Hagia Sophia in Istanbul has been a church and a mosque over its long history.
(Photo: AFP/OZAN KOSE)
Will Adopt A Special ‘Halal Tax’ If Macron Accepts Report Aimed At Fighting
Court Rejects Plea to Open Hagia Sophia for Islamic Prayer
Caning ‘Free Marketing’ For Islamic Administration, Says PAS Ulama
of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria Sensitises 45,075 Youth on True Meaning
Naidu Plans a Grand Mosque in Amaravati
MEPs Criticised By Jewish and Muslim Groups for Hungary Vote
Muslim organisation wants Franklin Graham banned from Britain
‘Anti-Islam’ Book Shoots to Top of German Best Seller List
warns against chemical attacks in last Syria rebel stronghold
backs Turkey’s efforts for Idlib cease-fire
Mosques Display Turkish-Islamic Design Elements
Coalition seizes main road linking Yemen’s Hodeidah to Sanaa
gives Fethullah Gulen's foster son 30-year jail term
not prepared to launch new war on Lebanon: Hezbollah official
of Saudi mercenaries killed, injured in Yemeni army offensives
forces take down protest huts at West Bank Bedouin village
FM: US should reconsider its alliances in Syria
Is Not the Property of the Malays, Minister In Charge Of Islamic Affairs
Of Muslim Preacher In Bali Nightclub Attracts Netizens' Attention
Installing QR Codes On Uighur Muslim Homes in Mass Security Crackdown
educating, not mistreating, Muslims: official
Ibrahim: Tahfiz centres must be monitored
Factional Boko Haram Leader Mamman Nur Killed By Own Fighters
renews Libya mission but no date for elections
and Somalia forces come under attack during operation against Al Shabaab
troops repel fresh Boko Haram base attack
Reunion for Hindu and Muslim Villagers in Bihar
Gets A Mouthful from Delhi HC As Key Accused In J&K Terror Funds Case Gets
Modi to meet head of Dawoodi Bohra community in Indore today
Thirumavalavan's findings on religious conversion under scanner
quota, few TRS candidates: Dalit-Muslim body cries apathy
calls out Pakistan at UN on terrorism
terrorist on mission to strike Ganesh festival held
JeM terrorists killed, DySP among 14 injured in J&K
Former Afghan Refugee Wins New Hampshire Primary
Denies $5 Billion Offer In Aid To Palestine
'looking at situation' on China's Muslim crackdown: official
working to reduce civilian deaths in Yemen - US State Department
Valley University Professor Resigns After Claiming Muslims Shouldn’t Be Allowed
Into The U.S. Because ‘They Hate Us and Always Will’
Soldiers Martyred, 4 Terrorists Killed In N Waziristan Operation
President Appreciates Pakistan’s Efforts In Fighting Terrorism
Home Secretary Sajid Javed to visit Pakistan soon
sitting of parliament put off on opposition request
Nawaz's funeral to be held in Lahore today
asked to bring back looted money from abroad
Sattar resigns from MQM-P's coordination committee
British high commissioner discuss bilateral relations
Taliban Leaders, Militants Suffer Heavy Casualties in Baghlan
Spy Chief for Southeastern Provinces among 7 Key Militants Killed
Kyi defence of jailing of journalists 'unbelievable': Haley
nun on mission to heal hearts
elements attempting to cut Afghanistan’s relations with the world: Ghani
Taliban attacks against the Afghan, U.S. forces foiled in Kandahar
Uprising Continues against US Occupation in Raqqa
Shares Locations of Idlib Hospitals and Schools
Army Regains Control of Strategic Regions in Badiyeh of Sweida
Politician: US Needs White Helmets to Provoke Int'l Community against Damascus
Clashes Reported among Ankara-Backed Terrorists in Afrin
Army Sends New Military Convoy to Northern Syria
Army Pounds Tahrir Al-Sham Positions in Hama
PM Abadi announces new Basra initiatives ahead of key vote
report: 38,500 flee hostilities in Syria’s Idlib in two weeks
hold eight days of drills with militants in southern Syria
by New Age Islam News Bureau
will adopt a special “halal tax” if President Emmanuel Macron accepts a major
new report aimed at fighting extremism and creating an independent new body for
Europe’s largest Muslim population.
Macron is urged in the study by Montaigne Institut, the respected Paris-based
think tank, to support a small levy on halal products, pilgrimages and
report’s author, Hakim El Karoui, a French academic and the nephew of a former
Tunisian prime minister, says the proposed tax would be collected by Muslims
themselves rather than the state.
The Islamist Factory, the report has gone to the Élysée Palace as Mr Macron
makes final deliberations before his long-awaited announcement on the
organisation of Islam in France.
has been widely reported that Mr Macron is determined to curb foreign
involvement in French Islam. He is said to favour a new body to replace
existing bodies including the much-criticised French Muslim Council (CFCM),
established in 2003 by a former president, Nicolas Sarkozy, when he was
interior minister in Jacques Chirac’s centre-right government.
say the CFCM fails to assert itself as an authoritative, fully representative
voice. Even some Muslim figures see it as fragmented and inefficient.
Macron wants a root-and-branch overhaul that tackles thorny issues of overseas
funding and the training of imams. He has excluded the CFCM from a broad
well as arguing for the creation of a new Muslim Association for Islam in
France (AMIF), Mr El Karoui calls for much wider teaching of Arabic in French
ideas – and the report itself - have provoked a mixed and sometimes hostile
reaction among Muslim and political leaders but will be considered by Mr Macron
before he unveils his initiative, now promised for an unspecified date in the
El Karoui, a former banker who served a centre-right prime minister,
Jean-Pierre Raffarin, as speechwriter, says the levy would be managed by the
new body, following the example of the "kosher tax" administered by
French Jewish authorities.
the conclusion to his report, he says: “French Islam, contrary to what is said,
is not poor.
merely needs those who are impoverishing it to move away from the management of
financial flows linked to it and for a healthy management to regulate the
market of Islamic consumption.”
he says, would allow the establishment of a central fund to serve the public
interest: financing theological work, enabling the training of religious
figures, remunerating imams and combating both anti-Muslim xenophobia and “the
anti-Semitism shown by some Muslims”.
interviews on how the scheme could work, he says AMIF would be independent of
the countries of members’ origin and of mosques. It would collect a small sum
on each act of Islam-related consumption, reinvesting proceeds in theological
work “because it is the mother of all the battles”.
El Karoui warns that young Muslims in particular increasingly learn about their
faith through social networks, not family or even mosques.
says France must learn from Britain’s anti-radicalisation Prevent programme to
develop an alternative Muslim narrative to counter the Salafist discourse he
considers “prevalent on social networks today”.
he fears a “minority of Muslims in France”, regarding French society as
"illicit”, will push for an alternative society with its own rules, norms
and standards of behaviour. French imams, he argues, have been too weak to
compete with “the strength of Salafist influencers”.
told The National: “We have to make Muslims eager to speak up by explaining
that it is their responsibility not to leave their religion to the Islamists
who impose their view and rules.
is in their interest [to speak up] because the image of Islam in Europe is very
negative due to the terrorist attacks, because of the behaviour of certain
Islamists and especially their behaviour towards women.”
his analysis was condemned on Thursday by one prominent French Muslim, Kamel
Kabtane, rector of the Grand Mosque in the eastern city of Lyon, as calculated
to “divide the French”.
as its pretext the fight against Islamism, this report with an uncertain
outline and risky objectives shows how much its promoters, in defiance of the
rules of ethics, try to discredit the Muslim community and its
representatives,” he said.
said the report was at odds with attempts by Muslim institutions, civil society
and state officials to work together ahead of Mr Macron’s announcement to help
Islam find its proper place in France. “For us the only fight that is worthy of
fighting is against Islamism; it is the one that unites all the French in
building a France that is just and fraternal,” he said.
French mainstream right and Marine Le Pen’s far-right preferred to attack the
idea of teaching Arabic in schools, with claims this would “Arabise or
qualified and perhaps unexpected approval of a halal tax came from Ahmet Ogras,
president of the CFCM. He tweeted that he was “not against a halal tax provided
it is not ordered by the state”.
Ogras has few reasons to look forward to Mr Macron’s initiative. A clear hint
of the president’s thoughts came when he declined an invitation to attend the
council’s post-Ramadan Iftar.
parliamentarians at a Versailles congress in July, Mr Macron said his
government would give "a framework and rules to Islam guaranteeing that
they will be exercised in accordance with the laws of the republic”.
by The National, the president’s press office failed to respond to questions.
court rejects plea to open Hagia Sophia for Islamic prayer
Turkey’s top court on Thursday turned down a plea to open the Hagia Sofia, an
Istanbul landmark that is now a museum after serving as both a church and a
mosque over its long history, for Muslim worshipping.
Constitutional Court rejected an association’s demand that the Hagia Sophia be
opened for Muslim prayers on “non-competence” grounds, indicating it was not the
proper instance to allow any change, the official Anadolu news agency reported.
its plea, the association had claimed that barring prayers at Hagia Sophia was
breaching the right to freedom of expression and conscience.
Haberturk website said that the demand had come from an independent Turkish
Hagia Sophia was turned into a museum accessible to all by the secular founders
of modern Turkey in the 1930s. Secular Turks are wary of any moves to
re-Islamise the building or have it reconsecrated as a mosque.
has in recent years under the rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan been an
increase in Muslim activity inside the museum, with Qur'an readings taking
place on occasion.
Hagia Sophia was constructed in the sixth century as a church in the Christian
Byzantine Empire and was the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople,
Istanbul’s former name.
Ottoman forces under Sultan Mehmet II conquered the city in 1453 he ordered the
immediate conversion of the Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Islamic minarets were
built around its Byzantine dome.
served as a mosque until after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire when in the
mid-1930s the authorities of the new Turkish state under its secular founding
father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk ordered it to become a museum for all.
Greece, which keeps a close eye on the state of Byzantine heritage in Istanbul,
has occasionally expressed concern that the Hagia Sophia’s status as a secular
museum could be under threat.
caning ‘free marketing’ for Islamic administration, says PAS ulama
LUMPUR, Sept 13 — Dewan Ulama chief Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed today said the
controversial caning of two lesbians in Terengganu Shariah Court can be viewed
as ‘free marketing’ as to what Islamic administration entails.
his opening speech at the 57th Muktamar Dewan Ulama PAS this morning, Dr
Mahfodz said while some criticised the decision, there were also many who
applauded the punishment upon further understanding.
caning in Terengganu was an eye-opener to some, who learned some valuable
lessons on the beauty of Islam. Of course, some were against it and even
questioned the punishment but our duty is to give the best explanation from a
everyone is against it. Therefore, this can be viewed as a free marketing.
Especially since it was conducted in Terengganu but it managed to get the whole
nation talking,” he said in a live telecast of the event from the Permai Hotel
in Kuala Terengganu today.
September 3, the two women found guilty for attempted lesbian sex were caned
six times in public at the Terengganu Shariah Court.
punishment was widely criticised including by Prime Minister Dr Tun Mahathir
president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, among other party leaders and state
muftis, responded by insisting that Islamic caning is not meant to torture but
to educate the offenders.
Mahfodz, in his keynote address, also stressed that PAS will continue to put
religion on the forefront of its fights.
has been consistent with our stance that Islam is of utmost priority. Only with
Islam and the implementation of Shariah laws will God grace us with His
blessings,” he said.
Ulama convention this morning is the start of the four-day muktamar in
Terengganu. The PAS Youth wing will also convene later today at the Duyong
Marina and Resort in Pulau Duyong.
Federation of Muslim Women Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN), says it has
sensitised 45,075 Muslim youths in 10 states on the true meaning of jihad in
National Amirah of FOMWAN, Halima Jibril, stated this on Thursday in Benin at a
news conference heralding the 33rd FOMWAN National Conference.
theme of the conference is “Family Life in Islam: Issues and Challenges in a
Jibril said the re-orientation would help reduce youths’ vulnerability to the
propaganda of Boko Haram insurgents.
said the association worked in collaboration with Non-Governmental Organisations
(NGOs) to provide access to education for 400,000 out-of-school children in
rural areas and improve early grade reading for 100,000 children.
national leader expressed the group’s willingness to collaborate with
traditional rulers in fighting the menace of human trafficking in the country.
Jubril urged traditional rulers across the country to be in the vanguard of
sensitising communities to the dangers of human trafficking and importance of
tracking the traffickers.
our own acts of commission and omission, we have abdicated our
responsibilities, and allowed extraneous factors to redefine the Nigerian
family,” she said.
explained that the association decided to discuss family issues because they
were critical to both community and national developments.
Naidu plans a grand mosque in Amaravati
If Hyderabad has historic and magnificent Mecca Masjid can Andhra Pradesh
capital Amaravati afford not to have one? Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N
Chandrababu Naidu thinks the under construction capital should also have a
a review meeting with the officials of Capital Region Development Authority at
Undavalli the Chief Minister announced that a glorious mosque of international
standards will be built in Amarvati, which will be a wonderful tourist
attraction. “The mosque will be built on an area of 10 acres under the
supervision of the state Waqf Board”, he said. “There should be a mosque in the
architectural style of Mecca Masjid (of Hyderabad) and it should become a major
tourist attraction”, he said.
made the remarks while reviewing the progress of various projects in the
Guntur, Nellore, Vijaywada, Rajahmundry and Visakhapatnam have some ancient
mosques but none of them could match the grandeur and historic significance of
Mecca Masjid and several other mosques in Hyderabad.
