the Istishari Arab
Hospital near Ramallah in the occupied West Bank with complications following
an ear operation, including high fever.
have since said he was being treated for pneumonia.
extended hospitalisation led to widespread speculation over whether his
condition was worse than the details being disclosed.
successor is publicly in line for the Palestinian presidency, which has added
to concerns over Abbas's health.
won a four-year term as president in 2005, but he has since remained in office
without further elections.
argues the split between his Fatah party and Islamist movement Hamas, which
controls the Gaza Strip, has made elections politically impossible.
Pretend it 'didn't happen' -
moderate, Abbas has been involved in decades of negotiations with Israel but is
unpopular among Palestinians, with the majority wanting him to step down.
Palestinians see his approach to negotiations as having failed to end the
Israeli occupation and are no where near the goal of securing statehood.
officials, while criticising what they see as his intransigence, greatly value
the security coordination which his administration has provided.
succeeded Yasser Arafat, the charismatic keffiyeh-wearing leader who was
revered by Palestinians.
Abbas has been valued by the international community due to his belief in
negotiations and stated opposition to violence, he has struggled to meet
Palestinians' expectations left behind by Arafat.
recent months, Abbas has faced what the Palestinians see as the blatant bias of
US President Donald Trump's administration.
froze all ties with the White House over Trump's decision to recognise
Jerusalem as Israel's capital
United States has also frozen tens of millions of dollars in aid to the United
Nations agency for Palestinian refugees and has threatened to close the office
of the Palestine Liberation Organisation in Washington.
has sharpened his rhetoric against US officials.
a recent speech, he called US ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who has been
a supporter of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, a "son of a
made reference to Trump's Jerusalem declaration when leaving the hospital,
suggesting it had weighed heavily on him.
the issue of Jerusalem brought us to the hospital, we wanted to get out of the
hospital to make Jerusalem the capital of Palestine," he said.
sees the entire disputed city as its capital, while the Palestinians want the
annexed eastern sector as the capital of their future state.
Odeh, a political analyst based in Ramallah, said the president would seek to
use the Fatah central council meeting to refocus on the opposition to Israeli
and US policy.
don't doubt that the recent events will have an impact - the president is not
young," she said, adding he seemed to have been suffering from fatigue in
the weeks before his hospitalisation.
Buttu, a former Abbas aide who became a fierce critic, said Abbas would seek to
quash all talk of succession.
letter to the Iranian justice and foreign ministries was written after the
Southern District Court's ruling "found the Islamic Republic of Iran, the
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and The Central Bank of the Islamic Republic
of Iran" liable for the deaths of more than 1,000 people as a result of the
September 11 attacks. Judge George B Daniels of the Southern District Court of
New York said that Iran is ordered to pay "$12,500,000 per spouse,
$8,500,000 per parent, $8,500,000 per child, and $4,250,000 per sibling"
to the families and estates of the deceased. Iran has dismissed the allegations
and has merely two days to appeal to the court ruling.
are writing to urge the Islamic Republic of Iran to immediately appeal the
Southern District Court of New York’s ruling ordering Iran to pay more than six
billion dollars of reparations for the 2001 terrorist attacks. Please note that
the appeal must be filed by Wednesday, May 28, so this is an extremely urgent
matter," the letter said.
are willing and ready to provide court testimony in support of Iran’s innocence.
The extremely weak case against Iran is predicated on the 9/11 Commission’s
version of events, according to which 19 alleged hijackers (15 of whom were
Saudis, and none of whom were Iranians) precipitated a series of miracles
including gross violations of the laws of physics. We can prove absolutely,
beyond any reasonable doubt, that this version of events is false, thereby
nullifying the case against Iran," it added.
believe that by strongly contesting this matter in a US court, Iran can win a
major media victory over its enemies, and will likely win the legal case as
well," the letter said.
relevant remarks on Saturday, Nader Talebzadeh, a prominent political expert
and activist, referred to the letter, and stressed the need for Iran to end its
tradition of not appealing the US courts' rulings and challenge the mainstream
media's story about the 9-11 incident with the help of the western political
activists at the court.
told FNA that "the September 11 fact-finding groups are ready to speak to
the benefit of Iran in any court and testify that Iran has not been involved in
the attack. They are ready to show presence in an official court and elaborate
on the 9-11 incident. But the Iranian government is first required to appeal
the ruling", adding that Iran can challenge the US government's story of
the September 11 incident at the court.
the western professors, politicians, experts and former members of the US
Congress have written a letter to the Iranian government to testify in support
of the Islamic Republic in an appeals court.
