Jihadi brides like these, posing with a BMW in Syria,
won't be allowed a Caesarean operation if they need one to give birth unless
they can afford 15,000 Syrian pounds - two months salary for the average worker
Now ISIS Clamps down on Mothers Having 'Un-Islamic'
Official: Airstrikes Kill 150 ISIS Militants in Mosul
‘Decisive Storm’ To Save Yemen from Iran’s Hegemony
ISIS's $2b Budget Helps It Recruit Teenagers
Iraqi Shiite cleric calls for unity after militia
Hezbollah ‘operating in Yemen’ with Houthis: Saudi
Imams in Riyadh bless anti-Houthi campaign
Several Militants Killed, Injured in Syrian Army
Operations in Homs Province
Iraqi Forces Kill Several ISIL Terrorists in Southern
Parts of Baiji
Saudi U.N. envoy: ISIS, Al Qaeda taint Islam’s image
Kurdish Yezidi politician urges UN for help against
Egyptian drops lawsuit to declare Hamas 'terrorist
Rebels Told To ‘Kill Wives’ As Troops Take Boko Haram
Death Toll from Somalia Hotel Attack Rises To 15,
Fighting Still Raging
Nigeria Election Becomes a Referendum on Security
Omar Bashir thanks king for saving Yemen
Siege of gunmen in Somali hotel enters 2nd day:
15 Militants Killed In Khyber Agency in a Clash with
Ahle Hadith Demonstrations back Saudi Arabia: Hafiz
Sectarian Polarisation amid Air Strikes on Yemen
Jamaat-i-Islami blames US for Gulf situation
‘The Rhetoric about Madrasas Needs To Be Examined’
At UN, Pakistan urges action to end violence against
religious, ethnic minorities in Mideast
Pakistan must join Saudi alliance: JUI-F
Attacks on Minority Religious Places Sullying India
Image: NHRC Chief
Popular Front of India Denies Role in Terror Attacks
Taliban Execute Six of Their Own Fighters in Nooristan
RAB Will Prevent Terrorism and Militancy, Says Its Chief
Taliban video shows former US base captured in Farah
After incendiary sermon, thousands pray for Nasheed
and Nazim’s freedom
Pakistan integral to peace efforts, says Ghani
Iran Senior Cleric: Aggression on Yemen Accelerates Al
‘Decisive Storm’ Destroys Houthi Missile Stockpile
Houthi rebels advance despite Saudi-led air strikes
Israel to release tax funds to Palestinians: PM's
For many Kurds in Turkey, ruling party continues to
Riyadh-led campaign will be over in days: Yemen
Lightning strikes pulverize Houthis as warships secure
strategic sea passage
Yemeni FM says Iranian forces were aiding Houthis
Turkey: Hesitant in fighting ISIL, decisive in
Gülenists, PKK attacking Turkey’s resources, President
FBI Disrupts Plot to Kill Scores at Military Base On
Behalf Of IS
Obama calls Saudi king on ‘collective Yemen goal’
British Imams Launch Anti-ISIS Online Magazine
France Unveils UN Fund for ISIS Victims
UN reports focus on civilian suffering in Syria and
France in fresh UN push over Palestine
U.N. holds Libya arms embargo in place
New $2.9M Mosque Inaugurated in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Give PM Time on Hudud, Minister Tells Malaysians
Indonesia Prepares to Transfer Philippines Drug
Convict for Execution
Snapshot of Malaysia after Hudud: A nation divided
by New Age Islam News Bureau
28 March, 2015
Islamic State is clamping down on Caesarean operations
in the latest attack on what it perceives to be decadent Western practices.
Doctors working for ISIS have been ordered to charge
15,000 Syrian pounds for a Caesarean childbirth operation, the equivalent of
two months’ salary for the average Syrian worker.
Under the harsh new rules enforced by the terror
group, doctors who carry out the operations without charging the fee will now
face unspecified punishments.
The Islamic State order stipulates that the new
charges are aimed at deterring hospitals from carrying out routine Caesareans.
But the high fees will force women who can't afford
the operations to endure painful childbirth.
A written order published in the northern Syrian
province of Deir az-Zor states: 'in order to assist the believers from the sons
of Islam who are working in the medical corps to support their brothers from
the poor and others besides them from the Muslim populace, and with the desire
to keep the course of medical work removed from arbitrary whim.'
It adds: 'This is to be considered as tantamount to a
written order and all who contravene it will be held accountable in the Dar
al-Qaḍa [IS judiciary] with attendant consequence.'
There is growing opposition among Islamic clerics to
Western trends in gynaecology developments and in particular to mothers who
wish to have a pain-free childbirth sometimes referred to as 'too posh to
One scholar has recently claimed that the rise in
Caesarean operations in the Middle East is part of a plot against Muslim
Sheikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al Uthaymeen has ruled that
Muslim mothers shouldn't need any decadent pain-relieving assistance in the
delivery of their babies.
In his ruling published on an Islamic website he says:
'I would like to take this opportunity to point out a phenomenon that has been
mentioned to us, which is that many obstetricians, male and female, in the
hospitals are too keen for birth to take place by surgical means, which is
known as a Caesarean.
'I am afraid that this may be a plot against the
Muslims, because the more births take place in this manner, the more the skin
of the abdomen is weakened and pregnancy becomes more dangerous for the woman,
and she becomes unable to get pregnant.'
He adds: 'Some of the people who work in private
hospitals have told me that many women come to the hospitals and their
specialists tell them that there is no alternative to a Caesarean, then they go
to this private hospital and give birth naturally.'
Leaders of the Islamic State have tried to build a
modern health service and have appealed to doctors from all over the world to
travel to Syria and Iraq to join their medical teams.
Earlier this year the Islamic State announced the
opening of the Faculty of Medicine in Raqqa, in northern Syria, where doctors
are trained in just three years.
IS took control of Raqqa more than one year ago, to
become one of the group's main strongholds in the region, imposing a so-called
'Islamic curriculum' on educational facilities in the city.
Many Western jihadists have based themselves in this
part of the region. Last week it was reported that nine British medical
students travelled to Syria to work in hospitals in Islamic State-held areas.
Four women and five men entered the country, keeping
their plans secret from relatives until shortly before they crossed the border
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – The bodies of an estimated
150 ISIS fighters reportedly killed by coalition airstrikes have been
transferred to morgues in the militant-held city of Mosul, a Kurdish official
has told Rudaw.
Saeed Mamuzni, a Kurdistan Democratic Party official
worked in Mosul until fleeing to Duhok, said on Thursday the deaths resulted
from a wave of bombings carried out in the towns of Kaske Kask, Kalak,
Khorbasad and in Mosul's Arabi neighbourhood.
"Due to coalition airstrikes around Mosul over
the past two days nearly 150 ISIS militants have been killed and the bodies
were all transferred for Mosul morgues,” said Mamuzini.
He added: "Mosul inhabitants have started buying
tents and renting houses outside the city in fear of the battle for Mosul. They
want to keep themselves away from clashes in the city.”