Masjid, which draws its name from Mecca, the holiest place in Islam, was built
in Qutub Shahi era of Hyderabad. Its foundation stone was laid by Qutub Shahi
king Mohammed Quli around 1616AD century and was completed in 1687 when Moghul
emperor Aurangzeb has occupied the Golconda kingdom by defeating the Qutub
Shahis. Though not completely built in accordance with the original plans Mecca
Masjid remains one of the biggest mosques in India.
Naidu’s meeting with the officials also decided to allocate 3.5 acres of land
to Murli Fortune group in the capital region for building a health and
recreating resort with an investment of Rs40 crore.
commissioner Ch Sridhar said that in the administrative city the secretariat
and the departmental headquarter buildings will be ready by January 15, 2021.
AS part of these there will be four ground plus storied towers estimated to
cost Rs932.46 crore. The GAD tower where the office of the Chief Minister will
be located will have 49 stories. It will be built at a cost of Rs554.06 crore.
MEPs criticised by Jewish and Muslim groups for Hungary vote
and Muslim leaders have criticised Conservative MEPs for voting against
measures to censure Hungary, saying it was deeply worrying that they had
declined to condemn the repressive policies of the Hungarian prime minister,
European parliament voted on Wednesday to trigger the EU’s most serious
disciplinary procedures due to policies in Hungary to reduce judicial
independence and boost control over the media, as well as concerns about
was the first use of a so-called article 7 procedure against a member state,
which could, if pursued, see Hungary stripped of its voting rights in the EU.
It was narrowly passed by the necessary two-thirds majority, with the
Conservatives almost alone among centre-right parties opposing it.
the Conservative group argued the plan was counterproductive and would
strengthen Orbán domestically, the Board of Deputies of British Jews (BoD) and
the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) condemned the decision.
van der Zyl, president of the BoD, said it was “very concerning that
Conservative party MEPs chose to defend Hungary’s appalling track record rather
than supporting a motion to uphold the rule of law”.
said: “As we have stated previously, we are very alarmed by the messages at the
heart of Orbán’s election campaign, including his comments about ‘Muslim
invaders’, calling migrants ‘poison’, and the vivid antisemitism in the
relentless campaign against Jewish philanthropist George Soros.
whipping up of prejudice by the Hungarian government, alongside restrictions on
press freedom and the independence of the judiciary, must be stopped before it
undermines Hungary’s democracy irreversibly.”
MCB’s secretary general, Harun Khan, said: “At a time when there are growing
concerns about the rise of the far-right across Europe, it is deeply
disappointing that Conservative party MEPs were whipped to align themselves
with far-right parties in supporting Mr Orbán.
can only hope that the rights of Muslims and other minorities are not considered
expendable as support is sought for the government’s Brexit position, as
appears to have been the case with this vote.”
added: “The Conservative party has thus far resisted calls to have an inquiry
into Islamophobia amongst its ranks. This latest action raises further concerns
of bigotry in the party.”
said that the MCB “would like to specifically pay tribute” to Nosheena Mobarik,
the one Conservative MEP who backed the motion.
Street has argued that MEPs make their own decisions, distancing itself from
MEP Daniel Dalton tweeted that the vote against article 7 was “not an
endorsement of Viktor Orbán”. His message was retweeted by Ashley Fox, leader
of the Conservative delegation in the European parliament.
Corbyn said the prime minister should speak out on the issue. He tweeted: “The
Tories brought shame on the UK by backing Hungary’s far-right government in a
crucial vote in Europe. Theresa May trying to sweep it under the carpet is
disgraceful. The prime minister must apologise and explain why her party voted
in the way it did.”
largest Islamic organization in Britain is urging the government to ban
Franklin Graham—son of the late Billy Graham— who is scheduled to appear at an
event in the country later this month.
Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), an umbrella organisation for hundreds of
Muslim groups, has lent its support to calls from three members of parliament
and thousands of members of the public to deny the preacher a visa for
spreading what the organization calls “hate speech.”
“hate speech” they refer to according to CBN News, is Graham’s preaching
against Islam as “evil” and as a “religion of war.” He’s also been an opponent against the
movement for LGBTQ rights.
is to be the featured speaker at the Festival of Hope event in Blackpool,
located in northwest England, on Sept. 21.
the website Jihad Watch, writer Robert Spencer asks “Would anyone be calling
for the banning of Graham from the UK if he had called Christianity ‘evil’?”
MCB in a statement to The Guardian said: “In the past, the government has
banned individuals whom they claim are ‘not conducive to the public good’. Mr.
Graham’s remarks are on record and clearly, demonstrate a hatred for Muslims
and other minorities. “We would expect the government to apply its criteria
here. If it does not, it will send a clear message that it is not consistent in
challenging all forms of bigotry.”
says the British government is already inconsistent.
bans foes of jihad terror and critics of Islam while letting in jihadis,” he
wrote. “The Home Office recently banned Martin Sellner, Brittany Pettibone,
Lauren Southern and Lutz Bachmann from entering, all for the crime of opposing
jihad terror and Sharia oppression, and thereby made it clear that it is more
authoritarian and unwilling to uphold the freedom of speech than ever – at
least when it comes to criticism of Islam, Muslim rape gangs, and mass Muslim
writes he and Pamela Geller were banned from entering Britain five years ago
for telling the truth about Islam and jihad.
days after Geller and I were banned, the British government admitted Saudi
Sheikh Mohammed al-Arefe. Al-Arefe has said: ‘Devotion to jihad for the sake of
Allah, and the desire to shed blood, to smash skulls, and to sever limbs for
the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion, is, undoubtedly, an honor for
the believer,'” he wrote. “Allah said
that if a man fights the infidels, the infidels will be unable to prepare to
Syed Muzaffar Shah Qadri’s preaching of hatred and jihad violence was so
hardline that he was banned from preaching in Pakistan, but the UK Home Office
welcomed him into Britain,” he continued.
also writes that the UK Home Office also admitted letting Shaykh Hamza Sodagar
into the country despite the fact that he had said: “If there’s homosexual men,
the punishment is one of five things. One – the easiest one maybe – chop their
head off, that’s the easiest. Second – burn them to death. Third – throw ’em
off a cliff. Fourth – tear down a wall on them so they die under that. Fifth –
a combination of the above.”
also points out that Prime Minister Theresa May’s government allowed two jihadi
preachers into the country, and one of them was even greeted by the Archbishop
of Canterbury. At the same time, the
British government banned three Christian bishops from Iraq and Syria from
entering the country even though they were facing persecution back at home.
new book that is highly critical of Islam is now the number one bestselling
non-fiction book in Germany, selling well over 100,000 copies less than two
weeks after its initial release.
book, entitled Hostile Takeover: How Islam Impedes Progress and Threatens
Society, is the latest from former Social Democrat (SPD) politician and former
member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank, Thilo Sarrazin.
Hostile Takeover now leads Der Spiegel‘s bestseller list for non-fiction.
Sarrazin is no stranger to controversy in Germany, having already published a
harsh criticism of the country’s multicultural experiment entitled Germany
Abolishes Itself in 2010. He has also become a leading thinker in Germany’s new
right, which is largely centred around the populist Alternative for Germany
new work by the former SPD politician has also seen its own share of problems,
having originally been picked up by publisher Random House which decided
earlier this year they did not want to release the book. The move forced
Sarrazin to take Random House to court and publish the book with FinanzBuch
a press conference on August 30th to announce the sale of the book, Sarrazin
said: “Everything has been worse than I predicted eight years ago.” He was
joined by SPD politician Heinz Buschkowsky who described one of the main theses
of the book which examines the higher on average birthrate of Muslims in
also described Sarrazin’s proposal to reform the asylum laws in which he
recommends asylum seekers be kept in transfer zones and that a decision on
their claim should come no later than 30 days after their application saying
the current asylum law had “degenerated into a gateway to illegal migration”.
to the book on Amazon have been overwhelmingly positive but divided with 78
percent of reviews giving the book five stars while 17 percent gave it one
media opinion has also been mixed, with right-wing newspaper Junge Freiheit
giving the book a glowing review, while most other mainstream media outlets
have criticised the book, claiming it not to be entirely factual, or having
taken facts out of context.
chemical weapons attack on Syria's last rebel stronghold would lead to
"consequences" for the regime in Damascus, French foreign minister
Jean-Yves Le Drian warned in Beijing on Thursday.
regime forces have massed around Idlib in recent weeks, sparking fears of an
imminent air and ground attack to retake the last major opposition bastion.
at a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, Le Drian said
the use of chemical weapons in the assault would prompt a response from Paris.
warns against the use of chemical weapons," he said, calling it a
Assad regime has twice been targeted by US air and missile strikes after
previous alleged chemical attacks, and US officials have in recent days said
additional action would follow if Assad uses the banned weapons in rebel-held
US launched a missile strike on a Syrian air base in April 2017 after an
alleged chemical attack in Idlib, while a second US-led strike, supported by
the British and French militaries, took place in April this year.
Drian said any regime chemical attack in Idlib would "have the same
consequences as we knew in April".
chief Antonio Guterres on Wednesday warned Syria and its backers against a
full-scale offensive in Idlib, saying it "must not be transformed into a
the seven-year war, which has claimed more than 350,000 lives, Syrian regime
forces have repeatedly been accused of targeting rebel-held areas with chemical
attacks -- mostly with chlorine but also with deadly sarin nerve gas.
regime and Russia have consistently denied the accusations, blaming opposition
Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has voiced support for Turkey’s efforts to avert a
humanitarian crisis in Syria’s Idlib province amid worries over a large-scale
military offensive by the regime.
at a news conference in Berlin on Thursday, Maas said he was "very
grateful" for Turkey’s cease-fire initiative, and warned that a major
military offensive could result in the deaths of thousands of civilians.
I will have the opportunity to talk to my Russian colleague again," he
said and renewed Germany's call on Russia to use its influence on the Syrian
should make every effort to prevent a humanitarian disaster in and around
Idlib," he stressed.
is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Berlin on
Angela Merkel’s spokesman stressed Wednesday that a cease-fire in Syria could
only be possible with Russia’s active support.
and Iran, as conflict parties, bear special responsibility," Steffen
Seibert told a news conference in Berlin.
near the Turkish border, Idlib province is home to more than 3 million Syrians,
many of whom fled from other cities following attacks by regime forces.
Syrian regime has recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive
to the area, long controlled by various armed opposition groups.
mosques display Turkish-Islamic design elements
in central Turkey with unusual wooden features were built by the Seljuks for
the first time in history and have been a significant representation of
Turkish-Islamic architecture for centuries.
the Seljuks arrived in Anatolia in the 13th century, they constructed mosques
with wooden columns and roofs like those of Uzbekistan's Samarkand, Bukhara and
Khiva, according to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Organization's (UNESCO) official website.
website said the architectural design of the mosques represent features of
Middle Asian tents, as well as wooden-columned mosques of Turkistan in the 11th
and 12th centuries.
Mosque in Ankara, Afyon Ulu Mosque in Afyonkarahisar, and Esrefoglu Mosque in
Konya are among the first wooden-columned-and-roofed mosques built by Anatolian
Seljuks and Beyliks.
were included on UNESCO's temporary list of World Heritage sites in 2018.
built these kinds of mosques for the first time, Esrefoglu Mosque field
management head Yasar Erdemir told Anadolu Agency (AA).
tradition of building wooden-roofed and wooden-columned mosques went on till
the 21st century in Turkey, Erdemir said.
added: "These mosques served as important places of worship in Anatolia.
They are aesthetically very dazzling."
forces backed by the coalition seized the main road linking the port city of
Hodeidah to the capital Sanaa, blocking a key supply route for the Houthi group
that controls both cities, military sources and residents said on Thursday.
alliance resumed its offensive on the Red Sea city after the collapse of peace
talks on Saturday which the United Nations had hoped would avert an assault on
the main port city.
coalition has repeatedly said that by taking control of Hodeidah they would be
able to force the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement to the negotiating table by
cutting off their main supply line.
of the road
main entrance in Hodeidah leading to Sanaa has been closed after forces backed
by the UAE took control of the road,” a pro-coalition military source told
said the main eastern gate had been damaged in air strikes by coalition
warplanes and that fighting was still ongoing on secondary streets off the main
court in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sanliurfa has handed down a 30-year
jail term to the foster son of the US-based opposition cleric Fethullah Gulen,
whom the Ankara government accuses of having masterminded the July 2016 coup
attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Thursday, the Sixth Heavy Criminal Court in the province passed the verdict
against Ferhat Kucuk, who allegedly led the activities of the Gulen’s movement,
branded by the Ankara government as the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO),
within Turkish Armed Forces in Sanliurfa.
better known by the alias Vedat, was accused of “managing an armed terror
organization, fraud in the public domain and forgery of official documents.”
denied his links to the Gulen movement during the hearing, and refuted
accusations leveled at him.
the 2016 botched putsch, a faction of the Turkish military declared that it had
seized control of the country and the government of Erdogan was no more in
charge. The attempt was, however, suppressed a few hours later.
has since accused Gulen of having orchestrated the coup. The opposition figure
is also accused of being behind a long-running campaign to topple the
government via infiltrating the country’s institutions, particularly the army,
police and the judiciary.
has denounced the “despicable putsch” and reiterated that he had no role in it.
against me related to the coup attempt are baseless and politically-motivated
slanders,” he said in a statement.