names of a number of signatories of the letter are as follows:
Prof. David Ray Griffin, Professor Emeritus, Claremont School of Theology;
author of 13 books on 9/11 (USA)
Prof. Richard Falk, Professor of International Law, Emeritus, Princeton
Dr. Cynthia McKinney, six-term congresswoman (D-GA) and Green Party candidate
for President of the United States (2008) (USA)
Prof. Graeme MacQueen, Associate Professor of Religious Studies (retired),
McMaster University; former Director of McMaster’s Centre for Peace Studies and
author of numerous articles on 9/11. (Canada)
Prof. Mark Crispin Miller, Professor of Culture and Communication, New York
Prof. Piers Robinson, Professor of Politics, Society and Political Journalism
at Sheffield University (UK)
Prof. Niels Harrit, chemist, former Professor at University of Copenhagen, He
presents evidence that the dust of the buildings contained the explosive nano
Carol Brouillet, Founder of Northern California 9/11 Truth Alliance
Prof. Oliver Boyd-Barrett, Professor Emeritus of Journalism, Bowling Green
State University (Ireland)
Prof. Anthony J. Hall, 911 turther, Professor of Globalization Studies,
University of Lethbridge (Canada)
Christopher Bollyn, investigative journalist and author of Solving 9-11: The
Deception that Changed the World and The War on Terror: The Plot to Rule the
Jimmy Walter, venture capitalist and author & best known for sponsoring
advertisements asking to reopen the investigation 911 & offering financial
rewards to anyone that could prove the World Trade Center was destroyed without
the use of explosives. (USA)
Tony Szamboti, ME, former Lockheed Martin and BAE Systems mechanical design
Dr. Ibrahim Soudy, PE, SE, PEng, Structural Engineer (USA)
Ian Henshall, author, 911 The New Evidence (UK)
Sander Hicks, Candidate for US Congress, author of The Big Wedding: 9/11, the
Whistle-blowers, and the Cover-up (USA)
Michael Santangelo, Co-Facilitator for Truth Action Project, New York City
Dr. Kevin Barrett, Former professor at Wisconsin University,
Muslim-Jewish-Christian Alliance for Truth; author of Questioning the War on
Dieudonné, Worldwide known Comedian, author of performance on 911 “la fine
équipe du 11”
Giulietto Chiesa, Politician, former European Parliament member, director of
Zero: an Investigation Into 9/11 (Italy)
Gerhard Wisnewski, author of the first critical television documentary on 911,
in a large worldwide broadcast. Author of “9/11 Operation: Attack on the
globe”; “9/11 Myth: Tracking the truth, New revelations” (German)
Prof. Rudy List, former professor at University of Birmingham, member of
Scientists for 9/11 Truth (USA)
Art Olivier, Former Mayor of Bellflower, California, producer of “Operation
Prof. Hamid Algar, Professor Emeritus of Persian and Islamic Studies,
University of California, Berkeley (USA)
Prof. Atif Kubursi, Emeritus Professor of Economics McMaster University
Dr. Philip Giraldi, former CIA military intelligence officer &
counter-terrorism specialist (USA)
Wayne Madsen, former NSA officer, former head of Naval Sound Surveillance System
in US Navy, investigative Journalist, author specializing in intelligence (USA)
Dr. Scott Bennett, former army psychological warfare-counterterrorism officer,
former State Department Coordinator for Counterterrorism (USA)
Michael Maloof, former senior security analyst in the Office of the Secretary
of Defense (USA)
Scott Rickard, former intelligence officer for the USAF, the NSA, and the
Directorate of National Intelligence (DNI) (USA)
Ken O’Keefe, former Marine and Gulf War veteran (USA – Ireland)
Colonel Alain Corvez, former advisor of French minister of defense (France)
Richard Labévière, former navy operational reserve officer, former
editor-in-chief of Télévision Suisse Romande (TSR) and Radio France
Internationale (RFI), author (France)
Jürgen Cain Külbel, former criminal police (Germany)
Tamás Samu, former MP (Hungary)
François Ferrier, former Marine officer, ex-regional advisor of Lorraine
Frank Creyelman Honorary MP (Flemish Parlament) / Former Chairman committee on
Foreign policy, European affairs and International cooperation, Former senator
in Belgium Parliament (Belgium)
Dr. Christian Bouchet, politician (France)
Christopher Black, international criminal lawyer, member of the Law Society of
Edward C. Corrigan, Certified Specialist by the Law Society of Upper Canada in
both Citizenship & Immigration and Refugee Protection Law (Canada)
Isabelle Coutant Peyre, lawyer (France)
Prof. Kaukab Siddique, Lincoln University professor, Muslim Leader (USA)
Prof. Matthew Crosston, Professor of Global Security and Strategic
Intelligence, American Military University (USA)
Prof. Claudio Mutti, former professor at University of Bologna, editor of the
journal “Eurasia” (Italy)
Greta Berlin, Co-Founder, the Free Gaza movement (USA)
Dr. Paul Larudee, Former Fulbright-Bays Lecturer (USA)
Vanessa Beeley – peace activist and independent journalist (USA – France)
Joaquin Flores, Editor in Chief of Fort Russ News, Director & Analyst at
Center for Syncretic Studies (USA)
Gearóid Ó Colmáin, Geopolitical analyst, Media commentator (Ireland)
Mark Dankof, reverend, political analyst (USA)
Dr. E. Michael Jones, former professor at Saint Mary’s College (Notre Dame,
Indiana), editor of Culture Wars magazine (USA)
Jim W. Dean, Managing Editor, VeteransToday.com (USA)
Imam Muhammad Asi, Muslim Leader, former Imam of Islamic Center of Washington
Prof. Alexander Dugin, philosopher, political analyst and strategist (Russia)
Andre Vltchek, philosopher, author, filmmaker and investigative journalist
Dr. Maria Poumier, former professor at Sorbonne University, author &
Dr. Stephen Sizer, former vicar of the Anglican parish of Christ Church
(Virginia Water, Surrey), author of Christian Zionism – Road Map to Armageddon?
