Iranian Ambassador to Bangladesh Dr Abbas Vaezi Dehnavi pays a farewell call on
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at her official residence Ganobhaban on Thursday,
October 4, 2018. Photo: PID
will not leave Syria until Syrian people have an election, Erdogan says
Boko Haram Causing Nigerians to Abandon Islam: ‘People Are Boycotting the
officially rejects US claim of Iran role in Basra violence
countries should resolve disputes through dialogue: PM
Afghan soldiers to ensure election security
bishop calls for united peace effort
against privatisation of war on terror, to introduce private contractors
instead of foreign troops
service member killed in Afghanistan: NATO statement
to remove UN agency for Palestinians from city
US policies, not Iran, should worry NATO: Tehran
Israel agree Iran must never have nuclear weapons
children’s book about Jewish and Muslim boys in Jerusalem
envoy to Yemen hopes to resume talks by November
restrictions push UN to suspend crucial cash aid to 9 mln Yemenis
nation not to give in to aggressors’ demands: Houthi leader
to construct 14,864 new settler units in occupied West Bank
Kurdish PKK terrorist 'neutralized' in southeastern Turkey
Treasury imposes sanctions on Hezbollah financier and seven companies
for more mosques underway
extends migration ship searches off Libya
Somalia marks horrific attack, a book explores al-Shabab
Haram has been repelled, Cameroon's leader declares
apologizes to Muslim council president, deletes 'hate-filled' posts
Bolton: ‘Iran has been world’s central banker for terrorism since 1979’
withdrawal from Vienna treaty protocol irks Ramallah
FM hopeful on rebuilding ties with US
counter-terrorism strategy identifies LeT, TTP as potential threat to US
faces sensitive time over threat from America, economic woes, leader says
not on the road to war with Iran: General Joseph Votel
treasury takes action to disrupt Hezbollah funding channels
new religious bill angers Assad loyalists
Arms Discovered in Terrorists' Bases in Syria
Army Drives ISIL out of More Regions in Sweida Deserts
Terrorists Continue Plundering Afrin's Historical Artifacts
Mass-Graves of Syrian Army Forces Found in Idlib
Al-Sham, Ankara Disagree over Sochi Agreement
Tensions Reported in Manbij Provoked by US-Backed SDF
Arabia seeks wide-ranging deals with South African arms firms amid Yemen war
UAE ‘interfering’ in UN panel’s work on Yemen
border won’t be opened till India responds to talks offer
support to terrorists threat to security: Maleeha Lodhi
refused to broker India talks: Pakistan
hears petition seeking suspension of police officers' bail in Benazir murder
University students beaten up, arrested by police
cleric, guard shot dead in Peshawar
of terrorism must for prosperity: NA speaker
man among two arrested for Hizb links
deports first Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar despite last minute asylum plea
Mamata's Durga Puja sop, Muslim clerics demand hike in imam stipends
teenager wins Bhagavad Gita contest
intelligence warns of far-right terror threat
leader provokes uproar with 'teaching Arabic leads to terrorism' jibe
Juloos 2018 - Muslim procession returns to Birmingham and this is what it means
defense minister meets British counterpart
Anti-Islam Facebook Posts Prompt Call To Resign
says Iran’s presence near Syrian-Israeli border unacceptable
of jailed Bahraini activist end hunger strike in London
finance Western media to demonize opponents: Expert
bomb plot claims dash Tehran’s hope for EU help
troops trapped in Syria due to paperwork blunder
Eng: Hadi does not treat non-Muslims with respect, dignity
MCA: PAS’ new event guideline affects non-Muslims
of religious sentiment in Indonesia’s cyberspace
Syrian may be at risk if sent back, say UN and Malaysia rights groups
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday insisted that the Muslim countries should
resolve their disputes through dialogue instead of fighting each other, as the
outgoing Iranian ambassador called on her at Gono Bhaban.
kind of dispute among the Muslim states, particularly the OIC member countries,
should be settled through discussions,” PM's press secretary Ihsanul Karim
quoted her as saying when Iranian Ambassador Dr Abbas Vaezi Dehnavi paid a
farewell call on her.
premier also urged the Muslim countries to continue mounting pressure on
Myanmar for repatriation of Rohingyas.
explained the government initiatives for their relocation to Bhashanchar island
from their makeshift shelters in Cox's Bazar -- providing them a better living
condition -- and consistent efforts for their safe and dignified return to
Myanmar's Rakhine state.
envoy said Tehran also wants repatriation of Rohingyas, adding that his country
is raising funds for them.
Principal Secretary Nojibur Rahman and Military Secretary Maj Gen Miah Mohammad
Zainul Abedin were present at the meeting.
Turkey will not leave Syria until the Syrian people hold an election, Turkish
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.
the Syrian people hold an election, we will leave Syria to its owners after
they hold their elections,” Erdogan said at a forum in Istanbul.
agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month to set up a demilitarized
zone between rebel and government fighters in northern Syria. It also has a
presence in the northwest Afrin region and further east, around Jarablus.
also said on Thursday that Turkey is not experiencing difficulty in conducting
talks with radical groups in Idlib, the last major rebel-controlled enclave
outside Syrian President Bashar Assad’s control.
Tahrir Al-Sham, which includes the Al-Qaeda-linked group formerly known as
Nusra Front, is the most powerful extremist alliance in Idlib. Turkey
designated the group a terrorist organization in August, matching a decision by
the United Nations in June.
month, in a summit in Sochi, Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin
agreed to create a demilitarized zone with a depth of 15-20 km, from which
radical groups will withdraw by Oct. 15.
Thursday, Erdogan said that in addition to 12 observation hosted by Turkey in
the area, Russia has 10 observation points and Iran has six.
this corridor means securing Idlib,” he said. “And we have started fortifying
our observation posts.”
acts at the hands of Boko Haram jihadis are leading Muslims to abandon their
faith in the capital of Nigeria’s Borno State, the birthplace of the Islamic
State (ISIS/ISIL)-linked terrorist group, an African media outlet reported on
a decade of fighting, many in Maiduguri are all the more horrified by the
indiscriminate brutality that Boko Haram has committed in the name of Islam,”
the African Argument news outlet reported.
violence is what led me to believe they were bad for religion,” Ibrahim
Suleiman, a resident of the Borno capital of Maiduguri, told the media outlet.
“They preached hatred and divided people … Their jihad has failed.”
are boycotting the mosques,” he added. “People are afraid of the bombs, but
they also no longer trust religious leaders as before.”
Boko Haram insurgency has been raging since 2009 and has left more than 30,000
people dead, including 20,000 in Borno alone, a database compiled by the
Council on Foreign Relations revealed. Boko Haram has also injured scores of
to the U.S. Department of State’s most recent annual assessment of worldwide
terrorist activities, Boko Haram was one of the top five deadliest jihadi
groups in the globe last year — responsible for 276 attacks that killed 1,287
and injured 949 others.
the birth place of Boko Haram, religious fervor has dimmed after years of
unrest. Attendance at Islamic events is down. School enrollment is up … many
people seem much more ambivalent about religion than they once were … In what
can be seen as a backlash against Boko Haram, which rejected the formal
education system, school rates have also risen sharply in Maiduguri − at least
people want education. Enrollment is so high,” Suleiman Aliyu, the headmaster
at a private Islamic school in Maiduguri, told African Argument. “They realize
they were fooled.”
name Boko Haram translates to “Western education is a sin.”
pointed out that young people no longer listen to Boko Haram-linked lectures
with “shaking passion” as they used to.
took religion so hard, they were so dogmatic,” Aliyu told the African outlet.
“Now they see that has resulted in the problems we have today. They understand
that religion is not by force.”
Argument also noted that the sale of Islamic literature and has dropped along
with attendance at religious events, including Friday prayers.
the outlet conceded, “In these myriad ways, people in Maiduguri are rejecting
Boko Haram’s teachings. Yet the conditions that allowed the group to gain popularity
in the first place remain.”
Haram’s terrorist activities include kidnappings and forcing captives,
including girls, to serve as suicide bombing. Early this year, the United
Nations reported that the ISIS-affiliated jihadis have abducted more than 1,000
children in northeastern Nigeria alone since 2013.
group’s violence has spilled over into neighboring countries from Boko Haram’s
home base in Nigeria.
of 2017, the group had displaced more than 2 million people and left 7 million
others in need of humanitarian assistance, according to Human Rights Watch.
Argument acknowledged that some “reform-minded clerics” have taken a stand
against the jihadist group.
now generally embrace the idea of some kind of regulation to ensure a similar
movement is never allowed to take hold – overhauling the current laissez faire
approach where the government has no control over the 300 mosques in Maiduguri
where Friday sermons are delivered,” it reported.
Foreign Ministry has dismissed accusations by the United States that Iran is to
blame for recent violence — including through alleged militant groups — in the
southern Iraqi city of Basra, where Washington recently closed its consulate.
are no forces or military groups in Iraq that receive orders from abroad,
whether from Iran or from another country,” said Iraq’s Foreign Ministry
spokesman Ahmad Mahjoub in Washington on Wednesday, according The Washington
was speaking during a round-table discussion with reporters held at the Iraqi
Embassy in the US capital, where he is on a trip to hold talks with US
said Iraqi authorities were “surprised” by Washington’s recent decision to
withdraw American personnel from the US consulate in Basra following an
apparent rocket attack at the diplomatic perimeter.
were surprised that our American friends withdrew their staff from the US
consulate.” He said, adding that Baghdad was “committed to protecting all
foreign missions in Basra.”
on Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had blamed Iran for the violence
in Basra and the emergency evacuation of US personnel from there, as well as
for alleged security threats to the Americans stationed at the US Embassy in
United States will hold Iran directly responsible for any harm to Americans or
to our diplomatic facilities in Iraq or elsewhere and whether perpetrated by
Iranian forces directly or by associated proxy militias,” he said.
the Iraqi Foreign Ministry spokesman, implied that Pompeo was getting his
information from unreliable sources.
not aware of the source of the information that Secretary Pompeo has regarding
the Iranian role in the threats against the US consulate in Basrah,” he said.
“We also regret that the Iranian Consulate was attacked during these
was referring to an attack on the Iranian diplomatic mission in the city last
said “it’s good” that the Iranian Consulate was now “back to work” in the city.
official seems to discount Pompeo’s remarks
US Army Col. Sean Ryan, the spokesman for the US-led military coalition to
purportedly battle Daesh in Iraq, seemed to discount Pompeo’s allegation
(the attack) may have been the work of local protesters, angered over the lack
of much-needed government services and rampant corruption among the city’s
leaders, rather than an organized paramilitary force,” he told reporters on
Tuesday, also according to The Washington Times.
Ryan further said that American forces with the US Central Command, as well as
those tied to the coalition, were planning to assist in the evacuation of US
personnel from Basra.
has already dismissed any role in the violence in Basra, stressing that it has
been a victim of that violence itself.
was in fact the victim of activities by violent and mercenary groups, which
took orders from their enablers hostile to Iran, for the attack on the Iranian
Consulate [in Basra],” Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said
said the Iraqi government had sent in security forces to ensure security in
- More than 54,000 Afghan security force members will be deployed to ensure
security of upcoming parliamentary and district councils elections scheduled to
be held later this month, an official said Thursday.
National Security and Defense Forces are directed to take security of the
parliamentary and district councils elections. Some 54,000 security force
members will be deployed to provide security for 5,100 polling centers across
the country and will provide security for election candidates and their
campaign rallies,” Nasrat Rahimi, an interior ministry spokesperson, told
asked the election candidates to share information with the security forces,
prior to holding their campaign meetings all over the country.
Tuesday, 14 people were killed and 42 others wounded when a suicide bombing
struck an election rally in the country’s eastern Nangarhar province, where
Rahimi said security forces would foil it if were informed prior to the
first parliamentary election in the post-Taliban Afghanistan was held in 2005
while the second parliamentary polls took place in 2010. However, the 2015
parliamentary polls, originally set to be held in early 2015 following
presidential elections, were repeatedly delayed.
Alexander Pyone Cho has called on all stakeholders to come together and seek a
lasting solution to violent conflict in Myanmar that has caused a Rohingya
Muslim refugee crisis.
Pyay Diocese covers troubled Rakhine State, which has experienced the worst
Rakhine crisis is like an open wound that could not be instantly healed, Bishop
Pyone Cho told ucanews.com.
noted that international pressure is mounting on Myanmar, an apparent reference
to calls for the prosecution of some members of the country's security forces
for crimes against humanity in relation to killings and other abuses of
the 69-year-old bishop said the international community also needed to engage
with stakeholders to assist in finding solutions.
observed that while the foreign emphasis continues to be on human rights
violations, local people tend to stress sovereignty issues. "We also keep
in mind the international standards of human rights and human dignity,"
the bishop said.
from the Rohingya crisis, Aung San Suu Kyi's government has inherited other
unresolved ethnic conflicts as well as poor education and health services and
high unemployment levels.
Kyi was trying hard to walk a "tightrope" on the vexed Rakhine
situation between the still politically powerful military and local as well as
foreign expectations, the bishop said.
Pyone Cho also said that Myanmar is still going through a "transition to
democracy" following decades of military rule. He called for people in
Myanmar to unify in a spirit of nation building that would bring prosperity and
than 700,000 Rohingya fled to Bangladesh in the wake of a Myanmar military
crackdown that began in August 2017 following attacks on security personnel by
U.N. Fact-Finding Mission recently found that Myanmar's military committed four
of the five acts constituting genocide against the Rohingya. It said military
chief Min Aung Hlaing and five other senior generals must be prosecuted for
genocide and war crimes against humanity.
Sept. 30, Bishop Pyone Cho and interfaith leaders were present at a ceremony in
Sittwe, the capital city of Rakhine, as Aung Ko, Myanmar's religious affairs
and culture minister, transferred US$100,000 donated by Pope Francis to the
Rakhine government. Bishop Pyone Cho said the government will use it for the
development of Rakhine, especially to improve transport and water supplies.
pope's donation is for the development of all communities regardless of race
and religion," Bishop Pyone Cho told ucanews.com.