77-year-old cleric has also called on Ankara to end its “witch hunt” of his
followers, a move he says is aimed at “weeding out anyone it deems disloyal to
President Erdogan and his regime.”
officials have frequently called on their US counterparts to extradite Gulen,
but their demands have not been taken heed of.
has been engaged in suppressing the media and opposition groups suspected to
have played a role in the failed coup.
of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey on suspicion of having
links to Gulen and the failed coup. More than 110,000 others, including
military staff, civil servants and journalists, have been sacked or suspended
from work over the same accusations.
high-ranking member of the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement says the
ongoing developments in the Israeli-occupied territories do not allow the Tel
Aviv regime to launch new military aggression against Lebanon.
has some political and military circumstances that do not allow it to think of
waging a war against Lebanon at this time,” Arabic-language online newspaper
Elnashra quoted Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem as saying
however, noted that Hezbollah is ready for any possible military confrontation.
Lebanese security services are doing a good job in taking preemptive measures
to stop terrorist attacks,” he pointed out.
his supporters last month via a televised speech marking the 12th anniversary
of Hezbollah’s victory in the 2006 Israeli war on Lebanon, Hezbollah Secretary
General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah stressed that the movement is not scared of a
potential war with Israel.
one should threaten us with war and no one should scare us by war... We are not
scared or worried about war and we are ready for it and we will be victorious,”
he said on August 14.
resistance in Lebanon today, in its possession of weapons and equipment and
capabilities and members and cadres and ability and expertise and experience,
and also of faith and determination and courage and will, is stronger than at
any time since its launch in the region,” Nasrallah pointed out.
on August 26, the Hezbollah chief said the Israeli military cannot escape
defeat despite its apparent capabilities, stressing that thousands of Israeli
troops are now seeking mental health treatment.
stated that even though Israel has massively developed its arsenal and acquired
state-of-the-art missiles and military hardware, it cannot yet escape defeat in
any possible military confrontation.
Israeli army is incapable of recruiting a new generation of soldiers as the
draftees lack any sense of motivation to fight,” he said.
of Saudi-sponsored militiamen loyal to Yemen's former president Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi have lost their lives when Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from
allied Popular Committees launched offensives against their positions in the
country’s strategic western province of Hudaydah.
media bureau of Yemen’s Operations Command Center announced in a statement on
Thursday that Yemeni troops and their allies launched attacks against the
gatherings of Saudi mercenaries in the Kilo 16 district of Hudaydah, killing
more than 45 of them and injuring several others.
statement added that eight Oshkosh Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP)
vehicles and a number of military vehicles belonging to the Saudi-backed
militiamen were destroyed in the assaults as well.
two children were killed when Saudi warplanes pounded a residential building in
the Haydan district of Yemen’s mountainous northwestern province of Sa’ada.
sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Yemen’s Arabic-language
al-Masirah television network that the air raid also caused immense material
damage to the targeted area.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating military
campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the aim of bringing the government
of Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement.
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
BANK: Israel security forces on Thursday dismantled several shacks built by
Palestinian protesters near Khan Al-Ahmar, a Bedouin village in the occupied
West Bank that Israel has slated for demolition.
witnesses said Israeli forces arrived at the village before sunrise on Thursday
and began taking down the newly built protest huts, without touching the
Bedouin encampment, the fate of which has become a focus of Palestinian
protests and international concern.
military liaison agency with the Palestinians, COGAT, said on Twitter that five
“movable structures that were illegally transported & installed” in the
area had been taken down.
five new huts had been assembled this week by activists from several rights
groups and the Western-backed Palestinian Authority in support of the Bedouin
Al-Ahmar is beside an Israeli highway that runs through the West Bank from
Jerusalem to the Dead Sea.
plan to demolish the village and relocate its 180 residents — Bedouins who
scrape a living by raising sheep and goats — to a site 12 km (7 miles) away,
has drawn criticism from Palestinians and some European states, who cite the
impact on the community and prospects for peace.
say the demolition is part of an Israeli push to create an arc of settlements
that would effectively cut off East Jerusalem from the West Bank, territories
Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war and which the Palestinians seek for
an independent state.
Foreign Minister said early Friday that Washington should reconsider its
alliances in Syria as the Assad regime prepares to launch a bloody offensive on
northwestern Idlib province.
a letter to The New York Times titled 'A Looming Disaster in Syria', Mevlut
Cavusoglu warned that the YPG terrorist group has struck an alliance with
Bashar al-Assad and is sending troops to help him recapture Idlib from the
alliance has grown deeper since senior leaders of the so-called Syrian
Democratic Forces, spearheaded by the YPG, held formal talks with the Syrian
regime to carve out a place for themselves in the new Syria,” he said.
YPG forces operating from Syria, just miles from the border of Turkey, is
untenable. It’s time for Washington to assess who its real allies in the region
Syrian regime recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive in
Idlib, which has long been controlled by various armed opposition groups.
a result, Turkey has been reinforcing its military presence on the border with
UN has warned that such an offensive would lead to the "worst humanitarian
catastrophe in the 21st century".
also emphasized in the letter that the YPG is the Syrian affiliate of the PKK,
which has led a violent terror campaign in Turkey for more than 30 years and
that Turkey, the U.S. and the EU have listed the PKK as a terrorist
Hasliza Mohd Salleh
Islam must not be perceived as the property of the Malays, the minister in
charge of Islamic affairs told a seminar on Islamic jurisprudence today.
Yusof Rawa said Muslims in Malaysia should strive to fulfil Islam’s universal
appeal based on the Quranic concept of “rahmatan lil alamin”, or mercy for the
choice we have is between creating a society that aspires rahmatan lil alamin
based on maqasid shariah (higher objectives of Islamic laws) without racial and
religious consideration, or to remain stagnant in a country where its people
are racially polarised,” Mujahid told a seminar on Fiqh al-Waqi, or
contemporary Islamic jurisprudence.
said it was wrong to view Islam as a Malay religion because its teachings were
will be an injustice if Islam is interpreted through the perspective of Malays
only,” he said.
speaker at the conference, Perlis mufti Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, urged Muslim
scholars to understand different cultures and customs before issuing fatwas.
said there were some who disagreed with this view by arguing that Islam was
suitable for all times and places.
is a shallow view,” said Asri.
said Muslims must come to terms with the reality of a changing world.
are different cultures and problems in different times and places,” he said.
said Muslim scholars should take into account contemporary issues in coming out
with Islamic rulings, instead of merely quoting verses from books of old.
are some who are too literal and follow rulings on politics and economy issued
by scholars who are shallow and who lived in a different environment with
of Muslim preacher in Bali nightclub attracts netizens' attention
Miftah, a Muslim preacher noted for his eccentric sermons, is the talk of the
internet after a video of him preaching on the stage of a nightclub in Bali
went viral on social media.
footage was reportedly taken at Boshe VVIP Club in Kuta and posted onto Gus
Miftah’s own Instagram account, @gusmiftah,last week, after which similar
footage was uploaded onto YouTube.
the video, Gus Miftah, who is also head of the Yogyakarta-based Ora Aji
pesantren (Islamic boarding school), is seen preaching in front of the club’s
visitors and workers. He also led them in reciting and singing shalawat,a
religious chant praising Prophet Muhammad.
world and its creatures were created by God because of Nur [light] Muhammad, so
if [you] want to get the whole world, [you] must do shalawatto Prophet
Muhammad,” Gus Miftah wrote in his Instagram post published last Thursday.
brothers, there is only one difference between a good person and a bad person;
a good person has done something bad and a bad person must have done something
good. Never judge them, but please pray for them,” he went on.
is not the first time Gus Miftah has been in the spotlight for his eccentric
preaching. In 2015, he made news after holding a pengajian(learning forum) with
prostitutes from the Pasar Kembang red-light district in Yogyakarta.
Instagram and social media users were divided in acknowledging the preacher’s
actions, with some calling them inappropriate, Gus Miftah appeared to have
received the backing of an influential Islamic politician affiliated with the
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), Indonesia’s largest Islamic organization.
Islam-based National Awakening Party (PKB) chairman, Muhaimin Iskandar,
affectionately known as Cak Imin, said on his Twitter account, @cakimiNOW, that
shalawat was allowed and fitting to be held in places such as a nightclub.
installing QR codes on Uighur Muslim homes in mass security crackdown
China is installing QR codes on the homes of the Uighur Muslim community in
order to get instant access to the personal details of people living there,
according to a report by Human Rights Watch (HRW).
development comes as part of a mass security crackdown on minorities in
Xinjiang province, the charity said, which includes arbitrary detentions, daily
restrictions on religious practice and "forced political indoctrination".
reportedly scan the "smart" doorplates with mobile devices before
entering homes to monitor the inhabitants.
Richardson, China director at HRW, said: "The Chinese government is
committing human rights abuses in Xinjiang on a scale unseen in the country in
decades. The campaign of repression in Xinjiang is a key test of whether the
United Nations and concerned governments will sanction an increasingly powerful
China to end this abuse."
claim the codes — which in some locales feature on every home — help with
population control and delivery of "Starting from spring 2017, in every
home where one enters there’s a QR code," one former resident who left
Xinjiang, in the far west of the country, told HRW. "Then every two days,
or every day, the cadres come and scan the QR code, so they know how many
people live here — and starting around then, they would ask [our] visitors,
‘Why are you here?’ In the evenings the cadres would check as well."
residents said authorities are also collecting biometric data, such as DNA and
voice samples, when people apply for passports or ID cards, or during police
did take our DNA samples and iris scans when we applied for the passports,"
a middle-aged woman who left Xinjiang last year said. "For those who can
read, they read out from a paper but for those who cannot, they said, ‘You can
sing a song or tell a story and we will record you’. You aren’t in a position
to argue with them." She said people were even forced to walk back and forth
at police stations so officials could record their gait.
United Nations human rights panel in August said China is believed to be
holding up to one million ethnic Uighurs in a secretive system of "internment
camps" in Xinjiang, where they undergo political education.
has denied such camps are for "political education", insisting
instead they are vocational training centres, part of government initiatives to
bolster economic growth and social mobility in the region. China has said
Xinjiang faces a serious threat from Islamist militants and separatists who
plot attacks and stir up tensions between Uighurs who call the region home and
the ethnic Han Chinese majority.
and other Muslims held in the camps are forbidden from using Islamic greetings,
must learn Mandarin Chinese and sing propaganda songs, according to former camp
detainees interviewed by HRW. People in Xinjiang with relatives living abroad
in one of 26 "sensitive countries", including Kazakhstan, Turkey and
Indonesia, have reportedly been targeted by the authorities and are often held
for several months, without any formal procedure.
for refusing to follow instructions in the camp could mean being denied food,
being forced to stand for 24 hours or even solitary confinement, HRW said.
foreign ministry spokesperson, Geng Shuang, declined to give a detailed
response to the report and said HRW was a group "full of prejudice"
against China. Measures in Xinjiang aim to "promote stability,
development, unity and livelihoods", while also cracking down on
"ethnic separatism and violent terrorist criminal activities", he
conditions in Xinjiang outside the camps have also intensified markedly and now
bear "a striking resemblance to those inside", said Hong Kong-based
HRW researcher Maya Wang, who has interviewed 58 former Xinjiang residents now
China is not mistreating Muslims in Xinjiang province but is putting some
people through training courses to avoid spreading of extremism, unlike Europe
which had failed to deal with the problem, a Chinese official told reporters on
of mass detentions of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims in China’s far-western
region have prompted a growing international outcry, prompting the Trump
administration to consider sanctions against officials and companies linked to
the allegations of human rights abuses.
is not mistreatment,” said Li Xiaojun, director for publicity at the Bureau of
Human Rights Affairs of the State Council Information Office. “What China is
doing is to establish professional training centres, educational centres.
you do not say it’s the best way, maybe it’s the necessary way to deal with
Islamic or religious extremism, because the West has failed in doing so, in
dealing with religious extremism. Look at Belgium, look at Paris, look at some
other European countries. You have failed.”
said the Chinese education centres were not “detention centres or re-education
camps”, which he dismissed as “the trademark product of eastern European
countries”, an apparent reference to Soviet Gulag detention camps during the
put it straight, it’s like vocational training... like your children go to
vocational training schools to get better skills and better jobs after
these kinds of training and education centres only accept people for a short
period of time; some people five days, some seven days, 10 days, one month, two
BAHRU: The Sultan of Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar, wants the state
government to monitor all tahfiz centres (religious schools) operating in the
state and ensure they comply with the rules.
said all tahfiz centres operating in Johor must get a certificate of
recognition before commencing operations.
many private tahfiz centres have been set up and are seeking public donations
and assistance to operate.
tahfiz centre which flouts the rules should be closed immediately,” said Sultan
Ibrahim when launching the 100th Year Anniversary of Islamic Education in Johor
at the International Convention Centre, here, today.
also proposed the setting up of a special tahfiz class in every religious
school in Johor for students keen to memorise the Quran, if there was a demand
his speech, the sultan also issued a reminder that the administration of
Islamic religious affairs fell under the state’s jurisdiction as enshrined in
the federal constitution.
stressed that all affairs related to Islam, including shariah law, religious
schools and so forth, were state rights.
State Islamic Religious Affairs and Education Committee chairman Aminolhuda
Hassan said the Johor government would conduct investigations and coordinate
tahfiz centres in the state to ensure they all operated according to the rules
Hamza Idris and Ibrahim Sawab
damaged Boko Haram vehicle after a battle between the insurgents and troops of
145 Battalion, Operation LAFIYA DOLE in Damasak, Borno State on Wednesday
night, where many Boko Haram members were killed
factional leader of the Boko Haram loyal to Islamic State in West Africa (ISWA)
Mamman Nur has been killed by his fighters who rebelled against him, sources
with ample knowledge of the group told the Daily Trust.
the brain behind the ties between Boko Haram and the Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi led
Islamic State, was reportedly killed by his closest lieutenants on August 21.