US-led coalition airstrikes have been bombarding ISIS
arsenals and positions in Syria and Iraq ahead of an impending attack on Mosul,
Iraq's second largest city.
‘Decisive Storm’ to save Yemen from Iran’s hegemony
SAUDI Arabia-led Operation “Decisive Storm” will help
save Yemen from Iran’s hegemony, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has said.
The military operation was launched early Thursday
against Houthi militants in response to
an appeal from the legitimate Hadi government.
In an exclusive interview with Okaz/Saudi Gazette at
Al-Maasheeq Palace in Aden, Hadi admitted that the Houthis’ coup virtually
resulted in dismembering the country’s capital Sanaa, and made the country’s
While blaming a large number of armed personnel for
disloyalty and treachery, Hadi urged all Yemenis to stand united and rally
behind the legitimate government in defeating those working to weaken the
country’s security, stability and unity.
Hadi said the Yemeni people won’t accept Iran’s
machinations to destabilize the country. “I am fully confident that the Iranian
Twelvers’ experiment that was agreed upon between Houthis and those supporting
them won’t be acceptable to the people of Yemen.
On the other hand, the wise Yemeni people believe in
maintaining the country’s security, stability and unity, and thereby they
agreed to the Gulf Initiative and its executive mechanism,” he said while
hoping that the people will reject those advocating sectarianism, regionalism
Hadi is of the firm view that the Gulf Initiative and
its executive mechanism is the best way for Yemen to get out of the current
crisis and restore peace and normalcy in the country.
He lamented at the turn of events after turning a
peaceful revolution led by youths to a conflict involving various power centers
and a split in the armed forces into various factions, each with a military
arsenal with the capability to destroy the capital and inflicting colossal
damage to the country as a whole.
Hadi expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the
Gulf states, especially Saudi Arabia, for supporting the Yemeni government and
people on political, economical, security and other fronts, especially in the
current critical juncture through which the country is passing.
“We are profoundly thankful to the quick positive
response from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states for our appeal to make
a military intervention to save the legitimate government of Yemen and prevent
the aggression of Houthi militias.
I also urged the United Nations Security Council for a
‘binding decision’ to halt the march of Houthis to Aden after making it the
temporary capital of the government.”
Hadi praised Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King
Salman for the Kingdom’s unwavering support to its Yemeni brothers taking into
account considerations such as brotherhood, neighborliness, religious
responsibility and broader regional interests.
“There is nothing unusual in the position taken by the
Kingdom in lending a helping hand to the Yemeni brothers, and this could be
seen in the readiness to host the conference of all Yemeni parties involved in
the conflict in Riyadh,” he said while stressing that the conference will be
based on the Gulf Initiative, decisions of the UN Security Council and the
Hadi pinned great hope that all Yemeni parties and
forces, who have shown their keenness to safeguard the nation’s security and
stability as well as to restore peace in the country, would support the
initiative because Yemen has suffered a lot and is desperately in need of peace
“It is high time that every Yemeni be aware of his
national and historic responsibility toward the people who are eager to see the
prevalence of peaceful coexistence and harmonious relations among all segments
of society within the framework of a single nation that embraces all of them on
the platform of justice and equality and real partnership in power and
prosperity, away from discrimination and deprivation.
He said the Kingdom always stood by Yemen in
supporting it on different occasions. “King Salman’s positive response to hold
the conference on Yemen at the GCC headquarters is a continuation of the policy
of his predecessors, especially King Abdullah who hosted a meeting of different
Yemeni parties during the 2011 crisis and the subsequent signing of the Gulf
Initiative to solve the crisis.
This shows the keenness of the Kingdom to achieve
Yemeni unity and cohesiveness,” he said while thanking the international
community and global organizations for their political and financial support to
Hadi blamed Houthis for the current political crisis
in Yemen. “Houthis carried out a coup by taking control of Sanaa and some other
regions through the language of arms and not through the language of dialogue.
“The people of Yemen have chosen the language of dialogue as the ideal way
forward to build the nation and work out its future roadmap.”
On his flight to Aden, Hadi said: “I left the capital
when the armed Houthi militia took control of the capital and laid a siege to
It was virtually a siege on all Yemenis and thus
carrying out a military coup, disavowing all the efforts to have a political
reconciliation with the parties concerned,” he said adding: “The Yemeni
people’s rejection of the coup, and their standing by the legitimate government
to prevent the country sliding into a civil war are the major factors that
encouraged me to continue discharging the constitutional powers by saving the
ship through the Gulf Initiative, its executive mechanism and the outcome of
the National Dialogue that calls for the endorsement of the new constitution
and holding presidential and parliamentary elections as part of a time-bound
Hadi said his departure to Aden and making it the
temporary capital came as a step to defend the rights and fulfill the
obligations of legal organizations and establishments and completing the
transitional phase in line with the Gulf Initiative to end the political crisis
in the country.
He asserted that his continuation as president is not
in any way clinging to power but discharging his constitutional responsibility
in safeguarding Yemen’s unity and working to end the division and disunity,
eschewing violence and halting calls for sectarianism.
“Our arrival in Aden was not a decision of my own
choice but rather the culmination of a number of factors and situations.
We are forced to declare Aden as the temporary capital
after Sanaa came under fire from the Houthi militia following the coup carried
out by them and the subsequent invasion of the ministries and other government
institutions,” he said while noting that it was very difficult for the
legitimate government to function under such a dangerous situation.
“Sanaa has become dismembered among the conflicting
parties and the ministries are under occupation, infrastructure is under ruin,
state coffers are empty, security is shattered, and above all the army’s
loyalty is not to the state but to some individuals.”
He also pinned great hope on the Yemeni people that
they would embark on a peaceful way and will be successful in ending the
current crisis without bloodshed.
Referring to the decision taken last year to transform
Yemen into a six-region federation as part of its political transition, Hadi
said: “Out of six regions, five have announced their readiness to go ahead with
the decision of the National Dialogue and stick fast to implementing it.”
He also hinted at making alterations in the draft
constitution for the sake of the country’s unity and integrity.
ISIS's $2B budget helps it recruit teenagers
How ISIS's $2B budget helps it recruit Western
teenagers to terrorism
By Aamer Anwar
CNN)A decade ago al Qaeda would meet potential
recruits face to face; now ISIS engages in one-to-one dialogue while sat 2,000
With what it says is a $2 billion budget, the group
produces slick videos in which sexy bearded jihadists are paraded as potential
husbands and burka-clad jihadi brides carry Kalashnikovs while extolling the
virtues of the utopian Caliphate and a "guaranteed ticket to
Aqsa Mahmood, 19, left home for university one morning
in November 2013 never to return. Instead of going to classes, she travelled to
Syria; last February she married a jihadi fighter, and since then she has
become a notorious poster girl for ISIS.
What is so unusual about Aqsa is that she was given
every chance in life: privately educated and offered freedoms that many other
Muslim girls would envy.
