Victoria firefighters respond to a fire at the
Islamic Center of Victoria on Jan. 28 in Victoria, Texas. The fire destroyed
the mosque that was a target of hatred several years ago and experienced a
burglary just a week ago. (BARCLAY
FERNANDEZ / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Forces Targeting Syrian Al Qaeda Rival to Islamic State to Prevent UK Attacks
in Texas Mosque Fire Believed Its Worshippers Were Terrorists: Authorities
Did ‘Helpful Things’ Against Haqqanis: US General
Unsure If U.N. Help Needed To Probe Islamic State Crimes
Commander: ISIL Leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi Fled Mosul with US Assistance
Russian Bombers Turn Eastern Aleppo into Hell for ISIL
caretaker assault fake: Police
Evidence' Of Islamic State Using Chemical Weapons in Mosul Attack
users to get clarification on Islamic issues
Army Readying to Launch Assault to Recapture Oil Fields near Palmyra City
Expert: Syrian Army to Besiege Raqqa from West
Army Cuts off ISIL's Supply Lines in Eastern Aleppo
Russian Special Forces Helping Syrian Army Recapture Palmyra
Army Sends Special Forces to Damascus Countryside to Fight Al-Nusra Front
State Frees Mosul Prisoners as Grip on Last Major City Slips
Francis Signals Elderly Married Men Could Become Priests
hosts Syria talks, hails partnership with Turkey
Bordeaux, Muslims fight against radical Islam
Is Reality, as Fundamentalist Christians Think They Are More Discriminated
Against Than Muslims?
Ban Challenge Puts Hawaii’s Few Muslims under the Spotlight
Centre Takes Property Association To Court Over Mosque Block
Model Muslim Marine Offered To Guard Jewish Sites For Free — Why Have None
Taken Him Up?
Could Send 1,000 More Soldiers in Islamic State Counteroffensive
Rebuilds Mosque Blown Up By Militants
shops again approach SC against SHC ban order
attached with alcohol business in Sindh alone
qualified persons with disability can now join Foreign Service of Pakistan
Radio Station to Promote ‘Halal' Entertainment in Kashmir
Bhopal-Ujjain Train Blast Wasn’t the Islamic State Attack Indian Intelligence
summons India's Deputy High Commissioner over Assemanand's acquittal
Foreign ISIS Militants Killed In US Drone Strike in East of Afghanistan
finance and military commission leaders killed in Kunduz
ISIS leader involved in Kabul demonstration attack killed
violated Afghan territory, airspace for 62 times since January, UNSC informed
Source: Turkish Army Hits Syrian Gov't Troops' Military Positions in Aleppo's
Kinds of Military Cooperation with Russia in Syria: President Erdoğan
hosts Erdoğan for high-level talks
militants killed in one week in northern Syria: Turkish military
15,000 Syrians receiving education in Turkish universities
Says UN Claims of Crimes against Humanity against Rohingya Muslims Are
held for burning down Texas mosque
set hearing on charges related to Muslim recruit's death
election: troublemaker puts council stamp on fake mosque proposal
Leader Slams Bogus Mosque Plan
Parliamentary Action against ‘Fatwa Chaos’
African Regulators Allow More Islamic Finance Services
by New Age Islam News Bureau
NATIONS (Reuters) - Iraq is assessing what help it might need to collect and
preserve evidence of Islamic State crimes, but has not yet decided whether it
needs United Nations assistance, the country's U.N. Ambassador, Mohamed Ali
Alhakim, said on Friday.
is drafting a U.N. Security Council resolution to establish a U.N.
investigation to collect and preserve evidence for future prosecution, but
would like Iraq to approve such a move by sending a letter formally requesting
human rights lawyer Amal Clooney and Nadia Murad, a young Yazidi woman who was
enslaved and raped by Islamic State fighters in Mosul, pushed Iraq on Thursday
to allow a U.N. inquiry.
don't want people to tell us what we need, we will tell them what we need and
that's really the bottom line," Alhakim told reporters, acknowledging that
Iraq does need technical forensic support.
get it from the EU (European Union), let's get it from the UK, let's get it
from the U.S.," he said. "Technical assistance you can get from
anywhere, you don't need a Security Council resolution to get technical
said Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi would decide whether to ask for United
want the government of Iraq to send (the letter) as soon as possible,"
Britain's U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said on Friday. "The best route
would be with the full consent and at the request of the government of Iraq.
are other ways of doing this if that route does not prove to be possible,"
Security Council could establish an inquiry without Iraq's consent. The
193-member U.N. General Assembly could establish a special team to preserve
evidence and prepare cases - as it did for Syria in December - or the Security
Council could refer the case to the International Criminal Court.
and Clooney, who represents Murad and other Yazidi victims of Islamic State, on
Friday met with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
State is committing genocide against the Yazidis in Syria and Iraq to destroy
the minority religious community through killings, sexual slavery and other
crimes, U.N. experts said last June.
knows where her mother is buried. There are mass graves whose locations are
known and for all of this time, they're just laying there unprotected and
evidence is being damaged," Clooney told Reuters on Thursday.
we don't act now, we may lose the opportunity to have trials anywhere,
ever," she said.
by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)
Mar 10, 2017
forces are targeting a Syrian Al Qaeda rival to Islamic State in a bid to
prevent terrorist attacks on UK streets, a Government report has revealed.
is “pursuing” the leadership of the Jabhat al-Nusra, also known as Al Qaeda in
Syria or Jabhat Fatah al-Sham (JFS).
it is trying to destroy its resources to limit its terror activities.
moves come amid fears that when ISIS is finally crushed on the battlefield its
fighters will disperse across the Middle East and latch onto whichever Islamic
extremist organisation appears to be successful.
soldier's sacrifice stopping ISIS bomber with tank for civilians
ISIS are smuggling people and weapons into Europe
the same time Britain is braced for the return of UK-jihadis who will pose an
immediate terror threat here.
are fears that when ISIS is finally crushed on the battlefield its fighters
member of the Iraqi forces stands over a body
in Mosul on March 5, 2017, during an offensive to retake the western
parts of the city from the jihadists
Hamid Nadm, 11 years old is treated for possible exposure to chemical weapons
agents in a hospital west of Erbil in Mosul
and smoke billow following a car bomb explosion as Iraqi forces clash with
Islamic State (IS) group fighters in Mosul
man runs from Islamic State controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special
forces soldiers during a battle in Mosul
man cries while he carries his daughter as he walks from Islamic State
controlled part of Mosul towards Iraqi special forces soldiers during a battle
helicopters belonging to the Iraqi Army take part in the operation to retake
Mosul from Daesh terrorists in the Teyran neighborhood as the clashes between
Iraqi Army and Daesh terrorists continue in Mosul, Iraq
troops backed by the airpower of the US-led coalition are closing in on Mosul,
the last major ISIS stronghold in Iraq, while Coalition allies are slowly
surrounding the self-styled ISIS capital of Raqqa in Syria.
Government report said: “As Daesh loses territory in Iraq and Syria, we are
actively looking at how the threat from Daesh will evolve.
expect that foreign terrorist fighters will try to return either to their home
countries or will look to disperse around the region and beyond.”
report accepts that defeating ISIS will not eradicate the terror threat as
“pre-existing Islamic organisations may attach themselves to whichever militant
networks are perceived to be in the ascendant”.
the Islamic groups which pose a threat is JFS which claims to be more moderate
than ISIS but also wants to set up an Islamist state in Syria.
an Al Qaeda affiliate it follows the philosophy of the terror franchise’s
founder, Osama bin Laden.
is fighting the Russian-backed regime of president Assad which Britain wants to
see replaced by a democratic government.
are actively looking at how the threat from Daesh will evolve', says government
JFS is also on the US and UN list of terrorist organisations.
Government report stated: “JFS poses a terrorism threat to the UK; while they
are primarily Syria focused they follow AQ’s ideology, share its vision of
global jihad and likely share its long term intent to attack the West.”
cross-Government Counter Terrorism team is following an action plan to
“undermine and counter JFS in Syria.
strategy’s priorities include: “Pursue JFS leadership and degrade their
capacity to conduct external attack planning...
Strip resources away from, JFS and where possible isolate them from the wider
plank of the strategy is to “strengthen the international commitment to counter
report underlines the complexity of the civil war in Syria with the UK sharing
the same aim as terrorist groups - toppling the murderous Assad regime.
the Government stressed that it is working across the Muslim world to
neutralise the threat of ISIS popping up in new countries, with UK military
advisers working with local forces in Libya, Tunisia, Nigeria, Afghanistan and
Evangelicals Say They Face More Discrimination Than Muslims
poll found they were more likely to name Christians than Muslims when asked who
is discriminated against.
poll from the Public Religion Research Institute revealed white evangelical
Americans believe they face more discrimination than Muslims.
to the Atlantic, a new poll found that when given the choice between who faces
discrimination, more people were likely to name Muslim people than they were
Christians. But unlike the majority, people who identify as Christian
evangelicals were more likely to say Christians face discrimination.
poll found people overall were twice as likely to say Muslims face
discrimination as they were to say Christians do. Other groups, including
Democrats, white Catholics and Protestants agreed with the overall numbers, but
white Protestant evangelicals stuck out. Among that group, 57% said Christians
face a lot of discrimination, compared to 44% who said the same thing about
Muslims. This has changed from past years, when Christian evangelicals were in
line with other groups in agreeing Muslims face discrimination.
Atlantic points out it's hard to define exactly what perceived discrimination
means, since it could mean different things to different people. Still, hate
crimes against Muslim people increased by 67% in 2015, and new reports of hate
crimes since the election have been rolling in. The Southern Poverty Law Center
said President Trump is to blame for a spike in hate crimes against Muslim
people, saying his candidacy for President energized hate groups.
run for office electrified the radical right, which saw in him a champion of
the idea that America is fundamentally a white man’s country," Mark Potok,
senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, told the Independent.
people have also been the target of increased hate crimes, but they were not
included in the Public Religion Research Institute.
Christians do face discrimination, numbers show Muslims are more often the
target. According to the Atlantic, 22% of religiously motivated crimes are
against Muslims, while 13.6% are against Catholics, Protestants, Mormons, and
For the first time ever, a US general informed a congressional panel on
Thursday that Pakistan had “done things” against the Haqqani network that have
been helpful to the war against terror.
Joseph Votel, commander of the US Central Command, also told the Senate Armed
Services Committee that India’s policy of diplomatically isolating Pakistan was
“especially troubling” as it could lead to a nuclear conflict in South Asia.
Votel, who is responsible for implementing the US military strategy in the
Pak-Afghan region, described Pakistan as a key and critical partner and
emphasised the need to stay engaged with Islamabad in the counterterrorism
endorses New Delhi’s claim of surgical strikes
stance reflects the Pentagon’s desire to maintain its long-standing
relationship with Pakistan’s military establishment and contrasts sharply with
recent statements by some US lawmakers who urged the Trump administration to
sever ties with Islamabad.
Votel told the Senate panel that he has been encouraged by his meetings with
Pakistan’s new army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and by his commitment to the
fight against terror.
have done some things that have been helpful to us,” he said. “Most recently,
they’ve supported Gen Joseph Nicholson in some places on the border, making
sure they were well coordinated and doing the activities on their side of the
Nicholson is the commander of US and Nato forces in Afghanistan who, Gen Votel
said, was working closely with Pakistan’s new army chief and his commanders to
eliminate various terrorist groups hiding on both sides of the Pak-Afghan
a very positive sign and a move in [the] right direction. And they have done
things against the principal concerns we have; the Haqqani network and
Taliban,” Gen Votel said. “But we need that to be more persistent and continue
to focus in that particular area. And so, we will continue to engage with
partner Pakistan throughout this.”
his written testimony, Gen Votel also elaborated the US defence establishment’s
position on India-Pakistan relations, which appeared more even-handed than
recent statements by some US lawmakers who clearly urged the Trump
administration to abandon Pakistan for improving Washington’s already close
relations with New Delhi.
the genesis of recent tensions between India and Pakistan, the Centcom
commander explained how Indians remained concerned about the lack of action
against India-focused militants based in Pakistan.
noted that India “even responded militarily to terrorist attacks in India-held
territory earlier this year”. Pakistan denies the Indian claim, saying that
Indian forces never crossed into Pakistani territory but the US general
endorsed the Indian claim.
assess that these types of attacks and the potential reactions, increase the
likelihood for miscalculation by both countries,” he warned. “Furthermore,
India’s public policy to ‘diplomatically isolate’ Pakistan, hinders any
prospects for improved relations.”
general warned that the Indian policy of isolating Pakistan was “especially
troubling as a significant conventional conflict between Pakistan and India
could escalate into a nuclear exchange, given that both are nuclear powers”.
Votel also told US lawmakers that Pakistan’s increased focus on its eastern
border detracts it from its efforts to secure the western border with
Afghanistan from incursion by the Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters.
along the western border will nevertheless remain a priority for Islamabad, as
the Pakistani military seeks to expand border control and improve paramilitary
security,” he added.
to a question from Senator Tom Cotton, an Arkansas Republican, Gen Votel
explained that eliminating the sanctuary of militant groups in Pakistan was key
to improving the security environment in Afghanistan. And that’s why the US
maintains consistent diplomatic pressure on Pakistan to take appropriate steps
to deny safe haven and to improve the security of the tumultuous Af-Pak border
region, he added.
think it is key to ensure that Pakistan and Afghanistan have a very good
relationship. There certainly are tensions along the common border between
those countries and so I think a key role that we can play is in helping move
that relationship forward,” he said.
with the Pakistan military
his written testimony, as well as during the Q&A, Gen Votel regularly
emphasised the need to maintain a strong relationship between the US and
Pakistani military establishments.
there are challenges with respect to the US-Pakistani relationship, we have
endeavoured to maintain a substantial level of engagement with our Pakistani
military counterparts,” he said. “We continue to execute a robust joint
noted that most recently, the Pakistan Air Force sent airmen and aircraft to
participate in Exercise Red Flag and Green Flag at Nellis Air Force Base in
Nevada this past summer. The Pakistani military also continues to support US
efforts elsewhere in the region. The Pakistani Navy is the most consistent and
longstanding participant, second only to the United States, in Combined Task
Force (CTF)-150 (counterterrorism operations) and CTF-151 (counterpiracy
operations) led by US Naval Forces Central.
relationship with Pakistan remains a very important one. We look forward to
continuing our engagement with the Pakistani military leadership, to include
the new Chief of the Army Staff, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, in the days ahead as we
work together in pursuit of shared interests,” he said.
