Image (Photo: Getty Images)
Activists Seek Space for Namaz in Gurugram
Masjid’s Notorious Cleric to Address Friday Sermon after Three Years
Barfak District Has Reportedly Fallen Into the Hands of Taliban
Shi'ite Militia Chief Aims to Lead Iraq
to Ensure Rights of American Muslims Are Protected’
Allows Mosque to Call For Prayer
Activists Seek Space for Namaz In Gurugram
Shatak’- An Innovative Story Writing Contest On Hindu-Muslim Co-Existence
Aala Hazrat Issues Fatwa, Asks Indian Muslims Not To Support Jinnah
DC on Public Namaz Reading: Hindu, Muslim Groups Must Work Together And
Four militants among 11 held during Army raids in Baramulla
TV Channel Must Telecast Azan Five Times: IHC
Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia Educational Institutions Can Solve Muslim World Issues:
Confirms Participation in Trilateral Peace Conference
The Strong Peace Narrative that Attracts the Support of Extremist Ulema
embassy official arrested in Islamabad
corps commander visits Torkham to improve ties with Afghanistan
Safe City project will help curb terrorism: Bizenjo
rights worsened due to unaccountable de-facto state: Farhat
Should Be Referred To ICC for Crimes against Rohingya: Rights Groups
Islamist militants sentenced to death for killing liberal professor in Bangladesh
Probe of Rohingya Attacks: China Resists UK Push at UNSC
suffer heavy casualties in Taliban mortar attack in Nangarhar
fundraiser arrested by NDS Special Forces in Nangarhar province
Vows To Quit When ‘Enough’
Underlines Commitment to Iran N. Deal, Regrets US Decision to Withdraw
flag set ablaze as Iran says it has ‘no obligation to honour nuke deal’
mobilize in Sanaa after Arab coalition targets presidential office
FM: Iran-planned Houthi attacks do not affect kingdom’s stability
puts army on alert in Golan Heights as Trump quits from JCPOA
more suspects arrested across Turkey over affiliation to Gulen network
urges Latin America not to follow in US footsteps on embassy relocation
Advocates Urge Ottawa to Consider Resettling Muslim Refugees
to Trump's JCPOA withdrawal from inside the US
media cautious over Trump’s Iran decision
France Reiterate Commitment to Iran Nuke Deal
arms deal sours US-Turkey relations
Baker Challenges Islamophobia One Cake at a Time
A Breeding Ground for Spain’s Jihadi Terrorists?
helicopter crashes in Syria, killing both pilots
Minority Communities Meet in UAE to Talk Challenges
Sunnis Voting Without Hope in First Election since Islamic State
Victory in Lebanon's Parliament Shakes US, Allies
used accord to sow discord, says Saudi Arabia
Al-Sham Hay'at Drives Rival Terrorists out of More Regions in Northwestern
Army Strikes Terrorist Centers in Hama, Idlib, Aleppo Provinces
Militants Killed in Infighting among Rival Groups in Northern Syria
refers 555 ISIS Sinai suspects to trial
'supports and welcomes' Trump's JCPOA move: Saudi Foreign Ministry
air defences down two Israeli missiles close to Damascus
Crucial Election and Its Islamic Sideshow
court deals blow to banned hard-line group
officers, 1 inmate dead in Indonesia detention centre riot
Pastor Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Evangelizing to Muslim Cab Driver
International urges govt to release blasphemy convict
Militants Kill 9 Kenyan Soldiers
Haftar announces offensive to capture Derna
killed as bomber targets checkpoint in eastern Libya
DPP Withdraws Charges Against 19 Muslims Accused of Treason
Kenya Arrests Couple Linked to Al Shabaab
by New Age Islam News Bureau
and members from the civil society on Tuesday met Gurugram Divisional
Commissioner D. Suresh and sought open space for Namaz and an amicable solution
to the situation arising from the activities of rightwing outfits.
meeting was called to plan a response to the ongoing campaign by the Sanyukt
Hindu Sangharsh Samiti to disrupt open air Friday Namaz in Gurugram.
delegation demanded that the administration protect those offering of Namaz at
current locations and sought short-term and long-term solutions to the issue.
Waqf Board land and plots is a long process. As a short-term solution, the
administration must ensure peaceful Namaz at current locations which are over
100 in number," said Ishrat Thameem, a management consultant.
filmmaker Rahul Rao and Saba Diwan, who were also part of the group, said there
were just 15 mosques in the city while the population of Muslim community was
is a need to build more mosques. The locals are anguished and disturbed over
the turn of events in the past few days and want the administration to resolve
it amicably," said Roy.
also demanded that the authority must direct the Town and Country Planning
department to provide government plots to build mosques.
D. Suresh said the administration would be more vigilant and firm on
troublemakers. He appealed to Muslims to show restraint.
suspected of creating trouble are being identified," the officer said.
erupted on April 20 when some locals objected to the namaaz, alleging that some
people offering the prayers chanted 'Pakistan Zindabad' and 'Hindustan
six persons were arrested after a FIR was filed for allegedly disrupting the
Muslim prayers at a ground in Sector 53 and threatening those offering prayers.
They got bail on April 29 on technical grounds.
Masjid’s patron-in-chief Maulana Abdul Aziz is going to address the Friday
sermon at the mosque on May 11, after a hiatus of over three years.
to a statement issued by the Shuhada Foundation of the mosque, the notorious
cleric last addressed a Friday sermon at the mosque in December 2014, expressed
hope that the capital city administration will not forbid him from addressing
as he was the legal ‘Khateeb’ of the mosque, and he had been acquitted by the
courts in all cases against him in January last year.
Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, however, stated earlier that
Maulana Abdul Aziz had ceased to be the Khateeb of the mosque after the orders
of his appointment were withdrawn in 2004, following a fatwa he issued against
the army and its operation in Waziristan.
year, authorities prohibited Maulana Abdul Aziz from presiding over a
conference to mark the 10th anniversary of Lal Masjid operation, declaring it
as an ‘unregistered entity’ and Aziz had already been deposed as the khateeb.
foundation had at that announced that the conference would be a major step
towards “the implementation of Sharia in the country.”
a similar situation, a conference was held by the deposed cleric on March 24,
2017, but all roads leading to the Lal Masjid were blocked by the government on
in March this year, the Supreme Court (SC) rejected a plea filed by Lal Masjid
cleric Abdul Aziz seeking the imposition of Sharia law in the country.
Lal Masjid operation was launched in 2007, after militant (male and female)
students residing inside Lal Masjid killed a Pakistan Rangers personnel posted
outside the mosque on July 3, 2007. Female students had taken refuge at the
Children Library under the banner of Jamia Hafsa.
operation was launched by the army commandos in the early hours of July 10 and
was completed on July 11.
number of cases were registered against Aziz in the aftermath of the operation.
Barfak district has reportedly fallen into the hands of Taliban
control of the Tala Barfak district in northern Baghlan province has reportedly
fallen into the hands of the Taliban group.
provincial council chief Safdar Mohsini confirmed that the Taliban militants
took control of the district this afternoon.
Baghlan governor confirms that their contacts with the district administrative
chief, police chief, and other officials have come to an halt.
he did not confirm the fall of the district into the hands of the Taliban
comes as reports emerged earlier suggesting that heavy clashes are underway in
the ourskirts of the district.
the meantime, the Taliban group spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claims that the
fighters of the group have fully taken control of the district from the
Shi'ite militia chief aims to lead Iraq
(Reuters) - If Hadi al-Amiri triumphs in Iraq’s election on Saturday it would
be a crowning achievement for the dissident turned Shi’ite militia leader who
spent more than two decades fighting Saddam Hussein from exile in Iran.
of the Badr Organization that was the backbone of the volunteer forces fighting
Islamic State, Amiri hopes to capitalize on his success on the battlefield in
what is expected to be a tight three-way race for the premiership.
for Amiri would be a win for Iran as the 63-year-old militia leader has forged
close ties with Iraq’s Shi’ite neighbor - but he would also have to balance Tehran’s
interests in Iraq with Washington’s often competing goals.
winner of the election will face the daunting task of rebuilding Iraq after the
devastating three-year war against the ultra-hardline Sunni militants, as well
as fighting the corruption that consumes much of the OPEC member’s oil revenue.
the other frontrunners, incumbent Haider al-Abadi and former prime minister
Nuri al-Maliki, Amiri has pledged to restore state institutions and provide
badly needed health and education services.
own record in government, a four-year stint as transport minister, was
Amiri aims to exploit his leading role in the Popular Mobilization Forces, the
mainly Shi’ite, Iranian-backed militias that rallied to confront the self-declared
Islamic State caliphate in Iraq four years ago.
lucky star rose in 2014. Amiri the unconvincing minister vanished and the
guerrilla commander re-emerged when the Shi’ites of Iraq needed him most,” said
a Shi’ite scholar and expert in former Shi’ite opposition movements.
Iranian connections forged during long years in exile, particularly his ties
with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, were central to his rise to
prominence, first challenging and finally helping defeat IS.
Guards trained and armed the Popular Mobilization forces set up in response to
a fatwa from Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.
leader of the Badr Organization, Amiri, a Farsi speaker, was often seen
discussing offensives in Iraq with the Guards’ commander of foreign operations,
numerous photos from the battlefront of Amiri with Soleimani in military
fatigues, embracing and looking euphoric after evicting IS fighters, have
personalized an old friendship.
of Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei are also a fixture in Badr offices, a
reminder of the days when the group was the armed wing of Iraq’s Shi’ite
opposition, based in Iran.
in the mixed Sunni-Shi’ite province of Diyala east of Baghdad, Amiri fled to
Iran in his 20s after studying economics in Baghdad. Sentenced to death by
Saddam, Amiri made Iran his second home for more than two decades.
like Maliki and Abadi, he returned from exile after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion
which overthrew Saddam.
embedded Badr members in key security positions purged of Saddam’s Baath Party
officers but showed his pragmatic streak by avoiding clashes with U.S. forces
during their eight-year occupation.
accuse his Badr organization of assassinations and widespread abuses against
Sunnis detained in secret prisons run by the group following the U.S.-led
Nuri, Amiri’s media adviser and a candidate on his list, denied the accusations
saying they were designed to “distort the reputation of Badr”.
his close ties with Iran, Amiri has kept communication open lines with American
diplomats in Baghdad, which would be a help were he to win given the continued
military and economic importance of the United States to Iraq.
United States retrained and assisted Iraqi government forces led by Abadi. It
has provided billions of dollars in aid to the cash-strapped government and has
actively encouraged Gulf and other foreign investors to help rebuild the
coalition forces also operated in the same area as tens of thousands of Shi’ite
militiamen during the war against Islamic State which culminated last year with
the capture of Mosul. Despite the anti-American rhetoric of several militia
leaders - other than Amiri - there were no major incidents.
Americans are able to work with Amiri and there is no reason to believe he will
take Iraq to Iran unless he is forced to choose between the two,” said one
difficult choice could fall on Iraq’s next prime minister, however, if U.S.
President Donald Trump decides to reimpose sanctions on Iran lifted after a
2015 deal restraining its nuclear program.
says under his leadership Iraq would seek relations with all neighbors and not
be dependent on Iran.
hearts are open and hands are stretched, we want Iraq to be the master of the
region, the center around which others will revolve. Iraq’s stature cannot
allow it to be a tail for this country or that country,” he said.
opponents are skeptical, saying his historic loyalty to Tehran means his
actions will be dictated by Iranian interests.
also question the image he is projecting of an outsider and military commander
not involved in the political mismanagement, corruption and nepotism plaguing
point to his performance as transport minister from 2010 to 2014, including an
incident in 2014 when he forced a passenger plane flying to Iraq to turn back
in mid-air to collect his son who had missed the departure from Beirut.
road, railroads and airports didn’t improve under his watch, even though the
government earned tens of billions of dollars from extra oil when crude was
above $100 a barrel.
campaign has sought to position him above the country’s sectarian divisions and
political failings, stressing his role in the Popular Mobilization forces,
which some Sunni fighters joined too.
am a Popular Mobilization commander and it is normal that I’m running on
(Amiri’s) list,” said Yazan al-Jubouri, a Sunni standing for parliament in
Salahuddin province north of Baghdad.
logo of Amiri’s “Fateh”, or Conquest, list of candidates is a golden lion’s
head on a green background, to project an image of strength and security as
well as his Islamic ideology.
slogan is simple: “Iraq’s time has come.”
Dhabi: The American Muslim community is an integral part of the US whose rights
will continue to be defended said an American official during the International
Conference on Muslim Minorities in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
and promoting religious minorities is a foundational tenet of the US, it’s
established in our constitution domestically and it’s part of our international
obligations,” said Dr Knox Thomas, special advisor for Religious Minorities in
the Near East and South/Central Asia at the US Department of State.
the US our Muslim community is an integral and historic part [of the country].
My colleagues at the domestic agencies work to ensure that American Muslims
like all Americans have their civil rights protected and that they’re part of
national conversations,” he added.
not a perfect country either, and so the Department of Justice (DoJ) when
necessary aggressively prosecutes acts of violence, threats, assaults and
vandalism targeting American Muslims and other religious minorities,” he said.
Thomas added that the DoJ would ensure that American Muslims are treated
equally by law to practice their religion freely.
DoJ and Homeland Security make sure that everyone is treated equally regardless
of their faith, and the DoJ has taken actions to ensure that American Muslims
have a right to wear distinctive religious dress such as hijabs.”
Ali Al Nuami, member of the UAE Executive Council and chairman of the Abu Dhabi
Department of Education and Knowledge, spoke on the importance of Muslim
minorities integrating within their societies.
hope this conference will be the beginning of a new inception of serving
Muslims across the globe in a way that will create a brighter future for their
presence of the Muslim community in the western world has become a real basic
component within these societies and so therefore we need to move towards
discussing issues of identity and nationality,” he added.
allows mosque to call for prayer
- Swedish police on Tuesday granted a mosque permission to hold a weekly call
for prayer, triggering divisions among politicians and the public five months
ahead of elections in a country which has taken in waves of asylum seekers in
police permit, which is valid for a year, has caused concern among some
politicians that it will exacerbate cultural tensions, while others maintained
a neutral stance of the September 9 general election.
to prayer will not strengthen integration in (the southern city of Vaxjo), but
it will rather risk pulling the city further apart,” city council Anna Tenje of
the conservative Moderates told TT news agency.