And while most were quick to condemn the Mahmood
family for missing the signs of radicalization, 18 months on they remain none
the wiser as to what prompted her to run away -- Aqsa's parents had actually
warned their children of the need to avoid extremist websites.
Following the terror attacks in London on July 7,
2005, the then Prime Minister Tony Blair insisted those responsible were
motivated by an "evil ideology," a "perversion of Islam that
promoted absurd grievances," and that they had nothing to do with the war
in Iraq, but he was wrong: the Iraq "adventure" opened the gates of
hell, and today young Muslims are being seduced by an updated narrative.
For over a decade mosque leaders have been asked to
eradicate extremism but they are no more than glorified gatekeepers whose lives
bear little relevance to those of most modern day Muslims. The need to tackle
radical preachers has crushed political debate and created a dangerous vacuum
which is now being filled outside of mosques.
Every new atrocity is invariably followed by useless
public statements of sorrow from so-called "Muslim leaders," further
increasing the anger felt by the younger community -- successfully drawing
young Muslims away from the path of violence takes more than routine
declarations that "Islam is a religion of peace."
It is easy enough to dismiss the words of wannabe
radical jihadists as little more than the posturing of nihilistic adolescents,
but the steady stream of recruits to ISIS cannot be ignored.
Several years ago al Qaeda recruitment propaganda
included videos of men with long beards ranting in Arabic in front of a black
flag, followed by grainy footage of a truck blowing up as it drove towards
Americans. It wasn't particularly effective as a recruitment tool, but then
they only needed a handful of recruits to change our society for ever.
Today ISIS runs a powerful, slick, modern social media
machine distributing messages daily across many different platforms.
Their propaganda contains the same violent, distorted
interpretation of Islam but it is more advanced than anything al Qaeda ever
produced, and the authorities cannot police it or compete with it.
For many, the greatest shock has been young girls like
Aqsa wanting to leave behind their Western comforts and freedoms to join ISIS,
but why should it be a surprise that young Muslim women are as angry as their
There is no single road map to recruitment, but for a
teenager becoming a Jihadi bride or fighter is much more appealing than
becoming a suicide bomber, however distorted that logic may seem to us.
Full of adolescent frustration, young Muslims are
being lured into a romanticized and glamorous world which bears no relation to
the misery actually inflicted by ISIS.
It doesn't matter if the narrative is false, because
ISIS is winning the propaganda war: the inability of the mainstream to deal
with the anger felt by the Muslim community provides cannon fodder for the
ISIS is left unchallenged on double standards of
foreign policy, Israel, rendition, torture, or Assad's reign, which has left
200,000 dead, because there is nothing that Western governments can say without
being accused of duplicity and double standards.
Aqsa's family describe her as a "bedroom
radical" of the type the British Government has been desperate to combat
by trying to shut down websites and social media.
Yet last year the International Centre for the Study
of Radicalisation and Political Violence found "little evidence to support
the contention that the internet plays a dominant role in the process of
radicalization." A concentration on social media avoids the real world
social relationships which help create terrorists.
Many young Muslim people asserting their identity in
an Islamophobic society detest the hypocrisy of their elders, whose cultural
and sectarian traditions they consider irrelevant to modern day Islam.
While mosques pay lip service to the "brotherhood
of man" they exclude 50% of the community by discouraging women from
attending, and anyone below the age of fifty is told to shut up and show
respect. As for racial unity, it is at best tokenistic and at worst
Young British Muslims live a schizophrenic existence,
stuck between their immigrant parents' cultural identity and that of the West
which doesn't want them. Extremists exploit this identity crisis by offering
them a new life.
Most parents wouldn't know if their teenagers were
drinking or having sex, let alone being groomed by ISIS; many young Muslims --
already adept at living a double life -- will hide their digital footprint in
exactly the same way.
In many cases, there is tremendous relief for parents
when a teenager comes home one day and announces she is becoming religious,
rather than saying she is pregnant or on drugs, but it also gives rise to a
false sense of security.
The failure to deal with the grooming of underage
girls by ISIS is a child protection issue: when a paedophile makes contact with
a child, he builds up trust over several months, convincing the child not
discuss anything with her parents. When the time is right he convinces the
child to leave her family and join him. The process is identical in
radicalization by ISIS.
Thousands of young people across Europe are at risk of
being trafficked to Syria for marriage and holy war. In any other situation,
they would be regarded as children -- yet pin the ISIS label on them and the
knee jerk reaction is one of condemnation.
The exploitation of the politics of fear combined with
tougher terror laws has created a climate of fear for Muslims who are portrayed
as threatening a "civilized" way of life.
We are quick to forget recent history: the disastrous
treatment of the Catholic community in Northern Ireland produced a sense of
burning injustice which acted as a recruiting sergeant for the IRA for more
than four decades. Today, Muslims are being dealt with in the same way.
BAGHDAD — Iraq's most revered Shiite cleric on Friday
called for unity among the country's forces battling the Islamic State group
after most of the Iran-backed Shiite militias pulled out of the offensive in
the militant-held city of Tikrit in protest over US airstrikes there.
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani's appeal came a day
after the militias, which had been instrumental so far in the operation to
recapture Saddam Hussein's hometown, announced their boycott of the Tikrit
The US got involved in the operation and started
providing airstrikes on Wednesday in support of the mission at the request of
Al-Sistani said that coordination between the
military, Shiite militias and tribes is necessary for the success of the
operation, according to his representative Ahmed al-Safi in the holy site of
Full report at:
March 28, 2015
Hezbollah, the Lebanese-based Shiite militia, is
operating in Yemen on the side of the Houthis with the aid of Iran, a senior
Saudi diplomat claimed on Friday.
Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir
made the claim in an interview on CNN with Wolf Blitzer. “We have reports that
the Iranians are providing weapons, training and advisers to the Houthis. We
have reports of Hezbollah operatives being in Yemen.”
According to Al-Jubeir, when the Houthis captured
Sanaa one of the first things they did was to release captured members of
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah.
“This is really a war to defend the legitimate
government of Yemen and to protect the Yemeni people from being taken over by a
radical militant group that is aligned with Iran and Hezbollah.”
Imams at mosques in Riyadh on Friday welcomed the
Saudi-led coalition campaign in Yemen, saying the Houthi rebels had undermined
the country’s legitimate government and were killing innocent people.
“All Yemeni people denounce and reject these minority
rebels, but it seems they want to impose themselves by force with the support
of Iran,” Sheikh Khalaf Al-Matlaq said in his sermon in Al-Dubbat mosque in
Malaz. The Houthis only make up 10 percent of Yemen’s population, he said.
Rebel groups' gathering centers and logistic convoys were
targeted by the Syrian soldiers in various parts of the Central province of
Homs, proving army's upper hand in fights against militancy.