Francis visited Myanmar last November but did not go to conflict-torn Rakhine.
pope avoided saying the word "Rohingya" during his four-day visit as
the bishops of Myanmar urged him not to utter what they regard as a sensitive
term that could have caused a backlash from nationalist groups.
people in Myanmar continue to view Rohinghya as illegal Bengali immigrants
despite many having been in Myanmar for centuries.
to diocese records, Catholics, mostly ethnic Chin, number only about 7,800 in
Rakhine's three million population.
has objected the proposed privatising of the war on terror in the country
through the introduction of private contractors instead of foreign troops.
this regard, the Afghan Office of the National Security Council (NSC) said on
Thursday that the country will take into consideration all legal options
against anyone attempting to privatise the war in the country.
comes after the founder and former CEO of Blackwater security, Erik Prince's
campaign, promoted the idea of privatisation of the war by introducing
no manner does the government of Afghanistan condone this destructive and divisive
debate," a statement from the NSC said, adding that it would "add new
foreign and unaccountable elements to our fight."
idea violates the principle that Afghans determine their own future. Afghan
security and defence forces, under the framework of all applicable laws of the
country, have the primary responsibility and authority for safeguarding the
noble values of Islam, our national sovereignty, and the independence and
territorial integrity of our beloved country and people," the statement
NSC stressed and maintained their stance that the war on terrorism in the
country will continue to be led by Afghan forces, with the support of foreign
no circumstances will the Afghan government and people allow the
counterterrorism fight to become a private, for-profit business. The protection
of our Islamic values, our national way of life, and our citizens are this
government's most sacred responsibility," the statement added.
defending his plan, Prince said that the situation in the country could be
changed within six months if his forces are introduced.
US service member was killed in Afghanistan, a statement from NATO military
headquarters in Kabul said on Thursday.
service member, assigned to NATO’s Resolute Support training and advisory
mission, was not identified. The statement said the incident was under
least six US servicemen have been killed in Afghanistan this year in combat
incidents or insider attacks by members of the Afghan forces. The Pentagon says
there are about 14,000 US service members in Afghanistan.
Jerusalem’s mayor said Thursday he plans to remove a UN agency for Palestinian
refugees from the city, accusing the body of operating illegally and promoting
incitement against Israel.
Barkat said schools, clinics and sports centers, among other services operated
by UNRWA in east Jerusalem, will be transferred to Israeli authorities. The
municipality did not provide an exact timeline but it said schools serving
1,800 students would be closed by the end of the current school year.
who is set to step down following municipal elections at the end of the month,
said the US decision to cut $300 million in aid to the agency earlier this year
prompted the move.
US decision has created a rare opportunity to replace UNRWA’s services with
services of the Jerusalem Municipality. We are putting an end to the lie of the
‘Palestinian refugee problem’ and the attempts at creating a false sovereignty
within a sovereignty,” Barkat said in a statement, claiming the schools and
clinics were illegal and operate without an Israeli license.
municipality said the move was coordinated with the Israeli government.
did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
was established in the wake of the 1948 Mideast war surrounding Israel’s
creation. An estimated 700,000 Palestinians fled or were forced from their
homes in the fighting.
the absence of a solution, the UN General Assembly has repeatedly renewed
UNRWA’s mandate. The agency now provides education, health care and social
services to more than 5 million refugees and their descendants. It serves
populations in Gaza and the West Bank, as well as Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
by the Palestinians and most of the international community as providing a
valuable safety net, UNRWA is viewed far differently by Israel. It accuses the
agency of perpetuating the conflict by helping promote an unrealistic
Palestinian demand that refugees have the “right of return” to long-lost homes
in what is now Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said UNRWA
should be abolished and its responsibilities taken over by the main UN refugee
in Israel have even tougher criticism, accusing UNRWA of teaching hatred of
Israel in its classrooms and tolerating or assisting Hamas militants in Gaza.
US meanwhile has demanded the agency carry out reforms before it restores
has rejected “unwarranted” concerns voiced by NATO over the Islamic Republic’s
regional activities, saying the Western military alliance should rather be
worried about the US’s “unilateral and dangerous” policies and its breach of
ahead of the meetings of NATO defense ministers in Brussels on Tuesday, NATO
Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg expressed concerns about what he called
Iran’s “destabilizing activities in the wider Middle East region” and its missile program.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi stressed that Iran, which is itself a
major victim of terrorism, has played the most effective role in eliminating
terrorist groups such as Daesh in the region.
to the NATO secretary general’s remarks, Iran’s constructive role in creating
stability in the Persian Gulf and Middle East region has been acknowledged by
most of the international community,” he said.
added that many European countries owe their security today to Iran’s “generous”
fight against extremist terror groups.
countries should be thankful for Iran’s “sacred” battle aimed at containing
terrorists in the region instead of questioning the country’s “constructive and
effective” policies, which provides them with security.
“has always sought dialog and close cooperation with its neighbors, but
believed, at the same time, that the Middle East’s security should be preserved
by the regional countries,” he said.
official voiced Tehran’s objection to “any presence and intervention of foreign
powers and military-security bodies in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf
region under the pretext of providing security.”
Iranian spokesman further dismissed the NATO chief’s concerns about Iran’s
conventional missile program, saying it serves defense and deterrence purposes.
such unwarranted expressions of concerns will have no effect on the Islamic
Republic of Iran’s policy in preserving, developing and strengthening its
missile defense might and program,” Qassemi said.
also referred to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s repeated
confirmation of Iran’s compliance with the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal,
known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
NATO secretary general should more than ever be worried about one of its
member’s breach of commitments as well as its illegal and unilateral withdrawal
from the JCPOA,” he added.
in May, President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the JCPOA despite
objections from the other parties.
Germany and Israel agree that Iran should never be allowed to acquire nuclear
weapons but they differ on how to achieve this goal, Chancellor Angela Merkel
said on Thursday at a news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
are very convinced and strongly share Israel’s position that everything must be
done to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Where we are not always
united is on the path to this goal,” Merkel said.
added that Iran’s military presence in Syria and Lebanon was a threat to
Sheldon Lewis, rabbi emeritus of Congregation Kol Emeth in Palo Alto, has long
been engaged in interfaith reconciliation efforts in the Middle East. In 2012
he published a book on peaceful conflict resolution within Jewish sources
titled “The Torah of Reconciliation.” On some level, however, he believes that
peace must begin with children.
the publication this year of the second in his series of kids’ books about two
“thumb-sized” boys in Jerusalem — one Jewish, one Palestinian Muslim — Rabbi
Lewis makes his commitment to that concept clear.
think education is key for reconciliation to be achieved in the Middle East,”
he says. “We have fallen short, but as bleak as it looks right now, we are not
meant to give up. We need fresh energy and commitment.”
what gives Lewis the impetus to write children’s literature, although he has
always loved telling stories to children. “More Mini Adventures in Jerusalem”
follows the earlier “Mini Adventures in Jerusalem,” in which the two tiny boys
(known as k’tonton in Hebrew) meet in a crack in the Western Wall. A chapter
book, delightfully illustrated by Kim Howard, Lewis’ former student, “More Mini
Adventures” has the boys finding one another again at the Wall, riding a
squirrel, making friends in Jerusalem and so on. In one chapter, while doing
homework together they discover that their respective traditions share some
commonalities. The last chapter takes place in Neve Shalom, a long-established
community in Israel where Jews and Palestinians live, work and educate their
children together, and a place Lewis has visited.
see these books as a Torah of reconciliation for kids,” Lewis says.
has four grown children and nine grandchildren as of this writing, whom he
calls “my beta-testers.” One of them, Sari Lewis, was 15 when she contributed
two full-color illustrations to the new sequel — the first publication of her
book’s designer is a Muslim friend in Palo Alto, Regina Basari.
United Nations special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, expressed on Thursday
his hopes to resume talks with all parties by November.
also said that the best way to resolve Yemen’s humanitarian crisis is to fix
the economy, revealing that the top international priority is to stop the slide
in the riyal currency.
Griffiths said the United Nations is discussing an emergency plan to stem the
riyal’s fall and restore economic confidence.
no doubt in my mind whatsoever that this economic issue is now the
overwhelmingly most important priority,” envoy Martin Griffiths told Reuters.
the UN we’re talking about the need for such a master plan ... an immediate set
of measures over weeks during which the World Bank, IMF, UN agencies, the Gulf
obviously, the government of Yemen could come together to discuss,” he said.
Arabia donated $200 million to Yemen’s central bank this week to help shore up
the riyal, following earlier deposits of nearly $3 billion, but Griffiths said
a more comprehensive approach was needed.
UN children’s agency on Wednesday suspended cash transfers to 9 million of
Yemen’s most impoverished citizens under pressure from the pro-Iranian Houthi
move comes at a time when Yemen’s local currency has been deteriorating, prices
of food and fuel are increasing, sparking fears of a worsening humanitarian
said the decision came after it was unable to set up a call center to get
feedback from beneficiaries, without providing further details.
individuals familiar with the program said the Houthi militias who control
northern Yemen hindered the launch of the call center because they feared it
might reveal their manipulation of the cash transfers. The two spoke on
condition of anonymity, fearing reprisals from the rebels.
pro-Iranian Houthi militias have been at war with the Yemeni legitimate
government backed by the Arab coalition since March 2015. The militias have
repeatedly been accused of diverting aid to their supporters.
week, Houthi security authorities banned the country director of the Adventist
Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) from returning to Yemen, according to two
individuals familiar with the situation.
agency has been under pressure from Houthis to use their beneficiary lists in
aid distribution and to use Houthi-linked staffers in ADRA-run health
facilities. When ADRA Yemen chief Ephraim Palmero objected, he was notified
that he wouldn’t be allowed to return to the country, the individuals said.
is among the most active international relief agencies working in delivering
aid to millions of impoverished Yemenis.
President Jonathan Duffy described working conditions in Yemen as “very disturbing” and said the withdrawal of
Palmero’s travel credentials is a “threat against delivery” of humanitarian
carries out emergency responses and development work on the basis of need
alone, giving priority to the most urgent cases of distress making no
distinctions on the basis of nationality, race, gender, religious belief, class
or political opinions,” he said in a statement.
suspended UNICEF payment is the third since the project was launched in August
2017. UNICEF has said the cash transfers are a “lifeline” to a third of Yemen’s
people and “contribute to avert the risk of famine and allowed targeted
families to buy food and medicine.”
value of the Yemeni rial has been in a steady freefall. The rial traded at 800
to the dollar earlier this week, causing immediate price rise in goods and
prompting the Saudi Government to inject $200 million to shore up Yemen’s
Central Bank reserves.
the civil war erupted in 2015, the rial was around 215 to the dollar.
8.4 million people not knowing where their next meal will come from, the UN
Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs warned last month that a
further slide in the rial could result in an additional 3.5 million Yemenis
becoming food insecure, and that more than 2 million are “likely to be at a
heightened risk of famine.” Full story
of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement says the Yemeni nation would not give in
to the invaders’ demands, but has emphasized that it is ready for a peace which
would end the enemy’s aggression and the occupation of the Yemeni territories.
his supporters via a televised speech broadcast live on Thursday evening,
Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said the Yemenis would never surrender as their faith,
dignity, and identity would not allow them to.
silent and giving in to the enemies’ demands amounts to shirking our responsibility
at a time when they are trying to occupy our country,” he said, ruling out any
compromise with the Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging a brutal war on
Yemen since March 2015.
enemies are blatantly invading Yemen and that needs to be responded to, he
said, adding that it is a humiliation and treason if the Yemenis do nothing in
reaction to the aggression.
he said, the Yemeni nation would welcome a peace that ends the ongoing
aggression and the occupation of Yemen.
further blamed the Saudi side for a stalemate in peace talks and a political
resolution of the crisis in Yemen, saying that “the enemies blocked all efforts
to restore peace while the Sana’a negotiators [Houthis] had offered
fresh round of UN-sponsored peace talks was supposed to be held on September 6
in Geneva, Switzerland, but the Houthi Ansarullah failed to attend the talks
after Saudi Arabia allegedly refused to allow a delegation of the popular
movement to fly to the Swiss city.
Arabia and some of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and
Sudan, launched a brutal war, code-named Operation Decisive Storm, against
Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former President Abd
Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement, which plays a
significant role in aiding the Yemeni army in defending the impoverished
country against the invading coalition.
former Yemeni government resigned in 2015 as the country was experiencing
political turmoil. Shortly afterwards, Hadi fled to Riyadh, where he encouraged
the Saudis to wage a war on Yemen in a bid to regain power.
Houthi movement has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective
administration since the onset of the war, which has so far killed some 15,000
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country's infrastructure,
destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. The United Nations has said
that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4
million threatened by severe hunger.
officials have reportedly approved plans for the construction of 14,864 new
settler units in the occupied West Bank irrespective of international outcry
against the regime’s land expropriation and settlement expansion policies in
the Palestinian territories.
of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, Shlomo Ne'eman, said on Thursday that the
construction of the new units will triple the number of settler population in
the area, which lies directly south of Jerusalem al-Quds and Bethlehem in the
central West Bank.
added that the project includes 1,100 settler units in Rosh Tzurim settlement,
located about 20 kilometers south of Jerusalem al-Quds, 600 units in Migdal Oz
settlement, some 1,107 in Gevaot settlement, and 1,200 units between Bat Ayin
and Migdal Oz settlements.
project is estimated to cost 18.9 million shekels ($5,195,610).
than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations
Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately and
completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian
territories, including East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem
want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state with East
Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.
last round of Israeli-Palestinian talks collapsed in 2014. Among the major
sticking points in those negotiations was Israel’s continued settlement
expansion on Palestinian territories.
backtracked on Washington’s support for a “two-state solution” earlier this
year, saying he would support any solution favored by both sides.
security forces have "neutralized" a high-ranking member of the
Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group during a counter-terrorism
operation in the country’s southeastern province of Mardin.
Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that Mehmet Sait Sürer,
better known by the nom de guerre Cuma Mardin, was neutralized during an
airstrike against a militant position in the Nusaybin district of the province.
statement added that the militant had a $647,360 bounty on his head, and was in
the red category of the ministry's wanted terrorists.
Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that
the militants were killed, captured or surrendered.
report came on the same day that seven Turkish soldiers were killed and two
others wounded in a PKK bomb attack in Turkey’s southeastern province of
Batman Governor's Office said in a statement that four soldiers were killed on
the spot, while five others sustained injuries as the explosion struck in a
rural area of Gercus district.
doctor, who asked not to be named, said three soldiers later succumbed to their
wounds at the Batman Region State Hospital.
militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated
southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.
along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a
terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an
autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July
2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out
operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and
The US Treasury imposed sanctions on Muhammad Abdallah Al-Amin and seven of his
companies on Thursday for providing financial and material support for
treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated Al-Amin as a
“Specifically Designated Global Terrorist” (SDGT).
is an Iranian-proxy, and this administration is focused on exposing and
disrupting its terrorist funding networks. We are exerting extraordinary
pressure on Hezbollah financiers to halt their pernicious activities in Lebanon
and beyond,” Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and
Financial Intelligence, said.
action should serve as a warning that we will impose consequences on anyone
engaging in business relationships with Al-Amin or other Hezbollah support
networks. The treasury has taken more actions against Hezbollah this year than
ever before, and we are fully committed to shutting down this terrorist
designation of Al-Amin and his companies comes after action was taken in
February targeting the Tabaja network operating in West Africa and Lebanon,
owned by Adham Tabaja, who was also designated an SDGT on June 6.
maintains direct ties to senior Hezbollah officials and Hezbollah’s operational
component, which is responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing
Hezbollah attacks worldwide. Tabaja also holds properties in Lebanon on behalf
was designated for “assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material,
or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support
of, Tabaja,” according to a treasury statement.
concealed funds for Tabaja, and Tabaja held a significant amount of money in
Al-Amin’s name at a Lebanese bank. Al-Amin has also served as a liaison between
Tabaja and banking officials and has assisted Tabaja in circumventing the
impact of sanctions.
addition to his direct support to Tabaja, Al-Amin was involved in financial
activities with Muhammad Fallah Kallas, whom OFAC sanctioned on October 20,
the majority of the South Africa’s Muslims residing in the Western Cape, City
of Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille has confirmed that several applications to
process more places of worship are currently underway.
feedback comes after ongoing requests to the City’s offices for the building of
more mosques within the province.
Muslim Judicial Council (MJC) leadership met with the mayor last week to
discuss the delay in allocating land for the mosques.
meeting with the MJC was about the number of applications submitted by them
that were delayed in the City. I’ve consulted with the City manager who has
agreed to put in place a special team in the administration to process the
applications,” explains De Lille.
did say to the MJC leadership that proportionally the majority of Muslims in
the country live in the Western Cape and [the number is] growing; therefore the
need for places of worship for Muslim persons has increased.”
MJC thanked the mayor for acknowledging the issue and for putting processes and
procedures in place to ensure an equal balance of religious places of worship
is available in the future.
MJC adds this is an ongoing project to continue to work with the City to ensure
that land is made available to the Muslim community for more mosques to be
follow-up meeting between the City and the MJC will take place soon to give
feedback on the applications for more mosques.
Security Council on Wednesday renewed for a year UN member states’ authorization
to inspect vessels off Libya suspected of smuggling migrants between Africa and
by Britain, the resolution was approved unanimously by the 15 members of the
“condemns all acts of migrant smuggling and human trafficking into, through and
from the Libyan territory and off the coast of Libya, which undermine further
the process of stabilization of Libya and endanger the lives of hundreds of
thousands of people.”
led to friction with the United States, which wanted to water down the draft
text and remove several paragraphs on migrant smuggling considered too
permissive for migration, diplomats said.
into chaos following the fall of longtime dictator Muammar Qaddafi in a 2011
NATO-backed uprising, Libya has become a prime transit point for sub-Saharan
African migrants making dangerous clandestine bids to reach Europe.
smugglers have taken advantage of the turmoil, putting African migrants seeking
to reach Europe at greater risk.
al-Shabaab: The Secret History of al-Qaeda's Most Powerful Ally" (Indiana
University Press), by Harun Maruf and Dan Joseph
deadliest terror attack in Africa's history began with a loaded truck barreling
down a busy street in Somalia's capital, seemingly bound for the international
airport and the embassies sheltering there.
truck instead detonated in Mogadishu traffic, killing well over 500 people.
Somalis who had witnessed decades of chaos were horrified. In a rare protest,
they marched by the thousands to defy the Islamic extremist group that is now the
deadliest in sub-Saharan Africa, the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab.
Oct. 14, Somalia marks the anniversary of the bombing. Many around the world
barely took note of the attack, though it was easily one of the worst since
with interest in the spread of extremism, however, should read the new book
"Inside al-Shabaab: The Secret History of al-Qaeda's Most Powerful
it says, a Washington where the U.S. government controls the White House, a few
adjacent buildings and the highway to the airport while insurgents hold the
rest. "Every so often, the insurgents fire mortar shells toward the White
House." This has been Mogadishu over the years as the extremists, some of
them raised in the United States, surge and retreat.
authors, Voice of America journalists Harun Maruf and Dan Joseph, interviewed
al-Shabab members, defectors and others to tell a fluid tale of how an Islamic
nation once known for its moderation, not unlike the Afghanistan of a certain
age, slid into the hands of young men trained in Osama bin Laden's camps
was the start of the battle between al-Qaeda and America," one al-Shabab
leader later said of the battle for Mogadishu in the early 1990s as bin
Laden-backed local fighters attacked U.S. troops who tried to restore order
after the fall of dictator Siad Barre. The "Black Hawk Down" attack
in 1993 that saw U.S. soldiers dragged through the streets led the U.S.
military to leave Somalia alone for two decades.
a new generation of hard-line Islamic fighters — al-Shabab is Arabic for
"the youth" — took shape. The book describes the surprising internal
debates over the years as some members of a group known for harsh dictates and
brazen bombings argued that only a more accepting approach would win over
Somalia's people as it pursued an Islamic state.
one of the book's more extraordinary sentences, Maruf and Joseph write that
"al-Qaeda encouraged al-Shabaab to be flexible."
world's first extremist group to use Twitter to claim a major attack, al-Shabab
has been relatively organized, with financing from taxes on captive
communities, piracy off the long Indian Ocean coast and, in at least one town,
the yanking out of civilians' gold teeth.
military enthusiasts, "Inside al-Shabaab" has vivid descriptions of
street-by-street fighting in Mogadishu as the extremists pushed the fragile
Somali government to the edge of the sea. For those wondering how Somalia has
never been able to shake off the threat, the book has piercing details of what
still goes wrong both among Somalis and in the international community.
soldiers have to offer to share their lunch," one commander of the African
Union peacekeeping force said of Somali partner forces, long unpaid, who looked
corruption, deeply held clan rivalries, exasperation from both Western and
African allies, all have affected the fight against al-Shabab. Now the country,
with a Somali-American president who spent years as a bureaucrat in Buffalo,
New York, faces the nervous prospect of taking over its own security from the
A.U. force in the few years ahead.
with the U.S. military, which under President Donald Trump has increased drone
strikes in Somalia and put about 500 personnel on the ground, have warned that
Somali forces are not ready. And now a new threat has emerged: "Inside
al-Shabaab" devotes a chapter to the rise of fighters who have pledged
allegiance to the Islamic State organization.
these days might be fading or fleeing. But "by almost any tangible measure
... al-Shabaab grew stronger throughout 2017," the new book says.
U.S. has made gestures of confidence in Somalia, appointing its first
ambassador in a quarter-century and even presenting President Mohamed Abdullahi
Mohamed with a trucker cap bearing the phrase "Make Somalia great
al-Shabab's grip on the countryside ebbs and flows. The extremists have taunted
Trump as a "brainless billionaire." And every few weeks or so, they
sneak into Mogadishu with bombs and, at the gates of a hotel or government
Cameroon — Cameroon’s president says Boko Haram has been defeated in the
country, the first such announcement since he declared war on the extremist
group four years ago.
Paul Biya spoke during his first visit to the Far North region since 2012 as he
campaigned last weekend ahead of the Oct. 7 election. The 85-year-old, one of
Africa’s longest-serving leaders, has been in power since 1982 and is likely to
win again as the fractured opposition has been unable to put forward a strong
is a major issue in Cameroon, a U.S. and French military ally, as it also faces
a bloody English-language separatist movement in the southwest and northwest.
a rally in Maroua, Biya said he would focus on rebuilding what has been
destroyed in the Far North “now that terrorism has been defeated.”
region for years has been the target of suicide bombings and other attacks by
Boko Haram fighters who spilled over the border from Nigeria, where the
extremist group is based. Nearly a quarter-million people in Cameroon have been
Haram has not carried out a major attack in Cameroon in the past year and the
number of attacks has fallen. Its fighters continue to attack military targets
and cities in Nigeria’s northeast despite repeated government declarations that
it has been “crushed.”
warned Far North residents to remain vigilant despite recent progress including
the re-opening last month of 40 schools along the border.
everyone warmed to the president’s comments at the rally.
had abandoned the Far North and its people, said Garga Haman Adji, candidate
with the Alliance for Democracy and Development opposition party.
never visited to encourage the soldiers who fought to defeat Boko Haram. He
never visited people suffering from terrorism and is now here to beg for
votes,” Garga said.
fight against Boko Haram has raised questions about Cameroon’s security forces.
Shocking videos that recently circulated online showed soldiers shooting
defenseless civilians including women with young children strapped to their
backs, Amnesty International said after expert analysis. Cameroon’s government
has announced several arrests related to one of the videos and said any alleged
abuses will be investigated.
has not announced any campaign visits to the troubled southwest and northwest
where fighting between government forces and the Anglophone separatists has
killed nearly 400 people and sent nearly 200,000 civilians fleeing.
Councilman John Grasso issued an apology Thursday for a string of Facebook
posts he shared about Muslims.
Abu-Rumman, president of the Anne Arundel County Muslim Council, said Grasso
sent him a text apologizing for posts criticized earlier this week. Grasso also
deleted the posts he shared on his personal page and put a statement on the
website for his state Senate campaign.
did not respond to The Capital for comment.
the Council on American Islamic Relations called for Grasso’s resignation and
for Republicans to denounce him after three “hate-filled, Islamaphobic and
xenophobic” posts he shared in September.
provided a copy of the text, which misspelled his name and other words:
i want to apologize for sharing the post asking if we should ban islam relegion
in pubilc schools. I thought that was going on however i understand noone has
requested it. I didnt know this an just stated no religion should be taught in
a public school. Your friend councilman johnny grasso.”
said he will present the apology to the county Muslim council after he meets
with Grasso on Friday. Abu-Rumman said he was telling members of the Muslim
community not to vote for Grasso in the District 32 Senate race after the
posts, but that he might reconsider after their meeting. The council will
discuss whether or not they support Grasso on Sunday.
apology refers to the link to a Cambodian site he shared on Sept. 26 titled
“Share if you think President Trump should ban Islam in American Schools.”
After Abu-Rumman commented, Grasso responded six days later, writing: “I don't
think any religion should be in public schools.”
did not mention the other two posts criticized by CAIR and other politicians.
Sept. 14, Grasso shared a photo that read, “One nation under God, Not Allah.
America is not a Muslim nation. America is not an Islamic nation. America is a
days later, he shared another photo that read, “Let this sink in … The same
state department that found it impossible to rescue 4 Americans in Benghazi now
tells us they will rescue 200,000 muslims and give them our benefits and
housing free of charge. Your government no longer has your best interest in
told The Capital Tuesday that he agreed with the sentiment, saying, “It’s pretty
amazing how we can let four Americans die, but then we can go and rescue a
bunch of other people.”
posted a comment on his campaign Facebook page Wednesday night, saying his post
about Islam in schools was taken out of context by his opponents, who “called
out the ‘pc’ police to shut me down.”
won't quit. And, I won't step down,” he wrote, “But I will apologize to anyone
who may have taken my words out of context or was offended. I respect
everyone's religion and even those that do not have a religion. As a public
official, it is imperative that I am able to represent everyone. And I do. I
look forward to my meeting with the Muslim Council of Anne Arundel County this
also pointed out Gov. Larry Hogan’s statement, in which he said he had never
endorsed the councilman and never would.
flier distributed Wednesday put Grasso among a group of District 32 house
candidates endorsed by the governor, who is also running for reelection.
wrote in his statement that he thought he had Hogan’s support prior to the
understand (Hogan) needs to run his race free from the ups and downs of my
race, my facebook posts or just my personality,” Grasso wrote. “I very much
want Governor Hogan to win and he has my full support. We need Governor Hogan
to win. I do not want anything I say or do to have a negative impact on his
Republican candidates and officials have spoken out against Grasso’s comments.
Executive Steve Schuh called the posts insensitive and inappropriate Wednesday
but said he would not withdraw his endorsement in the District 32 Senate race.
Grasso faces Del. Pam Beidle, D-Linthicum, in the bid for the open seat.
Attorney Wes Adams, a Republican running for reelection, was featured in the
flier as endorsing Grasso and the three GOP candidates for House of Delegates.
sent a statement to The Capital Thursday, saying that he cannot support
Grasso’s sentiments and is hopeful about his meeting with the Muslim council.
the past four years, I have worked to protect all citizens of Anne Arundel
County. I do not support the recent comments made by Mr. Grasso, nor will I
lend my name to any campaign platform that preaches divisiveness in our
community,” Adams wrote.
President Donald Trump's national security adviser outlined the
administration's long-awaited counterterrorism strategy on Thursday and offered
harsh words for Iran.
Bolton called Iran the "central banker of international terrorism."
He said the strategy will rely on military and nonmilitary means to fight
extremists, focusing on Daesh militants as well as those backed by Iran and
said the US wants to isolate militants from their supporters, modernize tools
to counter them, protect US infrastructure and stymie recruitment efforts.
plan that Trump has approved also calls for strengthening border control,
limiting militants' ability to recruit online and sharing the burden with
is the first US strategy on counterterrorism since President Barack Obama
released his approach in 2011.
Palestinian Foreign Ministry on Thursday blasted the U.S. administration's
stated intention to withdraw from an “optional protocol” of the 1969 Vienna
administration is willfully disrupting and undermining the international order
because of its blind support for Israel's illegal, colonialist policies,” the
ministry said in a statement.
current U.S. administration believes it is above the law and beyond
accountability,” it added.
Wednesday, the U.S. ceased to recognize an amendment to the 1969 Vienna
Convention on dispute resolution following a Palestinian decision to sue
Washington in an international court.
National Security Advisor John Bolton said the U.S. “will not sit idly by as
baseless politicized claims are brought against us”.
move comes after Palestine filed a lawsuit with the International Court of
Justice against Washington's recent decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv
to the Palestinian Foreign Ministry statement, “Palestine has exercised its
right to defend itself through legal means by resorting to the International
Court of Justice on the issue of the illegal U.S. embassy move to our capital,
ministry went on to assert that the Palestinian leadership would defend the
rights of the Palestinian people “against all threats posed by Israel's illegal
and colonialist policies and the states that support them”.
actions are anchored in our commitment to -- and respect for -- international
law and existing international resolutions,” the statement read.
President Donald Trump's decision late last year to relocate Washington’s
Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem evoked widespread criticism.
since, the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah has rejected any U.S. role in the
stumbling Middle East peace process.
foreign minister said Wednesday that he held constructive talks with top U.S.
officials and was hopeful the two countries would be able to rebuild relations.
Mahmood Qureshi made the comments during a speech at the U.S. Institute of
Peace titled Pakistan's New Government: Change or Continuity in Foreign Policy?
discussed a number of different topics, including the government's commitment
to the global Pakistani diaspora and relations between Pakistan and India.
speech followed a round of meetings Tuesday with top U.S. officials including
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor John Bolton.
main point Qureshi stressed in his speech was the hope he had in Pakistan’s
ability to rebuild relations with the U.S.
last two years I would say were difficult. And let's acknowledge that they were
difficult. And one is here to reconnect, and one is here to rebuild what, in my
view, is an important relationship to achieve our collective objective, which
is peace, reconciliation and stability," he said.
is the second term as foreign minister for Qureshi, who also served under
former president Gen. Pervez Musharraf in 2008.
said he was expecting to encounter hawkish opposition during his U.S. visit but
was instead met with open ears.
felt that Secretary Pompeo was ready to listen, which I thought was very positive,"
he said. "I thought that they [U.S. officials] were ready to listen."
relations had taken a turn for the worse in recent years, with the U.S.
announcing a $300 million cut in military aid to Pakistan earlier this year.
January, U.S. President Donald Trump attacked Pakistan on Twitter, saying it
was not doing enough to stop terrorism.
United States has foolishly given Pakistan more than 33 billion dollars in aid
over the last 15 years, and they have given us nothing but lies & deceit,
thinking of our leaders as fools. They give safe haven to the terrorists we
hunt in Afghanistan, with little help. No more!" Trump tweeted.
main sticking point between the two sides has been the issue of the Taliban’s
presence in Afghanistan over which the U.S. has engaged in a 17-year-long
officials of the two countries have met numerous times over the past two
months. In September, Pompeo visited Pakistan and met with Qureshi and newly
elected prime minister Imran Khan.
The new National Strategy for Counter-terrorism released by the White House
here has identified two Pakistan-based terrorist groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT)
and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), along with Boko Haram as a potential
threat to the United States.
addition to ISIS and al-Qaida, dozens of other radical Islamist terrorist groups
are working to advance more locally focused insurgent or terrorist campaigns,
while still posing a threat to United States persons and interests overseas,
said the National Strategy for Counter-terrorism, released by the White House
groups, including Boko Haram, Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan, and Lashkar-e Taiba,
employ a range of political and terrorist tactics to undermine local
governments and conduct attacks," it said.
to the strategy, these organisations will probably prioritize regional goals
over attacks against the homeland or United States interests because of
resource constraints or political considerations.
many of these groups are hostile to the United States, maintain networks of
sympathizers around the world, and retain ties to ISIS or al-Qaida,
underscoring their potential threat to United States interests," said the
strategy, according to which radical Islamist terrorists remain the primary
transnational terrorist threat to the US and its vital national interests.
terrorist organisations, particularly ISIS and al-Qaida, have repeatedly
demonstrated the intent and capability to attack the homeland and United States
interests and continue to plot new attacks and inspire susceptible people to
commit acts of violence inside the United States, it said.
groups stoke and exploit weak governance, conflict, instability, and
long-standing political and religious grievances to pursue their goal of eliminating
Western influence in majority Muslim countries and remaking Islamic
society," the strategy said.
Islamist terrorist groups have developed and used methods that have challenged
the United States counter-terrorism efforts, including establishing state-like
governing institutions within their safe havens, deploying sophisticated
explosive devices to defeat aviation security measures, and using high-quality
media products to recruit extremists in the West, it said.
radical Islamist terrorists and other terrorists will continually adapt these
and other tactics to their circumstances and the technological advances of the
age. "It is, therefore, critical that the United States counter-terrorism
posture be agile enough to adapt as well," said the strategy.
Islamist terrorists have a violent extremist ideology that serves to create a
common identity and sense of purpose for those susceptible to its core message,
vile ideology is used to indoctrinate new recruits to accept terrorist groups'
goals and directives without question, and also allows these groups to maintain
cohesion, ensure conformity, and justify the use of violence to meet the
avails terrorists of a world view that helps unify their efforts by fomenting
conflict and attempts to legitimize terrorism by elevating the social status of
group members and absolving individuals from culpability for their
participation in violence," it said.
the strategy, said remains the foremost radical Islamist terrorist group and
the primary transnational terrorist threat to the United States, despite
ongoing us and coalition civilian and military efforts that have diminished the
group's footprint in Iraq and Syria, killed thousands of its members, and
curtailed its global expansion.
retains the financial and material resources and expertise to launch external
attacks, including against United States interests, and its senior leaders
continue to call for attacks against the United States," it said.
al-Qaida's global network remains resilient and poses an enduring threat to the
homeland and United States interests around the world, the strategy said.
United States-led counter-terrorism pressure has removed many of its senior leaders
and reduced the group's ability to operate in South Asia, but its affiliates
continue to plan and carry out terrorist attacks against the United States and our
allies, as well as raise funds from individual supporters through the
international financial system, it said.
resources are primarily focused on local and regional conflicts, but key
operatives and elements within the network continue to seek out new
opportunities to strike the homeland and United States interests and to inspire
attacks inside the United States.
people of Iran face a sensitive time because of the pressure from America and
economic problems, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a key address
broadcast by state television on Thursday.
was speaking to tens of thousands of members of the Basij militia and top
Revolutionary Guards leaders gathered in a stadium in Tehran.
between Iran and the United States has worsened since US President Donald Trump
withdrew from a multilateral nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic in May and
situation of the nation, region and world is sensitive, especially for us the
people of Iran,” Khamenei said.
in this respect that on one hand we have the shouting of the arrogant powers
and politicians of imperialist America...on another hand the economic problems
of the nation and the tightness of the livelihood of a large portion of the
weak people in the country.”
Iranian rial has lost approximately 75 percent of its value since the beginning
officials have said new sanctions targeting Iran's oil sector will be imposed
on Nov. 4.
must deliver a slap and defeat America by defeating sanctions, Khamenei said in
general overseeing the US military’s involvement in the Middle East has said
the United States is not “on the road to war with Iran,” despite the fact that
some Trump administration officials have stepped up rhetoric against Tehran.
don't think we're seeking to go to war with Iran, and I don't think that's what
we're focused on," General Joseph Votel, who heads the US Central Command,
told Pentagon reporters on Thursday.
has been clear Tehran needs to "cease its destabilizing behavior and
policy that spreads violence and human misery throughout the Middle East,"
principle way that we are approaching that right now is through diplomatic and
economic pressure. And I support that, I don't see that necessarily as being on
the road to war with Iran,” he added.
warning by retired US General Wesley Clark that Iran has been a target of US
intentions issued more than a decade ago appeared last month to be moving
closer to realization.
in the anti-Iran remarks made at the UN General Assembly's General Debate and
amplified as he chaired a meeting of the Security Council, seemed to confirm
the claim made by the former chair of the Joint Chief' of Staff under President
Bill Clinton that Iran was on a list of seven countries that Washington planned
to invade and destroy.
retired 4-star US Army general, Supreme Allied Commander of NATO during the
1999 War on Yugoslavia, said in the 2007 interview that the purpose of the 9/11
attack was to take out the governments of seven countries in five years. These
seven countries were Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Yemen, and Iran. All
of these countries have been directly or indirectly been the object of US
month, several gunmen launched a deadly terrorist attack on a military parade
in the Iranian city of Ahvaz, bordering Iraq where the US has still thousands
of troops deployed. Some independent observers have said that the
well-coordinated attack was an indication that the United States has decided to
accelerate asymmetric warfare against Iran, following Trump’s launching of an
economic war against the Islamic Republic.
to end Treaty of Amity with Iran
Wednesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States was
withdrawing from a decades-old friendship treaty with Iran that allowed Tehran
to pursue legal action against Washington overseas.
July, Iran filed a complaint with the Hague-based International Court of
Justice (ICJ), also known as the World Court, asking the principal judicial
organ of the United Nations to order the US to lift its recently re-imposed
sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
has called on the ICJ to order the immediate lifting of the sanctions, and
demanded compensation for damages incurred in their wake.
believes that the re-imposed American sanctions against Iran violate the terms
of the 1955 Treaty of Amity between the two countries.
Wednesday, the ICJ ordered the US to ease some sanctions against Iran. The
court ruled that Washington had to remove "any impediments" to the
export of humanitarian goods, including food, medicine and aviation safety
shortly after the ICJ ruling, Pompeo said the treaty would be terminated.
US National Security Adviser John Bolton said all agreements which could expose
the United States to World Court rulings would be also reviewed.
US re-imposition of sanctions against Iran came after President Donald Trump
pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of
Action (JCPOA) and set forth 12 new demands in order for the US to agree to a
new nuclear deal with Tehran.
European allies have protested against the move, but they are likely to adhere
to the sanctions under the US pressure.
ICJ was set up in 1946 to resolve international disputes. Its rulings are
binding but on rare occasions they have been ignored by certain countries,
chiefly the United States.
US to stay in Syria as long as Iran is there
week, President Trump's national security adviser John Bolton, a longtime hawk
on Iran, said the US would maintain a presence in Syria as long as Iran is
not going to leave (Syria) as long as Iranian troops are outside Iranian
borders," Bolton said.
US treasury designated Muhammad Abdallah Al-Amin as a Specially Designated
Global Terrorist on Thursday in an effort to cut off funding to Hezbollah.
was sanctioned by the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets
Control (OFAC) for “assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material,
or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support
of” Hezbollah support group Tabaja.
only has Al-Amin been sanctioned, Six of his companies have also been
designated as Specially Designated Global Terrorist companies.
designation by OFAC prevents US citizens from doing business with Al-Amin and
the designated companies, and blocks any asset of his under US jurisdiction.
is an Iranian-proxy, and this Administration is focused on exposing and
disrupting its terrorist funding networks. We are exerting extraordinary
pressure on Hezbollah financiers like Tabaja to halt their pernicious
activities in Lebanon and beyond,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the
Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.
action should serve as a warning that we will impose consequences on anyone
engaging in business relationships with al-Amin or other Hezbollah support
networks. Treasury has taken more actions against Hezbollah this year than ever
before, and we are fully committed to shutting down this terrorist network.”
the network referred to by Mr Mandelker, operates in West Africa and Lebanon
and was designated as supporting terrorism in 2015 by OFAC. The US government
says it has links to Hezbollah officials and “the Islamic Jihad, which is
responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing Hezbollah’s terrorist
as an attempt to strengthen the influence of conservative Islam on Syrian
society, a decree signed by President Bashar al Assad on September 20 has
caused a furore among Assad loyalists.
37-page-long decree known as n°16, which has been leaked online, revises the
responsibilities and the internal structure of the Ministry of Religious
Endowments (Awqaf), set up in 1961, to manage religious properties mostly
associated with Sunni Islam.
on social media spread like wildfire, as many conflated the decree with
religious extremism and the end of secularism.
its purpose the Islamisation of institutions and the domination of Syrian
people’s lives with regards to religious diversity?” wrote the most vocal
critic of the decree, Nabil Saleh, a member of the Syrian Parliament, on his
Facebook page. Mr Saleh is from Latakia, an Alawite stronghold. At no point
does he directly criticise Bashar al Assad, who is also Alawite.
posted on a page called “No to the Ministry of Awqaf’s legislative decree
n°16”, created on October 2, depict a bearded man reading a Quran upside down
as a black bird with “ISIS” written on it pecks into his head.
showed two happy young women sitting together in a field, reading the Quran and
the Bible together, with “religion is for God and the nation is for all”
written across it.
have spread that the decree stipulates that all Syrians must pay “Zakat,” a
religious tax for the rich. But the decree only mentions Zakat in a short
paragraph, saying it should be “encouraged”.
kinds of reactions are a mixture of a strong anti-Sunni feeling among Assad’s
Alawite base which has increased with the war and a basic misunderstanding of
religious administration by the Syrian State”, says Thomas Pierret, senior
researcher at the French national centre for scientific research (CNRS) and
author of Religion and state in Syria: The Sunni Ulama from Coup to Revolution
(2013). “It’s all pure fantasy”.
with mounting criticism, the Minister of Awqaf, Abdul Sattar al Sayyed,
answered questions about the decree on Syrian TV. In a video that has
circulated on Twitter, he reads a paragraph from the decree that stipulates
that one of his ministry’s aims is to “fight Wahabi and Muslim Brotherhood”
thought. The decree is peppered with calls to religious “moderation”.
decree does have one key objective, argues Mr Pierret: to strengthen the
ministry’s role at the expense of the Grand Mufti. He is an Assad loyalist who
has been accused of authorising tens of thousands of deaths in Syrian prisons
these past few years. Two lines buried in the middle of the decree drastically
reduce his power: he is to be appointed by the President for three years only,
whereas he previously held his job for life. Names of candidates will be
suggested by the Minister of Awqaf, which is also a novelty. The fate of the
current Grand Mufti, Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun, is not mentioned.
the result of a power struggle within the religious system. The influence of
the Mufti and the minister used to be relatively similar”, says Mr Pierret.
“What’s at stake here is the control of religious endowments”.
a nepotistic move, the minister’s son benefits from the decree. His youth
movement, created a few months ago, is mentioned, thus giving it official
Facebook, Nabil Saleh assimilated the movement to the early days of the Muslim
Brotherhood and says that it “violates the constitution”. Syria has a violent
past with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was brutally suppressed in the 1980s.
started imagining that it was an Islamic movement that was taking hold of the
ministry, but it’s basically a few dozen young volunteers who organise
conferences in mosques to fight extremist ideas”, says Mr Pierret.
decree will be debated in Parliament in the next few days, a Syrian MP told The
National, in what looks like a test of how different religious groups will
co-exist in post-war Syria.
sources reported that machine-guns, Western-made missiles, sniper guns of Wall
type, RPGs, missile-launchers, different types of artilleries and a large
amount of ammunitions were discovered in the terrorists' former strongholds in
the three provinces.
army soldiers also found a large number of weapons, artilleries and military
equipment inside the terrorists' hideouts in Dik al-Jin region in Eastern Homs,
which were used for attacks on nearby areas.