He had in 2014 led the rebellion against Abubakar Shekau, which saw the
emergence of Abu Mus'ab Al-Barnawy faction of the group.
breakaway faction which moved to shores of Lake Chad region in Northern Borno
was later recognised by the Al-Baghdadi.
new leader Al-Barnawy, whose real name is Habib, is the son of Boko Haram
founder Mohammed Yusuf, who was killed in 2009.
of our sources said, "Mamman Nur, who was killed on August 21, is the
actual leader of the Boko Haram faction after they parted ways with Shekau. He
(Nur) only put Habib in the front as shadow leader because of his father
name Al-Barnawy is only being heard as symbolic leader; he was meant to lead so
that followers would remain committed to the cause championed by his late
father but he (Nur) is the major link of the faction with the Islamic State;
the chief strategist around Lake Chad, including their cells in Nigeria, Niger
and Chad," he said.
Nur was killed
source told the Daily Trust that Mamman Nur was killed after long period of
disagreement with his subordinates who established "relative authority and
contacts" over the years.
to him, "The commanders became disenchanted with Nur's style of
leadership; they saw him as not as rough as Shekau.
followed him in staging the revolt because the argument back in 2014 was that
Shekau was a hardliner who killed almost everyone, both Muslims and Christians
who disagreed with his brand of Islam.
according to some of the fighters, after establishing his base in Lake Chad,
Mamman Nur too 'deviated from the real course' and compromised on so many
occasions," he said.
said a major disagreement broke after the release of the some 100 girls
abducted in a secondary school in Dapchi, Yobe State, in March.
negotiation of the release of the girls did not go down well with some close
associates of Mamman Nur who released the girls unconditionally, following a
directive by Al-Baghdadi," the source said.
was paid before the girls were released and besides, Mamman Nur's soft approach
and close contact to governments and different levels angered his foot soldiers
who rebelled against him and thereafter executed him," he said.
was learnt that Al-Barnawy had also lost firm control of the group which is now
under the "guidance" of a certain commander.
man in charge of all the cells in the Lake Chad region is the former commander
of the fighters who was directly under the control of late Mamman Nur," he
security expert, Major Salihu Bakari, told the Daily Trust yesterday that the
upsurge in Boko Haram attacks in Northern Borno might not be unconnected with
the change of leadership.
truth is Mamman Nur had lost control long before he was killed; the factional
group was taken over by hardliners who share a lot in common with the Shekau
faction who's landmarks include kidnapping, assault, abductions for ransom and
other atrocities," he said.
said the new group had recently attacked many army facilities in northern Borno
and also captured individuals for ransom.
want ransom to continue financing their activities; I think their demands for
high ransom is what is delaying the release of many abductees, including the
female health workers that were captured in Rann in Kala-Balge Local Government
Area of Borno State," he said.
Nigerian military has yet to confirm the killing of Mamman Nur.
on January 6 this year, the military said the wife of Mamman Nur was killed
when troops attacked the group's location in the Lake Chad region.
spokesman of the Operation Lafiya Dole Theatre Command in Maiduguri, Onyema
Nwachukwu, said at the time that about 250 Boko Haram fighters on the side of
Mamman Nur had surrendered.
announcement came hours after the military declared Nur as "fatally
injured" during an operation.
Trust recalled that in in September 2011, the Department of State Service (DSS)
placed a N25 million bounty on Mamman Nur, a close ally of Mohamed Yusuf and
Shekau, who was accused of masterminding the bombing of the UN building in
kills many insurgents in Damasak
a related development, the military said troops of the Operation Lafiya Dole
have engaged Boko Haram militants and killed many of them.
added troops pursued others who attacked a military location in Damasak, the
headquarters of Mobbar Local Government area in Northern part of Borno State.
was gathered that the incident occurred on Wednesday.
insurgents reportedly besieged the military facility in full force with the
intention to dislodge soldiers of the 145 Battalion from their location but
spokesman, Brig.-Gen. Texas Chukwu, said in a statement yesterday that,
"the terrorists were subdued following a superior fire power of troops in
Nigerian Army wishes to state that, 145 Battalion deployed in Operation LAFIYA
DOLE at DAMASAK, Mobar Local Government Area of Borno State on 12 September
2018, inflicted many casualties on the Boko Haram Terrorists and their weapons
as well as vehicles were captured and some were destroyed during the encounter.
members of the terrorists group were neutralised during the encounter while
others flee into the nearby bush. Items recovered include: two vehicles; one
anti-aircraft gun; four AK 47 rifles; seven magazines; two hand grenades; one
bayonet; 47 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition; 174 rounds of 7.62mm NATO
ammunition," he said.
said efforts are on by the troops to get other fleeing members of the group,
even as he announced that seven soldiers sustained injuries during the attack.
UN Security Council on Thursday extended its political mission in Libya for a
year but did not endorse a December 10 date for elections that was agreed
during a Paris meeting four months ago.
key leaders from Libya agreed in May to hold the landmark polls on December 10
as part of a French-led plan to stabilize the war-torn north African country
despite ongoing violence and deep divisions.
council unanimously adopted a British-drafted resolution that called for
parliamentary and presidential elections to be held “as soon as possible,
provided the necessary security, technical, legislative and political
conditions are in place.”
had called for the December 10 election timetable to be maintained, but faced
opposition from the United States along with other European Union countries,
Deputy Ambassador Jonathan Cohen warned during a council meeting last week that
“imposing false deadlines will backfire” and lead to worse divisions inside
descended into chaos after the 2011 overthrow and killing of Moamer Kadhafi,
with two rival governments scrambling for control of the oil-producing country.
and Somali forces came under attack during an operation against the al-Qaeda
affiliated group al-Shabaab in central Somalia, U.S. Africa Command said.
Somali soldier was killed and two others injured in the attack, which occurred
on Wednesday, September 11 in the village of Mubaraak, approximately 37 miles
west of the capital Mogadishu, Africom said on Thursday.
forces conducted an airstrike in response to the attack, killing two al-Shabaab
fighters and injuring another. No U.S. personnel were killed or injured, the
is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu,
but has also carried out attacks in neighboring Kenya, which has deployed
troops as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia.
have thwarted another Boko Haram attack on an army base in northeast Nigeria,
the latest in a series of offensives against military targets in the remote
of fighters attacked the base in Damasak, in the far north of Borno state, on
Wednesday evening, firing heavy artillery in an apparent bid to overrun it.
of fighting ensued but the attack was repelled with the help of aerial support,
military sources in the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, told AFP on Thursday
Army spokesperson Brigadier General Texas Chukwu confirmed troops from 145
battalion were fighting the jihadists, calling the battle "fierce".
troops are dealing with the terrorists," he said on Wednesday evening.
statement was a departure from the military's repeated denials of Boko Haram
attacks in recent weeks, which have seen dozens of troops killed and weapons
month, 48 soldiers were killed in a raid in the village of Zari, near Damasak,
while last Friday, a base was sacked in the town of Gudumbali.
is 80km from Damasak. Thousands of civilians were forced to flee and Boko Haram
temporarily seized the town before withdrawing the next day.
Saturday, a regional fighting force set up to stop cross-border attacks helped
to repel another attack on a base near Baga, on the shores of Lake Chad.
senior military officer, who asked to remain anonymous because he is not
authorised to speak to the media, said the jihadists in Wednesday's attack were
terrorists attacked the base around 1700 GMT but they met stiff resistance from
troops who engaged them in hours-long battle," he added.
about four hours of fighting the militants were "beaten" and forced
to withdraw after a fighter jet bombarded their positions, he said.
was no immediate indication of casualties on either side.
latest attacks have been blamed on the Islamic State West Africa Province
(ISWAP), a Boko Haram splinter group headed by Mus'ab al-Barnawi and backed by
analysts assess that the Barnawi faction currently poses a greater threat than
that led by Abubakar Shekau, who has indiscriminately targeted civilians.
Muhammadu Buhari was elected in 2015 on a promise to defeat Boko Haram, whose
insurgency has killed more than 27 000 people in northeast Nigeria since 2009.
reunion for Hindu and Muslim villagers in Bihar
Members from the Hindu and Muslim community buried the hatchet and hugged each
other in Bihar after a long spell of rivalry in a lovely gesture, giving
much-needed relief to the local authorities.
emotional reunion took place on Wednesday when the Hindu and Muslim villagers
from two villages — Malik Sarai and Moghalpura — in Kaimur district, some 200
south-west of Patna, came together and decided to forget the troubled past.
While the Hindus wore skull caps on their heads, Muslims wrapped their heads
with saffron turbans as a show of bon homie. Quite many villagers couldn’t
control themselves and were seen sobbing inconsolably at the rare reunion never
seen in near past.
Sarai is dominated by Hindus (upper caste Rajputs) while Moghalpura is
dominated by Muslims. Both villages were located side by side but they always
remained indulged in bitter rivalry which was also a matter of concern for the
local administration as communal tensions always erupted there.
was, however, a different scene on display on Wednesday when Muslim villagers
reached Hindu-dominated village to be welcomed by open armed hugs and showers
of rose petals. Villagers from all age groups and sex joined the march.
climax in the story came when the Muslim villagers were offered sherbet (sweet
drinks), sweets and folded betel leaves which they happily accepted. “Nothing
more could be a matter of joy than this reunion. Everyone wants to leave with
peace. We are very happy today,” one of the villagers Mohammad Shahnawaz said,
chewing betel leaves.
said the rivals communities from the neighbouring villages were indulged in
bitter rivalries for long and suspected each other. The tension touched a new
high last year some Hindu youths were assaulted by Muslims during Ram Navami
procession, triggering a chain of attacks and counter attacks. The local police
registered at least five cases of murderous attacks and rioting, leading to
deployment of security forces in both the villages to calm down tension.
was here that a local police official decided to settle the issue permanently.
Reports said the local sub-divisional magistrate Kumari Anupam Singh launched
the initiative to bring the two communities together and then later held a
peace marches and cricket matches between the two villages as the idea clicked.
late, communal tensions have become a matter of serious concerns in the state.
According to a data compiled by the state police, a total of 5,630 incidents of
rioting have taken place in the past six months of the current year. Last year,
11,698 such cases were reported while in 2016, the number of such incidents
reported stood at 11,617. In 2015, 13,311 incidents had been reported, as per
the police report.
gets a mouthful from Delhi HC as key accused in J&K terror funds case gets
Pritam Pal Singh
Delhi High Court Thursday granted bail to Kashmiri businessman Zahoor Ahmad
Shah Watali, who was arrested by the NIA in a terror-funding case involving
Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, and observed that nothing has
been shown to suggest that his trade was “geared toward funding of terrorist
its 40-page bail order, a bench of Justices S Muralidhar and Vinod Goel
directed Watali not to influence or intimidate prospective prosecution
witnesses or tamper with the evidence in the case. The court also ordered
70-year-old Watali to surrender his passport before the trial court and said he
will not travel abroad without prior permission of the court.
documents (seized in the case) do not enable this court to prima facie
conclude, as the trial court has in its order stated, that appellant (Watali)
received money from A-1 (LeT chief Hafiz Muhammad Saeed) or PHC (Pakistan High
Commission in New Delhi) or others and was passing on the said funds to the
Hurriyat leaders for funding terrorist activities and stone pelting,” the High
court is not satisfied at this stage that there is prima facie material to show
the involvement of Watali in any criminal conspiracy with the other accused,
justifying the accusations for the offences under section 120-B (criminal
conspiracy) of the IPC or sections 121 (waging or attempting to wage war
against India), 121-A (conspiracy to wage war), or 124-A (sedition) of the
HC ordered his immediate release on bail, subject to his furnishing a personal
bond in the sum of Rs two lakhs with two sureties of like amount to the
satisfaction of the trial court. The court also imposed certain conditions of
Watali, including that he report to the Investigating Officer (IO) in charge of
the case as and when required. The HC also made clear that if there is any
breach of the conditions, it will be open to the NIA to apply to the trial
court for cancellation of bail.
had challenged the special court’s (NIA) June 8 order rejecting his bail plea.
He was arrested on August 17, last year and chargesheeted by the NIA on January
18 along with the head of the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT), Hafiz Saeed, and the head
of the Hizbul Mujahideen, Sayeed Salahudeen, along with 10 others.
the accused were chargesheeted under stringent anti-terror laws, for allegedly
hatching a conspiracy with Saeed and Salahuddin to wage a war against India.
Earlier, Kamran Yusuf, a photojournalist and Javed Ahmad Bhatt a hawker of home
appliances, were granted regular bail after the chargesheet was filed. Only
Hafiz Saeed and Salahudeen have not been arrested in the case.
the Jammu and Kashmir terror funding case, the NIA had alleged that Zahoor
Watali moved money from Pakistan to Kashmir to fuel stone-pelting and unrest in
the Valley. He was allegedly the connection between LeT chief Hafiz Saeed and
Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
its 1,200 page chargesheet filed in a special court in February this year, the
NIA cited a diary, recovered from the office of Watali, as key evidence.
Doubling up as an account book, the diary allegedly has entries of receiving
several lakh rupees against the name of Hafiz Saeed, mentioned in brackets.