A long convoy of rebels' vehicles loaded with
ammunitions was targeted by the army in Um- Sharshouh, and meantime, army's
operations in al- Ghanto in the Eastern countryside of Homs killed and wounded
scores of the antigovernment fighters.
Syria has been the scene of insurgency since 2011 when
certain western powers and their regional allies voiced loudly that Syrian protests
have no diplomatic solution and they started supplying the country's opposition
groups with their arms and funds.
Since 2014, specially after victory of President
Bashar al-Assad in the country's presidential election in summer, the army has
gained upper hand in its anti-terrorism campaign, and has been partly
successful in sealing borders with Turkey and Jordan.
A military source announced that the Iraqi army, along
with populace forces, killed at least 13 members of the ISIL terrorist group
and injured too many others in the countryside of Baiji, in Salahuddin
“Heavy clashes between the security forces and the
ISIL terrorists broke out near the village of al-Mazra’ah, in the Southern
countryside of Baiji on Thursday, in which at least 13 terrorists were killed
and so many others were injured,” the source said.
The ISIL Takfiri terrorists currently control
shrinking swathes of Syria and Iraq. They have threatened all communities,
including Shiites, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians, Ezadi Kurds and others, as they
continue their atrocities in Iraq.
Senior Iraqi officials have blamed Saudi Arabia,
Qatar, and some Persian Gulf Arab states for the growing terrorism in their
The ISIL has links with Saudi intelligence and is
believed to be indirectly supported by the Israeli regime.
28 March 2015
Groups such as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
(ISIS), Al-Qaeda and Hezbbollah taint the image of Islam, Saudi Arabia’s
ambassador to the United Nations said on Friday.
Speaking at a United Nations Human Rights Council
meeting addressing the rights of minorities in the Middle East Abdallah
Al-Mouallimi said that Houthi militias and Hezbollah were forcefully imposing
Islam is a religion of tolerance, he said adding that
the oppression of religious minorities is a blatant contradiction of Islam and
As to minority right abuses, Al-Mouallimi said
fighting terrorism and establishing international justice are basic tenets in
the fight against violations.
An Egyptian lawyer withdrew on Friday his lawsuit
against Hamas, despite achieving a ruling in the case declaring the Palestinian
faction a "terrorist group" under Egyptian law.
Samir Sabry had hailed the February verdict against
Hamas as "historic" and criticised the government's appeal against
it, but on Friday said he would drop the suit so that the verdict would not be
"an obstacle to Egypt’s reconciliation efforts” between Palestinian
factions and Israel.
Sabry’s case withdrawal doesn’t automatically cancel
the verdict, which was based on two separate suits filed by Sabry and another
lawyer, Ashraf Said.
The Cairo Appeal Court for Urgent Matters will decide
on the matter on Saturday.
Following Sabry’s withdrawal, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu
Zuhri welcomed the move on his official Facebook account.
UNITED NATIONS – Vian Dakhil, an Erbil-based Kurdish
Yezidi politician, has urged the UN Security Council to better help Kurdish
officials and others protect minority religious groups and tackle Islamic State
(ISIS) militants in Iraq and Syria.
“We are slaughtered, we are killed, our women are
being raped, our girls are being sold, our children are taken to places … we
are bought and sold like goods in the market,” Dakhil, an Iraqi
parliamentarian, told the UN’s top body on Friday.
Some 420,000 Yezidis have been displaced in northern
Iraq’s self-governing Kurdish enclave, she said, while thousands more were
scattered across Syria and Turkey by an IS blitzkrieg advance into Iraq last
year. Some 3,000 girls are traded in markets for $18 each.
“I also convey to you the greetings and position of
the government and the people of Kurdistan region in Iraq in favour of any
resolution that helps them serve the purpose of the Iraqi people,” she told the
UN’s top body, during a debate on protecting minorities from ISIS.
The politician, who survived a helicopter crash but
broke a leg in August while delivering aid to Yezidis on Mount Sinjar in
northern Iraq, has pledged to continue her campaign to save the Yezidi people
who are trapped by IS, a sectarian Sunni Muslim militia.
Rebels told to ‘kill wives’ as troops take Boko Haram
ABUJA: Nigeria’s military announced that troops had
retaken the town of Gwoza from Boko Haram, from which the group declared their
caliphate last year.
Defense spokesman Chris Olukolade told a news
conference in the capital, Abuja, that the recapture came after “concerted and
well-coordinated land and air operations.”
“A lot of arms and ammunition have been recovered and
the administrative headquarters (of Boko Haram) completely destroyed,” he said.
“A massive cordon and search has commenced to locate
any of the fleeing terrorists or hostages in their custody.”
Nigerians are due to go to the polls to vote in
presidential elections on Saturday.
Earlier this month, residents who fled the town in
Borno state told AFP that militants had been massing in Gwoza and killing local
people who were unable to flee.
Death toll from Somalia hotel attack rises to 15,
fighting still raging
The death toll from an attack by Islamist militants on
a hotel in the Somali capital rose to at least 15, police said as fighting
continued into early Saturday, with loud explosions heard overnight.
“At least 15 people died including Somalia’s
ambassador to Geneva, and at least 20 others were wounded,” Colonel Farah Aden,
a senior police officer at the scene, told Reuters. “Those who died include
civilians, hotel guards and government soldiers.”
ABUJA, Nigeria—Nigeria’s election Saturday is turning
out to be not just a contest for the nation’s next president, voters say, but a
referendum on the state of security in Africa’s largest democracy.
As voters brave the threat of attacks on polling
stations by the Islamist insurgency Boko Haram, they will be weighing which
candidate—President Goodluck Jonathan or his challenger, Muhammadu Buhari—is
best able to combat the militant group, and readying themselves for the
possibility of religious violence if the election results are disputed.
Boko Haram has spent more than eight months carving
out a fiefdom in the country’s northeast. Thousands of people have died and
more than a million have fled their homes.
Mass abductions of women and children, including some
200 girls taken from a boarding school last April, have put intense pressure on
Nigerian politicians and military commanders to halt the group’s progress.
Sudan’s President Omar Bashir said Saudi Arabia took
the right decision to strike against Houthis.
“Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman took
the right decision at the right time to launch Decisive Storm to safeguard the
security of Yemen, and the unity and stability of the country,” Bashir said in
a press conference shortly before his departure from Jeddah. He added that
Decisive Storm will also ensure the safety of the region especially the safety
of the Two Holy Mosques which is of concern to all Muslims.
Gunmen from the Somali extremist group al-Shabab, who
had taken up positions in a hotel frequented by government officials and
dignitaries killing at least nine people, were exchanging fire with government
troops more than 12 hours later, officials said today.
After the gunmen’s initial attack Friday, government
troops managed to take up the first floor of the Maka Al-Mukarramah hotel in
the capital Mogadishu. The gunmen were believed to be on the third and fourth
floor, Capt. Mohammed Hussein said.
Hussein said the attackers were hurling grenades at
the Somali Special Forces. The African Union Mission In Somalia, or AMISOM,
posted on Twitter that there were reports of possible hostages.
