Akhtar, a resident of Badarkha village, embraced Hinduism and submitted an
affidavit to the area sub-divisional magistrate, testifying to his voluntary
change of religion.
Muslim Man Embraces Hinduism, "Will Son's Death
Now Be Probed As Murder?"
Trump: Saudi Arabia's king wouldn't last 2 weeks without US military support
religious leader agrees to host Taliban peace talks
Man Embraces Hinduism, "Will Son's Death Now Be Probed As Murder?"
to deport Rohingya to Myanmar, despite UN concern
accept whatever the SC decides: Muslims on Babri Masjid case
funds rap on Canada group
launches 'Operation Samudra Maitri' to help tsunami-hit Indonesia
900 mosques in Germany welcome non-Muslims to encourage dialogue
Muslim views return to haunt London mayor candidate Shaun Bailey
says he wants all foreign forces to eventually quit Syria
US agree need to prevent chemical weapons attacks in Syria
foreign minister visits Turkish parliament
police raid Muslim club in counter-terrorism swoop
mosque faces restrictions on daily prayers
Suu Kyi, ‘an accomplice of genocide,’ a Canadian citizen no more
at Muslim cleric’s US compound fires ‘warning shot’
Islamic veil allowed in legal hearing
Ahmadi leader models a different kind of Islamic caliphate
suspends, fines ISNA-Canada over 'funding' Hizbul Mujahideen in India; Islamic
charity denies charges
Iran behind threats directed against our missions in Iraq
Trump is turning the corner in Syria
quits international accords over Jerusalem embassy case, Iran nuclearization
vows to guard, uphold honour, finality of Prophet
minister should have been more sensitive in sharing dais with Hafiz Saeed:
Imran meets Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, says government will address issues of
foreign minister seeks US role for talks with India
Khan fails to bridge the gap between promises and reality
with Saudi Arabia on $8bn Gwadar refinery in final stages
seminaries among priorities: Imran
of US-Pakistan relations rests upon progress in Afghanistan: FM
US discuss Afghan peace prospects
to hear Kulbhushan Jadhav case from February 18 to 21
tasked with bringing opposition on same page
says US presence in Syria violates UN charter
World League Chief Awarded Moderation Prize 2018
Forces in Raqqa on Alert after Intensified Attacks by Unknown Gunmen
boy killed ‘after rejecting friend’s sexual advances’
Army, Allied Militants Capture, Torture Hundreds of Civilians in Northern Syria
Forces Sending East European Weapons to Terrorists in Syria
Army Dispatching More Military Convoys to Northwestern Syria
security forces kill 15 suspected militants in a Sinai shootout
leader Baghdadi’s youngest son killed in Syria, reports claim
forces kill Daesh leader, 15 militants in Sinai Peninsula
recruiting Africans for Saudi-led war: Report
registers Ottoman coins as Islamic artifacts
falsehoods and the rise of 'Islamic' terrorism
pampering Christian terrorists – Muslim group explodes
insurgency: Trial of 189 suspected Islamist militants begins in Mozambique
years after Westgate, al-Shabaab is weakened but not yet defeated
Says Iran Set to Punish Masterminds of Ahwaz Terrorist Attack
lays siege to Palestinian Bedouin village ahead of demolition
of Saudi troopers, mercenaries slain, injured in Yemeni army offensives
renews mandate for military actions against Kurds in Syria, Iraq
teen killed in Gaza border protest
facilitates transfer of slain Yemeni President Saleh’ sons to Amman
hails revenge attack on terrorists in Syria, warns of more action
will continue strikes in Syria despite S-300 missile system delivery: Minister
Turkish soldiers killed, five wounded in Kurdish militant attack
called to Turk cleric’s US compound after shooting report
strikes target ISIS-K hideouts in Nangarhar province
Abdullah Yameen tries to stay in power, discredits poll result
attack kills 3 police in S Afghanistan
to rename 'Arabic-sounding' river to curb 'Islamic influence' in the country
India-Indonesia Interfaith Dialogue begins in Java
unhappy Putrajaya postpones upgrade works for mosques
Former drummer turned Syrian militant will be arrested if he returns
Sultan says disappointed over school land grab accusation
families torn apart in China's Xinjiang crackdown
by New Age Islam News Bureau
PRADESH: When the police treated his son's "unnatural death" as
suicide and not murder, a Muslim man in Uttar Pradesh embraced Hinduism along
with his family in the hope that the cops will "properly investigate his
son's murder" after the switch, the man told reporters.
a resident of Badarkha village in Baghpat district, changed his religion on
Monday along with 12 of his family members and submitted an affidavit to the
area sub-divisional magistrate testifying that the change of religion was
voluntary, officials said.
District Magistrate Rishirendra Kumar confirmed that the family members changed
their religion as they weren't satisfied with the police investigation into the
death of Akhtar's son a few months ago.
family organised a "havan", performed other Hindu rituals and changed
their names on Tuesday, said Shaukendra Khokhar, state chief of Yuva Hindu
Vahini (Bharat) on Tuesday.
Khokhar said Akhtar was upset after his son Gulhasan was allegedly murdered.
"Gulhasan's body was hung to make it look like suicide," he said.
as his family pleaded with the police to not rule out other angles, the police
allegedly concluded it to be a case of suicide, the chief of the Hindu outfit
Akhtar sought help from the members of his own community, they were reportedly
"not very forthcoming and did not help much," Mr Khokhar claimed.
District Magistrate Kumar said that the matter is being examined in
consultation with the superintendent of police.
Kumar Pandey, a senior police officer, said they are looking into it.
of various faiths visited mosques across Germany on Wednesday at an annual
event to encourage dialogue and help overcome misunderstandings about Islam.
day gives an opportunity for more than 100,000 visitors to learn more about
Islam and get into conversation with Muslims," Burhan Kesici, spokesman
for Germany's Muslim Coordination Council (KRM), said in a statement.
900 mosques across Germany took part in the annual "Open Mosque Day"
Cologne, hundreds of visitors came to see the Cologne Central Mosque, the most
prominent place of Muslim worship in the country, run by the Turkish-Islamic
Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB).
Yaşar Aşıkoğlu, the union's chair, told visitors that since its foundation in
1984, the DITIB has promoted peace and tolerance, and would continue to work
with its German counterparts to enhance dialogue.
Stamp, North Rhine-Westphalia's integration minister, also visited the mosque
the event, imams made presentations about Islamic faith and culture and
answered visitors' questions.
a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population
in Western Europe after France.
the country's nearly 4.7 million Muslims, 3 million are of Turkish origin.
recent years, the country has seen growing Islamophobia and hatred of migrants
triggered by propaganda from far-right and populist parties.
President Donald Trump says Saudi Arabia's king "might not be there for
two weeks" without US military support, further increasing his pressure on
one of America's closest Mideast allies over rising oil prices.
crude oil prices reach a four-year high, Trump has repeatedly demanded that
OPEC and Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil exporter, push prices down.
However, analysts are warning prices could go up to $100 a barrel as the
world's production is already stretched and Trump's sanctions on Iran's oil
industry take effect in early November.
America's longstanding military relationships with allies has been a hallmark
of Trump's presidential campaign and his time in office.
returned to that theme on Tuesday night in Southaven, Mississippi, mentioning
both Japan and South Korea.
Trump's comments on Saudi Arabia implied the kingdom's Al Saud monarchy, which
oversees the holiest sites in Islam, would collapse without American military
protect Saudi Arabia — would you say they're rich?" Trump asked the
cheering crowd. "And I love the king, King Salman, but I said, 'King we're
protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us. You have to
pay for your military, you have to pay.'" Trump didn't elaborate on when
he made the comments to Saud Arabia's 82-year-old monarch. Trump and King Salman
last shared a reported telephone call on Saturday, in which they discussed
"efforts to maintain supplies to ensure the stability of the oil market
and ensure the growth of the global economy," according to the state-run
Saudi Press Agency.
was no immediate reaction on Wednesday in Saudi Arabia to Trump's remarks.
Riyadh has worked to cultivate warm relations with Trump after having rocky
moments with former President Barack Obama.
Arabia welcomed Trump for his first overseas trip as president. Trump's
administration, particularly his son-in-law Jared Kushner, has sought a close
relationship with King Salman's son Mohammed bin Salman, the country's crown
price and next in line to the throne.
oil prices seem to be getting in the way, especially as benchmark Brent crude
oil is near $85 a barrel — a four-year high.
in July tweeted without evidence that Saudi Arabia would increase its
production "maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels" a day. Saudi Arabia
currently produces some 10 million barrels of crude oil a day. Its record is
10.72 million barrels a day.
US gasoline prices are up ahead of November midterm elections in which Trump
already faces political headwinds.
average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in the US is $2.88, up from
$2.55 a year ago, according to AAA.
criticized oil producers in his speech before the UN General Assembly last
and OPEC nations are, as usual, ripping off the rest of the world, and I don't
like it. Nobody should like it," he said. "We defend many of these
nations for nothing, and then they take advantage of us by giving us high oil
prices. Not good. We want them to stop raising prices. We want them to start
lowering prices and they must contribute substantially to military protection from
Maulana Sami-ul-Haq, known as the father of the Afghan Taliban, says he has
offered his religious school in Pakistan as a venue for possible talks between
the Taliban and Afghan government-sponsored peace council and religious
scholars to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.
scholars, who were in Pakistan this week to meet Pakistani religious leaders
about holding conferences of clerics in Islamabad and Kabul on the war in
Afghanistan, met Sami-ul-Haq in Islamabad on Sunday.
Taliban leaders studied in Sami-ul-Haq’s religious school, “Darul Uloom
Haqqania,” in the northwestern town of Akora Khattak, and he is believed to
have a certain degree of influence over the Taliban.
seven-member Afghan delegation, comprising members of the High Peace Council
and the ulema council, met Sami-ul-Haq, chief of his own faction of Jamiat
ulema-e-Islam party, and sought his help in restoring peace in the war-ravaged
Taliban and the Afghan ulema should hold closed-doors meetings and I offer my
madrassa Haqqania for their face-to-face talks. They should first sit, pave the
way for removing mistrust and address each other’s concerns,” Haq told Arab
said that he had a two-and-half hour meeting with the Afghan clerics about this
sought my mediation with the Taliban and empowered me to make a decision. I
told them that this is a complicated issue and foreign powers are involved and
they will not accept this. But I assured them to convey their opinion to the
Taliban and the Taliban’s response to them. I will make efforts to broker your
meeting,” the JUI-S leader told the Afghan delegation.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid refrained from commenting when a query was posted
about whether the Taliban would accept Sami’s mediatory role.
an Afghan religious scholar, who had previously held a position in the Taliban
group, said that the Taliban did not have any contact with the JUI-S leader.
Afghan embassy also refused to provide on-the-record comments about whether the
Afghan side offered mediation to Sami-ul-Haq. However, a source close to the
talks confirmed that the mediation was part of the discussion.
told the delegation that the Taliban want an impartial mediator and our people
then told him you should come forward and mediate,” the source told Arab News.
Taliban wrote a letter to Pakistani scholars last week to stay away from the
meeting and later issued a statement to dismiss the move as a “plan of the
Americans to exert religious pressure on the Taliban.” The Urdu-language letter
was made available to Arab News.
Islamic Emirate once again calls on all sincere and independent religious
scholars of Afghanistan and Pakistan to boycott the said conferences and not
become victims of American strategies and intelligence plots. Do not give a new
meaning and concept to the Afghan Jihad after 17 years and do not lend indirect
support for the American occupation,” the Taliban statement said on Sept. 29.
believe that Haq is irrelevant as the Taliban have new fighters and the Taliban
leaders have long been out of his religious seminary’s clout.
may be helpful but logically he is irrelevant and pinning hopes on him is
unrealistic,” Imtiaz Gul, head of the Islamabad-based think tank Center for
Research and Security Studies (CRSS), told Arab News on Tuesday.
scholars held detailed discussions with Pakistan’s internationally recognized
religious scholar Maulana Taqi Usmani, chief of Ansar ul Ummah Fazal ur Rehman
Khalil, Maulana Iderees, Hanif Jhalandari and chairman of the Council of Islamic
Ideology Dr. Qibla Ayaz.
sides did not issue any statement and refused to offer any official comment on
their talks when Arab News approached them.
Afghan delegates also had a breakfast meeting with Jamaat-e-Islami chief
Siraj-ul-Haq in Islamabad on Monday and a statement issued by the Haq’s
seminary said that the party leader backed intra-Afghan dialogue.
Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who traveled to Kabul last month, agreed with
Afghan officials on a meeting of scholars and foreign ministry officials to
discuss the agenda for a joint conference of the scholars to issue a joint
decree on violence in Afghanistan.
has long been urging Pakistan to use religious scholars, who have influence on
the Taliban, for peace in Afghanistan. However, Pakistani scholars had been
reluctant to sit with the Afghan scholars in view of the Taliban opposition to
Indian police said Wednesday that seven Rohingya detained in the country’s
northeast will be deported to Myanmar, which has been accused by the UN of
waging a campaign of “genocide” against the Muslim minority.
United Nations had warned India that returning the men ignored the persecution
they faced in Myanmar, and would be a “flagrant denial” of their right to
police in the northeast Indian state of Manipur, where the men have been
incarcerated since 2012 for immigration violations, said the Rohingya would be
seven Myanmarese men will be deported tomorrow,” Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, a
senior state police officer, told AFP.
UN Special Rapporteur on racism, Tendayi Achiume, said she was “appalled” at
the amount of time the men from Rakhine state in Myanmar’s west had been
was the epicentre of a Myanmar army offensive that over the past year has
driven 700,000 Rohingya Muslims into Bangladesh.
army has denied nearly all wrongdoing, insisting its campaign was justified to
root out Rohingya insurgents.
a UN fact-finding mission said there was enough evidence to merit prosecution
of several top Myanmar military commanders for crimes against humanity and
genocide against Rohingya civilians.
200 Rohingya are known to be detained in India on charges of illegal entry,
deportations follow an Indian government order last year to return the
Rohingya. The Supreme Court is still considering a petition challenging the
order on the grounds it was unconstitutional.
said India risked breaching its international legal obligations by returning
the men to possible harm.
the ethnic identity of the men, this is a flagrant denial of their right to
protection and could amount to refoulement,” the law professor said in a
Delhi has described the Rohingya as a security threat, pointing to intelligence
it says links the minority group to extremist organisations.
UN says there are 16,000 registered Rohingya in India, but many more are
undocumented. New Delhi puts the figure at 40,000.
the Babri Masjid issue again gaining prominence due to the Supreme Court's
decision to hold daily hearings on the case, it is becoming clear that the
final outcome of this decades-old dispute may not be too far.
view of the upcoming decision on the matter, both Hindus and Muslims are wary
of a possibility of communal violence breaking out in the country following the
court's verdict. A meeting of the Muslim community was held in Agra recently,
where several Muslim clerics and intellectuals tried to reassure the Hindu
community that Islam was a religion of peace and whatever the Supreme Court
decides on the temple issue, will be acceptable to the Muslims.
the meeting, Mufti Mudassar Khan Qadri said that when we were in mother's womb,
we were not aware of the religion, caste or colour we belonged to. All such
differences were created by the mankind for selfish motives. God never
distinguished people created by him on such criteria. We should thank the
almighty for blessing us with a human life. To utilise this opportunity in a
positive aspect we should work for the welfare of the society we live in. For
Muslims in particular, every Muslim should aim at adhering to the advice of the
Quran and Hadith to enrich our social living.
Ikhtiyar Jafri said that even Bhagvad Gita says that the almighty will send his
representatives to this earth whenever it is felt that the normal functioning
of this universe is disturbed and there is a need to set the people back to the
right path of life. The latest example of such saints has been Prophet Muhammad
who always preached that a true Muslim should go ahead in the path defined in
Quran, without disturbing others and respecting the feelings and sentiments of
Muslim Vikas Parishad Chairman Sami Aghai said that when we exercise
brotherhood without any bias, then only the reformation of our society is
possible. Following the holy books of one's own religion, one can realise that
all human beings are equal and one's own behaviour would only decide his
position in the society. Similarly, one who spreads hate and violence could
never become an ideal person in that particular community. Such people are not
acceptable to Allah.