Konrad Rekas, journalist and senior member of “Polish Yes for Scotland
Pepe Escobar, Asia Times correspondent (Brazil)
Lauren Booth, journalist and broadcaster (UK)
Jean Michel Vernochet, geopolitical analyst, former journalist editor at Figaro Magazine (France)
David Lawley Wakelin, Documentary film maker (UK)
Dragana Trifkovic, Director of the Center for Geostrategic Studies (Serbia)
Leslie Varenne, President of IVERIS institute of strategic studies (France)
Lucien Cerise, author of “Governing through Chaos – Social Engineering and
Hafsa Kara-Mustapha, Journalist & Political Analyst (UK)
Jacob Cohen, Author and Researcher (France)
Gilles Munier, author and investigative journalist (France)
Max Igan, Lecturer, Political Analyst, Radio Presenter (Australia)
Marwa Osman, University Lecturer and freelance journalist (Lebanon)
Zeina Mohanna, human rights activists, author and international event organizer
Dogan Bermek, Muslim Leader (Turkey)
Tesha Teshanovic, editor in chief of “Balkan Info” (Serbia)
Eric Walberg, author and commentator (Canada)
Peter Koenig, Economist, Geopolitical analyst, (Geneva)
has severely slammed a New York court ruling which calls on Tehran to pay a
large amount of money to the victims of the 9/11 attacks.
issue of such illegal rulings are in stark violation of the international
commitments, law and accepted procedures which call for judicial immunity of
the governments,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi on
added that his country reserves all its legal rights to battle the verdict and
its probable damages.
stressed that Tehran rejects the extra-territorial and unlawful verdict issued
in absentia against the Islamic Republic.
further noted that the US court had no evidence of Iran’s involvement in the
spokesman further stressed that such rulings not only mock the international
legal system, but also the American people.
judgment was issued by Manhattan federal judge George Daniels earlier in May.
The lawsuit claims that Iran provided technical assistance, training and
planning to the al-Qaeda operatives that conducted the attacks.
official investigation on the attacks, known as the 9/11 Commission Report, has
said that Iran did not play a direct role.
barrage of mortar shells were fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel on
Tuesday, the army said, as tensions in the border area simmered.
statement from the Israeli army said that "25 mortar shells were launched
towards several sites in Israeli territory."
of the launches were intercepted by the IDF's Iron Dome aerial defence
system," the army said.
said that "a number of the mortars landed in open areas inside
Israel," with no injuries reported.
Monday, a Palestinian who approached the border fence with what the Israeli
army said an "intention of carrying out an attack" was killed by tank
day earlier, a tank targeted an Islamic Jihad observation point in response to
an explosive device being placed on the border fence.
members of the militant group were killed, and Israeli media said the Tuesday
projectiles were Islamic Jihad's response to the attack.
majority were killed during protests along the border, including at least 61 on
have been killed in air strikes.
says it is merely defending its borders and accuses Hamas of encouraging
thousands of Palestinians to break through the border and attack Israelis.
on Tuesday, a group of activist Palestinians were due to set sail to breach
Israel's naval blockade by boat.
destination of the boat, carrying patients needing medical care, students and
job-seeking university graduates, was not announced.
Palestinian was killed by Israeli tank fire into northern Gaza on Monday, the
health ministry said.
named the deceased man as Mohammed al-Rudeia, 30, and said another man was
a statement to AFP, an army spokeswoman told AFP that two Palestinian men tried
to breach the border fence “with the intention of carrying out an attack”.It
said the pair were captured but other Palestinians on the Gaza side fired at
Israeli soldiers, without causing injuries.”In response we attacked with a tank
a nearby lookout post,” she said.
statement by Hamas’s military wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, hailed
Rudeia as a “fighter”, an accolade usually only given to its own members.
on Monday, the health ministry announced the death of a Palestinian injured in
clashes with Israeli forces.Nasser al-Areenee, 28, was shot a “number of days
ago” east of Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip, the ministry said, without
giving further details.
majority were killed during protests along the border, including at least 61 on
May 14. Others have been killed in air strikes, including on Sunday when three
members of Hamas were killed.