Sweden’s Social Democrats Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said that ending
segregation goes hand in hand with tackling unemployment and making sure
schools and neighbourhoods have high standards.
entire society in Sweden is built on having different religions,” he told TT.
to a poll conducted by the social research company SIFO and published by the
private broadcaster TV4 in March, 60 percent of respondents said they wanted to
ban the Islamic call to prayer from mosques in Sweden.
police said in their statement that the mosque in Vaxjo will be allowed to hold
the Islamic call to prayer, the Adhan, every Friday for three minutes and 45
of the Christian Democrats Ebba Busch Thor, who contested the decision, said
“people shouldn’t have to hear it in their homes.”
police said the volume of the mosque’s speakers was not allowed to exceed a
certain level so as not to risk disturbing households nearby. They added the
decision was based on the nation’s public order laws and not on religion.
mosque is the country’s third to be allowed to hold a call to prayer, following
one in a Stockholm suburb and another in the nation’s southeast.
Islami, a spokesman for the Muslim community in Vaxjo, said thousands of
Muslims visit the mosque every year and likened the prayer calls to ringing
have a society in which we are different...it’s therefore better to think of
the differences as making us stronger,” he told TT.
difficult to know exactly how many Muslims there are in Sweden, but the Swedish
Agency For Support To Faith Communities estimate the number to be at 400,000.
the far-right Sweden Democrats are on the rise, with around 20 percent in
support according to the latest polls, the main issues during the election
campaign are expected to be health care, education and immigration.
has registered around 400,000 asylum requests since 2012, or one for every 25
inhabitants, a record in Europe.
Shatak’- An Innovative Story Writing Contest on Hindu-Muslim Co-Existence
City-based Hamid Dalwai Islamic Research Institute recently organised an
innovative story writing contest.
institute had called for stories based on people’s personal experience about
Hindu-Muslim co-existence in the society and received hundreds of stories
narrating how the two communities are living peacefully with each other in the
society even celebrating their festivals together.
first story is based on Saloni Chavan’s experience with her Muslim neighbour
family. Saloni, who lives in Pune’s Gorapade Peth area is a B.Com second year
student. She is a Hindu, but ever since she was 6 months old, she is part of
her neighbour Nisar and Marium Shaikh’s family. Saloni in her story wrote that
she is an integral part of Shaikh family.
am so much niggled in the family that I proudly tell friends that I have two
mothers and two fathers."
institute has decided to publish the 100 selected stories in a book format
titled 'Katha Shatak'.
Bahalkar, Secretary, Hamid Dalwai Islamic Research Institute said, "There
are several misconceptions about Muslims in our society. There is a need for
allaying these misconceptions from the minds of people. So, we have designed
this story writing project on peaceful co-existence of Hindu and Muslims.
Though these are the small stories but its impact will be big."
Aala Hazrat issues fatwa, asks Indian Muslims not to support Jinnah
as the row continues in Aligarh Muslim University, famous Dargah Aala Hazrat of
Bareilvi Muslim sect has issued a fatwa against the Pakistan’s founder Muhammad
Ali Jinnah directing Muslims in the country not to support him.
a reply to a question asked by Bakhtiar Khan of Bibiganj, Bareilly, the
Spokesperson of Dargah Aala Hazrat Maulana Shahbuddin said that “Jinnah was
responsible for the partition of the country and no Muslim in India should
stand in support for him.”
is a part of enemy nation Pakistan, not India. His portraits should be removed
not only from Aligarh Muslim University but from everywhere,” said Maulana
Shahabuddin while issuing a fatwa against Jinnah. Earlier, General Secretary of
Jamiat-e-Ulama-Hind Maulana Mohammad Madani had echoed similar sentiments
asking agitating students to remove portrait of Jinnah from the AMJUSU Hall to
end the row.
executive member of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Imam
of Lucknow Idgah Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali had stated that Jinnah
was responsible for the division of the country and as such his portrait should
be removed from the AMU campus. The controversy over the portrait of Jinnah at
AMUSU Hall had begun when the BJP MP from Aligarh Satish Gautam had shot off a
letter to the AMU Vice-Chancellor asking him to remove the picture the
May 2, activists of the Hindu Yuva Vahni, ABVP and Hindu Yuva Vahini had burnt
an effigy of Jinnah outside AMU main gate and tried to enter the campus
forcibly. It resulted into retaliation from the AMU students. Police had to
fire teargas shells and resort to lathicharge to disperse the agitated mob from
both sides. Over a dozen students had sustained injuries in the police action.
Since then the Muslim University students are holding dharna at the gate after
DC on public namaz reading: Hindu, Muslim groups must work together and
after the Hindu outfits based in Gurgaon obstructed the Muslims from reading
their customary Friday namaz in the open, the representatives of the Muslims
community along with a group of residents on Tuesday morning met the divisional
commissioner in Gurgaon.
the meeting, the divisional commissioner said that both the Hindu outfits and
representatives of the Muslim community should
form small committees and recommend solution to the ongoing namaz issue.
The DC directed both the groups to meet again on Wednesday.
Gurgaon based Hindu outfits, however, have warned the district administration
to find an alternative to the issue within a week and also fulfill their other
demands. If failed to find a solution within a week’s time, the group has
threatened to actively stop Friday prayers again next week.
Divisional Commissioner of Gurgaon had earlier asked the Haryana Waqf Board to
identify its properties where namaz can be read — instead of Friday prayers
being held at vacant plots and parks across the city. The board responding to
the order requested the removal of illegal encroachments from 19 of its
properties and provide police protection so that mosques that stand on these
can be reconstructed, restored and used for namaz.
letter in this regard by the Haryana Waqf Board to the DC stated, “Today,
Gurgaon is progressing at a fast pace, people are coming from outside to earn
their bread and butter. The population here is increasing, which includes
Muslims. Gurgaon already has very few masjids, and people have illegally
occupied masjids in nearby villages. Because of this, Muslims have to read
Friday namaz in parks and open grounds since there is no space provided for
week after three youths were shot dead outside a shop at a point-blank range in
Baramulla town, a joint team of the Army and state police arrested four
militants and seven overground workers (OGWs) during separate raids in north
Kashmir’s Baramulla district.
May 1, Asif Ahmad Sheikh (23), Haseeb Ahmad Khan (18) and Mohammad Ashgar (21),
residents of Kakar Hamam area, were shot dead outside a shop in Iqbal Market by
at least three unidentified gunmen. Though no militant outfit claimed
responsibility for the civilian killings, the police had initially suspected
LeT militants — two local and one Pakistani — were behind it.
TV channel must telecast Azan five times: IHC
- The Islamabad High Court Tuesday directed that every television channel will
be bound to telecast five times Azan, saying no one would be allowed to
ridicule the Islamic teachings.
single bench of IHC comprising Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui issued these
directions while hearing a petition against the violation of the code of
conduct for morning shows and Ramazan transmission by some TV channels.
the hearing, Justice Siddiqui remarked that no one would be permitted to
telecast ‘Circus’ and ‘Neelaam Ghar’ during Ramazan.
petition was moved by Muhammad Waqas Malik Advocate saying that according to
the Article 2 of the constitution of Pakistan, Islam shall be the religion of
the state. Furthermore, the petition said, it is in the constitution that the
state shall enable the people of Pakistan to live their lives according to the
teachings of Islam.
IHC bench asked the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) that
out of 117 TV channels, how many broadcast Azan. The court directed the PEMRA
to submit a detailed report in this regard.
Director General Operations of PEMRA appeared before the court and submitted
guidelines for the Ramazan transmission and said that they are issuing these
guidelines to all channels.
Siddiqui remarked that for Muslims, Azan is the biggest breaking news while no
channel broadcasts Azan. At the time of Azan, he said the TV channels keep
playing music, dance and advertisements.
much so that even the PTV has stopped broadcasting Azan, he added. He added
that if this has to happen, remove word “Islamic” from the name of Pakistan.
State is responsible for the protection of Islamic values and culture, he
the court asked where the legal counsel for the Pakistan Broadcasters
Association (PBA) is? It was informed to the court that the PBA counsel is on
leave. At this, the court remarked that tell PBA counsel that no excuse will
work in this Ramazan.
the petition of Waqas Malik, he prayed to the court to direct the respondents
to keep a check on TV channels and bar them from airing obscene clips, immoral
TV ads and airing foreign contents.
the court adjourned the hearing till today.
(UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 8th May, 2018 ) :Educational institutions of
pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) can help in solving the issues of
Muslim world. This was stated by Shiekh Hamd Bin Nasir who was heading a high
level delegation from KSA to visit International Islamic University Islamabad
(IIUI), a press release said on Tuesday.
six members delegation discussed bilateral academic cooperation with IIUI
leadership. The delegation was welcomed by IIUI Rector, Dr Masoom Yasinzai,
President IIUI Dr Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh, Vice Presidents, Deans, DGs and
are open for meaningful and practical cooperation with universities of Muslim
world" said head of the Saudi delegation. He added that IIUI would be a
gateway to the mutual cooperation between both countries in the field of
hailed the role of IIUI in promotion of education.
Rector, Dr Masoon Yasinzai apprised the delegation about the vision of
university and told that IIUI is providing ambassadors to Muslim world who own
the attributes of Islamic values.
maintained that university is keen to disseminate message of peaceful
co-existence and peace. IIUI President, Dr Ahmed Yousif Al-Draiweesh briefed
the delegation about the university faculties and constituent units.
said IIUI is keen for linkages with universities across the world. He told that
university was pursuing its goal of internationalization, while more than two
thousand foreign students were acquiring education at the university.
Al-Draiweesh added that around 50 teachers hailing from KSA, Sudan, Egypt and
other countries were teaching at the university. The delegation members
included Muhammad bin Ahmad, Ibrahim bin Saleh, Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah and Mr.
on Tuesday confirmed its participation in the trilateral religious conference
starting in Indonesia on May 11 in an effort to discuss a peaceful solution to
the ongoing war against terrorism in Afghanistan.
Ayaz, the chairman of Pakistan’s Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), told VOA
that Pakistani religious scholars will take part in the upcoming trilateral
meeting in Indonesia.
is sending a 20-member-delegation of religious scholars belonging to different
sects of Islam to this conference to build trust and to play its role to build
peace in the region, especially in Afghanistan,” Ayaz said.
also applauded the initiative by the Indonesian government of organizing an
“extraordinary conference” that involves three Muslim-majority countries and is
meant to find a solution to the war in Afghanistan.
last week, Afghanistan had also praised Indonesia’s efforts for its “sincere
efforts in Afghan peace process”.
Indonesia and Pakistan will participate with a 20-member delegation of
prominent Islamic scholars and a joint statement condemning terrorism will be
issued at the end of the conference.
trilateral meeting was initiated by Afghanistan after it sought Indonesia’s
support to convene the conference and to persuade Pakistani religious scholars
to attend it in a bid to promote peace between the two countries.
leaders of Indonesia, the largest Muslim-majority country in the world, have
expressed hopes that the trilateral meetings will help to reach on a “mutual
agreement, or a fatwa (edict)” that will persuade Taliban to denounce violence
and to hold peace talks with the Afghan government.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla earlier this week said that through hosting the
Ulema (Islamic Scholars) conference Indonesia could play its part in reaching
out a political settlement between Afghan government and Taliban.
hope to resolve the conflict in Afghanistan, we still a problem there,” Kalla
had said on Saturday.
in Washington believe the conference might contribute towards peace efforts but
they cast their doubt on a possible breakthrough.
aim of the trilateral conference is to reach an agreement and extend support
for a political settlement between the Afghan government and the Taliban
insurgents. Given that the Taliban enjoys broad support from the Pakistani
clerical circles who will be attending this conference,” Ahmad Khalid Majidyar,
director of the Iran Observed Project at the Middle East Institute in
Washington, told VOA.
event will help to build and understanding between clerics in Afghanistan and
Pakistan but ultimately it’s unlikely to result in a breakthrough in potential
peace talks,” Majidyar added.
Scholars and the Taliban
accuses that hardline Pakistani religious scholars openly support Taliban and
believe a joint statement against terrorism from prominent Islamic clerics will
persuade Taliban to come on the peace talk table.
on the other hand, have already denounced the proposed meeting and issued a
statement in March that urged the scholars to boycott the conference in
order to give a legal face to the illegitimate Kabul administration and in the
series of propaganda and deceptive ‘Peace Process’ efforts, this time around
the enemies of our religion, country and independence want to fool
internationally respected scholars and Islamic countries by convening a
gathering of Islamic Scholars in the city of Jakarta, Indonesia or in another
country,” warned the statement issued by the insurgent group.
currently, holds 407 Afghan districts and there has been a spike in attacks by
the group lately that has claimed nearly 1,000 civilian lives in the first
quarter of 2018.
statement came as a response to Afghan High Peace Council (HPC) announcement
about an international conference in March with a focus on Pakistani hardline
religious clerics who support Taliban and their activities in Afghanistan.
are hoping that those Pakistani religious scholars like Maulana Fazal-ur-Rehman
and Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, who see the war in Afghanistan as legitimate jihad,
would participate in the conference," Sayed Ehsan Taheri, Afghan High
Peace Council spokesperson had told VOA at the time.
HPC’s announcement came after more than 1,800 Pakistani clerics had issued an
Islamic decree, or fatwa, that categorically condemned and denounced the
suicide bombings and other acts of terrorism as “un-Islamic” and “against the
teachings of the religion”.
Fatwa has categorically refuted all the extremist ideologies which call for
armed rebellion against the state and its institutions on the pretext of
Shariah, sectarian differences and Jihad. 1829 learned scholars of Islam
including renowned Muftis and heads of all the federations of madaris prepared
this Fatwa and its authenticity has been confirmed by all the Ulema making it a
consensus of whole scholarship of Islam in Pakistan. Some of The Muftis like Taqi
Usmani who endorsed this Fatwa have been qualified Muftis for decades and their
hundreds of students are also leading Ulema in the country. In addition, the
heads of federations of madaris have also been in this sacred job for many
years. Therefore, indeed, the unanimity of Ulema for this Fatwa is an
extra-ordinary achievement for us all. However, some deviated individuals are
still insisting upon their ignorance and they are expressing their unqualified
opinions against the unanimous Fatwa.
one holds different perspective, thinks from his own point of view with a right
to speak and criticize too moreover there will be conflicting incidents and
grievances in the past towards some Ulema. Ulema gathered with an objective of
promoting peace for the prosperity of Pakistan and nation by removing sectarian
differences. In this regard, some people are questioning the support of Maulana
Aurangzeb Farooqi for Paigham-e-Pakistan, who has been known as an extremist
scholar in the past. Instead of criticizing Maulana Farooqi, everyone should
extend a positive approach, as his support for a peace narrative is also a
strong indicator of change in his thinking. Similarly, some western journalists
are not happy with the participation of Maulana Fazl-ul Rehman Khalil in
building peace narrative in Pakistan and they highlight his previous
connections with extremist outfits. Keeping Pakistan’s national interest in
mind, the positive intentions of Ulema and Scholars should also be encourage,
therefore, instead of recalling bitter memories from past, everyone should play
its vital role in building consensus and unity among each other. Due to these
minor sectarian differences, our society has already paid a huge price of
losing precious lives and encumbered Pakistan development and growth in every
1980s Sunni-Shia strife has seen a major upturn leading to thousands of deaths
in Pakistan. The reason behind the increased sectarianism is conspiracies by
outside forces to divide Muslims. 5th generation war against Pakistan is on
full swing with impossibility of direct invasion by inimical forces. Enemies of
Pakistan are now using the strategy of dividing and creating hatred among
nation by promoting sectarian violence and animosity thus trying to split the
essence of unity and peace leading to destruction and killing of Muslims.