Russian daily reported on Wednesday that the US military forces continued
supplying arms to the terrorists in Syria, , adding that most such shipments
were arms and ammunition made in East European states.
Russian-language Eurasia paper reported that Bulgaria is still the main source
of providing weapons for terrorist groups in Syria.
daily further said that the Bulgarian weapons have been handed over to the
terrorists through third-party states, adding that the US has been involved in
delivering the Bulgarian weapons to the terrorists in Syria.
daily went on to say that the US imported $98mln Bulgaria-made arms in 2016
when terrorists in Syria found access to Grade Missiles and other unique
weapons, including anti-tank cannons.
army units continued clashes with the terrorists from several fronts in Toloul
al-Safa rugged terrain in the Eastern desert of Sweida on Thursday, capturing
more regions, including several caves and hideouts of the militants, and
killing a number of them, including several snipers.
the Syrian army's air force and artillery units targeted the terrorists' moves
and strongholds in the rocky areas of Qabr Sheikh Hassan and in depth of Toloul
al-Safa, destroying their positions and military equipment and inflicting tolls
sources said that the terrorists' defense lines have collapsed and their supply
lines were destroyed in Toloul al-Safa after the Syrian army recaptured the
region's water resources.
the Syrian army foiled the terrorists' attempts to flee from the region.
a relevant development on Wednesday, the Syrian army troops stormed ISIL's
strongholds in the Eastern desert of Sweida and captured more areas in Toloul
al-Safa rugged terrain.
army men engaged in fierce clashes again with the ISIL in Toloul al-Safa in the
Eastern desert of Sweida, taking control over more areas in the depth of the
the meantime, other units of the army, backed up by the artillery and missile
units, managed to seize control over a number of positions and hideouts of the
ISIL in the rocks, inflicting major losses on the terrorists.
army further set up more positions in the newly-captured areas.
sources said that the Ankara-backed Faylaq al-Awwal militants are plundering
the artifacts in Cyrrhus (a city in ancient Syria founded by Seleucus Nicator,
one of Alexander the Great's generals) known among Arabs as Nebi Huri castle in
added that the commander of the terrorist group also monitors extensive
excavation operations in the historical sites in the region, saying that the
militants sell the artifacts in local and regional markets or transfer them to
other reports said that the former commander of Faylaq al-Rahman terrorist
group in Eastern Ghouta of Damascus has arrived at an agreement with the local
council of Afrin to take control of a large mountainous area between Bastouleh
and Afrin that is home to many villages later sell their control to other
reports in August said that Ankara-backed militants continued damaging and
plundering historical artifacts in Afrin region.
Ankara-backed militant groups conducted excavation again in Afrin region in
Northwestern Aleppo, destroying Nebi Huri and other historical sites in the
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted a security source as
saying on Thursday that the mass-graves contained the bodies of 12 army forces.
added that the Syrian army forces had in the past few months clashed with Ajnad
al-Qafqaz (most of its members from Chechnia) before liberating the region,
adding that the corpses likely belong to the army forces.
November, the Syrian army launched massive military operations against the ISIL
and Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra
Front) terrorists in Southern Aleppo,
Eastern Idlib and Northern Hama, regaining control of over 300 towns and
villages, including Abu Zohour base, which is the second airbase in Northern
reports said that the Syrian army won back control of most of regions which had
earlier been occupied by the ISIL during purging operations in the besieged
areas in Hama, Idlib and Aleppo provinces.
Syrian army forces continued advance in Northeastern Hama, taking back control
of the villages of Abisan, Jabal Abisan, Rasm al-Khala, Jadidah, al-Khafiyeh,
Abu Hamad, Tabarat Azbib, Job al-Safa, Ableh, Aniz, Sheikh Mazoud, Rasm al-Ward
and Thaniyeh al-Sofani.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted sources close to the militants as
saying on Thursday that Tahrir al-Sham has demanded control over certain
crossroads on M5 highway which links Aleppo to Hama and M4 highway that links
Aleppo to Lattakia.
added that the Turkish intelligence body has opposed the demand, specially
about the passageways located between the Syrian army-controlled areas and
those occupied by the terrorists in Idlib, Western Aleppo and Sahl al-Qab in
Northwestern Hama, adding that Turkey wants to deliver their control to the
National Liberation Front militants who are supported by Turkey.
report said if Tahrir al-Sham and Ankara come into terms with each other over
this issue, the terrorist group will soon start withdrawal from demilitarized
al-Sham terrorist group is attempting to maintain its positions in Syria, it
Kurdish-language media outlet warned on Monday that Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at
terrorists were planning to merge with Ankara-backed militants in occupied
Afrin in Northwestern Aleppo.
news quoted a well-informed source in Afrin as reporting that Tahrir al-Sham
had held a joint meeting with Ankara-backed National Liberation Front in Jandaris
further said that the meeting was aimed at legalizing presence of Tahrir
al-Sham in the region and setting up a joint group.
news sources had already reported on Tahrir al-Sham's presence in Deir Balout
region in Jandaris.
sources in Manbij in Eastern Aleppo reported on Thursday that the Syrian
Democratic Forces (SDF) have arrested over 20 young people in the village of
Haj Hossein with the aim of forced recruitment, transferring them to their base
in al-Sad region.
added that the SDF has also set up several checkpoints in Manbij to increase
on reports, the SDF measures against the civilians have angered and provoked
them to hold daily protest rallies in Manbij.
in September, local sources reported that the US-backed SDF and civilians in
Manbij rejoin in Northeastern Syria engaged in heavy fighting due to continued
forced recruitment by the SDF.
sources said that al-Qashlah villagers fought against the SDF militias after a
sum of 15 young men, who had been arrested by the SDF under the forced
recruitment plan, managed to escape from the SDF base in Tishrin Dam region
South of Manbij.
Sunday, the SDF carried out their largest arrest operation across Hasaka and
local source said that the SDF has detained a sum of 800 young men in Hassan
Darwish base, and sent 400 more to another base in Tal Abyadh.
Arabia is currently in talks with major arms manufacturers of South Africa for
wide-ranging deals, a state military firm says, as a Riyadh-led military
coalition continues to pound the impoverished Yemeni nation in a war imposed on
the Arabian Peninsula country more than three and a half years ago.
Arabian Military Industries’ (SAMI) Chief Executive Andreas Schwer said on
Wednesday that he expected to finalize the first partnership deals with South
African arms companies by the end of the year, without mentioning the initial
partners by name.
Arab kingdom is considering an equity stake in the struggling South African
state-owned military firm Denel. The African country’s Department of Public
Enterprises, which oversees Denel, confirmed that it was in talks with SAMI,
but said it was too early to give details of any potential partnership deal.
the South Africa-based Paramount Group, a privately-held group of companies
operating in military and aerospace business, has already announced that it is
in talks with Saudi authorities.
make it clear, we are in discussions with all major South African companies,
not only Paramount, not only Denel,” Schwer said in a telephone interview with
Arabia, the world’s third largest military spender after the United States and
China, allocated an estimated military budget of nearly $70 billion last year.
are in discussions with the South African government in order to identify
opportunities to set up strategic partnerships which could include an equity
investment from our side into Denel. It’s not decided yet, but it’s one
option,” Schwer further said.
added that Riyadh hoped to get access to South African arms firms’ technology.
“They have to commit to transfer their technology to Saudi Arabia and to build
up together with us local capabilities, not only manufacturing but also
Arabia and some of its allies, including the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and
Sudan, launched a brutal war against Yemen in March 2015 in an attempt to
reinstall Yemen’s former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the
country’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has played a significant
role, alongside the Yemeni army, in defending the nation against the Saudi war
aggression initially consisted of a bombing campaign but was later coupled with
a naval blockade and the deployment of ground forces to Yemen. Some 15,000
Yemenis have so far been killed and thousands more injured.
than 2,200 others have also died of cholera, and the crisis has triggered what
the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.
Saudi-led war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure,
destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has said that a record
22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened
by severe hunger.
head of the United Nation’s investigation team on the Yemen war has accused
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of hindering its work on
documenting evidence of “possible war crimes” they have committed throughout
their military aggression against the impoverished country.
to Al Jazeera on Thursday, Kamel Jendoubi said his panel had presented a list
of human rights abuses to the UN, following a report in August that pointed to
a “substantial number of violations of international humanitarian law” in the
Arabia and its allies have been critical of the UN panel’s work.
did not expect such a harsh reaction, we've done a professional, neutral and
objective job," Jendoubi told Al Jazeera.
we did was report based on allegations and actions we collected during our
visits, from testimonies and reports... It's a normal process for any
experts," he said.
August report blamed airstrikes by the Saud-led military coalition as the most
direct cause of civilian casualties in the war, which began in March 2015 as an
attempt to overthrow the Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstate former
fugitive president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.
report also mentioned a long-running blockade of Yemeni ports and airspace by
the Riyadh regime and its allies as a possible violation of international
15,000 Yemenis have been killed and thousands more injured since the onset of
the Saudi-led aggression.
than 2,200 others have died of cholera, and the crisis has triggered what the
United Nations has described as the world's worst humanitarian disaster.
is while Riyadh and its allies have repeatedly denied allegations of war
crimes, insisting that their attacks are not directed at civilians despite
abundant evidence that they have targeted weddings, funerals, hospitals as well
as water and electricity plants.
The Foreign Office (FO) on Thursday said that Pakistan will not discuss any
matter with India, including the reopening of the Kartarpur border issue, if
talks are not held between the two countries.
his weekly press briefing, FO Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said, “Pakistan
believes in Quaid-e-Azam’s principle of peaceful ties with neighbours and has
made efforts to convince India to hold talks.”
FO spokesperson, however, also stated that the first initiative was, in fact,
taken by India after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote a letter to
Prime Minister Imran Khan.
while discussing Indian aggression in Occupied Kashmir, Dr Faisal said, “The
neighbouring country is using chemical weapons in the occupied territory and we
strongly condemn it. We want to resolve
the Kashmir issue as per the wishes of the Kashmiri people.”
he also remarked that Pakistan will present a strong case against Indian spy
Kulbhushan Jadhav in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
will not compromise on matters pertaining to national interest,” Dr Faisal
FO spokesperson also confirmed that a meeting between Foreign Minister Shah
Mahmood Qureshi and US President Donald Trump had taken place and a positive
exchange of views took place between them.
FM Qureshi also met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his visit to the
country, who praised Pakistan’s role in promoting peace in Afghanistan.
Shakil Afridi’s issue, the FO spokesperson said Pakistan’s stance remains
response to a journalist’s question, Dr Faisal said the US should hold dialogue
with the Taliban.
will hope that the negotiations are fruitful,” he said.
don’t want a single country to be held responsible for establishing peace in
Afghanistan. All countries should play their part in this effort,” the FO
foreign office also confirmed that Qureshi met with the World Bank president.
In the meeting, the foreign minister discussed the Indus Waters Treaty and the
disputed Kishanganga Dam issue.
to a question about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) plan, Dr Faisal
said Pakistan and China are on the same page on the matter.
Planning Commission can better respond to questions pertaining to Saudi
Arabia’s inclusion in the CPEC plan,” he added.
Indian Army chief Bipin Rawat’s
statement of conducting “surgical strikes on terror launch pads across the Line
of Control (LoC)”, he said that the chief of a professional army should refrain
from making such controversial claims.
Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations (UN) Dr Maleeha Lodhi
has said Pakistan is severely threatened by cross-border support to terrorists.
at a Committee meeting in UN, she said Pakistan condemned terrorism in all its
manifestations. Pakistan itself is a victim of terrorism for decades and it
suffered heavy losses of persons and treasure in the war on terror.
needs to differentiate between those facing terrorism and foreign occupation.
Pakistan is severely threatened with the cross-border support and backing to
terrorists,” she said.
international consensus on terrorism should not be used against the freedom
struggle and there is a need to differentiate between the freedom movements of
victims of foreign occupation and terrorism, she added.
Any expectation that Pakistan would bring new initiatives or a fresh approach
to Washington during the visit to the US by the foreign minister of the new PTI
government was belied this week after he recycled the same dodgy talking points
that many of his predecessors have brought over the years. Pakistan is serious
in its fight against terrorism; Washington should not abandon indispensable
Pakistan and it should resume the aid it has cut off; and the Trump
administration should facilitate talks with a recalcitrant India or else there
would be an escalation of tensions.
no takers in a capital that is no longer credulous at such assertions and
implicit threats, Shah Mohammed Qureshi returned home empty handed, evidently
piqued at the state department not buying his narrative.
we asked the US to play facilitating role...Why do we ask? Simply because we
(India and Pakistan) are not engaging bilaterally. And that bilateral
disengagement is…a distraction. We want to focus, we want to move on the
western side of the border, which we are not being able to because we have to
watch our back from eastern side (of the border with India). That is not a
healthy situation to be in," Qureshi complained in a repetition of what
every other Pakistani foreign minister has told a Washington thinktank
also revealed that the US state department had told him Washington was not
going to be brokering India-Pakistan talks and that it wanted a bilateral
process. But not only was there no bilateral movement, the lack of facilitation
(by US) was leading to an escalation, he warned, even after Washington has
ridiculed the idea that India is a threat to Pakistan and has repeatedly asked
Islamabad to take steps to defuse tensions by addressing the terrorism issue.
“It's unfortunate. That's the way it is. What does this government want? We
want normalisation. We want co-existence,” he said.
disingenuous assertions did not go unchallenged in a city that has long wised
up to Pakistan’s bogus narrative of fighting terrorism. If Pakistan was really
serious about fighting terrorism, how come one of his cabinet colleagues (Noor
ul Qadri) was sharing a stage with Hafiz Saeed, a UN and US-designated
terrorist who is still running free, an audience member asked, calling his
bluff. "I will go home and certainly ask him why he did that. But what I
am told it was an event to highlight the situation in Kashmir," Qureshi
said, adding that his cabinet colleague should have been “more sensitive.”
both US and Pakistan expressed intent in normalizing relations, the anodyne
statement that came from the state department after Qureshi had met secretary
of state Mike Pompeo, said it all - -or nothing.
Supreme Court on Friday resumed hearing a petition filed by the mother of
Benazir Bhutto's chief security officer Tauqeer Kaira to suspend bails of
police officers Saud Aziz and Khurram Shahzad.
was also killed in the attack that targeted the former prime minister in 2007.
petition, earlier rejected by the SC registrar, argued that officers Aziz and
Shahzad were granted bail and posted at important positions against the rules.
It said that the then city police officer (CPO) Saud Aziz and superintendent
police (SP) Khurram Shahzad were suspects in the Benazir Bhutto murder case
since they had cleaned the site of Bhutto's death soon after the attack.
counsel for the police officials told the court that since the petitioner,
Rasheeda Bibi, had passed away, her petition was ineffectual.
court, however, rejected the lawyer's request to declare the petition
ineffectual, saying that Bibi's daughter had in the last hearing become party
to the petition, and asked her lawyer to continue with his arguments.
Latif Khosa, the counsel for Rasheeda Bibi, said that the police officers were
involved in the murder conspiracy.
asked by Justice Asif Saeed Khosa what evidence there was to suggest their
involvement, Latif Khosa said that they were involved in destroying the evidence.
Khosa said that there was also an appeal against the trial court's decision
pending before the high court.
two officers were granted bail by the Islamabad High Court (IHC) after an
anti-terrorism court (ATC) awarded both the officers 17 years imprisonment.
Khosa maintained that one cannot get bail against an anti-terrorism court's
of Peshawar students protesting on the university campus against an increase in
the semester fee clashed with police on Thursday, leading to injuries and
students were injured and taken to the Khyber Teaching Hospital, the hospital's
public relations officer, Farhat Khan, told DawnNewsTV.
police official at the campus police station, who wished not to be named, told
DawnNewsTV that 28 students had been arrested for staging the protest held in
violation of Section 144 of the Criminal Procedures Code.
added that three policemen had also received injuries during the clash.
protest had been announced by the Muttahida Tulaba Mahaz. It was held at the
university's Pearl Lawn, where students from the Pukhtoon Students Federation
(PSF) — the student wing of Awami National Party (ANP) — Pakistan Peoples Party
(PPP), Islami Jamiat Taleba (IJT), and Muslim Students Federation (MSF)
congregated to record their opposition to the fee hike.
University spokesperson Imran Ali Bangash told DawnNewsTV that he believed the
protests were also a reaction to an operation conducted by the university
administration in July during which they had vacated around 300 hostel rooms
occupied by students belonging to various political organisations and
students were trying to blackmail us [the university administration]. Two
outsiders, both of whom are graduates, are leading these protests. One belongs
to the IJT and the other to the PSF. Their aim is to find a way to blackmail
the administration whilst using innocent students as a shield.
gave them five hours to register their protest. We listened to them, provided
them with [campus] space. We asked them to sit down [for talks]. They staged
their protest and raised slogans; the media also came to cover it," the
spokesperson said while recounting the day's events.
the students started to move towards the administration wing, we didn't want
to, but were forced to take action against them," he continued, adding
that the administration could not condone the university's atmosphere being
ruined, especially at a time when admissions for the Bachelors of Science
programme are underway.
condemnations pour in
strong statements of condemnation started pouring in; prominently from Pashtun
Tahaffuz Movement (PTM) leader Manzoor Pashteen and ANP leaders.
condemning the police crackdown on students, said: "Protests against fee
increase is an expected reaction from those who can't afford to pay. We demand
action against police responsible for this violence. Everyone has the right to
ANP spokesperson, Zahid Khan, also issued an emphatic condemnation, saying that
the present government talks about education and change, "but then goes
ahead and does something like this".
this the change that they wish to bring about? To rain batons on students
protesting?" the spokesperson asked.
this brutality against students continues, the political parties will join the
students in protesting," he warned.
in the day, ANP leader Mian Iftikhar visited the students in custody at the
campus police station.
after the students were arrested and police managed to disperse the crowd,
Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Spokesperson Shaukat Yousafzai held a press
conference regarding the incident.
expressed sorrow at the way things had escalated and asserted that he has and
will always raise his voice for the rights of students.
is a hidden element to this story, which is in contrast with what appears on
the surface," he said while addressing the media.
to the [university] syndicate's decision, the fee structure is revised upward
every year by 10 per cent," he explained, adding that despite that
decision, the fee structure had been unchanged for the past two years.
am against the use of force against students, but they are being used by
political parties. Many hostel rooms were taken over by students not entitled
to use them," he said, adding that there were around 400 rooms that were
provided assurances that talks were being held for the expeditious release of
the students, and said that the government was willing to address any
grievances and conduct an inquiry if the students so wish.
gunmen shot dead religious cleric and the former leader of a banned outfit for
district Peshawar Maulana Ismail Darwesh
along with his bodyguard in Peshawar, reported a private media outlet.
was travelling in a Khyber car along with his guard Ayub when the attackers
opened fire at them in Chairman Daftar area on Phandu Road.
who was also reportedly contesting by-elections from PK-78 as ASWJ candidate,
had served multiple times as the party’s provincial chief. These days, the
organisation had been dissolved with new elections planned. “Our teams are
inspecting the site of the attack and a search operation has also been
initiated in the area,” the police said.
Reading Hospital spokesperson confirming the killing and said Maulana Darwesh
succumbed to his injuries before reaching the hospital.
The Commandant Frontier Constabulary Moazzam Jah Ansari called on the Speaker
National Assembly Asad Qaiser at Parliament House on Thursday.
pertaining to overall law and order situation and elimination of terrorism in
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) were discussed in the meeting.
speaker expressed satisfaction over the law and order situation in Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and eulogised the role of Frontier Constabulary in the
maintenance of law and orders situation in the Province as well as in the
said our security forces rendered peerless sacrifices in the war against
terrorism. He said that without up to
mark law and order and elimination of terrorism the dream of progress and
prosperity cannot be materialized.
stressed the need for joint efforts to coup with challenges being faced by the
country and internal and external threats.
said that eradication of bane of terrorism from the country top priority of
incumbent Government. He said that whole
nation united against the war on terrorism and stood with it security forces.
Jah Ansari apprised the Speaker about overall security and law and order
situation in the country. He said that Frontier Constabulary has always
remained ready to combat any untoward situation and will leave no stone
unturned to the maintenance of law and order situation and eradication of
terrorism in the country.
Police on Thursday busted a Hizbul Mujahideen module by arresting two members
of the terrorist outfit, including a Border Security Force (BSF) man, from
north Kashmir’s frontier Kupwara district.
police official said two Hizb activists were arrested by the J&K police’s
Special Operations Group and Army’s 28 Rashtriya Rifles during a raid at Lolab
on Wednesday night. Those arrested were identified as Shakir Ahmad Wani and
Ghulam Mustafa Sheikh, both residents of Tekipora in Lolab.
official said Shakir Wani, a BSF man posted outside the state, had been on
leave when he and his associate were arrested by the SOG and RR team.
a police statement issued here said that the Kupwara police, acting on specific
inputs, busted a module of overground workers of the Hizbul Mujahideen
operating in Lolab area of Kupwara.
two, Shakir Wani and Ghulam Mustafa Sheikh, were detained in this regard for
questioning, police said, adding, “After sustained questioning, a pistol was
recovered on their disclosure.”
module was engaged in providing logistical support to militants apart from
luring more youth onto the path of militancy,” the statement said.
case, FIR No. 77 of 2018 under Sections 7 and 25 of the Arms Act, and under
UAPA, was registered at Sogam police station in this regard. Further
investigation of the module is in progress, the statement added.
has deported the first seven Rohingya Muslims back to Myanmar after the
government ruled that they should be treated as illegal immigrants rather than
qualifying for asylum.
men were handed over to Burmese officials at the border between the two
countries, just hours after the Supreme Court rejected a last minute plea from
men were arrested in 2012 in the eastern city of Assam, and have been held in
prison since then on charges of illegal entry.
man carried a single bag of belongings when they were removed from prison for
deportation, an officer speaking on condition of anonymity told the Associated
Press. Bhaskar J Mahanta, a police official in Assam, confirmed the men had
been “handed over to the authorities of Myanmar” at a border post in Manipur.
the Supreme Court, defence lawyer Prashant Bhushan argued that the men feared
reprisals if they returned to Myanmar, and called for the UN high commissioner
for refugees to be allowed to intervene in the case.
they were arrested some five years before the brutal August 2017 military
crackdown that led 700,000 Rohingya to flee Rakhine state in northern Myanmar,
the men said the persecution dated to much earlier and they had fled “genocide”
like the rest.
the Supreme Court ruled in the government’s favour on the basis that, unlike
most Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, the men would be accepted as citizens. A
government lawyer told the judges that Myanmar had given seven certificates of
identity and one-month visas to facilitate the deportation.
don’t want to interfere with the government’s decision,” said chief justice
Ranjan Gogoi in one of his first judgments since taking over the role on
estimated 40,000 more Rohingya have taken refuge in parts of India, mostly in
places with larger Muslim populations.
government says it has evidence there are extremists who pose a threat to the
country’s security among the Rohingya. The country is fighting insurgencies in
northern Kashmir and in its northeastern states.
government said in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court on Thursday that the
deportations were “an administrative decision involving diplomatic and other
considerations including an overwhelming consideration of national interest”.
rights groups criticised the ruling. Human Rights Watch said that “deporting
these men will place them at severe risk of torture and abuse”. Amnesty
International said their deportation “violates customary international law”.
after West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced a grant of Rs 28
crores for Durga Puja organisers across the state, Muslim groups on Wednesday
launched a massive protest in Kolkata demanding an immediate hike in the
monthly stipends given to imams.
by the All Bengal Minority Youth Federation (ABMYF), hundreds of clerics and
Muslim youth brought central Kolkata to a standstill raising slogans against
the Mamata Banerjee government for "failing" to deliver on her
deciding to give grants to organisers of Durga Puja, the government must raise
the stipend for Imams. Mamata Banerjee has taken a line similar to the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in her politics," Md Quamruzzaman, Genreal
Secretary of ABMYF told India Today TV.
group is demanding that the honouriarium amount given to imams must be doubled.
At present close to 56,000 imams and muezzins are given a monthly stipend of Rs
2,500 and Rs 1,000 respectively. This was part of a scheme announced by Mamata
Banerjee during her first term in office.
said, "We don't support distribution of government money for any religious
purpose." He said the money given to imams as stipend was not that of the
government, rather it was the money of the Wakf Board. "However, the
government is trying to draw political mileage out of it," he alleged.
said the minority community in West Bengal has been "fully deprived".
"We had high hopes from Mamata Banerjee but we are disappointed. She has
betrayed us and used us only as a vote bank," the once pro-TMC minority
influential cleric, Toha Siddiqui, from the revered Furfura Sharif shrine in
West Bengal warned the Mamata not to take votes of the Muslims for granted. In
the run-up to the 2011 assembly elections, Siddiqui had thrown his weight
have never spoken on behalf of Mamata Banerjee, neither shall we do it. We only
speak in favour of those standing for the truth. There are 4 crore Muslims in
West Bengal. Mamata should not forget that we can always resurrect the Congress
or the CPI(M) from their graves as the secular alternative in West
Bengal," Siddiqui said.
reacting to the development, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said the Trinamol
Congress supremo is "solely focused on politics of appeasement".
A Muslim teenager has won the first prize in the Bhagavad Gita quiz held by
Iskcon at Sanjaynagar, trouncing 400 participants from 14 schools.
Shaik Mohiuddin, a Class 9 student from Subhash Memorial English School,
answered all 41 multiple choice questions related to the Gita correctly. He is
the youngest son of Shaik Salahuddin and Sabihya Mohammad, residents of Balaji
Layout in Hebbal. Salahuddin owns a packaging industry unit.
to Sabihya, Mohiuddin was 11 years old when he started asking questions about
the Gita and religions while going through a general knowledge book. “I bought
him a copy of the Gita and he started to read it with the help of his
grandmother. Within six months, he managed to read and understand the entire
scripture,” she said.
domestic intelligence agency on Thursday warned of a new form of far-right
terrorism in the country.
Kramer, head of domestic intelligence agency in Thuringia, said recent
investigations have shown that far-right groups are becoming increasingly
is a growing affinity with physical training, combat sports and shooting
exercises. This shows that they are more inclined towards violence," he
told media group Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland.
arrested 7 far-right extremists this week in the eastern city of Chemnitz on
suspicion of plotting terror attacks against foreigners and political
were suspected of founding a terror group named "Revolution
Chemnitz", which according to the police, planned a sensational terror act
on Oct. 3, Germany's national unity day.
August, far-right groups have organized rallies in the city of Chemnitz,
Saxony, and hunted down people deemed "foreign-looking" people and
attacked migrant-owned shops.
leading French politician has claimed that the teaching of Arabic in the
country's schools leads to Islamist extremism and terrorism, setting the alight
the country's fraught debate on the public place for the language.
leader of Debut la France Nicolas Dupont-Aignan used a television interview to
reopen the dispute, sparked by the publication of a think tank report written
by a leading expert Hakim el Karoui, which made the case for offering Arabic
lessons in public schools.
a country has an integration issue, when a country has generations who speak
Arabic at home and who speak bad French, I say the priority in those quarters
is to teach French,” Mr Dupont-Aignan said in the interview.
whether teaching Arabic would lead to Islamism or terrorism, he responded:
“This is the danger. I believe so.”
Dupont-Aignan worked in several ministerial offices and founded his own party
in 2008 following a row with the UMP, the party of former President Nicolas
exchange drew an immediate wave of criticism from political figures, including
Nathalie Goulet, a member of the country's senate, who mocked Mr Dupont-Aignan
chauvanism. “Eating couscous [leads to terrorism] too… it is pathetic #racism,
cretinism, illiteracy… we must stop this, we are scraping the bottom of the
barrel,” she said.
was contrasting support on the far-right, which seeks to capitalise on the
issue. Plaza Pascal, a local representative of nationalist and hard Eurosceptic
political party The Patriotes, tweeted Mr Dupont-Aignan’s words followed by the
question: “The far-right family grows bigger?”
lawyer and founder of the League for the Legal Defence of Muslims (LDJM) Karim
Achoui weighed in saying that “the media offensive against [the Muslim
community] is daily and extremely violent” and that “this is no longer freedom
of speech but hate speech.”
citizens also took to Twitter with jokes on whether learning German leads to
embracing Nazism or whether learning Italian makes one become a “pizzaiolo”.
debate was sparked by a report by Institut Montaigne senior fellow Mr Karoui,
who proposed a wholesale overhaul of the role of the French state in its
relations with Islam, including offering Arabic in public schools as an
alternative to classes offered by mosques and religious centres.
of the former Tunisian prime minister Hamad El Karoui, the author told The
National that the tensions seen today are a product of bitter historic
struggles between different communities. "For those Muslims who are caught
in the middle, the best way to deal with it is to take action," he said.
El Karoui believes that teaching Arabic in schools is one way to promote
understanding of the Arabic language, culture, and history, as well as to unite
Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer last month said he was open to implementing the
initiative proposed by Mr El Karoui. “We have to give prestige to these
languages,” he said. “This is particularly true in the case of Arabic, which is
a great literary language which must not only be learned by people of Arab
comments caused uproar from a number of right-wing parties including Debut la
France, with Mr Dupont-Aignan saying he would oppose the “Islamisation of
the pretext of combating fundamentalism they are preparing us for the
Islamisation of France… I find this unhealthy. I am totally hostile to the
Arabisation of France and the Islamisation of the country,” he said.
Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Rally, said “it won’t take long before
we’ll all be wallowing in political correctness. What we want from him [Mr
Blanquer] is that our children master French, which has not been achieved yet.”
education minister Luc Ferry, of the centre-right UMP party, expressed
scepticism and asked who would be holding these courses. “Public education has
very little control over recruitment. Who is going to teach the classes? And
how are they going to be monitored?”
of the Muslim community in Birmingham will this weekend be marching through the
streets to mark a key moment in the history of their religion.
annual Matami Juloos Birmingham will take place on Sunday, October 7, in the
Balsall Heath area of the city.
referred to as the Hussaini Procession, because it commemorates the death of
Hussain ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, this will be the 17th year
of the event.
means mourning and juloos means procession.
starts from Edward Road, B12 9LF, at 12.05pm and ends at Mehfile Abbas, 17
Clifton Road, B12 8SX, at 5pm.
procession comes within the 40 days of mourning following Ashura , on the 10th
day of the month of Muharram , which marks the date of Hussain's great
sacrifice in the Battle of Karbala in Iraq.
spokesman said: "The procession is not a religious duty or obligation. It's
always been tradition - Leicester hold a procession as well where they give out
leaflets to members of the public along with speeches and poems.
is similar in Birmingham but we have more eulogies and poems."
Battle of Karbala took place at Karbala in modern-day Iraq on October 10, 680
to The Who is Hussain Foundation - a global organisation helping communities to
hold charitable events 'through the timeless example of Hussain and the values
he stood for' - no more than 50 years had passed since the death of Muhammad
(the last Prophet of Islam) and the Muslim Empire was sliding into corruption
under a tyrant from the Ummayad dynasty, Yazid.
ibn Ali, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, took a stand against Yazid’s
life now under threat, Hussain decided to move himself and his family to Mecca
in the hope that Yazid would respect the holy city.
then left for Kufa, a city in Iraq, but en route he was intercepted by a
battalion of Yazid’s soldiers, who forcibly diverted him towards the desert
town of Karbala.
was a stalemate between the 30,000 soldiers of Yazid and Hussain's small band
of 72 men and their families. Hussain was told he would not be allowed to leave
until he had taken an oath of allegiance, which he refused.
companions all fought valiantly before they were killed.
Hussain was alone with no one left to support him. Fatigued, thirsty, and
heavily wounded, he fell to the ground as the women and children looked on.
too was killed mercilessly, yet he died holding on firmly to his
principles," said the website, adding: "Today millions of people pay
homage to Hussain ibn Ali for his stand and annually mourn the tragic Battle of
Karbala in which Hussain, his family and loyal companions were brutally killed
one by one."
Ata Ufuk Seker
National Defense Minister on Thursday met his British counterpart at the NATO
Summit in Brussels.
the second day of Defense Ministers Summit held at NATO headquarters, Hulusi
Akar attended the session on Nuclear Planning Group, and later the session of
North Atlantic Council, where topics of cyber protection and hybrid threats
have told our counterparts at the NATO [meeting] that our goal in Manbij is to
eliminate the existence of PYD/YPG and PKK," Akar told the media in
have emphasized that we will never allow a terror corridor at our border,"
ARUNDEL COUNTY, MD — "One nation under God, not Allah" said a meme
Anne Arundel County Councilman John Grasso shared in a Facebook post. Among a
wave of backlash is the Council on American-Islamic Relations' (CAIR) call for
Grasso, a Republican, to resign over the controversial posts made in September.
Chaudry, representative of the Maryland branch of CAIR, said the posts were
"hate-filled, Islamophobic and xenophobic" while calling for the
Councilman's resignation. "There are members who live in his district who
are concerned about their safety," she said, according to WJZ.
of Grasso's posts about Islam were unsound, as well.
one, "Allah" is a direct translation of "God," not a
separate deity. The meme continues: "America is not a Muslim nation.
America is not an Islamic nation. America is a Christian nation," in a
sentiment opposed to the American standard of a separation between church and
Monday, Chaudry emailed Grasso asking that he remove the Islamophobic posts,
she said. The next day, he called Chaudry, she said in a Facebook post.
morning, he called and went off on me about Islam attacking America on 9/11,
sharia taking over our country and infiltrating our schools, Muslims needing to
all be vetted because 'they're always blowing things up,' and Islam not
belonging in America," she said. "He was emphatic in his support for
Donald Trump's call for a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the
continued, "He could not explain the definition of sharia, simply citing a
Facebook post shared by Trump."
if you think President Trump should ban Islam in American schools," one
Facebook post said, shared by Grasso. One commenter said "John Grasso:
Thanks to Muslim Sister Urooj who helped you to build your Facebook to
advertise your campaign."
don't think any religion should be allowed in public schools... Not sure what
[you're] talking about," Grasso replied.
told WJZ that the posts did not reflect his views, but he just shared content
from other people.
don't treat anybody different than anybody else. I see a person until proven
different," Grasso said.
anti-Islam posts aren't the only controversial topic on Grasso's Facebook page.
One post he shared mocks Christine Blasey Ford for not fully remembering some
details surrounding her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court
nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
more posts at the Capital Gazette.
also shared a "Real Gossip" post by Ted Nugent, an outspoken Trump
supporter, which claims Democrats are destroying Kavanaugh's career in order to
control the Supreme Court and asks what they would do to control the country.
AVIV - The presence of Iranian troops in Syria near its border with Israel is
unacceptable, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday, adding that the
issue was discussed with Russian and Israeli authorities.
cannot be present near the border with Israel in the Golan Heights,” Merkel
said at a press conference during her visit to Jerusalem.
noted that this topic had been discussed at a meeting with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as previously with Russian President
also talked about the fact that Iranian troops should withdraw from Syria. We
also discussed this with the Russian president,” she said.
and Netanyahu are holding a joint meeting of the governments of Israel and
Germany in Jerusalem, the seventh such meeting in the history of the countries’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday vowed to continue
fighting against forward-deployed Iranian troops in Syria.
will continue doing what it takes to defend itself ... We will continue
blocking Iran’s attempts to use Syria and Lebanon as its forward bases to launch
attacks on Israel,” he told reporters.
was speaking at a joint press briefing in Jerusalem with German Chancellor
Angela Merkel, who is taking part in the seventh meeting of their two
top Israeli official called on the international community to exercise pressure
on the Islamic republic in order to put an end to Iran’s global terrorist
operations and force it out of Syria.
think all countries should join forces in compelling Iran to fully stop its
military and nuclear programs ... and its terrorist activities in Europe and
around the world. Eventually, Iranian forces should fully withdraw from Syria,”
son of one of Bahrain’s most prominent political prisoners has ended his hunger
strike outside the Bahraini embassy in London after 15 British MPs agreed to
take up his father’s case.
Mushaima, the exiled son of Bahraini opposition leader Hassan Mushaima, said
after ending his hunger strike on Thursday that he is glad to be home with his
family after 64 days sleeping rough on the pavement outside the Bahraini
embassy in London.
dedicated the last night of his hunger strike to all Bahraini political
Mushaima decided to end his strike after 15 British MPs wrote a letter to
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt demanding that he “condemn the appalling
treatment of Hassan Mushaima … a prisoner of conscience that is being denied
basic human rights.”
Bahraini MP Hassan Mushaima is languishing in one of Bahrain’s most notorious
prisons. He was in the United Kingdom for medical reasons when the Bahraini
revolution happened in 2011. But when he returned to the country he was
arrested three weeks later along with 500 others as part of a sweeping
crackdown. He was accused of trying to overthrow the regime and was sentenced
to life in prison.
Mushaima’s family say he has been tortured in jail and has endured four
surgical operations as a result. He has survived lung cancer but suffers from
high blood pressure, diabetes, gout and a urinary infection, all of which he
needs medication for. His supporters say he should be getting cancer scans
every six months but only one has been conducted recently, the results of which
are taking weeks to come through. The Bahraini regime is also being urged to
return Hassan Mushaima’s books which are his “mental lifeline.”
Rights Watch has verified that medical care has been withheld from the
70-year-old. His case has also been taken up by Amnesty International.
anyone can bring themselves to treat people with such cruelty is unbelievable,”
said Lynn Maalouf, the organization’s Middle East Research Director, adding,
“[He] should not have been arrested, tried or imprisoned in the first place...
[He] must be released immediately and unconditionally.”
Mushaima told Press TV that he refuses to let Bahrain’s human rights abuses go
went 46 days of his embassy protest without food to demand adequate medical
care for his father and family visits. He added that the Bahraini regime is
trying to kill his father slowly by denying him adequate care.
Mushaima’s latest attempt at publicizing his father’s story also targeted the
British government because London’s arms sales to Bahrain are substantial.
Smith, a spokesperson for Campaign Against Arms Trade, confirmed this at a
press conference marking Ali Muishaima’s last day on hunger strike. He said
Bahrain had been armed and supported every step of the way by the UK
the Bahraini uprising began in 2011, the UK has licensed over £80 million worth
of arms to the regime, and has also provided a great deal of political support.
head of the UK-based Islamic Human Rights Commission says that Saudi Arabia’s
increasing efforts to buy shares or directly finance TV and radio channels in
Britain is in line with the kingdom’s efforts to demonize any entity which is
opposed to its crimes and human rights violations.
are organizing themselves and indeed opening and financing TV stations, radio
station to broadcast in Farsi as a means of trying to influence their position
within the Iranian community,” Massoud Shadjareh said in an interview with the
Press TV on Thursday.
said Riyadh has also tried to demonize groups like Lebanon’s Hezbollah and
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood as they oppose the kingdom and its policies.
said Saudi Arabia’s investment in Farsi stations in Britain and elsewhere is
only the tip of the iceberg and there has been further investment in other
outlets as well.
for a very long time have been involved in buying shares and influencing main
TV stations like CNN, Sky and others,” he said.
policy has been meant to both silence the media regarding Saudi Arabia’s war
crimes and inhumane activities and also to publicize the kingdom’s demonization
of Iran and others who it sees as an obstacle to its policies.
said Saudi Arabia is in fact emulating Israel and other suppressive regimes in
bribing the media or launching propaganda stations. “And this tactic is the
sort of very similar to the tactics that Zionists are using.”
expert said the media should try to get more information about the increasing
Saudi clout on the field, saying that would expose the crimes committed by the
kingdom both inside the country and in other parts of the world.
Accusations in France that Iran was behind a foiled bomb plot near Paris on
June 30 seem to have put paid to any hopes President Hassan Rouhani had to use
Europe to beat crippling US sanctions.
blow to Tehran comes as European governments were working on a mechanism that
would have allowed Iran to continue to reap the economic benefits of compliance
with a landmark 2015 nuclear deal with the US and a number of European nations,
which was jettisoned by American President Donald Trump in May.
allegations, whether true or not, at this moment in time will serve only to
harm both Rouhani’s government and the Iranian nation,” Saeed Leylaz, a
lecturer at Tehran’s Shahid Beheshti University, told Agence France Presse.
am certain this (allegation) is a source of worry for the government, because
it happened while the Islamic Republic needs every single relationship and link
with the West, minus the United States,” said Leylaz.
Shahbandar, a Syrian-American analyst and fellow at the New America
Foundation’s International Security Program, said that while the threat of
Daesh terrorism has haunted Europe for the past few years, “the very real
threat of what very much looks to be a modern-day Iranian-directed terror
network will prove to be discomfiting for European Union leaders and for the
future security of the European continent.”
said the capture of Iranian diplomats implicated in the failed terror attack in
Paris, along with the freezing of the assets of pro-Hezbollah Zahra Center in
France, might be only the tip of the iceberg.
may have made a major miscalculation in allegedly ordering these attacks on
European soil. You can certainly expect a major backlash at a time when Tehran
can least afford it, given Iran’s attempts to gain European support to counter
the re-imposition of crippling sanctions by the Trump administration,” added
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton said the US faced threats
from Iran, which he called “the world’s central banker of international
terrorism since 1979.”
said: “Radical Islamist terrorist groups represent the pre-eminent
transnational terrorist threat to the United States and to the United States’ interests
who was re-elected to a second four-year term last year on the promise of
greater economic dividends from his government’s opening to Washington, was
already reeling from the economic fallout of Trump’s abandonment of the nuclear
precipitous slide in the value of the rial against the dollar hit the
purchasing power of ordinary Iranians, while an anticipated boost to Western
investment failed to materialize, hitting plans to renew Iran’s antiquated
had counted on EU governments to work with the other parties to the deal —
China and Russia — to mitigate the impact of the US policy U-turn but the
French allegation has now put those hopes in jeopardy.
allegations were swiftly seized on by the Trump administration as vindication
of its hard line.
taking strong action against failed Iranian terrorist plot in Paris — Tehran
needs to know this outrageous behavior will not be tolerated,” the White
House’s National Security Council tweeted.
government sees the hand of the Trump administration behind the allegations,
convinced Washington is determined to undermine European resistance to the US
abandonment of the JCPOA, the official acronym for the nuclear deal.
than 100 Irish soldiers have been left trapped in Syria following an
hundred and nineteen personnel from the Irish Defence Forces were serving in
Syria as part of a UN Peace keeping mission, they had been scheduled to fly
home earlier this week, but were prevented from doing so.
source told The Irish Mirror that the soldiers had been registered on the wrong
troops attached to the 57th Infantry Group coming out of Syria were placed on
paperwork as being part of the Lebanese peacekeeping mission UNIFIL when in
fact they were UNDOF, the Golan Heights mission,” the source said.
source added, “The troops in Ireland cannot fly out until they get clearance so
then they are stuck in limbo until that happens – officials are in touch with
Lebanese authorities to free this up.”
are not happy as they have been waiting to get these troops home.”
soldiers were due to return on Monday but Irish officials now say they hope
they will be able to return home by October 16th.
delay has also affected the new contingent scheduled to replace the group.
Walsh, the wife of one of the soldiers delayed coming home said the delay had
been like “cancelling Christmas”.
Irish government said they would be given compensation of €1000 (DH 4200) each,
as well as being paid for the extra time served.
LUMPUR, Oct 4 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today lambasted PAS
president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and said the latter have not seen
non-Muslims, Malaysians to be worthy of being treated with respect and dignity.
response to Hadi’s remarks against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who attended
events held at non-Muslim religious places of worship, Lim said the remarks,
though unsurprising, was wrong and unhealthy as it encourages prejudice and
brand a person as inconsistent with his Islamic practices simply based on the
person’s visit of religious places other than their own, is wrong and unhealthy
because it encourages extremists who are prejudiced and wants to discriminate
is not the first time that Hadi has expressed chauvinistic sentiments against
non-Muslims,” he said in a statement.
said Hadi’s move in inciting racial and religious sentiments justifies the fear
amongst the non-Malays and non-Muslims against the Islamist party.
PAS to not have any economic record in Kelantan, the Finance Minister said the
PAS-led state is a failed economy with annual budget deficits and dependent on
the Federal government for financial aid in paying the salaries of Kelantan
and Hadi may be desperate to win Malay/Muslim votes in the Port Dickson
Parliamentary by-election, since PAS know they have minimal support amongst
non-Malay or non-Muslim voters.
have always attempted to create negative sentiments amongst the Malay and
Muslim communities against minority races and minority religious groups to gain
political capital, and distract attention from their own weaknesses of not
having any nation-building plans to develop the country’s economy,” he said.
support of PKR’s Port Dickson candidate, Lim said Anwar had not participated in
any non-Muslim religious ceremony by visiting the places of worship and said
such hostility towards the action is dangerous.
Bagan MP had called for full support towards Anwar as he represents the
aspirations of Pakatan Harapan by wanting to unite Malaysians regardless of
race or religion, practicing good governance, and celebrate diversity.
a Muslim visiting or attending functions at churches, Chinese and Indian
temples is wrong, then this is a setback for racial tolerance and religious
regardless of race or religion, should reject such prejudice and hostility
against non-Muslim places of religious worship. Instead, choose an inclusive
Malaysia that unites everyone on common values of justice, freedom, democracy,
integrity, equal opportunities and economic fairness,” said Lim.
LUMPUR, Oct 4 — Terengganu MCA today said PAS’ newly introduced guidelines for
stage performances in the state affects non-Muslims.
state liaison committee chairman Datuk Toh Chin Yaw said while special approval
may be granted for non-Muslim events in the state on a case-by-case basis, the
group is still heavily affected by the new ruling.
requirement deeply affects the non-Muslim community as there is no guarantee
preventing Little Napoleon’s bureaucratic practices to sabotage the
applications,” he said referring to leaders who are arrogant and abrasive, akin
to the reign of 18th century French ruler Napoleon Bonaparte.
said it was obvious that the guidelines were subject to individual
interpretations of religious doctrines being imposed on people who do not
practise the same faith by government officers.
strongly violates the principle of Malaysia’s multi-religious, multiracial and
PAS-helmed Terengganu state government should immediately rescind the
guidelines and hold to the good governance practices of multiculturalism in
Terengganu to promote the growth of the state’s tourism industry and state
economy for the benefits of the state and people,” he said.
the 11 rules in the guidelines are the segregation of genders on stage and in
music performances are to be conducted separately with female singers and
dancers only allowed to perform for female audiences behind closed doors.
described the guidelines as irrelevant and a clear violation of basic human
rights as they restrict personal freedoms which are enshrined in the Federal
guidelines are irrelevant in the present times and clearly violate the
Constitution. Federal laws do not forbid women from participating in public
performances, nor forbid interaction between males and females in public.
long as the event organisers, the performers, and the spectators abide by the
civil laws and do not create public disorder, they have the right to choose to
attend and participate in any performing events,” he said.
also questioned the legality of the guidelines, introduced by the Terengganu
Tourism Department on Tuesday.
announcement that prominent Indonesia Ulema Council chairman and cleric Ma’ruf
Amin will be President Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo’s vice-presidential running mate
for the 2019 election has stimulated fresh debate about the ‘Islamisation’ of
is the head of Indonesia’s largest Muslim organisation, the 45-million-member
Nahdlatul Ulama (NU). Jokowi’s preferred pick had been former Constitutional
Court Chief Justice Mahfud MD, but he and his Indonesian Democratic Party of
Struggle bowed to political pressure to
choose a running mate with high-level Islamic credentials. The NU-linked
National Awakening Party and United Development Party had threatened to leave
Jokowi’s governing coalition if Amin were not chosen.
conservatism has been ascendant in Indonesia ever since Saudi-sponsored
theological influence began in the 1980s. Growing Islamic conservatism became
even more pronounced after the fall of
Indonesia’s second president, Suharto, and his authoritarian ‘New Order’
post-Suharto reformasi saw the opening up of public discourse, and subsequent
rise of previously suppressed conservative Islamic rhetoric and its ‘hardliner’
proponents. These hardliner Islamists emerged from decades of marginalisation
and repression, under the regimes of both Suharto and his predecessor Sukarno,
with little appetite for pluralism and tolerance.
proliferation of social media in Indonesia has allowed greater unrestrained
expression of strong religious views. This has allowed groups such as the
Muslim Cyber Army, an organisation described as being without structure and
similar to the ‘hacktivist’ group Anonymous, to reach and access a larger
way the Muslim Cyber Army targets liberal opponents is through ‘doxing’.
‘Doxing’ refers to the theft and publishing of personal details online, which
are then used by groups—such as the far-right Sunni fundamentalist group the
Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defenders Front)—to hunt down and physically
attack their liberal opponents.
‘weaponisation’ of conservative Islamic sentiment and religious intolerance has
involved doctored online content and disinformation, deliberately spread
through social media. As more Indonesians have gained access to the internet,
mainly through low-cost smartphone technology, Indonesia has developed a
most prominent example of this phenomenon was the 2017 jailing of former
Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (Ahok) for two years for alleged
blasphemy. In a September 2016 speech, Ahok asserted that politicians shouldn’t
mislead voters by misinterpreting the Koran in advising Muslims against voting
for non-Muslim political candidates. ‘Ladies and gentlemen … you’ve been lied
to by those using [the Koran’s] Surah al-Maidah verse 51’, he said. The speech
was then edited to seem as though Ahok was saying that it was the Koran itself
that was misleading voters. The resulting video was used by anti-Ahok forces,
including Ma’ruf Amin, to mobilise mass demonstrations that forced the
government to charge Ahok with blasphemy.
Indonesian government needs to reduce the effect of disinformation, especially
ahead of the 2019 general election. Indonesia’s outdated legislation allows
cybercriminals and botnets to thrive. The government also needs to do more to
stop Indonesia from being used as a haven for these activities, which enables
the spread of the doctored content that is in turn used to ‘weaponise’ Islamic
it’s important that Indonesia create appropriate legislative reform that helps
reduce cybercrime and botnets, it should not endanger free speech. The recent
draft revision to Article 309 of the Criminal Code proposes six years’ imprisonment
for ‘any person who broadcasts fake news or hoaxes resulting in a riot or
the code needs to be updated, the proposed revision is worrying because it
doesn’t define or explain what constitutes a ‘disturbance’ or what is
considered to be ‘fake’. That’s a problem because it opens the system up to
abuse: anything not approved could be labelled as ‘disturbing’. As it stands,
the clause could potentially be used to prosecute journalists, threatening
long-awaited creation of the Badan Siber dan Sandi Negara (BSSN), Indonesia’s
new national cyber agency—after years of setbacks and delays—shows that
Indonesia is becoming more serious about cybersecurity. In its role as manager
of Indonesia’s cyberspace as well as content moderator, the BSSN will play a
pivotal role in the run-up to the 2019 general election.
BSSN will have the difficult task of trying to protect Indonesian voters from
disinformation without censoring political expression. One way it could do that
is to allow individuals and groups open channels for expressing legitimate
political opinion, without the threat of being criminalised as blasphemers.
It’s vital that the threat represented by doctored content and disinformation
doesn’t supersede the importance of BSSN remaining politically impartial.
are plenty of opportunities for Australia and Indonesia to increase their
engagement on cyber issues, which is consistent with the Australian
government’s international cyber engagement strategy. Dialogues and bilateral
forums should certainly continue and be increased where appropriate, not just
with Indonesia but also with other more open societies in the region like Japan
and South Korea.
recently announced comprehensive strategic partnership between Australia and
the Republic of Indonesia and subsequent memorandum of understanding on cyber
cooperation are promising engagement strategies. The MoU is a two-year
non-legally-binding agreement to share information on cyber strategies and
policies, build cyber capacity through training and education programs, promote
business links to enable growth in the digital economy, and tackle cybercrime
by sharing training opportunities to strengthen forensic and investigation
should use both the comprehensive strategic partnership and the MoU as
platforms to encourage the Indonesian government to either develop clear
definitions in the proposed Criminal Code revision or scrap it altogether.
LUMPUR: UN and Malaysia rights groups are concerned over the arrest of Hassan
Al-Kontar on Tuesday, urging the government to release the Syrian man on the
basis that he is a refugee.
Al-Kontar, 37, was reportedly arrested and removed from Kuala Lumpur
International Airport by immigration officers on Monday.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told Arab News that they are asking
the Malaysian authorities to release Al-Kontar immediately. The UN agency has
had no access to Al-Kontar yet and is unable to provide further information on
his current situation.
UNCHR has asked the Malaysian authorities to respect international laws
relating to his situation, in particular, the principle of non-refoulement,”
said Yante Ismail, associate external relations officer of the UNHCR Malaysia.
added that the UNHCR is “gravely concerned” that Al-Kontar may be forcibly
deported to a country where his fundamental human rights or freedom may be at
Joseph, a commissioner at the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam),
told Arab News that it had checked with the UNHCR and confirmed that Al-Kontar
had refugee status and must be treated differently.
police arrest of Al-Kontar for whatever law he has broken, the first thing the
government must do is to go through the UNHCR process,” Joseph said, adding
that the government should not have rushed into detaining Al-Kontar.
good news that Al-Kontar is still on Malaysian soil; Malaysian government
should grant him the special refugee status for Syrians,” said Joseph. The
special refugee pass for Syrians is the Malaysian government’s temporary
solution to address the influx of Syrian refugees due to the war in Syria.
Al-Kontar turned down the pass offer in April and opted for a “third-country
solution” instead. Nonprofit group Caring Society are currently helping Al-Kontar
to seek asylum in Canada, for which they have created a petition.
is often seen as a transit country and is currently not a signee to the 1951
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad gave a recent speech at the UN General Assembly
in which Malaysia vowed to ratify all remaining UN conventions, including the
UN Refugee Convention.
of the 150,000 refugees that end up in Malaysia are on a long waiting list for
resettlement to a third country.
reportedly will have to wait for two years to resettle in Canada.
lawyer Andrew Brouwer did not immediately respond to an Arab News query about
Al-Kontar’s current situation.
will be visiting Al-Kontar on Thursday to assess his situation.
will investigate the situation and check with the government with the updates
on their side,” he said, adding that Suhakam will also get updates and a
recommendation from the UNHCR.
will advise the government to comply with its mandate as a government that
understands and supports the plights of refugees as the new government,” Joseph
told Arab News.
Pakatan Harapan government must recognize the dangers of sending him back to
Syria,” warned Mahi Ramakrishnan, filmmaker and refugee activist.
told Arab News that deporting Al-Kontar to Syria would risk him being
persecuted or killed.
sentiment was echoed by told Latheefa Koya, a lawyer and politician from the
People’s Justice Party, who told Arab New that Al-Kontar should not be viewed
as a mere illegal migrant and detained but instead should be given protection
by the Malaysian government.
arrest was made following an allegation by the Malaysian immigration
director-general Mustafar Ali, that the Syrian man was detained on Monday after
entering a “forbidden area” of the airport.
told Malaysia’s government news agency Bernama that the boarding area was
supposed to be for passengers about to get on their flight, “but this man did
not do so. He was situated in a forbidden zone, therefore the authorities had
to take the necessary action.”
he did not specify which area was the “forbidden zone” that Al-Kontar had
statements on social media shamed Malaysia,” Mustafar told Malaysian reporters,
saying that Al-Kontar had made a mockery of Malaysia to the world online.
has been very active on social media, often posting to the world his daily
struggle to live in an empty airport terminal. He told the media that he
survived on airline meals, bathed in the disabled toilet and slept on the
the backlash against Al-Kontar by some Malaysians started when popular social
media personality Nas Daily documented Al-Kontar’s life stranded in an airport.
He was shown to be “complaining” and “ungrateful” over Malaysia’s hospitality.
Memes were created by viral Internet site MGAG mocking Al-Kontar, which sparked
even more negative remarks by some Malaysians.
really hope Malaysians do not judge all Syrian and refugee communities by his
actions,” Hasan Al-Akraa told Arab News. Al-Akraa is a Syrian refugee and a
founder of Al-Hassan Volunteer Network based in Malaysia. He added that many
Syrian refugees who are living there are thankful to Malaysia.
situation began when his working visa was not renewed in the United Arab
was subsequently deported to Malaysia in January 2017, where he overstayed his
three-month tourist visa.
fled to Cambodia for asylum but was sent back to Kuala Lumpur airport on March
7. He is allegedly wanted by the Assad’s regime for failing to serve in the
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