There are corresponding entries for payments made to one “Fantoosh”, which the
NIA claimed is the nickname of Altaf Ahmed Shah, son-in-law of
Tehrek-e-Hurriyat chief Syed Ali Shah Geelani.
the dairy, the HC concluded that a sheet of paper produced by the NIA
containing typed entries and in loose form, cannot constitute material to even
prima facie connect Watali with the crime with which he is sought to be
conclusion of the trial court that this document shows the connection of the
appellant with the other accused as regards terrorist funding does not
logically or legally flow from a plain reading of the document,” it added.
advocate Vikas Pahwa, appearing for Watali, had said no offence under the
stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) was made out against him
in the chargesheet. Pahwa said the probe in the case was already concluded and
the charge sheet was filed.
the bail plea, senior advocate Sidharth Luthra, appearing for the NIA contended
that Watali could not satisfactorily explain the sources from which he had
received the funds.
also emerged during the course of the hearing of this appeal that neither the
All Parties Hurriyat Conference nor any of its 26 constituent organisations are
banned organisations within the meaning of the UAPA,” the court said.
HC further observed that “this court holds, for the limited purposes of the
present appeal, that there are no reasonable grounds to form an opinion at this
stage that the accusations against the appellant under the UAPA are prima facie
Minister Narendra Modi will meet the religious head of Dawoodi Bohra community,
Syedna Mufaddal Saifuddin, at a mosque in Indore on Friday and address the
community members. Dawoodi Bohras are a sect within Shia Islam.
PM's meeting with Syedna Saifuddin will take place at the Saifi Nagar mosque,
where the Dawoodi Bohra community head is holding a nine-day religious
of community members have arrived here from various parts of the world to hear
their religious head's sermons.
Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Madhya Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel and
Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan will also be present during Modi's visit.
prime minister's visit here also assumes significance as Assembly polls are due
in the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh by year-end. Around 2.5 lakh Dawoodi Bohras are
estimated to live in the state, mainly in Indore, Ujjain and Burhanpur districts.
view of the prime minister's visit, security has been ramped up, Indore range
Deputy Inspector General of Police HC Mishra said.
findings by Thol Tirumavalavan, president of the Viduthalai Chiruthaikal Katchi
(VCK), a Dalit fringe outfit, that religious conversion to Islam offers the
Dalits self-respect and economic independence has put the Hindu forces in the
State on their guards. Experts in Population Studies rejected Tirumavalavan’s
arguments while Hindu activists term it as an effort to encourage more Dalits
in the State to get converted to Islam or Christianity.
Sampath, leader of Hindu Makkal Katchi, who had a providential escape from the
knives of Islamic terrorists recently, had submitted a memorandum to Governor
Banwarilal Purohit and Vice Chancellor of Manonmaniam Sundaranar University at
Tirunelveli stating that the PhD thesis submitted by Tirumavalavan is a
travesty of truth and facts.
claims he has brought to light the reasons behind the mass conversion of Dalits
of Meenakshipuram in Tirunelveli to Islam in 1981. He argued during the viva
voce of his Ph D thesis held recently that the Dalits were discriminated
against and oppressed all over the State. When a Dalit youth of Meenakshipuram
fell in love with a girl belonging to the upper caste, relations of the girl
stood up against the romance. The youth eloped with the girl to neighbouring
Kerala and got married with her.
the couple returned to the village, the girl’s relations thrashed the youth and
his family members. This forced the 180 Dalit families in the village embrace
Islam to escape from the
persecution “unleashed by caste Hindus”,
VCK leader claimed that the Dalits who got converted to Islam in 1981 prospered
economically and socially. “The religious conversion of 1981 has given the
Dalits the economic independence and self-respect,” claims Tirumavalavan in the
thesis titled “Mass Religious Conversion at Meenakshipuram: a victimological
of Hindu outfits are suspicious of the
objective of Tirumavalavan’s studies. “This is an open invitation and
encouragement to the Dalits to get convert to Islam,” said Sampath.
Jatinder K Bajaj, demography scientist at the Centre for Policy Studies, is of
the view that the findings and conclusion of Tirumavalavan’s findings do not
stand the test of scrutiny. “Individually one of two members of the community
might have been benefited because of conversion. But majority of them continue
to be poor and helpless. Why the leaders of Islam and Christian communities
insist that the Dalits among them need reservation?” asked Dr Bajaj.
Upset with the TRS government for failing to fulfill promises made to Muslims,
members of the community said that they will go with parties that field more
Muslim candidates in the ensuing polls.
SC/ST/BC Muslim Front has decided to undertake a campaign across the state and
ask people to vote or support parties who field more Muslim candidates in the
elections,” said Sanaullah Khan, chief convenor of the group while urging
parties to name at least 10 Muslim candidates for the Assembly polls and
nominate two people for MP seats.
register their angst against chief minister K Chandrasekar Rao, scores of
people staged a protest outside the Telangana State Waqf Board (TSWB) office,
demanding he offer an explanation for his failure to honour promises. “The CM
had promised 12% Muslim reservations, to give judicial power to TSWSB and
provide minority loans. The Sudheer Commission had even recommended that the
government incorporate a budget sub-plan for Muslims. Sadly, they have got
nothing,” said Md Abbas, state secretary of Awaaz Tanzeem.
on September 11 had a scathing reply to Pakistan’s jibe on Kashmir and the
alleged violations at the 39th Session of the United Nations Human Rights
Council in Geneva.
First Secretary at the Permanent Mission in Geneva Mini Devi Kumam exercised
the Right of Reply’ to respond to a statement made by the Pakistani envoy
Farukh Amil on the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Rejecting Pakistan’s claims, she
said that their efforts were "futile" and references to reports
fallacious and motivated.
the fact that J&K is an inalienable part of India and the real problem is
terrorism emanating from Pakistan, Kumam said, The main challenge in Jammu and
Kashmir is cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan. In 2017 alone,
unrelenting cross-border terrorism from Pakistan was responsible for 342
terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir resulting in the death of 120 civilian
and security personnel.
the OHCHR report of Kashmir, the envoy had said that Kashmiris should be given
a life of dignity to which the Indian diplomat responded by exposing the state
of the minorities in Pakistan.
amount of hyperbole can hide the dismal human rights record of Pakistan, which
has been systematically violating the rights and freedoms of people of POK
including exploitation of their natural resources. Extrajudicial killings and
disappearances in Sindh, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa continue to be the
order of the day. Minorities are harassed through blasphemy laws. Forced
conversions and marriages of minority women are routinely carried out with
impunity. Even Muslim minorities such as Shias, Ahmadiyas, Ismailia and Hazaras
are victims of sectarian violence and systemic persecution.
a renowned economist Professor Atif Mian was forced to quit Prime Minister
Imran Khan’s Pakistan’s Economic Advisory Council because he belonged to the
Ahmadi sect, one which is not even recognised as part of the Muslim community
The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) of Uttar Pradesh police arrested a suspected
terrorist on Thursday from Kanpur for his alleged links with Hizbul Mujahideen.
Police said that he was planning a terrorist strike during the 10-day Ganesh
Chaturthi celebrations beginning Thursday.
a native of Assam, was arrested from Kanpur on inputs from National
Investigation Agency. He was sent to seven-day police custody by a court in
Lucknow. Zama confessed that he was a member of Hizbul Mujahideen and was
staying in the city for the last 15 days. The ATS sleuths also recovered a
phone from him which had sketches and videos of Lord Ganesha temple in
At least five Pakistani terrorists were killed on Thursday in two separate
anti-terror operations, one of which also left 14 security personnel, including
a deputy superintendent of police, injured. All the injured men are stable.
senior police officer from the IGP office said three Pakistani terrorists of
the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terror group were killed during an eight-hour long
encounter at Tirsi-Kakrayal village of Reasi district.
added that 14 security personnel, including five cops, six CRPF men and three
Army jawans were injured in the encounter that ended around 5pm.
north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, the JeM suffered a jolt when security
forces killed two of its members, including one of its oldest militants
nicknamed ‘Ali’, at Sopore. Security forces were acting on specific
intelligence inputs about the presence of Jaish terrorists in the area. The
encounter at Reasi began after a group of five suspected terrorists travelling
in a truck opened fire at Jammu-Srinagar National Highway on Tuesday, injuring
a civilian near Kakrayal-Jhajjar Kotli.
the truck driver and his helper were detained, the three Pakistani terrorists
had fled the scene.
AK-56, loaded magazines, one Chinese pistol and other “incriminating material”
was recovered from the site.
Former Afghan refugee wins New Hampshire primary
Afghan refugee Safiya Wazir recently won an upset victory in the New Hampshire
Democratic primary against four-term State Representative Dick Patten.
winning the Democratic primary for the 17th district of New Hampshire, she is
on track to become the first refugee to ever serve public office in the state
of New Hampshire.
will face Republican candidate Dennis Soucy in the general election in
27, fled Afghanistan with her family when she was six years old and arrived in
the U.S. in 2007.
settling in Concord, New Hampshire, she made a new home in the United States,
eventually becoming a citizen.
the victory came as a surprise, it was absolute. Wazir dealt a heavy blow to
incumbent Patten, winning 327 to 143 in Tuesday’s primary.
you to all my supporters who helped me win tonight’s Dem. primary. I will work
hard for all the residents of Ward8," Wazir said on Twitter.
newly-elected Democratic nominee is running on a campaign platform of
advocating for school safety, access to health care and equal housing and
denies $5 billion offer in aid to Palestine
White House rejected a claim Thursday that U.S. President Donald Trump offered
$5 billion in aid to Palestine if it returns to the negotiating table with
claim was reported by Globes, an Israeli newspaper, which said the U.S.
president was even willing to give more than the amount proposed, according to
anonymous diplomatic sources who spoke to Globes.
the Palestinians continue their refusal and stubbornness, in which case the PA
[Palestine Authority] will sink into a severe economic crisis, or the
Palestinian leadership straightens up, comes to talk, and gets political and
economic independence," the Globes wrote.
Special Representative on International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt responded
saying that it was completely false and no such offer was made.
False. When the peace plan is released, if the PA [Palestinian Authority] is
serious about peace & wants to improve Palestinian lives, the PA should
want to review the plan & engage. It is an absurd idea to pay $5b for a
party to ‘return to the negotiating table.’ How would that accomplish
peace??" Greenblatt said on Twitter.
U.S. has taken steps in recent months to cut funding and resources to
Palestinian interests, including cutting aid to Palestine and shutting down the
office of the Palestinian mission in Washington.
(Reuters) - The United States is looking more closely at a crackdown by China
on minority Muslims in the Xinjiang region, a senior U.S. economic official
said on Thursday, as Washington considers imposing sanctions against Chinese
senior officials and companies linked to allegations of human rights abuses.
are looking at the situation, and Global Magnitsky is a tool that we use to
curb human rights abuses around the world,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
Manisha Singh told a congressional hearing.
was responding to a question about possible sanctions against China for its
treatment of ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims.
Global Magnitsky Act allows the executive branch to impose visa bans and
targeted sanctions on individuals anywhere in the world responsible for
committing human rights violations or acts of significant corruption.
U.N. rights panel said last month it had received credible reports that up to a
million ethnic Uighurs may be held in extra-legal detention in Xinjiang, and
called for them to be freed.
State Department this week acknowledged receipt of a letter from a bipartisan
group of U.S. lawmakers asking Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to impose
sanctions on a number of China officials accused of overseeing policies in
officials include Chen Quanguo, Communist Party chief in Xinjiang and also a
member of the party’s politburo.
sanctions decision would be a rare move on human rights grounds by the Trump
administration against China, with which it is engaged in a trade war while
also seeking Beijing’s help to resolve a standoff over North Korea’s nuclear
against so senior official as Chen would be unprecedented and would greatly
Tuesday, the State Department expressed deep concern over China’s “worsening
crackdown” on Muslims in Xinjiang, while U.S. congressional sources said
discussions of possible sanctions had gained momentum within the U.S.
government, although imposition of steps did not appear imminent.
under consideration are sanctions the lawmakers sought against several Chinese
companies involved in building detention camps and creating surveillance
systems used to track and monitor Uighurs.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert praised the steps being taken by
the Coalition in Support of the Legitimacy in Yemen to save civilian lives and
Saudi-led coalition in Yemen is taking steps in the right direction to reduce
civilian casualties," Nauert told a briefing.
comments came a day after Pompeo told Congress that Saudi Arabia and the United
Arab Emirates were working to reduce civilian casualties.
said in a statement that he told Congress that the governments of Saudi Arabia
and the UAE were taking concrete steps to reduce the risk of harming civilians
and civilian infrastructure due to the operations of the Yemeni Legitimacy
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis confirmed that he fully supported and approved
Pompeo’s certification, adding that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
are making every effort to reduce the risk of civilian casualties and
Valley University professor resigns after claiming Muslims shouldn’t be allowed
into the U.S. because ‘they hate us and always will’
adjunct professor at Utah Valley University has quit after facing criticism for
sharing his experience of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks with students this
week in an online post that ended with him declaring he is “very opposed” to
Muslims immigrating to the U.S. because “they hate us and always will.”