Advocate Amir Ahmed Jafri said there is no wrong in following a religion of
one's own choice, but the problem arises if a person develops
over-possessiveness about his own religion and begins to hate others. This is
not the path advised in Islam. All the Muslims should go through the Quran with
an open mind without any prejudicial thoughts and they will definitely find the
light that will guide their path.
DELHI: The Justin Trudeau government in Canada has suspended a major Islamic
charity and fined it with $550,000 for sending $136,000 to a Pakistan-based
Kashmiri organization allegedly linked to the banned terror group Hizbul
revelation, based on a government audit report, was published by one of
Canada’s largest news outlets, Global News on October 1. The Canada Revenue
Agency (CRA) auditors in their report claimed that Islamic Society of North
America (INSA)-Canada had acted as a “conduit” for other organizations and its
resources “may have directly or indirectly, been used to support the political
efforts of Jamaat-e-Islami and/or its armed wing Hizbul Mujahideen.”
audit, conducted in 2011, covered years 2007 to 2009. Though the CRA conveyed
the results of the audit to ISNA-Canada in 2014 but acted against the group
only last month. The Canadian government has suspended the Mississauga-based
charity for a year effective from September 12, according to Global News. The
INSA-Canada, which runs mosques and provides religious services and funding to
other Islamic charities, has also been asked by the Trudeau government to cease
its overseas operations.
Canadian government’s decision is significant in view of the diplomatically
disastrous visit of Prime Minister Trudeau to India earlier this year. Trudeau
was snubbed by the Indian government including Punjab chief minister Amrinder
Singh over his appeasement of anti-India extremists especially Khalistani
separatists. The action against the Islamic charity on the basis of a seven-year-old
audit report on the years 2007 to 2009, seems to suggest that Trudeau is doing
an image makeover, both domestically and internationally.
in 2007, there were around 500 terrorism- related incidents that left around
170 civilians and security personnel dead in the Kashmir valley, as per
official data accessed by the TOI. However, militant separatism in Kashmir
marked a visible shift in its strategy from 2008, with more youth taking up the
seemingly less lethal weapon—stones—instead of joining banned terror groups. As
a result, from 2008 to 2010, there was a drop in terror attacks and a
significant rise in mass protests, stone pelting and street violence.
the unrest over the Amarnath land dispute in 2008, there were over 350
incidents of clashes between rioting mobs and security forces, with 46 people
dead. In 2009, nine people were killed in over 300 incidents of street violence
and in 2010, 106 people were killed in over 1200 incidents of mob rioting.
investigations into the 2010 violence, the Omar Abdullah government had claimed
that it had evidence to prove that stone-pelters in Kashmir were funded both by
separatist groups and terror outfits especially Hizbul Mujahideen and
J&K police had recovered street maps, dozens of SIM cards, fake press
identity cards, letters, cheque books and account registers on the expenditure
for stone-pelting incidents, from the kingpin of street violence, Irshad Ahmed.
per the Canadian government audit report, INSA-Canada gifted $90,000 to the
Relief Organization for Kashmiri Muslims (ROKM) and $46,000 to Kashmiri Relief
Fund of Canada (KRFC). CRA has described ROKM as a charitable arm of
Jamaat-eIslami, a Pakistani group whose armed wing is Hizbul Mujahideen. KRFC,
according to CRA, raises funds for ROKM. The website of ROKM claims that it is
based in Islamabad, Pakistan and was founded in early 1990 “to contribute in the
relief works and to provide aid to the affected families in the state of Azad
& Jammu Kashmir and Occupied Kashmir.”
DELHI: India has launched a massive operation to provide assistance to the
earthquake and tsunami victims in Indonesia, dispatching two aircraft and three
naval ships carrying relief material to the country, the ministry of external
affairs (MEA) said on Wednesday.
Samudra Maitri' for humanitarian assistance was launched after a telephonic
conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko
Widodo on October 1, and following Indonesia's acceptance of international aid,
the MEA said in a statement.
Indian Air Force aircraft -- C-130J and C-17 -- departed on Wednesday morning
with medical personnel and relief material.
PM Modi's telephonic conversation wid President Jokowi,Indian aircrafts C-130J
& C-17 landed in Indonesia… https://t.co/JiBRaeQwSr
India in Indonesia (@IndianEmbJkt) 1538556777000
C-130J aircraft is carrying a medical team along with tents and equipments to
set up a field hospital. The C-17 aircraft is carrying medicines, generators,
tents and water to provide immediate assistance, the MEA said.
aircraft reached Indonesia with the relief materials on Wednesday evening.
Indian Navy ships -- INS Tir, INS Sujatha and INS Shardul -- have also been
mobilised to carry out humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR).
ships are likely to reach the Central Sulawesi province of Indonesia on October
6, the ministry said.
death toll in Indonesia's twin quake-tsunami disaster, which decimated parts of
the central Indonesian island of Sulawesi, has already climbed to nearly 1,400.
Conservative Party announced its candidate for the 2020 London mayor election
last week, but Shaun Bailey’s views against allegedly privileging Diwali over
Christmas and accommodating Hindus and Muslims in UK society have evoked
Labour MP Virendra Sharma said on Wednesday it is “appalling” that in this day
and age, the Conservative Party has selected a candidate with views that are
outdated and objectionable. The mayor of London, known for its
multiculturalism, is Pakistani-origin Sadiq Khan, who will stand again as the
Labour candidate in 2020.
a pamphlet produced for the Centre for Policy Studies in 2005, the
Afro-Caribbean-origin Bailey wrote in a section on “Multiculturalism”: “Among
the working class, unless you are one of those ‘Queen and Country who support
the football team’ sort of British people, you are lost.”
Hindu and Hindi, he added: “You don’t know what to do. You bring your children
to school and they learn far more about Diwali than Christmas. I speak to the
people who are from Brent and they’ve been having Muslim and Hindi days off.
it does is rob Britain of its community. Without our community we slip into a
crime riddled cess pool.” Concerns about the Conservative Party’s stand on
multiculturalism were raised during the 2016 London mayoral election also.
President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow wanted all foreign
forces, including the Russian military, to eventually withdraw from Syria.
said that the presence of US forces in Syria violated the UN charter.
another related development, Russia has delivered an S-300 surface-to-air
missile system to Syria, it said on Tuesday, in defiance of Israeli and US
concerns that the arms sale would embolden Iran and escalate the Syrian war.
Germany and the United States agree on the need to do everything possible to
prevent the use of chemical weapons in Syria, German Foreign Minister Heiko
Maas said on Wednesday after meeting US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
said the meeting included intense discussions about the situation in Syria,
with both sides keen to increase the pressure for a political solution, and
wanted to work start as soon as possible on rewriting the Syrian constitution.
also pledged to more strongly support Washington’s efforts in Syria, including
through humanitarian aid, and in ensuring that chemical weapons were not used
there, Maas told reporters after the meeting.
discussed how we can more strongly support the United States in their
engagement in Syria. We now will concretize and operationalize that,” he said.
said Pompeo understood the political debate in Germany about possible
participation in any US-led retaliatory military strike in the event of a
chemical weapons attack, and that parliament was unlikely to approve such a
are different ways to participate to help ensure that chemical weapons are not
used there and that none are even present,” Maas said, citing Germany’s
expertise in disposing of such weapons.
US diplomat last week told Reuters that Washington will pursue “a strategy of
isolation,” including sanctions, with its allies if President Bashar Assad
holds up a political process aimed at ending Syria’s seven-year war.
rounds of UN-led peace talks, most of them in Geneva, have failed to bring the
warring sides together to end the conflict that has killed hundreds of
thousands of people and driven millions from their homes.
said Germany and the United States agreed on the need to curb Iran’s activities
in the region and its ballistic missle program, but remained at odds about
Washington’s decision to withdraw from the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement.
Foreign Minister Stef Blok visited the Turkish parliament on Wednesday.
Ali Kumbuzoglu, the Secretary General of the parliament, accompanied Blok
during his visit.
toured the parts of the parliament that had been bombed during the defeated
coup of July 15, 2016.
Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen
orchestrated the defeated coup, which martyred 251 people and injured nearly
France: French police raided a Muslim faith center and arrested three of its
leaders for illegal weapons possession in pre-dawn swoops Tuesday that
government officials said were prompted by suspicion of links to terrorist organizations.
home to Europe's largest Muslim community, remains on maximum alert after
attacks in recent years in which militants and people inspired by groups such
as Daesh (ISIS) have killed close to 250 people.
200 police officers including elite troopers from Paris took part in raids that
began under darkness at the Centre Zahra France and homes of a dozen of its
members, in Grande Synthe near the northern port town of Dunkirk.
is a counter-terrorism operation," the local prefect's office said a
activities of Centre Zahra France are under particularly close watch given its
leaders' clear support for several terrorist organizations and movements
espousing ideas contrary to [French] republican values."
Minister Gerard Collomb said three people were put in custody after the
discovery of illegal arms, and that a prayer room was being shut.
raids coincided with an announcement that France had also seized assets
belonging to Iran's intelligence services and two Iranian nationals over a June
plot to attack an exiled Iranian opposition group's rally outside Paris.
sources said there was no direct link between the raids and the Iranian
intelligence asset freezes.
of the Centre Zahra France were frozen too, along with financial assets held
under other names, on orders issued by France's interior and finance ministry,
a notice published in the official government journal of legal acts said.
center’s website says it has some 8,000 "followers" on social network
sites and its goal is to spread the message of Islam via film, radio, writings
and conferences. It also offers a contact point on social, family and religious
which is historically a predominantly Roman Catholic country, is officially
secular, with separation by law between matters of state and religion for over
a century. It is home to five million or more Muslims out of a population of 67
of Muslims on Wednesday flocked to Virginia in support of a mosque’s request to
be allowed to conduct basic religious services.
public hearing was held in Fairfax County to decide whether an amendment
requested by the Mclean Islamic Center (MIC) should be approved.
amendment calls for the mosque to extend its hours of operation and to broaden
the capacity in which they are allowed to operate.
are here to do our best, and then leave everything else to Allah,” MIC board
member Maqsood Chaudhry told Anadolu Agency.
has more than 90 parking spots, however, it is allowed to have only 10 cars
enter for the early morning prayer.
have five daily prayers at fixed times but the neighboring community recently
filed a complaint to the county after seeing 12 cars parked on the lot during
one of the prayers. Since then, the morning prayer was suspended.
opened its location in 2015 in the Tyson’s Corner area just outside of
Washington, and the community has the third highest income in the U.S.
is also the only Islamic area of worship within a 10-mile (16-kilometer) radius
and a congregation of 220 worshippers.
was approved a special permit as a place of worship, with certain restrictions,
including not allowing full prayer services between 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on
weekdays, and only allowing 10 cars to attend the morning prayer.
filed an amendment request in April for an extension of their operating hours
to allow operation at full capacity from 4 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. (0800GMT -
mosque argued that since it opened there have been no noise complaints during
the early morning hours.
consider [the MIC community] to be outstanding representatives of the
interfaith movement, as well as devoted Muslims. And I certainly hope their
amendment is approved,” Daniel Spearow, head of the Jewish-Islamic Dialogue
Society of Washington, told Anadolu Agency.
the amendment filed by MIC was met with opposition by the neighboring
Fairfax County Department of Planning and Zoning issued a report that
recommends the denial of the amendment, citing extended hours of operation
would cause increased traffic to an already congested area, and that there is a
risk of noise concerns as well.
fight for religious rights’
room was filled almost to capacity with an audience of mostly Muslims who had
been waiting hours for the case to be heard.
the zoning board’s surprise, almost everyone in the room stood up when asked
who would want to speak on behalf of the mosque.
seeing the number of people who wanted to speak, the board decided to defer the
decision until Nov. 14, which it said would give it time to hear everyone and
also review a new noise study that had been completed and submitted Wednesday.
delay was met with disappointment from the community, but members seemed to
this is the process. It’s unfortunate. But you know when it becomes something
bureaucratic and big, it overlooks the effect on the community,” said Abrar
Omeish, a community member. ”But I am very proud of the showing, the entire
auditorium was full, people were standing and actively engaging.”
deferral is definitely not what we were expecting, at least that’s not what I
expected. The way they did it, however, that’s not right,” Chaudhry added.
has officially stripped Myanmar’s de facto leader and onetime “democracy icon”
Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship due to her role in
state-sponsored violence against the Rohingya Muslim community in the Southeast
Canadian Senate unanimously voted to revoke Suu Kyi’s citizenship — initially
offered in 2007 — on Tuesday.
Canadian House of Commons had already voted on the same measure last week.
Ratna Omidvar, the force behind the measure, said Suu Kyi’s silence in the face
of the violence against the Rohingya needed to be condemned.
need to send a strong signal here in Canada and around the world that if you’re
an accomplice of genocide, you are not welcome here,” Omidvar said on Tuesday.
of thousands of Rohingya Muslims were killed, injured, arbitrarily arrested, or
raped by Myanmarese soldiers and Buddhist mobs mainly between November 2016 and
August 2017, when many of the surviving members of the community started
fleeing to Bangladesh en masse.
United Nations has concluded that the atrocities constitute genocide.
lawmakers had also already passed a resolution, in September, calling the
violence against the Rohingya “genocide.”
the Tuesday vote at the Canadian Senate, Suu Kyi became the first person ever
to lose Canada’s symbolic citizenship.
that development, she has come under fire over the plight of hundreds of
thousands of Rohingya Muslims only recently.
UN has said Myanmar’s top military generals should be investigated and
prosecuted for genocide. It has also hinted Suu Kyi is complicit.
UN investigators announced in August that the mass killings and gang rapes in
Myanmar had been conducted with genocidal intent, many even expected that it
would lead up to the Nobel committee withdrawing the Nobel Peace Prize awarded
to Suu Kyi back in 1991.
the Norwegian committee argued that the prize had been awarded for achievements
of the past and could not be therefore withdrawn.
Rohingya Muslims, who have lived in Myanmar for generations, are denied
citizenship and are branded illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, which likewise
denies them citizenship.
Pa. — A security guard at the Pennsylvania compound of a Turkish-born Muslim
cleric fired a shot near an “unwanted person” outside the gate, state police
suspected intruder fled the scene, and troopers were unable to find him.
were called to Fethullah Gulen’s longtime home in the Pocono Mountains after a
security guard fired a “warning shot in the air” around 8:30 a.m., according to
a statement from the New York-based Alliance for Shared Values, a group that
promotes Gulen’s philosophies.
man, “who appeared to be armed, attempted to enter the retreat center,” and the
guard responded by firing the shot, the statement said. No injuries were
police said they are continuing to investigate.
blames Gulen and his supporters for a July 2016 military coup attempt that
killed 250 people. Gulen denies the allegations. Turkey has long demanded the
cleric’s extradition so he can stand trial, but Washington has told Turkey it
must present convincing evidence for any extradition proceeding to go forward.
who’s in his late 70s, has lived in self-exile for nearly 20 years on the
grounds of the Golden Generation Worship & Retreat Center, an Islamic
retreat founded by Turkish-Americans. Supporters of Turkish President Recep
Tayyip Erdogan have staged protests outside the gates, while Gulen’s supporters
have accused Turkey of plotting to kidnap Gulen. The Turkish government has
dismissed the claim as “utterly false, ludicrous and groundless.”
judge cannot refuse to take testimony from a woman because she is wearing an
Islamic veil, a court ruled on Wednesday.
citizen may wear any religious attire in a courtroom so long as their
"religious beliefs are sincere" and they do not "conflict with
another person's constitutional rights," the Quebec Court of Appeal ruled
Rania El-Alloul, a Muslim, was expelled from a courtroom in 2015 for wearing a
Eliana Marengo of the Court of Quebec had cited a court ruling that every
person must be "appropriately dressed" and compared El-Alloul's
headscarf "to a hat or sunglasses."
some 38,000 Ahmadi Muslims from more than 110 countries gathered in the
countryside outside London this past August for the fast-growing denomination’s
annual convention, thousands of Ahmadis camped out in tents less than a mile
from a small house.
the three days of the convention, or Jalsa, the modest building on Oakland Farm
in Hampshire was the home of Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Ahmadis’ spiritual
leader, or caliph. In their nearby tent village, his followers gather to pray
behind him and hear him speak on everything from women’s rights to achieving
might be the most accessible world religious figure,” said Imam Abdun Nur
Baten, an Ahmadi missionary serving in Paraguay who attended the Jalsa in the
first week of August. “He always keeps the door open. There is distance for
logistical and security reasons, but you can visit him, get personal responses
to your letters or find him praying in the mosque.”
scenes may be repeated this month in the U.S., as the caliph will make his
fourth visit to the United States’ estimated 20,000-strong Ahmadiyya community.