National Army said on Monday that they were just 20 km away from Hodeidah and
were close to recapturing of the city’s sea and airport.
statement comes just days after Yemen's Houthi leader Abdelmalik al-Houthi
acknowledged the defeats his militias suffered from in the west coast and
called on his supporters not to flee.
retreat for objective reasons does not mean the end of the battle,” Houthi said
in a televised speech broadcast by Al Masirah channel on Sunday.
has allowed the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) to establish a growing virtual
presence in North America, used to radicalize, recruit, support, as well as
potentially plan and direct terrorist attacks, an analysis by the Counter
Extremism Project (CEP) found.
a report released last week — Spiders of the Caliphate: Mapping the Islamic
State’s Global Support Network on Facebook — CEP noted:
analysis of online IS communities globally, regionally, and nationally suggests
that IS’s online networks, in particular on Facebook, are growing and can be
utilized to plan and direct terror attacks as well as mobilize foreign fighters
for multiple areas of insurgency.
IS’s presence on Facebook is pervasive and professionalized, contrary to the
tech company’s rhetoric and efforts to convince the public, policymakers, and
corporate advertisers from believing otherwise. Our findings illustrate that IS
has developed a structured and deliberate strategy of using Facebook to
radicalize, recruit, support, and terrorize individuals around the world.
found that ISIS has also established a Facebook community in Latin America with
links to “core” supporters of the jihadist group in the Middle East, North
Africa, as well as the Afghanistan and Philippines region.
Ibsen, the director of CEP, told Breitbart News, “Given the proximity of Latin
America to the United States, the threat from ISIS followers in these countries
should not be underestimated.”
reported that it expects “veteran IS fighters will be able to continue to
expand the online community into both the United States and Latin America.”
the U.S.-led coalition and its local allies have taken back nearly all of
ISIS’s territory in Iraq and Syria, Ibsen noted that the group’s “virtual
caliphate” remains alive and well.
the caliphate as an entity has almost disappeared, ISIS leaders several years
ago began preparing their followers for this eventuality, urging them, for
example, to carry out attacks in their home countries, rather than traveling to
Syria or Iraq.
online presence has not experienced a shrinkage commensurate with the group’s
physical holdings. This report, which documents ISIS supporters on Facebook in
96 unique countries, is further evidence of the group’s enduring presence.
found that the social media giant had provided a platform for U.S.-based Islamic
State (IS) supporters to organize and even hold weekly meetings on its Facebook
Live component to “discuss how to avoid detection from the FBI and ways they
can help the ‘virtual caliphate,’” noting:
data presented above reveals a sobering degree of IS penetration within North
America. Nearly every regional IS network in the world has multiple direct
connections to American IS supporters online. These networks can and will be
used both to draw American IS supporters into foreign conflicts as well as to
encourage IS attacks within the United States. The main American IS network
uncovered in this research consisted of multiple users actively engaged in
spreading propaganda, radicalizing, and recruiting for IS.
that the report only provides “snapshots of IS [Facebook] connections between
October 2017 and March 2018,” it is uncertain whether or not the ISIS
supporters are still conducting weekly meetings on Facebook Live, Ibsen told
Breitbart News, adding:
though Facebook had taken action against 43 percent of the nodes by March 5,
2018, the decentralized nature and resilience of ISIS followers on Facebook
make it likely that their communications have continued.
Internet and social media companies, not just Facebook, need to do a much
better job of acknowledging the extent to which extremist groups have misused
mapped the accounts and connections between 1,000 ISIS-supporting profiles (or
nodes) with affiliations to 96 countries on every continent with the exception
analysis excluded hundreds of profiles without information on users’ location,
noting, “This data represents only a portion of [ISIS’s] support network on the
report came after Facebook announced it was using artificial intelligence to
remove 99 percent of terror-linked messages before anyone even reports it.
maintains a growing Facebook presence across the Western Hemisphere, including
in Latin America, the NGO found.
U.S. military and Department of State have long warned that the Islamic State
maintains a presence in Latin America and the Caribbean.
targets many Latin American Facebook accounts for hacking and turns them into
propaganda accounts… [indicating] that IS is making a concerted effort to tap
into Latin America’s Arab and Muslim population, long a haven for other terror
groups like Hezbollah and al-Qaeda.
accounts serve the dual purpose of keeping IS supporters informed online and
potentially radicalizing or recruiting the friends of the hacked account who
now have and IS news feed on their Facebook wall.
will look to expand operations in this region, taking advantage of existing
internal conflicts in countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Colombia to
carry out attacks against western officials.
the ISIS presence erupted across the world in 2014, the U.S. military has
cautioned that the jihadist group could exploit the knowledge of criminal Latin
American human and drug traffickers to infiltrate the United States.