PESHAWAR: Fifteen militants were killed on Saturday in
a clash with security forces in Khyber Agency, the military's public relations
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations
(ISPR), approximately 30-35 militants attacked a security forces check post in
Khyber Agency's Tirah Valley, but attack was foiled through "effective
Three security personnel sustained injuries in the
Security forces seized 10 bodies of the militants,
along with arms and ammunition, the ISPR said. However, this information could
not be independently verified as journalists have limited access to the restive
LAHORE: Groups following the Ahle Hadith school of
thought on Friday showed solidarity with Saudi Arabia against the threats from
insurgents in Yemen.
Jamaat ud Dawa held demonstrations in the federal and
provincial capitals and raised slogans in favour of the kingdom.
Speaking to the participants in Lahore, Hafiz Saeed
said a nationwide movement would be launched against alleged conspiracies being
hatched by Jewish and Christian lobbies against Riyadh.
He also announced convening an all-party conference
soon to assemble all political and religious parties on a single platform for
framing a joint line of action on feared threats to Saudi Arabia. He urged the
Iranian government to become a part of the Muslim world instead of falling prey
to the Zionists.
Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith chief Senator Sajid Mir
left for the kingdom here on Friday to meet Saudi rulers and express support
of, what a press release, said Pakistani people in the need of the hour.
Sectarian polarisation amid air strikes on Yemen
KARACHI: The launch of air strikes by Saudi Arabia
against Iranian-allied Houthi forces in Yemen and talk of Pakistan becoming
militarily embroiled in the Gulf conflict stoked sectarian polarisation in the
city on Friday.
A leading Shia party staged a protest demonstration
against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as religious leaders representing the
Barelvi school of thought termed the attack on Yemen a threat to world peace,
while Deobandi clerics threw their weight behind the Arab monarchy.
A large number of people attended a protest
demonstration organised by the Majlis-i-Wahdat-i-Muslimeen on Friday in the
Kharadar area against the “Saudi-led attacks on Yemen”, warning the government
that it should stay away from the kingdom’s policy that would affect harmony
among the Muslims.
LAHORE: Jamaat-i-Islami emir Senator Sirajul Haq has
expressed concern over the growing confrontation in the Gulf and said the US
and the Zionist powers are once again trying to make the Muslim world a
In a statement issued here on Friday, he was quoted as
saying that Muslims all over the world were ready to lay down their lives for
the security of Makkah and Madina.
However, he said there was need for great care and
caution besides serious talks.
He cautioned that like the Iran-Iraq war, the US now
wanted to trigger a war between Saudi Arabia and Iran to sell its arms and
ammunition besides taking over the Muslim world’s resources. He said that
Pakistan should try to cool down the situation in order to foil the enemy
The situation demanded that the leadership of the
Muslim world sat down and resolved their issues through talks and mutual
understanding, he added.
KARACHI: There is a fundamental difference in the
understanding of the concept of a university by the West and in our part of the
world whereby in the West it is not meant for ideological indoctrination, said
Dr Syed Noman ul Haq in his talk at the University of Karachi on Thursday.
He was giving a lecture on the ‘Study of the Early
Islamic History: Methodology of Research and Teaching in Western Academia’
organised by the faculty of social sciences as part of their distinguished
lecture series. The talk was, however, more about the comparison of academic
institutions in the West with ours and briefly touched upon the problems in
periodisation of Islamic history.
NEW YORK - Pakistan on Friday called for UN Security
Council action to end the religiously and ethnically-motivated violence
sweeping the Middle East by promoting a global consensus for resolving the
challenges confronting Iraq, Syria, Yemen and “most importantly” Palestine.
“Historical and recent experience has demonstrated
that the challenges posed by the current chaos in the Middle East will not be
overcome by foreign intervention,” Pakistan’s permanent representative to the
UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told the 15-member Council during a high-level
debate on victims of attacks and abuses on ethnic or religious grounds in the
region, chaired by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. “The sovereignty and
the territorial integrity of countries will have to be fully respected,” she
emphatically stated. “Ultimately, durable peace can be restored through
national reconciliation in each affected state, encouraged and promoted with
regional and global support.” “The current chaos in the Middle East contrasts
sharply with its history and ethos,” the ambassador said.
The Middle east, she said, is a cradle of major
religions and civilisations, replete with examples of what true Islam preaches
- love, brotherhood, tolerance and humanity. As such, the Pakistan envoy said
that the recent escalation of violence and terrorism in the Middle East was an
affront to humanity and all civilised norms.
Deeply offensive and unacceptable were attempts by some vested interests
to blame Islam as the source of the current chaos. It was clear that disorder
and the collapse of State authority across North Africa and the Middle East had
turned the Arab Spring into a “brutal winter”, she said. The partial or
complete breakdown of State authority in Iraq and Syria had allowed the rise of
violent groups, such as Daesh, inured by extremist ideologies and radical
agendas, she said. “The quest for power by cynical and brutal leaders, wrapped
in religious cloaks, is not surprising in the circumstances.”
ISLAMABAD: While lending his support to the government
to join Saudi alliance against Houthi rebels in Yeman Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl
chief Fazlur Rahman said on Friday that Pakistan must support Saudi Arabia in
its time of trial.
While talking to reporters outside the Parliament
House on Friday, he said that Saudi Arabia was Pakistan’s cordial and best
friend and “we must not hesitate in helping it in its testing time”. He said
that all stakeholders including political parties, establishment and the
Foreign Office should be taken on board on the issue of joining the Saudi
alliance. He, however, said that any decision in this regard should be taken
through proper channel. He alleged that the US was working on a plan to pitch
Sunnis and Shias against each other in the Middle East as part of a great game.
Attacks on minority religious places sullying India
image: NHRC chief
Stating that attacks on religious places of minority
communities “sully the image of India” and send “a wrong message” to the
international community, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) chairperson
Justice K G Balakrishnan has asked the government to deal with such incidents
swiftly and strictly.
Asked about the attacks on churches and the ‘ghar
wapasi’ reconversion campaign of right-wing Hindu organisations, Balakrishnan,
a former Chief Justice of India, said: “These should not happen. It sends a
wrong message to the international community about our country. People think
bad about India, especially since this country has a great track record of
maintaining its secular tradition. This was the case even before the word
secularism was added to our Constitution. Everyone must feel secure.”
“If there is any instance where an Indian feels
insecure because he belongs to a particular community or an institution
associated with his community is under attack, it will create a wrong
impression about India internationally.”
TNN | Mar 28, 2015
NEW DELHI: Even as intelligence agencies, on the basis
of interrogation of Syed Ismail Afaque Lanka, have learnt that Popular Front of
India (PFI) had a role in 2011 Mumbai bombings, 2012 Pune blasts and 2013
Hyderabad Dilsukhnagar attack, the organization denied having any connections
with Lanka or the terrorist attacks.