Votel also explained why Pakistan remains “a critical partner” in the
to him, 20 US-designated terrorist organisations operate in the
Afghanistan-Pakistan sub-region and seven of them are in Pakistan.
long as these groups maintain safe haven inside of Pakistan they will threaten
long-term stability in Afghanistan,” he said, adding that the US was
particularly concerned about the Haqqani network, which posed the greatest
threat to coalition forces operating in Afghanistan.
unsure if U.N. help needed to probe Islamic State crimes
is drafting a U.N. Security Council resolution to establish a U.N.
investigation to collect and preserve evidence for future prosecution, but would
like Iraq to approve such a move by sending a letter formally requesting
said Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi would decide whether to ask for
United Nations help.
(FNA)- A senior Hashd al-Shaabi (Iraqi volunteer forces) commander disclosed
that the US troops have helped ISIL chief commander Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi escape
the western part of the city of Mosul in Northern Iraq.
US forces have paved the way for ISIL leader (Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi) to flee
from Western Mosul to al-Qayravan region," the Arabic-language al-Sumeria
TV quoted Javad al-Tayebavi as saying.
intelligence unit has confirmed that al-Baghdadi is moving between al-Qayravan
and al-Hazar region in Southern Mosul.
report came as Reuters news agency reported that the US and Iraqi officials
believe Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has left operational commanders behind with
diehard followers to fight the battle of Mosul, and is now hiding out in the
desert, focusing mainly on his own survival.
is impossible to confirm the whereabouts of the ISIL "caliph", who
declared himself the ruler of all Muslims from Mosul's Great Mosque after his
forces swept through Northern Iraq in 2014, it said.
US and Iraqi intelligence sources say an absence of official communication from
the group's leadership and the loss of territory in Mosul suggest he has
abandoned the city, by far the largest population center his group has ever
has proved to be an elusive target, rarely using communication that can be
monitored, and moving constantly, often multiple times in one 24-hour cycle,
the sources say.
their efforts to track him, they believe he hides mostly among sympathetic
civilians in familiar desert villages, rather than with fighters in their
barracks in urban areas where combat has been under way, the sources say.
the height of its power two years ago, the ISIL ruled over millions of people
in territory running from Northern Syria through towns and villages along the
Tigris and Euphrates river valleys to the outskirts of Baghdad in Iraq.
US-backed Iraqi forces began an operation five months ago to recapture Mosul, a
city at least four times the size of any other the group has held.
100,000-strong Iraqi forces fully captured the Eastern half of Mosul in
January, and commanders began an operation to cross the Tigris and take the
western half last month. Progress has since been steady and the coalition says
its victory is now inevitable, which would dismantle the caliphate in Iraq.
intelligence sources point to a sharp drop in ISIL's postings on social media
as evidence that al-Baghdadi and his circle have become increasingly isolated.
himself has not released a recorded speech since early November, two weeks
after the start of the Mosul battle, when he called on his followers to fight
the "unbelievers" and "make their blood flow as rivers."
then, sporadic ISIL statements mention attacks carried out by suicide bombers
at various locations in Iraq and Syria, but place no particular emphasis on
Mosul, despite the city being the main center of fighting.
al-Baghdadi nor any of his close aides released any comment on the fall of the
Eastern part of the city in January.
group's presence on Telegram, a social media network that had become its main
platform for announcements and speeches, has tapered off. The US-led coalition
estimates that the ISIL's activity on Twitter has fallen by 45 percent since
2014, with 360,000 of the group's Twitter accounts suspended so far and new
ones usually shut down within two days.
(FNA)- The Syrian and Russian warplanes destroyed ISIL's positions in massive
airstrikes in Eastern Aleppo, inflicting heavy losses on the terrorists as the
Syrian army continued its advances and recaptured vast areas in the region.
Syrian and Russian fighter jets carried out scores of airstrikes over the
Eastern parts of Aleppo province on Friday, targeting the military positions of
the ISIL across the Deir Hafer and Maskanah plains.
to reports, the Syrian and Russian warplanes carried out more than 45
airstrikes over the ISIL positions, killing and wounding a large number of
a relevant remarks earlier on Friday, battlefield sources said that the Syrian
army had managed to cut off ISIL's supply routes in Eastern Aleppo after taking
full control of several villages in the region.
Syrian army has laid siege on the ISIL from Eastern Deir Hafer and disconnected
the terrorist group's supply lines in an area located between the towns of Deir
Hafer and al-Tabaqeh after taking full control over 10 more villages in
Al-Khafaseh region and Euphrates River," a military source said.
Syrian army troops also managed to reach the Euphrates river after taking full
control of al-Khafaseh region.
a relevant development earlier on Friday, the Syrian army continued its
military operations against the ISIL terrorist group in Eastern Aleppo, and
seized control of a strategic airport.
Syrian army troops seized back the strategic al-Jarah (Kishish) strategic
airport after killing tens of terrorists, including foreign field commanders,
in fierce clashes with the militants," a military source said.
source reiterated that the ISIL is on the verge of full collapse in Aleppo
province as the Syrian government troops have managed to liberate about 200
towns, villages and hilltops.
Syrian soldiers had reached areas overlooking al-Jarah airport after pushing
rapidly Southwards along Lake Assad while other units of the army advanced to
positions some 10 kilometers from Maskanah, an ISIL-held town on the provincial
border with Raqqa.
the Syrian Army troops are on the verge of entering the Northern rim of the
Maskanah Plain for the first time since they were forced to withdraw from the
a relevant development on Thursday, the Syrian Army soldiers continued their
anti-ISIL operation in Eastern Aleppo and captured 14 villages, deploying
forces at positions very near to the gates of al-Jarah (Kishish) strategic
army men stormed ISIL's defense lines in al-Khafseh region and pushed ISIL back
from the villages and towns of Khirbet Salami, Rasm Aboud Jaftlak, al-Hamez,
Moshrefeh Tal Totoun, Tal Totoun, Jubb Hendi, Rajm al-Aqra'a, al-Horeyh, Bibiri
Tahtani, Khirbeh Akleh, Khirbet Salib, Modawareh, Tal Aswad and Khan al-Hamar.
army killed a large number of ISIL terrorists, including several snipers and
destroyed five bomb-laden suicide vehicles, several cannons and several
informed military source said that the army had arrived at the gates of
al-Jarah airport, adding the army men are getting ready to stormed ISIL's
positions in al-Jarah airport from the Southern direction of the
newly-liberated al-Khafseh town.
the army soldiers continued to advance in the Southern parts of al-Khafseh
water facilities in Northeastern Aleppo and retook control of Habouba al-Saqira
and Habouba al-Kabira after clashes with the ISIL terrorists.
the Syrian government troops won back control of Rasm Harmal al-Saqir, Rasm
Harmal al-Kabir and Rasm al-Aboud towns after capturing the al-Babiri water
: The reported assault on the caretaker of a mosque in Hamad Town in the
Northern Governorate by two masked men last Wednesday was faked by the
caretaker himself, police officials said here yesterday.
to police, the caretaker faked his own assault and published false pictures of
him covered in blood.
investigation into the case revealed that the caretaker faked the incident by
injuring himself, asking an Asian worker to take his photos,” said a statement
by the Interior Ministry said.
incident was reported by a local Arabic daily and several social media
networks, claiming that “the caretaker of Al Zahraa Mosque in Hamad Town was
assaulted in the wee hours of Wednesday by two masked men”.
54-year-old was hit from the back while opening the mosque for dawn prayers
(Fajr). He was beaten by the attackers who quickly escaped when they couldn’t
find anything to steal from the mosque,” the reports mentioned.
“The caretaker and the Asian worker admitted
the findings to the police, as the latter highlighted that he photographed him
upon his request and handed him the photos. Legal proceedings have been taken,”
Northern Governorate Police General Director Colonel Abdulla Al Jairan said.
official urged the media to “verify information before publishing”, to avoid
harming civil peace, adding that “it is better to not publish such photos
before verifying with security authorities or official sources”.
evidence' of Islamic State using chemical weapons in Mosul attack
United Nations ambassador has said there is no evidence that the Islamic State
extremist group used chemical weapons in an attack in Mosul, the country's
Alhakim told reporters ahead of a closed Security Council meeting on a reported
chemical attack that he had spoken to officials in Baghdad and informed UN
disarmament chief Kim Won-soo of the lack of evidence in advance.
alleged attack occurred last week in eastern Mosul, an area declared fully
liberated by Iraqi forces in January.
attack hit a neighborhood along the Tigris River, which roughly divides the
city in two.
in an urgent care hospital in the nearby city of Irbil say they began receiving
patients showing symptoms of chemical weapons exposure on Thursday.
Mr Alhakim said "there is really no evidence that Daesh has used this
chemical weapon," using the Arab name for the IS group.
chemical weapons are used, he said, there is evidence of people injured and
material left on the ground but "we don't have anything from the operation
in Mosul that tells us we have that".
after the closed consultations, Britain's UN Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, the
current council president, said Iraq's investigation is not over.
expressed concern over reports of possible use of chemical weapons by Daesh,
and we look forward to the results of Iraq's investigation into those
allegations," he said.
Rycroft said Mr Kim briefed the council on his meeting with Mr Alhakim who told
him "there is no evidence of the use of chemical weapons as discovered so
far... but I don't think that this was the definitive end of this
UN humanitarian coordinator in Iraq, Lisa Grande, had warned that the alleged
use of chemical weapons in Mosul, if confirmed, would be a war crime and a
serious violation of international humanitarian law.
Alhakim said the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the
international watchdog, had sent a letter to Iraq saying it was ready to come
and help if there were any indications of chemical weapons use.
has used chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria at least 52 times, according to a
report published late last year by IHS conflict monitor, a London-based
research and intelligence gathering group. The report said that at least 19 of
the 52 attacks took place in and around Mosul.
and US-led coalition officials have repeatedly expressed concern regarding IS
chemical weapon attacks.
IS-claimed insurgent attacks in Iraq and attacks targeting civilians attempting
to flee Mosul cause far greater numbers of injuries and deaths to civilians.
11 March 2017
A new scheme is to be launched by the General Presidency for Scientific
Research and Issuing Fatwas to help mobile-phone users get clarification on
Islamic issues from competent scholars.
announcement came on Thursday from the director of the General Presidency for
Scientific Research and Issuing Fatwas, Abdullah Al-Ajlan, at the Riyadh
International Book Fair 2017.
said queries will be answered within 48 hours, and a panel of six scholars has
been appointed to deal with queries.
Army Readying to Launch Assault to Recapture Oil Fields Near Palmyra City
(FNA)- The Syrian army troops will kick off fresh military operations soon to
take back the ISIL-controlled oil fields in the surrounding areas of Palmyra,
informed sources revealed on Friday.
Syrian army's missile and artillery units have heavily pounded the ISIL's
military positions near al-Maher and al-Sha'er oilfields in recent days,"
a military source said.
source noted that the Syrian army will soon kick off its military operations to
take back al-Maher and al-Sha'er oilfields.
Syrian army troops have made massive advances in the surrounding areas of
Palmyra (Tadmur) after winning back the ancient city, and also managed to seize
back al-Jazal oilfield.
al-Sha'er and al-Maher oilfields are the only remaining oilfields in
Northwestern Palmyra which are still under ISIL's control.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian army continued its military
advances against the ISIL terrorist groups in the surrounding areas of the
ancient city of Palmyra in the Eastern part of Homs province and captured new
Syrian army troops imposed control over Mohammad Ahmad farms near Palmyra's
silos after seizing al-Ameriyeh mountains and started purging terrorists from
Syrian army is now only 4.5 kilometers away from Palmyra silos from the
direction of al-Ameriyeh moutains in the West," a military source said,
adding that "the Syrian army troops have recaptured all the regions lost
to the ISIL in the last two months once the silos are taken back from the
source noted that the Syrian army is now 19 kilometers away from the Arak oil
region and 55 kilometers from al-Sukhneh oil region.
Wednesday, the Syrian army continued its military operations North and
North-East of the ancient city of Palmyra in Homs province and seized control
over several more regions.
Syrian army units engaged in fierce clashes with the ISIL terrorists in areas
surrounding Palmyra and won control of al-Ameriyeh mountains to the East of the
airport and the nearby hilltops in the Eastern parts of Homs province.
Syrian army troops also continued their advances to the East of Palmyra and
took control of silos in an area 10 kilometers to the ancient city.
Syrian army's missile and artillery units also targeted and pounded the ISIL's
military positions in al-Baredeh, Katibeh Mahjoureh and the Eastern countryside
of the two cities of al-Quaryatayn and Palmyra, killing and injuring several
ISIL terrorists as well as destroying their military equipment.
Syrian Army troops continued their anti-ISIL offensives East of the newly-freed
city of Palmyra and captured more positions from the terrorists, deploying
forces only 21km away from Arak energy-rich region in Eastern Homs.
army men engaged in an intense battle with ISIL and seized full control over
Ameriyeh settlement and Palmyra prison.
army soldiers purged the regions near the Palmyra airport and deployed troops
in an area only 21km away from Arak oilfield.
the meantime, military sources said that the army forces are now advancing
against ISIL East of Palmyra airport towards the regions of Bayareh Mohammad
Batmaan and Bayareh Ham'ah al-Motlaq, adding that the government forces are
just 10km away from the silos.
(FNA)- A senior military expert said the Syrian army plans to lay siege on the
city of Raqqa from the Western direction.