- A diverse assembly of cultures and faiths blended Memorial Day and Ramadan
observances during an interfaith Iftar dinner Sunday at Jam-e-Masjid Islamic
is the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan and is often done as a
falling in the middle of an extended holiday weekend, the dinner drew a
standing-room-only crowd representing several religions.
before the fast was broken at sundown, Imam Basel Hamdeh offered recitation of
Quran and prayer, which were then translated to English and explained to the
guests by Usma Sohail Khan.
these verses, you get the innate feeling of Islam, that your neighbor is
key," Khan said. "Friendship and kindness, that is what we strive
for. That is what all faiths strive for. There are many more similarities
between our faiths and our beliefs than one understands. So events like these
are so meaningful and important, because you focus on the similarities instead
of the differences."
Wesley Abu Sumayyah Lebron, cofounder and president of the Passaic-based
nonprofit group 3 Puerto Rican Imams, offered perspective on Ramadan and
fasting for the uninitiated.
we fast, our fast may be a bit different than those of other nations and
religions," Lebron said. "Our fast is a fast to refrain completely
from food, drink, sexual desires, any type of desire whatsoever. We are to
restrain our eyes, restrain our ears, restrain our thoughts, restrain our
for us is like a training camp," he summarized. "It is like those
individuals when they go to the gym every day. For us, it is a spiritual
Terry Welsh of Picatinny Arsenal acknowledged there are many Muslims among the
more than 1 million American soldiers who have given their lives for their
country, dating back to the American Revolution.
singled out one New Jersey man who paid the ultimate price.
Kareem Khan grew up here in New Jersey," Welsh said. "He was killed
by a bomb while clearing a house in Iraq in 2007. He was 20. He was spurred by
the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center, and wanted to show that not all
Muslims were fanatics. That many, like him, were willing to lay down their
lives for their country, America. He enlisted immediately after
200 people filling the ground level of the mosque — once a public school, then
a synagogue before the JMIC took occupancy in 1988 — broke the fast by eating
traditional dates, then moved upstairs for prayer.
were invited to join or observe the prayers or stay in the dining room, where a
buffet dinner of lamb, chicken, salad, rice and breads were later served.
speakers included Morris County Sheriff James Gannon, who grew up in the
neighborhood and recalled playing soccer at Boonton High School with Muslim
friends he grew up with.
little town has seven flag ranks that went to high school here, admirals,
generals, and three Medal of Honor winners," Gannon said. "I've
always felt a closeness to the community here. Besides the diverse population
we have here today, I think the most important part of this meeting today is
inclusion. I think we're really, really good at it here. I think it's a model
for other communities. Because we're all the same, aren't we?"
Miller and Dennis Williams came from Westside Presbyterian Church in Ridgewood
after recently hosting a Muslim group there.
have a men's group that meets on a regular basis and one of the members
suggested we meet members of the Muslim faith because we didn't know very much
about the faith or the people," Williams said. "So about a month ago,
we invited them over for what was supposed to be a one-hour luncheon, a sharing
of our faith, basically, and what was going on in the world. And it turned into
about three hours. And in that time, friendships started. Out of those
friendships, we were invited tonight to share this experience."
annual event was organized by the interfaith group Different Faiths One Family
and the JMIC, along with three other Morris County mosques: the American Muslim
Association in Boonton, the Islamic Society in Budd Lake and the Islamic Center
of Morris County in Rockaway.
ICMC will host a similar interfaith dinner on Wednesday.
audience also included several local government leaders, including Gannon,
Freeholder Deborah Smith, Boonton Alderman Cyril Wekilsky and Parsippany Mayor
Of A Convert: 'My Connection With Allah Has Become Stronger'
am coming to my first Ramadan to which I will participate in.'
reverted to embrace Islam back in December 2017. Before this I was, in part,
exploring myself in terms of my beliefs. Through the conversations at the
Islamic Centre, with my good friend Abu Adam, I began to understand how the
beliefs of Islam reflected my own values.
It has been a relief to find such a connection where it feels like you
are part of a real community whereby you can share your experiences, with
respect, with understanding, and with good people. This is still a learning experience for me
and I am dedicated to learning more about Islam through the classes that I
attend. Some days I feel stronger than
others, but it is a journey that I enjoy, and willing to continue to explore.
Perhaps I can continue to write about my general experiences at a later time.
I am coming to my first Ramadan to which I will participate in. Before I reverted, I had experienced Ramadan
for the four previous years more as an observer. Even in this time I saw how committed people
were, there dedication and determination to make it through the day, each day,
for the 30 days. During this time I
myself would naturally restrict my intake of food and water, just out of the
respect of those around me. What I find
now is that Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars for us to follow, and it is the
one we do specifically for Allah, to dedicate ourselves to understand the
purity of life. This is to take us out of our normal lives, to allow us to
reflect on the world around us, as well as reflected within ourselves and our
connection with him.
am using this Ramadan as a starting point to reflect on myself more, by taking
up more reading of the Quran. I am trying to get into a routine by taking the
last hour of the fast each day to read through passages, to understand more
about the way of Islam, and the value it brings to our lives. As it is my first time of reading I am
choosing to read its written order. I do wonder what will be my favourite
parts, or the parts that I will connect with the most.
terms of my preparations for the actual fasting, for me, it has not been too
difficult. I have had experiences in the
past where I would only eat once a day, when growing up, so I know my body can
adapt quickly to this.