Orem school’s administration learned of the statement hours after it was sent
out Tuesday evening when a student reported it to the chair of the School of Aviation
Sciences. By Wednesday night, James Green “voluntarily resigned,” said
university spokesman Scott Trotter, and the comment had been removed from the
started his post — on the 17th anniversary of 9/11 — by saying he wanted to tell
students what he saw of the 2001 attack while living in Manhattan and working
as a pilot for Continental Airlines. He and his wife, he wrote, walked onto the
roof of their building and watched one of the Twin Towers collapse, according
to a copy the concerned student shared with The Salt Lake Tribune.
couple then went to a local church, Green recounted, to assist survivors. He
said he later pushed for pilots to be able to carry a gun in the cockpit and
did so himself until he retired.
was a sad time for our country and made me wonder ‘how’ could people harbor so
much hatred toward anyone that they would perpetrate such a horrendous act of
violence,” he said.
ended the post: “That's my story about the 9/11 events. And it is also why I am
‘very’ opposed to allowing any Muslims to immigrate into the USA! They hate us
and always will.”
a brief phone conversation with The Tribune, Green said he’s no longer at the
university before adding he had “no comment.” His LinkedIn page lists his
current job at aviation director at the American International Aviation Academy
Valley University said in a statement that it has referred the matter to its
Equal Opportunity/Title IX Office for review and “appropriate action.”
of the university’s core themes is inclusivity, and we value the richness that
comes from diversity,” the statement says. “We seek genuine inclusion to create
a safe and supportive environment for all, and believe that diversity is an
essential element of UVU’s mission and of excellence, and that intolerance
inhibits progress. We remain committed to our anti-discrimination and
comments echo similar anti-Muslim rhetoric from President Donald Trump. During
his campaign, Trump said during on interview on CNN, “I think Islam hates us.”
He also claimed that “thousands and thousands” of Arab-Americans living in New
Jersey cheered when the World Trade Center collapsed.
soldiers martyred, 4 terrorists killed in N Waziristan operation
terrorists were killed while three soldiers embraced martyrdom during an
intelligence-based operation in North Waziristan, Inter-Service Public
Relations (ISPR) said on Thursday.
to the ISPR, security forces launched an IBO in North Waziristan against
terrorists involved in an attack on armed forces on September 12.
terrorists were also involved in an attack on Lieutenant Moin in December 2017,
which took his life, said the ISPR. Terrorists were fully armed and gave a
tough time, said the ISPR, adding that all four, including operational level
terrorist Aftab Parakay, were killed.
three soldiers Naib Subedar Nazir Ahmed Chandio, Sepoy Fakhar and Sepoy Amir
were martyred in the exchange of fire. The ISPR said that the area had been
president appreciates Pakistan’s efforts in fighting terrorism
French President Emmanuel Macron telephoned Prime Minister Imran Khan on
Thursday where he recognised Pakistan’s struggle and sacrifices in the global
war against terrorism.
French leader congratulated PM Khan on his party’s election victory and for
assuming the office of Prime Minister.
President Macron stressed the importance of deepening bilateral political
dialogue. He expressed the desire to cooperate in the fields of energy, water
resource management, trade, and economy and to work together on issues of
mutual interest at the global level.
appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in fighting terrorism and recognised the high
price paid by Pakistan dealing with this menace. In this context, he condoled
the July terrorist incidents in Pakistan.
return, PM Khan thanked the French president for his call. He expressed the
desire for further developing bilateral relations with France into a mutually
beneficial, broad-based and long-term partnership.
premier added that trade and investment ties between Pakistan and France were
growing and appreciated the presence of a large number of French companies in
Pakistan. He invited more French investment into Pakistan.
Khan briefed the French President on the regional situation, especially the
importance of a peaceful settlement in Afghanistan, and on the relations with
underscored the need for the resumption of the comprehensive dialogue with
India to address all outstanding issues, including the Jammu and Kashmir
dispute. He referred to the sad plight of Kashmiris facing massive human rights
violations and the need for the international community to play its role to
mitigate the sufferings of the Kashmiri people.
Britain’s Home Secretary Sajid Javed will visit Pakistan soon.
to media reports, Just after Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government came into
power ministers and ambassadors of many countries made their official visits to
Pakistan and hold meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan and other senior
it has come into light that UK’s Home Secretary Sajid Javed will also visit
Pakistan soon where he will meet with PM Imran Khan, President Dr Arif Alvi and
other senior party leaders.
The government on Wednesday first convened a joint sitting of parliament for
the presidential address on Thursday and regular sessions of the National
Assembly and the Senate on Friday, and then cancelled them on the opposition
parties’ request to avoid possible criticism on the move as it coincided with
the funeral of former first lady Begum Kulsoom Nawaz.
to Dawn, Minister for Information Fawad Chaudhry said it was on the directive
of Prime Minister Imran Khan that the government had taken back its decision of
convening the already planned sessions when he came to know about the opposition’s
in the day, President Dr Arif Alvi on the advice of the government had convened
the joint session of parliament on Thursday afternoon for addressing it and the
regular sessions of the National Assembly and the Senate on Friday in which
Finance Minister Asad Umar was to present the mini-budget for the remaining 10
months of the financial year.
after the summoning of the sessions, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)
protested over the government’s move to convene the sittings at a time when the
party was in a state of mourning and had already announced suspension of its
political activities for three days due to the demise of Kulsoom Nawaz.
in the PML-N told Dawn that the party through former speaker Ayaz Sadiq had approached
the government leaders and NA Speaker Asad Qaiser with the request to delay the
sessions to enable the party legislators to attend them.
speaking at a news conference, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana
Fazlur Rehman had also suggested to the government to postpone the joint
sitting on the PML-N’s request.
government had disclosed its plan to convene the joint sitting for the maiden
and mandatory address of President Alvi in a meeting of the parliamentary
leaders presided over by Speaker Asad Qaiser on Monday.
meeting had been convened by the speaker in an effort to seek cooperation from
the opposition parties for conducting the proceedings smoothly. However, the
opposition parties asked the government to constitute a parliamentary
commission to probe the charges of rigging in the July 25 general elections
before convening the joint sitting, if it wanted a smooth sailing in the
the meeting, PTI’s Vice Chairman and Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had
confirmed that the opposition had put the condition of formation of the
parliamentary commission for ensuring the smooth proceedings. He had stated
that the PTI would make a decision on the opposition’s demand in the next few
days after discussing it within the party.
at a news conference in Lahore last week, PML-N president and Opposition Leader
in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif had asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to
keep his words and constitute a powerful parliamentary commission to probe
allegations of rigging in the July 25 general elections and recommend steps to
block rigging attempts in future.
Sharif had threatened that the opposition alliance would not let the house
function if the commission to probe rigging allegations was not constituted.
Article 56(3) of the Constitution, the president is required to address the
joint sitting of parliament at the commencement of the parliamentary year.
Kulsoom Nawaz's funeral prayers will be offered at Lahore's Sharif Medical City
on Friday at 5pm.
Nawaz Sharif's wife's casket reached the provincial capital this morning on PIA
flight PK-758 from London. Her body was received by members of the Sharif
family, including Hamza Shahbaz, and was later transported to the family's Jati
Umra residence via ambulance.
will be laid to rest at Jati Umra near the graves of her father-in-law Mian
Sharif and brother-in-law Abbas Sharif at Jati Umra.
prayers (Rasm-i-Qul) for Begum Kulsoom will be offered on Sunday between Asr
and Maghreb, according to PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb.
prayers were offered for Begum Kulsoom at London's Regent Park mosque on
Thursday, where hundreds of people showed up to pay their respects. The funeral
had been arranged since Kulsoom's sons, Hasan and Hussain, cannot travel to
members of the Sharif family, including Asma, Nawaz and Kulsoom's daughter,
Shahbaz Sharif, and Zikriya Sharif were all in attendance at the funeral in
London, alongside other known faces such as former finance minister Ishaq Dar
and former interior minister Chaudhry Nisar.
had travelled to London, where he arrived on Wednesday evening, to take Begum
Kulsoom's body back to Lahore for burial.
Kulsoom, who was diagnosed with lymphoma in August last year, passed away in
London on September 11.
sources said the family had received a death certificate issued by the private
hospital where Begum Kulsoom Nawaz breathed her last on Tuesday, and the
"out-of-England" letter from the coroner’s court, paving the way for
the departure of her body to Lahore this evening.
Sharif, his daughter Maryam Nawaz and son-in-law retired Captain Safdar, who
were all sentenced to jail by an accountability court weeks before the July 25
polls in the Avenfield property reference, were granted parole by the Punjab
government on an application moved by Shahbaz in order to attend Begum
Punjab Home Department later announced an extension in the short 12-hour parole
for an additional five days, from Sept 12 (4pm) to September 17 (4pm). The time
does not include the time it takes to travel.
oversees funeral arrangements in Lahore
on Thursday, Nawaz Sharif paid a visit to Sharif Medical City to oversee
arrangements for his deceased wife's last rites.
former prime minister directed that all arrangements for the funeral be
complete so that everyone is able to comfortably offer the funeral prayers.
"There should not be any kind of issue in Sharif Medical City," he
was accompanied on the visit by his son-in-law retired captain Muhammad Safdar,
grandson Junaid Safdar, and nephew Salman Shahbaz. During the course of this
visit, Nawaz met some PML-N leaders at Sharif Medical City.
offered for Begum Kulsoom
condole her demise, PML-N and other political party workers have been visiting
the Sharif family residence at Avenfield House in London and Jati Umra in
Lahore since Wednesday.
Balochistan chief minister Sardar Sanaullah Zehri and Rasikh Elahi, son of
Punjab Assembly speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, were prominent among the
visitors in London.
Lahore, political leaders and workers including former prime minister Shahid
Khaqan Abbasi, Khurram Dastagir, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, Azad Jammu and Kashmir
Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Malik Pervaiz, Saad Rafique, Ameer Muqam,
Ali Pervaiz, Uzma Bokhari and Rana Mohammad Iqbal visited Jati Umra to offer
reports that Nawaz Sharif did not see the visitors on Wednesday because he was
unwell, Marriyum Aurangzeb said: "That was not the case. Mian sahib was
shattered and tired but he met relatives. On Thursday, he will meet the
political leaders and workers between 4pm and 6pm. Similarly, Maryam Bibi also
Shahbaz met those arriving at Jati Umra to condole the death of the former
president Mamnoon Hussain also called on Nawaz on Thursday and offered his
condolences to the PML-N quaid.
Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq on Thursday said Pakistan didn’t need a
bailout package from the International Monetary Fund or loans from other
countries to handle the current financial crisis if the government brought back
the country’s looted money from abroad.
a mass wedding ceremony here, Mr Siraj said the government was responsible for
bring the country’s looted wealth back.
country neither requires any bailout package or donations for building dams if
the government carries out across-the-board accountability,” he said urging the
government to fulfil its commitment in this regard.
demanded that the government recover looted national wealth and spend it on the
people’s welfare and development of health and education.
Al-Khaidmat Foundation, charity wing of the JI, organised the function in which
50 couples got married. Relatives of the couples and JI office-bearers attended
Siraj said the government had become a tax collection machine, while rulers
spent thje taxpayers’ money on their luxurious lives.
said the government should begin across-the-board accountability and take
concrete measures to bring looted wealth from abroad.
demanded action against 436 people, whose names appeared in the Panama Leaks
case, but ironically nothing happened,” he said.
Farooq Sattar, a senior politician and lawmaker associated with the Pakistan
faction of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, on Thursday announced that he was
resigning from his position in the party's coordination committee due to some
"personal commitments", DawnNewsTV reported.
is pertinent to mention that last week Sattar had claimed that he had been
invited to join the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and was mulling over the
while speaking to the press, had said that the PTI offered him a ticket to contest
the NA-247 by-poll after the seat fell vacant following the election of Arif
Alvi as the president of Pakistan.
PTI is trying to get me to contest on the NA seat," he said, adding that
he was consulting his inner circle over the invitation.
leader Haleem Adil Shaikh, however, had expressed surprise over Sattar's claim
and categorically denied it.
British High Commissioner to Pakistan Thomas Drew called on Chief of Army Staff
(COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at the General Headquarters (GHQ) on Thursday,
said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).
the meeting, matters of mutual interest including regional security situation
were discussed. The visiting dignitary also pledged to keep working for better
relations between the two countries.
Taliban leaders, militants suffer heavy casualties in Baghlan
of Taliban militants including their local leaders were killed or wounded
during the operations in northern Baghlan province of Afghanistan.
209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North in a statement said the
militants were killed during the ground operations and airstrikes in Shash
Kapi, Larkhabi, and Dand Shahabuddin areas of the province.
statement further added that a total 36 militants were killed during the
operations and at least 12 others sustained injuries.
to 209th Shaheen Corps, some senior leaders of the group, including the shadow
district chief of the group for Pul Khumri Mawlavi Qadir, Qari Khalid, Mullah
Ibrahim, Qari Zahir, Ghazi Malang, and Mullah Hadifa Jalalabadi are among those
Afghan forces also confiscated a vehilce, two motorcycles, and some flags of
Pakistan during the same operations, the 209th Shaheen Corps added.
anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not
commented regarding the report so far.
has been among the relatively calm provinces in northern parts of the country
but the security situation of the province has deteriorated during the recent
spy chief for southeastern provinces among 7 key militants killed
least seven key Taliban group members including their shadow spy chief for the
southeastern parts of the country have been killed in Paktia province.
provincial government media office in a statement said the Taliban spy chief
for southeastern provinces Zainatullah, also famous as Farhad, was killed with
six others in an airstrike.
statement further added that the militants were killed as they were travelling
in a vehicle to plan future terrorist activities.
key Taliban group members killed during the airstrike have been identified as
Gul Rahman famous as Anas, Habibullah famous as Edris, and Bohran.
comes as at least 35 militants were killed during the ground operations and
airstrikes in Zurmat district Tuesday, the statement said, adding that some key
Taliban group leaders and Pakistanis were also among those killed.
to the provincial government, more than sixty militants were also wounded
during the same operations.
leader Aung San Suu Kyi said yesterday the jailing of two Reuters journalists
had nothing to do with freedom of expression and that they can appeal against
their seven-year sentences, prompting a sharp rebuke from the United States.