Syrian army is expected to besiege Raqqa city from West after capturing the
Eastern countryside of Aleppo and advancing towards the Euphrates River and
reaching al-Tabaqeh," Mohammad Farid Issa said.
went on to say that parallel with the Syrian army's military pressures on the
Palmyra-Al-Sukhneh road towards Eastern Deir Ezzur and Northern Raqqa, the
ISIL-controlled regions between Raqqa and Deir Ezzur will be divided and clamp
down on ISIL in every region separately.
said that the Syrian army will move from al-Khafaseh to Deir Hafer and then
from al-Maskaneh to al-Tabaqeh before attempting to capture al-Tabaqeh airport
and advancing further to the East to capture Raqqa.
Syrian military expert said that the operation against ISIL in Syria has been
given a priority to increase pressure on the terrorist group as similar
operations are underway in the Iraqi city of Mosul.
and Iraq are in full coordination with each other in a bid to exert most
pressure on the ISIL in a bid to push it back in its regions," he added.
a relevant development in late January, the Syrian Army soldiers continued
their operations to cut off ISIL's lines of supply from Raqqa to Aleppo,
capturing several villages Southeast of Aleppo province.
army men, backed up by the country's Air Force, engaged in fierce clashes with
the ISIL terrorists in Southeastern Aleppo, taking control over the villages of
Um Mayal, Jubb al-Ali and al-Atshaneh in al-Safireh region in the Eastern
direction of Khanasser road.
said ISIL has retreated from the region after sustaining casualties.
the meantime, the army soldiers hit ISIL's positions in the Western direction
of Khanasser road and managed to advance against militants in Shabis mountain.
army troops are trying to take control of Syriatel hill and cut off ISIL's
communication lines between Raqqa and the regions of al-Bab and Deir Hafer East
of Aleppo province.
the army forces continued military operations in Eastern Aleppo on Monday and
could liberate two other towns in the region.
army units and their allies engaged in several hours of clashes with the ISIL
terrorists and could retake control of al-Tanbour and al-Mantaf towns located
between al-Bab and Aleppo cities.
of ISIL terrorists were killed and wounded during the clashes.
the Syrian army targeted the ISIL positions in al-Madiouna and al-Salima towns
as well as all the Southwestern parts of al-Bab city by artillery, aerial and
missile attacks concurrent with the ground forces' advances in the region.
(FNA)- The Syrian army has managed to cut off ISIL's supply routes in Eastern
Aleppo after taking full control of several villages in the region, battlefield
sources said on Friday.
Syrian army has laid siege on the ISIL from Eastern Deir Hafer and disconnected
the terrorist group's supply lines in an area located between the towns of Deir
Hafer and al-Tabaqeh after taking full control over 10 more villages in
Al-Khafaseh region and Euphrates River," a military source said on Friday.
(FNA)- A Tabloid newspaper disclosed that Russia's special military units have
taken part in the liberation operation of the ancient city of Palmyra (Tadmur)
alongside the Syrian army.
Russian-language Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper published pictures of Russian
special forces in Palmyra city.
wrote that the Russian army's special forces are skilled snipers who have
killed a large number of the ISIL commanders so far.
Russian special forces helped the Russian pilots to hit the ISIL's military
positions in the heights near Palmyra more precisely by monitoring and
providing them with intelligence," the newspaper added.
Pravda also wrote that the Russian special troops who are equipped with the
state-of-the-art weapons, equipment and modern technology played an important
role in recapturing Palmyra by backing the Syrian army troops.
reiterated that the Russian special troops whose faces are covered and their names
are not revealed carry out their military operation under a top secret
March 2, the Syrian Army, backed by the Russian air force took back the key
city of Palmyra from the ISIL terrorist group.
press secretary Dmitry Peskov stated at the time that Russian Defense Minister
Sergey Shoigu had reported to the commander-in-chief, President Vladimir Putin,
that the historic city of Palmyra in Homs province had been liberated.
after Moscow declared the liberation of the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Homs
province, the General Command of the Syrian Army also confirmed the report.
Syrian army forces broke the ISIL defense lines in Palmyra on March 1 and
entered the ancient city after liberating the Palmyra Triangle and Castle, cuting
off the ISIL supply routes towards the historic city.
to reports, the ISIL terrorists evacuated most parts of the city earlier today
after planting bombs in its houses and roads.
kicked off a large-scale operation on December 8 with thousands of forces in
Homs province to take control of Palmyra that was liberated by the Syrian Army
in March 2016.
ISIL took control over some energy fields and strategic heights and approached
terrorist group finally entered the city of Palmyra on December 10, but the
Russian and Syrian forces could repel their attacks, killing hundreds of them.
fighters of the ISIL carried out again a large-scale offensive against
government positions in Palmyra from several flanks and finally managed to
capture the city on December 11, while only 800 army soldiers were defending
the city and there was no possibility for aerial coverage by the Russian and
Syrian warplanes due to bad weather.
Russia's center for Syrian reconciliation noted ISIL had moved considerable
forces from their stronghold of Raqqa, while more forces and equipment were
relocated from Deir Ezzur.
center cited intelligence data that ISIL had moved up to 5,000 fighters to the
cities of Raqqa and Deir Ezzur from the Iraqi stronghold of Mosul.
Syrian Army, backed by the Syrian and Russian Aerospace Forces, liberated
Palmyra in March, 2016, nearly a year after it was captured by ISIL in May
the invasion, terrorists had cruelly destroyed a major portion of the historic
sites in the city. UNESCO Chief Irina Bokova had warned that ISIL militants in
both Iraq and Syria were responsible for "the most brutal and
systematic" destruction of the ancient heritage since World War II.
(FNA)- The Syrian army has dispatched a large number of special reinforcement
forces to regions East of the capital to take part in fresh assault on the
Al-Nusra Front terrorists in al-Qaboun and Barzeh regions.
Syrian army troops who have undergone special training and are expert in
conducting street battles have been sent to al-Qaboun and Barzeh regions to
help other army troops in their ongoing military operation against the al-Nusra
Front terrorists who have beem besieged there, military sources said on Friday.
source also said that if the militants refrain from accepting peace with the Syrian
troops and do not leave Damascus for Idlib, the Syrian government troops will
immediately start their military operations to set these two regions free.
a relevant development on Thursday, the Syrian army troops stormed the
positions of Al-Nusra Front in Eastern, Southeastern and Northeastern
directions of al-Qaboun district Northeast of Damascus city and prevailed over
the terrorists' defense lines.
army unis, backed up by the country's Air Force, continued their attacks on
Al-Nusra's concentration centers in al-Qaboun district, ending a large part of
their operation in the region.
army soldiers managed to capture seven Al-Nusra terrorists, including one of
the commanders of the group, after hours of clashes in al-Qaboun region.
sources said that the army aircraft and artillery and missile units targeted
Al-Nusra's positions in several rounds of attacks in al-Qaboun.
sources further added that main part of the army's operation in al-Qaboun and
Tishrin districts have finished and the army soldiers managed to seize control
over terrorists' tunnel seen as the backbone of the terrorists in Eastern
Ghouta extending from al-Qaboun and Barzeh farms to Douma city.
added that the last army-seized tunnel of the terrorists that stretched for
over 2km in length was side enough for militants' vehicles to run through.
sources said that the truce plan in Eastern Damascus declared by Russian
Defense Ministry does not cover al-Nusra's territories, including their
positions in Barzeh, al-Qaboun and Tishrin in Northeastern Damascus.
said on Wednesday that the Syrian army seized control of several farms located
between Barzeh and al-Qaboun districts and destroyed over 80 percent of
al-Nusra Front's military grid and troops as they tightened their grip over
al-Qaboun region East of Damascus province.
Syrian army destroyed 80 percent of al-Nusra Front's military bases inside
al-Qaboun region in their missile and aerial attacks," a military source
said, noting that tens of al-Nusra Front terrorists were killed or wounded in
the army offensives.
local sources said that the residents of Barzeh region staged a protest rally
against the terrorists and raised the Syrian national flags to show support for
the government, urging the terrorists to immediately leave their region.
local sources disclosed on Thursday that differences among the terrorist groups
have increased after their crushing defeats in the battle against the Syrian
Army troops in Eastern Ghouta.
sources said that disagreements and differences have intensified between the
two groups of Al-Nusra Front and Jeish al-Islam (that is mainly comprised of
Al-Nusra) on one hand and Faylaq al-Rahman on the other hand in Eastern Ghouta.
Syrian source, meantime, underscored collapse of Al-Nusra Front in al-Qaboun
district Northeast of the capital, Damascus, adding that although al-Qaboun is
of paramount importance for the terrorists, they have held several meetings in
the last few days to find a way to conclude an agreement for their relocation
or surrender to pave the ground for joining peace with the Syrian government.
the meantime, terrorist groups violated the ceasefire and targeted Damascus
with a number of rockets, while several cases of clashes took place between the
army soldiers and terrorists in a region between Hawsh al-Zawahereh and Haraza
near Douma city.
(Reuters) - Islamic State has released dozens of prisoners held in jails in the
districts of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul that remain under its control,
residents said on Saturday.
release of the prisoners on Friday is another sign that the militants are being
overwhelmed by the U.S.-backed Iraqi offensive that started on Oct. 17 to
dislodge them from Mosul, their last major city stronghold in Iraq.
State has lost most cities it captured in Iraq in 2014 and 2015. It declared a
caliphate that also spanned parts of Syria from Mosul in 2014.
those released were people who had been caught selling cigarettes, violating a
smoking ban, or in possession of a mobile phone and therefore suspected of
communicating with the outside world, the residents said.
forces dislodged Islamic State from the eastern side of Mosul in January, and
on Feb. 19 launched the offensive on the districts located west of the Tigris
TV on Friday said about half western Mosul has been taken back from the
militants who are besieged in the old city center and districts to the north.
of the men released on Friday said two militants got him out of a basement
where he was held captive with other people, blindfolded the group and drove
them away in a bus.
driving a distance, we stopped and they told us to remove the blindfolds and
then they said 'go, you are free,'" he said by phone, adding that about 25
prisoners were on the bus.
man, who requested not to be identified, indicated that had spent two weeks in
prison for selling cigarettes.
Mosul resident said his brother had suddenly reappeared at the house on Friday
after spending a month in captivity for possessing a mobile phone.
by Maher Chmaytelli; Editing by Alexander Smith)
forces targeting Syrian Al Qaeda rival to Islamic State to prevent UK attacks
19:25, Fri, Mar 10, 2017
Francis signals elderly married men could become priests
| Mar 10, 2017
Pope Francis has said he is willing to consider ordaining older married men in
isolated communities, but has ruled out making priestly celibacy optional to
tackle a shortage of clergy.
shortage has prompted calls from some progressives to end the ancient tradition
of celibacy for Roman Catholic priests.
a move would represent revolutionary change for the Catholic Church and would
likely face massive resistance.
however, have long suggested that the Vatican could ordain "viri
probati" — Latin for men of proven character — who tend to be older, with
grown-up families if married.
an interview with Germany's Die Zeit newspaper, the pope said this option could
have to give a thought to whether viri probati are a possibility. We then also
need to determine which tasks they could take on, such as in isolated areas,
for example," he was quoted as saying.
ruled out, however, opening the priesthood to all married men or watering down
the Catholic Church's commitment to celibacy among priests.
celibacy is often discussed in this context, especially in places where there
are shortages of clerics. But voluntary celibacy is not a solution," he
Catholic Church values celibacy as a virtue that frees priests to devote their
lives fully to serve God.
President Vladimir Putin hailed close ties between the Russian and Turkey
militaries as he welcomed Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan for Friday’s
talks focusing on Syria.
and Turkey co-brokered a ceasefire in December that helped reduce the scale of
fighting between Syrian President Bashar Assad and the opposition, and they
also co-sponsored two rounds of talks this year between Assad’s government and
its foes. A third round is set for next week.
and Turkey also coordinated their operations against the militant Islamic State
group in Syria. A Russian air raid last month accidentally killed three Turkish
soldiers, but the incident didn’t derail the military coordination.
are actively working to solve the most acute crises, first of all in Syria,”
Putin said as he greeted Erdogan at the start of the talks in the Kremlin. “I’m
very pleased to note, and few seemed to expect it, that our military and
special services have established such efficient and close contact.”
this week, the chief military officers from Russia, the US and Turkey met in
the Turkish city of Antalya in an apparent attempt to work out additional steps
to prevent incidents. The talks also focused on how to help assuage mutual
mistrust between Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces, US-backed Kurdish
forces, and Russian-allied Syrian government forces all fighting their way
toward IS’ de facto capital, Raqa.
scheduled a meeting of his Security Council including top military and
intelligence officials on Friday to follow the talks with Erdogan.
increasingly close cooperation on Syria between Russia and Turkey marked a
sharp turnaround for the two nations, which have backed opposing sides in
Syria, with Moscow siding with Assad and Turkey supporting his foes since the
start of the Syrian conflict six years ago.
conflicting interests led to the downing of a Russian warplane by a Turkish jet
at the Syrian border in November 2015, which put the two nations on the verge
of a direct military conflict. Moscow responded by barring the sales of package
tours to Turkey and halting imports of agricultural products, moves that badly
squeezed the Turkish economy.
apologies for downing the plane helped rebuild ties, and Putin offered firm
support to the Turkish leader in the wake of a botched coup last July.
the rapprochement, Russia has moved gradually to lift economic restrictions,
keeping some in place as an apparent motivator for Turkey.
city hall and the region's Muslim federation have joined forces and launched a
program as part of a raft of measures to counter radical Islam in France.
Elizabeth Bryant reports from Bordeaux.
Saandadi is preaching to the converted, but not the mainstream Muslim community
he belongs to. In a discreet building near city hall, the Bordeaux imam meets
with bewildered parents and fragile youngsters, some of whom have never stepped
foot inside a mosque.
come from troubled families and neighborhoods. Some are mentally unstable. He
and a small group of experts are fighting a powerful adversary: militant Islam.
role is not to tell people the 'good' or 'true' Islam, but to help awaken a
critical approach," Saanadi says of Bordeaux's year-old CAPRI program
aimed at preventing radicalization. "We are not here to confront but
rather to awaken a critical awareness."
counts among a growing number of communities across Europe searching for ways
to counter extremism, following a wave of largely home-grown terrorist attacks.
The question is all the more important for France, the target of three terror
strikes in two years, and Western Europe's biggest exporter of extremist
countries like Germany and Britain, France is a relative newcomer to approaches
beyond law-and-order ones, and new efforts to branch out have not always proved
successful. Indeed, a recent Senate report characterized the state's approach
in tackling radicalization a failure.
social, political and psychological factors are key drivers to radicalization,
some experts also believe the country's fiercely secular mindset and difficult
relationship with Islam pose additional obstacles.
is in the name of religion that they have become radicalized," Farhad
Khosrokhavar, a Paris-based sociologist and jihadist expert, told DW.
"They identify with this radical version of Islam, so you cannot ignore
there is new urgency to finding answers. Hundreds of foreign fighters are
beginning to return to Europe, authorities say, posing risks as potential
terrorists and recruiters. Some end up in French prisons, already considered
jihadist breeding grounds.
European system is not experienced with dealing with so many radicalized
people," Khosrokhavar says. "We need to invent a new way of dealing
with this sort of problem."
partnership between Bordeaux's city hall and the regional Muslim federation,
the year-old CAPRI program may be one sign of changing times. While the
initiative is local, it offers a religious dimension to fighting radicalization
- one that is drawing interest from other municipalities.
the youngsters and the families, the fact we're doing this program with the
Muslim community is positive," says Bordeaux's Deputy Mayor Marik Fetouh,
who is also CAPRI's spokesman. "It shows we're not confounding Islam and
radicalization, and often the theologians will create links between the
families and CAPRI."
Saanadi gathers with half-a-dozen therapists, psychiatrists and legal experts
to evaluate each new case. Of the 36 youngsters now enrolled, roughly 40
percent are women. A number are converts, or 'born again' Muslims from largely
secular backgrounds. The average age is 22. "It's a puzzle," Saanadi
tells DW. "When we put together the different pieces, we can see whether
to intervene or not."
terrorism through education
secretary-general of Bordeaux's Muslim federation, Saanadi himself ascribes to
a moderate, government-sanctioned brand of Islam that respects French
secularism but is not always considered legitimate among more fundamentalist
not surprisingly, he does not personally know anyone who has joined a jihadi
movement. "Terrorism is a question for national education," he says.
"We see children at the mosque two hours a week. The rest of their time is
the cause, most agree that France has a serious problem. Roughly 700 French
jihadists are still fighting in Iraq and Syria, according to recent government
figures; another 1,350 suspected radicals are in French prisons, including
nearly 300 with direct ties to terrorist networks.
authorities classify another 15,000 as extremists and potential security
threats, including an estimated 200 or more in the southwestern Gironde
department that includes Bordeaux. The state's traditional law-and-order
response has not proved effective, critics say.
state took too much time and now it's searching for miracle solutions,"
sociologist Ouisa Kies, an expert on radicalization in prisons, told DW.
year, the center-left government adopted a softer approach with so-far uncertain
results. It earmarked more than $300 million (284 million euros) for
de-radicalization programs over three years, and rolled out the first of a
dozen voluntary centers planned across the country.
in February, a French senate report deemed the de-radicalization center, in the
Loire Valley, a "fiasco." Only nine youngsters had been treated
there, it said, and it was currently empty.
new government funding windfall has also helped fuel some 80 local initiatives,
some with dubious credentials. "It's becoming a market," says
Bordeaux's main imam, Tareq Oubrou, who provides theological advice to CAPRI.
"Everyone is becoming a de-radicalization specialist in two seconds."
soon as there's an initiative by a Muslim leader or members of the community
there's always suspicion," says Kies, who believes the Muslim leadership
nonetheless has a narrow but necessary role to play in countering
Bordeaux, Saanadi is the first to acknowledge the limits of his intervention.
"There are no miracle solutions," he says. "It's very easy to
destroy, but very difficult to reconstruct."
evangelicals comprise the only major religious group to think that Christians
are discriminated against.
Taylor Link / Salon March 10, 2017
degree to which discrimination exists in American society is in the eye of the
beholder, apparently. According to the latest poll from the Public Religion
Research Institute, a white evangelical in the U.S. is more likely to think
that Christians experience a lot of discrimination as compared with Muslims.
survey found that 57 percent of the white evangelicals polled said they believe
that Christians face a lot of discrimination in America, while only 44 percent
considered that same level of discrimination exists for the Muslim community.
White evangelicals were the one major religious group to indicate that
Christians faced heavy persecution. In contrast, roughly 75 percent of the
religiously unaffiliated Americans and the nonwhite Protestants surveyed said
that Muslims face the most discrimination, according to the poll.
of discrimination are strong America. Nearly half of white Americans said they
believe that black Americans experience racial discrimination, while 87 percent
of black Americans have come to that same conclusion, the poll found.
some members of the Republican Party have become concerned about Christian
persecution and religious freedom. Republicans recently crafted the First
Amendment Defense Act, federal legislation mirrored after the “religious
freedom” laws that have popped up across the country, including in Vice
President Mike Pence’s Indiana.
Donald Trump’s executive order, which barred entry of travelers from seven
Muslim-majority countries, failed its judicial test in part because it excluded
religious minorities in those countries, such as Christians. The administration
appeared to have a preference for a certain religious group. Meanwhile, the GOP
has long focused on the plight of Christians in nonsecular countries in the
Evangelicals SayThey Face More Discrimination Than Muslims
backer out at Energy Dept. after anti-Muslim tweets surface
Energy Department cut ties Friday with Sid Bowdidge, a political appointee and
former Trump campaign worker who has made inflammatory anti-Muslim comments on
Twitter, according to Buzzfeed and other outlets. Bowdidge had been working at
DOE's Office of Technology Transitions, but as Greentech Media notes he appears
to lack any related policy background.
2015 the massage therapist from New Hampshire responded on Twitter to a CNN
tweet about the San Bernardino shooters with a tweet stating: "Scum
suckling maggots of the world. Exterminate them all." He has also tweeted
that "Obama won't use the term radical Islam because they're his
it matters: Trump's operation has already been under the microscope for
installing temporary "beachhead" political appointees at agencies who
have little or no relevant experience.
in Texas mosque fire believed its worshippers were terrorists: authorities
informant said Marq Vincent Perez “hated” Muslims and suspected that members of
the mosque were involved in terrorist groups, special agent Rick Miller
The Associated Press
March 10, 2017
CHRISTI, TEXAS—A man suspected of burning down a Texas mosque believed its
worshippers were terrorists and may have been looking for other mosques to
target, authorities alleged during a hearing pertaining to an unrelated case
against the man.
Vincent Perez, 25, hasn’t been charged in the Jan. 28 fire that destroyed the
Islamic centre in his hometown of Victoria, a community about 201 kilometres
southwest of Houston.
was arrested last week on a charge alleging he tried to set fire to a former
friend’s car earlier in January, and during a hearing Thursday, prosecutors
presented evidence that Perez was suspected in the fire and an earlier burglary
of the mosque in arguing that he be denied bond.
prosecutors have repeatedly declined to describe the burning of the mosque as a
hate crime, U.S. Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington cited testimony Thursday
about Perez’s “involvement in a hate crime presently being investigated” as a
reason for denying him bond.
attorney, Mark Di Carlo, told The Associated Press on Friday that he felt he
and Perez “were kind of ambushed” by the mosque fire allegations being raised
at a detention hearing for an unrelated case.
client hasn’t been charged with that crime,” he said.
this point, we don’t know of any strong evidence against him” in the mosque
fire, Di Carlo said. He described the evidence that was presented as “hearsay
and speculation,” and pointed out that much of it came from two confidential
informants who didn’t appear at the hearing.
Miller, a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and
Explosives, testified during the hearing that one of the informants, a male
juvenile, admitted to taking part with Perez in the Jan. 15 incident involving
the car and the Jan. 22 and 28 burglaries of the mosque, implicating Perez as
the one who set fire to it.
to Miller, the informant said Perez stole the mosque’s electrical meters and a
laptop during each break-in, and the stolen laptops were found during a raid of
Perez’s home last week, the Victoria Advocate and Corpus Christi Caller-Times
informant said Perez “hated” Muslims and suspected that members of the mosque
were involved in terrorist groups, Miller testified. The informant said Perez
explained that they were breaking into the mosque to see if its members were
hiding weapons there.
Dodge, a Justice Department spokeswoman, said Friday by email that no one has
been charged in the mosque case and she declined to say when or if anyone would
other informant said Perez told him “he’d done something in the mosque and soon
everyone would know about it,” Miller testified. The two discussed the mosque
in Facebook messages, with Perez indicating that he was watching the mosque and
noting how many people were guarding it, the agent said.
said one of the informants said Perez believed Muslims were allowed to marry
children. He also testified that Perez messaged a friend that the hardest part
was “getting the town to believe the evidence” and that “only us soldiers, both
retired and forgotten,” are “armed and ready.”
prosecutor suggested Perez may have been looking to target other mosques,
pointing to a comment he posted saying, “Can you pinpoint any mosques that a
team can get clear to?”
father, Mario, testified that he never heard his son make statements about
Muslims as they worked 50 to 60 hours a week as electricians.
of the mosque, meanwhile, have pointed to the huge effect the fire has had on
their community. A mosque spokesman, Abe Ajrami, said that since the fire, many
parents have stopped sending their kids to the mosque, which has had to hire
armed security to protect the congration.
incident really shook us to the core,” Ajrami said at a news conference at the
site of the burned mosque. “I hope people understand that this is not something
we watched on TV or read in the newspaper. This is something we lived daily.”
ban challenge puts Hawaii’s few Muslims under the spotlight
– Hawaii has 5,000 or so Muslims— less than 1 percent of the state’s
population— who are finding themselves thrust into an international spotlight
after the state’s top lawyer launched a challenge to President Donald Trump’s
revised travel ban, saying it contradicts the islands’ welcoming culture that
as a plaintiff in the federal lawsuit fighting the ban is Ismail Elshikh, the
imam of the island of Oahu’s only mosque — a converted plantation-style house
in a hilly Honolulu neighborhood a few miles from Waikiki Beach where Muslims
who gather in the prayer room know they’re facing Mecca when the view of iconic
Diamond Head is at their backs.
mother-in-law is a Syrian living in Syria who won’t be able to visit her
relatives in Hawaii because of the ban, and that will deprive the rights of
Elshikh, his wife and their children as U.S. citizens, said Hawaii Attorney
General Doug Chin.
was difficult for the shy and reserved Elshikh to make the decision to join the
lawsuit and he is not speaking publicly because of legal reasons and fears for
his security in a state that has seen a rise in threats to Muslims that started
just before Trump was elected, said Hakim Ouansafi, who is president of the
Muslim Association of Hawaii.
took some thinking. It took some convincing,” Ouansafi said.
said the small size of Hawaii’s Muslim community had no bearing on his decision
to challenge the travel ban because “they are part of our community. They
should not be labeled presumptively as terrorists.”
the lawsuit is a way to protect a minority community in a state familiar with
the wrongs committed when Japanese-Americans were sent to internment camps
during World War II, Chin said. “And we should speak for them in ways that
people did not speak for the Japanese back in the 1940s when everything was
happening,” he said.
first Muslims in Hawaii can be traced back to the 1800s, Ouansafi said. Today,
Hawaii’s Muslims have ties to 46 countries, including Asian and Arab countries.
About 30 percent are American-born who converted to Islam, he said. And about
80 of Hawaii’s Muslim families are originally from the six countries named in
the revised travel ban.
beautiful mix,” Ouansafi said.
Dakroub, born and raised in Lebanon, met his wife — who is from Hawaii — in
Dubai. They moved to Oahu in 2006, where he now owns a Moroccan and Lebanese
restaurant in downtown Honolulu.
who describes himself as Muslim but not religious, said the lawsuit challenging
the travel ban reinforced his belief that Hawaii is the right place for him to
is home,” he said.
Esma Arslan remembers being nervous about wearing her headscarf on her first
day of seventh grade at Iolani, a prestigious Honolulu private school. “I got
over those fears very quickly,” said Arslan, now 21, whose parents are from
Turkey. “Personally for me, it’s always been a positive experience here.”
temperate climate brought Amro Nassar to Maui, where he used to be imam of the
island’s only mosque.
in California to parents from Egypt, Nassar said he has not encountered any
problems because of his religion. “Hawaii is a melting pot of different beliefs
and cultures,” he said. “One can blend in, not stand out.”
who is from Morocco and is the executive director of the Hawaii Public Housing
Authority, said he considers Hawaii the most inclusive and safest place for
minorities to live in the U.S. But he is troubled by the recent spate of hate
threats directed at Muslims.
threats started before the election and increased when Trump became president,
prompting the association to install security cameras, he said.
Jan. 27, a man followed two Muslim children getting off a city bus and harassed
them, Ouansafi said. A spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department said a
harassment case was opened and an investigation is ongoing.
two weeks ago, the mosque recorded an anonymous caller yelling, “Killing
Muslims is God’s will.”
lawsuit also argues that the travel ban will hurt the economy of a state that
depends on a constant stream of visitors from all corners of the world.
Honolulu mosque is already seeing the impact, Ouansafi said.
Trump’s election, the popular Friday afternoon prayer service used to see many
Muslim tourists show up to join local residents in prayer.
numbers of praying tourists have since declined and some Muslims who are not
from countries covered by the ban don’t want to travel to Hawaii anymore,
can take their money and take it elsewhere,” he said. “We have princes and we
have rulers from Muslim countries that do come. They don’t want to be stuck at
the airport. They don’t want to be insulted in the street.”
Center Takes Property Association To Court Over Mosque Block
Colo. (CBS4)– An Islamic Center in south Denver is asking a court to decide
whether it can be allowed to build a mosque after being blocked by a
neighborhood business park’s association.
land at the corner of South Troy Circle and Caley Avenue located in Centennial
has been purchased for the mosque.
250 South Denver Islamic Center members gather for Friday prayers in a rented
bought the land in what’s called Southfield Park, a business area. But its
association is blocking the center from building there, saying the covenants
don’t allow religious use.
Kahn is the president of the Islamic Center. He told CBS4 Investigator Rick
Sallinger, “We’re saying, hey the religious usage is allowed they are saying
it’s not allowed.”
now they have asked a judge to decide.
asked the Islamic Center’s leaders, “Do you feel this has anything to do with
your religion?” They replied, “We hope not.”
Christian church, Bethany International, had been blocked from building in the
area as well.
business park association would not comment citing the litigation, but its
court documents claim the covenants are clear.
Town of Centennial says its zoning allows religious purposes in the Southfield
prominent Denver law firm, Brownstein, Hyatt,Farber, Schreck, has come to the
Islamic center’s aid, representing them for free.
Muslim community members say a mosque is needed for south Denver area and to be
able to have a religious school for the children.
case will be heard in Arapahoe County Court.
Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the
station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting.
Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.
many Americans, Tayyib Rashid has been disturbed by the threats of anti-Semitic
violence in recent weeks, particularly the vandalism of Jewish cemeteries in
St. Louis and Philadelphia.
unlike many Americans, Rashid, a Muslim veteran of the U.S. Marines, thought he
could help do something about it.
a #MuslimMarine in Chicagoland area,” the former sergeant typed out on his
Twitter account. “If your synagogue or Jewish cemetery needs someone to stand
guard, count me in. Islam requires it.” Then, he pressed “send.”
quickly, the tweet went viral. So far, Rashid has received more than 13,000
likes and 5,000 retweets, and inspired similar offers from Muslims across the
country. People from all over the country, both Muslims and non-Muslims,
veterans and non-veterans, have reached out to him, asking how they can get
not sure if there’s any category left that hasn’t been willing to stand up with
me,” Rashid said. Even J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, tweeted,
“Count me in!”
he hasn’t received is any requests from Jewish institutions to take him up on
his offer of protection.
Jewish Community Relations Council, a branch of the Jewish United Fund in
Chicago, was among the individual Jews and organizations that tweeted their
gratitude to Rashid:
Jay Tcath, executive vice president of JUF, wrote in a statement to the Forward
that the Jewish organizations that do use guards prefer to hire them from
professional security firms. “This path provides the necessary, site-specific
training as well as, when sought, certified guards that are empowered by law to
carry weapons,” he explained. “And some guards are empowered to make arrests.”
But he added, “Mr. Rashid’s offer is, of course, very thoughtful and most
in an interview, Rashid made it clear that his offer stands indefinitely. “I
hope there’s an opportunity to make good on my word,” he said. “I hope it
doesn’t have to come to that.”
Rashid the disquiet that inspired his tweet wasn’t abstract: the vandalism
carried echoes of the religious persecution that caused his family, members of
the Muslim Ahmadiyya community, to flee Pakistan when he was 10 years old.
aren’t considered Muslims in Pakistan,” he explained. “There were laws passed
against us. When we use verses from Koran on tombstones, we’re subject to
persecution and vandalism of our graves by government officials.”
better trained than most in military protection, Rashid swore an oath to defend
his fellow Americans on entering the service and doesn’t believe his vow
expired when he left the Marine Corps.
to their own experience of persecution, Ahmadiyya Muslims believe strongly in
promoting interfaith harmony and supporting members of other religious groups
under threat. But the idea of offering protection actually originated with
Rashid’s brother, Qasim. A civil rights lawyer and author who lives in
Washington, Qasim Rashid tweets as @MuslimIQ. Qasim’s offer of help appeared on
Twitter an hour before Tayyib’s but hasn’t generated nearly as much traffic.
Qasim admits that although he’s a marathoner and in pretty good physical shape,
he understands why: “He’s a US Marine for God’s sake!”
isn’t the first of Rashid’s tweets to go viral: in November 2015 after
then-Presidential candidate Donald Trump said in interviews that he was
considering the possibility of special security and surveillance targeting
Muslims, he tweeted, “Hey, @realDonaldTrump, I’m an American Muslim and I
already carry a special ID badge. Where’s yours?” The message was followed by a
photo of his military ID card. Trump did not respond, but hundreds of American
Muslims followed suit, tweeting photos of their ID badges from their jobs in
the military and at hospitals and law firms.
fact that Rashid, who is 40, is making such a strong stand for religious
freedom is no surprise to those who know him well. “In the environment where we
were raised, we were expected to do everything we needed to do to serve
others,” said Qasim Rashid. “It was a very service-focused environment. It
stemmed from the teaching that Muslims have two duties: to serve God and to
serve humanity. We participated in I don’t know how many interfaith events with
churches, synagogues, and temples.”
father was a missionary and imam at the mosque in west suburban Glen Ellyn,
Illinois, where they grew up. As the oldest of the four children, Tayyib was
expected to set an example for his siblings.
was a good example of all the good stuff of Islam that doesn’t get enough
press,” said Iftekhar Ahmad, a friend of nearly 30 years. “Honesty, hard work,
being respectful toward your elders, and being respectful toward others,
especially those who don’t share the same views as you.”
weren’t many Muslims in Glen Ellyn in the 1980s and 90s, when Tayyib and Ahmad
were growing up. At school, they endured a fair amount of teasing for being
different. Instead of taking offense, though, Ahmad recalled that Tayyib saw
this as an opportunity to educate other students about Islam. He would explain
why they didn’t eat pork or why they fasted during Ramadan.
never lost his cool,” Ahmad Rashid said.
Rashid siblings were raised to believe that if they were passionate about their
faith, it would manifest itself in everything they did, and if they managed to
achieve worldly success while maintaining their religious identity, non-Muslims
would take them more seriously. “If people see your accomplishments on a
secular level,” Qasim explained, “they’ll have confidence in your faith.”
Rashid joined the Marines in 1997 and remained on active duty until 2002. He
served in the reserves until 2005. He was deployed to Italy, Saudi Arabia, and
Germany, where he was a work center supervisor for an Avionics tech squadron,
working on MALS-14 aircraft, which are used to gather intelligence. “I did it
well,” he said. “Our planes were never shot down.”
Hurricane Katrina hit in August 2005, the brothers, who were both in college at
the time, dropped everything to get into Qasim’s 1993 Nissan hatchback and
drive to Louisiana. When they learned, at the end of the 19-hour drive, that
additional volunteers were needed in Houston, Tayyib drove on alone for 5 more
hours. (“He still brags about it,” Qasim joked.)
earned his MBA from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and works
now as a human resources manager for Abbvie, a pharmaceutical company. But he
still devotes a lot of time to promoting interfaith harmony and educating
people about Islam. He and Quasim are both active in the True Islam movement.
Organized primarily by Ahmadis but open to other Muslim groups, the aim of True
Islam is, as the website puts it, “to wage a jihad of truth” and dispel fears
and misunderstandings about Islam. The group sponsors regular Coffee, Cake and
True Islam meet-ups across the country where non-Muslims can bring their
questions and get to know real, actual Muslims.
Gurnee, Illinois, the far northern suburb where Rashid now lives with his wife
and three children, there is a small but growing Muslim community, which has
made an effort to forge interfaith coalitions with other groups. “It’s not only
going to benefit Muslim community, but also other communities,” he said. “Up
here in Gurnee, we’ve been engaged with members of the Sikh and Hindu
communities and are united in an effort to promote dialogue and understand and
give an opportunity for people to sit down and talk with us.”
also been working with members of the far north suburban Jewish community,
which is small but growing. Since his family is from Pakistan, the
Israel-Palestinian conflicts have never affected him personally. But he
believes that both sides have legitimate grievances. He doesn’t believe the
conflict should stand in the way of Jewish-Muslim solidarity.
is a political issue,” he said. “The animosity based is on politics, not
religion. Solidarity is a human rights issue. Islam requires Muslims to defend
Jews and Christians.”
that is what he plans to continue to do.
he’s so active on social media, he’s received a fair amount of mean tweets,
though not as many as Qasim, who has written several books and many articles
about True Islam and the history of the Ahmadis in Pakistan. “I let negative
things roll off my back,” Tayyiib said. “But it’s mostly from people I won’t be
able to convince anyway. I need to focus on where I can make a difference.”
Levitt reports regularly on Chicagoland for the Forward. Contact her at
email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @aimeelevitt
new plan by the U.S. to counter Islamic State in Syria and Iraq involves the
deployment of 1,000 soldiers to Kuwait, a U.S. military official told VOA on
plan is awaiting final approval from the administration, but U.S. soldiers from
the 82nd Airborne Division's 2nd Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Bragg,
North Carolina, have already received permission for deployment from Army
leaders, should the plan be signed.
troops will be available for Army General Stephen Townsend, the ground
commander in the fight to counter Islamic State, who will position the soldiers
where they are needed, said an official, who refrained from giving further
details because he didn't want to "telegraph" specifics of the
plan comes as officials tell VOA that about 300 Marines have arrived in Syria
to provide additional capabilities for allied forces working to push Islamic
State forces from their de facto capital of Raqqa. A military official told VOA
the additional capabilities provided by the Marines include artillery fire to
give cover to locals battling the militants.
addition to the Marines, about 100 soldiers with the 75th Army Ranger Regiment
are deployed in and around Manbij, Syria, with Stryker armored fighting
vehicles. These soldiers are there to "deter" different parties from
attacking each other and ensure that all groups focus on the fight against
Islamic State militants, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis told
reporters earlier this week.
is liberated, and there's no need for further fighting there," Davis said.
General Joseph Votel, who heads U.S. Central Command, said Thursday that the
soldiers have been deployed in Manbij for the past few months to ensure the
Islamic State group does not re-emerge there.
newly deployed U.S. troops have been sent to the region to help "whoever
is going to take Raqqa," a group that has yet to be determined, the
is unclear whether U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces — which include the
Kurdish YPG, Turkish-backed Syrian opposition, or some combination of the two
forces — will serve as the liberating force in Raqqa once the city is
did ‘helpful things’ against Haqqanis: US general
relationship with Pakistan remains a very important one. We look forward to continuing
our engagement with the Pakistani military leadership, to include the new Chief
of the Army Staff, Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, in the days ahead as we work together
in pursuit of shared interests,” he said.
rebuilds mosque blown up by militants
The military-funded Masjid-e-Shuhada reopened for Friday prayers almost six
months after it was destroyed in a suicide bombing.
to 36 people were killed and 36 others injured in the September 2016 blast
during Friday prayers.
give Muslims key to their synagogue after US mosque set ablaze
this connection a ceremony was held at Payee Khan village of Ambar tehsil where
apart from local victims of the suicide bomb blast, officials of Army Corps of
Engineers Lieutenant Colonel Hamid Anwar and Swat Scout’s Lieutenant Colonel
Tariq Mehmood were present.
army rebuilt the mosque in Payee Khan village and renamed it ‘Masjid-e-Shuhada’.
The previous mosque was made of mud and clay while the new one is made of
concrete bricks, cement and iron rods.
September 17, the then corps commander of 11 corps announced reconstruction of
the destroyed mosque from the army’s resources, while Khyber- Pakhtunkhwa
Governor Iqbal Jhagra announced compensation both in cash and employment for
deceased families in Khasadar or Levies forces. The decision has been partially
implemented as the political administration has still not employed the deceased
people’s family members in the Khasadar force.
newly constructed mosque was praised by many but not all as many people were
grieving over the deaths of their loved ones.
Scout spokesman told The Express Tribune that the mosque’s construction was
completed on February 15, 2017, but work on its embellishment such as the dome,
installation of a solar system and digging a tube well was not completed till
Thursday. The mosque has been handed over to the local community for offering
mosque to be rebuilt on Hindu temple land
spokesman said locals along with Frontier Corps officials offered Friday
prayers in the mosque. The locals have praised the army’s efforts for
reconstruction of the mosque and providing necessary compensation to the
victims of the blast.
in The Express Tribune, March 11th, 2017.
Ten different liquor shops again approached the Supreme Court on Friday against
the March 2 Sindh High Court decision of sealing 120 liquor shops in Sindh.
petitioners appealed to the apex court to immediately overturn the SHC order
because being taxpayers by engaging in a lawful trade they were facing loss of
its order, the high court had held that 120 shops across the province were
clearly engaged in illegal sale of wine and liquor without ensuring that it was
sold to non-Muslims alone and that too in the prescribed quota, thus violating
the prohibition rules and doing business contrary to the injunctions of the
Hadd Order 1979.
SHC had ordered the director general of excise and taxation to seal all the
liquor shops in Sindh with immediate effect and asked the inspector general of
police to ensure compliance in this regard. The court had given the Sindh
government one month to evolve a mechanism in consultation with the
stakeholders to ensure that only licensed liquor shops sold wine and liquor to
non-Muslims within permissible quota as part of their religious ceremonies and
maintained a record of sales which shall be available to the public.
petition in the Supreme Court was jointly filed by Messrs Kohistan Wine Shop, Azad
Wine Shop, Mehran Wine Shop, Arjun Wine Agency, Mazda Trading, Master Wine
Shop, Sindh Wine Shop, Lucky and Company, Good Luck Wine Shop and Long Mal Wine
petitioners through their counsel Asma Jahangir argued that they would suffer
grave and irreparable financial loss if the high court order was not suspended.
they had knocked at the doors of the apex court on Nov 14 last year. The
Supreme Court had sent the case back to the SHC on Nov 23, asking the latter to
decide the matter after providing opportunity to the aggrieved parties (liquor
fresh petition argued that PML-N lawmaker Ramesh Kumar Vankwani had in his plea
in the SHC sought extraordinary jurisdiction under Article 199 of the
Constitution, wherein he made vague allegations only to punish and harass the
petitioners on a misdirected belief.
petitioners said the high court had failed to notice that in case of violation
of the Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Order, 1979 by Muslims, the most
effective and appropriate alternative remedy lay in filing an FIR under Section
3/4 of the Hadd Order.
the high court erred by not granting time to the petitioners to produce the
Notification No SO(EXCISE)EXT/2(5)/99 of Aug 30, 2006, passed by the excise and
taxation department, in exercise of the powers conferred by Article 31 of the
Hadd Order, the petition added.
it said, Mr Vankwani was not an aggrieved or bona fide person to institute the
petition before the high court. The SHC erred in law by granting final relief
to Mr Vankwani at the interim stage, in the absence of any extraordinary
circumstances, the petition said, adding that the licences granted to the
petitioners under Article 17 of the Hadd Order could be cancelled on certain
argued that the high court order had violated the petitioners’ fundamental
rights under Article 10A of the Constitution since no due process was observed
nor was any adequate opportunity of hearing provided to the petitioners.
high court also erred in concluding that alcohol was being sold by the
petitioners in violation of Article 17 of the Hadd Order without even examining
sale records of the liquor shops, the petition argued.
March 11, 2017
The disgruntled wine shop owners of Sindh knocked at the Supreme Court’s (SC)
door on Friday against the Sindh High Court’s (SHC) order to seal off all shops
selling liquor in violation of the Hudood Ordinance of 1979.
10 shop owners filed a petition through Asma Jahangir against the SHC’s March 2
order. They also requested the top court to suspend the order till the final
petitioners’ contended that the livelihood of shopkeepers and their families
was at stake because of the SHC’s orders. Over 24,000 citizens were working in
the alcohol retail business in Sindh alone. Likewise, the order had not only
affected the citizens working in the business but their families as well.
collapses after caning for breaking sharia law in Indonesia
petitioners are not acting in any illegal manner. They were not given any
opportunity to be heard or to make alternate business plans for themselves or
their employees, and as such have been condemned unheard,” revealed the
petition claimed that the SHC order violated the fundamental right of the
petitioner under Article 10-A of the Constitution. Neither due process was
observed nor was any adequate opportunity of hearing provided to them.
petitioners are regular taxpayers and law-abiding citizens engaged in a lawful
trade. There has never been a complaint against the petitioners before the
excise or police authorities about any violation of terms of the licences
granted to them under Articles 17 and 18 of the Prohibition (Enforcement of
Hadd) Order 1979 or otherwise of the petitioners being engaged in any illegal
sales of alcohol,” it stated.
mulls banning unpacked food, beverages
SHC has not thoroughly examined the records of the petitioners’ sales to its
individual customers or the procedures in place. Therefore, the high court has
arbitrarily held that alcohol is being sold by the petitioners in violation of
the Sindh Prohibition (Enforcement of Hadd) Rules, 1979 particularly when there
is not a single complaint against them.
interim impugned order is exceptional as it deprives the petitioners of their
livelihoods based on a writ petition which is frivolous, repetitive and based
on facts that are disputed by all parties,” the petition revealed.
also pointed out that alcohol factories and stores are being operated all over
Pakistan, including the Islamabad Capital Territory, Balochistan and Punjab.
manufacturing units to display warning messages: PFA
the court order as an exceptional one, it claimed a disruption in livelihood,
which is a fundamental right, while the question of maintainability of the CP
No D-6738 of 2016 was neither heard nor decided.
the SHC while passing an order on March 2, gave the Sindh government 30 days to
develop a mechanism in consultation with all stakeholders, including members of
minority communities and wine shop owners, to come up with a ‘practical,
transparent and implementable mechanism’, to ensure only licensed shops sell
liquor to non-Muslims, both local and foreign, in compliance with quota
also directed the provincial excise and taxation department to close down all
the shops. Additionally, the court ordered the director general of excise to
maintain a proper record of wine/liquor sales, besides making it publicly
Rana TanveerPublished: March 11, 2017
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Friday struck down provisions of the Rules of
Competitive Examination 2014 which barred the Central Superior Services (CSS)
qualified persons with disability from joining the Foreign Service of Pakistan
a detailed judgment in an already decided matter, Chief Justice Syed Mansoor
Ali Shah on Friday directed the federal government to allocate two seats to the
two visually-impaired petitioners in the FSP at the earliest.
said if no such posts were available then the concerned quarters should create
two new posts to adjust the petitioners in order to uphold their fundamental
rights and to redress the unconstitutional deprivation they have been facing
since 2014 after being compelled to join the Information Group.
chief justice ruled that while Rule 9(ii) of the CSS rules 2014 has been struck
down, the government should formulate rules to offer all or any occupational
services to disabled persons in the All Pakistan Service, after thoroughly
assessing possibility of providing reasonable accommodation before the next CSS
court passed this order on a petition of Muhammad Yousaf and Faisal Majeed –
visually impaired persons – who appeared
in 2014 CSS examination.
secured 12th position in Pakistan and his first preference was the Pakistan
Administration Services (PAS); however, he fell at serial number 11. After
failing the All Pakistan Merit Quota of the PAS which includes 2 seats, he
stood at serial number 9 against the PAS quota for Punjab that is 11 seats.
secured 22nd position and the FSP was his first preference. He stood at serial
number 4 but after failing the All Pakistan Merit Quota in the FSP – includes
one seat – Faisal stood at serial number 3 of the FSP group against the 8 seats
of FSP allocated to Punjab on open merit.
counsels submitted that the Rule 9(ii) said the disabled candidates – in
categories of physically impaired, hearing/speech impaired and visually
impaired – are allowed to compete for
competitive examination against four occupational groups/services, ie, Commerce
and Trade Group, Pakistan Audit and Accounts Service, Information Group, and
rule said: “Disabled candidates securing a position against prescribed 7.5 per
cent merit quota on all Pakistan basis may be considered for allocation on the
FSP on the basis of his/her choice.”
counsels said the petitioners were not allocated seats in the FSP – for being
visually impaired –under the garb of Rule 9(ii) despite their being on merit.
They requested the court to declare this rule as illegal and issue directions
to the concerned to adjust them in the FSP.
the impugned rule, the deputy attorney general said a disabled candidate can
only be considered for the Foreign Service if he falls within the 7.5 per cent
of All Pakistan Merit Quota. Otherwise, a disabled candidate is only allowed to
compete for four occupational groups, he said.
Justice Shah held that if the petitioners were not visually impaired and were
it not for Rule 9(ii) of the CSS Rules, they would be entitled to be allocated
the occupational group of their choice in open merit quota reserved for Punjab.
a candidate with disabilities can join the FSP against the All Pakistan Merit
Quota, he cannot on the basis of the same result join the quota allocated to
the province of Punjab, the judge observed.
allow a person with disabilities one category of merit based quota, but deny
the same person another category of merit quota is outright discriminatory,”
the judge noted.
noted that it was painful to observe that a person with disability was first
allowed to sit the CSS exam but when he scored and was entitled to allocation
in the FSP in the provincial quota, he was denied the same on the pretext that
he could only avail the All Pakistan Merit Quota.
Shah said neither the Constitution nor the Act permitted or supported such
classification; hence Rule 9(ii) was devoid of any reasonable classification
and was therefore discriminatory, offending Article 25 of the Constitution.
9(ii) also underrates a person with disability, hurting his self-esteem and
dignity, thereby offending article 14 of the Constitution. Logic and wisdom, if
any, behind this exclusion totally fails me,” he added.
radio station to promote ‘Halal' entertainment in Kashmir
ASIAN AGE. | YUSUF JAMEEL Published : Mar 11, 2017
group musicians in J&K has launched online radio station for youth
influenced by Western culture and Hollywood and Bollywood music.
Restive Kashmir has a ‘halal’ (permissible as per Islamic law) radio too now. A
group of musicians in the Valley has launched the online radio to make an
impact on local Muslim youth particularly those who, they say, are highly
influenced by Western culture and Hollywood and Bollywood melodies and movies.
wanted to create a better alternative which provides them good in this life and
the hereafter,” said Muhammad Aamir, the founder of Radio ‘Saut ul Islam’ or
the ‘Voice of Islam’. He said, ‘Radio Saut ul Islam’ is such an application
which provides a platform to the scholars to propagate the message of Islam
based on Qur’an and Sahie (true) Sunnah’. Sunnah or Hadith is the traditional
portion of Muslim law based on its Prophet Muhammad's words or acts accepted
together with the Islam’s holy book.
added that there was no such ‘Islamic Radio’ or FM relaying its programs 24x7
from Jammu and Kashmir and he thought to start it as “it was need of the hour”.
He and other team members prefer to call it ‘Halal’ radio.
Saqib Mushtaq who would earlier replicate Bollywood songs and was involved in
Western-oriented music and songs too has also joined the team. He said he was
highly impressed by Pakistani singer-songwriter Junaid Jamshed’s work and, in
fact, it prompted him too to give up Western music and serve Islam through his
talent. Jamshed who died in an air crash in December last year left both his
engineering and music careers and subsequently focused on his religious
activities for Islam and reciting nasheeds (chants) and na’at (poetry) in
praise of Muhammad) on TV and releasing them on CD's.
said that 'Radio Saut ul Islam' is “a humble effort to spread the true message
of Islam by means of the latest possible ways.” Aamir added that the channel
aims to broadcast lectures, interviews, learning sessions, Islamic songs,
Muslim World news and much more in future. Presently the broadcasts are mainly
in Kashmiri and Urdu languages but Aamir and his team plan to do it soon in
English and other language as well.
claimed that he recently received a phone call threatening him to close the
channel or be ready to face consequences. He has no idea who the caller was and
why he wanted him to shut ‘Radio Saut ul Islam’. Analyst Sheikh Abdul Qayyum
said that the radio will spread the message of Islam and that ‘Islam like all
other religions stands for peace’.
asserted, “It will spread the message of peace. It would be but naive to think
that this Internet- based radio will promote terrorism in or bring
Talbinisation to Kashmir”. He also believes. “In today’s world when Internet
and other means of Information Technology have made the world smaller mainly
through social media such threats can’t stop anyone from reaching out to the
who is founder and the president of Islamic Fraternity (Kashmir) and
Editor-in-Chief of ‘The Islamic Revival’ magazine besides heading an aid group
called Centre for Humanitarian Aid, said that an Android application has also
been developed for his ‘halal’ radio. He said that apart from programmes on
teaching of Qur’an and Hadith, ‘Radio Saur ul Islam’ will broadcast live
Q&A sessions with reputed Islamic scholars and discussions on late
marriage, polygamy and various women-related issues such as hijab (veil) and
Datta, 11 March 2017
over a year, intelligence analysts have been receiving inputs about the Islamic
State-Khorasan Province’s plans to attack the country.
low intensity blast on a Bhopal-Ujjain passenger train on Tuesday morning led
to initial claims that this was the “first ISIS attack” in India, a reference
to the Islamic State, the Syria-based terrorist organisation. However, this
claim was soon downgraded, and the blast was blamed on a “self-radicalised”
officials have been expecting an attack by the Islamic State-Khorasan Province
– an outfit in Afghanistan that swears allegiance to the Syria-based extremist
group – for months. So when news of the train blast first reached intelligence
officials, it seemed possible that the attack was linked to that terrorist
group. However, as investigations progressed, investigating officers were
unable to find evidence to back up their initial suspicions, leading to
frustration among intelligence officials. Clearly, this wasn’t the attack they
had been warned about.
over a year, Indian intelligence analysts have been receiving inputs about the
growing presence of the Islamic State-Khorasan Province, and its plans to
few years ago, a few young men from Hyderabad were intercepted on the
Indo-Bangladesh border while attempting to cross over to Bangladesh. Based on
their revelations after interrogation, Bangladeshi intelligence authorities
picked up a man in Dhaka who is claimed to have confessed that the intercepted
men were heading for Khorasan Province in Afghanistan via Bangladesh and
Pakistan. Similarly, a group of 21 men and women from Kerala, who disappeared
last year, are believed to have joined the Islamic State in Afghanistan.
growth of the Islamic State-Khorasan Province and its linkages with Pakistan
has worried Indian security officials for months. Government insiders said that
the top American military commander in Afghanistan, General John Nicholson, has
also accepted that the Afghanistan branch of the Islamic State has been
growing, as more Pakistanis from Punjab sign up.
Tuesday, when the Madhya Pradesh police was alerted about the low-intensity
train blast that took place in the morning, they began to pore through closed
circuit television camera footage and cell phone call records looking for
clues. By afternoon, the Intelligence Bureau alerted them about possible
suspects trying to make their way through Hoshangabad district in Madhya
Pradesh. The police finally intercepted and arrested the three men – Danish
Akhtar, Syed Mir and Atif Muzaffar – near Pipariya in Hoshangabad district.
After hours of interrogation, one of them is reported to have told the police
about other members of their group who were based in Uttar Pradesh.
are still investigating the links to the IS [Islamic State], but we don’t have
any clear indications between these men and those abroad,” a senior
intelligence official told this reporter. “We found some tentative links when
they tried to connect with some known recruiters of the IS who are abroad, but
we haven’t been able to establish them fully. But this looks similar to the
Gulshan attack case in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where the young men had met the IS
the train blast, intelligence officials were also intrigued by the silence from
Amaq, the official news outlet for the Islamic State, as well as on encrypted
channels like Telegram, believed to be the preferred channel of communication
for the extremist organisation. Attacks by the Islamic State or its followers
usually lead to some kind of chatter on these channels. On Wednesday, there was
a much bigger attack in a hospital in Kabul in which 49 people were killed. The
Islamic State claimed credit for this attack via Amaq.
the Gulshan attack when Amaq released images of the young men within hours of
the attack, no such claims came forward after the Bhopal blast,” said the
senior intelligence official. The police just found a hand-painted IS [Islamic
State] flag from the house of Mohammed Saifullah, who was killed in the
encounter by the UP Anti-Terrorism Squad [in Lucknow on Wednesday]. These raise
doubts about the affiliations of this group with either the IS [Islamic State]
or the IS-KP [Islamic State-Khorastan Province].”
new Indian Mujahideen?
the early years of Al Qaeda, many analysts were confused by the terrorist
organisation’s seeming omnipresence across continents. Much later, after the
9/11 attacks on the US, intelligence officials began to realise that Al Qaeda
was a body of loosely-connected individuals who converged on ideology, but
shared very little in terms of resources or an organisational structure.
2006, as the Indian Mujahideen emerged from the banned Students Islamic
Movement of India, it created fears of a new “home grown” terror organisation
that could strike at will. The emergence of the current group seems akin to
what the Indian Mujahideen was until the infamous Batla House encounter in
Delhi delivered a death blow to the organisation.
believe that this group is part of a federated organisation, where they may not
be connected in terms of finances or logistics, but are keen to shape a single
identity because that helps everyone” said a senior security professional who
has had years tracking terrorism in India. “We believe that like the IM [Indian
Mujahideen], we may be seeing smaller groups emerging, who may not be formally
connected, but will have similar points of angst and radicalisation.”
intelligence officials also point to the fact that while the Indian Mujahideen
was disbanded after repeated encounters and arrests, those who fled abroad
continue to operate out of Afghanistan and have joined the Islamic
senior security official added: “The inputs we have so far indicate that those
same people are getting in touch with a new generation of young men and women,
aiding them to sign up for the IS-KP [Islamic State-Khorastan Province], even
if it doesn’t mean any formal association.”
Thursday, with help from the Intelligence Bureau, the Uttar Pradesh
Anti-Terrorism Squad also picked up Ghaus Khan – a former corporal with the
Indian Air Force who had taken voluntary retirement in 1993 – in connection
with the train blast. Ghaus Khan reportedly told his interrogators that he had
been inspired by the speeches of Delhi-based cleric Mufti Abdus Sami Qasmi, who
the National Investigation Agency arrested last year. Apparently Qasmi’s
provocative speeches about the rise of the Islamic State caliphate in India
seems to have been the trigger for Ghaus Khan to raise a group of extremists in
country-made pistols were recovered from the house in Lucknow that Saifullah
was killed in. This is offered as further proof that the train blast was
conceived of by a local group with little or minimal international linkages.
there is a growing fear that increasing communal polarisation in India will
continue to fan extremism as more groups choose violent means to strike back against
| Mar 11, 2017
Pakistan has summoned India's deputy high commissioner to express its concern
over the acquittal of right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand - an accused in the
Samjhauta train blasts case - in a case of terrorism.
a late night statement, the Foreign Office said Indian Deputy High Commissioner
J P Singh was called in by the director general (South Asia & SAARC) on
Friday "to express concern over acquittal of Swami Aseemanand in Ajmer
Sharif blast case."
Aseemanand had publicly confessed that he was the 'mastermind' of Samjhauta
Express terrorist attack of February 2007 and had also identified a serving
Indian army officer Col Purohit as his accomplice in the Samjhauta Express
terrorist attack," it said.
total of 68 people were killed in the blasts in two coaches of Samjhauta
Express in Panipat on February 18, 2007.
statement said that 42 Pakistani citizens had lost their lives in the Samjhauta
Government of Pakistan expects India to take steps to bring to justice all
those involved in the heinous act of Samjhauta Express terrorist attack,"
Thursday, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria had asked India to bring the
perpetrators of the Samjhauta train blasts to justice and termed the acquittal
of Aseemanand in the 2007 Ajmer blast case as "regrettable".
we have noted is that over the last few years they had been exonerating people
involved in the Samjhauta Express terrorist attack," Zakaria had said.
have been pursuing the case of Samjhauta Express with the Indian government and
we hope that they will share the findings/investigations collected so far in
the case with us and perpetrators will be brought to justice," he had
member of right-wing Hindu group Abhinav Bharat, Assemanand has been in jail
since December 2010. He was also named as an accused in Hyderabad Mecca Masjid
foreign ISIS militants killed in US drone strike in East of Afghanistan
KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Mar 11 2017
least three militants affiliated with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
(ISIS) terrorist group were killed in an airstrike conducted by the US forces
in eastern Nangarhar province of Afghanistan.
provincial police commandment in a statement said the airstrike was carried out
late on Friday in Momand Dara area of Achin district.
statement further added that the militants were targeted by Unmanned Aerial
Vehicle, leaving three of them dead and at least three others wounded.
to the police commandment, the local residents and security forces did not
suffer any casualties in the airstrike.
is among the relatively calm provinces in eastern Afghanistan but the
anti-government armed militant groups have recently increased their insurgency
activities in some parts of the province during the recent years.
latest coordinated attack by ISIS loyalists came as the Afghan forces are busy
conducting counter-terrorism operations in the restive districts of Nangarhar
under the Shaheen-25 operations launched several weeks ago.
operations are being conducted with the support of the US forces based in
Afghanistan who are providing close-air support under a broader role granted by
the Obama administration earlier last year to target the terrorist groups in
important Taliban in charge of the finance and military commissions were killed
during an operation in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan.
to the 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan National Army, Taliban’s military
commission chief Qari Dost Mohammad and finance commission chief Mullah Niaz
Mohammad were killed during a clash with the security forces.
two important Taliban leaders were among at least six militants killed during
the operation conducted in Dasht-e-Archi district.
least three motorcycles and an explosives and ammunition depot of the group
were also destroyed during the operation.
an operation in Dand-e-Shahabuddin area of Baghlan province, at least one
Taliban insurgent was killed and two others were wounded, the 209th Shaheen
and Baghlan provinces are among the relatively volatile provinces in northern
Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgents are actively operating in its various
comes as at least three prominent commanders of the Taliban were killed in
airstrike in northern Kunduz province some weeks ago.
anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the latest
reports so far.
KHAAMA PRESS - Sat Mar 11 201
key leader of the ISIS loyalists in command of a group of 200 militants who was
involved in Kabul demonstration attack has been killed, it has been reported.
to reports, Mawlavi Abdul Qayum who was also famous as Shaheen Khurasani was
killed in an operation in Achin district.
operation was reportedly conducted by the operatives of the Afghan
intelligence, national directorate of security.
comes as the officials announced earlier last month that one of the key ISIS
leader who had planned the attack on a Shia mosque and on demonstrators in
Kabul was killed.
to ARG Palace, Qari Munib was killed during a counter-terrorism operation
conducted on 13th January in Achin district of Nangarhar.
Munib was involved in some of the major attacks in Kabul city, including a
deadly attack on protesters in Kabul and attack on Baqir-ul-Uloom mosque in
west of Kabul city that left scores of people dead or wounded.
was also involved in an attack on Nepali security guards in Kabul city late
Palace said the ISIS leader was targeted in line with the President Ghani and
National Security Council’s instructions and in join coordination with the
coalition forces based in Afghanistan.
Khaama Press (KP) | Afghan News Agency on Twitter, become a fan on F
Afghan officials informed the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) regarding
the growing territorial and airspace violations by Pakistan, saying Afghanistan
recorded 59 territory and 3 airspace violations since January.
January till today, we recorded at least 59 instances of violations of Afghan
territory by Pakistan military forces, including three violations of our air
space, over 1375 cross-frontier artillery shellings that caused dozens of
casualties, displacement of 450 families in the middle of cold winter in our
eastern provinces, burning of our forests, illegal construction of
infrastructure near the frontier region, and hostile maneuvering of tanks and
heavy weaponry,” Mahmoud Saikal, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the United Nations said.
Saikal said in February, a series of unfortunate terrorist attacks in Pakistan
killed dozens and wounded many more innocent men, women, and children.
is the case, Afghans always share the pain and anguish of our Pakistani
brothers and sisters,” he said adding that “However, the Government of
Pakistan, immediately and without any regard for an investigative process or
clear facts, blamed Afghanistan for the attacks and resorted to increased
breaches of our territorial integrity, the closing of the main border
crossings, blockading trade and transit, and harassing our nationals traveling
to or living in their country.”
to Saikal, s uch measures constitute a clear violation of principles of WTO and
the rights of land locked countries, including their access to sea.
also informed UNSC regarding the key Taliban and Haqqani network leaders based
in the country along with the sanctuaries being used by them.
have submitted to their Government a list of 86 known terrorists and 32 Taliban
training centers, including Haqqani network centers, asking for their immediate
closure. We have asked for a third-party verification of the two sides’
efforts. No response has yet been received. The UN Secretary General, this
noble Council, and other international partners are all appraised of these
developments,” he added.
(FNA)- Military sources said the Turkish troops have pounded the Syrian army's
military positions in Manbij region in Aleppo with rockets and artillery shells
Turkish shelling targeted the Syrian border guards and claimed the lives of a
number of them and injured many others," the source said.
noted that the Turkish aggression on the Syrian territories is just an attempt
to stop the success and progress made by the Syrian army and its allied forces
in the war against terrorist groups and to prevent restoration of stability and
security to Aleppo countryside and the whole Syrian territories.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the predominately Kurdish Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) warded off a joint offensive of the Turkish soldiers
and Ankara-backed militants of the Euphrates Shield Operation in the
surrounding areas of the town of Manbij in Northeastern Syria, killing at least
16 pro-Turkey militants.
SDF engaged in fierce clashes with the Turkish army men and militants of the
Euphrates Shield Operation near Buqaz village Northeast of Aleppo and repelled
their attack, killing 16 militants of the Euphrates Shield Operation and
wounding several more.
several military vehicles of the Euphrates Shield Operation forces sustained
major damage and one armored vehicles of the Turkish army was destroyed in
exchange of fire.
Turkish-led forces were trying to penetrate into Buqaz village, but they were
pushed back after sustaining heavy losses.
a relevant development on Tuesday, Kurdish forces of the Manbij Military
Council warded off heavy attacks of the Turkish soldiers and Ankara-led
Euphrates Shield forces on the Western side of the town.
sources said that the Turkish army men and their allied militants shelled the
Kurdish forces' positions in the village of Olashli West of Manbij.
sources added that fierce clashes erupted between the Kurdish forces and the
Ankara-backed militants after the Turkish army drones started flying over the
villages of Ilan, Buqaz and Olashli.
pointed out that the Kurdish forces have been defending their positions in the
villages of Ilan, Buqaz and Olashli against the Turkish soldiers' attacks.
kinds of military cooperation with Russia in Syria: President Erdoğan
and Moscow are conducting all kinds of military cooperation in Syria, President
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told a press conference March 10 with his Russian
counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
are all kinds of military cooperation in military pace in Syria,” Erdoğan said.
president also voiced determination in maintaining cooperation regarding
humanitarian aid in the war-torn country.
Putin also said he appreciated the cooperation of intelligence and military
rate very highly the level of interaction achieved between the special services
of Russia and Turkey and between the two countries’ military," Putin said
as quoted by TASS news agency.
also reiterated that the territorial integrity of Syria should not be put in
jeopardy, adding that Ankara has no toleration for the splitting of Syria and
top soldiers of Turkey and Russia, along with the U.S. Chairman of the Joint
Chief of Staff, held a three-way military summit in Antalya on March 8
discussing developments in Syria and Iraq regarding the fight against the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, met
in Moscow on March 10 for a bilateral high-level cooperation council summit.
summit, joined by cabinet ministers from both sides, marks the first such
council meeting since relations were strained over Turkey’s downing of a
Russian jet in November 2015, which led to the cancelation of the subsequent
meeting. It is the two leaders’ fourth meeting in seven months during the
normalization process since the jet crisis.
are actively working to solve the most acute crises, first of all in Syria,”
Putin said as he greeted Erdoğan at the start of the talks.
very pleased to note, and few seemed to expect it, that our military and
special services have established such efficient and close contact.”
noted that cooperation in building a prospective Russian natural gas pipeline
and a nuclear power plant in Turkey had also regained pace.
two countries brokered a cease-fire in December 2015 that helped reduce the
scale of fighting between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the opposition,
and they also co-sponsored two rounds of talks this year between al-Assad’s
government and its foes. A third round is set for next week.
and Turkey coordinated their operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and
the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.
Russian air raid last month accidentally killed three Turkish soldiers, but the
incident did not derail the military coordination.
this week, the chief military officers from Russia, the United States and Turkey
met in the Turkish city of Antalya in an apparent attempt to work out
additional steps to prevent incidents.
opposition to any moves to ally with U.S.-backed Kurdish forces, which it
declares as terrorists, was also on the agenda.
said it would take part in a move on ISIL’s stronghold in Raqqa as long as the
Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the Syrian Kurdish People’s
Protection Units (YPG), are excluded.
increasingly close cooperation on Syria between Russia and Turkey marked a
sharp turnaround for the two nations, which have backed opposing sides in
Syria, as Moscow has sided with al-Assad and Turkey has supported rebel groups
against him since the start of the Syrian conflict six years ago.
and Russia will sign several agreements, Turkish presidential spokesperson
İbrahim Kalın said one day before the summit, adding that discussions would
also include the process that was launched after normalization began last year
but have not yet been completed.
restoring ties with Turkey, Russia has hesitated to definitively lift
restrictions on trade and the economy.
downed a Russian warplane at the Syrian border in November 2015 for breaching
its air space. Moscow responded by barring the sales of package tours to Turkey
and halting the imports of agricultural products, moves that badly hurt the
June 2016, Erdoğan penned a letter to Putin, expressing Turkey’s sorrow for
downing the plane. The move helped rebuild ties, while Putin also offered firm
support to the Turkish leader in the wake of a botched coup last July.
the rapprochement, Russia has only moved gradually to lift economic
restrictions, keeping some in place as an apparent motivator for Turkey.
the eve of the Kremlin talks, it allowed the imports of a few other
agricultural products from Turkey.
are pleased to see our ties recovering at a quick tempo,” Putin said.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoglu, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Berat
Albayrak, Defense Minister Fikri Işık, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci,
Agriculture Minister Faruk Çelik, Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı,
Transport and Maritime Affairs Minister Ahmet Arslan and Justice Minister Bekir
Bozdağ are also participating in the Turkish delegation, as is Chief of General
Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar.
least 98 militants have been killed in Turkey and northern Syria over a week,
the Turkish military said March 10.