GOP's appointment of prominent purveyors of anti-Muslim hatred to positions on
the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is both
disturbing and instructive. It exposes the cynical and misguided approach
Republicans have taken to the entire enterprise of promoting religious freedom.
years ago, pushed by right-wing religious fundamentalists in the Republican
Party, Congress passed the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA). It was
described as an effort to establish "a multifaceted programme for ensuring
that religious freedom has a permanent place in the formulation of US foreign
fulfill this mandate, the IRFA created the office of International Religious
Freedom at the State Department headed by an Ambassador-at-large. This office
was charged with monitoring the state of religious freedom around the world,
identifying countries where serious violations occurred, and then recommending
steps that the US government should take to press countries into compliance. As
part of its mandate, the office was required to prepare and release an annual
report detailing religious freedom conditions in "countries of concern”.
also created the USCIRF, comprised of commissioners appointed by the White
House and Congressional leadership. USCIRF was charged by IRFA with reviewing
the State Department's annual religious freedom report and then commenting on
its findings, making its independent recommendations and observations to
Congress and the administration.
the legislation was being debated, it was vigorously opposed by a number of
groups, including the major US Protestant denominations, the Catholic Church,
Arab American and American Muslim groups and career diplomats at the Department
were early warnings that IRFA: Would be used by right-wing ideologues to push
their agenda on other countries without understanding that they might do more
harm than good to victims of religious persecution, would inhibit efforts by
diplomats and religious leaders to promote religious tolerance and
understanding, that by naively seeing all conflicts through the lens of
religious freedom, it would ignore the political and social root causes of many
conflicts around the world, making it more difficult for policymakers to
address these problems and that by creating and imposing a false hierarchy of
rights, prioritising religious freedom above all others, it would damage
efforts to ensure that all aspects of civil and political rights are protected.
a result, while IRFA might have been considered a noble ambition, it was a
flawed project from its inception and it was destined to fail. As a result 20
years and hundreds of millions of dollars later, the state of religious freedom
is arguably worse than it was when IRFA was passed and the proponents of the
legislation cannot point to positive changes that have been the result of their
problematic has been the ill-conceived role played by USCIRF. Initially the
commission was envisioned as a bipartisan complement to the State Department
office. It was to serve as an outside group that would review and evaluate the
government's findings and then make independent recommendations on issues or
concerns not addressed in the State Department's reporting on religious
a period of time, the commission began to develop an agenda of its own, writing
its own report and issuing open letters or press releases chiding the
government for failing to act on USCIRF's concerns.
of finding ways to make advances in protecting religious freedom, USCIRF's
metrics of progress became how many foreign "fact finding" visits
they made, how many times they were quoted in the press, and how many
invitations they received to speak on religious freedom.
was twice appointed by President Obama to serve on the USCIRF and twice elected
as vice-chair of the commission. With my appointment, the White House gave me
the injunction to "push back" on right-wing influence on the
commission. What I found in my four years was a deeply flawed body that was
incapable of making a meaningful contribution to protecting religious freedom
around the world. What was most disturbing was the extent to which USCIRF had
come to be dominated by an element of hardliners, who saw themselves playing an
adversarial role that was all too often, more partisan, than constructive.
examples will suffice: First, the Obama White House was attacked for not doing
enough to protect Iraqi Christians. It is true, of course, that Iraqi
Christians were victims Daesh-led genocidal policies. What was problematic was
that from 2003 to 2008, during the Bush Administration, when the Christian
community in Iraq was ethnically cleansed from 1.4 million to 400,000, USCIRF
ignored what was going on in Iraq and was silent on the persecution of these
Christians. It was not until Obama was in office before USCIRF found its voice.
members and former members of USCIRF widely criticised the Obama Administration
for discriminating against Syrian Christian refugees, citing bogus statistics
that only 56 of the 11 thousand Syrian refugees who came to the US during a
defined period of time were Christians. After much hue and cry, USCIRF
commissioned a study to examine this charge. The study found that while the
numbers were correct, there were underlying factors demonstrating that
discrimination was not a factor. Unlike their Muslim compatriots, a larger
proportion of Syrian Christians did not flee the country and many of those who
fled went to Lebanon or Jordan where they were taken in by communities with
whom they had familial ties or by churches with which they were affiliated. Of
those who did flee, most did not want to be registered as refugees, preferring
instead to wait out the war in hopes of returning. Also, a large number of
Christians who did want to leave were able to come to the US or Western Europe
as part of the family unification provision of US immigration law.