Kyi, in her first public comment on the case since the two, Wa Lone, 32, and
Kyaw Soe Oo, 28, were convicted last week, referred to the colonial-era law
under which they were charged.
were not jailed because they were journalists, they were jailed because ... the
court has decided that they have broken the Official Secrets Act," she
said at a conference of the World Economic Forum in Hanoi.
Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley described Suu Kyi's remarks as
"unbelievable," in what appeared to be the sharpest direct public
rebuke of the Myanmar leader by a US official.
in denial about the abuse the Burmese military placed on the Rohingya, now
justifying the imprisonment of the two Reuters reporters who reported on the
ethnic cleansing. Unbelievable," Haley wrote on Twitter yesterday.
at a later news briefing, US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said
Washington disgreed with many of the comments Suu Kyi had made and added that
the journalists should be released immediately.
verdict calls into question press freedom in Burma (Myanmar),” she said.
fact that those journalists were convicted despite testimony by police that
they were ordered to frame those journalists, that in our view raises serious
concerns about the judicial independence and the fair trial guarantees they are
supposed to have in that country," Nauert said.
continue to urge the government of Burma to take action immediately to correct
Kyi made her comments in response to a question from a forum moderator who
asked whether she felt comfortable about the reporters being jailed.
Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo were convicted on official secrets charges on September 3
in a landmark case that has raised questions about Myanmar's progress towards
two reporters, who had pleaded not guilty, were investigating the killing of 10
villagers from the Muslim Rohingya minority by the Myanmar security forces at
the time of their arrest. The military later acknowledged the killings and said
it punished several soldiers.
United Nations, human rights and press freedom groups and various governments
criticised the convictions. US Vice President Mike Pence and US Secretary of
State Mike Pompeo have called for their release.
United States was a strong backer of Suu Kyi as she emerged in the 1980s as a
pro-democracy icon who endured years of house arrest for standing up to
military rule and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her struggle.
Western criticism has mounted of Suu Kyi's failure to speak out against
military treatment of the Rohingya and of her attitude to the treatment of the
Hanoi, Suu Kyi questioned whether people were aware of the details of the case
against the reporters.
wonder whether very many people have actually read the summary of the judgement
which had nothing to do with freedom of expression at all, it had to do with an
Official Secrets Act," she said.
we believe in the rule of law, they have every right to appeal the judgement
and to point out why the judgement was wrong."
government spokesman Zaw Htay was not immediately available to comment on Suu
Kyi's remarks. He said last week the court was independent and followed due
in response to Suu Kyi's comments, said in a statement: "We continue to
believe that Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo did not violate Myanmar’s espionage law,
and at no point in time were they engaged in activity to hurt their
eight months of hearings, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo testified that two policemen
they had not met before handed them papers rolled up in a newspaper during a
meeting at a Yangon restaurant on December 12.
immediately afterwards, they said, they were bundled into a car by plainclothes
Feb. 1, a police witness said under cross-examination that information in the
documents had already been published in newspapers.
April, a prosecution witness testified that a senior officer had ordered
subordinates to plant secret documents on Wa Lone to "trap" the
Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, said Suu Kyi was wrong
when she spoke about the verdict.
fails to understand that real 'rule of law' means respect for evidence
presented in court, actions brought based on clearly defined and proportionate
laws, and independence of the judiciary."
convictions came amid mounting pressure on Myanmar over a security crackdown
sparked by attacks by Rohingya Muslim insurgents on security forces in Rakhine
State in west Myanmar in August 2017.
on yesterday, Suu Kyi said that in hindsight, her government could have handled
the Rakhine State situation better.
are of course ways in which we, with hindsight, might think that the situation
could have been handled better," she said. "But we believe that for
the sake of long-term stability and security we have to be fair to all sides
... We cannot choose and pick who should be protected by the rule of law."
than 700,000 stateless Rohingya have fled into Bangladesh, according to UN
agencies. Myanmar has denied accusations of atrocities made by refugees, saying
it conducted a legitimate counterinsurgency operation against militants.
investigators said last month that Myanmar's military carried out mass killings
and gang rapes of Rohingya with "genocidal intent", and that the
commander-in-chief and five generals should be prosecuted under international
said last month that findings of a yet-to-be released State Department
investigation into the crisis were "consistent" with those of the UN
Gloria Rozario was born to a Catholic family of refugees on Nov. 31, 1971, just
weeks before Bangladesh gained its independence from Pakistan on Dec. 16.
Fast-forward 47 years and Gloria, the sixth of nine children, has dedicated her
life to serving God and healing the hearts of people suffering various forms of
psychological distress in this Muslim-majority South Asian nation.
2010, Sister Gloria has served as director of the Healing Heart Counseling Unit
in Dhaka, funded by the Our Lady of Sorrows (OLS) religious order.
is one of a number of Catholic nuns including Salesian Sister Zita Rema who
provide spiritual aid and other services to the destitute in Bangladesh. Other
nuns in the country help patients struck by leprosy, tuberculosis and related
social stigmas, or focus on helping children born with disabilities rebuild
addition to offering counseling services to individuals, couples and families,
Sister Gloria hones the skills of students, academics and professionals by
arranging seminars and workshops both inside and outside the center.
she's not at the center, or teaching at a local university, the nun finds time
to visit Rohingya refugees from Myanmar in eastern Bangladesh's Cox's Bazar,
where she offers counseling services through BRAC, one of the country's leading
are a charity, so most people come to us though word of mouth because we are
not allowed to advertise. Sometimes people mistake us for a profit-making
organization as we have many foreigners on staff who are volunteers," she
people struggle to grasp how a charity can offer professional services without
making money. Our mission is to prove them wrong."
Healing Heart Center now has two full-time and four part-time counselors
treating around 30 people a week on average, mostly Muslims.
center charges 1,200-2,500 Bangladeshi taka (US$14-30) per session but people
living on the breadline need only pay a token fee of US$2.40.
covers staff salaries, maintenance costs and donations to charities run by the
center has one school and a day care center for 40 slum children. It also funds
for two more day care centers in Dhaka serving 62 kids from greatly
impoverished families who attend free of charge.
never have any money left at the end of each month," the nun said.
Pius Rozario and his wife Magdalene witnessed the birth of their sixth child,
Gloria, at a classroom that was being used as a shelter for refugees during
Bangladesh's war of independence with Pakistan.
couple had fled their village home in Rangamatia in central Bangladesh to
escape the fighting and bloodshed by relocating to the faraway village of
nine distressing months they shared a crowded space with hundreds of war
refugees including Muslims, Hindus and Christians.
the war ended, the couple returned home to resume a more normal life, with Pius
working as a schoolteacher and Magdalene a housewife.
we weren't solvent as all of us studied and my father wasn't very well
paid," she said. "But despite this we had a very enjoyable childhood
even though we grew up in a very disciplined household where life was divided
into prayer time, study time and play time."
moved to St. Mary's School in neighboring St. John the Baptist parish at an
early age and completed high school with the Sisters of Associates of Mary
Queen of Apostles (SMRA). All of her teachers and some of her cousins were
an early age, their lives became an inspiration for me, so I started cherishing
the dream of one day becoming a nun myself," she said. "I wasn't into
boys at that age, so I just wanted to live a simple life."
joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows (OLS) congregation on Dec. 31, 1990,
after completing her undergraduate degree. The next few years saw her collect a
graduate degree in Dhaka and spend two years in Italy for her novitiate
returning to Bangladesh in 1995, she spent a year at a convent in the capital
run by OLS, after which she landed a secretarial role at the Vatican embassy in
the capital, a role she held for five years.
first I felt uncomfortable with a job that kept me inside all day," she
recalled. "So that first year wasn't much fun. But I stuck with it because
I'd taken my vows."
her time at the Vatican embassy, Sister Gloria began visiting nearby slums and
Christian families, who slowly shared their problems with her.
stories stuck in my mind. I began thinking that, as people were so willing to
share so many personal experiences with me, maybe I should study psychology to
offer them a better service," she said.
Gloria said she found her true calling after studying counseling psychology in
Italy and the U.S.
superior granted her request to study psychology and off she went to Rome,
where she also studied spirituality. This was followed by a move to California
to gain a master's degree at Santa Clara University.
2014, she set a new milestone by becoming the first person in Bangladesh to
earn a PhD in education-counseling psychology.
Lady of Sorrows
Elisabetta Renzi, an aspiring Catholic nun, founded the congregation in Italy
in 1839. She was beatified 150 years later in 1989.
order arrived in Bangladesh in 1988 and its first mission was to serve the
Vatican embassy in Dhaka.
the order has 16 Bangladeshi confreres including one who serves as a missionary
outside the country.
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani says certain regional elements are attempting to cut the
relations of Afghanistan with the world.
during a gathering to mark the Week of Martyrs, President Ghani said the
situation is better to achieve peace more than any other time and that the
nature of war has changed.
said the Afghan forces have proved that fill the security gap with modern
equipment and the capabilities of the Afghan armed forces are increasing day by
President Ghani said regional elements are attempting to cut the relations of
Afghanistan with the world and efforts are being made to misuse the emotions of
the people to reverse the gains which have been achieved with major sacrifices.
Ghani did not elaborate further in this regard but emphasized that the time has
come and there is an opportunity to end the 40-year long conflict in the
country, emphasizing that confidence exists on the capabilities of the national
defense and security forces.
Afghan and U.S. Special Forces have thwarted planned Taliban attacks against
the security forces in southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan.
NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in a statement said the Afghan Special
Security Forces (ASSF), advised by U.S. Special Operations Forces, conducted a
helicopter raid on Taliban compounds in Maywand district, Kandahar province
statement further added that Afghan Special Security Forces killed 14 Taliban
fighters, detained five, destroyed a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device
(VBEID), heavy weapons and a defensive fighting position.
recovered during the raid indicated that Taliban fighters were using Maywand
district to plan attacks against U.S. and Afghan forces in the Kandarhar area,
the statement added.
methodically uncovering then spoiling the plans of future coordinated Taliban
attacks, this operation showcases the increased capability and lethality of
Afghanistan’s well-known fighting force,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Otto
Liller, NATO Special Operations Component Command-Afghanistan/Special
Operations Joint Task Force-Afghanistan deputy commanding general.
rallies were held on Thursday 500 meters away from the US base in the region.
protestors carried placards in support of the Syrian government, calling for
the US forces' withdrawal from Raqqa province and deployment of the Syrian army
reports from Raqqa said that attacks by unknown assailants against the
US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have increased in the region as SDF has
intensified moves against the civilians.
SDF suffered casualties on Wednesday after two bombs went off at their bases in
bomb went off at SDF's base in al-Nour street in the Northwestern part of Raqqa
city, injuring a number of SDF members.
the meantime, fierce clashes were also reported between the SDF and the
attackers after the bomb explosion.
a bomb went off near Ibn Khaldoun school in Raqqa city, killing two SDF
SDF has arrested over fifty young men in the villages and towns in Northern
Raqqa under a forced recruiting plan.
shares locations of Idlib hospitals and schools
UN officials have notified Russia, Turkey and the US of the GPS coordinates of
235 schools, hospitals and other civilian sites in the Syrian province of
Idlib, in the hope the move will help protect them from being attacked.
share these coordinates so there is no doubt that a hospital is a hospital,”
Panos Moumtzis, UN regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, told
would like to see civilians not targeted, hospitals not bombed, people not
estimated 2.9 million people live in Idlib, the last major stronghold of
opposition to President Bashar Assad. Syrian regime and Russian warplanes began
airstrikes last week in a possible prelude to a full-scale offensive.
hospitals in Hama and Idlib have been hit by airstrikes in the past week,
constituting “serious attacks” that violate international law, Moumtzis said.
hospital is a hospital and has to be respected by all on the ground.”
called on all warring sides to ensure that civilians in Idlib were able to move
freely in any direction to flee fighting or bombing, and for aid workers to
have access to them. He quoted a Russian official as telling a humanitarian
task force meeting in Geneva on Thursday that “every effort to find a peaceful
solution to the problem is being made.”
The UN is working 24/7 to ensure delivery of shelter, food and other
assistance if, as feared, hundreds of thousands of people flee, he said.
no way am I saying we are ready. What is important is that we are doing our
maximum to ensure a level of readiness,” Moumtzis said.
humanitarians, while we hope for the best we are preparing for the worst.”
estimated 38,300 people have fled hostilities in Idlib this month, UN figures
4,500 of them have returned to their homes following a slight calming, Moumtzis
said, calling it a “barometer.”
least 33 people have been killed and 67 wounded in aerial and ground-based
bombing, according to a partial UN toll from Sept. 4 to 9.
said he was going to Turkey for talks with government officials and to oversee
preparations for stepping up cross-border aid deliveries to Idlib, where the UN
is providing supplies to 2 million people.
has said it is working with Russia and Iran to stabilize the Idlib region,
indicating continued efforts to avoid an offensive in the area.
is part of an arc of territory at the Turkish border. Turkey has reinforced 12
military observation posts in the region, and stepped up arms shipments to
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, in comments on Wednesday evening,
indicated that there were continued contacts with Russia and Iran for a
are working intensively with Russia, Iran and our allies for peace and
stability to be brought to the region and for a humanitarian tragedy to be
prevented,” he was quoted as saying on Thursday by the state-run news agency
President Tayyip Erdogan met with the leaders of Iran and Russia last week in
Tehran, but failed to win a cease-fire pledge.
hosting 3.5 million Syrians, Turkey says it cannot take in more and has accused
the West of abandoning it to the consequences of Assad’s reconquest of Syria.
the past three days things have been calm,” said Abdel Razzaq, a monitor for
the Sentry warning service, which operates in opposition-held parts of Syria.