71 out of 98 Democratic Union Party (PYD), outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party
(PKK) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants were killed in northern
Syria as part of the Turkey-led Euphrates Shield operation, the military said.
military added that efforts to clear mines and explosives were ongoing in the
regions of al-Bab, Qabasin and Bzagah.
the operation began last August, the Turkish military has neutralized 3,060
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants and 462 PKK, PYD and YPG
authorities use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply the
militants in question were either killed, captured or surrounded.
jets also destroyed 2,325 targets, with the military taking control over 243
residential areas and 2,015 square kilometers (778 square miles) of territory
between the cities of Azaz and Jarabulus.
to another statement by the military on March 10, Turkish jets destroyed three
PKK targets in the Avasin-Basyan and Zap regions in northern Iraq late on March
Turkish General Staff said in a statement that 27 of the militants were killed
in anti-PKK operations in the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakır, Bingöl,
Siirt, Mardin, Bitlis, Batman and Kars between March 2 and March 9.
the operations, 24 shelters used by the PKK were destroyed and five vehicles
were seized, while 80 improvised explosives and 25 infantry rifles were
Turkish soldier was also killed during security efforts at the border, during
which 3,547 people were captured while trying to cross illegally.
forces also seized 908 kilograms (2,002 pounds) of cannabis and 7,000 packets
of smuggled cigarettes.
15,000 Syrians are enrolled in Turkish universities as of the 2016-2017
academic year, Higher Education Board (YÖK) head Yekta Saraç has said.
thirds of Syrian university students are women and the rest are men, while
3,473 Syrian students in the country are receiving education as a part of the
special “Turkey Scholarship” program, Saraç added.
the overall Syrian student population, 1,149 are postgraduate and 352 are
doctorate students. Around 2,000 are receiving education in foundation
universities,” he said at a conference on Syrian participation in higher
education at Mustafa Kemal University in the southern province of Hatay on
fact that the number of Syrian students receiving education in universities [in
Turkey] rose to 15,000 this year from 5,000 in 2014-15 and from 10,000 in
2015-16 shows a rapid increase … There are students receiving education on every
spot of the Turkish map,” Saraç also stated.
that Gaziantep University in the southeastern province of Gaziantep tops the
list with 1,680 Syrian students, Saraç added that Istanbul University and
Karabük University in the Black Sea province of Karabük are second and third on
University follows Gaziantep University with 1,000 students and Karabük
University follows it with 927 students. Mersin University, Kahramanmaraş Sütçü
İmam University, İnönü University, Çukurova University, Istanbul Aydın
University, Yüzüncü Yıl University and Sakarya University are next on the
list,” he said.
example of Karabük University shows that the number of students can be high
even in provinces where Syrians are not densely populated. This is related to
the number of Syrian lecturers the university employs,” Saraç said.
are currently Syrian students in 35 state and eight private universities across
the country, he added.
also referred to the YÖK’s new system for foreign academics launched last year,
noting that this system will make it easier for the “eligible Syrian population
to participate in academic life in Turkey.”
that as of 2016 there are a total of 392 Syrian-origin lecturers on duty in
Turkey - 327 of whom are in state universities and 65 of whom are in private
universities - Saraç said “Turkey is on a hopeful track regarding the issue.”
numeric data regarding Syrian students and academics show that we are on a long
and difficult path, but also a hopeful one,” he added.
to the wider refugee issue, Saraç noted that around 3 million Syrians are
currently in Turkey to “continue living in a humane way.”
should all know that our country is looking after our Syrian siblings with all
means possible,” he added.
says UN claims of crimes against humanity against Rohingya Muslims are
report claims babies and children have been slaughtered with knives
reports of mass killings of Rohingya Muslims in Burma are an 'internal affair',
said a spokesperson for the country's leader Aung San Suu Kyi EPA
government has dismissed the United Nations’ claims the country’s security
services have committed crimes against humanity in Rohingya-dominated areas of
the country as “exaggerated”.
month, the United Nations issued a disturbing report outlining a campaign of
human rights abuses in northern parts of the western state of Rakhine, close to
the Bangladeshi border.
and children have reportedly been slaughtered with knives amid “area clearance
operations” the UN report said, with hundreds of people having been killed
Burmese government has repeatedly denied persecuting the minority Rohingya
Muslim group, dismissing evidence of killings as “propaganda”.
leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who was swept to power after a landslide 2015
election has not responded directly to the UN claims, but the BBC attempted to
question her for a Newsnight report into the situation.
spokesman for her party told the BBC reports of crimes against humanity were
“exaggerated”, and added that the issue was “an internal affair”.
the United Nations is wrong”, the spokesperson added.
a new government we're just trying to achieve to a modern country. We have
thousands of problems.
don't believe it's crimes against humanity. It's an internal affair - it's not
an international affair.”
UN’s report, which based its claims on over 200 interviews with refugees who
had fled over the border to Bangladesh after attacks on a border post in
October 2016, found that the counter military operations by security forces
subjected the Rohingya population to brutal beatings, disappearances, mass
gang-rape, killings and other human rights violations.
devastating cruelty to which these Rohingya children have been subjected is
unbearable – what kind of hatred could make a man stab a baby crying out for
his mother's milk. And for the mother to witness this murder while she is being
gang-raped by the very security forces who should be protecting her,” said UN
High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.
Suu Kyi won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991, with the Nobel committee citing her
non-violent struggle for democracy and human rights.
boycotting Burma’s 2010 general election following decades of being frequently
subjected to house arrests, she led the National League for Democracy party
(NLD) to win the country’s first openly contested election in 25 years.
the 71-year-old iconic leader has since been accused of “legitimising genocide”
in Burma, after failing to act to protect the Rohingya Muslim population.
Police in Texas have arrested a man who allegedly burned down a mosque in a
town near Houston, the US media reported on Friday.
Vincent Perez, 25, burglarised the mosque at the Islamic Centre in Victoria, a
town in Texas, on Jan 22 and then again on Jan 28, when he started the fire
that caused widespread damage to the facility.
officials told a federal judge in Corpus Christi on Thursday that they had
taken Perez in custody for possession of a destructive device.
statement from the US attorney’s office said that Perez wanted to use the
contraption, made of fireworks, to start a car fire on Jan 15.
Magistrate Judge B. Janice Ellington refused to bail out the suspect, saying
that evidence of his involvement in a “hate crime” contributed to her decision
to hold him without bond pending further proceedings.
Attorney Mark Di Carlo said the accusations were “speculation” and “hearsay”.
dispute the charges,” the lawyer said.
the judge disagreed.
evidence against the defendant is substantial and the testimony of ATF Agent
Miller unrefuted — therefore, the court finds the testimony credible,” Ms
though the defendant has no criminal history, the testimony of his involvement
in a hate crime presently being investigated, the retaliatory nature of the
facts surrounding his possession and use of an unregistered destructive device
...demonstrate that he represents a serious danger to the community.”
Jan 28 fire that destroyed the only mosque in Victoria was officially ruled
arson last month. The Victoria community rallied around the small Muslim
congregation and a GoFundMe campaign brought in nearly $1 million in the first
two days after the incident.
synagogue in Victoria also gave its facility to local Muslims for offering
our faith in humanity has been rekindled again,” the Victoria Islamic Centre
wrote on Facebook after receiving keys from the synagogue.
spokesman for the Islamic Centre said they had already forgiven the suspected
in Dawn, March 11th, 2017
— The family of a Muslim Marine recruit from Michigan who died in a fall at
boot camp said Friday they don't believe the charges announced so far in their
son's death are severe enough for the hazing and abuse he endured.
charges appear to be insufficient and do not address the magnitude of the
torture, assault, abuse, hazing, neglect and maltreatment" to which Raheel
Siddiqui, a 20-year-old former high school valedictorian from Taylor, was
subjected, his family said through their lawyer, Shiraz Khan, Friday evening.
statement came less than two hours after the Marine Corps' Training and
Education Command (TECOM) in Quantico, Va., announced it would hold a
preliminary hearing in North Carolina next Thursday to determine whether
charges against a still-unnamed gunnery sergeant should go forward.
officials late Friday afternoon issued a release saying an Article 32 hearing
had been scheduled related to the investigation into the death of Siddiqui last
March in a three-story fall from a stairwell at the iconic training depot at
Parris Island, S.C., 11 days into his boot camp.
Marines spokesman would not say what specific role the gunnery sergeant may
have had in the death, which an earlier investigation found occurred after the
recruit was slapped by a drill instructor and forced to run back and forth
repeatedly in a barracks and refused medical treatment for a sore throat.
apparent attempt to stir up racial tension on WA's state election day was
identified as a dirty trick when the City of Stirling confirmed its letterhead
was faked on a notice about a mosque being built on Beaufort Street, Inglewood.
presenter Nadia Mitsopoulos Tweeted the letter after seeing it in her letterbox
on Saturday as WA went to the polls.
letter, which misspells Osborne Park in the City's address, requests public
comment about a proposal for a mosque and Islamic community centre on the
corner of Eighth Avenue and Beaufort Street, Inglewood.
also features a line drawing of a mosque.
site is the subject of a development proposal but it is for a mixed-use
development with residential and commercial components, confirmed a City
spokesman, who condemned the fake letter and its likely malicious intentions.
state is already fraught with racial tension, with protests held outside the
Paddington Ale House on Thursday evening as far-right groups lent support to
One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson's campaign event, and young Muslim women in
headscarves questioning Ms Hanson about her beliefs.
not very good," Labor leader Mark McGowan told reporters who asked his
opinion on the racial tensions thrown up by the campaign.
do hope that sort of thing can be avoided.
tried not to be nasty and personal during this campaign.
have just tried to campaign on the basis of the ideas and policies that we are
putting forward for the state. Others will be able to judge whether anyone else
was racist or xenophobic and I can only comment on what we have done, which I
think has been very much about a positive future for Western Australia."
leader slams bogus mosque plan
11 March 2017
president of the Islamic Council of WA has condemned a fake mosque proposal
delivered to Inglewood letter boxes this morning.
Avenue residents found notices for a proposed mosque and community hall at
Eighth Avenue and Beaufort Street.
flier claimed the Islamic Council of WA was seeking approval for the
development and included a City of Stirling letterhead.
Council of WA president Rateb Jneid said the notice sent to residents was a
is fake, a fraud, we will investigate it and it could be a political ploy,” he
City of Stirling spokesman confirmed it was a fraud and said apartments had
been proposed for the site.
September last year, the Islamic Council of WA publicly blasted Pauline
Hanson’s “paranoid and Islamophobic speech” made in Federal parliament.
Senator is in Perth today, touring electorates with State One Nation
an attempt to curb the uncontrollable fatwas that are sweeping Egyptian media,
the Egyptian Parliament is preparing to face clerics issuing such fatwas on
social media with a number of laws.
Egyptian parliament is currently discussing three laws to control this
phenomenon,” said sources in the parliament that are close to the matter.
laws will include specification of the sources allowed to issue fatwas and
approval of prison sentence and a fine of about 100,000 Egyptian pounds to
those who appear on TV channels without permission.”
has been suffering from randomly issued phenomenon, especially after the number
of muftis showing up on TV channels increased lately.
shows and religious programs on TV have exceeded the limits of discussing
political matters, worship and morality to reach a point where random clerics
issue and discuss fateful fatwas.
three law drafts submitted by members of the Religious Committee in the
parliament are to regulate the work within Dar al-Ifta, organize the public
fatwa and limit the appearance of clerics on TV programs without having a
sources said that the new law will serve al-Ifta institution and is going to be
welcomed by all the members in parliament.
observers believe there are fears that the parliament would infringe Egypt’s
Dar al-Ifta’s authorities.
parliamentary sources confirmed that these new draft laws serve the public
interest and religious institutions in general.
this matter, Secretary of the Religious Committee at the Egyptian parliament
Omar Hamrouche presented a draft law on regulating fatwas.
law will limit the issuing of religious edicts to senior scholars at al-Azhar
and Dar al-Ifta and put an end to the numerous fatwas that incite violence and
said that the draft law does not target a specific movement, but is intended to
regulate fatwas in general in order to achieve a moderate religious discourse
and highlight the tolerance of Islam after numerous fatwas were issued calling
for intolerance and discrimination.
Rwanda Bourse Moves to Boost Trade Volumes, Infuse Liquidity
Africa: Used Car Imports Drive General Motors Out of East African Market
the financial sector in the region grapples with a confidence crisis following
the collapse of some banks, Islamic finance is expected to take root as
governments enact laws that allow rollout of Sharia-compliant products and
the Islamic finance market is dominated by conventional banks that have Islamic
banking windows to tap into the lucrative market. The region has lately
witnessed a steady increase in Islamic banking, fund management, insurance
(Takaful), microfinance and co-operatives where there are fully fledged
Sharia-compliant financial institutions.
are about 50 Islamic financial institutions in Africa, a majority of which are
in North and West Africa. Globally, there are over 600 such institutions.
from the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD),
an arm of the Islamic Development Bank, shows that total global Islamic
financial assets stood at $2.1 trillion in 2014, up from $150 billion in the
1990s. Africa accounts for only 2 per cent of global Islamic banking assets.
finance is projected to hit $6.5 trillion by 2020. In East Africa, however, no
country has issued an Islamic bond (Sukuk), but Kenya and Tanzania have been
considering tapping into the Islamic finance pool to raise funds for
finance is helping bridge the gap in financial access by tapping members of the
Muslim faith who want to deal with Sharia-compliant institutions. That is why
we expect more growth in the coming years," said Adan Mohamed, Kenya's
Industrialisation Cabinet Secretary at the launch of Taqwa Sacco, a sharia-compliant
savings and credit co-operative society that has been licensed to take deposits
and offer banking services.
with 4,200 members, a deposit base of $3.7 million and a loan book of $3.5
million, is the first fully fledged Sharia-compliant Sacco in East Africa to
offer front office services.
are creating a model to enable other Sharia-compliant financial instructions to
follow as we deepen the Islamic finance market," said Taqwa chairman Ahmed
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