study was rejected by USCIRF's Republican hardliners and others on the outside,
with one of the newly appointed GOP commissioners insisting on referring to
Barrack Obama as "Christophobic", a term he coined to imply that the
president was opposed to Christians.
partisan divide that skews, and discredits, the commission's work is but one of
commission continues to act as a congressionally-funded NGO issuing its report
and releases that "name and shame" violators of religious freedom. In
all of this, they fail to understand that the "namer and shamer" must
be seen as credible by its target to have a meaningful impact. Because, in too
many instances they are not seen as an unbiased critic, their denunciations are
either ignored or do more harm than good to the victims of violations of
problematic is the fact that the commission lacks clarity as to what
constitutes a violation of religious freedom. In too many instances they fail
to distinguish between actual violations of religious freedom and regional,
tribal, or sectarian struggles for political power. Instead of spending time
understanding the reality of these conflicts, they have engaged in a crude
reductionist analysis, seeing everything through the lens of religious freedom.
In failing to understand the complexity and non-religious underpinnings of
conflicts, their analysis and recommendations often miss the mark. Because
religion, per se, is not the cause of tension in Nigeria, Central African
Republic, or Iraq, proposing religious freedom is not the solution to their
Far-right party holds anti-Islam rally in Berlin
(AA): An anti-Islam anti-immigration rally was held by 5,000 far-right
Alternative for Germany (AfD) party in country’s capital Berlin on Sunday.
to media before the beginning of the rally, AfD board member Beatrix von Storch
criticized German football player of Turkish origin Mesut Ozil.
playing for English giants Arsenal, Ozil, 29, was born in German city of
Gelsenkirchen with Turkish parents. Ozil has also been playing for German
national football team since 2009 and the Arsenal star is in Germany’s
preliminary squad for 2018 FIFA World Cup to be held this summer.
has German passport but he isn’t a German. He can’t be a German as he doesn’t
sing the German anthem had his photos taken with Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan. Ozil is a role model of unsuccessful adaptation,” Storch told media.
met Ozil and the player’s fellow citizen Ilkay Gundogan while he was in London
in mid-May. Two German internationals Ozil and Gundogan gifted their
autographed jerseys to Erdogan.
addition the German duo had their photos taken with the Turkish President.
the same day, May 14, German Football Federation (DFB) President Reinhard
Grindel slammed the meeting, alleging that Ozil and Gundogan were exploited by
Erdogan’s election campaign.
will go to the polls on June 24 to elect the country’s new president as well as
separate group of nearly 20,000 people protested against the far-right group as
they shouted “Nazis out!” and “All Berlin hates the AfD”.
to school ‘ghetto’ kids in democracy and Christmas
May 28 — Denmark will force children in residential areas containing large
numbers of immigrants to be educated about democracy, equality and major Danish
holidays such as Christmas, the government said today.
Nordic country has for decades struggled with how to integrate immigrants,
primarily from the Middle East, into its ethnically and religiously homogeneous
new policy, agreed with major opposition parties, will force young children
living in “ghettos” - an official term for areas consisting of primarily
non-Western immigrants - into 25 hours of public education a week from the age
in Denmark must normally receive 10 years of education from the age of six.
However, school attendance is not compulsory, meaning parents have a right to
choose how to educate their children.
parents living in the designated areas will also be forced to enroll their
children in the initiative, although those already receiving daycare will not
be required to join.
the primary focus will be on language skills and learning readiness, the deal
also seeks to educate the primarily Muslim children in Danish traditions and
Christian holidays including Christmas and Easter.
parents fail to enroll their children they could lose their child benefits, the
amount of non-Western immigrants in the “ghetto” areas was 66.5 percent in
2017, according to the Danish ministry of housing. Non-western immigrants make
up 8.7 percent of Denmark’s 5.7 million population.
is the only country in the world to officially describe certain residential
areas as “ghettos”, a term originated in sixteenth century Venice to describe
areas of the city to which Jews were restricted.
agreement was reached by a majority in parliament, where the government is led
by The Liberal Party and supported by the nationalist Danish People’s Party.
GUNES - Looking up at the giant wooden edifice looming over him, Erol Baytas
shakes his head.
don't think it will survive another winter," he says, broken tiles and
boards strewn at his feet.
at the end of the 19th century on an island off Istanbul, this unique
six-storey structure once served as a home for Greek Orthodox orphans until it
was shut down in the early 1960s.
more than five decades later, the now dilapidated Prinkipo Greek Orthodox
orphanage is at risk of collapse.
try and save this architectural treasure - described as the largest wooden
construction in Europe and the second largest in the world - cultural heritage
NGO Europa Nostra has listed it as one of the continent's seven most endangered
a miracle it still stays standing," said Baytas, who spent more than 30
years guarding it.
atop a hill on Buyukada, one of the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, it
is about 90 minutes by ferry from central Istanbul.
conceived as a luxury casino hotel, the building was commissioned by the
Compagnie des Wagons-Lits, the travel firm which historically operated the
aim was to attract well-heeled European travellers who were flocking to
Istanbul in great numbers at the height of the Belle Epoque, many arriving on
the famous long-distance train.