Syrian army units attacked the ISIL terrorists' stronghold in Toloul al-Safa in
Eastern Badiyeh of Sweida from several fronts on Thursday, advancing in the
heights of the region.
a field source referred to the Syrian army's extensive advance, saying that
they smashed a military vehicle of terrorists by advancing in the Northern
front of Toloul al-Safa, killing over 10 terrorists, including their snipers.
in the Western front, the army troops advanced hundreds of meters in the depth
of the terrorists' stronghold after heavy clashes.
field source said that the Syrian army has advanced 3.5km in the depth of the
rocky regions, adding that clashes still continue between the army forces and
the army gains back full control over the high rocky regions of Toloul al-Safa,
the ISIL's strong defense lines will be broken and their supply lines will be
cut, resulting in the Syrian army forces' military control over the region.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian army forces continued storming
ISIL's positions in the Eastern desert of Sweida, seizing control over more
points in Toloul al-Safa.
army men stormed ISIL's strongholds in the depth of Eastern desert of Sweida,
imposing control over more points in the rocks in Toloul al-Safa region.
the meantime, the army's artillery and missile units and aircraft pounded
ISIL's movements and positions in Toloul al-Safa, inflicting major losses on
field source pointed to the tightening of the army's siege on the ISIL in
Toloul al-Safa, adding that the army units have now imposed control over a
large rocky region with a number caves and hideouts of the ISIL terrorists.
source further said that other units of the army repelled ISIL's heavy attack
Northeast of Toloul al-Safa to lift government forces' siege on the terrorists.
al-Qasir, the deputy secretary-general of the Syrian Forces Union, told the
Arabic-language service of Sputnik news agency on Thursday that the White
Helmets are the only official body which can justify the US possible attacks
against Syria under the pretext of false-flag chemical operations.
added that after White Helmets' role was disclosed, the US has been showing
direct support for them and trying to display them as a justified organization
because it needs the powerful presence of this organization in regions outside
the control of the Syrian government to provoke the international community
against Bashar al-Assad.
said that the US helped establishment of an office for the White Helmets in
Northern Hasaka despite the fact that it knew that its presence would distort
all efforts to resolve the crisis in Syria politically, adding that the US is
making attempts to continue deployment in the battleground in Syria by creation
of new organizations and terrorist groups.
Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem said on Wednesday that the US is using
internationally-banned chemical weapons to invent a pretext for a military campaign
against his conflict-plagued Arab country.
in an exclusive interview with English-language al-Hayat magazine, Muallem said
it is not the first time that chemical attack claims have been used to justify
an attack on Syria.
noted that the Damascus government does not possess any chemical warfare, and
that the so-called White Helmets aid group has on occasions staged mock
chemical attacks to serve as proof that the Syrian government has conducted the
top Syrian diplomat said the cession of foreign intervention in Syria’s
domestic affairs will help the settlement of the Syrian conflict, stressing
that intra-Syrian negotiations will produce a political solution to the ongoing
crisis once such meddling is completely halted.
further noted that drafting a new Syrian constitution is in its early stages as
special focus is being given on reaching an agreement on the formation of
committee tasked with the job.
emphasized that there is not a unified Syrian opposition, but rather a number
of groups whose leaders are insisting on advancement of agendas of countries
where they have taken refuge.
opposition cannot take decisions independently, and its delegates cannot pursue
their own desires and interests in peace talks with representatives from the
Syrian government, Muallem highlighted.
Syrian foreign minister then called on Syrian refugees displaced because of
terrorism to return, and assign a high priority to the reconstruction of their
went on to say that Syria has relied on its strategic allies Russia and Iran
concerning the reconstruction activities, adding that a number of friendly
states like China, India, Malaysia, Brazil and South Africa have also expressed
their desire to be part of the process.
sources in Afrin reported that heavy clashes erupted between Ahrar al-Sharqiyeh
and other terrorists in the Center of Afrin near the road leading to Rajou on
added that the infighting killed and wounded a number of militants of both
sides, adding that the terrorists in the region are on alert now.
detention of civilians by the Ankara-backed militants still continues in Afrin
with the aim of plundering the properties of residents.
a relevant development last Monday, at least 13 terrorists were killed after
Ankara-backed militant groups engaged in a fresh round of clashes in Afrin over
controlling a key passageway at Syria-Turkey border, a Kurdish-language news
news reported that Battalions of Sultan Murad and Firqa al-Hamza engaged in a
fresh round of clashes with rival terrorists of Ahrar al-Sharqiyah and Aswad
al-Sharqiyah in the villages of Hiyami, Ali Karo and Za'ara in Bolbol region in
Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo, leaving at least 13 terrorists dead and several
further said that the infighting came after differences erupted among rival
groups over running a border-crossing used by terrorists to traffic narcotics
to Turkey with Turkish army's coordination.
activists reported on Thursday that a military convoy of the Turkish army,
escorted by newly-found National Liberation Front terrorist group, has been
dispatched to the regions monitored by Turkey in Hama province.
added that the convoy which consisted of tanks, 5 personnel carriers and a
vehicle carrying weapons and ammunition was sent to the East of the town of
Mourak in Northern Hama along with 5 vehicles carrying the National Liberation
Turkish army had also on Wednesday forwarded new military equipment, including
military vehicles and vehicles consisting of artilleries, ammunition and
armored personnel carriers, to Kalis and Hatai regions in Southern Turkey at
the borders with Syria.
Reuters had also quoted militant sources as saying earlier that Turkey has
equipped them with weapons and military equipment, including rockets, in the
past few days.
appears that the Turkish military is not planning to abandon the rebel forces
in Idlib, despite their alliance with the Russian forces, it added.
sources revealed on Wednesday Turkey's demand from Damascus, via Russian
channels, again to further delay the army's military operations in Idlib.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik quoted informed Syrian sources as saying
that Ankara has asked the Syrian army's command center, with Moscow's
mediation, to provide the country with more time to separate those who it calls
as "moderate dissidents" from Tahrir al-Sham (the Levant Liberation Board
or the Al-Nusra Front) and the ISIL terrorists.
on the report, the Turkish side has admitted dispatch of military equipment to
several regions of Idlib province in the past few days, saying that if Tahrir
al-Sham rejects leaving the regions occupied by the "moderate
dissidents", it will use military power against them. Turkey has not
mentioned where the terrorists could retreat to after leaving Idlib.
sources said that if Syria and Russia agree with Turkey's demand, it will be
the last deadline given to Ankara to act upon its undertakings based on the
Arabic-language website of SANA news agency reported on Thursday that the
army's artillery units targeted a group of Tahrir al-Sham terrorists who were
digging tunnels and setting up trenches West of the village of Tal Wasit in
Northern Hama, destroying three of their positions and killing and wounding
the Syrian army forces engaged in clashes with Turkistani terrorists near the
town of al-Hawiz in Sahl al-Qab region in Western Hama who were planting bombs
in abandoned houses and farms, inflicting tolls and damages on the militants
and forcing others to flee.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian army's artillery and missile
units opened heavy fire at the positions of Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at in Northern
Hama, destroying terrorists' bases and positions used as missile launchpads.
artillery and missile units targeted a base of Tahrir al-Sham near Qala
al-Maziq in Northern Hama, inflicting major casualties on the terrorists.
Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Thursday announced a new series of public
works initiatives for the southern city of Basra, hit by a wave of deadly protests
move comes just two days before a key parliamentary meeting that could allow
the premier’s political rivals to form a government without him.
made the statement following a cabinet meeting, delayed by two days as he
visited Basra where violent demonstrations last week saw 12 protesters killed
and government buildings torched.
has been at the epicenter of protests that broke out in July in the southern
province before spreading to other parts of the country, as demonstrators railed
against poor services and condemned corruption among Iraqi officials.
in Basra flared early last week over a growing health crisis, after more than
30,000 people were hospitalized by pollution in the city’s water supply.
Thursday, Abadi said a team of advisers would “assure the immediate
implementation” of new water pumping, routing and filtration projects -- but
did not provide a budget or a timetable.
announcement came as the parliament prepares to elect a new speaker on
also comes on the heels of an emergency meeting in parliament at the weekend
that threw Abadi’s ability to hold onto his role into question, as the top two
parliamentary blocs call on him to step down over the crisis in Basra.
cleric Moqtada Sadr, whose bloc won the May 12 elections, distanced himself
from his one-time ally Abadi, while a rival alliance of pro-Iranian former
paramilitary fighters led by Hadi al-Ameri said it would work with Sadr to form
a new government that excludes the premier.
a day later, Abadi said that he was “not set on a second term”.
results of Saturday’s vote will give a concrete indication as to which bloc
will be able to form the future cabinet.
Wednesday, Sadr hosted Ameri in the southern city of Najaf, but the two leaders
did not put out any statement.
what appeared to be a head nod on Thursday to the powerful Hashed al-Shaabi
paramilitary force, Abadi said the government had decided to increase its
fighters’ salaries and make them “equal to that of the armed forces”.
in northwest Syria has displaced more than 38,500 people in less than two weeks
amid increasing hostilities and a looming regime assault on the opposition-held
Idlib province, the UN said Thursday.
UN, which has warned a full-fledged assault on Idlib could create the century’s
“worst humanitarian catastrophe”, has created a plan to help up to 900,000
people who could flee the onslaught.
an exodus has already begun.
the first 12 days of September, “available information indicates that a sharp increase
in hostilities and fears of further escalation has led to the displacement of
over 38,500 people,” the UN humanitarian agency (OCHA) said.
marks a hike of nearly 10,000 people from the figure provided by the UN on
OCHA said that 4,500 of those who had fled since September 1 had “spontaneously
returned” over the past three days amid a relative decrease in hostilities in
western and southern rural parts of Idlib province.
said most of those who left their homes had fled towards the north, towards the
chose to flee into agricultural lands near their original communities “with the
hope that they will be able to quickly return ... should the hostilities stop,”
province and adjacent rural areas form the largest piece of territory still
held by Syria’s beleaguered rebels, worn down by a succession of government
victories in recent months.
Bashar al-Assad has now set his sights on Idlib, and his forces and their
Russian allies have since the beginning of the month stepped up bombardment of
the densely populated province.
three million people live in the zone now, about half of them already displaced
by the brutal seven-year war and others heavily dependent on humanitarian aid
major military operation in Idlib is expected to pose a humanitarian nightmare
because there is no nearby opposition territory left in Syria where people
could be evacuated.
are in no way ready for the worst-case scenario,” the UN’s Regional Humanitarian
Coordinator for the Syria Crisis, Panos Moumtzis, told reporters in Geneva.
we see three million of the people headed to the Turkish border, this is a
scenario that by far outweighs the capacity of all the humanitarian
organisations put together,” he said.
the moment as humanitarians while we hope for the best, we are preparing for
marines have held eight days of unprecedented military exercises with US-backed
militants in southern Syria in an attempt to send a “strong message” to Iran and
Russia, a senior military official said.
Sean Ryan, a US military spokesman, described the drills as “a show of force,”
saying that the Pentagon had notified Russia through “deconfliction” channels
to prevent “miscommunication or escalate tension”.
exercise was conducted to reinforce our capabilities and ensure we are ready to
respond to any threat to our forces within our area of operations,’” he noted.
eight days of drills ended this week at the US military outpost in Tanf,
located 24 km to the west from the al-Tanf border crossing between Syria and
Iraq in Homs Governorate, said Colonel Muhanad al Talaa, the commander of the
US-backed Maghawir al Thawra militant group.
told Reuters the war games were the first such exercises with live-fire air and
ground assault, involving hundreds of US troops and militants operating against
the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
claimed the drills were meant to send what he described as "a strong
message to Russia and Iran" that the Americans and the militants intended
to stay and confront any threats to their presence.
US presence in Tanf military base is illegal and lacks the permission of the
Syrian government. Damascus, Moscow, and Tehran have repeatedly denounced the
American military presence in Syria and called on the US to withdraw its
marines from the base. However, the US has so far refused to pull its forces
out, and even moved to deploy hundreds of more marines in Tanf earlier this
new forces have reportedly joined “special operations troops already based in
the garrison” and are going to participate in the drills amid an escalation of
US-Russian tensions in Syria and Russia’s military exercises in the
the CNN cited several US military officials as saying last Friday that Russia
had warned the Pentagon twice in the past weeks that its forces, together with
Syrian troops, were prepared to wage an attack on terrorists in the area where
dozens of US troops are stationed - including those in Tanf garrison.
to Moscow’s warnings, US military officials “bluntly warned Russia and Syria
not to go forward with an attack within a 35-mile-wide security zone that the
US maintains around Tanf,” Task & Purpose further reported.
US illegally built the military outpost in early 2016 under the pretext of
fighting Daesh terrorists, but it has declared a 55 km-radius “deconfliction
zone” off-limits to others, providing a safe haven for at least 50,000
militants and their families in the Rukban camp that lies within it.
is while US President Donald Trump had previously stated that he wanted
American troops out of Syria as soon as possible and has also called for
redirecting millions of dollars meant to help rebuild Syria to other military
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