Afaque had told interrogators that he had sent PFI
members to buy explosives - ammonium nitrate, gelatine sticks, non-electrical
detonators, capacitors etc, which was used to assemble bombs for these blasts.
Times of India has exclusive access to interrogation details of Afaque, who was
arrested in January this year and stands by its report. Afaque has even told
the investigators that he was President of PFI's Bhatkal (Uttara Kanara)
district in Karnataka.
PFI's public relation officer Mohammed Arif Ahmed
said, "...the allegations levelled against Popular Front of India linking
it with the above said bombings and terror activities are complete false,
baseless and defamatory'.
He claimed, "PFI is a neo-social movement
committed for empowering people for ensuring justice, freedom and
Taliban insurgents have beheaded own fighters in
Hafiz Abdul Qayoum, acting governor of Nooristan
province says that Taliban executed six members of their group on Thursday
after accusing them of having relationship and spying for the government.
Abdul Qayoum called the incident as a result of the
differences within local Taliban groups in Kamdish District.
Taliban spokesman has not commented on the report yet.
This is not the 1st time Taliban are executed by own
comrades. A group of Taliban was executed by another group after being accused
of failing in the fight against Afghan government also in Nooristan province
about a year ago.
Hafiz Abdul Qayoum had said that the group who carried
out the execution was around 100 people related to the Lashkar-i-Taiba
insurgent group of Pakistan.
He had warned that the group could become dangerous.
Nooristan province is one of the restive parts of
Afghanistan located in the east. It shares a long border with Pakistan.
RAB will prevent terrorism and militancy, says its
Blaming vested quarters for trying to defame the Rapid
Action Battalion, its chief yesterday said in the future they would work
relentlessly to prevent militancy and criminal activities.
“RAB has achieved trust and appraisal of the ordinary
people because of efficiently combating terrorism, militancy, robbery,
abduction... On the other hand, RAB has been working actively to maintain peace
in the country,” recently-appointed Director General Benazir Ahmed said during
its 11th anniversary programme in the city.
Asked whether the force was facing an image crisis, he
said: “There are some groups engaged in findings politics in everything to
stigmatise the force. It is not our problem.
“Many ordinary people were killed in petrol bomb
attacks and violent attacks in the last two months [of non-stop blockade and
hartals]. The situation has now improved much...vehicles are operating during
the nights too.”
The Taliban militants group in Afghanistan has
released a video which purportedly shows the group’s militants have captured a
military base in western Farah province.
The military base was reportedly captured in Bakwa
district and was previously in control of the NATO-led coalition security
The 16-minute video was recently released by the
group’s media wing – Al-Emara Jihadi studio which also shows one of the group’s
leaders making a lengthy speech in Pashto and the white Taliban flag hoisted
inside the base.
According to reports the base was previously operated
by the US forces to tackle the local trade in heroin in Farah province.
By Zaheena Rasheed | March 28, 2015
Following an incendiary Friday sermon warning unjust
judges of hellfire, thousands gathered outside the Islamic Center in Malé at
noon and prayed for former President Mohamed Nasheed and former Defence
Minister Mohamed Nazim’s freedom.
Dozens of police officers attempted to disperse the
congregation before the prayer began, but later watched on until the prayer was
completed. The police then cordoned off the area.
The sermon, issued by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs,
quoted several verses from the Qur’an and hadiths from the Prophet Mohamed’s
Sunnah on the importance of delivering just verdicts and the wickedness of
The unusually incendiary sermon comes in the wake of
an 11-year jail term for Nazim on charges of smuggling weapons, and a 13-year
jail term for Nasheed on charges of terrorism over the military detention of a
Criminal Court judge.
NEW YORK: Afghan President Ashraf Ghani who has
consistently stressed rapprochement with Pakistan says he is “cautiously
optimistic” about improved relations with its neighbour.
Speaking at the Council of Foreign Relations in New
York on Thursday evening, he said he thought “Pakistan is integral to peace
efforts with the Taliban”.
“I am `cautiously optimistic’ that we’ve begun a process
of fundamental transformation,” he told the council.
Pakistani support has been seen as crucial in recent
moves to persuade the Taliban to talk to Kabul, as well as in denying them safe
havens on Pakistani soil.
“I am hopeful that we (Pakistan and Afghanistan) will
have sufficient wisdom not to sink but to swim together,” he added.
Tehran's Provisional Friday Prayers leader
Hojjatoleslam Kazzem Seddiqi strongly blasted the Saudi-led attack on the
Yemeni people, and warned against the repercussions of the aggression for the
Al Saud regime.
Addressing a large and fervent congregation of people
on Tehran University campus on Friday, Hojjatoleslam Seddiqi said, "The
aggression on Yemen was irritating, inhumane, illegal and a passive move and
those who attack a country and interfere in its internal affairs are bringing
their own demise closer."
"We condemn this aggression and interfering in
Yemen's internal affairs and extend our condolences to the families of the
victims and pray for the swift recovery of the wounded people," he added.
Hojjotoleslam Seddiqi expressed the hope that the
Yemeni people would achieve their objective which is independence.
Earlier today, senior parliamentary officials in Tehran
said that Yemen has missiles which can destroy targets deep inside Saudi
"Saudi Arabia is well aware that the Yemeni
people and armed forces are capable of targeting the military bases of Saudi
Arabia at a distance of 500 kilometers inside that country," member of the
parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohammad Hassan
Asafari told FNA.
‘Decisive Storm’ destroys Houthi missile stockpile
As the Saudi-led “Operation Decisive Storm,” continues
into its third day, sources to Al Arabiya News Channel confirmed that coalition
strikes destroyed a large Houthi ballistic missile stockpile in the capital
Saudi defense minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman -
who is supervising the campaign against Houthi militias in Yemen - sent three
planes early Saturday to evacuate a U.N. mission in Sanaa.
The U.N. mission demanded airspace to allow the planes
to secure their evacuation from the Yemeni capital to Ethiopia.
The evacuation was met with obstacles, however, as
Houthi militias prevented nearly 140 people from the U.N. mission from leaving
by surrounding their base.
Saudi Arabia waged early Thursday “Decisive Storm”
against the Houthi coup in Yemen and in support of legitimate President
Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. A coalition of all GCC countries, barring Oman, is
taking part in the campaign, including Sudan, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and
Pakistan. Saudi air campaign was launched overnight which has already resulted
in the elimination of several Houthi leaders.
Yemen's Houthi rebels made broad gains in the
country's south and east on Friday despite a second day of Saudi-led air
strikes meant to check the Iranian-backed militia's efforts to overthrow
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.
Shia Muslim Houthi fighters and allied army units
gained their first foothold on Yemen’s Arabian Sea coast by seizing the port of
Shaqra 100km east of Aden, residents told Reuters.
Explosions and crackles of small gunfire rang out
across Aden late on Friday as Houthis made a push on the southern port city's
airport, a witness said.
The advances threaten Mr. Hadi’s last refuge in Yemen
and potentially undermine the air campaign to support him.
Israel will release to the Palestinian Authority tax
funds it collects on its behalf and withheld as punishment for its move to join
the International Criminal Court, the premier's office said March 26.
"Tax revenues that have been accumulated through
February will be transferred, after payments for services to the Palestinian
population have been deducted, including electricity, water and hospital
bills," a statement said.
Israel froze the transfer at the beginning of January,
after the Palestinians moved to join the ICC, where they would be able to sue
The decision comes 10 days after Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu was reelected and subsequently chosen to form the next
DIYARBAKIR, Turkey – As Turkey’s June 7 parliamentary
elections approach, many eyes are on the large number of Kurdish voters.
Kurds, who are estimated to comprise 20 percent of
Turkey’s 78 million population, have the numbers to swing elections. But
instead of rallying behind their pro-Kurdish parties, many voters continue to
back the ruling Justice and Democratic Party (AKP), scattering the Kurdish
Huseyin Seyhanlioglu, associate professor at
Diyarbakir’s Dicle University, estimates that up to 40 percent of Kurdish
voters traditionally cast their ballots for the AKP, the very institution that
the pro-Kurdish People’s Democratic Party (HDP) and other like parties are
fighting for greater rights.
Yemen’s beleaguered government said Saudi-led
airstrikes against its Huthi militia opponents would not last long on the
second day of a Gulf Arab-led campaign against the Iranian-allied militia that
could escalate a proxy conflict spreading through the region.
Warplanes targeted Huthi forces controlling Yemen’s
capital and their northern heartland on Friday and, in a boost for Riyadh,
fellow monarchy Morocco said it would join the rapidly-assembled Sunni Muslim
coalition against the Shia Muslim group.
Tribes in Yemen’s oil producing Marib region said they
supported the air campaign, but Huthi forces advanced south despite the
airstrikes and Pakistan, named by Saudi Arabia on Thursday as a partner, said
it had made no decision on whether to contribute.
The main aim of the military operations in Yemen
currently is to cut off the major supply routes of the Houthis, a senior
defense official said on Friday.
“The coalition forces are implementing this particular
objective,” said Brig. Gen. Ahmad Assiri, consultant in the office of the
defense minister, at press conference.
He said the UAE forces had contributed heavily to the
operations on Friday. The coalition forces bombed several Houthi hideouts, he
According to Assiri, advanced, precision-guided
weapons have been deployed to avoid civilian casualties. He said the airstrikes
would continue until all the objectives are achieved.
For the time being there were no plans for ground
troops. However, there are Yemeni forces on the ground loyal to the legitimate
president of Yemen, he said.
Iranian forces were in Sanaa to support the Houthi
militants, Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassine told Al-Arabiya in Sharm
El-Sheikh, Egypt, on Friday.
He also told Al Jazeera TV that President Abed Rabbo
Mansour Hadi will seek a “Marshall Plan” from Arab leaders to aid his war-torn
“Hadi will discuss with Arab leaders a Marshall plan
to aid Yemen,” Riad Yassine was quoted as saying, referring to a major economic
stimulus for Europe after World War Two.
Yassine said that hopes for a resumption of dialogue
between Hadi and the Houthis remained slim given the current fighting. “Until
things calm down, now is not the time for dialogue,” he told Al Jazeera, but
added that he hoped Riyadh would be a future venue for the talks.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah
Saleh, who is the main architect of Yemen’s chaos, called Friday for a
cease-fire and the resumption of UN-brokered dialogue between warring parties.
Along with the unrest in Syria and Libya, there are
two other big ongoing regional armed conflicts in the Middle East.
One of them is taking place in Iraq, where the
Iranian-backed Shiite Iraqi army is fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq
and the Levant (ISIL) around the Tikrit region. U.S. fighters have joined the
military offensive through an aerial campaign to help the Iraqi army re-take
Tikrit from ISIL, allowing it to prepare for a bigger operation to seize the
control of Mosul, a strategic town in Iraq.
The second major conflict is the Saudi Arabia-led
military operation in Yemen to halt the Iran-backed Houthi rebels who have
taken control of more than half of the country and forced President Abd Rabbuh
Mansur Hadi to leave the capital Sanaa. The offensive is actively backed by
Gulf countries - as well as Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Pakistan - and is
politically supported by the United States.
The outlawed Kurdistan Peoples’ Party (PKK) and the
movement of U.S.-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gülen have been engaged in a
systematic campaign to attack Turkey’s resources and interests for years,
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said during a speech in the Black Sea province
of Karabük on March 27.
“We see that there are some groups who turn their
backs on this people. There are some who try to hinder our goals for 2023. Two
different structures that use similar resources have been attacking Turkey’s
gains for the past 12 years. One [the PKK] uses arms while the other [Gülen
supporters] uses sneaky ways to infiltrate the state and exploit people’s
emotions. Their aim is to stop Turkey from reaching its goals,” Erdoğan said.
Addressing criticism that he is not fulfilling his
constitutional role as an impartial president, he also vowed to continue to
intervene in the fight against the “parallel state,” a term that he and the
government use to refer to the Gülen movement, if he “sees any problem.”
“I am one of those engaging in the greatest struggle
against the parallel structure. If I see any problem in this [fight], then I
will intervene as much as I can,” said Erdoğan.
FBI disrupts plot to kill scores at military base on
behalf of IS
WASHINGTON: Authorities arrested both an Illinois Army
National Guardsman who tried to travel to Libya and fight with the Islamic
State and a cousin who was plotting to attack a US military installation and
kill scores, federal prosecutors announced Thursday.
Hasan Rasheed Edmonds, 22, and his cousin Jonas Marcel
Edmonds, 29, both of Aurora, Illinois, were charged with conspiring to provide
material support to a terrorist organization.
FBI agents intercepted Hasan Edmonds at Chicago Midway
International Airport on Wednesday evening before he was able to board a flight
to Detroit and ultimately make his way to Cairo via Amsterdam.
His cousin was taken into custody without incident at
his home after taking Hasan Edmonds to the airport. The two men appeared
Thursday in federal court, where a judge ordered them held. One of their
lawyers declined to comment, while the other could not be immediately reached.
President Barack Obama offered U.S. support for air
strikes led by Saudi Arabia and Gulf allies on Houthi militia camps in Yemen
during a phone call with King Salman, the White House said Friday.
"The President and King Salman agreed that our
collective goal is to achieve lasting stability in Yemen through a negotiated
political solution facilitated by the United Nations and involving all parties
as envisioned in the GCC Initiative," National Security Council spokeswoman
Bernadette Meehan said in a statement.
The remarks follow U.S. lawmakers of both parties
reiterating their support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen against
Houthi rebels, named “Operation Decisive Storm.”
“I applaud the Saudis for taking this action to
protect their homeland and to protect their own neighborhood,” House Speaker
John Boehner, a Republican, said at a news conference. “If America leads, our
allies in the region would be tickled to death and would be happy to join a
coalition. But America has to lead.”