Masroor Ahmad, whose last U.S. visit was in 2013, will make appearances
beginning Oct. 15 in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas.
Ahmadi Muslims, the term “caliph” comes without the dark connotations it has
gained in the media, thanks to the Islamic State group and its vow to violently
establish a worldwide caliphate. But Masroor Ahmad is no Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi,
the leader of ISIS.
in the 15 years of his caliphate, Masroor Ahmad, 68, has focused his followers
on self-reformation and anti-extremism, warning that society is moving rapidly
toward a dangerous fate due to its increasing injustice and immorality.
these days it is essential that we remain focused on prayer, as all of our
success is based upon prayer,” he told the crowd at the Jalsa. “Our tasks and
our mission can only be fulfilled through the grace of God alone.”
mission is nothing political.
us, under the caliph, a victory doesn’t mean defeating or killing other
people,” Nasim Rehmatullah, an Ohio-based doctor who is vice president of the
Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s U.S. branch, told Religion News Service. “It means
bringing them to our side.”
Masroor Ahmad’s personable leadership style makes him an uncommonly accessible
religious figure, his message has made him one of the most successful as well.
The denomination has seen tremendous growth, adding more than half a million
members this year to a worldwide body that already numbered between 10 million
and 20 million.
Ahmad delivers his message from one of Europe’s largest mosques, Baitul Futuh
Mosque in Morden, U.K., in sermons every Friday. He has also written several
books and has spoken to members of Congress and the Parliaments of Britain and
with their adherence to a caliph, Ahmadis’ beliefs set them apart from other
Muslims. Most Muslims consider Muhammad the final prophet, and say the
caliphate, or Muslim state, that began after his death (and continued through
several sometimes disputed lines of succession from his closest companions to
various Islamic emperors) ended in the early 20th century.
agree that Muhammad was the final law-bearing prophet. But they believe their
denomination’s founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, born in 1835 in Qadian, India, was
a subordinate prophet to Muhammad – a reformer who brought no new scripture.
Many non-Ahmadi Muslim leaders see him as a false prophet and have branded
has invited persecution, much of it violent. Ghulam Ahmad, a self-taught
prolific writer and debater in favor of Islam, quickly gained followers in the
Indian subcontinent when he claimed to be Islam’s promised messiah and
reformer. But many local Islamic scholars did not take kindly to his claim,
labeling him an apostate and calling for his murder.
Ghulam Ahmad’s death in 1908 from natural causes, his followers believe that
the caliphate was re-established.
persecution ramped up as the community grew. In Indonesia in 2011, hundreds of
Muslims wielding machetes, sticks and stones attacked an Ahmadi home, killing
three men and maiming several others. In Algeria, more than 250 Ahmadis — 10
percent of the country’s Ahmadi population — have faced religion-related
charges since 2016.
Ahmadi shopkeeper in Scotland was stabbed to death in 2016, decades after
zealots in Pakistan burned down his father’s pharmacy and hospital, forcing his
family to flee to the U.K.
Pakistan, where most Ahmadis are concentrated, the state has made it illegal
for them to call themselves Muslim. Ahmadis are legally forbidden to use the
traditional Islamic greeting of “Assalamu alaikum” (peace be upon you), to call
their place of a worship a mosque or to congregate for the annual Jalsa. In the
city of Gujranwala in 2014, a mob set an Ahmadi family’s home ablaze, killing
one woman and two young children and causing a pregnant woman to have a
miscarriage. In 2010, almost 100 Ahmadis were killed during attacks on two
mosques in Lahore.
is no doubt that the Ahmadiyya community faces physical, social and legal
threats in many countries where they reside,” Johnnie Moore, an evangelical
Christian pastor and a member of the United States Commission on International
Religious Freedom, told Ahmadis in a speech at the Jalsa this year. In
Pakistan, “the rights of the Ahmadiyya community are consistently violated” due
to extreme blasphemy laws, he noted.
Masroor Ahmad forbids any sort of violent retaliation.
believers fully incline themselves toward God, he said in his opening Jalsa
speech, “then no politicians can hurt us, nor can any so-called Islamic
scholars, nor can government officers … who are trying to making it harder for
us to live in this earth.”
in 1950 in Rabwah, Pakistan, Masroor Ahmad studied agricultural economics at
the Agriculture University in Faisalabad, Pakistan. He soon moved to Ghana,
where he led social and agricultural development projects, and is credited with
successfully cultivating wheat for the first time in the West African country’s
1985, he returned to Pakistan to serve the Ahmadiyya community in various
senior administrative positions. He was briefly imprisoned for allegedly
erasing words of the Quran from a sign, charges Ahmadis say are false and part
of wider persecution against the denomination. In 2003, he was elected to
succeed his uncle, Mirza Tahir Ahmad, as the community’s caliph.
then, Masroor Ahmad has launched a slew of public campaigns against extremism,
an annual national peace symposium and an international peace award. He
expanded the community’s disaster relief nonprofit Humanity First and oversees
the building of free schools and hospitals around the world.
focus on achieving world peace has drawn comparisons to Pope Francis. But Sarah
Khan, a primary school teacher in Kingston, England, who attended the Jalsa,
considers that a flawed analogy. “The history of the papacy is concerned with
power, wealth and land,” she told RNS. “But we see how humbly he lives. He
takes no opportunity to aggrandize himself. He doesn’t want to meet his own
ends; he wants to improve society as a whole.”
climax of the Jalsa is the baiat ceremony, when Ahmadis form a human chain to
take an oath of allegiance to their caliph. Dozens of new Ahmadis sit in a
semicircle directly touching Masroor Ahmad, tears glinting on their faces.
stretches his hand out to them and they repeat the pledges that initiate them
within the Ahmadiyya denomination: “I enter this day the Ahmadiyya Jamaat
(Community) in Islam at the hand of Masroor … ”
the world, millions of Ahmadis repeat the words as they watch the scene on MTA,
the denomination’s 24-hour TV channel.
the community’s growth, many Jalsa attendees said, Ahmadis still share a deeply
personal connection to the caliph. At The London Mosque, Masroor Ahmad’s
followers wait in the rain, in lines wrapping around the block, hoping to pray
as close behind him as possible. They even prostrate in the wet grass outside
the mosque, where they might catch a glimpse of the caliph’s white turban as he
returns to his office.
Revenue Agency (CRA) has suspended the Islamic Society of North America-Canada
(ISNA- Canada) for funding groups allegedly linked to terrorist organisations
like the Hizbul Mujahideen. The CRA has banned the Mississauga-based Islamic
charity organisation for a year starting from 12 September and has also ordered
it to pay a fine of $5,50,000.
Canadian government auditors have alleged that ISNA-Canada “failed to conduct
any meaningful due diligence” when it transferred $1,36,000 to India's Kashmir
region where groups like Hizbul Mujahideen have been in an armed conflict with
the Indian forces. The CRA said that the Islamic charity has acted as a
‘conduit’ for many organisations which supports terrorist activities in other
countries. “It is the CRA’s view that the society’s resources may have,
directly or indirectly, been used to support the political efforts of
Jamaat-e-Islami and/or its armed wing Hizbul Mujahideen,” CRA has stated,
according to an India Today report.
to Sputnik International, CRA audit documents reportedly allege that
ISNA-Canada donated $90,000 to the Relief Organization for Kashmiri Muslims
(ROKM) between 2007 and 2009 and funded an additional $46,000 to the Kashmiri
Relief Fund of Canada, which had previously raised funds for the ROKM.
research indicates that ROKM is the charitable arm of Jamaat-e-Islami, a
political organisation that actively contests the legitimacy of India's
governance over the state of Jammu and Kashmir, including reportedly through
the activities of its armed wing Hizbul Mujahideen," the CRA said. The
audit was conducted in 2011 and covered the period from 2007 to 2009. The results
were conveyed to ISNA-Canada in 2014 but the CRA only sanctioned the charity on
5 September 2018.
resources to organisations operating in support of a political purpose,
including the achievement of nationhood or political autonomy, are not recognised
at law as charitable," the CRA said.
acting as a "conduit" for other organisations, ISNA-Canada "may
have, knowingly or unknowingly, provided the benefits of its status as a
registered charity to support the efforts of a political party and its armed
wing”, CRA said.
according to a Hindustan Times' report, the Charities Directorate has not
revoked ISNA-Canada’s charity status but the group was required to enter a
compliance agreement whereby it must “cease its overseas operations”.
to a Global News article, ISNA Islamic Services of Canada was stripped of its
charitable status for “non-compliance,” according to records obtained by Global
News. Authorities also revoked a related charity, the Canadian Islamic Trust
Foundation. Both are former affiliates of the Islamic Society of North
America-Canada (ISNA-Canada), and shared its Mississauga, Ontario, address.
the ISNA-Canada has denied all the allegations levelled against it by the CRA.
“We are saddened by this outcome," ISNA-Canada said in a written
statement, another Global News article said.
to the report, ISNA- Canada has also denied any links to terrorism and has said
that it has in fact made "progressive and important changes” to its
governance and in "how it operates as one of the largest Muslim
organisations in Canada".
remain politically impartial and are not in any way linked to any political or
extremist group,” said the organisation, adding, “We will continue our
operations and remain committed to always striving to be the best possible
organisation we can be in service to Canadians."
to the Global News report, in a letter addressed to community members,
ISNA-Canada chair Katherine Bullock said: "We have spent the last decade
rectifying these mistakes and reforming our organisation to ensure that we have
a robust governance structure in place so that the mistakes made are not
runs mosques and provides services to Muslims such as weddings, funerals and
"accounting services to other Islamic charities in the surrounding
community". It is by far the largest such organisation with $3.1-million
in reported revenues in 2016, according to the CRA.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday that Iran is behind threats directed
against the United States diplomatic missions in both Iraqi cities of Baghdad
is the source of the current threat to the Americans in Iraq... Our
intelligence is strong in this regard, we can see the hand of Ayatollah and his
followers supporting these attacks on the United States,” he told reporters at
the State Department.
a related context, he stressed that Tehran “used its funds to finance terrorism
and militias in Iraq and the Middle East… Iran continues its malicious activity
in the region.”
hoped that “the Iraqi government is not subject to Iranian dictates,” stressing
that Washington will always stand “side by side with the Iraqi people,”
expressing his hope that the Iraqi Prime Minister would honor his commitments
to the Iraqi people.
another context, Pompeo considered the UN’s top court ruling to lift US
sanctions on humanitarian goods for the Islamic Republic to be a “defeat for
said his country had already taken measures to avoid harming Iran’s humanitarian
needs and that the ruling “categorically rejected all unfounded demands by
Iran” to lift US sanctions in a comprehensive way.
stressed that Iran is exploiting the International Court of Justice for
another development, Pompeo said that the US administration was terminating a
1955 treaty reached with then ally Iran after Tehran cited Washington in an
international court ruling against America’s sanctions policy, according to
announcing that the US is terminating the 1955 Treaty of Amity with Iran. This
is a decision, frankly, that is 39 years overdue,” Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo told reporters, referring to the 1979 Islamic revolution.
US Secretary of State also considered that “Russia’s delivery of the S-300
system to the Syrian regime is a dangerous escalation.”
says US pulling out of an amendment to the Vienna Convention
national security adviser John Bolton said the administration also was pulling
out of an amendment to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations that Iran
or others, notably the Palestinians, could use to sue the US at The Hague-based
tribunal. Bolton told reporters at the White House that the provision violates
United States will not sit idly by as baseless politicized claims are brought
against us,” Bolton said. He cited a case brought to the court by the
“so-called state of Palestine” challenging the move of the US Embassy in Israel
from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as the main reason for withdrawing, according to the
not too late to save at least some of Syria, and it seems the Trump team is
taking the lead – a lead that should have been taken years ago.
with so many internal and external actors involved in the Syrian swamp, it’s
often difficult to gauge how any form of progress relates to America’s wider
objectives in the Middle East. Many critics argue that there is no strategy and
no clear objectives, yet quite the opposite is true.
Trump administration has finally found a formula to compete and win in a game
of three-dimensional chess in Syria, without sinking the US in the kind of
quicksand reminiscent of the experience in Iraq.
was no boisterous policy rollout as one might expect from a president whose
Twitter volume is permanently set to 11. The administration simply added the
word, “enduring,” to characterize the nature of the defeat the US is trying to
achieve against ISIS.
diplomatic parlance, that means ensuring the terrorist group doesn’t
reconstitute itself after it is defeated. The other important addition is a
reinvigorated American effort to help force an Iranian withdrawal from the
country. It’s fragile, but its working.
expanded US objective does not necessitate an increase in troop levels or a new
financial burden. Instead, it relies on utilizing the ample leverage already in
America’s hands and under its feet.
all, some 2,000 US troops and their Kurdish partners in the Syrian Democratic
Forces (SDF) are currently standing on 30 percent of Syria’s overall territory
where 95 percent of Syria’s oil and gas fields are located.
put provides America with enhanced military, financial, and geopolitical
leverage. On the military side, it constitutes a major roadblock along the land
corridors Iran has dreamed about securing for decades as part of its plan to
form a Persian Crescent from Tehran to the Mediterranean Sea.
dint of geography, the continuing focus on ISIS in eastern Syria also disrupts
Iran’s logistical lines and helps prevent the transport and stockpiling of its
advanced weaponry. On the financial side, it dries up the hydrocarbon revenue
stream that Bashar al-Assad and his partners in Moscow and Tehran are counting
on to rescue their depressed economies.
administration’s decision not to withdraw prematurely already paid dividends in
the form of increased geopolitical influence. For example, America’s Kurdish
allies have reportedly stopped trading with the Syrian regime, which provided
Assad limited access to oil in the northeast.
Kurds assumed if the US left, they would have to cut a deal with Assad and
Russia to safeguard their position in Syria against President Erdogan of Turkey
– who views the Kurds as his greatest threat.
recent change in US messaging also helped stave off “a humanitarian nightmare”
and “bloodbath” in Idlib, to use the words of UN Secretary General Antonio
Guterres. It did so by abandoning the narrow definition of America’s opposition
to Assad’s use of chemical weapons in favor of a stronger stance in which President
Trump warned against any “slaughter” in Syria.
Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley reiterated this shift at the Security Council,
where she announced: “We consider any assault on Idlib to be a dangerous
escalation.” The US stance is both clear and comprehensive. Taken together,
this messaging – that the US has resumed its leadership role, was staying to
finish the job, and had interests of its own that must be respected – was
backed up by active diplomacy with Turkey’s prickly president.
hopes to ultimately pry Turkey out of NATO’s orbit and Erdogan is staunchly
opposed to the US alliance with the Kurds. But the issue of Idlib was bound to
cause friction in the temporary Russian-Iranian alliance with Turkey, where the
latter already has boots on the ground and is invested in maintaining
stability. With Washington backing Turkey’s position on Idlib, Bashar and his
Russian and Iranian allies had to put their planned offensive on hold, at least
problematic for Putin is that he is counting on this alliance to present a
united front as it forms the basis for his Astana process. It is a Russian-led
effort designed to maintain the same Syrian power structure with Assad at the
helm. Its success, however, depends on the perception that it is the only game
also establishes the basis for Assad and Putin’s latest charade in which they
portray Syria as stable and open for investment, humanitarian assistance, and
reconstruction financing from international donors, which they will use to enrich
themselves and their loyalists.
the Obama years, America’s ship of state was uniformly paddling towards a
nuclear deal with Iran, which meant treating Syria as one of Tehran’s
“equities.” Russia was easily able to undermine the UN-led peace track known as
the Geneva process because the Obama administration was convinced that it
presented an obstacle to keeping Tehran at the table.
finally abandoned the nuclear agreement that tethered US policy to the Iranian
regime, Washington is breathing new life into the Geneva track, which
jeopardizes Russian and Iranian achievements and presents Turkey with a clear
fact, it could cast long shadows of doubt over Assad’s future as well. As
i24News reports, the US created a small group to deal with Syrian issues that
includes the UK, France, Germany, Jordan, and Egypt. They submitted a statement
of principles to UN Special Envoy, Staffan di Mistura, that states there will
be “no international reconstruction assistance in Syrian government held areas
absent a credible political process.”
policy goals at the heart of this American-led process not only pave the way
for a democratically elected Syrian government that includes all Syrians, but
also creates a post of prime minister “with strengthened authorities” that
doesn’t depend on Assad’s approval.
there are several parameters aimed at severing Syria’s “ties with the Iranian
regime,” pursuing and prosecuting “war criminals,” and finally emptying Syria
of weapons of mass destruction. In other words, it is designed to counter
Russia’s ambitions in Syria, widen the fissures in its alliance, while putting
the squeeze on Iran.
early results that are an outcome of the administration’s new Syria team at the
National Security Council and the State Department provide a foundation to
build upon. It also serves as a timely reminder to keep a few guideposts front
and center on the passage forward: The US can accomplish a lot internationally
when it uses all of the tools in the diplomatic toolkit and it can do so
without overextending itself militarily or financially.
important is a recognition that without US leadership – especially in the
Middle East – nefarious actors fill the void and America’s allies embark on
shortsighted and discordant foreign policy adventures that are often difficult
strategic shift in America’s military and diplomatic posture – without “owning”
Syria according to the Pottery Barn rules – is only beginning to pay off and
there is a long road ahead. Sure, no one gets rich betting on peace breaking
out among Middle East states.
Trump administration on Wednesday pulled out of two international agreements
after Iran and the Palestinians complained to the International Court of
Justice about US policies, the latest withdrawal by Washington from
US national security adviser John Bolton slammed the highest United Nations
tribunal as “politicized and ineffective” as he announced that the United
States would review all international agreements that could expose it to
binding decisions by the ICJ.
on Wednesday the ICJ handed a victory to Tehran, ordering the United States to
ensure that sanctions against Iran, due to be tightened next month, do not
affect humanitarian aid or civil aviation safety.
had argued that the US sanctions imposed since May by the Trump administration
violated the terms their 1955 Treaty of Amity. Washington responded by pulling
out of the treaty, a little-known agreement that was signed long before Iran’s
1979 Islamic Revolution that turned the two countries into arch enemies.
ICJ, based in The Hague, in the Netherlands, is the United Nations’ venue for
resolving disputes between nations.
citing what he called “Iran’s abuse of the ICJ,” said the United States would
also withdraw from the “optional protocol” under the 1961 Vienna Convention of
will commence a review of all international agreements that may still expose
the United States to purported binding jurisdiction, dispute resolution in the
International Court of Justice,” Bolton said on Wednesday. “The United States
will not sit idly by as baseless politicized claims are brought against us.”
said that Iran is not dismantling its nuclear program, and that reports indicate
it is increasing activity.
decision to withdraw from the optional protocol follows a complaint brought by
the Palestinians in September, which challenged Washington’s decision to move
its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Vienna Convention is an international treaty setting out diplomatic relations
between states. It is often cited as a means to provide diplomatic immunity.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States should have pulled out of
the treaty of amity with Iran decades ago and said the ICJ it had no
jurisdiction of sanctions that he said were essential to US security interests.
United States has adopted a hardline policy against Tehran, withdrawing from
the 2015 nuclear deal and re-imposing sanctions.
marked a useful point, with the decision that was made this morning from the
ICJ, this marked a useful point for us to demonstrate the absolute absurdity of
the Treaty of Amity between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran,”
foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif criticized the US withdrawal, saying on
Twitter, “Outlaw regime.”
2005, the Bush administration took issue with the ICJ after it ruled that the
execution of a Mexican national in Texas breached US obligations under
Palestinians argued that the US government’s placement of its embassy in
Jerusalem violated an international treaty and that it should be moved.
really has less to do with Iran and the Palestinians than with the continued
consistent policy of the United States to reject the jurisdiction of the
International Court of Justice, which we think is politicized and ineffective,”
like to stress,” he added, “the United States remains a party to the underlying
Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and we expect all other parties to
abide by their international obligations under the convention.”
- Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan will not let anybody compromise the honour and
finality of the holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWW).
will never hesitate from sacrificing our lives for the protection and upholding
the honour and finality of the last Prophet (SAWW), Tehreek-e-Labaik Pakistan
Chief Allama Khadim Hussain Rizvi.
was addressing a gathering of the TLP workers here at Masu Shah, Shehar Sultan
area on Wednesday. He said that the person who was unable to utter the word of
last prophet of Allah in his oath is leading the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The TLP chief pointed out that they would avenge the martyrdom of Mumtaz Qadri
through ballot paper.
also lashed out at the government "for what he said" liberal policies
and damaging the true Islamic norms and values. He declared that the TLP would
launch a movement for the release of Dr Aafia from the cruel clutches of
America, terming her daughter of the nation.
criticised that the fighter of Islam Muhammad Bin Qasim had not born playing
cricket, asking the rulers to place their faith in Allah and following in the
footprints of the holy Prophet (SAWW) to regain the lost glory. "The TLP
is peace-loving Tehreek and not a single stone-throwing could be reported
during funeral of Mumtaz Qadri," he pointed out, adding that the rulers
have forgot the basic teaching of Islam that's why they have turned cowardice.
severely criticized the previous Nawaz government and the incumbent PTI
government for "what he called" their cowardice policies. He affirmed
that they would teach a lesson to Modi Govt in India in a week if they are
given the government. He said that the TLP even would not bother to use nuclear
weapons to bring India to the book.
security measures were adopted on the occasion.
Pakistan Cabinet minister Noor-Ul-Haq Qadri "should have been more
sensitive" while sharing the dais with 2008 Mumbai attack mastermind Hafiz
Saeed, the country's foreign minister has said, acknowledging the mistake
committed by his ministerial colleague this week.
will go home and certainly ask him why he did that. But what I am told it was
an event to highlight the situation in Kashmir," Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood
Qureshi told a Washington audience on Wednesday when asked about Cabinet
minister for religious affairs Qadri sharing a dais with Lashkar-e-Taiba chief
Saeed at a meeting in Islamabad.
had nothing to do with Lashkar-e-Taiba. There were other political elements
there. He happened to be one of them," Qureshi added.
think he (Qadri) should've been more sensitive, but it wasn't that he
subscribes to his (Saeed's) point of view," the visiting Pakistani foreign
explain why earlier this week on Monday, your government's federal minister of
religious affairs appeared side by side at a public conference with the head of
Lashkar-e-Taiba, a terrorist organisation banned by Pakistan?" Qureshi was
asked by a member in the audience at the US Institute of Peace, a US
Congress-funded think tank.
was seen seated near Saeed as he addressed an All Parties Conference organised
by the Difa-e-Pakistan Council on Sunday in Islamabad.
banner in the background said the conference was in "defence of
Pakistan", and mentioned "Kashmir" as well as "threats from
India". The Difa-e-Pakistan Council is a coalition of over 40 Pakistani
political and religious parties that advocate conservative policies.
presence at the event with Saeed vindicated India's stand that there is no
change in Pakistan's attitude towards terrorism after Prime Minister Imran Khan
assumed office in August.
asserted that Pakistan is serious in the fight against terrorism. "We
cannot surrender to terrorism. We will have to take them on and we will have to
clear areas. We have successfully done that. Well it's a work in progress, we
would have to continue to build on what you've achieved, but to a large extent,
things have changed," he said, adding that this shift is not being
recognised enough in the US.
off training, not giving precision equipment that could've been used against
terrorism, I don't know to what extent that'll help. In my view it will not
help collectively," he said.
Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan, in a special meeting with the chairman
Pakistan Ulema Council Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi at the Parliament
House on Wednesday, resolved that the government will play its effective role to
address the issues of mosques and seminaries.
Minister Imran Khan said that the PTI government has neither cancelled the
registration of seminaries in the country nor the government has issued any
special form for the seminary students.
to Hafiz Tahir Ashrafi, the premier also resolved that the government is all
set and willing to support religious tolerance and harmony at all levels in the
country. Islam is a religion of peace and harmony, said the premier. Talking
about his trip to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Imran Khan stated that Pakistan
and Saudia Arabia are brother Islamic countries adding that Saudi Arabia has
always supported Pakistan in every thick and thin. Pakistan welcomes the
inclusion of Saudi Arabia in the CPEC and Pakistan values high the Saudi
Investment and trade cooperation of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan, said Prime
Minister Imran khan.
Tahir Ashrafi, speaking on this occasion, stated that Masajid (mosques) and
seminaries are serving Muslims. He also resolved to support the government.
Pakistan Ulema Council and all the religious groups in Pakistan lauded the
initiatives of PTI government for revising internal and foreign policies of
Pakistan, he said. Pakistan Ulema Council welcomes all the endeavours taken by
the ruling government to eliminate the menace of terrorism, extremism and
sectarian violence from Pakistan, he said.
Islamabad is seeking an American role in facilitating talks between India and
Pakistan because the two South Asian neighbours are not engaging bilaterally,
Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said, warning that absence
of such a facilitation could lead to escalation of tension.
the latest Pakistani request in this regard has again been rejected by the US,
the top Pakistani diplomat told a Washington audience on Wednesday, a day after
he had meetings with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security
Advisor John Bolton, during which he raised the issue only to be pushed back by
the Trump administration.
we asked the US, to play facilitating role ... Why do we ask? Simply because we
are not engaging bilaterally. And that bilateral disengagement is…a
distraction. We want to focus, we want to move on the western side of the
border, which we are not being able to because we have to watch our back from
eastern side (of the border with India). That is not a healthy situation to be
in," Qureshi said in response to a question at the US Institute of Peace,
a US Congress-funded top American think-tank.
can you (United States) facilitate? The answer from them is no. They wanted
bilaterally. But there is no bilateral movement," Qureshi said warning
that this could lead to escalation of tension between the two South Asian
that lack of facilitation leads to escalation and some of the statements that
have come out of late have not been very helpful," the Pakistani foreign
minister said in an apparent reference to the remarks by Indian leaders.
"The so-called surgical strikes and stuff like that doesn't make sense. It
does not, that's politics.. there are elections around the corner," he
said in response to a question.
new government of Prime Minister Imran Khan in Pakistan, he claimed, is not shy
of engaging. Referring to the cancelling of his meeting with external affairs
minister Sushma Swaraj in New York, he alleged that India backed off. However,
he quickly skipped India's reasons for this – glorification of terrorists by
issuing postal stamps and brutal killing of India security personnel.
the Indians have a better option, share it with us. If disengagement, if not
talking to each other will resolve and stabilise the region, fine. If that's
their analysis fine,Qureshi said.
who left for Pakistan after his meetings with Trump administration officials
said it is unfortunate that the two countries are not engaging. “It's
unfortunate. That's the way it is. Now. What does this government want? We want
normalisation. We want co-existence. You've got to recognise the reality.
Pakistan is a reality. So is India. We have issues. How do we resolve
them?" he asked.
coming to power, the first speech made by the Prime Minister Khan was
"that every step you (India) take towards peace, we will take two. And he
meant it. It wasn't just because it sounded good. It wasn't to please anyone.
He is too blunt a person to please people. He can be very straight and he can
be very blunt. But he said that because he feels that way," Qureshi said.
has said that Pakistan created the conditions for cancellation of the talks –
due to issuing of postage stamps glorifying terrorists and brutal killing of
its three security personnel.
Pakistan foreign minister did not mention that in his answer and only said that
the stalled dialogue process is not good for the two countries and the region.
to a question on India's stand that talks and terrorism cannot go together, a
view which is shared by Washington too, Qureshi referred to a statement by Khan
while he was an opposition leader and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a
trip to New Delhi that there would always be spoilers.
will always be spoilers. There will always be elements that will scuttle the
process of peace. But when they do that, let re-engage to fight them. They will
push us back. But we have to see what is in our interest, what is in the
in Pakistan's interest," Qureshi said quoting what Khan had told Modi.
he raised the Kashmir issue.
have to realise, and I think they were being simplistic, if they feel that
everything that's wrong on the Indian side of Kashmir is all of Pakistan's
making, that is an unrealistic approach," he said.
Imran Khan’s first address to his countrymen as prime minister of Pakistan on
August 19 featured refreshing candor and admirable pledges to work with
compassion for the poor, striving toward the Prophet Muhammad’s ideal Islamic
Welfare State, performance on the ground has been marked by bumbling
inadequacy, hypocrisy and double standards.
rightly on Pakistan’s severe economic crisis and the debt burden, Khan promised
austerity in governance, especially for those in high office. Though he moved
into a smaller house in the Prime Minister’s Office campus, his weekend sortie
by helicopter to his Bani Gala home created ripples. And the opening up of
governors’ mansions, auctioning of a fleet of expensive limousines, and
disposing of livestock from the Prime Minister’s House have not really set the
Indus on fire in terms of revenues generated.
Finance Minister Asad Umar presented a supplementary budget on September 18
acknowledging that “difficult times call for difficult measures,” no major
shifts toward “taxation of the rich” seemed evident, other than duty increases
announced on big cars and other luxury items. These were actually offset by leeway
given to rich Pakistanis living abroad.
foreign-exchange reserves and fears of being lured into irreversible debt traps
have forced circumspection on continuing Pakistan’s commitment to many of the
ambitious schemes announced under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
A Saudi ministers’ delegation has visited Pakistan but has not responded
positively so far on Pakistan’s request for a moratorium period for
payment-free oil supplies. Neither has any breakthrough deal been announced on
a promised Saudi-funded oil refinery at Gwadar.
loan-repayment schedules lie before a beleaguered administration, which may
force it to go back to the International Monetary Fund for another
formation ignored claims of old party loyalists, bringing in several former
acolytes of ex-dictator Pervez Musharraf. Selection of a comparative political
novice, Sardar Usman Buzdar, as Punjab chief minister surprised many
heavyweight contenders. Several informal power centers have been created to hem
in the latter, through the appointment of Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz)
turncoat Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar as governor and PML-Q’s former chief
minister, Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, as Speaker of the Punjab Assembly. Though
politically disqualified, Jahangir Khan Tareen, close aide of the prime
minister, continues to hover on the fringes, ostensibly to manage Punjab by
his known religious affiliation to the Ahmadiyya sect, the appointment of
well-known Princeton University economist Atif Mian to the Economic Advisory
Council seemed admirable and was even forcefully defended by Information
Minister Fawad Chaudhry. But pressure from the fundamentalist Barelvi group,
Tehreek-e-Labbaik and other Muslim clerics forced Imran Khan to ask Atif to
quit voluntarily, leaving considerable egg on the government’s face.
the prime minister promised an interference-free performance in his pep talk to
bureaucrats at the central government and in Punjab, newly empowered politicians
have continued to browbeat or intimidate conscientious officials and policemen
doing their duty. This has drawn the ire of the higher judiciary, which
continues to run berserk in its activist role, much to the embarrassment of a
new prime minister settling in to complex tasks of governance.
saving grace has been a politically divided opposition, which despite
substantial numbers, failed to put its act together during the presidential
election. The nominee of Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Dr Arif
Alvi, sailed through.
the Islamabad High Court struck down the National Accountability Board’s
palpably one-sided conviction of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his
daughter Maryam, setting them free temporarily on bail. There have been murmurs
of a possible deal, albeit strenuously denied by PML-N sources, to soft-pedal
any further victimization of the Sharifs.
last word may not have been said in this regard. Nawaz Sharif is still in
mourning after the demise of his long-ailing spouse Kulsoom and he may be
carefully weighing his legal options on the pending corruption cases against
him before upping the political ante against the PTI regimes, both at the
center and in Punjab. The PTI’s current enthusiasm to rid Lahore of the “Qabza
group’s” land encroachments may end up playing up into PML-N’s hands without
hurting well-entrenched land sharks too much.
other front on which Imran Khan has enjoyed succor is the comparatively
trouble-free civil-military relationship that ensues currently. Having
succeeded perhaps beyond their expectations in “engineering” the 2018
democratic electoral facade, the army leadership seems to have gone out of its
way to extend all the required official courtesies to the incumbent prime minister.
He and the other senior members of his cabinet were accorded an ostentatious
formal reception at Army Headquarters and long security briefings were given
amid due fanfare. Khan visited the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate
(ISI) and the army chief has briefed him several times before and after some of
his important foreign visits.
prime minister was the guest of honor at Army Headquarters on Defense of
Pakistan Day, September 6, though his remarks about “Pakistan never again
fighting others’ wars” may not have been music to the ears of relatives of
martyrs of Indo-Pakistani wars, who comprised the bulk of the audience. In
between, on August 23, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, chief of army staff,
reshuffled his senior generals and corps commanders. Though he did not need to
consult the prime minister for these transfers, the impending retirement of
Lieutenant-General Naveed Mukhtar as director general of ISI has necessitated
the charade of consulting the PM. Khan will most likely concur with the chief’s
choice. This honeymoon may last a while yet.
Khan’s forays in foreign affairs have been a mixed bag. He “correctly” visited
Saudi Arabia first. The visit by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Joint
Chiefs of Staff chairman Joseph Dunford to Pakistan witnessed reasonably fair
optics but the outreach on breaking the impasse with India has ended in a
disappointment, though not entirely of Pakistan’s making.
Saudi Arabia on Wednesday agreed in principle to set up a major refinery at
Gwadar and showed serious commitment to make investments in other areas of
energy sector, according to federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan.
minister told journalists that the two sides had agreed to set up an oil
refinery at Gwadar and a summary would be moved to the federal cabinet on Thursday
(today) for approval to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU).
said the Saudi minister for energy was expected to visit Islamabad later this
month for signing of the MoU. He said the visiting Saudi delegation was offered
to participate in the $2bn North-South Gas Pipeline and bid for the upcoming 10
petroleum exploration blocks to be offered for auction soon.
Khan was talking to journalists after holding a meeting with the Saudi
delegation led by energy adviser Ahmad Hamid Al-Ghamidi.
minister said Saudi Arabia enjoyed great respect in Pakistan and both countries
had strong bilateral brotherly relations that would scale new heights under the
present government. The proposed 500,000 barrels per day refinery is estimated
to be completed with an investment of about $8-9bn.
the sidelines, Pakistan updated China about the progress on engagements with
official said that Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing on Wednesday called on Minister
for Planning and Development Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar who is also focal person
Bakhtiar told the ambassador that development of refinery would be more
important for Pakistan than Saudi Arabia because it would significantly reduce
Islamabad’s oil import bill estimated for current year at $18bn. This would
also ensure that Pakistan’s requirement for financial support from the
International Monetary Fund is minimised.
planning minister and the ambassador also finalised plans for creation of a new
joint working group on social sector and upcoming visit of Prime Minister Imran
Khan to Beijing to attend an industry conference with a business delegation.
The two sides viewed it as an opportunity to reduce the China-Pakistan trade
statement issued by the petroleum division quoted the Saudi delegation as
telling the minister that they had visited Gwadar site allocated for the
purpose and would like the hosts to provide a suitable piece of land for the
senior official who was part of the consultative process said the two sides shared
a ‘wish list’ of around eight to nine items for Saudi investment and hoped
three to four of those items would materialise over the next few months. “Our
priority is to focus on smaller deliverable projects of $1-2bn each in the
first phase before getting into mega projects,” he said.
to a question, the official explained that the visit of the Saudi delegation
was of fact finding nature and its level of serious commitment for investments
appeared very encouraging. “We have been successful in generating their strong
interest and it would now also depend on our abilities to materialise some of
these projects”, he said.
said the delegation also showed strong interest in Liquefied Natural Gas based
power projects. Since these projects are currently operational, competitive
bidding would be the only way to move forward, they said.
A delegation comprising five heads of major madressah boards on Wednesday held
a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan and discussed the government’s agenda
on madressah reforms.
delegation — headed by Mufti Muneebur Rehman — included heads of madressah
boards of four mainstream schools of thoughts in the country and one belonging
with education minister Shafqat Mehmood, the premier informed the delegation
that mainstreaming education standards of religious seminaries was among the
top priorities of the government.
said that the government wanted to eradicate class-based education system and
introduce uniform syllabi and curriculum in the education sector, which included
prime minister said that the multiple education systems were a dividing line
for the nation and this had to be eradicated. He said that the seminary
students had the right to participate in all sectors of life and mainstreaming
madressahs was essential in this regard. Mr Khan added that the services
rendered by the seminaries could not be ignored and it was unfair to link all
religious institutions with terrorism.
assured the delegation that issues faced by the seminaries related to education
would be resolved amicably.
Muneebur Rehman heads the Tanzeemul Madaris Ahle Sunnat Pakistan, which is the
board of seminaries belonging to the Barelvi school of thought.
other members were Maulana Hanif Jalandhari of Waqaful Madaris al Arabia
(Deobandi), Maulana Qazi Niaz Hussain of Wafaqul Madaris al Shia, Maulana
Yaseen Zafar of Wafaqul Madaris al Salfia (Ahle Hadith) and Maulana Abdul
Maalik Rabtatul Madaris ul Islamia for seminaries affiliated with
Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a briefing on Ministry of Law and Justice at
Prime Minister’s Chamber.
said that reforming the criminal justice system and ensuring access of citizens
to “easy and speedy” justice was the central plank of PTI’s government and it
was committed to putting in place a mechanism that facilitated the citizens as
well as the judiciary in speedy dispensation of justice.
Minister Dr Muhammad Farogh Naseem assured the prime minister that a
comprehensive reform package carrying the future plan of action with delineated
timelines would be finalised within the first 100 days of the present
government as per the promise made by the Prime Minister to the nation.
made a detailed presentation on civil litigation reforms identifying various
procedural and legal lacunas in the existing justice system which caused
inordinate delay in provision of justice to the people.
state of the recently contentious relationship between Pakistan and the Trump
administration rests squarely on whether Washington’s new war plan for
Afghanistan can turn the tide of the 17-year conflict, Foreign Minister Shah
Mehmood Qureshi said.
commanders on the ground in Afghanistan, along with officials at the Pentagon
and White House, have repeatedly stated Trump’s strategy of bludgeoning the
Taliban into peace talks through battlefield victories is making progress. But
officials in Islamabad, who US administration officials say have contributed to
the increasingly tenuous political and security situation in the war-torn
country, remain wary Trump’s South Asia policy will bear fruit, according to
The Washington Times.
future of US-Pakistan relations “is dependent on the improvement of the
situation in Afghanistan”, Shah Mahmood Qureshi said Wednesday. His comments,
made during a speech at the Washington-based US Institute for Peace, came after
meetings with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John
Pompeo is ready to listen,” Qureshi said, regarding his meetings with the top
US diplomat on repairing frayed US relations with Pakistan.
visit comes roughly a month after Pakistani cricket star-turned-politician
Imran Khan took power in Islamabad as the country’s new prime minister. Khan’s
Tehreek-e-Insaf party was swept into power in July after securing a political
majority during highly scrutinised parliamentary elections that month, paving
the way for Khan’s eventual nomination as prime minister.
conservative with a nationalistic streak, Khan has made past statements
empathetic to extremist groups such as the Taliban and has lambasted US
military actions in Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan. However, Qureshi
characterised his meetings with Pompeo and Bolton as positive, indicating
Islamabad and Washington may be prepared to turn around a relationship that has
deteriorated over the last several months.
positivity at times is difficult,” Qureshi said. “Mindsets do not change
overnight, they evolve.”
added that evolution towards more positive relations was possible with the US.
That said, the Pakistani diplomat made clear any criticism of Pakistan’s role
destabilising Afghanistan would derail any such progress.
cannot and should not be held responsible” for the difficulties in Afghanistan,
Trump White House took Islamabad to task for its alleged support of groups such
as the Haqqani Network and the Pakistani Taliban, during the roll out of the
South Asia strategy last August. Islamabad has repeatedly countered such claims
by touting their own losses to Afghan and Pakistani Taliban attacks in the
years since the 2001 US invasion of Afghanistan.
that end, Qureshi said Pakistan would exhaust any and all options to help
persuade moderate elements of the Taliban to the negotiating table.
is willing and will use all our influence to do that … there is no other way”
to end the war in Afghanistan, he said.
June, reports surfaced that an American delegation met with Taliban officials
in Doha, for the first known bilateral talks with the terror group. The move
fell in line with the Trump administration’s strategy of forcing the Taliban
into negotiations with Kabul.
Pakistan and the United States (US) have discussed prospects to advance Afghan
peace process, with their top diplomats noting at a meeting in Washington that
the Taliban should seize the opportunity for dialogue.
separate statements issued after a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah
Mehmood Qureshi and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the two sides underlined
the importance of Pakistan-US relationship for stability in South Asia.
Pompeo underscored a common goal to advance peace and security in the broader
region. In particular, Secretary Pompeo emphasised the important role Pakistan
could play in bringing about a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan,” State
Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a readout of Tuesday’s meeting.
secretary agreed that there was momentum to advance the Afghan peace process
and that the Afghan Taliban should seize the opportunity for dialogue,” the
to Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry, during the meeting, Pompeo appreciated
Pakistan’s support for political reconciliation in Afghanistan and its efforts
for peace in the neighbourhood.
sides agreed that the time was ripe for the Afghan Taliban to avail the
opportunity for a political settlement by seizing the opportunity for
dialogue,” a statement released by the Pakistani embassy in DC said.
two diplomats met as Afghanistan faced a spate of bombings amid Taliban
insurgency and the ISIS attacks. Recently, Kabul had a brief ceasefire with the
Afghan Taliban but the conflict-hit country has not yet been able to see
headway in peace talks.
emphasis on Pakistan’s role toward negotiated settlement reflects President
Donald Trump’s expectation that Islamabad should help achieve the goal of
resolving the 17-year-old conflict through talks.
the meeting, the State Department said, Secretary Pompeo discussed the
“importance of Pakistan and the US working together to advance joint
priorities, recognising that bilateral cooperation was mutually beneficial and
a factor for stability in South Asia”.
two sides agreed to remain engaged on these and other issues, and reiterated
their desire to maintain constructive dialogue to advance shared interests.”
FM also met with US National Security Adviser John Bolton, noted at the State
Department meeting with Pompeo that Islamabad and Washington “shared a common
desire for peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region at large”.
reiterated Pakistan’s support for a political settlement in Afghanistan, noting
that the use of force had failed to deliver results, according to Pakistani
Foreign Office spokesperson.
stressed that “peace in South Asia, which was a common goal of both the United
States and Pakistan, would remain elusive until all disputes, including the
core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir, are resolved.”
the FM also apprised NSA Bolton of the Prime Minister Imran Khan-led
government’s peace initiative with India and New Delhi’s sudden reversal of
position after agreeing to hold bilateral talks.
the context of achieving stability in South Asia, the foreign minister briefed
Bolton about India’s aggressive posturing in the region, the Pakistani embassy
initially agreeing to PM Khan’s peace initiative, the government in India had
caved into internal politics, Qureshi noted.
United Nations’ top court has fixed February 18-21, 2019, for the public
hearing of convicted Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav case between Pakistan and
March 2016, Yadhav was arrested from Balochistan and he has confessed to spying
for Indian intelligence services. He was convicted by a military court and
sentenced to death.
International Court of Justice (ICJ) will hold public hearings in the Jadhav
case (India vs Pakistan) from Monday 18 to Thursday 21 February 2019, at the
Peace Palace in The Hague, according to a press release.
the first round, India will present its oral arguments on Monday 18 February 10
am-1 pm, while Pakistan on Tuesday 19 February 10 am-1 pm.
the second round, India will present arguments on Wednesday 20 February 3
pm-4.30 pm and Pakistan on Thursday 21 February 4.30 pm-6 pm.
May 2017, the ICJ ordered Pakistan to stay the execution of Indian spy
Kulbhushan, who is convicted of spying.
at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled in a unanimous and binding
decision that Kulbhushan Sudhir Yadav must not be executed by Islamabad until
they have had time to pass final judgement in the case.
India has maintained he is not a spy, and has accused Pakistan of violating the
Vienna Convention by failing to provide him with consular access, as well as
breaking international human rights law.
Indian stance was dismissed by Pakistan in its counter-pleading, submitted on
December 13, 2017.
its counter-memorial, Pakistan had stated that Jadhav was not an ordinary
person as he had entered the country with the intent of spying and carrying out
in a public relations exercise, Pakistan on Christmas arranged a meeting
between Jadhav and his mother and wife for about 40 minutes.
has maintained that it was “open and transparent” throughout the meeting which
necessitated a “comprehensive security check” of the visiting kin.
submitted its second memorial in the ICJ in April this year.
shall take all measures at its disposal to ensure that Mr Yadav is not executed
pending the final decision in these proceedings,” said ICJ President Ronny
(Dunya News) – Chief of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JIU-F),
Maulana Fazlur Rehman has once again been tasked with uniting the divided opposition.
met Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) president and former Punjab chief
minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday.
while taking to reporters said he has asked the JUI-F chief to convene a
session of the joint opposition, adding that chief of the Public Accounts
Committee should be from the opposition.
on the occasion said: “It is without a doubt that the opposition is confronting
a fake government. Prices have skyrocketed in a months’ time.”
President Vladimir Putin says the presence of US troops in Syria, providing
support to anti-Damascus militant groups in the Arab country, violated the
United Nations Charter.
during a panel at the Russian Energy Week on Wednesday, Putin said the US has
only two ways to be present on Syrian territory, either if it is invited by the
Damascus government, or if it has support from the UN.
Russian president stressed that Moscow wanted all foreign troops, including the
Russians, to eventually leave Syria.
can be done, in my opinion, and what should we all strive for? We should strive
to have no forces of foreign, third countries on the territory of Syria at all.
We need to move towards this," he said.
has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. The Syrian
government says the Israeli regime and its Western and regional allies are
aiding Takfiri terrorist groups wreaking havoc in the country.
has backed Syria’s fight against terror since late 2015 when Russian air force
and troops arrived in the Arab country at an official request of Damascus to
help the government fight against Daesh and other Takfiri militants.
assistance has proved to be a major success as Syria has managed to liberate
key areas over the past years, relying on Russia’s air cover and military
American troops have illegally infiltrated into the country in an overt
campaign to train and support terrorists bent of destabilizing the nation and
overthrowing its government.
General of the Makkah-based Muslim World League Sheikh Dr. Mohammed bin
Abdulkarim Al-Isa was awarded on Wednesday with the Prince Khalid Al-Faisal
Center for Moderation prize for moderation.
award was handed to Isa after a meeting for the Council of Trustees of the
Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, Advisor to the Custodian of the Two Holy
Mosques and Governor of Makkah Region, who serves as Chairman of the center,
announced Isa as the recipient of the award in recognition of his distinguished
efforts in promoting moderation and highlighting Saudi Arabia’s moderate
stances at international platforms.
activists reported that unknown gunmen attacked an SDF checkpoint in the
village of Ayed near al-Tabaqah in Western Raqqa, killing and severely wounding
5 of them.
added that the SDF forces were immediately put on alert after the attack and
detained several people as suspects.
one of the SDF forces was injured after an unknown assailant fired at a vehicle
carrying the SDF militia in Tal Abyadh street in Raqqa city.
sources said that insecurities and attacks against the SDF have increased in
regions occupied by them, adding that the SDF has erected at least 15
checkpoints from Seif al-Dolah street and February 23 street to al-Batani
square in Northeastern parts of Raqqa's center.
uprisings against the Washington-backed SDF have been reported in Deir Ezzur
and Raqqa provinces in the past few weeks.
in Kadiran in Western Raqqa printed anti-SDF graffiti on the walls and hoisted
the Syrian government flags," sources said on Sunday, adding that the SDF
later arrested a number of villagers.
of Mahimidiyeh village in Northwestern Deir Ezzur also made a similar move,
SDF has also put its gunmen on alert in the village of Sweidan as tensions with
the villagers intensified."
Egyptian child who was found killed and dumped in a deserted area in the
Dakahlia Governorate was murdered by his friend who had allegedly attempted to
sexually harass him.
victim, Youssef Hamada Jebril, who was in Grade 5 went missing on Thursday. His
parents reported it to the police, who found him 48 hours later.
to the forensic report, Youssef was killed on Thursday, the same day he went
missing. There were cuts in his neck, abdomen and other areas in his body.
police investigation revealed that the perpetrator was Youssef’s 16-year-old
friend who had taken Youssef to the deserted area where his body was found and
tried to sexually assault him. The suspect was identified as Abdelrahman M. A.
When Youssef resisted Abdelrahman’s attempts and threatened to say what
happened, Abdelrahman killed him with a knife he had.
to the interior ministry, Abdelrahman confessed to the crime and said he took
Youssef to where the crime happened on his bike. Abdelrahman also told the
police where the weapon he used was and they found it in a waterway. The police
also found Abdelrahman’s clothes stained in blood.
SOHR said that the Ankara forces have, thus far, captured a sum of 2,338
resident of Afrin region since they occupied Afrin, adding that a sum of 835
civilians are still under arrest.
SOHR went on to say that most of the captured civilians were released after
Ankara forces tortured them and forced them to pay 10 million Syrian lira as
further said that people in the region have been enraged after a number of
captured civilians were killed under torture.
sources reported last week that residents of Afrin started leaving their
regions towards Aleppo city and the regions that were under the control of the
Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as measures done by the Turkish army and
Ankara-backed militants deteriorated security in the region.
Russian-language Eurasia paper reported that Bulgaria is still the main source
of providing weapons for terrorist groups in Syria.
daily further said that the Bulgarian weapons have been handed over to the
terrorists through third-party states, adding that the US has been involved in
delivering the Bulgarian weapons to the terrorists in Syria.
daily went on to say that the US imported $98mln Bulgaria-made arms in 2016
when terrorists in Syria found access to Grade Missiles and other unique
weapons, including anti-tank cannons.
daily further said that the US has also sent ammunition to terrorists in Syria,
disclsong that Bulgaria has sold 23 tons of ammunition to a US company that is
affiliated to the British Chemring Military Products Company in the current
mid-September, the Syrian Army launched two separate ambush operations against
ISIL in Palmyra (Tadmur) region, discovering a large volume of arms, including
army soldiers ambushed a group of ISIL that tried to move from al-Tanf in
Southern Homs towards al-Bayarat al-Qarbi in Palmyra to further move towards
Raqqa via al-Taweinan and Wadi Abyaz Dam region.
army men killed two terrorists and captured two more, forcing the remaining
pockets of the terrorist to flee the battlefield.
army soldiers also seized a large volume of military equipment and six
the meantime, other units of the army ambushed another group of ISIL terrorists
in al-Forou'a region 70 km Southeast of Palmyra, and captured five terrorists.
Turkish military convoy crossed the border into Northern Idlib via the village
of Kafr Lusin.
convoy that included 40 heavy vehicles, including tanks and trucks carrying
logistical hardware headed to the regions that are under the Ankara forces'
occupation in the town of Morek and in the village of Shir Maqar in Northern
Hama as well as the monitoring posts in al-Sarman and Ashtabraq regions in
sources reported that five military vehicles of the National Liberation Front
terrorists accompanied the Turkish convoy.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated on Tuesday that Ankara would strengthen
military presence in Idlib and reinforce their established observation posts.
to Erdogan, Turkey was working with their Russian partners to eliminate the
radical groups in Idlib, while also dissipating the hostilities between the
government and opposition.
currently has twelve official observation posts in Northwestern Syria, with
most of them concentrated in Idlib and Aleppo provinces.
Turkish military also has an observation post in Lattakia that was not part of
the Astana Agreement.
security forces have killed 15 suspected militants in a shootout during a raid
on their hideout near al-Arish, the capital of North Sinai province, state news
agency MENA and security sources said on Wednesday.
men were suspected of planning attacks on security checkpoints ahead of the
45th anniversary of Egypt’s October 6 1973 war with Israel, the sources and
MENA said, quoting an interior ministry statement.
news agency did not identify the suspects nor say whether there had been any
casualties or injuries among the security forces.
seized a number of automatic weapons in the raid on a farm West of al-Arish
where the suspected militants were hiding, MENA said.
raid comes as the Egyptian army, backed by police, push ahead with a military
operation to crush Islamist militants behind a wave of attacks on civilians and
military personnel in Sinai.
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ordered the armed forces last November to defeat Islamist
militants within three months after an attack on a mosque in Sinai killed more
than 300 people.
youngest son of ISIS mastermind Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is killed in a Russian
airstrike in Syria, months after another of his sons died fighting for the
extremist group in Syria, claimed media reports.
Sunday IraqiNews.com website quoted Jabbar al-Mamori, a commander in the
paramilitary Popular Mobilization Forces as saying: “We received certain
information that the youngest sons of ISIS chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was
killed in an airstrike conducted by Russia on a terrorist hideout in a Syrian
village two days ago.”
to sources, al-Baghdadi has four sons from one wife and one son from another
commander did not name Baghdadi’s son or give his age.
news comes a few months after ISIS said that Hudhayfah al-Badri, another of
Baghdadi’s five children was killed fighting for the extremist group against
Syrian and Russian troops at a power station in central Homs provinc.
himself has been reported killed or injured on a number of occasions.
reports about al-Baghdadi have been heard since September, 2017, when he urged
supporters to wage attacks against the west and keep fighting in Syria and
Iraq, according to Iraqinews report.
May an Iraqi intelligence official said that al-Baghdadi is understood to be
hiding in Syrian territory close to the Iraqi border.
declared a cross-border ‘caliphate’ in Syria and Iraq in 2014, seizing a third
of Iraq during a sweeping offensive.
Daesh Takfiri terrorist group has announced the death of one of its leaders in
Egypt's restive Sinai Peninsula, where security forces also shot dead 15
militants in a separate encounter.
terrorist group said in a recent message on Telegram that the Egyptian army
killed Abu Hamza al-Maqdisi in an air raid. Maqdisi had been in charge of
planning and training for the terrorist group in Sinai.
unnamed Egyptian security source also confirmed that the top militant had been
killed on Monday at Sheikh Zuweid in North Sinai province.
Hamza al-Maqdisi is one of the Daesh operatives who took part in their
operations against the army," AFP quoted the source as saying.
in North Sinai, a separate security source said on Wednesday that police killed
15 militants during a raid in the provincial capital El-Arish. The
"terrorist elements" were killed in an exchange of fire at a farm.
to official figures, around 300 suspected militants and at least 35 soldiers
have been killed since the February launch of the "Sinai 2018"
army launched the campaign on February 9 after President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi
gave it a three-month deadline to crush the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in
has said setbacks by Daesh in Syria were driving its terrorists to try to
relocate to Libya and Sinai. The group has killed hundreds of soldiers,
policemen and civilians, mainly in its North Sinai stronghold but also
elsewhere in Egypt.
Sinai Peninsula has been under a state of emergency since October 2014, after a
deadly terrorist attack left 33 Egyptian soldiers dead.
the past few years, terrorists have been carrying out anti-government
activities and fatal attacks, taking advantage of the turmoil in Egypt that
erupted after the country’s first democratically-elected president, Mohamed
Morsi, was ousted in a military coup in July 2013.
United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia’s key partner in the ongoing
Riyadh-led invasion of Yemen, has reportedly been recruiting tribesmen from
northern and central parts of Africa to fight in the war.
campaign features Emirati envoys “seducing” the tribesmen across a vast area
spanning southern Libya as well as entire Chad and Niger, who earn a living by
herding as well as human and material smuggling, the Middle East Monitor (MEMO)
press monitoring organization reported on Wednesday.
campaign is supervised by Emirati officials who gained material profits in
collaboration with human traffickers,” the report added.
awareness campaign has been launched by Chadian activists, led by campaigner
Mohamed Zain Ibrahim, to warn the tribesmen against joining the Saudi-led war.
Arabs of the [Persian] Gulf region, especially the UAE and Saudi Arabia, have
never bothered to get to know the Arabs of the desert, and today they are
asking for their support and seducing them to fight by their side in Yemen!”
MEMO cited Ibrahim as telling pan-Arab Arabi21 electronic newspaper.
envoys offer potential mercenaries such incentives as sums ranging from $900 to
$3,000, in addition to acquiring UAE citizenship in return for their applying
for jobs in Emirati security companies.
said the job opportunities were “an actual military recruitment campaign to
gather mercenaries for the Yemeni war and use them to fight the people of
Yemen, who are Arabs and Muslims as well, and all that for a bunch of dollars.”
delegation of Emirati people in business visited Niger in January 2018, where
they met Arab tribal leaders and recruited 10,000 tribesmen living between
Libya, Chad, and Niger,” MEMO said.
Emirates has been contributing heavily to the 2015-present war, which seeks to
reinstall Yemen’s former Saudi-allied officials.
addition to their own forces, both Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have deployed thousands
of militants across the violence-scarred country to intensify the invasion.
Ministry of Antiquities on Wednesday said an old coin collection, some of them
dating back to the Ottoman period, was registered as Islamic artifacts.
to a statement, the ministry's permanent committee of Islamic and coptic
antiquities registered a collection of coins which were at the General Treasury
collection consisted a variety of currencies -- gold and silver --, which
included Egyptian and Ottoman coins, as well as a set of coins of Saudi
Arabia's founder, King Abdulaziz al-Saud (1876-1953).
English dictionary defines terrorism as the ‘unlawful use of violence and
intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political
aim’. In the current geo-political
context terrorism has become synonymous with violent extremism, nay, Islamic
fundamentalism. The manner of definition and understanding differs but
currently the phrase violent extremism is interchangeably used to mean
terrorism. Unfortunately, the religion
of Islam has gotten itself in the mix of all these. There is no doubt that
groups of people who were born Muslim sometimes use the Islamic religion as a
tool to further their cause by radicalising the youth through brain-washing and
indoctrinating them with extreme views of other people’s cultures, rights and
fact, the abiding message from the 9/11 attacks is that of a group of 19 mostly
Arab men professing Islam flew planes into buildings in a terrorist attack.No
doubt, that gave rise to rise in Islamophobia. As a Muslim, chances that you
would be singled out for a security check at ports of entry and major
installations became the norm rather than the exception. And so by default or
design there seems to be an attempt - particularly from Western intelligence
community- to perpetuate the thinking that Islam and terrorism mean the same
thing. In some parts of the World it might be true, but many of the groups that
subscribe to what is now considered as violent extremist groups in fact have a
localised agenda. These attacks Kenya is a case in point. In East Africa, Kenya
is probably the worst affected by violent extremism. But then, it would be
foolhardy to make the assumption that all these attacks bear an
Islamist-oriented agenda. Actually, the issues that have led to the increase in
the number of young people joining Al Shabaab militants are diverse. Most of
the young people from the coastal parts of Kenya which form the bedrock of
Al-Shabaab even in Somalia have another agenda altogether other than spreading
Islamic fundamentalism.Their grievances revolve around poverty and land issues
or what is generally perceived as historical injustices.
is a feeling among the youngsters in this region that someone is rich at their
expense. They see hope in Islamic fundamentalism. A decade ago, the Mombasa
Republic Council (MRC) was formed with the objectives of reclaiming the large
tracts of land that have supposedly been taken away from non-locals. After the
governments came down hard on them, they quickly switched the narrative and
proposed secession even coming with the slogan; Pwani si Kenya. Once again the
government’s effort to subdue the Pwani Si Kenya groups meant the restless
unemployed youth of the Coast – with nothing to live for and little to lose-
had to find another avenue to vent their anger. So naturally when the dreaded
Al-Shabaab group came calling, they found a group that was more than willing to
join them and even cause havoc in their own country.
attack on Mpeketoni, Lamu County where at least 60 people died had the
hallmarks of local dynamics at play. And the State was quick to point out the
tribal angle. The likelihood that those with grievances like those at the Coast
and other groups of communities who feel underserved and marginalized will get
radicalized is very high. Indeed, the root causes of this form of
radicalization have nothing to do with religion. The crux of the matter
revolves around the reality of the haves and have-nots. Sometimes, enmity is
passed on to the next generation. It becomes a way of life. That explains why
communities that have lived side by side for many centuries still remain so
even when the alternative is better and less hectic. Hostilities are created
that make it very hard for peace to be achieved. Recently in West Pokot an
elder told me that children who are born either among the Turkana or amongst
the Pokot are taught from childhood that the Pokot or Turkana are their
enemies. Some are scared to sleep by being told that members of the other
ethnic group will raid them if they slept. This is radicalization by any other
definition. That is why I am convinced that the definition of violent extremism
should - at least in Kenya - include all forms of radicalization like ethnic
profiling and scare-mongering. As in the case with the youth at the Coast, it
is easy for people with a global ideology to recruit from communities that are
radicalized based on their passion for their tribes or clans. From the above,
it should follow that it be made necessary for the definition of terrorism and
violent extremism to be changed to fit the new realities. That way,
radicalization will not be seen as limited to Islamic extremism but from a
CAN pampering Christian terrorists – Muslim group explodes
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has accused the President, Christian Association
of Nigeria (CAN), Samson Ayokunle, of defending Berom Christians over the
Dura-Du pond incident.
body spoke in reaction to Ayokunle’s comment after the car of a missing retired
general, Idris Alkali, was found at the bottom of the pond by the army.
a press statement signed by its director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, MURIC on
Wednesday, said CAN president failed to condemn “Berom Christian terrorists”,
who it alleged knew about how the car submerged.
reads: “Why can’t CAN condemn Berom terrorists the same way that Muslims
condemned Boko Haram? Nigerian Muslims washed their hands off Boko Haram
terrorists even when they attacked Christians. We did not wait until they
attacked Muslims before condemning them.
CAN president wants to pamper Berom Christian terrorists even when it is
evident that they have been responsible for the killing of hundreds of their
Muslim neighbours and other Muslims and Fulanis who were mere travelers passing
through the axis.
security agencies were able to encircle Boko Haram terrorists and they were
able to restrict their activities to a small area within Borno because Nigerian
Muslims wasted no time in denouncing and disowning them. For failing to condemn
Berom terrorists, CAN president may be nurturing a killing machine. Berom terrorists
are capable of growing into a more vicious terrorist group whose deadly
tentacles will spread to all nooks and cranies of Nigeria.
president is joining forces with Berom women who protested that soldiers should
not come near the pond. The women lied that it was their only source of
drinking water when there are more than thirty similar ponds around the
vicinity. When that failed to stop the soldiers, they tried the superstition
angle claiming that strange deaths would start to occur in the community if the
pond was drained but this is a community of Christians, not one filled with
has CAN president said about the missing general? What has he to say about the
general’s car that was found right at the bottom of the same pond where the
wives of terrorists protested deceptively? What of the other four cars that
were found inside the same pond? What do the findings mean to him?
Ayodele was quick to condemn the action of security agents but found it
difficult to condemn the Berom Christian terrorists who perpetrated the
atrocity. It is double standard of the highest order. We are stupefied.
add salt to injury, CAN president referred to the missing general as “a missing
ex-soldier”. That is an unforgivable understatement. Ayokunle should know that
General Alkali (rtd) is more than an ordinary ex-soldier. This is a whole army
general for crying out loud and he dismisses him as “a missing ex-soldier”.