Unfortunately some vulnerable individuals are tools in their hands and serving
their cause, forgetting the teachings of Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) that all
Muslims are brothers. For their vested interests, some proponents of
sectarianism turned their eyes from the unanimous fatwa, given by Ulema from
all school of thoughts against sectarianism, extremism and terrorism with the
full support of government.
Shia conflict is diminishing our society that affected the whole nation. At the
right time, joint declaration and unanimous Fatwa in form of Paigham-e-Pakistan
refuted all sorts of extremist ideologies by focusing on obliteration and
eradication of sectarian violence. Paigham-e-Pakistan is a national narrative
aimed at eliminating hatred, extremism, terrorism and sectarian differences and
use of force to impose self-styled Shariah in the country. The essence of this
national narrative is the way forward towards a society based on tolerance,
harmony, peace and unity.
the other hand, all the respected Ulema should also remain firm in their Nobel
cause of spreading peace and unity by removing sectarianism. In fact all Ulema
should keep their morale high by accepting challenges in their way as a motivational
force to urge their commitment, devotion and dedication more for achieving
their aspiration of serving humanity, Islam and Pakistan in their utmost
capacity. Criticizing blindly and revoking previous grievances is a merely a
way of enhancing more demolition and commotion leading to more grumble and
grips. This is by no way a way of showing a positive concern and loyalty
towards Pakistan as every stance uttered sloppily leaves a massive impact on
Pakistan and its image.
must be understood that distinguished Muftis and Ulema from all sects and heads
of all the federations of madaris prepared the fatwa and issued unanimous
declaration in order to strengthen the ties and agreed on removing sectarian
conflict and grievances. Paigham-E- Pakistan itself is a struggle to unite all
religious institutions and scholars, thus, criticism on Ulema is mere disregard
of learned scholars of Islam and deviation from true religion. Unanimity of
Ulema for this national Fatwa is a great mile stone achieved, however, few
individuals with vested interest are still poking in its way to success. Nation
should understand the conspiracies to weaken the Muslims by creating sectarian
differences in order to split the unity and oneness among Muslims and then
ruling by using phenomena of ‘‘Divide and Rule”. Therefore, instead of
criticism on the efforts to unite the nation as one, everyone should play its
role in building peace and harmony by ignoring minor differences and grievances
that are intentionally exaggerated by the outside forces to tarnish the image
of Pakistan and Islam. We all are Muslims and Islam is a universal religion,
therefore, it is the utmost responsibility of every Muslim whether Shia or
Sunni to safeguard Islam and Pakistan from hostile propaganda.
The chief security officer (CSO) of the US embassy was arrested for alleged
abetment in a crime and assaulting and harassing the police.
Kohsar police arrested the suspect from the parking area of the district and
sessions court Islamabad, an official told Dawn. He had allegedly threatened
and assaulted the police officials besides trying to help a US diplomat escape
from police custody after a fatal traffic accident.
April 8, US Defence and Air Attaché Col Joseph Emanuel jumped the red light on
Margalla Road and hit two young men riding a motorcycle. One of them died and
his pillion rider was injured.
CSO reached the spot - Zoo Chowk - and threatened the police officials for
holding the diplomat. Besides, he also put up resistance against the police to
help the diplomat escape, said the police.
officer of the case Inspector Arshad Ali told Dawn that the victim’s father had
lodged a complaint with the police against the CSO. In response, an inquiry was
conducted which found the CSO guilty. Later, he was nominated in the FIR
already registered in the case.
Inspector General of Police (operations) Asmatullah Junejo told Dawn that the
victim’s father had also complained to the inspector general of the police that
the CSO came to the Kohsar police station with armed men and harassed and
threatened the police and took away the diplomat along with him.
AGENCY: The Corps Commander Peshawar Lieutenant General Ahmad Butt, along with
Inspector General of the Frontier Corps (IGFC) Major General Waseem Ashraf and
Commissioner Peshawar Shahab Ali Shah, paid a visit to Torkham border on
Tuesday to inspect operating departments at the border.
visited the terminals of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), National Logistic
Cell (NLC) and Immigration counter where they were briefed by the relevant
officials of the departments.
the officers met Afghan border forces at the zero point of the border and
exchanged a gesture of goodwill.
a media briefing, Khyber Agency Political Agent (PA) Islam Zeb said that the
officers successfully negotiated with the Afghan side to improve trade
relations between the two countries.
revealed that, during the meeting, the officers decided to enforce quarantine
restrictions on perishable goods including food items, imports from Afghanistan
via Torkham were declared null and void and the custom office at Torkham was
ordered to boost the clearance process to facilitate trade process.
Balochistan Chief Minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo on Tuesday said that the Quetta
Safe City project and barriers across the Pak-Afghan border will help curb
terrorism from the country.
Bizenjo visited Panjpai area near Mastung along the Pak-Afghan border, where he
was briefed about the border control and protection by the authorities.
to the media during his visit, Bizenjo said that keeping a close eye on
Pak-Afghan border is vital since terrorists penetrate into Pakistan’s territory
through the border and carry out attacks in Quetta and rest of the country.
is extremely essential to place barriers along the Pak-Afghan borders.
Unfortunately, due to some issues with Afghanistan, the barriers have not been
placed,” he said.
- An underlying reason for the shrinking space for human rights is the rise of
an all too powerful de-facto state which is not accountable to any one and the
shrinking space of the de-jure state which is accountable to the parliament and
the people but has no powers to deliver. This was stated by former Senator
Farhatullah Babar at a seminar on ‘aligning politics with human rights’ held
under auspices of PILER in a Karachi hotel on Tuesday.
a result the freedom of expression had suffered most. New threats including
self censorship, taking off air channels, blocking publication of articles and
preventing circulation of newspapers in cantonments without recourse to legal
channels and without even the knowledge of information and Interior Ministries
or Pemra was hall mark of new curbs by invisible elements,” he added.
said some people brandishing guns and other holding religious books had
threatened freedom of expression.
rule of law has been undermined and today we have elements who are above the
law, there are outlaws and there are in laws treated above law and called for
an accountability mechanism applicable to all, whether politicians, members of
Parliament, civil bureaucracy, President, Prime Minister, generals and judges,”
generals and judges from accountability net had undermined the very credibility
of accountability, which in turn undermined rule of law and the ensuing
lawlessness, he said. He called upon political parties to include human rights
in their manifestos as well as develop a minimum Charter of Human Rights .
said there is freedom to abuse politicians, condemn 18th Amendment, and parrot
state’s narrative but no freedom to present alternate narrative. He said that the bull in China shop of
distorted civil-military relations was the Pak-India relations and the security
establishment driving the foreign policy.
holding on to our position on Kashmir it should be possible to seek
normalization in other areas. The Afghan policy must also be reviewed and the
jihad project abandoned to promote human rights agenda. He proposed setting up
of a national register of crimes against women and the appointment of a special
public prosecutor to try cases of violence against women.
reply to a question, he said that the army always wanted to rewrite the
civil-military equation and this was acknowledged by a former army chief
general Jehangir Karamat while commenting on the LFO (legal framework order) of
Gen Musharraf. But this rewriting of the equation had gone far too far to
ridiculous lengths and must be corrected if Pakistan was to be a progressive
democratic state where human rights and liberties were respected as a matter of
right and not as charity in return of parroting state’s security narrative, he
should be referred to ICC for crimes against Rohingya: Rights groups
rights groups have urged the UN Security Council to refer Myanmar to the
International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity, including the
military’s atrocities against the persecuted Rohingya Muslims in the
northwestern state of Rakhine.
four rights groups, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the Global
Center for the Responsibility to Protect and Fortify Rights, made the request a
week after a team of UN Security Council envoys concluded a visit to Myanmar
council team met Rohingya in Bangladesh for the first time to hear the
sufferings of some 700,000 Muslim refugees, who have escaped a campaign of
violence, rape and arson by Myanmar’s military, which began some nine months
director of international justice at Human Rights Watch Param-Preet Singh said
now that the Security Council “has heard directly from Rohingya refugees about
the horrors inflicted by Myanmar’s army, the need to hold those responsible to
account should be clear.”
repeated and implausible denials of responsibility for atrocities and its
longstanding culture of impunity mean that the International Criminal Court is
the only real hope for victims to see justice,” she added.
and again Myanmar authorities have shown themselves to be completely unwilling
to even acknowledge the crimes… let alone take steps to bring those responsible
to book," she said, adding that "the clock is ticking to act."
of the Asia-based group Fortify Rights Matthew Smith said the ICC should also
investigate "mounting evidence" of genocide against Rohingya Muslims.
said the organization has gathered dozens of names of alleged perpetrators that
go "straight to the top within the Myanmar armed forces."
is known as the “crime of crimes.” The United Nations defines the term as acts
committed with intent to destroy a particular group under a convention signed
UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein once vowed that those behind the
atrocities against the Rohingya people would face genocide charges in court in
military has been committing killings, making arbitrary arrests, and carrying
out mass arson attacks to destroy houses in predominantly-Rohingya villages in
country’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who consistently denied the allegations,
told the council members that if evidence of violations was provided to her,
the Myanmar authorities would undertake a “proper investigation,” according to Britain's Ambassador to the
United Nations Karen Pierce.
government has long been provided with evidence by Human Rights Watch and other
international monitors. The government had for years refused to allow UN
investigators to enter Rakhine.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Suu Kyi is under pressure by the international
community for failing to use her position to prevent crimes against the
Islamist militants sentenced to death for killing liberal professor in
Islamist militants were sentenced to death and three others jailed for life by
a special court today for brutally hacking to death a liberal professor near
his home in northwestern Bangladesh.
of Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), said to be inclined to the Islamic
State, hacked professor AFM Rezaul Karim Siddiquee to death using machetes near
his house in Rajshahi city on April 23, 2016.
Hossain of Bogura and Shariful Islam, a student of Prof Siddiquee's English
department of state-run Rajshahi University, were sentenced to death by the
special court, a prosecutor told PTI.
said Speedy Trial Tribunal Judge Shirin Akhter simultaneously sentenced three
other militants -- Rahmat Ullah of Nilphamari, Abdus Sattar of Rajshahi and
Sattar's son Ripon Ali -- to life imprisonment.
mastermind of the murder, Shariful Islam, is on the run.
was known for his love for music and philanthropic activities.
to US-based SITE Intelligence Group that monitors global terror activities, Islamic
State claimed responsibility for Karim's murder for "calling to
atheism", a claim rejected by Bangladesh authorities.
verdict came as police in recent years intensified investigations into a series
of clandestine attacks on secularists and liberal intellectuals, bloggers and
minorities including gay activists against the backdrop of growing criticism
for failure to track down the assailants.
2014, another Rajshahi University teacher AKM Shafiul Islam was similarly
his murder was initially claimed by radical group 'Ansaral Islam', police later
ruled out that possibility, saying he was murdered due to personal rivalry.
some years ago, two more professors of the Rajshahi University had been killed.
2015, four prominent secular bloggers were killed with machetes.
secular writer and physicist professor Jafor Iqbal was the last such target in
March this year when he narrowly survived an attack on the campus of the
state-run Shahjajal Science University in northeastern Sylhet.
Probe of Rohingya Attacks: China resists UK push at UNSC
is resisting a British push at the UN Security Council for a statement calling
on Myanmar to try those responsible for attacks on the Rohingya, according to a
draft seen by AFP yesterday.
from a visit to Myanmar and Bangladesh last week, the Security Council is
holding negotiations on a statement that would spell out how to address the
crisis from the forced exodus of 700,000 Muslim Rohingya from Myanmar.
last week circulated a text that stressed the importance of "credible and
transparent investigations" of human rights violations and urged Myanmar
to hold those responsible for the violence to account.
a supporter of Myanmar's former ruling junta, on Monday put forward an amended
statement that dropped all mention of investigations or accountability.
has come under international scrutiny since a military campaign launched in
August drove more than 700,000 Rohingya from their homes in northern Rakhine
draft statement stresses "the need to address the root causes of the
issue" and calls for investment in Rakhine state to "achieve
stability through development."
said Britain, backed by France and the United States, had rejected the proposed
changes by China and negotiations were continuing.
15 ambassadors last week met with traumatised refugees living in overcrowded
camps in Bangladesh and toured burned-out villages in Rakhine state.
council adopted a statement in November that called on Myanmar to rein in its
military, but there has been no resolution, a stronger measure that China would
likely block as one of the veto-wielding permanent members.
has said the military operation in Rakhine is aimed at rooting out extremists
and has rejected accusations from the United Nations, Britain, France and the
United States of "ethnic cleansing."
least 21 civilians were killed or wounded in mortar attack by the Taliban
militants in eastern Nangahrar province of Afghanistan.
to the local officials, the incident took place on Tuesday afternoon at around
5 am local time in Bati Kot district.
provincial government media office in a statement said a mortar round fired by
the Taliban militants landed in Hafiz Godai area, leaving at least two
statement further added that the attack also left at least 19 civilians who
have been shifted to the hospital in Jalalabad city.
to the provincial government, the health condition of those wounded in the
attack have been reported as stable and are currently being treated in the
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
key ISIS group leader who was collecting funds for the terror group has been
arrested during an operation of the Special Forces of Afghan Intelligence,
National Directorate of Security (NDS), in eastern Nangahrar province.
provincial government media office in a statement said the detained individual
has been identified as Jawid who is originally a resident of Rodat district of
statement further added that Jawid was living in Hayatabad of Peshawar before
he was appointed as the fundraiser by the terror group in Nangarhar province.
NDS Special Force also arrested another militant identified as Zabiullah in
connection to terrorist related activities in this province.
to the provincial government, Zabiullah originally hails from Khogyani district
and was living in Kabul.
had recently visited Nangarhar to carry out a targeted assassination attack on
instructions of the terrorist groups, the statement added.
provincial government also added that the two suspects have confessed to their
crimes and are currently in the custody of the security forces.
vows to quit when ‘enough’
- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday vowed he would step down if his
people decided it was “enough”, prompting opponents to propel the word in
Turkish to the top of worldwide Twitter trends.
will on June 24 contest a presidential election, seeking a new mandate to
extend his 15 years in power which began when he became premier in 2003 and
continued with his move to the presidency in 2014. His ruling party is
confident of victory in the polls but the country remains highly polarised
between supporters of Erdogan and those who oppose him with equal passion.
to his party in Ankara, Erdogan said his foes “have just one care - to destroy
Recep Tayyip Erdogan.” “If one day our nation says ‘enough’, then we will move
to the side,” he said, referring to himself in the first person plural. Erdogan
said the Turkish people had until now always given the right response to those
who sought to destroy him, recalling the failed 2016 coup against his rule.
victory in the election, he added: “God willing, I believe we will, together
with our nation, on June 24 once again give a well deserved lesson to this team
rapidly seized on the word he had used in Turkish for “enough” - “tamam” - and
turned it into the top Twitter trend not just in Turkey but around the world
with over 450,000 tweets by the afternoon.
simply tweeted the word in bold letters with spaces - T A M A M - while others
added slogans. “Just please go now,” wrote one user.
just wrote the word TAMAM as many times as they could within Twitter’s
character limit, or made fancy shapes with its letters.
word was also rapidly seized upon by Erdogan’s rivals who will face him in the
June 24 poll and seek to force a run-off.
Up!” (in Turkish “Vakit TAMAM!”) tweeted Muharrem Ince, the candidate of the
main secular opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
A M A M,” tweeted Meral Aksener, the leader of the newly-formed nationalist
party the Iyi (Good) Party.
God Willing” (“T A M A M Insallah”) added Temel Karamollaoglu, leader of the
conservative Saadet (Felicity) Party who is also to run against Erdogan.
by his opponents as an authoritarian leader and throwback to the Ottoman
sultans, Erdogan boasts of having brought Turkey to a new level of economic
prosperity and foreign policy influence under his rule.
there is strong hostility to him on the Aegean coast, some Kurdish areas and
parts of Istanbul and Ankara, he retains widespread and massively enthusiastic
support in the Anatolian core of the country.
are deeply disappointed with US President Donald Trump's decision to
unilaterally withdraw from the implementation of obligations under the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) on the Iranian nuclear program and to
re-impose national US sanctions against Iran," the ministry said in a
statement on Tuesday.
also pointed out that the US decision sharply violated the international laws,
noting, "There are and there may be no grounds for undermining the JCPOA.
The plan fully proved its efficiency. It effectively copes with all the goals
set for it. Iran strictly sticks to its commitments, which is regularly
confirmed by the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency). We are fully
supporting and welcoming that."
Russian foreign ministry added that Moscow was open for further cooperation
with other JCPOA parties and for continued dialogue and cooperation with
in the day, US President Donald Trump announced the United States will no
longer remain part of the JCPOA and promised to re-impose the highest level of
economic sanctions against Iran.
Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna
Mikhail Ulyanov said that the US decision was a major setback to the nuclear
move has significantly undermined the efforts aimed at strengthening of the
nuclear nonproliferation regime. One more time it has been confirmed that
Washington uses the statements of the nonproliferation nature in order to
achieve its own geopolitical goals, which are often very disputable,"
Ulyanov said on Tuesday.
according to the diplomat, the issues of the North Korean nuclear activities
and the Tuesday decision of Trump to withdraw from the JCPOA were
interconnected, specially taking into account the fact that the US move was
made ahead of the meeting between the leaders of the United States and North
why, the United States had chosen the path of destroying the existing agreement
on Iran and at the same time it had complicated the search of solutions to the
nuclear problem of the Korean Peninsula," Ulyanov said on Tuesday.
this situation Tehran has shown wisdom, refrained from unwise response (to the
US move) and announced about the readiness to study the issue of continuation
of the nuclear deal without the United States, but with Russia, China and the
three European states. That's why the diplomatic efforts will continue in the
near future and it is obvious that they would be very intensive," the
Russian envoy added.
Moscow is ready to cooperate with the United States on the Iran-related issues,
but such interaction could be rather complicated because of the US position,
Russia's Permanent Representative to International Organizations in Vienna
is always ready to work to achieve positive results. At the same time I have a
feeling that the contacts with the United States could face a number of
problems, because of the US position," the envoy said, answering a
question if Russia is ready to cooperate with the United States and other
partners in order to achieve a new solution to the crisis related to Iran.
Trump's declaration, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it has ordered his
atomic chief to stay on alert to resume suspended nuclear activities, stressing
that Tehran will stay in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with
other signatories if only other parties to the deal ensure all its interests
and economic merits.
stressing that Trumps decision was a historical experience for Iran, Rouhani
noted that the US president has a history of undermining international
treaties. Rouhani also noted that Iran would remain in the nuclear deal without
the US' presence for the next few weeks to see results of negotiations with
added that he has ordered the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) to be
prepared for resuming nuclear enrichment at the industrial level.
have ordered AEOI to go ahead with adequate preparations to resume enrichment
at the industrial level without any limit," he said.
further added that from now on everything depends on Iran's national interests.
decision was the beginning of a psychological war against Iran, our heroic
people will not be affected by this psychological attack," said Rouhani.
also noted that from now on the JCPOA is between Iran and the five remaining
countries, but stressed that Iran would stay under the deal if all its
interests are met.
further noted that the Iranian Foreign Ministry would be negotiating with
European countries, Russia, and China in the coming weeks.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif responded to Trump's move, referring to
it as "unlawful", while adding that the outcome of further diplomatic
efforts will determine Iran's response.
response to US persistent violations and unlawful withdrawal from the nuclear
deal, as instructed by President Rouhani, I'll spearhead a diplomatic effort to
examine whether remaining JCPOA participants can ensure its full benefits for
Iran. Outcome will determine our response.
response to US persistent violations & unlawful withdrawal from the nuclear
deal, as instructed by President Rouhani, I'll spearhead a diplomatic effort to
examine whether remaining JCPOA participants can ensure its full benefits for
Iran. Outcome will determine our response," he tweeted.
European Union, France, Britain and Germany have expressed regret over Trump's
decision about the deal.
parliament speaker said President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a 2015
international nuclear deal was a violation of an agreement that would isolate
the United States, state television reported on Wednesday.
abandoning of the nuclear deal was a diplomatic show ... Iran has no obligation
to honor its commitments under the current situation ... It is a threat to
peace and security ... I am not sure whether the European signatories of the
deal will fulfill their promises," Ali Larijani said.
is obvious that Trump only understands the language of force."
on Tuesday pulled the United States out of the deal, raising the risk of
conflict in the Middle East, upsetting European allies and casting uncertainty
over global oil supplies.
Iranian lawmakers lit a paper US flag on fire at parliament on Wednesday.
held the impromptu demonstration the day after Trump's decision. They also
burned a piece of paper representing the nuclear deal.
chant "Death to America" long has been used in Iran since its 1979
Islamic Revolution. It also has been common to hear it within parliament.
Wednesday's demonstration reflected public anger in Iran after Trump's
2015 nuclear deal imposed restrictions on its nuclear program in return for the
lifting of most U.S. and international sanctions.
the deal came with time limits and did not address Iran's ballistic missile
program or its regional policies in Syria and elsewhere. Trump has repeatedly
pointed to those omissions in referring to the accord as the "worst deal
ever." Proponents of the deal have said those time limits were meant to
encourage more discussion with Iran in the future that could eventually address
Iranians are worried about what Trump's decision could mean for their country.
Iranian rial is already trading on the black market at 66,000 to the dollar, despite
a government-set rate of 42,000 rials. Many say they have not seen any benefits
from the nuclear deal.
Houthis have mobilized their fighters in Sanaa after the Arab coalition
targeted the office of the presidency on Monday.
sources said the Houthis set several security checkpoints in the capital and
deployed their members in several important and vital streets.
also tightened security on hospitals where those killed and wounded by the air
strike were transferred and kept completely silent about their identities.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki had said the airstrikes targeted
first and second rank Houthi leadership.
Houthis have said that six people were killed and denied that they included any
airstrikes targeted the presidential palace’s office in the city’s central
Tahrir district in front of the Central Bank building.
first one targeted the building’s fence and hit the power generator there while
the second one hit the building itself.
rushed to the scene and militiamen deployed around the building and closed all
roads leading to it.
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Monday that Houthi attacks planned by
Iran do not affect the kingdom’s stability.
Iranian-planned Houthi attacks, which are strongly denounced by the
international community, reveal their terrorism and never affects our stability
and development," Jubeir said on Twitter.
spokesman of the Arab coalition forces in Yemen, Col. Turki Al-Malki, said
earlier on Monday that the Houthi militia was violating international and
humanitarian law by exploiting educational, diplomatic and religious
institutions in the war.
also played a video showing Houthi gunmen enter a mosque and ascend to its
minaret to position their snipers and target people.
has instructed local authorities to “unlock and ready (bomb) shelters” in the
occupied Golan Heights as US President Donald Trump announces JCPOA departure.
its statement released on Tuesday, Israel’s military further announced that its
missile systems had been deployed and that its troops were put on high alert,
after claiming the presence of “irregular activity of Iranian forces in Syria”.
announcement came shortly before announced his decision to withdraw from the
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA.)
the announcement Israeli Prime Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the Tel Aviv
regime "fully supports" Trump's "bold" withdrawal from Iran
months now, Iran has been transferring lethal weaponry to its forces in Syria,
with the purpose of striking at Israel,” Netanyahu said. “We will respond
mightily to any attack on our territory," he further claimed.
seized the Golan Heights from Syria during the 1967 Six-Day War and has
continued to occupy two-thirds of the strategically-important territory ever
since, in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.
police forces have arrested dozens more people on suspicion of affiliation to a
movement led by the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom the Ankara
government accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup attempt against
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said 13 soldiers on-duty were
arrested in the western province of Balikesir on charges of serving as the
group’s “covert imams” – a term used to refer to the senior members of the
Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETO).
more soldiers were arrested in the central province of Tokat.
sources added that the rest of the suspects were civilians.
a court in the southeastern Sanliurfa province handed down prison sentences,
ranging from 2.5 to 12 years, to three people for their membership in FETO.
the botched putsch, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had
seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in
charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
has since accused Gulen of having orchestrated the coup. The opposition figure
is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the
government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army,
police and the judiciary.
the Ankara government has outlawed his movement, and has branded it as the
Fethullah Terrorist Organization.
has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically-motivated
slanders,” he said in a statement.
77-year-old cleric has also called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his
followers, a move he said is aimed at “weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to
President Erdogan and his regime.”
officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen,
but their demands have not been taken heed of.
which remains in a state of emergency since the coup, has been engaged in
suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to have played a role in
the failed coup.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including
military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended
from work over the same accusations.
Venezuela, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on Latin American
states not to copy the contentious decision by the US to relocate its embassy
from Tel Aviv to Israeli-occupied Jerusalem al-Quds.
hope that some countries across Latin America won’t go moving their embassies
to Jerusalem, because that is against international law,” Abbas said during a
meeting with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro in Caracas on Monday.
Palestinian president also hailed Maduro’s rejection of the dramatic shift in
Washington’s policy on Jerusalem al-Quds, saying, “It’s a position that most
countries have made.”
December, US President Donald Trump announced that Washington was recognizing
Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of Israel and planning to move the American
embassy to the ancient city. The announcement sparked condemnations worldwide.
lays claim to the whole Jerusalem al-Quds, but the international community
views the city’s eastern sector as occupied land and Palestinians consider it
as the capital of their future state.
in his remarks, Abbas, said, “We reaffirm our interest in having serious
negotiations with Israel based on the international resolutions and laws and
the importance of forming an international multilateral instrument and to
continue working so that Palestine is accepted as a full country in United
UN General Assembly upgraded Palestine’s status from “non-member observer
entity” to “non-member observer state” in November 2012. The Palestinian
national flag was also hoisted for the first time at the UN headquarters in New
York in September 2015.
for his part, said that Venezuela “decisively and actively” supports the
Palestinian cause and rejects the US bid to take Jerusalem al-Quds away from
history, “an illegal decision that is not recognized by United Nations
further urged additional support for Palestine and its people in their struggle
also expressed hope for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations,
which would lead “to the return of Palestinian territory and their right to
US is scheduled to move its embassy to Jerusalem al-Quds on May 14, followed
two days later by Guatemala. Paraguay is also expected to emulate the embassy
relocation by the end of May.
advocates urge Ottawa to consider resettling Muslim refugees
more than half a million Rohingya fled their villages in Myanmar last year and
crossed into Bangladesh by foot and by boat, Anwar Arkani’s three sisters were
Arkani, who came to Canada in 1998 after living as a refugee for a decade in
Bangladesh and Thailand, knows that the situation for Rohingya in refugee camps
and shelters is bleak. He saw that firsthand when he visited one of those camps
last fall to distribute food.
for his sisters and their children, the prospect of returning to Myanmar is
sister’s daughter says she will take poison if she has to go back,” Mr. Arkani
said. “There is no absolute guarantee that they will be safe, they would rather
Arkani, who is the president of the Rohingya Association of Canada, is one of
the approximately 300 Rohingya Muslims living in Canada today – a close-knit
community that is deeply concerned about the safety of their relatives in
Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Rohingya, a mostly Muslim ethnic group, have been denied citizenship in Myanmar
since 1982 despite centuries-old roots in the country’s Rakhine state,
rendering them stateless.
current crisis in Myanmar has been described as “a textbook example of ethnic
cleansing” by United Nations human-rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein. Myanmar
has denied these allegations.
most recent violence in Rakhine state began in August, 2017, after Rohingya
insurgents attacked police posts and an army base. Myanmar’s military responded
with a violent crackdown, triggering an exodus of Rohingya to neighbouring
month, Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar, Bob Rae, released a report urging the
federal government to lead an international effort to investigate “clear
evidence” of crimes against humanity. He issued a series of recommendations,
including urging Canada to “signal a willingness” to welcome Rohingya refugees
from Myanmar and Bangladesh. He also called for $150-million in Canadian
funding over four years.
Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland toured the Kutupalong-Balukhali camp in
Bangladesh last week, decrying the atrocities committed against Rohingya people
and pledging a “strong commitment” from the Canadian government. But she did
not announce any new money as recommended by Mr. Rae.
Bangladeshi government reached an agreement last fall with Myanmar that will
see the return of more than 500,000 refugees to Rakhine state. The aim of this
deal was to repatriate all the refugees to Myanmar within two years.
January, that repatriation was postponed amid fears that refugees would be
forced to return against their will. It is still unclear when a new return date
will be set.
Nafzinger, a refugee-rights and country campaigner with Amnesty International
Canada, said current conditions in Myanmar are not conducive to repatriation.
The underlying issues causing displacement, such as lack of citizenship rights
and access to health care and education, need to be addressed first, Ms.
continue to see people fleeing the region to this day,” she said.
no question that they cannot be guaranteed any kind of safety and life living
in dignity with opportunity for livelihood at this point in time.”
she said the Canadian government should consider creating a
family-reunification program for Canadian Rohingya who have family in
Bangladesh, Myanmar or other countries.
could and should be looking into family-linked cases of refugees, people who
have families that they could sponsor and look for better ways for
reunification of families who have been separated,” Ms. Nafzinger said.
Rae’s report made 17 recommendations, including that Canada should welcome
Rohingya refugees and encourage other countries to do so.
report also called on Canada to establish an independent investigation into the
violence while also investing more than half a billion dollars in humanitarian
and development efforts in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Beuze, the United Nations refugee agency’s representative in Canada, said at
the time that resettlement is not a priority for the Rohingya, as most want to
eventually return to Myanmar when it is safe for them to do so.
Canada became the first country to resettle members of the long-persecuted
ethnic-minority group between 2006 and 2010, the federal government has said
there are currently no plans to resettle Rohingya refugees.
Minister Ahmed Hussen has previously said Canada cannot resettle any of the
Rohingya refugees currently in Bangladesh because the country does not issue
exit visas to Rohingya refugees. In January, an assistant to Mr. Hussen said
current discussions are focused on assessing prospects for the return of the
refugees to Myanmar. He added that resettlement of the Rohingya is not an
option right now as Canada supports the secure return of the refugees to their
homes with full political and social rights.
Arkani says the Canadian government should look into bringing in Rohingya
refugees living in limbo within refugee camps in countries where exit visas are
not an issue.
can bring Rohingya refugees from India, they can bring refugees from Thailand,
from Indonesia and Malaysia.”
Democratic lawmakers censure President Donald Trump and Republicans for
Washington’s withdrawal from Iran nuclear deal, calling on the American people
to “vote them all out” over the measure.
and his Republicans will go down in history as the party that destroyed our
country's credibility, ruined our global reputation, and made the world a more
dangerous place — all to sabotage President Obama's legacy. Vote them all out.
Every single one,” the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC)
tweeted immediately after Trump announced the US withdrawal from the deal.
California Democratic lawmaker Adam Schiff described Trump’s decision as a
mistake of "historic proportions," Senate Democratic Whip Dick Durbin
warned that the president's decision will pose more threats to the entire the
to withdraw from Iran deal will undermine our national security, increase
prospect of a nuclear Iran or a conflict with them, and cause the world to
conclude America doesn't keep its word. Scuttling the deal without a Plan B is
not a strategy, but a dangerous abdication,” Schiff said.
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez on the Senate foreign relations committee
warned that abandoning Iran’s deal will jeopardize the security of the US and
Israel and harms US relations with its allies.
this decision President Trump is risking US national security, recklessly
upending foundational partnerships with key US allies in Europe and gambling
with Israel’s security,” Menendez pointed out.
Murphy, a Democrat member of the Senate foreign relations committee, described
Trump’s announcement as “terrible news,” saying “Pulling out of the Iran deal
is like a soccer player deliberately kicking the ball into their own team’s
is nothing but downside for the US, especially since Trump has zero plan for
what comes next,” he added.
Democratic legislator on the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner issued a
statement, warning against creating rift between the US and its allies.
withdrawing the United States from the JCPOA will not benefit the American
people and US national security: it will only succeed in driving a wedge
between us and our allies, whose help we need to enforce any future sanctions
regime against Iran," he said. “Withdrawing from this agreement makes the
United States, and the world, less secure," Warner pointed out.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi described Tuesday a "sad day for America's
global leadership" and warned that “Trump Administration's dangerous and
impulsive action is no substitute for real global leadership."
some lawmakers on the Republican front also criticized Trump for abandoning the
Republican representative Mike Turner, who is also a senior member of House
Armed Services Committee, lashed out at Trump for abandoning the JCPOA without
proof that Iran is in violation of the agreement, it is a mistake to fully
withdraw from this deal," Turner said in a statement.
Maine Senator Susan Collins also said she preferred that the US would
"remedy” the “flaws” in the nuclear deal with its allies rather than
walking away from the accord.
US Senator Bernie Sanders expressed concern that Trump’s “reckless decision”
would lead to another open-end war for the US.
17 years of war in Afghanistan and 15 years of war in Iraq, the American people
do not want to be engaged in never-ending wars in the Middle East. I am deeply
concerned that that is exactly where President Trump is taking us with regard
to Iran,” Sanders (pictured above) said . “President Trump’s speech today was
the latest in a series of reckless decisions that move our country closer to
decision isolates the United States from our most important European allies who
all continue to support the agreement and have consistently said that it is in
their own national security interests to see it upheld,” Sanders added.
Vermont senator warned that abandoning the JCPOA would “seriously harm”
Washington’s future non-proliferation negotiations, including with North Korea,
adding “Why would any country in the world sign such an agreement with the
United States, and make the touch concessions, if they thought that a reckless
president might simply discard that agreement a few years later?”
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters he did not see any reason for US
withdrawal from the deal, noting,
are no reports that Iran has violated the agreement."
Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell called on German businesses to
immediately halt their operations in Iran.
@realDonaldTrump said, US sanctions will target critical sectors of Iran’s
economy,” Grenell tweeted. “German companies doing business in Iran should wind
down operations immediately,”
is one of Iran’s key trading partners, with the country’s exports to the
Islamic Republic exceeding $3.1 billion in 2016, showing a 26-percent growth
compared with 2015.
were also those who threw their support behind the US withdraw from the
international agreement, backed by the UK, Russia, Germany, France and China.
them was the former CIA chief, who asserted that the US campaign against Iran
is “broader” than the nuclear issue and it will include efforts to end Iran’s
ballistic missile program and the country’s growing influence across the Middle
a tweet after Trump’s announcement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo pledged
to work with Washington’s allies to find a “real, comprehensive and lasting
solution” to what he called “the Iranian threat.”
Vice President Mike Pence (pictured below) bragged about Washington’s
preparedness to work with its allies to reach a new deal that “prevents Iran
from ever becoming a nuclear power.”
falsely claimed that the JCPOA “virtually guaranteed Iran’s ability to start
producing nuclear weapons by 2025.”
US and its allies can “combine tough-minded American diplomacy and strong
economic pressure” to reach a new deal, Pence said.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also said that, “From the beginning, the Obama-era Iran
Deal was deeply flawed.”
added that he would have preferred to fix the agreement rather than abandon it
and expressed regret over the fact that the US “could not reach an
understanding with our European partners" to do that.
Wisconsin Republican lawmaker (pictured below) said Washington would use the
period before re-imposing sanctions against Iran to work with its allies to
reach a consensus over Iran.
Republican Jewish Coalition, which has long been lobbying against Iran’s deal,
hailed Trump’s “bold foreign policy” and said that the decision “renewed hope
for a truly long-term nuclear-free Iran.” “Iran continues to be an existential
threat to Israel, and continues to menace Israel directly and through its
proxies (such as Hezbollah),” the group said in its statement.
Treasury Department said there will be "certain 90-day and 180-day
wind-down periods" after which the sanctions will be in "full
effect," including sanctions against Iran's oil sector, metal trades and
transactions with its central bank.
Treasury said sanctions will also be re-imposed on aircraft exports to Iran and
the country's efforts by Tehran to acquire US dollars.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (pictured below) told reporters that licenses
for airplane manufacturers Boeing and Airbus to sell passenger jets, parts and
services to Iran will be revoked after a 90-day period.
Boeing and (Airbus) licenses will be revoked… Under the original deal there
were waivers for commercial aircraft, parts and services and the existing
licenses will be revoked,” Mnuchin said.
agreed in December 2016 to sell 80 aircraft worth $17 billion to Iran Air,
including 15 Boeing 777-300ER long-range jets.
new survey conducted by SRSS among 1,015 Americans from May 2 to May 5 showed
that 63 percent of respondents wanted the US to remain part of the Iran nuclear
29 percent said Washington should exit from the accord, eight percent did not
have an opinion.
percent of the respondents also disapproved the way Trump is managing relations
and China, as the other signatories to the JCPOA, have warned against efforts
to scrap the landmark accord and pledged to continue to honor their commitments
under the deal.
International Atomic Energy Agency has been monitoring Iran’s compliance with
its commitments under the JCPOA and has consistently verified the Islamic
American press expressed concern Tuesday over President Donald Trump's decision
to pull the U.S. out of the Iranian nuclear deal, warning of repercussions.
Washington Post led with the headline “Trump announces plans to pull out of
Iran nuclear deal despite pleas from European leaders”.
newspaper said that as part of the pullout, “a decision to immediately
reinstate all nuclear-related sanctions would be the most extreme step Trump
could take now”.
New York Times said the long-anticipated announcement on Iran’s nuclear deal
“plunges America’s relations with its European allies into deep uncertainty”
and “raises the prospect of increasing tensions with Russia and China”.
Wall Street Journal said Trump had dismantled his predecessor’s most prominent
foreign policy initiative and went against the wishes of some of America’s
that Trump would impose “the highest level of economic sanctions” on Iran, the
journal noted that sanctions “snapped immediately back into effect”.
Fox News, with its pro-Republican and pro-Trump bias, observed that “Trump for
months had left open whether he would move to scrap the pact, and his apparent
decision to re-impose sanctions has rattled European allies”.
liberal NBC News said the decision has “raised fears that Tehran might respond
by resuming its frozen weapons program”.
move also raises two important questions for the Trump administration and the
international community: Whether Iran will respond by resuming its quest for
nuclear weapons -- and whether reneging on the Iran pact might affect North
Korea's willingness to cut a denuclearization deal of its own with the
Los Angeles Times called the decision “more severe than diplomats had expected
and sent shock waves around the globe”.
said it is not clear how the other countries following the deal will negotiate
the web of U.S. sanctions.
pressure from the U.S.'s closest European allies, Trump on Tuesday pulled the
U.S. out of the landmark nuclear agreement that world powers struck in 2015
opted not to extend sanctions relief on Iran ahead of a May 12 deadline, vowing
instead to re-impose nuclear-related economic penalties.
2015 nuclear agreement placed unprecedented restrictions on Iran's nuclear
program in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international
sanctions, but Trump has consistently railed against it since he began his bid
for America's highest office, repeatedly calling it the "worst deal"
he has ever seen.
France reiterate commitment to Iran nuke deal
and France will remain committed to the nuclear agreement with Iran, even after
a possible move by U.S. President Donald Trump to scrap the deal next week,
foreign ministers of both countries said on Monday.
at a joint news conference in Berlin, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas
stressed that the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran has made the world safer.
don’t see any viable alternative to limitations and control mechanisms for
Iran’s nuclear nuclear program, as stipulated in the agreement,” Maas said.
fear that a failure of this might lead to an escalation and we might return to
the period before 2013. That would be in no one's interest,” he added.
has repeatedly called the agreement "one of the worst negotiated
agreements" he has ever seen. He has threatened to pull the U.S. out of
the deal and has to make a decision on whether he will do so by a May 12
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed that France and Germany are
determined to preserve the Iranian nuclear deal.
agreement is the right way to ensure that Iran will not develop a nuclear
bomb,” he said.
agreement must be maintained, irrespective of the U.S. decision,” he stressed.
July 2015, the EU and the P5+1 group of countries -- China, Germany, France,
Russia, the U.K. and U.S. -- signed with Iran the nuclear deal, also known as
the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
powers agreed to lift some of the economic sanctions imposed on Iran in return
for the latter agreeing to rein in its nuclear program.
Turkey, a Nato ally, is at odds with the US is something that is more than
obvious. The deteriorating relations between Ankara and Washington are
manifested by a number of issues, ranging from disagreements about the Kurds’
role in the fight against Islamic State and violations of the domestic rule of
law to strategic decisions considered by the Americans to be against their
Ankara’s strategic decision to buy the S-400 missile system from Russia was
viewed from the very beginning as a hostile move, since Turkey – from 1952 a
crucial Nato member in the Middle East – would not only procure technology
incompatible with Nato defense systems but obtain it from Russia in a period of
tense geopolitical relations between East and West over a number of issues.
warned President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that if he proceeded with this purchase,
he would jeopardize the planned F-35 fighter deal. More specifically, in late
April, three US senators introduced a measure aimed at blocking the transfer of
Lockheed Martin F-35s to Turkey. The senators questioned Erdogan’s domestic
governance and foreign policy orientations and decisions.
by the American move, Ankara told Washington that it will answer with
countermeasures if the US cancels or freezes the F 35 deal. As Turkish Foreign
Minister Ahmet Tsavusoglu said, “Such a decision on the part of Washington is
illogical and inappropriate for the spirit of an alliance such as the North
Atlantic Treaty Organization.”
order to understand the dynamics that shape the recent confrontation between
the US and Turkey, we must see and analyze Ankara’s actions from a geopolitical
perspective. One should answer the question, why is Ankara – a Nato ally –
distancing itself from the West and moving towards Russia?
to Michalis Kontos, assistant professor of international relations at
University of Nicosia, “Under Mr Erdogan, especially since 2010, Turkey has
developed an ambitious agenda for an enhanced regional (if not global) great
power role. The locomotive of Ankara’s aspirations is the country’s Muslim
character and AKP’s version of political Islam, which is being used as a
leverage to increase its influence over Muslim populations in the Middle East.”
this agenda, he added, to unfold according to Ankara’s planning, the main
prerequisite is a decrease in Western influence over the country and,
generally, in the region. This imperative is dictated by a complex web of
interdependence that includes Turkey’s relations with the United States, the
EU, Israel, other Middle Eastern regional powers (such as Iran and Saudi
Arabia), as well as with Muslim governments with different cultural
characteristics and geopolitical viewpoints (ie the Bashar Al Assad regime in
Syria and Egypt under Abdel Fatah Al Sisi).
maintained that while this was playing out, American reluctance to maintain its
regional primacy, which was mainly manifested after the mass military
withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 and after failing to respond to the alleged use of
chemical weapons by the Assad regime in 2013 (despite president Barack Obama’s
declaration of a “red line” a few months before), created perceptions of a
regional power deficit that could be filled by Russia and regional powers, such
as Turkey and Iran. Kontos stressed that Russia came to the fore in the Middle
East after 2012, amidst the formation of a new regional balance of power. Its
military intervention to save the waning Syrian regime in 2015 was a catalyst
that transformed regional relations and alliances in the Middle East. Despite
initial strains over the future of the Assad regime, Turkey and Russia found
themselves in the middle of a significant convergence of interests.
was asked by Asia Times to elaborate further on this. He pointed out that this
convergence was stimulated by mutual economic interests (ie natural gas sales
from Russia to Turkey and the establishment of a Russian-built nuclear
production plant in southern Turkey). He observed that convergence with Moscow
provided Ankara with an opportunity to question (or renegotiate the terms of)
Western dominance in the Middle East, the Balkan Peninsula and even Africa, in
favor of a more active and respectable Turkish role.
the same time, he said, ”Moscow foresaw its own opportunity to question Nato’s
unity and credibility in times of strain with the alliance, especially over
Ukraine and Eastern Europe.”
Kontos concluded that If Turkey leaves Nato (in real or nominal terms), this
development would suggest a major power redistribution at the global level,
similar to that caused by the détente between the United States and the
People’s Republic of China in 1972. “Only this time the favored part would be
Russia. The S-400 case is just an episode of a broader strategic game, which
provides a good explanation of the American negative stance on the matter.”
Baker Challenges Islamophobia One Cake At A Time
Ali Imdad is drizzling almond oil into a delicious-smelling dessert ready for
the after-work crowd that will pile into Milk Cafe later to enjoy a slice of
cake infused with flavours from across the Muslim world.
Imdad, who was born and raised in the UK, the backbone of each recipe is
British, but the essence of his cakes comes from the East, bringing the
culinary traditions of his Pakistani heritage and other countries across the
Islamic world to the trendy London borough of Hackney where, he hopes, they
will inspire a different dialogue about what it means to be Muslim.
30, who was runner-up on the popular Great British Bake Off TV show, says he
wants to encourage a “more wholesome” perception of Islam in the UK through his
pop-up cafe, which is entering the final phase of a successful four-week run.
historically haven’t just focused on religion,” says Imdad, citing the impact
of Islamic culture on the arts, sciences and literature as well as cuisine.
“Food has been integral to Muslims since the dawn of Islam, but people are
surprised to hear that it was Muslims who brought orange juice here.”
up in the “very Asian community” of the Alum Rock suburb of Birmingham, Imdad
never considered his Muslim identity. “I didn’t really think about what being
Muslim meant, it was just something I was.” Never having reason to question his
place in society, he felt “just as British as the next person.”
after 9/11 he noticed a shift. On the bus, he would overhear people discussing
his religion and on more than one occasion he was asked to explain the Taliban’s
motives. “For the first time I felt like the other.”
the charged political climate since Britain’s decision to leave the European
Union, Imdad said that he has encountered more instances of Islamophobia, from
racial slurs to ripping off women’s hijabs, than he cares to remember.
on dangerous territory,” he said, concerned by the “increasing acceptance”
toward anti-Islamic sentiment, popularised by certain prominent politicians and
academics who are “welcoming far-right hate speech.”
an anonymous letter was circulated last March naming April 3 as “Punish a
Muslim Day” and calling for attacks against Muslims, he decided to act. He
posted a tweet on social media saying that although ”hatred doesn’t scare me”
that ”my mum is sitting reading the Qur’an and praying for safety ... That she
feels she has to pray to stay safe just for being a Muslim. When did we go back
to the 1930s again?”
said that he felt a responsibility to “call them out.” After the Manchester
bombing in May last year he noticed a surge in Islamophobic comments over
social media. “As a Muslim you need to defend other Muslims,” he said,
explaining that for him as a baker, it was about creating an environment where
people could discover the culinary culture of Islam.
a more subtle approach toward introducing people to the different cultures of
Islam, they can come and discuss the religion, or just enjoy the food and see,
through my desserts, how Muslims have contributed to world cuisine.”
real foodies,” he says, slicing a tray of brownies into thick wedges for his
most popular recipe, which infuses dates, figs and chocolate into the popular
English pudding. His menu, which also stars a delectable Moroccan-inspired
orange and pomegranate drizzle cake and a Pakistani-themed chai-spiced
chocolate sphere, aims to reflect the diversity of the Muslim world.
want to remind people that there isn’t a single Muslim culture; there are
cultures within the Muslim field and my desserts aren’t just Muslim desserts,
they’re from Malaysia, Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Egypt and beyond.”
only so much that can by achieved with a menu of cakes — however inspired the
recipes — and Imdad is the first to acknowledge this, but he feels that an
“accessible”, “grassroots” approach is what’s lacking in efforts to combat the
rising tide of Islamophobia in Britain.
are plenty of people talking on our behalf at the political level, but not
everybody is interested in politics … this is for people who want to talk about
Islam in terms of the history, or the food, or the culture, rather than
discussing terrorism, bombs or wars.”
latest recipe, which is emitting a mouthwatering perfume from the bowl as we
speak, was dreamed up on the train here as he sifted through the memories of a
visit to Egypt 10 years ago. Although it is the first time he has made it, he
is sure that the flavours — almond cake infused with cinnamon syrup and a
vanilla and ginger gelato, will work and conjure up his experience of Egypt for
said that it is a subtle, but powerful platform: “Everyone’s interested in food
and what better way to bring everyone together?” Back at home Alum Rock, he
said that he is conscious of the deepening divisions in British society.
I was younger there used to be quite a few white families living there, but
now, 20 years later, they’re all gone, I don’t remember the last time I saw a
white face there.”
think tank, which analyses world events and trends from a Spanish, European,
and global perspective, explored the prevalence of Moroccans suspected of
engaging in Islamist terrorism activities in Spain between 2013 and 2017 in a
study entitled “Moroccans and second generations among the jihadists in Spain.”
2013-2017 database on jihadists in Spain reveals that approximately 46 percent
of the 233 people arrested or killed for alleged involvement in terrorism
related activities in Spain are Moroccan nationals. Those of Spanish
nationality represent nearly 37.9 percent, while the rest are made up of 19
figures also show that six out of ten people in this study are second
generation descendants of Moroccan immigrants, who were radicalized and
recruited in the Iberian country by various Islamist cells or networks.
to the report’s authors, Fernando Reinares and Carola Garcia-Calvo, the
majority of those detained for suspected terrorism offences came from provinces
and cities located in the northern Rif region of Morocco, and they blame the
spread of jihadism on the Rif’s economic woes and substandard social
study further notes that Spain’s north African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla
are the biggest hub of jihadist activity on Spanish territory. The cities are
the birthplace of almost 73 percent of all detainees who were convicted of
jihadist terrorism or who died in suicide attacks in Spain in the time period
the authors postulate that jihadists’ involvement in terrorist activities comes
in response to spatial segregation and social marginality as well as,
unemployment, illiteracy, delinquency, and the lack of urbanization, which
denotes an effective absence of state authority in both cities.
mainland Spain, Catalonia, especially Barcelona, was also recognized as a
jihadi hotspot. Of all foreign jihadists arrested across Spain, 14.3 percent
were detained within this metropolitan area.
Spanish think thank recognizes that Catalonia is increasingly known as a centre
of extremism, with nearly one third of ISIS-linked arrests in Spain made there.
Furthermore, Spanish authorities identified the region as a “major Mediterranean
centre of radical Islamist activity” and a “magnet for terrorist recruiters,”
such as al Qaeda and Ansar al-Islam.
study notes that four out of 10 jihadists sentenced or killed in Spain in the
selected time period had resided in Catalonia.
thwarted in the homeland
a large majority of the jihadists in Spain are currently Moroccans or second
generation descendants of Moroccan immigrants, the authors indicate that it is
easier for someone of Moroccan origin to engage in terrorist activities if
he/she resides in Spain than in Morocco, due to Morocco’s relative success in
containing its own domestic jihadism threat.
the aftermath of the 2003 suicide bombings that occurred in multiple locations
in Casablanca, Morocco has devoted considerable resources to preventing t
violent Islamism at home by implementing a mixture of tight security measures,
in-depth intelligence gathering, and religious reforms.
strengthened security at borders and implemented anti-terrorism laws, imposing
heavy jail terms (up to 20 years) and fines on people returning from the
Islamic State battlefields in Syria and Iraq. Morocco’s counter-terrorism
strategy may make it difficult for jihadi groups to operate in the country.
el-Amrani, North Africa director at the International Crisis Group, told the
Financial Times last year that “Morocco has been very successful at driving
deep underground any major al Qaeda or ISIS group.”
hasn’t been a single successful attack since the formation of ISIS [in 2014].
Moroccan jihadis have largely gone to fight abroad, rather than stay at home
because the security lockdown is too pervasive,” el-Amrani said.
the prevalence of Moroccan expats among the perpetrators of high-profile
attacks sparked concerns in recent years that the country is becoming a
breeding ground for jihadists.
claims this “implies that an existing problem in Morocco is projected on our
country [Spain],” recalling that eleven of the twelve suspected accomplices in
the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks which killed fifteen people on August 17,
2017, were Moroccan-born or of Moroccan descent, and the twelfth was from the Spanish enclave of Melilla,
according to Spanish authorities.
Khiame, head of Morocco’s Central Bureau of Judicial Investigations, believes
the reasons for radicalization are far from being related to the jihadis’
birthplace but rather to the environment in which they were raised. Khiame told
the BBC two years ago that the radicalisation of Moroccan youths in Europe was
“due to factors in the countries where they live.”
these people have Moroccan roots but they were born, grew and acquired values
from Western countries,” he said.
- A Russian helicopter crashed in Syria late on Monday killing both pilots,
Moscow's defence ministry said in a statement carried by news agencies. "A
Russian Ka-52 helicopter crashed while on a routine flight over the eastern
regions of the Syrian Arab Republic. Both pilots were killed," the
statement said, quoted by the TASS news agency. It added that the incident "may
have been due to a technical malfunction" and that a rescue team recovered
the bodies. The incident is the Russian army's second deadly crash in Syria in
less than a week. On May 3, a Russian fighter jet crashed after taking off from
an airbase, killing both pilots.
minority communities meet in UAE to talk challenges
DHABI, United Arab Emirates — The United Arab Emirates hosted the start of a
two-day forum on Tuesday for Islamic community leaders from countries around
the world where Muslims are minorities.
hundred people attended the forum in the UAE’s capital of Abu Dhabi to network
and discuss challenges around issues of Islamophobia, integration and
community leaders attending the summit came from countries as far as Venezuela
and Vietnam, where Muslims are minorities. The forum also hosted speakers from
international organizations, like the United Nations, and members of other
faiths, such as Buddhism and Christianity, to deepen discussions on pluralism
more than half a billion Muslims living in countries where they are a minority,
spokesperson for the International Muslim Communities Conference, Fawziya
Al-Ajamawi, said it’s important to combat misunderstandings and portray Islam
“as a religion of forgiveness and love.”
biggest issue we face in Europe is the growth of Islamophobia and the fear of
Islam and Muslims because, daily, the news shows stories of bombings and
terrorist activities,” she said.
are trying to correct this picture that taints the image of Muslims,”
attendee, Muhammad Robert Heft, said the conference in Abu Dhabi was an
opportunity to meet other Muslim community leaders from different backgrounds
and walks of life to understand the issues they face.
think it’s important to sort of get outside your bubble and box. I mean I’m in
Toronto, Canada so when you come to a place like this, you get a lot more and a
wider perspective about what’s happening in life, especially outside of, you
know, my circle,” he said.
said he converted to Islam 20 years ago at the age of 25. He is now founder and
president of Paradise Forever, an organization that works with Muslim converts
in Canada and is funded by UAE Vice President and Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed
bin Rashid Al Maktoum. He’s counseled Canadian converts to Islam who are at
risk or have been radicalized.
said one of the challenges Muslim minorities face when living abroad is
integration without compromising one’s religious principles.
finding that balance,” Heft said. “Let’s try to find that common ground and
live and let live.”
Aiuba Dauda came to the conference from Mozambique. He says he memorized the
Quran by age 15 and studied Arabic and Islam in Sudan and Saudi Arabia. He now
preaches in mosques and works with Muslim youth in his home country, where
Christianity is also widely practiced.
says the challenges facing Muslims in Mozambique include poverty, unemployment
and access to education.
aren’t enough universities and high schools. There are youth who study under
trees,” he said.
the conference spokesperson, says the inaugural forum is just the start of what
could be an annual event to bring together leaders of Muslim minority
Turkey, which tolerates and even supports some Islamist groups like the Muslim
Brotherhood that the UAE has outlawed, hosted its own summit for Muslim
minorities last month with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressing attendees
and urging unity in the face of religious extremism and anti-Muslim hate
Sunnis Voting Without Hope in First Election Since Islamic State
Iraq (Reuters) - At the gates of Tikrit under a giant billboard of a Shi'ite
militia commander, hundreds of Iraqi Sunni Arabs wait in the scorching sun for
hours to be searched before being let into the city that was once the power
base of Saddam Hussein.
as Islamic State sympathizers by Iraq's Shi'ite dominated security forces and
militias, the Sunnis near Tikrit say they feel disillusioned and alienated
ahead of a May 12 election to elect a new prime minister.
Saddam, power was concentrated within Iraq's minority Sunni community but the
tables turned in 2003 with the U.S.-led invasion that toppled the dictator and
ushered in Shi'ite dominance, and a cycle of bloodletting and revenge.
months after the defeat of Islamic State, Iraq's Sunni Arabs are at their
lowest point yet.
2.3 million remain displaced, while others linger in prisons or without work in
half-ruined cities - all collectively suspected of ties to the hardline Sunni
Mohammed, 35, a former army bomb disposal expert from Tikrit, said he went to
Baghdad when Islamic State seized the city in 2014, offering to help the
authorities fight back.
commanders said you're from Tikrit, you're all Islamic State. I told them:
'Check our records and punish us if we are'. They just stopped paying our
salaries," said Mohammed, who plans to put a large X over the entire
ballot paper on Saturday.
the widespread disillusionment, many Sunnis say they do want their voices
heard, even if that means spoiling their ballots or backing a candidate they
have no faith in.
with dozens of voters, candidates and local officials in three Sunni provinces
suggest the community is planning to turn out in high numbers on Saturday
though few believe the election will do much to improve their fate.
will vote, but I don't have hope that anything will change," said Ghufran,
a 25-year-old pharmacist in Mosul who declined to give her full name for fear
is one of thousands to have returned since Mosul was retaken from Islamic State
in July, despite the difficulties of living among "rubble and
before Islamic State seized it 2014, Mosul had been a stronghold for Islamist
militants who threatened to kill anyone who voted in the first elections after
Mohammed braved the intimidation to work on the election in 2010, but stayed
away in 2014 after Islamic State threatened his family.
time he will defy the latest threats from Islamist militants who have warned
Sunnis not to vote, despite having lost control of the city.
climate of fear is over," said 41-year-old Mohammed, who, like many of his
neighbors, will vote despite his disdain for the candidates. "It's our
duty to vote."
determination to vote in the absence of a belief anything will change was
echoed across Mosul, the capital of Nineveh province where more than 900
candidates from over 30 electoral lists are running for just 31 parliamentary
have long complained about rampant discrimination at the hands of Shi'ite-led
governments and security forces since 2003, though some concede there have been
improvements since Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi took over four years ago.
his predecessor Nuri al-Maliki, who was seen as overtly sectarian, Abadi has
some support among Sunnis who credit him with freeing them from Islamic State
and could endorse his re-election bid.
don't trust the current politicians but I'd vote for Abadi. He liberated
Mosul," said Fatouma Badran, 40, in the Hammam al Alil refugee camp south
of the city.
Victory Alliance list is the only one running in all 18 provinces. He has been
campaigning across Iraq and his visits to Sunni heartlands have been well
in Mosul, such as 31-year-old Ali Fares, say they could never vote for the
leaders they blame for recklessly battering their city in the battle to oust
all destroyed Mosul," said Fares in a makeshift tea shop in the heart of
the Old City. "Instead of spending millions of dinars on campaign posters,
they should rebuild houses."
of those displaced by war have spent months or years in camps, but some live in
informal settlements, as their former homes are no long habitable, or their
areas not yet secure.
a charred, multi-story garage full of blown-up cars in Tikrit, hundreds have
set up their own informal camp, where families are divided by simple hanging
not everyone wants to vote. Rahman Mohsen, a 47-year-old former taxi driver,
said he returned home to Baiji after Islamic State was driven out but his house
had burnt down.
he came to Tikrit instead and ended up in the garage, and is angry with
politicians for not doing more to help.
only see them during elections, after elections we never see them again. Not a
single official has visited us. The children have developed scabies and
lice," he said pointing to one of his young sons with a visible bald spot.
"We survive on charity ... thank God, at least there is a ceiling."
the Amriyat al-Falluja (AAF) complex west of the capital Baghdad, the only
things more abundant than tents are campaign posters - though most families in
the camp are using the structures displaying the candidates to hang their
Khalaf plans to vote for a candidate who he says helped camp residents with
much needed supplies. But, like most people interviewed by Reuters in the camp,
he hasn't got a voting card and believes this will bar him from participating.
State punished those who had voting cards so we got rid of them," he said.
Khalaf said it would cost him 20,000 Iraqi dinars ($16) to hire a car to go and
get a new voting card, money he and thousands of others in camps do not have.
residents are allowed to vote through a system called "conditional voting"
where they only need to show documents that confirm their identity and that
they live in the camp, but many were unaware of the process.
in camps and rural communities across the mainly Sunni provinces of Anbar,
Salahuddin and Nineveh also said several Shi'ite militias had threatened to
press terrorism charges against their youths unless specific candidates won.
problem for the Sunnis is that unlike Iraq's Kurds and Shi'ite Arabs, they lack
a strong national leadership or party structure meaning the electoral base of
their politicians is largely provincial or tribal in nature.
some regions, such as Tikrit, that vacuum is felt particularly acutely.
the occupation in 2003 we have not had any representative from Tikrit in the
provincial council or parliament. Because Saddam was from Tikrit. They say in
Baghdad we ruled Iraq for 35 years and it's enough," said Najeeb Saeed, a
46-year-old street trader.
mostly did not engage in the political process after 2003. Some considered it
born out of an illegal occupation while many would-be leaders were banned for
belonging to Saddam's Baath party.
feel the Sunni politicians who have engaged in politics since the fall of
Saddam are collaborators, just out for personal gain.
and its political allies won more than half the 128 seats, giving the
resistance movement the power to block any attempt by its foreign and domestic
opponents to force the group to disarm.
Interior Ministry has announced the names of the winning candidates in Sunday’s
parliamentary elections. According to the vote count, Hezbollah and its allies
namely will form the majority in parliament. The group's allies include the
Amal Movement led by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and the Christian Free
Patriotic Movement founded by President Michel Aoun.
Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, an ally of Washington and Riyadh, had also
announced that his party has lost a third of seats in the parliamentary
elections, stressing that the international community should look at the
results of Lebanon's election in a "very positive way”.
the official results were announced, supporters of the major parties started
celebrating, driving through Beirut and other cities in cars decked out with
party flags and firing guns in celebration.
secretary general of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement Sayed Hassan
Nasrallah has lauded ensuring an atmosphere of calm and security for the
country’s general elections as a national achievement, describing the results
as a major victory for the resistance group.
has hailed the vote results as “a great moral and political victory for
Hezbollah, which protects the country”, emphasizing that Hezbollah needs a
strong representation in the parliament in order to fight corruption, honor its
promises and build Lebanon.
United States and some Persian Gulf states resorted to smear campaign in a bid
to poison public opinion towards Hezbollah. Their efforts, however, ended in
failure,” he pointed out.
has also warned against threats being made by Israeli officials against Syria,
Lebanon and the Islamic Republic of Iran, stressing that they were worrisome
for Middle East nations.
maintains Lebanon's most powerful military force and has deployed thousands of
its forces to neighboring Syria to fight against terrorist groups such as ISIL
and al-Nusra Front along with the army of President Bashar al-Assad.
Saudi Arabia has welcomed President Trump’s decision to withdraw the United
States from the nuclear agreement with Iran, saying it would work with the
United States and the international community to address Tehran’s nuclear programme
as well as its ballistic missile programme and support of militant groups in
used economic gains from the lifting of sanctions to continue its activities to
destabilise the region, particularly by developing ballistic missiles and supporting
terrorist groups in the region,” said a foreign ministry statement.
confirmed “the need to deal with the danger that Iran’s policies pose to
international peace and security through a comprehensive view that is not
limited to its nuclear programme but also includes all hostile activities” in
Al-Sham Hay'at Drives Rival Terrorists out of More Regions in Northwestern Syria
al-Sham gunmen struck Faylaq's base in the town of Jarbanoush in Northern Idlib
and captured it.
al-Sham's attack came after one of its members was assassinated by unknown
raiders' gun fire in Jarbanoush.
al-Sham drove Faylaq members from Jarbanoush and set up new checkpoints in the
a similar development last month, Syria's Tahrir Front stormed the positions of
Tahrir al-Sham in Western Aleppo and managed to capture five villages and
towns, including the towns of Taqad and Ajel.
the Front kept its gunmen on alert in the town of al-Abzamou in Western Aleppo
and the town of Tal Adah in Northern Aleppo.
army's artillery and missile units opened heavy fire at the movements and
positions of the Al-Nusra in the towns of al-Latamina and Kafr Zita and their
outskirts and in the villages of al-Sayyad, Latmin, al-Zakah and al-Arba'een in
Northern Hama and Tal Aas region in Southern Idlib.
other units of the army engaged in fierce clashes with the terrorist group in
Tal Mosayebeen region in Northern Aleppo and near Mariwadah in Southern Aleppo.
Al-Nusra's positions and military hardware were destroyed and a number of its
gunmen were killed or wounded in the army attacks.
sources reported on Monday that the Syrian Armed forces targeted terrorists'
positions in Northern Hama regularly to pave the ground for an imminent
large-scale operation in the region,.
sources said that the army's artillery and missile units as well as the Air
Force were pounding terrorists' strongholds, headquarters and supply routes of
the militants, to weaken their defense capabilities ahead of a large-scale
operation by the government forces in Northern Hama.
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that Soqour al-Jabal and Sultan Murad
terrorist groups, affiliated to the Turkish army, exchanged heavy fire in
al-Qandoureh region in Jarabulus, leaving casualties on both warring sides.
Hawar news said that the infighting in Afrin region is due to rival militants'
differences over distribution of assets they have looted from civilians' houses
the meantime, the Russia-run Humeimim airbase cautioned of stealing and looting
civilians' assets in Afrin region, and underlined that control of Afrin region
should be handed over to the Syrian government.
news quoted well-informed sources in Shih region in Afrin as reporting on
Saturday that the army took into captivity a sum of 3,000 civilians in several
villages in Shih and transferred them to the village of Mirkan in Mobata
news further said that some of the jailed civilians were transferred to the
village of Qarmitlaq and some others were sent to Turkey to be kept in
detention centers there.
further said that the captured civilians were tortured severely by the army and
its allied militants, adding that the Turkish soldiers were shooting around
blindfolded captives to scare them.
the meantime, a local source on Bolboleh region said that the Ankara-backed
militants forced villagers in Khalika to leave their houses to replace them
with almost 2,000 militants and their family members that had left Douma region
in Damascus province under an evacuation agreement with the Syrian Army.
May 2018 Text size A A A
public prosecutor has referred to military trial 555 people accused of
belonging to a branch of the ISIS group in the Sinai Peninsula, a judicial
official said Tuesday.
555 were alleged to have formed 43 cells as part of Wilayat Sinai, "whose
elements carried out 63 terrorist operations", the official said, referring
to the group that pledged allegiance to ISIS.
were accused of murder and the attempted killing of officers and personnel of
the armed forces and police in North Sinai province.
of the 555, 216 would appear in court, while 339 would be tried in absentia,
according to the official.
the latest verdict, a military court sentenced 36 people to death in April on
accusations they were involved in attacks against churches, requesting the
opinion of Egypt's grand mufti, as required by law.
opinion of Egypt's highest religious authority is solicited whenever a death
sentence is passed, but it is not legally binding.
attacks, claimed by ISIS, killed at least 80 people.
has been hit by significant militant attacks in recent years, especially after
Muslim Brotherhood president Mohamed Morsi was toppled following mass protests
against his rule.
February 9, the military launched an operation against ISIS's affiliate in
Arabia has said it "supports and welcomes" US President Donald
Trump's decision to pull out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action
kingdom supports and welcomes the steps announced by the US president towards
withdrawing from the nuclear deal... and reinstating economic sanctions against
Iran," said a statement released by the Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry on
statement further claimed Iran was "taking advantage of the revenue
generated by the lifting of the sanctions to destabilize the region."
allies in the Persian Gulf, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, also issued
statements voicing support of Trump's decision.
Prime Benjamin Netanyahu announced that the Tel Aviv regime "fully
supports" Trump's "bold" withdrawal from Iran deal.
in the day, Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from
Iran’s nuclear deal with the world powers and re-impose sanctions against the
said that after consulting with US "friends" across the Middle East,
his country would "not be held hostage to nuclear blackmail."
announcement came despite massive efforts by the European allies of the US to
convince Trump to stay in the 2015 deal, known JCPOA, reached between Iran and
the P5+1, five permanent members of the UN Security Council – the US, France,
Britain, Russia and China – plus Germany.
missiles have targeted Syrian army positions in the Kisweh area south of the capital
to Syrian state news agency SANA on Tuesday, Syrian air defenses downed two
Israeli missiles in the Kisweh region.
attack took place shortly after Israel instructed local authorities in the
“unlock and ready (bomb) shelters” in occupied Golan Heights as US President
Donald Trump's announced the US' departure from the JCPOA.
am announcing today that the United States will withdraw from the Iran nuclear
deal," Trump said Tuesday in a televised address from the White House.
“This was a horrible one-sided deal that should have never, ever been made.”
April Syria announced that several of its military bases located in the
provinces of Hama and Aleppo have come under missile fire.
the past few years, the Israeli military has launched sporadic attacks against
various targets on Syrian soil, in assaults slammed by Syria as attempts to
boost terrorist groups who have been suffering heavy defeats on the battlefield
with Syrian government forces.
are four major conversations that underscore Malaysian politics today and will
shape the outcome of the upcoming general election.
first is leadership, well telegraphed in the media, which pits Najib Razak –
the incumbent of six years from the Malay nationalist party UMNO – against
Mahathir Mohammed, the 92-year-old former prime minister whose two decade-long
administration put the country on the world map. Mahathir is the candidate of
the united opposition Pakatan Harapan.
second is the perception about the role of government in the lives of citizens
and whether the raft of subsidies, currently being dismantled, should remain
large or should diminish in order to keep this manufacturing, export-orientated
economy on an even keel.
third is the place of the relatively less populated, but resource-rich states
of Sabah and Sarawak in the country’s East that feel they have been neglected
because in the electoral calculus they became “safe deposits” for the
peninsular-based party of Najib Razak and the coalition he leads, Barisan
Nasional, or National Front.
and arguably the most crucial for the fabric of Malaysia’s Muslim dominated but
significantly multi-ethnic and multi-racial society, is the Islamic political
imaginary – i.e. how those wanting a greater role for their religion, plan to
push that agenda in this constitutionally secular country.
leading voice in this conversation is the Malaysian Islamic Party, known by its
acronym PAS, which governed the northern peninsular state of Kelantan for
decades before joining the federal opposition coalition to create the most
formidable challenge to the National Front, which has controlled Malaysia since
independence in 1957.
after two successful electoral cycles in which it joined forces with other
anti-establishment political parties to capture two of the most economically
advanced states in the federation, securing the backing of urban voters and
crafting a common policy platform calling for institutional reform and the end
of endemic corruption, PAS broke away from the main opposition force, Pakatan
Rakyat, as it was known.
is now playing a high stakes game in which it openly aspires to be “kingmaker”
and therefore determine the shape of governance and public policy from a
minority position, a strategy that some could argue is perfectly democratic.
critics point to the many theories as to why the PAS leadership would abandon
its erstwhile partners in the democratic movement – some alleging millions have
been paid to party leaders, or personal rivalries – one needn’t have to look
further than the vision of a full Islamic polity and Malaysia’s unique
political calculus to understand the actions and strategies of PAS.
the broad conversation about Islam and its relation to politics that exists in
Malaysia, PAS stands committed to the parliamentary process. This contrasts
sharply with those like the local chapter of Hizbut Tahrir, who say that god’s
law cannot be subordinated to the parliamentary process, and, on the other end
of the spectrum, those who argue that it is enough for Islamic principles to infuse
governance – a position that satisfies more religiously orientated secularists.
is also committed to the ethno-nationalist Malay agenda despite its assertions
that there cannot be race-discrimination by a truly Islamic administration.