by Alexandre Vallaury, the Franco-Ottoman architect behind Istanbul's Pera
Palace hotel, the hotel was completed in 1898 - but never managed to get an
operating licence from Sultan Abdulhamid II on grounds its gambling activities
would be immoral.
its grand plans floored, the timber-framed structure was sold to the wife of a
rich banker from the city's Greek minority who gave it to the Ecumenical
Patriarchate of Constantinople.
in 1903, the patriarchate turned it into an orphanage, which took care of
nearly 5,800 Greek Orthodox orphans until its closure in 1964.
happened to my house?'
was without a doubt the most beautiful place in Istanbul," says Yani
Kalamaris, who lived and worked at the orphanage as a teacher between 1955 and
in a leather armchair in the lobby of a large Istanbul hotel, he reaches into
his bag and pulls out a photo album with a worn cover, its pages filled with
sepia photos of what he fondly remembers as his "house".
was after the end-of-year ceremony," says Kalamaris, now 83, showing a
picture of him standing in the middle of a group of children on a large terrace
overlooking a garden with a breathtaking view of the sea.
all that's left there are a few twisted beams. Since the orphanage closed, the
building has taken on the air of a haunted house, with staring empty windows
and crows perching in the many holes that pock its dull brown facade.
no-one to care for it, the structure has been ravaged by Istanbul's ferocious
winds, its blistering summers and frigid winters.
its dilapidated exterior, some of the 220 rooms inside still retain vestiges of
splendour, such as the ballroom with its boxes and balconies, its columns and
its once-lustrous parquet floors.
an old man came who was an orphan here and who lives in Greece today and we
went inside together," Baytas said.
collapsed and was constantly whispering, 'What happened to my house?' "I
had to take him in my arms and we cried like kids."
orphanage was closed down by the Turkish authorities in April 1964, officially
on grounds of sanitation at a time of political tension between Ankara and
Athens over Cyprus - a dispute which would eventually see Turkey invading the
island a decade later.
Istanbul's Greek Orthodox minority, who only number around 3,000, are
determined to save the dilapidated structure before time runs out.
building belongs to all of Turkey, the people of Istanbul, the local
culture," says Apostolos Poridis, the patriarchate's chief architect.
"Its architecture is a matter of memory, you have to protect this
building, to pass it on," he told AFP.
April, the Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
asked for Ankara's help during talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip
Erdogan. But the plea comes at a time of fresh tensions between the two nations
over an array of issues, including the protection of Byzantine and Greek
heritage in Istanbul.
have lost a lot of time. But it is not too late," said Piet Jaspaert, vice
president of Europa Nostra.
summer, a team of experts will visit the site to assess how much work needs to
be done to renovate the building - and the likely cost, a figure the Turkish
media suggest could be as high as $50 million (42.3 million euros).
main frame is solid, but the big problem comes from the roof," said
President Emmanuel Macron has offered citizenship to an illegal Malian refugee
who earlier risked his own life to rescue a child hanging from a fourth-floor
balcony in Paris.
Sunday, the 22-year-old Mamoudou Gassama, originally from Mali, scaled the
facade of a Paris apartment block without any equipment to save a four-year-old
boy clinging to railings and about to fall. Gassama’s successful rescue was filmed
by horrified onlookers, and the video soon went viral.
the heroic act, President Macron met with Gassama in person at the Elysee
presidential palace on Monday, congratulating him on the “exceptional” move to
save the French boy’s life.
obviously be setting all your papers straight and if you wish it, we will start
the process of naturalization so that you can become French,” Macron told
also offered the young Malian a job.
you have done corresponds with what firefighters do; if this fits your wishes,
you could join the firefighters’ corps so that you can do (such acts) on a
daily basis,” he added.
arrived from Mali in France a few months ago. He has been nicknamed the
“Spider-Man” following the viral spread of his rescue footage.
did it because it was a child,” Gassama told French newspaper Le Parisien. “I
climbed... Thank God I saved him.”
has faced an influx of refugees arriving from conflict zones since 2014. Many
of the refugees have been fleeing wars and conflicts in their own countries.
have been instances of crimes committed by a handful of the refugees in Europe,
and extremist politicians in European countries have magnified those cases to
actively call for a stop to the flow of the refugees and for the deportation of
the ones who have arrived.
while it is an individual case, Gassama’s heroic act is certain to help change
public sentiments toward the refugees.
Thiam, a Malian analyst and former presidential advisor, said Gassama’s act was
praised in his home country.
is great pride here in Mali,” Thiam said, adding, “But while (Gassama) gets the
honors, there are... Malian citizens under the threat of being expelled by the
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab World News, South Asia
News, Indian Muslim News, World Muslim
News, Women in Islam, Islamic
Feminism, Arab Women, Women
In Arab, Islamophobia in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism