view of the destroyed al Nuri mosque in the old city of Mosul is seen on April
23, 2018. (AFP)
Backlash, Shariah Lawyer Clarifies Minimum Age for Marriage
Backs Restoration of ‘Symbolic’ Mosul Mosque after Destruction by Daesh
Names Six Politicians under Threat from Terrorists
Dismisses Plea against Order Barring Non-Agra Residents at Taj Mosque
Terror Attacks: Why Bangladesh Can't Afford To Be Complacent
Teachings Enter Mosques of Gov't Institutions
Muslim' Lifestyle Sweeps Indonesia
Tahfiz School, Not Shut Them Down: PPBM
no proper minister, can racial harmony stay on Pakatan’s agenda?
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and fight against terrorism top priority for Assad
Army Aborts Israel's Logistical Back up for Tahrir Al-Sham
Militant-Held Regions in Southern Syria Join Peace Agreement
Terrorist Commanders Flee Southern Syria to Jordan
Fail in Offensive against Syrian Army in Idlib
Army Tightens Noose on Terrorists in Dara'a
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Rafique calls Imran Khan the ‘Bal Thackeray of Pakistan’
unveils party manifesto, vows to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare state
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
backlash, Shariah lawyer clarifies minimum age for marriage
KINABALU: A shariah lawyer has clarified his earlier statement over lowering
the minimum age limit for Muslim girls to marry in Sabah following criticism on
Ismail said the minimum age to marry for a Muslim girl should be maintained at
16 years old.
if a marriage is allowed for someone younger, the girl should be at least 15
is the amendment to the age limit I’m proposing to be made to Section 8 of the Islamic
Family Enactment 2004 in Sabah because presently there is no age limit at all,”
he told FMT today.
point is there must be an age limit for girls under 16 to marry, just like in
the civil law. And permission from a shariah judge is required. Hence, girls
below 15 cannot be married, this is what I meant by 15 as the minimum age
was heavily criticised on social media yesterday when he said the age limit for
Muslim women to marry in the state should be amended and fixed at 15.
said in civil law, the minimum age limit for a man and woman to get married was
18, and a woman aged below 18 but not lower than 16 could be married, provided
she had written consent from the chief minister.
for Muslim men under 18 and women under 16, they were required to obtain the
Shariah Court’s permission before they could marry, he said.
stood by his earlier call for a strict guideline to be followed by the shariah
judge in assessing the application for a girl under 16 but above 15 to get
marry a girl under 16 but above 15, written guidelines must be strictly
followed by shariah judges.
guidelines would assess or evaluate whether the girl is fit to marry. For
example, whether that girl understands the effect and consequences of a
marriage and responsibilities of a wife,” he said.
backs restoration of ‘symbolic’ Mosul mosque after destruction by Daesh
Mosul’s citizens will need to take part in reconstruction efforts, experts have
in July 2014, the leader of the Daesh, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, made his infamous
appearance in the Great Mosque of Al-Nuri in Mosul to proclaim the creation of
the new "caliphate" after his forces had taken over the Iraqi city.
mosque — which dates back to the 12th century — was later destroyed during
fighting between extremist forces and government troops, along with the iconic
"leaning" Al-Hadba minaret.
Mosul now liberated from Daesh forces, efforts are being led by Iraq’s Gulf
neighbor, the UAE, along with UNESCO, to rebuild the mosque and tower following
a deal agreed on April 23, 2018.
are plans to restore the site of the mosque, details of which were outlined in
an event in London on Monday. Preliminary plans include creating a memorial and
a museum on the site of the mosque to document both the history of its recent
destruction and its role in Iraqi history over the centuries.
replica of the minaret is also planned — and after much debate, the tower’s
famous "lean" will be recreated. The project will take five years to
is hoped that the restoration of Mosul’s well-known and revered landmarks will
act as a new symbol of unity for a city that continues to be divided by
(in Mosul) was directly targeted by Daesh. It was very much part of the warfare
strategy of Daesh and how to fragment Iraq,” said Louise Haxthausen, director,
UNESCO office for Iraq, on the sidelines of an event in London on Monday.
we believe that cultural heritage, rehabilitation, reconstruction, has to be a
key element of building peace and social cohesion and has to be seen as
something that unites people,” she told Arab News.
is because it is seen as something that unites people that it was destroyed (in
the first place) as that is precisely what Daesh didn’t want,” she said.
bin Mohammed Al-Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development in the UAE
said during the London event that Daesh had "tainted" the image of
Islam, and she emphasized that the rebuilding of the mosque would be a uniting
force for Mosul’s people.
is about coexistence, it is about tolerance,” she said, noting how in the
aerial footage of Mosul shown during the talk mosques were situated alongside
the city’s churches and synagogues.
speak the same language, we share the same culture. There is more to share and
there is more in common between us,” she said, explaining why the UAE is
stepping in to help with the reconstruction of Iraq.
it is not only the famous sites of Mosul that lie in ruins. People’s homes,
shops and restaurants have been reduced to rubble, particularly in the west of
and other cultural centers were systematically targeted by Daesh, with
thousands of books and ancient manuscripts destroyed.
Mansour, research fellow, Middle East and North Africa Program at Chatham House
in London, said at the event that given the extent of the destruction of Mosul,
together with the increasingly difficult daily lives of its citizens,
reconstruction efforts would be tough.
would continue to hinder attempts to rebuild the city, he told the event
have had a military victory over Daesh – but we have yet to see a political,
economic or structural solution that makes Iraqis convinced that the state
represents them or serves their needs. The only way to do that is to bridge
that gap between elites and citizens,” Mansour said.
money and investing through these projects doesn’t seem to work when the
structure isn’t sufficient, (when) the cash doesn’t trickle down to the
citizens,” he added.
Al-Kaabi and Haxthausen said the rebuilding of the mosque and minaret would go
beyond just providing “symbolic” hope. It would also provide the city’s young
people with much-needed jobs and education.
the UAE and UNESCO added that they would work closely with both the locals and
Mosul authorities to ensure they have a say in the process.
are not going to impose on them how the reconstruction will happen. We are
going to be there to help strengthen their capacity to do the reconstruction,”
is not for UNESCO to decide. This is about Iraq – it is for the Iraqis to take
The National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) on Monday revealed the names
of six personalities, including Imran Khan and Hafiz Saeed’s son, who could be
targeted by terrorists during the ongoing election campaign.
people include Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf chairman Imran Khan, Awami National
Party leaders Asfandyar Wali and Ameer Haider Hoti, Qaumi Watan Party head
Aftab Sherpao, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl leader Akram Khan Durrani and Hafiz
Saeed’s son Talha Saeed. Moreover, there are threats to senior leadership of
the Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz,” Nacta director
Obaid Farooq said while briefing the Senate Standing Committee on Interior.
said Nacta had forwarded 12 threat alerts to the federal interior and
provincial home ministries as well as law enforcement agencies.
chairman Senator Rehman Malik, while expressing grave concern over the threats,
directed the interior ministry to provide foolproof security to the heads of
parties and those for whom threat alerts were issued.
said Election Commission of Pakistan Secretary Babar Yaqoob had already
informed the committee that there was a possibility of violence during the
general elections scheduled for July 25, and directed that such alerts be taken
Malik suggested to the provincial governments and law enforcement agencies to
nominate focal persons to ensure security.
incident of pelting PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s rally [in Karachi’s
Lyari area] with stones shows that there were serious security lapses which
cannot be ignored in the prevailing situation. We will hold an in-camera
meeting to get briefing on measures and plans for the security of heads of
political parties, voters, candidates, polling vicinities and for foolproof
protection of those politicians for whom security threat alerts have been
issued,” he said.
to NAB headquarters
Inspector General of Islamabad police Waqar Ahmed Chohan informed the Senate
committee that the National Accountability Bureau chairman had received a
threatening letter that the NAB headquarters would be attacked with an
that we thoroughly checked the building and it was observed that a building of
the Islamabad High Court is being built at the rear side of NAB building, due
to which there is frequent movement of heavy vehicles. Moreover, boundary wall
of the building is not constructed on uniform pattern and is weak at different
parts. So we have enhanced the security,” he said.
DIG added that NAB had also deputed 48 security guards and there were 40 CCTV
cameras. Moreover, he said, the NAB building was also being monitored through
cameras of the safe city project. “We have also enhanced security for other
buildings of NAB in the city and are removing deficiencies,” he added.
Malik said that since NAB was currently in the limelight, there should be
arrangements for its foolproof security.
committee also took serious notice of an incident in Cholistan where three
little sisters aged six, eight and 11 were found dead in a desert after being
parents of the children attended the meeting and briefed the committee on the
incident that had occurred on June 13.
representative of the Punjab police failed to brief the committee as he lacked
information about the incident and knew nothing about the cause of death
mentioned in the post-mortem report.
committee chairman expressed annoyance over the ignorance of the Punjab police
and asked the provincial police chief to ensure his presence at the next
dismisses plea against order barring non-Agra residents at Taj mosque
Supreme Court on Monday declined to interfere with an order of the Agra
Additional District Magistrate (City), barring people who are not residents of
the city from offering Friday prayers at the mosque located in the Taj Mahal.
bench of Justices A K Sikri and Ashok Bhushan observed that there were other
mosques in Agra, and non-residents could offer prayers there. “This monument is
the seventh wonder of the world and we do not want this to decimate,” the court
said, dismissing a PIL filed by president of the Taj Mahal Masjid Management
Committee, Syed Ibrahim Hussain Zaidi, challenging the January 24 order which
cited security reasons.
court asked the petitioner, “why for such prayers, should they go to the Taj
Mahal…There are other mosques also. They can offer their prayers there”. The
court also said such issues should not be raised under Article 32, which deals
with fundamental rights.
petitioner’s counsel argued that the ADM’s order discriminated between
residents and non-residents.
terror attacks: Why Bangladesh can't afford to be complacent
Abul Kalam Azad
remains susceptible to religious extremism even though terrorist attacks appear
to have declined in the past two years.
say that the government's main focus has been on a quick-fix strategy to curb
terrorism whereas it has not paid attention to the need for a holistic
a surge in terror attacks in 2013, the government adopted the strategy of using
brute force to snuff out attacks. Since the July 2016 terrorist assault at
Dhaka's Holey Artisan Bakery, at least 79 suspected radicals have been killed
and over 150 others arrested in an aggressive anti-militancy crackdown.
lull in terror attacks in the past two years has given Prime Minister Sheikh
Hasina's government a false sense of calm, say analysts.
government is largely relying on the use of force, but it cannot tackle
religious extremism with this strategy," A N M Muniruzzaman, a retired
military official and security analyst, told DW.
experts say a resurgence of militancy is almost a certainty if the government
doesn't take measures to tackle growing Islamist radicalization in the country.
Qaeda-linked Ansar al-Islam and "Islamic State"-linked Jamaatul
Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) have carried out most terrorist attacks in
Bangladesh since February 2013. The recent activities of these jihadist groups
signal their resurgence, a police official in Dhaka told DW on condition of
anonymity. The official cited a failed attack on a liberal writer in March and
the murder of a secular publisher in June as proof of his claims.
government is seeking short-term solutions and is avoiding a long-term
strategy, ignoring the radicalization processes, thus allowing these
organizations to regroup," Muniruzzaman said.
can't win the battle against religious extremism without addressing the factors
that breed radicalism," he added.
Riaz, an expert on South Asian politics and political Islam, shares this view:
"Bangladesh is still vulnerable to militancy because of the presence of
both the drivers [of radicalism] and an enabling environment," he told DW.
said that social alienation, sympathy for transnational extremist groups, a
sense of victimhood as a part of the global Muslim community, are some of the
driving factors behind Islamist radicalization in Bangladesh. The use of
extremist rhetoric in mainstream politics and society, impunity to jihadists
and an absence of democratic space are the enabling factors, the expert added.
analyst Muniruzzaman is of the view that the use of religious narrativesby
political parties, particularly the ruling Awami League, is one of the major
reasons behind a sustained radical thought in the South Asian country. He said
that the government's "unwritten alliance" with the radical
Hefazat-e-Islam group is an example of a "nexus between the government and
government's actions are aimed at short-term electoral benefits," said
Muniruzzaman, adding that they will have a long-term impact on society,
something the state will not be able to undo in the future.
also point to "digital radicalization" as another menace facing
key message these extremist groups spread through the internet is the
importance of establishing a caliphate in Bangladesh," Tanvir Hasan Joha,
who monitors radicalism on the internet, told DW.
up to elections
is just months away from parliamentary elections. Experts fear the militant
groups could unleash terror in the run-up to the vote, scheduled to be held
between October 31 and December 31.
Islam, the head of Bangladesh Police's counterterrorism unit, believes that
"complacency" at this time could be dangerous.
radical groups are not launching major terrorist attacks, it does not mean
they're not operating," Islam told DW.
says that security forces alone cannot defeat the menace of radicalization.
were successful in dealing with it on a tactical level. But the strategic part,
which is countering extremism on all fronts by involving all stakeholders,
needs more efforts," he added.
Dozens of mosques belonging to state-owned enterprises, ministries and
government institutions have strong radical inclinations; a study has shown,
revealing a new urgency for the government to step up preventive efforts on its
study by the Association of Islamic Boarding Schools and Society Development
(P3M) and social organization Rumah Kebangsaan in 2017 listed 41 out of 100
mosques surveyed in Jakarta as radical.
and Rumah Kebangsaan conducted the survey between Sept. 29 and Oct. 21 by
analyzing hundreds of video and audio recordings taken by volunteers at 35
mosques in ministries, 28 in government institutions and 37 in state-owned
on Sunday (08/07), the study found that radical narratives were spread
especially during Friday sermons, and included hate speech, calls for the
establishment of a caliphate, and a negative portrayal of other faiths.
at state-owned enterprises are especially vulnerable. According to the study,
21 of them have been infiltrated by radical groups.
high indication of radicalism at these mosques shows a lack of attention from
the government, as they are structurally under its management," it said
and advised that the Indonesian Mosques Council (DMI) should look into the
findings to take appropriate measures.
chairman Agus Muhammad said moderate Islamic preachers should deliver sermons
at government mosques.
moderate Islamic preachers are not active, these mosques will be overwhelmed by
hardliners," Agus said, as quoted by NU Online.
added that preventive measures can also be undertaken by ordinary citizens, who
should report indications of radicalism to relevant authorities.
electronics manufacturer Sharp is claiming a first in Indonesia — halal
refrigerators — after the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) granted the
manufacturer halal status.
the latest indication that Islam is being commoditized in the world's most
populous Muslim nation.
language to fashion, the Muslim public is striving to be visibly Muslim.
Critical minds are protesting that little spirituality is involved and that
people who refuse to follow the fashion trend are being terrorized by being
told they are not faithful to their religion.
to this social transformation is the concept of hijrah, a term from the
earliest years of Islam when the Prophet Muhammad and his followers migrated to
avoid conflict and persecution.
Fitriyah, a doctoral candidate in theology at Notre Dame University, recently
told feminist online magazine Magdalene that the current pursuit of the
interpretation of hijrah is potentially highly destructive.
states that one historical interpretation of the concept is that Muslims should
migrate from areas that are ruled by fellow Muslims (Darul Islam) and not
accept living under the rule of non-Muslims. This was one of the basic beliefs
of the Islamic State movement, or Daesh.
Indonesians believe that they have to create their own spaces within the
country, ruled as it is by a secular government.
is becoming a process of social segregation. It is not a process of expanding
our universe and working together with different people but it is restricting
our lives," states Fitriyah.
must wear the right clothes and are being told they have to live in Muslim
housing developments in a process she believes is extremely dangerous.
people claim this is religious, in fact it is more a matter of lifestyle. The
movement is forcing people to buy and consume certain goods — even halal
argues that the hijrah movement tends to ignore spiritual development and
promises "instant perfection" for those who adopt all the right
movement is strongest among the educated urban middle class, where traditional
community links are weakest, she says.
commentators equate the sense of having to defend and strongly identify with
the Islamic religion as a legacy of the sense of persecution among the Muslim
community that developed under the Suharto regime.
the diverse Indonesian community, such a movement is potentially highly
divisive and, as shown by its shared attitudes with radical groups such as
Daesh, could lead to radicalism.
trend is also often dangerous for those who adopt it, said Achmad Munjid, a
lecturer at the department of intercultural studies at Gadjah Mada University
in Yogyakarta, in an op-ed article in The Jakarta Post.
points to a desire on the part of the public to adopt the symbols of Islam to
support their self-confidence. But, he says, when the demand for
"religious providers" outstrips the supply, "the essence and
quality of religious practice become secondary." "This thirst for
religious symbols eventually invites new actors, many without proper training,
some even with dark motives."
thirst, he states, "has helped created the Islamic black market, a free
space for quasi religiosity, pseudo-Muslim preachers, fake Islamic business and
religious fraud … as well as teaching hoaxes, including radicalism and terrorism."
the abuses that have been committed are a number of cases in which fraudsters
have traded on the high demand for short pilgrimages — umroh — to the Islamic
offering cut-price pilgrimages that are never provided have cheated thousands
of people out of many millions of dollars.
the same time, says Munjid, there is a troubling discrepancy between the public
craving for Islamic symbolism and the high level of corruption in society.
says there are better ways to become a better Muslim. "What's more
important is humanitarian hijrah," she says.
is no need for any sense that Islam is a religion under pressure in Indonesia.
Get out and meet different people. It's a process of dealing with our internal
issues. That's actually more difficult than going out and buying a halal
Muslims are reacting in a different way.
housewife Yani — not her real name — says terrorist bombings and the social
pressure to conform to an Islamic lifestyle have made her doubt her religion.
She now feels oppressed by her fellow Muslims because she refuses to conform.
give me dirty looks in the street if I walk up to local shop in a pair of
shorts. The other mothers at my children's school all ask why I don't cover my
hair. It never used to be like this," she complains.
refuse to be pushed into conforming with something I don't believe in. I was
brought up to believe that my religion is a matter between the individual and
the Almighty. It is not a matter of what you look like or what you wear. Most
of these people are hypocrites. They are no more holy than they ever were in
the past. The pressure has made me wonder about what we have learned from
Islam. We were told as children that we had to believe all of this. Now, I have
having a religion is not an option in Indonesia, but it is possible that while
on one side the majority accepts conformity, a minority will reject it and turn
to questioning their faith.
hijrah movement sits at the heart of very deep cultural change in Indonesia.
Since the decision of the late president, Suharto, to become more overtly
Muslim in the early 1990s, there has been a marked shift toward Islamic
conformity and conservatism. To a degree, the search for identity in modern
Indonesia may represent dissatisfaction with democracy and what it has achieved
in the 20 years since Suharto stepped down.
tahfiz school, not shut them down: PPBM
TOWN: Penang Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has called for tahfiz
schools in the country to be modernised, rather than shut down.
chief Muhammad Shameer Mohamed Sulaiman said the religious schools have proven
to be able to produce civilised, responsible and virtuous people due to its
teachings, and hence it should be preserved at all cost.
however suggested for more systematic modern tahfiz schools to be operated, in
line with the current advanced technology, so that it will be perceived as more
perception that such schools will produce a backward Muslim society in future
is untrue. Nowadays, the students even sit for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM)
examination and further their studies at the tertiary level.
should be improvements in terms of infrastructure and safety, with comfortable
surroundings for the students besides changing in its syllabus to give it a
fresh look. Closing them down is not an option,” he said today.
was responding to former Information Minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin, who
recently proposed that tahfiz schools be closed due to several issues
surrounding the religious institution, claiming that such schools do not give
hope for the new generation of Muslims.
was subsequently slammed for his controversial statement.
in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of religious affairs Datuk Mujahid
Yusof Rawa had said that the move to shut down the institution had no basis or
Muhammad Shameer said instead of closing down the tahfiz schools, the
authorities should instead clamp down on entertainment outlets, gambling and
outlets have mushroomed and they have negative impact on youths.
such, they should be closed to prevent our future generation from being
involved in unhealthy activities,” he said.
Kuala Lumpur, non-governmental organisation Persatuan Permata Al-Quran Malaysia
said that Zainuddin went overboard when he made the call to close tahfiz
president Manolito Mohd Dahlan said the former information minister’s statement
was ignorant toward realities of the institution of tahfiz schools, religious
scholars and preachers.
said Zainuddin’s opinion was not constructive, and it reeked of his personal
hatred towards the subject matter. He said that Zainuddin’s personal opinion
had insulted this revered institution of Islamic education and caused
uneasiness among Muslims.
teaches its followers to respect the Al-Quran. The Prophet has taught us that
the most honourable among us are those who learn and teach the Al-Quran.
ask for Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa (Minister in the Prime Minister’s
Department in charge of Islamic Affairs) to not take notice of Zainuddin’s
said Mujahid should be advising Zainuddin against interfering in the
administration of Islamic affairs in the new government.
ask that any quarter who is prejudice towards the institution of tahfiz schools
to be fair and to be more careful in issuing statements. Do not play with
sentiments of hatred,” said Manolito in a statement today.
said that if Zainuddin or any other person instigated and insulted the
institution of tahfiz schools further, the association will not hesitate to
lodge a police report.
said this was to avoid angering people and disunity, hostility and negative
perception towards Islamic institutions.
hope that the new government would strengthen the tahfiz institution, ‘sekolah
pondok’ (religious schools) and other religious institutions by providing more
Syed Jaymal Zahiid
LUMPUR, July 10 — Analysts believe that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s exclusion of
a full minister to overlook racial and religious harmony could stall ongoing
efforts to foster national unity.
four-party coalition in its election manifesto had proposed to establish a
Majlis Perundingan Keharmonian Rakyat (Consultative Council for People’s
Harmony), which had raised hopes that the new administration would revive the
campaign to foster genuine integration after decades under Barisan Nasional
(BN) left the nation divided along communal lines.
is stated that the Council would, among other things, “research and suggest
policies and programmes that will enhance unity and integration and eliminate
discrimination from our culture.”
observers have been left baffled after Prime Minister Dr Mahathir designated
the national unity and social wellbeing portfolio to a mere deputy minister
instead of a full minister, which they said have made some question if his
government was taking national reconciliation seriously.
unity is most critical especially inter-religious and ethnic harmony, including
integration with Sabah and Sarawak,” said Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's
(UKM) Datuk Denison Jayasooria.
announcing a minister is not too good. There must be a strong one at the
centre... there is a definite need for
minister. Now only a deputy? Who does he report too?”
Mahathir unveiled his remaining full Cabinet lineup last Monday, naming Parti
Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s Md Farid Md Rafik as Deputy Minister in the Prime
Minister’s Department in charge of national unity and social wellbeing.
Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa was named Minister in the Prime Minister Department in
charge of religious affairs, but it is unclear if his scope of job would
include matters related to racial unity or integration with Sabah and Sarawak,
as noted by Jayasooria.
also believe the lack of clarity around Mujahid’s designation could limit the
interpretation of his job scope to just Islamic affairs, although the Amanah
vice-president did say in an interview with Malay Mail last week that he aims
to use his position to push for inter-faith dialogue.
political analyst Faisal Hazis said PH’s failure to name a full minister to
oversee integration may frustrate some segments in East Malaysia, where
anti-peninsula sentiment has grown strong in recent years.
the Universiti Malaysia lecturer also believes the new administration could
salvage the shortcoming and turn it around to its advantage if Mujahid’s job
scope goes beyond Islamic affairs and if the minister puts national
reconciliation high on his agenda.
former PAS leader already has a sterling track record on interfaith
initiatives, Faisal noted further.
thought that this government is building a new Malaysia and if you want to do
so, need to look at all religion and not only focusing on Islam. But having
said that, Mujahid Yusof Rawa is a good inclusion because he is very inclusive
and has been actively involved in inter-religious dialogue,” Faisal told Malay
thought he could have been made in charge of religious affairs and unity...but
let’s give this government room to prove itself and hopefully the portfolio is
not only tasked to look at Islamic affairs alone, it could be seen in relation
to other religion as well.”
critics say they have valid reasons to worry or doubt PH’s seriousness about
forerunner of Pakatan, the four-party Opposition coalition called Barisan
Alternatif, had proposed a similar entity on April 2, 2001 called Majlis
Perundingan Perpaduan Nasional (MPPN), public intellectual Chandra Muzaffar
noted in a letter penned on the subject and published by the press just last month.
the MPPN, which would have formulated ideas on unity and was envisaged as an
independent body that would be directly answerable to Parliament, was a
also noted that two of the four parties that endorsed the MPPN are now part of
PH. Yet three out of the four parties from the coalition appeal to ethnic
constituencies, downplayed ethnic issues during the election campaign, and
instead highlighted the alleged kleptocracy of then Prime Minister Datuk Seri
Najib Razak, especially in relation to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)
elite corruption and espousing integrity are political postures which have a
huge impact upon the electorate regardless of ethnicity and religion,” Chandra,
also among detractors critical about the absence of a unity minister, said in
good governance alone is not enough to create a harmonious society. Issues of
identity are at the core of most multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies.
Malaysian identity, for instance, can be a divisive issue.”
others have argued that Dr Mahathir may have had political considerations to
make, and that putting less emphasis on religious or racial reconciliation —
which would entail addressing thorny issues like dismantling Bumiputera
privileges — could allay fear among conservative Malays that the new government
is abandoning their interests.
a third of the country’s ethnic majority, the Malays, voted for PH in the 14th
general election, with the rest going to conservative pro-Bumiputera and
pro-Islam parties Umno and PAS.
government is grappling with reform with the old system but they also have to
balance the fear of the conservative Malay voters as well,” Faisal said.
The Philippines confirmed on Monday that the two Filipino women abducted in
Iraq last week have been rescued and some of their captors arrested.
Affairs Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano expressed gratitude to authorities in
Iraq for the swift and successful rescue of the two Filipinos who were
reportedly seized by armed men last Friday.
a statement, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Iraqi authorities
informed the Philippine Embassy in Baghdad on Sunday that the two were under
police custody after they were rescued in Diyala Province, north of the
capital, on Saturday.
thank God for the successful rescue of our two kababayan (countrymen),”
Cayetano said after he was informed of the development.
safe recovery would not have been possible without the swift response of our
Iraqi friends and for that we are very grateful.”
a report from Chargé d’Affaires Julius Torres, the DFA said the Philippine
Embassy in Baghdad was informed by authorities in Diyala province that the two
were rescued from members of a criminal group who forcibly took them.
said Iraqi authorities told the embassy that several members of the group had
been arrested during the police rescue operation and that charges were being
prepared against them.
said the embassy has requested Iraqi authorities access to the two rescued women
and the two other Filipinos who were earlier reported to have been taken into
custody after escaping from the same armed men.
reports indicate that the four Filipinos came from Irbil in the northern
Kurdistan region and were on their way to Baghdad when their vehicle broke down
along the highway in Uzem District between Kirkuk and Diyala where they
encountered armed men in a yellow car.
women were then forcibly taken by the armed men after their driver abandoned
their vehicle. However, two of the four women were reportedly able to escape.
said the Embassy would request custody of the four women as soon as the police
investigation is concluded so that they can immediately be repatriated.
DFA official said they could not release the names of the four women without
consent of their next of kin.
Embassy estimated that there are 4,000 Filipinos working in Iraq, with around
3,000 based in the Kurdistan region.
note that there has been a surge in violence and abduction incidents by
remnants of Daesh since Iraq declared victory over the terror group last year.
the DFA continues to work to secure the release of three Filipino technicians
abducted in Libya during the weekend. The Philippine Embassy in Tripoli said
the three Filipinos were among four foreign nationals taken by armed men from a
waterworks project site Friday.
d’Affaires Mardomel Melicor said armed men entered the construction site
located 500 kilometers from Tripoli early morning Friday and took five foreigners
and four Libyans from their quarters.
said the armed men later released one of the foreign workers and all the
reports indicate that apart from the three Filipinos, a South Korean national
was also abducted by the armed men during the raid at the water plant south of
the capital of Tripoli.
further state that kidnapping has become a lucrative trade in Libya amid the
breakdown of authority.
ranked '10' among most powerful passports
The UAE passport has become one of the world’s most powerful travel documents.
Emirates passport joins the US, Germany and Singapore with a top ten ranking,
according to Passport Index, which ranks the documents based on how easy it is
to travel when carrying one.
UAE’s rise up the ranks comes after the Emirates signed a visa waiver agreement
with Russia earlier this week.
list ranks countries on a “visa-free score,” which assigns passports a point
for each country their holders can visit.
deal with Russia boosted the UAE’s visa free score to 155. Singapore, the top
country, has a score of 166 while Saudi Arabia has a score of 77.
which has a score of 115, will not see a change in its ranking as the UAE
already issued a visa-on-arrival for Russian passport holders.
than 750,000 Russians visited the UAE last year, contributing a total of $2.3
billion to the UAE economy.
2017, the UAE said it wanted to position the country’s passport on the list of
the five most powerful in the world by 2021.
the time of the announcement, the UAE passport was scored at 132 - the most
powerful in the GCC.
citizens do not need a visa to visit Canada for up to six months.
addition to Canada, the UAE has visa waivers coming in to force from Brazil and
rapidly executing Islamic State members
– More than a decade ago, Ismail Saleh says, a neighbor wanted to marry one of
Saleh’s cousins. Following the custom of their clan in northern Iraq, she was
meant to wed Saleh, so the family refused. And thus, he says, a feud was born.
now sits on death row in Baghdad, sentenced to hang after being accused of
fighting for the Islamic State group, a charge he steadfastly denies. The chief
evidence against him: the word of that neighbor.
I wake up and for a moment I feel that this death sentence and me being here is
just a bad dream,” the 29-year-old told The Associated Press in an interview in
a Baghdad prison.
sentences are being issued at a dizzying rate in Iraq’s rush to prosecute and
punish suspected members of the Islamic State group, with more than 3,000
handed out over just the past few years. About 250 people condemned for alleged
IS ties have been hanged since 2014, including 101 only last year.
allegation of having taken up arms for the militant group can bring the
ultimate penalty, even while the evidence is thin and cursory.
heavy reliance on informants is particularly glaring, given the potential that
some are motivated by personal grudges. Informants never appear in court; their
claims are passed to the judges in dry, written reports from intelligence
officials with no hint of their possible motivation.
of defendants are pushed through the courts at a rapid clip, with individual
trials as short as 10 or 15 minutes and a third of the cases ending in the
death penalty. Witnesses are very rarely called and no forensic evidence
presented, raising the likelihood of innocent people going to the gallows.
cases are so flimsy that President Fuad Masum has refrained from ratifying many
executions, which is required by law before they can be carried out, a senior
official in the president’s office told the AP.
have doubts,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he
was not authorized to discuss the issue.
didn’t find solid proof in some of the cases we’ve studied,” he said. “We
attended some hearings and found the cases are ruled on quickly in one
the pressure is rising for executions to be carried out even more rapidly,
including from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Last month, 13 people accused of
IS ties were hanged within three hours of the president ratifying the death
documents – an unusually quick turnaround.
AP spoke to Ismail Saleh and two other Iraqis accused of being Islamic State
group fighters who were sentenced to death, as well as to their families in and
around the northern city of Mosul.
nearly all the other defendants, all three denied ties to IS. Not all the
details of their accounts could be independently confirmed, but their stories –
which raise reasonable doubts over their guilt – were not closely examined in
court before they were condemned to die, underscoring the system’s weakness.
judicial haste was readily apparent when the AP attended three consecutive days
of court sessions in Baghdad in late May.
court heard an average of a dozen cases a day, most involving accused IS
members. During those three days, the presiding judge, Suhail Abdullah Sahar,
imposed at least 10 death sentences.
do everything we can to get to the truth and we don’t want to be unfair to
anyone,” Sahar told the AP. “These defendants are here on the strength of
testimony given by a secret informer, neighbors or their own families.”
judge acknowledged he knew some informers offered incriminating testimony to
settle old scores, but gave no indication how he could differentiate true
testimony from false.
told the AP that the feud with the family of his neighbor festered for years
after the dispute over his cousin – even though Saleh ultimately didn’t marry
May 2017, shortly after his neighborhood was freed from IS militants, security
forces arrested Saleh and sent him to a local prison, where he said he was
tortured and beaten for four days. The neighbor, he was told, had turned him
in, telling authorities he had been temporarily detained by IS because Saleh
told the militants the neighbor had been a member of the police force.
his brief trial in December, Saleh said the judge asked if he had informed on
said no,” Saleh recounted. “Then he asked me to leave during consultations.
When I came back, I was sentenced to death.”
crimes, according to a copy of the verdict obtained by the AP, were joining IS,
fighting against security forces and informing on the neighbor. The ruling said
it was based on the neighbor’s testimony and a confession by Saleh. Saleh says
he indeed confessed – but only to stop the torture.
Mosul, his family said Saleh had his own troubles with IS during its rule. Like
his neighbor, he was detained when the militants learned he had applied for a
policeman’s job in 2007, according to his mother, sister and wife.
IS was driven out of Mosul, government-linked Shiite militiamen detained Saleh
twice on suspicion of belonging to IS, each time holding him overnight, said
his wife, Hind Zaki.
said she was two months pregnant with their sixth child when the army arrested
Saleh for the final time. For the next three days, she said she received calls
from his mobile phone and could hear him screaming in the background, as the caller
told her that her husband had confessed to being an IS member and that she,
too, was a member.
she was five months pregnant, she said, an army officer and three soldiers
kicked in the door of her home. The officer beat her, stuck a pistol in her
mouth and threatened to rape her, Zaki said.
one point, I was barely conscious,” she said. “The soldiers kept telling him,
‘Let’s go before she dies.’ ”
finally saw her husband again after he was convicted, visiting him in prison
with three of their children.
don’t even know if any of my children know that I have been sentenced to
death,” Saleh said.
appears to have sealed his fate.
Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Monday that his top priority was the
reconstruction of his country, battered by more than seven years of fierce fighting.
spoke during a gathering with his Foreign Affairs Minister Walid Muallem and
other Syrian diplomats in Damascus, according to the presidency.
is the top priority in Syria, backed up by the continued fight against
terrorism,” Assad said.
war began in 2011 with protests against Assad’s rule that turned into a
has gutted the country’s infrastructure, including electricity and water
systems, schools and hospitals, and other institutions needed for daily
2017, the World Bank estimated the cost of war-related losses in Syria at $226
billion, the equivalent of four times the country’s pre-war gross domestic
officials in the West publicly insist their countries will provide no
reconstruction funds without a credible political transition away from Assad.
the Syrian head of state, who has estimated rebuilding would cost $200 billion
at the very least, has insisted he would refuse Western contributions.
an interview in June with Russia’s NTV network, Assad said the West “won’t be
part of reconstruction in Syria, because very simply we won’t allow them to be
part of it, whether they come with money or not.”
Monday, Assad said his government would also focus on amending legislation, the
return of refugees who fled because of “terrorism” and reactivating the stalled
than 6 million Syrians have been internally displaced by the conflict, and
another five million have fled to neighboring countries.
Syrian army's artillery and missile units staged heavy fire on Tahrir al-Sham's
positions and moves in al-Alam square, Rawihineh and the road linking Naba'a
al-Sakhrah to Southwestern Quneitra and the nearby areas on Monday.
positions and military vehicles of terrorists were smashed and a number of
militants were killed and wounded.
sources said that Tahrir al-Sham was moving towards the de-escalation zone with
Israel to receive military aid from the Israeli army when it came under attack
by the Syrian army.
a relevant development on Saturday, the Israeli troops targeted a position of
the Syrian Army troops in the Southwestern province of Quneitra to assist
Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at terrorists that have suffered a heavy defeat in battle
with the government forces, a media outlet reported.
news network reported that the Israeli troops opened heavy fire at one of the
positons of Tahrir al-Sham in Khan Arnaba region in Northern Quneitra after the
government forces repelled a heavy offensive of Tahrir al-Sham in the region.
further said that the Israeli attack did not leave any human casualties.
went on to say that the terrorist groups in Quneitra had attacked the army
stronghold in al-Ba'ath, Jaba and Tal Koroum regions before the Israeli troops
launched their attack.
further said that over 30 terrorists were killed or wounded in the militants'
failed attack on the army positions in three flanks near al-Ba'ath.
field sources reported that Israeli troops launched artillery attack on Syrian
army in Quneitra, adding that the Tel Aviv army forces transferred the wounded
members of the terrorist groups from the Quneitra battlefield to occupied
territories in Bariqa border region in Israel to treat them in their hospitals.
Center reported that 15 towns in Dara'a and a town in Sweida province have
joined the peace plan in the past 24 hours.
added that totally 75 regions in Dara'a province have joined the peace plan,
increasing the number of such regions in Southwestern Syria to 90.
nearly 1,000 terrorists and their family members are due to be transferred from
Southern Syria to other regions.
Russian Defense Ministry said on Sunday that a majority of militant commanders
have endorsed the reconciliation plan in the Southern province of Dara'a,
adding that the peace plan will probably be put into action in five regions in
ministry said that most terrorist commanders have joined peace agreement with
the Syrian army only a few hours after the start the reconciliation plan in
further said that a major number of terrorist commanders have decided to end
battle and join the peace process with the army following talks with government
the meantime, the terrorist groups in the townships of Jidrou region in Western
Dara'a, including Ankhal, Nawa, Jasem, Nemr and al-Harrah formed a joint
delegation to enter talks with the Russian-Syrian delegation.
formed a joint delegation after militants in Eastern Dara'a laid down arms and
signed the peace agreement with the army.
sources reported on Monday that the Syrian army has seized control of Kharab
al-Shaham region in Western Dara'a after peace agreement with the militants,
adding that residents of the region have hoisted the Syrian government flags.
reports said that the terrorist groups in the town of Tafas in Northwestern
Dara'a have reached an agreement with the Russian and Syrian sides to deliver
control of the region to the army.
Syrian army's field commander said that the army has taken control of the air
defense battalion in Western Dara'a, adding that the terrorists' supply lines
have been cut off between Western and Eastern Dara'a.
media activists reported that at least 11 senior terrorist commanders in Dara'a
have fled to Jordan amid the army's extensive advance.
added that Ayad Qadour, the commander of Mohajerin and Ansar brigade
(affiliated to the so-called Free Syrian Army), Mohammed al-Mahamid nom de
guerre Abu Omar al-Zaqloul, the commander of Aswad al-Senah (affiliated to the
FSA) and Imad Abu al-Zariq, one of the military commanders of Jeish al-Yarmouk,
are among those who have fled to Jordan.
reports said on Sunday that a majority of militant commanders have endorsed the
reconciliation plan in the Southern province of Dara'a, the Russian Defense
Ministry said, adding that the peace plan will probably be put into action in
five regions in Western Dara'a.
group of Horas al-Din terrorists who sought to launch an offensive against the
army positions in the village of al-Wabideh in Southeastern Idlib were caught
in the army's booby-traps on Sunday, the sources said, adding that at least ten
militants, including a number of their commanders, were killed.
said that several foreign terrorists, including Abuzar Libyayi and Abu Hamzeh
Misri were among the killed militants.
the army's artillery units targeted the terrorists' positions and moves West of
the town of al-Latamineh and the village of Hasraya in Northern Hama, killing a
number of terrorists and destroying their military equipment.
number of Jordanian commanders of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation
Board or the Al-Nusra Front) had in March declared formation of Horas al-Din
terrorist group to replace al-Nusra.
a relevant development last Tuesday, the Arabic-language website of Sputnik
reported on Tuesday that the Russian and Syrian warplanes staged a heavy
bombing on terrorists' movements amid a heavy offensive of Tahrir al-Sham
Hay'at and the terrorists of Horas al-Din against the government forces'
positions in Souran township in Northern Hama.
said that the warplanes further struck terrorists' positions in the villages
and towns of Skeik, al-Tamanna, Ma'arkaba and Lahaya in Northern Hama and
Southern Idlib, weakening the combat and supplying capacities of the terrorists
in al-Latamina region.
report went on to say that the army later dispatched more troops to the
battlefield and gained back lost lands from terrorists in Souran region.
least 35 terrorists were killed or wounded in the failed attack of the
terrorists and in the bombardments.
army forces engaged in clashes with the terrorists in Southeastern Dara'a after
the Russian-Syrian talks with the terrorists failed, and imosed control over
the village of al-Tayebah West of the town of Um al-Mayazeen.
a field source said that a number of terrorists were killed and their weapons
and military equipment were destroyed, adding that other terrorists fled
towards the Syrian-Jordanian borders.
the Syrian army units stationed in Southwestern Dara'a attacked the air defense
battalion region from their positions in the strategic al-Zamitiyeh hill,
liberating the region after fierce clashes.
army forces then continued advances in the region, and gained control of five
border checkpoints in West of al-Nasib passageway.
Syrian army drove a wedge between Western and Northern Dara'a from the lands
regained from the terrorists in Dara'a city and Qaraz region in South-East of
the city after the recent advance.
a field sources said that the Syrian army has established security along the
international road stretching from al-Nasib passageway to Kharbat Qazalah
bridge in Northern Dara'a after three years.
Syrian army dispatched more soldiers and military hardware to battlefields in
and around the city of Dara'a on Sunday, preparing for a major assault to drive
terrorists out of the Southern city.
army forwarded a large number of forces and equipment to Dara'a city after its
advances in Eastern Dara'a and liberation of Nasib border-crossing.
sources reported that the army is preparing for an imminent operation to
liberate Dara'a city.
sources further said that only a few villages in Eastern Dara'a are still under
terrorists' control and the region has militarily fallen into the army that
controls almost 95 percent of Eastern Dara'a.
and Paris have signed a military agreement on protecting classified information
amid criticisms of France’s support for the Saudi regime’s bloody war against
agreement was signed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and French
Defense Minister Florence Parly in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah, the
official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported on Monday.
Salman, who also serves as the Saudi defense minister, and Parly reviewed areas
of bilateral cooperation, especially military ties, as well as regional
meeting and the signing ceremony were attended by senior officials from both
countries, including Saudi military chief of staff General Fayyad bin Hamed
al-Ruwaili and Francois Gouyette, the French ambassador to Riyadh.
French defense chief’s visit to Saudi Arabia follows a trip in April by bin
Salman to Paris, where the two countries signed 20 major economic deals worth
Paris-Riyadh military ties come amid international outcry over the Saudi-led
deadly military aggression against Yemen, which has killed or injured over
600,000 civilians since its onset in March 2015, according to the figures
released by the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights.
President Emmanuel Macron has come under pressure from rights groups to scale
back ties with the Saudi-led coalition over its brutal war against the people
to a recent YouGov poll, 75 percent of French people want Macron to suspend
arms exports to countries involved in the war on Yemen, including Saudi Arabia
and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
the world’s third-biggest arms exporter, counts Saudi Arabia and the UAE among
its major purchasers. France’s biggest military firms, including Dassault and
Thales, have major contracts in the Persian Gulf.
licensing procedures have no parliamentary checks in France and are just
approved through a committee headed by the prime minister that includes the
foreign, defense and economy ministers.
in May, two human rights groups campaigning for a halt to French arms sales to
Saudi Arabia and the UAE said they were taking their case to France's highest
non-governmental organization Droit Solidarite and Aser, which specializes in
armament issues, had given Prime Minister Edouard Philippe a two-month
ultimatum in March to suspend licenses for arms sales to the Persian Gulf
two rights bodies argue that France is breaking international law by providing
weapons for the Saudi-led aggression against war-ravaged Yemen and subsequently
committing war crimes there.
Former minister for Railways and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader
Khawaja Saad Rafique on Monday said that Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief
Imran Khan was Pakistan’s very own Bal Thackeray, who “provoked his supporters
to resort to violence and attack PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif’s residence
to a video of the attack making rounds over the internet, Saad took to Twitter
and said that attacking Nawaz’s house was a shameful act of “PTI’s crooks”.
said that there was no room for such violent acts in politics and the incident
merits mention that the PML-N leader drew a comparison between the PTI chief
and Bal Thackeray – founder of Shiv Sena, a Hindu right-wing ethnocentric party
– after a protest by London-based Pakistanis outside the Avenfield flats owned
by Nawaz Sharif. On Sunday night, an angry mob, allegedly led by supporters of
the Imran Khan-led PTI, attempted to attack the Avenfield properties of the
the British chapter of the PTI condemned the incident and said there was no
truth in the accusation that the party’s workers were behind the incident.
Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan unveiled party manifesto for
general election 2018 on Monday.
addressing a ceremony in Islamabad, PTI chairman said that the next government
will face acute economic challenges.
said in his speech that PTI’s mission is to make Pakistan an Islamic welfare
state following the principles that made the foundation of madina where prompt justice will be served to the people.
the main issues of the country, he said that unemployment is the foremost
challenge to Pakistan. PTI will focus on creating jobs and how the agriculture
be used for revenue, he said.
If PTI given chance to form government , it will offer business incentives to
create jobs to lead the country on the track of prosperity ’he said ,adding
that PTI government will create one crore jobs and five million homes during
our tenure in government.
you know of main points of our manifesto. First is low-cost housing schemes. We
will build 50,00,000 houses for the poor. This is going to be like our Billion
Tree Tsunami,” the PTI chief told the media. Imran said that his party had held
meetings with builders and was well aware of how the project will help the
party in creating jobs.
and medium enterprises (SME) are like the backbone of the country. We will
facilitate young entrepreneurs by reducing the cost of doing business, which is
currently the reason of red-tapism by Pakistani government sector,” noted
discussing the policy for agriculture sector, he stressed that the poor farmers
will be facilitated.Special warehouses will be introduced to replace
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari says that an ideology cannot be wiped out
by killing the individuals following it.
a public gathering at Bahawalpur bypass here on Monday, Bilawal said people who
thought that an ideology could be eliminated by killing individuals had been
proved wrong as the PPP was still standing and will continue to do so.
further denounced the district administration for stopping his procession
despite granting permission earlier.
way we have been welcomed from Karachi to Multan is proof that no one can stop
us. From pelting stones in Karachi to creating obstacles on our way to Uch
Sharif and Multan, we cannot be stopped from moving forward,” he added.
PPP leader said he was running his first election campaign and not doing
politics of abuses, instead his party had come up with a people-friendly
manifesto, which was geared towards the welfare of farmers, labourers and
people in general.
issues of the masses have been addressed in our manifesto as, if any party
wants to move forward, it should highlight these issues. We have to fight
unemployment and deprivation besides providing free medical treatment and
education,” he went on to explain.
also said that the late PPP founder chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto distributed
land of feudals among landless farmers as the party believed that progress of a
country lay in the progress of its farmers.
will introduce Benazir Kisan Cards and enrol them for provision of loans and
subsidy besides insuring their crops,” he said.
claimed that 60 per cent of the country’s population was suffering from
malnutrition that his party will target by initiating ‘Bhook Mitao Programme’
under which food stores will be opened across the country that will be run by
women. The PPP always built houses for the homeless and after coming to power
more would be constructed particularly for the youth, he further claimed.
said that poverty was a major issue the country was facing and the PPP had
always focused on it. “We initiated Benazir Income Support Programme and will
double its scope after coming to power. Besides this, we launched a
poverty-reduction programme in Sindh under which we extended loans to women and
over 0.8 million families are reaping its benefits.”
also promised to create a separate ministry with the objective of generating
jobs for the youth. “I am out to complete the unfinished mission of Benazir
Bhutto and save the country. The mission of Benazir was to solve the problems
of the masses, which is my mission too,” he added.
PPP chairman said if the party could give recognition to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,
get the 18th amendment passed and approve NFC Award, it could also accord
recognition to the Seraiki belt [and create a separate province out of it] and
solve its issues.
gave us a PPP loyalist like Yousaf Raza Gilani, who being the prime minister
initiated a number of development projects in the city,” he further said.
Bilawal asked the people to vote for the PPP candidates in Multan.
is 10.30pm and Ahsan Iqbal is winding up his election campaign for the day in a
rural neighbourhood of this border district. Towards the end of his speech he
talks about accusations that his party and leaders have gone soft on the issue
of Namoos-i-Risalat, a refrain his main rival, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s (PTI)
Abrarul Haq, is also using to take the National Assembly seat (NA-78) from him.
is our faith,” thundered Mr Iqbal, who survived an attempt on his life during a
rally in early May. The gunman who shot and wounded him is alleged to have
links with an ultra-religious group.
amendment to a law related to the Khatm-i-Nubuwat had led to countrywide
violent protests and lockdown in Islamabad last winter. The change was later
retracted and law minister Zahid Hamid was forced to resign his job as a result
of the government’s deal with the protesting group brokered by the military.
one in the world has a right to issue a certificate of faith against his fellow
Muslims. It is for Allah to decide who is a good Muslim and who is not,” he
argued before reminding the crowd that his mother Nisar Fatima was one of the
key movers of the blasphemy law.
Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP), which was leading the attack on the
government and the PML-N in the wake of the amendment, as well as
Tehreek-i-Labbaik Islam, are taking part in the election.
TLP alone has fielded more than 250 candidates across the country for the July
25 elections, pledging to stop the PML-N from returning to power. The group,
which had fought two by-elections in Punjab against the PML-N, the first for a
Lahore seat that fell vacant after former prime minister Nawaz Sharif lost his
job for a third time when the Supreme Court disqualified him in a corruption
case a year ago and the second in Chakwal, is believed by many to have been
created to play the role of a ‘spoiler’ in the elections. Many contend that it
could hurt PML-N’s chances in many places across Punjab.
is created to break away our religious voter... but the results of both
by-polls in Lahore and Chakwal last year show that it failed to do so,” Mr
Iqbal told Dawn later at his election office in Narowal. “It cannot hurt our
chances... our voter has matured over the years and will not be trapped by such
we are being forced to prove our credentials as Muslims. This whole thing has
created hatred in our society. I’m carrying the bullet of hatred inside me. We
need to fight and win this war against religious hatred if we want to make
lamented that Bangladesh and India had left Pakistan far behind in economic
field. “Even neighbouring Afghanistan is moving fast forward. That country
looks politically more stable than Pakistan today.”
supporters say Mr Iqbal is forced to talk about the issue of Namoos-i-Risalat
because his Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf rival Abrarul Haq is using it against him.
PTI candidate is facing a lot of resistance from the constituents because he
lost touch with voters after his defeat in 2013 unlike Ahsan Iqbal who was
available to them on weekends despite being busy as minister. Ever since
Abrarul Haq has come back to Narowal for election, he is using religion to
discredit his opponent,” a local trader said to this reporter.
religion isn’t the only issue Mr Iqbal’s challenger is using to thwart his plan
to win the seat for the fifth term. He is also banking on large Jatt vote from
the constituency besides his social work. PTI’s growing popularity and the
perception that the establishment doesn’t want PML-N to win back power will
also go in his favour, according to his supporters.
at the election rally, Mr Iqbal rounded off his speech with a promise of
development of the area in next five years.
new delimitation scheme has not only reduced Narowal’s seats from three to two,
it has also added many new areas to his constituency which means Ahsan Iqbal
has to spend more time in these areas to charm his new voters,” a local
other fellow PML-N candidates, Mr Iqbal also feels that a combination of the
development the PML-N governments at the centre and Punjab have done over the
last five years and the party’s struggle for ensuring the sanctity of the vote
after disqualification of Nawaz Sharif would help the party win re-election. So
when he reminds his voters how their government had ended power shortage and
brought peace to the country, he also asks them to avenge the injustice done to
the former premier by turning up in a bigger number on polling day.
Rifts and divisions have tainted the Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) as the
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) and Jamat-e-Islami (JI), the two major components
of MMA, have placed different candidates in erstwhile FATA for the upcoming
leaders of MMA, however, have claimed of winning a majority in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in the upcoming elections.
JUI-F has fielded its own workers on all 12 National Assembly seats from former
FATA who are going to contest on its symbol ‘book’. The JI, on the other hand, has placed four
candidates as independents from Bajaur, Mohmand and Khyber Agencies.
to the MMA formula, the JUI-F has received a lion’s share in allotting tickets
as it has fielded candidates on 28 out of 39 National Assembly seats and 63
provincial assembly seats. For the remaining 11 national and 37 provincial
assembly seats, the remaining four parties of the MMA have fielded their
these remaining components of MMA, JI has placed candidates on 99 per cent of
the remaining seats.
rifts have emerged between the JUI-F and the JI as the latter has entered into
an alliance with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) against JUI-F in
Buner. The JI will support PML-N candidate for National Assembly seat whereas
the PML-N will back the JI candidates on three provincial assembly seats.
in Swat, the JI candidate on provincial assembly seat is supporting a JUI-F
in both Dir districts and several other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), a
majority of JUI-F workers are reluctant to support the JI candidates for the
Dir, Bannu is also considered a stronghold of JUI-F and the MMA ignored the JI
in awarding of all national and provincial assembly tickets in this area.
Former chief minister Akram Khan Durrani is contesting this time on MMA ticket
with ‘book’ as the election symbol against PTI chief Imran Khan.
remains a coalition partner of PTI, therefore, there are apprehensions that JI
might support Imran Khan against Akram Khan Durrani. JI’s senior leader
Professor Muhammad Ibrahim Khan belongs to Bannu but was ignored while
a Shia component of MMA in Dera Ismail Khan, has entered into a seat adjustment
with PTI. But the JUI-F is supporting a former PTI MPA against Tehrik-e-Islami
in Dera Ismail Khan.
Swabi, on one national and two provincial assembly seats, the MMA has entered
into a seat adjustment with PML-N. In both Abbottabad and Mansehra districts,
workers and stalwarts of JUI-F and JI are unhappy with the distribution of
tickets, and have, therefore, assured support to other parties like PML-N and
contacted, JI’s KP Secretary Maulana Abdul Wase and JUI-F’s KP Information
Secretary Abdul Jalil Jan showed satisfaction over what they called an
understanding amongst the ranks of candidates and workers of both the parties.
They claimed that the MMA will emerge as a majority party in coming general
elections in the province.
slams AIMPLB plan to open Sharia courts across country
BJP has slammed All India Muslim Personal Law Board's (AIMPLB) plans to open
Sharia courts in all districts of the country. Though BJP leaders said any such
move would be "unconstitutional", Muslim representatives termed
"feasible and practical" the plan to open such religious courts,
provided they are influenced by any 'siyasi jamat'-political fraternity or
politics that is.
proposal by the highest decision-making body on Muslim affairs will be placed
for discussion at a meeting of the AIMPLB, here, on July 15.
a Congress hand behind the move for "evading the Supreme Court order on
instant Triple Talaq", BJP's Rajya Sabha MP GVL Narasimha Rao told The Tribune that the
measure was aimed at "denying gender justice for Muslim women".
so-called Sharia courts have no legal sanctity. This is a desperate and devious
attempt to evade the Supreme Court judgement holding instant Triple Talaq
unconstitutional. There is a hidden Congress party's hand behind this measure
aimed at denying gender justice for Muslim women," he said.
a question on BJP's plans now, Rao said "they have no legal sanctity. This
is undue interference in personal matters of the community".
given its place of importance in the saffron strategy for 2019 Lok Sabha elections,
Muslim representatives, who did not wish to be identified, said whatever the
BJP may say such religious courts were not just "feasible" but would
also be "acceptable" to Muslims, including women, whose rights the
BJP was trying to project and protect through legislation on issue like instant
(Sharia courts) are permissible by Islam. All personal issues, including those
related to divorce, can be resolved at the level of a 'maulvi' saving the
trouble of going to courts or engaging expensive lawyers. Their verdict will be
acceptable to all, including woman, who will see it a direction from the
religious order. The man may also prefer an intervention by a religious
representative over a litigation in the court and a possible jail term,"
wonder then that for the BJP, which is all set to make its empowerment of
Muslim women a big political issue in 2019, is worried. "If this happens,
it will be a cause for worry while also affecting its stance on a Uniform Civil
Code in the country. In courts you need lawyers whereas here all issues,
including related to divorce, will be resolved by a 'maulvi', leaving a huge
population of the country out of the ambit of its established legal
system," Muslim representatives say.
are not parallel courts but Darul Qaza 'arbitration councils'. They are not
unconstitutional and have been functioning in the country for years,"
said Asaduddin Owaisi, president of the
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen, supporting the
AIMPLB pitch for Sharia courts in every district of the country.
Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy also urged the Centre to act against people
demanding Sharia courts terming it "de-facto way of dividing the country
and creating secession".
is only one court and one law. The constitution is a guiding force and anything
outside it will not be acceptable. Any attempt made, should be acted upon
strongly by the government and these people should be arrested under the
National Security Act," he said.
attack on Tral student: J&K Police questioning three suspects
Jammu and Kashmir Police are questioning three suspects in the case of an
alleged knife attack on a student of Islamic University of Science and
Technology (IUST) in South Kashmir’s Tral.
Kour, a polytechnic student, has alleged that some of her classmates had
harassed her on communal lines and attacked her after she had approached the
university authorities. An FIR under IPC section 307 (attempt to murder) and
Arms Act section 3/25 has been lodged in the case, police said.
Awantipora Mohammad Zahid told The Indian Express that the victim has named
three of her classmates who were being questioned.
victim has alleged that while she was standing at a bus stop outside her home,
at 8.15 am on July 2, two masked men on a bike approached her and attacked her
with a knife injuring her arm,” Tral SHO said.
complainant’s father said, “During Ramzan, her classmates kept asking her to
cover her head and asked her to convert to Islam. They kept telling her, ‘Islam
qubool karo’. One of the boys even held her by the throat and threatened her.
She refused to go to class after that. When we asked her why she was not
attending classes, she broke down and told us about the whole issue.”
Vice-Chancellor Mushtaq Siddiqui confirmed that the student and her father had
approached his office on June 26 over the matter. Siddiqui said the victim told
him that some of her classmates “were asking her to cover her head and fast
during Ramzan”. “We assured her of all support and security at the university.
We even offered to her space at the university hostel, where she could live
with a guardian,” he said. IUST has also constituted a proctorial committee to
investigate into the incident
protests broke out at IUST on Monday, with students seeking “justice for those
picked up for questioning,” a university staffer said.
at the university also told The Indian Express that the incident had begun as a
“joke” and the classmates who “teased her” have been named as perpetrators by
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board or (AIMPLB), the highest decision
making body on Muslim affairs, has decided to open Darul Qaza (Sharia courts)
in all districts of the country to address issues in line with Islamic laws.
AIMPLB will discuss the arrangement of funds and resources to implement this
decision in its meeting on July 15.
board is of the view that anomalies in interpretation of Sharia law can be
removed by having proper Sharia courts in each district, so that proper
counselling can be given to people of Muslim community with the help of these
present there are 40 such courts in Uttar Pradesh. We plan to open one such
court in every districts of the country. The objective of Darul-Qaza is to
resolve matters in light of Shariat laws instead of going to other
courts," said senior member AIMPLB, Zafaryab Zilani.
board is also of the view that the increased number of these Sharia courts will
encourage people to approach them for disputes arising out of family, including
Nikah, Talaq and property matters.
idea of Sharia Courts is nothing new for India but this move of increasing the
number of Sharia courts becomes important in the wake of government’s move to
do away with Triple Talaq and Nikah Halala issues.
to News18 on the issue, Chairman of Shia Waqf Board, Syed Waseem Rizvi said,
“You can go for mediation centers but you cannot open ‘Courts’, this is
illegal. You cannot appoint Qazis (Judges), the moment you name it court and
appoint a Qazi it becomes illegal. Mediation is welcome but running own courts is
senior advocate Zafaryab Jilani has said that Sharia Courts is totally legal
and upheld by the Supreme Court.
who are saying that it’s illegal should know about Supreme Court’s judgment.
Darul Qaza or Sharia Courts are legal and upheld by the Supreme Court. Also the
proposal for strengthening and rise in the number of Sharia Courts is nothing
new. This proposal comes up in every meeting of the AIMPLB,” Jilani said.
plans Shariat courts in all districts of country, BJP says India isn’t Islamic
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), the highest decision-making body
on Muslim affairs, plans to open Darul-Qaza (Shariat courts) in all districts
of the country to resolves issues in line with Islamic laws.
proposal will come up for discussion at a meeting of the AIMPLB in New Delhi on
the move, the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi on
Monday said there was no place for Shariat Court, be it district or village or
city. This isn't Islamic Republic of India, she added.
all the latest news about Lok Sabha elections 2019 HERE
is unnecessary. It's against Constitution. AIMPLB has no power to set up
courts. Those supporting it know it's legally untenable. There's nothing but
politics behind it,” said Union Minister PP Choudhary.
present, there are 40 such courts in Uttar Pradesh. We plan to open one such
court in all districts of the country. The objective of Darul-Qaza is to
resolve matters in light of Shariat laws instead of going to other
courts," said senior member AIMPLB, Zafaryab Zilani.
that about Rs 50,000 is spent on running a Darul-Qaza, he said, "They will
be discussing ways to generate resources for this during a meeting of AIMPLB in
New Delhi on July 15".
all the latest news about Indian politics HERE
a view of making lawyers, judges and common man aware about Shariat laws,
AIMPLB will also be activating its Tafheem-e-Shariyat (TeS) committee.
will be activating Tafheem-e-Shariyat committee to make lawyers, judges and
common man aware about Shariat laws. We will be discussing this at the AIMPLB
meet," Jilani said.
said the TeS committee is 15 years old and is entrusted with the task of making
lawyers and judges, if possible, aware of arguments related to Shariat laws.
committee used to organised conferences and workshops all over the country with
Islamic experts trying to delve in details about Shariat laws and address
queries of participants. It is felt that the committee should be activated and
more such programs should be held," he said.
Two Rohingya Muslims were arrested from Balapur area here today for allegedly
illegally procuring an Indian passport and Aadhaar card by falsely representing
they are Indian nationals and submitting fabricated documents.
said Abdul Khair (34) and Mohammad Ayub (32) illegally entered India via
Bangladesh from Myanmar in 2013.
then moved to Hyderabad, enrolled with the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees and started eking out a living as labourers.
duo made false representations that they were Indian nationals, police said.
obtained a passport in November 2017, while Ayub got an Aadhaar card recently,
commander and civilians among 11 dead, wounded in Nangarhar blasts
least eleven people including a local commander of the Taliban group and
civilians were killed or wounded in two separate explosions in eastern
Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial government media office in a statement said an explosion took place
in Khogyani district at around 9 am local time, leaving two people dead,
including a commander of the Taliban group and a civilian.
statement further added that the Taliban commander killed in the explosion has
been identified as Zabit Khan who was also famous as Zarqawi.
civilian killed in the explosion has been identified as Hewad, the provincial
government added in its statement.
the meantime, an explosion ripped through a gathering of people in a picnic
area in Chaparhar district, leaving at least nine civilians wounded.
to the provincial government, the wounded civilians have been shifted to the
hospital for the treatment.
incident took place at around 10 am local time and at least two children are
among those wounded with one of them in critical condition.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the incidents so far.
least seven Taliban militants were killed during the operations in Bati Kot
district of eastern Nangarhar province, the local officials said Monday.
provincial government media office in a statement said the militants were
killed during the operations in the past 24 hours.
statement further added that the dead bodies of at least three militants were
left in the area and some weapons and munitions were also captured.
the meantime, another Taliban militant belonging to Qari Sajid group was
arrested during a separate operation in Surkh Rod district.
to the provincial government, the detained militant has been identified as
Bashir Ahmad and two Pakistani sim cards, two mobile phones, a refugee card
were also confiscated.
least three more suspects identified as Ashraf, Anwar, and Samandar were
arrested during a separate operation in Momand Dara district, the provincial
government said, adding that the individuals were arrested on charges of having
links with the Taliban group.
(AsiaNews) – Sampriti Bangladesh (Harmony Bangladesh) is a new organisation
that was launched at the National Museum in Dhaka on Saturday to promote
secular ideals in the country. It is the brainchild of a number of interfaith
want to return to the Liberation War ideal of secularism,” said the
organisation’s convener, Pijush Bandyopadhyay, a Hindu.
returning to that ideal, we will be able to build a secular Bangladesh – one
where everyone is equal and where no one faces persecution.” The Liberation War took place in1971 when the
country was still known as East Pakistan.
is aware that Sampriti Bangladesh’s development could encounter obstacles, from
radical Islamic factions for example.
fact, in recent years there have been various episodes of violence and
intolerance towards free thinkers,
bloggers and intellectuals whose murder was justified because of their alleged
know that most people in our country are against sectarianism and in favour of
equality’” said Pijush. “Now we must remain united. If we all stay together, we
will eventually win."
event, titled ‘Sing song of equality’, brought together about 400 people. Some
20 leading Christian figures, including one priest and eight nuns, were
present, including Nirmol Rozario, president of the Bangladesh Christian
has taken its first step with noble purpose,” Rozario said. “In this country,
most Muslims are moderate, whilst radicals are really a small fringe. If the
majority worked in harmony, we can hope to build a harmonious country."
organisation plans to sponsor activities to disseminate secular ideas and
organise protests in case of persecution.
Mohammad Afzal, director general of the Islamic Foundation, maintains that the
Constitution approved in 1972 reflects the Medina Charter, which Mohammed
drafted in 622 AD to overcome the divisions among the tribes and create social
rights and duties of the Ummah, the new Islamic community.
this reason, "I appreciate the new association and condemn people like
Zakir Naik, Jamaat-e-Islami founder Syed Abul A'la Maududi and Egypt’s Muslim
Brotherhood for misinterpreting the dictates of Islam.” Zakir Naik is an Indian
Salafist preacher who influenced those who carried out a terror attack against
a café in Dhaka in 2016.
live in a country where we are all the same,” said Prof Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, a
well-known writer. “There are only small differences in religion and tribal
affiliation. Yet harmony is lacking."
Muslims, who are the majority, fail to provide protection to minorities,” he
noted. “All development projects such as the Metro Rail, the Padma bridge (a
mega project that began inn 2014), satellites, big construction, will be in
the same time, "it is so easy to make life joyful. Just do something for
others, and you can be happier. If we do not ensure a joyful life for
minorities, we cannot say that we have done our duty. I think that people with
different faith or colour can live in joy in the same society."
is a nation in which communal harmony exists,” said Prof Anisuzzaman in a video
message shown at the meeting. “People of different ethnic and religious
background have been living in peace for thousands of years.
series of killings in the refugee camps of southeastern Bangladesh has sparked
fear among members of the displaced ethnic-Muslim minority as well as aid
unsolved murders of 19 people in Cox's Bazar area camps, along with a spate of
robberies and myriad violent crimes, have prompted a decision to deploy 1,000
murders have occurred since August 2017 when a military crackdown in
neighboring Myanmar's Rakhine state caused a new wave of hundreds of thousands
of Rohingya to flee.
international Reuters news agency reported on July 4 that most of the refugee
camp murders happened in attacks at night, when there were less security
personnel, by men variously armed with pistols, knives and sticks.
have been investigating 19 murder cases but have not reached conclusions
yet," police superintendent Chailaw Marma told ucanews.com.
were 2,500 police already guarding the camps, as well as some soldiers and
border guards, but this was insufficient, he added.
300 Rohingya had been arrested for alleged involvement in crimes.
Bazar is home to about one million Rohingya Muslims who fled to Bangladesh to
escape periodic bouts of deadly persecution in Rakhine, just across the border.
Kalam, 36, a leader in Balukhali camp, said he went into hiding for several
weeks after being threatened anonymously by telephone callers claiming he
received more humanitarian aid than they had.
Amin, 40, a Rohingya community leader in Kutupalong camp, argues the
announcement that more police would be provided came too late. "If the
decision came earlier, those lives wouldn't have been lost," Amin said.
believed additional police would significantly improve security, but for now
many people living in the camps or helping to run them were still afraid.
spate of murders and killings had frightened the aid community, said Mazharul
Islam, Cox’s Bazar-based disaster management officer for the Catholic welfare
agency Caritas Chittagong.
day we go to the camps with fear and without adequate safety. We have
instructed our female staff to go in a group, not alone," he told
closes Gaza’s main crossing, Hamas calls it crime against humanity
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced the closure of the Gaza Strip's
main commercial crossing, in what he describes as a crackdown against the
Palestinian Hamas resistance movement.
will crack down immediately on the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. In a
significant move, we will today shut down the Kerem Shalom (border)
crossing," Netanyahu said in a speech to his party members at the Israeli
Knesset on Monday.
will double our efforts against Hamas,” he said, adding that Israel would
"deal with Hamas with a heavier hand,” but did not give any details.
Palestinian Resistance Movement, Hamas, says Israel's closure of Gaza's main
trade terminal amounts to a crime against humanity, and called on the
international community for immediate intervention.
Israeli prime minister stressed that the Kerem Shalom closure will be coupled
with “other measures that I won’t go into.”
Kerem Shalom crossing between the southern Gaza Strip and the occupied
territories is Gaza's main entry point for goods and trade.
Israeli military also confirmed in a statement that the crossing would be
closed later on Monday.
minister for military affairs Avigdor Lieberman linked the new measures to
fires from incendiary kites and helium balloons that have been flown by the
Palestinians on the occupied territories since “Great March of Return” protests
began on March 30.
along the Gaza fence since March 30 have led to clashes with Israeli forces,
where at least 135 Palestinians, including 14 children, have been killed.
Palestinian protesters demand their right to return to their homeland. Over
15,000 Palestinians have also sustained injuries.
May 14, Israeli troops opened fire on Palestinians who had gathered near the
fence in protest against the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem
al-Quds. Over 60 Palestinians were shot dead and more than 2,700 wounded by
Israeli snipers who had been positioned along the fence.
death toll drew international criticism, but the US, which has angered Muslims
with its embassy move, continues to support Israel.
year on May 15, Palestinians all over the world hold demonstrations to
commemorate the day, which marks the anniversary of the forcible Israeli
eviction of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homeland in 1948.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has said children in the Gaza Strip are
the main victims of the Israeli atrocities, where some 1.8 million people are
living under a crippling blockade.
has been under the Israeli siege since June 2007, causing a decline in living
standards as well as unprecedented unemployment and poverty.
has also launched several wars on the Palestinian sliver, the last of which
began in early July 2014 and ended in late August the same year. The Israeli
military aggression killed nearly 2,200 Palestinians and injured over 11,100
troops, jets kill 25 Kurdish PKK militants in one week
ground forces and military aircraft have killed more than two dozen members of
the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group when they carried out a
string of counter-terrorism operations in the country’s southeastern province
near the border with Iraq's northern semi-autonomous Kurdistan region in the
Interior Ministry, in a statement released on Monday, said some 1,985
operations were conducted between July 2 and 6, during which a total of 25 PKK
terrorists were killed. Two Kurdish militants were captured alive, while 13
others surrendered as well.
statement further noted that several militant hideouts were destroyed in the
eastern and southeastern provinces of Tunceli and Hakkari, while 28 heavy- and
long-barrel weapons, 23 improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and a considerable
amount of munitions were recovered from the terrorists.
squads, gendarmerie units, and the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) also detained 88
suspected PKK members.
Turkish General Staff, in a message published on its official Twitter page on
July 4, said fighter jets had conducted airstrikes on northern Iraq's Qandil,
Zap-Avashin Basyan and Gara regions in addition to the rural areas of Turkey's
southeastern provinces of Sirnak, killing 11 PKK militants.
statement added that militant hideouts and weapons caches were also destroyed
in the airstrikes.
militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated
southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.
along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a
terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an
autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July
2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out
operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and
Arab Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Maliki said in a press conference on
Monday that the coalition recently destroyed a Houthi communications system
that had been provided to them by Hezbollah.
said coalition forces destroyed targets in five locations, in the mountains of
Musbah, Maran, Razah, Al-Maqal and Al-Noa.
said the coalition also had evidence to suggest "foreign experts" had
been carrying out training operations in caves with the Iranian-backed Houthis.
He also said the coalition had evidence suggesting Hezbollah had been training
elements of the Houthi militia.
reiterated the fact that relief efforts inside Yemen continue after continued
efforts by Houthis to prevent humanitarian aid reaching different cities and
governorates of Yemen.
Saudi press agency also reported on Monday Yemen’s National Army took control
of a vital road in western province of Taiz, south-west of Yemen.
of the brigade took control of the road leading to the area of Waza’iyah west
of Taiz across the Wadi Al-Aqah area after a successful military operation,”
Field commander of Bab Al-Mandab Abu Osama Al-Salhi said, adding that Houthis
militias suffered heavy losses.
said in a statement, quoted by the official Yemeni news agency, that the army
forces on the fronts launched an attack on militias positions on the road and
were able to liberate the sites in which they were stationed.
Israel will not allow Iranian forces to become entrenched in Syria, its defense
minister warned on Monday, after Israeli jets carried out another raid on an
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps air base in Homs province.
Lieberman spoke as Assad regime forces advanced toward the Golan Heights
frontier zone that was demilitarised under a 44-year-old UN-monitored truce
between Syria and Israel.
troops backed by Russia have launched an offensive in the southern Daraa
province and are widely expected to move on opposition-held Quneitra, which is
within a part of the Syrian Golan covered by the armistice.
fears Syrian President Bashar Assad could allow Iran and Hezbollah to move
forces into the area, giving them a foothold near its border.
will sanctify the 1974 disengagement agreement, and ... any violation will meet
a harsh response,” Lieberman said.
will not allow Iran’s entrenchment in Syria and we will not allow Syrian soil
to be turned into a vanguard against Israel.”
launched air raids on Sunday night against the T4 air base in Homs, where seven
Iranian Revolutionary Guard personnel died in an Israeli attack on April 9.
Assad regime forces laid siege on Monday to an opposition-held enclave in Daraa
and were poised to gain complete control of the city where the uprising against
Assad’s rule began.
army was also consolidating its grip over the border area with Jordan to the
east of Daraa city. Free Syrian Army fighters have mostly handed over the area
along with their heavy weapons after a surrender agreement last Friday.
Syrian army and its militias won a strategic victory in a 20-day offensive
after they captured Nassib crossing, a vital trade route that insurgents held
for three years.
Shaima, a spokesman for the opposition in Daraa, said several thousand people
were now encircled after the army pushed into a base west of the city without a
army and its militias have besieged Daraa completely,” he said.
- Israel said on Monday it was closing the Gaza Strip’s main commercial
crossing and limiting the Palestinian coastal enclave’s fishing zone in a
crackdown targeting Hamas Islamists whom it blames for border protests now in
their fourth month.
will crack down immediately on the Hamas regime in the Gaza Strip. In a
significant move, we will today shut down the Kerem Shalom (border) crossing,”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in broadcast remarks to his parliament
Israeli military statement said Kerem Shalom would remain open for the transfer
of specially approved humanitarian goods. It also said Gaza’s fishing zone
would revert to 11 km (6 miles) after it was temporarily expanded to 17 km (9
military statement, and separate remarks by Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor
Lieberman, linked the new measures to fires from incendiary kites and helium
balloons that have been flown over the border since the protests began on March
Israeli army has killed 136 Palestinians during the confrontations. Facing
international censure, Israel says its lethal force has been needed to prevent
officials could not immediately be reached for comment about Monday’s announcement
say the demonstrations are expressions of popular frustration that aim to press
demands such as for Palestinians’ right to lands lost to Israel in the 1948 war
of its foundation and for an Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza to ease.
have been no serious Israeli casualties in the Gaza border confrontations.
Israel says it has lost 7,000 acres of forests and farmland to the kite- or
do not intend to continue absorbing and continuing with this situation,”
Lieberman said in separate comments to his own parliamentary faction.
which last fought a Gaza war with Hamas in 2014, does not seek a new military
flare-up, he said, “but the way Hamas is conducting itself - it is simply
liable to spiral out of control, and it is liable to pay the whole price, a
much, much heavier price than in Operation Protective Edge (2014 war)”.
briefly shut Kerem Shalom in May after dozens of Palestinian torched some of
the terminal’s facilities on the Gaza side of the border.
July 5, a U.S. special envoy to the Middle East, Jason Greenblatt, tweeted a
picture of repair work at Kerem Shalom and accused Hamas in the “deplorable
attack” on the terminal.
sources in Afrin reported that the Turkish fighter jets launched airstrikes on
several mountainous areas in Rajou region in Afrin on Sunday afternoon.
added that the Turkish warplanes have targeted several regions in the main road
between Jandariseh and Afrin near the villages of Khaletah and Maski.
reports said that during the attacks, a number of Kurdish forces were killed
between the Turkish army and its affiliated militants and the Kurds in Afrin
still continue after 4 months of occupation of the town by Ankara.
local sources in Afrin reported that the Turkish army and Ankara-backed militants
have set fire to 3,000 trees on the road linking to Rajou in the past two days
in addition to killing civilian people in the region and looting their
a relevant development, a media outlet had reported on Sunday that a number of
Turkish troops and their allied militants were killed or wounded in the Kurdish
militias' attacks and also in an unknown drone attack in Afrin region in
Northwestern Aleppo. The Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that the Kurdish
militias targeted a convoy of the Turkish troops in the village of Kafr Jenah
in Shera region, killing two Turkish soldiers identified as Mohammad Kara and
the meantime, Hawar news said that three Ankara-backed militants were killed in
a heavy fighting between the Kurdish militias and Turkey-backed Ahrar
al-Sharqiyah in the village of Shadiyeh in Rajou region.
news further said that a base of Ankara-backed Firqa al-Hamzah in the village
of Satiya in Jandaris region came under attack by an unidentified drone.
Ankara-backed militants engaged in another round of infighting on Tuesday over
their share of the assets looted from civilians' houses and shops in Afrin
which came under occupation by the Turkish troops almost four months ago.
militant groups, affiliated to the Turkish army, exchanged heavy fire in Saleh
al-Ali School in al-Asharfiyeh neighborhood in the town of Afrin over their
share of the civilians' assets and properties they had previously plundered.
the meantime, the Turkish army and allied militant placed their forces on alert
after a hand-made bomb went of near Afrin Hospital in Afrin.
official spokesman of the coalition forces backing Yemen's government, Turki
Al-Maliki, confirmed that they have found evidence of the presence of foreign
military experts training the Iran-military-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.
spokesman also said during a press conference held in Riyadh that such experts
have been providing the Houthis with an integrated military communication
system, noting the involvement of Hezbollah in this matter and citing its
contribution to operations at different sites of command and control in the
Saada province of Yemen.
of those sies, located on Mashtab, Maran, Razeh, Al-Maglag and the Al-Noua’a
mountains, were destroyed by the Coalition Forces in recent days.
United Nations agency for Palestinians has warned that a number of inevitable
cuts are planned to be imposed on its key humanitarian programs in the besieged
Gaza strip and the occupied West Bank if a US funding freeze cannot be
of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), Pierre Krahenbuhl, sent
out the warning in a letter to his staff on Monday, saying the areas subjected
to potential cuts included employment programs, housing assistance and mental
health support, among others.
to the letter, the agency would work to maintain vital food assistance
programs, particularly for the impoverished Gaza Strip.
unnamed source, familiar with the plans, also told AFP that most of the cuts
were expected in the West Bank, adding that some programs were due to run out
of funds by the end of this month.
UNRWA head also noted that he had called on donors that had already assisted
with pledges to help further so the agency could “overcome the rest of the
shortfall,” currently over $200 million.
said to them and I say to you now with great honesty: A shortfall of $217
million is still far higher than any UNRWA has ever faced in its history,”
Krahenbuhl said in the letter, adding, “As the agency's commissioner-general, I
cannot hide the dramatic risks that we face to our services if we do not
receive additional funding very rapidly.”
December 2017, Abbas formally declared that the Palestinians would no longer
accept the US as a mediator to resolve their decades-long row with Israel
because Washington was “completely biased” towards Tel Aviv.
announcement came after Trump recognized Jerusalem al-Quds as the “capital” of
Israel and announced plans to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to
January 16, the US State Department announced that Washington would hold back
65 million dollars to UNRWA - more than half its planned contribution this year
- and demanded that the agency make unspecified reforms.
a tweet on January 2, US President Donald Trump had said Washington gave the
Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars a year, but got “no appreciation
in his letter, Krahenbuhl said that the UNRWA would decide in the first half of
August whether it would open the schools it operates on time following the
500,000 Palestinian children, at home or abroad, study at the agency’s schools
and 54 percent of its budget goes to education.
cannot wait us out’, Pompeo tells Taliban
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that the Taliban cannot wait the US
out of Afghanistan as he reaffirmed Washington’s full support to Afghanistan,
particularly to Afghan-led peace process.
during a press conference with President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, Pompeo said
“The strategy has sent a clear message too to the Taliban – they cannot wait us
out – and we are beginning to see the results both on the battlefield where the
Taliban’s momentum is slowing and in the prospects for peace with them.”
further added “Now, more than ever, the United States stands as an enduring
partner for Afghanistan. It’s been almost one year since President Trump
announced the new South Asia strategy. It features a conditions-based approach
and the removal of artificial timelines and arbitrary troop ceilings.”
working with the Afghan Government and security forces to set the conditions to
produce a safer, more secure Afghanistan which is Afghan-led and Afghan-owned,”
Secretary of State further added “You should know that the peace process is the
same. The United States will support, facilitate, and participate in these
peace discussions, but peace must be decided by the Afghans and settled among
expect that these peace talks will include a discussion of the role of
international actors and forces,” he said, adding that “I came here today to
learn the progress that we’d made in each of the dimensions. My conclusion from
this visit is that the President’s strategy is indeed working. Our South Asia
strategy has sent a clear message to the Afghan peoples and its security
services that we will support them as they continue to fight to defend their
country and their people.”
week Canadians were stunned to hear that after the near unanimous passing of
Motion 103 on Islamophobia in the Canadian parliament last March, the
government has decided to use this “non-binding motion” as a reason to give 23
million dollars of hard-earned Canadian Tax payer’s money, to organizations
that sympathize with the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that supports
radical Islam and which has been linked to known terrorist groups in the Middle
money will go to NCCM (National Council of Canadian Muslims) & Islamic Relief
“ said MP Iqra Khalid, the Muslim Brotherhood-associated Liberal MP who was the
“godmother” of M-103.
the way, this a charity that once lost its charitable status but seems to be
back in action under the Liberals.
put, Khalid, with the full backing of Prime Minister Trudeau, just got 23
million dollars for potentially radical Islamic groups in Canada. So much for
is therefore important for Canadian taxpayers to understand the ideological
background for this almost predictable disaster.
US media, preoccupied as it is with the ongoing attack on the Trump presidency
has not reported that the Canadian Parliament spent much time in a debate about
March 23, 2018, the motion passed by a vote of 201–91. It is a “non-binding”
piece of legislation if that is the right word to use. And so, for the moment,
there is no way of enforcing it.
can be sure, that it will not stop there.
we look toward Europe and similar legislative trends there, we may expect to see
upcoming draft legislation that substantially reduces the rights of Canadians,
whether they be Muslim or not, to criticize regimes or organizations that
define themselves as Islamic.
can be sure that the soon to be better funded NCCM will be at the forefront of
such initiatives. We must bear in mind that Canada has no equivalent to the
first amendment and undefined “hate speech” is one way to erode freedom of
speech in this democracy just north of the US border.
million dollars can fund a lot of legal action against believers in free
speech. So, the government has now decided to fund the declared enemies of
freedom of speech.
us remember that the Muslim Brotherhood whose semi-clandestine existence in
Canada is dedicated to “hollowing out” our English common law and replacing it
with Shariah, especially when it comes to the rights of women and adult
rogue regime, the Islamic Republic of Iran, whose goal is Jihad, regional
domination and both the economic and political infiltration of Europe and North
America with its anti-democratic agenda is no doubt encouraged. Surely, the
Iranians must be reassured with this funding announcement after their temporary
setback by the near bogus liberal support for a recent anti-Iranian statement in
parliament a few short weeks ago.
supporters of free, democratic debate, one must put forward five public
questions to our MPs on both sides of the aisle who have now publicly supported
this motion and allowed for its weaponization through government funding.
concern, plainly stated, is this motion when examined closely is most hurtful
to freedom-loving Muslims here in Canada and clearly funds their
anti-democratic enemies through a massive government hand out. That money will
be used to silence them and their organizations.
Question-What is Islamophobia?
non-binding Motion 103 introduced by Iqra Khalid, Liberal MP for
Mississauga-Erindale, declares the government should “condemn Islamophobia and
all forms of systemic racism”. Canadians readily approve “all forms of systemic
racism” should be condemned, and reasonable effort made to eliminate them
what is Islamophobia?
term is not defined.
Khalid, we assume, cannot on any reasonable ground suggest that Canadians are
or might be afflicted by an “irrational fear” of Islam as a world religion. And
if this is what she is suggesting, then it begs the question why an “irrational
fear” of Islam only, and not of any other of the world religions practiced
inventing the term Islamophobia are not physicians or psychologists. They are
Islamist ideologues insisting Islam is not simply a religion but also a
political ideology for a theocracy based on Islamic code of law or the Shariah.
This is the worldview of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Arab world, and of the
Jamaat-i-Islami in South Asia and what follows from this ideology is terrorist
acts, here and abroad.
believe those who disagree with their political ideology, or reject and oppose
it, need to be fought and defeated. This is what is occurring across the Muslim
world – a war waged by Islamists, both Sunni and Shia against Muslims who
reject Islam as a political ideology.
Canada, and elsewhere in the West, Islamists have been openly demanding
official recognition of Shariah by the state. This would mean agreeing with
Islamists they are the only true Muslims and representatives of Islam, making
allowance for a parallel legal system contrary to the values of secular law.
of Islamophobia have adopted psychiatric jargon to put anti-Islamist Muslims
and Muslim reformers on the defensive, and make non-Muslims feel guilty of what
the left calls “unconscious bias.” This ironically can only be detected, if at
all, by a psychiatrist working confidentially with full client disclosure.
Unfair dislike of someone because of religion is usually called “religious
prejudice” and that is never in short supply.
is, therefore, an epithet largely used to silence Muslim reformers in the West,
while within the Muslim world they are victims of violence as heretics,
apostates and infidels.
parliament has been duped by the Brotherhood. Let me explain.
How do the Inventors of the Word Islamophobia Usually Use It?
Brotherhood activists use the word Islamophobia to shut down any critical
discussion of Islam.
“thought police” they act consistent with the 13th-century worldview of men who
codified the Shariah, and for them, Islamophobia signifies racism as synonymous
familiar with the history of Christianity in the West may recall the time when
any criticism of Christianity was considered blasphemy. Even philosopher Baruch
Spinoza was excommunicated by his own Jewish community in Amsterdam for his
“free thinking” about the Bible.
making of the modern secular West was bitterly contested, and it came about
through the rational criticism of religious beliefs and related practices and
customs. This is not yet the situation across the world of Islam where Shariah
is the basis of public law.
Saudi Arabia, for example, it is still forbidden for a Muslim to convert to
Christianity. A Muslim convert is condemned for execution. For unlawful acts – drinking alcohol, theft,
rape, sodomy, adultery, etc. – Shariah prescription is harsh from public
lashing and delimbing to beheading.
to Shariah provisions, a woman’s testimony is not equal to that of a man’s,
polygamy is lawful, inheritance law favours male over female offsprings,
apostasy is a capital crime, and homosexuals are condemned to death.
and Christians do not have equal rights in these Shariah dominated societies.
And non-Muslim minorities, such as the Yazidis in Iraq, and now by the Turks in
Syria, have been targeted for genocide based on the religious rulings (fatwas)
of the ulema or religious scholars who advise or sympathize with the Islamic
vague and undefined notion of Islamophobia, and which could then easily be used
as a term for censure by public officials, would silence Canadians discussing
these matters freely in public.
Who are the Statistical Victims?
attacks against Muslims have risen, attacks against Jews in Canada have risen
even more. Yet we do not hear of any new government funding to fight
would this have been necessary if the government had maintained that the basic
principle of our system is the equality of all citizens regardless of race,
religion, creed, colour or language, and the equal protection of all.
for legislation based on collective grievance and identity politics can be
endless, and instead of making for social harmony such demand breeds
Can Islam be criticized?
clubs in Canada, or in the West generally, are where the young gather and
banter about their various religious backgrounds.
few Muslim comedians who similarly banter with their own religious upbringing
are now, more than ever, risking the hostility of their co-religionists, since
proponents of Islamophobia as racism are often the same people calling for
Shariah law and silencing any criticism of Islam.
they now be sued with money from this 23 million dollar windfall?
the atheists amongst us should be able to criticize Judaism, Christianity,
Islam or any other faith tradition. Surely, they should be protected under the
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to opine publicly that religions are
products of the human imagination. There are numerous writings of Canadians
available on the falsity of religion. Hence, we should hold either all
religions are open to criticism, or they are not; but it is unacceptable we
privilege one religion over others and prohibit criticism of it.
Is Federal Member of Parliament Iqra Khalid Trustworthy?
TSEC (Terrorism and Security Experts of Canada) network has provided Canadians
with background on Member of Parliament Iqra Khalid, the member responsible for
introducing the Islamophobia motion in the Parliament. This TSEC disclosure is
Khalid was President of the Muslim Student Association when she was a student
at York University (early 2000s). The
Muslim Student Association was founded by adherents of the Muslim Brotherhood
in 1963. The Muslim Student Association
has a series of alumni who have become suicide bombers, ISIS fighters and ISIS
propagandists. The Muslim Student Association at York University handed out a
book at Islam Awareness Week with the title “Women in Islam & Refutation of
some Common Misconceptions.”
chapter on WIFE DISCIPLINING (page 99 of the online version) makes the
following observation: Submissive or
subdued women. These women may even enjoy being beaten at times as a sign of
love and concern.’
Last Question-Which Muslims Speak with Authority?
makes democracies different is that citizens may speak freely according to
their conscience and without fear of persecution.
are many Canadian Muslims who wish to be protected by the same laws that all
other Canadians live under. Some are Canadian secular critics of Islamic
fundamentalism such as Tarek Fatah, some are believers such as Raheel Raza and
Farzana Hassan who reject Sharia and embrace universal human rights and freedom
what we discover about Iqra Khaled’s ties with the Muslim Brotherhood-related
Muslim Students Association, and support for her politics among members of the
Islamic Society of North America connected with Jamaat-i-Islami and other
radical Muslim fundamentalist organizations in Pakistan, there is every reason
to view M-103 as part of the “stealth jihad” waged by these organizations in
Canada and other Western democracies.
history of these Islamist organizations is riddled with the culture of bigotry,
violence, misogyny, terrorism and genocide. Their political ideology has
brought ruin across the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. And over the
past many years they have imported their illiberal culture into Canada.
journalist Tarek Fatah has questioned publicly Iqra Khalid. Fatah has written,
systemic racism was an issue for Khalid and other MPs, I asked her why she did
not, to my knowledge, react when it was reported by cijnews.com that an Islamic
cleric in Montreal, uttered the following words to a congregation: “O Allah,
give victory to our brothers who engage in Jihad…O Allah, give them victory
over their enemy…O Allah, destroy the accursed Jews…O Allah, make their
children orphans and their women widows.” If this prayer was in fact spoken to
a congregation, then perhaps MP Khalid will have the courage to amend her
motion and include a denunciation of this prayer, variations of which are read
at most mosques every Friday… Will she label such hateful statements as an
example of systemic racism that is anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, anti-Hindu and
motion, M-103, driven largely by Iqra Khalid should be rescinded by Parliament
and the 23 million dollar hand out should not be implemented. But that may only
happen when and if there is a change in government after a national election.
In the meantime, Prime Minister Trudeau’s advisors may ultimately climb down
from their recent criticism of Iran to reopen the Canadian embassy in Teheran.
M-103 opens the door to this kind of more serious change in Canadian foreign
public criticism of this move now be considered, “Islamophobic?” At the same
time, M-103 does nothing to protect the human rights of Canadian Muslims, nor
of any other citizens. It will take away rights precious to all, including
anything that comes in the garb of parliamentary decisions, binding or not, can
be used to set precedents. Now that 23 million dollars will be going to support
radical Islamic groups what will the Liberal government and their radical
Islamic supporters do next?
would not be surprised if Islamophobia may soon be used against those who
criticize the totalitarian nature of states such as Iran. Our government just
gave Iran 100 million dollars to sweeten a potential trade deal with Canada.
Iqra Khalid have the gall to accuse anyone opposing such a deal “an
Islamophobic critic of the Islamic Republic of Iran?”
meet in Taizé helps young people dialogue
Muslims and Christians discuss their respective beliefs as they share a meal
together at Taize. (Photo by Guillaume Poli/Ciric)Young Christians and Muslims
from across France who participated in the Taizé community-hosted three day
event say they not only experienced dialogue for common good but also became
aware of fundamental faith questions.Filling three rows under a church marquee,
participants addressed a series of tough questions from the organizers, including:
Do you admire anything in each other’s religion? Has this diminished your
commitment to your own religion?Among them were Samia, a Muslim Syrian,
Eglantine, Sylvain and Anne-Sophie, all French Catholics, Lydia, a German
raised in a “strict” Protestant family, Marvin, a Muslim from Guinea and Bart,
a Pole living in the United Kingdom.
army releases children suspected of Boko Haram ties
Nigerian army on Monday released 183 children after clearing them of any ties
to Boko Haram, Unicef said in a statement.
children, aged between seven and 18, were released in Maiduguri, the capital of
northeast Borno state, after being detained and investigated for any links with
8 girls and 175 boys are first and foremost victims of the ongoing conflict and
their release is an important step on their long road to recovery," said
Mohamed Fall, Unicef's representative in Nigeria.
statement did not say how long the children had been detained.