General Alkali was the Chief of Administration in the Nigerian Army up till the
time of his retirement. We take exception to this attempt to trivialize the
we know how CAN regularly mobilizes retired Christian army officers to
intimidate the entire nation. While we find no need to do the same thing with
retired Muslim officers, we are worried that the CAN president attempted to
equate the general with an ordinary recruit.
trial of 189 suspected Islamist militants began in Mozambique on Wednesday,
with the accused allegedly involved in attacks against police and civilians in
the northern province of Cabo Delgado.
trial opened in a tent serving as an improvised courthouse inside a jail in
Pemba, the provincial capital, with Mozambicans, Tanzanians, Congolese, Somalis
and Burundians among the defendants, of whom 42 are women.
the last year, more than 50 people have been killed in gun, grenade and knife
assaults in the growing jihadist insurgency, with the militants reportedly
seeking to impose Sharia law in the Muslim-majority province.
the first day of the trial, prosecutors read indictments against the accused.
are charged with crimes including homicide, use of prohibited weapons, crimes
against state security and public disorder.
to the chargesheet, in October last year the defendants carried out a
coordinated attack against police near the town of Mocimboa da Praia, and later
on the district police command.
police officers were killed and five others seriously injured.
suspects are also accused of attacking police positions in November and
court spokesperson told AFP that the case had been adjourned until next week,
with the trail set to last until the start of next year.
week, President Filipe Nyusi told a rally in Cabo Delgado that he directed the
police not to kill the insurgents as they were youths exploited by foreign
groups determined to fuel instability in Mozambique.
trial is the first since the attacks began a year ago.
the insurgency has spread through the province, several hundred Muslims have
been arrested and several mosques forced to close.
the latest major violence, 12 villagers were killed and 14 wounded two weeks
anti-terrorism law was passed in April allowing for heavier sentences.
and authorities call the assailants al-Shabaab, although the group has no known
link to the Somali Islamists of that name, nor has it issued any claim of
responsibility or demands.
been five years since four attackers made their way into Westgate, a popular
shopping mall in the rich Westlands area of Nairobi, and unleashed a
coordinated attack that left 71 people dead.
of those deaths resulted from friendly fire as the small group of terrorists
took advantage of Kenyan security agencies’ confused response. After the
attack, videos emerged of members of some security agencies looting shops in
Westgate during the siege.
attack, for which Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility, struck a brutal blow
against Kenya’s important tourist industry.
years on, the threat is somewhat reduced.
remains undefeated. But there are several indications that Kenya, as well as
several of its neighbours, such as Djibouti, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia,
have made important gains against the terror group and its local sympathisers.
field studies indicate that the Kenyan police have been successful in
curtailing communication and cross-border travel by local sympathisers and
Somali militants. This is significant for two reasons. First, attacks like
Westgate were almost certainly coordinated by militants who’d trained in
Somalia and returned to Kenya. And second, hundreds of Kenyans have joined the
group inside Somalia.
security forces must nevertheless remain vigilant. This is especially true
because Al-Shabaab remains powerful and stable within Somalia. There’s always a
risk that the group will once again turn its sights on Kenya if policing and
a border problem
Westgate, Kenya was rocked by two more large attacks in the vulnerable border
areas near Somalia. On 2 December 2014, gunmen crept into a labourers’ camp in
Mandera and killed 36 people. On 2 April 2015, militants launched a large-scale
attack on Garissa University College. The attack left 150 dead, the highest
number of causalities ever inside Kenya.
then, the border areas have become far safer, although attacks still occur.
There are several reasons for this. Kenya increased spending on security. It
also increased border controls, and implemented a devolution process delegating
power to the region and local levels.
also been an improvement in relations between Kenyan police and communities.
Civil society groups were also drawn into implementing Kenya’s National
Strategy to Counter Violent Extremism in 2016, leading to a variety of NGOs
Kenya’s police have become better at targeted operations. Gone are the random
arrests scores of Kenyan Somalis that led to grievances and animosities that
Al-Shabaab could take advantage off.
not to say Kenya is entirely out of the woods. Concerns persist.
still a threat
area of concern is that there’s still potential for Al-Shabaab to recruit
fighters inside Kenya. The root causes for the recruitment, alientation and
animosity towards the state is still there.
these Kenyan sympathisers in general are disorganised, they nevertheless remain
a cadre that can be tapped by radicals if circumstances change in Kenya, and if
law enforcement agencies drop their guard.
Somalia, Al-Shabaab has not been weakened since the Westgate attack. There have
been some changes, such as to its leadership, and some internal discord has
been reported, but by and large the group remains on firm footing.
is evidenced by increasing insecurity in Somalia. Most recently, a car
belonging to Somali intellectual and free speech defender Professor Yahya Hagi
Ibrahim was bombed. His brother was killed. It was the latest in a series of
attacks targeting politicians and intellectuals.
the Somali countryside, in supposedly “liberated areas”, Al-Shabaab still
wields considerable influence. For instance, the group demands “taxes” from
villagers and protection money from businesses operating in those areas,
helping to fund the group’s activities.
of this is worrying for Kenya. Its own local improvements unfortunately won’t
directly influence Al-Shabaab’s standing inside Somalia.
leaders need to maintain unity and enhance both the payment of security forces
and the trust between community and the police.
response will always be crushing and of course, the world should know that we
see and condemn the plotters and masterminds as the terrorists who conducted
the terrorist attack (in Ahwaz) and we will confront them too and they will be
crushed," President Rouhani said, addressing a cabinet meeting in Tehran on
target the masterminds and the main group (which carried out the terrorist
attack in Ahwaz) and their center, which, of course, entails our subsequent
action as well," he added.
Rouhani said some individuals who been in contact with the criminals have been
captured, who he said will be severely punished, and vowed Tehran's tough
confrontation against those have done the plotting and masterminded the
people were killed and 69 others were wounded in an attack by al-Ahwaziya
terrorist group during the nationwide military parades in the Southwestern city
of Ahwaz on September 22.
terrorists attacked the bystanders watching the annual Armed Forces' parades,
marking the start of the Sacred Defense Week, commemorating Iranians'
sacrifices during the 8 years of the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in 1980s, in
disguise of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and Basij (volunteer)
forces, killing and wounding several people, including innocent women and
response, the IRGC fired 6 ballistic ground-to-ground missiles and launched
drone attacks on terrorists' positions in Eastern Euphrates region in Eastern
the operations codenamed Zarbat-e Moharram (Blow of Moharram) carried out at
2:00 AM (local time) on Monday the headquarters of Takfiri terrorists near Albu
Kamal region in Eastern Euphrates was attacked from Kermanshah province in
Western Iran, 570km away from the targets.
IRGC's Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh announced on Tuesday
that the missile strikes against the terrorist targets in Syria killed 40 ISIL
commanders and smashed all targets.
on Monday, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad
Hossein Baqeri revealed that the terrorists who carried out the September 22
attacks in Ahwaz city were supported by the ISIL, lauding the Monday IRGC
missile strikes against the command center of the notorious group in Syria.
terrorists (in Ahwas attack) were supported by the ISIL and another terrorist
group whose leaders are in the European states," General Baqeri said in
described the Monday missile strikes against the ISIL positions in Eastern
Syria as the first stage of Iran's revenge, and said, "The massive missile
and drone operations of the (Iranian) Armed Forces were of high value because
these drones travelled through the airspace of several countries to reach the
target with high precision and inflicted heavy blows to the enemy. (Also), the
missiles hit the enemy's positions after flying for over 550km."
former commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Mohsen Rezayee said
that the IRGC's Monday missile strikes on the command center of the terrorists
who carried out the September 22 attacks in Southwestern Iran was just a flick,
warning that a more powerful revenge was in the offing.
IRGC's missile strikes against the terrorists who conducted the Ahwaz attack
was a flick to these criminals. The major punishment is on the way,"
Rezayee, who is the secretary of Iran's Expediency Council (EC), wrote on his
Israeli military has laid siege to a Palestinian Bedouin village it plans to
demolish, two days after the regime’s evacuation deadline for the residents
numbers of Israeli forces surrounded Khan al-Ahmar, located east of te occupied
Jerusalem al-Quds, on Wednesday morning, the Palestinian Information Center
news website and network reported.
military vehicles have arrived in the village since the early morning hours and
surrounded the Bedouin community,” it said, citing locals.
August 2017, Minister for Military Affairs Avigdor Lieberman announced that the
Israeli regime would evacuate the entire community within several months.
Supreme Court has twice ruled in favor of demolishing the entire village, first
on May 24 and again on September 5, when it rejected the residents’ appeals
against the decision and said a temporary injunction that had put the move on
hold would expire within seven days.
Aviv then gave Khan al-Ahmar’s families a week, ending on October 1, to leave.
regime says the village was built illegally, but Palestinians say the
demolition plan is part of Israel's forcible displacement policy to make room
for its settlement construction activities on occupied land.
United Nations has urged Israel not to demolish the village, home to 180
Palestinians, adding that the planned move violates international law.
international law bans construction on occupied territory.
of Saudi soldiers and Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen's former
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have lost their lives when Yemeni army
soldiers and fighters from allied Popular Committees launched separate
offensives against their positions in the kingdom’s border regions.
troops and their allies fired three domestically-developed missiles at the
gatherings of Saudi troopers and their mercenaries in al-Khobe district of the
kingdom’s Jizan region, located 966 kilometers (600 miles) south of the Saudi
capital, Riyadh, on Wednesday evening, leaving several of them dead or injured.
Saudi soldiers and Saudi-backed militiamen were also killed and injured, when
Yemeni troops and fighters from Popular Committees targeted their camps west of
al-Majazah area and near al-Alab border crossing in Asir region with a barrage
of Katyusha rockets and artillery rounds.
in the day, Saudi missiles and mortar shells rained down on residential areas
in the Baqim district of Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada.
were, however, no immediate reports of possible casualties and the extent of
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government of Hadi
back to power and crushing the country’s popular Ansarullah movement.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
parliament has voted to extend by another year a mandate that allows the
military to intervene in Iraq and Syria when faced with national security
mandate approved Wednesday allows Turkey to send troops over its southern
border to battle Kurdish rebels, ISIS group militants and other groups that
Turkey views as terrorists.
vote comes as Erdogan has suggested Turkey could take steps to create “safe
zones” across northern Syria, including in areas held by Kurdish fighters who
are allied with the United States.
Health Ministry says a 15-year-old Palestinian has been killed by Israeli
troops during a protest near a border crossing into Israel.
ministry said the boy died of a head injury after Israeli troops stationed at
the Erez crossing shot him.
AP cameraman who witnessed the incident said the boy was hit by a tear gas
was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.
protested on Wednesday near the border as part of a months-long campaign
organized by Gaza’s Hamas rulers demanding an end to an Israeli-Egyptian
militant group, which has controlled Gaza since 2007, has intensified protests
recently as cease-fire efforts faltered.
Arab coalition which is supporting the legitimate government in Yemen played a
major role on Wednesday in facilitating the transfer of the two sons of former
slain Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, from Sanaa to the Jordanian capital,
Amman, on a UN plane.
sources added that a Saudi team inspected the UN airbus A320 at 8 am on
Wednesday when it landed at Queen Alia International Airport in Amman, before
taking off in the direction of the Yemeni capital Sanaa where it arrived around
UN plane is expected to arrive in Amman around 5:30 local time.
in the day, the pro-Iranian Houthi militias announced that the two, Salah and
Moudin, have been released, while political sources reported that their release
came after a mediation by Oman.
aviation officials at Sanaa International Airport confirmed to Al Hadath news
channel that the UN plane has taken off from the airport after arriving earlier
to take on board Salah and Moudin, to the Jordanian capital, Amman.
the Houthi militias refused to release the brother of Saleh, Colonel Mouhamad
Abdullah Saleh as well as Affash Tareq Saleh, the son of the slain president’s
brother Tareq, who was in charge of his personal security.
President Hassan Rouhani has praised the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)
for taking befitting revenge for a terrorist attack in the southwestern city of
Ahvaz, saying the Islamic Republic will give a crushing and firm response to
any act of aggression or terror.
world should know that we regard masterminds and instigators of terrorist
[attacks] as terror perpetrators and as terrorist agents are condemned and we
deal with them, the planners are condemned too, and we will confront them and
they are doomed to failure,” Rouhani said during a cabinet meeting on
IRGC said on Monday that it had hit the gatherings of the ringleaders of the
recent terror attack in Ahvaz with several surface-to-surface ballistic
missiles in an area to the east of the river Euphrates, near Albu Kamal town on
Syria’s eastern border with Iraq.
operation, dubbed The Muharram Strike, saw the IRGC’s Aerospace Force fire a
total of “six medium-range ballistic missiles” from western Iran at targets 570
kilometers (355 miles) away, it said.
IRGC said the attack was a response to the “cowardly” act of terror during a
military parade in Ahvaz on September 22, which killed 25 people and injured 69
said in the cabinet meeting that the fact that the Islamic Republic of Iran
“firmly, accurately and in a short time targets the [commanding] center of
terrorists indicates that if the low-ranking agents of a terrorist group in
Iran do something, then we will be targeting the architects, the main group and
their commanding center.”
the sidelines of the cabinet meeting, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General
Amir Hatami also hailed the IRGC’s missile attack on positions of terrorists in
eastern Syria and warned those who might think about targeting Iran.
who might take a measure against the security of the Iranian nation should
await a harsh, crushing response," General Hatami said.
his visit to New York to attend the 73rd UN General Assembly meeting, Rouhani
said the recently held UNGA was the scene of his country’s diplomatic success
and the US’s isolation.
time the US was isolated more than ever and Iran was respected by the world
public opinion and politicians more than any time due to its correct and
accurate behavior,” he said.
added that “the world public opinion now supports Iran and even in the United
States, many politicians and ordinary people believe that Iran is on the right
track and they do not favor the US government’s measures.”
said the US measures in the economic sector have harmed all European countries,
Iran and even Washington itself, referring to the US’s re-imposition of
sanctions following its withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal, known as the
Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
said the “overwhelming majority of countries supported the JCPOA and
appreciated the efforts of the Islamic Republic of Iran to maintain the
agreement, and most countries condemned US sanctions against Iran and
considered it illegal.”
also praised a “big step” by Europe to form a special body toward maintaining
businesses with Iran after the new US unilateral sanctions on Tehran.
however, said that Iran expected more practical measures to protect the JCPOA
and benefit from it, including perfectly normal economic ties.
President Donald Trump announced in May that Washington was pulling out of
JCPOA, which lifted nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran in exchange for
restrictions on Tehran's nuclear program.
minister for military affairs Avigdor Lieberman has expressed Tel Aviv’s
discontent over Russia’s delivery of an S-300 surface-to-air missile system to
Syria, stressing the move will not deter the Israeli regime from military
operations in the war-ravaged Arab country.
cannot say that we are pleased with the deployment of the S-300. However, this
is the very topic where we have no way out. There is no way not to make
decisions,” he said.
further stated that it was important for Moscow and Tel Aviv to restore normal
ties despite their disagreements over the recent downing of a Russian Il-20
reconnaissance aircraft off the coast of Syria’s western province of Latakia.
think the most important thing for us today is…to return the working
relationship to normal. It is today the most important task — to return to
normal operation, coordination, to more actively use the “hot line” to prevent
conflict situations. We need to work,” he commented.
Israeli minister for military affairs asserted that the Tel Aviv regime “has
conducted more than 200 strikes against designated targets in Syria over the
past two years, and not a single Russian soldier received a single scratch.”
the time when the Syrian air defenses opened fire, Israeli planes were already
in our airspace,” Lieberman alleged.
at a Russian Security Council meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin on
Tuesday, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said his country had completed
the delivery of an S-300 missile system to Syria, irrespective of Israeli
authorities’ strong opposition that it will pose a serious
"challenge" to the Tel Aviv regime.
have embarked on a number of activities aimed at strengthening the air defense
systems of the Syrian Arab Republic in order to ensure better protection for
our military personnel. We have completed the delivery of S-300 complexes. This
includes 49 pieces of equipment: illuminating laser radiolocators, defense
priority systems, control vehicles and four missile launchers. The work was
completed a day ago. We have delivered the whole system to Syria,” Shoigu said.
Russian defense minister added that it will take three months to train Syrian
specialists to use the S-300 air defense missile system.
month, Moscow vowed to bolster Syria’s air defense capabilities by deploying
the modern S-300 surface-to-air missile system to the Arab country.
announcement came in the wake of the accidental downing of a Russian aircraft
with 15 servicemen on board by Syria’s S-200 air defense systems which were at
the time responding to a wave of Israeli strikes on state institutions in
held Israel responsible for the September 17 incident, saying the regime’s
pilots had intentionally used the Russian plane as cover to conduct air raids,
effectively putting it in the cross hairs of the Syrian air defenses.
Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov confirmed that Russia had begun
delivering the S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria.
delivery started already and as President (Vladimir) Putin said, after that
[downing] incident ... the measures that we will take will be devoted to
ensuring 100 percent safety and security of our men,” he told a news conference
at the United Nations.
Four Turkish soldiers were killed and five others were wounded after a roadside
bomb in the southeastern province of Batman was detonated by Kurdish militants,
the local governor’s office said on Thursday.
a statement, the governor’s office said Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militants
detonated an improvised explosive during the passage of a military convoy in
the Gercus region of the province. It said an operation was launched to capture
PKK, considered a terrorist organization by the United States, Turkey and the
European Union, has waged an insurgency against the state since the 1980s.
Violence in the largely Kurdish southeast has escalated since the collapse of a
cease-fire in 2015.
the Turkish military said 13 PKK militants were killed in air strikes in
northern Iraq’s Avasin-Basyan and Zap regions and in Turkey’s southeastern
province of Siirt in air strikes over the past two days.
were called to the compound of Fethullah Gulen, the US-based Muslim cleric
accused by Turkey of instigating a failed 2016 coup, in rural Pennsylvania on
Wednesday after a guard saw a suspected armed intruder, a Gulen spokesman said.
security guard fired a warning shot and the suspected intruder fled, the
spokesman said. There are no known injuries, or arrests and the incident is
over, Alp Aslandogan, Gulen’s media adviser, told Reuters.