An online magazine has been launched by British imams
as an attempt to combat extremist groups such as ISIS who use social media to
radicalise young Muslims.
More than 100 Muslim leaders gathered in London
yesterday to promote the first edition of the magazine Haqiqah, which means
“the reality”. The initiative is being coordinated by Imams Online, a blogging
platform for imams based in the UK.
ISIS reportedly control as many as 90,000 Twitter
accounts. The group is extremely prolific on social media with more than
100,000 Tweets, Facebook posts and other media each day from the militant group
and their supporters.
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The militants have also produced seven editions of its
online magazine titled Dabiq, with the latest edition declaring war on Japan
and described the burning to death of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasaesbeh.
Since it was launched yesterday evening, Haqiqah has
been viewed around 600 times. The Imams Online Twitter account has around 750
France unveils UN fund for ISIS victims
UNITED NATIONS – France has unveiled plans for a UN
fund to re-build houses, schools and churches and re-settle Yezidis and other
minority religious groups who have been forced to flee their homes in fear of
advancing Islamic State (ISIS) militants.
Speaking outside the UN Security Council in New York,
France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned of a “real danger that
minorities in the Middle East will entirely disappear” and called for greater
support to Kurds, Yezidis, Chaldeans and other minorities.
“We want to turn the tide. Our focus must now be the
return of minorities to land from which they have been driven,” Fabius told
journalists on Friday, while calling on the UN’s refugee agency, UNHCR, to take
“The UN agencies, especially UNHCR, have a key role to
play and in concrete terms France proposes setting up a specific fund under the
aegis of the UN to assist returning refugees which would be used to rebuild
homes schools and places of worship.”
Some 11.4 million Syrians and more than 2.5 million
Iraqis have fled their homes because of fighting by IS and other groups. Many
Yezidis and other minorities headed for the relative safety of the Kurdistan
LONDON – “Civilians continue to bear the brunt of this
conflict,” a top UN humanitarian affairs official said, as the war in Syria
went into its fifth year less than a fortnight ago, with more than 220,000 dead
and over 11 million refugees or internally displaced.
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs
Valerie Amos told the Security Council in a briefing on Syria Thursday that
conditions on the ground in the war-torn country have “dramatically” worsened,
as the conflict prolongs amid escalating fighting and targeted attacks against
Tens of thousands are deprived of food, at least two
million have been willfully denied access to water and millions of children are
remaining without education, she told the Security Council.
NEW YORK: France plans to begin talks at the United
Nations on a new Security Council resolution to revive Israeli-Palestinian
peace prospects, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Friday.
Fabius told reporters at UN headquarters in New York
that discussions on a text would start “in the coming days.”
The Security Council in December rejected a resolution
that would have set a deadline for reaching a final peace deal and pave the way
to the creation of a Palestinian state.
The United States had voted against the measure but
was spared from resorting to its veto after eight council members including
France voted yes, one vote short of the nine needed for adoption.
28 March 2015
The U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a
resolution on Friday to step up the fight against Islamic extremists in Libya
but without lifting the arms embargo.
Libya, backed by Egypt, had asked for an end to the
arms embargo to allow the embattled government to build up its army and take on
groups such as ISIS.
But the resolution drafted by Jordan kept the
four-year arms embargo in place while opening the door to exemptions on a
The measure called on a Security Council committee to "consider
expeditiously" requests for arms purchases from Libya.
Earlier this month, eight Security Council members led
by Spain froze indefinitely a request from Libya for purchases of fighter jets,
attack helicopters, tanks and munitions.
The refusal to allow the arms purchases followed a
letter from a U.N. panel of experts warning that the arms shipments could fall
into the wrong hands.
At the edge of a sand-filled Boeng Kak lake in Phnom
Penh on Friday, Prime Minister Hun Sen inaugurated the country’s newest—and
largest—mosque, which was privately funded by a Dubai-based businessman at a
cost of $2.9 million.
The palatial, white-tiled al-Sakka mosque served as
stage for a speech from Mr. Hun Sen in which he lauded the country’s religious
tolerance to an audience made up largely of Cham Muslims, some of whom had
traveled from the provinces for the occasion.
There are roughly 350,000 Muslims in Cambodia, and the
religious minority has been a reliable voting bloc for Mr. Hun Sen’s ruling
An estimated 70,000 Cham Muslims died under the Khmer
Rouge, and they were afforded only limited religious freedom during the 1980s.
Many have remained loyal to the CPP because of the party’s tolerant religious
“We see the world, in some countries religion has
broken the nation,” Mr. Hun Sen told his audience Friday. “But for Cambodia, I
can proudly to say that we have lived together peacefully among races and
Give PM time on Hudud, minister tells Malaysians
KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — As Malaysia looks for a firm
answer to the divisive issue of hudud, a federal minister today urged
Malaysians to be patient and give Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak more
time to deliberate on the matter.
Minister of Housing, Urban Wellbeing and Local
Government Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Najib needed more time to properly
consult all stakeholders before making a stand on an issue that is highly
“He is a wise PM because he wants to listen to all
views… give him time and latitude to make a decision because he wants to take
into consideration all views,” he told reporters after meeting youths at MCA’s
dialogue on moderation here.
Earlier in the conference Rahman said as of now,
Malaysians seeking clarification on whether or not Putrajaya supports the
implementation of hudud in Kelantan or anywhere else should look at the
government’s past stand on the matter.
Jakarta. Indonesia is preparing to move a Filipina
death row inmate for execution after she lost her appeal in the Supreme Court
earlier this week, the attorney general’s spokesman said on Friday.
The planned executions of Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso and
nine other mostly foreign drug traffickers has drawn international criticism
after repeated pleas for mercy from the United Nations and various governments
have gone unheeded by President Joko Widodo.
Veloso will be moved from the city of Yogyakarta to
the maximum security prison on Nusakambangan Island in Central Java, where the
rest of the group awaits execution by firing squad.
Snapshot of Malaysia after hudud: A nation divided
KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Hudud has for the past two
decades largely been treated as a mere fringe topic among Malaysians, a
political hot potato tossed back and forth between local parties as they
canvassed for Muslim votes during elections.
But last week, when the Kelantan legislative assembly
passed amendments to its Shariah Criminal Code II enactment — dubbed the hudud
Bill — the controversial Islamic penal code quickly became a legitimate public
Now, if PAS, the Islamist party that governs Kelantan,
next succeeds at the federal level in getting more legislative amendments
approved, hudud, an Islamic punishment system under Shariah law, will be
implemented for the first time in a Malaysian state.
Although the law would only be confined to Kelantan,
it must be noted that PAS’s manoeuvre in Kelantan has already roused the
ambitions of other Islamist groups and scholars who wish to see hudud sweep the
country. All eyes are also on Terengganu, which had also passed a similar but
still ungazetted enactment with hudud elements in 2002.
Full report at:http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/snapshot-of-malaysia-after-hudud-a-nation-divided#sthash.ZHLiZiLx.dpuf