Haram's nine-year-old fight to establish a hardline Islamic state has claimed
at least 20 000 lives and displaced more than two million people.
have been targeted by the Islamists, who recruit boys and girls and
indoctrinate them in order to replenish their ranks. In April, Unicef said over
1 000 minors had been abducted since 2013.
military has been criticised by human rights organisations for conducting mass
arrests of people suspected of ties with the group.
International said in a 2018 report that the military had held "thousands
of young men, women and children" in detention centres across the country.
Haram: Troops kill 15 terrorists in Borno
of 7 Brigade, Sector 3 of Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) encountered
several Boko Haram terrorists at Arege, Borno State, weekend, killing 15 of
statement by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Texas
Chukwu said aside the 15 persons neutralized during the encounter, many others
fled into the bush with gunshot wounds.
are being intensified by the troops to arrest the fleeing members of the Boko
Haram suspects,” Chukwu said.
listed items recovered to include, “one Anti-Aircraft Gun, 5 AK 47 rifles and
one Light Machine Gun.”
one soldier was injured and is currently receiving attention at the military
medical facility,” he said.
civil initiatives will help to defeat al-Shabaab
Saturday, militants of the terror group al-Shabaab set off two bombs and
attacked a government building in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, with at
least five people killed and 21 injured. This is another incident challenging
the capacity of the Somali government and its allies to resolve the problem.
number of African countries have been fighting al-Shabaab for more than a
decade, but now Western nations are leading this campaign. Late last year,
US-led air strikes against al-Shabaab increased, with the civilian death toll
rising, The Guardian reported early this year. This was due to a new directive,
signed by US President Donald Trump, which relaxed the rules aimed at
preventing civilian casualties. And here is the other side of the coin –
civilian casualties actually give legitimacy to the terror group as a
assistance is important, but when it comes to combating terrorism, relying on
military force seems to be a questionable practice. This is especially true for
terror groups entrenched in the region and counting on support from a certain
portion of the local population. This is where a “soft power” approach proves
to be effective.
one of the most lethal terror groups in Africa, clearly illustrates the
complexity of the problem. This jihadist fundamentalist group has a largely
domestic focus, taking advantage of people’s discontent with the Somali
authorities. Although al-Shabaab’s capabilities are now limited and the group
has suffered military losses, it still controls a significant portion of the
assistance is important, but when it comes to combating terrorism, relying on
military force seems to be a questionable practice. This is especially true for
terror groups entrenched in the region and counting on support from a certain
portion of the local population
this context, supporting and developing civil initiatives will be an invaluable
contribution to conflict settlement. The Hiraal Institute, a research organization
focused on security problems facing East Africa, particularly Somalia, was
established for this reason.
contacted Richard Barrett, a former British diplomat and intelligence officer,
who is one of the world’s top experts in counterterrorism. He sits on advisory
boards of a number of institutions, including that of Hiraal Institute. Barrett
has pointed out that these problems are complex and all too often the people
explaining them are not themselves Somali.
Hiraal Institute, which is staffed entirely by Somalis based in Mogadishu, is
able to add the cultural dimension that is often missing from other analysis,”
Barrett said. “The institute relies on local networks throughout the country as
a research base to get at the facts on the ground. It also aims to help the
federal government of Somalia and its international partners make better policy
decisions based on both factual evidence and clear analysis.”
to the think-tank, at present, al-Shabaab controls territory in 11 of the 18 Somali
regions as well as parts of Kenya’s Coast and North Eastern provinces. As for
attacks, since the beginning of the year, more than 200 security incidents have
been recorded in Somalia, with the bulk of them carried out by al-Shabaab.
itself as an alternative to the government, al-Shabaab offers security to
populations in the areas under its control, operates courts and settles
disputes. When it comes to local conflicts, such mediation becomes a good way
to avoid violence. And people are appreciating this.
addition, the group offers protection to marginalized clans, something that
provides it with support from the locals as well. All this helps al-Shabaab
integrate into communities and survive a sustained crackdown from the
government. And this is not to mention its ideological influence extending far
beyond its territories.
group is remarkably adaptive. After withdrawing in 2011 from Mogadishu,
al-Shabaab has been restructured with an emphasis on organizational security
and reducing risks to the fighters. Primarily, this is about the group’s
intelligence unit – the Amniyat, described as a “secret service structured
along the lines of a clandestine organization within the organization.”
Michael Horton, a senior analyst at the Jamestown Foundation, wrote, “Amniyat
operatives remained behind in the cities, towns, and villages from which
al-Shabaab had retreated.” So a network of Amniyat informants was set up
throughout Somalia, including government ministries.
Barrett has noted, the threat from al-Shabaab is seen as steady. “But its rise
and fall depend more on the efficiency and effectiveness of the Federal
Government of Somalia than on its own efforts. Al-Shabaab faces many internal
and external difficulties, and although it remains a lethal organization, it is
not likely to capture major areas that are currently under government control.
It does threaten Kenya as well as Somalia,” the expert stressed.
painful blow was delivered to the group with the death in 2014 of its leader
Ahmed Godane, a charismatic orator and effective manager. That same year, Ahmed
Dirie, popularly known as Abu Ubaidah, was named as the new al-Shabaab emir,
but he is no match for the previous leader in all respects. In June, news media
announced that Abu Ubaidah had died from a kidney disease, but a pro-al-Shabaab
website has denied these reports.
was indeed charismatic, but the present leader, who is, in any case, ill, is
more inclined to rule through a tight clique of supporters who are suspicious
of others and prefer to rule through fear than through the projection of
visionary or inspiring leadership,” Barrett said.
what have we learned from all this? Al-Shabaab is very resilient,
sophisticated, adaptive and creative. In June, the group took quite an
innovative approach. It banned single-use plastic bags, calling them a
“serious” threat to humans, livestock and the environment. As Hussein
Sheikh-Ali, chairman of the Hiraal Institute, noted in a tweet, that move would
make al-Shabaab “the first environmentally conscious terror group and the first
authority in Somalia to ban materials harmful to the environment.”
face it: In order to defeat al-Shabaab, first and foremost, it is necessary to
be twice as creative, twice as sophisticated and as close as possible to people
and their needs.
launches hunt for terrorists involved in national guard attack
Interior Minister Ghazi Jribi has said that the country is determined to locate
the terrorists in their positions, as the first official response to the attack
on Sunday which targeted and killed six security force members in western
said in a statement in the Regional Security Council, “We are determined to
track [the terrorists] and we will go to their burrows. This terrorist
operation will increase the security forces’ insistence on locating terrorism
and eradicating it from the country.”
Sunday, six members of the Tunisian National Guard were killed in a terrorist
attack in Jendouba when they were ambushed during a regular patrol.
attack had the highest death toll since 2015, when dozens of police officers,
soldiers, and tourists were killed in Le Bardo in Tunisia’s bloodiest attack in
in Africa’s youngest nation, South Sudan, have rejected a peace agreement
announced on Sunday, saying it lacks enough authority to fulfill their main
demands for diluting President Salva Kiir’s base of power.
of SPLM-IO rebel group said on Monday that the deal announced by Kiir’s office,
which reinstated opposition leader Riek Machar as vice president, was not
will not fall only for the position of the First Vice President in this negotiation.
We are focusing more on structural and institutional issues to constrain Kiir’s
regime both in the executive and legislature,” said Puok Both Baluang, SPLM-IO
said rebels should have the power to appoint two of Kiir’s deputies under the
deal reached in Uganda's Entebbe in talks attended by both Machar and Kiir.
talks, mediated by Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni and closely monitored by
other regional leaders, were part of diplomatic efforts to put an end to a war
that broke out in 2013, after Machar left office as vice president.
who now serves as SPLM-IO leader, was not immediately available to comment on
the new deal.
was re-appointed as first deputy to Kiir in 2015 as part of a power-sharing
deal. However, fighting reignited after he returned to the capital Juba.
war in South Sudan, which has killed tens of thousands, is believed to be
rooted in ethnic disputes between Kiir’s Dinka and Machar’s Nuer groups.
are other militant groups that are Machar’s allies against Kiir, and some of
them control areas close to Juba.
and Eritrea have agreed to resume their diplomatic and commercial relations,
signaling an end to almost two decades of hostility.
agreement was reached on Sunday during a historic meeting between Prime
Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia and Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki in
between the two African neighbors were severed following a border dispute which
claimed nearly 80,000 lives in the late 1990s.
announcement capped weeks of diplomatic efforts, driven by Abiy, resulting in
his visit to the Eritrean capital for face-to-face talks with Isaias.
agreed that the airlines will start operating, the ports will be accessible,
people can move between the two countries and the embassies will be
opened," Abiy said at a dinner hosted by his Eritrean counterpart.
will demolish the wall and, with love, build a bridge between the two
countries,” Abiy continued.
two countries will also resume flights as well as direct phone connections.
the landmark meeting, the two leaders personally symbolized the breakthrough
and embraced warmly.
Horn of Africa nations had been at loggerheads since Ethiopia rejected a United
Nations ruling and refused to cede to Eritrea land along the countries' border
following the 1998-2000 war.
in June 2018, Abiy announced that his country would abide by the 2002 ruling
requiring it to cede territory, including Badme, and withdraw its forces.
China reaffirm their support for Iran nuclear deal
and China have reiterated that they are committed to the 2015 nuclear deal
between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries following the United States'
alongside visiting China's Premier Li Keqiang on Monday, Chancellor Angela
Merkel said the nuclear accord, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive
Plan of Action (JCPOA), was well-negotiated. The Chinese premier also warned against
the unforeseeable consequences if the deal falls apart.
remain committed to the nuclear agreement. We think it was well
negotiated," Merkel said. "There is more that needs to be negotiated
with Iran, but we think it is better to stay in the agreement."
Merkel implied that Berlin could do little to protect international companies
against punitive US measures, adding that it is up to individual firms to
decide if they want to invest in Iran.
in the day, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua
Chunying, expressed Beijing's resolve to continue efforts to safeguard the
achievements of a 2015 nuclear agreement, putting forward a five-point
the complicated and stern situation at present, China clearly put up a
five-point proposal emphasizing in particular that international rules should
be observed, major countries should show their due integrity and sense of
responsibility, unilateral sanctions can only run counter to one's desire and
should be abandoned, and dialogs and consultations should adhered to a
constructive approach in discussions about issues of common concerns," Hua
President Donald Trump announced on May 8 that Washington was walking away from
the nuclear agreement and that he plans to reinstate US nuclear sanctions on
Iran and impose "the highest level" of economic bans on the Islamic
Republic, jeopardizing the survival of the landmark accord.
the JCPOA, Iran undertook to put limits on its nuclear program in exchange for
the removal of nuclear-related sanctions imposed against Tehran.
the US president pulled Washington out of the historic nuclear deal, European
countries have been scrambling to ensure that Iran gets enough economic
benefits to persuade it to stay in the deal. The remaining parties have vowed
to stay in the accord.
has conditioned its stay in the deal to practical European strides to make sure
Iran’s dividends from the deal would not be affected when US sanctions
"snap back" in August.
first group of sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector, gold trade, and other
industries will “snap back” on August 4. Further sanctions on oil and
transactions with the central bank of Iran will come into effect November 6.
one of the architect's of the nuclear pact, further said Iran received an
economic package from the European countries two days ago but Iranian
"President [Hassan] Rouhani said it is not enough." He added that
Europe must translate its commitment and measures into action before the re-imposition
of the US sanctions on Tehran.
German government is reportedly studying a request by Iran to withdraw €300
million from bank accounts held in Germany and transfer the cash to the Islamic
officials in Berlin were quoted by Bild newspaper as saying that Tehran was
seeking withdraw the funds from the Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank AG
(eihbank) in order to satisfy part of its foreign currency needs when fresh US
sanctions against its financial sector take effect.
report added that Iran had told the German Financial Supervisory Authority
(BaFin) that it needed the cash from the accounts "to pass on to Iranian
citizens who require cash while travelling abroad, given their inability to
access recognized credit cards".
was now reviewing the request, which had been briefed to senior officials in
the chancellery, foreign ministry and finance ministry, the newspaper added in
its report as quoted by Reuters.
further highlighted allegations by the US and Israel that Iran would try to use
the cash for purposes other than satisfying its domestic needs. However, it
cited unnamed German officials as saying that they had no indications of such
May, US President Donald Trump announced that he would pull America out of a
2015 nuclear agreement with Iran and re-impose the sanctions that the deal had
envisaged to be lifted.
has already emphasized that the sanctions which would be imposed on Iran would
be “at the highest level”.
Texas: A federal prosecutor says a “rabid hatred” of Muslims led a 26-year-old
man to set fire to a Southeast Texas mosque.
Sharad Khandelwal made the claim Monday during opening statements in the trial
of Marq Vincent Perez.
is charged with a hate crime and also with use of a fire to commit a federal
felony in the January 2017 fire that destroyed an Islamic center in Victoria.
federal law enforcement officer testified earlier that an informant said Perez
believed the center’s worshippers were terrorists.
last year also charged Perez with possession of an unregistered destructive
device in an indictment unrelated to the mosque fire.
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