Pennsylvania State Police cars were seen around the gated compound and retreat
in Saylorsburg in the Pocono Mountains, according to photographs shared online
by local news reporters.
who left the scene an hour or two later, did not respond to requests for
comment, but told local news media they were there to investigate an
series of airstrikes were carried out on ISIS Khurasan (ISIS-K) hideouts in
eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan, leaving at least six members of the
201s Silab Corps of the Afghan Military in the East in a statement said in the
airstrikes were carried out Wazir Tangi area of Khogyani district by coalition
statement further added that the airstrikes left at least six ISIS militants
dead, including a commander of the group identified as Sher Alam.
security forces and local residents did not suffer casualties during the
airstrikes, the 201st Silab Corps added.
anti-government armed militant groups including ISIS loyalists have not
commented regarding the airstrikes so far.
is among the relatively calm provinces in East of Afghanistan but the Taliban
militants and ISIS loyalists have been attempting to expand their foothold and
activities in this province.
the Afghan and U.S. often conducted counter-terrorism operations and airstrikes
to suppress the anti-government armed militants.
DELHI: With over a month and a half to go before he demits office, outgoing
Maldives’ President, Abdulla Yameen, is trying every trick in the book to
discredit the recent elections and try to stay in power.
Wednesday, even as former president Mohamed Nasheed tweeted that he would land
in Male on November 1, regardless of the judicial strictures against him,
Yameen’s party, PPM, passed a resolution in a small group that they would not
accept Ibrahim Solih as the new president of Maldives.
we at this juncture try to find an amicable arrangement for my freedom with the
now defunct Maldives Supreme Cou…
Mohamed Nasheed (@MohamedNasheed) 1538564566000
are now surfacing that Yameen was given a large sum of money just before the
elections. A report by Al Jazeera quotes confidential documents from Maldives’
Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) to say “Yameen received 22.5 million
Maldivian rufiyaa ($1.5 million) in hard currency days in advance of a
contentious presidential election.” Maldives’ FIU functions under the central
bank. The report quoted the FIU document as saying “president received the
money in two instalments to a private bank account at the Maldives Islamic
Bank.” The information was apparently passed on to the chief of police.
the bank asked about the source of the money and its use, the bank was told the
money was donated by private companies and various others to be used in the
2018 presidential election," it said, without specifying who spoke on
behalf of the president.” — media reports said. If this is proved, it's not
only against Maldives’ laws, it could boomerang against Yameen with a new
government a month away. Corruption allegations had dogged Yameen for some
to local reports, the PPM resolution against Solih was proposed by Ibrahim Muaz
Ali, Yameen’s spokesperson, and passed quickly on Tuesday night. Raajje TV, a
Maldives news outlet said when asked why it was passed by so few people, Muaz
told RaajjeMV that they were the only people who were willing to show their
faces to the media to speak out for their rights.
comes a day after the PPM issued a statement protesting against “spike in
threats, assaults and bodily harm as well as intimidation against the party’s
nationwide base” after the elections. “In the days following the presidential
elections, PPM, led by President Abdulla Yameen has been working on a smooth
transition of government responsibilities to the winning opposition candidate,
as well as the party’s immediate assumption of the important role and
responsibility of the country’s only opposition party.” This statement, just 24
hours ago, would indicate that PPM had accepted the results. Yet, a day later,
the party has rejected the results.
its clear Yameen will use the next few weeks to muddy the post-election waters
— this could include violent clashes, which might give him the opportunity to
reimpose an emergency in the Maldives. Warning about this, former MDP leader,
Abdulla Shahid tweeted on Monday, “Eight days after conceding defeat in the
presidential election and several days after Elections Commission’s announcement
of final results President Yaameen contests the results and calls on his
supporters to protest nationwide.”
was, reportedly shocked by the election results. At the last minute, he had
despatched the police to raid the election offices of the opposition candidate
Solih. That seemed to have turned more people against him. In addition,
Yameen’s government had imported tablet computers from China, supposedly to
collate the election results. This was a point of concern by the opposition,
which suspected Yameen might use them to rig the elections. Unfortunately,
media sources in Male said these tablets failed to work. Whatever it is, Yameen
believes he can pull the situation back, perhaps get support from China.
: Three police have been killed and six others sustained injuries as
anti-government militants stormed a checkpoint in Marof district of the
southern Kandahar province on Tuesday, police spokesman in the province Zia
Durani said Wednesday.
militants, according to the official, were attempting to conduct a car bombing
in Marof district late Tuesday night but the vicious design had been foiled by
police and gun fight erupted which lasted for a while and resultantly three
police personnel lost their lives.
more police personnel sustained injuries in the firefight, Durani confirmed.
official also asserted that a number of Taliban militants were also killed and
injured in the firefight, but could not provide a figure. Meanwhile, a clash
between Taliban and security forces has left seven insurgents dead in Khawja
Sabzpush district of Afghanistan's northern Faryab province on Wednesday, a
police spokesman in the northern region Sayed Sarwar Hussaini said.
clash, according to the official, broke out early Wednesday during which 10
insurgents were injured in the ongoing fighting.
authorities have renamed a river because it sounded “too Arabic”, it has been
river formerly known as “Aiyi” will now be called “Diannong” in a move which is
thought to be an attempt to curb the influence of Islam in the region.
decision was taken by the autonomous government of Ningxia, which is home to
the largest Muslim community in mainland China.
received a request from the local water resources department based on a
regulation on the names of public locations,” the government said in a
statement, according to Al-Jazeera.
name “Aiyi” was deemed to be too similar to the Arabic name “Aisha”, who was
one of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad.
2013, the government in Ningxia passed a law banning local authorities from
naming public areas after foreign figures or locations.
Mulims make up about 10 million of China’s 21 million Muslim population, two
million of which live in Ningxia.
months ago thousands of ethnic Hui Muslims gathered at a mosque in the region
to protest its planned demolition.
groups in the area, which were largely tolerated in the past, have seen their
freedoms reduced as the government seeks to “Sinicise” religions by making the
faithful prioritise allegiance to the officially atheist ruling Communist
domes and crescents have been stripped from mosques, children have been moved
from Buddhist temples and churches have been shut down.
The first India-Indonesia Interfaith Dialogue, decided during the maiden visit
of Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, began Wednesday in the Indonesian island
of Java in a bid to promote pluralism and eradicate radicalism. The dialogue
comprised a forum discussion, visits to places of worship, and dialogues
between Hindu, Islamic, Christian and Buddhist religious leaders of both the
countries, the Indian Embassy said in a statement.
seven-member Indian delegation led by Minister of State of External Affairs M J
Akbar attended the three-day dialogue, 'Sharing of Best Practices, Lessons
Learnt and Way Forward' at Yogyakarta, a city in Java known for its traditional
arts and cultural heritage, it said. The Indonesian delegation at the
India-Indonesia Interfaith Dialogue (IIID) was led by Vice Foreign Minister of
Foreign Affairs A M Fachir.
Akbar M J Akbar interacting with Uni. Rector Prof. Dr. Panut Mulyono |
Photo Credit: Twitter
Prime Minister Modi's talks with Indonesian President Joko Widodo, the two
leaders had agreed to organise the Interfaith Dialogue in Indonesia in early
October 2018, which will be followed by a similar dialogue in India next year
to promote pluralism and eradicate radicalism.
is being held as an innovative mechanism to promote pluralism and tolerance,
and to provide a platform for Indonesian and Indian religious scholars, youth
and civil society leaders to join hands in improving relations across religions
and cultures, combat prejudice, tackle radicalism and build conducive
conditions for long-term peace, the statement said.
participating delegates visit Prambanam and Borobodur Temples, along with Zen
Ling Gong Temple, Huria Kristen Batak Protestan Church, Santo Antonius
CatholicChurch and Syuhada Mosque in Yogyakarta, it said.
the discussions, delegates shared their common commitment to ancient
philosophies of 'BhinnekaTinggalEka' or 'Unity in Diversity' and
'VasudhaivaKutumbakam' or 'The world is one family', the statement said.
Earlier, Akbar delivered a memorial lecture at the prestigious Gajamadah
University to mark the beginning of the year-long celebrations of Mahatma
Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary.
also unveiled a photo exhibit on Gandhi and inaugurated a film festival on
movies and documentaries showcasing the life of the towering Indian leader.
Akbar welcomed the timing of the maiden IIID to coincide with the 150th birth
anniversary celebrations of Gandhi, stating that there could be no better
symbol for Interfaith Dialogue than Gandhi.
TOWN: A Penang Umno leader has accused Putrajaya of targeting projects for the
Muslim community in the state in the government’s austerity measures, including
putting on hold renovation of mosques and suraus.
Wanita deputy chief Norliza Abd Rahim said upgrading works on at least nine mosques
and suraus were shelved, as well as allocations for Islamic religious classes
and private religious schools, or Sekolah Agama Rakyat.
said the projects had been approved by the previous government.
postponement of these projects has disappointed Muslims in the areas affected,
who are hoping their mosques and religious classes will be improved and
upgraded,” she said, adding that it fuelled doubts over Pakatan Harapan’s
commitment to help Muslims.
also urged the state’s Islamic council, or MAINPP, to fight for the projects to
president Abdul Malik Abul Kassim said the projects were under an
administrative review by the federal government, and were awaiting confirmation
from the relevant ministries.
would like to assure all Muslims in Penang the projects will be continued,” he
said the projects would take off on a needs basis and with an extended
might be sooner or later, depending on the speed of funds from the federal
government,” he said, adding that the issue should not be politicised.
letter dated May 31 from the Federal Development Office in Penang, which comes
under the Prime Minister’s Department, lists nine mosque and suraus affected by
JAYA, Oct 4 — Among the small group of Malaysian militants fighting in Syria
being monitored by Bukit Aman is the former drummer of a rock band.
New Straits Times (NST) reported today that Akel Zainal, of the now defunct
1990s rock band The Ukays, has been part of a militant movement in Syria since
are constantly gathering information on him and other Malaysian fighters. If
Akel returns to the country, authorities will move in on him," sources
paper reported that Akel travelled to Syria after being influenced by another
Malaysian identified as Ustaz Lofti Ariffin who was killed in 2014.
BARU, Oct 2 — Johor ruler, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar today expressed
disappointment over the actions of some people who deliberately slandered the
state’s royal family.
was commenting on a social media post that was widely shared which claimed that
the Johor royal family took a land belonging to a private Islamic religious
school in the state.
not easily make any statement without referring to the relevant officials or
the government first,” said Sultan Ibrahim, as published on the ruler’s
official Facebook page.
59-year-old Johor monarch said the issue was intentionally disseminated in
social media sites even though the news was incorrect.
his post, that was uploaded at 7pm, there were two images with one being the
false claim while another was the proper explanation of the situation.
was understood that the private religious school in question is Sekolah Rendah
Islam Johor Baru located in Johor Baru city centre along Jalan Abdul Rahman
school, sitting on a 7.9 acre land, was established on the Tunku Ampuan Mariam
Education Wakaf Land which was intended as a gift (wakaf) by Tunku Ampuan
Mariam Almarhum Sultan Abu Bakar in 1947.
school, registered under the Education Department as a junior educational
institution with a national and religious curriculum, opened in 1989 after it
was earlier vacated by the previous tenant under Kolej Tunku Ampuan Mariam.
its contract ended in February 2015, but its trustees, the Johor Islamic
Religious Council (MAINJ), gave the school leeway until December 2017 to
he looks back on his youth in China's far-west Xinjiang region, Akikat
Kaliolla, an ethnic Kazakh, recalls the place's natural beauty and the big,
colourful weddings typical of his majority-Muslim community.
now Emin County where he grew up is a sealed-off pocket in a region
experiencing a security crackdown against what Beijing calls separatist
a million people are allegedly being held in a secretive network of
extra-judicial, political re-education centres, according to a United Nations
panel of experts.
an interview with AFP in Kazakhstan, Kaliolla, a 34-year-old national, said
this year he'd lost contact with his mother, father and two younger brothers,
who he believes were interned in one of the camps.
they are doing to people there, especially to my parents, is illegal," the
professional musician said, during the interview in Kazakhstan's largest city,
are not livestock but people with rights. Both of my parents are elderly and in
1.5 million ethnic Kazakhs live in Xinjiang, a region that borders Central Asia
and has long been home to ethnic tensions.
had until recently avoided the kind of state repression of which the mostly
Muslim Uighurs, who make up the region's demographic majority, have long
Kaliolla is just one of many to have been separated from relatives across the
border, as the Chinese authorities now train their sights on the ethnic
said that he knows of "around a hundred people" either interned in
the camps or with relatives there.
of them are the same people I watched get married," he added.
only contact with the missing family members in over six months was in August,
when his brother got in touch at the request of Xinjiang authorities, he said.
demanded that Kaliolla stop "speaking out imprudently" about their
situation, as this would only bring them harm, he explained.
Advances in surveillance -
report by Human Rights Watch on political repressions in Xinjiang said rights
violations in the nominally autonomous region "are of a scope and scale
not seen in China since the 1966-1976 Cultural Revolution."
has changed since that time, according to the report released in September, are
advances in surveillance techniques and bio-data collection that are being
practised systematically on largely Muslim minorities.
August, Beijing described as "completely untrue" the claim by a
United Nations human rights panel that over a million ethnic Uighurs and other
ethnic minorities had been placed in re-education camps.
who moved to Kazakhstan after meeting his future wife, a citizen, at a music
school in Xinjiang, said his family was targeted because his father spoke out
against injustices perpetrated by police in Emin County.
father was a legal counsellor there. When the government began putting more and
more pressure on the Kazakh people, he wrote an appeal to the central
authorities in Beijing," he told AFP.
'Help us, please' –
Uighurs, many of whom say they face cultural and religious repression, Kazakhs
had long moved freely between China and their historic homeland.
freedom disappeared after hardline official Chen Quanguo, known for his control
measures in Tibet, became the Xinjiang Communist Party chief in 2016.
has pointed to a series of attacks in Xinjiang by suspected Islamist radicals
in recent years as justification for the clampdown.
concerns growing over the rights of the region's ethnic minorities,
neighbouring Kazakhstan has inadvertently become the focus for those speaking
officials themselves have steadfastly refused to refer specifically to the
camps, even after voicing concern over the situation.
Kazakh nationals with relatives missing in Xinjiang have been more forthright,
sharing stories of despair and separation at press conferences in Almaty.
months and no contact! Help us, please!" exclaimed one woman, Gaukhar
Kurmanaliyeva, to reporters in August.
spoke of how her male cousin, a Kazakh citizen, was snatched by Chinese police
at a shopping area at the border.
account was followed by that of Muratkhan Kasengazy, who said his wife --
another Kazakh passport holder -- had been held in China since December 2017
after going there for medical treatment.
recent months, Kazakhstan risked China's wrath by refusing to deport an ethnic
Kazakh woman of Chinese citizenship, who had confessed to crossing the border
illegally to join her husband and children.
woman, Sayragul Sauytbay, became an international media sensation after
testifying in a court hearing that she had been forced by Beijing to work in a
re-education camp, where, she said, 2,500 ethnic Kazakhs were interned.
Rare happy endings -
Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said in August that his country was in
dialogue with Beijing over nearly 700 cases of Kazakhs unable to leave China.
some instances, the approach appears to have borne fruit.
Jeniskazy went to China to visit relatives in 2016, leaving her four-month-old
daughter at home for what was meant to be a short trip.
she ended up spending several months under house arrest and even a short stint
in detention after losing her Kazakh passport, she told AFP correspondents, who
witnessed her emotional family reunion at an Almaty bus station in July.
to the Kazakh consulate (in Urumqi, Xinjiang) I was freed," she said,
holding her daughter tightly pressed to her.
happy endings seem a rarity, however.
on China's economic largesse and seeking a pivotal role in its trillion-dollar
trade and infrastructure drive, the oil-rich Central Asian country is poorly
placed to make demands, analysts say.
leverage over China is miserly," Aidos Sarym, an Almaty-based political
scientist, told AFP.
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