This is, in part, a reflection of the history and social base of the party as
one of the oldest political movements in modern Malaysia.
the leadership of the late Nik Aziz, long time chief minister of Kelantan, PAS
kept its distance from UMNO. Proximity never helped it electorally and the
party also had theological justification for its political cooperation with
non-Muslim based and non-religious orientated Muslim parties.
his recent passing, those eager to cooperate with UMNO on the basis of
ethnic-unity gained the upper hand, and took the party in a very different
a PAS splinter party, with many charismatic Islamists leaders, has remained
with the federal opposition, the departure of the mother party from the
opposition coalition raises important questions about the desirability of
Islamists to associate their struggle with the broader challenge of
sources of the political conundrum for Islamists lies in the formation of the
current federal opposition configuration, which began with the crisis in the
ruling party in the late 1990s following the Asian financial crisis.
the broad conversation about Islam and its relation to politics that exists in
Malaysia, PAS stands committed to the parliamentary process. This contrasts
sharply with those like the local chapter of Hizbut Tahrir, who say that god’s
law cannot be subordinated to the parliamentary process, and, on the other end
of the spectrum, those who argue that it is enough for Islamic principles to
infuse governance – a position that satisfies more religiously orientated
Indonesian court has rejected a lawsuit from a hard-line Muslim group appealing
against its disbandment by the country's the Law and Human Rights Ministry.
ruling was yet another nail in the coffin of Hizb ut-Tahrir Indonesia (HTI),
which openly advocated the setting up of a caliphate in Indonesia.
ut-Tahrir was ordered disbanded on July 17 last year under a newly introduced
law regulating mass organizations.
its ruling on May 7, the Jakarta Administrative Court agreed with the
government that the activities of the group were against the national secular
ideology of Pancasila or Five Principles.
reject the petition of Hizb ut Tahrir and it must not conduct any activities
from now on," said Tri Cahya Indra Permana, head of the judicial panel.
said evidence proved beyond doubt that HTI was looking to undermine the state
ideology, citing a "caliphate conference" the group organized in
HTI was not [an Islamic] congregation but a political party," the panel
than 800 group members following the hearing outside the court responded
angrily to the ruling, shouting "caliphate, caliphate, caliphate."
chairman Rochmat S. Labib said the group's activities were in line with Islamic
are very disappointed with the decision," Labib told ucanews.com, and
accused the court of committing a big mistake because it is clear that
establishing a caliphate is part if Islamic teaching.
is part of Islam and it is in the Quran," he said.
Jibril, a Muslim cleric, agreed.
caliphate is part of Islamic teaching and we have an obligation to teach
that", he said.
Junaidi, a company employee in Jakarta said he welcomed the ruling.
disagree with presence of this organization. Indonesia is a multi-religious and
multi-ethnic country he said when asked his thoughts.
Tigor Nainggolan, from the human rights desk of the Indonesian bishops'
Commission for Justice, Peace and Pastoral for Migrant-Itinerant People said
HTI violated the mass organization law, which obliges organizations to respect
the state philosophy.
future, the government should be careful when approving the establishment of
mass organizations so that they do not threaten national security," he
was not clear May 8 whether HTI would appeal the ruling in the Constitutional
police have dropped a defamation charge against controversial Muslim cleric,
Muhammad Rizieq Shihab.
leader of Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) — Indonesia's most notorious hard-line
group — was accused of insulting the country's secular ideology Pancasila and
the country's founding father the late president Soekarno.
daughter, Sukmawati Soekarnoputri, filed a lawsuit against Shihab in January
was accused of saying in a sermon that in Soekarno's Pancasila, "God is
placed in the ass," when God should be in the head.
said there was not enough evidence to charge him.
Selestinus, a Catholic and chairman of a lawyers' group set up to defend
Pancasila, expressed disappointment at the decision, saying it will encourage
groups looking to undermine secularism in Indonesia.
termination of this case will provide fresh fuel for hardliners to act
arbitrarily," he said
who fled to Saudi Arabia more than a year ago, is still wanted in Indonesia on
a pornography charge related to lewd text messages allegedly exchanged between
him and a woman who was not his wife.
officers and one prisoner were killed in a riot at a police detention center in
a city near Indonesia's capital that authorities allege was earlier being
targeted by Islamic militants, an official said today.
riot happened in Depok, on Jakarta's southern outskirts, where four days
earlier police arrested three Islamic militants they say planned to attack the
headquarters and other police stations in the same town.
Islamic State group's Amaq News Agency published a report saying the fighting
that broke out at the prison late Tuesday was between its fighters and the
counterterrorism investigator said in a text message that six officers had been
taken hostage by the inmates, and five of them were killed. One other officer
was still being held captive.
police officers were injured and were being treated at a hospital, said the
investigator, who did not want to be named because he was not authorized to speak
in the day, national police spokesman Muhammad Iqbal told reporters outside the
headquarters of the elite Mobile Brigade police in Depok that some people from
both sides were injured, but didn't give a number and refused to provide more
reports said the riot began when some terrorist detainees tried to grab weapons
from guards on the counterterrorism squad.
was just triggered by a trivial thing, about food from families," Iqbal
said. The inmates reportedly pushed an iron trellis until broken before taking
long-barreled weapons and breaking through the ammunition room inside the
detention building. That led to a shootout between the inmates and
rioting happened four days after the arrests of three Islamic militants who
planned to attack the headquarters and other police stations in the same town.
the world's most populous Muslim nation, has carried out a sustained crackdown
on Islamic militants since the 2002 Bali bombings by Jemaah Islamiyah network
that killed 202 people, mostly foreigners.
Indonesian court sentenced a Protestant pastor to four years in prison and
slapped him with a hefty fine on Monday simply because he shared his faith with
a taxi driver.
Jakarta Post reports that a district court in Tangerang, Java, issued the
four-year sentence and a fine equivalent to $3,565 to Rev. Abraham Ben Moses, a
well-known former Muslim apologist.
who was arrested last December, was detained after a video was widely
circulated that showed him sharing his faith with a Muslim taxi driver.
to Voice of the Martyrs, Moses can be heard in the video speaking about the
Muslim prophet Muhammad and his teaching on marriage. In the video, he is also
reportedly shown asking the driver to accept Christ.
of the video, Muhammadiyah, one of Indonesia's largest Islamic organizations,
filed a blasphemy complaint against Moses.
to the Jakarta Post, the presiding judge, Muhammad Damis, stated that Moses was
convicted under an Electronic and Information Transactions Law on grounds that
he spread information that was intended to incite hatred on the basis of
legal team will reportedly file an appeal.
sentence is too heavy for the defendant," Maxie Ellia, one of the
evangelist's lawyers, said, according to the Jakarta Post.
to the United States-based watchdog group International Christian Concern, the
sentencing was praised by Muhammadiyah.
decision should be appreciated and should serve as a valuable lesson for all
parties," Muhammadiyah official Pedri Kasman was quoted as saying.
where eight out of 10 citizens are Muslim, ranks as the 38th worst country in
the world when it comes to Christian persecution, according to Open Doors USA's
2018 World Watch List.
a video testimony shared by Voice of the Martyrs earlier this week, Moses
stated from prison that the "strength that I get is from Jesus who
is a very good friend. He never leaves us. His promise is 'Yes' and
'Amen,'" Moses said through his translator. "He will take care of you
and your whole family."
Christians have also been victimized by the nation's blasphemy law. Most
notably, former Jakarta Gov. Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Christian also known as
"Ahok," was accused of blasphemy during the middle of his re-election
campaign after a doctored video emerged in the fall of 2016. He was sentenced
last May to two years in prison.
Indonesian government should revisit the country's blasphemy law, as it is
increasingly being exploited by radical Muslim groups to target individuals who
they find to be offensive and theologically 'out-of-line,'" ICC Regional
Manager Gina Goh said in a statement. "To honor religious freedom as enshrined
in Indonesia's constitution, the government must respect all religions and stop
criminalizing Christians when they are merely exercising their right to free
Doors USA, which is a prominent persecution watchdog organization, reports that
the situation for Christians in the past several years in Indonesia has
International has urged the government to release Alnoldy Bahari, a farmer from
Pandeglang regency in Banten, who was sentenced to five years in prison and
ordered to pay Rp 100 million (US$ 7,150) by Pandeglang District Court on April
30 for blasphemy.
November last year, Alnoldy was reported by his neighbors who accused him of
insulting Islam and spreading hate speech on Facebook.
offending statements included “I am a Muslim and I truly testify that there is
no god but Allah. I have seen Allah, have you?” and “If a fake Muslim cleric
has entered the political realm, then Quranic verses are not absolute truth
was arrested in December 2017 and charged with blasphemy under Article 156(a)
of the Criminal Code, and Article 28(2) of the Electronic Information and
Transaction (ITE) Law.
only peacefully expressed his right to freedom of thought, conscience and
religion, Alnoldy Bahari is a prisoner of conscience and must be immediately
and unconditionally released,” Amnesty International said in an official
release on Tuesday.
International called on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally
release Alnoldy and all other individuals who have been detained solely for
peacefully exercising their human rights and also to repeal or amend all
blasphemy provisions set out in laws and regulations, which violate the rights
to freedom of expression and thought, conscience and religion.
ensure that judges and prosecutors are aware of Indonesia’s international human
rights obligations and the need for the application of national law to be
consistent with them,” it further said.
International recorded that 11 people were convicted for blasphemy in 2017
either under the ITE Law or the Criminal Code.
Alnoldy was the first to be convicted in 2018.
militants kill 9 Kenyan soldiers
militants from Somalia have killed nine Kenyan soldiers along the porous
Kenyan-Somali border, officials revealed Monday.
soldiers were on a patrol in Dobley, a Somali town, on their way back when
their vehicle was blown up by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on Sunday.
President Uhuru Kenyatta on Monday vowed that Kenya would continue its fight
against the Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliated al-Shabaab militant group.
today, I was appalled and saddened to learn that we had lost nine young
patriots to a cowardly terrorist attack."
soldiers who were injured were taken to a local hospital before being flown to
the Kenyan capital for specialized treatment.
Haftar, commander of Libyan forces backed by the Tobruk-based parliament, has
announced the launch of a military offensive to capture Libya's northeastern
city of Derna.
was captured by the Shura Council of Mujahideen after the expulsion of Daesh
from the city in 2014.
a speech delivered late Monday at the Tobruk parliament to mark the fourth
anniversary of the Al-Karama military offensive, Haftar said: "We declare
zero-hour to liberate the city of Derna."
gave strict instructions to my forces to protect civilians… and abide by
international humanitarian law," the general affirmed.
years ago, Haftar’s forces surrounded the city of Derna in a bid to capture it
from the Shura Council of Mujahideen, which is described as
"terrorists" by pro-Haftar forces -- a designation dismissed by the
efforts in Derna have reached a deadlock after more than three years,"
went on to attribute the deadlock to "terrorist gangs" in the city,
affirming that "they aim to separate the city from the [rest of the]
bomber has attacked a checkpoint in eastern Libya held by militiamen loyal to
military commander General Khalifa Haftar, killing at least two people,
including a civilian.
Al-Mabruk Sahban, a senior security official, said the attacker also killed a
fighter from Haftar's self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) when the vehicle
they were driving exploded at a roadblock 90 kilometers east of Sirte.
in the day, security services had discovered another car bomb in the troubled
was not immediately clear what group was responsible for the Tuesday attack.
attack comes a day after Haftar announced the start of an offensive to
"liberate” the city of Derna, which is controlled by terrorist groups
linked to al- Qaeda and a coalition of extremists.
March, the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group claimed responsibility for two attacks
against LNA checkpoints that killed at least 10 people.
week, the terrorist group claimed an attack in Tripoli against Libya's
electoral commission that claimed the lives of at least 14 people.
a general under former strongman Muammar Gaddafi, became a major figure in
Libya’s politics after Gaddafi’s fall and death in 2011. He has consistently
opposed a government in Tripoli, which is backed by the United Nations. The
75-year-old has been backed by countries to the east of Libya, including Egypt,
while governments like Algeria and Tunisia back the internationally recognized
government which dominates the western territories of the oil-rich North
Uganda — The Director of Public Prosecutions Mike Chibita has dropped treason
charges against nineteen Muslim suspects who have been on remand at Luzira
prison since 2014.
to a withdrawal letter dated March 23, 2018, DPP says he is no longer
interested in prosecuting the suspects and asked presiding High Court Judge
Wilson Masalu Musene to set them free.
Prosecutor Thomas Jatiko also dispelled fears that the suspects will be
re-arrested soon after being released.
was after nine witnesses had testified against the accused persons but the
State refused to close its case, prompting the withdraw of charges against
Masalu had now discharged all of them.
nineteen suspects include a woman Aisha Nakasibante a sister in-law to Ugandan
Austrian based cardiologist Dr. Aggrey Kiyingi .
have been facing two counts of treason and concealment of treason, in which
prosecution had alleged that they contrived a plot to over throw the government
of Uganda by use of fire arms between years; 2013 and 2015 at various places in
Uganda, Dubai , Kenya and Tanzania.
have arrested a couple suspected to be financiers and logistical operatives for
the al-Shabaab terror group.
Abdille Hussein aka Abu Sumeiya and his wife Fartun Mohammed Guleid were
arrested in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
two are also believed to be accomplices of a key al-Shabaab operative in
Mandera, Abdiweli Mohamed Guleid alias Abdiweli Kamaure.
is the mastermind behind the November 2014 Mandera bus attack where the
militants killed all the non-Muslims on board the Mandera-bound bus.
couple, from the Marehan clan, emigrated from Gedo region in Somalia and has
been operating in Kenya using fake documents.
reports indicate that the two have various businesses whose finances are
channelled to support al Shabaab activities.
42-year-old Hussein is a contractor who mainly operates his renovation trade in
South B and parts of Eastleigh.
wife Fartun Mohammed Guleid, 41, is a sister to Kamaure.
inquiry into how they were able to open businesses and operate in the country
under false documentation is still ongoing.
reports confirm that the two have been channeling funds to Kamaure for over
five years now.
said Kamaure joined al Shabaab in 2007 and is currently the deputy Governor of
Gedo Region serving under al Shabaab head Sheikh Abdirahman Fillow.
is said to be instrumental in the coordination of attacks by Alshabaab in
Bulla-Hawa, Mandera and along the border of Mandera and Somalia.
also also believed to be behind the deployment of militants to kill teachers
and quarry workers in Mandera County.
has also been in charge of some of the attacks by the group in Wajir.
wanted terrorists from Wajir identified through a police press statement last
week are said to be operating under Kamaure's command.
are Kullow Yarrow Abdi, Mohamed Ahmed Yarrow, Ahmed Dabar, Mohamed Mohamud
Abdullahi and Adan Yussuf Sheikh.
is also in charge of a recruitment cell that preys on disillusioned youth from
Mandera and Wajir Counties.
radicalizes them and facilitates their travel to Somalia for training and
thereafter their return to the country where they carry out attacks.
targets include security Installations and vehicles and other critical
infrastructure in the North Eastern and Coastal region.
agencies are urging the public to volunteer information that will lead to the
arrest of these individuals.
security agencies have also expressed delight at the quick action of local
leaders and the public for their commitment to the fight against terrorism in
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